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10 Days That Shook the World of Bitcoin

When Bitcoin’s history is written, the following events will command a chapter apiece. Bitcoin is a creeping revolution that does not lend itself to listicles, and thus any such attempt is destined to fall short. What follows, therefore, is a potted history of a transformative technology whose greatest moments have yet to come. In chronological order, these are the days that shook Bitcoin to its core. Also read: Cypherpunk Essentials: A Beginner’s Guide to Crypto Privacy Satoshi’s Final Bow, December 12, 2010 One of the most significant days in Bitcoin happened before most people had even heard of it. Dec. 12, 2010 didn’t startle the community at the time, but the date would go down as the most pivotal since the mining of the genesis block. That’s the day when Satoshi Nakamoto composed his final Bitcointalk post and then quietly checked out, never to be publicly heard of again. One day prior, he’d objected to Wikileaks using bitcoin to circumvent its Visa blockade, writing: “It would have been nice to get this attention in any other context. Wikileaks has kicked the hornet’s nest, and the swarm is headed towards us.” We will likely never know why Satoshi left, other than the vague message he dictated to Mike Hearn in his final email on Apr. 23, 2011: “I’ve moved on to other things.” Silk Road Bust, October 2, 2013 It’s hard to convey just how big of a role Silk Road played in mainstreaming Bitcoin, and how indebted we are to a mild-mannered pacifist now serving life without parole for the crime of being a tech visionary. (Okay, and for creating a market where you could buy every illegal drug under the sun.) Oct. 2, 2013, is the day Ross Ulbricht’s ingenious creation fell, when an FBI bust saw the 29-year-old wrestled to the ground in a San Francisco library as he was logged in to the server. The familiar Silk Road login screen gave way to the FBI’s smug seizure notice and bitcoin shed 25 percent of its value, falling to $109 in the aftermath. BTC has since recovered 60 times over, but for those who supported Silk Road and its swashbuckling captain Dread Pirate Roberts, things have never been the same since. Bitcoin Hits $1,000, November 27, 2013 There are many all-time highs that might warrant inclusion in this list - BTC hitting $100, just seven months earlier, being one: NEVAR FORGET. — Bitcoin 101 (@Bitcoin101) April 1, 2013 That day felt epic, but $1,000 was entering the realm of fantasy. Bitcoiners hadn’t dreamed the milestone might be reached so soon. It was only later that Mt Gox’s role in inflating BTC with the aid of its Willy trading bot came to light. This knowledge has done nothing, however, to dampen the memories of $1,000 bitcoin sticking two fingers up at the establishment. was where everyone checked the price of BTC in the age before Blockfolio, widgets and push notifications. When bitcoin hit $1,000, the site moved the decimal point three places to the left because the USD price was taking up too much screen space. The Death of Mt Gox, February 24, 2014 Despite five years having passed since Bitcoin’s Titanic event, and restitution finally made, the sinking of Mt Gox is still a sore point for early adopters who lost funds in the insolvent exchange. It had been evident for weeks that something was wrong with Gox, but its spectacular collapse still induced shock and anger followed by lingering acrimony. The demise of Mt Gox plunged bitcoin into a downward spiral it took years to recover from. Craig Wright Is Satoshi Nakamoto, May 2, 2016 Wright, on the day he revealed himself to be Satoshi Nakamoto Many people have identified or been doxxed as Satoshi Nakamoto, but only two incidents gained global attention. Newsweek’s false dox of Dorian Nakamoto in March 2014 was noteworthy, but it pales in significance to the day Craig Wright stepped forward to claim the mantle, after Wired had first suggested the connection a few months earlier. Gavin Andresen verified the digital signature, mainstream media swooped and Craig Wright basked in the adulation. Then the narrative began to fall apart. The evidence linking Wright to Satoshi was quickly debunked, turning Wright into a pariah dubbed “Faketoshi.” While a dwindling band of followers still believes Wright may have been involved in Bitcoin’s creation, few grant his claim to be Satoshi himself any credence. The DAO, June 17, 2016 Like the Silk Road bust, The DAO technically wasn’t about Bitcoin. And yet the collapse of Ethereum’s flagship project, following the theft of $50 million in ether from its smart contract, reverberated throughout the entire industry, prompting Vitalik Buterin to assemble an online crisis meeting with exchange bosses in a bid to limit the fallout. “OK can you guys stop trading,” he implored and a meme was born. Ethereum eventually recovered, but not before a chain rollback and a hard fork. Bitcoin maximalism gained some new supporters that day, many of whom have remained wary of E

3 hours ago

Genesis Global Lends $553 Million In Crypto Assets, Institutional Space Booming

Even in the thick of 2018’s crypto bear market, a related subsector has seen an unprecedented boom, with institutions throwing millions of dollars at a well-recognized over-the-counter (OTC) player in the cryptocurrency market. Institutions Borrow $553 Million In Crypto In 6 Months Per a brief report from New York-based Genesis Global Capital, titled “2018 Q3 Digital Asset Lending Snapshot,” at the start of March 2018, the firm launched the crypto industry’s first-ever institutional lending business to go hand-in-hand with Genesis’ already-established OTC desk. Although the venture was nothing more than an experimental stab at a potentially revolutionary service, in the same report, the American company revealed that its clients quickly gained interest in crypto asset loans. Elaborating, Genesis Capital wrote: “Over the past year, through client feedback and the rise of derivative marketplaces, we saw a meaningful increase in the number of market participants wanting to borrow and/or lend digital currencies. We built this new business segment to meet those demands and have experienced an incredibly strong reception since our launch.” This “incredibly strong reception” has seemingly taken the form of “60+ institutional counterparties,” who have requested for cryptocurrency loans across “nearly a dozen digital assets” in the past six months. According to statistics from the firm itself, these loans amounted to a monetary value of $553 million, a jaw-dropping sum to say the least. The firm added that while many of its institutional debtors have already paid their loans in full, there is still $130 million worth of active loans, which is a figure that has only grown of the course of the lending service’s short, but fruitful lifetime. This indicates that the bears of today’s market haven’t deterred these investors one bit, contrary to popular belief. Image Courtesy of Genesis Capital In fact, as alluded to in the official report, 2018’s tumbling crypto prices may have only enticed Genesis Global’s clients, which primarily consist of hedge funds, trading funds, and crypto startups, to borrow digital assets to act as working capital. Genesis pointed out that hedge funds “generally have thesis-driven views on assets,” so the arrival of its product, coupled with the bearish market trend, likely catalyzed traditionalist funds to borrow crypto assets to short the market in longer-term timeframes. On the other hand, the company added that trading firms, who have a comparable large penchant for risk, have sought to borrow digital assets on short-term bases to take advantage of arbitrage opportunities, which are present in emerging markets. Last but not least, Genesis Capital brought attention to loans requested by fintech startups, which may actively use crypto assets “as a means of working capital to scale their businesses, such as remittance payments to customers.” Regardless of how the borrowed funds are used, the bottom line is that institutions are still willing to throw copious amounts of free-flowing capital at this space. Genesis Global Clients Bearish On Bitcoin, Not Ethereum Following Genesis’ holistic highlight of its lending product, the startup went on to outline the exact specifics of the $553 million in loaned crypto assets. Although there were many statistics that caught the eyes of readers, a few points stood out to many astute traders. Just weeks after the service’s March launch, the loan book primarily consisted of positions in Bitcoin and Ethereum, which could be attributed to the company’s claim that hedge funds were initially the only institutions to use the product. But, in the following months, in correlation with the sharp decline in the value of Ether, loan positions in Ripple’s XRP, Litecoin, and Ethereum Classic, began to take hold of Genesis’ balance sheet. Now, only 4 percent of active loans pertain to Ether, while Bitcoin has seen 62.6% of active loans flood into its borders. According to Michael Moro, the chief executive at Genesis, a majority of loans have been requested by hedge funds, who have actively used these funds to actively hedge their positions on derivatives markets. This likely indicates that these institutions are more bearish on Bitcoin than they may be on Ethereum, which is a welcome sign for the latter crypto asset, which has been beaten and bruised to hell and back. Featured Image From Shutterstock The post Genesis Global Lends $553 Million In Crypto Assets, Institutional Space Booming appeared first on NewsBTC.

5 hours ago

Cryptocurrency Loans Go Big As Company Reveals $550M Half-Year Traffic

The cryptocurrency loans offshoot of just one firm saw through-flow of over half a billion dollars in its first six months on the market. ‘Incredibly Strong Reception’ That’s according to third quarter statistics released October 18th by Genesis Capital, a US-based over-the-counter trading firm. In March of this year, Genesis began offering cryptocurrency loans to institutional investors. Upon release, executives said, the product saw an “incredibly strong reception” from hedge funds, trading arbitrage firms. Regarding the statistics, they wrote: Over the past year, through client feedback and the rise of derivative marketplaces, we saw a meaningful increase in the number of market participants wanting to borrow and/ or lend digital currencies. We built this new business segment to meet those demands and have experienced an incredibly strong reception since our launch. In total, Genesis has seen $553 million pass through its books, with current outstanding loans totaling $130 million — a number the company says has “steadily grown” despite cryptocurrency prices falling precipitously since March. Retail Prepares To Catch Up As the cryptocurrency industry prepares for an influx of institutional cash with the debut of dedicated solutions such as Bakkt, commentators have long claimed investors were already finding alternative ways of accessing the market. Since its inception, Genesis says its client base has changed in its make-up, with hedge funds being dominant at the start but giving way to traders and arbitrageurs through Q3. “These firms generally borrow digital assets to trade against derivatives like futures and swaps,” the report added. “We believe this kind of activity will continue to pick up as derivative markets mature.” The success story looks set to be repeated. The retail sector is also firmly within the sights of an increasing number of businesses aiming to bring cryptocurrency loans to the mainstream. InLock, one such startup currently in the midst of an ICO, wants to offer cryptocurrency-collateralized loans to private individuals. Like Genesis, the concept has seen marked interest even prior to its debut, a private presale raising $2.5 million. CEO Csaba Csabai told Bitcoinist the following in emailed comments: Despite the current market sentiment, we managed to open with an impressive $700,000 on the first day of our ICO, and the funding progresses steadily towards our goals. This clearly indicates that there is a demand for lending solutions even if the prices are down. What do you think about the potential of institutional and retail cryptocurrency loans? Let us know in the comments below! Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock. The post Cryptocurrency Loans Go Big As Company Reveals $550M Half-Year Traffic appeared first on

a day ago

Banks weren’t too big to fail, they were too big to manage

On the 10-year anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy, the event commonly cited as the start of a global financial crisis, it’s still worth asking: What the hell happened? The Bank that Lived a Little: Barclays in the Age of the Very Free Market (Penguin Random House), a new book by former banker and financial commentator Philip Augar, is a timely tale of the folly of bank deregulation, unchecked greed, and wild ambition. Augar’s book is a dramatized retelling of Barclays’ history, focusing on how it was transformed from a Quaker family bank in the UK into a global giant. Through a detailed look into the inner workings of this one bank, a story emerges about how banking evolved from mostly lending to people and companies to becoming about finance in and of itself. During that time, the financial services industry ballooned to become the biggest part of the UK economy and forged connections worldwide. When it all came crashing down, and banks wouldn’t lend to each other, there was no choice left but to use public funds to rescue them. In 1986, the London’s financial sector experienced what was known as the “Big Bang,” a sudden and massive deregulation of financial markets under Margaret Thatcher’s government. This came 10 years after Wall Street’s version (paywall), which ended fixed commissions for trading and created heated competition in the sleepy banking industry overnight. British banks were a decade behind. The first part of Augar’s history is about how some at Barclays didn’t want to just be the biggest and best bank in the UK, but also a major player in the US. It portrays Barclays as the underdog. It makes it sound daring and impressive, but you’d be forgiven for thinking it was just greedy and reckless. In early 2007, even as there were signs something was amiss with the US mortgage industry, Barclays pushed on. It bought EquiFirst, a mortgage originator with 9,000 brokers on commission. The day the deal went through, New Century Financial, a US mortgage lender that specialized in subprime mortgages, went bankrupt. The Bank that Lived a Little is a reminder of just how quickly financial services went from deregulation to running off the rails. After the Big Bang, it was only 20 years before it brought the global economy down. Even in September and October 2008, the height of the financial crisis, the global ambitions of Barclays were undeterred. Barclays executives, including Bob Diamond, who would later become CEO, were negotiating to buy bits of the bankrupt Lehman Brothers to complete a 25-year process to join the investment-banking big league. “Barclays could at last rejoice in being a top five universal bank,” Augar writes. There is a view within the bank that the credit crisis will blow over in a couple of months and that, unlike RBS and Lloyds, Barclays couldn’t accept government funds. This wasn’t because of any moral objection to taking public money, but because having government representatives on Barclays’ board did not suit the bank’s international ambitions. (Barclays did gladly accept extra liquidity from the Bank of England, another form of state support.) Who is to blame? Augar appears keen to point out that this was a system-wide failure. Barclays was doing what it needed to keep up with other banks, particularly smaller banks that entered the US mortgage market and made big money (until they collapsed). Traders were doing what they needed to take home multimillion-pound bonuses. Meanwhile, politicians and regulators prided themselves on “light-touch regulation” that enabled London to become the world’s foremost financial district. The bank’s board was asleep at the wheel, with non-executive members cycled in and out by headhunters with little knowledge of the risks building up at the bank. So few people seemed to really understand what was happening that it served in a clever sort of way to help them avoid taking responsibility. Take Carol, a corporate risk manager in Barclays Capital’s Birmingham office. She convinces Karl Edwards (a pseudonym), the owner of a record shop in the Midlands who had been a customer of Barclays since the early 1990s, to take out a type of interest-rate hedging product when he gets a mortgage for a second business property. But when interest rates go down instead of up, Karl is left with the bill for a “bet” he made and lost. Eventually, the charges and penalty payments force Karl to close his business. Is it Carol’s fault? Augar writes: No one appeared to have thought through the consequences of incentivizing people like Carol. She was a school-leaver entrant to banking who had worked her way up and was now at one of the UK’s most prestigious financial institutions, where was given targets to meet and financial incentives to do so. If she did well, she could earn sums of money that paid for the lifestyle she craved, and she knew what happened to colleagues who failed to deliver. Her response was at least understandable; the failure of more senio

a day ago

PR: DAOstack Announces New $GEN Exchange Listing on Liquid by Quoine

Bitcoin Press Release: Blockchain startup DAOstack has announced the listing of its GEN token on Quoines new Liquid Exchange, starting October 9th, 2018. October 11th, 2018, Gibraltar - The DAOstack collective attention token GEN, will be listed on Liquid, the newly-launched cryptocurrency exchange by Quoine, starting October 9th, 12:00 JST. GEN-ETH, GEN-BTC, and GEN-QASH trading pairs will be available to start, with GEN-fiat trading pairs available in the near future. DAOstack is designed to be a kind of WordPress for decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), a new type of Web3-native organization that allows like-minded communities to act on shared goals or values without depending on concentrated power centers. The GEN token will soon link a network of DAOs built for a variety of purposes on the DAOstack platform. DAOs using the GEN prediction network will be able to effectively filter proposals by their predicted chance of passing. This allows DAOs to remain values-aligned and efficient while scaling to potentially any size. GEN lets individuals both inside and outside the DAO lend their expert attention in exchange for a chance to profit and be rewarded for correct predictions. GEN-based prediction is native within Alchemy, DAOstack’s first application for decentralized governance, whose Alpha release is currently live on the Ethereum mainnet. With a full release targeted for 2019, Alchemy will make it simple for DAOs of unlimited size to smartly allocate resources and voting power. A community of predictors is already active and growing, and its increasing size, expertise, and network effect will benefit all DAOs using Alchemy. Since predictors must hold GEN to stake on proposals, they have an additional incentive to help all GEN-connected DAOs achieve their goals. DAOstack’s strategy for GEN includes many of the features that made Ethereum successful. For one, DAOstack is stimulating product and community development by channeling funds from its token sale through the Genesis DAO, the first DAO deployed using the DAOstack platform, created as a proof of concept and an open-source foundation for DAO development. Also, like Ether, GEN has a highly generalizable utility, as Matan Field, DAOstack architect, and CEO, has pointed out: “In the same way that ether is gas for the collective attention of computers, the GEN token is gas for the collective attention of human beings.” With GEN’s listing on Liquid, DAOstack is excited to be taking the next step toward an open, growing ecosystem of decentralized organizations. ABOUT Quoine Quoine is a leading global fintech company that provides trading, exchange, and next-generation financial services powered by blockchain technology. With offices in Japan, Singapore, and Vietnam, Quoine combines a strong network of local partners with extensive team experience in banking and financial products to deliver best in class financial services for its customers. More information is available at In September 2017, Quoine Corporation became the first global cryptocurrency exchange to be officially licensed by the Japan Financial Services Agency. In September 2018, the two exchanges owned by Quoine, Quoinex, and Qryptos, were merged and relaunched as Liquid. Liquid will be powered by Quoine’s World Book, which provides customers with enhanced price matching and deeper liquidity for various fiat and cryptocurrency pairs. More information can be found at Learn more about DAOstack - Read the DAOstack Whitepaper - Join the Telegram - Follow on Facebook - Follow the Twitter - Read on Medium - Join on Reddit - Media Contact Contact Name: Andrey Sergeenkov Contact Email: Youtube: DAOstack is the source of this content. Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to consumer protections. Cryptocurrencies and tokens are extremely volatile. There is no guarantee of a stable value, or of any value at all. Token sales are only suitable for individuals with a high-risk tolerance. Only participate in a token event with what you can afford to lose. This press release is for informational purposes only. The information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest. The Era Swap token sale is closed to US participants and participants of all countries in which ICOs are illegal. Follow on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom Telegram Alerts from Want to advertise or get published on - View our Media Kit PDF here. Image Courtesy: The post PR: DAOstack Announces New $GEN Exchange Listing on Liquid by Quoine appeared first on

3 days ago

Trading the Currency Market Versus the Equity Markets

There are several similarities between different assets classes, and it’s important to trade the asset class that you understand the most. This will provide you with the best chance of successfully investing in the capital markets. In addition to becoming comfortable with the fundamentals that move both the currency and equity markets, you also need to understand the differences in volatility and leverage that you can experience with each asset class. Similarities Between Currencies and Equities Both the currency and equity markets are global and local. When you trade the US dollar on Vestle, versus most major currencies, global forces will alter the future path of the currency pair. In addition, local issues in that country will also generate volatility. For example, the Brexit in the UK as well as the Italian budget will be forces that drive both the Euro and Pound. Equities are the same way. The markets are interconnected. When there is a selloff in the US it generally spills over into a selloff in Asia. The currency markets can affect the equity markets and vice versa. For example, when the dollar strengthens, small cap US stocks will outperform large caps. This is because large cap multinational companies have exposure around the globe and a stronger dollar makes their products less competitive in countries outside the United States. Rising yields can also be a factor. As yields in one country rise relative to another, the currency of the higher yielding interest rates generally outperform the lower yielding country’s currency. Higher yields are generally negative for stock prices. Rising interest rates make future discounted cash flows less attractive which can weigh on stock prices. Differences Equity markets can be micro. Most shares have a high beta which means they move in tandem with broader indices most of the time. However, companies have individual valuations. Earnings releases in many cases will alter the path of a stock price. Stocks in general have a much higher level of volatility compared to currency pairs. The S&P 500 has an average volatility of 15% whereby the EUR/USD implied volatility is closer to 7%. In times of stress, such as January of 2018, the implied volatility on the S&P 500 reached 50%. Because the volatility on stocks is so much higher than the volatility on currency pairs, the leverage supplied to investors by brokers is much lower for stocks than it is for currency pairs. Leverage Leverage is the amount of capital that a broker will allow you to borrow to trade specific assets. The more you borrow, the higher the leverage. Leverage can be a double-edged sword. If the price of the security you are trading moves in your favor, your returns can be substantial. However, if the price moves against you, the losses can be devastating. Since the volatility on equities is much higher than the volatility of currencies, the leverage your broker will offer you on currencies will likely be much higher than the leverage you are offered on shares. In some cases, a broker will offer leverage on currencies as high as 400 to 1. On shares, it’s generally 20 to 1. This means that for every $1 dollar you invest, your broker will lend you $20 to trade shares. The post Trading the Currency Market Versus the Equity Markets appeared first on ZyCrypto.

3 days ago

Novogratz: Bitcoin Will Breakout in 2019, But Institutions Still Want Crypto

Despite recently retracting his bullish claims that Bitcoin will surpass $10,000 by year’s end, Mike Novogratz still expressed that institutions are still poised to enter the crypto industry. Fidelity, BitGo, Bakkt Custody Solutions Will Bolster Adoption Per previous NewsBTC reports from Monday, Fidelity Investments, a financial giant with over $2.5 trillion worth of client assets under management, unexpectedly divulged its plans to launch Fidelity Digital Asset Services (FDAS), a crypto-focused subsidiary. As its name implies, this startup’s operations will be largely focused on the fledgling cryptocurrency industry, with Fidelity claiming that it will offer asset custody, trading execution, and “dedicated client service.” On FDAS’s official launch, the aforementioned products will only be available to Fidelity’s institutional clients. But make no mistake, the Boston-based company has amassed over 13,000 institutional clients in its 72-year history, indicating that this foray into the crypto market will likely be met with success. Following this positive development, Mike Novogratz, the CEO of Galaxy Digital, took some time to lend his expertise to Bloomberg viewers, conveying his opinion on FDAS and the crypto ecosystem as a whole. Fidelity announced today it was getting into crypto. That’s one step towards creating some certainty and security around cryptocurrencies, Galaxy Digital CEO Michael Novogratz tells @ErikSchatzker Watch the full interview — Bloomberg TV (@BloombergTV) October 15, 2018 Immediately drawing attention to FDAS’s proposed custody solution, Novogratz explained that this service will likely catalyze an influx of interest from institutions. The CEO explained: “One of the things that will get institutional investors involved in crypto is custody solutions... And Fidelity is coming out with a world-class custody solution that is aimed at institutions, so that’s a box that gets checked and [that is] something that gets taken [an institution’s] list.” Novogratz, who was a formidable force on Wall Street in the past, also added that the proposed custody solutions from ICE-backed Bakkt and Goldman Sachs, along with the already-established service from BitGo, may lead a majority of investment consultants to finally classify crypto assets as a safe investment. Interestingly enough, Novogratz’s comment regarding custody seems to be a direct reference to his recent appearance on CNBC Fast Money, where he claimed that “institutional FOMO” will be sparked by the introduction of crypto-friendly infrastructures, such as proper regulated custody. But, as explained by the cryptocurrency advocate, institutions may be already feeling a growing sense of “FOMO,” as Yale, along with Harvard, Stanford, and North Carolina University, have begun to allocate capital into crypto-related ventures. But... Institutional Adoption May Take A While Although the arrival of Bakkt, ErisX, and FDAS, is obviously going to better this industry in the long-run, Novogratz pointed out that the arrival of institutions en-masse may not happen overnight. You know what they say — “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Elaborating on this point, which was cautiously optimistic, the crypto fund manager stated: “Fidelity announced their business today and it’ll probably be up and running in January, or Q1 [of 2019]. And then you have to run some water through the pipes, so my guess is you will start seeing institutional flows into pure crypto assets in late first quarter or early second quarter.”` The Bloomberg host, who wasn’t afraid to bring up a controversial topic, went on to query Novogratz on why he retracted his claims that institutions would be all-in on crypto by now. Slightly side-stepping this question, the Galaxy Digital executive pointed out that contrary to popular belief, “everything takes a bit longer than you hope it will,” even in the emerging market that is crypto. Likening the cryptocurrency and blockchain system to a fourth-grader, Novogratz added that it is irrational for pundits to expect for the industry to “graduate high school tomorrow and get its Ph.D. the next day.” Although the investor used some creative license to convey his thoughts, the point he is trying to make shouldn’t be underestimated. Because whether you like it or not, there are still a variety of hurdles that the cryptosphere will need to bound over before truly establishing itself as a world-changing industry. Closing off his segment, he double downed on his forecast that Bitcoin is unlikely to surpass $10,000 by this year, adding that crypto assets will only post new all-time highs when institutions, along with a mass of retail investors finally take the plunge. Featured Image from Shutterstock The post Novogratz: Bitcoin Will Breakout in 2019, But Institutions Still Want Crypto appeared first on NewsBTC.

4 days ago

The Big Blockchain Lie? Unpacking Dr Nouriel Roubini’s take on Bitcoin and blockchain

If crypto needed a kick in the teeth to wake up, Dr Nouriel Roubini delivered. While he might be more famous for predicting the financial collapse of 2008, Roubini has in recent weeks taken to the press to argue against the development of blockchain technology, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and even Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). At the Congressional hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington DC on October 11th, Roubini testified to US senators that cryptocurrency was “the mother or father of all scams and bubbles” - echoing the likes of other figures such as Warren Buffet and George Soros. Additionally, high-profile interviews on CoinTelegraph, as well as writing published on Project Syndicate, have seen Roubini declare his positionality. Roubini’s views are supported by a number of claims surrounding the blockchain industry. While many of them do have substantial merit, it’s also worthwhile to consider that cryptocurrency - as an emerging asset class and currency system - exists in relative novelty. In the wake of some of Roubini’s most recent remarks, let’s take the opposing view, and explore arguments as to why cryptocurrency might yet succeed. Centrality “There’s a lot of talk about decentralization: Miners are centralized as an oligopoly, coders are centralized, exchanges are centralized — as 99 percent of all transactions occur on a centralized exchange — and there’s a massive concentration of wealth. This is worse than North Korea in terms of income and wealth inequality... The reality is just the opposite: It’s a totally centralized system.” Centrality is (arguably) not a binary concept between the state of being ‘decentralized’ as opposed to ‘centralized’ - as recent interviews from Tone Vays, Jimmy Song, and Simon de la Rouviere perhaps demonstrate best, centrality more akin to a sliding scale - with some maximalists heralding Bitcoin as the gold standard (if you’ll pardon the phrase), while others allege that many altcoin projects require more time and exposure to become sufficiently decentralized. In that view, we have to regard Bitcoin as the most successful (and most decentralized) monetary system we have developed yet, where a distributed web of processing power forming consensus is the network authority. Coders committing improvements to Bitcoin or a range of other altcoin projects exist all over the world, decentralized exchanges have steadily shown growth, and while Bitcoin itself might have a terrible Gini coefficient (as a measure of inequality), it has been argued by the likes of Coinbase CTO Balaji S. Srinivasan that a totally new form of expression is needed to quantify decentralization in cryptocurrency networks. In the same way that other currency networks have grown, it’s further argued that solutions such as layer 2 scaling mechanics (such as the Lightning Network) will promote a further distribution of wealth as Bitcoin (in particular) moves from being a store of value to a true means of exchange. Mobile money There is already a revolution: there’s going to be much more competition, there’ll be much more access. If you are a poor farmer in Kenya today, you are using M-Pesa. On your little smartphone, you can make transactions, you can borrow and lend, you can buy and sell your goods and services, you have a whole slew of financial services without the brick-and-mortar bank. And all these things are available to billions of poor people in Africa. What [do] they have to do with blockchain or crypto? Nothing, zero. So, there is a revolution and it has nothing to do with blockchain.” Writing from South Africa, Roubini is right to say that mobile money platforms such as M-Pesa have cultivated immense support and have offered millions of Africans with an easy platform to trade, barter, and exchange goods and services with. What Roubini discounts, however, is that mobile money networks are tethered to fiat money in some of the most volatile markets around the world. While the African cryptocurrency revolution might just be getting started, we have already seen Bitcoin surge to premium prices in volatile markets such as Zimbabwe, with nations such as South Africa, Senegal, and other territories explore means to not only establish meaningful regulation around cryptocurrencies, but further explore their use cases for cultivating local markets, international remittances, and much more. In fact, cryptocurrency might benefit from the development of mobile money as a lynchpin of sorts to develop a system that is capable of operating at scale, has an easy-to-use interface, and can (most importantly) win over customers. Initial Coin Offerings “An academic study suggests that 81 percent of all ICOs were a scam to begin with; 11 percent of them have failed or have died; and of the remaining eight percent that is traded on exchanges, the top 10 have lost on average, in the last year, 95 percent of their value — more than Bitcoin. So, there was a bubble — and everybody was riding the bubble, everybody was issuing

4 days ago

The future of birth control in India could be the needle

For decades, female sterilisation has been the most popular form of contraception in India—and it remains so today. A variety of forces work to keep tubectomies common. Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, international organizations like the UN and powerful foreign governments—especially the United States—have used money and political clout to encourage the Indian government to incentivise sterilisation. The Indian government, in turn, has spent decades devoting more resources to pushing sterilisation than it has to cultivate other methods. As female sterilisation has become the go-to method across India, many communities and families have come to view it as the only socially acceptable contraceptive, thus ensuring its continued popularity. But female sterilisation doesn’t allow women to space their pregnancies—often women are encouraged to have as many children as possible before undergoing the procedure, which can put stress on their bodies as well as on families that must raise large numbers of young children. Other female contraceptive methods face their own challenges in India. Health care workers aren’t always trained when it comes to promoting contraceptive pills, which require consistent correct usage, and access to a regular supply is a challenge in some rural areas. Intrauterine devices, or IUDs, do not always stay in place—another problem in places where health care centres are difficult to reach. And some members of the Indian women’s movement oppose injectable, long-acting contraceptives because they are difficult to reverse and could even be administered without the patient’s knowledge. The only medical contraceptive method available to men (in India or anywhere else) are condoms and male sterilisation, both of which Indians generally reject. Four decades after millions of men received vasectomies — sometimes against their will — during the period of Indian history referred to as the Emergency, today only 0.3% of Indian men choose to undergo the procedure. Men might refuse these methods because they believe that condoms reduce pleasure, or that sterilisation could compromise their sense of manhood. But other family members might discourage condom use as well, sometimes because they consider them “dirty,” and multiple experts I spoke with said that women were often unwilling to allow their husbands to get a voluntary surgical procedure, and would prefer to get sterilised themselves. Across the world, contraceptive technologies have been stuck in a sort of stasis for decades, and even as existing methods have improved over the years, their fundamental flaws have not gone away. In India, researchers are trying to develop new technologies that would work for more Indians, but they are grappling with a domestic and international climate that is resistant to devoting resources to new ideas. Indian attitudes towards family planning are changing—but can contraceptive methods evolve to meet them? A 1976 article in Science News lamented that “in spite of a wide range of contraceptives on the market the ideal method of birth control remains to be found.” The array of options listed is one that remains largely unchanged today: Tubal ligation and vasectomies are 100% effective, but largely irreversible. Oral contraceptives and intrauterine devices are almost 100% effective but are being linked with an increasing number of health hazards. Condoms, diaphragms, foams, rhythm and coitus interruptus have few health drawbacks but are not always effective. They also are either aesthetically unsatisfactory, a bother to apply or require the utmost in physical restraint at certain times of the month or during intercourse. In the past four decades, researchers have developed more long-acting hormonal methods, but these share a large number of the potential “health hazards” associated with oral hormonal contraceptives. Each basic form of contraception currently in use — IUDs, hormonal contraceptives, barrier methods, spermicides, sterilisation, and fertility tracking — has been available to consumers for at least half a century. All have been dogged by the same problems throughout their existence: hormonal contraceptives can cause blood clots and negatively affect libido and mood; IUDs are associated with breakthrough bleeding and pelvic inflammatory disease; sterilisation is not always possible to reverse, and the reversal procedure is unavailable in many areas. Barrier methods, spermicides, and fertility tracking require continued effort and are less effective than more invasive methods. In part because of issues like these, many women don’t use any contraception at all — even in richer countries where all of these methods are available to most of the population. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 43 million American women are at risk of an unintended pregnancy. In countries like India, where many women lack regular health care access and education, that number becomes much higher; the contracepti

4 days ago

Sears files for bankruptcy, the last gasp of its incredible fall

The local Sears was where generations of Americans went to buy their washing machines, power tools, home goods, and clothes. But the company that started as a mail-order business in the 19th century and grew into a titan of US retail through the 20th has now filed for bankruptcy protection, marking another blow for the American department store and a new low in Sears’s steep decline. Some Sears and Kmart stores—the big-box retailer officially took over Sears in 2005 to create Sears Holdings in a bid to make both more competitive—will remain open, the company said. Sears Holdings will, however, close 142 unprofitable stores the end of this year. That’s in addition to the 46 closures Sears had previously announced. It once seemed that practically wherever you were in the US, a Sears was nearby. But particularly in the past several years, Sears and Kmart have had to aggressively slash their store counts. The problems at Sears have been mounting for decades at this point, as the Washington Post outlined in a story (paywall) last year. For example, Sears was late responding to the rise of competitors focused on product niches it once dominated. Home Depot and Lowe’s undermined its home-improvement business. Stores like Best Buy ate into its electronics sales. But most notably, Sears was never quite able to adjust to the decline of shopping malls and the rise of e-commerce, despite large investments to bolster its online business. Sears Holdings’s sales have been in a dramatic, decade-long slide, and the company hasn’t turned a profit since 2011. The company’s debt, meanwhile, has grown. Edward Lampert, who announced that he will step down as CEO of Sears Holdings with the bankruptcy-protection filing but will remain chairman, engineered Kmart’s takeover of Sears. In his various efforts since to turn the business around, he used his hedge fund, ESL Investments, to buy up Sears stock and to lend money to Sears. He and his fund now own nearly half of Sears Holdings, and are its largest creditors: Sears Holdings owes about $2.5 billion to Lampert and ESL. “I’ve never seen a company that was financed like this, and I’ve looked at the capital structure of thousands of companies,” Jared Ellias, a professor at the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law who studies corporate bankruptcies, told the Washington Post last year. The bankruptcy filing could help soften the financial blow to Lampert, on the credit side at least. As for his stock, the last decade has seen practically all of Sears’s value wiped away. For now, Sears will carry on. “The Company believes that a successful reorganization will save the Company and the jobs of tens of thousands of store associates,” it said in a statement. But the future of Sears remains very much in jeopardy.

4 days ago

Satoshi Nakamoto Institute Compiles Bitcoin Creator’s Writings

The Satoshi Nakamoto Institute has compiled all of Satoshi’s quotes, emails, code, and forum posts into a convenient database, so future generations can read the wisdom of the creator of Bitcoin. Satoshi may have dropped off the face of the Earth and no one knows for sure who he, she or they are but the wisdom left behind continues to be immortalized. The database stretched all the way back to October 2008 when the Bitcoin white paper was released on a cypherpunk mailing list. One of the main reasons Bitcoin was created is thought to be the deficiencies of the fiat system. Bitcoin’s launch coincided with the 2008 Great Financial Crisis when the global economy nearly collapsed, due to out of control money printing and immoral investment practices. Satoshi said, “Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts. Their massive overhead costs make micropayments impossible.” Further, Satoshi said, “The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that’s required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust.” Satoshi laid forth his plans for a new financial system based on cryptography, to solve the global money crisis. Satoshi said, “What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party. Transactions that are computationally impractical to reverse would protect sellers from fraud, and routine escrow mechanisms could easily be implemented to protect buyers... I would be surprised if 10 years from now we’re not using electronic currency in some way, now that we know a way to do it that won’t inevitably get dumbed down when the trusted third party gets cold feet.” One of the main points of Bitcoin is it has a fixed money supply and a fixed rate of money printing until mining ends, as opposed to fiat which can be printed at will by central banks. Satoshi said, “Total circulation will be 21,000,000 coins. It’ll be distributed to network nodes when they make blocks, with the amount cut in half every 4 years. first 4 years: 10,500,000 coins next 4 years: 5,250,000 coins next 4 years: 2,625,000 coins next 4 years: 1,312,500 coins etc... When that runs out, the system can support transaction fees if needed. It’s based on open market competition, and there will probably always be nodes willing to process transactions for free.” Satoshi accurately predicts that the Bitcoin price will go up long term due to increasing users: “The fact that new coins are produced means the money supply increases by a planned amount, but this does not necessarily result in inflation. If the supply of money increases at the same rate that the number of people using it increases, prices remain stable. If it does not increase as fast as demand, there will be deflation and early holders of money will see its value increase. Coins have to get initially distributed somehow, and a constant rate seems like the best formula.” Follow on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom Telegram Alerts from Want to advertise or get published on - View our Media Kit PDF here. Image Courtesy: Pixabay The post Satoshi Nakamoto Institute Compiles Bitcoin Creator’s Writings appeared first on

8 days ago

@Zerobacan @LitecoinDotCom We can lend in the majority of th...

@Zerobacan @LitecoinDotCom We can lend in the majority of the United States and are in the process of acquiring lic...

12 days ago

@CryptoWonka @cryptocritical Yes, we're working on securing ...

@CryptoWonka @cryptocritical Yes, we're working on securing the licensing to lend to individuals in the business on...

13 days ago

Nobel Laureates Throw Their Hats Into The Cryptocurrency And Blockchain Worlds

Some Nobel laureates like Paul Krugman have sounded off against Bitcoin. Others have seemingly decided to lend their expertise and knowledge to certain blockchain and crypto projects, raising questions about how much influence their name and reputation really carries....

18 days ago

Sierra Leone, United Nations to Develop Blockchain Digital ID System

Two of the United Nation’s wings are joining hands with Sierra Leone government to build a blockchain-based ID system for their seven million people. The UN Capital Development Fund (UNDCF) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) have entered into a partnership with Kiva, a technology nonprofit. Kiva will lend its institutional protocol of the same...

19 days ago

Goldman Sachs Heads $25 Million Investment Round in Blockchain Startup Veem

Blockchain startup Compound will allow investors to lend and borrow Ethereum-based tokens through its new platform....

21 days ago

Swiss Crypto Lending Startup ETHLend Rebrands as Aave

ETHLend is now Aave. The cryptocurrency lending platform unveiled Aave, which translates as “ghost” and is a reflection of the team's imagination. ETHLend is now a product under the Aave umbrella. It’s a tech-fueled decentralized company that looks to pick up where other fintechs, including PayPal and Coinbase, leave off. The LEND coin will continue to fuel the ecosystem and is down approximately 2% today. (GT)

a month ago

Morgan James Partners with Publica to Bring Blockchain to Publishing

Morgan James Publishing and Publica, a blockchain powered e-book publication company, have entered into a partnership that will help authors gain more control over the lives of their books. The partnership will enable authors under Morgan James to sell e-books through cryptocurrency. The collaboration will also allow readers to lend or resell e-books thus creating a true e-book ownership. Publica is powered by Ethereum, and it allows authors to conduct book ICOs and then publish it. The first Morgan James titles to have book ICOs are The Millennial Whisperer by Chris Tuff and Anomaly by Zack Miller. According to David Hancock, CEO of Morgan James, his firm and Publica are striving to help authors without owning them. (KE)

a month ago

A piece of advice for you folks who might be experiencing new found wealth in the near future.

Buy some fucking property you douchenozzles. The type of money people will be making in the next few years due to this crypto market is insane. Normal everyday people that never thought they would be able to rise above paycheck to paycheck living are going to have an immense amount of opportunity. I felt compelled to write this post cause it's 4AM here and I can't sleep after this crazy day with Tron. I'm a RE/MAX agent in Florida so for my entire career my focus has been on how real estate can be the best investment. Luckily I stumbled into the crypto world and my life has been flipped upside down. I just made some tea and set up my hookah to write down some thoughts. Here's a question you need to ask yourself - Do you want to set yourself up for long term success by leveraging your earnings from crypto, OR do you want to be a dumbass and buy a Lamborghini that still won't help you get laid? Maybe that was harsh but I want to catch your attention because these memes about Lambos that are regurgitated over and over in the crypto world make me think that the typical crypto investor is like a 23 year old dude who would totally go buy a fancy ass car the second he could afford one. Let me drop some knowledge from my area of expertise so hopefully I can help atleast one person set themselves up for success in the future. Here's some things to think about. If you want to succeed long term remember this - Not all real estate purchases are a good investment. To set yourself up for life you need to buy an income property. Duplex, Triplex, Quadplex, apartment buildings, there are lots of possibilities. If you have enough money to buy any of these cash or even a sizeable amount for a downpayment you are off to a good start to becoming financially secure for the rest of your life. People will always need a place to live and if you're the provider, you will always be collecting the money instead of spending it. If you do this correctly you can also find a property that has potential to appreciate. Let's say you buy a 500k quadplex, are constantly collecting rent, a few years down the road it might be worth 700k. Totally depends on the market, but where I live it happens all the time. I know these sound like noob gains compared to what we see on a daily basis in the crypto market but the reality is it's concrete, you will always have it and it will always provide value and continue to provide value. To illustrate this - If you buy a 500k income property and are getting returns of 40k-60k every year after expenses, that's basically a full time job for doing nothing but collecting rent. Do this a few times over the next 5-10 years and pretty soon you're collecting 200k a year on permanent vacation by the time you're 40. The good thing about income properties is it's typically one building with multiple units. That means you just have to replace 1 roof, 1 electrical system, a few AC units etc instead of having to manage a ton of single family homes. Even if you're not on that level, atleast aim to buy a duplex. You can live in one side and rent the other. Once you have a property paid off a bank will be much more willing to lend you money to buy more properties because you have a ton of collateral in an appreciating asset. If you live on the premises you can also get some pretty sweet tax deductions. Here's another idea - Buy a property you can use to make money with AirBnB. If you live in a place where people like to visit you can make a shitload of money and have fun doing it. I was looking at a property tonight where I live - Listed at 550k, completely renovated triplex literally 30 second walk to one of the best beaches in the US. They currently make between 60k-80k just renting that out on AirBnb. The cool thing about it is you can also live on premises and meet people who are traveling while they pay you lots of money. I would get a hot tub installed and make it attractive for hot young ladies to come visit, but that's just me trying to live my best life. Note - AirBnB gets shut down in some cities though so make sure to check out local regulations. Here's what you shouldn't do. Buy a big ass house with shit you don't need. You'll get stuck with a huge tax bill and I would be willing to bet that you'd get sick of maintaining it. Financial freedom is what brings happiness, not a bunch of space to fill up with shit you don't need. Anyways I just wanted to share this thought to potentially save someone from making a dumb ass mistake. I know what dumb ass mistakes feel like considering I just tried to make gains with my TRX and ended up losing 40k coins tonight, doesn't feel too great but I was lucky enough to get in somewhat early so I'm not sweating it too bad. Consider the long term both in this TRON investment and what will come after. Most people don't have these opportunities until they're in their 40's or 50's after a life time of work and savings. Luckily some of you might have a pretty...

10 months ago

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