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Huobi’s V2.0 ‘Stablecoin for Stablecoins’ Aims to Close Arbitrage Loophole

Stablecoins are increasing their visibility within the crypto space as the universe of stablecoins expands and they become easier to trade. Now, digital exchange Huobi Global offers, as a trial, the HUSD Solution V2.0 to provide traders with support for interchangeability between various stablecoins. All Stablecoins Seek to Lower Volatility But They are Not 1:1 Interchangeable Stablecoins’ purpose is to minimize price volatility by being pegged to a fiat currency or an exchange-traded commodity, such as a precious or industrial metal. The HUSD Solution V2.0 offers support for interchangeability between four stablecoins: Gemini Dollars (GUSD), Paxos Standard (PAX), True USD (TUSD), and USD Coin (USDC). These four coins are represented by one token, the HUSD. Users can deposit any PAX, TUSD, USDC, or GUSD, and then withdraw any of these four tokens, regardless of which token was initially deposited. Neutral’s article entitled “Case Study of Huobi’s HUSD Solution,” explains, When you deposit any kind of stablecoins, they will be shown as HUSD in your account. You may withdraw any kind of stablecoin; when the balance amount of a certain stablecoin is not sufficient in your account, you may choose any other stablecoin with enough balance amount to withdraw. When announcing the launch of HUSD (V.1) in October 2018, Huobi Global claimed that the HUSD aimed to facilitate traders’ decision-making processes among various stablecoins, while saving trading costs. However, design flaws were detected in the first HUSD version. According to Neutral, the problem with the original version stemmed from the fact that it allowed for 1:1 interchangeability between PAX, TUSD, USDC, and GUSD. That is, any of these coins could be exchanged for USD 1. However, Neutral notes that Huobi Global overlooked the fact that “stablecoins are not interchangeable on a 1:1 basis even though they are equivalent in redeemable value.” These slight price discrepancies contributed to the issuance of various tokens to people at a rebate to increase liquidity. As a result, Traders then took advantage of the situation, using the HUSD solution to redeem and arbitrage for full price. In this situation the 1:1 ratio between stablecoins offered by HUSD did not hold, and market makers took advantage to earn a quick profit. HUSD Solution V2.0 now removes the fixed 1:1 exchange rate, basing the values between stablecoins not only on pricing but also on various other factors. For example, among other factors, the underlying stablecoin price is now set by data obtained from various mainstream exchanges. And, “Users have to designate time and amount independently to interchange stablecoins, going from an automatic exchange to a manual one.” Is There a Stablecoin Craze? The stablecoins universe is expanding. For example, in October 2019, GMO Internet announced the launch of a Yen-pegged stablecoin. And, last month, Cryptogarage joined forces with Tokyo Tanshi to launch the Liquid sidechain based SETTLENET suite, which aims to be the first application Yen-pegged stablecoin. In January 2019, KRWb also announced the upcoming launch of the KRWb, which is going to be a 1:1 Korean Won-pegged stablecoin. This past week saw JPMorgan unveil its JPM Coin stablecoin that will be used in securities transactions and as part of the bank’s treasury services features. Moreover, Facebook, according to a Bloomberg report, wants to issue its own stablecoin to allow WhatsApp users to exchange money. For many, stablecoins represent the future. As CoinJar co-founder Asher Tan put it, “It’s a craze right now.” Do you think stablecoins will become mainstream crypto assets shortly? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock The post Huobi’s V2.0 ‘Stablecoin for Stablecoins’ Aims to Close Arbitrage Loophole appeared first on

8 hours ago

Crypto Startups Are Targeting Institutional Investors, But When Will They Finally Arrive?

In case you didn’t realize it during the brutal bear market of 2018, the days of stupid money flowing stupidly into any and every cryptocurrency-related project are over. Now, it’s all about the maturity of the nascent market, and that means institutional investors ‘need’ to step in — a sentiment not lost on some startup companies. One such startup is Tagomi, a Jersey City-based company of under 20 people that offers a trading platform for institutional investors looking to throw around big bucks. As noted by Forbes, the company boasts an ex-global head of electronic trading at Goldman Sachs and a Harvard grad with experience at Union Square Ventures as founders, alongside a consulting/private equity/venture capitalism expert. Tagomi apparently works by providing institutional clients with easier onboarding into the world of cryptocurrencies by pooling liquidity from approximately 10 exchanges and finding the lowest prices via algorithms — for a commission of 0.10 percent to upwards of 0.25 percent per trade, of course. Co-CEO Greg Tusar explained: The current exchange model requires you to prefund your trade. When you want to buy $1 million of bitcoin, we need to have thought through where you’re likely to want to buy. Tagomi aims to make life easier for institutional investors by storing hefty funds on Coinbase Pro, Gemini, Kraken, Bitstamp, and others. Of course, “institutional investors” has been a buzzword for, at least, a solid year now. Many people speculate that smart money is still on the sidelines, but others insist that this belief is misguided. The world’s most successful traders and investors buy the bottom and sell the top. To think that institutional investors are not currently playing the game might be foolish. (If they are, they are almost certainly on the short side until a true bottom for Bitcoin hits.) Tusar claimed: Current trading volumes underestimate what we see in terms of institutional interest. What do you think about Tagomi? Are institutional investors playing the waiting game, or are they already here? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! Images courtesy of Shutterstock. The post Crypto Startups Are Targeting Institutional Investors, But When Will They Finally Arrive? appeared first on

11 hours ago

JP Morgan's JPM Coin Receives Heavy Criticism

The JPM Coin, JP Morgan's cryptocurrency has faced a lot of criticism after launching on February 14. According to Nouriel Roubini, the coin does not have anything to do with cryptocurrencies or the blockchain because it is privately owned, permissioned, not trustless, and centralized. He added that the firm calling the coin crypto was a 'joke.' While many Bitcoin enthusiasts normally disagree with Nouriel's comments about the crypto space, his post got positive comments. Alena Vranova, Casa's head of strategy stated that Nouriel was becoming a true Bitcoiner and that the community appreciated him pointing out a scamcoin. (VK)

15 hours ago

RT @AdelElmessiry: It is true mentors like @aantonop that ke...

RT @AdelElmessiry: It is true mentors like @aantonop that keep the missconception at bay!

19 hours ago

Crypto Nightmare: This Brazilian Investor Just Accidentally Bought Bitcoin at $20,000

Every crypto investor’s worst nightmare came true for one Brazilian trader, who accidentally bought bitcoin at a massive premium. At one point, he bought 0.0047 BTC for 340 Brazilian reals, worth about $91. At press time, said amount of bitcoin is worth less than $15 on other exchanges, meaning at the rate he paid for a full bitcoin would’ve cost him the equivalent of over $19,400. The cryptocurrency trader placed his buy order on a local exchange called TemBTC, which isn’t among the largest platforms in Brazil. According to local news outlet Portal do Bitcoin, a potential explanation for what The post Crypto Nightmare: This Brazilian Investor Just Accidentally Bought Bitcoin at $20,000 appeared first on CCN

21 hours ago

Rising SPX/GDP Ratio Points To Game Changing Outlook For Bitcoin (BTC)

Companies are seldom worth their true value when it comes to market capitalization. Some companies are overvalued and some are undervalued but very few are rightly valued. So when it comes to valuation, people have different approaches. Some like Warren Buffet stress on the debt to equity ratio which I also strongly agree with. The debt to equity ratio of a company is one of the best ways to find a company’s true value. However, we would like to move this discussion towards Bitcoin (BTC) and analyze it from a macroeconomic perspective. To do that, we will first look at the SPX/GDP ratio on the monthly chart for S&P 500. The price of the S&P 500 Index is shown by the candles whereas the GDP is shown by the purple area line. During the industrial revolution, the economy of the United States was booming in the real sense. The SPX/GDP ratio was close to normal and we had real growth. Most of this lasted throughout the 90s just before the dot com boom. During the dot com boom, the S&P 500 rose significantly higher compared to GDP of the United States. However, then the dot com bubble pooped and the ratio started to come back to the mean once again. It did not correct fully and started to take off again, but soon afterwards the global financial crisis kicked in and it finally started to decline again. This time the SPX/GDP ratio fully reverted to its mean. Now, this was the prime time to go long on stocks. So, a lot of investors became greedy and money returned to the market. The Fed eased things with aggressive quantitative easing after the crisis which made borrowing cheaper and everybody started pumping money into the stock market. The end result of this was a bull run that has yet to stop. If we look at the current SPX/GDP ratio it is mind blowing. At one time during 2013, the market dodged a bullet which would have in fact ended the mania back then and the US economy would have been in a far better shape today, but greed took over and the price kept surging. As long as the S&P 500 remains above the 50 Month MA, things will remain normal. We will see this continue for a while but investors will realize quite soon that the stock market is going nowhere while their colleagues are hitting it big in the cryptocurrency market. These people are not going to put their money in treasury bonds or in the bank after the stock market fails them. They are going to look for opportunities and they are going to find them in the cryptocurrency market. The Fed recently changed its stance and there are now concerns that further rate hikes might be on the way. This does not look good for the stock market near term and if it does not look good for the stock market near term it does not look good for BTC/USD near term. However, it is important to note that this is the case with most financial assets. There is no direct or inverse relationship at all times, it does not work like that. For instance, during the previous financial crisis, we saw Gold fall and then rise when it should have held its ground or shot up from the very beginning without going down. However, we have to understand that simple direct or inverse relationships might have theoretical meaning but they do not work like that in practice. If the stock market crashes, investors are going to sell whatever they have to cover their losses. That means selling assets that may be profitable. Now, they are not going to sell all of their assets that would be a good hedge against the stock market but they will sell some in the beginning. This is why in the case of a financial crisis, BTC/USD is likely to crash first, but what happens shortly afterwards? We believe that during the next financial crisis, most institutional investors who want to move out of their stock positions will choose Bitcoin (BTC) as one of their safest bets.

a day ago

Initium Blockchain-Based Corporate Banking Announces Token Sale Event

Initium Group, a future corporate banking group, focused on providing high-quality traditional banking services to firms in the crypto and blockchain space, has officially announced its official launch and upcoming token sale. Specifically, Initium is focused on rendering professional banking services to firms in the fintech, blockchain, gaming and related industries. The firm plans to secure banking licenses with regulators in various blockchain-friendly jurisdictions, including Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Singapore, the United Kingdom and more. Initium is scheduled to launch operations in the first quarter of 2020, and it plans to use a combination of private equity, institutional funding and a Security Token Offering (STO) and other legit means to set up its platform and meet local capital requirements. Primary Objectives In the coming months, Initium plans to raise the capital needed to obtain banking licenses in five countries. To make this endeavour a fruitful one, Initium has joined forces with Swisscom Blockchain AG, a leading crypto infrastructure service provider in the heart of Switzerland. Importantly, Initium Group is made up of the right mix of banking skills, technology, expertise and more, to enable it to adequately support the blockchain and crypto ecosystem, mitigate risks and offer clients excellent services. Some of the services to be offered by Initium include debit card issuance, deposit taking, local payment clearing and more. Commenting on the development, Daniel Spier, Initium Group CEO and founder noted that: “A large number of new digital economy businesses find it difficult to get a banking partner that understands their true needs and is ready to serve them. The conventional risk modelling frameworks that traditional institutions use - coupled with their rather reactive nature, are just not responding to the growth aspirations of these new players. Initium Group sees this gap as an outstanding opportunity to help these fledgeling businesses get their ideas off the ground and actively participate in strengthening the foundations of the new economy.” Initium plans to be a multijurisdictional corporate banking platform committed to supporting the growth of its customers from various regions across the world. “We want to be a bank for the disenfranchised players of the new digital economy,” added Spier. Website: LinkedIn: Medium: Email: The post Initium Blockchain-Based Corporate Banking Announces Token Sale Event appeared first on ZyCrypto.

a day ago

Tezos litigation potentially slowed by plaintiff problems

Disclaimer: These summaries are provided for educational purposes only by Nelson Rosario and Stephen Palley. They are not legal advice. These are our opinions only, aren’t authorized by any past, present or future client or employer. Also we might change our minds. We contain multitudes. As always, Rosario summaries are “NMR” and Palley summaries are “SDP”. LegalClass action against Tezos - is it a securities offering?Read moreIn Re Tezos Securities Litigation, 17-cv-06779-RS, N.D.Cal., Doc. # 201, 2/7/19 (“Defendants’ Arthur Breitman, Kathleen Breitman, and Dynamic Ledger Solutions. Inc.’s Response to Plaintiffs’ Motion to Substitute New Lead Plaintiff“) [SDP] Class action litigation may seem complicated but like a lot of law it boils down to certain common-sense principles. One of the basic ideas behind this whole structure is that it’s more efficient to have one or a handful of people litigate claims on behalf of a big group of people than have thousands of people file separate lawsuits. There’s a flip side, though: you have to make sure that you choose the right class representative (and lawyers) to adequately represent the class’ interests. Lawyers for Arthur and Kathleen Breitman and Dynamic Ledger Solutions, Inc. (“the Tezos defendants”) argue in their most recent filing in the Tezos consolidated class action that determining adequacy of the lead plaintiff is up to the Court in securities class actions, under a federal law called the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (“PSLRA”). They argue that while the previously selected lead plaintiff, Arman Anvari, is a demonstrable no-goodnick, lead counsel’s attempt to replace him with a new “hand-picked client” shouldn’t be allowed. Instead, they want any proposed new lead plaintiff to be approved by the Court, to file their own new lawsuit and give the DLS defendants a chance to move to dismiss. This would, of course, stay any briefing or decision on the Motion for Class Certification filed on Jan. 10, for which a hearing was set for July 31. A new Complaint and Motion to Dismiss would give the DLS defendants a couple of things — first, it would buy them time. Spitballing a bit, this would push class cert briefing and arguments down the road at least another six months. Second, it would give the defendants the opportunity to potentially do more discovery and reopen arguments about whether the plaintiff had “actual notice” of the contribution terms or was in the U.S. at the time he made his contribution/investment: “regardless of who is appointed to serve as the new lead plaintiff, DLS Defendants request that the Court order the filing of a new complaint and provide DLS Defendants with an opportunity to move to dismiss. To facilitate a swift resolution of any motion to dismiss, the lead plaintiff should be required to plead facts regarding their knowledge of the Contribution Terms, and explain their residency and their location at the time they contributed to the fundraiser.” An interesting feature of the motion is that it contains an extended discussion that alleges that Anvari wrote things that were “racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic, some of them even directed at those involved in the Tezos Project and other Defendants.” Whether or not this is true — and I am sure that the Defendants’ counsel believes it is, or they wouldn’t make the argument — doesn’t really matter, of course, if Anvari is no longer going to be lead plaintiff. It’s also irrelevant to the question of whether the so-called “contribution event” was an unregistered securities offering. So ... why point this out? We have to speculate a little bit, but perhaps they think it doesn’t reflect well on counsel to propose a class representative and then withdraw him because of this sort of information. In other words, maybe it’s a credibility argument. As a rhetorical matter, it also deflects attention away from the defendants’ own alleged unlawful actions. Another observation, more about tactics, is that you are often better off in litigation if your adversaries are bickering amongst themselves. Some of that is happening here too, as other law firms propose their own plaintiffs and offer themselves as class counsel. It’s usually a plaintiff who benefits from defendants fighting. In class action litigation, as in this case, it can often be the opposite. Your adversaries fight amongst themselves, everything slows down. Finally, and unrelated to these musings about tactics — one last interesting tidbit in the briefing is the fact that there was apparently a day-long mediation, which failed. As of the date of this blog post, we don’t have a response from Anvari’s counsel. I imagine they will have something to say, and if so perhaps we’ll cover it here. The takeaway, though — the Tezos litigation may be slowed down a tetch because of plaintiff problems, depending on how the Court sees things. We don’t seem any closer to class certification, or a ruling from this Court on whether Tezzies are sec

a day ago

Even During Nuclear Winter, the Largest Crypto Asset Manager Controls Nearly $1 Billion

Cryptocurrencies have continued to stumble, but one organization has been making promising strides in the back offices of the Bitcoin space. Grayscale Investments, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the crypto conglomerate that is the New York-based Digital Currency Group, revealed that its products secured millions in investment amid the so-called “crypto winter.” Crypto Winter Has Been No Match For Grayscale’s Bitcoin Fund Grayscale, headed by Michael Sonnenshein, recently released its “2018 Digital Asset Investment Report” to outline company performance over the course of yesteryear. And surprisingly, the statistics were arguably not foreboding, but optimistic. BREAKING: We are excited to share our 2018 Digital Asset Investment Report! 2018 Highlights include:• Total Capital Raised into Grayscale Products: $359.5M • Majority of investment (66%) came from institutional investors Read the FULL report — Grayscale (@GrayscaleInvest) February 14, 2019 The company first accentuated that as it stands, it has $825 million worth of assets under management, 43.5% ($359.5 million) of which entered Grayscale’s care in 2018. While this figure was impressive in and of itself, it was later explained that 66% of inflows came from institutional investors, who Grayscale claims are “building core strategic positions in digital assets.” Doing some napkin math, that means that $237 million of investments in Grayscale’s products, which include in-house Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Stellar Lumens funds, came from institutional players. While $237 million may not seem like a monumental sum, critics of Grayscale’s 2018 figures would be remiss to neglect fiat amplifiers. Alex Kruger, a leading cryptocurrency economist and researcher, recently did some analysis on how nominal fiat inflows affect the aggregate value of all cryptocurrencies. According to JPM, only 2 billion dollars entered Bitcoin in 2017 => $2 billion propelled bitcoin's market cap from $15 billion in Jan/1/2017 to $250 billion by year end. — Alex Krüger (@Crypto_Macro) January 3, 2019 Citing a 2018 report from JP Morgan regarding cryptocurrencies, the New York-based trader explained that that Wall Street institution is calculating a fiat amplifier of 117.5 ($1 million in fiat investment turns into $117.5 million in cryptocurrency value). But, this isn’t the whole story. Citi purportedly estimated an amplifier of 50, while Chris Burniske of Placeholder Ventures calculated the figure out to somewhere between two and 25. Thus, considering a low-end estimate of a ten times fiat multiplier, Grayscale’s institutional clients could have infused $23.7 billion worth of registered market capitalization into this space over 2018. Regardless, what was made clear is that institutions still are interested in allocating capital to the cryptosphere, as the heads of such groups look to accumulate when the price of Bitcoin remains in a lull. 2019: The Year Of Institutional Investors These statistics haven’t gone unnoticed. Barry Silbert, the founder of Digital Currency Group, Grayscale’s parent organization, recently took to CNBC to express that the advent of institutional investors will continue to be an industry trend in the coming months. As reported by NewsBTC previously, Silbert commented that products like Bakkt’s futures only accentuate that bigwig firms are poised to make investments in Bitcoin. Galaxy Digital Holdings founder Mike Novogratz also recently made a similar comment. In an interview with Bloomberg TV, the former Goldman Sachs partner noted that it is only a matter of time before institutional-sourced greenbacks appear on crypto’s marketplaces. Echoing comments he has made over recent months, the Galaxy Digital chief executive noted that the “architecture” that would entice institutions to make noticeable capital and effort allocations are starting to be put in place. Case in point, Fidelity Investments, a world-renowned financial institution with over ten thousand clients in its institutional Rolodex, recently revealed that it could launch its crypto custody offering by March. Novogratz explained that this service, along with products of a similar caliber, will pave the way for “smart money” to make a foray. Related Reading: Novogratz: Institutions Will Drive The Next Crypto and Bitcoin Boom While industry insiders are talking up a big game, some fear that there actually aren’t that many bigwigs waiting on the crypto sidelines. Case in point, over recent months, both Coinbase and Blockchain, which both have institutional investor-centric divisions that are some of this sector’s most prominent, dropped notable hires from Wall Street. Representatives from the firms claimed that there has been a noticeable shift in the underlying status of cryptocurrency investment. More specifically, it was explained that “crypto-native firms,” like hedge funds, projects, and venture groups, were the instituti

a day ago

Why a Binance DEX could be a game changer

With the imminent launch of the Binance DEX testnet, Binance aims to strengthen its position as the number one exchange in crypto. But there’s controversy around the level of control Binance will have over its DEX and the true meaning of decentralization.

a day ago

Chinese Mining Pool Co-Founder Encourages Investors to Buy Bitcoin Now

Instant messaging platforms like Discord, Telegram, and WeChat have seen the growth of groups dedicated to cryptocurrencies over the past couple of years. In a recent WeChat group conversation, Zhu Fa, the cofounder of Poolin, one of the largest crypto mining pools from China, stated that one Bitcoin can cost 5 million Chinese Yuan (about US $74,000) in the near future. “Bitcoin price will be in the range of 500,000 yuan — 5,000,000 yuan ($74K-$740K) in the next round of bull run,” he said. He was commenting on a bullish statement made by Bitcoin tycoon Zhao Dong, who believes that now is the right time to buy Bitcoin since no one is paying attention to it. Mr. Zhao believes that the crypto space is experiencing “crypto winter” and that, like any other season, it will come to its end in 2020 — the year when “crypto spring” starts, followed by “crypto summer” in 2021. So it is best to accumulate Bitcoin now while crypto prices are low. Mr. Zhao and Mr. Zhu are not alone in their bullish sentiments. Earlier this week, popular crypto trader and analyst Josh Rager tweeted to his more than 25,000 twitter followers that this could be the last time “the general population can afford to buy a full $BTC,” predicting that after 2021 “Bitcoin could move to a market price where most will only buy fractions.” Another analyst, Mark Jeffrey, author of the book “Bitcoin Explained Simply”, said Bitcoin could cost as much as US $250,000 when the crypto winter ends. Until these predictions come true however, investors should take caution. Mr. Zhao warns that many projects will die this year and will be replaced by new ones, stating that there is one thing that investors need while in a bear market — patience. - (Jet Encila is a journalist, editor and freelancer writer from the Philippines). The post Chinese Mining Pool Co-Founder Encourages Investors to Buy Bitcoin Now appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

2 days ago

Coinsquare acquires decentralized crypto trading app StellarX

Coinsquare, a cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired StellarX. StellarX is the first full-featured trading app for Stellar’s universal marketplace. The StellarX application went live in September 2018 and operates as a true decentralized exchange, meaning...

2 days ago

IBM Helps Blockchain Startup Improve Food Transparency

Agriculture could be next in line for the blockchain, thanks to a new startup. Paris-based Connecting Food is one of 10 blockchain businesses to join IBM’s Blockchain Accelerator program, which is building and scaling the networks that are integrating the technology. The startup is already well underway to creating digital transparency in the food supply from farm to fork. The three-month accelerator program, which started in January, will see the companies “focus on building out their blockchain networks,” according to Jules Miller, a partner at the IBM Blockchain Accelerator. According to Stefano Volpi, co-founder and CEO of Connecting Food, the Accelerator “allows us to work with IBM teams on technical complementarity between our solutions and the IBM FoodTrust Platform, to work on scalability at an international scope and to identify how to build an even greater value proposition for retailers and food brands.” Connecting Food... To Consumers Founded in 2016 by Maxine Roper and Stefano Volpi, Connecting Food is aiming to solve the issue of low consumer confidence in food safety. It hopes to achieve this by bringing solutions to its customers - brands and retailers - to “help them reconnect consumers to food, build and reinforce brand equity, and create value for themselves and their consumers,” Volpi says. Connecting Food first began working with IBM in 2017, as part of an IBM France program called ScaleZone. It was during this time that the startup began collaborating with several departments at IBM, working on the scalability of its blockchain solutions. Speaking about how the platform works, Volpi explains that Connecting Food is a “suite of B2B digital solutions” that tracks the journey of each product in the supply chain in real time and step-by-step through its LiveTrack solution. “What makes Connecting Food unique is that we make traceability and auditing totally integrated in real time and batch by batch,” he told Crypto Briefing. “This means that Connecting Food certifies compliance of each single product thanks to a revolutionary and totally ‘unique in the world’ digital solution, LiveAudit.” On top of that, the startup has developed a solution called LiveEthic, which uses smart contracts to bring additional revenue to farmers and rewards them according to the specifications of their products. Consumers can also use LiveScan, an app that enables consumers to scan a product’s QR code, following its movements from start to finish. Following a year of use in France with food producers, retailers, and food service accounts, Connecting Food launched the first industrial version of their suite in July 2018. The startup is currently working with InVivo, a French agricultural group, and CoopItalia, a network of consumers’ cooperatives that make up the largest supermarket chain in Italy. It’s also working with other brands, retailers, and food service players in the aforementioned countries and the UK. According to Volpi, the blockchain makes information tamper-proof and accessible for all the links involved in a food supply chain, including consumers. “It’s a good base for improving people’s confidence,” he added. “But blockchain alone is not enough for food because the key issue is to validate that information registered on the blockchain is true and compliant with food specifications.” This was why Connecting Food had developed its LiveAudit solution, “to build real transparency on food production and value chain.” IBM Helps Startups Ripen Going forward, Connecting Food is scaling up in Europe and plans on entering the US market this year. In order to achieve this, they are developing the next generation of their suite of solutions with more functions. Connecting Food has already completed a module on product with the accelerator program. The next will focus on token economics, while the final module will delve into legal, compliance, and network governance. “At the end, the companies will participate in a demo day,” said Miller. “This is not your typical demo day presenting to investors, but rather presenting the blockchain business opportunity to a room full of corporate executives. Of course, there will be investors and others there as well, but our mission is to help companies scale their blockchain product, not just raise more money.” Upon leaving the program, the companies should be equipped with “more knowledge about how to build and scale a blockchain business network,” Miller added. On top of that, they will also have a stronger relationship with IBM and a new pool of potential users and partners. The author is invested in digital assets. Join the conversation on Telegram and Twitter! The post IBM Helps Blockchain Startup Improve Food Transparency appeared first on Crypto Briefing.

2 days ago

This Bitcoin boogeyman is not the villain it’s made out to be

If you’re in the business of lending Bitcoin, be careful not to get caught whispering the “R” word. No, not recession. Rehypothecation. Google “Rehypothecation Bitcoin,” and you’ll return a laundry list of articles warning of the dangers and risks that the “Wall Street tool” can pose to Bitcoin. Rather poetically, the majority of these pieces are rehashed derivatives of a multi-part series delivered by one person. Caitlin Long. Talk about re-using collateral. Long is well known in the industry: a decorated 20-plus year Wall Street vet who’s set her sights on pioneering thoughtful Crypto and Blockchain regulation, and recognized as a business leader changing the world; the accolades go on. No doubt she’s doing incredible work pushing the regulatory envelope in Wyoming and is paving the way for broader adoption of the space. She’s also way more accomplished than us plebes at The Block. Her rehypothecating Bitcoin boogeyman, however, is a farce — akin to the fearful cry pointed towards quants and algos over in the equities market. Surprisingly, the narrative of “Rehypothecation is evil, and it’s coming for Bitcoin,” has seen little to no pushback from the community, which is quite the feat in a space filled with contentious tribalism everywhere you look. I guess Team Wall Street is playing it cool. Whatever the case, I’ll bite. Redefining Rehypothecation for Bitcoin First, some definitions. Hypothecation is typically defined as pledging assets as collateral for a loan, like pledging a house as collateral for a mortgage. Taking a step further, rehypothecating is when a person or institution that receives pledged collateral turns around and re-pledges it as their own collateral to further their borrowing. Rehypothecating is commonly seen across prime brokers who engage in securities and margin lending of their own clients pledged shares. While many use “rehypothecation” and “re-use” of collateral interchangeably, the IMF offers a key distinction in that the re-use of collateral doesn’t limit itself to just pledging client assets, but rather includes any “assets delivered as collateral in a prior transaction.” A classic example of re-using collateral is seen in the repurchase market (repo), where a counterparty can provide collateral to a lender for cash, and then offer a commitment to repurchase the assets at a future point in time — at which point the cash lender may then re-use that collateral pledged for separate transactions. I’m not here to pull the semantics card, but I’d be remiss not to also mention the distinction between rehypothecating and re-using collateral when applying it to a bearer asset that settles in minutes, like Bitcoin. Again according to the IMF, technically the rights of “re-using” collateral are inherent in title transfer financial collateral arrangements, meaning when the actual ownership of the property changes hands, the new owner has the right to re-use the collateral without having to expressly request for those rights in a written pledge agreement as seen with rehypothecation. Bringing it back to Bitcoin, when a hodler sends their Bitcoin to a collateral taker in order to take out a cash loan, their title actually officially changes hands (the whole “not your keys not your bitcoin” thing) to that taker, who is then free to deal with it however they see fit. In return, the parties agree that once the hodler pays back the loan the collateral taker will give back equivalent (but not the exact same!) collateral. This is standard practice for title transfer in both repo and securities lending markets, and is no different when applied to Bitcoin. The easiest way to visualize the effects of rehypothecation is through a chain of recycled collateral where a “single unit” of underlying can be re-pledged across multiple transactions. Source: IMF Working Paper: Velocity of Pledged Collateral: Analysis and Implications. Manmohan Singh For brevity I’ll use “rehypothecation” and “re-using” as one and the same here out. Moving on. Don’t trust, verify Long has weaved takes together to form a narrative that I believe draws on both incomplete and faulty assumptions between how legacy settlement and DLT systems function. I’ve pulled some of these claims across her various 2H18 pieces and offer some counterpoints below, in no particular order: Claim: CFTC head is concerned about rehypothecation and its effects on stability [forgets to include his following thought] “Some regulators are concerned about the financial stability issues caused by rehypothecation of collateral, such as Britain’s FSA and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. And CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo has been warning about this for years. Here’s a good example from a 2016 speech, in which Giancarlo detailed the “practical impossibility of a single national regulator collecting sufficient quality recreate a real-time ledger of the highly complex, global swaps trading portfolios of all market participants.“ This one le

2 days ago

Money 2.0 Stuff: Everyone is an expert on Japanese courts

The Gox Saga Gets Even Weirder “Never trust a financial services website named after Magic: The Gathering” is probably a pretty good rule of thumb to follow for people attempting to purchase cryptocurrencies. In spite of some very obvious branding issues with re-starting an exchange associated today with sheer incompetence of Bitcoin’s early anarchist entrepreneurs, cryptocurrency billionaire and top-5 purchaser of bedazzled cowboy hats Brock Piece is attempting to start it back up, this time passing on all potential proceeds to creditors. In a phone interview with The Block, former Mt. Gox operative Mark Karpeles disputed Pierce’s claims, noting that no purchase by Pierce could be perceived as valid without shareholder approval. His skepticism is warranted: with much speculation around Mt. Gox, Brock Pierce may potentially start another exchange (with associated ICO) around its resurgence as part of a movement called GoxRising. While I am a mere desperate creditor and not an expert on the intricacies of Japanese civil law, there appear to be obvious issues with Pierce’s plans to return every cent of profit to patient Mt. Gox victims. His one-pager is straight to the point, outlining 5 goals to be submitted to the Tokyo District Court: Pierce’s first goals are focused on returning proceeds to creditors by striking bitcoin at the right market price, capturing forks, etc. While this seems admirable, this has largely already been achieved by groups like Mt. Gox Legal. Outside of returning funds, Pierce proposes “[providing a] bid for intangible assets and a vision for a new Mt. Gox Exchange” specifically aimed at using profits to restore creditors with a “full recovery.” This suffers from obvious issues because it rests on the claims... ... that Brock outlines in his final goal, in which he aims to recover any residual stolen or lost bitcoins. This is simply fiction: there is no credible way to claim or attempt a recovery of the remainder of Gox’s coin. In the mean time, Brock wants to allow creditors to swap their claims on missing coins “in return for a new coin that will be tradeable on the new Mt. Gox Exchange.” After years of waiting for bitcoins, I’m sure creditors will be happy to settle for Brock Pierce token issuance #5. He also makes other promises like contesting CoinLab’s $16 billion lawsuit, though these claims have already been contested by the current trustee. The “why” is confusing til it appears to take a turn for the downright-crazy. Brock Pierce claims that he is the sole shareholder of Mt. Gox, having purchased the exchange in a 2014 transaction, which appears to have no shareholder support (or court approval, as the exchange had already entered legal proceedings). In a thread in which notorious cryptocurrency printer Rhett Creighton noted that Brock Pierce actually owns all of Mt. Gox, Pierce claims that “the [Mt. Gox] trustee said the shareholder, which I’m arguably the sole shareholder, gets the surplus.” which sort of, well, indicates exactly what he’s going for. In spite of his seemingly altruistic-populist argument that Pierce, savior of Puerto Rico, is helping lost creditors get all of their bitcoins back, it appears he still believes that remaining shareholders in Mt. Gox can capture some portion of the surplus leftover from earlier confusions with the sale of Mt. Gox’s bitcoin reserves. As details unfold slowly, poor creditors are caught in a pickle, with the option of believing an ayahuasca-sipping unicorn herder who appears to have a sinister greed for any satoshis leftover post-refund or a formerly incompetent operator who may be reckoning with his own jail sentence after embezzling customer funds. The Venezuela Rally “But Venezuela!” is cryptocurrency enthusiasts’ own “but we haven’t tried real communism yet!” Given Bitcoin’s extremely high volatility, it rarely makes sense to place one’s day-to-day sustenance on the ebbs and flows of its charts. However, the pipe dream has always been that countries with incompetent central banks or kooky authoritarian rules will see adoption of Bitcoin as an alternative. I’ve tried my own rendition, noting: In my view, the only thing that can drive crypto adoption is (1) bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies serving as an escape valve for people who are in uncertain monetary regimes (and willing to stomach Bitcoin’s volatility), e.g. Venezuela, Iran, etc., (2) people buying into the idea that Bitcoin is effectively a call option on becoming a future store-of-value, or (3) people buying the idea that Ethereum, Dfinity, Tezos, and other crypto-networks represent a radical shift in the way computing works (“Web 3.0”) ahead of what will likely be a multi-year validation process. More optimistic cyber-token enthusiasts like Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne see the impact of Blockchain Technology as extending even further. Squabbles over governance are a thing of the past in our technologically advanced epoch. All it takes is six laptops, Byrne specifie

2 days ago

Ethereum Price Prediction For 2019 And Beyond

Ethereum is an open source platform that enables developers to build smart contracts and decentralized applications without interference from third parties. The platform which is based on the blockchain technology has its own virtual currency, Ether. Like Bitcoin, Ethereum is a distributed public blockchain system. However, the two differ substantially in purpose and capability. Bitcoin uses the peer to peer electronic cash system technology for online payments. Ethereum’s focus is on operating the programming code of any decentralized application. When it comes to mining under the Ethereum blockchain, miners earn through Ether. Apart from being a cryptocurrency for exchange, developers use Ether to pay for transaction charges on the Ethereum system. Ethereum Market Prediction For 2019 Ethereum is viewed as a store of value after attaining the all-time high of $1,400 in December 2017. The digital currency also continues to enjoy diverse pairing on most trading exchanges. Due to various factors, predicting Ethereum’s price is not easy. However, leading market observers have shared their Ethereum prediction for 2019. Unlike Bitcoin, placing an exact price for Ethereum is hard because it plays a different role. Additionally, Ethereum is just like any other cryptocurrency and it is subject to market volatility. However, leading market experts have shared their insights on what the future holds for Ethereum. Here is what experts think about Ethereum’s price in 2019. Matthew De Silva’s Almost Zero Prediction Mathew De Silva is a renowned cryptocurrency journalist and a critic of Ethereum and its founder Vitalik Buterin. His prediction about Ethereum future came in September 2018 when the asset dropped to the $179 mark. According to Da Silva, Ethereum was heading to its natural state of almost zero. He stated that Buterin was quick to launch the platform when he had a chance to make it free from speculation. Da Silva argues that Ethereum lacks an equitable distribution model hence it is set to drop. He pointed out that to date, Ethereum has not made any major impact in the market apart from inflating the cryptocurrency bubble of 2017. For context, here is what I wrote: — Matthew De Silva (@matthewde_silva) September 12, 2018 However, according to Buterin, it is wrong to depend on hypothetical future features to determine the price of Ethereum. Through Twitter, he said that the platform has an organized future. $515+ by Aayush Jindal According to the ETH news commentator, Ethereum is bound to remain a weak cryptocurrency as long as it’s value is below the $515 mark. He pointed out that Ethereum will emerge strongly once it surpasses the mark. However, Ethereum has declined and it was trading at $119.45 by the time of writing. Jindal’s prediction is possible since Ether has the potential of consolidating in the near future.As reported, “The current technical structure will remain negative as long as the price is below $515, but a successful 2-hour close above this level may perhaps decrease the current bearish pressure and open the doors for a fresh upward wave. On the flip side, the recent low of $477.31 may act as a decent support, the next buy zone being around $450. Overall Ether could consolidate in the short term, but it remains at a risk of more losses until there is a break above $515.” Its Important to note that this price prediction was made a long time ago, when Ethereum was still in the $400- $500 range. Recently, he declared the following: Not saying we should be bullish $btc or $eth, but selling aggressively at these levels and volumes is not a good idea at all. #bitcoin #ethereum — Aayush Jindal (@AayushJs) February 7, 2019 $1000 by Joseph Raczynski Raczynski believes that Ethereum can easily attain the $1000 mark. The cryptocurrency industry influencer speaking to stated that Ethereum will even reach the $1200 mark by the first quarter of 2019. He attributed his prediction to the popularity of Ethereum’s proof of concept among leading institutional investors. Raczynski who is the founder of added that Ethereum will easily hit the mark due to its large developer pool. Hey may have considered this due to the future Constantinople hard fork, which will probably be done on February 25,2019. $1400 by Clem Chambers The head of ADVFN believes that Ethereum will rally towards the end of 2019 to hit the $1400 mark. He thinks that Ethereum will perform just like in 2017. Chambers said Ethereum’s future has no relation to the tough 2018 experience. He further views the cryptocurrency bubble of 2017 as preparation of what to expect in the future. He stated in an article for Forbes: “The past doesn’t predict the future blah blah blah.... But you would be a fool not to watch for Ethereum and Litecoin to start rallying as a potential signal for the crypto market bottom we are all waiting for and last year it gave plenty of advanced

2 days ago

In-Depth Analysis of Jack Dorsey Podcast: His Thoughts on Bitcoin and The Power of its Brand Name

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO, on an episode of Stephan Livera’s podcast, shares his enthusiasm on Bitcoin. He claims that good technology existing on other Cryptocurrency, and that if they are exceptional enough, might someday make the cut and be interspersed with Bitcoin. It appears almost obviously that it’s going to be a promotion. Dorsey is heavily pronouncing Bitcoin during these past few days; he explained to Joe Rogan how Bitcoin could potentially be the constitutional internet money in the future, with a huge following and highly cheered for. Naturally, not anyone would agree on how Dorsey sees Bitcoin, and believes that the statements he has been blurting out is to just light a fire under the competing Cryptocurrencies. Repeating what he has said in the Joe Rogan Experience, Dorsey made clear to Livera that Bitcoin’s underlying foundations is what makes him interested. Emerging from the stereotypes Dorsey has also explained that he is very keen on hacking, and he labeled Bitcoin to be “very Internet” as most of its features would have never been possible before the internet became a thing. Something Dorsey cleverly states is that Bitcoin, during its development stages, emerged out of the common stereotypes and the meritocratic internet long ago. Bitcoin’s development is not anymore being driven by hippie programmers and activists, but more significantly, by companies that actually make profits, Blockstream, for example. In partnership with Lightning Labs, they are the two firms that lead the development of the Lightning Network. It is a set of rules to be followed by the underlying blockchain technology of Bitcoin which would make it follow the logic written in Satoshi Nakamoto’s original writing. Power of a brand name Dorsey really upholds the current status of Bitcoin and signifies its brand name, which is almost synonymous to Cryptocurrency. He said that because of the power of its brand name, it is what’s going to bring it to the mainstream and would survive until it is well known and get submerged unnoticed to the daily lives of normal people. “Most of it is just due to the principles that created it, the community around it, the ideals that it fosters, the brand, but there’s an element of practicality to it as well... I think there’s interesting ideas elsewhere, but I think those ideas can be integrated into Bitcoin if they have the merit that is above some bar, and it feels like the one that wants to be the currency the most vs. others that are doing more general-purpose things,” he said. He also states that it would be the go-to brand for Cryptocurrency just like we associate Coca-Cola as the household, well, Cola. Sticking with Coca-Cola, the brand of Bitcoin has been dramatically altered ever since it was introduced, that in 1985, Coca-Cola revealed New Coke, the masses reacted with hostility and it caused for a roll- back to the original plan. Gold standard in crypto During the time that Blockstream got to the scene and hindered an increase in the size of the block, and then soldiered on to sell non-blockchain expansion solutions to solve problems that wouldn’t have existed if it wasn’t for them, the public would have reacted the same way, if they actually have known about it. Rather, people who disagree got blocked off of subreddits and the CEO of Blockstream just persevered with their objective, somehow true and transparent about their plans to capitalize on a space where it’s supposedly free for all. Dorsey believes fervently that Bitcoin would be the standard when it comes to Cryptocurrencies and that great concepts from other Crypto systems would be picked out and applied to the underlying technology of Bitcoin. There is almost no way of telling if the apparent inclination of the underlying systems of Bitcoin is true, because he has one of the biggest investments in Lightning Labs, and the motivations might just be to alter the way we think about Bitcoin. When sitting around a table along with people who also invest in the same technology, it’s easy to dismiss any technology out there that’s not Bitcoin. (Jet Encila is a freelance writer, editor and journalist from the Philippines). The post In-Depth Analysis of Jack Dorsey Podcast: His Thoughts on Bitcoin and The Power of its Brand Name appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

2 days ago

Cryptocurrency Trading for Beginners - 5 Awesome Tips

For beginner cryptocurrency traders, the cryptocurrency market can sometimes feel like a wild rollercoaster ride. Many made their millions when the market soared in late 2017. Bitcoin trading price charts showing the bull market of 2017. Source: Unfortunately, the party did not continue forever as the market promptly declined throughout 2018 and many of these overnight millionaire cryptocurrency traders lost their fortunes just as fast. Our dummies guide to cryptocurrency trading for beginners should help those looking to enter the market get a head start. People Still Want to Trade Cryptocurrency Thankfully, the lackluster performance of the market last year is not likely to deter investors from trading in cryptocurrencies which means opportunities to recoup the losses still remain in a future bull market. In fact, a report by Satis Group predicts that crypto trading volume for 2019 is likely to increase by 50 percent. For those gearing up for another year ahead, here are a few tips that might help you come out on top. 1. Don’t Stick to Bitcoin Trading; Learn to Diversify The saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” might be old but its advice still holds true when investing in cryptocurrencies. According to TNW, diversification is essential as it could reduce overall risk especially if you invest in coins that service different sectors. Diversification might even be a good strategy when it comes to the cryptocurrency exchanges you deal with - it may be better to utilize a number of exchanges instead of just focusing on one to handle all your trades. Don’t just stick to trading Bitcoin. Understanding Cryptocurrency Trading Risks: Quadriga CX - A Tough Lesson Customers of the Vancouver-based exchange Quadriga CX learned this lesson a little too late when they found out that they could no longer access their digital assets when the company’s founder Gerald Cotton - the only one who knew the key to the company’s cold wallet password - died in India last December 2018. Beginners to crypto trading learnt a hard lesson about what can happen if you keep your crypto stored on an exchange. While diversification is good, overdoing it won’t help you achieve your investment goals. By spreading yourself too thin, you might miss out on investment opportunities and fail to take advantage of the spectacular performances of a few coins. This could result in your digital asset portfolio only doing as good as the overall market. Beginner cryptocurrency traders were shocked at the losses from Quadriga CX 2. Cryptocurrency Trading for Beginners: Research Is Still Necessary With the prevalence of ICO scams in 2017, crypto investors are now more cautious and seem to have learned their lessons. But even in 2019, scammers are still around looking for easy prey. These simple steps will help you get started with your research to ensure you are not investing in a scam or fraudulent project. Cryptocurrency traders should always research the team. If a team member has a questionable past, investing is probably a bad idea. Google the name of the coin plus the word “scam”. Are their reports of fraud? If so, steer clear. Is the asset available on established, regulated exchanges? If so, it’s probably a safer bet than other assets and probably a better option for crypto trading beginners. Is the coin’s GitHub updated regularly? There should be active development. Are the team available to answer questions? A team which is unwilling to communicate with their community is usually a red flag and beginner traders should watch out. Lean cryptocurrency trading for beginners tricks to avoid scams! Of course, one way of steering clear from these predators is for investors to totally opt out of the ICO niche and stick to trading in more popular cryptocurrencies. While their prices may still be volatile at times, you can be more assured that these tried-and-tested coins like BTC won’t close up shop soon and Bitcoin traders will always be safer, relatively, than those investing in small-cap coins. But for those who want to brave the ICO waters and take advantage of potentially undervalued new tokens, researching these coins is still a must before deciding whether they are good investment opportunities. Always remember to read whitepapers thoroughly, you can usually find them in pdf format available for download. 3. Short Term Crypto Trading? Give Social Trading a Try With the dozens of cryptos available for trading, the hard part is in picking which coins to invest in. This is especially problematic for those who don’t have the time to keep track of all that’s happening to the market. This is where social trading platforms like eToro come in. Users can actually track which tokens the site’s top investors are picking up and use their decisions as a guide. Users can even pair their portfolio to that of a professional investor, and the site automatically does the investing for them by mimicking the moves of the pro. 4. Trade

2 days ago

PR: CryptoProfile Announces New Platform Set to Revolutionize the Cryptocurrency Industry

Bitcoin Press Release: CryptoProfile is developing a platform that will address current problems surrounding ICO’s in the crypto sphere. The platform will provide legitimate token generation events the opportunity of pitching to contributors in a risk-averse manner. 22nd of January, 2019, Singapore - In present times even among genuine ICOs, over 80 percent are likely to fail. Some fail because of poor technical execution of the idea, while others are based on business models that are doomed to fail. It is also common to find many utalising the same idea which indicates some lack of originality in the industry. In a growing cryptocurrency industry, this presents a problem for backers who are afraid of backing cryptocurrency startups and genuine startups that lack adequate financing to become successful. CryptoProfile tackles this conundrum by developing a platform where legitimate token generation events have an opportunity of pitching to contributors in a risk adverse environment. CryptoProfile does due diligence on behalf of the backers on the platforms to ensure that they participate only in the ICOs with the highest likelihood of success. How does the Due Diligence System Work? Before CryptoProfile accepts an ICO to be listed, proper due diligence has to be done. The due diligence considers the viability of the business with regard to the ability to address legitimate problems and the saturation of the market it targets. The team behind it will be reviewed to ensure that the members are legitimate. Other aspects reviewed include the technical soundness of the project, the utility of the coin and adherence to regulations. Any ICO projects that want to be listed on the CryptoProfile platform will be required to pay $100k for marketing. In exchange, CP tokens of the same value will be allocated to the startup and locked in an escrow account for six months or until the native tokens of the startup are listed on an exchange. The startup will then be required to allocate 10 percent of their tokens to CryptoProfile. CryptoProfile will distribute the 10 percent received through an airdrop to CP token holders to stimulate interest in the community for the startup. As a result, those who hold CP tokens will be rewarded by receiving airdrop tokens every time an ICO startup is implemented into the platform. If the CP token holders like the startup, they can further support the project through the CryptoProfile platform. There are two benefits of this airdrop system. They include: Discovery of Cryptocurrency Gems -The due diligence conducted by the CryptoProfile team before onboarding an ICO startup ensures that only the best ICOs will be listed on the platform. This provides a more effective way of uncovering cryptocurrency gems. This saves the backers from losses from scams or ill-conceived ideas. Startups get Capital and Exposure - The approach provides legitimate cryptocurrency startups with an opportunity to raise the capital they require to develop their platforms. They also get an opportunity to market themselves to the contributors who are holders of CP tokens. CryptoProfile’s Unique Selling Point The most endearing feature of CryptoProfile is the adoption of a Novel Economic Model that is a viable improvement over the blind trial and error approach that has been used. Instead, the platform creates a consolidated airdrop platform where token sale projects can pitch to potential contributors. On the other hand, backers are protected from scams that identify the true startup gems in the cryptocurrency market. The airdrop system provides financial incentives for CP token holders to market the ICOs listed on the platform. CryptoProfile is a viable platform that will make token sale contribution safer for those who want to participate while giving genuine startups an opportunity to raise funds from their ideas. Join the revolution by getting involved in the Presale or main token sale. The Presale runs from January 1st to 31st while the token generation event is to start from February 1st until the soft cap or hard cap is achieved. Participants will be rewarded with early bird discounts within the pre-sale period. Exshell Exchange and MUXE have given full support and funded CryptoProfile. The founder of MUXE, a Real Estate Blockchain Platform is Jaimy de Vries. The founders of Exshell are ex Huobi vice CTO Raymond Shen, and CMO Hugo Hu. In just a few months, the platform will be launched, and CP holders will be at the forefront of receiving airdrops from the best cryptocurrency startups in the market. Don’t be left out. Support the token sale and become a top contributor. To find out more information, visit CP website: Connect on Facebook: Follow on Twitter: Chat on Telegram: Get the latest updates on Medium: CryptoProfile ICO Explainer Video: https://www.

2 days ago

Bitcoin’s Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations

Over the last few years, infighting and different visions has led to significant divides within the Bitcoin community, weakening the network effects no matter which chain you support. With all the arguments about scaling, privacy, consensus changes and the various forks, it is amazing that these public networks are still thriving. Nevertheless, the people who maintain the various software protocols that communicate with Bitcoin and the network’s many participants have lives that are finite — which means we don’t know if future generations will change the social contract Satoshi Nakamoto created years ago. Also Read: Core Developer’s 300kb Block Proposal Bolstered in Bid to Push Lightning Adoption Understanding the Social Layer of Bitcoin The technology we all know and love called Bitcoin has changed the lives of many individuals over the last 10 years. However, during the latter half of that decade, the humans who have maintained the protocol have relentlessly argued over how it should operate. This has led to a large community divide, endless fighting, and many different forks. The protocol itself, however, has been able to continuously perpetuate the social contract we call “Bitcoin” during this period. However, the arguments have led to wavering opinions and whimsical ideas that threaten the Bitcoin network’s social contract. “Money presents an important lesson: The larger and more valuable a social institution gets, the more it attracts others to seek control over it,” Hasu Fly Dec. 3, 2018. The independent cryptocurrency researcher Hasu Fly details the social contract very well in his memorable essay “Unpacking Bitcoin’s Social Contract.” Within the editorial Hasu details that fiat money is a social contract or an agreement between the citizens and the state. Many individuals reject this social contract though and believe the state fails to gain true consensus because it uses force as a means to manage each country’s economy. With Bitcoin, things are quite different and the protocol is used by individuals and organizations in a completely voluntary manner. “Many don’t realize that Bitcoin works through a social contract as well,” explains Hasu’s essay. “The social layer and its rules are the heart of Bitcoin.” After describing in great detail on how fiat money and Bitcoin are both social contracts, Hasu then reveals the rules of the network’s underlying social contract. The researcher details that Satoshi Nakamoto settled on four distinct rules: confiscation resistance, censorship resistance, inflation resistance, and counterfeit resistance. Essentially this means the owner of the coins can hold keys to the currency without it being taken away, and the owner can also transact on the network without permission. An owner of any amount of bitcoin knows that the protocol has a limited supply, and last but not least anyone can verify the first three rules at any time using the transparent and public blockchain. The four rules of Bitcoin according to Hasu Fly’s essay “Unpacking Bitcoin’s Social Contract.” Future Generations Could Drastically Change Bitcoin So far the technology has stayed true to the social contract and one could easily say this applies to each network whether it be BTC or BCH. Hasu’s essay also details that most of the time social contracts do not fork, but the BCH fork was a rare case scenario and what was left over was “two weaker social contracts — each agreed to by fewer people than the old one.” However, we have yet to cross past one generation with the social contract in the decade since the genesis block. When people recently discussed changing the 21 million capped supply the community went ballistic, but in 10 more years we don’t know if future generations will be more willing. The average human generation is between 25-30 years and bitcoin could be changed drastically in 40 years if the social contract is not upheld today. Let’s face it, over time generations change things and some of those revisions are good and sometimes they are awful — like changing from the gold standard to fiat and trusting central banks. Satoshi Nakamoto suggested in the genesis block back in Jan. 2009 that society had put too much trust in the central banking system. Future generations have continued to bolster centrally planned economics and Keynesianism. For now, some of the lead developers of reference implementations are kings of the hill - or at least that’s how they act. But over time, younger generations who are smarter and can code better will challenge these open source developers, and at some point their skills will be useless. Ultimately when money is used as a social contract, participants vote by either using the tender or seeking alternatives. Furthermore, money not only applies to its own social contract theory in a general sense, but also weaves within other social contracts within our society. Like it or not, any one of the two dominant Bitcoin chains may be chosen by the masses by coexi

2 days ago

JP Morgan Launches Pale Imitation of the “Fraud” that is Bitcoin

Multinational investment bank JP Morgan has announced that it will launch its own cryptocurrency of sorts. The so-called JPM Coin will bring some of the benefits of Bitcoin to some of the users of the bank JPM Coin will be built on a private blockchain, be backed by fiat currency, and be exclusive to JP Morgan’s institutional clients. In short, it represents few if any of the truly liberating qualities of Bitcoin. Your Cryptocurrency is a Fraud, Ours is Fine It is less than two years since JP Morgan exec Jamie Dimon had his famous outburst against Bitcoin. The CEO of the multinational investment bank called the world’s most popular digital asset a “fraud” back in September of 2017. Yet behind the scenes, the firm he represents has clearly been working on ways to strip the liberating qualities from Bitcoin and present only the features it agrees with to the world. The announcement of the JPM Coin prototype today is the first of its kind on the planet. No other bank has launched its own digital asset. However, the news should not be taken as the bank’s endorsement of cryptocurrency. It seems more likely that this is an attempt by an institution that feels deeply threatened by true, decentralised digital assets to stay relevant. In an interview about the launch of JPM Coin, Umar Farooq, the bank’s head of Digital Treasury and Blockchain, stated the following of the new project: “JPM Coin is a digital coin designed to make instantaneous payments using blockchain technology. Exchanging value, such as money, between different parties over a blockchain requires a digital currency, so we created the JPM Coin.” The JPM Coin is, of course, backed by the dollar. This means that its value remains behest to the whims of the Federal Reserve. If the Fed wants to print some new greenbacks, you had better believe that the value of your JPM Coins is going down, along with that of every physically held or digital stored dollar on the planet. Oh, wait. Did I say “your” JPM Coins? My mistake. What I meant to say was the JPM Coins of whoever the institution deems worthy enough to use the new digital currency. After all, it will only be “institutional investors” who are given the freedom to use the digital representation of dollars being pedalled as an innovation. You can almost hear the boardroom meeting now: “This Bitcoin thing is interesting. What can we steal from it? Permissionless? No, let’s make sure we call the shots. Completely uncorrelated to any other asset or currency? No, fractional reserve banking is working out just fine for us. Peg it to the dollar. I like this part about it being fast though. Let’s keep that. In fact, let’s make it faster by being more under our own control. Nice. Lunch time?” Could JPM Coin Render XRP Useless? Basically, with its permissioned design and sole use case being to facilitate payments between institutional clients and banks, the JPM Coin could indeed pose a threat to some corners of the disparate cryptocurrency space. As is highlighted by long-time Bitcoin proponent @WhalePanda in this Tweet: If you listen very carefully you will hear all Ripple holders now scream in agony.Congrats @jpmorgan on creating a useless shitcoin. — WhalePanda (@WhalePanda) February 14, 2019 With similar stated utility, the JPM Coin is essentially pursuing exactly the market that the Ripple company is going after with its line of products, including the XRP token. With such a large and established name providing essentially the same functionality as XRP, it seems much more likely that the banks of the world will favour JPM Coin over Ripple’s services. Could this mean that the much-debated asset’s days are numbered? Meanwhile, Bitcoin remains free from real competition with regards its most important qualities. JPM Coin will not provide the unbanked people of the world an easy entry into the global economy, nor does it allow individuals an escape from the poor decisions of those in control of the central banks in their nations. All told, the idea seems likely to widen the gap between those who can access the most elite banking services and the planet and those that are forced to go without. Such innovation... Anyway, here is Andreas Antonopoulos to remind you all what makes truly public blockchains great: Related Reading: JP Morgan Chase: Cryptocurrency a Threat to its Own Services Featured Image from Shutterstock. The post JP Morgan Launches Pale Imitation of the “Fraud” that is Bitcoin appeared first on NewsBTC.

2 days ago

BTT Paired with XRP and More BitTorrent News Updates

There is no denying that all our favorite digital assets are in the red, save for a few such as Maker (MKR) and NEM (XEM). The latter two digital assets are currently exhibiting 4.34% and 3.94% in 24 hour gains at the moment of writing this. Further checking the market performance of BitTorrent (BTT), we find that the token has somewhat survived the ongoing market meltdown. BTT is currently valued at $0.000965 (27 Sats) and has declined in value by 4.34% in the last 24 hours. BTT/XRP Trading Pair It is amazing that the BTT token sale that started and ended on the 28th of January happened less than 3 weeks. In that short time period since the sale, a lot of developments have happened surrounding the token that aims at incentivizing seeding and bandwidth usage on the BitTorrent network. One such development is the addition of the BTT/XRP trading pair on Bitrue. The exchange has continually embraced XRP as a base currency on its exchange. At the moment of writing this, 27 digital assets are paired with the remittance coin. The tweet making the announcement of the new BTT pair can be found below. #BTT trading pairs are live on @BitrueOfficial now!BTT / XRPBTT / BTC Happy trading.@BitTorrent #XRP #xrpthebase — Bitrue (@BitrueOfficial) February 13, 2019 More Listings for BTT Late last week, Justin Sun had promised the Tron and BitTorrent communities of new listings of BTT on prominent exchanges. More major exchanges and first airdrop coming for #BTT & #TRX next week! Glad to see more adoption! #TRON #BitTorrent $TRX $BTT — Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) February 10, 2019 True to his word, the list of exchanges listing BTT has continued to increase with time and after the airdrop this past Monday. BitTorrent Inc. has provided the following official list of exchanges that support active trading of the token. Binance OKEx Bittrex International Huobi Upbit KuCoin Cointiger Bitbns TRX Market Coinspot Sistemkoin Exrates Satowallet Coinexmarket More BTT Stablecoin Pairs on Binance In the case of Binance, the exchange has added the following BitTorrent trading pairs. BTT/PAX BTT/TUSD BTT/USDC BitTorrent Card Powered by GRID Not so long ago, BitTorrent Inc. informed the crypto community of the pending release of a BitTorrent Card that will be powered by GRID. The tweet can be found below. Introducing the BitTorrent $BTT card, powered by #GRID. Receive, store and use $BTT on the go! Stay tuned for more info. @Troncard_io — BitTorrent Inc. (@BitTorrent) February 13, 2019 GRID is a prepaid solution for buying, holding and gifting Tron (TRX). The card acts like a traditional pre-paid card and will soon be supporting BTT. The service by GRID has no fees, is anonymous and secure. Users can also recover their funds if the card is lost. What are your thoughts on the recent progress of the BitTorrent token in the crypto markets as well as additional support for BTT by exchanges? Is this the beginning of greatness for the token? Please let us know in the comment section below. Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any additional opinion herein is purely the author’s and does not represent the opinion of Ethereum World News or any of its other writers. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available. Thank you. The post BTT Paired with XRP and More BitTorrent News Updates appeared first on Ethereum World News.

2 days ago

Valentine’s Day Cards for the Crypto Lover in Your Life

We may be going through a brutal crypto winter, but our hearts are warm today! 💘Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us here at BREAKERMAG!💘 Roses are red Violets are blue We made these crypto-themed valentines Especially for you… Lambos are out, true love is in: To have and to hodl: For a stable(coin) relationship: If […]

2 days ago

Roger Ver attacks Bitcoin [BTC]; accuses the world’s top cryptocurrency of “censorship”

The CEO of and outspoken advocate of Bitcoin Cash [BCH], Roger Ver has been known to launch bitter attacks against Bitcoin [BTC], in support of what according to him, is the true rendition of Satoshi’s invention, Bitcoin Cash. On 12 February, he launched into yet another jibe at the top cryptocurrency on Twitter. In […]

3 days ago

Chinese Bitcoin Billionaire Says Bitcoin Will Hit $50,000 to $100,000 Within 3 Years

Bitcoin billionaire Zhao Dong recently went on WeChat to discuss crypto and promote the industry. While he doesn’t see an end to the crypto winter any time soon, he still sees this as the perfect opportunity to stock up for the future. “In the bull market, I don’t persuade people to buy Bitcoin, because it seems easy to make quick money but in fact, it is not. Now I start to talk people into buying Bitcoin. Perhaps Bitcoin price will continue to drop even lower, and it may fall up to 50 percent. But it is still worth steadily acquiring coins every time it hits a new low.” He predicted Bitcoin price will hit $50,000 to $100,000 in 2021. (JF)

5 days ago

Can XRP Be Used To Fight Spam Email? Here’s a Proposal

Before he died, Stephen Hawking once said “we are all now connected by the internet, like neurons in a giant brain”. It is true, we are. The internet has had a direct impact on everyone who uses this vast “neuron like network”. Not only did it improve efficiency but it has made our lives more […]

5 days ago

@lopp @schneierblog This is true, as cryptocurrency is actua...

@lopp @schneierblog This is true, as cryptocurrency is actually a terrible way to launder money. Almost every big d…

10 days ago

A call to action from a future Validator

Hi there, I wanted to explain an idea I have been stewing on for over a year now and hope to present a compelling business case for what is and why I feel this is urgent. Let me preface this by giving you a bit about me: I have been involved in cryptocurrency (investing/using & playing in the ecosystem) since 2013. I joined the Ethereum community in 2016 and have for the most part silently observed the traction over the years. My long-term plans involve becoming a validator, with a timeframe measured in decades. My mindset is I’m in this for the long haul and don’t care for parlour tricks or anything that doesn’t actually drive true growth. I told myself for the longest time my voice wouldn’t matter, because other people are making decisions. However my call-to-action is seeing what, and most importantly, why, things need to change for the longevity and growth of this network and by seeing others beginning to speak up about the issues we face today I am encouraged to do the same instead of continually lurking in the background. I now understand tackling these decisions today will only make us stronger in the long-run. So yes, let’s figure that out as a community — but let’s not get ahead of ourselves and let me begin by explaining the **what and why**. **What** I want as a future Validator: I want to give up a % of my block reward as a validator to a DAO/community led fund that’s sole purpose is to sustain/implement core protocol research/audits & development. Honestly, I am absolutely begging for this to happen and for us to get our heads out of the sand and to realize how important this is. Simply: Let me give up a slice of my reward, so that my remaining slice is in turn even more valuable long term. **Why** do I want to give up a % of my reward as a future Validator: Let me be blunt and transparent: Because when I put on my investor hat you’re right *I DO* want my actual ether to be worth something more than what it would be than if I didn’t do this as a validator. I’m not doing this out of pure altruism, I am doing this because I can see this will be better both for the health and growth of our network long run and thus in turn my bottom line. Let’s not split hairs here: Yes, I do genuinely believe in decentralization & the spirit of this community and that’s what brought me here a few years ago. But let’s also not pretend investment and opportunity cost do not matter. The money I have in Ethereum today (which I’ve held through thick and thin: the DAO hack and from $1400->$82, and will continue to do so) matters to me and I’d like to see it worth more tomorrow and in 3,5,12 years than it is today. So let me break down how this reward cut accomplishes it. **Here is my thesis point-by-point:** **1.)** There are public services on Ethereum that would benefit from being built as a greater good, yet right now there are no *‘true’* incentives for them to be built and/or are underfunded by grants. Instead we see mostly ICO’s trying to build on top of the protocol to capture that value or teams switching last minute and adding immense friction by doing an ICO/token model (ie: Raiden) to do so. Let me be clear here: I don’t blame developers for this — they’re just reacting to the reality of the market. It’s on us to provide the proper incentives for them to actually build the tooling and infrastructure we all need for tomorrow. **2.)** The stronger the protocol, the more likely people will in turn build more on top of it. For 2016-2018 it was clear Ethereum had the best developer mindshare. Well now there is competition and we need to get our act together. By doing so, there will be more platform *“confidence”* as developers/users know this protocol has a sustainable path towards research, innovation. As an investor, we care about this too. This is what keeps me up at night when I think about how to allocate my capital in this space. Who or what platform actually gets this? **3.)** The true driver of the price of Ether is largely a derivative of the mindshare/talent working on the base layer. Like Microsoft in the 90s said: It’s all about the developers. Let’s not only keep the best talent working in our ecosystem and stop slippage to competitors, but also grow our development velocity at a faster rate. We need to give them more support. Based on the velocity and pushbacks I would say they’re likely underappreciated, underpaid and overworked for the most part. It’s a high pressure job and mostly thankless; we need to correct this and ensure they’re here with us for the long run, while ideally adding even more to the core team so we can ensure deadlines get hit in the future. **4.)** More useful things being built on L1/protocol = drawing in even more L2 architecture/talent building in our ecosystem = more developers building better things with better tooling/security and infrastructure = more transactions & usage of the network = this drives growth in all key stakeho

11 days ago

QuadrigaCX: No identifiable Bitcoin [BTC] cold wallet reserves are being held by exchange, claims researcher

In what would constitute a plot twist, a noted cryptocurrency researcher has suggested that there are no identifiable cryptocurrency reserves, whether Bitcoin [BTC] or otherwise, available for QuadrigaCX. The research, posted by Crypto Medication through a post on Medium, also makes a few other findings which if true, would have the potential to rock the cryptocurrency market. QuadrigaCX, once Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has been in the news lately after it claimed that it had lost access to $150 million worth of cryptocurrencies in a cold wallet reserve after the untimely death of its founder, Gerald Cotten, in India. The exchange had previously been in the news after the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce froze the accounts of QuadrigaCX’s payment processor last year. Crypto Medication has however, implied that the exchange is lying in its court documents and press releases as it never had access to such a huge reserve of cryptocurrencies that included some 26,500 BTC, 20,000 LTC and 430,000 Ethereum, among others. Summed up, the researcher suggests that not only did the exchange never have any access to such a huge pool of reserves, but the exchange is lying when it says that it doesn’t have any access to existing reserves. Source: Twitter The researcher claims to have tracked back several dozen wallet addresses from verified deposits and withdrawals initiated by customers and found that none of them sourced to any vast source of Bitcoin owned by QuadrigaCX. Crypto Medication also argued that the exchange’s claim that they have no access to any reserve could be a lie as if this was so, there shouldn’t have been any movement out of QuadrigaCX’s wallet. However, this hasn’t been the case, he has suggested. Finally, Crypto Medication has through his research, also claimed that the Canadian exchange never had any reserves of their own and were instead, using deposits made by customers to pay those who wished to withdraw. Despite the implication however, Crypto Medication makes no claim to refute the news of Gerald Cotten’s death. Crypto Medication’s in-depth analysis of QuadrigaCX’s holdings used the empirical evidence provided by the blockchain to investigate and arrive at the conclusion offered. If found to be true, this would be in line with Kraken’s Jesse Powell’s thoughts on the case. Powell had called the case ‘extremely suspect’ and had even suggested that Canadian authorities investigate. Source: Twitter The post QuadrigaCX: No identifiable Bitcoin [BTC] cold wallet reserves are being held by exchange, claims researcher appeared first on AMBCrypto.

12 days ago

Binance CEO Predicts Amazon Coin Coming “Sooner or Later”

Amazon, Binance, Cryptocurrency-Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has reaffirmed his belief that Amazon, the online retail “everything” store, will be forced to issue its own token in order to keep up with the rise of cryptocurrency. In a tweet published on Feb. 2 Zhao, who is one of the most prominent industry figures for cryptocurrency in addition to running Binance, stated that “Amazon will have to issue a currency sooner or later.” Amazon will have to issue a currency sooner or later. — CZ Binance (@cz_binance) February 2, 2019 Zhao’s comment came in response to an earlier published tweet, during which the CEO surmised that all internet based businesses should be accepting cryptocurrency for payment, particularly given the advantages of fully-digital currencies over their fiat counterparts. In addition, accepting crypto payments also broadens a company’s marketability, especially when appealing to the more passionate investment and user base of cryptocurrency, “For any internet (non-physical) based business, I don’t understand why anyone would not accept crypto for payments. It is easier, faster and cheaper to integration than traditional payment gateways. Less paperwork. And reaches more diverse demographic and geography.” Zhao’s comments immediately drew to mind the issue of Amazon having yet to announce a token project or “Amazon coin,” a discrepancy which Twitter users were quick to point out. Despite having made passive efforts to implement blockchain technology into their current operation, Amazon has been characteristically silent on the acceptance of cryptocurrency. The company does not outright accept cryptos for payment-although users can make purchases indirectly through other payment platforms-and has not joined the likes of Facebook and large internet companies rumored to be developing their own stablecoins. Investors and enthusiasts of cryptocurrency would hope to see the online retail giant integrate Bitcoin and other top currencies into their marketplace, as opposed to outright developing a new coin. However, the latter has substantial financial benefits for Amazon. In addition, the company would likely follow the current trend of pursuing a stablecoin as opposed to a price-volatile currency like Bitcoin or Ethereum, in order to avoid the headache of hourly changes in valuation. Prior to the epic bull run in crypto prices at the end of 2017, numerous rumors were floated that Amazon could look to integrate Bitcoin into its platform. At the time, a German newspaper reported that sources in Silicon Valley were hinting at the eventual merger, with Amazon looking to capitalize on the crypto gains and fan-base enjoyed by rival online outlet However, adoption for Bitcoin as a direct form of payment never panned out, and most of the chatter surrounding Amazon and BTC died off with the falling crypto prices of 2018. Given the new landscape of crypto, one that has matured through the falling valuation and continues to be more accepted by mainstream audiences, Zhao is right to predict that an Amazon coin is less a matter of whether or not it will be developed, than “when” that development will occur. If the rumors tied to Facebook’s WhatsApp service developing a stablecoin are true, cryptocurrency could become a focal point for online commerce-an industry that Amazon has all but cornered. The post Binance CEO Predicts Amazon Coin Coming “Sooner or Later” appeared first on Ethereum World News.

12 days ago

Bitcoin Price Prediction for 2019: Experts View

CoinSpeaker Bitcoin Price Prediction for 2019: Experts View Last year was full of agio and dramatic buzz around BTC. Its ups and downs made the investors and traders very concerned and cautious about the position of Bitcoin and its stability. The big failure at the end of the last year was the reason for traders and businessmen to watch attentively for analysts’ prognoses to understand what to do in the future. The 2019 new year has started, and many people are interested in what is going on in the crypto market. A lot of outstanding consultants have already given their comments about the cost of Bitcoin this year. Let’s estimate their forecasts and analyze what we can expect from the main cryptocurrency in 2019. There are lots of fears and hopes around this topic. I will not bother you with my forecasts only, I’d rather give you different credible Bitcoin price predictions, and then we’ll make some conclusions. Ronnie Moas, Cryptocurrency Analyst One of the top experts in the crypto market sphere is Ronnie Moas, who has founded the Standpoint Research company and directed their analysis of the investment opportunities for many years. Having started on Wall Street examining financial markets and determining strategies, he has become a real specialist in this sphere, and his forecasts are really exact. He got interested in BTC and other cryptocurrencies in 2013 and made his own investments in Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ether. After his projections proved true in 2017, when ETH has impressively soared, the investors are sure his opinion is worth hearing. Ronnie Moas promises that by the end of this year the price of BTC will rise up to $28,000. His arguments are: High volume of trade on crypto exchanges; Growing interest in digital currencies from major companies; The massive sellout is only a sign of a huge bull run in the near future. He is sure that the pessimistic attitude belongs to the powerful people who want to restrict others in making their success. Sonny Singh, COO of BitPay Sonny Singh also has an optimistic point of view about Bitcoin. He used to be the leader of a sales and business development department at Jumio, where he created and managed the trade team and consulted thousands of traders, ten top Internet companies among them. He has 15 years experience in developing tech businesses. His current position is the Chief Commercial Officer of BitPay, Inc. He assumes that before 2019 ends, the price of BTC will grow to $15,000 - $20,000 level. In spite of the fact that Bitcoin has been unstable lately, and increasing interference from the side of state authorities, his forecast is based on his belief that with the huge financial companies coming to the crypto market and making their investments, Bitcoin will win back its positions. He is sure that Bitcoin has a big future and much more benefits than other cryptocurrencies. Artur Hayes, Co-founder and CEO of BitMEX Arthur Hayes has his own opinion about Bitcoin weight in the crypto market. He started as a derivatives trader in two well-known banks in Hong Kong, after he had got a bachelor’s degree in economics. He has wide experience and deep knowledge in the field of structuring and trading financial products. He first learned about Bitcoin in April 2013 and started dealing with the Bitcoin investments. Later on, in January 2014, in company with two other specialists, he organized Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange, or BitMEX, which is a famous professional Bitcoin marketplace. Artur Hayes does not share the viewpoint of previously mentioned analysts, and says that Bitcoin will lose its positions at least within the next one and a half year, and its price can fall to $2,000. He believes, however, that sooner or later BTC will rise again. Anyway, his previous forecast was false, so it’s up to you whether to trust him or not. Sam Doctor, Head of Data Science Research at Fundstrat With degrees in finance and electronic engineering, Sam Doctor has a wide experience in the sphere of stock management, financing strategies, and consulting businesses. Nowadays, he contributes for Fundstrat Global Advisors, LLC. Sam Doctor foretells that BTC holds much promise, and by the end of 2019 can soar up to $36,000. He accounts for his optimistic views with two factors: Miners’ policy to hold BTC when it is cheap, and sell when it is on the bull run; The growing price and computing power of new generations of mining hardware, which increases the BTC break-even point. According to Sam, the price may swing between 20,000 and 64,000 USD. Mike Novogratz, Founder of Galaxy Digital One more expert Mike Novogratz started his career on money market in 1989 as a merchant, and since that time has grown into one of the most eminent and bright characters in the crypto world. He is a philanthropist and BOD member in many commercial and non-commercial organizations in New York. He contributed to such companies as: Goldman Sachs; Fortress Investment Group LLC; Fortress Credit Corpor

12 days ago

Blockchain Startup to Verify Degrees, Skills and Job Roles to Tackle Dishonesty on Resumes

Many employers have been left with hirer’s remorse. Now, a blockchain startup is planning to verify resumes to check if a candidate’s claims are true #SPONSORED

12 days ago

Court reverses the dismissal of an alleged money launderer two years later

Disclaimer: These summaries are provided for educational purposes only by Nelson Rosario and Stephen Palley. They are not legal advice. These are our opinions only, aren’t authorized by any past, present or future client or employer. Also we might change our minds. We contain multitudes. As always, Rosario summaries are “NMR” and Palley summaries are “SDP. LegalCrypto accounts necessary to assess net worth?Read moreState v. Espinoza, 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 1133 (Fl.Ct.App.3d 2019) [SDP] The gears of justice (or injustice, depending on your viewpoint) grind slowly sometimes. This case dates back to 2013, and involves questions about whether or not exchanging bitcoin for dollars requires that you register as a Money Servicing Business under Florida law. A trial court said the law didn’t apply to bitcoin in a ruling from two years ago. This new court of appeals opinion reverses this two year old dismissal and reinstates the charges. At issue here are circa 2013 bitcoin transactions that originated from the defendant’s advertisements on An undercover detective contacted the defendant and exchanged $500 in cash for .40 bitcoin, for which the defendant made a profit of $83.67 dollars. A second transaction involved the purchase of $1,000 worth of bitcoin, for which the defendant made a $167.56 profit. A third transaction involved $500 worth of bitcoin. Following that transaction, the detective “negotiated the transfer of an additional $30,000 worth of bitcoins for a new batch of stolen credit card numbers Detective Arias represented to Espinoza to have been acquired from a recent data breach.” During a meeting to consummate the fourth transaction, the defendant was arrested. He was charged with violating a Florida law requiring registration as a Money Servicing Business and with two counts of money laundering. In the trial court, the defendant argued that the money transmission law didn’t apply because (1) Bitcoin isn’t “money” as defined by the statute and (2) Bitcoin isn’t a “monetary instrument” under Florida’s Money Laundering Act. The trial court agreed with the argument that Bitcoin isn’t money under the statute; it disagreed that Bitcoin isn’t a monetary instrument but said that the defendant lacked the required intent to be charged under the statute. On these grounds, the trial court dismissed the charged. The state appealed and nearly two years later the Court of Appeals issued this opinion, reversing the trial court and reinstating the charges. The Court framed the MSB issue thus: “The issue for our determination under Count 1 is whether, based on the undisputed facts, Espinoza was acting as a payment instrument seller or engaging in the business of a money transmitter, either of which require registration as a money services business under Florida law. Given the plain language of the Florida statutes governing money service businesses and the nature of Bitcoin and how it functions, Espinoza was acting as both.” Espinoza argued that while it was true he wasn’t licensed as an MSB, Bitcoin is not “money” or “monetary value” or “funds”, which should be interpreted to mean “currency”, and bitcoin isn’t currency, so registration wasn’t required. The Court said that even though bitcoin didn’t fall expressly within Florida’s definition of “currency”, it is a “payment instrument”, which is defined in part as something with “monetary value.” Monetary value, in term, is defined as a “medium of exchange.” Thus, because bitcoin is a “medium of exchange”, he was required to register. As another basis for dismissal, the defendant argued that he wasn’t a money transmitter because he didn’t receive anything of value for the purpose of transmission to a third party. The Florida statute doesn’t require third party transmission, unlike the federal definition of money transmitter, which does include a third party transmission argument. As a result, the court didn’t buy this argument. As to the money laundering counts, the Court of Appeals said (oversimplifying a bit) that the Trial Court was premature in dismissing them, and should have allowed these issues to be decided at trial and (potentially) a motion for judgment of acquittal. What’s next? Unless the Defendant appeals to a higher court, this case will go back to the trial court and the case will proceed (either to trial, further motion practice or a negotiated plea). The Block is delighted to bring you expert cryptocurrency legal analysis courtesy of Stephen Palley (@stephendpalley) and Nelson M. Rosario (@nelsonmrosario). They summarize three cryptocurrency-related cases on a weekly basis and have given The Block permission to republish their commentary and analysis in full. Part III of this week’s analysis, Crypto Caselaw Minute, is above. The post Court reverses the dismissal of an alleged money launderer two years later appeared first on The Block.

12 days ago

Economist’s Belief That Stocks Are Overvalued Has Bitcoin Enthusiasts Enthused

While the S&P 500, the Nasdaq, among other global stock indices surged off the back of news that the U.S. Federal Reserve’s chairman, Jerome Powell, would be putting a policy rate hike on the backburner, some pundits are still wary of a looming crash, even crisis. And interestingly, some have argued that if the American economy descends into chaos, Bitcoin and other leading crypto assets could surge and garner notable levels of traction worldwide. Economist: Stocks Trading At “Most Obscene Valuations” Ever According to a report from Business Insider, Dr. John Hussman, an American economist, investor, and hedge fund showrunner, isn’t too happy with Wall Street analysts claiming that the market is doing all fine and dandy. In a post made on his company’s blog, Hussman Funds, the economist remarked that while many hotshots may be yelling “buy, buy, buy” to respond to December’s imbroglio, stocks remain at their most “obscene valuations in U.S. history.” Hussman even quipped that at current, valuations “remain extreme,” while market fundamentals are negative overall. Hussman wasn’t even afraid to call out Wall Street’s biggest shills, noting that postulated earnings growth is likely to “fall short of what we’ve observed over the past couple of decades.” Elaborating, the former professor stated: “One of the more cringe-worthy features of the behavior of investment professionals here is the spectacle of Wall Street analysts touting the ‘reasonableness’ of valuations on the basis of year-ahead earnings expectations that they themselves are responsible for fabricating.” The economist even went on to liken analysts’ current attitude to that seen prior to the Great Recession of 2008, where advisors staved away from deterring “reckless speculation,” but promoted “extrapolative projections” to push the bottom line. While he couldn’t put a finger on where the economy would stop correcting, citing a chart outlining an inverse margin-adjusted P/E plot, he remarked that downside is likely. Hussman’s most recent harrowing forecast comes after he accurately predicted the collapse of the Dotcom Bubble. In fact, during March 2000, Hussman claimed that the Nasdaq 100, then filled to the brim with technology firms, would fall 83% to proceed a rebound. And, to the surprise of many, his prediction came true over the next two years, down to the exact percentage point. The American investor also called the S&P 500’s lackluster performance over the millennium’s first decade and 2008/2009, again with eerie accuracy. The Hussman Funds head isn’t the only hedge fund manager to be touting bearish sentiment. Ray Dalio, the showrunner at Bridgewater Associates, the world’s most preeminent hedge fund, recently took to a panel at Davos to claim that the immense levels of debt that U.S. corporations have racked up have him quaking in his boots. More specifically, he remarked that as borrowing rates rise, the market could quickly enter a phase of dramatic tumult. Related Reading: Investors in Davos Separate Bitcoin and Blockchain, Claim BTC Will go to Zero Dalio, one of the most well-known billionaires in the investment realm, even drew parallels between today’s environment and the one seen in the midst of the Great Depression. The Bridgewater C-suite member noted: “There are a lot of parallels between now and the late 1930s. From 1929 to 1932 we had a debt crisis — interest rates hit zero. Then there was a lot of printing of money, and purchases of financial assets brought their prices higher.” So, if history is any indicator, as it often is, Hussman and Ray Dalio may be the soothsayers predicting an upcoming bear market. But will anyone listen to their haunting cries? Where Do Bitcoin & Crypto Fit In? It seems that the crypto community has begun to hear the foreboding cries from Wall Street’s prophets. Per previous reports from NewsBTC, the Fed’s recent decision to keep target rates relatively low, which in turn should inflate the economy, has made Bitcoin believer Travis Kling worried beyond compare. Via a scathing tweet, Kling, a former portfolio manager at Point72, a hedge fund managing the personal assets of Steven Cohen, noted that the value proposition for a non-sovereign, hardcapped supply, digital form of money — Bitcoin effectively summarized in a sentence — just become that much more apparent. The investor, currently based out of Los Angeles running a crypto hedge fund named Ikigai, explained that he believes Fed chairman Powell’s “dovish” nature will catalyze the fourth round of quantitative easing (QE). Kling even noted that incessant money printing, which is a key aspect of QE efforts, is like a drug, adding that the American economy may begin to overdose, so to speak, catalyzing a collapse. In the eyes of many, including many dollar skeptics such as Max Keiser, Jeff Berwick, among others, the widespread collapse of the legacy financial world will only push crypto assets higher, as their non-sovereign, decentralized, and often

12 days ago

Hollywood star Angelina Jolie is on TATATU with the movie TR...

Hollywood star Angelina Jolie is on TATATU with the movie TRUE WOMAN Sign up now on TATATU @TaTaTu_Official…

12 days ago

India Expresses Fear that Bitcoin may make the Rupee Obsolete

India has been at loggerheads with cryptocurrency for a long time for many reasons ranging from money laundering, terror financing among others. However, the true reason behind the fight may be the fear of bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency taking over the Rupee, the country’s traditional fiat currency. While India has never believed in the adoption of cryptocurrency, it has been working on exploring its underlying technology, the blockchain for its financial system. A committee known as the Garg Panel, saddled with the responsibility of exploring the potential impact of cryptocurrency on the Indian economy, however, has expressed fears that cryptocurrency may dominate its economy, a fear which Rahul Raj, founder of Koinex, a local cryptocurrency exchange said is unwarranted. In his words, Raj said: “At this point, it may be a bit premature to worry about this as right now even globally only a handful of payments are made using virtual currencies and that will be the case till blockchain reaches the scale that says Mastercard or Visa have.” “Therefore, there is (a) considerable time before that concern even comes up,” he added. Apparently, the panel has expressed these fears as a result of a report released by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), of which the Reserve Bank of India is a member. According to the report, cryptocurrencies may get legal standing as a means of payment but the BIS expressed concern that this may disrupt traditional financial institutions such as banks. An anonymous source said about the Garg Panel; “If bitcoin and other digital currencies are going to be allowed to be used for payments then whether it will end up destabilising the fiat currency is a major concern for them.” “The overall impact on the financial ecosystem that it is likely to have is still unclear and it has been a challenge to convince them on this particular point,” he added. The fear of cryptocurrency taking over the financial system is fairly rational although it may not be in the short term as Raj rightly said. However, this is imminent as cryptocurrency provide an easier, cheaper and far more efficient settlement system that traditional banks cannot provide. This places an expiry date on the existing system which will last until policymakers endorse digital currencies for settlements around the globe. The post India Expresses Fear that Bitcoin may make the Rupee Obsolete appeared first on ZyCrypto.

12 days ago

Failed: Millennials Take and Flunk a Cryptocurrency Exam

2018 was the millennials’ year for the cryptomarket. Sadly, it may also have been the last millennials’ year. Young people who dreamt of entrepreneurial opportunities have finally discovered the niche which allowed them to bring to reality their visions of vast, fast money. But almost as quickly as things got underway, they stopped. Experts at ICOBox’s International Blockchain Research Center (IBRC) reached a sad conclusion: the tough business environment was no place for pipedreams, and enterprising youngsters are now being steadily replaced by seasoned crypto business sharks. Looking back at the wild ride that took place on the cryptomarket in 2018, many will say that millennials didn’t stand a chance. But that’s not true at all! A chance they did have, but only select few were able to take advantage of it, and those few were the most sensible and prudent. The problem with millennials is that they are brilliant at brainstorming and coming up with fantastic ideas, but they tend to lose steam under the daily grind of trying to bring their grand plans to fruition. Rather than building their own businesses from scratch, they have an easier time climbing up the corporate ladders - this is more convenient, less risky, and calls for a lot less responsibility. Crypto industry presented an amazing opportunity even to those that had nothing more valuable to their name than a 50-page White Paper and a grasp of the basics of economy, marketing, and IT that they likely gained in college. Having been given green light to express their creativity in the crypto space without putting in too much effort, they jumped in feet first. Sadly, some seemed to have left their thinking caps behind. Some took promises of $50K bitcoin at face value, dived into day trading and lost their shirts. Others got together with childhood friends to launch their startup, made their first million via an ICO, and then got completely lost when it came to actually developing their business. These also lost much. The shrewdest, it appears, were those who just grabbed their ICO haul and vanished into thin air. “The problem with all of these examples is that none of them have anything to do with real business. Because when we hear ‘Give us money, and we will think of something’ instead of ‘We have thought everything through, we just need the funding,’ it is usually bad news,” explains Dima Zaitsev, Head of International PR and Business Analytics at ICOBox. “It rarely translates into anything of value - and this is why we are seeing these kinds of depressing stats for the number of failed or downright fraudulent ICOs in 2018.” The crisis in the crypto market has already pushed out whole crowds of newbies and adventurers, and in the long run, only the strongest will remain standing. Small-time, individual investors will be replaced by large players who will not be interested in the slim pickings left over by millennials but will create a new market that will successfully operate on their own terms. The crypto market capitalization will start going up when these companies launch their products and they will be fairly appreciated and valued by the market. Along the way, a new market will likely emerge and evolve - that of security tokens and security token offerings (STOs). This mechanism will help projects that never before had access to funding find and connect with their investors. A convergence of blockchain technology and legal regulation will give way to new business models, and because this new approach will help give value to vast amounts of previously unmarketable assets, the market will see a great influx of new capital. The Wild West era is over: the market is shifting and growing up. “We saw something quite similar in 1998-2000, and we remember how it ended. The giant and empty dot-com bubble burst and those who overestimated their abilities or chose their development strategy unwisely were tossed aside by the powerful market forces,” reminds Dima Zaitsev. “On the other hand, that crisis also brought us such giants as Google, Amazon, Apple, and many, many others. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they now ventured into the crypto market to bring new revolutionary solutions to the world.” And somewhere in the bowels of these new crypto projects, there will be millennials who will be working on building their bright corporate future - the very same millennials that were so close to becoming the embodiment of the new, 21st-century business models. But it’s time to accept the truth: this test they flunked. Image: Pixabay The post Failed: Millennials Take and Flunk a Cryptocurrency Exam appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.

13 days ago

Digital Gold Thesis Shows Bitcoin (BTC) Is Undervalued, Should Be At $10,000

Bitcoin Likely “Massively Undervalued,” Claims Analyst PlanB, a leading cryptocurrency-friendly researcher on Twitter that has the handle “100trillionUSD” a (likely reference to his/her long-term prediction for the market capitalization of Bitcoin), recently took to his feed to claim that at the moment, BTC could be “MASSIVELY undervalued.” Citing a comment regarding Bitcoin’s underlying status/value proposition from Satoshi Nakamoto, the crypto godfather, himself, PlanB noted that BTC is similar to a metal “as scarce as gold,” yet unlike physical precious metals, it can be transferred/transported over a digital communications channel in a secure, decentralized, immutable, censorship-resistant, and efficient manner. #bitcoin could be MASSIVELY undervalued Satoshi: BTC is like a "metal as scarce as gold + can be transported over a communications channel" Scarce metals (gold, silver, palladium, platinum) can be valued on stock-to-flow ratio. BTC: now 3X undervalued, after 2020halving 10-100X — planɃ (@100trillionUSD) February 3, 2019 Considering traditional valuation models of scarce metals (gold, silver, palladium, platinum), like stock-to-flow ratios, PlanB noted that BTC is currently valued at one-third of its fair value, meaning that it should currently be priced at around $10,400 apiece. And, after the 2020 halving, an overtly auspicious event in the eyes of most crypto traders, BTC will be undervalued by ten to one hundred times. Backing his prediction, the researcher went on to outline stock-to-flow ratios for those who aren’t in the know, explaining that stock is above ground reserves, while flow is the yearly production of the commodity in question. As it stands, gold, which Bitcoin is most aptly compared to out of the four aforementioned metals, has a stock flow of 57, meaning that it would take 57 years for producers at current rates to replicate the current supply of all gold above ground. As BTC’s stock-to-flow ratio is slated to swell from 25 to approximately 55 (double of 25 plus ever-increasing supply) after the next halving, PlanB seemed adamant that if traditional metrics hold true to this paradigm-shifting asset, the cryptocurrency would be dramatically undervalued at its current valuation of $3,400. In fact, the researcher remarked that if Bitcoin was fairly valued following its halving, it would be valued somewhere between $34,000 and $340,000. The $333,000 BTC Price Point Interestingly, the upper-end of that prediction is a price point that a number of leading investors have mentioned previously. Per previous reports from Ethereum World News, Bobby Lee, the co-founder of BTCC and the brother of Charlie Lee, remarked on Twitter that if history repeats itself, BTC will bottom at $2,500, before entering a lull that will last until late-2020. By that time, mere months after the next Bitcoin block halving, Lee noted that the cryptocurrency market would begin its next rally. He elaborated: [The next rally] would peak out in Dec 2021 at $333,000, and then crash back down to $41,000 in Jan 2023. Something like that? While Lee didn’t explicitly mention the halving in the aforementioned tweet, he has overtly lauded the event (and Bitcoin’s status as digital gold) previously. Filb Filb, another leading industry insider, echoed Lee’s analysis, noting that BTC could bottom between $2,500 and $3,100, then subsequently breaking out of its quintuple digit cell to eventually reach $333,000 apiece. In a tweet storm, Filb compiling the Internet’s historical growth cycles, Bitcoin’s adoption curve, among other factors, then outlined why this call makes sense from a fundamental point of view. Digital Gold Argument PlanB’s call relating BTC to precious metals comes as cryptocurrency enthusiasts en-masse have begun to realize Bitcoin’s potential as a digital store of value. Anti-establishment figures Max Keiser, for instance, recently stated that after a personal review of Bitcoin’s whitepaper and discussion with cypherpunks, he was sure that BTC is more “peer-to-peer gold” than digital cash. He added that the flagship cryptocurrency is inherently a decentralized store of value that doesn’t require third parties for transactions nor verification, even quipping that those who think otherwise should fight him. Title Image Courtesy of Sebastian Unrau on Unsplash The post Digital Gold Thesis Shows Bitcoin (BTC) Is Undervalued, Should Be At $10,000 appeared first on Ethereum World News.

13 days ago

Amazon will Issue a Currency Sooner or Later - Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao

The CEO of Binance Chanpeng Zhao “CZ” has expressed confidence that the big internet retailer Amazon will soon issue a currency (cryptocurrency) to be used for buying and selling of its products. The CEO mentioned this in a tweet about the need for internet-based businesses to integrate cryptocurrencies as payment options for their customers. Amazon will have to issue a currency sooner or later. — CZ Binance (@cz_binance) February 2, 2019 Zhao said cryptocurrencies are cheaper and easier to use for payment than traditional fiat currencies which require a lot of processes to successfully make payments. He also stressed the fact that the use of cryptocurrencies will allow for wider inclusion of customers from all over the world rather than just those who have access to traditional payment gateways. This is true because cryptocurrencies can be used to pay for goods and services from any part of the world, whereas companies such as Paypal, Stripe and a host of others are only available in a number of countries, thus denying millions of potential customers access to goods and services on the internet. Not only will adoption of cryptocurrencies grant more consumers access to the online market, but it will also expand the customer base of companies such as Amazon. Mr Zhao can’t understand why these businesses are reluctant about adopting this universal payment option. In 2018, Amazon was rumoured to have indicated interest in accepting Bitcoin as a payment option for customers. However, the challenge seems to be the volatility of cryptocurrencies in general which will make refunds quite impossible as the value of an amount paid may drop after such payment is made. On issuing its own coin, Amazon is said to have created its own coin since 2013 although not a cryptocurrency in its strictest sense. The coin, Amazon Coin does not run on the blockchain and is only meant for purchase of eligible apps, games, and digital in-app items on Android phones, Blackberry devices, and Fire Tablets, according to Amazon. If you ask me, just accepting Bitcoin or any of the cryptocurrencies will be fine for most of Amazon’s customers. Issuing its own coin will be icing on the cake, but the bottom line is adopting cryptocurrency will significantly boost Amazon’s market as it will allow more users access. It’s a win-win. The post Amazon will Issue a Currency Sooner or Later - Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao appeared first on ZyCrypto.

13 days ago

Court reverses the dismissal of an alleged money launderer 2 years later

Disclaimer: These summaries are provided for educational purposes only by Nelson Rosario [twitter:@nelsonmrosario] and Stephen Palley [twitter:@stephendpalley]. They are not legal advice. These are our opinions only, aren’t authorized by any past, present or future client or employer. Also we might change our minds. We contain multitudes. [As always, Rosario summaries are “NMR” and Palley summaries are “SDP”] LegalCrypto accounts necessary to assess net worth?Read moreState v. Espinoza, 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 1133 (Fl.Ct.App.3d 2019) [SDP] The gears of justice (or injustice, depending on your viewpoint) grind slowly sometimes. This case dates back to 2013, and involves questions about whether or not exchanging bitcoin for dollars requires that you register as a Money Servicing Business under Florida law. A trial court said the law didn’t apply to bitcoin in a ruling from two years ago. This new court of appeals opinion reverses this two year old dismissal and reinstates the charges. At issue here are circa 2013 bitcoin transactions that originated from the defendant’s advertisements on An undercover detective contacted the defendant and exchanged $500 in cash for .40 bitcoin, for which the defendant made a profit of $83.67 dollars. A second transaction involved the purchase of $1,000 worth of bitcoin, for which the defendant made a $167.56 profit. A third transaction involved $500 worth of bitcoin. Following that transaction, the detective “negotiated the transfer of an additional $30,000 worth of bitcoins for a new batch of stolen credit card numbers Detective Arias represented to Espinoza to have been acquired from a recent data breach.” During a meeting to consummate the fourth transaction, the defendant was arrested. He was charged with violating a Florida law requiring registration as a Money Servicing Business and with two counts of money laundering. In the trial court, the defendant argued that the money transmission law didn’t apply because (1) Bitcoin isn’t “money” as defined by the statute and (2) Bitcoin isn’t a “monetary instrument” under Florida’s Money Laundering Act. The trial court agreed with the argument that Bitcoin isn’t money under the statute; it disagreed that Bitcoin isn’t a monetary instrument but said that the defendant lacked the required intent to be charged under the statute. On these grounds, the trial court dismissed the charged. The state appealed and nearly two years later the Court of Appeals issued this opinion, reversing the trial court and reinstating the charges. The Court framed the MSB issue thus: “The issue for our determination under Count 1 is whether, based on the undisputed facts, Espinoza was acting as a payment instrument seller or engaging in the business of a money transmitter, either of which require registration as a money services business under Florida law. Given the plain language of the Florida statutes governing money service businesses and the nature of Bitcoin and how it functions, Espinoza was acting as both.” Espinoza argued that while it was true he wasn’t licensed as an MSB, Bitcoin is not “money” or “monetary value” or “funds”, which should be interpreted to mean “currency”, and bitcoin isn’t currency, so registration wasn’t required. The Court said that even though bitcoin didn’t fall expressly within Florida’s definition of “currency”, it is a “payment instrument”, which is defined in part as something with “monetary value.” Monetary value, in term, is defined as a “medium of exchange.” Thus, because bitcoin is a “medium of exchange”, he was required to register. As another basis for dismissal, the defendant argued that he wasn’t a money transmitter because he didn’t receive anything of value for the purpose of transmission to a third party. The Florida statute doesn’t require third party transmission, unlike the federal definition of money transmitter, which does include a third party transmission argument. As a result, the court didn’t buy this argument. As to the money laundering counts, the Court of Appeals said (oversimplifying a bit) that the Trial Court was premature in dismissing them, and should have allowed these issues to be decided at trial and (potentially) a motion for judgment of acquittal. What’s next? Unless the Defendant appeals to a higher court, this case will go back to the trial court and the case will proceed (either to trial, further motion practice or a negotiated plea). The Block is delighted to bring you expert cryptocurrency legal analysis courtesy of Stephen Palley (@stephendpalley) and Nelson M. Rosario (@nelsonmrosario). They summarize three cryptocurrency-related cases on a weekly basis and have given The Block permission to republish their commentary and analysis in full. Part III of this week’s analysis, Crypto Caselaw Minute, is above. The post Court reverses the dismissal of an alleged money launderer 2 years later appeared first on The Block.

13 days ago

Ethereum [ETH] takes a step forward with release of new version of Geth and Parity for Constantinople

During the recent Ethereum Core Developer live meeting, the topics the team discussed included the Ropsten fork for Constantinople and the Programmatic Proof-of-Work [ProgPow]. The discussion led by Hudson Jameson, the communications officer of the Foundation, included Afri Schoedon, Lane Rettig, Martin Holst Swende, Ben Burns, Zak Cole, Brooklyn Zelenka and other key developers of the foundation. The team started the meeting by discussing the Ropsten fork for Constantinople. Here, at the time of discussion, the fork was around 3,000 blocks away and only one fork is going to occur on the network, unlike the two forks decided for Constantinople, with the other fork named Petersburg. The second fork was introduced to disable the Ethereum Improvement Protocol in which issues were identified hours before the previous schedule for Constantinople that was set to occur in January 2019. The updated version for both Geth and Parity was released by the respective teams this week. The Geth team posted on Github: “Geth v1.8.22 re-enables all Constantinople changes and contains an additional fork, Petersburg, to disable EIP-1283. This procedure is meant to ease the transition on networks like Ropsten where the Constantinople transition had already taken place when an issue with EIP-1283 was discovered. On the main network, Constantinople and Petersburg activate at the same time.” Afri Schoedon, hard fork co-ordinator and release manager at Parity, also Tweeted about the new version of Parity that supports both Constantinople and Petersburg: “Parity Ethereum 2.2.8 stable and 2.3.1 beta arrived. This enables Constantinople and St. Petersfork. Upgrading is mandatory for Ethereum, Kovan, Ropsten, Görli, POA Sokol, and POA Core networks.’ Martin Holst Swende, the security lead of the Ethereum Foundation, however, stated that there could be problems encountered during the Ropsten fork for Constantinople. This could be taking into account the previous fork on Ropsten, which was met with several issues because of the difference in Parity and Geth, and the lack of miners for Ropsten. This was followed with the team discussing ProgPow. The proposal of ProgPow implementation was first made in 2018 because of the rising concern among miners over ASIC mining hardware on Ethereum. Currently, it has been decided that it would be best to perform third-party audits on ProgPow to test whether the claims of ProPow reducing ASIC efficiency stands true and to ensure that their team would not encounter any problems during its launch on the Mainnet. The post Ethereum [ETH] takes a step forward with release of new version of Geth and Parity for Constantinople appeared first on AMBCrypto.

13 days ago

TRUEVIST - q3. What are the plans for TRUE to increasing the...

TRUEVIST - q3. What are the plans for TRUE to increasing the number of developers to develop dapps on TrueChain? Do…

14 days ago

Ripple CTO Doubles Down On “XRP Ledger Is Decentralized” Argument

David Schwartz Adamant That XRP Ledger Is Decentralized As reported by Ethereum World News in August, David Schwartz, the chief technology officer at Ripple Labs, a San Francisco-headquartered fintech startup with a focus on decentralized ledgers and digital assets, took to his firm’s blog to touch on a pertinent subject matter. In a post, he claimed that the XRP Ledger, an ecosystem that Ripple builds on top of, is decentralized through and through, contradicting sentiment from its skeptics. In a recent episode of “Ripple Drop” from the fintech upstart, Schwartz doubled-down on this thesis, telling thousands of viewers about XRP’s decentralization in a candid conversation. Speaking to an interviewer, Schwartz, a programmer & cryptographer with two decades in the business and a key mind behind the creation of Ripple’s go-to ledger, remarked that over 2018, he saw a monumental increase in the decentralization of XRP. The Ripple C-Suite member even noted that the ledger in question is “even more decentralized than either Bitcoin or Ethereum,” noting that XRP is “operationally decentralized” in ways that other cryptocurrencies cannot be. The programmer then chalked this up to the dichotomy between traditional Proof of Work (PoW) schemes, enlisted by blockchains such as Ethereum, and Ripple’s use of an alternative medium of consensus, which uses a system of validators and tracking servers. He explained that PoW hasn’t delivered on its promise of decentralization. Schwartz even went on to bash Bitcoin’s transaction latency, noting that the world’s first notable cryptocurrency has ten-minute blocks, increasing true finality times to upwards of an hour in some cases. Schwartz’s recent comment regarding XRP’s decentralized nature comes after Brad Garlinghouse, a senior to the CTO as chief executive, took to Ripple’s Youtube yet again to make a very similar comment. Per previous reports from this outlet published in December, Garlinghouse claimed that this critique that XRP is centralized is fundamentally false. Speaking with Monica Long, one of Ripple’s senior vice presidents, Garlinghouse noted that “people are going to spread their FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt),” adding that there is much misinformation regarding XRP’s status and underlying nature. The chief quipped that due to the presence of misinformation, those misaligned may continue to “engage in whatever zealotry [they want].” Yet, in quick succession, Ripple’s top brass head even noted that “by many measures, the XRP Ledger is more decentralized than Bitcoin.” He elaborated: Ripple runs seven validators, [which is] about four percent of [all] public validators... On the Bitcoin ledger or Ethereum ledger, you have a very small number of miners controlling, you know, well past 50% of [the] mining power. Ripple Ecosystem Swelling This newfangled crusade to determine whether XRP is centralized or not comes amid seemingly positive times for Ripple and its already expansive ecosystem. Over the past days, SBI Holdings’ VCTrade exchange began to launch withdrawals for the popular asset, BTC, and ETH. CoinGate, a leading crypto-friendly payment provider, began to enable XRP payments for merchants it is partnered with. And SBI Holdings joined a partnership with R3, which both support Ripple’s efforts. Title Image Courtesy of March Verch Via Flickr The post Ripple CTO Doubles Down On “XRP Ledger Is Decentralized” Argument appeared first on Ethereum World News.

14 days ago

Asia Token Fund, CryptoProfile, and Singapore Bitcoin Club to Partner with Pitcher Perfect

The blockchain and crypto space has witnessed numerous conference and events, some with an audience of over 3,000 and some with just a few stakeholders interacting in an intimate setup. Each one plays a critical role in its own special way. What makes these meetups and events such a quintessential part of this industry is the fact that it’s still emerging and fragile. How does it gain the stability that it deserves? With the community becoming bigger, stronger and more connected. The United Conference of Internet Money (UCIM) concluded recently after kick-starting the Asia Blockchain Week in Singapore with a purpose to serve the budding community. In its first edition, the conference focused on sharing unbiased and expert content with all present. To achieve the same, there were several prominent names that addressed the audience, like billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper, crypto trader and consultant Tone Vays, VNX Exchange Senior Vice President Zing Yang, Civic’s VP of Business Development Chris Smith, Houbi’s APAC Managing Director Edward Chen, and Liquid’s Global Head of Business Development Seth Melamed. After successfully delivering a long format two-day conference, UCIM is now venturing to host Pitcher Perfect in Singapore on 15th February 2019. With a tagline of ‘best pitches are created over pitchers,’ the subevent seeks to offer a platform to connect projects and investors in an intimate setup. As the two ends of the investment community meet, dine, and network together, there will be some interesting stories and some crucial conversations to be a part of. To successfully accomplish its purpose, Pitcher Perfect has tied up with some very relevant strategic partners from the Singapore ecosystem. These partners include Singapore Bitcoin Club- Singapore’s pioneering educational community for cryptocurrency trading, CryptoProfile- a transformative platform to disrupt cryptocurrency airdrops, and Asia Token Fund- an impartial blockchain news and media portal. “We are really excited to have such a diverse set of partners. With their skills, communities, and expertise in the space of cryptocurrencies, Pitcher Perfect will be able to stand true to its vision,” shared Bimlesh Anand, the event’s Project Manager. Singapore is a hub for blockchain and crypto startups, and a platform for these projects to interact with investors, family offices, and exchanges seems like a fascinating proposition. The post Asia Token Fund, CryptoProfile, and Singapore Bitcoin Club to Partner with Pitcher Perfect appeared first on ZyCrypto.

14 days ago

Cryptocurrency Investors Lost $1.7 Billion to Hackers in 2018, Claims Two New Reports

A new report from CipherTrace suggests that hackers stole $1.7 billion worth of digital currency from investors in 2018 as organized crime is becoming more common. A separate report from Chainalysis suggests that two sophisticated criminal groups stole $1 billion, accounting for a massive portion of total cryptocurrency hacks. The Problem With Crypto Security The stolen funds highlight the security problem the crypto industry faces, which it has yet been able to solve. According to the report from CipherTrace Cryptocurrency Intelligence, $1 billion of the total amount was stolen from digital currency exchanges. The falling prices of cryptocurrencies did not affect the number of crimes in this sector. Because of the price decline of cryptocurrencies in 2018, the total dollar value is less, but regarding the volume of coins stolen, 2018 marked a 3.6x increase compared to 2017 and a 7x increase compared to 2016. CipherTrace CEO Dave Jevans said: “These numbers only represent the loot from crypto crimes that CipherTrace can validate; we have little doubt that the true number of crypto asset losses is much larger.” Two Crypto Groups Behind the Loot In a separate report released this week, Chainalysis noted the rise of organized crime in the crypto sector. Chainalysis noted that the $1.7 billion figure was similar to their findings and that criminal activity involving cryptocurrencies has “grown significantly” in the last 18 months. Roughly $1 billion of the total amount of stolen funds can be attributed to just two groups. The average value of each of their hacks was $90 million during the year. Philip Gradwell, Chainalysis’ chief economist, said in a CNBC interview: “When we look at these patterns it’s clear these are large, sophisticated hacking groups.” These groups often work with complex methodologies, moving the stolen coins through personal wallets and exchanges and then go silent for around 40 days to wait for the interest to die down before they cash out. The two hacking groups are labeled “Alpha” and “Beta” of which Alpha is the bigger and more sophisticated group. Gradwell, however, said that the stolen coins make up only a small share of the overall crypto market. For instance, the amount stolen from exchanges was only equal to 1% of Bitcoin’s total value. He said that the level of criminal activity is still relatively low and that crypto’s main use case is still that of a financial asset. Cryptocurrency Investors Lost $1.7 Billion to Hackers in 2018, Claims Two New Reports was originally found on Cryptocurrency News | Blockchain News | Bitcoin News |

14 days ago

2. How does TRUE plan to deal with the strong competition fr...

2. How does TRUE plan to deal with the strong competition from other public chains represented by ETH and EOS? What…

15 days ago

Anarchapulco Returns Promoting Freedom and Cryptocurrencies

On Feb. 14-17, 2019 the fifth annual Anarchapulco conference, dubbed “Life Unchained,” will be hosted in Acapulco Mexico. During previous Anarchapulco events, the pro-freedom and liberty event dedicated a whole day to blockchain innovation and cryptocurrency solutions, but this year all four days will have a devoted focus on digital currencies. Also read: Startup Launches Loaded Bitcoin Cash Notes to Spread BCH Adoption Anarchapulco 2019: Life Unchained Anarchapulco is coming to Mexico again and this year’s lineup of speakers is filled with well-known libertarians, economists, and cryptocurrency advocates. This February’s event will mark the conference’s fifth year and every one has been bigger than the last. Organizers are expecting more than 3,000 guests to spend four days near the sunny beaches of Acapulco at the world-class Princess Mundo Imperial resort. Participants will hear keynote talks about entrepreneurship, investments, and politics alongside discussing important topics like cryptocurrencies, philosophy, health, and sustainability. The Anarchapulco lineup of speakers this year includes popular freedom activists such as the Dollar Vigilante’s Jeff Berwick, former U.S. Senator Dr. Ron Paul, AIER editorial director Jeffrey Tucker, anarchist philosopher Larken Rose, syndicated columnist Judge Andrew Napolitano, and Unschooling Advocate Dayna Martin. Speaking with, Anarchapulco organizers explained that per usual, cryptocurrencies will be an integral part of this year’s event. For instance, the conference is the only crypto event that accepts digital assets for both tickets and hotel reservations. “Through our online payment portal we can accept any of over 800 currencies as payment,” explained Anarchapulco organizer Jessica Kill. “Anarchapulco is really pushing for the whole community to create real life marketplace opportunities for exchange,” Kill added. “The everyday use of crypto as a currency strengthens the overall viability and continued growth and Anarchapulco encourages this daily.” Our desire is to share the message and applicable tools for every living person to live a life unchained from physical, mental and financial freedom — Decentralization of the banking system through blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cash are an important tool for just that. Jeff Berwick: ‘Cryptocurrencies Are a Key Factor Toward a Free World’ Anarchapulco will have a lot of familiar activities hosted at prior events like a poker tournament that will be held In the Cryptopulco Lounge. The four-day conference will feature other special ventures like the “Tiger Ayahuasca” ceremony and “Candles in the Dark” with Larken Rose and Amanda Rachwitz. There will also be plenty of activities lined up for families and children like the sandcastle and fairy house building on the beach. Jeff Berwick, founder of The Dollar Vigilante and host of the popular video podcast, Anarchast. Anarchapulco plans to be a freedom-focused event for all ages, conference founder Jeff Berwick told Unlike some conferences that claim to promote liberty by working with governments, Berwick explained how Anarchapulco puts an emphasis on true freedom. “With the growth of governments worldwide, all the wars, central banking impoverishment and daily reductions in individual freedoms there has never been a more important time for the growth of the voluntaryist/anarchist movement,” Berwick told our newsdesk. “While other conferences may call themselves ‘freedom’ events there are no others that outwardly are calling for complete freedom like Anarchapulco.” Berwick further noted that the fact that the conference has doubled in size every year for the last five years shows that there is a growing awakening and the answer to many of the world’s problems today lies in the complete abolition of government and central banks. Cryptocurrencies are an integral part of engendering economic freedom. Berwick concluded by saying: For the last three years, we dedicated one day of Anarchapulco to cryptocurrencies, called Cryptopulco. This year, for the first time ever, we are running Cryptopulco for all four days on its own dedicated stage — This is because we believe cryptocurrencies are a key factor to getting to a free world. What do you think about the fifth annual Anarchapulco event? What conferences will you be attending in 2019? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below. Disclaimer: is an official sponsor of Anarchapulco 2019. Image credits: Anarchapulco, Pixabay, and Jeff Berwick. Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section. The post Anarchapulco Returns Promoting Freedom and Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

15 days ago

Venmo is finally venmo-ing big revenue to its less cool parent

Venmo, the mobile payment app that lets roommates split rent and friends chip in for pizza, became a verb almost as soon it moved out of beta seven years ago and began attracting millennial users in droves. No one was sending money around to anyone anymore. They were venmo-ing it. The digital payment giant PayPal bought the fast-growing brand in 2013. It was a lot like its own, except the newer platform doubled as a social site that allowed users to publicly announce when they had venmoed one another for brunch or Coachella tickets. Six years later, while many millennials may still not be aware of the PayPal connection, their cherished app is finally generating solid revenue for the larger, older, less cool company. Within a few quarters, it may even break even, according to PayPal CFO John Rainey. During an earnings call with investors yesterday (Jan. 30), in which Venmo’s nascent monetization agenda was described in broad strokes, Rainey confirmed that Venmo was not in the black yet. But its progress—from a service that was costing the company to one it now says is poised to bring in annual revenue of $200 million—was a bright spot in PayPal’s otherwise lackluster fourth quarter and full-year results. From free to fees Venmo’s early popularity was probably fueled not only by its social function and dead-simple mobile interface; it also was free. That’s still mostly true, but a year ago, it launched an Instant Cash Out option: For a fee of 1%, customers can now instantly withdraw from their Venmo balance and return the funds to their bank account, rather than wait for one to three business days for the transaction to clear. And, “surprising no one” as Payment put it, Venmo launched a Venmo debit card last summer, several months after making it possible to venmo millions of merchants, like Uber, GrubHub, Abercrombie, or Hollister, and not just friends. Together, these fee-based services have created a projected revenue run rate of $200 million for PayPal, with 29% of Venmo transactions now “monetizable,” up from 24% last quarter, and 17% in the quarter before that. Venmo users are also being incrementally linked into a wider payment network, the PayPal mothership, which now serves 267 million active users. In short, Venmo has momentum. In the the fourth quarter of 2018, Venmo’s total payment volume reached $19 billion, growing 80%. For the full year, Venmo’s volume increased 79% with $62 billion in payments processed in 2018. The company says it’s on pace for Venmo to drive almost $100 billion in total processing volume in 2019. Though the slow creep of fees may escalate as PayPal looks to Venmo for more growth and diversification, it’s arguably unlikely to dent Venmo’s popularity. These days, newlyweds are asking family to “just venmo me” to send a gift, and skip the physical currency. The app is so widely used that its lexicon has inspired insider jokes. stunt journalism idea for a food pub: make and eat the Venmo salad — Alanna Okun (@alanna) January 31, 2019 That said, Venmo is still a tiny slice of PayPal’s empire, and its newfound traction wasn’t enough to stop the share price from sliding on news of slow growth in PayPal’s core business, which the company attributed to shrinking merchandise volumes at former parent company eBay. PayPal reported $4.23 billion in overall revenue last quarter (and $15.5 billion for 2018), missing Wall Street expectations for the first time in more than three years. Investors also remain concerned as they look ahead to 2020, when PayPal’s exclusive relationship with eBay will end. Share prices have dropped about 4% since the latest earnings report was released, and the stock is now trading at just under $88, down from a high yesterday of $93.

15 days ago

Towards a free market for P2P governance

Think what you want about his ideas, you can’t deny that Ethereum researcher Vlad Zamfir has a knack for the politics of attention. Over the weekend, Vlad published “Against Szabo’s Law, For A New Crypto Legal System,” announcing it with a tweet saying that he was willing to die on the hill of his argument. The rhetorical theatrics, as well as the “throw a rock at the big kid on the playground” technique did exactly what they were supposed to do and pretty soon, everyone was debating the piece. In the spirit of lively political debate, I’d like to make two arguments via The Block. First, what Vlad is talking about is more about governance than law. Second, that as the conversation about governance grows, users will more consciously self-select protocols and applications whose approaches make sense to them, ultimately evolving into a free market for p2p governance (defined as the upgrade path and coordination mechanism for a protocol’s features, security responses, economics, monetary policy, core developer leadership, dispute resolution, changes to governance itself, and more). Governance, not law Some perceptive observers noted that “Szabo’s Law,” as Zamfir titled it, was not, in fact, a law. A more accurate term might be an ethos or shared philosophical disposition. That ethos in question is non-interventionism. The TL;DR version of Zamfir’s articulation of Szabo’s law is that public blockchains shouldn’t be intervened with except to perform technical maintenance. In a response to the piece, Vitalik Buterin pointed out that this sort of philosophical non-interventionism is consistent with classical conservative thought. Another commentator, Elliot Olds made an analogy to Libertarianism, arguing that, if we imagined he was talking about libertarian philosophy rather than blockchain governance non-intervention, most of Zamfir’s critique could be ported 1-to-1. What’s really at question in Zamfir’s critique of Szabo’s Law are changes to the protocol: Who can intervene? About what can they intervene? What is the process by which that intervention takes place? These are questions of protocol governance. The users, miners, stakers, validators, and other types decentralized workers (dWorkers) that make up a blockchain ecosystem represent a voluntary network who agree to function on the basis of the rules of that network. How those rules change is, in fact, the key substance of blockchain governance. It is also the substance of what Szabo’s “law” is about: not making changes except with regard to technical maintenance. It’s a philosophy of governance - a very specific philosophy of minimized governance, but a philosophy of governance nonetheless. It’s important to define our terms in this case because invoking “law” brings with it specific meanings - such as recourse under the law based on your physical jurisdiction, as compared to the free exit available to all in voluntary blockchain networks - and specific implications - the interaction between existing global legal systems and blockchains, rather than the internal functioning of a blockchain network. Ultimately, while there are many important conversations to be had about the long term relationship between blockchain governance models and the legal systems they operate in - such as whether the voluntary rules governing blockchain networks can be enforced through existing world contracts - that isn’t really what Zamfir is getting at for most of the piece. Fundamentally, he’s critiquing what he considers dogmatic non-interventionism and asking (as Kyle Samani put it) “why can’t we change the thing?” That’s a governance question. A Free Market For Governance Models It isn’t surprising that Zamfir’s post has created such a ruckus. Beyond the fact that crypto loves drama and Vlad set it up to max effect by framing his argument as an indictment of a specific well-known figure, governance has moved firmly into the mainstream as an area of focus. I’ve been studying it since the early days of Web3 and even wrote an essay on the growing importance of blockchain governance back in December. Part of this has to do with the fact that, as time goes on, blockchains inevitably face issues that demand dispute resolution. These can be major issues - like hacks, thefts, and loss of funds. They can also be much more mundane - resource allocation, development roadmaps and operating priorities. As, over time, people and communities encounter more and more issues that feel like they need a process for resolving, the demand for governance increases. Importantly though, over the last year, the supply of governance has also increased, in the sense that new approaches that were once only theoretical have actually gone live. There is a positive feedback loop between recognition of the need for governance models (demand) and more models to choose from (supply). People’s sense of what is normal is shaped by what’s around them, so as projects implement more formal approaches to governan

15 days ago

Arms dealer turns out to be the FBI

Disclaimer: These summaries are provided for educational purposes only by Nelson Rosario [twitter:@nelsonmrosario] and Stephen Palley [twitter:@stephendpalley]. They are not legal advice. These are our opinions only, aren’t authorized by any past, present or future client or employer. Also we might change our minds. We contain multitudes. [As always, Rosario summaries are “NMR” and Palley summaries are “SDP”] LegalRecovering a $1,000 BTC investment from May 2011 may be impacted by court’s jurisdictionRead moreUSA v. Faison, Case №4-19-70023 KAW (N.D. Cal. Jan. 22, 2019) [NMR] Link to motion and order Did you know that bitcoin utilizes a public ledger that keeps track of all transactions? In fact, almost every single cryptocurrency known to man uses some sort of public ledger that allows for the tracking of all the transactions on the network. So, you might guess that law enforcement likes bitcoin, and you would be right. This case involves some pretty troubling allegations. The defendant is accused of attempting to purchase a toxic chemical to use as a chemical weapon in a purported scheme to kill his spouse. This is, of course, terrible if true, but what does this have to do with bitcoin? Well, not much, but it is indicative of a trend. Allegedly on Dec. 8, 2018, the defendant accessed a website on the Dark Web, and reached out to a person who had posted an advertisement for the toxic chemical. That person who posted the ad was an Online Covert Employee (OCE) of the FBI. Yep, there are some FBI employees who are Always Online just like the rest of us. Over the course of the next month there were multiple messages between the two concerning the purchase and delivery of the toxic chemical. Allegedly, on Dec. 15, 2018, the defendant sent some bitcoin to the OCE as payment for the toxic chemical. Prior to this time the defendant had problems setting up payment allegedly saying in a message “I’ve been frustrated from having to pool alt-coins into BTC (and do so anonymously), but will resume funding my DM wallet this week. W[i]ll then order ASAP!” Apparently, the price was also allegedly an issue for the defendant “I got the BTC but then-of course-the value of BTC went down. Gonna wait it out some to avoid having to lose more in transfer fees.” Ultimately, FBI agents delivered the chemical, and using an electronic tracking device in the package executed a search warrant of the defendant’s home when the tracking device indicated the package had been opened. It looks as if the FBI has lots of incriminating evidence, so the bitcoin involved is somewhat of an afterthought. What is definitely not an afterthought is the fact that the website is known to the authorities and bitcoin is commonly used to purchase things on it, so the traceability of bitcoin is very likely to play a role in future investigations. The Block is pleased to bring you expert cryptocurrency legal analysis courtesy of Stephen Palley (@stephendpalley) and Nelson M. Rosario (@nelsonmrosario). They summarize three cryptocurrency-related cases on a weekly basis and have given The Block permission to republish their commentary and analysis in full. Part I of this week’s analysis, Crypto Caselaw Minute, is above. The post Arms dealer turns out to be the FBI appeared first on The Block.

15 days ago

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