Over the last eight years, U.S. law enforcement has seized a great number of bitcoins and at one time, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) held one of the largest bitcoin wallets after the Silk Road takedown. A recently published report shows the FBI has started using cryptocurrency mixing applications in recent times in order to obfuscate transactions from seized bitcoins that stem from a forfeiture.
The U.S. government is far from transparent and a newly published report shows just how shady the feds can be these days. The author Joshua Davis explains with great detail that the FBI has been evading “transparency and accountability” specifically when law enforcement has been handling funds from a seizure. For years now, the FBI, the United States Department of Justice (DoJ), and FinCEN have said that the use of bitcoin mixers should be criminalized.
The Feds have prosecuted operators of large centralized bitcoin mixers as well charging the operators with illegal money transmission charges and claiming that mixing facilitates crime. These days, cryptocurrency mixers are less centralized and bitcoiners can leverage bitcoin mixers that are built into a noncustodial wallet. Davis explains how “FinCEN is criminalizing Bitcoin mixers” and that anyone using them could be “accused of violating Anti-Money laundering laws.” The report also details how the FBI is “routinely” using bitcoin mixers and has been for a few years now.
The report shows that the FBI seized 39.67 BTC from a man in Tucson, Arizona, and the case involved unauthorized SIM swaps. According to Davis’ findings, the FBI sent updates to the victims and “made it seem as if the cryptocurrency had been already sold.” However, blockchain data shows this wasn’t the case and the victims were told a “clerical error” was made.
Interestingly, Davis’ findings indicate the blockchain tells a tale of how the transactions the Feds sent were sent “to themselves,” from an address that sent “more than 800,000 transactions,” and the funds derived from an address that sent more than 43 million BTC. The tell-tale signs of a bitcoin mixer being used to obfuscate bitcoin transactions.
“To be 100% clear the FBI does not need a money transmitter license to act as a lawful Bitcoin tumbler because government agencies are exempt from needing to obtain a Money Services Business (MSB) license,” Davis’ report insists. “Instead what I’d like to humbly point out is that the law requires funds to be “safeguarded against waste, loss, unauthorized use, or misappropriation.” As far as those four things to safeguard against, Davis found that “waste” seemed to have been chosen instead of transparency.
Davis assumes that the FBI could have “overpaid bitcoin miners by a factor of 4700%” and fees would be massive when you multiply that by 2x or 5x. The report concludes that Davis doesn’t have any issues or really anything against the FBI in general, but he doesn’t appreciate the hypocrisy.
“I just hate that feeling when I’m treated like a child who needs to stop complaining and trust the authority figure,” the author wrote. “Yes, we do need to trust authority figures, but those authority figures should earn our trust. Authority figures should also try their best to be as transparent as possible.”
The author also noted how the former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Carl Force and the former Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges stole money from the Silk Road case. Force was able to steal 1,200 BTC and Bridges was able to snag 3,100 bitcoin. “They would have gotten away with it if they had taken one extra precaution,” Davis said. “Their downfall was failing to use a tool called a bitcoin mixer.”
Moreover, a representative from the FBI emailed the author of the report and he further explained: “The FBI has stated unequivocally in an email that the funds are still held as Bitcoin. They are required by law to hold these funds as bitcoin and not convert these funds to cash.”
What do you think about the FBI using bitcoin mixers to obfuscate transactions? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.
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This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.
According to new data, peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin trade volumes in Kenya and Ghana surged in Q1 of 2021, with the two countries now ranked second and third respectively. On the other hand, volumes in South Africa, which occupied second place in 2020, dropped marginally. Consequently, South Africa has now been relegated to the fourth position the data shows.
Meanwhile, one report has attributed the surge in Kenya and Ghana’s P2P volumes to the two countries’ tacit endorsement of cryptocurrencies. For instance, the report points to the Central Bank of Ghana’s launch of “a regulatory sandbox that prioritized blockchain-based companies including cryptocurrency startups” as one factor that may have boosted the country’s volumes.
This is in contrast to the situation in South Africa where regulator warnings about cryptocurrency use and investment increased following the collapse of Mirror Trading International, the biggest scam bitcoin in 2020, according to Chainalysis. As explained in the report, crypto dealings in South Africa “have come under increased scrutiny, with tougher regulations including mandatory licenses and taxes triggering investor exits. The report also adds that “bitcoin trading in South Africa has effectively lost its autonomy and this has reduced its market appeal to investors.”
In the meantime, the data shows that P2P volumes in Nigeria seem to have been boosted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s directive against crypto entities that was issued on February 6. As the Tulip data shows, Nigeria’s P2P bitcoin traded volumes in the past 90 days surged to nearly $100 million. The figure, which is nearly two and half times more than that of second-placed Kenya, suggests more bitcoin users are now using P2P platforms.
Meanwhile, the data appears shows that P2P traded volumes in many other African countries surged after March 2020, when lockdown measures took hold. Since then, many countries on the continent have seen their P2P bitcoin traded volumes grow steadily.
What are your thoughts on the rising P2P BTC traded volumes in Kenya and Ghana? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
Signal, the cross-platform encrypted messaging service is facing criticism this week, after the company Signal Messenger told the public it was integrating the cryptocurrency mobilecoin. Moreover, controversy surrounds the company’s founder and CEO Matthew Rosenfeld, known as ‘Moxie Marlinspike’ over his previous ties with the Mobilecoin project.
During the last week, Signal Messenger has been under fire for integrating the privacy-centric cryptocurrency mobilecoin (MOB). The subject has been trending on social media and forums as a number of crypto advocates are not pleased with the choice.
According to the MOB project’s website, the entire distributed ledger is “opaque” as “individual transactions are cryptographically protected, and the network uses forward-secrecy.” Since Signal’s announcement MOB has gained over 450% since then and today it’s up 20% during the last 24 hours.
MOB is currently trading for $58 per unit and the trading platform FTX Exchange is the most active market trading it today. Controversy is tied to the relationship Marlinspike allegedly had with Mobilecoin prior to the integration. Word on the street is Marlinspike was simply a MOB advisor but documents indicate the Signal founder may have played a CTO role.
In addition to that controversy, the project has been accused of being centralized, a copy of monero (XMR), and 100% pre-mined as well. A pre-mine is when the network’s entire supply of native tokens is created right away and developers and early investors have access to it all.
“Mobilecoin is 100% premined,” the Reddit user and r/cryptocurrency forum moderator u/samsunggalaxyplayer said. “100% of the supply was created in 16 outputs that can be distributed however the initial founders like. There is extremely limited information about how they will be distributed, though it’s highly likely that the founders will keep some for themselves.”
The Redditor also said that Mobilecoin team members like to “discredit Monero wherever they can.” On Twitter, software developer Pokkst spoke out against the Mobilecoin project as well. A few more things about Mobilecoin,” the developer tweeted. “When Mobilecoin is run with Intel SGX, user’s private keys are transmitted to remote nodes and stored in their secure enclave. Lol. Basically Intelcoin. It’s 100% premined, with a hardcoded 0.01 MOB fee per tx. Currently, that’s $0.66 per [transaction]. All [transaction] fees currently go to Mobilecoin Foundation.”
The creator of Signal has a huge stake in Mobilecoin, so Moxie is pumping his bags by using Signal.
Following the Mobilecoin announcement, people who disliked Signal’s integration with MOB started to recommend the encrypted messaging service called Session. The Session project leverages a blockchain and is a Signal fork. Despite the documentation showing Moxie as the CTO, Mobilecoin CEO Joshua Goldbard recently said that “Moxie was never CTO.”
What do you think about the controversy over Signal and the Mobilecoin project? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
On April 9, 2021, the Delaware-based company and sponsor of the “Kryptoin Bitcoin ETF Trust” filed an S1 amendment for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The asset manager re-filed its 2019 ETF application and instead of leveraging NYSE, the company plans to use Cboe BZX.
The race for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States has grown thick with competition in recent days. The asset manager Kryptoin has recently revealed it has re-filed with the SEC in order to get an ETF approved. With Kryptoin joining the competition, there are now seven bitcoin-based ETFs hoping to get approved by the U.S. regulator. The list includes Valkyrie, Vaneck, Fidelity, NYDIG, Wisdomtree, First Trust & Skybridge, and Kryptoin.
Kryptoin’s prospectus is not much different than its 2019 filing, except at that time it had chosen to list on NYSE Arca. However, this time around, Kryptoin’s prospectus sent to SEC on Friday named Cboe BZX as the listing exchange. Kryptoin has decided to add its prospectus to the list of bitcoin ETF filings, while both Vaneck and Wisdomtree step up for the SEC review. The company’s product will be named the “Kryptoin Bitcoin ETF Trust,” and the company would like to launch as soon as it is permissible.
The preliminary prospectus subject to completion further notes the “objective is to provide exposure to bitcoin at a price that is reflective of the actual bitcoin market where investors can purchase and sell bitcoin, less the expenses of the Trust’s operations.” Kryptoin adds that the firm will leverage a reference rate in order to determine the value of shares.
The SEC filing states:
In seeking to achieve its investment objective, the Trust will hold bitcoin, and in seeking to ensure that the price of the Trust’s shares is reflective of the actual bitcoin market, the Trust will value its shares daily as determined by the CF Bitcoin US Settlement Price.
There are already two North American bitcoin-based ETFs in Canada, and a few weeks ago in South America Brazil launched its first bitcoin ETF as well. The United States has yet to allow a bitcoin ETF, as the SEC has denied plenty and many have withdrawn their preliminary filings. The SEC has cited issues like price manipulation but since a lot of institutional money has jumped into the crypto ecosystem, many firms have hopes for 2021 approval.
Kryptoin’s ETF is led by Jason Toussaint, a businessman who has a lot of experience with ETFs. Toussaint was previously the CEO of World Gold Trust Services, a sponsor of SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD). Kryptoin’s CEO and board member Toussaint has also worked with ETFs and other investments with Morgan Stanley, Northern Trust Asset Management, and JP Morgan Asset Management.
What do you think about Kryptoin’s bitcoin ETF filing and the other ETFs waiting for approval? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon foresees “big evolution” coming to cryptocurrency regulation as demand for bitcoin from clients continues to rise. He says that Goldman will “continue to find ways to serve our clients as we move forward.”
David Solomon, the CEO of global investment bank Goldman Sachs, shared his view on cryptocurrency regulation in an interview with CNBC this week.
Regarding the regulation for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the Goldman Sachs executive said he thinks that cryptocurrency “is a space that’s evolving,” predicting:
I think there’ll be a big evolution as to how this evolves in the coming years.
Emphasizing that his company operates within the rules set by regulators, the Goldman Sachs CEO noted: “I’m not going to speculate on where the rules will go for regulated financial institutions, but we’re going to continue to find ways to serve our clients as we move forward.”
Solomon detailed that Goldman Sachs is focused on how to support demand from clients for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. “We continue to think about digital currencies and the digitization of money in a very proactive way,” he opined, mentioning specifically that his firm “can help clients facilitate custody positions in digital assets.”
The Goldman Sachs chief reiterated: “As our clients have demand to be involved in this space we can continue to find ways to support our clients … That’s the lens that we’re really looking through.” Solomon clarified:
There are significant regulatory restrictions around us and us acting as a principle around cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
Do you agree with Goldman Sachs’ CEO about regulatory evolution coming to the crypto space? Let us know in the comments section below.
In the SEC v. Ripple case, the court has denied the request by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for personal financial records of Ripple’s executives that are not connected to XRP. The court says that it “is not convinced” that personal banking records would show the violations as claimed by the SEC.
In the lawsuit brought by the U.S. SEC against Ripple Labs, CEO Brad Garlinghouse, and co-founder Christian Larsen over the sale of XRP tokens, the court has denied the SEC’s request to obtain personal financial records of the defendants that are unrelated to XRP. The order was signed by Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn on Friday.
“The SEC has served the individual defendants with Requests for Production seeking their personal financial records over an eight-year period,” the order explains. It adds that the commission has “also issued third-party subpoenas to several financial institutions at which the individual defendants maintain accounts, seeking similar records.”
The order notes: “Garlinghouse and Larsen move for a protective order to avoid their discovery obligation and to quash the subpoenas served upon SVB Financial Group, First Republic Bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Silver Lake Bank, Silvergate Bank, and Citibank, N.A. The motion is granted.”
Referencing Section 5 of the Securities Act, which details that all issuers must register non-exempt securities with the SEC, the order states:
The court is not convinced that the personal banking records would show (or even could show) what the SEC claims they would – individual violations of Section 5.
The judge additionally has found that “the SEC has not presented any evidence that individual defendants have hidden transactions or that the documents produce support any inference of hidden transactions.”
Furthermore, the judge explained that the motion for a protective order by Garlinghouse and Larsen is granted because “the court finds that the SEC’s requests for the individual defendants’ personal financial records, apart from those records of XRP transactions that are already promised, are not relevant or proportional to the needs of the case.” The judge further ruled:
The SEC shall withdraw its Requests for Production seeking the individual defendants’ personal financial records and withdraw its third-party subpoenas seeking the same.
“If, as discovery progresses, the SEC uncovers evidence that the individual defendants have not been forthcoming with records of their XRP transactions, it may provide such evidence to the court and renew its application,” the order concludes. The full court filing can be found here.
Ripple recently won discovery from the SEC and the commission has been ordered to produce internal records on bitcoin, ether, and XRP. Meanwhile, a petition has been started asking SEC’s new chairman to drop the Ripple lawsuit and end the war on XRP.
What do you think about the judge ruling in favor of Ripple against the SEC over personal financial records unrelated to XRP? Let us know in the comments section below.
HSBC has reportedly changed its policy regarding cryptocurrency. The bank now prohibits customers from buying the stock of public companies that hold bitcoin, like Microstrategy. All of the companies with bitcoin treasuries could be on the chopping block at HSBC.
British bank HSBC has reportedly become more strict with its crypto policy. The bank now prohibits its customers from buying the stock of public companies that are holding bitcoin in its treasury.
An HSBC customer has shared a message he said he received from the bank, informing him of a policy change regarding cryptocurrencies, naming bitcoin and ethereum as examples. The bank’s new policy applies to “products related or referencing the performance of virtual currencies.” The notice reads:
HIDC [HSBC Invest Direct] will not participate in facilitating (buy and/or exchange) product related to virtual currencies, or products related or referencing to the performance of virtual currency.
The notice singles out one stock in particular. “Our records show that your HSBC Invest Direct account is holding Microstrategy Inc-A — MSTR-US, a virtual currency product.”
While Microstrategy does not offer any crypto services, it has been heavily buying BTC since October last year. The company has amassed almost 100K BTC and has made acquiring the cryptocurrency one of its primary goals.
HSBC’s notice continues:
While we will permit the holdings of MSTR-US to be held and/or sold/ transfer-out in your HSBC Invest Direct account, new purchases or transfers-in will not be allowed.
The British bank did not specify how much bitcoin a company has to hold in order for its stock to be banned from the bank. Microstrategy has made it a policy to hold 100% of its treasury reserves in BTC.
A rapidly expanding list of companies have said that they are investing in bitcoin but usually in smaller percentages than Microstrategy. This includes Elon Musk’s Tesla which invested $1.5 billion in January. Jack Dorsey’s Square Inc. also put 5% of its total cash reserves in bitcoin. The website bitcointreasuries.org has curated a growing list of companies with bitcoin in their treasuries.
One Twitter user commented on the situation, speculating that HSBC Canada “is probably arbitrarily deciding what % bitcoin reserves is ok for clients to invest in.”
The HSBC customer who received the notice tweeted to Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor: “You may want to ask your legal team if what HSBC Canada is doing here is legal. It sure does not sound like it is. They won’t allow us to buy Microstrategy.” Referring to all companies with bitcoin investments, he further opined: “All of these companies may be on the chopping block because they hold BTC. This is the opposite of ‘free market.'”
What do you think about HSBC’s new crypto policy? Let us know in the comments section below.
Cryptocurrency markets have gathered fresh gains this weekend, as bitcoin’s value spiked above the $60k handle touching $61,222 per unit during the early morning trading sessions on Saturday (EST). Moreover, a number of digital assets saw price jumps as well, as the entire market capitalization of all 9,190 crypto-assets in existence is over $2 trillion today.
A touch after 1 a.m. (Eastern Standard) on Saturday, the market valuation of the entire crypto-economy jumped 3% higher. Bitcoin (BTC) touched a high of $61,222 per unit coming awfully close to the all-time high (ATH) the crypto asset captured last month. Currently, BTC is trading just above the $60k handle after losing some of the gains from the hours prior. BTC is still up over 2% today and has a market cap of around $1.1 trillion.
The second-largest market held by ethereum (ETH) is up 3% on Saturday and each ETH is swapping for $2,144 per unit. While BTC’s market dominance among the 9,190 crypto-assets in existence is 55%, ether markets captured 12.1% this weekend. Three digital assets command just above 2% or more of the entire crypto economy’s valuation which includes BNB, USDT, and XRP.
BNB is up a lot on Saturday, as 24-hour stats show the token is swapping for $478 per unit and has gained more than 7% during the last 24 hours. XRP is up a whopping 20% against the U.S. dollar and is trading for $1.22 per coin.
The biggest gainer today is bit-z token (BZ), which has climbed a whopping +16,448% today and is followed by electrify asia token (ELEC) up over 200%.
Saturday’s biggest losing crypto market belongs to beetle coin (BEET), which has lost over 53% and then thrive token (THRT) is down more than 38%. At press time some market cap aggregators say the valuation of the entire crypto-economy is $2.04 trillion while others say $2.033 trillion on Saturday morning.
What do you think about this weekend’s cryptocurrency market action? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Isabel Schnabel, a board member with the European Central Bank (ECB), has attacked bitcoin claiming the crypto asset “does not fulfill the basic properties of money.” She also describes bitcoin as a “speculative asset without any recognizable fundamental value and is subject to massive price swings.” Schnabel also surmises that trust in “cryptocurrencies might rapidly evaporate,” and this, in turn, causes “disruptions in financial markets.”
In remarks made during a recent interview, Schnabel also reveals how she and her colleagues at ECB think “it is wrong to describe bitcoin as a currency.” Still, when Schnabel is reminded of billionaire Elon Musk’s views on bitcoin, the ECB board member answered: “He is at liberty to do so.”
Meanwhile, Schnabel uses the interview opportunity to reiterate the ECB’s resolve to create its own digital currency. However, she says a “great deal of preparatory work needs to be done to enable the project to be properly set up.” Schnabel also tries to justify claims that consumers would be more amenable to a digital currency issued by the ECB than one issued by private entities. She said:
Nobody can offer a similar degree of security and data protection as the ECB. People find that topic important: as consumers, to whom do we want to disclose our data? They are surely more likely to trust the ECB than Facebook or other private operators.
As expected, Schnabel’s comments sparked a quick reaction from some bitcoiners and cryptocurrency supporters on Twitter. For instance, responding to Schnabel’s remark that the ECB is a trusted institution, a Twitter user Plan B said:
“People in Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Lebanon, Turkey beg to differ (after what central banks did to their money).”
Alex Gladstein, the chief strategy officer at Human Rights Foundation, also weighed in by posing a question to the ECB board member. He asked:
Isabel, how much have you looked into the human rights implications of Bitcoin? I have many examples from around the world here of individuals and groups in high inflation and authoritarian environments benefitting from using this new money.
Meanwhile, other users attacked Schnabel’s assertion that “no other institution can offer a similar degree of security and data protection as the ECB.” For instance, user Ryan Cwynar reminds Schnabel that “literally any cryptocurrency chain provides more security than any system your organization could design.”
Still, a few users like Micheal Reilly, believe there is a place for both privately issued digital currencies and the one the ECB intends to create. He said:
“Central bank policy is the least of the issues with any of those countries. Institutional failure or any institutional issue will and can affect everything in a country. CB is not the issue. I own Bitcoin and believe it has a use case and a digital euro is a good idea too.”
What is your reaction to Schnabel’s remarks about bitcoin? You can share your views in the comments section below.
The latest declarations from Ukrainian public officials revealed a billion-dollar amount of money they allegedly own in bitcoin. An online incentive gathered data from 791,872 state employees and 652 respondents disclosed their crypto holdings.
According to the Opendatabot site, officials currently hold a total of 46,351 BTC, which is worth over 75 billion hryvnias ($2.66 billion) as of press time. The declaration’s campaign ended on March 31, 2021.
But bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency found among the collective filings of Ukraine state employees. Per the report, ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), cardano (ADA), stellar (XLM), IOTA, bitcoin cash (BCH), and bitcoin gold (BTG) are the other cryptos in which the officials have invested.
Most Ukrainian crypto-holding state employees work in city councils, the Ministry of Defense, and for the National Police, said Opendatabot. However, there are also crypto holders who work in the prosecutor’s office and village councils across Ukraine.
So far, the official with the highest amount of bitcoins is Mishalov Vyacheslav Dmitrovich, a Deputy from the Dnipro City Council as he held 18,000 BTC at the time of the filings.
In the wake of the Opendatabot’s results, the Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, praised the collective filings, saying that it shows how the country’s officials are becoming more “progressive and far-sighted investors than we thought.”
But the fact that a report like this has been made public was not well received by everyone in the country.
Sergiy Petukhov, the head of the Mandatory Inspections Department at the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption, stated that his office conducted 250 checks this year, including bitcoin’s holdings state employees. He added that some officials claimed their filings had mistakes and warned about Opendatabot’s results:
If we find that the information provided about the possession of cryptocurrency is inaccurate – this is the basis for administrative or criminal liability.
Ukrainian officials are required to reveal their assets in an official electronic declarations process designed to reduce corruption.
Opendatabot is a service that monitors the registration data of Ukrainian companies and officials.
What do you think about this report on the bitcoin holdings of Ukrainian officials? Let us know in the comments section below.
Next month in New York, the popular auction house Christie’s plans to auction a rare lot of Cryptopunk non-fungible token (NFT) collectibles. The sample of work sold will be approximately nine rare Punks, courtesy of the project’s creators Larva Labs.
On May 13, 2021, the British auction house founded in 1766 by James Christie plans to auction nine one-of-a-kind NFTs from the Cryptopunk project. Christie’s said it will be the first of a kind occasion of “groundbreaking work offered at a traditional auction house.” The single lot of nine Punks stems from the NFTs creators Larva Labs.
“The Cryptopunks are the alpha and omega of the [cypto art] movement,” Noah Davis, a specialist in Post-War & Contemporary Art at Christie’s, New York said during the announcement. “This is a historic sale,” Davis added.
The Cryptopunks project came from the minds of Matt Hall and John Watkinson back in 2017. The New York-based firm they started, Larva Labs, has since created thousands of NFT characters. The team launched Cryptopunks on June 23, 2017, and they consist of pixelated 8-bit 24×24 pictures of Punks. There are approximately 10,000 Punks today and some have already sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Christie’s auction house says it will be auctioning Punk # 2, 30, 58, 532, 602, 603, 635, and 757. Additionally, a “rare alien” collectible will be sold during the May 13 auction as well. Cryptopunk 635, is one of only nine alien Punks and the only one with a sub-1,000 series number. Christie’s says that Punks 532 and 602 are inspired by the ’70s London punk scene.
“Cryptopunks inspired a community of collectors and connoisseurs,” Christie’s announcement details. “For fans of collectibles, it’s clearly a version of trading cards or something similar. However, generative art fans see it as an interesting example in that category. We like that its perception is flexible and brings together several of these worlds into a single project,” the auction house announcement adds.
What do you think about the nine Cryptopunks being sold at the British auction house Christie’s next month? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Adding to the South Korean cryptocurrency industry’s stricter regulations, the central government is focusing on the “crackdown” of illegal crypto transactions. A meeting over the week held with high-ranked politicians resulted in a campaign that will soon be deployed.
According to Chosun, the South Korean Government met with politicians, law enforcement, and financial watchdog authorities to take down illicit transactions from what they named an “overheated market.”
The meeting was led by the Second Deputy Secretary of State Moon Seung-wook, who called authorities from the Financial Services Commission, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, the Ministry of Justice, and the National Police Agency.
The purpose of the reunion was to address the “current situation of the virtual asset markets” in South Korea. They concluded that it’s a must to launch a campaign against market manipulation, money laundering, and tax evasion via cryptos.
But the rule won’t cover only domestic exchanges. In fact, the government wants to strengthen international cooperation with Interpol to monitor illicit transactions coming from overseas crypto exchanges.
The main objective, said Moon, is to “prevent money speculation and damages to investors.” He also added:
Virtual currency is not a legal currency or financial investment product, and no one guarantees its value.
The announcement of the crackdown comes in the wake of the new legislation that covers the banking industry which deals with crypto businesses.
The amended Special Financial Transactions Information Act was approved by the National Assembly finance committee in November last year.
Under the framework, crypto exchanges are required to follow a series of banking protocols, including linking customer accounts to individuals and their bank accounts that are verified by a local identification document.
Domestic tax authorities are also on top of making accountable crypto traders in terms of their tax obligations. Recently, the National Tax Service of South Korea (NTS) identified 2,416 individuals who reportedly hid their assets in cryptos to bypass taxation.
What are your thoughts on the ‘crackdown’ announced by the South Korean government? Let us know in the comments section below.
The Shanghai-based online game operator, The9 Limited, has revealed the company is planning to acquire 2,000 Canaan Avalonminers for over $6 million in a stock deal. The9’s binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) explains that the new units will give the company 0.1 exahash of bitcoin hashpower.
On April 9, the publicly-listed gaming and internet company The9 Limited (Nasdaq: NCTY) revealed the firm’s intentions to acquire 2,000 bitcoin (BTC) miners. The new miners will give the company a total hashrate of approximately 100 PH/s or 0.1 exahash (EH/s) of processing power.
According to the announcement, The9 entered into a legally binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with an “unrelated bitcoin mining machine owner.” The machines will be exchanged for Class A ordinary shares.
The9 said that the firm will issue approximately 8,127,390 shares based on the share price of around $24.81. But during the next six months, the number of shares could be reassessed.
But the new MOU is not the only deal The9 has established. The company also disclosed that it obtained 0.288 (EH/s) of hashpower. This deal took place when the company signed definitive agreements for 12,246 bitcoin mining rigs.
The announcement does not disclose whether or not the 12,246 mining rigs are Canaan Avalonminer brand miners. That specific deal was also completed with share calculations and an issuance agreement with a lock-up period of six months.
The9 is a very well known gaming and internet firm and for a very long time, The9 had an exclusive license to operate and distribute the extremely popular game World of Warcraft in China.
What do you think about The9 purchasing 2,000 Avalonminers from an unknown source? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
The Lone Star State of Texas is solidifying its role as a bitcoin mining and blockchain hub. This week two major bitcoin mining companies established operations in Texas. The company Riot Blockchain purchased a mining site in Rockdale and the bitcoin mining firm Blockcap announced establishing headquarters in Austin.
On April 9, 2021, the firm Blockcap announced that it was establishing headquarters in Austin Texas, and the company will join a number of companies that reside in the Lone Star State. Just recently, Blockcap announced that the company raised over $75 million and revealed a number of large-scale acquisitions of BTC mining rigs. During the announcement, the former governor of Texas, Rick Perry welcomed Blockcap for bringing innovation to Texas.
“The State of Texas welcomes Blockcap and its decision to establish its headquarters in our capital, which is yet more evidence that we have become the premier location for forward-looking industries like blockchain,” Perry explained. “With Blockcap now joining Tesla and a whole host of other innovative companies here, I’m even more excited for what the future has in store for our state, our flourishing industries and, most of all, our people.”
Moreover, the company has noted that the U.S. currently ranks second worldwide as far as hashrate is concerned. The leading country in the mining industry for both hashpower and manufacturing is currently China. Blockcap’s executive chairman and founder, Darin Feinstein says the company looks forward to setting up in Texas.
“Austin is our home base from which we will pursue our mission and bring this great city closer to the center of the United States’ blockchain technology ecosystem. We also see the city as an ideal location from which to continue expanding our operations as we grow at both national and international levels,” Feinstein said.
Furthermore, the company Riot Blockchain just announced the acquisition of a mining site in Rockdale, Texas for $650 million. The company has obtained Whinstone Inc., a project started in 2019 and aims to be one of the largest mining centers worldwide. The deal for the $650 million stems from a mix of cash and Riot Blockchain shares. Northern Data AG sold the data center operations to Riot so Northern Data can focus on its remaining six sites.
“Northern Data has been able to create a versatile multi-site network of efficient HPC capabilities with an industry-leading sustainability focus by offering secured access to renewable energy sources,” Northern Data’s CEO Aroosh Thillainathan detailed. With the proceeds from the transaction, we can accelerate our expansion significantly and reinforce the focus on value-accretive HPC services.”
After closing the deal, Northern Data AG will own 12% of the total outstanding common stock of Riot Blockchain, which is approximately 11.8 million shares. Both Blockcap and Riot Blockchain will be neighboring the bitcoin miners Layer1 and Bitmain in Texas as well.
What do you think about Blockcap’s move to Austin and Riot Blockchain purchasing Whinstone Inc.? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Southampton Football Club, a soccer team currently ranked 13th in England’s Premier League, recently signed a new sponsorship deal that includes an option for the club to be paid certain performance-based bonuses in bitcoin. The deal also extends the club’s partnership with the Coingaming Group as Main Club Partner for a further three years.
Also, as part of the new agreement, Coingaming Group’s brand, Sportsbet.io will continue as the club’s front-of-shirt sponsor. In a statement issued on April 8, the club explains the rationale behind the decision to include bitcoin bonuses. It said:
(The BTC bonus) allows the club the opportunity to take advantage of the new, high-growth currency if it feels it will bring significant future benefits.
According to the club’s statement, Southampton can elect to get paid in bitcoin at the end of the football season.
Meanwhile, Southampton Football Club’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), David Thomas also commented on the new sponsorship package.
“The team at Sportsbet.io have built a successful business by challenging convention and disrupting the market, but in a responsible way, and their approach to our partnership with them has been no different,” said Thomas.
The CCO also applauds Sportbet.io’s track record in developing and promoting “safe gambling messages.” With this sponsorship deal, Southampton becomes one of the first sports teams in England to embrace bitcoin.
What are your thoughts on this sponsorship deal? You can tell us what you think in the comments section below.
PRESS RELEASE. 9th April 2021, Delaware, United States – Social media has reshaped the digital landscape, yet people worldwide feel more disconnected than ever. The big giants have all innovated successfully, but constant monetisation efforts for the sake of corporate profit have done away with interpersonal connections, and have therefore transformed the user into the product.
Omni are taking this concept and making it a thing of the past by creating a true alternative to today’s social media platforms. Omni will introduce a holistic, user-focused ecosystem that rewards engagement and forges new connections between users. Omni combines the best features available today in the social media world into a singular app suitable for messaging, streaming, sharing, and interacting with content and its creators. This is all packaged nicely with market-leading gamification that yield the user profit linked to the performance of the company in the form of OMNI coins.
Announcing the Omni Whitepaper
As Omni is getting closer to reaching its goal of building genuine online communities, the platform has now released its much-anticipated whitepaper. A quick read will unveil Omni’s immense value proposition and its bid to help users regain control over their online interactions.
Whitepaper readers will come to learn more about Omni’s blockchain-based revenue-sharing model. In brief, each interaction via the mega social media app will yield OMNI coins, which can be redeemed within the app at a rate directly correlated with company profits. Earning OMNI is simple, and happens passively, while users do the things they already do on a daily basis, like following a post, sharing statuses, building connections with new friends, or live streaming.
Valuable information on OMNI’s tokenomics is also provided, with readers learning more about long-term value growth sustainability for the native token. Relevant know-how on the usage of investment funds, as well as plans on DEX listings and Omni’s marketing strategy are also provided.
The whitepaper’s rewards structure shows how engagement efforts will be converted into redeemable coins which can be sold back to the company in exchange for profits. Loyal users will be rewarded generously, whereas content creators will obtain fair revenue shares in exchange for their hard work.
The whitepaper goes on to showcase Omni’s ambitious plan to become a true alternative to the big social media platforms, infamous for forgoing user experience in hopes of attaining higher profits. With focus being placed on providing an user experience that’s beyond immersive, Omni’s whitepaper unveils what social media should be all about.
Readers will also discover Omni’s plans for NFT integrations. In a nutshell, content creators are enabled to easily transfer or license ownership of their works. By integrating NFTs within its value proposition, creators worldwide will fairly and transparently earn royalties within Omni’s social ecosystem. Combined with the revenue-sharing incentive via the OMNI coins, the social media game is transformed into actual revenue streams.
Unveiling Omni’s Social Features
Omni is serious about its goals of reshaping the social media industry. As such, Omni’s whitepaper proposes multiple features, including secret chats, ecommerce capabilities, channels, viral content, dub & duet integrations, and more. While such features are normally accessible via multiple social media apps, Omni combines them within a single interface, building a seamless user experience.
As shown in the whitepaper’s section on user data security and privacy, user interactions like messages remain accessible only to the intended recipients. Omni does not snoop into everyone’s private affairs, but rather breeds unparalleled engagement with family, friends, brands, content creators, and more.
About Omni’s Total Addressable Market
By this point, Statista reports that 3.6 billion people used social media in 2020, with the number expected to grow beyond 4.41 billion in 2025. With millions of hours spent browsing feeds on a daily basis, Omni can expect a huge inflow of users, content creators, and brands over the next few years. The app’s potential is virtually limitless, as it retains everything that’s great about social media, yet drops anything that users dislike. This is deeply discussed in the whitepaper section tackling market analysis and the competitor landscape.
With these aspects in mind, Omni bids farewell to cumbersome user interfaces, lack of synergy, invasive ads, and privacy concerns by setting new standards in the social media industry. It’s finally time to welcome genuine user engagement powered by gamified incentives, with sufficient features to serve as a true competitor for today’s social media giants.
Don’t be a product of your environment. Make your environment your product. Check out the Omni website today to learn more at omni.ai
Join the community on Telegram: https://t.me/omni_app
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The American independent investment bank and financial services company, Piper Sandler has published its latest “Taking Stock With Teens” survey which notes that 9% of U.S. teenagers have traded cryptocurrencies. 7,000 teenagers were polled and roughly 81% of those who have traded digital currencies were male.
Piper Sandler Companies has published a new study that surveyed 7,000 American teenagers.
According to the findings as far as payments are concerned “cash is (still) king for teens” and this is followed by Apple Pay and Venmo. Food, video games, and clothes purchases are very important to American teens and 9% of the crowd has traded digital currencies.
Piper Sandler’s survey shows that only 19% of the respondents who have traded crypto were female. A great majority or 81% of the teen participants who have traded crypto assets were male. Piper Sandler’s survey is part of a semi-annual research project that has surveyed more than 201,800 teens since 2001.
Out of the 7,000 American teens in this specific survey, the average age was 16.1 years. The financial services company says that it leverages data from a “geographically diverse subset of high schools across the U.S.”
When the respondents were asked about the economy, Piper Sandler’s study notes: “46% of teens believe the economy is getting worse vs. 48% in Fall; 25% of teens believe it is getting better.”
The independent investment bank findings are similar to a lot of surveys in the past. Many surveys show cryptocurrencies and bitcoin are favored more by younger people. A recent study from Gemini published during the beginning of the year shows findings from 2,000 U.K.-based participants.
One specific section shows that among young people interest in digital assets is high specifically between the ages of 18 and 44. Any age after that starts to see a decline as far as the respondents from Gemini’s U.K. survey is concerned.
Piper Sandler’s survey does not detail anything more than just the fact that these teens have at least at one time, have traded crypto assets. In addition to the 9% of those who have traded digital currencies, 9% of their wallet share goes to video game or console purchases as well.
The number one place for American teens to shop online in the U.S. is currently the marketplace Amazon, according to Piper Sandler’s findings.
What do you think about Piper Sandler’s survey and how 9% of respondents claim to have traded crypto assets? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
The China-based smartphone and internet app maker Meitu has announced the acquisition of $10 million worth of bitcoin for its treasury after the firm purchased digital assets two times prior last month. The company’s cryptocurrency holdings now stack up to $100 million worth of ethereum and bitcoin.
Meitu has revealed another cryptocurrency purchase after it announced two purchases last month. According to the announcement, on April 8, 2021, Meitu HK which is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, purchased a touch over 175 BTC. The company detailed it paid $10 million for the acquisition and to date, Meitu now holds $100 million worth of ethereum (ETH) and bitcoin (BTC) on its balance sheet.
“The board is pleased to announce that on April 8, 2021, Meitu HK had, pursuant to the Cryptocurrency Investment Plan, further acquired in open market transactions, an additional 175.67798279 units of bitcoin at an aggregate cash consideration of approximately US$10 million under the further bitcoin acquisition,” Meitu’s announcement said.
Bitcoin.com news covered the company’s past two purchases during the first two weeks of March 2021. When our newsdesk reported on the company, Meitu already held $40 billion worth of ETH and BTC. In our second report, Meitu managed to stack $90 million worth of digital assets to add to its “Cryptocurrency Investment Plan.”
The company’s latest announcement says that bitcoin serves as “a good alternative store of value” because of the crypto asset’s “limited in supply, its exchangeability into fiat money or goods and services, portability, and its potential to act as an effective hedge against depreciation of fiat currencies.”
The company adds:
Some of these features potentially even render bitcoin as a superior form to other alternative stores of value such as gold, precious stone, and real estate. Being an alternative store of value, its price is primarily a function of future demand that is driven by the consensus of investors and the general public.
Meitu started 13 years ago and has become a well known firm in China for its photo selfie applications and smartphone technology. More recently, Meitu says that its board members have seen a “growing momentum” when it comes to cryptocurrencies. The company has noted well-established firms and operations like insurance companies making investments into crypto.
“An increasing number of listed companies are purchasing cryptocurrencies as part of their treasury management, as well as considering accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment for their goods and services,” the company’s announcement concludes.
What do you think about Meitu purchasing another 175 bitcoin this week? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG), the bitcoin investment arm of Stone Ridge Asset Management, is creating bitcoin-powered products and services for the $6 trillion global insurance industry. The company has formed strategic partnerships with major insurers, including Starr, Liberty Mutual, New York Life, and Mass Mutual.
NYDIG, a leading provider of technology and investment solutions for bitcoin, is bringing BTC to the global insurance industry. The company revealed on Thursday a plan to create “bitcoin-powered products and services for the $6 trillion/year global insurance industry.”
Having previously raised funds from New York Life and Mass Mutual, two major insurers focusing on life insurance and annuities, NYDIG has now “raised $100 million of additional growth capital” from property and casualty (P&C)-focused insurers. They include Starr Insurance and Liberty Mutual.
“The global property & casualty (P&C) industry is huge, paying out over $1 trillion in claims annually. I am excited to welcome Starr and Liberty Mutual to NYDIG, as part of our expansion of bitcoin into new areas of insurance,” commented Robert Gutmann, co-founder and CEO of NYDIG.
Ross Stevens, CEO of Stone Ridge and Executive Chairman of NYDIG, expressed:
Fiat depreciation causes inflation in fiat premiums, while collapsing the purchasing power of claims. We see a brighter bitcoin-powered future for the billions who depend on the insurance industry every year … We will be working tirelessly to enable new bitcoin-denominated products for global insureds.
Hank Greenberg, Chairman and CEO of Starr said: “We’ve been broadly and successfully investing with Ross and the Stone Ridge team across their various initiatives for years, including as a founding NYDIG investor in 2017.”
In tapping into the $9 trillion global insurance industry, Mike Sapnar, CEO of Transre, one of the world’s largest reinsurers, is joining NYDIG as Global Head of Insurance Solutions. He will oversee all of NYDIG’s insurance activities, with a focus on “accelerating bitcoin-driven innovation in the global property and casualty (P&C) industry.”
For the U.S. insurance industry, Matt Carey, NYDIG’s U.S. Head of Insurance Solutions, will be focused on bitcoin-powered solutions for U.S.-based insurers. He was formerly co-founder and CEO of Blueprint Income, the largest online annuity marketplace in the U.S., which was recently acquired by Mass Mutual.
What do you think about the insurance industry adopting bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.
Total Processing, a merchant services company has published a study this week about the most-watched cryptocurrency videos on Youtube during the last year. Even though bitcoin has climbed 700% since last April, ethereum has climbed 1,100% and videos pertaining to ethereum have accumulated the most views since April 2020.
Digital currencies have exploded in popularity during the last 12 months, and it’s hard to believe how much some coins have gained. There’s a lot of statistics that show the enormous growth of cryptocurrencies like onchain data, the community’s representation on social media, and crypto trading statistics. A firm called Total Processing decided to analyze the data on Youtube during the last year in order to calculate the most viewed crypto-centric videos. Data shows that the smart contract blockchain Ethereum has captured the most views in the last 12 months.
Stats from Total Processing’s data show that ethereum (ETH) videos obtained 231 million views on Youtube, while bitcoin (BTC) captured 199.9 million views. Those two digital assets capture the lion’s share of views and get 4x the amount of views that the third position holds. Chainlink (LINK) got 45.7 million views since April 2020 and the fourth position cardano (ADA) acquired 43 million views. Total Processing notes that while the media plays a big role in cryptocurrencies, “Youtube’s role is just as significant” the company says.
Behind cardano (ADA) is XRP which acquired around 38.5 million views on Youtube throughout the year. This is followed by litecoin (LTC 27.5M views), uniswap (UNI 27.3M views), binance coin (BNB 25.4M views), tether (USDT 22.8M views), and polkadot (DOT) which captured 18.8 million views during the last year.
Total Processing says that other coins and channels saw considerable traction in 12 months. For instance, JRNY Crypto published a video explaining which altcoins he would buy which increased the price of stormx by 189.68% in seven days. Total Processing looked at the crypto assets in the top ten and processed 10,000 videos in total during the course of the study.
What do you think about Total Processing’s findings in regard to Youtube views per cryptocurrency? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
The Free TON DeFi Alliance creates the necessary infrastructure to attract and maintain strong teams and projects, attracts liquidity from other projects to Free TON and creates partnerships with major companies with large amounts of liquidity and/or a large number of transactions.
Free TON DeFi Alliance is a new organization of like-minded people and businesses who share a common goal – to create an environment for substantial and sustainable Free TON DeFi ecosystem growth. The Alliance’s declared goals and focus are centered around economical aspects of the Free TON DeFi ecosystem: liquidity accumulation, new partner businesses engagement, bringing new projects and products to be built in Free TON blockchain, marketing and promotion, and new development teams support. The Alliance, also, sets a goal to become a security and auditing center of expertise, which is very important in the DeFi field.
The Alliance set up a partnership with the Free TON Community to lead the decentralized finance ecosystem growth of TON blockchain. For its side of the partnership, the FreeTON Community allocates tokens for liquidity into current and future DeFi products such as bridges, DEXes and more.
The Alliance members include Warp Capital, BR capital, BitScale and several private investors. These initial members provided liquidity of $500,000, which is proposed to be allocated on activities that would drive up the mass adoption of the Free TON DeFi ecosystem.
The DeFi market has shown x20 growth in one year with the major part of projects being built on the Ethereum blockchain. However, the quickly expanding user base started to create network overloads and drove the ETH gas price to the sky. This is now a huge turn-off for retail users.
This is where the partnership idea has come up – the underlying technology of Free TON can decrease fees and enable several mechanics like cashback for liquidity transferring from Ethereum to TON Blockchain.
The whole DeFi market is rapidly changing and evolving. Twenty-fold market cap growth wasn’t done solely by ETH Blockchain efforts. Binance Smart Chain, TRON, Cosmos, Polkadot – all have rock solid market positions, and have shown huge growth and acquisition of DeFi users, so it seems that it is very important to be quick and focused for both the Alliance and Free TON Community mutual efforts to provide a part of the market.
Currently there are several DeFi products in Free TON blockchain: recently ETH-TON bridge was released and the first TON-based decentralized exchange (DEX) is in beta-stage.
Similar organizations have already been created in the DeFi field. One of the most successful among these – DeFi Alliance – counts more that 60 companies among its members. Its members want to “grow DeFi to one billion users globally by 2025.”
About Free TON
Free TON is a community powered movement for a free and open decentralised internet. It’s a next-gen blockchain technology that belongs to no one and to everyone at the same time. The network does not have an owner or centralized management that decides what should be done or when, nor what tools or projects should run on it. Instead, Free TON practices decentralized governance principles empowering the community to engage, contribute and make decisions.
Technology-wise Free TON is the first multi-threaded, multi-sharded, highly scalable blockchain with low latency. It has an advanced Proof-of-Stake consensus and a versatile smart contract platform supporting several high level computer languages such as Solidity, C and C++. Free TON promotes a unique concept of End-to-End Decentralization which essentially moves DNS servers and storage on-chain, i.e., a decentralized backend. When this future development will be completed all data and privacy will be absolute.
To learn how Free TON was born out of the abandonment of the the Telegram Open Network by the private messaging giant Telegram due to the U.S. SEC, read Free TON, From an Abandoned Project to the Frontier of PoS Networks.
This is a sponsored post. Learn how to reach our audience here. Read disclaimer below.
The Swedish central bank keeps making steps towards modeling its e-krona pilot project by issuing a detailed report of the results of phase one for the path ahead. Riksbank is still optimistic about launching its central bank digital currency (CBDC), but there are hurdles to clear out on the road.
According to the report named “E-krona pilot phase 1,” the central bank highlighted that cash usage in Sweden is “declining.” That said, Riksbank sees potential problems arising from the decline in cash and is therefore running a project to investigate the possibility of producing a digital complement to cash.”
However, the central bank wants to take another year to make in-depth explorations to assess how current technical solutions could suit the e-krona project. Currently, the Swedish central bank is using the R3’s Corda blockchain platform.
Over the required additional year, the Riksbank wants “market actors” to be involved in the plan’s development, “who could potentially become participants in an e-krona network, to test this technical solution,” said the report.
Such comment could be suggesting that private firms and even commercial banks can participate in the CBDC pilot.
Another point mentioned in the report is the development of an “off-line function.” The central bank provided details on the matter:
The possibility to make off-line payments is prioritized, as mentioned earlier, and will be investigated further. During phase one, we have only made a theoretical analysis of the possibilities of the solution. During phase two, an off-line solution with local storage of keys and tokens will be implemented and used in further tests that can provide knowledge of the possibilities and limitations of the solution.
Moreover, the Riksbank wants to explore ways to develop solutions to store keys and tokens “in different ways,” containing the e-kronor.
Also, to ensure “the process of making payments in the network,” the Swedish central bank wants to develop support for addressing payments.
Among other details that the Riksbank mentioned in the report include “evaluating and improving performance and scalability in the e-krona network,” “integration with existing point of sale terminals,” and “analysis of the e-krona network infrastructure.”
Interestingly, Bloomberg called this report “the most advanced exploration of a post-cash era to be undertaken by a major, western economy.”
What do you think about this report released by the Riksbank on the e-krona pilot? Let us know in the comments section below.
According to Paypal cofounder Peter Thiel, the Chinese government, which detests the U.S. dollar’s reserve currency status, could be using bitcoin as a financial weapon against the U.S. While he concedes that China has no intentions of making the yuan renminbi a reserve currency, Thiel still thinks the Asian country may have longed bitcoin because it weakens the dollar’s influence.
Speaking at the recent Richard Nixon Foundation seminar, Thiel also suggested that China ideally prefers to have two reserve currencies that counter the dollar. He says the Asian country already uses the euro currency as a weapon against the dollar although he claims the “last decade hasn’t quite worked out that way.”
According to Thiel, a self-professed bitcoin maximalist, bitcoin has now become the second reserve currency that China uses to fight the dollar’s influence. Consequently, Thiel thinks the U.S. government should start asking tough questions about “how this works.”
Meanwhile, the Paypal co-founder also shared his thoughts on China’s apparent lead in the race to roll out central bank-issued digital currencies and if that should concern the United States. In dismissing China’s digital renminbi project, Thiel said:
Some internal stablecoin in China…that is not a real cryptocurrency, that’s just some sort of totalitarian measuring device.
In the meantime, another speaker at the same Richard Nixon Foundation seminar, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed with Thiel’s assessment of the digital yuan. In his address, the former secretary also offered his thoughts on why the U.S. is lagging behind China. He said:
My guess is we will not be the leader in this forefront, where an authoritarian regime like China sees nearly all upside from having the capacity to issue currency or take away currency.
Meanwhile, Pompeo predicts that many other countries will similarly create their own digital currencies in order to circumvent or evade U.S sanctions or penalties.
Although Pompeo confirmed that the U.S. is working on its own digital currency project, he, however, still concedes that his country will be slower in rolling this out.
Do you agree with Thiel’s remarks that BTC is being used as a financial weapon against the U.S.? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
A privately-held investment firm from Chicago, Marlton Partners, has urged Grayscale Investments to embrace the modified Dutch auction tender offer for GBTC shares. According to Marlton, such a tender offer “would materially narrow — if not eliminate — the discount to net asset value (NAV).” This, in turn, offers stockholders confidence “in the sponsor’s ability to manage the fund’s discount.”
Despite GBTC’s competitive advantage as the world’s largest bitcoin fund, GBTC shares continue to trade “at a significant discount to NAV.” According to Marlton Partners, this discount on NAV “currently represents over $3.1 billion in lost value to trust stockholders.”
Meanwhile, in an open letter addressed to the Grayscale Investments management, Marlton Partners’ managing member, James C. Elbaor, insists that current efforts to eliminate the discount have been proven to be inadequate. To bolster this argument, Elbaor points to Digital Currency Group (DCG)’s recent announcement of plans to purchase up to $250 million worth of GBTC shares. In the letter, Elbaor said:
While helpful, as you admit in your press release announcing the transaction, this action does not obligate DCG to acquire any specific number of shares during any period and may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice.
According to Elbaor, the market’s reaction to the announcement by DCG already proves the ineffectiveness of such an authorized purchase. At the time of writing, the discount on GBTC shares had widened to 11.45%.
In the meantime, Elbaor claims that Marlton’s proposed tender offer system gives “stockholders the ability to sell their shares for a specified price.” He says this can be done “within a particular window of time for an offered price at a premium to the market price and (is) contingent upon a minimum or a maximum number of shares sold.”
Further, the managing member tells Grayscale that “a clear capital allocation plan via a tender offer in GBTC, will distinguish you and GBTC as the sole digital currency asset manager creating stockholder value worthy of their 2% management fee beyond sole digital currency exposure.”
Meanwhile, Elbaor says while he expects these conversations (with Grayscale) to be productive, he insists Marlton Partners “reserves all rights to take further action in order to protect our investments and those of other stockholders.”
Do you agree that an auction offer system will eliminate the discount on GBTC shares? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a complaint against the blockchain-based file-sharing and payment network called Lbry last week, as the U.S. regulator has accused the company Lbry Inc. of selling unregistered securities. However, the CEO of Lbry denies the project’s native tokens are securities and says the SEC’s logic will put a number of public blockchain projects at risk.
U.S. financial regulators have filed a complaint against another blockchain project as the SEC claims the company Lbry Inc. sold unregistered securities. The SEC has used the Securities Act of 1933 to go after a number of blockchain projects and now it says that LBC tokens are unregistered securities. The SEC says that LBC tokens “were offered and sold as investment contracts, and therefore, securities.” Regulators say that the company “pooled the money” and also claims that Lbry Inc. is LBC’s biggest holder as well.
Prosecutors from the SEC believe that the company violated securities laws and that it should have registered LBC tokens with the regulator. The SEC seeks a permanent injunction and a disgorgement of alleged ill-gotten gains. The CEO of Lbry Inc., Jeremy Kauffman, does not agree with the SEC’s complaint and highlighted in a recent interview that the company did not hold an initial coin offering (ICO). “Under the logic advanced by the SEC…every actively developed blockchain is at risk, especially Ethereum,” Kauffman stressed.
The Lbry CEO added:
As long as Ethereum developers are coordinating in some way while holding the token, they are in danger.
When the complaint was filed by the U.S. regulator, discussions about the topic started picking up on social media and crypto forums. “I bet the real reason Lbry is under attack from the SEC is not the stated reason at all,” the host of the Youtube show “Colin Talks Crypto” tweeted. “I bet it’s because Lbry offers censorship-resistant video sharing of content the government wants censored.” In 2020 and into 2021, the Lbry platform swelled after Youtube censored and deplatformed a number of people over Covid-19 information and the recent Trump fiasco.
According to Jeremy Kauffman’s recent interview he’s been talking with crypto and blockchain supporters to rally against the SEC complaint. “If Lbry loses this case,” Kauffman insisted. “It will cripple the cryptocurrency industry and create huge disincentives to build these businesses in the United States. Any cryptocurrency that is actively developed would likely require substantial, expensive, and intrusive regulatory compliance every time it is exchanged,” he added.
What do you think about the SEC charging Lbry with an unregistered securities complaint? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
State Street, one of the largest asset management firms, is collaborating with crypto startup Pure Digital to set up a cryptocurrency trading platform. “Pure Digital will be a fully automated, high throughput OTC market for digital assets and cryptocurrencies with physical delivery and bank custody,” the company explains.
Puremarkets Ltd., with trading name Pure Digital, announced Thursday that it is launching a “new and unique wholesale digital currency trading platform.” The company has also “entered into an agreement with State Street’s Currenex” as the technology provider for the trading infrastructure.
State Street is one of the largest asset management companies in the world with $3.1 trillion under management and $38.8 trillion under custody and administration. It ranked 14th on the list of largest banks in the U.S. by assets. Currenex is a market-leading technology provider offering high-performance trading technology.
The announcement describes:
Pure Digital will be a fully automated, high throughput OTC market for digital assets and cryptocurrencies with physical delivery and bank custody.
“Pure Digital will be multi-custodial. Trading participants will be free to leverage their preferred digital asset custody solutions and manage risk through a smart custody routing mechanism,” the announcement further details.
“Institutional participants will trade on the platform utilizing bilateral credit enabling efficient capital utilization and control for all trading participants. This will establish a robust market for price discovery and exchange of risk,” Pure Digital explained. “Trading is expected to commence middle of 2021.”
David Newns, Global Head of Execution Services for Globallink, State Street Global Markets, commented:
Currenex is thrilled to leverage our experience and expertise in the FX and digital asset trading marketplace to provide Pure Digital with robust technology and infrastructure for this exciting digital currency trading initiative.
Additionally, Pure Digital and State Street intend to further explore the digital currency trading space, the announcement notes.
What do you think about State Street getting into cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments section below.
Billionaire real estate mogul Rick Caruso has revealed that his company has invested in bitcoin for its treasury and will begin accepting the cryptocurrency for rent payment at its properties. Among the tenants of one of his properties is Elon Musk’s Tesla. Caruso said, “We believe that cryptocurrency is here to stay.”
Billionaire real estate developer known for his lavish outdoor malls, Rick Caruso announced Wednesday on CNBC that his real estate company, Caruso Properties, has invested in bitcoin. In addition, he said the company “will begin accepting bitcoin as rent payment at its residential and retail properties.”
Established in 1987, his Los Angeles-based company has over 2.5 million square feet of property assets, its website details. Its properties include town centers, residences, offices, outdoor malls, apartments, and “a world-class resort.” Among them is The Grove, which Caruso described as “One of the highest-grossing shopping and entertainment centers in the country.” According to Forbes, Rick Caruso’s net worth is currently $4.2 billion. The Wall Street Journal calls him “Southern California’s retail King.”
The billionaire said his company has invested a portion of its corporate treasury in bitcoin and entered into a partnership with crypto exchange Gemini. He was quoted as saying:
We believe that cryptocurrency is here to stay. We believe that bitcoin is a right investment for us. We’ve allocated a percentage of what would normally go into the capital markets into bitcoin.
In addition to investing in bitcoin, Caruso’s company will also accept the cryptocurrency as a means of payment from its clients.
One of his tenants at the Americana at Brand center in Glendale is Elon Musk, the Technoking who operates a store selling Tesla electric cars at the center, the L.A. Times noted. Caruso said: “I haven’t talked to Elon about it. He may be the first, as a pioneer, to pay his rent in bitcoin.”
Musk’s electric car company has also invested in bitcoin and accepted it as a means of payment. The company informed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a filing that it invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin in January. Then, in March, Tesla began accepting BTC for payments. While a growing number of corporations are putting a certain percentage of their treasuries in bitcoin, not all of them have gone the full Tesla route of also accepting the cryptocurrency as a means of payment.
Caruso added that his company’s dive into bitcoin is a long-term bet, noting:
It’s not about the next year or five years. We’re looking forward to the next decade.
The billionaire real estate magnate explained that the Covid-19 pandemic is resulting in some fundamental changes in consumer behavior. He opined, “The companies that win their loyalty are going to be the companies that anticipate those changes and meet the consumer where they are, and that’s what Gemini is helping us do.”
Caruso elaborated that one example of using cryptocurrency is for his company’s consumer rewards. “Our loyalty program, what I envision in working with Gemini and the Winklevosses, is you will earn coin. You will earn a cryptocurrency,” he described, adding that consumers can then “spend at our properties.”
What do you think about Rick Caruso investing in bitcoin and accepting it for rent payment at his properties? Let us know in the comments section below.
PRESS RELEASE. Uquid Shop, the largest digital asset eCommerce platform is ready to buy and sell digital art, Social & Digital Content, Copyright Products, and Digitals Products involving non-fungible tokens(NFT). Uquid non-fungible tokens are known as NFTD.
Scheduled to take place in 2021, the Uquid NFTD project will be the first in the field of NFTs, where users can give a unique identity and list their Gaming streams, TikTok video content, Youtubers videos, Music Cd’s and Records and copyright contents and sell it. In a Uquid shop with a merge of NFT to an eCommerce store, it will be easy to buy or sell assets.
How is it Useful?
NFTD is a type of cryptographic token that represents a unique asset and these are the tokenized versions of digital or real-world assets. They function as verifiable proofs of authenticity and ownership within a blockchain network. NFTs are not interchangeable with each other and introduce scarcity to the digital world.
“NFTD is a smart NFT supermarket system for digitals products. In this smart shopping system, the sellers and each product they sell are identified as a unique tokenID. Once the transaction is completed, the buyer’s ownership will be confirmed immediately. “
NFTD token Information – Binance Smart Chain
NFTD Protocol is fueled by Uquid. This is a utility token on Binance Smart Chain.
Some of the Important Benefits of the Binance Smart Chain include:
Why is the NFTD necessary?
Currently buying on online shopping systems. the seller only ships the product directly to the buyer but does not give clear proof of ownership of the product. Sometimes this reduces the value of the goods if the buyer later wants to sell them to someone else. With NFTD this issue is resolved, every transaction completed on Uquid shop will include proof of the owner with the goods you purchased.
Use cases of NTFD
Photographs, Sculpture, Architecture and, Songs, Choreography, Sound recordings
Livestreamer Content, and Tweets & Social media Post
Subscription, Coupon, Vouchers & Gift cards
Uquid Marketplace is a pioneer in building bridges between Defi and e-commerce. September 2020 with the launch of the Uquid Defi Payment service. It enables the fast and transparent purchase of more than 40,000 digital products through the Uquid Shop portal. With a commitment to bringing crypto close and simple for everyone. Uquid will continue to evolve and promise to integrate thousands more physical products by 2021.
NFTD Platform : nft.uquid.com
This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.
A petition has been started calling on U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman-Designate Gary Gensler to end the lawsuit against Ripple Labs and its executives over XRP tokens. The petition also demands “a thorough investigation of the matters that led to the last-minute lawsuit against Ripple, filed on the last day in office by former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.”
An XRP advocate, Thomas Hodge, has started a petition on Change.org calling on SEC Chairman-Designate Gary Gensler to “end the war on XRP.” Gensler is President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the SEC following the departure of former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.
“We’re asking Gary Gensler, as soon as is confirmed as Chairman of the SEC, to take a close look at the SEC’s allegations against Ripple Labs, its cofounders, and the harm the SEC’s actions have already – and needlessly – caused to holders of the digital currency XRP,” the petition describes.
The SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple Labs, its CEO Brad Garlinghouse, and co-founder Christian Larsen in December last year, alleging that they sold $1.3 billion worth of XRP tokens without complying with federal securities laws.
The petition also asks Gensler to “Make a public commitment to sitting down with the holders of XRP and other digital assets to understand what it truly means to defend investors at the SEC.” It additionally asks Gensler to:
End the Ripple lawsuit and stop the SEC from making up cryptocurrency rules through lawsuits in place of writing these rules properly, with public input and partnership with the U.S. Congress.
Furthermore, the petition requests that “the SEC Inspector General conduct a thorough investigation of the matters that led to the last-minute lawsuit against Ripple, filed on the last day in office by former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.” The petition alleges that Clayton and SEC Director of Corporate Finance William Hinman are “closely linked to financial interests in bitcoin, ether and financial technology business in the People’s Republic of China.”
In conclusion, the petition demands: “Gary Gensler must end this practice of making policy through lawsuits, sit down with XRP holders themselves and listen to their stories. We want clear rules for everyone, not another SEC chairman picking winners and losers in a regulatory vacuum. And we demand an investigation that fully clarifies whether the SEC was protecting someone else’s interests instead of retail investors when the Ripple lawsuit was filed in December 2020.”
Ripple recently won discovery from the SEC and the court has ordered the commission to produce internal records relating to discussions of whether XRP tokens are similar to bitcoin and ether, which are currently not classified as securities.
What do you think about this petition to end the SEC lawsuit against Ripple? Let us know in the comments section below.
Cryptojacking activity seems to be losing momentum, specifically types that mine monero, as a recent report unveiled a slowdown in the illicit crypto-mining activities in the cloud. A threat intelligence firm compiled the results.
According to Unit 42 in their “Cloud Thread Report,” cryptojacking attacks have been decreasing for the first time since 2018 – the year when the firm started to trace illicit mining activities. But the study put its focus specifically on monero (XMR).
Threat actors in cryptojacking attacks mainly mine the privacy cryptocurrency, which has been well-document in other intelligence firms’ research.
Per the Unit 42 report, from December 2020 to February 2021, only 17% of organizations worldwide with cloud-based infrastructure had cryptojacking activity. It represents a decline compared to the figure from July to September 2020, where 23% of the firms reported such incidents.
Although the pandemic boosted authorized crypto-mining activity, the latest findings suggest that this is the first recorded drop in cryptojacking incidents since Unit 42 began tracking such attacks in 2018.
However, Unit 42 warns that companies are not taking enough security measures to prevent such attacks on their cloud infrastructures:
Organizations have neglected to invest in the cloud governance and automated security controls necessary to ensure that their workloads remain secure as they move to the cloud. In turn, they have created serious business risks such as exposing unencrypted sensitive data to the internet and inviting breaches by leaving insecure ports open. While our Unit 42 Cloud Threat Reports in 2020 identified similar problems, the numerous crises unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic have made the situation more challenging and widespread.
Still, the cyber intelligence firm raised red flags on the increasing number of other cyberattacks not related to the crypto sphere. These incidents are related to flaws also spotted on cloud infrastructures.
As of press time, according to markets.Bitcoin.com data, XMR is exchanging hands at $269.32, up 0.15% on the day, with a market capitalization of $4.82 billion.
What do you think about the report’s findings on cryptojacking activities? Let us know in the comments section below.
The new decentralized finance (defi) stablecoin project called Fei had some issues this week after the 1:1 USD pegged token dropped well below its targeted $1 value. The Fei project was supposed to be similar to Maker DAO’s algorithmic DAI stablecoin and it was backed by major venture capital firms.
On social media and forums, crypto advocates have been discussing the defi project called Fei after it lost its peg with the U.S. dollar this week. Currently, a single fei (FEI) is exchanging hands for $0.76 per unit but the price sunk lower than current exchange rates. Coingecko data shows a single FEI dropped to a market price low of $0.73 per token on April 7, 2021.
— banteg (@bantg) April 7, 2021
However, the Fei protocol’s bid hit $0.136 and crypto supporters started talking about the situation. Avalanche executive Emin Gün Sirer noticed the coin lost considerable value and spoke about the concept a great deal.
“FEI dropped down to $0.136. In the process, it should have taught everyone a few lessons about stablecoin design and, perhaps, crypto investing,” Emin Gün Sirer tweeted. FEI/TRIBE was a two-coin algorithmic stablecoin, with a twist. The twist was flawed from the start and it should have been possible to predict that this idea would not work,” he added.
The Avalanche founder and CEO continued:
In a typical two-coin algorithmic stablecoin, you have one coin, FEI, trying to maintain the peg, while the other one is used [to] absorb the volatility. Algorithmic stablecoins work very well when the demand for the coin is so high to be over the peg: you just mint more FEI to bring the price down to the peg. The actual challenge lies in what to do when demand is lagging and price is low.
A stablecoin’s biggest job is to maintain its peg and if it doesn’t then it can be a disaster in the marketplace. In the spring of 2019, Bitcoin.com reported on how the algorithmic stablecoin DAI struggled with its peg. Other popular stablecoins like tether (USDT) and USDC fluctuate but only by a couple of pennies or so either above or below depending on demand.
There have been other stablecoin failures in the past like when investors lost money with nubits (USNBT). The token remained pegged to the USD for quite some time after launch, until June 9, 2016 when it dropped well below the dollar peg. Today the so-called stablecoin nubits (USNBT) is only worth $0.22 per unit.
In more recent times, in November 2020, the OUSD stablecoin issuer, Origin Protocol suffered from a flash loan attack and the coin lost its peg. At press time, Coingecko stats show fei (FEI) has a fully diluted valuation of around $1.8 billion. Fei supporters and investors are confident the $1 target will be fixed in time.
What do you think about the issues with the Fei protocol stablecoin and how it lost its peg with the USD? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Everyone already knows that a hardware wallet is critical to protect your digital assets, but did you know that Ledger offers much more than that? By combining the hardware wallet with the Ledger Live app you can buy, sell, lend, swap and stake multiple cryptocurrencies – all in one place.
If you are an experienced crypto user you probably already know that a Ledger hardware wallet is the best solution to protect and own your private keys. In fact, you probably already own a Ledger hardware wallet as the company sold over 2 million hardware wallets in more than 165 countries since 2014. What you might not already know is that Ledger also offers a solution to accessing all your other crypto needs.
To access the full solution all you need is a hardware wallet combined with the Ledger Live app. This is easy and requires no further investment as all Ledger hardware wallets come with app. The app allows you to install crypto applications on your hardware wallet and to access other services. And the hardware wallet securely stores your private keys for each crypto you own and authenticates all transactions initiated in the app – this makes everything secure through one single solution.
In addition to having the best security this way, it’s also very convenient. You don’t need to depend on multiple platforms anymore. For example, no need to buy and manage your crypto on an exchange, then transfer them on a hardware wallet to secure it. When you buy through the Ledger app, your coins are immediately sent to the safety of your hardware wallet.
The Ledger Live app is available for mobile devices and desktop computers. As one would expect, combining it with a hardware wallet allows you to manage the more than 1800 supported digital assets, check your balances and portfolios as well as send and receive crypto transactions. But you can also access directly many services that some might be mistaken to think are only available on crypto exchanges or DeFi platforms.
With Ledger you can buy several top cryptos and pay using your Payment Card or a Bank Transfer. Made via a Coinify integration, the transaction is simple and once received you will be in charge of your own crypto through the safety of your Ledger hardware wallet. You can also sell bitcoin the same way.
You can swap more than 50 different crypto assets directly for one another with the Ledger app. This is done via a Changelly integration and allows you to exchange one digital asset for another with no fiat currencies involved.
The Ledger app allows you to lend tether, USDC and DAI through Compound Protocol. This could allow you to generate interest on your crypto assets while your cTokens are secured by your hardware wallet which means no one can claim your assets while lending them.
You can also stake via the Ledger app, earning yield from holding Tezos, Tron, Cosmos, Algorand and Polkadot. This means you can receive rewards while holding your tokens secure on your Ledger hardware wallet.
To access all these features and more connect your Ledger hardware wallet to the Ledger Live app right now!
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As demand for smart contracts climbs, Chainlink’s modular oracle for the Substrate framework aims to power developers and defi applications with trusted off-chain information and pricing data needed to attract projects to Polkadot and Kusama.
As the smart contract revolution continues to gain traction, the fissures and flaws in existing infrastructure that supports these transactional protocols are becoming more apparent. Among the chief issues facing smart contracts, costs and security are the main factors in the spotlight.
To continue growing and scaling these unique protocols while not only addressing the accompanying shortcomings, smart contracts will effectively need to be “smarter.” Yet, given blockchains’ validation constraints, which are intended to preserve stability and security, there is a barrier to off-chain information by design.
Concerning smart contracts, satisfying contractual conditions may depend on external data (like pricing for instance), which may not be available on the corresponding blockchain hosting the contract itself. Besides creating a unique headache for developers, it corresponding restricts the use cases of smart contracts.
Chainlink stepped in with one answer among the pioneering solutions after introducing “oracles” to the blockchain universe. The main idea behind oracles involves connecting trusted external data sources to smart contracts, providing the missing link between the onchain and offchain worlds.
Just like an API can connect two separate systems and share information, Chainlink can connect smart contracts to external data sources in the same manner. Akin to the premise that centralized sources of information can have a slant or bias, the idea behind Chainlink is to decentralize information inputs and outputs. This helps maintain a commitment to building open-source resources for developers that a single, controlling entity can’t compromise.
One of the main applications of Chainlink is pricing information, especially in the realm of decentralized finance (defi) applications. Borrowing and lending protocols like Aave already pull their rate pricing information from Chainlink, helping inform decisions and smart contract conditions. The architecture of oracles is such that they effectively provide another layer on top of existing blockchains, meaning they don’t compromise the integrity or security of the first layer.
Still, the oracle has many more applications besides defi. It can pull all manner of information, including weather conditions, sports results, and economic data changes, to name a few. To power these protocols and ensure greater adoption, smart contract access to off-chain data resources will be paramount.
Since Chainlink’s oracle was launched on Ethereum in 2019, it has been a mainstay among popular defi projects. Now the oracle is being adapted for other blockchains as the project attempts to maintain its agnostic stance. The latest iteration, designed for Polkadot and Kusama’s Substrate development framework, will act slightly differently from earlier versions.
Unlike the Ethereum version of Chainlink, which has nodes that report price information, Kusama and Polkadot parachains can individually determine whether they want to embrace Chainlink pricing data. By including their specific module, termed a “pallet,” developers can effectively bridge the Chainlink data into their respective smart contract applications.
For Polkadot Defi projects like Acala, this means that their parachain can choose to incorporate the oracle in a modular fashion. Yet, parachain projects that don’t need access to the data won’t be required to integrate the module. By extension, this means they won’t need to allocate any blockchain resources to Chainlink.
As defi projects seek greener pastures for more affordable cost structures and scalability, Polkadot and Kusama’s Chainlink integration will make it even easier for smart contract developers to make the leap. Meanwhile, a great number of alternative oracle-centric projects like Band, DIA, API3 are competing with Chainlink to offer similar services.
How do you see the oracles’ off-chain information impacting smart contracts usage? Let us know in the comments section below.
JPMorgan’s boss Jamie Dimon has a bone to pick with cryptocurrencies, shadow banking, and the financial technology (fintech) economy. In a letter to JPMorgan shareholders, Dimon explained that banks are “playing an increasingly smaller role in the financial system” and there’s a list of items like digital currencies he’s named that needs to be “dealt with – and rather quickly.”
Jamie Dimon has written a comprehensive letter to shareholders about the company’s accomplished goals and future concerns. Dimon’s letter, of course, meets the needs of his friends in Davos and the World Economic Forum’s 2030 playbook. The JPMorgan CEO addressed many of these targets like addressing climate change and lending more money to minorities who have limited access to banking.
In addition to the accomplishments and future changes, Dimon noted that financial incumbents are “bogged down in the past” and a concentration needs to be dedicated to the future.
Dimon highlights that U.S. banks have grown much smaller in comparison to shadow banks, fintech, and the magnitude of the ‘Big Tech’ companies. The JPMorgan CEO thinks however that it is “more important” for payment transactions to flow through the U.S. banking system than these alternatives.
“Transactions made by well-controlled, well-supervised, and well-capitalized banks may be less risky to the system than those transactions that are pushed into the shadows,” the letter to shareholders insists.
Still, Dimon recognizes the need for competition in the financial world.
“We need competition – because it makes banking better – and we need to manage the emerging risks with level playing field regulation in a way that ensures safety and soundness across the industry,” he stressed. Despite the competition, Dimon believes there are “serious emerging issues” that need to be “dealt with” soon.
“Not only are we slow in dealing with the past, but it distracts us from dealing with the future,” the JPMorgan boss emphasized. “There are serious emerging issues that need to be dealt with – and rather quickly: the growth of shadow banking, the legal and regulatory status of cryptocurrencies, the proper and improper use of financial data, the tremendous risk that cybersecurity poses to the system, the proper and ethical use of AI, the effective regulation of payment systems, disclosures in private markets, and effective regulations around market structure and transparency.”
Dimon has been well known for disliking cryptocurrencies and bitcoin and even called the leading crypto asset a “fraud” a few years ago.
Despite this, JPMorgan has shown strong interest in bitcoin (BTC) and the digital currency economy during the last year. In February even after calling cryptocurrencies the “poorest hedge for major drawdowns in equities” it said investors can allocate 1% of their portfolios in crypto assets.
What do you think about Jamie Dimon’s opinion about bitcoin needing to be “dealt with” rather quickly? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Following the acquisition of the Chinese mining pool Btc.com, the China-based lottery company 500.com revealed the purchase of a bitcoin mining rig manufacturer Bee Computing. The Shenzhen firm purchased the semiconductor and mining device manufacturer for roughly $100 million in a share exchange agreement.
On April 5, 2021, the company 500.com Limited (NYSE: WBAI) registered a statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in a Form 6-K filing. The Shenzhen-based firm detailed that it entered into a share exchange agreement with the company Bee Computing. The mining rig manufacturer Bee Computing was established in 2018 and the filing notes that it specializes in 7nm-powered mining machines. Additionally, after acquiring the well-established mining pool Btc.com, 500.com changed its name to “Bit Mining Limited.”
Bee Computing has two mining rigs and both leverage 7nm semiconductors. The Pumbaa mining machine gets around 52 terahash per second (TH/s) and the B2T series gets around 21 TH/s. The most powerful miner has an efficiency rating of around 54 joules per terahash (J/TH) and the B2T has around 55 J/TH. The share exchange agreement is noteworthy and totals around $100 million for the acquisition.
The company’s SEC filing explains:
Pursuant to the share exchange agreement, the company shall, subject to customary conditions, [and will] issue at the first closing an aggregate of 16,038,930, or US$35 million worth, of its Class A ordinary shares to the selling shareholders. The first closing is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2021. Subject to satisfaction of the following milestones, the company shall issue at the subsequent closing an aggregate of 29,786,600, or US$65 million worth, of its Class A ordinary shares to selling shareholders and research and development team members.
Bee Computing is expected to continue the mass production of bitcoin miners incorporated with 7-nanometer application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC). The manufacturer must continue the development of machines with 7nm technology and deploy ETH-based ASIC mining machines as well. Bit Mining also wants Bee Computing to develop litecoin (LTC) mining machines.
According to the filing, Bee Computing has invested over $35 million into R&D projects and leveraged Mediatek Inc., the largest IC design company in Asia to help with the 7nm chips. Yufei Jiang, CEO of Bee Computing says the chips stem from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).
What do you think about 500.com’s purchase of Bee Computing and its entry into the bitcoin mining space? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Allianz’s chief economic advisor Mohamed El-Erian says that bitcoin is not too big to fail and that governments may intervene. While he believes that cryptocurrency will grow in popularity, the economist says “it takes away a lot from governments,” adding that this asset “can only establish itself if governments allow it to.”
Mohamed El-Erian said in an interview with CNN Tuesday that bitcoin is not “too big to fail” and its failure could disrupt the global monetary system due to the “liquidity paradigm.”
El-Erian, an Egyptian-American businessman, is the president of Queens College, Cambridge University. He is also the chief economic adviser at Allianz, the corporate parent of PIMCO, one of the largest investment managers, where he was CEO and co-chief investment officer.
He explained that there are three types of crypto investors. The first type consists of those who use bitcoin to mitigate risk, viewing the cryptocurrency as the “least bad asset.” The economist explained that as the Fed has kept interest rates low, the price of government bonds has become artificially high, making them less attractive for investors looking to mitigate risk and diversify their portfolios. Usually, investors will turn to gold but since the metal is also experiencing difficulties, investors are turning to bitcoin despite its volatility, he noted.
The second type comprises speculators and the third type of investors are those who truly believe that there will be a debasement of currencies. The economist added that investors are assuming that crypto assets will grow in popularity in the private sector and governments will not interfere. While El-Erian also believes that demand for cryptocurrencies will rise, he is unsure about the government not intervening. The Allianz chief economic advisor cautioned:
I tend to tell people: be really careful. This is an asset that wants to establish itself, but it can only establish itself if governments allow it to. And it takes away a lot from governments.
As for whether bitcoin is too big to fail, he said: “From a narrow perspective, it’s not too big to fail. From a broader perspective, that would be another challenge for the liquidity paradigm.”
He elaborated that there is plenty of liquidity “sloshing around the system,” but “excessive and irresponsible risk-taking” is still being encouraged in certain areas. El-Erian noted that last week, the implosion of Archegos Capital caused several stocks to tumble and led to billions of dollars in losses for investment banks. Moreover, the financial market chaos in January surrounding Gamestop and other heavily shorted meme stocks drove up their prices and squeezed short sellers.
Do you think bitcoin is too big to fail? Let us know in the comments section below.
PRESS RELEASE. Blockchain-based carbon offset platform XELS provides global access to the decentralized carbon market and its ERC20 token will launch on Bittrex Global on April 8th, 2021.
7th April 2021, Date Tokyo, Japan — XELS is one of the leading startups tackling climate change by increasing participation and transparency in carbon markets, listed its eponymous XELS token on Bittrex Global on April 8th, 2021.
Tokenized Carbon Credits
XELS will provide both businesses and individuals access to a blockchain-based carbon offset platform, initially focused on tokenized voluntary carbon offset credits. These credits are increasingly attractive to companies that want to show consumers they’re serious about reducing their carbon footprint.
Tackling Fraud With Blockchain
Since the birth of carbon markets following the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement, fraud has hindered the effectiveness of carbon credit sales and trading. Bad actors sometimes sell fake or expired credits, and “recycling” fraud had led to the double spending of unretired credits. Carbon markets are the perfect use case for blockchain’s distributed ledger technology, as transactions cannot be modified, reversed, or duplicated. Tokenized carbon credits can also be “burned,” with a public transaction hash proving it has been retired forever.
XELS founder and CEO Takeshi Nojima explains the XELS vision:
“We believe that decentralization is the only way that carbon markets can work effectively. XELS will enable the industry to maintain open, transparent records – from generation, to sale, to retirement. Making it easy for corporations to transparently offset their carbon without fear of fraud will make them even more willing to combat global warming, and it will pay dividends as far as consumer trust that they’re truly intent on making a difference for the environment.”
The XELS Token
XELS will exist as a platform token that will be used to access a future suite of stablecoins that are pegged to various industry-standard voluntary carbon offset credits. In the future, the company also seeks to offer “compliance” credits, which are heavily regulated under national cap and trade agreements.
Japan lags behind European nations, where businesses are compelled to buy compliance credits to avoid heavy taxes. XELS is already in talks with numerous listed companies in Japan that are keen to get on board with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s target of reaching net zero domestic emissions by 2050.
Reducing Blockchains Carbon Footprint
While XELS will exist as an ERC20 token at launch, the company is cognizant of concerns surrounding the high energy consumption associated with Ethereum, Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies.
Later this year, XELS will migrate to a proprietary, low-energy blockchain that the company has been developing since 2017. XELS Chain takes a hybrid proof-of-stake and proof-of-work approach, while enabling users to run a full node on a basic laptop without the need for power-hungry mining hardware.
From April the 8th, 2021 the XELS platform token will be available to trade on leading cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex Global.
Businesses or individuals interested in accessing the decentralized carbon market of the future with XELS, can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Media Contact Details
Contact Name: Mitch Hammer
Contact Email: email@example.com
Contact Phone: +81 80 9400 0536
Learn more about XELS – https://www.xels.io/
Buy XELS on Bittrex Global – https://global.bittrex.com/
Follow XELS on Twitter – https://twitter.com/xels_PR
Join the XELS community on Telegram – https://t.me/xelscoin
Find XELS on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/XELS-COIN-1867938109912219/
XELS is the source of this content. This Press Release is for informational purposes only. The information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest.
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A South African cryptocurrency exchange, Ice3x, announced on April 6, that it will permanently stop operations, less than a month after suspending bitcoin and litecoin withdrawals. Ice3x, which one of the oldest crypto exchange in that country, says it came to this decision after lawyers advised the firm to start liquidation proceedings.
In a statement sent to clients on April 6, the exchange claims it “processed the withdrawals which have already been submitted” and therefore, “all withdrawals from the platform have been disabled.” However, in the same statement, Ice3x urges frustrated clients to remain calm and “respectful.”
The statement continues:
Please be conscious of the fact that staff are operating under extreme pressure at the moment, and can only provide assistance as directed. We understand your frustration but please be respectful when communicating with the service desk staff.
According to the statement, Ice3x was scheduled to “provide further details and the next steps” on April 7. At the time of writing, there had been no new updates on the exchange’s website.
However, according to a report by one local crypto media outlet, Ice3x’s announcement on March 16 may have been prompted by liquidity challenges that the exchange experienced prior to the suspension of trading. To support this theory, the report quotes an unidentified and distressed Ice3x client who claims that when bitcoin dropped in value, the “stop losses on his order did not execute at his desired trigger price, but instead executed far lower.”
According to the local report, this problem hints at “a lack of liquidity on the platform required to buy up stop orders of that nature.” At the time of writing, the Ice3x founder and CEO Gareth Grobler had reportedly not responded to requests for more information.
Meanwhile, the information on the exchange’s website shows that Ice3x went on to issue some 14 updates after the exchange initially reported discrepancies in balances. In its last update, the exchange asks clients “not to create multiple tickets” saying this “only increases the workload and amount of tickets the team needs to go through, which delays the operations significantly.”
What are your thoughts on Ice3x’s decision to stop operating? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
This latest move to broaden cooperation between Cardano and Coti builds upon previous collaborations as the former seeks to upgrade its payment solution on top of the former’s expanding financial infrastructure.
One of the earliest proposed use cases for blockchain was the democratization of financial services, namely by reaching unbanked and underbanked communities worldwide.
From remittance payments, access to credit facilities, or even just digital wallet solutions, advancements across the blockchain landscape have finally made this vision a reality. Among them, Coti is developing the enterprise-grade base layer for the rest to build atop of.
Coti, which is short for “currency of the internet,” operates a fintech platform that supports stakeholder-driven payment solutions and empowers these stakeholders to digitize any currency. This aim aligns with Cardano’s ambitions of affordably and instantaneously transferring value between parties, and the highly scalable throughput available from Coti’s platform provides an exceptional foundation.
To help the Cardano network upgrade its payment solution for the forthcoming Shelley mainnet launch, Cfund, the Cardano ecosystem venture fund, has made a strategic investment in Coti. Although the investment terms were not disclosed, this is the first-ever allocation from the fund, which Wave Financial and Iohk oversee. Cfund endeavors to identify projects that work harmoniously with Iohk’s blockchain platforms, among them Cardano.
For Cardano, the value in embracing Coti’s solution lies in the opportunity to transparently and flexibly promote its native ADA token as a rapid payment method. The two organizations have already successfully partnered, resulting in the Ada Pay solution’s launch in 2019.
The solution allows merchants to accept ADA as payment and instantly convert the proceeds into 35 supported fiat currencies to avoid any corresponding volatility. Moreover, brick-and-mortar stores can adopt the solution thanks to the point of sale QR code scanner, making it straightforward to transact in ADA.
Thanks to Coti’s infrastructure, which already supports 100,000 transactions per second, making it highly scalable but simultaneously cheap to transact and secure, Ada Pay has already been touted for its high degree of integrability.
The latest tie-up represents another step toward strengthening Cardano’s payments infrastructure for expanded use in financial transactions. With Cardano’s native ADA cryptocurrency already popular, ranking as the sixth-largest token by market capitalization at the time of writing, greater transactional acceptance could expand the value of this network even further.
Though the collaboration will initially focus on upgrading Ada Pay, the organizations plan to expand their cooperation in other areas, with fresh product and service developments expected in the second half of 2021.
Have you ever used Ada Pay? How was the experience? Let us know in the comments section below.
The value of Ripple’s XRP token soared to $1.09 on April 6, 2021, making it the first time the crypto has surged past the $1 mark in nearly three years. The token’s new 52 week high has coincided with an altcoin price rally which has seen the value of some tokens surging to new all-time highs. However, at the time of writing, XRP had retreated to just under $1 as the altcoin rally appeared to tapper off.
Meanwhile, XRP’s rally, which has seen the value of token more double in the past seven days, comes as the token issuer, Ripple continues to battle the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In its latest piece on the SEC vs Ripple legal battle, Bitcoin.com News reported that a U.S. Court had stopped an attempt by the SEC to block XRP holders from joining the case.
In late December 2020, the SEC sued Ripple after accusing the fintech firm of issuing securities (XRP tokens) in violation of the U.S. Securities Act. Immediately following the announcement of the lawsuit, the value of XRP crashed. For instance, data on Markets.bitcoin.com shows that XRP crashed to $0.22 on December 29, from a trading price of $0.55 on December 19. In addition to the price crash, some crypto exchanges also responded to the controversy by delisting the token.
However, despite the ongoing challenges, the token has now reversed most of the losses it suffered after the SEC filed the lawsuit. For instance, Markets.bitcoin.com data shows that in a period starting between March 31 and April 6, the value of XRP token went up from $0.55 to $1.09 respectively.
At the time of writing, XRP’s market cap of nearly $41 billion which sees it capture a new position as one of the four biggest crypto assets. Still, the token remains behind Binance’s BNB which is now ranked as the third-highest crypto asset after BTC and ETH. Today, XRP is trading for just under $1 at $0.90 per unit.
What are your thoughts on XRP’s surge? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
Coinbase has announced its earnings estimates for the first quarter of 2021. The company says its estimated revenue for the period is nine times more than the amount generated in the same period last year. In addition, the crypto platform says it has 56 million verified users and a total trading volume of $335 billion.
Cryptocurrency exchange operator Coinbase Global announced its first quarter estimated results and full year 2021 outlook on Tuesday, ahead of the company’s initial public offering (IPO) on Nasdaq next week.
For the first quarter ended March 31, Coinbase expects total revenue of approximately $1.8 billion, which is more than nine times the $190.6 million revenue generated in the same quarter last year. In addition, the company expects its net income to be approximately $730 million to $800 million, up from $31.9 million a year ago.
Coinbase also expects a total trading volume of $335 billion during the same period with total assets on the platform of $223 billion, representing an 11.3% crypto asset market share. This includes $122 billion of assets from institutions.
Commenting on his company’s userbase, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said during the Q1 earnings call on Tuesday: “We announced 56 million verified users for Q1 of 2021. We often talk about our addressable market as anyone with a smartphone, which is 3.5 billion people today and growing.” Moreover, Coinbase says it has Monthly Transacting Users (MTUs) of 6.1 million.
Armstrong added: “Coinbase will ultimately strive to support every legitimate cryptocurrency in the market. In Q1 alone, we added support for 18 new assets, bringing the number of unique assets supported on our platform to 108. For comparison, this is up from over 40 assets at the end of 2019 and 90 assets at the end of 2020.”
What do you think about how much Coinbase has grown? Let us know in the comments section below.
PRESS RELEASE. Bitcoin.com Exchange is thrilled to announce the listing of IQQ which occurred on the 31st of March 2021 at 10:00AM UTC. IQQ was created by IQONIQ FanEcosystem, as the utility token to reward entertainment and sports fans for their engagement. IQQ started trading with ETH, USDT and BTC pairs.
IQONIQ is a new fan engagement platform that exclusively targets the sports and entertainment world. Existing social networking sites are not tailor made for sports and entertainment, with fans of idols and organisations in sports and entertainment often having to scour multiple platforms to get the content they desire. And when they get it, the content is often only one-way and detached, leaving many fans unfulfilled and wanting more.
By combining all the modern-day features of fandom into a single platform, IQONIQ provides fans with a unique fan club, which offers an all-in-one, game changing solution. IQO offers fans a more personal fan experience, with tailored content to their needs, unique opportunities to interact with their heroes, and fun games to play alongside fellow fans. IQONIQ offers fans a more rewarding fan experience, with loyalty programmes and membership schemes giving back to the most dedicated fans, as well as special offers for merchandise and tickets, and the opportunity to win exclusive fan experiences. And finally – IQONIQ offers fans a more purposeful fan experience, with the IQONIQ Foundation established to promote good causes, and idols and organisations in sports and entertainment being able to raise support for initiatives close to their heart – all in an open and transparent manner.
IQQ is a utility token supporting the IQONIQ fan ecosystem. The IQQ token allows holders to access merchandise, tickets, souvenirs, NFTs and win prizes associated with their favourite team on the app. Fans on the platform can customise their experience to their budget and preferences, closing the engagement gap between fans and idols. Idols can use IQONIQ to have conversations with their fans and monetise on fans who are willing to pay for higher engagement with them. By owning the IQQ tokens, users are rewarded with:
The more engaged a fan is within the platform and based on the quantity of IQQ tokens the Fan owns, the more IQONIQ Loyalty Points they can earn, opening up a myriad of opportunities to become one with their idols and organisations in sports and entertainment. IQQ holders are also rewarded with a range of other benefits such as:
Danish Chaudhry, CEO of Bitcoin.com Exchange, shared his views on IQONIQ’s platform: “The recent pandemic has really shown us the importance of diversifying business models and finding better ways to engage with your fans. This is particularly true for sports organisations that are known to be following traditional models. We’re very excited to see how IQONIQ can empower these organizations as well as their fans to engage in more meaningful ways. By listing the IQQ token, we’re making it more accessible to a broader audience and supporting its growth.”
Kazim Atilla, Founder and CEO of IQONIQ, expressed his enthusiasm by saying: “We are happy to be listed on Bitcoin.com Exchange, and would like to broaden our reach to crypto enthusiasts around the world. Our project is not mainly focused around blockchain and crypto, but rather bridges between the Sports and Entertainment world, along with the Blockchain world, in the best possible way. Users of the IQONIQ App don’t need to understand blockchain or crypto, and they don’t need to hold tokens to use our app and benefit from our ecosystem. For them, they see tiers of Loyalty points, and an ecosystem that enables them to enjoy a game-changing holistic solution.”
About Bitcoin.com Exchange
The mission of Bitcoin.com Exchange is to empower people from all over the world to trade cryptocurrencies with ease and confidence, from first-time traders to advanced trading professionals. With high liquidity, 24/7 multilingual support and dozens of trading pairs, complemented with a high level of security, we offer an attractive platform for trading any cryptocurrency. Within one year since launch, on average, our exchange has been visited by more than 500K active traders per month, and this number continues to grow as you read this sentence.
IQONIQ is revolutionizing the multi-billion-dollar Sport & Entertainment industry by introducing a best-of-its-kind social engagement platform that enables sport clubs, athletes and entertainers to manage and monetize the value of their global fragmented fan base and social media assets better. It provides fans with a richer, rewarding and more personal relationship with their idols and clubs, with a universal, seamless, and gamified loyalty platform and many other features integrated in the IQONIQ App. IQONIQ is building a complete fan-centric ecosystem, and bridging it to the blockchain world. IQONIQ also provides a digital sports-focused marketplace and a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) platform. Partner companies are able to mint the NFTs, connecting them to the real world- or entirely digital assets. Users can buy and sell sports collectibles and items powered by state of the art decentralised ledger technologies. IQONIQ platform is a partly built blockchain technology. The main features of the technology are utilized in processes where a decentralized ledger technology adds value.
Ripple Labs has reportedly won discovery from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The court has ordered the commission to produce internal records relating to discussions of whether XRP tokens are similar to bitcoin and ether, which are currently not classified as securities.
A telephonic discovery conference was held Tuesday for the case against Ripple Labs brought by the U.S. SEC. Ripple Labs reportedly “won discovery” from the SEC.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn said, “I’m going to grant in large part the defendants’ motion,” noting that it was a “high-stakes” discovery win. she then proceeded to order the SEC to produce internal discussions relating to whether XRP tokens are similar to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH), which are currently not regulated as securities.
The judge clarified that email communications between staff members are not required to be produced. However, other records, such as SEC minutes and memos, “expressing the agency’s interpretation or views” on cryptocurrencies are likely discoverable.
The commission sued Ripple Labs, its CEO Brad Garlinghouse, and co-founder Christian Larsen in December last year claiming that they sold $1.38 billion of XRP tokens without complying with federal securities laws. The case is also being overseen by U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres.
Ripple and its executives argue that one of the reasons the SEC did not take enforcement action on XRP for eight years is that the commission was confused whether XRP was more like bitcoin and ether, which have not been deemed securities, or like other cryptocurrencies and tokens which have been classified as securities.
Matthew Solomon, a counsel for Garlinghouse, said prior to the Tuesday ruling, “We need this discovery to defend ourselves.” He explained that if the defendants find evidence indicating that the SEC thought XRP was akin to bitcoin or ether, it could be “game over” for the whole lawsuit.
What do you think about the court ruling in favor of Ripple against the SEC? Let us know in the comments section below.
Github services is under investigation after a series of reports on attacks against one of its infrastructures by running unauthorized crypto mining apps. Cybercriminals allegedly exploited some security flaws that could have been exploited to mine cryptos illicitly.
According to The Record, a Dutch security engineer, Justin Perdok, detected a cyberattacker targeting repositories belonging to Github. Attacks have been taking place since November 2020, said the report.
Perdok pointed out that the series of attacks “abused a Github feature called Github Actions,” which allows users to automatically execute workflows and tasks only when a specific event happens and then pull the trigger on the repositories.
That said, threat actors are taking advantage of the repositories where Github Actions are already enabled. The Record provided details on how the attack takes place:
The attack involves forking a legitimate repository, adding malicious GitHub Actions to the original code, and then filing a Pull Request with the original repository in order to merge the code back into the original.
However, the engineer clarified that the attacker just needs to fill the “Pull Request” to deploy the malicious workflows. Once it’s loaded, Github’s systems will be cheated, as it will read the attacker’s code and then download a crypto-mining software automatically.
But the malicious campaign seems to be powerful than thought, as Perdok told The Reported that he already detected hackers deploying almost 100 crypto-mining apps – such as Srbminer – in one single attack to mine multiple cryptocurrencies.
Still, the attack seems not to pose a danger to the users’ projects on the platform.
Github already commented on the matter, saying that they’re aware of the issue and “are actively investigating.” However, Perdok stated Github provided him that same comment last year when he reported the flaw.
What do you think about this flaw in Github’s infrastructure? Let us know in the comments section below.
At Barter Smartplace, collectors can use barter exchange as the best way to build a collection. Trade coins for paintings, sculptures for digital art, a 1960s car for a collection of several gold coins, and many more exchange options are now available through barter.
Barter Smartplace is a decentralized exchange for the barter trade of goods, currencies, and digital assets. The project has been developed with its own and private investment funds since December 2018, and this week the long-awaited launch of the NFT Marketplace took place with a security audit from Certik.io – the leaders of the blockchain security market for smart contracts. Barter is attracting a new round of funding to scale the capabilities of the Smartplace platform. The main goal is to create a legally significant basis for the transfer of ownership of goods through smart contracts and NFTs.
Barter Smartplace Features
Barter creates a blockchain platform for barter transactions, the objects of which can be any tokenized assets, real goods, and liquid currencies.
The development of the Barter ecosystem is based on the innovation of the proposed solutions and practical value for the market. Barter is built on three pillars: safety, convenience, and affordability.
Any Smartplace user can create a new NFT, be it CryptoArt, a game character, or even a real product or real estate object. The company is expanding the scope of NFT by applying the BEP-721 and BEP-1155 standards on Binance Smart Chain to tokenize ownership of real assets to connect the real world with the digital one.
It costs 10 BRTR to tokenize a product or create a digital NFT. From NFT, users create ads and offer barter exchange for other goods or supported cryptocurrencies: BRTR, BNB, BTC, ETH, BUSD, DOGE, and also have the opportunity to put them up for auction. The commission for placing an ad is paid in BRTR and is only 0.02% of the cost of goods in the ad – the demand for the token is provided by the demand for trade.
By combining real goods with digital ones, Smartplace offers an amazing opportunity to barter value from two different Worlds.
Barter as a New Era of NFT Trading
At Barter Smartplace, collectors can use barter exchange as the best way to build a collection. Instead of “selling the unnecessary and buying the needed” every time, you can exchange your collectibles directly without selling, using barter trade. Trade coins for paintings, sculptures for digital art, a 1960s car for a collection of several gold coins, and many more exchange options are now available through barter.
Barter allows you to exchange goods without using money. Owning the BRTR token opens up the opportunity to use all the advantages and functions of the marketplace. Barter Smartplace has streamlined complex barter and made a long-forgotten type of trading instant and convenient.
Legal Decentralized Commerce
The NFTs have provided the crypto market with the long-awaited commodity liquidity that has been lacking to attract the massive adoption of crypto payments in real goods trading. The volume of decentralized commerce is growing weekly and this area is at risk of becoming DeFi 2.0 in the blockchain industry by 2021. The demand for commerce in the new market is generating proposals for the use, movement, and exchange of digital goods.
The main problem in the NFT market is the lack of a legal basis for the transfer of ownership of an asset. If, when buying digital NFT goods, they immediately move to the buyer’s wallet, then when buying real tokenized assets, physical delivery of goods or the fact of acceptance and transfer is almost always required – after which the “digital right to the asset” can change the owner.
Barter Smartplace offers a solution – user verification and identification of ownership of the real tokenized product. To increase the security of transactions, only a verified user can create new NFTs for real goods. Participants, in the course of the transaction, Smartplace will offer to read the contract and sign it with an electronic signature. The real NFT ownership transfer register is stored distributed across multiple servers that hold BRTR holders. Legal agreements on transactions are available in the user’s personal account.
Smartplace has high growth potential and wide horizons for scaling, offering new opportunities for the decentralized trading market – NFT as digital ownership. The main part of the ecosystem is the formation of a register of tokenized real assets – real estate, transport, precious stones and metals, art objects, jewelry, etc. On Barter Smartplace you can exchange a car for an apartment, buy a house with gold or jewelry, exchange a land plot for a share in a company or stock, pay with your services for other services or even goods, and perform many other options for barter relations.
NFT collateral as new opportunities
The Barter Smartplace team is currently exploring the possibilities of collateralizing NFTs for cryptocurrency and will soon add this solution as the platform is scaling.
An example of how asset collateral against BRTR works:
Alice has a product that she wants to sell in order to buy another product. But, at the moment, there is no possibility of “commodity-commodity” barter. Nevertheless, there is a product she needs, pledged by another user of the platform against BRTR tokens. The product that Alice needs is in the list of “auction” products that have not been redeemed back by their owners after the expiration of the specified period.
Alice proceeds as follows:
Alice places her product on Smartplace in the corresponding section and immediately receives an equivalent amount of BRTR tokens in return (for example, 10,000 BRTR). Alice can spend tokens on other collateral assets available for purchase, including through an auction, in order to immediately purchase the product she needs. If Alice wants to return her product back, then in order to redeem this product, the same number of BRTR tokens should be returned (10,000 BRTR).
Provided that the buyback is not executed within the specified period, the asset is put up for auction until a buyer is found. The auction ends 1 day after the last bid.
Thus, Barter Smartplace solves the problem of the complexity of multilateral barter by using the BRTR token as an effective means of payment when pledging assets for use in multilateral barter transactions.
The BRTR token expresses the “value” of each product, therefore it can be called the clearing currency on the Barter Smartplace platform. BRTR is a universal measure of value in multilateral barter. By turning to multilateral barter, everyone can “get rid” of unnecessary goods in exchange for BRTR tokens, which can later be used to buy out other necessary goods.
Benefits for users
Now Barter Smartplace is open to all users who have connected their wallet to the application. Everyone can create NFTs for both digital and real goods and services. Everyone who has at least one trade or creation of one NFT in 2021 will be awarded BRTR tokens, but the more trades and NFTs created through Smartplace, the greater the reward.
Legal contracts accompanying real value goods transactions are planned to be added later this year. Then there will be a mandatory verification of users who want to exchange real assets. Also, the tokenization of real assets will be available only to verified users.
Join the new NFT barter marketplace Barter Smartplace now. Create your NFTs, tokenize real assets, and participate in the development of the largest project in the world of decentralized commerce.
Barter Smartplace Platform Features:
– Trading based on a digital legal contract.
– Remote conclusion of trade agreements of any complexity.
– Barter, auction, and direct trading are available on the platform.
– Possibility of both bilateral and multilateral barter.
– Formation of a register of digitized real and virtual assets.
– Tokenization of real estate, transport, precious stones and metals, art objects, jewelry, and more.
– Logistic barter.
– Possibility to save on costs.
– Create, trade, and exchange NFTs.
– Dark Pool for NFT – a pool of confidential trade offers.
How to buy BRTR tokens?
You can buy BRTR through the Barter Wallet Bot telegram bot using Visa / Mastercard or ETH, BUSD, BNB, BTC, DOGE. The bot also provides an opportunity to play games and earn 0.1% per day staking while keeping BRTR in the account; trade on a P2P exchange and send cryptocurrencies for free in the community chat – read the instructions for the bot.
Soon, users, in addition to Metamask, will be able to connect their wallets from the Barter Wallet bot to the Smartplace to create and trade NFTs from their telegram account.
Barter Smartplace seeks to optimize the real world through the possibilities of the virtual one. Decentralized commerce is developing at a geometric pace along with the popularization of NFT and Smartplace has a strong position in this market, improving the trading processes of the future. The project was created long before NFT became mainstream, so there is reason to believe that the team will show the full power of the Barter Smartplace digital trading platform already in 2021.
Visit https://barter.company for other digital products, such as the handy mobile DeFi wallet Barter Wallet, which will soon be available for Android and iOS. The Barter team is preparing for a large-scale market launch.
Stay connected with the project on social networks:
Find out more about the history of the project in the Company Blog
Join the Barter team community via telegram chat
Read the project’s Twitter to stay informed about updates
Use Barter Wallet Bot for BRTR
Create NFTs for real and digital assets and exchange here – Barter Smartplace is available for everyone and everywhere smartplace.barter.company
Contact the project team: firstname.lastname@example.org
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A new report commissioned by the U.S. secret services unveiled what happened behind the attack launched by North Korean hackers against a South Korean crypto exchange. The case is about a breach on June 29, 2017, which exposed data tied to over 30,000 customers stemming from Bithumb.
According to Maeil Kyungjae, the U.S. authorities found that North Korean hackers got access to personal data and funds from customers then demanded a ransom payment afterward. The blackmailers targeted the crypto exchange Bithumb by asking them for 20 billion won ($16 million).
Moreover, threat actors are also accused of sending malicious code through fake job applications to Bithumb employees. It was done reportedly during a hiring season that the company had over that year.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) collaborated with the South Korean authorities in making the correspondent inquiries on the case. On the ransom note, hackers threatened Bithumb to “sell or destroy the customer’s virtual currency unless a certain amount is given.”
Although the name of the cybercriminals wasn’t specified in the U.S. security report, Lazarus Group could likely be the masterminds of the attack.
In fact, the local media outlet related them with past significant cyberattacks, whose authorships are attributed in the indictments filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to hackers “belonging to the North Korean Reconnaissance Office,” which are more specifically Lazarus Group.
Recently, as Bitcoin.com News reported in February 2021, the U.S. DOJ unsealed new charges against the North Korean state-sponsored hackers.
The hackers are allegedly responsible for stealing over $1.3 billion in cryptocurrencies and fiat during coordinated cyber-heists over the last few years.
Law enforcement revealed a case related to an unnamed Slovenian crypto company. Per the court documents, the hackers participated in the theft of $75 million from such a firm in December 2017.
They were also involved in a $24.9 million theft of another crypto business in September 2018, but this time in Indonesia.
What are your thoughts on the U.S. authorities’ report on Bithumb’s data breach in 2017? Let us know in the comments section below.
Over the last twelve months wrapped or synthetic bitcoin projects have swelled a great deal. The digital token called wrapped bitcoin, for example, has 141,503 WBTC in circulation today, but the token called the Bitcoin BEP 2 (BTCB) has gathered some steam. Currently, there are 39,719 BTCB out in the wild today as the bitcoin-pegged token now has a larger market valuation than HBTC (27,906).
On April 6, Ki Young Ju the CEO of the onchain data web portal Cryptoquant tweeted about an interesting transaction he had caught onchain. “Binance just sent 26k BTC to [the] BTCB reserve address. BTCB is a Bitcoin-pegged token on the Binance chain. The current circulating supply of BTCB is 39,719 BTC, and it seems this [will] increase soon. It might be a bullish signal for BNB,” the Cryptoquant executive said.
The token Bitcoin BEP 2 otherwise known as BTCB is a bitcoin-pegged token that is similar to competitors like WBTC, HBTC, RENBTC, SBTC, and more. Binance gave a comprehensive description of the BTCB project back in June 2019. The company said it was launching a pegged token for BTC but would also create pegged tokens for other leading cryptocurrencies.
“The main benefit of offering crypto-pegged tokens is that, obviously, this makes available to Binance Dex traders the many coins that have their own blockchains and aren’t native on Binance Chain,” the company said at the time.
Now WBTC or the Wrapped Bitcoin project that leverages Bitgo as the BTC reserve custodian towers over the Binance BTCB reserve balance with 141,503 WBTC. However, Binance has quickly moved ahead of the pack with its 39k stash of BTC held in reserves.
There is no doubt that Ethereum-centric projects like WBTC, BTCB, and others have cemented the chain’s role as BTC’s dominant sidechain. The RSK sidechain only has a circulating supply of 925 RBTC and Blockstream’s Liquid only has 2,884.67 LBTC in circulation.
The BTCB tokens in circulation are 90% larger than RSK and Liquid’s reserves combined. While combining data from RSK, Liquid, the BTCB contract, and “bitcoin held on Ethereum” stats from Dune analytics shows there is 229,194 BTC floating around on alternative chains.
What do you think about Binance pushing up the stash of BTCB reserves this week and the aggregate total of wrapped BTC in existence? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
The Sacramento Kings, an American professional basketball team, will offer everyone in its organization the option of getting their salary paid in bitcoin. This includes all players, according to the NBA team’s chairman, Vivek Ranadivé.
The Sacramento Kings team chairman Vivek Ranadivé reportedly said on Clubhouse on Monday that everyone in his organization could receive their salary in as much bitcoin as they want. A bitcoin enthusiast, Neil Jacobs, who was present at the Clubhouse meeting quoted Ranadivé as saying:
I’m going to announce in the next few days that I’m going to offer everyone in the Kings organization, they can get paid as much of their salary in bitcoin as they want, including the players.
The Sacramento Kings became the first NBA team to accept bitcoin as a payment option in the arena in January 2014 through Bitpay. In 2018, the team announced that it became the first professional sports team in the world to mine cryptocurrency through a charitable program called Miningforgood.
In addition, the Kings collaborates with Blockparty on a blockchain-powered rewards program and has joined forces with CryptoKaiju to launch a line of physical crypto-collectibles in professional sports. It also launched the NBA’s first live blockchain-powered auction platform for authentic memorabilia with Consensys and Treum.
Do you think more teams should offer players salary payments in bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.
Crypto lending firm Nexo is facing a class-action lawsuit filed by an XRP investor for “unlawfully” suspending the use of the cryptocurrency as collateral without giving notice to clients and subsequently liquidating the tokens. This happened following the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Ripple and its executives.
An XRP investor, Junhan Jeong, has filed a class-action lawsuit against Nexo Financial LLC, Nexo Financial Services Ltd., Nexo Services Ou, Nexo AG, and Nexo Capital Inc. (collectively referred to as Nexo). In the lawsuit filed on April 1, he alleges that Nexo unlawfully suspended the use of XRP as collateral without giving notice to clients and liquidating the tokens.
Nexo lets customers use their cryptocurrencies as collateral to borrow cash. XRP was among the accepted cryptocurrencies until the U.S. SEC sued Ripple Labs and its two executives alleging that they raised over $1.3 billion through the sale of XRP unregistered securities offering.
On Dec. 23, the day after the SEC filed its lawsuit against Ripple, Nexo suspended customers’ use of XRP to stake as collateral or pay down on loans without providing notice of suspension, the lawsuit describes. It further alleges that “Nexo did so because it did not want to be left holding XRP at its substantially decreased value.” In addition, “Nexo proceeded to sell massive quantities of the XRP collateral” within a few hours.
“Nexo’s suspension of XRP payments and failure to provide notice of it were material breaches of the Nexo ‘Borrow Terms and Conditions’ governing the relationship between Nexo and its customers,” the lawsuit reads, adding:
Nexo’s suspension of XRP payments and liquidation of these customers’ collateral therefore were unlawful, and these customers are entitled to recover the value of their XRP when Nexo suspended its use and the value of their liquidated collateral as of breach (less the outstanding loan amounts on that collateral).
The lawsuit alleges that since Dec. 23 Nexo has “engaged in ‘unlawful’ and ‘unfair’ business acts under California’s Unfair Competition Law … by suspending in bad faith XRP payments on Nexo, without notice to Nexo customers, and by liquidating collateral on the purported basis that Nexo owned it.” According to the court document, the plaintiff noted that “Nexo liquidated their collateral and kept the proceeds for itself.”
Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that “Nexo also engaged in ‘deceptive’ and ‘misleading’ advertising … by using language on its website, in its whitepaper, and in online interviews,” misguiding customers into “concluding that in using the Nexo Crypto Credit, they would be pledging their cryptoassets as security against the debt reflected in the Crypto Credit — not selling their cryptoassets to Nexo by afford Nexo ‘ownership’ over the assets.” The full court filing can be found here.
What do you think about this lawsuit filed by the XRP investor against Nexo? Let us know in the comments section below.