Lateo.net - Flux RSS en pagaille (pour en ajouter : @ moi)

🔒
❌ À propos de FreshRSS
Il y a de nouveaux articles disponibles, cliquez pour rafraîchir la page.
À partir d’avant-hierBitcoin News

Ecuadorian Presidential Candidate Proposes a National Cryptocurrency but It Won’t Replace the Dollar

Par Felipe Erazo
Ecuadorian Presidential Candidate Proposes a National Cryptocurrency but It Won't Replace the Dollar

An Ecuadorian presidential candidate hinted at creating a cryptocurrency in the country as part of its government agenda. Giovanny Andrade said that the national crypto aims to “facilitate” transactions across the country.

Crypto Could Be Backed by Gold

During an interview with Primicias, Andrade, representing the Union Ecuatoriana party, believes its cryptocurrency idea is a crucial part of his country’s proposals. However, he doesn’t want to ride off from Ecuador’s dollarized economy:

We are looking at ways to create an Ecuadorian cryptocurrency. This does not mean that we are going to escape from dollarization. We must support dollarization.

The Ecuadorian-Chilean Mining Chamber also claimed that a series of investors want to allocate $320 million to finance a “Latin American gold refinery.” He also said that such cryptocurrency is backed by the yellow metal gold, like Venezuela’s petro with oil.

Andrade continued to talk about the national crypto plans on his agenda in case he gets elected on February 7, 2021:

“It is essential that we create the cryptocurrency for all the internal benefits within the country, such as internal transactions. This would work very well for Ecuador.

Could the Hypothetical Ecuadorian Cryptocurrency Be Another Venezuelan Petro?

Dollarization in Ecuador has been a sensitive topic in the public discussion. In 1999, the country adopted the dollar as its official currency. All of this happened within the context of a strong economic and inflationary crisis.

Jamil Mahuad, the then-president of Ecuador, was dismissed from his duties in January 2000, since political parties blamed him for unleashing the economic crisis. However, no president has been able to remove dollarization’s policy.

In terms of the crypto industry, the Latin American country is not a well-known player within the regional sphere. However, Ecuador has been showing some interest in blockchain adoption in the country’s banking and dairy sectors.

What do you think about a possible Ecuadorian cryptocurrency backed by gold? Let us know in the comments section below.

Freedom Fighting Atilis Gym Chooses to Accept Crypto Donations- BCH Supporters Set Gym Up With an Uncensorable Fundraiser

Par Jamie Redman

After the co-owner of the Atilis Gym in New Jersey appeared on TV and told the public the state confiscated over $173k from the gym owner’s bank account, Ian Smith revealed Atilis Gym has now set up a crypto wallet. Smith explained that a number of people didn’t want to donate using the Gofundme platform, so peer-to-peer electronic cash supporters created a proposal on the permissionless fundraising application, Flipstarter, so people can donate bitcoin cash toward the gym owner’s legal efforts.

Uncensorable Money Advocates Help Atilis Gym Owners

Just recently, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the Atilis Gym in New Jersey owned by Ian Smith and his business partner, Frank Trumbetti. Last week, Smith told the public that New Jersey’s (NJ) Governor Philip Murphy seized the gym’s legal defense funds during the gym owner’s appeals process. The state took $173,613.60 according to Smith, and the Atilis Gym co-owner appeared on Fox News with Tucker Carlson in order to tell his story.

The state of New Jersey (NJ), NJ Governor Philip Murphy, and the State Health Commissioner have disrupted the business operations for Atilis Gym co-owners Frank Trumbetti (left) and Ian Smith (right). Atilis Gym doesn’t comply with NJ Covid-19 rules enforced by the state. For instance, the owners do not mandate that gym patrons have to wear a mask. Because of this, Atilis Gym has been fined by NJ at $15k per day, and just recently Smith accused the state of seizing $173k.

During Smith’s conversation with Tucker, the two discussed accepting cryptocurrencies in order for the gym owners to protect themselves from another form of asset seizure. The Atilis Gym co-owner told Tucker that setting up a cryptocurrency account was a frequent recommendation.

Following the story, Bitcoin.com founder Roger Ver shared a video on Twitter that explains what happened to the Atilis Gym owner’s legal defense funds. Ver further explained in his tweet:

It’s time for the world to switch from censorable banks and Gofundme to uncensorable peer-to-peer electronic cash and Flipstartercash.

Moreover, Ver shared a Flipstarter fundraising link with the video called the “Atilis Gym Patriots Bitcoin Cash Fundraiser.” The Flipstarter fundraiser aims to raise approximately 42 BCH or more than $20k using today’s BCH exchange rates. At the time of publication, the Atilis Gym Flipstarter has raised 24.96 BCH or just over $12k so far.

‘People Take Care of Each Other Way Better Than Big Government Can’

The Atilis Gym co-owner also tweeted about the help his business received from BCH proponents looking to assist the gym.

Ian Smith tweeted on Sunday:

These guys are incredible. They heard about what happened with the illegal asset seizure and helped the Atilis Gym set up a crypto wallet and have started a fundraiser for us. Once again showing that people can take care of each other way better than big government can.

The Atilis Gym Patriots Bitcoin Cash Fundraiser held on the Flipstarter platform.

In another tweet, the Atilis Gym co-owner said that a “number of people who wanted to donate to our cause did not want to use the banks or Gofundme.” So @be_cashy set us up a crypto-based Fundraiser. Big shout out to these guys,” Smith added. A number of BCH supporters were thrilled to hear about Atilis Gym being set up with a crypto account and a fundraiser on Flipstarter.

“If you keep your money in bitcoin cash, they can’t steal it,” the BCH supporter David Bond wrote to Smith on Twitter. “You can spend it on gift cards or on Purse.io – offer to pay your lawyer in Bitcoin Cash. Bitcoin is freedom money,” he added.

The fundraiser creator on Flipstarter explains why the donation portal was created as it serves a dual purpose. “After reading about the unjust treatment of Atilis gym and seizure of their funds by government thugs, we decided to do something about it,” the Atilis Gym fundraiser description on Flipstarter notes. “We’re raising funds for Atilis. Rather than fiat money that can be seized by unaccountable tyrants, we’re talking about non-confiscatable bitcoin cash.”

The Flipstarter description further states:

We’re hoping this fundraiser will serve a dual purpose. First, to help the brave heroes at Atilis who are standing up against unconstitutional and unscientific lockdowns, and second to spread awareness about cryptocurrency. It’s time for people everywhere to drop the banks and take control of their own money. 100% of funds raised will be donated to Atilis.

Individuals can also see a variety of individuals who have already donated to the Atilis BCH fund on Flipstarter. One individual, the BCH proponent, Marc De Mesel, donated a whopping 20.50 BCH to the Atilis Gym’s cause and litigation costs.

“I admire gym guys,” De Mesel wrote after donating. “Courageous to refuse masks and stand up to the police,” the investor added.

What do you think about the Atilis Gym owner’s problems with the state? What do you think about them accepting cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cash? Let us know in the comments section below.

Crypto Prices Consolidate, Handful of Altcoin Markets Pop, Bitcoin Accumulation Addresses Rise

Par Jamie Redman
Crypto Prices Consolidate, Handful of Altcoin Markets Pop, Bitcoin Accumulation Addresses Rise

The price of bitcoin and a number of digital assets have been consolidating this week, after a number of crypto markets dropped over 25% the week prior. The entire crypto-economy is hovering just below the $1 trillion mark at $987 billion, gaining 1.3% during the last 24 hours.

Crypto Asset Markets Consolidate

A good number of crypto-asset markets have been meandering about in a state of consolidation, while a few tokens have seen significant gains in recent days. At the time of publication, bitcoin (BTC) has been exchanging hands for $36,400 per unit with an overall market valuation of around $677 billion. BTC’s market cap gives the crypto asset a 66% dominance rating in comparison to all the alternative digital currency valuations in existence. At the current price BTC is up 4% during the last seven days, 54% for the 30-day span, 209% during the last three months, and 324% over 12 months.

Crypto Prices Consolidate, Handful of Altcoin Markets Pop, Bitcoin Accumulation Addresses Rise
BTC/USDT markets via exchange.Bitcoin.com.

Ethereum (ETH) is trading for $1,236 per ether and holds a market valuation of around $141 billion today. ETH traders are still in the green with a gain of 15% during the week, 90% for the month, 239% for the 90-day span, and over 651% during the last year. The stablecoin tether (USDT) holds the third-largest market cap today, but below the tether market is the digital asset polkadot (DOT).

Crypto Prices Consolidate, Handful of Altcoin Markets Pop, Bitcoin Accumulation Addresses Rise
ETH/USDT & BCH/USDT markets on January 18, 2021 via exchange.Bitcoin.com.

Polkadot now holds the fourth largest market cap today as each token swaps for $17 per unit. Below the DOT market cap is XRP which is currently trading for $0.28 per coin. XRP is down less than a percentage for the week but also down over 50% during the 30-day span.

Crypto Prices Consolidate, Handful of Altcoin Markets Pop, Bitcoin Accumulation Addresses Rise
ADA/USDT markets on January 18, 2021, via exchange.Bitcoin.com. ADA, DOT, and LINK have seen market prices pop northbound considerably in value during the last few days while other crypto assets have consolidated.

Cardano (ADA) follows XRP, and each ADA token is trading for $0.37 per unit. ADA has performed considerably well in recent weeks gathering 36% this week. Over the month ADA prices have improved by 108% and 266% during the 90-day span. Litecoin (LTC) is currently trading for $148 per coin and the crypto asset is up over 9% during the seven-day span. Bitcoin cash (BCH) is swapping for $492 per unit at the time of publication jumping over 5% this week. BCH has an overall market cap of around $9.19 billion and has gained 58% in the last 30 days.

‘No Surprise to See Bitcoin Recover Relatively Easily Last Week,’ Accumulation Addresses Rise

While the price of a great number of crypto assets dropped last week, mainstream pundits said that the crypto economy was headed for a bear market. However, crypto analysts disagree with the bear market assessment and BTC’s recovery last week highlighted that things are still very bullish. “Instead of a tumultuous week with talks of crashes and bubbles, last week was relatively steady for bitcoin for the most part,” Etoro’s Simon Peters explained in a note to investors. “Starting at just $30,000, bitcoin rose to $40,000 on Thursday, before dipping again over the weekend. It currently sits at $36,389,” the market analyst added.

Peters continued:

Whilst some commentators have pointed out that, from a technical standpoint, we are currently in a bear market, I don’t personally ascribe to that view. This level of volatility is no different from what we have seen in previous bull runs, but because bitcoin is at such a substantial price, the fluctuations in dollar terms appear much more significant. In percentage terms, they are not. The backdrop for bitcoin remains supportive and so, to myself and to many in the community, it was not a surprise to see bitcoin recover relatively easily last week from its setback.

Crypto Prices Consolidate, Handful of Altcoin Markets Pop, Bitcoin Accumulation Addresses Rise
Glassnode stats show that BTC accumulation addresses have risen 17% in the past year.

Meanwhile, one analyst said that BTC has a few days of consolidation and in the interim altcoins will probably see some action. “Three days until bitcoin reaches any ‘relevant’ apex – this means three more days of having fun with altcoins,” Teddy Cleps said to his 51,000 Twitter followers on Saturday.

The CTO at Glassnode explained to his Twitter followers that a large amount of BTC is being sent to “accumulation addresses.”

“2.7 million BTC are held in accumulation addresses– that’s an increase of 17% in the past year,” the Glassnode CTO, Rafael Schultze-Kraft, recently tweeted. “These are addresses that have received at least 2 incoming transactions and have never spend funds. Miner and exchange addresses are excluded,” the researcher added.

Want to check out all the crypto market action with prices in real-time? Check out our crypto market aggregator at markets.Bitcoin.com.

What do you think about cryptocurrency market movements on Monday? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Building a Decentralized and Uncensorable Internet — The Nexus Protocol

Par Bitcoin.com PR
Building a Decentralized and Uncensorable Internet — The Nexus Protocol

PRESS RELEASE. On December 21st, 2020, the Nexus Protocol white paper was released. The new internet will be driven by a blockchain-based operating system (LX-OS) and communications protocol (Nexus Protocol), that will be connected by a distributed satellite-based mesh network. The white paper contains technical specifications and mathematical models that showcase and prove the viability, value proposition, and practicality of this novel architectural framework.

Network Architecture

Web 3.0 or Decentralized Web (DWeb), has been coined as the next evolution of the internet, with the promise of emancipating digital communication by reducing users’ reliance on a select few companies and technologies, to ultimately diminish the dominance of conglomerates. The Nexus Protocol takes this a step further, by decentralizing and democratizing the network infrastructure hardware and software. A network consisting of tokenized micro-satellites, ground stations, and phased array antennas form the backbone of the infrastructure, which will provide an alternative to centralized Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Tokenized Micro-satellite Constellations will provide the opportunity for individuals to own part of the internet’s physical infrastructure, build equity, and participate in decentralized governance. Micro-satellites will operate in many Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations to provide low latency and open access to the Nexus Protocol globally. The white paper indicates that future documentation will provide further specifications, including the minimum number of satellites required to form an initial network and constellation simulations. An additional satellite value proposition is the inclusion of the upcoming Nexus LLD filesystem that will allow individuals to negotiate hosting contracts between entities, and generate direct Return On Investment (ROI) from the available flash memory. Below is a summary of the design:

  • Each constellation is represented by a unique set of fungible tokens created on Nexus.
  • Ownership and optional voting rights are maintained by equity represented by these tokens.
  • Revenue generated from the constellation is automatically dispersed to the owners by token rewards.
  • Direct economic benefits are provided to entities that deploy satellites, similar to how mining incentivizes the building of a blockchain.
  • Micro-satellites will provide reputation-based network services to supplement the routing system between ground stations and their aggregated clients.

Ground Stations will operate in a cell-like topology, performing most of the heavy network processing and supplying localized content, edge computing, and routing services. Whilst phased array antennas will be utilized to maintain the link to the micro-satellites in LEO. This type of antenna is electrically steered and can realize high gains and mobility, thus it has been chosen for sustained two-way communication between the satellites and ground stations. In terms of end-user access, there are two standards currently being considered: Wi-Fi local hot-spots and cellular LTE technology.

The ground infrastructure will provide content delivery services to local networks, creating the opportunity for ground station operators to generate ROI. Operators will be able to offer geo-spatial cache services, in order to supply a range of content delivery speeds to their local customers.

Frequency allocation is crucial to ensuring the Nexus Protocol meets the goal of a free and open protocol, remaining unrestricted and unowned by any single party. To achieve this, it will use the 5.8 GHz Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) band that does not require licensing or have limits on antenna gains. The white paper also contains a mathematical proof modelling link viability within the chosen ISM band’s restrictions.

Operating System

LX-OS, a Nexus Operating System (OS) specifically designed for the Nexus Protocol, is currently under development to fortify hardware abstractions, security requirements and reduce overall risk to embedded devices, micro-satellites, and consumer grade hardware. These security qualities are enforced by leveraging the Nexus blockchain for user authentication and information verification. The LX-OS will initially be marketed for micro-satellites and IoT devices, as each is widely known for vulnerabilities. These industries can benefit significantly from the enhanced protection and dynamic management capabilities.

Game Theory

The infrastructure components are elegantly woven together with an economic model designed to nurture the numerous revenue streams, in order to ultimately provide humanity with free access to internet services globally whilst creating universal economic opportunities. This is reinforced with mathematical models that resist monopolization by de-monetizing predatory behaviors, thus increasing incentives to cooperatives.

A New Internet

The Nexus Protocol integrates into the TAO framework, a seven layer software stack that enables the simplified implementation of smart contracts, DApps, tokens, and assets (NFT’s) through a set of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

In keeping with true open source crypto values, to preserve the white paper as an open specification, it was time stamped and recorded on the Nexus blockchain under asset name US:NP-WP. It is publicly available through the Nexus API.

Nexus.io is a community driven project with the common vision of a world inspired by innovation and responsible values, expansive technology, and the fundamental quality of connection being ubiquitous, free, and available to everyone.

Media Contact: Ambassador@nexus.io

 


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.

Grayscale’s Michael Sonnenshein Says Institutional Investors ‘Looking for Broad Exposure’ as Company Raises $700 Million in One Day

Par Terence Zimwara
Grayscale's Michael Sonnenshein Says Institutional Investors 'Looking for Broad Exposure' as Company Raises $700 Million in One Day

Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein says institutional investors are also exhibiting a growing interest in diversifying their investments by choosing other crypto assets besides bitcoin. Sonnenshein, who was recently appointed to the CEO position, made the comments just before the revelation that the company had raised more than $700 million in a single day.

The asset raised, which according to the CEO is the largest single-day asset raised so far, follows Grayscale’s recent release of its Q4 report. According to that report, Q4 of 2020 had been a successful one with a total of $3.3 billion in investments being recorded across the company’s range of products.

However, in an earlier tweet, the CEO asserts that institutional buyers are trying to minimize risks by spreading their exposure. Sonnenshein says:

While bitcoin remains most of our investors’ first step into space, we’ve seen an uptick in interest from allocators looking for broad exposure, avoiding the need to pick winners and avoid losers.

Interestingly, Sonnenshien’s comments about investors expressing interest in other cryptos appear to contradict remarks by Robert Gutmann, the CEO of New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG). According to reports, Gutmann had claimed that “100 out of 100 of the last conversations” that NYDIG has had with investors “have been about bitcoin and 0% of them have been about any other crypto asset.”

However, to support his own assertion, the Grayscale CEO makes reference to the firm’s digital large-cap fund, which according to its Q4 report, had an average weekly investment of $1.6 million. Also experiencing growth are the Grayscale products excluding the bitcoin trust which saw an average weekly investment of $33.6 million in Q4.

Do you agree that institutional investors want exposure to other cryptos besides BTC? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Noise.cash: Social Microblogging App Fueled by Bitcoin Cash Tips Gathers Traction

Par Jamie Redman
Noise.cash: Social Microblogging App Fueled by Bitcoin Cash Tips Gathers Traction

For quite some time now, bitcoin cash users have been leveraging the web portal read.cash in order to write blog posts, connect with like-minded individuals, and earn bitcoin cash for providing popular content. Now the creators of read.cash have introduced another application called noise.cash, which is similar to the parent platform, but allows people to make noise using much shorter messages.

Microblogging and Bitcoin Cash Tipping

Bitcoin cash (BCH) supporters have been recently introduced to a new platform created by the read.cash creators. News.Bitcoin.com has reported on the read.cash platform on various occasions, and it quickly became the top crypto-centric blogging forum on the web among BCH fans.

Noise.cash: Social Microblogging App Fueled by Bitcoin Cash Tips Gathers Traction
Noise.cash microblogging feed.

Since the blogging application’s inception, the team has presented a new medium called noise.cash, a Twitter-like platform that allows people to write shorter blurbs of text and share other mediums of content like pictures as well. Noise.cash can easily be described as a microblogging platform, but there are some differences because the application allows people to tip and interact with posts using BCH.

Noise.cash: Social Microblogging App Fueled by Bitcoin Cash Tips Gathers Traction

Now first and foremost, noise.cash is not like memo.cash, as it is not an immutable form of microblogging. Users do have to accept a number of rules that apply to the platform and they are similar to the read.cash terms of service (ToS). The noise.cash application allows people to interact with posts similar to the myriad of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter by allowing the user to “like” a post.

However, unlike the social media giants, noise.cash allows the user base to tip each post with bitcoin cash (BCH) payments.

Bitcoin Cash Pool, Devs State More Features Will Be Applied

Noise.cash users can simply tip the post by scanning a QR code tethered to each and every live post added to the feed. The application does not have a native wallet, but allows users to tether their accounts to a public bitcoin cash (BCH) address of their choice.

Noise.cash: Social Microblogging App Fueled by Bitcoin Cash Tips Gathers Traction
Users can simply tether an address to their noise.cash account from a Bitcoin.com Wallet or any wallet that provides a public BCH address.

After registering with noise.cash and accepting the ToS, users simply add a public address in the ‘wallet’ section located in the profile tab. A few users have written reviews about noise.cash on the read.cash blog since the platform was first introduced.

The read.cash blogger dubbed ‘Bitcoincash247’ writes:

Noise.cash is a social platform just like Twitter which allows its [userbase] to earn bitcoin cash from tips for making short posts. Although this awesome platform is still under upgrade, it has already been found interesting by its [userbase], as it offers a free [bitcoin cash] pool were users can tip each other for free.

In a post written on the Reddit forum r/btc one individual exclaimed that both “noise.cash and read.cash are awesome.”

“Exactly how I imagined the Internet of money would be,” the post added. “[Bitcoin Cash] has a really great future.” Another user described the app as a platform that’s “like Twitter with crypto, but still in alpha version, I think they will add more features later.”

In response to the features request, the Reddit account u/readcash said: “We need to do a lot of things. Rest assured, we’re working on them.”

The noise.cash team details that a fully functional embedded wallet will be implemented in future updates. Noise.cash also has discussion chambers with conversation topics like art, cooking, education, homeschooling, holistic living, personal finance, photography, quotes, travel, and more. Since noise.cash was first launched, the platform has attracted a number of users, as the feed continues to grow lively and filled with noise.

What do you think about the noise.cash platform introduced by the read.cash team? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Omni II Launched, 2021 Events Planned for Interested Investors

Par Bitcoin.com PR
Omni II Launched, 2021 Events Planned for Interested Investors

PRESS RELEASE. Omni Futures LLC has received significant interest since its recent founding and is starting series A funding from additional investors for a new project, Omni II, to develop additional infrastructure in cryptocurrency mining. According to Ali Farhat, Managing Director of Omni Futures, “Overwhelming interest in a new proprietary mining technology has shown demand for a build-out of our infrastructure.”

To develop Omni II for anticipated launch during calendar year 2021, an investor roadshow is being planned, with stops in New York, Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and the Virgin Islands. Those interested in attending roadshow events are directed to contact Ana Smith, ​ana@omni-futures.com​, to express their interest and prove their ability to meet capital contributions for Omni II.

For more information about Omni Futures LLC, please visit ​- Omni-futures.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.

Steve Forbes Says Bitcoin’s Fixed Supply Limits Its Ability to ‘Meet the Needs of a Growing Economy’

Par Terence Zimwara
Steve Forbes Says Bitcoin's Fixed Supply Limits Its Ability to 'Meet the Needs of a Growing Economy'

American publisher Steve Forbes has attacked bitcoin’s fixed supply saying this feature actually curbs the ability of the crypto to “meet the needs of a growing economy.” He also argues that bitcoin cannot replace the dollar because it is presently too volatile to function as money. Forbes insists that money only works best if it has a stable value.

New Respectable Investment Class

According to Forbes, cryptocurrencies can only challenge existing money if their value is tied to that of gold or the Swiss franc currency. In arguing his case against the idea that bitcoin will eventually replace the dollar, Forbes concedes, however, that the crypto is “now seen as a respectable investment class.” He adds that “financial institutions are adding it to their portfolios.”

Explaining this shift towards bitcoin, Forbes says:

People are piling in because of a lack of faith in government fiat currencies. The Federal Reserve and other central banks have crushed interest rates and are printing unimaginable amounts of money to pay for Covid relief measures and to stimulate damaged economies.

According to the publisher, some of these steps, which are inflationary, could be the possible reasons why bitcoin has now “become the darling of investors.” Furthermore, Forbes also acknowledges that some enthusiasts do see bitcoin as “the new gold” while others believe it will “eventually replace the dollar.”

Impact of Bitcoin Volatility on Contracts

Nevertheless, the thinks this is not about to happen because of how bitcoin’s volatility can potentially affect the contract system. The publisher uses the example of a housing mortgage loan to illustrate why cryptocurrencies cannot be used in contracts which he says “are essential for an economy.” Forbes explains:

Say you took a mortgage in March for $250,000, today to you owe the bank almost $2 million.

Forbes surmises that no one in “their right mind would sign a long term contract based on bitcoin.”

Do you agree with Steve Forbes’ sentiments that bitcoin will not replace the dollar? You can tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Demand for Crypto Soars: Bitcoin Funds Break Records, Goldman Sachs Wants In

Par Kevin Helms
Demand for Crypto Soars: Bitcoin Funds Hit Records, Goldman Sachs Wants In

Investors are increasingly seeking exposure to bitcoin following the recent months-long price rally. Bitcoin exchange-traded products are seeing record trading volumes. Meanwhile, more big banks are reportedly trying to get into the crypto space, including Goldman Sachs.

High Demand for Bitcoin and Crypto Products

With the price of bitcoin rapidly rising over recent months, more investors are seeking exposure to the cryptocurrency. The price of bitcoin rose about 24% since the beginning of the year and over 90% since the beginning of December.

One bitcoin exchange-traded product in particular, BTCE, has recorded an average daily trading volume of $69 million in the first 11 days of January, the Financial Times reported Friday, citing data from Deutsche Börse where it is trading. This week, Switzerland’s principal stock exchange revealed that its crypto trading volume hit a record high of $1.2 billion in 2020. The exchange now lists 34 crypto exchange-traded products.

Grayscale Investments’ Bitcoin Trust posted an average daily turnover of almost $1 billion in the first two weeks of this year, which is more than nine times the average in 2020, the publication added. The bitcoin trust’s assets under management grew from $1.8 billion to $17.5 billion during the year.

Meanwhile, Canadian asset manager 3iq says its bitcoin fund has reached a milestone, exceeding one billion Canadian dollars ($785 million) in assets under management. Besides the bitcoin fund, the company offers the ether fund and a global crypto-asset fund.

Demand for Crypto Soars: Bitcoin Funds Break Records, Goldman Sachs Wants In
Chart of 3iq’s bitcoin fund. Source: 3iq

Big Banks Want In, Including Goldman Sachs

As bitcoin continues to outperform other assets, more major companies are seeking to get into the crypto space. Goldman Sachs’ global head of commodities research, Jeff Currie, said last week that the bitcoin market “is beginning to become more mature” after he called BTC “a retail inflation hedge.” The investment bank is now rumored to be have issued a request for information (RFI) to explore providing digital asset custody service.

The RFI was reportedly sent to a prominent company in the crypto custody niche at the end of last year. An unnamed Goldman Sachs source indicated that the firm is talking to several companies with a focus on custody service.

Recently, the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) granted Anchorage conditional approval to become a national digital bank. Anchorage co-founder Diogo Mónica told CNBC last week that the regulatory approval will attract many large institutional players to begin offering their own crypto services, including custody.

Other banks and financial services giants that have recently entered the crypto space include Spain’s second-largest bank BBVA, Standard Chartered Bank, Southeast Asia’s largest bank DBS, and Italian insurance giant Generali. Some of them offer only crypto custody services while others also offer bitcoin trading services.

What do you think about the rising demand for crypto? Let us know in the comments section below.

IMF Tells Governments: Spend as Much as You Can and Then Spend More

Par Kevin Helms
IMF Tells Governments: Spend as Much as You Can and Then Spend More

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on countries worldwide to spend as much as they can and then spend more. She admitted that this is a “very unusual” policy for the IMF but it is needed to revive economies. Many people are interpreting her statement as very bullish for bitcoin.

IMF Encourages Mass Spending

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has urged governments worldwide to spend as much as they can and then spend even more. She said on Friday at Russia’s annual Gaidar economic forum that policymakers worldwide should embrace more spending to help revive their economies. She was quoted by Reuters as saying:

In terms of policies for right now, very unusual for the IMF, starting in March I would go out and I would say: ‘please spend’. Spend as much as you can and then spend a little bit more.

“I continue to advocate for monetary policy accommodation and fiscal policies that protect the economy from collapse at a time when we are on purpose restricting both production and consumption,” she added. “IMF staff calculated that a coordinated G20 fiscal stimulus in green infrastructure, if it is done in a coordinated manner, would deliver two-thirds more in growth … than if each country acts on its own.” Georgieva also noted that in 2020, the IMF provided support to 83 countries.

Massive Government Spending Bullish for Bitcoin

Bitcoiners on social media view this news as ultra bullish for BTC. Many people interpret the IMF chief’s plea as “brrrr as much as you can.” Others commented: “Money printer goes brrrr” and “buy bitcoin.”

This is not the first time that the crypto community has discussed how massive government spending would boost the price of bitcoin. Early bitcoin investor Bruce Fenton previously described, “stimulus & increased government spending causes rising prices, bitcoin wins.” River Financial tweeted last week:

Many of our largest clients have made sizable allocations to bitcoin primarily because of the unsustainable government spending and quantitative easing from the Fed.

What do you think about the IMF chief’s statement? Let us know in the comments section below.

Dollar-Cost Averaging Crypto Profits: Low-Risk Bitcoin Investing Without All the Stress

Par Jamie Redman
Dollar-Cost Averaging Crypto Profits: Low-Risk Bitcoin Investing Without All the Stress

Bitcoin prices and a number of other digital assets have grown significantly in value during the last decade. Some people have made millions and even billions throwing down everything they have during the cryptocurrency’s earliest days of price discovery. However, there’s another method of investing called dollar-cost averaging or DCA, a scheme that’s considered far less risky and can still bring a cryptocurrency investor decent profits over the long term.

Ever since bitcoin jumped over the crypto asset’s all-time high (ATH) recorded in 2017, the digital currency has continued to gather a higher value after surpassing the $20k zone. Then bitcoin (BTC) tapped a new ATH ten days ago, after the crypto asset jumped over the $42k range. Additionally, a number of alternative digital assets are nearing their 2017 ATHs and some newer coins like Polkadot and Chainlink also touched price highs.

Now there are many people who were able to invest in bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash, and many other coins early, and this has produced significant gains for these risk-takers. But there is another method of investment that people have been leveraging for a very long time called dollar-cost averaging or DCA.

The most important #Bitcoin advice you'll ever get. pic.twitter.com/hFU7t3gYPJ

— Documenting Bitcoin 📄 (@DocumentBitcoin) January 14, 2021

Essentially, the DCA method of purchasing involves buying a set sum of cryptocurrency at regularly scheduled intervals. This contrast is quite different than throwing all the funds down at once and waiting for profits. An example of DCA buying would be to purchase $10 in bitcoin per week, for a three year or longer period of time.

Buying in this manner is considered less of a strain on emotions and far less risky as well. The scheduled intervals of buying take place no matter what the cost of bitcoin (BTC) or the other cryptocurrency costs at that moment in time. Then if you aggregate the number of purchases per week, and standard price from the purchases over the three-year period, the investment cost will be measured in a mean average.

Moreover, depending on the crypto asset’s market performance a DCA investor can do extremely well for themselves in a much slower and less risky manner.

There’s also a website that can help you estimate the interval of purchases over time and the mean average over the course of the time period. The web portal dcabtc.com offers a calculator in order to figure out your DCA metrics over time, and if you’ve already been leveraging the DCA scheme you can check the profits of your current BTC investment.

Here’s a great example of DCA purchasing over time with an investment of $1 per week into BTC during the last nine years. Dcabtc.com explains that purchasing $1 of BTC since January 2012, every week for nine years starting nine years ago, would have turned $470 into $289,295 using today’s exchange rates. That’s a whopping 61,452% gain in value over the course of a nine-year span.

Dollar-Cost Averaging Crypto Profits: Low-Risk Bitcoin Investing Without All the Stress
This chart shows a DCA bitcoin investment for a period of three years with a purchase of $10 every week.

Now if the person started three years ago, and invested $10 per week into BTC every week for the last three years would have seen a 361% increase. That method of DCA purchasing would have made $1,570 turn into $7,249 during the three-year timeframe. Of course, the period when you start investing does make a difference for both DCA and just throwing down all the funds at once.

Timing is key and sometimes earlier doesn’t make a difference either, because of bitcoin’s price fluctuations. A good example of this is if someone invested one large sum into BTC on March 12, 2020, at a low of $3,800 per unit. Using today’s BTC exchange rate shows that investment would produce a whopping 821% over the course of time up until January 17, 2021.

Dollar-Cost Averaging Crypto Profits: Low-Risk Bitcoin Investing Without All the Stress

Dollar-cost averaging is still far less stressful, because a person can invest without putting much emotional energy into playing the lows and highs like the aforementioned lump-sum investment. DCA investors don’t have to put a lot of time and effort into studying market charts, keeping an eye on breaking crypto-related news stories, and keeping tabs with industry heavyweights. The funds are simply invested without many time-consuming activities, and the investment can be calculated over extended periods of time without much worry.

The crypto investor who calculates with a DCA approach doesn’t care that the market is not predictable and the stress relieved from trying to time crypto markets is insurmountable. Throwing it all down at once and trading cryptocurrencies successfully takes time and research, things that some people just don’t have the time to apply.

A DCA investor understands that the price of bitcoin changes very often, and catching highs and lows can be difficult. But long term perspectives, logarithmic growth curves, and overall rising interest shows holding digital assets for a long period of time has so far, been an extremely profitable means of investing.

What do you think about dollar-cost averaging? Do you use this method of investment or do you day trade highs and lows? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Pre-Register Now on Aladdin Exchange to Receive 100 TNC Coins

Par Bitcoin.com PR
Pre-Register Now on Aladdin Exchange to Receive 100 TNC Coins

PRESS RELEASE. UAE-based crypto exchange Aladdin opens its platform for pre-registered users. This digital asset exchange is the newest one in the cryptocurrency market.

As part of its pre-launching event, the Aladdin Exchange team invites everyone to pre-register and refer people to join the crypto exchange before its official launching. By doing the pre-registration and referral, users can get instant TNC Coins!

Aladdin Exchange Overview

Based in the UAE, Aladdin Exchange aims to cater to cryptocurrency users and traders all over the world. The overall exchange operations are led by the TNC IT Group. Within the platform, a convenient and transparent marketplace for cross-border crypto trading is made available.

Aladdin Exchange ensures a reliable market price for buying and selling crypto assets. Moreover, the exchange is expertly engineered with a security system of the highest standard to protect trader’s digital assets and secure transactions.

In line with this, it aims to provide the best digital asset exchange experience to all its users by creating an ecosystem supported by the best blockchain infrastructure and the leading exchange technologies.

Pre-Registration Event

From December 31, 2020, users are welcomed to join the Aladdin Exchange pre-launch event. By completing the pre-registration, users can receive 100 TNC. These crypto rewards are given to pre-registered users only on a one-time basis.

Just visit the official website to join the pre-registration event and sign up for your account. After sign up, you can log in to your account and start inviting your friends to pre-register as well.

Invite Friends Event

Invite your friends to join the Aladdin Exchange and receive more TNC Coins. By sharing the referral code displayed on the ‘My Dashboard’ page, you can earn 20 TNC for every successful referral.

There are no referral limits. Thus, you can invite as many friends as you can and help in building the Aladdin Exchange community.

TNC Coin Trading

After Aladdin Exchange officially opens, pre-registered users can start using their earned TNC Coins. During the pre-launch event, all TNC rewards are temporarily locked. By the time the exchange starts its full service, pre-registered users can complete the KYC verification to unlock their TNC. Once unlocked, they can sell or trade TNC with other cryptocurrencies.

Do not miss the opportunity of supporting the Aladdin Exchange in its early stage! Pre-register and invite friends to earn many TNC Coins. More perks and advantages are in store for pre-registered users once the crypto exchange is finally up and running.

Media contact: social@aladdin25.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.

Paypal to Earn $2 Billion in Revenue From Its Bitcoin Business, Says Analyst

Par Jeffrey Gogo
Paypal to Earn $2 Billion in Revenue From Its Bitcoin Business, Says Analyst

Mizuho Securities analyst Don Dolev has forecast that Paypal will earn up to $2 billion in revenue from its bitcoin business by 2023. This year, he expects that the payment giant’s overall revenue will climb 20%.

Dolev says there has been a “dramatic increase in engagement due to crypto,” with 50% of Paypal crypto users opening the app daily. “Both our survey and management commentary unveil a dramatic increase in engagement due to crypto,” said Dolev in a note to clients this week.

Paypal announced in October that its 346 million active users will now be able to buy, hold and sell bitcoin and other digital assets using their Paypal accounts. The company’s crypto service, which runs on Paxos’ fiat-to-crypto exchange, Itbit, has seen an explosion of interest ever since.

At one time, Paypal was buying 70% of all newly minted bitcoin. Dolev’s survey found that bitcoin (BTC) traders use the Paypal app three times as much as non-bitcoiners and that they had significantly higher cash balances on their Paypal digital wallets.

Dolev raised his target price for the Paypal stock to $350 from $290. The stock closed 0.94% down at $239.79 on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange on Friday. Over the past 52 weeks, the shares have reached a high of $249.85 and a low of $82.07.

In a related development, Lisa Ellis, analyst at Moffett Nathanson, predicted that Paypal’s crypto business will contribute up to $600 million to group revenue in 2021. “Over the long-term, we believe Paypal’s cryptocurrency initiatives have significant strategic value,” she was quoted as saying by Market Watch.

Ellis added that this will help “diversify the Paypal and Venmo apps into ‘destination apps’ for a broad range of financial services, and positioning Paypal to help shape the long-term role of cryptocurrencies in the consumer payment system.”

What do you think about Paypal’s bitcoin revenue estimates? Let us know in the comments section below.

Polkadot Flips XRP to Become the Fourth-Ranked Crypto After Price Spikes 100% in Less Than a Week

Par Terence Zimwara
Polkadot Flips XRP to Become the Fourth-Ranked Crypto After Price Spikes 100% in Less Than a Week

Dot, the native token of the Polkadot network, has flipped XRP to become the fourth-ranked token after its price rallied by more than 40% in just 24 hours. Since January 11, the token has now gone up by more than 100% to set a new all-time high (ATH) of $18.06 on January 16.

Polkadot Flips XRP to Become the Fourth-Ranked Crypto After Price Spikes 100% in Less Than a Week

With its market capitalization currently standing at over $16.8 billion, the Dot token now surpasses that of XRP by over $4 billion. Yet before the December 23, 2020 breakout, the Polkadot token had a market capitalization of just under $4.5 billion and an average price of $4.70, according to data from Markets.bitcoin.com. However, between then and January 3, the token soared by more than 100% to close at $10.35.

Yet, after this initial price surge, the token then briefly stabilized at just under $10.35 before dropping to $7.61 on January 11. Nevertheless, after this short-lived retreat, the token went on another rally that culminated in Dot displacing XRP.

Polkadot Flips XRP to Become the Fourth-Ranked Crypto After Price Spikes 100% in Less Than a Week

Meanwhile, the displacement of XRP from its fourth position by Dot comes as the former continues to get delisted by exchanges. Since the delistings began, the XRP token has now plunged from the December 17 high of over $0.60 to the current price of $0.28.

Furthermore, in a move that is likely to add more pressure on the token, the Kraken crypto exchange has announced it will halt trading of the XRP token on January 29. However, this move is only expected to affect US customers only.

Do you believe that the XRP token will reclaim the fourth place position? Tell us your views in the comments section below.

India Seizes Bitcoins Worth $1.2 Million From Hacker of Government Website and Crypto Exchanges

Par Kevin Helms

Indian police have seized $1.2 million in bitcoin from a hacker who allegedly hacked a government website, online game portals, and cryptocurrency exchanges. He was previously arrested for stealing $1.5 million from an Indian state government.

Indian Police Seize Bitcoins From Hacker

The Bengaluru Central Crime Branch (CCB) Police have revealed that bitcoins worth Rs 9 crore ($1.23 million) have been seized from a 25-year-old hacker, local media reported Friday.

The hacker known as Shri Krishna is a software engineer and resident of Jayanagar in south Bengaluru. He was arrested on Nov. 18 for sourcing drugs through the darknet using bitcoins. Bengaluru Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Sandeep Patil explained that during the investigation:

We have recovered 31 bitcoins from Krishna, which is worth Rs 9 crore.

Besides buying drugs, Patil said that the hacker and his friends “were also using these bitcoins to lead lavish lives” and “stayed in star hotels and resorts.”

Krishna also hacked the Karnataka government’s e-procurement portal in August 2019 and was booked for stealing Rs 11 crore from the site.

In addition, a senior officer detailed that Krishna deployed ransomware to force the owners of the websites he hacked to pay ransoms. “He also used to create mirror sites and get information on credit or debit cards used by people who accessed sites to steal money,” the official said. The Indian Express described that according to the police:

Further investigation has revealed that Krishna, along with five friends, hacked into three bitcoin exchanges and ten poker websites by pushing three types of malware into them.

The police added that they “also hacked into YFI coin (Yearn Finance) Ethereum sites in various countries using a similar modus operandi.”

Patil noted that the accused hacked into various international poker sites and stole data, adding that his team has shared all the relevant information on the case with the concerned companies through Interpol.

After hacking websites and stealing data and money, the accused converted funds into bitcoin and cashed out through an alleged financing partner, Patil described. He added: “The bitcoins were traded for money through another accused, identified as Robin Khandelwal. He deposited the money in Krishna’s bank account after trading the bitcoins through hawala channels.”

What do you think about India seizing bitcoins from the hacker? Let us know in the comments section below.

Gold Exceeds U.S. Dollars in Russia’s Reserves as Putin Focuses on De-Dollarization

Par Kevin Helms
Russia Now Holds More Gold Than U.S. Dollars in $583 Billion Reserves as Putin Makes De-Dollarization Key Policy

Russia is now holding more gold than U.S. dollars in its reserves for the first time, according to the latest report by Russia’s central bank. Russian President Vladimir Putin has made de-dollarization his country’s key policy to reduce the Russian economy’s exposure to the U.S. dollar amid heavy sanctions.

Russia Now Has More Gold in Its Reserves Than US Dollars

Gold has reportedly surpassed U.S. dollars in Russia’s reserves of $583 billion for the first time, according to a report published this week by the Bank of Russia. The country has been growing its international reserves in recent years.

The report shows that gold made up 23% of the central bank’s reserves as of June 30, 2020, Bloomberg detailed, citing the latest data with a breakdown. The share of the U.S. dollar in the reserves has fallen to 22% from more than 40% in 2018. The euro made up about a third of the total assets, followed by gold which is now the second-largest component. About 12% is in the Chinese yuan.

The increase in the gold component of the reserves is boosted by the 26% surge in the price of the metal between June 2019 and June 2020, the publication added. The report also reveals that the central bank bought $4.3 billion worth of gold over the period.

Russia became the world’s largest gold buyer after it spent more than $40 billion purchasing gold over the past five years. The central bank said that it stopped buying gold in the first half of last year to encourage miners and banks to export more and bring foreign currency into the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made de-dollarization his country’s key policy in an effort to reduce the Russian economy’s exposure to dollar assets. The multi-year drive to reduce Russia’s vulnerability to U.S. sanctions comes amid deteriorating relations with Washington.

News.Bitcoin.com reported in August last year that Russia and China had been collaborating to reduce their dependence on the U.S. dollar, and trade settlements in USD between the two countries had fallen below 50%.

What do you think about Russia’s de-dollarization efforts? Let us know in the comments section below.

Swiss Stock Exchange’s Crypto Trading Volume Soars — Hits Record $1.2 Billion

Par Kevin Helms
Swiss Stock Exchange's Crypto Trading Volume Soars — Hits Record $1.2 Billion

Switzerland’s principal stock exchange has revealed that its crypto trading volume hit a record high of CHF 1.1 billion ($1.23 billion) in 2020. The exchange now offers 34 exchange-traded products, allowing investors “access to 100 different crypto products trading on our platform,” said the exchange’s head of markets.

Crypto Trading Volume on Switzerland’s Stock Exchange Hit Record High

SIX Swiss Exchange, Switzerland’s principal stock exchange, announced Wednesday that its crypto trading volume hit a record high last year. The announcement details:

The Swiss Stock Exchange, the world’s leading marketplace for regulated crypto products, has registered a break of the billion barrier in trading turnover in crypto products for the first time with CHF 1.1 billion in 2020.

It adds that this volume “surpassed the record CHF 525 million from 2017 by 112%.” In addition, “the number of trades reached a new record of 48,024.”

New Crypto ETP Listing

Concurrently, the Zurich-based stock exchange also welcomed ETC Group as its new crypto exchange-traded product (ETP) issuer. “ETC Group lists a bitcoin ETP, taking the number of ETP providers to six and the number of ETPs to 34,” the exchange confirmed.

“With the listing of the Btcetc Bitcoin ETP (Primary Ticker: BTCE) by ETC Group, the Swiss Stock Exchange is strengthening its position as [a] world leading marketplace for regulated crypto products,” the announcement notes. The newly listed product tracks the price of bitcoin and is 100% physically backed; it is trading in USD, GBP, and CHF.

Christian Reuss, Head of Markets at SIX Swiss Exchange, commented:

With the new product, investors gain access to 100 different crypto products trading on our platform and with this have even more opportunities to diversify their portfolio.

What do you think about all the crypto exchange-traded products on the Swiss stock exchange? Let us know in the comments section below.

IMF Says Only 23% of Central Banks Can Legally Issue Digital Currencies

Par Kevin Helms
IMF Says Only 23% of Central Banks Can Legally Issue Digital Currencies

Researchers at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have examined the central bank laws of 174 IMF members to answer the question of whether a digital currency is really money. They found that of all the central banks studied, only about 23%, or 40 central banks, “are legally allowed to issue digital currencies.”

IMF Explores if Digital Currency Is Money

The IMF published a blog post on Thursday exploring whether digital money is really money in the legal sense. The post is authored by Catalina Margulis, a consulting counsel in the IMF Legal Department’s Financial and Fiscal Law unit, and Arthur Rossi, a research officer in the same unit.

Expressing their own views, the authors began by observing that “close to 80 percent of the world’s central banks are either not allowed to issue a digital currency under their existing laws, or the legal framework is not clear.” They continued:

To help countries make this assessment, we reviewed the central bank laws of 174 IMF members … and found out that only about 40 are legally allowed to issue digital currencies.

IMF Says Only 23% of Central Banks Can Legally Issue Digital Currencies

Prior to the publication of this blog post, the IMF set up a poll on Twitter asking people to vote on whether they think digital currencies are really money. Out of 95,256 votes collected, 79.9% said yes.

IMF Says Only 23% of Central Banks Can Legally Issue Digital Currencies

What Qualifies as Currency

The IMF researchers noted that “To legally qualify as currency, a means of payment must be considered as such by the country’s laws and be denominated in its official monetary unit. A currency typically enjoys legal tender status, meaning debtors can pay their obligations by transferring it to creditors.” They detailed:

Therefore, legal tender status is usually only given to means of payment that can be easily received and used by the majority of the population. That is why banknotes and coins are the most common form of currency.

The authors noted that to “use digital currencies, digital infrastructure — laptops, smartphones, connectivity — must first be in place.” However, they pointed out that “governments cannot impose on their citizens to have it, so granting legal tender status to a central bank digital instrument might be challenging.”

The IMF staff also mentioned some legal issues raised by the creation of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Among the areas of concern are “tax, property, contracts, and insolvency laws; payments systems; privacy and data protection; most fundamentally, preventing money laundering and terrorism financing,” the IMF researchers described.

In conclusion, while noting that “Without the legal tender designation, achieving full currency status could be equally challenging,” the researchers emphasized:

Many means of payments widely used in advanced economies are neither legal tender nor currency.

Do you think digital currencies are money? Let us know in the comments section below.

A Russian Operation Is Mining Bitcoin in the Arctic Circle for Cheap Electricity

Par Jamie Redman

A Russian company is leveraging the Siberian city of Norilsk located above the Arctic Circle in order to mine bitcoins. Bitcluster, the owner of the crypto mining operation, plans to expand the firm’s activities after launching the facility in late 2020. According to the company’s website, the datacenter is getting electricity rates as low as $0.03 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

Mining Precious Crypto Assets in the Arctic Circle

This week the Russian mining operation Bitcluster was featured in a Bloomberg video-report that highlights the company’s Norilsk bitcoin mine. The city of Norilsk is considered one of the world’s most northerly settlements and it is known for hosting the metal mining company MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC. MMC Norilsk Nickel is the world’s largest palladium producer and it also produces colossal amounts of nickel, copper, and platinum.

Now Bitcluster is bringing the polar region a new type of precious-asset mining by setting up shop mining cryptocurrency in Norilsk.

A Russian Operation Is Mining Bitcoin in the
The Siberian city of Norilsk is home to a permanent population of 175,000 and during nickel and palladium mining season the Arctic Circle area can have around 220,000 people.

Bitcluster’s cofounder Vitaly Borschenko detailed in an interview that the Norilsk bitcoin mine is being contracted by international interests located all around the world. Despite the fact that the arctic region of Norilsk is extremely cold, the temperatures benefit the bitcoin mining operations according to Bitcluster as it helps the cooling aspect of the process.

Bitcluster’s webpage details that the company uses a special canopy in order to protect the facility from the cold corridor. “The warm air from the miners is mixed to prevent the snow from falling,” Bitcluster notes.

A Russian Operation Is Mining Bitcoin in the
Bitcluster says that it is housing mining rigs in various containers in the region often covered in permafrost.

Polar Region Power Is 25% Cheaper Than Russia’s Grid, Norilsk Creates Its Own Electricity Via Natural Gas and Hydropower

The Russian firm says it also leverages Antminer S19s and they constructed modular data centers in order to accommodate the ASIC devices. The Bloomberg video-report also shows that the company is getting very cheap electricity by mining in Norilsk.

A Russian Operation Is Mining Bitcoin in the
According to Bitcluster’s cofounder Vitaly Borschenko the company started mining in Norilsk late last year.

According to the recent report, Electric is 25% cheaper than anywhere else in Russia, as Norilsk creates its own electricity. Natural gas and hydropower is the most dominant source of electricity in the Arctic Circle territory. Bitcluster’s site notes that the firm is obtaining electricity for as low as 2.75 rubles or $0.039 per kWh.

The report also indicates that the bitcoin mining operation is using an abandoned Norilsk Nickel plant that was closed in 2016. “The place is perfect for crypto mining: it’s cold and the area has [a] power supply that’s not linked to any of Russia’s power grids,” Borschenko detailed.

Bitcluster also claims, that next to the metal mining firm Norilsk Nickel, the bitcoin mining operation will be the Norilsk region’s second-largest power consumer. The company uses repurposed shipping containers to house the Antminers dedicating hashpower to the Bitcoin network. At current exchange rates, the network’s difficulty, and $0.039 per kWh, an Antminer S19 (110 Th/s) will produce $25 per day in bitcoin.

What do you think about the bitcoin mining operation in the Arctic Circle region of Norilsk? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Mt Gox Creditors Asked to Approve a Settlement Proposal Drafted by Coinlab

Par Jamie Redman
Mt Gox Creditors Asked to Approve a Settlement Proposal Drafted by Coinlab

On January 15, the public was made aware of a deal between the firm Coinlab Inc., the Mt Gox bankruptcy trustee, Nobuaki Kobayashi, alongside MGIFLP, a subsidiary of Fortress Investment Group. According to the proposal, Mt Gox creditors will be able to claim as much as 90% of the bitcoin held by Kobayashi and the Tokyo court. Despite the recent reports, creditors still have to approve the proposal made by the company.

Coinlab Offers Mt Gox Creditors a Proposal

Last week, Mt Gox creditors were told there was a new online system dedicated to the claims they hold. Essentially, the Mt Gox creditors are a band of former customers of the exchange who want to obtain some of the funds lost during the breach seven years ago. Mt Gox was a bitcoin trading exchange and at the height of 2013, the platform was estimated to handle 70% of all BTC transactions.

Mt Gox was hacked for 850,000 BTC and the exchange closed its doors in February 2014 and filed for bankruptcy. 200,000 BTC was found after the bankruptcy and for the last seven years creditors have been trying to get their claim of stolen BTC.

*COINLAB SAYS AGREEMENT SUBJECT TO CREDITOR ACCEPTANCE
*CREDITORS CAN CLAIM 90% OF BITCOIN THEY ARE OWED FROM MT. GOX
*COINLAB REACHES DEAL WITH MT. GOX CREDITORS OVER BITCOIN CLAIMS

story to follow

— Matt Leising (@mattleising) January 15, 2021

A number of Mt Gox creditors, experts, and even the exchange’s founder have reported during the last few years that the company Coinlab Inc., led by Peter Vessenes has delayed the settlement proceedings. This is due to the fact that Coinlab has a litigation case against Mt Gox and former CEO Mark Karpeles. In 2019, following a delay from the Mt Gox trustee, bitcoin security specialists Wizsec published a scathing critique of the Coinlab claim for US$16 billion and alleged that it was “the elephant in the room causing this delay.”

Now it seems Coinlab wants to cut a deal with Mt Gox creditors as long as they vote to agree upon what the company has offered. Bloomberg contributor Matt Leising reported on Friday that Coinlab has come to an agreement with MGIFLP and the Mt Gox bankruptcy trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi.

Individuals on Social Media Don’t Favor the Story

The deal will allow creditors to obtain 90% of the BTC remaining under Kobayashi and the Tokyo court’s supervision. Leising’s report notes that creditors have to approve the deal and they can also wait for the lawsuit to settle. Leising is also the Bloomberg reporter that wrote about a so-called Satoshi claimant dubbed “Duality.”

Mt Gox Creditors Asked to Approve a Settlement Proposal Drafted by Coinlab

Leising also discussed the story on Friday afternoon, and a number of people on Twitter responded to his tweets. Arcane Assets CIO, Eric Wall, wrote “Funny joke Matt,” and a number of people also talked about the deal on Reddit.

On the Mt Gox Insolvency Discussion Sub on Reddit, there were a number of people disgruntled with Coinlab’s deal. One person discussing the subject on the insolvency subreddit said that Coinlab would get 10% of the remaining cut, while another individual called Leising’s tweet “fake news.”

What do you think about the deal set forth by Coinlab in Leising’s recent report? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Bahamas-Based Deltec Bank Holds a ‘Large’ Bitcoin Position

Par Felipe Erazo
Bahamas-Based Deltec Bank Holds a 'Large' Bitcoin Position

Bahamas-based Deltec Bank & Trust said during a recent video review that it’s holding a “large position” in bitcoin. The information was given by their chief investment officer, Hugo Rogers.

Deltec Executive Discusses Bitcoin Position

According to the video uploaded to the bank’s Youtube channel, Deltec’s large position in bitcoin (BTC) has brought “a lot of attention recently.”

Rogers further explained the move:

We bought bitcoin for our clients at about $9,300, so that worked very well through 2020. And we expect it to work well in 2021 as the liquidity crisis continues to run hot.

Earlier this year, Rogers told Bloomberg about what represents a bitcoin position from a strategical point of view:

A small position in Bitcoin can go a long way. There’s a lack of an alternative in real assets that can show a comparable return. If you’re going to diversify your portfolio anyway, this is a good place to go.

The stablecoin issuer Tether is a client of Deltec. In fact, the relationship between both parties dates back to atleast 2018, after Tether released a letter confirming a transaction with the bank.

To clarify the separation between Tether and the bank’s holdings, Stuart Hoegner, general counsel of the crypto trading platform Bitfinex and Tether, commented on the matter:

We are aware of recent statements by Deltec Bank & Trust Limited about the purchase of digital tokens for and on behalf of their customers. Tether does not outsource decisions about its reserves. Deltec does not purchase digital tokens for and on Tether’s behalf.

Private Banks, Advisors Are Looking for Crypto-Related Investment Opportunities

The recent crypto market’s bull-run has been fueled interest among private banks and investment advisors towards crypto.

German private bank Hauck & Aufhäuser announced that they would launch a crypto investment fund this year. Such a move will allow institutional and semi-institutional investors to invest in digital assets including, bitcoin, ether, and stellar.

Also, news.Bitcoin.com reported on a survey that revealed that the number of U.S. financial advisors allocating to crypto in their clients’ portfolios surged significantly in 2020.

What are your thoughts on Deltec’s bitcoin position disclosure? Let us know in the comments section below.

TNABC Miami’s Eighth Annual Conference Goes Virtual, Event Underscores Technology’s Important Role

Par Bitcoin.com
TNABC Miami's Eighth Annual Conference Goes Virtual, Event Underscores Technology's Important Role

On January 28-29, 2021, The North American Bitcoin Conference (TNABC) is preparing to kick off its eighth exhibition with another cryptocurrency and blockchain-focused event. The event organizers have lined up more speakers than ever, as this year’s TNABC is going to be 100% virtual due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. TNABC’s creators say that this year has truly shown us all “how resilient a global crypto economy can be.”

The North American Bitcoin Conference is coming back full throttle this year, as organizers say the team has curated a line-up of some of the biggest names in the crypto and blockchain industry. This year’s TNABC will be the event’s eighth annual conference, but the Covid-19 pandemic has made it so 2021’s TNABC will be hosted online. The hardships have been difficult this year, but there’s still a great need to press on in order to spread the benefits of these extraordinary technologies far and wide.

TNABC Miami's Eighth Annual Conference Goes Virtual, Event Underscores Technology's Important Role

“With cryptocurrencies reaching all-time highs, it’s our responsibility to share knowledge and make sense of the ever-changing global landscape,” the 2021 TNABC website notes. During the last seven years, The North American Bitcoin Conference has hosted a wide range of speakers from crypto company executives, venture capitalists, blockchain developers, and the movers and shakers making things happen in the blockchain space.

TNABC Miami's Eighth Annual Conference Goes Virtual, Event Underscores Technology's Important Role
The North American Bitcoin Conference 2021 speakers.

2021’s TNABC event page details that the team of organizers lined up a myriad of big name speakers from around the world to “deliver a compact masterclass on the state of cryptocurrency.”

Well known crypto and blockchain evangelists speaking at this year’s TNABC include Bitcoin.com’s founder Roger Ver, IOHK founder Charles Hoskinson, Monero core developer Riccardo Spagni, Polymath CEO Trevor Koverko, OB1 CEO Brian Hoffman, blockchain entrepreneur Brock Pierce, Freeross.org founder and political activist Lyn Ulbricht, Edge founder and CEO Paul Puey, Binary Financial’s Harry Yeh, Bloq chairman and cofounder Matthew Roszak, and Bitwage founder and CEO Jonathan Chester.

TNABC Miami's Eighth Annual Conference Goes Virtual, Event Underscores Technology's Important Role
The North American Bitcoin Conference 2021 speakers.

This week, TNABC host and Keynote founder and CEO, Moe Levin, discussed the upcoming virtual conference with news.Bitcoin.com. “The fact that we are all able to join this event, many at short notice, from all over the globe, most if not all of our plans made from our phones, shows me how rapidly our world has changed in recent years and what an important role technology now plays in our lives,” Levin said. “It also shows me how ready the world is for a new technology that is as international and as mobile and as easy as the rest of the technology in our lives.”

The TNABC host and Keynote founder added:

It shows me that it’s time to move forward with blockchain and cryptocurrencies and give the world a technology befitting of our current age. And thanks to the great reception we’re seeing online, it shows me that others feel the same way.

TNABC organizers also detailed that even though participants can’t have a drink together in Miami, the event will still host online networking. In addition to keynote speakers, the conference will also focus on debates between global change-makers, thought leaders, and industry insiders.

News.Bitcoin.com readers can obtain tickets to TNABC 2021 here and after acquiring a pass, participants will get a unique join code and link to register on the event platform on January 25-26, 2021. TNABC organizers have also created a comprehensive guide and what to expect at this year’s conference.

What do you think about the 2021 TNABC event? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

French Programmer Sent Bitcoin Donations to Far-Right Activists Who Participated in the US Capitol Riots

Par Felipe Erazo
French Computer Programmer Sent Bitcoin Donations to Far-Right Activists in 2020 Who Participated in the US Capitol Riots

A crypto forensic analysis reveals that a French donor sent over $500,000 worth of bitcoin (BTC) to far-right activists in the United States. The half-million dollars went to the groups that took part in the pro-Trump riots in the U.S. Capitol.

Alt-Right Personalities and Websites Are Included on the List of Recipients

According to Chainalysis, the unnamed donor sent 28.15 BTC (worth $522,000 at the transfer time) on Dec. 6, 2020, to 22 separate addresses in a single transaction. Per the report, many of those wallets belong to personalities tied to far-right activists in the U.S.

Yahoo News detailed that Vdare (anti-immigration organization), the Daily Stormer (right-wing website), and Nick Fuentes were among the crypto donation recipients. Alt-right streamer Ethan Ralph is also on the list that Chainalysis published regarding the half a million dollar donation.

The blockchain analytics firm clarified that there is no evidence yet on Fuentes’ participation in the Capitol’s riots. However, it quoted previous statements from him asking people to protest Congressional certification of Joe Biden’s victory.

But Chainalysis still highlighted that a BTC donation worth over $250,000 sent on Dec. 8, 2020, is by far the largest crypto donation Fuentes has ever received.

Donor Might Have Committed Suicide After Arranging the BTC Payments

Regarding the French donor’s identity, there is information that the wallet used to arrange the payments has been active since 2013. The blockchain analytics firm suggests he could be a “relatively early adopter of bitcoin whose holdings have grown in value significantly.”

One of the BTC addresses associated with the donor’s wallet is registered on Nameid — a service that allows users to associate their online identity with their BTC address.

Chainalysis found that the crypto donor is a French computer programmer after searching through his email address. After he sent the donations, he published what seems to be a suicide note on a personal blog. The report, which indicates the motivation behind his donations, reads:

He mentions that he has ‘bequeathed [his] fortune to certain causes and certain people,’ and cites several alt-right talking points in his analysis of the world today. For instance, he states his belief that ‘Western civilization is declining,’ and claims that Westerners are encouraged to hate their ‘ancestors and heritage.’

According to Yahoo News, Federal authorities and law enforcement agencies are also investigating the source of funds.

What do you think about the findings by Chainalysis? Let us know in the comments section below.

Venezuelan President Maduro Promises 2021 Will Be the Year to Boost Usage of Petro

Par Felipe Erazo
Venezuelan President Maduro Promises 2021 Will Be the Year to Boost Usage of Petro

The Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, has claimed that 2021 will be the year of the state-backed petro (PTR) token. He also promised to boost a “100% national digital economy” agenda through a “complete digitalization process.”

77% of Trade Transactions in Venezuela Are Made via Digital Solutions in Bolivar

During an annual speech at the National Assembly, Maduro talked about a “revival” for the petro, a cryptocurrency that some analysts have not seen any strong potentials in, at least in terms of adoption.

However, the Venezuelan president believes his economy’s agenda should boost the national crypto market and its related remittance service, Patria. He explained:

The revival of the use of petro, of all cryptocurrency systems, the use of blockchain technologies, the development of the Patria system, and the generation of new applications will set the tone for 2021.

Over the year, Maduro plans to strengthen the usage of contactless payment solutions to ride-off from cash payments. He added:

This year, we are going to facilitate the use of means of payment in national currency for public transport and all businesses, through payment systems that do not need an online connection.

The president revealed that 77% of trade transactions in the country are made via digital solutions in bolivar and 20% in cash. Moreover, he claimed that the country’s crypto-remittance platform has 21.2 million people registered as of press time.

Maduro Promises to Strengthen Blockchain Development in 2021

Maduro also hinted that he will strengthen blockchain industry development in Venezuela as part of its 2021 agenda, noting:

National and global cryptocurrency systems will set the tone for 2021, as will the use of blockchain technology in different sectors … and the development of new applications that will provide solutions to specific problems.

On Dec. 21, 2020, news.Bitcoin.com reported words from the president of the National Association of Cryptocurrencies of Venezuela (Asonacrip), who praised the bull run seen in bitcoin’s price that month. Jose Ángel Álvarez believes such rally helps the “usability of a very novel crypto asset,” including the petro.

What do you think about Maduro’s petro promises? Let us know in the comments section below.

$100 Swaps: Ethereum Dex Volumes Saw $39 Billion Last Month Despite ‘Insane’ Trading Fees

Par Jamie Redman
$100 Swaps: Ethereum Dex Volumes Saw $39 Billion Last Month Despite 'Insane' Trading Fees

During the last 12 months, Ethereum-based decentralized finance (defi) solutions and decentralized exchange (dex) platforms have been very popular. Dex applications, in particular, have seen massive demand and during the last 30 days, dex trade volumes have reached $39 billion in swaps. However, one of the biggest issues confronting dex users continues to be the enormous fees associated with interacting with platforms like Uniswap and other dex platforms.

Ethereum’s Decentralized Exchange Platforms See Record 30 Day Trade Volumes

Dex applications like Uniswap, 1inch, Sushiswap, 0x, Matcha, Kyber, and others have been very popular platforms during the last year. The defi market aggregator defipulse.com shows that there’s over $22 billion in value locked into defi platforms today. A considerable amount of this locked ether value is also represented by dex applications and the growing user base. On January 14, 2021, stats from Dune Analytics shows that during the last month, dex trade volumes gathered $39.86 billion. Dex applications have seen $12 billion in swaps during the last seven days, and the top dex application in terms of volume is Uniswap.

$100 Swaps: Ethereum Dex Volumes Saw $39 Billion Last Month Despite 'Insane' Trading Fees
The aggregate total of all the decentralized exchanges’ trailing 30-day volume growth has spiked by 103% this month.

Uniswap’s trade volume is followed by Sushiswap, Curve, 0x, and Balancer respectively. Every week, Uniswap and Sushiswap are seeing billions in global trade volume and Uniswap is the fourth largest defi application, according to current stats with around $2.77 billion total value locked (TVL). However, even though decentralized exchanges have seen large TVL balances and significant trade volume, the crypto community has been flabbergasted by the fees associated with Ethereum-based dex applications.

Crypto Users Complain About Massive Dex Fees

For instance, the popular Bitcoin researcher and author, Hasu, recently said that some “defi projects produce nearly as much cash flows from fees as the entire Bitcoin network does.” During the last two weeks, a great number of crypto proponents have been complaining about the massively sized fees associated with dex platforms like Uniswap and Sushiswap.

$100 Swaps: Ethereum Dex Volumes Saw $39 Billion Last Month Despite 'Insane' Trading Fees
Bitcoin proponent Brad Mills complains about the dex fees stemming from the Ethereum-based platform Uniswap.

Moreover, in some cases, people have had to eat the associated onchain trading fee, but the swap ultimately fails. On January 7, 2021, the bitcoin pundit Brad Mills tweeted about paying a $120 dex trading fee.

“Just a casual $120 fee to use Uniswap on Ethereum,” Mills said. “Defi is the future of finance for the unbanked,” he added sarcastically. A few hours ago, one individual wrote: “I’m gonna go cry now over the Uniswap fees I just paid.”

In another tweet on Friday, one user explained that the “fees on Uniswap are insane— They need to figure out a way to curb this or Uniswap will plateau as a decentralized exchange,” he added while sharing a picture of the Uniswap fees on Friday.

$100 Swaps: Ethereum Dex Volumes Saw $39 Billion Last Month Despite 'Insane' Trading Fees

The screenshot shows that the slowest transaction will cost $40 in ether fees, and that transaction should settle in 12 minutes. A medium-speed transaction that will settle in a single minute, costs over $58 dollars to interact with Uniswap. Moreover, the fastest confirmation time of under 30 seconds will set a trader back $100 just for the fee. “Oh my god these Uniswap fees are insane…,” another person tweeted on Friday afternoon. Another person complained and said they wanted to trade but dex fees are too high.

“I wanna start trading on Uniswap, but I’m not rich yet so….fees. Any alternatives?” the person asked.

Of course, throughout all the discussions about the high dex fees, a great number of crypto community members shilled their own favorite blockchain with claims of lower fees. Despite Ethereum’s colossal lead in the decentralized finance (defi) space, many people believe the network will falter if fees are not improved in the near future. One person even compared the Ethereum network to BTC’s fee and transaction congestion issues and referred to both network’s as antiquated tech.

ETH is the Bitcoin of Defi,” explained the Twitter account dubbed ‘Green Eggs-n-Sam.’ “Old tech, failed to scale >10 yrs., fees [are a] fu**ing joke, flawed incentives, running on fumes of first-mover advantage, practically unusable w/o a centralized layer 2, all the while, superior solutions, and off-ramps are appearing left and right.” The crypto proponent’s harsh criticism actually was a fairly popular tweet with 165 likes at the time of publication.

What do you think about the recent dex trade volumes and the massive fees associated with dex application swaps? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

New Jersey Gym Claims State Seized $173K From Bank, Owner Discusses Cryptocurrency Solutions With Tucker Carlson

Par Jamie Redman

On January 14, Ian Smith, the co-owner of the Atilis Gym in New Jersey appeared on Fox News with the news anchor, Tucker Carlson, and discussed his battle with the state of New Jersey’s coronavirus lockdown orders. Smith and his business partner have defied the state’s lockdown orders and remained open for months. The Bellmawr establishment has been fined $15k per day, as the company does not adhere to enforcing Covid-19 protocols. On Wednesday evening the state of New Jersey allegedly took action and seized $173,613 from the gym owner’s bank account.

Atilis Gym Owner Claims the State of New Jersey Seized $173K from His Bank Account

The co-owner of the Bellmawr, New Jersey (NJ) establishment Atilis Gym is extremely upset because he says his legal funds were confiscated by the state on Wednesday. Ian Smith and his business partner, Frank Trumbetti, own and operate the gym. Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the establishment has refused to follow Covid-19 protocols enforced by the state.

The co-owners of the Bellmawr, New Jersey (NJ) establishment Atilis Gym, Ian Smith (left) and Frank Trumbetti (right).

For instance, Atilis Gym does not require gym patrons to wear masks inside while working out. After refusing to follow the lockdown protocols assigned by NJ Governor Philip Murphy and the State Health Commissioner, Judith Persichilli, Atilis Gym has been fined $15k per day for remaining open in this manner.

In July, NJ law enforcement officials barricaded the Atilis Gym entrance and arrested Smith and Trumbetti for defying court orders. A week later, Smith and Trumbetti filmed themselves breaking down the barricades the state leveraged to block the Atilis Gym’s doors. Smith and his partner stress that there have been zero cases of Covid-19 traced back to the gym.

FREE MEN WILL NOT BE SILENCED.
FREE MEN WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED.
FREE MEN WILL NOT BE OPPRESSED.

— Ian Smith (@iansmithfitness) January 9, 2021

After the $15k daily fines started to add up, the levy against the NJ establishment has climbed well over a million U.S. dollars to-date. This week, Smith tweeted that the state had upped the enforcement on Wednesday by seizing $173,613 from the gym owner’s bank account.

Smith said:

Moments ago Governor Murphy and his cronies seized 100% of the Atilis Gym legal defense money ($173,613.60) in the middle of our appeals process – effectively and intentionally interfering with our right to counsel. If you think that’s gonna make us stand down, you’re delusional.

Cryptocurrencies Are One of Most Frequent Recommendations, Says New Jersey Gym Owner

Following the tweet, a few people recommended that the Atilis Gym owner accept cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Smith also appeared on Fox News after the funds were seized, and he discussed the incident with the news anchor Tucker Carlson.

“This is in the middle of an appeals process and ongoing litigation in the matter of the fines and several other matters regarding the state, including a lawsuit against Governor Murphy and [the State Health Commissioner] Judith Persichilli,” Smith explained to Carlson. During the episode, Tucker Carlson also mentioned the subject of cryptocurrencies.

“How long do you think they’ll allow cryptocurrencies to exist,” Carlson asked the Atilis Gym owner chuckling to himself. Continuing to laugh, Carlson further said “Sorry, it’s just a thought as they can’t seize it from you…” Smith replied to Carlson’s cryptocurrency comment and said: “No, they can’t [seize crypto].”

The Atilis Gym owner further added:

That’s actually one of the frequent recommendations for people who want to continue to donate is to set up a cryptocurrency account.

It’s uncertain whether or not Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti will set up a cryptocurrency account in order to accept censorship-resistant donations. Whether the Atilis Gym owners do decide to accept crypto or not, the story still highlights the benefits of crypto assets like bitcoin that cannot be seized in such a manner. This is likely why digital currencies are one of the most frequent recommendations given to the New Jersey gym owners. Despite Smith’s most recent claims on Twitter and Fox News, the NJ Attorney General’s office disputes the money seizure.

“This information is not accurate,” an NJAG spokesperson told the news anchor Carlson. “The State has not seized [its] bank account funds. However, the State has obtained judgments against the owners, and intends to collect on them. Whether that affects the entire balance of the gym’s funds is a question to ask the bank,” the NJAG spokesperson added.

What do you think about the Atilis Gym owner’s problems with the state? Do you think they should accept cryptocurrencies like bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.

Argentine Billionaire Marcos Galperin Says Bitcoin a ‘Better Store of Value Than Gold’ as Officials Plan to Print More Pesos

Par Terence Zimwara
Argentine Billionaire Marcos Galperin Says Bitcoin a 'Better Store of Value Than Gold' as Officials Plan to Print More Pesos

Argentine billionaire and CEO of the e-commerce platform Mercado Libre, Marcos Galperin says bitcoin is a better store of value than gold. However, the billionaire thinks the crypto will not replace fiat currency due to what he terms the high “energy cost required to process its transfers.”

Bitcoin Mining Energy Consumption Misconception

Galperin, who has an estimated net worth of $7.7 billion, made the remarks when responding to an inquiry from a Twitter user. The user wanted to know if the billionaire was a BTC holder as well as his opinion on the possibility of Argentina adopting cryptocurrencies.

Argentine Billionaire Marcos Galperin Says Bitcoin a 'Better Store of Value Than Gold' as Officials Plan to Print More Pesos

Although Galperin dismisses the idea of cryptocurrencies actually replacing fiat currencies, he does, however, think that “quantum computing” can solve the challenge of high energy costs which he believes to afflict the Bitcoin network.

However, the billionaire’s remarks about the bitcoin network energy costs prompted a response from bitcoiners. For instance, in their response to the billionaire’s tweet, one user going by the name Martín Morando agrees with the first part of Galperin’s comments. Nevertheless, the user is quick to explain to the billionaire that his understanding of bitcoin mining may not be correct.

In his tweet, Morando says, “the energy cost is not a problem (but) it is part of the combo.” He adds that “most of the energy used is renewable.” The Twitter user then refers the billionaire to a website that debunks the theory that bitcoin mining is energy inefficient.

On the other hand, another user Ibarra Gustavo poses a question to Galperin:

In Mercado Libre and Mercado Pago have they measured how many k.w.h they consume to process money transfers with all credit card and Mercado Pago entities that operate?

Still, other users like Matias Walkoski are skeptical of Galperin’s opinion that quantum computing will prove to be instrumental in hastening BTC adoption. Instead, Walkoski thinks all “a quantum computer could do is make BTC’s cryptographic keys hackable.”

Another Deluge of Pesos Coming

Meanwhile, as Galperin is lauding bitcoin, reports were emerging from his crisis-laden home country that it wants to inject new money. Some experts believe Argentina’s planned injection of $12 billion worth of new money, which is less than the $16.4 billion injected in 2020, will worsen the country’s current plight. As of December 2020, Argentina had a reported inflation rate of 40% while its currency depreciated by as much as 94% against the U.S. dollar.

According to one report, economic experts are predicting that the planned injection of new money will result in the significant depreciation of the peso and a higher inflation rate. Therefore, to escape the expected currency depreciation, the experts are encouraging Argentines to use “the crunchy pesos to buy bitcoin.”

Do you agree with Galperin’s remarks that BTC will not replace fiat currencies? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Crypto Exchange Owner Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Multimillion-Dollar Scheme to Defraud Americans

Par Kevin Helms
Crypto Exchange Owner Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Multimillion-Dollar Scheme to Defraud Americans

The U.S. has sentenced a cryptocurrency exchange owner to 10 years in prison. He “knowingly and intentionally engaged in business practices designed to both assist fraudsters in laundering the proceeds of their fraud and to shield himself from criminal liability,” the Department of Justice alleges.

Crypto Exchange Owner Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Tuesday that a bitcoin exchange owner has been sentenced to 121 months in prison “for his role in a transnational and multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud American victims.”

Following his conviction in September last year, Rossen G. Iossifov was sentenced “for conspiracy to commit a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) offense and conspiracy to commit money laundering.”

Crypto Exchange Owner Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Multimillion-Dollar Scheme to Defraud Americans

The DOJ explained that the 53-year-old Bulgarian national owned and managed a cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria, called RG Coins. Allegedly, he “knowingly and intentionally engaged in business practices designed to both assist fraudsters in laundering the proceeds of their fraud and to shield himself from criminal liability.” The Department of Justice claimed that at least five of his principal clients “were Romanian scammers, who belonged to a criminal enterprise known in court records as the Alexandria (Romania) Online Auction Fraud (AOAF) Network.”

Iossifov and his co-conspirators “engaged in a large-scale scheme of online auction fraud that victimized at least 900 Americans,” the DOJ detailed, adding that once victims sent payment:

The conspiracy engaged in a complicated money laundering scheme wherein domestic associates would accept victim funds, convert these funds to cryptocurrency, and transfer proceeds in the form of cryptocurrency to foreign-based money launderers.

“Iossifov was one such foreign-based money launderer who facilitated this final step in the scheme,” the DOJ noted.

The Department of Justice further alleged that “Iossifov designed his business to cater to criminal enterprises by, for instance, providing more favorable exchange rates to members of the AOAF Network,” elaborating:

Iossifov also allowed his criminal clients to conduct cryptocurrency exchanges for cash without requiring any identification or documentation to show the source of funds, despite his representations to the contrary to the major bitcoin exchanges that supported his business.

According to the DOJ, Iossifov laundered nearly $5 million in cryptocurrency for four scammers in less than three years. He also defrauded over $7 million from American victims and made over $184,000 in proceeds from these transactions.

What do you think about this case? Let us know in the comments section below.

Man Accidentally Threw Away Hard Drive With 7,500 Bitcoins, Offers City $72 Million to Search Landfill

Par Kevin Helms
Man Accidentally Threw Away Hard Drive With 7,500 Bitcoins, Offers City $72 Million to Search Landfill

A man has accidentally thrown away a hard drive containing 7,500 bitcoins. He is now offering his city 25% of the value of the bitcoins stored in the hard drive for permission to search the city’s landfill site. His bitcoins are now worth almost $300 million at the current price.

In Search of Hard Drive Containing 7,500 Bitcoins

James Howells, an IT engineer, mistakenly threw away the hard drive of an old computer containing 7,500 bitcoins. The coins, worth almost $300 million at the current price, is now in a landfill site in Newport, South Wales.

The 35-year-old explained that he threw out the hard drive that contained his bitcoin private keys in summer 2013 when he was clearing out his desk. After he realized his mistake, he asked the council for permission to search the city’s landfill site but his requests have been denied so far. He admitted:

I had two identical hard drives and I threw out the wrong one.

The Newport resident is now offering his city council 25% of the bitcoin stored in the hard drive, worth about $72 million at the current price, in the form of a Covid Relief Fund for the city’s residents. “I’ve got backing from a hedge fund who are willing to put up the funds for the project. We are happy to put money in an escrow account,” he noted.

“If I could access the landfill records, I could identify the week that I threw the hard drive away,” he shared his plans. “I could identify the serial number of the bin that it was in, and then I could identify where the grid reference is located. We only want to search in one specific area. We want to employ an inflatable structure to create an air-tight seal around that area to stop landfill gases escaping.”

Despite years in the landfill, Howells said he is confident that his bitcoins are recoverable, stating:

There is no guarantee that it’s still working because of the environment it’s been in, but there are things that give me confidence.

“The outside case might be rusted. But the inside disk, where the data is stored, there should be a good chance that it still works,” he elaborated. “I believe there still will be a chance. But the longer this drags on though, it’s less likely to be a possibility.”

A Newport City Council spokeswoman confirmed that the council “has been contacted a number of times since 2014 about the possibility of retrieving a piece of IT hardware said to contain bitcoins.”

According to the city council’s spokeswoman:

The cost of digging up the landfill, storing and treating the waste could run into millions of pounds – without any guarantee of either finding it or it still being in working order.

“The council has also told Mr. Howells on a number of occasions that excavation is not possible under our licensing permit and excavation itself would have a huge environmental impact on the surrounding area,” the spokesperson described. “Even if we were able to agree to his request, there is the question of who would meet the cost if the hard drive was not found or was damaged to such an extent that the data could not be recovered. We have, therefore, been clear that we cannot assist him in this matter.”

Do you think Howells will be able to recover his bitcoins? Let us know in the comments section below.

CEO Sentenced to 18-Month Jail Term for Accepting Bitcoin Bribes to List a Cryptocurrency

Par Felipe Erazo
Former Coinnest CEO to Spend 18-Month-Long Jail Term for Accepting Bitcoin Bribes to List a Cryptocurrency

A South Korean court has sentenced the former CEO of the defunct crypto exchange Coinnest to 18 months in prison. The court also fined him over $61,000, who also was charged for fraud in 2020.

Prosecutors Accused Coinnest Executives of Receiving 110 BTC in Bribes

According to Fn News, the Supreme Court of Korea determined that Kim Ik-hwan should spend time in jail, as the authorities previously indicted him in 2018 for accepting bitcoin (BTC) bribes.

The investigation unveiled that he and other executives received almost $771,270 worth of BTC (at the time) for arranging the listing of an unnamed altcoin — referred to by the court as “S” coin.

However, the former Coinnest CEO and its former operating director, Jo Mo, claimed there was “no unfair solicitation.” The prosecutors commented in the first trial:

The defendants acknowledged or promoted the situation that they were taking unreasonable gains by manipulating the market price on the exchange after listing the cryptocurrency. (…) This crime greatly undermined fairness and trust in cryptocurrency transactions. This is bad.

Although the Supreme Court, chaired by judge Noh Jeong-hee, didn’t reveal details on the “S” coin, prosecutors said the altcoin was issued by K Group.

The prosecution also accused Coinnest’s executives of receiving 110 BTC in bribes for the purpose. Jo Mo’s sentence is still pending confirmation by the Supreme Court.

Former Coinnest’s CEO Court History

The former CEO of the now-defunct crypto exchange has additional sentences on his CV. Alongside two unnamed executives, Kim was found guilty in February 2020 of fraud and embezzlement.

A South Korean court gave him a three-year prison sentence, but it was suspended for four years. Moreover, the appeals court sentenced Kim to pay a $2.5 million won fine, and also to serve 100 hours of community service.

The judge ruled that Kim and the other executives misappropriated “billions” of won, transferring client funds to employee accounts. At that time, the executives denied any wrongdoings.

Coinnest closed its crypto exchange operations in April 2019.

What do you think about this sentence? Let us know in the comments section below.

Crypto Mining Hardware Manufacturer Whatsminer Plans to Launch Public Offering in the US

Par Felipe Erazo
Crypto Mining Hardware Manufacturer Whatsminer Plans to Launch Public Offering in the US

One of the world’s biggest bitcoin mining machine manufacturers is preparing to go public in the United States. China-based Whatsminer is reportedly looking to obtain additional funds to buy Samsung chips with the initial public offering (IPO).

Whatsminer’s Revenue Could Hit $1 to $2 Billion in 2021

According to Chinese media outlets and Asian journalist Collin Wu, the company’s market value can exceed “tens of billions.”

Citing three sources familiar with the matter, Wu says that such a move could help the mining giant obtain more funds to increase its production capacity.

The founder of Whatsminer, Yang Zuoxing, is a former employee of Bitmain, and he claims to be the pioneer of the S9 mining devices Bitmain produces. Back in 2019, Bitmain sued him for “infringement of trade secrets.”

Whatsminer’s IPO plans include going public, on Nasdaq. The US public listing plans have been in the works since 2019. However, the aforementioned legal issues with Bitmain ahve delayed the listing.

Per Weixin, due to the surge in mining machines’ price, Whatsminer’s revenue could hit $1 to $2 billion in 2021. That’s why the expectations around the company are high in anticipation of the IPO, said Wu.

Although a timeline is not set yet, Weixin forecasts that both Whatsminer and Bitmain could be listed in the U.S. in the next two years.

Latest Moves in the Crypto Mining Industry

Overall, the crypto mining world has been quite lively in the last few months, especially in the manufacturing industry. 500.com Ltd reached an initial agreement to acquire mining machines from an unnamed non-U.S. seller. The transaction will allow the company to acquire mining machines, including such models as the M20s from Microbt S17, T17, and S9 from Bitmain.

On December 16, 2020, news.Bitcoin.com reported that the latest generation mining rigs’ prices have gone up 35% since the beginning of November.

What are your thoughts on Whatsminer’s IPO plans? Let us know in the comments section below.

Coinbase Issues a Public Apology to EU and UK Customers — Did Not Address Its Global Issues

Par Felipe Erazo
Coinbase Issues a Public Apology to EU and UK Customers — Did Not Address Its Global Issues

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase published a statement addressing their U.K. and E.U. customers, apologizing for system outages and account restrictions. The company also recognized their customer support “has not been at the levels” expected.

High Flow of Incoming Customers

According to the public apology, the U.S.-based crypto company said customers from both regions have been facing transaction restrictions. However, Coinbase didn’t make a direct mea culpa for its global issues, that occured precisely when volatility and velocity increased in the crypto markets.

Coinbase blamed the recent “sustained market rally that has brought a significant number of new customers” onto the platform.

Moreover, Coinbase claims that the regulatory environment is not helpful in this situation:

Evolving regulatory requirements mean that we have to collect additional information from some of our customers, which has meant temporary restrictions being placed on their accounts as we request that information.

But the firm admitted that they could do “a better job in communicating” regulatory obligations and requirements to their customers. However, they didn’t provide full details on the matter in the statement.

As additional measures to deal with the issues, the crypto exchange detailed that they’ll prioritize pending customer information requests. Also, Coinbase will send push notifications and emails, asking for additional information to more quickly remove restrictions.

Another of the changes rolled out by the firm is the re-enabling of a feature exclusive for their U.K. customers:

We have re-enabled a feature that allows U.K. customers to directly convert crypto into fiat currency (GBP/EUR) and transfer it into their Paypal accounts.

Coinbase’s Background on System Outages

Coinbase’s system reliability is often on the radar when bitcoin (BTC) volatility heats up, especially when it reaches new all-time highs.

Over the last weekend, the San Francisco trading platform had an issue with “delayed transfers.” The day prior, it suffered from “delayed transfers and elevated error rate.”

In another instance on Monday, the analyst Willy Woo tweeted about the San Francisco exchange Coinbase and stated that “buys on Coinbase are not completing.” The issue this time happened amid a larger bitcoin price drop.

As of press time, while the platform is working well, some customers have been experiencing a delay with ID verification, according to Coinbase’s status page.

What are your thoughts on the Coinbase mea culpa? Let us know in the comments section below.

Anchorage Obtains Federal License to Operate as Crypto Bank

Par Jeffrey Gogo
Anchorage Obtains Federal License to Operate as Crypto Bank From the OCC

The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has granted conditional approval to crypto custodian Anchorage to launch the first federally chartered digital asset bank in the country.

In a statement on Jan. 13, 2021, the OCC said the company received the national trust banking charter, which allows it to create Anchorage Digital Bank, following a thorough review of its operations.

With the approval, Anchorage will now be expected to comply with the capital and liquidity requirements of the OCC and certain risk management procedures. The firm signed an agreement with the banking regulator to this effect.

“By bringing this applicant into the federal banking system, the bank and industry will benefit from the OCC’s extensive supervisory experience and expertise,” said the regulator, a unit of the U.S. Treasury Department.

“At the same time, the Anchorage approval demonstrates that the national bank charters were provided under the National Bank Act are broad and flexible enough to accommodate evolving approaches to financial services in the 21st century,” it added.

Founded in 2017 by Nathan McCauley and Diogo Mónica, Anchorage provides crypto custody and trading services to institutional investors. The firm reportedly manages around $100 billion in transactions per year.

Anchorage filed for a national banking charter last year, hoping, among other things, to make it easier for conventional banks to offer crypto services via what it calls sub-custody with the company.

In a blog post on Wednesday, McCauley and Mónica detailed:

Having a national bank charter places Anchorage Digital Bank firmly on the same regulatory footing as other national banks in the country. Since our founding, we’ve been credited numerous times with blurring the lines between crypto and traditional finance. Today, we’re happy to see those lines begin to be erased.

Anchorage becomes the first cryptocurrency entity to receive a federal charter. However, last year Kraken and Avanti were both licensed to operate as digital asset banks by Wyoming state. The state charter allows the duo to go national, but there are limits.

The Anchorage banking charter is being hailed as an important development in the growth of the crypto industry in the U.S. Under Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks, the OCC has shown some progress in building the nascent sector. Last year, the regulator allowed banks to use stablecoins and public blockchains for settlement. The OCC also gave the green light for U.S. banks to hold stablecoin reserves for issuers.

What do you think about Anchorage’s national banking charter? Let us know in the comments section below.

Nigerian Youth Propels the Country to the Top of Google Bitcoin Search Rankings

Par Terence Zimwara
Nigerian Youth Propels the Country to the Top of Google Bitcoin Search Rankings

Nigeria, one of the biggest cryptocurrency markets in the world, recently emerged as the country with the highest number of bitcoin searches globally, according to Google Trends data. The data shows that the West African country has a search score of 100, which is more than double that of its nearest rival.

Youth-Driven Interest

According to one local report, Nigeria’s rise to the top of bitcoin search rankings signals the growing utility of the crypto in that country. The report also explains that country’s youth have been the decisive force behind this surge in bitcoin searches. This assertion is supported by Senator Ihenyen, the new president of the Stakeholders in the Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SIBAN).

Nigerian Youth Propels the Country to the Top of Google Bitcoin Search Rankings

In his reaction to Nigeria’s new status, Ihenyen insists this is hardly surprising for a country with a “median age of 18.4.” He contends that in such a scenario, “interest in bitcoin and its adoption should be expected.”

As the Google Trends data confirms, the Nigerian interest in bitcoin is also decentralized with the Delta State ranked first in that country. Lagos, the “most populous city” in Africa is ranked a distant 17th. According to the SIBAN leader, this decentralization of interest suggests that BTC is seen by the youth as “represent(ing) the democratization of access to global wealth.”

Decentralized Interest

Meanwhile, Ihenyen points out that while institutional investor interest in bitcoin is taking hold in countries like the United States, interest for BTC “in Nigeria is as decentralized as the cryptocurrency itself.” The SIBAN president explains:

Nigerians are experiencing the level of financial inclusion that many have expected for too long. The freedom of money is a powerful thing, especially in a borderless, digital economy. Whether for remittances, e-commerce, bitcoin trading, more and more Nigerians are taking interest in bitcoin daily.

According to Ihenyen, this growing interest be cannot be stopped but “can it be maximized and managed.” He adds that policymakers and regulators should therefore be searching for ways to maximize and manage this interest instead of “looking for the red button.”

In the meantime, the Google Trends data also shows that two more African countries, namely South Africa (2) and Ghana (5), make it into the top five of the rankings. The next highest-ranked African country to feature on the list is Kenya at number 14.

What does it mean for Nigeria to be ranked number on the bitcoin search list? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Etoro Warns Customers to Brace for Suspension of Crypto Buy Orders due to an ‘Unprecedented Demand’

Par Terence Zimwara
Etoro Warns Customers to Brace for Suspension of Crypto Buy Orders due to an 'Unprecedented Demand'

Etoro, a trading and investing platform, has warned its customers to brace for possible limitations on their buy orders this coming weekend. The company says it might be forced to take this and other steps if the anticipated and unprecedented surge in demand for cryptos occurs.

Unprecedented Demand and Limited Liquidity

The Israeli company’s warning follows its curb of European investors’ “ability to trade cryptocurrencies on margin” in the past week. The company had reportedly made this decision in “response to soaring risks in the market.”

Etoro’s notice, which implies that customer demand for cryptos remains high, comes less than a week after the BTC price plunged by more than 20% in less than 48 hours. This plunge caused the value of the entire cryptocurrency market to drop from over $1.1 trillion to $854 billion. Meanwhile, this recent BTC plunge occurred shortly after the crypto set a new all-time high (ATH) of over $41,900.

Still, in its notice, Etoro suggests that demand for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is outstripping the supply. In the email sent to customers on Jan. 13, Etoro says:

The unprecedented demand for crypto, coupled with limited liquidity, presents challenges to our ability to support buy orders over the weekend. In light of this, it may be necessary for us to place limitations on crypto buy orders over the weekend.

Therefore, as part of the steps to curb this unprecedented demand, Etoro says it may set a “maximum exposure per crypto-asset per client.” Additionally, the trading platform might consider “temporarily suspending the ability to place new crypto buy orders.”

Incredible Volatility

Furthermore, one report quotes an unnamed Etoro spokesperson saying “crypto markets are incredibly volatile at the moment and the weekends present the greatest challenges.” This market volatility is epitomized by bitcoin which on Jan. 13 had regained 10% of value in 24 hours of trading.

Etoro Warns Customers to Brace for Suspension of Crypto Buy Orders due to an 'Unprecedented Demand'

At the time of writing, bitcoin is trading at about $39,341 and its market capitalization is about $733 billion.

What are your thoughts on Etoro’s limitation plan? You can share your views in the comments section below.

Oaktree Capital Chairman Warms up to Crypto — Thankful His Son Owns Enough Bitcoin for the Family

Par Kevin Helms
Oaktree Capital Chairman Warms Up to Crypto — Thankful His Son Owns Enough Bitcoin for the Family

Oaktree Capital co-founder Howard Marks is warming up to cryptocurrency. Once a crypto skeptic, he now says “thankfully” his son is “quite positive on bitcoin” and “owns a meaningful amount for our family.”

Howard Marks Warming up to Crypto

Howard Marks, co-founder and co-chairman of Oaktree Capital Management, talked about bitcoin in a memo published this week. He has been discussing investment strategies with his son, Andrew, a professional investor who focuses on growth and technology companies.

In one section of the memo, Marks admitted that he had “a high level of skepticism” towards cryptocurrencies. The Oaktree Capital Management co-founder noted:

This view has been a source of much discussion for me and Andrew, who is quite positive on bitcoin and several others and thankfully owns a meaningful amount for our family.

“In the case of cryptocurrencies, I probably allowed my pattern recognition around financial innovation and speculative market behavior – along with my natural conservatism – to produce my skeptical position,” he explained. “These things have kept Oaktree and me out of trouble many times, but they probably don’t help me think through innovation.”

Marks continued: “I’ve concluded (with Andrew’s help) that I’m not yet informed enough to form a firm view on cryptocurrencies. In the spirit of open-mindedness, I’m striving to learn.” He proceeded to direct any questions and comments about cryptocurrency and bitcoin to his son.

The Oaktree Capital executive is not the only one who recently softened his view on bitcoin. Earlier this month, economist David Rosenberg pleaded “ignorance on bitcoin,” admitting that the cryptocurrency exceeded his expectation. In November, Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio admitted that he may be wrong about bitcoin and has since gained a better understanding of the cryptocurrency.

What do you think about Howard Marks’ view on bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.

Goldman Sachs Sees Bitcoin Market Becoming More Mature

Par Kevin Helms
Goldman Sachs Sees Bitcoin Market Becoming More Mature

Goldman Sachs’ global head of commodities research sees the bitcoin market becoming more mature. “The key to creating some type of stability in the market is to see an increase in the participation of institutional investors,” he detailed. Meanwhile, the price of the cryptocurrency soared on Thursday, regaining much of the losses from the beginning of the week.

Goldman Sachs Sees Maturing Bitcoin Market

Jeff Currie, global head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs, told CNBC this week that the bitcoin market is becoming more mature. Noting that it is “very difficult to forecast” bitcoin’s price due to the level of volatility and uncertainty in the market, the Goldman Sachs head of commodities research remarked:

I think the market is beginning to become more mature. I think in any nascent market you get that volatility and those risks that are associated with it.

The price of the bitcoin has just returned to the $40K level after taking a nosedive Sunday night, shedding billions off its market cap. It climbed from a low of $36,811 to a high of $40,015 on Thursday, gaining about 8.7%. At the time of writing, BTC is trading $39,583 and its market cap has surpassed $736 billion.

Goldman Sachs Sees Bitcoin Market Becoming More Mature
Bitcoin’s price chart showing a low of $36,811 and a high of $40,015 on Thursday. Source: markets.Bitcoin.com.

Currie further opined:

The key to creating some type of stability in the market is to see an increase in the participation of institutional investors and right now they’re small.

Currie added that “institutional money” only accounts for “roughly 1%” of bitcoin’s market cap. Meanwhile, Bitcointreasuries.org, the site which lists known companies holding bitcoin, shows that a total of 1,171,889 BTC are held by public companies and investment funds. This amounts to more than $46 billion or approximately 6% of bitcoin’s total market cap.

Nonetheless, the number of institutional investors with bitcoin in their portfolios has been increasing. Several reports suggest growing institutional demand for BTC, such as a survey by Fidelity, which found that almost 80% of 800 institutional investors surveyed find crypto assets appealing. Among recent institutional buyers of bitcoins are Microstrategy, Ruffer, Skybridge, and Massmutual.

Do you agree with the Goldman Sachs analyst? Let us know in the comments section below.

Bitcoin Price Spike Targets the $40K Handle, Crypto Economy Recaptures $1 Trillion Market Cap

Par Jamie Redman
Bitcoin Price Spike Targets the $40K Handle, Crypto Economy Recaptures $1 Trillion Market Cap

Crypto asset markets have seen some significant gains over the last 24 hours recapturing much of the losses suffered a few days ago. The entire crypto-economy valuation is now back over the $1 trillion mark and bitcoin has jumped above the $40k handle on January 14.

Bitcoin (BTC) and a number of other digital assets have experienced some nice price gains during the last day. Gains that have almost erased the losses felt on Sunday and Monday. Bitcoin’s market capitalization today is around $734 billion, and the crypto asset has gained over 11% during the last 24 hours. At the time of publication, BTC is exchanging hands for prices between $39,200 to $39,700 per unit, and has $23 billion in global trade volume today. Ethereum (ETH), the second-largest market cap has gained over 11% today as well and is swapping for $1,236 per ether.

Bitcoin Price Spike Targets the $40K Handle, Crypto Economy Recaptures $1 Trillion Market Cap
On January 14, 2021, the BTC/USD price touched a high of $40,113 per unit. At press time the price is exchanging hands for above $39k per unit.

The fourth-largest market valuation belongs to XRP, but the position is awfully close to being taken by the polkadot (DOT) crypto asset. XRP is trading for $0.30 per unit on Thursday and has a market valuation of around $13.6 billion. Following XRP, is polkadot’s (DOT) market, which has gained a whopping 21% during the day. DOT is trading for $12.79 per unit and has a market cap of around $12.1 billion. Behind DOT is litecoin (LTC), which is up as well gaining 11% today and swapping for $154 per LTC. Bitcoin cash (BCH) has gathered 12% in gains on Thursday jumping to $535 per BCH. Currently, BCH is trading for $526 per coin at the time of publication.

Bitcoin Price Spike Targets the $40K Handle, Crypto Economy Recaptures $1 Trillion Market Cap
The crypto economy has recaptured a $1 trillion market cap.

The last three top ten contenders include ADA (up 8%), XLM (up 7%), and BNB which has gained a touch over 6% today. Today’s biggest gainers include hedgetrade (HEDG +296.88%), idle (IDLE +81.56%), insights network (INSTAR +62.47%), coinmeet (MEET +47.68%), and keeperdao (ROOK +46.24%). The biggest losers on Thursday are coins such as fuzex (FXT -49.46%), robotina (ROX -45.05%), dragonchain (DRGN -42.81%), neuroChain (NCC -25.88%), and bitcore (BTX -25.30%).

The recent value spike has added confidence to many cryptocurrency advocates after last Monday’s losses.

“Welp, that was a quick bear market,” tweeted the bitcoin proponent Anthony Pompliano on Thursday. “Bitcoin back to $40,000. Stop listening to fools with no skin in the game,” Pompliano added.

Bitcoin Price Spike Targets the $40K Handle, Crypto Economy Recaptures $1 Trillion Market Cap
Plan B’s stock-to-flow (S2F) chart shared on January 14, 2021.

The creator of the stock-to-flow bitcoin price model, Plan B, also tweeted about the price jump after the crypto asset crossed $38k. Plan B stated:

Bitcoin $38k is nice, but I am still waiting for that larger monthly jump that usually marks the phase transition / the point of no return (red arrows).

The Civic founder Vinny Lingham, otherwise known as the ‘Oracle,’ also discussed the price on Thursday and made another prediction.

“If bitcoin breaks $42k, it’s going to run to test $50k pretty quickly,” Lingham tweeted. “If it doesn’t, then most likely we’re going to be stuck below $40k for a while, with some sideways consolidation [and] this may trigger a big run on altcoins. Keep an eye on ETH, FIL, SOL for major breakouts,” Lingham added.

What do you think about the recent cryptocurrency gains and bitcoin’s jump during the last 24 hours? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Popular Youtuber Ali Spagnola ‘Accidentally Got Bitcoin Rich,’ Decides to ‘Pay It Forward’

Par Jamie Redman

On Wednesday, the popular musician and Youtuber, Alicia Dawn “Ali” Spagnola, made a new video and tweeted about how she got “accidentally bitcoin rich,” after taking a request for her project called Free Paintings. After getting a bitcoin in 2013 and checking her account eight years later, Spagnola said: “I just found out that I am bitcoin rich— This is my attempt to use it for joy.”

Ali Spagnola is a well known artist, musician, and Youtuber with over 325,000 subscribers today. During one of her more recent videos, she explained how she accidentally got “bitcoin rich” from an individual who donated $50 in bitcoin to her in 2013. A few months ago, Spagnola realized that her Free Paintings project website accepted bitcoin donations and she tried to remember why she decided to take bitcoin donations back in 2013.

Popular Youtuber Ali Spagnola 'Accidentally Got Bitcoin Rich,' Decides to 'Pay It Forward'
The email Spagnola received in 2013.

In 2008, the artist and Youtuber started her project Free Paintings, where she takes requests via email so she can create a 12×12” acrylic painting for them. Spagnola has always created the artwork for free, and sends the artwork in the mail for free as well. To-date, Spagnola has created 2,700 paintings for people and over the years people have donated money to her as well. She still does the Free Paintings project to this day whenever she has time, as the waitlist is reported to be over 1,300 individuals long.

When Spagnola decided to look at her email inbox, she realized that an individual convinced her on June 25, 2013, to accept the digital currency. The original email said: “I would like to pay you $50 (in bitcoins) for your interpretation of a bitcoin- a new virtual currency that makes it super easy to send/receive money over the internet.”

The individual convinced her and so Spagnola painted him a 12×12” bitcoin painting and in the video, she shared the picture of her artwork that she designed at the time. When Spagnola originally checked the exchange rate of BTC it was well over $11k. Months later, Spagnola checked the exchange rate again, and the single bitcoin that the individual donated to her was worth $39k.

Popular Youtuber Ali Spagnola 'Accidentally Got Bitcoin Rich,' Decides to 'Pay It Forward'
The picture on the upper left side is the original 12×12” bitcoin painting Spagnola created for the individual who paid her a bitcoin.

Moreover, Spagnola connected with the individual that sent her the bitcoin, and he sent her a recent picture of the painting she made framed on his wall. So the artist and Youtuber decided to blast some of her bitcoin riches on lots of art supplies and started a new project. With an expensive wood-backed canvas Spagnola created a much larger bitcoin painting as a thank you for her gift back in 2013.

Popular Youtuber Ali Spagnola 'Accidentally Got Bitcoin Rich,' Decides to 'Pay It Forward'
Spagnola decided to create a new piece of art for the individual, met him in Las Vegas, and thanked him for the bitcoin donation. The popular Youtuber has also decided to pay it forward and gave away $50 in bitcoin to ten people who commented on her recent Youtube video.

“The original point of my Free Paintings project is that I want art to be for everyone, not just the elite, so I started giving it away and then people started donating for it,” Spagnola said.

The popular Youtuber further stressed:

The bitcoin [payment] part adds another layer,” Spagnola added. “Was it a $50 painting or worth thousands? Am I giving him something worthless right now? Perhaps Youtuber’s works will be in museums in the future?

Then Spagnola traveled to Las Vegas to meet the individual who paid her in bitcoin back in 2013, in order to give him the newer and much larger painting. When she met the individual at a coffee shop, he told her that the original “picture was one of his most prized possessions.”

Additionally, since Spagnola “got so lucky” she decided to “pay it forward” and do exactly what he did ten times. “I will be giving $50 in bitcoin to ten random commenters on this video,” Spagnola declared on her channel. The Youtuber Ali Spagnola’s recent bitcoin video follows a number of other popular Youtubers discussing the crypto asset phenomenon on the video-sharing platform.

Pewdiepie recently told his 107 million channel subscribers he’s been getting into cryptocurrencies and non-fungible token (NFT) asset games. The renowned Youtuber Andrei Jikh published a video in November to his 978,000 subscribers and explained that he invested over $100,000 in crypto assets. Jikh also said he also plans to follow up with that investment video.

What do you think about Spagnola’s video about her 12×12” bitcoin painting and the bitcoin payment she got increasing in value? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Survey: The Number of US Financial Advisors Allocating to Crypto in Client Portfolios Jumped 49% in 2020

Par Felipe Erazo
Survey: The Number of US Financial Advisors Allocating to Crypto in Client Portfolios Jumped 49% in 2020

A survey reveals that the number of U.S. financial advisors allocating to crypto in their clients’ portfolios surged significantly from 2019. The figures show that it rose 49% in 2020, from 6.3% to 9.4%.

A Vast Majority of the Advisors Also Have Personal Crypto Investments

According to the San Francisco-based asset management firm Bitwise, 58% of advisors allocating to crypto are independent Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs).

The report says that the finding is not a surprising one. In fact, RIAs do not have restrictions on which type of investments they can include in portfolios.

The study also reveals that the vast majority of advisors with clients investing in crypto had personal investments in the sphere. According to the report:

82% of advisors reporting client allocations to crypto also reported a personal investment in the space.

Advisors Are Still Interested in Increasing Their Crypto Positions

The report further notes that 78% of the surveyed advisors are thinking about increasing their clients’ crypto allocation in the next 12 months. However, 12% of them will keep “steady,” said the study.

Moreover, no advisors reported plans to decrease or remove their current crypto positions. The survey also adds:

The percentage of advisors planning to increase their clients’ allocation to crypto rose substantially this year; last year, just 42% of advisors with client allocations reported plans to increase that allocation.

Regarding the reasons for adding crypto-asset exposure to clients’ portfolios, the survey found a “sharp uptick” in advisors praising crypto’s “high potential returns.” Also, they pointed out crypto’s role in “inflation hedging” as an attractive feature for the asset class. Bitwise noted:

Thirty-eight percent (38%) of advisors highlighted ‘high potential returns’ as an attractive feature of crypto, up from 30% in last year’s survey … The biggest increase by far, however, was for ‘inflation hedging,’ which 25% of advisors highlighted as an attractive feature, up from just 9% in last year’s results. There has been a significant rise in interest in inflation-hedging tools over the past year, and a number of well-known institutional investors publicly highlighted bitcoin as a potential hedge against inflation risks in the past year.

What are your thoughts on the survey? Let us know in the comments section below.

Grayscale Investments Terminates XRP Trust Citing Impact of SEC Lawsuit Against Ripple

Par Kevin Helms
Grayscale Investments Terminates XRP Trust Citing Impact of SEC Lawsuit Against Ripple

Grayscale Investments is shutting down its Grayscale XRP Trust and liquidating its XRP holdings in order to distribute cash proceeds to the trust’s shareholders. The firm cited difficulty in converting XRP into U.S. dollars following the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Ripple.

Grayscale Axes XRP Trust

Grayscale Investments announced Wednesday that it is commencing the “dissolution of Grayscale XRP Trust.”

The company detailed that on Dec. 22, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decided “to file a federal court action against certain third parties asserting that XRP is a ‘security’ under federal securities law.” It added:

In response to the SEC’s action, certain significant market participants have announced measures, including the delisting of XRP from major digital asset trading platforms.

This has resulted in Grayscale’s “conclusion that it is likely to be increasingly difficult for U.S. investors, including the [Grayscale XRP] Trust, to convert XRP into U.S. dollars, and therefore continue the trust’s operations.”

Grayscale further explained that it “has liquidated the trust’s XRP and intends to distribute the net cash proceeds to trust shareholders, after deducting expenses and providing appropriate reserves and subject to any applicable withholding.”

The company emphasized:

The trust will terminate following distribution of the net cash proceeds.

After removing the XRP Trust, Grayscale now offers nine crypto investment products: the bitcoin trust, bitcoin cash trust, ethereum trust, ethereum classic trust, horizen trust, litecoin trust, stellar lumens trust, zcash trust, and the digital large-cap fund. On Jan. 13, the total assets under management across its crypto products total $24.7 billion.

Do you think Grayscale did the right thing in closing down its XRP product? Let us know in the comments section below.

ECB Chief Christine Lagarde Calls for Global Bitcoin Regulation — Says BTC Conducts ‘Funny Business’

Par Kevin Helms
ECB Chief Christine Lagarde Calls for Global Bitcoin Regulation — Says BTC Conducts 'Funny Business'

The president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, has called for the global regulation of bitcoin. She said that bitcoin is a highly speculative asset and has “conducted some funny business.” Emphasizing the need for countries to work together to regulate bitcoin, she suggested that the crypto regulation could be “initiated by the G7, moved into the G20 and then enlarged.”

ECB Chief Calls for Bitcoin Regulation Globally

ECB President Christine Lagarde said in an interview at the Reuters Next conference Wednesday that bitcoin is “a speculative asset by any account.” She added: “I mean, when you look at the most recent developments upward and now the most recent downward trend, it’s for those who had assumed that it might turn into a currency. Terribly sorry, but this is an asset.” The ECB chief elaborated:

It’s a highly speculative asset, which has conducted some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money laundering activity.

“I think that there are criminal investigations that have taken place that I’m sure will continue to take place that demonstrates it very clearly. And there has to be regulations. And this has to be applied and agreed upon,” she continued. However, she did not clarify what investigations she was referring to.

Calling for regulation specific to bitcoin, Lagarde said:

It’s a matter that needs to be agreed at a global level, because if there is an escape, that escape will be used. So, I think … that global cooperation, multilateral action is absolutely needed, whether it’s initiated by the G7, moved into the G20 and then enlarged.

“But, it’s something that needs to be addressed,” she emphasized, adding that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) “is clearly an organization that has expanded in that respect.”

Lagarde’s remarks about bitcoin drew many comments. Financial analyst Dan Tapeiro wrote, “Embarrassing for Lagarde. Please do some reading.” Morgan Creek Digital partner Anthony Pompliano made a video explaining why “Bitcoin is the most regulated currency in the world” and why it “is already more regulated, and used less often for illicit purposes, than any other currency.”

Several commenters pointed out that it is the ECB and other central banks that are doing “funny business” with all their money printing activities.

Many people noted that Lagarde herself is a convicted felon. A Twitter user opined: “Why are all the people trying to regulate bitcoin incredibly sketchy themselves? Lagarde was ‘found guilty of criminal charges over massive (400m euro) government payout.'” While serving as the managing director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Lagarde was convicted in 2016 on negligence charges over a state payout made while she served as France’s finance minister in 2008. Nonetheless, she escaped punishment and kept her job at the IMF.

Meanwhile, Lagarde also said Wednesday that she hopes it would take no more than five years to launch a digital euro.

What do you think about Lagarde calling for global bitcoin regulation? Let us know in the comments section below.

Pakistan to Set up Two State-Owned Bitcoin Mining Farms to Help Boost Economy

Par Jeffrey Gogo
Pakistan to Set up Two State-Owned Bitcoin Mining Farms to Help Boost Economy

The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), the third largest of Pakistan’s four semi-autonomous provinces, is setting up two state-backed bitcoin mining farms, local media reported last week.

Ziaullah Bangash, advisor to the chief minister of KP on Science and Information Technology, said the provincial parliament passed a bill allowing the KP government to use its own money to establish the mining facilities.

The province, which has since legalized crypto mining, will be mining bitcoin (BTC) for profit, BOL News, a local media organization, reported. No details were given about the capacity of the mining farms nor the funds that the state intends to invest in the project. This particular province has previously advocated friendly crypto laws in Pakistan.

According to Bangash, the KP Assembly also passed a separate no-objection certificate allowing individuals to mine cryptocurrency and issue their own digital assets. The development coincided with the launch of a private bitcoin mining farm by Waqar Zaka, a long-time crypto enthusiast who has worked to develop the Pakistani crypto industry.

“After years of struggle, I am launching the biggest crypto mining farm in KPK where you all can invest & earn,” Zaka said in a tweet. He thanked Bangash for his legal backing. Replying, Bangash stated that “in future, the help of Waqar Zaka will be sought” in the KP administration’s crypto mining plans.

Profits from bitcoin mining may help prop-up Pakistan’s ailing economy, but KP must first overcome the country’s long-running electricity crisis. Pakistan is facing severe electricity shortages, with power cuts a common occurrence.

Last Saturday, the entire country was thrown into darkness, the Financial Times reports. Authorities blamed the blackouts on a “technical fault” at one of the country’s main power plants in the south. Pakistan only started to restore power in bits on Sunday.

Now BTC mining — the process by which new bitcoins are created using sophisticated, super-computers — is not only an energy-intensive venture but also one that demands consistent power supply. Situated in north-western Pakistan, a mountainous, cool region along the border with Afghanistan, KP might have the best weather for bitcoin mining. But will it have enough energy to sustain a profitable operation?

What do you think about the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s bitcoin mining plans? Let us know in the comments section below.

US President-Elect Biden to Nominate MIT Blockchain Professor Gary Gensler as SEC Chairman

Par Felipe Erazo
US President-Elect Biden to Nominate MIT Blockchain Professor Gary Gensler as SEC Chairman

The U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is set to name Gary Gensler as the new chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to replace Elad Roisman. During Obama’s administration, Gensler led the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) from 2009 to 2014.

The Former Banker Became Part of Biden’s Transition Team in November

According to Reuters’ two unnamed sources, Biden has finally decided on his final pick to lead the SEC, following the stepping down of Jay Clayton as chairman in December. Gensler is a well-known figure in the crypto industry, specifically in the academic sphere.

During Trump’s administration, the former Goldman Sachs banker taught courses on crypto assets and blockchain at MIT Sloan School of Management. Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that Gensler could aim for “tougher regulations,” raising concerns among Wall Street firms.

If confirmed by the Senate mostly controlled by Democrats, Gensler would also be leading the regulator’s fight against Ripple Inc.

The former banker also headed Biden’s financial policy transition team in November. Such fact increased the odds that the Wall Street veteran would be likely appointed to take an SEC role.

Former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, replaced by Elad Roisman, was known for his initial coin offerings’ pursuing agenda. During his tenure, the regulator also released a report declaring digital assets could be treated as securities.

How Will the Legal Fight With Ripple Be Resolved With Gensler as Chairman?

Under the leadership of Gensler, the SEC vs. Ripple saga could have a negative impact for the blockchain firm due to the previous statements made by the former banker.

During a speech at an MIT conference in 2018, Gensler said there is a “strong case” for XRP being classified as a security. In fact, the Wall Street veteran claimed that Ripple “is doing a lot to advance the value of XRP.”

On Jan. 7, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse addressed some of the allegations made by the SEC. At the time, he said that the firm would be filing its initial legal response “within weeks.”

Do you agree with the nomination of Gensler as SEC chairman? Let us know in the comments section below.

Bityard Launched Copy Trading System to Benefit Both Copiers and Traders

Par Bitcoin.com PR

PRESS RELEASE. Bityard recently launched the copy trading system for CFD (contract for difference) trading, allowing users to copy trading activities from advanced traders, which greatly reduces the difficulty of crypto investment for beginners. Via Bityard copy trading system, beginners can learn how to trade correctly from the experts, and traders who get copied and followed can receive extra profits from each successful trade while getting copied. Right now, Bityard copy trading service is available on different devices including mobiles and PCs.

Cryptocurrencies are different than many types of asset since the prices are much more unstable, which makes it much harder for junior investors to establish proper investing strategies for crypto CFD trading. The invention of copy trading system of trading service providers makes it much more convenient for investors to copy other traders since the copy trading process can be completed on one place online. Investors don’t need to go to different online groups for signals then trade somewhere else anymore. Bityard, a fast-growing crypto exchange, also has developed a professional copy trading system which will greatly benefit both copiers and signal providers (or, advanced traders).

On Bityard, when a user wants to copy a trader, the user only needs to find one among all the traders with good performance, and complete the trading setting to start copying. The process is pretty simple and easy. Bityard copy trading system allows users to flexibly manage the position settings, which includes their position margins. A copier can increase the position margin when the copier has confidence in a trader, and can also limit it to avoid huge losses due to possible forcedly closed positions.

There is a great number of top traders on Bityard. These traders all have been approved by Bityard so that the users can copy them without worries. All traders must complete a series of strict verification processes on Bityard before they get copied by other users. Once Bityard makes sure a trader is qualified enough, the trader will become “listed”, and the performance data of the trader will become visible to all Bityard users. Those data include profit rate, win rate, P/L ratio which shows the overall trading performance of the listed traders on Bityard.

Also, Bityard users can find different types of traders on Bityard via the trader tag function. Those tags are related to trading styles of the traders including “short term”, “aggressive”, “mainstream” and so on.

Bityard copy trading system doesn’t only benefit copiers. For listed traders, the copy trading system also brings them extra incomes. Any listed trader will get at least 8% commission from the profits of each successful trade while getting copied.

In addition, Bityard has brought more social features to its copy trading system. A listed trader on Bityard has their own personal homepage, where the trader can leave short self-introduction on the page. This will help other users to know more about the trader.

Bityard copy trading system has easy-to-understand user interface design with sophisticated functions, which makes trading much easier for copiers and crypto beginners. The system was developed with the service concept “Complex Contract, Simple Trade” by Bityard in order to bring more convenience and simplicity to users.

Media contact: bd@bityard.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.

Proof-of-Work and Yield Farming: Binance and Poolin Launch Tokens Backed by Bitcoin Hashrate

Par Jamie Redman

There’s a new type of token gaining popularity in the crypto space with the launch of coins that are backed by a specific amount of proof-of-work (PoW) hashrate. On January 6, 2021, Binance launched a new project called the bitcoin standard hashrate token (BTCST), a coin that represents 0.1 terahash (TH/s). Furthermore, the mining operation Poolin has also revealed a hashrate token called pBTC35A and each token represents 1 TH/s hashrate with pre-determined SHA256 processing power.

Tokens Backed by Proof-of-Work

The Bitcoin (BTC) network has seen the protocol’s hashrate increase significantly during the last few weeks, despite the network mining difficulty being so high. There have also been substantial numbers of mining rigs added to the network in recent months and exchanges like Binance and Huobi have joined the mining fray.

With bitcoin mining showing significant upside potential, a couple of crypto industry heavyweights have introduced tokens backed by PoW hashrate. Last week, Binance unveiled a new project called the bitcoin standard hashrate token (BTCST), a coin that’s claimed to be backed by 0.1 terahash (TH/s).

“BTCST sets off to solve the problem of limited exit options by bringing exchange-grade liquidity to Bitcoin mining, and in secondary trading,” Binance announced last Wednesday. “BTCST will perform as a leveraged Bitcoin token free from liquidation risk. BTCST will create an efficient market for Bitcoin’s mining power in ways similar to how Grayscale Bitcoin Trust creates institutional liquidity for Bitcoin.”

The crypto trading exchange added:

BTCST is collateralized by 0.1 TH/s of real-world Bitcoin mining power, which is historically proven to be positively correlated to the performance of the digital gold, and hence the value of BTCST climbs along with the current skyrocketing Bitcoin market.

Poolin Launches the Mars Project, Binance PoW Token Audited

However, Binance is not the only business looking to offer a PoW mining token as the mining operation Poolin has also introduced the Mars Project. On January 11, 2021, Poolin tweeted “Join the first Ethereum-based standardized hashrate protocol, earn wBTC and LP reward. Infinite possibility when PoW mining steps into [an] Ethereum smart contract,” the mining pool further said. Currently, Poolin is the fifth largest bitcoin pool capturing around 9.4% or 14 exahash per second (EH/s) today.

The Poolin minted ERC-20 token is called pBTC35A and the company says each coin is backed by the firm’s PoW hashrate. “The protocol consists of pBTC35A tokens and [the] MARS token,” Poolin’s announcement explains. “Each pBTC35A token represents 1TH/s hashrate with a pre-determined power ratio, mining rigs would be in Poolin Superhashrate’s custody during life cycle. While net profit on wBTC would be distributed per block.”

Poolin says the first batch will be “50,000 pBTC35A (approximately 50PH/s) tokens for Bitcoin (output with wBTC) mining in this protocol and locks up more than 50PH/s machines physically.” Poolin notes that people can obtain the tokens using the inhouse shop (basic KYC needed) or via the token’s Uniswap contract. The company further detailed that Ethereum and other PoW mineable coins will be also created, but Poolin doesn’t have a confirmed schedule.

According to Binance Launchpool, the PoW token (BTCST), the organization recently launched has also passed an audit from the blockchain security company Certik, and scored a “98 out of 100 in a security audit.” Users will be able to stake BNB, BUSD, and BTC in separate pools in order to farm BTCST tokens, Binance Launchpool also said.

“Compared to conventional cloud mining, BTCST portrays the decentralized spirit of blockchain, with all mining rewards distribution done by smart contracts that are onchain with full transparency,” Alex Zhao, the cofounder, and CTO of BTCST said last week.

What do you think about the new tokens backed by PoW hashrate? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Rapid Profits: Bitcoin Hashrate Accelerates While Mining Difficulty Touches All-Time High

Par Jamie Redman
Rapid Profits: Bitcoin Hashrate Accelerates While Mining Difficulty Touches All-Time High

The Bitcoin network’s hashrate has been operating at very high processing speeds during the last few weeks, as the overall hashrate touched a whopping 171.2 exahash per second (EH/s) on Monday. Moreover, the network’s mining difficulty has also touched an all-time high (ATH) at 20.61 trillion, the highest difficulty the network has ever experienced in the last 12 years.

One aspect of the Bitcoin (BTC) network that people look at to measure the protocol’s overall health and growth is the hashrate. At the time of publication, the BTC hashrate is processing at speeds of around 165.38 EH/s and the miner’s collective hashpower has been nearing all-time highs again. For instance, on December 30, 2020, the network hashrate spiked to a colossal 178.6 EH/s and 12 days later the hashrate hit 171.2 EH/s.

What has surpassed its ATH is BTC’s network mining difficulty or difficulty adjustment algorithm (DAA). This week the mining difficulty is the highest the difficulty has ever been in Bitcoin’s lifetime to-date. After the significant price dip on Monday and the accelerated hashrate the same day, the protocol pushed the mining difficulty to 20.61T.

Rapid Profits: Bitcoin Hashrate Accelerates While Mining Difficulty Touches All-Time High
Bitcoin (BTC) mining hashrate is operating at 165,376,566,182,178,200,000 H/s on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, at 8:00 p.m. (EST).

Because the hashrate is so high entering the second week of January 2021, the Bitcoin network’s difficulty will increase +9.98% or 22.66T, another ATH in less than two weeks. This will take place in roughly nine days from now, give or take, depending on the average output of blocks per day.

Rapid Profits: Bitcoin Hashrate Accelerates While Mining Difficulty Touches All-Time High
Bitcoin (BTC) mining difficulty is approximately 20,607,418,304,385 (20.61T) on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, at 8:00 p.m. (EST).

The BTC hashrate has increased a great deal over the years, as the entire network’s hashrate was only one exahash per second back in January 2016. On May 8, 2017, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the BTC network hashrate touching 4,216,797,036 GH/s or over 4 EH/s. Since then and through the 2018 and 2019 bear market, the Bitcoin hashrate has grown over 3,700%.

Before the May block reward halving, bitcoin miners got 12.5 BTC per block found but these days, a bitcoin mining pool only gets 6.25 BTC per block reward. Today’s 165 EH/s is the aggregate hashrate of all 18 bitcoin mining pools putting in “work” in the SHA256 “proof-of-work” consensus algorithm.

With a block reward found every ten minutes or so, the Bitcoin block inflation rate per annum is only 1.78% during the first month of 2021. So far, even with this week’s BTC price drop miners are still profiting a great deal by dedicating hashrate to the chain. Statistics show at even $0.12 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) more than 200 application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) devices that process the SHA256 algorithm are profiting today.

Bitcoin proponents are quite confident with the overall hashrate and security of the cryptocurrency network. In a thread about BTC confidence, the bitcoiner Pierre Rochard explained that if people are “confident about Bitcoin’s fundamentals, then the exchange rate volatility is just— a joyful melody.”

Rochard also said:

Confidence in being able to send bitcoin. Bitcoin’s global peer-to-peer network of nodes and the massive mining hashrate ensure that your bitcoin gets to where you are sending them without foreign interference.

Meanwhile, a number of dominant cryptocurrency exchanges are joining the mining industry. On Wednesday, the reporter Colin Wu (@Wublockchain) discussed how Huobi is entering the mining economy. “China’s largest exchange Huobi is about to start the sale of BTC mining machines,” Wu said.

“Investors can purchase machines + custody services. The lock-in period is two years. Chinese exchanges are entering the mining field more. The Binance mining pool, which was launched in 2020, once ranked second in the total BTC network, surpassing a large number of traditional mining pools,” the finance reporter from China added.

What do you think about Bitcoin’s increased hashrate and the difficulty’s all-time high? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Indian Doctors Warn of Illegal Covid-19 Vaccine Sales for Bitcoin: Citizens Urged to Wait for Government Approved Vaccine

Par Terence Zimwara
Indian Doctors Warn of Illegal Covid-19 Vaccine Sales for Bitcoin: Citizens Urged to Wait for Government Approved Vaccine

Indian doctors have warned that the sale of unauthorized Covid-19 vaccines on the black market, where vendors ask for bitcoin as payment, is illegal. According to the doctors, the unsanctioned marketing of the vaccine to the elite is prevalent in the state of Karnataka. Some doctors say the Indian government must intervene by tracking down these vendors.

Vaccine for VIPs

As media reports from that country confirm, doctors “have been getting calls from VIP patients, wanting to know whether these Covid-19 vaccines offered by certain dealers are genuine and can be taken.” For instance, the president of the Indian Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes’ Association (Phana) has acknowledged learning about such vaccine sales.

The Phana president, who is identified as “Dr. HM Prasanna” in one report, claims “he heard that certain vaccines are being administered to residents for bitcoin.” While Prasanna is condemning the unsanctioned sales, he does, however, ask potential buyers of the unsanctioned vaccines to “exercise caution (in such cases) and follow the government’s guidelines in this regard.”

Citizens Must Wait for Government Approved Vaccine

In the meantime, such reports of unverified Covid-19 vaccines being exchanged for bitcoin are coming as “the distribution of (any) such vaccines in the country is still considered illegal.” Instead of resorting to the illegal vaccines, Indian doctors insist “citizens must wait for the government to roll out the product through the Drug Controller General of India.”

Meanwhile, another doctor, Giridhara Babu, an epidemiologist and member of the Technical Advisory Committee for Covid-19 management in the Karnataka state, says he has not personally come across such vaccines on the black market. However, Babu, who is urging the Indian government to clamp down on the illegal vaccine vendors, claims the sale and distribution of such Covid-19 vaccines worsen “the inequities since only those with money and power can gain access.”

On the other hand, Babu explains that “those taking such vaccines might be under the impression that it’s an immunity booster, but they may end up taking a useless product.” Meanwhile, India is set to start its Covid-19 vaccination drive from January 16 and priority will be given to healthcare and frontline workers.

What are your views on the sale of unsanctioned Covid-19 vaccines for BTC? Tell us your views in the comments section below.

T-Systems and Validation Capital Partner With Flow Blockchain

Par Bitcoin.com PR
T-Systems and Validation Capital Partner With Flow Blockchain

PRESS RELEASE. January 13, 2021 – T-Systems MMS, a subsidiary of the largest telecommunications provider in Europe, Deutsche Telekom, announces today a partnership with Flow blockchain developed by Dapper Labs, the company behind CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot. T-Systems’ flagship deployment on Flow will be the operation of an Execution Node. Validation Capital was involved in this partnership as strategic advisor.

As part of the partnership, T-Systems MMS will run an Execution Node, significantly contributing to the Flow blockchain’s computational resources as a result. This is because Execution Nodes are responsible for both the processing of new blocks and their consequent storage. These tasks are by far the most computation-intensive, and as such can only be performed with reliable and trusted infrastructure, which T-Systems provides.

Flow is a user-centric blockchain built for mainstream adoption, with an aim of bringing blockchain-enabled consumer applications to billions of people. Flow is the only layer one blockchain built by a team that both understands the importance of reducing complexity for ecosystem developers and possesses proven expertise in eliminating on-boarding friction for mainstream users. Trusted by leading companies like Ubisoft and Warner Music Group, Flow is set to introduce blockchain technology to global audiences through partnerships with mainstream brands such as Dr. Seuss, the UFC, and the NBA.

The details of the partnership include:

  • T-Systems MMS will provide reliable and secure infrastructure necessary for Flow to scale and respond to any current and future needs of both Flow’s developers and users.
  • T-Systems MMS will operate one of the Flow network’s Execution Nodes, responsible for the execution and consequent storage of newly-created blocks, thereby ensuring the decentralized network’s ongoing operation.

“At Dapper Labs, we believe that a seamless and efficient user experience is paramount to adoption. Our partnership with T-Systems is key to delivering on our ambitions to reach a global, general audience,” says Roham Gharegozlou, CEO at Dapper Labs.

“True digital ownership, direct fanbase engagement and rich ecosystem composability, which the Flow blockchain brings to the table, not only allows for the creation of new business models but represents a fundamental shift in existing ones. Through our partnership with Flow we are expanding our portfolio of blockchain infrastructure and staking services. We are excited about the NFT space and will be working to support the vision of public blockchains as the basis for the open world and its numerous use-cases on Flow,” says Dr. Andreas Dittrich, Head of Blockchain Solutions Center of T-Systems MMS.

T-Systems MMS’ foothold in Europe allows it to become a go-to service provider in the European market for blockchain-related implementations and pilot programs. With expertise in the areas of connectivity, digitalization, cloud & IT infrastructure, and digital security, the company positions itself as a disruptor in sectors still widely untouched by blockchain.

T-Systems MMS’ Blockchain Solution Center is a team of experienced developers, architects and consultants in the blockchain field with an established position in the IT industry and a wide array of customers looking to stay on the edge of technological progress.

If as a FLOW token holder you would like to stake to the professional Execution Node infrastructure of T-Systems, you can do so via delegating to the following node ID: 2b396b7fab0102f104a2af7e095b145cc14da28f863564802e158afc3e07e638
Note: Double-check the node ID before delegating!

“Flow is the most important innovation to-date towards mainstream adoption of digital collectibles and has grown an unparalleled ecosystem of developers and content creators building the future of apps and gaming.” – Michael Horowitz, CEO of Validation Capital.

About Dapper Labs

Dapper Labs is the company behind CryptoKitties and the Flow blockchain as well as upcoming titles like NBA Top Shot. Founded in 2018, Dapper Labs uses blockchain technology to bring new forms of digital engagement to fans around the world. Blockchain-enabled applications can bring fans closer with the brands they love, give people a real stake in the communities they contribute to, and create new ways for consumers to become creators themselves. Publicly announced Dapper Labs partners include the NBA and NBPA, Warner Music Group, Ubisoft, and UFC. Notable investors in Dapper Labs include Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, Venrock, Google Ventures, Samsung, and the founders of Dreamworks, Reddit, Coinbase, Zynga, and AngelList, among others.

About T-Systems Multimedia Solutions

T-Systems Multimedia Solutions facilitates the digital transformation of large corporations and medium-sized companies. With an annual 2019 turnover of €176 million, it enables its customers to develop new digital business models for Industrial IoT, Customer Experience, New Work and Digital Reliability. Leveraging its consulting and technical expertise with some 2100 employees at seven locations, the digital service provider also offers dynamic web and application management. As market leader it offers a certified test laboratory for the internet and multimedia industry, delivering the highest standards of software quality, accessibility and IT security.

For further information: www.t-systems-mms.com

 

About Validation Capital

Validation Capital (“VCC”) is an infrastructure and investment firm for proof-of-stake & next-generation blockchain networks. VCC provides secure node infrastructure, investment capital, and advisory to industry leading networks including Chainlink, VeChain and Crypto.com, among others. VCC’s team brings crypto expertise from Stratx Consulting Inc., with a blend of Wall Street and engineering talent. VCC’s finance team has more than 25 years of capital markets and investing experience from firms including CIBC, BMO, and Moelis. The engineering team brings enterprise best practices in cybersecurity and network architecture from Deloitte.

Company contact:

Lisa Gräf
T-Systems Multimedia Solutions
Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
+49351 2820 5366
lisa.graef@t-systems.com

 

Press contact:

Nanna-Josephine Roloff & Julia della Peruta
Oseon

+49 040 – 22 81 700 13 / +49 069 – 348 69 09 12

tsmms@oseon.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.

Bitfinex Executives Deny Allegations of Issuing USDT to Pump BTC – “Tether Backed by Cash Assets and a Loan”

Par Terence Zimwara

Bitfinex general counsel Stuart Hoegner has dismissed the notion that only 74% of the tether stablecoin in circulation is fully backed. Hoegner insists the stablecoin is fully backed by assets that include cash, cash equivalents as well as bitcoin. However, both Hoegner and the company’s CTO Paolo Ardoino, are pushing back against the narrative that Bitfinex is engaged in a conspiracy to pump the price of bitcoin.

The Loan to Bitfinex

In an interview with Peter McCormack, the Bitfinex general counsel claims the misconception that USDT is not fully backed stem from a sworn affidavit which he says has been taken out of context. The contents of the affidavit, which Hoegner submitted on April 30, 2020, as part of the “New York litigation with Attorney General”, became public knowledge when the USDT’s market capitalization was only $2.1 billion.

According to that affidavit, about 74% of tether backing was in the form of “cash and cash equivalents on hand.” On the other hand, the remaining 26% was in the form of a $550 million loan to the company which it “is fully servicing.” The general counsel explains that since the stablecoin’s total market capitalization has gone up from $2.1 billion to the current $22 billion, the loan’s share of the USDT reserves shrunk to 2.5%.

In the meantime, both Hoegner and Ardoino have confirmed that bitcoins are part of the reserves assets that Bitfinex uses to back the stablecoin. Nevertheless, both men still refuse to divulge the exact makeup of assets in reserves. However, Ardoino does reveal the only time Bitfinex acquired the bitcoins which now form part of tether’s reserves: The CTO says:

The bitcoins in reserves are a good amount remaining from the past acquisition that we likely did in 2015/16….The bitcoins, which we bought for a good price in 2015/16, will probably be enough for perpetuity.

The CTO also dismisses the idea that Bitfinex is actually issuing tethers just to buy bitcoins. He says this narrative does not make sense especially when the company can simply buy the BTC using the fiat money which it has.

The Lack of an Independent Audit

Meanwhile, when asked why the company is not hiring outside auditors to conduct a full audit, an evasive Hoegner says some steps have been taken in this direction as a show of “good faith.” Such steps include consulting reports produced by one accounting firm, and a law firm as well as a report from Bitfinex bankers. Nevertheless, the general counsel reveals Bitfinex is continuously “looking for ways to share information with the community, to be more open and to be transparent.”

With respect to the court injunction, which has since been “substantially narrowed”, Hoegner confirms that this is set to expire on January 15. However, even after the injunction’s expiration, the two companies and the AG will continue engaging in “constructive talks.”

Hoegner then closes by clarifying that the AG has not filed a lawsuit against Bitfinex and Tether and that the action against the two entities does not amount to a “criminal investigation.”

Do you agree that Bitfinex is not issuing tethers to pump the price of BTC? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

❌