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Hier — 23 janvier 2021Bitcoin News

Purging Today’s Freedom Activists: Why Big Tech’s Censorship Isn’t Directed Solely at Trump Supporters

Par Jamie Redman
Purging Today’s Freedom Activists: Why Big Tech’s Censorship Isn't Directed Solely at Trump Supporters

There’s been a lot of unrest in the U.S. and just before the presidential election’s electoral vote, Big Tech took action and censored a great number of individuals and even competing social media platforms. Moreover, even after President Biden’s first few days in office, social media apps continued to purge dissent. On January 22, Facebook deleted my social media profile, and a former co-worker’s account as well, for our libertarian views.

An Anti-War, Free-Market Libertarian Speaking Out Against Tyranny and Censorship

For many years now I’ve been an activist and years ago, Dr. Ron Paul helped me find libertarianism. At that time, I was a minarchist who believed in a minimalist form of government and the constitution. However, after traveling further down the rabbit hole, by reading the likes of Larkin Rose, Lysander Spooner, and others, I changed. Six months later, I considered myself an anarcho-capitalist. In 2008, I created my Facebook account and since then, even well before I began writing about bitcoin, I amassed a large following.

Years later, in late 2011 into 2012, I discovered bitcoin and three years later, I decided to write about the technology every single day for a profession. For over a decade, I had used Facebook to share my libertarian views, connect with others, and share my bitcoin articles as well. It was in 2020 when things really started to change on the platform. Censorship was taking place regularly, and the company had applied ‘fact-checkers’ that are used to flag alleged ‘fake media.’ I personally never advocated violence, hate, or anything that truly went against community standards.

Purging Today’s Freedom Activists: Why Big Tech’s Censorship Isn't Directed Solely at Trump Supporters
Well before the incident in Washington DC during the first week of January, throughout 2020, Big Tech has censored lots of dissenting opinions and certain views about Covid-19. After the Capitol breach, however, Big Tech has spread the purge further focusing on those who speak out against the current fascism.

I did, however, explain on a regular basis that the government is an immoral entity, one that is built upon violence. I was not a Trump fan or a Republican, however, I had shown distaste for Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Obama, Bush, and the rest of the presidential goons. Yes, I regularly told political followers that they had lost all decency by forgetting to be individuals and instead towing R & D party lines. Many posts I had written also called for opening the economy, letting people decide on whether or not they want to wear a mask, and other topics involving the coronavirus and civil liberties.

Big Tech Censorship Is Not Just Targeting Trump Supporters, but Anyone Who Supports Free Thought and Liberty

Then during the first week of the year, after the Capitol breach in Washington DC, I wrote about the event. My editorial was a scathing critique of Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google, and Amazon’s decision to censor not only Donald Trump but hundreds of right-wing supporters, conservatives, and libertarians. During that period of time, I had also predicted that my Facebook (FB) profile, in particular, would be axed in due time. I told an old friend from high school that week that I knew that I would be next in line, and two weeks later my prediction came to fruition.

Before my account was deleted, I managed 15 libertarian-based pages, had close to 5,000 friend connections, and moderated six cryptocurrency groups. On Friday morning, the account was completely disabled and was given no access to my FB profile data.

Purging Today’s Freedom Activists: Why Big Tech’s Censorship Isn't Directed Solely at Trump Supporters

Now, this editorial isn’t a complaint, but more of a documentation of events in order to showcase the fact that the current Big Tech censorship is not just focused on Trump conservatives, but literally anyone with a dissenting opinion against the state. I wasn’t the only one who was purged, as a number of other like-minded individuals who expressed distaste for the current oligarchic rule were also wiped off Facebook on Friday. Sterlin Lujan, a former news.Bitcoin.com contributor, was also purged by Facebook and just like my experience, we were given no reason and no chance to appeal the decision.

“I woke up in the morning and as usual I checked my Facebook page,” Lujan explained to me. “It was still active. I took a restroom break, sat back down at the desk, and my account was logged off. I tried to log back in and it said my account was disabled for violating community standards. I tried to appeal the decision, but I received an auto-response saying I could not appeal my account. This is nothing new for me. I have had issues with Facebook censoring my pages and accounts for a couple of years now. Back in 2018, my Facebook page Psychologic-Anarchist got purged. It had around 50,000 followers, and I have managed other pages that got censored as well,” Lujan added.

Purging Today’s Freedom Activists: Why Big Tech’s Censorship Isn't Directed Solely at Trump Supporters

Lujan said that many people think only ‘extremists’ are getting the ban hammer. But in reality, anyone who supports free thought and liberty has gotten caught up in their censorial campaigns. The libertarian further stressed that moderators and decision-makers of these social media platforms want people to be carbon copies of each other, uttering the same platitudes and gleefully discussing simple things like the weather.

“My own personal feed was filled with discussions on freedom from government intrusion, the importance of privacy and cryptography, and the power of compassion and love for transforming society into one based on voluntary action rather than coercion,” Lujan emphasized. He further added:

In this regard, I did not break any community standards as they claimed I did. Of course, they did not bother to point out any “wrongdoing.” Facebook, along with other Big Tech social media platforms, are on a crusade to purge people who don’t support big government, political correctness, and communist mentalities. It’s a tragedy, but what’s happening represents all the scary stuff that Orwell chronicled in his book 1984. We are actually living in a much worse dystopian nightmare by comparison.

The Ruling Elite Fears What We Might Say

Currently, the unrest in the U.S. is being suppressed by censorship and the whole principle of censorship is wrong and immoral. The experience has led me to agree with Lujan’s opinion, that this societal system is swelling into a grotesque dystopian nightmare. One where voices are silenced regularly for speaking freely and not adhering to the nation state’s propaganda.

For years now, and just a few weeks before this event, I had written extensively about people migrating to decentralized social media. I am still using Twitter, but have migrated my social media presence to places like noise.cash, Flote, Minds, memo.cash, member.cash, and Peepeth as well. This is the best I can do and we can do, which is just re-build and migrate to decentralized social media that allow free speech and censorship-resistant discussions.

Purging Today’s Freedom Activists: Why Big Tech’s Censorship Isn't Directed Solely at Trump Supporters

The worst part about the current censorship in the U.S. is the fact that the populace (even friends and family) is sitting idly by watching it all without protest. In fact, many are becoming apologists for censorship and giving excuses to those who produce the suppression. Just like Lujan and the others who have been purged, I was not a Trump supporter and I only spoke my mind about collective tyranny. Yet I was deplatformed because I will never stand down to collective tyranny, and I have promised myself to hold my principles dear.

My main goal is to let you the reader know that this Big Tech censorship is quite real and fascism in the U.S. is thriving. There’s no doubt that this current censorship agenda will continue and freedom activists should be prepared to fight it with whatever voice we have left. As Laurie Halse Anderson once said, “censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance.”

What do you think about my experience with Facebook censorship? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Crypto Crime Fell Sharply to Only 0.3% of All Cryptocurrency Activity in 2020

Par Kevin Helms
Crypto Crime Fell Sharply to Only 0.3% of All Cryptocurrency Activity in 2020

A study by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis finds that cryptocurrency-related crime has fallen significantly. The criminal share of all crypto activity fell to just 0.34% in 2020. This contradicts recent statements by U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen and ECB President Christine Lagarde that cryptocurrencies are mostly used for illicit financing.

Crypto Crime Plummeted in 2020

Chainalysis shared some findings from its 2021 Crypto Crime Report this week. While acknowledging that “cryptocurrency remains appealing for criminals as well due primarily to its pseudonymous nature and the ease with which it allows users to send funds anywhere in the world instantly,” the blockchain analytics firm detailed:

The good news is that cryptocurrency-related crime fell significantly in 2020 … In 2020, the criminal share of all cryptocurrency activity fell to just 0.34%, or $10.0 billion in transaction volume.

In comparison, the firm explained that in 2019, “criminal activity represented 2.1% of all cryptocurrency transaction volume, or roughly $21.4 billion worth of transfers.” Last year, “One reason the percentage of criminal activity fell is because overall economic activity nearly tripled between 2019 and 2020,” the company noted.

Crypto Crime Fell Sharply to Only 0.3% of All Cryptocurrency Activity in 2020
A chart showing the total crypto value sent and received by criminal entities and the criminal share of all crypto activity. Source: Chainalysis

Chainalysis noted that darknet markets were the second-largest crime category. It accounted for $1.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency activity, which was an increase from $1.3 billion in the previous year. Ransomware accounted for just 7% of all funds received by criminal addresses, which was just under $350 million worth of cryptocurrency. While small, ransomware saw a 311% jump over 2019.

The findings by Chainalysis contradict the recent statements made by Joe Biden’s pick for the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, and ECB President Christine Lagarde. Yellen said Tuesday that many cryptocurrencies are used “mainly for illicit financing.” Meanwhile, Lagarde said last week that bitcoin “has conducted some funny business” and some “totally reprehensible money laundering activity.”

Several people in the crypto industry have pointed out the error of their statements, including a well-known economist who called Lagarde’s statement “outrageous.” He emphasized, “we all know that the vast majority of money laundering globally is conducted in fiat currencies, particularly in U.S. dollars and euros.”

What do you think about the falling rate of crypto crime? Let us know in the comments section below.

Panamanian Lawmakers to Hold Discussions on Regulating Cryptocurrencies in the Country

Par Felipe Erazo
Panamanian Lawmakers to Hold Discussions on Regulating Cryptocurrencies in the Country

Panamanian lawmakers will start to analyze a draft bill that seeks to regulate cryptocurrencies in the nation. Local deputy (MP) Rolando Rodríguez presented the bill to the Commerce Commission of Panama’s National Assembly.

Draft Bill’s Author: Panama Is Lagging Behind Other Countries in the Matter

According to La Estrella de Panama, the MP is advocating to pursue an agenda focused on digitalizing the Panamanian economy. He believes in the urgent need to regulate the country’s crypto environment, as the ecosystem “favors” the economy’s growth.

Rodríguez wants the bill to establish a legal framework for Panamanian companies that want to do business with digital assets, such as bitcoin (BTC). He warned how Panama is lagging behind other nations in the matter:

Panama cannot be left behind when many countries in the world have already started to regulate cryptocurrencies and are at the forefront of the digital economy, taking advantage of its benefits and creating legal mechanisms to protect its economy, its population and contribute to the development of this new form of doing business.

Incorporating Cryptos Into State-Backed Social Security Fund

Moreover, the MP clarified that the crypto bill aims to bring “financial freedom” to all the Panamanians who don’t have access to the traditional banking system.

He also expects to strengthen the nation’s social security fund and the disability, old age, and death fund (IVM) with cryptocurrencies.

The politician believes this is a pivotal time in Panama for the national legislature to adopt crypto-friendly policies. He backed up his comments by stating there is a “vast international experience” in regards to regulating the crypto industry:

We trust that the Committee on Trade and Economic Affairs of the Assembly will give due attention to this important preliminary bill. Hopefully, the parliament will make a necessary and wide discussion and that the country could update its regulations in the face of this globalization of the digital economy, which is here to stay, and we must take up the challenge.

What are your thoughts on Panama regulating cryptocurrencies in the future? Let us know in the comments section below.

Japanese Police Arrest 30 People for Allegedly Having Exchanged Stolen Cryptos From the 2018 Coincheck Hack

Par Felipe Erazo
Japanese Police Arrest 30 People for Allegedly Having Exchanged Stolen Cryptos From the 2018 Coincheck Hack

Japanese police charged 30 people for their alleged involvement in illegal transactions linked to the well-known $530 million Coincheck hack in 2018. Tokyo authorities traced all individuals’ transactions to different places across the nation.

Illicit Transactions Are Estimated to Have Totaled Over $96 Million

Initially, Nikkei reported that the suspects were either arrested or their cases have been referred to the prosecutors’ office. However, Kyodo confirmed that all 30 people were arrested and are now under police custody, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Police revealed that cyber-investigators traced accounts involved in the illicit transactions to “conventional” crypto exchanges. In fact, prosecutors stated that the suspects converted hacked NEM coins stolen from Coincheck, making it easy to identify all the individuals.

Kyodo also revealed that trading transactions from the 30 suspects are estimated to be worth over 10 billion yen ($96 million), using the exchange rate at the theft time. Moreover, authorities stated that the individuals knew such cryptos belonged to the hacking incident.

The Metropolitan Police Department of Tokyo didn’t disclose the suspects’ identities, as they’re still in the investigation phase. Sources cited by Kyodo provided more details about how the individuals handled the transactions:

Some of the suspects exchanged NEM for other digital currencies through the website and cashed their holdings at cryptocurrency exchanges at home and abroad to make handsome profits.

Latest Developments on the Coincheck Hack Case

In March 2020, two hackers, identified as Masaki Kitamoto and Takayoshi Doi, were arrested by Japanese police. Kitamoto admitted wrongdoing; he claimed to have stolen over $19 million from Coincheck’s hack. Additional charges were filed by the authorities later.

The hackers pocketed 523 million NEM from Coincheck on Jan. 26, 2018. At the time, the coins’ estimated value totaled $530 million, which has since declined. Today, the stolen tokens are worth just $38 million.

Coincheck’s theft remains the biggest in the cryptocurrency industry, together with the Mt. Gox’s $460 million hack of 2014. In August 2020, news.Bitcoin.com reported that a court in Tokyo seized crypto assets traced back to the crypto exchange’s heist.

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

Premium on Grayscale’s GBTC Drops as Reports of New Trusts Emerge: Chinese Crypto Community Unhappy

Par Terence Zimwara
Premium on Grayscale's GBTC Drops as Reports of New Trusts Emerge: Chinese Crypto Community Unhappy

Following the recent bitcoin price pullback, the latest Skew data now indicates that the premium rate on Grayscale’s GBTC is under 10%. The lower rate comes just weeks after the premium peaked at 41% towards the end of December. The GBTC premium is a measure of the extent of differences in the value between the crypto asset on the open market and in the Grayscale fund.

Premium on Grayscale's GBTC Drops as Reports of New Trusts Emerge: Chinese Crypto Community Unhappy

The same data also shows that between late October of 2020 and January 21 of the current year, this premium averaged 22%. However, in the seven days leading up to January 21, this rate dropped to 7.3%. According to Bohdan Prylepa, the CTO at Prof-it.bz, this “decrease indicates the sale of shares by some investors after the end of the freeze period.” This is in contrast with a rising premium, which according to the CTO, is an indication of “high demand for GBTC.”

Dropping Demand for GBTC

Also agreeing with Prylepa’s view is Justin Barlow of Thetie.io, who goes on to add that “GBTC has traded at a premium to the underlying bitcoin in all but one day since launch.” He suggests that individual “investors who are aware of the premium might be confident that it will continue and knowingly hold GBTC shares.

However, Barlow speculates the reasons behind the drop in premium from over 40% to current levels. According to him one of the reasons could be:

“Institutional and accredited investors who basically placed an arbitrage trade on the premium (short the underlying bitcoin and buy GBTC) having to close out their positions (buyback bitcoin and sell GBTC) causing downwards pressure on the premium.”

Barlow also suggests other factors such as “retail demand leveling off after the recent bitcoin dip” as well as competition from rival products such as 3iq or Osprey’s Bitcoin Trust could be behind the drop.

Additions to the Grayscale’s Portfolio

Nevertheless, despite the reduced premium on GBTC and the recent BTC plunge, Grayscale has continued to report new milestones. On January 21, a few days after recording the biggest one-day asset haul, the company reported it now has $25.5 billion worth of assets under management.

Furthermore, reports have also emerged that the firm might have filed for new trusts with the State of Delaware in late 2020. According to the information on the State’s website, Grayscale has filed for six more trusts including Chainlink, Tezos, Liverpeer, Decentraland, Filecoin, and Basic Attention Token.

Premium on Grayscale's GBTC Drops as Reports of New Trusts Emerge: Chinese Crypto Community Unhappy

Still, reports of the new filings have raised the concerns of some as the China-based English language crypto-journalist Wu explains. According to Wu, “the Chinese community is questioning the latest cryptocurrency trusts filed by DCG’s Grayscale, including shitcoin BAT MANA and LPT.” In his tweet, Wu also suggests that some of the mentioned tokens could be “securities.” He ends the tweet by asking; “Is this illegally manipulating its price?”

Yet, as one report that quotes the Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein explains, the mere filing of a trust does not necessarily mean the firm “will bring a product to market.”

Do you think that the premium on the GBTC will go above 10% again? Please share your views in the comments section below.

Montana County to Hold Public Hearings on Zoning Rules for Crypto Miners Amid Growing Complaints

Par Felipe Erazo
Montana County to Hold Public Hearings on Zoning Rules for Crypto Miners Amid Growing Neighbors Complaints

Another U.S. county is facing troubles related to crypto mining activities within its territory. This time, the second-largest county in Montana is the protagonist of the story, who will look forward to revisiting local zoning for mining operators.

Authorities to Decide on Making Current Rules Permanent

According to KPAX, Missoula County authorities seek to hold a series of public hearings addressing the matter. In fact, they are targeting to make zoning rules for bitcoin (BTC) mining activities permanent in the county.

The Missoula County Planning Board already held the first conversations at the start of this week, said the local media outlet.

The tale of the county’s relationship with crypto mining dates back to April 2019. Hyperblock, a Canadian company, built several 20-megawatt mining warehouses at the time. In the beginning, authorities praised the fact that such a move brought several jobs and revenues to the county.

However, neighbors started to complain about the mining machines, fan noise, and raising concerns about potential environmental impacts. The authorities were forced to take urgent measures to regulate mining activities in Missoula.

Hyperblock didn’t have a positive stance towards the new local zoning rules, and afterward, they decided to file for bankruptcy in May 2020.

Cheap Hydroelectric Prices Attracts Crypto Miners to Missoula County

The ongoing interim rules are due to expire in April 2021. However, the county will decide on whether or not to make the regulation permanent after holding “multiple sessions of public comment,” said KPAX.

Missoula County is an attractive hotspot for bitcoin miners due to its cheap hydroelectric power. Although there is no decision in place, miners could be looking for other crypto mining-friendly U.S. counties.

A similar situation is happening in a region in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Bitcoin’s bull-run seen at the end of 2020 put the public utility districts (PUD) in Central Washington on high alert, monitoring for suspiciously high power bills.

Officials claimed crypto miners from China have come to the region to take advantage of its low hydroelectricity prices.

What do you think about the public hearings on crypto mining activities in Missoula County? Let us know in the comments section below.

Privacy-Centric Cryptocurrency Firo Suffers 51% Attack on Its Network

Par Felipe Erazo
Privacy-Centric Cryptocurrency Firo Suffers 51% Attack on Its Network

The proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrency Firo announced that its protocol came under a 51% attack, notifying its holders to stop transactions. Formerly known as Zcoin, the privacy coin was reportedly subject of a blockchain reorganization attack.

Firo Team Clarified the Attack Cannot Be Attributed to a ‘Coding Error’

According to a series of tweets published by Firo, the attacker breached the protocol on January 19, and they are working to restore operations. However, the Firo team clarified that the 51% mining attack is not the result of “a coding error but [the] nature of PoW.”

One of the first reports about the attack came from the Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, who said:

XZC (FIRO) 51% attack, 306 blocks rolled back, to 2021-01-18 17:24:20(UTC). Another messy situation.

At the time of making the attack public, Firo posted a tweet that said:

We are working with exchanges and pools currently. Chainlocks that would have prevented this were being tested on testnet and was weeks away from deployment.

The Firo team’s Telegram group has been posting some updates about the incident. Some of the posts revealed that the attacker “orphaned” confirmed transactions from January 18.

As a preventive measure to deal with the incident, Firo released a hotfix wallet on January 21, asking people to upgrade their wallets and masternodes. As of press time, the team said the attack has stopped.

According to markets.Bitcoin.com data, Zcoin (XZC) is quoting at $4.2568, down -16.51% on January 21. However, it remains positive on a yearly basis.

Recent Incidents Related to Proof-of-Work Cryptos

The most recent attack on a proof-of-work cryptocurrency dates back to November 2020. Grin, another privacy coin that suffered a 51% attack on its blockchain network. The Grin team built its token on the Mimblewimble protocol.

On February 17, 2020, Zcoin (now Firo) reported that a typo had let an attacker cash a profit of around $400,000 at that time. They explained how the incident happened:

A typographical error on a single additional character in code allowed an attacker to create Zerocoin spend transactions without a corresponding mint.

What do you think about Zcoin’s 51% mining attack? Let us know in the comments section below.

Vaneck Files for Crypto ETF That Gives Investors Exposure to Equity in Digital Asset Companies

Par Jamie Redman

The exchange-traded fund provider, Vaneck has filed for a Digital Asset ETF, which aims to hold equity in companies that generate revenue from cryptocurrency services. The latest ETF filing is different from the fund Vaneck applied for in mid-December, as it aims to bring investors exposure to the cryptocurrency industry.

Last December, the asset manager, and ETF provider Vaneck filed for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This was after the firm launched a bitcoin exchange-traded note called the “Vaneck Vector Bitcoin ETN” on Deutsche Böerse Xetra. Following these two actions, recent filings show that Vaneck wants to produce another fund called the “Digital Asset ETF.” The Digital Asset ETF registration was sent to the SEC on Thursday, January 21, 2021.

Essentially the Digital Asset ETF will allow investors to gain exposure to companies offering goods and services within the crypto industry. The fund will hold equity in companies that generate at least 50% of revenues from the cryptocurrency and blockchain economy. The New York-based fund issuer’s ETF registration form says the fund “seeks to track as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the MVIS Global Digital Assets Equity Index.” The firm’s ETF filing also details exactly what type of companies the Digital Asset ETF may include.

“Digital asset companies may include small- and medium-capitalization companies and foreign and emerging market issuers, and the fund may invest in depositary receipts and securities denominated in foreign currencies,” Vaneck’s filing notes. This particular ETF registration is aiming at retail investors in contrast to targeting a limited number of accredited investors.

The latest Vaneck news about the Digital Asset ETF follows the company’s recent issues with former partner Solidx. The law newsdesk law360 reported that the blockchain startup Solidx has accused Vaneck of breach of contract. According to the report, after Vaneck severed its relationship with Solidx, it allegedly leveraged the company’s technology.

The latest Digital Asset ETF registration also mentions that Vaneck’s fund can invest in firms that hold a balance of digital currencies like the firm Microstrategy. Additionally, the fund describes companies with exposure to crypto-assets can represent firms like exchanges, mining operators, crypto custodians, and more.

What do you think about the recent Vaneck Digital Asset ETF filing with the U.S. regulator? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Bitcoin Near ‘Extreme Bubble’ but Tesla More Vulnerable: Deutsche Bank Survey

Par Kevin Helms
Bitcoin Near 'Extreme Bubble' but Tesla More Vulnerable: Deutsche Bank Survey

Deutsche Bank has conducted a survey about financial bubbles. Eighty-nine percent of respondents see some bubbles in financial markets, with bitcoin near the “extreme bubble” territory. However, more respondents expect the cryptocurrency to double than they do Tesla’s stock.

Deutsche Bank’s Bubble Survey

A survey published Tuesday by Deutsche Bank asked 627 market professionals to rate on a scale of zero to 10 how they see financial bubbles in a range of assets. According to CNBC, the survey was conducted between Jan. 13 and Jan. 15. The bank found that 89% of survey respondents currently see some bubbles in financial markets.

Bitcoin is the closest to the “extreme bubble” territory, followed by U.S. tech equities, and European government bonds, according to the respondents. In addition, they see less of a bubble in European equities, Asian equities, and non-tech U.S. equities.

Bitcoin Near 'Extreme Bubble' but Tesla More Vulnerable: Deutsche Bank Survey
Deutsche Bank’s survey result showing how respondents see bubbles in different types of assets. Source: Deutsche Bank.

The price of bitcoin has risen about 66% since the beginning of December and about 9% since the beginning of the year. Bitcoin’s price reached an all-time high above $41K on Jan. 8. It has since retreated and stands at $32,475 at the time of writing, based on data by markets.Bitcoin.com.

The Deutsche Bank survey also compares bitcoin to Tesla’s stock, which has also seen huge gains over the recent months. Tesla’s stock is up 44.5% since the beginning of December and almost 16% since the beginning of January. Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid, along with research analysts Karthik Nagalingam and Henry Allen, explained:

When asked specifically about the 12-month fate of bitcoin and Tesla — a stock emblematic of a potential tech bubble — a majority of readers think that they are more likely to halve than double from these levels with Tesla more vulnerable according to readers.

When comparing Tesla’s stock to bitcoin, however, more respondents believe that bitcoin is more likely to double than Tesla and less likely to halve.

Bitcoin Near 'Extreme Bubble' but Tesla More Vulnerable: Deutsche Bank Survey
Chart comparing bitcoin to Tesla’s stock in Deutsche Bank’s survey. Source: Deutsche Bank

The Deutsche Bank survey also asked respondents about the Federal Reserve tapering its asset purchasing program as a potential factor that will pop the bubble. “71% of respondents do not believe that the Fed will taper before year-end, which is in line with what Fed governors had been saying forcefully by the end of last week,” the Deutsche Bank analysts conveyed. They noted that “a quarter of readers may think that economic growth/markets could force their hand.”

What do you think about Deutsche Bank’s findings? Let us know in the comments section below.

Buying the Dip: Multibillion-Dollar Microstrategy Invests $10 Million More in Bitcoin

Par Kevin Helms
Buying the Dip: Multibillion-Dollar Microstrategy Invests $10 Million More in Bitcoin

Nasdaq-listed multibillion-dollar company Microstrategy has purchased more bitcoins. With the latest buy of the cryptocurrency worth $10 million, the company now holds 70,784 bitcoins in its treasury.

Microstrategy’s Bitcoin Holdings Rise to 70,784

The Nasdaq-listed Microstrategy (NASDAQ: MSTR), with over $5 billion in market cap, has bought 314 more bitcoins. CEO Michael Saylor announced Friday:

Microstrategy has purchased approximately 314 bitcoins for $10.0 million in cash in accordance with its Treasury Reserve Policy, at an average price of approximately $31,808 per bitcoin. We now hold approximately 70,784 bitcoins.

At the time of writing, the price of bitcoin on markets.Bitcoin.com stands at 32,223 per BTC. It has fallen about 22% from an all-time high of above $41K on Jan. 8 but has risen about 70% since the beginning of December.

Buying the Dip: Multibillion-Dollar Microstrategy Invests $10 Million More in Bitcoin
BTC’s price chart. Source: markets.Bitcoin.com

Saylor has been one of bitcoin’s most bullish proponents in the institutional space. He believes that “Regulatory clarity will accelerate the adoption of bitcoin by corporations and institutional investors,” the CEO said this week. He revealed in October last year that he personally owns 17,732 BTC.

Microstrategy began stockpiling BTC in August last year when it made bitcoin the company’s primary reserve asset. In December, the company purchased 29,646 bitcoins for $650 million at an average price of $21,925 per bitcoin. Its aggressive bitcoin purchase strategy has caused a Citigroup analyst to downgrade the company’s stock to a sell rating.

What do you think about all the bitcoins Microstrategy is buying? Let us know in the comments section below.

Crypto Economy Shaves $100 Billion, Digital Asset Markets Recover Some Losses

Par Jamie Redman
Crypto Economy Shaves $100 Billion, Digital Asset Markets Recover Some Losses

Digital currency markets have dropped in value during the last two days as more than $100 billion was shaved off the entire crypto market valuation. Bitcoin slid to the lowest point of the year at $28,800 per unit on Thursday afternoon, and a number of other crypto-assets saw significant losses as well. Currently, as digital currency trading sessions head into the weekend, the crypto economy has regained some of the losses suffered during the last few days.

Crypto Markets Attempt to Heal

During the last 48 hours, the leading cryptocurrency in terms of market valuation has slid considerably in value. For instance, two days ago the price of bitcoin (BTC) was exchanging hands for $35,900 per coin and on Thursday afternoon (EST), the price dropped to $28,800 per unit. That’s a total loss of -19.77%, but BTC markets have rebounded since then and managed to climb right back over the $30k handle.

At the time of publication, bitcoin (BTC) is swapping at prices between $32,200 to $32,800 per coin and has a touch over a $600 billion market valuation.

Crypto Economy Shaves $100 Billion, Digital Asset Markets Recover Some Losses
The price of bitcoin (BTC) touched a new 2021 bottom touching $28,800 per unit on Thursday. Since then, BTC and a slew of other digital assets have recovered some of the losses. (BTC/USD chart on Jan. 22, 2021, @ 10:30 a.m. EST on Bitstamp via Bitcoinwisdom.io. Currently, BTC is swapping for $32,500 per unit during Friday’s crypto trading sessions.

On Friday there’s over $28 billion in global BTC trade volume, with tether (USDT) capturing 52% of all bitcoin trades today. BTC shed over 13% over the course of the week, but is still up 35% for the last 30 days. Over the 90-day span, BTC has gained 140% and 275% against the USD for 12 months. Following BTC’s lead is ethereum (ETH), as each ether is trading for $1,240 per unit. ETH’s market cap is currently hovering at around $140 billion during Friday morning’s (EST) trading sessions.

Behind tether’s (USDT) market valuation is polkadot (DOT) which is swapping for $17.36 per DOT. On January 22, XRP is currently trading for $0.27 per token and holds a $12 billion market capitalization. XRP is followed by cardano (ADA $0.34), litecoin (LTC $140.81), chainlink (LINK $21.37), bitcoin cash (BCH $448.74), and binance coin (BNB $40.57).

Crypto Economy Shaves $100 Billion, Digital Asset Markets Recover Some Losses
Bitcoin cash BCH/USDT (tether) chart on Jan. 22, 2021, @ 10:30 a.m. EST on Exchange.Bitcoin.com.

Bitcoin cash has a market valuation of around $8.1 billion and is down 12% during the last seven days. During the course of the month, BCH is up 56% and 56% for the 90-day span as well. Against the U.S. dollar over the course of the last 12 months, bitcoin cash (BCH) is up 32%.

Institutional Appetite for Bitcoin

In a note to investors, Etoro crypto analyst Simon Peters spoke about bitcoin’s (BTC) recent price movements and volatility. Peters said that lower prices could be “on the cards” but the analyst does not “believe it would last for long, [as] the cat is out of the bag with bitcoin.”

“This price movement is a perfectly natural correction, one which happens in all assets once the market has perceived them to be a little overbought,” Peters wrote. “And although the price is dropping, sitting at just over $31,000 at the time of writing, the demand for bitcoin is not.”

The Etoro crypto analyst added:

Appetite among institutional investors is still growing with the likes of investment trust Grayscale buying $600m of the crypto asset in a single day this week and Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, announced two of its funds will trade in bitcoin derivatives in the future.

Onchain Analyst Says Bitcoin Miners May Have Dumped

On Friday, the CEO of Cryptoquant, Ki-Young Ju detailed the recent sell-off may have been sparked by some mining pools selling. “This dump might have started from BTC miners in F2pool,” the Cryptoquant executive tweeted.

Crypto Economy Shaves $100 Billion, Digital Asset Markets Recover Some Losses

The onchain researcher also shared charts of the action which showed the Miners’ Position Index and miner to exchange inflows. “I got these bearish alerts yesterday,” Ki-Young Ju further added. “Miners’ Position Index went above 2.5, 569 people deposited BTC in a single block (10 min), [and] 78 miners deposited BTC in a single block (10 min).”

Growing FUD

No one truly knows what will happen from here in the land of crypto assets and the growing economy. During the last few weeks, lots of fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) has been circulating wildly while crypto-assets like bitcoin (BTC) have been bullish.

So in 1 month we had:
✅ Mnuchin regulatory scare
✅ tether fud
✅ ledger hack
✅ Mt.Gox fud
✅ Yellen, Lagarde, Dragi scare
✅ Faketoshi nonsense
✅ scam & spam attacks
✅ bitcoin software bug bullshit

Some would say that is a bit too much coincidence. Just saying.

— PlanB (@100trillionUSD) January 22, 2021

There’s been considerable regulatory scares, uncertainty surrounding the Biden administration, negative comments from Janet Yellen and Christine Lagarde, Mt Gox discussions, environmental debates over proof-of-work, tether (USDT) controversy, and the recent Ledger customer data hack. Despite all the FUD, cryptocurrency proponents still seem very optimistic about the future of crypto assets in 2021.

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 the recent crypto price action? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

À partir d’avant-hierBitcoin News

Joe Biden Freezes FinCEN’s Crypto Wallet Rulemaking — US Crypto Regulations Under Review

Par Kevin Helms
Joe Biden Freezes FinCEN's Crypto Wallet Rulemaking — US Crypto Regulations Under Review

New U.S. President Joe Biden has frozen all agency rulemaking, including the proposal by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) relating to cryptocurrency wallets. Biden will appoint someone to “review any new or pending rules,” the White House has announced.

FinCEN’s Crypto Wallet Proposal Frozen, Pending Regulatory Review

Joe Biden, the 46th president of the United States, has frozen all rulemaking carried over from the previous administration, the White House announced after his inauguration Wednesday. This would include the proposal by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) affecting cryptocurrency wallets. The freeze is “In order to ensure that the president’s appointees or designees have the opportunity to review any new or pending rules.”

The announcement elaborates:

With respect to rules that … have not taken effect, consider postponing the rules’ effective dates for 60 days from the date of this memorandum.

“For rules postponed in this manner, during the 60-day period … consider opening a 30-day comment period to allow interested parties to provide comments about issues,” it adds, noting that the delay could be extended if necessary.

The crypto community welcomes this regulatory freeze news. Lawyer Jake Chervinsky, who played a critical role in spearheading the crypto community to submit comments to FinCEN, tweeted:

President Biden has frozen all agency rulemaking pending further review. This includes former Secretary Mnuchin’s proposal on ‘unhosted wallets.’

The lawyer added: “We fought hard & earned the right to take a breath & reset. Janet Yellen isn’t Steve Mnuchin. I’m optimistic.” Biden has picked Yellen to become the new Treasury Secretary. The former Federal Reserve chair is not a fan of bitcoin or cryptocurrencies herself, stating during a recent Senate hearing that cryptocurrencies are mostly used for illicit financing.

Besides FinCEN’s rulemaking on cryptocurrency wallets, Biden has inherited a few other crypto regulatory issues from the Trump administration relating to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Former OCC chief Brian Brooks had warned that some of the positive crypto regulations he approved may be rolled back during the Biden administration. They include allowing banks to provide crypto custody services and use public blockchains and stablecoins.

“Blockchain, cryptocurrency, and decentralized finance are doing to banks what email did to the post office. Our job is to rethink the role of banks,” Brooks highlighted in an article he authored on The Hill last week. “Because of their investment in technology, banks will be key nodes that validate transactions on decentralized ledgers, and will transmit and receive tokens across blockchains like they process digital payments today,” he opined. “Banks will also provide advice, custody, and structured products. Banks could also reprise their 19th century role of issuing Treasury notes and issue digital coins backed by dollars.” He additionally noted:

Cryptocurrency and decentralized finance present several benefits … If the United States focuses on the risks and not the benefits, we will fall behind as the global financial system is rewired.

Among the benefits, Brooks listed “increasing financial access, giving people greater control over their financial lives, and accelerating global payments.”

The former top banking regulator is particularly concerned about a proposal by Congresswoman Maxine Waters. He urged the Biden administration not to “combine politics and innovation.” Brooks explained that “House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters proposes reversing innovation that occurred in the last four years,” adding that “She wants to retract the ability for banks to hold cryptocurrency assets and to rescind guidance that banks can support digital coins.”

There are also some outstanding crypto-related issues at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including the lawsuit against Ripple Labs and its executives. Biden has nominated MIT’s blockchain professor Gary Gensler to become the new SEC chairman.

Do you think Biden will scrap FinCEN’s crypto wallet proposal? Let us know in the comments section below.

Hive Blockchain Buys 6,400 Bitcoin Miners From Canaan, Capacity Reaches 1,229 PH/s

Par Jeffrey Gogo
Hive Blockchain Buys 6,400 Bitcoin Miners From Canaan, Capacity Reaches 1,229 PH/s

Canadian bitcoin miner Hive Blockchain has bought 6,400 next generation mining machines from Canaan. The Avalonminer 1246 miners will add a combined 576 petahash per second (PH/s) to Hive’s existing hash power.

● With the addition of the new machines, Hive’s total hash rate will increase to an estimated 1,229 PH/s, well beyond the company’s original cumulative hash rate target of 1,000 PH/s for 2021.

● In a statement this week, Hive said the equipment will be delivered in eight tranches in 2021, with 500 miners delivered in May and June, and 900 miners delivered each month until year-end.

● Vancouver-based Hive said the latest purchase, which is double the 3,500 miners bought last year, “is part of our continuing strategy to increase our bitcoin mining capacity.” For the December 2020 quarter, the firm mined 140 bitcoins and over 22,000 ethereum (ETH).

● According to Canaan’s Web Store, the Avalonminer 1246 is selling for $1,450 each. The miner is the Chinese company’s most powerful range available and comes with a hash rate of 90TH/s.

● Hive operates mining facilities that run on renewable energy in Canada, Sweden and Iceland. Shares of Hive fell 15% to $2.42 Canadian dollars ($1.91) in Toronto trading on Thursday. In the past 52 weeks, the stock has swung to a high of CAD$3.50 and a low of CAD$0.12. Year-to-date, Hive is down more than 10%.

What do you think about Hive’s latest purchase of bitcoin miners? Let us know in the comments section below.

DMEX Integrates xDAI for Cheap Decentralized Perpetual Contracts With up to 100x Leverage and No KYC

Par Bitcoin.com PR
DMEX Integrates xDAI for Cheap Decentralized Perpetual Contracts With up to 100x Leverage and No KYC

PRESS RELEASE. In response to rising gas prices during the last weeks, DMEX has moved its trade processing to xDAI sidechain that allows for much cheaper transaction recording. Customer funds are still stored on an Ethereum smart contract, the trade recording, however, is now performed on xDAI.

This change allows users to place orders as small as 100$ which was impossible until now, with minimum order requirements growing up to 200k$ during gas price spikes on Ethereum.

The new structure allows for a flat minimum order value of 100$ independent of Ethereum gas prices.

How does it work?

The custody smart-contract remains on the Ethereum blockchain, therefore the same margin currencies are used for trading (ETH, BTC or DAI), while the smart contract responsible for trade processing and recording is hosted on the xDAI sidechain. Whenever a user deposits funds to DMEX, the custody contract (on Ethereum) communicates with the trading contract (on xDAI) through a decentralized bridge and communicates to the trading contract that the user has performed a deposit.

The trader then commences trading on the xDAI contract with cheap gas fees and low minimum orders. Whenever the trader wishes to withdraw funds from DMEX, a request is sent from the xDAI trading contract to the Ethereum custody contract to release funds to the user wallet.

DMEX offers the best decentralized user experience for perpetual futures contracts with up to 100x leverage with lightning-fast trade execution, instant withdrawals, and no KYC checks. Check out the DEMO version to see it with your own eyes.

Media Contact: admin@dmex.app


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.

Thai Financial Watchdog Asks Local Crypto Exchange to Fix Issues After Three Massive Outages

Par Felipe Erazo
Thai Financial Watchdog Asks Local Crypto Exchange to Fix Issues After Three Massive Outages

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand (SEC) issued an order against a local cryptocurrency exchange to temporarily stop its operations. Bitkub has been in the headlines since the start of the year due to several outages suffered in their systems.

Crypto Exchange Suffered Three Massive Outages Since the Beginning of 2021

According to Bangkok Post, the financial watchdog gave the exchange five days, starting January 20, to solve all the technical issues. Mainly, their desktop trading platform suffered three outages since January 2.

The other incidents happened on January 3 and 16, said the local media outlet. One of the reasons behind the rising number of outages is the spike in crypto prices, specifically in bitcoin (BTC). In consequence, Bitkub couldn’t handle trading volumes, stated a source quoted by Bangkok Post.

However, after being inactive for 16 hours since the SEC’s order to temporarily shut down, Bitkub re-opened its mobile application platform for trading purposes. As of press time, Bitkub’s desktop platform remains with its operations halted.

After receiving “heavy complaints” from users about the constant interruptions in the services, the SEC reportedly decided on asking the crypto exchange to shut down.

The SEC’s board met on January 18 to discuss passing a resolution requiring Bitkub to submit the rectification plan and amending issues.

Bitkub’s Crypto Market Share in Thailand

Bangkok Post states that Bitkub is considered the most popular crypto exchange in Thailand. In fact, they have a 97% share of the market based on the volume of accounts and daily trading.

The company reported on January 7 that they have about 800,000 active trading accounts. However, an anonymous source told the media outlet there are just 300,000 – 400,000 accounts. By quoting the person familiar with the matter, Bangkok Post explained:

The discrepancy in figures suggests there are still plenty of new accounts that have not yet been verified through the know-your-customers (KYC) process and are thus unable to be used for trading on the platform.

What do you think about the SEC’s order on the Thai crypto exchange? Let us know in the comments section below.

Rick and Morty Creator Sells NFT Art Collection for Over $1 Million in Ether

Par Jamie Redman

Justin Roiland, the co-creator of the Adult Swim cartoon series Rick and Morty has joined the growing trend of celebrity artists creating non-fungible token (NFT) artwork. After the animator released the collection called “The Best I Could Do” on the NFT auction house Nifty Gateway, the artwork sold for over $1 million in ether.

Justin Roiland is well known for co-creating the animated television show Rick and Morty alongside his producing and voice-acting abilities. Just recently, Roiland, who also maintains an animation studio and video game studio decided to sell a collection of artwork backed by blockchain technology.

On January 18, on the non-fungible token (NFT) auction house Nifty Gateway, Roiland raised over a million dollars in ethereum (ETH) for his artwork. The collection is called “The Best I Could Do” and Roiland tweeted about his NFT collection as well.

“The best I could do,” the Rick and Morty animator told his 760,000 Twitter followers. “Testing the boundaries of crypto art. What makes something valuable? The art? The artist? The process? The state of mind while created? The intention of the piece? Feeling really good about this collection,” the artist added.

Following the release, Nifty Gateway’s official Twitter account tweeted about all the auction sales. One of the pieces of artwork was called “The Smintons,” which featured his own adaptations of Matt Groening’s Simpsons characters.

The NFT called “The First Ever Edition Of Rick And Morty Cryptoart.”

“All proceeds going to help the Los Angeles homeless encampments,” the NFT auction house said on Twitter. One of the auction’s five-minute open editions aggregated a total of $275k in ether. After the Roiland NFT collection sale ended, Nifty Gateway tweeted about the artist’s record auction.

“With the close of his auctions, Justin Roiland has surpassed $1mm total volume on a single drop, the 3rd Nifty Gateway artist to achieve this milestone,” the NFT marketplace emphasized. “Congratulations to Justin and all the collectors,” Nifty Gateway added.

The Rick and Morty animator’s recent NFT sale follows the acclaimed NFT artist Beeple’s auction in mid-December, which saw the artist raising $3.5 million in sales.

During a silent auction, Roiland sold a unique NFT that was called “The First Ever Edition Of Rick And Morty Cryptoart.” The artwork which featured the characters from the hit show sold for $150k in ether. Non-fungible token artwork continues to be a popular trend as the crypto community and onlookers are watching artists reap seven-figure payouts.

What do you think about the Rick and Morty co-creator selling over a million dollars worth of ether for his latest NFT art collection? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Biden Administration Reported to Be Lining up a Former Ripple Advisor as the Next Bank Regulator

Par Terence Zimwara
Biden Administration Reported to Be Lining up a Former Ripple Advisor as the Next Bank Regulator

Micheal Barr, the former member of Ripple’s board of advisors, is set to become the United States’ next banking regulator, according to a report. A former assistant treasury secretary, Barr will become the second individual with crypto connections to lead the Office of Currency Comptroller (OCC.) The recently departed Currency Comptroller Brian Brooks is a former Coinbase executive.

Biden Taps Comptroller With Crypto Ties

According to a Wall Street Journal report, which cites anonymous sources, Barr’s likely appointment will be at the expense of Mehrsa Baradaran, a law professor. Still, the report reveals that Barr, who is currently the Dean of public policy at the University of Michigan, was unavailable to confirm the reports at the time of publishing.

Meanwhile, the same report explains that during his previous stint with the U.S. Treasury Department, Barr had reportedly helped to craft “the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, a sweeping overhaul of financial regulation that followed the 2008-09 financial crisis.”

For the moment, the tapping of Barr as the country’s next top banking regulator marks the second time the Biden administration has selected an individual with some crypto background to lead a regulating agency. A week before Barr’s rumoured selection, media reports had suggested that the new administration was lining up Gary Gensler to be the next chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. During his spell as the head of the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, Gensler reportedly exhibited an appreciation of cryptocurrencies.

Cautious Optimism

In the meantime, crypto enthusiasts have reacted to both Gensler and Barr’s rumoured appointments with measured optimism. Some say this could be a positive sign for the cryptocurrency market, but others warn that there is more that has to be done. Having knowledgeable individuals at the helm is not enough. For instance, Petr Kozyakov, the co-founder at Mercuryo.io, explains to news.Bitcoin.com that Gensler’s “profound background in the cryptocurrency space is a sign of positive prospect for crypto.”

Still, Kozyakov doubts if the appointments alone can end uncertainty within the space. Instead, he insists that “a lot will depend on the status of digital currencies: commodities or securities.” According to Kozyakov, some of the current challenges in this space “may be solved with the Digital Commodity Exchange Act that was introduced by Texan Congressman Michael Conaway in late 2020.”

Similarly, Anna Tutova, the CEO of Coinstelegram thinks the “background of both Gary Gensler and Michael Barr is positive for crypto regulations.” She adds:

Generally, the nomination of person well-versed in crypto and financial technologies should be positive for the crypto industry.

With respect to Barr’s rumoured nomination, Tutova believes he will continue in the footsteps of Brooks. However, Tutova suggests that only a robust regulation ecosystem, infrastructure, and protection of investors will “lead to an influx of more retail investors into the crypto industry and thus expansion of mass adoption.”

What are your thoughts on the rumoured appointment of Micheal Barr as the head of the OCC? You can share your views in the comments section below.

Leading Crypto Derivatives Exchange Bit.com Set to Launch Bitcoin Cash Options

Par Jamie Redman
Leading Crypto Derivatives Exchange Bit.com Set to Launch Bitcoin Cash Options

On January 21, the derivatives exchange by Matrixport, Bit.com, announced the launch of the first bitcoin cash perpetual swaps and options. The exchange says before the product launch there was no options market for bitcoin cash and the firm believes there’s room for improvement in this arena of crypto derivatives.

Bit.com to Launch Crypto Economy’s First Bitcoin Cash Options Market

Bit.com, one of the leading derivatives trading platforms developed by Matrixport, has revealed the exchange plans to launch bitcoin cash (BCH) perpetual swaps and options. The exchange detailed that Bit.com will introduce the perpetual swaps product on January 20 and the BCH options trading will begin on the 1st of February.

The announcement notes that BCH is a major crypto-asset “recognized by institutions,” and remains in the top ten positions among the leading crypto market capitalizations.

News.Bitcoin.com recently reported on Bit.com as being among the exchanges with the most open interest in terms of BTC and ETH options. Bit.com’s BCH options announcement details that both bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH) derivatives markets “grew tremendously during the past few years.”

“Currently, the cryptocurrency perpetual swaps market is dominated by BTC, which accounts for ~53% of the market share, while ETH attributes to 20%,” Bit.com said. “BCH takes only 1% of the crypto perpetual swap market share, which is disproportionate to the relative market share of the underlying asset.”

The exchange further added:

Similar [to the] options market, [the] market is hugely dominated by BTC (accounts for ~90%) while ETH takes up the rest, the options market for other major crypto and/or altcoins are close to non-existent. In short, the BCH derivative market is far from maturity compared to its size and underlying price volatility. With Bit.com’s product launch, this gap in the market will soon be filled.

Crypto Options Open Interest Surges

Bit.com is based in Singapore and the trading platform initially launched its BTC and ETH perpetual swaps and options back in August 2020. The firm states that during the first fives months, the trading platform’s volume exceeded $6 billion. During the last two weeks, crypto derivatives exchanges have seen BTC and ETH options open interest tap all-time records. The exchange thinks bitcoin cash options and BCH perpetual swaps will add to this volume.

“The launch of BCH derivatives by Bit.com enables miners to hedge against risks associated with BCH volatility, which helps make their operation more stable and efficient,” the exchange detailed. “More specifically, miners can lock in profits in advance while generating additional cash flow by selling covered calls; or can hedge against downward price moves by buying protective puts. Users can make use of comprehensive derivative trading strategies made possible by liquid perpetual swap and options market to construct various payoff profiles to best serve their interests.”

During the last few weeks, Bit.com has seen anywhere between $100 to $200 million in crypto derivatives trade volume.

What do you think about the Singapore-based exchange Bit.com launching bitcoin cash perpetual swaps and options? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Enjin Coin Becomes the First Gaming Cryptocurrency Approved by Japanese Regulators

Par Felipe Erazo
Enjin Coin Becomes the First Gaming Cryptocurrency Approved by Japanese Regulators

Enjin coin became the first gaming cryptocurrency approved in Japan after clearing out the well-known tough country regulator’s requirements. The green light is possible through a partnership with Hashport.

ENJ Is Set to Be Listed in Coincheck on January 26

According to the announcement, enjin coin (ENJ) was granted legal status by the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA), the country’s official crypto watchdog.

The blockchain gaming platform said its token would be listed on Coincheck on January 26, 2021, allowing Japanese users to purchase it with Yen and trade with bitcoin (BTC). ENJ skyrocketed 71% after the news and is now exchanging hands at $0.4385, according to market data.

Maxim Blagov, Enjin’s CEO, pointed out that such a move allows the expansion of the blockchain gaming culture across the Japanese industry:

From Super Mario to Pokémon and Final Fantasy, Japan is home to pioneering games that hold a lasting place in pop culture. Japan’s culture of innovation is directly aligned with Enjin’s. We believe some of the world’s best blockchain games will come from the Japanese gaming industry, and we will be there to help them leverage this powerful technology to the fullest.

‘Rigorous Examination Process’ Required by the JVCEA

The JVCEA is a self-regulatory organization recognized by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA). Crypto projects must pass through a “rigorous process” as Enjin did, the company said. Seihaku Yoshida, Hashport’s CEO, who provided support to Enjin with their Accelerator, provided additional details on the approval’s process:

Enjin made a bold commitment entering the Japanese market in 2019, determined to grow their business in the space regardless of market conditions. After more than a year of due diligence, the approval and listing of Enjin Coin on Coincheck is an important milestone for Enjin and adoption of its blockchain platform in Japan.

ENJ was first announced in 2017 and the team launched the platform’s mainnet the following year in 2018. The Enjin project also leverages non-fungible token (NFT) technology.

As news.Bitcoin.com reported on December 19, 2020, a research conducted by crypto exchange Crypto.com, surveying 29,574 of its users, revealed that 47% of correspondents had heard of NFT. Among these, 63% of them had only a basic understanding of it, while 57% had never used them.

What do you think about Enjin’s announcement? Let us know in the comments section below.

Robbers Take $450K From a Tether Trader During an In-Person Transaction in Hong Kong — Second Incident in 2021

Par Felipe Erazo
Robbers Take $450k From a Tether Trader During an in-Person Transaction in Hong Kong — Second Incident in 2021

Hong Kong police are investigating the second incident in the year involving an offline cryptocurrency transaction. A female trader is reportedly the latest victim of robbers who stole her HKD 3.5 million ($451,000) worth in tether (USDT) tokens.

One of the Robbers Gained Female’s Trust by Performing Three Successful Transactions

According to the South China Morning Post, thieves lured the female crypto trader to an office for arranging the deal. The incident took place at the Ricky Centre on Chong Yip Street in Kwun Tong, said the authorities.

Initially, the robber allegedly gained the female trader’s trust by successfully performing three transactions before the incident. The amount of money traded was in the range between HKD 600,000 ($77,400) to HKD 700,000 ($90,300).

At the time of the robbery, the woman agreed to deal with the same man. One police source told South China Morning Post:

Investigations showed she was paid HKD 3.5 million in cash after using her iPhone to complete an online transaction and sell him USDT tokens.

But right after the trade took place, three men carrying knives and rods jumped out from another room and took the money and the woman’s phone. Robbers didn’t flee from the scene without first locking the female crypto trader inside the office.

Police Are Still Looking for the Four Robbers

Police said the woman called her husband through her second phone, who then called the authorities. The investigation revealed that the criminals rented the office on a short-term lease.

No arrests have been made, while detectives from the Kwun Tong criminal investigation unit are in charge of the case. According to the woman’s uncle, who drove her to the building, four men fled from the scene in a delivery van. The female trader was found uninjured.

As news.Bitcoin.com reported on January 7, 2021, a 37-year-old man was a victim of a theft from a gang of robbers who fled with 15 bitcoin (BTC), worth HKD 3 million ($387,000) in cash. After the transaction, the robbers kicked the victim out of the car on a hillside while counting the money.

What do you think about this second crypto-related robbery incident in Hong Kong? Let us know in the comments section below.

Bitcoin Websites Asked to Remove White Paper After Craig Wright Claims Copyright Infringement

Par Jamie Redman
Bitcoin Websites Asked to Remove White Paper After Craig Wright Claims Copyright Infringement

During the last few days, the cryptocurrency community has been discussing the recent action taken by Craig Wright’s lawyers against web portals that host the original Bitcoin white paper. Recently letters were sent to a number of websites requesting the removal of the paper due to alleged copyright infringement.

**Editor’s Update 1/21/21 @1:15 p.m. (EST): At some point during the day, the owner of the web portal bitcoin.org, Cobra, deleted his tweet (quoted below) concerning the locked white paper removal conversation on Github. The conversation was locked for being “too heated and limited conversation to collaborators.”

Bitcoin White Paper Copyright Allegations

The digital currency space is dealing with controversy once again, as a number of web portals like bitcoin.org have been sent notices from Craig Wright’s legal team telling them to remove the Bitcoin white paper from their site. Wright has claimed for years now that he is Bitcoin’s inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, but Wright has never proven this to the greater community.

We've published a notice regarding CSW, the Bitcoin whitepaper, and Bitcoin Core's recent actions.https://t.co/M2jP4FS24i

— Cøbra (@CobraBitcoin) January 21, 2021

Furthermore, Wright also claims to be the “rightful owner” of the bitcoin.org domain and alleges that a group of people took control of the site and altered information. The current owners of bitcoin.org deny Wright’s claims and stress Wright’s allegations are “without merit” and the site refuses to comply.

“Yesterday both bitcoin.org and bitcoincore.org received allegations of copyright infringement of the Bitcoin whitepaper by lawyers representing Craig Steven Wright,” the bitcoin.org statement about the incident details. “In this letter, they claim Craig owns the copyright to the paper, the Bitcoin name, and ownership of bitcoin.org. They also claim he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, and the original owner of bitcoin.org. Bitcoin.org and Bitcoincore.org were both asked to take down the whitepaper. We believe these claims are without merit, and refuse to do so,” bitcoin.org’s operators further insisted.

An attempt to add the Bitcoin whitepaper back to the Bitcoin Core Github was locked, despite proof the whitepaper is MIT licensed and the thread having almost no "trollling": https://t.co/LhUnXJhrdy

Total fear, and total capitulation. Bitcoin Core is dead as a project IMO.

— Cøbra (@CobraBitcoin) January 21, 2021

The owner of the website bitcoin.org who goes by the pseudonym ‘Cobra’ has also been tweeting about the recent claims made by Wright’s lawyers. Moreover, Bitcoin Core’s lead maintainer Wladimir Van Der Laan said on Github that the white paper “doesn’t necessarily need to be hosted here,” in reference to the website bitcoincore.org, which also received a notice from lawyers. “Unless anyone can point to an explicit place where Satoshi licensed it under a free license, legally it is safer to remove it from the bitcoin-core.org site,” Van Der Laan wrote.

Cobra didn’t seem to appreciate Van Der Laan’s decision and tweeted about the legal letters. “You let one legal letter force you into modifying Bitcoin Core’s website and remove the whitepaper, at the request of CSW,” Cobra wrote in response to Van Der Laan’s tweet about the issue. “You gave precedent and lent legitimacy to his claims, and made it more likely for his attack on bitcoin.org to succeed. No sympathy,” Cobra’s scathing critique further noted.

The current bitcoin.org domain owner also tweeted about how people can donate to the web portal’s legal fund against the white paper copyright claims.

Cobra tweeted:

If you want to contribute to /bitcoin.org’s legal defence against CSW’s copyright claims over the whitepaper and alleged ownership of the domain. We have a donation address. We can’t let this continue.

Crypto Proponents Scoff at Wright’s Attempts Saying the Paper Is Open Source and Public Domain

The issues have become a hot topic on social media and crypto supporters have been discussing the alleged white paper copyright claims with great fervor. Many bitcoin proponents announced hosting the white paper on their websites. Bitcoin supporter Bruce Fenton told his 55,000 Twitter followers that the “Bitcoin white paper is open source and in the public domain.”

“The white paper was in the original repo that was licensed under MIT. CSW is clutching at straws here,” another person insisted. The Billfodl Twitter account exclaimed that it also refuses to take down the website’s hosted white paper as well.

“We also refuse to take down our white paper, just like Cobra Bitcoin,” Billfodl’s Twitter account said. “CSW and Calvin’s goons don’t scare us.” The bitcoin.org donation address for the organization’s legal defense has started to receive a number of BTC donations since Cobra tweeted about the copyright infringement situation.

U.S. Copyright Office ‘Does Not Investigate the Truth of Any Statement Made’

Moreover, there are other individuals who have claimed copyright ownership over the Bitcoin white paper in the past.

Wei Liu, a former executive at the bitcoin mining operation F2pool, registered a copyright for the Bitcoin white paper with ease, as he simply claimed to be the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto and the author of the paper’s text. In fact, a statement from the U.S. copyright office, in regard to Wright’s copyright claim in 2019, said the government entity “does not investigate the truth of any statement made.”

What do you think about Craig Wright’s latest claims? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

World’s Largest Asset Manager Blackrock to Invest in Bitcoin Futures

Par Kevin Helms
World's Largest Asset Manager Blackrock to Invest in Bitcoin Futures

Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager with $7.81 trillion under management, is getting into bitcoin. The firm has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for two of its funds to invest in bitcoin futures.

Blackrock Gets Into Bitcoin

Blackrock filed two “statements of additional information” with the SEC on Wednesday. One was for Blackrock Funds V and the other was for Blackrock Global Allocation Fund Inc. Both filings state:

Certain funds may engage in futures contracts based on bitcoin.

The two filings further detail, “The only bitcoin futures in which the funds may invest are cash-settled bitcoin futures traded on commodity exchanges registered with the CFTC.”

The documents also warn that “Regulatory changes or actions may alter the nature of an investment in bitcoin futures or restrict the use of bitcoin or the operations of the bitcoin network or exchanges on which bitcoin trades in a manner that adversely affects the price of bitcoin futures, which could adversely impact a fund.”

In December, Blackrock CEO Larry Fink made some bullish statements about bitcoin. He said: “Can it [bitcoin] evolve into a global market? Possibly.” Furthermore, he noted that “Having a digital currency makes the need for the U.S. dollar to be less relevant.”

Blackrock joins several other asset management firms that are investing in bitcoin, including British fund manager Ruffer and Skybridge. In addition, Guggenheim is planning to invest in the near future, pending approval from the SEC.

What do you think about Blackrock investing in bitcoin futures? Let us know in the comments section below.

Clothing the Naked Emperor – the Blockchain Potential Unleashed With Prasaga

Par Bitcoin.com PR
Clothing the Naked Emperor – the Blockchain Potential Unleashed With Prasaga

Prasaga is a Foundation-based organization and the creator the DataGrid Blockchain, a new native chain and coin project, embracing developers, miners, and token holders. DGB will be language agnostic, allowing developers to have full code reuse on a global scale, which will greatly reduce development time and complexity.

The Emperor’s New Clothes

In the much-beloved folktale “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, the author Hans Christian Andersen portrays a ruler, hoodwinked by weavers who play on his vanity, by saying that the suit he wears is visible only to those who are clever and wise, and who can speak the coveted language of Solidity.

As the ruler addresses his subjects, fiercely proud of his garb, which of course is the finest in the land, he fails to realize that he, in fact, is actually wearing nothing at all. The ruler, turning from unabashed to humiliated, learns the powerful truth: you can’t let pride and fear of looking ridiculous keep you from speaking up when you know the truth.

One of blockchain’s primary contributions to the world has been the introduction of speculative tokens and now, with Decentralized Finance’s (DeFi’s) automated market making and liquidity pools it is also a wide variety of unregulated financial derivatives. It is the distributed ledger technology potential on an enterprise scale, however, which was the catalyst for the AWS, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and IBM adoption. Large-scale technology companies are deploying forward-thinking blockchain technologies, catering to a variety of applications, primarily on private chains. The truth of the matter is – when it comes to blockchain technology, everyone is still looking for the emperor’s clothes — applications which will reinvent the future.

On the other side of the spectrum are the permissionless chains, which do not scale to even a fraction of transaction capacity required to be equal to current payment solutions, let alone the scale required for the future of society. A wide-scale technology deployment is extremely hard to engineer, difficult to expand and maintain, and vulnerable to bad actors exploiting its weaknesses.

This naked truth makes selling the bright future promised by the decentralized immutable technology very difficult. This is where the DataGrid Blockchain (DGB) brings a vibrant new suit of clothing for the Emperor King.

The innovation that re-imagines the way distributed ledger technology should be architected for efficiency gains starts with putting a revolutionary layer 1 approach to the blockchain network by dressing it with a full eXtensible Blockchain Object Model (XBOM) Operating System. XBOM makes it easy to develop on the blockchain without having to write directly on the ledger by introducing a class management infrastructure. The operating system allows each individual grouping of code to be stored in accounts on the blockchain, unlike today’s Smart Contract platform’s implementation choices.

XBOM: Coding Simplified

Compare writing a Smart Contract to writing the entire Word processing application just to create a document. With XBOM the needed code resides on the blockchain allowing developers to simply call the code required to directly execute even the most complex transactions.

The DataGrid Blockchain (DGB) will be language agnostic, allowing developers to have full code reuse on a global scale, which will greatly reduce development time and complexity. The real fine attire is the invention of Smart Assets which are stored directly in the accounts on the DataGrid Blockchain. In turn, their state is stored within each smart asset instance, in the accounts rather than in Smart Contracts. Accounts and their state can now be moved across shards enabling full parallelization and allowing the speed of DGB to increase as more nodes are added which will allow the scaling of transactions to only be limited by the bandwidth capacity of the Internet.

This process establishes a fast scaling technology, allowing DGB to reach the limits of network bandwidth without being limited by each shard’s individual speed. DataGrid is also easy to use for both the developer and the customer as they do not need to ever use the underlying blockchain code. And, most importantly, it’s safe from reuse of object code and the mitigating security issues which may occur on public blockchains.

Identity Is King

The Emperor has new undergarments and base layers now. He is covered at least. Now what makes him presentable and attractive to the populous? Which elements are needed to attract even the most critical of fashionistas?

First, one must ensure that the fabric is protected from the elements and to this end, DataGrid has created a function that will allow anyone or any entity to have a Globally Unique ID. An account number, made up of a 512-bit unique alpha-numeric string. This string, however, is hard to remember, so there needs to be a way to easily attach the accessory. This means converting it to an account name that users can choose. Think of this as a personal website domain, but better! It protects all of the user’s assets, vital records, regulatory compliance approvals and the state of all actions from anyone interacting with an user’s account during its lifetime.

The voting concerns in the US and in other countries brought about the debate around (voter) identity and a much needed upgrade of voting systems.

The use cases for blockchain voting software are many and diverse. Its ability to engage and manage a constituency is crucial to the future of society,”

said Joe Liebkind at Investopedia

not just to produce a transparent outcome but to encourage all people to participate in their communities. Currently, the technology is still in its infancy, but it matures alongside the young voters it will one day help and looks to be a key part of our collective future.”

How can the Emperor achieve a truly democratic society, where the voting infrastructure enables anonymity, where the public participates in voting, with the assurances that one person has one vote, while the result is immutable and transparent? This is what the DateGrid Blockchain promises to achieve with the XBOM operating system.

The one account on DGB can hold IDs, National Driver License/IDs, passports, government social numbers. The individual identity documents are a subset of the global UniqueID. A voting certificate assigned to an individual will automatically provide the right to cast a vote in the local election.

When voting seasons start, users can request their class:vote object to be instantiated within the account. Once all credentials are identified, the voting rights certificate is added. If there are any missing elements in the certificates or other authorizations that are used as the personal identifier, the account automatically looks up the “Account Object Containment Tree” to find an instantiated object in the account with the appropriate authorization and continue with your right to participate in your nation’s vote.

Everyone who is eligible to vote based on their nation’s laws will now participate in the vote.

Anyone who do not have the proper credentials will never receive the vote certificate and will not participate in the process. The Emperor can rest assured that his populous is legal, secure and trustworthy. The one place blockchain cannot ensure valid vote is with the individual themselves. Although it can be guaranteed that it is the person voting via biometric checks, it cannot be guaranteed that they have not sold their vote or are being pressured by external actors. To circumvent this, a vote panic button in the interface enable users to contact the local police for assistance.

DGT Presale

The ERC-20 DGT private presale will begin on 22nd January 2021, whereby the native DGT currency will be available for purchase at an initial price of $.005. These tokens will unlock in 3 months (91 days) after the Liquidity Bootstrap Pool and will start the unlock period once the listing is done on a decentralized exchange. There will be a 20% bonus for purchases of over 150 ETH, and 10% bonus on purchases starting at 80 ETH. The Community Presale has a 1/4 ETH minimum and 5% bonus, beginning January 22nd. This amount will reduce by 1% per day until January 26th. The sale has a $6m soft cap and a $25m hardcap.

Solving real-world problems is why everyone got into blockchain. The DataGrid Blockchain will be able to create this new paradigm for developers and consumers. Prasaga has set up DGBLabs.io for its Estonia-based token offering and is conducting its Community Presale from January 22nd to the 25th. The team will then begin the Balancer Liquidity Bootstrap Pool on February 14th. So if you fall in love with this project you can enjoy a 96 hour LBP that is resistant to bots and whales and lets humans determine the true market price, before ERC-20 DGB launches onto the general DeFi pools.

The challenge of the future is being authentic and truthful about what the Emperor is actually wearing, and not letting the tailors hoodwink you. The real break-through happened for the Emperor when he admitted he had no clothes and the crowds could admit they had been pretending that the protocols could scale. Now you can examine the DataGrid Blockchain and honestly evaluate how it will create a new designer suit of clothes for everyone.

To join the next paradigm of blockchain, get whitelisted on the DGBLabs website today.


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Dubai Financial Watchdog to Release Consultation Papers for a Crypto Regulatory Framework

Par Felipe Erazo
Dubai Financial Watchdog to Release Consultation Papers for a Crypto Regulatory Framework

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has unveiled its plans to create a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. The announcement was part of its 2021-2022 business agenda released this week.

The Papers Will Be Released in the First Half of 2021

According to the watchdog, which regulates the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the upcoming crypto framework aims to expand on the existing rules. It includes the regulation of crypto issuers and trading platforms.

The document, signed by DFSA Chairman Saeb Eigner, reads:

We will build upon recent achievements in this space over the business planning period through developing a regulatory regime for digital assets (such as tokenized securities and crypto-currencies), having already implemented regulations supporting various innovative business models.

The financial watchdog explains that such crypto regulation’s expansion is part of the UAE’s National Innovation Strategy’s digital transformation.

Also, the regulator added that the regulatory approach is expected to facilitate innovation “while requiring strict adherence to the DFSA’s licensing, prudential and conduct requirements.”

Per The National, a local media outlet, the DFSA expects to publish two consultation papers with the purpose of gathering feedback. As a result, the watchdog will release both documents in the first half of 2021. The 2021-2022 business plan states:

The DFSA is committed to remain ‘open for business’ with respect to innovation in the financial services sector and we continue to explore how our regulatory regime can accommodate new and innovative business models.

DFSA’s Current Stance on Cryptocurrencies

In 2017, the DFSA referred to the crypto industry in the statement entitled “General Investor Statement on Cryptocurrencies.” At the time, the authority was vocal in its cautious stance on cryptos, considering elements such as initial coin offerings (ICOs) “high-risk investments.”

The watchdog wrote in its 2017 statement:

Accordingly, before engaging with any persons promoting such offerings in the DIFC, or making any financial contribution toward such offerings, the DFSA urges potential investors to exercise caution and undertake due diligence to understand the risks involved.

However, Dubai’s authorities have been issuing licenses through the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) to firms trading cryptocurrencies since 2017. The DMCC Free Zone is the largest and fastest-growing free economic zone in the UAE.

What do you think about the upcoming Dubai’s crypto regulation? Let us know in the comments section below.

Former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers Says Bitcoin ‘Is Here to Stay’

Par Terence Zimwara
Former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers Says Bitcoin 'Is Here to Stay'

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary and economist Larry Summers says bitcoin is here to stay despite the concerns by some that it may be a bubble. The former secretary asserts that bitcoin’s price fluctuations are in fact a sign of its resilience.

In his latest comments about bitcoin, Summers, who in 2016 became a senior adviser to Digital Currency Group, reiterates his position about the crypto and its underlying technology. Before the new remarks, Summers previously predicted that the “financial industry will adopt the technology underpinning bitcoin.”

Still, in his latest comments, Summers touches on the crypto’s fixed supply and how this is a factor behind its current rise. The former Secretary says:

I think people are going to move towards it, and as people move towards it, given the finiteness of its supply, that’s going to be a factor working to raise prices.

Although Summers refuses to predict the crypto’s future price, he does hint that this will likely go up, and “institutions like it.”

Meanwhile, in addition to bitcoin’s fixed supply, the former Secretary is also quoted as suggesting that factors like interest earned on bonds might have an effect on the crypto asset’s value. According to Summers, if the amount earned on bonds goes down, “people put less of their money into bonds and more of their money into other assets.”

Do you agree that bitcoin’s fixed supply is one key factor that is attracting institutional investors? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Ethereum Could Touch $10,500 After Crypto Rises to Record High: Fundstrat Global

Par Jeffrey Gogo
Ethereum Could Touch $10,500 After Crypto Rises to Record High: Fundstrat Global

Fundstrat Global Advisors strategist David Grider predicts that the price of ethereum could rally to $10,500 per unit after the cryptocurrency set a new all-time high on Tuesday. The estimate implies a near 700% upside on the current ether price hanging above the $1,300 range.

According to Grider, ether (ETH) – the second largest digital asset after bitcoin (BTC) – will continue to benefit from its relationship with decentralized finance (defi) applications, the majority of which are built on the Ethereum blockchain, and have seen massive growth in 2020.

He also premised his prediction on the recent upgrade to the Ethereum network, which is targeting to become a blockchain for an entire financial system. When fully completed, he said, the three-part upgrade would allow the blockchain to process the same number of transactions as those done by the likes of Mastercard Inc. and Visa Inc.

“Ether is the best risk/reward investment play in crypto,” Grider was quoted as saying, adding that “blockchain computing may be the future of the cloud.” Risks may include delays in the network upgrade or the crypto market becoming bearish, said the report.

Ethereum shot 12% to a record high of nearly $1,440 on Tuesday, amid increased buying pressure.

Meanwhile, Luis Cuende, cofounder of the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) Aragon, commented: “When thinking about what the Web 3.0 vision provides, institutional investors will recognise that although sovereign digital currency (BTC) is central, the importance of a programmable economy (ETH) should not be underestimated.”

He added: “ETH fundamentals are as robust as ever. Ethereum has actually found early product-market fit, and the protocol is making revenue. ETH is definitely maturing as an asset.”

Cuende sees ether bouncing between $2,500 and $7,500. He also believes that Ethereum rivals Polkadot, Cosmos, and NEAR “are well-positioned to capture a meaningful market share” until ETH 2.0 is complete.

What do you think about the Fundstrat Global price prediction on ether? Let us know in the comments section below.

Crypto Custodian Xapo Set to be a Digital Bank in Gibraltar

Par Jamie Redman

According to a recent report, the cryptocurrency custodian Xapo is getting ready to become a “fully-fledged” bank in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. The region located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula has also been extending “regulatory guidelines for digital asset exchanges,” according to a partner at the international law firm Isolas LLP.

Just recently, the cryptocurrency custodian Xapo sent out a wave of emails that noted it would not serve U.S. customers going forward. “Due to a change in our global business strategy, Xapo, Inc. is leaving the U.S. market and will be closing all U.S. customer Xapo accounts. As a result, we’ll need you to transfer your funds to an external bitcoin address,” the company detailed.

This email followed the announcement Xapo made this past spring when it said that the company plans to become a digital bank in Gibraltar. “We will be relaunching as a digital bank late this year,” the company disclosed. On January 20, 2021, Gibraltar’s Finance Minister Albert Isola told Decrypt contributor Adriana Hamacher, that Xapo is establishing themselves as a “fully-fledged bank” in Gibraltar.

“Xapo have now established themselves in Gibraltar as a fully-fledged bank,” Gibraltar’s Finance Minister said, according to Hamacher’s recent report.

In addition to the statement made by Albert Isola, the partner at the international law firm Isolas LLP, Joey Garcia detailed on Tuesday how Gibraltar is extending regulatory guidelines for digital asset exchanges. Garcia is also a board member of IOV Labs (RSK) groups and the custodian Xapo.

“The framework aims to guide those who have the potential to form important foundational concepts for the work of other international organisations, such as the Financial Action Task Force, the European Commission and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO),” the announcement further details. Garcia also stressed that Gibraltarians are forerunning pioneers when it comes to digital currency and blockchain innovation.

“Gibraltar has long been a leader when it comes to fostering innovation and in the development of virtual asset service providers’ regulatory standards and we are confident the 10th Core Principle will aid us even further in our mission to achieve this,” Garcia explained. “Particularly as the integrity of these markets is such a key focus internationally. We already have some of the largest groups in the world regulated in Gibraltar and this should continue to place those groups at the forefront of standard-setting in the industry,” the Isolas partner said.

The news about Xapo becoming a digital bank in Gibraltar follows the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission’s (GFSC) recently updated guidance notes for distributed ledger technology (DLT) providers. Additionally, news.Bitcoin.com’s financial columnist, Jeffrey Gogo reported on the Canadian firm 3iQ’s bitcoin fund getting listed on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange.

What do you think about Xapo becoming a digital bank in Gibraltar? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Multibillion Dollar Fund Manager Ruffer Sees Long Trend of Institutional Bitcoin Adoption

Par Kevin Helms
Multibillion Dollar Fund Manager Ruffer Sees Long Trend of Institutional Bitcoin Adoption

British investment management firm Ruffer has revealed that its bitcoin holdings now account for about 3% of its entire portfolio of approximately $29 billion. The firm believes that we are “at the foothills of a long trend of institutional adoption and financialization of bitcoin.”

A Long Trend of Institutional Bitcoin Adoption

Ruffer provided an update on the firm’s bitcoin investment this week in its Investment Manager’s Review for the period ending Dec. 31. The firm wrote:

We gained our bitcoin exposure via the Ruffer Multi Strategies Fund and two proxy equities in Microstrategy and Galaxy Digital. At the period end the combined exposure of these was just over 3%.

The firm noted that “In the short period since investing both stocks are up more than 100% and bitcoin is up 90%.”

On its website, Ruffer declared that its assets under management as of Dec. 31 was £21 billion (approximately $29 billion). A 3% allocation would mean the firm’s bitcoin holdings are now worth about £630 million ($861 million). Some media outlets reported that Ruffer’s bitcoin exposure now stands at 1 billion GBP ($1.4 billion). However, a Ruffer spokesperson confirmed to news.Bitcoin.com that the firm does not recognize that estimate.

Ruffer disclosed its bitcoin purchase of £550 million ($750 million) in November, which was initially 2.5% of the firm’s entire portfolio.

“Our rationale has been well-publicized but briefly, we have a history of using unconventional protections in our portfolio. This is another example, a small allocation to an idiosyncratic asset class which we think brings something significantly different to the portfolio,” Ruffer detailed, adding:

Due to zero interest rates the investment world is desperate for new safe-havens and uncorrelated assets. We think we are relatively early to this, at the foothills of a long trend of institutional adoption and financialisation of bitcoin.

While acknowledging the risks associated with bitcoin, Ruffer also sees growing signs of its increased adoption, which the firm believes will have a significant impact on the price of the cryptocurrency.

“Think of bitcoin’s bad reputation as a risk premium – as we move through the process of normalization, regulation, and institutionalization, the compression of this premium can have a dramatic effect on the price,” Ruffer noted. “If we are wrong, bitcoin will return to the shadows and we will lose money – this explains why we have kept the position size small but meaningful.”

Ruffer’s chairman, Jonathan Ruffer, said last week that the firm’s announcement regarding its bitcoin exposure “produced a smattering of responses.” He explained:

Our underlying reasoning is that bitcoin is becoming a challenger to gold’s standing as the one supra-currency, the thing to own when fiat currencies are kerplunked.

The chairman explained that his firm has “done much work on assessing the danger” of investing in bitcoin, “watching it for a longish time.” His firm came to a conclusion that “it is a unique beast as an emerging store of value, blending some of the benefits of technology and gold,” emphasizing, “Yes, it is a seemingly non-sensical asset – but one that makes absolute sense for how we see the world.”

What do you think about Ruffer’s bitcoin investment strategy? Let us know in the comments section below.

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.

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.

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