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Bitcoin paper 15 Jul, 10:45
We are excited to announce that a presale for VIARIUM will take place on Coineal Launchpad starting on Jul. 15 and ending onAug. 16, 2019.

After the end of presale, VRX will be listed on Coineal. VRX/USDT trading is estimated to start at 8:00 (UTC) on Aug. 19. Withdrawl will be available within 24 hours after each session.

What is Viarium?
VIARIUM is a tool that will completely replace physical space. VIARIUM consists of a single virtual space that includes VR worlds and VR architecture of shopping centers, separate buildings, showrooms and other VR models created by the VIARIUM platform.
The platform is intended for the widest audience. Participants and users of the project have a unique opportunity to create and develop their own sales outlets and entire virtual worlds. In addition to boosting sales, they get the opportunity for securing additional income.

Don’t miss you chance
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Bitcoin paper 11 Jul, 21:22
Canada: Crypto Exchanges Must Register With Financial Watchdog Next June

Cryptocurrency exchanges in Canada will be legally required to register with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FinTRAC) as of June 1, 2020, according to a notice published on July 10.

This requirement will come into effect along with other amendments to Canada’s new Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws next year.

Crypto exchanges will also reportedly be required to observe Know Your Customer policies and report any suspicious transactions to the Canadian watchdog; this also includes keeping records of their clients and hiring a compliance officer for their platform.

A report by The Globe and Mail notes that up until now, compliance with these policies has been voluntary, but some exchanges have chosen to do so anyway.

The motivation for implementing the new policies is reportedly to get Canadian banks onboard and in cooperation with cryptocurrency exchanges.

According to Lori Stein, a partner at business law firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, Canadian financial institutions have historically been concerned about the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing via crypto exchanges. Stein said:

“The hope is that now that there is going to be a requirement to register and comply, and oversight by FinTRAC, that banks and other financial entities are going to be more open to providing services to and dealing with virtual-currency businesses.”

However, Stein points out that some international exchanges may not be willing to comply with the new Canadian rules. Some other experts reportedly agree, saying that having mandatory regulation requirements could result in cryptocurrency exchanges opting to exit from the Canadian marketplace.

The CEO of blockchain startup Bitaccess, Moe Adham, told The Globe and Mail, “I expect to see a number of firms relocate outside of Canada, as well as international firms limiting access to Canadians.”

The new regulatory policies may also drive crypto exchange customers away, some say. “This has the potential to drive cryptocurrency underground again," said Canadian crypto exchange Coinsquare’s AML officer, Charlene Cieslik. Cieslik said that customers who do not want to reveal their information to exchanges, would likely just transact with each other directly.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, a bill was signed in 2014 that required some foreign entities to register with FinTRAC for Bitcoin (BTC) payments.
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Bitcoin paper 10 Jul, 12:26
Ex-PBoC Governor: China Must Take Precautions Against Libra Trend

The former governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) says “China should take precautions” against the trend represented by Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency.

Twitter-based Chinese crypto news source CnLedger reported on Xiaochuan Zhou’s remarks on July 9.

Zhou notably served as PBoC governor between 2013 and 2018, a period which saw Beijing pursue its notorious onslaught of anti-crypto regulations — including the historic blanket criminalization of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and exchange crackdown.

CnLedger reports that Zhou characterized Libra as representative of the global trend in cryptocurrencies — singling out its stablecoin-like properties and ambitions to tackle the pain point of cross-border remittances in emerging economies.

Equally representative, per Zhou, is the fact that the token will still face challenges such as anti-money-laundering compliance and fund custody.

Contextualizing this trend more broadly, Zhou reportedly claimed that “people valuing Libra is inseparable from the global dollarization trend,” and that the imperative for China is to maintain a strong monetary status, take precautions and pursue rigorous policy research.

The former governor further predicted, in CnLedger’s summary, that:

“In future there may emerge a more internationalized, globalized currency, a currency so strong that will cause major currencies to establish exchange relations with it. It may not necessarily be Libra, but there will be more institutions and people try creating it.”

As previously reported, Beijing’s perception that the cornerstone principles of the crypto revolution — disintermediation and the frictionless circulation of value — will undercut its strict capital controls and economic strategy has translated into a series of attempts to insulate both its domestic financial system and individual investors from the global crypto space.

The current deputy PBoC governor, Pan Gongsheng, recently characterized Security Token Offerings (STOs) as an “illegal” financing activity similar to ICOs, claiming that both remain rampant in mainland China — notwithstanding the authorities’ ever-more-adversarial stance.

The United States Congress has meanwhile demanded hearings on Facebook’s forthcoming Libra, and requested that Facebook and its partners impose an official moratorium on Libra development until its concerns are examined and addressed.
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Bitcoin paper 5 Jul, 20:35
President Maduro Orders The Bank of Venezuela to Accept Petro Crypto

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro ordered the country’s leading bank, Banco de Venezuela, to accept the nation’s cryptocurrency, the Petro (PTR) at all of its branches, the country’s Finance Ministry tweeted on July 4.

According to the tweet, Maduro gave “the express order to open Petro desks in all the branches of the Bank of Venezuela.” The announcement apparently came during an event celebrating the tenth anniversary of the nationalization of the bank in question.

On June 19, Maduro announced that 924 million bolivars (over $92.5 million) were allocated to the Digital Bank of Youth and Students to open one million Petro wallet accounts for the country’s youth. José Angel Alvarez, president of the country’s National Cryptocurrency Association, commented to cryptocurrency news outlet CCN:

“It is a bold and correct decision to move forward towards a hybrid economy where the fiduciary currency of a country competes face to face with cryptocurrency.”

As Cointelegraph reported in January, Venezuela has taken issue with United States sanctions, including those levied specifically against transactions in the country’s national digital currency, the Petro. In March, President Trump banned US citizens from buying Petro.

In May, news broke that Venezuela is considering closing mutual trade settlements with Russia using the ruble.
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Bitcoin paper 3 Jul, 20:35
Mike Novogratz: I’m Not Selling Bitcoin at $14K Again — It’s Going Higher

Galaxy Digital founder and crypto enthusiast Mike Novogratz has predicted that bitcoin (BTC) still has a long way higher to go following its current “spectacular rally.”

With BTC price circling the $11,000 at press time, Novogratz told Bloomberg TV on July 3 that the coin’s spike toward $14,000 and later downwards correction was to be expected as part of its historic moves. He predicts that the market will see consolidation around the $10,000- 14,000 mark for some time before current momentum enters its next leg and we go higher.

“I don't think I'm selling the next time we’re up to $14,000,” he said. “I think the next time we get up there it’s closer to $20,000 ... I don't expect that in the next few weeks, I don't expect it till the middle or the end of the fourth quarter.”

The crypto merchant bank pioneer said the cryptocurrency’s parabolic price moves have been driven by real reasons — pointing to Facebook’s entry into the space with Libra and the fact that payments giants such as Visa and Mastercard have joined the Libra consortium. He added:

“The biggest companies in the world — we also had the investments by the Yale, Harvard and Stanford endowments. All of a sudden the question around institutionalisation has been answered.”

In the longer term, Novogratz argued that bitcoin is carving out its niche as a form of digital gold, and that we can expect it to hit a $40,000 valuation and potentially much higher over time.

Given physical gold’s current market cap of $8.5 trillion, bitcoin still has some way to go before it catches up, he conceded — yet emphasized that the coin has become legitimized as a real, hard asset with a fixed supply and robust technology.

Novogratz contrasted bitcoin with other coins such as ether (ETH) and XRP, suggesting that these latter cryptocurrencies are dealing with significantly more competition.

The fact that altcoins have seen a lesser price hike in the current bull market is, therefore, a sign that the market has become more rational, he said.

Such projects still need time to build the technology that will realize their aspirations — in Ethereum’s case, to succeed in becoming “a web 3.0 decentralized supercomputer” that is scalable and efficient enough for mass adoption. He thus forecast that we are two to three years away from seeing real growth in the altcoin sphere.

In a short remark on the current state of crypto regulation, Novogratz emphasized that the United States is failing to keep pace with the sector, but that Facebook, Visa and Mastercard’s entries will likely serve as a wake-up call that smarter — if not necessarily more — regulation is needed.

As reported, Novogratz’s fresh comments are consistent with his recent analysis that BTC is likely to remain in a consolidation around $10-14,000, notwithstanding its day-by-day volatility.
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Bitcoin paper 2 Jul, 21:10
Binance Launching Crypto Futures Trading Platform With Up to 20x Leverage

Changpeng Zhao, CEO of top crypto exchange Binance, has revealed the company plans to launch a futures trading platform, with initial support for BTC/UTSDT contracts at a leverage of up to 20x.

The CEO made his announcement during a keynote speech delivered at the Asia Blockchain Summit in Taipei earlier today, July 2.

According to Cointelegraph’s reporter at the scene, Zhao — better known by his industry moniker “CZ” — indicated that while there is as yet no exact launch date for the new “Binance Futures” trading platform, a simulation test version is expected within a few weeks.

CZ revealed the platform would ultimately aim to support long and short trading contracts for a variety of crypto assets.

As previously reported, news of a futures launch comes shortly after CZ’s confirmation that margin trading is now in beta testing and will soon be supported by the platform.

The company has also continued to roll out new trading pairs and features for its non-custodial trading platform, Binance DEX — most recently two new stablecoin trading pairs.

On June 21, BTC futures pioneer Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group reported that open interest in its bitcoin (BTC) futures contracts had hit an all-time high, with contracts spiking at a $1.7 billion in notional value by June 28.
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Bitcoin paper 1 Jul, 20:43
Buying Bitcoin Has Been Profitable 98.2% of the Days Since Creation

Bitcoin (BTC) has been profitable as an investment 98.2% of the days since its creation, data from as of July 1 indicates.

Counting 3830 days back — to January 4, 2009, one day after the coin’s Genesis Block was hashed — holdcalc’s data suggests that on 3671 of these, it was profitable to buy bitcoin (BTC) as an investor.

That leaves 69 unprofitable days — which include virtually all days during December 2017, at the apex of bitcoin’s historic bull run to $20,000 — as well as almost all of January 2018.

The most recent cluster of unprofitable days recorded in hodlcalc’s data are during the end of last month — between 25 and 29 June 2019 — when the coin was trading between the $11,170 and $12,907 price points.

Parallel to holdcalc’s rolling statistics, a cryptocurrency market analysis published by twitter handle CL on June 24 suggests that bitcoin has entered the so-called “stealth phase” of its renewed bull run.

The study opens by noting that the top coin has now crossed both its 50-week and 50-day moving averages, and goes on to analyze bitcoin’s realized value — a metric reportedly first proposed by a Coin Metrics researcher. Realized value, the study outlines, is the weighted UTXO market cap for BTC — i.e. a measure of the value of all coins in circulation at the price they were last transacted.

In addition to bullish technicals, on-chain data such as bitcoin’s hash rate, active wallet addresses and transactions per day are all surpassing all time highs or otherwise close to doing so, the study claims — all of which are metrics that numerous cited studies have purportedly been shown to have a positive correlation with price performance.

To argue the case that the coin is now in its stealth phase, the analysts provide a chart showing the logarithmic growth of bitcoin’s price and public interest — comparing BTC:USD data with Google Trends results for “bitcoin.”

The study argues that the public has, by and large, failed to take stock of the current price ascent, given that there are as many “google searches for "Bitcoin" today at over $10,000 as in 2013 when Bitcoin was only at $1,000.”

As reported earlier, crypto twitter investor and strategist CryptoKea has today argued — against the bull run narrative — that bitcoin’s most likely retracement range is $6,600-$8,000, while others have proposed more moderate estimates of circa $9,500.

To press time, bitcoin is circling the $11,000 mark, down just over 6% on the day, according to Cointelegraph’s bitcoin price index.
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Bitcoin paper 28 Jun, 19:00
​​A new world of virtual reality is waiting for you

What is Viarium?

VIARIUM is a tool that will completely replace physical space. VIARIUM consists of a single virtual space that includes VR worlds and VR architecture of shopping centers, separate buildings, showrooms and other VR models created by the VIARIUM platform.

The platform is intended for the widest audience. Participants and users of the project have a unique opportunity to create and develop their own sales outlets and entire virtual worlds. In addition to boosting sales, they get the opportunity for securing additional income.

Users will be able to create and visit exhibitions, galleries and even entire cities, play VR online games, organize and visit VR themed events.

Join VR Revolution:
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Bitcoin paper 27 Jun, 20:20
Bitcoin Price Correction Continues as $13,800 Becomes Key to Further Gains

Bitcoin (BTC) was heading back towards $12,000 on June 27 as crypto industry businesses report record activity across the board.

Data from Coin360 showed the bitcoin price coming off its local highs at $13,800 to circle $12,150 as of press time Thursday.

BTC/USD saw significant volatility over the past 24 hours, abruptly dropping to as low as $11,945 due to problems with major exchange Coinbase before bouncing back above the $12,000 mark.

The $13,800 level, charts now suggest, forms an important barrier to further gains. In all its history, bitcoin has never managed a monthly close above that level. Therefore, it will be an important test for BTC price as the month of June is now coming to an end.

While opinions remain mixed as to how high bitcoin will go before tempering its giant bull run, businesses are celebrating, with all-time high figures continuing to emerge.

On Wednesday, it was asset manager Grayscale which led the successes, its total assets under management passing $3 billion in value.

The Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) additionally passed an implied bitcoin price of $17,000, meaning investors are currently paying around a 40% premium. As Cointelegraph reported, such behavior underlines institutional investor interest in the space.

Other records came from BitMEX, the bitcoin derivatives giant, which achieved 24-hour volumes of $16 billion across its products.

On cryptocurrency markets themselves, the so-called ‘Real 10 Index,’ a reading of genuine exchange volumes created by data aggregator Messari, gave 24-hour bitcoin volumes of over $5.5 billion.

For altcoins, momentum appeared to gather pace after most tokens put in lackluster performance this week.

As speculation mounts of an altcoin resurgence to match bitcoin, ethereum (ETH) topped $350 before correcting to $320.

Bitcoin’s own downturn nonetheless hit markets hard, with many of the top twenty cryptocurrencies by market cap suffering double-figure losses Thursday.

Bottom of the pile were litecoin (LTC) and bitcoin SV (BSV), both of which shed close to 12%.
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Bitcoin paper 25 Jun, 20:33
​​Bitcoin Breaks $200 Billion Market Cap For the First Time in 17 Months

Bitcoin (BTC) set a new 15-month record high price on June 25 as the largest cryptocurrency continues its giant three-month bull run.

Data from Coin360 puts bitcoin firmly in the driving seat on cryptocurrency markets, 24-hour gains topping as much as 6% to take BTC/USD over $11,350.

The last time the pair traded at those levels was in the first week of March 2018, before a protracted bear market set in, which took bitcoin to lows of $3130.

The latest surge continues the surprising upward trend which set in on April 1, bitcoin shaking off negative news and other pressure to completely reverse most of its 2018 losses.

Resistance as $10,000, which analysts said would be a significant hurdle to overcome, disappeared late last week, followed by $11,000 less than 24 hours later.

In a further milestone, bitcoin’s market cap now sits at over $200 billion, a figure not seen since earlier last year. Overall market dominance has now reached 60% - a record since 2017.

“(Bitcoin) doesn't care about altcoin bags,” online cryptocurrency trader and investor Josh Rager commented on Twitter Monday.

“Bitcoin Dominance continues to look bullish and as long as BTC continues to push up, no alt-season at this moment.”

Altcoins have indeed produced comparatively lackluster performance as attention focuses on bitcoin’s return to form.

Ethereum (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, inched higher to hit $313 Tuesday, one of the best performers in a broadly flat market.

The daily leader remains tron (TRX), which delivered still modest 3% returns on the back of a new technical rollout and stablecoin launch.

Bucking the trend is binance coin (BNB), which came off its own all-time highs near $40 to trade closer to $36 per coin at press time.
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Bitcoin paper 21 Jun, 20:12
​​Bitcoin Price Hits New 2019 High Inching Closer to $10,000 ‘FOMO’

Bitcoin (BTC) set a new 2019 high on June 21, hitting $9,800 and firmly beating daily returns of almost all major cryptocurrencies.

Data from Coin360 put BTC/USD trading at around $9,675 at press time Friday after a minor correction from earlier highs.

The performance further cements bitcoin’s bullish progress over the past three months, surprising investors once more after retaking the $9,000 mark this week.

Monthly (30-day) gains for bitcoin investors now stand at 26.5%.

Previously, commentators had begun forecasting a break to $10,000 would spark considerable demand among prospective buyers, who would then push the bitcoin price higher. They included serial bitcoin bull Tom Lee, who in a note to clients of his Fundstrat Global Advisors said 2019 could see BTC/USD reach as high as $40,000.

“In most markets, a ‘new high’ is needed to confirm a breakout. But with (bitcoin), when it trades at a price seen only 3% of its history, this has confirmed a new high imminent. This makes crypto different,” he tweeted Thursday as bitcoin passed $9,750.

“Currently $250 away from FOMO.”

Altcoin markets were slow to react to bitcoin’s latest advances. At press time, ethereum (ETH) had nonetheless managed to beat the largest cryptocurrency’s 24-hour returns, gaining 5.4% to hit $284.

The last time ETH/USD traded at that level was in September 2018, the pair coming full circle in around nine months in a pattern, which closely tracks bitcoin.

Other altcoins in the top twenty by market cap fared less impressively. The exceptions were monero (XMR), which put in daily gains of 8% to reach $109, and binance coin (BNB), which rose 7.2% to achieve a new all-time high of $37.18.

The total cryptocurrency market cap now stands at just under $300 billion, its highest since July last year. Of that, bitcoin holds 57.7% market dominance - a new peak since December 2017, which BTC/USD set its historic high around $20,000.
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Bitcoin paper 18 Jun, 22:10
Japanese Gov’t Agency Reports 170% Increase in Consumer Inquiries About Crypto in 2018

Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency has reported that 2018 saw a 170% uptick in the number of consumer queries about cryptocurrencies as compared with the previous year. The news was reported by Cointelegraph Japan on June 18.

The Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) is an administrative agency of Japan’s Cabinet Office — the office responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the government’s executive branch (the Diet). The CAA submits its report on the consumer sector and matters of consumer protection to the Diet each year: last year’s is accessible in English, while this year’s remains to be translated.

The CAA’s research indicates that in 2018, consumer queries about crypto exchanges hit 3,657 cases — roughly a 1.7 increase over the previous year. While the growth rate of such inquiries has slowed — as compared with 3.5x in 2017 — Cointelegraph Japan notes that growth has been consistent each year since 2014.

The CAA revealed that the main content of such inquiries included questions in regard to crypto exchanges’ credibility, requests for refunds, security-related matters, difficulties with logins or payments, and difficulties with crypto-related vendors that fail to respond to clients.

The agency has further revealed that a number of inquiries regarded investment difficulties.

As reported, a report published by Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) in fall 2018 indicated that the number of enquiries about cryptocurrencies from Japanese investors declined in the third quarter of 2018.

This February, the FSA published data for Q4 2018, indicating yet further declines.
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Bitcoin paper 17 Jun, 21:33
Bloomberg: UK Interdealer Broker TP ICAP to Sell CME’s Bitcoin Futures

United Kingdom-based interdealer broker TP ICAP will sell bitcoin (BTC) financial derivatives, Bloomberg reports on June 17.

Per the report, the ICAP unit of the firm now allows its customers to buy or sell the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s (CME) bitcoin futures. In June, the Chicago Board Options Exchange’s bitcoin futures will expire with no current plans for renewal, leaving the CME as the sole offerer of BTC futures.

TP ICAP also reportedly expects to add non-deliverable forwards tied to the largest cryptocurrency, and then plans to open desks in Asia and the United States. Bloomberg claims that the company took the decision due to a decrease of its core business model:

“Interdealer brokers have traditionally relied on handling trades for banks, but their volumes shrunk in the aftermath of the financial crisis. A profit warning last year wiped 36% from TP ICAP’s market value in a day. It’s regained about 10% since then to 1.6 billion pounds ($2 billion).”

The author of the report also points out that customers have to comply with Know Your Client and Anti-Money Laundering regulations in order to access bitcoin through the firm’s services. Furthermore, TP ICAP also reportedly considers other digital assets, such as altcoins and tokenized, to be real-world assets. Bloomberg quotes the firm’s head of digital asset market, Duncan Trenholme, illustrating the company’s interest in the industry:

“We want to be close to what’s happening within this nascent asset class because we believe it’s important to invest in the early stages of a growing market. [...] TP ICAP also understands that this technology could disrupt or impact other asset classes where we currently operate, so we feel it’s important to be informed.”

According to the company’s 2018 financial results disclosure, TP ICAP reported a revenue of £1,763 billion ($2.219 billion) last year.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier today, bitcoin surpassed one million daily active addresses on June 14, according to blockchain statistics website CoinMetrics.

Earlier this week, JPMorgan Chase wrote in a report that the Bitcoin industry has changed considerably since 2017, citing an increase in institutional interest.
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Bitcoin paper 13 Jun, 22:54
Bakkt Names Launch Date for Bitcoin Futures Testing

Institutional cryptocurrency platform Bakkt will begin testing its first product, physically-delivered bitcoin (BTC) futures on July 22, the company announced in a blog post on June 13.

Bakkt, which has seen multiple delays over regulatory compliance since its original announcement in August 2018, will offer futures as the first in a series of offerings, full details of which remain unclear.

“On July 22, two days after Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary, Bakkt will initiate user acceptance testing for its bitcoin futures listed and traded at ICE Futures U.S. and cleared at ICE Clear US,” chief operating officer Adam White wrote in the blog post, adding:

“This is no small step. This launch will usher in a new standard for accessing crypto markets. Compared to other markets, institutional participation in crypto remains constrained due to limitations like market infrastructure and regulatory certainty.”

White compared the move to the first moon landing in 1969, echoing the hurdles the company has had to cross in order to provide the fully-regulated cryptocurrency products it wants to for institutional investors.

The announcement comes the same week as data that showed bitcoin futures from CME Group turned record high volume in May.

At the same time, CBOE, the first-ever provider of bitcoin futures, will stop offering contracts when its final contracts settle later this month.

Unlike traditional platforms, Bakkt will settle its contracts in physical bitcoin, rather than fiat currency.
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Bitcoin paper 11 Jun, 21:12
Visa Launches Global Cross-Border Network Based on Certain Aspects of Blockchain

United States’ payment giant Visa has launched a cross-border payment network derived from some aspects of blockchain technology, Reuters reports June 11.

The network, called “Visa B2B Connect,” is designed to facilitate international payments made by global financial institutions by enabling direct interbanking transactions between businesses and beneficiaries.

According to the report, the network already covers 30 trade channels worldwide to enable faster and cheaper cross-border payments, and is expected to expand to 90 markets by the end of 2019.

Visa B2B Connect is partially based on blockchain technology, containing elements of Hyperledger, the open source distributed ledger technology (DLT) developed by a group led by the Linux Foundation, the report notes.

Specifically, certain aspects of blockchain tech were reportedly used due to its capability to transfer more data on a payment than any existing payment system, global head of Visa Business Solutions Kevin Phalen said in the report.

The new network is a result of collaboration with tech global giant IBM, as well as e-payment operator Bottomline Technologies and fintech firm FIS. In order to develop the product, Visa was reportedly initially working with cryptographic ledger systems builder Chain.

Recently, Visa also partnered with the fintech operator of Japanese messaging app LINE — LINE Pay Corporation — in order to develop new blockchain and digital payments solutions.

Earlier this year, software startup DataLight released a report claiming that bitcoin (BTC) has a potential to replace global payment systems such as Visa and MasterCard within ten years.
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Bitcoin paper 7 Jun, 20:50
Facebook Sources Say That Stablecoin White Paper Will Come on June 18

Multiple sources are expecting Facebook to launch its stablecoin on June 18, IT and fintech magazine TechCrunch reported on June 6.

Citing people familiar with the plans, the publication added strength to existing suggestions from both within and outside the company that its secretive cryptocurrency project would appear this month.

Previously, rumors had suggested it would be 2020 before Facebook made a commitment to bring its product, which should focus on remittances, to market.

“It’s currently scheduled for a June 18th release of a white paper explaining its cryptocurrency’s basics,” TechCrunch states.

That date had also come from Laura McCracken, Facebook’s Head of Financial Services & Payment Partnerships for Northern Europe, who said in an interview with German finance magazine Wirtschaftswoche this week the stablecoin would not only involve a U.S. dollar peg.

“The value of Facebook Coin will be secured with a basket of fiat currencies,” she told the publication.

Facebook has caused an industry-wide stir with its noises about entry into the payments sector. Not just the social media platform, but sister companies WhatsApp and Instagram would also participate, executives said.

Criticism of such projects nonetheless remains, most recently coming from U.S. ratings agency Weiss Ratings, which in a dedicated blog post claimed tech firms’ ultimate goal was not to broaden the appeal of cryptocurrency, but to take business away from the banks.

“Longer term, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are now in a long-term bull market. And one key reason is their powerful potential to truly disrupt the financial system as we know it today,” developer Juan Villaverde wrote.

“Still, many analysts don’t see it that way. They think it’s apps like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Alipay that could challenge the global financial system, even ‘replacing banks’ with their new payment platforms.” The post noted:

“I believe that’s a collective delusion. Truth be told, they’re not replacing banks; they’re becoming banks.”
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Bitcoin paper 6 Jun, 20:59
Report: Facebook to Announce Cryptocurrency Project This Month

Social media giant Facebook will reportedly announce its cryptocurrency project this month, allowing employees to take part of their salary in the coin, CNBC reports on June 5.

Citing a report by The Information, CNBC states that Facebook furthermore plans to cede control of the cryptocurrency to outside parties in order to ensure that the digital asset will not be completely centralized.

Third-party organizations will purportedly pay as much as $10 million dollars for the opportunity to act as a node — to validate transactions — on the network for Facebook’s native token.

The rumored stablecoin — which will purportedly be integrated as a payment tool on WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram — will also be accessible through physical ATM-like machines, says The Information.

Facebook’s own cryptocurrency has been the subject of much speculation over the past several months, as the company has revealed little about the project. Earlier this week, the Financial Times reported that the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is in talks with Facebook about its upcoming stablecoin.

In May, Facebook reportedly acquired the “Libra” trademark for the secretive project. Sources familiar with the matter claimed that Facebook was recruiting financial firms to develop the coin and that the project codename is Libra.

Later that month, Facebook also registered a new financial tech firm, Libra Networks LLC, with the Geneva Commercial Register in Switzerland.
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Bitcoin paper 5 Jun, 21:59
Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles to Serve as CTO of New Japanese Blockchain Venture

Mark Karpeles — the former CEO of the now-defunct bitcoin (BTC) exchange Mt. Gox — has revealed he will serve as the chief technology officer of a new Japan-registered blockchain technology firm. The news was reported by Japanese daily newspaper The Mainchi on June 5.

Speaking at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan earlier today, Karpeles reportedly declared his intention to make the country a global leader in blockchain technology by undertaking his new role as CTO of the new Tokyo-based firm, Tristan Technologies Co.

Tristan Technologies reportedly plans to design a new, secure blockchain-powered operating system that would be significantly faster than other systems currently in use. In his remarks to reporters, Karpeles declared:

"My love for Japan has not changed. Japan used to be engineering superpower in terms of its PCs but right now, taking the cloud for example, it's the U.S. that dominates. But I still believe in the potential Japan has and I would like to develop that."

As The Mainchi outlines, Karpeles — whom the paper characterizes as a computer prodigy with a penchant for manga and gaming — moved to Japan in 2009, acquiring the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange site in 2011.

In the aftermath of Mt. Gox’s hack and its subsequent collapse in early 2014, Karpeles was arrested in 2015. The much-publicized incident had led to the loss of 850,000 BTC, valued at roughly $460 million at the time.

According to The Mainchi’s report, Karpeles has pitched his new venture with Tristan as starting from zero, and has affirmed his belief in blockchain’s potential to innovate cashless payments, cloud solutions and establish the new field of smart contracts. However, when asked whether he himself held any cryptocurrencies, he reportedly said no, claiming they carry high risks.

As Cointelegraph reported in December, Karpeles pleaded not guilty to prosecutors’ charges of allegedly embezzling approximately 340 million yen (around $3 million) from Mt. Gox and manipulating the exchange’s ledgers to inflate its cash balance.

In March, the former CEO was acquitted of embezzlement charges but found guilty of tampering with financial records. Specifically, he was charged with having combined his personal finances with those of the exchange in order to conceal the platform’s losses to hackers. As recently reported, the erstwhile CEO is now appealing his conviction.
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Bitcoin paper 4 Jun, 20:20
LocalBitcoins Confirms Removal of Local Cash Trades

Global peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto exchange LocalBitcoins has officially confirmed the removal of trading in local fiat currencies, the firm announced in a tweet on June 4.

As previously reported, the Finland-based exchange silently removed cash trading on June 1, which immediately caused some outrage in crypto community.

In the official statement, LocalBitcoins noted that its liabilities are determined by the Act on Detecting and Preventing Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, which requires the exchange to follow certain sanctions.

LocalBitcoins wrote:

“In order to adapt to the current regulatory environment, we had to reconsider our policy on local cash trades as well as on geographical areas where our service is available, among other platform features. As a consequence, advertisements in the cash category (i.e. local cash trades) were disabled in our platform on Saturday 1st June.”

The move comes on the heels of the news that LocalBitcoins will soon become monitored by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Finland, as the Finnish government passed new legislation for crypto assets earlier this year.

In late May, LocalBitcoins banned Iranian users from using its platform, a move reportedly prompted by the rules of the European Union.

Meanwhile, bitcoin (BTC) has seen a notable decline since June 1, with its price having plunged below the $8,000 threshold earlier today after breaking $9,000 last week.
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Bitcoin paper 3 Jun, 21:53
Major Utility Settlement Coin Project Raises $63 Mln for Commercial Realization

The Utility Settlement Coin (USC) project — led by some of the world’s largest banks — has announced the creation of a new firm and closure of an accompanying £50 million ($63.2 million) Series A financing round. The news was revealed in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on June 3.

As Cointelegraph has previously reported, the USC platform aims to facilitate the issuance of blockchain-based currencies in the commercial and central banking sector worldwide. According to today’s press release, USC project partners have now become the founding shareholders in a new firm representing the project’s commercial realization — dubbed Fnality International.

They include some of the world’s major banking players: Banco Santander, BNY Mellon, Barclays, CIBC, Commerzbank, Credit Suisse, ING, KBC Group, Lloyds Banking Group, MUFG Bank, Nasdaq, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, State Street Corporation and UBS.

During the four years of its development so far, the USC R&D project has reportedly focused on developing efficient solutions for global cross border payments in the future context of tokenized wholesale markets. The project also aims to find ways to reduce settlement, counterparty and — ultimately — systemic risk in post-trade settlement processes.

The press release outlines that USC aspires to be a token that is 100% backed and guaranteed at all times by a given central bank’s national fiat currency. For each jurisdiction, Fnality’s solution will reportedly ensure that settlement is achieved in compliance with local settlement finality laws and regulations.

The R&D work has led to the creation and forthcoming deployment of a new solution that addresses legal, regulatory, operational and technical issues, and will establish a regulated network of distributed Financial Market Infrastructures (dFMIs) that support the international exchange of value transactions.

Initially, five national fiat currencies are to be supported — CAD, EUR, GBP, JPY and USD — with further currencies reportedly to be added in the future.

The USC project further aims to innovate clearing and settlement processes, facilitate Delivery vs. Payment in tokenized securities markets, and enable instant settlement on a Payment vs. Payment basis within the secured funding market, the press release adds.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published today, Fnality CEO Rhomaios Ram said he expects the USC token will be fully operational within 12 months, once regulatory approval has been secured.

As reported, the United States’ largest bank JPMorgan Chase (JPM) has this year unveiled its own blockchain-powered settlement-focused stablecoin, dubbed JPMCoin.
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