Vladimir Putin: Cryptocurrency Poses ‘Serious Risks’

Russian president Vladimir Putin said in a meeting today

that cryptocurrencies pose significant risks related fraud and money laundering. Quoted by Russian state news service TASS, Putin was speaking during a meeting that was focused on the subject of cryptocurrencies and financial tech more broadly. In the meeting, he formally voiced his support for new rules around cryptocurrency trading, stating that Russia should look to international examples as a guide when developing those regulations.

Indeed, the meeting represents some of Putin's most comprehensive comments on the subject to date. He first spoke about cryptocurrencies in the summer of 2015, remarking at the time that there were "serious, really fundamental issues related to its wider usage." In his new statements, Putin highlighted the rising profile of the technology, while also echoing those 2015 comments.

Putin was quoted as saying:

"Virtual [currencies] or cryptocurrencies are becoming and have already become more popular. They have already become or are turning into a full-fledged payment instrument and an investment asset in certain countries. At the same time, use of cryptocurrencies also carries serious risks."

On the subject of the rules themselves, Putin threw his support behind regulations that would protect consumers and facilitate the development of new financial products. "We should develop such a regulatory system on the basis of international experience that will make possible to make relations in this sphere systemic, definitely protect interests of citizens, business and the government, and provide legal guarantees for work with innovative financial instruments," he said.

His comments come after a senior official for Russia's central bank stated publicly that his institution will support efforts to block access to external websites that offer cryptocurrency brokering services in the country. Representatives from the Bank of Russia were also present at the Putin meeting, according to sources.

Chuck Reynolds


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Abu Dhabi Issues Cryptocurrency and ICO Regulations

Abu Dhabi Issues Cryptocurrency and ICO Regulations

 

The government of Abu Dhabi, through its markets regulator,

has released guidelines on virtual currencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs). The government of Abu Dhabi has published [PDF] guidelines to bring clarity to its regulatory approach to ICOs and virtual currencies for ICO organizers and digital currency adopters. After deliberation, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA)– Abu Dhabi’s financial markets regulator – has decided that a “one size fits all” approach to virtual tokens, be it ICO tokens or digital currencies or any other implementation of blockchain solutions powered by crypto tokens, is “inappropriate.”

ICOs – Only Regulated if Seen as Securities

“The ICO market is incredibly diverse in terms of quality, there are some ICOs which constitute high risk,” said Christopher Kiew-Smith, head of fintech strategy at the FSRA. “The disclosures are not there, there are no financial statements, those are extremely high risk for those seeking returns.

Under the new guidelines, companies wishing to organize an ICO are now mandated to approach the FSRA where the authority will determine if the token offering is to be regulated as a security. If the FSRA determines the token falls outside the definition of a security, the token offering will remain unregulated. The FSRA underlined ICOs as “a novel and potentially more cost-effective way of raising funds for companies and projects.” Altogether a decidedly contrasting approach to the likes of China and South Korea who imposed blanket bans on ICOs.

FSRA chief executive director Richard Teng stated:

ICOs have transformed the capital formation landscape and global regulatory frameworks are evolving to adapt to such innovation. Participants exploring the issuance of ICOs that offer real value to the market and wish to operate within our regulatory framework are encouraged to engage us early to gain insights into the applicable regulatory regime.

Cryptocurrencies = Commodities

The FSRA, which also serves as Abu Dhabi’s financial watchdog, has determined that virtual currencies aren’t legal tender with characteristics more common with physical commodities like precious metals and fuels, due to their inherent value.

The FSRA explained:

Therefore from a regulatory perspective, virtual currencies are treated as commodities, which are not Specified Investments as defined under the FSMR. This means that a “mining” or spot transaction in virtual currencies will not constitute a Regulated Activity in itself.

Nonetheless, any regulated firms enabling or using virtual currencies for financial services will have to adhere to existing anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) laws.

Bitcoin Could Still be Regulated, in the Future

The Abu Dhabi regulator has not ruled out the possibility of bringing cryptocurrencies like bitcoin under its regulatory purview. Pointing to a recent FinTech pact with its regulatory counterpart in Japan, FSRA capital markets director Wai Lum Qwok revealed that the watchdog is in discussions with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) about its regulation of bitcoin. Japan recognized bitcoin as a legal method of payment in April this year. More recently, the authority issued 11 licenses for bitcoin exchanges to operate in the country.

In notable quotes, FSRA’s capital markets director Wai Lum Qwok stated:

For us, we do see a lot of challenges in regulating something which was designed not to be regulated. We recently established a fintech reach with the Japanese FSA, and through such cooperation we hope to see how they regulate these and if there are risks they see…We are open to carving virtual currencies into the regulated space.

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Bitcoin Prices Higher, Bitcoin Cash Rebounds

Bitcoin Prices Higher, Bitcoin Cash Rebounds

Bitcoin prices higher, bitcoin cash rebounds

Investing.com – Bitcoin prices rose on Tuesday to hit fresh six-week highs, while bitcoin offshoot Bitcoin Cash rebounded following a slump in the previous session. On the U.S.-based Bitfinex exchange, Bitcoin hit a high of $4,885.30, the most since September 2 and was last at $4,817.60, up $34.60 or 0.72%. Bitcoin prices are back above pre-China-ban levels as traders anticipate the next leg higher in the digital currency, which could see it test its all-time high of $4,969. The sharp move higher has seen bitcoin’s market cap surge to $80 billion

The recovery in Bitcoin prices comes less than a month after China clamped down on bitcoin related activity, ordering domestic bitcoin exchanges to cease operations. Prices shrugged off reports on Tuesday that Russia is planning to block access to websites of exchanges that offer cryptocurrencies. Russian central bank First Deputy Governor Sergei Shvetsov said authorities cannot give direct and easy access to such “dubious instruments” for retail investors.

He made the remarks at a conference on financial market derivatives. Shvetsov said the central bank sees rising interest in cryptocurrencies because of high returns from buying into such instruments. He warned, however, that cryptocurrencies gradually transform into high-yielding assets from being a mean of payment. The price of bitcoin offshoot Bitcoin Cash was higher. It was last at $324.00, having opened at $311.86.

Bitcoin cash has a total market cap of around $5.4 billion at current prices, making it the fourth most valuable cryptocurrency. Elsewhere in cryptocurrency trading, Ethereum, the second biggest cryptocurrency by market cap after bitcoin, was up 0.99% to $300.50.

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This 39-year old sold everything he had for bitcoin — now he lives on a campsite waiting for the ultimate cryptoboom

This 39-year old sold everything he had for bitcoin — now he lives on a campsite waiting for the ultimate cryptoboom

Didi Taihuttu believes in bitcoin, and in a big way.

The 39-year-old has put his house up for sale — selling it in part for bitcoin — and now lives with his family on a campsite near Venlo in The Netherlands. All of his other items are for sale, too: the car, the motorbike, electric bikes, the children's toys, clothing, shoes. ith the proceeds, Taihuttu buys bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, betting that it will make him rich."People will say, 'You're crazy'," Taihuttu told Business Insider. "But we are an adventurous family and are going to gamble for a moment to live minimalist lives. If you never take a risk, life is boring."

Taihuttu thinks digital coins such as bitcoin and the blockchain technology behind it are transforming the role of money and banks in society. With blockchain, no third party is required to approve a payment — a role currently performed by banks — and a network of computers keeps a record of all transactions. "The Internet was a revolution for information. I think that blockchain and cryptocurrency are revolutionising the monetary system," says Taihuttu. "In five years' time, everyone will say: 'We could have seen it coming.' I am responding to this change now."

Travelling the world for nine months

In the summer of 2017 Taihuttu and his wife made the radical decision to sell everything. The couple have just returned from a nine-month world trip through Asia and Australia with their three daughters. The Taihuttu's visits included Angkor Wat in Cambodia, swimming with dolphins near Brisbane and relaxing on the beach in Thailand.

Early last year, Taihuttu's father, John, died from cancer aged 61. A year before, it became clear that the former professional football player was incurably ill. "It was a difficult period," says Taihuttu, who ran his own company offering computer courses in Venlo for 11 years. "I had had it. I sold my business and we decided as a family to go travelling."

The crypto-believers

During that journey Taihuttu kept bumping into people who were using digital coins. In Bali, he met a South African exchange trader who resigned after 17 years and went into crypto trading. And on the beach near Noosa in Queensland he spoke to someone from Dubai who was trading in bitcoin. Taihuttu kept in touch with them all. They maintain contact through Skype, analyze the market daily and trade cryptomines based on what they're seeing in the price action.

"They are people who have a lot of experience in trading," says Taihuttu. "That is what I am still lacking a little." Taihuttu himself has been "in the coins", as he says it, since 2010, when the currency was worth less than one euro. "I am an entrepreneur, so when I first heard about bitcoin, I said: let's do this."

Mining bitcoin with dozens of computers

Along with a friend, Taihuttu set up a physical business to mine bitcoin after buying dozens of computers and video cards. When the value rose to several hundred euros in 2013, he decided to sell the coins. The entire stock. "If I had known then that four years later it would have been ten times more valuable, then of course I wouldn't have sold everything," says Taihuttu now. "But then I thought: I have to make a profit."

It wasn't too much later when the value of bitcoin plunged and its value was no longer clear. Suddenly, Taihuttu's cost of electricity and property rental were too high. Taihuttu then gave Dogecoin, a smaller emerging currency, a go. "I've had a tremendous amount of it, but that coin was worth nothing," he says. "The portfolio that I had at the time was perhaps worth 200 euros." In the end, he stopped minting for two years.

Dogecoin becomes a saviour

During Taihuttu's world tour, he got a message from a friend who had first told him about bitcoin. "Check your coins! Check your coins!" Dogecoin's value had soared to ten to twenty times its previous worth. In the spring of 2017, bitcoin's value rose to $3,000, and other cryptocurrencies climbed along with it. At work, at home, in the supermarket: suddenly everyone was talking about crypto craze. "That Dogecoin made me realise again: There is something going on in the world," says Taihuttu. The fact that he continued to meet so many bitcoin traders on his family's world trip was a sign for him. "This is no coincidence, I thought. So I went back into it again."

Selling the house

Back home, Taihuttu went to the real estate agent and told them he wanted to sell his house for 85 bitcoin. The Venlo property had been on the market for eight months, yet remained unsold. The decision attracted a lot of media attention and the property has been sold under reservation to a cryptocurrency trader. "He came to the house with his wife and they both thought it was great," says Taihuttu. "The asking price of 300,000 euros is as good as achieved," says Taihuttu. What part of it will be paid in bitcoin is yet to be negotiated with the buyer. "It is likely that the excess will be partly paid for in bitcoin, so that I have no problem repaying the mortgage," he says.

The system is not equipped

At the end of the day, banks are one of the biggest obstacles to selling a house entirely for bitcoin. Just like a conveyancer. Without the intervention of the latter, a house cannot change owner. The buyer typically pays the purchase price into a trust account set up by the conveyancer, which then passes the deed of sale. If the transfer of the property has been registered in the Land Registry, the conveyancer will transfer the amount to the seller.

These transactions still have to be carried out in euros, because the conveyancer does not have a digital wallet to store cryptocurrencies. And there is another problem: what if the bitcoin falls in value in the few days that the purchase price is on the conveyancer's trust account? "The entire system is not designed for it. I wanted to help start changing that,"says Taihuttu. "Unfortunately, it has not become what I had expected. We in the Netherlands have not yet reached the point where we have complete confidence in blockchain, so the notary will have to act."

Minimalist lifestyle

The new lifestyle look a while for the Taihuttu family to get used to. Their luxury four-bedroom, 200 square meter house has been swapped for a chalet on a campsite. Taihuttu's three daughters, who had each had their own room, now all bunk in together. The family's other items are also for sale, in order to buy as much bitcoin as possible. The family will continue this way until 2020, at which point Taihuttu hopes bitcoin and blockchain will be irreplaceable and his wealth will be worth three to four times as much.

In the meantime, the family lives with fewer things.

"That was ultimately the decisive factor for my wife to say yes to this plan," says Taihuttu. "Education is the best for the kids. If you raise your kids to be too materialistic, it is not good. And that was what we were doing, to be honest." And if things go wrong? "Then we will be without money for a moment. But I don't think that that's the worst thing that can happen in life."

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
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Things Ray Dalio Hasn’t Learned About Crypto Yet

Things Ray Dalio Hasn't Learned About Crypto Yet

 

“Bitcoin today you can't make much transactions in it. You can't spend it very easily."

That's what Ray Dalio, founder of mega hedge fund Bridgewater, had to say about Crypto last month.

He went on to say:

"It's not an effective storehold of wealth because it has volatility to it, unlike gold […] Bitcoin is a highly speculative market. Bitcoin is a bubble."

These remarks (as well as a recent barrage on the topic by JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon) got me excited. Excited because the very people who have built modern “Big Money” don't understand the power that crypto is unleashing around the world. What’s being built isn’t a new area of finance—it’s an entirely new parallel replacement. So Ray, Jamie—these are the highlights of crypto that opened my eyes to what may be coming. And now I can hardly look away.

Some ground rules:

 
  • It's not new money—don't bring the biases you have tied to government-issued currency—it's something far more powerful.
  • Remember: it's still extremely early. In Internet terms, recall the days of the 14.4 KB/s modem. We can squint and begin to imagine Netflix playing on a iPhone, but we are still very far away.
  • No one knows where this leads (this author included) — but it's important to understand why this is like nothing before.

What the internet is for information, blockchain tech is for transactions.

This is important. The Internet is, at it’s core, a series of protocols that allow people—who have no prior relationship—to move data back and forth. This goes from low-level things like semi-structured text all the way to streaming 360-degree video. But as soon as the smallest snippet of text was transferred, everything else could follow. What the internet also did—that wasn’t really possible in the previous world of proprietary machine data connections—was provide smart linkage between content. Example primitives here include embedding a photo and linking to a different web page.

How does this apply to transactions?

Bitcoin’s key “academic” revelation was the first practical solution to a long-standing (since 1982) problem—called the Byzantine Generals Problem.

This problem is as follows:

Several armies surround a castle they are going to attack. Each army faction is led by a general. However, they must all attack simultaneously to ensure success. It doesn’t matter what time they attack, so long as they agree. Since they are spread out, it makes communication unreliable. If two attack times were proposed, some generals might hear a different one first. And worse, some of the generals are traitors, and may relay an incorrect message (wrong attack time or similar) to the other generals. So how can the generals ensure a coordinated attack?

In Satoshi's (the pseudonymous founder of Bitcoin) own words:

They use a proof-of-work chain to solve the problem. Once each general receives whatever attack time he hears first, he sets his computer to solve an extremely difficult proof-of-work problem that includes the attack time in its hash. The proof-of-work is so difficult, it's expected to take 10 minutes of them all working at once before one of them finds a solution. Once one of the generals finds a proof-of-work, he broadcasts it to the network, and everyone changes their current proof-of-work computation to include that proof-of-work in the hash they're working on. If anyone was working on a different attack time, they switch to this one, because its proof-of-work chain is now longer.

After two hours, one attack time should be hashed by a chain of 12 proofs-of-work. Every general, just by verifying the difficulty of the proof-of-work chain, can estimate how much parallel CPU power per hour was expended on it and see that it must have required the majority of the computers to produce that much proof-of-work in the allotted time. They had to all have seen it because the proof-of-work is proof that they worked on it. If the CPU power exhibited by the proof-of-work chain is sufficient to crack the password, they can safely attack at the agreed time.

If you are new to crypto: a “hash” is basically a fingerprint—a secure, repeatable reduction of information. Imagine I send you a file via an insecure channel. Someone could tamper with the file. But if I’ve told you (offline, or another secure channel) what the “hash” is, then you can check to make sure the file arrived without tampering. With the solution for the Byzantine Generals in hand, “Money” as we know it is the easy demonstration app to build—akin to transferring plain text between computers in Internet terms. Bitcoin may not be the platform that captures much of the innovation yet to come, but it’s clearly benefitting from the network effects of being the first real-world deployment that demonstrates the power of this technology.

Never before could anyone build a monetary “country.”

Our locally-issued currency (“fiat” for short) is a relatively fragile, modern invention. We don't have to look very far into history to see how this method may well be ill suited for our future. Consider the Bretton Woods Agreement — named for international conference held in a New Hampshire town of the same name in 1944, at the end of WWII. In short, the agreement was that countries may set their own interest rates, so long as they artificially constrained and fixed exchange rates between each country.

Why? The goal was for countries to have sufficient yield in capital to rebuild war-torn Europe. If currencies were to be fluid, all the capital would go to the economy with the highest real yields (and likely be unavailable for lower-return, but still necessary projects.) The IMF and World Bank were established to finance shortfalls across member countries. But differences in inflation rates went on to rip this agreement apart by the beginning of the 1970s. Even at the size of nations, it's hard to keep anything static in markets. Even after further recalibration, the subsequent floating exchange rates put in place led to rampant inflation in the ‘70s.

In our modern age—with unlimited information and entirely geographically dispersed organizations—why would any organization tie themselves to their geographically-proximate neighbors? Ask anyone who has managed payrolls across currencies: it's an entirely different risk. Now with Crypto, anyone—whether a company, a protocol, a network (think EBay buyers and sellers)—can create their own monetary country. This new country's value, relative to more-commonly-traded-counterparts, may experience significant amounts of volatility.

It doesn't matter that Bitcoin's transactions aren't scalable: you don't have to carry only one physical currency to the global markets. It doesn't matter that it's highly volatile, relative to fiat currency: you will seamlessly be able to convert value to the economic “country” where you need to spend it. Some of these countries (maybe even Bitcoin itself) will eventually become incredibly stable. (Or maybe a monetary country will emerge that provides a simple future yield contract, with desired stability characteristics.)

Some of these “new countries” may badly draw their own borders and be unsustainable or disastrous. Existing nations may be hostile—and attempt to seize or shut down smaller crypto countries. As the Bitcoin project itself has shown—internal politics and inability to move quickly might be huge challenges within these projects. Regardless of an individual ecosystem’s success or failure, this is a new power we've never seen or experienced at scale.

It's a currency. It's access to the network. And it's equity in the project.

With the “real” rates (interest minus inflation) stuck at nearly zero for so long, there's just too much money seeking return. I've written before about the ICO phenomenon and the incredible volume (relative to VC as a whole) that is rushing into the system. At the core: the flexibility of the token system is allowing market demand for non-zero interest returns to seep into new technology projects. So what’s an ICO? Answer: it totally depends.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

What’s Bitcoin exactly, and should I invest in it?

What's Bitcoin exactly, and should
I invest in it?

 

Bitcoin, the best-known of the upstart digital currencies,

is still a mystery to many Americans. If you've heard about Bitcoin, it's mainly from startling headlines about its 400% price gain earlier this year, or its surge to nearly $5,000 last month, making it the the most-valuable player in the mushrooming space for so-called crytocurrencies. Or because Wall Street skeptics call it a “fad,” a “fraud” and a “speculative bubble.” Believers in Bitcoin say it’s the money of the future, a digital alternative to the dollar or euro or yen. Non-believers say it’s not real money. After all, you can't dig into your pocket and pull one out like a $10 bill and hand it to a cashier at Dunkin Donuts to pay for your morning coffee. Some investment pros say it’s a new asset class, no different from a stock, a bond or an ounce of gold, and that it has great investment promise. Skeptics say it’s not an investment because there’s no good way to value it.

So what exactly is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital currency and digital payment system that allows people to send and receive Bitcoins — or digital tokens — to anyone, anywhere in the world. It runs on a decentralized network of computers where all transactions are recorded, verified and updated by technology known as blockchain, which is akin to an online public ledger. Unlike traditional payment networks such as Mastercard, Bitcoin isn’t owned by anyone.There’s no central authority, such as a bank or government, that's in charge of it.

How do you buy Bitcoin?

An easy way to get started is to set up an account with a Bitcoin exchange like U.S.-based Coinbase, which allows you to purchase Bitcoins with money from your bank account or credit card. And just like the New York Stock Exchange is a place you can go to buy and sell stocks like Apple or Amazon, these exchanges will let you trade cryptocurrencies.

How do I access my bitcoin “money”?

Bitcoins purchased on an exchange or received in a transaction can be stored and accessed in a so-called "Bitcoin Wallet," which is like a bank account. A Bitcoin Wallet lets you receive Bitcoins, store or save them, and send them to others. There are apps that allow you to install a Bitcoin Wallet on your computer or mobile device.

Where can I spend it and what can I buy with it?

You can spend your Bitcoin at any retailer set up to accept Bitcoin as money to pay for purchases. But Bitcoin hasn’t yet enjoyed widespread adoption, and those retailers that do accept it, mostly are set up online. You can use Bitcoin to buy over 1,000 products at discount retailer Overstock.com. You can also go online and use Bitcoin at Microsoft to buy apps, games and videos on Xbox, book airline tickets from CheapAir.com or hotel rooms from Expedia, purchase a satellite TV subscription from Dish Network or buy a sub sandwich from an Allentown, PA, Subway store. One way to get around retailers not accepting Bitcoin is to purchase gift cards for retailers like Amazon or BestBuy at gift card makers like eGifter that accept Bitcoin.

How are Bitcoins priced?

The price is determined by supply and demand – and market forces. The Bitcoin supply will be limited to 21 million, and currently there are roughly 16.6 million. Whether Bitcoin rises or falls in value depends on whether investors believe it will gain widespread acceptance, whether it can avoid being shut down by governments and whether it can continue to dominate the digital currency market or be surpassed by one of more than 1,100 other cryptocurrencies.Bitcoin has so much flavor of the month because it is a relatively new alternative currency demanded by hackers. Video provided by TheStreet Newslook

What do investors need to know about Bitcoin?

Bitcoin has gained most of its notoriety as an investment. A single Bitcoin ended 2016 at around $950 but skyrocketed to nearly $5,000 on Sept. 1. That's a gain of around 425%. But one of Bitcoin’s downsides is that it has proved to be wildly volatile. Three weeks after hitting its 2017 peak, it had given back more than 25% before rallying back 20% to around $4,350 Friday.

Bulls and Bears collide on Bitcoin

That rapid ascent has been accompanied by wildly different prognostications about Bitcoin’s future. Bulls like Thomas Lee, founder of Wall Street firm Fundstrat Global Advisors, see promise. His firm thinks Bitcoin could be worth $6,000 by the middle of 2018, 40% higher than current levels. His long-term target is as high as $25,000 by 2022. He believes Bitcoin will enjoy “expanded acceptance” as a digital currency and payment platform as well as “broader adoption” as a “store of value” similar to gold. He also sees a growing interest from big institutional investors, largely because the market cap of the cryptocurrency market has grown to an estimated $147.4 billion, according to CoinMarket.com.

But there's some  big bears out there. Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan, has called Bitcoin a “fraud.” At a recent investment conference, Dimon said, “Right now, cryptocurrencies are kind of a novelty.” His fear is that when people start to lose money, governments around the world will eventually “shut down” exchanges that trade digital currencies. “It will end badly,” he said. 

But where Dimon sees trouble, others see profit-making opportunities. 

Bitwise Asset Management, a San Francisco-based startup, has just introduced a new cryptocurrency investment fund. The Bitwise HOLD 10 Private Index fund tracks the top 10 cryptocurrencies weighted by market cap, including No. 1 Bitcoin and others such as Ethereum, Ripple, and Zcash. Citing risk  and a need to “proceed with caution,” Bitwise co-founder Hunter Horsley says it makes more sense for investors to be able to buy a basket of cryptocurrencies to reduce risk through diversification. His firm's new fund will track the biggest cryptocurrencies like the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index tracks the largest U.S. stocks.

“Our view is that, over time, as cryptocurrencies continue to ascend along with their potential, that more people will want to participate via investing,” Horsley told USA TODAY. He says owning a basket of cryptocurrencies is better than owning just Bitcoin. He notes that Bitcoin, which made up roughly 85% of the total cryptocurrency market earlier this year, now accounts for about 55% of its total market cap. “You don’t want to be trying to pick the winners,” he says.

There are now at least 55 crypto-focused hedge funds, according to financial research firm Autonomous Next. And Goldman Sachs, a big Wall Street bank, is reportedly looking into a new trading operation involving Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Don’t buy the hype, counters value investor Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management. “In my view, digital currencies are nothing but an unfounded fad, based on a willingness to ascribe value to something that has little or none beyond what people pay for it,” Marks told clients in a letter back in July.”

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

TriForce Tokens Blockchain Gaming Supported by Coventry University Enterprise Ltd, Going Through IP Audit Process With Innovate UK

TriForce Tokens Blockchain Gaming Supported by Coventry University Enterprise Ltd,
Going Through IP Audit Process With Innovate UK

 

Gaming solutions company TriForce Tokens confirms support

from Coventry University Enterprises Ltd and an ongoing IP audit with the U.K. government's innovation agency Innovate UK. Pre ICO scheduled for Oct. 14th. Blockchain gaming solutions start-up TriForce Tokens continues to build momentum, partnering with Coventry University Enterprises Ltd for corporate and business cooperation, while initiating an IP audit with the U.K. government's Innovate UK for its technology and brand. For more information on TriForce Tokens's vision and development objectives, visit the TriForce Tokens website and read the official whitepaper. TriForce Tokens Steam-like blockchain-based gaming platform is in Early Alpha and can be accessed for players and for developers.

Taking the booming online games industry into the blockchain era

More than 2 billion people – almost a third of the entire planet — will be playing games online by the end of 2017, generating revenues in excess of $100 billion*. This number is set to increase by more than six percent annually, as mobile users join a growing legion of console and PC gamers. TriForce Tokens seeks to shake up the multi-billion dollar online games industry with a decentralized platform that will enhance game development and improve player experiences.

The TriForce Tokens revolution: decentralized gaming for new revenue models

TriForce Tokens' chief objective will be to address the main issues that prevent independent developers from producing successful titles, acknowledging that they work with smaller budgets, limited resources and tight deadlines. A decentralized platform promises a way to rapidly deploy common features such as tournaments, P2P trading and peer ranking, across games and platforms.

Players on separate games and platforms will not be forced to abandon their digital empires, as TriForce Tokens will look to harmonize all existing digital assets into a single ecosystem of digital wealth. Using a tokenized system, players can trader with others, earn rewards from competitive events. Developers can use the same tokens to compensate users for tasks and charge custom fees for P2P transactions.

Blockchain transparency is a feature of TriForce Tokens, encouraging communities that foster happiness, safety and ethical conduct. Helpful players who contribute to collaboration are recognized by a unique and transparent honor system, rooting out fraud and negative elements such as "toxic communities" harmful to player retention.

To mitigate player attrition, developers can benefit from TriForce Tokens' big data algorithms and behavioural analysis, learning deep player insights that will greatly assist in creating novel gaming experiences. TriForce Tokens features another blockchain innovation in its authentication network, that hopes to assist developers in copyright and piracy protection. It will also provide alternative methods for developers to still extract some revenue from already pirated content.

Strengthening its position through strategic partnerships

TriForce Tokens recognizes that a multi-faceted approach must be taken to position themselves as a serious leader in online gaming, with sound business, compliance and corporate structures as vital as technology development. TriForce Tokens now has the pleasure to announce that it has initiated an IP audit process with the U.K. government's innovation agency, Innovate UK. The audit will assess TriForce Tokens' technology and brand, helping to provide a stronger business focus to ensure they deliver maximum value. Innovate UK will work with TriForce Tokens to connect them with relevant partners through its innovation networks.

TriForce Tokens will also receive business support from Coventry University Enterprises Limited.  Coventry University Enterprises Ltd's award-winning Technology Park is a prestigious location that hosts some of the region's most innovative businesses and is home to the Serious Games Institute. It already benefits from the synergy of membership with two of the industry's foremost advocates: TIGA, a games and publisher network, and trade association with proven political clout in the U.K., and Swiss-based Crypto Valley Association, a collective of the world's leading blockchain and cryptographic tech initiatives.

TriForce Tokens and Crowdsale

TriForce Tokens (TFT) will be the currency powering payments and rewards on the decentralized gaming ecosystem. They will also be available to trade on external platforms, driving significant appreciation of value as the project grows in strength. TriForce Tokens Steam-like blockchain-based gaming platform is now available for testing. The Early Alpha can be accessed  for developers. As part of a fundraising exercise to support the development of its platform, TriForce Tokens will conduct a public crowdsale of tokens via an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).

A pre-ICO will open on Oct. 14, 2017 (1.30pm GMT) for 48 hours only. Participants in the pre-ICO are able to buy tokens with a 60% discount on top of the standard rate of 1 TFT at $0.20. In addition, 50 random pre-ICO participants will be chosen to receive a free Ledger Nano S hardware wallet. Following this, TriForce Tokens will launch its main ICO event from Nov. 12, 2017 to Nov. 25 (1.30 p.m. GMT), 2017. TriForce Tokens also has ambitions to become the first fully-compliant U.K. ICO, and is working on ISO27001 certification and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) compliance.

The Team

TriForce Tokens is backed by an ensemble of experts from a range of sectors, including corporate management, online gaming, computer security and blockchain development.

Some of its key team members include:

Pete Mardell, CEO

Mardell established himself as a strong engineering professional with his work on a range of technical web applications when he was Head of Development for a recruitment agency in the UK. An avid gamer, Mardell is also a long-time cryptocurrency enthusiast.

Raza Ahmed, CTO

Ahmed has vast experience as a Senior Full Stack Web Developer and qualified blockchain developer, with expertise in Solidity (Ethereum), Javascript, SQL, Node.js, and AngularJS, among others. An MSc holder in Software Development, Ahmed has developed web applications for almost eight years. An associate professor at Coventry University's Faculty Research Centre for Manufacturing and Materials Engineering, Dr. Shah currently lectures in Ethical Hacking and Computer Security.

Jakub Kafarski, Front-end Engineer

Kafarski has worked on front-end engineering for the likes of Noveo, Madkom and Ericsson across Poland, U.K., and Sweden. He works as a front-end software engineer at CycloMedia Technology, a leader in its field. He is skilled at JavaScript, React, Redux and Node.js and is a member of Mensa.

Sorina Rusu, System Developer

Rusu is a passionate developer with extensive experience in PHP and Node.js. Her good organization skills and dedication has been key to her successes with consulting and tech firms in Romania as well in the U.K.

Haider Malik, Senior Full Stack Developer

A Javascript expert, Malik also doubles as an instructor at learning academies Udemy and Fullstackhour.

Simona Patrut, Marketing

Patrut has a strong marketing background, including a management role at Romania's Hilmi Medical Center, where she has managed entire product marketing cycles. She is an expert at building new partnerships for strong brand awareness.

Mihai Bratoi, Brand Designer

Bratoi is a Platinum Designer at U.K. designing firm 99designs. His work focuses on creating unique, memorable designs that respond well to customer needs for corporate needs and social media. TriForce Tokens is the source of this content. Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to consumer protections.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

Cryptocurrencies you should know about besides bitcoin

Cryptocurrencies you should know
about besides bitcoin

 

After years of being seen as a nerdy collector's item

for programmers and computer geeks, bitcoin has recently gained the attention of mainstream investors, day traders, Wall Street, and probably your crazy uncle Jimmy, too. The cryptocurrency's ridiculous 330% price gain in 2017 has left many to wonder whether bitcoin is a get-rich-quick investment that could actually pay off. Bitcoin has undoubtedly made some early investors rich, but the incredible interest in the cryptocurrency has far exceeded the market's understanding of how the underlying "blockchain" technology works.

That gap in knowledge has created an opportunity for the creation of hundreds of new cryptocurrency tokens looking to cash in on investors' greed and ignorance — but that doesn't mean all should be avoided. If you're serious about the technology — and you're ready to do your homework — then you may want to consider adding one or more of these five cryptocurrencies and tokens to your portfolio.

Ether (ETH)

Ether — the currency of the Ethereum network — is the second-most valuable cryptocurrency, with a total value of about $28 billion. It started the year priced at just $8 apiece before settling near $300 recently. While Ether is sometimes confusingly called Ethereum, the currency's long-term value lies in the unique Ethereum network and blockchain. What's the blockchain? Think of it as a new form of internet. You don't need to know how it works to use it, but it's essentially a distributed database without a single gatekeeper. That means all information on this new internet is verifiable by everyone, anywhere.

Part of the value of the Ethereum blockchain is that it can run and execute smart contracts — agreements executed by software code upon the completion of specified tasks — between any combination of machines and humans. The upcoming Metropolis release will move the platform closer to its true potential by making it easier for smart contracts to be created and executed by individuals and businesses.

What's the point? With smart contracts and well-designed blockchain protocols, there will be no middlemen extracting fees at each step of a transaction, nor will there be a time delay. Transferring value, whether for utility bills or payroll, would become instantaneous and effortless; you could literally be paid by the hour. If the world ever moves to a truly digital economy, then it will need digital currencies that share many characteristics of the Ethereum ecosystem. Ether, in my opinion, is the best cryptocurrency available for a long-term investment.

 OmiseGO (OMG)

Perhaps the biggest value provided by the Ethereum network is that it can support an ecosystem of decentralized apps, or DAPPS. If Ethereum is a new internet, then DAPPS are the individual websites. Confusingly, although Ethereum uses its own currency (Ether), each DAPP can also have its own unique currency in the form of a token.

When tokens (similar to shares of a company) are offered publicly for the first time, it's called an Initial Coin Offering, or ICO. Companies have raised over $2.3 billion through ICOs this year, and since not all are trustworthy or credible, many have criticized the ICO craze as a bubble. That's not entirely false, but like it or not, ICOs are a new way for companies and start-ups to raise capital — and not all are fraudulent. The venture-backed fintech start-up Omise is a great example. It's nearing the public launch of its OmiseGO blockchain technology, which will be used to bring digital wallets mainstream by enabling real-time, peer-to-peer payments with low transaction fees and instant fund settlement. Think Venmo or Paypal, but without any delay in money transfers and in the form of a decentralized exchange.

OmiseGO tokens boast a combined value just shy of $1 billion. Investors who own a token will receive a cut of the transaction fees (similar to a stock dividend) from the company's digital wallets when they go live in the fourth quarter of this year. The digital wallets will be backed by nationally licensed reserves (similar to how banks are regulated) and will be currency-agnostic (meaning they'll handle transactions and value transfers made in U.S. dollars, Ether, bitcoin, or other popular asset types), which will allow each currency to succeed or fail on its own merits. That helps to protect OmiseGO from volatility in the long run and may allow it to thrive no matter which cryptocurrency is the flavor of the week. 

Qtum (QTUM)

 A businessman holding a smartphone flat in the dark, with bright business icons floating above the surface.The creators of Qtum (the company and token share the name) decided to focus on business customers. By combining some of the best aspects of bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, they have made Qtum a tool that allows businesses to easily design and build smart contracts for automating supply chain management and business-to-business transactions. 

The goal is to create a platform for smart contracts, including secure and tested templates tailored to specific industries and uses, and develop the technology needed to translate contracts from software code to language humans can read and understand. Qtum has invested heavily in ensuring mobile compatibility and ease of use, which could enable widespread adoption among many businesses (especially those in emerging economies) interested in decentralized operations. The tokens currently boast a market cap of $580 million, although the Qtum network has only been publicly available since Sept. 13.

Rialto.ai (XRL)

The incredible attention garnered by cryptocurrencies in 2017, and the resulting spike in their usage, has led to frequent delays in transactions. Cryptocurrency exchanges are much less efficient and liquid than, say, stock market exchanges, where trades can be executed in milliseconds. Rialto.ai is looking to solve that problem by providing algorithms that exploit these deficiencies. Think of it as a cryptocurrency arbitrage network. When exchanges are having problems meeting trade demands or converting between various currencies, Rialto.ai will step in to provide liquidity from its trading portfolio. That will reduce transaction times, ensure open orders are fulfilled instantly, and improve the overall efficiency of any cryptocurrency exchange approved by the creators.  

In addition to providing market liquidity, Rialto.ai will conduct trades to profit from market inefficiencies, behaving in a way similar to the robo-traders of Wall Street. The network will collect tiny transaction fees each time and distribute them to token holders twice per year (see a trend here among reputable tokens?), which could really add up if Rialto.ai takes off. Additionally, the algorithms will have knowledge of major transactions in real time. It would be the same as knowing Warren Buffett's every move the second he makes it, rather than waiting for a quarterly filing with the SEC. However, Rialto.ai tokens may not be legal to own for asset accounts in the United States (yet), as they may run afoul of SEC regulations at the moment. If that changes, then these tokens could be an intriguing way to diversify your crypto holdings.

PembiCoin (PBC)

Not every cryptoasset doubles as a software tool. Some just serve as more traditional assets. That's the idea behind PembiCoin from the venture-backed start-up Pembient, although the asset is anything but traditional. It may sound wild (and it is), but Pembient is developing a technology platform that it hopes will manufacture rhino horn products in the lab through a combination of genetic engineering and 3-D printing. The idea is that this biofabrication tech will more than meet market demand for rhino horn products, making it unnecessary to poach wild rhinos and drive them to extinction. If the company can meet its goal of producing genetically and chemically identical rhino horn products and mass-produce them, then it could drop the price of rhino horn globally — and drive poachers out of the market. (Of course, it's more complicated and controversial than that.)

Pembient needs a few more years to optimize its technology platform, so it created PembiCoin to gauge interest in its future rhino horn product. Think of it as a commodity futures contract: For every PembiCoin token purchased today, you'll receive 1 gram of its fabricated rhino horn in November 2022. You can also sell PembiCoin between now and then.

This cryptoasset is risky, because Pembient may not meet its technology goals. It's also controversial, given that each token is being offered for one-tenth the current price of rhino horn, which has led some to argue that if the technology works, the tokens will become futures contracts on the extinction of black rhinos. However, it highlights one often overlooked potential application of cryptocurrencies and cryptoassets — low-cost futures contracts — and reinforces the idea that we're only scratching the surface of blockchain technology's potential.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

Why Fidelity Is Mining Bitcoin and Ethereum

Why Fidelity Is
Mining Bitcoin and Ethereum

What Happens to Your Bitcoin When You Die? If you don’t prepare, it might vanish forever.
 
 

It's not about profits.

Fidelity CEO Abby Johnson surprised a tech conference this spring by revealing the brokerage giant didn’t just study cryptocurrency. It was also mining the digital assets—and making money while doing so. It turns out Fidelity has been at this for three years, using its own computers to harvest the digital currencies bitcoin and Ethereum, which today trade for around $4,300 and $300 respectively. Hadley Stern of Fidelity Labs tells Fortune that the U.S. based mining operation is very modest, however, and the undisclosed profits—CEO Johnson reportedly told the conference the mining “is actually making a lot of money”—are mostly the result of cryptocurrencies’ dramatic rise in value. (Bitcoin traded as low as $200 in early 2015, while the newer Ethereum was just $8 at the start of this year.)

Those profits are nice, of course, but for Fidelity they are not the point. Stern says the real purpose of the mining is to learn about the burgeoning cryptocurrency market. “Think of it as an experiment. The real reason we began mining, and still do, is to learn how the network works, how consensus works, how difficulty levels work,” says Stern, referring to aspects of the mining process, which involves a network of computers competing to solve complex math problems.

Stern adds that Fidelity’s mining project is not sophisticated compared to professional operations, which involve companies, most of them in China, connecting giant rooms of specialized computers to cheap sources of electricity. But he says Fidelity continues to learn valuable lessons, including about recent campaigns by miners to create so-called “forks” in blockchains, which serve as an immutable record of all cryptocurrency transactions. (The most famous fork occurred this summer when some miners created a rival to bitcoin called “Bitcoin cash.”)

The lessons Fidelity (FNFV, -1.10%) is learning could give it a valuable advantage at a time when other big financial institutions are dipping their toes into the world of cryptocurrencies, which are together worth well over $100 billion today. In the last month, J.P. Morgan (JPM, -0.19%) has begun handling customer orders for bitcoin-related financial instruments, while Goldman Sachs (GS, -0.02%) has stoked rumors it might open a trading desk dedicated to digital currencies.

Fidelity’s mining operations aren’t the only way the company is gaining insights into cryptocurrency. This summer, the brokerage entered an arrangement with Coinbase, a popular San Francisco-based exchange, to let customers view the value of their digital currency alongside stocks and others assets on their Fidelity homepage. The Coinbase tie-up is a convenience for customers, but also lets Fidelity gain insight into how many how investors are interested in cryptocurrency.

Meanwhile, Fidelity has also included bitcoin in a program that helps individuals donate specialized assets, such as fine art, to charity. Stern says the company often conducts interviews with customers who donate bitcoin, in part to learn about their interest in the cryptocurrency. “It’s another way to assess market demand, get our hands a bit dirty with the technology, and learn what’s going on,” says Stern.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

Yet Another Bitcoin Fork Aims to Take Power Away From Big Miners

Yet Another Bitcoin Fork Aims to Take Power Away From Big Miners

 

Is Bitcoin Gold the people's fork?

In 2009, there was only one kind of imaginary internet money to scratch your head over: Bitcoin. Now there's Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and soon, Bitcoin Gold. Lordy. The trouble began earlier this year when a group of cryptocurrency upstarts cloned Bitcoin to create their own version, called Bitcoin Cash. The split, called a "hard fork," came after a long and acrimonious disagreement about how to get Bitcoin to handle more traffic failed to resolve amicably. Now, another group of Bitcoiners wants to create yet another version of the world's most popular digital money on October 25. They're calling it Bitcoin Gold.

Bitcoin Gold is taking aim at democratizing Bitcoin's lucrative infrastructure layer—"mining"—taking it out of the hands of giant firms and into the purview of at-home enthusiasts. The project was co-founded by Jack Liao, CEO of Hong Kong-based Bitcoin mining company LightningASIC, Bitcoin Gold's anonymous lead developer "h4x3rotab" told me. (LightningASIC also just so happens to sell the hardware this new market of miners will need.) The fork mainly seems to be a reaction to widespread ire directed at one Bitcoin mining giant in particular, China-based Bitmain. Bitmain was an important player in the Bitcoin Cash fork.

"The current situation, where one erratic company in a totalitarian jurisdiction that is very hostile to Bitcoin has near monopoly domination over the manufacturing and distribution of the mining hardware that is required for the security of the global network, is unacceptable to anyone who understands the importance of decentralization to Bitcoin," hx3rotab wrote me in an email. Hx3rotab also told me that he is based in China. Bitcoin Gold is different from Bitcoin Cash and yet another upcoming fork—"Segwit2x," scheduled for November—because those versions address issues related to speeding up the Bitcoin network to handle more traffic. Bitcoin Gold is instead looking to cut more people in on the mining industry's profits.

Miners are people who build computers solely dedicated to crunching numbers in an effort to "solve" a block of data and receive a reward in cryptocurrency. These blocks are chained one after another to make up the blockchain, Bitcoin's ledger technology. In the early days of Bitcoin, anyone could mine the currency on their home computer. But since then, Bitcoin's hashing algorithm has been monopolized by specialized, powerful mining chips called ASICs and large mining firms. It's a multi-million dollar industry. Bitcoin Gold will, if it materializes on October 25, switch out Bitcoin's algorithm for another called Equihash that is, well, more equitable. It's a "memory-hard" algorithm, which means common home computer hardware like GPUs will be able to profitably mine Bitcoin Gold for the foreseeable future. Because they have different mining algorithms, "Bitcoin Gold is not a competitor of Bitcoin," h4x3rotab wrote.

Bitcoin's next-most-popular competition, Ethereum, currently allows GPU mining but will eventually be moving to a new mining scheme, so there will be a whole lot of GPU rigs out there just looking for cryptocurrency to mine. Bitcoin Gold will, if all goes according to plan, be there for them. There are some potential red flags. The first is that there is essentially no technical information about Bitcoin Gold anywhere on the internet. Not on the project's website, not on its GitHub, and not in its Slack channel. That's unusual, considering it's supposed to launch in under a month. The team has also not yet deployed a "testnet" to safely test the network, h4x3rotab wrote, but it should be coming soon.

Bitcoin Gold will also have the same address format as Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin, which could be very confusing. There have been reports of people unwittingly sending their Bitcoin Cash to Bitcoin addresses, losing it forever. This problem will only be compounded by yet another incompatible cryptocurrency using the same address format. Bitcoin Gold has a plan to introduce new address formats for the fork, h4x3rotab said, but that will come after launch and they will have to first entice users to migrate over to the new format.

Still, none of this necessarily precludes Bitcoin Gold from getting off the ground. Forking code is easy—it's getting people on board that's the hard part. Since Bitcoin Gold is a fork of Bitcoin, anyone holding Bitcoin at the time of the fork will receive a mirror balance in Bitcoin Gold. The promise of free money may be enough to draw the needed interest. On October 25 there may be three versions of the world's most popular and valuable cryptocurrency: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin Gold. Then, in November, another scheduled split will likely create a fourth version, which is currently only known as "Segwit2x." This fork could soon be… a rake?

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614