From Tim Cook to Yuval Harari – Disrupting Data, Protecting Privacy, Building Blockchains and Hacking Humans

From Tim Cook to Yuval Harari – Disrupting Data, Protecting Privacy, Building Blockchains and Hacking Humans

In a recent Time article,

Apple CEO Tim Cook calls for legislation to prevent data breaches and irresponsible collection of user profiles. “I and others are calling on the U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation—a landmark package of reforms that protect and empower the consumer.”

In 2018, Cook laid out four principles to guide legislation. The principles presented to a global body of regulators included the right to have data minimized, the right to knowledge of data collected, the right to access data, and the right to collect and delete personal data.Still, he believes that laws alone will not ensure privacy rights are observed. He wants tools that can help protect consumers from the shadow economy where data is sold to data brokers without users’ consent.

Cook explains,

“Meaningful, comprehensive federal privacy legislation should not only aim to put consumers in control of their data, it should also shine a light on actors trafficking in your data behind the scenes. Some state laws are looking to accomplish just that, but right now there is no federal standard protecting Americans from these practices.”

“That’s why we believe the Federal Trade Commission should establish a data-broker clearinghouse, requiring all data brokers to register, enabling consumers to track the transactions that have bundled and sold their data from place to place, and giving users the power to delete their data on demand, freely, easily and online, once and for all.”  In 2018 Cook championed the same principles blockchain developers are prioritizing: efforts to build transparent, decentralized systems that give users greater control over their digital identities.

While Cook proposes the creation of a centralized body to tackle privacy issues on the internet, blockchain developers are working on decentralized projects to solve many of the same issues. But the approach is fundamentally different. Cook trusts that a new group of people can sort out privacy issues; blockchain developers put more faith in math and machines. They’re building automated systems that can operate in cryptographically secure environments to monitor and enforce agreements and data-access privileges.

Different blockchain technologies, both public and private, offer different solutions for various privacy issues.

You can check "Have I Been Pwned" to see if your data has ever been breached.

Privacy focused internet browser Brave, for example, is designed to protect consumer data. Brave works closely with blockchain identity startup Civic, using its verification services to protect users’ identities. Brave reports that it currently has 5.5 million monthly users that avoid data-harvesting intermediaries.

Projects such as Enigma, Dfinity, Ethereum and Tron are building scalable blockchain solutions to create a decentralized internet. The idea is to rethink how data is moving in and out of vast silos that are controlled by corporations and governments. By giving users control of their data, and not clearinghouses, blockchain developers are potentially averting what author and historian Yuval Harari believes is the most challenging dilemma of our lifetime.

Says Harari,

“There is a lot of talk about hacking computers and emails and bank accounts, but actually we are entering into the era of hacking humans. And I would say, the most important fact anybody who is alive today needs to know about in the 21st century, is that we are becoming hackable animals. This is the most important thing….

“It starts on the surface. And this is what we already see today. It starts by having corporations and governments amass enormous amounts of data about where we go and what we search online and what we buy, and things like that. But this is all surface, and outside: how I behave in the world. The big watershed, the big change will come once it starts penetrating inside, inside your body. Once you can start monitoring and surveilling what’s happening inside your body, inside your brain, then you can really hack human beings. And this – we’re very close to it.”

Harari says an external system can eventually learn to know people better than they know themselves. “It will never know you perfectly. There is nothing perfect in the world. There is no such thing as perfect knowledge. Amazon or the government will never know you 100%. But it doesn’t need to. It just needs to know you better than you know yourself. And this is not very difficult, because most people don’t know themselves very well.”

It could take decades before the first human being is potentially hacked. Until then, the focus remains on securing data and eliminating abuses by profit-driven business models. As people try different methods to solve a common problem, from the creation of more centralized bodies or clearing houses, to the proliferation of decentralized blockchains that are both public and private, several outcomes could emerge. And there is no certain way to predict the future. But one question is becoming strikingly clear and increasingly critical as engineers and entrepreneurs move forward to advance various technologies. Which one should we trust more – man or machine?

Article Produced By
The Daily Hodl Staff

https://dailyhodl.com/2019/01/19/from-tim-cook-to-yuval-harari-disrupting-data-protecting-privacy-building-blockchains-and-hacking-humans/

WordPress Partners with Google News to Launch Open Source Platform for Newsrooms

WordPress Partners with Google News to Launch Open Source Platform for Newsrooms

On January 14, 2019, WordPress announced the launch of Newspack by WordPress,

an Open Source Platform for Newsrooms which will begin operations in mid-2019 with backing from ConsenSys, Civil media and others.

Financial Backing

This new solution is in partnership with Google and the Google News Initiative who contributed $1.2 million to the cause. It is also being backed with financial contributions from The Lenfest Institute for Journalism ($400,000), ConsenSys, the venture studio backing Civil Media ($350,000), and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation ($250,000). According to the statement, another $200,000 from an unnamed fifth source is expected to be given by the end of the month.

Economic Models

The main goal of Newspack is to create source publishing and revenue-platform for news publications. It is widely known in the publishing industry that maintaining an economically viable financial structure for newsrooms isn’t always easy and this new platform helps to bypass that problem. The new platform will also incorporate the best editorial practices from the industry. When Civil first launched their own platform, they spoke about how journalistic integrity is better preserved when the newsrooms are not at a loss for how to sustain themselves financially, and this comes into play here as well.

This sentiment was echoed by Kinsey Wilson, the president of WordPress.com, who said, “Local news organizations are struggling to find sustainable models for journalism — a crisis that has very real implications for democracy. We’re joining with industry leaders to bring technology, publishing and business expertise together in a single platform that can be shared by news organizations across the globe.” The platform will be launched formally in the middle of 2019 and will accept about a dozen news organizations, though there are plans to accept more by 2020.

More Details

Applications from potential charter newsrooms have already opened and close by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. For the developmental period, which will last till 2020, Automattic will fund the project, after which there will be “operating fee’s” of between $1,000 to $2,000 charged per month to participating newsrooms. Requirements for potential participants include a demonstration of either editorial and financial success in the past or a strong business plan, original content being produced and the meeting of the needs of a distinct geographic region or distinct subject area.

Article Produced By
Tokoni Uti

Tokoni Uti is a writer with several years of experience whose work has appeared in the Huffington Post, The Los Angele Free Press, The San Diego Free Press, Genvieve magazine and Blockchain Reporter. She holds a degree in accounting from Bowen University and lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

https://btcmanager.com/wordpress-partners-with-google-news-to-launch-open-source-platform-for-newsrooms/?

Why Employers Can’t Pay You in Cryptocurrency

Why Employers Can't Pay You in Cryptocurrency

With the help from recent news headlines

chronicling the substantial increase of some cryptocurrencies, more members of the public are discovering what people who’ve dealt with digital currencies like Bitcoin already knew. Although volatility is constant, it is possible to become wealthy with Bitcoin and similar non-physical forms of money. So you might be wondering, why isn’t it possible for your workplace to pay your wages in cryptocurrency? Some employers actually do – we’ll cover those later. But first, let’s discuss four barriers that make widespread adoption of that payment method difficult.

Some laws specify cash or check payments only

One of the main federal regulations that cover employee wages in the US is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It stipulates that employers must meet at least some of their minimum-wage requirements by paying workers with cash or checks – as of now, Bitcoin payments don’t apply and the same is true for overtime compensation.

However, outside those federal requirements for minimum wage and overtime, employers and workers can agree on other forms of payment if desired. Employers could theoretically pay employees partially with cash or checks, then give them supplementary amounts made up of cryptocurrencies. The system isn’t so straightforward in certain states, though. For example, Delaware and Texas are two of several states where wages can only be comprised of US currency.

Cryptocurrencies may be deemed securities

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a statement about cryptocurrencies to remind people that investments associated with them can quickly cross into other geographical boundaries without owners’ knowledge, which increases the possible risk. Also, the SEC may ultimately decide some cryptocurrencies are designated as securities. In that case, employers would have to comply with additional laws for securities in addition to the wage-related rules mentioned above.

 Employers could feel wary

The rapid fluctuations in value associated with Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies may make employers balk at the idea of paying their workers through these non-traditional means. Similarly, they might feel that not enough merchants accept cryptocurrencies as payment yet,  even as the number grows.

However, a BitPay debit card allows people to convert amounts from their cryptocurrency wallets into dollars in minutes. People can then use the more widely accepted currency anywhere that accepts Visa. This capability takes care of the potential issue of someone having cryptocurrency but not being able to spend it. The card also offers a safeguard if cryptocurrency holders learn about market conditions that signal a likely, sudden drop in value. In such a scenario, people could quickly make conversions using the card to avoid holding onto large amounts of cryptocurrency that could lose substantial worth in a few days or less.

The tax implications vary by country

If an employer regularly hires remote workers who are legal residents in one country and pay taxes in other, the different ways countries view cryptocurrencies for tax purposes could also be a barrier to adoption. In Canada, for instance, the country views cryptocurrency earnings as barter transactions. Companies based in the US have to convert cryptocurrency values to dollar amounts for the IRS on the dates payments occur. Similarly, employees must report all earnings in dollars, even when earned as Bitcoins or another currency.

Depending on the respective countries, reporting cryptocurrency earnings for tax purposes could be a straightforward process. However, companies with large percentages of international workers may decide that figuring out the logistics requires too much time-consuming research. If that happens, workers who strongly desire cryptocurrency payments could offer to find out the details and report back to their employers.

Some companies do pay employees with cryptocurrency

Despite the challenges we’ve presented, pioneer companies do exist that pay their employees in cryptocurrencies. Notably, none of the businesses are within the US, so some of the issues you learned about above may not apply to them. Geographical differences aside, if a growing number of companies around the world conclude that cryptocurrency payments for employees make sense, it could encourage other entities to follow suit.

Starting in February, GMO Internet, a Japanese company, will give portions of employee salaries in Bitcoin.  Employees will be able to receive the equivalent of $890 per month in Bitcoins. A representative of the company said the move to offer Bitcoins as salary was intended to make the company at large more literate about how cryptocurrencies work. Another business to consider is Buffer, a company associated with social-media tools that save time and grow traffic. It pays one of its developers, who reside in South Africa, a portion of his salary in Bitcoins. In this case, the employee is a big believer in the potential of Bitcoins. As such, he wanted to receive five percent of his wages in the currency.

The man approached a payment associate that works with Buffer and began a dialogue, later completing research to find a company that specializes in payroll services related to cryptocurrencies. He’s a good example of an employee who was proactive and got positive results even though the company was not offering widespread cryptocurrency payments. If a business is already in the cryptocurrency market, they might even ask employees during the hiring process whether they’ll accept non-physical payments. That situation happened at Bitedge, a sports betting establishment based in Australia. The company’s web developers receive 100 percent of their income in Bitcoins.

The future is bright

If you’re eager to explore the possibility of getting paid in cryptocurrency, it’s crucial to be aware of the volatility associated with cryptocurrency values, as well as the possibility that employers may not be up to speed about digital forms of payment. They might require you to research the specifics and provide guidance. As cryptocurrencies become more prominent, finding ways to overcome these and other challenges get easier. You can strengthen your stance as an early, in-the-know adopter and get involved in what could eventually revolutionize the way employers give compensation.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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General Manager of BIS Wants To Prevent Crypto From Joining ‘Main Financial System’/More

General Manager of BIS Wants To Prevent Crypto From Joining ‘Main Financial System’

Augustín Carstens, the general manager of the Bank for International Settlements

(BIS), called Bitcoin a “combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster”  and asked central banks to more closely regulate cryptocurrencies during a speech at Goethe University on Feb. 6. BIS is known as the “bank for central banks,” for it only provides banking services to central banks and other international organizations. In August 2017, when Carstens was the head of the central Bank of Mexico, he argued that Bitcoin is not a currency but a commodity and warned against its potential use for cybercrime.

Carsten’s recent comments Tuesday morning come after both the traditional and crypto markets have been experiencing a large drop since Monday, Feb. 5. Also this week, several large banks, including Lloyds Banking Group and J.P. Morgan Chase, banned credit card purchases of cryptocurrencies. In Carsten’s opinion, the global interest in cryptocurrencies is just a “speculative mania” and thus strict regulation by

central banks is needed:

“If authorities do not act pre-emptively, cryptocurrencies could become more interconnected with the main financial system and become a threat to financial stability.”

Carsten considers it “alarming” that some banks are releasing Bitcoin ATMs, for he considers Bitcoin’s potential use for illegal transactions too high to allow the currency to be associated with mainstream

financial institutions:

“If the only ‘business case’ is use for illicit or illegal transactions, central banks cannot allow such tokens to rely on much of the same institutional infrastructure that serves the overall financial system and freeload on the trust that it provides.”

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and Elliptic, a Bitcoin forensics company, released a report in late January that showed that less than one percent of all Bitcoin transactions represented money laundering.

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UAE Issues Warning On ICOs, Says Investors Should Assume Full Risk

A new document issued by the UAE Securities and Commodities

Authority (SCA) on Sunday, Feb. 4 warns investors about the risks of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). In the document, the SCA emphasizes that investors involved in ICO fundraising campaigns have to assume all associated risks, given that digital token-based fundraising activities are not regulated by the UAE, and no legal protection can be provided in cases of fraud.

The major risks, as pointed out by the SCA, include high volatility of ICO tokens on secondary markets, misleading or unaudited details in ICO offerings, as well as common unawareness of potential costs and gains shared by most retail investors. Moreover, the SCA mentioned the risks of investing in foreign ICOs, commenting that it may be difficult to verify the proper regulatory compliance of such fundraisers and track the invested money as it leaves the UAE.

This is the second time that the country’s government warns its citizens about the risks of ICOs as back in Oct. 2017, Abu Dhabi's Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) issued its guidelines on both ICOs and cryptocurrencies.

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Bitcoin Not Giving a Big Enough Hit as ‘Gateway Drug’

Bitcoin Not Giving a Big Enough
Hit as ‘Gateway Drug’

Interest in Bitcoin hit its high point leading up to its own high of $20,000

in the middle of December last year. Interest peaked, not only in investing circles, but also in the mainstream as Bitcoin became the buzzword on everyone's lips. This adoption was championed by Bitcoin as it welcomed millions of users to the cryptocurrency community, as expressed in Coinbase’s figures alone. However, in this fast paced ecosystem, Bitcoin is not enough to hold the attention of this vastly diverse community. So, while it may be the ideal coin to get people hooked on cryptocurrencies, once they are in and settled, there is time to seek out a multitude of other coins that are better suited to their needs or beliefs.

The draw of big growth

Bitcoin’s biggest draw was the incredible returns it was offering as it rallied from 2,000 percent in 12 months. This phenomenal growth continued to increase interest in the currency, and that sparked even further growth in this massive hype cycle. It has been correlated before that searches for on Google for Bitcoin are closely related to its growth – a phenomenon known as the ‘Satoshi Cycle’. In the lead up to December’s high, the Satoshi Cycle was in full effect as Google trends showed some interesting figures.

Nicholas Colas, a pioneering Bitcoin analyst in the world of traditional investments, has taken this correlation very seriously and states that it plays a big part in his predictions. "Going into December, [searches] skyrocketed," Colas said on CNBC’s Fast Money. He added that the total number of Bitcoin Google searches worldwide

tripled that month:

"You saw that correlates to the total increased number of wallet growth, which doubled in December from approximately 5 percent to 10 percent as Bitcoin rallied.”

Already hooked

However, taking this metric into consideration, it could be argued that the new wave of adopters are now starting to disperse and find their way to other coins that are more suited to their individual needs. It makes sense that as people become educated and learn more about options in the crypto community that they begin to diversify and pick out their favourite coins to invest in. This often leads to money moving away from Bitcoin and into Altcoins. Bitcoin, being the dominant, most adopted and scene-leading coin, will continue to be the ‘gateway drug’ of the community, but it is finding it harder to hang on to total support and dominance. These sentiments are expressed by Colas,

who adds:

"Bitcoin is considered the gateway drug to all cryptos and it has acted exactly that way. Right now [the Google search data] is telling me there's not really that next leg up in Bitcoin because there's not that interest that leads to wallet growth that leads to price appreciation."

Proof?

Colas tries to justify this position by explaining how Ethereum has been the only coin that has fared relatively well in the top echelons of

the CoinMarket Cap:

“Some of the movement in Ethereum, which has traded much better [in January], is just money which is being pulled out of Bitcoin."

However, it is important to note that Bitcoin’s price fluctuations and movements are still heavily linked to all other coins. The saying that: ‘the tide moves all boats’ is still true in the cryptocurrency market with Bitcoin essentially being the tide. When Bitcoin is up, most coins follow, and when it is down, the same red graphs appear to follow suit across the board.

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Bitcoin’s 2 Month Low – Sign of the Time

Bitcoin's 2 Month Low – Sign of the Time

2018 has been particularly cumbersome for the cryptocurrency markets,

as Bitcoin and its altcoin brethren have endured a bashing. The preeminent cryptocurrency has hit a two month low sitting around $8,800 according to Coinmarketcap data at the time of writing. There are a plethora of reasons why the market has been trampled in the first month of the new year. Much of this has been due to uncertainty over regulatory moves by governments around the world, in reaction to what was a revolutionary year for the cryptocurrency market as a whole.

A couple of weeks of serious uncertainty in South Korea, a tightening of the regulatory belt in massive economies like China and India, and some harsh commentary coming from financial heads and world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos have led to a sell-off in the cryptocurrency markets. The overall market capitalization has dipped to $415 bln, with Bitcoin’s market dominance sitting at around 35 percent. Its price drop has been mimicked by almost every altcoin in the top 50, all in all, summing up the current mood in the space.

However, its not all doom and gloom as industry experts, those cryptocurrency gurus who’ve been around since it all started, have seized the moment to highlight vital characteristics that led to cryptocurrencies being adopted around the world. Casting aside fear, uncertainty and doubt, core members of the community believe the very qualities that underpin the revolutionary aspects of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will inevitably be their saving grace from market manipulation and governmental crackdowns.

Shrem’s take

Bitcoin Foundation founder Charlie Shrem posted some insightful comments on Twitter this week, as Bitcoin continued it’s slide to recent lows. In an eight-part series of Tweets, Shrem unpacked the prevailing sentiment towards cryptocurrencies by banks and government institutions. Starting off, he said that “Bitcoin and other privacy-focused and decentralized cryptocurrencies are the biggest innovation of my lifetime. They literally take the power and control of money out of the hands of government and into the hands of people that use it.”

He hit out at recent ICOs that have created ‘a dilution of our beautiful technology’ calling ‘permissioned Blockchains’ and ‘digital ledger technology’ glorified ‘google spreadsheets.’ He also said anything that claims to be Blockchain technology but is controlled by a single entity is not Blockchain. Following that, he explained why this ‘liberating’ technology will be targeted and undermined by established institutions.

“Of course governments are going to do the same. What did you think? They would roll over while we built our alternative financial system and people started using it? Governments don't like competition.” The World Economic Forum in Davos also provided a glimpse of the future, as more governments are likely to follow in the footsteps of Russia and Venezuela, that are issuing state-owned virtual currencies.

Shrem also cautioned against this move, saying we will “see a systemic push for regulated and controlled Blockchains by ‘DLT’ companies, banking consortiums and governments. THESE ARE NOT CRYPTOCURRENCIES. Do not be fooled!” Bitcoin and other privacy focused and decentralized crypto currencies are the biggest innovation of my lifetime. They literally take the power and control of money out of the hands of government and into the hands of people that use it.

Chuck Reynolds

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Where Will Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, And Other Cryptocurrencies Be Twenty Years From Now?

Where Will Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, And Other Cryptocurrencies
Be Twenty Years From Now?

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and other cryptocurrencies

have been on a roller coaster lately. Sharp upturns have been followed by sharp downturns, with each upturn and downturn lasting only a few weeks or a few days. Thus far, the cryptocurrency roller coaster has helped speculators who have been on the right side of the market to amass fortunes. The trouble is that no speculator is smart enough or lucky enough to “time” the market. At least that’s what mainstream financial economics claims.

Sooner or later, speculators who play this game will find themselves on the wrong side of the market, losing the fortunes they have amassed early on and then some. That’s why cryptocurrency investors should look beyond the current roller coaster, and ask where cryptocurrencies will be twenty years from now.

[Ed. note: Investing in cryptocoins or tokens is highly speculative and the market is largely unregulated. Anyone considering it should be prepared to lose their entire investment. Disclosure: I don't own any Bitcoin).“Unfortunately, almost anything connected with the future of bitcoin is speculative right now,” says Jason Labrum, founder and president of Labrum Wealth Management. “When you look at the sophistication level of the average person buying bitcoin, it’s scary. They just see an asset that at times has gone up a whole lot in value, so you get a herd mentality of people wanting to jump on the bandwagon.”

Labrum isn’t clear how things will look in twenty years from now. “It will be interesting in 20 years to look back on the conversations we are having today about bitcoin. By then, cryptocurrency could be a normal part of everyone’s life, or it could be a once-trendy thing that everyone has forgotten about.” Matthew Schutte, Director of Communications at Holo, takes a pessimistic view on cryptocurrencies. “By 2038, the Euro, the Dollar, and other national currencies will be largely extinct, but so will Bitcoin and the rest of the current generation of money-like cryptocurrencies.”

But he’s optimistic on blockchain technology. “They will not have been killed off by some single new token of value – but will instead have been replaced by a vibrant ecosystem of cryptographic currencies — i.e. digitally signed signals — each designed to make particular flows of activity visible, so that the individuals, organizations, and communities that make use of them are better able to sense and steer,” adds Schutte. While it’s still unclear where cryptocurrencies and the technologies behind them will be twenty years from now, one thing is clear: volatility will continue in the cryptocurrency markets – and that is a game for speculators rather than investors.

Chuck Reynolds

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Major Banks Ban Buying Bitcoin With Your Credit Card

Major Banks Ban Buying Bitcoin With Your Credit Card

 

Most major U.S. credit card issuers have now banned

the use of their cards to buy Bitcoin or other digital currencies, in a move intended to decrease both financial and legal risk. Bank of America began blocking cryptocurrency purchases on Friday, according to Bloomberg. JPMorgan did the same on Saturday. Citigroup also says it is halting cryptocurrency purchases on credit, and Capital One and Discover had already enacted their own bans. That means all of the top five credit card issuers have announced or implemented bans.

The moves are above all in the banks’ self-interest. As Fortune previously reported, the mania surrounding cryptocurrency late last year appears to have motivated many retail investors to use credit cards as leveraging tools, buying more cryptocurrency than they could afford. With Bitcoin down roughly 50% from December highs, many of those investors are likely underwater right now, and may not be able to pay off their initial Bitcoin purchases soon, if ever. Further, as Bloomberg points out, banks may be responsible for monitoring customers’ behavior to prevent money laundering after they make a credit-backed Bitcoin purchase, a tough standard for them to comply with.

The bans — or more to the point, the news of the bans — may exacerbate ongoing declines in cryptocurrency prices. After a hefty bounce Saturday morning, crypto markets broadly retreated on Sunday. Bitcoin is now trading at around $8,500 from a December high near $20,000. In the longer term, however, tighter cryptocurrency investment controls, whether from regulators or lenders, seem likely to help mitigate the consequences of both hype and scams. For much of 2017, those threatened to overshadow the underlying promise of blockchain technology, which is still in the very early stages of evolution.

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Unconfirmed: Circle In Talks To Acquire Crypto Exchange Poloniex

Unconfirmed: Circle In Talks To Acquire Crypto Exchange Poloniex

According to an exclusive report on Blockchain technology

blog Modern Consensus, Circle, a multi-currency money-sending app, is reportedly in the works to acquire Poloniex, a major US-based cryptocurrency exchange. Modern Consensus cited two unnamed sources that had information about the potential deal. However, when asked about the reported acquisition of Poloniex, Raj Date, a board member of Circle, told Modern

Consensus:

“I can’t comment on anything like that. I’m actually in Europe right now. Thanks for the reach out.”

Ari Paul, the CIO at digital currency hedge fund BlockTower Capital, denied the legitimacy of any deal on Twitter, citing his own source at Circle and calling

the Modern Consensus article “fake news”:

I just posted a link to an article asserting that Circle was acquiring Poloniex. Someone helpfully replied that the article was fake news. I confirmed with Circle that the article is not correct. Circle is not acquiring Polo (according to my circle source.)

Modern Consensus is a blog founded by Ken Kurson, former editor-in-chief at the New York Observer, that covers technology news in the cryptocurrency and Blockchain spheres. Another twitter user responded to Paul casting doubt on his alleged Circle source, given that Kurson put his reputation at stake in

publishing the news:

Do you think there is any possibility that your source at Circle is wrong or intentionally denying? Asking because the post on modern consensus is by Ken Kurson, who appears to be someone who would care for their reputation.

Kurson cited one of the sources, who he referred to as “highly placed”, with apparent access to the acquisition discussions

as saying:

“Circle and Poloniex agreed to terms and Circle has already approached the regulators. The regulators came back with a list of KYC demands [Know Your Customer] and Circle has agreed to meet all the conditions.”

Both Circle and Poloniex did not respond to Cointelegraph’s requests for comments on the pending deal by press time. Circle, which received $50 mln from Goldman Sachs in a funding round in 2015, contains Circle Pay for fiat transfers, Circle Trade as a liquidity provider of cryptocurrencies, and soon will add Circle Invest, an app allowing retail customers to invest in crypto markets.

Poloniex is currently the 14th largest crypto exchange by 24-hour volume on CoinMarketCap, trading a total of almost $300 million on the day to press time. The exchange allows users to trade in 68 different coins, a huge number as compared to Coinbase's popular crypto exchange platform GDAX, which offers only four, but is in 7th place by trading volume. The Poloniex exchange faced problems this year with incorrect user balances and a very slow withdrawal waiting period.

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Crypto Has What it Takes to Break the Flawed Financial System

Crypto Has What it Takes to Break the Flawed Financial System

Bitcoin, when it first hit the presses in its own white paper,

was heralded as this peer-to-peer cashless system that could revolutionize the financial world and break the shackles of banking hegemony. However, as the cryptocurrency market has evolved, it has attracted a new crop of investors and speculators who have strayed somewhat from its original purpose, rather happy to cash in on the unprecedented gains which attracted them in the first place. Really, those entering the crypto economy should be doing so for the right reason, reveling in the potential it holds to be a disruptive technology, rather than a quick get rich scheme.

The flawed financial system

A look at the generations shows how today’s generation is sitting under the yoke of a financial service sector that was set up by the baby boomers, who still run the central banks. The end of the Second World War in 1945 sparked a new revolution of banking, but that system still remains nearly totally intact.

This system of banking and finance is dated and obsolete, and not even functioning properly, with a number of major crashes sending the globe into dire straits on a few occasions; the 1987 crash, the 2000 dotcom bubble burst and 2008 global financial crisis all down to a broken system. There is huge amounts of skepticism that has been born from being put under the financial quash that was built by generations before. Millenials are now starting to fight back and ask why things are the way they are, and what can they do to change it.

Blockchain revolution

The technology of the Blockchain is revolutionary, not only in name but in nature too. Those who understand the technology behind Bitcoin know what cryptocurrencies can become. But, those who only understand that Bitcoin has a chance of doubling its value every three months, are pushing it into bubble territory. The evidence is there though, the threat that Blockchain and cryptocurrencies pose can be seen in the way in which most central banks and regulators are reacting to it, knowing their monopoly is under threat.

But as it stands, even with the exponential expanding of the crypto community, which is also an intellectual expansion, there needs to be a balancing out of the financial speculators, and the technological innovators. When Bitcoin was chugging towards making fiat currency obsolete, it was doing so with a much lower number of users who were more focused on the technology. Now, as the network has swelled, the direction of Bitcoin, as the lead example, has changed, and the community is a different demographic.

Useless digital gold?

Bitcoin is in a precarious position. It is the most popular and well known, and thus the most likely to be disruptive in any sense of the word, but it has gone down a pretty useless path in terms of revolution. The fact that Bitcoin is an asset, a store of value – digital gold – because of its scaling issue and other reasons, makes it much less of a revolutionary, more of a bloated get rich quick scheme. This is not the fault of the coin, the technology or those driving its development, and it is the fault of those who use it for the wrong reasons.

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