Posted on 2018-04-24 03:27:46
The Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that make up the United States’ central bank, has conducted a study asking some of the biggest questions in cryptocurrency today – and they may have found some real answers.
Their researchers investigated the control structure of various currencies and looked into whether central banks will adopt cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.
In an effort to assign Bitcoin one of the above monetary categories, the researchers concluded that Bitcoin actually defied traditional categorization – it’s none of the above, as shown in the chart below.
There are a number of dimensions used by the bank to categorize money.
The first is representation: Is the currency represented physically or virtually?
The second is transaction handling: Are transactions handled in centralized or decentralized payments?
The third is money creation: Is the production of the currency competitive or monopolized?
These dimensions make it easy to distinguish between commodities like gold, physical currencies like fiat cash, and so on. However, Bitcoin proved elusive when analyzed in the traditional manner.
The researchers pointed out that gold has decentralized transaction handling, a competitive creation process wherein anyone can mine it, and a finite supply – all traits which are shared by Bitcoin. However, it also has an inherent value as a commodity, unlike fiat currency which represents the value of a commodity (like gold, silver, etc). Gold is not a low-liquidity form of money, but it doesn’t require extensive bookkeeping or proof of ownership.
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Posted on 2018-04-23 04:53:54
A global study of cryptocurrency purchases made by users of Visa, Mastercard, and Unionpay cards shows that 89% of respondents are knowledgeable about crypto and 53% have purchased some in the past 12 months.
Global payment service provider Worldcore reportedly conducted a study of its customers to find out cryptocurrency usage among Visa, Mastercard, and Unionpay users. The company has approximately 300,000 customers in total.
“The purpose of the study was to determine the willingness of people to deal with digital currencies with the help of bank cards,” Russian outlet Innov.ru described, adding that the study was conducted between March and April. “The study involved more than 10,000 people from 47 countries,” Finam reported. In addition, “data on the EU countries (28 countries) and CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] countries (12 countries) were combined,” the news outlet noted, quoting the Worldcore study results:
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Posted on 2018-04-16 01:13:49
This sounds like the type of social impact that the blockchain pioneers were talking about when they designed the technology. Just as Syria has gotten the world’s attention for a suspected horrific chemical attack on its citizens, refugees who have fled the war-torn nation for refuge in bordering Jordan have stumbled upon a humanitarian program using cutting-edge blockchain technology to keep their data private. It’s dubbed Building Blocks, and it’s been developed by the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) alongside some industry partners.
The story is told by MIT Technology Review, which spotlights the Azraq Refugee camp comprised of tens of thousands of fleeing Syrians who have made a Jordanian settlement home just miles from the Syrian border where they left their fear-filled lives behind. The refugees are part of a project involving a “private fork of the Ethereum blockchain” in which they “redeem their WFP-provided assistance” for daily transactions at retailers with blockchain technology and their personal data is being kept secure.
For example, the MIT Tech story gives the example of one refugee who visits the local Jordanian supermarket, where he pays for his transaction basically by providing a selfie with the camera at checkout. It’s called “EyePay” because the image of his eyes identify him.
The benefits are both social and economic, the impact of which could shape the lives of generations to come. From a humanitarian perspective, these individuals who have left everything behind in their war-torn nations are being given a chance to rebuild their lives.
The crisis has left these refugees...
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Posted on 2018-04-13 00:41:00
Africa still remains one of the regions where the major chunk of the population doesn’t own bank accounts. Banking system stays to be in deplorable condition. People in Africa believes more in cash or barter system for the local payments, which can drastically pull-down any economy. So, some methodology needs to be devised in order to address such a grave concern.
As per World Bank’s report, nearly 2 billion people don’t own a bank account which paralyzes them for making any kind of online transactions. According to another report by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in developing countries, only 41 percent of people hold a bank account, leaving behind 60 percent of the population in dark. And if we talk about the people living in extreme poverty, the number drops to 20 percent, which certainly calls for some much-needed attention.
There are many factors that roll the possibility of cryptocurrencies success chances in Africa. The notion of Cryptocurrency can very well come into play here. In Africa, almost 40 percent of adults are active through mobile banking and payment systems which clearly indicates that technology is not a barrier. The steep hike in phone usage in Africa will only further encourage the involvement of cryptocurrency. The sayings that “Cryptocurrencies Will Make You Super Rich” doesn’t sound weird now because of the huge success it garnered recently.
In many of the African countries, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are already ....
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Posted on 2018-04-12 01:50:32
22 EU Countries Sign Blockchain Partnership: Digital Day 2018 was held yesterday, and the European Commission lead the signing of a Declaration which constructs a European blockchain partnership made up of 22 European countries. The EC’s VP, Andrus Ansip, called on Europe to lead the way in digital innovation by embracing blockchain technology and artificial intelligence. In his speech yesterday in Brussels he said:
“AI and blockchain are the areas where Europe is best positioned to play a leading role. However, it is no secret that we have to invest – both politically and financially. There is quite some ground to catch up. Other continents are moving ahead quickly.”
It seems that the leaders within each country have listened and have now unified on this new project. This new collaboration is aimed specifically at avoiding “fragmented approaches” to the emerging technology by sharing technical expertise among each country. This new blockchain partnership will enable each member state to work together, and facilitate the implementation and interoperability of blockchain services.Read more here
Posted on 2018-04-11 03:26:41
The current bear market in cryptocurrencies will turn out to be a boon in the long-term. The rallyin 2017 had become frothy and attracted mostly retail traders who dreamt of becoming rich overnight. This was not good for the longevity of the virtual currencies.
The institutional investors don’t enter in a ‘bubble-like’ environment. Now, with most of the froth removed, we get rumors of some big names showing interest in investing in the digital currencies.
A name that stands out is that of the legendary investor George Soros. Bloomberg’s sources confirmed that Adam Fisher, the person in charge of global macroeconomic investing at Soros Fund Management, has received the green signal to proceed with cryptocurrency investing.
Another very prominent investor to enter into the crypto world is the Rockefeller family, through their official venture capital arm Venrock.
These are not all, as there are a few other macro managers who are showing interest in digital currencies.
If the institutional money starts pouring in, it will put a floor beneath most of the larger cryptocurrencies.
Let’s see if we can find any signs of a bottom in them.
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Posted on 2018-04-10 00:15:18
Adrian Lai, founding partner of Hong Kong-based crypto investment firm Orichal Partners, has forecast that in 2018 the crypto market will “mature” and increase its trading volume, particularly among institutional investors, the South China Morning Post reported April 9.
Lai characterized both last year’s eye-popping market cap growth — reaching an all-time high of over $800 bln by early Jan. 2018 — and its subsequent first quarter spiral to $256 mln, as of today, April 9, as “irrational.” He attributed this staggering volatility to a lack of regulatory oversight and institutional investment, but struck a decisively optimistic tone about the future, saying that:
“Regulators are not banning the development of cryptocurrencies, but are trying to better regulate the market, which should help the industry mature (…) If the regulatory stance gets clearer, large funds will be more assured and willing to commit significant capital.”
2018 has already seen considerable regulatory momentum pertaining to the crypto sphere, lending credence to Lai’s position. The US Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) hearings in Feb. 2018 were devoted to crypto regulation.Read more here
Posted on 2018-04-09 00:30:02
A brand new tool could be just what you need to make the best investment choices. Using detailed historical data across the past 14 months, Cryptocurrencies: Past, Present and Future, a company that makes predictions for the future of the top 10 virtual currencies.
Using an exclusive algorithm, Cryptocurrency predictor feeds historical data on price, trade volume, market cap and online popularity through a variety of analytical tools, including a Recurrent Neural Network, to forecast the exact rise and fall of ten chart-topping cryptocurrencies.
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Posted on 2018-04-08 22:06:39
With tax season upon us, the meteoric rise of cryptocurrencies may become a double-edged sword for participants in the United States.
As crypto gained thousands of enthusiasts in 2017 and grew to a $400 billion industry, it also drew the eye of federal regulators.
Changes in our tax laws have already occurred. Effective this year, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 excludes crypto-to-crypto trades from being treated as 1031 like-kind exchanges? - ?a safe harbor long used by traders to defer taxable gains.
The prudent crypto individual or business must keep up with regulation and develop a process to organize information relating to buying and selling of digital currencies. Due diligence and documentation with accounting can act as a safeguard to show that your logic was in line with the most up-to-date compliance at the time of reporting.
Obviously adjustments will need to be made as regulations evolve, but proper preparation can go a long way.
Here are five steps to successfully include crypto in a bookkeeping system:
The reality of crypto is that you can receive and send payments from any multitude of addresses you create at will. Unless you are tracking each and every one of these addresses meticulously, this creates a pretty difficult job for your accountant, especially if you may also function as a business.
Do yourself and your finance team a favor: only transact for your business from addresses you deem to be "business-related." Keep your personal expenses separate.
Of course, no one wants their complete records (whether business or personal) to be available in one neat (and public) address, but you can limit the time and effort spent accounting for your addresses by phasing in new ones on a pre-set schedule. Engage your finance team early; they are your best advocates.
Reported fiat values in the transaction history for tokens sent almost never line up one-to-one with agreed upon fiat values. Knowing this is the reality of blockchain transactions is important, but doesn't negate the significance of tracking.
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Posted on 2018-04-06 04:55:27
A survey released this week reveals that many South Koreans in their 20s are actively investing in digital assets. The region has become a hotbed for cryptocurrency exchanges as more than 2 million South Korean citizens own one of the top digital assets.
According to the regional publication Yonhap, South Korean residents in their 20s are very active when it comes to cryptocurrency investments and trading. South Korea is Asia’s fourth-largest economy and its become a popular region for trading digital currencies despite pending government regulations. The local news outlet details that over 2Mn South Koreans residents claim to own popular cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cash, ripple, bitcoin core, and ethereum. The Korean Financial Investors Protection Foundation ran a survey in December and questioned 2,530 South Koreans between the ages of 25-64.
The survey’s data shows that around 22.7 percent of the respondents were in their twenties and are very “active” within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Out of all the age groups, an average of 13.9 percent were also relatively active digital currency investors. These metrics were followed by South Koreans in their thirties (19.3%) and their forties (12%).
“Numbers for people in their 60s reached 10.5 percent and those in their 50s at 8.2 percent,” explains the Survey’s data.
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Posted on 2018-04-06 04:54:28
The German National Tourism Board has announced that it accepts cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin for its services. The organization promotes German travel destinations with offices in 32 countries around the world. GNTB also intends to implement blockchain technologies in its finances. “We want to be a global innovation driver in the tourism industry,” its chairperson recently stated.
Services offered by the German National Tourism Board (GNTB) can now be paid in cryptocurrency. The organization which promotes Germany as a travel destination accepts bitcoin payments from March this year, according to a press release. It also announced “medium-term” plans to test blockchain technologies in the processing of its international financial transactions.
“Within our digitization strategy, we are constantly examining the latest technologies and considering their application in our organization,” said GNTB‘s Chair Petra Hedorfer. “By accepting cryptocurrencies as means of payment and with the possible implementation of the blockchain technology in our finances, we want to position ourselves as an innovation driver in the tourism industry,” she added.
The blockchain technology offers “interesting perspectives” in regards to...
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Posted on 2018-04-06 04:53:23
Walmart’s “Smart Package” patent employs a Blockchain-based tool to track package contents, environmental conditions, location, and other details. The device described in the application is intended to be used in new technologies like autonomous vehicles and unmanned drones.
According to the application, Blockchain will record the "key addresses along the chain” such as “seller private key address, a courier private key address, and a buyer private key address."
In the patent application, Walmart noted the need to design a tool providing “greater security in the shipping packaging that the items are shipped in.” The application says that the existing tracking instruments do not yet provide “such desired functionality”. Walmart first filed its “Smart Package” application in August, 2017, reports Fintech Finance.
“Smart Package” is not the first instance of Walmart utilizing Blockchain technology. In November, 2016, Walmart partnered with IBM to use Blockchain to detect and remove recalled foods from its products list.
Blockchain technology has been popular with shipping and delivery companies. The US shipping company UPS joined the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTA) in November, 2017. Singaporean port operator PSA International struck a deal with IBM to test and develop a Blockchain-based supply chain network in August, 2017, according to Fintech Finance.
In the United States, publication of a non-provisional patent application happens 18 monthsbefore its earliest effective priority date. Once published, a patent application can be used by the USPTO to reject third party patent applications for related technology.Sourced from here
Posted on 2018-04-06 04:52:18
An established healthcare company is launching a Blockchain-based ecosystem designed to empower patients suffering from chronic and life-threatening diseases.
TrustedHealth’s platform allows patients to receive speedy consultations from doctors who specialize in treating their condition, even if they are on the other side of the world. It says Blockchain technology has the potential to dramatically improve how sensitive patient data is stored, and enable healthcare providers to exchange information quickly.
The company also wants to make it easier to obtain second opinions, with research published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice revealing up to 88 percent of patients who saw a second doctor during a Mayo Clinic study were presented with a refined or completely new diagnosis.
Getting the correct information early on can prevent patients from enduring intrusive and unnecessary procedures and it could even save lives.
In February, TrustedHealth presented its project to the World Health Organization at its headquarters in Geneva. Since then, the company has been engaged in discussions about how its platform could help further WHO’s mission.
TrustedHealth’s CEO, Greg Jarz?bek, says there is a “lack of trust in the existing healthcare industry” in part because misdiagnosis rates are so high. Patients are facing an uphill struggle to find the right practitioner because consistent medical expertise is not concentrated in one place.
Mr. Jarz?bek was moved to take action when he experienced these inefficiencies first hand. He told CT: “A few years ago, I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer. In the months leading up to her passing, I flew around the world in pursuit of the most accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. I realized that our medical expertise is tremendously scattered.”
His company’s goal is to ensure patients and their families do not need to worry about geography, time and money when they are trying to develop a treatment plan – giving them a feeling of control which enables them to focus on what’s important.
TrustedHealth is going to be....
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Posted on 2018-04-06 04:51:11
Business transactions are meant to be secured irrespective of the platform they have been traded upon. It is important for every entrepreneur to take them parallel with the other processes in the business. Be it the government authorities or any private entrepreneur, the traditional ways of businesses have always seemed profitable. Well, the debate on providing extended security to businesses have always been burning. And, to calm the debate down, a number of practices have been used.
The traditional methods that were helping businesses secure their transactions by including some of the exceptional technologies available at our disposal are growing better day by day. And, the very new addition to offering security and data solution is our very own Blockchain technology. This transformational technology has shown true colors to be used as a method of secured sharing option.
To all those, who are beginners in the Blockchain game, let’s reveal the meaning of this exceptional technology. In simple words, Blockchain can be described as the network of virtual assets that are mined by writing entries into a record of information. A community of users is there to manage the transactions. The case is similar as it is with Wikipedia entries as the information on the pages does not come from a single publisher.
Blockchain is also the network of digital currencies, that are prominently growing in value. However, the virtual currency is prone to fluctuation that sometimes becomes the reason for the decline in the real value of this currency. And, the best news about this cryptocurrency is no intermediary is involved when the transaction is carried out.Read more here
Posted on 2018-04-06 04:50:05
The news of a crypto ad ban comes just days after crypto advertisers using Google Adwords noticed a drastic drop in the number of views of their advertisements, according to posts on the Adwords support pages. However, Google Adwords had at that time denied any change in their Financial Services regulations that would block cryptocurrency or Initial Coin Offering (ICO) related advertisements.
Under Google’s newly updated financial products policy, no advertisements for “cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice),” will be accepted.
The move affects all of Google's ad products, meaning companies will not be able to serve crypto-related ads on the search engine giant’s own sites, as well as third-party sites in its network.
Scott Spencer, the Director of Sustainable Ads at Google, told CNBC today, March 14:
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Posted on 2018-04-06 04:48:26
To some people, cryptocurrencies are the stories they go through while sipping a hot cup of coffee early in the morning. But to others, it is an ecosystem that is developing slowly and is bound to engulf the entire world. One such individual is venture capital investor, founder of Draper Associates and Stanford graduate Tim Draper.
Draper is not your average bull – he can break the internet by simply stating that, “In five years you’re going to walk in and try to pay fiat [a government-backed currency like the U.S. dollar] for a Starbucks coffee, and the barista is going to laugh at you, because they’re going to say, ‘What is this? Are you counting out pennies? Give me shells?”
To show his unwavering support, Draper wore a tie with printed bitcoins while he continued his interview on CNBC’s segment ‘Fast Money’ on Tuesday. He talked about how digital currency “is not subject to the whims of some political force or another”, and how the world “international” will be substituted by “global”.
Considering that people think cryptocurrencies are nothing more than a way to make quick cash, Draper talked about the positive yet lesser-known features of the underlying blockchain technology.
“All the various governments are going to be virtual and competing for us, so that they will have to provide good service at a low cost. And that’s something governments haven’t had to do before,” said Draper.
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Posted on 2018-04-06 04:45:33
Cybersecurity industry has lately been buzzing with security concerns daunting the digital age. Incidents such as the Kaspersky Lab fiasco where the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a directive on Sept. 13 banning the use of Kaspersky Lab software at federal agencies, is making enterprises nervous around the subject. After digging deeper into the issue, however, one finds that the Kaspersky isn’t yet proven guilty and may turn out to be a victim of the feud between the Russian government and intelligence agencies. Coming back to the blockchain booming popularity, a growing number of projects are using the popular concept of blockchain to generate new virtual currency. Some of them being new forms of a token with an active user based, while others are odd knockoff platforms advertising fake blockchain products.
Whether its big corporates or daily mobile users, nobody seems to be immune to malicious and offensive acts targeting computer networks, infrastructures, and personal computer devices. Law enforcement and enterprises are joining hands to combat the surging exploitation of Bitcoin or as some call it, the currency of criminals. Although its impossible to trace the exact statistics of cybercriminal incidents, Kurt Baumgarten, Head of Information Security & Technology Management at Linedata in Boston, MA, does offer a close insight into the issue. At a cybercrime panel in London, Baumgarten observed, “According to some recent figures [on cybercrime] the global figure has been put at around $200 billion (bn) annually. Or, looking at it from the retail level $670m in associated costs through theft, time loss, identify theft, etc.”
Kaspersky Lab (Yes! The one that’s now banned at federal agencies) in 2017 had released a valuable report on the average cost of cybercrime on enterprises and the numbers are surely alarming. The report suggests that on a global scale, the cost of a data breach for enterprises has hiked 11 percent in 2017. In the U.S., the average cost of a cyber attack for enterprises grew from $1.2 million in 2016 to $1.3 million in 2017. That’s 10 times higher than the $117K cost of a breach for SMBs. (The data for this report was assimilated from a survey of more than 5,000 businesses across 30 countries, so yes its pretty credible!) Naturally, cybersecurity is becoming a priority for businesses in their investment plans. In 2017, IT security budgets escalated up to 18 percent for enterprises as compared to 16 percent in 2016. Financial firms being the highest spender on cybersecurity with a budget of $1,436 per head and Industrial firms spending the least with $748,000, despite the cyber attacks on ICS infrastructure being up to 5 percent in 2017.
Considering the rising breaches against cybersecurity and cyber criminal attacks are hardly escaping the evening news, developments in blockchain must expand beyond recordkeeping and cryptocurrencies. One of the many emerging cybersecurity firms include Gladius: The blockchain based security platform is directing its effort towards creating a ....
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Posted on 2018-04-06 04:42:58
A week ago, I was attending a panel discussion on the “Blockchain and the future of innovation”. The debate was as much interesting as the current status of Blockchain and I was truly honored to be the part of the conversation. Although, I was a bit worried as the ideas other panelists were debating upon created such a wide picture of Blockchain that it seemed the technology could easily change the world of innovations. In the debate where every panelist was having an opinion of his own, we all agreed on a point - Blockchain holds immense potential to change the face of innovation in 2018.
The debate continued for more than two hours ( I will surely cover an article on those dynamic points), and I was totally amazed at the potential of this invisible technology to change the world. Let me bring the limelight on that session along with defining the points on the ways bitcoin could contribute towards innovation.
For those who are not very much aware of ICO architect, let me give a brief on the same. Initial coin offering or ICO is a way by which funds are raised by any cryptocurrency venture. Now, let’s get back to the main point. As per the panelist (I also believe the same) by reducing the gap prevailing in traditional banking and the blockchain architect, BlockEx, the exchange market makes it easy for ICOs to market themselves, which includes standardizing the ICO via open multi-asset platform that BlockEx is. The BlockEx market monitors and manages the lifecycle of blockchain-based virtual assets like cryptocurrencies, equity, insurance products and debt as well. This platform is completely API driven that allows features of a platform to be used independently as its own product either it’s an asset creation tool or post-trade services.
One among the panelists who was a big fan of Selfllery introduced us to this platform. As a platform that allows users to trade on crypto-based photo-sharing platform, Selfllery has a catchy slogan that states....
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Posted on 2018-04-23 04:53:23
The meteoric rise of Bitcoin’s value in 2017 was enough to bring it into mainstream consciousness - but people are clamoring to get on the Blockchain and cryptocurrency train.
That has culminated in a number of weird and wonderful advertising campaigns, featuring some interesting celebrities and big businesses, all vying to promote and capitalize on the crypto craze that is sweeping the world.
Early adopters of Bitcoin have become prominent figures in the industry, but actors, musicians and scamsters have all played their part in a fascinating few years of marketing and advertising drives in the space.
For decades, actors and musicians have been used to promote a number of goods and services. The tobacco industry is famous for this- using movie stars to promote smoking in popular movies for decades.
It’s safe to say we’ve seen it all. Celebrities from all walks of life have been linked with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies for years.here