First World Fat Cat Jamie Dimon Doesn’t Understand Poverty, Bashes Bitcoin

First World Fat Cat Jamie Dimon Doesn’t Understand Poverty, Bashes Bitcoin

It’s said how little Jamie Dimon knows about the needs of people

who live in the countries of South America, Central America, Africa and Asia. Dimon keeps finding new ways to show his lack of understanding of Bitcoin, and of the economic realities of most of the world’s population.

He recently said:

“If it can be done digitally with the Blockchain, so be it. But it will still be a dollar cryptocurrency. What I have an issue with is a non-fiat cryptocurrency. So crypto sterling, euro, yen, they are all fine. I don't personally understand the value of something that has no actual value.“

Fat cats

For an American millionaire with a narrow view of the world, he may be right. But for the inhabitants of more than 170 countries that do not have strong fiat currencies like sterling, euro, yen or dollars, Bitcoin definitely has value. An example from Brazil clearly demonstrates the benefits of transacting internationally with Bitcoin. Developing countries are often saddled by their governments with capital controls, to prevent money from leaving the country.

Cost savings

A Brazilian who buys a product from Amazon pays a 6.5% “IOF Tax” retained directly on his credit card. This tax is levied on any international purchase or remittance of securities. In addition, this user is at the mercy of the exchange rate that will be applied by the operator of the credit card. Combined, transactional costs can exceed 10% of the purchase price, and that’s not even considering the import taxes that must be paid.

Now imagine a Brazilian who has decided to study the magnificent world of Blockchain and needs to buy a $100 item from Amazon. This person can use one of several Bitcoin-based websites to get a 15% discount on his purchase. Thus a $100 purchase, instead of costing $110 as it would by using his credit card, actually only cost $85. That’s a huge savings. Does Bitcoin have any value to the mega-rich like Dimon? Probably not. But in the developing world, where a few dollars can literally make the difference between feast and famine, Bitcoin has real value.

Chuck Reynolds


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

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Bitcoin Price Bounces Back, Crypto Markets Recover to $170 Billion

Bitcoin Price Bounces Back, Crypto Markets Recover to $170 Billion

Bitcoin Price Bounces Back, Crypto Markets Recover to $170 Billion

The crypto markets bounced back on Thursday following a significant contraction the previous day. The bitcoin price led the charge, rising more than 6% to put the $5,700 barrier within its sights, while the ethereum price ticked up 3% to $309. Unfortunately, the recovery was not comprehensive, and some cryptocurrencies — including ripple — continued to decline.


Chart from CoinMarketCap

The downturn forced the total cryptocurrency market cap as far down as $156.5 million, which represented a one-week low. However, the markets began to recover Wednesday afternoon and quickly rose above $160 billion. They continued to climb leading into Thursday morning and have since risen to a present value of $169.7 billion.

Chart from CoinMarketCap

Bitcoin Price Bounces Back

Wednesday’s bitcoin price decline caught many investors by surprise, and it was difficult to ascertain what caused it, other than that traders were taking profits following last week’s rally. The pullback put severe downward pressure on the bitcoin price, which fell as low as $5,151. However, bitcoin held firm at this level, and support gradually began to return, enabling the flagship cryptocurrency to mount a successful recovery. Ultimately, the bitcoin price posted a single-day return of 6%, bringing it to a present value of $5,679, which translates into a $94.5 billion market cap.

Bitcoin Price Chart from CoinMarketCap

Ethereum Price Holds Above $300

The ethereum price experienced a single-day recovery as well, although its performance was not quite as impressive as that of bitcoin. After dipping as low as $291, the ethereum price managed to fight its way back across the $300 threshold. Ethereum is currently trading at $309, which represents a 24-hour recovery of about 3%. Ethereum now has a market cap of $29.4 billion.

Ethereum Price Chart from CoinMarketCap

Altcoins Eye Generally Recovery

Altcoins lost ground to bitcoin on Thursday, which saw its dominant market share rise about 1% to 55.7%. However, the majority of altcoins experienced recoveries against the value of USD, adding about $2 billion to their combined market cap.

Altcoin Price Chart from CoinMarketCap

But there were some significant outliers. In fact, three of the top 10 cryptocurrencies posted negative movement for the day, and the worst performance belonged to ripple. XRP holders had expected Ripple to make a major announcement during “Swell”, a conference hosted by the fintech startup. However, nothing materialized — at least not of the caliber they were expecting — causing the ripple price to add to its losses from yesterday. At present, the ripple price is $0.212, which represents a 24-hour decline of 7%.

Ripple Price Chart from CoinMarketCap

Fourth-ranked bitcoin cash also posted a minor decline, causing it to tick down to about $334. Several major bitcoin cash proponents — including Roger Ver and Calvin Ayre — intend to start a campaign to assert that “bitcoin cash is bitcoin”, so it will be interesting to see if this has any lasting effects on the trajectory of BCH.

Litecoin Price Chart from CoinMarketCap

The litecoin price, on the other hand, rose by 8%. This advance pushed it back over the $60 threshold, and litecoin is currently priced at $61. This translates into a market cap of $3.2 billion.

Dash added 3%, but it was unable to climb past the $300 mark, while NEM surged by just under 10%. NEO declined 3% after weathering the Wednesday downturn quite respectably, and bitconnect rose by 8% to $201. Monero rounds out the top 10 with a 1% increase, which was just enough to inch above the $90 barrier.

Author: Josiah Wilmoth on 19/10/2017

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Hard Times For Bitcoin Forks As Whalepool Traders Say No To SegWit2x

Hard Times For Bitcoin Forks As Whalepool Traders Say No To SegWit2x

SegWit2x’s list of detractors is growing daily

as dedicated records site NOB2X.com adds major discussion group Whalepool. The trading group, which includes prominent cryptocurrency industry figures such as Charlie Shrem, asked NOB2X to update its listings to include them, marking the latest entity to signal formal opposition to the Bitcoin hard fork.

“We oppose NYA and support… Bitcoin,” the group confirmed on Twitter Wednesday. SegWit2x is encountering more opposition as its network snapshot date nears. This week, both Korea’s largest Bitcoin meetup and a group of Latin American businesses and personalities also issued their formal opposition. By contrast, some industry entities have openly embraced the hard fork, with Xapo confirming it was willing to rename the 2x chain ‘BTC’ should it receive suitable support.

NOB2X currently includes close to 100 signatories including well-known exchanges such as Kraken and Localbitcoins, media outlets and scam alert resource Bad Bitcoin. The latter of these caused a stir last month when it removed Roger Ver’s Bitcoin.com from its safelist of trusted sites, later pinning it to the top of its ‘Alerts’ due mainly to Ver’s strong advocacy of alternative Bitcoin blockchain Bitcoin Cash. Meanwhile, November’s second hard fork, known as Bitcoin Gold, has attracted barely any attention at all, its network snapshot due to take place around October 25.

Tezos Team Spat Sends Futures Price Diving 75% as Investors Panic

Infighting at Tezos has led to futures of its $232 mln token

dropping 75 percent in hours, before it has even officially launched. As Reuters reports Thursday, a squabble between Tezos’ twin founders and head of the custodial Tezos Foundation, Johann Gevers, has put the cat among the pigeons.

Now, investors, who have been waiting several months to trade their Tezzies tokens, are no closer to having their faith in the project restored. Arthur and Kathleen Breitman are currently seeking to have Gevers removed from the Tezos Foundation, which looks after ICO proceeds in Bitcoin and Ethereum now worth over $400 mln. A petition letter describes him as “self-dealing, self-promotion and conflicts of interest,” while Gevers confirmed to Reuters he had no intention of leaving. “As Arthur has done to others before me, this is attempted character assassination. It’s a long laundry list of misleading statements and outright lies,” he retaliated. “They’re unnecessarily putting the project at risk.”

Tezos’ ICO netted one of the largest amounts ever for the ballooning sector, with major backer Tim Draper yet to comment on progress or the current teething problems. Asked how much he was invested in Tezos, Draper merely confirmed he had invested “a lot.” Gevers, meanwhile, maintained politics would not affect the integrity of the project’s funds, which were stored in a secret location without direct access by any one party. “These (Bitcoin and Ether) are not held in any one place,” he said, “but secured through high-security” digital wallets “that no single party has control over.”

Chuck Reynolds


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

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Cautiously Bullish? $6,000 inPlay as Bitcoin Price Stages Sharp Recovery

Having witnessed a solid recovery from the low of $5,100 in the last 24 hours,

bitcoin is once again trading on the front foot and looking northwards. At press time, the bitcoin-US dollar (BTC/USD) exchange rate was roughly $5,700. As per CoinMarketCap, the cryptocurrency has gained 6.47 percent in the last 24 hours. Week-on-week, BTC is up 4.77 percent, and on a monthly basis, it is carrying 45.7 percent gains.

So, is the bitcoin price eyeing $6,000? Strong dip demand would seem to suggest so. The drop to $5,100 witnessed yesterday turned out to be healthy correction as expected, and the subsequent 'V' shaped recovery could be taken as an indication cash is waiting on the sidelines for a good opportunity. Further, the potential (or perceived) benefits of holding bitcoin ahead of the hard fork in November could also bring in more buyers, leading to higher prices. However, short-term overbought technical conditions persist. Therefore, the price action analysis suggests there is merit in being 'cautiously bullish' on bitcoin.

View

'Dragonfly Doji' is candlestick pattern with a long lower shadow (also known as long wick or long tail or long leg) and without a real body and upper shadow. The long tail indicates dip demand, while the dragonfly doji indicates indecision among traders. In this case, the price action on the following day generally decides the short-term outlook. The fact that bitcoin is well bid today indicates the bulls have been able to carry forward the strong move from the low of $5,100. Thus, prices may jump above $6,000 if the bid tone remains intact over the next few hours. On the other hand, a negative price action today would confirm a bearish doji reversal. A bullish-to-bearish trend change is likely only below $5,000 (rising trend line support).

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
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Why Silicon Valley is going gaga for Bitcoin

Why Silicon Valley is going gaga for Bitcoin

Why Silicon Valley is going gaga for Bitcoin

Cryptocurrencies are on a historic tear right now. And Silicon Valley’s infatuation with the industry explains a lot about itself.

Should I buy bitcoin? As a technology reporter, the questions I receive from random people at birthday parties, say, or seatmates on a plane, are usually emblematic of what is going on in the digital world. (And, increasingly, the real one, too, for that matter.) Not too long ago, the predominant question was Should I buy the new iPhone? Then it became Do I need to be on Twitter? or Do I need to be on Facebook? or Do I need to be on Snapchat? (That question has since come full circle to Should I quit Twitter and Facebook?) These days, the question I hear the most—well, besides whether Twitter should ban Trump—is Should I buy bitcoin?

I usually respond with the story of Laszlo Hanyecz. If you’ve come within 500 feet of bitcoin, or any other cryptocurrency, over the past few years, the name alone will make you cringe. Back in 2010, when the currency was in its infancy, Hanyecz went “mining” for bitcoins for a few months and collected 10,000 of them; he subsequently traded them, in what would be the first cryptocurrency transaction in history, to a guy who bought him two Papa John’s pizzas with a couple sides of that tasty, buttery garlic sauce. Back then, Hanyecz’s bitcoins had no value, and the $30 value of two pies and an accoutrement made his individual bitcoin units worth 0.003 cents apiece. Today, at their current market valuation, bitcoin units are worth around $5,800 each, which means Hanyecz’s 10,000 bitcoins would be worth around $58 million. “It wasn’t like bitcoins had any value back then, so the idea of trading them for a pizza was incredibly cool,” Hanyecz told me in 2013, when bitcoin was already valued at $1,242 each. “No one knew it was going to get so big.”

For a lot of people on the periphery of this technology, the extraordinary rise in bitcoin’s value has become cause for alarm. The Web is littered with news articles, blog posts, and white papers warning that bitcoin and its sibling currencies are worth nothing, and the rise and fall of the currencies’ worth, which can fluctuate by billions of dollars a minute, certainly backs that up. But while Jamie Dimon and other bankers might scoff at these digital currencies, Silicon Valley is extremely bullish. There’s a reason, too: if Dimon had invested in bitcoin when he first called it a joke, in 2015, he would have received a tenfold return on his investment.

There are a number of reasons why bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are doing so well right now. One of the more plausible scenarios was outlined this week in a very clever post written by Adam Ludwin, an investor and co-founder of Chain.com, a bitcoin developer platform, which argues that bitcoin is an entirely new asset class, similar to equities and bonds, and that “bitcoin is capitalism, distilled.” The “capitalism” part of the sentence helps explain why some in Silicon Valley are so specifically exuberant about it right now. “In the short-run, there will be extreme volatility as FOMO competes with FUD, confusion competes with understanding, and greed competes with fear (on both the buyer side and the issuer side),” Ludwin wrote. “Most people buying into crypto assets have checked their judgement at the door.”

This gets someone like me a bit nervous about what cryptocurrencies could end up doing to society in the long run. Silicon Valley culture is largely fueled by people who love to decimate industries that don’t work, often without any thought of how the disruption could lead to other negative results happening in society (see the recent social-media debacle around the election ). In typical Valley fantasy, people are seeing only the positive potential with bitcoin, not the potentially ugly outcomes when humans molest it for their own interests.

One of the many factors currently fueling the ascent of bitcoin is the rise of initial coin offerings, or I.C.O.s, where some lucky investors are reaping astounding returns. You can think of these like a traditional initial public offering, or I.P.O., but without the layers upon layers of regulation and government bureaucracy that come with a company going public. With an I.C.O., a start-up raises money for a new venture by selling “coins” that are very similar to shares of a public company. The coins then rise and fall as the company’s value oscillates. In 2014, when the founding of a new cryptocurrency called Ethereum was announced, it raised $18 million by selling a new digital coin called “Ether” for 40 cents per coin. Today, Ethereum has a market cap of around $30 billion. So if you had spent $100 on Ether during the I.C.O., you would have made $74,900 in profit. As Nathaniel Popper detailed in The New York Times earlier this summer, I.C.O.s have been generating billions of dollars in returns for some—and a lot of scams, too.

The lack of regulation in the cryptocurrency world, after all, means that there is a lot of fraud, extreme volatility, and coin values can jump up or down in mere seconds. Someone I recently spoke with who works with, and monitors, the crypto I.C.O. markets pointed out that some of these I.C.O.s feel awfully similar to the Dot Com public offerings of the late 90s, where the public was buying into nothing and ended up with exactly that when the entire market came crashing down and trillions of dollars were wiped off the stock market. In China, I.C.O.s became so troubling that they were banned earlier this year. In September, the People’s Bank of China issued a blunt statement saying that this practice was “illegal and disruptive to economic and financial stability.” I.C.O.s in China were occurring at an astounding rate, with one report claiming that more than $750 million was raised in I.C.O.s in July and August alone. A lot of people think the ban by China is temporary, slowing the dizzying speed of these offerings.

As a result of all the movement in the cryptocurrency market over the past couple of years, there are a lot of options out there for people who want to try their hand in crypto-investing. There’s bitcoin, the first and most well known of all the currencies, which currently oscillates in value at around $5,000 a coin. I’ve heard predictions all over the map, from bitcoins one day being worth as much as $500,000 each to units being worth absolutely nothing if a better coin comes along. (My personal prediction is that they will continue to rise for at least the next couple of years.) Ether had remained relatively flat until earlier this year when it spiked in value to over $350 apiece. (It’s since fallen to $300 each.) The current coin du jour is called Litecoin, which is getting a lot of attention because it’s still priced relatively low, at around $55 each, and is expected to rise considerably over the next year or so on account of new features that will be added to enable more privacy options. Then there are a slew of other coins to explore, including Monero, which is an open-source currency that was developed in April 2014, but which spiked this year after the illegal drug market AlphaBay was taken down. Monero, unlike other currencies, is truly anonymous, making it the perfect currency with which to buy and sell drugs, guns, and other illegal contraband on the Dark Web. If you look at the World Coin Index Web site, you can see a long list of other coins and their values over time, including Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Qtum, NEO, Nav Coin, NEM, and a number of other coins.

For Silicon Valley, betting on one of these early can mean profiting beyond all imagination, exceeding even the famed 1,000x start-up returns from companies like Facebook and Uber. Earlier this summer, I interviewed Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the twins who co-founded The Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg, and they are now obsessively investing in cryptocurrencies. In a settlement with Facebook, the two brothers were awarded $60 million, but to hear them talk about it, it appears their investments in bitcoin and other currencies are going to reap a far bigger return over time. I’ve spoken with countless other people about the current state of bitcoin and cryptocurrency, and I’ve heard two truths that seems consistent. No one—and I mean no one—knows exactly which digital currency will be successful in the future. It could be bitcoin, it could be Litecoin, it could be something that hasn’t even been created yet. But, the other resounding feeling is that these currencies are here to stay in one form or another and there is nothing anyone can do to stop them. Which brings me back to that question that I’m often asked these days: “should I buy bitcoin?”

There’s an old saying in real estate that “you shouldn’t wait to buy, but rather you should buy and then wait.” That’s the way I feel about these cryptocurrencies. If you’re looking for a quick and dramatic financial boost, realize that you could probably get similar odds by buying a plane ticket to Las Vegas, walking into the first casino you see, and putting all your money on black or red. But, if you’re willing to wait it out, there’s a chance that your investment in a cryptocurrency could make for an impressive return over time. Just be prepared to go it the long haul. Or at least until the price spikes tomorrow.

Author Nick Bilton – special correspondent for Vanity Fair.

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Google and Goldman Sachs are two of the most active investors in blockchain firms: Report

Google and Goldman Sachs are two
of the most active investors in
blockchain firms: Report

  • Google and Goldman Sachs are two of the most active corporate investors in blockchain companies
  • In 2017, there have been 42 equity investment deals by corporates, totaling $327 million
  • Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are outpacing traditional equity funding into blockchain start-ups but there is a risk of "over-capitalization"

Major companies are investing in blockchain

Google and Goldman Sachs are two of the most active corporate investors in blockchain companies, according to a report. Blockchain is the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. But it is also being developed for use in a variety of industries from finance to insurance, promising cheaper and faster processes. The number of corporate investors in blockchain companies hit a record high of 91 this year, just behind the 95 venture capital firms in the space, according to a report by data firm CB Insights published Tuesday.

So far this year, there have been 42 equity investment deals by corporates, totaling $327 million. This is just behind the $390 million for the whole of 2016. Japanese financial services firm SBI Holdings is the most active corporate investor, having stakes in eight blockchain firms. These include R3, a consortium of banks working on new applications for blockchain technology, and Kraken, which is an exchange for people to trade cryptocurrency.

Alphabet-owned Google is the second-most active corporate, with investments in bitcoin wallet company Blockchain, and Ripple, a company that is working on money transfers using blockchain technology.

Where does Bitcoin go from here?

Overstock.com is third, while U.S. banks Citi and Goldman Sachs are in fourth and fifth place respectively. Both companies have investments in Digital Asset Holdings, which is run by former JPMorgan Chase executive Blythe Masters. "Big banks and financial services firms were the first corporate players to make direct blockchain investments en masse — unsurprising, given how Bitcoin's underlying technology lends itself, both technically and in popular thought, to financial services," CB Insights notes in its report.

Large financial institutions are experimenting with ways that blockchain technology could be used, from trade finance, to moving money. Since June 2014, the 10 largest U.S. banks by assets have participated in nine rounds totaling $267 million in disclosed funding to six blockchain companies, the report said. At the same time, many banks are part of consortia aimed at exploring and developing blockchain technology. Hyperledger, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, Ripple and R3 are all consortia working with banks.

ICOs risk 'over-capitalization'

The rising number of blockchain companies and interest in the technology has also brought bigger investment from other sources such as venture capitalists and so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs). At the current run rate, 2017 is on pace for 188 equity deals worth more than $830 million, up from 138 and $545 million in 2016, CB Insights said. Mega deals such as the $107 million raised by R3 and the $100 million raised by Coinbase have helped to boost the figure.

But ICOs, where start-ups issue new tokens, similar to shares, in exchange for funds, have been growing rapidly. Total funds raised by ICOs surpassed the total funds raised via traditional equity financing for the first time in the second quarter of 2017, CB Insights said. More than $3 billion has been raised via ICOs, according to Coinschedule, a website that tracks the offerings.

Some of the biggest ICOs include Filecoin, which raised $257 million, and Tezos, which got over $230 million in funding. But with the ICO craze also comes the risk of "over-capitalization" with teams "receiving too much money too quickly," CB Insights warned.

Blockchain firms 'failing at a higher rate'

The number of companies raising early-stage or seed funding via traditional equity deals, not ICOs, has declined over the past few years. But the risk of these companies failing is much higher than start-ups in other industries.

Chuck Reynolds


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

 

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Blockchain KYC Startup Raises $1.6 Million in Seed Funding

A blockchain startup focused on know-your-customer (KYC) solutions

has raised $1.6 million in a new seed funding round. Norbloc's round was led by Marathon Venture Capital, a VC firm based in Greece that launched in March. Other participants in the round include Digital Currency Group, Inbox Capital, Back in Black, as well as the founding team of classifieds website Avito, the startup announced today.

The startup is one of a growing number of companies focusing on KYC, or the process by which financial institutions verify the identity of their clients. It's a use case that has attracted the interest of a number of banks (and investors), and has been the subject of a number of enterprise-level pilots to date.

Astyanax Kanakakis, Norbloc's co-founder and CEO, previously worked for parent company of now-defunct bitcoin mining firm KnCMiner and later served as chairman of XBT Provider, which launched a bitcoin-tied investment product on Nasdaq Nordic in 2015. In statements, he said the startup plans to use the new seed funding to expand its existing team.

"We will be drawing on the expertise and experience of our investors and our advisors as we move forward. We will use the funding to continue to build the business and acquire talent across the four markets that we are now active in," he said.

Chuck Reynolds


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

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Bitcoin gets official blessing in Japan

Bitcoin gets official blessing in Japan

Bitcoin gets official blessing in Japan

The broader fintech sector is struggling even as cryptocurrencies take off

Entrepreneurs do not often welcome regulation. For Japanese cryptocurrency start-ups, however, a framework put in place by the country’s financial authorities has been a boon.

Rules announced this year by the Financial Services Agency allow people to pay for goods and services with bitcoin and require cryptocurrency exchanges or remittance operators to be licensed and subject to annual audits. These have given bitcoin official approval.

“The Japanese have felt that cryptocurrencies are a scary thing but trading volumes have increased as many now see it as trustworthy thanks to government approval,” says Yusuke Otsuka, chief operating officer at Coincheck, a bitcoin exchange.

The FSA issued operating licences to 11 bitcoin exchanges late last month. Coincheck has applied for a licence and is hoping to receive approval next month, Mr Otsuka says.

The new digital currency rules come as other governments clamp down on cryptocurrencies. China, for instance, has banned companies from issuing their own virtual currencies and is cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges.

However, for Japan, cryptocurrencies sit within the realm of fintech. The government and banking leaders hope that this sector’s businesses — ranging from artificial intelligence-led investment advisory groups to cloud data storage — will free up cash sitting in bank deposits and reignite the economy.

There has been domestic hand-wringing over the investment going into fintech ventures in Japan compared with that in other developed countries. Japan’s fintech sector, seen as a laggard, had investments of $65m in 2015. This compares with $12bn in the US, $974m in the UK and $69m in Singapore, according to consultants Accenture.

“We’re hoping that fintech will change economic and corporate activity,” says Takuya Fukumoto, director of industrial finance in the economy, trade and industry ministry. The ministry set out the government’s vision in August, calling for an increase in cashless consumer payments, digitising back-office functions and new technologies to enhance cash flow between companies.

Japanese banks, worried that fintech ventures will become mainstream players, are trying to gain exposure to new technologies by either creating a business or investing in a start-up.

 

Author   Emiko Terazono

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

 

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Why former NFL player Sidney Rice is participating in a cryptocurrency token sale today

Why former NFL player Sidney Rice
is participating in a cryptocurrency
token sale today

Sidney Rice has been a busy investor
and entrepreneur since retiring from the NFL three years ago. He created a coffee shop chain in Seattle; opened chicken wing eateries; started a t-shirt company; and made investments in several tech startups.Now Rice is getting into cryptocurrency.

The former NFL wide receiver is participating in a token sale today for UpToken, a new version of virtual currency created by Coinme, a local Seattle startup that he advises.

Founded in 2014, Coinme first launched as a fully-licensed Bitcoin ATM operator. The company now operates 39 ATMs around the U.S. and has since expanded its offerings to include a digital wallet, a digital exchange, and a cryptocurrency IRA investment service.

On Monday, Coinme opened a sale for UpToken, a new “rewards-based” virtual currency it created in part to help encourage more use of Coinme ATMs. Rice, who played for seven seasons in the NFL and three with the Seahawks, first began researching cryptocurrency last year. He got connected to Coinme CEO Neil Bergquist and installed a Bitcoin ATM in one of his Drip City coffee shops in Seattle.

Now he’s advising the startup and participating in today’s token sale. Even though many questions remain about the legitimacy and future of cryptocurrency, Rice said he’s confident in Coinme after spending time with the company and learning more about the new financial technology. “I’m still doing tons of research and learning as much as possible, but I think I found a great group to learn and grow with,” he told GeekWire.

Rice said he has lots of friends who reach out and ask him about purchasing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency. His favorite app right now is Coinbase, a digital currency wallet — “I check it every 10 minutes,” he noted. “I definitely think people are picking up on it and in the next couple of years it’s going to be out there,” Rice said of cryptocurrency.Coinme, meanwhile, employs 25 people at its Seattle headquarters and has raised $1.5 million to date. The company makes money off transaction fees from its Bitcoin ATMs; each ATM is now processing around $100,000 per month, Bergquist said.

Coinme’s mission is to enable people to buy and sell cryptocurrency, Bergquist noted. “Access is still a big barrier to global adoption,” he said. “We found that for a lot of non-technical people, ATMs are a great entry point. Most of our users are first-time crypto purchasers.” The creation of UpToken is meant to further this adoption. Bergquist compared it to a cash-back program and described it as a “new genre of loyalty token.” Users will be able to buy and sell UpToken at the Coinme ATMs, just like they can buy and sell other cryptocurrency.

Here’s more info on UpToken from its FAQ page:

UpToken is a reward for our ATM customers. Coinme uses 1% of every ATM transaction to purchase UpToken, which is given to customers as a 1% “cash back” reward. The customer can use their UpToken to receive a 30% discount on ATM fees by paying with UpToken. However, the UpToken that is rewarded to ATM users through using the ATM is not available for withdrawal until that user has reached $10,000 in ATM volume.

Coinme’s ATMs only facilitate Bitcoin and UpToken exchanges for now, but will soon add capability for other cryptocurrencies like ethereum. Bergquist, formerly the managing director of Seattle-based SURF Incubator, admitted that his company is working in a wild west industry, but noted that “we have four years of learning under our belt.” “All of our numbers and learning thus far gives us good validation that virtual currency is absolutely here to stay and ATMs will play a really big part in that ecosystem,” he said. Bergquist added that “virtual currency has the potential to do more for rising economies than even micro-finance.”

“By just giving people an alternative currency from the one of their potentially-unstable government’s currency, it gives them options to thrive, and protection during periods of hyperinflation,” he said. Bitcoin reached record high prices last week amid rumors of Amazon accepting the currency, as Bitcoin’s market capitalization exceeded that of Goldman Sachs. But there is still a feeling of uncertainty around this nascent industry, particularly as government regulators crack down on cryptocurrency. The price of Bitcoin and other currencies continue to fluctuate wildly.

At the GeekWire Summit last week, three venture capitalists talked about the future of cryptocurrency. A key theme from their discussion was about how regulation might affect the value of Bitcoin and other currencies, as well as companies working in this industry. “Lots of things that make crypto so interesting are all the things that have to go away, in a way,” said Rebecca Lynn, a partner at Canvas Ventures. “It has to be regulated; people have to be known and not anonymous. In the end, it has to be switched back, so you sort of lose the free rails aspect of it in a way. There are definite applications of crypto but I think it was really overhyped for a while.”

Sarah Tavel, general partner at Benchmark Capital, said she’s “very long” on Bitcoin and the concept of blockchain technology, but more wary of other smaller token projects. Tavel noted that any investor in this new industry must take a “leap of faith.” “This is one of those markets that regardless of how you invest in this space, you are ultimately taking a leap of faith that it is something real and that it’s a small fraction of what it will be 10 years from now,” Tavel explained. “So if you feel comfortable making that bet, then you can make a bet on what feels like a smaller market now, knowing that in the future it will become bigger.”

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
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IBM’s Stellar Move: Tech Giant Uses Cryptocurrency in Cross-Border Payments

Big Blue is making what could be considered its first public foray

into cryptocurrency. In the kind of unveiling that can only come before one of the biggest events in global finance, IBM is revealing today at Sibos 2017 the results of a partnership with blockchain startup Stellar in which it successfully settled real transactions using the company's custom cryptocurrency, lumens.

While currently limited to cross-border payments involving British pounds and Fijian dollars, the early-stage platform is nonetheless designed to scale to handle seven fiat currencies in the South Pacific – including the Australian dollar, the New Zealand dollar and the Tonga pa'anga.

Perhaps the platform's most distinguishing characteristic, however, is that the project showcases how private and public blockchain technologies are increasingly being used in tandem. While IBM's blockchain solutions are designed to complete much of the workflow around transaction clearing, the actual settlement will be conducted using Stellar's blockchain. In this case, Stellar's lumen serves to digitally connect fiat currencies, allowing for nearly instant exchange without the consumer or buyer ever touching the cryptocurrency itself.

Stellar founder Jed McCaleb told CoinDesk:

"When trading between multiple currencies, it helps to have a bridge currency to reduce the ledgers needed to maintain. Lumen provides that single ledger that can bridge currencies."

New orbit

Taken together, however, this partnership goes beyond just technical implications. Not only is the partnership an outside-the-box move for IBM, which has largely focused on its own blockchain platforms, it's a big win for Stellar, which having emerged from the Ripple founding team hasn't had quite the same growth, perhaps attributing in part to its focus on developing markets. The partnership is also evidence of the extent of collaboration between blockchain firms and the wider financial world. To make the project work, IBM had help from partners including National Australia Bank, TD Bank and Wizdraw (HK) of WorldCom Finance.

The payments themselves are conducted for the Advancement of Pacific Financial Infrastructure for Inclusion (APFII), an organization of member financial institutions founded by the United Nations and Swift, and operated by KlickEx, a privately-held direct clearing provider that specializes in cross-border digital remittances. According to IBM's vice president of global blockchain development, Jesse Lund, getting all these players to work together is just an extension of IBM's mission to collaborate with financial institutions to develop a blockchain ecosystem.

To that end, the platform is already integrated with IBM's Financial Transaction Manager, which itself is integrated with ACH, SEPA and other electronic transaction networks. Going forward, APFII's confirmation receipts are expected to be published as MT103 Swift messages directly to the blockchain. "This in many ways is just an extension of that, wherein we're providing, in collaboration with banks, and in the process developing this blockchain ecosystem," said Lund.

More support

For now, the new project is also a balancing act – at once both a small advancement of early-stage technology and an aspirational advance toward more lofty goals. While the trial with APFII has been ongoing since last week, the CEO of ClickEx, Robert Bell, said it's too early to provide any numbers about transaction volume. But still, he expects as much as 60 percent of the cross-border retail market in the region to be transacting on the platform once all seven currencies are added (the Australian dollar will be the next currency integrated).

"For the first time, blockchain is being used in production to facilitate cross-border payments in multiple integrated currency corridors," Bell said. IBM also sees the demo as one with implications for the digitization of central bank money – a concept that's gotten a significant amount of attention recently as central banks around the world grow more interested in figuring out how the technology could create efficiencies. "Our long game is to support multiple different types of digital assets,"

said Lund, adding:

"And I'm very confident that you will be seeing central banks coming forward with their own digital asset issuances that will be a much more formidable construct of this model."

Today, that future will be discussed in greater detail on stage at Sibos in Toronto, where a panel with representatives from IBM, TD Bank and CLS will discuss the project with the CEOs of both Stellar and KlickEx. "It's going to be a wild ride,"

Lund said, concluding:

"We've got the bankers and the renegades altogether."

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
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