Which One of These 5 Hyperinflating Economies Will Adopt Bitcoin in 2017?

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How Money and Credit Control Your Life

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We Are In A Money Bubble Which Will Lead To A Fiat Money Collapse

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Etherium 25% Rise

Ethereum appears to be making a comeback with its price considerably rising during the past week from around $10 to over $13, settling at around $12.80.

Ethereum’s Price Rose by Almost 25% Over the Past Week – image from poloniex

The second biggest digital currency returns to a market cap of above $1 billion following news that JP Morgan, Microsoft, BP and other household brands are working on launching Enterprise Ethereum, a modified fork of ethereum to be used for private blockchains.

There were suggestions the household brands will also contribute to the public ethereum blockchain, but no further details were provided.

On other ethereum related news, Melonport, a “blockchain protocol for digital asset management on the Ethereum platform” – according to the greenpaper, sold out its almost $2 million ICO in about 13 minutes with 99% of the token gone in 3 minutes.

This is probably the fastest sell out of any ICO, indicating a huge demand to fund innovative start-ups in the ethereum space specifically and the wider blockchain space more generally.

A Boom in ICOs

Rather than holding ETH, etherumers appear to prefer parking their currency on eth based tokens which may earn returns through price appreciation and through profit-sharing schemes depending on the ICO’s terms.

The legality of these arrangements is not very clear. It is probable that any sale under $5 million is fine, but scams should be expected.

I’ve long suggested the setting up of a non-governing body to ensure some sort of quality and accountability, but its implementation probably suffers from the commons problem – it’s in no one individual’s interest to take up the initiative, but it is in everyone’s interest for it to be established.

The Trump administration is currently very busy, but now that UK is mired in Brexit, USA may take the torch and lead the world in providing some sort of regulation for quality assurance while not hampering innovation.

Specifically, they could fund the non-governing body and initiate its establishment while inviting many leaders in this space to sit on its board or provide input.

Might Eth Overtake Bitcoin?

Bitcoin has seen an incredible rise in 2016, but the digital currency has now stagnated as far as the protocol and underlying innovation is concerned. After almost two years of debate on how to increase transaction capacity, no solution appears likely. Bitcoin may therefore continue to operate for much of this year at over capacity – a first in its eight-year’s history.

Bitcoin based transaction fees are seemingly increasing exponentially. The user experience has considerably degraded to slow, unpredictable and frustrating. Businesses have long called for a solution, but no one appears to be listening.

The currency, nonetheless, leads in brand recognition and is reaping the rewards of a billion or more invested in its infrastructure in 2013. Since then, such investments have fallen considerably, potentially stocking up problems in the near future.

Its main use now appears to be that of acting as a hedge, but that seems to be solely based on its brand recognition and an easily copied limited number of coins which can no longer move conveniently or cheaply.

The currency, therefore, seems ripe for disruption. With the second largest market cap, a well-funded and capable development team, corporate interest, additional functionality in smart contracts, 17 seconds average times for transaction confirmations and plans for unlimited scalability, Ethereum might be best placed for such disruption if it happens.

Whether it will, remains to be seen. It may well be the case that the two currencies have their own niche with bitcoin being like tor – slow, clunky, inconvenient, prioritizing edge cases above all else – while Ethereum might turn out to be bitcoin’s version of Firefox – fast, cheap, convenient, privacy conscious, prioritizing ordinary users while being inclusive of edge cases.

Although there are many races in the blockchain space and even races within races, currently, the one between Bitcoin and Ethereum is the most interesting. How this will play, all will be watching as a general realization and awareness now rises that blockchain technology will soon transform the world. I wonder how Infinity Economics will effect the situation in the future.

David Ogden
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The Bitcoin-powered marketplace has finally merged Tor integration into the Openbazaar platform adding a long-awaited layer of privacy to the program.

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New Zealand Banks Pull The Rug And Kill Kiwi Bitcoin Exchange BitNZ

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Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News Roundup – Feb.02, 2017

 

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News Roundup Feb. 02, 2017

 
News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services. Billionaire investor sold off investments in , and Mr. Soros, who…
The time will come when you won't be able to buy a cup of coffee without being traced, warns investment guru Jim Rogers. To control people, governments will increasingly seek to hunt down…
 
An Arizona legislator wants to amend state law to account for blockchain signatures and smart contracts, public records show. HB 2417, introduced on 6th February, would make a signature…
"When I looked at the dating industry, I saw it was expensive to reach a critical mass of users and open a niche dating site," says Yonatan Ben Shimon in a Skype call from Tel Aviv….
Microsoft (Thailand) has said that 2017 will see five digital technology trends – that includes blockchain tech – driving the country's digital transformation, pushing organization's…
 
Merely weeks after cautioning residents that bitcoin companies weren't authorized or licensed to operate in the country, India's central bank is reportedly not including bitcoin under the…
Banks in the United Kingdom are turning a deaf ear to bitcoin exchanges, despite the government's pro-blockchain position, according to financial writer Roger Aitken, writing in Forbes….
 
 
Thailand's largest bank by revenue, Kasikornbank Pcl, has unveiled that it is planning to introduce a new FinTech platform by the end of the year as it attempts to prevent fee income from…
 
After nearly two years of experimenting with blockchain, the National Settlement Depository (NSD), Russia's central securities depository, believes it now knows what incumbents must do to…
 
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Hedge Funds Race To Buy bitcoin exchange startup Mt Gox Creditor Claims

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UK Banks Shun Bitcoin !

Banks in the United Kingdom are turning a deaf ear to bitcoin exchanges, despite the government’s pro-blockchain position, according to financial writer Roger Aitken, writing in Forbes. Unless the situation changes, the banks will undermine bitcoin’s progress and drive Cryptocurrency entrepreneurs out of the banking system.

This fact together with the uncertainty  surrounding the pound due to Brexit could be a disaster for those who live in the UK, the banks are feeling under threat. Hopefully the government will step in and tell them not to be so stupid.

Cryptopay, a bitcoin brokerage, recently informed customers that it will no longer support British Pound deposits and withdrawals on account of new bank policies. Such incidents have increased as bitcoin has gained popularity.

Cancellation of GBP deposit and withdrawal facilities limits people to Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) transfers, making Cryptopay’s buying and selling useless to most British customers.

U.K. Banks Shun Bitcoin

A dozen or more U.K. brokerages and bitcoin exchanges have suffered over the past three to four years as banking facilities have become unavailable. Some have closed or resorted to awkward arrangements.

Britcoin, which became rebranded as Intersango, started in 2011. It faced problems with U.K. bank transfers before eventually closing. An August 2012 update noted that bridging the gap between bitcoin and the conventional banking system was costly on account of technical issues, missing transfers, and accounts frozen and closed without warning.

In 2014, Bit121 had a promising start, but banks withdrew their support and the exchange closed.

In Bitcoin We Trust suffered the same fate. It resorted to using postal orders before giving up.

Coinfloor, one of the only U.K. exchanges still operating, uses SWIFT transfers, which incur hefty costs and delays. The minimum transfer is £1,000 (c.$1,250).

Banks Pour On The Pressure

CoinJournal, a bitcoin publication, saw its banking services come to an abrupt end after its U.K. banking provider Barclays terminated its business account. CoinJournal received no official warnings prior to its account closure. Even more alarmingly, Barclays still hasn’t given a reason for the extreme action.

CoinJournal believes the decision taken by Barclays to close its business account was an “automated” call, after seeing a pattern of banking transactions involving prominent bitcoin exchange and service provider Circle.

The decision was likely “a result of us using Circle to transfer fiat from ad revenue into bitcoin to pay our writers and some overheads,” a representative for the publication told CCN.

Similar scenarios have played out in Australia and New Zealand.

BitNZ, a New Zealand bitcoin exchange, has announced it is closing due to the refusal of New Zealand banks to allow bank accounts to trade bitcoins, and has advised customers to withdraw all funds before April 15, 2017.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is scrutinizing attempts by Australia’s biggest banks to swallow fintech companies developing technologies like blockchain solutions in the financial sector.

P2P Services Fill The Void

Peer-to-peer services match individual buyers and sellers in the U.K. in lieu of traditional exchanges. Trust is established by reputation.

Once a buyer has paid, usually with a bank transfer the seller sends the bitcoins.

As for other nations, Russia recently relaxed its regulatory position and taken a “wait and see” approach. It has effectively legalized bitcoin and allowed for exchanges to operate.
Switzerland is a more progressive country. It is easy to buy bitcoins through a network of ATMs on the rail system.

In Japan, it is possible to pay electric bills with bitcoin.

The United States has a more complex regulatory framework. But progress is on the horizon since the New York BitLicense took effect in 2015, with other state’s following a similar approach.

Bitcoin is legal in China, although the central bank recently stopped highly leveraged trading.

U.K. Banks At Odds With Government

The banking sector is clearly at odds with the U.K. government, which is openly pro-blockchain. The situation is peculiar, with the government saying the country is open to bitcoin but the banking sector standing in the way.

Since the financial crisis, the taxpayer has become the majority shareholder in the Royal Bank of Scotland, holding at around 82% of the bank. This would normally translate into a certain amount of leverage by the taxpayer.

The U.K. also has a reputation for being a fintech hub, to which the banking sector seems to have taken exception.

For whatever reason, the banks have closed ranks and chosen not to work with bitcoin.

The fact that bitcoin is decentralised and fiat currency is centralised could be at the root of the conflict.

Also read: Blockchain platform Waves raises more than $2m at the start of the crowdsale campaign

What’s To Be Done?

Money cannot flow easily from the blockchain economy to the traditional financial sector and vice versa without banks’ cooperation. The bitcoin sector is not large enough to offer all the goods and services needed to make bitcoin a sufficiently broad means of payment.

Bitcoin’s volatility also makes it an unsuitable unit of account or store of value. While it’s a great transfer medium, its price against fiat fluctuates too much for most people.

The bitcoin economy won’t expand until bitcoin is better suited as a means of payment. But it won’t be better suited without more growth and stability.

Waves, a custom blockchain tokens platform, offers a solution – fiat-backed blockchain tokens. It raised $16 million last summer through crowdfunding. Waves can act as a gateway between the blockchain and the fiat world.

Customers pay money into the gateway using a bank transfer or another suitable means, and the gateway issues them the same sum in blockchain tokens

The same exchange occurs in reverse when customers cash out their Waves GBP and have them sent as “real” GBP to their bank account. Waves essentially serves as a toolkit.

Sasha Ivanov, CEO and founder of Waves, noted that Waves can make money more efficient. By putting fiat money on the blockchain, Waves can make it more transparent and faster, and it can reduce the cost of sending it abroad.

Ivanov thinks Waves can introduce competition and encourage banks to become more accountable. If banks in one sector in one country won’t work with Waves, it will work with those in another jurisdiction.

Waves does not immediately solve the problem of U.K. banks’ hostility to bitcoin, but it suggests the roadblocks are not insurmountable. The answer may be to work around them rather than with them.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

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

Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup Feb.14, 2017

Crypto & Blockchain News Roundup Feb.14, 2017

Remember OneCoin… the cryptocurrency scam with 9 lives that keeps on ticking like the Everready Bunny? You know a company must be really bad news when the government of Uganda warns their citizens about it. It won't be long before OneCoin has to open up an office on the moon to find someplace that doesn't know they're a rip-off. Here's the article:

Bank of Uganda Issues Warning About OneCoin Ponzi Scheme

This is rather like a convicted prisoner being glad to get 'Life' rather than the death sentence. A high-level regulator in China says they should regulate bitcoin rather than kill it. Sounds like something Hitler might have said to a minority he didn't like. Here's the article:

Former PBoC Governor: “We Need To Regulate Bitcoin Rather Than Kill it”

If you thought bitcoin was going to remain the entrepreneurial domain of 'the little guy' for long…you were wrong. As this article indicates, cryptocurrency trading 'bots' are already becoming a significant factor in the market. But you watch and don't be surprised to see larger financial institutions getting in on the trading act too. Make no mistake about it…they are voracious for financial opportunity. Here's the article:

Top 6 Bitcoin Trading Bots

The chaos in Venezuela and the government's difficulties with bitcoin and bitcoin mining might be a preview of what could happen if societal infrastructure in the US or another developed country were to break down. Unlike gold or silver, bitcoin and/cryptocurrency as a store of wealth is dependent upon a certain level of infrastructure stability and social tranquility yet certain aspects of the today's current events don't look to stable, do they? Read the article:

Venezuela’s Biggest Bitcoin Exchange Halts Operations

Just in case you weren't aware of these well-known companies which accept bitcoin, here they are (I already knew about all but one):

Top 5 Companies Accepting Bitcoin

Many people don't realize that, just like dog breeds and their characteristics, there are also different kinds of cryptocurrencies each with their own innovative characteristics. Here are what one author considers the 5 most unique. Note especially Steemit, which is related to content creation on the internet, and Monero, which is really anonymous (as crypto should be). Here's the article:

Top 5 Most Innovative Cryptocurrencies

Strange as it seems, some banks still look at cryptocurrency like some people did when the 'horseless carriage' first came out. Thankfully this situation is less and less common. But Markethive.com community members have a mutual friend who had a totally ridiculous experience along this same order. Here's the article:

Top 5 Banks Closing Bitcoin User’s Accounts

Here's an article highlighting the authors opinion of 7 industries most likely to be disrupted by blockchain and cryptocurrency. I found his comment about the music industry most interesting. Here's the article:

7 Industries that Will be Disrupted by Blockchain Technology

So…that's my comments on which way the digital wind is blowing today. Feel free to leave comments or to join our community over at Markethive.com. If you like to write, about crypto, blockchain, or anything else, we've got a great publishing platform that will give you a lot of exposure.

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Art Williams
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