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New $100 Million Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund to Use XRP

December 1, 2017 |

New $  100 Million Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund to Use XRP

TechCrunch and CrunchFund founder Michael Arrington has announced he is going all in on cryptocurrency investments with a new hedge fund called Arrington XRP Capital. As the name suggests, the fund will be managed in Ripple’s XRP but it will invest in a wide variety of cryptocurrency assets and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) as well as private equity offerings.

Also Read: Bitfinex Faces Further Scrutiny Over Tether Liquidity Concerns

$ 100 Million in XRP Investments

New $  100 Million Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund to Use XRPAccording to Arrington, the $ 100 million cryptocurrency hedge fund has commitments from investors for over $ 50 million already, and they plan to begin trading in the next few weeks.

Other than the founder, two additional partners in the venture are former CEO of TechCrunch Heather Harde and veteran technology executive Geoffrey Arone.

This move is another strong indication of just how much cryptocurrency is recently becoming a mainstay in Silicon Valley as well as among established venture capitalists.

Why XRP?

New $  100 Million Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund to Use XRPBesides being denominated in XRP, the new fund will accept investment funds and make redemptions in the cryptocurrency as well pay fees and salaries out in XRP. This is despite the fact that it doesn’t have a commercial relationship with Ripple and they are not investors in the fund, Arrington said.

In his announcement, the CrunchFund founder only explains the choice of the cryptocurrency for its advantages over ‘ancient fiat methods’ for cross-border currency transfers, asserting that traditional means are too slow and laden with fees.

Asked specifically about the choice of the cryptocurrency at the Consensus conference he elaborated that: “We think XRP is a particularly useful currency because of the transaction times.” Arrington also added: “I think investors are maybe heavier in bitcoin and ether than they should be.”

At the bottom line, the TechCrunch founder seems very bullish on the cryptocurrency ecosystem, predicting that the overall market cap will rise from around $ 300 billion to trillions of dollars and signalling that he intends to spend the rest of his career in this field.

Are bitcoin transaction times are a critical factor for further adoption? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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The post New $ 100 Million Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund to Use XRP appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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This Week’s All-Time High Brings Massive Bitcoin Exchange Outages

November 30, 2017 |

This Weeks All-Time High Brings Massive Bitcoin Exchange Outages

November 29 was an exciting day if you were watching bitcoin prices swing back and forth with quite a bit of turbulence. The price of bitcoin touched an all-time high of $ 11,395 across global exchanges. Then, about an hour or so later, the price went down hard to a low of $ 9250 on some trading platforms. Although some exchanges had significant operational issues according to upset customers, the Down Detector, and the trading platform’s own website status pages.

See also: Circle Financial Plans to Launch a New Investment App Next Year

Multiple Cryptocurrency Exchanges Suffer From Website Outages and Service Issues

Cryptocurrency exchanges had some difficulties on November 29 as the price had wild and tumultuous price swings all day long. After the big spike and the start of the dip, customers started venting on forums and social media complaining about trading platforms and outages. The forum /r/bitcoin started a megathread dedicated to exchange outages. “Please discuss exchange outages here instead of everyone submitting screenshots of a broken website,” pleaded the subreddit moderator.

Many Bitfinex customers complain that their positions were liquidated on November 29. The Bittrex exchange says they had issues on Wednesday as well.

According to multiple reports, exchanges such as Coinbase, GDAX, Gemini, Bitstamp, Kraken, Bitfinex, and others had issues with their websites during the day. Traders complained of downtime during the dip, margin trading liquidations, and flash crashes. For instance, the trading platform Gemini has a whole page report on multiple issues of “degraded performance” during the day.

“We have received a few messages where customers see a ‘504 Gateway Time-out’ message,” explains the exchange status page.

We are implementing a mitigation fix due to an enormous influx of web traffic. We are monitoring and will let you all know once we are back up and running. Thank you for your ongoing patience.

This Weeks All-Time High Brings Massive Bitcoin Exchange Outages
These issues were posted to the Coinbase, GDAX, and Gemini status pages.

Coinbase and GDAX Experience Downtime

Another popular cryptocurrency platform that had issues during the day was Coinbase, and its sister company GDAX also had multiple problems with website operations.

“A portion of customers may be unable to access Coinbase — We are working to restore access to all users,” explained the company. Further, the company’s trading engine GDAX also suffered technical difficulties.

“We are currently investigating performance issues and downtime on the web app and REST API,” said the GDAX on November 29.

Kraken and Bitstamp Outages

Outages also took place on Kraken, as the website Down Detector reveals: the exchange had issues from 8 am to 9 pm EDT. There are multiple comments on the portal of Kraken customers upset with the downtime. Additionally, at the same time Down Detector had recorded some outages that happened over at Bitstamp. The European exchange had over 140 reports of outages between 11 am to 8 pm according to the Down Detector. Bitstamp outages were reported in the U.S., the Czech Republic, Germany, Holland, and many other areas across Europe. The trading platforms Poloniex and Bittrex also had customers who complained about website performance on Wednesday. 

This Weeks All-Time High Brings Massive Bitcoin Exchange Outages
The Down Detector website recorded lots of outages on November 29 at Kraken and Bitstamp as well.

Exchange Downtime and Margin Losses Show the Industry Has Significant Challenges

Throughout the day while exchanges had severe technical difficulties and outages, bitcoin’s price rapidly went from $ 11,395 and dropped 17 percent following the spike. After that bitcoin crossed the $ 10-10.5K range multiple times, and again fell to the $ 9600 territory. Even worse margin traders who utilize the exchange Bitfinex lost a lot of money according to many reports. When visiting the Reddit forum /r/bitfinex many traders are very upset with the trading platform’s performance on November 29. According to the company’s support page, the trading engines margin call limits should stop serious losses. The support page states;

When a position is force liquidated, the system places a limit order at the zero-equity price (rather than simply executing a market order). We do this to prevent a liquidated position creating a negative account balance for the user due to slippage during highly volatile market periods. 

However, a lot of Bitfinex traders say the company’s margin call safety valve did not save their accounts and there are countless posts of people claiming they were forced liquidated.

One company who helps provide exchange infrastructure support to cryptocurrency trading platforms wants to prevent these types of market oddities. The firm Alphapoint and its co-founder, Igor Telyatnikov, believes digital asset infrastructure outages are a problem if the technology gains a more considerable influx of mass adoption.

“Today’s incident highlights the challenges in this space as it continues to mature and attract institutional money,” Telyatnikov explained. “We need a more robust infrastructure for institutional-grade needs.”

What do you think about the massive exchange outages that plagued customers on November 29? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter, GDAX, Coinbase, Gemini, and the Down Detector.


Do you agree with us that Bitcoin is the best invention since sliced bread? Thought so. That’s why we are building this online universe revolving around anything and everything Bitcoin. A forum, and a casino, a pool and real-time price statistics.

The post This Week’s All-Time High Brings Massive Bitcoin Exchange Outages appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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China’s Financial Channel Reports Huobi Violates Spirit of PBOC’s Document

November 30, 2017 |

China's Financial Channel Reports that Huobi Violates the Spirit of the PBOC’s Document

China’s Financial Channel (CCTV-2) aired a special bitcoin documentary this week to analyze reasons behind the recent price rally. The program invited Li Cangyu, financial columnist and Wan Zhe, chief economist at China National Gold Group Corp. as commentators who believe that Huobi has undoubtedly violated regulations on cryptocurrency services. 

Also Read: South Korea Outlines Proposed Legislation for Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Does Huobi Violate the Spirit of the PBOC’s Document?

Earlier this November, CCTV journalist reported that many OTC platforms don’t have any KYC requests, which leaves room for illegal activities. The latest documentary exclusively mentioned that Huobi and Huobi.pro have no legal base to provide RMB-related OTC services.

China's Financial Channel Reports that Huobi Violates the Spirit of the PBOC’s Document

Log-in to Huobi and one can see that they still use RMB to measure bitcoin and altcoins. At the front page of Huobi.pro, there are a large banner reading “buy coins with RMB, three steps only” along with a detailed guidance teaching newbies how to register and trade with RMB.

China's Financial Channel Reports that Huobi Violates the Spirit of the PBOC’s Document
Li Cangyu

Commentator Li Cangyu believes that this is obviously a breach of the PBOC’s notice. “The PBOC had made it clear this September that crypto platforms must not provide services between RMB and tokens, including price bidding or middleman service for the exchange of tokens or cryptocurrency,” he said. “I really don’t understand why they put that on their websites.”

When the program aired, many users dashed to Huobi.pro to either withdraw coins or cash out, worrying that the platform will be shut down again.

Why People Buy Bitcoin?

China's Financial Channel Reports that Huobi Violates the Spirit of the PBOC’s Document
Wan Zhe

Mainstream media tend to be negative about bitcoin. They often report bitcoin as a tool for money laundering and speculation. But as bitcoin price keeps rising, more people are showing interest in it. Wan Zhe thinks there are three main factors at play.

First, as the stock market is losing traction, people are looking for alternative investments to store their assets and thus switch to bitcoin. Second, though China is tough on the crypto industry, other governments like Japan, Korea and some small countries are friendlier. This makes investors optimistic about bitcoin’s future. Third, as more merchants accept bitcoin and big enterprises support the blockchain technology, users hold the belief that bitcoin will become a mainstream currency.

Uncertainties Hanging Over Bitcoin

The documentary ended with some big question marks regarding bitcoin.

Will bitcoin remain decentralized? Wan Zhe explained that mining has become centralized as top mining pools and miners are all based in China. And as individual mining is not so profitable, bitcoin mining might be monopolized by some giant companies in the future.  Will users still support it if decentralization were weakened?

Will bitcoin evolve into a global currency? Though bitcoin itself is not a bubble, but it contains many bubbles, which makes it far less competitive to fiat money. Li Cangyu noted that the issuance of a national currency is a symbol of sovereignty and economic decision-making freedom. He believes that no governments will give up these to use bitcoin.

When will the bitcoin price crash? In the 1720s, Isaac Newton lost 20,000 pounds due to his speculation in the South Sea Company stock. He initially invested around £3,500 and sold out when he doubled his money. But he was induced to get back into the market at the height of the bubble. Later Newton said: “I can calculate the motions of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.”

Li Cangyu cited Isaac Newton’s story to warn bitcoin investors that nobody knows who will be the last participnats. “They think they are on a sure thing only to have it blow up.”

Do you think Li Cangyu have a point? Tell us in the comments below!


Images courtesy of: Shutterstock, CCTV-2


We got it all at Bitcoin.com. Do you want to top up on some bitcoins? Do it here. Need to speak your mind? Get involved in our forum. Wanna gamble? We gotcha.

The post China’s Financial Channel Reports Huobi Violates Spirit of PBOC’s Document appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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PR: Spectiv VR Featured on Fox Business’ Innovations Aired to over 100mm Viewers: Pre-Ico Dec. 8th

November 30, 2017 |

Spectiv VR Featured on Fox

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Showcasing Advances in Virtual Reality

DMG Productions uncovers the latest technological breakthroughs in virtual reality.

Jupiter, FL — In an upcoming episode of Innovations w/Ed Begley Jr., the award-winning producers will explore the revolutionary world of virtual reality. This is slated to air first quarter 2018 on FOX Business. Check your local listings for more information.

With the growing development of virtual reality, previously unreal possibilities have become realities. As such, many speculate virtual reality will become the next revolutionary tech boom. This segment of Innovations will focus on the technology behind Spectiv, a platform that enables users and organizations to stream their unique virtual reality experiences to the world.

The Signal Token (SIG) Protocol is designed to decentralize the buying, selling, and rewarding of attention across media platforms by removing centralized intermediaries from advertising transactions.

“Spectiv’s mission is to make the virtual reality experience for everyone through community-driven VR streaming. We feel VR is one of the most exciting technological innovations ever, but the industry is experiencing some short-term friction in adoption. Spectiv is directly addressing this challenge by integrating a decentralized advertising system that will accelerate mainstream VR adoption,” said Dylan Senter, CEO and Founder of Spectiv. “He continued to say, “we are achieving this through our Signal Token Protocol, a blockchain solution that directly connects advertisers with content publishers, viewers, and curators, and are very excited to present our vision for the future of VR on the Innovations Series.”

Spectiv will act as the first adopter for this protocol, generating real-world application data to support future adoption by other media platforms.

“The cutting-edge technology behind the SIG Protocol will change the space of virtual reality as we know it,” said Michael Devine, Senior Producer for the Innovations series. “We look forward to enlightening the public about this technology.”

Signal Token Protocol

Spectiv is the creator and first adopter of the Signal Token Protocol. This protocol decentralizes the interaction between advertisers, content publishers, viewers, and curators. Using the Signal Token Protocol, advertisers can initiate Ad Campaign Smart Contracts that autonomously reward users for driving attention to advertisements. Every ad view and click that occurs is communicated to the Ad Campaign Smart Contract, triggering a token reward disbursement. This is an open-source protocol built for any media platform to implement. Spectiv will pioneer this protocol through its own media platform, Spectiv VR. This will provide a crucial real-world foundation for other platforms to learn from and build upon.

Token Purchasing Opportunities

Signal Tokens can be purchased in our Pre-ICO December 8th 2017, with early bird bonus opportunities for qualifying participants. The sale will have a maximum expected receipt of $ 40 million in Signal Tokens, priced at 650 Sigs/Eth. This open sale will be hosted at www.spectivvr.com. Email subscribers will receive early access to the token sale and exclusive 60% token bonus, so make sure to sign up to our email list.

About Innovations and DMG Productions:

Innovations, hosted by award winning actor Ed Begley, Jr., is an information-based series geared toward educating the public on the latest breakthroughs in all areas of society. Featuring practical solutions and important issues facing consumers and professionals alike, Innovations focuses on cutting-edge advancements in everything from health and wellness to global business, renewable energy, and more.

DMG Productions (responsible for creating the Innovations show) includes personnel specialized in various fields from agriculture to medicine, independent films to regional news and more. Field producers work closely with experts in the field to develop stories. This powerful force enables DMG to consistently produce commercial-free, educational programming that both viewers and networks depend on.

Contact Email Address
Dylan@spectivvr.com
Supporting Link
www.spectivvr.com

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

The post PR: Spectiv VR Featured on Fox Business’ Innovations Aired to over 100mm Viewers: Pre-Ico Dec. 8th appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

PR: Bcshop.Io Implements Bancor Protocol to Provide Bcs Tokens with Decentralized Liquidity

November 30, 2017 |

Bcshop.Io Bancor Protocol Partnership

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

BCShop.io is happy to announce that it will integrate the Bancor Protocol into its project to enable all users to convert BCS tokens directly on-chain. This means that no centralized exchanges need be involved, liquidity is available at any given time and very low fees are applied if at all.

According to BCShop.io Founder Vladlen Manshin, “The Bancor protocol integration enables great versatility for BCS token holders in their choice to buy, sell, or exchange tokens for ETH, BNT, or any other token in the newborn ecosystem. The BCShop.io team is proud to be among the first to implement a truly decentralized liquidity.”

Bancor gathers different project tokens into a single network where each project maintains a balance in its smart contract in order to use the BTN (Bancor Network Token) as a “Connector.” Tokens can be bought or sold with the use of BNT, ETH, or any other token in the network at a continuously calculated price based on the Bancor formula, which balances the buy and sell volumes.

Users can discover new projects which have already joined the network by browsing the Web App’s discovery page: https://goo.gl/AdZ335. The Bancor-compliant BCS Token Relay will be launched in the week following the successful completion of the Token Sale.

The integration of the Bancor Protocol into the BCShop.io project provides BCS token holders the following advantages when converting their tokens:

• No Spread – With Bancor’s non-profit automated market maker, BCS token holders can buy and sell their tokens at the exact same price.
• No Registration Required – Users can convert an Ethereum token to another type of token directly on-chain with the use of their Web3 compatible wallet.
• Continuous Liquidity – Users can convert any token (including ETH) in the network at any time regardless of the buyers and sellers and trade volume.
• Predictable Price Slippage – The Bancor Formula ensures price transparency by incorporating the transaction size and needs into the order book.
• No Counterparty Risk – The conversion of tokens comes with no risk, as they can be converted directly with a smart contract.
• Backward Compatible – Any existing ERC20 token can integrate into the Bancor Network with no code changes or fees.

After the BCShop.io token sale’s completion on January 31, 2018, 2% of all issued BCS tokens will be allocated to the BNT connector in order to enable conversions at any time via the Bancor network.

About BCShop.io: The BCShop.io project aims to reinvent the way digital commerce works today. It aims to enhance e-commerce with the fast-growing opportunities in blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies.

The BCS Token Presale is currently ongoing, and applications are accepted at https://bcshop.io/. Early contributors receive a 50% bonus.

About Bancor: Bancor Protocol™ is a standard for the creation of Smart Tokens™, cryptocurrencies with direct built-in convertibility through smart contracts. It utilizes an innovative token “Connector” method to enable formulaic price calculation and continuous liquidity for all compliant tokens, without needing to match two parties in an exchange. Smart Tokens interconnect to form token liquidity networks, allowing user-generated cryptocurrencies to thrive. For more information, visit their website at https://www.bancor.network/.

Contact Email Address
bcshop@bcshop.io
Supporting Link
https://bcshop.io/

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

The post PR: Bcshop.Io Implements Bancor Protocol to Provide Bcs Tokens with Decentralized Liquidity appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Trump’s Federal Reserve Nominee: Cryptos “Don’t Really Matter Today”

November 30, 2017 |

Trump's Federal Reserve Nominee Under Oath: Cryptos "Don't Really Matter Today," "Not Big Enough"

President Donald Trump’s nominee for Chair of the Federal Reserve, current Board Governor Jerome “Jay” Hayden Powell, participated in the constitutionally mandated US Senate confirmation process by way of a hearing on 28 November 2017. Bitcoin and “cryptocurrencies are something we monitor very carefully,” Mr. Powell answered in direct questioning about current and future Fed policy toward decentralized currencies.   

Also read: After Mugabe, Zimbabwe Pushes Bitcoin to $ 17,875

Trump's Federal Reserve Nominee Under Oath: Cryptos "Don't Really Matter Today," "Not Big Enough"

Federal Reserve Under Oath about Bitcoin

Incredible valuations. Historic price rise. Mass adoption numbers. The Year of Bitcoin has achieved yet another official milestone: it is now a formal policy consideration by regulators of the world’s largest economy.

Tuesday afternoon in Washington, DC, Jay Powell sat before a sparsely attended, mostly pro-forma senate hearing. A current Fed governor nominated by President Obama to serve a 14 year term, Mr. Powell is widely considered to ease through to confirmation in the Republican-controlled upper body.

Georgia Senator, Republican David Alfred Perdue, Jr took asked the nominee a series of questions. Completely switching topics, he ended his line of thought with queries at the 1 hour and 35 minute mark about a subject sweeping professional finance circles: bitcoin.

Senator Perdue began, “We have another bubble that is some 4 to 5 times the size of the dot com bubble in the late 1990s, and that has to do with the cryptocurrencies like bitcoin,” he said.

Trump's Federal Reserve Nominee Under Oath: Cryptos "Don't Really Matter Today," "Not Big Enough"

Junior Georgia Senator Asks about Bitcoin

Mr. Perdue is junior senator from the Peach state, having been elected in 2014 to a six year office. His background include heading many businesses.

“Bitcoin’s market value now is bigger than all but 29 of the S&P 500 corporations in America,” he continued. “Assuming that this continues, and talking about that bubble, and the size and the growth of these cryptocurrencies, if that continues to grow … to what extent does that effect your ability to effect results from your typical monetary policy options that you typically have as a central bank?”

Nominee Powell answered, “You know, in the long, long run things cryptocurrencies of that nature could matter,” he said. When confirmed, Mr. Powell will be the 16th person to assume chairmanship of the Fed in its 103 year history.

“They don’t really matter today,” Mr. Powell said dismissively. “They’re just not big enough. They’re just not anywhere near close to enough in volume for it to matter for us.”

Senator Perdue then again made parallels between the 1990s dot com boom and bitcoin, implying Mr. Powell should see the same.

Bubble Fear

“There’s no question the valuations have gone up quite a lot in the last year or so. I don’t have a view on the appropriate level of the valuation, of course,” Mr. Powell explained.

Trump's Federal Reserve Nominee Under Oath: Cryptos "Don't Really Matter Today," "Not Big Enough"
Jay Powell

The price of bitcoin, as of this writing, has reached 10,000 USD on global exchanges, skyrocketing hundreds of percent in eleven months.

“From our standpoint, cryptocurrencies are something we monitor very carefully. We actually look at blockchain as something that may have significant applications in the wholesale payments part of the economy,” Mr. Powell expanded in his answer.

“It’s something we pay close attention to,” the Board Governor noted.

The Senator from Georgia then asked if the Fed were watching technologies used around the world and in companies such as Alibaba with regard to blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

“We are watching all of those technologies. It’s something we have to do, I think. It’s actually something that is kind of enjoyable and interesting,” Mr. Powell smiled.

What do you think of incoming Fed Chair’s comments? Tell us in the comments below!


Images courtesy of: Pixabay, imagur, Wiki Commons.  


Do you agree with us that Bitcoin is the best invention since sliced bread? Thought so. That’s why we are building this online universe revolving around anything and everything Bitcoin. We have a store. And a forum. And a casino, a pool and real-time price statistics.

The post Trump’s Federal Reserve Nominee: Cryptos “Don’t Really Matter Today” appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Central Bank Round-Up: Brazil & New Zealand Issue Statements, Cryptos are Assets or Securities in Canada

November 30, 2017 |

Central Bank Round-Up: Brazil & New Zealand Issue Statements, Cryptos are Assets or Securities in Canada

During November, several central banks addressed bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. New Zealand’s central bank has issued a statement seeking to educate citizens of the fundamentals underpinning cryptocurrencies, as well as the implications of such on monetary policy.  The senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada has stated that cryptocurrencies comprise assets or securities, rather than currencies. Brazil’s central bank also addressed cryptocurrencies during November, issuing a warning to investors.

Also Read: 1 Million Yen, 100 Million INR – Bitcoin Sets New Price Milestones on International Markets

Reserve Bank of New Zealand Does Not Believe Cryptocurrencies Pose Existential Threat to Mainstream Financial Institutions

Central Bank Round-Up: Brazil & New Zealand Issue Statements, Cryptos are Assets or Securities in CanadaThe Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) has published a paper on cryptocurrencies titled “Crypto-currencies – An introduction to not-so-funny moneys.” The 44-page document seeks to “increase public understanding these technologies, highlight some of the risks involved in using crypto-currencies, and discuss some of the potential implications of these technologies for consumers, financial systems, monetary policy, and financial regulation.” The document also details the fundamental underpinnings and history of cryptocurrency, and provides definitions for terminologies relevant to the industry.

The document states that “Crypto-currencies expand the mechanisms by which people can transact with each other, strengthening competitive pressures on payment systems providers.” Despite such, the RBNZ states that due to the “relatively small volume of transactions” conducted using cryptocurrencies, “These new payment mechanisms are unlikely to completely supplant traditional payment systems.” The document also emphasizes the “incompatab[ility] of “the (pseudo) anonymity… of crypto-currency” with credit issuance – concluding that such prevents cryptocurrencies from posing a threat to many functions of traditional financial institutions.

Canada Views Cryptocurrencies as Assets or Securities, Not Currency

Central Bank Round-Up: Brazil & New Zealand Issue Statements, Cryptos are Assets or Securities in CanadaEarlier this month, Bank of Canada’s senior deputy governor, Carolyn Wilkins, stated that “so-called cryptocurrencies actually aren’t currencies at all, they’re not money.” Speaking with Bloomberg, Mrs. Wilkins stated “If you look at standard monetary theory… this is really an asset, or a security. And so it should be treated that way, and in fact, that’s the way it’s treated in Canada.”

When asked specifically of ICO’s Mrs. Wilkins stated “I’m not a securities regulator, and it’s not the Bank of Canada’s role to comment on any specific ICO, but… these look more like securities to me than a currency and they should be regulated as such.”

Mrs. Wilkins also expressed enthusiasm for blockchain technology, adding “What is promising… is… the distributed ledger technology that underpins it, because it provides the opportunities to create efficiencies in financial markets and other places that could actually be beneficial to market participants, businesses, and households.”

The Banco Central Do Brazil Issues “Alert on [the] Risks Arising From Custody and Trading Operations of So-Called Virtual Currencies”

Central Bank Round-Up: Brazil & New Zealand Issue Statements, Cryptos are Assets or Securities in CanadaThe warning emphasizes the lack of protections afforded to investors choosing to trade cryptocurrencies, stating that virtual currencies “are not issued or guaranteed by any monetary authority.” Brazil’s central bank states that “the purchase and safekeeping of virtual currencies” exposes investors to “imponderable risks, including… the possibility of loss of all capital invested.”

Despite the dire tone of the warning, the document states that “the need to regulate [cryptocurrencies] has not been identified to date by international organizations”, adding that “In Brazil, for the time being, no significant risks are observed for the National Financial System.”

What do you make of the central banks’ statements regarding crypto? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bank of Canada


Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section.

The post Central Bank Round-Up: Brazil & New Zealand Issue Statements, Cryptos are Assets or Securities in Canada appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Bitcoin for Beginners: How to Safeguard Your Cryptocurrency Holdings

November 30, 2017 |

Bitcoin for Beginners: How to Safeguard Your Cryptocurrency Holdings

There was once a time when a bitcoin was worth about as much as the spare change down the back of your sofa. Now, one bitcoin is worth your sofa, your armchair, and every other item of furniture in your living room. Gone are the days when maintaining military grade opsec was the preserve of bitcoin whales and the ultra-paranoid. As digital currencies soar, safeguarding your cryptocurrency is imperative, no matter how humble your holdings. Here’s how.

See also: Stay Safe By Keeping Your ‘Bitcoin Business’ to Yourself

Lock it Down and Hold it Down

Bitcoin for Beginners: How to Safeguard Your Cryptocurrency HoldingsThis post is the first in a Bitcoin for Beginners series we’ll be publishing. Even if you’ve been in the game for years though, it pays to refresh your memory and re-evaluate your security practices. The sad reality of the ultra-connected digital world we live in is that everyone’s a target: whale or minnow; celebrity or nobody. Nevertheless, there are two primary measures you can take to minimize your exposure:

Lock it down: Keep your crypto assets in a secure wallet which you possess the private keys for. That way you and you alone are responsible for what happens to your coins.

Hold it down: By all means preach the gospel of Satoshi and decentralization from the rooftops, but as we recently reiterated, keep your bitcoin holdings to yourself. Five years ago, no one would bat an eyelid at hearing you owned 100 BTC. Do that today and you risk attracting the sort of ne’er-do-wells that are lured to wealth in all its forms.

Bitcoin for Beginners: How to Safeguard Your Cryptocurrency HoldingsBefore we delve into a few security do’s and don’ts, one thing to stress is that owning and using bitcoin should be pleasurable, not panic-inducing. Take the following advice to heart, implement it, and then sleep easy.

Choose Your Wallet

There are two primary means of storing your bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies: in a wallet which you hold the private keys to, or in an exchange which holds the keys on your behalf. Hardware wallets such as Trezor and Ledger as well as mobile apps such as Bread all fall into the former category. Provided you write down your private key and seed (a 12-word recovery phrase), your coins will be safe, even if you accidentally delete the app or break the hardware wallet.

Bitcoin for Beginners: How to Safeguard Your Cryptocurrency Holdings
The Trezor bitcoin hardware wallet.

Keeping your coins in a cryptocurrency exchange or a site such as Localbitcoins, on the other hand, offers convenience, especially for day traders buying and selling cryptocurrencies. This convenience comes at the price of safety however. If the exchange was to collapse or be hacked, there is a possibility you could lose your holdings. It’s happened in the past and will happen again.

Use Strong and Unique Passwords

Passwords are used in 63% of all successful cyber attacks. Deploying passwords that are guessable, or worse still recycling the same password, will significantly increase your odds of getting owned. Don’t get lazy or take shortcuts when it comes to passwords – it’s simply not worth it. If you don’t trust your ability to recall passwords, use a password manager such as LastPass.

2FA Everything

Bitcoin for Beginners: How to Safeguard Your Cryptocurrency HoldingsMany cryptocurrency exchanges such as Bitfinex now force their customers to activate two-factor authentication, and for good reason. Your cryptocurrency wallet, your exchange account, your email account and anything else tied to your use of cryptocurrencies should be protected with 2FA. A word of warning though: this second form of authentication should not comprise cellphone SMS verification. Determined attackers can trick gullible customer service staff into porting a phone number over to a new handset and use it to bypass 2FA. Instead, use a method such as Google Authenticator or a 2FA hardware key to secure your accounts.

Don’t Click That Link

Bitcoin for Beginners: How to Safeguard Your Cryptocurrency HoldingsPhishing attacks are one of the most common ways in which accounts are compromised. Don’t click on links in emails or on social media purporting to be from wallet providers and exchanges and certainly don’t download attachments. Instead, bookmark the domain of the site to avoid the risk of clicking fake links from scammers seeking to drain your wallet and disappear into the blockchain with its contents. Studies have shown that despite being aware of the risks of clicking on suspicious email links, people routinely still do. Don’t be like most people. You’re smarter than that.

Final Reminders

Bitcoin for Beginners: How to Safeguard Your Cryptocurrency HoldingsDon’t log into your bitcoin wallet using public wifi. In fact, try not to log into anything using public wifi if you can possibly help it. In doing so, you’re exposing yourself to man in the middle attacks which could expose your passwords and other personal details. In addition, when interacting in the cryptocurrency space, consider adopting a username and email address that don’t correlate with your real-world identity, and be extremely cautious about the personal information you give out to strangers on the internet.

With one millibit – or 1/1000th of a bitcoin – now worth more than $ 10, every wallet, no matter how slender its BTC, is a target. Keep the extent of your bitcoin holdings to yourself, separate your real world identity from your online one, and if you’re unsure don’t click that link. The bitcoin world is filled with amazing people, but like any high value commodity, it also attracts thieves, scoundrels, and scavengers. Protect your assets, up your opsec, and then kick back and enjoy the ride.

What security tips would you give to bitcoin newcomers? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Trezor.


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Nasdaq to Debut Bitcoin Futures by Mid 2018

November 30, 2017 |

Nasdaq Sees the Future, Will Debut Bitcoin Futures by Mid 2018

Wall Street Journal reports the globe’s second largest stock exchange, National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (Nasdaq) will offer bitcoin futures by the middle of next year. Also, Cantor Fitzgerald LP will provide bitcoin derivatives on its exchange by mid 2018. The news comes as Chicago Merc (CME) and Cboe are also reportedly set to offer a bitcoin futures market by year’s end. The combination could mean the official mainstreaming of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.

Also read: CME Group Aims to Launch a Bitcoin Derivatives Platform This Quarter

Nasdaq Sees the Future, Will Debut Bitcoin Futures by Mid 2018

Nasdaq’s 7 Trillion Dollar Muscle Flexes Toward the Future

Widely circulated reports on 29 November reveal Nasdaq will set a bitcoin futures market by the middle of next year. Cantor Fitzgerald LP is to offer a bitcoin derivatives platform on its exchange around the same time.  

Nasdaq Sees the Future, Will Debut Bitcoin Futures by Mid 2018Second only to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Nasdaq is a really big deal within securities exchanges. It is known as a haven for technology-related equities. Cantor Fitzgerald LP is a trusted financial services player, one of only 22 to trade US government securities at the Fed (since 2006).

Stephanie Yang and Alexander Osipovich write: “The emergence of bitcoin futures would be a big step toward maturity for the cryptocurrency, which is less than a decade old. By letting traders bet on whether bitcoin rises or falls, a futures market would make it easier for both big banks and retail investors to trade bitcoin.”

Nasdaq has flirted with bitcoin on a European exchange, but this marks a wholesale entry into a completely different market. Bitcoin has long been thought in professional circles to be too volatile in price swings to be taken seriously. Its popular association in media accounts with crime and terrorism scares hasn’t helped either.

However, keen money managers often look beyond the hype and pearl-clutching, discovering in bitcoin not only a currency, payment system, and store of value, but also a great new way to enforce contracts and other functions.

That bitcoin has been closing in on a five-figure price floor has probably assisted in hastening their respective decisions.

Cantor Fitzgerald to go Crypto

“Nasdaq’s bitcoin contract would debut on Nasdaq Futures, or NFX,” Ms. Yang and Mr. Osipovich detail. NFX is “a marketplace that the New York-based exchange group launched in 2015 that until now has mainly focused on energy trading, according to the people familiar with the situation.”

Nasdaq and CME have long chased one another for markets. It’s no surprise they’re going to soon compete for crypto dominance. “Nasdaq has briefed market participants on its plans,” the Journal noted.

For its part, Cantor will offer bitcoin derivatives.

Nasdaq Sees the Future, Will Debut Bitcoin Futures by Mid 2018

Cantor’s brokerage chief, Shawn Matthews, explained during an interview, “The asset class is not going away. If you look at the next level, it will be the institutions coming in and being the larger participants in the marketplace, especially as liquidity gets better.”

Though not known for its futures acumen, Cantor has a coveted advantage in that it already holds a license from the industry regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

“The firm aims to launch a bitcoin swap—a type of derivative—on Cantor Futures Exchange LP. Cantor’s swap would allow traders to bet on bitcoin prices up to three months out, with built-in protections to limit their losses if bitcoin prices swung above $ 15,000 or below $ 5,000,” the Journal explained.

What do you think of Nasdaq and Cantor moving into the ecosystem? Tell us in the comments below!


Images courtesy of: Pixabay, YouTube, iconimages. Staff writer Avi Mizrahi contributed substantially to this article. 


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Libra Launches Enterprise Grade Tax and Accounting App ‘Crypto Office’

November 30, 2017 |

Libra Launches Enterprise Grade Tax and Accounting App 'Crypto Office'

As the cryptocurrency economy’s market capitalization surpasses $ 320Bn, lots of digital asset proponents are trying to figure out ways to write off capital gains and stay tax compliant. This week the cryptocurrency and blockchain accounting firm, Libra, has launched a new compliance application for market makers and exchanges. Additionally, the company raised $ 7.8Mn in a Series A funding round to promote expansion.

Related: 4 Apps Helping Bitcoiners With Tax Compliance

Libra Reveals New Tax Software for Market Makers and Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Libra Launches Enterprise Grade Tax and Accounting App 'Crypto Office'The cryptocurrency-centric tax compliance and accounting agency, Libra, has launched an auditing application dedicated to enterprise companies and exchanges who deal with a lot of digital assets. Libra says the program called ‘Crypto Office’ performs “middle office processes and reporting, while improving operational and financial analysis and control.” Libra started its operations back in 2014 by providing tax applications for average bitcoin enthusiasts and crypto-focused day traders. The company has established blockchain connectivity to multiple public networks, exchanges, and wallet software. This gives individuals and organizations the ability to process real-time accounting, reports, tax calculations, and regulatory compliance.          

“Further, we found without the right systems and processes, institutional investors were unwilling to allocate significant investment into the industry,” explains Libra’s CEO Jake Benson.  

With the introduction of Libra Crypto Office, we hope to continue industry efforts to upgrade information accuracy, transparency, and compliance practices.

Libra Launches Enterprise Grade Tax and Accounting App 'Crypto Office'
Libra’s software calculates gains, losses and accounting information for tax purposes.

Libra Raises $ 7.8 Million This Week

According to Libra, the company is already working with two firms that focus on large transactions and vast amounts of cryptocurrency trades which include Shapeshift, and XBTO. Libra also raised $ 7.8Mn on November 27, adding to their previously raised $ 2Mn Seed round from firms like Fenbushi Capital. Investors who participated in Libra’s funding round this week include Liberty City Ventures, Boost VC, and early Facebook investor Lee Linden. Libra’s founder Jake Benson explains that the funding will be used to scale Libra’s tax applications and data services.

“We provide our customers three core components of value. First, a single on-ramp that connects to the many data sources within the ecosystem,” says Benson.  

Second, the real-time data processing engines and services required to continuously and automatically standardize and deliver accurate financial information. And third, blockchain-native software that’s purpose-built for this industry.

Libra also has various competitors within the cryptocurrency industry offering tax compliant and crypto-auditing software. This includes firms like Node40, Cointracking, Bitcoin Transaction Coordinator, and the startup, Bitcoin Taxes.

What do you think about Libra’s application that focuses on exchanges and cryptocurrency market makers? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, and Libra.


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