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| December 14, 2017

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Fed hikes its key interest rate again and sharply increases next year’s economic growth forecast

December 13, 2017 |

Federal Reserve monetary policymakers on Wednesday nudged up their key interest rate again and sharply increased their forecast for the economy’s performance in 2018 as Congress neared passage of a large tax cut package.

Fed officials voted 7-2 after a two-day meeting to increase the rate by a…

L.A. Times – Business

Blockchain-Based Digital Art – Passing Fad or the Next Big Thing?

December 4, 2017 |

Blockchain-Based Digital Art – Passing Fad or the Next Big Thing?

Two words: Crypto Kitties. Last week’s feel-good story, infused with the perfect blend of cute, kitsch, and crazy, was all about “breedable digital babies” – virtual cats which exist on the ethereum network. Their viral success – and that of similar projects such as rare pepe blockchain cards – are innovative instances of digital art. Could collectibles with built-in digital scarcity be the future of online art?

See also: Rare Pepe Blockchain Cards Have Produced More Value Than Most ICOs

Scarcity is Becoming Common

Scarcity is a concept that anyone with a grounding in bitcoin will be familiar with. It is the scarcity of bitcoin, with its fixed supply of 21 million coins, that has helped send the digital currency to record highs. If new bitcoins were issued every 10 minutes for perpetuity, it is unlikely the world would be in such a frenzy to catch them while they can.

With digital scarcity as a concept now firmly seeded, the rise of collectible art – essentially images whose ownership is tied to a singular blockchain address – should come as no surprise. It would be easy to dismiss projects such as Crypto Kitties and rare Pepe cards as Beanie Babies for geeks, but these novelty concepts may just be the tip of the tail. Should blockchain-based digital art become normalized, it will be thanks to viral projects such as these.

Blockchain-Based Digital Art – Passing Fad or the Next Big Thing?

Rewarding Artists and Creating Collectors

As any artist will assert, making a living on an internet rife with plagiarized, screen-grabbed images is difficult. Buyers have no incentive to pay for art when they can simply right click and “save as”. Collecting physical art in the real world, meanwhile, is limited to a monied, well-connected, and typically conservative audience that is the antithesis of the sort that might consider splurging $ 115,000 on the genesis cat, as one buyer did last week.

Blockchain-Based Digital Art – Passing Fad or the Next Big Thing?
DADA art, purchasable with cryptocurrency, by Boris Toledo Doorm

But just as cryptocurrencies are bringing investment opportunities to a disenfranchised audience, there are signs that blockchain-based art could do the same, making collectible art accessible to all. It’s not all about dank memes either: is a decentralized digital art marketplace populated with limited edition drawings that have tiers of scarcity, ranging from common to extremely rare. Buyers can purchase these creations using ethereum. The project’s founder, Beatriz Helena Ramos, said:

People often save or screenshot art online with little consideration of the work that has gone into the art or how the artist is remunerated. By integrating blockchain into digital art we can reshape people’s views towards digital artwork and with it instil financial value, and create a new market for digital art, helping out artists all over the world.

DADA has released 100 limited edition original drawings, each of which has a corresponding token ID which is used to transfer ownership. The project draws inspiration from Cryptopunks, another collectible project in which each piece of digital art has a corresponding token to provide verifiable proof of ownership. DADA has taken this a step further by using its tokenized model as a means of asserting the artist’s intellectual property. In this model the token is needed to prove ownership of a particular artwork, even though the actual picture, sound file or text can still be copied.

Blockchain All The Things

Many of the blockchain projects that have been launched in the past year, often via an ICO, seem to be solutions in search of a problem. Given the issues of forgery and theft that are endemic to the traditional art world, however, blockchain’s ability to prove ownership and verify transfer from seller to buyer is invaluable. Blockchain has huge potential for trading physical assets such as art, which can be pegged to a token representative of its value and transferred without leaving the vault it’s stored in.

Blockchain-Based Digital Art – Passing Fad or the Next Big Thing?

But it is digital art that is proving to have the strongest use case for the blockchain. Regardless of whether rare Pepes, Curio Cards, and other offshoots of The Meme Economy have a long-term future, right now they’re big business. Over $ 1 million has been invested in Crypto Kitties so far, which has gotten so popular that it now accounts for 11% of all transactions on the ethereum network, more than any other application. Founder cats which have been trading for a premium include Schrodinger’s Pussy and Chairman Meow.

The runaway success of these projects also points towards other uses for the blockchain, not only in terms of digital art, but also for modular trading platforms or video game bolt-ons which enable players to own their in-game characters. Adorable cats and foul frogs may be only the beginning.

Do you think blockchain-based collectibles have any intrinsic value? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Crypto Kitties, DADA, and Boris Toledo Doorm.

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The post Blockchain-Based Digital Art – Passing Fad or the Next Big Thing? appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Circle Financial Plans to Launch a New Investment App Next Year

November 30, 2017 |

Circle Financial Plans to Launch a New Investment App Next Year

This week the Dublin-based firm Circle Financial revealed a new investment app is coming out in 2018. There’s currently a sneak peak of the “Circle Invest” app that shows multiple cryptocurrency support and a picture of the user interface.

See also: How to Buy Bitcoin When You’re Underage   

Circle is Excited to Release a New Crypto-Based App for Retail Investors

Circle Financial Plans to Launch a New Investment App Next YearCircle financial is a cryptocurrency-based firm that was launched back in 2013 and operated a service much like the company Coinbase. The company had done very well for itself over the years raising $ 136Mn in venture capital. Average investors could use the Circle app to purchase and sell bitcoin but the firm stopped these services more than a year ago. Instead, they focused on large Over-the-Counter (OTC) trading for exchanges and institutional investors. Just recently reported on Circle’s latest project Centre and it’s Trigger Finance acquisition. Now the firm will launch its latest investment app during the new year as the firm details;

Invest in digital currency without investing a lot of time deciphering the market. Circle started in 2013 and we’ve worked in crypto ever since. We’re excited to unveil our latest endeavor.  

Circle Invest Will Boast Multiple Cryptocurrencies and No Commissions

Circle Financial Plans to Launch a New Investment App Next Year
Sneak peak of Circle’s new investment app.

Users can sign up for a wait-list to try the new Circle Invest app by entering their email. According to Circle, there will be no commissions, custodial accounts, liquidity, multiple cryptocurrencies and secure storage. The app’s user interface (UI) reveals the variety of digital assets supported by the platform which includes bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, bitcoin cash, and litecoin. It’s likely the acquisition of Trigger Finance is helping the firm produce the Circle Invest app.

The mobile investment platform Trigger has served thousands of retail investors by tracking U.S. equities, commodities, and even cryptocurrencies. Circle says its use of digital assets and using public blockchains as payment rails combined with Trigger’s expertise will leverage Circle’s “infrastructure and trading operations in the form of new mobile products for individual retail investors.”

What do you think about Circle coming back with a new investment app? Let us know in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, and Circle Financial.

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The post Circle Financial Plans to Launch a New Investment App Next Year appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Britain’s Next Royal Wedding Will Have an American Bride

November 27, 2017 |

Britain’s next big royal wedding will involve an American bride. Royal officials announced Monday that Prince Harry is now engaged to American actress Meghan Markle and they will marry next spring, NBC News reports. A statement from Kensington Palace did not disclose the wedding venue, though it said more details…


Next stop $10,000? Bitcoin’s incredible surge

November 27, 2017 |

The great bitcoin boom of 2017 is going from strength to strength. – RSS Channel – World

What’s Next for Germany—Five Scenarios

November 27, 2017 |

Germany is facing several scenarios going forward after talks to form a ruling coalition collapsed. Here are five possible avenues, from realistic to outlandish. What’s News Europe

The Standard Hollywood and cannabis brand Lord Jones to open an in-hotel boutique early next year

November 19, 2017 |

Boutique hotel group Standard International and cannabis-infused confection maker Lord Jones have announced a partnership that includes opening a retail shop in the lobby of the Standard Hollywood early next year.

There are also plans to create co-branded THC-derived products and expand to the…

L.A. Times – Business

Could Time become the Koch Brothers’ next big political play?

November 17, 2017 |

Glance at the celebrity gossip in People or the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated, and it’s not likely the billionaire Koch brothers come to mind.

But the two conservative moguls could put their stamp on the two marquee publications and, more significantly, wield control over the newsweekly…

L.A. Times – Business


Analysis: The ‘tyrant’ who could be Zimbabwe’s next president

November 16, 2017 |

The elevation of Emmerson Mnangagwa to the presidency of Zimbabwe would amount to an act of political survival matched only by the man he’d replace, Robert Mugabe. – RSS Channel – World


Harvey Weinstein NYC Case Being Presented to Grand Jury Next Week: Report (UPDATE)

November 7, 2017 |

11:15 AM PT – A senior member of the D.A.’s office tells TMZ the Grand Jury story is “100% false.” A criminal case against Harvey Weinstein in New York City is reportedly being presented to a grand jury very soon … this after he was accused…