Daily Archives: April 7, 2018

Bitcoin’s 10 Billion Dollar Daily Market

Bitcoin has come a long way since 2009, over ten years later the total amount ran through the blockchain is 6 trillion USD, with a daily capitalization of 6 trillion USD.

Metrics have been compiled from several sources and been taken straight to the blockchain hub that is Twitter. Commentator Josiah Hernandez stated “Anyone doubting bitcoin’s role as a medium of exchange is clearly not looking at the data,”

There has now been over $6 trillion USD in value sent using #bitcoin, with just under $10 billion being sent daily.

Anyone doubting bitcoin’s role as a medium of exchange is clearly not looking at the data. pic.twitter.com/lr1AXJRbbv

— Josiah Hernandez (@chartingbitcoin) April 4, 2018

Bitcoin is still showing a steady increase in popularity. Bullish investor Trace Mayer said in a recent tweet; “The 200 day moving average of the estimated daily USD transaction value of Bitcoin transactions is about $2,000,000,000. Multiples of that happen off-chain. Day in & day out Bitcoin calmly chugs along. Bitcoin has never been more secure, liquid, trusted & strong.”

This Is Bitcoin

Current stance on the popular cryptocurrency is “the bubble has burst,” people claiming this are not looking at the data, while industry-wide heavyweights are praising the coin for its economic model and the technical advantages it holds over paper cash money.

The trading pair BTC/USD has been stagnant at around 7000 USD for the past week, opinions differing, stating the bottom is here, or is there a further downside impending.

In recent news from Bitcoinist reported on April 2nd, 2018 that the market capitalization for bitcoin could dip sub 5000 USD before the market sees’s an upwards trend.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey remains bullish on Bitcoin claiming in the last months forecast it would become a global currency, not only for the internet but globally.

Bitcoin has already seen drastic technical improvements enhancing the network fees and fixing the scalability issues which have seen the processing times decreased.

 

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Finney the Blockchain Blackberry

Foxconn is going to assist Sirin Labs with the development of its new Finney blockchain phone.

The blockchain Blackberry

Finney, the “state-of-the-art mobile device for the Blockchain era”, is rumored to ship in October for a target price of USD 1,000. Sirin has currently received 25,000 preorders, with 2018 sales expected to exceed 100,000 units, with the possibility of reaching several million. The device is due to initially go on sale in stores located in active crypto communities such as Vietnam and Turkey. As sales increase, the intention will be to expand distribution to common mobile retailers.

Cryptocurrency accessibility

Cryptocurrencies have grown in popularity but in terms of everyday convenience, there hasn’t been much progression. Most people store cryptocurrency on hardware or software wallets which tend to require PC access, or hot wallets such as Coinbase. Although mobile wallets are available, they aren’t necessarily as secure. Bitcoin ATMs are increasing in number, but are not as abundant as their fiat counterparts and are limited to trading a few currencies. Having a secure, intuitive mobile designed from the ground up around blockchain would bring cryptocurrency use to the mainstream.

Tech specifications

Current smartphones have several underlying issues in their ability to deliver a secure crypto experience. Sirin Labs’s mission with Finney is to provide the functionality and usability of an Android. Their flagship will shift towards enhanced security via its suite of cybersecurity technologies, providing reliable access to the blockchain. Finney’s physical security switch is a cool addition to the hardware as a preventative measure.

Finney Blockchain Phone

An app store for distributed apps (like ysigns messenger app) will streamline accessibility and provide a competitive marketplace for developers. The ability to make easy purchases from crypto-friendly sites like Overstock and Newegg with quick conversions from cash to crypto may encourage a more widespread adoption from customers and retailers alike.

Secure future

It’s time for innovation in the outdated mobile market shadowed by ever-growing cyber threats. With more personal details being stored on our mobile devices, a future with secure mobile trade and communication is imperative. Mobiles need to take on the responsibility of safeguarding our data so we don’t have to worry as much.

 

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India’s Crypto Under the Microscope. Mistake Says Major Investor

Cryptocurrency has been under fire by the governments of both India and Pakistan over the past few days where the digital currency has come under renewed pressure by recent official action there.

Tech investor Tim Draper, who returned to the Indian market early in 2017, is concerned by the Indian government’s enforcement of a crypto prohibition against Indian banks and financial institutions. Draper, who was wooed back into the Indian market last year by promises of a crackdown on corruption by India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, regards the moves as a “huge mistake”.

In an interview with The Economic Times published yesterday, he noted that both blockchain and Bitcoin were “the best things to have happened for business”. He insisted that “countries such as India, where billions of rupees are wasted on inefficiencies and paperwork, will benefit from the ease and security of blockchain”. Draper suggested in the interview that a tech drain could easily follow any total ban of cryptocurrency in India due to other emerging players around the world needing the technological expertise to develop their own industry portfolios.

The Indian government had indicated early in 2018 that cryptocurrency might become a target for regulation. There were suggestions that a total ban might be imminent rather than the restrictions announced two days ago, prompted by comments earlier this year by India’s ministry of finance when cryptocurrency was described as a “ponzi scheme” with no intrinsic value.

Draper, a Bitcoin enthusiast, suggested that an Indian government ban would be “stifling innovation” and that companies should relocate. He claimed that “they (government) should be creating an environment where these ideas can be tested and promoted”. He also suggested that Bitcoin should become India’s national currency as the digital currency’s global nature would make it “acceptable everywhere” in the future.

 

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AI, Blockchain, Robotics and Automated Shipping

Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain and robotics are the building blocks of our autonomous future. Shipping companies are taking steps to move towards zero human intervention in cross-border trade. Blockchain and AI will remove the need for physical documents and their processing by customs officials, which will save time and expenses.

Blockchain and AI’s role in automating shipping

AI algorithms are getting increasingly accurate with spotting fraudulent financial transactions. Combine this feature with blockchain’s irrefutable decentralized ledger and you have the basis for a secure automated import/export system. Although some of these decisions in the interim will be audited by humans for accuracy, the integrity of the future documentation will be by machine alone. Smart contracts will contain primary information on cargo and record receipts regarding handling fees and taxes.

AI can also contribute to security by working at the same level as blockchain’s cryptography. A new branch of AI develops algorithms that can work with data while it is still in its encrypted state. Blockchain’s decentralized approach will ensure trade records will be stored in several locations without any chance of being manipulated. This will increase security for personal data as well as against fraud and other related crimes. 

Automated trade for India

India, as part of its digitization agenda, hopes to implement a level of automation by next year. The system will initially be limited to specific importers or exporters. Currently, it takes up to 267 hours (11 days plus) for import consignment clearance. OECD countries can take as little as 8.7 hours for the same task.

Automated movement of cargo and low maintenance will mean customs can allocate its resources more productively. Trusted members of trading organizations who meet the criteria for reduced examination or inspection and pre-arrival import declarations will be able to take advantage of the automated procedures. Direct port entry, deferred duty payments, fast-tracking of adjudication and refunds, and risk-based assessment will all be streamlined under the new system. India’s score for cross-border trade should increase along with productivity.

Fully automated shipping

The future of global trade could be entirely automated with navigation included. Automation of shipping vessels would require a complex system of AI and navigational data. Shipping routes would need to be shared amongst vessels. Data would need to be stored in a safe, reliable and secure manner.

AI software built into the blockchain network would be safe from manipulation. Software updates to vessels could be tied to privacy keys for an additional level of authentication. Now seems like a good time introduce the security of blockchain’s data infrastructure as a basis for future systems.

Blockchain Driving the Future of Autonomous Cars

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Chile Trials Ethereum-Based Pilot To Store Energy Data

Chile’s national energy commission, Comisión Nacional de Energía de Chile (CNE), has announced the launch of a pilot project that utilizes the Ethereum blockchain to store the nation’s energy sector data.

CNE issued a press release on 5 April detailing the benefits of using the decentralized system, as opposed to what is described as an ”easy to manipulate” standard security database. The Ethereum blockchain is a peer-to-peer network, considered superior to more vulnerable alternatives that require a central facilitator.

The energy data will initially be stored on Energía Abierta, a database that is reported to administer across hundreds of thousands of servers. This provides the public with real-time access to the information stored. The energy data will be subject to a stringent verification process before it is then transferred to the Ethereum blockchain by CNE employees.

The data stored on the blockchain is designed to be accessible to the public through one of several graphical user interfaces.

Chile’s minister of energy, Susana Jiménez, recently noted the crucial nature of public disclosure of energy data, stating that it increases confidence in the government from citizens as well as from stakeholders. She acknowledged that public information is a key feature required to make ”investment decisions, designing public policies or creating new tools at the service of society”.

CNE first revealed plans for the project in February of this year, citing the primary reasons behind the move being to improve data security, accuracy, transparency and accessibility.

The news from CNE follows the recent threat of bank suspension against Buda.com and CryptoMKT. The two cryptocurrency trading platforms registered in Chile faced the suspension because of their digital currency holdings. Initial coverage of the event noted that the move was at odds with the country’s generally liberal economic policies.

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UK Financial Conduct Authority Warns Firms About Crypto Derivatives

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a warning to firms that deal with cryptocurrency derivatives, as they likely require authorization from the agency to do business.

Posted Friday on the official FCA website, the statement advised that cryptocurrency derivatives have the qualities necessary to be considered tradeable assets. As the statement reads, this means that firms involved with regulated activities using cryptocurrency derivatives are subject to FCA guidelines, as well as any relevant provisions indirectly applicable to European Union regulations.

Despite the FCA declining to acknowledge cryptocurrencies as either currencies or commodities in regards to regulation, the statement notes that it is ”likely” that firms offering cryptocurrency derivatives require authorization to do so.

This would potentially require companies holding initial coin offerings (ICOs) to comply with the FCA guidelines, although the statement noted that this would depend on the nature of the token offered.

Other areas outlined that would fall within the FCA’s regulatory parameters include cryptocurrency futures, cryptocurrency contracts for differences (CFDs) and cryptocurrency options.

The final warning of the statement precautioned firms that neglecting to authorize activities under the FCA’s regulation is a criminal offense. The statement finished, ”Authorized firms offering these products without the appropriate permission may be subject to enforcement action.”.

The FCA on the industry

In 2016, the FCA said that there were no plans in place to regulate the blockchain industry for the time being, as it needed what it described as space to develop.

However, the agency has been outspoken on its unfavorable view towards cryptocurrencies and ICOs. Chief executive of the FCA Andrew Bailey said in December 2017 that Bitcoin investors must be prepared to ” lose all your money”. He compared cryptocurrency investments as similar to gambling.

December 2017 also saw the FCA announce a further study into ICOs, scheduled to determine if there was a need for further regulatory action depending on the applicability of UK laws to the investment model of ICOs.

 

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US Cryptocurrency Holders Could Owe $25 Billion in Taxes

Tom Lee, former chief equity strategist for JP Morgan Chase, has often provided insights on the cryptocurrency market and Bitcoin; in a recent CNBC interview, he estimated that cryptocurrency holders in the United States owed around USD 25 billion in capital gains taxes.

US tax date impacting market

Lee believes that the present cryptocurrency sell-off is in anticipation of the looming US tax day on 17 April; he also believes that sometime after this date, “market misery” and selling pressure will begin to alleviate, pushing the market back up.

On 23 March, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a notice describing its treatment of cryptocurrency as virtual currency and, therefore, general property taxation principles and laws were applicable. The small reminder from IRS may be partly responsible for the present sell-off which is profoundly impacting the market.

“This is a massive outflow from crypto to USD, and historical estimates are each $1 of USD outflow is $20-$25 impact on crypto market value,” Lee added in the CNBC report.

Wheels spinning in the USA

The US is undergoing a shift of attitude toward Bitcoin and cryptocurrency practices overall. Since February, the state of Arizona has been passing realistic and promising bills through the Arizona House of Representatives which would reshape how the state interacts, regulates and utilizes cryptocurrencies as well as initial coin offerings (ICOs).

The HB2603, HB2602, and HB2601 bill package, if finally voted law, would mean that Arizona would be the first state to accept cryptocurrency as payment for taxes. Providing a legal definition for tokens and amending old legislation would protect individuals who run blockchain nodes, which is primarily an issue of energy costs caused by computing power.

There is an oddly positive tone emanating from the US; BitcoinNews recently reported that Jay Clayton, chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had begun to change his tone on ICOs. He aptly identified the need for lawmakers and regulators to tackle fraudulent blockchain activities to prevent the legal frameworks from restricting “the capacity of this new security”.

In another turn of events, cryptocurrency firm Coinbase is reportedly “in talks” with SEC in regards to the trading platform becoming a licensed and regulated virtual money entity.

If Tom Lee is correct, capital gains tax made from cryptocurrency this tax period will account for about 20% of the US total. If these estimations are anywhere near accurate, it could be an indication to the government to seriously consider blockchain technologies and their accompanying cryptocurrencies as a vital fabric in the weave of technological and financial advancements of the future.

 

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Indian Teenager Finds Californian Buyer for Crypto App

Indian teenager Hashita Arora, just 16 years of age, has received an offer from a Californian blockchain investment firm for her home-developed tracking app.

Hashita has gained worldwide attention as a result of her success with the app, one of many young people making an impact around the globe within the crypto community. Despite her meagre years, she has attracted the attention of Californian-based blockchain investment firm Redwood City Ventures.

The app is a popular iOS application used to track crypto prices. It helps retail investors to monitor prices of more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies across about 20 exchanges and in 32 fiat currencies, in ten languages. Launched in late January in Hashita’s hometown north of New Dehli, the application soared to the top of the app store charts in 24 hours.

Hashita received racist hate mail and misogynistic attacks online from people doubting the origins of the new app and casting doubts on her ability to invent the technology. The young Indian national originally studied in the US at an MIT summer programme and is currently applying for work in the country through a program currently offering visas to foreigners with exceptional abilities. Talking about her earlier experiences online, she commented, “I learned that the online world can be cruel. But I feel I have an entrepreneurial spirit and I love startup culture.”

She said that she was delighted to be a part of the Redwood City Ventures team and looks for support in the development of other ideas and products.

Home-educated Hashita had been learning about coding and digital design since the age of 13. She went on to learn about cryptocurrencies in a tech magazine and quickly became passionate about the subject, realizing an opportunity existed to use her skills to develop a help app.

It was Redwood City Ventures founder, Sean Walsh, who eventually discovered Harshita after posting a cryptocurrency app advertisement on LinkedIn. On meeting Harshita, Walsh was impressed with her maturity and intelligence, realizing she had designed an app that would be both useful and could be marketed at a good price.

The young Indian’s next venture is to plan is to use the money earned from her app to improve her education. She then plans to move to Silicon Valley.

 

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