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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 10th to 16th August 2018

North America

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

USA

ICO scam slapped with $30,000 fine: The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a USD 30,000 penalty for David T Laurance and his fraudulent ICO. Laurance was a director of a new coin project.

Laurance, previously the CEO of oil drilling company Tomahawk Exploration LLC, with whom he had been associated for over eight years, launched the ICO for new tokens of the oil drilling company called Tomahawk tokens. The ICO stated that the funds from the ICO would be used for oil drilling and exploration services in California.

The ICO overall failed to meet the USD 5 million target. An online bounty program of promotional activities thrived but was eventually shut down by the SEC. Laurance and Tomahawk have been given cease and desist orders and further action is being deliberated by the authorities.

Coinbase acquires San Francisco startup for decentralized login tech: Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange operating in USA, has acquired a local startup that was offering decentralized login solution to secure its verification and login processes.

The firm, Distributed Systems, Inc, was selected by the Coinbase company to utilize blockchain for verification purposes. According to Coinbase project manager B Bryne:

“Blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies offers a new way to let us all be “verified” everywhere we go on the internet, feeling safer about our interactions with others and opening the door to the experiences that require trust.”

Distributed Systems was a successful startup at the seeds round with millions of investments garnered from around the world.

Facebook to launch crypto?: The world’s largest social network Facebook may be looking to launch its own cryptocurrency, according to recent chatter from inside the company.

Earlier this year, the company created a blockchain research team led by David Marcus that was aimed at leveraging blockchain technology and possibly even cryptocurrency across the vast social media platform. Marcus was on the board of directors of Coinbase but has since then stepped down from his position.

Other sources also claim that the Facebook’s blockchain team has met with the Stellar team to discuss forking the Stellar cryptocurrency and blockchain to create a native Facebook cryptocurrency similar to Kin crypto tokens. The purpose of the rumored Facebook crypto token is still unknown.

Jamaica

Jamaican stock exchange set to offer crypto for trading: The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) has announced that it will offer cryptocurrency trading services by the end of 2018.

The announcement came after the exchange signed a collaboration with cryptocurrency firm Blockstation. The latter will develop digital assets for JSE platform and JSE will then integrate them into its platform for trading purposes. Blockstation has been developing these assets in collaboration with the JSE for the last six months.

According to co-founder and chief architect of Blockstation Jai Waterman:

“Our mission is to provide a secure method of trading cryptocurrencies with broker-dealers and stock exchanges. We’re providing the stock exchange the technology for a broker-dealer network and repository, so that from end-to-end, their life cycle of trading – just like with securities – they can do the exact same thing with blockchain and cryptocurrencies.”

Canada

Blockchain and crypto improving finance and accounting in Canada: In addition to disrupting the fintech businesses, blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are also improving accounting and finance functions in the country.

According to a Robert Half Finance and Accounting survey, both will become common in business transactions in the next five years. But to do so, financial professionals will have to expand their skillsets and put greater focus on inter-departmental collaboration with information technology.

 

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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 10th to 16th August 2018

South America

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

Brazil

Presidential candidate pledges to legalize crypto if elected: Brazilian presidential elections are coming up and a presidential candidate has pledged to legalize cryptocurrency in the country if he gets elected.

Brazil remains a country that doesn’t recognize cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as actual currencies that can be legally used to settle payments. Jao Amoedo, the Presidential hopeful has said that national currency will remain in its official status but Bitcoin could be accommodated as a foreign currency role like the US Dollar and thus break away from the financial setup dominated by the USA.

While the government doesn’t recognize Bitcoin as an actual currency, it hasn’t stopped Brazilians from investing a lot in it. In 2017 alone, more than USD 2.4 billion in Bitcoin transactions occurred in Brazil alone.

Brazil officials and crypto community debate future crypto regulations: In a new meeting called in by the Chamber of Deputies, representatives of the Brazilian government debated on possible cryptocurrency and blockchain regulations.

The discussion was held publicly in the Getulio Vargas Foundation’s Applied Information Technology Center in Sao Paulo. Different mindsets and opinions were heard in the hearing but the topic was somehow neglected overall. The Brazilian cryptocurrency community is one of the largest in South America and needs new regulation for the recognition of cryptocurrencies as assets or currencies.

Argentina

Argentinian political theorist working on blockchain-based voting systems: A video game developer-turned political theorist from Argentina, Santiago Siri, is working on a new blockchain-based voting system that could make things transparent and effective.

While the democratic system is widely adopted around the world, it is under threat by a new set of powers that are trying to undermine it. The powers include meddling of foreign powers in elections.

Siri’s non-profit startup called Democracy.Earth believes blockchain to be the solution for ensuring transparency in elections.

Chile

Thousands of businesses now accept crypto payments: A new partnership between cryptocurrency exchange Crypto MKT and Flow.cl means that over 5,000 stores across Chile now accept cryptocurrency payments.

The deal was signed between these two service companies allows cryptocurrency payments to be added to payment types on Flow.cl’s online payments platform. Store owners will receive money in fiat money and the transaction rates are some of the lowest in the country.

According to an official translation: “There is a guarantee fund that allows the payment is not affected by large increases or decreases in the price of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Stellar. This gives tranquility and security to the client.”

Venezuela

Petro set to become official currency alongside bolivar: State-owned oil-backed cryptocurrency is set to become officially recognized in Venezuela after President Nicholas Maduro made an announcement confirming its official status will start on Monday next week.

The official dealing in the state cryptocurrency will start when state-owned oil giant Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) will start using cryptocurrency transactions for payment. Petro will not be the sole national currency anymore and the system will be made to incorporate the additional Petro cryptocurrency in a gradual manner.

Hyperinflation causing further increase in Bitcoin trading: Venezuela’s spiraling inflation issues are producing considerable surges in Bitcoin trading activities in the country.

With IMF recently stating that Venezuela may reach as much as 1 million per cent inflation by December, more and more people are turning to cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin to circumnavigate inflation’s vicious cycle. Bitcoin price itself is doubling in 18 days as a result as well.

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Venezuela Central Crypto Bank Next as IMF Predicts Million Percent Hyperinflation

It has been reported that there are new plans afoot for a Venezuelan central bank cryptocurrency along with a “superior court to the Supreme Court of Justice”.

According to Venezuela National Constituent Assembly member Hermann Escarra, the government is preparing to change the constitution to allow for the new crypto bank.

Venezuela’s crisis has steadily worsened as a result of lower oil prices, corruption, and a mismanaged socialist system, experiencing all but a total collapse of the economy, public services, security, and healthcare. In February, Venezuela launched its own Petro cryptocurrency backed by the country’s oil reserves.

Shopping bags made of the national currency the bolivar (VEF) are now being made in order to transport the notes, and a cup of coffee costs around VEF 2.2 million (around USD 0.50 at black market rates). For the same price, you can fill a small SUV with petrol almost 9,000 times.

The government continues to print money at an alarming rate with a current inflation rate of over 25,000%. The IMF predicts hyperinflation in Venezuela will reach a staggering one million per cent by the end of this year at the current rate, although this has been refuted as ludicrous by some economists. Economic meltdown and a recent assassination attempt on President Maduro just this weekend continue to paint a grim future for the South American oil-rich giant.

It is uncertain if a cryptocurrency-based central bank can do anything to help to at least alleviate some of the country’s extreme financial problems, particularly as the Petro has so far made little impact. It looks very much as though Venezuela has reached the “try anything” stage. Nonetheless, Escarra divulged the latest plan on Thursday:

“The National Constituent Assembly of Venezuela… is preparing a reform to the Constitution that would include a central bank for crypto-assets and a superior court to the Supreme Court of Justice… the draft changes to the Constitution will be presented in 35 days to the board of the Constituent Assembly.”

Maduro’s new “Bolivar Soberano” which is linked to the Petro is also ready for release on 20 August.

 

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Square Cash on Track to Become Coinbase Competitor

Square Cash appears to have what it takes to become a serious competitor to Coinbase, with Bitcoin buying and selling service now available across the entire United States for the first time.

Red, white, and bitcoin. Now you can use Cash App to buy bitcoin in all 50 states. pic.twitter.com/D4fhVRz7WL

— Cash App (@CashApp) August 13, 2018

Coinbase is the biggest cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in the United States, with 20 million users and USD 150 billion of transactions since launching in 2012, which has generated USD 1 billion of profits.

On the Square Cash alternative, users can easily buy and sell Bitcoin instantly with their debit card, in the same way they can use their debit card to send cash transactions instantly, which was the company’s original purpose. Square Cash’s Bitcoin buying and selling limits are higher than Coinbase, with an easier and more streamlined process than Coinbase. For users with bank accounts, Square Cash is a way to avoid Bitcoin ATM fees and still receive their money the same day, compared to Coinbase which can take days to process even small Bitcoin sells.

At first, Square Cash rolled out to a limited number of states starting in late 2017 but now it has acquired the New York BitLicense and will have no legal problems to offer Bitcoin exchanging in every state. Square Cash has kept fees low to increase adoption of its Bitcoin services; these are currently lower than Coinbase fees. These will likely remain minimal for the foreseeable future to enhance the growth of Square Cash’s Bitcoin user base.

So far Square Cash has only generated USD 70 million of Bitcoin transactions but now that it has officially launched across the entire United States, this number could grow drastically in coming months. Square Cash has 7 million users, most of which signed up to send cash transactions but now all of these users can easily send Bitcoin if they choose. More users will likely be signing up just for the Bitcoin service.

It appears Square Cash has the infrastructure to really compete with Coinbase, which is good news for United States consumers since it gives them a good option besides Coinbase to buy and sell Bitcoin, and it will cause Coinbase to improve their features to compete with Square Cash. Likewise, Huobi has entered the United States via HBUS, and OKCoin via OKCoin USA. These are among the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world and could be major competitors for Coinbase, which creates a favorable environment for consumers.

 

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Kim Dotcom Warns to Invest in Bitcoin Before US Debt Bomb Explodes

Internet legend Kim Dotcom, who became infamous for his website Megaupload that became a global hub for internet piracy, is warning the people of the world to invest in Bitcoin and gold before the United States debt situation hits the fan.

1 TRILLION DOLLARS in additional US Govt debt PER YEAR!

US spending is funded by lenders who will never get paid. US Empire will collapse followed by a world wide economic collapse. https://t.co/kdtB0GnewP

Shift your USD into Gold & Bitcoin asap before USD becomes toilet paper. https://t.co/a5UIuhJvUT

— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) August 9, 2018

Currently, the United States debt, provided by Treasury Direct, sits at a mind-boggling USD 21.342 trillion. This is a new all-time record.

To put this in perspective, Bitcoin’s market cap is USD 109 billion and the total cryptocurrency market cap is USD 214 billion, 0.5% and 1% the size of the United States national debt respectively. The cryptocurrency markets are a massive economic zone, it certainly does not make sense that the United States has a hundred times more debt than the total crypto market cap.

Essentially, the United States has been spending far more money than it actually has and prints money to compensate for the constant budget deficit. This is primarily done by issuing debt via selling USD bonds on the global market, which are considered the gold standard of the bond world, so they are bought up quickly despite the United States issuing tremendous amounts of bonds all the time. It’s getting even worse according to Kim Dotcom, the budget deficit is now over USD 1 trillion per year.

At some point in the future, if this is not resolved, the US will reach a point where it cannot afford to pay the interest on all of this debt. At that point, USD bonds will go from being the gold standard to being in default. These bonds are being held by numerous nations, corporations, and individuals worldwide, and if they were to default, it would cause an economic catastrophe. This would lead to massive money printing as a last attempt to save the economy, resulting in hyperinflation that will destroy the USD.

To be fair, it is possible that before this happens a government will arise in the United States that will take the hard steps necessary to balance the budget. It might truly be too late, however, as the economy is being propped up by the issuance of debt, and it’s quite possible that if the budget were balanced the economy would spiral into a deep recession from the lack of government stimulus, leading to further debt issuance and money printing.

This is where Bitcoin comes in. Bitcoin is a decentralized cryptographically secure cryptocurrency that can’t be printed at will. There is a fixed total of 21 million Bitcoins after mining is complete and Bitcoin is easy to use as a currency worldwide. If the USD collapses, Bitcoin will be in a position to become a top global currency. At that point, each Bitcoin would be immensely valuable and the current Bitcoin price just over USD 6,000 could be an excellent opportunity to buy.

Based on this simple economic logic pertaining to the United States debt situation, it seems Kim Dotcom has a point with his warning. People who buy and save some Bitcoin now could be the wealthiest ones in the future.

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Facebook to Launch Its Own Cryptocurrency?

Leading social media site Facebook, which has billions of users, may be on the path to launch its own cryptocurrency, indicates the recent tidings.

Earlier this year, Facebook created a blockchain research team led by David Marcus, with a goal of leveraging blockchain technology, and possibly cryptocurrency, across its social network platform. David Marcus is well known for taking Facebook Messenger from a relatively small app to one of the most widely used chat apps in the world. Also, David Marcus has deep ties in the cryptocurrency world, he was on the Coinbase Board of Directors. Coinbase is the largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in the United States.

Now David Marcus has stepped down from the Coinbase Board of Directors. One astute Twitter commenter, Gagan Jain, said “This is like Eric Schmidt stepping down from Apple’s board prior to Android’s launch”. Indeed, stepping down from Coinbase’s Board of Directors ensures no conflict of interest if Facebook launches their own cryptocurrency. Now Coinbase can add Facebook’s cryptocurrency when it launches, massively increasing the spread of Facebook’s cryptocurrency.

Further, according to anonymous sources, Facebook’s blockchain research team has met with Stellar to discuss about forking the Stellar blockchain to create the Facebook cryptocurrency, similar to how the Kik messaging app forked Stellar to create the Kin crypto tokens. These anonymous sources say Facebook’s blockchain research team has also met with other cryptocurrency projects.

Stellar would be the best choice for a social cryptocurrency, since Stellar has extremely low fees, far less than 0.1 penny per transaction, allowing for micropayments. Stellar is highly scalable, so Lumen or any cryptocurrency based on Stellar can handle tremendous amounts of transactions without a significant rise in fees. Therefore, Stellar based cryptocurrencies are excellent for micropayments, which is preferred on social media. People can send each other 1 penny of FacebookCoin, or whatever it will be called, without losing any to fees.

Due to the huge user base of Facebook, numbering over 1 billion, a Facebook cryptocurrency would become extremely popular and has the potential to become one of the top cryptocurrencies quickly. Perhaps the social media giant has finally decided to launch a cryptocurrency after its stock market cap declined USD 100 billion in one night recently, motivating them to try and make money in any way possible rather than ignore cryptocurrency. Launching a Facebook cryptocurrency would easily and quickly bring billions of dollars of profits to Facebook, something they need after the large hit to their stock.

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Bitcoin Comes with Advantages Says Brazilian Presidential Candidate

Brazilian presidential candidate for the upcoming October elections in that country João Amoêdo has recently expressed pro Bitcoin views.

Amoêdo’s Brazil New Party aims for the privatization of public enterprises like Petrobras, Central Bank of Brazil and Banco do Brasil. Although the party supports welfare programs like Bolsa Família, it aims to privatize the public health system and public education. The state would give vouchers for health and education to people who couldn’t afford it, according to Wikipedia.

In terms of the country’s financial system, the party opposes extensive regulation in many aspects of Brazilian society. They believe the central bank should be independent of the state. When asked about cryptocurrency, Amoêdo said that Bitcoin comes with “advantages.” On the development of blockchain in Brazil, he was particularly upbeat about its place in the country’s economy.

“I see the blockchain as a protocol that increases the reliability and integrity of the data. There are obvious applications, such as for interbank transfers or to register as a notary. Another, not so commented, is to use the blockchain to follow the productive chain of products…. We could follow every step of the production chain of a product, ensuring less bureaucracy and more intelligence.”

When quizzed whether he thought that Cryptocurrency’s had a role in a new Brazil and whether it might be used as legal tender, he responded:

“As a means of payment, I see no doubts that bitcoin can be understood as a legal payment method. If both parties want to exchange a product via bitcoin… I do not see any legal barriers to doing so” adding:

“I do not think they are a threat to the traditional banking system. I see advantages in providing another means of payment for consumers,”

With a population of nearly 200 million and the largest economy in Latin America, Brazil is a significant economic force, and an increase in the adoption of cryptocurrency use would certainly have an impact under a liberal government, which on the whole tend to be more favorable towards crypto. It’s hard to say what stance Amoêdo would take regarding the sector if he becomes the new Brazilian president in October.  Like any other politician, he would want to be seen as a staunch supporter of the country’s national currency, the real, which is tightly pegged to the US dollar. On this he commented:

“But it must be clear that the country has only one national currency, one that has a legal course, that is, the one that people are obliged to accept, the real. No other currency, including the dollar, has this characteristic. Only the real. In addition, there are restrictions on the use of the dollar for payments and as a currency of account, which are the same for any other foreign currency, including crypto-coins.”

He suggests that governments must be made aware of the public’s assets held on-line as the internet shouldn’t become a “tax haven.”

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North America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 3rd to 9th August 2018

North America

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

USA

Rich Dad, Poor Dad author believes crypto is the future as fiat will crash: Popular author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad Robert Kiyosaki has said that there is a fiat crisis in the making and cryptocurrency will soon become the sole solution to a US dollar bubble that will cause a big financial crisis.

The book, written in 1997, outlines the importance of financial literacy and independence through assets investment, real estate investment and entrepreneurship. The critically-acclaimed author now believes that the US dollar is on its last legs when it comes to long-term financial scenario and its after-effects will be bigger than the 2000 dot.com crash and the real estate crash of 2008. Cryptocurrencies offer a respite because of their higher transparency.

SEC postpones decision on Bitcoin ETFs causing massive price tank: Cryptocurrency prices took a major hit when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) postponed any announcements on Bitcoin ETFs till 30 September this year.

The most popular cryptocurrency in the world dropped from a three-month high of USD 8,400 to USD 6,200 in a matter of two days when the SEC announced a 92-page rejection letter for the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF that uses Bitcoin in reserves of cash. The announcement showed that the future of Bitcoin ETFs is rather bleak in the country thus resulting in a selling spree by the investors who had obviously bet on other outcomes.

Texas mining facility starts US expansion drive by Bitmain: Bitmain, the largest Bitcoin ASIC manufacturer, has announced further US expansion drive with Texas selected as the next location for its mining facility.

Rockdale, Texas will benefit from FDI of over USD 500 million in the next seven years from Bitmain with plans of launching mining operations as early as 2019. The investment will also create job opportunities for 400 more people in the Texas blockchain data center as well.

Goldman Sachs custodial expected in near future: Rumors regarding some of the largest Wall Street banks and their experiments with cryptocurrencies are abuzz as an unconfirmed story regarding Goldman Sachs states that the group is considering crypto custody for the benefit of its clients.

The change in approach by the bank which was anti-crypto a while ago shows the effects of change of leadership with new head David Solomon. His target is to evolve the business and adapt to the environment, something that is not normally associated with a large, conventional fiat bank.

Congressman Bob Goodlatte is first to declare crypto holdings: US congressman from Virginia’s sixth congressional district Bob Goodlatte is the first to declare crypto holdings.

Goodlatte, who currently is the chair of House Judiciary committee, made this disclosure back on 10 May but was only investigated recently. The congressman holds USD 50,000 worth of BTC in addition to having smaller BCH and ETH holdings of USD 1,000 and USD 15,000 each.

The reason for the disclosure was a result of Congressional Blockchain Legal Advisory’s request to all employees of the executive branch to declare cryptocurrency holdings.

US military servicemen to vote with blockchain app: US overseas military personnel will have the option to vote for their candidate in various elections with the help of a new blockchain app.

The move comes after the US government is making amends for crippling attacks allegedly done by Russian hackers on the election network in the country. With the help of blockchain technology, the election office of the US hopes to increase transparency and security in the process.

Canada

Mining project threatening Canada’s carbon-neutral electricity generation: Canada may have to forgo its carbon-neutral power generation policy in the face of countless numbers of mining companies setting up shop in the country.

Cryptocurrency mining is an extremely resource intensive process and often relies on low electricity prices. The abundance of local hydro power generating units meant that Canada felt confident while inviting mining companies but once the situation went out of control, the government sought other means of electricity generation that could include processes with higher emissions.

Electricity providers like HydroQuebec are fighting back and rationing the electricity usage of miners.

Mexico

Central bank issuing new rules for crypto exchanges: The Bank of Mexico is setting new rules for cryptocurrency exchanges and traders in the country according to a two-page document released by the governing bank.

The new regulation asks financial institutions to stop using regular bank accounts for cryptocurrency exchanges. The move comes in the backdrop of a few serious cyber attacks in cryptocurrency exchanges in the country including a latest one that resulted in 500,00 users being hacked.

 

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South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup, 3rd to 9th August 2018

South America

Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.

Argentina

G20 crypto regulations in Argentina could spell blockchain revolution: The crypto regulations being devised by G20 countries after a meeting in March in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires could mean serious development for the blockchain space.

The G20 study group has since engaged in intensive studies to know more about Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and other fintech innovations introduced in the blockchain space. The main purpose of the study is to devise regulations that will ensure transparency of the new space and not stifle the innovation and economic growth resulting from blockchain development.

Argentina is already one of the most progressive places in the world when it comes to blockchain technology and is looking to adopt common-sense regulations that will help the rapidly expanding industry.

Venezuela

Government aims to finance villas for homeless with Petro: Venezuelan authorities are looking to counter ways to end the homeless epidemic in the country with the help of its national cryptocurrency, the Petro, according to latest reports.

While the Petro has found limited success outside the country, President Nicholas Maduro’s government is promoting it restlessly and is determined to implement it within the country. It is also planning to merge it with the local Bolivar fiat currency, something that hasn’t been done anywhere else in the world.

According to Telesur news outlet, the villas for the homeless will be built under the La Gran Mision Venezuela Housing Project and it offers a decent, cost-effective solution to the deserving families. It is yet to be seen how the cryptocurrency will be used to pay the contractors and laborers as it is still in its infancy.

JP Morgan CEO advises Venezuelans against HODL Bitcoin to avoid inflation: In an unsurprising move, the CEO of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon, has advised the Venezuelan people not to hodl Bitcoin in an effort to avoid the effects of hyperinflation. He had previously called Bitcoin a “scam” and said that he had no “interest in it”, according to a Bloomberg publication on 5 August.

Now a part of the reason behind the critique of the biggest cryptocurrency in the world is its volatility. While Bitcoin price tanked recently, resulting in huge losses for investors, in Venezuela, mathematically, the currency can still protect them from hyperinflation, which is around 18,000% at this time.

Coinbase transfers halted in Venezuela: Several Coinbase users reported that they had lost the ability to withdraw or send cryptocurrencies from their accounts, prompting debates whether this was a result of the latest round of US sanctions on the embattled country.

Disabling transfer of cryptocurrencies would mean that Coinbase is being forced to comply with the Trump administration’s latest ban on trading Venezuelan assets.

Brazil

200,000 routers hacked in Brazil in latest cryptojacking episode: Around 200,000 routers were reportedly hacked by illegal miners to mine XMR cryptocurrency.

The hack especially targeted MikroTik routers that are popular in the country, using them to create a massive botnet network for mining purposes. A patch for this vulnerability was issued by the manufacturers back in April but many of the non-updated devices were still present and this caused a vulnerability in their connectivity that was preyed upon by the hackers.

All MicroTik users are advised to get the latest patch from the company to avoid such cryptojacking episodes in the future.

Bitcoin can become legal form of payment, says Brazilian presidential candidate: A candidate for Presidency João Amoêdo has said that Bitcoin can eventually be considered as a legal form of payment in the South American country.

Amoêdo is the candidate of the Partido NOVO or The New Party that is running on a platform of fintech revolution and integration of blockchain for better governance in the country. In a recent interview with The Bitcoin Portal, Amoêdo outlined his vision for blockchain development in the country.

Peru

Cryptocurrency trading showing positive development in Peru: Peru is joining the rest of the South American countries by showing positive growth in crypto trading volumes according to figures released by Localbitcoins.com.

An increase of up to 50% was witnessed in the trading volume, with transactions up to BTC 106 being carried out in the country despite the presence of an extremely bearish market. Latin America is often touted as a crypto-friendly destination in the world.

 

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Yale Research: Minimum 6% Bitcoin for Investment Portfolios

Yale University has published a study recommending investment portfolios be made up of at least 6% Bitcoin.

The research paper, published by economics professor Aleh Tsyvinski and entitled ‘Risks and Returns of Cryptocurrencies’, acknowledges that not everybody may be a huge believer in Bitcoin. For those less crypto-enthusiastic, he recommends holding just 4%. Even the biggest Bitcoin skeptics would benefit from 1% in holdings merely for diversification purposes.

Bitcoin, Ripple, and Ethereum are marked in the paper as distinctly different from alternative investment opportunities such as stocks and precious metals as they have no exposure to macroeconomic factors, nor to most common stock market pressures. Tsyvinski employs the Sharpe Ratio to argue that despite high rates of volatility among the cryptocurrencies studied, they offer higher rates of returns than these traditional investment tools.

Returns from cryptocurrency investments are also described as independent of that of currencies and commodities in that they are specific to factors of the cryptocurrency market. The study reads: ”Specifically, we determine that there is a strong time-series momentum effect and that proxies for investor attention strongly forecast cryptocurrency returns.”

The paper comes to finish with an index of exposures to cryptocurrencies including 345 US-based industries and 137 in China.

What do his academic colleagues say?

Tsyvinski’s colleague at Arizona State University, Professor Dragan Boscovic, shares a similar sentiment when it comes to cryptocurrency investing. In June this year, Boscovic spoke out on the increasingly popular decision for institutional investors to enter the market.

The more this happens, the more Boscovic believes this will encourage consumers and merchants to take up cryptocurrency payment methods.

Not everybody in the space shares similar positive sentiments regarding crypto investments, however. Nobel Prize Winner Robert Shiller expressed his dismay at Bitcoin’s popularity in May, lambasting it as a failed experiment spawned from ”faddish human behavior”, noting that it resembles some of the biggest failed currency experiments seen in history.

 

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