Category Archives: CNBC

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Blockchain a ‘Good Thing’, Says Bill Gates

Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates revealed to CNBC recently that, although he owns no Bitcoin, he does recognize the value of the digital currency’s underlying technology, blockchain.

He maintained in an interview with CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’ on Monday, “There’s some really good technology in terms of sharing databases and verifying transactions that is talked about as blockchain, that is a good thing.”

Gates, the world’s third wealthiest man, as well as being a business magnate, is now well established as both a humanitarian and a philanthropist. In 2015, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave a grant of USD 100,000 to blockchain company Bitsoko. The cross-border payment foundation integrates blockchain technology into its mobile money platform in Africa allowing funds to be sent from the developed world through Bitcoin to be received as mobile money. Last year, Bitsoko partnered with Ripple to develop mobile payment technologies for low-income users.

Although the Microsoft principal founder has cooled to Bitcoin in recent years, there was a time he would express more upbeat remarks.  In 2014, he commented to Bloomberg that: “Bitcoin is better than currency in that you don’t have to be physically in the same place and, of course, for large transactions, currency can get pretty inconvenient.”

In the CNBC program, Gates predicted a negative forecast for cryptocurrency, as he sees them lacking in intrinsic value, calling Bitcoin “one of the crazier speculative things” and expressing concerns about illegal activities surrounding digital currency. He complimented the SEC on its regulation:

“The government’s ability to find money laundering and tax evasion and terrorist funding is a good thing… Right now, cryptocurrencies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs, so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way.”

Bill Gates appears to have moved considerably away from cryptocurrencies since his comments made at the Sibos 2014 financial-services industry conference in Boston, when he said in his keynote address that financial transactions in the future would “be digital, universal and almost free”.

 

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Legal Pathway for ICOs Sought by US Regulators

According to Robert Jackson, a commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a solution is needed to facilitate the launching of ICOs within current US securities law.

Speaking to CNBC’s Squawk Box on Monday, Jackson voiced current SEC concerns regarding the need to address ICO fraud, but suggested a legal method for raising cryptocurrency funds might be possible:

“Investors are having a hard time telling the difference between investments and fraud. Down the road, I think we will be thinking about ways to make those investments work consistent with our securities laws.”

There have been other positive voices coming from the SEC in the last few weeks. Recently, Republican Minnesota Representative Tom Emmer at an SEC Division of Corporation Finance meeting suggested that much of the furor over crypto fraud was exaggerated. He argued that regulators assumptions that decentralized networks were only used for fraud and crime, bore parallels to early explorers’ assumptions about Earth.

The US has no desire to follow in China’s footsteps by banning ICOs, but among regulatory bodies such as the SEC, there are clearly ongoing concerns over the protection of consumers, given events of the past few years.

“If you want to know what our markets would look like with no securities regulation, what it would look like if the SEC didn’t do its job? The answer is the ICO market,” Jackson said.

Although the SEC considers most ICOs as securities, and despite several warnings being issued to crypto startups for non-compliance with current rules, there is more than a suggestion of pragmatism in dealing with the issue.

Last month, SEC division head William Hinman suggested that the SEC was “meeting with participants that have these ideas of a token that shouldn’t be regulated as a security” and said that he was working with them on how they should be structured. He pointed out that the US wanted to be pragmatic in support of new technology.

In March, the SEC announced that crypto exchanges which provide ICO token trading solutions had to register with the regulator.

image source https://pixabay.com/en/startup-wall-painter-house-painter-2850272/  geralt

 

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CNBC Fast Money’s Brian Kelly Will Still “Wanna Buy” Bitcoin at $20K

Brian Kelly, CEO of BKCM and CNBC’s Fast Money, has compared Bitcoin to Microsoft and Cisco in the late 1980s. Likening it to the internet, he pointed out that Bitcoin was not a company, but a public open source software, which was still in the very early stages.

Kelly went on to talk about the recent drop in Bitcoin markets, calling the bottom after it had seen some decent gains. He said, “So I think this is for real, we’ll know after April 17th if we can hold these gains, we’ll know how much of this tax selling impacted, if we use Tom Lee’s work we probably had 500 to 600 billion come off the market for tax selling purposes.”

When asked about the potential in the open source software that is Bitcoin, he stated that he used to think of it as the internet in 1995 but now has a better comparison in that it was the Internet in the late 1980s, being very early stages.

When put forward that Bitcoin was just “one big virus” and that the tech would never breach a new all-time high, Kelly responded, “When it’s USD 20,000 I wanna buy it.”

The #Bitcoin bulls are back in town! And @BKBrianKelly is watching one thing next week that could send the cryptocurrency higher pic.twitter.com/QRbN52XNDq

— CNBC’s Fast Money (@CNBCFastMoney) April 13, 2018

The analyst also backs Tim Draper’s 2022 price prediction of USD 250,000 USD, saying, “This is parabolic, but it would be a continuation of the trend that we’ve seen.”

Brian went on to talk about the use of Bitcoin as a currency and the damping down of the volatility, personally predicting its price to reach USD 25,000 before the end of the year should the network see a boost in transaction volume.

 

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