Category Archives: digital currency

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Yahoo! Japan to Launch Crypto Exchange

Yahoo! Japan has acquired 40% of the already well-established local exchange BitARG, hoping to open a full-scale exchange operation within 12 months.

All set to roll out in April 2019, the new exchange will be built upon the BitARG system. Yahoo! Japan is set to make additional purchases in BitARG, which will register with the Financial Service Agency (FSA), early 2019.

Yahoo! Japan made the purchase through Tokyo’s YJFX, a foreign exchange transaction subsidiary that operates foreign exchange transactions services. Its cost has been reported to be JPY 2 billion (USD 19 million) for a 40% stake in BitARG. Newly-issued stock has been purchased to cover any outstanding shares.

YJFX has already planned the next stage of this business execution, sending executives and engineers to be dispatched to BitARG, where they will look in depth into the systems and administration over the next 12 months till the official platform is launched.

A statement published by the FSA on Friday suggested Binance was being held under the microscope and was about to receive an official warning, given its lack of registration with the FSA.

Zhao Changpeng, Binance CEO stated: “No need to worry. Some negative news often turns out to be positive in the long term. Chinese have a proverb for this. New (often better) opportunities always emerge during times of change.”

This latest developmentcould give the community a clearer outlook on the future of cryptocurrency, but could as easily be the pullback before the market moves forward. The speculation is that imposing regulations could present opportunities for big conglomerates to buy in at low prices before a parabolic rise within the ecosystem.

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What The US Tariffs On China Could Mean For Cryptocurrencies

The US market suffered significant losses on Thursday after President Trump announced extensive new trade tariffs on China. As Trump stokes the possibility of a trade war between the two countries, this presents the opportunity for wide-scale adoption of cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange.

In the realm of finance, speculation is everything and uncertainty is the adversary. The tariffs enacted by the US could cost Chinese exports over USD 50 billion per year, and it is unlikely the Chinese government will not take action in retaliation. The Dow Jones has already plummeted over 700 points since the announcement, while the impending response from China is likely to agitate international markets further. Late Thursday, China’s embassy in Washington released a statement, saying “China’s not afraid of, and will not recoil from a trade war.”

The tariffs have been designed to tackle the supposed undercutting of US labor by China. While this provides a valid resolution to the issue in theory, often tariffs unintentionally lead to suffering in other areas of the economy. US economists have reported it is the likely the American consumer that will bear the costs.

Might an unstable dollar make cryptocurrency attractive?

When the effects are felt, speculation suggests the US economy will deteriorate, resulting in the weakening of the USD. When a fiat currency experience unstable conditions, a popular option is to store wealth in alternative areas, such as cryptocurrencies. Individuals and businesses alike may turn to the use of cryptocurrencies to avoid the volatile conditions of the US market.

Considering the extensive levels of international trade that the US conducts, this could bring an entirely new market of cryptocurrency users on a global scale. It is likely that once cryptocurrencies are adopted by users, the significant benefits attached to using them will encourage them not to return to fiat currency.

Additionally, transactions made with cryptocurrencies are not subject to any tariff levies, although indeed the legality of these cryptocurrency exchanges might come into question.

There are factors that could hinder the successful widespread adoption of cryptocurrency, however. Depending on the severity of the effects of the trade war, a sustained bear market could be triggered. This could lead to a lack of liquid investment funds to inject into the cryptocurrency market, bringing it into a similar situation as the potential bear market of the US economy.

Some cryptocurrency pundits make the argument that as financial market fears increase, the price of Bitcoin will decrease and vice versa.

Whatever the results of the potential trade war, it will be interesting to keep a close watch on the reaction of the cryptocurrency market to the turbulence of such two prominent fiat currencies.



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G20 Summit: No Global Regulation in Sight As Buenos Aires Bullish on Bitcoin

The G20 summit is well underway in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with financial leaders seemingly staying their hand on specific regulatory actions and a healthy rebound in the crypto market indicating that traders are viewing this development positively.

Financial leaders from across the world have yet to come to agreement on whether or not policies are the right thing to impose on the market right now. The G20 leaders have stated that cryptocurrency is not likely to see any global regulations any time soon.

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney made comments on the eve of the summit, stating that cryptocurrencies were not a pressing issue. Carney, who also holds the position as chairman of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), drew light on the fact that virtual assets counted for less than 1% of the global economic output at the late-2017 all-time highs.

Carney stated:

“As its work to fix the fault lines that caused the financial crisis draws to a close, the FSB is increasingly pivoting away from the design of new policy initiatives towards dynamic implementation and rigorous evaluation of the effects of the agreed G20 reforms.”

Carney also put forward the idea that, instead of regulations on cryptocurrencies, the financial system should adapt and adopt. He suggested a mutual understanding between financial leaders to prevent illicit behavior throughout the market, reducing the risk for investors, traders and big business conglomerates:

“Crypto-assets raise a host of issues around consumer and investor protection.”

Brazil not so confident

Following a recent publication in the Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo, Brazillian Central Bank President Ilan Goldfajn commented that this is a crucial time for blockchain technologies, where cryptocurrencies are still highly volatile and need to be a safe and legitimate store of value.

Goldfajn went on to say that he thought of cryptocurrencies as a store value, a crypto-asset rather than a modern-day currency: “ I don’t refer to them as money because money has to have stability in its value and be able to facilitate payments.

He did go on to state that Brazil and fellow countries were for blockchain technology adoption, but wanted to see it regulated and made secure, reiterating warnings that the technology could be used for disastrous misconduct worldwide.

Market rebound

After these announcements, the market responded accordingly

Ethereum gained a little traction, its price rising over USD 60 in under one hour. Bullish Bitcoin saw an equal spike, with its current price rising over USD 800 in the same hour, a 25% increase from its latest fall. Bitcoin looks to be breaking away from the current bear market and is likely to soon test the USD 9,000 target.

As Bitcoin trading volume has stayed at the monthly medium of around USD 6 billion, concerns remain, but any rise in trading volume will mean that Bitcoin is backed by strong hands.

















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Peter Thiel States Bitcoin Will Be the Online Equivalent to Gold

Paypal co-founder and billionaire investor Peter Thiel sees Bitcoin as the online equivalent to gold, betting on Bitcoin and arguing that a quest to amass a great deal of money is the bubble that never pops. Thiel holds Bitcoin as a haven for its stores on monetary assets.

Thiel has decades’ worth of strategic and smart investments, as co-founder of PayPal and one of the first investors in Facebook. He backs the idea that Bitcoin will become a store of value instead of a currency used for an online transaction:

“I’m not talking about a new payments system. It’s like bars of gold in a vault that never move, and it’s a sort of hedge of sorts against the whole world going falling apart.”

If the market sees further consolidation, Bitcoin price could drop a further 25% from February highs, although technical analysis traders have mixed opinions on the matter.

Thiel’s investments could be more than what meets the eye and he could be more bullish on the currency than he lets on. In January 2018, Founders Fund, of which Thiel is the co-founder, recently purchased between USD 15 million to 20 million worth of Bitcoin across several of its funds.

Thiel’s comments could help the market, with the price slowly climbing back up from a fall below USD 7,682. Thiel also struck a bullish tone on Bitcoin against altcoins,suggesting that the most substantial cryptocurrency by market capitalization will maintain its position.

Nevertheless, his sentiments did not express complete confidence. Thiel speculated that there is a 50 to 80 % chance that Bitcoin would have no value in the future.



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The Three Pillars of Tokenomics

The cryptocurrency ecosystem has been expanding exponentially, bringing together a simple world of currencies with a modern-day blockchain philosophy. A spin-off from the late 1980’s initial public offering (IPO) instrument for the stock market, the initial coin offering (ICO) has taken the space by storm.

Already a prolific means of investment, the ICO spectrum has marked a new wave of asset classes such as the ERC-20 token, utility tokens built on the Ethereum blockchain that offer a purpose, not a monetary value asset. These often represent a business or an organization or project.

During an ICO, a business will create a specific token that can be bought with other cryptocurrencies, enabling the user to capitalize straight away on whichever new project they choose, and from that, the capital is then spread back into the project.

Using an ICO eliminates the need for venture capital investments and establishes a direct relationship between the user and the project. In the case of most serious projects, they even hold a private sale and receive traditional seed funding prior to the ICO.

What is tokenomics?

Tokenomics is defined as the first and most straightforward self-funding ecosystem for projects within the blockchain space.

The ICO frenzy has been catching the attention of the mainstream media and the general public and has taken a giant leap in the scale of obtaining the funding for a project in the blockchain space. The most significant token event to date is the Telegram Open Network (TON) ICO, aiming to raise an enormous USD 2.5 billion over the course of three fundraising rounds.

Goldman Sachs issued a report that token sales have blacked out venture capital as the primary source of funding for early-stage tech companies.

Functionality of Tokens

Financial regulators have been relatively permissive. They have opted for a less restrictive form of self-governance, watching out for fraudulent behavior and flagrant violations securities laws.

The SEC is set to crack down, looking at the spectrum as a whole. For now, if it is a security, a token will have to register with the SEC; if it is a utility token, then the SEC won’t touch it.

If a token does not qualify as a security and operates under the full compliance of SEC regulations, a token has a tendency to be looked at as a utility token, a token designed through function. A token understood as a security is a financial instrument that mirrors the traditional securities found within the economy.

The tokenomics model is to correlate a monetary share in a company based on a digital token, where the investor hopes to gain capital based on the company’s performance. Adopting the best standards from the relevant regulatory body, it is not uncommon for ICOs to ignore them.

Token Economy

The ERC-20 token has been the industry standard for ICOs to use, although this does not mean it is the only token to provide these kinds of functions. The ethos in the market space is that cryptocurrencies symbolize programmable money, the ability for a token to do whatever is programmed to do while continuing to do it without fail for as long as the network is active.

The crypto economy has been built on the industry backbone of Bitcoin as a means of cutting out the third party, transferring value, creating and implementing the decentralization revolution. As an instrument of self-funding, the final definition of tokenomics is open; it is a set of all economic activity that has gradually gained traction through the creation of tokens using the ICO model to raise funds.

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Overstock shares drop and doubts deepen due to SEC crypto probe

Overstock business shares have taken a beating, plummetting 16% because of a disclosed U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) probe in its initial coin offering (ICO). Inc. may be concerned at the drop but this was a golden opportunity for short sellers to capitalize, having bet against the online retailer prior to its earnings reports.

Nearly 45% of the online retailer’s shares available to trade are currently held by short sellers. Overstock attracted an increasing number of this type of investor after releasing detailed plans focused on a digital token exchange. According to financial analytics firm S3 partners, that is up from 13% at the beginning of September.

According to advisors at tZero, the blockchain subsidiary heading Overstock’s ICO:

“The investigation could result in a delay of the tZero security token offering, negative publicity for tZero or us, and may have a material adverse effect on us or on the current and future business ventures of tZero.”

On 1 March, the SEC probe was initially disclosed as a response to a request the information to be given voluntarily. This involved anything related to the plan to offer tZero tokens. Since then the stocks plummeted and lost a quarter of its value.

CEO Patrick Byrne made a statement referring to the company’s competitors: “We have already turned on the jets, and will demonstrate this year that our growth engine is far more efficient.”

He also gained attention on Thursday when he announced a “classic internet” model of growth he pledged to pursue. Overstock reported revenues of $456 million in the past fourth quarter, a drop of 13% to the same period last year.

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Blockchain technologies fueling video games and consoles that can create profit for players

PlayTable from Blok.Party is the world’s first Blockchain gaming console that looks close to an all-in-one tabletop gaming console with the capacity to play a diverse array of video games on its system.

It’s an Android touchscreen console, powered by the Ethereum blockchain and utilizes the toys-to-life genre to significant effect.

Toys-to-life is a genre where players use real-life figurines to do battle (see Skylanders or Disney Infinity). PlayTable combines this with traditional tabletop games such as Magic the Gathering to create an interactive gaming system that boasts the potential to have profitable returns for the player.

The radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags on the bottom of the figurines have unique identifiers which are tracked via the Blockchain.

Using the transparent public ledger, a digital collectable can be tracked across different platforms and will not require a third-party server to authenticate the ownership. Players could quite easily create a new chip, invalidate the old one and ship it worldwide;  in effect, players can now buy and sell high-level or valuable RFID-equipped figurines.

Another exciting application of the Ethereum blockchain is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) called Ethercraft. It’s a game in which players make their way through dungeons, slaying enemies, gathering loot and crafting items.

The twist is that players can trade items with other users or sell them for real-world Ethereum (ETH). Interestingly the in-game gold currency is an ERC20 token itself (XGP), its value is tied to that of ETH and can be earnt completing challenges and in-game objectives; XGP can be exchanged for ETH at any time using the Ethercraft Smart Contract, which is a pretty nifty feature.

Monetizing the Video Game experience has primarily been a benefit passed to developers and publishers; the industry is raking in staggering market revenue figures across all available platforms, but it seems that gamers are spending more money than ever on games and aren’t quite getting much in return.

Players on PC and Mobile platforms are spending heavily on in-game content that come in either physical and digital forms. Whether you’re playing a game you’ve already paid for, or one that is Free-To-Play, you can now purchase weapons, character skins, in-game currency, perishable items and so on.

Blockchain technologies are perhaps going to bring an end to the money vacuum that modern players are being suckered into. Unique resilient economies within a platform or a game could generate new creative innovations that further the rewards the players and enhances the gaming experience beyond that of just financial gains, but create a new sense of consumer ownership over their products, be they physical or digital.




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Single-purpose cryptocurrencies have a problem

Let’s face it. There’s a slight problem with cryptocurrencies and no, it’s not the issue of regulation. And no, it’s probably not the volatile markets or any other buzzwords or catchphrases you can think of.

Spoilt for choice?

It comes down to the eye-watering amount of pending and existing cryptocurrencies. has, at present, 1,565 coins and tokens listed; it’s a mind-bogglingly large number of cryptocurrencies and, to an outsider, it doesn’t quite make sense.

Cryptocurrencies are viewed as these odd digital credits that you can purchase for real money and well, that’s about it.

Unless you’ve painstakingly spent the time searching around for places and businesses in which you can go to spend your cryptocurrencies, then you’re likely nonplussed about the whole Bitcoin boom. And if you have taken it upon yourself to search for a place, you’ll come up with a few traders and merchants that accept Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH) or any of the ‘big coins’ in the business.

Or too many cooks?

Then there is the second part of this issue. It comes in the form of a question and be prepared to think about this one. When there are 180 UN-approved currencies in the world, what good is it to have 1,565 coins?

The logical conclusion would be that the majority of these coins are entirely redundant, but that just isn’t the case.

A staggeringly large number of coins are utility tokens that solely function within an internal economy on their native platform, and this also is by no means is a particularly healthy situation for the industry at large.

Imagine that, to access your Google Drive Cloud storage you had to pay with a cryptocurrency to do so. Every single time you acted within its cloud storage platform it would be ‘fuelled’ or ‘funded’ by a coin designed explicitly to do so.

Well, you have all your cloud-storage tokens, now how about some Starbucks tokens to get your coffee? Do you have enough Apple tokens to make purchases through the App store or have you not converted enough of those tokens from the tokens you use to pay your rent?

Notice anything odd with the above?

Cryptocurrencies by their hundreds tackle niches within industries, offer solutions to some particularly fringe topics which may excite the novice or veteran traders who know how to navigate the markets profitably.

But to assume that the everyday cryptocurrency users will happily and continuously go through the process of converting their primary coins such as BTC or ETH to gain access to things that regular currency can buy? It just doesn’t seem logical and will stifle the blockchain industries’ efforts to get adopted en masse globally.

The single-use tokens that exist will have to shorten out at some point if there is to be any hope for the industry to have an easily accessible, widely available and uncomplicated future for its consumers. To the average onlooker, it’s safe to say that less is more.

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Blockchain For the Future, A Brave New World

The future of all technology is in sight, the blockchain revolution, artificial intelligence and quantum computing. Anybody watching this space knows that it is growing at an exponential rate. The boundaries of technology are being pushed on a daily basis. Token generation events are going live on a regular basis. What is it about these technologies that catches the eye of the everyday user? Is it decentralization, transparency, anonymity or is it all just a big bubble that’s about to burst?

A Decentralized Future

An immutable fact about blockchain is that it is entirely transparent, with nearly all blockchain projects being open source, enabling any developer to modify or add sections of code to the project. Altering logged data throughout a blockchain is virtually impossible. Everything is traceable, with countless amounts of eyes prying on the space at any one time. It gives complete trust back to the everyday user.

Some projects look to enhance anonymity, not entirely possible with a blockchain open ledger. Although an address is linked to one person, that person’s identity remains unknown, except with sophisticated blockchain forensics following the transaction trail. A variety of blockchain projects have opted to have multiple ledgers, public and private ledger options. Could this be a defiance of the point of decentralized and transparent space?

“Privacy is not something that I’m merely entitled to, it’s an absolute prerequisite.”

Marlon Brando –

Specific modern-day problems arise with complete anonymity and a lot could be said for being able to transfer a large number of funds from point A to point B without transparency. Does society need to establish a firm base on the moral standing of this matter? After all, nobody wants to see blockchain technology fund terrorism, money laundering or trafficking.

Secrecy is the linchpin of abuse of power… its enabling force. Transparency is the only real antidote.  

Glenn Greenwald –

Decentralization plays an integral part of blockchain technology, with no central data hub in use. The blockchain uses predetermined variables to manage each transaction. The blockchain runs these through nodes (people’s computers) which are all connected via the internet. Eliminating the central data hub could, of course, cause mayhem for central banks and big tech giants if this technology is to see global adoption.

Quantum Problems

Will artificial intelligence and quantum computing help restore order, will they enable a new era of blockchain technology? Or will quantum computing render blockchain technology completely useless? There is already a quantum computing blockchain project in the works. Who knows what will come with quantum resistance, and whether it will enable or disable.

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Marco Santori – Bitcoin Law In The U.S., Part I

Marco Santori – Bitcoin Law In The U.S., Part I:

Marco Santori, Chairman of Bitcoin Foundation (@BTCFoundation)’s Regulatory Affairs Committee, gives a basic primer on the state of US law as it applies to digital currency entrepreneurs.  Excerpts of the post on Coindesk:

If the last few months have taught us anything, it is that there will soon exist a new and evolving body of law: The Law of Digital Currency, or, as some would prefer it: Bitcoin Law.”

”[…] ‘virtual currency’ is something of a loaded term, and bitcoin may not even be best described as a currency at all.”

“[In addition to regulators FinCEN and the SEC, the] consensus among legal professionals is that two more government agencies might soon have a hand in the market as well: the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).”

“Some have called [FinCEN’s issuance of guidance] bitcoin’s ‘watershed moment’ because of its clear, unequivocal positive message: bitcoin is not illegal. The negative consequence, though, was just as obvious: Many bitcoin businesses models are illegal.”

“In effect, the [Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)] deputizes financial institutions, requiring them to act as the government’s foot soldiers in its war on money laundering.”

 – (Further discussion of the article)

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