Category Archives: ecosystem

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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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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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Brandon Glier – Why You Should Care About Bitcoin

Brandon Glier – Why You Should Care About Bitcoin:

Brandon Glier’s post on Bitcoin became a Editors Pick.  Excerpts:

“To really understand the power of Bitcoin, you need to think about it as 3 things: (1) a protocol, (2) a commodity, and (3) an ecosystem.”

“Bitcoin has taken a very hard problem — how do you facilitate and record transactions online — and solved it for anyone to leverage for free. This capability may have profound implications that are not yet well-understood […]”

“It’s important to keep in mind that it takes time for the true market use case of a commodity to be developed.  […] Like oil, Bitcoin can be refined and put to use in novel and yet-to-be imagined ways.”

“According to the GSMA 1.7 billion people have a mobile phone and no alternative to the cash economy. As digital cash, Bitcoin appeals directly to consumers as an accessible payment alternative without the risk and fees associated with existing credit and debit networks.”

“For the first time in Internet history, settling transactions between multiple parties can be dictated and applied directly through open-source software and not through (largely) for-profit 3rd party institutions.”


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