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Cambridge Global Crypto Benchmarking Examines Bitcoin State of Play

Cambridge Global Crypto Benchmarking Examines Bitcoin State of Play

University of Cambridge Judge Business School has published the second of its annual reports which examine the cryptoconomy.

It’s been a huge year following the first report, with Bitcoin reaching such grand heights offering a pre- Christmas surprise for 2017 investors, to the travails of pre-Christmas 2018, which has investors not knowing whether to hold or sell.

The comprehensive 96-page report, which examines, among other subjects, cryptocurrency mining, exchanges, storage, and payments, may make sobering reading for enthusiasts and more active traders this Christmas as the picture it paints is certainly “real”, allowing no space for the hype which often surrounds cryptocurrency. The 2nd  Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study, as it’s been named, has some positive historical facts for investors in its pages but also has warnings for those entering the space, as well as facts that would be welcomed by industry professionals.

Less encouraging perhaps is the fact that around two-thirds of specialized custodial exchanges do not have a refund procedure in the case of customer funds getting lost or stolen; a message that might not be so warmly appreciated. More encouragingly, it has been estimated that crypto businesses are improving and doing a solid job of asset storage with over 80% of funds now being held in cold storage, out of sight and protected from hackers.

The report also revealed that 80% of crypto firms have become cagey when it comes to divulging the results of security audits; not good news for investors who would like to know exactly how companies entrusted with their assets actually operate.

This is not the first of such in-depth reports by a major university, or by academics, which examines cryptocurrency, and the development of its support infrastructure, to have been conducted, although most current research is focused on DLT.

Many universities now run courses, up to a Masters degree, on the subject of cryptocurrency and associated technology.

Judge Business School is a provider of management education and is consistently ranked as one of the world’s top business schools, with the Cambridge MBA program ranked among the top in the world by Bloomberg, the Financial Times, Business Insider, US News & World Report and Forbes Magazine.

 

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Reddit Founder Claims Crypto Market Needs a Crash Before Take Off

Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian has remarked in an interview with CNBC that he believes that a crash in the cryptocurrency market as seen over the past few days is needed in order for the market to stabilize and mature over time.

The Reddit entrepreneur feels that focus on software development and infrastructure within the cryptocurrency industry are important factors in building a stable future. He also suggested that the falls in cryptocurrency prices would have the effect of sifting out the undesirables in the industry from the genuine contributors, and those in for making quick money.

The Reddit founder feels that innovations being created now will have longevity and although blockchain pitches he has received may be fewer in number, Ohanian claims that they have more potential than those he was receiving in 2017.

Over the last few days, Bitcoin has suffered its biggest losses in over eight months. Although, after falling to USD 5,202 on 15 November, after a little price correction, trading picked up today at $5552.17 (time of writing). The newly hard forked BCH has fallen by 15% and is trading at $387.41. Brian Kelly, the founder, and chief executive officer of BKCM, has blamed the hard fork for the crypto market crash. Mati Greenspan from eToro says he saw it coming:

“The movement we saw today seemed to be the run-of-the-mill volatility surrounding Bitcoin and a breakout that’s been weeks coming….It’s difficult to say where it ends. No one can really predict.”

Forbes contributor Clem Chambers noted a correlation to the spike in the bond market:

“The obvious culprit causing this dump is Bitcoin Cash, the ‘wannabe’ Bitcoin usurper, which forked from Bitcoin last year. It is forking again and there are competing forks and all sorts of conniptions are expected. It sounds plausible this is causing the move but the fact the bond market spiked at the same time suggests something else is going on to me.”

Stephen Innes who heads up trading at Asia Pacific of Oanda Corporation suggested that the crash was an even worse scenario than he had anticipated and that pre-BCH online chat had the effect of creating doubt and uncertainty among investors.

Ohanian sticks with his view that the crash is necessary, arguing that during hard times people start to focus on the essentials.

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Leaving Silicon Valley for Blockchain

In a recent duo of interviews conducted by Forbes, two ex-Silicon Valley engineers shared why they left their ‘dream jobs’ to pursue a future in blockchain as a growing number of workers do the same.

Startups are eager to hook employees from the big-name Silicon Valley tech companies to boost their industry standing and tempt investors. This, combined with a growing amount of interest in the blockchain space since the 2017 Bitcoin boom, will only increase the trend towards blockchain companies.

Maximilian Wang, an ex-Facebook engineer turned blockchain CEO

It was in 2017 when Wang first heard about blockchain. As an engineer with Facebook Inc., he tried telling his colleagues about the technology but most of them apparently dismissed it as a scam. It became a passion for him to studiously examine blockchain whitepapers in his own time. He learned whatever he could teach himself, so when the right project came along, he would be prepared for it.

”The hardest part was not when you saw an opportunity to make money and you needed to figure out how to get that opportunity… What made it hard was that after seeing everything happened in the world outside, at the end of the day, you still had to come back to reality and try your best to focus on your work [at Facebook],” Wang told Forbes.

Eventually, the right project did come along for him: Bgogo, a digital asset exchange that claims to be the first of its kind with a supernode listing authority. Wang wants to take it right to the top, with ambitions to make it the JPMorgan Chase of the blockchain world.

Qi Zhou left Facebook and Google to develop his own blockchain

Zhou was inspired by Google’s own Bigtable data storage system and saw a way that the underlying technology of sharding could also be done with blockchain.

”When I see an opportunity there, why can’t I go after it,” he told Forbes. Zhou’s project QuarkChain is a  high-capacity peer-to-peer transactional system.

Will blockchain meet Silicon Valley?

As blockchain becomes more far-reaching, it becomes inevitable that its share of the space in the valley will increase. However, it is likely that Google and Facebook will continue to lose engineers such as Zhou and Wang because the foundations of their corporations are so far opposed to the decentralized ideology behind blockchain.

 

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Forbes Crypto Market Data Website Launches

American business magazine Forbes launched the beta version of its cryptocurrency data website on Wednesday, looking to give investors an in-depth look into markets, tokens, and blockchain projects.

Forbes CryptoMarkets says it will attempt to bring “real-time pricing and volume information on several thousand cryptocurrencies and an initial five cryptocurrency indices worldwide,” right now just in English, but adding Chinese, Japanese, French, Vietnamese, Russian and Korean language options in the future.

The crypto portal will also offer a live feed of related news from a number of media outlets alongside its own editorial submissions from Forbes’ contributors. Additional deep-dives into coins, exchanges, trading volumes and other aspects of the market will also be offered.

CEO of Forbes Media, Mike Federle, said that the CryptoMarket ”represents a natural extension of our powerful brand into a new venture that promises to deliver immense value to investors, traders and market watchers.”

As a well established and internationally respected news outlet, Forbes’ commitment to the cryptocurrency industry through this project is sure to benefit its perceived legitimacy among readers.

Behind the website

According to Forbes, its new crypto feature comes as the result of a collaboration with investment firm NewCity Capital and Swiss blockchain company Trade.io.

The latter hit the headlines Sunday after a platform hack resulted in the loss of 50 million native TIO tokens, valued at USD11 million at the time of the incident. A blog entry posted Tuesday reads that the security breach was  ”effectively contained,”with Trade.io forking the token Wednesday night, replacing it with TIOx.

Whether the security breach will severely damage the reputation of the company in the long term, or to what effect this will have on Forbes CryptoMarket, is yet to be seen.

While the original token was listed on multiple exchange sites, TIOx will be exclusive to the trade.io exchange.

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Forbes Signs Agreement with Blockchain-Based Publishing Platform

Renowned business media outlet Forbes is now in partnership with Civil, a blockchain-based platform for journalism. The move, if successful, will see Civil-approved journalists view their content on Forbes which has over 12o million readers around the globe. The collaboration, however, is limited to blockchain and cryptocurrency-related news only.

According to Civil co-founder Matt Coolidge, Forbes will be integrating the blockchain’s publishing platform into its content management system. The integration will be complete in a few months and the start of 2019 will see journalists upload their news and contents to the Civil network, with automatic mirror uploads to the Forbes website.

Coolidge said that Forbes will also “experiment with new methods of reader engagement”.

The announcement was made on US-based news outlet Axios and Forbes will eventually allow other news to be published on the blockchain too. Forbes will be using this opportunity to use decentralized solutions, helping its wide contributor network. The news giant will use smart contracts to allow journalists to have their published articles to be shared with other platforms, including Medium and LinkedIn.

This is not the only foray of the decentralized platform into traditional news cha