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Vitalik Buterin Has Harsh Words For Centralized Crypto Exchanges

Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin had harsh words for centralized cryptocurrency exchanges at the TechCrunch Sessions: Blockchain 2018 conference in Zug, Switzerland. He said, “I definitely hope centralized exchanges go burn in hell as much as possible”. He thinks decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges are the way of the future.

Vitalik Buterin is particularly critical about how centralized cryptocurrency exchanges have gained the power to decide which cryptocurrencies will become popular. He says “We can really take away this stupid king-making power that these centralized exchanges have where they have this ability to just decide which tokens become big by deciding to list them and then charging these crazy $10 million to $15 million listing fees. The more we can get away from that world and into something which actually satisfies the blockchain values of openness and transparency the better.”

Aside from Vitalik Buterin’s criticisms, in general, there has been animosity towards centralized cryptocurrency exchanges from the crypto community due to numerous exchange hacking incidents, and even more incidents of exchanges acting like a centralized bank and freezing user funds. For example, over 100 pages of complaints have been filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission describing how Coinbase has frozen user accounts and funds and their customer service doesn’t offer any help. This highlights how centralized cryptocurrency exchanges control money, defeating one of the main purposes of cryptocurrency which is to give power over money back to the people.

Additionally, centralized cryptocurrency exchanges usually require identification information from users, removing the anonymity that cryptocurrency was built to provide.

Vitalik Buterin recognizes that the fiat side of cryptocurrency trading is what has caused centralization, saying “In practice, particularly on the fiat to crypto side, it is very difficult to decentralize because you ultimately are interfacing with the fiat world, and the fiat world is one that only has basically centralized gateway. There are valuable services being provided there that are very hard to decentralize”.

Vitalik Buterin is strongly in favor of decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges. Binance and Huobi, which are among the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, are planning on switching to decentralized blockchain-based platforms, so they won’t have to deal with government regulations anymore.

A truly decentralized cryptocurrency exchange will be able to offer cryptocurrency trading anywhere in the world without collecting identification information from users, and due to its decentralized blockchain-based nature governments can’t really do anything to stop it. Binance and Huobi were forced out of their native country of China following the September 2017 cryptocurrency trading ban, which is probably why these exchanges are leading the way towards decentralization, to ensure their survival no matter the regulatory environment.

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Former Oxford Grad becomes UK’s First Bitcoin Billionaire at $3.6 Billion

An Oxford graduate living in Hong Kong has been identified as Britain’s youngest Bitcoin billionaire at the age of only 34, according to the Mail Online.

Ex-student Ben Delo founded crypto company BitMex, a trading platform created by a selection of finance, trading, and web-development experts, in 2014 and has subsequently amassed a fortune of $3.6 billion along with his co-founders.

Delo, who studied maths and computer science at Worcester College, Oxford and graduated in 2005 with a first-class degree, said that he worked 18 hour days to build up his platform renting out spare bedrooms on Airbnb and creating a space in his living room to make extra money.

After a spell in the City of London, he moved to Hong Kong to take a position with JP Morgan prior, to starting up his platform with Samuel Reed, a computer programmer.

Like something from a Howard Hughes biography, Delo certainly hasn’t let things go to his head though, reportedly living a frugal life in Hong Kong with his wife Pan Pan Wong, to the extent that he and his wife use food vouchers to buy food at McDonald’s. His aim is to be a Bill Gates style philanthropist donating most of his wealth to worthy causes.

There are other young entrepreneurs who are rapidly following in Delo’s footsteps who may not be a billionaire just yet but are well on the way.

At only 23 Charlie Shrem owns Evr, one of Manhattans most famous gastropubs, renowned for being one of the first establishments to accept Bitcoin for food and drink in New York. He is also a BitAngel, an investment group created to invest in Bitcoin startups.  Shrem made his initial fortune buying thousands of bitcoins at $20 each in 2011 and is thought to be worth $450 million.

At the young age of 24 Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum has a net worth conservatively estimated to be around $450 million, although, in a recent interview with Forbes, Buterin stated that he now owned less than 0.4% of the company.

At the top of the Bitcoin Billionaires club would be the enigmatic creator and developer of Bitcoin who reportedly owns an estimated 1.1 million bitcoins.

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Vitalik Buterin Not Worried About Rothschild’s Impact on Crypto

Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum and the Bitcoin Magazine, expressed optimism on the future of finance dismissing claims that the Rothschilds might influence crypto. He insightfully said that the Rothschilds didn’t have enough cash flow to finance their efforts of manipulating cryptocurrency and was confident about the future of Ethereum with the significant changes coming soon to the network.

Vitalik still expects cryptocurrencies to take over from fiat currencies, saying that fiat money will soon become a thing of the past. His views form part of an ongoing internet debate raging over who can or cannot influence cryptocurrencies. They came after dissenting opinions by Joost van der Burgt, policy advisor at Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, who called Bitcoin a bubble.

In van der Burgt’s opinion, Bitcoin would continue losing its value with the time, and its users would continue making losses. Vitalik dismissed the argument, saying that he was not concerned on Bitcoin or Ethereum price.

Reports indicate that Ethereum is implementing scaling solutions that will continue bringing change to one of the major alternative cryptocurrencies in use. Whether this will bring significant profit gains or not remains a matter for discussion. Nonetheless, Ethereum is an example of how cryptocurrencies will continue to untangle themselves from external manipulations.

 

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CEOs Give Massive Thumbs Down to Google’s Crypto Ban

Many finance industry executives have voiced their opinions on the recent decision by Google, following Facebook’s similar move, to ban cryptocurrency advertising.

In March 2018, Google issued a statement announcing that cryptocurrency-focused promotional content would no longer be allowed on all of its platforms. According to the statement, the ban covers adverts for ICOs, exchange platforms, and wallet services.

According to the Independent, CEO of digital banking startup Revolut, Philip Nunn, can only see the hypocrisy in the decision, arguing, “I understand that Facebook and Google are under a lot of pressure to regulate what their users are reading, but they are still advertising gambling websites and other unethical practices.”

Google’s decision to ban all Bitcoin and cryptocurrency adverts on its platforms is ill-thought-out and potentially even unethical, according to industry experts. The policy coming into force this month follows its blog post in March, stating: “Ads for the following will no longer be allowed to serve… cryptocurrencies and related content (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice”.

Nun sees the ban as Google simply clearing the way for their own products: “I suspect the ban has been implemented to fit in with potential plans to introduce their own cryptocurrency to the market in the near future and therefore removing other crypto adverts allows them to do it on their own terms.”

Legitimate advertisers in the space will clearly be affected by the changes, as Ed Cooper of Revolut predicts: “Unfortunately, the fact that this ban is a blanket ban will mean that legitimate cryptocurrency businesses which provide valuable services to users will be unfairly caught in the crossfire.”

Cooper also pointed out that scams are not exclusively the domain of the cryptocurrency market, as false advertisements are rife on the internet, most of them untouched by Google, who has shown no desire to implement a filtering system in order to reduce the frequency of such advertising.

There are of course tricks advertisers can employ to circumvent the restrictions, as Facebook has discovered following their own ban, such as, abbreviating “cryptocurrency” to “c-currency” and replacing the “o” in Bitcoin with a zero.

In May, Google reportedly approached the founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, in the hope of potentially securing his services, reports the Independent. Google has declined to comment on the ban or any cryptocurrency ambitions it may have, however, the company commented in March that it was looking into the technology:

“Like many new technologies, we have individuals in various teams exploring the potential use of blockchain, but it’s too early for us to speculate about any possible uses or plans.”

 

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Russian Central Bank: ‘Crypto Assets’ No Threat to Global Financial Stability

Crypto assets don’t currently threaten global financial stability, according to a 30 May report released by Russia’s Central Bank, writes Cointelegraph.

The report went on to say that, due to comparatively low global cryptocurrency volumes, this particular segment is insignificant at present, posing no actual threat to global stability in financial sectors. Similar to a recent Dutch internal report aimed at the Netherland’s domestic economy released this week, the report found that this risk would grow if banks and institutional investors became more significant players in the crypto space.

The research also recommended that the term “cryptocurrency” be replaced by the term “crypto asset” which can be considered a financial asset based on the application of cryptography and distributed ledger technology. The report claims that these assets currently have little chance of becoming a reliable value standard or means of exchange due their high price volatility.

The paper goes on to focus on one of the major debates in governmental financial circles of the risks posed by crime, including money laundering and terrorism and the lack of protection for investors rights. New laws recently passed by the Russian State Duma defined cryptocurrencies and tokens as property, and specified new regulations for utilizing blockchain technology.

Russian bank Sberbank CIB and the National Settlement Depository are piloting Russia’s first official ICO having considered the Russian ICO market could be “highly promising”, particularly given bank customers’ interest in “this new way of fundraising”, according to CIB head Igor Bulantsev.

Arsen Bakhshiyan, CFO of crypto platform Kvantor, feels that the time is right for Russia to be a world leader in cryptocurrency, pointing out that the country, according to Finder, and is well positioned, and has the talent to develop its own separate blockchain system, suggesting:

“…one only has to look at some of the most ground-breaking FinTech developments of the past few years to see the prevalence of Russian talent. Major projects including Ethereum, Telegram, Revolut, and Yandex are all led by Russians, suggesting that the country has a real appetite for technological innovation.”

President Putin has begun to show clear signs that he sees Russia as a major world player in bringing blockchain into mainstream usage, stating recently that he has no intention of allowing the country to be “late in the race” and even meeting Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum.

Last month in a massive turnaround from being vehemently anti-crypto the Russian President’s economic advisor, Sergei Glazev has stated that cryptocurrency, or “crypto assets” could be useful to carry out “sensitive” state activities, according to a report in the Financial Times.

 

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Is Vitalik Buterin Leaving Ethereum For Google?

One thing sure to draw attention to a Tweet is to delete it. That is just what Vitalik Buterin did after posting a screenshot of an email from a Google employee, detailing a prospective job offer.

As reported by Investing.com, the co-founder of Ethereum recently asked his Twitter following whether he should “drop Ethereum and work for Google”. Buterin shared a picture of the email he received from Google on-site engineering recruiter Elizabeth Garcia, although it was removed soon after.

Speculation has arisen as to the reasons Buterin chose to delete the post. It could be due to the fact Garcia’s email address was included in the original photograph, or perhaps he was concerned about the negative impact his Tweet might have on the Ethereum network should people think he planned to leave.

There are apparently no questions regarding the legitimacy of the email, with Garcia’s LinkedIn profile verifying her position at Google and her previous working experience including a position at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce as an interview coach.

Google and blockchain

Multinational technology conglomerate Google remains far behind their competitors when it comes to blockchain developments, for which Buterin would be an invaluable asset. Insiders from Google have recently confirmed that they are indeed looking into pursuing blockchain technology, although further information was not provided.

A spokesman for Google spoke to Investing.com on the subject, telling them: “Like many new technologies, we have individuals in various teams exploring potential uses of blockchain, but it’s too early for us to speculate about any possible uses or plans.”

Bitcoin News reported last month on a blockchain venture being pursued by three ex-Google employees. Their project, the xGoogler Blockchain Alliance, is a community that aims to assist blockchain startups. Perhaps their recent successes influenced Google’s decision to become serious about blockchain testing.

 

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Putin Claims Russia Won’t Be Late in Blockchain Race

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s economic advisor, Sergei Glazev has stated that cryptocurrency could be useful to carry out “sensitive” state activities, according to a report in UK daily, the Financial Times.

At a recent meeting of Russian government officials, Glazev suggested that the adoption of digital currency by the Russian government may be a way of avoiding sanctions imposed by foreign governments and private companies.

“We can settle accounts with our counterparties all over the world with no regard for sanctions,” Glazev reportedly said.

Putin has previously led the charge against the adoption of digital currency in Russia, calling for closure of websites selling digital currencies, saying that Bitcoin and its rivals were risky and used for crime. Also last month, Sergei Shvetsov, Central Bank deputy, suggested that cryptocurrencies were “dubious instruments for retail”, according to Reuters.

These news announcements mark a massive turnaround by a previously anti-cryptocurrency regime, although it has been reported recently that Putin had instructed Kremlin regulators to look into blockchain technology as the basis for a future “cryptorouble”.

Putin has begun to show clear signs that he sees Russia as a major world player in bringing blockchain into mainstream usage, stating recently that he has no intention of allowing the country to be “late in the race” and even meeting Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum.

Russia is not the first country to be considering its own cryptocurrency. Sweden’s Riksbank has looked into an electronic Krona and Venezuela’s government said last week that it was close to launching its own oil-backed currency.

Perhaps the most relevant asset that Russia can attain by using blockchain technology, apart from it enabling the country to evade sanctions, is the country’s ability to keep up with, or even get ahead of, other nations in its pursuit. Gilbert Verdia, head of the British delegation at a recent ISO blockchain meeting in Tokyo, spoke of the “the future that is coming”. He suggested, “To get behind it and back it now is going to put people at an advantage, either politically or economically.”

photo source: https://pixabay.com/en/putin-the-president-of-the-camera-889784/  – klimkin

 

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Refugee Charity Receives Huge Crypto Donation

The New York-based charity Give Directly has announced that it has received a donation of USD 1 million from startup OmiseGo and Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin.

Give Directly uses publicly available data on poverty to enroll recipients, region by region, using GPS technology in order to establish genuine cases of extreme poverty. Once no irregularities are discovered, a payment is sent using SMS of around USD 1,000, or the nearest equivalent to a year’s living costs, via local money agents in the recipient’s town or village. Safeguards have been put in place to ensure that electronic funds have been received correctly. The current focus of the charity is the refugee crisis in Uganda.

The charity has been appealing for support since 2013 and to date has received donations totalling over USD 200 million. Companies such as Google, eBay, and Facebook are just some of the charity’s donors. Give Directly now plans to align itself to the crypto industry and seek its support, encouraging both high profile figures and the general public to engage in its charity raising projects. The most simple way to donate is by using the charity’s crypto wallet.

Jun Hasegawa, CEO of Omise, OmiseGo’s parent company, recently reflected on just how much the crypto economy had grown over the course of a year, often “bringing a great deal of wealth to many people and organizations” and suggested that “extravagant generosity” was the way to go for the future rather than harboring newly found wealth.

There’s been a significant rise in recent years in charities which are now supported by cryptocurrency donations. Some of these have joined a growing establishment of charities accepting Bitcoin donations such as: Electronic Frontier Foundation, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, WikiLeaks, Antiwar.com, Watsi, Water Project, Code to Inspire, Bitgive and Epic Change.

Charities trialling Bitcoin donations are on the rise. More familiar High Street names include such well-known organizations as the Red Cross and Save the Children.

 

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Bitcoin Magazine – June 2013 Month In Review

Bitcoin Magazine – June 2013 Month In Review:

Bitcoin Magazine’s Vitalik Buterin summarizes developments that occured June, 2013.

 – http://bitcoinmagazine.com/month-in-review-june
 – http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=251534.0 (Further discussion of the article)

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