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Forget Buterin’s 500 TX/S, Researchers Explore 17,000 TX/S on Ethereum.

In September, Vitalik Buterin, the co-creator of Ethereum (ETH), stated that the Ethereum blockchain network could scale to 500 transactions per second using ZK-SNARKS, the base technology of privacy-focused cryptocurrency Zcash.

This week, Ethereum researchers Barry Whitehat, Alex Gluchowski, Harry R, Yondon Fu and Philippe Castonguay introduced a solution called snark-based side chain, which could scale the network to 17,000 transactions per second, nearing the transaction capacity of Visa.

What is Snark-Based Side Chain?

Similar to Plasma, snark-based side chain is an off-chain solution that allows users to process the transfer of tokens and ETH outside of the Ethereum mainnet. With the ability to process transactions off-chain, users on the network will be able to send and receive tens of thousands of transactions per second.

On snark-based side chain, operators are responsible for closing a channel of transactions and uploading it to the mainnet of Ethereum as a single transaction. That means, prior to the release of a channel that is composed of many thousand transactions made between users on the Ethereum network, users can request withdrawals at the smart contract level.

Operators with malicious intent could deny the withdrawal of funds in the channel and potentially sabotage the channel that maintains a large storage of transactional data.

But, the system’s built-in protocol that punishes malicious operators by replacing them and degrading the channel to an on-chain token disallows any further alternations to be made on the channel.

The researchers explained:

“Given a malicious operator (the worst case), the system degrades to an on-chain token. A malicious operator cannot steal funds and cannot deprive people of their funds for any meaningful amount of time. If data become unavailable the operator can be replaced, we can roll back to a previously valid state (exiting users upon request) and continue from that state with a new operator.”

Put simply, as a second-layer payment network on Ethereum, snark-based side chain allows users to freely send and receive payments at a large capacity without the threat of corrupt channel operators and individuals with malicious intent to negatively affect the channel.

Ethereum is in a Good Place For Scaling

ZK-Snarks, snark-based side chain, Plasma and Sharding are some of the many scaling solutions that are being developed by the open-source developer community of Ethereum.

Previously, Buterin stated that the mass deployment of Plasma and Sharding could create a synergy that may allow Ethereum to process a million transactions per second.

ZK-SNARKS, with its ability to “verify the correctness of computations without having to execute them” and “learn what was executed,” adds additional efficiency to the network, apart from a direct improvement in scaling by over 3,000 percent.

In the years to come, Ethereum will continue to test all of these scaling solutions and implement whatever is production ready first, scaling the network gradually. Currently, the transaction capacity of Ethereum is not sufficient to handle decentralized applications (dApps) with millions of users. But, dApps are also not ready to handle millions of users. Scalability will improve as the entire blockchain ecosystem sees improvement in adoption.

https://www.ccn.com/forget-buterins-500-tx-s-researchers-explore-17000-tx-s-on-ethereum/

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BlackBerry Introduces Blockchain-Backed Platform Focused on Healthcare Services

As part of its pivot into security and computing, software company and former smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry has released a blockchain-powered platform. The new product  focuses on the healthcare field, according to a press release published Oct. 4.

Per the announcement, BlackBerry has partnered with technology firm ONEBIO to develop a blockchain-backed “ultra-secure” ecosystem. The system is designed for the storage and sharing of medical data, where information can be entered by patients, laboratories, and Internet of Things (IoT) biometric devices. Once entered, data will further be anonymized and shared with researchers. BlackBerry CEO John Chen said:

"We are applying our expertise in security, data privacy, and communication work in regulated industries such as automotive, financial services, and government to tackle one of the biggest challenges in the healthcare industry: leveraging healthcare endpoints to improve patient outcomes while ensuring security and data privacy."

Among other products, BlackBerry has also presented a real-time operating system for the development of robotic surgical instruments, patient monitoring systems, and other safety-critical products that must pass regulatory approval.

While at one time BlackBerry controlled 50 percent of the global smartphone market, in 2016 the firm controlled less than 0.1 percent. While BlackBerry is still in the smartphone business — it will release its latest smartphone iteration on Oct. 10 — the recent blockchain initiative is indicative of the firm’s move into other fields.

Today, BlackBerry also announced a new quantum-resistant code signing service that will “allow software to be digitally signed using a scheme that will be hard to break with a quantum computer.”

https://blog.cofredcoin.com/2018/10/05/blackberry-intro…lthcare-services/

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Paradigm Shift: Samourai Wallet Removes Fiat Values in Favor of Satoshis.

Samourai Wallet announced the release of a new app update on September 28 that removes fiat values for wallet balances and transaction fees. Instead, the wallet now shows only satoshis (sat), the smallest unit of bitcoin, for all values.

In the announcement, the bitcoin wallet provider knew that the change could cause some frustration among users and possibly cause some to leave the app. However, the decision was made in order to clear confusion about the (limited) role fiat currency plays in the bitcoin economy. The goal is to draw attention to the fact that users are in fact “transacting with the token native to the Bitcoin network, BTC, and nothing else.”

Friendly Reminder: Bitcoin Still Stands as an Independent Currency

With the influx of new investors in 2017 and 2018, users have become accustomed to seeing bitcoin and altcoin values described in USD values. This reasoning, Samouria’s blog post implies, hides the true independent principle of bitcoin, which can act as a separate currency system that does not depend on traditional fiat currencies.

The current mainstream concept is that bitcoin is an investment, where some financial institutions are going so far as recommending bitcoin for retirement accounts. While the investment concept is viable, it is important to keep in mind that bitcoin was originally meant to provide a payment option outside of centralized banking institutions. Development since bitcoin’s launch has not strayed from this principle and has not become dependent on fiat in any way. The misconception mainly comes from exchanges or thought leaders with ulterior motives, according to Samourai Wallet.

Keeping Utility Foremost In Mind

Launched in 2015, Samourai Wallet is an open-source app that has tried to remain true to bitcoin’s ethos. It is a privacy-centric wallet with the mission to keep users’ transactions private and identities masked.

As Samouai’s mission states,

We are privacy activists who have dedicated our lives to creating the software that Silicon Valley will never build, the regulators will never allow, and the VC’s will never invest in. We build the software that Bitcoin deserves.

Samorai’s main goal has been to focus on bitcoin as a payment utility for merchants and customers. The switch to satoshis as the core unit of measurement backs up this belief, even though it could be a shock to users. The move to sats could possibly be considered too early at this stage in cryptocurrencies.

With a belief in maintaining a healthy bitcoin network, the wallet developers made a decision in 2017 not to support Bitcoin Cash and considered it an attack on the Bitcoin network.

As one of the first to switch to satoshi-only measurements, Samourai’s gutsy update could be the start of a larger effort to separate bitcoin distinctly from the fiat currencies.

https://www.ccn.com/paradigm-shift-samourai-wallet-removes-fiat-values-in-favor-of-satoshis/

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Yale University Has Invested in Two Cryptocurrency Funds: Report

The “herd” of institutional investors that cryptocurrency bulls such as Mike Novogratz have perennially said is just over the horizon is finally making an appearance, as reports have emerged that one of the world’s largest university endowments has invested in two cryptocurrency funds.

Yale University Endowment Makes Cryptocurrency Play

Citing an anonymous source familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that Yale University, the Ivy League school whose endowment is the second-largest in higher education, has invested in Paradigm, a cryptocurrency fund founded by Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, former Sequoia Capital partner Matt Huang, and Pantera Capital veteran Charles Noyes.

Including Yale’s investment, Paradigm has raised $400 million to invest in the cryptocurrency space, making it one of the largest such investment funds alongside Pantera, Polychain Capital, and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).

Concurrently, CNBC reports that David Swenson — Yale’s “Warren Buffet” — invested university money in Andreessen Horowitz’s $300 million cryptocurrency fund, which the firm announced in June. Notably, a16z said at the time that it does not intend to be a fair-weather investor.

“We have an ‘all weather’ fund. We plan to invest consistently over time, regardless of market conditions. If there is another ‘crypto winter,’ we’ll keep investing aggressively,” the firm said at the time.

Yale’s endowment currently stands at $29.4 billion, a record high, following a return of 12.3 percent during the fiscal year that ended on June 30. A majority of those assets, 60 percent, are directed at alternative investments. Over the past decade, the university has returned an average of 7.4 percent, beating the 5.5 percent average university endowment return by a sizable margin, according to the Yale Daily News.

Yale’s Move Gives Institutions ‘Excuse’ to Buy Crypto

bitcoin etf

Earlier this year, John Lore, founder of Capital Fund Law Group, suggested that academic institutions had begun to invest in cryptocurrency on a “limited basis for strategic reasons,” though he declined to name the endowments.

It’s not clear how much capital Yale contributed to Paradigm and a16z — and it should also be noted that the endowment has not confirmed the news publicly — but the size of the investment might not matter. Ari Paul, chief investment officer at cryptocurrency hedge fund BlockTower Capital and a former portfolio manager at the University of Chicago’s endowment, said in April that he thought it was “inevitable” that endowments would dip their toes into the cryptoasset space, a move that he said would convince other institutions to make similar bets.

“We’re in a bear market until new buyers are enticed,” he said. “Even a small dollar amount is legitimizing. If that happens, every family office says, ‘Oh, Yale’s in. That gives us the excuse.’”

Paul’s forecast is beginning to come true, at least per the reports. The next major step will be when, rather than entrust capital to digital asset investment funds, university endowments and pensions themselves begin investing directly in the cryptocurrency market.

A key hurdle toward realizing this has been the shortage of regulated cryptocurrency custodians, particularly among the respected Wall Street banks with whom endowments are comfortable working. However, as CCN reported, three of the largest investment banks in the U.S. — Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley — are said to have been building out custody products for cryptoassets.

Meanwhile, Bakkt — the cryptocurrency wing of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) — will begin offering physical warehousing for bitcoin in November, allowing institutions to easily trade BTC in a regulated environment overseen by one of the world’s largest exchange operators.

Billionaire macro trader Mike Novogratz, a longtime bitcoin bull who has nevertheless pared back his short-term price forecast in recent weeks, gave a speech in late 2017 titled, “The Herd is Coming,” in which he argued that institutional investors are not far off from making a significant crypto play. Throughout the current bear market, he has maintained that, although the cryptocurrency market has heretofore been driven by retail enthusiasm, the next rally will be fueled by institutions.

As CCN reported yesterday, Wall Street strategy firm Fundstrat recently conducted a recent poll of cryptocurrency investors which found that, perhaps contrary to popular perception, institutional investors are more bullish on bitcoin than their retail counterparts. According to the survey, a majority of institutions expect the flagship cryptocurrency to end 2019 above $15,000, an increase of about 130 percent from its present level below $6,600.

https://www.ccn.com/yale-university-has-invested-in-two-cryptocurrency-funds-report/

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Bitcoin Price Fails to Record Big Breakout But Market Remains Bull-Friendly.

Over the past 24 hours, despite the promising price movement of Bitcoin from low $6,500 to $6,600, BTC has fallen back down below the $6,600 mark.

Traders have offered contrasting viewpoints throughout the past two days. Some have said that the low volume of Bitcoin is a concern for the market while several stated that the sell pressure on the digital asset has declined, which may allow BTC to increase in value in the days to come.

Both Bears and Bulls are on Equal Playing Field

Based on technical indicators alone, Bitcoin is more exposed to bears than bulls. The market is not demonstrating oversold conditions but the low volume leaves the cryptocurrency vulnerable to movements on the downside.

In contrast, for the bulls, there are significantly positive developments in the cryptocurrency sector, especially on institutionalization and strengthening of the cryptocurrency exchange market.

Don Alt, a respected cryptocurrency trader, said:

“The next big move will be so incredibly obvious in hindsight. Bulls have: 1) BAKKT coming 2) Increased legislative & institutional interest 3) Lows holding strong Bears have: I) Weakening 6k support II) Sell off stronger than rallies III) Missing final shakeout.”

Cryptocurrency exchanges are also in a phase of rapid and exponential development. Coinbase is reportedly on the verge of finalizing a deal with Tiger Global to secure a $500 million funding round at a valuation of $8 billion.

Within a year and two months, Coinbase more than quadrupled its valuation from $1.6 billion to $8 billion, after processing hundreds of billions of dollars in crypto traders and serving 20 million users on its platform.

Based on the progress being made by Bakkt, a regulated cryptocurrency exchange operated by ICE/NYSE, Starbucks, and Microsoft, and the increasing demand for crypto from investors in the traditional finance sector, as Don Alt noted, the next big ove will be obvious in hindsight.

However, in the short-term, poor technical indicators of BTC and many major cryptocurrencies including Ripple, Bitcoin Cash and EOS could leave the crypto market vulnerable to a downtrend.

As CCN reported in its report on October 4, a less risky move for investors would be to wait out for the next minor movement in the cryptocurrency market, possibly until Bitcoin breaks out of a major resistance level at $6,800.

Volume is the Only Problem

Bitcoin has tended to be unpredictable with its volume in the past. In 24-hour periods, BTC demonstrated 20 to 40 percent surge in its volume.

Hence, in the short-term, it is possible for BTC to record a sudden increase in volume and surge in volume to break out of the $6,800 mark.

For both bears and bulls in the market, the price trend of the cryptocurrency exchange market remains unpredictable and as such, a sensible approach to trading in the market in the upcoming days would be to observe the market for any changes, particularly in the volume of major cryptocurrencies.

https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-price-fails-to-record-big-breakout-but-market-remains-bull-friendly/

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Bitcoin Scammers Impersonating Tax Officials Net AU$50K in Melbourne.

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Despite a scam alert issued by the Australian Taxation Office late last month, fraudsters impersonating employees of the tax body have still managed to con victims thousands of dollars.

Per Australian newspaper reports, four victims have so far lost amounts totaling AU$50,000 on the understanding that they were settling a tax debt. According to detectives at Maribyrnong Crime Investigation Unit, all the victims hail from Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

The fraudsters not only informed the victims that they had a tax debt that required to be paid, but they also suggested that failure to settle it immediately would attract a jail sentence. The victims were then instructed to travel to Braybrook, a suburb in the city of Maribyrnong, Melbourne to a particular bitcoin ATM and deposit funds. It was not immediately clear why the fraudsters chose the particular bitcoin ATM operated by digital services firm D Konnect since there are 21 cryptocurrency ATMs in the city of Melbourne.

Threats and Deception

In the four cases, some of the tactics the scammers employed included informing victims that the tax debt had been confirmed by their accountant or that the federal police had already been notified of the outstanding tax debt and that they would take the appropriate action if it was not immediately paid. This fits in with previous reporting by CCN where one of the victims was informed via telephone by a scammer that he owed the tax body AU$9,000. The con artist then faked a conversation with the victim’s accountant who ‘confirmed’ the tax debt.

According to law enforcement officials, the scammers have been preying on the vulnerable as most of the victims targeted were newly-arrived immigrants.

“It does appear that the scammers are targeting a certain group of people who they can convince that their immigration status is in jeopardy,” Katherine Lehpamer, a detective at Maribyrnong, told the Herald Sun.

Possible Underreporting

The police now believe that there could be many more victims who have been swindled but who either haven’t realized it or are hesitant to report.

“We believe that there are a number of victims out there who have not reported the matter for one reason or another, they may be here on visas or they are not aware that authorities would never tell them to deposit money into an ATM,” added Lehpamer.

In carrying out the scam, the scammers are banking on the ignorance of victims since the Australian Taxation Office does not, under any circumstances, accept bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies for payment of taxes. As previously reported by CCN, the accepted methods of paying taxes in Australia include electronic bill payment platform BPAY or credit-debit cards besides alternative methods such as wire transfer and direct debit.

https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-scammers-impersonating-tax-officials-net-au50k-in-melbourne/

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Alibaba Files Patent for Blockchain System That Allows ‘Administrative Intervention’

Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba has filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a blockchain-based system that allows a third-party administrator to intervene in a smart contract in case of illegal activities. The USPTO published the patent application on Oct. 4.

A smart contract is a computer protocol designed to digitally verify or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract. Smart contracts are self-executing, with the terms of the agreement between the parties being directly written into lines of code.

The patent document, which was initially filed in March, describes a blockchain-powered transaction method that enables authorized parties to freeze or halt user accounts associated with illegal transactions, or intervene in a blockchain network.

The authors of the document emphasize that while blockchain technology has a number of advantageous features like openness, unchangeability, and decentralization, it still does not provide conditions applied to specific cases in a real life environment. The patent explains:

“In real life, however, there is a type of administrative intervention activities in the category of special transactions. For example, when a user performs illegal activities, a court order may be executed to freeze the user's account. However, this operation activity conflicts with smart contracts in existing blockchains and cannot be carried out.”

The patent seeks to develop a system for effective administrative supervision of all accounts in a blockchain network, although the scope of supervision will be limited, which means it will not restrict normal transactions in the blockchain network. “The issuing account recorded in the various embodiments may be an account owned by a government agency or a trustful institution,” the patent reads. It further states:

“[...] upon receiving an operation instruction sent from a designated account, a node in a blockchain network can invoke a corresponding smart contract when determining that the operation instruction is issued legally, to execute corresponding operations on an account corresponding to the to-be-operated account information, which achieves a goal of supervision on accounts in the blockchain and solves the problem of processing special transactions like administrative intervention in a blockchain.”

On the Ethereum blockchain, upgradeable contracts can be issued, wherein logic and data are separated into different contracts. One will call the other using a command and a proxy contract, giving developers some control over the contract after it has been issued.

However, upgradeable contracts are far more complex than usual smart contracts, which can make them more susceptible to bugs. The new Alibaba technology would purportedly expand the ability of administrators across an entire network, in addition to simplifying the amending a smart contract.

https://blog.cofredcoin.com/2018/10/05/alibaba-files-pa…ive-intervention/

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Spanish Coastal City Valencia to Create a Smart Port With Blockchain Tech.

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The city of Valencia, Spain is planning a smart port based on blockchain technology according to an announcement made at the Dutch port of Rotterdam during them Smart Ports & Supply Chain Technologies conference on Wednesday 03 October.

Jose Garcia de la Guía, head of new technologies at the port of Valencia, pointed out the benefits of using the technology and stated that Valencia was just one of many ports to implement the technology in future:

“Starting from Valencia, we offer to use blockchain as a strategic option to provide transparency of logistic chain, from end to end, going further than our port itself. That means we’re planning to apply cloud technologies not only with our partners from Port Community Systems but also with all others.”

He went on to describe the smart port as a “port without papers”, citing the application of blockchain as a tool that can eliminate the need for paper documents in supply chain tracking, greatly increasing efficiency and reducing waste, development times and maintenance costs. The port rep also announced the goal of optimizing infrastructure and resources.

Valencia is the second-largest port in the Mediterranean by volume – the largest port, Algeciras, recently held an IT symposium discussing the potential application of blockchain technology.

The shipping industry seems firmly set to adopt blockchain technology in the coming months and years. CCN recently reported that the largest port operator in the UK is exploring blockchain solutions to create system interoperability, a major pain point in the shipping logistics sector. By eliminating the need to manually re-enter data the suggested solution is estimated to increase efficiency throughout the 21 port network handled by the UK operator.

Meanwhile, Europe’s largest shipping port has launched a blockchain lab to develop cutting-edge solutions in the field. Rotterdam port now hosts BlockLab, which seeks to provide real-time shipping data over an interoperable blockchain among other blockchain solutions.

In Asia, Singapore’s biggest shipping company has partnered with IBM to digitalize certain documents crucial to trade and store them securely on a blockchain. The documents in question (Bill of Lading, or e-BL on the blockchain) has a number of functions from proving ownership of goods, receipt of shipment and contract of carriage to other trade financing functions as well. As CCN recently reported, the WEF estimates that blockchain can generate $1.1 trillion in trade revenue through adoption in sectors like the shipping industry.

https://www.ccn.com/spanish-coastal-city-valencia-to-create-a-smart-port-with-blockchain-tech/

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U.S. Lawmakers Seek Common Definition for Blockchain.

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A pair of U.S. representatives, Doris Matsui, a California Democrat, and Brett Guthrie, a Kentucky Republican, have introduced a law to create a working group to determine a definition of blockchain.

The lawmakers, both of whom sit on the Energy and Commerce Subcommittees on Communications and Technology and Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, believe blockchain can offer benefits to government and the economy.

“Blockchain technology could transform the global digital economy,” Matsui said in a prepared statement. “Opportunities to deploy blockchain technology range from greatly increased transparency, efficiencies and security in supply chains to more opportunistically managing access to spectrum.”

The bill, H.R. 6913, the “Blockchain Promotion Act of 2018,” would bring stakeholders together to develop a common definition of blockchain, Matsui noted. Th bill could also recommend opportunities to promote new innovations.

“As our economies become increasingly digital, more organizations are turning to blockchain to keep track of their business transactions,” said Guthrie. “Blockchain can be a great resource for innovation and technology, but we must figure out exactly what best common definition is and how it can be used.”

Working Group To Gather Stakeholders

The law would instruct the U.S. Department of Commerce to create a blockchain working group to recommend a consensus-based definition for the technology. The group would also consider recommending the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) study blockchain’s potential impact on policy and opportunities to adopt blockchain to improve efficiencies within the federal government.

As states consider laws using different definitions of blockchain, the proposed bill would bring stakeholders together to create a common definition.

Also read: Delaware governor signs blockchain regulation bill into law

States Take Action

California has already passed a law, Assembly Bill 2658, that provides a legal framework recognizing blockchain technology in the state’s insurance code. The bill was amended to include a legal definition of blockchain technology.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey recently signed a law known as the Corporations/Blockchain Technology bill that supports signatures and records secured through smart contracts and blockchain technology, making data valid that is stored and shared by corporations.

The governor of Delaware last year signed a law to recognize the trading of stocks on the blockchain.

https://www.ccn.com/u-s-lawmakers-seek-common-definition-for-blockchain/

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Public Sale of Venezuela’s State Crypto Petro to Commence on November 5

With the Petro now officially launched, the public sale of the state-backed cryptocurrency will begin early next month.

In a televised address on October 1 during Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro announced that the public sale of the Petro will kick off on November 5. Though he did not list names, Maduro also indicated that the state-backed cryptocurrency is currently available on six international exchanges. Additionally, the state-backed cryptocurrency can be acquired using other established digital assets as well as popular fiat currencies.

“If you have bitcoins you can buy Petros, if you have Ethereum you can buy Petros, if you have dollars or euros you can buy Petros. And from November 5, the Petro … will go on sale to the Venezuelan public in sovereign bolivars,” Maduro said.

Android Users Only

A cryptocurrency wallet for Petro has also been made available for Android devices with no indication when a version for the iPhone or iPad will be released. A new white paper for the petro cryptocurrency has also been published and is currently on a dedicated website set up by the Venezuelan government.

While it was previously stated that the Petro is backed by the vast oil resources in the South American country, the white paper acknowledges that other natural resources such as aluminum, diamonds, gold and iron are also backing the cryptocurrency in varying proportions.

Besides announcing that Venezuelans can now use the Petro to pay for goods and services such as accommodation, airline tickets and real estate, Maduro also declared during his TV address that all Venezuelan oil will be sold in the state-backed cryptocurrency. This will offer the sanctions-hit country a way to circumvent the restrictions and possibly allow other foreign countries, organizations and individuals transact with Venezuela without fear of reprisals.

‘Instrument of Liberation’

According to Venezuela’s agriculture minister, Wilmar Castro Soteldo, the petro is a tool to reclaim sovereignty of the socialist state.

“[The Petro] is an opportunity for all global operators of cryptocurrencies and crypto assets to carry out transactions in the country without fear of persecution, because I believe it is an important instrument of liberation,” said Soteldo.

The official launch of the Petro comes at a time when the economic crisis in Venezuela is worsening despite the government devaluing the country’s fiat currency, the Bolivar, in a bid to tame inflation. This has resulted in the citizens turning to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin with the result being that the trading volumes of the Bitcoin/Bolivar pair keep reaching record highs, as CCN recently reported.

https://www.ccn.com/public-sale-of-venezuelas-state-crypto-petro-to-commence-on-november-5/

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Alibaba Seeks Patent for Blockchain that Allows ‘Administrator Intervention’

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has applied to patent a blockchain system that allows a third-party administrator to execute “special transactions” such as halting a smart contract or freezing an account linked to illegal activity.

According to documents made public on Thursday by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), the Hangzhou-based firm submitted the application through Alibaba Group Holding Limited, a holding company located in Grand Cayman, in March.

Writing in the filing, the patent authors state that while blockchain technology has many attractive features — openness, unchangeability, and decentralization, for instance — it fails to account for certain practical considerations associated with implementing it in a regulated, real-world environment.

In particular, the Alibaba researchers expressed concern that standard smart contracts do not provide legal authorities with a general ability to freeze user accounts associated with illegal transactions or otherwise facilitate administrative intervention in a blockchain network.

From the patent application:

“In real life, however, there is a type of administrative intervention activities in the category of special transactions. For example, when a user performs illegal activities, a court order may be executed to freeze the user’s account. However, this operation activity conflicts with smart contracts in existing blockchains and cannot be carried out,” the patent authors wrote. “Therefore, there is a need for a blockchain-based transaction processing method that enables special transactions like administrative intervention in a blockchain.”

Under Alibaba’s proposed blockchain system, dedicated administrator accounts would have the ability to send so-called “special transactions” to nodes, which then invoke a smart contract to perform operating instructions on a particular account.

china police

Alibaba’s blockchain system would provide law enforcement agencies with the ability to execute “special transactions” on the network.

In one potential embodiment, the blockchain creator could issue an account to a government agency that allowed the agency to invoke a smart contract that performs a predefined set of interventions corresponding to their legal or regulatory mandate.

The authors wrote:

“Here, the issuing account recorded in the various embodiments may be an account owned by a government agency or a trustful institution. Since corresponding smart contracts are created for different designated accounts, it indicates that operation instructions issued by the designated accounts are recognized. As a result, effective administrative supervision can be performed on all accounts in a blockchain network, and this type of supervision is limited, which will not restrict normal transactions in the blockchain network.”

The authors concede that this system introduces an element of risk into the blockchain network since administrator accounts could be prime targets for hackers. Consequently, they suggest decentralizing supervisory power among a plurality of designated accounts.

“In this way, the supervision power of the accounts in the blockchain can be decentralization, such that the supervision power against the blockchain is not centralized in one designated account and the effectiveness and credibility of supervision can be ensured,” they wrote. “At the same time, it prevents the loss of all supervision power over the blockchain when one designated account is compromised.

Even apart from Alibaba’s proposed system, smart contract developers can generally write contracts that give them some degree of control over those contracts after they have been deployed. In Ethereum, for instance, developers can create “upgradeable contracts” that separate logic and data into separate contracts, one of which calls the other, often with the use of delegatecall and a so-called proxy contract. When creating its stablecoin, cryptocurrency exchange Gemini implemented a proxy contract to enable it to freeze tokens held by suspected criminals and otherwise comply with financial regulations. However, developers warn that creating upgradeable contracts significantly increases the complexity of the code, raising the likelihood of bugs.

Alibaba’s proposed system would not only reduce the complexity associated with giving administrators extraordinary privileges but would also give them the ability to perform these actions over the entire network, not just on a particular token or smart contract.

https://www.ccn.com/alibaba-seeks-patent-for-blockchain-that-allows-administrator-intervention/

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Expert: Banks are Enthusiastic Towards Crypto, Waiting for Regulators to Invest.

According to Rebecca Harding, a financial journalist and the acclaimed author of “The Weaponization of Trade: the Great Unbalancing of policy and economics,” major financial institutions are waiting to invest in the crypto market.

Harding, who operates as the CEO of Coriolis Technologies, a trade technology company that provides services to major banks and corporations in the traditional finance sector, said in an interview with Forbes contributor Billy Bambrough that the vast majority of banks are healthily skeptical and curious about crypto.

She explained that banks have started to acknowledge the need to invest in the market to keep up with developments in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, but are currently awaiting the green light from regulators and financial authorities.

Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley on the Sidelines

As CCN reported, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley, three of the largest investment banks in the US, have already developed a wide range of products including a trusted custodian solution to serve institutional investors in the cryptocurrency market.

Morgan Stanley is said to have developed the infrastructure required to provide complex derivatives tied to Bitcoin, with the plans of launching Bitcoin swap trading as soon as the bank sees enough demand from institutions for crypto.

To remain relevant in the fintech space and connected to the cryptocurrency space, Harding said that banks are closely working with newly emerging fintech companies to study the cryptocurrency market and will soon allocate capital into the asset class.

“A lot of banks are healthily skeptical about bitcoin and blockchain. They see the need to invest in it to keep up with technological developments, but they’re waiting to see where regulators fall and are working closely with financial technology (fintech) companies to make sure they’re not behind the curve. There is a lot of money being poured into [blockchain and cryptocurrencies],” she explained.

Korea Bitcoin

South Korean banks are reportedly holding more than $2 billion in BTC and ETH.

In July, Yonhap, a mainstream media outlet in South Korea, reported that commercial banks in the country are holding more than $2 billion in Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Bank of Korea, the central bank of the country, stated in a report that the amount banks have invested in cryptocurrencies is relatively small in comparison to their investment in other equity markets. But, local investors have expressed their optimism towards the fact that leading banks hold a significant sum of cryptocurrencies.

“The amount of crypto-asset investment is not really big, compared with other equity markets, and local financial institutions’ exposure to possible risks of digital assets is insignificant. Against this backdrop, we expect crypto-assets to have a limited impact on the South Korean financial market,” the Bank of Korea report read.

Banks are Concerned

Harding emphasized that a growing number of banks have begun to invest and hold cryptocurrencies because they see the risk of their business models rendering irrelevant in the years to come if they fail to address the needs and demands of millennials and the new generation customers.

“Banks are at risk of becoming nothing more than large fintech companies, people in the industry tell me,” she said.

If a leading market like the US imposes a major change in its regulation to further legitimize the cryptocurrency market, possibly by enabling a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), experts believe that more banks will acquire cryptocurrencies as a long-term investment.

https://www.ccn.com/expert-banks-are-enthusiastic-towards-crypto-waiting-for-regulators-to-invest/

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Time Magazine Puts Blockchain Startup in ’50 Most Genius Companies’ List

Bitland, one of the first startups to use blockchain technology to create a land registry, has been named to Time Magazine’s “50 Most Genius Companies” list. Time asked its global network of correspondents to nominate businesses that are inventing the future, then evaluated candidates on originality, influence, success, and ambition. The companies are listed in alphabetical order.

Bitland, under the leadership of Ghana resident Narigamba Mwinsuubo, uses blockchain technology to create immutable public records of land ownership. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated that 90% of the land in Ghana is unregistered, providing little legal recourse to people if their land is stolen.

Once land ownership is verified by Bitland’s operatives on the ground, ownership is documented in a format that cannot be altered retroactively. The firm’s operatives work in cooperation with government officials.

Tokenization Makes Assets Tradable

Bitland creates a cryptographic token which represents the land using colored coins on the Bitcoin blockchain. Tokenization allows land, like any asset, to be used as a tradeable instrument.

The project also creates smart contracts governing purchase, lease, and rental of the assets that can be executed automatically for escrow accounts, savings accounts, wills, and shareholder contracts, according to the company’s website. Resource rights protected by land rights include water, shared wells, shared sewage, mining, community land, shared cattle, and other resources.

To create titles on the blockchain, Bitland uses GPS coordinates, a mapping system, PGP keys, and a timestamping service.

The platform currently operates in seven African nations and India. It also supports Native American communities in the United States.

Also read: Research: Blockchain tech interests corporate treasurers in Africa and Latin America

Meeting A Need

Elliot Hedman, Bitland’s chief operating officer, said insecure land rights are the major factor undermining economic and socioeconomic progress in developing countries.

In addition to helping individuals and groups to survey land and record title deeds, Bitland serves as liaison with governments to resolve disputes.

The project began in 2016 with 28 communities in Kumasi, Ghana, with the intention of expanding across the African continent.

https://www.ccn.com/time-magazine-puts-blockchain-startup-in-50-most-genius-companies-list/

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Bitcoin Scam Ads are Destroying Lives, Says Money Expert Suing Facebook.

People who have lost their entire savings to fraudulent bitcoin investment schemes advertised on Facebook are turning suicidal, Martin Lewis says.

The U.K.-based consumer advisor, who runs MoneySavingExpert.com, blamed Facebook for causing the financial catastrophe by promoting scam ads on its trusted social network, many featuring himself. Lewis in April launched a lawsuit against the Mark Zuckerburg-helmed firm for allowing ads to run on its system without any background check on the promoters. He plans to distribute any court settlement among the victims of the bitcoin investment scheme ads if the lawsuit goes in his favor.

But, in the meantime, many people have already reached out to Lewis with their stories, which he shared with local media.

“The impact on peoples mental health of losing their retirement funds, or losing their children’s, children’s money that they thought they were investing is catastrophic and life-destructive,” said Lewis, adding that people had invested because their ad featured his face.

“People who say, ‘I’ve lost all my retirement funds, I don’t know how to live, I don’t know how to go on.’ People [are] crying their eyes out,” he explained. “From my perspective, these people say, ‘I only did this because I trusted Martin Lewis.’ You can see how I feel about it.”

Lewis is reportedly seeking millions of dollars in damage from Facebook to compensate victims before he settles. He is also seeking an apology and “manifest substantial change” in the methods by which the social media company handles paid advertising. Lewis has previously asked Facebook to hire specialized professionals that could monitor and report false advertising in real-time, particularly the ones that misuse the names of public figures to dupe people.

Mike Schroepfer, the CTO of Facebook, in May told U.K. lawmakers that they were planning to launch a facial recognition feature to weed out these blatant scams, but its deployment across their large-scale network turned out to be impractical. In January, before Lewis filed the lawsuit, Facebook had banned crypto-advertisements on its website, particularly those promoting initial coin offerings (ICOs). The company reversed its decision in June. It now allows pre-approved advertisers to promote specific services, not including ICOs.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to local media that they were mounting their crackdown against the false advertising campaigns on their website. In response to Lewis’ demand for adding specialized workforce, the spokesperson assured the publication that they have already doubled-up human resources in their online security wing.

https://www.ccn.com/u-k-money-expert-sues-facebook-over-bitcoin-scam-ads/

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Zero to 30: Bitcoin ATMs Come to Argentina as Peso Dives and Inflation Soars.

With inflation in Argentina expected to rise above 40 percent before the close of the year, the demand for bitcoin in the South American country has surged, resulting in cryptocurrency ATM firms projecting a large increase in the number of devices they plan to install in the country.

Argentina Prime Real Estate for Bitcoin ATMs

Currently, there are only two bitcoin ATMs in Argentina, both of them located in the country’s capital Buenos Aires, but by the end of the year, this figure could rise to 30, according to Reuters. The two machines were installed in the last three weeks with one activated on Sept. 18 while the newest came online on Oct. 3, according to Coin ATM Radar.

bitcoin atm

Per Dante Galeazzi, the operations manager of Athena Bitcoin, the firm that launched Argentina’s first cryptocurrency ATM last month, the loss in value of the Argentinian peso vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar has resulted in the marked growth of cryptocurrency transactions.

“With currency devaluations, we have seen a spike in bitcoin transactions. We see that as a safeguard to [Argentinian Peso’s] value, as well as an opportunity to invest in the market,” Galeazzi told Reuters.

For now, the two ATMs that have already been installed by Athena only support bitcoin, though there are plans to include other cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin cash, ethereum, and litecoin in the future.

Besides the U.S.-based Athena Bitcoin, another firm which is eyeing Argentina’s cryptocurrency ATM market is Odyssey Group, also a U.S. company. Odyssey’s ATMs will, however, not be restricted to the buying and selling of digital currencies but will offer other services associated with regular ATMs, such as withdrawing and depositing cash as well as money transfers between accounts.

Regional Ambitions

The U.S. firm is planning on installing 150 crypto ATMs in Argentina before the close of next year, with 80 percent of them being cryptocurrency-operational in the course of the first few months of 2019.

Besides the economically-ravaged Argentina, the two firms also plan on expanding their operations to other countries in Latin America, which is relatively underserved. According to Coin ATM Radar, South America only has 0.89 percent of the cryptocurrency ATMs in the world despite approximately 5.61 percent of the world’s population living there. Athena Bitcoin, for instance, intends to set up operations in Brazil, Chile, and Mexico. Brazil and Chile currently boast of just two bitcoin ATMs each, while Mexico has 11 machines.

https://www.ccn.com/from-zero-to-30-more-bitcoin-atms-coming-to-argentina-as-peso-dives-and-inflation-rises-by-double-digits/

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Abra Now Lets You Invest in a Cryptocurrency Index Fund Token.

Cryptocurrency wallet and exchange Abra have unveiled their collaboration with Bitwise Asset Management, allowing Abra customers to invest in a cryptocurrency token that tracks Bitwise’s large-cap crypto index.

Abra, Asset Manager Collaborate on Cryptocurrency Index Token

Users of the Abra app now have the ability to buy and sell the Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Token (BIT10). BIT10 is a cryptocurrency token based on the Bitwise 10 Large Cap Crypto Index run by Bitwise Asset Management. The BIT10 token enables customers to own tokens whose value tracks an index of 10 different large cap cryptocurrencies. Professionals at Bitwise oversee the index the token is based on, ensuring that the combination of crypto assets is up to specifications.

BIT10 is only available on the Abra app, with each token representing price action based on the above-mentioned index of 10 separate crypto assets. The 10 assets are picked by Bitwise, according to their status as high market cap assets. The chosen assets are managed and adjusted on a monthly basis, so as to provide the most effective combination of criteria.

There is only a $5 minimum investment in the BIT10, with no limitations as far as time periods for buying and selling. The index token provides the public with an accessible way to become involved in cryptocurrency markets, and gain exposure to the price movements of many different significant crypto assets, without the need for time-consuming research and constant portfolio management.

Matched with Simplicity and Accessibility

Abra

Source: Abra/Twitter

Pairing BIT10 with the Abra platform may prove to be an optimal combination for gaining further mainstream interest — which the crypto space needs more of at the moment, based on a report showing that only 8% of Americans and 9% of Europeans owned some type of cryptocurrency as of March 2018.

The Abra app is a place where individuals can go to easily buy or trade 28 different cryptocurrencies via 50 different fiat currency options. Abra envisions “an open, global financial system that is easily accessible to everyone.” Abra also utilizes the ability for users to control their own private keys — unlike many cryptocurrency investing apps — giving them added security and control.

Cryptocurrencies are complicated, with much of the public seeing the whole sector as confusing. Abra places importance on simplicity, with a greater likelihood of public involvement if things are clear and straightforward. Abra Founder and CEO Bill Barhydt explained, “We created the BIT10 token to allow greater access to cryptocurrency investing by making the experience simple and accessible.”

If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that simplicity helps market growth. Apple, for example, has heartily shown the effectiveness of simplicity time and time again, taking a potentially confusing device like the smartphone, and making it mainstream, achieving a profit share of four times the size of its closest smartphone competitor.

https://www.ccn.com/abra-now-lets-you-invest-in-a-cryptocurrency-index-fund-token/

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Goldman-Backed Circle is Selling Cryptocurrency ‘Collections’

Circle Invest announced today the launch of three new collections of index funds for cryptocurrencies.

Divya Agarwalla, Senior Vice President at Circle, posted on the company’s blog that the “Buy the Market” feature “…was so successful that over 30% of our users are taking advantage of it. As CCN reported, Circle released this feature in May as a way for customers to buy a market cap-weighted positions in the assets listed on the platform.

Collection Types Is Based on the Coin’s Mission

The three new collections will contain an index of coins based on their main goal/mission: Platforms, Payments, and Privacy. While some crypto-enthusiasts may take issue with the broad categorizations and a clear overlap between them, Circle has picked out coins for each collection.

“Crypto is complicated,” Agarwalla said. “Many projects aim to solve similar real-world problems, but take vastly different approaches to get there,” she added, explaining:

“Projects like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, and Litecoin are trying to build superior payment rails based on blockchain technology so that making payments is as easy, instant, and as borderless as sending an email. If customers are passionate about this category of assets and want to invest, they can simply buy the Payments collection. Each of the assets in the collection will be weighted by market cap. Customers will also be able to educate themselves on the collections through our in-product content.”

The option to purchase the collections is now available in Circle Invest’s latest updates of the iOS and Android apps.

Index Fund Funds: Competition Heats Up

Cryptocurrency index funds have gained attention as major exchanges and wallet providers roll out the feature and outdo each other. This is perhaps not surprising given the success that low-fee index funds have had in the equities market.

Coinbase, for instance, launched its own version of a collection fund for retail investors on September 28, but calls them “bundles.” As CCN reported, the “bundle” is a market-cap-weighted bundle for the five cryptocurrencies list on Coinbase (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ethereum Classic). Notably, it has a very low minimum deposit of only $25. This is also in line with index funds offered by mutual fund firms for smaller retail investors: low start-up costs, low (or no) maintenance fees, and low minimum balance.

In addition, Bitwise, a prominent cryptocurrency index fund, filed with the SEC their own ETF called Bitwise10 (Bitwise HOLD 10 Cryptocurrency Index Fund). The fund would include the 10 top largest cryptocurrencies by mark capitalization.

Bear in mind, Circle Invest also only offers 11 cryptocurrencies on its platform, of which the new collections will be comprised. As an official index hasn’t been agreed on yet for cryptocurrencies, such as the DOW or S&P 500, market capitalization remains a guide for these types of coin collections.

https://www.ccn.com/goldman-backed-circle-is-selling-cryptocurrency-collections/

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Bitcoin Fraudsters Impersonated U.S. Regulators, Forged CFTC Documents.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has filed charges against two cryptocurrency fraudsters who impersonated U.S. regulators and forged documents as part of a scheme to steal bitcoin from retail investors.

According to a complaint filed last Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, the defendant(s) — operating under the names Morgan Hunt and Kim Hecroft — misappropriated cryptocurrency funds from customers who thought they were investing in bitcoin investment products. Hunt, purportedly from Arlington, TX, ran a business called Diamonds Trading Investment House, while Hecroft, supposedly from Baltimore, operated the business First Options Trading. The CFTC says that Hunt and Hecroft were either working together or that these names are aliases for the same person.

As part of their schemes, the defendants allegedly forged CFTC documents to trick clients into believing that they could not withdraw funds from their bitcoin accounts unless they paid a tax to the CFTC, which in actuality is not a tax-collecting agency. The agency says that Hecroft convinced at least one client to send him BTC under the pretense of fulfilling that tax obligation.

Hunt, meanwhile, had one of his associates impersonate a fictitious CFTC investigator during a telephone conversation with a customer who was skeptical about the supposed CFTC tax. When the client pressed further, Hunt sent the customer a forged document bearing the official CFTC seal.

Commenting on the charges, CFTC Director of Enforcement James McDonald said:

“Increased public awareness of the CFTC’s involvement in policing the virtual currency markets has, unfortunately, provided new opportunities for bad actors. As alleged in the Complaint, Defendants sought to exploit public trust in the CFTC through forged documents purporting to be official CFTC memoranda requiring the payment of a tax on cryptocurrency accounts. The CFTC does not collect taxes. The CFTC is on guard against fraudsters who try to take advantage of the CFTC’s reputation in order to cheat customers, and will take swift action against such misconduct.”

As CCN reported, CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo said recently that the CFTC was “very focused” on fraud and manipulation in the cryptocurrency space, particularly since he believes the nascent asset class is “here to stay.”

Recently, the CTFC notched a major victory in their quest to police the cryptocurrency markets, as a U.S. judge formally ruled that the agency has the jurisdiction to prosecute virtual currency fraud.

Read the full CFTC complaint below:

Bitcoin Fraudsters Impersonate CFTC by CCN on Scribd

 

Featured Image from Shutterstock

https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-fraudsters-impersonated-u-s-regulators-forged-cftc-documents/

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Bitcoin Price Continues Sideways Stroll…How Much Longer?

With the current market movement (or lack of it) it’s important to understand the forces behind it and, at least to some extent, find reasons for the current stillness. Price has been moving sideways for a couple of weeks now, so when can we expect a nice pump?

Hopefully, with the assistance of some professional traders, we might find some reassurance, as the volume is expected to come into Bitcoin in the near future. At least, that’s what usually happens from mid-October to January. But, as you have now learned the hard way, there are no guarantees when it comes to price predictions.

One thing is certain, tho, price increases when positive volume comes into bitcoin; and positive volume is correlated to cryptocurrencies adoption both as an everyday currency or means to store value (look at Venezuela and Brazil, countries suffering from massive currency inflation problems).

Of course, adoption doesn’t only come from technology development, as cryptocurrency projects need to foster a better environment in terms of user rewards and incentives. If you’re not aware of the recent issues with mining contracts termination, check this article.

Why is price moving sideways?

On my latest couple of articles I’ve been kind of focused on Bitcoin and its underlying technology, the blockchain. I discussed the lightning network, why I see Bitcoin as the King of Kings and, of course, why so many people mistake blockchain for DLTs.

If we align the trend of how smart money and dumb money forces push the price upwards or downwards with the lack of interest from the general population, over cryptocurrency and bitcoin, it becomes clear why has the price been moving sideways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media trend lines

People seem to have lost all interest on Bitcoin. If you were looking for good news, this is it. When the markets are bleeding the hardest is when you can generally make the best entry points. Could Bitcoin price go lower? Does Google Trends give a perfect correlation between price and number of hits? Obviously not. Nonetheless, I would consider to take it into consideration, as it does show how people are feeling towards something.

Yes, the spikes match the huge price increases and drops which happen throughout late November 2017 to February 2018.

Worldwide volume

Another interesting piece of data is the Bitcoin trading volume. Even with the biggest run in 2017, Bitcoin trading volume on exchanges hasn’t reached the same peak levels as of the end of 2016. Quite astonishing, isn’t it? I would argue we will still likely experience a major bull-run, the issue is timing it correctly. There’ll be plenty of time as price still moves slow enough for you to be able to lose a couple of days of trading.

Time spent on the market

There’s a really nice article explaining why timing is so critical, but the gist of it is that if you miss, for example, the best 10 days of trading during peak highs/lows, you could lose potentially lose more than 50% of all potential profits. This is, missing the 10 best days can lower your expected returns in halve.

What we ought to do is to actually wait patiently for a good opportunity to either buy or sell; instead of worrying, take these opportunities to either average your losses, by re-buying bitcoin, or to actually dig deeper and study some techniques that can help you improve your predictions accuracy.

Nobody can time the market perfectly, but there are a few tricks to minimize your risk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looks shady, right? As you can see volume has been quite low across all exchanges. And we’re looking into bitcoin, the most traded cryptocurrency there is. This also shows that clearly there is no new smart money pouring into Bitcoin, as low volume usually means no huge quantity of fresh cash is coming into the market. By looking at the number of trades we can clearly see trading volume may not be the catalyst for Bitcoin’s price to explode.

New developments

Firstly although there are not many people betting on bitcoin, this doesn’t mean the technology hasn’t been improving. Over the last couple of years, two major breakthroughs have happened:

Secondly, we look at the amount of data on each segwit activated block, as the purpose of segwit was to make blocks smaller, so capable of having more transactions per block. We can do this by looking into the sewgit transaction count.

Adoption is increasing among big players, as there has been a huge spike recently.

Will Price Go Upwards or Downwards?

Many different outcomes may come to price and, as some TA experts point out, the low market volume could be attributed to both retail investors and institutional investors pulling back from the markets. However, a flip is likely to happen sometime soon. We just need to patiently wait.

If you want my personal (and not financial advice) on how to behave, this is what I usually do:

  1. Follow the smart-money: buy when low, sell when high.
  2. Don’t get over-hyped by news. We can recover from 90% drops.
  3. Listen to people that possess some form of expertise in cryptocurrency and then try to adapt what you learn to your personal strategies (trading, analysis, technology development, etc).
  4. Think for yourself and don’t get greedy. Owning your mistakes is the easiest way to improve.

At the end of the day for a new technology to be exciting, it necessarily needs to be over-hyped. Share your thoughts down below!

https://www.ccn.com/a-30-million-manhattan-condo-was-just-tokenized-on-public-ethereum-blockchain/

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A $30 Million Manhattan Condo Was Just Tokenized on Public Ethereum Blockchain.

Manhattan’s first major asset to be tokenized on the blockchain is a luxury condo recently valued at $30 million.

The East Village building contains 12 condos, each with 1700 square feet of space and each now tokenized on the Ethereum blockchain. The real estate property is now represented with a sum of tokens available for purchase on the blockchain. A token represents a portion of the value of the property, allowing people to invest in luxury condos even with a small investment, something which was previously very difficult if not impossible.

Bestselling author Ryan Serhant brokered the deal and favors tokenization as a viable modern financing method. Speaking to Forbes, Serhant said:

“The market in New York is always strong, but it can take some time to sell for the right price in a new construction building. With blockchain tokenization, we can remove the unruly pressure of traditional bank financing, which is much healthier for the project and all of the stakeholders. Tokenization is paving the way for a new forefront in real estate development.”

Digital assets firm Propellr partnered with tokenization specialists Fluidity to tokenize the real estate and the firms will continue to collaborate in future. Propellr is a FINRA registered broker-dealer and will use its experience in capital markets to sell securities (both traditional and tokenized) under Reg D rule 506(c). Fluidity, on the other hand, offers tech services to broker-dealers and other financial institutions dealing in tokenized securities. The parent company of AirSwap, Fluidity ensures that Propellr can accept fiat payments in exchange for securities in a way that is legally compliant.

“Going to market with a landmark deal allows us to make a statement—that this technology is now real. With the right partners and an optimized structure, we are bringing a major real world asset online.  We are grateful we have the opportunity to lead the blockchain community in this new paradigm,” says Michael Oved, co-founder of Fluidity.

Tokenizing Everything

Real estate tokenization has been on the horizon for some time, and the tokenization of the luxury condo complex is a major step in seeing that use case realized. Tokenization can be applied to numerous other asset classes to increase liquidity and provide investment opportunities for smaller investors, potentially revolutionizing the investment industry.

In 2014, Visa CEO Charles Schaff stated the case for asset tokenization. Four years later, there are companies like ArtPro which will allow investors to purchase a sum of tokens representing an investment in classic and modern art pieces, whereas other projects like Inveniam are tokenizing global debt markets for investors to buy into. Binance recently led a $12 million funding round in tokenization startup Republic which aims to identify other tokenization investment opportunities as the list of use cases in asset tokenization continues to grow, providing new investment opportunities to the world through blockchain technology.

https://www.ccn.com/a-30-million-manhattan-condo-was-just-tokenized-on-public-ethereum-blockchain/

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