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Regarding cryptocurrencies and their stability, there’s always plenty of debate, creating an opinion matrix on the subject. Some experts believe the potential growth of virtual coins is undeniable and secure, and on the other hand, others sustain that what happens behind the curtains with cryptos is just a trend with a limited future.
American company Bloomberg, that offers financial software, data, and news, recently deployed a study to determine how the future for cryptocurrencies looks and how comparable virtual coins are with traditional asset classes.
Bloomberg’s research on cryptocurrencies
To complete the study, Bloomberg collected information related to the trading activity of cryptocurrencies over 16 months and observed the volatility of virtual coins to establish how close or far are cryptocurrencies to acting like a traditional asset.
The study was published last Wednesday, May 3rd, on their website. Among other things it firmly concluded that, even though cryptocurrencies have shown a bullish behavior despite its volatility, this doesn’t give assurance that the new form of money will continue this behavior into the future.
An important factor mentioned in the study is that cryptocurrencies are so volatile that they are unlikely to be used as a payment method while purchasing goods or services, and even less so for paying salaries. In fact, during the timeframe of the study, only two out of the thousands of investments not related to cryptos had similar fluctuation.
Similarly, Bloomberg established that cryptocurrencies are not comparable with traditional assets and that if there were to be a relation between these two, it would be very remote.
Bloomberg concludes their study by saying that potential notable returns within the crypto market through Initial Coin Offerings could actually be dwarfed and put at risk with by the government entities designed to keep an eye on virtual coins, such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC).
The insights of the study deployed by Bloomberg are somehow discouraging in relation to what’s the ‘actual’ future of cryptocurrencies.
While there isn’t good reason to disregard Bloomberg’s opinion, it is also true that cryptocurrencies are still new, and their long-term behavior has not been deciphered yet.
So, even when many may think they have it all discovered, the new form of money could strike back and surprise them in the near future. In fact, Goldman Sachs, the giant of the banking industry has recently declared that is opening up a crypto trading desk as many of its users were calling for it.
Bank of Russia may be ready to use blockchain technology for sending and receiving payments. The information released by the news outlet Izvestiya on My the 4th. According to the reports, Bank of Russia could be using the Ethereum platform to speed up payments.
Different companies, banks and governments all over the world are working with blockchain technology so as to improve transaction speeds and reduce costs. This time, the Bank of Russia may be the next in the list of institutions working with this technology. According to banking sources the plans for using Ethereum have been confirmed.
The main purpose of the central bank of Russia is to transfer payments on SPFS – a local version of the SWIFT system. If the integration turns out to be successful, then, the system could potentially become ‘more reliable’ than SWIFT itself, which had several issues, hacks and security concerns in the last years.This is not the first time that blockchain technology sees adoption in Russia. At UseTheBitcoin we have reported many times that Russia is a country very interested in exploiting distributed ledger technology. Indeed, it has even explained its plans to create its own virtual currency known as CryptoRuble.
A senior official at fellow bank BKF said:
“Implementing blockchain technology undoubtedly raises the level of protection for SPFS in relation to hacker attacks. This is especially pertinent given the slew of banks, including Russia’s Globeks, which have fallen victim to hacker attacks via SWIFT.”
The size of the savings by switching to blockchain technology are not specified and yet unknown. What is important to mark is that the current costs of using SPFS is around ($0.03) per transaction. Moreover, the reduction of costs should also be linked with the increased security. Banks will be losing less money from problems in the network, hacks, security issues or other circumstances.
Back in February, we wrote that Russia’s largest state bank, Sberbank, was going to launch a virtual currency exchange in Europe, showing that the interest for virtual currencies is growing.
The virtual currency born from a fork of Bitcoin (BTC) and ZClassic (ZCL), Bitcoin Private (BTCP), has been listed on HitBTC. The information is very important for the BTCP community that has been working very hard in order to spread the knowledge about Bitcoin Private.
Good news for the Bitcoin Private community that now will be able to trade their favourite virtual currency on HitBTC. HitBTC is the 12th most important virtual currency exchange in the market with a trading volume of $344.84 million dollars. The most important trading pairs are BCH/BTC, BTC/USDT, and ETH/BTC, accounting for almost 50% of the total trading volume of the exchange.
The announcement has been made by HitBTC on Twitter on May the 3rd.
At the same time, HitBTC made an interview with the team of BTCP, which has been published on HitBTC’s blog shortly after the announcement of the listing.
Bitcoin Private’s team said:
“What sets Bitcoin Private aside from other Bitcoin forks is that it is the first to bring mathematically provable privacy technology to the Bitcoin community. Another big differentiator when compared to other Bitcoin forks that is often times overlooked is that of the open source development community itself. The BTCP team has by far the most active development team among any of the Bitcoin forks, and in just under 60 days after the mainnet launch it has already proven to be the only Bitcoin fork dedicated to bringing the best privacy technology to a mainstream adoption level.”
Bitcoin private is a privacy-focused bitcoin it’s a fork of ZClassic (ZCL), combining the Unspent Transaction Output (UXTO) of ZCL, with that of Bitcoin (BTC). The snapshot of both ZClassic and Bitcoin blockchain was taken on February the 28th and holders of each virtual currency were eligible for Bitcoin Private (BTCP) cryptocurrencies at a 1:1 ratio.
The tweet reads as follows:
“Bitcoin private ($BTCP), a community-driven BTC/ZCL fork consisting of over 150 contributors, is now listed on #HitBTC. We would like to thank all the $BTCP community for your support, vigilance and team spirit. Trade $BTCP: hitbtc.com/exchange/BTCP-…”
Some time ago, the famous social network platform Reddit, decided to no longer accept bitcoin payments for purchasing Reddit Gold. According to the company, this happened because of some bugs with Bitcoin payments and the Coinbase change on commercial accounts
he Reddit user emoney04 explained:
“The upcoming Coinbase change, combined with some bugs around the Bitcoin payment option that were affecting purchases for certain users, led us to remove Bitcoin as a payment option.”
At the moment, it seems that the platform is ready to incorporate back crypto payments for purchasing Reddit Gold, but with one unexpected surprise, Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC) would be accepted.
Reddit Restores Crypto Purchases
In an interview with Cheddar, Reddit CTO Chris Slower, explained that Bitcoin had very high fees and was a problem for purchasing Reddit Gold. At the same time, he said that they are also looking at Ethereum and Litecoin, which are operated by Coinbase, have low fees and fast transactions.
Christopher Slowe commented:
“We’ve been looking at other cryptocurrencies in fact. That was part of the issue with the high fees on the Bitcoin network. We were looking at Ethereum and Litecoin that were provided both by Coinbase as well.”
Important figures of the cryptocurrency space have already shown their support to Mr. Slower’s comments. Charlie Lee, Litecoin’s founder gave a retweet to Cheddar’s interview and showed his support for this decision.
Reddit plans to support Litecoin payments. #PayWithLitecoin https://twitter.com/cheddar/status/991761725379801090 …
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At the same time, Mr. Slowe said that Reddit has one of the oldest Bitcoin communities online around 8 years ago. Moreover, he explained that every single coin in existence has a specific sub-Reddit for discussions.
Coinbase made important changes to Coinbase Commerce, which allowed merchants to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment. Currently, if a commerce wants to keep accepting virtual currencies as a payment option, they will have to make a significant upgrade.
Now, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will come back to the platform allowing users to easily give Reddit Gold to an interesting article, post or discussion.
The use of blockchain considerably reduced the time of entire loan process – from negotiations to signing the loan – from a few days to just a few hours.
Global banking institutions across the globe have now spear-headed the process of using the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) famously called the Blockchain technology for its services and products involving transactions. According to the latest Financial Times report, Spain’s second-largest banking group – Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) – has now become the first global bank to issue a loan using the blockchain technology.
The loan worth €75 million ($91.33 million) has been issued to one of the bank’s corporate clients and the entire process of the loan disbursement – right from to negotiations to signing the loan – has been done on the blockchain. The entire system for this trail uses two different blockchains – the public Ethereum blockchain and the private digital ledger.
The bank hailed the use of the blockchain technology as a breakthrough achievement as it significantly reduced the time of negotiations from days to a few hours. Carlos Torres Vila, BBVA chief executive said: “Blockchain can offer clear advantages for all sides in the corporate loan market in terms of efficiency, transparency, security. It’s another strong example of how disruptive technology can be used to add value to financial services, something that is central to our strategy.”
Carlos also revealed that the bank has several more transactions in the immediate pipeline apart from this pilot project with the Spanish telecom giant Indra.
Although the reports are sparse on the use of private blockchain, the report says that the negotiating terms between both the parties – bank and borrower – have been simultaneously recorded and updated on a mutual blockchain while keeping each other informed about each stage of the loan process.
While talking about blockchain, Indra’s Director of Financial Services Borja Ochoa said that it was “destined to become one of the technologies that will change the way we interact with products and financial services” and that the pilot “strengthens the position of BBVA and Indra as leaders in the practical application of blockchain technologies”.
This is not for the first time that BBVA is using the blockchain technology to streamline its banking services. The Spanish banking giant is a part of the R3 consortium and has invested significantly in developing the entire blockchain-based banking process. Last year at the end of 2017, the bank for the first time used the blockchain technology for yet another pilot program that was aimed at automating the document presentation for import-export operations between Latin America and Spain.
This considerably reduced the transaction time for sending, verification, and authorization of foreign trade from 7-10 days to a mere 2.5 hours. Ricardo Laiseca, BBVA’s Head of Global Finance for Corporate and Investment Banking says “BBVA is involving its clients in project processes such as requirements definition, development, and implementation. In this way, BBVA provides its customers with not only the best financial solutions but also the most advanced technical and innovative capabilities.”
Another Spanish banking giant – Banco Santander has push-forward its blockchain pursuits and has recently joined hands with blockchain startup Ripple in order to improve its services for instant global fund transfers.
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Cynopsis Solutions, the leading provider of Know-Your-Customer (KYC) services in Asia Pacific to blockchain company startups, took a major step forward in realizing its vision of being the biggest in the world with the official launch of its ICO program via its subsidiary, traceto.io. Its existing portfolio of clients already comprises an estimated USD $3 billion in contributions raised since 2017. Over the last decade, regulatory measures relating to anti-money laundering (AML), countering terrorism financing (CTF) and market misconduct measures have cumulatively cost the banking and finance industry at least USD $321 billion. With regulatory compliance standards becoming increasingly stringent for cryptocurrency-based operators, the already sizeable market for KYC services in the cryptocurrency sector is set to grow exponentially in the short-term – with traceto.io strategically positioned to capture much of that market growth.
The traceto.io team, which represents over five decades of experience and expertise in compliance and regulatory tech, has pioneered KYC services in a crypto sector frequently criticized for its lack of an established regulatory framework. With significant and growing interest from traditional institutional and retail investors in the cryptocurrency sector, traceto.io will enable cryptocurrency-based projects to establish and maintain the rigorous compliance processes that these regulators typically demand.
“We’ve already helped close to 200 cryptocurrency projects and blockchain-based companies do KYC long before it became industry best practice today. We have also a very healthy pipeline of projects that we are speaking to on a daily basis.” said traceto.io’s CEO, Mr. Chionh Chye Kit who is also the Managing Director and Co-Founder of Cynopsis Solutions, “With more robust and strict regulations coming into play, our platform is ideally positioned to be the leading KYC provider for blockchain companies and initiatives globally.”
The traceto.io platform will also allow blockchain-based startups to operate with greater confidence as they navigate compliance with rapidly changing regulatory frameworks globally. Historically restricted from operating freely in many jurisdictions, projects will be able to handle this regulatory obligation with ease. It is also intended to remove the repetitive nature of KYC that end users have to go through at the moment when they sign up with various cryptocurrency exchanges or ICOs.
“Our platform is a win-win proposition for both sides of the market” said Chye Kit, “We’ll help participants access crypto markets with greater confidence that they’re dealing with legitimate projects which are compliant with KYC requirements, and simultaneously help projects access critical contribution support and to be able to level up their KYC standards.”
In line with its larger vision to facilitate greater regulatory confidence in the cryptocurrency sector and facilitate continuing innovation, traceto.iowas recently announced as the first approved token listing on the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX), a new exchange focused on seeking to pioneer higher standards and best practices for ICO projects.
With cryptocurrency and the market in the news, every day for some reason or the other, conventional media portrays a picture of disdain and intolerance between governments and the industry. While this is true with the majority of countries, there are a lot of proud nations that are welcoming the new with open arms.
The blockchain revolution is something every developing nation ought to want to be at the forefront of. Because the blockchain is the future and it is just a matter of time before the technology becomes one the underlying principle of all systems. While the assumption may seem conceited, the blockchain’s capability is actually that much that its potential alone is enough to entice people to switch.
Countries like China, India and Pakistan have recently gone and released statements through their Reserve Banks banning the dealing with cryptocurrencies, which on-ground cripples the growth potential of the industry in the respective countries. But a lot of countries have taken the change head-on and when the time comes for others to make the transition, they will lead the world into its new era.
Here is a list of ten most cryptocurrency friendly nations in the world.
In early 2017, the country staged a full-fledged shift of governance onto the blockchain. Along with its politics going on the blockchain, its healthcare, voting and tax systems followed shortly after.
Many companies that are based out of countries that are not pro-crypto do their testing and research in Switzerland since FINMA has released guidelines that help and, in fact, encourages research and exploration into the capabilities of the blockchain.
In the first quarter of 2018, the Australian Government released a policy whose enactment would make sure that cryptocurrencies were available easily to everyone that was interested. The policy told 1200 newsagents country-wide to make cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum available over the counter.
The government has a very teasy 0% tax on crypto assets as they have no ‘issuers’ and come under no guidelines that the finance ministry has in place. This, however, does not mean the government has not repeatedly issued warnings about the risk and volatility of the market. But that is where the government of Denmark drew its line. No bans, no restrictions, nothing.
Canada also has the rare pride in having two cities be called ‘bitcoin hubs’; Vancouver and Toronto. The country, in general, is bustling with crypto exchanges and blockchain startups.
The Dutch government have decidedly been quite lax with regulations for the crypto market. And has also been experimenting with making its own crypto coin.
Regardless, the country is home to a thriving crypto community spread in big and small pocket all over. And only recently, a group of financial big-wigs came together to create the UK’s first blockchain industry trade body.
There was also a lot of chatter about the possibility of the Russian government bankrolling its own cryptocurrency; the crytoruble. But the project was shot down by the country’s very own finance ministry, saying the country should not have its own cryptocurrency and should instead support the market.
In Japan, it is not only the government, but the private sector seems to be all for crypto and blockchain interventions too. With many governments moving their documentation and tracking onto the blockchain and being more accepting of crypto as a method of payment.
The government, though it has issued multiple warnings about the use and trade of cryptocurrencies, has no steadfast laws under which the crypto market falls and hence has resulted in the vast mushrooming of crypto and blockchain tech startups. It is also the home for numerous cryptocurrency exchanges.
France’s Conseil d’Etat (Council of State), a body of the national government that provides the executive branch with legal advice and acts as the supreme court for administrative matters, has decided to reduce the tax rate on cryptocurrency sales from 45 to 19 percent, according to the report from Le Monde, local news outlet.
On Thursday, April 26, the Council of State said that such a significant change is a result of a new classification of Bitcoin separate from commercial or non-commercial activity. Currently, gains from the sale of cryptocurrency trading are considered to be “industrial and commercial profits”, while profits from occasional transactions are still non-commercial profits.” So, the profits arising from cryptocurrency sales should be considered as capital gains of “movable property”.
“The sale of ‘bitcoins’ fell under the principle from the category of capital gains of movable property,” the Council of State said.
Le Monde adds, hovewer, that the Council of State said certain types of transactions may “fall under provisions relating to other categories of income,” and that proceeds from cryptocurrency mining as well as commercial activities related to the technology will still be taxed at the BIC rate.
This means that tax on crypto gains can be as high as 45 percent for higher-band taxpayers, and is also added to the country’s generalized social contribution (CSG) of 17.2 percent. Hovewer, considering digital currencies as movable property brings a flat capital gains tax (CGT) liability of 19 percent, plus CSG.
Regulations for crypto transactions in France were established in July 2014. Some investors considered the tax regime harsh, that’s why they took a case to the supreme court over the regulations. According to Le Monde, the decision to change the crypto tax rate came after the appeal. Cutting the crypto tax rate would put an end to suffering of cryptocurrency investors on the tax day in France.
By the way, France has already started working on its crypto regulations. At the beginning of the year, the Minister of Economy created a crypto task force to examine regulation. Later, in March, the government proposed a ban on investment companies to trade in digital currencies until regulations have been implemented. Also in March, France’s financial market regulator was reported to be looking into legislation that would encourage the development of Initial Coin Offerings (ICO).
The Bitcoin price has bounced up to $9,370 following recent a 10 percent decline marked on April 26 that reportedly was triggered by the sale of the Mt. Gox trustee funds while technical figures indicate the feasible potential for a move higher towards major resistance at $10,000.
Bitcoin seems to recover from the price roller coaster it has exhibited for the last few days. At the press time, the king of altcoins hit the $9K mark according to data from cryptocurrency tracker CoinMarketCap and some analysts predict even more upwards in the nearest future. However, the digital currency has had a slow start to today’s trading, which might be signaling that the rally is coming to a pause.
The reason for the experienced decline in Bitcoin price became a Mt. Gox trustee’s major sellout that was said to dump on the public cryptocurrency exchange more than 17,000 Bitcoins over the past 24 hours. At a price of $9,700, 17,000 bitcoins were worth $165 million and that large sum of funds lead to increased volatility at the largest cryptocurrency exchanges.
In spite of the criticism from the cryptocurrency community and the request from investors to utilize the Over-The-Counter market to sell large batches of Bitcoin rather than cryptocurrency exchanges, the Mt. Gox trustee has continued to rely on major exchanges to dispose their funds. Consequently, subsequent to each sale, the price of Bitcoin has fallen by large margins.
Nevertheless, by now Bitcoin has managed to regain the value as well as re-emerge its volume, thus the overall market demand is being balanced. As practice shows, when Bitcoin remains in a neutral zone and is not flooded with sell orders, it tends to perform strong in the short-term giving investors a stimulus to anticipate the Bitcoin price to end April at $10,000, regardless of the recent drop in price triggered by the Mt. Gox sale.
And indeed this assumption might has merit, since over in Chicago the cryptocurrency space was boosted by the highest daily volume for Bitcoin futures trading since their introduction at the CBOE five months ago. The recently obtained market statistics reveals that about 18,210 contacts for the May futures were traded, along with 703 for the June contract and 87 for the July contract and no volume was reported for the exchange’s August-dated contract.
Kevin Davitt, the CBOE Options Institute senior instructor, said that the average daily volume (ADV) runs about 6,600 in XBT Bitcoin Futures when reported the volume was nearly three times ADV that makes approximately a total of 19,000 Bitcoin futures traded across the term structure.
Bitcoin’s recent gains comes amid a larger rebound observed across the cryptocurrency market. The other top 10 digital coins are all posting significant gains for the most recent 24-hour period, with Stellar (XLM) and IOTA (MIOTA) being the standout performers, thanks to their double-digit percentage increases.
Stellar’s robust performance have allowed the coin to overtake Cardano (ADA) as the seventh-largest digital currency by market capitalization. The second most valuable cryptocurrency, Ethereum (ETH), has turned in impressive performance too, gaining 7% over the period.
As a result of the rebound, the cryptocurrency market’s total valuation reached the $415-billion mark reached that once again nourishes the expectation of Pantera Capital CEO, Dan Morehead, who the other day has predicted a possible $40 trillion worthiness of cryptocurrency market capitalization.