The wall street titan is now all in when it comes to allowing clients to trade Bitcoin futures via one of its New York desks. Goldman Sachs becomes the first regulated financial institution to offer such a service. Part of the reason the firm decided to go this route is due to several inquiries received from hedge funds, foundations and endowments which had received donations from Bitcoin millionaires. Will Goldman Sachs cosign of Bitcoin increase confidence in the digital currency?
The Breakdown You Need to Know
The legitimacy bar for digital currencies has been raised now that Goldman Sachs is going to facilitate the institutional trading of Bitcoin. They’re proceeding cautiously and will not trade actual Bitcoin initially. Instead, the bank will use its own money to trade Bitcoin futures contracts for clients. It will also trade non-deliverable forward futures where trades will be settled in the regulated currency it’s quoted in.
Bitcoin had been on a rebound the past couple of months. Interest in the currency increased over the course of 2017, which also caused volatility to skyrocket. The price of the digital currency tripled in the second half of last year, topping out at $20,000 before dropping to $8,000 in February of 2018. The cryptocurrency traded as high as $9,300 before South Korean officials raided South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, sending prices to $8,650.
While Goldman Sachs dips its toes in the cryptocurrency markets, CultureBanx found BitMEX is way ahead of the game. CEO Arthur Hayes helms this leading cryptocurrency derivative exchange. The company offers derivative products to retail investors and has a daily trading volume approaching $3 billion. BitMEX made revenue of $83 million in 2017 and posted $21 million in revenue during January of this year. The company is on track to exceed its 2018 performance. “This is the best thing you could ever have. We make more money when the market goes down. We love this volatility,” Hayes said to Bloomberg.
As institutional investors engage in these derivatives, they’ll be looking to ease their cautiousness by having a reliable benchmark for their performance. Goldman Sachs alumnus and billionaire cryptocurrency advocate Mike Novogratz announced a partnership with Bloomberg to launch the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index. It will track the performance of the 10 most liquid cryptocurrencies. “This is just one more building block in the foundation which will get, at one point, pension funds and family offices and sovereign wealth funds all participating in the crypto economy,” Novogratz told Business Insider.
Bitcoin had a rough start to the year and suffered a major loss during the first quarter causing the price to plummet down 48%. Hayes noted we should be on the lookout for increased volatility in Bitcoin prices as more players enter the derivatives market for the cryptocurrency. “People have been lulled into complacency with a market that keeps going up every day,” Hayes said on the Flux Podcast. The market got a taste of this volatility in December 2017 when the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) launched Bitcoin futures trading. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco went on to confirm this volatility relationship. “It is consistent with trading behavior that typically accompanies the introduction of futures markets for an asset,” the bank said. It will be interesting to see just how much volatility institutional investors are willing to stomach as more players enter the cryptocurrency derivatives market.
red Smith, chairman and CEO of FedEx, told an audience this week that those who don’t embrace blockchain technology will be left behind and disrupted.
The head of the logistics company sees great potential in blockchain technology to improve cross-border transfers, and relayed these thoughts to the crowd at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 conference in New York.
“Blockchain has the potential to completely revolutionise what’s across the border, ” he said. “For cross-border shipments, ‘trust’ is legal requirement for every transaction. What blockchain has is a potential for the first time ever to make the information available for everybody.
“If you are not operating at the edge of new technologies, you will surely be disrupted. If you are not willing to embrace new technologies like the internet of things and blockchain to face those new threats, you are, maybe subtly, at some point… going to extinction.”
In February, FedEx joined the Blockchain in Transportation Alliance (BiTA) in order to explore how best to utilise blockchain in its business.
CIO Robert Carter, also speaking at the event, added: “We move easily 12 millionshipments a day and that moer than doubles during the peak seasons. While we absolutely believe this technology is going to scale, right now it makes sense for us to do this in our freight world.
“The application of these custody chains… is so critical to the information aspect. We’re operating on this place between the physical world and the digital world.”
Secure messaging service Telegram is canceling its initial coin offering (ICO), an anonymous source told The Wall Street Journal today, and it won’t be opening up its digital coins for public sale. The cancellation is a blow to public investors who hoped to get in on the ground floor of one of the largest cryptocurrency investment opportunities in history, with an estimated $1.7 billion already raised.
Another source cited in the Journal partially attributed the shutdown to increasingly tight regulations that the Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and other lawmakers have proposed since Telegram initially began planning an ICO.
Much has changed in the regulatory environment since January when rumors swirled that Telegram was contemplating an ICO. In February, SEC chairman Jay Clayton had harsh words for ICOs that dodged registering with the SEC. “Many ICOs are being conducted illegally,” Clayton said, testifying before Congress. “Their promoters and other participants are not following our security laws.” In March, reports surfaced that the SEC sent subpoenasto dozens of cryptocurrency companies including tech companies that had launched ICOs.
It could also be the case that Telegram has simply raised enough money in private sales that it no longer needed an ICO. Telegram’s first presale in February raised $850 million from 81 investors; in March, the company said it had successfully raised another $850 million from 94 investors in a second round. In total, Telegram raked in $1.7 billion from fewer than 200 private investors.
The money is supposedly going toward Telegram’s Open Network project that will continue to fund its messaging platform and develop new features. The network would be built with a public ledger that would eventually serve as an alternative to Visa or Mastercard, Telegrampromised.
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.
You have probably heard about Bitcoins, Cryptocurrencies, and other virtual currencies. In case you were planning on purchasing any of these through your digibank account, we are afraid you won’t be able to do so. This is a precautionary measure that digibank is taking in order to keep your account secure.
RBI has notified us, through its ‘Statement on Developmental & Regulatory Policies’ dated 5th April 2018, to not allow any individual or business entity to deal in Cryptocurrencies.
We have always worked towards making banking easier, quicker and safer for you, and will continue to do so.
digibank by DBS
The problem with current blockchains
The current consensus mechanisms with PoW and PoS face the problem of being too slow. Ethereum’s 13 transactions per second and lack of scalability make its uneconomic use questionable in the future. Alternatives like NEO and EOS exist but bring along their own disadvantages. Currently, most businesses run their platforms on Ethereum and changing to a different blockchain is difficult.
Ethereum: 7-15 tps,🛴 GoChain: 1300 tps
Gochain is a decentralized cryptocurrency and blockchain that is compatible with Ethereum, but faster. You can use it with current Ethereum wallets, smart contracts and decentralized applications.
To allow 100 times more transactions per second, it relies on Proof of Reputation to reach consensus, which is a stronger and more secure version of Proof of Authority. This algorithm will be far more energy efficient, needing about 0.001% of the power used to currently mine Ethereum. Also, the nodes will be spread geographically, to prevent them from being taken over by governments or, like currently, being pseudo-decentralized with the majority of the miners being in China.
They already built 1M/s solutions and have a 1000/s testnet
The team consists of founders, long-term investors and software engineers with years of experience in distributed cloud systems and high scale applications.
The team is lead by Jason Dekker, who was a hedge fund manager who has managed in excess of $250 million, angel investor, board member and advisor with an exit to a public company.
Chief Solution architect Travis Reeder has over 20 years of experience developing high-throughput, high scale applications and cloud services and has founded successful technology companies and has raised tens of millions in funding from some of the top VC firms in Silicon Valley
There is a strong need for high scale and robust blockchains and GoChain is a step in the right direction. The testnet and mainnet updates at a pre-ICO stage is a very positive sign and the team behind the project is strong.
Worth having a look at if you’re in the market for a solid ICO to back – https://gochain.io/
Steep transaction fees and wild price fluctuations have made the cryptocurrency harder to use in the illicit markets that originally made it famous.
Of all of bitcoin’s uses—as a currency, a payment system, an investment, a commodity, a technology, a remittance network, a market hedge—perhaps its most notorious is as a facilitator of online drug transactions. For years now, the cryptocurrency has allowed anonymous purchasers to pay anonymous vendors on eBay-like markets, avoiding the use of the formal financial system and thus the easy intervention of the federal authorities.
“Making small talk with your pot dealer sucks. Buying cocaine can get you shot. What if you could buy and sell drugs online like books or light bulbs? Now you can: Welcome to Silk Road,” the journalist Adrian Chen wrote in an exposé for Gawker on the now-defunct market, back in 2011. At the time, Chen called it “the most complete implementation of the bitcoin vision” of freewheeling, anarcho-libertarian anonymity.
Seven years later, though, problems with using bitcoin on the dark web—a kind of mirror internet that uses encryption to ensure its participants’ privacy and features websites that are not accessible from standard browsers—have piled up. Purchasers and vendors are cancelling orders, losing money, and fleeing to other forms of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin remains in wide use for drugs and other illegal goods, but the shadowy markets that made it famous, and infamous, are turning on it.
For Wall Street–type investors seeking to buy and hold bitcoin or risk-happy prospectors looking to make a quick buck, such price swings are generally a feature, not a bug. Nor are they problematic for many the many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs interested in the blockchain technology underpinning the currency. But this kind of volatility is a headache for participants in marketplaces with transactions denominated in bitcoin. That means the darknet markets, which have continued to crop up and collapse since the federal authorities seizedSilk Road in 2013.
On those markets, the price of drugs and other illicit and licit goods are fundamentally pegged to dollars or euros, not bitcoin. Buyers think in terms of traditional currencies, in other words: An eighth of an ounce of marijuana is worth $25, not a minuscule fraction of a bitcoin. And vendors think in the same terms, often purchasing wholesale goods with dollars or other government-issued currencies, or seeking to sell their wares for cash in person. As such, “the price of a bitcoin does not matter,” Nicolas Christin, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University and an expert on the darknet markets, told me. “But that it is stable matters.”
To understand why, it helps to know a bit more about the mechanics of buying drugs on the dark web. A purchaser buys bitcoin, reviews vendors’ offers on a marketplace, and then pays for his goods. His money generally goes into escrow before it is released to his vendor. This introduces a number of financial choke points and transaction delays: between when the purchaser procures bitcoin and makes a purchase, when the vendor receives the order and receives payment from escrow, and when the vendor cashes out from the marketplace. Those are all moments when bitcoin’s volatility becomes problematic. For vendors, price drops while payments are in escrow might wipe out all the profits from a sale, for instance.
Complaints about these kinds of scenarios are rife in popular forums where buyers and vendors chat online, including on Reddit. “Seems I hear Vendors are sitting on the sidelines. If payment is in [bitcoin and] then [the] price falls all their work is for nigh,” one user recently posted, worrying that fewer vendors were selling given the market dynamics at work. Another complained, “Seriously?! I purchased coins this morning at like $675 and within 1.5 hours it dropped down to $625.”
Of course, licit markets have the exact same vulnerability to swings in the price of bitcoin. But those markets—with their deep-pocketed investors and ties to the formal financial system—have come up with ways to avoid them. “Merchants who want to avoid volatility will still accept bitcoin or cryptocurrency, and can use a service provider that automatically converts it,” Jerry Brito, the executive director of Coin Center, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization for cryptocurrencies, told me. “That service provider accepts bitcoin on their behalf, automatically converts it, and deposits dollars into the merchant’s account. That way they never face the volatility.”
It’s widely accepted that using somebody else’s computing power to mine cryptocurrencies is dubious, but UNICEF Australia appears to be doing so with good intentions.The international charity has unveiled a project called TheHopePage, which is used for making donations. All one needs to do is keep the webpage open: by doing so users allow their computer’s processing unit to be used to mine digital coins, namely Monero, by exploiting an application by Coinhive.Each time one goes to the website, they specify and confirm how much power – from 20 to 80 percent – they would like to give away. So, it turns out that internet users actually give their consent to have their donations processed.
And the goal is explicit indeed: Jennifer Tierney, UNICEF Australia’s director of fundraising and communications, noted that the company was seeking to use the nascent technologies to “raise awareness of the humanitarian crises and raise funds to support children caught up in them.”
Nevertheless, the idea is not new. In February, UNICEF asked avid video game players to install mining software Claymore to crowdfund for kids affected by the raging Syrian crisis.
Separately, media outlet Salon is known to have commercially tested in-browser mining, also exploiting Coinhive for that purpose. By doing so their marketers hoped to generate revenue from sources other than online adverts.
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ETH Wallet : 0x681f55925d06a7982e3259a4db88c2f77139dcbe
ETC Wallet : 0xe60025efc5ca847c9b99662a7e6929ca11cb7591
LTC Wallet : LSzE7699kmqSc3uLHbhMXPv5JKJuw6aRSR
DSH Wallet : XsNwUssjhAkonHEYAqMrzTUWwmfcrXrmH3
DGE Wallet : DSQq1emBePjhP7QeCiqwY1Zxk8g3EZj9Lm
ZEC Wallet : t1KmP4v7cDMWqfesic5ZSJGR89o11Hi7H1W
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.