In 2011, When Bitcoin Was $1, One YouTuber Predicted it Will Change Finance

Nine-year-old Bitcoin must be going through one of the worst phases of its technological life, but that hasn’t deterred its core believers.
The community, which has been in roughs for most of this year, witnessing Bitcoin crashing from the highs of $19,500 to the lows near $3,200, took a break from speculation to discuss the digital currency’s long-term potential as a technology. Redditor MATURBO dug up the 2011’s YouTube archives and unearthed a video showing YouTuber DAVINCI15 expressing his amazement over a then-young Bitcoin.
In the video, DAVINCI, while breaking the fourth wall, spoke excitedly about this new payment technology that was going to change the internet and finance for good. He mentioned reading an article and finding an InstaWallet link at the end of it which could allow readers to pay the author directly. He admitted that he used the service to send him money directly, amazed that how the entire transaction didn’t have a trace of central authorities cutting away hefty commissions, or requiring senders to fill lengthy forms.
“I didn’t have to pull out my credit card. I didn’t have to fill up my address, and my postal code and all the rest of crap I need to do to send the money,” DAVINCI noted. “It was instant; it was fast. No intermediary was taking a cut – a 3% cut or more – off his money I sent. It was just smooth and easy.”

The video served as a sweet reminder of where bitcoin was and where it has reached now. Its metamorphosis from being a payment technology to a potential store-of-value asset changed many perceptions over the years. Back in 2011, internet geeks were going gaga over its potential to bypass expensive payment services like PayPal. In the coming years, favorable word-of-mouth reviews led the digital currency to be used for payments by mainstream online services, including Dell and Microsoft UK. Later on, its exponential growth in value stated a whole new investment front. And now, Bitcoin, for the first time, is making its way into Wall Street.
During the entire timeline, bitcoin also received criticism for its price volatility and its use in dark markets, money laundering and terrorism. Economists compared it with a Ponzi Scheme, called it a “mother of all scams,” and whatnot. The coin continued to attract attention, nevertheless.
Finding Roots
The latest crash in the crypto market is a result of hype. When people start entering bitcoin as a method to get rich quickly, they do contribute to a demand cycle than an actual demand against a fixed supply rate. As a result, what the world sees is nothing but traders tailing trends, brushing the essential use-cases of the technology under the carpet.
It would take some patience before bitcoin develops an understanding of its actual demand then speculative one. The wash-off of near-term traders, meanwhile, will likely restore balance and bring bitcoin to its true base value. DAVINCI’s video reminds what the digital currency truly stands for, and it should continue to be projected for the same.
The YouTuber, meanwhile, also predicted Mt. Gox scam and bitcoin hitting its all-time high. Just saying.
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India Receives $80 Billion in Remittance, Big Potential for Crypto?

The World Bank in its latest report revealed that India has received the largest amount in remittance in 2o18 with $80 billion being sent from abroad. At the same time, users paid $4 billion in cuts to payment services.
Middlemen-Friendly Models
Remittance in its current format has one-too-many checkpoints. If a person wants to send money from, say, New York to New Delhi, his funds are going through several intermediaries within the payment corridor. There is a local bank that would first send the funds to a banking partner in London. There the payment would wait for confirmation for a few days before making its way to the, say, Dubai, where the partner bank of the New Delhi bank is located. Add a few more days before the funds get confirmed and sent to the destined New Delhi bank account.
In the entire process, each participant takes away a considerable part of the funds. This is how traditional remittance models become too expensive for day-to-day users.
According to the World Bank, in more than 25% of the remittance corridors, commissions are more than 10% higher. So sending a $100 back home can at least cost one $10 in cuts.
Crypto in Remittance: Why India should Explore It?
The rapid speed at which the digital economy is developing promises to change the dynamics of the remittance industry as a whole. Blockchain, for instance, has opened alternative payment corridors where money can be sent as quickly as email – without paying hefty commissions. In times when people lose on average 7.45% of their money in fees, according to the World Bank, the use of blockchain could reduce the spending to as minimum as 1%.

Indian Tops Remittances in 2018.
$80bn sent back home.
$4bn paid as cost to International money transfer companies for sending this money back to India.
Adoption of crypto by India can eliminate this middlemen and save Billions for our nation.
Simple!#Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/8OXzNhY2JC
— Crypto Kanoon (@cryptokanoon) December 9, 2018

However, India’s stance on cryptocurrencies hasn’t been entirely optimistic. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) this year issued a circular, ordering banks to discontinue relationships with crypto companies. While the decision slapped the local exchange market, it also hampered the growth of many startups that were brewing inside the blockchain space.
Indian banks, at the same time, have partnered with global blockchain initiates to build low-cost remittance solutions. That again would require them to use cryptos to settle payments. The current legal framework, according to the RBI, cannot define cryptos which again is keeping Indians from exploring a cheap remittance model.
At the same time, banks using blockchain cannot generally reduce the existing intermediaries out of a payment corridor. It can only speed up settlements at best while charging the same kind of commissions.
India can anytime explore an interbank network based on the blockchain technology after allowing a central token to be issued on it. Nevertheless, it would still require them to bring all the banks on the same page – something that looks unlikely. In simple words, if one bank works like WhatsApp and other works like Instagram, the user of WhatsApp cannot dispatch messages to the users of Instagram, i.e. they would need a single protocol in common, like NEFT on steroids.
Meanwhile, Indian remittance users could keep exploring cheaper decentralized payment models like bitcoin despite the banking ban. A good number of Indian freelancers are already accepting Bitcoins as payments and exchanging them for Indian Rupees via p2p exchanges.
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Coinbase CEO: Crypto in VR is the Next Big Application of Blockchain

Either it will be the best thing the crypto world will ever experience or a farce in the name of the best thing the world will ever experience.
That’s pretty much the discussion around virtual reality (VR), a technology which allows humans beings to experience an immersive illusion of being somewhere else. Many Hollywood blockbusters, including The Matrix, and the very recent Ready Player One, attempted to illustrate how the next generations of VR technology could be. In these movies, protagonists were living inside a world created by stunning – and almost paranormal – objects. They had a job (even if it was about kidnapping a key maker), expensive Ferraris, and even a bae to hang out with.
Away from the sci-fi, engineers meanwhile are exploring real-time use cases based on the VR. The technology is promised to gamers, with the influx on highly-handed games launched by the Play Station and the Xbox. Apart from that, the possibilities of removing the middle layer of keyboards and emails and using avatars to pass down information at workplaces are also being explored.
It could be a reason why Brian Armstrong, co-founder of one of the largest crypto exchanges Coinbase, believes that VR could become a tool to expand virtual payment technologies. They could allow participants to earn virtual money which they can take back to the real world and spend them like any other fiat money.
“The reason is simple,” explains Armstrong. “When people transact in virtual worlds, it doesn’t make sense to use the currency of one country. People from all over the world will gather in these virtual spaces, and it would be exclusionary (or perhaps even rude) to use one country’s currency in a digital world. Furthermore, digital currency will create an incentive for people to spend more time in these worlds (where they can earn “real money”) creating a virtuous cycle for companies building these worlds.”
Bitcoin in a VR World
Armstrong referred to the copper coins from the movie Ready Player One. These coins were a form of treasure or reward a character would receive within the OASIS, a virtual reality world. Players used a bag of holdings to store these coins.
Developers of such virtual worlds could create their centralized digital currency or use an existing decentralized currency like Bitcoin or Ethereum, Armstrong suggested. He also envisioned how people would start spending more time in the VR world to earn a passive income, especially when it’s going to be usable in the real world.
“Customers of these products can take the money they generate in the virtual world, and convert it to traditional money to pay their bills in real life. This will help take virtual reality from a hobby or entertainment to a full time job or lifestyle,” Armstrong explained.
While the theory itself seems like a sci-fi, it is still very interesting from the technological point of view. Who knows, nobody would need to go to the office anymore as they wear a headset and control every random task via an avatar.
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Crypto Community Reacts to New Coinbase Listings: Reception Generally Negative

After Coinbase announced that it would review some 30-plus crypto assets for listing, the crypto community launched a word-war against it.
The conservative US exchange, which operates under the strict watch of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), revealed the names of these tokens in a recent announcement on Friday. While the new assets include prominent names like XRP and Stellar Lumens, yet some of them – it must be said – are relatively unreliable. The community accused Coinbase of acting out of desperation, stating that the exchange is ready to lose its self-esteem as its market share dwindles.
Larry Cermak, head analyst at the Block, sent out a series of tweets, with each one of them signifying how Coinbase is looking at a potential business disaster “unless there is a bull market.” In one of these tweets, Cermak said that low volumes on the US trading platform had invoked them to list even underperforming projects (otherwise known as “shitcoins” among the crypto population).

I hope Coinbase realizes that several months after raising a $100M ICO, the Kik founder called blockchain ”unconvincing”. Yet their coin is still on the shortlist…
Bonus points for anyone who can count how many of these have active class action lawsuits against them?
— Larry Cermak (@lawmaster) December 7, 2018

Gabor Gurbacs, the chief digital assets strategist at VanEck, whose Bitcoin ETF currently awaits approval from the SEC, criticized Coinbase for outright rejecting their institutional investment product, but still adding support for bad projects in their own retail platform.

Coinbase shitcoins OK for millions of retail investors. Bitcoin ETF for institutional investors too crazy. What f*ing parallel universe is this?
— Gabor Gurbacs (@gaborgurbacs) December 7, 2018

FOMO
Earlier this year, Coinbase renewed its policy for how it decides whether or not to add a crypto asset. The company tests the tokens based on certain objective factors, which includes security, compliance and what it believes to be the potential to change the financial world.
Nevertheless, the company was speaking from a strong position at that time, having been holding a huge chunk of bitcoins and Ethers at their prime values. It didn’t feel that it was important to list other assets, as because the SEC also pardoned both bitcoin and ether from following its infamously old securities law. Coinbase started losing market share only when other exchanges in the US market started expanding their crypto portfolios by adding more assets.
Coinbase first announced that it would explore XRP, the world’s second largest crypto asset by adjusted market cap, for a potential listing. The company later delayed its decision for months, stating that it could not verify whether XRP is a utility token or security. It continues to play hide-and-seek when it comes to giving its final decision on the matter, fuming many XRP believers in the process.
However, the company could start listing these assets more quickly than ever.
EDadoun, an XRP-advocate on Twitter, pointed to how Coinbase, after months of sleep, is beginning to increase the number of digital assets it would potentially list. His tweets hinted Coinbase as an exchange that was having a FOMO moment (as in Fear of Missing Out).

Coinbase adding XRP or any other DA isn’t big news anymore. Every major financial institutions is tripping over themselves to get involved with an exchange.
Coinbase is welcome to add anything they want but they are now simply playing catch up.
Not a take. Just fact.
— ecent (@EDadoun) December 7, 2018

Another tweet from Crypto Bobby shared a similar sentiment.

Coinbase went from the most conservative company in crypto to YOLO in like 6 months https://t.co/ndwF5wtb4t
— Crypto Bobby (@crypto_bobby) December 7, 2018

Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, said in October that they were looking to include more crypto assets to their trading platform, adding that they aim to become the New York Stock Exchange of cryptos.
“We want to be the bridge all over the world where people come, and they take fiat currency, and they can get it into these different cryptocurrencies,” he had said during the recent TechCrunch Disrupt event.
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From $4,350 to $117: Is Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Entering Death Spiral?

The Bitcoin Cash price continues to record new yearly lows, currently trading within its fifth consecutive session in the red.
The BCH/USD rate has dropped below $120 in the latest sell-off, noting more than 97% depreciation since its all-time high.
Since November 7, when the pair was trading at $638, it has tanked more than 81% in value. In comparison to other cryptocurrencies that also established their yearly lows recently, the price plunge in the Bitcoin Cash market is more severe.
Source: CoinMarketCap.com
Collateral Damage
The reason why investors are finding it difficult to hold onto their Bitcoin Cash is lack of confidence in the Roger Ver-led team.
Following months of discussions over the future of the Bitcoin Cash project, the community decided to split the blockchain to upgrade its core protocol.
There was also a section led by nChain founder Dr. Craig Wright and online gambling billionaire Calvin Ayre that revolted against Ver’s Bitcoin Cash upgrade plans. They decided not to support the hard fork and announced that they would launch their separate Bitcoin Cash chain.
On November 15, the Bitcoin Cash blockchain forked to give birth to two competing chains: Ver’s Bitcoin ABC and Dr. Wright’s Bitcoin SV. The split didn’t go peacefully, however.
Both of the groups waged a so-called hash war against each other to claim the original BCH ticker. In a hard fork, a community votes with hash power. The chain which receives the maximum hash power from the mining community becomes the longest chain among the two resulting chains.
In their efforts to prove dominance, both Ver and Dr. Wright arranged surplus electricity to mine on their respective chains. In the initial stages, both of the sides were dealing with half a million worth of losses in power consumption. By November 21, Bitcoin SV, in particular, had raked in losses of $2.2 million.
The entire episode damaged the rest of the crypto market, especially Bitcoin whose hashing power was unilaterally allocated to the Bitcoin ABC blockchain.
While ABC emerged as a winner over the competing SV chain, even a combined Bitcoin Cash-ABC cap couldn’t recover from the damages their markets had faced. Investors who left Bitcoin Cash are showing no interest in coming back to it, while Bitcoin’s dominance in the crypto market is going up at the same time.
Related Reading: Barry Silbert: Bitcoin Cash Fork Is a Distraction, Confusing for New Investors
What’s Next for Bitcoin Cash?
The Bitcoin Cash market is now moving into a bottomless abyss – a kind of death spiral – with no signs of investment confidence improving.
To say it will be dead would be too much, for Ver and his team would not see their billion dollar project turn to ashes. The market would need an aggressive bull whale to buy in at new dips to revive good confidence. Ver, in one of his press statements, looked bullish despite the negative turnover.
“As a self-proclaimed fundamentals investor, I believe that the long-term the future is brighter than ever for cryptocurrencies,” he told Bloomberg. “There is more awareness, more adoption, and more stuff happening all over the world.”
If only promises could comfort!
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Technology Adoption Determines True Value of Crypto Industry

When Warren Buffett, a multi-billionaire investor, admitted that he was wrong about not investing in companies like Amazon and Google, it proved that not even the world’s most renowned investor can always get it right.
Amazon and Google were bringing in products that the market hadn’t experienced before. Skepticisms were meant to be there. But eventually, user adoption won over anything. Cut to today, both the Buffett’s rejects are now trillion dollar companies.
Such successful case studies only make the case of blockchain stronger, a technology that is gradually becoming the secret ingredient of big corporations and tech startups these days.
At its heart, blockchain is a simple concept. It is a ledger of blocks containing information whose copies are stored across a network of computers. These blocks are arranged chronologically, can be viewed by anybody on the web, and does not get managed by a central authority such as a corporation, bank or government. Therefore, hacking a blockchain system means gaining access to at least 51% nodes in the network, which makes it impractical for cybercriminals to modify the information on blocks.
It’s potential has attracted multi-billion dollars worth of investments in thousands of projects around the world. Some startups are testing blockchain to record government records, while some are creating decentralized supercomputers. Every industry in some way is willing to put their traditional systems through blockchain trials.
As a result, at least $1.3 billion worth of funding has entered the blockchain industry in 2018 already. It is expected to grow further in the coming years.
The Hype
Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, believes blockchain technology is going through a hype phase and isn’t ready for mass-scale adoption yet. He said that investors would most likely “burn themselves out by not being prepared to be stable in the long run.”
The statement finds evidence in 2017’s famous initial coin offering (ICO) mania in which blockchain projects raked in millions of dollars throughout the year. Users, who believed they had missed out on the early Bitcoin rally, put their trust on new projects that were looking to be better than the Satoshi Nakamoto digital currency. It led to a crypto gold rush as people started believing they would become wealthy quickly.
As evident, it didn’t happen. A majority of these blockchain projects failed to deliver and went to dust, taking away all the Bitcoins and Ethers that people had invested in them — the bubble burst, leading to a market crash that is still going on.
The market, nevertheless, has come back to its senses. Most of the blockchain projects are now falling behind funding goals, eventually dying before even launching. Regulators have accelerated their crackdown against unlicensed blockchain companies, ensuring that only risk-compliant startups make to the front door of potential investors.
Related Reading: ConsenSys CEO is Planning Company Restructure Following Bear Market
Institutional Adoption
While methods like crowdfunding are falling behind, bigger corporates and venture capitalists are pinpointing the best blockchain startups and fueling their development in their incubation labs.
In September, Walmart announced that it would utilize IBM’s blockchain solution to manage its supply chain. Maersk also launched its Tradelens blockchain solution in partnership with the IBM, bringing 93 shipping companies under one digital ledger network.
Venture Capitalists, on the other hand, have invested over $1 billion in blockchain startups this year, marking a 280% surge than in 2017. Independent projects like IOTA have entered strategic partnerships with big firms like Microsoft, PwC, Deutsche Telekom and others to integrate their Tangle blockchain solution into their infrastructures.
The list is too big to count – and it overall validates that blockchain as a technology is staying for dinner.
Conclusion
The crypto market crash comes as a reminder of how unregulated the market was compared to the present. As companies accumulated mainstream digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum in exchange of worthless tokens, they also gained the power to dump them in the market at the first sign of trouble. It is the same reason why even the good crypto assets fell sharply.
The market is now maturing. Investors are smarter. And regulators are more active than ever. As blockchain adoption gains momentum across industries and its users, it would automatically describe the true worth of cryptocurrencies, whether it is $100 or $100 million.
Warren Buffett does not like blockchain – just saying.
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Binance Posts Video Demo of Its Decentralized Exchange Featuring Binance Chain

Binance, the biggest crypto exchange by volume, yesterday released a new video demonstration of its decentralized exchange ahead of its launch in Q1 2019.
The broadcast exhibited the trading interface of Binance DEX – as the platform is called – along with its web crypto wallet feature and Binance Chain, Binance’s native public blockchain explorer which, according to the company, will be available on a testnet soon.
Source: Binance YouTube
The video tour revealed that Binance DEX would resemble the original web trading platform, especially when it comes to interface. However, there were some notable differences such as a feature that would allow users to generate a 24-word mnemonic seed phrase for private keys. Binance DEX also possesses a “balance tab,” a feature that would enable users to access the status of their accounts, and a “user icon” that would show individual wallet addresses.
With Binance Chain, individuals will be able to extract information related to blocks, transactions, wallet addresses, and order IDs, the demonstration explained.
Source: Binance YouTube
Binance Chain will empower the record keeping infrastructure of the DEX. According to the statement made during its introduction in March, the public chain also expects to offer “low latency, high throughput trading, as well as decentralized custody of funds” to mitigate single points of failures.
The block explorer would also list a feature that would list details about all the coins listed on the Binance DEX.
Binance also cleared that their DEX would not hold users’ private keys, which means they will not be able to move users’ funds as centralized exchanges do. Instead, their platform will integrate decentralized wallet applications like Trust Wallet, known for their server-free infrastructure. They would enable users to keep their wallets’ private keys in their devices than with a third-party. It means that only private key holders would have access to the funds.
Related Reading: Zhao: Binance Chain to Be Ready in “Months,” Enabling Projects to Issue Tokens
Price Surges After Announcement
The video demo release met with a positive response from the Binance trading community.
The BNB price against the U.S. Dollar jumped as much as 6.2% since it opened the day at $5.99. On a 24-hour period, according to CoinMarketCap, BNB established circa 15% gains while the rest of the top crypto assets remained red.
Source: CoinMarketCap.com
Nevertheless, as evident with the way the crypto market behaves, BNB is likely to correct lower in the near term, having been outreached its upside targets. The coin’s long-term aspects are fundamentally bullish, especially because Binance Chain would function no less than Ethereum. The chain would allow new blockchain projects to digitize and launch their assets – all backed by the BNB token.
BNB will migrate from ERC20 standard to its Binance Chain upon the mainnet launch.
The BNB/USD pair is trading at $6.34 at the time of this writing.
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Argo Blockchain Sees 146% Increase in Crypto Mining Package Sales

A shattered crypto market has not deterred miners from purchasing crypto mining software packages, revealed Argo Blockchain.
The U.K.-based Mining-as-a-Service (MaaS) firm noted a 146% jump in its sales between October 1 and December 4 after selling a new batch of packages.
It led the company to beat its January 2019 sales targets ahead of time and by a notable margin. As of now, Argo expects to note an annual revenue of $6.2 million, up from $0.26 million when it listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Meanwhile, the firm stated that its net cash balance as of November 30 had reached close to $19.22 million.
Mike Edwards, co-founder, and director of Argo, claimed that their high revenue growth proved their strategies were working despite the crash in the crypto market lately. He acknowledged that the demand for crypto mining packages was already going up, which made Argo expand its mining capacity in September to cater to seven-times more subscribers. As expected, the supply underfed the growing demand, leading to an immediate sell-off of the mining software packages after release.
“Demand for the company’s packages continues to exceed supply, but the company looked to the future with confidence,” Edwards added.
Related Reading: US Mining CEO: Bitcoin Miners Are Being Flushed Out of the Market
Future Projections
Argo has a sustainable business model that could lead to “highly-profitable” fiscal quarters in the future, believes Alan Howard, a senior equity analyst at Argo’s house broker, Mirabaud Securities.
The financial expert explained that the firm had started posting profits just three months after the launch, with its annual revenue run rate hitting $2.5 million. He recognized that if Argo manages to sell 30,000 packages within the first 12 months of launch, its revenue run rate will peak to as highs as $18 million. It would remain profitable even after cutting down operational costs related to hardware, customer acquisition, and electricity.
“Longer term, the company is well positioned to develop a mass market and highly profitable global crypto-mining service, having already secured enough power capacity at highly attractive electricity costs (US$0.030-0.038 per kWh) to be able to service over 150,000 packages from its Canadian data centers,” Howard had said.
The company could also benefit from Bitcoin’s falling difficulty which makes it easier for miners like them to mine the digital currency while preserving the essence of its proof-of-work blockchain. However, the projections do not specifically describe how much of a role Bitcoin could play in posting bullish figures for Argo.
Simple Mining
The crypto mining sector faced huge losses after the crypto market crashed more than 80% from its all-time high. Miners that were bullish on specific cryptocurrencies pre-ordered expensive mining equipment, expecting their tokenized rewards would be met with higher fiat equivalent down the road.
At the same time, chipmaking companies such as Nvidia and AMD misread the demand for crypto mining equipment and oversupplied the market. As the demand dropped due to non-profitability, they eventually stopped manufacturing more mining chips.
Argo, on the other hand, has removed the necessity of owing mining equipment from the equation. Their users subscribe to their monthly packages, and they use the money to run their mining operations in countries with cheaper electricity rates – thereby, ensuring profits to all. Noting that Argo is heavily regulated, investors appear more confident in their business model.
Last checked, Argo shares went up 18.4% to 5.625p.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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EOS Centralization Woes Return as Block Producer Offers Money for Votes

The EOS network is decentralized until it is not.
A block producer for the EOS blockchain has publicly engaged in a money-for-vote activity. Starteos, as the node is called, announced that delegating its node as a proxy would allow users to earn a stable income in EOS tokens. As the node is originally a game launched on the top of the EOS blockchain, it also offered its potential delegates “the corresponding amount of general game tokens,” which they can use to play Lucky Fruit Slots Machine and [again] receive revenue in EOS tokens.
“Users could not only gain revenue through mining mode but also gain revenue through game mode. EOS mining mode is simple, stable and with nice revenue; the game mode maybe is more profitable and fun to play. Since we offer idle games, there is no loser in the game world of Starteos,” – the EOS node declared openly.
The whole advertisement appears in contrast to what EOS promised in its original whitepaper: an easily scalable and decentralized and democratic blockchain network. However, the project has faced criticism for limiting the rights to add blocks to only 21 nodes. Each of these nodes is selected upon a democratic voting process. In a way, the reason why a transaction on an EOS blockchain should appear faster than others is that it doesn’t have to be confirmed by the entire network. Users directly elect 21 representatives to do it for them.
However, an ideal decentralized network contains thousands of such nodes, confirming transactions and adding them to their respective public ledger. The process remains dependable unless a single entity gains control of more than 50% of the blockchain network. In a system that is primarily distributed, it is unlikely to happen.
In the case being discussed, Starteos is one of the 21 nodes engaged in offering EOS rewards to users who vote for its node to stay in power. The practice leads to a bad experience for competing nodes that have a smaller number of EOS coins, indicating that only wealthy entities would govern the EOS network down the road.
EOS Price Tumbles
The EOS rate against the US Dollar, meanwhile, has dropped by more than 10% in the past 24 hours, trading at 2.55 at press time. While the correction appears to be in line with an overall market trend, the losses EOS/USD is facing is way more than what met by other top coins. For instance, Bitcoin Cash, the second worst-performing top coin on a 24-hour basis, has dropped 6%. Bitcoin, the largest digital currency, is stable after noting only 0.5% drop within the same timeframe.
SOURCE: COINMARKETCAP.COM
A direct correlation between Starteos’ announcement and EOS price drop cannot be established due to a week-long difference between the two events. However, the news could hurt the long-term prospective of the network unless it improves upon its infrastructure to make its platform more decentralized as originally promised.
 
Image from Shutterstock
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Long-Time Investor: IOTA is Centralized, Single Point of Failure Exists

An early-age IOTA investor has claimed that the project is centralized and is exposed to a single point of failure.
Limo, who runs an IOTA-specific blog called TangleBlog.com, identified issues related to how IOTA’s data structure operates. The project uses Tangle, a Directed Acyclic Graph, known as a DAG, whose primary purpose is to hold transactions. Unlike a Proof of Work (PoW) blockchain, which enables an entire network to confirm blocks carrying transactions, IOTA’s Tangle does the same via appointing two previous transactions to establish the new transaction. Here is a brief illustration:
SOURCE: IOTA FOUNDATION
In the chart above, transaction number 5 approves transaction number 2 and 3. At the same time, transaction number 6 is unconfirmed and is called a tip. Each incoming transaction will choose tips to approve.
The relatively simple and unique process, however, could lead one serious security lapse. Hypothetically, if an attacker amasses 33% of the hashpower of the IOTA network, he can very well change the underlying algorithm followed by the Tangle nodes. It is possible because hashing happens as instantly as new transactions join the tree. They also get confirmed immediately using a regular laptop.
IOTA has proposed to solve the security issue with Milestones. They are particular transactions issued by a unique node called Coordinator. It is centrally controlled by the IOTA Foundation, which means the responsibility to protect the network solely belongs to the person or organization that has control over the coordinator node.
Limo, in his public outcry, discussed the same problem.
“A consensus was never centralized, but there was and is a single practical point of failure because the coordinator(COO) is a mechanism that, under these conditions, can actively stop the confirmation-rate on the tangle,” he wrote. “Part of that is that no one ever developed a random walk implementation that could circumvent the COO, although they could have.”
Related Reading: Bosch Boosts IOTA with New Device Connectivity for IoT Data Collection
A Solution on the Way
Limo claimed that he spoke to two members of the IOTA Foundation, confirming a solution was on its way to improve the platform’s decentralization aspects.
“The IOTA foundation has solutions for the coordicide,” he wrote. “They are neither approved nor tested, but they are promising concepts that can withstand the first and second logical hurdle.”
Limo explained the foundation is close to launching a much more economical version of their IOTA Reference Implementation. They would carry out the coordicide soon after the launch – tentatively by mid-2019.
“To that day, IOTA will have accomplished its mission. The largest, most uncertain milestone: COO-less decentralization will be reached,” adeed Limo.
The mettle of achieving a true, full-fledged decentralization would likely boost IOTA’s adoption across the entire digital ledger space. It has already attracted partners from all around the world, with its Tangle-concept getting adopted by big companies like Fujitsu, VW, Bosch, and DXC Dach.
Until then, as Limo predicted, the project will continue to function under a centrally controlled environment.
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Ethereum Adoption in Developing Countries Rising Exponentially: Lubin

Ethereum has been one of the worst performing cryptocurrencies this year. But, as a technology, the project is going places.
Joseph Lubin, the co-founder of the Ethereum project, recently stated about how the Ethereum blockchain ecosystem is gradually improving the financial and technological infrastructures of many developing nations. The Canadian entrepreneur, also known for founding ConsenSys, a Brooklyn-based software-production studio, named Chile and Philippines as their prime adopters.
Chile, for instance, employs Ethereum’s proof-of-work blockchain to track energy data. Their National Energy Commission stated in April that the reason why they chose Ethereum was for its ability to “augment levels of security, integrity, traceability, and confidence in the information available to the public.” The Energy Ministry wing also appreciated Ethereum for protecting data from hacking and manipulation.
The Philippines, on the other hand, witnessed their banking giant Union Bank partnering with Lubin’s ConsenSys to develop Ethereum-based banking solutions for the country’s rural sector. The project saw its beginning at a time when 77% of the Filipinos remain unbanked, according to a survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Philippine’s central bank. Justo Ortiz, the chairman of UnionBank, said that Ethereum’s blockchain technology would help them “crack the hole of financial inclusivity.”

Developing nations are employing blockchain tech to leapfrog outdated financial systems.
-The Philippines is connecting rural banks via a crypto-cash payment system-Chile is using #Ethereum to track energy data-Cryptoassets are protecting millions against hyperinflation
— Joseph Lubin (@ethereumJoseph) December 1, 2018

In another event from the Philippines, the government decided to offer Manila residents rewards in Ethereum tokens Ether for cleaning up their polluted beaches.
Protection against Hyperinflation
Lubin also noted the potential of crypto-assets like Ether, in general, to protect people against hyperinflation. The term refers to extremely rapid price inflation – especially when the value of a fiat currency drops 50% every month against the US Dollar, a universal fiat reserve. The direct impact of hyperinflation is on the citizens of the countries who now have to pay more money to pay for the same commodity.
Zimbabwe, for instance, had abandoned their local currency after years of hyperinflation which at one point reached 500,000,000,000%.
Crypto-assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dash, have jumped at the opportunities to aid these hyperinflated economies lately. These crypto-assets are ideal because 1) they are not controlled by any government or central bank, and 2) they can be minted at home and then be exchanged or used as currency in the mainstream.
Venezuela has become the prime example of an economy-gone-bad-and-tuned-to-cryptocurrencies-for-solace. Their hyperinflation began in November 2016, the highest in the world and the country’s history. Their hyperinflation status this year has reached 833,997% already, according to details available at Wikipedia.
The Venezuelans, meanwhile, switched to crypto solutions to indicate the abandoning of their national Bolivar altogether. Dash, for instance, launched itself at the country’s paralyzed economy and got adopted firsthand by its merchants and people. The crypto project has now launched a payment service in the region, finding customers even in global brands like Subway and Calvin Klein.
The blockchain technology is gradually becoming a go-to technology when it comes to solving financial and technological issues of economically-deprived nations.
“Blockchain is more than a market. It’s a movement,” wrote Lubin. “Blockchains are solving real-world problems. Governments get it.”
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Report: Banks Are More Vulnerable to Terrorist Financing Than Crypto

A risk assessment report released by the Financial Information Unit (FIU) found banks more vulnerable to money laundering and terrorist financing risks than cryptocurrencies, Business Korea reported.
The division of South Korea’s Financial Services Commission researched its domestic financial sector, which includes banks, securities companies, insurers, mutual financing companies, credit card services, and even crypto exchanges. After a thorough assessment, it found that while banks had better systems to repel money laundering and terrorist financing activities, they were yet more exposed to them than any other financial business.
“The banks have better systems against money laundering and terrorist financing than other financial companies,” the study revealed. “Yet the former’s vulnerability is higher due to the larger size of the banking sector and the innate characteristics of their products and services like trade financing, cash management service, and forex trading.”
At the same time, the FIU study noted that transactions involving cash and cryptocurrencies are also vulnerable to the same criminal activities, but cryptos mainly are less likely to be used for terrorist financing.
“The anonymity of cryptocurrency trading hinders tracking, and criminals can take advantage of it,” FIU found. “The same applies to cash dealing as large-denomination bills rarely return.”
Related Reading: Bitcoin is Criminal Money Says the Media While Deutsche Bank Gets Raided for Laundering
Bitcoin Not Popular Among Terrorists
The report of the South Korean financial regulator finds similarities in what Europol said in its Intenet Organized Threat Assessment 2018 report. The 72-page long study also revealed that terrorists were not using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Instead, they were using conventional banking methods to fund their operations across Europe.
“Despite the clear potential, none of the attacks carried out on European soil appear to have been funded via cryptocurrencies,” Europol had found. “The use of cryptocurrencies by terrorist groups has only involved low-level transactions – their central funding still stems from conventional banking and money remittance services.”
A month later, Yaya Fanusie, who serves as the director of analysis for the Foundation For Defense of Democracies Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, told the U.S. Congress the very same thing: that terrorists have attempted to raise money via cryptocurrencies, but to no avail.
South Korea Drafts Crypto Bill
The FIU report has indicated the need for a crypto law in South Korea, fearing a surge in money laundering crimes involving cryptocurrencies. Around the same time, a lawmaker has reportedly introduced a bill, called the Digital Asset Trading Promotion Act, to promote the development of crypto exchanges and trading as the whole.
Seoul Finance, a South Korean daily, confirmed that Kim Sun-dong, a member of the National Assembly’s Political Committee, has introduced a comprehensive plan to regulate crypto exchanges without hampering their innovative prospects. Excerpts from the drafted bill were quoted by the publication as follows:
“Those who want to operate a digital asset trading business should have more than 3 billion won [~$2.66 million] in [the] capital, enough manpower, computerized systems, and physical equipment to be approved by the Financial Services Commission.”
South Korea is scheduled to undergo a financial audit by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) starting January 2019 until February 2020. The government is likely to impose capital restrictions should the outcome of the audit become negative.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Coinbase COO: Crypto is Enabling the Creation of Internet 3.0

The financial technology emerged from the underlying protocol of a crypto could be just the thing internet 3.0 is all about, believes Asiff Hirji.
The president and chief operating officer of one of the largest regulated U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase put crypto technology at the forefront of the next internet revolution.
Speaking at the latest Money2020 conference in the U.S., Hirji said that the next wave of innovation could witness the launch of many amazing companies that would solve two of the most significant problems of the internet today: money and privacy.
“We are on the cusp on internet 3,” he explained. “We went from mainframe computing to distributed computing and created lots of value and amazing companies. Then, we went from distributed computing to cloud mobile – another wave of innovation, another wave of great companies being created. We are now creating a decentralized web.”
Defining a Decentralized Web
The term decentralization describes the state of being distributed while retaining a combined control over the system. It is more like a bottom to top approach, in which a system is governed by a protocol created and enforced by its limited number of actors.
Bitcoin, for instance, became a prime example of a decentralized financial network. It is run by a protocol called blockchain, a chronologically-arranged chain of blocks containing information. In the case of Bitcoin, the info is mostly transactions.
A single authority does not govern blockchain itself. Instead, it is run by a large group of miners that offer their computing power to record transactions on blocks. Therefore, the probability of data tampering becomes close to impossible as each miner keeps an eye on the rest of the miners. In return, miners receive Bitcoin tokens as rewards which, like Gold, can be traded over-the-counter (OTC) or online crypto-exchanges.
Similarly, web decentralization also highlights a vision of a network that is genuinely peer-to-peer like that of Bitcoin. That said, this new internet should not require servers to run. Instead, it would need end-users to lend a part of their computing powers to run the entire network, making web 3.0 more autonomous than its predecessors.
In its current format, the internet has become a highly controlled environment. It is now in the hands of a few players that creates the risks of data tampering and hacking. It also allows governments to misuse their power by putting their citizens under surveillance and impose censorship. Then, there are privacy issues that enable central authorities to steal, as well as sell users’ data to other bodies for monetary benefits.

“We’re on the cusp of internet 3.” Watch @coinbase COO @asiffhirji explain how crypto is enabling the creation of the decentralized web at @money2020. “This will solve the two biggest problems with the internet today.” pic.twitter.com/Ek9hywE0Mk
— Coinbase (@coinbase) November 28, 2018

“Internet 2.o didn’t take privacy seriously enough, which is why you and I and everybody else use these internet services for free,” said Hirji. “They mine all the data from us, and they turn us into products and sell us to advertisers. That’s the internet model of today, and it doesn’t have to be that way.”
Related Reading: Coinbase Launches OTC Platform, Clients Still Bullish On Crypto
Web decentralization is one of the most potential applications of the blockchain protocol. There are already companies in the space that is attempting to build the said solutions. Protocol Labs, for instance, launched Filecoin in August last year after raising $205m for a decentralized storage project.
Nevertheless, the real potential of blockchain remains untapped due to issues related to scalability and interoperability. A centralized system is more likely to process requests and become adoptable than a decentralized one, which is why a separate digital ledger space is working sideways to find solutions for such problems.
Hopefully, there will be.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Tim Draper: Cryptocurrencies Will Consume Half the Fiat Currency Market

Bitcoin is having a rough time lately, having been lost more than 80% of its total market cap this year. But the decline has not discouraged Tim Draper from putting his confidence in the crypto technology.
The renowned venture capital investor predicted that half of the fiat money holders would eventually shift to cryptocurrencies in the future. Speaking on the sidelines of the World Crypto Con conference in Las Vegas, Draper said that bitcoin will lead the new currency market which would enable people to easily spend, invest or do whatever they want with cryptocurrencies.
The cryptocurrency market currently amounts to circa $130 billion while the fiat one is worth about $86 trillion. Bitcoin and similar assets, according to Draper, are cheaper to operate and are more frictionless than fiat, which would allow at least $43 trillion worth of investment move into the crypto space.
“I mean, just by that alone, just that they cost you less, it’s going to be better for people,” he added. “And so they’re going to move to crypto, and they’re going to go away from the political currency—they call it fiat.”
Hype vs Use Case
Technologists have praised Bitcoin for bringing a new and innovative transaction settlement protocol to the financial market. The digital currency, nevertheless, has also faced criticism for being unstable and for its slow transaction time. Over recent years, a majority of traders purchased Bitcoin during its speculative bull run, which saw price hitting an all-time high at over $19,000. But as the hype cycle ended, the bitcoin market posted a massive yearly decline, which is still in play and has brought the value to as low as $3,400.
Nouriel Roubini, a renowned American economist, called Bitcoin “a mother of all scams,” stating that its value would eventually crash down to nothing. Warren Buffet, a Nobel-winning economist, also called bitcoin “an asset that creates nothing.”
But for Draper, the decline only reflects a near-term shock and Bitcoin would eventually be an answer to all the problems a fiat-based economy possess. The crypto bull said that developing countries would find digital currencies more attractive than countries with their high GDPs tied to fiat money.
“That’s the way it’s going to move,” he explained. “And so the countries that are forward thinking are saying, this is the way it’s going to be. So we’re going to make a huge mistake by trying to cling to our old currency. And that’s why you’re seeing the smaller countries all say, ‘yeah, we want bitcoin, we want initial coin offerings (ICOs) here, we want blockchain. We want all of these things in our country.’”
$250,000 in 2022
Draper reaffirmed his stance that Bitcoin value will rise as much as $250,000 by 2022. People, according to him, would be least likely to tie their investments with assets whose price actions are driven by political forces. “I would much rather have a global currency than one that is sort of tied to a political force,” Draper added.
The venture capitalist is believed to hold more than 30,000 Bitcoins in his investment portfolio.
Image from Shutterstock
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Blockstack CEO: Crypto Winter is Here But the Next Wave Will be Massive

Since the introduction of blockchain in 2008, there have been more than 80,000 digital ledger technology projects launched around the world. In 2016, a total of 29 crypto projects raised over $6 billion via tokenized crowdfunding (ICO). The next year, 871 ICOs raised a whopping $6 billion, causing a wave of investment into the blockchain space. And in 2018 – this year – over 800 ICOs have announced their blockchain products.
But a “crypto winter” may end up freezing a majority of them to death, believes Muneeb Ali.
Decline in Funding
The chief operating officer of Blockstack, a blockchain platform itself, said that funding into digital ledger startups had gone down. He indicated that due to a shocking majority of ICO projects failing to deliver a blockchain product, the confidence among investors has come to an all-time low. As a result, it could impact even good plans for meeting their funding goals.
“No need to deny or downplay it. Funding will likely dry up, we might start seeing projects shut down,” tweeted Ali.
2018 has been one of the worst years for the cryptocurrency market. Almost every crypto-asset has posted humongous losses which include top coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple. The market blames the ICO projects for the damages, stating that ICOs accumulated the leading cryptocurrencies from investors to develop their blockchain platforms. But, in the end, a majority of them failed to deliver the product, or just fell behind their promised roadmap. In the meantime, they kept dumping the accumulated crypto funds for fiat money, increasing supply against a weaker demand.
The death of many blockchain projects could be good news for the crypto market in the long run, Ali said.
The Blockstack executive said that the current phase of the crypto market is similar to the “dial-up era” of the internet. There was a substantial likelihood of failures, impractical ideas, and hype-driven investment which – now – is on its way down as the funding declines. Investors are becoming smarter, and would likely put their capital in projects that are well-backed and driven from practicalities of the blockchain.
A New Beginning
It can be confirmed by comparing the total number of blockchain ICOs launched this year and how many among them met their funding goals. Cryptocurrency data firm ICORating found that funding into blockchain startups raised from $3.3 billion to $5.5 billion between first and second fiscal quarters. Even then, only a small number of ICOs were able to raise funds, while the rest of them were abject failures.
It proved that investors continued to believe in the potential of blockchain technology, but they trusted only a few teams with its development.
“It’s far from the end, however. The next wave can reach a bigger market, beyond this “dial-up era” of crypto,” stated Ali.
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