Ethereum [ETH] is a powerful platform if it figures out global synchronization, says ex-Google CEO

Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google and Executive Chairman at Alphabet, one of the most influential technology executives in the world, recently spoke at a live event hosted by Village Global, an early-stage venture capital. At the event, Schmidt gave his insights on blockchain and expressed his views on whether it was overrated or underrated and said:
“In the public format it [Blockchain] is overrated but in its technical use it is underrated.”
Blockchain, as a concept, is highly overrated in the public format because some speculators relate it to the boom of Bitcoin in 2017, which gave blockchain the spotlight. Blockchain is underrated because it has a lot of use-cases that are not being implemented yet.
The former CEO said that blockchain is a great platform for Bitcoin and other currencies as it’s being used for private banking transactions where people don’t trust each other. He explained that the use-cases for Blockchain that we are developing are the tip of the iceberg. He said:
“The most obvious example being the capability of Ethereum. And if Ethereum can manage to figure out a way to do global synchronization of that activity, that’s a pretty powerful platform. That’s a really new invention.”
Recently, Metamask announced, in a tweet, the launch of Ethereum private browser, Metamask 5.0. The main feature of the browser is that it allows users to interact between all Ethereum-based websites. Metamask also mentioned that this new feature would not be ideal in terms of users’ privacy as it would expose the Ethereum address of the user to the public.
Ethereum, also known for its smart contracts and wide adoption, recently lost its second spot and slumped to the third rank as XRP overtook it during its recent rally on November 6. Although XRP enjoyed its position briefly, Ethereum regained its position a few minutes later.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin [BTC] will gain mass adoption after it solves scalability and privacy challenges, says Litecoin [LTC]’s Charlie Lee

In a recent podcast interview, Charlie Lee, the founder of Litecoin, addressed Bitcoin’s scalability problems while talking about the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies.
Charlie Lee said that Bitcoin succeeded because it brought in the notion of decentralization to life through Distributed Ledger Technology and that is why every other form of digital currency failed. DLT would allow the user to have full control of the money without the interference of the authorities.
Lee felt that Bitcoin was revolutionizing when he was introduced to it and he thought it was worth more and believed that it would revolutionize money. Although Bitcoin [BTC]’s price had increased exponentially last year, Lee believes that Bitcoin has a long road ahead of it before it becomes real money. There is still a lot of problems with Bitcoin; it needs more scaling and privacy and that there is “definitely a lot of work ahead of us”.
Although Bitcoin’s price had shot up to $20k and down to $6.5k, it has not received much adoption from institutional investors until very recently. Lee said that more people need to be exposed to Bitcoin, adding that it is happening with institutional players like ‘Fidelity, the Bakkt exchange’ stepping into the cryptocurrency market and that it gives more access to buy into the asset class.
Speaking more about Bitcoin’s adoption Lee says:
“Moving forward when LN becomes more flushed out and the UI gets better and easier for people to get on to the lightning Network, we will see more usage as the fees go down and the transaction becomes instnat.”
Bitcoin is unlike other forms of money that allows people to transfer money to any part of the world as it is not censored. Lee said that it was hard to move money before Bitcoin. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies allow users to control their money, unlike fiat money.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin [BTC] and Ethereum [ETH] blockchains are too young to predict the future, says Apple co-founder

Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, gave his insight about Bitcoin [BTC] and its underlying technology, blockchain technology, and how it could affect our lives in the coming future, at Crypto Invest Summit.

Wozniak said that Bitcoin drew people’s attention because of the blockchain technology. This is due to blockchain’s key focus being decentralization and immutability. According to him, the technology has become disruptive in the current space.
He further added that the main idea behind blockchain was to have no central authority controlling over it. Moreover, Wozniak added that his fantasies included traveling to a different part of the world with just Bitcoin.
The co-founder of the trillion-dollar industry referred to blockchain as a new technology that is changing the facade of financing and the views of people. Steve continued to say, blockchain is still in the nascent space and the “new things are exciting and what drive us and push us.”
With widespread acknowledgment and adaptation, blockchain finally drew the attention of governments around the world and is now being acknowledged and regulated. Blockchain, he says, is starting to branch out to various industry sectors and people are starting to develop new applications that are changing the way people think and apply it, from the ground up, which the internet did in the 90s.
Wozniak agreed to the fact that decentralized apps or dApps are disrupting incumbent leaders and are moving forward in the blockchain space, which is causing a shift in culture. He said, “I love to see the culture change, but culture resists change,” and then proceeded to compare it to the initial days of the internet when it had no controlling body. So he fears this could happen with the blockchain as well.

Here, Wozniak compares Ethereum [ETH] to Apple’s App Store, which is in a sense a platform. Ethereum has similar functionalities like that of the App Store as people can build use-case applications on its blockchain.
Steve concluded saying it is hard to predict what Bitcoin or blockchain will or will not become in the future as it is still in the nascent phases.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Litecoin [LTC] founder Charlie Lee says privacy improvements in Monero [XMR], ZCash [ZEC] are toppling blockchain ecosystem

Charlie Lee, the developer of Litecoin, spoke at the Money 2020 conference on Tuesday about how he developed Litecoin after being inspired by Bitcoin in 2011. He explains how cryptocurrencies, in general, are one of the better forms of money ever developed in the history of mankind.
During the conference, Lee explains how fungibility is one of the key reasons why privacy is needed in our present world. Lee takes his point forward by saying that money is meant to be spent, however, the user chooses to spend it and not and this is what makes it valuable.
In a comparison between Monero and Bitcoin, Bitcoin is not fungible as it can always be traced back to where it came from, he said. Hence, the Bitcoins received are not ‘fresh’ and if these Bitcoins were involved in shady transactions, the address for those Bitcoins can be blacklisted for avoiding future transactions.
However, in the case of Monero, the blockchain is opaque, as in, the transaction history of the coins can’t be looked up.
He further explains saying fungibility is the one good things that is missing from Bitcoin. Charlie Lee explains fungibility as two $200 bills are essentially one and the same. He then compares it to Bitcoin, which, when transferred to a person, allows the person to see the amount of Bitcoins the user has. He says that it is not a good thing when it comes to privacy and one shouldn’t be able to know how much money a person makes.
“Right now, there are some altcoins that are doing a lot of privacy-related improvements like, Monero [XMR] with RingCT, Zcash [ZEC] & Tezos [XZT],” said Charlie Lee. “New innovative technology is turning blockchain upside down.”
Speaking of the bad side of privacy, Lee takes Monero’s Bulletproof update, which makes transaction size 90% smaller, but still larger than Bitcoin’s transaction size, concluding by saying that “it doesn’t scale as well as Bitcoin”.
Charlie Lee says that he is really optimistic about the future of privacy in terms of cryptocurrencies and that there will always be a tug of war between privacy and regulations.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Coinbase Confident of Receiving FSA Approval, Intends to Set Security Standards in Japan

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase aims to set a new security standard in Japan, and is more confident than ever that it will receive approval from Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) to operate an exchange in the region.
Coinbase Optimistic About Expansion into Japanese Market
On June 4, the most valuable cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S., Coinbase, announced its plans to expand its offerings and services into the lucrative Japanese market. However, before Coinbase can operate in the region, it must first have its registration approved by Japan’s FSA.
In an interview published by Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei Asian Review, Mike Lempres, Coinbase’s chief policy officer, provided an update on the firm’s progress in dealing with the FSA, claiming that the discussions are “going well” and believes that the company will “certainly” receive approval “in 2019.”
Coinbase Welcomes Increased Scrutiny Under Japan’s Chief Regulator
“The Japanese government is more focused on security,” Lempres said, in reference to how the FSA has responded to a string of hacks that battered cryptocurrency exchanges in the region throughout 2018, leaving investors scores and the FSA scrambling to implement better security measures across the board.
The FSA increased its scrutiny over cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country after Coincheck was hacked for nearly $500 million in cryptocurrency tokens. Since then, the FSA has issued a number of business improvement orders to exchanges, suspended others, and implemented a more stringent licensing process.
As of September, Reuters was reporting that over 160 registration applications were in the FSA’s review queue, forcing the country’s chief regulator to hire an additional 12 people for fiscal year 2019, in order to keep up with the growing demand.
Lempres said that the FSA’s greater focus on security is “good” for Coinbase and affords them an edge compared to their competition. He also expects Japan to bounce back from the recent hacks plaguing exchanges and investors.

“Japan has been an active large market from the very beginning, and has proved resilient as it bounces back from several bad experiences,” Lempres explained.

Coinbase to Set Security Standards in the Region
Coinbase hopes to become the pillar of security and safety in Japan. As part of Coinbase’s discussions with the FSA, the firm boasts of its security standards put in place to protect investors.
Lempres claims that Coinbase has “dozens” of employees dedicated to security, and that only 1% of assets are stored in fully insured hot wallets, the remaining 99% of funds are stored offline using a unique and complicated process.
Lempress believes there is a “great demand” for trusted service providers in Japan, and hopes that Coinbase will satiate that need after the FSA approves its application.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Source: New

The First SMS Wallet Service Launches Enabling Dash Remittance Payments

A Venezuela-based company has introduced the first SMS wallet service exclusively for Dash transactions, enabling payments to be sent and received in the country without a smart phone or internet connection.
Venezuela Turns to Dash
Last month, Ryan Taylor, CEO of Dash Core Group, said that it was “seeing tens of thousands of wallet downloads from the country each month.” Hyperinflation and economic instability within Venezuela is forcing many citizens to turn to currency alternatives.
As a peer-to-peer digital currency for payments, with over 1,000 per cent year-over-year growth in both value and trading volume since 2015, Dash is providing an inexpensive and fast alternative to Venezuela’s bolívar. Yet, while Dash is becoming a popular choice not everyone is able to take advantage of it.
Figures from Newzoo, a global market intelligence company, found that as of September Venezuela only has a near 41 per cent smartphone penetration rate. This means that a significant number of people aren’t able to access Dash even if they wanted to.
In order to solve this Dash Text was launched. The platform was created by Alejandro Echeverría and Lorenzo Rey, who is also the company’s CTO. By sending the organisation a text message, even from a non-smartphone, it creates a wallet for the phone user straightaway. This is controlled by a phone number and doesn’t require internet access to set up.
Speaking to NewsBTC, Rey said that the response so far has been “extremely good.”
“This service is a real necessity because millions of people do not have good smartphones or internet connectivity,” he added. “We want to expand to other countries and that is something that is in our roadmap, but for now we want to focus on the users in Venezuela.”
Once set up a user can send and receive Dash with simple user commands and actions performed. This is particularly handy when it comes to remittances. According to reports, it’s estimated that Venezuelans who have left the country send at least $1 billion to friends and family back home. Even so, a change in remittance rules is seeing many struggling to receive the money they need.
“At Dash we understand that cross-border transactions are expensive and take long, and in Latin America, there is a clear possibility to help millions of people that need to send money home in any one of the remittance corridors,” said Ernesto Contreras, Dash’s business development manager for Latin America.
For the secure savvy, though, the use of a text message to send and receive Dash payments may not seem very secure. Rey, however, stated that Dash Text is as secure as any messaging app found on a phone, which, in most cases, people share a lot of private information.
“By keeping your phone locked with pin or password even if someone steals your phone they won’t be able to access your funds,” he added. “However, if you are not careful with your phone’s security someone could steal your funds just like they could steal your private pictures or messages.”
He goes on to state that they don’t advertise these SMS wallets to be used as a primary storage. Instead, they should be used for convenience and utility with small amounts.
“Similar to how you shouldn’t carry your life savings in your physical wallet, you shouldn’t carry your life savings in Dash Text either,” Rey said.
The company is hoping that with the adoption of Dash Text it will be a perfect solution to monetary barriers currently seen in Venezuela.
Featured image from Dash Text.
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Source: New

Will SEC Approve Bitcoin ETF? Interview with Mati Greenspan, Senior Analyst eToro

Bitcoin ETF? Coingape was the first one to point to the potential of a possible Bitcoin ETF approval. It has given rise to speculations resulting in the current ongoing bull run. In an effort to bring more clarity on the bitcoin ETF debate we today have with us Mati Greenspan who is a senior analyst at eToro.
He shared his insights on an ongoing debate about CBOEs application for Bitcoin ETF. The major point raised during the interview were:

3 reasons why SEC might approve Bitcoin ETF this time.
Why the sudden hike in the institutional investors’ interest in bitcoin?
The future of bitcoin and entire cryptocurrency market in case bitcoin ETF is accepted by SEC and if not.

Here we go:
Ques: Hi Mati, can you please tell our audience a bit about yourself?
Mati: I am the Senior market analyst in eToro. I have been here since 2012. My job is to help people understand financial markets, why the movement, what opportunities are and of course how to build a proper portfolio. We were founded in 2007 with the vision to open the financial markets to everyone to make things easy for people to trade in stock, currencies and commodity prices.
Ques: Do you think SEC will approve the Bitcoin ETF application this time?
Mati: I certainly hope. During the previous bitcoin ETF, there was one in March that was proposed by the Winklevoss twins. And at the time the SEC rejected the ETF because there was not enough clarity regarding bitcoin and the market wasn’t really fully developed.
This ETF is structured a bit different than the previous one. First of all, it has a CBOE as a sponsor and VanEck is a traditional finance player that is making the proposition. I have read through the proposal which is about 50 pages. It includes one of the best explanations I’ve ever seen about what a bitcoin is, what mining is, what is cold storage and the market in general.
First, the contract size is going to be twenty-five bitcoins which are clearly aimed for institutional players, they are not coming here to pitch this to the average retirement portfolio.
That’s going to be one thing that could help persuade the SEC. The other is the market is much more well-defined now and much more developed. So the SEC has already clarified the status of Bitcoin at that point saying it’s certainly not a security or anything like that.
And the OTC market is also more developed now. So we have telephone transactions between the counterparties that are larger. Coinbase has recently opened OTC desks. We at eToro have opened an OTC desk so it’s going to be a lot easier for them to get the liquidity that they need.
Ques: So, what are your views on the involvement of Wall Street investors and why are they interested in Bitcoin suddenly?
Mati: There are a lot of reasons that an asset manager would be interested in cryptocurrency. Lately, I’ve been giving an analogy of cinnamon. Cinnamon is considered a volatile ingredient. That’s because it’s very complex on the molecular level and it can have different interactions based on the different ingredients that you use it with.
Now, cryptocurrencies, of course, are incredibly volatile. Adding very small amounts of cryptocurrency to your portfolio, you can really add an extra spice and increase the profit potential of the portfolio. Of course, you don’t want to use too much because if you use too much you know can ruin the entire recipe.
Ques: So you mentioned institutional investors. What do you think would be their consequences in the market? Will it be just good? People are talking about the good part of it. Will there be any bad consequences?
Mati: In what way would there be bad consequences. It’s simply a new structured product that’s being built In order to allow people to invest more freely in cryptocurrency specifically institutional investors. I don’t see how there could be any negative consequences of that.
Ques: Ok so talking about 2018. How do you analyze the whole seven months that have passed? What do you think of the current market?
Mati: 2018 largely began with retracement from the top when we’ve seen a massive surge in all cryptocurrencies in the entire industry over 2017. Bitcoin is pretty much since an exception that has been following this kind of pattern, where it goes through a massive surge. Usually, quadruple-digit percentage points a thousand percent. In the past that been even larger. In 2011 when $11,500 in the span of a few months.
But every time it does that there needs to be a retracement from high and that retracement can be quite significant, sometimes 80 or 90 percent retracement even in the past. This retracement so far if we get as low as 5000 will represent a 75 percent retracement from the top. Yesterday’s action which was encouraging, we might have seen bottom already. But nothing is impossible.
Basically, this is how the cycle works. Generally, after the retracement, we’ll either see another major surge or a period of prolonged relaxation for cycles like those because we’ve seen worse.
In my humble opinion period of relaxation would be incredibly good for the market it’s a healthy thing and allows people to increase infrastructure, build apps and make new connections that help the market. If we do see another surge then we’d have to be very prepared to get into that type of volume again.
Also, read: If CBOE’s Bitcoin ETF gets Rejected, Will it Upend the Raging Bulls?
Ques: Talking about the predictions, people are making huge predictions and talking about millions of dollars. So what do you think about that?
Mati: I mean if you look at it in percentage terms those services that we talked about some of them have been quite sizable in percentage terms. Even in 2017 the surge wasn’t particularly large nor was the true retracement. It’s simply that we’ve come to a point where it’s a much larger market and the larger the market gets the more those surges should relax. So the more people that are using and holding bitcoin, the less the volatility at the end of the day.
Now for Bitcoin to become you know more or less stable cryptocurrency, I think that we would need to see a much larger market cap that could really take years to effect. We have noticed that with every cycle the volatility is reducing.
We definitely have a price much larger than it is today. So I don’t know. I suppose it’s possible on a long enough timeline given that it continues to be the dominant cryptocurrency in the space and I don’t see any reason for that to change.
Ques: So talking about the predictions that people are making what is your prediction?
Mati: I don’t have a number. The future is wide open. Bitcoin is incredibly risky and blockchain technology is still under development and experimental in many ways. So, it’s possible to see Bitcoin as low as a thousand dollars at the end of the year as high and as high as a million dollars. I really have no way of saying you can be anywhere in between.
Bitcoin ETFs are the talk of the market as SEC gathers overwhelming response from the public. As explained by Mati, Bitcoin ETFs certainly have better chances of getting approved this time. With Bitcoin already registering substantial gains since last week and having crossed $8k, Bitcoin ETF approval can skyrocket the Bitcoin prices in no time.
The post Will SEC Approve Bitcoin ETF? Interview with Mati Greenspan, Senior Analyst eToro appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Ethereum [ETH]’s Vitalik Buterin speaks: Cryptoeconomics, blockchain and their future

On 18th July, Vitalik Buterin got together on a podcast with Tyler Cowen. The podcast “Conversations with Tyler” is a learning channel on Apple Music. Buterin spoke about the sheer effectiveness of cryptocurrency, its economics and about the future of blockchain and its applications.

According to Buterin, cryptocurrency “by itself” is basically costless. He said that the only expense that occurs is the production process of the cryptocurrency which gets evened out when people who trust the cryptocurrency participate in transactions. This ‘club’ of people ensures that a constant cycle of token production takes place which balances the value thereby preventing hyperinflation of any single cryptocurrency.

He stated:

 “It is possible to join the club, but joining the club requires that you undertake some kind of costly signaling expenditure — in some ways burn capital, burn resources, or consume something unique — which is just difficult enough that it prevents people from doing it willy-nilly to the point where all the cryptocurrency hyperinflates.”

Buterin went on to comment about ‘cryptoeconomics’, a term coined by him to describe the economics that happens in the cryptocurrency sphere. According to him, cryptocurrency follows the same set of rules that are set by economic standards in the society.

He states that whatever transactions that occur on a blockchain have to follow the protocols set by, not a judge or a judicial body, but by the computer programmer responsible for developing the blockchain. He has remarked that there are some protocols that do not work in the field of ‘cryptoeconomics’ and these are the hard and fast rules set by the societal economics.

He was quoted as saying:

“For example, you can’t say in cryptoeconomics, “It’s illegal to bribe people,” because there’s really no simple way to define what a bribe is. If someone really wants to bribe someone else, he can just go and do that outside of the protocol, and the protocol would have no way to tell.”

He went on to comment about the anonymity of the users in the field of cryptocurrency. This anonymity according to him ensures that the person is not penalized for any wrongdoings because he or she can just change their virtual addresses and move on with another identity. He states that this is in stark contrast with what happens in the real world, thereby setting them apart on opposite poles.

Buterin believes that all cryptocurrency users are trying to figure out how the economics of transactions works by learning from the individual properties of each and every cryptocurrency attribute.

Cowen went on to ask Buterin about the concept of blockchain and how it can easily be explained to someone. Buterin replied comparing blockchain to a “world computer”, an analogy he draws from his comic book fandom. He stated:

“The idea, basically, is that a blockchain, as a whole, functions like a computer. It has a hard drive, and on that hard drive, it stores what all the accounts are. It stores what the code of all the smart contracts is, what the memory of all these smart contracts is.”

He reiterated the reason as to why blockchain should be preferred over traditional means of transfer as he stood firm on the fact that once blockchain is implemented on a large scale, no industry will crash because of illegal activities conducted by others or because of a large-scale hack.

Buterin also commented on what should be done starting now to ensure blockchain technology is a prevalent industry. He touched up on the issue of scalability of blockchain capacity and stated a specific example.

He said:

“Ethereum blockchain’s capacity right now is about 15 transactions per second. If you even consider something like putting all of the Uber rides on the blockchain, that’s 12 transactions per second already . If you talk about moving PayPal over, that gets into the hundreds, and then anything more complex starts moving into the many thousands.”

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Source: AMB Crypto