Bitcoin Mining Report By Coinshares and Fidelity Breaks Rhetoric on Profitability and Geo-fencing

CoinShare released its third edition of Bitcoin Mining Report along with Fidelity Center for Applied Technology. It is an expansive piece of research to address one of the most daunting and rather important aspects of Bitcoin, the mining process.
In a game of supply and demand, supply should account for 50% of the price consideration. However, Bitcoin [BTC] is a speculative asset; hence, it’s a little more complicated than that.
Bitcoin Mining is Profitable, and the Network is Growing
The report suggested that the overall hash rate of the network has increased by 25% in 7 months. Hence, the number of nodes and innovation in the space is continually growing. Moreover, this completely contradicts the assumption that Bitcoin mining is a loss-making business. Because if it were, then miners would have been quitting instead of adding to the process.
“Since our last report of November 2018, the hash rate has grown from approximately 40 EH/s to approximately 50 EH/s, an increase of 25%.”
According to the reports, Bitcoin mining with the given hardware and associated cost is still ‘highly profitable.’ The institutes have considered long term cost associated with the mining process by accounting for the depreciation cost of hardware, electricity cost, the marginal cost of production, cooling cost, and other overheads.
The results reveal that the cost of mining 1 Bitcoin in the range of $6800-$5600 approximately with the current miners. It varies for miners around the world, and the miners also switch between new and old machines due to fluctuations in prices, which varies the cost further. Nevertheless, the process was much costlier as projected in the last report in November 2018.
At current Bitcoin prices, it is profitable by 28%. Furthermore, during the quarter of 2019, the process was yielding an equivalent loss as Bitcoin traded in the $4000 range. Hence, while the half-yearly balance seems to have been maintained with the price, the marginal profit is difficult to estimate.
Geographic Statistics
The report suggested that China continues to dominate mining around the world. The percentage dominance of China was estimated at 60%. The mining industry of China is mainly concentrated in the Sichuan region, which provides cheap hydro-electric power and a habitable climate that reduces the cost of cooling.
Geographic Statistics for Mining (Report) 
Also Read: Bitcoin (BTC) Price Analysis June 7: Enjoys A Cluster of Technical Support Levels
Some of the other countries involved in the process are predominantly New York, UK, Canada, Sweden, Quebec, Norway, Iceland, Armenia, New Foundland and Labrador, Georgia and Iran. The report also estimated that the entire process is run predominantly by renewable energy.
Moreover, the miners are running huge farms and are in it for the long haul. The news around the mining ban in China seems to have slight to no effect on the process in China. Moreover, it is generating enormous profits for the local government. Furthermore, mining is spread out across the world. Hence, the chances of the network going down due to a Government crackdown as bleak.
Disclaimer: Neither the report, not this article should be considered as investment advice. Moreover, the story is also not authorized, but an attempt to understand the extensive process. 
Do you think that more countries would start running nodes? Please share your views with us. 
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Source: CoinGape

Even with ICOs Dead Cryptocurrency Investment Scams Still Raging: Report

The phase of investing in ICOs had created a lot of euphoria in the markets. It was a time when individual teams would design their own project on a blockchain and seek investment for it through cryptocurrencies. It was basically an exchange of one cryptocurrency for another.
The investors in the ICO were given equivalent shares for their investment in these newly developed ‘tokens.’ While the idea behind it was good and pure to provide easy crowdfunding opportunities. It exposed the hard truth of the modern economy.
Also Read: Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) & How It is Better Than ICO
Fraud and competition are essential parts of our economy. Hence, many projects started to fail and the tokens became worthless. Thus, the cryptocurrency bubble came to an end with it.
However, there are many other different kinds of cryptocurrency scams and theft, the most popular is the wallet or Exchange hack. In 2019 itself the market has experienced three Exchange hacks (Binance, Cryptopia, and DragonEX) and one unforeseen situation with the obituary of QuadrigaCX CEO, Gerald Cotten.
Nevertheless, apart from these large-scale losses, there are other various smaller Ponzi schemes and unregulated crypto-investment opportunities being offered on the internet. Social media advertisement, click-bait, and sometimes old school cold calling are efficient ways of luring customers.
According to a recent report by UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, as much as $30 million (27 million euros) was lost to investment-related fraud in cryptocurrencies. According to the press report,
“The number of such scams reported more than tripled last year to 1,834, from 530 in 2017-18.”
Also Read: $1.2 Billion Lost in Cryptocurrency Related Scams and Fraud in Q1 2019: Report
The fraudster pries the gullibility of investors looking to ‘get rich quick.’ They are lured in by hopes of hefty gains in a carefully planned business model. However, more often then not the Exchanges or business shut down soon as the gain their target investments.
Do you think better education and widespread knowledge can reduce these kinds of scams? Please share your views with us. 
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Source: CoinGape

Most crypto-traders are trying to get rich quickly with ‘minimal effort’, claims UK-based research

A recent study by the London-based agency Revealing Reality has suggested that a majority of crypto-investors were increasingly interested in ‘getting rich quick’.
The study also showed that a significant number of crypto-traders exhibited an eagerness to earn more by putting ‘minimal effort’ in a short period of time.
The research stated,
“Most respondents expressed a desire to make significant amounts of money in their lives, and while some were looking for ways to supplement their income, others had explored a variety of ways to try to ‘get rich quick’ without having to work.”
Further, the survey also suggested that a significant majority of the individuals surveyed were worried of being left out or sidelined after Bitcoin hit its explosive heights in 2017 and wanted to foray into a space that was ‘in vogue’.
Additionally, another UK-based market research agency Kantar TNS conducted a sample survey of over 2,000 UK consumers.
The research revealed that a staggering 70% of the people who took the survey did not know how to define basic crypto functionality. Additionally, only 8% of all digital-asset owners had researched about the same before investing and one in every three respondents had never checked the value of their digital asset since its purchase.
The joint ‘qualitative research’ that was carried out by the Financial Conduct Authority [FCA] emphasized that the sample survey should not be pictured as conclusive evidence. In the final report of the Crypto Assets Taskforce, which included the UK Government and the Bank of England, the financial watchdogs highlighted banning certain digital asset derivatives and concluded,
“Firms should note that Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT) will be publishing a consultation paper in early 2019 on exploring a legislative change to potentially broaden the FCA’s regulatory remit to bring in further types of crypto assets.”
The FCA body further expanded on the Crypto Assets Taskforce’s plans to structure regulation for the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Still Early For Bitcoin: Most UK Consumers Can’t Define Cryptocurrency

A pair of surveys has found that over two thirds of British consumers do not even know what cryptocurrency is. Meanwhile, less than 2 percent have ever bought crypto for more than £200.
Unsurprisingly, as one of the centres of global finance, London leads the nation in self-proclaimed cryptocurrency understanding. However, actual use in either retail or investment remains low.
UK’s Cryptocurrency Use Remains Low
A pair of surveys conducted by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a follow up to an earlier joint report by the Bank of England, HM Treasury, and FCA into cryptocurrency have been published today. The first was conducted by Revealing Reality and asked 31 cryptocurrency investors of their buying habits, motives, and attitudes towards digital assets.
The second, by Kantar TNS, asked a sample of 2,132 UK consumers about their knowledge of digital assets and if they had ever bought any cryptocurrencies.
The results showed that only 27 percent of the sample claimed to have insight into cryptocurrency. Understandably, the UK’s capital, London – being a centre of global finance – fared marginally better in overall crypto knowledge with 29 percent of the respondents from the city claiming to grasp the topic.
Perhaps more interesting for those that think they have missed the proverbial boat on Bitcoin and other digital assets, only three percent of those surveyed stated that they had ever bought cryptocurrency. Of that number, around half had only spent £200 or less.
According to the findings of the studies, some who had invested in digital assets had done so purely on the hope of “getting rich quick”. Around half of those investing in cryptocurrency said they were most hopeful about Bitcoin (BTC) long-term. Meanwhile, a third favoured Ether (ETH).
Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s strategy and competition executive director, stated of the findings:
“The results suggest that although crypto assets may not be well understood by many consumers, the vast majority don’t buy or use them currently…Whilst the research suggests some harm to individual crypto asset users, it does not suggest a large impact on wider society.”
He added that those deciding to invest in such “complex, volatile products” should not be surprised if they lose all their money.
Still Early Days for Bitcoin and Crypto
The findings of the recently published FCA survey support the opinion of several thought leaders in the cryptocurrency space. Some have drawn comparisons to Bitcoin’s entire market capitalisation versus the net worth of the richest folk in the world:

Richest men in the world:
Jeff Bezos $112BBill Gates $90BBuffett $84BArnault $72BZuckerberg $71B
Bitcoin's entire marketcap is only $68 billion. That's less then these five individual people's net worth.
We're so early it's laughable.
— Alec Ziupsnys (@AlecZiupsnys) February 28, 2019

Meanwhile others focused more on the technology itself and its opportunity to grow with second layer scaling solutions like the Lightning Network, which has rapidly grown in size since its launch last year:

This is where Bitcoin LN is right now according to @Excellion: the early days like dial-up internet!
Stick around and you’ll be glad you held on to your $BTC when 99% of the world didn’t know/believe in it.
— Baymax [₿TCŁTC] (@LTC10K) March 6, 2019

Finally, others are clearly playing the longest of long games…

2017: "early Bitcoin adopters just got lucky. It's unfair!"
2037: "early nation-states adopting Bitcoin as currency just got lucky. It's unfair!"
2237: "early interplanetary confederations hoarding massive bitcoin reserves as war-chest just got lucky. It's unfair!"
— Francis Pouliot ₿ (@francispouliot_) March 1, 2019

Related Reading: Bitcoin Acceptance: The Changing Face of Mainstream Media Coverage
Featured Image from Shutterstock.
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Source: New

UK regulatory authority moves for clarification on cryptocurrency regulation

The Financial Conduct Authority [FCA], the primary financial regulator of the United Kingdom released a ‘consultation paper’ on 23 January titled, “Guidance on Cryptoassets,” which aims to clarify the picture of cryptocurrency regulation in the country.
Public feedback will be welcomed by the FCA, to better gauge the regulatory requirements of the masses before their consultation phase closes on April 5, following which the regulatory authority will make a decision on the legal definition of cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain, the underlying technology that powers the cryptocurrency industry is constantly evolving and governments have to keep up with the same in order to enforce better regulation. The FCA highlighted the same in seeking regulatory clarity through this open-consultation approach.
The FCA stated:
“We are consulting on Guidance for crypto assets to provide regulatory clarity for market participants carrying on activities in this space. The crypto asset market, and the underlying DLT technology, is developing quickly and participants need to be clear on where they are conducting activities that fall within the scope of the FCA’s regulatory remit and for which they require authorisation.”
This consultation paper aims to cover cryptocurrencies as specified investments, financial instruments, E-Money, and items captured under the payment services regulations stated the FCA.
Cryptocurrencies have always operated in a regulatory grey area. This paper and the feedback it will provide will herald legal clarity and is an important step to promote fair government regulation on cryptocurrencies.
The FCA also clears the details by differentiating between “exchange tokens,” “security tokens,” and “utility tokens.” Firstly, exchange tokens, the regulatory authority specifies, includes cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and others. Secondly, security tokens, include royalty streams, tokenized equity and more.
Security tokens are characterized by ownership rights, repayment clauses, and the holders may be entitled to a share in the future profits. Thirdly, utility tokens can be redeemed by the holder for seeking access to a specific product or service that is usually powered by decentralized technology.
According to the chief legal officer at Blockchain, Marco Santori, the top regulator in the UK does not have the regulatory authority over utility tokens, as they do not have the characteristics of security tokens, which are under the FCA’s purview.
A 10-week consultation period is set for the public to send in their feedback, which is set to conclude in April, following which the final text will be released by the regulator in the Summer of this year.
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Source: AMB Crypto

UK Member of Parliament: MPs Have a Duty to Understand Crypto

A member of UK parliament and self-confessed cryptocurrency enthusiast has spoken in favour of the fintech innovation. Eddie Hughes, MP, believes embracing the technology could help Britain thrive in the wake of Brexit and that the public should be able to pay their taxes using Bitcoin.
Cryptocurrency Could Help the UK Come Out of Brexit Stronger
According to a report in the UK’s Telegraph newspaper, a Conservative member of parliament has spoken out in favour of Great Britain taking an open minded approach to digital assets such as Bitcoin. Eddie Hughes is the minister for Walsall North and describes himself as a “crypto enthusiast with amateur knowledge.”
Hughes is calling on his colleagues to take a more active interest in learning about how Bitcoin and other digital assets worked. He thinks the emerging industry could prove lucrative for the UK in the wake of Brexit. This could attract more investment to the nation and set it ahead of many others in terms of adoption of the cutting-edge technology:
“We are at a crossroads and we’re about to determine our future – one in which taking the lead in this field could prove very beneficial.”
Is Lack of Knowledge Holding Back Adoption?
Hughes went on to speculate on the lack of widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies in the decade since Bitcoin first went live. He believes a lack of knowledge and understanding of the technology were behind what he perceives to be a slow uptake:
“People not understanding how the transaction works is holding us back in terms of mass adoption.”
The Conservative MP then questioned how accessible using Bitcoin and other digital assets was at present. For him, it is still too difficult for the layperson to use the new forms of money and improvements to wallet technology and other underlying infrastructure services would make it easier for the public to see the benefits of decentralised, censorship-resistant value transfer:
“And also how accessible it can be – it needs to appear like an app that people will use so they can become familiar with it in a safe and secure way.”
Could the UK Follow Ohio’s Lead in Allowing Tax Payments in Cryptocurrency?
Hughes also believes that the UK should follow the recent example of Ohio in allowing various taxes to be paid using cryptocurrency. The 50-year-old MP cited the example of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution charity accepting donations using digital assets and questioned why the British government had not yet added the payment method to its list of those accepted for tax payments:
“Only recently I met with the RNLI which is now accepting charitable donations through cryptocurrency – if we can do that, what’s to stop us being able to pay council tax and other bills with Bitcoin?”
Related Reading: Coinbase Announces New Office in Ireland as Brexit Woes Deepen
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Source: New

Survey: Four in 10 Brits Don’t Think Crypto Will Be Used as Cash or Card

YouGov internet market research and data analysis group has conducted a survey about cryptocurrency use today and in the future in Great Britain.
The results found that more men than women were interested in the technology, it was a younger crowd who mostly saw Bitcoin and other digital assets’ potential, and just one in five felt that it was a good idea to reject central banking in favour of a cryptocurrency future.
YouGov Survey Provides Insight into U.K.’s Knowledge and Acceptance of Crypto
YouGov took a sample from its 800,000 registered members to determine which demographics in the U.K. were most interested or involved with crypto. This collection of people supposedly represents a diverse range of ages, genders, social classes, and academic backgrounds.
The YouGov website published the outcomes of the series of questions put to the sample today. The first addressed whether the respondents had even heard of Bitcoin. Here, an impressive 93% of Brits said they had.
The follow-up question addressed how many “feel they understand how Bitcoin works.” To this, only 9% of those answering stated that they understood the cryptocurrency “very well.” This compared to 65% who admitted to having the poorest understanding of BTC.
Interestingly, far more men claim to understand the financial and technological innovation than women. Compared to the 39% of men who said they understood Bitcoin either “very well” or “fairly well,” just 14% of women said they felt the same.
As you’d probably expect, young people were much more likely to have a stronger grasp on crypto. Over two in five of those responding to the survey said they understand Bitcoin “fairly well.” This compared with just 16% of those aged over 55. The results on age demographics are in keeping with U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTTC) chair Christopher Giancarlo’s opinion that interest in digital assets is generational.
The survey then addressed who had actually bought Bitcoin. Again, the results support the idea that younger people are more receptive to the ideas of decentralised money and digital scarcity. A total of 45 respondents aged 18-24 said they had either bought the digital asset themselves or knew someone who had. At the other end of the spectrum were those older than 55-years-old again. Just 1% had bought BTC themselves and 7% knew a Bitcoin investor personally.
Next, those involved in the survey were asked if they believed that cryptocurrencies would play an important role in the future of finance. Over one in five respondents stated that they felt digital assets would eventually be as widely used as card or cash payments. The answer distribution between the men and women was much closer in response to this question with 22% of men and 19% of women saying they thought a cryptocurrency future was likely.
Finally and perhaps most telling, the sample was asked about how they felt about the idea of a currency controlled by the public rather than one provided by a centralised institution such as the Bank of England. Just 3% of those asked said they felt “very positive” about the idea and 9% were “fairly positive.” The most popular answer by a sliver was “neutral” at 25%. Just behind was “fairly negative” at 24% and “very negative” at 20%. Finally, 18% of people asked said they didn’t know how to feel about it.
Presumably, if you were to ask the same question in a nation such as Zimbabwe, Turkey, or Venezuela you would get a very different answer. In terms of banks, the Bank of England is one of the least likely to abuse their power and trust in the institution has certainly been reflected in the responses to the survey.
Of course, there are issues with these kinds of online polls. The chief of these is the fact that we must assume that an overwhelming majority of the respondents are computer literate. If they were not, they would be highly unlikely to be a registered member of the YouGov platform in the first place.
This is immediately problematic with a topic such as digital currencies. Since a huge number of those surveyed are obviously regular internet users, they are much more likely to have encountered cryptos previously. The figures are therefore likely exaggerated when compared with a true survey of the entire British public.
Related Reading: Survey: A Quarter of Millennials Hold Crypto, Wary of Current Financial System
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Source: New

Bitcoin [BTC] and other cryptocurrencies are too volatile to be a good store of value: Cryptoassets Taskforce

As Bitcoin [BTC]  and other cryptocurrencies chose to take the downward slope, after several days of the sideways movement, the Cryptoassets Taskforce also released a report on cryptocurrencies and the distributed ledger technology earlier this week.
The task force was launched by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which consists of three main regulatory bodies of the United Kingdom namely, Financial Conduct Authority [FCA], Bank of England and HM Treasury, in the month of March 2018.
The report underlines that irrespective of Bitcoin [BTC] and other cryptocurrencies being used as a “means of exchange”, they are not declared as money by either the Bank of England and G20 Finance Ministers or Central Bank governors. They quote cryptocurrencies’ high volatility as one of the reasons for them to be not considered as money.
The report stated:
“They are too volatile to be a good store of value, they are not widely-accepted as means of exchange, and they are not used as a unit of account”
The report also emphasizes that Bitcoin was originally created to be a means of exchange, however, in the current scenario, most of the people are holding the coin as an investment.
Furthermore, it stated that there are around 500 stores, bars, and coffee shops that accept Bitcoin as an option for payment, out of which, few mainstream portals have stopped supporting payments via cryptocurrencies. In addition, the daily trade volume of Bitcoin against sterling in the UK is close to 0.33% in comparison to daily trade volume.
Cryptocurrency assets and current regulation | Source: Cryptoassets Taskforce
The Taskforce stated that because of concerns related to customer protection and market integrity in the cryptocurrency market, the Financial Conduct Authority will seek information regarding the ban on Bitcoin [BTC[ derivates. However, the ban will not be imposed on cryptocurrency derivatives, which have been qualified as securities. They stated:
“[…] the FCA will consult on a prohibition of the sale to retail consumers of all derivatives referencing exchange tokens such as Bitcoin, including CFDs, futures, options and transferable securities […] however CFDs on securities would remain subject to ESMA’s temporary restrictions and any future FCA proposals to implement permanent measures in relation to CFDs”.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Report Warns MPs That Regulations Could Threaten UK’s Crypto Market

A report has warned U.K. MPs to thread carefully when creating regulations to govern the nation’s digital currency sector.
The document is in response to plans made by MPs to place the U.K.’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), at the centre of a crack down on money laundering and other crimes facilitated by crypto.
Report Argues That Crypto Companies Could Relocate to More Welcoming Jurisdictions
Lawmakers of the U.K. have been mulling how to regulate the “wild west” that is the digital currency space for some time now.
However, according to a report co-authored by the British Business Federation Authority (BBFA), law firm Baker Botts, digital asset exchange platform TodaQ, and venture capital fund Novum Insights, the wrong approach could hurt the U.K.’s rapidly evolving financial technology industry.
The report responds to the plan proposed by members of parliament to make the FCA the centre of a crypto crackdown. MPs have been calling for the FCA to have their “Regulated Activities Order” extended so that it can police the industry. It also states that the proposed approach is “ashamedly geared around Bitcoin” and that such a policy would likely end up unfairly penalising other digital assets.
According to a report in the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper, Patrick Curry, CEO of the BBFA, also stated that a heavy-handed approach to regulations in the British Isles would encourage exchanges and other businesses associated with the industry to move to more welcoming jurisdictions such as Malta.
To damage such a new and potentially revolutionary sector so early on would negatively impact the U.K. going forward – particularly in the wake of Brexit. Ultimately, the authors state that “bad regulation is worse than no regulation at all”.
Curry went on to tell the publication:
“It is a very blunt instrument approach and I haven’t seen this in other countries. The use of this technology is still a voyage of discovery and these technologies are being refined for different types of use. My concern is the law of unintended consequences.”
Echoing Curry is Neil Foster of law firm Baker Botts. He called for a more sophisticated approach to regulation. For him, it makes little sense to impose blanket regulations on all digital assets. He stated:
“With sophisticated classification we should work out what could be a regulated activity. If you crowbar everything into the Regulated Activities Order you are making everything into an investment bank.”
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Source: New

Can Blockchain Solve Brexit Border Woes? UK Finance Minister Believes So

Phillip Hammond, the U.K. finance minister, stated yesterday that blockchain technology could help smooth trade across the Irish border after the U.K. leaves the European Union. However, Hammond is the first to admit that he has no idea what he is talking about.
UK Minister Relies on Poor Understanding of Tech in the Wake of Failing Negotiations
There is ever-growing concern about how the U.K. leaving the European Union next year will impact the U.K. itself, as well as their European neighbours. Since it is the only nation to share a border with any of the U.K. and naturally does a huge amount of trading with the departing country, Ireland is thought to be one of the nation’s most heavily impacted by Brexit.
In addressing the growing issue of how Ireland will be able to continue to trade with the U.K. after the leaving date, the U.K.’s finance minister, Phillip Hammond, cited blockchain as a technology that could potentially alleviate much of the concerns. According to Reuters, he said:
“There is technology becoming available (…) I don’t claim to be an expert on it but the most obvious technology is blockchain.”
Such a statement should be of immediate concern to anyone with anything to lose from Brexit or those who understand blockchain technology. Evidently, Hammond falls into the former category exclusively.
The issue is with the Irish border. Years of conflict have raged on either side of that particular line on the map and the uneasy peace established in the late 1990s rests largely on the ability that the Southern neighbour has to do trade with the U.K. to the north.
With so much currently unknown about the nature of a Brexit deal, there is no clear indication if such trade will be able to continue.
For Hammond to claim that a distributed database can in any way improve the fate of Ireland’s trade in the wake of a hard Brexit is ridiculous. Whereas a blockchain can be used to monitor supply chains (the efficiency of using such a system with our current technology over a standard database remains to be seen), there is absolutely nothing about a blockchain that makes them well-suited for reducing necessary border checks on goods in the event that a hard border between the U.K. and Ireland is the fallout from Brexit.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies work on blockchains because they are purely digital. Traded goods are not.
Rather, it seems that Hammond has been sold snake oil by the likes of Reply LTD with their “Blockchain for Brexit” report (cited by the Financial Times), or perhaps is trying to sound like he has a firmer grasp on the situation that he clearly does.
Public blockchains are great for certain things – security and immutability – but that doesn’t mean they are the solution to every problem ever. They are expensive to run in a properly decentralised manner and at the end of the day, most applications touting the tech probably don’t need the level of security afforded by a true blockchain.
The issue with the Irish border isn’t a trust one, it’s political. Blockchain removes the need for parties to trust one another and it does it very well, but at a great cost. To protect a multi-billion-dollar network, like Bitcoin, it’s perfect. There is no reason whatsoever to think it can speed up the process of trading goods across a border.
It’ll be interesting to see how Hammond develops his blockchain solution for the Irish border in the months leading up to the Brexit date. He probably should start by learning what one is and isn’t.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Source: New

Stablecoin Craze Flows To The UK,  Start-up To Develop ‘Crypto Pound’

Over the past few months, there have been quite a few stable coin launches in the United States as investors are demanding it. A similar demand wave seems to be starting across the Atlantic in the UK, as a UK based start-up has now announced that it would be developing a stable and tokenized version of the British Pound.
LBXPeg: A new cryptocurrency pegged to the British Pound
A UK startup has announced plans to launch a new cryptocurrency pegged to the British pound. The London Block Exchange, which does over-the-counter crypto trades and is building a crypto exchange and card, announced that it has received permission from an unnamed banking partner to launch a new cryptocurrency, which is currently being dubbed as the LBXPeg, backed by reserves of UK sterling.
The one-for-one reserves equivalent coin will be held in an account at the third party bank assuring coin holders an assured backing of the British Pound. LBX’s CEO, Benjamin Dives, was also quoted saying that the reserves will also be regularly audited by a top accountancy firm. He also added that he believes the LBXPeg will be the first so-called “stablecoin” to be pegged to the pound.
To quote Benjamin as covered by some media:
“We would be ready for the first crypto pound to be minted in the next 10 days,” Dives told Business Insider.
“The primary use case will be a settlement for OTC trades in the London market, then commonwealth exchanges where they don’t have fiat banking, and then securities tokens who want to pay dividends in a crypto pound.”
Stablecoins still a favorite among investors, traders, and exchanges
Stablecoins shot to popularity last year thanks to the rise of Tether, a cryptocurrency pegged to the dollar. As these cryptocurrencies prices are pegged to real-world assets, usually the dollar, they play an important role in providing price stability of a mainstream currency but still retain their interoperability and digital nature. Hence they are in great demand among investors, traders, and exchanges as they provide temporary protection in mitigating the volatility of cryptocurrencies.
But slowly these seem to be becoming a bridge between the traditional and digital financial worlds as new investors find comfort in holding them and gain understanding first before jumping into crypto investing. With stable coins, popularity continuous to grow among the trader community, these new investors who want a slice of cryptocurrency are also adding to its rising demand.
The demand for these stablecoins is so huge that according to a report released by crypto wallet provider Blockchain said there are now over 50 stablecoin projects under development. The report states that 23 stablecoins (40%) are live and 34 stablecoins (60%) are at the pre-launch phase.
Also, read: Decentralization Ghost begins to Haunt Gemini’ Stable Coin within Days of Launch
Adoption of stable coins
The report also states that the adoption of stable coins has been superlative as
“The total market value of all stablecoins is $3 billion, or 1.5% of the total market value of all crypto assets; Tether comprises 93% of the all stablecoin market value”
Tether (USDT) is the second most actively traded cryptocurrency (~60% of BTC daily trading volume) and earlier this year it also entered the top-10 crypto asset rankings by market value.
As far as listing on exchanges are concerned the report states,
“Stablecoins are listed on over 50 different exchanges at present, with Tether featuring the greatest number of total individual exchange listings (at least 46) “
“Stablecoins have had success gaining listings on major exchanges, with eight stablecoins (42% of live coins) featuring one or more Tier-1 exchange listings: Tether (6), TrueUSD (5), SteemDollar (4), NuBits (2), BitBay (2), Gemini (2), Paxos (2), Numins (1), STASIS (1), HelloGold (1)”
With stablecoins booming in the US, a new entrant from the UK would make the competition healthier. Having stablecoins in various currencies will help in getting more people into cryptos as they would have a stable home currency token to bet on in crypto markets.
Will we some stable coins from Asia as well? Do let us know your views on the same.  
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Source: CoinGape

Most Bitcoin Bullish News: No-Deal Brexit Nightmare to Bring in Severe Consequences    

The UK is tightening the noose as it states a no-deal Brexit would lead to several consequences viz. companies would suffer from red tape, costly payments, and border delays while Britons living in EU can lose access to their UK bank accounts. This will certainly become a catalyst for Bitcoin adoption and boom as people move to crypto.
Brexit to be the catalyst for the Bitcoin boom, UK bank deal solidifies it
According to the latest reports, if Britain leaves the EU with no deal, the Britons residing in the European Union might not have any access to their bank accounts.
The Britons will be able to use the bank cards to withdraw money in EU countries but more than 1 million citizens of UK living outside the country won’t be able to use their British accounts to either make deposits or borrow.
Additionally, contracts like annuities that pay pension might not be accessible while the banks offering these services can also be impacted.
Britain further stated that the companies that are trading with EU would also face a red tape, costly credit card payments, and border delays if the govt. doesn’t negotiate an exit deal before Britain leaves.
Brexit nightmare: Threats are rising, Bitcoin is the answer
Reuters reported that
“Brexit minister Dominic Raab played down the threat that tens of thousands of British retirees in the EU – many of whom live on the Spanish Mediterranean coast – could lose access to their pensions.”
Furthermore, the UK won’t decide the debt issued by EU as “zero risks”  for which banks may have to raise additional capital. Due to the absence of no mutual recognition rules, the bank holding penalized securities would either have to raise capital or sell their holdings in the Brexit needled market, similarly, British banks would be penalized by EU supervisors.
Additional layers of supervision, adverse liquidity, and capital consequences would be faced by banks due to UK’s no-deal Brexit.
However, this would certainly mean good things for Bitcoin as Max Keiser shares with his Tweet,
“UK/EU banks are committing leveraged suicide en masse. Most bullish #Bitcoin news of 2018,”
further Tweeting:

Incredibly bullish for #Bitcoin. UK’s ‘Big Four’ banks’ insolvency laid bare. @AskLloydsBank @Barclays @RBS @HSBC
— Max Keiser (@maxkeiser) August 24, 2018

From the circulation of goods to the businesses, everything will be affected that will only cause sterling to drop further. This would present a great opportunity for the investors to buy Bitcoin with sterling. Bitcoin will serve as a safe haven for investors who will be looking to move away from the fiat speculation and find a hedge to safeguard their wealth.

This could be great for #bitcoin @maxkeiser .. Britons in EU could lose access to UK bank accounts under no-deal Brexit
— Stuart (@stuchi1975) August 23, 2018

People are already moving or have moved to Bitcoin as the Brexit chaos keeps on getting bigger and messier.

If you haven't already, now might be a good time to buy some #Bitcoin
— Paul Melton (@Shadhammer) August 23, 2018

Prepare yourselves for a "No Deal Brexit", and buy Bitcoin. I refuse to back government money. This is their fault.
— Eddie Bitcoin 'Blockchain' (@ChainOfBlocx) August 23, 2018

No-Deal Brexit is only going to boost Bitcoin adoption as businesses and money get affected. Furthermore, a rise in the cost of credit card payments, processing of payments and red tape can be eliminated through Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. So, it’s time that Bitcoin rise to the power!
The post Most Bitcoin Bullish News: No-Deal Brexit Nightmare to Bring in Severe Consequences     appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

UK Regulator Warns Investors of Rising Cryptocurrency Scams

The Financial Conduct Authority, UK’s financial watchdog, is reminding consumers that cryptocurrency scams are rising in the country. Residents in the United Kingdom who decide to invest in Bitcoin or any other virtual currency are not protected by the regulatory framework given that cryptocurrencies are not regulated by the FCA.
£2 Million Lost In Cryptocurrency Scams In June And July Alone
A warning of cryptocurrency scams first made in June has been re-posted by the UK regulator to let consumers know that fraudulent schemes are on the rise.
“UK consumers are being increasingly targeted by cryptocurrency-related investment scams […] Cryptocurrency fraudsters tend to advertise on social media, often using the images of celebrities or well-known individuals to promote cryptocurrency investments. […] The firms operating the scams are usually based outside of the UK but will claim to have a UK presence, often a prestigious City of London address.”
Cryptocurrency swindles include posting images of celebrities supposedly endorsing said coins or tokens, according to the statement. The regulator has observed a rising number of reports about virtual currency scams, but its regulatory framework does not protect UK residents that choose to trade their fiat currency for any digital coin or token.
Britain’s financial watchdog has recently warned about two scams that involve companies impersonating respectable UK traders. Good Crypto and Fair Oaks Crypto have quoted the two legitimate firm’s addresses and Firm Reference Numbers as part of the swindle, the FCA said.
A report by the National Fraud and Cybercrime Reporting Centre said that approximately £2 million has been lost in cryptocurrency scams in June and July alone this year, an average of £10,095.59 per person. The statement noted that the most prevalent methods used by scammers are cold calls and social media-based campaigns.
Fraudsters are able to convince victims to sign up to their websites and provide sensitive information such as credit card details and driving licenses to open a trading account.  Victims are then persuaded to make sizable first deposits before realizing it is a fraud, said Director of Action Fraud Pauline Smith.
“It’s vital for anyone who invests or is thinking of investing in cryptocurrencies to thoroughly research the company they are choosing to invest with. The statistics show that opportunistic fraudsters are taking advantage of this market, offering investments in cryptocurrencies and using every trick in the book to defraud unsuspecting victims.”
As the FCA handles a rising number of virtual currency scam cases, the regulator announced it has launched investigations into 24 different cryptocurrency companies. In March 2018, a task force was also established with the Bank of England and the Treasury to develop UK’s policy thinking on crypto assets.
Image from Shutterstock
The post UK Regulator Warns Investors of Rising Cryptocurrency Scams appeared first on NewsBTC.
Source: New

UK’s Largest Bank HSBC Showing Interest in Crypto Market, Making a Calculative Exploration

UK’s biggest and world’s 7th largest bank, HSBC is cautiously looking into cryptocurrencies, however, denies to be interested right now that could change in future. Given the way banking giants like Goldman Sachs and SBI holdings are embracing crypto and a new report stating UK to be well-placed to become a leader in crypto and blockchain, the interest might be coming sooner than later.

World’s 7th largest bank “Cautiously” looking into Crypto

One of the world’s largest and UK’s top banking and financing services organization, HSBC seems to get attracted to cryptocurrencies after all. HSBC is not a complete stranger to the world of cryptocurrency as it has already launched a blockchain pilot in May. Moreover, the bank is also planning to join Standard Chartered along with 21 other banks for a blockchain-based trade finance platform.

The world’s seventh largest bank is reportedly cautiously interested in crypto market and already looking into it.

Josh Bottomley, the Global Head of Digital at HSBC, in an interview with Forbes, revealed, “We are cautious looking into this area.”

Before managing the digital strategy for both the retail and wealth management department of HSBC, Bottomley was leading the display advertising arm of Google.

Talking about the approach HSBC is taking towards crypto, he shares,

“There’s a use case when you have a token or currency that’s actually useful for a particular purpose, and it serves that need.”

As for the leading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH),  Bottomley emphasizes the non-interest part for now, “But that is very different from if it’s pure speculation. Right now we’re not interested in that at all…but it might change.”

Apparently, the volatility is the primary concern as he clarifies,

“One of the criteria we use is if an asset class is showing incredible volatility up and down. For the vast majority of our customers, that makes it an inappropriate saving or investment vehicle.”

Also, read: Goldman Sachs: Why New CEO Could Turn Tables Towards Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin?

UK well-placed to become a leader in Crypto & Blockchain

According to the latest report, UK is in a strong position to become a leader in blockchain technologies and crypto economy. According to the analysis of the Big Innovation Centre, DAG Global and Deep Knowledge Analytics, the availability of the required resources combined with government support will help it become a global hub.

The CEO of DAG Global, Sean Kiernan,

“The UK is a major global financial hub and in recent years has become a fintech leader as well. At the same time, it is starting to demonstrate significant potential to become a leader in blockchain technologies and the crypto economy.”

“The gap between the two worlds of traditional finance and crypto economy remains, but in the coming years we can expect this to lessen and eventually disappear.”

For now, the bank is only cautiously exploring the crypto market, but this part alone is a potential step and shows their interest despite claiming to be not interested right now.

Names like Goldman Sachs and SBI Holdings have already made their move. Given the fact that banking and financial giants all over the world are working on embracing bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, in order to compete and maintain its position in the world finance market, HSBC has to sooner or later make the potential step forward.

The post UK’s Largest Bank HSBC Showing Interest in Crypto Market, Making a Calculative Exploration appeared first on Coingape.

Source: CoinGape