Top Crypto News – 11/10/2017

Bitcoin heading over $10,000 in six to 10 months, former Fortress hedge fund manager says

 

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  • Bitcoin has surged this year, up to $4874 on Tuesday, and Michael Novogratz sees it heading over $10,000.
  • Novogratz is starting a $500 million fund to invest in cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings and related companies.

Although he says digital currencies like bitcoin show signs of forming a bubble, former hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz is going all-in.

The former Fortress Investment Group manager says he’s been investing in bitcoin and its underlying blockchain technology for a while and sees bitcoin’s price rising to over $10,000 in the next six to 10 months, largely because of heavy investor interest. Bitcoin was up 2.1 percent on Tuesday, to $4874.15 as of 5 p.m. ET, according to CoinDesk, and has surged in value this year.

“I can hear the herd coming,” he said during an appearance after market hours Tuesday on CNBC’s “Fast Money.” He likened bitcoin to digital gold.

Novogratz is starting a $500 million fund to invest in cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings and related companies. He put $150 million of his own money into Galaxy Digital Assets Fund and plans to raise the rest from outside sources by January, mainly from wealthy individuals and families and fellow hedge fund managers.

He told Bloomberg Television last month that digital currency like bitcoin is “going to the be the largest bubble of our lifetimes.” JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon last month called bitcoin a “fraud” and said he would fire anyone at his bank for trading it.

But whether bitcoin lasts or eventually gets replaced by the next new thing, the underlying blockchain technology is probably here to stay, he said. “Blockchain will change the way we live,” he said. “This is not going away.”

Written by CNBC

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin: Cryptocurrency Poses ‘Serious Risks’

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Russian president Vladimir Putin said in a meeting today that cryptocurrencies pose significant risks related fraud and money laundering.

Quoted by Russian state news service TASS, Putin was speaking during a meeting that was focused on the subject of cryptocurrencies and financial tech more broadly. In the meeting, he formally voiced his support for new rules around cryptocurrency trading, stating that Russia should look to international examples as a guide when developing those regulations.

Indeed, the meeting represents some of Putin’s most comprehensive comments on the subject to date. He first spoke about cryptocurrencies in the summer of 2015, remarking at the time that there were “serious, really fundamental issues related to its wider usage.” In his new statements, Putin highlighted the rising profile of the technology, while also echoing those 2015 comments.

Putin was quoted as saying:

“Virtual [currencies] or cryptocurrencies are becoming and have already become more popular. They have already become or are turning into a full-fledged payment instrument and an investment asset in certain countries. At the same time, use of cryptocurrencies also carries serious risks.”

On the subject of the rules themselves, Putin threw his support behind regulations that would protect consumers and facilitate the development of new financial products.

“We should develop such a regulatory system on the basis of international experience that will make possible to make relations in this sphere systemic, definitely protect interests of citizens, business and the government, and provide legal guarantees for work with innovative financial instruments,” he said.

His comments come after a senior official for Russia’s central bank stated publicly that his institution will support efforts to block access to external websites that offer cryptocurrency brokering services in the country. Representatives from the Bank of Russia were also present at the Putin meeting, according to sources.

Image Credit: Evgenii Sribnyi / Shutterstock.com
Written by CoinDesk

 

Nailed it? Ethereum-Bitcoin ‘Hybrid’ eBTC Gains 300 Percent on Investor Hype

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A new altcoin calling itself “the new ERC20 Bitcoin,” eBTC, has increased in value 335 percent since it launched Monday.

The curious concept, which is attempting to become “a tokenized version of Bitcoin on the Ethereum Blockchain,” completed an airdrop to Ethereum (ETH) holders prior to its debut Oct. 1.

“There is currently no widely accepted tokenized version of Bitcoin on Ethereum, which is pretty surprising,” developers explain on eBTC’s website.

“[…] As eBTC grows, it will display Ethereum’s capabilities and strengthen it’s (sic) stance among crypto-currencies.”

According to data from Coinmarketcap, eBTC launched with a value of around $0.03 per token, but as of press time had increased to $0.20 as exchange EtherDelta became involved in trading it.

eBTC

The uptick is reminiscent of an increasing number of altcoin assets which have ridden a wave of speculative interest to balloon in price without direct links to an ICO event.

Nonetheless, both volatility and overall reputability of such assets has been conspicuous. eBTC still lacks even a whitepaper, and its technical applications remain vague.

“I believe that eBTC, with adoption, could be a real asset for Ethereum,” the developer description adds.

“It will not only boost Ethereum’s recognition in the cryptocurrency community but also in the eyes of the public, while also providing a way to utilize Ethereum’s vast capabilities with a token which is representative of Bitcoin.”

Investor enthusiasm for ERC20 tokens has previously resulted in even openly satirical concepts raising genuine value, the main example being July’s Useless Ethereum Token (UET).

Written by CoinTelegraph

‘Everything Blockchain’ Is No Joke, Taking World By Storm

 

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Recently, the Blockchain craze has soared to new heights, as people are talking about using Blockchain for just about everything. This “everything Blockchain” phenomenon is leading to some interesting use cases. Even lawmakers are taking notice of Blockchain, talking with crypto enthusiasts to find common ground. The amount of money raised on the Blockchain, by means of ICOs, has already exceeded $1.2 bln year-to-date.

This year’s The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, endorsed by accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCooper as ‘the only global university rankings subjected to full, independent scrutiny of this nature,’ has seen 13 top global universities already having added Blockchain education to their curricula.

Still, while Blockchain has been nearly universally acknowledged as ‘The Next Big Thing’ its real world adoption has been slow and cumbersome. Even the original app of Blockchain–Bitcoin–has experienced slow uptake in the conservative and highly regulated banking and finance sectors.

Although Bitcoin fueled industry development several years ago, Blockchain is now being used in numerous different areas. For the moment, Bitcoin remains a speculative currency, often saddled with the “bad boy” reputation that comes from being the primary source of financing on the darkweb. Bitcoin continues to evoke scrutiny from largely confused regulators and law enforcement agencies, whilst remaining a ‘black box’ phenomenon for common folk and the majority of traditional market players.

Blockchain gains positions in real sector

However, there is a silver lining for wide-scale Blockchain adoption. Throughout the last months, US health care providers started to slowly implement Blockchain for securing patients’ records and storing medical imaging. In Europe, Blockchain is viewed as an aid to wholesale energy traders.

The US logistics and trucking industry is seriously considering Blockchain as a cure-all for the industry’s common hurdles. Blockchain advocates root for the technology, which is expected to provide benefits like immediate payments to drivers upon delivery of cargo, self-directing fuel and maintenance payments, complete automated settlements, and recording and improving accessibility of carrier history and safety.

The newly established Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTA), a Blockchain-inspired think tank of transportation industry players, sees its purpose as promoting and educating the industry on Blockchain, contributing to common standards development, and encouraging the use of Blockchain industry.

Recently, IBM announced its cooperation with 10 major US food suppliers in an effort to find areas of improvement in the global supply chain with help of Blockchain.

With industry giants like Nestle, Unilever and Walmart on board, the collaboration is destined to benefit consumer and vendors on all levels, with Blockchain enabling sellers to enjoy tremendous savings through optimization of the supply chain. Use of Blockchain in this context will also ensure greater public safety standards to consumers, as the technology will enable food suppliers to quickly identify the source of foodborne outbreaks.

Bitcoin as special stone

The challenge of bringing Blockchain into the world of retail, transportation or cargo delivery became a founding principle of a project called Universa. Its founder, Alexander Borodich, is positive the protocol will become a driver behind real-life implementation of Blockchain and help the technology fulfill its advertised potential.

He explains to Cointelegraph:

“During my early years at the university, I read about Yap stones, which served as equivalent of money in Micronesia. They were very heavy and almost impossible to move anywhere, which made the community use them for meetings where the members would emboss each new owner’s name right on the stone. Later, I saw a striking similarity in the concept of Bitcoin: the registry is being updated to reflect ownership changes of the network and who it belongs to. In other words, the idea of Blockchain usage was born a long time ago, but in our project we have decided to accumulate all the advantages of data decentralization and want to get rid of the disadvantages of Bitcoin and Ethereum.”

‘Everything Blockchain’

According to Borodich, Universa was conceived as a ‘smart’ contracting and payment means for ‘everything Blockchain.’ It operates via a decentralized system of smart contracts or applications with electronic certification that closely resembles the traditional creation of paper documents.

Borodich is optimistic about the potential of Blockchain’s use in trucking:

“Imagine an immediate [Blockchain] use case that we [have] in mind: the RFID label is equipped with a “smart seal,” which lets it be immediately recognized by the cargo terminal, notifies the user in question with an alert containing the cargo description and all necessary details securely.”

Among other use cases, there are various spheres of application, traditionally associated with exchange of papers and signatures. Those can vary from the purchase of a piece of an intellectual property to notary verification of deals.

Written by CoinTelegraph

Bitcoin Price Flash Crashes As Russia Proposes Crypto Exchange Ban

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Russia’s central bank is planning to banaccess to Bitcoin exchange websites, it was announced by Sergei Shvetsov, the first deputy governor at the Russian central bank.

This announcement had a severe effect on the Bitcoin price that was rallying towards $5,000. In a flash crash, Bitcoin’s value dropped by $600 before rebounding somewhat.

Dubious instrument

Shvetsov said in his speech at a conference in Moscow that:

“We can not stand apart. We can not give direct and easy access to such dubious instruments for retail (investors),” Shetsov said.

“We think that for our citizens, for businesses, the usage of such cryptocurrencies as an investment object carries unreasonably high risks.”

He went on to indicate that Russia would block access to websites of exchanges that offer Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Flash crash

This news had an adverse effect on the market as Bitcoin dropped by over $600 to a low of $4,200 at roughly 9:00 a.m. London time, the same time as the announcement from Russia’s central bank.

However, it quickly recovered, within moments, getting back to $4,784 by 9:10 a.m. London time.

BTC

Following on from China

This news follows on from China’s hard-nosed approach to digital currencies after they first banned ICOs, then went after exchanges.

Russia has said before that it would like to regulate the use of cryptocurrencies by Russian citizens and companies.

This move seems to be in line with the idea of government control over Bitcoin. The blocking of citizens from using Bitcoin exchanges puts all the control over citizens and their digital currencies in the hands of the government.

Written by Coin Telegraph

100 and Counting: Ripple Adds New Members to Distributed Ledger Network

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Distributed ledger startup Ripple has signed up nine additional users for its global payments network product, RippleNet.

Announced today, new members include Bexs Banco de Cambio, a processing service for international payments, and dLocal, the payment service behind Uber and GoDaddy. The other firms joining the network’s now 100-plus members include Credit Agricole, Currencies Direct, IFX, TransferGo, Cuallix, Krungsri and Rakbank.

In statements, Ripple was keen to position the group as not simply another blockchain consortium, saying its clients are successfully moving toward live implementations of products that can have a real business impact.

For example, Ripple also revealed that financial services firm Cuallix will be the first partner to convert cross-border fund transfers into Ripple’s native currency XRP. Specifically, the company plans use the token for fund transfers between the U.S. and Mexico in order to reduce processing costs, the release states.

“Global payments are undeniably going through a sea change, led by financial institutions adopting blockchain to fix their customers’ broken payments experience,” said Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, in statements.

The new members join at a time when Ripple is actively pursuing high-profile partnerships with leading financial institutions worldwide while taking a more aggressive stance to differentiate its products and services.

Ocean image via Shutterstock
Written CoinDesk

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