Top Crypto News – 23/11/2017

Mike Novogratz Doubles Down on $10,000 Bitcoin

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Billionaire and ex-fund manager Mike Novogratz has restated his belief that bitcoin will end the year at $10,000, adding that ethereum could close at $500.

Speaking with Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas yesterday, Novogratz said that “I think we’ll hit a new high soon … we’ll end the year at $10,000 in bitcoin.”

Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by market value, will also reach a new high soon of “close to $500.”

He said:

“There are a lot of positive things happening in the ethereum ecosystem.”

Novogratz further played down the recent Tether hack, in which over $30 million-worth of tokens were stolen, noting that “these are all very young experiments.”

Notably, the billionaire told Bloomberg that he has invested in initial coin offerings or ICOs, including one launched by the WAX digital asset exchange.

With plans to start a $500 million fund for cryptocurrencies, token sales and related startups, called the Galaxy Digital Asset fund, Novogratz indicated that he goes to great lengths to ensure the safety of his cryptocurrency holdings.

Novogratz first predicted the $10,000 bitcoin price last month, stating that he believes the value will be reachedin six to 10 months.

Michael Novogratz image via CoinDesk archives
Written by CoinDesk

 

Bitcoin cash is jumping

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  • Bitcoin cash up 17% against the dollar on Thursday morning.
  • The rise follows integration of the cryptocurrency with digital wallet Bitwalla and the exchange Bitstamp.

LONDON — Cryptocurrency Bitcoin Cash is jumping against the dollar on Thursday morning.

The digital currency, which was split off from bitcoin earlier this year, is up 16% against the greenback to $1,518.10 as of 7.45 a.m. GMT (2.45 a.m. ET):

The jump in price follows positive news flow surrounding bitcoin cash. Digital wallet provider Bitwalla, which has over 57,000, announced on Wednesday that it is allowing customers to hold bitcoin cash.

Separately, Bitstamp, the 12th biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, announced on Wednesday that it would be integrating bitcoin cash to its platform from December “in response to the demand.”

However, bitcoin cash’s price surge is not enough to put bitcoin cash in record territory. The cryptocurrency is still a way off its all-time of $1953.67, reached on November 12.

Elsewhere in the cryptocurrency space, bitcoin is down 0.5% against the dollar and ethereum is down 0.02% against the dollar.

Written by Business Insider

 

Hull launches its own ‘social’ cryptocurrency

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Volunteers and community workers may soon be able to obtain discounts at local retailers and even reductions in their council tax, thanks to technology that puts a value on socially-useful tasks. The scheme, which is being pioneered in Hull, an English port city in east Yorkshire, is an application of the blockchain technology used in digital currencies such as bitcoin, and has won £240,000 in government and charitable funding. If it is successful, the scheme could be rolled out nationally.

It is also attracting interest from continental Europe, the US and Africa. A number of places in the UK, including Lewes and Bristol, have experimented with their own currencies to boost local business. Unlike these local coins, however, HullCoins are digital and can only be earned by “good works”, rather than bought or sold with hard cash. A description of the work done is permanently attached to the “coin”.

They are like a corporate loyalty card but for community loyalty, says David Shepherdson, co-founder and chief executive of Kaini Industries, a not-for-profit company set up to develop the technology. The idea originated in 2014 when Mr Shepherdson, then financial inclusion officer at Hull county council, was asked by Lisa Bovill, head of welfare rights, to research local currencies. The pair then left to found Kaini Industries. Local businesses offer discounts — usually between 10 and 50 per cent — to holders of HullCoins. Mr Shepherdson says companies like the concept because it attracts customers and boosts corporate social responsibility credentials at the same time. “Businesses love discounts because they create footfall,” he says. “But this is discounting without devaluing the brand. Every discount they give for a HullCoin links them to something supporting the local community.”

The coins are given out as QR codes on mobile phones. People can earn them by helping children to read, running youth clubs and arranging activities for pensioners.

Even achievements such as giving up smoking count, because they reduce the burden on health services. Community groups, charities, schools, public health bodies, jobcentres and prisons will be able to issue the coins once approved by HullCoin. “Using blockchain technology, we embed time-stamped evidence of the positive social outcome of whatever activity has been undertaken into the coin itself,” says Mr Shepherdson. “This creates a distributed ledger of all the socially good things happening in the community and gives people a social CV they can show to a prospective employer.”
Bob Clark, who is currently unemployed and volunteering in a Hull community centre, says: “Some of my volunteering experience has been quite hard to reference. HullCoin provides an easy way of providing evidence of what I’ve done.”
Another advantage, Mr Clark says, is that his unemployment benefit is unaffected by earning HullCoins. “Not being penalised financially is a massive attraction. It provides an incentive to volunteer between jobs.”

HullCoins retain their value indefinitely, unlike customer loyalty points. They can be passed between people and reused by businesses.

The coins have no specific value — the amount of discount is decided by the retailer. Matt Cunnah, managing director of The Hull Pie, a chain of pie shops, wants to link the value to the action that earned them.

“If the good thing was quitting smoking or taking someone’s dog for a walk, I might offer 10 per cent or 15 per cent off,” he says. “Whereas if someone has given blood or pulled a person from a burning car, I might give a 100 per cent discount.”
There are rules on what retailers can offer discounts on. HullCoins cannot be used for cigarettes or alcohol. Takeaway food has been a tricky area as it can be seen as bad for health and unhelpful for those on a tight budget. HullCoin has an independent volunteer-run ethics committee to adjudicate on such cases.

HullCoin is in beta testing and has 800 volunteer users, 73 issuing organisations and 140 retailers offering discounts. The plan is to launch the currency in January 2018.

This Gold Fund Is Joining the Bitcoin Frenzy

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The Old Mutual Gold & Silver Fund, which manages $220 million of mostly precious metal equities, is jumping on the bitcoin wagon.

The fund started buying in April with a mandate to allocate as much as 5 percent to cryptocurrencies, according to its manager, Ned Naylor-Leyland. The idea is to take profits from bitcoin as it advances to reinvest in gold and silver assets, he said in an interview on Nov. 16.

“Bitcoin was explicitly designed to be digital gold,” said Naylor-Leyland. “So if you’re going to have a small proportion of a fund in bitcoin, it should be in a gold fund, because that’s exactly the point. It’s about bringing the ownership of disciplined money into the modern world. Bitcoin is paving the way for the reintroduction of gold as global money.”

Bitcoin’s up more than eight times this year to top $8,000 as entrepreneurs in the field say its value lies in proof of concept for a new kind of payment system not reliant on third parties like governments, big banks or credit-card companies. By contrast, gold’s held in a tight range since February, with a short break upward in September as U.S. and North Korea tensions spiraled.

The virtual currency has many backers and detractors. Mike Novogratz, who’s starting a $500 million hedge fund to invest in such assets, said bitcoin will likely end the year at $10,000. Standpoint Research’s Ronnie Moas on Monday raised his 2018 price target for the second time this month, to $14,000 from $11,000. But Goldman Sachs Group Inc. last month said gold wins out over cryptocurrencies when assessed on most of the key characteristics of money.

Bitcoin and blockchain resolve gold’s problems of divisibility, ownership and speed of transmission, said Naylor-Leyland, who’s investing through a Swedish-listed exchange-traded fund. “We’re going to revert to sound money,” he said. “If you imagine sound money and blockchain together, there’s quite an exciting potential outcome.” His fund has about 80 percent in gold and silver equities and most of the rest in physical metal.

Bitcoin traded at about $8,250 as of 1:26 p.m. in Singapore on Thursday, some $120 short of its record on Tuesday. Spot gold was at $1,289 an ounce.

Written by Bloomberg

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