SVK CRYPTO PODCAST 159 – 12/06/2018 – EOS Passes 300,000 Blocks on Day 2!

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Welcome to the SVK Crypto, 15 Minutes of Crypto Fame, brought to you by your host, Charles Storry. We provide daily cryptocurrency content and analysis on topics such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Altcoins and ICO’s.

We not only produce our daily content we feature CEO’s of all exciting ICO’s! Stay tuned to find out more!

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Top Crypto News – 12/06/2018

What Would Happen to Crypto In a Global Market Meltdown?

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Michael J. Casey is the chairman of CoinDesk’s advisory board and a senior advisor for blockchain research at MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative.

The following article originally appeared in CoinDesk Weekly, a custom-curated newsletter delivered every Sunday exclusively to our subscribers.

A common thought experiment in the crypto community is to ponder how cryptocurrencies would fare in the event of another global financial meltdown.

It is not an idle question. There is a host of troubling developments in the global economy: the threat of a trade war, jitters in Italian debt markets, problems at Deutsche Bank and new emerging market crises in Turkey and Argentina.

Meanwhile, central banks, led by the U.S. Federal Reserve, are tightening or signaling tighter monetary policy. That’s putting a brake on the huge gains that low interest rates and quantitative easing had bestowed on global markets in the eight years since the end of the last crisis.

With this combination of risk factors already in play, there’s always a chance that some unforeseen trigger could set off another terrified rush for the exits among global investors.

What would the impact be on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies? Would their reputation as independent assets see them benefit from safe-haven inflows? Or would the market-wide reduction in risk appetite spread wide enough that crypto assets get caught up in the selloff?

Opposing scenarios

Some crypto hodlers salivate at the idea of market panic.

They contend that, unlike the 2008-2009 collapse, when Satoshi Nakamoto’s newly launched cryptocurrency was essentially out of sight and unavailable to the hordes seeking a haven from the fiat world’s chaos, bitcoin is now widely recognized as a more versatile alternative to traditional flight-to-safety assets such as gold.

In a crisis, they say, bitcoin could shine – as might other cryptocurrencies designed as alternatives to fiat cash such as monero and zcash. Unaffected by future monetary policy responses, immune from draconian interventions such as the Cypriot bank deposit freeze of 2013, and easily acquired, they could prove their value as digital havens for the digital age in such a moment. Accordingly, the bulls’ argument goes, their prices would surge.

On the other hand, if there’s enough of a market-wide departure from risky investments, it’s hard not to see this sector being swept up in it.

Just as the most extreme gains in crypto prices in the latter part of 2017 were inextricably linked to the rapid “risk on” uptrend seen in stocks, commodities and emerging-market assets, so too a major selloff could easily infect these new markets.

Cryptocurrencies and tokens are perceived by most ordinary investors as high-risk assets – you buy them with money you can afford to lose when you’re feeling upbeat about market prospects. When the mood sours, this class of investment is typically the first to be retrenched as investors scramble to get cash.

At $300 billion, according to Coinmarketcap’s undoubtedly inflated estimates, the market cap of the overall crypto token market is more than three times its value of a year ago (even though it’s down more than half from its peak in early January).

But it’s less than 1 percent of the end-2017 market cap of $54.8 trillion for the S&P Global Broad Market Index, which includes most stocks from 48 countries. If risk-hungry investors are panicking and looking for things to dump – or for that matter if they’re looking for something safe to buy – it won’t take much of their funds to move the crypto markets, one way or another.

Low correlations

Backing the bitcoin bulls’ argument is the fact that correlations between cryptocurrency and mainstream risk assets – the degree to which prices move in tandem with each other – are quite low.

A 90-day correlation matrix compiled by analytics firm Sifr put bitcoin’s correlation with the S&P 500 index of U.S. equities at minus-0.14. That’s a statistically neutral position since 1 represents a perfect positive correlation while -1 is a perfectly negative relationship.

But they say that in a crisis “all correlations go to 1.” The panicked state of the crowd, with investors selling whatever they can offload to cover debts and margin calls, means that everything could go out with the flood.

Intellectually, too, that sort of wholesale downturn would comfortably stand as a logical counterpoint to the conditions seen last year when market valuations reached excessive levels. We cannot separate the flood of money that flew into crypto at the end of the year from the fact that eight years of quantitative easing had driven a “hunt for yield” in once-obscure markets as the return shrank on now pricey mainstream investments such as corporate bonds.

With bond funds paying little more than, say, 2 percent for years, bitcoin looked attractive to mainstream investors. When that artificially-stoked liquidity disappears, the reverse could happen.

Despite all of this, I do believe a global financial crisis could be an important testing moment for crypto assets.

Perhaps there’ll be a two-phase effect. In the immediate aftermath of the panic, there would be a selloff as every market is hit by the liquidity squeeze.

But after things settle, one can imagine that the narrative around bitcoin’s uncorrelated returns and its status as a hedge against government and banking risk would gain more attention.

Just like the mid-2013 surge in bitcoin that accompanied the Cypriot crisis’ lesson that “they can come for your bank account but not for your private keys,” so too a wider financial crunch could spur conversation around bitcoin’s immutable, decentralized qualities and help build the case for buying it.

The wider point here is that, whether it’s as an aligned element that rises and falls in sync with the broader marketplace or as a contrasting alternative to it, cryptocurrencies can’t be viewed in isolation from the rest of the world.

Image via Shutterstock
Written by CoinDesk.com

 

Ethereum Classic Spikes 25% on Coinbase Listing News

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The price of ethereum classic, the cryptocurrency that was forked off the ethereum blockchain in July 2016, surged by 25 percent on Tuesday, following the news that it is being added to Coinbase’s trading options.

The U.S. cryptocurrency exchange announced on Tuesday morning in a blog post that it is has started the engineering work to integrate ethereum classic with its platform and expects the service to be live in the “coming months.”

Data from CoinMarketCap shows that the price of ethereum classic started to jump around 01:30 UTC on Tuesday, after Coinbase first tweeted out the announcement at 01:18. It later surged as high as $16.15 at around 2:00 UTC, reflecting a 25 percent gain in just half an hour.

The news comes soon after Coinbase reiterated in March that it had not made any decisions on adding new assets, following a similar note made in January.

“The internal asset selection committee has been assessing assets using our Digital Asset Framework, but no assets have been recommended to the Coinbase executive team,” the company said at the time. Coinbase has not yet explained what has led to the change of the thinking of its asset selection committee that led to the support for ethereum classic.

Also notably, the decision to add ethereum classic arrives after some in the industry had questioned Coinbase’s asset selection process as “random, if not altogether dubious.”

As previously reported by CoinDesk, the reason for such comments partially stemmed from the fact that Coinbase added support for bitcoin cash, just months after the cryptocurrency was created out of a hard fork from the bitcoin blockchain. However, at that time, the firm had not embraced ethereum classic a year after the cryptocurrency was hard forked off the ethereum network.

Coinbase image via Shutterstock
Written by CoinDesk.com

 

Korean Exchange Upbit Paid Six People for Reporting Fraudulent Crypto Schemes

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Upbit Paid Users for Reporting Fraud

One of South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, the Kakao Corp-backed Upbit, has paid six individuals for reporting fraudulent crypto-related schemes.

Korean Exchange Upbit Paid Six People for Reporting Fraudulent Crypto SchemesThe exchange implemented a bounty system in March to reward users for identifying fraudulent schemes related to cryptocurrencies. The system is focused on identifying multi-level, illegal scams posing as cryptocurrencies or initial coin offering (ICO) tokens. “To the original complainant, Upbit pays a reward of 1 million won [~USD$931],” the exchange’s operator Dunamu Inc announced at the time.

Upbit said last week:

Since the implementation of the system, a total of 10 cases have been received and 6 of them have been selected. On June 6, we sent a reward of KRW 1 million with appreciation to the applicants.

Korean Exchange Upbit Paid Six People for Reporting Fraudulent Crypto Schemes
Lee Seok-woo, the representative of Dunamu Inc (middle), and four out of the six winners.

“We provide reward money to users who have reported fraudulent acts that impersonate [an] ICO to the investigating agency (police, prosecutors) and submit the necessary evidence documents to prove the declaration,” the exchange clarified. While Upbit indicated that proper reporting procedures were not followed “such as the lack of evidence of investigation agency reports,” it decided to pay out regardless, to reward users for participating in the system and “to create a sound cryptocurrency ecosystem.”

Korean Exchange Upbit Paid Six People for Reporting Fraudulent Crypto SchemesThe Kakao Corp-backed Upbit used to command the number one spot in the South Korean market in terms of overall trading volume. However, at the time of this writing, Upbit is the world’s eighth largest crypto exchange with a 24-hour trading volume of $201,594,215, according to Coinmaketcap. It is the second largest exchange in South Korea, after allowing Bithumb to retake the number one spot with $239,054,683 of trading volume over the same time period. Last month, news.Bitcoin.com wrote about the Korean authorities launching an investigation into Upbit.

World-Check in Partnership with Thomson Reuters

In addition to the aforementioned fraud notification system, Upbit has also recently created a system called World-Check. The system is part of a collaboration with Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm.

Korean Exchange Upbit Paid Six People for Reporting Fraudulent Crypto Schemes

The system is meant to support transparent cryptocurrency transactions and strengthen the company’s KYC (Know-Your-Customer) program. It aims to be “the trusted and accurate source of risk intelligence made available to help you meet your regulatory obligations, make informed decisions, and help prevent your business from inadvertently being used to launder the proceeds of crime or association with corrupt business practices,” the company described.

Korean Exchange Upbit Paid Six People for Reporting Fraudulent Crypto SchemesWhen a user joins Upbit, their membership information is checked against the World Check data. If the security risk is determined to be high in relation to crime and terrorism, the registration process is immediately terminated. The system also checks daily for criminal records of members against the World-Check database. The company believes that this will help prevent money laundering and terrorism financing activities using cryptocurrencies.

In an unrelated event, a small South Korean crypto exchange, Coinrail, claimed it was hacked over the weekend. The police are now investigating the case.

Written by Bitcoin.com

 

SVK CRYPTO PODCAST 158 – 11/06/2018 – Quick Crypto Update from around the World!

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-t359x-93048e

Welcome to the SVK Crypto, 15 Minutes of Crypto Fame, brought to you by your host, Charles Storry. We provide daily cryptocurrency content and analysis on topics such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Altcoins and ICO’s.

We not only produce our daily content we feature CEO’s of all exciting ICO’s! Stay tuned to find out more!

If you’d like to stay in touch or get more info from me, please SUBSCRIBE to the channel and spread the good word!

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SVK_Crypto

Visit our website: http://www.svkcrypto.com

Email us: cstorry@svkcrypto.com

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Top Crypto News – 11/06/2018

CFTC Subpoenas Leading Exchanges for Trading Data

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CFTC Purportedly Conducting Criminal Investigation Into Bitcoin Price Manipulation

CFTC Subpoenas Leading Exchanges for Trading DataLast month, it was reported that the U.S Justice Department had launched a criminal probe into whether the bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets the subject of manipulation and misconduct, citing “four people familiar with the matter.”

According to a report recently published by The Wall Street Journal, again citing “people familiar with the matter,” the CFTC has “open[ed] an investigation into whether traders have colluded to manipulate bitcoin prices.

The report adds that “The CFTC is coordinating with the U.S Justice Department” in its investigations.

CFTC Investigation Spurred by Lack of Trading Data Provided to CME by Exchanges

CFTC Subpoenas Leading Exchanges for Trading DataThe Wall Street Journal claims that the CFTC’s investigation was spurred by a lack of responsiveness to requests from CME that Bitstamp, Coinbase, Itbit, and Kraken to provide trading data back in January. In response to the requests, several exchanges reportedly initially “declined to comply,” before “provid[ing] some data” after CME reduced the request to just several hours of trading activity, rather than a full day. The report adds that the data provided only included information “restricted to “a few market participants.”

The CFTC, the regulatory authority tasked with overseeing CME’s bitcoin futures markets, reportedly subpoenaed the exchanges for the data in response to the dispute. The report describes the “fight over access to bitcoin trading data” as having comprised a significant factor in the CFTC’s decision to launch an investigation into price manipulation in the BTC markets.

Regulated Futures Markets Grants CFTC Oversight of Underlying Spot BTC Markets

CFTC Subpoenas Leading Exchanges for Trading DataThe investigation is legitimated by bitcoin’s designation as a commodity, juridically granting the CFTC jurisdiction over the commodity markets underscoring derivative markets overseen by the regulator. CME spokeswoman, Laurie Bischel, stated: “All participating exchanges are required to share information, including cooperation with inquiries and investigations.”

Jesse Powell, the chief executive officer of Kraken, has criticised the subpoena, stating that the “newly declared oversight” of the CFTC “has the spot exchanges questioning the value and cost of their index participation.” Charles Cascarilla, the chief executive officer of Paxos, the company that operates Itbit, stated: “We have definitely entered an unknown area where it is clear there is a desire for tightened oversight.” As of this writing, Bitstamp and Coinbase are yet to address the alleged subpoenas.

Written by Bitcoin.com

 

The Top 5 Ethereum Dapps By Daily Active Users

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From the mists of ideation, a first wave of ethereum dapps is starting to emerge.

Launched in 2015 with the promise that developers could use its technology as a “secure backbone” for a new kind of software application, ethereum has long held the promise of enabling such innovations, all “without any possibility of downtime, censorship or third-party interference.”

So far, however, this vision has largely fueled an explosion of fundraising through initial coin offerings (ICOs), in which ethereum-based tokens were sold as the native currency for applications that were ostensibly being built, but in many cases have yet to see a real launch.

In other words, there is plenty of fodder for the narrative that while ICOs will welcome your money right now, real, working dapps are always a day away. And yet a few dapps are starting to attract active daily users in the hundreds and thousands.

These dapps have a few things in common. The top five – Idex, ForkDelta, Bancor, CryptoKitties and LocalEthereum – all facilitate trades of crypto assets in one way or another, though they have a range of business models, from exchange to game to market maker.

Successful projects also tend to have a relatively intuitive user experience, something dapps in general struggle with. Michael Foster, co-founder of LocalEthereum, said, “We deliberately designed LocalEthereum to look and feel like an ordinary website.”

Bancor’s director of communications Nate Hindman echoed that sentiment, saying the dapp was “built with simplicity in mind.” And Bryce Bladon, a co-founder of CryptoKitties, attributed that dapp’s success to the fact that it “managed to introduce consumers to the blockchain in a way that was fun, interesting, and accessible.” (He mentioned cat puns as a specific example.)

Contributing to their ease of use, none of these dapps requires the use a native token. Bancor and Aurora Labs – Idex’s parent company – have conducted ICOs, but owning these tokens isn’t required.

For all these dapps’ relative success, it must be said: daily userbases of a few hundred or a few thousand are laughably small compared to those of the biggest centralized apps – Facebook has well over a billion daily active users.

Asked to explain this disparity, Hindman remarked, “Building apps that are not only decentralized but run like popular consumer web apps is no small feat and requires underlying infrastructure that is still in its infancy.”

Bladon said something similar: “centralized solutions are difficult to outperform in terms of convenience. They’re faster, familiar, and entrenched.”

He continued:

“Compared to Amazon Web Services, processing on ethereum is 150 million times more expensive.”

Not that dapp-lovers should despair. That decentralized applications have even modest userbases, Bladon suggested, shows “the incredible value people place on trustless computation.”

And dapps are still in their infancy, after all. “The blockchain world is quickly catching up to its aspirations,” said Hindman, at the same time as consumers are “awakening to the power of decentralization.”

As data breaches and centralized parties’ other lapses pile up, he predicted, users “will flock to decentralized services in droves.”

Until then, below are the top five ethereum dapps by number of daily active users, with data sourced from DappRadar. (Editor’s note: The ranking can be volatile, so this list is based on a snapshot taken Tuesday afternoon.)

1. Idex

Idex had 6,479 users in the 24 hours prior to our snapshot, making it the most-used ethereum dapp in that period.

Idex is a decentralized exchange offered by Aurora, a firm that has developed a series of financial services dapps. The exchange went live in October and experienced rapid growth in January, Aurora CEO Alex Wearn told Craig Cobb’s Trader Cobb Crypto Podcast in May. It offers trades between ether and ERC-20 tokens.

Wearn explained on the podcast that “you’ve got these digital assets that can move in a peer-to-peer fashion,” but added that users of centralized exchanges such as Binance, GDAX and Kraken, have “given control of the cryptocurrency over to the exchange operator.” The practical implications of that decision, he added, are “the risk of hacking and theft.”

Idex, by contrast, uses a “publicly verifiable” ethereum smart contract, Wearn continued. In its current form, however, Idex is not entirely decentralized, as Aurora’s white paper explains. Idex’s centralized server is used at various steps of the process, such as queueing transactions in the order book.  The white paper references a planned “fully decentralized version” of the platform.

2. ForkDelta

ForkDelta had 2,221 users in the 24 hours prior to our snapshot, making it the second most-used ethereum dapp in that period.

Similar to Idex, ForkDelta is a decentralized exchange offering trading in ether and ERC-20 tokens. Arseniy Ivanov started the project in January as a fork EtherDelta, another decentralized exchange. He cited the departure of EtherDelta founder Zack Coburn and “the fact that EtherDelta has strayed from the original spirit of the project.”

As with Idex, ForkDelta’s order book is centralized, although decentralizing that aspect of the exchange, as well as its hosting, is listed on the project’s roadmap. ForkDelta continues to use EtherDelta’s smart contract for now, meaning that fees on the ForkDelta platform still go to EtherDelta.

3. Bancor

Bancor had 560 users in the 24 hours prior to our snapshot, making it the third most-used ethereum dapp in that period.

Hindman disputed that number, however, telling CoinDesk that the daily active userbase is “significantly larger” than what DappRadar shows; he declined to reveal Bancor’s estimate. (DappRadar founder Skirmantas Januskas said that he is in contact with Bancor and “will see what we can do to make sure the data is 100 percent accurate.”)

Bancor is a market maker that allows users to exchange ether and a growing number of ERC-20 tokens – 100 as of this week – but unlike a traditional exchange, it does not match buyers and sellers. Instead, Bancor’s protocol aims to provide liquidity between different ethereum-based assets using “smart tokens,” which Bancor says create a “built-in liquidity mechanism” through smart contracts.

Bancor raised $150 million last year selling the first of these smart tokens, BNT, in an ICO.

4. CryptoKitties

cat, crypto

CryptoKitties had 408 users in the 24 hours prior to our snapshot, making it the fourth most-used ethereum dapp in that period.

CryptoKitties, which spun out of Axiom Zen in March, has arguably attracted more attention than any other dapp: from players, media, investors, imitators, and non-users who felt the effects of CryptoKitties’ popularity due to increased congestion on the ethereum network. According to estimates by Bloxy, CryptoKitties’ daily userbase (measured by distinct senders) has fallen by around 97 percent since its peak in December.

The game allows users to collect, trade and breed unique, non-replicable cats. These are in fact ERC-721 tokens, ethereum-based assets that, according to CryptoKitties co-founder Arthur Camara, could eventually be used to tokenize real-world assets such as art and real estate.

Bladon told CoinDesk that CryptoKitties receives far more users on its site than directly through its smart contract, which is the only source DappRadar references. The fact that only a portion of CryptoKitties players interact with the game through the smart contract itself hints at something larger: CryptoKitties is not as decentralized as the “dapp” label suggests.

As CoinDesk reported in December, “the game is run within a centralized database, and mostly operates from one internet portal – the CryptoKitties website itself.”

5. LocalEthereum

LocalEthereum had 236 users in the 24 hours prior to our snapshot, making it the fifth most-used ethereum dapp in that period.

LocalEthereum facilitates trades of ether between individuals, much as LocalBitcoins did for bitcoin. The similar name is not a coincidence: “People have been asking, ‘is there a LocalEthereum?’ even before we announced ourselves last year,” Foster told CoinDesk.

LocalEthereum functions via an escrow smart contract, which locks up the seller’s ether until the seller certifies that they’ve received the money from the buyer – whether through an in-person cash handoff, a bank transfer, or another method.

In the event of a dispute, the smart contract specifies an arbitrator (for now, only LocalEthereum, but perhaps eventually other reputable parties). The arbitrator can award the ether to one of those two parties, but not to anyone else – for example, themselves.

5 image via Shutterstock
Written by CoinDesk.com

 

Bitmex to VIPs: Bitcoin Won’t Replace Fiat, Just a ‘Useful Niche,’ Enthusiasts ‘Naive’

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Before Weirdly Turning, Bitmex Praises BTC’s Deflationary Aspects

In conclusion, Bitmex researchers lukewarmly laud bitcoin core’s merits, arguing how “to many, Bitcoin’s ability to decouple debt from money and thereby result in a deflationary climate without the deflationary debt spiral problem is the point, rather than a bug.” Still, Bitcoin Economics – Deflationary Debt Spiral, published recently by the exchange for its VIPs, refers to those who believe bitcoin “would result in a more prosperous economic system” as being “naive.” Piling on in this manner, they continue, “Bitcoin is a new and unique system, which is likely to cause more economic problems, perhaps unexpected or new ones.”

Bitcoin Economics – Deflationary Debt Spiral, is the final in a three part series by the Hong Kong-based Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange (Bitmex). Hot shot, risk enticed futures traders are emboldened by the exchange’s shorting ability and 100x leveraged contracts. Contracts can only be purchased and settled in bitcoin core (BTC), all without the bother of holding actual coins. Bitcoin cash, bitcoin core, ripple, ether, litecoin, cardano round out possible contract choices.

Bitmex to VIPs: Bitcoin Won’t Replace Fiat, Just a ‘Useful Niche,’ Enthusiasts 'Naive'

The report was initially released by a cranky Twitter polemicist who claimed it to be an exclusive get, designed for Bitmex’s VIPs. Days later, the exchange would publish it on their site for all to see. The report’s focus was to “examine the deflationary nature of Bitcoin and consider why this deflation may be necessary due to some of Bitcoin’s weaknesses.”

Deflation, as a matter of course, occurs when the value of money increases. In the modern West, at least, this concept has largely been only theoretically known. And then crypto. And then bitcoin. Cursory surveys, and perhaps the reader’s own experience, revealed during 2017 the tension many bitcoiners faced. Used to government tickets eventually and methodically losing value through inflation, a bargain cut between court economists and the first to receive newly printed paper meant every incentive in the average person’s experience pointed to spending. Spend those tickets before they lose more value.

Fundamentally Different

The opposite was evident for most of last year. And this third report by Bitmex takes into consideration long held beliefs about money in this respect. “Critics have argued that history has taught us that a finite monetary supply can be a poor economic policy, resulting in or exacerbating, economic crashes. Either because people are unwilling to spend appreciating money or because the real value of debt increases, resulting in a highly indebted economy. Bitcoin proponents are often called ‘economically naive,’ for failing to have learnt these economic lessons of the past,” researchers explain.

Bitmex believes economics, when it comes to bitcoin core, are “fundamentally different” from anything preceding. “There may be unique characteristics about Bitcoin, which make it more suited to a deflationary policy,” they argue. “Alternatively, limitations or weaknesses in Bitcoin could exist, which mean that too much inflation could have negative consequences not applicable to traditional forms of money.” Bitmex to VIPs: Bitcoin Won’t Replace Fiat, Just a ‘Useful Niche,’ Enthusiasts 'Naive'

Deflation’s bad rap in the United States, for example, can be attributed to Irving Fisher’s appraisal of causes and exacerbation of the Great Depression of 1929. And the Bitmex part three meditation presents his arguments well as a chain of consequences where hoarding, or as crypto enthusiasts understand, hodling, only served to severely worsen the problem, according to Fisher. Yet, “maybe Fisher’s view on inflation was correct for the economy in the 20th century, however by 2150 technology may have fundamentally changed to such an extent that another inflation policy may be more appropriate for society,” they contend.

Turning from mere description, Bitmex researchers hit upon a rather novel concept: bitcoin is not a debt based currency, the kind government paper all over the world is. That is a fundamental difference, and it follows economies would behave differently should something like bitcoin core take hold. In a bitcoin based, deflationary economy, an economic downturn’s “impact of increases in the real value of debt could be less significant than one may think. This could make the deflationary debt spiral argument less relevant in a Bitcoin based economy,” they note.

A Cynical, Dismissive Way to View Bitcoin’s Potential

Given BTC’s deflationary aspects, its being so fundamentally different, and how traditional economic theory is at a loss to grapple with it, Bitmex would seem to hold the coin in high esteem. No, not really. Not at all, in fact. Very near the report’s end, VIPs are given the candid, unvarnished truth as the exchange sees it. Bitcoin core is a speculative plaything, an interesting project to perhaps make some interim profit if one is positioned well.

“Much of this discussion focuses on the economics of Bitcoin, assuming Bitcoin is widely adopted, such that the inflationary dynamics have an impact on society,” the report tantelizes. Curiously, the report doesn’t account for BTC’s notorious problems as a functioning currency in terms of block size, mempool congestion, and transaction fees – a debate lived out along side BTC by bitcoin cash (BCH). Researchers do not believe BTC will be widely adopted.

Bitmex to VIPs: Bitcoin Won’t Replace Fiat, Just a ‘Useful Niche,’ Enthusiasts 'Naive'

“In our view [wide BTC adoption] is an unlikely outcome and perhaps should be considered even more unlikely by Bitcoin’s critics. In our view, Bitcoin may satisfy a useful niche, that of making both censorship resistant and digital payments, but it’s unlikely to become the main currency in the economy. Therefore the debate about Bitcoin’s deflationary nature should be considered as largely irrelevant anyway. Hence, it is therefore somewhat odd that some critics use this as an argument against Bitcoin,” thereby negating almost the entirety of the previous report findings.

The last thought left with readers is a cynical, just-in-case principle: “if one thinks these economic problems associated with deflation have a remote chance of being relevant, like the critics indirectly imply, that would mean Bitcoin has a significant chance of becoming widely adopted and hugely successful. In that case, perhaps the sensible thing to do is buy and ‘HODL’.”

Written by Bitcoin.com

 

Top Crypto News – 08/06/2018

NYDFS Chief Defends State Regulator’s Crypto Approach

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New York Department of Financial Services superintendent Maria Vullo defended her office’s approach to regulating cryptocurrencies on Thursday.

Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relation’s “Legal Tender? The Regulation of Cryptocurrencies” panel in New York on Wednesday, Vullo said that her view is “regulation in this space, just like any space where you have money transmission, [is necessary],” making a point she often revisited during the discussion.

While some state and federal regulars are taking time to create rules for the industry, “it certainly hasn’t taken New York long to establish a framework” for regulating cryptocurrencies, Vullo said in her opening statement, referring to the state’s controversial BitLicense.

The role of regulation in the cryptocurrency space was a contentious topic, with Blockchain president and chief legal officer Marco Santori claiming regulators should ease up on the over-regulation.

That said, he did acknowledge that “a lot of token sales run afoul of the spirit of the law, if not the letter of the law. But we have to be careful not to lump them all together.”

In particular, he argued that New York’s laws “have been an abject failure.”

However, Vullo derided developers who claim that their work should allow them to launch token sales free of disclosure or other requirements, saying:

“I think regulators absolutely need to be in the space, I know they’re saying ‘we’re innovative, we’re startups, we need to be left alone and put in a sandbox.’ Toddlers play in the sandbox. Adults play by the rules.”

In another rapid exchange, CNN investigative journalist and panelist Jose Pagliery expressed concern about the idea that “code is law,” saying that while this may be true, coders can modify certain protocols:

“If you’re the executive at a bank, you have people to answer to … if you’re one of a dozen coders around the world whose name no one knows and you’re the one at the controls changing how this cryptocurrency works … we have to figure out how these people are held accountable.”

Santori disagreed with this premise, saying “that is not only a bad question, you should feel bad for asking it.”

In turn, Vullo said: “I didn’t know this was about feelings.”

Seema Mody, Jose Pagliery, Marco Santori and Maria Vullo image by Nikhilesh De for CoinDesk
Written by CoinDesk.com

 

Regulations Round-Up: CFTC Rejects FOIA Request, SEC Not Modifying Securities Laws

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In recent regulatory news, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has rejected a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding the subpoenas recently received by Bitfinex and Tether; the United States Securities and Exchanges (SEC) Chairman, Jay Clayton, has indicated that the regulator will not alter existing securities legislation to cater to cryptocurrencies. Maria Vullo, the Superintendent of Financial Services for the State of New York, has praised the regulatory efforts made by the CFTC and SEC in the arena of initial coin offerings, and the SEC has announced Valerie Szczepanik as the commission’s new Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation.

CFTC Rejects Freedom of Information Request

Regulations Round-Up: CFTC Rejects FOIA Request, SEC Not Modifying Securities LawsIt has been reported by media that the U.S Commodity Futures Trading Commission has rejected a request under the Freedom of Information Act for access to the subpoenas delivered to Bitfinex and Tether on the 6th of December.

The FOIA request, dated June 5th, requested “subpoenas issued to Ifinex inc. also known as Bitfinex and its subsidiary companies, as well as subpoenas issued Tether Limited and its subsidiary companies.”

The anonymous individual who submitted the request claims that the CFTC responded stating that it had discovered “thousands of responsive records, all of which are exempt from the FOIA’s disclosure requirement,” adding that “Some records are exempt from disclosure under FOIA Exemption 7(A), 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(7)(A), because disclosure of that material could reasonably be expected to interfere with the conduct of the Commission’s law enforcement activities.”

The CFTC also reportely stated that “Some records were obtained on the condition that the agency keep the source of the information confidential. Those records are exempt from disclosure under FOIA Exemption 7(0), 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(7)(D). That exemption is intended to ensure that “confidential sources are not lost because of retaliation against the sources for past disclosures or because of the sources’ fear of future disclosures.”

SEC Will Not Modify Securities Regulations to Cater to Cryptocurrencies

Regulations Round-Up: CFTC Rejects FOIA Request, SEC Not Modifying Securities LawsIn a recent interview with CNBC, the chairman of the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, firmly rejected the suggestion of modifying existing securities legislation in order to adapt regulations to cryptocurrencies. Mr. Clayton stated “We are not going to do any violence to the traditional definition of a security that has worked for a long time. We’ve been doing this a long time, there’s no need to change the definition.”

The SEC chairman also sought to clarify the regulator’s jurisdiction regarding virtual currencies. “Crypto-currencies: These are replacements for sovereign currencies, replace the dollar, the euro, the yen with bitcoin. That type of currency is not a security. A token, a digital asset, where I give you my money and you go off and make a venture, and in return for giving you my money I say ‘you can get a return’ that is a security and we regulate that. We regulate the offering of that security and regulate the trading of that security.”

New York Officials Praise U.S. Authorities for ICO Regulations

Regulations Round-Up: CFTC Rejects FOIA Request, SEC Not Modifying Securities LawsAt a recent event organized by the Council on Foreign Relations titled “Legal Tender? The Regulation of Cryptocurrencies,” Maria Vullo, the Superintendent of Financial Services for the State of New York, praised the efforts of U.S authorities to regulate initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Mrs. Vullo stated “I think the SEC has done the best job possible in its efforts to regulate token sales,” adding, “in many ways, this is no different than other types of banking-related services where you have the state regulators, you have the public companies that are also regulated by the SEC and the CFTC.”

Mrs. Vullo added “I think a lot of these token sales run afoul of the spirit of the law, if not the letter of the law. But we have to be careful not to lump them all together.”

Valerie Szczepanik Named SEC’s Senior Advisor for Digital Assets

Regulations Round-Up: CFTC Rejects FOIA Request, SEC Not Modifying Securities LawsThe SEC has announced Valerie Szczepanik as the regulator’s new Senior Advisor for Digital Assets, and Associate Director of the Division of Corporation Finance. Mrs. Szczepanik has worked with the SEC since 1997, most recently serving as an Assistant Director in the Division of Enforcement’s Cyber Unit.

Chairman Jay Clayton stated “Valerie’s thought leadership in this area is recognized both within the Commission and across financial regulators in the United States and abroad. With her demonstrated skill, experience, and keen awareness of the importance of fostering innovation while ensuring investor protection, Val is the right person to coordinate our efforts in this dynamic area that has both promise and risk.”

Ms. Szczepanik stated “I am excited to take on this new role in support of the SEC’s efforts to address digital assets and innovation as it carries out its mission to facilitate capital formation, promote fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and protect investors, particularly Main Street investors. I look forward to working closely with staff across the agency, our regulatory partners, and the public as we provide a coordinated and strategic response to developments.”

Written by Bitcoin.com

Crypto Auction: $5.6 Million Andy Warhol Art to be Sold via Ethereum Blockchain

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From bond issuances to educational certificates, blockchain technology is increasingly finding new use-cases every day. Stepping aside from its use in financial and industrial sectors, the ethereum blockchain will be utilized in June 2018 to facilitate the auction of Andy Warhol’s 1980 work 14 Small Electric Chairs for cryptocurrencies.

The auction will be carried out by Dadiani Fine Art in London’s Mayfair district, in partnership with blockchain platform Maecenas Fine Art. Overall, 49 percent of Warhol’s works will be up available for sale on June 20, and the auction house will accept bitcoin and ethereum as payment.

Regarding price, the piece is valued at 732 BTC or $5.6 million at the time of writing, and would undoubtedly change as per market conditions on the day of the auction. Reportedly, the reserve price is 25 BTC or $4 million. The auction house strictly requires potential buyers to comply with local regulations.

While will not be the first time an art piece is bought using cryptocurrency, it is thought to be the most expensive and high most high profile. In January 2018,  the Art Stage Singapore witnessed the sale of four paintings in exchange of cryptocurrencies.

The founder of Dadiani Syndicate, Eleesa Dadiani, explained the development:

“We aim to render the future of fine art investments to global reach. The cryptocurrency will broaden the market, bringing a new type of buyer to art and luxury.”

Dadiani fancies herself as the “Queen of Crypto,” and earlier told The Times that the “world’s wealthy are looking for new ways to invest and the millionaire is changing.” Echoing her thoughts is Maecenas Chief Executive, Marcelo García Casil, who believes the sale “would help transform the art market.”

“We’re making history. This Warhol is the first artwork of many more to come,” Casil added.

The auction will be conducted on the Ethereum blockchain, and a smart contract will determine the final price for Warhol’s painting.

While whispers have previously been heard in the art world about blockchain making an impact in their sector, not much of a fruition has been witnessed yet. Undoubtedly, blockchain’s immutable properties can be of great help in the art domain – an industry mired with fakes and unregulated pricing.

At a recent convention in London, the co-founder of blockchain identify company Codex Protocol, Jess Houlgrave, stated that over 40 percent of all art pieces on the market are fraudulent. In this regard, blockchain’s benefits immediately come to mind – specifically the maintenance of traceable records on a public database that art collectors can view to verify their pieces.

Andy Warhol art image from Shutterstock.
Written by CCN.com

 

FOAM and the Dream to Map the World on Ethereum

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Even Pokemon Go might need a blockchain.

While an augmented reality mobile app used to collect funny-looking, digital critters might sound like a silly (or useless) service to re-architect with blockchain, the developers at ethereum startup FOAM make a compelling case.

“The problem is that people lie about their location,” said Ryan John King, the co-founder and CEO of FOAM. Using a range of tutorials across the web, a tech-savvy Pokemon Go player could easily trick the game into thinking they’re in Hong Kong, catching all the unique Pokemon there when really they’re sitting in their apartment in Brooklyn, New York, he said.

That’ll be news to many since most people use GPS (the Global Positioning System) flawlessly on a daily basis.

King told CoinDesk:

“People think location is a solved problem.”

But it goes beyond the fact that shrewd Pokemon Go users could manipulate the system; King believes today’s GPS system, in its centralized form provided by the U.S. government, is insecure and prone to failure.

As such, FOAM developers want to build a technology that mirrors GPS but is instead an open technology that anyone can contribute to. And to do this, the team needs a particularly resilient map of the entire world, which they plan to devise with the help of ethereum smart contracts.

During Ethereal, an artsy ethereum conference in New York City in May, the FOAM team demoed their beta product, Spatial Index, which the website calls “a cross between a Bloomberg trading terminal and Google Maps.” The map shows all the locations of radio beacons deployed by users, which are represented as smart contracts on the Rinkeby testnet, a copy of the ethereum blockchain used for testing purposes.

And with that, FOAM then has joined the likes of Golem and Augur as a project arousing excitement in the community for its unique use of the ethereum blockchain.

Coinbase engineer Jacob Horne is so enthusiastic he called the FOAM product “the base layer for entire new economies.” And ConsenSys developer Simon de la Rouviere said that re-reading the whitepaper “just blows my mind again.”

Games and beyond

The secret behind FOAM’s work is the company’s “proof of location,” a cryptographic method for proving that a user has actually been at a certain location.

This technique will be used to build a secure location-based collection game, something that mixes the gameplay of Pokemon Go with that of CryptoKitties, the popular ethereum-based application for buying, trading and breeding digital cats – and where no one can cheat.

Speaking to this, King said, “We need something open source and horizontal and for anyone to plug into. With FOAM, you can build an app where you unlock a CryptoKitty only when you visit a particular location.”

And this idea is tantalizing to many, including Matt Condon, lead maintainer of ethereum library OpenZeppelin, who tweeted:

“I’m so, so excited for tokenized assets plus a proof-of-location protocol like FOAM. The real Pokemon Go will be possible.”

And while FOAM is starting with games, the team thinks the technology has potential far beyond this use case.

For instance, King believes the technology could be beneficial for supply chain management as well. Whether for food or jewelry, developers and entrepreneurs are looking to disrupt the global system of tracking consumer goods throughout its life cycle with blockchains.

As such, FOAM has begun working with ethereum-based supply chain startup, Viant, which recently demoed its product in tracking tuna from the waters of Fiji to the plates of Ethereal conference goers.

Technology and tokens

So how will all this work in practice? With low power wide area networks (LPWAN), a new type of emerging network used in many internet-of-things devices.

LPWAN technology, which costs between $10 and $30, allows anyone to contribute to FOAM’s map, beaming location information to the ethereum blockchain. And a significant number of people have already begun participating, although it’s far from covering the whole world just yet. But the Spatial Index beta does show that the idea works in practice.

“Deploying a LPWAN, just like a blockchain, is permissionless,” the FOAM blog post explaining the Spatial Index says.

Still, decentralizing location data has been on the minds of many for some time.

As such, FOAM believes its key differentiator will be its crypto token – to be released through a token sale later this summer. To King, the token will incentivize people to deploy LPWAN and contribute location data to its service, moving existing location protocols, which have not succeeded in attracting many users, forward.

According to FOAM co-founder and CTO Kristoffer Josefsson, though, the product is still quite far from the team’s grand vision. So far, the platform is up and running on the ethereum testnet, and the team is stress-testing the radio technology in an effort to come up with the final specification.

Once that’s done, they’ll run the token sale, and then push FOAM to the ethereum mainnet.

King told CoinDesk:

“Then, anyone can be a cartographer and help come up with a consensus-driven map of the world.”

Featured image via CoinDesk
Written by CoinDesk.com

 

 

SVK CRYPTO PODCAST 157 – 07/06/2018 – Shane Kehoe Speaking Live from the UBS Open Panel Event!

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-i99et-92d3b9

Welcome to the SVK Crypto, 15 Minutes of Crypto Fame, brought to you by your host, Charles Storry. We provide daily cryptocurrency content and analysis on topics such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Altcoins and ICO’s.

We not only produce our daily content we feature CEO’s of all exciting ICO’s! Stay tuned to find out more!

If you’d like to stay in touch or get more info from me, please SUBSCRIBE to the channel and spread the good word!

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SVK_Crypto

Visit our website: http://www.svkcrypto.com

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SVK CRYPTO PODCAST 156 – 06/06/2018 – Live from the SVK Crypto Blockchain Industry Open Panel Event!

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-tdaxw-92c217

Welcome to the SVK Crypto, 15 Minutes of Crypto Fame, brought to you by your host, Charles Storry. We provide daily cryptocurrency content and analysis on topics such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Altcoins and ICO’s.

We not only produce our daily content we feature CEO’s of all exciting ICO’s! Stay tuned to find out more!

If you’d like to stay in touch or get more info from me, please SUBSCRIBE to the channel and spread the good word!

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SVK_Crypto

Visit our website: http://www.svkcrypto.com

Email us: cstorry@svkcrypto.com

Telegram: https://t.me/SVKCrowd