Čvn 08

CrypViser and ChronoBank – Efficient Collaboration!

· June 8, 2017 · 11:30 am

On the 7th of July 2017, the innovative encrypted messenger CrypViser is launching a collaboration with the wide-ranging Blockchain project ChronoBank! Crypviser will now be accepting ChronoBank TIME tokens for payments until the end of its ICO on June 30th.

[Note: This is a press release.]


Crypviser is pleased to announce the launch of its collaboration with Chronobank. Until June 30th, users who join Crypviser’s ICO will be able to make payments with ChronoBank TIME tokens. Vadim Andryan, the founder of CrypViser, believes that cooperation with ChronoBank will encourage the development of the project in addition to creating new opportunities for the whole community and investors.

The first encrypted messenger – CrypViser – announces new opportunities during the ICO

On September 2nd, the official launch of the Crypviser network will take place. At that moment all new participants of ChronoBank and CrypViser will be granted exclusive early-bird access to the messenger service. Prior to this, users will also be able to take part in Crypviser’s bounty campaign.

In addition, members of Chronobank and CrypViser will have the opportunity to make in-app payments for the messenger’s services using TIME tokens.

CrypViser, together with ChronoBank, is a resource that prides itself on being sustainable for market integrations, with their integrated use of Blockchain enabling them to put security first.

Become a member now – Crypviser’s ICO is on-going!

Please note that only those participants who join CrypViser during the ICO will be guaranteed access to this new partnership with ChronoBank.

CrypViser’s ICO, which kicked off on May 20th, will continue until June 30th. During the crowdsale, the project will provide 10 million (10,000,000) CVCoins distributed among members. To participate in the CrypViser ICO please follow this link: https://ico.crypviser.net

ChronoBank.io is an ambitious and wide-ranging blockchain project aimed at remolding the HR/recruitment/finance industries.

Crypviser is a provider of a new generation of Blockchain-based automated cryptographic and encryption solutions for instant communication networks.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Kvě 16

Blockchain-Based Identity Management Will Soon Be a Reality

· May 16, 2017 · 6:00 am

Airbitz has partnered with Sphre to secure their Blockchain-Based Identity Management Platform, AIR.


Airbitz Partners with Blockchain-Based Identity Firm

Sphre, a blockchain-based identity management firm, announced their partnership with Airbitz, one of the most popular mobile Bitcoin wallets and a data security platform with over 140,000 users. Airbitz has been working on its Edge Security Platform since the company’s inception, focusing on providing a secure and easy-to-use solution for decentralized blockchain projects and dApps as a means enhance cryptocurrency mass adoption.

Announced today, the partnership will see Sphre leverage Airbitz’ Edge Security, a blockchain-agnostic and zero-knowledge single sign-on solution, to secure their smart contract-based platform, AIR.

Daren Seymour, Director at Sphre commented on the new partnership:

The easy and intuitive user experience, coupled with rich functionality, great development environment and team made Airbitz an easy choice when considering the right partner for Sphre. We look forward to delivering an easy-to-use product to the market, and our partnership with Airbitz is a key component on this journey.

AIR is digital identity and individual microeconomic engagement system based on blockchain infrastructure, allowing individuals, enterprises, and organizations to manage their digital identity through a single, decentralized application, thus retaining full control and ownership of said identity, which would not be possible in a centralized setting.

The AIR whitepaper reads:

In an interconnected, open digital world it does not make sense that digital identity is still fragmented in outdated, closed systems.

The AIR Platform is build upon the Hyperledger blockchain and is comprised of two major components: The Chaincode or ‘smart contract’, which forms the basis of the given identity, and the Application Programming Interface (API), which will allow third-party organizations and enterprises to integrate support for AIR into their existing and new systems, while the mobile application secures and maintains each individual’s private key.

The AIR Platform & XID tokens

Currently in development, the AIR Platform will soon host a crowdfunding campaign to fund the development, marketing, and management of the AIR project. During the crowdfunding campaign or ICO, participants will receive XID tokens, which are used within the Air platform to facilitate identity-based transactions and handle profit-sharing disbursement based on the customizable monetization agreements that users can engage in.

Blockchain Banking App Humaniq Reschedules ICO, Offers Solidarity to Chinese Investors

The XID token is to be issued on the Bitcoin blockchain through the Omnilayer platform that allows the distribution of digital identity monetization benefits to be handled through a decentralized mechanism, which is far more transparent and reliable than traditional alternatives.

Due to the use of Omnilayer, AIR will not only allow any given user or organization to “authenticate/authorize themselves against their registration”, but also to attest/verify the identity of an account with whom they have successfully transacted, based on information found on the Bitcoin, the safest and oldest blockchain in the world.

Can blockchain technology become the new security standard for individual and enterprise digital identity? Let us know in the comment section.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Kvě 08

Blockchain-Based Decentralized P2P IOU Platform, Sikoba Launches Pre-Sale Ahead of Token ICO

· May 7, 2017 · 8:00 pm

London-based decentralized money platform Sikoba has announced its upcoming ICO with a token presale. The blockchain-supported platform is based on P2P IOU’s, and the crowdsale will give participants the opportunity to receive a 50% bonus on SKO tokens — a cryptocurrency designed to fuel transactions within the Sikoba platform. The ICO will take place between April 25 and May 15, 2017.


A Blockchain-based IOU System

Sikoba’s decentralized money platform allows users to offer each other mutual lines of credit, within a blockchain-based IOU system. The P2P credit system is made possible through various smart contracts and gives users the freedom to pay each other with fiat and cryptocurrencies. Sikoba’s smart contracts have specified conditions, fee structures and repayment rules to keep the credit relationships in order.

The platform employs a ’credit conversion’ system that also allows users who do not trust each other to exchange credit safely. On Sikoba, fiat currencies or cryptocurrencies can act as a medium of exchange when there are no credit links between participants, or to repay outstanding balances when needed.

Sikoba’s CEO Aleksander Kampa recently expressed the company’s intention for the decentralized platform to evolve into an entirely independent and self-organizing entity eventually. The Sikoba blockchain could achieve this using its ‘federated Blockchain’ design. This unique blockchain is self-governing, which allows the addition and removal of participants, based on the member voting consensus.

Sikoba’s CEO Aleksander Kampa

This is a permissioned mining model where only authorized nodes add blocks to the blockchain.

Kampa also stated that Sikoba would most likely use Ethereum as a notary, but still perform its primary operations on its own or another blockchain. The blockchain will be chosen based on the relevant criteria of scalability, flexibility, and speed.

Sikoba operates with a small development team, aided by several important supporting members. Still in the pre-alpha stage, Sikoba’s IOU platform is not expected to be fully operational until towards the end of 2017. SKO token presale funds will be appropriated for the expansion of the Sikoba team, to finalize a detailed whitepaper and develop an MVP by the year end.

The Sikoba platform aims to offer a fully functioning virtual credit or IOU system that offers users the ability to attain accredited value, borrowed from another participant without releasing any funds. SKO tokens serve as a type of digital credit and have the potential to become a major aspect of the future credit system.

Sikoba ICO Token Pre-Sale

Sikoba ICO Token Pre-Sale

The Sikoba presale tokens are scheduled for release by the end of June 2017. Participants will receive usable SKO tokens after the platform’s launch, expected in Q3, 2018. The pre-allocation phase has begun on 17 March 2017, and the public presale will start on 25 April.

Following the presale, Sikoba presale tokens will be issued on the Ethereum blockchain. They will later become exchangeable into SKO tokens, which will be used to pay for transaction fees on the Sikoba network.

What do you think of Sikoba’s blockchain-based IOU system? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Sikoba, Pixabay

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Dub 12

‘The Blockchain and Us’: A New Documentary on Bitcoin Tech Changing the World

· April 12, 2017 · 7:00 am

A new documentary film called The Blockchain and Us was released last week exploring how Blockchain technology can change the world in a meaningful way.


Documentary: ‘The Blockchain and Us’

A documentary film dubbed “The Blockchain and Us” by Manuel Stagars has been released last week. The 8-part documentary focuses on what blockchain technology is and the social and economic impact it can have in the world, if its potential is successfully harnessed.

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The preview description reads:

Economist and filmmaker Manuel Stagars portrays this exciting technology in interviews with software developers, cryptologists, researchers, entrepreneurs, consultants, VCs, authors, politicians, and futurists from the United States, Canada, Switzerland, the UK, and Australia.

The 30-minute long documentary features cuts from several interviews with industry leaders like Christian Decker from Blockstream, Perianne Boring Founder & President at the Chamber of Digital Commerce, Taylor Gerring Co-Founder at Ethereum, Matthew Roszak Co-Founder & Chairman of Bloq, and many more.

The documentary does not focus on the technical aspects of blockchain technology and should not be viewed as an introductory video. Instead, the film seeks to give a high-level view of the blockchain “far from hype” and “starts a conversation about its wider implications” in several aspects of our society.

Chapter 1: First Contact With The Blockchain

In the first segment, the interviewees describe their first contact with blockchain technology. An experience that has changed many lives but usually starts off with a pinch of disbelief. Most people were quick to dismiss Bitcoin and the blockchain once they run into it for the first time, but many return to it after understanding how it works and the potential it has to change the world.

Matthew Roszak Co-Founder & Chairman of Bloq, shared his experience:

I did what most people do the first moment they are exposed to Bitcoin. I discounted it. I thought this was silly internet money, you could mine it, it’s like a golden goose and it took me about an year to really re-explore the technology…

Chapter 2: Blockchain Technology

Here, the documentary delves into a high-level explanation of what blockchain technology is and what makes it tick, and what we can do with it.

Image result for R. Jesse McWaters

R. Jesse McWaters Financial Innovation Lead at the World Economic Forum, explained:

You have the ability to create records that are indelible. You have the ability to transfer value by making updates to those records. And you have the ability to automate updates to the records through these things called smart contracts. That means potentially that you could transform the structure of financial services.

Chapter 3: Influence Of The Blockchain

This chapter focuses on how blockchain technology can influence various industries and aspects of our society like financial inclusion, identity, and IoT.

Image result for Rik Willard

Rik Willard, Founder & Managing Director at Agentic Group, said:

As the blockchain became more influential in our thinking we began to realize that it was a profound shift in how the Internet could be used to create new forms of value and how it could be used to enfranchise and include people in global finance.

Chapter 4: New Business Opportunities

Chapter 4 talks about the infrastructure that is being built around blockchain technology, the business opportunities that arise from it and how traditional industries are dealing with and adapting to this disruptive new technology.

Image result for Paul Meeusen

Paul Meeusen, Head Finance and Treasury Services at Swiss Re, stated:

We are all, also in the financial services industry trying to recognize that we don’t have to be defensive but we rather have to embrace not just this technology but this enabler that it brings us to access a vastly underutilized or undiscovered market that we have to do business with on an eye-to-eye level.

Chapter 5: The Blockchain and Banks

This segment explores how big financial institutions will implement blockchain technology through slow upgrade processes and how some of these institutions are reluctant to accept this technological shift, while others are actively researching and testing the technology to stay ahead of the curve.

Image result for Caitlin Long

Caitlin Long, Chairman of the Board & President at Symbiont.io, explained:

I know how big financial institutions work. They’re not going to do something reckless with technology. This is people’s money and livelihood they’re working with.These are slow upgrade processes. These systems, once they get implemented, will run in parallel with the old systems for a while before you have a switch over to the new one. That’s standard in technology upgrade.  knew this was going to take time. But there are antagonists, players who are threatened. It’s the AT&T/Verizon/Kodak analogy again. Their business model is threatened by this and they’re going to do things to slow down and water down the transformational networks. There is a game theory approach to how the technology is being rolled out in the markets, for sure.

Chapter 6: The Blockchain And Financial Inclusion

An estimated 74% of the world population (according to the World Bank) do not have access to basic financial services provided by Banks. Chapter 6 explores how Blockchain technology can drastically change the financial inclusion landscape and allow people to interact with the world economy in a much more meaningful way than micro-finance institutions and other alternatives.

Eric Van der Kleij, Founder OF Adeptra, London Tech City, Level39 and adviser to the UKGovernment expressed his opinion on the subject:

I don’t like to think that we’re creating so much prosperity for the less than one percent. I like to think of purpose-led businesses. By the way, that’s the trick, I think, for large corporations: to understand that the cost/efficiency of embracing this new technology will potentially widen their accessible markets at a cost, that’s reasonable. That in itself will create prosperity in different areas. Something that we should think about.

Chapter 7: The Real Revolution

Blockchain technology can be considered the fourth technological revolution. With it come the same concerns, which is the loss of jobs due to automation. Blockchain technology has the power to cut out institutions that act as intermediaries or “middlemen”, including banks themselves.

This chapter delves into this concern and how various people perceive it. Dolfi Müller, Mayor of the City of Zug stated:

It’s called the ‘fourth technological revolution’ and I think we are at the beginning of such a revolution just now. That’s why we don’t close our eyes. Some people say ‘There will be much trouble, people will lose their work,’ and so on. I’m sure it will happen but it’s better we face it than deny it.

Chapter 8: The Blockchain and Us

In the eighth and final chapter of the Blockchain and Us documentary, interviewees express their thoughts on how blockchain technology can be implemented on a larger scale and how it can affect our lives. From an idea to a full-scale revolution, blockchain technology is here to stay and has the potential to change the world in a meaningful way.

Guido Rudolphi, Founder of Cryptocash:

Everything will change. In my opinion, the possibilities are endless.

The documentary can be seen here.

Full interviews can be seen here.

Do you think Blockchain can truly change the world for the better? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Angel.co, Linkedin, Blockchain-newyork.com, Caitlin-long.com, Twitter, Shutterstock

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Úno 28

PayPal on Blockchain: ‘Why Don’t We Just Use a Database?’

· February 28, 2017 · 9:00 am

If something works, why change it? PayPal’s Harper Reed has dismissed “boring” Blockchain technology, choosing to stick to the traditional databases.


‘Why Don’t We Just Use a Database?’

In the midst of the “chainwashing” trend, some companies seem to be taking the high road and staying clear of Bitcoin’s underlying Blockchain technology. This is the case with PayPal which, despite its ambitions to become the dominant global online payments platform, has distanced itself from this prospect.

reed

When asked about the potential for blockchain technology at the 4YFN conference, Harper Reed, the Director of Software Development for PayPal, dismissed it stating:

Whenever people say why don’t we use the blockchain to do this, I think why don’t we just use a database?

This is, in fact what PayPal has been doing all along with its own centralized online payments app Venmo, which is now processing nearly $20 billion USD per year and is much in vogue among millennials, in particular.

Reed went on to reference Bitcoin’s “dark market” image as the medium of exchange for the deep web economy, suggesting that the technology would benefit from a rebrand:

When I think of blockchain I think of drugs, and I’m not really a drug user so I find it really boring.

PayPal & Bitcoin

However, this comes as a relatively refreshing stance towards Blockchain, despite Reed’s misconception regarding Bitcoin being a “drug currency.”

PayPal seems to be more focused on results and on the user-experience itself, rather than on hype and the technology that works in the background, which was the key point of Harper Reed’s talk at 4YFN, the startup spin-off of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Nevertheless, PayPal has had several “encounters” with blockchain technology and Bitcoin itself. In June 2016, PayPal partnered with the digital asset exchange and wallet Coinbase, allowing users to sell bitcoin and cash out to their PayPal accounts.

thiel

Peter Thiel, PayPal co-founder and close adviser to President Donald Trump, has also expressed his interest in the technology, having invested in several Bitcoin startups himself.

He once stated:

PayPal had these goals of creating a new currency. We failed at that, and we just created a new payment system. I think Bitcoin has succeeded on the level of a new currency.

Thiel is becoming an extremely important adviser for Donald Trump, who is increasingly being associated with Bitcoin supporters like 21 Inc. CEO Balaji S. Srinivasan and the recently appointed U.S. Budget Chief Mick Mulvaney, also known as “Bitcoin Congressman.”

Will PayPal retain its competitive edge in the future despite shunning blockchain technology? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, queerty.com, wikipedia.com

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Úno 24

CNBC: Bitcoin Price Surge is Start Of ‘Inflationary Period’

· February 24, 2017 · 9:00 am

As Bitcoin hits all-time highs, the infinite wisdom of CNBC and the mainstream press surfaces again as a bizarre news piece suggests the start of an “inflationary period.”


Bitcoin Surge ‘Might Not Mean What You Think’ – CNBC

The segment from the network’s Trading Nation, which aired Thursday, also included commentators describing Bitcoin as a currency for “buying kidneys.”

Bitcoin is surging – but that might not mean what you think,” an accompanying article reads.

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Asked whether he had an “opinion” on Bitcoin, Dennis Davitt of Harvest Volatility Management said about among other things that he “really liked Bitcoin” but that “the big fear around Bitcoin is just one day when the governments come out and say, ‘We’re no longer going to allow this.’”

No mention was given to the cryptocurrency’s ongoing sustained price increase shaking off regulatory pressure – particularly in China – more effectively than at any time in its history.

chart

Indeed, despite Bitcoin’s volatility becoming less and less, Davitt suggested that the most recent increases were, in essence, a bubble.

“What people don’t put together is that… Bitcoin is moving into an inflationary environment,” he continued. Bitcoin is, in fact, a deflationary currency due to its limited supply and is currently deflating at a rate of around 4%.

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‘All The Blockchaining’

Nonetheless, Blockchain technology came in for more positive criticism – of sorts.

In a world of armageddon, currencies will go by the way of the countries, but Bitcoin will still have value because of all the blockchaining that’s going on behind it,” Davitt forecast.

cnbc

Commentators reacted to the piece and accompanying performance chart with ridicule, one Reddit user suggesting CNBC was “either stupid or has some agenda.”

With this, CNBC is slowly stooping to the level of CNN. The infamous comments made by US president Donald Trump about the network, in which he described it as “fake news” and “very fake news,” have gone on to make the politician an increasing ally of the cryptocurrency community.

Trump’s pick for budget chief in the form of ‘Bitcoin Senator’ Mick Mulvaney received positive feedback, along with close ties with crypto investor Peter Thiel.

Cashless Society Support

Fellow Trading Nation guest, Miller Tabak equity strategist Matt Maley, meanwhile voiced support for the “cashless society” being propagated by multiple governments worldwide.

Despite this is many cases being more of a ‘war on cash,’ Bitcoin has profited from increased use in crucible jurisdictions such as India and Venezuela. Maley said however that the cashless society “makes things easier for everyone.”

“It’s hard to be that bearish especially now that [Bitcoin] has become more mainstream,” he concluded.

What do you think about CNBC’s opinions? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, CNBC, btcvol.info, plot.ly/~Bash

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Úno 23

Database? First Commercial IBM ‘Blockchain’ Touts 4 Nodes, Immutability

· February 23, 2017 · 9:30 am

Northern Trust and IBM have released what is being called the first commercially deployed blockchain-based solution for finance. But is blockchain the right word for this platform?


‘First Commercially Deployed Blockchain’

The trend towards “chainwashing” is growing with companies using the Blockchain buzzword as a means to get attention and funding.

Although companies are attempting to build functional applications using distributed ledger technology, they often come as solutions to nonexistent problems. Such might be the case with the open-source project by Northern Trust and IBM.

Bitcoinist_IBM 5D Blood

Northern Trust, a Chicago-based funds administrator has partnered with IBM to devise what is being called the first commercially deployed blockchain-based solution for finance.

In a bid to cut costs and disintermediate in private equity administration, these two companies devised a ‘blockchain-based’ platform currently being administered by Geneva-based Unigestion, which manages $20 billion USD, spread across private equity and other asset classes.

According to Justin Chapman, Northern Trust’s head of innovation research, the process of private-equity fund administration is currently a manual one. But thanks to blockchain technology, administrators can “agree on the legal documentation for distribution as soon as the lawyer gets to the paperwork,” due to the immutability provided by the blockchain.

There’s just one problem, however. Immutability is not a property of blockchain technology but the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm used in Bitcoin, for example. The author of “Mastering Bitcoin,” Andreas Antonopoulos, explains:

The ‘Immutability’ Myth

Although there are currently many solutions for private-equity fund management, Chapman sees one clear advantage in using blockchain technology. He (incorrectly) states:

Blockchain makes this immutable.

Although public blockchains secured via computing power (PoW) can guarantee immutability, private blockchains cannot be considered tamper-proof since the participants are still required to trust the entities that maintain the network. Such entities are often referred to as “validators” in private blockchain systems.

Additionally, this IBM/Northern Trust blockchain will be tiny consisting of just four nodes wheareas Bitcoin has around 6,000. The regulator—in this case the Guernsey Financial Services Commission in the crown dependancy of Guernsey—will be one of the entities with access to oversee transactions and other data.

In this sense, the platform is essentially a distributed database with designated user privileges since the various parties involved “will have access to different layers of data,” according to Chapman.

blockchain

Meanwhile, actual immutability in the most secure blockchain today, i.e. Bitcoin, derives from a distributed ledger secured by thousands of computers (miners) with their hashing power.

Although it is unclear what consensus mechanism will be used in Unigestion’s platform, Bitcoin is by far the longest and most tamper-proof blockchain to date thanks to its PoW consensus algorithm. Given the number of miners that secure it,  the amount of computational power needed to tamper with the Bitcoin blockchain is “unfathomable” and currently doesn’t exist on this planet, according to Antonopoulos.

Meanwhile, others are beginning to concede this fact. Blockchain consortium R3 has scaled back its blockchain ambitions, acknowledging that no blockchain is actually needed in its Corda platform.

Vaultoro exchange co-founder Joshua Scigala reacted to the news, tweeting:

Will companies eventually find a useful way of implenting blockchain technology?  Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Twitter, Shutterstock

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Úno 13

VP Mike Pence’s New Chief Economist is a Bitcoin Supporter

· February 13, 2017 · 8:00 am

Bitcoin supporter Mark Calabria from the Cato Institute has been selected to serve as Chief Economist for Vice President Mike Pence.


Bitcoin-Supporter to Advise Mike Pence

The Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, has selected a well-known libertarian and Bitcoin advocate, Mark Calabria, as his chief economist.

calabria

Having also previously worked for the Senate Banking Committee, Calabria is best known as the former director of financial regulation studies at the Cato Institute. He is also an outspoken advocate of free markets, housing reform and alternative currencies.

He expressed his support for Bitcoin on multiple occasions. In an interview, Calabria said:

While I’m an economist, not a tech guy, I’m very excited about Bitcoin, as I am about alternative currencies in general, and perhaps even more interested in the blockchain.

According to Jim Parrot, a senior adviser to Barack Obama’s National Economic Council, Calabria provides the Trump administration with “a voice around the table that will give them their philosophical true North.”

Moreover, Calabria even acknowledged in 2015 that “pretty much everyone at Cato, to varying degrees, is supportive of Bitcoin.” In fact, a few even own bitcoin, “as well as a few other alt-currencies.”

Bitcoin-Advocates Fill Administration

Mark Calabria is not the first Bitcoin advocate to join the ranks of the Trump administration. The president’s Bitcoin-friendly entourage is one of the main reasons why many Bitcoinists are optimistic about the Trump presidency.

Among these is Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and initial financier of Facebook. Thiel has been part of Trump’s transitional team for over a year and has invested millions of dollars in Bitcoin businesses over the years.

Greater

Senator Mick Mulvaney, also known as ‘Bitcoin Congressman,’ has been chosen as Trump’s budget chief. Mulvaney has been actively promoting Bitcoin education in Washington for several years.

Most notable, however, is perhaps Balaji Srinivasan, an executive at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and founder of the Bitcoin startup 21.co, who is contending to lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Bitcoin Gaining Ground in Washington D.C.

Furthermore, the U.S. Government is taking other steps to better understand Blockchain and its industry. This is the case with the new Congressional Blockchain Caucus, an initiative spearheaded by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and David Schweikert (R-Ariz.).

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In 2015, Calabria expressed his concern with regards to Bitcoin regulations, saying:

I don’t think the Bitcoin community should be complacent about the current regulatory environment. The potential to get a lot worse is definitely there.

The Congressional Blockchain Caucus hopes to improve the approach to regulating cryptocurrencies through education about Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Hopefully, Calabria’s libertarian and laissez-faire approach can help lawmakers establish a sensible policy towards Bitcoin regulation in the near future.

Will the addition of Mark Calabria as Chief Economist help push Bitcoin adoption forward? Will it be good for the American Economy? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Cato.org

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Úno 10

U.S. Congress Creates New Blockchain Caucus in Washington

· February 10, 2017 · 8:00 am

What is constantly an issue, both now and in the future, is the concept of regulating and understanding blockchain and digital currency technology at a government level. The U.S. Government is taking steps to better understand this industry with their new Congressional Blockchain Caucus.


Blockchain Caucus Will Educate Lawmakers

Spearheaded by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), this will create a soundboard for future policy creation dealing with blockchain technology and the growing world of digital currency.

The term caucus might imply that this might be a one-off meeting, however this will be a continuing forum for ongoing education and policy reform in the field of distributed ledger technology.

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“Blockchain has the potential to transform the 21st-century economy,” Polis said. “Lawmakers need to understand that as the world rapidly changes, it’s our responsibility to ensure that we craft policies and adopt laws that match our ingenuity.”

Blockchain’s potential to reshape everything from the financial industry, to supply chains, to cyber security, to health care is something we should embrace.

Mulvaney Replaced by Schweikert

This blockchain technology initiative has actually been in the making for over a year, led by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) who has to spend much of the last two years looking to get Washington politicians educated on the industry. With Mulvaney currently undergoing confirmation in the Senate as President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Schweikert replaces Mulvaney.

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“Open blockchain networks and distributed ledger technologies are still new, but it’s critical for members of Congress to begin comprehending both their current applications and future use cases,” Rep. Schweikert said. “It is critically important the United States remain competitive regarding emerging technologies, and distributed ledger technology is the open, secure, efficient technology backbone we’ve been looking for.”

Building this platform will also allow a clearer path for members of the Bitcoin community to add value and education to a group of governors who will truly need their expertise, going forward. This moves in marked contrast to how Japan has mishandled the adoption of digital currency and blockchain technology without proper input from industry leaders.

The move was applauded by influencers such as Jerry Brito of Coin Center and Perianne Boring, Founder and President of the Chamber of Digital Commerce.

Perianne Boring

“Blockchain technology is one of the most important inventions in modern finance,” stated Perianne Boring. “[The] key to unleashing the power of this technology is collaboration and engagement between the industry and policy makers. [We] look forward to playing a significant role in the development of this sector by working with Rep. Polis, Rep, Schweikert and the Blockchain Caucus towards building a legal environment that fosters innovation, jobs, and investment.”

Will the Blockchain Caucus have a positive impact on Bitcoin adoption? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Wikimedia, Shutterstock, CDC

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Úno 04

South Africa Latest to Consider Creating National Digital Currency

· February 4, 2017 · 8:00 am

One more nation, South Africa, is making the first step of migration to a fully digital economy, speaking about offering their own national digital currency based on blockchain technology.


South Africa Looks to Digital Currency

There are many advantages to nation-states, both stated and unspoken, to head in the direction of a national digital currency. The chief executive of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) said that this would include more inclusion and economic reach, faster settlements and lower costs.

“If we go the route of issuing a digital currency, the objective would be to take advantage of emerging technologies so that we reap the benefits,” said Tim Masela, head of the National Payments System at the SARB in a statement.

We foresee that these benefits could be realized, which would be good for the transacting public. But of course, the risks have to be borne in mind as well and that’s what we want to balance.

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In Africa alone, digital currency use and national propagation seem to be a step ahead of the rest of the world’s governments. At the end of 2015, Tunisia announced that they had already successfully created a blockchain and a digital eDinar.

Senegal announced last year that they have struck a deal with a regional bank for their own national digital currency and this is expected to expand into neighbor nations as well. Nigeria has taken to Bitcoin’s digital currency in a big way over the last year.

“The proponents of the technology say ‘you don’t need to regulate it; it will self-regulate’. We don’t have an idea of how that will happen, we still need to reflect on this and need a good case [to show] that it can self-regulate. Otherwise, we believe that if it is not regulated and things go wrong, it could have a spillover effect on the financial systems,” he said.

Sweden is well along in removing cash from their society and going cashless is expected by the end of the decade. The Ukraine has declared their digital intentions recently. Australia, Canada, and even the United States have had discussions about their own versions of Bitcoin as well over the last couple of years. China is fast-tracking their own national Bitcoin system to prevent “capital flight,” when citizens move their money overseas due to a loss of value, domestically.

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One thing that we want to state very categorically is that, in working closely with the industry, we are very conscious about possible regulatory capture. We wouldn’t want to be seen as being captured, where the regulation would be dictated by participants in the market. We will guard our independence so that the regulation is for the good of the system and not necessarily informed by the incumbents’ positions.

Plenty of Downsides for Consumers

This eventuality of a world of national digital currencies is exciting but is ceded with potential unstated consumer downsides. Mass surveillance by banks and governments becomes a plug-and-play scenario. Economic capture is also assured, as one cannot divest themselves from the currency, as there is no way to actually withdraw funds from the system.

Cash is the last private form of payment, and that is being phased out in many nations, creating a future economic system where all transactions are monitored and all user’s finances are kept on a server, which can also be hacked.

According to the IMF, South Africa is the world’s 41st-largest economy, similar to Singapore and Columbia.

Will South Africa’s own national currency be a success? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Wikimedia, StudentBrands.co, Shutterstock

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