Dub 17

Argentina Central Bank’s Inability to Stop Inflation is Forcing People to Bitcoin

As Argentina’s inflation rate skyrockets to its highest level since 1992, people are increasingly turning to Bitcoin as an alternative.


Inflation in Argentina Surpasses 54 Percent

Argentina’s central bank already tightened monetary policy three times in the last month, and inflation is still accelerating at a rate of nearly 55 percent. Bloomberg notes:

The inflation rate rose to almost 55 percent in March, with consumer prices rising 4.7 percent in the month, exceeding all of the forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of analysts.

The unstable economic environment is driving many traders and investors to focus on Bitcoin. Thus, the volumes of Bitcoin traded in Argentina are reaching all-time highs, the latest data from LocalBitcoins/coin.dance shows.

Argentina’s economy suffers from chronic inflation to such an extent that no monetary measure seems to work. According to the Financial Times,

Argentina is trapped in a vicious circle. Demand of just a few million dollars in an illiquid market can weaken the peso, as has been the case since early March. Exchange rate depreciation leads quickly to increases in inflation, portfolio dollarization, and higher interest rates — now the central bank’s only means of defending the currency.

‘Replace Argentinean Pesos with Bitcoin’

The fact that Bitcoin is inflation-resistant makes it particularly attractive in this environment.
Consequently, many see Bitcoin as a potential alternative. They are advocating, even to the government, greater integration of the cryptocurrency into Argentina’s economy.

Bitcoin has already become integrated into many business activities. For instance, in 37 cities, public transportation users are indirectly using Bitcoin to pay for their rides, while Bitcoin ATMs are becoming more conspicuous in Buenos Aires.

Most relevant, President Mauricio Macri’s administration has already shown interest in Bitcoin and, its underlying technology, blockchain. For example, in March 2019, the government announced a partnership with Binance Labs, the blockchain technology incubator of Bitcoin exchange giant Binance. At the announcement, the government promised to match 1:1 Binance investment.

Moreover, in March 2019, serial investor and Bitcoin proponent Tim Draper recommended that President Macri attract foreign investors by dramatically transforming the country’s economy and replace the Argentinean peso with Bitcoin.

Draper even made a bet with Argentina’s president on the price of Bitcoin,

[I]f the peso is valued more than Bitcoin, I double the investment I am making in the country; and if Bitcoin acquires more value than the peso… that would be a perfect solution because there is no confidence in the currency.

How do you think the integration of Bitcoin into Argentina’s economy could help to minimize inflation? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via LocalBitcoins/coin.dance, Shutterstock

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Dub 16

Bitcoin Consolidating Above $5K a ‘Positive Sign,’ Says Crypto Hedge Fund

It’s safe to say that Bitcoin has had a good Q1 2019, gaining upwards of 30 percent of its value since January 1st. Now, a new report has it that if the price consolidates above $5,000, this could lead to further increases throughout the year. 


Bitcoin Price $5K Consolidation a ‘Positive Sign’

According to a new report by BitBullCapital, a cryptocurrency hedge funds manager,”the fact that Bitcoin has managed to retain gains from early April is a very positive sign.

Moreover, CEO Joe DiPasquale outlines that the bitcoin price 00 is seeing consolidation above $5,000. If this continues for another week or two, it could lead up to a shot at the $5,500 level.

Going further, the report reiterates that the latest BTC/USD rally was caused by a large order, which was executed simultaneously on multiple exchanges and was likely an algorithmic one.

Notedly, such a move should have been viewed with a certain skepticism as it’s not organic or steady in its nature. However, it brought back substantial market momentum, which is considered to be a positive sign.

It’s worth noting, though, that Bitcoinist reported that another reason for the latest rally might be hidden in the increased activity across the board, as data shows that the number of active wallets has risen by as much as 40-60 percent.

This, with a significant uptick in institutional interest, are also likely the reasons why Bitcoin managed to sustain the recent gains.

But 2017-Type Run ‘Not in the Near Future’

On the other hand, the cryptocurrency hedge fund also believes that a run similar to that back in 2017 is unlikely to be seen “in the near future.”

It notes that for this to happen, there needs to be a major catalyst such as “global governmental approval and integration with mainstream services and portals.”

…[W]e do not believe a run similar to the 2017 drive can be seen again, at least not in the near future and particularly not in the absence of major catalysts such as global governmental approval and integration with mainstream services and portals… [W]e do expect steady growth in the years the come, building the foundation for a surge when the timing is right.

DiPasquale also says that there is a real risk for the cryptocurrency failing to maintain its current range and to retest the $5,000 level in the coming weekend if the trading volume starts to drop. Reads the report:

If $5,000 breaks, we are likely to see support around $4,700 – $4,800 and reconsider market sentiment and fundamentals.

However, Bitcoinist reported that the Mayer Multiple by Trace Mayer, a key indicator which called 2015’s bottom, is flashing again, suggesting that the price may have already bottomed.

Other Cryptocurrencies Would Benefit

On another note, it also outlines that an increase in Bitcoin’s price could also cause other cryptocurrencies, especially those closely related to it, to surge as well.

This already happened with Litecoin, which gained upwards of 55 percent following Bitcoin’s rally.

The cryptocurrency has since lost some of its gains but is still substantially higher than prices from last month.

BitBull Capital manages cryptocurrency hedge funds, and is the “the first cryptocurrency fund of funds,” BitBull Fund manages a strategically selected bundle of 10 of the more than 600 crypto hedge funds for its investors, including gaining access to exclusive, closed funds and $M-minimum funds.

What do you think of the recent report? Do you think we’ve entered a new bull run or are the bears still in charge? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, TradingView

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Dub 15

Mexico Sets New Bitcoin Volume Record After Trump’s Remittance Threat

Bitcoin price remaining above $5000 resulted in new trading highs for several countries worldwide last week, the latest data shows.


Mexico, Venezuela Post Record Localbitcoins Volumes

According to monitoring resource Coin Dance, which tracks trading volumes on peer-to-peer exchange platforms Localbitcoins, Paxful and Bisq, certain markets continued to see spikes in Bitcoin activity.

As Bitcoinist reported, the moves form part of a trend which accelerated in many places in line with Bitcoin price climbing steeply earlier this month.

As with the previous week, it was Venezuela, Peru, Mexico, Kazakhstan and others leading the way over the past seven days, Localbitcoins data confirms.

The period to April 13 was especially successful for Mexico, which set a new all-time trading record of 10.67 million pesos ($568,000) on Localbitcoins.

The peak contrasts sharply with the previous week, in which 8.6 million changed hands, and just clipped the previous record of 10.62 million set in March 2018.

Topping the list of motivations for the behavior remains US foreign policy, president Donald Trump threatening to target traditional fiat-based remittance channels. This, Bitcoinist explained, opens up the door to Bitcoin as an alternative.

A glance at other jurisdictions tracked by CoinDance tells a similar story, while Venezuela joined Mexico in beating all its previous weekly records.

In terms of the country’s highly-volatile fiat currency, the Sovereign Bolivar (VES), last week saw the equivalent of 30 billion units trade across Localbitcoins, beating the previous all-time high of 26.4 billion set the week before.

Kazakhstan, Tanzania Get Taste For Bitcoin

Beyond South America, as before, Kazakhstan continued its trading boom, also setting higher volumes last week than ever before – 55 million tenge ($145,000).

The uptick accompanies political upheaval in the Central Asian country, after veteran president Nursultan Nazarbayev unexpectedly quit his office last month.

In a fresh wave of interest, Tanzania also produced recent highs, with 165 million shillings ($71,000) across Localbitcoins. The country’s all-time high of 294 million from April last year, however, remains intact.

As Bitcoinist noted, the Bitcoin price surge also led to the reemergence of other Bitcoin financial phenomena. Focused on Asia, both Chinese and South Korean buyers began paying fiat premiums for cryptocurrency this month.

In China, over-the-counter purchasers of stablecoin Tether (USDT), from which they can diversify into other assets, faced higher CNY prices than their USD counterparts.

South Korean exchanges meanwhile saw the return of the so-called ‘Kimchi Premium,’ a mark-up for Bitcoin and other assets in won terms which last week averaged around 1.5 percent.

According to data from CoinMarketCap, overall 24-hour trading volumes for Bitcoin on regular exchanges totalled approximately $10.9 billion Monday. Adding altcoins, the figures reaches just over $38 billion.

What do you think about last week’s Localbitcoins volumes? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Shutterstock, Coin.dance

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Dub 14

It’s ‘Irresponsible’ For Investors Not To Have Any Bitcoin Exposure – Says Xapo CEO

Xapo CEO, Wences Casares, believes that it would be “irresponsible” for any investor not to have at least a one percent position in bitcoin as it could have a bigger impact on the world than the internet. 


Minimal Bitcoin Exposure, Maximum Gains

In an essay published by Kana and Katana back in March 2019, the Xapo chief laid down an argument for Bitcoin to take up one percent of every investment portfolio. According to Casares, a $10 million with a one percent allocation to BTC could yield close to $25 million within seven to ten years.

Casares based his analysis on his forecast that BTC could top $1 million within the stated timeframe. Conversely, if Bitcoin fails, the portfolio would only have lost the original one percent – $100,000.

Wences Casares

According to Casares:

Bitcoin offers a unique opportunity for a non-material exposure to produce a material outcome. It would be irresponsible to have an exposure to Bitcoin that one cannot afford to lose because the risk of losing the principal is very real. But it would be almost as irresponsible to not have any exposure at all.

Investment legend, Biller Miller is a popular example of Casares’ logic. In July 2017, Miller took up a one percent position on BTC. By mid-December 2017, BTC accounted for 50 percent of Miller’s total asset under management, simply because BTC/USD gained almost 700 percent in value during that period.

The 2018 bear market probably, reduced Bitcoin’s proportion with respect to the rest of Miller’s portfolio. However, with BTC price still double what it was in July 2017, Miller’s bitcoin bag is still in the green.

Bitcoin Resembles the Early Internet

For Casares, whose company stores over $10 billion in BTC for clients in Swiss ‘bunkers,’ the signs pointing towards Bitcoin’s long-term success continue to become evident as time passes. For one, the Xapo chief says Bitcoin resembles the early internet in many ways.

Casares highlighted how since the establishment of the Internet, the world has seen little of protocol developments and with more emphasis on creating companies. Bitcoin, according to the Xapo CEO represents a new paradigm-altering protocol that could have even greater ramifications than the Internet.

Coming from a purely technical standpoint, Casares does agree that there exists the possibility that Bitcoin might not necessarily fail, but become obsolete. He says companies could create solutions on a protocol level that appeal more to users than Bitcoin’s current state.

Casares has previously made expressed similar sentiments, describing Bitcoin as an intellectual experiment that could still fail.

However, Bitcoin’s leaderless open-source and borderless approach to both its tech and economics are diminishing this possibility alongside its ever-growing network effect and first-mover advantage.

Meanwhile, there is a growing unease with the policies of governments and central banks that are making BTC become an even more attractive proposition to investors as a hedge.

Forget Altcoins, BTC is the Real Deal

Casares also adds that the other over 2,000 altcoins don’t stand a chance. The Xapo CEO says Bitcoin as a protocol is already on its way to succeeding in ways altcoins can’t.

5 Altcoins with Major Events the week of April 1, 2018 (Gains Likely to Beat BTC Returns!)

Elaborating on the gulf in utility and adoption, Casares noted:

Over 60 million people own Bitcoin and over 1 million people become new owners every month. The other 1,000 cryptocurrencies [that process at least one transaction per day] have less than 5 million owners combined, so Bitcoin will add more users in the next 5 months than those 1,000 cryptocurrencies added in their combined history.

Back in August 2018, Casares declared that altcoins will eventually face a “mass extinction event.” Commentators like Matt Hougan of Bitwise and Barry Silbert of Digital Currency group also believe that most altcoins will not survive the crypto version of the dot-com bubble bursting. After which, most altcoins will go to zero.

Bitcoin’s superiority becomes even more apparent given that its value transfer dwarfs all cryptocurrencies despite having fewer BTC transactions per day than some altcoins.

Should investment portfolios consider taking up a one percent position on Bitcoin? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.


Image via Twitter (@wences), realidadeconomica.com.ar

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Dub 13

Uber IPO: Cryptocurrency Will Be a ‘Huge Beneficiary’

Uber Technologies Inc. expects a valuation of about USD 100 billion when listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Large IPOs such as Uber’s and others could bring spectacular benefits to the crypto industry. At the same time, business solutions allowing Uber users to pay with Bitcoin are now moving to center stage.


Uber IPO: Bigger Than Bitcoin’s Market Cap

On April 11, 2019, Uber filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to offer shares of its common stock. In its recently released prospectus, Uber does not mention the magnitude of the IPO, which could be one of the biggest ever.

However, according to The Financial Times,

The company is aiming to raise $10bn from its IPO and recently told some of its investors that it could be valued at $90bn to $100bn, according to people familiar with the matter. The company was last valued at $76bn in a private fundraising in August.

Thus, the estimated valuation would surpass today’s Bitcoin market capitalization of about $89 billion.

The transportation company bases its projections on its leading technology, expertise, and massive network, which comprises millions of drivers, users, shippers, and other participants around the globe.

Moreover, Uber details in its prospectus financial data as follows:

  • Revenue derived from our Ridesharing products grew from $3.5 billion in 2016 to $9.2 billion in 2018.
  • Gross Bookings derived from our Ridesharing products grew from $18.8 billion in 2016 to $41.5 billion in 2018.
  • Consumers traveled approximately 26 billion miles on our platform in 2018.

Uber has become omnipresent. Its global ridesharing footprint covers 63 countries, encompassing a population of over 4 billion people, as shown in the graph below:

Digital Currency Group CEO, Barry Silbert adds that billions of dollars in private company stock will be unleashed from IPOs this year.

“The crypto asset class is going to be a huge beneficiary,” he says

You Can Already Use Bitcoin

Uber’s direct acceptance of payments in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may still be a long way off, however.

In the meantime though, some Uber drivers around the world are unofficially accepting BTC instead of their local fiat currency.

Some users in Argentina, for example, have expressed interest in paying for Uber with bitcoin while some drivers wouldn’t mind receiving some bits instead of the depreciating peso.

For instance, an Uber driver, under the Reddit username bjandrus, wrote that he was already accepting bitcoin off the books for rides. However, he complains, the process is problematic because the Uber app does not support BTC payments.

It remains to be seen which ride-sharing company will officially begin accepting bitcoin first.

However, paying for Uber in bitcoin indirectly is already possible. For example, there’s the gift card option from Bitrefill and others, including the Coinbase e-gift card supported in select EU countries and Australia.

There are also third-party services as well as cryptocurrency debit cards that allow you to pay for anything, including Uber, Lyft etc. using bitcoin.

https://twitter.com/VenditExchange/status/1088929593577357313

How do you think IPOs such the one expected from Uber could benefit the crypto industry? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images via Uber Technologies Inc., Shutterstock

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Dub 12

These 4 Cryptocurrencies Saw The Most ‘Adoption’ in 2018

Weiss Crypto Ratings says despite the 2018 bear market, there was a considerable uptick in the usage of altcoins. The rating agency says this trend points to the increasing level of cryptocurrency adoption for many users across the globe.


Cryptocurrency Sees Transactions Soar in 2018

According to a blog post published by the agency on Wednesday (April 10, 2019), four altcoin projects saw massive growth in user adoption throughout 2018. Meanwhile, at the time, market prices were plummeting by an average of 80 percent across the board.

EOS transaction volume grew from 7,000 per day to about 4.6 million per day between February 2018 and March 2019. Tron, also saw its own count increase from 3,000 to 1.9 million during the same period.

The other two cryptocurrency projects identified by Weiss Ratings – BitShares and WAX, saw their numbers grow to 1.1 million and 4.4 million transactions per day, respectively.

In total, these four altcoin projects experienced a 2,700 percent increase in daily transaction count, growing from 433,000 transactions in February 2018 to more than 12.4 million as at March 2019.

According to Weiss Ratings, this increased adoption in the face of bear market conditions parallels the trend observed during the dot-com era. The agency expects that developments in the technology will lead to a greater cryptocurrency adoption in the near future.

Not All Transactions Are Equal

However, it is important to note that high transaction count doesn’t necessarily equate to meaningful value transfer. Moreover, transacting on the aforementioned top-four blockchains, in particular, costs very little. Therefore, it may be a poor metric to gauge mass adoption as most of this activity may not actually be economic in nature and/or performed by real users.

EOS’s daily transaction count, for example, outstrips Bitcoin by as much as 14 times. However, Bitcoin value transferred dwarfs every other existing blockchain.

Earlier this week, cryptocurrency analyst Ceteris Paribus highlighted that while Bitcoin processes 20 times more USD transactions that EOS despite having only about seven percent of the latter’s transaction count. Additionally, Bitcoin’s metrics do not include second-layer transactions via the Lightning Network.

Weiss Ratings does acknowledge this fact, saying:

Of course, not all transactions are qualitatively the same. A $10 million Bitcoin transfer is obviously more important than a simple vote or ‘like’ on Steem.

According to Weiss Ratings, other essential metrics like security, network capacity, and developer activity have also increased over the last 12 months. Coupled with the lower prices, the agency believes that altcoins are on their way to gaining greater traction in the finance and technology industries.

As reported by Bitcoinist, an online Twitter poll by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revealed that many people Bitcoin and other cryptos will become mainstream within the next five years.

What are your earliest forecast for Bitcoin and other cryptos becoming mainstream? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.


Images via Weiss Crypto Ratings and Twitter (@ceterispar1bus)

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Dub 11

IMF Poll: Cryptocurrency Payments Will Be Mainstream By 2024

An ongoing poll by the IMF shows that more people believe that cryptocurrency will be the most popular payment means for lunch by 2024.


More People Prefer Crypto

As at press time, more than half of the respondents say they would use cryptocurrency to pay for lunch in five-years’ time. Of the almost 26,000 votes cast, 56 percent chose cryptocurrency, while another 29 percent selected mobile phone payment.

With the continued integration of cryptocurrency payments onto mobile platforms, perhaps some of those 29 percent could pivot to the crypto side. Meanwhile, cash and bank card payments so far have a combined total of 15 percent on the poll.

However, ongoing developments in the virtual currency payment arena mean that the options provided by the IMF aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

Case in point, Coinbase on Wednesday (April 10, 2019) announced the launch of their cryptocurrency Visa card. The card allows UK customers to spend Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies instantly at every Visa-accepting merchant, i.e. everywhere.

A portion of the company’s blog post announcing the launch reads:

Coinbase Card supports all crypto assets available to buy and sell on the Coinbase platform, meaning they can pay for a meal with bitcoin, or use ethereum to fund their train ticket home.

Bitcoin Accepting Merchants Increasing Globally

Cryptocurrency in many ways is an extension of the cashless trend that continues to take root across the world as consumers aim for greater retail payment convenience.

As previously reported by Bitcoinist, a Kaspersky Labs research showed that 13 percent of people across 22 countries have used Bitcoin (BTC) to make purchases.

There are already restaurants in different parts of the world that accept cryptocurrency as payment for meals. More than 1,500 restaurants in Denmark alone accept Bitcoin. There are also establishments in New Jersey and Nyeri, just outside of Nairobi, Kenya that take crypto as payment for meals.

According to Coinmap, there are more than 14,600 establishments that accept Bitcoin across the world. This figure takes into account cafes and restaurants.

Issues with Cryptocurrency Micropayments

According to a recently published research by DataLight, Bitcoin is already the preferred choice for large value cross-border transfer due to the fee structure. However, the report goes further to predict that Bitcoin will surpass Visa and Mastercard for micropayments within the next decade.

There are a few issues that could potentially emerge in the wake of such a trend. The first is the tax implications attached to making retail payments via Bitcoin given the spotty cryptocurrency taxation in many jurisdictions.

The revelation that the Bakkt lunch could see the arrival of “Bitcoin for Starbucks coffee” did bring up this particular consideration. If laws aren’t created write-off cryptocurrency microtransactions, then tax filing might become onerous for those who pay for lunch with BTC.

Another issue is the incentive for people to spend what is essentially a valuable investment for lunch and other micropayments. In Arnhem, for example, the place dubbed “world’s most Bitcoin-friendly city” has seen a gradual drop in the use of BTC for payments.

Will everyone be paying for lunch with cryptocurrency in 5 years? Share your thoughts below!


Images via Twitter (@IMFNews) and Coinmap.org, Shutterstock

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Dub 10

Full Blocks ‘Only Way’ For Bitcoin to Stay Trustless, Say Seoul Meetup Founder

Bitcoin blocks will ultimately fill up and fees will increase accordingly, another community figure has warned as a spike in volume continues.


Somsen: Make ‘Smarter Use’ Of Block Space

In a series of tweets April 10, Ruben Somsen, podcast host and long-time convenor of the Seoul Bitcoin Meetup, argued that despite fees increasing, they are part of Bitcoin’s overall transformation into a global payment system.

The impact, he argued, does not have to be a negative one.

“Blocks WILL be full sooner or later. We’re not making smart use of block space, so we’re likely to experience a bumpy fee ride until people adjust their behavior,” he wrote.

…It costs miners virtually nothing to add a transaction. Block space is given to the highest bidder – if nobody bids, it’s practically free. If you think mass replicated immutable blockchain data is at least worth something, then it logically follows that blocks WILL be full.

Bitcoin Transaction Fees Surpass $1 For First Time Ever

The topic of Bitcoin transaction fees has returned to the spotlight over the past week after Bitcoin price shot up to $5300 in a matter of days.

A surge in network activity followed, with fees rising as blocks suddenly became fuller. As Bitcoinist reported, the change led to criticism of certain players, such as wallets which are not helping decrease network load. Somsen agreed.

“Wallets need to get smarter,” he continued.

Fee estimates aim for the next block by default. The result? A bidding war. Better to use Replace-By-Fee (RBF) + under-bidding and automated fee bumps to get a cheaper confirmation within a user-defined time limit. This smooths out the fees.

Off-Chain No Magic Bullet?

He added upcoming technological improvements, in the form of Schnorr signatures, Taproot, MAST, MuSig and SigAgg, would also help keep fees under control, but that the wholesale rollout of these tools was still a long way off.

On the topic of off-chain scaling, something many believe will ultimately avoid the need to pay significant network fees, Somsen also gave cautionary advice.

“…All off-chain solutions, whether it’s third party services or Lightning, do NOT make you immune to on-chain fees,” he countered. “When there are issues, people have to go back on-chain. If you can’t afford to pay the fee, you are stuck and won’t be able to exit from misbehavior.”

He concludes:

There’s simply no other way for Bitcoin to stay trustless. If you personally don’t need trustlessness, you can always transact cheaply off-chain via third parties. But if we sacrifice trustlessness on the base layer, it’ll be gone forever.

Lightning itself remains a technology in its infancy, despite mounting publicity from well-known figures from both within and beyond cryptocurrency.

Considered an experiment on a technical level, Lightning currently contains capacity for just under 1100 BTC ($5.79 million) in transactions, a figure which has nonetheless shot up 40 percent over the past month alone.

What do you think about Ruben Somsen’s prognosis? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of

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Dub 09

More Than Half of All Companies Will Use Blockchain Tech in 3 Years, Says Oracle VP

The blockchain has become something of a buzzword over the past year or so, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a viable solution for many businesses. In fact, one expert believes the made-famous-by-Bitcoin technology will be used by upwards of 60 percent of companies. 


This projection comes from Oracle’s group vice president of blockchain product development, Frank Xiong, who told Forbes CIO Summit that he predicts “between 50% and 60% of companies will use blockchain in the next few years.”

Xiong knows what he’s talking about, too, since Oracle has more than 100 customers using its blockchain platform for the purpose of tracking items.

That said, the company vice president is also realistic in his assessment of the technology when he notes that it really isn’t the be-all-end-all solution for business. “We’re past the stage that blockchain can cure everything,” he told the American business magazine, “so people are becoming more realistic about what’s good for their business model.”

blockchain

Blockchain: Not For Everyone

Samsung SDS vice president in blockchain, Ted Kim, agrees that the nascent-but-growing technology isn’t for everyone. He told Forbes:

At the end of the day blockchain makes multipart collaboration more efficient, whether it’s having a consortium to track data on counterfeit getting into supply chains, or how much inventory you need to create a better forecast. There is tangible ROI in the blockchain.

Kim’s bullishness on the future of blockchain is more reigned in than Xiong’s. The former expects 20 percent of companies to use blockchain technology in three years.

amazon

Keeping The Status Quo

Of course, the possibility exists that decentralized blockchain technology will essentially just get co-opted by centralized companies, and the promise of freedom will be forgotten. Noted Bext360 CEO Daniel Jones:

People are predicting that the blockchain will allow people to be decentralized, that everyone will have distributed trusted networks. I don’t think that’s possible—I think what we’re going to see is companies vertically integrating, the Amazons of the world are going to continue to vertically integrate to the farm level.

Hence, Bitcoin.

What do you think about the future of blockchain technology in the business world? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Dub 08

Bitcoin Goes Mainstream As Miss Universe Receives Lightning Torch

Bitcoin adoption took a step in a new direction this weekend after a former Miss Universe contestant joined the Lightning Torch transaction relay.


Rosa-Maria Ryyti HODLs Lightning Torch

In what appears to be an unexpected choice, Jeremias Kangas, founder of P2P trading platform Localbitcoins, opted to pass the Torch outside the cryptocurrency community – to Miss Universe Finland 2015, Rosa-Maria Ryyti.

Lightning Torch began in January this year as a stress test for Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, a solution which will allow Bitcoin to scale up to meet the needs of mass adoption.

While Lightning itself has only existed on the Bitcoin mainnet for around 15 months, the Torch has demonstrated the network’s resilience, with various high-profile figures becoming involved.

The relay works by nodes on the network accepting, adding the Torch transaction and adding a nominal amount of bitcoin, currently 10,000 satoshis, before passing it forward.

So far, the Torch has had around 275 owners, with Ryyti opting to hand it to Colombian Bitcoin guru BTC Andres. In total, there will only be enough ownership spots for the sum of the transaction to reach 5 million satoshis.

“I was honored to receive the torch from pioneer Jeremias Kangas and now there are only 8 places left,” she told her 35,000 Instagram followers.

The funds raised will be donated to Bitcoin Venezuela.

Ryyti also set up an account on Tippin.me, the Lightning-enabled tips service used in Lightning Torch.

Bigger And Bigger

Ryyti’s advocacy of Bitcoin predictably struck a chord with the cryptocurrency community. On social media, the model gained considerable acclaim, despite a conspicuous lack of feedback from non-crypto followers from Instagram.

The event is not the first time the Torch has ventured outside of crypto, with perhaps its other outing also becoming its best-known when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey took over in February.

Jack Dorsey Joe Rogan Podcast JRE

As Bitcoinist reported, his custody was more than a token gesture, Dorsey subsequently pledging to integrate Lightning in both Twitter and his payments startup Square. The latter is currently hiring developers for its dedicated venture, dubbed Square Crypto.

BTC Andres meanwhile held the Torch for only a short time before passing it elsewhere among the South American Bitcoin community.

Currently, the invoice lies with DJ Booth, creator of Lightning-enabled Bitcoin crowdfunding platform Tallycoin, where Torch creator Hodlonaut is currently raising funds for the plight of Venezuelans.

According to monitoring resource 1ML.com, Bitcoin mainnet Lightning currently has 7876 nodes, over 39,000 channels and a total capacity of 1080 BTC. The figures represent monthly growth of 9.8 percent, 14.7 percent, and 40 percent, respectively.

Last week, a dedicated exchange appeared in the form of Bolt, which aims to allow Lightning-based trades between Litecoin and Bitcoin using a technology known as cross-chain atomic swaps

What do you think about Miss Universe Finland 2015 participating in the Lightning Torch? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoinist archives, Instagram

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