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Category Archives: Cryptocurrency

Russian Deputy PM Says He Supports a State-Backed Cryptocurrency – CoinDesk

Posted: August 25, 2017 at 3:45 am

A senior Russian official has thrown his support behind a state-backed cryptocurrency.

In an interview with Russian broadcaster RBC, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said that he is in favor of a “crypto-ruble” provided that certain measures are put in place on the security front.

“This theme will develop,” he said in translated statements. “But it should develop in such a way that the national economy cannot be put under attack, but rather make it stronger.”

Shuvalov isn’t the first Russian official to opine on the subject of a blockchain-based ruble. Indeed, the deputy chief of the Bank of Russia remarked in February that the implementation of a national cryptocurrency was “only a question of time.” Skorobogatova stated that, after extendeddiscussions withinthe centralbank they were finally ready to move forward with initiative.

The Russian government is exploring blockchain on multiple fronts, including work by health officials to test possible methods that utilizethe tech for exchanging patient information. And earlier this summer, President Vladimir Putin briefly met with ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin.

During the RBC interview, Shuvalov confirmed that the government is considering investing in cryptocurrency mining resources, a disclosure that comes after word emerged that an advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin is putting together a bitcoin mine of his own.

The idea that Russia would potentially fund construction of cryptocurrency mining facilities is in itself notable, given that at one point, lawmakers in the countryonce debated harsh measures including prison terms to deter the creation and spread of so-called “money surrogates”.

Still, movement on this front is in the earliest stages, accordingto Shuvalov.

“But while this is a discussion, there are no concrete projects yet. In order to develop such centers, it is necessary to prepare appropriate legislation and its regulation,” he told the broadcaster.

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A Mysterious New Cryptocurrency Is Surging After Being …

Posted: at 3:45 am

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin speaks at TechCrunch in December of 2015.

By John Phillips/Getty Images.

After catching the eye of both the Singapore government and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ethereumthe second-biggest cryptocurrency in the world, after Bitcoincontinues to skyrocket. On Monday morning, the cryptocurrency was trading at a record-high level of $407.10, more than a 5,000 percent rise since the beginning of 2017, when it was trading at $7.98.

Ethereums founder, Vitalik Buterin, recently met with Putin during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, a signal that the country may be interested in using digital currency to move its economy beyond gas and oil. The digital economy isnt a separate industry, its essentially the foundation for creating brand-new business models, Putin said at the forum. (Russian entities, like the state development bank VEB, have agreed to use Ethereum to help implement blockchain technology in the country). As investors look for a place to put their assets amid mounting geopolitical instability, some are turning to cryptocurrency. Singapores government has released a report saying it has carried out a test using ethereum blockchain technology to create a national digital currency. Regulators in Japan are issuing new rules that make cryptocurrencies like Ethereum a valid form of payment. And companies such as Toyota and Microsoft, which are members of an organization called the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, are throwing their weight behind the cryptocurrency, too.

Ethereum, which has a total valuation of $36 billion, trails only Bitcoin (valued at $49 billion) in terms of market capitalization. Bitcoin has been rallying all year, reaching a high of above $3,000 for the first time on Sunday as a growing number of people turn to virtual currencies as a safer, faster way to exchange money. But Ethereums rally may still have a ways to go: Pavel Matveev, the co-founder of banking start-up Wirex, tells CNBC that Ethereums price could reach $600 by the end of the year.

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Bernanke to Give Keynote Speech at October Cryptocurrency Event – Bloomberg

Posted: at 3:45 am

Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, will be the keynote speaker at a blockchain and banking conference in October hosted by Ripple, the startup behind the fourth largest digital currency.

The three-day event, called Swell, starts Oct. 16 in Toronto, Ripple said in a statement on its website. Bernanke, who has criticized cryptocurrencies in the past, will be interviewed by Gene Sperling, the former national economic adviser under Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Bernanke wrote that virtual currencies could have long-term promise in a 2013 letter to Congress. However, in a 2015 interview with Quartz, he said bitcoin has some serious problems, including its anonymity and lack of stability. Bernanke was not immediately available to comment.

Since the former Fed chairmans remarks, the largest cryptocurrency has skyrocketed in value, fueling excitement among enthusiasts but skepticism among critics worried that the digital coin is in a bubble.

Related: Ripple Is Seeing More Volume in Fiat Currencies, Less in Bitcoin

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How to Learn About Cryptocurrency In The Bitcoin Era – Daily Beast

Posted: at 3:45 am

Today the world of cryptocurrency digital cash that primarily takes on the form of data, usually used for online transactions for goods and services is in the news, specifically because of the prominence of Bitcoin. Demand is high and the valuation for Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency is skyrocketing. The Beginner’s Guide to Cryptocurrency Investing provides the basics on how to research cryptocurrencies, to estimate the true value of the market and to invest wisely. And in little time you may be able to start earning a digital fortune. Cryptocurrencies are so appealing to users because they are decentralized and available to anyone. Plus they use advanced encryption techniques to help ensure security and the anonymity of users. Best of all, today you can get the Beginner’s Guide to Cryptocurrency Investing for $15.

Please note that if you buy something featured in one of our posts we may collect a share of sales.

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Aimwise to Create Standards for Cryptocurrency Crowdsales – newsBTC

Posted: at 3:45 am

AImwise announces upcoming crowdsale as the platform works towards creating standards for ICO in the industry.

The startup ecosystem, especially those related to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology have found ICOs and token sales to be the easiest and the most efficient form of fundraising methods. In the past few months alone, the world has witnessed some of the highest grossing ICOs which raised over a hundred million dollars equivalent in cryptocurrency.

The ease of setting up an ICO and the lack of minimum requirements or regulations make it easier to misuse the process to raise funds for fraudulent projects. With no effective due diligence method in place, those investing in the ICOs take a huge risk. Besides, projects opting for a crowdsale usually rely on ICO hosting platforms, many of which are not completely decentralized and hence not entirely trustless.

Aimwise, a blockchain project has taken into account all the issues surrounding the ICOs and the cryptocurrency ecosystem to come up with a solution. The Aimwise platform, which by itself is based on blockchain protocol aims to create a fair and transparent system that benefits everyone involved in crypto-projects, irrespective of whether they are the creators or funders.

The Aimwise ecosystem is comprised of three different parts an ICO hosting platform, crowdsourced idea incubator and portfolio management tool. It is an initiative of a group of enthusiasts from various industry segments including fintech, banking, corporate law, finance, and blockchain industry.

The Aimwise project is attempting to set high disclosure standards for projects that are opting for an ICO so that there is enough, verified information available for investors to make an informed decision. The decision to whether support the project on Aimwise ICO hosting platform will be taken by third party rating agency and the cryptocurrency community themselves.

Similarly, the platform also aims to help the community members, entrepreneurs and teams to pitch their idea to each other and a wider cryptocurrency community (including experts in various fields) and conduct necessary background research to come up with innovative, validated cryptocurrency projects that can solve real problems. The Aimwise crowdsourced idea incubation program will accelerate the rate of innovation in the industry.

Aimwise will also introduce a portfolio management tool, which will come in handy for investors, as they manage funds and investments by taking well-informed decisions. These decisions are enabled by sophisticated big data algorithms that analyze various data points form the entire Aimwise ecosystem and beyond to suggest profitable investments.

Altogether, Aimwise is attempting to standardize the project fundraising and token sale process in the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem. In order to come up with a complete product, the Aimwise team will soon launch its own ICO. The platform will implement most of the best practices during the crowdsale and utilize the funds raised for further development, marketing, and operations involved in making it successful.

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Estonia wants to launch its own government-backed cryptocurrency called ‘estcoin’ – CNBC

Posted: at 3:45 am

Estonia wants to issue its own virtual currency with the help of Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin.

The cryptocurrency, called “estcoin,” could be launched via the digital coin community’s version of crowdfunding an initial coin offering (ICO).

ICOs enable start-ups to raise funds by selling off cryptocoins, such as bitcoin and ether, in return for cash. They are similar to initial public offerings (IPOs), but differ in that they deal with supporters of a project, making the investment more personal.

The small eastern European country is no stranger to digital innovation. It was the first country to offer citizens of the world “e-residency,” a digital ID for non-Estonians that offers access to services like banking, payment processing and taxation.

Kaspar Korjus, managing director at e-Residency, Enterprise Estonia, said that the initiative was about creating a “borderless digital nation”.

“A government-supported ICO would give more people a bigger stake in the future of our country and provide not just investment, but also more expertise and ideas to help us grow exponentially,” Korjus said in a blog post on Monday.

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$150 Billion: Total Cryptocurrency Market Cap Hits New All-Time High – CoinDesk

Posted: at 3:45 am

Via CoinMarketCap

The combined value of all publicly traded cryptocurrencies has set a new record, surpassing $150 billion for the first time today.

At press time, the value of ether, bitcoin and more than 800 other blockchain-based assets had reached a high of around $154 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Overall, the figure indicates that the cryptocurrency market continues to grow at a steady pace. At $154 billion, the market is up 13 percent over the last seven days, 67 percentover the last month and an astounding 1,240 percent year-over-year.

What might be most notable, however, is that the new high came during a trading session in which there were no individual all-time highs for major cryptocurrencies.

At $4,275 and $324, bitcoin and ether were edging up at press time,though still short of their highs above $4,500 and $400, respectively. Further, the new combined recordcame in spite of the fact there were no big gains in litecoin, monero or dash, some of the more popular alternative cryptocurrencies among traders.

The lone breakout, in fact, was Ripple’s XRP token a cryptographic asset issued by a San Francisco startup seeking to build enterprise blockchain solutions. On the day’s trading, XRP was up more than 50% to $0.28, a movement that built on impressive gains yesterday as well.

Disclosure:CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Ripple.

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South Africa’s Central Bank: It’s ‘Too Risky’ to Launch a Cryptocurrency – CoinDesk

Posted: at 3:45 am

A senior official forSouth Africa’s central bank has saidit’s “too risky” for the institution to launch its own cryptocurrency.

Speaking during theStrate GIBS FinTech Innovation Conference 2017 on Monday, the deputy governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Francois Groepe, commented on developments in the fintech space, taking a particular focuson blockchain and distributed ledgers.

According to regional news sourceITWeb, Groepe suggested that the central bank has an open mind on the question of issuing its own digital currency. That said, he struck a cautious note about the short-term prospects of doing so.

“Virtual currencies have the potential of becoming widely adopted,” he told attendees, going on to say:

“However, for the central bank to issue virtual currencies or cryptocurrencies in an open system will be too risky for us. This is something we really need to think about.”

Groepe’s comments come almost a year to the day after the South African Reserve Bank indicated that it would adopt an open perspective on the tech even leaving the door open to applications of its own.

“We are willing to consider the merits and risks of blockchain technology and other distributed ledgers,” the bank’s governor, Lesetja Kganyago, said at the time.

Other major financial players in the country, including its central securities depository, have also moved to investigate possible uses of blockchain.

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Bitcoin Skeptic Mark Cuban to Invest in Cryptocurrency …

Posted: August 22, 2017 at 11:35 pm

Mark Cuban wants in on the cryptocurrency boom even if it turns out hes right that bitcoin is in a bubble.

Cuban is investing in 1confirmation, a fund that plans to raise $20 million to invest in blockchain-based companies, the tech billionaire said in an interview. Venture capital firm Runa Capital is among other investors, and its technical advisors include Andreessen Horowitz board partner Balaji S. Srinivasan and programming language JavaScript founder Brendan Eich.

I have always looked at blockchain as a foundation platform from which great applications can be built, Cuban said in an Aug. 19 email response to questions. Hopefully we can find a few.

Runa Capital principal Nick Tomaino was an early employee at digital currency exchange Coinbase Inc. and runs the cryptocurrency-focused blog The Control. They plan to differentiate 1confirmation from the slew of digital currency hedge funds that have sprung up recently by taking a page from the venture-capital play book.

Rather than investing in digital tokens through initial coin offerings or in the secondary market,1confirmation plans to invest from $100,000 to $500,000 in early stage companies before their ICO, and help those companies develop their product. Once the startup is ready to issue an ICO, the fund hopes to negotiate a discounted price.

Its a more cautious approach to the frenzy that has consumed the space this year, with startups raising hundreds of millions of dollars in days, or even minutes, with little real business applications besides a white paper and a website. Startups had raised $1.8 billion in ICOs as of last week, according to Coindesk.

The fund will focus investments in projects that help developers build decentralized applications, rather than those aimed at end users, on the belief that the sector isnt mature enough for blockchain applications to be adopted on a mass scale.

A number of funds focused on blockchain companies and their tokens have opened in the past year as bitcoins price more than tripled and cryptocurrencies market capitalization surpassed $100 billion. Polychain Capital, founded by another Coinbase alum, Blockchain Capital and Pantera Capital are some examples.

Cuban, who is a majority owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team and star of startup investing theme show Shark Tank, tweeted in June that bitcoin was in a bubble, causing the cryptocurrency to drop in price. Cuban says thats beside the point given the developing underlying technology.

1Confirmation would be Cubans second foray into cryptocurrencies as he also plans to invest in tokens sold by his portfolio company Unikrn. Cuban says he plans to invest on a third crypto-related project in the future, as well as potentially buying crypto currencies, which he doesnt currently own.

Its hard to establish any intrinsic value for bitcoin or any of the the cryptocurrencies. Ifeveryone continues to tell their grandparents, cousins and co-workers to buy,the price can go a lot higher as there is a definable, finite amount, but if the number of buyers dry up or there are a few massive sellers we could see under $1,000 again, Cuban said. None of this has anything to do with the applications that can be built with blockchain. The question is whether great companies can be financed and built and I think the answer is yes.

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Mark Cuban backs new $20 million cryptocurrency venture fund – CNBC

Posted: at 11:35 pm

Onetime bitcoin skeptic Mark Cuban is warming to the digital currency world.

The billionaire is backing a new venture capital fund for cryptocurrency-related investments called 1confirmation. Founded by Nick Tomaino, former business development manager at Coinbase, the fund plans to raise $20 million, according to a Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“It’s an interesting space that I [want] to get involved with and learn more” about, Cuban said in an email to CNBC Tuesday. He did not specify the size of his investment.

Cuban’s opinion on digital currencies has changed fairly recently. In an Aug. 14 tweet, the Dallas Mavericks owner admitted he “might have to finally buy some” bitcoin, contrasting with a June tweet that said he thought bitcoin was in a “bubble.”

“Bias should be up because of finite supply. Until crypto or US politics intrude, and they will,” he added in another tweet on Aug. 14.

In late June, Cuban said he planned to participate in an initial coin offering by Unikrn, an online esports betting site in which he holds a stake.

Earlier that month, Cuban tweeted that he didn’t know when or by how much the price of bitcoin, which has soared in value this year, would correct. He did acknowledge then that the blockchain technology backing bitcoin had value and that it “will be at the core of most transactions in the future. Healthcare, finance etc all will use it.”

IBM announced Tuesday that it will work with major food companies such as Wal-Mart, Unilever, Tyson Foods, Dole and Kroger to “identify new areas where the global supply chain can benefit from blockchain.”

However, bitcoin’s surge and a rush of funds into initial coin offerings have attracted more investment attention.

Bitcoin has quadrupled in value this year and hit a record last Thursday of $4,522.13 with a market capitalization of about $74 billion, according to CoinDesk. Initial coin offerings, which are fundraising events used by cryptocurrency-related start-ups, have raised $1.37 billion so far this year, CoinDesk data showed.

Source: CoinDesk

The launch of the 1confirmation fund comes amid increased fundraising for cryptocurrency-related businesses.

On Aug. 10, digital currency storage and exchange company Coinbase announced it raised $100 million in private equity funding led by Dropbox investor IVP. That marks the largest single traditional funding round for a public blockchain or cryptocurrency start-up, according to CoinDesk.

Other participants in 1confirmation include Brendan Eich, creator of the JavaScript computer programming language; Balaji Srinivasan, board partner at technology venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, and David Vorick, who is building a blockchain-based cloud storage system called Sia. The fund’s founder, Tomaino, is also a principal at venture fund Runa Capital.

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank,” which features Mark Cuban as a panelist.

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