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Jed McCaleb: What Bitcoin secret?

The fact that the crypto market – at least from the perspective of a knight of fortune – has also seen better times is probably not disputed by anyone.

But whether he is really in a Bitcoin secret crisis that goes beyond a „bear market“ is debatable

Bitcoin secret and Stellar co-founder Jed McCaleb finds it silly to talk about Bitcoin secret. McCaleb told Yahoo Finance:

„It’s funny when people say crypto is down. In my opinion [the crypto market] is still very high. It’s down from the top, but by and large it’s still all the way up there. We don’t focus so much on the course, we don’t care.“

McCaleb complains that over 90 percent of the projects are bullshit. Especially Tron is a red cloth for him:

„Ninety percent of these projects are B.S. I’m looking forward to that changing. Things like Tron are just garbage. But people throw in tons of money, these creations that simply don’t work technically.“

UPS: Blockchain won’t tear anything yet in 2019

The blockchain technology has not yet been able to lure the UPS behind the kiln. Chief Engineering Officer Juan Perez also sees 2019 as the year in which UPS will continue to develop:

„I don’t expect any significant benefits in 2019, especially because the technology itself is evolving and maturing…it requires many parties to come to the table to participate and evaluate the technology,

Perez told the Wall Street Journal.

MIT: 2019 will be boring in the best sense:
The MIT Technology Review, however, has a completely different ring to it. After the blockchain hype, the associated bull run on the crypto markets and the dramatic price slump of 2018, 2019 will be the year in which the blockchain begins to become normal:

„In 2018 it was a disappointment. In 2019 it will become everyday“,

author Mike Orcutt is optimistic. This optimism is based on the efforts of numerous major corporations such as Walmart to harness the benefits of blockchain technology. Further indicators for a normalization of Blockchain, Bitcoin & Co. are the planned OTC Trading Desk for Bitcoin from Fidelity. In addition, there are an increasing number of „real“ applications for Smart Contracts. The fact that more and more central banks are exploring the possibilities of blockchain will also play its part in making „blockchain“ lose its exoticism in 2019 – and become „boring“ in the best sense of the word.

Train: Blockchain Paradise in the Swiss Crypto Valley

There are now a number of states, cities and city states that give themselves the predicate „Blockchain-Land“ or „Blockchain-City“. Meanwhile, the Swiss town of Zug has long since become one of the most attractive locations for Fintech companies and is no longer considered a „Crypto Valley“ only by connoisseurs of the scene.

The Canton of Zug in Switzerland also enjoys an impeccable reputation beyond the borders of the Swiss Confederation. Not only is it regarded as the most prosperous canton in the midst of an already above-averagely wealthy country, the city of Zug, with its beautiful old town, is also idyllically situated in the midst of a valley of rivers and lakes and offers a correspondingly high quality of life. German visitors in particular appreciate the train, which is located in German-speaking Switzerland.

Now the canton is getting ready to play in the first league in the news spy

It is estimated that there are already between 50 and 100 blockchain start-ups in the entire canton – in this density this would be unique worldwide in terms of the population of Zug. The reasons for the high attractiveness of Switzerland as a business location can be found relatively quickly in the news spy according to onlinebetrug: a relatively low tax burden for companies compared with Europe, coupled with a regulatory framework that relies more on market forces than on state power and also dispenses with excessive regulation of the blockchain sector. Zug has thus found an approach on which many other countries around the globe are currently still working.

Dolfi Müller, longstanding mayor of Zug – or as the Swiss say: mayor – is not entirely uninvolved in this. The filmmaker Manuel Stagars, who shot the documentary „Fintech Made In Switzerland“ last year, describes Müller in an interview with the Luzerner Zeitung as a pioneer in the blockchain scene. He is characterized by the fact that he is not afraid of the challenges of digitization, but is optimistic and prefers to accept new developments rather than be surprised by them. In this way, the Zug head of government is creating brilliant challenges for the „global village“ of Zug.

Crypto Valley

In particular, young companies and start-ups are to be lured to Zug in order to further expand the superior corporate culture of the location. In the canton, for example, the status of Krypto Valley has been proclaimed, based on the pioneering location for technology start-ups in the USA. Zug is thus targeting the blockchain sector, whose companies are recruited by the Zug canton. For example, well-known and internationally active Blockchain start-ups such as Xapo, ShapeShift, Monetas and Etherisc have their headquarters in Zug, as do the Ethereum Foundation and management, even though founder and CEO Vitalik Buterin recently moved his residence from Zug to Singapore.

A milestone in Zug’s development into a Blockchain location was the acceptance of Bitcoin payments in the city, which was decided in May 2016. This officially enabled Zug’s citizens to pay for public services in Bitcoin – a revolutionary large-scale project. Despite the fact that only a fraction of the citizens accepted this possibility, the Zug government’s initiative sent an important signal to the blockchain and crypto scene: „We are open to the new technology and ready to prepare fertile ground for its further development in our canton.

Nevertheless, the canton is not resting on its laurels, but is constantly striving to promote and underline Zug as a financial centre and its status as an innovative hub for the crypto sector. In order to focus even more on the field of investments in the crypto sector in the future, the Crypto Finance Conference to be held in St. Moritz in January 2018 is therefore primarily aimed at investors who are interested in participating in the further development of the blockchain sector. The aim is already to work on a successful future for the Swiss Crypto Valley.

BaFin orders the hiring of Bitcoin crypto trader providers

On 19 December, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) ordered the immediate discontinuation of the financial transfer business of Swiss Convene GmbH. On it offers financial services for Bitcoin & Co., which were not approved by BaFin.

CfD Premium pretends to offer licensed Bitcoin crypto trader

What is a tongue twister for learners of German is a nightmare for many financial service providers: the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority has now ordered Swiss Convene GmbH to discontinue its crypto trader services with immediate effect. On the website it had offered CfDs for crypto trader currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum or Ripple without the permission of the authority.

On its homepage CFD Premium describes itself as one of the leading brokers:

„CFD Premium is one of the most innovative forex brokers. The platform] offers a broad spectrum of state-of-the-art technical solutions. It offers high-quality trading platforms and high liquidity for both new and experienced traders. Our team of experts can help you invest safely in a secure and regulated environment.“

BaFin orders immediate termination

Well, that’s a lie – a regulated environment is unlikely to be the case with an unlicensed one. This is how BaFin writes:

„Swiss Convene GmbH accepts funds from private individuals on its business accounts and forwards them to various foreign accounts of various companies. The companies are predominantly domiciled abroad. In this way, customers of the unlicensed Internet trading platform, among others, deposit funds so that they can be credited to their trading account held internally on the trading platform.“

Furthermore, the authority refers to a warning issued in August, in which it had already warned against such providers. According to this warning, the BaFin could increasingly observe that unlicensed trading is taking place, especially in the area of contracts for difference and in forex trading. An indication of this is the often hidden imprint, which often refers to offshore mailbox addresses.

Bitcoin news: Will the price rise or fall?

With currently 640 US dollars, the price per bitcoin has risen by approx. 50 % since the beginning of the year. While macroeconomic factors, such as the economic and political uncertainties in China and Europe, have played an important role in the past, it is now mainly the upcoming Bitcoin Halving.

Hardly anyone can predict with certainty how the reduction in mining yields will affect the network. The market experts‘ forecasts cover a wide range.

Some predict that bitcoin halving will lead to rising bitcoin prices, while others expect a negative or no effect at all on the bitcoin price. Various predictions have also been made about the range of fluctuation, i.e. volatility.

Briefly to the background: Bitcoin miners provide computing power to attach the transactions summarized in blocks to the Bitcoin block chain. For each successfully added block, the Miner receives Bitcoins. Currently there are 25 bitcoins per block. However, this number will be halved to 12.5 bitcoins on July 9. Over the years, this yield will continue to halve until the maximum of 21 million bitcoins is reached.

Predictions for Bitcoin news

Joe Lee, founder of the trading platform Magnr, is one of the market experts who predict a rising Bitcoin news price. However, he assumes that the positive Bitcoin news effects will only become apparent in the medium to long term.

Investor and entrepreneur Vinny Lingham also expects prices to rise, which should keep selling pressure among Bitcoin owners to a minimum. Under these conditions the Bitcoin price should increase slowly but steadily, Lingham says.

However, Lee adds that some miners may come under short-term pressure if the price doesn’t rise fast enough. Correspondingly, there is a high probability that short-term volatility will increase due to some speculative traders. According to Lee, these price fluctuations are supposed to be short-lived.

On volatility, Lingham says:

„Bitcoin is fundamentally susceptible to fluctuations. The biggest mistake we can make is to assume that the price will continue to rise regardless of economic, political and technological circumstances.“

Negative price forecasts
Lingham points out that halving may have some technical and economic effects which have not yet been taken into account or priced in by market analysts.

Depending on how successful the Bitcoin Halving is, there is a possibility that the Bitcoin price will go through a 3 to 6 month consolidation phase. This could lead to the establishment of a new price level with high volatility for this period, which would settle in a range of 400 to 500 US dollars.

The CEO of the Bitcoin trading platform Whaleclub, Petar Zivkovski, assumes that in the weeks after the halving the selling pressure will increase in order to realize profits from the high price increases of the last time. Even though Zivkovski does not have any data to support his predictions, he expects Bitcoin to have rock-bottom prices of 200 to 300 US dollars.

This negative outlook is also supported by Rik Willard, founder of Agentic Group LLC. He also expects the Bitcoin price to fall, but this should be short-lived.

Willard compares the Bitcoin Halving with a stock split and the associated devaluation.

„However, I expect the Bitcoin price to reach current highs faster than a stock in an extremely bullish market.

Willard and Zivkovski agree that volatility will be limited. After all, most of the halving is priced in and even the last halving, from 50 bitcoins to 25 bitcoins, did not show any major fluctuations.

Coinbase pushes into the market of regulated security tokens

If 2017 was the year of the ICOs, 2018 will be the year of the Security Token. In contrast to classic utility token sales, these provide more security for investors and are subject, at least in part, to regulatory supervision. The US crypto exchange Coinbase now wants to grow strongly in this market.

Coinbase is one of the largest and best-known platforms for Bitcoin formula

Now the American company wants to incorporate three financial service providers in order to do business in the area of security tokens according to onlinebetrug. Specifically, according to a company spokesman, it is about Keystone Capital, Venovate Marketplace and Digital Wealth. The responsible regulatory authorities now give Coinbase the green light for the takeovers. With the takeover of the companies, Bitcoin formula will also receive licenses as a broker, provider of alternative trading systems (over the counter trading) and investment advisor. In particular, the authorization to operate alternative trading systems makes it easier for Coinbase to set up a trading platform for security tokens.

The San Francisco crypto exchange is diversifying its business model with these takeovers. Competition between trading platforms is fierce and margins are declining as more competitors enter the market. The expansion into new business areas promises investors and company founders lucrative margins and sustained competitiveness in the future as well. The trading of securities as security tokens has so far been little developed. There are no trading places explicitly for security tokens.

Security tokens as a cost-effective alternative to stock exchanges

Coinbase, with around 20 million active users according to its own figures, is thus putting a foot in the door of a potentially billion-dollar market. In contrast to utility tokens, security tokens are subject to regulation but are accepted by the authorities. The advantages over traditional shares remain: Investors can trade the tokens more easily, cheaper and faster than securities on a stock exchange. For companies, security tokens offer an enormous cost advantage: if numerous consultants accompany IPOs at enormously high hourly rates, security tokens can be implemented leaner and cheaper. SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), which were previously too small to go public, will now have access to a pool of investors. So far, they have been denied access to this pool. This means that both sides, investors and companies, benefit from a regulated security token.

Coinbase is worth almost 8 billion US dollars
The value of Coinbase has grown strongly year-on-year. When the crypto exchange collected 100 million US dollars from investors last year, Coinbase achieved a valuation of around 1.6 billion US dollars. In the meantime, around a year later, analysts estimate the company at around 8 billion US dollars.

Despite the success of the ICOs in recent months, the utility tokens are under strong regulatory pressure. This year alone, companies collected over 12 billion US dollars via initial coin offerings. The problem: the legal uncertainty. Many of these token sales operate in an unregulated grey area. In the worst case, some tokens are prohibited by courts and are worthless. Start-ups are increasingly pointing out the danger in their white papers. The US Securities and Exchange Commission recently made it clear anyway that most tokens are more like securities in terms of their function.

Only on Friday Coinbase published a declaration of intent to include five more coins in trading. Considering the number of globally tradable coins, the number sounds low. However, Coinbase currently lists only four crypto currencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin. In the future, Cardano, Basic Attention Token, Stellar, Zcash and 0x could be added.

According to media reports, Coinbase itself is aiming for an „IPO“ next year. It remains to be seen how this will turn out, whether via a classic stock exchange or as a security token.

The Colorado Sun: With the Blockchain to Independent Journalism

After a quarrel with the media conglomerate Digital First Media, employees of Denver Post decided to establish an independent platform for journalism. The Colorado Sun will be an independent media platform on the blockchain.

With all the speculation about the share price development, the fight for short-term profits in day trading or the great hopes of the Hodlers, one often forgets that among (most) crypto currencies there is a groundbreaking technology. This can make it possible to create trust without middlemen. And this is exactly one of the greatest strengths of the Blockchain. The possibility to offer a transparent and forgery-proof structure. Whether this involves the administration of land register entries, ballots or supply chain data is of secondary importance in theory. In practice, however, this is not yet the case.

The Bitcoin loophole

Former employees of Denver Post have now decided to set up their own Bitcoin loophole media company. They want to make use of the advantages of blockchain technology. As the New York Times reports, the graduates of Denver Post decided to found The Colorado Sun in cooperation with the Civil Media Company.

Apparently, the initiators were dissatisfied with the desolate condition of their former employer. According to the New York Times, the company was in a state of „low morale“ after being taken over by the New York hedge fund Global Capital. The employees did not want to continue supporting this state of affairs. Denver Post had been taken over by Digital First Media. The media company, which owns more than 90 newspapers in the USA, had initiated extensive layoffs and „cost-cutting measures“ after the takeover. This quickly led to a rift: many employees who had not yet been dismissed decided to leave the newspaper voluntarily. And then to found The Colorado Sun.

Blockchain to Save Independent Journalism

It should be more democratic and transparent through the use of tokens. The website should be designed in an ordinary framework. The storage of the data takes place however over the Blockchain. In order to protect the rights of the authors in the long run, Civil, the superordinate enterprise, works with its own token. The CVL token is then intended to enable owners to vote on whether the respective content complies with the company’s journalism guidelines. This will allow ownership to pass to the community via the media platform, rather than giving it to a single company.

The team currently includes seven former employees of Denver Post. By the end of the year, 1,000 publications will have been published. Civil is supported by ConsenSys, which includes Joseph Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum.

Regulation in the Week in Review #11 – Hard Headwind from Asia?

In the past week, a lot has happened around the globe in terms of regulation. In the series „Regulation in the Week in Review“ we look back at the end of the week and summarize what was said, thought or decided where, when and by whom.

China: Are national blockchain standards coming?

The Chinese government is apparently working on introducing uniform national standards for blockchain technology. As the Chinese government announced, they want to advance the blockchain and generally distributed ledger technologies in China. To this end, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has already initiated measures, such as a seminar with representatives from business and society.

ECB: Bitcoin not responding to cashless society
A statement by Benoît Cœuré and Jacqueline Loh states that Bitcoin is a „challenge“ because banks fail to provide appropriate international credit transfer options for consumers. The Bitcoin reveals an old weakness in our current system: cross-border retail payments. Nevertheless, crypto currencies cannot replace central bank money. Cœuré is a member of the Executive Board of the ECB and Chairman of the Payment and Market Infrastructure Committee of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Loh is chairman of the BIS Market Committee.

Thailand’s former finance minister: crypto-regulation necessary

In his role as chairman of the Thai Fintech Association, Korn Chatikavanij advocates the regulation of crypto currencies. The former finance minister supports the proposal of the Thai financial market supervisory authority SEC to issue a set of rules.

Malaysian Central Bank: Illegal ICO punished
The Central Bank of Malaysia made a special announcement. Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) took steps against the Blockchain project Coinzer, which had recently launched an ICO. The coin’s logo included the BNM’s logo, the Malaysian coat of arms and the 14-pointed star of Malaysia, thus erroneously establishing a link with the Malaysian state.

Legal Status of Crypto Mining: No Ban Possible
The comparatively high energy consumption of crypto currency mining has not passed the EU Commission by either. As Mariya Gabriel, the Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, notes, mining is not prohibited by any EU law. However, it falls under EU legislation on energy efficiency and climate protection.

Genesis Mining must cease activities in South Carolina
Cloud mining service Genesis Mining has been ordered to cease operations in South Carolina following an injunction issued on 9 March. The order mentions Genesis and a second company, Swiss Gold Global Inc. The mining contracts entered into are classified as securities by the Securities Commission of South Carolina, but Swiss Gold Global, which acted as broker-dealer for Genesis, were not registered in the state to offer these securities.

Putin advisor brings crypto currency into play for Eurasian Union
Putin consultant Sergey Glazyev doubts the security of Russian deposits in Western banks. This is why he is bringing a blockchain-based digital currency into play for the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union. This would make it possible to circumvent the sanctions directed against Russia, which would greatly unsettle the global banking sector.