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World Central Banker to Central Banks: Bitcoin Is a Bubble, Ponzi, and Disaster - Bitcoin News

World Central Banker to Central Banks: Bitcoin Is a Bubble, Ponzi, and Disaster - Bitcoin News | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

Dismissing almost out of hand the distributed ledger technology undergirding bitcoin, he waxes, “Who would have thought that having people guessing solutions to what was described to me by a techie as the mathematical equivalent of mega-sudokus would be a way to generate consensus among strangers around the world through a proof of work? Does it thus provide a novel solution to the problem of how to generate trust among people who do not know each other?,” he asked rhetorically.


He then characterizes bitcoin as having three “obvious flaws.” Debasement, trust, and inefficiency are hallmarks of what Mr. Carstens views as “novel technology.” Debasement, he contends, happens through forks, creating seemingly endless versions of bitcoin which he believes are essentially inflationary, contrary to its claim of being scarce. “After all, it just takes a bunch of smart programmers and a catchy name. As in the past, these modern-day clippings dilute the value of existing ones, to the extent such cryptocurrencies have any economic value at all,” he warns.

Douglas G Hall's insight:

The world's central banker to the globe's central banks gave a talk full of bile toward bitcoin, calling it a bubble, Ponzi scheme, environmental disaster.

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Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights
Covering cryptocurrency news, markets, ICOs, bitcoin, altcoins, blockchain business use cases and digital currency trends.
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SEC uses emergency order to halt Blockvest ICO scam

SEC uses emergency order to halt Blockvest ICO scam | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) used an emergency court order to halt a planned initial coin offering (ICO) by Blockvest LLC and its founder, Reginald Buddy Ringgold, III.

The SEC said Blockvest falsely claimed it was approved by the SEC, was using the SEC seal without permission, a violation of federal law, and falsely claiming its cryptocurrency fund was “licensed and regulated.”

“We allege that this ICO is using both the SEC seal and a made-up crypto regulatory authority to trick investors into believing the ICO was approved by regulators,” said Robert A. Cohen, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit. “The SEC does not endorse investment products and investors should be highly skeptical of any claims suggesting otherwise.”

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South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Sold to Singapore-Based Consortium

South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Sold to Singapore-Based Consortium | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

The largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea by trading volume, Bithumb, has reportedly been sold to a Singapore-based consortium for approximately 400 billion won or $354 million. Bk Global Consortium, led by plastic surgeon Kim Byung-gun, will acquire the controlling stake and become the largest shareholder of Bithumb.

Bithumb Sold
A spokesman for Bithumb confirmed Friday that the exchange “was sold for about $354 million to a consortium led by a plastic surgeon,” Reuters reported

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US Regulator Issues Cease and Desist Orders Against Three Crypto Promoters

US Regulator Issues Cease and Desist Orders Against Three Crypto Promoters | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

North Dakota Securities Commissioner Karen Tyler has issued cease and desist orders against three firms for allegedly offering unregistered and fraudulent securities in the form of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), according to an announcement published Oct. 11.

The companies at the center of the orders are Crystal Token, Advertiza Holdings (Pty) Ltd., and Life Cross Coin a/k/a LifecrosscoinGmbH. Per the statement, Crystal Token (CYL) is an “evolutionary multi-utility” ERC-20 token, that promises earnings up to two percent per day. The token’s website allegedly contains fraudulent claims of “excessive unsubstantiated” rates of return on investment. CYL is not authorized to sell securities in North Dakota.

Advertiza Holdings offers cryptocurrency called “Tizacoin,” or “TIZA,” and claims that holders “can expect to make a profit from the appreciation of the value of TIZA tokens.” That, according to the regulator, indicates that the token’s description as a utility token is incorrect, and is instead a security.

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South Korean Financial Regulator Reaffirms Negative Stance on ICOs and Crypto

South Korean Financial Regulator Reaffirms Negative Stance on ICOs and Crypto | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

The chairman of Korea’s Financial Services Commission Choi Jong-koo has reaffirmed his negative position on digital currencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), Business Korea reported Oct. 11. Choi spoke at a parliamentary audit session of the commission held at the National Assembly.

South Korea prohibited ICOs in September last year, stating that such a type of fundraising is “almost a gamble.” This August, Korean lawmakers, including participants from government ministries, returned to the cryptocurrency issue, focusing on repealing the country's ICO ban. Lawmakers agreed on the need to develop a related policy before carrying a resolution on ICO reallowance.

At the recent session, Choi reportedly said that “the government does not deny the potential of the blockchain industry," while noting that it “should not equate the cryptocurrency trading business with the blockchain industry.”

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New ICO Token Project Data Reveals $20 Billion in Funds Raised Collectively in 2017-2018

New ICO Token Project Data Reveals $20 Billion in Funds Raised Collectively in 2017-2018 | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

ICOs have been pretty successful in 2018. A study, tilted Crypto Utopia, assessed the cryptocurrency industry over the past year and focused on ICO regulation.

The study indicated that ICOs raised $12 billion in 2018 thus far, and last year, they raised $7 billion. Blockchain ICO protocol EOS and Telegram, a messaging app, brought in the bulk of ICO funds in 2018, with $4.2 and $1.7 billion, respectively.

To date, there have been over 300 crypto funds launched to invest in crypto assets, and most of the funds are concentrated in a small majority of organizations. The research also indicates that ICOS are often exposed to fraud and scams, which have led to the theft of 15 percent of crypto assets by market capitalization. Further over 50 percent of ICOs failed to raise funds and have thus closed.

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Chainalysis Examines The 32 Biggest Bitcoin (BTC) Whales, Can They Tank The Crypto Market?

Chainalysis Examines The 32 Biggest Bitcoin (BTC) Whales, Can They Tank The Crypto Market? | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

Chainalysis is a digital currency forensics company. The firm recently examined the thirty-two biggest Bitcoin (BTC) whales. According to the report of the firm, the thirty-two whales hold over one million Bitcoin (BTC) out of the 17 million currently in circulation.

 

The report of the firm reveals that the smallest whale holds about 12,000 BTCs worth about $75 million. The largest whale among them hold about 85,000 BTCs worth about $542 million. The firm categorized the whales into four different groups.

 

The first group is the criminal whales. This group consists of three Bitcoin wallets holding BTCs worth about $790 million. The second group is the trader whales. This group consists of nine wallets holding Bitcoins worth about $2.1 billion. The third group is the miners and early adopters.



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Nearly $1 billion in cryptocurrency theft so far in 2018

Nearly $1 billion in cryptocurrency theft so far in 2018 | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

A new report from cybersecurity firm CipherTrace says cryptocurrency thefts have reached nearly $1 billion so far in 2018.

$927 million has been stolen by the end of September 2018, the company says, an increase of 250% over the entire previous year.

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UK Telecoms Regulator Receives Grant to Deploy Blockchain for Telephone Number Management

UK Telecoms Regulator Receives Grant to Deploy Blockchain for Telephone Number Management | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

The United Kingdom (U.K.) Office of Communications (Ofcom) has received a £700,000 ($916,00) grant from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to explore blockchain technology, according to an announcement published Oct. 8.

The grant will purportedly help the U.K. telecoms regulator examine how blockchain can improve the management of landline telephone numbers.

Established in 2016, the BEIS is a government department supported by 46 agencies and public bodies and responsible for business, industrial strategy, science, innovation, and energy and climate change policy.

Per the announcement, Ofcom is looking to involve industry participants to test the movement and management of “millions” of telephone numbers using blockchain technology, while the agency itself will coordinate the work. “We issue blocks of these numbers to telecoms operators, who manage the numbers and movement (porting) of them into and out of their control,” the statement reads.

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The Jewelry Industry Prepares for Supply Chain Trace-ability | Fortune 

The Jewelry Industry Prepares for Supply Chain Trace-ability | Fortune  | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

Blockchain technology is coming to the jewelry industry, and it’s coming fast. Ultimately, this means absolute trace-ability of every element in the jewelry supply chain; from the mine, to the refinery, to the alloy manufacturer, to the production company, the retailer, and on to the consumer. But we’re still years from that level of supply chain cooperation.

 

You may have heard of blockchain technology as the technology behind internet currencies like Bitcoin. But blockchain can be used to track any virtual or physical good from one place to another, as long as all the participants in the chain-of-custody have access to a blockchain platform, and reliably enter their transactions into it. 

 

This type of supply chain transparency will go a long way to reassuring consumers concerned about the jewelry industry's impact on the world, and will be a huge relief to jewelry businesses everywhere that are struggling to buy and manufacture responsibly. 

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Improving Ethereum (ETH) Is A Better Option than Creating New Blockchains

Improving Ethereum (ETH) Is A Better Option than Creating New Blockchains | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

Initial coin offerings, the controversial but effective method for raising funds for new cryptocurrency projects which has managed to dominate the industry, is under attack yet again for its volatile investment scheme, lack of regulation and overall trust-less presentation.

On Wednesday, authorities in Lithuania held a seminar poised at examining the “threats and potential benefits” of the ICO industry in relation to the country’s economy. While reports last week out of BitMEX revealed that ICOs, despite the falling price of Ether and otherwise negative press, had managed to break even in terms of profit and loss thus far in 2018.

 

However, earlier reports did point to a general decline in the ICO market, with fewer projects being initiated compared to the first half of the year. Despite the falling price of both the crypto markets and Ethereum–which provides the ERC-20 token basis on which most ICOs are developed and invested with–ICOs have managed to thrive throughout most of 2018, with the volume of total projects launched doubling that of 2017 within the first six months of the year. Again, last week’s report that ICOs had managed to break even on revenue, despite the otherwise abysmal market landscape, is positive news for the profitability of launching a coin project via the ICO route.

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Resource: Regulatory overview of 24 key blockchain,  crypto markets

Resource: Regulatory overview of 24 key blockchain,  crypto markets | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

The law firm Chetcouti Cauchi Advocates, with offices in Malta, Cyprus, Zürich, Hong Kong, and London has produced a regulatory report and guide to 24 key cryptocurrency markets.

The report “Blockchain, Crypto and ICOs – A Legal Review of Leading Jurisdictions” reviews regulations for blockchain, cryptocurrency and ICOs in detail in 10 jurisdictions including Malta, Switzerland, Estonia, Gibraltar, USA, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Russia, and Thailand.

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Malta eyeing artificial intelligence regulatory framework

Malta eyeing artificial intelligence regulatory framework | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

Artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things and a best-in-class regulatory framework are next on the government’s agenda, following the successful introduction of the world’s first comprehensive set of blockchain laws, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said this morning. 

Muscat was addressing attendees at the Delta Summit where he focused on blockchain and its uses and said it was only natural for Malta to turn its attention to AI, as that too would soon come to play a major role in people’s daily lives. 

He said that the government’s plan had been to introduce the best possible legal framework to regulate digital ledger technology (DLT) because it was evident that the technology was growing exponentially and affecting many sectors. 

“We never had ambitions to be the first country to introduce blockchain legislation, we only wanted to make sure ours was the best framework,” he said. “We managed to achieve both and our blockchain legislation is the first and the best, not only in Europe, but also in the world. So welcome home.”

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Bakkt CEO Talks Cryptocurrency Exchange Regulation at CFTC FinTech Conference

Bakkt CEO Talks Cryptocurrency Exchange Regulation at CFTC FinTech Conference | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

Regulations could help the cryptocurrency market to flourish. This is what Kelly Loeffler, CEO of the crypto exchange and platform Bakkt said on Wednesday. Loeffler was talking at the Fintech Forward 2018, a conference that is backed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The event focuses on many different topics including challenges, issues and opportunities related to cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology and more.

The cryptocurrency space has been growing in the last years. There are over 2000 different cryptocurrencies in the market and an unknown number of blockchain and crypto-related projects. However, regulations around the world are not appearing as fast and as good as the market would expect.

Loeffler commented that regulators and cryptocurrency companies are able to work side by side and create a safe ecosystem for investors as it happened in the energy sector back in 2002 and 2003. The CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should start to think about bringing more clarity to the market.

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Chilean Bitcoin Exchange Buda Adds Lightning Network Support

Chilean Bitcoin Exchange Buda Adds Lightning Network Support | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

Blockchain unicorn Circle has made a series of strategic moves that all have one theme: to become a dominant force in the world of cryptocurrency. The startup is backed by some of the most influential companies in the sector, and the CEO believes that tokenization is truly the future.

Boston-based Circle is not interested in just one aspect of cryptocurrency. This is evident when one considers the acquisitions that the company, which recently raised $110 million at a $3 billion valuation, has recently made. The company recently acquired the cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex, which many believe is part of a long-term plan to challenge Binance as the top cryptocurrency exchange in the world.

As the stablecoin sector heated up, Circle decided to throw their hat in the ring, launching the USDC stablecoin, pegged to the U.S. dollar. The project is structured as an ERC-20 token on the ethereum blockchain and launched with 30 partners, many of whom are respected and globally-known cryptocurrency companies, such as payment processing company BitPay.dELIA cOX SUCKER

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Introducing The Liquid Network: Blockstream Is Running A Revolutionary Bitcoin Sidechain – Exchanges Want It Badly

Introducing The Liquid Network: Blockstream Is Running A Revolutionary Bitcoin Sidechain – Exchanges Want It Badly | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

As reported by Ethereum World News in March, Coinbase, one of the leading startups in the cryptosphere, revealed plans to launch an index fund, which would allow institutional and accredited investors to buy all assets supported on Coinbase’s Pro platform (GDAX at the time).

Following the initial announcement, it took the San Francisco-based fintech firm the new offering. However, many believed it was worth the wait, as it was widely expected that this vehicle, which supported Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC) and Ethereum Classic (ETC), would garner support from investors all across the globe.

However, as divulged by those familiar with the matter, Coinbase is making moves to shutter its index fund after a short three months in operation. Per an exclusive The Block report, the insiders claimed that the index offering failed to attract enough clients and monetary volume to warrant the startup to continue its support. Although some expected for this closure to occur, as the bear market catalyzed a widespread disappearance of interest and volume, at the time of the launch, Coinbase claimed that it was “seeing strong demand from institutional and high-net-worth individuals.”

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World Bank President: Distributed Ledger Technology Has ‘Huge Potential’

World Bank President: Distributed Ledger Technology Has ‘Huge Potential’ | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

The president of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim has stated that distributed ledger technology (DLT) has “huge potential” and that the bank should keep pace with innovative technologies. Kim spoke at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Banks’ Annual Meeting in Bali, Indonesia Oct. 11.

Kim addressed the importance of fighting poverty while boosting prosperity, pointing out that “there are innovations in the technological world that can help us leapfrog generations of bad practice, generations that would take forever in terms of reducing corruption.” Kim said:

“We talked about cryptocurrencies, but we think distributed ledger has huge potential and we issued the first blockchain bond in August, where we created, allocated, transferred and managed the entire bond through blockchain technology.”

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Deloitte: 5 keys to accelerate blockchain development and adoption

Deloitte: 5 keys to accelerate blockchain development and adoption | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

A new report from Deloitte identifies five key areas for blockchain to develop before it’s ready for adoption in the business mainstream.

The report, “Blockchain and the five vectors of progress,” examines ways to enhance the technological capacity of blockchain, and opportunities to expand blockchain implementation in a broader array of industries.

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Report: SEC Expands Crackdown on ICOs, Regulatory Ambiguity Remains

Report: SEC Expands Crackdown on ICOs, Regulatory Ambiguity Remains | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has expanded its crackdown on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), putting “hundreds” of projects at risk, according to a recent joint investigation by Yahoo Finance and Decrypt Media published, Oct. 10.

The authors of the report stressed that hundreds of crypto and blockchain startups that conducted token sales have eventually found that they had violated securities laws despite their endeavors to comply with regulations. In response to SEC pressure, dozens of firms have reportedly “quietly agreed” to refund investors’ money and pay fines, rather than attempt to reach a legal compliance.

According to Yahoo and Decrypt’s conversations with more than 15 industry sources, many startups that were subpoenaed by the SEC did not know how to satisfy the commission’s demands, and were unable to consult with other firms on how to handle the matter.

The sources — who are represented by employees of subpoenaed companies or their attorneys — preferred to stay anonymous due to an SEC restriction from disclosing the issue.

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Juniper Research: Why bitcoin will not bounce back next year

Juniper Research: Why bitcoin will not bounce back next year | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

A new study from Juniper Research is bearish on bitcoin and predicts that the value of annual Bitcoin transactions is expected to slide further in the latter half of next year.

According to the study, Bitcoin has not only fallen sharply from its December 2017 peak, but failed to recover despite the weakness of a number of leading fiat currencies, continuing uncertainty around Brexit outcomes and ongoing trade disputes between the US, China, and the EU.

The study suggests that if bitcoin can’t recover in these favorable circumstances, it is not likely to recover as these issues are resolved.

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Could blockchain be a $7 billion market soon?

Could blockchain be a $7 billion market soon? | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

Could blockchain be a $7 billion business soon? Bank of America analysts think so and Amazon, Microsoft, and Oracle could be the beneficiaries.

Blockchain technology is the early stages of development and adoption, but BoA analysts believe that if 2% of servers utilize blockchain technology at $5,500 per year, that will create a $7 billion industry.

“Amazon will benefit from incremental cloud services demand from Blockchain implementation, while improved supply chain tracking should make Amazon’s retail operations more efficient,” says Bank of America research analyst Kash Rangan.

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Total of 7 Crypto Exchanges and 158 Wallets Hacked in South Korea, Police Find

Total of 7 Crypto Exchanges and 158 Wallets Hacked in South Korea, Police Find | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

The South Korean National Police Agency has compiled a report of known hacking incidents that occurred in the country since 2016, according to local media.

Lawmaker Cho Won-jin.
The report entitled “Status and Measures of Hacking Damage of Virtual Currency Exchanges in the Last Three Years” was submitted to the South Korean government and unveiled by lawmaker Cho Won-jin on Wednesday. The data shows “there were seven [crypto exchange] hacking cases since 2016” and the amount “illegally withdrawn through hacking was 112 billion won [~$99 million],” Dtoday reported.

“The amount of money stolen by the hacking of cryptocurrency exchanges has been steadily increasing every year,” Boan News noted. “The amount of illegal withdrawals, which was only KRW 300 million [~$265,282] in 2016, increased to KRW 40.5 billion [~$35.8 million] in 2017, and two hacking cases occurred in 2018, amounting to KRW 71.3 billion [~$63 million] in theft.”

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U.S. Indicts Seven Russian Agents Who Used Bitcoin To Fund Illegal Covert Operations

U.S. Indicts Seven Russian Agents Who Used Bitcoin To Fund Illegal Covert Operations | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

On October 3, The U.S. Department of Justice charged seven officers from Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) for hacking and disinformation operations, using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to fund their campaign.

The indictment was filed by the grand jury at the Western District of Pennsylvania, following news that 12 Russian operatives were indicted in July for affecting the 2016 elections.

The operatives indicted in July were accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton presidential campaign over a 4-year span, from 2014 to May 2018, using Bitcoin and a few other cryptocurrencies to hide their financial activities.

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Bitcoin’s Block Size Can Be Increased Without Hard Fork, Says Blockstream Co-Founder

Bitcoin’s Block Size Can Be Increased Without Hard Fork, Says Blockstream Co-Founder | Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Insights | Scoop.it

Bitcoin (BTC) protocol developer Mark Friedenbach introduced a method for Bitcoin scaling he claims will not require a hard fork at a workshop in Tokyo October 5.

The new concept presented at the Scaling Bitcoin workshop, entitled “Forward Blocks,” suggests a major on-chain capacity boost by means of a Proof-of-Work (PoW) alternation that is done as a soft fork, combined with use of alternative private ledgers.

The proposal describes a method for scaling that claims to be able to increase “settlement transaction volume to 3584x current levels” and improve censorship resistance via sharding.

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