After bitcoin’s dramatic rise, here’s where experts see cryptocurrencies heading

After bitcoin's dramatic rise, here's where experts see cryptocurrencies heading

  • Cryptocurrencies have had a banner year due to the rise in bitcoin prices and the popularity of digital token sales as a new way for companies to raise funds
  • Experts told CNBC that, next year, companies will raise even more funds through ICOs but regulators will also issue clearer guidelines for digital tokens
  • Bitcoin, the experts said, is also set to become more mainstream

A logo of Bitcoin is seen on an advertisement
 
of an electronic shop in Tokyo, Japan September 5, 2017.The cryptocurrency market has had a banner year thanks to the meteoric rise in bitcoin prices and the huge popularity of initial coin offerings as a new way of fundraising.Many people are buying into new digital tokens with the assumption that those virtual currencies will appreciate over time at levels similar to bitcoin, or its rival ether. And while price action has hardly been staid this year, market watchers told CNBC they expect more dramatic movements in the cryptocurrency market in 2018.Those developments could include a spike in funds being raised through ICOs, clearer guidelines and crackdowns from regulators and the mainstream acceptance of bitcoin, they said.

Disrupting investment banks

Companies, mostly start-ups, have raised at least $3 billion by issuing new digital tokens in 2017, resulting in more than 1,000 virtual currencies in existence today.Commentators are largely predicting that companies will raise even more funds through digital token sales next year — only this time, bigger, more established companies could get in on the action."We are going to see the first of the real legit, large ICOs of existing established companies that are suddenly raising half a billion, or maybe even 5 billion (in funds)," Julian Hosp, co-founder and president of Singapore-based start-up TenX, told CNBC. That company, which has a wallet application and fiat-denominated card for the use of cryptocurrencies in "real life," raised $80 million in a token sale

earlier this year.

"We are going to see the first sale of equity (through an ICO) and that's … going to be a big, big, big slap in the face to many large investment banks."

Hosp explained that large firms would bank on their established credibility to potentially raise even larger sums than what small start-ups with unproven business concepts are raising today. Some, he said, could even start offering investors an equity stake as part of their digital token sales.

At the moment, participants in an ICO usually send either bitcoin or rival token ether to back a blockchain-based project. In exchange, they receive an entirely new virtual "coin" that has some sort of assigned worth and can be used to redeem a service offered by the company. Theoretically, companies can also give investors an equity stake — similar to an initial public offering — but most don't to avoid being subjected to stringent securities regulations.

But all of that could change next year, according to Hosp. "We are going to see the first sale of equity (through an ICO) and that's … going to be a big, big, big slap in the face to many large investment banks," he said. One of the ways that investment banks make money is by helping companies structure their securities before they are sold to investors.

Crypto consolidation

The dramatic rise of digital token offerings saw the creation of hundreds of new virtual currencies, but experts say most of them have little to no value and some are outright examples of fraud. That's due to the relative ease in conducting a token offering and the few regulatory checks. Hosp said he expects the cryptocurrency market to consolidate next year: "We are going to see the weaving out of a lot of cryptocurrencies in 2018," he said, adding, "People that are gambling on worthless companies, they are going to lose massively."

Digital token sales have, indeed, taken a bit of hit in recent months. Industry analytics firm TokenData said November was set to be the slowest month for ICOs since August, and many of the token sales did not even reach their target. There have also been instances of fraudulent tokens being issued and the theft of millions of dollars' worth of cryptocurrencies. That led to many in the industry distancing themselves from the hottest new way of fundraising.

I've been saying through this past year that ICOs are toxic and that a lot of investors are going to get burned — badly!" Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, which runs the fifth-largest cryptocurrency by market value, told CNBC by email. Garlinghouse added that he expects to see lawsuits, fines and "even jail time" for perceived bad actors in the cryptocurrency space. That all could cause short-term volatility for the whole space, he said. Still, many in the industry maintain there are benefits to conducting an ICO, including the ability to raise funds without giving away equity.

Regulatory clarity

Short of the odd ban on the creation of new virtual currencies, regulators have largely struggled to keep up with the rapid pace of the ICO market. Ripple's Garlinghouse said he expects authorities to clamp down on fraudulent players in the space. Others said they expect clearer guidance, and eventual enforcement actions, from regulators like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "I think certainly more clarity will come about through enforcement actions and other guidance that the SEC will give in the tokenized marketplace," Stephen Obie, partner at international law firm Jones Day, told CNBC. He pointed to a report the SEC issued earlier this year that indicated the regulator "knows about this market (and) takes it seriously."

Seems like a bubble

Regulators could also clamp down on so-called ICO advisors and those advising investors to buy cryptocurrencies, according to Obie. He explained that, at least in the U.S., various regulations apply to different types of advisors. "This is going to open up a series of enforcement actions for those that think they can advise in this space and not participate in the regulations," Obie said. At the same time, efforts from regulators in the cryptocurrency space need to be international, according to Tim Phillipps, Asia Pacific financial crime network leader at consultancy firm Deloitte. He told CNBC that investors will need international laws to give investors some piece of mind that their assets will not disappear.

"Only then can we really see healthy growth in this space," he said. Garlinghouse added, "For blockchain and digital assets to realize their potential, it's critical we in the industry work with regulators, not in the shadows." He said that he expects the total value of digital asset market to surpass $1 trillion in 2018 — currently, bitcoin's market capitalization is about $300 billion.

Bitcoin to become more mainstream

Bitcoin started the year at about $968 and recently saw a more than 1,600 percent jump to top $16,700 per token as of Dec. 7 (although at least one exchange has seen the price exceed $19,000). Ronnie Moas, founder and director of Standpoint Research, said he expects bitcoin's price to jump to $20,000 by next year from his initial target of $14,000. He told CNBC that a majority of the people in the world have yet to get in on the bitcoin trade. Since the cryptocurrency has a fixed number of possible tokens, Moas said more entrants into the space will push up the prices because of the constricted supply. The outlook is "very comforting to the bulls here, and to the people who are invested" in bitcoin, he said.

He also predicted that the cryptocurrency will go mainstream in 2018 and become part of "strategic reserves" and "asset allocation models" around the world. More consumers will also likely pay for goods and services with bitcoin, he predicted. Jones Day's Obie agreed that bitcoin will become more mainstream and an entirely new asset class may emerge in the investor community. He referred to the string of announcements from the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Nasdaq to offer bitcoin futures contracts. "I think you're seeing mainstream regulated exchanges looking at whether bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, are asset classes in and of themselves," said Obie. "Clearly there are people that would like exposure to this."

In July, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates the futures and option markets, approved a swap execution facility for cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, investors are also waiting to see if the SEC will eventually approve the creation of a bitcoin ETF. The existence of bitcoin futures contracts could increase confidence for the regulator to give its approval, Obie said. "Having a futures market with price discovery will enable the SEC to get comfortable that there is a regulated market, where pricing is showing," he said. "I think you're seeing the development of a fourth asset class."

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
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This cryptocurrency is up 1,000% in a month, and it’s not bitcoin or ethereum

This cryptocurrency is up
1,000% in a month,
and it’s not bitcoin or
 ethereum

Blockchain has the potential to transform multiple industries

and make processes more democratic, secure, transparent and efficient, industry body Assocham had said in a recent report.NEW DELHI: One of the most extravagant predictions sees bitcoin at $1 million within three years. But that's a story for another time.

Bitcoin, undoubtedly the most talked about asset class today, has spurted over 1,500 per cent on a year-date-basis so far and over 115 per cent in the past one month. But a little known cryptocurrency has put to shame the meteoric rise in bitcoin.
With a rally of astounding nearly 1,000 per cent in the past one month alone, IOTA is now the fourth biggest crytocurrency in terms of market capitalisation after bitcoin, ethereum and bitcoin cash.

Prices of IOTA surged 980 per cent to $4.14 on December 7, 2017 from $0.38 on November 7. The e-currency has surged over 180 per cent in December so far. According to coingecko.com, IOTA is a distributed ledger for the Internet of Things. The first ledger with microtransactions without fees as well as secure data transfer.Announcement of partnership with major companies like Microsoft can be considered as one of the reasons for the recent surge in the prices of IOTA.

“We are excited to partner with IOTA foundation and proud to be associated with its new data marketplace initiative. This next generation technology will accelerate the connected, intelligent world and go beyond blockchain that will foster innovation real world solutions, applications and pilots for our customers,” Microsoft’s Omkar Naik in a statement published on the IOTA Foundation website. In terms of market capitalisation, bitcoin has the highest market cap of Rs 18.46 lakh crore. It is followed by ethereum (Rs 2.80 lakh crore), bitcoin cash (Rs 1.66 lakh crore) and IOTA (Rs 0.71 lakh crore).

In rupee terms, IOTA is hovering at around Rs 258. Other cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ethereum and bitcoin cash is trading at Rs 11 lakh, Rs 29,100 and Rs 98,000 lakh, respectively. Ripple was trading at Rs 16.41, according to the data available with coingecko.com. A cryptocurrency is a digital currency created and stored electronically. The supply of this currency is not determined by any central bank or authority and the network is completely decentralised.

One cannot directly buy IOTA in India but can exchange bitcoin for IOTA on couple of websites including Binance.
IOTA was founded in 2015 by David Sønstebø, Sergey Ivancheglo, Dominik Schiener and Serguei Popov.
Back home, The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday reiterated its concerns about Bitcoins, stoking fears that a rapidly swelling bubble could burst in a spectacular fashion.

The Central Bank said it wanted to reinforce its previous message to “users, holders and traders of Virtual Currencies (VCs) including bitcoins regarding the potential economic, financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks associated in dealing with such VCs.” The RBI had earlier said those trading in VCs were doing so at their own risk, given that the central bank has not given a licence or authorisation for any company to deal in such cryptocurrencies.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-461

$15,000: Is There a Limit to Bitcoin’s Meteoric Rally?

$15,000:
Is There a Limit to Bitcoin's
Meteoric Rally?

Bitcoin's stellar run continues with prices leaping

one major psychological hurdle after another. At 11:00 UTC today, the world's largest cryptocurrency by market value reached a new lifetime high of $15,058, according to CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI). In the last 24 hours, bitcoin (BTC) has appreciated by more than $2,000. As per CoinMarketCap, gains are close to 19 percent over the same period. Prices have since dropped back slightly and stand at $14,562 at press time

The primary theory about the astonishing rally being put forward by investors on social media is that bitcoin is pricing in the entry of big institutional money via the introduction of the first BTC futures products. Both CBOE Global Markets and CME Group are set to launch the new futures contracts on Dec. 10 and Dec. 17, respectively. With the notable shift in the industry, bitcoin may remain well bid at least until Sunday's listing of BTC futures on the CBOE. That said, the technical chart studies show BTC could face immediate resistance at around $16,194.

The charts show:

  • The 127.2 percent Fibonacci extension of the rally from the November low stands at $16,194 levels. The next big resistance is lined up at $18,261 (161.8 percent Fibonacci extension) and $18,399.50 (261.8 percent Fibonacci extension of the rally from the September low).
  • On the downside, support is seen at $12,476.51 (161.8 percent Fibonacci extension of the rally from the September low).
  • 5- and 10-day moving averages (MAs) are sloping upwards, suggesting any corrective pullback is likely to be short-lived.
  • The RSI and stochastic indicate overbought conditions.

Bitcoin could easily extend the rally to $16,194 levels in the next few hours. But, while the investor community is mostly happy to see the cryptocurrency heading for the moon, as indicated by comments on social media, there is growing discomfort with the pace of the ascent. Still, today, the recipe for a notable technical correction is absent. History shows that bitcoin usually suffers big sell-offs following confirmation of a bearish RSI divergence. Yet, the charts show no such development so far. In the past, bitcoin has suffered pullbacks when the RSI and stochastic turned lower from the overbought territory (see circles on chart). Currently, both indicators show overbought conditions, yet are still rising.

Look at these Stats.

  • Bitcoin could extend gains to $16,194 and possibly even further.
  • A pullback to $11,000 cannot be ruled out, but dips below the upward sloping 10-day MA of $11,500 are likely to be short-lived.
  • As of now, a significant correction is unlikely and could be seen only on confirmation of a bearish price-RSI divergence and/or if RSI and stochastic move lower from the overbought territory.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-461

Coinbase: The Heart of the Bitcoin Frenzy

Coinbase:
The Heart of the Bitcoin Frenzy

SAN FRANCISCO —
The booming stock market of the 1920s had the New York Stock Exchange.

The tech bubble of the 1990s had Nasdaq and E-Trade. And the virtual currency market of the last year has had Coinbase. Coinbase employees lining up for free food in the gaming room of the company's office in San Francisco.CreditJason Henry for The New York Times Coinbase has been at the center of the speculative frenzy driving up the value of Bitcoin — which topped $13,000 on Wednesday — and similar currencies. While there are many Bitcoin exchanges around the world, Coinbase has been the dominant place that ordinary Americans go to buy and sell virtual currency. No company had made it simpler to sign up, link a bank account or debit card, and begin buying Bitcoin.

The number of people with Coinbase accounts has gone from 5.5 million in January to 13.3 million at the end of November, according to data from the Altana Digital Currency Fund. In late November, Coinbase was sometimes getting 100,000 new customers a day — leaving the company with more customers than Charles Schwab and E-Trade. The company faces challenges that are a reminder of the early days of now-mainstream online brokerages, which suffered through untimely outages and harsh criticism from traditional finance companies and government regulators. And Coinbase’s missteps make it clear that the virtual currency industry is still young, with little of the battle testing that other financial markets have faced.

An employee working in a nook inside Coinbase’s offices.CreditJason Henry for The New York Times  Coinbase’s offices in downtown San Francisco show a start-up straining to keep up with growth. The company offers all the usual perks: free lunch and dinner, a sizable cafeteria and a room with yoga mats and board games. Recently, every last inch of space has been pressed into action. The day after Bitcoin hit $10,000 last week, a training session for Coinbase managers was moved to the game room because the engineering team needed to set up an emergency war room in the regular conference room.

The engineering team was trying to get Coinbase back up after the company’s site was knocked offline, overwhelmed by a wave of incoming traffic. The number of visitors was double what it had been during the previous peak — two days earlier — and eight times what it had been in June, the peak until recently. All of the big Bitcoin exchanges went down for at least part of the day, and Coinbase got back online faster than most. Still, any sort of downtime like that would be unacceptable in more traditional exchanges where stocks and commodities are traded. “There are some well-known places this year when we weren’t able to keep up with the volume,” said Jeremy Henrickson, the chief product officer at Coinbase. “We are not where we need to be yet.”

Coinbase employees tossed around a "talk box" during a question-and-answer session with company executives.CreditJason Henry for The New York Times Most Friday afternoons, Brian Armstrong, the chief executive of Coinbase, holds a session in the cafeteria where employees can ask him anything. On the Friday of the record-hitting week, Mr. Armstrong discussed how the company was planning to grow and introduced Asiff Hirji, the new president and chief operating officer who will help him oversee it all.

The addition of Mr. Hirji, who had the same role at TD Ameritrade, was an implicit recognition that this new industry needs more seasoned hands to help young executives like Mr. Armstrong, who is 34. Mr. Hirji will manage Coinbase’s trading operations while Mr. Armstrong focuses on new projects. rian Armstrong, the chief executive of Coinbase, speaking with employees.CreditJason Henry for The New York Times Mr. Armstrong has been running Coinbase since he co-founded it in 2012. Soft-spoken and reserved, he is an unusual figure in an industry filled with loud ideologues. He has done few public appearances during Bitcoin’s recent bull market, and he recognizes the current frenzy has come with downsides.

“It’s probably a little bit too focused on the price or people trying to make money,” Mr. Armstrong said last week. “The thing I’m passionate about with digital currency is the world having an open financial system.” There is some irony to the success that Mr. Armstrong has experienced as a result of Bitcoin’s rising price. In 2015, he helped lead a push to get the Bitcoin network to expand so it could handle more transactions. That effort failed, and Mr. Armstrong said in a recent interview that Bitcoin “did break my heart a little bit.” He said he now holds more of his wealth in a Bitcoin competitor, Ether, which Coinbase also offers to customers.

A monitor in the Coinbase office displaying the value of several virtual currencies.CreditJason Henry for The New York Times. Most of the screens in the Coinbase offices show the performance of the company’s servers and customer metrics — like the number of customers downloading its iPhone app. For a time last week, Coinbase was among the 10 most downloaded iPhone apps, ahead of Uber and Twitter. There are a few screens, including one in the cafeteria, that show the price of Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ether, the three virtual currencies that Coinbase buys, sells and holds for customers. Litecoin was created by a former Coinbase employee and is often described as silver to Bitcoin’s gold. The newer Ether, which lives on the Ethereum network, is the second most valuable virtual currency after Bitcoin.

Licenses issued to Coinbase.CreditJason Henry for The New York Times Coinbase set itself apart from other early Bitcoin companies when it was one of the first to get a new, special license for virtual currency companies in New York, called the BitLicense. In the last year, though, Coinbase’s most notable interaction with the government came after the Internal Revenue Service asked the company to hand over all of its customer records. Bitcoin holders are supposed to pay taxes if they collect gains from selling coins, but the I.R.S. has said that only a few hundred people have done so each year. Coinbase fought the broad request from the I.R.S. and last week, while the price was skyrocketing, announced an agreement to hand over only the records of customers who made transactions involving more than $20,000 of virtual currencies — around 3 percent of the company’s customers.

Adam White, the general manager of a Coinbase exchange for large investors.CreditJason Henry for The New York Times In addition to the brokerage service for small investors, Coinbase also runs an exchange, called GDAX, tailored to larger investors. GDAX is overseen by Adam White, a former Air Force officer and a graduate of Harvard Business School. The day Bitcoin hit $10,000, he was in New York speaking with big financial institutions that are looking into Bitcoin. Some companies are getting ready to begin trading Bitcoin futures contracts in December, when that activity becomes available on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

A year ago, his Wall Street outreach was difficult, but “it’s all inbound now,” Mr. White said.Workers preparing new office space for Coinbase, part of the company's significant expansion plans.CreditJason Henry for The New York Times Not surprisingly, Coinbase is on a building spree. It recently leased office space in New York that will handle the Wall Street business and a new service that holds virtual currencies for large customers. In San Francisco, the company is adding two new floors in the building where it now has one.

New Coinbase employees learning the ins and outs of virtual currencies during a lunchtime meeting.CreditJason Henry for The New York Times Still, the main concern among virtual currency investors is that Coinbase has not expanded fast enough. In May, the company was criticized by a customer who could not reach anyone at the company after his account was hacked.

Coinbase is trying to be more responsive. At the beginning of the year, the company had 24 employees providing customer support. It now has around 180, with most of them outsourced from a call center in Texas and an email response team in the Philippines. The cafeteria is often turned into a “Crypto Club” where new employees are taught the ins and outs of virtual currency. Daniel Romero, the general manager of Coinbase, said he wanted to have 400 customer support employees by the first quarter of next year to provide phone support around the clock. But in the meantime, there is a 10-day backlog of service requests. “When your customer support issues are that publicly bad, and you have your site go down when people want to be trading,” it’s a very humbling experience, Mr. Romero said.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-461

 

Australia’s CommBank Plans to Issue a Bond on the Blockchain

Australia's CommBank Plans to Issue a Bond on the Blockchain

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has revealed a plan

to issue a bond over a blockchain system, possibly as soon as next year. Though few details were revealed, Sophie Gilder, CommBank's head of blockchain, said that the bond would be transferred and paid for over a blockchain-based system in collaboration with an unnamed major world issuer, according to ZDNet report.

In comments made during the GMIC Sydney conference Tuesday, Gilder said that bank has been exploring blockchain use cases for more than four years and has completed 25 proofs-of-concept and trials aimed to address real-world business issues. CommBank, she continued, is eyeing the technology for equities, bonds, syndicated loans and other applications where it considers there are high levels of "friction."

Gilder stated:

"We think the platform we have built can make this more efficient."

Earlier this year, as reported by CoinDesk, CommBank announced that it is developing a blockchain-based system for the sale of government bonds. The concept was tested by the Queensland Treasury Corporation, which acts as the Australian state’s central financing authority. Other institutions are also moving to adopt blockchain technology for bond issuance.

This October, Russia's National Securities Depository said it had issued its first-ever live bond using blockchain. The financial instrument, a $10-million bond for shares in Russian telecom giant MegaFon, used smart contracts and the open-source Hyperledger Fabric blockchain. And, in late 2016, French bank BNP also announced that it was exploring the technology for use in distributing instruments known as "mini-bonds."

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-461

How Blockchain Is Restoring Value And Transparency In Online Search

How Blockchain Is Restoring Value And Transparency In Online Search

In today’s digital age, the timely retrieval of information

is critical to human functioning. This reality means millions, even billions, of users coalescing around internet search. Information dependency has created an impossibly rich online concentration of potential prospects. Businesses cannot ignore search engine marketing and digital advertising. They have to be where people are.

Now, the primary objective of a search engine is simple: deliver trustworthy, authoritative and timely information in response to a query. As searchers query, click and learn, they naturally interact with businesses. These interactions can be enriching to both sides. Consumers want answers to questions, while businesses want to provide solutions to problems they are positioned to solve. When working, it’s a virtuous cycle of meaningful digital engagement at scale. Unfortunately, because of the outsized influence had by search engine platforms and their advertising network intermediaries, the experience is rarely this idyllic.

The Sad State Of Search

"Assume you know little about wine but you are nevertheless interested to purchase some good quality wine online. … But how can you search about something you do not really know much about? … Unfortunately, as any search will show, what you end up getting are results based mostly on popularity and semantic context. The little-known wine producer in Italy with the right wine for you has no hope of ever reaching you with his digital content if you just type 'red wine' in the online search field. … What you are most likely to get from any agnostic query are results from those who had a big budget to spend on digital marketing. In other words, the global digital media landscape today is a very uneven field that favors the rich and powerful." Consumers lose in a search environment unduly influenced by spend. They contribute valuable, actionable data with every click but don’t reap any reward from this contribution. Nor are they sure about the efficacy of the results they browse.

For businesses — even those with big budgets — the situation is perhaps bleaker.

For every dollar of digital advertising spent last year, $0.40 went to Google and $0.37 went to Facebook. Literally, every other participant on the world’s most ubiquitous online social channels (think: Snapchat, Twitter, Amazon) battle for leftovers. The utter non-competitiveness does little to promote transparency and innovation or return control to advertisers and consumers. Jeremy Epstein, CEO of the blockchain marketing company Never Stop Marketing, recalls the conversation he had with Stacy Huggins, CMO of MadHive. According to her, for every $1 you invest in digital advertising, you only get $.44 of value.

For years, these advertisers’ efforts to secure authentic, valuable connections with consumers have been stymied. Opaque data, convoluted campaign terms and fuzzy metrics are inhibitors. Nineteenth-century retailer John Wanamaker’s iconic line, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half” represents a fundamental question about digital ads altogether. It represents the growing unease about dubious tactics and tepid returns offered by leading search engines.

Emerging Technology And The Evolution Of Search

At BitClave, we’re solving the problem from both the consumer and business side. We believe mutually incentivizing and establishing a direct connection between businesses and customers is the paradigm shift the search and advertising vertical needs. Principally, customers find what they are looking for and businesses provide the right offer to the right question from the right consumer. Within the ecosystem, these interactions are managed in a decentralized way, leveraging the security and immutability of blockchain. As user information is generated, businesses enjoy precise levels of user targeting, maximizing ROI on advertising spend, regaining campaign control and answering search queries. Customer and retail activity information gets stored on the decentralized ledger. This satisfies users’ desire for relevant search results while driving a safer, more efficient transactional experience.

In the U.S., digital ad spend is expected to be $83 billion in 2017. Of this, roughly $37 billion will be from search. As Google and Facebook’s stranglehold tightens, sub-optimal experiences for users and advertisers will continue. These middlemen have moved from simply owning the platforms for search and commerce to meddling in the actual engagements. They are dictating results and using this influence, in the form of ad placements and click-through rate performance, for exorbitant gain.

The too-big-to-fail search and advertising middle should be accountable. Their currency is data and dollars — the very things that consumers and advertisers provide. Irritation is growing among consumers and advertisers alike. AdBlockers app downloads are surging. The vagaries of digital ad ROI have spurred blockchain-based companies bent on disrupting the vertical — and conditions are changing.

Alongside BitClave, martech industry observers note some early leaders:

• AdChain
is an open protocol that uses blockchain technology to improve the digital ad supply chain and prevent ad fraud.

• NYIAX
 is the world’s first exchange to trade advertising contracts. Developed in partnership with Nasdaq, NYIAX enables publishers and advertisers to buy, sell and re-trade high-quality advertising inventory with its financial matching engine.

• AdShares
offers programmatic advertising in a decentralized, peer-to-peer marketplace. The platform brings together publishers and advertisers by cutting out the middleman.

A View Of The Future

Our conviction is that mechanisms to deliver value to buyers and sellers, not middlemen, need to be at the center of search.For years, these advertisers’ efforts to secure authentic, valuable connections with consumers have been stymied. Opaque data, convoluted campaign terms and fuzzy metrics are inhibitors. Nineteenth-century retailer John Wanamaker’s iconic line, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half” represents a fundamental question about digital ads altogether. It represents the growing unease about dubious tactics and tepid returns offered by leading search engines.

Emerging Technology And The Evolution Of Search

At BitClave, we’re solving the problem from both the consumer and business side. We believe mutually incentivizing and establishing a direct connection between businesses and customers is the paradigm shift the search and advertising vertical needs.

Principally, customers find what they are looking for and businesses provide the right offer to the right question from the right consumer. Within the ecosystem, these interactions are managed in a decentralized way, leveraging the security and immutability of blockchain. As user information is generated, businesses enjoy precise levels of user targeting, maximizing ROI on advertising spend, regaining campaign control and answering search queries. Customer and retail activity information gets stored on the decentralized ledger. This satisfies users’ desire for relevant search results while driving a safer, more efficient transactional experience.

In the U.S., digital ad spend is expected to be $83 billion in 2017. Of this, roughly $37 billion will be from search. As Google and Facebook’s stranglehold tightens, sub-optimal experiences for users and advertisers will continue. These middlemen have moved from simply owning the platforms for search and commerce to meddling in the actual engagements. They are dictating results and using this influence, in the form of ad placements and click-through rate performance, for exorbitant gain.

The too-big-to-fail search and advertising middle should be accountable. Their currency is data and dollars — the very things that consumers and advertisers provide. Irritation is growing among consumers and advertisers alike. AdBlockers app downloads are surging. The vagaries of digital ad ROI have spurred blockchain-based companies bent on disrupting the vertical — and conditions are changing.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-461

Feds shut down allegedly fraudulent cryptocurrency offering

Feds shut down allegedly fraudulent cryptocurrency offering

Cryptocurrency offerings are no longer a regulation-free zone.

 A diagram on the PlexCoin website illustrates the cryptocurrency's revolutionary architecture.

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday announced that it was taking action against an initial coin offering (ICO) that the SEC alleges is fraudulent. The announcement represents the first enforcement action by the SEC's recently created cyber fraud unit.

In recent months, the SEC has been wrestling with what to do about ICOs. US securities laws impose a number of requirements on anyone who offers new investments to the public. ICOs—in which a company offers the public cryptocurrencies that could appreciate in value the way Bitcoin has—look a lot like securities offerings. But most ICOs have ignored the SEC's requirements. At the same time, the SEC is aware that new cryptocurrencies could become an important source of innovation. And some experts argue that many new cryptocurrencies—those that serve a useful function beyond their potential to grow in value over time—are not securities, legally speaking.

So the SEC has proceeded cautiously. In July, the agency fired a warning shot. It announced that a 2016 fundraising campaign had run afoul of securities law, but that the SEC would decline to prosecute those responsible. The hope was to get the cryptocurrency world to take securities laws more seriously without doing anything drastic.

Now the SEC is taking the next step by prosecuting what it considers to be one of the most egregious scams in the ICO world. The SEC's complaint, filed in federal court in New York, is against Dominic Lacroix, whom the SEC describes as a "recidivist securities law violator." The SEC considers Lacroix's cryptocurrency project, PlexCoin, to be a "fast-moving Initial Coin Offering (ICO) fraud that raised up to $15 million from thousands of investors since August by falsely promising a 13-fold profit in less than a month."

The PlexCoin website has a hilariously vague description of this supposedly revolutionary cryptocurrency. "The PlexCoin's new revolutionary operating structure is safer and much easier to use than any other current cryptocurrency," the site proclaims. "One of the many features of PlexBank will be to secure your cryptocurrency from market variation, which is highly volatile, and invest your money in a place where you can get interesting guaranteed returns." The company claims that it's working on a PlexCard to allow people to spend their PlexCoin balances. h your PlexCard will guarantee you a perfect interbank exchange rate without fees," the site claims.

The SEC isn't impressed and is arguing that PlexCoin has "all of the characteristics of a full-fledged cyber scam." The agency is seeking to freeze the assets of the PlexCoin project in hopes of getting investors' funds back to them. Most ICOs are not outright scams, as the SEC alleges in this case. Still, the action will give many other ICO sponsors pause. Securities law goes well beyond combatting scams. Offering securities to the public without following SEC rules can get people in a heap of trouble. The SEC started with PlexCoin, but its enforcement of securities laws probably won't end there.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
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Revolut merges mobile banking with cryptocurrency trading

Revolut merges mobile banking with cryptocurrency trading

Revolut is merging traditional banking and cryptocurrency

to let you buy, sell, trade, and hold Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ether alongside 25 world fiat currencies. The $90 million-funded mobile banking startup is trying to erase the divide between old and new money. Revolut‘s CEO Nikolay Storonsky announced on stage today at TechCrunch’s Disrupt Berlin conference that cryptocurrency trading will open to all Revolut users on Thursday. If you’re spending money through Revolut’s debit card and run out of fiat currency, it will automatically convert the necessary amount of cryptocurrency to fiat to fund your transaction.

“Despite being one of the hottest trends in the world right now, getting exposure to cryptocurrency has notoriously been time-consuming and expensive,” Storonsky writes. The move comes as cryptocurrency becomes increasingly legitimate in the eyes of the world, following bitcoin blowing past $10,000 per coin, and traditional futures exchanges preparing to allow bitcoin futures trading this month. While cryptocurrency could be seen as a niche distraction from Revolut’s core business, but Storonsky feels that crypto is going mainstream and will quickly become a critical part of all banking. He cited that during Revolut’s week-long crypto beta test, 10,000 customers traded $1 million in cryptocurrency.

When the feature opens up to all users Thursday, Revolut promises to offer the most competitive rates on crypto transactions, charging only a flat, up-front 1.5 percent without other hidden fees that can add up to 5 percent to 9 percent on other platforms. Customers will be able to buy through all of Revolut’s base currencies so there’s no need for extra foreign exchange fees if you want to buy in Swiss Francs, for example.

In just two years, Revolut has signed up over 1,000,000 users in Europe and processed 42 million transactions, and claims to have saved customers $160 million in foreign exchange fees. It’s growing fast, doubling the rate of new customer sign-ups versus three months ago. While there are plenty of players in the modernized debit card market like N26 and Monzo, Revolut also lets you send up to €5,000 per month in 16 currencies without any fee. As these startups jockey for position, they’re all searching for differentiators. Embracing cryptocurrency could lure fintech early adopters to Revolut.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-461

How the Winklevoss twins became the world’s first bitcoin billionaires

How the Winklevoss twins became the world’s first bitcoin billionaires

The entrepreneurs sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg years ago, and they invested their (supposedly) meagre payouts wisely


Tyler and CameronWinkelvoss have won big on bitcoin.

Vaguely. So they’re actors, are they? No. They’re venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. In 2008, they rowed for the US at the Beijing Olympics, finishing sixth. In the film, Armie Hammer played both of them as a kind of two-man master race. As one of them put it in a memorable line of dialogue, “I’m 6ft 5, 220 pounds and there’s two of me.” Nice. But why make a film about them? Because they were at Harvard with Mark Zuckerberg, who they later sued, claiming he stole their idea for a website that they called Harvard Connection, but which he called the Facebook. (Dramatic music.)

And did he? Steal the idea, I mean? Oh, God, that’s just too complicated to get into. The Winklevii launched numerous lawsuits about it, and got about $65m (£48m) worth of Facebook stock, which wasn’t much at the time. Oh, yeah. Sure. These guys probably spend $65m on lunch. In fact, they spent $11m of it on bitcoin, so they’ve probably cheered up a bit.Bitcoin. There’s a word I don’t understand. It’s a crypto-currency. There’s another one. Think of it as an electronic token, which can be owned and traded. Like normal money, it has value because other people consider it valuable. The number of bitcoins in circulation is strictly controlled by a clever bit of software that nobody can hack, called the blockchain.

Thank you. And the Winklevoss twins like having lots of bitcoins, do they? I’m sure they do at the moment. In March 2013, they bought about 100,000 of them, when each coin was worth roughly $120. After a strong year, and a wild couple of weeks, each bitcoin is now worth … let’s see … $11,826. Holy moly! That’s right. Not counting the value of their other investments, the Winklevoss twins have just become the world’s first bitcoin billionaires. Apart from Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin’s mysterious inventor, of course. Please don’t explain who he is. Well, there are lots of intriguing theories … Do say: “They’re not billionaires – they’re half a billionaire each!” Don’t say: “Just $73bn to go and they’ll catch up with Zuckerberg.”

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-461

Bitcoin: UK and EU plan crackdown amid crime and tax evasion fears

Bitcoin:
UK and EU plan crackdown amid crime
and tax evasion fears

Cryptocurrency close to record high despite news Treasury plans to end traders’ anonymity

Bitcoin
The EU is taking action to regulate trading in bitcoin.

The UK and other EU governments are planning a crackdown on bitcoin amid growing concerns that the digital currency is being used for money laundering and tax evasion. The Treasury plans to regulate bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to bring them in line with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financial legislation. Traders will be forced to disclose their identities, ending the anonymity that has made the currency attractive for drug dealing and other illegal activities.

Under the EU-wide plan, online platforms where bitcoins are traded will be required to carry out due diligence on customers and report suspicious transactions. The UK government is negotiating amendments to the anti-money-laundering directive to ensure firms’ activities are overseen by national authorities. The Treasury said: “We are working to address concerns about the use of cryptocurrencies by negotiating to bring virtual currency exchange platforms and some wallet providers within anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulation.”

Guardian Today:

The rules are expected to come into effect in the next few months. The Treasury said digital currencies could be used to enable and facilitate cybercrime. It added: “There is little current evidence of them being used to launder money, though this risk is expected to grow.” The bosses of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have criticised bitcoin as a vehicle to commit fraud and other crimes. But Sir Jon Cunliffe, a deputy governor of the Bank of England, last week said the digital currency was too small to pose a systemic threat to the global economy. He also cautioned that bitcoin investors needed “to do their homework”.

Bitcoin was trading at $11,566 on Monday. It hit a fresh record high of $11,800 on Sunday but fell to $10,554 on news of the regulatory crackdown. The Labour MP John Mann, a member of the House of Commons Treasury select committee, suggested MPs would look into the regulation of virtual currencies. He told the Daily Telegraph: “These new forms of exchange are expanding rapidly and we’ve got to make sure we don’t get left behind – that’s particularly important in terms of money laundering, terrorism or pure theft. “It would be timely to have a proper look at what this means. It may be that we want speed up our use of these kinds of thing in this country, but that makes it all the more important that we don’t have a regulatory lag.”

The UK government is currently negotiating amendments

Stephen Barclay, the economic secretary to the Treasury, set out the government’s plans in a written parliamentary answer in October. “The UK government is currently negotiating amendments to the anti-money-laundering directive that will bring virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers into anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulation, which will result in these firms’ activities being overseen by national competent authorities for these areas. “The government supports the intention behind these amendments. We expect these negotiations to conclude at EU level in late 2017 or early 2018.”

Since you’re here …

… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too. High-quality journalism is essential intellectual nourishment. The generosity of providing such a service without a paywall deserves recognition and support. 

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
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Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-461