Bank-based blockchain projects are going to transform the financial services industry

Bank-based blockchain projects
are going to transform the financial services industry

Cryptocurrencies are constantly evolving,

with popular currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum maintaining their popularity despite recent market corrections. At the core of both technologies is the cryptographically secure digital ledger known as the blockchain. It’s a digital ledger where cryptocurrency transactions are recorded chronologically and publicly. Indeed, as the popularity of cryptocurrencies has grown, so has the banking industry’s interest in blockchain for fintech, with an increased and focused push on bank-backed blockchain projects. Some of the largest projects underway include the IBM-backed Hyperledger Fabric project, the Utility Settlement Coin, and R3’s blockchain consortium, signifying a growing acceptance in institutional policy to support blockchain growth

How does it work?

Currently, banks transact with each other by creating agreements, as one would when purchasing an item from a store. A common example would be a bank agreeing to purchase a specific amount of stock for a specific cash price from another. This process, often cumbersome and slow, takes up to several days and incurs the risk that one party may default or renege on the agreement. This period of time, known as settlement, is such an issue that an Oliver Wyman report identified it as costing the financial industry anywhere from $65-$80 billion a year.

Blockchain projects have the potential to reduce, and possibly eliminate, settlement times due to their digital nature, ensuring the timely and secure processing of these operations. Other uses for bank-backed blockchain projects would include secured global currency exchange rate speeds and increased transaction security, among other benefits, eventually allowing for an overhaul of the banking industry, replacing traditional back-office clearinghouses and other outdated mediums that exist between asset sellers and buyers.

IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric

The IBM-backed Hyperledger Fabric project is a trade finance platform aimed at international payments utilizing blockchain, with seven of its largest supporters including Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Rabobank, Societe Generale and Unicredit. IBM’s blockchain platform will run through the IBM Cloud, allowing for interconnectivity between all parties in a particular secure transaction. This project is designed to be highly scalable, allowing for multiple entrants to easily integrate into the entire financial supply chain process through the secure blockchain, allowing for an unprecedented amount of transaction transparency. In mid-October, IBM revealed a partnership with blockchain startup Stellar, spreading the influence of the Hyperledger Fabric project to global levels unseen before.

The Utility Settlement Coin

Six of the world’s largest banks, Barclays, CIBC, Credit Suisse, HSBC, MUFG, and State Street, have announced backing of the UBS and Clearmatics-spearheaded Utility Settlement Coin, joining other industry heavyweights who have already pledged their support for the project, including BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, and Santander. The UTC specifically tackles the use of blockchain technologies by traditional banks, utilizing it as a tool for more efficient transactions. Additionally, the UTC addresses the issue of currency backing, with the UTC being backed by cash at a central bank, preventing default and credit risk. These safeguards play a huge role in why the UTC has so much pledged interest, allowing banks to take part in the relatively young digital currency ecosystem. The UTC is definitely a sign of fintech adoption in the banking industry, ensuring the eventual wide-scale use of blockchain technologies on a standardized level across the globe.

R3

Blockchain consortium R3 is another player in the bank-based blockchain space, raising $107 million in May, with four of its backers being Temasek, SBI Group, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Intel, with further support pledged from industry heavyweights such as Wells Fargo and ING. One of R3’s primary projects has been the development of their Corda platform, with future plans for an infrastructure network specifically geared toward financial institutions to build their own ledger-based applications and services, implying that these banks currently have and will grow their own teams of blockchain developers. R3 is also focused on governmental acceptance of blockchain, with buy-in from these institutions signifying a drastic shift in terms of governmental compliance and usage of such fintech.

By presenting credible potential resolutions of current-day issues, these projects represent large-scale efforts by the banking industry to fully embrace and integrate blockchain into their current infrastructures. Industry consumers and participants alike should be excited to see how the industry develops in the next coming months.

Chuck Reynolds

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Japan cryptocurrency exchange to refund stolen 400m

Japan cryptocurrency exchange
to refund stolen $400m

Coincheck will reimburse 260,000 customers who lost holdings of NEM currency

A Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange will refund to customers

about $400m (£282m) stolen by hackers two days ago in one of the biggest thefts of digital funds. Coincheck said it would use its cash to reimburse about 46.3bn yen to the 260,000 people who lost their holdings of NEM, the world’s 10th-biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation. On Friday, the company detected an “unauthorised access” of the exchange and later suspended trading for all cryptocurrencies apart from bitcoin.

Coincheck said its NEM coins were stored in a hot wallet instead of the more secure cold wallet, which is kept offline, because of technical difficulties and a shortage of staff capable of dealing with them. The resulting 58bn yen loss exceeded the value of bitcoin that disappeared from MtGox in 2014. The Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange collapsed after admitting that 850,000 coins, worth around $480m at the time, had disappeared from its vaults.

MtGox’s high-profile demise failed to dampen the enthusiasm for virtual currencies in Japan, which became the first country to define cryptocurrencies as legal tender in April last year. Nearly one-third of global bitcoin transactions were denominated in yen last month, according to the specialist website jpbitcoin.com. As many as 10,000 businesses in Japan are thought to accept bitcoin, and bitFlyer, the country’s main bitcoin exchange, saw its user base pass the 1 million mark in November.

Many Japanese people, especially younger investors, have been seduced by the idea of strong profits as the economy has seen years of ultra-low interest rates offering little in the way of traditional returns. On Sunday, major newspapers in the country labelled the management of virtual currencies at Coincheck as “sloppy” and said the company had “expanded business by putting safety second”. Local media said the Financial Services Agency was expected to take action against Coincheck, which calls itself “the leading bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange in Asia”.

Japan started to require cryptocurrency exchange operators to register with the government last April. Pre-existing operators such as Coincheck have been allowed to continue offering services while awaiting approval. Coincheck’s application, submitted in September, is pending. Politicians meeting last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos issued warnings about the dangers of cryptocurrencies, with the US Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, relating Washington’s concern about them being used for illegal activity.

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Cryptocurrency Rating Agency Says Ethereum Is Better Than Bitcoin And Ripple — Should You Trust It?

Cryptocurrency Rating Agency
Says Ethereum Is Better Than Bitcoin And Ripple — Should You Trust It?

After gaining some recognition on Wall Street,

cryptocurrencies have attracted the interest of asset rating agencies. Last week, Florida-based Weiss Ratings released a report that assigned grades to dozens of cryptocurrencies based on a number of metrics, like risk, technological innovation, and other fundamentals. There were a couple of surprises to the report. One of them was that none of the cryptocurrencies rated received an “A.” Another surprise was that Ethereum received a higher grade than Bitcoin and Ripple.

[Ed note: Investing in cryptocoins or tokens is highly speculative and the market is largely unregulated. Anyone considering it should be prepared to lose their entire investment. Disclosure: I don't own any cryptocoins or tokens.] How trustworthy are Weiss ratings? Investment and cryptocurrency experts are divided. “Very trustworthy,” says David Drake, a crypto asset expert. “It is the first step for more ratings to come out on cryptocurrencies.”  

“The mere fact that futures exchanges and rating services have finally legitimized investment in cryptocurrencies after nine years of their existence is a strong sign of trend maturation,” adds Elliot Prechter, Head of Computer Analysis, Elliot Wave. “It is reminiscent of the timing of gold legalization, which occurred at an interim peak in gold that saw it fall in half thereafter.”

“Weiss has been around for a while and appears to be respected,” says  Al Zdenek, president of Taust Sollus Wealth Management. “From their past history, they appear to tend to come out with new rankings or ratings in different areas of the markets first.  The current ranking of cryptocurrencies seems to be the latest one.”

Still, Zdenek is skeptical of Weiss ratings.  “With the cryptocurrency industry being so young and with so many companies vying for space, I am not sure what it means to rank these companies,” he notes. “The speed of change in this space renders any ranking irrelevant after a few weeks.  I would caution investors or followers of this rating to be very careful if you are basing investing on it. In any new industry, there tends to be many that enter but few survive.  It would not surprise me if Bitcoin was not even being ranked in future years. 

Remember Wang Computers?”

You certainly don’t want to remember Wang — if you purchased its shares at all-time highs. And you won’t want to remember Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple in a couple of years from now, if big banks and big governments crush them.

Chuck Reynolds

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Contributor

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How Chinese Bitcoin Buyers Are Getting Around Government Ban

How Chinese Bitcoin Buyers Are Getting Around Government Ban

Chinese citizens are still investing in Bitcoin

and the cryptocurrency market despite the government’s heavy crackdown. In September 2017, Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges BTCC China, Huobi and OKCoin were ordered by the government to shut down their businesses. At one point, executives of the three cryptocurrency exchanges were prevented from leaving the country, due to a government investigation into local cryptocurrency exchanges.

Three months later, in December of 2017, China’s three largest cryptocurrency exchanges relocated their businesses to Hong Kong. BTCC China, Huobi and OKCoin rebranded to BTCC, Huobi Pro and OKEx, respectively. They intended to address the rapidly growing demand from Hong Kong-based investors. Shortly after their move, the three trading platforms started to see daily volumes from Chinese investors grow exponentially. Somehow, Chinese investors were managing to circumvent Chinese trading restrictions by using Hong Kong-based exchanges. How is this possible?

In Hong Kong, it is relatively easy for investors to set up businesses. With less than $1,000, businesses can be legally created, which allows the opening of business bank accounts at Hong Kong-based financial institutions. Beginning in December 2017, many Chinese investors moved their funds from their Chinese bank accounts to Hong Kong bank accounts and started to trade cryptocurrencies more actively, effectively bypassing China’s restrictions.

But, unlike China, Hong Kong has a substantially lower supply to meet the growing demand. While China is home to major miners like Bitmain, Hong Kong does not produce much Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. As such, premiums in the Hong Kong cryptocurrency market increased, surpassing even that of the South Korean market. On January 18, when the global average price of Bitcoin was around $11,500, Bitcoin was being traded at above $13,000 on Huobi Pro.

Krystal Hu, a Hong Kong-based finance journalist, noted that traders outside of China have also started to take advantage of the arbitrage opportunity presented by the Hong Kong market. For instance, on January 18, the price of Bitcoin on Coinbase was $11,800. Purchasing Bitcoin from Coinbase and selling it on any Hong Kong-based market would have generated $1,200 in profit.

Chinese Government Concerned

Hong Kong’s exchanges have also integrated widely-used fintech applications in China such as Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay. Alipay is a $60 billion fintech app that is used by more than 50 percent of mobile users. WeChat Pay, which was only used by seven percent of mobile users in 2014, is now being used by more than 40 percent of mobile users in China.

The integration of the two fintech payment networks has increased the accessibility of Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency OTC exchanges for Chinese investors, easing the process of investing in the cryptocurrency market. To prevent Chinese investors from buying digital currencies, the Chinese government and the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), have asked local banks to disclose any suspicious transactions linked to Hong Kong-based markets. However, even this action will not be able to prevent Chinese investors from accessing Hong Kong-based markets, due to apps such as Alipay and WeChat Pay.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
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Twitter Reacts to Crypto Fear-Mongering at Davos WEF

Twitter Reacts to Crypto
Fear-Mongering at Davos WEF

While cryptocurrencies have been a talking point

at previous World Economic Forum conferences, they have come to the fore in Davos this year. Following a breakout year which saw Bitcoin rise to an almighty high of $20,000, alongside the massive growth of other altcoins, it’s hardly surprising that one of the major talking points at WEF would be the future of cryptocurrency. With financial industry leaders coming together at the most important annual event on the economic calendar, media outlets took their chance to ask the top minds for their two cents worth on the current and future prospects of virtual currencies. Cointelegraph is currently attending the summit in Davos and has reported continual resistant perceptions towards cryptocurrencies.

These views stem from a lack of a regulatory framework for virtual currencies which has made some of the world’s prominent banking and financial institutions hesitant about investing and supporting cryptocurrencies. UBS Chairman Axel Weber said as much in an interview with Bloomberg, saying his firm would not recommend cryptocurrency adoption or investment to its clients until there is clarity on future regulatory action. As per usual, the vibrant and feisty cryptocurrency community has been watching developments at Davos keenly, and there has been plenty of backlash in response to any FUD or untoward comments about cryptocurrencies.

Twitter hits out at Davos FUD

Full Tilt Capital Partner Anthony Pompliano was scathing in his analysis of the prevailing sentiment floating around in Davos towards Bitcoin. The former Facebook product and growth manager suggested that statements made by economist Joseph Stiglitz that Bitcoin was still used for shady purposes actually has the opposite effect of driving people away from

cryptocurrency adoption.

Joseph Stiglitz, well-known economist, is bragging to the Davos crowd that Bitcoin is used for "secret use cases" & that fiat currency is superior. My theory is that this type of fear-mongering actually drives more adoption of Bitcoin & cryptocurrencies

Max Keiser, host of the Keiser Report on RT, also touched on the wave of negativity around Bitcoin in Davos, but said it was too late for big financial industry players to try to stop what he described

as a ‘revolution.’

Those at Davos threatened by Bitcoin maybe could have thwarted the revolution 5 yrs ago. But now it’s too late. Go home guys, your time is over.

Renowned American investor Bill Gross suggested that the rise of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency has signaled a move away from centralized institutions governing and controlling money. People seem to be putting their trust in technology over

government-run establishments.

Bitcoin’s rise may reflect, for better or worse, a monumental transfer of social trust: away from human institutions backed by government and to systems reliant on well-tested computer code..

Twitter users CryptoWilson highlighted more negative sentiment towards cryptocurrency, sharing a video of French President Emmanuel Macron speaking in favor of regulatory crackdowns by the

International Monetary Fund on cryptocurrency.

Macron 'triggered by Bitcoin' at Davos: "I am in favor of the IMF having full competence over the whole areas that escape regulation: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, shadow banking […] which can trigger crises."

Can’t be ignored

Setting perceptions of sentiment aside, the truth of the matter is that the financial world can no longer turn a blind eye on cryptocurrencies. They are very much a central point of this year’s WEF and understandably so. As the 68th US Secretary of State John Kerry told Cointelegraph earlier this week at the summit, the sheer value of capital that has been poured into the overall cryptocurrency market has made it impossible to ignore. Coinmarketcap currently has the current total market capitalization at $559 bln- a steady number after a month of wild market volatility.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Telegram’s ICO: Give us 2 billion and we’ll solve all of Blockchain’s problems

Telegram’s ICO:
Give us $2 billion and we’ll solve
all of B
lockchain’s problems

The encrypted messaging company’s plan is bold, but short on details.

“Long Island Iced Tea” becoming “Long Blockchain” this is not. In planning a $2 billion initial coin offering that’s meant to launch this month, messaging service Telegram isn’t just looking for a quick boost in value. If the dollar amount weren’t enough to get your attention, consider the ambition behind it: Telegram is promising investors who buy into its home-grown cryptocurrency that it will solve some of the blockchain world’s thorniest problems.

The ICO space is already on fire, and while Telegram aims to be the richest ever, plenty of other companies have tallied nine-figure crypto fund-raising rounds, with one, called EOS, on pace to raise far more than a billion—all founded almost entirely on dreams of blockchain systems that doesn’t exist yet. But investors’ excitement about Telegram’s offering could be more than froth. Telegram already has more than 100 million users on its encrypted messaging service. Such a clientele also makes a lot of sense for censorship-resistant applications like decentralized file storage, anonymous browsing, and cryptocurrency micropayments—all of which appear in a leaked white paper describing the so-called Telegram Open Network (TON).

Delivering on the promises in the white paper will require solving some of the most vexing challenges facing cryptocurrencies. The blockchain holy grail is a system that runs cheaply and efficiently at a large scale while remaining truly “decentralized.” Telegram says TON will do this, but it hasn’t said how. The white paper should have a disclaimer that reads “all of the technical things we said this will do are completely unproven and have not been subject to outside scrutiny,” writes Charles Noyes, an analyst and trader at Pantera Capital, a cryptocurrency-focused investment fund.

The explanations of the system’s monetary policy and governance system also leave much to be desired, according to Christian Catalini, a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and an expert in the economics of cryptocurrencies. There are no details clarifying how tokens will be distributed, how the network will make decisions and handle disagreements, and how much control the company will maintain over those processes, he says. Such issues cut to the heart of what it means to have a decentralized currency. In the case of Bitcoin, arguments over how the network should evolve led to a “hard fork” that split the blockchain in two and still threaten to tear the community apart.

The bottom line is that although Telegram’s blockchain dream may make sense at first glance, many cryptocurrency experts will be skeptical until the company clarifies how it intends to solve some big technical and economic challenges. If the company’s fund-raising efforts come to fruition, it will at least have plenty of cash to invest in trying to figure it all out.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

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Blockchain Adoption: How Close Are We Really?

Blockchain Adoption:
How Close Are We Really?

The Diffusion of Innovation Theory,

first postulated by Everett Rogers in 1962, explains how an idea, product, or behavior takes root in society through different segments of a population. It starts slowly at first with the "innovators" and "early adopters," who make up just 16% of the population; these are the intrepid individuals who see opportunities before they are there, who are willing to experiment, take huge risks, and change the status quo.

After them, the innovation begins to gain traction and spreads exponentially to the "early majority," who are more wary than the ones who came before but still eager to jump onboard. They are followed by the "late majority"—a risk-averse and skeptical population—and finally, the "laggards," the ones who are most resistant to change. At this point, the diffusion of innovation is complete—a new norm or product has achieved dominance in society. This model of adoption has occurred throughout history, from the rise of the iPhone to the abolishment of slavery.

Blockchain Today

Where, then, should we situate blockchain on this curve? Many believe we are already in the "early majority" phase of exponential growth, and that we are on the cusp of full adoption. I wish to temper expectations and introduce more nuance into the equation. It is important that we examine the issue of blockchain adoption from two different angles: investments and technology.

On the investments front, blockchain has indeed reached the level of "early majority." More and more capital, both institutional and household, is being poured into cryptocurrencies today. In 2017 alone, the total crypto market capitalization ballooned from 18 billion dollars to more than half a trillion dollars. Coinbase, the online exchange for buying and selling digital currency, recently reached more than 10 million users worldwide and became the most downloaded app on the U.S. Apple Store. Online wallet and portfolio tracking apps like imToken from China and CoinManager from Korea have also seen exponential expansion in their user base. In Korea, one of the largest crypto markets in the world, more than one-third of salaried workers are investors. CBOE and CME, two of the world’s largest financial exchanges, took the unprecedented step of launching Bitcoin futures last month. Across the globe, more than 2000 Bitcoin ATMs have sprouted up. The signs are clear.

How Far Have We Really Come?

From a technological perspective, however, we are still quite far behind. Firstly, there exists a dearth of talent. Blockchain developers are few and far between; the growth of many crypto-projects has been limited by the difficulty of finding qualified technologists. Secondly, there remain many technical issues that need to be ironed out, the most notable of which is scaling. Blockchain networks are still not capable of handling the high transaction volumes that could rival that of large industries and financial institutions. Without the appropriate scaling solutions, transactions costs would be too high and the wait times too long for viable adoption. This can be especially concerning, given that 2018 is the year where a lot of blockchain platforms start running on the Ethereum blockchain.

The sudden influx of many blockchain applications will likely exert greater pressure on the network, due to the exponential increase of activities on the blockchain. If not handled properly, this might result in expensive transaction costs for application on the Ethereum blockchain, and unbearably long waiting time for a transaction to be processed. That said, there are several promising scaling projects currently in the pipeline, including Raiden Network, Plasma, Zilliqa, and Lightning Network. In light of these challenges, I would say that the technology aspect of blockchain is only in the "early adopter" stage, perhaps even in the "innovator" stage.

A Growing Gap

You can see the problem here. There is a gap between technology and investments. If we continue to grow the latter without supporting the development of the former, we might face a severe overvaluation of cryptocurrencies. Yes, the market has reached half a trillion dollars, but as Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, recently questioned, “Have we earned it?” More must be done to support the training of blockchain developers. Leading institutions such as National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University are some of the pioneers in this regards. And of course, greater resources should be directed towards advancing scaling solutions. Blockchain technology needs to catch up to blockchain investments. If the gap is too large for that to happen, perhaps we should dial down the fervor of our speculation.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

New Report: North Korean Hackers Stole Funds From South Korean Cryptocurrency Exchanges

New Report: North Korean Hackers
Stole Funds From South Korean Cryptocurrency Exchanges

US cybersecurity firm Recorded Future has released a new report linking Lazarus,

a North Korean hacking group, to various South Korean cryptocurrency exchange hacking attacks and security breaches. In a report entitled “North Korea Targeted South Korean Cryptocurrency Users and Exchange in Late 2017 Campaign,” the firm’s researchers stated that the same type of malware used in the Sony Pictures security breach and WannaCry ransomware attack was utilized to target Coinlink, a South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange.

“North Korean government actors, specifically Lazarus Group, continued to target South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges and users in late 2017, before Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s speech and subsequent North-South dialogue. The malware employed shared code with Destover malware, which was used against Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014 and the first WannaCry victim in February 2017,” the report read.

$7 mln stolen from Bithumb

In February 2017, Bithumb, the second largest cryptocurrency exchange in the global market by daily trading volume, fell victim to a security breach that led to the loss of around $7 mln of user funds, mostly in Bitcoin and Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency Ether. The report released by Recorded Future noted that the $7 mln Bithumb security breach has been linked to North Korean hackers. Insikt Group researchers, a group of cybersecurity researchers that closely track the activities of North Korean hackers regularly, revealed that Lazarus Group, in particular, has used a wide range of tools from spear phishing attacks to malware distribution through communication platforms to gain access to cryptocurrency wallets and accounts.

Insikt Group researchers disclosed that Lazarus Group hackers initiated a massive malware campaign in the fall of 2017 and since then, North Korean hackers have focused on spreading malware by attaching files containing fraudulent software to gain access to individual devices. One method Lazarus Group employed was the distribution of Hangul Word Processor (HWP) files through email, the South Korea equivalent of Microsoft Word documents, with malware attached. If any cryptocurrency user downloads the malware, it autonomously installs itself and operates in the background, taking control of or manipulating data stored within the specific device.

“By 2017, North Korean actors had jumped on the cryptocurrency bandwagon. The first known North Korean cryptocurrency operation occurred in February 2017, with the theft of $7 mln (at the time) in cryptocurrency from South Korean exchange Bithumb. By the end of 2017, several researchers had reported additional spear phishing campaigns against South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges, numerous successful thefts, and even Bitcoin and Monero mining,” Insikt Group researchers wrote.

Motivation of North Korean hackers

Prior to the release of Recorded Future’s report, several other cybersecurity firms had accused North Korean hacking groups of targeting South Korean cryptocurrency trading platforms with sophisticated malware and phishing attack tools. Researchers at FireEye linked six targeted cyber attacks against South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges to state-financed hackers based in North Korea. Most recently, as Cointelegraph reported, police investigators and the Korea Internet and Security Agency initiated a full investigation into a security breach that led to the bankruptcy of YouBit, a South Korean cryptocurrency trading platform.

At the time, local investigators stated that they have found evidence to link the YouBit security breach to North Korean hackers. FireEye senior analyst Luke McNamara also told Bloomberg that similar tools widely utilized by North Korean hackers were employed in the YouBit hacking attack. “This an adversary that we have been watching become increasingly capable and also brazen in terms of the targets that they are willing to go after. This is really just one prong in a larger strategy that they seem to be employing since at least 2016, where they have been using capability that has been primarily used for espionage to actually steal funds.”

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Bitconnect Ponzi Scheme – No Sympathy From Crypto Community

Bitconnect Ponzi Scheme –
No Sympathy From Crypto Community

What looked too good to be true ended up being just that,

as Bitconnect has all but closed its doors. Long accused of being a Ponzi-scheme, Bitconnect shut down its cryptocurrency exchange and lending service this week. As stated on their website, Bitconnect had received cease and desist letters from two American securities regulators – leading to the closure of their lending and exchange platforms. Still, Bitconnect will continue to run its website and wallet service.

Sketchy ‘Ponzi’ offerings

Since its inception in January 2017, many were skeptical about Bitconnect services. In essence, one needed to send Bitconnect Bitcoin in exchange for Bitconnect Coin (BCC) on their exchange. Once you had BCC, you were guaranteed “up to 120 percent return per year.” Users were told they were earning interest by holding their coin “for helping maintain the security of the network.”

Lending platform

Bitconnect’s lending platform is what really led to accusations of a Ponzi scheme, as well as cease and desist orders from regulators. As the above illustration explains, users bought BCC with Bitcoin and then lent out their BCC on the Bitconnect lending software. Users would receive varying percentages of interest depending on the amount of BCC they had lent. Add in the referral system seen in many other Ponzi schemes and the fact that the operation was run anonymously; it's hardly surprising that this whole endeavor has ended in tears.

The lending scheme was the main draw card of Bitconnect because of its huge promise of returns. In order to participate in the scheme, you had to buy BCC – which saw the token hit an all-time high of $437.31 per BCC before it plummeted in value following the closure this week. That being said, the cryptocurrency is still alive and trading at around $35 at the time of writing.

Social media burns Bitconnect

Following Bitconnect’s closure, social media was abuzz with sentiments of ‘I told you so.’ TenX co-founder Julian Hosp highlighted the fact that BCC was still trading as

a real head-scratcher.

Everything that's wrong with crypto in one picture!
— Dr. Julian Hosp

Francis Pouliot shared a hilarious video of a Bitconnect meet which had been slightly

dubbed over.

People invested billions of dollars in this
(This video is actually hilarious recommended for memephiles) 

— Francis Pouliot

American cartoonist Spike Trotman shared one of the most entertaining and eerily accurate predictions back in September 2017, postulating that Bitconnect was indeed a Ponzi scheme. Her latest tweet is a screenshot of the Bitconnect Reddit page, with subreddits for a suicide hotline as well as a massive legal action megathread. Do yourself a favor and take a look at Iron Spike’s full threat on Bitconnect –

it’s brilliant.

The current state of the Bitconnect subreddit is truly a thing to behold.

Rodolfo Novak shared a photo of the monumental collapse in price of Bitconnect from Coinmarketcap, highlight the moment the Ponzi scheme hits

‘exit time.’

This is what a real ponzi looks like at the scam exit time. 

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

Please click either Link to learn more about Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions, Call Me, 559-474-4614

Bitcoin boom: Prices could triple by year’s end Bespoke analyst predicts

Bitcoin boom:
Prices could triple by year's end,
Bespoke analyst predicts

The bitcoin boom may be far from over.

Bespoke Investment Group's Dan Ciotoli believes the cryptocurrency's price could nearly triple by the end of the year — declaring that the January crash is likely behind it. "There was a big run-up in December, and then we kind of saw these get-rich-quick-investors exiting the space. Everyone rushed in at once. So, the inevitable crash happened," he said Tuesday on CNBC's "Futures Now." "Now it's starting to recover. We saw a bottom around $9,000."

Ciotoli, a blockchain analyst and software engineer, is out with a year-end forecast placing bitcoin prices in the $20,000 to $30,000 range. "The driver I think is going to bring bitcoin up in 2018 is bitcoin denominated commerce," he added — noting that converting it into dollars right now is too pricey. For his bullish forecast to stick, Ciotoli says it depends on the success of the Lightning Network, a technological endeavor that's expected to roll out this year. The network's goal is to bring in a new wave of buyers by making bitcoin transactions faster and cheaper.

If the network fails, Ciotoli says, his year-end bitcoin target could drop as low as $5,000. "If I don't see people actually able to use bitcoin to say 'buy Starbucks' or something. I'd be worried that people would slowly lose interest, the price kind of levels off or even goes down," he said. It would be an unwelcome scenario, but even that wouldn't spell the end of bitcoin, according to Ciotoli. "The technology is here to stay, and I think it'll be interesting to see how things play out over the next year," Ciotoli said.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

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