On Friday morning, Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk added #bitcoin to his Twitter profile, which sent Bitcoin (BTC) soaring over 10%. On Thursday, SatoshiStreetBets, which emulates its fellow Reddit forum, WallStreetBets, sent Dogecoin (DOGE) soaring over 360%. As traders protest restrictions on platforms such as Robinhood, which this week limited trading of popular stocks such as GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) and… Yes, there is a future for cryptocurrencies. We are on the verge of a revolution where the world will shift to the usage of cryptocurrency tokens for just about everything. In the future, we are going to see cryptocurrencies and their underlying technologies rule every industry. From finance to supply chains and even space travel, […] The IMF representative for Nigeria, Ari Aisen recently discussed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive that targets crypto entities. Payment Firms Adopt Cryptocurrencies, Company Purchases $1.5 Billion in Bitcoin By: Veronica Reynolds According to a press release, last week the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency provided conditional approval to Protego Trust Bank for a trust charter to custody digital assets. The move will enable Protego clients to “hold, trade, lend and issue…
On Friday morning, Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk added #bitcoin to his Twitter profile, which sent Bitcoin (BTC) soaring over 10%. On Thursday, SatoshiStreetBets, which emulates its fellow Reddit forum, WallStreetBets, sent Dogecoin (DOGE) soaring over 360%.
As traders protest restrictions on platforms such as Robinhood, which this week limited trading of popular stocks such as GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) and Nokia Oyj (NYSE: NOK), decentralized coins and tokens have taken the spotlight.
Related Link: Dogecoin Price Surges 150% After Redditors Encouragement To Buy
Here are five altcoins to watch:
Polkadot (DOT): Price, as of today at publication time — $16.49
Polkadot is a proof-of-stake cryptocurrency delivering interoperability between other blockchains. Polkadot uses four systems: relay chain, parachain, parathreads and bridges to connect cryptocurrencies across blockchains. Similar to Ethereum (ETH), Polkadot also allows users to create their own blockchain. While developers on Ethereum have to manage their own security, on Polkadot developers are able to take advantage of the security already built into the system.
See also: How to Buy Bitcoin (BTC)
Monero (XMR): Price, as of today at publication time — $137.22
Monero is a cryptocurrency that allows users to be their own bank and make purchases, which are entirely untraceable. It is a community-based project funded entirely by donation with an aim to give users anonymity with their banking. In comparison to Bitcoin, which is transparent and therefore transactions can be traced, Monero uses a cryptography technique called “ring signatures” to protect its customers’ transaction details and identities. Monero has a simple system allowing users to purchase Monero coins and then spend them. The list of merchants who accept Monero currently sits at just under 200.
Cardano (ADA): Price, as of today at publication time — $0.35
Co-founded by Charles Hoskinson, one of the original developers of Ethereum, Cardano is a proof-of-stake blockchain platform. In its early stages some referred to it as “the Ethereum killer,” believing it would eventually take out its larger rival. Like Ethereum, Cardano aims to provide decentralized financial products to its customers, but was built specifically with security in mind. Instead of smart contracts used by Ethereum, Cardano uses “native” token logic connected directly to Cardano’s ledger.
Energy Web (EWT): Price, as of today at publication time — $7.52
Energy Web token was launched by Energy Web Foundation, a nonprofit. The token is part of the Energy Web Chain to support low-carbon, customer-centric ideas for generating electricity. According to its website, “EW also grew the world’s largest energy-sector ecosystem — comprising utilities, grid operators, renewable energy developers, corporate energy buyers and others — focused on open-source, decentralized digital technologies.” Through its digital interface, Energy Web has gained customers in over a dozen countries, including the U.S., Japan and Germany.
Ocean Protocol (OCEAN): Price, as of today at publication time — $0.59
Ocean is a blockchain based ecosystem that focuses on data. Specifically, it lets businesses tokenize and sell their data on the Ocean market. According to its website, “Ocean makes it easy to publish data services (deploy and mint ERC20 datatokens), and to consume data services (spend datatokens).”
Users can also build their own apps and use Ocean Protocol’s blockchain security.
Photo by Dogeloverforever on Wikimedia
© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
What Is The Future For Bitcoin And Cryptocurrencies?
Yes, there is a future for cryptocurrencies. We are on the verge of a revolution where the world will shift to the usage of cryptocurrency tokens for just about everything.
In the future, we are going to see cryptocurrencies and their underlying technologies rule every industry.
From finance to supply chains and even space travel, cryptocurrencies are the future!
Cryptocurrencies are a critical phase of technology’s evolution.
Humanity is at a turning point.
Where technology is taking primacy above other industries.
We see this dominance in the financial markets. Most of the world’s most capitalized companies are technology companies.
In their current form, technology companies have proven that technology can only improve the future of humanity.
It serves as the foundation for dominance in the future for cryptocurrencies.
We also see a shift where technology companies solve many of the problems that other companies have traditionally had as operational inefficiencies.
As the technology industry matures, we shall see huge strides in as many industries as possible.
A few years from now, the world will not be the same.
We will have one form of technology or the other in almost every industry.
Technology in its current form has its issues.
There are many problems with the current setup of the technologies that have made work easy.
From the cost of deployment to maintenance and security issues, centralized technologies have their various limitations.
Centralized technologies are limited by their very nature.
From the file systems that give them the functionality, to the syntax that governs their operations.
Because of these limitations, we see the many problems and situations that surround centralized technologies.
It has also given rise to many costs and challenges.
The rise of cryptocurrencies and their underlying technologies serves as a counterbalance to these issues.
Cryptocurrencies and their technologies since 2009 have proven to be one of the world’s greatest technological marvels.
In their crudest form, they have also proven to best-centralized technologies in most respects.
They’re secure, are easy to maintain, the decentralized nature allows for them to be accurate as far as record keeping is concerned.
It portends tremendous potential in the future for cryptocurrencies.
One issue many people can’t seem to understand is the function of incentivization.
Rather than have one party or set of parties gain all the benefits of participating in an ecosystem, it is usually better to have all parties benefit simultaneously.
It is this scenario that has created “the cryptospace”.
Apart from the financial use-case scenario, several cryptocurrencies fulfill core technology needs while providing incentives at the same time.
It is one fact many people don’t realize.
So they think that the beginning and the end of the cryptospace is within the financial industry.
It has also presented another paradox.
One where distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) are separate from the token ecosystem.
While several use-cases exist for individual distributed ledger technologies, the creation of incentives for their usage has allowed DLTs to flourish.
These incentives have made many question the limitation of cryptocurrencies to strictly financial use-cases.
Many cryptocurrencies don’t only serve financial uses but are used in ecosystems (on ledgers) that solve other problems.
The use of cryptocurrencies as a form of compensation allows for the development of the ledger and its ecosystem to solve the initial problem ultimately.
We already see an explosion in different tokens that serve as utility tokens in their native ecosystems.
One token that fulfills this function is the Brave New Coin (BNC).
The BNC token solves the problems of providing incentives to the participants in its content development network.
So, cryptocurrency tokens are important!
One fact that guarantees the future for cryptocurrencies is the need for distributed ledger technologies (DLTs).
DLTs such as blockchain technology are needed in every industry on earth.
They will be used one way or the other in these fields at some point.
The truth is for humanity to get to where cryptocurrencies and DLTs become commonplace; we have to create scenarios where people use the technologies.
Cryptocurrency tokens serve this function not only in terms of incentives but also as a commonality across the distributed ledger.
Users in DLT ecosystems need a commonality across the ledger.
Cryptocurrency tokens provide this adequately.
Once people subscribe to a particular idea en masse, it becomes easier for the idea to gain critical mass.
It is the same process needed for the mass adoption of DLTs.
Many people believe cryptocurrencies should be separated from cryptocurrency tokens.
Their basic argument is that the underlying technology will be adopted easily.
Sometimes this may work.
However, in most cases, the use-case index of such situations follows a parabolic curve: they rise, hit a peak, and then flatten.
Cryptocurrency tokens help create a commonality among ecosystem users.
They help create common ground and an ideology.
Users then become attached to the system based on common ground.
They can also sell the idea to others based on this common ground.
After some time, mass adoption occurs.
It is how the future for cryptocurrencies shall unfold.
With the many solutions that cryptocurrencies provide to the world’s problems, there are opportunities available for those who can plug into cryptocurrency ecosystems.
From writers to programmers, marketers, public relations specialists, and so on.
Once a person can understand what cryptocurrencies are about, it becomes easy for them to take advantage of the opportunities available.
The future for cryptocurrencies is also a future for many who key into the visions of the ecosystems that exist.
In 2017, there were about 3,000 cryptocurrencies.
Today, there are over 8,500 cryptocurrencies with a market capitalization of over $1.8 trillion.
Many of these projects need professionals who can make their mark in the space.
It is only those people who see a future for cryptocurrencies that will understand how to exploit these opportunities.
We have seen in the past few years how cryptocurrency tokens have risen exponentially.
In the next few years, we will see a tremendous increase in the number of cryptocurrency tokens.
The truth is, cryptocurrency tokens have already taken root in the world.
We shall be witnessing their growth as people begin to understand what cryptocurrencies and DLTs are and how they work.
We shall see an increase in the kinds of ideas and even new kinds of DLTs as the cryptospace expands.
Cryptocurrencies are the equal of the World Wide Web in the 1980s.
Everyone knows they will change the world.
But only a few understand how this will happen.
Then we have those who think cryptocurrencies and DLTs are a fad.
They have projected that the “cryptocurrency bubble” will burst, and things will return to “normal”.
That’s the same thing people who loved posting letters said about email.
Who still sends letters by post these days?
As technology develops, we always have the various stages of evolution such technologies go through.
We have seen this in cryptocurrencies and the various DLTs that exist.
We shall see new types of DLTs soon.
We shall also see other kinds of concepts that will be the future for cryptocurrencies!
IMF Representative of Nigeria Calls for Caution Over the Use of Cryptocurrencies – Economics Bitcoin News
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) resident representative for Nigeria, Ari Aisen recently discussed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive that targets crypto entities. In remarks made during a special virtual press briefing, Aisen repeats some of the CBN’s claims that cryptocurrencies were being used “for illegal transactions such as money laundering and drug trafficking.”
According to a report, Aisen, who says that other central banks have taken similar action, believes that “some care should be taken” concerning the use of cryptocurrencies. In an apparent justification of the directive, Aisen suggests that the CBN only wants a solution that will be “in the interest of the payment system and the sustainability of the financial sector.”
However, during the same briefing, Aisen also calls on Nigerian monetary authorities to consider the “unification of foreign exchange rates.” While the CBN maintains the naira’s exchange against the US dollar at 380:1. The parallel market, on the other hand, offers a significantly higher rate of 475:1.
Meanwhile, by maintaining an overvalued exchange rate, the Nigerian government is able to easily meet its obligations. Yet, on the other hand, this overvalued exchange rate is partly blamed for the plummeting monthly cross-border remittances into Nigeria. According to Nairanalytics, remittances, which are a vital foreign exchange source, dropped from the high of $2.05 billion in January 2020 to just $54 million by September of that year.
In the meantime, in his remarks, Aiesen attempts to convince the CBN to move towards the unification of the exchange rates as well as the transparent management of this resource. The resident representative is quoted saying:
It would be useful to unify rates to allow the currency fluctuate as well as to make forex more accessible to those in need.
The Nigerian government, just like its peers across the African continent, has seen its revenues drop significantly due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to the dropped revenues, Nigeria is facing ongoing shortages of foreign exchange which in turn adds pressure on the local currency.
To mitigate some of these challenges, the IMF representative is advising the Nigerian government against raising taxes. Instead, Aisen urges Nigeria to strengthen the tax administration by expanding the tax base and block leakages.
What are your thoughts on the remarks that were made by the IMF resident representative? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
bitcoin remittances, CBN crypto ban, Central Bank of Nigeria, COVID-19, Cryptocurrencies, Foreign exchange, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Money Laundering, naira, parallel market
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Financial Firms Move to Integrate Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain Solutions Announced Across Markets, Agencies Target Crypto Crimes as Threats Continue | BakerHostetler
Payment Firms Adopt Cryptocurrencies, Company Purchases $1.5 Billion in Bitcoin
By: Veronica Reynolds
According to a press release, last week the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency provided conditional approval to Protego Trust Bank for a trust charter to custody digital assets. The move will enable Protego clients to “hold, trade, lend and issue digital assets.” In related news, startup MetalPay, a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency payments platform, has filed with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to become a U.S. national bank. The application was filed for “First Blockchain Bank and Trust, N.A.” The company reportedly plans to submit additional applications with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, with the goal of accepting cash deposits (in addition to cryptocurrency deposits) that are insured by the FDIC. Such a move would reportedly make it the first FDIC-insured crypto bank.
This week, a large global financial services firm announced plans to support select cryptocurrencies on its payments network. According to its blog, the company intends to select cryptocurrencies that focus on consumer protection and compliance. Responding to other recent cryptocurrency announcements by numerous traditional payment platforms, Gartner, in a recent blog post, suggests a future where credit card brands move beyond bitcoin trading to stablecoin payments, which are less volatile than bitcoin.
A Virginia bank announced this week that its customers may now buy and redeem bitcoin at its ATMs. Such transactions will be accompanied by an 8 percent fee. And a New York bank known for being the world’s largest custodian of assets announced plans to custody cryptocurrencies, with plans to treat digital assets like any other asset. To implement the solution, the bank is working to develop “a client-facing prototype … designed to be the industry’s first multi-asset digital custody and administration platform for traditional and digital assets.”
In news that made worldwide headlines, a recent SEC filing by a global auto manufacturer made public its purchase of $1.5 billion in bitcoin, with the company confirming its plans to accept payment in bitcoin. The large purchase will likely serve as a liquidity reserve to accept bitcoin payments. Commenting on its recent filing, the company explained it bought the bitcoin in order to obtain “more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on [its] cash.”
For more information, please refer to the following links:
Blockchain Enterprise Initiatives Announced Across Global Markets
By: Robert A. Musiala Jr.
A recently published research paper “proposes a new and novel track and trace blockchain-enabled Medledger system that leverages the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain platform using chaincodes (smart contracts)” to improve security in the pharmaceutical supply chain. An abstract of the paper notes that implementing blockchain in the pharma supply chain enhances “efficiency and safety with high integrity, reliability, and security that reduces the likelihood of meddling with stored data.”
According to a recent press release, a major German bank has teamed up with a major German software firm to integrate the R3 Corda blockchain into the software firm’s cloud platform to promote new supply chain and trade finance solutions. In another press release from Germany, an IoT provider announced that it has deployed SECORA Blockchain near-field communication technology to help record and secure data on physical items to a blockchain database. The solution aims to help prevent counterfeiting in the consumer goods, business-to-business products, IT goods and luxury goods industries.
In the Asia-Pacific region, a Big Four accounting and consulting firm recently announced that it had joined the Financial Blockchain Shenzhen Consortium, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the use of blockchain for financial applications. According to a press release, as part of this initiative, the firm will seek to deploy its proprietary blockchain solutions for supply chain traceability and financial statement audits.
For more information, please refer to the following links:
US and Foreign Agencies Take Action Against Cryptocurrency Fraud Schemes
By: Teresa Goody Guillén
Late last week, the founder of a pair of cryptocurrency hedge funds in New York, New York, with over $100 million in investments, pleaded guilty to securities fraud. According to a press release, the defendant drained almost all the assets from the cryptocurrency fund he operated, spending investors’ money on “indulgences and speculative personal investments,” and tried to steal investor money from one fund to pay back investors in the other fund. The charge carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison.
A Serbian man has been extradited from Serbia to the United States to face allegations in Texas that he and others defrauded investors of more than $70 million in a scheme involving fraudulent investments in binary options and cryptocurrency mining. The defendant and over a dozen others were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in July 2020. If convicted, the defendants could face up to 20 years in prison.
A former phone company employee was recently charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud for his role in a subscriber identification module (SIM) swap scam, where the defendant switched SIM cards linked to customers’ phone numbers to a different phone number in an attempt to access customers’ various personal accounts, including email accounts, bank accounts and cryptocurrency accounts as well as any other accounts that use two-factor authentication. In another alleged SIM-swapping scheme, it is reported that a criminal gang stole over $100 million in cryptocurrencies by a series of SIM-swapping attacks targeting high-profile victims in the United States. There are eight arrests reported in this international sweep, which follows a yearlong investigation jointly conducted by law enforcement authorities from the United Kingdom, the United States, Belgium, Malta and Canada, with international activity coordinated by Europol.
German prosecutors reportedly confiscated more than $60 million worth of bitcoin from an alleged fraudster, but he will not give them the password to unlock the funds. The man had been sentenced to more than two years in jail for covertly installing software on other computers to harness their power to “mine,” or produce, bitcoin.
For more information, please refer to the following links:
Report Details North Korea Links to Crypto Hacks, Ransomware Connections
By: Jordan R. Silversmith
According to a confidential UN report, hackers working on behalf of the North Korean government stole cryptocurrencies valued at more than $300 million in cyberattacks from 2019 to November 2020 and used those funds to pay for nuclear weapons. A crime syndicate working on behalf of the North Korean government, the Lazarus Group, reportedly played a major role in the thefts, having stolen around $275 million worth of cryptocurrency from an exchange in 2020, representing half of all cryptocurrency stolen in 2020. Hackers working for the North Korean government, such as the Lazarus Group, reportedly continue to launder stolen cryptocurrencies through over-the-counter brokers in China and are also reported to be exploring new money laundering techniques involving DeFi platforms.
Recent blockchain analysis has found connections between four of 2020’s largest ransomware strains. The four prominent strains – Maze, Egregor, SunCrypt and DoppelPaymer – all use the RaaS model for ransomware, meaning that affiliates perform the ransomware attacks and pay a percentage of each victim payment to administrators and creators of the strains. Researchers have pointed out that many RaaS hackers switch between different strains and that there may be major overlap between affiliates migrating back and forth between the major ransomware strains.
While physical attacks involving cryptocurrencies are rare, Hong Kong police recently reported that a gang lured a cryptocurrency trader to an office for a deal and then robbed her of HK$3.5 million (US$448,770) in cash at knifepoint. Meanwhile, cyberattacks are continuing apace in 2021, with the latest being an attack on a Yearn Finance DAI vault that resulted in a loss of $11 million of cryptocurrency value.
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