Brexit and Covid-19 have increased awareness, purchase and use of cryptocurrencies in the UK. This has been revealed in a survey by Paxful. What do Bitcoin (BTC) and central banks have in common? None, is that a trick question? Their names both start with a B? Pub Bitcoin and central banks would have benefited from the covid-19 pandemic: BTC bulls used dollar weaknesses at the height of the crisis as leverage, the coronavirus would have kicked where central … Hmm. I’ve remarked many times about the awkward and basically backwards software Nakamotoan engineering process. Most Nakamotoan cryptocurrencies follow a process adopted from open source software, which amounts to (1) write the code, (2) release the code, (3) see if users accept the new code. If not people accept it, throw the new code away.… Netherlands-based crypto exchanges are now required by law to get additional information from clients regarding their bitcoin addresses. As part of the new requirements which went in effect November 17, clients must now furnish exchanges with reasons why they wish to buy cryptocurrencies. They will also need to inform the exchange officials of the kind of wallet they use.
Brexit and Covid-19 have increased awareness, purchase and use of cryptocurrencies in the UK.
This has been revealed in a survey by Paxful which focused on the financial condition of the UK, perceptions about the banking system, Brexit, the Covid-19 crisis and the sentiment towards cryptocurrencies.
The United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union at probably the worst time in history, with the arrival of Covid-19 on the old continent. It is likely that neither the British citizens nor the government could have expected the outbreak of the pandemic and its disastrous economic consequences following Brexit.
In any case, this coincidence of events cost the government £14 billion a month, undermining the certainties of Her Majesty’s people about the stability of the economic system. It is precisely this uncertainty that is pushing citizens towards cryptocurrencies.
In fact, in 2019 a survey conducted by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) revealed that 73% of British people did not know what cryptocurrencies were, and only 3% had bought them.
A year later, Paxful’s survey showed very different results: 20% of adults in the UK had crypto, an increase of 17%. This also indicates an increase in knowledge of the sector and a willingness to be part of it.
Since 2018, the British pound has also lost much of its value compared to the US dollar. This would have led to an increase in cryptocurrency purchases.
Then came Covid-19, alongside Brexit. This coincidence of events would have convinced at least 10% of British citizens to invest in cryptocurrencies, seen as a safe haven.
The survey also reveals that:
At the same time, it seems that British citizens have become extremely distrustful of banks. The Paxful survey reports the following results:
In short, Paxful notes that in times of crisis confidence in the banking system is lacking and in this scenario of uncertainty the adoption of cryptocurrencies is growing. So much so that, the survey notes:
The results were commented by Ray Youssef, CEO and co-founder of Paxful:
“Being in the UK right now, I must say London has the most vibrant crypto community and the deepest fintech talent pool – a hotbed of innovation from every possible angle. With the amount of talent and tech-savvy people here, I am confident a steep rise in crypto adoption and use is imminent, and the UK is ready for it”.
The survey was conducted with OnePoll and involved 1,000 people, 44% male and 55% female, aged 18 to 56.
Author: By Eleonora Spagnolo
– 19 Nov 2020
COVID accelerates CBDC adoption according to Russia – Cryptocurrencies
What do Bitcoin (BTC) and central banks have in common? None, is that a trick question? Their names both start with a B?
Bitcoin and central banks would have benefited from the covid-19 pandemic: BTC bulls used dollar weaknesses at the height of the crisis as leverage, the coronavirus would have kicked where central bank governors need to be active in launching their CBDCs.
The Central Bank of Russia recently organized an online meeting between central bank governors to discuss the issue of CBDC.
The vast majority of them are engaged in the process of launching their digital currency.
The governor of the Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiullina, took the opportunity to discuss the role played by the current crisis in the race for CBDC.
According to her, the pandemic of COVID-19 will have served to expose the vulnerabilities of the global financial system.
It will also have been the catalyst for the rise in sovereign debt and consumer debt in emerging markets.
The authorities have witnessed the expansion of electronic commerce as well as electronic payment technologies.
Once fiats were weakened, regulators realized the importance of digital currencies.
Central banks then got busy to launch their CBDC.
Central banks have repeatedly worked together on the issue of CBDC. They mainly discussed the potential impact of CBDC on the monetary policy and financial stability of States.
The meeting organized by the governor of Central Bank of Russia saw the participation of central banks of the Commonwealth of Independent States (IEC), ofIsrael and of China.
Representatives of major institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Economic Forum, as well as Bank for International Settlements (BRI) also responded present.
The BRI had already initiated a similar meeting which resulted in the drafting of a report on the characteristics and fundamental principles of a CBDC.
Cryptoassets are highly volatile unregulated investment products. No EU investor protection. Your capital is at risk.
China did not wait for the current pandemic to initiate its plan to launch a crypto-yuan, which is expected to launch soon. The European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve have both said they do not want to rush into launching a digital euro or a digital dollar. Only idiots never change their opinion …
Ethereum Does an “Accidental” Fork?
Hmm. I’ve remarked many times about the awkward and basically backwards software Nakamotoan engineering process. Most Nakamotoan cryptocurrencies follow a process adopted from open source software, which amounts to (1) write the code, (2) release the code, (3) see if users accept the new code. If not people accept it, throw the new code away.
In addition, Nakamotoan cryptocurrencies have an additional wrinkle to the universal problem of forward and backward compatibility. Any software change that is not backward compatible, i.e., that old software can’t handle, essentially creates a new, incompatible “currency”. Technically, there is a branch in the running ledger, with the same history up to the fork, and then two different histories going forward.
This is known as a “hard fork”, and it is “hard” because you have to choose one branch or another, new software or old.
Hard forks are painful for any software, but in Nakamotoland they tend to be chaotic and contentious because of the “consensus” process for software management. It is easy to end up splitting the users into two camps, some using the new and some using the old software. Worse, with the shared history before the fork, there can be gotchas that let people exploit the two branches to double spend or otherwise mess things up.
For this reason, hard forks are usually talked about for quite a while and rolled out carefully. If nothing else, this gives people time to get ready, and time to reach “consensus”.
So the headlines this month about Ethereum doing an “unannounced hard fork” was quite worrying . Hard fork is bad enough, unannounced hard fork is a serious mess up.
It appears that this was actually an “accidental hard fork”, due to an accumulation of changes over several months. If I understand correctly, if you were not up to date with all the changes, you would find yourself incompatible with the latest. I.e., a recent change made software that was current last spring incompatible. Ooops.
Considering the complexity of cryptocurrency software, it’s surprising this doesn’t happen more often. If anyone might be running any version of the software, or any of dozens of versions, just how many possible incompatibilities can you check?
In subsequent days, the incident has become enmeshed in a discussion about disclosure of security bugs. The problem seems to have stemmed from a security hole discovered and patched, but not widely disclosed. This led some users to still have the unpatched software long after they otherwise should and would have upgraded.
The situation has led to a discussion of how and when security problems should be disclosed. The general practice for open source (and a lot of proprietary software) is to disclose a bug to a clearinghouse immediately, to install patches in key infrastructure, and only then publish the bug.
The process aims to get the fix out in the world as quickly as possible, and not to give information to bad actors until it doesn’t matter as much (i.e., key players have already patched).
This process isn’t totally “fair”, since some users (e.g., big infrastructure) get information before the general public. And after the bug is disclosed, some users will be vulnerable if they do not or cannot install the patches.
Over the years, the consensus is that prompt, broad disclosure is the best policy, assuring that all users and developers have as much information as possible. “Security via obscurity” (i.e., not disclosing bugs) is widely considered catastrophically stupid.
Nakamotoan cryptocurrency communities are recapitulating this discussion, with the wrinkle that there are huge financial stakes.
In the context of Ethereum, the developers followed a similar process, though the bug wasn’t widely announced yet, and, as we saw, caused a big problem.
And the “unfairness” is a bigger issue.
While it’s “unfair” if Microsoft, Apple, and Cisco get a network bug patch first, it’s probably good for the world. In fact, it actually helps other developers, because they trust the report and the patch all the more if it is already endorsed by the big guys who know what they are doing and have vast resources to test the patch.
But in Nakamotoland, giving privileged access to information to some players can be a significant financial advantage—especially if the underprivileged get into trouble as in this case.
And, as noted above, Nakamotoan “patching” is an iffy process anyway. Disclosing a security hole can mean that the unpatched version is wide open to attack. Implementing the patch isn’t really optional at that point, which violates the spirit of the consensus system. Essentially, developers can force changes on the community in the name of security.
In this, the consensus system is diametrically opposed to the normal logic of security patching.
If all of this seems obscure to you, you are right. Nakamotoan software engineering makes many ordinary processes much more difficult, and much more contentious.
And, just as Nakamotoans insist upon recapitulating the discoveries last 300 years of economic history, Nakamotoan software developers are recapitulating the lessons of the last 50 years of software engineering practices.
New Dutch Law: Clients Must Explain Why They Want To Buy Bitcoin | Regulation Bitcoin News
Netherlands-based crypto exchanges are now required by law to get additional information from clients regarding their bitcoin addresses. As part of the new requirements, which went into effect on Nov. 17, clients must now furnish exchanges with reasons why they wish to buy bitcoin. They will also need to inform the exchange officials of the kind of wallet they use.
The new Dutch regulatory changes have gone into effect despite protestations by some of the country’s crypto exchanges. The Dutch Central Bank (DNB), which is enforcing the new regulations, wants crypto service providers to adhere to the provisions of the country’s Sanction Act 1977 just like other “supervised institutions.”
Meanwhile, Bitonic, the Netherland-based crypto exchange that opposes the new requirements, wants clients to support their stance. To do this, the exchange is asking clients “to formally object to these additional measures and the registration of this data.” The Bitonic team says they will soon “release a custom form intended specifically for this purpose.”
Still, in a statement made via the exchange’s blog, the Bitonic team says it will reluctantly comply with the ineffective measure. The statement adds:
We have repeatedly pleaded (with the) DNB to drop this requirement as we find this measure to be ineffective and disproportionate. Unfortunately, this has had no effect. The Netherlands is currently the only country in the European Union where this far-reaching measure is demanded.
Furthermore, the statement informs clients of an additional requirement obliging the exchange to verify if the “legitimate owner of the given bitcoin address” is actually in control of it. To perform this verification procedure, clients will be requested to “upload a screenshot from your wallet, or by signing a message.”
According to the Netherlands’ Sanctions Act 1977, a crypto service provider “must check whether their clients and any ultimate beneficiary owners (UBOs) are on a Dutch or European sanctions list and report any hits to DNB.” Under Dutch and EU sanction rules, no funds may be made available to individuals or entities that are on a sanctions list.
Organizations that fail to comply with the new provisions will be punished under the Economic Offences Act.
What do you think of the new DNB requirements? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
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