China Cracks Down On Crypto Business, Saying ‘Speculative’ Trading ‘Seriously Infringing’ On Financial Order

Bitcoin, cryptocurrency image

Chinese financial officials announced Tuesday that the country would crack down on financial institutions conducting cryptocurrency business or offering related services in light of the market’s recent volatility, marking another blow to the nascent market reeling from one of its biggest sell-offs ever after booming institutional adoption helped lift it to meteoric highs during the pandemic.

In a joint statement Tuesday, three Chinese industry groups overseeing the financial sector announced that bank and payment institutions can not conduct business related to cryptocurrencies, specifically banning a slew of activities including cryptocurrency registration, trading, clearing and settlement.

The guidelines, which reiterate a previous ban from 2017, also bar financial institutions from accepting or using cryptocurrencies in payments or settlements, developing digital currency exchange services and offering any such services to clients.

The group specifically laid into the cryptocurrency’s market massive volatility, saying digital tokens have “no real support value” and prices that are “extremely easy” to manipulate.

The move prohibits Chinese financial institutions, many of which had already shied away from offering crypto services amid the nation’s past crackdown, from issuing cryptocurrency products or services, but it doesn’t ban consumers from owning cryptocurrencies.

The value of the world’s cryptocurrencies dropped about $50 billion, or 2.5% immediately after the announcement, pushing the week’s staggering losses to roughly $500 billion from a Wednesday high above $2.5 trillion.

Crucial Quote

“Recently, crypto currency prices have skyrocketed and plummeted, and speculative trading of cryptocurrency has rebounded, seriously infringing on the safety of people’s property and disrupting the normal economic and financial order,” the Tuesday statement read. “Judging from the current judicial practice in my country, virtual currency transaction contracts are not protected by law.”

Key Background

A wave of early regulatory crackdowns beginning in 2017 sparked a nearly 80% correction in cryptocurrency prices and a yearslong bull market that lasted until inflationary concerns and institutional adoption lifted the market to new highs during the pandemic. In March, Morgan Stanley became the first big bank in the U.S. to give wealthy clients access to cryptocurrency investments, and Goldman Sachs quickly followed suit with its own crypto offerings in April. JPMorgan and a slew of other smaller financial institutions have also reportedly indicated they may be next.

Surprising Fact

Cryptocurrencies soared nearly 500% over the past year as companies like Square, MicroStrategy and Tesla, in particular, started making big cryptocurrency investments, but in a testament to the market’s extreme volatility, prices have plunged by about 30% since Elon Musk said Tesla would stop investing in bitcoin last month.

What To Watch For

Regulation in the U.S. Gensler and Yellen. Earlier this month, new Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler suggested that the agency may be gearing up for a long-awaited crypto crackdown in light of the market’s recent boom, telling CNBC: “To the extent that something is a security, the SEC has a lot of authority, and a lot of crypto tokens—I won’t call them ‘cryptocurrencies’ for this moment—are indeed securities.”

I’m a reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business journalism and economics while working for UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School as a marketing and communications assistant. Before Forbes, I spent a summer reporting on the L.A. private sector for Los Angeles Business Journal and wrote about publicly traded North Carolina companies for NC Business News Wire. Reach out at jponciano@forbes.com.

Source: China Cracks Down On Crypto Business, Saying ‘Speculative’ Trading ‘Seriously Infringing’ On Financial Order

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Critics:

Bitcoin does not share the traits listed above: it does not maintain a stable value and its fixed number of coins means that it can’t keep up with an insatiable global demand for safe assets like the U.S. debt market can. Indeed, investor willingness to fund more than $21 trillion in U.S. public debt, often at negative real interest rates, shows that the U.S. dollar continues to have massive appeal even as cryptocurrencies go mainstream.

Furthermore, China’s actions over the past decade show that it is deeply skeptical of bitcoin and likely sees it as a threat to the power of the Chinese Communist Party. In 2017, the People’s Bank of China and five other ministries banned financings using cryptocurrency, like initial coin offerings, and banned the exchange of fiat money for cryptocurrency, according to Rain Xie of the Washington University School of Law.

 

Coinbase Posts Record $1.8 Billion In Revenue As Crypto Market Shoots Past $2 Trillion

https://i0.wp.com/onlinemarketingscoops.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/coinbase.jpg?resize=924%2C519&ssl=1

Ahead of its long-anticipated public market debut next week, crypto-brokerage Coinbase previewed results for its best quarter ever, pulling in $1.8 billion in first-quarter revenue, as booming interest in cryptocurrencies pushes the market to meteoric new highs.

Shortly after the market close on Tuesday, Coinbase, the nation’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, reported first-quarter revenue that soared nearly 900% from $190.6 million in the same period last year, blowing past the $585 million nabbed in the fourth quarter.

The San Francisco-based firm, which posted a surprise profit of $322 million last year, pulled in an estimated $800 million in earnings during the first quarter, roughly 25 times the $32 million posted a year ago.

Reflecting the surging interest in cryptocurrencies, Coinbase’s trading volume totaled $335 billion in the quarter, eclipsing the $30 billion worth of trades in the first quarter of 2020.

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CNBC’s Kate Rooney reports on Coinbase earnings ahead of next week’s direct listing. With CNBC’s Mike Santoli. Subscribe to CNBC PRO for access to investor and analyst insights on crypto and more: https://cnb.cx/2BT2E7y In preparation for its debut on the Nasdaq next week, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase said on Tuesday that first-quarter revenue climbed about nine-fold from last year, driven by a historic rally in the price of bitcoin. Revenue in the period jumped to about $1.8 billion from $190.6 million in the same quarter a year earlier, Coinbase said in a press release, adding that the results are preliminary and unaudited. Net income grew to between $730 million and $800 million from $31.9 million a year ago. Coinbase said it has 56 million verified users. The company is hosting a webcast to discuss its financial results starting a 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

Meanwhile, the platform’s verified users (those with confirmed identities who are eligible to trade) swelled to 56 million at quarter’s end, compared to 34 million one year prior.

.

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cryptocurrencies, fueled by heightened institutional adoption that’s seen the likes of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs dive into the space just last month. The cryptocurrency market late Monday swelled to more than $2 trillion after skyrocketing nearly tenfold from $208 billion in April 2020.

Chief Critic

“Coinbase’s expected valuation of roughly $100 billion is far too high,” David Trainer, the CEO of investment research firm New Constructs, said in a note to clients Monday. “It’s hard to make a straight-faced argument that the firm can justify the lofty expectations baked into its valuation given increasing competition in a mature cryptocurrency trading market and the lack of sustainability in its current market share and margins,” he added, noting that competitors such as Gemini, Bitstamp, Kraken and others are likely to try to undercut Coinbase’s market share advantage by lowering their trading fees, as has happened with stocks in the years since online brokerages like Robinhood and Stash emerged.

Surprising Fact

Billionaire Coinbase CEO and Cofounder Brian Armstrong earned an eye-popping $59.5 million in total compensation last year—more than JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon.

Further Reading

Coinbase Investors Say It Could Hit $100 Billion Valuation When It Goes Public (Forbes)

Forbes Bitcoin’s Guardian Angel: Inside Coinbase Billionaire Brian Armstrong’s Plan To Make Crypto Safe For All (Forbes)

Crypto Giant Coinbase Pulled In $1.3 Billion Last Year, New Filing Shows (Forbes)

Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

I’m a reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business journalism and economics while working for UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School as a marketing and communications assistant. Before Forbes, I spent a summer reporting on the L.A. private sector for Los Angeles Business Journal and wrote about publicly traded North Carolina companies for NC Business News Wire. Reach out at jponciano@forbes.com.

Source: Coinbase Posts Record $1.8 Billion In Revenue As Crypto Market Shoots Past $2 Trillion

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10 Largest Venture Rounds In Crypto And Blockchain

Venture capital

The cryptocurrency industry is steaming hot. The total market value of cryptocurrencies is approaching $2 trillion –  that’s bigger than the market caps of Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Bitcoin has been trading above $50,000 since March 8 and has a market value of $1.12 trillion, almost as much as all the silver in the world. FOMO-ed institutions keep pouring into the space.

Tesla will start accepting payments for its electric vehicles in bitcoin, adding the cryptocurrency to its $2.5 billion bitcoin trove. One of the oldest banks in America, BNY Mellon, has launched a digital assets unit, Goldman Sachs has relaunched its crypto trading operations, JPMorgan has introduced a structured note offering tied to a basket of stocks with exposure to bitcoin, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have become the first major U.S. banks to offer ther wealthy clients direct access to bitcoin.

But institutions and venture firms rushing to cash in on the surge don’t come empty-handed. Hoards of capital are pouring on crypto startups, minting new unicorns at a break-neck pace. Just in March, three crypto firms raised some of the largest capital raises in the industry’s short but rich history. There are now at least 18 crypto-native companies with unicorn status, according to data platform PitchBook.


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In the heyday of ICOs, companies raised billions but the hype was short-lived. Low-quality projects, multiple scams, and the lack of institutional and regulatory oversight led to what is now known as the Great Crypto Crash of 2018, when an index that tracks the performance of the 10 largest and most liquid digital assets plunged by 80%.

Crypto bulls are hoping that this time it is truly different. Publicly listed companies like MicroStrategy and Square have amassed sizable bitcoin positions on their balance sheets and are seeing it as an alternative to gold.  Meanwhile applications for a U.S. bitcoin ETF are piling up at the SEC’s doorstep and the market is buzzing in anticipation of Coinbase’s direct listing slated for April 14, the first major public offering for a cryptocurrency company. Amid the frenzy, Forbes analyzed data from PitchBook and compiled a list of the 10 largest venture capital deals for blockchain and crypto-native firms.

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Inside Bitmain, the world’s largest Bitcoin mine. The rush to mine Bitcoin and other crypto currencies has gripped the world. China is home to most of the world’s bitcoin mines, and Inner Mongolia has one of the largest. Today, we take a look inside the Bitmain mine and how it works. If you enjoyed, please, like, comment and subscribe, it helps us a lot! Thanks for watching this video: Inside The World’s Largest Bitcoin Mine Check Out These Videos:
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Bitmain: $422 million

Deal date: August 7, 2018

VC round: Series B1

Notable investors: Crimson Capital China, Bluebell (Asia), Jumbo Sheen Group, Lioness Capital, Palace Investment Company, Pavilion Capital

Post-money valuation: $15 billion

Previous valuation: $12 billion

The world’s leading bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer, Bitmain also operates Antpool, one of the top bitcoin mining pools, accounting for more than 12% of bitcoin’s network hash, or computational, power. Shortly after the $422 million capital raise, the Beijing-based company filed for an IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in September 2018, but the offering fell through amid the bitcoin crash and market cooldown.


BlockFi: $350 million

Deal date: March 11, 2021

VC round: Series D

Notable investors: Bain Capital Ventures, partners of DST Global, Pomp Investments, Tiger Global, Susquehanna Government Products

Post-money valuation: $3 billion

Previous valuation: $435 million

Founded in 2017, New-Jersey based BlockFi is now one of the leading cryptocurrency lending providers. Its products span multiple categories including crypto-collateralized loans and interest-bearing accounts through which investors can earn interest on their crypto holdings. Rumors of BlockFi’s potential IPO started to circulate last July following reports of a job opportunity, part of which involved helping the company go public.

Dapper Labs: $305 million

Deal date: March 30, 2021

VC round: 5th round

Notable investors: Coatue Management, Andreessen Horowitz, Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant

Post-money valuation: $2.6 billion

Previous valuation: N/A

The Vancouver-based startup is best known as the developer of NBA Top Shot, an NFT marketplace for basketball video highlights or “moments.” The project, which has already surpassed the $400 million mark in trading volume, is largely responsible for the boom of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), essentially digital proofs of ownership trackable on a blockchain. Earlier, Dapper Labs developed a popular Ethereum game of breedable collectibles called CryptoKitties.


Blockchain.com: $300 million

Deal date: March 24, 2021

VC round: Series C

Notable investors: DST Global, Lightspeed Venture Partners, VY Capital

Post-money valuation: $5.2 billion

Previous valuation: $3 billion

Blockchain.com provides a variety of crypto services to retail and institutional clients but is most famous for its non-custodial digital wallets. Unlike its counterparts controlled by third parties, these wallets give users full control over their private keys that represent ownership of crypto assets. The London-based company claims it has processed 28% of all bitcoin transactions since 2012.


Bakkt: $300 million

Deal date: March 16, 2020

VC round: Series B

Notable investors: Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), BCG Digital Ventures, PayU

Post-money valuation: N/A

Previous valuation: N/A

In February 2020, the crypto venture of ICE (the New York Stock Exchange owner) announced the acquisition of Bridge2 Solutions, provider of loyalty programs, to power Bakkt’s one-stop shop retail platform. Called Bakkt App, the service lets users aggregate various digital assets, including loyalty points, rewards programs, gaming assets, and cryptocurrencies, all in one wallet. In January, Bakkt announced it is going public via a SPAC merger with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings at an enterprise value of about $2.1 billion. Upon the deal’s closure in the second quarter of 2021, the combined company will list on the New York Stock Exchange as Bakkt Holdings, Inc.


Coinbase: $300 million

Deal date: October 30, 2018

VC round: Series E

Notable investors: Tiger Global Management, Andreessen Horowitz, Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), Polychain Capital

Post-money valuation: $8.04 billion

Previous valuation: $1.71 billion

On February 25, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. filed for a direct listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Coinbase was valued at $68 billion, based on the recent filings. On March 19, the company was fined $6.5 million by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over allegations of false transactions reporting and wash trading between 2015 and 2018 on its GDAX platform, later rebranded as Coinbase Pro. The exchange’s direct listing is scheduled for April 14.


Bitmain: $292.7 million

Deal date: June 19, 2018

VC round: Series B

Notable investors: Sequoia Capital, Coatue Management, China Taijia, Blue Lighthouse Services

Post-money valuation: $12 billion

Previous valuation: $100 million


Hangzhou Qulian Technology: $235 million

Deal date: June 4, 2018

VC round: Series B

Notable investors: Xinhu Zhongbao Company,  China Gaoxin Investment Group, State Development and Investment Corporation

Post-money valuation: $470.25 million

Previous valuation: $40.33 million

Qulian Technology provides blockchain products for China’s major organizations and institutions, including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the State Administration for Market Regulation, the State Grid, and local governments. Its one-stop blockchain open service BaaS platform, FiLoop, is used by some of the largest banks in China, including China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, and China Merchants Bank, according to the company. Qulian Technology’s partners also include Google and Microsoft.


Bithumb: $200 million

Deal date: Apr 19, 2019

VC round: 2nd round

Notable investors: Vidente, ID Ventures (South Korea), ST Blockchain Fund

Post-money valuation: N/A, valued at $888.27 million as of January 2021

Previous valuation: $868.42 million

In September 2020, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency has reportedly raided the offices of one of South Korea’s largest crypto exchanges on fraud allegations, linked to a $25 million token sale that never materialized and led to losses for investors.


Ripple Labs: $200 million

Deal date: Oct 1, 2020

VC round: Series C

Notable investors: Tetragon Financial Group, SBI Holdings, Transform Capital, 10X Capital

Post-money valuation: $10 billion

Previous valuation: $410 million (2016)

In December, Ripple Labs and its top executives were accused by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of selling $1.3 billion of XRP, the native asset of the payments network developed by the company, as an unregistered security. Following the charges, multiple exchanges and trading platforms, including Coinbase, Binance.US, and eToro, delisted XRP and suspended its trading. In January, U.K.-based investment firm Tetragon Financial Group filed a lawsuit to redeem its equity in Ripple but ultimately lost the case. Despite the fallout, XRP remains one of the top traded digital assets.

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I report on cryptocurrencies and emerging use cases of blockchain. Born and raised in Russia, I graduated from NYU Abu Dhabi with a degree in economics and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where I focused on data and business reporting.

Source: 10 Largest Venture Rounds In Crypto And Blockchain

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In 2013 The Man Accidentally Threw His Hard Drive In The Trash That Had 7,500 Bitcoins

An inhabitant of the British city of Newport has approached the local authorities, with the aim of conducting an important search for a hard drive that he accidentally threw in 2013 in a municipal landfill, said device had bitcoins, whose current value is it would approximate 210 million pounds, that is, an average of 288 million dollars.

How did this tragic situation happen?

The 35-year-old computer engineer, James Howells, in 2013 carried out the cleaning of his home, later he realized that he had thrown his hard drive with 7,500 bitcoins in the trash instead of another that was empty.

After his previous application was rejected, Howells makes an offer of 25 percent, or $ 72 million , to the council in the event that he recovers his losses.

“I would like the opportunity to sit down with the decision makers and present an action plan to them,” Howells told South Wales Argus, indicating that he is supported by a hedge fund, prepared to provide funding for the initiative.

What would be the programmer’s strategy to recover his hard drive?

The computer scientist assures that in 2013 a garbage container obtained a serial number when it was filled, this before being transferred to a grave and buried. Also, a grid reference was required.

“So I could access the landfill log, identify the week I dumped the hard drive, identify the container’s serial number, and then the grid landmark,” the developer said, according to the source.

Despite eight years since the incident, Howells remains optimistic about recovering the information within the device. “The box could be rusty, but it is possible that the disk inside where the data is stored still works,” said the engineer.

It is worth mentioning that, with the passage of time, this possibility decreases, according to the programmer, who gave the suggestion that in case his search had a successful end, the funds would be transferred in the form of help to patients with coronavirus of his city.

However, the Newport City Council has indicated that digging, storing and treating all the waste could cost millions of pounds, and there is no solid guarantee that the hard drive will be found or will continue to serve.

Likewise, the institution emphasizes that, in the event of extraction, the activity is impossible due to the requirements of the current licenses and that carrying out this could lead to a serious and negative environmental impact of the place, the same reasons for which they do not guarantee assistance.

In case you are interested: “Reactivate without risking”, the new plan launched by CDMX

By: Entrepreneur en Español Entrepreneur Staff

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BBC News

Subscribe to BBC News http://www.youtube.com/bbcnews If someone told you you just threw away over $6 million worth of bitcoins, well you wouldn’t be too happy. You can imagine how James Howells from Wales felt when he discovered that he had thrown away his hardrive containing over 7,000 bitcoins. The value of Bitcoins has reached an all time high so now Mr Howells is frantically searching his local tip in the hope of retrieving his fortune Subscribe http://www.youtube.com/bbcnews Check out our website: http://www.bbc.com/news Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bbcworldnews Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bbcworld Instagram: http://instagram.com/bbcnews

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IRS Will Pay Up To $625,000 If You Can Crack Monero, Other Privacy Coins

When the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) signaled that it was getting serious about cryptocurrency, the agency wasn’t kidding. The IRS is now offering cash to anyone who can “reliably produce useful results on a variety of real-world CI cryptocurrency investigations involving Monero and/or Lightning.” That’s right: they are looking for code crackers.

The IRS has made no secret that it believes that taxpayers are not correctly reporting cryptocurrency transactions. An IRS dive into the data showed that for the 2013 through 2015 tax years, when IRS matched data collected from forms 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets, which were filed electronically, they found that just 807 individuals reported a transaction using a property description likely related to bitcoin in 2013; in 2014, that number was only 893; and in 2015, the number fell to 802.

Cryptocurrency Compliance Efforts

A new cryptocurrency compliance measure for taxpayers was introduced in 2019 in the form of a checkbox on the top of Schedule 1, Additional Income and Adjustments to Income (Schedule 1 is used to report income or adjustments to income that can’t be entered directly on the front page of form 1040). And in 2020, the IRS noted that it will post a cryptocurrency question right on the front page of your Form 1040.

In 2019, the IRS also announced that it was sending letters to taxpayers who might have failed to report income and pay the resulting tax from virtual currency transactions or did not report their transactions properly. The names of these taxpayers were obtained through various ongoing IRS compliance efforts.

(For more on some of those efforts – like the Coinbase court saga – click here.)

Pilot IRS Cryptocurrency Tracing

Now, the IRS is offering what some are calling a “bounty” to those who can assist in tracing cryptocurrency transactions. Specifically, the IRS has created a pilot that will pay cash (up to $625,000) to anyone who can trace Monero or other anonymity-enhanced cryptocurrency, or Lightning or other Layer 2 off-chain cryptocurrency protocols.

You can read the official Request for Proposals (RFP) here (you can also find out more about the process).

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, September 16, 2020, at 08:00 EDT. No late submissions will be accepted or considered or evaluated.

About Privacy Coins

The focus of the proposal is privacy coins. Privacy coins allow users more anonymity when using cryptocurrency. According to the IRS-CI, the use of privacy coins is becoming more popular not only by investors, but also by illicit actors. For example, according to the IRS-CI, in April 2020, a RaaS (Ransomware as a Service) group called Sodinokibi (a former affiliate with the GrandCrab RaaS group) stated that future ransom request payments will be in Monero (XMR) rather than Bitcoin (BTC) due to transaction privacy concerns.

Bitcoin has become increasingly common since it’s easy to use – even for relative crypto newbies. Bitcoin transactions are open ledger (blockchain): that means that the record-keeping system is “public” through a series or chain of blocks even though the exact identities of the participants (as well as their other details, like account balances) may remain private. This kind of open system encourages transparency but also means that, with some effort, hackers and others – like the authorities – can track down the players in a chain of transactions. 

The result has been a push from some crypto-sectors to completely anonymize all pieces of the transaction. Enter privacy coins. Monero is considered the largest privacy coin on the market right now; the technology it uses extends privacy to senders, receivers, and transaction amounts. Other popular privacy coins include Cash (ZEC) and Dash.

IRS-CI Is Looking For Solutions

Now, IRS-CI is looking for solutions which provide “information and technical capabilities for CI Special Agents to trace transaction inputs and outputs to a specific user and differentiate them from mixins/multisig actors for Monero and/or Lightning Layer 2 cryptocurrency transactions with minimal involvement of external vendors” as well as “technology which, given information about specific parties and/or transactions in the Monero and/or Lightning networks, allows Special Agents to predict statistical likelihoods of other transaction inputs, outputs, metadata, and public identifiers with minimal involvement of external vendors.” In other words, they are looking to crack privacy coins.

If this sounds out of the ordinary, you’re not wrong. And the IRS acknowledges as much, stating, “For those who are familiar with traditional government procurements, Pilot IRS will appear substantively different from how the government normally buys technology. To be fair, it is… This type of approach is more often used in research and development environments, but there are existing regulations that allow federal agencies to buy commercial items in a manner similar with how the private sector would. Pilot IRS will aggressively pursue a streamlined and cost-effective approach to testing and deploying technology solutions that will have an immediate impact on the government’s mission.” 

IRS-CI has noted an uptick in criminal syndicates using privacy coins. And authorities have to be able to keep up. An IRS-CI spokesperson stated that, “IRS-CI is responsible for investigating potential criminal violations of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and related financial crimes. We are also a global leader in cyber-criminal investigations involving cryptocurrency and have played a lead or key role in the takedown of numerous major Darknet Marketplaces and other transnational criminal organizations facilitating identify theft, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, terrorist financing, sex trafficking, and child prostitution.”

As a result, he explained, “The IRS Cryptocurrency pilot was developed to create and promote innovation in response to ongoing challenges within IRS-CI in hopes of quickly testing, piloting and/or deploying solutions. Privacy coins continue to be a challenge to law enforcement due to their increased anonymity and specific technological enhancements. Currently, there are limited investigative resources for tracing transactions involving privacy cryptocurrency coins such as Monero, Layer 2 network protocol transactions such as Lightning Labs, or other off-chain transactions that provide privacy to illicit actors. The pilot will look to leverage the knowledge of public/private sector and academia to address these specific challenges.” Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here

Kelly Phillips Erb

Kelly Phillips Erb

I cover tax and its impact on the lives of taxpayers and tax professionals. In addition to Forbes, you can find me at my own blog, Taxgirl.com, which has been consistently recognized by the ABA Journal as one of the top blogs written by lawyers. You can also subscribe to my newsletter – which features articles from the blog and Forbes – here. I am a member of the bars of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and licensed to practice in front of the U.S. Tax Court. I’m also permitted to engage in pro bono practice in my home state of North Carolina through Legal Aid of N.C.

Finally, I’m a mom to three children, so I can add science fair expert, cupcake baker, and sports mom to my resume

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BitMax.io Pioneering Innovation with Novel Staking Product

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BitMax.io (BTMX.com), a Singapore-registered digital asset trading platform, is pioneering innovation in the industry with a novel staking product that addresses the liquidity challenges associated with traditional staking mechanisms.

BitMax.io was founded in 2018 by a group of Wall Street quantitative trading veterans and has been consistently executing on its strategic roadmap to provide its global userbase with a comprehensive set of trading products. The platform has already introduced various innovations to the cryptocurrency industry, including the industry’s first “cross-asset collateral” margin trading product and a volatility-linked derivative product called Volatility Cards. BitMax.io has recently garnered attention within the industry by announcing the launch of its new staking product that allows users to receive attractive staking returns without sacrificing liquidity. In this article, we will introduce three products offered by BitMax.io, and showcase the competitive advantages of the BitMax.io platform from a product innovation perspective.

BitMax.io Staking allows users to receive more attractive staking returns without sacrificing liquidity; therefore, encouraging higher and more resilient stake ratios for blockchain networks.

The impetus for BitMax.io’s staking product is the so-called “Liquidity Dilemma” that a token holder of a proof-of-stake (“PoS”) blockchain encounters:

  • On one hand, a token holder can stake and earn block rewards; however, in doing so, the holder agrees to “lock” their assets for a period of time, therefore sacrificing the ability to trade or manage the tokens at their own discretion.
  • On the other hand, a token holder can refrain from staking and maintain discretion over asset management; however, in doing so, the token holder sacrifices the opportunity to generate returns through block rewards.

The Liquidity Dilemma presents a number of problems for PoS blockchain projects, specifically: a low network stake ratio, extreme network inflation driven by large staking rewards, and network instability.

BitMax.io’s novel approach to staking solves the Liquidity Dilemma by providing token holders the flexibility to trade and transfer at their will and maximized staking rewards. Key features of BitMax.io Staking are as follows:

  1. Immediate Access to Staked Assets: BitMax.io maintains a pool of assets that allow for immediate access to an asset after it’s unstaked. This allows users to managed staked assets at their discretion even when delegating to a network with a lengthy unbonding period.
  2. Margin Trading for Staked Assets: To promote market efficiency, BitMax.io has created a synthetic version of each staked asset to be used as margin collateral, thus allowing users to hedge exposure while continuing to earn staking rewards.

iii. Maximize Staking Earnings: BitMax.io automatically redelegates staking rewards to staking pools, thus allowing users to further enhance the yields from their token holdings.

While other platforms, such as Binance and Kucoin, have adopted a “soft staking” method to solve the liquidity dilemma, their solution has a number of shortcomings compared to BitMax.io’s product. These platforms essentially stake a portion of their users’ funds without active acknowledgment from the token holders and distribute the rewards back to users.

While this “soft staking” approach also allows users to opt-out any time without delay by simply selling the assets, either to take profit following price appreciation or stop losses following price depreciation, users are most likely to lose some of the rewards as they are distributed based on a snapshot of holdings. At BitMax.io, users can enjoy the benefit to hedge their exposure freely as well, without giving up any rewards since users need not unstake nor sell their staked assets to do so.

 2. BitMax.io’s Cross-Asset Collateral Margin Trading

Since its first launch in early 2019, BitMax.io’s margin trading platform allows users to trade with up to 10x leverage supported by its distinctive cross-asset collateral margin system across over 40 markets. Under the cross-asset margin trading mechanism, users can post collateral in a variety of assets to then borrow against in order to increase trading power. This funding flexibility ultimately promotes greater trading efficiency amongst BitMax.io’s userbase and makes margin trading more accessible to the less-experienced traders.

In the crowded digital asset trading industry, distinct features successfully set BitMax.io’s margin trading apart from similar products of competing platforms. For example, BitMax.io offers 0% interest for margin borrow when repaid with 8-hour settlement cycles (0:00 UTC, 8:00 UTC, 16:00 UTC). Another feature of auto leverage promotes seamless usage by granting users maximum trading power based on their “Margin Asset” balance. Lastly, BitMax.io minimizes price deviation due to unexpected marketplace volatility via a composite reference price from multiple trading platforms. This mitigates risk associated with a single point of vulnerability, such as an illiquid market or system performance disruption

3. Volatility Cards – BitMax.io’s Simple Yet Efficient Solution to Trade on Price Movements

Cryptocurrencies are well-known for their volatility. While some see that as a turn-off, traders see opportunities in gaining exposure to it for both trading and risk management. To meet this demand, BitMax.io introduced an innovative product called Volatility Cards.

Volatility Cards are a short-term volatility-linked derivative with quasi-option structure designed by the co-founder and CEO of BitMax.io, Dr. George Cao. By purchasing those cards,  users can trade based on their anticipation of an asset’s price-movement within certain magnitudes.

The cards are named after Aesop’s Fable – the Tortoise and the Hare – and have a simplified layout that suits both retail and institutional investors. Those who correctly predict the range of the asset’s price movement receive a payout equivalent to the notional value of the card.

For example, a user would purchase a “Turtle Card” if they anticipated a small BTC price movement within the next one hour (i.e., < 0.30%), or a “Bunny Card” if they anticipated a large BTC price movement within the next one hour (i.e., > 1.00%).

Source: Bitmax.io

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In this video I review BitMax and give you a first look at their Beta. BitMax is creating an innovative new kind of digital asset exchange and their goal is to build a decentralized community-based autonomous economy. Their plan is to boost the liquidity of the overall market. Website: https://bitmax.io

Growing Institutional Interest in BTC & ETH Helps Grayscale’s AUM Hit $4 Billion

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On Thursday (June 4), crypto investment firm Grayscale Investments, LLC (“Grayscale”) reported that its total assets under management (AUM) had reached $4.0 billion, an increase of 8.1% compared to the size of the AUM a week earlier, and almost double what it was in May 2019.

Grayscale is wholly-owned subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, Inc. (“DCG”), which is an investor in some of the best-known businesses in the crypto space, such as Abra, Coinbase, Coindesk, BitGo, and Ripple.

Grayscale was founded in 2013 by Barry Silbert, who is the current CEO of Grayscale, as well as the founder and CEO of DCG.

Grayscale is the sponsor of nine single-asset investment products — Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, Grayscale Bitcoin Cash Trust, Grayscale Ethereum Trust, Grayscale Ethereum Classic Trust, Grayscale Horizen Trust, Grayscale Litecoin Trust, Grayscale Stellar Lumens Trust, Grayscale XRP Trust, and Grayscale Zcash Trust — and the manager of one diversified investment product (Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund).

Its two most popular investment products are Grayscale Bitcoin Trust and Grayscale Ethereum Trust.

As Rayhaneh Sharif-Askari, Director of Investor Relations and Business Development at Grayscale, explained in episode #006 of “Coinscrum Markets”, Q1 2020 was a record quarter for Grayscale (and the way things seem to be going, Q2 20202 might be even more impressive).

During her interview with Nisa Amoils, an Investment Manager at Grasshopper Capital, Sharif-Askari said:

“From a broader perspective, COVID-19, and the policy implications especially, have really set the stage for Bitcoin to be seen as the store-of-value asset that we had hoped it eventually would be… Institutional investors are taking active long positions in digital assets through our products…

 

“In Q1, we have raised half a billion dollars across all of our products — $390 million of that was into our Bitcoin Trust… We also saw about $110 million in the Ethereum product…”

Even more interestingly, she pointed out that most of the interest in these investment products is from institutional rather than retail investors:

“Since the inception of our firm, about 90% of the inflows have been from institutional investors… This past quarter, about 88% of the flows came from institutions, and breaking that down further, we looked at the type of institutions…

“Within hedge funds… it’s most traditional hedge funds.”On May 28, Grayscale provided the following AUM update:

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Then, a week later (i.e. on June 4), Grayscale pointed out that its total AUM had increased by $200 million to $4 billion (with the Bitcoin product responsible for $3.515 billion):

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Now, let’s take a closer look at Grayscale’s most popular investment product — Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (OTCMKTS: GBTC).According to data from Grayscale’s website, as of June 5, there were 378,088,800 shares outstanding and the amount of BTC per share was 0.00096107.

Crypto analyst/researcher Kevin Rooke pointed out on June 4 that since Bitcoin’s third halving on May 11, Grayscale has added 28,413 BTC to the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.

Since we know that after the halving event on May 11 Bitcoin’s block mining reward was reduced from 1800 BTC per day to 900 BTC per day, this (roughly) means that since that date Grayscale has bought 147.98% of all the Bitcoin produced by the miners!

The reason we say “roughly” in the paragraph above is that we do not know the exact amount of BTC that Grayscale bought in the open market (from OTC brokers, prime brokers, or crypto exchanges) since according to the Grayscale’s FAQ page, “Existing and prospective investors may contribute coins in kind for shares of Grayscale’s single-asset Products.”

By: Siamak Masnavi

Source: https://www.cryptoglobe.com

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2,000 Person Class Action Suit Filed Against Bitcoin Conference Founder

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  • Loss attorney David Silver has filed a 2,000 person class action suit against the founder of the “Massive Adoption: Memphis” cryptocurrency conference.
  • Defendant Jacob Kostecki has yet to refund ticket sales after the event was canceled on January 31.

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the founder of the “Massive Adoption” conference for bitcoin following his refusal to refund ticket sales.

According to the initial complaint filed on May 7, Ashley Gentry was named as the lead plaintiff in a 2,000 person lawsuit against Colorado native Jacob Kostecki, creator of the “Massive Adoption in Memphis: Blockchain and Digital Assets” event.

The cryptocurrency conference was originally scheduled to be held in November 2019, before being rescheduled to February 2020. The event was subsequently called off on January 31.

The lawsuit, filed in the District of Colorado by securities fraud and investment loss attorney David Silver, claims Kostecki promised event-goers a refund on tickets and packages within six months. The suit, referencing Kostecki’s promises, reads..

Silver accused Kostecki of causing “significant financial loss” to ticketholders after failing to carry out his promise of a refund.  The class-action filing demands compensation for damages due to lost airfares, attorney fees and other applicable costs.

By: Michael LaVere

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

Please follow my Instagram: http://instagram.com/arminhamidian67

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Twitter: @BeardsBitcoins Website: BeardsAndBitcoins.com Telegram: http://t.me.beardsandbitcoins Hosts BitBoy: @BitBoy_Crypto JChains: @CryptoJChains EPISODE 77: Crypto Fyre Fest Implosion & ICX Explosion Episode 77: Crypto Fyre Fest, ICON Pumps, & Greatest UFC Fighter JChains gets ready to go on a one week cruise vacation while the market is pumping. We take a look at the markets and how they could help everyone in crypto take vacations! In this episode BitBoy & JChains talk about the most interesting storylines from this week in crypto. This week on Beards and Bitcoins: JChains is going on vacation. BitBoy discusses the market & how the stock to flow chart looks like Bitcoin is heading to at least $90k in 18 months. Token Time this week features Celsius Token $ICX – https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/… Icon has been on an absolute tear and shows no signs of stopping. At one point it was down 98% and was the face of the bear market. But finally it looks like altcoin season is upon us. This week for News Break.. we talk about what is being dubbed the crypto Fyre Fest. The Massive Adoption conference in Memphis has been postponed several times. People have asked for refunds, and now founder Jacob Kostecki has announced he is cancelling the conference. People have claimed he is scammer from Poland who is currently on the run and people will never get their money back. For Manspreading today, the boys give their picks for the best UFC Fighter of all time. BitBoy is taking Jon Jones while JChains goes with the classic Chuck Liddell. This week, the Beards & Bitcoins podcast has announced their new telegram group t.me/BeardsBitcoins

Bitcoin’s Guardian Angel: Inside Coinbase Billionaire Brian Armstrong’s Plan To Make Crypto Safe For All

Near the foot of San Francisco’s California Street stand the august stone pillars of a bank dating to the 19th century. A few paces away sit the offices of Coinbase, the largest American exchange for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. It’s a beehive of software engineers and young marketing executives. There, the worlds of by-the-books banking and crypto-anarchism collide.

In style and philosophy, Brian Armstrong, the 37-year-old billionaire cofounder and CEO of Coinbase, is in the camp of the financial anarchists. He sits, jammed alongside lieutenants, in a row of tiny desks resembling library carrels. He wears a black T-shirt, black pants and shiny white sneakers. He talks about a brave new world in which we are liberated from the shackles of giant banks and government-controlled money supplies. During an expansive interview, this usually reserved and press-shy entrepreneur declares why he got into this business: “I wanted the world to have a global, open financial system that drove innovation and freedom.”

In following a business model, though, Armstrong fits in with the pinstriped financiers working down the block. Eight years after its start, his firm has opened 35 million accounts, presides over $21 billion of assets and is on target, we estimate, to top $800 million in revenue this year.

That success comes from acting like a bank. Coinbase draws in customer funds via bank wires. It stores its assets—numerical keys that unlock coins—in vaults. It boasts of insurance coverage from Lloyd’s of London. It has a security staff of 41, including an Iraq War veteran assessing perimeter risks and a Ph.D. cryptographer doing the same for mathematical assaults.

The selling proposition here is security—security conspicuously lacking at some of the exchanges with which Coinbase has competed. The Mt. Gox exchange in Japan went bust in 2014 after hackers spirited away coins worth $480 million. Customers of QuadrigaCX, which was one of Canada’s largest exchanges, have been unable to retrieve $150 million in crypto since the founder supposedly died suddenly in December 2018, holding the only set of keys to unlock their money. They now want the body exhumed.

In order to capture a gilt edge, though, Armstrong has had to veer away from the antiestablishment ethos that got bitcoin going. He plays ball with government inspectors, for example.

The Coinbase compliance staff, already numbering 55, is expected to grow to 70 by quarter’s end. They comb through transactions looking for money laundering. They will conform to a controversial new rule that mandates a paper trail when customers move coins from one exchange to another. Coinbase dutifully sends 1099-K reports to the IRS on traders who in one year do 200 or more trades involving a combined $20,000 or more in proceeds.

Given all this snitching, how does Coinbase appeal to diehard crypto fans? One way is by having a menu that includes 26 newer currencies, some of which are explicitly designed to offer more privacy than bitcoin does. The other is a service, introduced in August 2018, that enables a customer to move bitcoin into a personal wallet exempt from know-your-customer and anti-money-laundering regulations.

“If you are an individual and you want to store your own cryptocurrency, you’re not a financial service business,” says Armstrong, mindful of any U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network cops who might be listening. “And there are companies, including us, who provide tools for people to store their own cryptocurrency and use it.”

Born near San Jose to engineer parents, Armstrong displayed an entrepreneurial streak as early as grade school. He recalls being hauled into the principal’s office on charges of operating a candy-reselling venture on the playground. The business flings continued with a scheme to resell used computers and, after he earned a master’s degree in 2006 from Rice University, a startup that matched tutors to students. He worked on the education venture while living in Buenos Aires. “I had just decided, I’ve never been to South America. I want to travel for a year and try to work on this remotely as an adventure. Figure out what I want to do with my life,” he says. “[It] was an interesting experience to see the financial system in another country like that, that had gone through hyperinflation.”

Later, as a coder at Airbnb, Armstrong had his crypto epiphany. His employer was sending money to landlords in Latin America. He describes the process this way: “High fees . . . long delays . . . opaque. We’d try sending money to somebody in Uruguay and didn’t know how much would show up on the other side.”


“I wanted the world to have a global, open financial system that drove innovation and freedom.”

Brian Armstrong

In 2010 he read the manifesto, published by a person (or persons) under the alias Satoshi Nakamoto, that proposed bitcoin as an underground currency. Its transactions are recorded on a ledger called the blockchain, maintained in duplicated computer files by a band of self-appointed guardians called nodes. Disputes about transactions and ground rules are resolved by majority vote. The nodes are kept honest, and trouble-makers at bay, by requiring a participant in the network to engage in some arithmetic busywork before certifying a batch of transactions. A node who completes the arithmetic task is awarded a few new coins.

The busywork, called mining, did not interest Armstrong. But he did see an opportunity in the business of safeguarding the keys to the coins and setting up transactions. Anybody can do that with some readily available software, but if you mishandle the protocol your coins will be stolen or lost.

Armstrong took a flyer on bitcoins, buying $1,000 worth at $9 a coin. The price sank to $2. He kept the faith.

Working weekends and late nights, Armstrong wrote code in Ruby and JavaScript to buy and store coins. He was doing for the bitcoin network what an earlier generation of programmers had done for the internet by creating browsers.

It was fun. Was it worth quitting his day job? A $150,000 capital infusion from Y Combinator, source of seed funding to Airbnb and many other illustrious startups, answered that question in 2012. Fred Ehrsam, a Goldman Sachs alum, joined the venture and gave Coinbase credibility with the banks that would be wiring money to it.

Venture capitalists, led by Andreessen Horowitz, have showered half a billion dollars on Coinbase. “It’s like if Google made Gmail for bitcoin,” says Chris Dixon, an Andreessen partner who serves on the Coinbase board. “And that’s literally the way they described it.”

Its last round of funding valued Coinbase at $8.1 billion. Ehrsam, 31, has since left Coinbase but retains a stake; he keeps busy arranging venture capital for startups that aim to use cryptocurrencies and blockchains to build transaction networks for corporations.

The essence of what Armstrong has in mind can be captured in the word defi, which stands for decentralized finance or, if you prefer, defiance of authority. Defi is supposed to reach into all aspects of wealth; someday, supposedly, blockchains will support trading, peer-to-peer lending and loan collateralization without the usual financial institutions as intermediaries. Intriguingly, Coinbase has a broker/dealer license. Could it someday end-run stock exchanges? Maybe.

If the grand vision for Coinbase is to be a gateway to decentralized finance of all sorts, the revenue for now is coming from more mundane things like trading commissions. Coinbase allows amateurs to go in and out of crypto, or swap one crypto for another, for fees and spreads that come to 2% or so. At archrival Binance, these small-fry speculators would pay 90% less, but they’d be dealing with a firm that mostly inhabits the shadowy world of offshore finance. Malta-based Binance has only a small presence in the U.S.

Serious traders get a better deal. They use Coinbase Pro, a different platform that replicates the bid-and-ask order book of a stock exchange; here the combined buyer and seller commission ranges from 1% for small trades down to 0.07% at the $100 million level.

Somewhat more than half of Coinbase Pro’s trading volume comes from algorithmic trading. Furious trading doesn’t look socially productive, but it lubricates the capital markets. Bid/ask spreads on bitcoins, now worth $9,300 apiece, are measured in dimes. In percentage terms, the crypto spread competes with the spread on the very liquid SPDR S&P 500 ETF.

The trouble with commission income is that it’s extremely sensitive to crypto prices. When bitcoin collapses, as it did in 2018, trading volume shrinks and the dollar revenue from each coin goes down.

So Coinbase is trying to create stable revenue streams to balance out the commissions. A big one, says Alesia Haas, the company’s chief financial officer, is coming from a custody operation for institutional clients. This digital warehouse, greatly expanded by Coinbase’s acquisition last August of Xapo’s institutional business, holds $8 billion of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.


“We’d try sending money to somebody in Uruguay and didn’t know how much would show up on the other side.”

Brian Armstrong

A new revenue source is “staking.” Here, the holder of certain coins, such as tezos and EOS, collects fees for confirming transactions on the network. There is no electricity-gobbling busywork calculation as with bitcoin, but some finesse is needed, because messing up the recipe causes the player’s stake to be confiscated. Coinbase handles the details and splits stake revenue with its customers. It’s rather like a stockbroker lending out your margined securities to short-sellers, except that there you’re unlikely to get cut in on the revenue. Click here to read more about the tax implication of crypto investing.

Another Coinbase product, called USD Coin, developed in partnership with cryptocurrency exchange Circle, lets customers put up U.S. dollars in exchange for a cryptocurrency that has the same value but can be traded more quickly. The dollars in question earn interest that Coinbase shares with its customers.

Coinbase says it handled $80 billion of transactions last year. (Binance boasts of a daily volume that annualizes to $1 trillion.) Is that enough for a profit? CFO Haas allows that the bottom line flits in and out of the plus column from month to month. But, she adds, if you exclude non-cash items like charges for goodwill amortization and the hypothetical value of employee options, Coinbase has been solidly in the black for several years.

In a firm fixated on growth, the money goes out the door almost as quickly as it comes in. Coinbase has quadrupled its staff to 1,000 since hiring chief operating officer Emilie Choi two years ago. At headquarters, construction workers can barely keep up with the new hires streaming out of the onboarding room. There are offices in New York, Dublin and Tokyo. And then there are bets on the future.

Choi, who came to Coinbase after doing business development at LinkedIn, has taken the venture capital portfolio from nothing to 60 firms. It includes Bison Trails in New York City and Alchemy in San Francisco, both aiming to help corporations use blockchains, and Amber Group in Shenzhen, China, which is applying artificial intelligence to cryptocurrency trading. Says Choi: “A lot of the stuff that we’re doing in the venture side of the house is things we probably wouldn’t do as a principal but that we think are really interesting.”

Armstrong adds, “These venture bets could be huge, but we don’t know if they’re gonna work. And they actually should have a pretty high rate of failure. Otherwise, we’re not thinking big enough.”

Crypto has been condemned as rat poison by Warren Buffett, as a fraud by Jamie Dimon and the mother of all scams by doomsday economist Nouriel Roubini. Where’s the payoff to the economy?

It’s coming, Armstrong says. He posits a future in which thousands of startups use crypto to raise capital in a global marketplace no longer controlled by Wall Street firms. Within a decade, he predicts, the number of people participating in the blockchain economy will explode from 50 million to 1 billion. We are destined to enjoy a financial system that is “more global, more fair, more free and more efficient.”

There is an emotional component to the quest for financial liberation. Coinbase’s newly hired chief product officer, Surojit Chatterjee, talks about what happened when India all but destroyed currency holdings in a surprise attack on the money supply. His 80-year-old father spent five hours in line to retrieve the equivalent of $30.

Many countries, including Mexico, Argentina, Russia and Cyprus, have perpetrated wealth confiscations of this sort, in which some store of value is frozen or forcibly converted into something less valuable. The U.S. is an offender, too. FDR seized gold in 1933, replacing it with pieces of paper that have since lost 95% of their value.

Like gold, bitcoin is too cumbersome to be used as a means of exchange. The convoluted mechanism for adding transactions to the ledger means it takes 10 minutes to confirm a payment and that only four transfers can take place per second. You can’t run a global economy on that.

Solutions are on the way, Armstrong says. One is to consider bitcoin a store of value and add a layer atop it for transactions, much the way a quiescent base of vault currency and Federal Reserve deposits supports a torrent of checks and electronic payments in the banking system. The other is to create new digital currencies built with transaction speed in mind. Among the ones Coinbase supports are litecoin and bitcoin cash.


Coinbase has a broker/dealer license. Could it someday end-run stock exchanges?


In December, Coinbase got a first-of-its-kind authorization from Visa to issue debit cards that allow holders to make purchases at the 46 million locations (including ATMs) that accept Visa, and have the money drawn from a Coinbase account holding cryptocurrencies. Initially, these debit cards will be available to residents of 29 countries, but not the U.S. Still, Coinbase could eventually develop its Visa authorization into yet another business line: issuing credit cards on behalf of other crypto exchanges.

Banks, meanwhile, aren’t missing the opportunity to redesign payment networks using old-fashioned dollars. Zelle, an instant-payment system run by a consortium of big banks, ran $187 billion of traffic last year, putting it well ahead of PayPal’s Venmo. Zelle is mostly aimed at retail clients doing things like splitting dinner tabs, but has handled transactions as large as $3.2 million.

No question, disruptive technology is coming to the banking system, and Coinbase will be a part of it. It is the only outfit to appear on both the Forbes Fintech 50 and Blockchain 50 lists. But Armstrong is going to have plenty of competition, starting with central banks, which are plotting their own digital currencies. Facebook hasn’t given up on Libra, which is intended to be a globally accessible digital currency backed by assets like dollars and euros.

Let a thousand flowers bloom, says Armstrong. “When I started Coinbase, most people thought [blockchain] was crazy. Governments and the old guard, the blue chips, are now investing in this technology. So let’s just say that’s a very good thing.”

Cover Photograph by Jamel Toppin for Forbes

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I report on how blockchain and cryptocurrencies are being adopted by enterprises and the broader business community. My coverage includes the use of cryptocurrencies such

I aim to help you save on taxes and money management costs. I graduated from Harvard in 1973, have been a journalist for 45 years, and was editor of Forbes magazine from

I aim to help you save on taxes and money management costs. I graduated from Harvard in 1973, have been a journalist for 45 years, and was editor of Forbes magazine from

Source: Bitcoin’s Guardian Angel: Inside Coinbase Billionaire Brian Armstrong’s Plan To Make Crypto Safe For All

There are about 1.8 billion people in the world today who have a cell phone but don’t have access to any financial services. Today only about 40 million people in the world have cryptocurrency. But this is just the very early days. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong forecasts that within five years, a billion people in the world will have cryptocurrency. And it’ll shift from this investment phase to the utility phase. Meaning, people actually using cryptocurrency for, to buy goods and services and transact in the economy. ► Visit Coinbase here: https://www.coinbase.com/?utm_medium=… ► Learn more about our values at Coinbase here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ixo93… ► Subscribe to our channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCofT… ► Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/coinbase ► Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coinbase/ ► Find us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/coinbase/ #Coinbase #BrianArmstrong #Cryptocurrency #Blockchain #CryptoForAll #CoinbaseExchange #CoinbaseApp #Equality #OpenFinancialSystem

 

Could Google Be About To Break Bitcoin?

Google sent shockwaves around the internet last month when it was claimed the search giant had built a quantum computer able to solve formerly impossible mathematical calculations–with some fearing bitcoin could be at risk.

Details of Google’s so-called “quantum supremacy,” meaning it can solve calculations impossible with traditional computers, were posted to a Nasa website before being deleted, it was claimed by the Financial Times, a business newspaper.

Google’s quantum supremacy could mean it is able to perform in 200 seconds what would take a powerful computer 10,000 years and potentially mean bitcoin, and the encryption that underpins it, could be broken.

Bitcoin, cryptography, and encryption rely on complex mathematical problems and the fundamentals provide the basis of the internet and digital communication trust.

Today In: Money

A powerful enough computer, similar to Google’s quantum computer, could solve these classical equations quickly enough to crack not only bitcoin but also the encryption that the internet is built on.

An explosion in bitcoin investors and the bitcoin price over recent years have made many worried that their newfound crypto-based wealth could be under threat from these powerful quantum computers.

However, steps can be taken to prevent the likes of Google or any other quantum computer breaking into bitcoin and digital communication.

“Cryptocurrencies can be updated with quantum resistant tech,” said Charles Hayter, chief executive of bitcoin and cryptocurrency data website, CryptoCompare. “This is just a continuation of the age old arms race between crackers and enciphers.”

It would appear Google is still some way away from building a quantum computer that could be a threat to bitcoin or other encryption.

“Google’s supercomputer currently has 53 qubits,” said Dragos Ilie, a quantum computing and encryption researcher at Imperial College London.

Qubits, or quantum bits, are the basic unit of quantum information which use the properties of a quantum system, such as the polarization of a photon or the spin of an electron, where as traditional computers store and process data as a series of ‘1’s and ‘0’s.

“In order to have any effect on bitcoin or most or most other financial systems it would take at least about 1500 qubits and the system must allow for the entanglement of all of them,” Ilie said.

Google may not even be as far along as thought, with subsequent reports suggesting the original post was removed from Nasa’s website because it had not been confirmed.

Meanwhile, scaling quantum computers is “a huge challenge,” according to Ilie.

“As you add more qubits the system becomes more and more unstable … [though] researchers can try different approaches for solving these issues so maybe there are ways to mitigate these problems but right now we are quite far from breaking bitcoin.”

In short, “don’t dump your bitcoins yet,” Ilie added.

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I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk I reported on how technology is changing business, political trends, and the latest culture and lifestyle. I have covered the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrency since 2012 and have charted its emergence as a niche technology into the greatest threat to the established financial system the world has ever seen and the most important new technology since the internet itself. I have worked and written for CityAM, the Financial Times, and the New Statesman, amongst others. Follow me on Twitter @billybambrough or email me on billyATbillybambrough.com. Disclosure: I occasionally hold some small amount of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Source: Could Google Be About To Break Bitcoin?

Everyone should see it! Click here! http://youtube.com+watch=@3162039724/… Best cryptocurrency exchanger: https://700.by/101 Best cryptocurrency trading platform: https://700.by/102 The crypto community is reacting to a new report claiming Google has achieved a massive breakthrough in quantum computing. According to the Financial Times, a leaked document written by Google’s researchers says the company has achieved “quantum supremacy.”
In other words, Google has created a quantum computer that can perform a calculation that no other computer on earth has the power to process.“A paper by Google’s researchers seen by the FT, that was briefly posted earlier this week on a NASA website before being removed, claimed that their processor was able to perform a calculation in three minutes and 20 seconds that would take today’s most advanced classical computer, known as Summit, approximately 10,000 years.”
Quantum computers use the properties of atoms and molecules to create systems that can simultaneously explore multiple possible solutions to a problem. Many experts believe quantum tech could be used to crack the modern methods of cryptography that keep the internet secure. The threat to the world of cryptography is real enough that the National Security Agency (NSA) is now working to create new techniques that are resistant to quantum computing. News of Google’s apparent breakthrough made it to the front page of the cryptocurrency subreddit, where crypto proponents pondered the potential impact the advancement could have on blockchain technology.
The question is if and when quantum computing can crack the long strings of letters and numbers known as private keys, which Bitcoin users need to access their funds. So far, Google’s researchers say their quantum computer can “only perform a single, highly technical calculation,” indicating it will still take years until the technology can solve real-world problems.
But according to the document cited by the Financial Times, Google expects the tech to evolve at twice the speed of traditional computer processors. Steve Brierley, an adviser on quantum technologies to the UK government, says Google has taken a major leap forward.“It’s a significant milestone, and the first time that somebody has shown that quantum computers could outperform classical computers at all. It’s an amazing achievement.”So far, Google itself has refused to comment. #quantum #cryptocalculator #bitcoinblockexplorer #cryptocurrencynews #cryptocurrencyexchange #cryptonews #cryptoexchange Will Google’s ‘Quantum Supremacy’ Achievement Break Bitcoin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haRLj…
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