JPMorgan Chase Positively Wades Into Crypto After Years of Hate

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The financial services giant and bank JPMorgan Chase & Co have seemingly reversed on a long-held stance, that crypto is bad, by beginning to service U.S. cryptoasset exchanges Gemini and Coinbase.

JPMorgan’s apparent reversal comes after years of institutionalized disdain for crypto, with the bank’s CEO Jamie Dimon being a vociferous critic circa 2017. According to Bloomberg, JPMorgan had been conducting due diligence on the exchanges “for months” before making the move. The bank’s adoption of crypto signals what can only be a highly regulated crypto-fiat landscape.

During 2019, JPMorgan had in fact started to visibly thaw on the subject of crypto, even experimenting with their own distributed ledger tech in the form of the so-called “JPM Coin”.

Dimon displayed during an interview his awareness of the competition posed by crypto, directing his people to assume that crypto and/or Fintech was “coming […] to eat your lunch.” Despite this, he was bearish on the prospect of Facebook’s Libra project succeeding or even launching, saying in October 2019 that it would “never happen”.

PMorgan’s publically traded stock has fallen recently, retreating from all-time-highs set in December 2019 in February, even before the coronavirus pandemic started to wreck the markets in March. It is down about 37% from those highs, trading now at about $87.

By: Colin Muller

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

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J.P. Morgan Chase will be the first major U.S. bank to create its own cryptocurrency. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of the $6 trillion the bank lends to corporations will happen over something called ‘JPM Coin.’ The digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. The “Squawk Box” crew discusses the possible implications of this roll out for crypto investors. » Subscribe to CNBC: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC About CNBC: From ‘Wall Street’ to ‘Main Street’ to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: http://www.cnbc.com/ Find CNBC News on Facebook: http://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: http://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Google+: http://cnb.cx/PlusCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: http://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC

Cryptocurrencies Are ‘Fool’s Gold’ Says Brazilian Political Party

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  • Brazil’s far-left political party Partido da Causa Operaria warned that cryptocurrency is “fool’s gold”
  • The group called bitcoin a source of financial manipulation for the country’s poor and working class.

Brazil’s far-left party Partido da Causa Operaria (PCO) issued a warning that cryptocurrencies are “fool’s gold” for the country’s poor population.

According to a report by Portal do Bitcoin, the PCO released a publication on Monday warning users to avoid cryptocurrencies and calling bitcoin a type of financial scam. The publication claims bitcoin was invented to manipulate workers and deliver gains to capitalists.

The publication reads :It is just another trick to maneuver the poor population. It is one more way to get money out of the people and throw it straight into the pockets of big capitalists.

The PCO compared the role of cryptocurrencies in the international financial market to that of the impact of COVID-19. The paper continued: In times of a health and economic crisis, fool’s gold makes it clear that it is one more way to contain the crisis and maintain the gain only for the portion of the powerful capitalists.

The PCO accused Wall Street and London of dominating global markets, referring to these entities as “foxes” n a “chicken coop. “

By: Michael LaVere

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

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Bitcoin’s year-to-date performance compared to the Brazilian Real coupled with the country’s financial woes may help drive demand towards the cryptocurrency. According to a new report released May 11 by Delphi Digital titled “The State of Bitcoin”, Brazil’s central bank lowering its interest rates to 3% and the fact the Real had lost 30% of its value relative to the U. S. dollar could drive away investors “who find the risk-reward tradeoff no longer attractive” in certain local markets. Delphi Digital speculated that this potential exodus could lead to a greater push towards Bitcoin ( BTC ) in Brazil:“This is not to say that capital flooding out of emerging markets will flow right into bitcoin… but the sheer size of this potential move could serve as another demand source for BTC, especially if tighter capital controls become more commonplace.”BTC had the best YTD performance compared to the Real — 74% — far exceeding that of the U. S. dollar, coming at at 21.9%. Source: Delphi Digital’s “The State of Bitcoin (2020)”Though the country’s Bitcoin market might be getting riper for investors, cryptocurrencies in Brazil have had their share of regulatory challenges and influential critics. Four companies focused on Bitcoin trading have closed since 2019. Even the President of the Brazilian Banking Federation has argued that cryptocurrencies are not really currencies at all. All data is taken from the source: https://cointelegraph.com/ Article Link: https://cointelegraph.com/news/post-h… #bitcoin #jpmorgancryptocurrency #btctousdcalculator #cryptocurrencynews #cryptocurrencyexchange #cryptonews #cryptoexchange Post-Halving Report Brazil Could be New ‘Demand Source’ for Bitcoin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir9My…

Crypto Market Update for 3 May 2020: Bitcoin, XRP, Litecoin, Tezos, and Chainlink

This article provides an overview of how Bitcoin (BTC), XRP, Litecoin (LTC), Tezos (XTZ), and Chainlink (LINK) have been doing over the past 24-hour period, covers recent news that might have affected their prices (or might do so in the future), and looks at interesting tweets about these cryptoassets from prominent members of the crypto community.

To give you a rough idea of how well the crypto markets are doing today, 14 out of the top 20 cryptoassets (by market cap) are currently in the green (against the dollar).

All market data used in this article was taken between 12:20 UTC and 13:05 UTC on 3 May 2020 from CryptoCompare, which also provided the price charts shown in this article.

Bitcoin, which stated the year at $7,183, is current at $8,984, which means that it is up 25.07% so far in 2020. In contrast to the cryptocurrency that is quite often referred to as “digital gold”, physical gold is up 12.06% for the year-to-date (YTD) period, according to data from GoldPrice.org.

Bitcoin’s YTD performance is even more impressive when you consider that the S&P 500 is down 13.11% in 2020 (according to data from Google Finance):

Bitcoin’s next (third) halving event is on May (i.e. in less than nine days), and there are many who are expecting in the run-up to this event. However, this is by no means a certainly since during the current COVID-19 pandemic, Bitcoin has been showing a moderate amount of positive correlation to the S&P 500 index, and if there is more bad news about COVID-19 cases or the U.S. economy, this could negatively impact the price of Bitcoin.

XRP, which started the year at $0.1927, is currently at $0.2218, which means that it is up 15.10% so far in 2020.

On Thursday (April 30), Ripple released its “Q1 2020 XRP Markets Report”. Ripple publishes this quarterly report to “voluntarily provide transparency and regular updates on the company’s views on the state of the XRP market, including quarterly programmatic and institutional sales updates, relevant XRP-related announcements such as Xpring and RippleNet partnerships and commentary on previous quarter market developments.”

Ripple reminded us that since Q2 2019, it has been using “a more conservative volume benchmark for XRP sales, away from CoinMarketCap and to CryptoCompare Top Tier (CCTT).”

In Q2 2019, Ripple “significantly reduced XRP sales.” And in Q3 2019 and Q4 2019, Ripple “further reduced XRP sales and paused programmatic sales.”

This appraoch was maintained in Q1 2020, with total XRP sales for this quarter coming to $1.75 million vs. $13.08 million in Q4 2019. Programmatic sales of XRP stayed paused, with the company “focusing solely on its over-the-counter (OTC) sales to build XRP utility and liquidity in strategic regions including EMEA and Asia.”

Litecoin, which is the 7th most valuable cryptoasset by market cap, began the year at $41.20 and is currently at $48.67, which means that it is up 18.13% so far in 2020.

Weiss Crypto Ratings, a crypto-focused division of ratings agency Weiss Ratings, has an overall rating of “B-” for Litecoin (same as XRP).

On Friday (May 1), David Burkett, the Grin developer who is leading the project to add privacy support to Litecoin via the MimbleWimble (MW) protocol, provided an update on the progress achieved in April 2020:

XTZ, which is the 10th most valuable cryptoasset by market cap, started the year at $1.347 and is currently at $2.786, which means that it is up a mere 106.83% so far in 2020.

As Coindesk reported last Thursday (April 30), Tezos has become the latest blockchain to decide to use Chainlink for oracle services.

A joint press release announced that two indepedent teams of Tezos developers — Smart Chain Arena and Cryptonomic — “are making Chainlink natively available to all developers building on Tezos.” The two firms are “working together to make Chainlink the go-to oracle solution for developers connecting their Tezos smart contracts to real world data and systems.”

It went on to say that “integrating natively with Chainlink allows Tezos developers to harness the power of decentralized oracle networks to securely and reliably access key off-chain resources and use them in their on-chain applications.”

LINK, which is the 12th most valuable cryptoasset by market cap, started the year at $1.76 and is currently at $3.761, which means that it is up an incredible 113.69% in 2020.

in the addition to the work being done to integrate Tezos and Chainlink, which was mentioned above, last Wednesday (April 29), Bancor announced the second major version of the Bancor Protocol. One of Bancor V2’s main new features is “a new automated market maker (AMM) liquidity pool integrated with Chainlink price oracles that eliminates the risk of impermanent loss for both stable and volatile tokens.”

Source: Crypto Market Update for 3 May 2020: Bitcoin, XRP, Litecoin, Tezos, and Chainlink

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Alibaba, Tencent, Five Others To Receive First Chinese Government Cryptocurrency

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China’s central bank will launch a state-backed cryptocurrency and issue it to seven institutions in the coming months, according to a former employee of one of the institutions who is now an independent researcher. Paul Schulte, who worked as global head of financial strategy for China Construction Bank until 2012, says the largest bank in the world, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the second largest bank in the world, his former employer, the Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China; two of China’s largest financial technology companies, Alibaba and Tencent; and Union Pay, an association of Chinese banks, will receive the cryptocurrency.

A separate source, who’s involved in the development of the cryptocurrency, dubbed DC/EP (Digital Currency/Electronic Payments), confirmed that the seven institutions would be receiving the new asset when it launches, adding that an eighth institution could also be among the first tier of recipients. The source declined to provide the name of the additional company. Speaking under terms of anonymity, the source, who previously worked for the Chinese government, confirmed that the technology behind the cryptocurrency has been ready since last year and that the cryptocurrency could launch as soon as November 11, China’s busiest shopping day, known as Singles Day.

At the time of launch, the recipient institutions will then be responsible for dispersing the cryptocurrency to 1.3 billion Chinese citizens and others doing business in the renminbi, China’s fiat currency, according to the source. The source added that the central bank hopes the currency will eventually be made available to spenders in the United States and elsewhere through relationships with correspondent banks in the West. “That’s the plan, but that won’t happen right away,” the source said.

The plan to use a diverse set of China’s trusted intuitions to disperse the cryptocurrency is reminiscent of a number of other ideas currently percolating around the world. For instance, Facebook’s planned libra cryptocurrency will be backed by a basket of currencies issued by central banks with support from companies like Mastercard and Uber in the United States, Vodaphone in England and Mercado Pago in Argentina. And last week, Bank of England governor Mark Carney floated the idea of a new currency backed by a number of central banks to replace the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency.

What sets China’s DC/EP apart from libra and Carney’s “synthetic hegemonic currency” (SHC), according to Shulte, is that while libra is little more than early-stage computer code and the SHC doesn’t appear to have gone much further than Carney’s mind, the Chinese cryptocurrency is ready to launch. “China is barreling forward on reforms and rolling out the cryptocurrency,” says Schulte, who now runs an eponymous bank research firm. “It will be the first central bank to do so.”

At the time of publication, neither the People’s Bank of China nor any of the seven institutions mentioned by Schulte had responded to Forbes requests to confirm or deny his claim. However, the two-tiered strategy, where the central bank creates the currency and others distribute it, aligns with previously unreported statements made by Mu Changchun, deputy director of the Paying Division of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the new head of China’s cryptocurrency research lab. In a speech on August 10 at the China Finance 40 Forum, since revised and posted on the PBOC’s WeChat channel, Mu described the central bank’s “two-tiered” system, wherein the bank would create the cryptocurrency and a small group of trusted commercial businesses would “pay the central bank 100% in full” to be allowed to distribute it.

In addition to preventing regional banks and other organizations from being disintermediated, Mu said the two-tiered system is designed to “curb” public demand for other cryptographic assets, consolidate China’s national currency sovereignty, ensure that the central bank maintains control over monetary policy affecting the currency, increase the likelihood of people using the currency, distribute the risk of having all the authority directly in the hands of the central bank and encourage competition between the organizations that receive the cryptocurrency.

“This dual delivery system is suitable for our national conditions,” said Mu. “It can not only use existing resources to mobilize the enthusiasm of commercial banks but also smoothly improve the acceptance of the digital currency.”

The composition of the organizations Schulte says will receive the DC/EP also aligns with Mu’s comments. Later in his speech, Mu added that only after the technical specifications for the DC/EP were completed in 2018 did the central bank realize the similarity between its design and that of libra, the cryptocurrency being developed by Facebook and about 30 other early-stage partners.

One key difference, according to Mu, is that while libra is being designed to handle 1,000 transactions per second, the DC/EP was designed to handle 300,000 transactions per second. For context, Mu added that during last year’s Singles Day the peak volume of all transactions in China was 92,771 transactions per second, dwarfing what the other platforms could support, but well within the DC/EP specifications. “At present, we belong to a state of horse racing,” Mu said according to the translation.

How Blockchain Went From Bitcoin To Big Business| 37:20

The DC/EP can achieve this kind of volume only because it is not a “pure blockchain architecture,” according to Mu, and therefore it doesn’t need to wait for groups of transactions to settle in a block. Like other permissioned blockchains that not anyone can use, the DC/EP is centrally managed, in this case by the central bank, meaning the digital currency remains a liability of the bank and the debtor/creditor relationship is unchanged, according to Mu. Also, instead of using an algorithm to limit supply, like bitcoin, Mu says the PBoC itself will control supply. Crucially, Mu says, the DC/EP is being designed to replace the physical notes and coins in circulation, not the renminbi sitting in bank accounts in a digital form.

“The central bank’s digital currency can be circulated as easily as cash,” said Mu. “Which is conducive to the circulation and internationalization of the renminbi.”

Whether anyone outside China would actually use a digital renminbi for transactions in their own country is unclear. As the Bank of England governor’s comments about replacing the U.S. dollar indicate, much of the world is tired of having their financial stability tied to the United States’ monetary system. But China may not be the best alternative. Earlier this month, as part of the escalating trade war between the United States and China, U.S. President Trump accused China of being a “currency manipulator.” After China’s renminbi fell to its lowest in 11 years, hitting 6.9225 renminbi per dollar on August 5, according to a Financial Times report, it has recovered significantly, trading at 7.15 renminbi per dollar today. While China has denied the charge and called the U.S. “protectionist” in a press statement, the perception of manipulation could be harmful to broader adoption of a digital currency linked to the renminbi.

In December 2017, another country accused of devaluing its currency, Venezuela, revealed plans for its own cryptocurrency, backed by oil and called the petro. After much hullabaloo, the currency somewhat officially launched in 2018, but it isn’t available on most international exchanges because of a U.S. embargo and has been almost impossible to accurately value. Another obstacle to adoption could be uncertainty about the benefits of a technology that’s intended to replace fiat currency but is still under centralized control. While it’s obvious that any central bank wishing to more closely observe how citizens are using a cryptocurrency would prefer a transparent ledger like the bitcoin blockchain, which makes transactions easily traceable, most of the benefits to users of current blockchains, such as instant settlement and digital transactions without the need of a middleman, could be undermined by central control.

One person who’s not concerned about the obstacles to adoption of China’s cryptocurrency is Charles Liu, chairman of HAO International, a private equity firm investing over $700 million in Chinese growth companies. After largely focusing on solar, organic fertilizer, and wastewater treatment technologies since 2012, Liu says he is an angel investor in “the first blockchain company to be able to sign an official contract with the People’s Bank” of China.

Liu declined to reveal the name of the firm or its technology but lent support to Mu’s comments about the potential benefits to businesses using China’s cryptocurrency. In addition to being a more efficient way to track money laundering, bribery and other transactions, Liu says, the cryptocurrency will give banks increased confidence in the creditworthiness of borrowers, let merchants receive payments instantly and lower transaction fees. While Liu says that banks in the United States have been resistant to such improvements that eat away at their bottom line, he adds that China doesn’t have that problem, because the government owns the banks.

“What will facilitate commercial transactions and enhance efficiency, the central government decides and they go ahead and do it,” says Liu, adding that “China’s strategic plan is to integrate more closely with the rest of the world. Cryptocurrency is just one of the means to have a more internationalized renminbi. It’s all strategic. It’s all long term.”

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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 as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple, and extends to non-cryptocurrency applications of blockchain in finance, supply chain management, digital identity and a number of other use cases. Previously, I was a staff reporter at blockchain news site, CoinDesk, where I covered the increasing willingness of enterprises to explore how blockchain could make their work more efficient and in some cases, unnecessary. I have been covering blockchain since 2011, been published in the New Yorker, and been nationally syndicated by American City Business Journals. My work has been published in Blockchain in Financial Markets and Beyond by Risk Books and I am regularly cited in industry research reports. Since 2009 I’ve run Literary Manhattan, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to showing Manhattan’s rich literary heritage.

Source: https://www.forbes.com

China’s central bank is reportedly on the verge of launching a national digital currency. Investigative Journalist Ben Swann joins Scottie Nell Hughes to discuss the implications. He argues that at some point every country will have its own digital currency. And that there’s “nothing attractive” about such currencies as they’re no better than traditional government-backed fiat currency. #NVHughes #QuestionMore #RTAmerica Find RT America in your area: http://rt.com/where-to-watch/ Or watch us online: http://rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air/ Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTAmerica Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_America

Only an Idiot Would Use Facebook’s Shady Cryptocurrency

In its neverending conquest to take over the world, Facebook is building a network of online merchants and financial institutions to support its secretive new cryptocurrency. The Wall Street Journal reports that Mark Zuckerberg’s war machine is looking for $1 billion to fund the secretive stablecoin project, Project Libra, and is talking with heavyweights like Visa and Mastercard to get that cash.

FACEBOOK WANTS $1 BILLION TO FUND PROJECT LIBRA

The company started Project Libra over a year ago as a simple way to transfer money between WhatsApp users. But in true Facebook fashion, it’s grown far beyond that original scope.

The project has expanded to include e-commerce payments on Facebook and other websites as well as rewards for viewing ads, shopping online, and interacting with content.

Facebook cryptocurrency daily users potential

The upcoming Facebook cryptocurrency would reach the platform’s nearly 1.6 billion daily active users. | Source: Wall Street Journal

Facebook’s 2.38 billion monthly active users mean that, at launch, Project Libra would almost immediately compete with rivals Apple Pay (383M) and PayPal (267M). However, there are several reasons why you, and everyone else, should avoid Facebook’s upcoming cryptocurrency at all costs.

WHO TRUSTS FACEBOOK ANYMORE?

Let’s take a walk down memory lane to remember the times that Facebook proved it should be nowhere near your money.

CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA

There’s no better place to start than Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal – the mac daddy of screw-ups. In 2014, the social media company sold the personal data of  87 million users to Cambridge Analytica without the users’ consent. Doing so was in direct violation of the company’s privacy policies.

Adding your financial data to the massive pile of personal information that Facebook already has on you is asking for trouble.

PLAINTEXT PASSWORDS

If Facebook’s data breaches weren’t enough to scare you, let’s examine how the company handles passwords. Hint: Not well.

In March, Facebook revealed that it had been storing hundreds of millions of account passwords in a readable, plaintext format since 2012. Although there was no evidence that outside parties had access to the passwords, employees could grab them with ease.

Don’t forget about the company’s Amazon snafu that exposed data from 500 million accounts either.

By trusting any amount of money to a company that can’t even secure passwords, you’re effectively placing a sign on your back that says, “Please come and rob me!”

FACEBOOK CENSORSHIP

The beauty of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency assets is that they’re censorship-resistant. No single party can freeze your bitcoin wallet or block a transaction. Facebook can, and will, block your financial account whenever it pleases. The company’s already begun showing this overreach of power with its recent account bans.

This week, Facebook announced the bans of several individuals including Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan, and Milo Yiannopoulos. Representatives from the company explainedthat those they banned violated the platform’s policy on hate speech and promoting violence.

While that reasoning may hold, it sets a dangerous precedent for future action. Where do you draw the line on censorship? The banning demonstrates that Facebook has the power to freeze your crypto assets if it doesn’t share your particular views and can block transactions to causes it may not support.

FACEBOOK CRYPTO SHOULD BE DEAD ON ARRIVAL

Facebook’s cryptocurrency comes with all of the downsides of the company behind it and none of the benefits of an actual cryptocurrency. Anyone hyping it up as a step toward mass adoption simply doesn’t understand what makes crypto great.

If you’re looking for a currency with poor security and oppressive censorship, give your money to Facebook. If not, stay far, far away.

Source: Only an Idiot Would Use Facebook’s Shady Cryptocurrency

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