Speaking before an audience at the Singapore Fintech Festival 2018, managing director and chairwoman of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde made the case for digital currency.

Says Lagarde,

“A new wind is blowing, that of digitalization. In this new world, we meet anywhere, any time. The town square is back – virtually, on our smartphones. We exchange information, services, even emojis, instantly… peer to peer, person to person. We float through a world of information, where data is the ‘new gold’– despite growing concerns over privacy, and cyber-security. A world in which millennials are reinventing how our economy works, phone in hand.”

Lagarde outlines how new forms of money will make their way into everyday usage.

Integration
  • Through social media, readily available for online and person-to person use, including micro-payments
  • Will be cheap and safe, protected against criminals and prying eyes

Lagarde points out a number of signs indicating digitization.

Key signs of an emerging digital economy
  • Signs in store windows read “cash not accepted”
  • Bank deposits feeling pressure from new forms of money
  • E-money from AliPay and WeChat in China, PayTM in India, M-Pesa in Kenya

According to Lagarde,

“Even cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple are vying for a spot in the cashless world, constantly reinventing themselves in the hope of offering more stable value, and quicker, cheaper settlement.”

Advantages of digital currencies
  • Reaching people and businesses in remote and marginalized regions
  • Backup means of payment
  • Low-cost and efficient alternative
  • Privacy
Disadvantages and risks of digital currencies  plus creative solutions
  • Despite risks to financial integrity, programmable money by central banks could allow regulators to “lift the veil of anonymity” if suspicions arose.
  • Despite risks to innovation by having central banks cover everything from digital wallets, to tokens, to back-end settlement services, new public-private partnerships would allow central banks to handle back-end settlement, while financial institutions and start-ups focus on client interface and innovation.
  • Despite risks to financial stability due to pressure on bank deposits, “the jury is still out on whether digital currencies would really upset financial stability.”

Lagarde says we should embrace change.

“My message is that while the case for digital currency is not universal, we should investigate it further, seriously, carefully, and creatively. More fundamentally, the case is about change – being open to change, embracing change, shaping change. Technology will change, and so must we. Lest we remain the last leaf on a dead branch, the others having decided to fly with the wind.”

The Singapore Fintech Festival, which took place on November 12-16, attracted over 250 global representatives from central banks and regulatory agencies, financial institutions, venture capital firms and fintech companies who made a wide range of presentations covering monetary policy, and the future of blockchain, digital assets and cryptocurrencies.

You can download the full speech here.

 

This post credited to Daily HODL Image source: Daily HODL

When historians set out to chronicle the development of cryptocurrency, one of the first chapters will profile DigiCash, the early digital currency startup which, decades before Bitcoin, almost fulfilled the dream of giving the internet a native currency. However, that project’s inventor, cryptography pioneer David Chaum, wants his name to appear in the book’s subsequent chapters as well.

Chaum, now 63, is launching a new cryptocurrency project called Elixxir, which he claims has achieved the holy grail of network decentralization, blockchain security, and transaction speed.

In a Wall Street Journal interview published earlier this year, Chaum alleged that the technological innovations in Elixxir are game changers for blockchain adoption. “These breakthroughs I’ve made change the whole game,” he told the publication. “We can actually meet the requirements to go to consumer scale.”

David Chaum Digicash Elixxir
David Chaum | Source: Distributed/YouTube

Specifically, Elixxir implements an inversion of the traditional blockchain model, wherein transactions are aggregated into blocks and then processed by validating nodes. Chaum said that blocks will instead be produced prior to transaction batching, allowing the network to process payments quickly, even at scale.

It remains to be seen whether the production blockchain will meet Chaum’s lofty expectations while also achieving sufficient decentralization. In the meantime, Elixxir has announced that the project has received a strategic investment from Chris Larsen, the co-founder of blockchain startup Ripple and, by virtue of his Ripple equity and remaining XRP holdings, one of the wealthiest persons in cryptocurrency.

Commenting on the project, Larsen said that he was optimistic about Elixxir’s potential as a consumer-facing network. He said, “David Chaum has been a defender of privacy in the digital world for almost forty years. I am proud to be an early backer of Elixxir and look forward to seeing this consumer-facing blockchain open the door to secure use by millions of individuals in their daily lives.”

Also providing seed funding was H&D Company Pte Ltd., an investment firm based out of Singapore.

This post credited to ccn Image from YouTube/Berkeley-Haas

Bakkt and Bitcoin

In a new interview with CNBC’s Crypto Trader, billionaire Bitcoin bull Tim Draper says he expects the launch of Bakkt to boost the price of Bitcoin.

Formed by Intercontinental Exchange, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, Bakkt is set to launch its daily futures contract for Bitcoin on December 12th, pending regulatory approval.

The overall goal of Bakkt is to create a fully regulated operation that will “enable consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets on a seamless global network” and will include warehousing along with merchant and consumer applications.

But how does Bakkt really work, and does it stay true to the original vision of Bitcoin’s anonymous creator? Early this month, YouTube channel Ready Set Crypto published a comprehensive video analyzing how Bakkt really operates behind the scenes.

Ethereum

The latest ConsenSys-sponsored Week in Ethereum blog post is out.

This week’s edition covers new protocol updates, developer interview, and news on a number of Ethereum-based platforms including Golem, Mysterium and Status.

Ripple and XRP

A new member of RippleNet has emerged.

According to the Czech media outlet Lupa.cz, the fintech startup Amore Finance just joined Ripple’s network of financial institutions and payment providers. Amore Finance is “focused on providing banking services and, through its participation in RippleNet, wants its clients to offer fast and cheap international payments.”

Meanwhile, the India-based peer-to-peer crypto exchange Coindcx says it has added XRP to its list of more than 40 cryptocurrencies.

CoinDCX: Crypto Exchange@coindcx

Announcement: ⚡ /INR and /INR now live for trade! 😍 https://blog.coindcx.com/announcement-xrp-and-eth-are-now-live-for-trade-in-the-inr-market/ 

Announcement: $XRP and $ETH are now live for trade in the INR market!

Now buy $XRP and $ETH against INR on CoinDCX, India’s favorite exchange. We are happy to announce the addition of 2 new tokens to our orderbook.

blog.coindcx.com

Stellar

Adam Ludwin, the co-founder of Stellar’s new initiative called Interstellar, is sharing his vision of how all kinds of assets can be tokenized. Ludwin spoke at the recent Money20/20 conference in Las Vegas.

Interstellar’s primary focus is helping companies build infrastructure on top of the Stellar network.

Tron

TronWatch Market just released a demo of its upcoming decentralized exchange (DEX) that will allow users to trade from any TRON token (TRX10, TRX20) to TRX.

You can check out the demo here.

Litecoin

The Litecoin Foundation has released a new recap of its first annual Litecoin Summit in San Francisco.

Organizers say they’re already planning for next year’s event.

This post credited to Daily HODL  Image source: Daily HODL

From a grand vision of crypto utopia, to Bakkt’s impact on Bitcoin and an update on Ripple and XRP, here’s a look at some of the stories breaking in the world of crypto.

Crypto Whale Plots Blockchain Utopia

A mysterious crypto whale is setting his sights on creating a blockchain utopia in the US. Blockchains LLC, a company owned by crypto millionaire Jeffrey Berns, bought a massive plot of land in Nevada for $170 million this year.

The New York Times

@nytimes

After amassing 67,000 acres of Nevada desert, a mysterious buyer has revealed his vision: a community that will plug into the blockchain. https://nyti.ms/2QcwfLn 

It takes imagination to see what Mr. Berns sees: a futuristic community growing out of the desert near Reno.

A Cryptocurrency Millionaire Wants to Build a Utopia in Nevada

A man spent millions on an enormous plot of land near Reno. Now he wants to build a community based on the blockchain technology introduced by Bitcoin.

nytimes.com

As reported by the New York Times, Berns has huge ambitions for the land, which is larger than the city of Reno.

“He imagines a sort of experimental community spread over about a hundred square miles, where houses, schools, commercial districts and production studios will be built. The centerpiece of this giant project will be the blockchain, a new kind of database that was introduced by Bitcoin…

Mr. Berns has managed to win over local officials who are eager for economic development. Nevada’s governor, Brian Sandoval, read a proclamation that named the Blockchains property ‘Innovation Park’ at an event last month where Mr. Berns sat on a panel with the governor and Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla.”

Bitcoin

Alex Krüger, a cryptocurrency trader and analyst, says the launch of the crypto platform Bakkt will likely trigger Bitcoin’s recovery in 2019.

Krüger outlined a series of predictions in a chronological sequence.

  1. Bull run on Bakkt and renewed ETF approval narrative early 2019
  2. ETF denied Feb/27, massive crash, goodbye 6k, hello 4k, cleanse all weak hands
  3. Halvening 2020 narrative and re-adjustments lead to sustained bull run for the rest of 2019 and 2020

Ethereum

Google CEO Sundar Pichai says his 11 year old son is mining Ethereum on his family’s desktop computer. As reported by Business Insider,

“…Pichai said his 11 year old son was using the family’s home PC to mine ether, the cryptocurrency tied to the Ethereum blockchain.

Pichai explained that his son had to correct him recently, saying: ‘I was talking about something about Bitcoin, and my son clarified what I was talking about was Ethereum.’”

Ripple and XRP

Ripple has released a short overview on how MercuryFX is using RippleNet to rapidly accelerate the speed of cross-border payments.

Ripple

@Ripple

Didn’t have time to tune in last week to Ripple Drop episode 6? @ashgoblue shows how @mercury_fx_ltd uses RippleNet to accelerate payments from days to seconds.

Meanwhile, the popular Canada-based crypto exchange CoinField says it has listed XRP, with 20 base pairs across 61 countries.

Tron

Tron has released a review of all seven coin burns the platform has initiated since launching its own blockchain.

The coin burns removed outdated TRX ERC20 tokens from circulation. The coins are no longer needed now that the vast majority of TRX tokens have migrated over to Tron’s new blockchain.

Litecoin

Lite.im is expanding its service that allows anyone with a basic mobile phone to send Litecoin through a text message.

According to the team, support for Telegram and Facebook Messenger is now live.

“Those already with an account can import their existing wallet simply by logging in. Meanwhile, users on Facebook now have direct access to easily and securely, send, manage and invest in Litecoin.”

IOTA

The hardware wallet maker Ledger is integrating IOTA.

“The Ledger Nano S hardware wallet will enable users to protect the private keys giving access to their IOTA tokens in a state-of-the-art secure chip.

The Ledger hardware wallets integrate with the IOTA Trinity and Romeo Wallets and isolate user’s seeds (the key for their account) from their computer or smartphone, providing another layer of security from hackers. Users will be able to validate transactions on their Ledger hardware wallet as part of the security protocol.”  

EOS

The EOS pixel art game Pixel Master has officially ended.

The game let users spend EOS to paint one pixel on a community canvas. As space on the board decreased, the price of each pixel increased, which the cost of one pixel eventually reaching about $25,000.

In the end, the platform says users spent 163,423 EOS, worth about $842,000, on the creation.

 

This post credited to Daily HODL  Image source: Daily HODL 

From Elon Musk and Bitcoin to the long-awaited launch of crypto debit cards in the US, here’s a look at some of the stories breaking in the world of blockchain.

Bitcoin

A new tweet about Bitcoin from entrepreneur Elon Musk just went viral.

In a response to a question about online security for Tesla owners, Musk launched a tongue-in-cheek reference to malicious Twitter scammers trying to separate people from their hard-earned cash and crypto.

San@vicentes

Hey what’s happening w 2 factor auth for Tesla account?

Update: In a twist of irony, after Musk sent out the above tweet, Twitter’s security algorithm thought his account may have been hacked, and temporarily froze his account.

Elon Musk

@elonmusk

Twitter thought I got hacked & locked my account haha

Ethereum

Ethereum’s open-source technology is front-and-center in a new partnership between Visa and IBM.

Visa says it will utilize the IBM Blockchain Platform, built on Ethereum, for its new blockchain-powered finance platform called B2B Connect.

Ripple

The National Bank of Kuwait is reportedly getting ready to test its first transaction using Ripple’s cross-border payment solution xCurrent.

The bank, which is one of the biggest in the Middle East, will likely give the test a shot in the coming weeks, according to Crypto Briefing.

Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin

Wirex is bringing its crypto debit cards to the US.

The company gives users the ability to spend their crypto using Visa and MasterCard. Users will be able to buy, sell, exchange and deposit Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin into their Wirex wallets. They can then convert their crypto to USD, load it onto their prepaid card and spend it anywhere Visa and Mastercard are accepted.

Wirex@wirexapp

🇺🇸 We will soon be launching Wirex prepaid cards in the USA! 🇺🇸
For the first time, US-based Wirex users will be able to instantly buy and convert into USD – letting you spend your digital tokens seamlessly in everyday life.
👇https://wirexapp.com/wirex-launch-prepaid-cards-usa/ 

Tron

Tron just released a new update covering the latest progress on the platform, from technical achievements to community activities.

VeChain

VeChain has launched the fourth episode in its new web series on VeChain’s tech on the hardware, blockchain core, software and application features of the platform.

The series looks at the platform’s built-in features for developers, as well as hardware devices.

 

This post credited to Daily HODL  Image source: Daily HODL

Ten months ago, Ken Takahashi started a petition on Change.org to make XRP the official crypto of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games. Today, it has over 5,200 signatures out of a needed 7,500.

Hitting milestones

Once created, the petition reached 500 signatures with relative speed, and jumped from 500 to 1,000 in less than 72 hours, according to an update by Takahashi, a resident of Japan, posted on the petition page. After that, it jumped to 1,500 in less than a day.

A unifying cryptocurrency for ease of use

Takahashi started this petition to try and solve the problem of so many international visitors flooding into a country that doesn’t use their currency, and having to have that currency exchanged. As with the Rio Olympics in 2016, people will flock to Tokyo from all over the world to witness, cover, and participate in the Olympic games. And all of those people are going to need to buy things. Takahashi writes:

“As tourists stream into the country, demand for the local currency skyrockets, causing long lines at currency exchanges, as seen at past events like Beijing 2008 and Rio de Janeiro 2016. Confusing exchange rates and language barriers further complicate the problem.”

He chose XRP because of the ease at which it facilitates cross-border transactions. Ripple Labs just launched its XRapid product commercially earlier in the week and hopes to provide a more efficient alternative to SWIFT, the current standard for international transactions.

Tests sending funds between the U.S. and Mexico showed wait times for XRP transfers can be minutes, and cost exponentially less than sending money across borders the conventional way. Takahashi contends that a single cryptocurrency, easily convertible into fiat, would ease congestion and friction for international Olympic visitors. Not to mention the fact that it could save them money on exchange fees. The more easily people can access their funds and convert them to local currency, the more easily they can spend it there.

Takahashi is aiming for 7,500 signatures on the petition before he sends it to the Olympic National Committee. Ripple Labs has also been tagged on the petition page.

This post credited to cryptoslate  Image source: Unsplash

A consortium of 61 Japanese banks, responsible for over 80% of Japan’s banking assets, has begun using a consumer-centric retail payments app using Ripple blockchain technology.

In a tweet by Ripple’s own official handle on Thursday, the San Francisco-based fintech confirmed the app went live on Thursday, nearly seven months after its initial announcement earlier this year. As CCN reported at the time, the app is the product of SBI Ripple Asia, a banking consortium that launched in November 2016 with a focused effort to leverage Ripple’s blockchain technology for domestic bank transfers in Japan.

Dubbed ‘MoneyTap’, the smartphone app will enable real-time, round-the-year domestic money transfers between bank accounts using xCurrent, Ripple’s enterprise blockchain network, details from the app’s website reveal.

Payments can be triggered with the use of a simple QR code or the recipient’s phone number through the application, made available on both iOS and Android platforms. With today’s launch, the MoneyTap app is supported by three specific banks – Suruga Bank, SBI Net Sumishin Bank and Resona Bank, for zero-cost transfers between them. In the scenario of a request for a return of funds, participants will be required to pay a small fee.

Designed to be a quick, small-amount remittance service between everyday residents, MoneyTap allows for a maximum transfer amount of ¥30,000 (approx. $262) per transaction and a ceiling of ¥100,000 ($875) per day.

Japan’s current decades-old national payments clearing platform ‘Zengin’ facilitates domestic money transfers between 8:30 AM and 3:30 PM in Japan, in addition to banking fees.

While the launch of the app is the first notable implementation of commercial blockchain technology on a consumer scale in Japan, Ripple’s tech is also live in Banco Santander’s One Pay FX. A similar application powered by Ripple’s xCurrent, Santander says its retail banking clients in Spain, the UK, Brazil and Poland can settle international payments in a matter of “3 clicks and 40 seconds”.

This post credited to ccn Featured image from MoneyTap.

In a new letter dated September 28 to Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), US Congressmen Warren Davidson, Ted Budd, Tom Emmer, and Darren Soto asked for clarifications on the regulatory status of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies.

According to the lawmakers, the current uncertainty regarding digital tokens “is hindering innovation in the United States,” while hinting that businesses may be moving elsewhere to more crypto-friendly jurisdictions if nothing is done.

The pro-crypto Congressmen went on to write that they “believe the SEC could do more to clarify its position,” and added that they are “concerned about the use of enforcement actions alone to clarify policy […]” The Congressmen were particularly interested in getting a clear regulatory framework for when a token sale should be considered an “investment contract,” thus classifying tokens as either securities or non-securities.

As Cryptonews.com reported last week, Congressman Davidson hosted a roundtable discussion on Capitol Hill between lawmakers and representatives for the crypto industry. The forum, dubbed “Legislating Certainty for Cryptocurrencies,” will provide input from the industry to be used in the preparation of a new bill that Davidson plans to put up for a vote in the US House of Representatives this fall.

During the meeting, Davidson was quoted as saying that “I am confident we can move forward and make this a flourishing market in the U.S.,” while adding that “we did it well with the Internet.”

Meanwhile, not only in the U.S. the lack of regulation in the crypto and blockchain space, especially for projects that raised funds through ICOs, is keeping even compliant projects from working.

“If you’re a good citizen complying with accounting, opening bank accounts, doing everything correctly, you can still get hit every single week by institutions, service providers, partners that tell you they’re not working with you anymore just because you’re dealing with cryptocurrencies,” Ada Jonušė, CEO of Lympo, a Lithuania-based sports and health data monetization company, said in September.

Ripple forms lobbying group

In other news from Washington this weekend, a statement from Ripple revealed that the California crypto startup focusing on the banking sector, and other companies associated with it, are forming a lobbying group to influence crypto regulations during a critical time when lawmakers in Washington are trying to figure out how to approach the issue.

The new advocacy group, dubbed Securing America’s Internet of Value Coalition (SAIV), says it will promote “a vision of fair and equitable Internet of Value,” as well as fair tax treatment on crypto-related “capital gains, assets and charitable contributions.”

 

This post credited to cryptonews  Image source: iStock 

Ripple will lead a group of crypto startups to lobby lawmakers and financial regulators in D.C. to support crypto and blockchain innovation, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, September 27.

According to the report, the coalition of San-Francisco-based crypto firms is planning to pay Klein/Johnson Group, a bipartisan lobby group, to assist the crypto and blockchaincommunity in conveying to regulators that the industry needs support from the government.

The new group, called the Securing America’s Internet of Value Coalition, aims to soften the government’s stance in order to encourage innovation and support competition in the ecosystem of global crypto markets.

The coalition, together with the lobby group, will raise issues with Congress, as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and other agencies that have relations to cryptocurrencies.

According to the preliminary agreement, the fintech lobby group Klein/Johnson will reportedly receive around $25,000 a month and 10,000 in Ripple (XRP) from the coalition. As Bloomberg reports, the company is planning to convert the cryptocurrency into dollars by the time it discloses the payments on federal lobbying forms.

Along with Ripple, as well as independent foundation RippleWorks, the coalition will also feature digital payments firm Coil, crypto investment company Yaka, and PolySign, a startup that is set to launch a crypto custodian.

Chris Larsen, executive chairman of Ripple, commented that while the company admits that the matter is “really complicated,” due to a great deal of “misinformation,” there is still “a lot of interest in this topic in D.C..”

The companies’ lobbying move follows the increased attention of Congress and other agencies like the SEC towards cryptocurrencies. Yesterday, a group of Congress lawmakers sent a letter to the SEC, urging the regulators to provide more clarity in regard to cryptocurrencies. Specifically, the lawmakers have reportedly requested the SEC to confirm whether digital tokens can be identified as securities or not.

On September 26, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to establish a crypto task force to combat terrorist use of cryptocurrencies.

In June, SEC chairman Jay Clayton claimed that major cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) is not a security due to its function as a replacement for sovereign currencies. Around a week later, a senior SEC official claimed that the top altcoin Ethereum (ETH) will be not regulated as a security, while Ethereum co-founder has previously denied that ETH was ever a security.

Concerning Ripple, in April, the company’s chief market strategist Corey Johnson stated that Ripple is “100 percent clear” and not a security since it does not meet the standards of what a “security is based on the history of court law.”

 

This post credited to cointelegraph  Image source: Cointelegraph

The crypto market has demonstrated a gain of $12 billion in the past 24 hours, triggered by a staggering 20 percent increase in the value of Ripple (XRP) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

On September 25, CCN reported that the volume of XRP was a concern for traders as it dropped from $2 billion to $800 million, by more than 60 percent. Over the past 12 hours, the volume of XRP surged by nearly 60 percent from $1 billion to $2.2 billion.

Bitcoin Cash recorded the second highest gain amongst all cryptocurrencies in the market with a solid 21 percent gain. The volume of BCH remained relatively stable in the $700 million region.

Massive Volatility

It is evident that Bitcoin, the most dominant cryptocurrency in the market, has been relatively stable since early August. For more than two months, since August 6, the price of Bitcoin has remained in the region of $6,300 to $6,800, rarely breaking out of the $6,800 resistance level.

Yet, many cryptocurrencies like Ripple, Ethereum, and Stellar have demonstrated a high level of volatility throughout the past few months.

It is possible that the stability of Bitcoin in both corrections and corrective rallies is providing a platform for alternative cryptocurrencies to regain momentum and establish strong foundation to initiate short-term rallies in the future.

Alex Kruger, a well-recognized technical analyst in the cryptocurrency community, stated that due to the selling pressure on Ethereum from initial coin offering (ICO) projects, diversification to EOS, Stellar, and Bitcoin Cash could be better in the short-term.

“Tech aside, ETH investors would likely be better off diversifying among coins eg. holding ETH, EOS, XLM & BCH. ETH still faces considerable ICO selling pressure, and already is listed everywhere, taking away the exchange listing bullish factor,” Kruger said.

More importantly, cryptocurrencies like EOS, XLM, BCH, and XRP are impacted by external events and developments more so than Bitcoin and Ethereum. For instance, on September 26, many analysts attributed the increase in the price of Bitcoin Cash to the successful IPO filing of Bitmain.

Earlier today, CCN reported that Bitmain filed an IPO with the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. The firm explicitly emphasized its 74.5 percent market share of the Bitcoin mining equipment manufacturing sector and 328.2 percent yearly revenue growth.

It is likely that investors in BCH responded positively to the filing of an IPO by Bitmain because the Chinese conglomerate holds a significant chunk of BCH. Previously, false rumors that Bitmain has initiated an IPO to liquidate its holdings of Bitmain placed its IPO at risk.

“Our cryptocurrencies, including, among others, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Litecoin and Dash, are generated mainly from (i) sales of mining hardware settled in cryptocurrencies, (ii) proprietary mining, and (iii) our share of mining rewards generated from our mining pools operation,” the IPO document read.

Where Market Goes Next

With Bitcoin breaking out of the $6,500 mark, a bullish movement is expected for the majority of major cryptocurrencies in the market. The volume of Bitcoin still remains low in the $4.3 billion region, but the overall volume of the market has started to improve.

This post credited to ccn  Image from Shutterstock. Charts from TradingView.