ZuPago HyBrid (HD) Wallet | Blog

ZuPago Blog

alfwesh22

Major Brazilian university Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) in São Paulo is offering the country’s first Master’s degree in crypto-finance, Finance Magnates reported April 12.

The program offers specialized education for the crypto industry. Ricardo Rochman, the program’s coordinator, explained:
“It is a market with a profound lack of people with expertise. Cryptofinance has economic and financial fundamentals that are worth discussing, researching, and [being] taught.”
The FGV Master’s aligns with a wider movement in the Brazilian higher education system to embrace digital currencies and Blockchain as part of their study programs. Neighboring University of São Paolo incorporated cryptocurrency studies into the Derivatives unit of its Faculty of Economics and Administration last year. Professor Alan de Genaro, who initiated the move, explained:
“Some issues have to be presented even though the [student] does not go to work in the finance market. People have to understand which factors are beneficial and which are not suitable [regarding cryptocurrencies].”
Seven months ago, two Brazilian economics students in their twenties, Juan Perpetuo and Felipe Santos, founded Blockchain Insper, a part study group and part junior company, which offers classes and workshops on cryptocurrencies. Soon they they will be offering consultancy services to clients, focused on emerging technologies and business models within the crypto space.

Institutions such as Cambridge University have conducted substantial research into the crypto-finance field, and Swiss university Lucerne even accepts Bitcoin payments for tuition fees.

survey from March 2018 found that 21.2 percent of U.S. college students have used their student loan money to fund investments in cryptocurrencies.




alfwesh22

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co, a leading global financial services provider and one of the largest banking institutions in the US, was sued for charging undeclared fees to customers who used their credit cards to purchase cryptocurrency, treating the purchases as cash advances, Reuters reported April 11.

The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday in a federal court in Manhattan on behalf of a proposed nationwide class, accusing the bank for charging additional fees, sky-high interest rates on the “cash advances”, and refusing to refund the charges to customers who complained.

Brady Tucker, the plaintiff, claims the bank charged him $143.30 in fees and $20.61 in interest charges for cryptocurrency transactions he made in January and February. Tucker made an attempt to dispute the charges through Chase’s customer service line, but the bank refused.

The lawsuit claims that J.P. Morgan Chase & Co violated the US Truth in Lending Act, which requires the disclosure of policy changes to customers in written form. The lawsuit asks to “recover [Tucker’s] and the Class’s actual financial damages, plus statutory damages in the aggregate amount of $1 million, plus his costs of this action and reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses incurred therein”, according to the complaint submitted to the court.

On Feb. 3, Chase joined a wave of banks banning customers from cryptocurrency purchases with credit cards The bank later stated that financial institutions can “face the risk that payment processing and other services could be disrupted by technologies, such as cryptocurrencies.”

A representative of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co declined to comment on the legal claim, stating that customers can continue using their Chase debit cards to buy cryptocurrency.




alfwesh22

Adrian Lai, founding partner of Hong Kong-based crypto investment firm Orichal Partners, has forecast that in 2018 the crypto market will “mature” and increase its trading volume, particularly among institutional investors, the South China Morning Post reported April 9.

Lai characterized both last year’s eye-popping market cap growth — reaching an all-time high of over $800 bln by early Jan. 2018 — and its subsequent first quarter spiral to $256 mln, as of today, April 9, as “irrational.” He attributed this staggering volatility to a lack of regulatory oversight and institutional investment, but struck a decisively optimistic tone about the future, saying that:
“Regulators are not banning the development of cryptocurrencies, but are trying to better regulate the market, which should help the industry mature (…) If the regulatory stance gets clearer, large funds will be more assured and willing to commit significant capital.”
2018 has already seen considerable regulatory momentum pertaining to the crypto sphere, lending credence to Lai’s position. The US Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) hearings in Feb. 2018 were devoted to crypto regulation.

The USJapan, and South Korea are all currently debating and issuing regulation for virtual currenciesBlockchaincrypto exchanges and ICOs, as well as considering taxation frameworks, with some admitting that regulatory measures are not fully developed.

In January, Cointelegraph reported that venture capital (VC) Blockchain investment in 2018 is already on track to exceed 2017’s numbers, with notable investments including $140 mln VC already raised from Goldman SachsBaidu, and CICC for Circle’s recent acquisition of the Poloniex crypto exchange, as well as VC Firm Digital Currency Group’s investment in crypto-friendly Silvergate Bank.




alfwesh22

 

The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of Cointelegraph.com
Decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have strong advantages over centralized financial systems, primarily because of their ability to function and operate without a single point of failure, which hackers and bad actors can target.

Transaction processing


On Feb. 19, Jameson Lopp, the lead engineer at multi-signature Blockchain security firm BitGo, noted that during a holiday in the US, local banks closed down, failing to provide financial services to individuals and businesses that could be in urgent need of financial settlement services to process payments.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin, as a peer-to-peer (P2P) settlement system, was able to process over $1 bln worth of transactions, and more than $7 bln worth of Bitcoin was traded on a single day. Regardless of holidays and weekends, users of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like Ether can freely transact on a peer-to-peer basis, through the utilization of wallets.

Non-custodial cryptocurrency wallets enable users to remain in full control over their funds, by only allowing users to gain access to their private keys and no other centralized entity or platform. As such, Bitcoin wallets like Blockchain, Trezor and Ledger cannot refund transactions or recover user accounts once the private key is lost, encouraging users to be more financially aware and responsible.

As emphad by Bitcoin analyst and RT’s Keiser Report host Max Keiser on several occasions, financial freedom and independence provided by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the market are largely beneficial and crucial for individuals and businesses operating in regions wherein government entities control banks and financial institutions.

Importance of financial freedom

Last year, Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince al-Waleed Bin Talal was arrested by the government of Mohammed Bin Salman, who is expected to take control over Saudi Arabia and become its ruler, as the most powerful figure in the Middle East. The government of Salman initiated an anti-corruption purge, arresting 11 Saudi princes and 200 businessmen.

At the time, The Wall Street Journal reported that the government of Saudi Arabia had asked $6 bln for the freedom of Bin Talal, who has garnered a net worth of over $25 bln from his investments in Twitter ($300 mln), CitiGroup ($550 mln), AOL, Apple, MCI, Motorola, Fox Broadcasting and many more.

On the Keiser Report, Keiser criticized the previous remarks of Bin Talal, who had called Bitcoin “Enron in the making.”

"It just doesn't make sense. This thing is not regulated, it's not under control, it's not under the supervision of any central bank. I just don't believe in this Bitcoin thing. I think it's just going to implode one day. I think this is Enron in the making,” said Bin Talal on CNBC’s Squawk Box.

Criticizing Bin Talal, Keiser stated:
“He said Bitcoin was no good because there is no central government and no central bank. And then a week later, the central bank and the central government rips out all of his net worth. If he had them in Bitcoin, he wouldn’t have that problem. He is like a poster child for why you should buy Bitcoin. Anyone who is thinking about should I buy Bitcoin, look at [Talal] sleeping on a mattress of a rich hotel under house arrest. Furthermore, he is overrated as a money manager.”

In November 2017, the Saudi government cracked down on private bank accounts and froze the accounts of prices and businessmen. Keiser noted that could have been avoided if the wealth of these individuals were stored in a decentralized store of value, like Bitcoin.

Potential of cryptocurrency in offshore banking

The offshore banking industry, which is dominated by influential financial institutions like JPMorgan, is structured around large banks that are able to clear big sums of money in an efficient and secure manner. But, the transfer of millions to billions of dollars require significant manual labor including transaction verification, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks and payment clearing.

Cryptocurrency-focused hedge fund Blocktower executive Ari Paul stated that cryptocurrencies have the ability to address the offshore banking industry that supersedes that of major banks:
“Cryptocurrency is trying to be the offshore banking system, I think. At least some of the cryptocurrencies. Most of the financial luminaries, I think genuinely, don’t understand what it’s trying to be. Jamie Dimon is an exception. By all accounts, I know people who spoke to him about cryptocurrency four years ago before I was really in the space.

He understands it. I think he sees it as a competitor against JPMorgan,” said Paul during an interview with Business Insider.

Regarding transaction settlement, offshore banking, and financial freedom, centralized systems of banks fall significantly behind major cryptocurrencies, which can offer all three services with low costs and a robust infrastructure.

Conclusively, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have significant advantages over banks in a number of areas, including security, borderless transaction settlement, efficient payment clearance, and lack of dependence on centralized service providers or entities.  Although the offshore banking industry is valued at $32 tln and the valuation of the cryptocurrency market remains below half a trillion, the above-mentioned advantages could allow cryptocurrencies to compete against banks across many sectors.




alfwesh22

What is a Centralized Cryptocurrency Exchange?

It is an online platform and most common way to trade cryptocurrencies.
This includes buying/selling cryptocurrencies with fiat (fiat/crypto paring) as well as buying/selling cryptocurrencies with other cryptocurrencies (crypto/crypto pairing). They can be viewed as an online marketplace for the entire cryptocurrency network.

What does it mean for an exchange to be centralized?

To be centralized means to trust somebody else to handle your money.
In the past, the word “centralized” was a given for all institutions that managed finances.
To be centralized means that there is a trusted middleman to handle whatever asset may be in a trade. In a bank, for example, a customer gives their money over to the bank to hold for them. This one institution is now in complete control of the customer’s money.

In many cases, this is much safer than a person finding some way to manage themselves. Banks have many securities and a team to watch over their customers’ money. The bank can also offer a variety of services, such as loans, because the bank has a large amount of money and has created a trust relationship with the customer.

Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges are no different. A user can store their money on the exchange.
The currency is now in the hands of the exchange, but the trust of the middleman makes it easy for a customer to recover a lost password or 2FA because that customer has given the exchange full access to their account.

This can also take the pressure off of the customer of being 100% in control of their money. There are many stories of investors losing hundreds of thousands of dollars because they lost the private keys to their hardware wallet. If their money were in a centralized exchange, they wouldn’t have to worry about that; recovering would be as easy as showing a passport or verifying identification.

How does a centralized exchange differ from a decentralized one?

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are decentralized by nature, so this allows for the exchanges to also be decentralized.

In simple terms, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange (DEX) cuts out the middleman by creating a highly intelligent “trustless environment.” Deals are made through smart contracts and atomic swaps so that currency never passes through the hands of an escrow service - it’s just peer-to-peer. DEXs are still in infancy and not very popular just yet, but 2018 might see a lot of progress with decentralized exchanges.

Do all centralized exchanges provide fiat/crypto pairings?

No.
All exchanges have crypto/crypto pairing (i.e., trading 1 BTC for 9 ETH), but not all have fiat/crypto pairings (i.e., trading $900 for 1 ETH). The most popular exchanges that provide fiat/crypto pairings are:

  • Coinbase - most popular in the world, supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum
  • Gemini - based in New York with high regulation standards for the US. Supports Bitcoin and Ethereum
  • Kraken - has a variety of crypto/fiat pairings with more than just USD and EUR, which can be viewed on their site.
  • Robinhood - a popular trading app provides fiat pairings to Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Is volume important for exchanges?

The more volume there is on an exchange, the less volatility and market manipulation there will be.
If Alice is trying to buy 1 BTC for the exchange’s current price of $10,000 and the volume on the site is extremely high, chances are she will buy the 1 BTC almost instantly. If the market price is $10,000 on a very low volume site, she may eat up all of the sell orders that are at $10,000 before she can buy her whole Bitcoin. Then Alice would need to buy the higher sell orders to satisfy her order, losing money and also making the price of Bitcoin go up on that exchange.

Are centralized cryptocurrency exchanges safe?

No centralized exchange is immune to hacks.
Many hacks have occurred throughout the course of cryptocurrency history, but in a lot of cases, the exchange went out-of-pocket to pay customers back for the stolen money. DEXs are impossible to hack, but users are much more vulnerable to locking themselves out of their money. Popular centralized exchanges are safe in the way that banks are safe.

Is verification required to open an account on an exchange?

The regulations of each country are still fuzzy, but exchanges around the world require minimum verification to authenticate the account.

Many exchanges allow users to open an account without an identity check, but those accounts will have extremely small withdrawal/deposit limits. Basic verification normally requires a picture of the user’s passport/ID, and 2 Factor Authentication enabled. 2FA is a secret password that regenerates every thirty seconds or so that is needed every time a user logs into their account. 2FA is normally kept on the user’s phone.

Which exchanges have the most volume and crypto pairings?

While exchanges are still new and growing more and more popular each day, there have been some over the past 2017 year that have stood out in volume and amount of coins to trade.

  • Binance. While Binance has only launched in 2017, it has already begun trading the highest volume of any exchange. This exchange is based out of China and is so popular that most altcoins first move to this major exchange after their ICO. Level two verification allows 100 Bitcoin withdrawal while Level one allows under 2 Bitcoin withdrawal/day.

  • Bittrex. Bittrex has been a long-standing cryptocurrency exchange based out of the United States. While the most popular coins traded are BTC and ETH, Bittrex holds over 250 trading pairs. It is known for its easy interface for crypto beginners.

  • Bitfinex. Located in Hong Kong, Bitfinex is another long-standing cryptocurrency exchange which still lies in the top ten for trade volume.

  • Upbit. While many South Korean crypto exchanges have suffered during the crackdown on crypto in the country, Upbit stayed on top and even broke a record back in January of 2018 for highest trading volume ever.

  • GDAX. The Global Digital Asset Exchange is an extension of CoinBase, one of the most popular exchanges in the world. GDAX is not suitable for beginners but is very useful for margin trading as well as trading crypto/fiat and crypto/crypto. Users are also insured up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (USA). While offering many more options and features than its sister company Coinbase, Vice President Adam White of Coinbase noted: “Coinbase is designed for retail customers while GDAX is focused on serving sophisticated and professional traders.”




alfwesh22

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, presented a Blockchain scaling solution called Plasma Cash, an even “more scalable” version of an existing solution called Plasma, during a talk live streamed on YouTube at the Ethereum Community Conference in Paris on Friday, March 9.

Plasma Cash was developed by Buterin and developers Dan Robinson and Karl Floersch.

Plasma itself is an on-chain scaling solution for Blockchains, introduced by Buterin and Lightning Network creator Joseph Poon in August 2017. Plasma works by optimizing data that is passed onto the root Blockchain, reducing the transaction fees for smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps).

The problems with the scalability of Plasma, according to Buterin, is that every user must download and authenticate each Plasma block, which prevents exponential scaling.

To explain the Plasma Cash model, Buterin gives the example that if a user deposits some amount of ether to a crypto exchange or any third party service, a Plasma coin would be created with the same value of ether and a unique ID that cannot be merged or split.

In contrast with Plasma, Plasma Cash would only require users to pay attention to the blocks that contain coins they want to keep track of:
“A user actually only needs to verify the availability and correctness of the Plasma chain only […] at the specific index of the coin, of any coins that they own and any coins that they care about.”
As for the current practical applications of Plasma Cash, Buterin sees a possibility for crypto exchanges to take advantage of the technology to make themselves more “hack resistant”.  

Since each Plasma coin has an owner, the coins are not fully fungible or interchangeable: no one can take another user’s coin without the owner of the coin being alerted. In this case, the coin’s owner would prevent the potential fraudulent withdrawal through the “complaint system” by showing their “proof data” for their coin’s history.

Buterin notes that even if a hack occurs on an exchange using Plasma Cash, users will not lose their money:
“Regardless of what happens in the exchange, users can run their money through the Plasma exit procedure and get their money out.”
Buterin ends his talk with a positive prognosis for the future use of Plasma Cash:
“Whenever the next big multi-billion dollar exchange written by a totally incompetent developer gets hacked, no one will lose any money.”
Segregated Witness (SegWit), a scalability solution for Bitcoin (BTC), has recently been implemented across a variety of crypto exchanges. The Bitfinex exchange announced the implementation of SegWit on Feb. 20, and the crypto exchange and wallet Coinbase announced their SegWit implementation on Feb. 23. The Bitcoin Core client version, which fully supports SegWit technology, was  officially released on Feb. 26.




alfwesh22

South Korean-based crypto exchange Bithumb has announced plans to supply kiosks to restaurants and cafes with an option for customers to pay for their food orders with their Bithumb crypto holdings, local news outlet Zdnet reported March 7.

The kiosk brand, called Touch B, is the result of a February partnership between Bithumb and kiosk manufacturers Unos Space, Tros Systems, and IYU for Bithumb to “supply kiosks optimized for small businesses that operate food and beverage franchises, small restaurants, and cafes.”

Zdnet reports that Bithumb launched three services, two of which were named in the article as kiosks Touchpad and Touchbone, giving business owners options based on their and card requirements. Rental costs for Touch B kiosks will be offered for 10 percent less than the going rate as a way to help smaller businesses afford to use Bithumb’s products.

The third service is called Bithumb Cache, a password settlement service that will allow Bithumb customers to convert their funds to use at the kiosk with their password, thus “generat[ing] synergy [between the food] business [and] the currency exchange business.”

According to a statement from Bithumb,
"The entry into the kiosk business is meaningful to provide substantial benefits and low-cost rental services to small business owners. We will continue to work in various industries based on Blockchain technology, We will continue to provide opportunities to provide total solutions for small businesses through our partnership. "
Bithumb is ranked number 5 globally by trading volume over a 24 hour period, according to data from CoinMarketCap, with a trading volume around $732 mln on the day to press time.

Cointelegraph contributor Joseph Young tweeted yesterday, March 9, that Bithumb’s announcement could really “fuel [crypto] adoption in South Korea”:

At the beginning of this month, Australian crypto exchange Bitcoin.com.au alsocombined cryptocurrencies and small businesses by launching a system that would allow 1,200 newsstands across Australia to sell crypto through iPad minis.




alfwesh22

The Venezuelan government has made some new claims about the pre-sale of the country’s oil-backed cryptocurrency, the petro. After one week, President Nicolas Maduro said that the petro had raised $3 billion from 171,015 certified purchases, from investors in 127 countries. The majority of the orders were in dollars, followed by bitcoin and ether, according to Maduro.

Maduro Says 171,015 Purchases from 127 Countries
  
The president of Venezuela announced this week that his nation’s cryptocurrency, the petro, had received “a total of 171,015 certified purchases,” Telesur reported.

According to the information posted on the website of the country’s vice president, Maduro further revealed that “40.8% has been offered in dollars, 6.5% in euros, 18.4% in ethereum, 33.8% in bitcoin and 0.2% in yuan,” adding that:
About 87,284 users made offers to acquire petros, of which 3,523 are companies and 83,761 people…127 countries have participated at the moment.
Venezuela Claims Petro Cryptocurrency Has Raised $3bn from Investors in 127 Countries
 

Venezuelan government’s illustration of the petro’s certified purchases after one week.
 
The Venezuelan newspaper with government backing, Correo del Orinoco, has named some of the countries that its government claims to have participated in the sale so far. They include “Afghanistan, Albania, Germany, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Saudi-Arabia, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh,

Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Qatar, Chile, China, Cyprus, Colombia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, United Arab Emirates, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United States, Estonia, Philippines, Finland, France, etc,” the news outlet wrote.

Earlier this week, Poland refuted reports of its interest in the petro. The director of the Latin American Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Alexander Shchetinin, also told reporters this week that the petro “should be carefully studied before talking about the possibilities of its use by Russia,” Ria Novosti reported. Meanwhile, Russian startup Zeus reportedly helped Venezuela with the launch of the petro, according to Alexander Ruchyev, president of financial holding company Osnova.

Venezuela Says Petro Has Raised $3 Billion
The Venezuelan government announced on February 20 the start of the pre-sale for its national oil-backed cryptocurrency. Maduro claimed to have raised $735 million for it on the first day.

The country’s Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Hugbel Roa, subsequently clarified that the pre-sale will last 30 days. “After the pre-sale, [there will be] the sale of the digital asset [petro], which will last 15 days,” he described. “After 45 days that will last these two processes, we will start with great force to consolidate the entire exchange subsystem of the petro.”

According to the state-owned radio station Radio Mundial, Maduro said that “more than three billion dollars are reported after sales and transactions related to the Venezuelan cryptocurrency, the petro.” This was confirmed on the website of the Venezuelan Ministry of Popular Power for Communication and Information (Minci) which quoted Maduro:
In the first seven days, since its [petro’s] launch, the state has received 3 billion dollars, which will be used to cover the financial needs of the country.
Do you think Venezuela has raised $3 billion from investors in 127 countries as claimed? Let us know in the
comments section below.

 




alfwesh22

After a relatively low start to the month in the crypto market, the total market cap of all cryptocurrencies has again broken $500 bln today, Feb. 17, according to CoinMarketCap. The total market cap is currently around $502 bln at press time.

Bitcoin (BTC) has stayed well above the $10,000 mark, currently trading at about $10,830 and up almost 7 percent over a 24-hour period by press time. Ethereum (ETH) is inching closer to passing the $1000 threshold, trading at $969, up almost 3 percent over a 24-hour period by press time.

Of the top ten coins listed on CoinMarketCap, only Litecoin (LTC) is in the red, down about 3 percent at press time. Earlier week Litecoin saw a surge in price following the announcement of the upcoming launch of a LTC-fiat payment service, and a planned hard fork that Litecoin creator called a “scam”. LTC is currently trading at around $227.

The steady uptick in prices may have prompted by the bullish news that an anonymous trader purchased around 41,000 Bitcoin between Feb. 9 and Feb. 12, worth around $440 mln today, Marketwatch reported. The purchase reportedly brought the BTC address total up to over 96,000 BTC, or little over $1 bln.




alfwesh22

The executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation Llew Claasen predicted that the price of Bitcoin will hit $40,000 by the end of 2018, while 90% of all other cryptocurrency projects will fail, Business Insiderreported Feb. 15.

As Claasen stated at the Startup Grind conference which took place Feb. 12-14, this failure will be caused by investors taking too much risk investing in cryptocurrency projects which later turn out to be scams.

Only a month and a half into 2018, five major Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and cryptocurrency scams have already been discovered, including the notorious case of Bitconnect.

Claasen is confident that the cryptocurrency community will learn from these unfortunate occurrences and will be able to prevent them in future, as he told Business Insider. Claasen believes that investors are already being more careful, declaring that “this is a problem the market is good at solving."

As Claasen further explained, Bitcoin will not be gradually growing to the value of $40,000 over the course of 2018. Instead, it will be bouncing for three to six months with the same ups and downs as during the previous three months.

Just this Tuesday, the CEO of Ripple Brad Garlinghouse similarly said that most virtual currencies will likely go to zero, as reported by Business Insider.




alfwesh22

Bitcoin prices drop on Friday, as yesterday’s market rally corrects. The BTC to USD rate has retraced to $9,895.91 at the time of writing, after crossing $10,000 yesterday.

Not much has changed in the past 24 hours. There has been no earth-shattering good news nor nerve-racking bad news. We are viewing the sideways swing as the customary price movement in this space.

In the meantime, however, we’re turning our focus to the longer term to predict which way Bitcoin prices will be journeying next. At least one revered market analyst agrees with us that BTC will be heading north.
Famous Venture Capitalist Tim Draper was on Bloomberg two days ago, sharing his thoughts on why Bitcoin will be worth a lot more than what it is today.

For reference, he’s the guy who predicted in 2014 that Bitcoin would hit $10,000 in three years. And it did!
This time, his prediction is way more outlandish, even by our insanely bullish standards. Draper predicts that a major part of today’s fiat currency market will be dominated by cryptocurrencies in the future. He identifies that the world market for fiat currencies is worth $86.0 trillion today.

If we go by his prediction and do some quick math on prices, Bitcoin turns out to be worth more than $100,000.

Draper gives us at least three reasons in his very brief interview why he believes that Bitcoin is the future of currency.
  1. It’s borderless. You could go to any country and use it.
  2. It’s not subject to the whims of a government. The supply is constant and the price is determined by free market demand.
  3. It’s banking the unbanked. You can bypass the traditional banking system, avoid surveillance, and get rid of hefty fees.
As for investment advice, Draper made it loud and clear.
People ask me, ‘Are you going to sell your Bitcoin?’ And I say, ‘Why would I sell the future for the past?’
(Source: “Draper Says the World Needs New Kind of Currency,” Bloomberg, February 14, 2018.)

Analyst Take
Bitcoin has come a long way since its birth in 2009. It has emerged as a popular alternative to fiat currency in certain parts of the world where fiat currency has lost value (take the example of Venezuela or Zimbabwe), or where banks are few and far between (for instance, the remote areas of Africa).

Likewise, in the developed world, governments and regulators are yielding to cryptos. Countries like the U.S., South Korea, and Japan have shown willingness to integrate Bitcoin and other cryptos into their financial systems by setting up regulated markets that may function freely and securely.

Tim Draper is personally invested in Bitcoin so his advice may seem biased. But consider our Bitcoin price forecast to be somewhat of an impartial take on Bitcoin since we have no skin in the game. Based solely on its fundamental growth, we see Bitcoin reaching our BTC target of $15,000 in 2018.




alfwesh22

German teenager Erik Finman has an unusual success story.

When was 12 years old, he realized school wasn’t his future. Most of his classmates felt the same, of course, but Finman took action: He made a bet with his parents.

His parents promised that if he became a millionaire before his 18th birthday, he wouldn’t have to go to college.
So Finman took the 1,000 euros from his grandmother meant for his studies and bought bitcoins at a rate of about 10 euros each. He won that bet with his parents by becoming a bitcoin millionaire before he turned 18.

Finman, now 19, has been trading in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for seven years.

Our colleagues from Business Insider Germany spoke exclusively with Finman, who explained why you can still become a millionaire with cryptocurrencies over the next 10 years and discussed the crash earlier this month.

Business Insider: Erik, we speak to each other at a time when the prices of cryptocurrencies have plummeted across the board. Was this the start of a crash and perhaps the bursting of a bubble, or just a late correction after the quick gain of recent months?

Erik Finman: I still believe in cryptocurrencies. There are always ups and downs on the way up. Many people have anticipated this decline. It was almost a self-fulfilling prophecy after many experts spoke of a bubble.

For me, the decline is due to a decrease in momentum — after the development of the last few months, it had to happen at some point. It was foreseeable because value continued to rise steadily while many people were not convinced of the rise in prices.

Of course, I didn’t know exactly on which day that setback would come. However, the advance of cryptocurrencies is unstoppable. A single crash does not change that. People will continue to invest in it and become increasingly emotionally connected with digital currencies.

Business Insider: That means that you keep your bitcoins?

Finman: That is true. I remain stuck with my bitcoins — and there are a lot of them.

Business Insider: These are the words of someone who has been investing in cryptocurrencies for seven years and has a lot of relevant experience. But somebody who has only recently entered the currency is likely to become nervous after the recent losses …

Finman: I have met many such people. As interest increased and the price rose, they were attracted and invested their money in it. But the biggest mistake they can make is to get out of the market now and sell their bitcoins just because of a setback.

It is important to know — and especially when you invest a lot of money — that the prices fluctuate greatly. In the past, bitcoin has had these setbacks time and time again, and this is unlikely to change in the future. But bitcoin will probably continue to rise. Maybe it only takes a few weeks; maybe years. Of course, no one knows.

For me, however, it would be the wrong strategy to sell after such a fall in prices, because I believe that there is a real chance that value will rise again to the levels we last saw.

Business Insider: If you are so convinced, does this mean that you see a good chance to buy bitcoins when the price is so low?

Finman: Yes, exactly. But not only me. I have many friends and fans who almost begged for a crash. They asked for a correction and a crash because they wanted to buy but thought the price was too high.

This drop in the price of bitcoin gives them a chance. And now you must have the courage to really get involved. Otherwise, at some point, you look back and think, “If only I had bought after the reset.” So I really guess people are now using the reset to buy.

Business Insider: Not only has bitcoin collapsed, but most other cryptocurrencies have also fallen. Are you still convinced that bitcoin is the best digital currency, or do you also have other favorites?

Finman: Today, bitcoin is the best cryptocurrency for me.

But bitcoin is like Netscape or Myspace. Bitcoin is sort of a pioneer of a new technology, so it’s important that it continues to exist. But the technology is already beginning to be obsolete — to buy a coffee for $2, you have to pay a transaction fee of $30.

These issues need to be addressed at the technology level, by giving a new coin or updating a coin. Add to that the electricity costs for the mining — to mine a bitcoin, you need so much energy, with which you could cover the needs of a house over a whole year.

In addition, most of the miners are located in China, and thus the energy comes from Chinese coal-fired power plants, so bitcoin, meanwhile, contributes to massive environmental pollution. Also this problem can be solved by a new technology or an update of an existing technology.

Bitcoin has been around for a long time, and Myspace or Netscape have been successful for a while. But at some point, better products came on the market — Facebook or Google Chrome, as an example.

Fact is, bitcoin as we know it today will not last forever. The only question is what comes next — either an update that solves the problem, or another coin will prevail.

Business Insider: Technology also has its limits, and cryptocurrency today has a completely different status than a few years ago. Do you think you would be just as easy to win that bet today with your parents?

Finman: If you are smart about cryptocurrency over the next 10 years, many people can build their fortunes even better than before.

The area is still relatively small; the market capitalization is just over half a trillion dollars. I do not want to be misunderstood: This is, of course, a very high amount, but in comparison to other asset classes, it’s small. Therefore, I say if you do not become a millionaire in the next 10 years, then it’s your own fault.

New business models and innovations are still emerging in this area, and therefore, there are many investment opportunities. It’s a new kind of gold fever, or a new kind of Silicon Valley — there are really plenty of opportunities.

Business Insider: That sounds very easy. After all, more and more initial coin offerings are springing up — and there is always the risk of a total loss.

Finman: That is true, and it takes a certain amount of effort to analyze. But this situation will also improve with time — there will be better and more credible ICOs.

But it’s not just about investing in existing things. Everyone is free to start their own business in the field with an idea and earn a lot of money. That’s risky, too, but a bit less risky for me than the pure investment.

But there are already two different ways to get rich in this area: You can start a new business, or invest in existing coins or ideas. You can also count on those who have proven for a while that they can be successful, like Monero. I like this cryptocurrency because it also has a good field of application.

The bottom line is that you should be careful and deal well with the currencies you want to invest in.




alfwesh22

After a few days of positive cryptocurrency momentum, it seems the markets may turn bearish as we head into the weekend. Such a  turn of events is anything but surprising, as we have seen some very solid gains all week long. Even though the mood is souring, the Bitcoin Cash price is still making some major gains. With a 10.78% increase over the past 24 hours, it seems things look pretty good.

SOLID BITCOIN CASH PRICE GAINS HAVE ARRIVED
Even though most cryptocurrency enthusiasts and speculators only focus on Bitcoin and Ethereum, the ecosystem is about so much more than just two currencies. While not everyone is convinced Bitcoin Cash is here to stay, it has become evident this altcoin has a more than loyal following. Additionally, we see various service providers and retailers switch from Bitcoin payments toBitcoin Cashin recent months.

All of this is also impacting the Bitcoin Cash price. With the rough start of 218 seemingly behind us, it is time to look toward the future. In the case of the Bitcoin Cash price, the future seems to rest somewhere above a $1,500 valuation. As the Bitcoin Cash price surpassed this $1,5000 threshold a few hours ago, it seems evident the road to $2,000 will be long and hard. It is not impossible to overcome, mind you.

These solid price gains are the direct result of an increase in USD value. Thanks to Bitcoin’s uptrend, theBitcoin Cash price has gained 10.78% in USD value over the past 24 hours. However, BCH also managed to gain on Bitcoin itself, resulting in a 9.19% increase in the BCH/BTC ratio. With Bitcoin Cash back above 0.15 BTC, it will be interesting to see how this trend evolves in the coming weeks. Reaching a new all-time high price will not happen anytime soon, though.

With $849.976m in 24-hour trading volume, the demand to buy BCH seemingly outweighs the desire to sell. All cryptocurrency speculators want to maximize their profits at all times and the current trend indicates we may see a Bitcoin Cash price of $1,750 before the week is over. Even so, this trading volume is a lot lower compared to what we have seen in recent days, as BCH usually generates close to $2bn in volume on a good day. This current price increase seemingly doesn’t impact the volume in a positive manner.

OKEx is the leading exchange when looking at theBCH trading volume. Their lead over Upbit is just $1.3m, though, and these two exchanges will one-up one another throughout most of the day. OKEx is also in third place with their USDT trading pair. The first non-Korean fiat currency pair comes in the form of Bitfinex’s BCH/USD market, followed by the GDAX BCH/USD market. All things considered, things look pretty promising for Bitcoin Cash, even though the momentum can turn bearish at any moment now.

It is unclear what the rest of today and the weekend will bring in terms of the Bitcoin Cash price. With all markets suffering from a bearish fever right now, it is possible Bitcoin Cash will elude the bears’ grasp, for the time being. Assuming that is the case, a Bitcoin Cash price of $1,750 by Sunday afternoon is not entirely impossible. If the markets were to turn bearish, however, the decline may go as deep as $1,325. An interesting weekend lies ahead, that much is rather evident.




alfwesh22

After a recent dip down below $7,000, the price of bitcoin has now jumped to over $10,000 again, according to trading figures on Coinbase and Blockchain.info.

The rally comes as top European central bankers, among other high-level members of the world’s monied elite, have recently been publicly expressing skepticism in bitcoin.

Similarly, Charles Munger, the vice-chairman of Warren Buffett’s investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, said Wednesday's that he considered the bitcoin craze to be “totally asinine,” according to The Guardian.

Munger told an annual meeting at the Daily Journal, a Los Angeles newspaper, that he “never considered for one second having anything to do with it. I detested it the moment it was raised. It’s just disgusting. Bitcoin is noxious poison.”

Roughly a week ago, the head of the World Bank even dubbed bitcoin a “Ponzi scheme.”

“In terms of using Bitcoin or some of the cryptocurrencies, we are also looking at it, but I’m told the vast majority of cryptocurrencies are basically Ponzi schemes,” President Jim Yong Kim said, according to Fortune. “It’s still not really clear how it’s going to work.”

Meanwhile, the South Korean government announced Tuesday that it would aim to “prevent illegal acts and uncertainty” with respect to cryptocurrencies.

However, according to a Thursday report by CNBC, Fundstrat Global Advisors believes that the price of one bitcoin should reach $20,000 by summer and $25,000 by the end of the year.




alfwesh22

Overnight a good week just got even better for cryptocurrency traders after the top 20 cryptos continued their push higher.

So much so, an additional US$30 billion was added to the market over the last 24 hours. At present the cryptocurrency market has a combined value of US$480 billion according to Coin Market Cap.

The bitcoin (BTC) price has arguably been the star performer through this period. As I predicted yesterday, the crypto giant has smashed through the US$10,000 mark and is up almost 10% to US$10,200 per token. This gives bitcoin a market capitalisation of US$172.1 billion, equating to a 35.7% share of the market.

Ethereum (ETH) is up 2.5% since this time yesterday to US$934 per token. The cryptocurrency now has a market capitalisation of US$91.2 billion.

Popular altcoin Ripple (XRP) has seen its price rise almost 6% over the last 24 hours to US$1.15. Ripple’s market capitalisation has climbed to US$45 billion. The third-largest cryptocurrency was given a boost this week when foreign exchange giant Western Union confirmed that its money transfer business is testing its technology.

The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) price is up 4% over the period to US$1,394, giving the bitcoin spin-off a market capitalisation of US$23.7 billion.

The Litecoin (LTC) price has continued its strong run and is 6% higher over the last 24 hours to US$220.80. Litecoin’s market capitalisation has ballooned to US$12.2 billion ahead of its hard fork plans next week. This hard fork will create Litecoin Cash, a more efficient version of Litecoin designed to attract real world use.

Elsewhere, the Cardano (ADA), Stellar Lumens (XLM), and NEO (NEO) prices have all pushed higher since this time yesterday. Cardano has been the pick of the three altcoins, rising 5% to 40.7 U.S. cents.

Why is the market booming again?
Trader sentiment has been improving greatly thanks to reports that both U.S. and South Korean officials will not ban cryptocurrency exchanges, but rather make them safer. This has gone down well with traders, leading to a high level of fund inflows over the last few days.

But thing can change very quickly in the crypto world, so time will tell how long sentiment remains positive.

So if bitcoin is too risky for you then look at these exciting growth shares with enormous potential.




alfwesh22

Bitcoin may be well off its mid-December peak of $19,511, but it will be touching new highs again by July, according to Fundstrat Global Advisors LLC’s Tom Lee.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency tumbled 70 percent from its high on Dec. 18 to the Feb. 6 low, but has since recovered and is trading around the $10,000 level. That, Lee says, follows a pattern: Bitcoin bottoms are “V-shaped.”

Based on an analysis of the 22 corrections of 20 percent or more that the digital coin has seen since 2010, Lee determined that in "bull" periods, Bitcoin takes about 1.7 times the duration of its decline to recover. That time frame implies that it will take 85 days for the cryptocurrency to fully bounce back from its latest plunge, which lasted for 50 days -- meaning it should rise to fresh records by midyear.

Lee said that he’s seen sentiment toward Bitcoin improve in the past few weeks, signaling that crypto investors are still bullish and there is upside for the digital asset.

“This recent 70% decline is severe,” he wrote. “We can see a case for Bitcoin’s resilience here given the sharpness of the recent decline.”




alfwesh22

Investor sentiments are reviving as cryptocurrencies blink green for the second day in a row. The Bitcoin price finally managed to breach resistance at $9,000. At the time of writing, the BTC to USD exchange rate was $9,727.64.

Rewind back two days, and it seemed like Bitcoin prices were stuck in a hamster wheel with no way out. What exactly happened in this short time frame to cause a 180-degree turn in investor emotions?
Well, we got at least two significant reassurances from top government officials in Asia and Europe that the plan to ban cryptocurrencies was out the window.

To begin with, an implicit reaffirmation was sent by the South Korean government that a complete cryptocurrency ban is not currently under consideration.

The Minister of the Office for Government Policy Coordination, Hong Nam-ki, was responding to the petition that landed on the president’s desk last month. The petition signed by over 280,000 South Koreans urged the president to reconsider the government’s stance on imposing a complete ban.

A quick reminder; the idea of the ban was floated by the South Korean Minister of Justice, who’s allegedly blamed to have caused the massive crash in crypto prices in January.

But as obvious from Minister Hong’s statements made on Tuesday, the government is more concerned about curtailing illegal activities and fraudulent trades than outrightly banning this emerging investment class.
Moving on, the second optimistic assurance flowed in from Europe, where President of the European Central Bank (ECB) Mario Draghi said that the bank had no plans to ban cryptocurrencies.

To quote Draghi, “Many of you posted questions about whether the ECB is going to ban Bitcoins or it’s going to regulate Bitcoins. I have to say it’s not the ECB’s responsibility to do that.” (Source: “ECB’s Draghi says not his job to regulate Bitcoin,” Reuters, February 13, 2018.)

Europe and South Korea are huge markets for cryptocurrencies. South Korea, in particular, is one of the largest hubs of crypto trading activity. The fact that government officials in these regions have struck a balance on the issue restores our faith in these investments. And, as obvious from yesterday’s price rally, investors view it no differently than we analysts do.

An uptrend is currently building in Bitcoin prices as the BTC to USD rate makes higher highs and higher lows. If prices continue to ascend at this rate, breach another barrier at $10,000, and stay on track in the following weeks, we may enter another bull market.

  

Analyst Take


Regardless of these short-term moves in prices, we continue to focus on the longer term. Our Bitcoin price prediction 2018 is staying strong with a BTC price target of $15,000.




alfwesh22

Bitcoin has managed to bounce back in the past few days after declining sharply. In some exchanges, it rose to the $10K hurdle before easing back a little on profit-taking. Recent price action has been somewhat bullish.

As the one hour chart of CMA Bitcoin futures show, it has been putting in a series of higher highs and higher lows on the lower time frames. On the daily, it has shown willingness to hold above the 200-day average. We have seen some volume coming into Bitcoin as it traded around the 200-day average. The 1-hour volume weighted average price (VWAP) is now trending higher. Bitcoin has broken above a key short-term resistance zone in the $9000-$9250 range.

This area has since turned into a bit of support. For as long as price holds above this area then the short-term bias would remain bullish. However, if it goes back below this $9000-$9250 range then one would have to strongly consider the bearish scenario given the recent declines on the higher time frames.

The next area of resistance is between $9800 and $10100. This area was previously support. Further resistance comes in at $10850, followed by $11750.




alfwesh22

The popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin was trading at $9,610.39 in India today on CoinDesks’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) at the time of reporting. Bitcoin climbed nearly 10 percent, the highest level reached since February 4.


The popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin was trading at $9,610.39 in India today on CoinDesks’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) at the time of reporting. Bitcoin climbed nearly 10 percent, the highest level reached since February 4. Bitcoin crossed the psychologically key $9,000 level amid improved sentiment about government regulation in the US.

Bitcoin touched the highs of $8,897.81 yesterday. The popular cryptocurrency that was most purchased cryptocurrency in the second half of the last year is still long way from reaching the high of $19,783 that it touched on December 17 last year. Still, Bitcoin is trading for the year so far. However, not all are optimistic on Bitcoin recovering its highs of the last year considering the trading regulations that various countries are mulling over putting on the cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin is mother of all bubbles and this bubble will burst anytime soon, said Nouriel Roubini some weeks back. The famous economist who had rightly predicted the US housing crash in 2008 has once against said that the digital currency is on its way down as it lacks any fundamental value.

The case of Bitcoin will turn out to similar to Mississippi bubble, tech bubble, and Tulip mania. The Bitcoin received a shot in the arm lately when popular business magazine Forbes came out with a list of Bitocin millionaires. The list was first of its kind brought out by a reputed media organisation. In India too, good amount of investments are parked in the virtual currencies especially Bitcoin.

In the last two months, Bitcoin struggled amid various fears over its regulation especially by South Korean regulators. Back in India even, government, RBI, Sebi and income tax department has issued warnings to the investors parking their money in the digital currencies especially Bitcoin. In Budget 2018, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that cryptocurrency is not a legal tender in India but the government will explore blockchain to usher in the digital economy.




alfwesh22

The largest free economic zone in the UAE, with zero percent personal and corporate income tax, has started issuing licenses to firms trading cryptocurrencies. The first license has been issued to a gold trader that has recently started offering cryptocurrency services.

Attracting Crypto Businesses
 
UAE’s Largest Free Economic Zone Issues License to Cryptocurrency Firm
             

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) is a government entity established in 2002 to enhance commodity trade flows through Dubai. DMCC Free Zone is the largest and fastest growing free economic zone in the UAE.

“We perform a range of roles which continue to position Dubai as the preferred destination for global commodities trade and DMCC as the world’s No.1 Free Zone,” offering zero percent personal and corporate income tax, the center’s website states. Today, more than 14,100 multinational corporations and startups call DMCC home, with almost 90,000 people living and working there.

UAE’s Largest Free Economic Zone Issues License to Cryptocurrency Firm 

The Centre has started issuing licenses to allow firms trading in cryptocurrencies to operate from its free zone, Thomson Reuters Zawya reported on Monday.

DMCC’s executive director for commodities, Sanjeev Dutta, told the publication that the Centre is “beginning to facilitate” a market in cryptocurrencies which, he acknowledged, is unregulated. Citing that firms looking to set up in the zone would be considered on a “case-by-case” basis, he elaborated:
To me, what is important is the fact that you are still evaluating it as part of your innovation strategy. You are not saying ‘no’ to something. You are not saying ‘yes’ either, but you are exploring, so you are clearly ahead of the others when the time to make a decision comes.
Cryptocurrencies as Commodities
DMCC is a member of the Global Blockchain Council, which began as a Dubai Smart City project and has 46 member organizations globally today. The Centre’s director of innovation hub, Franco Bosoni, said that a global consensus is emerging which favors classifying cryptocurrencies as commodities, the news outlet detailed and quoted him explaining:
DMCC’s view is that these [cryptocurrencies] meet the test of a commodity. They’re priced based on supply and demand, produced and sold globally at a uniform quality and (are) indistinguishable between products.
Wai Lum Kwok, head of capital markets for Abu Dhabi Global Markets Regulatory Authority, told the publication on Sunday that the regulator is “reviewing and considering the development of a robust, risk-appropriate regulatory framework” for crypto exchanges and intermediaries. Emphasizing that no timeframe has been set, he added:
As we develop our framework, we will also want to check in and have the conversations with, for example, US regulators, Japanese regulators and so on and so forth, so that there is some alignment of approach to avoid any regulatory arbitrage.
First License Issued

 
UAE’s Largest Free Economic Zone Issues License to Cryptocurrency Firm
             

The first license for the Free Zone reportedlywent to Regal Assets, a gold trader and storage provider with offices in the US, Canada, and the UAE. The company added cryptocurrencies to its product line at the end of last year, offering brokerage services and an insured, high-security cold storage service for bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, ethereum classic, ripple, and dash.

According to Bloomberg, “Dubai gold trader Regal RA DMCC is the first company in the Middle East to get a license to trade cryptocurrencies.” The news outlet quoted DMCC acknowledging in a statement, “The company will offer storage of bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies in a vault located in DMCC headquarters in Almas Tower in Dubai.”

DMCC Executive Chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem was quoted by the publication, “At the heart of DMCC’s long-term strategic growth plan is the use of technology and innovation to disrupt and connect new markets, industries and customers,” adding that “the announcement today embodies this approach.”

Do you think more crypto companies will move to this free economic zone? Let us know in the comments section below.




ZuPago Blog

ZuPago is the most recognized and reliable platform that provides the best and the most affordable way to transfer E-currency across the globe. By using ZuPago HyBrid (HD) Wallet, you can easily send E-currency in Bitcoin, Bank transfer, USD, EUR, GBP or in any currency of your choice and the receiver will receive it in Bank transfer, Bitcoin or in any other currency that you prefer.

Bitcoin Chart

Tweets By ZuPago


comments powered by Disqus