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MIT Graduate-led Startup Enigma Unveils Cryptocurrency Investment Platform

MIT Graduate-led Startup Enigma Unveils Cryptocurrency Investment Platform

     California-based blockchain startup Enigma has announced the creation

of a cryptocurrencyinvestment platform that allows developers to start their own digital asset investment funds based on trading strategies that they create themselves. The platform, named Catalyst, enables developers to create investment funds where they have full control of how their digital assets are handled. Developers are free to incorporate whatever variable they see fit into the algorithms that govern their fund.

The platform is the brainchild of Silicon Valley startup Enigma that is led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduates. The Enigma team has previously created a different platform that aimed to give users control over their data, who has access to it and, ultimately the ability to sell the data at a profit while retaining their anonymity. Now, the Guy Zyskind-led team has set its sights on cryptocurrency trading. “A lot of people are starting to look into it, and invest in it, but it’s still very much kind of like the Wild West,” says Enigma CEO, Guy Zyskind of the cryptocurrency market. This is the reasoning behind the creation of Catalyst, which seeks to open up and demystify the cryptocurrency market to developers and investors alike.

“We are passionate about the role of cryptocurrencies in defining personal financial freedom. We want to play our part in driving their mainstream adoption. Our vision is to enable developers to build winning investment strategies, a strong track record and attract investment from community investors,” Enigma explained in their announcement. The team defines Catalyst as “a platform that empowers anyone to build their own crypto hedge fund and participate in the coming Renaissance of the financial ecosystem. Catalyst is a playground where developers, quants, and experienced traders can easily build, simulate, and eventually live trade cryptocurrencies using sophisticated programmatic strategies.”

How It Works

“To begin trading, users open payment channels with a chosen liquidity provider, in the currencies they wish to trade. Orders are then submitted to the liquidity provider that a trader chooses, and matched with an online counterparty. Finally, the assets are exchanged atomically by executing a single, cross-chain payment, routed through the liquidity provider,” the Catalyst white paper explains. The platform is designed to ensure that the investors maintain full control and ownership of their assets at all times. The platform also allows for the details of the trading

Algorithms to be kept private:

“The core of Catalyst’s architecture provides a method of performing cross-chain atomic swaps using hashed timelock contracts (HTLCs), operating under the direction of an algorithmic trade manager. This ensures that traders can maintain custody of their assets and privacy of their trading algorithms.”

The team plans to open source their infrastructure which they hope will further enhance and grow both the market and their platform. “We believe an ecosystem of multiple exchanges will further enhance the reliability of the trading infrastructure and liquidity of the underlying payment networks, while simultaneously providing an avenue for scaling beyond the throughput of a single exchange.”

Further to its vision of opening up and growing the cryptocurrency investment market, the Catalyst platform will be able to handle live trading of Initial Coin Offerings (ICO’s). “One of Catalyst‘s long-term goals is support live-trading of ICO tokens. These tokens are typically managed via an Ethereum smart contract, thus, our implementation plans to be fully compatible with the proposed Raiden Network, which enables off-chain transfers of value between Ethereum smart contracts.” or investment strategies that are able to generate high returns, the team recognizes that developers must have access to all pertinent data and addresses this through the creation of a data bank of sorts within the platform which they believe will make

The process easier:

“Developers will be able to access a large variety of data sources specifically around crypto-assets. These include price data, sentiment data, social networking data, and more. While we plan to curate the initial data sets, it is likely that most data will be generated by the community in return for incentives. Developers can utilize the myriad of data sources that will be made available through our platform to build their models, back-test them according to historical data, as well as put their strategies to the test in a simulated or real trading environment.”

Enigma hopes the platform will be attractive to developers who are interested in creating algorithms for the cryptocurrency market since they do not have to put up the initial capital themselves. “Beyond making development of crypto-trading strategies easy, our goal is to create a marketplace for trading strategies that non-developers can invest in. In this way, developers are not required to obtain capital to fund their algorithms personally. Instead, they can focus on becoming the best algo-traders they can be, while earning management and performance fees from investors that choose to invest in their strategies.”

Though the platform will initially only be available to developers with coding experience, there are plans to incorporate certain tools to allow “regular” people to create their own strategies. “In order to further lower barriers to invest in and increase adoption of crypto-assets, we will offer tools that enables individuals with no coding experience to build, test and master algorithmic trading strategies. This interface would be similar to the visual programming languages, like Scratch developed at MIT, and would provide full-functionality of the Trading SDK and connect to all existing data sources.”

To allow investors to put money into the fund with the best performance, there will be a  “web-based leaderboard ranking of all strategies deployed by developers. These will include standard return and risk metrics, such as ROI, Sharpe ratio, alpha and beta and max drawdown.” The investors have the choice to put their money in the well-performing funds, at a management fee to the fund developers, as is the practice in traditional investment funds.

Catalyst hopes to help both experienced investors and newcomers make smart cryptocurrency trading choices. “This kind of marketplace can benefit both the investors, who now have access to algorithmic trading, as well as the developers, who may lack the capital to fund their strategies personally. To the best of our knowledge, our platform will be the first to make machine-based investing accessible. Regular investors can then invest directly in winning strategies through our system.” “From a vision perspective, we would like to be able to enable the average Joes to be able to invest in these technologies as well,” added Can Kisagun, Chief Product Officer at Enigma.

Why Digital Assets Funds Are Poised to Succeed

With the steep rise in demand for both altcoins and newly issued ICO tokens, a platform such as Catalyst will likely draw investor attention once it goes live.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
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Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Digital Currency Enthusiasts Expect Ethereum to Become Larger than Bitcoin

Digital Currency Enthusiasts Expect Ethereum to Become Larger than Bitcoin

    

Ethereum is closing in on Bitcoin in terms of market capitalization,
 
trading volume and Google Trends. In terms of other key indicators, Ethereum has already surpassed Bitcoin. This has been a longtime coming not only for Ethereum supporters, but, also, for Bitcoiners who have worried about the digital currency’s scaling issues.These flips in key indicators between the two largest cryptographic assets are tracked by a website, Flippening.watch. In the past 24 hours (at the time of writing), there have been 235,604 Ethereum transactions. But, despite wild success as a ‘peer-to-peer electronic cash’ system, there have been only 216,887 Bitcoin transactions. Ethereum’s transaction capabilities have not even been its main feature advertised by proponents. That would be its smart contract and decentralized application functions.

But, ‘the Flippening’ doesn’t stop there. Miners of ether, Ethereum’s native digital token, are enjoying more mining rewards than their bitcoin counterparts. In the last 24 hours, $9,396,000 has been rewarded to ether miners. But, just 5,302,800 has been rewarded to bitcoin miners. Moreover, there are more nodes (30,070) than Bitcoin mining nodes (7,552) as of June 11. Bitcoin’s market capitalization is still larger than Ethereum, which is 66.7% of the former’s. There are more Bitcoin’s being traded than ether, but as ShapeShift announced last week, volume of Bitcoin going into Ethereum was causing slight delays on that platform.

itcoin, despite being at an all-time high, has seen its overall share acrpss the crypto-assets complex shrink in recent months, with Ethereum closing a lot of the gap between the two while trading at all-time highs. Bitcoin has seen its growth stagnate in recent years as discussion about future development has grown heated and created rivalries within the Bitcoin creation community. Ethereum, enjoying the support of large multinational corporations and financial institutions via blockchain consortiums, can today process data faster than Bitcoin. This enables higher volume of lightweight finance pouring through the system and at less expensive rates. Currently, the average Bitcoin transaction costs about $1.50.

While Ethereum theoretically can handle lightweight finance transaction a la Bitcoin, it is proposed and designed to do much more. Smart contracts are meant to fuel decentralized applications known as dApps. Ethereum pledges smart contract and dApp technology will distribute business and legal transactions normally facilitated by banks, public registries and the legal system. Intel, Microsoft and Samsung are experimenting with Ethereum. Meanwhile, large corporations that once accepted Bitcoin on their website, have rescinded acceptance. Bitcoin’s dominance rate might be falling as its utility is falling when compared to other blockchain projects. Further, infighting within its creation community is a source for uncertainty.

While Ethereum is not a bitcoin competitor, the value of Ether is increasing as more people join the Ethereum community at a faster clip than those forming around Bitcoin. Ethereum, which is currently approaching a $30 billion network value, is swiftly closing the gap on Bitcoin’s $50 billion market cap. Assuming things stay on track, Ethereum could surpass Bitcoin’s market capitalization by the year’s end. Although Ethereum proponents will see this as a victory, and some Bitcoin proponents will see this as a failure, the reality is both systems have been very successful.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Oil Giant BP to Test Blockchain Technology With BTL Group

Oil Giant BP to Test Blockchain Technology With BTL Group

Oil giant BP, the world’s eighth-largest energy company by revenue

($222.8 billion), has officially begun collaborating with Canadian blockchain startup BTL Group. After a few months of successful testing, BP, Italian oil and gas company Eni, and major German energy company Wien Energie all plan to enter a six-month production phase with BTL’s Interbit platform built on top of the blockchain. The three companies will utilize the BTL blockchain platform to trade gas and oil in a transparent and secure ledger.

Before the three companies move on to commercialize BTL’s blockchain technology Interbit, blockchain developers and the group of leading energy companies aim to simulate real-life trades at a commercial rate. Trades of billions of dollars worth of gas and oil will be processed on the Interbit blockchain platform in a simulation to evaluate if the blockchain technology is capable of settling millions of data points in short periods of time with enhanced and optimal security measures. Guy Halford-Thompson, the co-founder and CEO of BTL Group, who introduced one of the first bitcoin ATMs to the UK in 2013,

said:

“Having demonstrated the reductions in risk and cost savings that are achievable we now have an opportunity to deliver the first successful blockchain based application to the energy market.”

The BTL Group is the first public blockchain company located in Canada and the UK that is focusing on the development and implementation of blockchain technology targeted towards the finance, energy and gaming sectors. Because a large number of blockchain companies and consortia are already working with leading financial institutions and banks in utilizing the blockchain to reduce transaction costs and overall expenses, developers of BTL are specifically targeting semi-financial markets.

According to Halford-Thompson, the three oil giants are also considering implementing the blockchain in other areas and operations. Relying on the decentralized and transparent nature of blockchain technology, BTL and the group of energy companies are analyzing the blockchain’s potential in reducing costs of alternative operations. For instance, on top of the conventional structure of the blockchain, various technologies such as smart contracts can be utilized to carry out or conduct agreements autonomously. With the utilization of smart contracts as demonstrated by many public blockchain projects such as Ethereum, companies like BP can automate operations that require a high level of manual work. “We are also very excited that the pilot has enabled participating companies to understand the benefits of Interbit better and identify other areas in their organizations where they can apply it,” said Halford-Thompson.

In an interview, EY partner Andrew Woosey also emphasized the importance of the pilot test of BTL’s Interbit blockchain platform led by BP. Over the past two years, the “Big Four” accounting firms including EY, PwC, Deloitte, and KPMG have been heavily involved in the blockchain sector by helping large conglomerates such as BP understand the intricacies of blockchain technology and implement it efficiently. Woosey also stated that that the group of energy companies is focusing on streamlining back office processes autonomously, ultimately to reduce risk and build resilience toward cyber threats.

“Use of such technology can help by streamlining back office processes, leading to reduced risk, better protection against cyber threats and ultimately significant cost savings. Further engineering and organizational effort are needed to achieve these outcomes,” said Woosey. Currently, a large number of energy companies are looking into the blockchain to optimize operations and reduce costs. In an interview, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin revealed that the $92 billion mining, metals, and petroleum corporation BHP Billiton is participating in the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance to develop decentralized applications based on Ethereum.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

IOTA Token has Record Breaking Launch on Bitfinex, Hits $1.5 Billion Market Cap

IOTA Token has Record Breaking Launch on Bitfinex, Hits $1.5 Billion Market Cap

    

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex officially launched the IOTA token

At 9:00 am Eastern Standard Time, cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex officially launched the IOTA token, IOT. Tradable in IOT/USD and IOT/BTC pairs, tokens for use with the IOTA network are now publicly accessible through the Bitfinex website. This launch represents a milestone for IOTA as they expand their user base. “Exchange listing is something that has become a hallmark for all crypto projects,” says IOTA founder David Sønstebø in conversation with CCN, “it represents that the technology is ready for the open market and the wider audience.” And looking at the numbers from the launch, it seems the open market was ready for IOTA.

Consumer Anticipation

After Bitfinex’s announcement on June 4, 2017, regarding the listing of IOT, user demand became readily apparent. The staff at Bitfinex found themselves ‘inundated with requests for details,” explained Bitfinex representative Brandon Carps, “We’ve yet to see this many requests for details on a token listing.” These inquiries lead to an unprecedented amount of support tickets created for Bitfinex.

By the Numbers

After going live on Bitfinex, the transaction volume quickly became so massive that the Bitfinex servers briefly went down. “Moments after the IOTA launch,” Brandon shared,  “we were all hands on deck to load balance and ensure IOTA trading was back online and operating as expected.” What kind of volume? Within the first three hours of trading, 4.44 Million Mega IOTA were traded with the IOT/USD pair, an amount that increased by the second. The IOT/BTC trades showed even greater activity, showing 11.67 Million Mega IOTA traded in

The same period.

The first two hours of IOTA trading was more than double the USD volume and ten times greater than the BTC volume of the last token we released, Ripple, over the course of its full trading day.

All of which sees IOT slotting itself straight into the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap. At the time of publishing, the total value of IOT tokens stands above $1.5 billion, peaking beyond the likes of Dash and Monero.

Bitfinex Lists IOT

The team at Bitfinex have been following IOTA’s development closely for the past year. Thanks to the innovative nature of their platform, and the “amount of effort the founders have put into IOTA in just a year’s time relative to the polished product we see today is atypical for something in such an early period of its life,” the IOTA token was an obvious candidate for inclusion on Bitfinex. The relationship is unique for Bitfinex as well, as this is the first token Bitfinex is hosting not listed on any other exchange. In discussing the success of IOT on Bitfinex, David said “I want to congratulate every IOTA member on this success. Now we welcome thousands upon thousands of new people who learn about and get interested in IOTA through this event with open arms. However, we are still considering this the very early days, and are squarely focused on the long term execution and vision of the IOTA project.”

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Constructing a Real-Estate Backed Cryptocurrency: Brick by Brick

Constructing a Real-Estate
Backed Cryptocurrency:
Brick by Brick

BrickCoin, touted as the world’s first blockchain financial platform

On June 6, BrickCoin, touted as the world’s first blockchain financial platform backed entirely by the stability of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), unveiled its vision for a “real estate-backed” global digital currency. BrickCoin seeks to usher in a new normal for consumer saving and financial stability that protects an individual's’ true wealth from the inflationary impact of fiat currencies. BrickCoin uses blockchain technology to drive this next generation of financial solutions that seeks to ensure financial inclusion for all. Those who are unbanked account for over a third of the global population.

BrickCoin uses blockchain as its underlying technology to facilitate the next generation of financial solutions aimed at ensuring financial inclusion for all. Unbanked people account for a third of the world’s population. This demographic is primarily concentrated in the emerging markets of Asia, Latin America and Africa where inflation levels are extremely volatile, and the value of fiat currency is unable to keep pace with inflation, thereby resulting in monetary value. The brainchild behind BrickCoin, humanitarian entrepreneur Lucas Cervigni, asserts that this is not just a problem facing the

unbanked:

“Inflation levels are rising around the globe, chewing into real incomes and savings rates. As a result, the world needs a better, safer and easier way for ordinary people to save and protect their money from inflation.”

He goes on to note that savings accounts and fixed income interest accounts are not inflation-proof and are stuck at record low levels of interest. Complex investment products such as hedge funds, he says, are typically only available to high wealth individuals and require large initial investments and do not offer ready liquidity and are vulnerable to bankruptcy. “By comparison, the debt-free real estate has and always will have intrinsic value, much as the old gold standards did. We plan to use this to create a new inflation-proof, secure but flexible mechanism for ordinary savers to protect their wealth,” continued Cervigni.

His vision is to create an asset-based cryptocurrency, which replaces the vulnerabilities of the current fiat currency system, combining the safety of a real estate investment with the liquidity and performance of a cryptocurrency. These REIT-backed coins will enable anyone to convert their fiat currency into a more stable and protected digital currency that not only increases in value but helps more people to grow their usable savings leading to stronger global economies.

Unlike other assets used to back new and emerging cryptocurrencies, commercial, mortgage-free real estate is a robust and regulated asset that is protected from increasing debt and inflationary cycles. For a large percentage of individuals around the world, BrickCoin’s online platform will represent their only chance to invest in real estate. By purchasing a BrickCoin, token holders will have the ability to build a steady income stream that grows at a guaranteed rate higher than the current inflation rate of their country, offering the individual a safe place to store and grow their wealth.

By way of example, in Venezuela inflation is expected to hit a rate of 2,500 percent by 2018. The currency, the bolivar, is so devalued that many people tote it around in carrier bags rather than wallets. The government has declared the currency to be virtually worthless. Unlike state currencies, BrickCoin’s value cannot simply be declared worthless, nor printed away.

While the opportunity for BrickCoin to fully assist Venezuela may have passed, it does demonstrate how the real world economy can benefit from the crypto economy, preventing or at least limiting the adverse effects of future monetary mismanagement and totalitarian government control. When asked about his journey into the world of blockchain-based, real estate-backed cryptocurrencies, Cervigni had this to say, “My journey into the crypto space began five to six years ago when I met a man called Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar (president of Bitcoin Argentina) who got me interested in this new crypto tech. He believed that Bitcoin was the technology that was going to change the world.”  

Continued Cervigni:

“Later, I was working on a real estate development project in London when I realized they needed a faster, cheaper and more user-friendly way to work and found that the Blockchain was the answer. I began using blockchain and cryptocurrency during my work in real estate and over the last five years these early ideas developed into BrickCoin.”

He says that his engagement with Zaldivar was the catalyst for him starting BrickCoin. “He was already crowdfunding for real estate and got me involved.” Cervigni was quick to point out that in the crypto space, a business that has been running six months is considered well-established, BrickCoin has already been running for four years with a longer-term plan for the next decade. He says that within the next ten years the plan is to engage with governments in order to expand BrickCoin to different countries, with different regulators and expand the types of BrickCoins invested in real estate around the world.

Concludes Cervigni:

“Blockchain is the platform of the future. Everything in the world will be developed using open ledger platform. In respect to real estate, a huge proportion of the world doesn’t own a home; they rent accommodation. At least 15-20 percent do not have a home at all (they live in super precarious housing). There’s an enormous deficit in worldwide housing. We aim to fix that.”

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Billionaire Investor Sets Example Investing in Altcoin ICO

Billionaire Investor Sets Example Investing in Altcoin ICO

    

A billionaire investor best known for buying roughly 30,000 Bitcoins

as part of the first government auction of the digital currency in 2014, is setting precedent as he stands behind a crypto token to be launched by a new startup. Tim Draper told Reuters in an interview that his participation in the initial coin offering (ICO) of Tezos slated later this month will be his first. The new Blockchain platform launched by a husband-and-wife team with extensive Wall Street and hedge fund backgrounds will launch the ICO on May 22.

Tezos incentive

According to information on its website, Tezos takes a fundamentally different approach by creating governance rules for stakeholders to approve of protocol upgrades. They are then deployed on the network automatically. When a developer proposes a protocol upgrade, they can attach an invoice to be paid out to their address upon approval and inclusion of their upgrade. This approach provides a strong incentive for participation in the Tezos core development and further decentralizes the maintenance of the network. It compensates developers with tokens that have immediate value rather than forcing them to seek corporate sponsorships, foundation salaries or work for Internet fame alone.

Draper’s confidence

As a new way of moving and storing money, Draper had told Fox Business in an interview in 2015 that Bitcoin is going to hit $10,000 in the following three years (by 2018). While the Bitcoin ecosystem looks forward to the feasibility of the prediction considering what is probable within the timeframe, it would seem that Draper’s confidence in the unfolding reality around him of what the top digital currency could bring to the table is still sound. This makes his disclosed interest in another aspect of the digital currency sphere – his plan to participate in a token offering and his choice of Tezos as a particular startup to invest in considering it’s a formation of a “husband and wife” team – a point to note.

With its family makeup, the success of the startup’s ICO will be a sheer example of the opportunities the crypto economy could offer the smallest unit of a society – after all, there are businesses owned and run by couples or a family. It would also show that the potential for Bitcoin, as a growing digital currency in various households, is huge in this kind of a business setup. Hence, Draper’s support for the adaptation of the cryptocurrency concept into the family-based business world could be precedential.

"The best thing I can do is lead by example," Draper said in his interview.

"Over time, I actually feel that some of these tokens are going to improve the world and I want to make sure those tokens get promoted as well. I think Tezos is one of those tokens."

Unlike most traditional venture capital firms which are prohibited by agreements with investors from deploying cash into such high-risk assets as digital currencies, Draper said his firm is doing this with Tezos because there is money for such non-traditional investments. In addition, they had anticipated “that certain things are going to happen and finance is going to be transformed."

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Australia Will Recognize Bitcoin as Money and Protect Bitcoin Businesses, No Taxes

Australia Will Recognize Bitcoin as Money and Protect Bitcoin Businesses, No Taxes

    

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

UPD: The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the federal government agency for scientific research in Australia, stated that Blockchain technology will have a profound impact on the Australian economy. Bitcoin will be treated as money in Australia by July 1, 2017, and will be exempt from goods and services tax (GST). Bitcoin traders and investors will not be taxed for purchasing and selling Bitcoin through regulated exchanges and trading platforms. Over the past two years, the Australian Bitcoin exchange market significantly fell behind growing markets such as South Korea, Japan and South Korea, that control more than half of the global Bitcoin exchange market share.

Two majors factors which drove startups, exchanges and businesses dealing with Bitcoin and other digital currencies in Australia away from the country where the termination of banking services by leading Australian banks due to their anti-competitive nature and the double taxation of Bitcoin trading by the Australian government. Starting July 1 however, double taxation and trading and goods and services taxation on Bitcoin will be exempted. In its 2017 to 2018 budget for “Backing innovation and FinTech,”

The Australian government wrote:

“The Government will make it easier for new innovative digital currency businesses to operate in Australia. From 1 July 2017, purchases of digital currency will no longer be subject to the GST, allowing digital currencies to be treated just like money for GST purposes. Currently, consumers who use digital currencies can effectively bear GST twice: once on the purchase of the digital currency and once again on its use in exchange for other goods and services subject to the GST.”

The government will also protect Bitcoin businesses and exchanges

More importantly, the Australian government’s new vision to spur the growth of fintech and the digital currency market would most likely prevent local banks and financial institutions for unfairly denying banking services to Bitcoin businesses and exchanges. If the above mentioned issues can be resolved by July 1, the Australian Bitcoin market could potentially experience a rapid growth in terms of user base and trading volumes.

The document further read:

“Innovation will drive productivity growth in Australia. That is why the Government’s $1.1 bln National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) is designed to enable Australia to take full advantage of new economic opportunities. The Government is committed to establishing Australia as a leading global financial technology (fintech) hub and is announcing a new package that aims to position our local fintech industry as a world leader.”

At the Blockchain NZ conference held in Auckland, New Zealand earlier this week, Bitcoin and security expert Andreas Antonopoulos emphasized the Australian government’s uninvolvement in its local Bitcoin market and the impact of such actions on Bitcoin businesses and exchanges. More to that, Antonopoulos criticized the local government’s taxation policy on Bitcoin, which essentially drove away businesses and users from Australia to other countries.

“Governments can choose to either do nothing – which is okay, make things worse for cryptocurrency trading – like what Australia did by imposing sales taxes on all cryptocurrency transactions, or they can make things easier for companies by reining in the banks and encouraging companies by creating a level playing field,” Antonopoulos said. With Australia’s new policy, the Bitcoin ecosystem in the country could change drastically. Banks will start offering services to Bitcoin exchanges and traders will not be taxed with GST upon the purchase of Bitcoin.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Japanese Exchanges Say Volumes are Real Pushing Bitcoin Price Up

Japanese Exchanges Say Volumes are Real Pushing Bitcoin Price Up

    

Over the past few months,

the Japanese Bitcoin exchange market led an upward momentum for the global Bitcoin exchange market, continuously pushing Bitcoin price to new highs. In a period of 30 days, Bitcoin price increased from $1,200 to $1,760, recording a 32 percent monthly increase in value. Cointelegraph particularly provided extensive coverage of the Japanese exchange market’s overwhelming performance and influence over the global exchange. The demand toward Bitcoin in Japan significantly increased following the legalization of Bitcoin and the acceptance of Bitcoin payments by the country’s single most influential electronics retailer Bic Camera. Also, some of the largest multi-billion dollar corporations have announced the launch of their independent Bitcoin and digital currency exchanges.

Absence of fees raises concerns

One criticism over Bitcoin’s recent price surge has been the absence of fees in the Japanese Bitcoin exchange market. Some analysts suspected that the Japanese exchange market’s decision to exclude fees could have a similar effect the Chinese Bitcoin exchange had on the global exchange market. In an interview, Japan’s two largest Bitcoin exchanges QUOINE and BitFlyer clarified that the Japanese Bitcoin exchange market does in fact have fees in place. Yuzo Kano, the CEO of BitFlyer, the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange which controls over 67 percent of the Japanese Bitcoin exchange market share

stated:

“We charge trading fees for BTC and ‘swap point’ for FX. So it’s a different situation from China before this January. We are seeing funds inflowing not only to BTC but also all crypto markets.”

Mike Kayamori, CEO of QUOINE, which also controls around 10 percent of the Japanese Bitcoin exchange market share further emphasized that fees are charged for all traders other than spot trading of BTC/JPY. Thus, the claims of analysts that there currently is instability in Bitcoin price due to the low fees or absence of fees on Japanese Bitcoin exchange market are false.

Kayamori says:

“At QUOINE, we are charging fees on all trades other than spot trading of BTC/JPY. Every other currency pair, as well as margin trading, there is a fee. And our spreads are quite large, hence our volume is actually lower in April/May than it was March.”

Bitcoin as an alternative investment

Jon Southurst, a journalist based in Tokyo, noted that high profile and institutional investors along with casual traders are seeking out for alternative investments such as Bitcoin due to the government’s quantitative easing practice. On April 24, Cointelegraph reported that Bitcoin price could surge as the Japanese government moved on to print massive amounts of cash. At the time, Holger Zschaepitz, the senior editor of the financial desk and market maniac at

Welt, stated:

“For such reasons, it can be concluded that the current surge in Bitcoin price and the rising demand toward Bitcoin in Japan are well supported and justified.”

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Clock Ticking for Altcoins as Bitcoin Breaks $1.3 bln 24h Trade Volume

Clock Ticking for Altcoins as Bitcoin Breaks $1.3 bln 24h Trade Volume

    

As the 24-hour transaction volume of the top digital currency Bitcoin

reached a historical high of $1.3 bln this week, the days of altcoins that solve no substantial problem may soon be over – or tested to a point of failure. The rising Bitcoin price which seldom reflects negatively on most alternative currencies is going to tell on their success. For those who have noticed, the more Bitcoin rises, the lowermost altcoins go – even the super altcoins. This could be as a result of the established fact that one has to buy Bitcoin to get into altcoins and vice versa to opt out. Or it could be as a result of a reduced confidence in what some – if not most – of these altcoins have to offer. There are also words of some being scams and others being clones of another or serving the same purpose with another.

Time for altcoins show what they are worth

Whatever is the case of every altcoin, what they really stand for would be tested in due course unless the rise of Bitcoin gets stalled. Their existence could be affected negatively unless they evolve to be a true representation of their initial ideas and market more to show off their achievements. New ideas are popping up every day and some would definitely become obsolete. The thought that the market decides really needs to be given consideration now especially as there is a growing notion that an altcoin bubble is in the making and it could pop at some point. Bitcoin’s rise is setting a standard that altcoins need to rise up to so as to wax stronger as well.

Bitcoin’s superiority

The reality of each and every passing year that Bitcoin has survived without being crushed to the ground- some investors report huge returns on their investments along the way- is sinking into the minds of more people. The confidence level in the currency has risen and new users are coming into the cryptocurrency world. It’s truly decentralized nature also makes its extremely difficult for its protocol to be changed by anyone or some developers unlike it’s the case with some altcoins – a good side to the SegWit/scalability standoff. Now aiming for the $2,000 price tag, the Bitcoin scarcity factor seems to be kicking in and pushing for demands that increase its value – remember last year’s block reward halving. It throws a greater challenge to altcoins and their need to brace up for what could be coming.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Japan to Roll Out Fixed Deposit Interest for Bitcoin

Japan to Roll Out Fixed Deposit Interest for Bitcoin

    

From one first to the next,

Japan will soon offer Bitcoin users fixed term deposits with interest. The Financial Services Agency has yet to push for regulation as it watches from the sidelines of what could seriously challenge the traditional banks fixed term deposits. Asian Nikkei reports that digital currency users and traders will soon be able to earn interest from the exchange. This fixed deposit interest accruing account is the first of its kind being made available in Japan.

Four fixed deposit options

Coincheck, founded by Koichiro Wada and Yusuke Otsuka has operated as an exchange since 2014 exchanging up to $160 mln worth of transactions per month. Its track record helps build credibility for clients interested in the interest accruing accounts that will be rolled out. The company will roll out four fixed deposit options. A 14-day option with a one percent annual interest accrual, 30-day option with a two percent annual accrual and a 90-day option with three annual percent interest. The longest time deposit and highest interest accrual will be for a 12 month fixed deposit netting five percent interest gain. This can prove a popular option as traditional banks in Japan moved their interest rates to 0.00 percent earlier this year.

Impact on demand for Bitcoin

Japan’s Financial Services Agency declared that the deposits are exempt from banking regulations as Bitcoin is not yet legal tender. There is speculation that they might change their stance on regulation if Bitcoin becomes a widespread method of payment. With multiple parties applying for exchange licenses to operate in Japan, it is likely that competing exchanges will offer the same value-added benefit to their customers. The scaling adoption of Bitcoin as a means of payment in physical stores drove up the price of the currency to record highs. If digital currency deposits succeed as fixed deposit accounts, there is no doubt that the demand will rise even further.

Chuck Reynolds
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