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Category: General

Ethereum Classic 51 Attack: Okex Crypto Exchange Suffers 56 Million Loss Contemplates Delisting ETC

Ethereum Classic 51% Attack: Okex Crypto Exchange Suffers $5.6 Million Loss, Contemplates Delisting ETC

Ethereum Classic 51% Attack: Okex Crypto Exchange Suffers $5.6 Million Loss, Contemplates Delisting ETC

Cryptocurrency exchange Okex reveals it suffered the $5.6 million loss as a result of the double-spend carried out by the attacker(s) in Ethereum Classic 51% attack. Okex says it fully absorbed the loss as per its user-protection policy while insisting that the attack did not cause any loss to the platform’s users.

Also as part of its immediate responses to the attack, the OKEx team said the “exchange had suspended deposits and withdrawals of ETC to prevent further losses.”

A total of five accounts on the exchange had been used in the attack and now the Okex team says it has “suspended the five accounts to prevent further incidents.”

Immediately following the attack, ETC developers initially downplayed the event by characterising it as an “accident.” At the time, the developers doubted if any major double-spend attacks had occurred.

However, an investigation by a blockchain analysis firm later revealed the “accident” was, in fact, a 51% attack, and that $5.6 million had been stolen. At the same time, reports linking Okex wallets to the incident also surfaced.

Responding to these reports in a blog, the Okex team clarifies that the “exchange was only involved in that the attacker(s) used the exchange to purchase and trade ETC.”

The Okex team also believes the exchange was targeted probably because it “provides excellent ETC liquidity, seeing some of the largest ETC transaction volumes in the industry.”

The blog report suggests that “the attacker(s) likely calculated that they would be able to relatively easily and promptly trade large amounts of ETC on OKEx.”

Regarding more steps it will take, the Okex team said:

“Additionally — given OKEx’s responsibility to protect users from similar incidents that threaten the security of their funds — the exchange will consider delisting ETC, pending the results of the Ethereum Classic community’s work to improve the security of its chain.”

However, the blog post does not give a specific time frame when the ETC community is expected to improve this.

Meanwhile, in his comments on the attack, Tim Ismilyaev, CEO and Founder at Mana Security, says such incidents are “common for less popular blockchains, ETC can’t fix it without significant amendments into their architecture.”

Ismilyaev also offers his view on why Okex still suffered the loss even after the ETC team had advised exchanges to halt deposits and withdrawals soon after the attack. Ismilyaev explains:

ETC’s advice was released after the attack occurred, so Okex couldn’t stop the withdrawal of stolen funds. Noteworthy, the attacker most likely knew how Okex risk management systems work. It allowed him to withdraw stolen funds without being detected. That’s why he deliberately traded assets only on OKEX rather than splitting funds across multiple exchanges to hedge the risks.

With one exchange, Kucoin having delisted ETC margin trading from its platform, the ETC team faces increased pressure to address the security challenges or face more delistings.

Can the ETC team solve the security challenges in time before another delisting? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Bitcoin’s Hashrate Hits Record High 130 EHs as BTC Price Faces Resistance at 12000

Bitcoin's Hashrate Hits Record High 130 EH/s, as BTC Price Faces Resistance at $12,000

Bitcoin’s seven-day average hashrate has reached a new all-time high of 130 exahash per second (EH/s) — a feat that might positively influence the asset’s price, while adding to the fundamental strength of the Bitcoin network.

According to the latest data from charts.Bitcoin.com, the previous peak of about 127 EH/s was recorded on July 28. The Bitcoin (BTC) hashrate dropped sharply after the last halving on May 11, falling to about 90 EH/s, as miners with old, inefficient mining rigs closed shop.

However, the decline was quickly reversed as miners re-entered the network. Bitcoin’s scheduled supply cut reduced miner bonuses by 50% to 6.25 BTC per block. Overall, the processing power of Bitcoin has grown by more than 77% since August 10, 2019.

Bitcoin (BTC) global hashrate according to data from charts.Bitcoin.com on Monday, August 17, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. ET.

Hashrate is a measure of the power of the computers linked to the Bitcoin blockchain, which determines their ability to produce new coins. Increasing hash power suggests miners are optimistic about making profits.

This might as well influence the price of bitcoin higher, given the strong correlation between the two. But the relationship is not exactly as linear, because it is difficult to gauge future price changes based on hashrate alone, so things can turn out differently.

The good thing is that when miners commit more computing power to process bitcoin transactions, that helps secure the network against 51% attacks — a situation that could allow rogue miners to hijack the system and double-spend some coins.

At the time of writing, each BTC is trading for $11,888, up 1.1% over the last 24 hours, as per data from markets.Bitcoin.com.

The top cryptocurrency has struggled to break resistance at $12,000, remaining capped in the $11,200 to $11,800 range for a couple of weeks now. Some pundits expect the price to hit $28,000 by year-end.

What do you think about Bitcoin’s rising hashrate? Let us know in the comments section below.

Former Prudential Financial CEO George Ball Says Now Time to Buy Bitcoin

Former Prudential Financial CEO George Ball Says Now Time to Buy Bitcoin

Former Prudential Financial CEO George Ball Says Now Time to Buy Bitcoin

Former Prudential Financial CEO George Ball is advising wealthy investors to acquire bitcoin because it is the only asset that cannot be undermined by the government. Ball made the comments while discussing adjustments that investors need to make to their portfolios.

Now CEO at Sander Morris Harris, Ball spoke in a video call where he also offered investment tips. Explaining current sources of investor concern, Ball says the global pandemic “COVID-19, which will be with us in the first quarter of next year” and the U.S. elections, are two issues on the minds of investors.

However, the Sanders Morris Harris boss believes the U.S. election is a given and that markets have already factored in a Biden win. Instead, Ball thinks “markets are looking for or waiting for a new spark” adding that he expects this to happen “at night, right after Labour Day.” The CEO believes the best time to readjust investment portfolios would be right before this scheduled spark.

Commenting on his new stance on bitcoin, Ball tells his interviewer why he has now become a bitcoin convert:

I’ve never said this before, and I’ve always been a blockchain, cryptocurrency and bitcoin opponent. But if you look now, the government cannot stimulate markets forever, the liquidity flood will end.

When this government assistance program comes to end, the borrowed money must be repaid. Therefore, the critical question according to Ball, is how the government is going to finance this payback.

“Are they gonna raise taxes that high or if not, are they going to print money? If they print money that debases the currency and probably even Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) can be corrupted,” said Ball.

Faced with this potential outcome, the very wealthy investor or the trader will “probably turn to bitcoin or something like it as an alternative.”

Meanwhile, Ball also dispels the notion that by buying bitcoin, investors are trying to avoid tax obligations. He says an investor’s main concern is protecting wealth from an inevitable money printing which renders a currency worthless.

What do you think of Ball’s about-face on bitcoin? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE vs CREATIVITY and the HUMAN CONNECTION in CONTENT MARKETING

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE vs CREATIVITY and the HUMAN CONNECTION in CONTENT MARKETING

Can we really trust AI to maintain and elevate our business without us in the driver's seat? 

We are now living in a world where we have the most amazing tools and resources to simplify and streamline the process of building a business to leverage our time more than ever. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now capable of writing content and used to communicate with customers, AI automation can run complete marketing campaigns, so suffice it to say these new technologies can help you create tremendous success in your business and improve your lifestyle. 

Does that mean this technology guarantees exceptional, infallible results for our business? Some will tell you it is, but here’s the thing…

All these modern marketing tools are great and definitely have their place, but consider this; the more AI automated your marketing becomes, the less human it can seem, and that is a big mistake. Will these machines undermine us as a species? Where do we draw the line? 

A Collision Course: AI Marketing, People and Process

Using AI in every aspect of running your business stifles creativity and eliminates trust. Without creativity and a relatable person at the helm, your content, and advertising gets lost in the fiercely competitive market that has evolved today. Importantly, if you are not seen as a human being and be trusted as one, potential customers will look for someone else to do business with. 

With all the different types of marketing at our disposal today, trust is still the key to success. So trust could be considered as the currency of modern marketing and creativity will be the method that builds trust. Creativity is more important than ever because it’s the attribute that separates you from the machines and everyone else.   

Humans are emotional creatures. The biological hardware that produces emotion is millions of years old, and the desire to connect with other people will never leave us. The technology has changed drastically, but we haven't. AI falls short when it comes to creativity, trust, and the human connection. 

 

Creative, Trustworthy, Curation Is A Thing 

For years now it’s been expressed that “content is king” and content marketing, or blogging with an emphasis on original content is a must if you want to build your audience and personal branding. Content marketing is about providing valuable, engaging information to your audience which then puts you in a trusted position to be able to present that audience with your related offer, using messages that lead to the sale. 

You develop an audience by providing unique value to your intended audience and a decade ago, creating lots of high-value content was the way to go, not so much today. In researching the history of all things marketing, particularly online, over the last 2 decades, I learned what used to work in 2008 or even 2016 is not as effective today, given the amount and in some cases, the nature of the content being churned out these days. 

Things have changed, however with change comes opportunity. The saturation of content online has created a new niche in content marketing. A creative, entrepreneurial endeavor to bring more value to your subscribers, an extension if you like. Content is no longer king — The audience is. 

A Shift In Content Marketing

In a world where we now have oodles of content, lots of noise, and for the most part less capacity for attention, people are wanting trusted guides who will connect them with what’s good, what’s important to them, and what’s real instead of fake or poorly researched. They also want content selected by trusted humans, not algorithms. 

People are also looking to trusted sources for what to buy, what to watch, where to travel etc, and in an age where we have overwhelming information and choice, the relevant curation of the work of others (when done right) is the new wave and a great opportunity for entrepreneurs, editors, writers and the like to more easily command an audience. 

Curation is the selection, organization, and presentation of online content, and even products and services, to a specific audience. So if you’re stuck for ideas to create original content consistently, this is now an accepted channel and notably, curators become trusted experts as much (in some cases more) than original content creators. The curation approach is a lot more sophisticated and powerful than most people think.

Curation At HBO

One example is Home Box Office (HBO) which is the oldest paid TV service around, but in light of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime that offer algorithmically driven on-demand platforms, also Disney Plus and Apple TV are making their mark, things have become extremely competitive, so HBO came up with a new segment called “Recommended By Humans”. 

It’s not just a marketing ploy either. Recommended By Humans is a means that provides a colorful canvas you can drag around on your desktop or mobile phone, and features 36 unique video suggestions and over 150 curated recommendations from real HBO fans. They also deliver those recommendations through an email newsletter.

HBO is tapping into the current climate which is definitely pro-human, anti-algorithm, and all for a good reason… because it’s what people now want.

 

The Broader Internet

We all agree the internet is the most powerful source of information ever conceived, but social media has actually reduced knowledge and wisdom given the spurious information and self-serving echo chambers, reinforcing misinformation, and bias. In a world of click-bait, fake news, and “deepfake” videos, smart people are looking for other trustworthy smart people to let them know what’s worth their time and attention. 

The trust component cannot be overstated. With the crushing amount of dubious data and fake news, the world needs more clarity, understanding, and meaning. People need you to separate the wheat from the chaff, the signal from the noise. And that’s why curation is being classed as a viable way to create a meaningful business if done correctly.

Now you may be thinking, why can’t the machines do this for us?  Wouldn’t artificial intelligence and automation be better at this? 

It has been documented that relying on algorithms to “curate” content has been a disaster so far. Facebook is a classic example where the algorithm is the reason for the echo chambers that spread disinformation and put a serious dent in democracy. Albeit these algorithms are manipulated by unscrupulous humans with an agenda to exploit and control other humans, this is not likely to happen if an editorially-focused human is in charge.   

Curation requires very human qualities like communication, empathy, creativity, strategic thinking, questioning, and even dreaming. These are commonly referred to as “soft skills,” and they are the areas that computers can’t handle, but humans excel at.

It comes down to judgment and taste, which are the hallmarks of all great editors and curators. Artificial intelligence doesn’t have those abilities, so we as humans can work alongside machines to do better work than ever. 

In other words, algorithms can aggregate and identify patterns, but they can’t interpret the specific relevance and deeper nuance of an article, podcast, or video lesson to an audience. That’s why people need other people to act as human filters for the technology that editors and curators use to sift through a mountain of information in search of truth and value.

I acquired some very insightful perspectives from Brian Clark, who is a pioneer in content marketing and veteran in the craft of content creation since 1998. He believes that organizing, collecting, preserving, and making sense of our collective knowledge is a critical task facing business and humanity in general, right now and well into the future. Algorithms can do a lot to help, but the “last mile” requires a human filter. 

Although he started off authoring original content with his very successful blogging platforms he has now turned to various forms of curation, saying,

“I got my start with online publishing and digital marketing through email newsletters. And once the fall out from the 2016 election became clear with the manufactured news, devious data capture quizzes, and false narratives, people doing genuine curation looked like geniuses.”
 

Email Marketing — Undisputed Champion

Although we have all the tools at Markethive, such as a blogging and broadcasting platform, subscribing and swiping features, blog cloud, social and digital media platform, email broadcasting and autoresponders, along with ever-increasing traffic and audience, it is email marketing that remains the undisputed champion and 40 times better at converting prospects than social media. 

It’s a way to stay connected and no matter what your preferred marketing approach, getting people on an email list is a priority according to smart bloggers, content marketers, curators, and podcasters. They have realized it is the core of effective marketing. 

So if email is the central key, apart from posting, blogging, and creating content on the Markethive platform, the added advantage of Markethive’s email systems gives you the perfect medium to disseminate your creative and valuable recommendations that are so compelling, your subscribers look forward to receiving your emails. 

Furthermore, curating content, even products, and services, could give you a much stronger value proposition (great for the affiliate marketer). Product and service curation can lead to large amounts of revenue without ever developing products and services of your own.

 

Curated Email Newsletters

When you combine a curation mindset with email, you have a winning audience-building strategy. The success of examples such as The Hustle, theSkimm, Morning Brew, and Dave Pell’s Next Draft are just a few examples of how email newsletters are helping people make sense of the things that are important to them. These examples are merely the pioneers of this mainstream media movement of curation.  

Importantly, these entrepreneurs are creating media brands that can evolve into powerhouses if they so choose and Markethive has all the hallmarks of being just that and more with the entrepreneurs at their individual helms working collaboratively on this extraordinary springboard.

That, combined with Markethive traffic, scaled by automation and optimized with analytics allows you to ascertain valuable insight that guides your business decisions. You are in the driver's seat, not some machine. 

So you as an entrepreneur, freelancer, consultant or other client-services professional will benefit from all the tools and services Markethive delivers now and into the future, whether it be the referral program, subscriber sharing, media coverage, blogcasting to many social media platforms, sponsored articles and guest posting which are all part of your traffic mix and assist in developing your email list. 

On the other hand…

you’ve got the funnel fanatics. Who needs to build a real brand or make a genuine human connection? Just create an automated funnel with a lead magnet and some shady affiliate offers, and watch the cash roll in, especially now that the term AI has come into play. 

I don’t think so. I must agree with Brian Clark when he says,  

“This is just the latest version of the perpetual “Internet Marketing Get That Money!” scam that has been fleecing “get rich quick” folks from the beginning. Most of the people who buy this funnel software never do anything; some create a small side hustle at best.

But then, what happens? The funnel technique of the day stops working. It always does, because tactics don’t last forever, especially online, and strategic brand-building takes the kind of effort that business opportunity seekers seem unwilling to invest in.”

It’s about building lasting brands, about the over-delivering value to the audience, about the foregoing short-term profit in order to build a truly powerful business. Human brands that establish themselves now will be trusted for much longer than it takes for artificial intelligence to greatly improve. And I beg to differ that AI will ever be able to take on the human element. There’s more opportunity now than ever because emerging technology will amplify the creative person, not replace them.

AI and Blockchain

Where AI is really important is in the Blockchain industry. It has had its fair share and suffered high levels of malware, phishing, and other corrupt endeavors such as fraud and scams. 

AI-based cybersecurity systems are designed to identify threats in real-time, understand the nature of the threat, and prevent future attacks by blacklisting its source. This is a great improvement on traditional cybersecurity systems as AI is designed to improve with every threat because of its ability to detect patterns, study them, and become better at dealing with them.
 
This is the real AI and critical to the security and smooth running of any online business, company, or even a platform like Markethive, driven by blockchain, that uses and employs it to discover fake accounts. Also helps to reroute faster processing, removes email that is not deliverable but keeps emails that fail to deliver due to a full inbox issue. So in this sense, it makes Markethive friendlier, and most importantly maintains the human connection.

 

Another Feather In The Cap Of Humanity

So here we have another avenue to explore that will bring more value to the people you serve and bring forth the creative, curative genius in you. A human editor to curate the web, filter out the garbage, rise above the noise to deliver reliable information to people who are drowning in and being driven mad with the mass of disinformation and propaganda. 

That’s not to say we forgo creating original content. We still need and want to write about what truly matters to us and our audience. By curating content that is relevant to our topic connects the points of the larger narrative that matter to your audience and in all probability fills the gaps. Instead of agonizing over what next to write about, if there’s nothing necessary or compelling to address, you simply work on other aspects of your business instead of creating content just for the sake of it.  

Conclusion

The Markethive platform can help you achieve your goals as it’s a multi-dimensional, social organizational integrated system with deep level linking dynamics. Integrating vast social networks reaches, internal social network connections, unlimited interconnected WordPress blogs, and APIs to news sites like NBC, Wired Magazine, Bloomberg, Western journal, and 1000s of others, that will continue to expand due to the power of your own Markethive network and the collaboration of separate Markethive groups all working in union with each other. Now that’s what I call real traffic and is reflected in Markethive’s Alexa rank

Currently, live in Beta, Markethive is the world’s first Market Network with a social media interface built on the blockchain. This is the next-gen of all things from the past where all the marketing tools are free to use. 

We are moving closer to the release of the Apprentice membership which is designed for the masses and will allow users to take advantage of more services, increasing the ability and potential to earn a substantial income by just being active on the platform. After we launch the Apprentice program our attention then focuses on delivering the Markethive wallet app along with KYC.
 
Markethive is transparent from the ground up and dedicated to upholding users’ privacy, autonomy and free speech which correlates perfectly with entrepreneurs who wish to use the art of curation “clean up” the web, so to speak, thereby giving a much-needed service to the people exposed to overwhelming, contradictory content, victims of tyrannical tech giants and fraudulent scams. It’s an absolute jungle out there! 

Markethive is Not Just About IDEAS. It’s About Making Ideas HAPPEN!

 

To Join Markethive for FREE click on the banner image below:

 

ecosystem for entrepreneurs

 

Deb Williams
A Crypto/Blockchain enthusiast and a strong advocate for technology, progress, and freedom of speech. I embrace "change" with a passion and my purpose in life is to help people understand, accept, and move forward with enthusiasm to achieve their goals. 

 

Law Firm Sees Crypto Investors Flocking to St Kitts amp Nevis for Dual Citizenship

Law Firm Sees Crypto Investors Flocking to St. Kitts & Nevis for Dual Citizenship

Law Firm Sees Crypto Investors Flocking to St. Kitts & Nevis for Dual citizenship

This week news.Bitcoin.com spoke with Jennifer Harding Marlin from the St. Kitts & Nevis islands law firm JH Marlin. The business specializes in all types of law practice and citizenship by Investment (immigration) is very popular. Marlin explained that recently, the company is getting “a lot of clients in the crypto space that are looking to obtain second passports.”

During the last few months, the whole world has been shaken by the Covid-19 outbreak and this has caused citizens to seek alternatives in certain careers, education, and even citizenship.

News.Bitcoin.com recently spoke with an expert when it comes to second-citizenship when we discussed the subject with JH Marlin’s Jennifer Harding Marlin. She recently told our newsdesk that crypto investors, in particular, have been looking to obtain a second passport.

Law Firm Sees Crypto Investors Flocking to St. Kitts & Nevis for Dual Citizenship

Jennifer Harding Marlin and the JH Marlin law firm helps individuals looking to leverage citizenship by investment via the Saint Christopher and Nevis Citizenship Passport by Investment Program established in 1984.

News.Bitcoin.com has covered the many reasons to why crypto investors would want to obtain second-citizenship or consider renunciation. Marlin told us that with social uncertainty, economic distress, and political tension worldwide, people are on the move toward getting out of big nation-states entirely or leveraging dual citizenship.

“The law firm has been operating for three years and we’ve been getting an increasing number of citizenship by investment applicants who are really big into cryptocurrencies,” Marlin said.

The St. Kitts attorney is originally from Canada and moved to the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis in 2014, as her law firm specializes in citizenship by investment and corporate law. St. Kitts & Nevis is the most popular destination worldwide to obtain dual citizenship and citizenship by investment has been in operation since 1984.

Law Firm Sees Crypto Investors Flocking to St. Kitts & Nevis for Dual Citizenship

American expatriates and those who renounced their U.S. citizenship spiked in 2010 after FATCA started and it has climbed considerably into the next decade. Harding said people interested in the citizenship by investment program increased after the Covid-19 outbreak and because of the increased social uncertainty, economic distress, and political tension worldwide.

“It is the longest-running citizenship by investment operation in the world,” Marlin highlighted. She also said that the program price has dropped for a family of four from $195,000 to $150,000 until December 2020.

“A lot of crypto investors have become clients and they are based in much larger countries like the United States,” the attorney explained. “They are interested in getting a second passport for either a plan B or they are eventually going to want to renounce their U.S. citizenship. Or just have dual citizenship capabilities and then one day they may or may not renounce. Right now in the U.S., they have limited visa-free travel and a lot of countries are prohibiting U.S. passport holders too.”

Marlin further emphasized:

Obtaining a second passport by citizenship by investment gives people a way to have access to visa-free travel. With the St. Kitts & Nevis passport you have visa-free travel to over 140 countries.

Marlin detailed that some people choose to renounce their citizenship so they can no longer be subjected to certain taxes.

“In St. Kitts & Nevis there’s no such thing as personal income tax,” Marlin said. “As well as no gift and inheritance tax, so there are tax advantages. There are also tax benefits depending on which country the person comes from. For example, I am Canadian and I am a non-resident Canadian, I don’t have to pay taxes in Canada— I have to pay taxes where I reside.”

Law Firm Sees Crypto Investors Flocking to St. Kitts & Nevis for Dual Citizenship

The website nomadcapitalist.com has a great number of articles that discuss citizenship renunciation or dual citizenship methods for crypto investors interested in this avenue.

“So there’s an option to purchase government-approved designated real estate, for someone who wants to invest by citizenship by investment which starts at $200,000,” Marlin continued.

“The real estate needs to be maintained for seven years or there’s the option for real estate at $400,00 for a minimum of five years. The most popular option, however, is through donation to the sustainable growth fund. That’s because it’s often quicker and people don’t have to maintain real estate property,” she added.

Marlin revealed that a great number of individuals who are choosing to leverage dual citizenship stem from nation-states like the U.S. and Hong Kong.

Marlin said she thinks the current trend of crypto investors stems from individuals who follow people like Bitcoin.com’s Roger Ver and other digital currency advocates who have second passports.

She also said that the trend probably comes from the fact that St. Kitts & Nevis is a freer country than most.

“Some people in the crypto space don’t have access to visa-free travel,” Marlin stressed. “So by acquiring a second passport they can have more access to visa-free.”

Marlin said the first thing people should do is get comfortable with their motivation. “Once you are a citizen you are a citizen for life, and you never have to visit the country,” she concluded.

The process can take up to six months and Marlin said that if someone is interested in dual citizenship they should be prepared to have a vast assortment of documents ready.

Check out the variety of articles hosted on nomadcapitalist.com that explain the process of dual citizenship in great detail.

What do you think about our conversation with Jennifer Harding Marlin? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

 

Bitcoin futures surge as institutional investors seek inflation hedge

Bitcoin futures surge as institutional investors seek ‘inflation hedge’

Institutional investors are becoming increasingly interested in Bitcoin—possibly due to concerns about what will happen to the purchasing power of fiat currencies, experts say.

BITCOIN IS THE NUMBER ONE DIGITAL CURRENCY BY MARKET CAP. IMAGE: SHUTTERSTOCK

In brief

  • Open interest on the CME Bitcoin futures hit a new high of $841 million at the start of the week.
  • Right now, the latest figures put it at $800 million.
  • The surge in interest shows investors typically involved in traditional finance are becoming drawn to the asset.

Interest in Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s (CME) Bitcoin futures has continued to surge, demonstrating a continued involvement from institutional investors who were previously wary of the asset due to its volatility and other risks.

Right now, the CFTC-regulated CME Bitcoin futures exchange is the third-largest Bitcoin futures market by number of open contracts, according to data from analytics website Skew. Open interest on the CME had hit a new high of $841 million at the start of the week. The latest figures—from yesterday—put it at $800 million. 

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Futures contracts allow traders to buy and sell an asset at a predetermined price in the future. In the case of Bitcoin futures, investors are able to speculate on the price of the currency without actually buying Bitcoin itself.

Unregulated exchanges—such as BitMEX or Binance—are still king and draw more investors than the likes of CME. But the latest figures from Skew show that regulated exchanges are fast catching up.

Bitcoin futures: aggregated open interest. Source: Skew

Bitcoin futures: aggregated open interest. Source: Skew

One possible reason for the increasing interest in the CME Bitcoin futures could be the recent depreciation of the dollar, eToro analyst Simon Peters told Decrypt

“An increasing number of institutional investors are in support of Bitcoin as a potential inflation hedge,” he said. 

Charles Bovaird, vice president of content at Quantum Economics, also chimed in: “Open interest in Bitcoin futures trading on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange surpassed $800 million earlier this week, representing a more than 100% increase from $365 million in July. This development is a strong signal of the rising demand of institutional investors.” 

“As for why they are more interested than before, I feel as if digital assets and blockchain technology are becoming increasingly mainstream. Governments around the world are working to create central bank digital currencies, a development that has been accelerated by the proposed Libra project and the visibility it has generated.” 

By Mathew Di Salvo

Coinbase to Offer Bitcoin-Based Cash Loans of up to 20000 Across 17 US States

Coinbase to Offer Bitcoin-Based Cash Loans of up to $20,000 Across 17 US States

U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase will start offering bitcoin-backed cash loans to select customers as early as next month. Investors can borrow up to 30% of the bitcoin they hold on the exchange, or a maximum $20,000, it said.

In a blog post on August 13, Coinbase unveiled its new crypto lending business, which places it into competition with the likes of Nexo and Blockfi. The service charges an annualized interest rate of 8% for borrows that are one year or less.

Coinbase said interested customers can get cash in their accounts in two to three days with just a few taps. It intends that the lending process becomes as less cumbersome as possible, so application procedures have been shortened and issues like credit check eliminated.

Intially, the service will be available only in 17 select U.S. states. These are: Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Nebraska, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The exchange, which boasts more than 35 million users worldwide, is working to obtain licenses to add more cryptocurrencies as well as to expand to the outstanding jurisdictions, it said.

“We want to give our customers even more control over their crypto investments while offering secure access to cash at the same time,” Coinbase stated, in the post.

“We hear from customers that they need cash for expenses like home renovations or car repairs, but they do not want to prematurely sell their crypto, or take out high-interest loans…” it added.

A number of companies seem interested in joining the crypto lending business. Square’s Cash App, a crypto-friendly peer-to-peer payments platform, announced that it is testing a lending product that will give users short-term loans of between $20 and $200. Interest rates will be a flat 5% per month.

What do you think about Coinbase’s new bitcoin lending business? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

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Billion Dollar Public Company Microstrategy Moves 250 Million Into BTC Says Bitcoin ‘Superior to Cash’

Billion Dollar Public Company Microstrategy Moves $250 Million Into BTC, Says Bitcoin 'Superior to Cash'

Billion Dollar Public Company Microstrategy Moves $250 Million Into BTC, Says Bitcoin 'Superior to Cash'

Nasdaq-listed company Microstrategy Inc. is bullish on bitcoin, saying that it is a “dependable store of value” that is “superior to cash.” The billion-dollar company has purchased $250 million in bitcoin, adopting the cryptocurrency as its primary treasury reserve.

Public Company Now Holds Bitcoin as Cash Reserve

Microstrategy Inc. (NASDAQ: MSTR), which describes itself as “the largest independent publicly-traded business intelligence company,” rocked the bitcoin community on Tuesday when it announced the adoption of bitcoin as its primary treasury reserve. The company’s market cap is currently about $1.33 billion.

Microstrategy revealed that it has purchased 21,454 bitcoins at an aggregate purchase price of $250 million, inclusive of fees and expenses. “Our investment in bitcoin is part of our new capital allocation strategy, which seeks to maximize long-term value for our shareholders,” CEO Michael J. Saylor said.

“This investment reflects our belief that bitcoin, as the world’s most widely-adopted cryptocurrency, is a dependable store of value and an attractive investment asset with more long-term appreciation potential than holding cash,” the CEO acclaimed, adding:

Microstrategy has recognized bitcoin as a legitimate investment asset that can be superior to cash and accordingly has made bitcoin the principal holding in its treasury reserve strategy.

Saylor detailed that his company spent months determining its capital allocation strategy, considering macro factors such as “the economic and public health crisis precipitated by covid-19, unprecedented government financial stimulus measures including quantitative easing adopted around the world, and global political and economic uncertainty.” The company believes these factors and others “may well have a significant depreciating effect on the long-term real value of fiat currencies and many other conventional asset types.”

Billion Dollar Public Company Microstrategy Moves $250 Million Into BTC, Says Bitcoin 'Superior to Cash'

Microstrategy stock price chart on Nasdaq as of Aug. 11. Source: Nasdaq

As the company considered various asset classes, the CEO explained that his company “observed distinctive properties of bitcoin that led it to believe investing in the cryptocurrency would provide not only a reasonable hedge against inflation, but also the prospect of earning a higher return than other investments.” Recently, reports suggest that the Federal Reserve will soon commit to ramping up inflation by keeping interest rates low. Saylor conveyed:

We find the global acceptance, brand recognition, ecosystem vitality, network dominance, architectural resilience, technical utility, and community ethos of bitcoin to be persuasive evidence of its superiority as an asset class for those seeking a long-term store of value.

The CEO added: “Bitcoin is digital gold — harder, stronger, faster, and smarter than any money that has preceded it. We expect its value to accrete with advances in technology, expanding adoption, and the network effect that has fueled the rise of so many category killers in the modern era.”

 

Mega Bullish News

Microstrategy’s bitcoin adoption news is well received by the crypto community, viewing it as a mega bullish trend that eventually every public company will follow.

The author of The Bitcoin Standard, Saifedean Ammous, wrote: “So it begins: Microstrategy is the first large corporation to hold bitcoin as a cash reserve asset.” Gabor Gurbacs, Director of Digital Assets Strategy at Vaneck and MVIS, shared the sentiment. He tweeted: “This is a big deal and good to see bitcoin used as intended: hard money/savings instrument.”

Many other Twitter users chimed in. One believes that “Eventually every public company will do the same.” Another wrote, “Mass adoption is coming indeed.” A third user commented:

This is insanely bullish. What company is next.

Do you think other companies will follow Microstrategy? Let us know in the comments section below.