Top 3 Reasons Not to Use an Exchange Wallet to Participate in a Cryptocurrency ICO

Top 3 Reasons Not to Use an Exchange Wallet to Participate in a Cryptocurrency ICO

Top 3 Reasons Not to Use an Exchange Wallet to Participate in a Cryptocurrency ICO

Even though cryptocurrency ICOs have been going on for quite some time now, a lot of basic questions continue to show up. It appears there is a lot of confusion as to why one should never send funds to an ICO from their exchange wallet directly. There are several good reasons as to why this should not be done, though, as we outline below.

3. TRANSACTION DELAYS CAN COST MONEY

Contrary to what some people may think, exchange wallets do not always send out withdrawals right away. In some cases, it can take an hour or longer until your withdrawal is effectively processed. Depending on which cryptocurrency we are talking about, it may take even longer to get the necessary network confirmations. This is anything but a fun experience, especially when it comes to dealing with a cryptocurrency ICO.

These ICOs often provide early investors with some sort of a bonus. Having to wait until the exchange sends out your funds can result in buying less ICO tokens than initially anticipated. It is not something anyone wants to deal with. Even if an ICO is scheduled to last multiple days, there is no reason not to transfer funds to your own wallet first before participating in a crowdsale.

2. AN EXCHANGE WALLET IS NOT YOUR WALLET

It may be hard for novice users to understand this principle, but a cryptocurrency wallet is not like a bank account. With a bank account, you rely on a third-party service provider to safeguard your funds. That is exactly what exchange wallets are, yet they do not let users spend their funds as they want. You always need “permission” from the exchange wallet service provider to move funds around, which is both annoying and risky.

There is a big difference between an exchange wallet and a private wallet. With a private wallet, you are the only one controlling the wallet address and its associated private key. An exchange wallet is generated on your behalf, yet you have no control over it whatsoever. Although you can freely use an exchange wallet, it is not your digital property by any means. Unless you own its private key, it’s not yours, nor is any of the money associated with it.

1. YOU WON’T GET YOUR TOKENS (RIGHT AWAY)

Perhaps the biggest complication that arises when using an exchange wallet is how the purchased ICO tokens are not yours to control by any means. In most cases, a cryptocurrency ICO smart contract will send money back to the address the deposit was made from. If that wallet is an exchange wallet, the exchange is the actual owner of the tokens you purchased using their wallet. That is a rather disturbing way of buying ICO tokens, yet the end user cannot claim ownership of the tokens, as they do not own the wallet’s private key.

Granted, in some cases, exchanges will eventually support these ICO tokens and return the purchased amount to the customer. However, one has to keep in mind they have no legal obligation to do so by any means. If you send money to a cryptocurrency ICO address from a wallet, you do not fully control as the sole owner, it is your own fault. All ICOs clearly warn users not to send funds from an exchange to avoid any complications.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author: JP Buntinx

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

What Do UK Election Results And Brexit Mean For Cryptocurrency Value

What Do UK Election Results And Brexit Mean For Cryptocurrency Value

What Do UK Election Results And Brexit Mean For Cryptocurrency Value

The United Kingdom’s Conservative Party failed to secure a clear majority in the UK election on Thursday. The political upheaval surrounding Prime Minister Theresa May sent shockwaves throughout the economy. The New York Times reports London’s position as a “dominant global financial center” could be jeopardized. According to CNBC, by Friday morning the British pound dropped to the lowest value it has had in months: $1.2632.

"The financial markets had almost already priced-in a hard Brexit and will now have to quickly reassess their position,” Nigel Green, CEO of the financial consultancy deVere Group, said in a press release. "As this adjustment takes place we can expect the uncertainty in the financial markets not only to continue but to intensify.” Although the pound is expected to recover, recent developments in London raise questions about the future of global fintech markets. Will the U.K. elections increase growing demand for cryptocurrency like bitcoin?

The pound has long been considered a “safe haven” currency for international investors and people with long-term savings. The London-based founder of BitcoinAfrica.io, Alexander Lielacher, wrote in a blog post that he is optimistic the British government will invest in blockchain as it moves away from the European Union.

“Since the UK government will lose out of tax revenues from its traditional banking sector as banks are moving operations to the Eurozone,” he wrote on the cryptocurrency site BTCmanager. “It is not too far-fetched to think that the government may put more effort into supporting its tech and, more so, the fintech sector.”

The U.K. is one of the few places in the world with a regulatory fintech “sandbox,” a nimble legal structure that is particularly advantageous for blockchain businesses. “The party that can protect the fintech industry is one that can negotiate a Brexit that causes the least amount of damage to the UK financial services and technology industries,” British fintech expert Elizabeth Lumley told Forbes before the election.

Plus, even bad news for the pound could be good news for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether. The Telegraph reported Hargreaves Lansdown, the U.K.’s largest online trading platform, will soon let customers invest in bitcoin. Meanwhile, Coinfirm, a blockchain compliance and analytics platform based in London, told International Business Times the British company is currently working on a partnership with the American company CSI Capital Management to support blockchain assets and cryptocurrency investments. An uptick in British customers with bitcoin pensions could set a precedent for international blockchain pensions.

The number one reason why cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology aren’t widely adopted yet is because of confusion over regulatory standards. Coinfirm aims to provide a standardized and blockchain agnostic platform, which means it is integrable and technically compatible with everything from bitcoin to Ethereum, Dash and Ripple. “Brexit smexit,” the startup’s CMO Grant Blaisdell told IBT over Skype. “It’s only going to add fuel to it. Any time there is instability it’s going to add more fuel and more reasons to back this [blockchain] ecosystem.”

It’s too soon to say how British politics will impact the global demand for cryptocurrencies. But people like Coinfirm’s CEO, Pawel Kuskowski, don’t appear concerned the shift in British politics will undermine their regulatory safe haven, at least not the fintech ecosystem. Kuskowski told IBT in an email that London will continue to reign as the global capital of the blockchain ecosystem. Brexit or moves towards isolation may drive traditional banking institutions away, but it could also increase the flexibility and strength of the U.K.'s regulatory independence.

"The British pound will be always connected to the performance of the economy," Kuskowski's statement said. "Institutions may find solutions for international transfer of funds and commerce using blockchain and cryptocurrencies. This something that has to be seriously explored as blockchain could provide a serious benefit in a time like this for the U.K."

Article by Leigh Cuen

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

The new cryptocurrency gold rush: digital tokens that raise millions in minutes

The new cryptocurrency gold rush: digital tokens that raise millions in minutes

The new cryptocurrency gold rush: digital tokens that raise millions in minutes

 

New York City

About a dozen rain-soaked people were crammed between the revolving doors and security barriers in the lobby of New York University’s Stern School of Business as torrents pelted down outside. All desperately wanted in to the hottest ticket in town, one that promised to make some of them overnight millionaires, if not billionaires. Among them was Dan Morehead, a former Wall Street titan turned bitcoin investor, and a dentist working on a blockchain startup who had flown in from Seoul.

“I don’t really care that you overbooked, it’s not my problem! I don’t care about a refund,” one agitated man seeking entry barked at two T-shirt clad twentysomethings on the other side, one of them clutching a clipboard.

“You can be upset and raise your voice, but we can’t change anything,” one of the gatekeepers replied.

“We have three clients down there!” another man interjected.

The clipboard holder dutifully scribbled down names. When it was my turn, she said NYU wanted to clear out the huddled mass blocking the building’s entrance: “The auditorium holds like 470 people. We have more than 500 people down there right now. NYU is calling security.”

Inside, a conference called “Token Summit” was in full swing. The event was the first to focus on a rapidly snowballing phenomenon called cryptocurrency token offerings—a new fundraising method that allows companies to raise millions of dollars in mere minutes.

The cryptocurrency world has gone mad for token offerings. These launches, popularly known as ICOs or initial coin offerings, have already raised more than $150 million this year, according to research firm Smith + Crown. They are seen as a disruptive new mechanism that could displace traditional venture capitalists from the fund raising process—a view that’s been endorsed by a coterie of brand name VCs themselves—and remake the internet’s business model with decentralized applications and cryptocurrencies. Take an outfit known as Gnosis, a decentralized prediction market, which raised $12 million in under 15 minutes, valuing it at $300 million. Investors had invested based solely on a PDF prepared by its founders (recently a firm called Brave raised $35 million in 30 seconds).

As cryptocurrency prices exploded, ICO fever gripped the over 2,700 blockchain tech enthusiasts who descended on New York in late May for a series of back-to-back industry conferences. Rumors flew about the fortunes being made, as the cryptocurrency ethereum climbed from $127 per unit of ether at the start of the week to $228 by Thursday. The head of an ethereum app development shop was said to hold 6 million ether, meaning he went from being a mere millionaire on Monday to an ether billionaire, holding $1.4 billion worth of the stuff, three days later. “Out of the 2,700 attendees there were at least 500 millionaires, and between zero to five billionaires,” said one longtime observer of the cryptocurrency scene, who wanted to remain anonymous.

Why are tokens a big deal?

The oracles of Silicon Valley say token offerings could reinvent the “freemium” business model of the internet, upending the huge centralized services—think of Facebook or Google—that have emerged. Instead of enticing users with free services, paid for by venture capital, and then eventually turning a profit by showing ads to those users, tokens offer a direct channel for capital to flow between user and the technologist.

The user would pay for a token upfront, providing funds for coders to develop the promised technology. If the technology works as advertised and gains popularity, it should attract more users, thus increasing demand for the token offered at the start. As the token value increases, those early users who bought tokens will benefit from appreciating token prices. Each token offering has different rules around the total supply of tokens and when they are released.

“This is a ‘better-than-free’ business model, where users make money for being early adopters,” write Balaji Srinivasan and Naval Ravikant, a partner at venture firm Andreessen Horowitz and the founder of investing platform AngelList, respectively. Ravikant has launched a platform called CoinList that will help accredited investors put money into token launches.

Token offerings could also correct an imbalance in the way financial rewards are distributed among technologists. Historically, the people who develop foundational technologies, such as protocols, have watched from the sidelines as others—firms that build the applications running atop those protocols—reap the riches. The Google search engine, for instance, is an application that trawls the world wide web, which is made up of a collection of open-source protocols. Yet it’s Google’s founders who are billionaires and not Tim Berners-Lee, who came up with the protocols that made not just Google, but the entire web, possible.

Cryptotokens could change that because protocol creators now have a way to be rewarded for the success of their technology, without having to create a hit application on top of it. “With tokens … the creators of a protocol can ‘monetize’ it directly and will in fact benefit more as others build businesses on top of that protocol,” writes Albert Wenger, a partner at Union Square Ventures.

This is the argument behind the “fat protocol” investment thesis: the protocols of the past were “thin” and unable to accrue financial value. The application layer resting atop those protocols were the ones to reap the rewards. But cryptotokens could enable the protocols of today to become “fat”—creating more wealth and value than even the enormously successful applications of the past. “These new ‘fat protocols’ may eventually create and capture more value than the last generation of Internet companies,” Srinivasan and Ravikant write.

Venture firms who subscribe to this theory have wasted no time putting their money where their mouths are. This is why firms like Union Square Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz have backed funds like Polychain Capital, which invest exclusively in token offerings. While the tokens are being raised for digital services at the moment—things like storage, identity management, or chat room stickers—one can imagine them being used for offline products and services someday in the future, too.

Nor are tokens limited to new projects. The chat platform Kik, with 15 million monthly active users, launched its own token last week at the conference, in the hopes of seeding an “economy built around chat (pdf).” In practice this means Kik users can earn and spend on special stickers, images, or even entry to celebrity chat rooms using the chat app’s Kin token. Unlike traditional loyalty points issued by a merchant, however, the Kin tokens are decentralized because they are issued on top of ethereum (more on that below). The Kin digital currency could exist even if the chat app vanished after issuance—although it probably wouldn’t be used very much and would be worth little.

What are tokens, exactly?

At this stage, an explainer on what tokens are, exactly, is helpful. You can think of a token offering as a hybrid between a Kickstarter campaign and a stock market flotation. On one hand, the launch lets customers reserve a product or service before it’s completed and ready for the market—that’s the Kickstarter part. On the other hand, it also gives those customers a stake in the future of that product or service; if the service gains in popularity, the token should rise in price, enriching the original users, making it a lot like getting in on a hot IPO. However, one of those analogies puts token issuers squarely in the sights of securities regulators, so the distinction is crucial. More on that later when we discuss the legal gray area that tokens occupy.

Like the rest of the cryptocurrency industry, token offerings rely on a basic circular logic: A token has as much value as its users bestow on it, just as bitcoin rises in price so long as demand outstrips supply. But token boosters say their units of digital currency are different from bitcoin in one critical respect: they are programmable, and have been coded to perform various useful functions.

Tokens issued today are built atop ethereum, the second most valuable cryptocurrency on the market. Ethereum is like bitcoin because it is a tradable digital currency, which is called ether. It’s unlike bitcoin because it was designed with its own programming language—a significant departure from, and its creators say, an upgrade over, bitcoin. This language allows people to write “smart contracts” or automatically executed agreements on ethereum. A bond, for instance, might automatically pay out its coupon, without the need for an intermediary or paperwork.

It turns out that ethereum’s programming language is powerful enough that coders can write smart contracts that issue new units of digital currency, bound by their own rules. This is what the tokens offered today are: a series of complicated ethereum smart contracts. The ethereum network itself is being used as a giant token-issuing machine. “Right now ethereum is a token factory,” says Muneeb Ali, co-founder of Blockstack, a startup working on building tools for a decentralized internet.

The circularity of cryptocurrency economics is at play again here: Ethereum itself raised capital from its users by offering ether tokens in 2014, raising $18 million. The ethereum protocol then became a staging ground for experiments in token funding: A vehicle called the Decentralized Autonomous Organization managed to raise $150 million on the promise that it would be a new form of business structure, one that automated away managers using a combination of smart contracts and tokens. It was promptly hacked for millions and flamed out spectacularly.

An ethereum-based token is to ether as a concert ticket is to a US dollar, Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at the Coin Center think tank, suggests. “In the real world we often use all sorts of items rather like we use cash,” he writes. “We use tickets, coupons … and a variety of bearer instruments because they entitle the holder to different things.” These customized tokens can be traded on secondary markets, like exchanges, and have their own value, independent of the price of ether.

Orange groves and securities law

While the potential of token launches remains vague, though powerful, almost everyone I spoke to at the New York conferences agreed on one thing: The US government would crack down on the offerings eventually. No one seems to think the good times for ICOs will last.

The legality of tokens hinges on something called the “Howey test,” named after a Florida company in the 1940s that tried to raise capital by selling contracts against its citrus groves—a practice that the US Supreme Court ruled was similar to a stock offering. At the Consensus conference, the debate about whether or not ICOs were like citrus grove contracts was captured by an exchange between Van Valkenburg, who argued that tokens are like products and not securities, and Preston Bryne, a lawyer and founder of a blockchain company called Monax.

“It’s like buying gold … it’s not like buying a security in a gold mine,” said Van Valkenburg. Responded Bryne, “This is complete nonsense. Everybody knows what this is. It’s, in substance and form, the sale of investments that people are purchasing with expectation of profit at a later date.”

Of course, what really matters is the regulator’s opinion. The US Securities and Exchange Commission hasn’t weighed in on the matter yet. But an SEC official who spoke at the Consensus conference, Valerie Szczepanik, who heads its unit looking at blockchain tech, sounded a note of caution, according to Reuters: “Whether or not you are regulated by the SEC, you still have fiduciary duties to your investors. If you want this industry to flourish, protection of investors should be at the forefront.”

Token boosters await official intervention with a mixture of trepidation and relief. Take Stan Miroshnik, who was a veteran investment banker with Morgan Stanley in London. He now runs a firm called Argon that corrals big investors—like cryptocurrency “whales,” adventurous family offices, and hedge funds—into token launches to ensure they’re sold out.

When a group of coders wants to raise money for their project, Miroshnik hits Slack teams, Telegram groups, and gets press in the cryptocurrency trade media to rustle up business. “Having seen the technology boom in the 90s, this is just another emerging capital market,” he says. “It needs institutional grade providers like ourselves who come out of traditional investment banks. One day Fidelity is going to show up and say, ‘I want $4 billion of that token, help me buy it.’ You need someone who can, frankly, speak their language.”

For Miroshnik, the sooner the SEC steps in, the better. “I welcome it,” he says. “It would be helpful to figure out where the boundaries are.”

WRITTEN BY
Joon Ian Wong

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Bitcoin Price Could Double with Scaling Resolution: Hedge Fund

Bitcoin Price Could Double with Scaling Resolution: Hedge Fund

Bitcoin Price Could Double with Scaling Resolution: Hedge Fund

 

Global Advisors, a U.K.-based investment firm that has developed an investment program to provide market exposure to the price of bitcoin, recently offered an upbeat outlook on bitcoin. The assessment noted that Litecoin’s recent soft fork gives reason to think the scaling solution could be applied to bitcoin, possibly doubling its price.

Taking measure of the range of news around bitcoin of late, the Global Advisors’ assessment quoted the late Jesse Livermore in saying “a prudent speculator never argues with the tape.” Livermore, an American who lived from 1877 to 1940, shorted the stock market crashes of both 1907 and 1929 and was worth $100 million at his peak before committing suicide following a series of losses.

While much negative news has been reported on bitcoin, the prices have been strong.

Media Focuses On The Negative

On the negative side, which the media tends to focus on, China has clamped down on bitcoin trading by imposing trading fees and AML/KYC controls. There has also been a ban on withdrawals from cryptocurrency exchanges. There has been a roll-over on the temporary ban and a discount of up to $250 for trapped coins.

Looking further back, the IRS last year subpoenaed Coinbase to release client records for bitcoin trades.

More recently, the dispute between different factions within the bitcoin community over the future development of the bitcoin protocol continues.

The SEC denied the Winklevoss bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

Bitfinex, which suffered a hack last year, continues to lack fiat withdrawal capability.

Why The Price Keeps Rising

Bitcoin’s price, nonetheless, has been on an upward trend throughout all the various challenges.

Global Advisors’ assessment points to Japan, the new hot spot of bitcoin bitcoin trading. The BitFlyer exchange has been successful with Japanese investors, likely due to its advertising campaign. BitFlyer’s sign ups set a new record on Facebook.

Litecoin also creates reason for hope. Segregated Witness, a protocol designed to shorten bitcoin transactions and improve the capacity of the transaction blocks, has been successfully implemented by Litecoin. Litecoin’s price, as a result, has tripled.

Litecoin’s SegWit success holds promise for bitcoin. The price impact on bitcoin could be “shocking,” and a price doubling wouldn’t be unexpected.

The hedge fund stated:

 

“Even though one can find no evidence whatsoever that there were scaling pressures in Litecoin, this upgrade went ahead and if it is even slightly predictive of a path that can be taken in bitcoin, one that will at least show progress if not resolution, the price impact could be significant. A double up wouldn’t be shocking.”

Altcoins overall will serve as “test beds” for bitcoin. New features developed for altcoins can be incorporated into bitcoin. ZCash, Ethereum and other altcoins offer desirable features.

Altcoins Gain Market Share

Ethereum’s and Litecoin’s rises have changed the “bitcoin dominance” metric, the assessment noted. Bitcoin dominance is based on the cryptocurrency’s market capitalization as a percent of all coin market capitalization. This dominance has been dropping as the total value of all coins has increased.

Bitcoin comprised 95% of the total crypto market capitalization three years. It now stands at 60%. Global Advisors termed this a “stunning progression.”

But as noted above, growing altcoins bring positive influences for bitcoin.

Arbitrage opportunities: What do they mean?

Global Advisors noted that it receives a lot of requests for an “arbitrage-only” product, which is not the best use of a company’s time that remains upbeat on bitcoin’s price and on scaling its product offerings.

Arbitrages are a consequence of fragmented bitcoin trading venues and limited capital in each trading venue. Hence, a big unidirectional flow can alter a given price deck, yielding an arbitrage opportunity.

Exchanges have three areas leading to wider arbitrage opportunities: credit/reputation risk, difficulties moving coins and problems moving cash. Chinese domestic coins are currently frozen, for example, while Bitfinex and other exchanges have banking issues.

Combined, these factors present arbitrage opportunities, some of which are untradeable, others requiring patience and still others requiring speculation.

Rather than focus on arbitrage opportunities, Global Advisors believes bitcoin’s best days are still ahead.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Florida Bill Would Punish Criminals Who Use Cryptocurrency

Florida Bill Would Punish Criminals Who Use Cryptocurrency

Florida Bill Would Punish Criminals Who Use Cryptocurrency

 

State lawmakers in Florida have introduced two bills which would add virtual currencies to the state’s money laundering statute. The bills were introduced in the wake of a Miami court case from last year, where a judge ruled that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are not money, and thus did not fall under the state’s money laundering law. The Senate version of the bill, Senate Bill 1626, was first introduced in the Florida Senate on March 3rd by Republican state Senator Rob Bradley. The companion bill in the Florida Houses of Representatives, House Bill 1379, was introduced on March 7th by Republican state Representative Jose Felix Diaz. State Rep. Diaz represents District 116, which includes Miami-Dade County.

On April 18th House Bill 1379 passed the state House’s Appropriations Committee unanimously, and on Monday the 24th the bill unanimously passed the the state House’s Judiciary Committee. The House version of the bill was added to the Special Order calendar for Wednesday the 27th, where the bill could be voted on by the full state House of Representatives. Senate Bill 1626 unanimously passed the state Senate’s Criminal Justice Committee on March 27th, and then unanimously passed the Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice on April 13th. The Senate’s version of the bill is now being considered by the state Senate’s Appropriations Committee.

The two bills were drafted with the help of Katherine Fernandez Rundle, a cybercrimes prosecutor from Miami-Dade County.“The high-tech criminals of the 21st Century use virtual currencies like bitcoin to accumulate and hide the profits of their illegal activities. This legislation makes sure that traffickers and fraudsters can no longer try to use internet-based currencies to hide and move their ill-gotten gains,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement.

The proposed legislation would define virtual currency as “a medium of exchange in electronic or digital format that is not a coin or currency of the United States or any other country.” The language used in both bills is practically identical. For now, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are not among the types of financial instruments and transactions which are applicable to the money laundering statute. The current law in Florida prohibits people from gaining money from a criminal activity, as well as prohibits using money to further a criminal activity. Due to the court ruling from last year, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are not legally recognized as money, and therefore cannot be treated as such under the state’s current money laundering law. If the proposed legislation is enacted, prosecutors will still need to prove that a person intended to help launder money, or intended to help further criminal activity.

In the case which inspired the two bills a Florida man, Michell Espinoza, fell victim to undercover law enforcement agents who tried to set him up in a sting operation by buying, what at the time was, $1,500 US Dollars worth of bitcoin. The undercover agents told Espinoza that they had planned to purchase stolen credit card numbers with the bitcoin he was selling them. Michell Espinoza won his case and was cleared of all charges in July of 2016. The state unsuccessfully tried to appeal the judge’s ruling in that case, but were unsuccessful.

While legislators may intend for the two new bills to make people like Michell Espinoza into criminals, it is important to remember something that Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Teresa Mary Pooler wrote in her eight page opinion in the case of the State of Florida v. Michell Abner Espinoza, where Judge Pooler wrote, “This court is unwilling to punish a man for selling his property to another, when his actions fall under a statute that is so vaguely written that even legal professionals have difficulty finding a singular meaning.” Even if the new bills are enacted, it is possible that future defendants being prosecuted under Florida’s money laundering statute could successfully argue that the law is unconstitutional in that it violates the vagueness doctrine.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Cryptocurrency Costs Unlikely to Crowd Out Fiat Currencies in Korea.

Cryptocurrency Costs Unlikely to Crowd Out Fiat Currencies in Korea

Cryptocurrency Costs Unlikely to Crowd Out Fiat Currencies in Korea
 

South Korea’s central bank has published a new working paper analyzing a dual-currency regime by pitting cryptocurrencies against traditional fiat currencies.

Penned by economists and academics from the Bank of Korea and Seoul’s Hongik University, the working paper, titled ‘Crowding out in a Dual Currency Regime? Digital versus Fiat Currency’, was published earlier this week.

“We examine the impact of a privately issued digital currency and fiat currency using the simplest framework, with which we may derive the most straightforward implications,” reads the introduction of the paper. “More specifically, we attempt to answer the question of whether digital currency will crowd out fiat currency.”

The authors claim their research employs the ‘simplest model of monetary economics’ to drive these straightforward implications with the minimum number of assumptions. The research considers dual currency regime, one which sees the coexistence of privately-issued digital currencies and fiat currencies issued by the government. Bitcoin is underlined is a notable example of a private digital currency.

Making note of a number of efforts with central banks exploring the possibility of issuing their own digital currencies, the researchers point to the example of the Bank of England which has publicly revealed its effort to do so. Such an attempt “could drastically change our monetary system” the authors write.

According to the researchers, the costs associated with both fiat and digital currencies will see both of them function together with each other’s drawbacks. High costs in using one could inturn spur demand for the other, and vice-versa, allowing both fiat and digital currencies to co-exist. They state:

“High costs of using fiat currency increase the demand for digital currency. Similarly, high costs of using digital currency relative to fiat currency raise the demand for fiat currency. In a world of imperfect currencies with uncertain costs associated with the use of a currency, it is unlikely that the relative costs of using digital currency will be low enough to drive out and accordingly crowd out fiat currency entirely. Our results rather suggest that the threshold of equating the demand for fiat currency with that for digital currency will allow the co-existence of both currencies.”

Fiat currencies have been historically known to decrease continuously, the authors confirm, due to inflation and the factor of new money pumped in to the supply by the central bank, also known as quantitative easing.

Bitcoin, in stark contrast, has a fixed supply which would imply a “deflationary bias”, the authors note.

“This could lead to a situation in which Bitcoin drives out fiat currency as a store of value,” the authors speculate, before quickly adding:

However, security or trust issues – the decentralization of digital currency and the absence of insurance provided by governmental authorities – may prevent digital currency from being used as a store of value. Instead, digital currency may be used as a medium of exchange dominantly.

The authors also point to future research possibilities, such as covering the topic of digital money appreciating due to ever-increasing demand and the possibility of a triple currency regime, one which would see private digital currencies like bitcoin, central bank digital currencies and fiat currencies operate together.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

UK Banks Shun Bitcoin !

Banks in the United Kingdom are turning a deaf ear to bitcoin exchanges, despite the government’s pro-blockchain position, according to financial writer Roger Aitken, writing in Forbes. Unless the situation changes, the banks will undermine bitcoin’s progress and drive Cryptocurrency entrepreneurs out of the banking system.

This fact together with the uncertainty  surrounding the pound due to Brexit could be a disaster for those who live in the UK, the banks are feeling under threat. Hopefully the government will step in and tell them not to be so stupid.

Cryptopay, a bitcoin brokerage, recently informed customers that it will no longer support British Pound deposits and withdrawals on account of new bank policies. Such incidents have increased as bitcoin has gained popularity.

Cancellation of GBP deposit and withdrawal facilities limits people to Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) transfers, making Cryptopay’s buying and selling useless to most British customers.

U.K. Banks Shun Bitcoin

A dozen or more U.K. brokerages and bitcoin exchanges have suffered over the past three to four years as banking facilities have become unavailable. Some have closed or resorted to awkward arrangements.

Britcoin, which became rebranded as Intersango, started in 2011. It faced problems with U.K. bank transfers before eventually closing. An August 2012 update noted that bridging the gap between bitcoin and the conventional banking system was costly on account of technical issues, missing transfers, and accounts frozen and closed without warning.

In 2014, Bit121 had a promising start, but banks withdrew their support and the exchange closed.

In Bitcoin We Trust suffered the same fate. It resorted to using postal orders before giving up.

Coinfloor, one of the only U.K. exchanges still operating, uses SWIFT transfers, which incur hefty costs and delays. The minimum transfer is £1,000 (c.$1,250).

Banks Pour On The Pressure

CoinJournal, a bitcoin publication, saw its banking services come to an abrupt end after its U.K. banking provider Barclays terminated its business account. CoinJournal received no official warnings prior to its account closure. Even more alarmingly, Barclays still hasn’t given a reason for the extreme action.

CoinJournal believes the decision taken by Barclays to close its business account was an “automated” call, after seeing a pattern of banking transactions involving prominent bitcoin exchange and service provider Circle.

The decision was likely “a result of us using Circle to transfer fiat from ad revenue into bitcoin to pay our writers and some overheads,” a representative for the publication told CCN.

Similar scenarios have played out in Australia and New Zealand.

BitNZ, a New Zealand bitcoin exchange, has announced it is closing due to the refusal of New Zealand banks to allow bank accounts to trade bitcoins, and has advised customers to withdraw all funds before April 15, 2017.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is scrutinizing attempts by Australia’s biggest banks to swallow fintech companies developing technologies like blockchain solutions in the financial sector.

P2P Services Fill The Void

Peer-to-peer services match individual buyers and sellers in the U.K. in lieu of traditional exchanges. Trust is established by reputation.

Once a buyer has paid, usually with a bank transfer the seller sends the bitcoins.

As for other nations, Russia recently relaxed its regulatory position and taken a “wait and see” approach. It has effectively legalized bitcoin and allowed for exchanges to operate.
Switzerland is a more progressive country. It is easy to buy bitcoins through a network of ATMs on the rail system.

In Japan, it is possible to pay electric bills with bitcoin.

The United States has a more complex regulatory framework. But progress is on the horizon since the New York BitLicense took effect in 2015, with other state’s following a similar approach.

Bitcoin is legal in China, although the central bank recently stopped highly leveraged trading.

U.K. Banks At Odds With Government

The banking sector is clearly at odds with the U.K. government, which is openly pro-blockchain. The situation is peculiar, with the government saying the country is open to bitcoin but the banking sector standing in the way.

Since the financial crisis, the taxpayer has become the majority shareholder in the Royal Bank of Scotland, holding at around 82% of the bank. This would normally translate into a certain amount of leverage by the taxpayer.

The U.K. also has a reputation for being a fintech hub, to which the banking sector seems to have taken exception.

For whatever reason, the banks have closed ranks and chosen not to work with bitcoin.

The fact that bitcoin is decentralised and fiat currency is centralised could be at the root of the conflict.

Also read: Blockchain platform Waves raises more than $2m at the start of the crowdsale campaign

What’s To Be Done?

Money cannot flow easily from the blockchain economy to the traditional financial sector and vice versa without banks’ cooperation. The bitcoin sector is not large enough to offer all the goods and services needed to make bitcoin a sufficiently broad means of payment.

Bitcoin’s volatility also makes it an unsuitable unit of account or store of value. While it’s a great transfer medium, its price against fiat fluctuates too much for most people.

The bitcoin economy won’t expand until bitcoin is better suited as a means of payment. But it won’t be better suited without more growth and stability.

Waves, a custom blockchain tokens platform, offers a solution – fiat-backed blockchain tokens. It raised $16 million last summer through crowdfunding. Waves can act as a gateway between the blockchain and the fiat world.

Customers pay money into the gateway using a bank transfer or another suitable means, and the gateway issues them the same sum in blockchain tokens

The same exchange occurs in reverse when customers cash out their Waves GBP and have them sent as “real” GBP to their bank account. Waves essentially serves as a toolkit.

Sasha Ivanov, CEO and founder of Waves, noted that Waves can make money more efficient. By putting fiat money on the blockchain, Waves can make it more transparent and faster, and it can reduce the cost of sending it abroad.

Ivanov thinks Waves can introduce competition and encourage banks to become more accountable. If banks in one sector in one country won’t work with Waves, it will work with those in another jurisdiction.

Waves does not immediately solve the problem of U.K. banks’ hostility to bitcoin, but it suggests the roadblocks are not insurmountable. The answer may be to work around them rather than with them.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Bitcoin is back above $1,000

 

Bitcoin is back above $1,000

Bitcoin is is back above $1,000 for the first time since January 5. The cryptocurrency was higher by 1.5% at $1,000.10 a coin as of 11:39 a.m. ET.

It's been a wild year for bitcoin. It began 2017 with a 20% rally during the first five days of the year before crashing 35% on concerns of a crackdown on trading in China.

Thursday's gains have extended bitcoin's winning streak to a sixth straight session as trade appears to be benefitting from uncertainty surrounding Donald Trump's presidency. The cryptocurrency has gained nearly 10% since Trump was inaugurated on January 20.

I believe that is the $1,000 level can be maintained  we will see a rise again later in the year. The recent trend has been upwards but it wil peak and then fall again.

I have been earning free bitcoins at Bitearn , by completing surveys, the rewards are not great , the equivalent of less than a pound a day, which I transfer to my wallet. This adds interest to tracking the market both in Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies.

Today Infinity Economics Launched thier wallet to members. The next few weeks will see added functions, as it is much more than a wallet.

David Ogden

Earn Free Bitcoins Here

 

 

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden