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As we know, PayPal was never ready to bet on bitcoin due to several reasons. PayPal chief executive, Dan Schulman announced last month that PayPal is not focused on the digital currency market. One of the main reasons for this “untrust” was the volatility of cryptocurrency because which made the retailers are not willing to accept it in most parts of the world.

future of bitcoin

Is Dan Schulman right or wrong?

And that statement was not false at all, we have noted in the past few months that because of the bitcoin fluctuating up and down, even 20 percent over a couple of weeks, very low margin is left behind for the retailers. Thus, they have to lose a good deal of money on every sale and purchase.

While Schulman also stated that though the blockchain technology is something we can trust and count upon, still PayPal has a lot of options to bring some serious innovations in this technology too.

No doubt it is crystal clear that due to certain irregularities, there are a lot of hidden risks associated with the crypto investment. That’s why South Korea has banned bitcoin exchanges. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon called bitcoin a “fraud” last year and said he would fire any trader who traded in it.

Peter Thiel’s Point of View

Aside from the above-mentioned point of view shown by Schulman, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel recently described Bitcoin as

“a hedge against the whole world falling apart”.

He further exclaimed that while he did not foresee Bitcoin replacing traditional currency, yet there is a strong chance that it may replace gold at some stage.

How can Bitcoin Replace Gold?

When asked to explain in detail his point of view, Peter Thiel explained his thoughts that he was not talking about a new payments system, rather it is like bars of solid gold secured in a vault that has no chance to move anywhere, and it is what he called as a sort of hedge against the whole world going falling apart.

When he was told that Bitcoin has traded around $8000 last week as continuous downward pressure from brokers, he replied that there was a probability of up to 80 percent of the world’s first cryptocurrency to become worthless.

Despite all these statements by the experts, gold remains one of the most liquid assets, traded daily in well-established exchanges all around the world. According to the London Bullion Market Association each day, gold worth of billions is traded in London alone. And to be frank, the cryptocurrency market is not quite there yet.

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Will Pantera Fund Succeed, Even if Bitcoin Flops?

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As the first U.S. Bitcoin investment firm, Pantera Capital mainly focuses on tokens and projects related to crypto assets. Its chief executive officer, Dan Morehead (CEO) recently claimed that even if bitcoin fails, the Pantera fund would still not disappoint the crypto investors and they would continue to make money.

The above-mentioned words of Morehead were a part of his statement, which was included in a letter sent to Pantera’s investors. According to Dan Morehead in case any bad luck they could even make use of Pantera’s ICO Fund. Though Pantera´s ICO Fund lost about 25 percent of its value last year, it is still up more than 200 percent of its value since its creation. Pantera Capital is famous for exploring and growing digital coin ventures.

pantera fund

Facts behind Pantera’s Success Strategy

After its huge success with Bitcoin, Pantera has expanded its mode of investments to buy other digital tokens. Most prominent one of these is the Pantera Digital Asset fund, which currently holds 25 cryptocurrencies. Many of these tokens were introduced through the ICOs (initial coin offerings).

Advice For The Investors

A letter was sent to the investors by Morehead in which it was noted that if bitcoin fails, the hedge will still work well. Taking an example of Pantera’s ICO Fund, he highlighted that it’s going to be still positive for them. In his letter, Dan Morehead, advised investors to have 1 or 2 percent of their portfolio invested in blockchain technology. He further explained that he was not certain either blockchain will be able to make a return of 20,000% again or not.

It was also revealed by Morehead that he is optimistic about ICOs, as he expects their thriving success to be similar to the 90s IPO boom, however it’s much bigger if they’re compared. ICOs have been under pressure lately, as dozens of subpoenas have been issued by the US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission).

The Bitter Example Of Amazon

Morehead further elaborated his point by presenting the example of Amazon. If someone remembers, Amazon was a major investor behind Pets.com. Although the company was filed for bankruptcy, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos still managed to earn an intense amount of wealth due to his innovative set of strategies.

According to Morehead this was only because Bezos’ investment strategy was to put his money in more than one companies, and he did so to make sure that he had exposure to the ultimate winners.

After the bankruptcy of Pets.com, Amazon’s shares came down to 4,000 percent which still is a handsome amount and that’s why Bezos is one of the richest people on earth as he’s still worth over 130 billion dollars.

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A Greater Russian Bond- Sberbank & MIT

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One of the biggest arms in Russian investment disc and the largest bank in the corporate and investment banking business of Russia, Sberbank CIB implemented the first of its kind blockchain based commercial bond transaction in the country. Joining hands with Russia’s telecoms expert MTS and the National Settlement Depository (NSD) smart contracts have been placed using commercial Rouble-denominated bonds.

blockchain bond

The Bond Deal

Sberbank CIB was the main organizer of the event. Sberbank was the main buyer of the issue of MTS bonds. Bonds have the maturity term of 6-months and the total sum of RUB 750 million. The annual rate of the bond in the OTC market stays at 6.8%.

The blockchain bonds technology was completely provided and supported by NSD. A full Delivery versus Payment (DVP) settlement model was based on blockchain bonds. This enabled a laidback transfer of securities and funds simultaneously. It is based on Hyperledger Fabric 1.1 to carry out the transactions.

Commercial bonds are placed on an over-the-counter (OTC) market through the private subscription. These commercial bonds are unsecured fixed-income securities.

The system implemented is highly transparent, including bond placement, circulation and record keeping. The system only operates using digitalized assets making it extremely secure and sheltered.

All the three entities had access to the transaction into the blockchain platform. Including the issuer, the central depository, and the investor. Considering all the obligations and necessities of the Russian legislation in dealing with all the accounts was made necessary. Confidentiality was kept foremost priority in dealings throughout.

All the participants could transfer and exchange the documents online and check the subsequent transaction’s status in the actual time it occurred. The full execution of the deal was able to be seen, from the placement of the bonds to the receiving of the cash.

This collaboration between the MTS and the Sberbank CIB is the first of its nature which enabled blockchains and blockchain bonds to gain the status of an industrial technology which accelerated securities settlement and certified confidentiality.

The initiators claim that the main aim is to an exemplary digital asset accounting infrastructure joining hands with market leaders. Infrastructure plays a crucial role for institutional investors to enter the market and for the increase in market’s capitalism and market’s successful development. The infrastructure plays an essential role in the flourished market growth.

Future Plans

Sberbank has already shown interests in blockchain projects previously. Last year the executive member of the company announced that the bank is in process cooperating with the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) on a project which is on a distributed ledger technology (DLT).

The delay in the project is mainly because of some unsolved and pending matters including some slow interaction of blockchain applicants. The Sberbank CIB has though forecasted great hopes and high expectations from the initiative. He also declared involvement of the bank in further other blockchain based projects.

Sberbank has also announced its blockchain laboratory which will develop blockchain based solutions. It will carry out pilot projects, product prototypes and implement applied business solutions for Sberbank CIB.

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Australia Introduces Regulations for Cryptocurrency Exchanges

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According to the latest information on the website of AUSTRAC (Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre), digital currency exchanges must have to be registered with authorities now and should also commit to several identity checking and reporting procedures. It’s been confirmed by the Australian government as well that the Australian cryptocurrency exchanges are abided by the new AML (Anti-Money Laundering) rules.

The Australian authorities are trying their best to close the remaining loopholes in cryptocurrency usage, concerning identity management and taxation of cryptocurrency. In contrast to a backdrop of discontent due to such sharp upsurge in scams, last week, the Australian Taxation Office was asked for taxpayer’s contribution into how deductions rising from the cryptocurrency returns should be assembled efficiently.

cryptocurrency exchange

Four-Principle Rules

Meanwhile, exchanges now must follow the four prime rules so that they can function above board, as a part of the security reformation. Following are the four rules:

  • Identification and verification of identities of their clients.
  • Keeping particular records for 7-years.
  • Accepting and maintaining a CTF/ AML program for the identification, alleviation, and management of terrorism financing perils and money laundering.
  • 6 months refinement period that will escort the new regulations, in which AUSTRAC will be a lot more compassionate on operators who “fall short of requirements.”
  • Reporting to AUSTRAC sceptical issues, and transactions linked to the physical currency of $10,000 and even more.

The laws relating to cryptocurrency exchanges regulations in Australia are also getting stricter, while the government has guaranteed that the investors wouldn’t feel left out. The Australian government took feedback from the public to know what their views are on the cryptocurrency taxation structure and are they going to like it or not.

The ATO (Australian Tax Office) had also posted:

“We’ve timed this consultation to coincide with an update to our website, which should address some of the feedback we have received to date about our cryptocurrency guidance. We’re eager to hear your feedback about cryptocurrency and its tax implications as the technology may impact how business operates in the future.”

Feedback from Taxpayers

Many governments across the world are getting stricter, especially when it comes to the taxation of cryptocurrencies. Many exchanges are being forced by the governments to disclose the data of consumers and to send out subpoenas to investors who have high net-worth. While many governments are getting stricter, the decision of Australian government to get the feedback from taxpayers before applying these tax laws is notable.

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10 Things to Know about Bitcoin

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Anonymous- is it?

Unlike the myth and fallacy surrounding the concept, bitcoin is not really anonymous. Yes, you heard it right! Hackers and these cyber criminals can get into almost anything. Just not them, the government too. They can trace down almost anything that comes up on the internet cloud.

The data nodes collected on Bitcoin network can help determine the location where the data originated from.

Countries regarding Bitcoin

Due to its uninfluential and independent nature, a lot of government bodies are not in favor of this digital money. It is mainly because it is not in their control. They also see it as a threat to their monetary value. Countries like Japan and Australia see Bitcoin as any other currency. While countries that have unsteady monetary values like Jordan and Lebanon have official statement discouraging the use of the Bitcoin.

Limited Coins

The founder of the Bitcoin-only made a fixed amount of these Coins. There are exactly 21 million mines that are available. But they are not all circulated yet. Only 16 million are mined up till now and these are being circulated around. More and more coins are being mined every day by the miners though.

Monopoly, but not Only

Being the pioneer and the head start of the idea, Bitcoin enjoys more media coverage and attention than most of the other cryptocurrencies. But there are more cryptocurrencies actively operating too. Ether, DentaCoin, and Litecoin Cash are also taking place and recognition in the crypto market.

Bitcoin- more popular than you might know

‘The New Gold’ – That’s what the world sees Bitcoin today. The immense popularity and power this decentralized currency is emerging with have enforced governments to put their heads in the Bitcoin world. Superpowers like China and Japan have entered this Armageddon and are supporting and helping the mining of these coins.

Bitcoin By?

Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym behind the whole idea was thought to be a Japanese. There are a number of theories surrounding the emergence of these coins, but there is not a final concluded verdict supporting the impression.

A lot of theories are evolving the name of NSA in the matter but none are openly talking about it. A higher speculation claims that an American computer scientist and cryptographer, Nick Szabo is the real inventor. The claims have been thoroughly denied.

It’s not just used on the black market

Its seen as a common practice that the criminals tend to use a new tech quicker and adapt it more often than the normal citizens. The greatest attraction for these black marketeers was that it had anonymity linked to it no matter where the transaction goes.

But these transactions are not only limited to such users only. Companies like Dell, Microsoft, REEDS Jewelers and Expedia, all accept Bitcoins as means of transaction.

The FBI- largest Bitcoin wallets

FBI accomplished to shut down a major black-market site a few years back. ‘Silk Road’ was one of the largest site operating a great deal of illegal and unlawful activities. The transactions on that site were carried by using Bitcoins. All the coins being circulated were indirectly acquired by the FBI.

FBI now holds around 1.5% of the total coins being circulated in the world. Considering the ownership of a limited number of people in the affair, it surely is quite a lot of share.

Bitcoin- where on your taxes?

The emergence of Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies has already put governments and financial security agencies at the higher stake. According to Internal Revenue Services (IRS), the U.S government has started to acknowledge these coins as currencies. The IRS categorizes it as current assets like bonds and stocks. So, according to the statement, tax regulations apply to these, as to the other current assets. A tax payable due!

the most expensive pizza

the worlds most expensive pizza was purchased by Laszlo Hanyecz. But how expensive was it? It was more than $198 million! Yes, it was! How did it even happen? So, here is how:

the first legal purchase was done by this person, Laszlo Hanyecz, from Papa Jones. He was a computer programmer and coin holder. He ordered a pizza and decided to pay in Bitcoins. He paid 10,000 Bitcoins which were equivalent to $40 at that time. But today, it cost him in millions! Pretty expensive pizza, right?

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What Is Bitcoin Hard Fork? The Most Heated Bitcoin Topic Explained!

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To begin with, Bitcoin has been the talk of every news channel, tabloid, website, etc. for a long while now. It’s increasing popularity might’ve caused a little problem for the network. Bitcoin is in a messy situation right now and something needs to be done. Fortunately, two possible solutions have been proposed as well, but only one can exist.

 

bitcoin hard fork

 

What’s The Issue?

In simple words, Bitcoin is unable to withstand the number of transactions taking place on the network.

The technical explanation is that the 1MB block size limit which is programmed into the system has become a problem and is causing delays in the processing of transactions. Basically, a purchase can take from a few minutes to hours to confirm.

Two techniques were proposed, which result in two different solutions: Bitcoin Unlimited, and Segregated Witness. They’re both proposed software updates to the Bitcoin network with the aim to completely change the way Bitcoin functions.

Obviously, the two can’t coexist, that would “fork” the Bitcoin network – splitting it into two different digital currencies.

A fork is known as a software update. Basically, updating a program from an old version to a new one.

Hard Fork:

It is a compulsory software update that is required in order for the program to function.  It can be implemented to fix bug errors or any security issues present in the older version of the software. Also, a hard fork is irreversible.

The “hard fork” will split the blockchain, leading to the introduction of a new chain of transactions branching from the original one.

Bitcoin Unlimited:

Starting off with Bitcoin Unlimited, this proposal is favored majorly by Bitcoin miners. To understand this, you must know the concept of Bitcoin mining. Bitcoin miners use specified powerful computers to solve complex mathematical algorithms in order to verify a transaction and be rewarded with newly issued bitcoins.

We are aware that there is a built-in block size limit of 1MB in the Bitcoin network, however, BU gives miners the permission to vote on increasing the block size whenever they want. This gives them control of the Bitcoin network, due to which they’re favored by miners.

Segregated Witness:

On the other hand, SegWit is being voted by many Bitcoin enthusiasts and developers. Their aim is to optimize the Bitcoin coding in a way that allows them to decrease the transaction size and increase the transaction volume, all while sticking to the 1MB block limit. They suggest the use of a soft fork.

A soft fork is a software update that lets the network to adapt to the new functionalities and features implemented. The update doesn’t interfere with the existing software and the older version will still be usable.

Who Will Be The Winner?

Aha! Too bad we can’t answer this question because half the community goes for SegWit and the other half for BU. There’s not really much we can do, just voice out our opinion and educate others with whatever we learn and maybe help them come up with opinions of their own.

We’ll just have to patiently wait and watch how this turns out.

I’d like to point out that I have a very limited technical knowledge and only know my way around a few technical terminologies. This post is a compilation of weeks of research that I’ve put together myself. So, if you do find any errors, do let me know in the comment section below and I’ll be sure to check back on them.

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