Public Service Announcement: Beware of Imposters Posing As Cointelegraph Journalists

Recently there has been a rise in the number of attempts to impersonate Cointelegraph team members and request money from organizations and individuals in return for the promise of positive coverage.

Crypto community, be vigilant: Cointelegraph has recently noticed an increase in scammers purporting to be our journalists on Telegram, LinkedIn and other social media.

While this is by no means a new phenomenon, this fraudulent activity has seemingly ramped up in recent weeks. Thankfully, their current methods mean that they are not particularly hard to identify.

It’s easier than you think to spot an impostor

There is a very simple rule of thumb to follow here: Cointelegraph does not charge for news articles. Ever.

If anybody contacts you promising positive news coverage of your project on Cointelegraph in return for payment, it is an impostor attempting to scam you out of your hard-earned cryptocurrency. Do not send these people any money, as you will never see it again.

Cointelegraph does offer paid advertising in the form of sponsored articles and banner ads. But all sponsored and advertorial articles are clearly labeled as such on our website. You can contact our dedicated sales team by clicking the “Advertise” link at the top-right of every page on our website.

Watch out for tricks like these

These imposters commonly set up fake social media accounts with usernames based on the names of our journalists. They will contact you or your organization, offering a positive news article in return for a fee payable in cryptocurrency. They may attach an invoice requesting 50% payment up front, or they may even try to develop trustworthy rapport.

There have also been cases of spoofed email addresses that appear to be an @cointelegraph.com accounts. But don’t be fooled — sender email addresses are incredibly easy to spoof, and the scammer will almost invariably want to continue the interaction via other means, knowing that any response sent to the actual email address will go to the actual writer, who would then be alerted to the scam.

All official contact information for our writers is listed on their individual author page, accessible by clicking the writer’s name at the top of any article. Our author pages may include the author’s email address, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles.

Unless you have an ongoing relationship with someone on our team, do not trust approaches unless they come from the profiles listed on our site. If you ever have cause to doubt you are communicating with a genuine member of our team, simply use that team member’s author page on Cointelegraph.com to find their email and contact them directly.

If you have been a victim of fraud or suspect fraud, please email editor@cointelegraph.com.

Cointelegraph Research: Demand for Bitcoin Grows After Halving

Upticks in Bitcoin ATMs, transaction volume, and women in crypto all point positive for Bitcoin.

Data published today from Cointelegraph Markets and Arcane Research found that despite investor concerns over the block reward halving disincentivizing miners and possibly compromising the security of the network, demand for Bitcoin continues to rise globally.

Proof of increasing adoption is supported by the total number of functioning Bitcoin ATMs rising to 8,000, a more than 90% increase since 2019. Bitcoin ATM operator, Coinstar, also reported a 40% increase in Bitcoin ATM use since February of this year.

Real BTC daily volume vs. BTC Price. Source: Messari

Real BTC daily volume vs. BTC Price. Source: Messari

Bitcoin gains and daily transaction volume eclipses altcoins

When compared against altcoins, Bitcoin also continues to lead in market capitalization and USD transaction volume with more than $10 billion in daily transaction volume. This figure eclipses Ether (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC) which are both seeing daily transaction volumes below $500 million.

Currently, for the month of May, Bitcoin price is up nearly 10%, whereas altcoins like Ether, XRP, and Monero (XMR) are hardly breaking even.

Arcane Research also found that after the halving on May 11, miners are gradually shifting back to the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin SV (BSV) network but both networks have seen drastic drops in their share of total SHA-256 hash rate.

BCH and BSV hash rate shares. Source: Cointelegraph Markets / Arcane Research

BCH and BSV hash rate shares. Source: Cointelegraph Markets / Arcane Research

Bitcoin Cash dropped from 3.4% to 2.07%, a startling 40% reduction. Meanwhile, Bitcoin SV fell from 2.39% to 1.55%, a sharp 35% decline.

Retail and institutional investors remain bullish on Bitcoin’s future value

Bitcoin’s most recent price has occurred on strong volume, a bullish sign as signals investors sentiment is high amongst retail and institutional investors.

Total BTC Options Open Interest. Source: Skew

Total BTC Options Open Interest. Source: Skew

In addition to breaking above $10,000 on (date), this week Cointelegraph reported the total open interest on CME Bitcoin futures rose by 1,000% since the start of the month. This is a healthy sign and noticeably different than the low volume recovery from the March 13 crash to $3,750.

Arcane Research also found that significant growth in the peer-to-peer lending markets and an increasing percentage of women represented in crypto sector jobs further indicates that the Bitcoin network and ecosystem continue to make positive strides forward.

CEO at Real Vision Raoul Pal Bets on Bitcoin Up 100x in Next Five Years

Raoul Pal, CEO & Founder at Real Vision, applies the economic cycle theory to predict major disruption of the global financial system will drive Bitcoin to new highs.

Raoul Pal, CEO & Founder at Real Vision, applies the economic cycle theory to predict a major disruption of the global financial system. He believes this will drive Bitcoin to new highs.

Despite the recent rally in the stock market, Pal sees dropping bond yields and falling commodity prices as signs the world economy is heading towards a grave recession. He states:

“I think that the stock market is trading hope and the bond markets trading reality and the bond market will show us where the stock market will go.”

According to Pal’s interpretation of the economic cycle theory – a sequence of boom and bust periods in the world economy – we are at the bottom of the downcycle, which means there is a high probability of major disruption in the global financial system.

“The probability is high that we have to move to a new financial system. And that will probably involve digital currencies in multiple formats.”

According to his readings of the charts, Pal is opposed to the narrative that tells us the Fed money-printing will generate inflation.

“We're not necessarily creating higher prices because maybe the price of goods is falling faster than the price of money.”

Still, Pal predicts that the devaluation of currencies all around the world will pave the way for the Bitcoin price to rise 50x to 100x in the next five years. In this scenario, Bitcoin has a high chance to become a widely adopted reserve currency.

“Think of it as your own sovereign currency that you can always go to if your governments are acting bad.”

Find out more in the full interview on our Youtube channel and don’t forget to subscribe!

YouTube Cancels Cointelegraph’s BTC Halving Livestream for Being ‘Harmful Content’

What a twist! YouTube pulled the plug on our seven-hour livestream.

YouTube’s censorship rabbit hole is deep, especially as it pertains to cryptocurrency topics.

Cointelegraph had a full day of programming lined up for a livestream that covered Bitcoin’s third block halving on May 11. The agenda mostly went off without a hitch — fintech luminaries like Tim Draper, Roger Ver, Meltem Demirors, and many more shared their time and opinions with Cointelegraph editorial staff over the course of a livestream that lasted just under seven hours.

But the stream was blocked and deleted six hours and 42 minutes into a nearly finished program, locking more than 2,000 viewers out of our coverage. YouTube is notorious for bans and censorship of crypto-related content, and it’s driven a number of crypto content creators to competing platforms that operate on decentralized principles.

Our experience of being canceled by YouTube is one with far more questions than answers. Because YouTube’s practices on this stuff are more opaque than transparent, we were just as surprised as the rest of our audience when the livestream cut out. The specific reason given for terminating the video feed is that our blockhalving coverage was “harmful or dangerous content” that violated YouTube’s community policy.

We’ve appealed the decision and will keep you apprised of what we learn. Thank you for your support in the meantime.

Join Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin Halving Party Live on YouTube!

A full day of interviews and coverage related to the Bitcoin halving.

As the Bitcoin halving approaches, Cointelegraph is throwing a live Bitcoin halving party starting today at 10 AM EDT on our YouTube channel!

Join us for live panels with our own globally distributed editors, who will be speaking with some of the biggest names in the crypto space. We’ve got Tim Draper, Roger Ver, Tom Lee, Meltem Demirors, Emin Gun Sirer, Bobby Lee, and many others joining the party.

Check out the full event schedule below. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel and hit the bell icon to get notifications for when we have new videos.

10 AM EDT — Crypto Around the World — Cointelegraph Editorial International

11 AM EDT — Mining Deep Into Bitcoin with Genesis Mining, OKexPool, Binance

12 PM EDT — Exploring the Fundamentals of Bitcoin With Bobby Lee & Emin Gün Sirer

1:15 PM EDT — The Future of Bitcoin: Interview & AMA With Billionaire Tim Draper

2 PM EDT — BTC Vs. Alts: Is Bitcoin Dominance at Risk? Roger Ver, Tom Lee, Alex Tapscott

3 PM EDT — Venture Capital in Crypto with Matthew Roszak & Meltem Demirors

4 PM EDT — Building Crypto Community: Bad Crypto Podcast, Layah Heilpern, Crypto Zombie, BitBoy & Naomi Brockwell.

“I Can’t Wait to Throw Up Less Bitcoin”, Says Bitcoin Cartoon Hero

Bitcoin from cartoon series “Bitcoin and Friends” shared his feelings about the upcoming halving and bullish view of his own future.

Bitcoin from the Youtube cartoon series “Bitcoin and Friends” shared his feelings on the upcoming halving and a bullish view of his own future. 

After falling sick briefly after a short trip to Wuhan, the cartoon hero is “alive and kicking”. 

Bitcoin is looking forward to the halving which will allow him to throw up less Bitcoin – that is how the appearance of new Bitcoin is represented in the show. 

“Throwing up 12 and a half Bitcoin every 10 minutes really wears down on my throat”. 

He also ironically commented on the US rescue plan for the economy, saying he is still waiting for his stimulus check and that he will convert it into satoshis as soon as he receives it. 

Bitcoin is more bullish than ever on himself, pointing out that fiat currency’s days might be numbered. 

“Centralized currencies are digging their own graves.”

The cartoon character also shared some spicy details of his on-going love affair with Ethereum, the role of Litecoin, and continued search for his father, Satoshi Nakamoto. 

Watch the full interview on our Youtube channel and don’t forget to subscribe!

Tone Vays and Charlie Burton Discuss Bitcoin Live With Cointelegraph

Join us for Cointelegraph’s first Crypto Markets show!

Will Bitcoin break 10K today? What are the consequences of the upcoming Bitcoin Halving? Why do many Wall Street investors advise clients to buy Bitcoin now?

Tune in to Cointelegraph’s YouTube channel to join traders Tone Vays and Charlie Burton in our first live Crypto Markets show. At the end of the show, we will host a Q&A session, so post your questions, we will choose the best ones to ask our guests. And don’t forget to subscribe to our channel!

Only an Hour Way: Cointelegraph Talks Bitcoin Halving, Live

Cointelegraph hosts a discussion on Bitcoin halving. Join live at 12 PM EST as John Todaro, Alejandro De La Torre and Paolo Ardoino discuss the event.

The Bitcoin halving is only 6 days away so Cointelegraph has invited CTO at Bitfinex Paolo Ardoino, John Todaro, director of institutional research at Tradeblock, and VP of Poolin mining pool Alejandro De La Torre to hash out what to expect from the much-anticipated event.

Cointelegraph Talks: What to Expect from the Bitcoin Halving will begin at 12pm EST and you can follow the live discussion on Youtube and take part by sending in questions.

Meltem Demirors: “Bitcoin is not a F*cking Systemic Hedge If You Hold Your Bitcoin at a Financial Institution”

Venture capitalist Meltem Demirors explains how the oil market crash and the broader turmoil in financial markets are reshaping the Bitcoin narrative.

CoinShares’ chief strategy officer Meltem Demirors shared her view on how the latest crisis in the oil market will impact the ever-changing narratives around Bitcoin. 

Changing narratives 

According to Demirors, the recent crash in oil prices is a watershed moment which will change forever the narratives in the investment world. As she points out, the COVID-19-induced crisis “has defied all our expectations on what normal is” which is why expecting to go back to the status quo is “preposterous.”

“We’re not just seeing a repricing of oil. We are seeing a thinking of the entire energy value chain.” 

Following this event, Demirors argues that geopolitical interests will increasingly shift from access to energy to the access to “compute and connectivity.” She also discusses China’s efforts  “to win the digital race” as an example of this shift. Turmoil in traditional markets is also changing the concept of risk, which is likely to play in Bitcoin’s favour. 

“With interest rates at zero, there are really no low-risk, stable, fixed income generating assets anymore”

According to Demirors, investors’ interest  is moving increasingly towards high-risk, high-reward assets such as Bitcoin. People’s attitude towards volatility is also changing. As traditionally non-volatile assets showed large price fluctuations, Bitcoin’s volatility doesn’t look abnormal anymore and investors’ attitude will change accordingly. 

Existential threats 

Demirors also pointed out that there are still a number of existential threats to Bitcoin. Considering that most Bitcoin holders rely on financial institutions such as exchanges as custodials, their assets can still be frozen or seized by the government. 

“There are a lot of people who are trying to sell this narrative around Bitcoin as a systemic hedge when in fact, they're taking their bitcoin and they're shoving it right back into the financial system, which effectively negates that sort of argument.”

To watch the full interview, check it out on our Youtube channel and don’t forget to subscribe! 

Why You Should Follow Cointelegraph’s Coverage of Virtual Blockchain Week

A collectible Cointelegraph NFT is just one tiny reason.

Cointelegraph is co-presenting and covering Virtual Blockchain Week, a series of talks from blockchain luminaries over the next five days. Speakers include well-known figures in the industry such as Changpeng Zhao, Caitlin Long and Anthony Pompliano alongside opinion-makers like Brittany Kaiser, Alyze Sam and Charlie Shrem. Cointelegraph journalist Rachel Wolfson is speaking on Wednesday about what it’s like covering the blockchain industry.

Every day this week Cointelegraph.com will be filled with articles about sessions at Virtual Blockchain Week. Our journalists will hold interviews with speakers, sharing their insights exclusively on our website.

You can also follow along and watch Virtual Blockchain Week live through Cointelegraph’s social media.

As many industry conferences have been forced to reevaluate in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic, Bad Crypto Podcast hosts Joel Comm and Travis Wright decided to launch a dedicated virtual event for the blockchain community.

"While the threat of Coronavirus has led to the cancellation or postponement of our favorite blockchain events, we are fortunate to have an incredible community and the technology to create similar experiences on a global scale," said Joel Comm.

Free registration for Virtual Blockchain Week is open now. Half of the proceeds from VIP tickets will support Binance Charity’s #CryptoAgainstCovid initiative.

“COVID-19 is a global issue. It’s important for the crypto and blockchain community to come together to support the fight,” said Jarred Winn, Senior Vice President of Charity at Binance. “We are pleased and thankful to have partnered with Bad Crypto Podcast and Virtual Blockchain Week in doing so.”

Virtual Blockchain Week attendees will receive certified collectible non-fungible tokens as evidence of their participation in this first-of-its-kind event. A special edition Cointelegraph NFT will be sent out this week as well.

Recap of Cointelegraph Talks: E-Payments During Covid-19 and Beyond

Speakers from Ternio, Monarch, and Utrust weighed in on the future of the industry & the impact of COVID-19.

The current pandemic is far from over and the economic, political, and social ramifications of this crisis remain unclear. Indeed, the nature of the workplace people return to might well be radically different to what previously existed. During an online panel session, hosted by Cointelegraph’s Stephen Chase, fintech pioneers debated how the Coronavirus could act as a catalyst for change in people’s attitudes towards working, technology, and online payments. 

Given the 24/7 nature of cryptocurrencies, all the panelists had remote working policies in place prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, so the immediate disruption was minimal. When asked which sectors were most likely to benefit from the lockdown, online services for retail and entertainment were cited as obvious winners and likely to grow even after the quarantine ends. The panelists also agreed that the death of physical cash was likely to be accelerated by the pandemic. Contactless payments prevent the transmission of Coronavirus through potentially contaminated bank notes, forcing older generations into using alternative payment methods.

The surprising resilience of Bitcoin as an asset class when faced with the challenges of a collapsing economy compared to more established peers, including the S&P and oil, was also debated. Filipe Castro, co-founder of Blockchain payments platform, Utrust, emphasized that Bitcoin’s potential use case is evolving and being tested all the time. He and the other panelists agreed that, faced with increased Central Bank money printing, Bitcoin’s finite supply of coins will likely lead to a price rise in the long term.

When asked about the future and how digital currency technology can provide hope, Ian Kane, Co-Founder and COO of Ternio, said there was never a better time to take this technology and use it to solve real problems. Those companies that provide the best user experience will ultimately succeed in the long run. Ian did note, however, that he would like to see the U.S. follow Switzerland’s approach to taxation. He said:

“For something like a currency, where it's meant for small micropayments/tipping, you shouldn’t be paying 40% short term capital gains, it makes no sense. When the internet came out, if every time you clicked on a new web page, you had to pay a tax or some kind of toll to gain information, it wouldn’t make any sense. It kind of hinders the progress being made [in crypto]”

Robert Beadles, Co-Founder for Monarch also provided an upbeat assessment of digital currencies saying they were the future and could be applied to a wide variety of use cases, particularly in the charitable sector where questions related to transparency and accountability are a concern. Ultimately for crypto to succeed, it needs to provide tangible solutions to real problems. By educating more people about its potential, we can build the platforms of the future and ensure its long term place within the economy. The times we’re living in may seem dark, but the future for those who embrace tech has never been brighter.

Missed the panel? Check it out on Youtube here, or watch it below.

Sharing Thoughts on Security, OKEx’s Jay Hao Says Customers Come First

The crypto exchange OKEx’s CEO, Jay Hao, talks the future of OKEx and the crypto sector, CMC’s acquisition by Binance and his favorite books.

Jay Hao, the CEO of the digital asset exchange OKEx, took part in Cointelegraph China HUB, an online interview column started by Cointelegraph China. In the past, Hao has stated that blockchain will eliminate transaction barriers, improve efficiency and ultimately impact the development of the global economy. But what does he think about the world of blockchain now?

Cointelegraph: Is cryptocurrency a niche industry developing with uncertainty and volatility? And how did OKEx overcome the volatility of the industry to become one of the top exchanges?

Jay Hao: As you said, the cryptocurrency industry itself brims with uncertainties, and it is OKEx's innate mission to be prepared to meet new challenges on all occasions. In the past year, the lowest price of Bitcoin reached about $3,300 and the highest exceeded $13,000. Especially in the past three months, the global financial industry has encountered massive fluctuations under the influence of COVID-19. 24/7 free-to-trade cryptocurrency has reacted even more in this plunge. 

“For exchanges, the biggest challenge brought by such huge fluctuations is the stability of the trading system and risk control under such extreme market behavior.”

So, my team and I have consistently held a consensus: in the world of cryptocurrency, technology strength must be the key to building any crypto ecosystem. In the past year, we have polished the construction of the system without stopping, and we have carried out hundreds of significant upgrades. Our unique super matching engine and Lightning 2.0 system ensure that the platform can run stable even under extreme market conditions, and also the order processing speed has ranked high on the world's top options exchanges lists. This is indeed a matter of pride.

CT: Can you give some details about OKEx’s expansion plan or overall strategy?

JH: From my point of view, reputation is the foundation of an enterprise, especially in the crypto world. In addition to the well-known reasons why Libra's issuance is so complicated, I think there is another factor. Business lies happen once or countless times. After all, a lie requires countless lies to make up for it, and the vicious cycle will always collapse.

As Facebook is one of the main sponsors, it was bothered with problems such as user data leakage and unauthorized collection of user data, which have seriously hurt market confidence. Lawmakers' distrust of Facebook even exceeds that of cryptocurrency itself or blockchain technology. 

“Therefore, within OKEx, I repeatedly stress with the team that we must never do anything that harms the interests of users. ‘Customer first’ is always the core value of OKEx, which also acts as the cornerstone of our internationalization.”

The internationalization of OKEx has been accelerating. At present, it has reached cooperation with the world's seven largest legal fiat payment providers through the fiat gateway project, supported 30 fiat currencies including United States dollars and euros, and accepts 17 payment methods including Visa and Mastercard. Also, we have provided services to more than 20 million users in more than 200 countries and regions around the world, and that is still increasing.

In the crypto world, OKEx’s role is not only as a trading platform but also a blockchain technology company. We have launched OKEx Cloud, relying on the technical strength and service experience accumulated by OKEx in the field of digital assets for many years and providing exchange technology services to the world. 

Besides, OKChain, independently developed by OKEx, was also completed as 100% open-source. OKChain pioneered the "commercial chain alliance" model, which will face all ecological nodes and provide efficient, free and boundless public chain ecosystems. It is a significant step for our internationalization.

In summary, OKEx’s internationalization has three points: first, customers come first; second, to meet global differentiated needs and provide localized services; and third, we are not building an exchange, but a global free, equal and healthy encryption ecosystem.

CT: According to CryptoCompare, the combined volumes of OKEx’s, BitMEX’s, Huobi’s and Binance’s derivatives markets in March totaled $514 billion, or 86% of the entire market. And OKEx took more than BitMEX. How do you see the competition in the market? 

JH: In the face of competition, I always believe that continuous and healthy competition will bring new vitality into the market. While promoting the progress of the industry, it also allows users to have a better reference basis when choosing a trading platform. We will actively learn from excellent competitors. After all, the beneficiaries under healthy competition will always be users.

Can a contract dominate the competitiveness and fate of an exchange? The answer is, of course, no. No company can be popular in the world with only one function. The needs of users are constantly changing. In the business environment, the only constant is change. What's more, in a new and rapidly changing industry like blockchain, I always believe that OKEx's biggest competitor is ourselves, and we are also confident that we will continue to lead the industry and make breakthroughs.

CT: How does OKEx address challenges such as cryptojacking or the free-fall of the market such as occurred on March 12?

JH: As I said before, technical security is still one of the biggest challenges that trading platforms need to face. I can proudly tell you that because of OKEx's excellent technical strength, there has never been a theft of user funds or an information security incident since its establishment. In terms of fund management, OKEx adopts enhanced cold/hot wallet management, and the risk control system is continuously upgraded to ensure the safety of user funds and information.

Due to the particularity of the industry, the order volume per second in extreme market conditions is several times higher than the normal order volume and can reach 1 million. This is indeed an objective challenge for all exchanges in the industry.

On the other hand, service solutions from the perspective of user interests are also particularly important. For the user losses caused by our platform in the extreme market on March 12, we immediately set up a special solution group to actively follow up and solve the problems, which has also been understood and supported by most users. As an objectively neutral and responsible trading platform, we are well aware that there are still many areas that need to be improved

CT:It can be said that OKB is not only a platform coin for OKEx, but also a global token throughout the entire ecosystem of OKEx. What’s the role of OKB in OKEx’s ecosystem?

JH: Now, in many people's eyes, OKB is less and less like a "platform token." It creates continuous value for OKEx users. OKB ecological construction starts from several important dimensions, and its ultimate goal is to continue to create value for users.

In terms of additional rights within the OKEx trading platform, 14 application scenarios have been expanded. From the perspective of the construction of a deflation model, we are currently the first platform coin in the industry to achieve full circulation. On Feb. 10, we destroyed 700 million unissued OKB, which means that the team completely gave up its rights and holdings of OKB, and the profits were given to OKB users. Of course, this also means that OKB's future buyback and burn will all be performed in the secondary market.

CT: Can you tell us how OKChain will empower OKB in the future?

JH: The appearance of OKChain is also an attempt of OKEx in the global decentralization tide. The big difference is that OKChain will solve the problem of large-scale landing and application of public chains because we believe this is the main contradiction in the current development of public chains.

OKChain's uniquely designed cross-chain solution and original business chain alliance can enable each participating node to exert its power here and publish and run various decentralized applications without hindrance. The whole process does not require any review nor is there a so-called "proposal." To a large extent, it has solved a series of problems such as transactions per second, security and adaptability that plagued the development of public chain technology.

In the future, OKB will be migrated to the main chain of OKChain. At that time, we will delete the code of the smart contract for the additional issuance of tokens and continue to improve the OKB deflation model. And the genesis block of OKChain's basic token OKT will map 100% to OKB holders when the mainnet goes online, and OKB holders will also have the opportunity to become supernodes on OKChain.

The latest progress is that when it was open-sourced to GitHub, OKChain joined hands with the first group of ecological partners — a total of 30 global well-known enterprises from the public chain, proof-of-stake mining pool, blockchain browser, wallet and multiple other types of fields. Perhaps by that time, OKB will be less like a "platform token."

CT:How do you see the regulatory landscape around crypto, and how does OKEx remain compliant with global regulators?

JH: I was not surprised by the result of the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission's ban on Telegram tokens. Telegram is elaborating on the nature of its tokens, saying that Telegram Open Network is a practical tool for community members with "consumer uses," while the SEC and the courts are more concerned about its financial attributes, believing that it can flow out of control to the secondary market. Such negotiations are doomed to a consensus.

“The supervision of any industry always needs to dynamically adapt to market changes, but a basic premise is that no matter how changes are made, everyone has a basic consensus on this industry.”

The TON ban does not completely represent the SEC’s denial of the entire digital currency. On the contrary, this judgement fully shows us the professional understanding of the SEC and the courts on blockchain technology and digital currency, which is a powerful impetus for the development of the entire crypto industry. In the globalization process of OKEx, it is our primary premise to reach a regulatory consensus with local users and regulatory agencies.

In March, we heard a lot of good news from the world: India lifted the trading ban, South Korea officially classified cryptocurrencies as an asset and Germany issued a guide to classify cryptocurrencies as a financial instrument, with many other countries also actively exploring.

This just shows that the regulatory agencies of various countries are reaching a consensus with the crypto market. Therefore, for any country and region in the world that has reached a consensus with the crypto world, OKEx is ready to embrace supervision at any time.

CT: Could you share your thoughts on Binance's acquisition of CoinMarketCap? What were the main motivations behind this move, in your opinion? Is expansion like this a natural way for exchanges to develop?

JH:First of all, congratulations to Binance on its ecological footprint expansion. However, I have also expressed my view on social media. In contrast, I would be more inclined to spend this budget on repurchasing platform coins and giving back to users who support the development of the platform. Only when users benefit will more and more people pay attention to and support you, and the exchange ecology will naturally become stronger and stronger.

“Each exchange has its expansion strategy. There is no so-called natural occurrence. It is a trade-off between the interests of all parties. The final choice is also determined by the operator's judgment on the interests.”

Although I have said it many times, I still have to reiterate that in the expansion of OKEx, the interests of OKEx users will always be first. It does not exclude that we will advance some important decisions by soliciting opinions from users. OKEx will continue to contribute its strength to the construction of the global crypto ecosystem, which is beyond doubt.

CT: Can you share what your favorite books are, those that have inspired you to do what you’ve been doing in the blockchain sector?

JH:Work and life are two mirrors that reflect a person. I am quite different from myself at work. In addition to books that enhance professional knowledge every day, I like to read some tragic comedy and realism novels by Shakespeare and Dickens. I remember one sentence in Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Now, in many moments, this sentence will appear in my heart. Any industry and its related technologies have two sides. 

This era has given us a great platform to do what we think is meaningful and at the same time set up many constraints. Therefore, our actions must be oriented to benefit the people, society and life. A good or bad thought requires that we always have a rule in our hearts to measure and correct. These novels have influenced my code of conduct to a certain extent.

In addition to these, an avid teenager lives in my heart. Maybe you can't imagine it, but I also like to watch popular novels like "Harry Potter" and “Lord of the Rings." I like a story that breaks the boundaries of thinking and uses imagination to create a world of dreams and love.

Just like the blockchain industry, it is new, meaningful, borderless and does not adhere to conventions. We still have a lot of possibilities to achieve the impossible. Just like the enthusiasm brought by these novels, I think that whether it is a blockchain enterprise or a trading platform, we first need to use unlimited innovation and imagination to create services and value for society. At the same time, we must assess the situation, be bold and careful, and conduct within the rules of society.

This interview was shortened and lightly edited for clarity.

Managing Crowds as Virus Restrictions Ease Will Take GUTS

Dutch company GUTS has come up with a novel blockchain-based system for managing crowds in public places to minimize risks as pandemic restrictions are eased.

As more and more countries seek to ease strict lockdown restrictions, challenges lie ahead managing social distancing in public places to mitigate the risks of a second wave of infections.

GUTS, a Dutch blockchain ticketing company, revealed on April 22 that it has devised a digital access system to regulate crowds and demographics in public spaces. The system is a modification of its existing system and app, which has been in use since 2016. The company said it can be up and running at new sites in as little as one week. 

How does it work?

The system works by providing a unique digital wallet tied to a mobile phone and a verified phone number. Users request access to a specific public space while waiting at home and then receive a digital entrance ticket valid for a specific period.

Access can be granted or denied depending on how crowded the public place is at the time or based on various demographics — elderly people may get priority access during specific time slots for example. Members of the public can also use the app to see which spaces are busy or not and receive recommendations on whether they should visit depending on their own risk profile. 

Privacy matters 

The Amsterdam company says the application complies with security requirements and all data can be deleted easily when certain measures are no longer necessary. However they acknowledge there are privacy concerns around tracking apps:

“When it comes to the invasion of fundamental rights there is always a consideration about what matters more: our health or our privacy. In this specific case we have come to the conclusion that our health prevails, but we are of wholehearted opinion that this is only the case under strict conditions.”

As Cointelegraph reported previously, Chiliz, a blockchain startup, has also started working on a solution to allow soccer fans to gradually return to the stadiums using digital passes.

Rune Christensen of MakerDao: “CeFi and DeFi will eventually merge”

MakerDAO founder, Rune Christensen, explained how Maker Foundation will prevent future protocol failures and predicted the merger of DeFi and centralized finance.

MakerDAO founder, Rune Christensen, explained the measures taken by the Maker Foundation to prevent future failures in Maker’s protocol and predicted the future merger of DeFi and centralized finance. 

How to prevent future meltdowns

In order to prevent a repeat of the Black Thursday meltdown, Maker’s governance addressed the bug that allowed a number of users to win liquidation auctions posting 0 DAI in return. 

Christensen said that the auction’s bid duration has been increased to six hours, which means that auction participants will have more time to make their bids in the event of network congestion. These changes should prevent auctions with zero bids from happening.  

He also pointed out that adopting USDC as an additional collateral will decrease the system’s dependence on Ethereum fluctuations, thus making it more stable. 

“Even if people are not willing to generate DAI with Ethereum during a crash like this, they'll still be willing to generally DAI with UCSC because it's not exposed to the same correlated risk.”

Responding to criticism around the centralized risk entailed in the adoption of USDC, a dollar-pegged centralized stablecoin, Christensen points out that adding additional collateral types based on real world assets is necessary to maintain the stability of the MakerDAO protocol. 

“You can't just rely on decentralized assets that all have essentially the same business models which used to be to run on a blockchain transaction network.” 

He added that the final goal is onboarding “thousands of real assets that all have different custodians with different security models and then are based in different jurisdictions so that you're not too exposed to one particular political or legal system”. 

The path towards full decentralization 

Talking about future goals, Christensen pointed out three main milestones that MakerDAO needs to implement  in order to achieve “full decentralization”. The first is developing a system that will allow the Maker protocol to autonomously hire and pay developers who will be taking care of day-to-day operations. The second is creating a decision-making system which will determine the protocol’s governance and future upgrades. The third is allowing Maker holders to delegate their voting power to those among them who are more active in the governance process.

Once those three milestones are achieved, the Maker foundation will dissolve, leaving the protocol in the hands of the community. 

The future of DeFI and centralized finance 

As reported by research firm Credmark, DeFi lending is still a small niche within a market largely dominated by centralized lending platforms. Commenting on the data, Christensen points out that “it is still the very early days” for DeFi.

According to Christensen, DeFi will eventually merge with centralized finance. 

“What's currently known as CIFi will become the front end and sort of the access points to the various DeFI protocols (...) You will have a custodian that you trust and then that custodian interacts with the DeFi protocols for you.”

Check out the full interview on our Youtube channel and don’t forget to subscribe!

Trader: This Bitcoin Halving Scenario Is as Likely as Aliens Hacking Your Wallet

Seasoned crypto traders explain their approach to the Bitcoin halving...and more!

As May approaches and Bitcoin’s next halving draws near, hodlers, traders, and investors are all keen to know how this quadrennial event will affect the price of the world’s foremost cryptocurrency. 

To delve further into the halving, we talked to traders Michaël van de Poppe and Scott Melker (aka The Wolf of All Streets) on our latest crypto markets show. The discussion also covered short term bullish and bearish scenarios for both Bitcoin and the stock market, why Bitcoin is still a non-correlated asset, and how trust in the U.S. dollar could wane in the coming years. 

Bitcoin’s Unlikely Halving Scenario

During a recent livestream, crypto influencer, IvanonTech, analyzed how the halving event will affect the trading behavior of retail investors versus whales. He anticipates that there will be an increase in buying demand from retail investors in the days leading up to the halving, which will push Bitcoin’s price up. He cautions that this will give whales an opportunity to sell large amounts of Bitcoin without much slippage because the buying demand from retail investors will offset the potential price drop caused by a heavy liquidation.

When asked about the possibility of this scenario playing out, Melker was quick to respond:

“I think that's possible. I think it's almost equally possible that, you know, aliens come down from Mars and are horny for Bitcoin and hack all of our wallets and steal our Bitcoin in advance of the halving. To be honest, I think that's one of the stupider things I've ever heard.”

Poppe was also quite skeptical of this scenario:

“I don't really listen to any of these theories. They just don't make sense. It's speculation based on nothing, basically. I just want to watch the charts and that's providing me the data that I need to have to trade.”

How to Trade the Halving

How will the halving actually play out? Poppe laid out his version of the upcoming event:

“So I just read the chart and what I feel like with the halving could be that we still see some slight rally coming into the next few weeks just so close to the event, which makes it a buy the rumor sell the news event…”

“Short term I just think it's a big nonevent and doesn't really matter. But long term it could kick off a bull market.”

Melker also recommended putting faith in the charts:

“The beauty of Bitcoin and crypto is that you don't have to think of any of this stuff. You don't need a narrative. People want a narrative, but you don't need a narrative. It's all in the charts… So I can tell you a day before or a week before what I'm seeing in the chart and what I'm going to do, but it's not going to be because of the halving narrative.”

If you enjoyed this latest crypto market update, hit the Like button and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more weekly crypto content!

Expert Warns: Don’t Trust Ransomware Groups Amid Pandemic

A cybersecurity expert is convinced that the promises made by ransomware groups amid the pandemic are irrelevant.

A cybersecurity expert explained why he is convinced that the promises made by ransomware groups amid the pandemic are irrelevant.

Brett Callow — threat analyst at cybersecurity firm Emsisoft — told Cointelegraph that multiple ransomware groups recently made promises to halt their activity against medical organizations amid the coronavirus pandemic. Still, he believes that those promises are irrelevant:

“The claims of a ceasefire made by ransomware groups are irrelevant [and] should be completely disregarded. Would you leave your front door unlocked simply because the local burglars had pinky-promised not to rob you? Probably not. The story of the frog and the scorpion comes to mind.”

Empty promises by ransomware groups

In mid-March, cybersecurity news outlet BleepingComputer, reported that it contacted a number of ransomware groups. At that time, some of them promised not to attack health and medical organizations during the ongoing pandemic. This is in line with Callow’s comment:

“Claims made by ransomware groups should be taken with a grain of salt. They’ve put lives at risk by attacking hospitals in the past, and it would be a mistake to assume that they would hesitate in doing so now.”

It is worth pointing out that — shortly after making the promise — black hat hacker group, Maze, has infected the infrastructure of a firm researching the coronavirus with ransomware. As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, a recent report also suggests that — despite the promises — while global ransomware attacks decreased, hospitals are still being attacked. Because of the unreliability of their promises, Callow advises media outlets to avoid covering the ransomware groups’ promises:

“Personally, I do not think the press should repeat claims made by ransomware groups as there is really no point or benefit in doing so. The details that the criminals choose to release will be cherry-picked and only information that they want to be in the public domain - probably because they believe it will help their cause in some way.  [...] The press should avoid portraying ransomware groups as being in any way Robin Hood-like or repeating claims that assist them.”

The cybercriminal groups behind ransomware attacks are highly organized and — according to Callow — in many ways resemble legitimate companies. He explained:

“Ransomware groups operate like legitimate businesses in a number of ways. They adopt strategies that have been proven to work by other groups. [...] They test price sensitivity in order to determine the optimal ransom demand. They try to make it easy as possible for ‘customers’ to ‘purchase’ their product, which is why Bitcoin, the most widely known and stockpiled cryptocurrency, is their currency of choice.”

Ransomware is a constantly evolving threat

Ransomware is widely believed to be one of the biggest cybersecurity threats in the world. This kind of malware is rapidly evolving in ways that continue to make it even more dangerous. Callow pointed out one such change:

“The biggest changes in the ransomware world have been the transition from encryption-only attacks to encryption [and] exfiltration attacks and, more recently, the weaponization of exfiltrated data. Ransomware groups no longer simply publish their victims’ data; they threaten to sell it to competitors, expose ‘dirty secrets’ and use it to attack companies’ customers and business partners.”

Recently, the ransomware group behind malware Sodinokibi announced its upcoming switch from Bitcoin (BTC) to Monero (XMR) to prevent tracking by law enforcement. Callow pointed out that this may be the start of a new trend among ransomware-specialized cybercrime organizations:

“While there are some instances of demands being made in alternative currencies, this will be the first time that a major ransomware group has settled on a currency other than Bitcoin. Like other businesses, criminal enterprises adopt strategies that have been proven to work and, accordingly, if this switch proves successful for REvil, we’d expect to see other groups begin to experiment with demands in currencies other than bitcoin.”

New Venture Studio Offers $100K Funding to Algorand DApp Startups

Eterna and Borderless Capital join forces to launch a venture studio to accelerate DApp development on the Algorand network.

Blockchain investment company Eterna and venture capital fund Borderless Capital have teamed up to launch Eterna Borderless Venture Studio, to support projects on the Algorand platform. 

The aim is to drive adoption and growth by providing tools and resources to decentralized app — or DApp — developers and entrepreneurs. Startups are eligible to receive funding up to $100,000, with Borderless Capital able to offer a follow-up investment of up to $2 million for companies that emerge as category-leading businesses.

The venture studio includes student groups from some of the world’s more prestigious universities —  including Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College of London — along with PR marketing firm MarketAcross, and European startup ecosystem F6S.

Seven startups are already on board including MAX Markets, which is an international trading group launching a DEX; PlanetWatch, which is a network of air quality sensors and people that aims to incentivize environmental monitoring; and SingularityNET, the world’s first decentralized AI network where anyone can create, share and monetize AI services at scale. 

Andrea Bonaceto, partner at Eterna Capital Algorand, told Cointelegraph that they are seeking DApp startups from all sectors, but are particularly interested in finance projects: 

“Algorand is designed for the borderless economy so DApps in the financial sector will be well suited.” 

Bonaceto said the company had identified enormous potential with the Algorand platform due to its design:

“Algorand has developed an enterprise grade blockchain platform that is designed with developers in mind. We have been impressed with how quickly the Algorand ecosystem has grown since it launched last year.”

How COVID-19 Is Reshaping the Crypto Industry: Cointelegraph Documentary

In its latest documentary, Cointelegraph reached out to crypto industry leaders to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their businesses and the industry as a whole.

In its latest documentary, Cointelegraph reached out to crypto industry leaders all around the world to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their businesses.

While large sectors of the world economy have been grinding to a halt due to the pandemic, the crypto industry was well prepared to face the crisis.

Thanks to a fully digital and decentralized way of doing business, crypto companies have been adapting rapidly to these changes, shifting to fully remote operations without losing productivity. The only exception is the crypto event business: major events scheduled for the first half of 2020 were cancelled or postponed.

On one hand, The COVID-19-induced market crash had a heavy impact on many crypto businesses which rely on the prices of crypto and found themselves in “survival mode”. On the other hand, crypto exchanges have been profiting from the spike in volatility and trading volumes.

Most importantly, the COVID-19 crisis and market turmoil had an undeniable impact on the Bitcoin narrative, exposing a short term correlation of Bitcoin with other traditional assets. However, the inflationary policies adopted by central banks to keep their economies afloat could turn into an opportunity for crypto. As we rapidly move towards a global recession, Bitcoin might attract investors looking for deflationary assets to preserve their money’s value.

Watch the full documentary on our Youtube Channel and don’t forget to subscribe!

Anthony Pompliano Discloses His Investment Strategy in Times of Crisis

In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano explained why Bitcoin is the best asset to protect wealth in the upcoming future.

In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano explained why Bitcoin is the best asset to preserve wealth in the upcoming future. 

Pompliano reconfirmed his bullishness on Bitcoin, revealing he bought more if it right after the latest market crash, when most investors sought refuge in the U.S. dollar. 

When asked whether there may be more investment-worthy cryptocurrencies on the market, Pomp pointed out that “money is a belief system, and until now the market believes that Bitcoin is more valuable than everything else”.

The halving can’t be priced-in 

Discussing the possible impact of the imminent Bitcoin halving on prices, Pompliano said that it is impossible for this event to be priced-in, since among Bitcoin holders there is no 100% consensus on the meaning of this event and its impact on Bitcoin’s value. Also, he said, there will be new buyers before and after the halving, who aren’t even aware of the event. That is why, he thinks that  “within the 18 months post-halving, we’ll see an explosion in the US dollar price [of Bitcoin]”. 

“The end of the fiat experiment” and why Bitcoin is better than gold 

Pompliano pointed out that the dollar-based system will eventually fail as most other currencies have failed in the past. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has the properties to outlive fiat, given that it shares some of the characteristics of gold, which has been around for thousands of years. 

According to Pompliano, both Bitcoin and gold will do well in the near future. Still, bitcoin remains a better investment given its potential to go higher in value and the transparency of its supply. 

“How much gold is there in the world? You can’t tell me (...) There is no person in the world who can answer this question. I am not putting my wealth there”. 

The best Investment strategy in times of crisis 

Despite his long term bullishness on Bitcoin, Pompliano admits that people now should hold tight to their cash in order to survive the COVID-19-induced economic crisis and pay for their immediate needs. Investors should prepare for the upcoming hyperinflation by buying other assets only once the ongoing storm has passed.

“You can put a bandana around your eyes and pick any asset, it will probably go up in price at some point”. 

As for himself, he is mainly building his own portfolio on three types of assets:

“I have cash, I got a bit of real estate, and then I put my money into Bitcoin to protect my wealth”. 

Check out the full video on our Youtube channel and don’t forget to subscribe!

It’s Time For Beer & Bitcoin: Quarantine Edition

We drank beers and talked crypto from the comfort of our homes, and the cameras were running.

In the latest episode of Beer & Bitcoin, Cointelegraph’s YouTube hosts Jackson and Giovanni were joined by Cointelegraph editor-in-chief Jay Cassano and managing editor Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr. They are in quarantine in New York City and Padova, Italy, respectively.

But we’re not inclined to let quarantine hold us down. With some beers on hand, it’s easy to get into an engaged crypto discussion.

This time the conversation focused on the economic fallout of Black Thursday, Binance’s acquisition of CoinMarketCap, and the near-emergency shutdown of DeFi giant MakerDAO.

Check out the full video and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Bitcoin in the Aftermath of COVID-19: Two Possible Scenarios

Futurist and author Daniel Jeffries shared with Cointelegraph his view on two possible scenarios awaiting Bitcoin in the aftermath of COVID -19.

Futurist and author, Daniel Jeffries, shared with Cointelegraph his view on the future scenarios awaiting Bitcoin in the aftermath of COVID-19. 

Two possible outcomes 

In one particularly dark scenario,  the global economy will plunge into a severe recession and countries will turn to authoritarianism in order to survive. 

In such a scenario, world governments will impose capital control measures, curbing citizens’ financial freedoms. Authorities will then crack down on cryptocurrency to prevent people from circumventing their restrictions. Jeffries does not believe that Bitcoin would be able to survive in such a scenario. He stated:

“Governments will swiftly move to destroy all centralized exchanges and local Bitcoin operations. Then how much is your crypto worth? It's worth nothing.”

In fact, according to Jeffries, Bitcoin is still “an early alpha technology”. 

In an alternative scenario, a COVID-19-induced global crisis could also accelerate innovation, pressuring crypto to evolve into a complete ecosystem which offers goods and services on a large scale, and “not just money”. 

Jeffries invited the crypto community “to think more comprehensively”. 

“You have to think about it at a macro scale. You have to think about buyers and sellers. You have to think about the average user.” He said, continuing that, “You would need to think about alternative distribution mechanisms and scale. It’s not enough to solve just one of these problems. You have to solve all of them in order to build a robust community”. 

Bitcoin beyond the safe haven narrative 

To Jeffries, the narrative of Bitcoin as a safe haven asset was disproved in the latest market crash. Still, Bitcoin can be valuable as a proof-of-concept for other crypto technologies. He noted that the value of Bitcoin resides in:

“The idea that you could build a decentralized consensus system without a centralized power behind it and that you could make that system work over a significant period of time.”

The world is well prepared for COVID-19 

Jeffries’ forecast is overall optimistic. He pointed out that the world is better prepared than ever to face a global pandemic. In particular, communication technologies allow us to spread vital information for fighting COVID-19 at a speed that was unthinkable in the past. The global supply chain also provides many countries with the materials and goods that they need to face such crises. 

“Our interconnectedness, while it certainly spreads the virus quickly and accelerates it, it also accelerates the response in our ability to coordinate information at a global scale in a way that has never happened in the past.”

Check out the full interview on our YouTube channel, and don’t forget to subscribe!

Virtual Blockchain Week Is A Virus-Proof Crypto Conference

No touching required!

It’s just the kind of event that these sequestered, hunkered-down times call for.

With COVID-19 still wreaking havoc on any plans to get more than ten people in a room together, Virtual Blockchain Week is a weeklong conference taking place completely online, and it just so happens that Cointelegraph is the primary media partner for the event.

Virtual Blockchain Week attendees simply tune into the appropriate webcast to participate. The agenda kicks off the evening of April 26 and features a full lineup of huge blockchain names giving presentations and participating in fireside chats the entire following week. 

Because of the online nature of the event, this conference agenda won’t be shifted around or canceled for coronavirus reasons. You don’t even necessarily need to pay to attend — there’s a free ticket available if you want it — but a $97 VIP ticket will include a networking pre-party and speaker meet-and-greets. Furthermore, 50% of the money generated by selling these VIP tickets will go to a COVID-19 non-profit relief effort, the specific organization still TBD.

Confirmed agenda participants include such A-list crypto names as Tim Draper, CZ, Caitlin Long, Charlie Shrem, Brittany Kaiser, Anthony Pompliano, and Mati Greenspan. Now you don’t even need to leave home to catch up with the latest from these industry leaders.

“Right now we’re locked in around the world. Conferences are canceled,” said Joel Comm, cohost of the Bad Crypto Podcast and co-organizer of Virtual Blockchain Week. “There’s a need for connection and content now more than ever. It’s amazing how quickly people responded to our virtual conference — within 48 hours we had commitments from 23 speakers.

So stay tuned until the end of April. We’ll be bringing you the latest coverage and analysis from Virtual Blockchain Week, whether you score your free ticket or not.

CZ Talks Bitcoin Price After Halving, Coronavirus and Binance Decentralization

CZ of Binance talks Bitcoin price, halving and decentralization in Cointelegraph China’s HUB.

Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ — the man behind Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world — took part in Cointelegraph China HUB, an online interview column started by Cointelegraph China.

Cointelegraph:The markets are currently seeing high volatility, which has challenged Bitcoin’s role as a safe haven and sparked a crisis of faith in the industry. But you tweeted: ”Still worried about #BTC going to 0? Don’t! So long as I have a penny left, it won't happen.” What three words would you use to describe 2020?

Changpeng Zhao: It’s hard to define the year 2020 with three words. If I must pick three words, I would say: challenge, opportunity and decentralization. The year ahead will be a mix of challenges and opportunities as the industry takes one step further toward the future of decentralization.

The global outbreak of coronavirus does affect certain industries and has caused many countries to lock down. Industries like traveling, tourism and hotels are greatly affected in the short term. However, it also creates opportunities for industries like medicine, health care, online education, etc. Among market activities, great attention has been given to the circuit breaker incidents of the United States stock market. As part of the global financial market, the crypto market has also been volatile for the past couple of days.

There are a lot of people asking if Bitcoin is a safe haven, and we see a lot of confusion around the topic. When we talk about safe havens or the storage of value of a certain asset, we should take the context into consideration. There are a lot of factors affecting the value of an asset, and it also varies during different times. We cannot say an asset is always a safe haven. Bitcoin’s price drop is not the result of a single factor. We need to consider the overall crypto market and even the macro economic conditions. There are different dynamics in play.

In the crypto market, we do have diehard OGs who don’t even hold fiat, intermediary users who have 20%–80% of their wealth in crypto and newcomers who have less than 20% — or even 1% — of their wealth in crypto. Different users will make different decisions. The beginners who have entered the space less than five months ago tend to sell crypto in fear, uncertainty or doubt because they don’t have confidence or a deep understanding of crypto.

Some people do need money to sustain life, like paying rent in the context of a global financial turmoil. They also decide to sell off. As a result, the price has been brought down. Even if the diehard OGs hold crypto and hold the price up to some level, there are still too many people impacting the market.

Compared to the overall financial market, the market capitalization of the crypto market is much smaller, maybe around 1/1000 of that of the overall financial market. It’s inevitable that the crypto market will be affected by activities in the global financial market. When the financial market has lost trillions of dollars, it will affect the crypto market. If fiat crashes, the crypto market cannot solve the issue. But as far as Bitcoin is concerned, it has limited supply, which stays unchangeable in any scenario. So, I would say Bitcoin is a relatively safe haven.

But if we look at this from the other way, we will find it’s a good opportunity to weed out the low-quality projects and keep growing the good ones. There isn’t a shortcut for any industry to prosper. We have had good news from the past two weeks. The Supreme Court of India overturned the Reserve Bank of India's ban on banks dealing with crypto businesses. Shortly after that, Korea legalized cryptocurrencies. A lot of regulatory works in various countries are in progress. I believe all of these will positively impact the industry.

“What’s more, blockchain is much fairer in solving the fundamental problems of the old system, which means the fiat-based system. It’s unfair to use tax incomes to help inefficient organizations. The inefficient organizations should be left there. If the Federal Reserve prints more money to bring up the stock price, it gives CEOs and institutions a chance to cash out instead of helping the retail users.”

A bailout may solve the problems temporarily, but it creates long-term problems. In fact, if the government decides to print more money, it will lead to the depreciation of fiat currencies. Then, if the users have two options — fiat vs. crypto — how will they choose? They will probably opt for Bitcoin and other crypto, which is a great opportunity for the industry to scale.

So, to speak of decentralization, we need to see through the surface. Bitcoin is the first application powered by blockchain technology, and cryptocurrencies only represent a part of the blockchain. The underlying blockchain technology is what truly matters to us. The other example is the public blockchain teams, who work from different countries and are flexible in the time of uncertainties like the coronavirus pandemic. The Binance team has been working remotely from the very start.

CT:You topped our inaugural “Cointelegraph Top 100” list, meaning you’re the most important and influential leader in crypto and blockchain. But, you said in 2019, “I haven’t done so much except building up and leading the excellent Binance team. The real backbreaker is our team.” Can you outline the efforts that the Binance team has undertaken?

CZ: Thank you for the nomination. I’m honored to be in the Cointelegraph Top 100. I hope to lead the Binance team to keep up the pace and contribute to the industry, bringing blockchain and crypto to a wider population and boosting adoption toward the mission of driving freedom of money.

“The past year can be summarized with the phrase #KeepBuidl. The year 2019 has witnessed many new breakthroughs through the efforts of the team.”

In 2019, we launched Binance Chain and Binance DEX. Initially, Binance Chain will focus on token issuance, blockchain financing, etc. So far, there are about 180 tokens issued on Binance Chain. About 100 of them have been listed on Binance DEX, offering more than 120 trading pairs. Binance DEX has been able to overtake its predecessors on the strength of high speed, good depth and high liquidity. The block confirmation time is one second.

To introduce more talented developers to Binance Chain, we launched Binance X, a developer-focused initiative to identify the most talented developers, support them through the fellowship program and encourage them to build on Binance Chain.

Meanwhile, we have launched margin trading — Binance Futures — fiat gateways that support more than 170 countries. Our fiat-to-crypto solutions include peer-to-peer trading platforms, fiat on-ramps and fiat exchanges that Binance co-founded with local partners, such as Binance.US and Binance Singapore.

We even went one step further in that regard. Last year, we launched the Venus project. Binance intends to cooperate with governments, businesses and organizations in the issuance of a series of fiat-backed stablecoins, with the target of offering financial services to people who don’t even have a bank account. In the process, Binance plays the role of tech, risk-control and compliance provider.

As part of the project, we’ve issued Binance USD, the stablecoin backed by the U.S. dollar, in partnership with Paxos. The stablecoin has been approved by New York Department of Financial Services and is fully compliant. Recently, we issued Binance KRW, the stablecoin backed by the South Korean won, with BXB. There are more projects in progress. Stay tuned.

CT: Binance has grown sharply from the initial trading platform built up in 2017 to a whole ecosystem. What is your vision and consideration? 

CZ: We have introduced multiple trading services, built the Binance ecosystem and launched the Open Platform initiative. By opening the technology and resources of Binance, we endeavor to create more and more fiat–crypto gateways and dramatically reduce the barriers of entry for users.

Under the Open Platform initiative, we offer the Binance Broker Program and Binance Cloud program. We launched the Broker Program and announced a big upgrade recently, allowing other exchanges, platforms and institutions to bring trading services to their users through an application programming interface by leveraging Binance’s liquidity and market depth.

Binance provides order matching services, account management and settlement systems for brokers so that they can fully focus on business development and receive profit-sharing on trading fees. So far, more than 100 institutions have applied to participate as a Binance Broker, with around 50 already onboarded.

The other approach we’re pursuing is the introduction of Binance Cloud. Binance KR, the first digital asset exchange fully powered by Binance Cloud, launched today. Binance Cloud is an infrastructure solution for partners to launch digital asset exchanges by leveraging Binance’s technology, security and liquidity. In five years going forward, Binance Cloud exchanges will overtake Binance.com and contribute the majority of trading volume.

In the future, the Open Platform initiative may also encompass the Binance P2P platform and Binance Chain. Binance’s P2P platform serves as an open marketplace, facilitating direct trades between users and merchants. The Binance Chain is a public blockchain initiated by Binance and built through joint efforts of the community. So far, a lot of projects have migrated to Binance Chain. The quality of the projects is pretty high. Hopefully, more projects and developers will build on Binance Chain.

CT: In the past you said Blitzscaling, the book by Reid Hoffman, had inspired you a lot. Are there any management strategies for enterprise expansion that you learned from it and used with Binance?

CZ: I’m a big fan of Blitzscaling and advise all Binancians to read the book. It’s a great guide book for entrepreneurs. If you look back on how Binance has evolved in less than three years, you might say it’s a typical example of blitzscaling. As a startup, we feel the impetus to launch new products in a fast manner in order to meet the demands of the community.

“The Binance team is used to rolling out new products within a tight time frame, outpacing its counterparts by several times. It’s good if there’s a product/market fit. If not, we will pivot quickly and focus resources on products that really matter.”

While business development is vital to us, it’s only part of what makes Binance. At Binance, we devote a lot of resources to build and nurture the industry. Together with the community, we spent about a year building the Binance Chain and launched it in April 2019. We also acquired or invested in a few projects and supported the development of transformative projects through Binance Launchpad in an effort to grow the blockchain ecosystem and the crypto industry.

CT: While the transformation from a centralized exchange to a decentralized platform is the overall strategy of Binance, the decentralization of Binance DEX once was questioned. How does Binance approach such issues and what are the biggest challenges at this stage?

CZ: It’s very interesting to discuss centralization versus decentralization. Firstly, decentralization is where we are heading. But in the short term, centralized and decentralized exchanges will coexist.

For those who have a solid technology background and strong sense of security — and who also long for 100% control over their assets — they can opt for decentralized exchanges and wallets. But if you don’t want to manage the assets, prefer to use the custodial services of a trusted provider, and hope to get handy help when you come across a problem, a centralized exchange is there for you.

It holds true that the centralized exchanges are the main targets of cybercrimes, especially the major crypto exchanges that hold a great number of digital assets. Cyberattacks are getting more sophisticated and organized. So, a centralized exchange must continue to enhance its tech infrastructure and iterate its security system to provide better protection to users.

With increasing demands, both centralized and decentralized exchanges have come along with some issues. To take Binance DEX for example, even though it has become the top decentralized exchange in a very short time, it still has much room for improvement in terms of depth and liquidity.

CT: If you could travel back in time, where would you like to go?

CZ: If there’s a time machine, I think I will go to the future and see how blockchain has impacted humankind, and how crypto is as widely accepted as fiat is today and has refined the way of transferring value.

In the future, people will have better knowledge of the origin, setbacks and developments of blockchain and will use blockchain technology in every aspect of their lives. We don’t have to say how much we believe in crypto, we act on it.

Cointelegraph Spain: Bitcoin’s halving is approaching and everybody is talking about it. What do you expect from it?

CZ: The speed of new supply will decrease, and demand is increasing. So, I think the logic is quite simple.

“I don't comment on price. I will let everyone make their own judgments. Especially now with the Fed printing so much money, the effect will be real. Some people say I am the counter signal, haha. So they should sell every day, as I am bullish everyday. Probably won't work out too well.”

The interview has been shortened and slightly edited for clarity.

Peter Vessenes in the Focus of Cointelegraph China

Peter Vessenes talks crypto regulation, exciting blockchain technology and what can take crypto to the next level on Cointelegraph China’s Focus talk show.

Welcome back to Cointelegraph China’s Focus talk show. This time around, Peter Vessenes is under the spotlight. He is the founder of CoinLab, the first venture-backed Bitcoin company. He also co-founded the Bitcoin Foundation, serving as its first executive director and chairman.

Vessenes has provided digital-currency consulting services for entities including the United States Treasury Department, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. He serves as the chief cryptographer for the Deluge Network and Metronome, a project that aims to create a “politics-free digital currency.”

Cointelegraph: You were the first one to have talked with the U.S. Treasury Department about Bitcoin. What is the story behind it, and what exactly did they discuss with you that first time?

Peter Vessenes: In the early days, governments were trying to get their heads around Bitcoin, and things were so decentralized it wasn't really clear who even to talk to. The Bitcoin Foundation filled that role for a while in a critical time in the industry's development. We were invited out originally to meet with FinCEN, which is the Anti-Money Laundering enforcement section of the Treasury Department, headed by Jennifer Shasky Calvery at that time.

They were most worried about and interested in the enforcement side of Bitcoin: knowing what was happening, who was doing what and so on. Ms. Calvery said something I'll never forget: "We think the toothpaste is out of the tube." She proceeded to explain her rough idea was to acknowledge they couldn't stop Bitcoin from being a thing, and they would try and work with already regulated entities at the on- and off-ramps for enforcement.

This, it turned out, was a really good strategy. It let some early Bitcoin businesses and funds get a commanding lead: Coinbase, Kraken and Pantera all had the regulatory space to work on business models without major fear. 

I would say the SEC has done much worse by American business in the most recent round of innovation, regulating with a much heavier hand, and we see the results with exchanges like Binance worth billions of dollars, but staying out of the U.S.

CT: Many traditional companies are now working on cryptocurrency, but on the other hand, the Securities and Exchange Commission continues to place obstacles before the Libra stablecoin, and it hasn’t warmly welcomed crypto exchange-traded fund applicants, either. What is the exact problem you think the crypto companies need to solve? And what is the SEC or the government looking for?

PV: Government agencies that I've worked with are mostly concerned with serious enforcement worries, really objectionable activities, by which I mean things I wish I had never heard were happening and certainly will not repeat. I found this comforting. In 2012, it wasn't clear if there would be sort of “petty” enforcement in the U.S. outside of the SEC. In the U.S., we haven't seen much of that, although perhaps IRS subpoenas of Coinbase records come close. 

In general, most agencies I've worked with were filled with good people working on good things, and they almost all — big secret — own crypto themselves.

As far as companies solving problems: financial inclusion, open access, destruction of rent-seeking behavior by long-standing financial industry participants — those are all pretty good goals. I'll give you a hint, though, and say that JPMorgan won't be destroying rent-seeking behavior, no matter how innovative its crypto group is.

SEC behavior is complex, and it's good to remember that the U.S. has multiple regulatory agencies overseeing complex financial products; the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is another. So, you have a mix of internal regulator incentives, including expanding their own remit vis-a-vis other agencies, American imperialism, etc., and then you also have some what I'd call "good" motivations, like protecting citizens from scams, Ponzi schemes and so on.

I think we'll continue to see real innovation happening in fits and starts in areas that are as lightly regulated as possible. It's just so very expensive, risky and time-consuming to try to innovate in America on the financial side. I really can't emphasize enough the benefits of a lighter regulatory regime for innovation. It's very important.

CT: The Bitcoin Foundation was one of the most prominent organizations in the ecosystem. 

So, how do you see its failings with respect to its governance, transparency and finances? 

PV: Leaving the Bitcoin Foundation was bittersweet. In the beginning, I wanted it to be a place that built the good brand reputation for Bitcoin globally and provided a venue for both industry and individuals to do some collective work together.

It was sweet because it was clear that my idea had been right: There was real demand to organize and work together. Bitter because I failed to bring the best quality leadership to the top of the organization. Two board members went to prison. A third had been accused of crimes, but not tried. I worked hard to try to clear out influencers that I thought shouldn't be there. But in the end, I couldn't keep the leadership at a level I felt good about and decided to leave.

There won't be another thing like the foundation in our industry, but I'm still glad I launched it with Gavin Andresen and would do it again, although I would change how we chose board leadership and make it more international from the very beginning. 

CT: Regarding Mt. Gox, as previously reported, roughly 24,000 creditors are thought to have been affected by the 2011 hack and subsequent collapse in early 2014. It was said you own a stake of Mt Gox and you have submitted a $16 billion claim in the Mt. Gox civil rehabilitation, which is considered an obstacle for other creditors. Can you explain the issue here?

PV: Unfortunately, since we are still in litigation seven years later, I can't talk a lot. I will say that we have been diligently and aggressively pushing for a real trial this whole time so that we can get a fair ruling. It looks like we will be getting that trial in Tokyo this year, pending coronavirus slowdowns. So, that's great.

“Right now, all creditors — including us — are waiting on the trustee to make a payment plan that can be reviewed. Believe me, we would love to see one as much as any other creditor.”

We have had a fair amount of interest from investors and other creditors trying to buy into the lawsuit as a way to hedge out their own risks in the bankruptcy and ideally achieve good returns. So, we may look into providing access to the suit to a broader group of investors in the future, all still TBD.

CT: As a cryptographic expert, how do you summarize the technology development of blockchain in these 10 years? After proof-of-work, different consensus mechanisms have appeared, like proof-of-stake, delegated proof-of-stake, practical Byzantine fault tolerance,, etc. What do you think of them? And are there any projects that excite you with their technology?

PV: The last project that really got me excited technically was Ethereum. Not to say we haven't seen interesting innovation since then, but it was a massive leap over Bitcoin. We just closed a blockchain fund — Capital 6 Eagle — with my partner in China, and I can tell you what I'm investing in:

  1. Fundamental infrastructure that makes decentralized ledger technology faster and cheaper. We need two or three orders of magnitude faster tech. So, this will change things as it shows up.
  2. Stablecoin projects and asset tokenization technologies.
  3. Identity projects.
  4. Secure data on chains
  5. Wallet and other access infrastructure.
  6. Decentralized exchange technology.

A crazy paper last year that really got me thinking was the MAST paper out of Blockstream. They provided a way to have provable computation using only software. It's very, very slow, but the idea is profound and interesting for verifiability.

CT: You started to pay attention to smart contracts in 2014, and you set up New Alchemy in 2016. What is the main plan for you this year?

PV: I'm launching a new project that has been a secret so far, but this can be the announcement: It's a Bitcoin paper-currency project. Unlike some of the other hardware-wallet projects, we are working on having a chip embedded directly into a paper bill. We will have a series of announcements, but we are working with a major global currency producer and have an agreement with one of the best currency designers in the world to make these bills. It's just so very hard to deal with crypto, and I want to give access to regular people to have, hold and trade it.

Finally, we're working on launching a Shenzhen incubator, probably in the third quarter. So, that should be really exciting. I love the energy and pace of business in China and want to provide mentorship, capital and advice to another generation of Chinese entrepreneurs. So, that's really exciting.

CT: You are also interested in security token offerings. You said in 2018 that there would be a large circulation of STOs in the future, but they haven’t made much progress. What do you think about it now?

PV: On STOs: I was obviously wrong about timing, which is the same thing as being wrong. The difficulties in the last few years have been the intersection of the technology, the regulatory pace and the crash all together. Plus, early STOs offered in the U.S. were just bad offerings, poorly priced and definitely worse for the buyer than comparable publicly traded products or crypto products — or both.

But I do sort of stand by my prediction, too. Over the years, I believe more and more in the idea of permissionless innovation. STOs necessarily bridge regulated and unregulated worlds, and this is a really hard space because of that interaction. But, I still do believe that we will see tokenized offerings with regulatory oversight.

CT: One time you mentioned that you feel a “nostalgia” about the early times when Bitcoin was purely decentralized and only was mined by personal computers. Do you think that the modern ecosystem is the right way for the industry to develop?

PV: If I could wave a wand, I would definitely do away with industrial mining. It's a very hard problem to do away with, though. I think mining is not in a stable position right now, though. There will be more innovation on business models. For instance, during the BCH–BTC war, I thought it very interesting that companies like Coinbase used their user platforms to advocate for what they wanted. Why hadn't they invested in mining so that they could actually control voting on the outcome?

The answer to that question is at least partly regulatory, by the way, both for Coinbase and their investors, but it's also social; a matter of how different people think of mining. Miners have generally historically not used their influence for more than making money, or at least usually in very soft ways, and this is probably not quite what Satoshi wanted.

CT: In early 2018, you said that innovations in the industry should be measured by the question: “What percent of the total innovation that’s going to be done has been done?” And your answer was less than 5%. Do you think we are at the same stage now? 

PV: I still think we have a lot of innovation left to do, and in fact, I wouldn't say anything super material has shown up in the last two years. We're seeing infrastructure build out right now, which is good. But we need another Vitalik and Gav, or we need one of them to pull a Linus Torvalds and do Git on top of Linux.

CT: What would you say to Satoshi Nakamoto if you were to meet?

PV: What makes you think I haven't?

To Satoshi, I'd say thank you, we got the leader we needed, luckily not the leader we deserved.

Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht Spends Seventh Birthday in a Row in Jail

Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht turns 36 today, spending his seventh birthday in a row in jail.

Ross Ulbricht turns 36 years old today. This will be his seventh birthday in incarceration.

Ulbricht is the convicted felon serving two life sentences plus 40 years for his role in creating the Silk Road, the online contraband market notorious for its associations with cryptocurrency. Ulbricht says Silk Road was initially envisioned as a libertarian paradise, but it eventually went sideways:

“Silk Road was supposed to be about giving people the freedom to make their own choices, to pursue their own happiness, however they individually saw fit. What it turned into was, in part, a convenient way for people to satisfy their drug addictions.”

This free market utopia lasted about two years from Ulbricht’s founding it in 2011. He was arrested by the FBI in October 2013 and has been in custody ever since. At trial he was found guilty of money laundering, computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics. His double life sentence comes without any chance of parole.

Since Ulbricht’s arrest and sentencing, many of the biggest names in the crypto community have spoken out in support of Ulbricht, suggesting that the legal system treated him with prejudice. Billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper has consistently voiced support for Ulbricht, and an online petition to the White House calling for Ulbricht’s release gathered its 275,000th signature this week.

Cointelegraph Youtube Hosts Review COVID-19 and Bitcoin Memes

Bored in quarantine? Depressed from the crash? Don’t worry! Cointelegraph hosts Jackson & Giovanni review COVID-19 memes to lift your mood.

Are you bored sitting at home in quarantine while the COVID-19 pandemic is raging outside? Feeling depressed from the latest crypto market crash? Afraid that the world might be ending?

Don’t worry! Cointelegraph Youtube hosts, Jackson and Giovanni, collected the best memes on coronavirus and Bitcoin to lift up your mood.

Any moment of global crisis is fertile ground for memes, some of which are spreading as fast as the COVID-19 pandemic itself.

People all over the world are raiding supermarkets and stocking up goods for the months to come. Others are wondering what their sexual life will be like in quarantine.

Meanwhile, the latest pandemic-induced market crash has put hodlers’ resilience under test and only the strongest hands resisted the “panic sell '' mood. Some are trying to predict how much toilet paper one Bitcoin will buy once the apocalypse unfolds.

Youtube hosts Jackson and Giovanni gave an overview of these dramatic times through the lighthearted lens of memes.

For more uplifting video content, check out our Youtube channel and hit the subscribe button.

Jeffrey Wernick on Cointelegraph China Focus

Jeffrey Wernick discussed Bitcoin, Ethereum, Wall Street and Google with Cointelegraph China’s new Focus talk show.

Welcome to Cointelegraph China Focus.

Focus is a new talk show series launched by Cointelegraph China that covers the hottest topics from around the world. Cointelegraph China Focus invites blockchain industry leaders from all around the globe to participate in discussions. The show is hosted by Vadim Krekotin, the co-founder and CEO of Cointelegraph China.

Jeffrey Wernick is a postgraduate student at the University of Chicago studying economics and finance. He has studied under several Nobel laureates, is a successful entrepreneur and is a seasoned private investor in various asset classes. He is also a strong believer of and early investor in Bitcoin, and is well known as an early investor in Airbnb and Uber.

Let’s get down to it.

Cointelegraph:

Friedrich Hayek was a great economist and political philosopher who believed in laissez-faire capitalism. You have previously mentioned that you have been heavily influenced by Hayek. As a very early investor of Bitcoin, do you think the existence of cryptocurrency is a form of laissez-faire capitalism? How do you define the cryptocurrency economy?

Jeffrey Wernick:

Before I answer, I want to again emphasize how special this is for me. Every moment in China has been so joyful for me. Thank you!

Throughout history, money has been mostly denationalized, to steal a term used by Hayek in his book The Denationalization of Money. Each time a centralized controlling authority has gotten control over the issuance or quality of money, it has debased it. It’s usually for the same reason: to establish an empire and to fund an army to expand that empire. Free market money is used for trade, commerce and voluntary exchange, without the interference of any third party.

Government money requires force. It has always and everywhere been debased, and it has always been eventually replaced by a return to denationalized money. Hayek supported the denationalization of money, and I believe he would enthusiastically support Bitcoin and the abolition of legal tender laws, letting the market judge money.

Hopefully we can convert the gig economy to an ownership economy, outside the context of the firm. Hopefully a distributed ledger will sooner rather than later provide the capacity for individuals to organize themselves and — through consensus and governance embedded in the protocol — determine the allocation of value and pricing the inputs into the production function. A world where proof-of-work is more valued and proof-of-stake becomes less important as bargaining power gets more evenly distributed. In the current economic system, to a great extent, economic power is allocated by bargaining power.

Firms organize themselves to enhance bargaining power, and they use that power to erect barriers to entry, including lobbying the government to deter competition. Unfortunately, the blockchain ecosystem — the shitcoin purveyors — stupidly focuses on payment rather than the distribution of value and the organization of economic activity. As the Libra hearings showed, governments will not relinquish control of payment systems.

To think so is so very, very stupid. Payment is controlled by governments — they have a monopoly. But value is still a function of markets. Build more robust markets. Hopefully blockchain can replace all ledgers — all accounting — so that we can again trust the production of information, its quality, its immutability and its timeliness. And to paraphrase Shakespeare, not only kill all the lawyers, but also the accountants, regulators and all third-party agents. Truth resides on the ledger.

CT:

Bitcoin has been developing for over 10 years — do you think the whole blockchain ecosystem is going the way Hayek said? What do you make of the development of cryptocurrency in these 10 years?

JW:

Currently, Bitcoin is a store of value, and because of its volatility, crypto funds have emerged with different quantitative trading strategies — momentum traders and volatility traders. Since Bitcoin has been the best store of value since its inception, in my opinion, to a great extent, Bitcoin has developed very well.

But I do wish there were more Bitcoin holders and less Bitcoin traders. I wish everyone would take a small percentage of each paycheck, or each inflow of money, and each time invest 2–10% into Bitcoin.

CT:

What do you anticipate as the near future of blockchain and cryptocurrency as we continue further into 2020, given such a turbulent start to the new year? And, on a broader scale, how do you envision and evaluate the impacts of the novel coronavirus — COVID-19 — on the global economy and financial markets?

JW:

The world economy has been quite fragile for some time, and I think the spread of the virus has exposed the great fragility of the global economy. It’s a sad reminder that we live on the planet together. The virus did not get a visa or passport. Its nationality is irrelevant. Its consequences are felt everywhere: lives lost, quarantines, events canceled and markets in free fall.

It’s another example of how trust has been so eroded. The only information I believe is that which is recorded on the Bitcoin ledger. Everything else is propaganda to me.

Those peddling shitcoins, scammy ICOs — they promised a revolution in trust with trustless technology, with the decentralization of trust and the elimination of third-party liars as our trust ecosystem. Most proved to be even bigger liars than those in the traditional economy.

CT:

You are a strong believer in Bitcoin, having bought in early on. You previously said that you have never sold a single Bitcoin — is that still the case? Why do you want to keep holding Bitcoin? If you never sell Bitcoin, does this also mean you never use Bitcoin?

JW:

Gresham’s Law: Bad money forces good money out of circulation. So, as long as bad money still persists, I will only spend fiat money and hold Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s best use case is as a store of value. That is the best attribute of money. It’s better to accumulate wealth than spend money. Shit money is for spending; Bitcoin — the best store of value — is for saving.

CT:

Bitcoin is regarded as blockchain 1.0, while Ethereum is regarded as blockchain 2.0, do you agree? Also, not only do you support Bitcoin, but you acted as an advisor to Qtum. How did that come about?

JW:

People who say Bitcoin is blockchain 1.0, Ethereum is 2.0 and EOS is 3.0 — I think they are morons. I have stated this in many talks. They are morons. There is no other store of value that can be monetized as quickly as Bitcoin. Its settlement is much, much faster than any other store of value. Try selling art, stocks, bonds, your house, your car or anything else as fast as Bitcoin. Ether and EOS are bad stores of value and bad forms of payment.

Ethereum became a Ponzi scheme because of the ICOs. It became the reserve currency for the shitcoin economy. I insisted over and over again that the shitcoin bubble would burst and Ethereum with it. Ethereum has new life now as a new shitcoin economy emerges: decentralize finance.

And regarding EOS, it paid a fine and pretty much acknowledged that it’s a liar. And Larimer is onto another project — also as I predicted — confirming the failure of the EOS governance structure. I remember when a few people wrote to me about holding EOS when it was around $18 and saying, “To the moon.” I responded by saying, “To the toilet,” and suggested they sell immediately.

Regarding Qtum, I met Patrick about a year before he did his ICO. I found him to be a serious, thoughtful person. I have always insisted that most projects will fail and to bet on people who will learn. Patrick and I remain friends. Patrick is committed to keep learning — that is an important quality. Few of those I’ve met truly wanted to learn.

CT:

You are also known for being an early investor in Uber and Airbnb. I think many investors agree that you have a very unique insight into this world, that you’ve captured the needs of this age.

Now that artificial intelligence, blockchain, big data, deep learning, and more and more technology is developing, what will come next after the internet era? Is there anything that you think will change the way people live their lives?

JW:

I have on numerous occasions mentioned the big fork in the road is between centralization and decentralization. Much of blockchain is more about enabling greater centralization. I am an advocate for decentralization, immutable money, immutable ledger, encrypted communication, data sovereignty and no longer needing third parties as liars or needing economic activity within a firm — a true revolution in trust within a society of peers.

CT:

In September of last year, Google made headlines when it announced that it had achieved “Quantum Supremacy” — solving a problem that is essentially impossible for classical computers to solve. Will quantum computers break Bitcoin?

JW:

Google once stated its goal: “Do no evil.” I think the reason it no longer says that is because if it did, it could probably be sued for fraud. I believe a more accurate statement regarding Google is that it only does evil.

Eric Schmidt once said in an interview that they go close to the creepy line and stop. Well, they have crossed the border into creepy territory. They erased the line, and everything they do is creepy.

Google will not beat Bitcoin! Bitcoin represents the most powerful supercomputer in the world, and it is getting stronger and more secure.

So, while technology evolves for evil, it also evolves for those who work toward decentralization and freedom from evil Google. My money stays with Bitcoin.

CT:

You have previously expressed the opinion that the valuation mode of Wall Street has changed. So, why doesn’t Wall Street like Bitcoin? Is it only because they don’t know how to use Bitcoin to tell a good story?

JW:

Wall Street does not like Bitcoin because Bitcoin is the opposite of Wall Street. They are polar opposites, philosophically. Wall Street controls money, controls the supposed trusted third parties, makes false claims that the ledger lies, wants money debased, and is an instrument to centralize wealth and power while erecting numerous barriers to entry. Bitcoin is freedom; Wall Street is debt slavery. Wall Street is in the dishonest-money business; Bitcoin — like gold — is honest money.

CT:

What would you say to Satoshi Nakamoto if you met him?

JW:

I am happy that I know Bitcoin. There is no need to know Satoshi. To me, the philosophy of Bitcoin is that Satoshi is irrelevant, and that Bitcoin speaks for itself. It’s a reminder that identity is extremely overrated, and attributes are underrated. Attributes are what matter — identity should be irrelevant.

A question from an audience member, Kevin Ren:

After a decade of development, do you think Bitcoin is decentralized enough? Is it the market or the maker that decides the price?

JW:

I am satisfied with the decentralization of Bitcoin, in the sense that the incentives to double spend and counterfeit Bitcoin are extremely low. There is a lot of value, and it’s distributed enough to deter the problem. And since its governance structure is anarchistic — for lack of better word — Bitcoin remains immutable.

CT:

This was a very pleasant and informative talk with Jeffrey. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas with our community. Your vision and position are unique. Next time, we will invite you to come to China and will show you our hospitality in person, as well.

This interview was lightly edited and condensed.

How to Survive The Crypto Bloodbath: Market Expert Take

Market experts Naeem Aslam and Charlie Burton explain how to make a profit off the sharpest intraday Bitcoin meltdown.

Bitcoin just suffered a 40% price crash while global markets were shaken at their core by the Coronavirus pandemic. Chief market analyst Naeem Aslam and veteran trader Charlie Burton told Cointelegraph what sense they make of this bloodbath and their strategies to survive it. 

Why did Bitcoin fall with the rest of the markets? 

Naeem Aslam explained the Bitcoin plunge as a direct consequence of the equity market crumbling amidst Coronavirus-driven panic and what it means for investors: 

“They have no other option but to liquidate some of their positions in other assets such as Bitcoin [...] In order to save themselves from margin calls in traditional assets.” 

Charlie shared a similar view: 

“When everyone is losing on their equity portfolios, then they end up selling what they've been doing well on to offset some of their losses.” 

Have we touched the bottom? 

Both analysts are optimistic regarding Bitcoin’s performance in the months ahead. Naeem predicts that central banks’ monetary policies around the globe are going to experience enormous stress and that is when the fundamentals of Bitcoin are going to be put to the test. 

Burton sees the positive side of the Bitcoin crash, since it serves to shake out weak ends and favors medium-to-long term perspectives. 

Still, both analysts are convinced that deeper lows may still be ahead. 

“Could it come back down, revisit $3000? Yes, it could. But I still see in a year, 18 months’ time — that's where I see it gradually trickle its way back up,” Aslam said.

How to handle the market crash? 

The two market experts also shared their personal strategies on how to profit the most from these turbulent times. Naeem believes day traders should take advantage of huge volatility to get involved in the market. For long-term investors, he suggests being patient and waiting. 

Charlie Burton warns about the risk of volatility and the importance of risk management: 

“Risk a maximum of 1 percent per trade. Reduce your position size and have wider stops than you'd normally have.” 

For more detailed insights on how to handle the crypto market turmoil, make sure you check the full video on Cointelegraph’s Youtube channel!

Ivan on Tech Clashes With Richard Heart in Latest Cointelegraph Crypto Duel

Ivan On Tech debate HEX founder Richard Heart on cryptocurrency fundamentals versus “pumpamentals,” how to spot a crypto scam and Bitcoin investment strategies.

Prominent crypto Youtuber Ivan On Tech and HEX founder Richard Heart clash on everything crypto in Cointelegraph’s latest crypto duel.

The two crypto celebrities discuss Richard Heart’s controversial cryptocurrency HEX, which began crashing shortly after its launch in December.

Ivan concedes that Richard might have misled investors by promising HEX will be the fastest appreciating asset in human history. However, he refrains from calling the cryptocurrency an outright scam:

“All in all, possibly a bad project, but a scam? I don’t think so.”

Richard, on the other hand, denies any wrongdoing and points to HEX’s “pumpamentals”, meaning the feature which will supposedly allow his cryptocurrency to outperform Bitcoin:

“Prices dropping 95% is not enough to define something a scam. Bitcoin dropped 85% [...] The question is if it's getting back up.”

The two also clashed on the significance of Bitcoin’s hashrate reaching an all-time high on March 1. Ivan acknowledged the key importance of hash rate in providing security to the Bitcoin network, saying:

“Hashrate is net positive [...] the more hashrate, the more investment, the more activity on the network”

Richard Heart disagrees, blaming miners for dumping Bitcoin and polluting the environment.

“People pretend the hashrate protects the coin and makes it more secure while all the problems the coin has ever had come from software bugs and hashrate has nothing to do with software bugs.”

The two also debated the best way to spot a crypto scam, the effectiveness of Dollar Cost Averaging Bitcoin as well as other investment strategies.

For more debates with most influential people in crypto, don’t forget to subscribe to Cointelegraph’s Youtube channel!

Beer & Bitcoin: Breaking Down Coronavirus and Bitcoin Halving

Cointelegraph hosts Jackson and Giovanni crack open a couple cold ones to discuss the halving, coronavirus, and the top 100 people in crypto.

Don’t miss the second episode of “Beer and Bitcoin”, where Cointelegraph YouTube hosts Giovanni Pigni and Jackson DuMont discuss everything crypto...while sipping cold beers! 

In this episode, our hosts debated Cointelegraph’s Top 100 list of the most influential people in crypto. Also, they showed how the Bitcoin halving is likely to impact Bitcoin price by analyzing different expert predictions. Finally, they discussed the impact the coronavirus is having on the crypto industry and the global economy. 

Grab a cold one and join them!