Venezuela Becomes ‘Dollarized’ as Citizens Seek Refuge in Alternative Solutions

Venezuela has been suffering from rapid inflation as the purchasing power of the sovereign bolivar has become near worthless. Over the last few weeks, Venezuelans have been dealing with blackouts throughout major cities, making credit card readers useless. Additionally, citizens are dependent on remittances from overseas and last month the country became ‘dollarized’ as more than 54% of all sales in the country were processed in U.S. dollars.

Also read: China Ranks 35 Crypto Projects as President Xi Pushes Blockchain

Sales in Venezuela Have Been Dollarized

For years now the Latin American country of Venezuela has been dealing with one of the worst economic and political crises in modern history. A corrupt government and failed central planning have destroyed the Venezuelan economy, causing food and medicine shortages, nationwide blackouts, and millions of Venezuelans have been left in poverty. According to citizens, remittances stemming from friends and relatives internationally have been a lifeline for the majority of residents.

Venezuela Becomes 'Dollarized' as Citizens Seek Refuge in Alternative Solutions

Statistics show that since 2016, the overall inflation rate has increased by 53,798,500% and the sovereign bolivar has hardly any purchasing power today. So instead of using the bolivar, Venezuelans are resorting to other payment avenues like barter and trade with precious metals, the USD, and a number of individuals are using cryptocurrencies as well. The USD has become so popular in Venezuela it overtook the bolivar in sales last month.

Venezuela Becomes 'Dollarized' as Citizens Seek Refuge in Alternative Solutions
The inflation rate in Venezuela is expected to peak at 10,000,000% this year.

Econoalitica, a Caracas-based research firm, revealed in October that more than 54% of all sales in Venezuela were processed in USD. Asdrubal Oliveros, director of Ecoanalitica, also explained that Venezuela’s second-largest city saw “86% of all transactions” measured in USD last month. Oliveros stressed that residents of the country are surviving from funds being sent to them from families who have migrated elsewhere. There’s now a divide of people who have “access to hard currency, and those without,” Oliveros stated.

“Venezuela lives in an economy dominated by dollar transactions,” the Ecoanalitica director said. “This excludes those who only have access to bolivars, whose ability to buy things is severely restricted.” With a significant dependency on the USD, Venezuela has become ‘dollarized,’ joining many other dollarized nation-states like Ecuador, East Timor, El Salvador, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands, and Zimbabwe. Dollarization is a macroeconomic term that describes how the USD substitutes the country’s native tender when it becomes useless as a medium of exchange.

Venezuela Becomes 'Dollarized' as Citizens Seek Refuge in Alternative Solutions
The United Socialist Party of Venezuela’s leader President Maduro introduced the first nation-state issued cryptocurrency called the petro which has been scrutinized by Venezuelans.

Venezuelans Find Refuge in Alternative Payments

As an alternative to barter and trade and the use of precious metals, Venezuelans have also discovered cryptocurrencies. News.bitcoin.com recently reported on the Bitcoin Cash House in Barquisimeto, Venezuela run by Roberto Garcia. The local BCH hub educates Venezuelans about the benefits of cryptocurrencies and job opportunities tethered to the industry.

Venezuela Becomes 'Dollarized' as Citizens Seek Refuge in Alternative Solutions
“The project, called Bitcoin Cash House, is the brainchild of Roberto Garcia and is sponsored by Bitcoin.com and Sideshift.ai,” explains news.bitcoin.com reporter Graham Smith. “It exists as a physical location and online initiative, seeking to educate newcomers to the space on the acquisition, storage, and general use of crypto, as well as development and job opportunities.”

Another entrepreneur in the country spreading adoption is Oscar Salas, the organizer of the Maracaibo city Bitcoin Cash meetup. Salas has been relentlessly driving BCH adoption to businesses in the region and recently discussed his activism on episode 34 of the Bitcoin Cast show. On October 8, Salas shared a picture and a video clip of his talk with over 200 cab drivers in Maracaibo city who learned about BCH first hand. There are ground crews in Venezuela as well with organizations like Venezuela.Bitcoin.com and Aprendebitcoin.org spreading valuable information about cryptocurrencies.

Venezuela Becomes 'Dollarized' as Citizens Seek Refuge in Alternative Solutions
Venezuela.bitcoin.com is making strides in Caracas, Maracaibo, and throughout the rest of the Latin American country by bolstering bitcoin cash merchant adoption in Venezuela.

The nonprofit Eatbch Venezuela (@eatBCH_VE) continues to show the BCH community how it is feeding Venezuelans in need using a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. “Long time since we posted pics of these locations due to tech difficulties, but we’re still helping those in need,” Eatbch Venezuela wrote on November 7. In September, news.Bitcoin.com also reported on the team of committed researchers and activists called the Ryver Bitcoin Cash Group surveying Venezuelans regularly. In their weekly studies, Ryver Bitcoin Cash Group community manager Sofia Corona noted that most Venezuelans do not trust the bolivar so the group gives them educational resources about the benefits of bitcoin cash. Lastly, this week BCH fans celebrated the fact that there are roughly 360 bitcoin cash-accepting merchants in Venezuela today according to data derived from map.Bitcoin.com. Similarly to places like North Queensland, Australia, and Slovenia, BCH is accepted by more merchants in Venezuela than BTC-accepting retailers.

No one is certain if Venezuela’s economy will see the bustling growth it once saw decades ago before the reign of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. The oil-rich nation does have proven oil reserves, but production is worse than three decades ago. To make matters worse, estimates reveal that the inflation rate in Venezuela may surpass 10,000,000% this year. President Maduro’s socialist regime also introduced the petro, a cryptocurrency allegedly backed by oil and gold reserves. Residents say the average citizen doesn’t use the petro at all and only crooked government officials utilize it to bypass economic sanctions. Maduro’s regime also whimsically raised the value of the petro twice, just like he raised the minimum wage rate 26 times. Despite Maduro’s efforts, Venezuelan citizens are seeking refuge in alternative payment systems like the USD and digital assets.

What do you think about the situation in Venezuela? Do you think cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cash (BCH) can help people? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Twitter, Investopedia, Pixabay, and Venezuela.bitcoin.com.


Venezuela.bitcoin.com is also making strides in Caracas, Maracaibo, and throughout the rest of the Latin American country by bolstering Bitcoin Cash merchant adoption in Venezuela. Did you also know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? Our Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now.

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3 Reasons Why NEO is Surging Right Now

3 reasons NEO is pumping right now

NEO price has reawakened again, rising to above $12 counter to the trend of Bitcoin (BTC) and other altcoins. This is the second significant run for the project following the recent announcement that China was taking a more lenient policy on crypto assets and planning new legislation in 2020.


NEO rose to $12.14, growing by more than 9% as of 2:13 GMT on Tuesday. The asset’s market price has made temporary hikes to a higher range, though for now it sits way below peak prices around $199. But here are 3 reasons why NEO still the potential for another rally.

Renewed Chinese Interest in Trading

Only a few weeks ago, Chinese traders seemed to have disbanded and retail chat groups appeared to have moved on, according to Primitive Ventures Founder, Dovey Wan. But the sentiment is changing once again, as China’s President announced renewed interest in blockchain and crypto. Chinese crypto project, NEO, is already starting to see the effects of this promising development, though the prevailing opinion is that the rallies will be temporary, based on hype and narrative.

The NEO network has lagged behind other projects in hosting distributed apps or finance services, but the new Chinese government initiative to invest in local projects could bring about new developments.

Right now, investors appear to be speculating that the project will receive new attention from Chinese investors soon.

Bullish Chart Increases Hype

The NEO price charts have started looking very bullish in recent weeks, which in turn, is currently bringing more traders into the market. As BTC stagnates, altcoins are showing the potential for short-term, risky rallies that nevertheless can generate lucrative returns.

The technical analysis of NEO may add to the heightened trading activity, based on heightened presence on the CoinBene exchange. As so much of NEO volumes are concentrated on one exchange, the asset’s price may go through a highly concentrated pump. Right now, NEO has broken out of a classic bullish pennant pattern against BTC and ETH trading pairs, with rising volume suggesting a promising upward continuation.

NEO 3.0 and Potential Trend Reversal

The project also has the long-term potential of establishing its new network, NEO 3.0, planned for 2020. This flagship development has been in the making for over 10 years and is expected to bring about native contracts, internet resource access, as well as an enhanced delegated byzantine fault tolerant (dBFT) consensus mechanism.

The most optimistic view is that NEO is also headed for a trend reversal, gaining against BTC and establishing a valuation at a higher level.

The current rally may turn back quickly, but there is also a chance to reverse the trend for NEO. With nearly $100 million inflows from Tether (USDT) and BTC combined, NEO has another chance at lining up with top coins.

What do you think of NEO’s ascent? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @Doopiecash @cryptowelson @CryptoAcademy1

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Canadian Bank Changes Bitcoin Tune, May Launch Cryptocurrency Exchange

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is exploring building a cryptocurrency trading platform for both investments and in-store/online purchases.

This move would make the bank — the largest in Canada by market capitalization, with $661 billion CAD ($499 billion) in assets under management — the first in the country to launch a cryptocurrency exchange.

The trading platform would facilitate the buying and selling of individual digital coins, including Bitcoin and Ether, as well as bundled crypto assets. RBC also plans to offer customers the ability to open accounts to safely store their digital coins, according to The Logic

RBC Cryptocurrency Patents

Although full details surrounding the bank’s plans are not yet available, RBC has applied for four patents in Canada and the U.S that provide insights on how it plans to integrate cryptocurrency into its operations.

The U.S. patent applications, which were filed in April and became public in October, discuss how the bank can take advantage of the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies.

One patent reads: “To individual users, managing cryptographic keys and transacting with different cryptographic assets can be a challenge. In some situations, cryptographic asset transactions may take time to be confirmed, and/or may not be compatible or supported by merchant systems or point-of-sale devices.”

As of press time, RBC did respond to The Logic’s request for comment, including whether it plans to launch a cryptocurrency trading platform and if so, when it would launch.

“As part of the innovation and discovery process, RBC, like many other organizations, files patent applications to ensure proprietary ideas and concepts are protected,” RBC spokesperson Jean Francois Thibault said.

Change of Tune

change

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is exploring building a cryptocurrency trading platform for both investments and in-store/online purchases.

RBC’s move may come as a surprise to some: last year, the bank abruptly banned its clients from purchasing cryptocurrencies with credit and debit cards, following similar moves by others like TD Bank and Bank of Montreal. 

That said, in the past three years RBC has published 27 blockchain-related patents dealing with vehicle records, digital rewards, smart contracts, loan offerings, and a variety of investment vehicles.

Canada has a number of small cryptocurrency exchanges, but many have run into issues, regulatory and otherwise. Just last week, Vancouver-based Einstein Exchange, which owes customers over $16 million, filed for bankruptcy.

Earlier this year, Vancouver-based QuadrigaCX, which owes nearly $215 million, went bankrupt after its CEO died in 2018 and no one could obtain the information on the private key he used to access funds on the exchange.

RBC’s applications suggest how it plans to avoid those kinds of issues, ensuring that private keys are easily locatable, while also abiding by other regulations, such as anti-money-laundering provisions.

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Token Quality is Not the Main Criteria When Choosing a Crypto Exchange

Analyzing cryptocurrency exchange users and their preferences, Beijing-based token data and rating agency TokenInsight found that people’s number one concern when choosing and using an exchange is safety. For the exchange personas section of their latest cryptocurrency exchange industry research report for the third quarter of 2019, TokenInsight collected 207

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Central Bankers Won’t Listen to Senior Alan Greenspan’s Digital Currency Views

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Disney+ Launch Sinks 15 Million Nails into Cable TV’s Coffin

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Paxos Debuts Fiat Gateway With Binance Crypto Exchange as Its First Client

Binance became the first cryptocurrency exchange to implement a new fiat gateway from stablecoin operator Paxos.

Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance became the first cryptocurrency exchange to implement the fiat gateway of stablecoin operator Paxos.

On Nov. 12, Paxos announced the launch of its Fiat Gateway, a service that allows its users to swap between dollars and stablecoins on a one-to-one basis.

A deepening collaboration

While the service has been available to Paxos users since May, Binance has fully integrated it, making it available to all of its customers. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao hinted that the two companies could deepen their collaboration further in the future:

“The new Fiat Gateway is the fastest, simplest U.S. dollar on/off ramp for our customers. We look forward to working more closely with Paxos to integrate additional solutions.”

The two firms have worked together in the past. In June, Paxos allowed its user to deposit fiat currency onto its platform and have the balance appear directly in PAX stablecoins in their Binance accounts.

In September, Binance partnered with Paxos to jointly launch a new U.S. dollar-backed stablecoin regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services.

An interoperable, open system

In addition to its Fiat Gateway, Paxos announced a second application programming interface (API) dubbed Stablecoin Swap that will allow 1:1 swaps between Paxos-based stablecoins. Paxos CEO and co-founder Charles Cascarilla explained:

“We created these APIs so our technology can become more widely available and scalable. Our aim is to create financial infrastructure that others can utilize and build on, so together we can create a modern, open financial system.”

Bitcoin Market Cycle: Is This Complacency, Or A New Hope?

All markets – such as Bitcoin – are cyclical and go through stages of peak euphoria before a correction brings investors back down to reality. Eventually, anger and depression kick in, and investors begin to fear the worst before the cycle reaches a low and begins to pick up once again and return to the mean.

But where is Bitcoin in its overall market cycle? Was this year’s run-up a disbelief rally before new hope sets in, or has the market on just now reached the complacency stage, and the real carnage is still ahead?

Where Exactly Is Bitcoin In Its Market Cycle?

Bitcoin, the first-ever cryptocurrency, has had a stellar 2019. At the peak of its parabolic run, it reached a price of $14,000 and at the height brought investors who bought the bottom as much as over 350% returns – no other asset compares to Bitcoin’s performance.

Related Reading | List of Crypto All-Time High Prices Shows How Far Market Must Recover 

The powerful rally has crypto investors convinced that the asset is about to embark on its next bull run, but with so much bullish bias in the market, could Bitcoin only now be reaching the complacency stage or a market cycle? If so, it would indicate that the real drop could soon begin, and a new, much deeper bottom could be possible.

This is according to the Wall Street Cheat Sheet’s “psychology of a market cycle” chart, which clearly demonstrates the various stages of a market cycle. According to one analyst, the pattern closely resembles Bitcoin’s price chart when zoomed out.

Following the 2014-2015 bear market, Bitcoin began a meager rally in 2016, bringing early adopters hope once again that the asset could soon be back in bull mode. 2017 later saw optimism turn into belief, thrill, and finally, euphoria as Bitcoin reached its all-time high of $20,000.

After euphoria, investors are typically still bullish, and assume the asset needs to “cool off for the next rally.” Following this, the real collapse begins, ushering in emotional states like anxiety, denial, and panic.

It could be argued that capitulation, anger, and depression kicked in after Bitcoin broke down from $6,000 support in November 2018, which took the price of the asset to the current bear market bottom at $3,150.

Related Reading | Bitcoin Low Timeframe Fractal Matches Weekly Price Action, But Is There More? 

However, Bitcoin investors and supporters remained bullish on the asset the entire time and were using the low prices as an opportunity to buy back in. The fact that sentiment has remained so bullish could suggest that the crypto market – namely Bitcoin – is still in the complacency stage of a market cycle, and what comes next could be the real capitulation that shakes out any remaining bullish investors before the cycle begins again.

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CME Group to Launch Options on Bitcoin Futures Contracts in Two Months

2020 might kick off with a launch of a new financial instrument for Bitcoin (BTC) investors. After the September announcement of its plans to launch this new addition to their offerings for Q1 of 2020, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group), a major financial derivatives marketplace, said today that the options on its Bitcoin futures contracts will be available

Huobi Chain Blockchain Completes Planned Open Source Developer Rollout

Huobi Chain on schedule for Q2 2020 mainnet launch, encouraging regulators to participate in the innovation of financial services.

Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has open-sourced the development of its Huobi Chain blockchain, the company has confirmed.

In a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Nov. 12, Huobi said that Huobi Chain, which it unveiled in June, was now available to any GitHub developer.

Huobi encourages regulator involvement

The aim, it explains, is further interaction between developers and regulators, Huobi Chain’s target audience.

“Since the start of this project, our goal was to create an inclusive ecosystem where all stakeholders from developers to regulators can collaborate and leverage the full potential of blockchain technology,” Leon Li, founder and CEO of Huobi Group, commented in the press release. Li added:

“In sticking to that vision, we’re now opening the code and inviting the greater blockchain community to help us shape and build the future of decentralized finance.”

Huobi Chain aims to provide a suitable incubator environment for various blockchain projects, including stablecoins, decentralized applications, or DApps, and decentralized exchanges, or DEXs.

The platform remains in the planning stages, with a testnet launch due in Q1 2020 and the mainnet the following quarter.

Chinese blockchain sentiment is at a high

As Cointelegraph previously reported, the Chinese blockchain space has seen new energy in recent weeks after a sudden endorsement of the technology by Beijing.

After President Xi Jinping urged for the acceleration of blockchain tech development last month, Chinese cryptocurrency tokens began climbing, while other businesses publicly spoke of confidence in the space going forward.

Blockchain application platform VeChain unveiled its latest product at a Chinese conference last week. 

“VeChain, being a global blockchain technology platform provider with significant resources in China and Europe will be a direct beneficiary of this bullish shift by the second largest economy in the world,” the company said in a post at the time.

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CME Group Announces Launch Date of Options on Bitcoin Futures Product

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group has announced the date it expects to launch options on Bitcoin futures.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group has announced the date it expects to launch options on Bitcoin (BTC) futures in a statement on Nov. 12.

“In response to growing interest in cryptocurrencies and customer demand for tools to manage bitcoin exposure, CME Group will launch options on Bitcoin futures (BTC) on January 13, 2020,” the company revealed in the announcement. The CME Group said that the upcoming product is still pending regulatory approval.

Contract specifications

CME Group specified that one Bitcoin futures contract will represent 5 BTC quoted in U.S. dollars, with a block minimum of five contracts. The announcement reads:

“Option exercise results in a position in the underlying cash-settled futures contract. In-the-money options are automatically exercised into expiring cash-settled futures, which settle to the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR) at 4:00 p.m. London time on the last Friday of the contract month.”

CME Group’s intentions and expectations on BTC futures options

In September, CME Group revealed plans to roll out options on BTC futures by Q1 2020. At the time, Tim McCourt — CME Group global head of equity index and alternative investment products — said that the new products are intended to help institutions and professional traders manage spot market BTC exposure, and enable them to hedge BTC futures positions in a regulated exchange environment.

In October, the company said it expected to see high demand in Asia for its forthcoming BTC options product. McCourt noted that options would likely enable Bitcoin miners to more accurately hedge the costs of their production.

At the same time, McCourt also stated that CME Group has no current plans to launch physically-settled Bitcoin contracts.

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Tunisian Central Bank Denies Reports of an ‘E-Dinar’ Digital Currency

The Central Bank of Tunisia denied reports stating that the bank is developing a CBDC in partnership with a startup.

The Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) has denied reports stating that the bank is developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). An official announcement from the BCT follows apparently false reports that Tunisia was the first country to start moving its national currency to a blockchain platform and was preparing to launch its “e-dinar.”

Central Bank of Tunisia is focused on the digitization of finance

In the statement, the BCT refuted all claims regarding the development of a digital money solution. The Central bank clarified that it is now exploring various methods of digital payment alternatives, including a possible CBDC, but it has not moved forward with its implementation. The bank further stated:

“The BCT is currently focusing on the digitization of finance, in its digital currency dimension and not that on cryptocurrency. Its services are studying the opportunities and risks inherent in these new technologies, particularly in terms of cyber security and financial stability.”

Regarding the purported partnership with a foreign company to deliver a CBDC, the BCT declared that it does not have such a relationship with any domestic or foreign firm.

Confusion regarding proof-of-concept at the Forex Club of Tunisia

However, the bank admitted that the Forex Club of Tunisia — an event hosted by an “independent association connected to the BCT” — has featured talks regarding CBDCs. At the event, participants were offered to attend a demonstration on the theoretical feasibility of a digital currency initiated by a private startup. 

The startup has “no moral or contractual relationship with the BCT,” the bank emphasized. The BCT concluded that the proof-of-concept at the forum was taken out of context due to a marketing operation where the BCT’s name was improperly used. 

In the statement, the BCT also specified that it is preparing to launch a regulatory sandbox for technological innovations in the banking and financial sector in early 2020.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, one of the first reports on the BCT’s alleged e-dinar was delivered by Russian news agency Tass on Nov. 7. The report said that the Tunisian dinar would be digitized and issued on the Universa Blockchain, a platform created by a Russian initial coin offering startup.

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Cardano Incentivized Testnet Snapshot Happened Today: Community Is Optimistic

After much delay, the Cardano (ADA) incentivized testnet finally rolls out today. At 12 noon UTC, a snapshot of balances in Daedalus and Yoroi wallets will kick off the staking process. And ADA holders will have the opportunity to earn rewards by staking their tokens at a later date. But more than that, developers at IOHK say that this marks a momentous point in decentralizing the Cardano network.

Cardano Shelley Era

The Shelley phase of development is Cardano’s first step towards decentralization. This will be achieved by increasing the delegation of community-run nodes and incentivizing network participation through staking.

Picture of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley used to signify Shelley phase of Cardano roadmap

Developers expect this setup to promote long term honest participation on the Cardano network. Moreover, by the end of this phase, developers predict that Cardano will be significantly more decentralized than any other blockchain network.

Furthermore, the Cardano community is buzzing with excitement over the real rewards on offer. Developers believe this is the only way to accurately assess their theories on incentivization. They said:

“The ada rewards earned for delegating a stake or running a stake pool are real and, once the testnet is complete, spendable. We’re using real rewards to gauge real responses, and to assess how the mechanism works in a real-world setting.”

Stages of Testnet Participation

All the same, in the clamor to be a part of it, many ADA holders are confused over the process. As of today, anyone wanting to participate should have their ADA in a Daedalus or Yoroi wallet. And not on an exchange or hardware wallet. But this first snapshot is a dry run, and does not affect your testnet participation.

Within a few days from now, a testnet wallet will be available for download. After downloading, restore your account to it by entering your 12-word recovery key.

At this point verify that the account restoration on the testnet wallet has worked and that your test balance is correct.

If there are problems, now is the time to get in touch with Cardano support. Otherwise, simply wait for the second snapshot.

After the second snapshot has been taken, you are free to move your tokens wherever you wish. But your test tokens will stay in the test wallet.

Remember, participation in today’s balance snapshot is optional. And will not affect your ability to participate in the incentivized testnet.

ADA Price

Since the start of the year, ADA has followed a similar pattern to Bitcoin. Having spiked around April, and then again during the summer. However, ADA’s summer decline occurred from July onwards, versus Bitcoin who managed to stave off a price drop until late August.

Today’s snapshot did not significantly affect the price as Cardano is up just under 2% at $0.044. But this forms the tail end of an upward trend since late October.

Some have speculated that low ADA supply on the exchanges, as holdings get transferred to Daedalus and Yoroi wallets in preparation for today’s snapshot, maybe the reason for this trend.

Volume swing has ranged from around $32 million to as high as $145 million since the start of October, settling around the $60 – 70 million level for the past week. As such, the start of this testnet has not affected Cardano’s demand significantly.

The Future For Cardano

All the same, Cardano’s fundamentals remain strong. And the scientific research, that underpins their operating philosophy, if all goes to plan, will develop a scalable high-security PoS network for the long term.

However, that same methodical approach is also Cardano’s weakness. And many in the community have grown tired over roadmap delays. And it should be noted that Cardano has a further three roadmap phases in Gogen, Basho, and Voltaire until completion.

The coming weeks, as testnet feedback is released, will mark a significant period in Cardano’s development. And the community will finally learn whether delays to Shelley were justified.

Having said that, there’s no denying that Cardano’s goal of being the world’s financial backbone is an ambitious goal, if ever there was one. But Cardano advocates acknowledge that these things take time. And so remain unphased by the slow burn that is Cardano’s development.

 

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Central Bank Digital Currency Efforts Explode Ahead of China Crypto Launch

If you told someone on Wall Street or a central bank official ten years ago that there would be sovereign digital currencies, they likely would’ve laughed. But, these digital currencies are becoming reality. And quick.

Crypto

Central Banks Going All-In On Crypto?

On Monday, CoinDesk reported that the Banque de France has just doubled down on its digital asset ambitions. A job opening published in the middle of last month mentioned the central bank’s need for an analyst with experience in crypto-economics, game theory and public or private blockchain.

The report also noted that France’s monetary authority is looking for an individual to research the use of blockchain in traditional banking.

The same CoinDesk released the abovementioned report, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) revealed that it would be onboarding a key individual: Benoit Coeure, outgoing member of the executive board of the European Central Bank.

Coeure, who previously called Bitcoin an “evil spawn of the financial crisis,’ will be leading the BIS’ Innovation Hub, which is a new branch of the banking entity that has made cryptocurrencies one of its primary focuses.

While the BIS announcement regarding this news made no mention of cryptocurrency, the BIS has supported central bank digital currencies in the past. Agustín Carstens, the head of BIS, said earlier this year:

“Many central banks are working on it; we are working on it, supporting them.”

These latest tidbits of news come just a few weeks after a report revealed that Canada is considering its own cryptocurrency. Per previous reports from this outlet, an internal slide deck presented to Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz revealed a proposed central bank digital currency project. The proposed coin would be widely available,” an eventually mandatory alternative to paper fiat, would be able to collect information about consumers, and would combat the “direct threat” of Bitcoin and other decentralized and “unbacked” money systems.

Response to China

While it may be a coincidence that all this work towards central bank/fiat-backed digital currencies is happening at once, it seems that it’s in response to those that are currently ahead of the game: the Chinese government and the People’s Bank of China.

Just last month, China’s President Xi Jinping told the Chinese people that they should start adopting blockchain as a “core technology” to bolster an array of industries, including healthcare and finance.

Also, the past months have seen reports reveal that China is on the verge of launching a dual-layered digital money system that may have the potential to become the nation’s primary medium of exchange.

It is likely that we’re going to see a sort of “blockchain arms race” take place over the next couple of years, which will see countries and companies all over the globe duke it out for how best to use this technology.

There will likely be a focus on centralized cryptocurrencies due to the value they provide; the aforementioned Bank of Canada slide deck mentioned that banknotes are quickly becoming obsolete and expensive, while decentralized cryptocurrencies have begun to pose a threat to monetary policy.

This impending arms race will be of utmost importance, analysts have asserted, with Anthony Pompliano, formerly of Facebook and currently of cryptocurrency investment firm Morgan Creek Digital asserting that the United States would “gain a [monetary/economic] advantage” and “capture the imagination of hundreds of millions of people” if it launched a digital money system before China did.

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China’s Bitcoin Article May Not be Bullish for Bitcoin; Here’s Why

Yesterday, Bitcoin blew up… in China. As reported by Blockonomi, Xinhua, the leading state-run publication (and the purportedly most-read media outlet) of the People’s Republic of China, released an entire article on Bitcoin.

The article, whose title roughly translates to “Bitcoin: The First Successful Application of Blockchain Technology,” was seen by many on Twitter as a ground-breaking development for the cryptocurrency space; Xinhua’s readership likely ranges in the dozens of millions.

China

Unfortunately, though, the article isn’t as bullish or positive for the cryptocurrency space as the headline implies. Here’s why.

Not Good for Bitcoin?

It’s no secret that China has recently grown to dislike Bitcoin. While the nation’s leader, President Xi Jinping, last month announced that China should formally adopt blockchain technologies, cryptocurrencies remain largely restricted; the bans on Bitcoin trading, cryptocurrency events, ICOs, certain media outlets, the use of WeChat and AliPay to transact money for digital assets, and so on seemingly remain in place.

It should maybe come as no surprise then that the aforementioned Xinhua article about Bitcoin wasn’t entirely optimistic. Sure, the piece had some highlights for cryptocurrency bulls — the headline, for one, is a nice touch — it gets a bit more harrowing when you delve into the nitty-gritty of the piece.

Head of Fidelity-affiliated Avon Ventures, a cryptocurrency venture fund, Alex Thorn reminded to his followers that the article, while explaining the ins and outs of Bitcoin quite well, calls the cryptocurrency “highly concentrated/centralized” phenomena, something that is bad for the climate, and is something “most importantly” used for black market transactions.

It also asserted that the cryptocurrency markets are hyper-volatile — a characteristic that pundits like Facebook’s David Marcus say make Bitcoin unviable as a digital currency, despite its youth to, say, the U.S. dollar — and the idea that Bitcoin may be a tulip bubble, something that mainstream economists often claim it is.

Thorn did joke, however, that China “isn’t” bad for the environment, centralized, and a 100% good actor — criticizing the hypocrisy of the nation bashing Bitcoin.

It is important to note that this isn’t the first time that a state-affiliated actor has tried to bash Bitcoin by way of an article. Per previous reports from Blockonomi, the People’s Daily, another state-run outlet (often called a state mouthpiece by Western media), reminded the Chinese that Xi’s support for blockchain does not equate to support for cryptocurrency:

“The rise of blockchain technology was accompanied by that of cryptocurrencies, but innovation in blockchain technology does not mean we should speculate in virtual currencies.”

This article also purportedly called cryptocurrencies a term that directly translates to “air coins,” Chinese slang for “s**tcoins,” according to some involved in China’s cryptocurrency space on Twitter.

“China Coin,” Not Bitcoin

China’s seeming attempts to try and discredit Bitcoin come ahead of the launch of a sovereign cryptocurrency. It isn’t a stretch of the imagination to assume, then, that China is making use of anti-Bitcoin rhetoric to push the viability of a Chinese yuan-backed or -based digital asset.

For those who missed the memo, the People’s Bank of China will soon be launching a cryptocurrency that will act as a medium of exchange for consumers and as a settlement network for corporations and banks. There is no concrete timeline for the project, though officials have said that the cryptocurrency is nearing a prototype phase that can be rolled out to beta/pilot testers.

It still isn’t clear how this new cryptocurrency and respective blockchain will interact with Bitcoin, but as we wrote on Monday, China is likely doing everything in its power to separate the antithetical state-run and decentralized blockchains.

The post China’s Bitcoin Article May Not be Bullish for Bitcoin; Here’s Why appeared first on Blockonomi.

Nominex Review: Crypto Exchange With Own NMX Token & Referral Program

There are a lot of crypto exchanges to choose from. Nominex has a solid trading platform that allows trade in numerous token pairs. The token pairs are based on BTC, ETH, and USDT. Nominex clients also get access to instant deposits and top-notch security for any tokens on deposit with the exchange.

Nominex also offers its clients a way to gain from its referral program, which allows you to build a passive income from people who you refer to the exchange.

If you have been looking for a way to combine token trading with a passive online income, it would be a good idea to learn more about what Nominex has to offer. The platform is easy to use and gives crypto traders some great options for their business, or hobby.

Nominex has also created a great tokenomics system that will give away NMX tokens for free. The sooner you sign up for the platform, the more NMX tokens you are likely to receive.

Nominex Review

Visit Nominex

Nominex Creates Opportunities

Nominex knows that there is a lot of competition in the crypto trading space, so it created an affiliate program that will help anyone who likes to trade cryptos to grow their online business. The company uses a binary tree affiliate structure for its affiliate program, and anyone who joins the exchange can take full advantage of an industry-leading bonus program.

Unlike many of the other affiliate programs that are out there, Nominex allows you to have unlimited people in your tree, which means that the returns from the time and effort you expend promoting the exchange isn’t going to be limited to a given level of possible users in your tree.

Nominex Referral

Building up a network of traders with the system that Nominex designed is simple. The company has created links that you can distribute, and start making a passive income from anyone who is in your tree. Unlike many other affiliate programs, Nominex allows you to make money from users that are both below you, and in other positions as well.

How the Affiliate Program Works

At its most basic level, the Nominex affiliate program is extremely simple. Once you sign up for an account, you will be given a referral link that you can send to anyone else who trades cryptocurrencies. If they join Nominex and start trading with that link, you will make a percentage of their trading fees, forever.

The binary tree structure is a little different from many other referral programs. When you decide to start building your affiliate network, you can add two people as your first affiliate level. Those two people can then add two more people, so at the second level, you would have 6 people in your tree (two in the first level, and four in the second).

The rewards that are offered change as the levels grow, and you can learn more about the specific ways that you will earn money with this program at the official affiliate program page, which you can access by clicking right here.

If you want to find a way to start earning money from your love of cryptos and trading, the Nominex affiliate program is a good option. There are many ways to attract people to the exchange, and gain more exposure for yourself as well!

How to: Build an Affiliate Network

You might be wondering how to get people into your affiliate network. The good news is that there are many ways to get noticed online, and they can all help you grow your online presence. Earning money with the Nominex affiliate program is a good way to start earning a passive income, and attract like-minded people to your media outlets.

If you like to write and want to spread the word about cryptos, blogging about cryptos might be a good way to start your online business. With the Nominex affiliate program you will have a way to create a passive income from your blog, and also build up your image as a token market guru.

The costs involved with starting up a blog are minimal, which makes blogging a great way to build up a following online. There is always a need for insightful commentary about the crypto markets, and once you have a reasonable amount of content on your blog, you can expand it into a website.

Affiliate Structure

You can cash in on the proliferation of online video content by starting up a channel on YouTube and talking about crypto. There is a good chance that cryptocurrencies are going to be around for a while, and getting in with the Nominex affiliate program is a good way to monetize a format that can be difficult to make money with.

The Nominex affiliate program was designed to maximize the effort you put into building your tree, and you will be able to gain from the ‘spillover effect’, which is when the person above you (if there is one) builds their tree. It is rare for an affiliate program to reward you for lateral parts of the tree, but Nominex does so.

The token markets move fast, and you can get a following by sending out information as fast as the news sites publish it with Twitter. Most people have a hard time making money for their Tweets, but with the Nominex affiliate program, you can get paid to stay on top of the crypto markets.

Of course, all three of the ideas listed here can be used together, and totally work to help you establish a solid online presence. There are other ways to cash-in on your online persona too, and the Nominex affiliate program may be a gateway to a much larger passive income.

Nominex Features

A great affiliate program wouldn’t mean much if the crypto exchange behind it wasn’t great, and Nominex has created a platform that fits the needs of many token traders. Nominex offers unleveraged trading in many of the most popular token pairs, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and many more.

In addition to a wide range of supported tokens, Nominex has minimal KYC requirements, as it doesn’t support deposits or withdrawals in fiat currency. In order to replicate the value of fiat currency on its exchange, Nominex uses the USDT token, which is a stablecoin that derives its value via a peg to the US Dollar.

Exchange

Hacking has always been an issue for crypto exchanges, but Nominex has taken measures to ensure the safety of its clients’ funds. As a centralized exchange, Nominex acts as custodian for client funds on the exchange, and 99% of those tokens are kept in cold storage, with multi-sig technology.

It makes sense to use an exchange that takes security seriously, and Nominex works to keep not only its clients’ tokens safe, but also protect their personal data and any other information that hackers could potentially target.

NMXTokenomics

Nominex has a very innovative token distribution model. Instead of running an ICO, or selling tokens directly, the company will distribute its NMX tokens in a few different ways. First, the company will give away the tokens, for free.

The second phase will reward people who adopt the platform. Nominex will give NMX tokens away every day to the users that are trading on the platform.

NMX Tokens

The amount of tokens that are given away is fixed, so the sooner you start trading on the platform, the more likely you are to gain more tokens. As more people use Nominex, the fixed amount of NMX tokens will be spread thinner, and traders will receive less as a result of their activities.

Nominex also plans to do regular NMX token giveaways as well, although there is no word on when these may begin. For now, you can sign up for the exchange, and get updates on how to receive your NMX tokens.

The company offers traders a discount if they hold and pay for their trading fees with NMX tokens, which makes trading on Nominex even more attractive.

Nominex is an Innovative Platform

As a crypto trading platform, Nominex has created some new features that help crypto users build a passive income stream, and may drive the adoption of cryptos in the wider world. The affiliate program that Nominex designed will likely help to spread the world about tokens, and help people that create positive media grow their own brand.

The exchange that Nominex designed is fully featured and offers a range of token pairs to choose from. Instant deposits and withdrawals are another great feature of the company and should help people to build trust in the new exchange.

Nominex is just getting started and doesn’t offer features like leveraged trading, or fiat deposits, but if you are looking for a new exchange that has a great affiliate program, it is worth learning more about it or just signing up for a totally free trading account.

Visit Nominex

The post Nominex Review: Crypto Exchange With Own NMX Token & Referral Program appeared first on Blockonomi.

Abra Adding 60 New Cryptocurrencies in Consumer Adoption Push: Report

The Abra crypto investment app is reportedly adding 60 new cryptocurrencies to its platform, effectively trebling the number of supported tokens.

California-based cryptocurrency wallet and investment service Abra is adding a total of 60 new cryptocurrencies to its platform, reports suggest.

According to CoinDesk on Nov. 12, the increasingly widespread payment gateway is planning to more than treble its existing crypto offerings for international users from 30 to 90 tokens.

Four stablecoins to debut on Abra platform

Four stablecoins including Tether (USDT), Paxos Standard (PAX), TrueUSD (TUSD) and Dai (DAI) will reportedly be among the new tokens.

Restrictions remain for United States residents, who are unable to hold Qtum (QTUM), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), EOS (EOS), OmiseGo (OMG) and Status (SNT) on Abra’s platform.

New York residents can only hold Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) on Abra. The restrictions all relate to local regulatory hurdles.

Cointelegraph has reached out to both Abra and its CEO, Bill Barhydt, for more details, but has not received a response as of press time.

Institutions take the lead

Abra focuses on the slowly-expanding consumer adoption curve for cryptocurrency, at a time when attention continues to focus on the institutional sector as fresh offerings come online.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, institutional trading platform Bakkt released its Bitcoin custody solution this week, something it considered a critical step to broader adoption.

The sentiment was previously echoed by Bitcoin proponent and venture capital investor Mike Novogratz.

“Bakkt just got set up, there’s a futures exchange that’s starting to gain some volume. But more importantly they’ve got a custody solution that’s just coming online… world-class custody which allows more and more people to feel comfortable with it,” he said in an interview late last month.

Dow Tilts Sideways as Pivotal Trump Speech Leaves Markets Paralyzed

The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq secured minimal momentum on Tuesday. Investors are on edge ahead of a pivotal Trump speech at the Economic Club of New York. The president is praising the “BOOMING” economy and stock market. The stock market’s near-paralysis continued on Tuesday, leaving the Dow tilting sideways ahead of a pivotal Trump […]

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Bakkt Opens Its Bitcoin Custody Warehouse to “All Institutions”

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) owns and operates some of the largest exchanges around the globe, including the New York Stock Exchange. Now, its bitcoin arm Bakkt has opened the doors of its custody services to all the institutions of the world.

In operating as a limited liability trust company in New York, Bakkt announced the pivot on November 11th upon the startup having received approval from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to “offer bitcoin custody to all institutions.”

Bakkt

Bakkt, known for having launched the first physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts, had hitherto used its Bakkt Warehouse facility to custody the bitcoin used in its futures transactions. With the NYDFS’s approval, the facility can now directly secure enterprises’ bitcoin holdings even if futures aren’t involved.

And while saturation is already accruing near the top of the cryptocurrency custody sector, Bakkt is hoping to beat out the competition by offering its clients a superior service. As the company’s chief operating officer Adam White explained on Monday:

“While technology provides the foundation by which we securely store customer funds, the Bakkt Warehouse employs extensive physical, operational and cybersecurity safeguards too. Our relationship with Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), a Fortune 500 company that owns and operates the market infrastructure upon which the world’s largest financial institutions already rely, enables us to uniquely address client needs in the digital asset custody space […].”

Per Bakkt, the first oncomers to use its widened custody offering will be cryptoeconomy mainstays Galaxy Digital, Pantera Capital, and Tagomi.

Bakkt’s Futures Volume Ascending

Fledgling though it may be, Bakkt saw some celebration last week after the firm set a new all-time high for intraday trades of its monthly bitcoin futures product.

Indeed, on November 8th more than $15.33 million USD worth of Bakkt’s physically-settled monthly bitcoin futures were traded, up over $5 million from the company’s previous record of $10.25 million that was set in October. Since launching back in September, the exchange has facilitated more than 12,000 bitcoin worth of trades involving its monthly futures contract.

Of course, Bakkt still has plenty of room to go before the volume around its bitcoin futures catch up with similar products from CME Group, which as of this year sees hundreds of millions of dollars worth of its bitcoin futures traded every day.

Yet CME Group’s bitcoin futures are cash settled rather than physically settled, so Bakkt will undoubtedly continue to hone in on differentiating its offerings and infrastructure as it makes its case for increased market share.

It’s Not All About Institutions

Bakkt is also focusing on efforts to cater to merchants and consumers.

Last month, Bakkt revealed the coming launch of a consumer app, which will be aimed at helping users pay for goods and services from merchants using cryptocurrencies, among other things.

“Our vision is to provide a consumer platform for managing a digital asset portfolio, whether they wish to store, transact, trade or transfer their assets,” Bakkt chief product officer Mike Blandina said at the time.

On the flip side, the ICE-backed company is also developing a merchant portal, of which popular coffee chain Starbucks will be a launch partner.

Options Are Coming, Too

Bakkt also revealed in October that it was launching the “the first regulated options contract for bitcoin futures” on December 9th.

Options offer a buyer the right to buy an asset, in this case bitcoin, at a specific price or time.

“The Bakkt Bitcoin Options contract will be based on the benchmark Bakkt Monthly Bitcoin Futures contract and represents another important step in developing this asset class for institutional investors, their customers and investors,” company CEO Kelly Loeffler said.

The post Bakkt Opens Its Bitcoin Custody Warehouse to “All Institutions” appeared first on Blockonomi.

Singapore Central Bank Teams with Heavyweights on Blockchain Prototype

2019 has been something of a turning point for central banks doing more than just their homework on blockchain technology.

The latest example of that dynamic comes out of Singapore, where the influential city-state’s central bank and top financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), revealed on November 11th it had finished developing a multi-currency blockchain-powered cross border payments system.

Blockchain

The platform, built in collaboration with American banking giant JP Morgan and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek, started out as an effort to digitize the Singapore dollar (SGD) but was eventually expanded in the direction of a real time gross settlement system that could prove efficient enough to help businesses cut costs.

The system, which will “provide interfaces for other blockchain networks to connect and integrate seamlessly” per MAS, is now being tested by participating industry stakeholders in order to gauge how commercially viable it is.

JP Morgan Lends Its Growing Expertise

In being one of the biggest companies in the globe, JP Morgan’s every move involving blockchain tech makes waves in the cryptoeconomy. Such moves have increased in frequency so far in 2019, and the multinational bank has used its growing experience in the arena to help MAS build out its blockchain platform.

“By leveraging our key learnings from building the Interbank Information Network [and] JPM Coin, J.P. Morgan is well-positioned to support the development of a blockchain-based payments network and operate at scale,” noted John Hunter, head of the bank’s global clearing operations and its IIN blockchain payments rail.

Indeed, the powerhouse firm caused a frenzy back in February when it revealed it was working on its in-house JPM Coin, a stablecoin-like token pegged to the U.S. dollar that was being created on Quorum, a private fork of Ethereum. That same month, the bank showcased Anonymous Zether, a privacy solution its blockchain team created for Quorum.

In the spring, JP Morgan relatedly announced it was going to be rolling out settlement functionalities on its IIN, which was a de facto shot across the bow for crypto settlements plays like Ripple. The bank’s leadership thought the expanded system could be aimed at mitigating minor compliance errors that are responsible for stalling some 20 percent of traditional bank payments.

This widening portfolio of blockchain work made JP Morgan uniquely suited to partner with MAS on its own settlements platform, and it’s a collaboration that suggests JP Morgan is poised and likely to work with more central banks on similar forays going forward.

MAS Will Help Others Follow in Their Footsteps

In announcing its prototype blockchain network on Monday, MAS’s leadership also said it hoped other central banks followed suit with their own networks and that MAS would take steps to help peer institutions ramp up their own development efforts.

As Sopnendu Mohanty, MAS’s chief fintech officer, explained:

“There is growing evidence now that blockchain-based payments networks are able to enhance cost efficiencies and create new opportunities for businesses. We hope this development will encourage other central banks to conduct similar trials, and we will make the technical specifications publicly accessible to accelerate these efforts.”

With that said, it will be interesting to see if any banks do later come to embrace these specifications, and whether any comers originate from developed or smaller countries.

Some analysts around the ecosystem have posited that much of the early work that will take place around central bank digital currencies will take place in less developed countries. Yet Singapore is a highly developed country and its work on its own blockchain platform could help pave the way to increased state-backed tokenization efforts, not only in Singapore but beyond.

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Tether Transfers Outpace Ethereum on its Own Network

Tether Overtakes Ethereum

The Ethereum network now carries more 2-3x more Tether in its ERC-20 form than the native ETH asset. The reason for this is record-high activity of the new type of stablecoin, as demand for arbitrage and the movement of funds continues to grow significantly.


Tether Takes Over as Leading Smart Contract

USDT tokens have had much less activity on the Omni layer, as most leading exchanges shifted to using the Ethereum-based stablecoin. The Tether smart contract has established itself as the leading gas burner for months now.

The presence of USDT may also be one of the reasons for boosting ETH market prices, which have stabilized above $180 for a few weeks now. More than $563 million in USDT tokens have flown into ETH over the past day, making the coin one of the most liquid in the market. ETH is also on the rise while Bitcoin (BTC) has moved down a few notches.

USDT Tokens Diversify Network Presence

Tether tokens also exist on a few other networks, though those are not as active. TRON-based USDT is a significant force, with more than 844 million tokens. The assets are used in special incentive-based programs, but for now, have failed to boost TRX above $0.020. The TRON-based asset offers specific perks and presence on niche exchanges. The TRON-based stablecoin represents 12% of the entire balance of USDT.

At the moment, Tether sees relatively low activity, with most large transfers representing new minting on alternative networks. Each USDT coin trades between 4 and 5 times per day, which is relatively low compared to peak days. USDT still outpaces BTC in terms of daily volumes, accounting for 33.48% of all trades, while BTC accounts for just 28%.

Tether also connects the leading market operators with regular whale-sized transactions.

Tether has spread to into altcoins, but so far supports only a small selection of leading assets. The lack of an altcoin rally may be due to the limited penetration of USDT in altcoin markets, as the most obscure exchanges have less access to the stablecoin.

At the same time, the inflow of USDT also coincides with regular token burns for USDC and similar dollar-pegged assets. The smaller stablecoins are often used as a way to liquidate to fiat, while USDT itself has not shown a fiat off-ramp, especially for retail owners.

What do you think of the influence of USDT? Share your thoughts int he comments section below!


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @Coinmetrics @Poloniex @Whale_alert

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Paxos to Debut Blockchain-Based Clearing & Settlement Pilot for U.S. Stock Market

Blockchain startup Paxos is set to launch a blockchain pilot for clearance and settlements in the U.S. stock market. The project provides an alternative to the process offered by the Depository Trust and Clearing Corp (DTCC).

If successful, the Paxos system will be one of the first blockchain implementations deployed in the U.S. stock market arena. The project could also provide backing for one of the proposed adoption use-cases for decentralized technology in the financial markets.

Paxos

Paxos Blockchain to Speed up Settlement Process

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Paxos has obtained approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to deploy its blockchain project for settlements of trades in the U.S. stock market. The initial approval covers a limited utilization of the decentralized technology (DLT) framework to process stock trades for AT&T and General Electric.

The process sees Paxos as a trusted intermediary between participating banks. The blockchain startup will use the DLT framework to digitize the cash deposits and securities involved in the prospective stock trade.

Paxos handles the actual settlement process with smart contracting protocols transferring the cash and securities to the appropriate accounts once the settlement date arrives. All the while, participants can monitor the trade via the blockchain platform.

Paxos will be hoping its new DLT system can shorten the clearing and settlement process for trading stocks. Such an outcome could lead to a broader adaptation of the system within and outside the U.S. stock market.

Already, similar plans exist in countries like Australia and Singapore. Stakeholders say blockchain adoption in the stock market could provide useful benefits to the entire financial ecosystem.

Increasing the speed of the settlement process could have significant cost reduction benefits as capital no longer needs to be tied up for days on end while waiting for approval for a stock trade. However, for now, Paxos’ mandate from the SEC only covers about 140 stocks with a cap of 1% of the average daily trading volume.

DTCC Welcomes Competition

A successful pilot testing of the Paxos blockchain-based stock trading settlement project could mean competition for the DTCC which has a monopoly on the clearing and settling of the U.S. equities market. Commenting on the project, Michael McClain of the DTCC says the organization welcomes the prospects of healthy competition adding that the DTCC is constantly striving to improve its operations.

For Paxos CEO Charles Cascarilla, the project could provide cutting edge solutions to the current pain points in stock trading remarking:

“There has been so much innovation in the way trading happens over the past 20 years, with people trading in microseconds, but there hasn’t really been innovation in clearing or settlement.”

The Paxos system aims to cut down the clearing and settlement period for stock trading from two days to a single business day.

Largescale Blockchain Utilization on the Rise

The Paxos news comes as blockchain adoption efforts continue to increase across the globe. China has recently caused a stir with a flurry of positive blockchain sentiments as even President Xi Jinping encouraged greater DLT utilization.

However, as reported by Blockonomi, there are concerns that China’s blockchain interest might not include the promotion of decentralization. Some critics argue that authorities in Beijing will only use the technology to further their control of citizens.

Lawmakers and entrepreneurs in the U.S. have urged a similar course of action for the country so as not get left behind by China in the emerging digital economy.

The post Paxos to Debut Blockchain-Based Clearing & Settlement Pilot for U.S. Stock Market appeared first on Blockonomi.

HTC Launches Limited Run of Smartphone With Crypto Exchange Binance

HTC’s Binance Edition Exodus 1 will support the Binance Chain blockchain and Binance’s decentralized counterpart Binance DEX.

Taiwan-based smartphone maker HTC will launch a limited edition of the Exodus 1 featuring services by major global crypto exchange Binance. The Binance Edition Exodus 1 supports the Binance public blockchain, Binance Chain, as well as its decentralized counterpart Binance DEX, the firms announced Nov. 12.

Exodus 1’s native crypto wallet is integrated with Binance DEX

HTC and Binance announced the news at a Binance Super Meetup in Singapore attended by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao and CFO Wei Zhou, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph.

The Binance Edition Exodus 1 smartphone is purportedly the world’s first blockchain phone to integrate the Binance Chain blockchain.

The Binance Edition Exodus 1 will integrate its native Zion Vault crypto wallet app with Binance DEX, allowing users to trade crypto on the platform from the smartphone. Additionally, the new smartphone will come preloaded with Binance’s app and its Trust Wallet, the firms stated.

Priced at $599, the HTC-Binance cryptophone will soon be available for purchase on the official HTC website. Customers will be able to pay the equivalent price in crypto.

Zhao notes major interconnection between smartphones and blockchain

Phil Chen, decentralized chief officer at HTC, said that the company shares Binance’s vision for borderless finance, adding that the firm is excited to support Binance Chain and DEX. Chen also expressed hope that the partnership will bring a “completely new paradigm of digital asset exchanges and corresponding interactions.”

Zhao noted the major interconnection between the global smartphone and blockchain industries, saying that smartphones will play a crucial role in the mass adoption of crypto, while crypto will make every smartphone both a point-of-sale terminal and payment device, cutting out most other middlemen.

Last year, HTC first launched the presales of its Exodus 1 smartphone in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).

Stellar (XLM) Spikes 20% in Four Days Before Dumping Again as Traders Turn Bullish

Stellar (XLM/USD) climbed as high as $0.08265 today before the bears woke up and repelled the advance. XLM’s price action over the last few days has given traders reasons to be bullish on the cryptocurrency. One crypto trader takes it a step further as he claims that Stellar has already entered a bull market. Last […]

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