MASTERCARD OPEN TO CRYPTOCURRENCY, BUT THERE’S A CATCH

An executive confirms that Mastercard is open to the use of cryptocurrency, but there is a major catch involved.


Banks have notoriously been steadfast in their opposition to cryptocurrencies, and this is for a very good reason. The peer-to-peer economic marketplace of digital currencies is a direct threat to the current financial monopoly held by banks and other financial institutions. Which is why it was surprising when an executive at Mastercard said that the credit card issuer was open to the overall use of cryptocurrency. However, there is a major catch to this announcement.

as-bitcoin-trap-768x480.jpg

CRYPTO COLD FEET

Mastercard has put a lot of time and effort into blockchain technology, but they’re not exactly a fan of virtual currencies like Bitcoin. This was clearly evident when Mastercard and Visa classified the buying of cryptocurrency as a cash advance instead of a purchase.

At the time, the credit card giant stated:

Over the past few weeks, we have clarified to acquirers – or the merchant’s bank – the right transaction or merchant category code to use for these type of transactions (cryptocurrency purchases). This provides a consistent view of such purchases for both merchants and issuers.

The result was that using credit cards to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies became more expensive. Exchanges charged a higher fee, and users began accruing interest from the moment they used a card.

mastercard-cards-02-768x512.jpg

THE CATCH

It appears that the financial juggernaut has now changed their tune, but the reality is that they have not. Speaking to the Financial Times, Mastercard executive Ari Sarker says that the company is “very happy” to consider helping the use of cryptocurrencies, but only as long as those virtual currencies are issued by central banks.

Ari Sarker says:

If governments look to create national digital currency we’d be very happy to look at those in a more favourable way [compared with existing cryptocurrencies].

He goes on to add:

So long as it’s backed by a regulator and the value . . . it is not anonymous, it is meeting all the regulatory requirements, I think that would be of greater interest for us to explore.

Right now, the financial institution is running a pilot program in Japan and Singapore.

Customers can cash out of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies onto their cards. However, Sarker says that the program is not a crypto trading one and that strict controls, such as anti-money laundering and KYC, are in place.

This action by Mastercard should come as no surprise. Banks want to get their mitts on their share of the vast amount of revenue flowing through the crypto sphere, but they want to do so while exercising full control. Hence, the desire to only support cryptocurrencies issued by central banks.

Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Flickr/@reynermedia, and Adobestock.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

Source
Author: Jeff Francis
Image Credit

lamium

 

 

 

Stellar Goes In On Lightning with 2018 Launch Target

A lesser-known cryptocurrency with a unique approach to decentralized payments is hopping aboard the Lightning bandwagon.

Making strides on an ambitious roadmap released earlier this year, the non-profit behind the cryptocurrency Stellar has released a formal specification describing how and when it plans to adopt the transaction tech originally invented for bitcoin, in the process providing the latest sign Lightning is spreading as a pressing priority across blockchains.

Overall, the specification describes how Stellar plans to adopt the technology, marking a milestone for a project that’s been in-progress since Stellar Development Foundation co-founder and CTO Jed McCaleb first floated the idea back in 2015.

McCaleb said:

“Scalability is one of our primary focuses over the next year. Hype tends to exceed reality in blockchain space – visions are big. The thing is, the tech can’t actually realize what people want today.”

Most pressing of all, though, according to McCaleb, is that Stellar’s partners are pushing for this kind of scale.

When ethereum experienced growing pains, mobile messaging app Kik ditched the platform for the more scalable Stellar. But, if Kik really starts wants to move all of its transactions over to Stellar, the platform simply can’t handle that size, McCaleb conceded.

In addition, partners tech giant IBM has “ambitious plans for banks to use the network,” which would require Stellar to scale, while micropayment startup SatoshiPay and others “in the pipeline” have also expressed their interest in greater transaction scalability.

“We know if they used Stellar as much as they want to, Stellar would max out,” McCaleb said. “Prior to these people using the platform, it needs to be ready. We want it to be more real.”

Next steps
And there are signs that Lightning could help here.

The announcement comes days after the first Lightning software for real bitcoin transactions was released by startup Lightning Labs. Though it took years for bitcoin to get to that point, McCaleb believes Stellar will be able to deliver the technology faster than bitcoin was able to.

“Now that it works in bitcoinland, that will make things move faster for us,” he said.

That’s not to say integrating Lightning on Stellar is an easy feat. Stellar developers can’t simply port over the code working on bitcoin today. Rather, they’ve developed their own unique version. To that end, they enlisted developer Jeremy Rubin, who’s contributed actively to bitcoin’s most popular node implementation over the years.

Another – admittedly further down the line – advantage McCaleb pointed to is that Lightning makes it easier to make payments across blockchains.

But, as far as the near-term, the specification outlines a roadmap. By April 1, Stellar plans to launch the first elements the technology on a test network, with ambitious plans to release an implementation for real payments by autumn.

McCaleb stressed that the tech team is seeking feedback from developers and researchers in the community so they’re not “throwing the tech over the wall.”

What comes next is another story.

Bitcoin companies are raining down Lightning announcements, and McCaleb hopes that Stellar won’t be far behind.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

Source
Author: Alyssa Hertig
Image Credit

lamium

 

 

 

5 ALTCOINS LIKELY TO OUTPERFORM BITCOIN FOR THE WEEK OF MARCH 17, 2018

The cryptocurrency markets are eagerly demonstrating how truly volatile they are. However, their volatility provides unique opportunities to find undervalued coins with major events in the next two weeks. The 5 Altcoins To Beat BTC Returns this Week are SNOV, ZER, MTH, ETH & MTL.


ALTCOINS TO FOCUS ON THIS WEEK: SNOV, ZER, ETH, MTH, AND MTL

This week’s altcoins worth shifting immediate focus to all have very exciting upcoming events. The market correction the last week allows for these coins to be attained at a huge discount from their all-time highs. This week’s coins requiring immediate attention include SNOV (Snovio), ZER (Zerocoin), ETH (Ethereum), MTH (Monetha), and MTL (Metal).

These five cryptocurrencies have major announcements, events, presentations, and platform updates prior to the conclusion of March. Events of this magnitude provide a catalyst to boost the price of the underlying cryptocurrency in the immediate short term.

bitcoin-candle-chart-768x513.jpg

Between the five highlighted cryptocurrencies, technical analysis points to the highest short-term returns coming from ZER (Zerocoin has the smallest market cap and largest percentage decrease since January) or SNOV (releasing their marketplace prior to the end of the month).

Utility increases the value of the underlying crypto with the top gainers from the past month all having dramatically increased their utility (LTC, DGB and BCPT). Many of the cryptocurrencies on this week’s list intend to dramatically increase their utility which should result in an immediate increase of the crypto’s value.

CURRENT MARKET SENTIMENT

The market the past week has opened up many buying opportunities in the crypto space, especially for altcoins. The last ten days have been filled with multiple FUD events that continue to pressure crypto markets downward. These events have dramatically impacted the price of altcoins this week (some more than others):

  1. Regulatory Actions (SEC and U.K.)
  2. Gox Bitcoin Dump
  3. Alphabet (Google) Banning All Crypto Related Ads
  4. Scam ICO – Giza

These four events shifted the market cap of the entire crypto market from $470 billion March 5, 2018, to $330 billion Friday, March 16. However, a decrease of over 30% in total market cap provides for some true bargain altcoins.

SNOVIO – SNOV (MARKETPLACE LAUNCH)

SNOV is a smaller market cap cryptocurrency that specializes in decentralized lead generation. The platform rewards contributors in tradable SNOV tokens. However, this platform and concept are strictly hypothetical. Until the SNOV marketplace is released within the next two weeks.

SNOV has promised to have their marketplace launched by March 31, 2018 (or earlier). Currently, the SNOV token has no utility excepts its ability to be traded. In under two weeks, the SNOV token will greatly increase its utility once the marketplace is launched.

Tokens are useless without an actual utility. With a coin price of $.03 and a market cap of $13 million, it is likely SNOV sees exponential gains when they release their marketplace and establish utility for their token within two weeks. The goal is not to purchase SNOV the day before marketplace release, but with enough time to enjoy the price increase leading up to it.

ZEROCOIN – ZER (NEW EXCHANGE LISTING AND WALLET) 

ZER is the smallest market cap crypto on this list and truly has the highest likelihood of an exponential climb in the coming weeks. They are valued at $0.93 per coin with a market cap of $2.5 million. January 9, 2018, saw ZER surpass the $12 per coin mark. That means while BTC and most coins have corrected 40-70%, ZER has fallen over 93% since its all-time high.

Currently, ZER is only listed on one exchange and its catalysts for a major increase in value are their upcoming announcements of a major exchange listing and a new wallet.

ZER has promised to have their mobile wallet released and a large exchange announcing the listing of their crypto by March 31. ZER’s utility is about to increase significantly. The addition of a wallet while boosting volume and publicity with the announcement of a new exchange will greatly increase ZER’s short-term value. The ZER team and concept are both impressive and revolutionary. This week should provide a huge boost to ZER’s value with a wallet about to be released and a major exchange listing announced.

ETHEREUM – ETH (SEC NEWS) 

The SEC’s reiterated news was horrible for ETH wasn’t it? It depends who you ask. The general public and overall market sentiment will be screaming, “the SEC news was horrible for ETH.”

ss-sec-768x480.jpg

This is not necessarily true. It was horrible for the short-term price evaluation of ETH causing it to tumble even more than BTC during the prior two-week period. However, more regulations in the crypto space are not bad for Ethereum in the long-run.

If ETH continued to release ICOs that turned out to be scam or fraud related they very quickly would lose their reputation of being one of the most reputable in the business. The SEC getting involved may diminish their business in the immediate short-term but should allow for many more, legally started, ICOs in the near future.

ETH is currently valued at $611 with a market cap of over $60 billion. March 4, 2018, ETH was trading at $865 and since the ‘negative’ SEC news has fallen more than 25%. Normally market cap coins of this magnitude do not make the “altcoin” list.

However, with ETH having overreacted to the most recent SEC news they are likely to experience a significant boost in value in the short-term. ETH is one of the few cryptocurrencies with teams and the financial backing to attend any conference they chose.

This week was no different as the co-founder of ETH, Joseph Lubin, presented as a Keynote speaker for the South by South West (SXSW) conference in Austin, TX. Clearly, blockchain technology is here to stay and cryptocurrencies that overreact to current events are prime opportunities for above-average returns in the short-term.

MONETHA – MTH (FIRST PRODUCT MILESTONE)

MTH falls into the category of adding utility to their token in the next two-week period. MTH is fairly clear that the date of their first product will actually be March 31, 2018. Many of the other cryptos on this list state “March 31 or earlier” MTH is specifically for the 31st. Timing is everything in crypto as it is essential to have purchased prior to the date of the important announcement. In this case, their first product milestone on March 31, 2018.

monetha.jpg

MTH is valued at $0.10 per coin with a market cap of $22 million. Adding the slightest bit of utility will dramatically increase both of these numbers. January 12, 2018, MTH was trading at $0.59 more than 500% higher than where it is priced today. The largest milestone in MTH’s development is occurring in two weeks yet the price is 80% lower than where it was in January.

Look for MTH to rapidly appreciate leading up to their product milestone March 31, 2018.

METAL- MTL (METALPAY AND CEO’S PRESENTATION)

MTL is about to release MetalPay. Without MetalPay currently, MTL has no utility. Their token can be traded on exchanges but besides that cannot be used for anything.

When MetalPay is implemented the utility of the MTL token increases along with the underlying value of MTL. The concept behind MTL is incredible. Most crypto currencies transactions speed are ‘slow’ compared to MTL with all having fees above MTL’s. This is because MTL plans to pay the user to send crypto. Yes, they actually intend to reward users up to 5% for each purchase they make using MTL, with no transaction fees.

MTL is turning the crypto world on its head by inversing the current fee structure. Instead of there being exorbinant fees to transfer crypto, now merchants and individuals using MTL will actually receive a multiple percentage dividend each time funds are sent or received. Their CEO Marshall Hayner is one of the top figures in the crypto space and will continue to push MTL towards a successful launch of MetalPay.

MTL was trading over $10 in January and is currently $3.67 per coin with a market cap of $81 million. Following the successful release of MetalPay their January highs should be quickly approached as MTL will revolutionize the fee structure of sending crypto.

CONCLUSION – UTILITY INCREASES VALUE

The number one factor that determines a cryptocurrency’s value is the underlying utility. ETH was able to buck the trend of collapsing crypto markets through most of January. This was because ETH was still regularly sought after for use in ICOs, Ethereum Dapps, etc.

ETH remained valuable due to ETH’s utility. Each of the coins listed have important reasons their utility dramatically increases in the following two weeks. As the dates of their utility increase approach, the value of the corresponding currency should similarly increase. Altcoins can expect a dramatic increase in value following the successful launch of a platform, announcement of an exchange, or any other major update increasing a coin’s utility.

The next few weeks have major events planned for: ETH (Ethereum),  SNOV (Snovio), ZER (Zerocoin), MTH (Monetha), and MTL (Metal). The recent market correction has allowed their prices to be extremely desirable leading up to their major events.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

Source
Author: JAKETHECRYPTOKING 
Image Credit

lamium

 

 

 

Wall Street Starts Trading Bitcoin

They’re here. The flash boys, with their high frequency frontrunning bots, have turned their eyes to bitcoin with one of the biggest trading firm confirming they now bet on the digital currency.

Jane Street Capital says they trade $13 billion everyday across ETFs, Equities, Futures, Commodities, Options, Bonds, Currencies and now bitcoin.

“We traded over $5.6 trillion across all products in 2017,” they say, with the company further confirming “Jane Street trades over 56,000 products globally across a wide variety of asset classes, including bitcoin.”

It’s unclear how exactly they’re trading bitcoin, but it is probable they’re betting on fiat settled futures rather than buying and selling bitcoin itself.

Bitcoin futures volumes have increased this month, handling around 3,000 contracts as opposed to around 1,000 in February:

Bitcoin futures volumes at CME in February and March 2018

bitcoin-futures-cme-march
Bitcoin futures volumes at CME in February and March 2018

“Jane Street has always taken a considered approach to trading opportunities and will continue to do so,” they say. “As more cryptocurrency products emerge, we expect to be involved.”

Suggesting they might trade bitcoin ETFs or ethereum futures as well if such options become available, with the company thus seemingly limiting itself to complex products that do not touch the asset itself.

Other trading companies have also joined. Including DV trading, which specializes in futures and was fined $5.7 million by regulators for ‘wash trades’.

Another company is Virtu Financial, a market maker that trades over 19,000 securities. As well as Jump Trading, which has some 500 employees.

They all started trading recently following the launch of bitcoin futures, an event that coincided with a price fall of some 70%. Something dubbed by the mainstream media as the “big short” before futures launched.

Why futures should affect spot price, considering they are in dollars and never touch actual bitcoins, remains somewhat unclear.

One reason could be simply sentiment, especially as the opening of CME bitcoin futures was closely watched, and they opened downwards.

While another reason could be lowering demand for the asset as instead of buying actual bitcoin, they can bet on these dollar based numbers, thus artificially inflate supply.

As futures offer margins, whereby you can borrow from the exchange or other traders 3x or even as high as 500x of your capital, it can be attractive for traders, especially short term traders.

In contrast, the need to constantly bet on the price makes it very unattractive for investors who might want to hold it longer than a month or two.

But that means price discovery might be happening in futures, where there can be much more liquidity and activity, thus potentially indirectly affecting the underlying spot price.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

Source
Author: TrustNodes
Image Credit

lamium

 

 

 

Small Business Owners Are Becoming More Comfortable With Taking Bitcoin as Payments

This week, reports surfaced about small businesses becoming more willing to accept Bitcoin payments from customers.That includes Square’s merchants.

There is an interesting trend developing with small business merchants and their willingness to accept Bitcoin.

More of them are willing to accept it, and that’s partly due to Square, and credit card fees.

Let’s get right to these developments.

The survey says…
A report was released on Wednesday noting that 60% of the merchants who were asked about accepting Bitcoin said they would. The findings were a part of a survey called “SQ Survey: Merchants Say YES! To Bitcoin.”

Released by the firm Instinet, the survey pointed out how Square was similar to Amazon.The report’s author, Dan Dolev, wrote:

“Like Amazon in its early days, we believe that little of Square’s future revenue streams are currently visible.”

On that note indicating that Square had plenty of room to run, its stock soared. It hit an all-time high of $54.84, during intraday trading.

In mentioning the percentage of U.S. merchants who are willing to accept Bitcoin over cash, Dolev wrote this was particularly interesting given Bitcoin’s price volatility in recent months. In fact, at the time of writing Wednesday, Bitcoin was barely trading above $8,000. It was trading around $9,800 at the beginning the week.

The survey also found broad satisfaction for Square’s services among merchants, with 38% rating Square as excellent and 58% rating it as good, noted Market Watch.

We’ve reported to you that Square had expanded its Cash App to allow more users to buy and sell Bitcoin with their phones. The app was rolled out to select users last year, but now the number of users has been expanded to include most of its customers. Dolev estimates there are roughly seven million users.
When Square reported its earnings for the fourth quarter earlier this year, CEO Jack Dorsey said:

“We currently benefit a lot from our partnership model with cash and through [the] register. So we will continue to amplify that. Bitcoin for us is not stopping at buying and selling. We do believe that this is a transformational technology for our industry and we’re going to learn as quickly as possible.”

Small businesses also chime in on fees
A report also surfaced this week that stated that small business owners are considering accepting Bitcoin because it offers a means for them to cut credit card fees. Fox40 in California reported:

While more businesses are giving Bitcoin a test run, critics have questioned whether the world’s largest cryptocurrency will gain widespread acceptance as a trusted form of payment.
In the report, a business owner is quoted as saying his credit card fees can total as much as $3,000 month for his Rancho Fresco restaurant. Covarrubias said that 85% of payments come from credit cards.

The owner, Ismael Covarrubias, is quoted as saying:

“It definitely helps because if someone pays in Bitcoin, I don’t have to pay anyone anything for that Bitcoin. It goes directly to my business.”


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

Source
Author: Tedra DeSue 
Image Credit

lamium

 

 

 

3 REVOLUTIONS THE LIGHTNING NETWORK BETA RELEASE WILL BRING TO BITCOIN

Thursday’s unveiling of the first Bitcoin mainnet-ready Lightning Network (LN) tool, ‘Lightning Network Daemon’ (‘lnd’) promises several transformations of the Bitcoin user experience.

LN GOES MAINSTREAM

Released to acclaim from well-known cryptocurrency figures and users alike, lnd’s beta brings simpler connection to LN to a host of excited developers.

“With this release, lnd has gained a considerable feature set, deeper cross-implementation compatibility, a new specialized wallet seed, comprehensive fault-tolerance logic, a multitude of bug fixes, and much more,” lnd creator Lightning Labs wrote in a dedicated blog post.

LN has come in for criticism from some Bitcoin technical experts since its astronomical growth began in January. Security considerations and the potential lack of understanding about how the protocol works in practice resulted in Core developer Peter Todd among others to caution against a fast rollout.

1. ATOMIC MULTIPATH PAYMENTS

Commenting on its features, meanwhile, Lightning Labs unveiled lnd could go a long way to solving some of these reservations.

Among them, so-called ‘Atomic Multipath Payments’ (‘AMPs’) could in future allow the limitations of sending funds via channels with limits to be overcome.

The feature “allows large Lightning transactions to be divided into a series of smaller transactions as they’re sent over the Lightning Network, but in such a way that they’re automatically joined back together. The user sees only the total amount of the transaction, without needing to be aware that AMP is being used behind the scenes,” the blog post explains.

Capture44.PNG

2. EARN MONEY BY RUNNING A LIGHTNING NODE

Lnd will also cater to what developers describe as “more advanced Lightning users” being able to earn Bitcoin by running a relay node as part of the network, allowing users to reach their destination in fewer node ‘hops.’

ln-1024x683

“New tools and additions to lnd will help routing node operators optimize revenue, maximize uptime, and manage capital,” they continue. “A robust routing network is essential to the speed and privacy of Lightning, and we’ll be working with the community to facilitate the growth of the network.”

3. CROSS-CHAIN ATOMIC SWAPS

Perhaps the most hotly-awaited improvement to come to LN is the so-called cross-chain atomic swaps, which will allow a transaction in one cryptocurrency to arrive as another.

For example, users would be able to send Bitcoin on one end, and receive another cryptocurrency such as Litecoin on the other, effectively removing the need for third-party exchanges.

is-atomic-swaps-768x480.jpg

“…Enable instant, trustless exchange of assets residing on separate blockchains such as Bitcoin and Litecoin, without the systemic risk introduced by custodial exchanges,” Lightning Labs explains.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, lnmainnet.gaben.win, Twitter


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

Source
Author: Wilma Woo
Image Credit

lamium

 

 

 

How PlasmaCash Can Prevent Hackers

PlasmaCash was created by Ethereum founder, Vitalik Buterin, and is a blockchain scaling system of smart contracts, designed to increase the Ethereum blockchain’s computational potential.

This new system was presented just last Friday, at the Ethereum community conference EthCC, which took place in Paris.

Plasma first hit the scene back in August last year, after Buterin teamed up with Joseph Poon, the co-creator of Lightning Network. It is a series of contracts that run on top of a root blockchain, and optimises any data that is passed onto the root blockchain, which in turn will reduce the transaction fees for both DApps and smart contracts.
This newest technology does not come without problems though, with the biggest being the scalability. Every single user on the network has to authenticate each different block, which essentially prevents any huge scaling. However; rather than having to download the entire Plasma history, users can generate Plasma coins  by sending deposits to the contract. Buterin says;

“A user actually only needs to verify the availability and correctness of the Plasma chain only at the specific index of the coin, of any coins that they own and any coins that they care about.”

They believe that this technology can actually make themselves more hack resistant, and are suggesting that cryptocurrency exchanges should use it. This is because every single Plasma coin actually has a separate owner, and they are not replaceable or interchangeable. This would mean that the owner of the coins could then prevent any fraudulent withdrawals. Buterin said;

“Regardless of what happens in the exchange, users can run their money through the Plasma exit procedure and get their money out.”

He also goes on to talk about another selling feature that makes PlasmaCash very appealing indeed, and this is that the exchanges could insure losses and gains through the contracts, saying;

“Hopefully when the next big multi-billion dollar exchange written by a totally incompetent developer gets hacked, no one will lose any money.”


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

Source
Author;  Frankie Crowhurst 
Image Credit

lamium

 

 

 

Could the Robinhood App Accelerate Mainstream Cryptocurrency Adoption?

Don’t sleep.

It may sound cryptic, maybe even a little ominous, but that short phrase generated a lot of buzz for Robinhood’s cryptocurrency announcement. Over 1.25 million people joined the waiting list in less than 24 hours, drawn by the service’s mix of stock offerings, mobile apps, instant deposits, and biggest of all, no-fee trades.

The real power of Robinhood lies in its accessibility. Buying and selling cryptocurrencies normally requires a willingness to research good security practices and navigate complex exchange dashboards. Robinhood strips those out in favor of a well-designed UI and two-click buying and selling.

Robinhood’s foray into the cryptocurrency space could be huge. It’s the perfect springboard for casual audiences to dip their toes into the cryptocurrency scene. If the team can keep this impressive momentum going, it could be the first real competitor to Coinbase.

The Basics of Robinhood

Robinhood started as a stock trading service with two simple goals: eliminate fees through automation, and lower the barriers of entry so more people can buy and sell stocks. The 2018 push into cryptocurrencies doesn’t change those guiding principles, it simply adds them to the interface.

In 2013, co-founders Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt pitched the idea of Robinhood to 75 different investors, all of whom said, “No thanks.” The pair soldiered on and eventually found success, netting over 1 million pre-launch sign-ups and attracting investors like Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen. Snoop Dogg even backed the project in its early stages, showing just how attractive Robinhood is to the non-tech sector.

As of April 2017, Robinhood was valued at over $1.3 billion and has handled more than $30 billion in trades.

Robinhood’s push into the cryptocurrency market space was announced late January 2018. They were immediately overwhelmed with interested traders, building a waitlist of over 1,250,000 e-mail addresses by the end of the day. This is despite limited regional availability (it’s currently only available in California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, and New Hampshire) and a restriction to just fiat-to-BTC/ETH trades.

Using Robinhood

Robinhood is so straightforward your grandmother could use it. Account creation takes just a few minutes and only requires contact information and a valid Social Security number (no scanned passports or other forms of ID). You’ll then add up to 16 cryptocurrencies to your watchlist and enter bank account details to link Robinhood to fiat. Once this has been verified, you can send a deposit and start buying cryptos or stocks immediately.

Robinhood-Crypto-App-4.png
Robinhood’s interface is structured around charts. The watchlist shows up on the home screen, with portfolio information and your available funds at the top. You can examine individual stocks or cryptocurrencies with a quick tap. No candlestick charts, just line graphs showing data for a day, a week, a month, a year, or five years.

Buying and selling stocks takes just a few taps. Choose something from your watchlist, tap “buy”, enter the number of shares, confirm, then celebrate with confetti. Selling happens in much the same way, taking a lot of the guesswork out of the process so you can get to the good stuff.

At the time of writing, buying and selling cryptocurrencies on Robinhood is limited to Bitcoin and Ethereum. It’s also only available in five U.S. states, and only to people on the waitlist who have received their invite. More states and wider available are planned for the future.

Money In, Money Out: Drawbacks to Using Robinhood

One of the biggest drawbacks to the Robinhood experience is the inability to transfer cryptocurrencies in or out of the service. It’s a closed fiat-based model with no coin wallet addresses or anything like that. Withdrawals will be supported in the future, but for now, what you fund on Robinhood stays on Robinhood.

Trading availability is another frustrating restriction. Access is severely limited based on location and invitation, but even if you do get the go-ahead, you can only trade in BTC and ETH. That’ll be fine for casual users, but most users will want to branch out beyond the big two at some point.

Both of the above drawbacks could be deal-killers for experienced crypto traders. They help provide a more secure experience for mainstream adopters, however. There’s no need to worry about seed phrases, no wallet addresses to swap. All you can do is what most newcomers are interested in doing: buy cryptocurrencies, hold for a few months, then sell to make a profit.

One hidden drawback to the Robinhood experience is it threatens to raise a crop of new crypto traders who can’t move beyond the platform. Solving the problem of cryptocurrency accessibility doesn’t mean ignoring it. New users who decide to step beyond Robinhood will be just as confused as before, leading to bad investment decisions or lost funds due to human error. The legions of users who joined Robinhood will simply be fans of Robinhood, not cryptocurrencies in general.

Robinhood’s Future

Robinhood is primed to throw open the doors for mainstream traders. All of the right ingredients are there, and the enticement of no-fee trading should convert doubters lingering in the corner. In a lot of ways, it’s more of a killer app than Coinbase.

Jumping into cryptocurrencies is one thing, but growing beyond the basics is another. Robinhood doesn’t offer any educational tools for new users, nor will its closed ecosystem help with mass adoption of cryptocurrencies in general. That could be a net negative for the ecosystem.

Robinhood has a large, well-established collection of users. Convince them of the earnings potential in cryptocurrency, bring in new mainstream customers, then cap it off with better transaction support and new buying pairs. If those elements fall into place at just the right time, Robinhood could turn out to be a serious disruptive influence.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

Source
Author; John Bardinelli 
Image Credit

970 x 90 Homepage (latest news).png

 

IS GPU-BASED CRYPTOCURRENCY MINING AT RISK OF EXTINCTION?

The arrival of newly created ASICs and a large decrease in mining profitability has had an impact on the GPU mining market. Nvidia expects the demand for graphics cards to decrease over the course of this year as a result. What could this mean for the GPU market today?

THE RISE OF ASIC MINERS

The cryptocurrency mining industry has seen significant changes through increases in miner counts and subsequent decreases in mining profitability over recent months.

The latest cryptocurrency price boom attracted a large number of new investors and exponentially increased the difficulty of many mining algorithms. Additionally, many ASIC manufacturers announced plans for new mining machines, which will disrupt the GPU mining industry.

ASIC computers are specialized computers built to mine cryptocurrencies on specific algorithms. These ASIC miners were traditionally only built for certain algorithms, such as Bitcoin’s SHA-256 or Litecoin’s Scrypt.

However, some ASIC manufacturers, such as Baikal, have announced that they are planning on building ASICs for alternative algorithms. Some of these include Cryptonite, the algorithm used by coins like Monero and Electroneum, and a rumored ASIC manufactured by Bitmain for Ethereum and Ethereum-based tokens as well. However, Ethereum developers still state that Ethereum is ASIC resistant and that they will do their best to make sure that it stays that way.

Ethereum is one of the most popular GPU mineable coins as it is easy to mine and is widely accessible. However, with the rumored news of the Ethereum ASIC, miners may need to turn to other coins to produce a good profit.

Many coins often lack the support for graphics card miners as many coins are not ASIC resistant and their systems have become overrun with ASIC miners. There is a chance that the graphics card mining market may begin to fall apart in the upcoming months.

ASICs are often the topic of debate as some suggest that they promote the centralization of blockchain networks and allow for corporations to take control of mining operations. With the recent announcement of the Cryptonite ASIC built by Baikal, Monero has decided to use a hard fork to combat ASIC use. This move was well received by the Monero and GPU mining communities as it allows for retail miners to continue their active involvement in the Monero community.

The manufacturer of the recently announced Cryptonite ASIC, Baikal, has not had the best history in the cryptocurrency space. They may be ‘all talk, no game’ meaning that they may not be able to deliver with their Cryptonite ASIC. They may not have the capability to mass produce this product therefore making this foray into the Cryptonite market, irrelevant. However, seeing that Monero developers still plan to hard fork Monero, shows that they are still wary of the arrival of Cryptonite ASICS.

So what makes ASICs so great compared to traditional graphics cards?

ASIC miners provide consumers with an increased computational power per watt and price with ASICs outperforming graphics cards by many magnitudes on multiple levels. There was a time where you could mine Bitcoin with any old computer. Now, you can only make a profit specifically with ASIC miners, which quickly took over the CPU and GPU Bitcoin mining scene.

WHAT CHANGES CAN BE MADE TO DECREASE ASIC IMPACT?

Nvidia, the world’s largest graphics card supplier, has enacted plans which are set to reduce sales of GPUs for mining operations. Sources say that Nvidia is taking steps to reverse has taken form in restrictions and advisories placed on Nvidia-authorized sellers. Nvidia wants retail stores to end the act of promoting GPUs to be used in mining systems sources state. Additionally, Nvidia has decided to slow the creation of new graphics processing architectures in an attempt to slow the use of their graphics cards in mining systems.

There is a high probability that these sources are citing exaggerated or false information as it is unlikely that Nvidia would seek to undermine their own profits. On the other hand, Nvidia’s executives are cognizant of the fact that mining operations made some previous Nvidia customers to lose trust in their company. So it would only make sense that they are planning to take some action against the mining industry to restore trust with PC enthusiasts.

The graphics card shortage caused by the growth of the mining market caused many computer enthusiasts and scientists to become enraged due to unsustainable prices. The recent craze around consumer-grade GPUs has caused prices to inflate by over 50% over the recent year and is seeing no signs of stopping.

Astronomer Aaron Parson said:

We designed the whole thing (telescope) , priced it all out, and then suddenly Bitcoin showed up in the headlines and overnight the price of GPUs doubled. And within a week, they were all gone, which was sort of a pain.

Scientists have found it hard to gain access to graphics processing by the lack of GPUs available. Graphical processing is a key aspect of running experiments to expand scientific knowledge.

In addition, the increase in GPU prices rightfully made many computer enthusiasts to have an adverse reception to the mining of cryptocurrencies. However, with recent announcements concerning ASICs and the changes Nvidia are going to make, prices for GPUs should soon return to more manageable levels.

Mining through proof-of-work algorithms is still an important part of the many cryptocurrency networks and provides blockchains with their biggest source of security and immutability. A loss of mining power would certainly have a negative impact on the cryptocurrency sector.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

Source
Author; Nick Chong
Image Credit

lamium

 

 

 

Crypto Trading Giant Binance to Launch Decentralized Exchange and Public Blockchain

Cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance announced Tuesday that it will launch its own “tailored blockchain” in an apparent first step toward building a decentralized exchange (DEX).

The Hong Kong-based company — which regularly ranks as a top-three cryptocurrency exchange as measured by daily trading volume — made the announcement in a blog post, explaining that Binance Chain will “mainly focus on the transfer and trading of blockchain assets, as well as provide new possibilities for the future flow of blockchain assets.”

“Binance was growing too quickly, and too busy to start anything else,” CEO Changpeng Zhao said on Twitter. “So, all we could do is, to just start one more Binance.”

The company said that it made the decision to launch Binance Chain after conducting extensive research into currently-existent DEX frameworks.

Decentralized Exchanges allow users to trade cryptoassets without entrusting their coins to third parties, whose centralized platforms provide hackers with lucrative attack vectors and have collectively lost more than $1 billion worth of assets to thefts during the industry’s short history.

The most well-known DEX is EtherDelta, which uses smart contracts to allow users to trade ERC20 tokens, which all run on the Ethereum blockchain. DEX platforms are not completely safe since their website servers are centralized, but they are much less vulnerable to large-scale thefts than conventional exchanges.

The reason that currently-existent DEX platforms are not more widely used is that by-and-large, they can only be used to trade assets that run on a common blockchain. Technological upgrades such as the Lightning Network (LN) promise to make cross-blockchain trades — called atomic swaps — more accessible, but these technologies are not yet production-ready.

It is not yet clear how Binance’s DEX will operate, although it appears that it will exist alongside the company’s centralized exchange for the foreseeable future.

“Centralized and Decentralized exchanges will co-exist in the near future, complementing each other, while also having interdependence,”the company said, adding that more details about Binance Chain would be released in the coming days.

Binance Coin (BNB), which is currently built as an ERC20 token, will be reissued as Binance Chain’s native asset, and Binance — the post says — will “transition from being a company to a community.”

Notably, OKEx — another top-three cryptocurrency exchange based in Hong Kong — recently launched its own utility token and has said that it will create its own public blockchain, tentatively dubbed OKChain, as well.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

Source
Author; Josiah Wilmoth
Image Credit
lamium