China’s Congress Seeks to Create Blockchain Development Fund

NPC in China wants the government to create blockchain development fund so that they can regulate crypto more effectively.

Three most important political entities in China which are National People’s Congress, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and China’s Parliament have been having their annual meetings since May 22.

The NPC is the most revered legislative body in China. At the meeting, about 3,000 people selected from different states come to represent the interest of the people and also submit proposals which they believe can take the country forward. On May 23, Beijing News reported that Jieqing Tan, the second in command in NPC, proposed the creation of a blockchain development fund which will be controlled by the government.

The reason this is important is that it will help blockchain companies to grow strong especially those that are incapacitacointel

ted by lack of funds.

Blockchain will bring better governance

Tan also believes that the country’s governance will improve when they start developing the blockchain industry.

Apart from having good governance, Tan wants China to make the move now so that in the future, they will be more capable of taking the leadership position among other countries.

Tan wants a blockchain industry that the government can account for. He said:

“From the bottom technology standard, middle industry application development to the top-level system design, the national blockchain technology, industry and supervision three-dimensional strategic planning system should be well coordinated.”

Present challenges and supportive programs 

A government-regulated blockchain industry can result to more employment opportunities and an improved economy. Tan believes that the blockchain industry is capable of improving by itself but this may not be possible at the moment without the government’s intervention.

Tan’s novel suggestions do not indicate a sudden interest in blockchain in China. Before the meeting started, China already approved $4.7 million to support blockchain trades from now till 2023. In Beijing, tax payment by blockchain business owners is transparent so more people can know what the government may be expected to do with funds realized in the sector.

Africa Is Fast Becoming Interested in Crypto

Many people living in Africa are becoming more interested in cryptocurrencies.

More people in Africa are now adopting cryptocurrencies. Most of them need it to trade or simply to store money.

African countries including Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana often show up when people search for the word “Bitcoin” on Google.

According to recent reports, Africa shows the highest interest in accepting crypto.

Part of the reasons why Africa may be promising include the presence of more youths in the region, dwindling economy, fewer people using banks and higher commissions when using other online payment processors.

South Africa, now a crypto-loving community

South Africa now dominates in the number of people using cryptocurrencies in  the region with Nigeria taking the second place. Nigeria used to be the first in the region for a long time but South Africa now records 13% of users while Nigeria closely follows with 11%. This recent growth now places South Africa as fifth in the world.

Last week, South Africa’s weekly trading volume on Localbitcoins reached almost $1.65 million. There was just one country ahead of it.

Kenya also performed well. Their P2P volume on Localbitcoins and Paxful totaled $1.95 million

South Africa, last month, started considering regulating the use of virtual currencies. This must have contributed to the rise in interest recorded recently.

P2P volumes increase generally in Africa

Nigeria is also improving in the amount of volumes traded across the P2P exchanges. Weekly trades reached $9.2 million.

Kenyans also did well especially on Localbitcoins. Last week was their second best on record. Most of the trades were between the BTC and Kenyan shilling.

Morocco and Egypt were not left out in contributing to last week’s performance in Africa.

SubSaharan Africa even did better than Latin America. This was the first time such a thing was happening.

Blockchain to Play Crucial Role in VR-Powered Social Media

Two important entities have now joined the Global Blockchain Business Council. They are BlockChain and Sensorium, a social media platform that uses virtual reality.

Sensorium announced that it is now part of the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC). GBBC is based in Swiss. Its main aim of existence is to foster the growth of blockchain and not for profit-making.

The first meeting of the GBBC after Sensorium became a part of it will take place on May 28. Sensorium will be a part of it and there, the company’s director of technology, Alex Blagirev, will make his forecast on how virtual social media may affect online meetings.

More copyright protection from DLT

Someone from GBBC hinted that the combination of VR and social media has already started growing strong. Facebook has joined the chorus by introducing some other ways by which account owners can distribute content.

The representative was optimistic that blockchain technology can help in the creation of virtual assets and economy. This is what he said:

“Furthermore, blockchain technology could be used to protect ownership and copyright, as well as create new models of advertising in virtual worlds, much as it is already doing in the real world.”

Blockchain may bring an end to identity theft online

The CCO of Sensorium, Brian Kean, noted that the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) will help to combat security issues. He said:

“Identity theft, fake accounts, etc. all will be to a large extent eliminated as human participants in the socially-virtual world will be required to verify their identity via the blockchain.”

Acording to him, third party payments will also be made secure when blockchain is involved.

Sensorium’s membership in GGBC will make policymakers to come together

Sesorium will not be left out in any of GBBC’s activities with the aim of making blockchain technology more popular and specifying roles that policymakers and business owners can play to achieve it.

Sensorium and GBBC have already started partnering since the Blockchain Central Davos took place.

The GBBC representative hinted that Sensorium has now started to partner with them when he said:

 “We closed out the evening with a special demo of Sensorium’s VR platform and a performance by GBBC Arts and Music Ambassador and Former Drummer for Guns N’ Roses, Matt Sorum.”

Spanish investor forecasts that bitcoin after halving bitcoin reaches $ 5,000.

Spanish investor forecasts that bitcoin after halving bitcoin reaches $ 5,000.

According to his analysis, the price of a headdress has a resistance of 10,000 and could not be overcome.

and the reduction of bitcoin mining rewards are already discounted by what professionals have already bought them before and have already released them so that until it exceeds the relevant maximum, the trend is considered bearish.

Then, the economic situation does not accompany, so many small investors will be forced to sell their bitcoin due to the crisis due to the virus.

Also given that there are crypto currencies with similar characteristics such as Litecoin and you have to balance the prices.

Since it is not normal for bitcoin to be worth 8000 dollars only opening 21 million and Litecoin only worth 40 dollars only having a total of 100 million.

Hacker Gains Access to Nearly 100,000 Basic Info of Clients on Ledger, Tezor, and Keepkey

Some vital information of clients on Trezor, Keepkey and Ledger has been compromised by a hacker who has offered them up for sale.

The hacker is said to be the one who hacked Ethereum.org and has done it again on these three important crypto hard wallets.

If the hacker has actually succeeded, he must be having more than 80,000 names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses from the users of these wallets. Fortunately, the database attacked doesn’t have passwords.

The hacker also has in his custody the SQL database belonging to BnkToTheFuture.

Ledger and Trezor Databases Said to be Hacked

Less than 24 hours ago, a cybercrime monitoring website, Under the Breach, discovered that Ledger and Trezor databases have been compromised when a hacker presented some of the information they are in custody of for sale.

The number of basic info totals over 80,000 from three wallets as follows: 41,500 from Ledger, 14,000 from KeepKey and 27,100 from Trezor.

According to investigations from chats posted on Twitter, an attack on the ecommerce website, Shopify, was how the hacker succeeded.

Hacker includes more crypto info for sale

The hacker has now listed for sale, databases gathered from 18 cryptocurrency exchanges and forums as well as email addresses from two crypto tax platforms.

Korbit’s SQL is among the database for sale. Korbit is an exchange company based in Korea that has up to 4500 users. Three databases from Bitso, a trading platform in Mexico, is also included. Everything about users on Blockcypher, Nimirum and Plutus was also hacked; this includes their passwords.

The hacker wants to be super rich from this evil. He said: “Don’t offer me low dollar, only big money allowed.”

Hackers are interested in KYC platforms

There was another report last week from BlockFi which hinted that a SIM-swap led to the compromise of customers’ basic information including their date of birth, physical addresses, email addresses and full names. Fortunately, monies were not touched.

In April, hackers also broke into Etana’s databases where they stole basic information of clients. They were also not interested in stealing their money.

Coinbase to be in Charge of FTX’s Exchange Token

FTX has chosen Coinbase to be in charge of the FTT token and to insure it. FTX exchange is supported by Binance.

Coinbase made it known on May 22 that they will be keeping tokens from the FTX platform which is supported by Binance. These tokens are the FTT tokens.

They will be the chief custodian of the ERC-20 token, ensure compliance and also insure the FTT tokens.

Coinbase says FTX is the biggest exchange client it has gotten since beginning.

Coinbase is ready to regulate transactions with the FTT tokens both in the present and the future. They said, FTT will be “closely monitored migrations of $FTT onto Coinbase Custody’s secure, offline storage platform.”

FTX now in the United States

Coinbase’s selection to be the chief custodian of the FTT tokens comes after FTX gains a position to be an exchange service in the US.

To foster its growth in the US, FTX has registered with the Financial Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to be a money service business. With this move, it expects to be acknowledged by several states to do business in them.

In addition, FTX has plans to get BitLicense so that it can also operate in New York.

For now, FTX supports BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, Paxos Gold and Tether (USDT)

They won’t stop at these few assets but will expand in the nearest future. Traders who are eligible for margin trading can also find FTX important.

FTX gains more fame

FTX has grown since it started a year ago. It is considered one of the best in the crypto derivatives sector. It has exchanged over $250 million in just about one day.

FTX, in December 2019, reached an agreement with Binance to buy one of its investments. The price agreed upon has not been made known.

Ethereum Privacy Protocol Adopts Immutability as way Forward

Tornado.cash has adopted 100% immutability for every smart contract although this comes with some security risks.

The acceptance of an entirely immutable protocol for Fledgling Ethereum anonymization has been declared since May 21.

Some friends of Ethereum are warning against putting money into the protocol because it is risky.

Tornado.cash Chooses 100% immutability

Tornado agrees that this comes with some advantages and disadvantages. The advantages include more decentralization and an increased difficulty to alter smart contracts.

Notwithsanding, the developers agree that it may not be easy to control bugs anymore. In an announcement made during the adoption of complete immutability, the company advised that users should now insure their funds.

Although they are discontinuing with the Tornado.cash version, there is a plan to create something they think is bigger, and that is creating something similar to Zcash on the Ethereum mainnet.

Comparing Immutability and vulnerability

David Gerard is not happy about the decision for immutability. He describes it as “a sitting duck for attackers, where security holes literally can’t be fixed.” He called on the developers to remember the first major blow that Ethereum had.

Tornado.cash has not been widely accepted since its launch in August 2019. For this reason, the developers are trying to play safe by issuing a warning on the home page of tornado.cash that the project is still on trial and is yet to be declared completely safe for users.

Tyler Winklevoss: Competition in Stablecoin to Begin if Wall Street Adopts DeFi

Tyler Winklevoss is of the opinion that stable coins will not breakthrough except if Wall Street takes part in the Decentralized Fincance (DeFi) sector

Tyler Winklevoss, who is the CEO of Gemini exchange, thinks there will be no serious emergence of stable coins until Wall Street becomes a big player in the DeFi sector. He expressed his mind recently while speaking with Camila Russo at The Defiant.

Although he is hopeful about DeFi, Tyler Winklevoss reminded his listeners that there is yet to be in existence an app that can compel people to troop en masse to the world of cryptocurrency.

No competition yet on Stablecoins

While chatting with The Defiant, the CEO of Gemini said he does not see stablecoins coming up strong until Wall Street embraces DeFi.

His words: “When Wall Street wants to start investing in decentralized finance, they’ll need a currency. When a decentralized pays off a dividend or a stock, is it going to pay it to investors in Ether? Probably not because of the volatility, but in a stablecoin.”

But Tyler is quite impressed with stablecoin projects that have started. He said:

“A lot of these stablecoins, they just put their own cash deposits to goose up the assets under management to give this perception that it’s bigger than it is. I think it’s kind of bullshit. People see through it.”

High Interest Rate is Key to Crypto’s Acceptance

Tyler also talked about how crypto assets use interest rates to determine their market value. People who stake or take part in DeFi are the major beneficiaries even in a bad economy.

He said: “Super important in this environment with zero interest rates, maybe negative interest rates, potentially hyperinflation, the ability to earn yield anywhere like 5%, 6%, whether it’s staking or you know, a DeFi money market.”

Tyler revealed that his company is not left out in the plans to make crypto assets the goldmine and to make DeFi come quickly. He said Gemini also has plans to offer both savings and trading services for crypto assets.

However, Tyler does not think that a sophisticated crypto app is going to come soon. This means it may still take a long time for a competitive stablecoin market to emerge. This is how he put it:

 “I don’t see that mainstream killer decentralized app right now that all of my crypto and non crypto friends are coming onto blockchains to use.“

Coldplay Bass Artist Shows Support for Zumo Bitcoin App

The crypto community is enjoying the addition of another big supporter in the person of Guy Berryman.

Guy Berryman is a Coldplay bass artist from Scotland. He has shown his support for the crypto community by funding a Bitcoin exchange app known as Zumo.

In an interaction with Edinburgh News, Nick Jones, the founder and Chief Executive of Zumo expressed his thoughts as follows:  “Covid-19 has fast forwarded the move to a cashless society and for safe and easy ways to invest in new forms of currency that are more resilient to crises such as this one. 

How Zumo and Bitcoin fit Perfectly

Berryman is not the only one to have funded the Zumo App. Another important contribution had earlier come from Murray Capital, an investment bank based in Scotland.

Zumo targets a large market, Jones said.Charles Read, a financial advisor in Blockchain is optimistic that Zumo will make more people to join the blockchain community because of its easy-to-use platforms.

He said to Edinburgh News: “Zumo has all the benefits of decentralized technology without the teething problems for new users.”

Now is the time to invest in blockchain

David Murray, the MD of Murray Capital, is trying his best to make people see reasons why they must invest in blockchain technology now. He said: “Now is the time to be investing in the technologies that will shape the financial security of future generations.” He also mentioned that the app is equally helpful to those who have no bank accounts.

The news about Berryman just surfaced because he is the latest musician who has supported blockchain technology. He is, however, not the first because Akon already started up something to help the technology grow.

Cryptocurrency Activities in Japan between May 17 and May 23

Bitpoint Exchange has talked about fiscal year losses, support made to Japan towards curtailing the spread of Covid-19 and some other interesting things that happened within the week.

The news headlines for the week include the addition of three trading pairs on BitBank Exchange, more information on the 2019 hack at Bitpoint, Binance’s distribution of masks to nursing homes in Japan, BitPoint’s fiscal year losses.

BitBank includes three more trading pairs 

BitBank Exchange based in Japan is happy to announce that they will be adding three more asset pairs soon. The pairs were earlier listed in April and they are expected to be live on the exchange from next week.

The pairs are ETH/JPY, XRP,BTC and LTC/JPY.

Bitpoint’s  fiscal year losses 

The fiscal year for Bitpoint this year at the end of March 20, 2020 was found to be lower than last year’s by 44.4%. The company’s operating loss was high but the total loss wasn’t too bad compared to last year.

There was a hack on Bitpoint in 2019 where nothing less than $2.3 million was lost. The hack caused the exchange to close for some time, opened partially at times and then began fully again in December 2019. This contributed to the fiscal year losses.

The exchange’s next move is to improve their KYC (Know Your Customer) interface and add more assets. They will also try to make more positive impacts at home and then abroad.

Bitpoint throws some light on the 2019 hack

Concerning the hack in 2019, it was discovered that there was possibly no unauthorized entry. It is therefore possible that someone must have had access to the password through a maintenance server.

Bitpoint believes that their maintenance server was hacked. In an announcement, the company said:

“Although it has been encrypted, it was compromised by the wallet server, the private key was leaked, and most of the crypto assets managed by the hot wallet were leaked.”   

Bitpoint now operates a cold wallet system but efforts to trace the hackers are still in progress.

Binance provides succor to Japanese nursing home 

The Binance Charity Foundation thought it wise to provide face masks to a Japanese nursing home. They worked with the Japan Federation of care Business Providers to make it happen.

Apart from this, Binance has also given out some crypto assets for the procurement of medical equipment in some countries including China and Italy.

Accounts Holding up to 10 BTC are among the Richest 0.5% of 30 Million BTC Addresses

30.4 million Bitcoin accounts have positive balances but just very few of them have up to 1 BTC.

Things have turned a bit better for BTC as more than 30 million accounts had more than 0 BTC for the first time. However, it is not heartwarming to note that not up to 1% of the over 30 million accounts have up to 10 BTC in them.

Bitinfocharts gathered that to be among the top 0.51% richest BTC account holders today, one needs to fund with just 10 BTC.

More than 97% BTC wallets have less than 1 BTC

Only 0.45% of the total BTC accounts have 10-100 BTC while 2.17% of them have between 1 and10 BTC.

Bearing in mind that an individual may have more than one account out of the 30.4 million registered addresses, it is still right to assert that anyone who has a total of 10 BTC OR $91,000 is among the richest minority.

Covid-19 has Helped BTC

Some wallets have gained much more since they were created following the rise in BTC value. Around March, 1 BTC was at best $800,000, but profits have increased in such accounts in about two months.

Things started being fine with Bitcoin after stocks crashed. People looking for an alternative source of investment thought about Bitcoin and that fueled the profits.

Bitcoin appreciated by about $1,200 around the time paychecks were being distributed as palliatives. A second batch of paychecks will soon be distributed and it won’t be a surprise if BTC climbs up again.

In other countries, the citizens want to get more BTC because their local currency is falling in value. This is the situation in Lebanon where the citizens are choosing payment of salaries in BTC instead of their fiat currency.

Crypto Community Surprised as OmiseGo Crashes Shortly after 200% Gain

The support for OmiseGo and its recent performance has raised concerns on the possibility of insider trading.

There is some disagreement with Coinbase’s listings presently after OmiseGo (OMG), which it listed performed beyond expectations for just 15 minutes.

This has made the crypto community to start suspecting Coinbase of some irregularities such as insider trading. OmiseGo is placed 34th among cryptocurrencies with the largest market capitalization.

OMG’s premium reaches 80% on Coinbase

On May 21, OmiseGo tweeted: “OmiseGO (OMG) is launching at http://Coinbase.com and in the iOS and Android apps within the next 15 minutes,”

On the day it started, OMG’s premium was high on Coinbase more than other exchanges including Binance. In fact, it once reached 82% on the five-minute chart.

Matt Casto, a worker at CMT Digital, thought this was absurd. He was of the opinion that the premium would render some investments unprofitable for life.

Not long after, it reached 200% and the next thing that happened was a sudden crash. The altcoin almost immediately became worthless and buyers during the high premium would surely be counting their losses now as Matt Casto predicted.

Similar Occurrences in the Past

Coinbase is yet to clear the air surrounding the criticisms. This recent development has caused traders to remember similar occurrences in the past.

Something that looks like this is the Bitcoin Cash’s Support from Coinbase. At that time, the value of BCH was seen climbing even before they clearly declared their support for it. In fact, Coinbase also had to investigate the issue but found no evidence of insider trading.

Again, before Coinbase’s support for OMG was made public, the altcoin was seen rising in value. The uptrend lasted for no less than 7 days before the public announcement.

Crypto Pilot tweeted: “When will accountability be held? Tell me it is just coincidence or is it insider trading.”

Crypto Pilot noticed a 65% increase in value on May 14, which was seven days before its launch on Coinbase. 

Currently, the price of OMG is stable at about $1.90 on several exchanges.

South Korean University set to Kick off a Blockchain Campus

A university in Daegu is showing interest to partner with the Korea Artificial Intelligence Association to start a blockchain campus.

 Suseong University in South Korea on May 22, agreed with Korea Artificial Intelligence Association (KORAIA) to start a university in Daegu where people can learn blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

This was published in Money Today. Some of the courses that students will learn include big data, Artificial Intelligence and cloud based technology. Admissions will start in 2021 if things work out fine.

COVID-19 may Give Blockchian a Boost

The director of the Planning and Coordination Division of the upcoming school, Kim Kun-woo was happy with this move. He believes that the post COVID-19 era will be better with blockchain technology.

Many blockchain companies in Daegu have already started showing interest in helping admitted students to gain work experience in the course of their studies.

There is expected to be a cordial relationship between the students, the school and experts who will partner with the university.

South Korea is Still Supporting the Blockchain Industry

The South Korean government says there is no going back in supporting the blockchain industry within the country.

The government, through the Vice Minister of Strategy and Finance, Koo Yun-cheol, has promised to support the private sectors that will partner with it in realizing the golden opportunity that blockchain brings.

The government has also pledged to support private companies by allocating $3.2 million for the development of blockchain technology.

Yiedl Says NFT Rentals and Mortgages Will Soon Have a Marketplace

As major assets across the world begin to get tokens, Yiedl is making plans to start a P2P marketplace for NFT mortgages and rentals.

Yiedl, a crypto agency based in Tokyo, revealed plans of starting up a peer-to-peer (P2P) mortgage and rental market for NFTs, also known as non-fungible tokens.

The CEO of Yiedl, Kohshi Shiba, who also happens to be its founder, also assured the public that the marketplace will accommodate many of the world’s known tokens. He said:

“For assets that have persistent external utility, I believe NFT is an appropriate token form,” Shiba stated, listing subscription rights, decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, memberships, and intellectual property rights, and in-game items as examples of assets that will see increasing tokenization.

Yiedl to Hasten NFT’s Lending and Renting

The P2P marketplace is going to be user-friendly. Beneficiaries can choose their own terms for lending and renting.

When another user agrees to the terms, it becomes established on Yiedl protocol and nothing may hinder the transaction.

If a party fails to meet up with the terms of a loan repayment, the owner gets back the NFT. The entire process will happen without anyone interfering.

“I believe Yiedl opens up a new horizon for the NFT ecosystem, and there will be massive new NFT owners in the future,” said Shiba. “Owning NFT will also become an investment since Yiedl enabled NFT owners to earn passive income with their assets.”

Yiedl to use modified ERC-72 token

To make sure this happens fast, Yiedl has developed a more recent type of the ERC-721 known as ERC-X.

This modernized token is more convenient for two parties to use at the same time. One of the parties is called the “user” and the other is called the “lien”. According to Shiba:

 “The idea behind it is that by supporting three user classes as default, application developers can assume that tokens can be rent out or collateralized.” He added:. “With ERC-721, it was impossible, and it caused difficulties when NFT owners rent/collateralize NFTs as the ownership is taken over by the contract address or tenant.”

The people await NFTs

Several agencies are of the opinion that NFTs will be the preferred choice for crypto assets especially with the inclusion of a wide range of tokens which will make Distributed Ledger Technology more appreciated by the public.

However, this may not happen too soon as there is still some infrastructure to put in place before things kick off.

Peter Mallouk Says People Should Stop Buying Bitcoin but Lebanese Residents would Rather do the Opposite

Peter Mallouk wants his people to believe that Bitcoin and gold are too speculative and so they should not be interested in them.

He discourages young people from picking interest in the two assets especially now that coronavirus has caused some depreciation in their values.

On the other hand, Peter Mallouk wants people to focus on stocks and bonds. Peter Mallouk is the president in charge of the wealth management company known as Creative Planning.

Mallouk: Don’t buy Bitcoin or Gold

Mallouk tried to convince his audience by emphasizing on the high volatility of these assets. He said that at one time, things can be going well for Bitcoin and gold and the next minute, it crashes without prior notice. He further claimed that such volatile assets cannot give an investor any profit.

However, facts and figures still speak for themselves. Although BTC has faced some crashes, this is also true for local currencies. Yet, BTC has recovered even more than them and losses made earlier from it have been recovered.

It appeared Mallouk was not even deeply convinced about what he was saying. He said:

“If you’re loaning money to a company or government, that company or government is promising to pay you back.” He also added:

“It’s no different from loaning money to your brother — hopefully, your brother’s really economically stable, you loan him money, he’s going to pay you back.”

These two statements when analyzed together gives people more reason to ignore Mallouk’s appeal to trust in companies since one cannot even be sure if they will succeed. BTC on the other is not affected by the activities of a small group of people holding the currency.

Lebanese investors Choose BTC

More than half of the people in Lebanon would rather choose Bitcoin over their fiat currency for payments and salaries. This was gathered after a survey was conducted for Lebanese residents.

Many of the residents think this is safer for them since their local currency has continued to crash. The exchange rate between the Lebanese pounds fixed by the government could no longer stand in the beginning of May, adding to the fears of the people.

Co-founder of Gemini, Tyler Winklevoss, wants people to know that the government may not really be able to buy gold even though it has the intentions. He gave an example of how The Bank of England denied Venezuela from accessing its reserves. With this recent development, Tyler thinks many governments may begin to forget that option.

As for Mallouk, nothing will stop Bitcoin from failing. He is still of the same opinion he had in December 2018 when he declared Bitcoin dead as it sold for $3,100.

Here is his statement in Forbes:

“It won’t go quietly, but the recent precipitous drop may be the beginning of its inevitable and inexorable death spiral. Or there could be a dead cat bounce.”

…“Either way, I see bitcoin as a dead man walking.”

But he is not the first to declare Bitcoin dead. 99Bitcoins says Bitcoin has been declared dead 380 times, and yet, it still lives.

Jack Dorsey Supports UBI with $5 million. Can Crypto be used to distribute it?

Jack Dorsey is to partner with Andrew Yang, a major supporter of the UBI, through his establishment known as Humanity Forward.

Jack Dorsey is the CEO of Twitter and Square mobile payment solution. He appears to have the same interest with his friend, Andrew Young, in promoting the well being of Americans by facilitating the Universal Basic Income.

Dorsey revealed this plan on May 21. His intention was made clearer when he told Yang in his podcast that UBI should have kicked off a long time ago. He said: “the only way that we can change policy is by experimenting and showing case studies of why this works.”

While speaking to Rolling Stone, Yang acknowledged Jack’s pledge and said it would be distributed as palliatives to those who have been faced with challenges recently. He expects that thousands of people will get $250 each.

Distribution of UBI so far

Yang had earlier promised Americans of UBI in his presidential campaign but what he presented was more like a long term palliative. It looks like the $1,200 distributed by the federal government during the lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Several Americans got the money in their bank accounts while others, especially those not residing in the US, got bank checks. Another way the federal government’s palliative was distributed was through prepaid debit cards.

However, there may be some adjustments with the way Yang will distribute it this time because some people are yet to get their own checks and confirm their payment status on the IRS website.

Crypto and UBI, a perfect match

Yang has said several times that he is in love with blockchain and cryptocurrencies. During the lock down period, he has already distributed palliatives worth about $2 million.

Some people are of the opinion that in the future, UBI should be sent via crypto wallets to facilitate the process and make sure everyone concerned gets theirs. 

A good example of the proponent of blockchain technology for the distribution of UBI is GoodDollar. GoodDollar has started a digital UBI wallet that can be used for this purpose.

Another group in support of this and currently working out something is Nonprofit Hedge for Humanity. They are the ones that started the cryptocurrency known as Manna. They are designing a platform that can be used to distribute not just cash but also stocks, bonds and crypto. Their first UBI distribution will be determined by a raffle draw. Lucky winners will get $100 monthly for one year in BTC, ETH or DAI.

Bithumb Adds Zimbocash Cryptocurrency

Zimbocash, a cryptocurrency from Zimbabwe, is succeeding to help cushion the effect of hyperinflation on Zimbabwe’s fiat currency.

Bithumb’s recognition of the cryptocurrency spells success in achieving the aim.

According to the Zimbabwe Independent on May 22, Zimbocash’s (ZASH) listing on Bithumb will enable it grow more and be used instead of the crashing Zimbabwean Dollar.

Coronavirus is part of Zimbabwe’s economic challenges

The Covid 19 pandemic has caused more problems for Zimbabwe’s economy which now faces an inflation rate of 500%.

Plans made earlier this year to salvage the economy could not be carried out because of the pandemic. The citizens are afraid that the country is not even able to borrow from anywhere. This was confirmed in a statement made by Philip Haslam, the head of communications for the Zimbocash project. He said thus:

“The government has admitted that it is going to print money on a large scale to fund itself, which could push the country into hyperinflation […] We believe that Zimbocash is perfectly positioned to solve this problem by fixing the amount of money in the country using blockchain technology. Our aim is to provide sound money.”

Bithumb’s listing will boost liquidity

Haslam was earlier of the opinion that Zimbocash would need a network of scale and liquidity to gain wide acceptance. Fortunately, this listing has brought much fortune on the currency’s liquidity and can now be used in daily trade. He hopes that Zimbocash will soon become like Bitcoin as can be seen in his statement:

“We are fulfilling the dream of Bitcoin — we’re developing a peer-to-peer payments platform and facilitating on-the-ground trade in a country.”

Zimbabwe wants sound money

While others think Zimbabwe may not be able to achieve something great out of this, the head of the Zimbocash project thinks otherwise. He said:

“Zimbabwe is perhaps the only country where you would be able to establish a decentralised currency network of scale. Zimbabweans are desperate for a sound-money solution and there is no other alternative like Zimbocash.”

Zimbabweans are encouraged to register for ZASH and get free tokens plus referral bonuses. Every three months, the incentives will reduce by 50%.

Owners of ZASH can withdraw although that is not the main aim of creating the currency now. It will be more rewarding for Zimbabweans if ZASH has a price value in the global market.

JP Morgan Advises against Promoting Cryptocurrencies to Strengthen US Geopolitical Power

Some financial analysts working at JP Morgan feel it will be a disadvantage for the US if cryptocurrencies become more popular and acceptable.

They believe that :“There is no country with more to lose from the disruptive potential of digital currency than the United States.” This statement was delivered on May 22 by Bloomber News.

Some of the major proponents of the move to discourage cryptocurrency, including Josh Younger and Michael Feroli also stated:

“This revolves primarily around U.S. dollar hegemony. Issuing the global reserve currency and the medium of exchange for international trade in commodities, goods, and services conveys immense advantages.”

Fragile Systems are at Stake

Although the analysts are not scared about the fall of the dollar, they are concerned that other systems linked to the currency may lose their ground. One of the examples they stressed on was SWIFT.

During the Iranian regime, SWIFT was the tool used to enforce punitive measures. With SWIFT, the US was able to place limitations on Iranian banks. This was a powerful move although not many on the international scene were happy with it because they claimed it wasn’t in agreement with European Union laws.

If countries are able to do without SWIFT, JPMorgan is afraid that the US will lose its powers to do certain things.

The bank wants the US to start considering digitalization.

The analysts put it this way:

“Offering a cross-border payments solution built on top of a digital dollar would, particularly if designed to be minimally disruptive to the structure of the domestic financial system, be a very modest investment to protect a key means to project power in the global economy.”

Before today, some other financial experts have raised similar concerns and one of such people is Judy Shelton who is believed to be capable of governing the US Federal Reserve Board.

Shelton wants the US to do something about digitalizing the dollar so that it can also be relevant worldwide.

Former Coinbase Lawyer Gets Fresh Appointment as US Bank Regulator

Brian P. Brooks who was among the top officials at Coinbase has gained another appointment almost two months after leaving the company. His new office will be in the banking sector of the the US Treasury Department.

This report is verifiable at the United States Office and Brian P. Brooks is expected to begin his appointment as the head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) on May 29.

Not new in the job
Brooks is very likely to handle the position well having worked with Joseph Otting for a while. Joseph Otting is currently the head and will be leaving the office for Brooks to take over. Brooks has been working with him as his deputy since March while Otting has been occupying the position since 2017.

Apart from the OCC, Brooks and Otting have worked together at OneWest Bank, California

What is the OCC?
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is one that governs the activities of banking and lending institutions in the US. It is part of the US Treasury Department. OCC has the mission statement:

“To ensure that national banks and federal savings associations operate in a safe and sound manner, provide fair access to financial services, treat customers fairly, and comply with applicable laws and regulations.”

It is from this office that regulations on distributing loans and aids by the federal government are formed.

Brooks’s crypto experience
Brooks has a rich work experience even in the crypto world. There are hopes that his experience in working for Coinbase will help him make solid achievements in his new office.

Crypto.com Adds Canada into its MCO Visa Card Services

After spreading its tentacles across Europe, Crypto.com is now set to add Canada to the list of countries it caters for.

Crypto.com announced this after gaining certification from the regulatory bodies. This is expected to kick off very soon.

This would mean Canadians can top up their MCO Visa Cards with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, XRP and MCO, which is Crypto.com’s token.

The process for obtaining one is easy. With the Crypto.com App, it takes less than five minutes.

Canada is one of the 27 selected countries to get this favor from Crypto.com. Others include Norway, the UK, Iceland and Switzerland. Singapore and the US are already benefiting from this.

Crypto.com believes its card is one of the most widely used across the globe. The CEO, Kris Marszalek, says they won’t rest until everybody in the world can have access to it.

Crypto cards present brighter hope for cryptocurrencies

The importance of debit and credit cards for cryptocurrencies cannot be overemphasized. At least, they will make transactions easier without having the need to exchange it for fiat currencies.

There is almost no globally recognized merchant that does not accept card payment either from MasterCard or Visa. Having a crypto card developed with the help of either of these giant companies will help cryptocurrencies to be more widely accepted.

Cryptocurrency debit and credit cards are now becoming more common as they allow users to spend cryptocurrencies without going through the process of manually exchanging them into fiat currency. 

Few months ago, (in February 2020), Coinbase took a similar step by partnering with Visa to create its own debit card.

People are Saving Much less in Bitcoin Wallets Since 2018

After the fork last week, things have not been rosy on the Bitcoin network. Both miners and exchange companies have had a fall in revenue even up till now.

After the halving on May 11, miners started selling more of the coins and this has contributed in no small measure to the reason why Bitcoin has not yet overtaken the $10,000 price.

A monitoring resource known as CryptoQuant reported that expenses from Bitcoin accounts increased six times between May 16 and May 20.

Bitcoin miners record high volume of sales

The recent activity of Bitcoin miners selling off crytpocurrencies can be likened to what happened before the fork on May 11. Miners’ sales increased from about 2100 BTC to about 5,000 BTC a day before the halving.

CryptoQuant has confirmed that the reason for the recent high sales can be linked to the depreciation of Bitcoin.

Before the halving, high sales were recorded because of market speculations and the same has happened the week after the halving. The market changes when no one is sure of the next price move of the currency. However, things have been better after the halving as only about $600 price change has been recorded so far. This is in contrast to the over $1,200 price difference recorded before the halving.

But things should not continue this way if Bitcoin has to grow and continue to be the people’s cryptocurrency choice. Sooner than later, it is expected that the price of the coin should go over $10,000.

Cryptocurrency exchange companies reserves keep falling

Since March 12, many exchanges have not been where they used to be before the Bitcoin crash. CryptoQuant was able to gather that exchanges have lost much of their reserves and conditions have not yet improved despite Bitcoin gaining some grounds after the crash.

On May 20, the total reserve of the best 17 exchanges was about 1.18 million BTC. Even when Bitcoin traded for $3,100 in 2018, it was not as bad as this.

What is Delaying the use of Cryptocurrency as a Medium of Exchange

For many years now, people have been expecting the use of cryptocurrency for buying and selling on several platforms but that appears not to be the case. Some of the reasons why this has remained are being released here.

Who are the users of cryptocurrency today?

In general, cryptocurrencies are used only where they are accepted and many are still yet to accept it. Most of the places where crypto is being used today are where illegal products are sold. Two of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, BitPay and Coinbase, are still very far behind MasterCard and Visa and with that, it is clear that the use of crypto for payments is not yet near.

The Challenge with crypto payments

The truth is that not many know what cryptocurrency is all about. Those who know about it believe that it is risky and complicated. Peko Wan, an officer at Pundi X, has this to say about it:

 “For the mainstream, the general perception toward crypto are ‘complicated to use’ or ‘risky to own cryptos.’”

Although some merchants add the crypto payment option for clients to use, they still don’t get so many of the clients responding to it and even some merchants decide to steer clear to avoid being victims of money laundry.

Instability of Crypto Coins

Another reason why crypto payments have failed to kick off in a long time is the high volatility of the currencies which has made many people to desist from storing them for the fear of losing their money. Even the ones that seem stable have this problem so merchants have no other option than to prefer traditional currencies.

Notwithstanding, some important personalities in the cryptoworld such as Marszalek and Claudio Barros are of the opinion that adding stable coins can help minimize this problem. Marszalek believes that by the time Crypto.com releases its stablecoin, there will be more people to accept crypto payments.

Here is what Claudio Barros thinks about it: “Any improvement in stability of coins will be a benefit, we need a range from pegged coins to super volatile coins to cater for different needs.”

Will it end well after all?

Although Crypto is not yet accepted by all, it is known to be better than many other e-currencies because of their performance and privacy.

Crypto can be used anywhere and it knows no boundary. It is suitable in places where there are strict cashless policies. This applies to both developed and developing nations.

Wan has noticed this about developing countries:

“For the past two years, we also observed that in the countries where the local currency has decreased over time, people are more aware of crypto or interested in having cryptos.”

Marszalek of Crypto.com believes that things will improve for crypto payments between now and the next five years.