Bank for International Settlements Exec Advises Against Central Bank Digital Currencies

Bank for International Settlements Exec Advises Against Central Bank Digital Currencies

Bitcoin (BTC) critic and general manager at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Agustin Carstens advised against the issuance of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in a speech in Dublin on March 22. Bloomberg reported on the speech the same day. Per the report, Carstens explained that a CBDC could facilitate a bank run, enabling people to move their funds from commercial banks to central bank accounts faster, thus destabilizing the system. Another issue that Carstens said arises with CBDC use, according to Bloomberg, is the different impact of interest rates on the public’s demand for money. Carstens reportedly said that this influence could lead to bigger central bank balance sheets that require a buildup of assets, which could potentially impact the liquidity of the financial markets. Per Bloomberg, he also noted that there are enormous operational consequences for the central bank in the implementation of monetary policy and the traditional market’s stability. Lastly, he noted: “Central banks do not put a brake on innovations just for the sake of it. But neither should they speed ahead disregarding all traffic conditions.” As Cointelegraph reported in February, Carstens called Bitcoin a “combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster” and asked central banks to more closely regulate cryptocurrencies to prevent them from becoming part of the main financial system. A report published in January by the BIS has found that seventy percent of central banks worldwide are conducting research into CBDC issuance.

Bitcoin Stays Over $4,000 as Top Cryptos See Slight Losses

Bitcoin Stays Over $4,000 as Top Cryptos See Slight Losses

Saturday, March 23 — most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting slight losses on the day by press time. Bitcoin is down just under half a percent on the day, trading at around $4,022, according to CoinMarketCap. Looking at its weekly chart, the current price is over a quarter of a percent higher than $4,037, the price at which Bitcoin started the week. Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Arthur Hayes, co-founder and CEO of cryptocurrency trading platform BitMEX, has recently predicted that Bitcoin will get back to the $10,000 price point this year. Ethereum (ETH) is holding onto its position as the largest altcoin by market cap, which is at about $14.5 billion. The second-largest altcoin, Ripple (XRP), has a market cap of about $13 billion by press time. ETH is down by 0.31 percent over the last 24 hours. At press time, ETH is trading around $138, after having started the day at roughly the same price. On its weekly chart, Ethereum has seen its value decrease by over two percent. Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Cointelegraph reported that North Korean political dissident group Cheollima Civil Defense will start selling Ethereum-based visas for entering the country once it is supposedly liberated, with the issuance beginning tomorrow. Second-largest altcoin Ripple has gained over half a percent in the 24 hours to press time, and is currently trading at around $0.311. Looking at the coin’s weekly chart, its current price is over two and a half percent higher than $0.319, the price at which it started the week. Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Among the top 20 cryptocurrencies, the ones reporting the most notable price action are Tron (TRX), up by nearly five percent, and Cardano (ADA), which is also up by nearly five percent. The total market cap of all cryptocurrencies is currently equivalent to $140.2 billion, which is nearly identical to its value one week ago. As Cointelegraph reported earlier today, China has released its latest government-sponsored rankings of major cryptocurrencies on March 22, placing Bitcoin in 15th, while EOS keeps the top spot. Tron came in second in the rankings, after overtaking Ethereum in February when it was added to the list.

Metamask Browser Extension Default Settings Broadcast ETH Addresses to Visited Websites

Metamask Browser Extension Default Settings Broadcast ETH Addresses to Visited Websites

Leading Ethereum (ETH) browser extension Metamask reportedly broadcasts ETH addresses to all websites a user visits in its default settings, a GitHub issue submitted on March 20 states. Metamask is a browser extension featured in the Brave browser — compatible with Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Opera — that enables its users to interact with Ethereum-based decentralized applications (DApps). According to the aforementioned GitHub issue, Metamask broadcasts its users’ ETH address to all the websites visited in its default settings, with the post specifying that the ETH addresses are shown in data objects contained in message broadcasts as opposed to window objects. According to the issue report, this can lead to the identification of users and precludes Metamask use by privacy sensitive DApps. More precisely, the user cites the recently hacked porn DApp Spankchain and health DApps as examples. Moreover, not only the administrators of the visited websites have access to users’ Metamask addresses, but also so-called trackers such as Facebook like or share buttons, Twitter retweet buttons and similar systems that can fingerprint the browser. The user also noted on GitHub that he expects that “these message broadcasts will significantly decrease the value of ETH over the long-term.” In his answer to the GitHub issue, developer Dan Miller argued that enabling private mode solves the problem, to which the user who created the report responds that it does not. ConsenSys software developer Daniel Finlay admitted that they agree that there is a need to enable privacy mode by default, and that the extension’s privacy could be improved upon. Lastly, Finlay also responded to the user’s allegations that the reportedly lacking privacy features of the software are malicious in nature: “We definitely reject all your claims that this is some weird malicious act on our part. That would be the craziest move we could ever make on a totally open source crypto project.” As Cointelegraph reported in November last year, Metamask showcased a mobile version of its software in the past, but it hasn’t been released yet. However, a malware impersonating the tool appeared on Google Play and was subsequently removed from the store in February.

Bitcoin and the Agora: Every Transaction Outside the Nexus of State Control Is a Victory

Bitcoin and the Agora: Every Transaction Outside the Nexus of State Control Is a Victory

The cryptoconomy means many things to many people. For example, since the inception of Bitcoin in 2009, some individuals have used digital currencies as a form of agorism otherwise known as counter-economics. These people believe that using bitcoin as a tool to avoid state harassment is one of the technology’s key features with the potential to reduce the manipulation and civil abuses perpetrated by government bureaucracy. Also read: This Short Animation Might Make You Think Twice About Taxes Bitcoin and Agorism Since the creation of the Bitcoin network, many libertarians have flocked to this technology. Groups of ideologists who believe in free markets, anarcho-capitalism, and the protection of property rights have all called cryptocurrencies a tool that can be weaponized against central controllers of the world’s money. Agorists, in particular, appreciate cryptocurrencies as a means to avoid state harassment and civil abuses like taxation at all costs. Because digital currencies can be used in a private manner if the user desires then people who live counter-economically can stop funding wars, the police state, corruption, and the oligarchy. Agorism stems from the Greek root word “agora,” which means “open markets” and the philosophy of counter-economics was first conceived by a libertarian philosopher named Samuel E Konkin III (SEK3). Konkin asserted that agorism is the ultimate strategy for living free because it involves any types of voluntary exchange, but makes sure the state is removed from the situation. “Everyone is a resister to the extent that he survives in a society where laws control everything and give contradictory orders — All (non-coercive) human action committed in defiance of the state constitutes the counter-economy,” explains Konkin’s Agorist Primer. Agorists partake in black markets and operate under the noses of the state in the gray area as well, which could mean avoiding taxes, dismissing the idea of permits and licenses, operating a business under the table, and circumventing regulations. Of course, using money is a big part of the ideological process as well and agorists prefer to settle exchanges by barter and trade, cash deals, and cryptocurrencies. The reason digital currencies like bitcoin are attractive to agorists is because the money is not issued by a central authority like a bank, no corporation is behind it, and most importantly…

India: Police Arrest Four More Suspects in Alleged $14 Million Crypto Scam

India: Police Arrest Four More Suspects in Alleged $14 Million Crypto Scam

Law enforcement in Mumbai, India have arrested four more suspects allegedly involved in a cryptocurrency scam that amassed an estimated 1 billion rupees (over $14 million). English-language daily media outlet The Times of India reported on the arrests on March 22. Per the report, the police arrested Ashok Goyal Jaipuria, Asif Malpani, Baljit Singh Saini and Pradeep Arora from Delhi. Several of Goyal’s bank accounts have been reportedly frozen as well, since he is allegedly the head of the scheme. The Times of India also states that an unnamed Bollywood actor who reportedly attended promotional events of the scam will likely be questioned as well. As Cointelegraph reported last month, Indian law enforcement first exposed the alleged scam and arrested the first four suspects in February, but did not arrest Goyal until recently. The first complaint that led to the prosecution was filed in Surat, a city in the Indian city of Gujarat, by an individual alleging to have been defrauded of the equivalent of nearly $150,000. At the beginning of January, Indian police also arrested an associate of a separate group accused of conducting a crypto scam involving 5 billion rupees (about $71.6 million). In another recently uncovered crypto scam, Morgan Rockcoons, also known as Morgan Rockwell, has pleaded guilty to two cryptocurrency-related charges in San Diego federal court. He reportedly admitted both to selling land he didn’t have for a crypto city project dubbed “Bitcointopia” and to operating a money transmitting business without a license.

China’s 11th Crypto Rankings: EOS First, TRON Second, Ethereum Third, Bitcoin Fifteenth

China’s 11th Crypto Rankings: EOS First, TRON Second, Ethereum Third, Bitcoin Fifteenth

China has released its latest government-sponsored rankings of major cryptocurrencies on March 22, placing Bitcoin (BTC) in 15th, while EOS keeps its top spot. Tron (TRX) came in second, after overtaking Ethereum (ETH) in February. The crypto rankings by China’s Center for Information and Industry Development (CCID) were first announced in May last year. In this eleventh edition of the index, EOS has remained as the top-ranked blockchain, a place occupied by the platform since June 2018. The eleventh CCID Global Public Chain Technology Evaluation Index puts Tron on the second spot, as did the tenth edition. The ninth edition had previously placed Ethereum in the second spot, while Tron wasn’t present at all on the list. In the tenth edition, Bitcoin had moved from number 15 to number 13, now falling back down two spots to occupy 15th place again. As Cointelegraph recently reported in a dedicated analysis, EOS is seemingly still a work in progress, as the blockchain has seen controversy over some aspects of its allegedly centralized governance system. Two major crypto exchanges — Singapore-headquartered Huobi Global and Malta-based OKEx — proclaimed their support for the Tron-based version of stablecoin Tether this week. At the beginning of the current month, Tron and Tether had first announced their intention to introduce the USDT to the Tron network. Recently, Cointelegraph reported that Ethereum is being used by a North Korean political dissident group, the Cheollima Civil Defense, to sell tokenized visas for entering the country once it is supposedly liberated.

Payment Service Square Is Hiring Crypto Engineers, Offers Salaries in Bitcoin

Payment Service Square Is Hiring Crypto Engineers, Offers Salaries in Bitcoin

United States-based payment platform Square is hiring cryptocurrency engineers and is offering to pay them in digital currency, according to a tweet published by Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey on March 20. In the tweet, Dorsey announces that “Square is hiring 3–4 crypto engineers and one designer to work full-time on open source contributions to the Bitcoin/crypto ecosystem. Work from anywhere, report directly to me, and we can even pay you in Bitcoin!” Dorsey further commented that the decision to pay employees in digital currency is based on the intention “to make the broader crypto ecosystem better,” thus contributing to the Bitcoin (BTC) community. Dorsey also noted that this will be the first open source initiative independent from their business objectives as potentially hired engineers will entirely focus on “what’s best for the crypto community and individual economic empowerment, not on Square’s commercial interests.” As previously reported, Square registered $166 million in annual Bitcoin revenue for 2018. The company achieved over $52 million in Bitcoin sales for Q4, surpassing Q3 by $9 million and Q2 by more than $15 million. However, clear profit from the Bitcoin operations, which involve Square’s consumer app Cash, remained low, as purchasing costs account for the vast majority of revenue. Last month, Dorsey — a known Bitcoin advocate —  again declared that he believes Bitcoin to be the Internet’s native currency: “[Bitcoin] was something that was born on the internet, that was developed on the internet, that was tested on the internet…It is of the internet.”

UPS Targets B2B Sales With New Blockchain E-Commerce Platform

UPS Targets B2B Sales With New Blockchain E-Commerce Platform

U.S.-based shipping giant UPS has announced a new blockchain integration aimed to bring business-to-business (B2B) sales into the digital age. Announced yesterday, UPS has inked a deal with e-commerce company Inxeption to develop a platform to facilitate business-to-business sales, one supported by blockchain technology. The platform, called Inxeption Zippy, will work as an online catalog for businesses, according to the UPS news page. UPS said that the integration of services is aimed to draw more B2B merchants into e-commerce, claiming that slow adoption of online selling resources directly impacts businesses that use traditional methods for selling and advertising. In order to help clients go digital, the platform will walk merchants through the step-by-step process of setting up an online site for the company, listing its products and achieve sales to other businesses using contract-specific pricing. Blockchain technology will play a role in the offering of services for scheduling and monitoring shipments, as well as in transactions, purchase orders and financing record tracking on the Zippy platform. While merchants will be able to pay with credit cards, no other means of payment such as cryptocurrency was mentioned in the announcement. The solution was inspired by the growth of B2B e-commerce, Kevin Warren, chief marketing officer for UPS commented, explaining that “B2B buyers expect the same fast and convenient shopping experiences that consumers enjoy.” The platform will additionally provide marketing services such as search engines, sales reviews and analytics. While the B2B e-commerce market is set to reach $1.8 trillion by 2023, according to Forrester research, most B2B products are still sold through direct sales and/or third-party distribution, says UPS. Farzad Dibachi, CEO of Inxeption, said: ““We’re revolutionizing B2B e-commerce and bringing companies and their customers together online in a trusted manner. This relationship creates simplified pricing solutions for B2B merchants with limited digital marketing and IT resources to easily manage all aspects of selling and shipping from one secure place.” UPS van image via Shutterstock

New Crypto Exchange Bitzlato Offers P2P Trading

New Crypto Exchange Bitzlato Offers P2P Trading

There’s a new digital asset exchange on the market that offers opportunities for peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trading and a variety of fiat payment options. Bitzlato is a Russian platform integrated with a P2P exchanger that features a web-based version and a Telegram bot buying and selling six cryptocurrencies. Also read: BCH Is Now Supported by a Large Crypto ATM Network in Switzerland Numerous Payment Methods Available The integration allows Bitzlato to provide users with a variety of deposit and withdrawal options including bank transfers, payment processors, credit cards and ATMs. Traders in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and a couple of dozen other countries can use popular services in the region such as those offered by Qiwi, Yandex Money, Sberbank, Tinkoff Bank and many more. The crypto trading platform, which went live in February, is now processing trades in open beta mode. Bitcoin cash, bitcoin core, ethereum, litecoin, dash, and dogecoin can be traded on Bitzlato. Its team plans to also list the two recently launched privacy-centric cryptocurrencies beam and grin. This week Bitzlato introduced a new stablecoin for its traders. “Monolith” is an ERC20 token that comes in two variants – a 1:1 ruble-pegged RUBM and a dollar-pegged USDM coin. Monolith transactions are commission-free. The exchange charges a 0.05% maker fee and a taker fee of 0.15%. The platform maintains a multi-currency online crypto wallet and offers merchants a gateway for accepting payments in both cryptocurrency and fiat money. Do you know of any other new trading platforms in the crypto space? Tell us in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitzlato. At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more. Tags in this story Bitzlato, Cryptocurrencies, deposits, Exchange, exchanger, fiat currencies, payment gateway, Payment Options, telegram bot, The Daily Tip, trading platform, Wallet, Withdrawals Lubomir Tassev Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Bulgaria, which sometimes finds itself at the forefront of advances it cannot easily afford. Quoting Hitchens, he says: ”Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.“ International politics and…

The Crypto ‘Trichotomy’

The Crypto ‘Trichotomy’

Timothy Enneking is the founder and the primary principal of Digital Capital Management, LLC (DCM). The crypto space ain’t what it used to be. In the good old days when bitcoin was the only “cryptocurrency” around, life was much simpler. Then, a few other “currencies” came along, followed by ICOs and things rapidly got much more complex. Somewhere along the line, folks started paying as much or more attention to the technology underlying bitcoin as to bitcoin itself. Distributed ledger technology (DLT) or the “blockchain” suddenly became household words (well, with slight exaggeration…). In the roaring months of 2017, crypto pundits, analysts and funds developed various taxonomies of the rapidly diversifying crypto space: exchange tokens, utility tokens, payment tokens, asset-backed tokens, etc. (My personal favorite was Tetras Capital’s, but there were many.) However, the blockchain and asset-backed tokens were still part and parcel of the crypto space. I believe that is no longer the case. In fact, I would argue that the crypto space has split into three different spaces (hence “trichotomy”) and that the term “crypto” no longer applies to all of them. I label these three spaces “trading tokens,” “blockchain” and “asset-back tokens.” Except for the first, I realized that there’s nothing even vaguely innovative about the names. The most important takeaway is probably that the latter two (and certainly the last one) have nothing to do with what most people think of as “crypto.” As for first, “trading token” is really a more accurate label for what most people refer to as “cryptocurrencies.” The word “currency” was actually never really applicable to the technology. (In fact, I published an article on this very theme in July of 2017; “token” is much more appropriate. The word token is hardly new; it’s over 2,000 years old). We often forget where “token” came from in history: amusement parks, subways and, more recently, token rings, LANs, etc. In IT, a “token” is basically an information packet which is optimized for transfer between computers. If someone feels (hopes) that the data packet has exogenous value, that person may try to sell it. Others may feel a given token has no such value – even in an identical sector. (So, tZERO tries to sell its near-real-time trade settlement…