Hanko’s Time To Go? Blockchain as a Solution to Japan’s Remote Working Issue

Hanko’s Time To Go? Blockchain as a Solution to Japan’s Remote Working Issue

“Now is the time. If we can’t change now, we will never change.” Yuzo Kano is frank in his assessment of the two thousand year-old Hanko tradition. “We need to revisit the historical role of Hanko in Japan.”Hanko, or Inkan, is the Japanese stamp that’s almost ubiquitous in Japan’s work and life. Whenever buying a new house or car, submitting documents to a city government, or even getting permission from a manager for a vacation, Japanese citizens stamp their seal, or their corporation’s seal, on contract documents.In a country that has been a standard-bearer for technology and digitization over the last fifty years, the Japanese maintain this analog method of conveying trust.But now, imbued with renewed vigor due to the ongoing pandemic, those who want to update the Hanko culture are finding a tailwind. As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on economic markets and redefines the nature of social interaction, Kano, the co-founder of Japanese crypto exchange bitFlyer and CEO of bitFlyer Blockchain, explained “I do think it is a strange thing to put your life at risk to use Hanko. It is a great time for Japanese society to rethink whether we really need Hanko. What, then, can be the alternative?” Using Hanko means meeting someone in person: going outside when “staying home” is required. Research suggests that 46.7% of Japanese workers have visited their offices during the coronavirus outbreak specifically to use Hanko. It could even be argued that Hanko is one of the most important factors in Japan’s failure to transition to a functioning remote-working economy.And this is a legacy issue: the Twitter-less Naokazu Takemoto, Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy, is the president of the pro-Hanko parliamentary group Hankogiren. During his inaugural speech he argued for “the coexistence of the Hanko culture and the digital culture” without explaining how this might be accomplished.On a more progressive note, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently ordered the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy to push toward digitizing contracts and Hanko. Some private Japanese companies immediately announced that they would stop using Hanko, although a survey conducted in March 2020 by JIPDEC and ITR (a non-profit organization and a research company) found that only around 40% of Japanese companies have begun to digitize…

The Shitsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Comedy of Prof. Roubini — Tudor Jones Nailed It

The Shitsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Comedy of Prof. Roubini — Tudor Jones Nailed It

One of the Four Horsemen of the Crypto-Apocalypse Flogs his Putrefying Stallion in Recap of 2018 Stand-up RoutineWhy would a Cointelegraph columnist blow ten bucks on a Nouriel Roubini podcast? Ever? Especially one billed this way: Are Crypto-currencies/Shitcoins the future of money or a bubble now gone bust or a speculative store of value? Watch my views on why “Crypto, Shitcoins & Blockchain are The Mother of All Bubbles Now Gone Bust” in my broadcast today May 5th at 10am ET at https://t.co/pNYvwgVFTP— Nouriel Roubini (@Nouriel) May 5, 2020 Because he assumed, foolishly, that a professor at the NYU Stern School of Business would have something meaningful to add to his Bitcoin critique, particularly in light of recent quantitative easing programs undertaken by central banks worldwide.It was ten bucks (and an hour) entirely wasted. Well… maybe not entirely wasted. There certainly was some pure comedy gold in the broadcast. So What Does a May 2020 Roubini Podcast Sound Like?Imagine a two-year-old stand-up comedy routine parading as a fireside chat, sans Roosevelt-style words of comfort, and without a much-needed laugh track.The jokes, though dated, certainly flew thick and fast. With his blinders pulled low over his intellectual curiosity, Roubini continued to confuse Bitcoin with altcoins and essentially use them interchangeably. To excuse his use of expletives, the good professor explained: “I use the term shitcoins to define them, but they are shitcoins, in substance, and this is a technical term. Google the term shitcoin, and you’re gonna find 500,000 items in it.”The Premise of the Bubble GagHis “Bitcoin is a bubble” argument relied heavily on a 2017-2018 graph showing how fast Bitcoin rose in price compared to tulips, the Mississippi Company, the South Sea Company, and failed dot com firms in their bubbles. (Yes, Mr. Roubini, there was a bubble. We’ve come to terms with it. You can too.)Bitcoin, he explained, is now 55 to 60% below peak. Other not-entirely-shit coins like Ethereum are 85% down, and pure-as-the-driven-snow shitcoins are 95 to 99% off their all-time highs. He sure can pick his periods, though. When the S&P 500 plunged by 35% earlier this year, Bitcoin dropped 60%. There was no mention of the latter’s subsequent recovery to its pre-pandemic value, a feat unmatched by the stock market.Cherry-picking the months to demonstrate…

6 Questions for Abby Blumer of Block.one

6 Questions for Abby Blumer of Block.one

Each week we ask the buidlers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector for their thoughts on the industry… and we throw in a few random zingers to keep them on their toes!Each participant then gets to remove one blockchain question — and a personal one — and they can substitute in two of their own for the next victim. This week our 6 Questions go to Abby Blumer, Chief Communications Officer at Block.one.Abby leads Block.one’s global marketing and communications activities, including internal and external communications, events, branding, and marketing. A member of Block.one’s founding team, she was the sole marketing and communications employee before growing it to a multi-function, multi-location team.Abby believes that community and advocacy are the new driving forces in communications and marketing, spurring the reinvention of traditional disciplines. An educator by training, Abby started her career as a high school English Literature teacher in Arizona and in Chicago’s inner city before moving to Hong Kong.Prior to Block.one, she worked in marketing and operations for a Hong Kong-based software developer specializing in global real estate solutions.  1 — Thinking of a favorite song or poem, what are the words that move you; and why are they important?I started off my professional career as an English Literature teacher, so I’m going to pick a quote from my favorite novel instead, if that is okay.“We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?” — William Golding, Lord of the FliesI love this concept, not only because of the irony it speaks to in the novel, but its challenge to the status quo and what we know as a society; the way it’s always been done doesn’t necessarily mean that’s how it should be done. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t pay attention to history, or what has worked in the past, but there’s also the danger of doing things purely by habit without conscious thought. 2 — Take a look at places 50 – 100 on the market cap rankings on CMC right now, and share a project that stands out for you. Why?To be honest, I can’t keep track of all of the innovation coming out of the space today, but I am impressed on a daily basis. I’ve been meaning to do some reading on several…

YouTube’s Algorithm Epic Fail — Portugal Nailed It

YouTube’s Algorithm Epic Fail — Portugal Nailed It

When the Tube’s Away, The Algorithm Will PlayIn March, YouTube warned that its algorithm might go haywire during the COVID-19 shutdown with fewer human eyes on the wayward beast. It’s hard to miss the message that screams “during the lockdown our algorithm might accidentally lock you out”.It is equally hard to miss the fact that crypto-tubers don’t have a lot of luck when it comes to tripping the video site’s hazard wires. Tone Vays, The Crypto Lark, and Blockchain Education Network have all suffered at the hands of the “harmful content” trigger recently. None appears to have been offered an explanation why. But there is a plausible explanation for last week’s shenanigans. One that promises to send ripples of fear through the entire crypto content industry.Ripple Sues YouTube, YouTube Boots Ripple CTORipple Labs has filed a lawsuit against the platform for failing to do enough to stop scammers and impersonators promoting fake XRP giveaways.The last thing they want is for XRP tokens flooding into the wallets of scam artists.Of course, a few thousand XRP tokens here and there probably don’t have that much impact on the price of XRP… especially since Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb continues to dump around 1.8 million XRP every single day on the sad, powerless retail market. And oh! Look! Ripple sent him another 55 million XRP just yesterday.Ahem… back to the point.About a week after the lawsuit was announced, Ripple CTO David Schwartz’s YouTube channel was suspended, after he was apparently flagged for impersonating himself. Let’s unpack this:YouTube’s antipathy towards crypto channels pre-dates the coronavirus pandemicThe unchecked and ill-tempered algorithm has exacerbated the situation, yet scammers continue to occupy the video hosting behemoth unscathedRipple Labs sues the platform for allowing those scammers to continueYouTube bans an actual Ripple executive So either…The algorithm doesn’t work, or…The algorithm is programmed to flag crypto content, whether harmful or educational, or…YouTube thinks Ripple itself is a scam (And who could… ah, that’s another story.) An algorithm driven by machine learning shouldn’t really need supervision anyway.And last week’s David Schwartz ban could indicate that the algorithm isn’t the only culprit here. It seems the time has come for a decentralized alternative. Fortunately, there are quite a few of them around. The crypto community created the #ForkGoogle memorandum accusing YouTube of waging…

Twitter Bitcoin Mentions Now Almost Exactly Mimic Market Cap Dominance

Twitter Bitcoin Mentions Now Almost Exactly Mimic Market Cap Dominance

Bitcoin (BTC) the most mentions on Twitter may seem logical — but the reason behind it may be more calculated than many imagined.According to the latest data, Bitcoin’s popularity on Twitter by the number of tweets is not only the highest of all the cryptocurrencies — it is proportional to market cap.BTC clings to 65% dominanceFor May 26, Bitcoin tweets numbered 26,778. Tweets including six others — Ether (ETH), XRP, Litecoin (LTC), Tezos (XTZ), EOS (EOS) and Chainlink (LINK) — came to roughly another 13,000.Out of a total of around 39,000 tweets, Bitcoin’s share is therefore around 68%. Meanwhile, data from CoinMarketCap shows that at press time, Bitcoin’s market cap dominance is 65.7%.Market cap refers to the implied value of all the units of a cryptocurrency that have been created. Bitcoin has not always held the lion’s share — in January 2018, for example, its “dominance” was something of a misnomer at just 32%.Now, however, the resemblance between dominance and tweet numbers is striking. ETH, which has a market cap dominance of 8.4%, received around 17% of tweets, while XRP had 8% of tweets and a 3.5% dominance respectively.Cryptocurrency Twitter mentions and number of users. Source: TheTIEBitcoin’s Twitter stance has been on the rise since after its March crash, with altcoin mentions conversely hitting multi-year lows.Hard forks lose out twiceThe picture is even starker when comparing hard forks of Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) market cap dominance is around 1.7%, and it received around 2.4% of tweets on May 26.Bitcoin SV (BSV) saw just 110 tweets, or 0.2% of the total, while its market cap dominance is 1.4%.As Cointelegraph reported, BCH is currently trading near all-time lows against BTC. In terms of hash rate, Bitcoin is also well in the lead. At press time, BTC, BCH and BSV hash rates are roughly 80 quintillion, 3.9 quintillion and 1.7 quintillion hashes per second, respectively.Bitcoin’s Twitter community often makes headlines in its own right. In May alone, the halving saw a surge in activity, along with a bizarre incident involving Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling.

Extinct or Extant: Can Blockchain Preserve the Heritage of Endangered Populations?

Extinct or Extant: Can Blockchain Preserve the Heritage of Endangered Populations?

Around halfway between Hawaii and northern Australia, the Marshall Islands are a long way from anywhere. It would be hard to find a place more remote. And in the glory of the sun, the Marshall Islands seem to be a tropical paradise.  But the sprawling array of coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean is characterized by stark and tragic contrasts. With its coconut palms, white sands, turquoise waters, coral reefs, and friendly people it should be a major tourist hub. Yet many of the 1,156 islands are uninhabitable, and the isolation that makes The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) so attractive to adventurous tourists also made it the perfect place for extensive U.S. nuclear bomb testing between 1946 and 1958.Poisoned and displaced in the past, the citizens of the Marshall Islands face an even more uncertain future. At an average elevation of just two meters above sea level, rising tides caused by melting ice caps are on course to swallow up the atolls in the next two or three decades, submerging the islands and leaving its 59,000 people homeless. Marshallese poet and climate change activist Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner chillingly stated:“I wanna tattoo this number to my forehead: Marshall Islands as a nation actually contributes 0.00001% of the world’s global emissions. And yet we are the ones set to disappear first.”Life, for the Marshallese, is brutally unfair.The Global Fight for SurvivalAware of the fate that awaits them, the Marshallese government and former President Hilda Hiene have been active in promoting climate change action. Marshall Islands and other Micronesian students have also spoken at UN gatherings to highlight the peril that countries at low elevation face. “The dangers are literally on their doorsteps,” says Sean Stelten, a tropical weather forecaster living in the RMI. “We’re already seeing the effects of it in certain areas. There’s one island near me where we keep seeing palm trees dying and falling at the end of the island due to erosion caused by higher seas.”“It sort of puts a shot clock on our existence,” former chief secretary and advisor to the Marshallese president Ben Graham told National Geographic. “It’s not a 30-second shot clock, but a 30-year shot clock.” And it’s not just a Marshallese problem. In fact, some 200 million people around the world…

Indian Crypto Exchange CoinDCX Raises $2.5M From Polychain Capital, Coinbase Ventures

Indian Crypto Exchange CoinDCX Raises $2.5M From Polychain Capital, Coinbase Ventures

India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, CoinDCX, has secured a $2.5 million strategic investment led by Polychain Capital with support from Coinbase Ventures. The investment aims to reinforce the exchange’s efforts to drive cryptocurrency adoption in the country after a major legal victory in March. CoinDCX’s #TryCrypto campaign seeks to bring the total number of crypto users in India to 50 million. Specifically, the financing aims to bolster CoinDCX’s meetup events, community engagement efforts, educational programs and consumer campaigns, the company said. “This new strategic investment into CoinDCX is a shot of confidence in our roadmap toward bringing the crypto asset class to a largely untapped Indian market. We look forward to our investors’ continued counsel,” said Sumit Gupta, CEO and co-founder of CoinDCX. Polychain’s investment is in addition to its participation in a $3 million Series A funding round for the Mumbai-based exchange, which occurred in late March, weeks after a banking ban for cryptocurrency businesses was overturned by the country’s Supreme Court. Following the lifting of the banking ban in March, CoinDCX has seen a 47% growth in trading volumes and a 150% growth in daily active users. CoinDCX said it was one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges in India to integrate bank account transfers. “As India continues to close the gap between the crypto economy and the mainstream market, CoinDCX is strongly positioned to become the leading platform that consumers in the country interact with crypto through,” said Shan Aggarwal, head of Coinbase Ventures. Disclosure Read More The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Tether Unseats XRP As Third-Largest Crypto, Dwarfing Its Volume 25:1

Tether Unseats XRP As Third-Largest Crypto, Dwarfing Its Volume 25:1

Tether (USDT) has overtaken XRP to become the third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, as Ripple fails to gain adoption amongst retail investors.Top 10 Cryptocurrencies by Market Capitalization. Source: CoinMarketCapAs for Ripple (XRP), it’s been a race to the bottom, its market cap has collapsed from a high around $130 billion in January 2018 to the current one under $9 billion. At one point XRP was jockeying for the number two position with Ether (ETH), however, currently, the combined market cap of XRP and USDT is still $5 billion behind Ether.USDT vs. XRP market capitalization. Source: Cointelegraph, CoinMarketCapUSDT trading volume dwarfs XRP’sPerhaps part of the problem for XRP is a lack of traction with retail investors. In terms of daily trading volume, USDT dwarfs XRP. USDT’s average daily volume in May has outpaced XRP’s by a factor of 25.USDT vs. XRP volume. Source: Cointelegraph, CoinMarketCapBut this doesn’t mean that the race for third place is over. With a decent bull run, XRP could blow past its stablecoin rival, which cannot move up or down by more than a few percentage points.

Libra Exec Hirings Suggest Commitment to Anti-Crypto Regulations

Libra Exec Hirings Suggest Commitment to Anti-Crypto Regulations

Following a big-time update to its white paper in mid-April, the Libra Association has over the past couple of weeks made a string of striking new additions to its core governance team, including appointing Robert Werner as its general counsel and Stuart Levey as its CEO. Before joining the Libra Association, Werner served as the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, known as FinCEN, as well as holding a number of top leadership positions at financial firms such as HSBC, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. Similarly, Levey most recently was the chief legal officer for HSBC Holdings.In addition, the Libra Association has also been able to rope in Temasek, one of Singapore’s two government-owned investment vehicles, along with San Francisco-based crypto investment company Paradigm Fund and private equity firm Slow Ventures to its ever-growing consortium. Temasek claims to currently be in possession of a financial portfolio worth $219 billion.The aforementioned moves have been viewed by the global crypto community as being a clear indication that the Libra Association is now really serious about realizing its dream of widespread adoption of its native digital offering: the Libra token.Commenting on the recent hirings, a spokesperson for Libra opined that Werner and Levey both bring to the table a vast wealth of knowledge in regard to matters such as regulation, financial crime compliance and enforcement. Similarly, Chia Song Hwee, the deputy CEO of Temasek, was quoted as saying: “Our participation in the Libra Association as a member will allow us to contribute towards a regulated global network for cost effective retail payments.”What do Libra’s moves really mean?In the wake of the aforementioned announcements, a number of questions have been raised about the Libra Association’s intentions regarding the mainstream deployment of its stablecoin-pegged cryptocurrency, especially in terms of legitimizing its operations in the eyes of potential investors all over the world.Thus, to get a holistic overview of the matter, Cointelegraph reached out to Joe Lallouz, the CEO of Bison Trails — a blockchain firm that is part of Libra’s consortium. In his view, the addition of the two executives to the association is a great way to continue to move the Libra project forward while enhancing its overall independence. Not only that, but he also believes that their…

Analyst Is ‘Surprised’ There Hasn’t Been a Large-Scale Attack on Bitcoin Cash Yet

Analyst Is ‘Surprised’ There Hasn’t Been a Large-Scale Attack on Bitcoin Cash Yet

Yassine Elmandjra, a crypto asset analyst at ARK Invest, said in a May 24 tweet that the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hashrate fell by 30% since its halving event, and only accounts for about 2% of the SHA-256 hashrate. Elmandjra now thinks it’s only a question of time before somebody takes advantage of the network:“Surprised we haven’t seen a large scale attack yet.”According to data from BitInfoCharts, the Bitcoin Cash average daily hashrate fell by nearly 25.6% since its April 8 halving. Still, Elmandjra presumably did his calculations based on May 23 data, where the hashrate was down by about 33.52%. It is worth noting that the hashrate is currently much higher than where it initially was, after falling by over 61%.As Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, Bitcoin’s hashrate has shed around 25%-40%, new blocks are generated remarkably slowly speed and fees significantly higher since the halving.Hayden Otto is a Bitcoin Cash event organizer and founder of BitcoinBCH, a BCH-based development firm. Otto argues that Elmandjra was misled by the Bitcoin (BTC) narrative that Bitcoin Cash can be easily hacked by a 51% attack.According to Otto, “the formulas they use to determine the cost of a 51% attack does not consider important factors such as the incentives of miners.” He believes that such an attack could not be executed as easily as many suggest, and this is why no such attack took place on the Bitcoin Cash network.Attacking Bitcoin Cash is easier said than doneOtto added that Bitcoin Cash’s hashrate is currently about 3.5% of Bitcoin’s and has remained there for years. According to Cointelegraph’s calculations using CoinMetrics hashrate comparison chart data, BCH’s hashrate is currently equivalent to 3% of BTC’s. Furthermore, BCH’s hashrate was equivalent to about 4% on May 20, 2019. This data seems to generally back Otto’s point of view. He claims that an attack on Bitcoin Cash isn’t realistic:“Bitcoin Cash is currently about 3.5% of BTC’s hashrate and has been around this level for more than a year. Despite this there has been no attack because miners are profit-seeking and there is no incentive to attack. Any attacker will be challenged by honest miners defending the chain, and the 10-block reorg protection neuters any attempt to secretly mine a longer chain. The…