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Payoneer CEO Calls Single Currency Bitcoin (BTC) Unrealistic

Bitcoin (BTC), Cryptocurrency–With the crypto markets staging a small recovery on the day and looking to close out the year on a relative positive note despite 2018’s ongoing bear cycle, the number one currency by market capitalization continues to be divisive.

Speaking in an interview with CNBC published on Dec. 28, Scott Galit, CEO of New York-based payment processing firm Payoneer, made the claim that a single global non-fiat currency like Bitcoin was unrealistic.

Galit’s take on Bitcoin hinges more upon what he views as an unattainable position for BTC to become a single, unifying global currency as some have pushed as a possibility for the decentralized coin. Galit admits that the idea of a non-fiat, digital currency is appealing to large swaths of the internet as a way to get past the hurdle of international transaction barriers, but finds the application unrealistic,

“Despite the interests of lots of people out there in the Internet world who love the idea of frictionless commerce and frictionless money and avoiding fiat currencies, I don’t see it”

In particular, Galit cites the unlikelihood of the U.S. government accepting BTC for taxes on account of the extreme price volatility of cryptocurrency. As outlined by Galit, the U.S. government would be exposing itself to an exchange rate that fluctuates to the degree of BTC, an outcome that would never make its way through Congress,

“Now you could have a debate whether taxes are fair or unfair or whatever but they are a reality. There are going to be taxes because governments need revenues,” Galit says. “Countries actually need tax revenue in order to fund services for their residents.”

In November Ohio became the first state to allow taxes to be paid in Bitcoin, beginning with businesses and increasing in availability to individual filers. However, the process involves a trading platform which converts the paid BTC into dollars, protecting the state from the aforementioned volatility of cryptocurrency.

Galit also calls upon the responsibility of the Federal Reserve to maintain control over the nation’s fiat, a source of leverage that would become worthless in the event of BTC becoming a dominant currency,

“Central bankers are there to actually help manage the economies and provide kind of stewardship for those economies,” Galit says. “Part of that is actually managing currency in the interest rates [for lending] and in exchange rates. If you don’t actually have any control over a currency you’ve lost one of the major policy tools that you have, so what do you do?”

Galit’s comments come just one week after Yahoo Finance named payment platform Square as their company of the year. Square, which was founded by Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey, began offering Bitcoin as a trading option in November 2017, with the company going to great lengths throughout 2018 to push the feature as a legitimate division of their service. In November, Square announced that BTC based revenue for Q3 had climbed steadily to $43 million, upt from $37 million in the previous quarter.

Dorsey, who also presides as CEO of Twitter–a social media platform likely feeling the pressure to enter cryptocurrency following rival Facebook’s ties to a stablecoin–has long been vocal in his support for Bitcoin. In March, Dorsey broke headlines by stating that he believed Bitcoin could become the world’s single currency, catalyzed by internet adoption,

“The world ultimately will have a single currency, the internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be bitcoin”

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Facebook Cryptocurrency Shows Path Forward is Integration, Not Domination

Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Facebook–Last week, EWN reported on an industry rumor that Facebook, the social media giant with over 2 billion active users, was in the process of developing a new stablecoin cryptocurrency. Details on the token included an emphasis on being used for payments via the WhatsApp messaging service, with a particular focus on expanding into the largely untapped digital payments market of India.

Some pundits have used the Facebook development as an opportunity to cast stones at the broader industry of cryptocurrency, with the argument that Big Tech is now taking the reins of the blockchain away. As opposed to cryptocurrency being used as a tool of subversion for the established tech industry, in a similar way that the digital asset side has the potential to circumvent traditional fiat, the rise of Facebook Coin is putting the more libertarian narrative into a flux.

However, the adoption of cryptocurrency by a company as large and entrenched in the global social system as Facebook is an indication that the technology is reaching a critical point of validation as opposed to being swallowed by the zeitgeist of established platforms. The road to Main Street, like all technologies, is paved through integration, not domination. Cryptocurrency and the underlying proof of blockchain is a multifaceted conceptualization, made up of tenets of usability and belief.

Will the crypto anarchists be upset that a mainstream corporation is co-opting their beloved technology? Possibly. The advent of Google and internet conglomerates did not slow down the juggernaut of file and data-sharing for those who saw the technology as a portal to freely distributed information. Cryptocurrency will find a similar footing for different groups based upon their necessities. Stablecoins provide Facebook and like-minded social media platforms a secure means for transferring value globally, while also providing the innovation of truly digital money. Bitcoin, like many other cryptocurrencies, holds a distinct position as a digital asset, one that can be freely traded, speculated on and treated as an investment property in addition to currency.

If cryptocurrency continues to gain footing in mainstream corporations–a revelation that few investors in the industry would be sad to see–the rise of privacy coins could be a logical extension. While Facebook, Twitter and other casual operations will prefer the lack of volatility found in stablecoins, others users of crypto may seek it out as a means of private transactions, finding more utility in anonymous coins such as Monero and the like.

The watermark for Bitcoin and other cryptos is being used to buy a coffee at Starbucks, not overthrowing governments. Facebook is not taking away from the industry by building their own coin–they’re contributing to the recognition of the industry as a legitimate technology and providing validation for its use.

The staunch libertarian and anarchic ethos that has been entwined with cryptocurrency since its conception was the radical, passionate fuel that was needed to light the fire of development. It’s not casual interest that would give someone belief in an industry down over $600 billion in one year–but a belief for the potential of a technology and a futureseeking vision of what it could become in society. Facebook adoption is the integration that will lead to crypto-ubiquity, not the nail in the coffin that some see it as.

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Bitcoin (BTC) Leads Google Trends Most Commonly Asked in 2018

Bitcoin (BTC), Cryptocurrency–While market prices continue to look shaky for cryptocurrency and the broader altcoin market, Bitcoin managed to score a minor win on the day. According to the analytics trending tool published by Google, “What is Bitcoin?” was the most searched phrase for the question-asking category for 2018. Both United States and United Kingdom Google users searched for information about the number one cryptocurrency by market capitalization more than any other topic, giving an indication that–while some would proclaim the technology a bubble in the process of bursting–there still remains interest in the field of cryptocurrency.

Rounding out the top five included “What is racketeering,” “What is DACA,” “What is a government shutdown” and “What is Good Friday.” Bitcoin’s top position for Google’s rankings comes at a time when the currency is experiencing its relative lowest point for the year. Last week EWN reported on the state of the crypto markets in 2018, with BTC experiencing its worst monthly loss in November since August 2011. The price fall for Bitcoin comes at the tail end of an already bearish year for cryptocurrency, seeing the entire market capitalization tumble from over $800 billion to its present value of $110 billion.

Bitcoin, in particular, has ceded its share of losses, dropping from close to $20,000 at the end of December 2017 to today’s trading price of $3500. While some analysts have pointed to indicators that BTC and the crypto markets may be entering oversold territory, with a potential bounce coming for investors, others have pointed to a much dire future for crypto into next year.

News of search interest for the cryptocurrency is a welcomed sight for investors amidst the price fall, with many claiming a fundamental lack of understanding by the general population for being a catalyst to Bitcoin’s recent price drop. As opposed to learning about the technology and the potential for cryptocurrency, investors through money at BTC, altcoins and ICOs with abandon throughout 2017’s bull run, leading to the bloated market prices to start the year that would inevitably lead to the crash.

With the conversation shifting from the daily price movement of Bitcoin and the money to be made from investing in the digital asset, industry enthusiasts are hoping to garner more focus on the development and adoption for the technology. Last year saw “blockchain” and “cryptocurrency” become to buzz words, similar to the social media and app-development frenzy in the early part of this decade, which fueled unrealistic expectations for the industry. Bitcoin, as a technology, was unprepared to handle the influx of consumers, which led to the service becoming nearly unusable with skyrocketing transaction fees and unacceptable confirmation times. Detractors of the digital asset quickly latched onto the flaws of the currency under high network stress, leading to a negative shift in sentiment for the viability of cryptocurrency and contributing to the growing investment uncertainty.

With the market turned at the start of the year, it did so with equal ferocity to the bull run which ended 2017. Now, entering the final month of 2018, the majority of currencies are sitting on over 90 percent losses since their last all time high, with most financial analysts calling for further crypto blood and claiming that the bubble has finally popped.

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Bitcoin (BTC) ‘I Told You So’ At All Time High

Bitcoin (BTC), Cryptocurrency–Not much has changed in a year.

While the price of BTC has slipped precipitously since ending 2017 trading near $20,000, the industry of cryptocurrency has remained as polarizing as ever. Throughout the bullish run that characterized last year, economists, financial reporters and Wall Street moguls continued to point out the flaws of the number one cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Ranging from the dangers of deflationary currencies to the extreme price volatility of the crypto markets, Bitcoin had no shortage of detractors who attempted to steer away investors even during the height of price appreciation.

Rather than focusing on growth through adoption, educating a population on a novel technology or establishing legitimate uses that extending beyond “digital money,” the narrative surrounding Bitcoin and cryptocurrency became one of greed and confusion. The relentless media cycle at the end of 2017 fluctuated between arrogant perplexity and annoyed FOMO, with early crypto adopters being hailed as visionary innovators or just plain lucky depending who you asked. The water cooler conversation for crypto made an abrupt change from “What is Bitcoin?” to “How can I get rich?”

The end result, which should have been predictable from a standpoint of a nascent industry, was over-inflation of value and even greater expectations. The bull run to end 2017 and extend into the first weeks of January was built upon investors who felt fearless in their decisions, not taking the time to learn about Bitcoin, cryptocurrency or the extensive altcoin market–including a litany of ICOs that would prove disastrous over the year. A white paper and a promise was enough to drive billion dollar valuations, with most investors simply looking for the next coin of the day to get pumped on exchanges.

As opposed to the organic growth that most technology needs to establish itself in the mind of Main Street, Bitcoin became the unfortunate recipient of overextending expectations. Investors  bought into crypto with not just the expectation of asset-appreciation but ludicrous overnight wealth to be obtained. Few asked where the technology was at in terms of development, and why certain barriers to scale–such as transaction fees and speeds–would still be months and years away from being solved.

The market collapse that followed in January and February, extending into the final month of the year with Bitcoin and altcoins hitting their relative low, has brought out a host of schadenfreude, with nearly every economist and analyst waiting to cast stones at the industry of crypto and the investors who bought in during the fall. For most in the industry of crypto, the financial narrative is producing an ongoing annoyance, with Bitcoin having been proclaimed “dead” many times before. But the overtone being applied to the more recent articles on Bitcoin’s demise is one filled with glee over the failure.

While some take pleasure in painting Bitcoin as the greatest bubble in history that finally popped, it’s becoming increasingly hard to take serious the opinions of financial professionals and experts who are allowing their emotional sides color their analysis. Somehow, Bitcoin transformed into as much an ideology as a technology, one that detractors feel compelled to stamp down upon to the extent of being irrational.

If anything, that might be all the indication supporters of Bitcoin need to find continued hope in the future of the currency.

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Bitcoin (BTC) Subreddit Surpasses One Million Subscribers

Bitcoin (BTC), Cryptocurrency–While most investors run for cover amidst the falling crypto prices, as the bear market of 2018 extends into the final month of the year, the Reddit based community for the number one cryptocurrency by market capitalization has hit a new milestone.

On Dec. 2, the subreddit for Bitcoin reached 1 million subscribers, marking a historic moment for the community that few other groups on the site have been able to achieve. Amazingly, given that coin price have fallen 70 to 95 percent from their high in January, the community of cryptocurrency has managed to show resiliency that could pay off in the long run.

Bitcoin, in particular, has cultivated a strong a following of investors who are looking for more than just profit. The community formed through Reddit has not only found ways to give back to need-based programs through the significant wealth created in last year’s bull run (such as the Bitcoin Pineapple fund which gave away a whopping $86 million to 60 charities–all from the generosity of one Bitcoin user), to consistently finding ways to form grassroots adoption.

While some have chosen to trade Bitcoin for the price speculation alone, the technology has a struck a chord with the majority of its following which extends beyond just being another appreciable asset. Each user may have their own reason for supporting the currency, ranging from a belief in the technology of blockchain and the superiority of digital currencies over their fiat alternatives, to a politically-oriented ideology that espouses decentralization and more libertarian views. However, the vast number of Reddit users and Bitcoin supporters around the world hold opinions that are a far cry from the one being attributed by mainstream outlets and economists–one that continually seeks to label crypto investors as gamblers, pyramid schemers or the propagators of a malicious virus.

With the subreddit now eclipsing 1 million subscribers, it contributes to the growing paradox of 2018 that was touched upon by Mike Novogratz in a conference call last week. As reported by EWN, the billionaire crypto supporter made no qualms about the state of the industry throughout this year, claiming it has been, “a horrible bear market in tokens,” with “plenty of reason to be depressed.” Despite the plummeting price of Bitcoin, which experienced its worst month of losses in November since August 2011, the support and adoption for the digital currency is on the rise, creating the bedrock for the technology to perform in 2019 and beyond.

While Google searches and general excitement for cryptocurrency has eroded with the market capitalization, down from nearly $900 billion in January, the industry has moved past daily appearances on CNBC and other popular outlets which were fixated on the climbing price and overnight millionaires being created in last year’s bull run. In place of that attention is a recognition that the industry still has yet to grow, with prices outpacing real world use at the start of the year. It’s not enough for Bitcoin to grow from exchange driven, price speculation alone: the currency has to find a footing in both usability and mindset for mainstream consumers before it can hope to match last December pricing.

Until then, the growing community for Bitcoin on sites like Reddit continues to provide a window into the state of crypto adoption, and the willingness for a segment of the population to try the technology that has been hailed as the next greatest innovation since the internet.

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Bitcoin (BTC) Subreddit Surpasses One Million Subscribers

Bitcoin (BTC), Cryptocurrency–While most investors run for cover amidst the falling crypto prices, as the bear market of 2018 extends into the final month of the year, the Reddit based community for the number one cryptocurrency by market capitalization has hit a new milestone.

On Dec. 2, the subreddit for Bitcoin reached 1 million subscribers, marking a historic moment for the community that few other groups on the site have been able to achieve. Amazingly, given that coin price have fallen 70 to 95 percent from their high in January, the community of cryptocurrency has managed to show resiliency that could pay off in the long run.

Bitcoin, in particular, has cultivated a strong a following of investors who are looking for more than just profit. The community formed through Reddit has not only found ways to give back to need-based programs through the significant wealth created in last year’s bull run (such as the Bitcoin Pineapple fund which gave away a whopping $86 million to 60 charities–all from the generosity of one Bitcoin user), to consistently finding ways to form grassroots adoption.

While some have chosen to trade Bitcoin for the price speculation alone, the technology has a struck a chord with the majority of its following which extends beyond just being another appreciable asset. Each user may have their own reason for supporting the currency, ranging from a belief in the technology of blockchain and the superiority of digital currencies over their fiat alternatives, to a politically-oriented ideology that espouses decentralization and more libertarian views. However, the vast number of Reddit users and Bitcoin supporters around the world hold opinions that are a far cry from the one being attributed by mainstream outlets and economists–one that continually seeks to label crypto investors as gamblers, pyramid schemers or the propagators of a malicious virus.

With the subreddit now eclipsing 1 million subscribers, it contributes to the growing paradox of 2018 that was touched upon by Mike Novogratz in a conference call last week. As reported by EWN, the billionaire crypto supporter made no qualms about the state of the industry throughout this year, claiming it has been, “a horrible bear market in tokens,” with “plenty of reason to be depressed.” Despite the plummeting price of Bitcoin, which experienced its worst month of losses in November since August 2011, the support and adoption for the digital currency is on the rise, creating the bedrock for the technology to perform in 2019 and beyond.

While Google searches and general excitement for cryptocurrency has eroded with the market capitalization, down from nearly $900 billion in January, the industry has moved past daily appearances on CNBC and other popular outlets which were fixated on the climbing price and overnight millionaires being created in last year’s bull run. In place of that attention is a recognition that the industry still has yet to grow, with prices outpacing real world use at the start of the year. It’s not enough for Bitcoin to grow from exchange driven, price speculation alone: the currency has to find a footing in both usability and mindset for mainstream consumers before it can hope to match last December pricing.

Until then, the growing community for Bitcoin on sites like Reddit continues to provide a window into the state of crypto adoption, and the willingness for a segment of the population to try the technology that has been hailed as the next greatest innovation since the internet.

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Bitcoin (BTC) Losses in November Worst in 7 Years

Bitcoin (BTC), Cryptocurrency–With Bitcoin again slipping below $4000, the market of cryptocurrency is continuing the bear trend into the final month of the year.

After several months of low price volatility, where the fluctuation in value for the number one cryptocurrency by market cap dropped below that of tech stocks, it appeared that the crypto markets were going to make an eventful upward turn in November. Part of the influx of investment was driven by Bitcoin Cash, as buyers anticipated the minting of new coins following its hard fork on November 15.

However, the opposite occurred, with the coin plummeting in value in the hours leading up to the split and dragging most of the market with it. Instead of providing a resurgence to market prices, the forking of Bitcoin Cash into Bitcoin ABC and SV created a strong degree of investor uncertainty which in turn led to falling prices. The two camps, helmed by crypto figureheads Roger Ver and Craig Wright, created an all out “hash war,” which drew the wrong kind of attention for crypto and led to a general fire sale for the market.

Bitcoin plummeted alongside altcoins, and nearly $100 billion was wiped from the market capitalization in less than two weeks. While BTC watched a steady erosion in price throughout 2018, falling from an all time high of $20,000 at the end of last year to its stable trading point around $6500, the bottom fell out for the currency. Bitcoin dropped further to $3500, with nearly all analysts predicting a bleak outlook for the recovery of cryptocurrency prices that could continue into next year–and possibly beyond.

As reported by Bloomberg, the most recent price fall for Bitcoin was as bleak as it appeared to investors, with November constituting the worst month for BTC in the last seven years. While investors were flush in the midst of a bull run for Bitcoin at this time a year ago, November saw the currency drop 37 percent to a relative low for 2018, which constitutes the biggest loss since August 2011 when BTC fell 39 percent to $8.90. As previously reported by EWN, billionaire investor Mike Novogratz of Galaxy Digital Holdings admitted to the steep drop in valuation for cryptos and his crypto-based fund. Speaking in a conference call on November 30, Novogratz made no attempt to sugar coat the situation,

“It’s been a horrible bear market in tokens.”

However, as prices continue to find shaky ground in their lowest trading range of the year, general enthusiasts for cryptocurrency continue to find developments to be excited for, in addition to the catalyzing work of some development teams. Last week, EWN reported on a commitment by the TRON Foundation, makers of the TRX currency, to pay out $100 million over three years to spur innovation and creation of blockchain gaming for their network.

As token prices continue to cause headaches for long-term investors, adoption and blockchain growth is a positive for cryptocurrency advocates to hang their hat upon. While Novogratz, a long time Bitcoin and crypto bull, admitted defeat in 2018, even he pointed out that bubbling adoption today could lead to big moves–including institutionally backed investments–in 2019 and 2020.

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Drop in Bitcoin (BTC) Mining Increasing Network Risk

Bitcoin (BTC), Cryptocurrency, Mining–As previously reported by EWN, the drop in Bitcoin hash rate which has accompanied the most recent price fall throughout the month of November has raised a debate over the cause of decreased mining, and the potential ramifications.

Some Twitter users pointed to an outright abandonment of cryptocurrency mining, with drop in valuation from $6500 to the recent lof of $3500 (including nearly $100 billion wiped in market cap from all coins) as being the catalyze to spark a mass exodus in miners. Given the state of the cryptocurrency industry just one year ago, where mining rigs were in high demand and even established companies were jumping ship to join the mining craze, the end of 2018 has seen a compelling shift in attitude.

A video published last week, which shows hundreds of expensive mining rigs sitting unused in a warehouse, sparked an uproar in the crypto community, with some believing the footage to be doctored in an attempt to publish more FUD at an already low point for the market.

However, other outlets have vouched their support for the incidence, giving some credence that the industry of crypto mining is in decline with the falling prices. In some respect, it’s not surprise. The cost of equipment in conjunction with the amount of electricity required to mine at a profitable rate had inevitably led some once enterprising individuals to cut their losses and exit the industry. But, as many have pointed out, there could also be a general shift away from BTC at present, with the mainstay of miners seeking out more profitable coins in the interim until Bitcoin prices show a more promising outlook.

For the remaining miners, the decreased competition means an increased chance of coin rewards. However, for the industry of cryptocurrency and the integrity of Bitcoin transactions, the decreased rate of mining and hash rate for the top currency by market cap also increases the network risk for attack. While the direction of the industry was, to the regret of many fans of decentralization, trending towards consolidation prior to the recent dropping hash rate, the most recent exodus has led to a worsening effect.

According to data published by Bloomberg,

At least 100,000 individual miners have shut down, according to Autonomous Research LLP. Fundstrat Global Advisors LLC estimates that about 1.4 million servers have been unplugged since early September.

Malachi Salcido, head of Salcido Enterprises–one of the largest mining groups in North America–says that the falling profitability of crypto mining is shaking out the weak hands, but also causing a concentration of power for the remaining few,

“We are entering in the phase when there’s a flushing out of the market. There will be relatively few operations that come out the other side.”

Bitcoin’s network relies upon the decentralization of mining services. With hash rates falling 36 percent since their peak in August, and problem-solving difficulty down 10 percent, the conglomerate mining networks are raking in newly minted coins, but also posing an increased risk of a 51 percent attack. With less variable rigs contributing to the network’s hash rate, the opportunity for one mining group, or a coalition of miners to gain control of the service also greatly increases.

Not only would controlling miners hold the lion’s share of new coins being produced, but they would also be able to influence the transaction landscape–with the ability to inflate fees, reverse specific transactions, or halt them all together.

Many within the industry have pointed to the mutualism of the Bitcoin ecosystem as being sufficient to prevent such an attack. If miners put a stranglehold on transaction services, the overall usability of the platform plummets which in turn leads to fewer transactions (and fees) in addition to a falling valuation for BTC. According to this logic, miners benefit as much as users for maintaining a fair ecosystem.

However, only time will tell the effects of such consolidation of power. Without true decentralization in its pocket, the appeal of Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies begins to fall to that of traditional fiat.

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Goldman Sachs CFO Calls Trading Desk Rumors “Fake News”

Bitcoin (BTC), Cryptocurrency–Despite reports surrounding a potential cryptocurrency trading desk by Wall Street goliath Goldman Sachs–and its subsequent closure–the company has since come out to debunk any such reports.

First reported by CNBC on September 6, Goldman Sachs Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Martin Chavez has explained that reports related to the company abandoning its intended cryptocurrency trading desk have been “fake news,” and described the entire scenario as a premature understanding. Speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference in San Francisco, the CFO of Goldman Sachs put the situation rather bluntly,

“I never thought I would hear myself use this term but I really have to describe that news as fake news.”

While Bloomberg had originally reported at the end of last year that Goldman Sachs was working on the implementation of a cryptocurrency trading desk to be launched in 2018, a story out of Business Insider earlier this week claimed that the project had been shuttered. The Business Insider report quoted unnamed sources as the basis of the information, giving evidence that the Wall Street firm had decided to do away with the previously hyped up trading desk. In addition, the story cited the unclear regulatory environment of cryptocurrency–a feature that many have been alluding to as a barrier to institutional investors–was the primary reason for Goldman shelving the project, at least in the interim.

Chavez has since come forth to say that the excitement over a Goldman Sachs crypto trading desk got ahead of the facts, with the industry not yet being at the point of maturation necessary for such a venture,
“When we talked about exploring digital assets […] it was going to be exploration that would be evolving over time. Maybe someone who was thinking about our activities here got very excited that we would be making markets as principal and physical Bitcoin, and as they got into it they realized part of the evolution but its not here yet.”

Chavez also went on to say that the bank has no intention to proceed with physical Bitcoin trading at this point in time, claiming that a more reliable custody solution was needed before they would consider the option. However, the company does still provide liquidity for BTC future contracts through CBOE and CME, a feature that some have seen as a prelude for the industry finally obtaining approval by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission for Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds. Expanding upon the idea of Goldman Sachs venturing into Bitcoin directly, Chavez called the idea “tremendously interesting,” but also went on to state that it would be challenging to implement in the current market form,

“Physical bitcoin is something tremendously interesting, and tremendously challenging. From the perspective of custody, we don’t yet see an institutional-grade custodial solution for Bitcoin, we’re interested in having that exist and it’s a long road.”

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The Federal Court Of California Is Now Accepting Bitcoin For Bail Payments

A Federal Court in the United States has received Bitcoin as payment for a defendant’s bail. According to media sources, this is the first time something like is happening. The defendant, Martin Marsich, was facing charges of hacking into a gaming company. The California court allowed him to settle his bail amounting to $750,000 using Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.

Court’s Main Objective

Explaining the incident, Abraham Simmons, who is the Assistant District Attorney, said that technically, defendants can settle their bail payments in any credible format or in whatever way ordered by the judge, and this includes a third party’s real estate. He added that the main objective was to ensure that the defendant complies with court orders to appear for proceedings at a later date.

Simmons argued that the use of cryptos to pay bail is not likely to face challenges associated with fluctuating prices and exchange rates. He said that the court doesn’t really care about issues of price appreciation or depreciation since its main goal is to ensure that the defendant is compelled to appear in court and not to maintain the value of the cryptocurrency.

Lawmakers Don’t Want It, Agents Want It

The acceptance of crypto bails by the California court is bound to surprise some people, although it wasn’t entirely unexpected. However, lawmakers continue to view cryptocurrencies suspiciously as they’re linked to illegal activities mainly because of the anonymous nature of most crypto transactions. This is despite the fact that California is one of the US states with the most accommodative laws governing the use of cryptocurrencies.

However, opinions within the US DEA indicate that as law enforcement agencies understand the use of cryptos better, the general acceptance of the digital assets increases. According to agent Lilia Infante, the blockchain technology gives law enforcement agencies many ways to track people’s identities and that actually serves to make the agencies’ jobs easier. In fact, agent Lilia would like people to keep using cryptocurrencies. The agent was speaking to Bloomberg.

This kind of development hasn’t started today. It is likely as a result of continued build up of positive efforts to improve both general public and legal perception of cryptocurrencies. Just last year, a project was started in New York to gather crypto funds aimed at helping pay bail for defendants who can’t manage to meet their bail terms.

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