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Japanese Company Launches New Stablecoin Pegged to the US Dollar

A Japanese company has launched a ERC-20-compliant stablecoin that is pegged to the U.S. dollar and supported by major Ethereum crypto wallets.

A Japanese company has launched an ERC-20-compliant stablecoin that it says offers “absolute decentralization, maximum security and a reliable source of stability in the face of volatility.”

As its name suggests, USDDex is directly pegged to the United States dollar, helping traders to move their money into crypto without exposing themselves to the erratic price movements seen in other major digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The company believes that its stablecoin could become a viable alternative to fiat and trigger the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies, giving employers a safe way of paying their workers’ salaries while enabling consumers to make purchases with confidence.

USDDex firmly believes that 2019 is going to be the year of the stablecoin, citing research that suggests that the monthly trading volume of the first five such coins in the market has now exceeded $100 billion. Indeed, even major corporations are getting in on the action, with reports suggesting that Facebook is engaged in a top-secret project to launch its own.

The fixed rate of USDDex means that one of its tokens equates to $1. Adaptable to both centralized and decentralized exchanges, the firm says that its cryptocurrency is supported by most major Ethereum wallets, including MyEtherWallet, MetaMask, Ledger and Parity.

Presently, the company is also preparing to list on 20 exchanges, including HitBTC, Stellar, Bibox and Changelly.

Reliable and stable

The company says that every USDDex stablecoin is collateralized in excess, meaning that those who own this cryptocurrency are inoculated against wild price swings, irrespective of how the market behaves.

More than 800 trading pairs are also supported, enabling users to switch from Ethereum, Bitcoin, XRP, EOS, Litecoin and hundreds of others to USDDex with ease.

USDDex is available here

In a video explaining its vision, USDDex executives argue that stablecoins are essential if crypto is going to be used on a widespread basis, as right now, prominent coins and tokens only prove beneficial to speculative traders.

Ayako Nakamura, the company’s chief marketing officer, explained: “USDDex introduces the breakthrough technology and the possibility to develop an independent, transparent and potentially more stable monetary policy than ever before. The priority in the corporation is interaction with leading decentralized exchanges.

“The highest level of estimated reliability is provided by open-source code — proved by a repeated comprehensive security audit as well as open information of each USDDex token. Everyone can review this information.”

An experienced team

USDDex’s CEO and founder is Hitoshi Shibata. The entrepreneur — who is part of a working group on blockchain integration into Japan’s banking sector — started the business after leaving a 15-year career at Mizuho Financial Group. According to the company’s website, he “successfully developed and implemented complex economic projects for governmental and private organizations” while serving in this role. He believes that decentralized stablecoins are going to represent the next big breakthrough in the crypto industry — and in the past, he has invested in blockchain projects including 0x and Binance Coin.

He is joined by Naoki Sakamoto, the chief operating officer; Masaki Hatano, chief technology officer; Jiho Hong, chief information officer; and Ayako Nakamura as CMO. Tatsuo Okuda, Naoki Tamura and Satoko Kudo all serve in an advisory capacity.

The company raised funds in a closed round in December 2018, and says this initiative exceeded expectations after achieving its target in a matter of hours. An additional sale of limited amount of USDDex stablecoin with 45 percent bonus is launching on March 19, one month before the stablecoin is officially offered to the public. The company says its main goal “is the open and active participation of the crypto community in the life of the project.”

Learn more about USDDex

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire: Stablecoins That Use Open Standards Will Prevail

Jeremy Allaire has said that stablecoins using open standards will prevail as the sector continues to see new market entrants.

Jeremy Allaire, co-founder and CEO of payments company Circle, has said that as the sector continues to see new market entrants, stablecoins using an open standards approach will prevail. Allaire made his remarks during an interview with Fortune’s crypto-focused segment The Ledger on March 19.

As reported, Circle launched its US dollar-backed, ERC-20 stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) last fall, via the consortium Centre, which counts crypto exchange Coinbase and mining firm Bitmain as members. Centre is also the name for the token’s open network and open source protocol, which provides interoperability in a bid to secure wide ecosystem support for the asset.

In his interview with The Ledger, Allaire welcomed recent, unconfirmed reports of Facebook’s still-secretive plans to launch its own stablecoin asset, which would reportedly be integrated for payments within a canopy messaging service for WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram:

“[Facebook’s reported plans are] very, very positive in our view overall. The approach that we’ve taken is to create a consortium model. When we think about a standard for how fiat money works on the internet, it’s really critical that it’s an open standard that many companies can implement, that has an self-governance mechanism — [that provides] a technical standard as well as a membership framework.”

Using the metaphor of creating “an HTTP for money on the internet” that could support global, broad participation from multiple actors, Allaire said he believed such an approach is “ultimately going to be much more successful than a single company issuing a [crypto]currency themselves.”

As reported yesterday, the Winklevoss twins have echoed Allaire’s perspective in affirming the Facebook stablecoin development as a positive sign for the crypto industry as a whole, while underscoring the project’s prospective limitations.

This year, United States banking giant JPMorgan Chase revealed its own plans to launch a proprietary stablecoin, which has also drawn criticisms over its lack of interoperability.

When Circle closed its Bitmain-led $110 million fundraising round to raise capital for the USDC project last May, its private valuation hit $3 billion. More recent figures for the firm, in the aftermath of the protracted crypto bear market, have not been officially reported — although Allaire told the Ledger the company continued to see “very significant growth year last year.”

In summer 2018, Allaire pitched stablecoins as a vital component of the infrastructure for creating a tokenized global economy.

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Winklevoss Twins: Crypto Heralds Something Greater Than Facebook

The Winklevoss twins say that crypto will ultimately usher in something greater than the social networking era.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, Bitcoin (BTC) bulls and founders of the Gemini crypto exchange, say that while Facebook’s secretive crypto project is positive for the industry, ultimately crypto will usher in something greater than the social networking era. The twins made their remarks during an interview with British broadsheet The Telegraph on March 17.

The Winklevoss twins have a famously antagonistic history with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, having sued him for allegedly stealing the idea for the social network from them during the trio’s student days at Harvard. The case was eventually settled, with the twins receiving $20 million and 1.2 million Facebook shares (worth over $199.2 million to press time).

Years after the Winklevoss twins’ first entry into Bitcoin, Zuckerberg is now seemingly entering the crypto space with Facebook’s own highly secretive project to integrate crypto stablecoin payments into an overarching messaging service for WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram.

In their interview with The Telegraph, the twins apparently put past differences aside, with Cameron affirming that a Facebook stablecoin would be a “really positive” development for the crypto industry, echoed by Taylor’s comment that it is “cool” Zuckerberg is entering the market they have championed for so long.

Nonetheless, the twins said they ultimately believe that the innovation heralded by crypto represents a more momentous and disruptive development than social networking platforms.

Cameron remarked that “crypto is transferring value and putting markets on certain resources which is, like, greater, like, brings more people in, like, than, like, sharing photos right,” to which Tyler added:

“[It’s] powerful. People want to connect and stuff, but if you actually pay people and things in value that is almost, like, more significant.”

As Cointelegraph has reported, unconfirmed reports of Facebook’s plans to integrate a cryptocurrency for WhatsApp users first surfaced in December 2018, followed by further — yet still unconfirmed — details of the project this February.

The site is preceded by Russian-developed encrypted messaging app Telegram’s own, public plans, to create a crypto- and blockchain-powered messaging network.

The Winklevoss twins — whose numerous crypto investments span their crypto exchange and trading app, fiat-pegged stablecoin and sustained high-profile industry involvement — are meanwhile fielding a separate legal battle against Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem, the result of a fallout over money owed from a years-old Bitcoin trade deal.

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Tron’s Justin Sun Remains Bullish on Crypto: Bitcoin Lightning Network to be a Tailwind

Tron (TRX) CEO Holds Optimistic Tone On Crypto

Justin Sun, the chief executive of Tron, recently sat down with CNBC’s “First On” segment to discuss his expectations for the cryptocurrency industry moving forward. The Chinese crypto-centric entrepreneur drew attention to a number of reasons why investors should be bullish on assets like Bitcoin (BTC) and TRX.

First on the chopping block, the growth of the Lightning Network. Over the course of the past months, the scaling solution has been openly endorsed by players like Jack Dorsey from Twitter & Square, along with Reid Hoffman from LinkedIn, Blockstream, and Microsoft, leading to a surge in the adoption of the Bitcoin protocol. Many believe that Lightning’s recent uptick will precede adoption in the mainstream, as brick and mortar outlets and payment applications purportedly look to integrate near-instant, effectively free, secure, and uncensorable BTC payments.

Second, Sun draws attention to the fact that JP Morgan and Facebook all intend to launch their own digital assets could be a positive factor. This comes just after Tom Lee of Fundstrat made a similar comment, explaining that such ventures will be integral in pushing cryptocurrencies past having only 10 million or so active users. While some would bash FB Coin as entirely centralized and fallible, Ari Paul from BlockTower Capital once argued that even if 10% of its users “stumble across Bitcoin,” the asset would have been a net benefit on the decentralized cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Elon Musk Endorsing Bitcoin Has Justin Enthused

When asked about his thoughts on Warren Buffett’s skepticism of cryptocurrencies, a question issued likely in reference to the Oracle’s “Bitcoin is a delusion” comment, Sun kept his head high. The former Ripple Labs marketer explained that while the American investor is wary of digital assets, both Dorsey and Elon Musk have endorsed Bitcoin is some way, shape, or form.

As explained earlier, Dorsey has lauded the Lightning Network, expressing love to integrations of the advancement and even publicly accepting a BTC transaction through the system.

Elon Musk, on the other hand, has a bit more quiet on his Bitcoin love, but has still be explicit nonetheless. Per previous reports from Ethereum World News, the fervent Tesla and SpaceX leader told ARK Invest’s CEO that he expects for cryptocurrencies to eventually replace banknotes. Specifically touching on Bitcoin, he said that he likes the premise, but is somewhat wary of the energy it needs to keep on running.

BitTorrent Integration Could Be Monumental For Adoption

Closing off his segment, the industry chief executive draws attention to BitTorrent, which has been owned and integrated into Tron’s facets for those who missed the memo. He explains that the fact the file sharing service, centered around peer-to-peer values, has been ‘tokenized’ and ‘blockchainified’ should be key in driving adoption. In an interview at Token2049, Sun tells me that BitTorrent’s blockchain facet could single-handedly bring 100 million users to the cryptocurrency space. 

Photo by Kent Pilcher on Unsplash

The post Tron’s Justin Sun Remains Bullish on Crypto: Bitcoin Lightning Network to be a Tailwind appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Launch a Crypto Exchange in 30 Days: German Firm Offers White-Label Products for Startups

A German company says it combines the powers of IT and marketing to offer white-label products to blockchain companies – including exchanges.

A company says it is combining the power of IT and marketing to deliver high-security, functional and profitable pieces of software that not only work flawlessly, but also sell.

CPI says its software is scalable and geared toward the finance and blockchain industries. The firm offers white-label products that allow businesses to achieve their financial goals by converting casual visitors into paying customers. Among its suite of products is a crypto exchange that is available on the web and through mobile apps.

The platform delivers high-frequency trading for virtual currencies and fiat, along with assets such as real estate that have been tokenized on the blockchain.

According to CPI, it can help fledgling crypto businesses get their own exchange up and running in less than 30 days — complete with promotions across a plethora of channels to help generate traffic and revenue.

The German company describes this platform as its masterpiece because it supports a range of major crypto and fiat currencies. It can handle up to 10,000 orders per second (per market) and also comes complete with social trading — which means an exchange’s users can follow successful traders and emulate their strategies.

CPI has also become a payment service provider, enabling merchants to easily complete transactions in fiat and cryptocurrencies, both online and offline. This software can be easily integrated into any company’s existing infrastructure and is offered as a white-label product, meaning it can be adapted to incorporate their branding.

Additionally, the firm helps startups secure the financing they need to get off the ground. It offers an intuitive dashboard for initial coin offerings and security token offerings, enabling them to collect the money pledged to them by contributors. According to CPI, this service helped new businesses collect more than $250 million in 2018 alone.

Marvin Steinberg, founder of CPI Technologies, said:

“Since its inception, CPI Technologies has delivered successful projects, one after another. The company has more than 43 completed projects that have processed more than 32,000 BTC, helped increase visitors by 420 percent and sales by 182 percent.”

German-made

CPI says that all of its products are “100 percent made in Germany” and undergo exhaustive testing to ensure that they are easy for users to interact with.

The company takes pride in helping finance and blockchain businesses to cut costs when developing new products — without compromising on quality. According to CPI, all of its software works quickly and can withstand high levels of traffic, meaning that it runs as effectively for 10 users as it would for 10 million. And, for companies eyeing international expansion, CPI also claims that it can produce the marketing materials and translations needed to break into non-English-speaking markets.

Learn more about CPI here

The company performs deep analysis on all its software to ensure that conversion rates are as high as possible, delivering the best possible results to clients.

In addition, from a security and a compliance perspective, “double bookkeeping” is used in order to eliminate the disarranged financial records that can be seen on other platforms. CPI also stresses that it never has access to its customers’ funds and keeps them secure by ensuring that private keys are never stored on a server.

Unlocking growth

According to CPI, it isn’t enough in the competitive marketplace for businesses to have excellent software that does everything that customers expect. It’s also important to reach out to the public and show them why they should part with their hard-earned cash.

As a result, the company also offers marketing across a multitude of verticals. In addition to producing videos that enable prospective customers to learn more about a brand, CPI can also help devise social media strategies that help attract visitors and boost the companies’ profile. CPI also provides services for organic methods of outreach, including search engine optimization and paid traffic campaigns via Google or Facebook.

The company’s CEO is Maximilian Schmidt, a programmer with eight years’ experience who initially got involved with the blockchain industry in 2014. He is joined by Marvin Steinberg, a serial entrepreneur with 15 years’ experience in sales and marketing, who teaches the CPI marketing team.

In his work with CPI, Marvin has made it his mission to maintain growth and development, which has allowed the projects he works with to reach their funding targets and sign-up figures of over 2,000,000 users for white-label exchange platforms, the team highlights. The same mission is carried forward to the other projects Marvin is working on, including Steinberg Invest and Steinberg Marketing.

Learn more about CPI

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Barclays Analyst Predicts Billions in Additional Revenue From ‘Facebook Coin’ by 2021

A Barclays analyst stated that a possible “Facebook Coin” could generate $19 billion in additional revenue by 2021.

Facebook’s own cryptocurrency, if launched, could potentially generate $19 billion in additional revenue by 2021, CNBC reports on March 11.

Barclays internet analyst Ross Sandler wrote in a client note that a cryptocurrency could establish a new revenue stream for Facebook, aiding its share price that tanked amid a series of high-profile scandals last year.

In his forecast, Sandler pointed out that the crypto-based revenue option is something “sorely needed at this stage of the company’s narrative,” stressing that any advertising-free revenue streams are likely to be well-perceived by Facebook’s shareholders. Sandler said that his more conservative revenue estimate for the new coin is $3 billion.

The Barclays analyst recalled Facebook’s original payment project that was similar to what cryptocurrencies are today. Developed by California-based firm The Menlo Park in 2010, “Facebook credits” represented a virtual currency that allowed users to pre-pay those credits using domestic currencies and then use them for in-app-purchases.

Sandler added that Facebook will bear the brunt of interchange costs between fiat currencies and its possible new cryptocurrency, which could cut into the profitability of the business.

Citing analysis from Barclays, Sandler stated that the first version of “Facebook Coin” may be a single purpose coin for micro-payments and domestic peer-to-peer (p2p) money transfer, which is considered “very similar to the original credits from 2010.”

Sandler also assessed the scope of the project, noting that it is larger than previous ambitions of Facebook. The analyst pointed to David Marcus, the leader of Facebook’s blockchain and crypto team, who is former president of payment operator PayPal. Sandler also noted that Facebook has recently hired a number of employees from blockchain startup Chainspace.

Following a Bloomberg report on Facebook developing its own crypto back in December 2018, The New York Times (NYT) published another article alleging that the social media giant is “hoping to succeed where Bitcoin failed” with its highly secretive crypto project. According to NYT, 50 new employees are working on developing a stablecoin that would incorporate Facebook’s three fully-owned apps — WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram.

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Bitcoin (BTC), Facebook, JPM Coin, the Cincinatti Time Store And The Payments Revolution

Bitcoin, Facebook Coin and JPM Coin could together usher in a crypto default for value transfer. And to help see why, there is a crypto adoption lesson from America’s utopian past.

Be it the internet of value trumpeted by Ripple or the peer-to-peer electronic cash of Satoshi Nakamoto’s bitcoin whitepaper, the premise that underlies crypto valuation assumptions is the notion that money will in time be brought into the digital age.

Just as Netflix makes watching what you want when you want possible in a way that the analogue TV networks couldn’t, or the iPod and then Spotify began to deliver similar instant gratification in the realm of music, so too will money get the consumer-first digital makeover.

The last week of February 2019 may in retrospect signal a pivotal moment in the history of, and revolution in, payments

The commodification of payments

It was the week in which a report by MoffettNathanson analyst Lisa Ellis predicted the possible commoditisation of current private payment systems as a direct result of inroads by crypto.

She didn’t mention, judging by the reports on her client note, the giant step towards this when Facebook’s coin launches in the next four months, assuming this week’s report in the New York Times is accurate.

As seems fairly certain, Facebook will turn on a crypto-based payments system for WhatsApp, and no doubt, in time, for its other properties. When it does the future that Ellis dwells upon as an “existential threat” to payment incumbents such as Visa, Mastercard and PayPal, determining that it “is unlikely to occur soon”, may in fact be much closer than she expects.

We don’t know exactly how Facebook’s coin will work but it seems likely it will be a stablecoin and perhaps using a delegated proof-of-stake consensus system, or it could go down the sharding road that Telegram is using in its Telegram Open Network (TON) protocol.

Facebook’s and other future distributed ledger systems may not be on blockchain at all.

They could use so-called post-blockchain approaches, such as hashgraph in which virtual voting establishes consensus; direct acyclic graph where a previous transaction validates a succeeding one; or Holochain-esque decentralised edge architecture, where nodes have their own chains and even unique consensus systems as well

Whichever direction Facebook goes in is of course dependent only partly on what is most convenient for the consumer and probably mostly on what is most profitable in the long run for the company. For the phrase “profitable in the long run” we might supplant with the word “controllable”.

Two Facebook coins to rule them all?

Facebook will be acutely aware of the danger of creating a system that competitors will be able to piggy back on, although if it is, as reported, looking at listing its cryptoasset on exchanges then perhaps it wants to see its stablecoin used beyond its ecosystem so that it can suck into its gravitational field the rest of the cryptoasset economy.

Or maybe it will create a free-floating coin alongside its putative stablecoin; one that will reward content creators or perhaps with a portion of supply given to its customers for a utility function in a new blockchain-based Facebook Connect ID verification system?

Although some might in the distant past have been fooled by Facebook’s supposed mission to do good in the world, or for that matter Google’s mission to forestall evil, that’s all for the birds. A payments system built by Facebook will necessarily limit the extent to which it is decentralised. However, if it is too centralised it would defeat the purpose of putting in place a decentralised architecture in the first place. So perhaps we should expect some sort of halfway house from Facebook.

However, although not the intention of whatever system emerges from Facebook, it could in fact come to be a necessary staging post on the road to “free money” by introducing the masses to crypto, an introduction from which there will be no turning back.

Bitcoin –  commoditisation’s reserve currency

But where does bitcoin fit in? Well that’s where Ellis’s commoditisation thesis comes in.

Ellis thinks it is much less likely that the payment incumbents will be disintermediated. Instead she expects commoditisation but if those incumbents incorporate blockchain tech then they can protect and advance their positions (she has a buy recommendation on Visa, Mastercard and PayPal).

“Cryptocurrency systems (e.g., Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple) are potentially disruptive to private payment systems. Their core design characteristics – which are aimed at enabling ‘freedom of money’ – are in direct contrast to the characteristics of most traditional, private payment systems,” says Ellis, but how can we expect that to play out?

Commodification of payments means the feature differences between the offerings in the marketplace vanish, with competition reduced to price alone. Payments commodification in the age of crypto implies the reduction of all service providers to delivering over the cheapest and most efficient protocol.

Company-centric coins repeat Web 1.0 mistakes?

In a world that’s coming rapidly into view, where we could have a jumble of private money forms – from Facebook to JPM Coin, from BTC to XRP, from retail to wholesale, which one is likely to be the most useful and therefore most widespread?

It will surely be the one that has staked out the ground in such a way that it can speak to all others, not the one trying to define its own universe.

In a way, we’ve been here before. At the beginnings of the internet in the 1980s we had walled-garden worlds, courtesy of the likes of Compuserve and AOL , in which each tried to fashion its own corner of the internet that users had to pay to play in, but as there was nothing else useable around for the layperson it sort of worked for a bit (no pun intended).

But then came the Netscape web browser to make sense of the protocols of the public internet so that mere mortals were not required to know what transmission control protocol, internet protocol and hypertext transfer protocol meant or did.

Compuserve and the rest became redundant.

Returning to the world of value transmission, it is today possible to imagine an online universe where the interfacing between Facebook Coin, JPM Coin, TON, Amazon Coin (yes, Bezos might want to keep his value transfer options open) etc is not a void made passable only by fiat entries and exits, but by the internet of value’s ultimate reserve currency, bitcoin.

That doesn’t mean that fiat and its payment rails, including steps towards the non-crypto “omnichannel” combining offline point-of-sale and online, as PayPal is trying to do, will disappear, primarily because nation states and will not disappear.

Payments arms race is upon us

Facebook’s payments system is likely to be most successful, at least initially, in those parts of the world where the prevalence of current dominant payment networks are not as readily accessible to large swathes of the population that increasing need to move value about. But is won’t stop there, in adoption terms or regional presence.

Crypto payments also make sense in developed markets. Why transfer value in a fiat medium when you can achieve the same results more quickly and much more cheaply with crypto, be it Facebook Coin for consumers or JPM Coin for corporations? The genie won’t be rebottled.

Assuming Facebook makes a success of payments, which its dominant social network positioning means is likely, then it will trigger an arms race in payments, if it hasn’t already done so. And it should be noted that Facebook is playing catch up with Asia when it comes to mobile payments

The reality of a new payments landscape is dawning on Facebook’s big bank (some banks still don’t realise that they are competitors of Facebook) and big tech competitors. The credit card tie-up between Goldman Sachs and Apple is in some respects recognition of this, although there is no indication of a crypto angle as yet.

JPM Coin’s money grab: unpegged and retail-facing?

Of course, there is the danger that coins from big tech or more pertinently big banks, will actually be a roadblock to “real” crypto adoption and not a staging post en route to a better place.

Anthony “the pomp” Pompliano , co-founder at Morgan Creek Digital, sounding off in his Off The Chain podcast said as much when dissecting the implications of the JPM Coin birthing.

He forsees a future he doesn’t care for in which JPM Coin pivots from wholesale to retail.

As previously reported by EWN, JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon has already hinted that the coin could be openly traded.

According to Pompliano, as soon as JPM Coin is widely adopted in both institutional and retail domains JPMorgan Chase will forget about the dollar peg and just start issuing the coins without collateral restraint.

For those who came to crypto in search of a solution to debt-fuelled fiat devaluation JPM Coin lands us back where we started. The pomp issues a warning: “We should do everything in our power to prevent this from happening. The US government is already questioned quite aggressively about monetary policy decisions, so imagine if we had to trust a Wall Street bank that was previously charged with a felony.”

However, even if such a scenario were to come to pass,  is it really to be feared as Pompliano imagines?

Wouldn’t it bolster the use case as store of value for mined crypto such as bitcoin, the granddaddy of them all? There could be an even stronger argument to say that it would enhance bitcoin’s claim to be the reserve currency of the digital age.

Co-founder of Apple Steve Wozniak may agree with that last point. Speaking to Bloomberg this past week, although he is not definitive on whether bitcoin will be the world currency he hopes it will, but he thinks it should be, claiming its inception far from destroying value as heralded “massive value creation”.

How private money could win this time – from time store to blockchain

As a student of economic history, I was fascinated by the experiments of anarchist free-marketeer Josiah Warren in the nineteenth century US and his founding of the Cincinatti Time Store in 1827.

Deriving from the labour theory of value as expounded by the classical political economists such as Adam Smith, the time spent making or procuring a product or service determined its value. Warren’s “labour note” denominated in the time taken to produce a commodity was the medium of exchange at his time stores.

The experiment in its own terms was a success, with the time stores the most popular shops of their day in Cincinatti.

Warren went on to start communities based on his labour exchange ideas, fittingly named Utopia and Modern Times (later renamed Brentwood) but failed to remake the American economy in the image of his new order of ethical mutuality where none could exploit the labour of another.

There was one obvious problem with the labour notes – not all labour was of equal value and the utopian communities were not sealed off from the non-utopian outside world. To address this, a person could post their own rates, the standard of measure being corn.

As the wiki entry explains: “Although it goes back to 1827 though 1830, Josiah Warner’s ‘Cincinnati Time Store’, which sold merchandise in units of hours of work called ‘labour notes’ which resembled paper money, this was ‘[p]erhaps … the anticipator of all future’ Local exchange trading systems, and was even a precursor to modern cryptocurrency”.

Another more immediate problem was timing and how to spread the word about the success of the stores? There was no way of achieving the necessary dissemination at the scale required to compete with the growth of industrial capitalism which went into hyper-drive after the US Civil War. The days when freely associating individual landowners could subsist and thrive through their own labours were passing.

In an economy today characterised by instantaneous one-to-many communications and where the advent of blockchain technology means non-governmental digital money forms can be verified and trusted with mathematical certainty most effectively (currently) in mined systems, to the satisfaction of all market participants, such a money network could prosper and spread through dint of its use value as an exchange value.

Short of state prohibition, although even that would be of doubtful effectiveness given the impossibility of turning off the internet unless through the advent of a dystopian post-apocalyptic nuclear winter, the forward march of bitcoin, or a competing cryptoasset, may be unstoppable. Facebook and JPMorgan Chase, by getting the party started, could be the unlikely midwives.

 

 

 

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Hodler’s Digest, Feb. 25–March 3: Top Stories, Price Movements, Quotes and FUD of the Week

Facebook is getting serious about crypto, Samsung’s new smartphone will support more cryptos, and more in this Hodler’s Digest.

Top Stories This Week

Nasdaq Begins Listing Brave New Coin’s Bitcoin and Ethereum Price Indexes

Nasdaq, the world’s second-largest stock exchange, began its live listing of two crypto price indexes from United States blockchain and crypto market data company Brave New Coin (BNC) this week. The listings, which had been announced earlier this month, are BNC’s Bitcoin Liquid Index (BLX) and Ethereum Liquid Index (ELX). According to the announcement, the indexes will show reference rates for the price of 1 BTC and 1 ETH, quoted in USD and refreshed every 30 seconds. Brave New Coin has also announced future plans to add another index for tracking the price of Ripple (XRP).

Samsung Announces Galaxy S10 Crypto Partners, Bitcoin and Ethereum Support

South Korean tech giant Samsung’s new Galaxy S10 smartphone will reportedly have crypto wallet functions for both Ethereum and Bitcoin, as well as two other tokens. The much-discussed crypto features seemed to have been revealed at the Mobile World Congress this week, where Samsung presented the various projects featured on the smartphone, including support for the cosmetic industry-focused COSMEE token (COSM) and crypto gaming-focused Enjin’s token (ENJ). Also this week, anonymous sources had reported that Enjin Wallet would be backing a blockchain wallet in Samsung’s new smartphone.

Jamie Dimon Says JPM Coin Could Eventually Find Consumer Use

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said this week that the company’s previously announced JPM Coin could eventually see consumer use. The bank’s proposed digital asset had been announced by the U.S. banking giant last week, noting that the coin could increase settlement efficiency in several of its operations. However, Dimon’s comments to CNBC this week implied a wider focus for the coin’s use, as he noted that it “could be internal, could be commercial, it could one day be consumer.” The JPM Coin has been both lauded and opposed by those in the crypto community, with some suggesting it defeats the purpose of crypto itself.

New York Times: Facebook Reportedly Shopping ‘Facebook Coin’ to Crypto Exchanges

Social media giant Facebook is reportedly “hoping to succeed where Bitcoin failed” with its highly secretive cryptocurrency project, according to anonymous sources speaking to the New York Times. This week, the Times wrote more about Facebook’s alleged coin that had previously been revealed, noting through its sources that the company planned to integrate WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram into one entity and provide the newly unified service with a crypto token. According to the unnamed sources, Facebook is far enough along in the project that they have been meeting with crypto exchanges about the possibility of listing the so-called “Facebook Coin.”

Ethereum’s Constantinople and St. Petersburg Upgrades Have Been Activated

Ethereum’s next two network upgrades, known as Constantinople and St. Petersburg, have successfully taken place this week on the main network at block 7,280,000, in accordance with the previously released schedule. The two updates have been combined into one event, following the delay of the Constantinople upgrade in January over a newly discovered security vulnerability. While Constantinople adds the so-called “difficulty bomb” and the decrease of Ethereum’s block reward, St. Petersburg is meant to delete a previous update, Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1283, from Ethereum’s test networks, as the EIP has been identified to have security vulnerabilities.

Winners and Losers

The crypto markets are slightly down by the end of the week, with Bitcoin trading at around $3,854, Ethereum at $134 and Ripple around $0.31. The total market cap is at about $130 billion.

The top-three altcoin gainers of the week are RegalCoin, Archetypal Network and President Trump. The top-three altcoin losers of the week are ICE ROCK MINING, PonziCoin and CapdaxToken.

Winners and Losers

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“Let’s do this in Europe, the avant-garde of agricultural technology, by developing tools that will track every product from raw material production to packaging and processing. The innovation is there and it must be used in the agricultural world, it must be fully used because it is at the service of shared excellence and it will serve the consumer.”

Emmanuel Macron, president of France

 

“You can stare at it [Bitcoin] all day, and no little Bitcoins come out or anything like that. It’s a delusion, basically.”

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

 

“I’m not sure I can buy that we’ve seen massive value destruction, I think we’ve seen massive value creation.”

Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder

“JPMorgan Coin could be internal, could be commercial, it could one day be consumer.”

Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase CEO

 

“We’re happy to go on the record. Coinbase’s listing of XRP (also, not ‘our token’) was Coinbase’s independent decision – we did not give them anything to make it happen.”

Miguel Vias, head of XRP markets

FUD of the Week

QuadrigaCX Wallets Have Been Empty, Unused Since April 2018

In further QuadrigaCX news, the embattled Canadian crypto exchange’s auditor — Big Four audit firm Ernst & Young (EY) — released a report this week showing that the exchange’s cold wallets appear to have been empty since April 2018. EY identified six separate crypto wallets that had been used to store Bitcoin, but noted that there had been no deposits in the wallet since April of last year (besides one for $500,000), noting that they cannot find a reason as to why the wallets had been ceased. EY also included in its report the discovery of 14 user accounts that appear to have been created outside the normal process by Quadriga, which were then used to trade on the exchange’s platform.

Crypto Mining Service Coinhive to Shut Down Operations in March

Coinhive, a crypto mining service that specifically targets altcoin Monero (XMR), has announced that it will be shutting down operations in March 2018. According to the blog post, the project has become economically inviable due to the market conditions, as well as the more than 50 percent drop in hash rate following the last Monero hard fork. XMR has dropped around 85 percent over the course of the year, the blog post noted, underlining that it contributed to the decision to discontinue Coinhive. The service is a JavaScript-based digital currency mining service that relies on computer code being installed on websites, that then uses some of a browser’s computing power to mine.

Netherlands Bitcoin Trader Attacked in His Home

According to local media, a Bitcoin trader was attacked in his home in the Netherlands this week by a group of robbers that had disguised themselves as police. The victim, 38-year-old Tjeerd H., was robbed by a group of criminals wearing balaclavas and bulletproof vests with a police coat, who threatened him with firearms. According to the local media outlet, H. was a cryptocurrency trader, and police sources have confirmed this. As cryptocurrency has risen in popularity in recent years, attacks on traders have also risen in number, as Cointelegraph has previously reported.

Best Cointelegraph Features

#DeleteCoinbase: Exchange Users Respond to Acquisition of a Firm Run by Former Spyware Developers

After Coinbase’s acquisition of blockchain startup Neutrino this month, users have taken to the internet in order to lambast what they see as the company’s lack of sensitivity to human rights issues. The online #DeleteCoinbase campaign stems from the fact that some of Neutrino’s employees are associated with Hacking Team, an information tech outfit that has reportedly sold surveillance capabilities to different governments. Cointelegraph takes a look at the crypto community’s response to this controversial acquisition.

Scammers, Satoshi and Tesla Miners: Elon Musk’s Complex Relationship With Crypto

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO and overall tech entrepreneur, recently complimented Bitcoin’s structure, calling the coin a “quite brilliant” digital currency. Cointelegraph examines Musk’s relationship with cryptocurrency, starting from October 2014 up until present day, as the entrepreneur previously has rarely made direct comments about crypto technology.