Category Archives for Altcoins

Facebook Aggressively Hiring Blockchain Devs, Discussed Launching Cryptocurrency: Report

Facebook has embarked on an aggressive hiring spree to woo crypto experts to expand its blockchain group amid speculation that the social media monopoly is considering launching its own cryptocurrency.

Facebook formed its blockchain unit in April 2018 with David Marcus, the former president of PayPal and VP at Messenger. Marcus is a longtime cryptocurrency advocate and a former board member at Coinbase, the largest US-based cryptocurrency exchange.

FB’s blockchain group now has 40 employees — including a half-dozen ex-PayPal executives that Marcus poached from his former employer, Cheddar reported.

FB Eyes Blockchain-Based Payment Product

The secretive unit includes people who have worked on Google Pay and Samsung Pay, a mobile payment and digital wallet service from Samsung — the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductors and smartphones.

“They’ve been very quiet about what they’ve been working on, very stealthy,” said Cheddar’s Alex Heath (video below). “But it’s definitely going to be some kind of blockchain-based cryptocurrency payments product.”

Facebook is also considering launching a cryptocurrency that would enable its 2 billion users around the world to make electronic payments without the need for a traditional bank.

“They’ve already got policy people in D.C. to ramp this up,” Heath said.

also talked Facebook Blockchain with @lisahopeking / @thebradsmith on @cheddar yesterday — top takeaways are that FB’s brand is a problem for recruiting in the space and it’s going to likely do meaningful M&A to achieve its goals pic.twitter.com/nVoiqnZ9HG

— Alex Heath (@alexeheath) December 14, 2018

Accordingly, Facebook is trying to hire crypto-savvy engineers, product managers, academics, and legal experts to expand its blockchain group.

“They’re actively, actively recruiting,” said Cheddar’s Alex Heath. “They’re also trying to scoop up crypto start-ups that are at the white-paper level, which means they don’t really even have a product yet.”

Facebook Is ‘Going Really Hard’ After Recruits

Health said Facebook is in hot pursuit of gifted recruits because the talent pool is relatively shallow since the crypto ecosystem is still in its infancy.

“The talent in this industry is so finite, and there are so many big players wanting these talented cryptographers and academics,” Heath said. “So Facebook is going really hard at them. And they’re having difficulty.”

Facebook is having a lot of trouble with their recruiting efforts due to its numerous recent data-privacy scandals that have eroded the public’s trust in the corporate juggernaut.

‘A Lot of People Don’t Trust Facebook’

“A lot of people obviously don’t trust the Facebook brand right now, especially people in the crypto/blockchain world,” Heath said. “A lot of them got into this industry because of the centralization and the data misuse of companies like Facebook.”

Many users are furious after learning that Facebook has been selling their personal data — without their consent — to third parties for profit.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has apologized for the debacle, but the damage to his credibility and to Facebook’s brand continues to reverberate.

“So the idea of Facebook creating a cryptocurrency and a digital economy within its ecosystem is either incredibly exciting — if you talk to some people — or one of the scariest things in the world, if you talk to others,” Heath said. “It’s very polarizing, but they are actively building this up. I think we can expect to see Facebook buy some companies up in the crypto space in the next year.”

Featured Image from Shutterstock

Get Exclusive Crypto Analysis by Professional Traders and Investors on Hacked.com. Sign up now and get the first month for free. Click here.


Advertisement


Blockchain Payments’ Mass Adoption Is 3-5 Years Away, Says BitPay CEO

The CEO of crypto merchant platform BitPay Stephen Pair stated that speculation on future adoption drives Bitcoin’s (BTC) price more than “actual utility,” in an interview on CNBC Dec. 13.

Speaking on the reasons behind Bitcoin’s current value, compared to its historic price highs, Pair told reporters:

“A very big component of the [Bitcoin’s] price is certainly speculation. It’s investors that are speculating on the future usage and adoption of this technology. I’m sure a small component of that price is the actual utility.”

When asked about a Bitcoin ETF’s potential to stimulate a price rally, Pair argued that “not just ETF adoption or ETF launches” could be catalysts for price movement, but that “adoption will push the prices higher,” adding optimistically:

“I do think we’ll see those kinds of prices at some point in the future, if history is any guide.”

Answering a question about blockchain-based currencies’ use in daily transactions, the BitPay CEO told CNBC that he expects such adoption to occur on a mass scale in under half a decade, stating that:

“I used to say 10 years, but now I think it’s more like 3-5 years until you can go into a restaurant, a retail establishment, and just everybody’s going to expect that that store will be able to accept a blockchain payment.”

Pair then further noted that he was not just referring to “Bitcoin or the various tokens that we see today [but] also about issuing dollars on a blockchain or euros on a blockchain.”

According to Hester Peirce, a commissioner for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the approval of a Bitcoin ETF is not necessarily close at hand. As Cointelegraph recently reported earlier this month, Peirce said that an approval “could be 20 years from now” or “tomorrow,” urging the crypto community to not “ hold [its] breath.”

A study published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance this week stated that the number of verified cryptocurrency users nearly doubled this year. A Bloomberg analysis of the study claims that the increase in crypto’s user base, despite prices declining, “could signal that an eventual recovery could be coming.”

Downturn or Not, Bitcoin Has Still Outperformed Apple Since Last January

In January of last year, the U.S. stock market went through one of the largest bull markets in recent history, with technology stocks like Alphabet and Apple achieving record high numbers.

Within the past two years, the stock price of Apple (AAPL) increased from $115 to $165, by 43.7 percent. Alphabet (GOOGL), the parent company of Google, saw its share price surge from $792 to $1,071, by 32.7 percent.

During the same period, the Bitcoin price increased from $1,000 to $3,155, by 215 percent, even after an 85 percent plunge in value.

Critics: Bitcoin Will go to Zero

bitcoin price google alphabet apple stock
BTC (blue) vs. Apple (red) and Alphabet (orange)

As the price of Bitcoin (BTC) dropped substantially against the U.S. dollar, outspoken critics against the digital currency have started to claim that Bitcoin will inevitably reach zero by losing all of its value.

However, such a claim disregards the abnormally strong rally of Bitcoin in the previous year during which its value increased by more than 1,850 percent against the USD, from $1,000 to $19,500. In any market, a rally of a similar magnitude is often followed by a long-lasting downtrend and a several-month-long consolidation period.

Every market goes through a bull and a bear cycle. In 2018, the Dow Jones and most tech major stocks in the likes of Apple, Alphabet, and Facebook deleted all of their yearly gains amidst an intense market sell-off.

As Balaji Srinivasan, the CTO of multi-billion dollar crypto asset brokerage Coinbase said:

“The reason this thing [cryptocurrencies] really had legs was after 2011 when there was a bubble and it went up, and it came down, and it didn’t go to zero. It kind of stabilized and kept coming back up. Around that time was basically when I said ‘okay, this is going to stick around, it’s got legs, it’s not going to zero.’ That was kind of a buidl year. We have this kind of bubble-crash-build phases in crypto, and that is really when i start to get involved.”

Fundamentally, the catalysts that fuel the growth of cryptocurrencies and traditional stocks are drastically different. But, all markets similarly go through bear and bull cycles, especially following an abnormal rate of growth that cannot be sustained in the long run.

Apple has gone through four major corrections in the past 11 years with every drop averaging at around a 30 percent decline in share price. In contrast, Bitcoin has experienced five major corrections with every drop averaging at nearly 85 percent. And, on average, it took the dominant cryptocurrency 65 weeks to recover and achieve a new all-time high.

Markets move solely based on the demand from investors, and if investors deem a large rally cannot be maintained throughout the years to come, even some of the largest markets can experience steep sell-offs as seen in the performance of the Dow Jones in the past week.

Argument is Wrong

Bitcoin could take a longer time to recover than in previous years because the market is more structured and a big portion of the mainstream is already aware of the asset class.

But, it is inaccurate to claim that the asset could drop to zero because of its 85 percent decline in price this year because, in the previous year, it demonstrated a 1,850 percent gain and a major correction was expected after such a large movement.

Featured Image from Shutterstock. Charts from TradingView.

Get Exclusive Crypto Analysis by Professional Traders and Investors on Hacked.com. Sign up now and get the first month for free. Click here.


Advertisement


Top Cryptos See Mixed Gains & Losses, Bitcoin Fights to Stay Over $3,200

Saturday, Dec. 15: the top 20 cryptocurrencies report a mix of moderate gains and losses, with Bitcoin (BTC) briefly dipping under $3,200 before climbing back above the price mark by press time.

coin360

Market visualization from Coin360

Bitcoin started the day around $3,228, but after a mid-day high of $3,275, it fell back to the current price of $3,232, after touching its lowest point of $3,191 earlier today.

At press time, Bitcoin is down a fraction of a percent over the last 24 hours. On the weekly chart, the prices in the past two days have been the lowest, down from a weekly high of $3,600.

btc

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ripple (XRP), the second largest crypto by market capitalization, lost 1 percent in the last 24 hours. It started the day at $0.286 and is currently trading around $0.284 after a mid-day high of $0.292. On the weekly chart, the current price is the lowest, seven days ago Ripple was worth about $0.32.

Ripple

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ethereum (ETH) remains the third cryptocurrency by market cap, losing just a under half a percent of its value in the last 24 hours. At press time, ETH is trading at $84.33, after having started the day around $84 and trading sideways during the day.

On the weekly chart, the current ETH prices today are the lowest. Seven days ago Ethereum was trading at $87, but then shortly peaked at $98.90 last Sunday, Dec. 9, before starting a decline towards the current price.

ETH

ETH 7-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Among the top 20 cryptocurrencies, several coins are seeing more notable growth. EOS (EOS) is up a solid almost 6 percent, while IOTA (MIOTA) is up 4.29 percent on the day, and Dash (DASH) is up almost 5 percent.

The only top ten cryptocurrency reporting more than 2 percent losses is Bitcoin SV (BSV), having lost close to 5 percent in the last 24 hours.

As Cointelegraph reported Dec. 13, according to a study, while crypto prices have been decreasing, this year the number of verified crypto users nearly doubled. A Bloomberg analysis of the report says that the growth of crypto’s user base while markets are declining “could signal that an eventual recovery could be coming.”

Jeremy Allaire, the co-founder of cryptocurrency company Circle, recently told CNBC in an interview that in three years time, Bitcoin will be worth “a great deal more” than it is now.

Status, an Ethereum-based open source chat platform has recently laid off one-fourth of its staff due to the recent decline in cryptocurrency prices. In an announcement, the startup’s co-founder said that Status is “much larger than we can sustain.”

Blockchain is a ‘Systemic Risk’ for Financial Industry: DTCC Exec.

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation or DTCC issues a report every year on the stability of the global financial system and has done so every year since 2013. It describes this report in these terms:

“[T]he DTCC Systemic Risk Barometer Survey serves as an annual pulse check to monitor existing and emerging risks that may impact the safety, resiliency and stability of the global financial system. It is designed to help identify trends and foster industry-wide dialogue on potential threats to financial stability.”

This year’s report might seem to fans of Bitcoin and the blockchain like it should have come out back in 2013, when Mt. Gox and associated events had shaken the very foundations of cryptocurrency as revelations surrounding its demise came to light and the price dropped from $1,000, gradually bottoming a couple of years later. For in this year’s report is a tidbit from Stephen Scharf, DTCC’s Chief Security Officer [emphasis added]:

“The increase in concern around fintech’s impact on systemic risk demonstrates a growing awareness of the potential risk and highlights the need to evaluate both risks and rewards associated with fintech initiatives. DTCC embraces the promise that fintech innovations hold to further mitigate risk and reduce post-trade costs. But as the industry continues to adopt fintech innovations, like blockchain, AI and cloud solutions, we must ensure that those innovations do not jeopardize the safety and security of the current global financial marketplace.”

The report doesn’t elaborate on how the blockchain will actually do the opposite of its intended purpose, which is to stabilize and modernize archaic and opaque systems which frequently fail to serve their purpose or worse, to work against their users. The quote is mild in terms of anti-blockchain sentiment, but it still speaks to the fundamental unwillingness of some parties in old world finance to simply adapt, modernize, and survive the changes that will be brought about regardless if they get on board or not.

The report has some other interesting metrics within it, as well. The number of people who view “interconnectedness” as a systemic risk to finance was down 8% since last year’s poll, while the percentage of people who view Brexit as potentially problematic increased by 11%. Excessive debt was for the first time included in the report, and 28% of respondents listed it among their top five concerns.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

Get Exclusive Crypto Analysis by Professional Traders and Investors on Hacked.com. Sign up now and get the first month for free. Click here.


Advertisement


From South Korea to IBM Food Trust – How Blockchain Is Used in the Food Industry

2018 has witnessed a steady increase in the number of food manufacturers and retailers using blockchains to enhance their operations. From tracking the quality of food to facilitating international trades in grain, blockchain technology has been turning up repeatedly in recent months; and while many deployments of such tech have been conducted on a trial basis, a growing number have been implemented permanently.

However, as much as it now seems that blockchains are becoming a familiar feature of the food industry, they aren’t an infallible solution to every problem it faces. Even though many blockchains will provide an ‘immutable’ and ‘trustless’ record of the distribution of certain foods, this doesn’t mean we don’t have to trust the parties that first registered these foods on them. And similarly, even though such multinationals as Carrefour are using solutions offered by the IBM Food Trust, they don’t use blockchains in the original sense of the term.

Tracking and transparency

In the vast majority of cases, blockchain tech is used by the food industry for tracking purposes, so that customers can be assured that a particular item is what it’s claimed to be. Most recently, France-based multinational Auchan revealed that it would permanently implement blockchain-based food tracking in five of the countries it operates in: France, Italy, Senegal, Spain, and Portugal. This announcement followed a successful 18-month trial in its Vietnam branch, which has been using the tracking system in conjunction with some 6,000 companies.

Auchan’s system works by registering an item’s information at each stage in its distribution. When, say, an organic carrot is pulled from the ground and readied to be transported from its farm, it’s recorded on TE-FOOD’s blockchain, and when it’s sent to a distribution plant, it can be quickly checked against the info already recorded on that blockchain, which is immutable.

Tracking and transparency

Auchan’s press office manager, François Cathalifaud, tells Cointelegraph that such blockchain tech will enable it to make participants in its supply chains more responsible for the data they enter.

“This is a key point of the blockchain in a sector where data is a valuable resource. As [a] retailer, we cannot ask a producer or a supplier to give us the information without return.”

“Blockchain-based technologies solved that major issue,” he explains, since TE-FOOD’s blockchain works by requiring supermarkets, for example, to transfer tokens whenever they want their suppliers to disclose relevant supply-chain information. This incentivizes suppliers to not only produce such info, but to remain honest, since they would lose out on an additional stream of revenue otherwise.

“Another point is also to avoid data corruption that can occur during a food scandal (transparence+security),” Cathalifaud adds. “Well, at last, if a consumer is asking traceability information we can provide them with traceability information in seconds instead of days with such technology.”

Such credibility is important because according to recent research, consumers are becoming increasingly suspicious of the food industry and turning to more ethical food producers and distributors. In a September study conducted by the Virginia-based Food Marketing Institute, it was found that 75 percent of shoppers would “switch to a brand that provides more in-depth product information, beyond what’s provided on the physical label.” Distributed ledgers are a prime source of such information, and in age becoming more concerned with where our food is coming from, more companies are looking to adopt blockchain-based tracking systems.

In November, multinational retailer Carrefour announced that it would be using the IBM Food Trust blockchain to track free-range chickens in Spain, while in Switzerland, Gustav Gerig AG revealed that it would be using the Ethereum blockchain to track tuna. And in the same month, the South Korean government announced that it would begin tracking beef in January, while United States salad chain Sweetgreen said it had raised $200 million in funding to develop a blockchain-based tracking system for its ingredients.

Tracking and transparency

These announcements were all made within a single month, testifying to how quickly the momentum is growing behind blockchain as a means of bringing greater transparency to food distribution. And prior to November, other organizations have outlined plans this year for blockchain-based tracking include the Dairy Farmers of America, Albert Heijn, the Netherlands‘ largest supermarket chain, the Australian government, the United Kingdom Food Standards Agency, Walmart and Chinese retail giant JD.com.

A growing number of organizations are looking for ways to strengthen their claims that they are responsibly sourcing their products. In other words, food is becoming a more ethically and morally charged issue by the day, which is why the added transparency and the irreversibility offered by the blockchain holds such strong appeal.

This would explain why blockchain is now being used by such major NGOs as Oxfam, which announced in November that it had launched a blockchain to track the supply of rice in Cambodia, where local farmers often lack the information to bargain properly over prices.

Trading and loyalty

There is, then, an increasingly strong sense that food tracking is one area where blockchain and crypto hold genuine appeal to businesses (and consumers). But while the tracing of products will almost certainly be the main area in which blockchain tech contributes to the $5.6 trillion food and beverage industry, such tech looks set to play a slightly more limited role in other areas.

This October the world’s four biggest agricultural producers — Archer Daniels Midland Co., Bunge Ltd., Cargill Inc., and Louis Dreyfus Co. — formed a partnership through which they’ll use blockchain technology to automate the grain-trading process. As the press release states “Eliminating inefficiencies would lead to shorter document-processing times, reduced wait times and better end-to-end contracting visibility.”

Not trustless?

However, while there is plenty of demand from food distributors and producers for blockchains that trace the supply of food, it doesn’t imply that blockchains offer a fail-proof means of proving that, say, an ‘organic chicken’ is really organic, and that they would create entirely trustless food supply networks.

Not trustless?

Initial records can be misled, the only way to stop someone from falsely registering a freshly farmed mango or chicken as organic is to have another trust-providing system or mechanism in place beside a distributed ledger. Big companies such as Carrefour, Auchan, and Walmart do have such systems in place, having worked for years with known farmers and suppliers with which they’ve built a mutually trusting relationship.

Also, even if a blockchain can’t guarantee the initial veracity of information entered into it, it can prevent anything untoward from happening further down the line, such as the addition of, say, non-organic ingredients to a supposedly organic product.

Indeed, as the U.K.-based National Farmers’ Union highlighted in a study which found that food fraud costs Britain around 12 billion pounds a year.

“Food fraud means the deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, tampering with or misrepresentation of food, ingredients, or packaging at some stage of the product’s distribution cycle. It also means false or misleading statements made about a product for economic gain.”

Judging by the report, food fraud regularly occurs beyond the initial registering of a product. And the transparency and immutability provided by the blockchain could play a significant role in reducing its high cost, even if it won’t be a miracle cure.

PSA: If You Mine Ethereum, You’re a Target for Crypto Hackers

Hackers have devised a new way to steal your cryptocurrencies. This time, they are running a massive scanning campaign to pick out Ethereum wallets and miners with a specific vulnerability.

Per reports on ZDNet, crypto hackers are targeting Etherum wallet and mining equipment going through devices with an exposed port 8545, the standard port for the JSON-RPC interface — a programmatic API that sits on the local device and can be used to query for mining-related information.

Ethereum developers had warned users about the dangers of exposing the JSON-RPC interface when using mining equipment and Ethereum software, instructing users to enable a password for the interface or activate a firewall to filter internet traffic coming to the vulnerable port.

By design, the JSON-RPC interface doesn’t come with a default password. It’s dependent on users setting one, which they rarely do. For Ethereum wallets or mining equipment whose port is left exposed on the internet, hackers can send commands to the API and remotely transfer funds out of the wallets.

The report states that mining rigs producers and Ethereum wallet developers have done their bit to limit the damage caused by this problematic interface by warning users of the need to add a password. Others have gone the extreme route of removing the interface altogether, but since this wasn’t a united effort, the problem persists.

While there had been plenty of Ethereum scanning campaigns over the last two years, this is the first time scans have been reported in a bear market. In fact, the report cites data from Tory Mursch, co-founder of Bad Packets LLC, who told the news outlet that the scan campaigns tripled in December, compared to last month, when prices were stable.

“Despite the price of cryptocurrency crashing into the gutter, free money is still free, even if it’s pennies a day.”

What makes these scans hard to believe is how easy one can procure the tools needed to exploit Ethereum clients via an exposed port 8545. According to the report over 4,700 devices, mostly made up of Geth mining rigs and Parity wallets, are the most vulnerable devices exposing their interface to intruders.

Last year, hackers stole $32 million in ether through a vulnerability in Parity’s popular multi-signature wallet, leading to the development team instructing users who were holding ETH in Parity wallet clients to move their funds to a secure address.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

Get Exclusive Crypto Analysis by Professional Traders and Investors on Hacked.com. Sign up now and get the first month for free. Click here.


Advertisement


Bitcoin Tax Confusion Has Accountants Turning to Specialized Software

Every time you convert Bitcoin to anything, be it goods or services, other cryptocurrencies, or even tax payments, it might be a taxable event, depending on your local regulations. It’s not something a lot of cryptonaughts think about when carrying out their daily lives, but potential penalties can be steep for tax evasion. Node40 is a company that originally started out hosting Dash Masternodes for a fee – and they still do this – but then realized that their background as coders could potentially help people in the US blockchain industry accurately assess their cryptocurrency tax liabilities.

Node40 is one of the few providers in the space, having developed what amounts to a QuickBooks for blockchain tokens.

CCN spoke to Perry Woodin and Sean Ryan, the co-founders of the company, recently about the significant increase in demand for their product since Bitcoin blew up last year and many thousands of Americans, potentially millions, entered the cryptocurrency market for the first time. In Sean’s view, there is a woeful lack of education among cryptonaughts as regards their tax liabilities and burden to the US government.

“If people are transacting in digital currency, it’s important that anyone understands that there’s a tax obligation on their part. Whether they’re paying their taxes or whether they’re day traders trying to make it big in the crypto world – it doesn’t matter. Any time you’re interacting with digital currency, it’s important that people understand there is a tax liability.”

The software allows a user to easily integrate with the crypto exchanges and wallets that they use, determines the values that were traded and what needs to be reported. It streamlines the process for the users, who may otherwise find it very difficult to determine what amounts were actually traded. Ryan believes that the 1099-K forms that traders will be receiving from exchanges in the next tax season will be quite inaccurate, not telling the whole story, and that his company can help people by enabling them to have a much more detailed picture of their trade history. Perry Woodin said of the forms:

“Many people are going to be receiving 1099-K forms this year from the exchanges they’ve interacted with, and we know that those forms are likely not going to be accurate. Our system will be able to deliver a more accurate number, and people are likely to need that.”

The ‘QuickBooks of the Blockchain World’

IRS bitcoin tax crypto
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has said that it intends to bring down the hammer on bitcoin tax cheats.

Node40 has three product tiers, and users who just want the basic service can sign up for free. Users who need more advanced features can pay $750 a year, although right now it’s 50% off. They believe that demand for their product is only going to increase. Unlike most blockchain industries, they say, tax accounting software doesn’t rely on market performance. If Bitcoin goes down, people need them. If the Bitcoin price goes up, people need them even more.

Sean Ryan said that Node40 had seen a serious increase this year in the number of professional accountants and law firms who have had requests from their own clients on how to deal with cryptocurrency and the government. He said, “While we are not lawyers or accountants, we’ve developed a product that serves them. What we’re seeing is an increase in CPAs and law firms who want to see how we can fit into their world.”

On the subject of Ohio’s tax collectors accepting Bitcoin in lieu of fiat payment, Ryan said that it actually creates a federally taxable event for the user, so the user has to consider whether they are saving enough in fees to pay in that method to offset the obligations that might be created at the federal level. “Ohio doesn’t care,” he said, pointing out that in some cases it could be beneficial to spend cryptos in that manner.

“This is a good year because if I receive Bitcoin from my customers paying my January invoices in Bitcoin, I am receiving it at a very high value. Say $8,000. Now the price of Bitcoin is plummeting throughout 2018, I’m continuously getting less and less value. So the cost basis of what I’m receiving changes. Every time I receive it, it has a different value. So at the end of the year when it comes time to pay taxes, I’m using that Bitcoin that I’ve received at all different cost bases, and Ohio doesn’t care, but the federal government certainly cares that I’m disposing of Bitcoin now.”

In a press release put out after our interview which focuses on how 2018 will be the year that a lot of people report crypto losses to offset their other tax liabilities, co-founder Perry Woodin said:

“It is clear that, with the huge falls in cryptocurrency markets during 2018, many people will be weighing up whether this is a good opportunity to reveal the losses they have suffered. In doing so, they will be looking to take advantage of these losses in order to offset other tax liabilities. Having not reported their crypto activity up to now though, those choosing to reveal losses this year will need to report their crypto positions every year from now on, giving the tax authorities much better visibility of people’s crypto involvement.”

One thing is for sure: neither cryptocurrency nor the federal government are going away anytime soon, and the IRS has shown a definitive willingness to adapt to the changing times. Ryan and Woodin believe that people will be more willing to pay their taxes if they have an easier means to do so, and that by solving the education gap that intersects taxation and crypto, they will help create a more equitable and sane environment for blockchain entrepreneurs to operate in.

Images from Shutterstock

Get Exclusive Crypto Analysis by Professional Traders and Investors on Hacked.com. Sign up now and get the first month for free. Click here.


Advertisement


How Givv Is Using AI, Blockchain and the Power of 1.5 Billion Computers to Save the World

This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the press release.

In 2015, 193 countries under the United Nations (UN) approved the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a global roadmap with several targets to be met by 2030 across different areas, from reducing extreme poverty and avoiding climate change to promoting better education and improving health services. However, finding the backup capital to deliver on those goals has proven to be a challenge. The UN itself estimates a shortfall in funding to the tune of US$ 2.5 trillion per year. Tens of millions of non-profit organizations all over the world share that very reality; working on the front lines trying to solve such problems, they face a growing challenge to raise funds to advance their activities and deliver impact.

Most individuals, investors, and companies are aware that absent sharp improvements in international development, we will see recurrent and growing economic, environmental and social crisis. The ever more present impacts of climate change, the renewed international political tensions, and the growing refugee and migration crisis evidence that. Yet, while everyone understands the magnitude of the problems and the urgency in finding solutions, connecting those with large amounts of funds directly with organisations tackling the SDGs has not been easy. Impact investors, family offices, HNWI, foundations and other similar investors that want financial and social returns, struggle to find projects with global scalability, speed in execution, and real impact. Individuals, from university students to seasoned professionals, struggle to find a way to contribute small amounts and still feel they are helping create change.  

The promise that blockchain and other advanced technologies could facilitate those connections and help solve some of the global problems remains elusive.  But some projects are starting to show a way forward. Givv, a decentralized cloud computing company, is gaining the attention of blockchain investors and the international development community.

The Givv project

Givv is a leading figure of a movement to combine a for-profit, commercial model with advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and digital tokens to address some of the world’s main problems. The project is working on establishing the ultimate global decentralized cloud computing network but with a very strong social mission.

According to its CEO, Fabio Nehme, Givv’s technology “will aggregate idle capacity from individual computers, package and sell it as cloud computing services globally to organisations in need of data analysis, such as big corporations, gaming firms, 3D rendering groups, and those mining for cryptocurrencies, among others.” But there is an important twist: all revenues earned by the computers will go to non-profits advancing any of the 17 UN-backed SDGs. The individual donating the idle capacity will choose up to 5 non-profits of his or her choice to benefit from the earnings generated by his or her PC. Participation on the platform is free to individuals and non-profit organizations, and Givv will charge a fee from each transaction to cover operating expenses and fund growth.

Nehme adds “we believe, based on cases such as SETI and Folding at Home, which attracted several million cause-minded individuals to donate the idle capacity in their computers to very scientific causes, that individuals, universities and corporations will respond with their computers to the opportunity enabled by Givv: to find a cause that you truly support, anywhere in the world, and to do more for that cause without incurring any extra cost, knowing that you are now a key part of a larger, global movement to create positive change in multiple parts of the world.”

While each computer may generate only up to US$ 10/month in donations, Nehme highlights that there are 1.5 billion computers in the world today idle at least half of the time in any given day. “Even if Givv’s technology is adopted in a modest portion of the PCs worldwide”, he argues, “the scale of our commercial operation will be very large and the volume of funding to the SDGs very substantial.”  

But can Givv be competitive as a cloud computing service?

The competitive advantages of decentralized cloud computing technologies are, according to Givv’s CTO Haim Vanunu, very compelling and represent a sustainable long-term differential to centralized cloud computing services. Givv’s decentralized computing will be cheaper, as it is leveraging existing computing infrastructure. It has virtually endless computational capacity to offer as the computing power available in the 1.5 billion PCs around the world is multiple times larger than that of centralized cloud computing firms. Given its decentralized nature, Givv’s network will also be more secure and has far more resilience, being less vulnerable to outages often seen in centralized cloud computing services.

The Role of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Digital Tokens

To deliver on its vision, Givv has developed and integrated a range of advanced technologies. Vanunu explains that Givv’s platform needs to handle automatically and efficiently millions of real-time interactions between computers processing data and its platform, and between its platform and the beneficiary non-profits. To that end, he explains the platform has 4 main layers of technology.

A container software, which will be open source, will process the data in every computer, and AI will allocate and manage, in real time, the several tasks across a global pool of PCs. Blockchain plays a fundamental role as the tool to record and document in real-time the millions of data transfers in the Givv ecosystem. In the absence of the emergence of blockchain technology, Vanunu adds, a platform like Givv would not be feasible.

Lastly, digital tokens will play a dual role: they represent actual (transferable) rights to computational power in Givv’s network, i.e. a real-world service, and also will be the technological tool to efficiently handle financial transfers between a buyer of computational task, the pro-rated allocation of earnings to each computer, and then the transfer of such earnings to the non-profits chosen by each computer owner.  

A new standard for blockchain projects?

The company has opted to privately fund the development of the core technology, the launch of a demo application, which occurred in October 2018, and the start of a beta program, which is scheduled for early 2019. The tradable rights to computational capacity in the form of digital tokens would be made available to the general public only after the product (or minimum viable product) is public and tested at length.

According to Nehme and Vanunu, the company opted to focus on developing a real product, that is competitive in its market and in creating a commercial strategy that they believe is sound and executable. In our model, says Nehme, blockchain and tokens are not the starting point or an end in itself, but part of a tool-kit to deliver a superior service that the market and our customer wants.

For more information visit www.givv.io or join https://t.me/GivvOfficial

Element Zero Unveils the Stablecoins 2.0 – The “Holy Grail” of Cryptocurrency

This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the press release.

Silicon Valley, CA – ElementZero.Network, a not-for-profit organization, announced today the discovery of a breakthrough 4th Protocol Methodology for a new generation of stablecoins that eliminates the possibility for any volatility in the first place and aims to replace Bitcoin and current stablecoins as a common way of payment. Developed by a leadership team of international digital currency experts in collaboration with Nobel Prize winners, blockchain leaders, and the former Chairman of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The 4th Methodology uses a new and proprietary Algorithmic Stability Protocol that not only protects the stablecoin from any future volatility events, it is also designed to keep it’s purchasing power in place by overcoming inflation.

“The main purpose of any currency is to allow the public to hold their savings and to function as a way to pay for goods and services,” said Jude Regev, Founder, and Chairman of Element Zero.In order to be successful, a stablecoin needs to offer protection from numerous volatility-inducing factors, whether they are those that we know today or 100 years from now”.

Currently, the cryptocurrency market relies on stablecoins trying to achieve stability by backing the coin with a currency, asset or commodity, and hoping that the market will trade the coin with the same value it has been pegged to. Then there are other stablecoins that are governed by creative internal protocols that try to stabilize the coin every time there is a market fluctuation.

One of the biggest concerns for these stablecoins is that in the future, governments such as the US will launch their own digital coin. When this occurs all of the stablecoins remaining in the market that are pegged against USD fiat will likely disappear. It is unlikely the public will keep buying coins pegged against the USD from a private company when it can be bought directly from Uncle Sam. Another issue is that stablecoins using predictive protocols carry a significant risk of crashing to zero and potentially leading the global economy into another depression. This is due to the fact that no one can really continually forecast all the ways the market will react. 50 years ago, there was no blockchain and no internet, who knows what we will have 50 years from now.

“It is not reasonable or prudent to have a decentralized protocol that today claims that it can cope with any future scenario, including those that are completely unknown today.” Regev said, “To ensure that future digital currencies will be adopted by Main Street, we must have a new generation of stablecoin that capable to combat with any scenario, one that has the ability to eliminate any volatility in the first place as well as protect against long-term inflation.” Regev said.”

About Element Zero Network

Element Zero is a not-for-profit organization based in Silicon Valley, CA, Our new 4th protocol stablecoin is designed with the hope to make the world better for all by protecting against long-term inflation and by eliminating the possibility for any volatility in the first place. Visit https://www.elementzero.network/

Media Contact: Lewis Farrell,  [email protected]

1 2 3 1,601