Ethereum’s Co-founder Joseph Lubin: from Money Evolution to Cryptos and Trust

It is quite natural for people to be rather suspicious about something new that has come to their lives. When it comes to money, people are extremely suspicious. That’s why it is quite understandable that there is still a lot of skepticism around cryptocurrencies today.
Nevertheless, a number of projects and enthusiasts are actively working on mainstreaming mass adoption of cryptos trying to persuade people that cryptocurrencies can bring significant benefits to the financial markets and economy in general. One of active supporters of cryptos is Joseph Lubin, founder of ConsenSys and co-creator of Ethereum.
In his op-ed, he revealed his opinion on the “equal waves of fascination and skepticism” concerning cryptocurrency. He turned to a number of historical facts to show that people have always been skeptical towards those who offer new concepts or forms of money. Nevertheless, he noted:
 “Cryptocurrency is in many ways a natural evolution of prior representational systems, though one that favors truth over state-sanctioned power.”
He named digital currencies just a version of paper money of the 21st century that has a very important difference from the tradition form of money. Their decentralized and open nature is something very opposite to the state-controlled property systems. Such features of cryptocurrencies also significantly reduce the necessity to trust other participants of the system as it is an open P2P system.
Lubin believes that decentralized tools will help to achieve better dissemination of money with the help of the most advanced technologies and, moreover, thanks to these new networks we will accept higher standards for transferring funds, including new security and speed standards.
Ethereum co-creator also mentioned the possibility of digital currency and blockchain technology to enable refugees and displaced people to keep their identity as they can utilize the above-mentioned technology to store their documents and to present them all over the world for financial purposes.
Lubin expressed his hope that despite a number of concerns about cryptocurrencies due to downward trends on the market this year, they will be widely adopted in the upcoming years bringing significant benefits, including social ones, for the community and businesses. He wrote:
“Instead of adversarial relationships between corporation and customer, we will have collective common-good relationships on networked open platforms. It’ll take time, yes, but the uptake has been swift.”
Let us also remind that Joseph Lubin together with other prominent figures in the industry including Arie Levy-Cohen, Zach LeBeau, and Alex Klokus, took part in creation of the documentary film called ‘Trust Machine’. The film represents itself a drama telling a real-time history of all the events occurring in this space. Trust Machine is aimed at presenting the entire story of blockchain and cryptocurrency in a very comprehensive way for a wide audience. The film will be presented on October 26, 2018, in New York.
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Bitcoin Cash Price Analysis: BCH/USD Upside Break on Bitmain IPO

Bitcoin Cash was able to bust through its long-term descending trend line to signal that a reversal from the selloff is underway. Price has also moved past both dynamic inflection points at the moving averages as additional confirmation.

However, the 100 SMA is still below the longer-term 200 SMA to suggest that there’s still some bearish pressure left. This might pave the way for a quick retest of the broken trend line around $450-500 before Bitcoin Cash sustains the climb.
Stochastic is pointing up to show that buyers have the upper hand and could keep pushing for gains until overbought conditions are seen. This oscillator is nearing that level, though, so there could be a chance of profit-taking soon. Also, RSI is heading higher but also nearing overbought levels to reflect exhaustion among buyers.

Bitcoin mining giant Bitmain is reportedly gearing up for an IPO as it revealed its plans and profits for the first time. This Chinese company, founded by billionaires Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan, is said to have $12 billion valuation after its most recent funding round.
Based on their financial statements released this week, Bitmain made $742.7 million in profit during the first half of this year. After adjusting for costs and expenses, the company’s net profits were $48.6 million in 2015, $113.5 million in 2016, $952.5 million in 2017 and $952.1 million in Q2 this year. As of June 30 this year, Bitmain has made $2.8 billion in revenue, representing a ten-fold gain over the same time last year even as cryptocurrency prices have tumbled.
Keep in mind that Bitmain has publicly bet on Bitcoin Cash, although the exact figures have yet to be reported. With an ICO filing, this could mean tremendous gains for the company and its holdings of Bitcoin Cash, so understandably traders rushed to join in.
 
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Bitfinex Launches EOSIO-based Decentralized Exchange Called EOSfinex

As it has been recently revealed, one of the world’s major professional crypto trading platform Bitfinex has launched the beta version of its decentralized exchange functioning on the base of EOSIO technology which is called EOSfinex.
Founded in 2012, Bitfinex was established in 2012 and now its 30-day trading volume is over $14 billion USD. This digital asset trading platform offers crypto traders and global liquidity providers the most demanded services. Moreover, it provides access to P2P transactions, over-the-counter markets and margin trading for a wide range of crypto assets which is possible thanks to implementation of various trading and charting tools.
It is important to mention that the announcement of the beta launch of EOSfinex just follows the recent launch of another platform of Bitfinex. It was a hybrid Ethereum-based exchange known as Ethfinex. Thanks to its hybrid nature the platform offers its clients a chance to enjoy both centralized and on-chain trading opportunities. These projects demonstrate Bitfinex’s real desire to contribute to the development of the growing blockchain trading ecosystem.
Speaking about EOSfinex, Chief Technology Officer of Bitfinex, Paolo Ardoino, stated:
 “We are delighted to be moving forward with EOSfinex, which will allow for increased innovation within EOS, further developing aspects of scalability and performance of exchange platforms. The EOSIO technology supports high-speed transactions, particularly with high volume trading, which will be a strong advantage for on-chain trading, and proves the potential for digital asset exchanges to continuously develop. This is also a very exciting time for Bitfinex, as we continue to demonstrate our commitment to working towards the evolution of trustless decentralised exchanges.”
The main aim of EOSfinex is to make peer-to-peer value exchanges simpler, to enhance their transparency and the level of trust from the side of users. The final goal of the platform is to create conditions for high-volume blockchain-based trading.
Thanks to EOSfinex, it is planned to build an expanded peer-to-peer network that will be available for participants from different corners of the world. At the beginning of its functioning, EOSfinex will offer a possibility to work with the major trading pairs that include EOS/USD, BTC/USD, and ETH/USD. But it is expected that in the future this offering will be expanded with the help of specific trusted contracts.
EOSIO is a technology on which EOSfinex is based. Through the usage of this technology the platform will ensure the horizontal scaling of decentralized applications. As a result, developers will have a possibility to build highly effective distributed applications.
According to Paolo Ardoino, the platform is a very significant development not only for Bitfinex but also for EOS. He said that EOSfinex will become a highly-scalable platform that will stand out from the row of its rivals for high level of transparency, excellent speed of transactions, their security and special focus on decentralization.
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Stablecoin Euphoria: Cryptocurrency Finance Firm Circle Releases Its First USD Stablecoin

After four months of talks about a dollar-backed stablecoin, the Boston-based peer-to-peer payments and technology company Circle has finally announced its release.
Developed with the help from the company’s CENTRE affiliate consortium, USD-backed digital token called USD Coin (USDC) officially went live today, September 26. Being rated 1:1 to a fiat currency, USDC is now available for buying, selling and sending on Circle Trade and Poloniex exchange, which was acquired by Circle earlier this year.
According to Circle co-founders Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire, the stablecoin will be used as a means to tokenize U.S. dollars to easily transfer value on public blockchains. USDC allows individuals and institutions to deposit U.S. dollars from bank accounts and convert fiat currency into tokens usable throughout the Internet.
As Jeremy Allaire told in an interview:
“Market infrastructure like stablecoins will become the base layer that supports every financial application. It has to be legitimate, trustworthy, built on open standards. We are solving a lot of these fundamental problems that exist. That’s a huge difference from something like Tether, and we think the market will very quickly gravitate to that.”
USDC represents itself the first stablecoin developed by Circle. In comparison to traditional cryptocurrencies, this token is rigid to volatility. It solves many issues like, for example, it allows users to convert Bitcoin or Ethereum tokens to USDC instead of cashing them out, so that it would be easier to buy cryptocurrencies again in the future.
The stablecoin is also a great solution for those seeking to avoid traditional financial institutions, as it provides its users with an option of transferring USDC to each other without any need for a bank as a third party.
Apart from Poloniex, the token will be available on other exchanges, including Huobi, OKEx, DigiFinex, CoinEx, KuCoin, Coinplug and XDAEX. Moreover, Circle has recently partnered with Kyber Network, IDEX, Radar Relay and Tokenlon at the protocol level, while Dharma, Origin, BlockFi, MoneyToken, Melonport and Centrifuge will work with the stablecoin for lending, investing and payments.
The news about the stablecoin’s release came today together with another one related to Circle as well. According to an announcement, Circle is adding four new digital assets to its Circle Invest platform. With the new listings of EOS, Stellar, 0x, and Qtum, the total amount of digital currencies available on Circle makes up 11, which means that Circle Invest becomes one of the top apps for accessing a wide range of assets.
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Bitmain Files Application for Listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange

The leading cryptocurrency mining company Bitmain has officially filed a draft application for listing its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The document discloses information to the public needed for its IPO procedure.

74.5 Percent Market Share
Chinese cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain moves forward with its plans for an Initial Public Offering (IPO), filing a required draft application with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) disclosing important information to the public.
The document mainly outlines the strengths of the company, highlighting that Bitmain is, indeed, the largest global “ASIC-based cryptocurrency mining hardware company in terms of sales revenue in 2017, accounting for a market share of 74.5%.” What is more, the company has described itself as “one of the few companies offering mining solutions for various cryptocurrencies” such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Litecoin, Dash, and Zcash.
It’s worth noting, though, that the world’s second-largest bitcoin mining hardware maker Canaan Inc., filed for an IPO earlier in May.

Troubles in Paradise
The filed document also sheds some clarity on Bitmain’s financial and inventory situation. The draft reveals that the company is, indeed, facing adverse challenges due to “market volatility.”
In Early 2018, we anticipated strong market growth for cryptocurrency mining hardware in 2018 due to the upward trend of cryptocurrencies price in the fourth quarter of 2017, and we placed a large amount of orders with our production partners in response to the anticipated significant sales growth. However, there had been significant market volatility in the market price of cryptocurrencies in the first half of 2018. As a result of such volatility, the expected economic return from cryptocurrency mining had been adversely affected and the sales of our mining hardware slowed down, which in turn caused an increase in our inventories level and a decrease in advances received from our customers…
Earlier in August, two major companies have publicly denied being involved with the prospective IPO of Bitmain, casting yet a fresh round of controversy around it. The companies in question are Tencent and Softbank, both of which denied interest in the IPO.
It’s also important to note that Bitmain’s purported vast reserves of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) are also putting the company at a disadvantage, as they would remain relatively illiquid unless the market undergoes a notable transformation.
Nevertheless, the news for Bitmain’s IPO filing did have a massive impact on BCH’s price, which is up 20 percent in the last 24 hours according to data from CoinMarketCap.
What do you think of Bitmain’s IPO? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of ShutterStock and Quartz
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Captcha Can be Ended: Decentralized Solutions for the Bot Problem

There probably isn’t a person who has used the Internet and hasn’t encountered a captcha. That pesky invention that wastes your time and sometimes cannot be understood by any means.
If you can relate, you’ll be glad to hear that two blockchain startups have stepped up. The two startups are done trying to teach AI’s into recognizing stop signs. On Wednesday a new solution was announced, which will fight the armada of automated bot nets.
For most users, regardless of proficiency with the Internet, bots present an annoying problem. Ironically we are forced to spend a chunk of time online proving we’re human. The features, which waste our time chew on our nerves range from clicking a checkbox to those disgusting blurry images with shop names and street signs. It’s interesting to note that the street signs and traffic signals images were and probably still are, used to train self-driving cars.
While annoying, the captcha still has many uses
The captcha or (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) is annoying. That’s the simple and honest truth for every web user. Companies however, are in an even bigger pickle. There is absolutely no way to tell if their ads are seen by people or bots. It’s been estimated that around 37% of all ads the companies pay for are viewed by bots.
The two blockchain startups Enigma and Datawallet have teamed up to introduce a new product: “The Bot or Not protocol.” The goal is simple: reduce bot presence on ad networks by the maximum amount possible.
When launched, Datawallet will allow users of digital services to effectively own and monetize the generated data by the services they use. This will be done through the so called “self-sovereign wallet.” By using ethereum, the protocol will allow users to sell social media or music/gaming stream data to a company. The company can later unfortunately resell that data to as many advertising companies as it pleases.
The transaction however, will be ensured by the use of public-private key pairs. This cryptographic technique will keep a secure exchange. The cryptographic hashes will be posted on the blockchain. This means the point payment will be done with Datawallet’s tokens.
Enigma’s ICO managed to raise $45 million last year. They will add their privacy protocol in order to protect users from personal data exposure. It’s not worth escaping captchas only to leak personal info into the wrong hands.
Bot or Not will focus mainly on preventing ad fraud and Sybil attacks. These two problems present a massive issue and affect many only users. Decentralized technology can ultimately, be a great answer for the identity issues.
You can also check out:

Large-Scale Mining is Still Profitable: Millions Can be Made with Big Investments
Silk Road: The Story of Billions of Dollars, Bitcoin and Warped Ideals
World Governments and How They Define Cryptocurrencies
Blockchain Spending Projected to Increase Tenfold in the Next 5 years

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Bitcoin Price Analysis: BTC/USD Gearing Up for Triangle Breakout?

Bitcoin continues to consolidate inside an almost symmetrical triangle pattern on the 4-hour time frame. Price recently bounced off the top and could be due for another test of support.

There is some bullish pressure at the bottom of the short-term ascending channel, though, so Bitcoin could attempt another upside break from the $6,750 resistance. However, the 100 SMA is still below the longer-term 200 SMA to suggest that the path of least resistance is to the downside. In other words, support is more likely to break than to hold.
If the bearish pressure is strong enough to trigger a break below the triangle bottom around $6,250, Bitcoin could tumble by the same height as the triangle, which spans $6,000 to around $8,500. Similarly, a break past the resistance could lead to a climb of the same size.
Stochastic is pulling up to indicate that bulls have the upper hand and could keep pushing for gains. Similarly, RSI is pointing north to indicate that buyers are in control and could keep lifting bitcoin price until overbought conditions are seen.

Bitcoin is on relatively stronger footing these days as the SEC refrained from doling out a rejection of the Bitcoin ETF applications so far. In addition, the launch of bitcoin futures on the ICE is also something a lot of investors are looking forward to as it could make the digital asset more accessible to even more traders. It also helps that Google will be lifting its ban on Bitcoin and ICO ads by October.
However, the search engine will be approving ads only from regulated entities in the US and Japan, representing a smaller than usual segment of the market. Still, this could do a lot in terms of reviving general interest in the space, paving the way for more institutional and retail funds to flow in.

Images courtesy of TradingView
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Regulatory Pressure Mounts: Congressman Petitions for ‘Light-Touch’ Approach to Cryptocurrency

Yet another important political figure has emphasized the need for a reasonable and well-thought-out regulatory approach towards the emerging cryptocurrency field.

‘Thoughtful, Bipartisan Approach’
The pressure on regulators for a comprehensive and “light-touch” legislative approach towards the field of cryptocurrencies has been nothing but increasing.
Live Bitcoin News reported September 15th that the Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), J. Christopher Giancarlo, called for a “do no harm” approach to regulating cryptocurrencies.
A similar sentiment was expressed by Congressman Warren Davidson, who said:
With a thoughtful, bipartisan approach that protects consumers, advances free market solutions, and defines safe-harbors for the earliest stage innovators, Congress can send a powerful message around the world that the U.S. is the best destination for ICO markets.

A Challenging Task
The task to regulate cryptocurrencies is, indeed, a challenging one, given their diverse nature. Touching on the matter was Michael Hiles, who outlines that the field is much more than just Bitcoin, saying.
If I have a token that is a share in a company, that’s very clearly a security. But if I have a token that unlocks some feature in an application, and I want to pre-sell that token to the marketplace for access to my system and that token becomes freely trade-able on an open market — that people could freely buy and exchange these things — that’s really what’s at issue.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been clear that it doesn’t regard Bitcoin and Ether as securities. However, there’s still a defined need for an established legislative framework for the definition of other digital assets. Outlining the challenges that this task brings forward, though, Davidson said:
Everything starts to look like a security to a securities regulator. […] We want to make sure that the United States capital markets stay strong and vibrant, and one of the ways to do that is provide regulatory certainty.
What do you think about regulating the cryptocurrency field? Is it necessary? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Coinbase Partners with Caspian to Add Professional Crypto Trading Tools

Leading U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has partnered with Caspian, an institutional grade crypto trading platform. The collaboration will allow institutions, professional traders, and existing customers of Coinbase Prime to leverage Caspian’s trading tools and single sign-on access to the exchange platform.

A Win-Win Deal
Coinbase, the U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange which is one of the largest in the world, announced earlier this week through its official blog the new collaboration with Caspian. Caspian is an institutional grade, full-stack crypto trading and risk management platform. Caspian provides a complete suite of sophisticated trading algorithms and tools for professional traders and institutional investors.
Coinbase Prime is the institutional brokerage and trading platform offering from the exchange. This mutually beneficial partnership will allow Coinbase Prime’s customers and other institutional investors to use Caspian’s trading tools and will also enable seamless access to Coinbase through the same interface (users will not need to log in separately into two interfaces).

Coinbase’s Institutional Growth Strategy
Earlier this year, Coinbase ventured into new business lines to cater to institutional investors amidst growing interest for cryptocurrencies amongst them. The new services include Coinbase Prime; Coinbase Custody, a safe and regulated cold storage solution; and Coinbase Institutional coverage group, a sales, support, and training resource for institutional investors.
Kayvon Pirestani, Director of Institutional Sales at Coinbase, says:
By working together, Coinbase and Caspian will deliver institutional-grade order and risk management tools to the growing number of professional crypto trading firms around the world. Customers will be able to take advantage of the best elements of both platforms — accessing Coinbase’s extensive historical market data and deep pool of liquidity and combined with Caspian’s suite of seamless trading tools. We see this partnership as not only a tremendous commercial opportunity but as a chance to truly move forward the institutional adoption of crypto as a mature, tradable asset class.
A Strong Partner
Caspian is a collaborative effort between Tora, a cloud-based technology company, and Kenetic, a blockchain investment firm. Caspian provides a complete asset management solution including OEMS (order execution management system), PMS (portfolio management system), compliance, risk, and reporting. The platform provides advanced trading tools and algorithms for professional traders and institutions, along with a single interface into all significant crypto exchanges, including the new addition, Coinbase. Caspian has forged ties with many leading crypto exchanges across the globe.

Robert Dykes, CEO of Caspian, said:
We’re delighted to cement this important partnership with Coinbase, which will see one of the world’s leading digital currency trading venues join forces with one of the most exciting emerging crypto platforms. Our goal at Caspian has always been to make it is as frictionless as possible for professional traders and investors to trade and manage portfolios of cryptocurrencies in order to drive exponential growth in this market, and we’re delighted that Coinbase shares this vision.
The collaboration between the two companies is a good development towards attracting institutional investors who have so far shied away from the cryptocurrency markets due to security concerns. Solutions like Coinbase Custody and professional grade tools from Caspian will instill confidence in institutions to leverage cryptocurrency trading for high returns.
Do you think this partnership will encourage institutional investors to invest in cryptocurrencies soon? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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JPMorgan’s Blockchain-Based Remittance Initiative Attracts 76 Global Banks

JPMorgan Chase is making history with their Interbank Information Network (IIN) by having the most banks to join a live blockchain-based financial application.

Institutional investors are much more wary of cryptocurrencies than they are of blockchain technology. While JPMorgan Chase may not be enthusiastically hopping on the Bitcoin bandwagon just yet, they have undoubtedly jumped onto the blockchain train.

JPMorgan Embraces Blockchain
One of the many benefits that blockchain offers is that it allows more efficient and secure cross-border payments, which is probably exactly what JPMorgan envisaged when developing their Interbank Information Network (IIN) last year. According to Business Wire, the blockchain-based service will streamline the firm’s global payments process by drastically reducing delays associated with compliance and data-related issues.
Emma Loftus, who is the Head of Global Payments and Receivables for the firm’s Treasury Services, expressed her excitement, saying:
We saw tremendous interest among correspondent banks after the pilot launched in 2017, asking if they could join. We believe IIN will significantly improve the efficiency of cross-border payments, particularly as more banks participate and we evolve the functionality and use cases beyond compliance-related inquiries.

Blockchain Streamlining Cross-Border Payments
Banks definitely seem to be on board as evidenced by the fact that 76 banks from all over the world will be taking part in the IIN initiative. This comprises 19 banks in North and South America, 18 in Europe, 21 in the Asia-Pacific region, and 18 over Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
JPMorgan’s Global Head of Treasury Services, Takis Georgakopoulos, chatted about the firm’s goal of being market leaders by using blockchain technology, saying:
We’ve been actively exploring how emerging technologies such as blockchain, AI, and an enhanced digital experience can be deployed in our Treasury Services business to better serve our clients’ ever-changing needs. We will lead the market with the rollout of a robust pipeline of innovations over the coming months, beginning with the launch of IIN.
The firm’s Treasury Service is responsible for processing about 26 million transactions every day in 108 different currencies for over 100 countries. This equates to $3 trillion worth of transactions. By using blockchain to provide a positive customer experience, there’s no telling how much more that number can grow.
While the IIN is powered by the Ethereum network’s Quorum, France-based Tempo has chosen to go the Stellar blockchain route. Like JPMorgan, the money transfer company has also integrated distributed ledger technology (DLT) into its processes to make cross-border payments more efficient.
Do you think that more banks will want to be a part of JPMorgan’s IIN? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Pixabay.
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