IBM Research: A Central Bank Will Issue a CBDC Virtual Currency In 5 Years

There is a high chance that a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) will be released before five years are over. A new research conducted by IBM in conjunction with OMFIF (an institute that supports central banks) shows that policy makers from various major central banks in the world are seriously considering to develop a CBDC, a report by Cointelegraph says.

The research shows that central banks see consumer-ready CBDCs as a viable alternative for fiat money.

The study concludes:

“Central banks are responding to the reality that digital currencies, either privately or publicly issued, will soon be part of the global monetary system, and that it is in their interest to ensure they are neither left behind nor displaced.”

The IBM OMFIF research involved a survey of 23 central banks from both advanced and emerging economies. The findings indicate that 73% of central banks favor the use of CBDC to address retail issues where fiat money can be easily used.

The findings also show that at least half of the respondents were wary that private projects such as Libra pose a threat to monetary sovereignty. Without proper regulations, private digital currencies have the power to undermine central banks’ monetary sovereignty as well as becoming a threat to financial stability. Central banks increasingly acknowledge that understanding and are working closely with the developers of the private digital currencies so they may boost their fiscal regulatory role.

Indeed, Libra has been a thorn to many regulators, especially in Europe where both French and Germany Finance ministers have vowed to never let the cryptocurrency operate within the Eurozone.

The report which was published on Mon 29, Oct. states that the majority of central banks are addressing the reality that digital currencies are here to stay and it is in their own interest to ensure they stay relevant or risk being displaced.

The report notes that 82% of the respondents stated that the main fiscal stability concern in terms of implementing the CBDC was the issue of digital banks which will be faster and could spoil stability as well as confidence.

Gauging on the analysis of the findings, the researchers thus concluded that the maiden CBDC will possibly be functional in a span of five years and will be an alternative to that country’s fiat currency. Interestingly, the report says that this will not come from major economies.

The report reads:

“The principal conclusion is that we are likely to witness the introduction of a central bank — that is fiat — retail digital currency within the next five years, either as a complement to or as a substitute for notes and coins.”

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Bitcoin Futures Market Turning Bullish But Not Bakkt BTC Holders

  • Bitcoin Futures Contracts Trading at a Premium
  • Bakkt BTC Holders Not Following Upward Trend
  • October Saw Asia Bullish on BTC

Last week Bitcoin price surged 42%, the third-largest surge in BTC’s history. However, today, the price took a drop below $9k to $8,985 on Bitstamp.

At the time of writing, the leading cryptocurrency has been trading at $9,145, down 1.93% in the past 24 hours, as per Coincodex.

Meanwhile, it is managing the daily trading volume of $1.24 billion on ten exchanges with real volume. The volume has also taken a drop from $3.5 billion reported on Saturday, the day BTC jumped. This has been the highest daily volume since mid-July.

Bakkt BTC Holders Not Following Upward Trend

Just like the spot exchanges, the volume of Bitcoin futures also skyrocketed. ICE’s physically-settled bitcoin futures platform Bakkt recorded 1179 contracts throughout the day on Oct. 26. Last week, a total of 2185 BTC changed hands which is 250% more volume than its opening week.

The total open interest on bitcoin futures contracts however, is now at 82 contracts that suggest holders of BTC on Bakkt are not following the same upward trend as the volume.

Also, no trades have been done for the daily Bitcoin futures contracts over the last three weeks.

Bitcoin Futures Contracts Trading At A Premium

The last week’s hike also has traders turning bullish on future prices for Bitcoin. All of Bitcoin Futures contracts are being traded at prices higher than the spot price. While CME traders are now trading March contracts at 3.14% premium, other platforms trade on an average of 2.97% premium.

Oct. 26 also marked the day when BitMEX registered the highest volumes since July at $8.7 billion and Binance Futures made a new record of surpassing $2 billion, reported Skew markets.

October Saw Asia Bullish on BTC

As we reported, the week of Bitcoin price rise coincided with the festive celebration for Indians. The week not only marked Diwali but also Dhanteras when people buy valuable products and look like this time it was digital gold, BTC.

Bitcoin volume soared 22% on Paxful, with about 54.5 million INR (92 BTC) recorded in volume while LocalBitcoins recorded a trading volume of 87 million INR.

Not just India, China invested 14.3 million Chinese Yuan in Bitcoin (243 BTC), seeing a jump of 34%.

The volume is really small but it is just on Paxful exchange and the Chinese use majorly USDT to buy Bitcoin.

This rally has been, in fact, according to commentators triggered by China’s President Xi Jinping talking about embracing blockchain technology that has the related stocks surging as well.

Latest Bitcoin Price News and Crypto Market Updates

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Author: AnTy

Billionaire and Multi-Sports Team Owner Ted Leonsis Associates Bitcoin with Shady Gambling

  • Ted Leonsis owns several sports teams and was the president of America Online.
  • One of the teams Leonsis owns, the Capitals, was worth $725 million at the end of last year.

In the United States alone, $10 billion has been spent on gambling since the decision of the Supreme Court just over a year ago, according to the Legal Sports Report. Now, billionaire Ted Leonsis has expressed interest in getting a piece of that action during the off-season of sports.

Mr. Leonsis is known for many things – his billions of dollars of wealth, his ownership of the Washington Mystics and the Washington Capitals, and his presidency of America Online years ago. While on stage in Detroit at the Freemason temple, he spoke about the plans to turn his “sports empire” into one of gambling, according to a recent article with Forbes.

Last year, the United States Supreme Court decided to establish laws for legal gambling in the US, striking down a previous ban.

At the time, Leonsis stated,

“Let’s take this shadow economy which is going to explode even more with bitcoin and the dark Web and bring it into the light. And if we can do that it will generate more jobs, it will generate tax revenues.”

Leonsis expressed interest in making the gambling world less negative and shady by using a place that is commonly associated with family fun.

Leonsis decided to establish a sports business in June 2010, which now owns the Mystics and the Capitals. By the end of last year, the latter was worth about $725 million. Leonsis pointed out that the sports world is generally accustomed to the downtime when the stadiums and other points of revenue don’t bring in funds. However, he wants to change that by adapting to the decision of the Supreme Court, opening the facilities to gambling, much like casinos.

He commented,

“By opening up a world-class sportsbook, the building will come alive during the day. We want to be able to take advantage of the investment we have in real estate.”

While speaking with Forbes, Leonsis expressed that he wanted the arrangements to look like Wall Street, adding that it “should be like an Apple genius bar.” To allow these types of venues, he signed a deal with William Hill, a UK bookmaker, last month.

Latest Bitcoin Price News and Crypto Market Updates

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Author: Krystle M

Leaked Internal Bitmain Meeting Transcript Shows Mining Company’s Leadership Troubles

Bitmain is not having an easy time right now. A transcript of a staff meeting has recently surfaced online and it shows that there is a power struggle happening inside the largest mining rig manufacturer in the world.

The documents, which were obtained by the crypto media outlet Coindesk, show the co-founder Jihan Wu explaining why he abruptly ousted Micree Ketuan Zhan, the second co-founder of the firm.

Wu, previously had stepped down from his management role back in December 2018, came back as Bitmain’s chairman this week. One of his first actions was to notify Zhan that he would be dismissed from all his roles in the company. The reason for that, Wu believes, is that Zhan escalated a simple disagreement into a power struggle, so he had to act.

Both executives have “butted heads” since 2015, but the situation only became more tense this year, when Wu and other execs chose to lay people off. Zhan disagreed and took the decision to mid-level management executives, who sided with his opponents. After that, Zhan started to become bitter and has made several decisions that escalated the power struggle to the next level.

Wu said in Tuesday’s meeting:

“Everyone knows in 2018, the company spent unnecessary and hasty investment everywhere on research and development projects and hiring dozens and hundreds of people without a second thought. Everyone supported the layoffs.”

2019 has certainly not been a great year for Bitmain, as the market share of the company is declining while its rivals taking it. Canaan, InnoSilicon and WhatsMiner have all grown this year.

Wu accused the other co-founder of betting on “crazy ideas” like artificial intelligence and not being focused enough on the bread and butter of the company: mining equipment. Now that the conflicts did not seem to slow in their escalation, Wu made the decision to remove his old friend out of the way.

Wu stated,

“Some said inside the company, I’m the one who handles business and Zhan handles technology. I want to ask, between Zhan and I, who really has a love for the technology? Zhan doesn’t love technology, he loves that feeling of fulfilling his endless desire for power. He doesn’t love technology, he loves vanity. Folks, we have no options but to keep Zhan away from this company.”

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Guangzhou, China Introduces 1 Billion Yuan Fund to Accelerate Blockchain Development

Guangzhou state government launches a 1 billion yuan fund, approx. $140 million USD, to boost blockchain innovations in the state. Guangzhou Huangpu District and Guangzhou Development Zone, who make up strategic technological decisions came up with the “Detailed Rules for Implementing Several Measures for Accelerating Blockchain Industry Leading Change”.

Guangzhou’s $140 million fund to accelerate social capital agglomeration in blockchain

On October 29 reports emerged from top economic news sites in China confirming the state of Guangzhou is introducing a 1 billion Chinese yuan ($140 million USD) subsidy fund to accelerate blockchain development in the region. The fund will be available to blockchain initiatives from different districts with an eye on government service enhancement and technological progress.

According to a thread of tweets from Primitive Crypto Fund Co-founder, Dovey Wan, Guangzhou will release government funding amounting to $140 million USD to increase capital funding in blockchain based products focused on federated governance chain products and public blockchains with no incentives (tokens).

One of the largest economic and business news outlets in China, Caijing, reports plans to share the fund between the two major categories with a public chain construction receiving a maximum of 10 million (~1.4 million USD) and the alliance chains receiving a maximum of 3 million yuan. There remain doubts on what a public blockchain without a token will look like as the lack of incentives means the network will not be secured.

China accelerates efforts in blockchain

Earlier in April the state started integrating blockchain and artificial intelligence in operations applying the system to issue business licenses on an immutable platform. China is seeing rapid adoption in blockchain technology despite the ban on crypto exchanges and ICOs. The recent speech by President XI Jinping on efforts to integrate blockchain in systems further shows the commitment by the government.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Cybersecurity Biometric Project Keyless Secures Over $2 Million, Ripple Xpring as An Investor

  • Keyless received investments from LuneX, Blockchain Valley Ventures, and others
  • Ripple believes that this type of cybersecurity could be helpful to the cryptocurrency industry

The security of the tech industry is crucial. Whether the sector covers financials, advancements, or networks, cybersecurity is a necessity, which is the focus of a new startup called Keyless. Keyless has already held a seed funding round, bringing in $2.2 million as it works to expand on a new product that uses encrypted biometric data to unlock the private keys of users.

The firm, which is based in London, states that they are the first company in the world that applies biometrics to cryptography. In doing so, it has managed to gain the attention of investors like Cryptos Capital, Ripple’s Xpring, Blockchain Valley Ventures, and LuneX.

Paolo Gasti, the co-founder and chief technology officer of Keyless, stated,

“We don’t want the network to spy on user biometrics. This way the authentication happens right there and wasn’t just a session replay of previous authentication.”

Now, the beta testing has ended, and the firm has completed the integration with two crypto wallet customers for the Keyless Authenticator, according to Gasti. The technology will offer a defense for the personal data that users store on cloud, mobile, and internet-of-things networks. Gasti added that the Keyless system is presently working to integrate two other firms, hoping to launch the Keyless Authenticator by the end of this year.

Ripple’s Xpring chose to invest in Keyless for the versatility of the program to be used in multiple industries, like cryptocurrency.

Speaking with CoinDesk, Senior VP Ethan Beard of Xpring stated,

“During our technical review, we found Keyless’ solution to be clever and well thought out. We believe Keyless’ solution will be particularly welcomed by wallet providers and exchanges to accelerate the verification process for crypto holders.”

Keyless lets consumers split up various pieces of biometric information – like voice or fingerprint – with the use of multi-party computation. It also uses encrypted details from a machine-learning algorithm, which is used to identify the information to send across multiple nodes, which are run by both the user and the companies on the network.

The technology is still being experimented upon, but Gasti believes that each user will ultimately have five nodes linked on their account, with three of those nodes needing to correlate before decrypting biometric details. The process only takes about 100 milliseconds, which is a fraction of the speed in other processes.

Gasti remarked,

“We’ve known since the 1980s that this was possible … and we’ve been working on this for ten years. The product allows low-latency execution without having any effect on security.”

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Author: Krystle M

Livepeer Wants to Make GPU Mining Profitable Again, Plans Release of New Methods to Earn Crypto

GPU miners, often forgotten by most companies, could find a new way to earn cryptocurrencies soon. Livepeer, a prominent decentralized video streaming platform, is ready to debut its newest product, which is said to be called Streamflow, this week.

With Streamflow, both crypto miners and developers can use the idle chips of their GPUs to make money. The founder of the company, Doug Petkanics, affirms that there are millions of GPUS sitting out there without doing anything and that they could be generating money for their owners if they were used.

“The millions of GPUs out there that are mining cryptocurrency, ethereum, zcash, grin, monero, they have video encoding on those chips that can’t hash cryptocurrency,”

Doug Petkanics, Livepeer’s founder explained, “They are sitting there doing absolutely nothing.”

Basically, the idea is that people can continue to mine whatever it is that they are mining using their GPUs, but they will also be able to use an idle part of the GPU structure to earn ETH in fees and Livepeer’s LPT tokens as rewards for participating in the network.

Petkanics believes that this can be seen as additional revenue for miners without basically any new costs at all. This way, they can simply make their life more profitable than before without any problems.

Right now, however, Livepeer is still in Alpha testing stage. The mining is not based on GPUs yet, only CPUs, meaning that miners could not simultaneously use their equipment to mine tokens for major networks and for Livepeer at the same time as of yet. The changes will officially happen as soon as the company launches upgrades to the system, which will use the Merkle mining system.

Recently, Livepeer had an $8 million USD seed equity round, in which the company received the funds for most of its operation moving forward.

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Author: Hank Klinger

People’s Bank of China (PBoC) Launches Digital Payment Certification of Fintech Products System

In what has been China’s week for blockchain, The People’s bank of China (PBoC), launched a new certification program to regulate digital currency payments in the country.

The new laws will be set up and approved by the authority according to the official report released in a filing dated Oct. 26. The report states the “Certification of Fintech Products” will verify and certify 11 financial technology classes including digital payments.

Following President Xi Jinping’s remarks on the adoption of blockchain technology, setting up regulation on cryptocurrencies, CCP support on blockchain and the development of their sovereign digital asset, China is setting up to become the first country to go full crypto nationalization.

People’s Bank of China jointly promotes the integration of financial technology products into the nationally accredited certification system. With such a huge population up for digital payments and other financial products, the central bank launched the certification system that covers all possible payment systems in China including point-of-sale mobile terminals, embedded application software, user front-end software, and security carriers and chips.

The certification will be reviewed online and random checks by ordinary officials done on the payment systems. The license lasts for 3 years.

Launch of the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE)

According to the report, one of the 11 classified financial technologies, the trusted execution environment (TEE) focuses on blockchain payments which could open up the industry to the public.

Furthermore, this can assist in the establishment of a “consortium blockchain network and verifying blockchain transactions in financial transactions use cases,” the report states.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ripple’s SWELL Event Nears as Community Members Give Bullish XRP Price Forecasts

Sato-Xi speech on blockchain adoption in China saw Bitcoin (BTC) grow by 40% in a day (only the third time in its history) pulling along top altcoins with it – most seeing 25%-100% growth in less than 72 hours after the speech. However, one token did not experience the “mini alt-season” (with exception of stablecoins), XRP.

The bullish trend that followed China’s president’s speech did not have an ‘explosive effect’ on the price of XRP as the digital asset oscillated around $0.29 USD, rising barely a percentage or two during the mini all-season.

Well, this is no new trend for investors who have seen the price of XRP dwindle to lows of $0.22 USD since hitting an all-time high price of $3.30 USD in January 2018.

XRP performed poorly against both the dollar and BTC in 2019. Has the price bottomed out?

XRP finally bottomed?

According to crypto trader, Peter Brandt, XRP is breaking out from a diamond pattern which signals a reversal from the long bear momentum in the market. In a series of tweets, Brandt says XRP has finally bottomed out and a break above $0.3801 USD will set the coin towards a trajectory of 50%+ gains.

Peter Brandt stated on Twitter,

If the price, currently at $0.03004 USD, manages to close above the support level at $0.3801, bulls will push the price towards the upper resistance level at $0.4691, Peter wrote on Twitter.

A dawn for XRP at Swell?

The situation on XRP charts is being closely monitored by investors with the Ripple Swell Conference coming up on November 7th and 8th. The highly anticipated conference may see the price move higher with investors expecting positive news from the largest XRP custodians.

One key announcement is the partnership between Ripple and Instimatch, a Switzerland based money market fund, to integrate RippleNET systems and a possible use of XRP to settle the transactions. Instimatch joined R3 Corda earlier in the year and a possible use of XRP is not off the table.

On a question on when the firm is launching on Corda, they responded,

Instimatch might add XRP to its R3 Corda project over SWIFT.

If positive news from the Swell conference pump the price of XRP to the target resistance at $0.50 USD, the coin will have experienced a remarkable feat of 60% returns since the start of October. However, according to one XRP page, investors should manage their expectations towards the conference to avoid disappointment.

Images from Coinmarketcap, Twitter/ @PeterLBrandt, @Instimatch and @XrpCenter

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Author: Lujan Odera

Brazil’s Atlas Quantum, a Bitcoin Trading Firm, Has 1 Day to Give Back Investors’ Money Over $250K of BTC

A court in Brazil has given 24 hours for a company operating in automated bitcoin to refund the money to the two investors it has. In the past few years, Atlas Quantum platform as allegedly faced a lot of difficulties withdrawing funds and making profits since the securities regulator in the country took strict action against it in August.

In a BelnCrypto Brazil report, the Atlas Quantum will have to deposit a total of $250,000 in bitcoins to refund its two aggrieved investors. One of these investors has been in and out of court on the issue since the 4th of September, 2019.

This company is based in Brazil and is responsible for identifying prices and differences in in price in cryptocurrency trading across the various trading avenues on behalf of its customers. The company will then buy a digital asset at the lower price and sell it to customers at a higher price to make a profit.

Reis explains:

“For one, two or three people it is possible to do the operation on time. However, as there are many clients, it is difficult to get the same values ​​for all and, in this case, the investor can lose money.”

According to the bitcoin expert Guilherme Reis, this type of business can truly generate huge profits. Although, the methods are less effective the more people do not buy the bitcoin. Suddenly there are huge amounts of pressure to sell and still make profits to appease the investors. Lack of the necessary withdrawals has led the company’s investors to take the drastic measures.

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Author: James W