US Household Net Worth Rises to a Record $119 Trillion Level in Q2

The net worth of American households and non-profit organizations surged in the second quarter to the highest level ever, thanks to the rebound in stocks and fiscal stimulus following a record drop in the previous quarter.

Household net worth increased by 6.8%, or $7.6 trillion, to a record $118.96 trillion, according to a Federal Reserve report. This was the largest quarterly gain since 1952. This is also about $380 billion more than the net worth at the end of 2019.

This increase came despite a record drop of $7 trillion in the previous three months, quarter first, caused by an economic shock from the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the same period, the level of federal government borrowing also soared as lawmakers responded with massive fiscal relief. Additionally, the value of equities increased $5.7 trillion from the prior quarter, while real estate advanced about $458 billion.

In the first quarter, the pandemic and the subsequent shutdowns sent the economy into a recession, which was the deepest since the 1940s. This resulted in a record decline in the household net worth in the first quarter of 2020.

Since then, the economy has been seeing a gradual recovery. Not to mention, the S&P 500’s quick recovery to pre-pandemic levels in mid-August and fresh highs this month. While the Dow Jones Industrial Average remained about 1.5% away from its February peak, Nasdaq jumped 23% higher than the previous ATH.

However, not every American benefited from this growth, as about 45% of the US population doesn’t own equities, according to a June 2020 survey from Gallup.

In the second quarter, in comparison, Bitcoin recorded over 42% returns.

The housing sector also experienced a V-shaped recovery as pent-up demand and record-low mortgage rates boosted sales, but again, one-third of households don’t own a home.

Consumer credit excluding mortgage debt decreased $69 billion during the pandemic, for the first time in four years.

Low-interest rates that the Fed has announced to keep near-zero through 2023, meanwhile bolstered corporate borrowing during this period. While firms’ debt increased at an annualized rate of 14%, federal debt outstanding swelled at a rate of 58.9%.

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Author: AnTy

Tim Draper Tweeted He Bought Bitcoin Cash (BCH) & Thanks Roger Ver; Turns Out To Be A Hack

Twitter hacks targeting the crypto community have become unfortunately commonplace. American VC and serial crypto investor, Tim Draper, appears to be the latest victim of such scams. Well known for his bullish sentiments on Bitcoin, a September 4th tweet vouching for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) came as a surprise to his followers.

Tim-Draper-Bitcoin-Cash
Source: @TimDraper – Now Deleted Tweet

The Bitcoin bull had personally thanked a pseudo ‘RogerVer’ account for a ‘seamless experience in purchasing BCH through the Bitcoin.com platform.’ João Almeida, the co-founder of OpenNode, has since confirmed that a hacker was actually in control of Draper’s account at the time.

“I was in contact with his team. He deleted the tweet as soon as he was aware.”

While this is the only solid confirmation out there yet, some skeptics are of the view that Draper might have been promoting BCH, but it went wrong. A Twitter account dubbed ‘Whale Panda’ highlighted this perspective, noting that it might have been a ‘clueless or paid tweet that backfired.’ Interestingly, the serial cryptopreneur was among the investors in OpenNode’s 2018 seed round.

Like many other crypto investors and innovators, Draper has been associated with some scamming shortfalls, brushing shoulders with the crypto community at times. The Venture Capitalist’s DeFi backed project ‘DeFi Money Market,’ which launched in June, saw Telegram scammers rip off $40,000 from unsuspecting investors during its Initial DEX offering (IDO).

Crypto Scammers Swarming Twitter

As earlier reported by BEG, Twitter has become a playground for crypto-oriented scams. The Jack Dorsey-led social media platform is now a double-edged sword to the crypto community; At the same time, most stakeholders leverage its networking aspect; hackers are on the rise to capitalize on naïve market entrants as well as the unsuspecting crypto enthusiast.

Going by the latest updates, India’s PM Narendra Modi was a recent victim of a crypto giveaway scam that targeted his twitter account. Other prominent personalities that have been hacked similarly include Joe Biden, U.S Democratic presidential candidate in the upcoming elections.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Coinbase Withdraws From Blockchain Association Shortly After Binance.US Joins

  • Coinbase withdraws from the blockchain lobbyist group a day after Binance.US, Binance’s American wing, joined the group.

In a report first published by The Block, Coinbase seems to have withdrawn from the Blockchain Association, a blockchain lobbyist group due to “recent decisions” within the group. The withdrawal follows the recent introduction of Binance.US, a crypto exchange rival to Coinbase, to the lobbyist group.

Coinbase, a founding member of the now-23 team association, wrote a letter addressed to the association claiming its resignation immediately. While the letter did not specifically mention the addition of Binance.US as the cause, the tone of the letter gives away pretty much on Coinbase’s view. Criticizing the membership criteria of the association, the letter reads,

“And while we hope the Blockchain Association remains committed to those values, unfortunately, recent weeks have demonstrated to us that the Blockchain Association is not interested in the membership criteria we had worked to establish to underpin the mission of this organization.”

The letter further states the “shift in organizational goals is not in line” with the plans the exchange had while founding the organization “nor the objectives of the association.”

A spokesperson from the exchange claims the recent decisions by the Blockchain Association hastened Coinbase’s departure, further stating,

“We believe that decisions made now have the potential to irreparably impair the credibility of the Association and make it increasingly difficult for it to achieve its goals and those of its members.”

The resignation from the Association will closely be linked to Binance.US joining the platform, despite all parties involved not commenting directly on the subject. In a tweet sent out on Tuesday, Blockchain Association stated they were disappointed to see Coinbase leave the organization “at a critical time for the industry” but defended their membership criteria saying,

“However, we believe that it is important to abide by our established neutral membership criteria + honor majority Board opinion.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Second US Stimulus Package of $1,200 on the Way as Bitcoin Bulls Gain Momentum

A second stimulus check is on the way for American citizens, according to the White House’s economic advisor, Larry Kudlow. He confirmed this position during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on July 26, signaling that the Fed’s printers might soon be busy again. This news coincides with strong crypto market bulls that have since pushed Bitcoin past $10,360 as of press time.

Earlier, BEG reported that the first stimulus round might have helped Bitcoin recover from black Thursday, given that quite a large number of Americans invested in Bitcoin. Could this new stimulus round push BTC further? A lot is clearly in play, but an injection by the Fed will likely result in a BTC rally, just like other markets have started to recover.

The European Union also recently announced plans to initiate a second Euro stimulus, aiming to distribute close to 1 billion Euros. While a direct correlation has yet to be linked to Bitcoin’s price surge following the announcement last week, speculators see the move by the EU may have contributed to Bitcoin’s price movement. The leading crypto asset had been stable for quite a while, ranging between $9k and $9.3k, but this resistance has since been broken over the past week.

Bitcoin Investors Gained over 40% ROI Since April.

With most of the stimulus payment processes clearing in April, investors who got into the market at the time are now over 45% in profit.

As the March economic downturn took a heavy toll on all sectors, the price of BTC dipped to lows below $4,000, but then eventually climbed back to almost $7,000 at the beginning of April. Looking at these stats, Americans who opted to buy Bitcoin with their stimulus money can cash out with around 40% gains depending on at which point they bought into the market.

Though considered volatile, digital assets such as Bitcoin are proving to be lucrative as fundamentals make inroads to the retail space. No wonder applications like Jack Dorsey’s Cash App are fast catching up with this trend.

The platform recently moved to allows Bitcoin purchases, including an automatic feature for such executions to grow revenue through Bitcoin’s demand. It is quite noteworthy that most of Cash App’s Q1 revenue this year came from Bitcoin purchases, a trend that might replicate itself in an even bigger way should more Americans decide to spend their stimulus on Bitcoin.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Cash App Sponsoring NASCAR Driver Bubba Wallace & Puts Bitcoin Logo on it

African American NASCAR driver Darrel “Bubba” Wallace will now be driving the car and wearing the gear that adorns the Bitcoin logo, shared Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey.

As per the tweet shared by the Square co-founder, Cash App will be sponsoring Wallace, and his race car will feature the logo of Bitcoin and Cash App, the payment platform from Square that allows investors to invest in Bitcoin and stocks.

A staunch bitcoin supporter, Dorsey believes someday the internet will have a native currency, which could be Bitcoin. Recently, he unveiled a Bitcoin emoji on Twitter. Also, his Twitter bio simply reads “bitcoin.”

Now, the bitcoin logo will be seen flying around the race track.

A professional race driver, Wallace, recently made headlines after he pushed NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag from the events during the Black Lives Matter protests.

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Author: AnTy

Is Reddit Adding Blockchain-based Tipping And User Wallets, Real Feature or Clever Mockup?

American social news aggregation and discussion website, Reddit, might finally be integrating a blockchain based system aiming to allow users to tip using crypto. The reports arise from a posted video earlier on April 9 on the platform by Redditor, MagoCrypto.

Reddit is implementing a points system on the blockchain! (Official Reddit app on Android) from CryptoCurrency

Reddit recent reports to switching to the blockchain system, is a big switch from the once crypto-unfriendly social media site. The app apparently banned cryptocurrency ads on its platform back in 2016. However, the recent news gives hope to users as a video emerged of experimentation using blockchain or a cryptocurrency-related to rewarding posts.

Reddit is trying to roll out a blockchain-based points system where like most cryptocurrencies the points will have value. Each user through their accounts will be able to see their points. If Reddit can successfully incorporate blockchain onto its ecosystem, needless to say that would be a giant step towards its mainstream adoption generally.

It’s not yet fully clear though on the authenticity of the posted video since Reddit hasn’t yet officially commented on the same. To add on top of this, no clarity has been issued on which blockchain they are using. One of the top comments on their platform simply asked “Which blockchain?” but none could clarify on the same which invites a lot of uncertainty.

As reported, the points will have value and apparently can be sent to other Redditors as cryptocurrency. Redditors out there are still in the dark however on whether these points can be sent outside the Reddit app. Regardless of all lingering questions and those that may arise sooner, the points might bring on board other different functionalities on the Reddit scheme. Reddit’s development as a website will highly be contributed by the speed in which all these uncertain questions will be brought to light.

With r/Bitcoin boasting 1.4million members and r/Cryptocurrency at 994,000, its evident that Reddit has for a considerable amount of time been a popular source of viable information for cryptocurrency projects. Though we might have to wait and see, it is the hope of all crypto-loving Redditors that the new blockchain-based system will come good.

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Author: Lujan Odera

After The Crypto Price Crash During COVID-19, BTC Mining Hash Rate Has Regained 34%

A North American Bitcoin mining operator Bitfarms shared that they continued to mine BTC despite the violent sell-off triggered by investors’ fear over the COVID-19. Interim CEO and Chief Strategy Officer, Emiliano Grodzki said,

“We are pleased to see that, despite the challenges to traditional markets, our scale and quality of operations has allowed us to continue to generate positive cash flow in these difficult times.”

From the price drop to the recovery of the price to $6,000, the company maintained an average daily hashrate of approximately 630 petahash per second which again increased to about 750 PH.

By reducing the staff temporarily in line with government guidance and implementing permanent measures to reduce overhead costs, they are looking to cut down their expenses by 20 to 25%.

According to John Rim, the CFO, they will be “best positioned” to withstand the short-term volatility and remain profitable come halving.

Significant Percentage of Bitcoin Miners can still Exit

In the past few weeks, the bitcoin price has recovered from the low of $3,850 hit during the crypto carnage to surging above $7,400 on Tuesday.

As we reported, not just price but network fundamentals have also been showing recovery signs. Bitcoin miners have turned profitable yet again and more than 34% more hash has been added in just over two weeks, meaning new rigs have been added to mine BTC.

Recently, on-chain analyst Willy Woo shared bullish miner charts, with the Hash Ribbon and Miners Energy ratio recovering. According to him, the 45% drop in hash rate in March saw some miner capitulation and now he isn’t expecting any more sell pressure from miners.

However, according to Matt D’Souza, Hedge Fund Manager and CEO of Blockware Solutions, a crypto mining service, it is likely that a meaningful percentage of inefficient miners will still be removed from the bitcoin network. However, he advised keeping the demand side in mind as,

“price is made up of supply & demand. Inefficient miners can remain if the funds & hodlers (demand side economics) counter-balance sell pressure by raising new fiat into the system. Bitcoins fundamentals are better than ever.”

Overall, it all depends on the if price and if Bitcoin price continues to move higher, all the miners will be operating at healthy margins, that is until either difficulty pulls back or price corrects. D’Souza said,

“Sustaining margins for the long term determines inefficient vs efficient miners.”

Come halving next month, the miner flow will cut down in half from 1800 BTC per day to 900 BTC per day. In order for the miners to remain profitable, the BTC price needs to rise as the cost of mining one BTC will surge between $12,000 to $15,000.

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Author: AnTy

2020 US Presidential Candidate Proposes Launch Of AmeriCoin Backed By ‘All’ Federal Assets

  • This 2020 Presidential candidate proposes a token to help Americans achieve the “American dream”.
  • Libertarian candidate, Adam Kokesh, appointed well-known cryptocurrency advocate – Alastair Caithness – as head of blockchain policy, with a dream to launch the AmeriCoin.

According to Kokesh, the proposed token will enable the American government to relinquish power back to the locals. The AP press release further wrote that AmeriCoin will develop a new monetary system that replaces the outdated and largely expensive fiat currency for the American people.

If he wins, the token will be distributed to all American people equally in a form of universal basic income (UBI) and reparations to citizens under poor government policies and taxes. Alastair Caithness said,

“AmeriCoin has the potential to restore liberty to all people in the United States, and we are building a dream team of blockchain experts to join me in developing this important project.”

The AmeriCoin token is a stablecoin backed by the combination of all of the government’s assets from bonds, land, energy, and gold among others. The token will be based on a blockchain working a similar payment system to Bitcoin, the top cryptocurrency.

To see the AmeriCoin plan come to fruition, Adam appointed Caithness, the CEO of Ziyen Energy, a technology-driven company focused on the tokenization of energy infrastructure assets. Having launched a cryptocurrency based on Ziyen products, Caithness is looking to bring her experience and skills to the AmeriCoin project too. She said,

“I am confident that Adam’s initial idea to create an American cryptocurrency can be combined with the rapid advances in the architecture of asset-backed tokenization to develop AmeriCoin as a force for financial freedom.”

The politicians in the U.S Presidential election have shown little care for the field during their campaigns. Of the vast number of candidates, only Andrew Yang, a crypto enthusiast, now dropped out of the Democratic presidential candidate race and Kokesh has shown an affinity to the industry.

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Author: Lujan Odera

CULedger Rolls Out Blockchain Identity Platform, MemberPass For Commercial Use

On Feb. 21, CULedger, a fintech company that is backed by the American trade association, announced that it has commercially rolled on its blockchain identity platform dubbed MemberPass following successful testing of the platform late last last year.

CULedger which operates as a credit union service organization (CUSO), focuses on offering a peer-to-peer services platform for verifiable and authentic exchange financial cooperatives. The not-for-profit organizations, credit unions serve their registered members by offering such services like deposits, provision of loans as well as various related financial services.

CULedger has been exploring on how blockchain technology can be used in enhancing cybersecurity for members, lower the operation costs as well as come up with ways to reduce fraud risks for credit union members. The new product, MemberPass platform is developed to verify transactions among the credit unions via distributed ledger technology (DLT).

The new platform is regarded as the inaugural KYC platform to be built on blockchain and will enable the network members to have control of their identity. This will give the members a chance of having a standardized platform that will help them verify themselves within their respective credit unions.

Apart from commercially launching the MemberPass platform, three extra credit unions were also added in the pilot program. The press statement revealed that Eagle Express, Achieva and HawaiiUSA credit unions became the latest members of the platform. This means that the pilot program now boasts of 11 credit unions which are deploying the platform.

According to CULedger CEO John Ainsworth, stated that MemberPass was developed with an effort to deal with various privacy issues within the industry. He explained,

“Our previous pilots have showcased the need in the industry and how members can benefit from heightened security. Allowing members to have control of their information provides a sense of security that has slowly disappeared from financial services and is becoming increasingly important in this new digital age.”

CULedger fruitfully finished the MemberPass pilot projects in mid-December last year which involved three credit unions namely; TruWest, Unify Financial and Desert Financial credit unions, Cointelegraph reports.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

IOTA, Eclipse Foundation Form Working Group To Explore Tangle Tech In Commercial Uses

The American computer company, Dell is one of the 15 companies that has joined an IOTA working group because it wants to see how the Tangle technology can integrate into commercial solutions.

The open-source software developer Eclipse Foundation and IOTA made on Tuesday the announcement that the Tangle EE working group is going to start some projects that aim to develop commercial solutions for the technology developed by IOTA. Tangle is the scalable distributed ledger (DLT) network created by IOTA, which is different from blockchains in the sense that it uses a system that has users confirming their transactions while sending out new ones.

Other Important Names Involved in the Tangle Working Group

As said before, there are 15 companies that have joined the Tangle working group as founders. Aside from Dell, 2 of these other companies are the University of Magdeburg and STMicroelectronics, the German provider of electronics. This is what the Eclipse Foundation’s executive director Mike Milinkovich had to say about his foundation’s role with Tangle:

“The Eclipse Foundation will provide a vendor-neutral governance framework for open collaboration, with IOTA’s scalable, feeless, and permissionless DLT as a base. By doing so, we will accelerate the development of new applications built with this transformative technology.”

Many Companies Waiting to See Tangle Tested

The IOTA Foundation’s co-founder Dominik Schiener said that many companies are waiting to see the Tangle code tested before integrating it, so they’re waiting on reviews from other firms. Schiener thinks the working group that will enable the testing of the technology is very important for realizing the vision at IOTA.

Dell Will Help to Increase Access to IOTA’s Tech and More

According to David Sonstebo, IOTA’s co-founder, Tangle will give more people access to the IOTA technology. The first Tangle projects will be creating decentralized marketplaces and identities that can make real-time trading easier. According to Steve Todd from Dell, the computer company’s data marketplaces will continue to rise until this decade ends. Here are his exact words on what joining Tangle could bring:

“By 2030, trillions of dollars of data will be exchanged and one of the reasons for joining Tangle is to help our customers move towards that reality.”

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Author: Oana Ularu