Due to Increased Demand, Social Trading Platform Firm eToro Now Supports DOGE

Bitcoin may have brought cryptocurrencies to the limelight, but altcoins seem to be enjoying media attention in recent weeks.

The unprecedented surge in the value of small-cap cryptocurrencies has brought an influx of investors who have called for their listing on popular trading platforms.

The latest is meme-based cryptocurrency Dogecoin (DOGE) which enjoyed great fame following its bullish run in April.

In a few weeks that saw Dogecoin post over 300% increase in value, calls have continued to grow for the meme token to be listed on major crypto exchanges in the US.

The first response is coming from popular brokerage company eToro.

eToro US Lists DOGE

Israeli online brokerage firm eToro announced the listing of parody-based cryptocurrency Dogecoin on its U.S platform.

The listing will see Dogecoin join a host of other popular digital assets like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), as well as, BCH, XRP, TRX, ETC, ADA, DASH, LTC, EOS, MIOTA, XLM, NEO, XTZ, ZEC, LINK, and UNI on the eToro US platform.

The brokerage firm with over 20 million active global users noted that this step was taken due to growing client demand for the meme coin to be listed.

eToro’s decision comes at a point in time when it witnessed remarkable rallies. It’s known as one of the most highly sought-after digital currencies.

It has also received backing from popular figures like Tesla’s Elon Musk and Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban.

Both men have contributed immensely to the continued success of Dogecoin.

At one point, Musk described DOGE as his favorite crypto.

This saw the price of the digital asset climb 20% with a further 10% when he confirmed his appearance on the popular tv show Saturday Night Live.

Cuban has been quite vocal too.

He has spent the better part of 2021 talking about cryptocurrencies and their potential to revolutionize the financial landscape.

In a recent tweet, he compared Bitcoin and gold as stores of value, noting that both are more or less financial religions in how they are used.

He also noted that BTC is easy to trade, create, and store with minimal delivery issues.

Also, Bitcoin allows for the transfer of value domestically and cross-border in contrast to gold which he said can be a hassle.

He also spoke on the decentralized platform Ethereum, which he said is far better, cheaper, and faster in authenticating financial transactions in a trustless manner through smart contracts than conventional financial institutions.

Cuban did not forget to speak about DOGE in his series of tweets. According to the billionaire investor, Doge may become a usable currency if more companies accept the digital coin in exchange for products and services.

Businesses Jumping on DOGE

Top on the list of companies adopting Dogecoin is NBA franchise Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs have since accepted Dogecoin as a form of payment for tickets and online merchandise. The solution was done in partnership with crypto payment provider BitPay.

Other businesses jumping on the Doge train have been consumer electronics company Newegg, Air Baltic, and Canada-based internet service provider EasyDNS.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Gemini Survey Reveals Adults Are Becoming More Interested in Cryptocurrencies

With cryptocurrencies gaining more and more media attention, investors in traditional financial markets are gradually looking into cryptocurrencies. Beyond institutions, more women are starting to get involved with Bitcoin.

14% of US Populace Own Crypto

According to a Gemini State of Crypto Report for 2021 on 3000 US adults, crypto is beginning to broaden its investor base.

The document estimates that 14% of the US population, roughly 21.1 million adults, own crypto assets. It also showed that 74% of these crypto holders are male, while 77% are under the age of 45.

Women are not left out, as they make up 26% of crypto investors.

The document also pointed out that the average age of a cryptocurrency owner is 38 years old, making approximately $111,000 per annum.

Gemini spoke about another group of investors called the “crypto-curious.”

Gemini defines this group as investors who are yet to take the crypto plunge but planning to do so in 2021. This section comprises over 63% of US adults.

About 13% of this group plan to diversify their investment portfolio into cryptocurrencies in the next 12 months.

Gemini notes that this could see 19.3 million new crypto holders coming into the space, which would double the crypto population in the North American nation.

The survey also shows an interesting trend. Women are more likely to buy crypto soon as 53% of female respondents say they plan to own a digital asset by the end of the year. 4% of the current female crypto owners are 55 years or older, and the average age is 44 years.

Regarding demographics, 52% of current investors reside in urban or suburban areas, while 26% are domiciled in small towns and rural areas.

Bitcoin Still Most Dominant Digital Asset

Even though cryptocurrencies are gaining mainstream acceptance and more investors are coming into the crypto space, the knowledge of the various virtual currencies on offer is still lacking.

95% of respondents still associate crypto with Bitcoin and claim partial knowledge of other digital assets.

Even though Ethereum is the second most valuable cryptocurrency globally, just 38% of respondents said they have heard about it.

Bitcoin forks, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, followed after that with 24% and 16% of respondents claiming knowledge about these lesser traded digital coins, respectively.

Foremost stablecoin USDt could only gather 11%, while San-Francisco blockchain firm Ripple Labs’ XRP had 6%. Oracle provider Chainlink had 8% of respondents saying they must have come across it once.

The least known projects were Cardano’s ADA and Polkadot’s DOT which secured a meager 2% given their influence in the crypto space.

This showed that most crypto investors and enthusiasts are still experiencing knowledge gaps regarding the various crypto assets in the blockchain ecosystem. According to Gemini, this can be addressed with accessible educational crypto materials to turn the crypto-curious into active crypto investors.

The survey also noted that most crypto investors view these digital assets as a long-term investment strategy.

A whopping 69% of investors buy and hold for long-term appreciation compared to 36% who trade short-term for profits. 27% of the respondents use digital assets to make purchases online.

Another survey by analytics firm Piplsay points to a growing faith in the safety of trading cryptocurrencies, with 50% of respondents stating their willingness to invest in the space. A further 57% demanded that consumer companies like Amazon and Apple start accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

TIME Now Accepts Crypto as Payment for Subscriptions in the US and Canada

TIME, a global media brand with an audience of 100 million around the world, has announced that it has started accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment for digital subscriptions.

As was reported previously, the company would be HODLing any BTC that they receive, much like electric car maker Tesla when it announced that they are accepting only BTC as payment soon after investing $1.5 billion in it.

This announcement follows TIME’s recent expansion into the cryptocurrency space after it offered an exclusive series of three TIME covers as NFTs at auction.

“We are thrilled to offer cryptocurrency as a payment option for our digital subscribers for the first time.”

Bharat Krish TIME Chief Technology Officer

Currently, this pay with the crypto feature is only available in the U.S. and Canada. But the company plans to roll up the global access in the next several months.

Those subscribers who pay with crypto will receive unlimited access to content across Time.com for 18 months with their one-time purchase, as well as subscriber-only events and offerings.

TIME will accept crypto through its partnership with the cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com that will also offer Pay Rewards of up to 10% back for subscribers who pay with CRO, the native coin of the exchange.

“As TIME continues to innovate and find new ways to build upon our existing community of 2.3 million subscribers, we are proud to offer this new payment option through our partnership with Crypto.com.”

Keith Grossman TIME President

Last month, TIME also opened the position for CFO who has “Comfort with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.”

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Author: AnTy

China Stance on Crypto Remains The Same; Blockchain, Not Bitcoin

In a recent report by Chinese state media Xinhuanet, the Chinese government wants its citizens to stop paying attention to cryptocurrency but concentrate more on blockchain technology, the technology behind the cryptocurrencies.

China is emphasizing that the current rise of almost all crypto coins could seem very attractive to investors, which may not be permanent.

According to the media report, the warning is to protect the Chinese citizens and residents from making life-damaging investment decisions. However, it encourages citizens to invest more time and resources in Blockchain technology since it can be applied in various industries.

The past few weeks had seen the upsurge of Bitcoin price, as it moved above its previous all-time high achieved in 2017 when it reached $20,000 per Bitcoin. The same story goes for other cryptocurrencies. Some even tripled in price, representing massive investment profits for the crypto holder.

Bitcoin’s direction is uncertain

Various market analysts have predicted on the recent Bull Run and where the market is headed next. Some have even predicted that Bitcoin’s price could reach $100,000 soon, as market indices show.

However, China is advising its citizens not to throw their entire investment bag into Bitcoin because the market is highly volatile. Generally, the country is known to be a strong supporter and advocate of advanced technology. But this time, the government is making a distinction between blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Based on the publication, one of the reasons for the advice against cryptocurrency investment is that no one knows why Bitcoin is rising fast. As a result, the fall can be dramatic and very volatile for some investors to bear.

The Chinese government has always been very protective of its citizens when it comes to investments. In the shared post, the government described Bitcoin’s price as a “hype,” and the risk f trading on the top cryptocurrency is very high, according to the post.

Different views about blockchain and cryptocurrency

But when it comes to the technology behind Bitcoin, China is well known to be an ardent optimist. It has made concerted efforts to develop its blockchain industry and has gone a long way towards developing it’s Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) system.

The country has already passed the first stage of its DCEP testing. Additionally, China is in the process of developing its blockchain-based network service. Several public chains have already integrated into the network, including EOS, NEO, Tezos, and Ethereum. But it’s the negative stance of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency remains unchanged.

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Author: Ali Raza

China State-Owned Media Covers Crypto as 2020’s Best Performing Assets Driven by DeFi & Weak Dollar

In an unusual coordinated report on Friday, several Chinese state-owned media covered cryptocurrencies, calling them the best-performing assets of 2020.

The country’s top broadcaster, China Central Television (CCTV), ran a three-minute-long news clip, highlighting crypto assets rallying 70% this year.

“Cryptocurrency has undoubtedly become the top-performing investment” among several other global assets, said the report.

The clip also mentions DeFi and the weak dollar as the two reasons for the crypto bull market this year.

“China is just getting started on DeFi…” said a researcher at crypto fund The Spartan Group who noted the retail investors are likely to go for early DeFi projects in China like DODO and MCDex and the blue chips UNI, YFI, COMP, and MKR that also has a Chinese community.

CCTV also covered ETH being the top performer and fear of inflation driving the growth along with the central banks experimenting with CBDCs as a bull case for cryptocurrencies but government regulations being a major uncertainty.

“There is another following coverage today on CCTV2 abt PBOC encouraging accelerating DCEP adoption and enlarging beta test cases. So previously, coverage on ‘cryptoasset’s top performance’ seems to be related to this DCEP bull narrative in general,” noted Dovey Wan of Primitive Crypto.

A Bullish Affair

All of this got the Chinese crypto community’s attention, who shared the clip on WeChat as a bullish signal.

CCTV’s crypto reporting came after state-owned news agency Xinhua which also published an article titled, “Cryptocurrency is this year’s ‘No. 1 asset’” a day before. Prior to its digital version on Xinhua, the same article appeared on one of the longest-running state media, Cankaoxiaoxi, in print form.

Such a rare coordinated effort is at odds with China’s stance on crypto speculation, but trader Qiao Wage said it is a “misconception” that the Chinese government has always been “hostile” towards Bitcoin and crypto.

“If there was a parallel financial system that could rival the dollar-based system, they would love to be part of it. What they are hostile towards is fraud and speculative craze,” he said, adding, “I do agree with the view that they are against capital flight using crypto, which is pretty obvious.”

Yesterday, the South China Morning Post also reported of at least 1 trillion yuan ($145.5 billion) worth of funds moving out of China into gambling activities every year, aggravating the country’s economic and financial security risk, as per Liao Jinrong, the director-general of the International Cooperation Department under the Ministry of Public Security.

“The volume and speed of cross-border capital flows are unprecedented,” Zhu Min, head of the National Institute of Financial Research at Tsinghua University, was quoted by the People’s Daily mouthpiece this week.

“This will not only result in sustained fluctuations in major world currencies, but will also lead to higher volatility in global financial markets. Therefore, we must be prepared for potential risks,” he said.

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Author: AnTy

G20 Set to Accept Digital Currencies; Green Lights Policy Changes for Regulatory Framework

The G20 members are set to accept digital payments as soon as November 2020, according to the Japanese media outlet, Kyodo News. This shift in attitude towards crypto assets coincides with increasing interest by oversight bodies.

Last year, the G20 was skeptical on digital assets’ ability to impact current financial ecosystems, this now seems to have changed as the members prepare for the annual summit to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Kyodo News detailed that the change in tact towards crypto ecosystems has been influenced by Facebook’s Libra proposal and China’s digital yuan. These two projects hit the crypto scene with a bang, fueling discussions across the board.

While China’s digital yuan is at its sunrise phase, Libra is still facing regulatory challenges. Nonetheless, the G20, which comprises 20 members, including the EU, has seen it fit to lay a framework for digital assets as well.

The changes in policy are scheduled to take effect as of October, just before the G20 annual summit. Discussions will revolve around digital currency use, money-laundering risks, and the challenges of using crypto as a form of payment. With such groundwork in place, G20 is optimistic about spreading the risk attributed to stablecoins as per an October 2019 report.

Global Progress in Digital Asset Frameworks

China continues to lead the way in CBDC progress, having recently piloted a digital yuan. The Asian superpower is now looking to integrate this PBoC backed digital currency with its existing financial ecosystem. Going by China’s active use of mobile payments via Alipay and WeChat, stakeholders are optimistic about a seamless integration in a move that will enhance the CCP oversight in digital payment networks.

The EU has made some fundamental progress in this field, especially in regulation. Currently, crypto-oriented businesses operating within its jurisdiction have to comply with the 5AMLD, which came into play earlier this year.

However, this framework has not been very friendly to all crypto-based entities as some had to relocate shops in search of more accommodating digital asset laws. Finally, the U.S, which has long been skeptical, are also looking into digital assets. CFTC Chairman, Heath Tarbert, recently said that they are waiting on the SEC guidance to go ahead with listing more crypto derivatives in the U.S market.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Stock Market Madness Puts 2017 Altcoin Run to Shame

Mainstream media has time and again taken a dig at the parabolic returns experienced by the cryptocurrency market.

But the stock market is seeing something that even the crypto market hasn’t seen.

Car rental company Hertz enjoyed a 1400% increase in its share prices declaring bankruptcy.

“I’ve been trading for 7 years and I’ve never seen this stock market behave like any other market before. Even the Altcoin run of 2017, markets were over-reactive and bad news would still dump a coin,” said trader Altcoin Psycho. “This is just madness.”

This has been while the likes of Goldman Sachs compares the returns of Bitcoin and Ether with that of “Tulipmania” and equity bubbles in the Nasdaq and stating “cryptocurrencies moved beyond bubble levels in financial markets.”

As such, Goldman Sachs concluded in its client call from just a couple of weeks back, that they “do not recommend bitcoin on a strategic or tactical basis for clients’ investment portfolios even though its volatility might lend itself to momentum-oriented traders.”

They do not recommend gold either because the bullion doesn’t offer reliable downside protection and its correlation with inflation is also “very unstable.”

Retail Creates a Bubble

It wasn’t only Hertz Global Holdings Inc., that experienced such an increase, retailer J.C. Penney’s stocks have jumped 167% since May 15 and oil driller Whiting Petroleum is up 835% since April 1, are among those that have seen their shares more than double. This has been despite being in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a process allowing companies to keep operating while working on a plan to repay creditors.

Pier 1 Imports also more than doubled but is still down 97% since filing for bankruptcy on Feb. 17. Those that have begun planning or bankruptcy like Chesapeake Energy and GNC Holdings also recorded an increase of 182% and 106% respectively on Monday.

Tesla competitor Nikola Motors with zero revenue also surging over 100% is yet another indication of market exuberance.

Retail investors don’t know where to put their money and are buying big names that they recognize or have low prices. But what they aren’t realizing is that they are wagering against a court process where shareholders rarely get anything back.

Under US bankruptcy law, shareholders are the last in line, after lawyers, lenders, and vendors, to get any kind of payout.

This rally in bankrupt shares could be the result of short covering where traders who have bet against a company close their positions by re-buying shares which lifts prices and also fueled by amateur traders using platforms like Robinhood who are currently bored in lockdown and looking for quick money, reported Bloomberg.

“I’ve seen a lot of unusual micro-bubbles over the years. Cannabis. Blockchain. Fuel cells. Space. Electric cars. Etc. But I don’t think I’d have ever guessed before that *bankruptcy* itself would be an exciting investment theme,” tweeted Joe Weisenthal from BloombergTV.

Interestingly, over the last 10 weeks, not a single S&P 500 stock has been down while the economy is struggling with the coronavirus pandemic, nearly 20% unemployment rate, and riots across the US.

The Bitcoin and crypto market, on the other hand, have been holding steady for the last few weeks.

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Author: AnTy

Block.One Targets July 4th For the Launch of Voice, Its Blockchain-Based Social Media Network

EOS protocol publisher, Block.one, has pushed closer the launch of its blockchain based social media platform, Voice. According to a twitter announcement by Voice CEO, Salah Zalatimo, the platform will be open to readers as from the 4th of July.

“We pivoted, and decided to open up our platform for readers on July 4. Only registered user will be able publish or engage.”

Zalatimo who joined Voice earlier in the year noted that the team had been building towards a big reveal in the fall but could no longer wait to disrupt the big tech dominance in social media,

“we simply can’t wait any longer. We need to take social back from big tech NOW. So, we did what startups do.”

Notably, Voice has been in the works since 2019 with its beta launching as recent as February, 2020. This testnet received an overwhelming subscription and Voice is optimistic of a replica as soon as the platform goes live on U.S Independence Day. However, registration will remain on request until August 15th when the onboarded participants can start inviting friends.

Voice Fundamentals

This social media platform aims to compete with the likes of Facebook and Twitter based on its competitive edge, open-source. Basically, the network is powered by EOS built tokens which act as incentives for creatives posting content on Voice. Viewers reward content creators with the tokens which have an underlying value within crypto markets as opposed to the current approach which mostly entails ‘likes’.

The project has since invested as significant amount of funding since it kicked off. Some notable milestones include $150 million allocated towards Voice independent operations in March, 2020. Last year, the firm had spent almost a similar amount in preparation for its platform to go live. In addition, Block.one acquired the domain, Voice.com, for $30 million as it kicked off in June, 2019.

Despite the success to date, this initiative has faced some challenges with users critiquing its ‘privacy’ design. According to the naysayers, Voice is not as private as it purports; this is because the platform’s registration process asks for detailed personal data in the name of crime detection and prevention.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Libra Would Help Usher In ‘Higher Prices’ for Facebook Ads, Says CEO Mark Zuckerberg

During Facebook’s annual shareholder meeting on May 27, 2020, the founder, Chairman, and CEO of the social media giant, Mark Zuckerberg talked about how Libra benefits the company financially. Zuckerberg said,

“Not just Libra, but all of the commerce work that we’re doing is that you should really think about it in terms of our ads business.”

He explained how the auction is an important property of the ads business which means, they don’t set a price, rather every business can just bid for themselves what an ad is worth to them.

This means they can offer the lowest possible price.

It also means those businesses will be interested in bidding more because they will get more and the idea behind offering additional tools, whether it’s around commerce like Facebook Shops or around payments like Libra or Facebook Pay, is to make commerce be more effective for businesses. Zuckerberg said,

“When they run an ad, somebody who clicks on that ad is now going to be more likely to buy something because they actually have a form of payment that works that’s on file, then it basically becomes worth it more for the businesses to bid higher in the ads than what we see are higher prices for the ads overall.

So that’s broadly the strategy around going deeper on commerce and payments.”

Updating the core infrastructure of payment

During the call, he also shared that the payment is an area where the core infrastructure hasn’t been updated in a very long time.

Transferring money or paying for things between countries is still often very difficult as such,

“there are a lot of opportunities with Libra to make the process of commerce and payments helpful — a lot easier.”

This, he believes, isn’t good for people around the world but also the economy overall. He said,

“And we will be able to participate in some amount to that value creation ourselves through higher prices in ads if businesses are succeeding using these tools.”

Just this week, Facebook renamed the wallet Calibra to Novi — a combination of two Latin words: Novus which means “new” and Via meaning “way,” to distance it from the Libra digital currency.

“People were confusing Libra and Calibra all the time,” said David Marcus, Facebook’s head of blockchain. “In hindsight, it’s hard to blame them.”

Libra digital currency was first announced in June 2019 as a global currency that would be nearly free to send across borders. However, since then the project has faced many hurdles.

The fiat-backed digital currency would be governed by the Libra Association made up of 27 companies and nonprofit organizations. Its first chief executive officer, Stuart Levey, was also named earlier this month.

The Association hopes to launch the Libra currency by the end of this year.

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Author: AnTy

Society2 to Launch IOTA Based Decentralized Social Media Platform; Exchange Privacy for MIOTA

Society2, a new decentralized social media initiative by IOTA is trying to change the way the user’s personal data is handled on the internet.

The project called DeSM aims to help consumers regain control of their data and make social media a truly private experience. Though this project, IOTA node owners would be able to run their own social media websites and applications.

Today any internet-based service or application has become a sophisticated data phishing portal where they track and collect user’s personal data on the behest of offering their service.

Social media services, be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or similar other services collect every possible data of the user like their locations, their call record, their search history and then sell it to the highest bidder without any moral check. This not only puts the user’s interest and privacy at danger but if it falls in the wrong hands it can be conveniently used to harass the user as well.

While there have been many decentralized social media initiatives, they never enjoyed widespread adoption and Society2’s team is looking to change the factor.

The developer team has started to develop an IOTA-based DeSM framework that would enable new privacy standards and how the user’s data is shared between social media platforms. Ben Royce, head of development at Society2 said:

“SOCIETY2’s framework is very different from existing social networks. An owner of an IOTA node can run a social media site or app as easily as downloading an open-source template from a menu, customize it or not.”

The developer team has promised that the decentralized social media solution would come with privacy and security controls, which are not available on current, more centralised platforms.

In fact, present social media platforms make it extremely difficult for anyone to read or get notified about privacy policy changes and bury this information at the bottom which can’t be easily found by those unfamiliar with technology and the importance of privacy.

Society2 Users can Decide Who Can Access Their Private Data

The decentralized social media platform would not only give total control of user’s data in their hand, but would also give them the power to decide who can access it, and in return, they receive micropayments and rewards in IOTA.

The social media platform would be strictly based on IOTA’s framework, utilizing its peer-to-peer micropayments system in case a user is ready to offer their data to advisors.

Rayce also revealed that the decentralized social media solution would only support the IOTA token since they believe that the IOTA framework is best suited for such an initiative, having the scalability and security to assure it of being successful.

Society2 Would Work on Top of IOTA Streams

Society2 would not only use the IOTA currency as the fuel for its network, but its framework would work on top of IOTA’s distributed Ledger Technology – called IOTA Streams.

IOTA Streams is a framework for cryptographic applications which would enable social media content encryption and distribution.

The Society2 project was officially launched this week and is expected to deliver an early prototype for DeSM system by Q3 of 2020 for community feedback.

The development team behind the project also believes that the framework for the decentralized social media solution could also be utilized by modern-day social media giants like Twitter. Joseph Skewes, the project’s head of operations said:

“Twitter recently funded the independent team bluesky, which is researching the decentralized social media landscape for a standard that Twitter itself could eventually use. A framework like SOCIETY2 may develop into a suitable candidate for such a platform.”

Skews comments towards the use of their DeSM framework by Twitter could have been inspired by an announcement made by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey towards the end of 2020, where he revealed that they have funded a developer team to develop decentralized standards for social media.

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Author: James W