SWIFT Rep Calls Crypto Useless Because Of Volatility But Facebook-led Libra Could Disrupt Payments

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) has recently talked about cryptocurrencies. According to the organization, cryptocurrencies are useless because they are too unstable.

SWIFT representatives claimed that the value of Bitcoin and other cryptos goes down like a yoyo, which makes it untrustworthy. They believe that even if some crypto companies can make a more stable investment, it is because they offer a basket of currencies.

The members of the group also affirmed that they do not feel threatened by cryptos, but they are fairly aware of their issues. For instance, they recognize that SWIFT payments can take a lot of time.

However, despite being aware of all these issues with efficiency, the group does not feel threatened by SWIFT. Even solutions such as Ripple’s xRapid, which basically can do the same that SWIFT does now, is not recognized as a threat, at least publicly.

Curiously, the main rival that was actually recognized by SWIFT is Libra, the new stablecoin created by Facebook. The new crypto-like currency will be used on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram and it will reach the 2.7 billion user base of Facebook if the project is approved in the whole world.

Despite these concerns, however, SWIFT believes that the impact of the new Libra initiative can be limited. Facebook is facing a lot of scrutiny around its plans and the regulators do not seem very eager to approve its new token, so this might mean that the market may not be so affected if some countries decide not to accept the new token.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

SEC Chair Talks About Bitcoin ETF: There Is Still Work Left To Be Done

The Chairman of the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jay Clayton, has recently talked about the Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), which is one of the main interests that crypto traders have. According to the chairman, the market is making some progress, but there is still work left to be done before the ETF can finally be approved.

He was recently interviewed by CNBC and claimed that there are still concerns, despite visible progress. According to him, there is one central question: how to trust an asset which has its price based on unregulated exchanges.

Clayton affirms that most exchanges are not regulated, so they can engage in manipulation easily. Because of this, people need to be comfortable with the answers to this kind of question before they can really determine how to deal with a possible Bitcoin ETF. These questions, Clayton believes, are far from trivial.

His answers indicate the position that the SEC will take in the upcoming decision about the ETF, which is set to happen in a few weeks from now. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that these proposals will pass.

One of them was submitted by VanEck and SolidX together with CBOE. The other Bitcoin ETF proposal was created by Bitwise Asset Management with NYSE Arca. Both of them made an effort to convince the SEC to approve them, but it does not seem that their arguments were compelling enough to fully convince Clayton.

The final deadline for these proposals to be accepted or rejected is October 13 for Bitwise and October 18 for VanEck and SolidX. Only then we’ll have the official answer, but the answers may indicate that the Bitcoin ETF will not be launched in 2019.

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Author: Lillian Peter

Prior US Congressman: Crypto Needs A Nuanced Legislation, Avoid Half-Measures

Harold J. Ford, a former U. S. Congressman, has recently talked about the regulation of crypto assets in the country. According to him, there is a need for a more nuanced approach in order to properly regulated these assets. Failing to do it would harm innovation in the country and put it behind other nations.

He noted that countries such as Malta, Belarus and Gibraltar are all considerably smaller than the U. S. and yet they are ahead of the U. S. when it comes to developing crypto frameworks, which makes them more attractive to investors and innovators. According to him, the U. S. should not miss this opportunity to work with the technology.

During a recent interview with CNBC, he affirmed that it is important that the regulation is clear and that there is separate legislation for decentralized cryptocurrencies and for projects like Facebook’s Libra, which are at the center of the regulators’ attention these days. These are two different initiatives for very different purposes.

The legislation, Harold J. Ford defends, has to be nuanced and take into account how cryptos work to be successful. He also took a jab at the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), affirming that the SEC should actually take the lead in regulating this environment, not ignoring it or being against it.

In fact, the crypto sector seems to be having trouble with the regulation in the country. Despite how more mainstream cryptos have become, the government is yet to create clear, nuanced and comprehensive legislation about this booming market. How much do we have to wait? If it depended on Ford alone, not too much.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Bitcoin Cash Can’t Mine Blocks Over 2 MB, Developer Suggests

A developer of the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network has recently talked about the mining capabilities of the popular cryptocurrency. Amaury Séchet, a prominent developer of the community, has recently suggested that the network could not mine any block larger than 2 MB.

Séchet is known for being the lead dev behind the first implementation of Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin ABC. For him to admit this is a big deal, especially when we remember why BCH and Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) split. Roger Ver, the creator of BSV, has championed bigger blocks as the cure for all the problems that could be found in Bitcoin.

Some people, such as “Grubles”, the engineer from Blockstream, affirmed that it was not really a big deal, but others seemed concerned about the problems that could arise from the newly found limit.

AvatarX, the forum moderator of Bitcoinated, claimed that BCH was not even able to maintain blocks of over 1 MB for 30 days straight, so it was not really that surprising to find out that the network actually had problems to go other the 2 MB mark.

Recently, BCH has been falling in comparison with BTC, so this reveal is certainly not getting people any more bullish. One of the reasons why BCH was created was to actually have big blocks that could be more efficient, so not being able to provide an answer for this problem can certainly become a problem for the network in the long term.

Ever since its latest hard fork back in November last year, the BCH team has been facing more and more difficulties, so its future is uncertain right now.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Billionaire Mike Novogratz Says Cryptos Are A Lot Like Peloton, Comments on BTC Up 180% in 2019

Mike Novogratz, the owner of Galaxy Digital, has recently talked about the crypto market. According to him, the institutions will really enter the market when the prices start to rise again. He believes this because he is already seeing how they are slowly entering the market.

The trader affirmed that mainstream adoption is slower than many people tend to think, so they need to be slow but affirmed that it was a certainty that they would eventually enter the market.

Novogratz also affirmed that it could take five to six years before the crypto market would really start to affect the lives of everybody. The bull run of 2017 made people see the market in an unrealistic way and make them believe that the revolution was just around the corner when a change takes time.

He also compared cryptocurrencies to Peloton Interactive. This company is promoting its Initial Public Offering (IPO) this week, but it prepared for eight years before it reached this point. Novogratz was one of the seed investors and he compared both investments to show how it may take time until something is ready to finally achieve its potential.

Despite the “slow” adoption, Bitcoin is still around 200% up this year. Not a bad result. There are several factors that are still in the way of mainstream adoption, for instance, regulation. In any case, Bitcoin is generally faring better and we’ll probably see better results soon if are to believe Novogratz.

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

ShapeShift Addresses Recent Vulnerability on KeepKey Wallet


ShapeShift, a crypto hardware wallet company has recently talked about the vulnerabilities that were found on its KeepKey wallets. According to the company, someone recently submitted a report that a vulnerability was found in the system.

This issue could be used to read the screen of the wallet and to do a side-channel attack. Basically, people could use it in order to discover sensitive information by looking at the screen remotely.

However, in order to be able to use this vulnerability, the hacker would need to engage in a very complex process. For instance, in order to see the information on the screen, the energy consumption of the victim’s device would need to be monitored with an oscillometer.

This would require considerable physical access, so there are ways that are much more easy to get information. What does this mean? The vulnerability does exist, but it is highly impractical.

It would be simply easier to use other strategies such as simply looking at the screen, as you have to be in near physical space to exploit this vulnerability.

According to ShapeShift, it would be highly difficult to successfully interpret the data even in the case that the device was actually hacked via this complicated process. Because of this, the company claimed that it was unlikely that people would use this method to steal money or information.

Also, many recovery phrases are shown at the same time on the screen, so it is hard to tell which words are the right ones using this new method.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Max Keiser on Trump Comments About Bitcoin Showing The Importance Of This Digital Asset

  • Trump talked about Bitcoin saying it has no intrinsic value
  • He has also mentioned that the real currency is the U.S. dollar

Bitcoin (BTC), the largest digital currency in the market, has been in the media during the last days not only for the volatility that experienced but also because the U.S. president, Donald Trump, wrote a Tweet about it. The president of the U.S. said that he is not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and that they cannot be considered money.

Trump Slams Bitcoin

In a recent tweet uploaded by Mr. Trump, he said that he is not a fan of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and that they are not money. In addition to it, he said that their value is volatile and based on thin air. He has also attacked them by claiming that they facilitate “unlawful behavior,” such as drug trade and other illegal activities.

However, the U.S. dollar can also be used with ease to perform illegal crimes and activities. Criminals would clearly perform their crimes using different currencies, and both the U.S. dollar and the Euro help individuals perform illegal activities as well.

He went on saying that Libra, Facebook’s recently released virtual currency, will have “little standing or dependability.” He explained that if Facebook or other companies in the market want to become a bank they will have to follow banking regulations in a similar way as other banks do.

Facebook has decided to release a digital asset called Libra that would be used by individuals around the world to perform transactions and pay for goods and services. Although the virtual currency has not yet been released to the market, there is a lot of speculation about it and how countries will regulate it.

He ended the series of tweets by saying that there is only one real currency in the United States and that it is stronger than ever. Moreover, he mentioned that the U.S. dollar is the most dominant currency anywhere in the world and it will always be like that.

A few days ago, the U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, commented on Bitcoin saying that in the future there might be a moment in the U.S. in which several currencies will be operating together, as it already happened in the past. He has also compared Bitcoin to gold rather than considering it as a means of payment.

On the matter, Powell mentioned during a Senate testimony:

“If we do see widespread adoption you could see a return to an era in the United States where we had many different currencies in the so-called national banking era.”

Bitcoin is starting to play an important role in geopolitics. The president of the United States talking about it a few days after the chairman of the FED considered it a “speculative store of value,” is something that should call the attention of analysts.

The cryptocurrency analyst Luke Martin, wrote on Twitter that with the tweet written by Donald Trump, another nation can publicly announce its support for the digital asset.

“From taboo, to fringe finance, to now a geopolitical chess piece that governments and central banks have to consider,” he commented.

Although Trump didn’t mention anything about it, most of the mining activities on the Bitcoin network take place in mainland China. This is why there are many individuals that claim that Bitcoin is centralized and that any decision that China takes could certainly affect the network as a whole.

Joe Kernen, the co-host of CNBC’s Squawk Box, explained that cryptocurrencies are the first money in the world that is not governed by a legal-regulatory institution but by mathematics. This is certainly real. It is something that worries many nation-states due to the fact they do not have control over it.

Furthermore, the Bitcoin bull Max Keiser believes that if Bitcoin is adopted by nations, it could help the digital currency reach $100,000 in the future.

There are different countries around the world that are trying to find a way to depend less on the U.S. dollar but that would allow them to move funds from one country to another. This is why they are also thinking about embracing Bitcoin.

At the time of writing this article, Bitcoin is being traded around $11,565 and it has a market capitalization of over $206 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

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Author: Carl T

Non-Private Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) Will Not Be of Interest Per Banxico Governor

Non-Private Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) Will Not Be of Interest Per Banxico Governor

Javier Calafell, the deputy governor of the Bank of Mexico (Banxico) has recently talked about central bank digital currencies (CBDC). To him, they will not be able to hold a lot of interest for the general public unless they are able to be used in a fully anonymous way.

He talked about this during a speech held by the U. S. Federal Reserve Bank and the OMFIF Foundation. During the speech, he was focused on the potential solutions and problems that can be created with the rise of these currencies.

Calafell outlined some of the advantages that these tokens issued by Central Banks can have. According to him, they can offer security of payments and cost-effectiveness for the user. However, he was also very eager to point out all the issues that can be caused by this kind of currency.

In his opinion, the CBDCs are mostly ineffective because there are already some existing digital payment systems that can have most of their functions, so they are not even really needed in the first place. Since the Central Bank handles most of the payments, their so-called back-up function is not even that useful.

He also affirmed that cash is set to decline significantly in use soon and the issuance of CBDCs will probably not change that. People are just going to use less cash because they have better options today.

The Anonymity Paradox: CBDCs Can’t Be Private, But They Need To

The main problem found by the bank expert was that CBDCs cannot have privacy features but they need it in order to be used.

At one hand, the governments would have trouble if they allowed a digital currency that was fully anonymous. At the other, the general public does not want to use something that does not have enough privacy, as they will not feel protected enough. He affirmed that anything with less than “full anonymity” will fail because it will lack the needed adoption in order to be successful.

He did highlight, however, that CBDCs can still be considered to be very early in their development, so they have some potential with them. He does not believe that our current understanding of the technology is enough in order to create something useful but that the notion should not be completely ignored.

According to his conclusion, this is the time to be open to innovation and to pay attention to the new technologies which are emerging, as they might prove to be useful. However, it is also very important to be cautious when adopting these technologies as they may have some important implications that we are still not fully aware of.

The subject will continue to be discussed. Recently, the International Monetary Fund, an organization which is very interested in the subject, reported that more central banks are bound to launch CBDCs soon. When the first ones do it we’ll finally be able to see what the future holds.

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Author: Gabriel Machado