Libra Whitepaper Gets Updated, Association Members Won’t Get Paid On Reserve Asset Profits

  • The new whitepaper doesn’t use interest to pay early investors, which are predominantly involved in the Libra Association.
  • The interest will still go towards operational costs, keeping transaction fees low, and further development.

Ever since the Libra Association released their whitepaper for their crypto asset (Libra), there have been many regulators pushing for change. Reports by CoinTelegraph shed light on a recent article by Chris Brummer, a law professor at Georgetown University, discussing the new changes that the whitepaper has gone through. Apart from the amendments that were expected with the new list of members, the Libra whitepaper also removed the dividends that were meant to be paid out to early investors in the project.

The original whitepaper for Libra, published in June 2019, stated that the interest accrued for the reserve assets would be used for multiple purposes, including the coverage of system costs, and supporting growth. One of the other uses for the interest was meant to be used towards paying dividends to Libra Association members as the earliest investors in the project. However, the revision has created the following change:

“Interest on the reserve assets will be used to cover the costs of the system, ensure low transaction fees, and support further growth and adoption.”

Brummer stated that the possible reach for the change is that, by awarding dividends to early investors, there’s the possibility of a conflict of interest with the Libra Association members and the currency’s end-users. The reserve assets need to be stable to promote the update of the Libra token, and paying out dividends would put the reserve at risk with other assets. Trust would be reduced or lost entirely, resulting in a lack of uptake for the asset, since the stablecoins rand to lose their value.

Another potential reason for the changes is to address the worries that Libra and other stablecoins could end up being defined as a security, which is the hope of two lawmakers. Still, Brummer remarked that this new definition won’t likely happen, since stablecoins generally keep the same value.

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Author: Krystle M

DigixDAO Offers DGD Token Holders The Option To Dissolve The $56 Million ETH Treasury

DigixDAO, a blockchain project which tokenizes gold on the Ethereum platform with the DGD token, made headlines on the 29th of November when they addressed the community saying they would offer an option to its token holders to either completely liquidate the treasury or keep making grants unless the project sees some headway. Interestingly, right after the announcement, the price of the native token DGD has seen a significant bump. DGD was trading at around $10 mark on 29th and currently, it has reached $19.

The blog post was written by the firm’s CEO Kai Cheng Chng, who noted that the community from now on will be given the option to vote whether they want to keep DAO’s Ethereum treasury intact.

Digix conducted its ICO in 2016 and collected around 466,648 ETH in public sales which were worth the value of around $6 million to $7 million. Cheng mentioned that they had 386,000 ETH in their treasury but DGD token’s market cap is a mere $39 million while if we calculate the value of the ETH held in the treasury it comes to around $58 million.

Should All ICOs Offer a Token Buyback Option?

The decision by Digix has prompted a discussion in the decentralized space on whether more projects should offer a similar exit plan for unsatisfied investors. The discussion seems legit in the light of the fact that a significant majority of projects which raised 100s of millions of dollars have either turned out to be a Ponzi scheme or they are not able to make any headway in terms of development on the project.

Ryan Zurrer, an investor himself welcomed the idea and believed that more people should call out such projects who are sitting on millions of investors’ capital without doing much with it. Nic Carter from Castle Island Ventures agree with Zurrer and called the move from Digix quite mature.

Ricky Li from Autonomy, a token trading company, however, does not agree with Zurrer’s point of view and explained that most of the ICOs raise capital to develop their project and bring real-world value, so it’s highly unlikely they would be keen on buying back their token using the treasury holdings. He said,

“ICOs are not really keen on buying back the tokens with their treasury holdings since they raise money to develop, not speculate on the token price,”

Many others like Mona El-Isa, CEO of Avantgarde Finance were undecided whether it was a good move or not. El-Isa explained why the same parameter cannot be used for every project and said,

“It’s hard to generalize on whether this would be a good or bad thing for space as each situation has its own unique characteristics. Some of these tokens will become very interesting token-activist opportunities. It’s a little bit surprising that we haven’t seen much of that yet.”

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Author: Hank Klinger

Ripple’s Real-Time Settlement Tech Gets Recognition by US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Ripple (XRP), which is a real-time gross settlement system and currency exchange network known for its use in cross-border payments was recently mentioned in an official US CFPB document. Most of the content in this document was based on changes and the future of remittance markets.

This is the first time in its existence that the 3rd largest cryptocurrency, in an official US document referenced the exchange. Ripple’s tech is an enabling real-time global payments system based on the blockchain network. The firm has invested in a number of small and medium sized businesses, mostly focusing on improving computer communication and exchange of information between blockchain platforms and Decentralized finance (DeFi) space.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, (CFPB) which is an independent US agency, has since suggested a more accommodative approach regarding their settlement rule. For organizations that generate a defined amount in transfers for money each year, compliance costs are to be reduced. However, the document mentions that the rise and fast adoption of digital technologies offered by cross-border payment providers has brought about substantial changes in the remittance market. Such technologies are like Ripple, SWIFT Global Payment Innovation (SWIFT GPI) and non-bank financial companies.

In the document, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau mentions that the adoption of Ripple’s XRP will go hand in hand with banks. It will be possible for banks to see the total of their transmission that will be collected by recipients prior to the transaction. For XRP and the crypto industry at large, this new system represents a major milestone in their overall service delivery. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, however, maintains that this new change might not take over by wave but will take some time before it is fully running.

The CFPB understands that however much the crypto industry is gaining mass adoption and popularity, it is very much unlikely that they will replace the traditional banking systems anytime soon.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ethereum’s Istanbul Hard Fork Goes Live After A Month-long Successful Upgrade

Ethereum network is currently undergoing a series of upgrades which is lined up to 2021 when the Ethereum network would completely move to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus from its current Proof-of-work (PoW) mining consensus. The network has successfully completed its Istanbul upgrade, which has been a month-long process, finally commencing on December 8th at 0:25 UTC.

The Istanbul Hardfork was the 8th such major upgrade on the network since its inception and third in 2019, the previous two being February’s St. Petersburg and Constantinople hard forks. The hard-fork took place on Ethereum’s 9,069,000th block.

The Istanbul hard-fork was pegged to be a major milestone in the run-up to its main goal of making the Ethereum network faster and cheaper. The upgrades goal was implemented to improving six crucial Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), out of these six EIPs three namely EIPs 1108, 2028, 2200 were aimed at reducing the Gas cost of various operations on the platform.

The other EIPs improvement included Denial-of-service (DDoS) attack resilience on EIP 1344 and Interoperability with equihash-based proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrencies such as zCash on EIP 152.

Vitalik Buterin claimed Ethereum would support 3,000 tps after Istanbul hard-fork

Back in November, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin had claimed that Etheruem would be able to process 3,000 transactions every second after the Istanbul hard-fork.

Scalability has been pressuring issues for Ethereum for the past couple of years especially after it became a hub for dApps. In order to improve that aspect, the developers have planned an elaborate series of upgrades and finally changed its mining protocol, which for sure would help in mining blocks more efficiently.

The code upgrade also led to the breaking of 680 smart contracts on Aragon

The 8th hard-fork on the Ethereum network for sure improved upon many shortcomings of the network right from lowering gas costs, to an increase in the number of transactions and also giving more power to the developers of the smart contract. However, the upgrade in code also led to the breaking of almost 680 smart contracts on a decentralized governing platform Aragon.

Jorge Izquierdo, CTO of Aragon One said that even though they support the continuous development on the Ethereum network, the developers should also make note of other developers on the network. The hard changes in the code meant that the smart contracts currently in work running on previous network code have to be broken.

“Developers don’t want to build on a moving target, and backward compatibility should be taken seriously as well,” Izquierdo said in an email to CoinDesk Friday.

“Ethereum is not a toy anymore, it’s a platform with a sizable investment and a big reach, and as such changes like this need to be professionally measured before being taken.”

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Author: Hank Klinger

Blockchain In Retail Market Expected To Grow By 60% Through Next Five Years: Report

  • Research & Markets is an analyst research group, which recently evaluated the blockchain industry.
  • The report suggests that Asia and Australia are positioned to be leaders over the next five years.

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As blockchain technology reaches countries around the world, retailers are starting to take note as well. Considering this interest, an analyst group called Research & Markets has recently released their report on the trends of blockchain around the world, covering the next five years. According to this data, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the retail industry’s use of blockchain technology will reach 60.4% from now until 2024.

Much of the discussions on this matter are predicted to involve solutions using smart contracts, when it comes to adopting blockchain technology. Billing, supply chain management, and inventory management are expected to be automated with the use of smart contracts, along with other internal business operations.

By using smart contracts for the automation of payment processors, companies are able to save money as they eliminate the gateway operators that ordinary charge massive fees for these transactions. The use of smart contracts also allows companies to spend less time and money on auditing and accounting.

The report states that Asia will continue its role as a major player in the retail industry, as it hosts multiple startups for e-commerce. Australia also stands to be a solid competitor, as Research & Markets draws attention to a new pop-up store by Alibaba. This store is presently backed with blockchain transactions.

There’s already been a few financial services companies in Australia to team up with IBM and the Scentre Group for a pilot program, which would use a private blockchain to record retail lease bank guarantees. The Scentre Group is a shopping center operator.

In Russia, the analysts drew attention to their recent experience with Dixy, a food retailer with low costs that has already used blockchain tech for the purpose of tracking products from suppliers and factoring firms. Factoring firms are third parties that help businesses raise funds by purchasing discounted invoices from the business.

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Author: Krystle M

World Economic Forum States That Stablecoins Could Temper US Dollar Domination Risk

  • Stablecoins are pegged directly to a specific asset, which could inherently increase domination of the dollar.
  • The debt of the US rose “to levels not seen since the Second World War” with the 2008 crisis.

Stablecoins are cryptocurrency assets with their value tied to a specific asset, like gold or the US dollar. They serve many purposes in the industry, but an opinion piece in the World Economic Forum states that they may be able to curb the potential threat of global foreign currency reserves domination of the US dollar. This suggestion was made by John Liu (Fusion Foundation) and Peter Lyons (Lapa Capital) in an article published on November 26th.

The Fusion Foundation focuses their non-profit efforts on the development of blockchain technology’s infrastructure, for the purpose of decentralized global finance. Lapa Capital, on the other hand, focuses on tech-related investments and is based in New York.

Both Liu and Lyons have pushed to maximize the potential of stablecoins to create a more “sustainable, inclusive, and resilient global system” for investments and trading, as well as banking and payments. The authors shed light on the fact that, of all foreign reserves that are presently held at central banks, the dollar accounts for 62%, based on data from IMF for Q1 2019.

The domination of the dollar has pushed along the systemic threats that have been seen since the financial crisis in 2008. Back then, the investors around the world clamored around the “safe” assets, which were also based in the dollar, which created a massive liquidity crunch around the world.

Even as the authors overlooked the risks, as small as they could be, locking up the USD reserves within bonds for the government just prolonged the skewed economy around the world. As a result, US interest rates remained low, while the debt rose “to levels not seen since the Second World War.” The authors added, “A global scarcity of USD creates major headwinds for US exporters, widening the trade deficit and pressuring economic growth.”

Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England has continually argued that having a diverse digital currency would reduce the need that the world has to rely on the dollar, and it could even function as a new currency for international reserves. This type of stablecoin would, in an ideal world, be weighted in multiple currencies, like the yen, the British pound, the euro, and the dollar.

The main point of the article by Liu and Lyons is that the development of stablecoins must prioritize blockchain interoperability if there’s any chance of diversifying the source of global liquidity. In doing so, trade flows can effectively be balanced. If a stablecoin fails, regardless of whether it is privately issued or issued by a central bank, there’s a risk of it simply taking the place of the dollar’s dominance, but with a digital body.

Benoit Coeure, a board member of the European Central Bank, stated that global stablecoins remain untested, which leaves the possibility of threatening the “autonomy and resilience of European payments system.” Right now, the ECB is considering their own launch of a central bank digital currency, though they are still focusing on the impact that such an asset could have on the currency intermediation of the financial sector.

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Author: Krystle M

Bitcoin’s Long Term Parabolic Uptrend “Intact,” BTC Price Nearing Support after 9 Months

  • “Bitcoin parabolic uptrend which started in January 2015 is still intact” – Tuur Demeester
  • But as it slowly approaches maturity the price uptrend will “gradually slow down”
  • Meanwhile, Bakkt makes another ATH at 2728 BTC but twitter counts seem to have hit the bottom
  • Mike McGlone of Bloomberg Intelligence says with Bitcoin maturing volatility going to get crushed

Since hitting 2019 high at $13,900, Bitcoin price has lost about 45% of its value. Yesterday, we went down to as low as $6,785 but soon made our way above $7,000.

Currently, BTC/USD is trading just under $7,300, up about 3%, as per Coincodex while managing the daily trading volume of $482 million.

Source: Coin360

Despite this drop in price, Bitcoin investor and analyst Tuur Demeester, who is the founder of Adamant Capital, a Bitcoin Alpha fund, says the “parabolic uptrend which started in January 2015 is still intact.”

Bitcoin price is yet again touching the support on this trendline. This is the first time since March 2019, the support has been found.

Bitcoin’s Long Term Parabolic Uptrend “Intact,” BTC Price Nearing Support after 9 Months

Bitcoin’s Long Term Parabolic Uptrend “Intact,” BTC Price Nearing Support after 9 Months

Bitcoin’s Long Term Parabolic Uptrend “Intact,” BTC Price Nearing Support after 9 Months

The ongoing sentiments in the market, Demeester says reminds him of the December 2018 when the price hit the bottom at $3,200.

He further notes that as the flagship cryptocurrency slowly approaches maturity or saturation, the price uptrend will “gradually slow down.”

This we have already been seeing as though we made a new high in every cycle, the percentage of gains have been significantly less than the previous ones. The returns in 2011 bull run have been of 318,864% which was reduced to 58,474% in the next bull cycle. Then in the last bull cycle, we registered only 11,960% gains. This content reduction of gains is expected to be seen in the upcoming bull rally as well.

This slow down in the BTC price as Bitcoin matures will cause parabolic trendlines to fall. As such, “a violation of the trendline above won’t be proof that the secular bull market in bitcoin is dead,” said Demeester.

While the price has been careening, the volume has been increasing across the board. Bakkt hit another all-time high with 2728 BTC exchanging hands yesterday.

However, twitter counts seem to have hit the bottom.

Meanwhile, Mike McGlone, senior commodity strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence says this has been investors shifting their interests to equities as Bitcoin takes the role of a more stable asset like “digital gold.” McGlone told Kitco News,

“Bitcoin has matured now. [Bitcoin] futures are getting active, we’re going to have ETFs. The first ten years, we’ve had a run-up, and now it’s in a range that’s going to migrate higher. Volatility is one thing that’s almost going to be certain to get crushed,”

However, unlike many analysts and traders on Crypto Twitter (CT) who have turned bearish on Bitcoin halving, McGlone is bullish because,

“Bitcoin, as well know, has limited supply, and as a commodity guy when I see something with a supply that’s guaranteed to be limited, yet demand is picking up with more adoption, I view that as very attractive for price.”

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Author: AnTy

Will The ‘Initial Scavenger Hunt Offering’ Become The Next ‘Big Thing’ For Crypto Token Issuers?

Satoshi’s Treasure, which is a keys-hunting game with a reward of $1 million Bitcoin, allows gamers to experience the crypto industry. The project is run by Primitive Ventures, a tech company, will be releasing puzzles of about 1,000 keys, and the first gamer to collect 400 keys will walk away with the bitcoin prize.

According to Eric Meltzer, the co-creator of the game, Tezos Foundation is their first client with a game offering players Tezzies as prices that will be launched in December. According to Meltzer, 20% of the main game’s keys have already been released, with the rest being released by mid next year.

Satoshi’s Treasure began seven months ago and already has 50,000 subscribers via email. Among the supporters of the business, venture includes Balaji Srinivasan, Naval Ravikant, and IDEO CoLab Ventures.

Quorum Control, a blockchain-powered startup, is debuting a video game with over ten keys to Satoshi’s Treasure BTC prize and other prizes based on the company’s blockchain, Tupelo. This business model is helping Primitive Ventures in the distribution of their tokens without the necessity of an airdrop model. Although Quorum isn’t a client of Satoshi’s Treasure, it offers gamers the opportunity to experience the gamification of crypto projects.

Winners will also receive strings of letters and numbers in the form of a Non-Fungible Token (NFT). The NFT is part of the initial token supply and acts as a promissory note. About 120,000 Tupelo tokens will be credited to over 17 winners’ wallets.

Tupelo tokens will not be issued through a public sale like other tokens such as Ethereum. This unique characteristic of the Tupelo tokens allows all investors to trade in it, even those who are not accredited. When trading in other tokens, everything is exposed in public, but Tupelo tokens come with privacy.

Initialized Capital is also planning to have a share of the Tupelo tokens through the company’s equity deal, according to Garry Tan, the co-founder. Tan believes the game will help to boost brand awareness in the crypto market and is a way of testing the technology.

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Author: Denis Miriti

China’s Cashless Payments Push is a Testimony that Bitcoin Will Succeed

China is racing ahead in becoming a fully digitized economy, which explains why it will soon have to adopt Bitcoin and other digital assets in order to cope with the upcoming nature of its economy.

It is apparent that China is becoming a blockchain-friendly nation. and warming up to new technologies in a quest to get ahead of its closest competitors. It also believes in order to enhance state foundations they will need to be on board with Blockchains technology.

In the past few years, the economy of China has witnessed notable progress on cashless payments delivered by tech-based companies in the country such as Alipay and Weibo among others. Consequently, it’s possible to purchase nearly anything with a Smartphone. A report by Bloomberg revealed that the big jump occurred between 2015 and 2016 during which transaction values for digital payments in China rose by a whopping 382 percent. Currently, the country has so far embraced cashless payments as the norm.

What Does it Mean for Bitcoin?

With universal adoption of cashless payments, Bitcoin and other digital assets are likely to get a boost. The implementation of cashless payment is in line with the crypto industry’s initial goal, which was to encourage peer-to-peer settlements without irregular banking procedures.

Since China is already using cashless payment system without cryptocurrencies, it’s quite likely that the country will incorporate digital money into the existing systems. Against that backdrop, many tech giants in the country such as Alibaba are investing heavily on blockchain. Currently, China controls 2/3rds of all blockchain-based patents worldwide.

China is Ahead With Fintech Infrastructure

While everyone else is striving to incorporate cryptocurrencies in their systems, China’s fintech infrastructure is already mature. This puts the country in a better situation to simply plug cryptocurrencies into their existing models. This would lead to faster and easier adoption.

Judging by President Xi Jinping’s recent remarks, the government seems skeptic about cryptocurrency but warming up to blockchain technology. However, the country will soon realize that cryptocurrency is part of blockchain and one cannot exist effectively without the other.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Bobby Lee Predicts “Two More Bubbles” Before Bitcoin Reaches $1 Million Value

  • Bobby Lee was formerly in charge of BTCC, which is one of the longest-running exchange in China.
  • Bitcoin is presently priced at $8,817.46.

Bobby Lee, the former CEO of long-time crypto exchange BTCC and the founder of the Ballet crypto wallet, has plenty of experience in the cryptocurrency industry. Recently, he applied his expertise to Bitcoin, making major price predictions at the Malta AIBC event.

During a recent interview, Lee shed light on the new company that he heads, Ballet. Ballet developed a new hardware wallet that is accessible for Bitcoin and crypto investors globally. Designing a physical wallet follows goals that Lee has expressed for making cryptocurrency more like the current financial system that consumers already understands. In the digital format, Bobby believes that consumers could have difficulty with adopting the assets, but a hardware wallet allows consumers to have a safer place for cryptocurrencies.

The primary coin of the wallet is Bitcoin, though some altcoins are available for storage as well. Those altcoins presently include ETH, XRP, DOGE, and others. According to reports from Bitcoinist, the wallet has a distinct aroma, stimulating the senses but also preventing counterfeits from being developed.

Lee has never shied away from his support for Bitcoin, stating that the price that the token stands at is only a small fraction of the level it can rise to. He believes that Bitcoin is going to continue moving up in price, considering it to be a trillion-dollar asset class.

Explaining Bitcoin’s movement, he says that the price moves in waves, which are bubbles that push up the price. He believes that there will at least be “two more bubbles” before BTC reaches the $100,000 to $200,000 range, pushing to $1 million. He added that these bubbles often increase by 10 to 20 times the previous bubbles, which is why he expects such high prices to transpire.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin was priced at $8,817.46, dropping by 0.22% in the last 24 hours. However, just five days ago, the token was at $9,474.83, demonstrating a downward trend through most of the week.

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Author: Krystle M