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

Ethereum Developer Challenges Hackers to Break ETH2 Testnets; Collect $10k Reward

Danny Ryan, one of the core developers of the Ethereum developer community, has challenged white hat hackers to hack into a pair of ETH2 testnets.

Ethereum’s most significant upgrade since its inception where the Ethereum mainnet will transition from Proof-of-Work (PoW) based mining consensus to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) and has been dubbed Ethereum 2.0. The transition from Ethereum to Ethereum 2.0 will happen in phases through a series of hard forks.

While there is much debate on when ETH2 will launch, the testnets are already up and running, and Ethereum is expecting to add thousands of node validators to keep the network decentralized. Ethereum 2.0 is also believed to help Ethereum’s current struggle with scalability and transaction processing. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has claimed that the network would be able to process thousands of transactions per second. Ryan tweeted the invitation with a link to a Github page with the details and parameters of the challenge. He wrote:

“We welcome white hats to bring down the two beta-0 attacknets for reward and fame 🙂

Check out the new “attacknets” channel on the eth r&d discord for discussion.”

What is The Target For White Hat Hackers?

The target for the “attacknets” are two miniature versions of ETH2 clients, namely Lighthouse and Prysm, which have been designed to access the ETH 2.0 network. However, unlike mainstream clients, which comprise thousands of nodes, these attacknets miniature clients would have only four nodes.

The hackers are required to prevent blocks from confirming transactions and double-spending. These white hat hackers would be required to create a 51% attack scenario, which is what a quality blockchain was designed to prevent.

Many blockchain networks have hundreds of validators, but ETH 2.0 has set a target of 16,000 validators in the beginning and then expand it to hundreds of thousands of validators with time to keep it as decentralized as possible.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Digital Dollar Foundation Releases Its First Whitepaper Urging The US Govt To Explore CBDC’s

  • Christopher Giancarlo’s Digital Dollar Foundation releases its first white paper on the digital dollar.
  • The projects aims at implementing a private-public partnership with the government and commercial banks in a “two-tiered” approach.
  • Can the U.S. challenge other global superpowers in developing their own CBDC?

The Digital Dollar Project alongside Accenture, an Irish-domiciled multinational professional services company, released its first whitepaper on Thursday, May 28, 2020. According to Giancarlo, the former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) called on the U.S. government to accelerate its efforts in developing its “digital dollar” or risk losing its control over values of the global financial system. Giancarlo said,

“What we’re hoping to be is a catalyst for a discussion here in the United States about what role the U.S. will play in this ongoing and accelerating global debate over the future of money in a new digital age.”

Digital Dollar Project Whitepaper Release

The 50-page reportThe Digital Dollar Project: Exploring a U.S CBDC” expounds on the project’s implementation arguing for a “two-tiered approach” in the system. The project will create a tokenized digital dollar with the same legal status as physical banknotes. The currency will then be distributed to commercial banks who then distribute it to the population similar to how cash is distributed through loans and on ATMs.

In a similar manner to the legacy financial systems, the foundation tier will be the Federal Reserve who through regulated intermediaries will distribute the digital dollar to users.

The key advantage of the two tired approaches rather than the current totally decentralized private cryptocurrencies is that it will be interoperable with current systems. Furthermore, the whitepaper aims at formulating a regulated wallet infrastructure to ensure the users’ transactions follow the KYC/AML compliance requirement.

Digital Dollar Should be Tokenized: Giancarlo

In an interview on the launch of the digital dollar white paper, Giancarlo said the current global view on money may have switched as more governments start exploring their own CBDC solutions. The current COVID-19 pandemic also has raised an alarm on the future of physical money and the question of what constitutes money given the widespread printing.

Earlier in March, the U.S House of Representatives brought forth possible plans in distributing a digital dollar token to efficiently disburse the COVID-19 CARE package Act funds to millions of Americans. The bill stated that users should be allowed to open retail accounts in the FED in order to receive the funds. However, opening an account with the Fed is the same as having a private institution such a corporate bank managing the account only that it will be a public institution doing it.

The white paper advises for a token approach instead of the account approach, whereby the dollar can be used across the globe not only within the U.S. Giancarlo said,

“We think a true U.S. CBDC addresses that problem but then so much more, including building a new architecture for money for generations to come that will serve not just under-banked populations here in the United States during a crisis … abroad and [spur] financial inclusion globally.”

After the completion of the platform (date remains unknown), Digital Dollar Foundation will launch test pilots. These pilots will test “proposed token’s impact on the money supply, technological choices, privacy concerns from users, government control and commercial exploitation, impact or use in sanctions and compliance with AML/KYC laws.”

Once the project is off the trial board, the Foundation and Accenture will present the findings to the relevant authorities according to Giancarlo. He said,

“We’re here to get the conversation going, to provide thinking, experience and expertise, and we will leave it to the policymakers to set the pace.”

Competition from the EU, Russia, and China

The U.S. is lagging behind in the race to a sovereign digital currency after accelerated efforts by top competitor, China. The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) earlier in the year released its

Earlier this year the European Central Bank (ECB) announced its plans to develop a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) light of the COVID-19 pandemic. South Korea, Russia and Switzerland are some of the developed countries looking to launching their CBDC in the coming future.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitcoin Demand to Rocket as Fed Pumps $6 Trillion Stimulus to “Bolster” the Economy

US stocks are swinging between gains and losses today after the announcement that White House and lawmakers have reached an agreement on a $2 trillion stimulus package to combat the novel coronavirus. Over 400,00 cases have been reported globally with more than 55,000 in the US and over 69,000 confirmed cases in Italy.

After yesterday’s historic surge of 11%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3% Wednesday. The S&P 500 meanwhile slid 0.7% along with Nasdaq Composite that dropped 1.2%.

Bitcoin mirrored the stocks and surged to $6,990, only to come back down to about $6,600 level which economist and trader Alex Kruger said, “is not a coincidence.”

$6 Trillion needed to “bolster the economy”

The legislation that is to be enacted within days involves $350 billion in loans for small businesses and $500 billion to aid airlines and other large corporations. This biggest fiscal stimulus package in American history is double the one passed in 2009 to fight the Great Recession that further involves $1,200 payment for each adult and $500 per child, for households earning up to $75,000 per year or $150,000 for couples.

The emergency package to bail out the US economy amidst the coronavirus pandemic totals at $6 trillion, said Trump administration economist Larry Kudlow.

This package includes a $2 trillion aid from Congress and $4 trillion in lending from the Federal Reserve.

“This package will be the single largest Main Street assistance program in the history of the United States,” said Kudlow adding it was “urgently” necessary to “bolster the economy.”

“No way your dollars can keep their value”

The crypto community took this money printing by the Fed as an opportunity to point out how this won’t help with the pandemic that has taken over 790 lives in the US.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, Zimbabwe went through money printing madness and ended up printing one hundred trillion dollar note that is worth about $60 USD only for them to abandon their own currency to go for the US Dollar.

Interestingly, Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s recent proposal talked about minting 2 one-trillion dollar coins.

Now, the crypto community is pointing out how the stimulus means, “creation of nearly 50 Bitcoins worth of dollars out of thin air. Not 50 BTC, but 50 Bitcoin networks.”

According to the community, this bazooka means demand for Bitcoin. “There is no way your dollars can keep their value after pumping $6 trillion into the system. It’s time to move your fiat into hard money. Bitcoin,” said blockchain consultant Luke Dash.

Bitcoiner Mike Novogratz also pointed out that in the event of “debasement of fiat currencies, monetization of trillions of dollars of debt,” it would be the time for bitcoin.

And if even a portion of this makes it way into Bitcoin, the world’s leading cryptocurrency could easily reach about $100k peak this time.

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Author: AnTy

DTCC Urges Financial Institutions to Collaborate in Forming A DLT Regulatory Framework

U.S Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) published a white paper on Feb,12 calling for the establishment of a proper regulatory framework on blockchain technology. The leading American financial markets clearing and settlement company noted that this would help avoid the risks associated with Digital Ledger adoption in future.

This white paper dubbed ‘Security of DLT Networks’ highlights the opportunities and looming risks if financial industry stakeholders do not step up to oversee blockchain implementation. DTCC’s Chief Security Officer, Stephen Scharf, further emphasized on the importance of tech policy upgrades;

“DLT offers great potential, but as with any new technology, it also comes with certain risks. Traditional security measures may not be adequate, so it is critically important that this topic is top of mind for any DLT implementation.”

DTCC’s Proposed Strategy on Blockchain Implementation Oversight

According to the whitepaper, financial market players are better off collaborating to form standardized guidelines on DLT adoption. It continues to read that a coordinated approach would help address the security associated risks in detail. This will in turn assist firms operating and looking to enter the blockchain market to play by the book and grow within a regulated framework.

DLT will notably improve how data is protected, verified and processed. As a result, DTCC suggests that a more tech specific framework would be effective in integrating the DLT networks within IT legalities across the world. An industry consortium to form fundamental operational guidelines was also identified as a long-term solution to the existing legal gaps in the DTCC whitepaper.

There have been previous efforts to form a baseline regulatory framework around blockchain tech but only a few jurisdictions have achieved much. DTCC plans to capitalize on its muscle within the derivatives market to lobby as many financial players and develop a standard for DLT frameworks. Mr. Schaff noted on the importance of a global framework for all industry participants;

“As is common in IT security communities, frameworks must be widely available, generally agreed upon, and commonly adopted.” he added “As best practices mature, they can be adopted into a formal framework and used for financial industry participants and regulators alike.”

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Author: James W

China’s Internet Conglomerate Tencent Launches Third White Paper on Blockchain in Last 3 Years

On October 19, 2019 Chinese internet giant Tencent released a white paper on blockchain, its third in the last three years, making abundantly clear that China’s crackdown on cryptocurrency has not derailed its attempts at flirting with blockchain.

The 2019 Tencent Blockchain White Paper was released by Tencent Cloud and Tencent FIT at Tencent’s first digital transformation strategic meeting: “The road to break the industrial blockchain”. It was jointly held by Tencent Research Institute, Tencent FIT, Tencent Cloud, Tencent Legal Innovation Center and Tencent Finance and Economics.

The white paper explores the development status and trends of the blockchain industry in 2019, proposes the conception and thinking of the industrial blockchain, and announces the Tencent block. Along with highlighting Tencent’s practices and achievements in blockchain and industry integration, the white paper also dives into Tencent’s plans for the future.

The focus of this paper has been on how to help upgrade traditional industries with the use of blockchain. After nearly five years of industry exploration, Tencent is increasingly convinced that blockchain will go deeper into the industry and empower the real economy.

Tencent first showed interest in the blockchain in 2016 when its bank subsidiary joined one of the first business alliances in China to explore applications of the technology. In 2017, it published its first white paper detailing its plans to build a suite of blockchain services on top of an open platform called “TrustSQL”.

Cai Weige, head of the Tencent Virtual Bank blockchain, said at Saturday’s press conference that since the release of the first edition of the Tencent Blockchain White Paper in April 2017, Tencent has continued to expand its application in tax, justice and finance. As per him, the problem that the blockchain can solve must be in line with the nature of the business and conform to the laws of business.

It’s interesting to note how in the recent years, BAT (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent) have increasingly invested in blockchain, focusing more on the research and development side of technology – trying to ascertain how blockchain can play the most significant role in all walks of life.

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Author: Sakshi Jain

Futures Can Assist In Predicting Bitcoin Prices, Claims Bakkt COO

Bakkt chief operations officer, Adam White says that the futures market can assist in predicting the price of Bitcoin, reports Cointelegraph.

In an interview with CNN, White revealed that the freshly introduced Bakkt futures contracts will assist in valuing Bitcoin. According to White, the daily and monthly futures contracts will help in price discovery.

The new Bakkt futures started trading last weekend where 71 contracts were traded during its debut day. White explained his point:

“We think this is an important part of the futures contract — to help businesses discover what the fair market value of Bitcoin is going to be through events like this.”

White stated that futures are also likely to predict alterations in the market due to block rewarding halving by next May.

The halving of block reward can be described as the drop that occurs after every four years in the reward given to miners after validation of a Bitcoin block transactions. At the moment, the reward stands at 12.5 Bitcoin and is expected to go down to 6.25 Bitcoin by May next year.

It is expected that following the halving, Bitcoin’s value will dramatically rise. According to Cointelegraph, after the halving in 2016, Bitcoin’s price rose dramatically leading the famous price tag of about $20,000.

What do you think of White’s predictions? Will Bitcoin futures contract help to forecast the price of Bitcoin? Keep the conversation live in our social media platform.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Nobel Prize Winner Joseph Stiglitz: Only A Fool Would Trust Facebook’s Libra

Nobel-Prize-Winner-Joseph-Stiglitz-Only-A-Fool-Would-Trust-Facebooks-Libra-

Ever since Facebook launched the Libra’s white paper, the whole crypto community is been abuzz. Some are strongly criticizing the project while some see it as the future or the savior of crypto. Joseph Stiglitz, a Noble Prize winner economist, is teaming up with the people that distrust Facebook’s Libra.

According to a recent article published on MarketWatch, Stiglitz affirmed that only a fool would trust Libra. He believes that Facebook is not the kind of company that anyone should trust and that the banking sector took way longer to reach this level of distrust.

There are several problems with Facebook’s initiative. According to him, Libra could work as a shadow economy, a vehicle that could be used in illegal activities such as money laundering.

He does acknowledge that the banking currently has problems, but he affirmed that they are mostly due to the lack of competition, especially in how to make payments. This lead people to pay a lot more than they should for their transactions.

Stiglitz also noted that a possible business model for Libra could be to keep an interest paid on assets that used to be the underlying value of the stablecoin and that it makes no sense to deposit money there is there is no interest at all.

According to him, many people who are engaged in criminal activities are willing to pay a lot to avoid having their corruption detected and that governments should shut Libra down if they believe that this is the goal.

He also believes that Facebook could profit from the data of the transactions made by Libra, which is another considerably big problem in his view. Facebook has been faced with a choice between money and honoring their promises before and we all still remember that Zuckerberg picked money.

Japanese Regulators Are Afraid Of Libra

The Noble Prize winner is not alone in his crusade against Facebook’s Libra. Harukiko Kuroda, the governor of the Japanese central bank, affirmed that people need to be careful in order to increase the acceptance of such a token because it could have a negative impact on the financial stability of the country.

As the users buy Libra, the money goes to a basket of tokens, but no one knows what assets currently comprise this basket. This was, in his view, mostly done to avoid the national regulation of any country in particular. The users will not receive an interest rate on the assets, too, which means that Facebook probably will.

It seems that no one is actually very trusting that Facebook’s project will be something good for society, so we’ll possibly see a lot of controversy coming up soon.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

We Have More Questions Than Answers About Facebook’s Libra and the Future Apps Being Built

We-Have-More-Questions-Than-Answers-About-Facebooks-Libra

The world stopped when Facebook decided to reveal the white paper of its Libra project. However, as soon as everybody read it, the first impression was that there were more doubts than actual certainty about the future of the project.

Many regulators have openly criticized the project, but they are not alone. In a considerably rare move, the crypto community has agreed with regulators: yes, the project is somewhat inconsistent in some points and it seems that it may lack actual decentralization.

While many people in the community were happy to see Facebook becoming a part of the crypto world, this is far from what most of them actually expected. Libra can be good for the image of the crypto world, but it just looks way too centralized.

Another important issue is that the project talks a lot about its humanitarian aspirations and not so much about how it will work. Obviously, there is still the need to pass all the regulatory issues before the project is approved, so this may be why Facebook is still somewhat secretive about this project.

Will Libra Be Used For Criminal Activities?

Perhaps it is a cliché, but the truth is that most people were very worried that Bitcoin would be used for crime (and some still are). If Libra has the potential to even surpass Bitcoin and to become even more centralized, can it be used for crimes?

Facebook and the Libra Association want everybody to use Libra, obviously. So there seem to be some doubts about how the Libra-based projects will actually be used.

Will there be any kind of protection for the consumers? Will there be Know Your Customers to ensure that people are not using the platform for fraudulent activities?

As pointed out by some experts, Facebook did not keep the information of its customers very well, so we have our doubts about leaving money on their accounts. Digital currency theft is, unfortunately, very common, so what will Facebook do about it?

All these governance questions were not addressed by the white paper, so we can only wonder what will happen if a developer steals money from the users on the platform.

Will Libra Try To Replace Fiat?

Everybody knows that Bitcoin wants to replace fiat. So far, it hasn’t been able to, mostly because it lacks adoption. Libra will certainly not lack adoption since Facebook is already huge. So, will Libra try to achieve Bitcoin’s dream but in a way more centralized way?

Many people accuse Libra of trying to replace fiat, as it wants to be a global coin and it affirms that it wants to “help” people in countries in which they need to rely on weak fiat.

Also, not a lot was actually affirmed about how the token will maintain its allegedly stable price. The white paper affirms that fiat from developed countries and government bonds will be used as collateral, however, the controllers of the fund can buy whatever they like.

Will It Be Really Decentralized?

If you have been reading with attention, you might have noticed that a major problem looms over Libra: the company is just not decentralized.

Facebook has chosen 100 companies to be the nodes of the network. Is this decentralization? It is worse than EOS, which is repeatedly criticized for lacking decentralization. It will work just a central bank, an actually private central bank.

The value of the Libra will have a direct relationship with the ability of its managers to maintain the value of the money and the blockchain will not be validated by unknown individuals but by large institutions which were selected by a single company. This gives them too much power, especially when it will be a conflict with their interest.

Some crypto fans are not too fond of governments, but at least they were elected. Who elected Mark Zuckerberg, soon to be the world’s most powerful unelected dictator, according to CNBC’s Ran NeuNer?

While some non-crypto folks have been praising how decentralized Facebook’s Libra is, we are still calling it Facebook’s Libra, aren’t we? The truth is that decentralization is not real if people cannot be a part of the democratic process.

If anyone can create a node, then at least anyone can participate and this is why Bitcoin is way more decentralized than Libra will ever be.

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Author: Gabriel Machado