Wells Fargo’s Blockchain-based Stablecoin Will Be Faster, Cost Less Than SWIFT

The world’s fourth-largest bank said cryptocurrency will allow near real-time money movement and cut out settlement middlemen, thus reducing costs from fees.

Regarding the technical aspects of this new product, Wells Fargo has built their own blockchain using Corda Enterprise, the enterprise version of R3’s blockchain technology. While we will not see this product in 2019, the bank hopes to launch Wells Fargo Digital Cash within the next year. The transfers are expected to feature only U.S. dollars at first but the institution also plans on making other currencies available as they expand their operations globally.

Lisa Frazier, head of the Innovation Group at Wells Fargo said:

“When we move money across the world and we need to exchange currencies, we have to go through third parties such as SWIFT and other banks. That’s a long process and every time there’s a connection with external parties, it takes time and energy and effort.”

Obvious parallels can be drawn between what Wells Fargo is testing out and JPMorgan’s JPM Coin and its Interbank Information Network (IIN) which this week added Deutsche Bank to the 300-plus other banks on that network.

Lisa adds:

“I think the surprise is, we have found a really solid internal application for DLT on our book transfers. By doing this we are streamlining the book transfer process and are reducing the use of intermediaries that can cause a delay in settlement. Therefore we are widening the operating window for clearing of FX wires cross-border.”

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Author: Sritanshu Sinha

Fed Goes Crazy, Will Continue to Pump Billions Every Day till Oct 14

The New York Federal Reserve will continue its overnight repurchase (repo) operations through October as its attempt to soothe market instability from earlier this week.

Short term rates spiked as much as 10% overnight Monday amidst a shortfall in funding. As such, the Fed responded with a series of liquidity injections into the market to prevent further capital droughts.

Economists say a number of conditions contributed to dry up liquidity in the banking system, including a surge in government debt, and quarterly corporate tax payments.

Banks borrow regularly for very short periods to ensure their daily cash reserves do not follow below their required level. But with demand increases the interest rates.

The New York Fed jumps in to add or remove liquidity to keep the interest rates at the desired target.

Cash shortage in recent days drove the Fed decided to pump funds in the short term repo market as rates soared.

The Fed will offer three 14-day term repo operations for an aggregate amount of at least $30 billion each. It also announced daily overnight repo operations of at least $75 billion each, until Tuesday, October 10, 2019.

After this, the New York Fed plans to

“conduct operations as necessary to help maintain the federal funds rate in the target range, the amounts and timing of which have not yet been determined.”

And Bitcoin fixes this — a currency that is not controlled by the central bank and can’t be printed out of existence.

This money printing, according to Arthur Hayes’ prediction will be the catalyst to take Bitcoin to its all-time high.

The leading cryptocurrency is currently trading at $10,139, with 24 hours gains of 1.04% as per Coincodex,

Meanwhile, US stocks went lower, keeping the Dow Jones Industrial Average (down 0.26%) and S&P 300 (slid 0.27%) shy of all-time highs.

“We believe high October volatility is more than just a coincidence,” said Goldman’s equity derivatives strategist John Marshall. “We believe it is a critical period for many investors and companies that manage performance to calendar year-end.”

“Not only are earnings day moves rising relative to average daily moves, but October tends to be the quarter with the largest absolute earnings day moves for U.S. stocks,”

Marshall said.

If the stock market climbs to new highs, Bitcoin bull and Funstrat’s Tom Lee believes, Bitcoin will surge to new highs as well.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin’s Days of $10,000 BTC/USD Price Coming to an End, says Crypto Trader

  • Market divided on the next move BTC will make
  • Upcoming Bakkt an important milestone for the entire industry – Adam White
  • RSI showing momentum, the ongoing “one big consolidation pattern in major uptrend” could end in the next few weeks

This week has been a whirlwind of price movements as first on Sept. 19, in a sudden move Bitcoin went down to $9,600 and then today it climbed right back up to $10,310 just as suddenly.

Currently, BTC/USD is trading at $10,179 with 24 hours gains of 3.15%, as per Coincodex.

Next Move: Up or Down?

The market now is back to guessing the next move Bitcoin is going to make.

Analyst The Cryptomist is expecting another drop but after making one leg up.

“We have a falling wedge here. I am looking for one more leg up before a bigger drop. Looking for this upward move to put in a double top on larger time frame RSI, before testing the 10k region once more.”

Meanwhile, trader Scott Melker states,

“BTC Hourly: The world’s skinniest bull flag. Confirmed hidden bullish divergence (signals likely continuation) on the line chart. Odds are in favor of a break up in the coming hours.”

Meanwhile, an Important Milestone for the Entire Industry

What’s interesting is the upcoming launch of Bakkt.

Next week, Bakkt will launch physically delivered daily and monthly bitcoin futures. This first fully regulated marketplace, Adam White, COO at Bakkt, says

“is an important milestone for the entire industry.”

As for price-wise, it is hard to say whether Bitcoin will go up or down.

On Sept. 6, the day Bakkt started accepting Bitcoin deposits for its warehouse, protected by a $125 million insurance policy, Bitcoin price took a drop of almost $700.

Would it be another buy the rumor, sell the news situation for BTC price, that’s to be known!

But the Long Term Parabolic High of Bitcoin Stays Intact

We are, in fact, in a bull market as prominent analyst PlanB shares,

“When RSI enters the RSI 50-80 zone (green), bitcoin bull market starts and RSI stays in that range for 3+ up-moves. In bear markets it oscillates in a lower range.”

Currently, RSI (relative strength index), the much-used indicator is showing “momentum,” registering a reading of just under 60.

As for the sideways trading the leading cryptocurrency is currently experiencing is as put by trader Bob Loukas, just

“one big consolidation pattern in major uptrend.”

Loukas predicts that after making the October low, Bitcoin might not see $10,000 ever again.

“BTC Cycle Low due early Oct, so still a few weeks left. Post Oct low, once reclaimed, I doubt we ever see $10k again. Ever,”

he said.

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Author: AnTy

BlockFi’s Customers Can Start Earning Up To 6.2% Interest On Crypto; No Matter How Much You Hodl

BlockFi, a cryptocurrency lending platform has indicated that its customers will now start earning interest on all their deposits, regardless of whether they are GUSD (Gemini Dollar), ETH (Ether), or BTC (Bitcoin).

No Set Minimums

The crypto lending company based in New York released a statement on September 13 stating that its customers could now start earning interest on all their deposits. The statement went on to add that there was no set minimum for clients depositing crypto. This essentially means that the clients would be able to earn interest on all their GUSD, Ether, and Bitcoin balances.

Zac Prince, who is the CEO and founder of BlockFi mentioned that he was excited to note that there was growth in the platform. The growth had been spurred by crypto investors who were trying to leverage all their wealth management products.

The BlockFi team went on to state that they had arrived at the decision to do away with the minimum deposit requirement after realizing that this would ensure that its BIA product was available to many crypto enthusiasts.

In the past year, the American based crypto lender has been busy planning its expansion plans. This is something that has seen it venture into India, with plans underway to ensure that it also gets into Latin America.

Flori Marquez, the VP of Operations and one of the platforms’ co-founders stated that their expansion plans were meant to ensure that BIA was open to all crypto enthusiasts. The VP went on to state that their roadmap included expanding into Latin America where the residents had limited access to credit reporting and banking services.

Additionally, many of the financial products provided by US companies have in many cases only been provided to individuals with a high net worth, many of whom are located in Costa Rica and Argentina. BlockFi was, therefore, interested in leveraging blockchain to ensure that it gets to provide wealth management products to as many people as it possibly can.

In other news, the blockchain platform recently secured $18.3 million in a Valar Ventures led funding round.

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Author: Daniel W

Coinbase Crypto Exchange Fills VP Role With A Former NerdWallet COO And Likedin VP; Dan Yoo

Coinbase has recently hired another new executive. This time, the person hired was Dan Yoo, who will act as the new vice president of business in the company. He is set to replace Emilie Choi, who will continue in the company, but in another area now.

Yoo worked as Chief Operating Officer (COO) at NerdWallet before now and at LinkedIn before that, so he has a pretty big resume. Now, he will be in charge of overseeing business operations, corporate development and the data team of the company.

While he worked for LinkedIn, Yoo helped to found a number of startups. One of them was RealiaQuote, which was one of the first companies ever to offer life insurance brokerage services online.

According to him, Coinbase is a company that is driven by data, so a big part of his job will be to ensure that everybody gets the right data to make the right decisions. He also told the media that he has been interested in the crypto industry as far as 2013 and that he had a Coinbase account before he decided to join the company’s team.

Now, Yoo is focused on helping his new team. He will tie together the operations at Coinbase, which is something that he already did for some other companies before now. Yoo affirmed that he hopes to use his experience to scale the team and get them to work in a more efficient manner, therefore using the resources of the company better.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Catalonia To Develop ‘IdentiCAT’ A Blockchain Identity Platform To Give Citizens Control Over Data

Catalonia, an autonomous region in Spain, is about to create a new decentralized ID platform that will be used in order to give the locals more control over their data. According to the local government, the platform, which is known as IdentiCAT, will empower Catalan citizens to be safe when using the internet.

The minister of Digital Policy and Public Administration Jordi Puigneró was responsible for the announcement, affirming that the new platform will use the distributed ledger technology and that the platform will be centralized. According to him, the government will act as the validator of the network.

However, he affirmed that the government will not collect any data from the people, as this is the whole goal of the initiative. The government has also revealed that the users can use several apps to manage their identities on the platform and that they can maintain their privacy this way.

Another use for the new platform is that, for instance, a user could verify his age by using the platform instead of having to provide more data to private systems.

The new IdentiCAT platform will be used to develop solutions that will be compliant with the rules from the European Union on electronic IDs and trust services.

Now, the government is focused on getting the system up and running to be used soon. As soon as the development of the platform is finished, the system will be distributed and used by local citizens, public companies and organizations.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

With Record Lowest Interest Rates Coming, Market Bullish on Gold & Stocks, Cryptocurrencies will “Gain in Favor” too

  • “Japanification scenario,” the Fed has to cut rates below zero,
  • The 2020s will begin with the lowest interest rates in 5000 years
  • In the long run, negative rates ruin the financial system – UBS CEO
  • Falling interest rates would lead to irrational capital allocation and an eventual crash

The Federal Reserve is cutting interest rates to stimulate activity as the trade war between the US and China casts a pall over the economy.

However, there isn’t much room with the current rate set in the range of 2% to 2.25%. And it won’t be long before the mark hits zero and then turn negative.

According to the report from analysts at Bank of America, the second-largest US lender, the Fed has to cut rates below zero, a path many countries like Denmark, Japan, and others have already taken.

Although low, investors are now assigning increasing odds that the Fed will need to take rates potentially negative, describing the setup as a “Japanification scenario.”

“We believe negative rates in the U.S. are a possibility,” the analysts wrote.

“The 2020s will begin with the lowest interest rates in 5000 years.”

BofA’s periodic report stated that there has been a total of 731 global interest rate cuts since the Lehman in an attempt to renormalize the monetary policy.

“The 2020s will begin with the lowest interest rates in 5000 years.”

The value of negatively-yielding bonds has reached $17 trillion, equivalent to 30% of the total outstanding debt securities market value. $1 trillion is the value of negatively-yielding corporate bonds.

Global debt is also near an all-time high level of global GDP at 310%.

Moreover, S&P 500 is not only in its longest bull market but the biggest of all-time, while $5.4 trillion are being spent on stock buyback since 2009 by US corporate.

BofA is bullish on stocks and commodities and bearish on bonds, cash, and the US dollar.

“Negative rates ruin the financial system”

The top banking executives of Europe meanwhile have ramped up their criticism of negative rates, warning of severe consequences to asset prices and the broader economy.

UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti said negative rates are hurting savings rates and social systems while Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing warned that more monetary easing by the ECB will have “grave side effects” on Europe, a region that is already living with them for half a decade.

“In the long run, negative rates ruin the financial system,” Sewing said.

The ECB will decide on Sept. 12, if it would cut its interest rate even further as economic indicators showed a decelerating economy.

These negative rates are also hurting the bank’s interest margins by putting pressure on them.

Gold is the Best Safe Haven Asset But Cryptos will Gain as well

The falling interest rates, Mark Mobius, the founder of Mobius Capital Partners recently said would lead to “irrational capital allocation and an eventual crash.”

As such, Mobius advises investors to allocate 10% of their assets in physical gold and believes cryptocurrencies would gain as well.

Due to the fact that gold maintains its status as a currency — that stood the test of time — it is the best safe haven option, according to him.

As for cryptocurrencies,

“Given the increasing credibility and faith in cryptocurrencies, they will gain in favor as a currency,” he said.

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Author: AnTy

Why Satoshi Selected 21 Million as the Maximum Cap Supply of Bitcoin: A Timely Explanation

Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym for the creator of Bitcoin, decided there will only be 21 million BTC coins ever to be mined. In an email published on Satoshi Nakamoto Institute addressed to Mike Hearn on why Satoshi selected 21 million as the cap, the unknown figure said the number is “an educated guess”. However, a number of investors and researchers have come forward to find a logical explanation as to why Satoshi chose that specific number.

The 21 million BTC Capped Supply

Bitcoin (BTC) capped supply at 21 million is both symbolic and calculated as explained by Sasha Fleyshman, a traders and analyst at Arca Traders, in a thread of tweets sent out on Aug 31. Well, as is with most research, there are general assumptions made in the theory proposed by Fleyshman.

Note: The average production time of a block is 10 minutes, but the difficulty adjustment, which happens every 2016 blocks (or 14 days) causes a deviation each side of the block producing time average.

A Timely Calculation

Bitcoin is math. Sasha calculates the 21 million cap as a factor of the blocks produced every hour, the halving effects on BTC rewards and the number of blocks each halving period.

Image

Image

Source: Sasha Fleyshman

As seen in the image above, the summation of the halving rewards till 2140 –the expected mining end date – that started off at 50BTC reward, then 25, then 12.5 etc. sums up to 100 (well tending to 100). Taking this number and multiplying it by the number of Bitcoin blocks mined before the halving of the BTC rewards – 210,000 BTC – you get 21 million BTC.

Sasha urges the Bitcoin community to continue learning more about Satoshi’s ideas on why he selected the number. He wrote on Twitter,

“Now, pulling on this string opens up a new line of questioning, of which I have no answer (as of yet); just theories. I think it is very important to question what you do not understand with #Bitcoin – the answer is not as important as the thought process.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Developer Finds Concerning Issue with one of Ethereum Istanbul Hard Fork’s EIP

  • EIP-1884 is about repricing for opcodes
  • This EIP will break at least a few deployed contracts, says developer
  • Vitalik also answers what will break as current blockchain migrates to Eth 2.0

Recently, Ethereum core-developers finalized a list of six code changes to be activated for the next system-wide upgrade of Ethereum Network called Istanbul.

The update will be executed in two parts, with the first one featuring all six code changes with a tentative date in October while the second one will feature Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) — sometime in the first quarter next year — that require further testing from core developers.

The accepted EIPs are:

  • EIP-152: Add Blake2 compression function F precompile
  • EIP-1108: Reduce alt_bn128 precompile gas costs
  • EIP-1344: Add ChainID opcode
  • EIP-1884: Repricing for trie-size-dependent opcodes
  • EIP-2028: Calldata gas cost reduction
  • EIP-2200: Rebalance net-metered SSTORE gas cost with consideration of SLOAD gas cost change

However, Rust developer at Parity Technologies, Wei Tang is concerned about on of EIPs, EIP-1884.

“Ethereum shouldn’t be of exception if it wants to have a bright future.”

This EIP proposes repricing certain opcodes in order to obtain a “good balance between gas expenditure and resource consumption.” It basically proposes to raise the gas cost for opcodes that are more resource-intensive than they were previously.

According to Tang, this EIP will break at least a few deployed contracts. That he says may be a “standalone incident” but he is more concerned about the fact that some core developers take it as “acceptable behavior.”

Tang argues that backward compatibility is one of the priorities for making design decisions for projects on which many people depend on.

Giving the example of Windows and Linux and how they gained popularity because of backward compatibility, he says, “Ethereum shouldn’t be of exception if it wants to have a bright future.”

What will break as current blockchain migrates to Eth 2.0?

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin is in favor of this EIP, although he wishes repricing were higher but says Tang’s concern “is still an important other side of the debate to highlight.”

Istanbul’s first part will be the fifth hard fork to be executed on Ethereum blockchain that is expected to help it secure against replay attacks and boost chain interoperability with zcash, a privacy coin.

As for what will break under the currently deployed contract when the existing blockchain is migrated to Eth 2.0, Buterin shares a few factors to be affected.

Testnet activation of the first part of Istanbul will be the last set before mainnet activation, which all ethereum core developers are looking forward to as it will ensure that “everything’s working correctly.”

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Author: AnTy

Hyperledger Announces It Is Officially Integrating Ethereum as Its First Public Blockchain

Hyperledger has officially announced that it will be integrating its very first-open public client into its list of tech offerings. The technical steering committee unanimously voted to include Pantheon, an Ethereum client developed by PegaSys after engaging in a very vigorous debate.

It is expected that the client will soon be renamed and will take on the name Hyperledger “Besu”. It is a term derived from the Japanese and which is used to refer to a foundation or base. While releasing this statement, PegaSys stated that after all has been said and done, blockchains act as a foundation for data on which various applications are created.

The statement went on to state that for this reason, blockchains should serve modern information technology architectures as a base of trust. Patheon, written in Java is an open-sourced Apache 2.0. It has officially been licensed to Ethereum. The ETH client was designed to make sure that developers could easily deal with all aspects associated with distributed ledgers including storage, networking, and consensus algorithm which many views to be very difficult.

John Wolpert who serves as the global product executive at ConsenSys when commenting on this news stated that PegaSys would now start celebrating its integration into a global consortium after having been out in the wild for close to five years.

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Author: Daniel W