61% of Americans Have Little to No Understanding of How Cryptocurrencies Work: Survey

61% of Americans Have Little to No Understanding of How Cryptocurrencies Work: Survey

Also, only 10% of the respondents familiar with cryptos are using them regularly to make purchases.

More than one in ten American adults have never heard of cryptocurrencies, revealed a new survey by Harris Poll.

Nearly half of the respondents had actually heard about the names of digital currencies, according to the survey of 1,984 people taken from February 12 to 14. During this period, the price of Bitcoin was around $48,000 and $50,000.

Since then, the price of BTC has surged above $58,000 to hit yet another all-time high in its pierce discovery and is currently experiencing a pullback and is around $55k.

“From the public standpoint, it’s not a cryptocurrency; it’s a cryptic-currency,” said John Gerzema, chief executive officer of the Harris Poll.

Despite having heard of cryptos, most of them don’t really get them, with 61% of the people surveyed saying they had little or no understanding of how they work. Only 14% of those familiar with digital currencies said they understand “very well” how they work.

4% of the respondents familiar with cryptos think Bitcoin will crash to zero while double that (8%) see it going above $100,000.

The Legitimacy

Among those familiar with cryptos, about 43% expressed doubt about their legitimacy as a form of payment, while 29% think crypto will be largely forgotten in the next decade. 34% meanwhile believes it will become a standard form of payment.

Millennials, between 25 and 40 years old, continue to lead the crypto believers as 69% of them said they thought digital currencies were very or somewhat legitimate as a form of payment. This figure drops to 58% for Gen Z, between 18 and 24 years old.

According to Gerzema, millennials, who are tech-savvy and comfortable with financial products and having more investable assets, may be operating as a bridge between Gen Z and baby boomers.

In the past few weeks, we saw Tesla investing in Bitcoin and announcing that they will be accepting BTC as a form of payment. Following Tesla, others like Mastercard said they would interact with cryptos in their network, too, while many other major companies like Twitter, GM, and Uber will consider processing payments in cryptocurrencies.

Only 10% of survey respondents familiar with cryptos said they regularly make purchases with it. Given that BTC has appreciated more than 14x in value since the March sell-off, the leading digital currency works better as a long-term investment than as a form of payment.

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Author: AnTy

Miami Mayor Confirms Work on Pro-Bitcoin Laws, Urges Others to Follow Suit

Miami Mayor Confirms Work on Pro-Bitcoin Laws, Urges Others to Follow Suit

Mayor Francis Suarez has confirmed the city’s work in pro-crypto regulations. The city is taking a progressive initiative, with Suarez believing that a tech-forward regulatory approach could be beneficial.

Francis Suarez, the mayor of the City of Miami, has been pushing an interesting pro-Bitcoin agenda for some weeks now. In a recent article, the politician spoke about his plans for the currency and possible interactions in his city.

Following Wyoming’s Footsteps

Over the weekend, Mayor Suarez spoke with Forbes Magazine about his love for Bitcoin and hopes for the currency.

In the interview, Suarez plans to make Miami a crypto-friendly city in the United States, following in the footsteps of states like Wyoming and New York.

Expatiating, Suarez confirmed that lawmakers in Miami are working on implementing progressive crypto laws that will run citywide.

The mayor explained that they believe cryptocurrencies are here to stay, and they’re putting plans in place to ensure that no one gets the upper hand over Miami concerning progressive regulation.

Suarez particularly praised the state of Wyoming, which he claimed was being “smart” in adopting cryptocurrencies quickly. The Cowboy State has been in the news recently, following the admission of Cynthia Lummis, a Republican pro-Bitcoin Senator, into the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Lummis has been vocal about her support for cryptocurrencies, having owned Bitcoin as far back as 2013. Speaking with Anthony Pompliano recently, the Senator explained that she was looking to form a Financial Innovation Caucus that will educate several Congress members on cryptocurrencies and blockchain developments.

As Cynthia Lummis explained, the focus is to ensure that crypto regulations that come out of Capitol Hill are from educated and nuanced standpoints – not just hearsay and speculations that paint cryptocurrencies in a bad light. The Senator added that she had been speaking with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on crypto laws, and that the policymaker seemed to have an open mind on the subject.

Suarez Has Big Plans for Bitcoin in Miami

Suarez is not ashamed to identify with bitcoin. Last December, he praised the leading cryptocurrency for being a “stable investment” during an “incredibly unstable year,” referencing the significant capital flight into the crypto sector last year due to the coronavirus. The politician added that Miami lawmakers were exploring the idea of the city having America’s crypto-centric government. Last week, Mayor Suarez announced some friendly Bitcoin-focused initiatives in the city. Some of these programas could see government employees receive their salaries in bitcoin payments.

The city is also reportedly working on a crypto payment channel for taxes and the possibility of placing some outfits capital and revenues in the asset. These ideas are still in its early stages, but the Mayor has raised the possibility of a public-private partnership that would allow private firms to bear risks from the government’s crypto investments and be eligible for rewards

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Power Ledger To Build P2P Renewable Energy Trading Platform in Thailand

PowerLedger, an Australian blockchain startup known for its work in the field of renewable energy, has partnered with Thai Digital Energy Development (TDED) which is a public-private joint venture.

The partnership was announced on May 25th, which would see the development of an energy platform that would enable environmental commodification and peer-to-peer trading renewable energy trading.

The platform would offer blockchain-based transactive energy solutions, virtual power plants, issuance of renewable energy certificates and trading of carbon credits. The partnership aims to boost renewable energy and acceptance in Thailand, where the government is seeking to generate 25% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2037.

Jemma Green, the co-founder and executive chairman of PowerLedger, believes the new partnership and energy platform would be crucial to the establishment of economically viable renewable energy markets. He said:

“Our partnership with TDED will allow us to accelerate our efforts to promote distributed digital energy markets in Thailand.”

Thailand is Looking at Private-Public Sector Cooperation to Push Renewable Energy Usage

TDED being a joint venture of the private and public sector between Thai energy authorities and green energy specialists BCPG which is a Bangkok firm specializing in solar, wind and geothermal power and operations flourishing across Thailand, Japan and Philippines.

The partnership would oversee four BCPG clean power projects, including Chiang Mai University’s 12MW Smart Campus and its carbon management system.

PowerLedger has been working with BCPG from 2018 itself where the Australian startup helped the energy specialist to launch a similar peer-to-peer energy pilot program.

Vinod Tiwari, head of business development and sales at PowerLedger believes the partnership between the private and public sector could really help Thailand in achieving its renewable targets and given PowerLedger’s experience in the clean, green energy would only help in accelerating those goals. He explained:

“The platform acts as an operating system and innovative facilitator in the transformation of energy markets from centralised to hybrid, distributed energy markets underpinned by renewable energy and distributed energy resources. This unique market-based approach acts as an incentive to accelerate distributed energy resources and renewable energy deployment in communities and helps in achieving a country’s national renewable energy targets.”

The new platform framework would be open to other players in the renewable energy field in Thailand.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Digital Asset Security Firm Fireblock Backed By Fidelity Gets EY’s SOC 2 Type II Accreditation

Fidelity Digital Assets (FDAS) thinks that in the future, custodians will work from behind the scenes to store cryptocurrencies for clients from different firms.

At the same time, its enterprise-based platform for crypto transactions, Fireblocks, has just passed an EY audit that confirms it complies with data security standards, which has led to talks with Wall Street clients.

FDAS Doesn’t Have Any Plan to White-Label Its Custody Services

FDAS is a Bitcoin (BTC) custodian and broker for institutional investors. It doesn’t have any plan to white-label its services, this being just a theory about the future it has launched. What it has announced is that this month it’s going to open a new European entity. At the moment, FDAS sources its liquidity mostly from over the counter (OTC) trading desks, but it has plans to have its own crypto exchange until this year is over.

Fireblocks Was Awarded a SOC 2 Type II Certification

After a 6-month audit on how Fidelity’s Fireblocks processes, protects and manages customer data, the company was given a Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Type II Certification. Fireblocks’s service allows institutions to move digital assets securely. Its platform was launched in June and it supports 180 cryptocurrencies in addition to 22 exchanges. In an EY report, it’s mentioned that Fireblocks met or exceeded the SOC 2 Type II criteria and that it’s going to be evaluated every year in order to comply with all security standards.

Few Crypto Businesses Have the SOC 2 Type 2 Accreditation

According to Fireblocks’ co-founder and CEO, Michael Shaulov, only a few crypto businesses are SOC 2 Type II accredited. Now, the company is looking for clients from outside the crypto world, like financial institutions that want to try the asset class. It has been confirmed that is already in talks with Wall Street firms.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Major Loophole Flagged by Dev That Could Lead to $340M Theft, Stealing All Of MakerDAO’s ETH

  • The attack would require the work of a few MKR whales or many minor MKR addresses.
  • The cost of such an attack would be about $20 million, possibly more.

The Maker protocol currently holds $300 million in ETH, but is it as safe as investors believe? Micah Zoltu, a developer and the co-author of the original whitepaper for Augur, recently published a post that suggested that there’s a massive vulnerability with MakerDAO. In the blog, he states that this vulnerability could be attacked, pulling every bit of ETH from the MakerDAO system.

Often, users will lock ETH into the Maker protocol, allowing them to create loans involving the DAI stablecoin, which is pegged to the dollar. However, Zoltu points out that the way Maker is governed creates a problem, stating, “Some group of plutocrats can control how the system behaves.”

The only way that the attack could occur is if a few of the MKR whales decided to take fast action, though a sophisticated attack would only take about 40,000 MKR. Based on the voting system and the staking approach presently implemented for Maker, using 48,400 MKR would allow this attack to take place right away. Essentially, at least $20 million in cryptocurrency would be needed to make this possible, assuming that the price wouldn’t push upwards with this kind of purchase, which isn’t likely. Zoltu continued, writing,

“It is worth nothing that Maker Foundation could attack the system in this way right now if they wanted. What is worse, [venture capital firm] a16z has enough MKR on hand right now to executive the attack the patient way!”

Apart from the possibility of an inside job by individuals that want to see the DeFi application thrive, the ability to actually get all of the MKR needed for this type of attack is likely the biggest struggle. Joey Krug, who is a partner of Pantera Capital and has been made aware of this vulnerability, stated,

“I feel like it’d at least double the price. You could probably get a lot of whales to sell to you OTC if you were paying double market.”

In the open market, the price would skyrocket exponentially, in the event that the attacker had to start from square one.

As it stands, the MKR token governs the Maker protocol. There’s been a small amount burned already of the one million minted, but the Maker Foundation remains in control of a few hundred thousand in both treasury and smart contracts. At the time of writing, a single MKR sells for $499.16, and about $4 million to $10 million in turnover is processed daily.

By holding MKR, any investor has the ability to put up a smart contract, though Maker uses continuous governance to allow for changes at any time. The system just made the upgrade from the single-collateral DAI to the multi-collateral DAI, which means that a whole new version of the protocol is available. Now, there are two kinds of DAI, and users are being pushed to convert their old DAI to the current DAI.

While there are new security changes, like a delay on voted changes to take effect, Zoltu points to the biggest weakness, there is no governance delay. This means, any provision that is voted and approved will immediately take effect, which head of engineering Wouter Kampmann believes is better to have for now. Kampmann added, “It’s really a matter of finding that sweet spot there.”

When speaking with CoinDesk, Kampmann stated that all of the ETH that MakerDAO holds wouldn’t just be moved into a wallet that an attacker could control. Instead, Kampmann stated,

“The way permissionless, unstoppable code works is that there is certain business logic that determines the rules of how to interact with the contract – and these rules are unchangeable.”

This kind of attack would take substantial intelligence and planning, but anyone who remembers the DAO hack is probably a little nervous anyway. Zoltu’s attack theory would need to take place quickly, as the governance delay would likely be increased in the first quarter, possibly as early as January. However, this decision isn’t actually up to the foundation staff. Kampmann stated,

“You cannot just ignore the economics of it. The problem with the model that’s set forth is really in the incentive model.”

There are presently a few whales that already have accumulated enough MKR to attack in this way already, but it isn’t likely they will. The attack would ultimately cause the loss of their value in other assets as it shakes up Ethereum, costing them much more than they gain. Kampmann states that MKR holders should be staking their MKR on votes, if they care about making the protocol secure. Plus, there’s still a lot of MKR sitting on the sidelines. Krug added that, while MKR whales probably have good intentions, it would be unwise to “assume it for sure.”

Another option of this attack would require massive collaboration amongst many minor whales, which account for about 16,000 ETH addresses. If they combined forces without tipping off the MakerDAO community, it is possible that they could avoid the price movement while collecting enough tokens. Considering that MKR simply doesn’t move around that much, this type of cooperation is not likely at all, but Zoltu doesn’t believe that all of these assumptions make the protocol safe enough. Zoltu added,

“They [the Maker Foundation] are operating under the assumption that there are no dark pools of liquidity available to attackers. This is, kind of by definition, something one cannot know.”

As The Next Web’s Hard Fork points out, MakerDAO recently stated that there was another major security flaw in October, allowing the theft of Ethereum before the DAI upgrade was released.

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Author: Krystle M

Oldest Bitcoin Mining Pool Releases Details On New Stratum V2 Specifications

Mining is a vital part of the Bitcoin network and most people who work on mining pools know this pretty well. It is because of this understanding that everyone was paying attention when Slush Pool, known as the first Bitcoin mining pool ever, released their specifications for its new protocol.

Formerly known as Bitcoin Pooled Mining Server, Slush Pool was founded nine years ago and it was the first BTC mining pool to appear in the market. Now, the organization has just released its newest mining protocol: Stratum V2, which was created by Braiins Systems.

The new protocol brings several upgrades for the people who use the pool. One of them is aimed to diminish the consumption of bandwidth, while another reduces the CPU load. Now, this version of the protocol will have a robust encryption system that will make it harder for any hackers to interfere with mining. Other updates are related to decentralization and aim to improve it.

Apart from all of this, one of the main advantages of the new protocol is known as “light mining”, which is a header-only version of mining that allows someone to sacrifice some flexibility to mine with older hardware. It is a good idea for people who do not possess the money to keep buying expensive mining rigs.

If you want to give your opinion about Stratum V2, you can do it. The launch is currently subject to public debate and people can freely contact the company to give their opinions on the quality of the new upgrade.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

BCH Hash Rate Taken Over by Unknown Miner with 50% Control for Full 24 Hours

  • It is unclear if the 50% control was the result of the work of one or multiple miners.
  • Some proponents believe that this ability points to an issue with security and liability with Bitcoin Cash.

In the cryptocurrency industry, every platform thrives on a lack of majority control. Decentralization relies on this idea, as it allows the industry to remain free and unregulated. However, a recent article by Cointelegraph points out an issue with the Bitcoin Cash hash rate, which was in control of 50% of the hash rate for a total of 24 hours.

From 10:00am on October 24th to 10:00am on October 25th, the miner appeared to mine 73 blocks. Notgrubles, a crypto Twitter user, stated that this action is proof that “BCH is a security risk and liability,” and that the coin should be delisted.

With this level of control, the miner, or miners, cannot be far from having control of the entire network. One of the crypto proponents on Reddit suggested that this type of control would lead the miner to do “nefarious things.” Another Redditor – Bitmeister – stated that it is more likely that Bitcoin miners are trying to experiment with their BTC hash power by directing their attention to BCH.

Bitcoin’s network hash rate recently had a major dip of 40% at the end of September, which is still unexplained at this point. Considering the massive highs that Bitcoin experienced in their hash rates over the summer, this drop was even more surprising. Cointelegraph even reported that the hash rate passed 102 quintillion hashes, which was a major milestone for the digital asset.

With a higher hash rate comes greater competition to mine new blocks. At the same time, it increases the resources that would be required for a 51% attack, which secures the network.

Along with the sudden rise in Bitcoin’s price, Bitcoin Cash is also seeing some success, though the value of the token has declined since then. At the time of writing, the token was down by 2.45% with a value of $250.12 per BCH.

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Author: Krystle M

Premier of Bermuda: Crypto Assets Balance Out the Powers of ‘Big Tech’ and Government

Edward David Burt, the Premier of Bermuda, has recently affirmed that cryptocurrencies can work as a great equalizer against “big tech”. He affirmed this during a recent interview with Forbes. According to him, cryptos are important to ensure that citizens are not at the mercy of big corporations and the government.

The Premier has a background as a programmer and entrepreneur, so he is pretty excited about the prospects of Bitcoin. He affirmed that crypto can be used to make a society that is more equal and that micropayments will completely change how the technology landscape is today. His direct quote was;

“Facebook and Google make money because they have your data, but they don’t pay for access to your data. However, when you talk about the ability to have infinitesimally-sized pieces of value so someone can pay you […] for using your data … […] the promise of cryptocurrency is to actually take power away from those large companies.”

Today, he affirmed, large companies such as Facebook and Google are able to make a lot of money by selling the data of the customers. Cryptocurrencies can be used to take that power away from them, as they would, for the first time, have to ask permission to be able to sell the data, and pay something back to the people.

Despite not trusting Facebook, he did affirm that most regulators were too afraid of the Libra and that they should be focused on innovation instead of pushing it back. According to him, you simply can’t stop the future and trying is a futile effort.

During his interview, he also talked about how fintech innovation is important for the national strategies of countries. According to him, the industry is growing in Bermuda and seeking talent abroad, as the government understands how important it is for the economy to invest in this nascent industry. Adding;

“Whether it’s Libra, when we talk about ICOs and different things, the fact is that it’s no different from when stocks and bonds were startup financial services.” […] “It’s going to happen. The Internet can’t be shut off.”

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Author: Saad U

Facebook Eyes a New Blockchain Policy Expert In Africa To Enable Crypto Payments With WhatsApp

While the whole work is looking at Facebook’s new project Libra, Facebook is looking at Sub-Saharan Africa. According to a recent job opening, the company is looking for a policy expert in Africa that could ensure that payments are made in the countries of the continent using WhatsApp. While the job posting does not mention Libra, it is expected that the job will have some relation to it.

Libra will let Facebook allow crypto transfers using WhatsApp, so it is likely that the company will be used for this. The company declined to talk about the subject when reached out by media outlets. The position is for Johannesburg, in South Africa.

WhatsApp was originally acquired back in 2014 by Facebook and it is the most popular messaging app in the continent. Mobile ways to use money are very popular there, so it can surely be a fertile ground for Facebook.

At the moment, Facebook is struggling to have the Libra token approved in the U. S. and Europe and some countries such as India and China will probably ban it, so looking at Africa is far from a bad idea. If the deal goes sour there, at least the company knows that it can have a pretty active market in a continent where the legislation may not be so harsh with the initiative.

Right now, Facebook is filling in several positions for people to work towards creating its cryptocurrency. The launch is expected to happen in 2020, so the social media giant is making a huge effort to create a strong product and to convince regulators to let the launch happen.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Major Auditing Firm EY To Help Developing Fine Wine Trading Blockchain Platform for WiV

EY, one of the four largest auditing firms in the world, has recently revealed that it was hired to work on a new fine wind trading platform that uses the blockchain technology. The company in charge of the new trading platform, WiV Technology, is set to let its clients trade premium wine.

With the help of this blockchain-based platform, traders would be able to certify the authenticity of the wine and determine its origin.

The company has affirmed that smart contracts will be used on the platform in order to help to determine the ownership of several goods and their transactions history as well. The properties of each wine will be able all stored on the blockchain and can be easily accessed with the help of the QR code.

The CEO of Wiv Technology, a man named Tommy Nordam Jensen, affirmed that this will make fine wine trading considerably less expensive. Investors will be able to trade it for only a fraction of the original cost this way.

Normally, large paperwork is needed in order to prove that a bottle of wine is, in fact, valuable without needing to open it first. The blockchain is a major help because it lets the investors trade without having to go through a huge process.

EY will be responsible for helping the company to determine the quality of blockchain technology and to help in enhancing the process.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team