Blockchain, Power and Politics: How Decentralization Engenders Freedom

What can I do to prevent this in the future?

If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware.

If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.

Canadian Regulator Green-Lights Bitcoin Fund IPO

Canadian Regulator Green-Lights Bitcoin Fund IPO

Canadian Regulator Green-Lights Bitcoin Fund IPO

The Bitcoin Fund’s initial public offering (IPO) filing has been accepted by Canada’s Ontario Securities Commission. Despite previously rejecting it, the Canadian regulator finally accepted the fund’s IPO prospectus after a public hearing and a favorable ruling.

Also read: Bitcoin ATMs Installed at 5 Major Malls in the US

The Bitcoin Fund IPO

Crypto-focused Canadian investment fund manager 3IQ Corp. announced on Thursday that it has filed a preliminary prospectus for the IPO of The Bitcoin Fund. More importantly, the prospectus dated Nov. 27 has been receipted by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) after previously rejecting it. The IPO will offer two classes of units at $10 each.

The Bitcoin Fund is a closed-end investment fund established as a trust under Ontario’s laws, the company explained, adding that “the units will be an eligible qualified investment for registered investment accounts.” The fund’s investment objectives are to provide investors with long-term capital appreciation and exposure to bitcoin and its daily price movement in USD, the announcement details.

Canadian Regulator Green-Lights Bitcoin Fund IPO

Founded in 2012, 3IQ already manages two other private digital asset funds for accredited investors in Canada. It will act as The Bitcoin Fund’s investment and portfolio manager. The crypto-focused company has been working to bring a public bitcoin fund to market for Canadian retail investors since 2016.

Success After a Long Battle

3IQ Corp. originally filed a preliminary prospectus for the IPO of The Bitcoin Fund with the OSC’s Investment Funds & Structures Projects branch (IFSP) in October last year. However, the staff raised a number of concerns after reviewing it, arguing that the fund was not in the public interest of Canadians. This resulted in the IFSP director rejecting the fund’s prospectus in February. The company then requested a hearing and a review of this decision. After a public hearing and several meetings, OSC Commissioner Lawrence P. Haber ruled that the staff’s concerns “do not warrant denying a receipt for The Bitcoin Fund’s prospectus.”

Canadian Regulator Green-Lights Bitcoin Fund IPO

The commissioner believes that it is not the role of securities regulators to approve or disapprove of the merits of the underlying investment being offered to the public — bitcoin in this case. Among other bullish statements, he said, “there is sufficient evidence of real volume and real trading in bitcoin on registered exchanges in large dollar size.” After addressing each point of concern raised by the staff, the commissioner ordered the IFSP director to issue a receipt for the fund’s prospectus unless new evidence was found to warrant a rejection. Several weeks later, the company announced that the regulator has finally issued a receipt for the fund’s prospectus.

Nonetheless, the staff noted that “there are remaining steps for completion before a final offering prospectus can be receipted.” Particularly, Commissioner Haber’s order reveals that the final prospectus would include additional information regarding the offering such as pricing information and details regarding underwriters. The order further states:

3IQ also confirmed that it does intend to offer units of the fund to Canadian retail investors in all provinces and territories of Canada.

The company has confirmed that the preliminary prospectus is subject to completion or amendment, and the sale will only commence after the regulator has issued a receipt for the final prospectus.

What do you think of the OSC finally accepting the IPO filing for The Bitcoin Fund? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.





Will Ethereum’s Fundamentals Propel it Higher? Analysts are Conflicted

Ethereum has been closely tracking Bitcoin’s price action over the past several days and weeks, with BTC leading ETH to put some significant distance between its current price levels and recent lows, but the aggregated crypto markets now appear to be at risk of incurring further near-term downside.

Analysts are now debating whether or not Ethereum’s robust fundamentals will be enough to help propel the cryptocurrency higher, or if it will post further losses as Bitcoin’s recently incurred momentum begins stalling.

Ethereum Drops 2% as Analysts Target Further Losses

At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading down 2% at its current price of $152, which marks a notable decline from its daily highs of $157 that were set yesterday when bulls attempted to spark another rally.

In the near-term, ETH has been able to find some support in the lower-$150 region, as it has bounced multiple times this morning after visiting these levels.

It is important to note that Ethereum is currently trading significantly off of its recent lows of $130 that were set during the recent sell-off concurrently with Bitcoin’s downwards movement towards $6,500.

Hsaka, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, explained in a recent tweet that he believes Ethereum will drop slightly lower to $150 in the near-term, which could come about as a result of further BTC downside.

“Send $ETH to 150 posthaste,” he concisely noted in a tweet while referencing the chart seen below.

Will Fundamental Strength Help Propel ETH Higher?

One factor that analysts and ETH bulls alike have been closely watching is the DeFi trend’s impact on Ethereum, with a significant amount of the cryptocurrency being locked up as more individuals utilize DeFi initiatives.

Spencer Noon, a popular figure within the crypto industry, spoke about this in a recent tweet, noting that Ethereum’s year-over-year price gains do not match the amount of ETH that has been locked up in DeFi over the past year.

“Thanksgiving Price of $ETH: 2018: $121. 2019: $154 (+27%). The market can stay irrational longer than you can remain solvent, but I’m personally betting that price won’t lag fundamentals this good for much longer,” he explained in reference to a previous tweet that shows the meteoric growth of DeFi.

The coming months will likely offer the markets significant insight into whether or not Ethereum’s strong fundamentals will help propel it higher in the mid-term.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Ethereum (ETH) 2.0 Upgrade May Revive Staking in 2020

ethereum staking Altcoins

Ethereum (ETH) 2.0 Upgrade May Revive Staking in 2020


Ethereum (ETH) may bring another round of staking enthusiasm if it moves forward to further replace mining in 2020.


New Staking Projects Appeared in the Past Year

Staking coins may come in fashion again, as passive income and slow growth replace previous highly speculative uses. Staking is nothing new in the crypto space, but this time around, there is better infrastructure and more reliable projects.

The 2020 prediction comes from Alex Kruger and takes into account the staking success of Tezos (XTZ) so far.

The Tezos project offers reliable governance in the process of “baking”, and additionally, the custodial services of Coinbase offer a more reliable source of passive XTZ.

Instead of a vast array of staking coins, as in the past, passive income practice may be attracted to the most liquid altcoins, which manage to keep relatively stable prices.

Staking with Ethereum

ETH 2.0, the promised staking mechanism, will extend the culture of storing ETH coins. Currently, passive income for ETH is possible for schemes such as Maker, Compound, as well as exchange-based returns programs offered by Binance.

As ETH remains relatively stable, the coin’s new utility is as a source of passive income. However, staking also means at least some selling pressure as the rewards are monetized.

For Ethereum, staking may replace the lowered mining awards, as the difficulty time bomb still affects the network. But ETH is not the only coin to test staking. Other projects pivot to offering passive income, including the recently booming Chainlink (LINK).

Tezos “Baking” Grows on Wider Coin Adoption

Currently, Tezos offers one of the greatest passive annual income of 6.21% but combined with some inflation based on the growing supply of XTZ. Cosmos (ATOM) has annualized earnings of 8.52%. There are also coins offering outlandishly high annualized earnings, such as Livepeer at 78.6%. LTP, however, is extremely volatile and has lost 60% of its value since August.

ETH staking still has unclear parameters, ranging from staking a few ETH to thousands of coins. For now, it is uncertain what the rewards would be, but the annualized returns will aim to be relatively low.

Mining Bitcoin (BTC) remains a high-stakes activity with a great barrier to entry. Staking, however, may be a less costly mechanism for wider adoption. The only uncertainty about staking is access to the actual assets, as some of the coins may be considered securities based on offering passive income as a form of a dividend.

What do you think about staking passive income? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @krugermacro

Crypto Tidbits: Bakkt’s Bitcoin Futures Surge, UpBit Hacked for $50 Million in Ethereum, US Arrests Blockchain Researcher

Another week, another round of Crypto Tidbits. Surprisingly, Bitcoin (BTC), saw some relatively strong performance over the past seven days, gaining 2% according to Coin360. This came after the leading cryptocurrency tapped $6,600 in a surprise flash crash late last week, shocking investors the world over.

The past week was an interesting one for the industry at large: an Ethereum Foundation researcher was arrested by the U.S. for purportedly supporting North Korea, Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures saw an absolutely colossal week in terms of adoption and usage, and the chief executive of a Chinese exchange went missing, leaving the company without access to its cryptocurrency holdings.

Bitcoin & Crypto Tidbits

  • Bakkt’s Bitcoin Futures See Amazing Week: When crypto exchange upstart Bakkt launched its Bitcoin futures contract in September, few institutional investors were using the product. Bakkt’s market saw less than $5 million worth of daily volumes for weeks on end, with little sign of improvement. Though, over the past few weeks, the futures have seen a strong uptick in adoption. In fact, on Wednesday, Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures saw nearly $40 million worth of volume trade. And while Bakkt’s volumes are a sign of institutional trading interest, Bakkt’s open interest metrics are signs of institutions’ propensity to hold Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency data Twitter page Ecoinometrics recently noted that the open interest in the Bitcoin futures contracts has surged by hundreds of BTC over recent days. This implies that “some people are seeing the price dip as a good occasion to get in long.”
  • IDAX CEO Goes Missing, Crypto WIthdrawals Halted: The chief executive of IDAX, a lesser-known cryptocurrency trading platform purportedly in Shanghai, has disappeared off the face of the Earth. The exchange announced this in an announcement published on Friday morning, in which it was written that “since November 24th, IDAX Global CEO have gone missing with unknown cause and IDAX Global staffs were out of touch with him.” The exchange added that as a result of this, it will be halting all deposits and withdrawals as IDAX’s access to its cold wallet, which “stored almost all cryptocurrency balances for IDAX (including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other assets),” has been “restricted.” Henceforth, the exchange has “drawn up and emergency plan about platform services, including our deposit/withdrawal service.”
  • U.S. Arrests Ethereum Proponent for “Assisting” North Korea: On Friday, the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York State revealed something astounding: it, alongside individuals from the FBI and other authorities of the U.S. government, had arrested Virgil Griffith, a United States citizen at the Los Angeles Airport. As to why the individual was arrested, a press release indicated that the individual had “violated the  International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”) by traveling to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (“DPRK” or “North Korea”) in order deliver a presentation… [on how to use technology] to evade sanctions.” Griffith, whose LinkedIn claims he is a research scientist for the Ethereum Foundation, was there for a state-sponsored blockchain event. Prominent members of the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency community have mixed reactions to this case.
  • HSBC to Use Blockchain to Manage $20 Billion Worth of Assets:According to a report published Wednesday by Reuters, HSBC will be using a blockchain-based custody platform dubbed “Digital Vault” to manage $20 billion worth of assets in “one of the biggest deployments yet of the widely-hyped but still unproven technology by a global bank.” HSBC representatives said that the company intends to have this done by March. This new HSBC platform will effectively bring formerly paper-based records of private placement investments onto a blockchain, reducing the “time it takes investors to make checks or queries on holdings.”
  • UpBit Hacked for $50 Million in EthereumEarlier this week, blockchain analytics services picked up on an interesting set of transactions from the wallets of UpBit, a Korean exchange. The transactions include multi-million transfers of Ethereum, Tron, EOS, and other top cryptocurrencies (not Bitcoin though) from UpBit-owned wallets to exchanges and “unknown wallets,” addresses left unmarked by these analytics firms. Eventually, UpBit came out to speak on the matter, revealing in an announcement that a 342,000 Ethereum (then valued at $50 million) transaction was suspicious. The translated version of the release does not contain the word “hack,” though many have taken the statement as a sign that the $50 million worth of cryptocurrency has been misplaced and is currently unretrievable. Upbit has confirmed that it will cover the funds with up to $51 million worth of its corporate funds, and has also revealed that it has moved all cryptocurrencies into its cold wallet to protect its customers.
Featured Image from Shutterstock

Wall Street Still Doesn’t Get What Bitcoin Might be Used For

wall street confused about bitcoin Bitcoin

Wall Street Still Doesn’t Get What Bitcoin Might be Used For


Despite being one of the most discussed topics in the last few years, Wall Street still can’t figure out the utility of Bitcoin.


Bitcoin Needs Greater Utility, Bakkt CEO Says

Adam White, CEO of Bitcoin futures exchange operator Bakkt, said that “there needs to be greater utility” for Bitcoin. Nevertheless, it didn’t stop Bakkt, a subsidiary of NYSE parent Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), to promote crypto adoption on Wall Street, even though it launched the crypto futures platform after several delays.

Speaking at a conference in New York, White said:

“There’s an argument that Bitcoin is a store of value, and acts like digital gold, and that is its use case. That may be true. It’s our thesis that the size of that pie will never be big enough to justify the aspirations and the opportunities that this technology brings.”

A recent poll involving crypto and blockchain top executives and CEO connected to VC firm Digital Currency Group showed that most leaders of the crypto industry (71%) expect BTC to be used as a store of value over the next year. 7.6% of the surveyed executives said the cryptocurrency wouldn’t be useful for anything.

Besides running the futures platform and custody service, Bakkt is trying to forge a real-world use case for Bitcoin. The company is collaborating with Starbucks to develop a payment system that would allow people to buy with BTC. However, Starbucks won’t store the Bitcoin coming from buyers, as the system will simply convert the cryptocurrency to US dollars. The service will become available next year.

Investors Don’t Care About Utility

Even with no real utility whatsoever, institutional investors are trading Bitcoin like never before. While the Bitcoin quotations have declined by over 17% in November, more investors are willing to buy, probably trying to benefit from the lower price.

Thus, Bitcoin trading volumes on Bakkt hit a record high on Wednesday, to 5,671 BTC or $42.5 million. For comparison, the previous record, which came three days before that, was at $20.3 million.

On Thursday and Friday, Bakkt saw the third and second-best trading days, with volume exceeding $21 million. As for the open interest in Bitcoin, it hit the record high yesterday at $4.6 million.

bakkt bitcoin futures volume

This demonstrates that institutional investors don’t care about Bitcoin’s utility and regard the cryptocurrency as a great investment instrument.

Do you think Bitcoin will be used for payments with major retailers? Share your expectations in the comments section!


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @BakktBot

Bitcoin at Risk of Reversing Upwards Momentum as Bears Fight Back

After making a strong attempt to break above $8,000 yesterday, Bitcoin (BTC) lost the momentum that it had been gaining over the past couple of days and has begun to descend back down towards the lower-$7,000 region.

The cryptocurrency’s inability to break above $8,000 has led analysts to conclude that BTC could be at risk of reversing its recent uptrend, meaning that significantly further losses could be imminent.

Bitcoin Loses Momentum as Bears Defend $8,000 Resistance

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down just over 2% at its current price of $7,600, which marks a slight retrace from its daily highs of just under $8,000 that were set at the peak of the recent rally that was first sparked when BTC bounced from $6,500.

If Bitcoin fails to garner any upwards momentum in the near-term, it is highly probable that it will see further downside in the coming hours and days, as it may signal that $8,000 is an insurmountable resistance level that will suppress any potential bullishness.

CryptoBirb, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, spoke about this possibility in a recent tweet, telling his followers that BTC must break and hold above $7,960 in order for it to have a chance at moving up towards $7,960.

“$BTC must reclaim 7960 to swing 9.1k (note bullish divergence). Early signal is 3D close above MA100. Anything below is MTF~5.4k-oriented,” he noted while referencing the chart in the below tweet.

Will Further Downside Reverse the Recent Uptrend? 

Assuming that Bitcoin faces further near-term downside, the recent uptrend experienced by the crypto in the time since it surged from lows of $6,500 may be in peril of being reversed.

Josh Rager, another popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, mused this possibility in a tweet, telling his followers that BTC’s recent highs could mark a local top.

“$BTC could be reversing here after a short term uptrend. Remember, the overall trend has been down, though price can’t move straight down and this relief was needed short term. Price could have certainly hit local top here as we move closer to the weekly close,” he bearishly noted.

Although it does remain unclear as to whether or not this bearish possibility will play out in the coming hours and days, an inability for Bitcoin’s bulls to propel it back up towards $8,000 could mean that further downside is inbound.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Bitcoin Pauses to Catch Its Breath After a Four-Day Run to $7,827

/latest/2019/11/bitcoin-pauses-to-catch-its-breath-after-a-four-day-run-to-7827/

Bitcoin Pauses to Catch Its Breath After a Four-Day Run to $7,827

bitcoin-pauses-to-catch-its-breath-after-a-four-day-run-to-7827

After the crypto market saw Bitcoin surge over $1,200 during a four-day run that resulted in the price reaching $7,827 on November 29, Bitcoin decided to pause to catch its breath on November 30.

According to CryptoCompare, at the time of writing (around 18:02 UTC on November 30), Bitcoin is trading at $7,524, down just over 2.5% in the past 24-hour period:

BTC-USD 24-Hour - 30 Nov 2019.png

Perhaps, this is a case of Bitcoin investors taking a break after the Black Friday shopping spree during which demand took the Bitcoin price from $6,575 at 05:00 UTC on November 25 to $7,827 at 15:00 on November 29.

BTC-USD 2 Week - 30 Nov 2019.jpg

Or maybe Bitcoin is down today is due to the slight nervousness and uncertainty in the crypto market as the result of the announcement on Friday (around 18:17 UTC) by the office of Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, regarding the arrest of Virgil Griffith, who works as a research scientist for the Ethereum Foundation.

As for an explanation of Bitcoin’s price action based on technical analysis, crypto analyst/trader Josh Rager had this to say earlier today:

 

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pexels.com

Bitcoin Fails to Break $7.8K and Now Risks Reversing to New Lows

What can I do to prevent this in the future?

If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware.

If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.

IMF Calls on Georgia to Evaluate Crypto Income for Trade Balance

georgia crypto bitcoin mining Bitcoin Mining

IMF Calls on Georgia to Evaluate Crypto Income for Trade Balance


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommends that Georgia include the income from crypto trade and mining in its foreign trade balance reports.


IMF Welcomes More Transparency on Crypto Mining

The IMF’s suggestion is quite relevant, given that Georgia is currently the 4th largest producer of digital currencies from mining operations. Thus, the government should take into account the income from this kind of activity.

The media reported that representatives of the IMF had already met with leaders of large crypto-oriented companies working in the mining sector. Miners were told to account for foreigners who buy cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin from local producers. In other words, Georgia is an exporter of Bitcoin. Yet, no-one seems to know how much US dollars this activity brings to the economy.

The IMF said:

“Along with existing programs, the IMF is working with Georgia on other matters, including on improving statistics. We are consulting on improving the methodology for calculating the foreign trade balance, and in particular, we are actively discussing the possibility of introducing accounting for cryptocurrency mining.”

Georgia’s Trade Balance Should Reflect Crypt Exports and Contribution to GDP

The IMF experts agree that crypto mining accounts for a decent share of Georgia’s economy. Therefore, the government should watch the industry closely. Now the international organization is trying to figure out the real contribution of crypto mining to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Mercedes Vera-Martin, Deputy Division Chief at IMF, commented:

“Cryptocurrency mining has both positive and negative effects on the country. If cryptocurrency is sold abroad in large quantities, then why should this not be taken into account in the foreign trade balance?”

She stressed that mining Bitcoin requires the import of goods, probably hinting to specialized equipment like ASICs along with materials for building the facilities. However, given that the import materials are physical, they are taken into account in official trade balance statistics. Thus, reporting on imports and ignoring exports significantly distorts the general picture.

Last year, the National Bank of Georgia calculated the number of digital wallets registered in the country. The discovered 5,300 wallets by then, which held the equivalent of $708,000. The IMF recommended that the National Bank measure the number of wallets registered by non-residents.

The IMF has also prepared a special questionnaire that should guide Georgia’s official departments to estimate the total volume of Bitcoin produced in the country and sold abroad.

On a side note, Georgia is the home of Bitfury – one of the largest Bitcoin miners in the world. At one point, Bitfury accounted for 15% of all mined BTC, though this figure has declined.

As of 2017, Georgia’s top exports were Copper Ore ($518 million), Ferroalloys ($318 million), Cars ($195 million), Wine ($172 million) and Gold ($137 million).

Crypto Mining Accounts for Over 10% of Georgia’s Electricity Consumption

Earlier in November, David Chapashvili from Green Energy said in a BBC podcast that Georgia’s Bitcoin mining generated an annual revenue of $0.5 billion. According to him, miners use a lot of electricity. For example, Bitfury alone consuming about 4% of the total power produced in Georgia, which translates into 389.7 million kilowatt-hours. However, there are many micro-miners that should be taken into account. Considering all miners operating in the country, Chapashvili said:

“I think it goes more than 10%. It consumes more electricity than big industries that Georgia has and is beating all direct consumers.”

Georgia has been attracting tons of miners thanks to its cheap hydro-electricity costs and friendly taxes. For Chapashvili, Georgia is only behind China and Venezuela when it comes to mining.

Nevertheless, not everyone is happy with the situation. The huge power consumption by miners sparked local protests here and there, mainly because of power outages in Northwest.

Do you think other countries should also report on the crypto activity inside their territory? Share your thoughts in the comments section!  


Image via Shutterstock