Wednesday Dec 23, 2020
Wednesday Dec 23, 2020
Conservative alt-coin podcast hosts Drew Taylor and Brent Bates recently rounded up guests and the audience to a lively episode 140 of their wildly popular Wild West Crypto Show. Taking the reins in the week’s wild ride was bitcoin, its price climbing to a new all-time high of $22,000 at time of the show’s taping. The program also featured CryptoCurrencyWire’s Jonathan Keim to share the latest and greatest happenings in the crypto world, as well as David Kemmerer with CryptoTrader.tax to discuss a pain-relieving solution when preparing bitcoin and alt-currency taxes. The platform is a reliable crypto tax software and calculator that allows users to simply connect to their exchanges to import trades and download reports in minutes. Also among the wide range of rope-in ready topics was an explanation of what the traditional banks are planning as far as getting involved in crypto-related services and a down-home explanation of qualitative guidance. “My dad, my ‘pappy’ used to always tell me, you know, don’t listen to what they say, watch what they do,” Bates said when describing the guidance to watch out for in what looks to be major inflation coming down the road.
To watch the latest episode, visit https://ccw.fm/KHZGb
Friday Nov 20, 2020
Friday Nov 20, 2020
Jonathan Keim, Communications Director of CryptoCurrencyWire, appeared with his usual trio of news developments.
He kicked off his Weekly News Update with a report that: US Fed economists are exploring the ‘intrinsic’ value drivers of CBDCs (https://ccw.fm/LiKvH). CBDCs are digital currencies issued by a central bank. They appear to differ from regular fiat currencies by being directly issued to consumers rather than through the banking system. The Fed is considering the possibility of issuing such a CBDC and has initiated a study to explore “the potential impact of a digital dollar on commercial banking and monetary policy.”
Other countries, notably China, have already launched digital currency programs. In October, the People’s Bank of China distributed 200 digital yuan ($29.75) each to 50,000 randomly selected consumers with online digital wallets, in a pilot project to test the waters. Central banks around the world are considering CBDCs, concerned that growing use of cryptocurrencies may reduce their ability to manage local monetary systems and economies, to detrimental effect.
In other news: Fund execs offer $1M bets that Bitcoin’s S2F model won’t come true (https://ccw.fm/3Wvo6). Two executives at crypto hedge funds are prepared to place bets against the Bitcoin stock-to-flow model, developed by Dutch investor Plan B, which predicts a price of $100,000-$288,000 before December 2021. Eric Wall, chief investment officer of crypto hedge fund Arcane Assets, is willing to stake $1 million that the prediction will fail. He’s so sure, he’s extended the wager period to 2025. And Ari Paul, CIO at BlockTower Capital, says he would give 3:1 odds on the same bet against the S2F model, which means he’ll gain $1 million if he wins and have to pay out $3 million if he loses.
Finally, InvestorBrandNetwork (“IBN”) Announces Latest Episode of Stock2Me Podcast Featuring Bestselling Author John Truman Wolfe (https://ccw.fm/38rC3). The Stock2Me Podcast, hosted by Stuart Smith, is an initiative of InvestorBrandNetwork (“IBN”), a multifaceted communications organization that connects public companies to the investment community. The podcast is designed to provide specialized content distribution via widespread syndication channels. The current episode features Strategic Financial Intelligence editor John Truman Wolfe sharing his perspectives on the continuing evolution and adoption of decentralized currencies, the impending rise of centralized digital currencies and the long-term effects of recent economic policy decisions in the U.S.
To view the most recent episode of the Wild West Crypto Show, now on TV in 45 cities across the nation, including its ongoing segment from CryptoCurrencyWire featuring the latest news from around the world, visit https://ccw.fm/p1DyD
Sunday Nov 15, 2020
Sunday Nov 15, 2020
BTC is taking it in the shorts but the alts are rising!
Friday Nov 13, 2020
Friday Nov 13, 2020
Regarding the news in alt coin adoption trends, CryptoCurrencyWire Communications Director Jonathan Keim addressed subjects ranging from traditional financial service institutions’ move toward offering services on a decentralized finance (“DeFi”) framework to rumors PayPal may launch its own alt coin in the next year.
“I was just amazed at all the progress that’s being made. … There’s no doubt that this is the year that will be a key landmark in the history of digital finance,” Keim said.
Keim noted that 86 percent of financial institutions that took part in a Europe-wide survey are implementing or assessing services that use DeFi.
“But the really amazing thing is that 31 percent of those companies are reporting an enterprise-wide rollout or have at least deployed an actual use case of DeFi already,” Keim said. “And quite honestly I don’t think I’ve ever seen banks move forward so quickly on anything. I remember hearing DeFi in just the last 12 months and here a third of these companies are already on the train.”
Keim also noted that Singapore’s largest bank plans to launch its own crypto exchange, establishing a relatively easy to access crypto on-ramp for people who bank in that country. Taylor compared it to JPMorgan Chase’s announcement it is going to develop its own coin.
“It’ll be interesting to see how all this evolves and where all these big financial institutions fit into this,” Taylor said.
Regarding PayPal’s plans to potentially launch its own crypto in the next six to 12 months, Keim said the CSO for digital asset manager CoinShares is pointing out PayPal’s immense base of more than 300 million active users and the fact that PayPal has left the Libra Association, which it joined last year to help govern Facebook’s Libra digital currency project.
PayPal announced in October that it has partnered with cryptocurrency company Paxos and that it plans to let its U.S. users buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies and eventually to use their crypto assets to fund PayPal purchases, but it has not stated it intends to launch its own coin (https://ccw.fm/KLquz).
“I can’t help but think that (CoinShare’s CSO) knows more than we do and he just wants to be one of the first to call it,” Keim said.
“(PayPal has) already got a fairly seamless way to put it in and take it out of your bank account,” Bates said. “I remember the very first show we talked about how difficult it was to get money from a bank into a crypto account. It came the other way real quick; it’ll only take a day or two to get out of your crypto account and get into the bank but it took a week to 10 days to get from the bank to there. PayPal’s already got that relationship, already has the portal of getting in and out.”
The Wild West Crypto Show podcast appears online and in multiple markets across the country. Bates’ and Taylor’s purpose is to educate people about alt-currencies “so that they’re not afraid of it.” To view the latest episode, which includes CryptoCurrencyWire’s ongoing segment featuring recent news from around the world, visit https://ccw.fm/h6pks.
Thursday Nov 05, 2020
Thursday Nov 05, 2020
CryptoCurrencyWire Communications Director Jonathan Keim is a show regular, offering additional insights on crypto space news headlines from around the world. In this episode, Keim acknowledges new signs that alternatives to the dollar are gaining mainstream recognition.
When Cointelegraph reported that U.S. Currency Comptroller Brian Brooks stated that decentralized finance movements will spawn “inevitable” change and will render many of the services banks provide obsolete, “just as email disrupted the postal service,” Keim called it a sign that “everybody is waking up” to a fact that he and the show’s hosts have previously discussed many times.
“It’s just exciting when you hear people like Brian Brooks say these kinds of things. We’re seeing so much movement in this past year. It’s really insane. And not just here in the U.S. but abroad as well,” Keim added.
Keim also noted that the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve has said its financial institutions aren’t in a hurry to introduce central bank digital currency, which prompted Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano to argue that time is of the essence and if it doesn’t act “the U.S. is going to fall really far behind China because it all comes down to accessibility.”
“In our small town, we have a bank and a chicken place on every corner and a convenience store across the street. We’ve got plenty of all that sort of stuff,” Bates quipped. “The U.S. getting involved in this is going to help all those unbanked people and is going to help all these other economies by being able to provide liquidity and everything that the U.S. dollar and digital dollar could bring.”
Bates expressed excitement at news that crypto gaming pioneer Cloudbet is adding Pax Gold coin to its platform to make betting with gold backing possible in a first for the gaming world.
“You can’t carry all your gold with you. It becomes heavy and kind of hard to lug around,” Bates said. “You take that little thumb drive around with you, it could have a billion dollars or it could have 59 cents and everything in between. It’s so much more pragmatic for it to be digitized and to carry around a piece of it.”
Keim said what he finds so interesting is that there are so many alternatives to the dollar “springing up all over the place” as means for currency transactions.
“This world-first accomplishment is only feasible because a gold-backed crypto is easily divisible and easier to exchange,” he said.
The Wild West Crypto Show podcast appears online and in multiple markets across the country. Bates’ and Taylor’s purpose is to educate people about alt-currencies “so that they’re not afraid of it.”
To view the latest episode, which includes CryptoCurrencyWire’s ongoing segment featuring recent news from around the world, visit https://ccw.fm/YLUvo.
Friday Oct 30, 2020
Friday Oct 30, 2020
CryptoCurrencyWire Communications Director Jonathan Keim, who appears in each week’s segment analyzing recent news in the market space, acknowledged alt-coin adoption by other companies making big investments into bitcoin.
Regarding a CoinDesk report about Stone Ridge Asset Management’s more than $100 million investment in bitcoin as part of a billion-dollar spin-off, echoing business intelligence company MicroStrategy in terming bitcoin a “primary treasury reserve asset,” Keim said he thinks the term is going to catch on.
“Institutional asset managers like this one and others are really seeing bitcoin in a new light. They’re even coming up with new terms, like this one,” Keim said. “So, it’s helping everyone understand what bitcoin is and it’s quite frankly getting contagious at this point.”
Taylor also noted a Decrypt report on Fidelity Digital Assets’ turnaround in regard to its views on bitcoin, shedding its adverse opinions three years ago to tout bitcoin as a unique vehicle among investment assets.
“I really think Fidelity nailed it in their research,” Keim said. “Ultimately the research points out how bitcoin is uniquely decoupled from other asset classes. . . . In conclusion, the report said, ‘Bitcoin is a unique, investable asset with compelling differences relative to both traditional asset classes as well as conventional alternative investments.’ And then, just rounding off the sentence, they said, ‘That could make it a beneficial addition to portfolios.’ So they’re kind of hinting, you know, this might be something you want to take a look at.”
The Wild West Crypto Show appears on TV in multiple markets across the country as well as online as a humorous and educational forum for providing information with the intent of reducing some of the consumer wariness about alt-currency. To view the latest episode, which includes CryptoCurrencyWire’s ongoing segment featuring recent news from around the world, visit https://www.ccw.fm/Tldyi
Friday Oct 23, 2020
Friday Oct 23, 2020
Jonathan Keim, the communications director of CryptoCurrencyWire, noted research showing growing adoption of cryptocurrencies, not just as an investment vehicle but as a liquid form of money.
“The fact that 70% of the 35,000 respondents are now spending crypto, and not just HODLing it, means that it’s really achieved currency status,” Keim said.
“To all these restaurants we’ve been telling, ‘You can give yourself a raise if you just start accepting cryptocurrency and you’re not paying’ … people don’t realize that because the credit card fees are 2 to 3%, if your profit margin’s 12%, 25% of it’s getting eaten up by processing fees,” Taylor added.
Keim also discussed the logic of using cryptocurrencies in IRAs to gain tax-free benefits.
“For those who were burnt by big gains reported in 2017 that later evaporated in the 2018 tax year, or they were just overwhelmed by the tracking requirements, it really makes total sense why IRAs are especially appealing to crypto traders,” he said. “An economist that advises iTrustCapital believes IRAs will be a key part of the $1.5 trillion of capital expected to move into the digital asset space within the next five to seven years.”
Bates noted that using cryptocurrencies in IRAs takes off some of the pressure that comes from watching markets rise and fall, because the investor is instead using a long-term perspective for a sector that is continuing to grow over time.
“The other problem that it solves . . . there are now insured funds and everything else, so that the people that have been afraid of losing all this in the crypto market because it’s just a big black hole, you do have these insured funds, U.S. funds . . . where you can take self-directed IRAs and other things and put it in,” Taylor added. “If you believe in crypto the way . . . we do, they are going to be an appreciating asset that may outperform many other things.”
And Keim noted that Bitcoin payment gateway Abra’s CEO was recently quoted as saying he’s “never been this excited about the potential of Bitcoin for a significant price appreciation in the short term,” looking at the possibility of “50,000 and beyond,” providing an insider’s perspective on growing adoption.
The Wild West Crypto Show is a podcast that appears on TV in multiple markets across the country as well as online, “educating people about cryptocurrency so that they’re not afraid of it.” To view the latest episode, which includes CryptoCurrencyWire’s ongoing segment featuring recent news from around the world, visit www.ccw.fm/KjKb9.
Friday Oct 16, 2020
Friday Oct 16, 2020
CryptoCurrencyWire (“CCW”) communications director Jonathan Keim reported as usual on some of the major developments in the crypto space, beginning with the headline: “Adoption: 101 Million Users Joined Crypto in 2020, According to Cambridge Report” (https://ccw.fm/F5Te8). A study by Britain’s University of Cambridge and its Centre for Alternative Finance shows that 2020 has been a bumper year for cryptocurrencies. The report reveals that 101 million unique users signed up for Bitcoin and crypto-asset usage with service providers, such as cryptocurrency trading platforms and wallets, in Q3 2020.
The Cambridge Report numbers indicate that the mining business is alive and well, although it has suffered contraction over the past year, with many outfits targeting more than one cryptocurrency. The report notes that approximately 89% of crypto mining respondents are mining Bitcoin (“BTC”), with 35% mining ether (“ETH”), and with bitcoin cash at 30%.
Next on Keim’s Weekly News Update was the headline: “Payments Platform Wirex Reaches Target for First Crowdfund in 1 and a Half Hours” (https://ccw.fm/mLRBh). Capitalizing on increasing awareness of its platform, British digital payments processor Wirex was able to raise £1 million, as planned, in record time. The company also exceeded the fundraising target by taking in £1.6 million, an amount likely to increase, since its crowd-funding campaign seems set to remain open for some time.
Wirex is the first cryptocurrency platform to be granted a MasterCard principal membership. The processor plans to issue a multicurrency Wirex Card, which will be supported by MasterCard and linked to 19 crypto and fiat currency accounts in the Wirex app. Wirex is regulated by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority, with a license to issue crypto cards in Europe.
Last but most definitely not least, comes a warning from U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) director Kenneth Blanco: “FinCEN Director Warns Banks about Cryptocurrency Risk Exposure” (https://ccw.fm/1Iu9R). At a recent anti-money-laundering (“AML”) conference, the FinCEN chief reminded banks about their obligations to institute effective AML policies, particularly with regard to cryptocurrency transactions.
In 2019, crypto analytics firm CipherTrace Labs found that eight of the ten major U.S. retail banks had done business with illicit crypto money service businesses (“MSBs”). Many MSBs provide cryptocurrencies to customers in exchange for cash, a service which while not illegal per se, requires the MSB to be regulated. Individuals too have fallen foul of the law. Again, buying or selling a cryptocurrency is not in itself illegal but doing so “as a business” is. Conducting more than a handful of transactions can get someone accused of operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business, an offense that carries up to five years behind bars.
To view the most recent episode of the Wild West Crypto Show, now on TV in 45 cities across the nation, including its ongoing segment from CryptoCurrencyWire featuring the latest news from around the world, visit https://ccw.fm/weke4.
Friday Oct 09, 2020
Friday Oct 09, 2020
The first item on Jonathan Keim’s news update this episode, was this headline: There Are Now Over 10,000 Bitcoin ATMs Throughout the World (https://ccw.fm/pff4o). Bitcoin retail transactional capacity has progressed rapidly since Bitcoin ATMs first made their appearance in 2013. The seven years it has taken to reach 10,000 machines means their deployment has been one and a half times faster than that of regular cash ATMs in the 1970s. And although the first machine was installed in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the Waves Coffee House, presently the majority of Bitcoin ATMs can be found in the United States
The second headline on Keim’s list stated this: Cryptocurrencies Are Primary Investments for Many, Finds New Huobi Survey (https://ccw.fm/KIx6D). A Huobi (pronounced HO-BE) study has revealed that in “emerging markets across Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America,” many new consumers of financial products are purchasing “digital assets like Bitcoin (‘BTC’) and ether (‘ETH’),” instead of more established ones, such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
Digital assets appear to be a greater attraction for the less-experienced consumer, which may contribute to greater volatility in the cryptocurrency markets. Huobi is a cryptocurrency exchange with headquarters in Singapore. The name has been translated variously as “hot coin” or “popular coin.”
Finally, Keim’s last headline: Are We Dumb? Financial Illiterates ‘Twice as Likely to Own Crypto.’ This news seemed to validate the results of the Huobi survey (https://ccw.fm/xwZwg). An investigation by Canada’s central bank indicates that “financial literacy is positively associated with the awareness of cryptocurrencies but negatively associated with ownership.” The Bank of Canada’s 2019 Cash Alternative Survey reveals that while many Canadians are familiar with both established and crypto financial products, very few of these financially literate consumers “actually hold any crypto assets.”
Crypto assets, it seems, are purchased mainly by the less informed as financial neophytes, lured by the high expected returns, fail to take account of the risks. Not only are cryptocurrency markets notoriously volatile but they appear to operate independently of economic conditions in the real world, making it difficult if not impossible to identify their intrinsic characteristics, which is why the Wild West Crypto Show advises: never risk more than you would risk on a roll of dice in Vegas.
To view the most recent episode of the Wild West Crypto Show, now on TV in 45 cities across the nation, including its ongoing segment from CryptoCurrencyWire featuring the latest news from around the world, visit https://ccw.fm/xWxXJ.
Friday Oct 02, 2020
Friday Oct 02, 2020
Jonathan Keim, communications director of CryptoCurrencyWire, made his usual weekly cameo appearance. This week, his trio of news updates began with a headline that shows how, in the Bitcoin world, detractors become disciples: After $250 Million Bitcoin Buy, MicroStrategy Eyes More (https://ccw.fm/mn5ze).
Back in 2013, Michael Saylor, CEO of Nasdaq-listed data analytics firm MicroStrategy, tweeted, “Bitcoin days are numbered. It seems like just a matter of time before it suffers the same fate as online gambling.” Now, seven years later, the MicroStrategy chief appears to have had an epiphany. His company recently purchased a quarter of a billion dollars’ worth of Bitcoin, announcing the transaction with the declaration that Bitcoin “as the world’s most widely adopted cryptocurrency, is a dependable store of value and an attractive investment asset with more long-term appreciation potential than holding cash.”
Next up Keim shared this news: “Thai Central Bank’s New Blockchain-Enabled Bond Infrastructure Passes Test with $1.6B Bond Sale” (https://ccw.fm/HEsIA). Monetary authorities in Thailand have managed to sell government savings bonds to the tune of 50 billion baht (approximately $1.6 billion) in just one week. A release issued by the Bank of Thailand said the blockchain-enabled platform would “enhance investors’ buying experience, improve operational efficiency and reduce overall cost.” Thailand has enthusiastically embraced blockchain technologies and applications, including cryptocurrencies. To date, Thai regulators have approved 13 crypto businesses, including cryptocurrency exchanges, brokers and dealers, to legally operate in the country.
In Keim’s last report — no one can refuse China’s digital currency, says central bank exec — authorities in the People’s Republic have stamped the soon-to-be-issued digital yuan with their imprimatur (https://ccw.fm/XzAiN). In a recent press release, the deputy governor of China’s central bank said the digital currency would be on par with existing fiat money. China’s digital currency — digital currency electronic payment, or DCEP — has yet to be launched, but trials on its use have been underway for some time, according to a Bloomberg report (https://ccw.fm/JKVID). There is speculation that its debut may coincide with the 2022 Winter Olympics, set for Feb. 4–20, 2022.
To view the most recent episode of the Wild West Crypto Show, now on TV in 45 cities across the nation, including its ongoing segment from CryptoCurrencyWire featuring the latest news from around the world, visit https://ccw.fm/a1w8n.
Friday Sep 25, 2020
Friday Sep 25, 2020
Jonathan Keim, communications director of CryptoCurrencyWire, weekly news update began with a report that shows the lines between crypto and fiat are blurring: a new matching engine from Nasdaq Market Technology puts Bitstamp’s tech on par with the world’s top traditional exchanges (https://ccw.fm/ZztQK). Founded in 2011, Bitstamp is an exchange in Luxembourg that facilitates trading between U.S. dollars and Bitcoin. It is one of the earliest cryptocurrency exchanges and is presently Europe’s largest by trade volume.
With its adoption of the Nasdaq technology, Bitstamp will be able to manage the full range of trading functions — from price formation to order matching — for a wide range of assets. Nasdaq makes it technology available to exchanges and traders through its marketplace technology unit.
In other news, the major card networks are upping their cryptocurrency game: MasterCard launches digital currency kit for central banks (https://ccw.fm/QTDYx). MasterCard has launched a blockchain-based platform that it hopes will win influential new customers, namely central banks.
The Central Bank Digital Currencies Testing Platform, as it is known, will offer a way to experiment with the issue of digital currencies, perhaps ushering in a wave of sweeping change to current payment systems. Although cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are digital currencies, central bank-issued digital currencies would differ in that they would be regulated by a government authority and require proof of identity to use, just like fiat.
Finally, a headline that’s sure to grab attention: Buffett dumps Wells Fargo, amplifying bull case for gold and Bitcoin (https://ccw.fm/qf1fH). Famed investor Warren Buffett has sold 100 million shares, a large part of his stake in Wells Fargo, after the bank posted a loss of $2.4 billion in the second quarter, its first quarterly loss since the financial crisis of 2008. The drastic decline in earnings stems from the unusually high loan loss provisions made, as the coronavirus pandemic raises default risks for customers.
The report raises moot points. How exactly selling shares in America’s fourth-largest bank benefits Bitcoin is not clear, nor is how the share sale amplifies the “bull case for gold and Bitcoin.” Nevertheless, in some quarters, the cryptocurrency is considered to be a safe haven, despite having a volatility about twice that of gold (https://ccw.fm/HcifU).
To view the most recent episode of the Wild West Crypto Show, now on TV in 45 cities across the nation, including its ongoing segment from CryptoCurrencyWire featuring the latest news from around the world, visit https://ccw.fm/kVEgU.
Friday Sep 18, 2020
Friday Sep 18, 2020
Jonathan Keim, communications director of CryptoCurrencyWire (“CCW”), called in with his usual weekly update, which began with a revelation that may startle the IRS. Residents of Switzerland’s canton of Zug, aptly named Crypto Valley, now have the option of paying their taxes in Bitcoin (“BTC”) and ether (“ETH”) (https://ccw.fm/1USWE). Zug acquired the crypto label because of its crypto-friendly policies.
Despite its size — population of 30,000 — the small town is home to cryptocurrency exchange Shapeshift, as well as the Ethereum Foundation. Opening its arms to the latter has proven to be a game changer. The presence of the Ethereum Foundation has precipitated an entire ecosystem of service providers and developers within the community. With this latest pronouncement, which allows companies and private individuals to pay taxes up to an amount of 100,000 Swiss francs ($109,670), the canton maintains its place as a leader in crypto regulation.
In other news, social content publishing platform The Capital claims that Bitcoin is now the sixth-largest world currency (https://ccw.fm/YpEMB). The Capital report states that “at its current market cap, Bitcoin has a money supply worth more than 170 different fiat currencies,” which is a good indication that contrasting the money supply of various world currencies to Bitcoin valuation may be a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison.
Despite being dubbed a currency, Bitcoin seems to lack three essential characteristics — medium of exchange, store of value and unit of account — that money must have. Many businesses and individuals will transact in Bitcoin, but the currency is still not widely enough accepted to be a medium of exchange. Moreover, its price fluctuations make it ill-suited to qualify as a store of value or a unit of exchange.
Keim’s final headline, CFTC Greenlights LedgerX Request to Move Beyond Digital Currency Products, shows regulators are warming to the idea of digital assets (https://ccw.fm/QgqEK). The CFTC has announced its approval of the LedgerX application to offer fully collateralized futures and options products in addition to the digital asset swaps it already provides. The CFTC order effectively removes the distinction between derivatives on digital assets and those with more established bases, such as commodities, stocks, bonds, interest rates and currencies. Now investors should find it a tad easier to cut risk as they search for returns in the current pandemic-plagued environment.
To view the most recent episode of “The Wild West Crypto Show,” now on TV in 45 cities across the nation, including its ongoing segment from CryptoCurrencyWire featuring the latest news from around the world, visit https://ccw.fm/PlMwA
Thursday Sep 10, 2020
Thursday Sep 10, 2020
Jonathan Keim, director of communications at CryptoCurrencyWire, joined the show and brought everyone up to speed with developments in the crypto space. The big headline for the day: Fidelity President Files for New Bitcoin Fund (http://ccw.fm/2Res2).
If anyone had doubts that cryptocurrencies are now totally mainstream, they can lay that uncertainty to rest. America’s largest 401(k) provider, Fidelity, plans to start a new fund entirely devoted to Bitcoin. Called the Wise Origin Bitcoin Index Fund I, the fund may boost the investing behemoth’s assets under management (“AUM”), which presently stand at $8.3 trillion.
Fidelity has been an early supporter of crypto assets. The company began mining Bitcoin (“BTC”) and ether (“ETH”) in 2014 to develop knowledge of the technology, a venture that turned out to be quite profitable (http://ccw.fm/XVuYr).
Second on Keim’s list was this headline: Semtech and Helium Expand LoRaWAN Network Deployments (http://ccw.fm/uFy5P). The collaboration between Semtech and Helium has taken a step forward.
Semtech is the developer of the LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) protocol, designed to wirelessly connect battery-operated “things” to the internet. Helium is creator of the LongFi technology, said to have a range 200 times that of Wi-Fi. The company has also developed the People’s Network, the world’s first peer-to-peer wireless network for low-power Internet of Things (“IoT”) devices to connect to the internet. With this partnership, IoT applications have now become a great deal more feasible.
Finally, a news headline that shows managers of the U.S. Postal Service are no Luddites: US Rep. Darren Soto Is Excited about the Recent USPS Blockchain Voting Patent (http://ccw.fm/hqAaP). USPS has filed a patent for mail-in voting that draws on blockchain cryptographic security safeguards. The initiative comes at a time when new allegations that mail-in voting is vulnerable to fraud have surfaced.
However, senior law-enforcement figures have expressed the view that it would be “extraordinarily difficult” for fraudulent mail-in voting to take place on a scale that would affect election results, “given the range of processes that would need to be affected or compromised by an adversary.” (http://ccw.fm/lUQc1). With Russia’s election meddling an ongoing threat, this is a decidedly reassuring pronouncement.
To view the most recent episode of the Wild West Crypto Show, now on TV in 45 cities across the nation, including its ongoing segment from CryptoCurrencyWire featuring the latest news from around the world, visit http://ccw.fm/LcK2Z.
Friday Sep 04, 2020
Friday Sep 04, 2020
Highlights of the show included Jonathan Keim, communications director of CryptoCurrencyWire, who shared an intriguing trio of bulletins in his Weekly News Update. First off was the headline: Blockchange and Gemini Partner in Industry First to Bring Digital Assets to Registered Investment Advisors (http://ccw.fm/lCpXt).
This news brief highlighted the collaboration between these two pioneers that makes it possible for registered investment advisers (“RIAs”) to offer their clients exposure to digital assets, which provides two immediate advantages: Clients’ portfolios can benefit from the continuing upturn in those assets, and clients enjoy a further measure of diversification to their holdings, thus reducing overall risk. Blockchange is a digital asset investing platform for professional wealth managers. Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian that allows customers to transact in more than 20 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin cash, ether, litecoin and Zcash.
Next in line was the report that TRON and Waves are partnering on Inter-chain DeFi with Gravity (http://ccw.fm/tdyMj). This partnership between TRON and Waves means that the smart-contract languages of the two platforms will be integrated, which, among other things, will counter fragmentation in the digital asset space. Waves is a blockchain platform on which users can create their own new custom tokens for use in loyalty programs, as in-app currencies and for initial coin offerings (“ICOs”). TRON is a widely used blockchain platform that is particularly well suited to the development of decentralized applications (“DApps”).
Keim’s updates ended with a reassuring news headline for crypto skeptics: The Crypto Phenomenon Cannot Be Ignored, Says US Banking Regulator (http://ccw.fm/mMmoA). Brian Brooks, acting Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”), is seeing crypto moving further into the mainstream. His take on the crypto scene comes as no surprise. About a month ago, a directive from Brooks made it possible for banks to offer cryptocurrency custody services. The OCC is an arm of the Treasury Department, which charters, regulates, and supervises national banks, federal savings associations and agencies of foreign banks.
“The crypto phenomenon cannot be ignored, especially in a world where 50 million American citizens hold cryptocurrencies and many more millions outside the U.S,” said Brooks. “Lot of people have this stuff, and they have it for good reasons. And we need to make sure it’s accessible to them in the same safe and sound way that they can get the check in their account.”
To view the most recent episode of the Wild West Crypto Show, now on TV in 45 cities across the nation, including its ongoing segment from CryptoCurrencyWire featuring the latest news from around the world, visit http://ccw.fm/gZnPc.
Friday Aug 28, 2020
Friday Aug 28, 2020
Jonathan Keim, communications director of CryptoCurrencyWire, kicked off his report with the eye-catching news that Grayscale was debuting a new TV campaign focusing on the history of money (http://ccw.fm/2j0DA). Grayscale Investments, reportedly the world’s largest digital currency asset manager, is launching an advertising “blitzkrieg” to raise awareness of its products. The company provides a suite of investment products based on crypto assets that includes Bitcoin Trust, Bitcoin Cash Trust, Ethereum Trust, Ethereum Classic Trust, Horizen Trust, Litecoin Trust, Stellar Lumens Trust, XRP Trust, Zcash Trust and Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund. The campaign will “illustrate how money has evolved over thousands of years” as well as how “we’ve ‘proceeded to wave goodbye to value, printing unlimited amounts of money.’”
Next up, was the news that Coinbase now allows Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP holders to pay for goods directly from their accounts (http://ccw.fm/9QCwI). Coinbase, a large cryptocurrency exchange, has partnered with BitPay, the Bitcoin payment service provider, to allow crypto holders to become crypto consumers. The integration of the two companies’ APIs will allow Coinbase users to “spend bitcoin, ether, XRP, USD Coin and other major cryptocurrencies to pay for goods offered by BitPay-supported merchants, which include Microsoft, Twitch and the Dallas Mavericks.”
Keim’s final feature showed that transacting in Bitcoin has become part and parcel of everyday life: one million Bitcoin wallets are now being used every day (http://ccw.fm/j3zM3). It appears that Bitcoin use has risen, once again, to levels not seen since late 2017. At that time, the cryptocurrency was trading at around $20,000. Bitcoin transaction levels tend to correlate positively with its price, but only since 2018, says Glassnode, the Bitcoin analytics firm that examined the data. Other factors — including increasing awareness and the potential to be a hedge against inflation — have historically influenced transaction volume, as indicated by the number of active addresses.
To view the most recent episode of the Wild West Crypto Show, now on TV in 45 cities across the nation, including its ongoing segment from CryptoCurrencyWire featuring the latest news from around the world, visit http://ccw.fm/JE1OD
Tuesday Aug 25, 2020
Tuesday Aug 25, 2020
Jonathan Keim, communications director of CryptoCurrencyWire (“CCW”), tuned in for his regular weekly news update, which kicked off with the intriguing headline: “Bloomberg: Americans Trade Depreciating Dollars for Bitcoin” (http://ccw.fm/pSNhF). Fearing an inflation-driven devaluation of the dollar, investors are shunning savings accounts, money market funds, and treasuries, and placing their cash in speculative assets such as stocks, gold and Bitcoin. This has pushed prices to record levels. In the last several months, the stock market has regained the lofty levels it had reached in late February while Bitcoin has appreciated by 55% and gold has climbed 29% to a level not seen since 2011.
Keim’s second headline looked at how one company is responding to inflation expectations: “Nasdaq-Listed MicroStrategy, Wary of Looming Dollar Inflation, Turns to Bitcoin and Gold” (http://ccw.fm/gSqL9). MicroStrategy, a Nasdaq-listed provider of business intelligence, mobile software and cloud-based services, plans to invest $250 million of its cash reserves in Bitcoin, gold and other alternative assets over the next 12 months as a hedge against U.S. dollar inflation. The company’s CEO says it makes sense to “shift our treasury assets into some investments that can’t be inflated away.”
Finally, the news that a basic “banking product” will soon be available should bring cheer to the crypto community; this headline read “Genesis Partners with Luno to Create Alternative Savings Products, Extending Institutional Crypto Interest Rates to 4 Million Global Consumers” (http://ccw.fm/zICVV). Genesis, which provides digital-currency, prime-brokerage services, is joining forces with cryptocurrency exchange Luno to offer customers of the latter opportunities to earn interest on their crypto holdings. Earning interest on deposits is a defining characteristic of the established banking system. With this development, crypto has moved closer to convention.
To view the most recent episode of the Wild West Crypto Show, now on TV in 45 cities across the nation, including its ongoing segment from CryptoCurrencyWire featuring the latest news from around the world, visit http://ccw.fm/cG3Oz
Friday Aug 14, 2020
Friday Aug 14, 2020
Jonathan Keim, director of communications at CryptoCurrencyWire, had a triplet of fascinating developments to report on. He started with the headline: Celsius Network Announces 25+ Cryptocurrencies as Loan Collateral (http://nnw.fm/OtKQp). Keim sees this announcement as a strong vote of confidence in the crypto markets, which historically have experienced a great deal of volatility. In January 2018, for example, Bitcoin was trading at over $17,000 but by December of the same year, it had plunged to around $3,400, a drop of some 80%.
Celsius offers its “community of HODLers,” or long-term owners of crypto assets, a convenient way to obtain some liquidity without having to dispose of any assets. The company provides loans of stable coins and fiat money using crypto assets as collateral. An additional benefit of this arrangement is that crypto owners avoid having to pay capital gains taxes, since no assets are sold. Access to such loans has now become easier after the announcement that “every asset accepted in the Celsius Network wallet will also be approved for loan collateral.” These loans can be backed by 26 different cryptocurrencies, including “stablecoins like TUSD, PAX, USDT, and GUSD, [and] altcoins such as DASH, ZRX, XLM, and for the first time the [Celsius] native token, CEL.” The facility is available in more than 200 countries with affordable rates that start at just under 1% APR.
Keim’s second report featured speculation by Heath Tarbert, who heads the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), that “a ‘large part’ of financial system could end up in blockchain format” (http://nnw.fm/j4jWv). The CFTC chairman marveled at the speed of development in the crypto space, noting that while the present financial system took several hundred years to evolve, the digital asset space has become a viable economic system within a decade.
Finally, a blurb for Bitcoin from Wall Street touted this: Major Investment Bank Recommends Bitcoin Over Gold (http://nnw.fm/auX1F). A senior analyst at investment bank Oppenheimer thinks that Bitcoin has potential for more appreciation than gold. At around $11,594, the cryptocurrency is a far way from its lofty levels at the end of 2017, while gold, hovering around $2,000, is at a 20-year high.
To view the most recent episode of the Wild West Crypto Show, now on TV in 45 cities across the nation, including its ongoing segment from CryptoCurrencyWire featuring the latest news from around the world, visit http://nnw.fm/pXqhx.
Tuesday Aug 11, 2020
Tuesday Aug 11, 2020
Jonathan Keim, communications director of CryptoCurrencyWire, appeared with another trio of exciting updates, kicking off with this headline: eToro Quarterly Report: Q2 2020, stablecoins find a mainstream use case (http://ccw.fm/NHn2m). Results of a recent study, conducted by social investment platform eToro and its market research unit, the Tie, indicate that adoption of cryptocurrencies and assets are increasing globally. It’s good to see headlines and anecdotal evidence substantiated with data from surveys.
In other news, Keim reported MasterCard’s increasing commitment to cryptos with the press release title: MasterCard Accelerates Crypto Card Partner Program, Making It Easier for Consumers to Hold and Activate Cryptocurrencies (http://ccw.fm/TlRua). The card network, the second largest after VISA with a 30% market share, is actively recruiting cryptocurrency companies to join its Accelerate program for crypto-card issuers. Additionally, the network is collaborating with London-based, crypto-payment-processor Wirex, which makes the latter “the first ‘native’ cryptocurrency platform to gain principal membership.” The alliance allows Wirex to directly issue crypto payment cards. Now Wirex customers can top up their fiat currency designated payment cards using cryptocurrencies.
Keim’s final report — Banks in US Can Now Offer Crypto Custody Services, Regulator Says — shows that banks have found a safe way to get into the crypto space (http://ccw.fm/EpsuD). The Office of the Comptroller of Currencies, a major U.S. bank regulator, has given nationally chartered banks the green light to hold digital assets for their clients. On July 22, a senior official of the agency wrote a public letter stating that the OCC will allow banks to hold the unique cryptographic keys for a cryptocurrency wallet, opening the way for banks to provide electronic safety boxes for crypto customers. This development is one more indication that crypto adoption is continuing at rapid pace.
For the most recent episode of the Wild West Crypto Show, which includes CryptoCurrencyWire’s ongoing segment featuring the latest news from around the world, visit http://ccw.fm/USLFE.
Tuesday Aug 04, 2020
Tuesday Aug 04, 2020
Jonathan Keim, communications director at CryptoCurrencyWire, called in with his usual weekly triplet of exciting developments in the crypto space. He started with the headline: “CoinPayments Appoints Veteran Tech Marketer Ray Torresan as CMO to Drive New Branding & Global Growth” (http://ccw.fm/qDTuf). CoinPayments, a large cryptocurrency payments processor, has appointed Ray Torresan as chief marketing officer as part of the company’s major rebranding initiative. That marketing repositioning is meant, in turn, “to support exponential revenue growth targets,” says the company.
The CoinPayments platform allows merchants to accept Bitcoin and hundreds of altcoins in their stores by incorporating plugins, APIs and POS interfaces. As a result, the company, now with more than 2.2 million users in 182 countries around the world, has come a long way since 2013, when it became the first payment processor to support altcoins. CoinPayments now supports transactions in more than 1,900 coins.
Next on Keim’s list was the news that Jack Dorsey’s Cash App is sponsoring NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace (http://ccw.fm/IvaiL). Wallace, perhaps best known for the role he played in getting NASCAR to ban displays of the Confederate flag at its events, has a new backer, and it’s none other than Twitter co-founder and CEO, Jack Dorsey.
The sponsorship deal requires Wallace’s car to sport the logo of Cash App, the mobile payments platform from Square, which was also founded by Dorsey, as well as the Bitcoin emblem. Square’s Cash App offers mobile banking services plus the ability to transact in stocks and Bitcoin.
Finally, Keim reported on what is driving institutional interest in cryptocurrency investment, according to Huobi Global (http://ccw.fm/NSSEs). Huobi has experienced a surge in transactions as institutional investors have flocked to the company’s futures market place. In early May, futures and swap trading transaction volume reached $5.2 billion. A substantial part of this was due to perpetual contract swaps that hit $2.2 billion during one 24-hour period, a remarkable achievement considering that perpetual swaps were launched on March 31.
For the most recent episode of the Wild West Crypto Show, which includes CryptoCurrencyWire’s ongoing segment featuring the latest news from around the world, visit http://ccw.fm/CpbTi.
Tuesday Jul 28, 2020
Tuesday Jul 28, 2020
Jonathan Keim, communications director of CryptoCurrencyWire, appeared to give his usual weekly news update. He got the ball rolling with a headline that should put developers in good spirits: “Algorand Provides Native Support of the Pocket Network’s Next-Generation Decentralized Infrastructure” (http://ccw.fm/uukO0).
Pocket Network is a decentralized infrastructure platform for the development of peer-to-peer applications. Algorand’s involvement means that developers will have easier access to the platform, which, by virtue of being decentralized, should reduce costs, improve scalability and security, and provide a wider range of blockchain development tools. Algorand is the world’s first open-source, permissionless, pure, proof-of-stake blockchain protocol.
Next Keim reported on developments in the crypto-mining space: “HIVE Blockchain Continues Increasing Bitcoin Mining Power Through Additional Purchase of Next-Generation Miners for Green Energy-Powered Quebec Facility” (http://ccw.fm/oXeVl).
HIVE Blockchain Technologies plans to add 200 Bitmain Antminer S17e 60 Terahash per second (TH/s) SHA 256 mining machines to its Quebec operations, adding to the 750 Bitmain S17+ Antminer machines previously acquired. HIVE also owns digital-currency mining facilities in Sweden and Iceland. The company focuses primarily on the production of Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Finally, security software superstar John McAfee is back in the news, after launching the world’s first private cell phone data service (http://ccw.fm/yB18m). McAfee claims his Ghost Cell Phone Data Service will be the first 4G data service to make connections to the network untraceable.
The phone will employ a software SIM instead of a physical one. A special network will deploy a range of cryptographic techniques to ensure that connections can’t be tracked. The system will support VOIP and other IP-based communication platforms. McAfee is inviting members of the media to beta test the service, which he plans to launch globally in September. McAfee is something of a curiosity in Silicon Valley, at least partially because he has orchestrated two unsuccessful presidential campaigns.
For the latest episode of the Wild West Crypto Show, which includes CryptoCurrencyWire’s ongoing segment featuring the most recent news from around the world, visit http://ccw.fm/NN96V.