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Muslims Disproportionately Excluded From Cryptocurrency

But Mosque leaders hope new move will set a precedent across the Islamic world.

Aside from ‘get rich quick’ strategies or even technology that offers strong use-cases both in the corporate and consumer sector, cryptocurrency has already begun to make a name for itself in the charitable sector.

In April, Wikimedia, the non-profit foundation behind the popular online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, announced it had on boarded the Request protocol to easily accept donations in cryptocurrency; the Pineapple Fund, which had donated a total of $55m in BTC to a wide variety of charitable causes, shut down just two weeks ago.

But now, cryptocurrency might see increased use as a means of donation in the world of Islam.

On Monday, the Masjid Ramadan, a Turkish mosque situated in East London, announced it would accept Zakat and Sadaqah received in Bitcoin or Ether.

Speaking at a press conference, the mosque’s chairman, Erkin Gurney said that the move would enable the mosque to recieve more donations.

“The mosque is not financially strong enough to support everyone”, he said. “We don’t want to upset anyone but crypto is another avenue, another currency, that will give people a platform to donate”.

During the Islamic month of Ramadan, when practicing Muslims fast during the daylight hours and may make a pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca, those except from the very poor are obliged to give 2.5% of their wealth to charity. The compulsory annual donation is known as Zakat, with bequests over the minimum known as Sadaqah.

With Ramadan having begun last week, the Mosque hopes it can raise £10,000 ($13,450) from cryptocurrency donations. The funds are expected to go towards essential repairs to the Mosque as well as assisting with funeral costs and shelter for those in need in the local area.

Gurmit Singh, whose company, Combo Innovation, provides advice and support for the mosque in accepting crypto donations argued that the value currently locked up in cryptocurrency was an opportunity to address the poverty that disproportionally affects Muslims.

“23% of the world’s population is Muslim, but 53% of the world’s poor are Muslim”,Singh said.

“With a total market cap of £290 bn [according to CoinGecko on May 21st] with bitcoin holding a market dominance of 36% or approx £104bn…1% of bitcoins [could be] held globally by Muslims; that could mean  £1.04bn of bitcoin could possibly be sitting in Muslim owned crypto wallets.

“That is a potential £26 million in Zakat contributions sitting there idly when it could be used for so many worthy causes globally”, Singh said.


Obstacles for Islamic Cryptocurrency

The move is not unprecedented. Back in 2017, two Mosques, one based in the US state of New Hampshire and another in the Netherlands, also began accepting Zakat in cryptocurrency; the UK Muslim charity, Helping Households Under Great Stress (HHUGS) began accepting donations in crypto earlier this year.

However, unlike banking practices found in the Western world, Islamic finance is governed on principles that it is forbidden to accept money made from interest or from speculation. This puts it at odds with an asset-class which, with high levels of volatility, can quickly lead to money being made from sources forbidden in Islam.

After the press briefing, Crypto Briefing asked how this affected the mosque’s ability to accept donations in cryptocurrency
“Our plan is to liquidate any cryptocurrency donations we receive as soon as we get it so that the donations do not change in value”, said Singh. 

Donations will be promptly converted into sterling using the cryptocurrency exchange, LocalBitcoin UK.

That said, there is still uncertainty surrounding whether cryptocurrency is acceptable according to Sharia law.

Authoritative figures such as the Grand Mufti of Egypt have come out in favor of cryptocurrency bans because of its use among criminals as well as its regulatory ambiguity, whilst scholars in Qatar, Pakistan, and Indonesia have declared crypto to be halal, or permissible.

According to Islamic advisor to the Masjid Ramadan mosque, Zayd al Khair, who has spent time studying Islam in Egypt as well as in Saudi Arabia, differences of opinion are nothing new to Islam but he believes that cryptocurrency would become gradually more acceptable as it became a recognized storage of value.

He also argued that Islamic attitudes towards cryptocurrency are in a transition period:

“Things have changed over the past six months and more scholars are coming out to say it [cryptocurrency] is permissible now,” said al Khair. “Similar to tobacco, which became haram as the negative health effects of smoking became clear, so can the Islamic stance on cryptocurrency change.”

At present, the Masjid Ramadan mosque will only accept donations in Bitcoin or Ether but may look to expanding the number of acceptable coins in the future.

“We’ve started this ground-breaking campaign. If it’s successful, I am sure many more mosques and [Islamic] charities will embrace crypto-currencies too,”  al Khair said.
“Of course a new position could always be taken later”, he added.

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John McAfee believes the march of the cryptocurrency bulls is at hand. The renowned tech activist and internet security expert has added his voice to the growing crypto institutional investment narrative.


PRICES WILL GO THROUGH THE ROOF

In a tweet on Monday, McAfee urged traders to gear up for the next crypto price rally. He based his assertions on the influx of cash from institutional investors trooping into the market.

He also said that with the money flowing into cryptocurrencies, prices of the top ten coins will increase dramatically. McAfee also believes that other altcoins will experience growth as investors diversify their cryptocurrency trading portfolios.

Quote:[Image: 2MOt13No_bigger.jpg]
[/url]John McAfee

@officialmcafee


Institutional investors are preparing to enter the cryptocurrency market with a vengeance. They are generally long term investors and will be pumping billions into the market. Expect the top ten coins to go through the roof fairly quickly. The bulk of alt coins will soon follow.
[url=https://twitter.com/officialmcafee/status/998557114170822656]8:32 PM - May 21, 2018
  • 6,5672,980 people are talking about this

When challenged on Twitter as to the veracity of his claims, McAfee gave no basis for his declaration. Instead, the controversial crypto proponent told responders to “use their heads,” “check recent news on institutional investors,” and “apply reason.” Safe to say, this is another one of McAfee’s bold assertions, much like his famous 2017 prediction that “Bitcoin will be 500k in the year 2020.”

THE EMERGING TREND OF INSTITUTIONAL CRYPTOCURRENCY INVESTMENT

While McAfee did not provide any backing for his claims, there is some merit to his position regarding the flurry of institutional interest in cryptos that have made the news in recent times. A few days ago, Coinbase launched four new products targeted at institutional cryptocurrency investors. Goldman Sachs is also making plans to open Bitcoin trading to large investors as well.

The overarching consensus is that the crypto market is maturing after a parabolic growth spurt in 2017 which saw prices hit record highs. Since the start of 2018, the market has declined in value, dropping 50 percent of its market cap in February. According to an April survey conducted by Fundstrat, 82 percent of institutional investor believe Bitcoin bottomed out when it fell below $6,000 in April.

The entry of hedge funds into the crypto market should increase the perceived level of legitimacy of cryptocurrencies. One important part of the emerging trend of institutional investment in digital currency is the establishment of trusted custodial services. In the past few months, there has been some progress on this front with a significant announcement by Nomura during the recently concluded Consensus conference in New York.

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Nobel Economist Argues that Cryptocurrency is Nothing New

Robert J. Shiller of Yale University compares Bitcoin to past currency experiments.


Robert J. Shiller, an influential economist who predicted the financial crisis of 2008, has explained in an article that in his opinion cryptocurrency is one in a long line of attempts to revolutionise currency, all of which have failed because they represent “deep yearning for some kind of revolution in society”, a drive which may be powerful but does not a viable currency make.

Who is Shiller

Shiller is a professor of economics at Yale University. He has taught there since 1982, and he has a CV as long as your arm.

Help us to make Finance Magnates better!

His book “Irrational Exuberance”, published in 2000, in which he analysed the speculative manias that drive financial bubbles, became a New York Times bestseller. He was awarded the Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics in 2009 for his research into the financial market, and in 2011 he made it onto Bloomberg’s list of the 50 most influential people in global finance, under the category of ‘thinkers’.

Most notably, he was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2012, won for his “empirical analysis of asset prices”. And most relevantly to our purposes here, he predicted the 2008 financial crisis with a fair degree of accuracy exactly a year before it happened.

His new article, published in Project Syndicate, reveals his opinion of cryptocurrency.

The article

He argues that money is more than a simply an exchange of value; it can be seen as “a community’s avowal of faith in an idea”, and he gives some examples of new currencies. To make a list:

The Cincinnati Time Store. This was a shop established by anarchist Josiah Warren in May 1827 which operated until May 1830. It was the first experiment in mutualism, an idea which describes a society in which all individuals own their own means of production and trade is denominated in fungible labour units. In this shop, the price of goods was defined by the amount of time invested in creating them and no more. They were purchased using ‘labor notes’. For example, 12 pounds of corn were equal to one hour’s labour.

The goods in Warren’s shop were cheaper than those in nearby businesses, which led to one taking on the model. One problem that Warren was not able to reconcile was that some forms of labour are more difficult than others, and so the time spent in each labour is not strictly equal.

He closed the shop to move on to other projects and considered it a successful experiment because it paid its way without making a financial loss.

In 1832 Welshman Robert Owen attempted a similar experiment in London called the National Equitable Labour Exchange system. This experiment folded the following year.

In the 1930s, in response to the Great Depression, two other ideas were proposed – the erg, a dollar based on energy, and the electric dollar, in which the dollar would be backed by electricity. Neither gained any traction or advanced beyond the theoretical stage.

In more recent times, the euro helped the EU become a unified entity in the minds of Europeans. This was not a new form of currency, but it does illustrate that money can serve a purpose as much ideological/psychological than economic.

Bitcoin

To Shiller, Bitcoin is another pretender. He does not talk about the technicalities of it, not does he directly comment on its feasibility.

What he says is that Bitcoin, like the listed examples, represents a statement of faith; in this case, “a new community of entrepreneurial cosmopolitans who hold themselves above national governments, which are viewed as the drivers of a long train of inequality and war.”

The “public’s fascination with cryptocurrencies”, as he puts it, comes down to “mystery” – that of the technology behind it (which “Practically no one, outside of computer science departments, can explain”), that of “the value of money itself”.

Far be it from me to even attempt to criticise a Nobel Prize-winning author and economist, but I will say that his critique of cryptocurrency as evidenced in this article is a far cry from the past analyses of financial markets that have brought him success.

Firstly, past experiments in new forms of currency may have failed, but it does not logically follow that all future experiments with new forms of currency will, as appears to be his insinuation.

Furthermore, I would point out one comment he makes is mistaken on at least two levels – that issuers of initial coin offerings claim to be exempt from securities regulation. He may be referring to Ripple and its current lawsuits, in which case he would be correct, but his assumption that tokens are undoubtedly securities is at least debatable, US law notwithstanding. In addition to this, cryptocurrency companies are increasingly asking to be regulated, perhaps not under securities laws specifically, but this does demonstrate that they could possibly be more than a mere experiment/protest at this point.

In an interview with Quartz in September 2017, Shiller said that the excitement that he saw amongst his students at Yale when they discuss Bitcoin reminds him of behaviour which has driven speculative bubbles in the past. Given the price explosion that was going on at the time, one can see how the similarity jumped out at him.

But at the time of that interview he did not know what an ICO is, and both then and now he has not even attempted to prove that this similarity is any more than circumstantial.

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Stellar (XLM) Price Analysis: Waiting For A Descending Triangle Break

Stellar has formed lower highs and found support at 0.3000 for a triangle pattern.


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Stellar formed lower highs and found support at 0.3000 to create a descending triangle on its 1-hour time frame. Price is on its way to test support and a bounce could take it back to the top around 0.3200.

However, the 100 SMA is below the longer-term 200 SMA to suggest that the path of least resistance is to the downside. This means that support is more likely to break than to hold. The chart pattern is around 0.1000 tall so the resulting selloff could last by the same height.

The 200 SMA lines up with the top of the triangle to add to its strength as resistance while the 100 SMA is just nearby and could keep gains in check also.


RSI is pulling up from oversold levels, though, so buyers could still have the upper hand. Similarly, stochastic has dipped into oversold territory and turned higher to signal a return in bullish pressure.



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The US dollar is coming off a strong week but could see these gains unwind as the FOMC minutes will be released. Some policymakers have been expressing concerns about labor market slack and these could be echoed in the transcript of their latest meeting

Doubts that two or three more hikes are in the cards for this year could lead to dollar selling while hawkish remarks could mean more gains. For now, the dollar is drawing support also from the trade truce between the US and China as Mnuchin announced that actions are put “on hold”.

Stellar is seen to challenge Ripple this year as IBM will join Veridium Labs to allow for carbon credits to be traded as a token by means of the blockchain technology. This might also mark first of the many projects that IBM has lined up for Stellar.

On the flip side, Ripple is being sued by investors who believe that it is a security but is not being marketed as such.v

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
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Marc P. Bernegger is one of the people who advises the Swiss economics minister on Bitcoin, and he describes his home nation as the most favorable place in the world to be in the cryptocurrency business.


Bernegger is a Swiss-born serial entrepreneur focused on financial technology. It didn’t take long after the emergence of the blockchain in 2009 for him to focus specifically on cryptocurrency, where he’s maintained meaningful business involvement since 2012. In the same way that decentralization makes cryptocurrency uniquely useful around the world, the residents of Switzerland benefit from the decentralized principles that drive the country’s tax code. Someone living just outside of Zurich could pay a fraction of the city’s notorious tax while enjoying comparable access to the Swiss capital.

“We have a unique federalistic system that sees the national state — that is, the federal states and its individual counties — compete against each other. This is very healthy for an efficient and transparent government,” Bernegger said over a late morning coffee in Zurich. “Additionally, our direct democratic system gives a lot of power to the people, so politicians and their parties have far less influence than in most other democratic countries.”

The Swiss people seem to be willing cryptocurrency into power as the new normal. Popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether are effectively units of mathematical abstraction, and if you’d like to trade in them, Switzerland’s existing regulations are extremely favorable for businessesand people alike . At a time where global sentiment has “downright illegal” at one end of the spectrum, cryptocurrency is hip in Switzerland.
“Lichtenstein, Gibraltar, and Malta are doing a good job, but they’re latecomers when it comes to blockchain-related regulation,” Bernegger said. “Switzerland is still ahead of the curve, and this is backed by hard numbers like money raised via ICOs.”


Initial coin offerings are fundraising vehicles built on cryptocurrency principles, and they’re getting extremely popular these days. A company seeking new investment can issue its own crypto-token and sell it en masse to investors, something akin to a company going public by selling shares of stock. The global ICO market broke records last year, generating some $4 billion in 2017 . ICOs originating in Switzerland captured 14 percent of whole, some $550 million. With lots of countries slicing the crypto-cake lots of different ways, Switzerland might be holding the biggest piece.

Bernegger advises the Switzerland-based crypto real estate companySwissRealCoin , which pegs the value of its cryptocurrency to Swiss commercial real estate. As the country’s real estate prices are poised to generally increase, says Credit Suisse , so to will the value of the company’s SRC token. Each unit represents a sort of “share” of Swiss commercial properties that the company purchases.

Bernegger’s star seems poised to rise directly with cryptocurrency. When he’s not offering advice to Switzerland-based crypto-entrepreneurs, he’s playing an advisory role to the Swiss federal government as a member of the country’s " blockchain taskforce ." 

Beyond that, he’s a member of the board of the Crypto Finance Conference , as well as at Crypto Finance Group , a financial services business for big fish crypto-investors.

Despite favorable conditions, the Swiss cryptocurrency industry faces a real challenge: talent acquisition.

“Switzerland is a very expensive place to be,” Bernegger said. “Talent acquisition is tough for young companies because they compete against powerful players and high-paying banks. Google maintains its second-largest headquarters in Zurich, for example.”

Swiss economics minister Johann Schneider-Ammann made some extremely favorable statements in January about his desire to see attention shift away from “Crypto Valley Zug” (something like acryptocurrency-focused Silicon Valley in Switzerland), and instead hear more talk about “crypto nation Switzerland.”

While it’s hard for new, upstart companies to pay competitive salaries in Switzerland, the Swiss government generally seems won over by the blockchain; it perhaps wants to lead the way now that there’s no getting rid of it.

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Astral9 is a new concept which has been designed to facilitate data transfer across the world by using the Stellar ecosystem. They refer to an information ‘superhighway’ and believe that by using the Stellar ecosystem, Astral9 can deliver all forms of data and information, all over the planet, and to other planets too. According to Astral9:

Quote:
“Bring the Information Superhighway to all Mankind.


From the Earth, to the moon, and beyond.


Built on the Stellar Ecosystem, Astral9 is the first fully de-centralized All-in-one wireless satellite based internet portal that can be deployed nearly anywhere in the world with no prior installation skills.”

Moreover, Astral9 believe that Stellar is the perfect component to Astral9’s groundbreaking satellite technology. According to Astral9, their mission:

Quote:
“Is to connect the developing world with media curators and blockchain technology companies by providing low cost (or sometimes free) Wi-Fi connectivity to customers who can benefit from their technology the most over our world class Satellite Network. Our innovative approach to monetizing satellite access platforms bi-directionally, combined with our groundbreaking antenna technology, gives our network maximum financial reach into the solar system.”

This is a really novel and innovative use for the blockchain, should this technology really take off, then the benefits this could provide Stellar are huge. With agencies such as NASA and SpaceX always on the hunt for new technologies, perhaps a blockchain based communication platform, powered by the Stellar ecosystem could really become the future.

This pays a huge sentiment to Stellar’s true future vision, as a group that don’t shy away from partnership announcements and grand spectacles, any work of Stellars should be met with enthusiasm and optimism, this one is no exception.

How is Stellar looking at the moment?

At the time of writing, Stellar is valued at $0.324 and is up 0.04%. Granted, Stellar has had a bit of a fall of late but that is expected given the overall state of the markets. Hopefully, as time goes on, we will see Stellar pick up pace again. More announcements like this one will certainly ensure that this sentiment rings true.

Stellars future, is very bright indeed

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The Stellar team announced the 7th Stellar Build Challenge. This is an event to find community-driven solutions and so-called cornerstone project ideas. The previous Stellar Build Challenges have been stellar, with the community responding with novel solutions.

The competitions birthed such submissions such as the Soneso Stellar iOS SDK, an SDK to provide a client library for the Horizon API, Stellarport.io, a community-developed exchange platform, and StellarExpert, a mobile-friendly block explorer. Stellar support for the Ledger Nano S was also added through the Build Challenge program.

Other notable submissions over time include Popcoin, a usage billing service that uses Stellar to offer the “fastest, easiest and simplest” service, PapayaBot, a peer-to-peer trading marketplace in the Telegram app, and Stellar.network, a tool that visualizes the nodes that participate in consensus on the Stellar blockchain in real-time.

Apart from contributing open-source projects to the Stellar ecosystem, contestants can work on issues that need help, expand the project’s functionality, improve the user experience and “create or improve the documentation”. Stellar is giving the community a lot of freedom to change the ecosystem.

Along with improving the existing open-source projects, contestants are also given an opportunity to collaborate with the Stellar Development Foundation.

They offered 4 cornerstone projects, saying:

Quote:“This is your chance to “collaborate” directly with SDF. We’ve written up the following four specs; this is what we most want to see built for Stellar. “

The 4 specs in question are a better quorum explorer, a trade bot maker focused on being usable by non-programmers, social trading similar to eToro’s, and a peer-to-peer wallet to facilitate peer-to-peer payments without the need for anchors.

The build challenge is in line with Jed McCaleb’s, the CEO of Stellar’s vision for community involvement.

He said:

Quote:“The build challenge is simple by design: it’s an experiment to find ways to develop services that are fair, affordable, and community-driven, and at the same time drive uptake of the Stellar network to maximize efficiency and reach.”

The judges will consist of members of the SDF team with final judgements by Jed McCaleb. Submissions open on June 1st and end on August 15th, with the winners being announced on August 30th.

The previous winners of the build competitions won 200,000 XLM each, and the other finalists won 80,000 XLM. It is left to see how much the finalists will win this time, however, as Stellar mentioned in their blog post that ‘projects will be awarded based on their merit’.

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 I can not  upgrade wallet.please help me
Blush https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BiwMoKV...sp=sharing

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Computing giant IBM has announced that it has signed a partnership with environmental fintech startup Veridium Labs to issue a cryptocurrency token on the Stellar blockchain.

The initiative, unveiled on Tuesday, will see IBM and Veridium tokenize carbon credits, enabling pollution-heavy companies to offset the damage their operations cause to the environment. Proceeds from selling the “verde” token will be used to reforest a 250-square mile patch of rainforest on the island of Borneo in Indonesia.

Third-party carbon credits have existed for some time, but they’re difficult to value and hold on a traditional balance sheet. The verde token, in contrast, is fungible and can be redeemed and traded on the public Stellar network, removing friction and opacity from the carbon credit supply chain.

“For years, we’ve been trying to mitigate environmental impacts at every point in the value chain, however previous solutions still presented significant complexities and costs. said Todd Lemons, CEO and co-founder of Veridium. “Our digital environmental assets are designed to help companies and institutional investors purchase and use carbon credits to mitigate their environmental impacts today, and even hedge their potential carbon liabilities risks in the future.”

Significantly, the initiative is not just a proof-of-concept or a pilot program. Nor will the tokens be confined to a private blockchain only available to select companies. Rather — building on IBM’s previous partnerships with Stellar — the credits will be traded across the public Stellar network, enabling the program to have a global reach.

“By using a public, permissioned blockchain network, we can help Veridium create a new sustainable marketplace that is good for business and good for the world,” said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of IBM’s industry platforms and blockchain division.

“This is a great example of how industries are being reinvented by blockchain, in this case establishing a far more efficient and transparent approach to carbon accounting and offsetting that will empower individuals and companies to play a role in improving our environment,” she concluded.
Source

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deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent liquid financial market and cryptocurrency exchange has given out a statement informing that they have added two new cryptocurrencies to their trading application. deVere has said that they are adding the coins because of popular demand by the users.

Stellar Lumens [XLM] and Monero [XMR] have been listed on their exchange platform. Now users of the application would be able to purchase, sell, store and trade XLM and XMR. The seven cryptocurrencies which are listed on deVere trading exchange are EOS [EOS],  Stellar Lumens [XLM], Ethereum [ETH], Litecoin [LTC], Ripple [XRP], Dash [DASH] and Monero [XMR].

The cryptocurrencies got listed right after IBM has confirmed that they are going to use Stellar blockchain for their first cryptocurrency on a public blockchain.

The founder and CEO of deVere Group have said that they have further expanded their offering on deVere Crypto with including Stellar lumens and Monero because their clients were demanding an even more extensive crypto portfolio. There is a surge in demand which is being fuelled by cryptocurrencies becoming ever more mainstream. It is hard for the institutional and retail investors to ignore the potential opportunities of cryptocurrencies.

Stellar is currently in the 8th position in the market with a total market capitalization of $6.1 Billion. XLM is being traded against the dollar around $0.33 with a slight growth in prices of 0.56% as on 2:15 PM UTC.

Stellar Lumens has tweeted:
Quote:“XLM among top-10 according to China. “Better than Bitcoin. XLM is #6 ranked public blockchain according to China’s Ministry of Industry & Information Technology”
[size=undefined]
Monero is currently in the 13th position in the market with a total market capitalization of $3.2 Billion. XMR is priced around $203.03 with prices rising a rate of 2.78% in the last 24 hours.
Paul, Cryptocurrency enthusiast tweeted:[/size]

Quote:“XMR is the only privacy coin used and as such extremely undervalued”

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In an AMA with the r/btc community, Jesse Lund gave his opinion on the status of Stellar’s classification. He also spoke about IBM’s universal payment system. This comes after he revealed that companies are moving into the cryptocurrency exchange space and the make-upof IBM’s blockchain team.


On the XLM token’s classification, Lund said that he believed that Lumens has a utility relative to the Stellar network in a way similar to Ether having a utility relative to Ethereum network. He also added that Stellar operates as cash and as a currency, possibly a utility than it does a security. He also said that Stellar is a “wonderful” product. 

He said:
Quote:“When the dust settles, regulators are going to start taking more precise measures of the different types of tokens and they won’t be lumped into the category of cryptocurrency.”

Lund spoke about IBM’s Universal Payment System. The system was piloted last year in October using Stellar as the base network. 

Lund stated that the Stellar partnership has “never been stronger” and that it is “very strong and very healthy for both sides”. He said:
Quote:“That solution is still being prepared for wider adoption, we continue to actively work on that solution and to prepare it for wider global adoption by banks and non-bank financial institutions.”

Lund was asked about the possibility of a convergence with existing payment solutions such as Visa and CLSNet. CLSNet is a payment solution offered by CLS, which utilizes Distributed Ledger Technology [DLT] to process settlement services in the foreign exchange market. 

He said:
Quote:“I don’t see a  convergence of the universal payment solution directly with these [Visa and CLSnet]  but I do see portions of it working and interoperating with CLS.”

When asked about how liquidity would be acquired in the IBM Payment System, he said:
Quote:“In essence the model of the universal  payments solution is for IBM to provide a network that brings together money service providers which could include banks but also non bank entities that provide end points on the network.”


He then added that these entities would be providing the liquidity between cryptocurrency and fiat. IBM is building a network of networks so as to allow different money service businesses or banks can use each others’ endpoints and move money in real-time clearing with settlement and finality anywhere in the world with low fees and low friction. He then added that IBM themselves would not provide liquidity and are only providing the network and API, along with standardization to allow participation.

source

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In an AMA with r/btc on the 16th of this month, Jesse Lund clarified questions about hurdles for the adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and on the viability of proof-of-work systems. This came after he revealed that companies are moving into the cryptocurrency exchange space and the make-up of IBM’s blockchain team.

When asked about the hurdles faced for the adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, Lund answered that it depended on the familiarity, dependency, and the reputation of the technology, which he stated would come with time.

He gave the example of the evolution of minted coins to paper banknotes, which was met with a lot of resistance from the authorities at that time. He further added that when the heated discussions and debate atmosphere around cryptocurrencies goes down, businesses will adopt the technology.

He said:
“I see Bitcoin as an utility as it is a fully operational, autonomous, global real time settlement system that is integrated with all major currencies.”

When asked about the viability and efficiency of proof-of-work systems, he said that it was inefficient with respect to the consumption of electricity. A recent research showed that Bitcoin mining will use 0.5% of the world’s energy by the end of the 2018 year. However, Lund confirmed that he believed that it was an “equitable way of distributing money supply”. He also believes that the future would be a world where “mining goes away”.

Lund also spoke about how interoperability of public networks where many different digital assets live is the catalyst for future use-case scenarios might disrupt big firms today. On the presence of tokens on a public ledger, Lund said:

If you have tokens on a private network you limit the accessibility by which they can be traded with other people. That may be intentional or there may be a reason for that, but in the general case…we see that many assets today are digital…There is friction because networks don’t work together, these assets [equities, securities, commodities, utilities] become more widely accessible if they are on a public network.”

Lund confessed that he was a big fan of the Stellar Consensus Protocol. He also spoke about how IBM as a company is “implementing solutions on the Stellar network”. He said that Stellar and IBM had a “very strong” partnership.

He said:
“ This is part of our partnership with Stellar and why we like it so much because there’s a lot of flexibility… Stellar is a wonderful, scaleable, high-performance, publicly accessible digital asset registry”.

With this, Lund finished the AMA and thanked the questioners for participating.


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The tech world moves at a breakneck pace, which means that talent development is a constant concern in Silicon Valley and other innovation hubs. Skills that may be relevant one day are obsolete the next. Though different sources disagree on the size of the tech worker shortage, everyone agrees that one exists, particularly in specialized skill areas. Plenty of people aspire to fill these roles, but they often lack the education or connections to do so.

Could cryptocurrency help tech workers and educators close the skill development gap? An increasing number of Silicon Valley companies say yes.
ATTRACTING NEW TALENT

A recent survey of Bitcoin investors found that over 50% are between 18 and 34 years old. The same young people who are involved with or interested in the cryptocurrency world could provide a valuable recruiting pool for tech companies looking to attract and help develop new talent. Young blockchain enthusiasts are open to new ideas in the tech space and ready to learn new concepts. Companies and tech education platforms who smartly integrate crypto components are more likely to attract this pool of innovative workers and learners.

Cryptocurrency can also increase accessibility to virtual education opportunities. Decentralized, digital educational platforms such as SuccessLife (a cryptocurrency venture from personal development company Success Resources) are using cryptocurrency to provide secure, verifiable remote educational opportunities.

E-learning allows anyone in the world with an internet connection to develop their skills. Cryptocurrency offers an increase of e-learning’s utility and accessibility by providing transactions between learners and education providers with a new level of transparency and reliability. Cryptocurrency e-learning transactions could even automatically register newly earned credentials on a blockchain resume.



SECURING CREDENTIALS

Many people take classes and other skill development opportunities to bulk up their resumes. But resumes have long been a source of headaches in the tech recruiting world. The rise of digital job search platforms means that many tech companies who post an opening get flooded with resumes, many of them from unqualified or inappropriate candidates. Hirers must read hundreds of resume PDFs to sort out genuinely qualified candidates. Contacting references is a tedious yet necessary step for checking that job candidates were truthful on their application. Job applicants must worry about condensing what might be a long list of credentials and accomplishments into one readable page.

A diverse array of companies are already using blockchain’s immutable transaction ledger to keep track of credentials and records, such as voting records. Blockchain transaction ledgers could allow a new kind of resume, one that automatically records educational credentials and professional accomplishments. Job seekers could instantly share blockchain resumes with recruiters and hirers, and hirers could use blockchain’s accessible format to filter out candidates lacking specific credentials immediately. Blockchain resumes needn’t stick to one page, and they’re also far more difficult to falsify than credentials on a traditional paper or PDF resume.



CROWDSOURCING SOLUTIONS AND MICROPAYMENTS

Crowdsourcing isn’t just a powerful tool for solving big problems. Companies such as AI Gaming show that it can also incentivize education and collaboration. Their platform allows users who have a certain level of Artificial Intelligence and coding experience (proven through the platform’s blockchain resumes) to participate in crowdsource challenges based on designing bots to solve AI problems generated by partner companies. All participants who participate in designing a successful solution, even if they only contributed to a small part of it (e.g., designing one member of a network of bots who work together), receive a crypto payment.

While the logistics of remotely paying a contributor who designed a tiny fraction of the solution would be practically impossible using fiat currency, cryptocurrency provides an ideal technological framework for reliable micropayments. Blockchain ledgers help AI Gaming keep accurate attribution records of which users contributed to successful solutions in the AI Gaming crowdsourcing environment, even if they did so in such an incremental way that they wouldn’t be sure themselves how their design work helped contribute to the solution. These immutable and automatically recorded blockchain records, in turn, facilitate automatic blockchain payments in proportion to contribution levels.

Micropayments are vital to encouraging participation, growth, and learning in the AI community and other talent-hungry tech spheres. Companies looking to hire one developer for tackling an AI problem must take an all-or-nothing approach to recruiting: because they can’t afford to hire multiple full-time staff who all know incremental portions of the knowledge base required to solve the problem, they must hire one person who already has a robust knowledge base.

This can create the “you need experience to get experience” job-searching conundrum so familiar to Millennials: companies trying to solve problems quickly and cost-efficiently are often reluctant to hire untested candidates and provide them with on-the-job training. 

Crowdsourcing and the crypto micropayments that effectively incentivize crowdsourcing participation allow even beginners to make small contributions to tackling tech companies’ problems, receiving valuable professional experience, a new credential for their resume, and a crypto payment in return. Crypto-enabled crowdsourcing makes participation in tech solutions, and the professional and educational benefits that go along with them, accessible to anyone with drive and talent.

There are plenty of learners out there who want to acquire the skills they need to work in innovative tech companies and make essential connections with tech recruiters. Cryptocurrency provides tools for them to educate themselves and join the tech workforce

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQJMKHvl9sUPagPzycR9qt...qqure_N9aw]



The current status of cryptocurrency legality all over the globe is complex – different governments around the world are reacting in wildly varying ways as they are faced with this new regulatory predicament. Some

A lot of national governments still haven’t decided – leaving crypto investors and blockchain teams in a state of limbo or semi-regulation until they make their official moves. Thailand is a good example of this type of country, as they just temporarily banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) until they make final regulations by the end of June.

One place that, especially in recent days, we are noticing is especially warming up to cryptocurrency is the South Pacific – where a number of island nations have welcomed blockchain technology some very receptive open arms.

A futuristic floating crypto island in French Polynesia

One story that has gotten a lot of media attention in recent days is centered around the country of French Polynesia – where Tahiti can be found. It was only a matter of time until something like this was dreamed up by some tech visionary: a floating island that governs itself using cryptocurrency.

It is a pilot program called the Floating Island Project, and the French Polynesian government is a partner (alongside Blue Frontiers and Seasteading Institute). About 300 homes will be constructed on a floating mass that uses a crypto coin called Varyon – the first step in a journey to using blockchain to build places to house climate refugees. It is expected to be completed by 2022.

The Marshall Islands going for it on their own

A few months ago, the Marshall Islands made big headlines when it announced that it would be embracing blockchain technology in a pretty strong way – by developing its own. According to Reuters, they were the first country globally to pass a law (which it did in the first week of March) that makes crypto a legal tender.

Technically Venezuela had one first, but they didn’t make it a legal tender in the way that the Marshall Islands’ government did. This cryptocurrency, however, will require registration and identification – so it won’t be like Bitcoin (BTC) or any of the privacy-focused coins that don’t require such things to use.

Vanuatu has accepted crypto for a while now

And, of course, we can’t forget about Vanuatu – a Pacific Island nation that made huge crypto headlines several months ago (back in 2017). It was a huge deal back then, because governments weren’t as friendly toward blockchain in October.

Vanuatu allows foreigners to buy citizenship and a passport from their country, effectively legal immigration for sale – and it only cost a small fee of $280,000. As of October, they started accepting BTC payments. That’s just another example of a South Pacific island nation being friendly and receptive to cryptocurrency – I wonder what country in the region will make a big announcement next.

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
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