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Stellar Lumens (XLM) Forum with for newcomers and contributor's rewarded Check here

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According to Deutsche Bank, cash is here to stay for the long run, but digital payments will "grow at light speed," in the next ten years.

Bitcoin won’t kill cash, according to new research from Deutsche Bank. The survey reveals that, while digital payments, including cryptocurrencies, are estimated to "grow at light speed" over the coming decade, cash—otherwise known as "the dinosaur"—won't be going extinct any time soon.

Despite the overarching notion that cash use is subsiding, US citizens still love using it. A significant 33% considered cash their favorite means of payment. The survey went even further and found that 69% of the US believe that cash will always be the preferred method of payment.

"Cash will be a part of the economy for decades to come. Over centuries, people have developed a deep-rooted trust in paper and coins during uncertain times. Today is no different," explained researchers.

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Mobile payments are rising rapidly, according to a Deutsche Bank survey. Image: Shutterstock.

The survey was undertaken by Deutsche researchers who recorded answers from 3,600 customers across the US; UK; China; Germany; France; and Italy, in order to gather a consensus on payment trends. The mediums under the spotlight were payments in cash, online, mobile, and crypto.

Time to go mobile

While cash is safe from crypto (for now, at least), it seems plastic cards are snapping under the pressure of digital payments. The researchers observed that over the next five years, mobile payments would make up for two-fifths of in-store purchases within the US—four times the current level.

"The coming decade will see digital payments grow at light speed, leading to the extinction of the plastic card," the paper suggested.

Moreover, a projected increase in digital wallet holders may indicate the start of crypto mass adoption, the report states.
"If the growth in blockchain wallet users continues to mirror that of internet users, then by the end of the decade, they will number 200 million, quadruple the current level," reads the report.

The future is digital

In an attempt to glean some impression of what's to come, the report looked to China—which is becoming increasingly cashless—where a "world-leading digital payments infrastructure" is evolving.

Researchers found that the value of China's online payment is equal to three-quarters of its total gross domestic product (GDP)—having doubled since 2012. Further, per the report, the eventual deployment of a digital Renminbi could witness a shift in global economic power over to the People's Republic:

"if companies doing business in China are forced to adopt a digital yuan, it will certainly erode the dollar’s primacy in the global financial market."

China’s progress in this has also stimulated the rest of the world to take action. This week, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan announced they are the latest countries to back the growing trend.

by Will Heasman

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
[Image: images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcT0F6-iS0h5akR2a1C2Z...OhB-qTohNA]
Crypto exchanges have come under fire recently for allegedly fabricating volume figures. It is an easy thing to do so researchers are looking at other ways to measure dominance, and cold wallets could be one.

There are a number of differing ways to rank crypto exchanges and daily volume appears to be one of the most popular. Leading analytics platforms such as Coinmarketcap now offer three metrics for exchange volume; adjusted, reported and liquidity.

Yesterday, Bitcoinist reported on the latest monthly crypto exchange review from analytics firm Crypto Compare. The top exchanges in terms of volume were not what we would expect and there is very little transparency for these results.
Today, for example, an obscure Republic of Seychelles registered exchange called Bilaxy is topping the CMC charts for reported daily volume which it claims is over $2 billion.


Research has been undertaken by Longhash into whether cold wallets can give us a better indication of exchange rankings and dominance.

The study analyzed cold wallet addresses associated with major exchanges and their holdings using info from Because the data comes from analysis of on-chain asset transfers, it would be quite difficult to fake, unlike exchange trading volumes.

The research looked at Coinbase first since it has the largest bitcoin holdings which grew steadily last year despite the market volatility. The exchange attracts a larger portion of long-term investors rather than day traders.

[Image: coldwallets-980x466.png]
Exchange cold wallets –

The chart above shows that Binance has been dominant over the past year as expected. Bitfinex started the year in third, but its holdings drained during the first quarter, and recovered near the end of the year.

Huobi has shown the largest growth in bitcoin holdings over the year jumping from fifth to top. The rest have been relatively flat.

In conclusion, as expected, Coinbase, Binance and Huobi dominate in terms of cold wallet storage.


The research then took a look at exchange crypto token prices and whether there is a correlation to cold wallet storage.

The first quarter of 2019 was positive for all exchange tokens but only OKEx and Huobi ended the year positively. The report concluded that there was some correlation in exchange token prices and cold wallet holdings but it is not conclusive.

Quote:While cold wallet storage is not the perfect metric for assessing crypto exchanges, it is an interesting data point that may offer hints at exchanges’ user numbers, trading volumes, and revenues

It would be pertinent to suggest that this metric is likely to be more accurate than reported volumes which often throw up some completely unknown exchanges.

by Martin Young

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
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Stellar Lumens is speculated to reflect amazing momentum in the first quarter. The indications were quite favorable in the first fifteen days. However, from the beginning of this week, XLM coin experienced fluctuation and a marked bearish trend.

Recently, the currency is spotted registering downside movement. The coin might take some time to recover. The top guns of the market are also exhibiting fall.

XLM Price Analysis

[Image: TV-XLM-3.png]

Stellar crypto started dealing at $0.0610 on yesterday. The price slipped to $0.0595 by 2.57% in the next 2 hours. The coin price was spotted locked around $0.0593 for a while, and then, XLM price escalated to $0.06012 in the next 4 hours by a marginal hike of 1.36%. After this hike, the coin faced steep fall and reached to $0.05788 by 3.77%. Later, the Stellar coin tried to improve again and touched $0.0583 at 17:15 UTC. In the next 3 hours, the price dropped to $0.0570 by 2.38%. Further, the XLM price escalated to $0.0585 and closed the day. The day-long movement reflected a 4.30% regression in the price.

Today, Stellar price fell to $0.0566 in the first few hours of opening. The coin locked around the same level for some time, and further, it dropped to $0.0560 by 1.79%. If we look at technicals, the MACD line is an overlapping signal line and indicates that in the next few hours, the MACD line will trade below the signal line. Hence, the price may drop further soon. XLM coin is below its crucial support level $0.057 and it looks like that by the end of the day, the coin might breach the major support at $0.054.

by Sara Gillard

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
[Image: mixers-760x512.jpg]
In an era of unprecedented global surveillance, it is unreasonable to expect the blockchain world to be any different. It is perfectly reasonable, though, to resist this surveillance through countermeasures that thwart the would-be surveillers. Digital privacy is a right that everyone is entitled to. Thanks to the provision of bitcoin mixers, you can claim that entitlement by shuffling your coins and emerging with untainted crypto whose origins have been obfuscated.

Before You Mix, Know the Basics

Just as using Tor doesn’t give you internet anonymity, bitcoin mixing alone doesn’t grant you automatic privacy. It helps, but only when used in conjunction with other privacy enhancing techniques, like not using exchanges that enforce KYC, and not recombining your freshly mixed UTXOs, thereby undoing all your hard work. will examine ways to enhance your anonymity when using mixing services in the near future. For now, just know that the following mixing services are not a silver bullet for privacy. When used as their developers recommend, however, they can significantly enhance the fungibility of your coins.

[Image: screenshot-2020-01-16-at-14-00-01-1024x566.png]

Bitcoin Mixer

Bitcoin Mixer does exactly what its name sounds like, but it also does a lot more. In addition to mixing up your BTC, the service can do the same with LTC and ETH, providing privacy for three of the most popular cryptos. It’s a custodial service, which generally means you can mix larger amounts of coins than with a noncustodial service, where you’re reliant on your peers to provide privacy in numbers. Using the service is simple: enter the address you’d like your shuffled coins to be sent to, and drag the slider to select your desired mixing time, ranging from 30 minutes to 20 hours. The longer you’re prepared to wait, the greater the degree of anonymity you can expect. The platform charges a fee of 2-5%.

[Image: screenshot-2020-01-16-at-14-00-18.png]


One for the BCH brigade, Cashshuffle provides noncustodial mixing of bitcoin cash. It’s fully decentralized, and operates by mixing the UTXOs in your BCH wallet with those of other Cashshuffle users. Over $40 million of BCH has been mixed through Cashshuffle, which is compatible with wallets such as Electron Cash. If you’re new to the world of bitcoin cash mixing, has published a detailed guide to using the service. There’s also plans for a Tor-integrated version of the service, known as Cashfusion, which will further diminish the ability for blockchain forensics firms to profile BCH users.

[Image: kycp-example.png]
Whirlpool promises to remove deterministic links that blockchain forensics firms use to correlate onchain transactions

Most noncustodial BTC and BCH mixers are based on implementations of Coinjoin, a trustless method for combining bitcoin payments from multiple users into a single transaction, masking their origin. Cashshuffle is based on Coinjoin, and so are the two most popular wallet-integrated BTC mixers – Whirlpool and Wasabi. The former is developed by Samourai Wallet, and enables users of the noncustodial wallet to mix their UTXOs with others through selecting from one of three pools of varying sizes: 0.01, 0.05, and 0.5 BTC. If you have 1 BTC to mix, for example, select the 0.5 BTC pool and your UXTOs will be sent through in two cycles, until all of your coins have been cleaned. The Whirlpool fee remains the same whether you’re mixing one coin or 10, making Samourai’s Whirlpool Coinjoin implementation cost-effective. It’s also fast.

[Image: screenshot-2019-01-08-at-19-24-54-267x300.png]

Wasabi Wallet

Samourai and Wasabi are engaged in a dispute over whose mixing service provides greater anonymity. Samourai appears to have the upper hand at present, but that doesn’t mean you should write off Wasabi – it’s an excellent noncustodial BTC wallet for the privacy-conscious, and its integrated Chaumian Coinjoin mixing service is continually improving. The Plustoken scammers famously tried to wash thousands of BTC through Wasabi and failed due to the size of their transactions, which dwarfed those of all other users combined. For regular users seeking to mix modest amounts of BTC, greater anonymity and less scrutiny should be assured, making Wasabi perfect for everyday use.

[Image: wasabi.png]
Wasabi’s Coinjoin in action.

Whether you’re planning to use a custodial or noncustodial bitcoin mixer, do your homework, read some reviews, and familiarize yourself with its workings. Then, after successfully mixing your first set of UTXOs, make it a point of habitually repeating the exercise with new coins that come into your possession. Think of it as cleaning your digital house. In the process, you’ll also be enhancing the anonymity of your fellow coinjoiners.

by Kai Sedgwick

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
[Image: XLMUSD_23012020-750x375.png]
Stellar Price Analysis: XLM/USD Calms Down After a Sharp Sell-Off

XLM Price Analysis – January 23

After the last few days of upward movement, the bulls are suffering from a slight downtrend playing on the daily chart.

XLM/USD Market

Key Levels:
Resistance levels: $0.068, $0.070, $0.072
Support levels: $0.051, $0.049, $0.047

[Image: XLMUSD_23012020.png]

At the time of writing, XLM/USD is changing hands around 9-day moving average at $0.059 level, the coin has been moving in sync with the broader market gripped by bearish sentiments and panic selling. Stellar is the tenth-largest cryptocurrency with the current market value of $1.21 billion and an average daily trading volume of about $353 million.

However, as the Stellar price remains jerky, we await the possible direction of the coin. For a positive peak, the $0.068, $0.070 and $0.072 are the main resistance levels for the coin at the moment. Looking at the volume of the chart, we can see the XLM at its lowest. As a result, a negative spike would test significant support at $0.051 and $0.049 before a slippage of $0.047.

More so, XLM/USD is bearish in the short run as stochastic RSI is about moving out of the overbought territory, which indicates more bearish signals.

XLM/BTC Market

Comparing with Bitcoin, the pair has eventually broken another solid support at the 710 SAT. Stellar price may likely see another sharp drop at 650 SAT support level. Breaking this level could further drag the market to the nearest support levels at 620 SAT, 600 SAT, and 580 SAT.

[Image: XLMBTC_23012020.png]

However, XLM is currently changing hands at 702 SAT and if the bulls can hold the price tight and push it above the channel, the next key target price lies at 780 SAT and 800 SAT respectively. Reaching these levels might move it to the 820 SAT level. Meanwhile, the stochastic RSI is now lying at the overbought zone, there might be bearish signals if it turns downward.

by Azeez M. Musthapa

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
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Coinbase and Blockchain are serving the crypto community for many years and now considered as the leading crypto exchanges as well the secure wallet platforms.

If you are a victim of confusion about selecting one platform from both according to your requirements then take no worry because I am going to highlight every positive and negative aspect of both exchanges and compare Coinbase vs Blockchain significant feature.

Overview of Coinbase and Blockchain

First of all, I will discuss their basic information which you should know before using the platform.


Coinbase is one of the oldest exchanges in the crypto world and was founded by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam in 2012. As mentioned on the official site, the cryptocurrency of worth more than $150 Billion has been exchanged and more than 30 million customers have been served till today.

Initially, it was started as a brokerage service provider for selling Bitcoin but now, other features have also become its specialty including most trusted cryptocurrency wallets out there.


Blockchain came into the market as a Bitcoin wallet in 2011. Now, it is not just a Crypto wallet but also a exchange where the transactions of worth millions happened every day. It is considered the topmost secure crypto wallet in the world. Moreover, it is also acting as a trustable blockchain explorer of crypto transactions.

Coinbase vs Blockchain? Best Crypto Wallets

There are very few numbers of platforms that are offering both exchange and wallet services at the same time. Both Coinbase and Blockchain are providing these services along with many others. Let’s dive deep into the features of wallets and make some conclusions.

Coinbase is offering wallet service to its users and customers along with other facilities to make all things happen in one place. The most startling feature of this wallet is that it is free and there is no cost at all for using it. You can send and receive your cryptocurrencies through it.

They are also offering a mobile app that is integrated with your device. You can download it anywhere in the world. To go with the wallet, you just need to open your account and make a username. You can send or receive cryptocurrency through wallet username.

Coinbase wallet supports following cryptocurrencies:
  • BTC

  • BCH

  • ETH

  • LTC

  • ETC

  • All ERC-20 Tokens
Blockchain is known for providing the most secure and trusted crypto wallets in the blockchain universe as the site is founded for this purpose. The wallet is versatile because you just not only storing the assets but can also invest while residing on the wallet.

To the date, almost 43 million wallets have been created successfully on the site and the transactions worth $200 billion have been done since its commencement. You can also exchange cryptocurrency through the wallet.

Blockchain is also offering a hardware wallet at a very low price that is compatible with the site. Mobile application for the wallet is also designed to control your assets at your fingers tips.

Coinbase or Blockchain? Best Cryptocurrency Exchange

Coinbase is a leading exchange that offers a wide variety of digital currencies at very competitive fees. There is the easiest way to buy and sell digital currency on Coinbase.

The trading of assets is an outclass feature of the site because they have something great for professionals traders called ’Coinbase Pro’ where the fees are low and assistance of traders with the most updated technical tools.

Blockchain developed the most innovative cryptocurrency exchange called “The Pit”. As it is regulated by Blockchain, the transactions on it done in microseconds; it is known for its fast service.

Currently, there are almost 27 pairs of digital currencies that are supported on the exchange and in the future, more crypto pairs will be added. Pit supported USD and EUR fiat currencies for deposits and withdrawals of funds.

Coinbase vs Blockchain Fee Structure

Coinbase Fee structure
  • Coinbase fees are difficult to explain as they vary according to the amount or region of the users. But I will try to unfold the charges to make you clear.

  • When you buy cryptocurrency, 0.5% charges will be deducted besides the market price on Coinbase Pro.

  • When making the transaction after buying, there are charges which are flat below $200 but then vary according to the amount of transaction being made.

  • The credit card fees generally stand at 3.99% but may vary according to country or state. When making transactions from Coinbase to Coinbase account, there will be no charges at all.

  • The fees for brokerage service are competitive as compared to Coinmama and
Blockchain Fee Structure
  • Blockchain has a very lowest fee structure if comparing to other ones. The maker fees are relatively very low as compared to taker fees.

  • The maker fees are fixed at 0.14% which will reduce when the amount is increased.

  • While taker fees are standing at 0.24% and like the former one, continue to decrease when the amount is increased.

Blockchain vs Coinbase Accepted Payment Methods

Coinbase accepts the following methods for payments:
  • Credit Cards

  • Debit Cards

  • Wire Transfer (ACH for US and SEPA for the UK)

  • PayPal (Withdraw Only)
Blockchain (PIT) doesn’t accept a lot of ways to for payments but accept only Wire Transfer. There is no support for credit or debit cards. You can buy cryptocurrency with USD or EUR if you are from the US or UK using your bank account.

User Interface

Coinbase: The dashboard of the Coinbase is very understandable and one doesn’t have any difficulty to find options. Everything is constructed in a logical manner so that users have no difficulty while using the site. However, the Coinbase Pro is somewhat difficult to understand for beginners but easy for professionals.

Blockchain: The platform has a very intuitive interface which is very easy to understand for both newcomers as well as professionals. There are no complaints from the users about the difficulty of the users and we can say that the interface is very friendly.

Customer Support Blockchain or Coinbase?

The customer support is a very integral part of any finance site and it should be very active. Let’s talk about how both are serving their users.

Coinbase: The ranking of the site in terms of giving a response to individuals users on time is very satisfactory. 90% of users are satisfied with their support section. So, we can say that Coinbase is ranked at topmost in terms of customers’ help.

Blockchain: The platform is recognized as the best and secure place when comes to the question of storing cryptocurrency in the wallets. The reviews of the people regarding its customers’ support about the wallet are satisfactory.  However, the exchange service is not yet recognized among the traders, so, I cannot pass a concluding comment about its support response.

Coinbase vs Blockchain Security

The security level is the first thing one should know about before putting the assets. One who is susceptible to hacking cannot secure your assets. Coinbase is serving the industry since 2012 and now is the leading site. These years of excellence is proof of its security.

Blockchain is the place for storing coins by millions of users. The trust of millions across the world guarantees its level of security.


After all, we are able to pass the concluding comment over both crypto platforms. Both ones are providing wallet and exchange service. As it is the law of nature that one thing is good at one time. Coinbase has good ranking being as a crypto exchange. While Blockchain is reputable in the crypto ecosystem for providing secure and trustable cryptocurrency wallets. The fees of both ones are competitive. Coinbase accepts a wide variety of cryptocurrencies and payment methods as well.

by Josh Welson 

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
The Dawn of a New Decade Will Bring Mainstream Adoption for Cryptocurrency Payment Solutions

Now that 2020 has arrived, governments, businesses, and individuals around the world are contemplating what the future holds. When it comes to the global economy, we can expect increasing connectivity to propel the need for more effective ways to exchange value and make cross-border transactions. In particular, a growing remittances market that has increased by 51% in the last 10 years and rapidly expanding freelance economy promise to drive adoption of cryptocurrency-based solutions, which reduce transfer costs and increase transaction speed. 

More Value Is Being Sent in Remittances Every Year

Workers have been traveling across borders in search of more effective ways to generate value for themselves and their families for centuries. Remittances serve as an important economic equalizer by bolstering the GDP of emerging economies; however, the process workers endure to send value back to their home countries is inefficient from a cost and resources perspective. 

According to the World Bank, “[Remittances] to low- and middle-income countries reached a record high in 2018,” increasing 9.6 percent from 2017. In 2019, the World Bank predicts remittances flows will have grown to $550 billion “to become [the] largest source of external financing” for low- and middle-income countries. With these types of trends continuing into 2020, the need for more efficient and cost-effective remittances solutions will only intensify. 

The cost to send remittances averages 6.84% of the total amount being transferred globally, but fees can rise as high as 15.27% or 10.18%, as is the case in South Africa and Japan, respectively.

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Graph via World Bank Remittance Price Report 

The method used for transferring funds can greatly impact the costs and associated fees, as well. The most affordable method is via mobile wallets, but this option requires the sender and receiver to have access to mobile devices as well as the internet, which isn’t always the case in developing areas. Instead, individuals must send money from banks, which have higher fees, or visit some other money transfer operator (MTO), such as a post office or convenience store.

Why Cryptocurrency Makes Sense as a Remittances Solution

The borderless payments capabilities inherent to cryptocurrency transactions makes them ideal for sending remittances more affordably and efficiently. Essentially, the sender pays a remittance provider in their local currency. The service converts the value into cryptocurrency for easy cross-border transference. On the receiving end, the remittee can choose to receive the money in cryptocurrency or exchange it into their local currency.

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Graphic from a Science for Policy report by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) showing the remittances process utilizing cryptocurrency transactions.

Though this value chain is the most common method used today, there is a more cost-effective solution that would allow the sender and receiver to transfer value in a single currency with no need to exchange from fiat into crypto and back into fiat via a third party middleman, which requires a fee for mediating the transaction.

This solution is markedly different from simply sending cryptocurrency from one wallet to another, as this often requires both the sender and receiver to have access to a certain wallet or platform. For example, Coinbase enables international money transfers in XRP or USD Coin USDC, -0.04%, but the sender must be a Coinbase user, which requires having a bank account, thereby barring the many low-income wage-earners who would most benefit from this money transfer service from utilizing it. Additionally, there must be enough liquidity of XRP and USDC on the recipient’s end for them to convert into their local currency, which is not guaranteed depending on where the remittee is located. 

The more obvious problem for cryptocurrency solutions is that most cryptocurrencies remain incredibly volatile, and so by the time the recipient exchanges the funds for their local currency, the value could be lost. For these reasons, a stablecoin-based remittances service with its own platform would better serve those sending money abroad, because it would allow for speedy transfers with no loss of value, no matter how long it takes for the receiver to redeem the funds in their local currency.

The Freelance Economy is Rapidly Expanding

Just as in remittance markets, the freelance economy is growing, largely because of the rapidly-evolving nature of work. Technological innovation, including the spread of mobile phones and internet access, has increased opportunities for value creation around the world. On the other hand, economic progress is rarely uniform. While urban cities boom, rural areas struggle. As the GDP of developing countries surges, wages in more advanced nations have stagnated. Many economists and individuals have expressed hope in the potential for the gig or freelance economy to balance-out negative market forces by offering more opportunities for wealth creation outside the structure of full-time employment. 

Gig work is non-salaried and contract-based, so it endows workers with more freedom to determine hours and pay but less job security and a greater individual tax burden. The BCG Henderson Institute conducted a survey of gig workers that revealed, “the number of workers who reported losing their job to the freelancing trend equaled the number who regained employment by the same path.” Additionally, gig-based work is creating the strongest foothold in the emerging markets of China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil with “12% of workers [in China saying] they earned their primary income through digital platforms.”

[Image: graphic-from-bcg-future-of-work_use-of-g...tforms.jpg]

Graphic from BCG Future of Work survey showing the use of gig platforms for primary and secondary income by country.

Other research that incorporated responses from 800 global senior executives predicted that the adoption of tech platforms for outsourcing to freelancers for various tasks could double in as little as three years. Furthermore, gig work does not constitute only unskilled labor. On the contrary, half of all freelance work is “higher-skill, higher-paid work, such as software development and design.”

[Image: graphic-from-bcg-future-of-work-survey-s...ce-work-.j]

Graphic from BCG Future of Work survey showing freelance work by industry.

As the freelance labor force continues to expand around the world and across industry verticals, seamless transfer of value will be that much more important. Similar to what we will see in remittances markets, a stablecoin-based solution that can be integrated into freelance platforms would greatly benefit workers by easing currency exchange burdens currently shouldered by gig workers.

Adoption of a Universal, Stable Currency Would Greatly Improve Global Transactions

The combined expansion of remittances markets and the growth of a global freelance economy begs for more efficient modes of cross-border value exchange. Add to this the demands of an increasingly connected international trade network, and the utility of a universal currency accepted by all nations becomes that much more obvious. 

The best prototype for a universal, stable currency was first articulated in a 2014 paper by Robert Sams that describes an algorithmic stablecoin that automatically adjusts for changes in price by incentivizing token holders to spend or hold their value depending on the needs of the market. Regardless of the solution eventually landed upon by global trade networks, 2020 will certainly bring the intensified discussion on the best way forward when it comes to increasing the efficacy of our global methodology for exchanging value. 

by Daniel Popa

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
[Image: StellarLumensNetwork.jpg]
The Stellar Network is becoming an increasingly attractive place to work for several reasons. The price of Stellar at the time of reporting has been trending at $0.063801. The Network continues to connect financial institutions making use of federated Byzantine agreement (FBA) algorithm to enable quicker transactions.

Stellar Network Tweeted:  The next #Stellar test network reset will be on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, at 0900 UTC.

Stellar provides a detailed insight into recovery from the Testnet reset. The script is very straight forward.  A new section has been added to the homepage detailing the runnable code samples, which demonstrate the feature of the Network.

Jed McCaleb tweeted:  “Lightnet is showing the world what we can do with @stellar technology.”

Tyler van der Hoeven tweeted:  “I’m excited to be hosting the #Stellar Build-Your-Own-Wallet Workshop on February 19 at Cloudflare in SF. “

Sydney Ifergan, the Crypto Expert, tweeted:  “Stellar Network is giving a new reason every day for people and institutions to join them and to use their services.  It is just about how opportunities meet the time availability of people who make the best use of Stellar Network features.”

Stellar Lumens XLM Wallets

Stellar Lumens helps in the storage and spending of XLM using Hardware Wallets like Ledger Nano S with the offline private key and therefore helps to connect with several web and desktop apps. An alternative to the Ledger Nano S is the Trezor wallet.

The downloadable wallets like Keybase, Solar Wallet, Lobstr helps store the private key on the app either on the mobile or desktop device. Coinbase facilitates web wallets that can be used by investors to check for their account balance and to sign transactions.

Stellar Lumens Promoting New Participants

The Stellar Development Foundation does not have shareholders, dividends, or profit motives. Lumens XLM funds the SDF.  Stellar is a global company working to establish Stellar as a global payment standard.  Lumens (XLM) is used to promote Stellar.  The ledger addresses that hold the funds contribute to Stellar’s success. Anyone can monitor the progression of Stellar through the appropriate links.  A yearly audit and accounting of stellar programs are available, thus facilitating integrity and transparency in programs.

The Stellar Foundation focuses on leading the development of Stellar Core and Horizon.  Framing policies near Stellar and blockchain, eventually communicating with regulators and policy-makers and improving on the business ecosystems and network technology. Promote Stellar technology to newer participants.

by Steven Anderson

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
[Image: binance-ceo-690x362.png]
Binance CEO Says Exchanges Are a Safer Place to Hold Crypto Than a Wallet, Which Is Incorrect

Peter Schiff created a flurry of controversy on Twitter when he lost access to his Bitcoin (BTC) wallet, apparently due to the wallet becoming corrupted, and his password supposedly no longer being valid, which does not make that much sense.

[Image: tweet-btc1.png]

In any case, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao responded that most people do not have the ability to store a crypto key themselves, and therefore they should just store crypto on centralized exchanges like Binance.

[Image: tweet-crypto-ogs.png]

This is untrue, since if the government takes down a centralized exchange, or if the exchange is hacked, then a user’s crypto could be lost. Indeed, Binance was hacked in May for over $40 million of cryptocurrency and shutdown for a week. Most exchanges which get hacked never recover, so Binance was actually the best case scenario for an exchange hacking.

Either way, whether crypto is inaccessible for a week or lost forever, it certainly is not better than individuals storing crypto in their own wallets. If an individual can safely store their crypto, they can access it at any time and there is no chance that they will lose it.

The best way to store large amounts of Bitcoin (BTC) is with Bitcoin Core, since it does not depend on any centralized servers. The important thing is to make a copy of the private key, either very carefully on paper or with a non-digital polaroid camera, and to then keep that key copy in a place where no one could ever find it. If a crypto user can follow these simple steps they can then hold as much Bitcoin (BTC) as they want without ever losing it.

For smaller amounts of Bitcoin (BTC), the wallet is sufficient, and users should save the seed in a very safe location.

Thus, it is straightforward to store cryptocurrency securely in a wallet. It is not better to store cryptocurrency on a centralized exchange like Binance long term, since it could be lost, whereas when storing crypto in a wallet only the owner will have control of it.


Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
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How the Crypto World Is Preparing for Quantum Computing, Explained

1. What is quantum computing?

Quantum computing is a new method of processing data and solving problems, which differs from classical computing that is widely used in everyday devices.

Quantum computers, which have at times been dismissed as a physical impossibility, have gone from the realm of "If" to the realm of "When" over the last decade. To put that into perspective, some computations — previously thought to be functionally impossible due to their incompatibility with traditional computing — are now becoming only a matter of time for quantum computers.

At the moment, blockchains’ cryptographic functions are considered to be secure, given that breaking them would need massive computing resources that cannot be achieved with classical computers. However, a quantum computer would be able to break this kind of cryptographic shield in a matter of days.

While this threat is only theoretical now, it can materialize in about a decade.

The idea behind quantum computers is to go beyond the limits of traditional computers by leveraging quantum mechanics — a field in physics that describes the behaviors and laws on a subatomic scale.

Quantum phenomena are not easy to grasp because they are governed by completely different laws compared to classical mechanics. As Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman once said, “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, then you don't.”

Think about it: Subatomic particles can exist in multiple places at once — called superposition — move forward or backward in time, and even teleport through so-called entanglements. Quantum computers aim to benefit from these sci-fi characteristics.

While the transistors of classical computer processors operate with bits, which encode either a zero or a one, quantum computers use so-called quantum bits, or qubits. The latter can encode a zero and a one into two different states as well as leverage their “superposition” and “entanglement.” In other words, qubits allow for a huge number of calculations to be carried out simultaneously. 

Today, the leaders of quantum computing are United States tech giants IBM and Google. Intel and Microsoft come next as serious contenders. Amazon is also keen on joining the league. Recently, the e-commerce behemoth announced that it provided quantum computing as a service on its AWS servers. 

Google even claimed recently that it had achieved quantum supremacy, a milestone in quantum computing, in which a quantum device can solve a problem that typical computers cannot.

2. Is quantum computing a threat to the blockchain?

The short answer is yes, but there are nuances to consider. 

First of all, quantum computing is not a threat to the blockchain as a concept per se but to the projects that use the technology. While present-day quantum computers cannot break blockchains and their underlying cryptography, larger ones on the horizon are a threat, indeed, and need to be prepared for.

While upcoming quantum computers might have the capability to break the cryptography of today’s blockchains, this threat can be reduced to zero when the world adopts quantum-resistant blockchains and even distributed ledger technology whose nodes rely on quantum computers.

3. What crypto algorithms and blockchains are threatened by quantum computing?

Powerful quantum computers might become a threat to all blockchains that rely on the ECDSA (Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm), including Bitcoin and Ethereum.

ECDSA has become the gold standard in creating keys under the public key cryptographic system that is used to sign for transactions in most blockchains. This system allows us to create a random 256-bit private key and a deriving public key that we can share with any third party. It is then hardly possible to find the private key that generated the public key, but quantum computers can employ an algorithm to unravel the mathematical relationship between a public key and a private key, thus revealing and compromising the private key.

Bitcoin (BTC) represents the first practical use case of blockchain, and it is still the most dominant cryptocurrency out there. The fact that Bitcoin has gone mainstream and attracted many institutional investors makes it the first candidate among digital currencies to be protected against any potential threats, including quantum computers. 

In 2017, while Bitcoin was exploding to its record high, Divesh Aggarwal of the National University of Singapore and his colleagues studied the threat to Bitcoin posed by quantum computers. They were among the first to conclude that the danger is imminent.

“The elliptic curve signature scheme used by Bitcoin is much more at risk and could be completely broken by a quantum computer as early as 2027,” the authors said.

Nevertheless, it seems that quantum technologies are expanding at a faster rate than previously expected. Recently, Google announced that it had achieved “quantum supremacy,” suggesting that it had built a computer able to solve mathematical tasks that were previously impossible to tackle.

Still, Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin, businessman Andreas Antonopoulos and other crypto experts are not afraid of Google’s innovation.

4. Blockchains vs. quantum threats: Latest advances

There are two main approaches to address the potential quantum threats: whether to create a quantum-resistant layer to an existing blockchain protocol to increase its security or create a quantum-resistant blockchain from scratch.

There are projects that have already implemented the second approach. The best example is the Quantum Resistant Ledger (QRL), which is operated by the Swiss-based nonprofit QRL Foundation. With its suggestive name, QRL has created a blockchain protocol from zero. QRL is designed to resist any threats from quantum computers.

The QRL blockchain, whose proof-of-work mainnet went live in June of last year, is the first industrial implementation of the so-called eXtended Merkle Signature Scheme (XMSS) — a hash-based signature scheme that is not vulnerable to quantum computers the way ECDSA is. While XMSS was first proposed a few years ago, QRL used an XMSS version described by the Internet Engineering Task Force last year.

Currently, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has a draft approval of XMSS, the hash-based signature scheme used in QRL. 

Unlike common cryptographic algorithms like ECDSA, algorithms such as XMSS and a similar hash-based signature scheme called Leighton-Micali (LMS) are way more advanced thanks to its capabilities to resist quantum computer attacks. However, the NIST explained that both XMSS and LMS were prone to misuse and required a few modifications to address the issues. 

The track to approve the hash-based signature schemes of XMSS and LMS is separate from NIST’s more general call for post-quantum signature schemes, which will conclude at a much later date, possibly 2022 or later. 

The large competition initiated by the NIST has received more than 80 submissions so far. The goal of the competition is to select the best post-quantum cryptographic algorithm.

Interestingly, the U.S. National Security Agency also expressed its readiness to benefit from the NIST submission.

Back in 2015, the NSA said that it planned to move its National Security Systems to post-quantum public key cryptography. In the past few years, the U.S. agency has collaborated with industry leaders to make sure that it has enough quantum-resistant algorithms ready to protect the security systems of the U.S.

As of today, there are only a handful of entities working on quantum-resistant blockchains, and the trend is expected to expand in the following years.

5. Will Bitcoin have to update its infrastructure to become quantum resistant?

While quantum computers are not a threat to Bitcoin at the moment, the oldest cryptocurrency might need an upgrade in the future.

Bitcoin uses two security schemes, the hashing function used in the block creation and the ECDSA algorithm used for signatures. The latter is more vulnerable to risks posed by quantum computers, and it might require an additional layer of protection in the future.

Back in 2017, Andreas Antonopoulos said that we should be ready for a major upgrade in Bitcoin when it becomes clear that quantum computers can break the elliptic curve. Nevertheless, it would be reasonable to consider upgrading before the first signs of potential threats show up.

Learn more about Quantum Resistant Ledger

by Anatol Hooper

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
[Image: music-sound-blockchain-trillbit-2048x1152.jpg]
Trillbit transmits sound waves to confirm transactions on a blockchain.

Two years ago, Bhasksar Deo, an engineer, was riding in a taxi when he heard a radio presenter spell out a URL to a website. Who has the time to remember that, he thought?

The whole thing gave Deo an idea, though, and led to him creating Trillbit, a Boston-based startup that uses sound to transmit encrypted information across devices as diverse as smartphones, payment machines and drones. He calls Trillbit the “Internet of Sound.”

At CES this month, Trillbit announced a product that targets blockchain companies, who can now use Trillbit’s technology to sign transactions through sound. “If my device transmits a sound, essentially a token with a cryptographic hash, your device can receive the sound and confirm it on a blockchain,” he explained in an interview with Decrypt

Deo, whose last job was using sound waves to build 3D models of mile-deep wells for an oil and gas company, said it’s useful to establish that two devices were at a certain location at a given time. A drone, for instance, could emit a small “bing” to announce the delivery of a package, which would be picked up by a receiving dock, which would issue a corresponding “bong.” All undetectable to human ears, of course, so you won’t go mad. 

The benefit of using sound over, say, bluetooth or NFC, is that a company doesn’t have to install bespoke chips to transmit information, said Dao. “There are more speakers in the world than there are people, so why not build an entire network using these speakers?” he said. 

Quote:[Image: fEy87nqv_bigger.jpg]

Power your events and exhibitions through our proprietary Data Over Sound technology. Save cost, enrich experience, elevate revenues. #DataOverSound #ExhibtionMarketing #ProximityMarketing
[Image: EOk2XpUW4AElaud?format=jpg&name=900x900]

11:04 PM - Jan 18, 2020

Twitter Ads info and privacy

Deo’s contention is that using sound waves to send encrypted messages is only possible now, since most speakers, microphones, and processors are of high enough quality to send and transmit sound, even in busy rooms, at pitches human ears can’t pick up. Deo said that Trillbit’s range can stretch from 3-10 meters for phones, to around 150 meters for stadium speakers.

So, a coffee shop might use its speakers to set up a payments network based on sound, even if it is playing music; your smartphone would send an inaudible beep to the machine, which would boop right back at it to confirm a transaction. All without buying extra hardware. 

Deo said Trillbit is yet to find a customer for its new blockchain integration, but has plenty for its original, non-blockchain variant; it’s working with payments giant Western Union to increase the speed of its payment systems at stores. Deo said it’s increased payments speeds by around four times.

Sounds, er, promising!

by Robert Stevens

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
[Image: shutterstock_739617883.jpg]
The Bitcoin market is still very new, and for these reasons, it undergoes frequent transformations. It was not just the market structure that changed. Participants too. The Bitcoin trader and arbitrator has undergone a major process of professionalization in recent years.

From 2009 until the last two years, we saw the volume of crypto trading explode, new more robust brokers and the emergence of more sophisticated financial instruments in this market, such as derivatives.

Until 2013, Bitcoin was a collectible, mainly by onlookers, cypherpunks and anarcho-capitalists who used Deepweb. With the 2013 bubble, the asset gained notoriety and attracted many people, including traders who wanted to take advantage of the high volatility of the market.

Volatility is the term used to fluctuate the price of an asset over a given period of time. The greater this oscillation, the greater the "vol". But, why do oscillations happen so often in Bitcoin? The answer is quite simple: the market is new and is full of information asymmetries, which end up generating an inefficient price formation.

[Image: chart-1024x1024-1.png?strip=all&lossy=1&...C509&ssl=1]
The chart above shows Bitcoin's historical volatility. It is possible to see that it is in a downward trend. Source: BuyBitcoinWorldWide

That is, in 2013 Bitcoin was a new asset that almost nobody knew how it worked. The information was practically nonexistent for those just starting out. In addition, the size of the market was very small, which generated a great deal of inefficiency in pricing the asset. Today we still have asymmetry, but to a lesser extent.

Asymmetries and opportunities

Asymmetry attracts opportunities to earn money, and where there are opportunities, there are those who want to take advantage of it. It didn't take long for traders and arbitrators to show up to make money.

Traders, in possession of some relevant information, analysis or expectation, bet in some direction of the price (up or down). Arbitrators, on the other hand, take advantage of price differences in different Bitcoin brokers, buying where it is cheap and selling where it is most expensive.

These two participants have always existed in the traditional financial market and will continue to exist. What can change is your profile and the modus operandi. At the beginning of the past decade, traders and arbitrators maintained a more amateur operation than today. As the market matures, more tools.

However, the trend is that they will be replaced by traders and arbitrators with even more sophisticated and efficient operations. To do this, just watch the rise of robots, something-trading and HFTs on trading platforms.

The rise of robots and HFTs

Trading robots are already responsible for a large part of operations on the most sophisticated trading platforms, such as Deribit and Bitmex. Programmers are able to integrate their robots on these platforms through APIs, automating a large part of their operation.

In this scenario, the amateur trader who operates "in the hand" is at a great disadvantage. The robot tends to surpass it in the efficiency of reading graphic patterns, order flow from the order book and interpretation of technical indicators.

In addition, robots do not have the behavioral bias of humans and can operate more “rationally” in the short term. This means that the robot does not feel fear and greed, unlike the "root operator".

It was not long before something-traders appeared, who also program robots that execute strategies based on mathematical and statistical models. That is, the Bitcoin trader has won big competitors, which makes opportunities scarcer.

Another major contributor to reducing market asymmetry was High Frequency Trading. An operating table that can use a robot that performs thousands of operations per second, also known as "High Frequency Trades".

HFTs operate on both sides of the order book, mainly operating the difference between buying and selling (spread). They are also able to do several arbitration operations.

Whoever came from the Stock Exchange, managed to put the Bitcoin market in the “pocket” and easily outperform the “amateur traders”. Especially who set up the operating table.

Increasing market efficiency

Bitcoin was the biggest source of “easy money” in the history of mankind and I can prove it. Until 2016, you could make a lot of money from arbitrage operations. Just buy Bitcoin in the United States and sell in Brazil with at least 20% profit per transaction!

See the chart below that shows this inefficiency and its subsequent resolution.

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The spread between Bitcoin in Brazil and the price of Bitcoin abroad has already reached more than 40%. Source: TradingView

There was a big premium between the price of Bitcoin in Brazil and abroad. Few people were able to buy abroad and sell here, so the premium was huge. Obviously, this became a full plate for trading desks at banks and large exchange offices, which quickly took advantage of these opportunities.

This more professional profile started to arbitrate a lot of Bitcoin and, naturally, this goodwill plummeted almost overnight, closing the gates of opportunity for “easy money”. We still have a small premium between the price of Bitcoin abroad and the price here, but only those who have a good discount on the exchange can take advantage.

Not that this is bad, on the contrary, who wants to buy Bitcoin can now pay cheaper. In some cases, the arbitrage is so great that the price here is cheaper than that abroad. The global Bitcoin market has become more efficient, not to the same degree as the traditional financial market, but the progress is already notable.

Is there still room for amateurs?

Getting money out of the bitcoin market is not easy. You can continue to “operate by hand”, but you will be at a clear disadvantage, from the time you set up the strategy, until the moment of executing orders. But it is still possible to make money from trade, at the cost of much study and hours of dedication.

Arbitrating manually is very difficult. Today, profit is only achieved in exceptional situations on the market. Trade is also possible, as long as you don't get stuck in 5-minute scale charts, where robots easily dominate.

Now, we are reaching a phase of the market where the most prudent will be to "do nothing", believe in the strategy and wait, just as it is done in the stock market. Honestly, I believe this is the biggest difficulty: operating is easy, investing is difficult. Bitcoin traders are improving with each market cycle.

by Miu Lin 

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[Image: Immersion-Imagery-3-Ripple.jpg]
Leading central banks merge – Ripple and Stellar Lumens redundant?

  • The Bank of England has announced in a press release that it will research the use of a central bank supported digital currency in cooperation with other central banks.

  • In the long term, this step could lead to competition or cannibalisation of projects from the cryptocurrency area, such as Ripple or Stellar Lumens.

The Bank of England announced in a press release yesterday that it will work with the central banks of Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, the European Union, Sweden and Switzerland and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) on the research and introduction of a central bank-based digital currency (CBDC).

Research to produce a catalogue of measures for CBDC

The aim of the cooperation is to investigate potential use cases for CBDCs in their respective jurisdictions. Each country has its own legislation and therefore different requirements for the technical design of a CBDC. The task force describes their common goal as follows:

Quote:The group will assess CBDC use cases; economic, functional and technical design choices, including cross-border interoperability; and the sharing of knowledge on emerging technologies. It will closely coordinate with the relevant institutions and forums –in particular, the Financial Stability Board and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures(CPMI).

The research group is jointly led by Benoît Cœuré, Head of the BIS Innovation Centre, and Jon Cunliffe, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and Chairman of the CPMI. High-ranking representatives of the central banks of the respective countries will also be on board.

The President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, already announced at a press conference in mid-December that the ECB would set up a task force in cooperation with other European central banks to promote the development of a digital euro. The first results are to be presented as early as mid-year.

There is a growing demand for fast, cheap and secure money transfer services. However, Lagarde does not focus on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but rather on stablecoins, as these have a low volatility and are therefore better suited for use in various areas of the economy. Lagarde describes:

Quote:The digital currency – we have set up a taskforce and we will accelerate the effort of this taskforce, drawing on the resources of the entire Eurosystem, meaning the national central banks that already participate in that research and that have already committed to the project in terms of experimentation, pilots here and there. So harnessing on all those experiments that have taken place and all the research that has already been put into this effort, together with the work that has been done here alsoI think we’re trying to do that by mid-2020.

In China, the pilot phase of the central bank-supported digital currency is already in full swing. As we reported earlier, China is already testing the system in Hebei, Ehjiang and the megacity of Shenzhen, making it the first central bank in the world to deploy a CBDC in a large mass market.

Will cryptocurrencies like Ripple’s XRP or Stellar Lumens (XLM) become obsolete?

According to Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, Facebook’s Libra project has a trust issue and will take some time to get off the ground. Both Ripple and Stellar Lumens provide an infrastructure that can already deliver on the central banks’ aforementioned objectives of low-cost, rapid cross-border transfers.

By using Ripple’s payment technology, millions of USD can be sent from the USA to the other side of the world within seconds at very low fees, not even a penny. Using a traditional bank would take several days to transfer the money and would incur disproportionately high fees.

However, if the central banks will offer a similar service, projects like Ripple or Stellar could become obsolete in the long run. Lagarde pointed out at a recent conference that central banks could also try to eliminate other intermediaries or intermediary institutions:

Quote:Are we trying to cut costs? Are we trying to eliminate the middlemen? Are we trying to achieve free inclusive financing? There are a number of objectives that can be pursued.

Currently, Ripple partners such as MoneyGram continue to grow strongly, but in the long term this business could be completely taken over by central banks. For the time being, however, it remains to be seen how quickly progress can be made by central banks.

by Collin Brown

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
Crypto Dad sees a need for a CBDC.

Crypto Dad wants to digitize the greenback. His new venture, the Digital Dollar Project, is a foundation set up to advocate for a US central bank digital currency (CBDC).

But is it necessary?

What Libra Did

Interest in CBDCs has been growing since Facebook threatened to undermine the international monetary order with the creation of its highly centralized, corporate-dominated stablecoin, Libra.

Libra faced immediate backlash from governments and the cryptocurrency industry alike. 

While Congress was grilling Zuckerberg in the US, France and Germany spared little time banning the currency. The speed with which governments poured cold water on the project suggested the crypto industry’s suspicions were warranted.

Crypto communities were opposed because they saw Libra as antonymous to everything they’d spent a decade building in the push for decentralized currencies and money for the internet. It was feared Libra would do little more than attract the ire of regulators.

Soon, the Libra Association, a not-for-profit conglomerate of various companies supporting the project, began to crumble amid high-profile departures.

In the latest, the Association formed a five-member “Technical Steering Committee” to oversee development and design. Except for this, the project has yet to announce any further progress.

Despite the controversial entry into crypto, Libra did draw the general public and central banks’ attention to cryptocurrencies. 

The Argument for CBDCs

While there had been discussions surrounding CBDCs before, central banks only began genuinely exploring them when a major US corporation threatened to effectively make a private version of one.

An EU draft document of late last year suggested that:

“The ECB and other EU central banks could usefully explore the opportunities as well as challenges of issuing central bank digital currencies including by considering concrete steps to this effect.” 

China is also reportedly on the verge of launching the digital yuan, although it has been set to do so for quite some time.
Back in the US, Former CFTC Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo, affectionately known as “Crypto Dad” for his progressive stance toward blockchain technology and crypto, thinks it is time to “future-proof the greenback.”

A Digital Dollar with Three Use Cases

On Jan. 16, Giancarlo announced the launch of the Digital Dollar Project. The think tank will advocate for a digitized US dollar in partnership with Accenture. He followed up the initial announcement with his thoughts on what such a dollar would look like.

With a lack of innovation in central banking “since the printing of bank notes during the nineteenth century,” a digital dollar would enable the Federal Reserve to “enhance scope, access, diversification and resilience in dollar payments,” reads the project’s official initiative. 

Central bank money is excluded from online retail transactions, whereas bank notes can still be used at brick and mortar retailers. The declining use of cash notwithstanding, the Digital Dollar Project sees a CBDC as being able to:

“offer a new choice for digital transactions, offer instantaneous peer-to-peer payments, and provide diversification of payment rails in particular to grant greater autonomy, especially in times of heightened financial distress.”

Directly accessing digital central bank money for retail spending would render e-commerce markets more efficient for consumers.

However, the think tank still prefers a digital dollar that is distributed by commercial banks and other trusted third parties. The advocacy project does not appear to be seeking to remove banks from the retail market.

The Digital Dollar Project sees a digital greenback as democratizing the wholesale payments architecture that is currently the domain of inter-bank clearance mechanisms. That would open up access to large value transactions, which it considers important to “support the emergence of digital financial market infrastructures.”

Securities and other big-ticket value transfers would no longer be the sole domain of intermediary institutions.

While a US CBDC could afford the central bank improved monetary policies and provide greater stability for the wider domestic economy, Giancarlo seems to have his sights set on the international arena.

The Dominance of The US Dollar

Crypto Dad appears most concerned with the falling dominance of the US dollar on the global stage, as well as the threat the Chinese yuan poses as a potential rival reserve currency.

Despite central banks around the world holding three-fifths of their reserves in USD, Giancarlo’s project is keenly aware of the “incentives, geopolitical pressures, and even generational preferences to replace the dollar as an international payment medium,” at the same time as China appears to be seeking “renminbi internationalization […] at the expense of the dollar’s primacy.”

Allowing international payments to be conducted digitally in US dollars would restore the greenback’s dominance. Current evidence suggests that the dollar is dropping in global liquidity, especially among emerging markets and Asia in particular.

[Image: Figrue2.png]

Courtesy Digital Dollar Project, IMF measure of global USD liquidity by region

A Threat to Banks?

Crypto Dad is not seeking to cannibalize the US banking sector, which CBDCs have the potential to do by removing the need for an intermediary.

Rather, his foundation is seeking to shore up support for the greenback as the default international currency. 

There may be some collateral damage in the financial services sector nonetheless. The more seamless movement of US dollars and better access to wholesale markets could undermine the need for domestic legacy banking infrastructure.

The Digital Dollar Projects discusses “deficiencies of the existing correspondent banking model.” In this regard, Giancarlo’s proposed CBDC threatens to remove the need for at least some of the functions of the current banking system.

by Paul de Havilland

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
[Image: defi-770x515.jpg]
As the Maker project matures and its Dai stablecoin becomes more popular, the specter of governance in the Maker ecosystem rises accordingly.

MakerDAO is one of the most intriguing projects to watch in the cryptocurrency space in 2020 and beyond, namely because of how interesting things can get around the Maker ecosystem going forward. That is, if you’re into experimental economics and politics.

Let’s dig a little into the latter, what a Maker political scene might look in the future, to analyze where things might be going for the rising decentralized world currency effort.

None of what follows is investment advice to be sure, but it certainly is political speculation.

Maker Ascending, Attention Ascending

The Bitcoin Dominance Rate, or how much of bitcoin’s market capitalization accounts for the entire market cap of the cryptoeconomy, is a closely watched metric not only among Bitcoiners but also throughout the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

In kind, one of the closest watched metrics in the Ethereum decentralized finance community, or DeFi for short, is the similarly construed Maker Dominance Rate — the tracking of which is a hallmark of the popular DeFi Pulse analytics 
portal, for example.

[Image: Maker-DeFiPulse-1.png]
Image via DeFi Pulse

Why measure things against Maker, then?

Because MakerDAO — the young “decentralized credit” project behind the Dai and the stablecoin’s associated governance token, MKR — has been the smashing hit of DeFi to date, like how bitcoin in a larger sense has been the smashing hit of the cryptoeconomy to date.

The future is long, and maybe one day Maker will get overtaken by another popular dApp. But at the moment, Maker is by far the bellwether project and the keystone “money lego” of DeFi in terms of adoption, and it has been since the DeFi’s inception. It has more room to grow too, clearly.

This is all to say that the growing clout of Maker makes an increasingly active political scene around the project seem all but inevitable.

A New Kind of Politics Is Coming

As the Maker project matures and its Dai stablecoin becomes more popular, the specter of governance in the Maker ecosystem rises accordingly.

Mind you, MKR is the scarce, deflationary governance token of the project. Dai users who have taken out automated Dai loans from Maker Vaults can close out these positions by paying MKR to cover the “stability fee,” or interest, they’ve accrued.

Yet equally importantly is how MKR is a governance token, which stakeholders throughout the Dai ecosystem can use to vote on a rolling basis on key technical matters pertaining to the stablecoin and the Maker protocol.

In 2019, considerable developments around governance infrastructure — like Coinbase Custody and Anchorage activating support for MKR votes — put MKR voting under the microscope like never before.

This growing focus on MKR votes has led to community discussions on the advent of protocol politicians, who could be delegated votes from other users — or even whole factions — for supporting specific policy positions. For now no such delegation is possible, but it’s undoubtedly coming, and perhaps soon.

So what’s the big idea? If Maker eventually becomes an even bigger and more successful project, the stakes around its politics, and thus its political arena in general, should also swell.

[Image: defi-1024x682.jpg]

Glimpse of the Future?

Ryan Sean Adams, maestro of the Bankless newsletter, wrote an interesting primer on these coming Maker politicos in October 2019. In teasing some related possibilities, Adams hailed how he and RealT’s David Hoffman had recently played out competing mock political platforms on Twitter.

In the scenario, Adams supported an ETH-centric vision for Maker and vowed to vote against approving permissioned assets as collateral for Vaults, as such assets introduce trust implications in an otherwise trustless system.

On the flip side, Hoffman maintained he would back permissioned assets in Maker albeit with higher stability fees charged to compensate for the increased risks.

The illuminating albeit hypothetical exchange was just a taste of what could be coming in the arena, so what other possibilities might be on the horizon?

Speculating on the Factions to Come

As vote delegation hits the Maker scene, look for governance votes to potentially become more like elections, with different parties or factions arising around different causes under Maker’s Big Decentralized Tent.

Taking the aforementioned example of RSA vs. David Hoffman, in the future either could campaign on their respective platforms and “win” over delegated votes from like-minded peers. And others can and undoubtedly will do the same later for causes unknown to us now.

As this is all still relatively uncharted territory, what might some of these coming politicos look like? Below are a few stabs in the dark, with the following speculative figures named in a purely playful manner to bring the points across. Surely if Maker politicians really do come later, their campaigns will organically arrive at different wordings.

1) Tribunes of the Plebs

This speculative Maker politician takes it name from the ancient Roman political position, whose holders represented the plebeians, i.e. non-elites. Tribunes could use special vetoes to block actions of the Roman Senate, which was fielded by wealthy landowners.

In other words, Tribunes were incredibly powerful in a unique populist way, and the development of their position is a most interesting wrinkle in the history books of world politics.

That said, so too might a “Tribune of the Plebs” figure (or figures) eventually rise as a check on plutocratic power — i.e. whale voters with lots of MKR — in the Maker ecosystem.

Indeed, a protocol politician Tribune could vote in MKR governance matters with a focus on the interests of average, non-whale Maker Vault users. How these interests would be decided remains to be seen, though a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) would be one possibility. Such a politician could collect community concerns from average users and organize community efforts around these vested interests.

2) Cosmopolitans

Next up in our speculative list are Cosmopolitans. Cosmopolitans would be laser-focused on helping the Dai stablecoin become a major world currency, with all the implications that that rise would come with, not least among these being to ensure anyone, anywhere, anytime has access to reliable digital currency.

As such, the broad platform position for these politicians would naturally be supporting Dai use by broad range of people around the world.

As for nitty-gritty policy stuff, a Cosmopol would vote toward a less restrictive bankless Maker system, e.g. no Know Your Customer (KYC) measures will be caked into the protocol on their watch.

3) Techniks

It was a hard choice here between “Techniks” and “Contians,” the latter being both a sonorous reference to philosophical Kantians and a direct reference to Mariano Conti, Maker’s Head of Smart Contracts and thus one of project’s brightest technical minds.

Technik won out because it’s more universally apparent as to what it means: such a figure puts technical concerns first and foremost as a voter, so that the ultimate well-being of the wider Maker project is the main concern over all others.

For example, a Technik would back temporarily high stability fees (to the chagrin of borrowers) if such fees were thought necessary to restore the Dai’s $1 USD peg. We’ve seen such chatter before, namely when the Dai stability fee acutely climbed over the painful 20 percent mark in the first half of 2019.

Some borrowers thought that rate was scandalous; others argued it was necessary to restore the Dai’s then-struggling peg to $1. In the end, the battle for the peg was won, and anachronistically speaking we know exactly how a Technik would’ve argued amid that struggle: god save the peg!

4) ETH Maximalists

This one is straightforward. An ETH maximalist politico would vote in Maker governance affairs with a mind toward whatever they and their backers concluded would be maximally best for ether, the second largest crypto by market cap and the native asset of Ethereum, the blockchain that serves as the foundation for Maker’s (and the vast majority of DeFi’s) smart contracts infrastructure.

5) Collateralists

Last November, the MakerDAO ecosystem launched the Multi-Collateral Dai (MCD) upgrade, which thereafter allowed users to open up automated Maker Vaults using collateral beyond just ether.

The first non-ETH asset approved by MKR voters was Basic Attention Token (BAT), and more tokens will surely be voted in going forward.

With that said, some people in the future will undoubtedly take a “the more, the merrier” approach to new collateral types being added to MCD. These people might rally as Collateralists, backing a figurehead who would put their votes to approving most any new assets put up for the MCD.


Things are set to get increasingly political around Maker in the years ahead with the arrival of vote delegating and as the stakes of governance votes grow with more money on the line.

Perhaps politicians entirely different from the ones envisioned in this article will actualize. But it does seem clear that these politicos, in whatever shape or form they come, will actualize.

So if you’re big into DeFi already, bear in mind you will likely have to employ an increasingly civic stance as the space continues to mature.

by William M. Peaster

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure


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