Tag Archives: Cryptocurrency

Upbeat Dutch Blockchain and Crypto Action Agenda

Upbeat Dutch Blockchain
and Crypto Action Agenda

Upbeat Dutch Blockchain and Crypto Action Agenda

The Netherlands has an established tradition of being

at the forefront of innovation. And it is following this same path when it comes to Blockchain development. The Netherlands ranks in the top five countries when it comes to digital economies. Amsterdam is named the best tech startup city in Europe, the digital city Groningen is hosting the largest Blockchain hackathon in the world, and Arnhem is the place with high concentrations of merchants that accept Bitcoin payments. This has allowed the Dutch to experiment with payments using volatile cryptocurrencies with their regulation still a distant concept.

Dutch Blockchain Action Agenda is the driving force for the innovative application of this technology in both products and services. Under the label “Dutch Digital Delta,” government, industry, knowledge institutions even the Royal family’s Prince Constantijn, with over 20 organizations in the financial sector, energy, and logistics, are active in this initiative. Clearer policy and regulations were needed around the developing cryptocurrency, Blockchain sphere, agreed Dutch politicians, cryptocurrency companies and regulators, who appeared in the House of Representatives at a hearing on Jan. 24, 2018

Fintech

A few years ago the Central Bank of the Netherlands (DNB) created its own cryptocurrency called DNBcoin, for internal circulation only, to understand better how it works. After studying it, DNB concluded that Blockchain might be “naturally applicable in fintech” for the settlement of complex financial transactions, cross-border payments, securities transactions and document and identity validation. At the hearing, DNB representative indicated that while “DNBCoin is still under consideration, it is also investigating a combination of Blockchain based cross-border payment services where cryptos are converted to fiat currencies and prepaid crypto debit cards.” DNB stated “it supports the EU having extended its anti-money laundering directives to include digital money, acknowledging that the Netherlands will adopt it into national laws within 18 months.” And reiterated that “cryptocurrencies are not legal tender, they will not be banned, since it would obstruct blockchain innovation.”

The five Dutch Banks, which control over 90 percent of the Netherlands’ retail banking market are exploring implementing Blockchain technology in their operations. ABN AMRO and Rabobank joined SWIFT global payments innovation project. ING has completed the testing of Blockchain-powered trade settlement platform in partnership with Calypso and the R3 consortium.  And NIBC has set up an Innovation Lab to stimulate the adoption of technological advancements within the bank as well as to enter strategic partnerships with innovative Blockchain companies.

Willem Vermeend, the first official “FinTech Ambassador of the Netherlands,” said:

“Blockchain will become a critical part of the financial sector, but what’s needed is collaboration.  There is a lot of creativity in the Netherlands. The problem is that I have spoken to 20 parties who do not know what each other is doing.”

The Dutch government is exploring how to use Blockchain technology to improve service delivery to citizens as the catalyzer for democracy, transparency, and participation. So far, more than 30 pilots were concluded utilizing Blockchain technology in a variety of areas like income tax, identity, logistics, autonomous vehicles, debt counseling, etc.  

ICO

With 3,200 startup tech companies hitting a scale-up phase in the Netherlands, Initial Coin Offering (ICO) offers a new way of fundraising enabled by digital currencies and Blockchain technology. Currently, the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) does not regulate ICOs.

"When it comes to innovation and developing markets, the Netherlands always held a forward-thinking stance. ICO initiatives are not an exception. The Dutch landscape comprises of bottom-up initiatives such as meet-ups and conferences, Ethereum DEV NL, Skycoin Netherlands, and Bitcoin Wednesday, a thriving startup ecosystem with (pre-) ICO fundraising entities. Not surprisingly, the advisors of some of the most successful ICOs of the caliber of Bancor, Kik, and Monetha live in the Netherlands,” explained Emanuele Francioni, founder of Web3 Ventures.

Merel van Vroonhoven, chairman of the AFM, warned:

“Although the AFM sees the possibilities of Blockchain technology for financial services, it points to the high risks of ICOs in the current hype. The high risk of scams and loss of intake combined with the hype around ICOs at the moment is a dangerous cocktail."

At the latest hearing, AFM urged that ICOs needed to be regulated at an international and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) level because they are cross-border by nature. Last year Prince Constantijn joined the High-Level Group of Innovators that advises the European Commission (EC). On Feb. 1, 2018, the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum announced that “it is partnering with ConsenSys, an Ethereum powered global venture production studio, for the benefit of the single European Union (EU) market, ensuring they work collaboratively across borders to help integrate and consolidate views, analysis and visions coming from the Netherlands in a forum at EU level,” explained EC Spokesperson Nathalie Vandystadt.

Individual taxation of cryptocurrency

The Netherlands is an exciting place for Blockchain and cryptocurrency investments. Investors are urged to take into consideration applicable cross-border tax laws while forming crypto or token investment decisions. “The Netherlands’ Finаnсе Miniѕtеr announced that the Dutch gоvеrnmеnt would be соnѕidеring cryptocurrencies and thе like аѕ “barter items” which are to be declared as a capital asset of the personal income tax return to the extent a person is not someone who actively trades in cryptocurrencies.  As such, cryptocurrencies are taxed as income from savings and investments. This means you have to take its value in Euros on Jan. 1st of the year and declare this value.

A fictitious yield is to be calculated over the fair market value of the taxpayers’ savings and investments, reduced by his liabilities, per Jan. 1st. This fictitious yield is taxed at applicable rates against 30 percent” explained Martijn de Jong of Amstone law firm. “Non-resident individual taxpayers are only taxed on certain Netherlands sourced savings and investments. Should the non-resident taxpayer’s involvement be assumed to exceed passive management of funds, Dutch taxation in box one could apply. Currently, there is no clear guidance on how cryptocurrencies are taxed,” he added.

Chuck Reynolds

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Blockchain-Based ‘Internet Computer’ Gets $61M from Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain

Blockchain-Based 'Internet Computer' Gets $61M from Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain

Blockchain is now being used to build an “Internet computer.” 

Top Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital, a cryptocurrency hedge fund, have invested $61 million in Dfinity Foundation, a firm that intends to connect multiple computers together using blockchain to build an “Internet” computer.

The investment is Polychain Capital’s largest to date. Both investors will receive tokens in the network after its launch later this year. In an introductory video last year, Dfinity Foundation’s founder Dominic Williams explained more about the technology behind his company. “This applies new cryptography to public blockchain technology that is faster and more secure than anything around today,” he said. When the network was tested last year, it was 600 times faster than the prevailing speeds in ethereum’s network at that time.

The Dfinity network is based on a public blockchain and uses an open source protocol. In an interview with Business Insider, Williams said any computer that chooses to run the protocol can participate in the public network. The open protocol will facilitate the building of different businesses and applications on the network.For example, Williams said the “Internet computer” can act as a public cloud that competes with the likes of Amazon.com Inc. “The total cost of ownership of these business systems will be dramatically lower,” he said.

Part of the reason for this is because it will simplify complicated enterprise IT systems that involve multiple components such as databases and backup systems and cut costs by an estimated 90%. According to Williams, the public computer is also more secure because it is decentralized and spread out across multiple systems. It is underpinned by BLS cryptography invented at Stanford University.

Dominic Williams said he intends to use the funding to establish a Dfinity Ecosystem Fund to “support technical teams building applications, tools, and protocols for deployment on Dfinity.” He is also keen on building a so-called NASA for Decentralisation. "We believe ultimately that if you're going to have millions of businesses hosted on the internet computer, you're going to need a team of thousands of people who are constantly analysing the performance of the computer and looking for security threats," he told Business Insider.  Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions.

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RDA subcommittees to aid in digital marketing, branding efforts

RDA subcommittees to aid in digital marketing, branding efforts

The board approved a contract with Applied Marketing

Mary Ann Redeker/GazetteBoard members of the Regional Development Association discuss marketing concepts Friday morning in the Trulser Business Center. The board approved a contract with Applied Marketing for the generation of business leads for the Emporia community.Regional Development Association of East-Central Kansas board members focused on amping up their marketing efforts Friday morning during their meeting in the Trusler Business Center. Conversations also centered around the organization’s strategic planning retreat, which was held Jan. 15 in the business center. RDA President Kent Heermann said the board compiled a list of items during the retreat to help aid in the marketing of Emporia.

“We have a couple items that we will really be focusing on,” Heermann said. “One is the coordination of economic development activities, including the development of our digital marketing program for our community. Updating our web presence will be very important.” Heermann said various social media platforms would be important in this process; namely, LinkedIn, as it seems to be the preferred presence in the business community. “With the research I’ve done on it since the strategic planning meeting, I’ve found LinkedIn is a very good method that could be used to get the word out about Emporia,” Heermann said. “It’s a good platform to illustrate what assets are available here for companies, which are looking for future growth and expansion opportunities.”

Another area on which the RDA will be focusing is branding efforts and how to perform them from a community perspective. Two subcommittees were formed for this during the meeting. Board member Rick Tidwell will head up the committee focusing on digital marketing efforts and Vice President Jim Kessler will form the committee dealing with branding. “This project will be a work in process,” Heermann said. “We came up with the concept, did the research and will figure out which direction we want to go. Our strategic planning meeting was successful. We had not had a meeting like that in a long time where we just really talked about things. Usually in meetings, you have your agenda items to focus on. You never just chat, and that’s what we did. There are a lot of bright people on this board, and I wanted to know what they all thought and what their point of view was.”

In other business, the board approved a contract with Applied Marketing in the amount of $21,000 for business lead generation. “The advantage with Applied Marketing is, they will actually arrange a telephone call conversation with five or six different prospect companies,” he said. “A lot of the leads we get from other sources will send information and, if we make that screen, then maybe we might have a conversation someday or get a visit.

“The benefit through Applied Marketing is, we have conversations with prospects and we’ve also had companies come visit Emporia. We do have other marketing techniques we utilize. We have partnerships with the state through Team Kansas and the Kansas Department of Commerce. Last year we had more visits than we normally have in a year. It’s a function of businesses looking to expand and it’s a function of an economy that’s fairly robust, but that could all change tomorrow.”

During the meeting, Heermann also commented on the death of Mike Fiehler, former plant manager of IBP, Inc. and Tyson Fresh Meats. “Mike had retired only about two years ago,” Heermann said. “We worked with Mike on an expansion in early 2000. Then the company endured two layoffs and they were down to 500 or 600 employees on the processing side.”

In 2010, Heermann said Fiehler and his team worked tirelessly to ensure they brought more business to Emporia after the downsizing. “Mike was what I would call a strong plant manager and fought hard to bring jobs back to Emporia’s complex,” Heermann said. “He figured out a way to renovate the hot box area to bring new products here like corned beef and others. He let corporate know if they had other plants that were bursting at the seams, he had plenty of space and workers.”

Heermann said Fiehler was a man who worked quietly for the best interests of Tyson Fresh Meats and the Emporia community. “Mike worked very, very hard and led the quiet charge to get Tyson back to the numbers of around 900 to 925 workers after the downsizing,” he said. “I don’t think many people realize this. He did his best to make sure as many employees as possible were re-employed. He treated his employees like friends and family. He did a great job for the community, and we will miss him.”

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Venezuela’s Cryptocurrency Petro Finds Foreign Investors, ICO To Take Place In March

Venezuela’s Cryptocurrency Petro
Finds Foreign Investors, ICO To Take Place In March

Venezuela’s Minister of Foreign Trade and International Investment

José Vielma Mora announced on Thursday, Feb. 8, that foreign investors will be accepting payments for their goods in petro, says Latin American government-sponsored news outlet TeleSur. The petro, an oil-backed state cryptocurrency set to be released in both a pre-sale and an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), was first announced by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in December 2017. The petro’s white paper released Jan. 30 explains that the idea for the petro came from Hugo Chavez, who had envisioned a “strong currency backed by raw materials.” Mora said that Brazilian businesspeople are prepared to invest $300 mln in Venezuela, beginning with a $100 mln inversion investment.

The minister also listed Poland, Denmark, Honduras, Norway, and Vietnam as foreign countries that would be willing to receive petro in exchange for food and medicine, citing a total amount of $435 mln. According to Mora, Canada has also expressed interest in investing in Venezuela in the sphere of “pharmaceutics for humans and animals.” The petro is an ERC20 token that has been pre-mined on the Ethereum Blockchain, with each petro is backed by one barrel of oil. Maduro had ordered the issuance of 100 mln in petro on Jan. 14 in preparation for the pre-sale.

The creation of the petro has been viewed skeptically by critics and members of the Venezuelan opposition parliament who consider the petro a fraudulent currency that could help Maduro avoid sanctions. The petro’s pre-sale will take place from Feb. 20 at -04:00 UTC to Mar. 19 at -04:00 UTC, and there will be 38.4 mln tokens available. Pre-sale tokens “may be exchanged for petro [coins] at any time between the launch date and the closing of the initial offer,” according to the white paper.

The ICO will take place a day after the end of the pre-sale, Mar. 20 at -04:00 GMT, with 44 mln petro available for sale at a reference selling point of $60 – the price of a barrel of oil in Venezuela in the second week of Jan. 2018. The price is subject to market fluctuations, according to the white paper. The white paper writes that the Venezuelan government will accept petro as payment for national taxes, fees, and public services, and it will be regulated by the Cryptocurrency Superintendency and the National Blockchain Observatory.

Chuck Reynolds

 


Marketing Dept
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SEC, CFTC Breathe Life Into Floundering Crypto Market

SEC, CFTC Breathe Life Into Floundering Crypto Market

Bitcoin and its crypto brethren received an unlikely lifeline

from American trading regulators on Tuesday this week, which ended in a complete turnaround after a nasty market crash. The Commodities and Future Trading Commission and the US Securities Exchange Commission held a highly anticipated hearing on Tuesday, focused on their stance towards cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings and Blockchain technology. The discourse came at a crucial juncture, as the overall cryptocurrency market endured a spiraling sell off which saw Bitcoin reach lows below $7,000, a figure not seen in over five months.

Industry experts and pundits took to social media platforms, posting updates from the hearing which saw CFTC Chair Christopher Giancarlo and SEC Chair Jay Clayton make some highly influential statements about the current stance towards the overall cryptocurrency and Blockchain space. With a prevailing sentiment of fear, uncertainty and doubt, a negative stance from the two bodies that hold the future of mainstream cryptocurrency trade could have been as good as a death knell.

But both bodies unveiled balanced and positive sentiments towards cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology. Giancarlo delivered an upbeat address saying “if there was no Bitcoin, there would be no distributed ledger technology,”  when he was asked about the value of Bitcoin. He also made it clear in his written testimony that cryptocurrencies are here to say and that regulation needs to nurture the sector while

protecting investors.

“Virtual currencies mark a paradigm shift in how we think about payments, traditional financial processes, and engaging in economic activity. Ignoring these developments will not make them go away, nor is it a responsible regulatory response. The evolution of these assets, their volatility, and the interest they attract from a rising global millennial population demand serious examination.”

Clayton echoed the sentiments of the CFTC chair, but he also produced a discourse that gave credit to the cryptocurrency industry for adding a new paradigm to

the financial system:

“Distributed ledger and other emerging technologies have the potential to further influence and improve the capital markets and the financial services industry.”

Clayton also hammered home the importance of fair regulatory frameworks that will create an environment that benefits all

parties involved.

“Said simply, we should embrace the pursuit of technological advancement, as well as new and innovative techniques for capital raising, but not at the expense of the principles undermining our well-founded and proven approach to protecting investors and markets.”

Markets react favorably

The overarching reaction following the hearing has had a positive effect on the cryptocurrency markets. Bitcoin and Ethereum had seen 20 percent growth in value, according to CoinMarketCap data, at the time of writing, and the rest of the cryptocurrency market was in the green. This latest development has provided the first bit of positive sentiment in over a fortnight. China has reiterated it’s zero-tolerance of cryptocurrency, India’s regulatory stance has been taken badly, and a number of mainstream banks have ruled out cryptocurrency purchases with credit cards.

These developments culminated in a highly volatile, selling-spree in the cryptocurrency market.But, with regulatory bodies like the CFTC and SEC promising to foster environments conducive to the growth and development of legitimate cryptocurrencies, fears have been allayed. What remains to be seen is if this is the start of a fresh wave of positive growth in value for the cryptocurrency space. The developments have had a number of high profile pundits posting upbeat predictions in response. Canadian Twitter user Armin van Bitcoin said that the Mayer Multiple is signaling a

strong buy signal for Bitcoin:

Smart #bitcoin investors capitulate based on long term trends. The Mayer Multiple is a great example of this, using the 200 DMA to derive its formula. The multiple is currently signalling a $BTC buy.

200 DMA: $6,858
Current Price: $8,425

 

Software engineer Pierre Rochard quoted Xapo CEO Wences Casares in a tweet that emphasized patience in the world of

cryptocurrencies.

“If I am impatient – that’s my problem, that’s not Bitcoin’s problem. Bitcoin has all the patience in the world.” Onwards and upwards! Bitcoin’s greatest days are ahead.

Business Insider’s Frank Chaparro shared a story on the Winklevoss twins, who have released bullish sentiments on Bitcoin following the SEC and CFTC hearing this week. Winklevoss Twins see bitcoin hitting 320,000, saying non-believers will suffer a ‘failure of imagination

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Marketing Dept
Contributor

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Bitcoin continues its steady recovery, rising above $8,000/more

Bitcoin continues its steady recovery, rising above $8,000

Other cryptocurrencies match bitcoin’s march higher

Bitcoin continued to move above $8,000 on Thursday,
taking a cue from global equity markets, which appeared to be stabilizing somewhat after a week of extreme volatility. The price of a single bitcoin BTCUSD, +2.72% gained 6.7% to $8,091.23, bouncing off a session low of $7,576.25, according to CoinDesk data. The price of bitcoin remains well below a level of $10,000 seen a week ago, and its December peak above $19,000, but has recovered from a drop below $6,000 on Tuesday. Ether, the coin on the ethereum network, saw a similar rise, up 6.3% to $806.63, while bitcoin cash was at $995.25, up 3.5%. Litecoin rose 2.7% to $142.66, and Ripple gained 3.4% to 75 cents, CoinDesk prices indicated.

Winklevoss:
If you can’t see bitcoin at $320,000, you just lack imagination

‘We believe bitcoin disrupts gold’

Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss are still fired up about bitcoin.

‘You know the criticisms are just a failure of the imagination.’

That’s what Tyler, one of the Winklevoss twins, had to say to the skeptics — and there are many — who fail to see the massive potential for bitcoin BTCUSD, +2.33%  and the rest of the crypto space. “Cryptocurrencies aren’t really important for human-to-human transactions… but when machines-to-machines trade economic value, they are going to plug into protocols like bitcoin and ethereum,” he explained to CNBC. “They are not going to open bank accounts at J.P. Morgan… those were invented by bankers before the internet existed. Trying to use them as payments or money on the internet is a square peg in a round hole at best.” His brother, Cameron, says bitcoin will one day be worth 40 times today’s price, which is currently just over $8,000, thanks to a double-digit rally.

“We believe bitcoin disrupts gold GCH8, -0.01% We think it’s a better gold if you look at the properties of money. And what makes gold gold? Scarcity,” Cameron said. “Bitcoin is actually fixed in supply so it’s better than scarce … it’s more portable, its fungible, it’s more durable. Its sort of equals a better gold across the board. We think regardless of the price moves in the last few weeks, it’s still a very underappreciated asset.”

Neither Cameron nor his brother put a specific timeline on the prediction during the chat, but they did say they’re taking the 10-to-20 year view. The Winklevoss twins were hailed as the first crypto billionaires, after riding the hype and creating an exchange that processes $300 million in daily transactions. The brothers are currently No. 4 on the Forbes list of wealthiest players in the space, behind the Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.

February Bitcoin futures on the Cboe Global Markets XBTG8, -0.30%  slipped 2.4%, to settle at $8,040, while those on the CME Group Inc. BTCG8, -1.52%  fell 3.6% to $7,970. Cryptocurrencies have drawn some support this week from a Senate hearing to discuss regulations for the industry , which was viewed as generally positive. But bitcoin and its rivals have been not escaped the volatility that has at times whipsawed global equity markets.

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Marketing Dept
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STB backs 3 brands as part of Marketing Innovation Programme

STB backs 3 brands as part of Marketing Innovation Programme

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has selected three out of the 44

applications submitted by businesses across a wide range of industries to be supported under the first edition of its Marketing Innovation Programme (MIP). The three campaigns from AccorHotels, Millennium Hotels and Resorts and Wildlife Reserves Singapore were chosen as they showed the strongest potential to boost Singapore’s destination appeal and were best able to tell a “great Singapore story”. The campaigns were selected by a panel comprising STB and industry experts, based on criteria such as innovativeness, potential to drive tourism

outcomes and feasibility.

Each marketing campaign will receive a dollar-for-dollar matching award of up to SG$300,000 to amplify its distribution.

Details of the second edition of MIP will be shared during its launch in April this year. In 2016, MIP’s launched followed STB’s unveiling of its new marketing strategy, which aims to support and amplify innovative marketing campaigns that experiment with new ideas, as well as push the boundaries of traditional marketing methods. According to Jacqueline Ng, director, marketing partnerships and planning, storytelling is central to STB’s marketing strategy, as is its ability to constantly reimagine, disrupt and establish new standards that will make STB stand out from its competition.

“We are encouraged by the strong interest we’ve seen in the first edition of the MIP and hope that more businesses, including those not in the tourism sector, will be inspired to join us in a continuous journey to raise the benchmark for innovative marketing in the coming years,” Ng added. AccorHotels’ “48 Hours Start Over” social campaign reintroduces visitors to the Singapore experience in unexpected ways. It tells the story of a traveller who returns to Singapore for the best guest experience reimagined by AccorHotels. The main idea behind “48 Hours Start Over” is that the people you meet on your travels and the memories you bring home influence your entire travel experience.

Titled “M Social Communities”, Millennium Hotels and Resorts’ campaign aims to incorporate Singapore’s local arts scene into the M Social experience, allowing guests to interact with local creatives. Travellers and members of the public can interact with the work of Singapore’s artists and artisans, as well as meet them through a variety of exhibitions, workshops and events. The campaign aims to enrich travellers’ stay with learnings, stories and ideas.

Meanwhile, Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s campaign “Land of Giants” seeks to tell stories about Singapore’s biodiversity through 130 super-sized animatronic and static invertebrate installations. The seasonal outdoor exhibit, coupled with real life encounters of the pint-sized creatures, aims to bring across the essential roles that invertebrates play in the ecosystem.

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Marketing Dept
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New Smart Contract Platform DocTailor Brings Blockchain to Businesses

New Smart Contract Platform DocTailor Brings Blockchain to Businesses

Cryptocurrency expert Sam Enrico Williams has announced the launch

of a new blockchain-based project designed to improve the accessibility of customisable, legally-binding smart contracts. DocTailor aims to bridge the gap between cryptocurrency holders and non-crypto businesses, making it simple for any business operating within any industry to create their own cost-effective contracts on the blockchain.

DocTailor will be used solely to enable the creation of customisable legal smart contracts. Users of the platform will be able to select, find, and replace clauses from standard legal document templates, from a database created by legal professionals. With these resources, users will be able to easily create and send tailor-made legal documents on the blockchain with the implementation of a smart contract. News of Williams’ groundbreaking project comes at a time when cryptocurrency is heading towards a staggering half a trillion in market capitalisation, and is predicted to climb further in the coming years.

The platform will utilise its own tokens (DOCT) as the sole designated means of payment, giving users access to DocTime where they can use a selection of features and clauses to create their own smart contracts. "The platform will reinvent the current status quo in the legal industry by effectively and securely bridging the gap between non-crypto businesses and an ever-expanding crypto economy", says Williams. Boasting a wealth of experience within cryptocurrency, blockchain, and financial markets, Williams aims to boost widespread adoption of beneficial technologies through addressing today’s common issues.

Currently, creating unique legal smart contracts is both time-consuming and costly, particularly for users with no developer experience, or little understanding of how to receive cryptocurrency or utilise blockchain technology. DocTailor has been designed to solve the problem through provision of an automated legal contract database which can be used to create growth and development opportunities.

The release of the platform demonstrates a clear commitment to improving blockchain adoption rates, as well as making it quicker, easier, and more cost effective for non-crypto businesses to utilise revolutionary technologies. DocTailor is aimed at lawyers and legal professionals, businesses in all industries, and individuals, with an easy-to-use interface. The platform is expected to benefit users through the provision of more than 10,000 legal clauses, the ability to merge clauses into existing document structure, and integrated tracking options which can make it simpler for businesses to monitor recipient action.

A comprehensive list of the integrated features and functions that will allow users to create contracts on the blockchain and effectively grow revenues to their current non-crypto and crypto businesses can be found on the platform’s dedicated website. The website also offers visitors the opportunity to download and read the DocTailor white paper, which explains more about DocTailor’s place in the current market.

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Marketing Dept
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‘Black Monday’ Shows Bitcoin Isn’t As ‘Dangerous’ As Regulators Claim

‘Black Monday’ Shows Bitcoin Isn’t As ‘Dangerous’ As Regulators Claim

Looking at mainstream media headlines

over the past few weeks shows a lot of columnists and pundits have declared that ‘bitcoin’s bubble has burst.’ They always claim that it’s much safer to invest in traditional investments like equities or the stock market while at the same time highlighting cryptocurrency’s volatile price swings. However, on Monday, February 5th the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 1,175 points, losing more value in one day than the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem over the past six weeks. 

The Black Monday of 2018

It was a ‘Black Monday’ on February 6 when both global stocks and the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem shed billions yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) and a good portion of stocks worldwide plummeted at 2:40 pm EDT; more so than the drops during the 2008 economic crisis. Yesterday’s stock market dip broke records not only bringing up memories of 2008 but the day was also very similar to the other ‘Black Mondays’ of 1929, 1987, and 2000. However, mainstream media is not so quick to call the stock market slump a ‘crash,’ a ‘bubble pop,’ or even a death spiral. Yet the Dow lost more value ($300 billion USD) than the entire crypto-bear run of 2018 in one intraday.

On Monday, February 5th the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 1175 points losing $300 billion USD in value in just one intra-day.

Some Reports Say the Stock Market Sell-Off Pushed Money Towards Crypto-Investments

In addition to the grueling stock market madness, the financial publication Business Insider published a report that stated, “money was pouring into crypto during the stock market’s selloff.” The Dow started to nosedive at 2:40 pm EDT, and twenty minutes later the entire cryptocurrency capitalization according to Coinmarketcap spiked 7 percent one hour later.

“Cryptocurrencies got whacked alongside equities last week,” explains the report on Monday evening.   

But Monday’s continuation of the stock market selloff appeared to send some investors to digital currencies in search of a safe haven.

One publication, Business Insider says on ‘Black Monday’ money from the stock market sell-off was “pouring into crypto.”

Yesterday BTC/USD markets tumbled 20 percent in 24-hours reaching a low $5,900 which shaved $18 billion USD from its market cap. The following day BTC markets have rebounded considerably back above the $7,200 price territory. The Dow average took another hit during the opening bell on Tuesday, losing 500 points but has since recovered much of the morning loss. However the Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq, and a vast swathe of traditional investments still look unsettling. The Dow is showing some slight recovery, but many other mainstream investment vehicles are still nurturing losses. Moreover, European stock markets are declining rapidly after U.S. and Asian markets were routed.

Mainstream News Outlets Have No Problem Saying Bitcoin Is Dead But They Think Twice When It Comes to the Global Stock Market

Over the past week, mainstream news outlets have had no problem calling bitcoin markets ‘dead’ and publishing reports stating that it will never recover. There are at least seven new editorials per day stating that bitcoin is “done” since the beginning of January. There’s no hesitation towards telling the public that the dream of cryptocurrencies has come to an end, and many columnists are telling people to sell.

On Tuesday, February 6, mainstream media’s outlook on the stock market is gloomy, but there’s not that many (if any at all) editorials about the stock market ‘crashing,’ or the ‘stocks bubble has popped.’ The only ones calling the stock market ‘dead’ are the lesser known ‘conspiracy-like’ publications. Mainstream media pundits wouldn’t dare shake the market with headlines saying that traditional markets are in a ‘death spiral.’ But with cryptocurrencies, these ‘news outlets’ could not care less about spreading FUD among the crypto-investment crowd.

The Stock Market Can Be Far More Dangerous Than Crypto

The truth is stocks, bonds, equities, and nation-state issued currencies can suffer from extreme volatility. Some nation-state currencies are so worthless people weigh bags of cash on scales rather than counting. Moreover, stock markets can cause significant disruption to retail investors, and way more than the digital currency ecosystem governments warn everyone about. Stock market crashes can collapse an entire housing market, banks close in record numbers, and in some cases, there can be a run on the banks.

This week U.S. regulators mentioned the ‘dangers’ cryptocurrencies could bring to retail investors during a congressional hearing, but of course, they failed to mention that regulated and centralized markets can be even more dangerous. What do you think about the stock market tumble in comparison to bitcoin markets? What do you think is more dangerous?

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor

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How the Winklevoss Twins Found Vindication in a Bitcoin Fortune

How the Winklevoss Twins Found Vindication in a Bitcoin Fortune

The Winklevoss twins, Cameron (left) and Tyler, at their office in New York City.

A bet on Bitcoin several years ago has grown into a fortune for the brothers. Credit Vincent Tullo for The New York Times.The Winklevoss twins have carved an unorthodox path toward fame in the American business world.They went to Harvard University and then on to the Olympics as rowers. Along the way, they fought a legal battle with Mark Zuckerberg over the ownership of Facebook. In the Oscar-nominated movie “The Social Network,” they were portrayed as uptight gentry, outwitted by Mr. Zuckerberg, the brilliant, budding tech mogul. Cameron, the left-handed Winklevoss brother, and Tyler, the right-handed one, followed that with a risky bet.

They used money from a $65 million settlement with Mr. Zuckerberg to load up on Bitcoin. That turned them into the first prominent virtual currency millionaires in 2013, back when Bitcoin was primarily known as a currency for online drug dealers. More than a few people in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street saw the towering twins as the naïve — if chiseled — faces of the latest tulip bulb mania. Many still do. But the soaring value of Bitcoin in recent months is giving the brothers a moment of vindication, and quite a bit more than that: Their Bitcoin stockpile was worth around $1.3 billion on Tuesday. “We’ve turned that laughter and ridicule into oxygen and wind at our back,” Tyler Winklevoss said in an interview last week.

It is unclear how fleeting their vindication, or their fortune, will be. Many Bitcoin aficionados are expecting a major correction to the recent spike in its value, which has gone from $1,000 for one coin at the beginning of the year to around $18,500 on Tuesday. Currently, the average price of one Bitcoin is about $8,143, according to Blockchain.info, a news and data site.

If nothing else, the growing fortune of the 36-year-old Winklevoss twins is a reminder that for all the small investors getting into Bitcoin this year, the biggest winners have been a relatively small number of early holders who had plenty of money to start with and have been riding a price roller coaster for years. (The mysterious creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, is believed by researchers to be holding on to Bitcoin worth around $19 billion.) .The New York offices of Gemini, a virtual currency exchange founded by the Winklevoss brothers. Credit Vincent Tullo for The New York Times

Some of these new Bitcoin millionaires are cashing out and buying Lamborghinis, professional hockey teams or even low-risk bond funds. The Winklevoss twins, though, said they had no intention to diversify. “We still think it is probably one of the best investments in the world and will be for the decades to come,” Tyler Winklevoss said. “And if it’s not, we’d rather live with disappointment than regret.” They have collected an additional $350 million or so of other virtual currencies, most of it in the Bitcoin alternative called Ethereum. The brothers are also majority owners of the virtual currency exchange they founded, Gemini, which most likely takes their joint holdings to a value well over $2 billion, or enough to make each of them a billionaire.

They have sold almost none of their original holdings. While they both have apartments in downtown Manhattan, they say they live relatively spartan lives with few luxuries. Cameron drives an old S.U.V.; Tyler doesn’t have a car at all. The Winklevoss twins’ financial rise began during their settlement with Mr. Zuckerberg in 2008. Their lawyers urged them to take the $45 million (after lawyers’ fees) in cash. But they wanted to be paid in shares of Facebook. “The lawyers thought we were crazy,” Cameron Winklevoss said last week. “We thought they were crazy for taking cash.” By the time Facebook went public in 2012, their stock was worth around $300 million, their rowing careers were over, and they were looking for something new.

When they began buying Bitcoin in late 2012, the price of an individual coin was below $10. Few people in Silicon Valley or on Wall Street had publicly expressed interest in the virtual currency. Have to admire the twins for being on the cutting edge on two major investments. But I would like to have heard their take on Bitcoin…Over a few months, the brothers bought 1 percent of all the outstanding Bitcoin at the time — some 120,000 tokens. As they did, the price soared, making their Bitcoin portfolio worth around $11 million by the time they went public with it in April 2013.

Their buying spree was mocked at the time, and a few of their early decisions fueled that derision. They also invested in Bitinstant, one of the first companies to trade Bitcoins online. Bitinstant’s executives, in fact, had tutored the brothers in the basics of Bitcoin. The chief executive of Bitinstant, Charlie Shrem, was arrested in 2014, accused of helping to supply Bitcoins to users of online drug markets. Mr. Shrem pleaded guilty to lesser charges and was sentenced to a year in jail. The Winklevosses were never implicated in the wrongdoing, which happened before they became investors.

While that drama was unfolding, the twins applied to create the first Bitcoin exchange traded fund, or E.T.F., an investment product that would hold Bitcoins but be traded on stock exchanges. That brought more criticism from people who wondered why someone would buy a fund rather than Bitcoin itself. In March, regulators rejected the application. On top of all that, until last year the price of Bitcoin was sliding and the virtual currency concept was looking wobbly. But the Winklevosses, who once bet that years of punishing rowing practices would take them to the Olympics, held their ground. “We are very comfortable in very high-risk environments with absolutely no guarantee of success,” Tyler Winklevoss said. “I don’t mean existing in that environment for days, weeks or months. I mean year after year.”

They sold some of their tokens to pay for Gemini, a name that means twins in Latin. Like the Bitcoin E.T.F., their investment in Gemini was driven by their experience with the difficulty of buying and securely storing Bitcoin. Every Bitcoin sits in an address that can be accessed only with the corresponding password, or private key. The problem with this system is that anyone who gets hold of a private key can easily take the Bitcoin. And unlike money taken from a bank account, stolen Bitcoin are essentially impossible to retrieve. A number of virtual currency exchanges and wallets have collectively lost billions of dollars’ worth of Bitcoin to thieves.

The Winklevosses came up with an elaborate system to store and secure their own private keys. They cut up printouts of their private keys into pieces and then distributed them in envelopes to safe deposit boxes around the country, so if one envelope were stolen the thief would not have the entire key. With Gemini, they have created a high-tech version of this process to hold customer money. Getting into the company’s wallets requires multiple signatures from cryptographically sealed devices that were never linked to the internet. Gemini got a license from New York State regulators that allows them to hold Bitcoins for regulated banks and asset managers — something essentially no other virtual currency companies can do. That has turned Gemini into one of the most trusted destinations for sophisticated investors.

“Gemini is an underappreciated exchange, one of the few exchanges I trust as a custodian,” said Ari Paul, a managing partner at the virtual currency hedge fund BlockTower Capital. Gemini is now expanding from its old 5,000-square-foot offices to new, 35,000-square-foot facilities in Midtown Manhattan. This doesn’t mean Gemini or the Winklevosses have ironed out all the kinks. Like many other exchanges, Gemini has struggled to stay online in the deluge of new customers in recent weeks. These growing pains are part of the reason the brothers say they are holding on to their Bitcoin. They believe virtual currencies are still a long way from real mainstream adoption.

They said they might look at selling when the value of all the Bitcoin in circulation approaches the value of all gold in the world — some $7 trillion or $8 trillion compared with the $310 billion value of all Bitcoin on Tuesday — given that they think Bitcoin is set to replace gold as a rare commodity. But then Tyler Winklevoss questioned even that, pointing out the ways that he believes Bitcoin is better than gold. “In a funny way, I’m not sure we’d even sell there,” he said. “Bitcoin is more than gold — it’s a programmable store of money. It may continue to innovate.”

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor

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