The US is number one…in blockchain patents

But the company with the most patents isn’t even American.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/rss

Top 5 cryptocurrencies to watch this week: BTC, NEO, XMR, ADA, LINK

Bitcoin is attempting to form a bottom altcoins continue to decline, which opens up opportunities on the long and the short side.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/rss

Bitcoin Skeptic Turns Bitcoin Bull: Billion Dollar Company Buys 17K BTC in 74 Hours

From Bitcoin Skeptic to Bitcoin Bull: Billion Dollar Company Buys 17K BTC in 74 Hours

Nasdaq-listed company Microstrategy recently bought almost 17K bitcoins within 74 hours, costing about $175 million. The CEO of this billion-dollar company used to be a bitcoin skeptic but has recently become a bitcoin bull when his company purchased $425 million worth of bitcoin.

Billion Dollar Public Company Dives Into Bitcoin

Microstrategy recently made history in the bitcoin space when it became the first publicly-traded company to spend a material amount of its reserves to buy bitcoin.

The company has purchased a total of 38,250 BTC at an aggregate price of $425 million. The first purchase was announced on Aug. 11 for 21,454 bitcoins at an aggregate price of $250 million. The company then disclosed on Sept. 14 that it had purchased an additional 16,796 bitcoins at an aggregate price of $175 million.

Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor explained on Friday:

To acquire 16,796 BTC (disclosed 9/14/20), we traded continuously 74 hours, executing 88,617 trades ~0.19 BTC each 3 seconds. ~$39,414 in BTC per minute, but at all times we were ready to purchase $30-50 million in a few seconds if we got lucky with a 1-2% downward spike.

Saylor was previously a bitcoin skeptic, however. He tweeted on Dec. 18, 2013: “Bitcoin days are numbered. It seems like just a matter of time before it suffers the same fate as online gambling.”

During a podcast interview with Morgan Creek Digital partner Anthony Pompliano, published Wednesday, Saylor admitted that he had forgotten about the tweet. “I really am ashamed to say I didn’t know I tweeted it until the day that I tweeted that I bought $250 million worth of bitcoin and then I discovered the hive mind crypto twitter consciousness where all of a sudden they all went through all my tweets and they found it,” he described. “They reminded me of it. They compared it and I’m like oh my god I literally forgot I ever said that.” Nonetheless, Saylor added, “I didn’t get all worked up about it. I’m like you’re right I was wrong, what an idiot I was, I wish I could go back and do it again.”

Bitcoin Solves Cash Problem, Better Than Gold

The Microstrategy CEO then detailed how his company dived into bitcoin. With a cash-generating business and $500 million cash on hand, he was faced with the challenge of what to invest in to preserve its value.

“First, I have a mega, mega, mega problem and the mega problem is I have a lot of cash and I’m watching it melt away,” the CEO shared. He revealed that before investing in bitcoin, he watched many videos, including those by Andreas Antonopoulos, Pompliano, and Dan Held. He also read The Bitcoin Standard by Saifedean Ammous and Parker Lewis’ essays — to name a few. To convince his company’s board of directors about buying bitcoin, he assigned them homework to read and watch videos about bitcoin, before having intense discussions with each of them.

Saylor is adamant about bitcoin being a better investment than gold. “Bitcoin is an anti-fragile, evolving thing,” he said in an interview with macro strategist Raoul Pal, who shares his sentiment about bitcoin being better than gold. “It’s the hardest currency because it’s getting continually exponentially harder … but it’s also smarter, stronger, and faster than gold.” He remarked:

When I say it’s harder than gold, I mean it’s not just 10 times harder because it goes 100 years without losing any of its value. I say it’s harder because it’s an organic nest of cybernetic hornets feeding off of encrypted energy.

“It’s a living thing, which means that the miners are going to keep upgrading their equipment. The developers are going to keep upgrading their development. The nodes are going to change. Every part of the ecosystem is going to change. And, they are changing in this terrifying Darwinian, capitalistic, libertarian, aggressive, winner-take-all, hold no bars, no one company, country, companies hold it,” the Nasdaq-listed company’s CEO elaborated.

He believes that anything controlled by anyone, entity, or country is “crippled,” affirming that “anything that’s controlled by a CEO is crippled, controlled by a state is crippled, controlled by a country is crippled.” In contrast, he said: This entire thing [bitcoin] is its own ecosystem. Gold is not going to get a million times smarter in the next 10 years. It’s not thinking at all, it’s a lump of metal lying there.” He noted bitcoin may be 1000x better than gold.

CEO Not Worried About Bitcoin’s Volatility

Saylor further said he is not worried about bitcoin’s volatility. “I’m holding it for a hundred freaking years … I’m not the day trader guy that’s worried about it so I think that as the institutions come in and as they buy bigger amounts, they’re damping the volatility.” He also emphasized that his company was able to acquire a large amount of bitcoin without significantly affecting its price.

Furthermore, he pointed out that the alternatives are much less attractive. “Let’s be honest, there’s a negative real yield on everything else I can buy. Okay, gold’s got a negative three, four, five percent real yield in my opinion,” he asserted, noting that bonds also have negative real yields. The CEO opined:

Every other non-volatile asset is a negative real yield, which means that everything else is lifeblood draining out of my veins, so if my choice would be to accept some volatility and live or I had non-volatile cash that bought 30 percent less in a matter of eight weeks … at that rate you’re not going to make it through the decade and so volatility is just something you got to live with.

He further said: “I find the entire bitcoin community to be inspirational and I did note in our press release one of the key drivers of our belief in the success of this is the community ethos. It’s a pretty amazing group of people and all of the thinking and all of the initiatives I just find to be extraordinary.”

What do you think about Microstrategy and its CEO? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Gibraltar updates DLT framework to comply with FATF rules

Once again, Gibraltar is taking the lead in crypto regulations.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/rss

The emergence of cryptocurrency hedge funds

Although the nascent crypto hedge fund industry still has lots of developing to do, it will undoubtedly be the future of finance.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/rss

World’s largest sovereign wealth fund indirectly holds almost 600 Bitcoin

Mainstream finance giants may hold more Bitcoin than you think.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/rss

Brazen Nigerian Crypto Scam Inksnation Still Operational Three Months After Regulator Warning

Brazen Nigerian Crypto Scam Inksnation Still Operational Three Months After Regulator Warning

One of Nigeria’s most brazen crypto scams, Inksnation remains operational and still invites new investors some three months after the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) deemed its activities illegal. The SEC has previously warned Nigerians against investing with the scam saying doing so would be at own risk as there is no legal recourse in event of the scam collapsing.

False Blockchain claims

The SEC warning had been prompted by fears that Nigerians are falling victim to yet another giant scam that rides on the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies. Described as the “World’s First Charitable Trust DAO”, the Inksnation masterminds claim they can “end poverty in any country in less than 9 months (by) incentivizing goodness, promoting love and equitable distribution of wealth.” On their website, the scammers offer a convoluted and sometimes confusing explanation of their operations and how the business generates revenues for investors.

Prior to the SEC warning, another organization, the Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SIBAN), went as far as to label Inksnation’s purported crypto coin, pinkoin a scam.

SIBAN says, “Inksnation is not on any blockchain” while the scam’s purported blockchain, the Inksledger “is not public and may as well be inexistent.”

Still, it appears the warnings have not had the desired effect as desperate Nigerians still flock to the scam. At the same time, the masterminds behind Inksnation seem unfazed by any possible legal consequences, as they are reported to have enlisted the services of a prominent Nigerian law firm, which specializes in blockchain and crypto law.

Besides enlisting the services of the law firm, the creators of the scam have also tapped into the religious beliefs of potential victims. Enterprising scammers now exploit Nigeria’s well-known background as a divided but deeply religious state to fend off scam allegations.

Brazen Nigerian Crypto Scam Inksnation Still Operational Three Months After Regulator Warning

For instance, in a letter addressed to his followers shortly after the SEC and SIBAN issued warnings, the founder and CEO of iBSmartify, the creators of Inksnation, Amos Sewanu Omotade-Sparks wrote:

“This is the result of the SIBAN guys and we have been waiting for it. Fear not members and watch how Elohim JahGah will convert this to all-round blessings. They have helped us to get the attention of the government which we have been waiting for and we are so so so grateful.” Elohim JahGah is the deity revered by Inksnation supporters.

Exploiting Legal Loopholes

Nevertheless, Omotade-Sparks, who also identifies himself as “Universal Daddy Inks (UDI)”, still assures followers that the warning by the SEC is just “a disclaimer.” He says its “the same way they said about bitcoin that whoever trades with bitcoin does so at his own risk. It shall surely end in praise.” Omotade-Sparks even sarcastically thanks SIBAN for “finally doing something that’s meaningful for once.”

So just how do the masterminds of Inksnation continue to sell the scam as well as maintaining the followership interested despite the negative public warnings?

Similar to other large scale scams, Inksnation relies on promising unrealistic returns on any investment whether small or big. Scammers are well aware of the powerful lure of earning a lifetime passive “salary.”

As explained on the Inksnation website, investors become eligible to receive a lifetime salary starting at $342 per month after subscribing for the bronze “living node.” The bronze living node package, which requires a deposit of $3 (1000 Naira), which is cheapest while the “diamond living node” requires an investment of $3,000 for one to be guaranteed a lifetime salary of $857.

Non-existent coin

Interestingly, all benefits are paid out in pinkoin, the scam’s supposed reserve crypto coin that is valued at $17,556. According to Chiagozie Iwu, a CEO with Naijacryptos, a locally established cryptocurrency exchange, pinkoin is not listed on any exchange in Nigeria because “it is neither a crypto coin nor has any ties to the blockchain.” Many in Nigeria’s blockchain space are adamant that ultimately, pinkoin has no value.

Brazen Nigerian Crypto Scam Inksnation Still Operational Three Months After Regulator Warning

Determined to counter and dispel any doubts about their activities, the masterminds have been posting videos on Twitter of real Nigerian recipients of the promised salaries. In one video, a man is seen brandishing wades of the Naira banknotes which he claims to be payment of his salary.

There are a few more videos that follow the same routine but as Iwu explains, this is just typical of most Ponzi schemes. The first few investors “will receive some payouts” and these “will defend the scam.” However, the majority of the so-called “downlines” will not get anything but by then it will be too late.

With the SEC recently designating crypto assets as securities, it would seem the legal loopholes that Inksnation and other scams have been using to defy the regulator are closed. It remains to be seen if Omotade-Sparks and his legal counsel will continue aggressively recruiting new members or the project is about to fade away.

What do you think about the Inksnation scam? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Former government contractor avoids jail for mining crypto at work

Just don’t use work resources for personal gain.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/rss

Understanding the landscape of decentralized finance

There are exciting ways to make extra income from engaging in the DeFI market and locking assets in decentralized protocols.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/rss

Party at Vitalik’s House? For DeFi, it’s Do-or-Die

party-at-vitalik’s-house?-for-defi,-it’s-do-or-die

Ethereum gas prices have set new records, with single DeFi transactions costing over $10 in fees. High fees are the result of congestion, as users pay ever higher fees to ensure their transaction gets into a block. As DeFi takes off, the price of gas on Ethereum threatens its future. Or does it?

Is the Party at Vitalik’s House?

Gas on Ethereum can be seen as “block space rent” and many are saying the rent is too damn high. That depends on who you ask, though. Even a $10 fee is a small fraction of many DeFi trades, as speculators are by definition those who have “money to burn.” For the moment at least, DeFi is a market that exists on Ethereum. If you have profitable trades to make on DeFi, then gas is simply another cost of doing business, since there is no other way to make the trade.

This is why high gas prices don’t cause Ethereum leaders and boosters to lose sleep: the very fact of high gas prices only serves to amplify the message that Ethereum is the only game in town. It’s certainly true for DeFi today, but it can also translate to the perception of Ethereum as the only platform for smart contracts. Why go anywhere else when gas prices prove that the party is at Vitalik’s house?

Gas prices go up as Ethereum gets more congested, and while the current rate is eye-poppingly high, congestion on Ethereum is nothing new. In late 2017, CryptoKitties was a collectibles game new to Ethereum that exploded in popularity and instantly caused the entire network to slow to a crawl. Non-CryptoKitties transactions such as entire ICOs went from minutes to hours and even days for completion.

For dApp developers and projects this was, and still is, extremely worrisome. If gas prices are block rent, immediacy — the ability to transact in some predictable amount of time — is an arbitrary popularity contest. If you are the developer of an application that provides a time-sensitive service to a minority of Ethereum users, you can find yourself waiting behind a deluge of transactions to serve the latest craze, simply because it is attracting more users than your app. It doesn’t matter that those users represent an entirely different market: your app will still lose based on numbers alone.

 

A Playground for the Wealthy

This is compounded by the fact that not all applications are designed to net their users hundreds or thousands of dollars with every transaction, like the transactions of your average DeFi speculator. For a non-DeFi application, high gas prices exact an arbitrary drain on their ability to deliver value. Like high rents on commercial real estate, it can drive these efforts “out of business” if the mere cost of executing a transaction exceeds whatever revenue could ever be made in that transaction. High gas prices make blockchain a “playground of the wealthy.”
While Ethereum’s high gas prices seem to only cement Ethereum’s network value, it also inescapably damages Ethereum’s utility as a smart contract platform for delivering decentralized and world-changing applications to the larger population. Instead, expensive gas fees serve to limit the market to rich speculators. This is not to disparage DeFi, as decentralized finance itself opens up markets to non-traditional participants. That said, the promise of smart contracts on a decentralized platform goes well beyond financial engineering.

DeFi Participants are Actively planning Moves

Also, it is worth noting that major DeFi participants are actively planning moves onto other platforms, with USDT (Tether) just announcing another alternative platform partner. So while Ethereum is the main game in town, many projects are seeing the writing on the wall that something has to change as Ethereum is clearly bursting at its seams. Why now? If this problem dates back to CryptoKitties, where any application is at the mercy of the most popular dApp destroying the network’s ability to function properly, what has changed?
For a long time, Ethereum has been pointing to a future where the blockchain changes to Proof of Stake. In the last few years, the focus has been on Ethereum 2.0, which intends to deliver a sharded solution to solve congestion problems. The combination of Proof of Stake and sharding sounds perfect, and has served to reassure Ethereum projects that the current congestion problems and high gas prices will soon be a thing of the past.

High Gas Prices Lead to Questions About The Promise of Blockchain

The problem is that the Ethereum gang has proven themselves incapable of shipping promised improvements on any kind of reliable schedule, with a production Ethereum 2.0 sharded network always staying 1 or 2 years away. 2020 has been the year that faith in Ethereum 2.0 finally cracked, creating opportunities for alternative platforms that can actually deliver a scalable solution. Now, leading projects are actively working with blockchain platforms like Cosmos, Polkadot and others to build “exit ramps” off Ethereum, even as DeFi hits new highs.
For DeFi, the future looks bright. Even as high gas prices lead to questions about the promise of blockchain, DeFi is forcing the ecosystem to consider new participants who can deliver where Ethereum 2.0 has failed. There are scalable blockchain platforms today that offer solutions where high traffic doesn’t mean high gas prices, where an application that is popular with one set of users doesn’t threaten the viability of another that is delivering critical services to a minority. We are at the start of a major transition in smart contract blockchains. What lies ahead is a future where blockchain technology moves beyond speculation to solve real problems.
Written by Stuart Popejoy
Stuart Popejoy is Founder and President of Kadena with 15 years experience in building trading systems and exchange backbones for the financial industry. Prior to starting the company with co-founder Will Martino, Stuart worked at J.P. Morgan in the Blockchain Center of Excellence, where he led and developed their first blockchain, Juno. Stuart also wrote the algorithmic trading scripts for JPMorgan, which informed his creation of Kadena’s simple smart contract language with Formal Verification, Pact.
Did you know you can create smart contracts and token dividends on Bitcoin Cash? Read more on smart contracts here and on dividends here.

This is OP-ed. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.

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