Saturday, 11 July, 2020 at 06:29 GMT

“Libra is an interesting idea that will never become a reality.”

According to Barry Eichengreen, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley stablecoins, and Libra, in particular, will not be able to take a dominant role in the current financial system.

Earlier he had a chance to talk with developers and investors of popular “stable” cryptocurrencies. The economist concludes that stablecoins are an extremely fragile financial instrument that can be affected by attackers.

He decided that all of my interlocutors were well versed in blockchain technology, but their knowledge of monetary policy was extremely limited. As an example of a “problematic” stablecoin, he cited the Facebook crypto project called Libra. Eichengreen is convinced that “Libra is an interesting idea that will never come true.”

The professor also fears that if Libra is launched, it could undermine the effectiveness of the national monetary policy in both developing and developed countries. He noted that citizens of countries with inflation currencies may abandon the state fiat in favor of the stablecoin Facebook.

We will remind, earlier representatives of Libra, against the backdrop of criticism from the government, decided to change the concept of the project. The team refused to issue one stablecoin in favor of creating several cryptocurrencies at once: LibraUSD, LibraEUR, LibraGBP, LibraSGD, and the multicurrency “stable” Libra Coin. The project specialists also announced their readiness to service national cryptocurrencies. The digital wallet of the Libra crypto project has been renamed from Calibra to Novi.

Recently, the media reported that the Libra team continues to work on a multicurrency stablecoin.

Ripple recently launched Libra’s international transfer competitor. The goal of the PayID platform is to erase all borders between payment systems.

Recall, that the well-known TON of Pavel Durov failed under the pressure of the SEC. The US Securities Commission is actively monitoring the Libra project. Therefore, states will tighten control over the launch of such global projects so as not to create competition primarily with payment systems, banks and fiat money.

However, according to an expert at CEX.IO Broker, this is not the only problem that Libra may encounter:

“The constant scandals surrounding Facebook over the leak of user data are damaging the image of Libra. The US authorities have repeatedly sued the Zuckerberg company, accusing Facebook of monopoly, falsification of news and information, support for racism, and the deletion of user data. Many investors are alarmed by this situation. So far, the company has managed to cope with reputation crises, but external pressure is increasing. ”...



Friday, 10 July, 2020 at 11:33 GMT

While HODLing cryptocurrencies have been generally a good investment for those who bought in at the early stages of Bitcoin’s price development, there is no guarantee that Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency will grow in value forever.

The only certainty is high volatility. If you can accurately predict price movements, you can turn this knowledge into substantial profit by making the right trades. However, when trading cryptocurrencies, there are a lot of things that you must pay attention to.

In this article, I will not make any predictions about which coins will go up or down in value. As a trader, you are personally responsible for conducting your own research and analyses, as well as for deciding the trustworthiness of your sources. Rather than telling you which coin to buy or not to buy, I will instead provide you with a list of tips and tricks that will help you monetize your crypto knowledge.

Spot Trading or Derivatives: Pick your Poison

One of the most important things to be aware of is that there are two general categories of crypto trades. The more common of these two is spot trading. When you make a spot trade, you buy actual cryptocurrency tokens in a transaction that is instantly settled. This allows you to withdraw these tokens from the exchange and use it for payments or in DApps such as DeFi platforms.

Derivatives, on the other hand, are not actual cryptocurrencies, but rather financial products that mimic the value of a target asset. Often, this underlying asset can be a cryptocurrency. Therefore, a cryptocurrency derivative trades at around the same price as the coin itself.

Some of these derivatives have an expiration date, which means they will be settled against the actual cryptocurrency at a later date. Based on traditional finance, futures allow traders to buy an asset (a cryptocurrency in this case) at a later point in time, at a price that is fixed now. This allows merchants to hedge against market risks. Since cryptocurrencies are highly liquid assets, their futures price reflects the market sentiment about the price a coin will be trading at on the settlement date.

In addition, there are also futures that simply never expire. These perpetual contracts therefore always trade at around the same price as the spot market. There is an automatic settlement mechanism called the funding rate, which tethers the contract price to the spot price, whenever they deviate. Most exchanges apply the funding rate multiple times a day.

There are a number of factors that make derivatives interesting for traders. Firstly, these allow their users to trade with leverage, which can multiply profits (but also losses). Some exchanges are known to offer leverage up to 200x. While this can greatly increase profits, it is also a risky business. If you should accrue losses that cannot be covered by your account balance anymore, your leveraged positions will be liquidated and you lose nearly all of your balance.

Luckily, this means that your losses are capped at the amount of money you hold as balance on your derivatives wallet, but when trading at high leverage, be prepared that your positions will be liquidated very quickly if prices move in an adverse direction. Since you can freely choose your leverage for every trade, choose a level that you are comfortable with.

Instead of mirroring the price of a specific cryptocurrency, some derivatives are tethered to other underlying indicators such as the Bitcoin hashrate, the total value locked up in DeFi, the price of gold, or a basket of multiple altcoins. However, there are not many derivatives exchanges available out there and not all of them support the same coins. CoinMarketCap features a list of derivatives exchanges, so make sure to consult this list in order to pick the right exchange for you.

Staking and DeFi

What many people either forget or don’t know is that they can receive an APR on their cryptocurrency holdings. When you buy cryptocurrency on the spot market, consider moving them out of the exchange and locking them up in a short-term DeFi contract, unless you are actively day trading the currency.

This way, you can both profit from the price movements of the currency and earn additional returns from the DeFi investment. Remember, locking cryptocurrency in DeFi can net you an APR of up to 10 % depending on which coin you lock up on which platform. Factor this in when comparing different cryptocurrencies.

Basically, the same goes for Proof of Stake coins. You can stake them in order to earn rewards for validating blocks. You should keep this in mind, as some exchanges automatically stake the coins for you and pass you a share of the rewards. However, even if your exchange has a staking program, you can earn more rewards by moving the coins out of the exchange and staking them yourself.

Hedge your positions

One of the cruel lessons of life is that there is no reward without risk. The higher the risk, the higher the reward. Luckily, with cryptocurrencies, you can choose your own level of risk exposure. If you are feeling lucky, take out a leveraged position. If you want to decrease your risk, only use a fraction of your crypto holdings for trading and hedge against the risk with staking or DeFi.

While there can never be any reward without risk, you can at least maximize the ratio between risk and reward by building your own personal hedge fund. For example, if you think that Ethereum will perform better than Bitcoin, you can go long on an ETH perpetual contract and short a BTC contract with the same amount of money.

Since crypto-assets are highly correlated, their prices will likely move in the same direction, meaning that while your position on one coin loses value, the other one will rise in value. However, if your prediction is correct, you can still make a profit on the different returns of BTC and ETH. This profit can even be multiplied by using leverage.

You can even go so far and completely remove all volatility by buying a cryptocurrency on the spot market and then shorting the same currency with leverage, to such a degree that the combined value of your holdings stays the same, regardless of where the price moves. This is especially useful if you want to reap the staking reward of a specific Proof of Stake coin, without being subject to the coin’s volatility and inflation. Remember that you will pay a funding rate on your perpetual contracts though and that your position might be liquidated, so constant rebalancing between the two positions is required.

Trading Fees

Although crypto exchange fees are generally far below one percent, they can easily eat up a significant share of your profits, especially when you are a day trader. You should consider and compare different exchanges and their trading fees, as the most popular exchanges do not necessarily have the lowest fees.

Remember though, low trading fees are not the only quality that should determine whether an exchange is worth trying out. Security is just as important given that your funds are in the hands of a centralized custodian which could be vulnerable to hackers. This is why you should always make sure that your chosen exchange has a clear-cut security concept. At the very minimum, they should store their users’ funds in cold wallets.

Often, exchanges have different fee rates for market makers and takers. Essentially, if your trade is settled instantly, you have to pay the taker fee, which is higher. If your trade cannot be settled at the price you have specified, it is added to the exchange’s order book, waiting to be filled at a later date. In that case, you are paying the maker fee. This is supposed to incentivize adding liquidity to the order book, rather than removing liquidity.

How much you will actually pay in fees thus depends on your trading strategy. Keep this in mind when comparing fees. As a general rule, smaller exchanges have a high disparity between maker and taker fees (some even have negative maker fees, thus essentially paying traders to add their orders), while this spread is relatively minor in the larger exchanges....



Thursday, 9 July, 2020 at 05:00 GMT

Investors are familiar with the concept of a scam. This word has many meanings, but if we talk about scams of the project kind, it implies banal fraud.

A scam is a situation when an investment instrument for some reason stopped performing its duties to an investor. In the field of digital currencies, this word is often used when discussing unreliable startups and the initial placement of coins, that is, ICOs, in a nefarious manner involving the swindling of the investors and other project participants without the possibility of regaining lost funds.

More and more dubious projects are emerging on a daily basis with the aim of tricking investors and quickly sacking up their money before vanishing without a trace. The fraudsters use a fairly simple scheme that has been time-tried and tested, as they come up with a token and the corresponding token sale that is hyped and advertised widely in a large variety of media channels, sometimes even with the attraction of celebrities. Then the scammers attract many investors who are promised big money fast and in a safe environment.

When the fraudsters receive a large amount of money from the investors, they shut down the project and vanish. Such tricks most often work on young and inexperienced investors, who still believe in the regulated and honest nature of the investment market.

The reasons for scams are many, but they all boil down to banal human greed, which forces people with like-minded goals to band together and come up with a bogus idea that is then used to take possession of other people’s money in an unlawful way. There are many names for a scam project, as it can even be called an ordinary financial pyramid, since it exists thanks to the money of the investors. If there are none, then the project is closed, that is, it turns into a scam.

The market is rife with opportunities for scams, as criminals are increasingly creating fake projects to get money in a fraudulent manner even from professional investors. The approaches of the fraudsters are painfully similar in their manner of introduction, as they promise mountains of gold to the investors who invest heavily in the fake projects. Soon after, such projects are closed, and the scammers withdraw all the money from their accounts only to vanish in the sunset.

The fraudsters very often manipulate inexperienced investors. With the promise of gaining huge profits, the investors give in to the excitement and start to invest large sums of money in the project. At some point, the startup is closed, and the investors are left without money.

 If the project ceases to provide the necessary technical support, ignore questions, then this is a sign of a scam. Investors should also be wary of excessively active advertising that promises mountains of gold and unrealistic levels of profits.

The impact left by unscrupulous projects on the investment market cannot be underestimated, as the projects that end up as scams eventually harm the existing players of the market and the newcomers. It is not unreasonable for the investors to start digging deeper into the emerging project structures in search of scams. As such, honest projects suffer from doubts and are often branded as scams at first glance without in-depth analysis of their product offering.

The same fate of being branded a scam could have befallen the CryptoUnit project, had it not been for a number of factors that set it apart as an honest undertaking with a noble idea that can be of benefit to participants. The “CryptoUnit scam” search query is the first one that would-be investors enter upon learning of the project. However, “CryptoUnit scam” is not a viable statement about the CryptoUnit project, as the undertaking is based not on the profiteering, but on the educational model of development.

The first reason why “CryptoUnit scam” is unreasonable as a statement is because the project is based on a regulated and internationally recognized model of development. In the near future, CryptoUnit plans to issue tokens backed by real assets and to pass all the requirements of the regulator for the possibility of implementation.

Secondly, the “CryptoUnit scam” theory fails, because the CryptoUnit project is educational by nature and is designed to offer its participants the chance to attend courses on financial literary that are given by successful entrepreneurs and businessmen from various industries.

Not every project is a scam, and CryptoUnit is a fraud-free undertaking that is built on a previously established and highly successful project with an established community of thousands of followers....



Wednesday, 8 July, 2020 at 21:14 GMT

In a recent panel, as part of a digital Unitize blockchain conference, ABI chief innovation officer Silvia Attanasio explained why the banking entity chose to go the decentralized blockchain route for Spunta — its blockchain solution built on enterprise blockchain platform Corda.

If ABI had gone the decentralized route, the entity would have needed to locate a centralized party to gather and manage a large amount of data on various fronts, Attanasio said on the July 8 panel, noting ABI's rationale behind choosing a decentralized approach.

"It wasn't so easy to identify a single actor that could have run the centralized solution," she said.

Spunta is a way to transfer information

The Associazione Bancaria Italiana, or ABI — also known as the Italian Banking Association, operates as a central hub on behalf of Italy's banks, Attanasio said. The entity decided to transition into a blockchain-based format called Spunta.

"Spunta is a reconciliation process based on bilateral account," Attanasio explained, noting the system as a method of operation behind the scenes. "It is about an exchange of information rather than an exchange of value," she added.

The ABI unveiled the blockchain-based concept in June 2019, pointing to a March 2020 launch date. The system, known as Spunta, essentially enhances processes around settlement and dealings between banks.

Beginning with 32 banks, the ABI initiated its transition over to Spunta on March 1, Attanasio detailed. "I'm particularly proud, especially as an Italian, that we set this date, I think in March 2019, and we were so punctual," she said. "We didn't have one single day of delay," she noted. ABI has also added additional banks since March.

"By October 1, the old process will be dismissed and the old rules will be cancelled," she said.

Spunta's decentralized approach changes the old format

"We wanted to transform the process, to reshape the process, in order to include some key component of the distributed paradigm, and this was made possible with the distributed solution," Attanasio said. This, as opposed to a centralized format requiring each bank to hold its data, transferring that data to a single centralized database from time to time.

ABI did, however, choose a permissioned blockchain structure, instead of a permissionless one that allows participation from anyone. The choice stemmed from the entity's position in the banking sector and the importance of trusting specific parties with information, Attanasio explained.

Over the past few years, a number of other mainstream entities worldwide have recognized blockchain's potential, exploring various solutions with the technology, including Walmart, JPMorgan Chase bank and a host of others....



Wednesday, 8 July, 2020 at 05:18 GMT

The government of South Korea is considering a local hemp regulatory-free trade zone and is looking to manage the production ofhemp by employing blockchain technology.

Tracking Hemp Production With Blockchain

According to a reportby  Newspim on Tuesday (July 7, 2020), the Andongregion in the Gyeongbuk Province became a ‘Special Industrial Hemp FreeZone.’ Governor Lee Chul-woo announced during a press conference held on July 6.

Before the designation of a special hemp-free zone, the hemp industry only made room for the growth of seeds and textiles. However, creating afree hemp zone is seen as a significant development, as it could boost the region’s bio industry.

Furthermore, the South Korea government is looking to monitor the hemp production system by employing blockchain technology for safety and transparency. However, the blockchain-based system will take off following the completion of the industrial hemp regulatory free zone inthe city of Gyeongsan City.

Commenting on the latest development, Governor Lee said:

“This special regulatory zone has a special meaning different from that of the existing special zone in that it seeks a rational industrialization plan for narcotic drugs, hemp. We will grow moreso that the company can write a new history overflowing.”

South Korea Looking to Match China’s Blockchain Ambition

South Korea’s blockchain space suffered a decline for a few years owingto the government’s stringent regulatory policies.

Back in 2019, a group of bi-partisan South Korean lawmakers called onthe government to ease its stiff policies, with opposition lawmakers stating that the nascent tech was an essential element in the fourth industrial revolution.

However, recent developments in the blockchain sector show that the government is willing to revive its digital economy. In May 2020, therewere reports that South Korea’s Ministry of Science and Technology was looking to invest about $400 million in blockchain research and development (R&D).

South Korea’s planned project looks to match China’s blockchain progress, with the latter currently at the forefront of blockchain adoption and innovation. In 2019, China’s President, Xi Jinping, called for more adoption and integration of the technology.

As reported by  CryptoPotato in March, China announced plans to launch aBlockchain-based service network (BSN)in April 2020. Also, the Chinese government formed a national blockchain committee comprising tech giants such as Huawei Technologies, Baidu, JD, and Tencent....

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