Darryn Pollock

Will Next Financial Crisis Bring a Boom to Bitcoin?

Bitcoin was a tool that was born of the economic crisis some 10 years ago, does that mean another big recession or banking collapse could catapult it forward?
Will Next Financial Crisis Bring a Boom to Bitcoin?
Contents

The creation of Bitcoin some 10 years ago was not accidental, it was a tool that was formed as a result of a financial crisis between 2007 and 2008 where the housing market and banking sectors suffered massively.

However, Bitcoin was barely an embryo when the global economy went about trying to repair itself, it was more of an idea and a theory that could one day lead to economic freedom. However, 10 years along, and Bitcoin, Blockchain and other cryptocurrencies are entrenched into a number of global sectors.

It is an interesting place that the technology finds itself as the belief is that another economic crisis is only a few years away, and if that crisis comes, will there be a grab for a decentralized financial system that is unaffected by the banks, governments and other political and economic factors?

An institutionalized viewpoint

What is interesting to note, in a study conducted by Tom Lee’s Fundstrat is institutions, which were not too long ago laughing at the idea of digital currencies, are now more bullish than the common man.

Lee took to Twitter to gauge the response of the common cryptocurrency follower on a number of questions, and also interviewed a number of institutions, but the results were surprising as the more bullish belief came from institutions which are starting to uptake on Blockchain and Bitcoin.

Becoming recession proof

Another interesting finding of the survey conducted by Fundstrat was the belief from institutions about cryptocurrencies role in a recession.

When asked about the recession and the reaction of cryptocurrency prices to it, 72 percent of the institution said that prices of cryptocurrency would rise while 28 percent denied it. The same question yielded 5,382 responses on Twitter out of which 59 percent of people said they believed the prices would increase.

In it an interesting finding, especially in regards to institutions who have probably felt the effects of recessions more than the individual. But, for them to then believe that an alternative to the banking system would thrive in that situation also points to a changing of ideals.

If a recession or financial crisis was to hit, there is no doubt that the narrative would be that Bitcoin offers a safe haven away from suffering centralized bodies, but will it be enough to help cryptocurrencies past the tipping point in terms of a regular and trusted financial alternative?

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Joseph Young

SEC May Start Going After Crypto ICO Promoters Who Failed to Disclose Compensation

Following High Profile Mayweather and DJ Khaled Case, SEC Could go After More Crypto ICO Promoters
SEC May Start Going After Crypto ICO Promoters Who Failed to Disclose Compensation
Contents

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently reached a settlement with professional boxer Floyd Mayweather and music producer DJ Khaled for promoting crypto initial coin offering (ICO) projects.

Both Mayweather and DJ Khaled agreed to pay the amount they received as compensation to promote ICOs and a penalty on top of it along with prejudgment interest.

According to the SEC, Mayweather agreed to pay a fine of $614,775, while DJ Khaled agreed to pay $152,725. Mayweather was paid $300,000 for promoting three ICOs and DJ Khaled was paid $100,000 by Centra to promote its ICO, which was cracked down by the SEC as securities fraud.

Enforcement Division Co-Director Steven Peikin said:

"Investors should be skeptical of investment advice posted to social media platforms, and should not make decisions based on celebrity endorsements. Social media influencers are often paid promoters, not investment professionals, and the securities they’re touting, regardless of whether they are issued using traditional certificates or on the blockchain, could be frauds."

SEC’s Phase Two

Earlier this week, Reuters reported that ICO projects have been purchasing reviews and articles to promote token sales without disclosing them as sponsored reviews or articles.

ICOs have been paying YouTube celebrities, publications, writers, analysts, and ICO review sites anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 for a mention.

According to Reuters, ICO promoters that have failed to disclose the exact amount they received to encourage investors to purchase a security fall under securities fraud.

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In July 2017, the SEC wrote in a report:

“Any celebrity or other individual who promotes a virtual token or coin that is a security must disclose the nature, scope, and amount of compensation received in exchange for the promotion.”

At the time, the commission clearly stated that the failure to disclose compensation is a violation of federal securities laws and can be considered as fraud.

However, not all ICOs are securities, as seen in the recent U.S. federal court ruling wherein the court ruled in favor of an ICO project against the SEC.

“The SEC brought an enforcement action against a company called Blockvest, alleging that Blockvest’s ICO was a securities offering. Ultimately, the Court found that SEC couldn’t prove the ICO satisfied the Howey test and so SEC lost the motion. Honestly, the loss doesn’t really matter much. As the plaintiff, you’ve got to be aggressive and try for one,” Marco Santori, the president and chief legal officer at Blockchain, said.

Promoting an ICO without disclosing compensation to the viewers can only violate U.S. securities laws if the ICO is considered a security. If the team behind the ICO decides to challenge the SEC and takes it to the federal court, there exists a possibility that the federal court rejects the SEC’s claim and declare the asset as a non-security.

The SEC, as an enforcement agency, does not make regulations; it merely utilizes existing regulatory frameworks and evaluates whether assets fall under certain categories.

Many Might be Targeted

The Reuters investigation revealed at least three YouTube celebrities and writers on major publications that have received compensation from ICO projects to promote token sales.

Throughout the months to come, the SEC could continue to crackdown on well-known public figures and organizations, as seen in the case of Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled, to establish a precedent in the industry.

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David Dinkins

Ripple Will Not Be Next Bitcoin, But That’s Not Bad

Ripple will not be the next Bitcoin, but it could still be wildly successful
Ripple Will Not Be Next Bitcoin, But That’s Not Bad

Voltaire famously wrote that the medieval Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire. In the same way, at least according to the MIT Technology Review, Ripple is neither decentralized nor a currency. But lest we judge it too harshly, it’s wise to remember that it was never intended to be either.

Next Bitcoin?

For years, cryptocurrency languished in obscurity. Assuming they didn’t make too many missteps along the way, early adopters of Bitcoin became millionaires. Many of those who were a little late to the Bitcoin party became early adopters of altcoins, and also became millionaires. Now that crypto has burst into the mainstream and made many people fabulously wealthy, crypto newcomers are desperate to pick the next Bitcoin. Every new investor seems to think if they can buy a digital asset for less than a dollar, they’ll become ridiculously rich when that asset eventually hits $10,000, as Bitcoin did.

While it can’t be definitely said that there isn’t another nascent Bitcoin waiting in the wings somewhere, if there is one, it certainly isn’t Ripple. The currency’s wild ride last year made it the best performing crypto asset in a year of incredibly well-performing cryptocurrencies. Ripple ended the year up by 38,000 percent. No, that’s not a typo.

Those who invested before last summer are all incredibly wealthy now, even after Ripple dropped back under $1. Nonetheless, an important fact remains.

Ripple is not the next Bitcoin.

Different animal

Ripple is something entirely different. While Bitcoin seeks to be a decentralized, peer-to-peer means of digital value exchange with a strong anti-establishment bent, Ripple does not. In fact, Ripple is almost the opposite- it’s highly centralized and extremely friendly with big banks. There’s a good reason for this: Ripple doesn’t intend to be a currency used by ordinary folks buying coffee. Ripple wants to be used by banks to move large numbers of very big transactions each day.

Ripple is an extension of a system banks already know and understand. Ripple is a centralized company whose network relies on “trusted” servers. Banks are cool with that because that’s what they understand. Ripple has premined all 100 bln coins and keeps the remaining 50 bln in escrow, which is fine, because that’s what big companies understand. Companies are used to an IPO where large numbers of shares are created all at once, from nowhere, and distributed to investors. They can understand premines, too.

As the MIT Technology Review states:

“Ripple’s big bet is that XRP will become a ‘bridge currency’ that many financial institutions use to settle cross-border payments faster and more cheaply than they do now using global payment networks, which can be slow and involve multiple middlemen. Bitcoin could be used to do this too, but Ripple can settle 1,000 transactions per second, compared with Bitcoin’s seven, and its transaction fees are much lower.”

Ripple without XRP

The MIT Technology Review also notes that unfortunately for Ripple investors, while its technology is popular, Ripple’s XRP token is not:

“Here’s the catch, though: Ripple’s Blockchain-based payment network doesn’t need a bridge currency to work, and nearly everyone using the network has so far chosen to exchange digital IOUs instead.”

This could certainly change, and CEO Brad Garlinghouse has hinted that it will, but for now, XRP is a fairly speculative play. Ripple is not another Bitcoin, but if everything goes really well, it could be another SWIFT or Visa. The only remaining question is whether the company’s bank customers will use the native XRP token, or settle in dollars as they currently do.

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Wikicoin Vera Thornpike

Will Ripple Reach $100 or More in the Next 5 Years?

📚 Wikicoin
Ripple is the 2nd world cryptocurrency after Bitcoin and one of the most stable coins in the current bearish market. But is it good enough to reach $100?
Will Ripple Reach $100 or More in the Next 5 Years?
Contents

 

 

With Ripple resisting the trends of the bearish market and growing in price, many investors have high hopes for making profits with XRP in the coming years. Can Ripple hit the 100 USD threshold? What are the chances of that? Let’s find out what XRP’s potential value is, and compare the opinions of Internet users and advanced traders.

What makes Ripple superb?

Unlike Bitcoin, Ripple was created for a different mission: this is an open-source protocol that enables cheap and fast transactions. Ripple was designed for institutional users and banks rather than individual users because it facilitates international transactions in a huge volume. While it sounds too ambitious, practice shows that Ripple does its work pretty well.

Ripple serves both as a currency and a platform: it helps people find each other and exchange literally any cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin and hundreds of other altcoins. The transaction fee is minimal – $0.0001. It was introduced to prevent DDoS attack and hackers.

It goes without mentioning it has a pretty high transaction processing speed: at the moment, Ripple is capable of processing about 1,500 operations. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, the platform works without blockchain — it uses the Ripple protocol consensus algorithm (RPCA) instead.

Ripple’s key advantages
Ripple has a lot of advantages over other coins

 

Ripple’s superiority is also conditioned by the huge support it gets from investors. Just look at the list of contributors:

Date

Funding

type

Investor

Amount

($ mln)

April 2013

Angel

Andreessen Horowitz, FF Angel LLC, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Pantera Capital, Vast Ventures, Bitcoin Opportunity Fund

2.5

May 2013

Angel

Google Ventures, IDG Capital Partners

3.0

November 2013

Seed

Core Innovation Capital, Venture51, Camp One Ventures, IDG Capital Partners

3.5

May 2015

Series A

IDG Capital Partners, Seagate Technology, AME Cloud Ventures, ChinaRock Capital Management, China Growth Capital, Wicklow Capital, Bitcoin Opportunity Corp, Core Innovation Capital, Route 66 Ventures, RRE Ventures, Vast Ventures, Venture 51

28

October 2015

Series A

Santander InnoVentures

4

September 2016

Series B

Standard Chartered, AccentureSCB Digital Ventures, SBI Holdings, Santander InnoVentures, CME Group, Seagate Technology

55

 

Ripple’s expected growth cannot be overestimated thanks to the huge list of banks that partnered up with it: Union Credit, Westpac, NBAD, UBS, Axis Bank, Yes Bank.

Why can Ripple’s 100 USD price prediction become a reality?

In the following years, Ripple will sell 55 bln XRP that is locked in escrow. Once the sale is finished, the vast majority of coins will help in banks, so usual investors won’t be able to purchase coins. Although there are billions of coins, the situation when an investor is ready to buy a coin at any price, say, $100 or $1,000, is possible. Deficiency can make XRP prices soar.

Major Ripple corporate investors
The list of Ripple investors is quite impressive

 

Another reason to assume that XRP can hit $100 is that Ripple is too sublime to fail. While Bitcoin hasn’t been properly adopted and is too slow, Ripple is making its way to the top at a steady pace. It will soon be the global currency circulating in world banks: the team is already doing business with American Express and Japanese banks.

So if you still wonder, “Will Ripple reach $100?” don’t doubt: Wall Street professionals and world banks are likely to boost its value considerably.

Will Ripple reach 100$? Here’s what numbers say

Yet, when estimating how high will Ripple go, we shouldn’t forget about real facts. Let’s do simple math.

Total Ripple Supply= 100,000,000,000 XRP

For XRP to be worth a $100 in future it should earn about 100,000,000,000 x $ 100 = $10,000,000,000,000 capital.

That’s $10 Trillion (Bitcoin’s current market cap is $213 bln).

How much is it now?

Compare:

The U.S. GDP was about $18.46 trillion in 2016. With Apple worth $800 bln, you could buy 12.5 Apple companies for $10 trillion.

At the moment, no company has reached the market cap of even $1 trillion with Amazon, Google and Apple being race leaders. Compared to that, Ripple’s $17 bln market cap is nothing. To reach XRP $100 price, the company should do something impossible.

World money in perspective
For XRP to hit $100, Ripple’s market cap should exceed the total cost of all gold on Earth

 

Most likely, Ripple 100 dollars threshold won’t be hit within the following five years — its total supply is too high. Yet, when it comes to Ripple price prediction 2030, such suggestions can apply.

Experts’ Ripple price forecast

What do professionals think about Ripple’s future?

Roman Guelfi-Gibbs, the CEO and Lead Systems Designer for Pinnacle Brilliance Systems Inc., reckons that the world needs time to digest the technological headwinds caused by altcoin. 2018 is only beginning — the true rise of Ripple will be witnessed in 2019.

Samson Williams, CSO of Ireland-based fintech firm SeedUp, says that Ripple isn’t a cryptocurrency but rather a new toy for banks. However, after 2018, it should get a bump.

Shidan Gouran, president of Global Blockchain Technologies, expressed the following opinion:

“Ripple is unlikely to go up by one or two notches in the cryptocurrency world in 2018, and this is the case for three reasons. The first reason is the sheer dollar volume that separates each of the three currencies in the top positions, in terms of their market cap. Bitcoin is at over $191 billion, Ethereum is at over $84 billion, and Ripple is at over $35 billion. To displace Ethereum would require a deficit of about $49 billion to be closed (which is more than double Iceland's entire national GDP). The second reason is that the use cases for Ripple are mostly for the trade of assets, not for day-to-day spending. As consumer awareness of cryptocurrencies will rise significantly in 2018 and beyond, the interest of the masses will be on cryptocurrencies that can be used as currencies, not just for investment transactions. Finally, the third reason is that because Ripple cannot be bought with fiat currencies, one must purchase existing cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to purchase XRP. This goes on to feed demand for Bitcoin and Ethereum, and will only solidify their positions as the top two cryptocurrencies on the market.“

Therefore, Ripple’s projected growth isn’t likely to be stopped, but it’s not so tremendous for the currency to get even to $50.

It’s time to unlock the potential: How high Ripple’s price can go?

As you can see, Ripple’s price prediction for 2020 and further is mostly positive: no one doubts that the cryptocurrency has enough potential to conquer the market. But when it comes to the cost of the asset, the future is unclear.

Even if you’re a very accurate and smart trader, you will never be able to predict the exact cost of crypto referring to its past. There are too many factors that count. Therefore, no one can say for sure how high could Ripple go. Check out the diversity of forecasts from WalletInvestor.com:

XRP price predictions
Ripple prediction from different sources

 

What are the factors that may influence Ripple’s growth or slow it down?

Factors contributing to XRP development

Factors hindering XRP development

Ripple is not just another startup — it’s a potent project with serious technical advantages.

Ripple is highly centralized — that repels some crypto enthusiasts and potential contributors.

Lack of inflation. All tokens are emitted initially.

Ripple Labs owns 61% of coins, which makes Ripple close to a monopoly.

Ripple is supported by banks worldwide, and if one day they decide to use it as a unified currency, early investors can make a great profit.

There’s still a risk of hacking — all in all, Ripple is an open-source code.

 

Ripple can freeze users’ transactions as it happened with Jed McCaleb’s XRP sale worth $1 mln. Theoretically, transaction freezing is against Ripple’s principles.

Bottom Line

So, can Ripple reach the 100 USD price? We never know how high can Ripple (XRP) can go. However, the numbers cannot be ignored: for the price to get to $100, the company should reach vertiginous heights.

No matter what, Ripple still remains one of the most attractive cryptocurrency investments in 2018. It is surviving in the current cryptocurrency market fever, and Ripple Labs are tight-lipped about their project. With substantial support from governments and banks, it can depose Bitcoin from the throne and turn into a versatile means of international transfers.

However, if the newly released XRP is sold to banks, getting it on the exchange market will be quite a challenge for regular users — deficiency can make XRP prices soar. Therefore, investing right now is the best decision you can make, but remember that you should invest only what you can afford to lose. In cryptocurrency, no one can give you any guarantees.

Wikicoin
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Darryn Pollock

Blockchain Education Becoming More Accessible and Attainable

Blockchain courses, and education in the new technology is getting more accessible as the London School of Economics makes it an online course
Blockchain Education Becoming More Accessible and Attainable
Contents

Recent news from the London School of Economics (LSE) is suggesting that an education in Blockchain technology is becoming more attainable as people hurry to pick up on the burgeoning and revolutionary technology.

Online Blockchain courses from the LSE, as well as a host other independent courses, are now readily available for any aspiring Blockchain developers with the demand for people educated in this new sector at a premium.

Importance of educating in Blockchain

As Blockchain technology makes it deeper and deeper into mainstream society, there is more interested in owning cryptocurrencies, but also added interest in building and understanding Blockchains for a number of different sectors.

Blockchains have been growing in sectors that are as large as banking, government, and major corporations- such as Amazon and Microsoft. To this end, the companies involving themselves in blockchain technology need educated employees who understand the space.

However, because the first Blockchain only came out 10 years ago, and in small circles with limited interest, there are hardly any seasoned veterans who are available for hire. This means that education is one way of upskilling Blockchain students in order for them to add value to their companies, but also to the space.

The Blockchain space is still plagued with teething problems, such as hacks, scams, and badly built projects on Blockchain, and thus, it is important for the space to get professionals who know what they are doing to advance the Blockchain ecosystem.

Spreading globally

It is unsurprising to see that Blockchain courses are coming up in all different forms, not just from the LSE in their online offering. There is news of IBM even offering free Blockchain courses to Indian students, as well as five Spanish speaking universities holding Blockchain courses for their students.

Of course, it is also business for those offering the courses at universities and business schools are in their own race to offer such courses. There is a real hunger to work in the Blockchain space with reports stating that Blockchain developers in the US earn almost $130,000 yearly.

Taking advantage

However, although there is a demand for learned Blockchain developers there has also been instances where companies are looking to take advantage of the situation. A job fair in Korea proved this as Ivy-League educated Blockchain developers were turned away from wealthy companies for demanding too much money.

In the end though, Blockchain technology is set to play a bigger role in the future of this planet, and thus, it is good for students to be at the forefront of the future. Learned Blockchain professionals will not only help boost businesses, they will build better Blockchains.

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Cryptotips George Shnurenko

How to Hack Bitcoin: All Possible Ways

💡 Cryptotips
From phishing to Trojan transfers, here are all major ways to hack your Bitcoin
How to Hack Bitcoin: All Possible Ways

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies took the world by storm in the recent Blockchain boom. It was all over the news and everywhere people talked and traded Bitcoin.

However, when it comes to the security aspect, Bitcoin users don’t have a second thought before pointing out that the cryptocoin can’t be hacked. But, quite unfortunately, that’s not exactly the case as the hackers have been able to steal away Bitcoins worth millions of US dollars over the years.

And, if you are also interested in finding out how to hack Bitcoin or how to hack someone's Bitcoin wallet, here we have listed all the possible options that you can try. Let’s find out.

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1.       Stealing the private keys

Before getting into the details of how to hack Bitcoin wallet, you should first understand that Bitcoin is nobody’s property.

Blockchain, the Bitcoin public ledger, maintains a record of all the addresses and a certain value is then attached to the particular key that identifies each record.

So, when someone owns Bitcoin, what they actually have is the private key for unlocking a particular address on the Blockchain.

These keys are stored both online and offline in so many different ways and each of them has a certain security level. Nevertheless, they all are vulnerable because, as you want to know how to hack a Bitcoin wallet, all you have to do is to somehow access that characters string which forms the private key.

Most of the times, it’s the online services being responsible for storing private keys that get attacked. Sheep Marketplace is a perfect example of such service providers. Mostly, it’s the insiders who carry out such attacks as they don’t even need to know the hacking thing at all. All they need to do is to copy the entire database containing private keys to own the Bitcoins located on all the addresses stored in the database.

You can also do the same if you’re an insider and know how to break into the database. And, once you do, you’ll be able to spend all the Bitcoins anywhere you like.

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2.       Keyloggers

It’s the malware that records the keystrokes of the users and sends it all to the hacker. It is almost impossible to detect these programs and you might even have it running on your smartphone or computer right now without noticing it at all.

They copy every seed, password and pin that you type and can turn out to be an effective answer to the question how to hack a Bitcoin faucet. They can really provide hackers an easy gateway to all the bitcoins they want to hack.

Usually, there are three different options available for installing keyloggers. They include:

·         Send it as an email attachment that could be anything like an exe file or a pdf

·         Create a malicious site for installing the software

·   Distribute it by loading onto a USB and then dropping them off at some Blockchain/Bitcoin conference. The malware will simply be downloaded to one’s computer as they insert the USB for checking out what’s in there.

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3.       Fake wallets

Another cool option you have to answer how to hack Bitcoin wallets, this one gives you a more sophisticated way of achieving your goal. It also needs you to do some work on your part as these fake wallets are simply the apps which resemble genuine wallets but are meant to steal the Bitcoins away.

These apps typically use official logos and everything else of existing Bitcoin wallets for tricking the users and stealing the Bitcoins away. These fake wallets are a routine thing both on Apple and Android App Stores.

4.    Bitcoin miner malware

For those looking to find out how to hack Bitcoin faucet, another option is to rely on some Bitcoin miner malware.

Every Bitcoin that gets mined makes creation of the new Bitcoins harder. You need electricity for running and cooling down those ‘miner’ computers. And with electricity being a major operational cost for Bitcoin miners, many of them borrow resources for mining Bitcoins. They usually do so by spreading the Bitcoin mining malware.

Today, Bitcoin is simply mined through the biggest Bitcoin malware botnets. Though they don’t have any negative intentions, still the use of a computer this way is not authorized as they tend to hijack the online video equipment and the victim bears all the cost. As a result, the hijacked computers are also slowed down as well.

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5.       Bitcoin phishing

Want to know how to hack Bitcoin accounts, why not try Bitcoin phishing? It’s a popularly known method for information theft which relies on fake websites or emails for tricking users into providing their private keys.

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6.       Impersonating as Bitcoin recipients

Another option for you is to impersonate as a Bitcoin recipient. Lately, most Bitcoin hacking happened when the companies held fundraising events in the form of ‘initial coin offerings’ asking investors to send bitcoins to them. Now, that’s where you get the answer to the question how to hack a Bitcoin address.

Clever hackers can impersonate as companies looking to receive the Bitcoin by setting up fake websites and persuading investors to send them Bitcoins worth millions of US dollars in their own Bitcoin wallets rather than the ones being used by the actual companies. And, once the Bitcoins are transferred to their wallets, there’s no coming back.

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7.       Stolen value stores

The value of cryptocurrencies is usually stored in the file stores called wallets. However, these wallets can sometimes be manipulated, compromised, transferred and stolen similar to any other value store we have on our computers.

What’s even worse is that people tend to forget the protective passwords or their hard drives keeping the store get stolen which renders these value stores to become inaccessible forever. The same sort of issues can be caused by Ransomware. And, once this happens, it’s not possible to access the wallet using another computer.

Now, that’s what hackers usually take advantage of. In fact, a popular question among hackers last year was how to hack Bitcoin wallet 2017. Even today, hacking attempts are made on the online wallets and many even get successful. So, if you’re also trying to achieve the same, you can also give it a try.

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8.       Transfer Trojans

Another option available to those looking to find out how to hack a Bitcoin address is to transfer Trojans and simply get Bitcoins transferred to their personal wallets. The cryptocurrency Trojans are meant to monitor computers and wait for anything that looks like a crypto account number.

And, as soon as they spot one, they take action and replace user’s intended account from that of the hacker and as soon as the user hits that ‘Send’ button, all the funds are transferred to the account of the hacker. Again, there’s no recovering from this either.

So, these are all the possible ways to hack Bitcoin. In fact, more of them can be discovered as hackers continue their attempts to steal away Bitcoins from their owners.

Cryptotips
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