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China has intensified its clampdown on cryptocurrencies, telling banks and payments platforms to stop supporting digital currency transactions.

That follows an order on June 18 to shut down Bitcoin mining operations in Sichuan province.

The price of Bitcoin slumped by more 10% on June 21 but stabilized in Asian trading on June 22.

The value of the cryptocurrency has fallen by around 50% since hitting a record high above $63,000 in April.

On June 21, China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), said it had recently summoned several major banks and payments companies to call on them to take tougher action over the trading of cryptocurrencies.

In a statement, the PBOC asked banks not provide products or services such as trading, clearing and settlement for cryptocurrency transactions.

China’s third-largest lender by assets, the Agricultural Bank of China, said it was following the PBOC’s guidance and would conduct due diligence on clients to root out illegal activities involving cryptocurrency mining and transactions.

China’s Postal Savings Bank also said it would not facilitate any cryptocurrency transactions.

Mobile and online payments platform Alipay, which is owned by financial technology giant Ant Group, said it would set up a monitoring system to detect illegal cryptocurrency transactions.

The latest measure came after authorities in the southwest province of Sichuan on June 18 ordered Bitcoin mining operations to close down.

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In 2020, China accounted for around 65% of global Bitcoin production, with Sichuan rating as its second largest producer, according to research by the University of Cambridge.

Last month, China’s cabinet, the State Council, said it would crack down on cryptocurrency mining and trading as part of a campaign to control financial risks.

Some analysts have warned of potential further falls in the price of Bitcoin due to a price chart phenomenon known as a “death cross”, which occurs when a short-term average trendline crosses below a long-term average trendline.

Other cryptocurrencies also fell as investors worried about tougher regulation of digital currencies around the world.

Separately, the auction house Sotheby’s said that a rare pear-shaped diamond that is expected to sell for as much as $15 million can be bought at an auction next month using cryptocurrencies.

It is the first time that such a large diamond has been offered in a public sale with cryptocurrency.

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Dogecoin has jumped in value by 50% after inventor Elon Musk dubbed it “the people’s crypto”.

Cryptocurrencies such as Dogecoin and Bitcoin are generated by computers. Their supposed value comes from the finite number that can be computed.

Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency which started off as a joke, uses a Shiba Inu dog as its mascot and is based on a meme featuring the animal.

The currency has risen more than 800% in the year so far.

After reaching a high of $0.058, each dogecoin is currently changing hands for about $0.046, suggesting a total value for all 128 billion coins of about $5.89 billion.

According to an interview with Vice, dogecoin was created in 2013 by a pair of software workers after one of them made a joke about the next big cryptocurrency.

However, with no intrinsic value like gold or land, and no ability to generate an income like a company or bond, cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and can crash as fast as they rise.

This makes them hard to value and makes their prices susceptible to tips from backers or sudden panics.

Critics point out that while any given cryptocurrency may have a finite supply of units, the number of cryptocurrencies is ever-growing and potentially limitless.

People have lost large amounts of money in steep drops in the value of cryptocurrencies and in hacks and corrupted or lost hard drives.

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Bitcoin’s value dropped by $5,000 on January4 to about $29,000 before recovering the lost ground. On January 11, it dropped $9,000 to $32,000.

Because the cryptocurrencies can pass international borders quickly and are not regulated like cash or regular investments, investigating thefts is hard.

Last month, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a stark warning to investors in so-called cryptoassets.

The financial watchdog said investors should be “prepared to lose all their money” should their investment’s value collapse.

Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are among many prominent figures targeted by hackers on Twitter in an apparent Bitcoin scam.

The official accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Kanye West also requested donations in the cryptocurrency.

A tweet from Bill Gates’ account said: “Everyone is asking me to give back.

“You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000.”

Twitter said it was a “co-ordinated” attack targeting its employees “with access to internal systems and tools”.

The company said in a series of tweets: “We know they [the hackers] used this access to take control of many highly-visible (including verified) accounts and Tweet on their behalf.”

Twitter added that “significant steps” were taken to limit access to such internal systems and tools while the company’s investigation was ongoing.Meanwhile, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted: “Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened.”

Twitter earlier had to take the extraordinary step of stopping many verified accounts marked with blue ticks from tweeting altogether.

Password reset requests were also being denied and some other “account functions” disabled.

By 20:30 EDT on July 15, users with verified account started to be able to send tweets again, but Twitter said it was still working on a fix.

Dmitri Alperovitch, who co-founded cyber-security company CrowdStrike, told Reuters: “This appears to be the worst hack of a major social media platform yet.”

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Donald Trump Twitter account hacked

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On the official account of Elon Musk appeared to offer to double any Bitcoin payment sent to the address of his digital wallet “for the next 30 minutes”.

“I’m feeling generous because of Covid-19,” the tweet added, along with a Bitcoin link address.

The tweets were deleted just minutes after they were first posted.

However, as the first such tweet from Elon Musk’s account was removed, another one appeared, then a third.

Others targeted included: Kim Kardashian, Mike Bloomberg, Apple and the ride-sharing app Uber.

The Biden campaign said Twitter had “locked down the account within a few minutes of the breach and removed the related tweet”.

A spokesman for Bill Gates told AP news agency: “This appears to be part of a larger issue that Twitter is facing.”

Last year, Jack Dorsey’s account was hacked, but Twitter said it had fixed the flaw that left his account vulnerable.

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The global economy is absolutely massive. Trillions and trillions of dollars are spent and earned by millions of different companies and individuals in thousands of different industries. Sure, we all know just how big the retail, food, oil and pharmaceutical industries are and how important they are.

However, what about the thousands of other different industries? These other industries are responsible for a ton of jobs and while they pale in comparison to the industries in the last paragraph, they are still bigger than you ever could have imagined! With that in mind, this article will look at a few industries that, while small, are likely way bigger than you ever thought possible.

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The Hard Cider Industry

The alcohol industry is one of the largest on the planet, but there is a certain subset of the industry that is likely much bigger than you thought. Over the last few years, the hard cider industry has transformed from nothing but a gimmick, to something massive, with many different players.

The U.S market for hard cider sits at well over $400 million, and the overall global market is quite a bit bigger. However, it isn’t the size of the market that is so impressive, but the growth. The market has had an annual growth of over 30% over the last five years and look for it to continue as more and more people become interested in transitioning to ciders as their drink of choice.

The Cigar Industry

While the cigarette industry gets most of the attention for its size and the simple fact that hundreds of millions of people smoke every single day, the cigar industry is no slouch. While people don’t often smoke cigars in the same fashion they smoke cigarettes, the markets aren’t all that far off.

In fact, experts believe that that the overall global market for cigars could reach over $13 Billion by 2025, which is far more than most people might have imagined. Also, whereas all cigarettes are more or less the same in terms of flavor, cigars offer a wide range of different flavors, including this cigar here.

The Cryptocurrency Industry

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If you think of 2017, it was largely the year of the cryptocurrency. Currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum became household names and attracted millions of investors from all over the planet. Overall, the cryptocurrency market sits at nearly $500 Billion, and hit over $800 Billion in early 2018.

This is already incredibly impressive, but you need to understand the growth to understand the sheer magnitude of those numbers. At the start of 2017, the market was under $20 billion, which means it experienced a boom unlike anything we have seen in a very long time. As blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies continue to evolve and mature, don’t be shocked to see them only grow in popularity over the coming years.

The Pet Insurance Industry

This is one that hardly anyone thinks about, but once you do, you begin to understand it. We love our pets and most people are willing to spend whatever it costs to keep their animals healthy. So instead of paying everything out of pocket, it makes sense to purchase pet insurance.

Just as humans begin to live longer due to better diets and better healthcare, the same goes for our pets. Those are all just some of the many reasons why the pet insurance industry is likely bigger than you ever thought possible. The industry in the United States is currently valued at nearly a billion dollars and with nearly 13% annual growth over the last five years, it seems like it’s going to continue getting bigger.

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Bitcoin is clearly surging right now, with its value currently reaching $17,000 USD and is looking more and more like a sure investment. Yet it’s vital for anyone looking to invest in cryptocurrencies not to get lost in all the promises and actually stay well informed about Bitcoin’s technological progress.

Prior to considering if you should buy Bitcoin (BTC), you should know the history of the technological aspect of Bitcoin as well as what the experts believe lies ahead in its future.

With the biggest value of Bitcoin being its instant and secure P2P (peer-to-peer) payment transactions, it is now more than ever looking like it’s going to become the primary cryptocurrency in the global market, with over a 1,500% increased value in 2017 alone. Or is it? Let’s see what the finance experts have to say.

Is It a Bubble or Not?

According to the UBS Wealth Management, they are not boarding the hype train that bitcoin is ever to become a legitimate currency. Their global chief economist, Paul Donovan, highlights that cryptocurrencies are only valuable when they are accepted as currencies. Add the fact that bitcoin can’t be used for most important transactions plus that cryptocurrency supply can only rise, which makes them a bad store of value. His report further states that there’s no economic backing for the huge increase in bitcoin prices, which almost certainly means that it’s a bubble.

More Coins Means More Value

On the other hand, co-founder of FundStrat Global Advisor, Tom Lee, believes that Bitcoin will only gain in value over the next five years. He compares the Bitcoin to a social network, stating that the more engagement it gets the more it’ll grow in value. The idea behind is that the more coins are being issued, the more people will be using bitcoin as a master ledger – which basically means that bitcoin’s value is growing with the addition of more cryptocurrencies.

An Independent Cryptocurrency

Braden Perry, a partner at Kennyhertz Perry LLC, states that the world may be ready for a currency that’s decentralized and actually controlled by the people, especially since governments are known for power abuse – now more than ever. A currency without borders that’s available to anyone who can buy it might be a solution for the world we’re stepping in. However, he also states that Bitcoin may have a long journey ahead since it still requires greater adoption and more simplicity if it’s ever going to appeal to the general public.

Some Will Get Rich, Some Will Get Burned

At the moment, selling bitcoins probably seems like a great way to quickly raise a lot of money without any questions asked. Of course, some people will get rich out of it. In fact, some already are. But what about fears of being ripped-off? That’s almost as certain, state the experts, as some people will get burned while investing in cryptocurrencies.

Peter Smith of Blockchain company, which already went through the investment period with Bitcoin, is now looking to invest in Ethereum, a new cryptocurrency with a different architecture. Still, he advises people to be cautious and know what they’re doing before they actually start investing. As any leading accounting firm can tell you, you need to understand the market before you actually start investing.

Bottom Line

While there’s certainly going to be nay-sayers when it comes to cryptocurrencies, the concept itself is almost certainly going to survive and advance in the next couple of years. And what about bitcoin? No one can tell for sure, but the fact is that even though its prices are skyrocketing at the moment – it’s still volatile and can’t be easily used for trading. The best advice anyone can give you on cryptocurrencies is to actually know why they’re gaining so much popularity. Understanding them will mean that you can make a safer decision instead of just blindly following the hype train.

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Bitcoin has been shaking up the tech and finance worlds ever since it was first introduced in 2009 as the world’s first cryptocurrency created by Satoshi Nakamoto. Since then world media has been paying close attention to bitcoin’s status as a real means of value exchange, with many questions surrounding its viability and investment value still continuing to rise to the surface.

Thanks to the infographic provided by BuddyLoans, we take another look at the phenomenon of bitcoin and pick out four reasons, despite its volatile value fluctuations, why it might be worth investing in.

Decentralised Nature

Due to bitcoin’s origins and separation from any political or state affiliation, many people have seen it as an interesting investment vehicle safe from governmental manipulation. Its decentralised nature, for some, has made it appear a good form of portfolio insurance.

Couple that with the fact that bitcoin is easy to carry and store, and that it doesn’t need to be deposited or controlled by banks or other financial regulations, and it definitely makes for an interesting investment option.

Youth

Also a possible reason as for why not to invest, bitcoin’s relative youth, when compared to long-standing investment options like gold for example, raise a lot of questions. Yet even a decade-old, bitcoin’s newness makes it particularly volatile in terms of its value but also leaves room for very large profits.

If you can handle that kind of risk then bitcoin could prove a very bankable investment strategy yet.

Open Payment Network

Unlike conventional financial networks like Mastercard and Paypal that have specific company owners, the Bitcoin network is independent, uncontrolled and relatively unlimited in terms of what you could do with it.

The consequence of its open payment network throws it open to innovation that might supersede conventional payment technologies much in the same way the open web has allowed companies like Google, YouTube and Facebook to dominate. Investing in it allows you to capitalise if and when these developments come to fruition.

Bitcoin Payments and Applications

Another key reason to look into bitcoin as an investment surrounds the fact that it is resilient in the face of international money transfers and speedier than the likes of Moneygram and Western Union to boot.

What’s more are the number of bitcoin applications and start-ups in development, seeking to make payment even easier for bitcoin users and enable them to convert local currencies into the cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin is still an interesting prospect to say the least. To find out more information make sure you take a look at the following infographic.

Crypto-Currency