Category Archives: Crypto

Assange Thanks US Govt For His 50,000% Gain On Bitcoin As Russia Unveils ‘CryptoRuble’

Once again the unintended consequences of government intervention are exposed

In 2010 – following the release of sensitive government documents related to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – John McCain and Joe Lieberman led a bipartisan attempt to cut off WikiLeaks funding by forcing ‘traditional’ payment systems to block them.

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7 years later and the price of Bitcoin has … risen … 50,000%!

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As CoinTelegraph concludes, Wikileaks has been on the forefront of revealing government corruption, and Assange has lived as a fugitive in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012. With all the anti-government rhetoric, it’s no wonder Assange is not friendly with pro-government fiat currencies. Wikileaks and its founder represent the sort of non-governmental control that Bitcoin is founded upon.

And while governments around the world play ‘pass the hot potato’ with their regulatory crackdowns on cryptocurrencies, it appears – after denouncing Bitcoin earlier in the week – that Russia has accepted the inevitability of digital currencies… and created its own.

As CoinTelegraph reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin has officially stated that Russia will issue its own ‘CryptoRuble’ at a closed door meeting in Moscow, according to local news sources.

The news broke through Minister of Communications Nikolay Nikiforov.

According to the official, the state issued cryptocurrency cannot be mined and will be issued and controlled and maintained only by the authorities.

The CryptoRubles can be exchanged for regular Rubles at any time, though if the holder is unable to explain where the CryptoRubles came from, a 13 percent tax will be levied.

The same tax will be applied to any earned difference between the price of the purchase of the token and the price of the sale. Nikiforov said:

“I confidently declare that we run CryptoRuble for one simple reason: if we do not, then after 2 months our neighbors in the EurAsEC will.”

While the announcement means that Russia will enter the cryptocurrency world, it is in no way an affirmation or legalization of Bitcoin or any other decentralized cryptocurrency. On the contrary, Putin quite recently called for a complete ban on all cryptocurrencies within Russia. The statement from Putin seemed apparently to contradict the earlier comments from other ministers who seemed pro-crypto, but only with regulations, as well as Putin’s recent meetings with Buterin and others.

Now, with the issuance of the CryptoRuble, the apparent contradiction has been made clear.

Source: ZeroHedge

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The “Wolf Of Wall Street” Says Jamie Dimon Is Right About Bitcoin

The guy who made tens of millions of dollars misleading American retirees into buying worthless pink sheet stocks says he agrees with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon’s comment that bitcoin is “a fraud.”

Jordan Belfort, the inspiration for Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in the 2013 Martin Scorsese film “The Wolf of Wall Street,” told the Street that he believes Dimon is right, adding that bitcoin “isn’t a great model.”

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In what may eventually be revealed as an important distinction, Belfort’s take was somewhat more nuanced than Dimon’s. While the JPM CEO predicted that all digital currencies would eventually become worthless, Belfort said there might be room for one.

“I’m not saying cryptocurrencies, there won’t be one – there will be one – but there has to be some backing by some central governments out there.

If any digital currency demonstrates long-term viability, it will probably be one that’s backed by a central bank.”

Two weeks ago, Dimon sent the price of bitcoin tumbling when he called the digital currency a fraud and said he would fire any JPM traders caught trading it. He added that it made people like his daughter feel like “geniuses” for buying in early.  

“It’s a fraud. It’s making stupid people, such as my daughter, feel like they’re geniuses. It’s going to get somebody killed. I’ll fire anyone who touches it.”

Surprisingly, given bitcoin’s role in helping disrupt the financial services industry, not every Wall Street CEO shares Dimon’s dim view on the digital currency. Two days ago, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman told WSJ that he believes Dimon is wrong and that “bitcoin is certainly more than a fad.” However, he conceded that “there is a government risk to it” – alluding to Chinese authorities’ decision to shutter local bitcoin exchanges. Joining Dimon and Belfort in the skeptics’ corner is Bridgewater Associates Founder Ray Dalio, who said last week that he believes bitcoin is in a bubble.

Circling back to Belfort, he explained to the Street that he just couldn’t wrap his head around bitcoin…

“Basically, the idea that it’s being backed by nothing other than a program that creates artificial scarcity it seems kind of bizarre to me.”

He also claimed that he knows people who lost money in the Mt. Gox hack, and that the incident served as a wakeup call.

“They could steal it from you I know people who have lost all their money like that…”

Of course, Dimon’s statement didn’t stop JP Morgan Securities from transacting in a bitcoin-linked exchange-traded product traded on Nasdaq Stockholm, prompting an algorithmic liquidity provider called Blockswater to sue Dimon for “spreading false and misleading information” about bitcoin.

Traders, meanwhile, have continued to vote with their wallets: Bitcoin finally filled the “Dimon gap” yesterday, and has continued to climb on Thursday…

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So Jamie and the Wolf on Wall Street agree. Do we need to know anymore?

Source: ZeroHedge

China Bans All ICOs And Digital Currency Launches As ‘Illegal Public Financing’

The hype around ICOs or initial coin offerings has reached fever pitch in the US, with celebs like Paris Hilton endorsing new digital currencies and mainstream outlets such as CNBC offering viewers advice on how to build their own “cryptocurrency portfolio.” In China, though, the authorities have had enough, and today the Chinese government took the bold move of banning ICOs all together.

The ruling comes from China’s central bank, which issued a statement criticizing ICOs for “disrupting” the country’s financial order. The regulator described initial coin offerings as “a form of unapproved illegal public financing” that “raises suspicions” of fraud and criminal activity, reports the Financial Times. Although the valuation of bitcoin fell in response to the news, the regulation does not directly target the popular cryptocurrency.

In the past year, there has been a boom in ICOs, driven in part by the soaring value of more established cryptocurrencies. While projects like Bitcoin aim to offer an alternative to state-backed currencies, ICOs often have narrower and more gimmicky uses. Lydian Coin, for example, (the ICO that Paris Hilton endorsed this morning) is supposed to be used solely for buying advertising campaigns; while Filecoin (an ICO backed by the Winklevoss twins) is a digital token that’s exchanged for data storage.

Financial experts say ICOs range in quality from serious (if overambitious) attempts to build new digital currencies, to projects that are little more than pyramid schemes. The Financial Times’ Alphaville blog compared ICOs to Kickstarter campaigns for “crypto-nerds,” where investors are persuaded to fork over cash for a product that hasn’t yet been built and that could go nowhere.

If investment in ICOs constitutes a bubble, though, it hasn’t burst yet. It’s estimated that coin offerings have raised $1.6 billion in 2017 alone, with 65 launches in China totaling some 2.6 billion yuan or $398 million (according to a report from the National Committee of Experts on the Internet Financial Security Technology). This rush of money is why the technology has invited the wrath of Chinese regulators, who are enforcing the government’s orders to make “financial security” a top priority.

Similar regulation may soon be coming to America, too. This July, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned that ICOs were being used to sidestep the law, and last week the agency issued another statement describing coin offerings as “potential scams.”

Jehan Chu, a partner at Kenetic Capital who advises on the sale of tokens, told Bloomberg that “China needed to act first “due to its size.” However, he added that today’s news is “somewhat in step with … what we’re starting to see in other jurisdictions — the short story is we all know regulations are coming.”

By James Vincent | The Verge

Are Charts Telling Us The $USD Is Heading For Trouble?

By quick way of review, here’s the key chart. As you can see, the $USD staged a large bull market run in 2014 as the [Foreign] Federal Reserve wound down its QE program. The greenback was then range bound for three years until this month when it broke down in a big way.

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US Dollar ($USD) dropping below critical support.

Here’s the $USD’s chart running back 40 years. I call this the “single most important chart in the world,” because how the $USD moves has a massive impact on all other asset classes.

As you can see the $USD broke out of a massive 40 year falling wedge pattern [between 2014-2016]. This initial breakout has failed to reach its ultimate target (120) and is now rolling over for a retest of the upper trendline in the mid-to low-80s.

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The Long Term [40 year] Chart Of The $USD

Question:

What happens when new currency is created with few limits by central and commercial banks?

Answer:

Far too much debt and currency are created.

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Central Bank Balance Sheets have increased by $10 trillion in the last decade and $1 trillion YTD in 2017.

Question:

What happens when an extra $10 trillion in central bank debt plus another $80 trillion or so in other global debt is created in a decade?

Answer:

Prices rise because each unit of fiat currency purchases less.

Market                             Early 2007                                  Early 2017

NASDAQ Composite            2,400                                        6,000

S&P 500 Index                      1,400                                        2,370

T-Bond                                     110                                            150

Gold                                         700                                         1,250

Silver                                         13                                              18

Crude Oil                                  60                                              50

Now might be a good time to grab some physical gold, silver and cold stored Crypto.

Source: Political Vel Craft

 

Russia Adopts Blockchain In Response To US Sanctions

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Russia’s largest exchange group has announced plans to trade cryptocurrencies on the Moscow Exchange.

The central depository for the Moscow Exchange, National Settlement Depository (NSD), announced that it is developing a platform to provide accounting services for digital assets like cryptocurrencies.

The platform looks to be build a unit of account, very important in the volatile crypto-space, for people to value their assets in and have access to through a wallet platform.

In short, the Moscow Exchange is taking a page out of Dan Larimer’s BitShares and its OpenLedger exchange to provide trading and accounting and banking services all validated and accessible through the blockchain.

In essence, by the end of 2018, cryptos will be trading on the Moscow Exchange and integrated into the banking system to stand beside stocks, bonds and other derivative assets.

CEO Eddie Astanin:

“Our goal is to create a secure and user-friendly accounting infrastructure for digital assets. We consider the platform would not only provide technological and legal protection of all parties involved, but also extend variety of post-trade services for investors, custodians and new institutions emerging in this sector of economy.”

Building Blockchains off the Putin/Buterin Meeting

This is yet another example of Russia’s rapid response to the changing environment of cryptos.  Vladimir Putin’s meeting with Ethereum designer, Vitalik Buterin, in May at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum must have been truly eye-opening for Putin.

Since then I can almost not keep up with the news flow coming out of Russia relative to the widespread adoption of the blockchain to rapidly modernize those areas of its economy that need it in order to compete over the next generation or two.

Putin, ever the long-game strategist, must have had a ‘eureka’ moment talking with Buterin about Ethereum for people close to the Kremlin to be reacting this quickly.

And the news this morning that Buterin is working on the fix for Ethereum’s scaling issues is welcome news on this front as well.

Blockchains as Sanctions Defense

But this goes deeper than just banking modernization, which is a priority for the Russian government.  These moves into crypto are direct responses to the new sanctions placed on Russia by the U.S.

These are moves to make Russia a diversified destination for capital fleeing the chaos of the Western political breakdown that we are watching unfold before our eyes in real time.

There has been a lot of smoke about Russia (and China) backing their national currencies with Gold. And, while as a gold bug, I appreciate this sentiment I also understand that Russia couldn’t do that in this environment without creating insane capital flow issues in the current environment.

The better plan is to loosen central bank policy, issue some ruble-denominated debt (or yuan) while building up the crypto infrastructure to absorb those capital flows without creating dislocations within the ruble market.

This creates a more natural and organic flow of capital into the country without it causing social upheaval. Like the announcement of Russian Miner Coin, his move by the NSD is just another building block in the foundation of a more resilient Russian financial system to better coordinate the flow of capital and smooth the development of the chain of production.

This, in turn, limits the effects of U.S. sanctions. Once the market comes to the conclusion that Russia treats capital better than the U.S. does, the current trickle will become a torrent. And Russia has to be ready to handle this.

Diversifying into the blockchain is one of those important avenues.

Source: Coindesk

 

 

Bitcoin Blows Through $4000 As Asian Demand Soars

While many of the largest cryptocurrencies are fading modestly this morning, Bitcoin is holding on to dramatic agains which saw the largest virtual currency spike to as high as $4190 as Yen, Yuan, and Won trading activity dominated volumes.

Bitcoin Cash remains in 4th place overall by market cap but Bitcoin is the only currency higher among the top 5 this morning.

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Soaring past $4000…

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As CoinTelegraph reports, the trading of Bitcoin in Japanese yen has accounted for almost 46 percent of total trade volume worldwide. The trading of Bitcoin in US dollar accounted for around 25 percent, while the trading of Bitcoin in South Korean won and Chinese yuan accounted for approximately 12 percent each.

Additionally, anticipated demand is being priced in after VanEck filed for an ‘active strategy’ Bitcoin ETF:

The Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing, under normal circumstances, in U.S. exchange-traded bitcoin-linked derivative instruments (“Bitcoin Instruments”) and pooled investment vehicles and exchange-traded products that provide exposure to bitcoin (together with Bitcoin Instruments, “Bitcoin Investments”).

The Fund is an actively managed exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) and should not be confused with one that is designed to track the performance of a specified index.

The Fund’s strategy seeks to provide total return by actively managing the Fund’s investments in Bitcoin Investments.

Bitcoin’s solid performance in early August reflected that of gold’s amidst the selloff in stocks and bonds around the world due to the growing apprehensions over North Korea’s nuclear threat.

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And the latest moves this weekend in the crypto world suggest gold will open well north of $1300 tonight.

Live Gold Price

 

 

Bitcoin Spikes To New Record High Over $3800 – Best Week Since Brexit

Bitcoin is now up almost 35% since the August 1st fork, and up over 90% from the mid-July fork-fears panic low. Buying was heavy in the overnight Asian session but surged once again this morning, seemingly after US CPI data disappointed, lifting the price to a new record high of $3547.

As we noted earlier, The real demand for bitcoin will not be known until a global financial crisis guts confidence in central banks and politicized capital controls.”

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This is Bitcoin’s best week since pre-Brexit anxiety sent the virtual currency surging in June 2016…

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Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong noted: “Digital currencies are having their ‘Netscape’ moment…The pace of innovation has been accelerating and we are now seeing exciting projects and companies being built on top of digital currencies.”

As CoinTelegraph also notes, recent tension between the US and North Korea has played its part on the global market, rattling some of the major asset classes. However, not being pegged, or controlled by any centralized force, Bitcoin was totally unaffected by the news.

Cryptocurrencies are famous for their volatility, but the non-correlation between the global market slipping and cryptocurrencies mostly staying up shows that these decentralized forms of currency won’t be affected like traditional assets.

Source: ZeroHedge