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Market Update: Prices Drop as Crypto Sentiment Enters the Fear Zone

Markets Update: Prices Drop as Crypto Sentiment Plunges Below the Fear Zone

Cryptocurrency markets fell hard on August 21 following the $700 price drop bitcoin core (BTC) saw during the early morning trading sessions. Most digital assets have lost 2-8% in value as the overall market valuation of all 2,000+ coins has plunged to $263 billion. Crypto price movements have been following a trend of strong volatility, having been turbulent for several weeks.

Also read: The World Bank’s Blockchain Bond Is Just a Fancy Way of Selling Debt

The Top Digital Currency Markets See Percentage Losses

BTC and a slew of other digital assets dropped significantly on Wednesday. At the time of publication, there’s been around $59 billion worth of daily trades happening between the most popular coins. BTC holds the top position and commands 69% of the $263 billion dollar market cap. At the moment, BTC is hovering at around $10,124 per coin and has an overall market valuation of about $181 billion. The top fiat currencies traded with BTC on Wednesday include JPY and USD and tether (USDT) captures more than 66% of all BTC trades. BTC has lost 5.8% over the last 24 hours and 2% in the last seven days.

Market Update: Prices Drop as Crypto Sentiment Enters the Fear Zone

The second highest valued market cap belongs to ethereum (ETH) where each coin is being swapped for $185 per coin. ETH is down 5.8% today and there’s $7.4 billion in global ETH trades. Following ETH is ripple (XRP) which has seen the least volatility over the last few weeks. One XRP is trading for $0.26 and markets are down 3.3% today and 4.9% for the week. Lastly, litecoin (LTC) commands the fifth-largest valuation and each LTC is trading for $72. LTC has dropped only 3.5% today but lost more than 8% this week.

Market Update: Prices Drop as Crypto Sentiment Enters the Fear Zone
On August 21, 2019 during the price slide, tether (USDT) is a dominant pair for every major cryptocurrency. Did you know you can now easily buy Bitcoin with a credit card? Visit our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can buy BCH, BTC, ETH, XRP, BNB, and LTC securely, and keep your BCH and BTC secure by storing them in our free Bitcoin mobile wallet.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Market Action

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) still holds the fourth position and each BCH is trading for $299. BCH has an overall market cap of around $5.3 billion and about $1.39 billion in trade volumes. Today BCH is down more than 5% and over 8% over the last seven days. Daily transactions (txn) this Wednesday have been around 43,000 and BCH has had an average of about 40K txn every day since April. BCH is the sixth most traded digital asset on August 21, just below EOS and above XRP. Tether (USDT) captures around 58% of all BCH trades which is followed by BTC (22.5%), USD (8.4%), ETH (6%), and KRW (2.5%).

Market Update: Prices Drop as Crypto Sentiment Enters the Fear Zone

The Verdict: Short-Term Crypto Sentiment Shows Extreme Fear While Long-Term Believers Are Still Cheerful

Despite the falling prices, traders and crypto enthusiasts on social media are still optimistic about digital currency markets and BTC prices. Popular Twitter trader Jacob Canfield says the charts look like a “pretty classic rising wedge that hit resistance.” “First support zone didn’t hold up price at all — Ideal buy zone $8900-$9100 if we can get there,” Canfield concluded on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Mark Mobius, the founder of Mobius Capital Partners, told the press this week that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are “psycho currencies.” “I call them psycho currencies because it’s a matter of faith whether you believe in bitcoin or any of the other cyber-currencies,” Mobius explained during an interview.

Market Update: Prices Drop as Crypto Sentiment Enters the Fear Zone
“[The crypto surge] began with the European Central Bank and was followed swiftly by a U-turn into interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve,” Henny Sender said this week.

Meanwhile, traditional markets like stocks and bonds have been just as shaky and some people believe that institutional and retail investors are hedging macro risks with digital currencies. The Financial Times’ chief correspondent Henny Sender wrote a column for the Nikkei Asian Review which suggests central banks are pushing investors toward cryptocurrencies. “Central banks drive demand for bitcoin by devaluing their currencies,” the reporter detailed. “Cryptocurrency, wildly popular in China, is now a safe-haven asset.” Sender’s editorial continued:

Central banks have played a big role in driving this latest rally in crypto. That is because they have adopted policies which amount to competitive currency devaluations in the name of reflating their economies, in response to protectionist policies as the trade war leads to slower growth everywhere.

Market Update: Prices Drop as Crypto Sentiment Enters the Fear Zone
Today the current Fear & Greed Index is an 11, which points to “extreme fear” in regard to the crypto community’s emotions and sentiments.

For now, BTC, ETH, BCH and the rest of the top digital currencies are feeling the pressure of weak hands, day-trading scalpers, and short-sellers. Even with a large number of optimistic hopium huffers on crypto Twitter, people are uncertain of what will happen next according to sentiment data. The current Crypto Fear & Greed Index, which analyzes the emotions and sentiments from different sources and crunches them into one simple number, is low today. At press time, the Fear & Greed Index for BTC and other popular digital assets rests at “extreme fear” or #11. The index was in “fear” (39) yesterday, where it has spent the entire month.

Where do you see the price of bitcoin cash and the rest of the crypto markets heading from here? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”


Images via Shutterstock, Crypto Fear & Greed Index, Trading View, Bitcoin.com Markets, and Coinlib.io.


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The post Market Update: Prices Drop as Crypto Sentiment Enters the Fear Zone appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

The World Bank’s Blockchain Bond Is Just a Fancy Way of Selling Debt

Last year the World Bank and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia announced a permissioned Ethereum-based blockchain to facilitate the end-to-end issuance of bonds between financial partners. The Bretton Woods-created financial institution hopes to make debt capital markets far more efficient with a bank-to-bank blockchain network. At the same time, the World Bank’s bond scheme has been scrutinized for corporate and political collusion with global leaders and Fortune 500 multinational corporations.

Also read: Central Banks Worldwide Testing Their Own Digital Currencies

The World Bank’s Plans to Sell Debt via Blockchain

The World Bank wants to digitize bond markets and debt capital settlement on a private Ethereum blockchain. The project is led by three other large financial institutions in Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), RBC Capital Markets (RBC) and TD Securities (TD). According to the World Bank and CBA’s blog post, the project had gathered $81 Million for the issuance of distributed ledger-based bonds in August 2018. This year, on August 16, the World Bank revealed the project’s partners increased the liquidity of the blockchain bond by more than $33 million. Essentially the bank uses the private blockchain to issue a digitized instrument of indebtedness called the Bond-i, an autonomous smart contract token system that pays coupon payments over a length of time. The technicalities of the blockchain platform were developed by CBA’s Innovation Lab’s Blockchain Centre and the bank has revealed that the “blockchain platform’s architecture, security, and resilience was conducted by Microsoft.” Additionally, on the legal side of things, the project is supported by the litigation firm King & Wood Mallesons.

The World Bank’s Blockchain Bond Is Just a Fancy Way of Selling Debt
The World Bank was established in 1944 and is deeply rooted in Keynesian economics. Over the last year, the World Bank has been under scrutiny for participating in nepotism and corporate collusion, while also introducing a blockchain bond system built on a private Ethereum-based blockchain.

At its core, the project is very centralized with its permissioned distributed ledger only viewable by bank-to-bank associates, Microsoft, and a well-known law firm. Fundamentally, outside observers must take the World Bank and its partners’ press releases with a grain of salt. The ETH-like token of debt is in its initial stages and the $114 million locked into the project is mere pennies in comparison to what these banks play with when participating in debt capital markets worldwide. Eventually, the World Bank wants to include the institution’s annual lending of $50 billion to $60 billion. The asset manager Northern Trust and several Australian financial institutions and government entities participated in purchasing the Bond-i. With a two-year lifespan, the World Bank expects the Bond-i blockchain debt security to trade among buyers and sellers. Basically, the World Bank hopes to hide the fact that the institution’s bond scheme is inefficient because it only serves the bureaucrats and corporations, rather than countries buying the bonds.

The World Bank’s Blockchain Bond Is Just a Fancy Way of Selling Debt
So far the World Bank and its partners have issued more than $114 million into the Bond-i experiment, but they eventually want to process $50 to $60 billion worth of debt capital on a blockchain.

The IBRD: Selling Debt to Governments to End Extreme Poverty Since 1944

In order to understand what the Bond-i project is, it’s a good idea to gain some knowledge of what the World Bank’s operations entail. The World Bank was introduced as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) at the same time as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was announced. The two financial institutions were created after the 1944 Bretton Woods conference, and the IBRD concept was designed by the project’s principal architect and leading economist John Maynard Keynes. At the time, economists called the period between 1944 and 1971 the Bretton Woods era and IBRD was meant to provide financing to developing nations in need of an economic boost.

The World Bank’s Blockchain Bond Is Just a Fancy Way of Selling Debt
John Maynard Keynes (right) and Harry Dexter White were dubbed the founding fathers of both the World Bank bond scheme and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The whole concept was and still is deeply rooted in Keynesian Economics, a theory of total spending and using debt capital markets to affect the output of inflation. In essence, the IBRD is not much different than a loan shark who loans out zero to negative-interest credits and government bonds to countries in need. Despite the fact that spending and debt markets have produced high inflation rates, Keynesian economists behind the World Bank still believe it works. The World Bank says that the ultimate goal is to end extreme poverty by the year 2030, but so far it has only enriched fortune 500 companies, bankers, and politicians. As the Austrian economist Murray Rothbard once said: “It is easy to be conspicuously ‘compassionate’ if others are being forced to pay the cost.”

The Artificial and Insidious Bond Scheme Seriously Damages the Global Economy

This is because the global elite, politicians, world financiers, and the banking cartel are the only ones reaping the benefits of the World Bank’s debt selling scheme. Basically, the World Bank sells these bonds for real-world commodities and political influence and promises to pay bondholders interest or they promise to pay the full principal at a later maturity date. The biggest borrowers, who have secured bonds and loans through IBRD in 2018, include India ($859 million) and China ($370 million). In 1998, it was estimated that countries with very little economic resources owed the World Bank close to $2.5 trillion and the figure has risen more than $150 billion every year since.

The World Bank’s Blockchain Bond Is Just a Fancy Way of Selling Debt

After the IBRD secures real assets and commodities from loaning out government bonds and credits, the central banks in the countries purchase the borrowed IBRD bonds from the government on the open market. This, in turn, increases the country’s money supply which then fuels inflation and rising prices attached to goods and services. The World Bank’s bond system is no different than the insidious mechanisms that jeopardize the global economy like fractional reserve banking and quantitative easing. The World Bank selling debt in the form of bonds so central banks can print more money has the same effect as the direct manipulation of interest rates.

“If the government manages to establish paper tickets or bank credit as money, as equivalent to gold grams or ounces, then the government, as dominant money-supplier, becomes free to create money costlessly and at will,” explained Murray Rothbard of the growing credit and debt cycle in 1995. “As a result, this ‘inflation’ of the money supply destroys the value of the dollar or pound, drives up prices, cripples economic calculation, and hobbles and seriously damages the workings of the market economy.”

The World Bank’s Blockchain Bond Is Just a Fancy Way of Selling Debt

In the Midst of Selling Blockchain Bond Snake Oil, the World Bank Is Heavily Scrutinized for Nepotism

Despite the World Bank’s blockchain project being one of the highest-profile experiments of its kind, the institution has been under scrutiny for quite some time for allowing the growth of nepotistic behaviors. Last year, the bank was criticized for cronyism and corporate influence in a research report written by Rabia Malik and Randall Stone. The report explained that corrupt states skim development funds, technocrats manipulate statistics, and how bureaucrats participate in the political capture of international financial institutions (IFIs). Stone and Malik’s research shows that wealthier countries use the World Bank’s bond scheme to bolster their influence over political power.

“The World Bank withholds loan disbursements in order to build a reputation for enforcing conditionality, and multinational firms lobby for these funds to be released,” the research report details. “We find evidence of participation by Fortune 500 multinational corporations as project contractors and investments by these firms are associated with disbursements that are unjustified by project performance.”

The World Bank’s Blockchain Bond Is Just a Fancy Way of Selling Debt
The World Bank and its partners are selling blockchain snake oil in order to keep the bond shell game going strong.

It’s not too hard to notice the shell game taking place with the World Bank’s growing bond scheme and so-called ‘compassion’ toward poorer nations. Many people believe loan sharks of this capacity are not compassionate at all and are only selling debt to the unfortunate in a parasitic way. People like Ludwig von Mises, Lew Rockwell, Ron Paul, and Murray Rothbard have all explained how the World Bank is just another failed concept designed by John Maynard Keynes and his followers. Similarly, the Bond-i blockchain project is just a fancy form of selling debt but the process is not really transparent, unless you are a member of the banking cabal.

The World Bank’s Blockchain Bond Is Just a Fancy Way of Selling Debt
There is no cure for the broken economics and fallacies tied to Keynesian Economics and central planners.

Unlike public blockchains, the general public has no access to this project’s blockchain explorer and they likely never will. To skeptics, the $114 million locked in the Bond-i project is a joke and if the World Bank wishes to end the systematic global economic crisis it should stop interfering with the economy by selling debt. The world’s politicians and central bankers, however, are not ready to hit rock bottom as they wholeheartedly believe in interfering with the market’s adjustment process. Whether it’s hosted on a fancy blockchain or not, until the World Bank stops the bond scheme, the borrowing economies will remain manipulated and artificial.

What do you think about the World Bank’s new blockchain Bond-i project? What do you think about the World Bank/IBRD’s practices of selling debt to poor countries? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, World Bank logo, Wiki Commons, Pixabay, Jamie Redman, Peter VanValkenburgh, and WBG.


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The post The World Bank’s Blockchain Bond Is Just a Fancy Way of Selling Debt appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Indian Supreme Court Orders RBI to Answer Crypto Exchanges, New Date Set

Indian Supreme Court Orders RBI to Answer Crypto Exchanges, New Date Set

After hearing the arguments against the banking restriction by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in detail, the Indian supreme court directed the central bank to reply to the representations filed by crypto exchanges. Since the RBI has not adequately answered them, the court set a new date to resume hearing the case.

Also read: Central Banks Worldwide Testing Their Own Digital Currencies

The Crypto Hearing Resumes

The Supreme Court of India resumed hearing the case against the crypto banking ban by the central bank Wednesday after spending all day on it the previous day. Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, counsel for the central bank, continued to defend the RBI’s power to issue a banking ban. He started off by reading the disadvantages of cryptocurrency from the interministerial committee (IMC) report, Indian news platform Crypto Kanoon reported from the courtroom, elaborating:

The judge interrupts and asks how you [RBI] are concerned with consumer protection, it is not your concern. It is [the] government’s concern and not yours.

Indian Supreme Court Orders RBI to Answer Crypto Exchanges, New Date Set

Divan explained to the court why a ban is appropriate, then discussed the IMC recommendations and various crypto warnings issued by the central bank. He reiterated the point he made yesterday that the ability for cryptocurrency to be used for cross-border payments could undermine the country’s monetary policy. The RBI counsel proceeded to discuss the use of cryptocurrency in illicit activities, noting its “anonymity.” He cited a July 2018 report by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the May 2018 European Union directive.

India’s Payment and Settlement Systems Act 2007, the RBI Act and the Banking Regulation Act were examined. The counsel explained that the former gives the RBI power to issue policies to manage or operate its payment system, and regulate entities deemed a threat to it. The counsel additionally pointed out that provisions in the latter two acts empower the RBI to issue a banking ban.

The hearing resumed after a lunch break. Several past judgments were read out in favor of the RBI. After Divan concluded his arguments, the judge “asked the petitioners that RBI is an expert body which has taken decision on the basis of a study, who are we to interfere in their policy? The question is not whether it is arbitrary or not, but whether they can legislate or not when they are ‘satisfied’ under 35A” of Banking Regulation Act, Crypto Kanoon conveyed.

Next, Advocate Ashim Sood returned to present further arguments against the RBI ban. He asserted that the central bank cannot take action based on the study conducted by others, adding that its claim that cryptocurrencies are Ponzi schemes cannot be substantiated with data.

Indian Supreme Court Orders RBI to Answer Crypto Exchanges, New Date Set

During the hearing, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman directed the counsel to the representation filed with the RBI by crypto exchanges, which explains that there is no need for a ban. Sood read out some suggestions given to the central bank by exchanges such as making the Money Laundering Act applicable to them as intermediaries with appropriate requirements. The judge proceeded to question why the central bank has not properly responded to the representation. “You just said that we are forwarding to [the] government,” Crypto Kanoon quoted him as saying, noting that he “Angrily says this is not an answer.” The judge further expressed, “Exchanges are not asking to uplift the ban but they are only asking you to reconsider. If you don’t give [an] answer to it, I will pass the judgment.”

Justice Nariman has deferred the case for two weeks for the RBI to respond in an appropriate manner, which the central bank has agreed to, according to Crypto Kanoon. The court is set to “rehear the arguments on 25th September, on the reply/ reconsideration to be given by RBI to the exchanges’ representations,” the news platform described, adding that the court order states:

After hearing arguments we are of the view that detailed representations by exchanges … have not been answered point by point, therefore RBI to reply them within 2 weeks.

Past Three Hearings & Crypto Regulation

Before Wednesday’s hearing, the Indian supreme court partially heard the crypto case on Aug. 8, Aug. 14, and Aug. 20. On Aug. 8, the court began addressing crypto-related writ petitions, some of which challenge the banking restriction by the central bank, while others concern the country’s crypto regulation. The Indian government asked the court to postpone hearing the latter petitions since it may introduce a bill on cryptocurrency in the next session of parliament. These petitions are now scheduled to be heard in the last week of January 2020. The court, however, began hearing the arguments against the RBI ban in detail.

Indian Supreme Court Orders RBI to Answer Crypto Exchanges, New Date Set

The counsel for the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) was the first to present his arguments to invalidate the RBI circular, issued in April last year to ban banks from providing services to crypto businesses. He challenged the power of the central bank over crypto at length. After the IAMAI counsel concluded his arguments, the counsel for exchanges began making his case against the RBI ban. When he was done, the counsel for the central bank started defending the RBI’s power to issue the crypto banking ban. The hearing lasted all day on Aug. 20.

There is currently no specific regulation for cryptocurrency in India. However, the government has been working on the country’s crypto policies since 2017. The aforementioned IMC was constituted on Nov. 2, 2017, to study all aspects of cryptocurrencies and provide recommendations. The committee’s report was submitted to the government in February and made public on July 22. Within the report is a draft bill to ban cryptocurrencies, which is being examined by relevant regulators, according to the finance ministry.

Do you think the RBI will change its mind and lift the banking ban? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post Indian Supreme Court Orders RBI to Answer Crypto Exchanges, New Date Set appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

PR: Kinesis Partners With Hardware Wallet Provider CoolbitX

PR: Kinesis Partners With Hardware Wallet Provider CoolbitX

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

21/08/2019, London: Kinesis is proud to announce a partnership with CoolBitX Technology, the developers of the world’s first credit card-sized hardware wallet, the CoolWallet S. This partnership will enable Kinesis digital currencies, KAU (1-gram gold) and KAG (1-ounce silver), along with the Kinesis Velocity Token (KVT) to be stored on the CoolWallet S hardware wallet, along with other cryptocurrencies.

The hardware wallet is a contemporary mobile solution that secures crypto assets and empowers the user. As thin as a credit card, it can fit safely in the user’s pocket or wallet, giving discreet access to your holdings, on the go, wherever you are.

Compatible on both Android and iOS, the usability and the patented water-proof and tamper-proof security make the CoolWallet S the cold wallet of choice for those seeking a secure, innovative and convenient cold storage solution.

This unique partnership has been formed with Kinesis customers in mind, as storage of Kinesis currencies on the CoolWallet S will still track and deliver fee-sharing yields to holders. This new form of “cool storage” is set to be integrated with the Kinesis Blockchain Network, and provides users with an added layer of security by having their gold and silver currencies safely secured in an offline environment.

The CoolBitX mission is closely aligned with Kinesis’s vision to provide blockchain solutions that allow for safe and active participation for everyone. To deliver a bridge between blockchain technology and everyday use this partnership forms a key component in making digital currencies more accessible, marking an important milestone in the blockchain industry.

CoolBitX has greatly reduced the threat from third-party phishing scams by offering its own app in combination with its hardware. This end-to-end protection will provide Kinesis currency holders with greater security and control of their digital currencies, over and above any other hard wallet solution available on the market today.

Michael Ou, CEO of CoolBitX, said: “We are proud to be the partner of choice for Kinesis in offering their customers a safe, user-friendly way of securing their digital assets. Our CoolWallet S solution is aimed at giving consumers the certainty that their assets are secure, while maintaining flexibility and ease of use through bluetooth connectivity. The KAU and KAG tokens serve as valuable additions to the CoolBitX ecosystem, as the first precious-metal backed tokens on CoolWallet S, while the Kinesis team share our overall ambition of providing a safe and efficient user experience for all members of the trading community.”

Thomas Coughlin, CEO Kinesis comments: “Our customers expressed the need for a secure, hard wallet solution to protect their Kinesis currencies and we listened. We are very excited to be able to deliver this solution to our customers and even happier still, with such a cutting edge product built by an industry leader in hard wallet technology. CoolWallet is a great solution and we look forward to launching this as an option that provides our customers with greater peace of mind.”

About Kinesis
Kinesis is a monetary system based on the traditionally stable commodities, gold and silver. Kinesis users can instantly spend their precious metals holdings at point of sale anywhere in the world with the Kinesis debit card or transfer directly over the blockchain in seconds, opening up fast cross-border payments with low transaction fees.

Unlike other gold and silver backed cryptocurrencies, Kinesis currencies are divisible digital units of physical gold and silver, using the blockchain as a medium of exchange and a registry of ownership.

Holders of the Kinesis currencies have allocated legal title to the underlying physical bullion holdings, eliminating counterparty risk and allowing for physical redemption directly from one of seven Kinesis vaulting providers.

This system is made safe and reliable through a plethora of strategic and technical partnerships with deep roots in the precious metals and exchange industries.

The Kinesis Velocity Token is a utility token attached to the success of the Kinesis system, providing participants with a 20% share of all the transaction fees generated proportionate to their holdings of the limited 300k supply.

Over 79,000 KVTs have been sold to date and are currently for sale to the public at USD1,000/KVT.
KVTs are now in the public sale period, ending on 30th August 2019. More information available at www.kinesis.money

About CoolBitX
CoolBitX Technology Ltd. (CBX) is an international blockchain security company that specializes in designing and implementing U.S.-patented digital asset compliance software and hardware platforms for millions of global users. Founded in 2014 by Michael Ou and backed by an investment from SBI Holdings, CoolBitX introduced its first generation wallet in 2016, and released the CoolWallet S in 2018. With all its security features pared down to the size of a credit card, CoolWallet S is the world’s first hardware wallet that allows for bluetooth-enabled pairing with users’ mobile phones. CoolWallet S also stores multiple digital assets, including BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, BCH, ZEN, BNB, and ERC20 tokens. Currently, CoolBitX is focused on the development of Sygna, a complete KYC/AML solution that will foster optimal regulatory compliance and greatly improve the reputation and operations of the virtual currency industry at large. For more information on CoolBitX, visit https://coolbitx.com/.

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. 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 content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Source: Bitcoinnews.com

High-Powered Mining Rigs Drive Bitcoin’s Accelerating Hashrate

High-Powered Mining Rigs Drive Bitcoin's Accelerating Hashrate

On August 19, the combined SHA-256 hashrate between the BCH and BTC networks touched a massive high of over 91 exahash per second (EH/s). One notable contribution to today’s network hashrates is the manufacturing of next-generation mining rigs that produce a significant number of terahash. Currently, the top machine released this summer is Pangolin’s Microbt Whatsminer M20S, generating a whopping 68-70 terahash per second (TH/s).

Also read: Another Self-Proclaimed Satoshi Fails to Sway Crypto Community

Bitcoin’s Hashrate Keeps on Climbing

After the birth of application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) built for the SHA-256 consensus algorithm (BTC, BCH), the landscape of manufacturers has looked very different. Even over the course of the last two years, mining producers have changed substantially except for Bitmain, which has managed to survive through every stage. The top mining rig creators in 2019 include companies like Bitmain, Pangolin, Innosilicon, Ebang, Asicminer, and Canaan.

High-Powered Mining Rigs Drive Bitcoin's Accelerating Hashrate
The combined SHA-256 hashrate between BCH and BTC is steadily approaching 100 exahash per second.

Pangolin, Innosilicon, Bitmain, and Strongu have all produced new miners in 2019. The top mining rig this month is the new Pangolin Microbt Whatsminer M20S, a machine that produces 68-70TH/s at top speeds. Unlike most of the manufacturers located in China, the Shenzhen Bit Microelectronics Whatsminer M20S hasn’t sold out yet. The unit consumes about 3360W off the wall and its two fans have a higher sound level than most competitors as the M20S generates 75db.

High-Powered Mining Rigs Drive Bitcoin's Accelerating Hashrate
The Whatsminer M20S model from Pangolin/Microbt mining performs at 68 to 70TH/s with a power consumption of 3360W off the wall. The M20S version uses TSMC-created 12nm semiconductors.

The M20S has TSMC wafered 12nm chips powering the devices. Pangolin is known for creating machines that produce competitive hashrates but with different sized chips. More than a year ago when companies like GMO and other manufacturers were seeking to score 7nm chips, Pangolin was still using 28nm and 16nm chips. However, the Whatsminer M3 and M10 produced between 12TH/s to 33TH/s using those chips. Pangolin may have got a deal on the 12nm chips as TSMC had slow orders on the 12nm and 8nm in April. According to the business, there have been six batches of Whatsminer M20S models sold so far. Each device is $2,629, and at $0.13 per kWh, the device makes between $9-11.50 a day at current BTC prices and network difficulty. Today, at a price of $318-325 per BCH plus the difficulty (287,507,454.73), profits can fluctuate between -2% to +2% processing either the BTC or BCH chains. The new Whatsminer M20S has received good reviews in comparison to the Asicminer 8 Nano Pro which was released in May 2018.

High-Powered Mining Rigs Drive Bitcoin's Accelerating Hashrate
The new Whatsminer M20S has received decent reviews online and there’s a few filmed performance tests as well. Unlike the Asicminer 8 Nano Pro there are resellers on the second market for Pangolin/Microbt brand devices.

Three Antminer Models With More Than 50 Terahash

Statistics show that the Asicminer 8 Nano Pro would be the second most powerful SHA-256 miner with 76TH/s per unit. However, the company is completely sold out and second market reviews are not very good. In fact, there are videos and reviews online warning people not to invest in the Asicminer 8 and the 8 Nano Pro. There are no second market resellers and nearly all the reviews stemming from every Asicminer product in existence have been negative. With a machine launched last year that costs $11,600 per unit and requires a minimum order of five units, it seems most mining operations did not invest in this model.

High-Powered Mining Rigs Drive Bitcoin's Accelerating Hashrate
Bitmain’s Antminer S17 series produces between 50 to 56TH/s depending on the model. Reviews are good, the company is still shipping batches and there are second market resellers as well.

Following the Asicminer statistics, the next three miners in the top five are manufactured by Bitmain, namely the Antminer S17 Pro series (53TH/s), S17 (56TH/s), and the 50TH/s S17 Pro version. The three new Antminers pull in around $7-10 per day with electricity rates at $0.13 per kWh.

High-Powered Mining Rigs Drive Bitcoin's Accelerating Hashrate
Local reports in China have revealed that Bitmain recently placed an order for “30,000 7nm wafers from TSMC.”

Older Mining Rigs Still Profit

All of Bitmain’s new S17 series miners are available to the public and the latest batches begin shipping in December. The prices for the new Antminer models are between $2,727 to $2,969 per unit. The Bitmain mining rigs are equipped with TSMC wafered 7nm chips and depending on the model each machine consumes 1975W to 2520W off the wall. The only other company that manufactures a mining rig that performs above 50TH/s would be the sixth most profitable miner today: the Innosilicon Terminator 3 (T3). The T3 processes the SHA-256 algorithm at around 53TH/s and can make anywhere between $5-9 a day with an electric rate of $0.13 per kWh. Mining rig manufacturers that have a few machines that produce terahash just below the 50TH/s mark include the new Strongu STU-U8 (46TH/s) launched in January and the Ebang Ebit E11 ++ (44TH/s) released in 2018.

High-Powered Mining Rigs Drive Bitcoin's Accelerating Hashrate
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Newer machines producing 40-70+TH/s are definitely leading the pack despite the fact they pull a lot more wattage. Although with current crypto prices still quite profitable, many older machines are still taking in daily revenue. This includes the Antminer T15, Bitfury Tardis, and the Ebang Ebit E11+, making between $2-4 per day. At today’s prices, the two most profitable SHA-256 coins (BCH, BTC) continue to gain hashpower. The hashrate growth doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon, with the new high-powered machines responsible for much of the increase.

What do you think about the next-generation mining rigs pushing the SHA-256 hashrate upwards? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned companies, and websites associated with this article. Bitcoin.com or the author 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 content, goods or services, mining manufacturers, and mining products mentioned in this article. This editorial review is for informational purposes only.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Bitmain, Pangolin-Microbt, Asicminervalue.com, Fork.lol, and Pixabay.


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RBI Defends Its Power Over Crypto in Indian Supreme Court

RBI Defends Its Power Over Crypto in Indian Supreme Court

The Indian supreme court heard the case against the crypto banking restriction by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in detail Tuesday. After many arguments challenging the RBI’s power over crypto were presented, the counsel for the central bank began making the case against cryptocurrency.

Also read: RBI’s Power Over Crypto Challenged at Length in Indian Supreme Court

Today’s Hearing

The Supreme Court of India resumed hearing the crypto case extensively on Aug. 20, after hearing it in-depth twice over the past two weeks. Advocate Ashim Sood, counsel for the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), continued his arguments against the banking restriction by the central bank, Indian news and analysis platform Crypto Kanoon reported from the courtroom.

Sood brought up the crypto law passed in the U.S. state of Wyoming, the guidelines adopted by the state of New York, and the Howey test used by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to determine whether a token sale is a security offering, Crypto Kanoon detailed. Sood went on to discuss the crypto regulatory approaches taken by the G20 countries, as well as the guidance issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to combat the illicit use of crypto assets.

RBI Defends Its Power Over Crypto in Indian Supreme Court

The counsel proceeded to point out that the central bank’s claim that the effect of cryptocurrency on the Indian economy is negligible is not based on any study the RBI has conducted. Several past judgments were read out to the court before the counsel concluded his arguments.

Senior Advocate Nakul Dewan then began arguing on behalf of exchanges, starting with a brief history of cryptocurrency, Crypto Kanoon conveyed. Dewan proceeded to talk about RBI’s concerns, types of cryptocurrencies, and the advantages of blockchain technology in the banking and financial sectors. He also read out some parts of the interministerial committee (IMC) report. The IMC was constituted on Nov. 2, 2017, to study all aspects of cryptocurrencies and provide recommendations.

The hearing continued after a lunch break with many more arguments against the ban, Crypto Kanoon further reported. The counsel asserted that the RBI should put crypto under a framework to ensure compliance instead of banning, noting that the central bank had recognized that the crypto industry needs to be monitored to avoid tax evasion, AML risks, and a shift to the dark web. He further argued that the money deposited in a bank belongs to the depositors, not the RBI or the bank which is only a custodian of the deposited money.

RBI Defends Its Power Over Crypto in Indian Supreme Court

The court then heard from Senior Advocate Shyam Diwan who argued on behalf of the RBI. Noting that cryptocurrency is a means of payment, he claims that it has a direct impact on the country’s monetary and payment systems, particularly if more people continue to use it for this purpose. Further, its use for cross-border transactions is also a problem for the central bank, Crypto Kanoon described. The RBI counsel read the budget speech by former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and cited various hacking incidents worldwide including one at Indian exchange Coinsecure. Before the court adjourned, Diwan argued that bitcoin and cryptocurrency are Ponzi schemes, noting price bubbles and the large consumption of electricity used in mining. The hearing will resume tomorrow.

Two Previous Hearings

Prior to Tuesday’s hearing, the Indian supreme court partially heard the crypto case on Aug. 8 and Aug. 14. On both days, Sood argued against the banking ban by the central bank, which issued a circular in April last year banning financial institutions from providing services to crypto businesses. The ban went into effect 90 days later, forcing a number of crypto businesses to shut down due to the lack of banking support.

Sood challenged the RBI’s power to exert such a ban, arguing that the aforementioned circular is not valid under statutes such as the RBI Act and the Banking Regulation Act. “RBI cannot step out of its powers as set out in [the] Banking Regulation Act. Therefore, its action against private businesses in the form of a circular is illegal,” the counsel was quoted by The Economic Times as saying.

RBI Defends Its Power Over Crypto in Indian Supreme Court

After giving several reasons to invalidate the RBI ban, Sood began educating the judge on the basics of cryptocurrency and how major countries, including the G20 nations, regulate crypto assets. The hearing adjourned on Aug. 14 after the regulatory framework for cryptocurrency adopted by the state of New York was discussed.

Indian Crypto Regulation to Be Examined in January

As for the writ petitions concerning India’s crypto regulation, the supreme court is set to hear them at the end of January. On Aug. 8, the Indian government asked the court to postpone hearing these petitions until it has introduced a bill on cryptocurrency, which may be during the next parliament session in November and December. The court agreed and moved the hearing to the end of January 2020.

The Indian government is currently deliberating on a cryptocurrency bill submitted by the aforementioned IMC. The committee was headed by former Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) Subhash Chandra Garg, who was recently removed from his DEA position and appointed to the Power Ministry. He subsequently applied for voluntary retirement.

RBI Defends Its Power Over Crypto in Indian Supreme Court

A week before Garg’s removal, the IMC report containing a draft crypto bill was made public. The bill entitled Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency seeks to ban all cryptocurrencies except state-issued ones.

Following the public release of the IMC report, an increasing number of crypto industry participants have voiced their concerns regarding how flawed the report and bill are, calling for lawmakers to re-examine the IMC recommendations. The Indian crypto community, along with large trade associations such as the IAMAI and the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), have repeatedly said that banning is not a solution.

What do you think of the Indian supreme court hearing today? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and The Financial Express.


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PR: Plan Flash – Decentralized Data Processing

PR: Plan Flash - Decentralized Data Processing

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Data processing is indispensable everywhere and all the time in modern life. The daily services we use every day, such as face recognition, voice assistant, text recognition, automatic recommendation, automatic data analysis and so on, all have a large number of data processing requirements and service support.

In fact, data processing services are currently one of the fastest growing and most profitable sectors in the ICT industry. In its first forecast of the “whole cloud” opportunity, International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that worldwide whole industry’s revenues will reach $554 billion in 2021, which represents more than double those of 2016. For the full 2018 year, AWS brought in $25.7 billion revenue to Amazon with a 47% jump on the 2017 year.

Huge Gap between the demand and the supply in near future
Exploding data and the demand for further processing brings severe challenges for the industry. Predicted by Cisco, that the “usable” data produced in 2021 (nearly 90% of the predicted data generated by 2021 will be ephemeral in nature and will be neither saved nor stored) is larger in size compared to the forecasted data center traffic generated per year by a factor of four. Meanwhile, there is a growing demand for computing power from industries and scientific communities to run large applications and process huge volumes of data.

A new form of decentralized cloud that can enable blockchain computing would be needed. We also need to rebuild the business model for lowing the cost of infrastructure usage and meet the enormously increasing demand of data processing. This gap could be filled with blockchain-based decentralized solutions.

Rethinking Decentralized Approaches
Many projects brings their decentralized solutions based on blockchain like iExec, Plan Flash, DADI and Difinity, etc.. Commonly they use a mix of peer-to-peer ad hoc networking, local cloud computing, grid computing, fog computing, distributed data storage and other more sophisticated solutions. However, these decentralized solutions still present many challenges:

1. Making the infrastructure scalable, considering the current scalability limitations of blockchain infrastructures.
2. Ensuring the right incentivization plan is in place for resource providers by guaranteeing fair income distribution.
3. Verifying the computation is done in a proper manner, to avoid potential malicious attacks. Some projects use reputational management techniques, though these techniques need to offer the right balance between weight of reputations and market entry cost.
4. Dealing with diversified hardware, like individual computers, pads, laptops or different servers in various maintenances, as well as the unknown environments that may affect the performance of these computing resources.
5. Dealing with unprecedented collaboration, coordination, and connectivity for each piece, like an individual computer, in the system, and throughout the system as a whole.
All these challenges above haven’t been completely conquered today. The services are not cheap in consider of their real performance. On the contrary, with a practical manner, Plan Flash brings a new combination of data processors and blockchain, to meet the real demand and requirements of data processing around the globe.

What’s Plan Flash?
PLAN FLASH is a powerful distributed global system for general-purpose and selected-purpose data computing and processing. It aims to create a global decentralized marketplace of data processing capability: highly accessible, fault tolerant, secure and cheaper than centralized competition.
Plan Flash also enable individual owners of computing resources to stable income from renting it out. To enable visionary small investors to rent processors and earn lucrative profits with great potential.
In long run Plan Flash is going to create a global blockchain-based distributed data-processing infrastructure for the world’s intelligent age. To support decentralized applications and various data processing procedures in the future.

Supporting Link
https://planflash.org/

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. 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 content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Source: Bitcoinnews.com

‘Amazon of Japan’ Rakuten Launches Crypto Exchange Service

'Amazon of Japan' Rakuten Launches Crypto Exchange Service, Others Following Suit

Rakuten, the “Amazon of Japan,” announced the launch of its new crypto exchange platform Monday, August 19, offering spot trading of crypto assets via a dedicated smartphone app. The e-commerce giant has been crypto-friendly for a while now, experimenting and investing in crypto payment systems since at least 2014, but with the launch of the wallet exchange service, Rakuten Bank users are now able to buy, sell, and exchange BTC, BCH, and ETH, as well as utilize fiat off-ramps to personal bank accounts. Other formidable forces in e-commerce are working hard to jump on board the crypto train as well.

Also Read: Another Self-Proclaimed Satoshi Fails to Sway Crypto Community

Optimism for Crypto

“Rakuten” means “optimism” in Japanese, and with all the effort the e-commerce leader has been pouring into blockchain and crypto development over the past years, that positive moniker makes sense. With a market cap of $14.5 billion, over 17,000 employees worldwide, and $10 billion in sales as of May, Japan’s internet commerce behemoth is ubiquitous in the land of the rising sun, and elsewhere.

In a press release from Tokyo yesterday, Rakuten Wallet Inc., a subsidiary of Rakuten Group, announced the start of its long-awaited crypto trading app and exchange service:

Through the smartphone app, customers can make transactions for crypto asset trading accounts, such as depositing/withdrawing Japanese yen and depositing/withdrawing crypto assets, 24 hours a day, 365 days a yearThree types of crypto assets can be traded: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

The app features a multisig-based “cold wallet” for user funds, and “There are no fees for opening or managing an account, purchasing or selling crypto assets, or depositing money,” according to the press release. While the company uses the term “cold” in describing the wallet, it is important to note that the actual meaning here is simply offline storage, and as such security is not solely in the hands of the account holder.

'Amazon of Japan' Rakuten Launches Crypto Exchange Service

Application Process: Convenience In, Privacy Out

For those applying for a Rakuten Wallet account, the process is pretty straightforward. “Customers who already have a bank account with Rakuten Bank will be able to easily open a Rakuten Wallet account simply by entering the required information on the online application form,” the press release confirms.

However, privacy-minded crypto users may find the application off-putting. Japan is arguably the world leader in crypto regulation and adoption, with rigorous KYC and AML protocols implemented industry-wide thanks to Japan’s FSA (Financial Services Agency). The veritable dating game-style personal quiz prior to signing up is reflective of this reality.

Applicants must answer several questions even after opening a Rakuten Bank account including private details relating to one’s job, purpose for opening the account, and income. They must also state how many years they have been active in the crypto space. This is in stark contrast to private, P2P exchanges like local.bitcoin.com, where the only thing needed is an email address.

'Amazon of Japan' Rakuten Launches Crypto Exchange Service

Rakuten’s Push Echoed by Amazon, Others

Establishing the Rakuten Blockchain Lab in 2016 after an earlier investment in Bitnet, a wallet/payments software firm in 2014, Rakuten is no stranger to crypto. In terms of the breakneck speed proliferation of Japanese regulations and crypto adoption, 2014 seems like light years ago to most. The Tokyo-based company is not alone, though, with other movers and shakers in the industry having also been putting in the time and research, and now seem to be making plans to jump on board with similar projects.

An official patent document from May reveals that Amazon is researching Merkle Tree solutions to proof-of-work challenges for unknown applications. Though Amazon does not directly accept crypto payments like Rakuten’s American site does, via the integration of the Bitnet portal, similar developments may soon be in the works for America’s retail juggernaut. Already the Amazon Coin digital currency is a reality.

'Amazon of Japan' Rakuten Launches Crypto Exchange Service

Rakuten’s CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani, announced in early 2018 that the company was working on its own crypto token, “Rakuten Coin” to be integrated with the extremely popular Rakuten points system in Japan. Currently these points can be exchanged for bitcoin via the Japanese site.

Amazon has further created a stir in the media in past years by buying up crypto-related domain names such as amazoncryptocurrency.com, amazoncryptocurrencies.com, and amazonethereum.com. While this could be simple brand protection, based on the company’s recent research and investments, real speculation does seem warranted. Especially considering that other companies on similarly herculean tiers of mega financial success like Walmart, Facebook, and Google are all investigating and experimenting with blockchain and crypto as well.

Japan Still Skeptical of Exchanges

Though the Rakuten announcement is big news for crypto enthusiasts in Japan, some remain skeptical. With massive losses of funds at Mt. Gox, Coincheck, and most recently Bitpoint, customer confidence in Japan-based exchange services has suffered. Even lesser known issues relating to regulatory changes have left a sour taste in the mouth of many. Tokyo-based exchange Bitflyer, for example, froze user accounts in 2018 with no clear notification, citing “general maintenance” and the need to comply with official regulatory audits. Some users had crypto frozen on the exchange for weeks, with little to no assistance from customer service.

'Amazon of Japan' Rakuten Launches Crypto Exchange Service

Rakuten’s Positive Push

Japan’s troubles of the past notwithstanding, Rakuten Wallet is pushing forward, with its Android app already available and an iOS implementation expected sometime in September. The service is set to be available 24-7, 365 days a year, except for maintenance periods. Fees only apply for withdrawals of Japanese yen and crypto assets. According to the press release “The app also features many useful functions that allow customers to effectively manage their crypto assets, such as confirmation of assets deposited in Rakuten Wallet, the purchase and sale of crypto assets, and real-time chart rate confirmation.”

The optimistic foray into crypto is perhaps to be expected from the group that is already an online mall, credit card company, Japan’s largest online bank, and owns an actual baseball team. With Rakuten riding the crypto wave in the East, and spreading integration worldwide, it can’t be too long until other giants follow suit.

What are your thoughts on Rakuten’s announcement? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, fair use.


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How to Bequeath Your Digital Assets to Your Descendants

How to Bequeath Your Digital Assets to Your Descendants

Depending on your belief system, death is either the endgame or the next level. Whatever lies on the other side, your bitcoins are no good there. Just as we entered this world with nothing, we are destined to leave it with nothing. All those years spent stacking sats needn’t be in vain, however. New and improved tools have made it easier to bequeath your crypto to your next of kin.

Also read: As US Expands Subprime Mortgage Program, Is a New Crisis Looming?

Digital Inheritance Demands Modern Solutions

According to John Milton, “Death is the golden key that opens the palace of eternity.” That may be, but that key won’t unlock your crypto wallet when you’re gone. It’s a task that calls for a private key – a 256-bit number that enables your coins to be spent. You could just hand a copy of this key to your next of kin, or leave it in a safe deposit box with strict instructions for the executor of your estate, but to do so would be to place your trust in the goodwill and competence of others. Safe deposit boxes aren’t safe at all, while family can’t necessarily be relied on to resist touching your tokens until the appointed time.

How to Bequeath Your Digital Assets to Your Descendants

The solution, for a growing number of cryptocurrency users, has been to utilize purpose-built digital inheritance software that promises to automate the process on your behalf. TrustVerse is a protocol for handling digital assets, including the management and ownership of digital identities. Pluto is its legacy planning service for cryptocurrency owners. After selecting an inheritance design that dictates the conditions under which the assets can be bequeathed, a smart contract is set up to administer the process. Should the owner pass away suddenly, the inheritor can submit a certificate of death to gain access to the assets locked into Pluto’s smart contract. There are also provisions to cover multiple beneficiaries, who must reach consensus before funds can be unlocked.

Other Ways to Bequeath Your Crypto

The crypto space is surprisingly light on other turnkey digital inheritance solutions. Safe Haven appears close to finally shipping its product. It allows you to add a verified legal entity to your inheritance plan, but there is also the option to enable a fully automated solution that uses smart contracts to trigger a so-called dead man’s switch after a certain period of time.

Similar technology is utilized in Last Will, a BCH inheritance solution that news.Bitcoin.com covered in April. It too contains a dead man’s switch with a six-month trigger that will make the coins available to the inheritor unless the owner refreshes the Last Will agreement. It’s not a foolproof solution by any means, but it’s an effective way of preparing for the unexpected. If you’re planning a solo trek to the North Pole, locking your coins into Last Will might make sense. It also benefits from being a fully non-custodial solution, whose code can be inspected on Github. The value of a decentralized inheritance solution is significant: one project that sought to tackle this challenge, Digipulse, died before anyone could use it.

How to Bequeath Your Digital Assets to Your Descendants

Italian startup Crypto360 has devised a secure off-chain back-up service for wallet seeds and private keys that’s specifically designed for digital inheritance. Its website doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, however, and bitcoiners may conclude that they would be better off stashing a hardware wallet in a safe place and leaving instructions to its whereabouts in a sealed will.

Crypto and Inheritance Tax

Where there’s death, there’s taxes, and crypto assets are no exception. In both the U.K. and the U.S., cryptocurrency is treated as property, which means inheritance tax is technically due on any digital currencies your descendants receive.

Koinly founder Robin Singh told news.Bitcoin.com: “Crypto is basically property, so the inheritance tax applies but the tax-free limit for it is so high that very few people are ever going to be hit by it. It’s been dubbed the ‘Paris Hilton tax’ for a reason.” The tax software specialist is referring to America’s inheritance tax which is only due on estates worth more than $5.4 million. As a result, only 0.2% of U.S. estates are estimated to be liable for the tax. Unless you’ve been building up bitcoin since 2011, you’re probably excused.

How to Bequeath Your Digital Assets to Your Descendants

Take Care of Your Crypto and Your Crypto Will Care of You and Yours

Bitcoin is self-sovereign money. It demands that its owner takes action to preserve it, without the safety net of state-built protections in the event of loss through theft or carelessness. As a result, most cryptocurrency owners are already proactive when it comes to safeguarding their assets. Caring for the things you hold dear extends this obligation to finding a way to pass them on to your nearest and dearest when the time comes.

Planning for the worst while hoping for the best means ensuring there’s a way for your heirs to inherit your digital assets without being forced to guess passwords, piece together recovery phrases, or track down 2FA codes. Making your crypto secure enough to survive this life, while making it easily transferable once you pass on to the next life is harder than it sounds. Get it right, though, and you can relax in the knowledge that your coin-accumulating efforts won’t be in vain – whatever the future may hold.

How to Bequeath Your Digital Assets to Your Descendants
Hal Finney

As Hal Finney wrote, a little over a year before his death in 2014:

Discussions about inheriting your bitcoins are of more than academic interest. My bitcoins are stored in our safe deposit box, and my son and daughter are tech savvy. I think they’re safe enough. I’m comfortable with my legacy.

What do you think is the most effective method for handling digital inheritance? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Source: Bitcoinnews.com

As US Expands Subprime Mortgage Program, Is a New Crisis Looming?

US Expands Subprime Mortgage Program, Is a New Crisis Looming?

The Federal Housing Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, has recently adopted new guidelines widening the scope of condo purchases eligible for lower down payment loans insured by the government. While that could lead to more members of certain social groups buying a first home, critics fear a new subprime mortgage crisis could be in the making, given the current state of the residential property market.

Also read: Passing the Burden of Negative Rates to Bank Clients Opens Door for Cryptocurrencies

Another Trump Card Pulled Out

Upcoming elections have a strong influence over politicians which makes ‘end justifies the means’ decisions irresistible. President Trump’s second term is at stake in 2020 and that has already led to increased pressure from the White House on the Fed to further lower interest rates. With almost no inflation, the United States is “needlessly being forced to pay a MUCH higher interest rate than other countries only because of a very misguided Federal Reserve,” the president tweeted last month.

The Fed did cut the benchmark interest rate recently by a quarter percentage point to 2.25%, despite its insistence on being independent from the executive power in Washington. That was the first downward revision in more than a decade. Those who think the dollar is overpriced in a looming trade war hurting American exports and that the U.S. government is paying a high price for its debt have welcomed the rate cut. Others are not so sure about the long-term consequences.

As US Expands Subprime Mortgage Program, Is a New Crisis Looming?

Another pre-election trump card that could garner more votes for the president and improve his image in certain communities came from the latest decision by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to make it easier for first-time homebuyers to receive a loan for a new home. On Wednesday, the agency announced its updated rules for the types of mortgages it will insure. The new guidelines expand the scope of condo purchases eligible for lower down payments than banks would normally accept.

Until now, only around 6.5% of the 150,000 condominium developments in the U.S. were eligible for FHA-backed mortgages, but under the new rules the administration will start backing loans for individual units and will be more flexible to adapt to the changing market. According to FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery, quoted by the Los Angeles Times, the changes will indeed make it easier for first-time buyers, retirees and minorities to become homeowners.

FHA Loans for Low Income Borrowers

The loans are issued by an FHA-approved lender and insured by the administration. They are targeted at low and moderate income citizens, require lower minimum down payments and are available even for those with credit scores as low as 500. With FHA-backed mortgages, applicants that qualify for the program can borrow up to 96.5% of the value of the property they want to purchase. That means that the down payment can be as low as 3.5%, unlike conventional loans where it’s typically 20% or more. The down payment can not only come from personal savings but also as a gift from a family member or as a financial grant.

As US Expands Subprime Mortgage Program, Is a New Crisis Looming?

However, these easier to get loans come with some additional charges. Borrowers have to pay an upfront mortgage insurance premium, 1.75% of the base loan amount, and an annual mortgage insurance premium, which varies between 0.45% and 1.05% depending on the amount and the length of the mortgage as well as the loan-to-value ratio. The funds from the premium payments are deposited into an escrow account controlled by the Treasury and used to cover mortgage payments in case a borrower defaults on their loan.

Due to stricter regulations introduced after the 2008 financial crisis, which was sparked by a crash in the U.S. subprime mortgage market, FHA mortgages decreased significantly in the past decade, from almost 73,000 in 2010 to a little over 16,000 in 2018, as reported by the Associated Press. With the recently introduced rules, the number of FHA-insured loans for condos is expected to increase to 60,000 annually. According to an analysis conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development last year, the wider availability of mortgages could also increase construction by 7,000 units.

Unclear Consequences for the Market

The end results of the FHA’s new policy are far from certain. It remains unclear how the new rules are going to affect home ownership rates in the United States, where real estate prices have increased faster than incomes in the past few years. The number of new homes for sale is also lower than the average in previous periods. Supply remains limited, with developers focusing their efforts on the luxury housing segment.

At first glance, the measure is going to benefit not only first-time homebuyers in general, but also retirees looking for a smaller home, seniors seeking a reverse mortgage and members of some minorities. The program has historically helped African American and Hispanic buyers to make their first condo purchase.

As US Expands Subprime Mortgage Program, Is a New Crisis Looming?

But the Trump administration has also admitted to denying government-backed loans to certain groups. For example, young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children are not eligible for FHA loans. The revelation came out in June after earlier this year the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson denied that people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status are being turned down.

The government in Washington is also reducing the share of home equity mortgage borrowers can access and withdraw through cash-out refinancing. The FHA plans to limit the loan amounts to a maximum of 80% of the value of the property from 85% previously. This type of refinance has spread in recent years, reaching over 60% of the FHA’s refinance activity last year. Their popularity has grown along with rising home values and mortgage rates.

More Americans have started using the cash-out loans to finance home improvements and that includes retirees who have opted to keep their home instead of moving to a smaller one. But the trend has also alarmed the Federal Housing Administration whose representatives fear it is increasing the risks for their mortgage program. Foreclosure starts on FHA loans hit a two-year high in January, Marketwatch reported. And in the first half of the year, scheduled foreclosure auctions increased by 3%.

Fears of a New Subprime Mortgage Crisis

The FHA’s new guidelines, which loosen the post-crisis regulations and widen the scope of condominium purchases eligible for low down payment loans, have the potential to revive the entry-level condo market. But their adoption could also expose the U.S. government to more loan defaults if developers fail to respond with increased supply, if the housing market slows down further and if prices fall. In a negative scenario like that, conditions will be in place for a new subprime mortgage crisis.

This is what actually triggered the 2008 financial meltdown. The crisis in the U.S. subprime mortgage market began the year prior. Home prices declined significantly and the housing bubble, inflated by banks competing to hand out as many mortgages as they could, burst. That eventually led to a massive banking crisis the following year with the collapse of major financial institutions like the investment giant Lehman Brothers.

As US Expands Subprime Mortgage Program, Is a New Crisis Looming?

A little over a decade after the global financial crisis, the signs of a new pending crash are mounting. There have been several bank failures in different parts of the world, including the U.S., and big financial institutions have started laying off bankers. Trade wars with China and Europe are looming and the pressure from governments for further interest rate cuts has increased, indicating their fears of an upcoming recession.

On this backdrop, decentralized cryptocurrencies are once again becoming an attractive investment opportunity for people who are new to the digital asset space. If you are looking for an easy and secure way to acquire bitcoin cash (BCH) and other major cryptocurrencies, you can do so at Buy.Bitcoin.com. And thanks to a new partnership with Cred, you can also save digital coins and earn interest on your crypto holdings.

Do you think more FHA-backed loans could trigger a new subprime mortgage crisis? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Source: Bitcoinnews.com