The Cannabis Industry, the Blockchain, and Dennis Rodman Gives PotCoin a New High

The Cannabis Industry, the Blockchain, and Dennis Rodman Gives PotCoin
a New High

Cannabis has been legalized in numerous states

across the United States. However, the cannabis industry is still plagued with limited access to banking services as traditional banks want to avoid dealing with businesses that engage in business activities that are still largely illegal under federal law. That is where cryptocurrencies could offer a solution.

Due to the loosening of anti-cannabis laws across America, the legal weed retail industry has grown quickly over the years and is expected to keep growing rapidly as more states debate and decide on its legality. Both the medicinal and recreational use of cannabis has been legalized in Alaska, California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, and the District of Columbia, while the medical use of cannabis has also been legalized in an additional 20 states across the US. In late 2016, leading investment bank Cowen and Company published a report on the Cannabis industry titled, “The Cannabis Compendium: Cross-Sector Views on a Budding Industry” which postulates that the industry would grow to $50 billion by the year 2026.

However, because cannabis is still illegal under federal law, most legal dispensaries are having to conduct purely cash-based business, given most banks and other financial institutions will not allow them access to financial services as a result of regulatory constrictions. This leaves weed retailers vulnerable to theft, which criminals have exploited, as evidenced by statistics on dispensary robberies. The blockchain industry is looking to remedy this. Due to the decentralized nature and inherent security of the blockchain, it offers a unique selling proposition as a payments solution for the cannabis industry.

Dennis Rodman Gives PotCoin a New High

PotCoin was created in 2014 to cater to the needs of the unbanked cannabis industry. The coin works on a proof of stake system with an Annual Percentage Interest (APR) of five percent. The coin also boasts fast processing time with relatively low fees. Though the coin has exhibited steady growth in its three years of existence, there has been a substantial spike in its price this week due to its sponsorship of retired Basketball star and Hall-of-Famer Dennis Rodman’s trip to North Korea.

According to PotCoin spokesperson Shawn Perez, the main reason for the sponsorship of Rodman’s trip was to support “Dennis Rodman's mission to bring peace to the world." Though the visit does not seem to have any visible ties to the cannabis industry, PotCoin has benefitted from the media attention that has surrounded Rodman’s journey to North Korea. According to Coin Market Cap, the coin has shown over 70 percent growth, from just below $0.10 to $0.17 since the sponsorship was announced.

POSaBIT

Washington-based bitcoin startup POSaBIT has created a financial platform that allows customers at weed retailers to make purchases using their regular credit cards. The platform uses bitcoin as an intermediate payment system. Jon Baugher, co-founder of POSaBIT explained: “There’s no industry – whether it’s the production and sale of cannabis or the production and sale of a cup of coffee – that can operate safely, transparently or effectively without access to banks or other financial institutions and traditional services. That’s where we thought we could leverage the use of digital currency.” The technology facilitates customers’ quick and easy access to bitcoin at the point of sale who can then use the digital currency anywhere that it is accepted. The platform is already in use by 30 dispensaries in the state of Washington.

The platform is attractive to cash-only merchants who want to accept another form of payment, retailers that want to be seen as more technologically savvy so as to differentiate themselves from the competition, and for small businesses that want to maximize profits by capitalizing on digital currencies’ low transaction fees. The technology is compliant with Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations while complying with laws regulating the cannabis trade. Since the platform reduces the reliance on cash as a medium of exchange, it is making dispensaries safer working environments for employees as there is less of an incentive for theft.

SinglePoint and First Bitcoin Capital

Holding company SinglePoint and blockchain technology provider First Bitcoin Capital announced a partnership on June 6. The joint venture agreement aims to create an efficient and workable payments solution for cannabis retailers using blockchain technology. Greg Lambrecht, SinglePoint CEO, explained: "In January 2014 SinglePoint announced and started working on a bitcoin payment solution, shortly after we recognized the issue of minimal user adoption of digital currency. The payments industry has rapidly changed since that time. There is now tremendous momentum and demand for bitcoin acceptance as an alternative form of payment.

This Joint Venture with First Bitcoin Capital is perfect timing. Bitcoin payments are catching on, and cannabis dispensaries need a solution fast." SinglePoint has previously worked with leading companies such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon on technology integration systems that have allowed for a more robust use of communication technology as a payment solution. The company now hopes to use this experience to create a workable solution for weed retailers.

Greg Rubin of First Bitcoin Capital stated: "We are optimistic that our partnership with SinglePoint will produce positive cash flow to our bottom line. Between the two of our companies, we will have the ability to develop a best in class solution, and SinglePoint will be able to help in distribution. We look forward to providing cutting-edge products and services to all states through the establishment of this new venture." “As with the massive and widespread adoption of Bitcoin worldwide, the two companies will pursue opportunities to leverage their payment technology background and develop a proprietary solution specifically for high-risk payment verticals including the cannabis industry.” the press release adds.

The two companies believe they have found a way for a smooth customer experience at the point of sale at weed dispensaries. Using SinglePoints’ technology integration experience and First Bitcoin Capital’s tech background, the company will create an “all-encompassing payment solution” for the retail cannabis industry. The platform will be easy to integrate into the existing point of sale machinery through a simple download. With the retail cannabis industry set to grow quickly in the coming years and the continuing lack of regulatory support at the federal level, it seems like the industry will have to rely on blockchain technology and digital currencies to facilitate easy trade and to securely store its profits.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
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Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Global Bitcoin ATM Proliferation Nearly Doubled During May

Global Bitcoin ATM Proliferation Nearly Doubled During May

The global proliferation of bitcoin ATMs nearly doubled during May when compared with April. The United States and Canada saw increases in the number of bitcoin ATMs by almost 8%, whilst Russia’s bitcoin ATM presence evaporated following the withdrawal of Bitlish.

Also Read: South Korea to Dispose of 216 Bitcoins in First Public Auction 

Coinatmradar Reported an Overall Growth in the Number of Bitcoin ATMs of 6.7% Internationally

May saw significant price gains. Last month also saw a considerable expansion in the number of bitcoin ATMs internationally.

Coinatmradar reported an overall growth in the number of bitcoin ATMs of 6.7 percent internationally, as May saw 95 new bitcoin ATMs installed. 17 bitcoin ATMs were closed bringing the total of reported bitcoin ATMs to 1236.

Global Bitcoin ATM Proliferation Nearly Doubled During May

The majority of the growth took place in North America, with America seeing 7.9% (+55 ATMs), and Canada seeing the growth of 7.8% (+12 ATMs). The United Kingdom saw growth of 11.5% (+7 ATMs), and Japan saw growth of 36.4% (+4 bitcoin ATMs).

Bitlish closed its three ATMs located in St. Petersburg, which were the sole bitcoin ATMs in Russia reported to the site Coinatmradar. Bitlish’s exit from the Russian market comes amidst claims that it plans to install 5,000 new bitcoin ATMs across Europe – although the company’s hasty exodus has left some analysts skeptical regarding how long the ATMs are likely to remain open.

North America Currently Host 75% Percent of All Bitcoin ATMs Globally

As indicated by Coinatmradar, The United States currently holds a significant lead over countries for the number of active ATMs, with 851 currently in operation. Canada is second with 167 ATM locations, followed by the United Kingdom (68 ATMs), Spain (34 ATMs), Austria (25 ATMs), and Finland (21 ATMs).

Global Bitcoin ATM Proliferation Nearly Doubled During May

North America currently host 75% percent of all bitcoin ATMs as reported by Coinatmradar. European ATMs accounts for 20% per cent of the total.

Coinatmradar’s data almost entirely pertains to major companies issuing bitcoin ATMs, and thus is likely an inacurate representation of the number of bitcoin ATMs that are independently or privately installed.

Although the number of ATMs issued by major companies in a region is a narrow indicator by which to judge the development of its cryptocurrency economy, this data suggests that much of the developing world still has a long way to go in developing its cryptocurrency economy and infrastructure.

Do you think that more bitcoin atms is a good thing for the cryptocurrency economy? Tell us your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Chris Corey 

CMO Markethive Inc

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Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Billionaire Investor Sets Example Investing in Altcoin ICO

Billionaire Investor Sets Example Investing in Altcoin ICO

    

A billionaire investor best known for buying roughly 30,000 Bitcoins

as part of the first government auction of the digital currency in 2014, is setting precedent as he stands behind a crypto token to be launched by a new startup. Tim Draper told Reuters in an interview that his participation in the initial coin offering (ICO) of Tezos slated later this month will be his first. The new Blockchain platform launched by a husband-and-wife team with extensive Wall Street and hedge fund backgrounds will launch the ICO on May 22.

Tezos incentive

According to information on its website, Tezos takes a fundamentally different approach by creating governance rules for stakeholders to approve of protocol upgrades. They are then deployed on the network automatically. When a developer proposes a protocol upgrade, they can attach an invoice to be paid out to their address upon approval and inclusion of their upgrade. This approach provides a strong incentive for participation in the Tezos core development and further decentralizes the maintenance of the network. It compensates developers with tokens that have immediate value rather than forcing them to seek corporate sponsorships, foundation salaries or work for Internet fame alone.

Draper’s confidence

As a new way of moving and storing money, Draper had told Fox Business in an interview in 2015 that Bitcoin is going to hit $10,000 in the following three years (by 2018). While the Bitcoin ecosystem looks forward to the feasibility of the prediction considering what is probable within the timeframe, it would seem that Draper’s confidence in the unfolding reality around him of what the top digital currency could bring to the table is still sound. This makes his disclosed interest in another aspect of the digital currency sphere – his plan to participate in a token offering and his choice of Tezos as a particular startup to invest in considering it’s a formation of a “husband and wife” team – a point to note.

With its family makeup, the success of the startup’s ICO will be a sheer example of the opportunities the crypto economy could offer the smallest unit of a society – after all, there are businesses owned and run by couples or a family. It would also show that the potential for Bitcoin, as a growing digital currency in various households, is huge in this kind of a business setup. Hence, Draper’s support for the adaptation of the cryptocurrency concept into the family-based business world could be precedential.

"The best thing I can do is lead by example," Draper said in his interview.

"Over time, I actually feel that some of these tokens are going to improve the world and I want to make sure those tokens get promoted as well. I think Tezos is one of those tokens."

Unlike most traditional venture capital firms which are prohibited by agreements with investors from deploying cash into such high-risk assets as digital currencies, Draper said his firm is doing this with Tezos because there is money for such non-traditional investments. In addition, they had anticipated “that certain things are going to happen and finance is going to be transformed."

Chuck Reynolds
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Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Australia Will Recognize Bitcoin as Money and Protect Bitcoin Businesses, No Taxes

Australia Will Recognize Bitcoin as Money and Protect Bitcoin Businesses, No Taxes

    

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

UPD: The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the federal government agency for scientific research in Australia, stated that Blockchain technology will have a profound impact on the Australian economy. Bitcoin will be treated as money in Australia by July 1, 2017, and will be exempt from goods and services tax (GST). Bitcoin traders and investors will not be taxed for purchasing and selling Bitcoin through regulated exchanges and trading platforms. Over the past two years, the Australian Bitcoin exchange market significantly fell behind growing markets such as South Korea, Japan and South Korea, that control more than half of the global Bitcoin exchange market share.

Two majors factors which drove startups, exchanges and businesses dealing with Bitcoin and other digital currencies in Australia away from the country where the termination of banking services by leading Australian banks due to their anti-competitive nature and the double taxation of Bitcoin trading by the Australian government. Starting July 1 however, double taxation and trading and goods and services taxation on Bitcoin will be exempted. In its 2017 to 2018 budget for “Backing innovation and FinTech,”

The Australian government wrote:

“The Government will make it easier for new innovative digital currency businesses to operate in Australia. From 1 July 2017, purchases of digital currency will no longer be subject to the GST, allowing digital currencies to be treated just like money for GST purposes. Currently, consumers who use digital currencies can effectively bear GST twice: once on the purchase of the digital currency and once again on its use in exchange for other goods and services subject to the GST.”

The government will also protect Bitcoin businesses and exchanges

More importantly, the Australian government’s new vision to spur the growth of fintech and the digital currency market would most likely prevent local banks and financial institutions for unfairly denying banking services to Bitcoin businesses and exchanges. If the above mentioned issues can be resolved by July 1, the Australian Bitcoin market could potentially experience a rapid growth in terms of user base and trading volumes.

The document further read:

“Innovation will drive productivity growth in Australia. That is why the Government’s $1.1 bln National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) is designed to enable Australia to take full advantage of new economic opportunities. The Government is committed to establishing Australia as a leading global financial technology (fintech) hub and is announcing a new package that aims to position our local fintech industry as a world leader.”

At the Blockchain NZ conference held in Auckland, New Zealand earlier this week, Bitcoin and security expert Andreas Antonopoulos emphasized the Australian government’s uninvolvement in its local Bitcoin market and the impact of such actions on Bitcoin businesses and exchanges. More to that, Antonopoulos criticized the local government’s taxation policy on Bitcoin, which essentially drove away businesses and users from Australia to other countries.

“Governments can choose to either do nothing – which is okay, make things worse for cryptocurrency trading – like what Australia did by imposing sales taxes on all cryptocurrency transactions, or they can make things easier for companies by reining in the banks and encouraging companies by creating a level playing field,” Antonopoulos said. With Australia’s new policy, the Bitcoin ecosystem in the country could change drastically. Banks will start offering services to Bitcoin exchanges and traders will not be taxed with GST upon the purchase of Bitcoin.

Chuck Reynolds
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Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Japanese Exchanges Say Volumes are Real Pushing Bitcoin Price Up

Japanese Exchanges Say Volumes are Real Pushing Bitcoin Price Up

    

Over the past few months,

the Japanese Bitcoin exchange market led an upward momentum for the global Bitcoin exchange market, continuously pushing Bitcoin price to new highs. In a period of 30 days, Bitcoin price increased from $1,200 to $1,760, recording a 32 percent monthly increase in value. Cointelegraph particularly provided extensive coverage of the Japanese exchange market’s overwhelming performance and influence over the global exchange. The demand toward Bitcoin in Japan significantly increased following the legalization of Bitcoin and the acceptance of Bitcoin payments by the country’s single most influential electronics retailer Bic Camera. Also, some of the largest multi-billion dollar corporations have announced the launch of their independent Bitcoin and digital currency exchanges.

Absence of fees raises concerns

One criticism over Bitcoin’s recent price surge has been the absence of fees in the Japanese Bitcoin exchange market. Some analysts suspected that the Japanese exchange market’s decision to exclude fees could have a similar effect the Chinese Bitcoin exchange had on the global exchange market. In an interview, Japan’s two largest Bitcoin exchanges QUOINE and BitFlyer clarified that the Japanese Bitcoin exchange market does in fact have fees in place. Yuzo Kano, the CEO of BitFlyer, the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange which controls over 67 percent of the Japanese Bitcoin exchange market share

stated:

“We charge trading fees for BTC and ‘swap point’ for FX. So it’s a different situation from China before this January. We are seeing funds inflowing not only to BTC but also all crypto markets.”

Mike Kayamori, CEO of QUOINE, which also controls around 10 percent of the Japanese Bitcoin exchange market share further emphasized that fees are charged for all traders other than spot trading of BTC/JPY. Thus, the claims of analysts that there currently is instability in Bitcoin price due to the low fees or absence of fees on Japanese Bitcoin exchange market are false.

Kayamori says:

“At QUOINE, we are charging fees on all trades other than spot trading of BTC/JPY. Every other currency pair, as well as margin trading, there is a fee. And our spreads are quite large, hence our volume is actually lower in April/May than it was March.”

Bitcoin as an alternative investment

Jon Southurst, a journalist based in Tokyo, noted that high profile and institutional investors along with casual traders are seeking out for alternative investments such as Bitcoin due to the government’s quantitative easing practice. On April 24, Cointelegraph reported that Bitcoin price could surge as the Japanese government moved on to print massive amounts of cash. At the time, Holger Zschaepitz, the senior editor of the financial desk and market maniac at

Welt, stated:

“For such reasons, it can be concluded that the current surge in Bitcoin price and the rising demand toward Bitcoin in Japan are well supported and justified.”

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor
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Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Clock Ticking for Altcoins as Bitcoin Breaks $1.3 bln 24h Trade Volume

Clock Ticking for Altcoins as Bitcoin Breaks $1.3 bln 24h Trade Volume

    

As the 24-hour transaction volume of the top digital currency Bitcoin

reached a historical high of $1.3 bln this week, the days of altcoins that solve no substantial problem may soon be over – or tested to a point of failure. The rising Bitcoin price which seldom reflects negatively on most alternative currencies is going to tell on their success. For those who have noticed, the more Bitcoin rises, the lowermost altcoins go – even the super altcoins. This could be as a result of the established fact that one has to buy Bitcoin to get into altcoins and vice versa to opt out. Or it could be as a result of a reduced confidence in what some – if not most – of these altcoins have to offer. There are also words of some being scams and others being clones of another or serving the same purpose with another.

Time for altcoins show what they are worth

Whatever is the case of every altcoin, what they really stand for would be tested in due course unless the rise of Bitcoin gets stalled. Their existence could be affected negatively unless they evolve to be a true representation of their initial ideas and market more to show off their achievements. New ideas are popping up every day and some would definitely become obsolete. The thought that the market decides really needs to be given consideration now especially as there is a growing notion that an altcoin bubble is in the making and it could pop at some point. Bitcoin’s rise is setting a standard that altcoins need to rise up to so as to wax stronger as well.

Bitcoin’s superiority

The reality of each and every passing year that Bitcoin has survived without being crushed to the ground- some investors report huge returns on their investments along the way- is sinking into the minds of more people. The confidence level in the currency has risen and new users are coming into the cryptocurrency world. It’s truly decentralized nature also makes its extremely difficult for its protocol to be changed by anyone or some developers unlike it’s the case with some altcoins – a good side to the SegWit/scalability standoff. Now aiming for the $2,000 price tag, the Bitcoin scarcity factor seems to be kicking in and pushing for demands that increase its value – remember last year’s block reward halving. It throws a greater challenge to altcoins and their need to brace up for what could be coming.

Chuck Reynolds
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Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Japan to Roll Out Fixed Deposit Interest for Bitcoin

Japan to Roll Out Fixed Deposit Interest for Bitcoin

    

From one first to the next,

Japan will soon offer Bitcoin users fixed term deposits with interest. The Financial Services Agency has yet to push for regulation as it watches from the sidelines of what could seriously challenge the traditional banks fixed term deposits. Asian Nikkei reports that digital currency users and traders will soon be able to earn interest from the exchange. This fixed deposit interest accruing account is the first of its kind being made available in Japan.

Four fixed deposit options

Coincheck, founded by Koichiro Wada and Yusuke Otsuka has operated as an exchange since 2014 exchanging up to $160 mln worth of transactions per month. Its track record helps build credibility for clients interested in the interest accruing accounts that will be rolled out. The company will roll out four fixed deposit options. A 14-day option with a one percent annual interest accrual, 30-day option with a two percent annual accrual and a 90-day option with three annual percent interest. The longest time deposit and highest interest accrual will be for a 12 month fixed deposit netting five percent interest gain. This can prove a popular option as traditional banks in Japan moved their interest rates to 0.00 percent earlier this year.

Impact on demand for Bitcoin

Japan’s Financial Services Agency declared that the deposits are exempt from banking regulations as Bitcoin is not yet legal tender. There is speculation that they might change their stance on regulation if Bitcoin becomes a widespread method of payment. With multiple parties applying for exchange licenses to operate in Japan, it is likely that competing exchanges will offer the same value-added benefit to their customers. The scaling adoption of Bitcoin as a means of payment in physical stores drove up the price of the currency to record highs. If digital currency deposits succeed as fixed deposit accounts, there is no doubt that the demand will rise even further.

Chuck Reynolds
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Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Litecoin, Silver to Bitcoin’s Gold, Now Aims at $50 Goal

Litecoin, Silver to Bitcoin’s Gold,
Now Aims at $50 Goal

    

Now that the Litecoin price is hovering at around $30

– as the Lightning Network, expected to make transactions faster on the network, is set to kick off in about two days – is it time for the digital currency, dubbed as the silver to Bitcoin’s gold, to aim for the $50 goal? As it stands, its market cap has crossed the $1 bln mark to join the three other major networks – Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple –

In the category.

"This is a huge plus for the currency which just got listed on top Korean cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb. This comes in the wake of its addition on the Coinbase platform also last week."

If Litecoin succeeds with the SegWit activation and LN implementation – considering that Bitcoin has not been able to reach this far in terms of its scalability issue – it would definitely reflect in LTC price in the coming days. As such, wallet providers and other major users are expected to deploy SegWit-enabled apps.

"Litecoin’s Charlie Lee also confirms that Bitcoin Core developers have been working with his network on Confidential Transactions (CT) and Merkelized Abstract Syntax Trees (MAST)."

As it is expected to take the first mover advantage as one of the first to activate SegWit, all eyes would be on Litecoin and what it has to offer in terms of making transaction confirmation quicker. This will continue to be the case for as long as Litecoin serves as a relief to any transaction issues that are usually associated with Bitcoin. This will make it easier to send money from a point to another instantly and for less.

Upgrade important

The current issue of transaction delays on the Bitcoin network and rising transaction fees now seem stuck at the moment and some say it is no longer seen as an incentive to encourage new users to switch from fiat. Though not the first and only network to be working on activating SegWit, the upgrade is important for Litecoin because it is one of those networks with the oldest Blockchain beside Bitcoin. It also has an identical code to that of Bitcoin. However, despite the forward-looking consideration of how Litecoin is going to benefit users, we are yet to see it proven that people in the market really need what it has to offer. The debate on whether there is demand for its use continues.

Chuck Reynolds
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Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Ripple Overtakes Ethereum to Become Second Largest Crypto After Japanese Bank Consortium Formed

Ripple Overtakes Ethereum to Become Second Largest Crypto After Japanese Bank Consortium Formed

    

Rather unexpectedly, Ripple officially took over Ethereum

by $200 mln in market cap to become the world’s second largest cryptocurrency with a total market cap of $8.5 bln. Over a 24-hour period, Ripple price recorded a 71.6 percent increase, while Ethereum price decreased by 6.85 percent. Several cryptocurrencies including Ripple, NEM, and Stellar Lumens experienced inorganic short-term price growth in the last 24 hours, each gaining 71.6 percent, 53.4 percent and 94.81 percent daily gains respectively. Although Ripple has made significant progress in establishing strategic partnerships such as the recent addition of 10 new financial institutions including MUFG, BBVA, SEB, Akbank, Axis Bank, YES BANK, SBI Remit, Cambridge Global Payments, Star One Credit Union and eZforex.com, it is difficult to justify its 71 percent gain in such a short period of time.

Japanese Consortium announced

The latest partnership or initiative launched by Ripple was 11 days ago and no major exchanges or trading platforms globally have integrated support for Ripple trading in the past few weeks. Thus, to be critical, a 71 percent increase in Ripple price seems fairly inorganic. The only driving factor that could explain Ripple’s latest price surge is the establishment of a collaborative project amongst banks in the Japanese Consortium for cross-border and domestic payments. According to its official introduction video, Ripple is powering the entire network with its Blockchain-based cross-border and cross-bank payment protocol.

Japan Bank Consortium stated:

“In order to address these emerging needs, banks have come together to launch the Japan Bank Consortium for cross-border and domestic payments which enable a flexible and efficient payment system. It is the world’s first case to implement Ripple solution in a cloud environment.”

With its partnership with Japan Bank Consortium and other leading banks and financial institutions in Europe such as BBVA, Ripple has solidified its position as the base Blockchain protocol for the global financial structure and industry.

What does it mean for Ethereum?

Ethereum has implemented a similar partnership-based strategy with the launch of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance earlier this year. While it is still uncertain whether Ripple’s short-term growth will stabilize over the long run, Ethereum and Ripple are both utilizing the same strategy to appeal to large-scale conglomerates and banks. Although Ethereum has attracted the likes of JPMorgan, Ripple seems to have grasped the attention of multi-billion dollar banks and financial institutions.

Chuck Reynolds
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-Bitcoin.

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Bitcoin? Ethereum? Ripple? Three Reasons to Consider Investing in Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin? Ethereum? Ripple?
Three Reasons to Consider Investing in Cryptocurrency

    

Bitcoin is beginning to seem like a viable currency,

especially since reaching the $2,000 mark. Major setbacks, such as the loss of $480 mln due to Mt. Gox’s neglectful management of Bitcoins, have caused the cryptocurrency to plummet in the past. Slowly but surely, the first-ever Blockchain currency has climbed back.

Presently, Bitcoin is performing better than it ever has. Early in 2017, Bitcoin price hit historic highs, surpassing the value of gold. Nearly a decade after Bitcoin’s quiet release, dozens of copycat currencies have arisen. Utilizing Blockchain, a public database or ledger that records transactions involving encrypted keys, developers are vying to improve the original digital currency. A few, namely Ripple and Ethereum, have proved to be exceptional competitors. Indeed, the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance was formed by “Fortune 500 enterprises, startups, academics, and technology vendors” to establish standard practices for the use of the platform/currency hybrid

“at the speed of business.”

You may shy away from joining speculators on the ups and downs of the cryptocurrency markets. However, there are a few strong cases for investment.

Here are three reasons to consider investing in cryptocurrency:

Bitcoin is experiencing massive growth

By far the most popular digital currency is the progenitor of Blockchain technology. Bitcoin owns the lion’s share of the emerging market. Its trading volume is much larger than any other competing currency and its valuation is many times more than the second cryptocurrency of choice, Ethereum. Wider adoption and regular mainstream coverage have elevated Bitcoin from an intriguing security experiment to a possible real-world asset. Additionally, Bitcoin’s exponential growth may portend good things for Blockchain currency in general. After a few major cases of theft for both Bitcoin and Ethereum, trust in the currency seems to be rebounding. Some believe the cryptocurrency is a bubble about to burst, but contentious political and economic conditions could push the price up even further.

Ethereum is gaining traction

Ethereum is the silver to Bitcoin’s gold.

Although it currently sits at under $100 a unit, it’s the most viable alternative to the dominant cryptocurrency. In fact, the competing form of cash was crafted by one of Bitcoin’s co-founders.

Ethereum is both a platform that allows for the creation of decentralized applications and a currency. The currency, Ether, fuels the platform. Its incorporation of smart contracts, which allow for anonymous agreements on the Blockchain, spawned the DAO (decentralized autonomous organization). The currency is more flexible for developers and has attracted major tech players, such as Intel and Microsoft.

It may see friendly regulation

The anonymity and lack of oversight concomitant with decentralized currency create opportunities for abuse. Certain alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins), ones that enforce private transactions and anonymous transfers, such as Zcash and Monero, have been used extensively by criminal organizations. Although altcoins like Monero have increased in value due to acceptance from darknet users, this illicit usage of cryptocurrency has dealt damage to overall adoption rates.

Thankfully, we may see tighter regulations. Ethereum famously experienced a massive theft of $53 mln in Ether due to an exploit in a smart contract. Theoretically, the Ethereum Blockchain is immutable. The community voted to override this “immutability” in order to return stolen funds. Further, in 2013, a representative for the Bitcoin Foundation told US regulators that they would be open to transparent rulemaking. According to MarketWatch, digital currency advocates are pushing for

more regulation.

With recent interests from Japan and Russia to legitimize Bitcoin, these rules and regulations could help further cryptocurrency as a legitimate finance asset.

Diversify

Blockchain technology has the capability to change everything. The currencies running on the distributed ledger model could revolutionize how we interact with all forms of liquidity. While it is unlikely that fiat currency will be subsumed or overtaken by the digital mint, it’s quite possible that these currencies will see greater integration with our current systems.

At the very least, cryptocurrency is seeing a meteoric rise in the short-term. What the future holds for digital currency is uncertain. Currently, there is a cautious sort of endorsement for Bitcoin and Ethereum. Some speculators are pouring their cash into speedier alternatives, such as Litecoin and Dash. Still, most remain hesitant about moving their assets into an unbacked,

unregulated currency.

Although the Bitcoin ETF was recently shot down by the SEC, there is still plenty of reason to diversify your portfolio with a small investment in decentralized digital currency. As time has worn on, cryptocurrency has steadily risen in price and has experienced wider adoption.

To be sure, there has also been a great deal of volatility concomitant with Bitcoin’s rise. Valuation specialists continue to have trouble pinpointing the exact value of the currency itself and sentiment can vary wildly. Still, market capitalizations continue to grow. If you are able to steel yourself against booms and busts, you may profit from cautious investment. Continue to do your due diligence. If you remain uncertain, consider consulting a financial analyst. Remember to monitor updates, vigilantly investigating changes in sentiment. As always, be prepared to lose any amount you put into a speculative investment. Dedicating yourself to mindful investing will undoubtedly lead to the best result – especially in a market as volatile as the cryptocurrency market.

Chuck Reynolds
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Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

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