Kevin Helms


The bitcoin ATM industry has reached a milestone as the number of machines installed worldwide has surpassed 10,000 after seven years since the first machine was installed. There are now 10,162 bitcoin ATM locations spread across 71 countries.

Number of Bitcoin ATMs Exceeds 10K

The number of cryptocurrency ATMs has grown significantly over the years, surpassing 10K last week. “It took industry roughly 7 years to reach this point since the first permanent bitcoin ATM installation in the end of 2013,” cryptocurrency ATM tracking website Coinatmradar wrote. “After the first 3.5 years, there were 1,000 active bitcoin ATMs in operation, over the next 3.5 years this figure has increased by 9,000 ATMs more.”

According to the site, 10,162 cryptocurrency ATMs have been installed in 71 countries. There are also 211,270 other locations that sell bitcoin such as mall kiosks and convenience stores.

Coinflip CEO Daniel Polotsky has shared some insights into the bitcoin ATM industry with “With 10,000 machines placed globally, bitcoin ATMs have become the go-to service for those participating in the cash-to-crypto market, including a significant amount of the unbanked and underbanked,” he began. The CEO added that his company is installing between 30 and 50 bitcoin ATMs per week and is on track to have 3,000 bitcoin ATMs by the end of next year.

Bitcoin ATM installation growth. Source: Coinatmradar

The U.S. is still in the lead with the most bitcoin ATMs installed (8,004 locations), followed by Canada with 879 locations, the U.K. with 281 locations, Austria with 152 locations, Spain with 105 locations, and Switzerland with 81 locations.

Genesis Coin tops the list of bitcoin ATM manufacturers, with 3,574 of its machines installed, followed by General Bytes with 2,964 machines, Bitaccess with 1,040 machines, Coinsource with 632 machines, and Lamassu with 518 machines.

There are also many bitcoin ATM operators. The top 10 operators run 5,263 crypto ATMs (52%). There are 545 other operators, running 4,857 crypto ATMs, according to Coinatmradar. Coin Cloud tops the list, followed by Coinflip, Bitcoin Depot, Rockitcoin, Coinsource, and Bitcoin of America.

Top bitcoin ATM operators. Source: Coinatmradar

“There will be an influx of new investors that need help getting started during the next bull run. By stressing simplicity and personalized service, bitcoin ATMs will be vital in converting interest into adoption,” Polotsky explained. “As blockchain-based financial services develop as an industry, ATMs will become an essential gateway for the underbanked. These populations can benefit the most from a more inclusive financial system, and bitcoin ATMs are among the few gateways they can use.”

The Coinflip CEO also revealed that “There has also been a surge of first-time retail investors who need a simple buying process and personalized support.” In his view:

Bitcoin ATMs have gained an edge over the competition within specific demographics due to the onramp’s speed and ease of use. Customers don’t need to be tech-savvy to locate a machine, call a support representative, and get through a transaction within five minutes.

Polotsky also noted that among the users of Coinflip’s bitcoin ATMs, one group stands out. “A significant portion of our user base is the underbanked and low-income communities who transact primarily in cash,” he said. “These groups use our machines to transfer money, pay bills, invest, and more. We take pride in the fact that we’re the gateway into crypto for many people who prefer our security, convenience, and ease of use.”

He pointed out that “Aside from the ATMs buying process’s benefits, there are many individuals with a strong cash preference.” Moreover, he asserted, “Exchanges are some of the most influential companies in the sector, but they have a blind spot: they can’t serve customers who wish to pay in cash,” adding that “Bitcoin ATMs were created to fill this gap in the market.”

“We believe that cryptocurrency and blockchain have the potential to accelerate financial inclusion across the world,” he opined, noting that “Bitcoin ATMs are one part of the solution.” As for his company’s future plans, he said Coinflip is planning a global expansion as the U.S. market gets more saturated, concluding:

We believe that crypto adoption will outpace the move away from cash and that bitcoin ATMs will be around globally for years to come.

Author: Kevin Helms

Source: News. Bitcoin: Bitcoin ATMs Surpass 10,100 Worldwide: Expert Shares Industry Outlook

The European Union is planning to implement comprehensive cryptocurrency regulation by 2024, two EU reports have reportedly revealed. This follows five European finance ministers calling on the European Commission to put in place “very strong and very clear rules” on cryptocurrency.

EU Crypto Regulation Coming Soon

A comprehensive cryptocurrency regulatory framework is expected to be put in place within four years, according to two EU documents, Reuters reported Friday, elaborating:

By 2024, the EU should put in place a comprehensive framework enabling the uptake of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and crypto-assets in the financial sector.

“By 2024, the principle of passporting and a one-stop-shop licensing should apply in all areas which hold strong potential for digital finance,” the documents further state.

According to Euractiv, a pan-European publication specializing in EU policies, the European Commission will publish the Digital Finance Strategy together with its new rules on cryptocurrencies later this month. They outline the Commission’s priority actions by 2024.

In addition to the existing cryptocurrency proposal, European Commission Executive Vice-President in charge of Economy and Finance Valdis Dombrovskis said the Commission may also update “the prudential rules for crypto-assets held by financial firms, which could force banks with these digital assets to hold more capital as a cushion, given the volatility and risks associated with these assets,” Euractiv described.

The two documents note that the draft law will clarify how existing rules apply to cryptocurrencies and set out new rules where there are gaps, Reuters explained, adding that it “should also address the risks associated with these technologies.” The documents also detail that the Commission “wants to make it easier to share data within the financial sector to encourage competition and a wider range of services, while upholding the principle of ‘same risk, same rules, same regulation,’” the news outlet conveyed.

Moreover, the European Commission wants to increase the use of digital finance as 78% of payments in the eurozone are currently in cash, the publication noted, adding that the new rules should be in place within four years so new customers can start “using financial services quickly once anti-money laundering and identity checks have been completed.”

Last week, the finance ministers of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain called on the European Commission to include “strong rules” in its upcoming cryptocurrency proposal, particularly for global digital tokens like Facebook’s Libra. In a joint statement, they said stablecoins should not be allowed to operate in the EU countries until legal, regulatory and oversight challenges had been addressed. “We’re waiting for the Commission to issue very strong and very clear rules to avoid the misuse of cryptocurrencies for terrorist activities or for money laundering,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire was quoted as saying.

Author: Kevin Helms

Source: News. Bitcoin: EU to Launch Comprehensive Crypto Regulation by 2024: Report

Morgan Stanley Investment Management’s chief strategist and head of emerging markets has recommended bitcoin as an alternative investment to stocks amid central banks’ massive money printing policies. He says that alternative assets, like gold and cryptocurrency, could keep doing well while stocks struggle.

Morgan Stanley’s Strategist Discusses Stocks, Gold, and Bitcoin

Head of Emerging Markets and Chief Global Strategist at Morgan Stanley Investment Management Ruchir Sharma discussed stocks, gold, and also bitcoin in an interview with CNN on Tuesday. The Indian investor and fund manager joined Morgan Stanley in 1996.

Sharma began by explaining that tech stocks and risk assets would really be hurt by rising interest rates. Despite the Federal Reserve’s indication, the strategist believes that interest rates could start to rise “more quickly than we think, possibly even as early as next year.” He explained that we have been seeing “such high stock prices even though the economy is very weak.” Next year, he expects to see the opposite, as the economy rebounds and the covid-19 pandemic is behind us. However, he noted that stocks will struggle “just because of the incredible support they have got from liquidity and interest rates and that support goes away next year.”

When asked about gold and cryptocurrency, Sharma said “it’s a generational thing,” adding that some older investors are still buying gold whereas “some of the younger ones are, the millennials are buying more of the bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.” He added:

Generally I think what that’s telling you is that there is this lingering feeling out there that given what central banks are doing in terms of printing so much money there is a search for alternative assets, I think that these assets could keep doing well.

“Gold, in particular, does very well when interest rates, adjusted for inflation, are negative and I see that environment carrying on for a while,” the chief global strategist predicted, adding that even when inflation comes back, central banks are going to be far behind the curve to do anything about it quickly.

However, he said that “Gold is a very speculative asset,” emphasizing that “in the long term, stocks do much better than gold.” He cited an article on The New York Times suggesting that in the last 100 years, the inflation-adjusted return on U.S. stocks is about 7% a year, compared to 1% for gold.

Nonetheless, Sharma still feels that in the next three to five years, “gold is relatively ok.” Reiterating that “central banks are printing so much money and we want some safety out there,” he elaborated:

To have about 5% or so of your portfolio in gold is not a bad idea, and if you’re a bit more adventurous, and I guess it’s more to do with demographics, then obviously search for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Sharma is not the only one who believes that central banks’ mass money-printing could boost the price of gold and bitcoin. previously reported on Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz and an analyst with Weiss Crypto Ratings sharing the same sentiment. Moreover, Devere Group CEO Nigel Green expects bitcoin to break out this year and macro strategist Raoul Pal believes that bitcoin beats gold on every single measure.

Some analysts have predicted that the outcome of the November presidential election could collapse the U.S. dollar, boosting the price of gold and bitcoin. As the Federal Reserve shifts policy to “push up inflation,” some companies have already turned to bitcoin as a hedge against inflation, such as the Nasdaq-listed Microstrategy.

Author: Kevin Helms

Source: News. Bitcoin: Morgan Stanley Strategist Recommends Bitcoin as Central Banks Ramp Up Money Printing

Apple Inc. has censored some cryptocurrency features of the Coinbase app. Specifically, Apple has blocked Coinbase from adding to its iOS app the ability to earn money using cryptocurrency and access to decentralized finance (Defi) apps.

Apple vs. Coinbase

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has been struggling to get some functionalities approved for its iOS app, CEO Brian Armstrong detailed his company’s experience dealing with Apple Inc. on Friday. “In the wake of other companies struggling with Apple’s App Store restrictions, I want to share a bit about Coinbase’s own struggle here,” he began, elaborating:

Here is the issue. Apple has told us we cannot add the following functionality in our iOS apps: (1) the ability to earn money using cryptocurrency and (2) the ability to access decentralized finance apps (sometimes called Defi apps or Dapps).

“We’ve tried discussing this through regular channels with Apple, and I reached out directly to leadership to request a dialog, but we seem to be at a dead end,” he shared on Twitter.

Armstrong criticized Apple for disallowing iOS users the choice of earning through cryptocurrencies during this coronavirus-led economic crisis. “There are many unbanked and underbanked people in the world who have no ability to get a loan to buy a home, or start a business, so this kind of technology has enormous potential to improve the world over time, even if it is still early days,” the CEO wrote.

He further revealed that Apple has prohibited Coinbase from providing a list of decentralized apps to users on the iOS platform, claiming that the Coinbase app “offers cryptocurrency transactions in non-embedded software within the app, which is not appropriate for the App Store.” However, Armstrong maintained: “Dapps or Defi apps are fundamentally just websites that you can access through any browser. So Apple is essentially saying you can’t provide users with a list of websites they can visit through an app.”

Gabor Gurbacs, the digital asset strategist and director at Vaneck and MVIS, explained: “Apple is a company and the Appstore is their own product/property, not a public utility. It often feels like some product and services should be more open or easier to use but ultimately it’s the company’s/owner’s decision … similar to how Coinbase decides which tokens to list.” Lawyer Jake Chervinsky commented: “Apple wants to be your bank. Defi is bad for business.”

Nonetheless, Coinbase’s CEO emphasized that his company’s iOS apps are not missing some features that users want because his teams have not gotten to them, but because “those features are being censored by Apple.” Armstrong continued:

Apple also has a conflict of interest in applying these app store restrictions. While they are ostensibly designed to protect customers, it increasingly looks like they are also protecting Apple from competition.

“Forcing users to use the App Store instead of Dapps (websites), or IAP [in-app purchase] instead of crypto payments, reminds me of what Microsoft did back in the day (forcing users to use IE if you were on Windows) which led to all their antitrust issues,” the Coinbase CEO opined. “Apple, it’s time to stop stifling innovation in cryptocurrency.”

Author: Kevin Helms

Source: News. Bitcoin: Apple Censors Some Cryptocurrency and Defi Features of Coinbase App

Latin Americans have embraced cryptocurrency as a store of value while their fiat currencies depreciate, a new report shows. Bitcoin adoption in the region is further driven by the lack of banking access and remittance needs.

Latin American Bitcoin Adoption

Blockchain data analytics firm Chainalysis released a new study of cryptocurrency usage in Latin American countries based on on-chain data and interviews with experts in the region last week. The study is part of the firm’s Geography of Cryptocurrency Report, due to be released this month. Cryptocurrency adoption in Latin America is driven by factors such as a lack of banking access, remittance needs, and the devaluation of local fiat currencies.

Sebastian Villanueva, who manages the Chile operations of crypto exchange Satoshitango, explained that the lack of banking access for individuals and businesses is a major drive for cryptocurrency adoption in Latin America. “Lots of people here have uneven income because they do gig work for Uber or places like that, which makes it hard for them to get a bank account,” he said, asserting:

Without easy banking access, many young people in Latin America turn to cryptocurrency as a means of storing value.

Many Latin Americans use stablecoins like DAI and USDC to lock in their savings, Villanueva noted. Chainalysis explained that a significant share of the stablecoin transfer volume in the region is from traders using fiat to buy bitcoin or stablecoins, like tether, from local exchanges or P2P exchanges, and then use those funds to trade on larger exchanges like Binance that provides more trading pairs and greater liquidity. “This is a common pattern not just in Latin America, but in other developing regions as well,” the firm noted.

“Currency instability is another factor driving cryptocurrency adoption in Latin America,” Chainalysis claims, noting that “the amount of P2P trading volume in many Latin American countries rises as native currency depreciates.” The firm elaborated:

The correlations, each of which is statistically significant, suggest that cryptocurrency users in Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, and Chile in particular are turning to cryptocurrency as a means to store value when their native fiat currencies are losing value.

Venezuela and Argentina especially are printing money like crazy, so their fiat currencies are losing value. That drives a lot of cryptocurrency adoption,” Villanueva continued. “Some countries, like Argentina, limit the amount of U.S. dollars citizens can buy per month, which further limits their options for secure savings and increases the need for cryptocurrency.”

Reiterating that worsening economic conditions and associated civil unrest are driving cryptocurrency adoption in Latin American countries, Villanueva further noted:

Last October in Chile, there were mass protests over education, healthcare, and overall economic conditions. Fiat pay platforms saw huge decreases in activity during that time, but we grew by about 35% … People just want a safe way to store money, and there are no gatekeepers in crypto.

Latin America also has a robust crypto trading scene, with Brazil in the lead in terms of the most cryptocurrency usage by on-chain volume. Venezuela is a distant second, but the country accounts for the third-highest number of transfers on Localbitcoins and Paxful, two of the most popular worldwide P2P exchanges, as recently reported.

The region has the second-highest share of retail crypto activity, defined as transfers of less than $10,000 worth of cryptocurrency. However, professional traders still account for roughly 80% of all volume transferred in a given month; they prefer using large international exchanges like Binance rather than local exchanges to access more trading pairs and greater liquidity. Overall, Latin American countries sent $25 billion worth of cryptocurrency and received $24 billion worth in the past year, representing between 5% and 9% of all cryptocurrency activity in any given month, Chainalysis detailed.

Representatives from Brazil-headquartered crypto hedge fund Hashdex told Chainalysis that “a desire for potential high yield assets with uncorrelated returns is driving cryptocurrency adoption amongst professional investors, such as those representing pension funds and family offices.”

Author: Kevin Helms

Source: News. Bitcoin: Latin Americans Turn to Bitcoin as Local Fiat Currencies Plunge

The CEO of financial advisory firm Devere Group believes that 2020 will be a breakout year for bitcoin, fueled by the U.S. presidential election and the weak dollar. Amid political uncertainty and the Fed’s new inflation policy, investors will pile into safe-haven assets not tied to any specific country, such as bitcoin.

2020: Breakout Year for Bitcoin

Devere Group CEO Nigel Green predicted last week that the U.S. presidential election and a weak dollar will drive the price of bitcoin for the rest of 2020. Following the Federal Reserve’s policy shift on inflation, he also warned about investing in the stock market. Devere Group, established by Green in 2002, describes itself as one of the world’s leading independent financial advisory organizations with more than $10 billion under advice from 80,000 clients in 100 countries.

Noting that “Bitcoin is already one of the best-performing assets of the year, up around 70% year-to-date,” Green asserted, “We can expect the world’s largest cryptocurrency to be further fuelled for the rest of 2020 by the U.S. presidential election and the weakness of the U.S. dollar, which will serve as high-octane price drivers.” The price of bitcoin stands at $11,613 at the time of writing.

“A U.S. presidential election always stirs uncertainty — but 2020 is seen by many as particularly important as not only will whoever wins be the CEO of the world’s largest economy, they will be in that role as the world economically readjusts following the global fallout of coronavirus,” Green opined. “As uncertainty heightens, investors will pile into safe-haven assets, in particular those not tied to any specific country, such as bitcoin and gold.”

Donald Trump (left) and Joe Biden, 2020 U.S. presidential candidates for the November election.

Recently, also reported that analyst and consultant Dan Popescu predicted how the outcome of the November presidential election could lead to a dollar collapse and a boost in the gold market. While the 2020 presidential election polls currently show Joe Biden in the lead, the analyst explained that the U.S. dollar stands to lose regardless of whoever wins the election and becomes the next president of the United States.

According to Green, “Bitcoin is currently realising its reputation as a form of digital gold. Up to now, the precious metal has been perceived as the ultimate safe-haven asset, but bitcoin — which shares its key characteristics of being a store of value and scarcity — could potentially in the future knock gold from its long-held top spot as the world becomes driven by the tech revolution … Decentralized, non-sovereign, secure digital currencies, including bitcoin, will become more attractive to investors as they will offer a hedge against turbulence in traditional markets.”

Analysts have been questioning gold’s safe-haven status and Goldman Sachs recently warned that the U.S. dollar risks losing its status as the world’s reserve currency.

The Devere Group CEO added, “Printing of historic sums of helicopter money that’s pushed into the financial system has devalued the dollar and prompted inflation fears,” emphasizing:

You can’t just print bitcoin.

On Thursday, the Federal Reserve announced a major shift in policy to “push up inflation.” Many investors will pile into equities, Green noted, warning of the “lack of balance” in the stock markets. “This will add fuel to global equities which are already on fire,” Green described, adding that “In this climate, holding bonds and sitting on cash will simply not provide the returns investors seek.”

The market has been expecting this inflation policy announcement by the Fed, prompting some companies to move cash reserves into bitcoin to hedge against inflation. One of them is the Nasdaq-listed Microstrategy, which moved $250 million of its cash reserves into bitcoin. The Fed’s new policy is also expected to boost the price of bitcoin, which some predict could be driven past $500K.

As for the U.S. dollar, Green continued: “The greenback could be in for a short-term boost, but in the longer term there are expectations it’s on a downward trajectory and that it could ultimately lose its global reserves status – and this environment will provide a powerful boost for the price of bitcoin.” The CEO concluded:

This explosive combination together with a growing number of millennials and Gen Z investors moving into digital assets could provide the perfect landscape for a multi-year bull market … History will show that 2020 was a breakout year for bitcoin.

Author: Kevin Helms

Source: News. Bitcoin: Bitcoin Will Break Out This Year, Says Devere CEO

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has published a video explaining what cryptocurrency is. Besides suggesting that cryptocurrency could “completely change the way we sell, buy, save, invest, and pay our bills,” the video states that it “could be the next step in the evolution of money.”

IMF Explains Crypto

The IMF tweeted a video explaining what cryptocurrency is on Sunday that instantly went viral. Referring to cryptocurrency as “a special currency,” the two-minute video attempts to outline its benefits in payments, such as by removing middlemen, lowering costs, and increasing transaction speed. It also warns of what it sees as risks, such as anonymity and volatility. The video has garnered more than 523K views at the time of writing; it has been retweeted 5.5K times, liked 8.2K times, and received 807 comments. The video ends with:

If we can counter the risks, then this new technology or some variation of it can completely change the way we sell, buy, save, invest, and pay our bills. And who knows, this could be the next step in the evolution of money.

The video references the IMF’s F&D (Finance & Development) magazine, June 2018 edition, entitled “Money, Transformed – The future of currency in a digital world.” When that magazine edition came out, the organization posted the above video on its Youtube channel, which received little interest at the time.

Many people in the crypto space view the IMF’s video as bullish. Tweets such as “IMF learning fast. Global adoption is on its way,” “This is a big deal,” and “They are finally understanding blockchain and cryptocurrency are not going away” flooded Twitter. One user wrote: “I still can’t believe I see this. IMF shills cryptocurrencies, of course, not bitcoin yet, but that time will come too.”

Since the IMF’s crypto explainer video does not mention any specific cryptocurrency, many commenters took the opportunity to promote their favorite coins.

Some people, however, criticize the content of the IMF video, saying that the information is misleading and omits many important points, including mining. Many also believe that bitcoin should have been mentioned. “Nothing about why people choose to store their wealth in a scarce currency like bitcoin instead of fiat currencies that are benign constantly debased by banksters and cantillionaires,” one user tweeted. “You forgot one fundamental difference between fiat and bitcoin. Fiat is printable by centralized entities like government & banks, whereas BTC is decentralized and has a limit cap to its supply where only 21 million will ever exist in this universe. All powered by blockchain,” another wrote.

Some questioned who the “bad guys” in the video are supposed to be and frowned upon it referring to private keys as passwords. Some say the video gives the appearance that all cryptocurrencies share the properties of bitcoin, and some suspect that the IMF is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency. One user noted that this video is set up like a “Prelude to their own crypto coin that will come out at some point fixing all the problems with crypto” that the IMF has outlined in this video.

Author: Kevin Helms

Source: News. Bitcoin: IMF Publishes Cryptocurrency Explainer, Saying It ‘Could Be the Next Step in the Evolution of Money’

The gold industry has been shaken after it was discovered that 83 tons of fake gold bars have been used as collateral for loans worth 20 billion yuan from 14 financial institutions to a major gold jewelry manufacturer in Wuhan, China. This amount of gold “would be equivalent to 22% of China’s annual gold production and 4.2% of the state gold reserve as of 2019.”

Using 83 Tons of Fake Gold to Get Loans

One of China’s largest gold jewelry manufacturers, Kingold Jewelry Inc., has been using fake gold to secure loans obtained from 14 Chinese financial institutions, Caixin reported Monday. The loans were for 20 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) obtained over the past five years. The Wuhan-based jewelry company was able to pass on the fake gold as pure gold, using it as collateral for loans and insurance policies to cover any losses. The publication detailed:

At least some of 83 tons of gold bars used as loan collateral turned out to be nothing but gilded copper. That has left lenders holding the bag for the remaining 16 billion yuan [$2.3 billion] of loans outstanding against the bogus bars.

Founded by Jia Zhihong in 2002, Kingold is the largest privately-owned gold processor in central China’s Hubei province. The Nasdaq-listed company (NASDAQ: KGJI) was previously a gold factory affiliated with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) that was split off from the central bank during a restructuring, the publication conveyed. Kingold’s chairman and controlling shareholder, the 59-year-old Jia served in the military in Wuhan and Guangzhou. He previously managed gold mines owned by the People’s Liberation Army.

The fake gold was first discovered in February when Dongguan Trust Co. Ltd. tried to liquidate Kingold’s collateral to cover defaulted debts. However, the gold bars turned out to be just “gilded copper alloy,” the news outlet described, adding that “The news sent shockwaves through Kingold’s creditors.” China Minsheng Trust Co. Ltd., one of Kingold’s largest creditors, then obtained a court order to test Kingold’s gold bars sitting in its coffers. The test result came back on May 22, confirming that the gold bars were just copper alloy. Two other creditors also tested Kingold’s pledged gold bars and found they were fake, Caixin learned, adding:

The 83 tons of purportedly pure gold … would be equivalent to 22% of China’s annual gold production and 4.2% of the state gold reserve as of 2019.

According to the news outlet, Chinese authorities are investigating how this happened. While Jia flatly denies that anything is wrong with the collateral his company put up, the Shanghai Gold Exchange, a gold industry self-regulatory organization, disqualified Kingold as a member on June 24.

Gold Market Dilemma and How Bitcoin Outshines Gold

The news of China’s fake gold has been heavily discussed on social media, with some questioning how much of the overall gold market is fake gold. Saifedean Ammous, the author of the popular book “The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking,” tweeted: “A quantity [approximately] 20% of China’s annual gold production was found to be fake. China is the world’s largest gold producer. How much more fake gold is out there? Could gold’s market supply be growing at 5-15% every year because of all the fake gold?”

New York Times bestselling author Jim Rickards opined: “The problem with Wuhan is not only do they lie about the [covid-19] virus, they lie about gold also. Wuhan looks like the world center of counterfeit gold bars.”

Many bitcoiners also chimed in on the fake gold discussions, comparing gold’s attributes to bitcoin’s. Tyler Winklevoss of Gemini crypto exchange noted, “This is why bitcoin is gold 2.0. It’s mathematically impossible to counterfeit.”

Shapeshift CEO Erik Voorhees commented, “I’m an advocate of gold, but one monetary attribute in which bitcoin handily beats gold is ‘verifiability.’ With free software any human (or machine) can verify bitcoin authenticity. Verifying gold requires expertise and equipment, & hard to scale.” Parallax Digital CEO Robert Breedlove tweeted:

Bitcoin is more divisible, durable, portable, recognizable (which encompasses verifiability), and scarce than gold. Bitcoin is also cheaper to safeguard and less vulnerable to theft. I wonder which one the free market will select?

Author: Kevin Helms

Source: News. Bitcoin: Gold Industry Shaken as 83 Tons of Fake Gold Bars Used to Secure $2 Billion Loans in China

Microsoft has patented a cryptocurrency mining system that leverages human activities, including brain waves and body heat, when performing online tasks such as using search engines, chatbots, and reading ads. “A user can solve the computationally difficult problem unconsciously,” the patent reads.

Crypto System Leveraging Body Activity Data

Microsoft Technology Licensing, the licensing arm of Microsoft Corp., has been granted an international patent for a “cryptocurrency system using body activity data.” The patent was published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on March 26. The application was filed on June 20 last year. “Human body activity associated with a task provided to a user may be used in a mining process of a cryptocurrency system,” the patent reads, adding as an example:

A brain wave or body heat emitted from the user when the user performs the task provided by an information or service provider, such as viewing advertisement or using certain internet services, can be used in the mining process.

Microsoft has patented a “cryptocurrency system using body activity data” with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the agency of the United Nations responsible for treaties involving copyright, patent, and trademark laws.

Noting that the method described may “reduce computational energy for the mining process as well as make the mining process faster,” the patent details:

For example, instead of massive computation work required by some conventional cryptocurrency systems, data generated based on the body activity of the user can be a proof-of-work, and therefore, a user can solve the computationally difficult problem unconsciously.

Patent Suggests Alternative Way to Mine Cryptocurrencies

The patent describes a system where a device can verify whether “the body activity data satisfies one or more conditions set by the cryptocurrency system, and award cryptocurrency to the user whose body activity data is verified.”

Microsoft patents a cryptocurrency system leveraging different types of sensors to “measure or sense body activity or scan human body,” such as heart rate monitors, thermal sensors, and optical sensors.

Different types of sensors can be used to “measure or sense body activity or scan human body,” the patent explains. They include “functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanners or sensors, electroencephalography (EEG) sensors, near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) sensors, heart rate monitors, thermal sensors, optical sensors, radio frequency (RF) sensors, ultrasonic sensors, cameras, or any other sensor or scanner” that will do the same job.

The system may reward cryptocurrency to an owner or a task operator “for providing services, such as, search engines, chatbots, applications or websites, offering users access for free to paid contents (e.g. video and audio streaming or electric books), or sharing information or data with users,” the patent details.

The idea of mining cryptocurrencies using human body heat has previously been explored by other organizations. For example, Manuel Beltrán, founder of the Dutch Institute of Human Obsolescence, set up an experiment in 2018 to mine cryptocurrencies with a special bodysuit that harvested the human body heat into a sustainable energy source. The electricity generated was then fed to a computer to mine cryptocurrencies.

Author: Kevin Helms

Source: News. Bitcoin: Microsoft Patents New Cryptocurrency System Using Body Activity Data

A U.S. congressman from Arizona has introduced the Cryptocurrency Act of 2020 while under coronavirus quarantine. The bill clarifies which federal agencies regulate which type of crypto assets. “It’s crucial that America remains the global leader in cryptocurrency,” the lawmaker said.

Cryptocurrency Act of 2020 Introduced
Rep. Paul Gosar revealed on Monday that he has introduced “the Crypto-Currency Act of 2020.” The lawmaker and some of his staff members are currently under self-quarantine after being exposed to an individual infected with the coronavirus. He wrote:

We may be quarantined, but our work continues. In fact, I just introduced the Crypto-Currency Act of 2020, a bill that my team has worked hard on over the past several months.

“By providing much-needed regulatory clarity about cryptocurrency, we will make it easier for businesses, institutions, and everyday Americans to participate in this growing industry. No more murkiness, uncertainty, or confusion,” the lawmaker detailed.

Rep. Paul Gosar announced on Monday that he has introduced the Cryptocurrency Act of 2020 while under self-quarantine after he was exposed to the coronavirus.

Gosar has served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona since 2011. The lawmaker is currently under self-quarantine after he and some of his staff members came in contact with an individual who has since tested positive for and is hospitalized for COVID-19. During the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), he shook hands with the individual several times. While insisting that he is not experiencing any symptoms, Gosar said, “I will remain at my home in Arizona until the conclusion of the 14 day period following my interaction with this individual.” He added that his office in Washington, D.C., is closed for a week.

Proposed Regulators Under Cryptocurrency Act of 2020

The aim of the bill, according to its text, is to “clarify which federal agencies regulate digital assets, to require those agencies to notify the public of any federal licenses, certifications, or registrations required to create or trade in such assets, and for other purposes.”

The bill defines “crypto-commodity,” “crypto-currency,” and “crypto-security.” It proposes that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) be the primary regulator of crypto-commodities, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the Comptroller of the Currency be the regulators of cryptocurrencies, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) be the regulator of crypto-securities and “synthetic stablecoins.” The Act defines this type of stablecoin as “a representation of currency issued by the United States or a foreign government” that “is collateralized on a one-to-one basis by such currency, and such currency is deposited in an insured depository institution.”

The Cryptocurrency Act of 2020 seeks to “clarify which federal agencies regulate digital assets, to require those agencies to notify the public of any federal licenses, certifications, or registrations required to create or trade in such assets, and for other purposes.”

The bill also proposes that FinCEN “shall issue rules to require each crypto-currency (including synthetic stablecoins) to allow for the tracing of transactions in the crypto-currency and persons engaging in such transactions in a manner similar to that required of financial institutions with respect to currency transactions.” Moreover, FinCEN “shall carry out audits of each reserve-backed stablecoin to ensure that each stablecoin is fully backed by currency issued by the United States or a foreign government.”

Lawmaker Wants America to Lead in Cryptocurrency

“It’s crucial that America remains the global leader in cryptocurrency,” Rep. Gosar emphasized on Monday. “As this technology spreads to emerging markets, the United States can continue to guide the development of cryptocurrency.” Noting that “America can’t afford to sit on the sidelines with this one,” he elaborated:

Cryptocurrency offers a way for forgotten and oppressed people to participate in the global economy … A beacon of hope to much of the world, cryptocurrency is becoming one of the fastest growing industries. The United States must remain part of that growth.

Rep. Gosar believes that “It’s crucial that America remains the global leader in cryptocurrency. As this technology spreads to emerging markets, the United States can continue to guide the development of cryptocurrency.”

The congressman noted that Metal Pay CEO Marshall Hayner and crypto investor Erik Finman provided guidance for his Cryptocurrency Act of 2020.

“It is the role of the government to create an environment where bold ideas can work for the American people,” the lawmaker opined, adding that “Supporting the Crypto-Currency Act of 2020 ensures America will be at the center of the future of commerce, banking, trade, and more.” Rep. Gosar concluded:

Every representative who cares about the livelihoods of their constituents should take a close look at this bill and join me in supporting it.

Author: Kevin Helms

Source: News. Bitcoin: US Lawmaker Introduces Crypto-Currency Act of 2020 While Under Coronavirus Quarantine

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