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Showing posts from October, 2017

What Comes After the Cryptocurrency Bubble?

ADVERTISEMENT JoePindar is the director of strategy in the office of the chief technology officer at security firm Gemalto.
In this opinion piece, Pindar argues that the recent token craze is a blip, and that blockchain technology remains more important in the long term than any currency.
If you attend investment conferences or talk to long-time industry analysts, it's clear that that the general cryptocurrency market bubble is unsustainable.
There were 30 initial coin offerings (ICOs) in July, each launching new cryptocurrencies. Then, in August, there were more than 50, with marketing and investors ranging from Floyd Mayweather to Paris Hilton.
Now, part of this mania is based on speculation. But it's also clear that we’re departing from the fundamental assumption of what a cryptocurrency originally is – a scarce digital commodity where the value derives from that scarcity.
Select winners Simply put, if more than 100 new sources of this digital commodity …

$5,200: Bitcoin Buoyant as Price Sets New All-Time High

Bitcoin has hit a new all-time high today, with prices reaching $5,226 on the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index.
At press time, the bitcoin-U.S. dollar (BTC/USD) exchange rate is trading at $5,200 levels. Week-on-week, BTC is up 18.75 percent, while month-on-month it's up 23 percent. The new record broke a previous all-time high of $5,013 set in September.
ADVERTISEMENT All in all, it's a sharp reversal of trend given the cryptocurrency dropped to a low of $2,980 in mid-September on the news China had banned token sales and that local cryptocurrency exchanges would shut in the aftermath. However, in subsequent days, bitcoin's price quickly regained, reportedly due to a pick-up in trading volumes in Japan, South Korea and other markets.
Increased institutional interest seems to have played a role in boosting bitcoin prices.
For example, a rumored "bitcoin desk" at Goldman Sachs would certainly be a game changer for the nascent market. Still, it's just the latest si…

Circle Is Building a Master Mobile Payments Network on Ethereum

Blockchain startup Circle has unveiled new software aimed at connecting the world's digital wallets. Known as 'CENTRE', the project seeks to create a way for digital wallets (like Venmo, Alipay or the startup's own Circle Pay) to communicate with one another. Put more simply, CENTRE as envisioned would let the companies behind those apps to transmit and settle funds between them. At its heart, the project targets the so-called "walled garden" issue, wherein different platforms – whether they be a social media site like Facebook or a payments app like Venmo – exist largely within their own ecosystems. Circle is aiming to build a bridge between them, betting that it would make for a more inclusive consumer payments environment. Circle released today a new white paper outlining the specifications and intended use for CENTRE, which notes that the project has grown since being established as an internal method for transacting in both cryptocurrencies and fiat cur…

The Benefits of Using a Consultant

Using a consultant can have many benefits, but before we go through these benefits it’s important that we cover a few things about consultants, as well as some tips for when using one. The nature of a consultant’s engagement with the client will change as priorities are refined and projects develop. Care must be taken to keep the project focused and stop it becoming an open-ended arrangement. It is essential that the client clearly remembers the initial purpose of the consultancy, and that changes in direction are subject to rigorous assessment. A consultancy assignment may contain a number of elements simultaneously. In other cases there may be a clear sequence from the strategic, through the tactical, to the purely operational. This could mean changing consultancies or adding other practices to the team, as the consultancy you start with may not be the most appropriate choice going forward. Now, onto what you came to read…
The benefits of using consultants include: Unique solutions that …

The Nazi gold

Nazi gold (GermanRaubgold, "stolen gold") is the rumored gold allegedly transferred by Nazi Germany to overseas banks during World War II. The regime is believed to have executed a policy of looting the assets of its victims to finance the war, collecting the looted assets in central depositories. The occasional transfer of gold in return for currency took place in collusion with many individual collaborative institutions. The precise identities of those institutions, as well as the exact extent of the transactions, remain unclear. The present whereabouts of Nazi gold that disappeared into European banking institutions in 1945 has been the subject of several books, conspiracy theories, and a failed civil suit brought in January 2000 against the Vatican Bank, the Franciscan Order, and other defendants. he draining of Germany's gold and foreign exchange reserves inhibited the acquisition of materiel, and the Nazi economy, focused on militarisation, could not afford to de…

Sea Change? Deloitte Is Tracking Ships' Certificates with Blockchain

Deloitte is taking non-financial applications of blockchain technology into uncharted waters. To record the inspection certificates for ships, oil rigs and the like on a private, shared ledger, the consulting firm's blockchain lab for Europe, the Middle East and Africa recently partnered with DNV GL, one of the world's largest classification societies. Such companies certify that vessels and offshore structures meet acceptable standards for safety and environmental impact. But, the certificates they issue can be forged, potentially undermining trust in the system. Further, checking that a certificate is real is a slow, cumbersome process. Deloitte and Norway-based DNV GL see blockchain technology as the answer to both problems. Their solution creates a digital ID of each certificate that is stored and accessed on a private blockchain. The decentralized approach is seen as a way to discourage fraud or otherwise tampering with the documents. Lory Kehoe, Deloitte's EMEA bloc…

Case-By-Case or Cease-and-Desist? In Search Of a New Approach to ICOs

That rumble you hear is the sound of regulators around the world mobilizing resources to tackle the pressing matter of token sales. Yet, in spite of the spectacular growth of blockchain token-based funding, no one seems to have a clear idea of what type of rules to introduce. The resulting uncertainty (not to mention ridicule) is left hindering progress as money flows to unviable projects and investors are left vulnerable to foul play – exactly what regulation is supposed to prevent. Perhaps a new approach is needed. But to see where this could go, it's worth stepping back and asking what we expect the regulation to do. Safety belt First, why do we need regulation, not just of finance, but of anything at all? To protect us. At its roots, that is the main role of government – to protect its citizens from avoidable harm and extreme loss brought about by others or from our own lack of common sense. When it comes to securities, that usually means stopping us from making poor decisions…