Crypto Daily News: Vitalik Buterin Slams Centralized Exchanges and HBUS Opens in the US

Crypto Daily NewsCrypto Daily News

In today’s edition of Crypto Daily News, we cover why Vitalik Buterin slammed centralized cryptocurrency exchanges, the Philippines making moves in cryptocurrency, and HBUS’s opening in the United States.

Crypto Daily News: Vitalik Buterin Hates Centralized Exchanges

On July 6th, Vitalik Buterin spoke in a ‘fireside‘ chat with Jon Evans at the TechCrunch Session focused on the blockchain. Most of the session was about Buterin’s hate for centralized cryptocurrency exchanges.

“I definitely hope centralized exchanges go burn in hell as much as possible,” Buterin told Evans heatedly.

His ideal situation would be to have crypto-to-crypto exchanges, but those are a long way from making their way to the market. There would be no ‘login’ or ‘sign up,’ and the money would be sent to a wallet or an output address. The exchange would only act as an input/output tunnel.

Buterin’s biggest frustration with centralized exchanges has to do with the fees associated with them. Some exchanges charge $10 – $15 million to let people trade their tokens on the exchange.

Ultimately, the Ethereum co-founder feels it would be difficult to live in a world where everything is either centralized or decentralized because everyone has different needs.

Crypto Daily News: The Philippines Makes Progress in Crypto

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has just approved two new cryptocurrency exchanges. Now, there are five total approved exchanges within the country, but it seems there are far more still pending approval.

The tax cuts for crypto startups in the country is a big deal and will drive the expansion of blockchain in the Philippines.

Crypto Daily News: HBUS Open For Business

The Huobi group’s US entity, HBUS, just announced that it has opened its US sign-ups.

The exchange is 100% compliant with all authorities within the US and will begin trades starting on the 10th of this month. In the first 30 days, HBUS is offering zero trading fees to get investors comfortable with its platform.

>> Binance Donates $1M to Japan Earthquake Relief: You Can Help Too!

Featured image: Twitter

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Crypto in the Second Half of 2018: Got Predictions? Get Your Bets in! 🎲

crypto second half of 2018crypto second half of 2018

Crypto Second Half of 2018: Investors were not pleased with the first half of 2018. While some focused on the S&P 500 (it’s up 1% YTD, instead of the usual 3.5%), others focused on cryptocurrencies.

In particular, investors watched Bitcoin, which notched up a 16- fold increase in 2017, only to drop by 55% between the start of 2018 and June 27th. 

Now, as of July 1, we are in the second half of 2018. Which means if things are going to change, now is the time to get going. But what if things change for the worse? Some speculate this might happen in the cryptocurrency industry. 

Crypto Second Half of 2018: Placing Bets 

A number of predictions have been made for crypto in the second half of 2018. From more regulation to more comments from Wall Street veterans, there is a lot of stuff up in the air about crypto Q2 2018. 

In this article, we’ll look at 3 specific crypto second half of 2018 predictions.

1: More Crypto Regulation 

Crypto regulation has been discussed on multiple occasions, and even though progress has been made, more needs to be done.

As a result, we should expect to see the Department of Justice (DOJ) increase its crackdown on illegal activity. 

2: More Guidance from the SEC

Moreover, the SEC is expected to provide more guidance on initial coin offerings (ICOs). This is important, as ICOs continue to garner more mainstream attention.

The reason we need more information is that many remain unclear about ICOs. Are they revolutionary, like some have said? Or, are they just another Ponzi Scheme, which has also been claimed? 

Others expect the SEC to answer the burning question of whether all ICOs are classified as securities in the second half of the year. If the SEC makes this announcement, we should expect to see fundraising slow down considerably.

>> Difference Between an ICO and a Cryptocurrency  

3: More Adoption on Wall Street 

In order for there to be wider Wall Street adoption of cryptocurrencies, the first two predictions on this list need to come true.

Large financial institutions will continue to stay away from cryptocurrencies and ICOs until the SEC clearly communicates its rulings on digital currencies. 

Take the example of Coinbase and Ripple (XRP). Sure, it makes sense for Ripple (XRP) to be listed on Coinbase, but the crypto startup has said publicly that it will never list XRP until the SEC has made its decision on the virtual currency. 

Additionally, regulators need to show that they can remove the criminal activity from the crypto industry. If these requirements are met, more traditional financial firms will enter the crypto space. 

>> Financial Institutions Already Involved in Crypto

Crypto Second Half of 2018: The Takeaway

Continued market volatility is also expected for the crypto industry, but this seems like a given. After all, even the most successful of stocks experience volatility from time to time. 

Do you have any more predictions for crypto? We’d love to hear them! Let us know in the comments below. 

Featured Image: Depositphotos/Konstantinp

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Venezuela Wants to Use Its Petro Cryptocurrency to House the Homeless

Venezuela Petro cryptocurrencyVenezuela Petro cryptocurrency

Venezuela Petro cryptocurrency: Lldemaro Villarroel, the Venezuelan Minister of Habitat and Housing, just announced that the Venezuelan government is planning on using the national cryptocurrency Petro to house the homeless, Criptotendencia reported yesterday.

The project will be called ‘Great Mission for Venezuela Housing‘ (GMVV) and the Venezuelan government will be fully funding it. GMVV aims to provide quality housing to the homeless.

Great Mission for Venezuela Housing

According to the GMVV website, the government has built more than 2 million houses to date. Villaroel states that 33 companies have teamed together to start tests on the construction process.

Villarroel told the press:

“Together with the governors, we are reviewing the plans that we will begin in the second quarter, in this second quarter GMVV will have an injection of financial resources, which this year will be protected and established with [the] Petro.”

The president of Venezuela, Nicola Maduro, approved the use of 75 billion bolivars (USD $750,000) and 909 Petros to build the new housing units. Maduro adds that the oil-backed cryptocurrency offers many benefits that represent a protective shield for the housing construction.

>> President Trump vs. the Petro Coin

Declining Bolivars

The country has been under major scrutiny for the Venezuela Petro cryptocurrency. The country is going through a major recession and many feel its use of the Petro was a way to get countries to pay for its bail-out.

Earlier this year, the Venezuelan government said it could charge for exports in the oil-backed cryptocurrency and even offered India a 30% discount if they paid in Petros. Ultimately, India rejected the proposal.

When the Petro was first introduced, the Trump Administration signed sanctions against the coin and restricted US banks from purchasing Venezuelan debt.

Is the Venezuelan government trying to con countries into buying in by using it to partially fund the homeless housing project? Clearly, the government isn’t using only Petros as currency. We shall see.

Featured image: sciencemag.org

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Less than 4% of Crypto Coins are Successful

COins hit zeroCOins hit zero

Today has not been the best day for cryptocurrencies everywhere. With Bitcoin declining below the critical $6K level, it marks the furthest drop in the coin since November.

Declining as much as 4.2 percent on Friday, it is currently trading around the $5,900 mark; this is whopping 59 percent decline from its highs at the beginning of this year.

Coins Hit Zero

As with many things, where leaders go the rest will follow and the cryptocurrency market seems to be reflective of that adage. For example, today also saw Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash fall dramatically — with ETH now hovering around the $400 mark (a drop of around 5.6% since yesterday) and BCH struggling with a 5.12% loss. It is currently trading at $661.

Though the coin leaders have dropped in value they still hold relative worth; major financial figures see the potential in the downturn suggesting that when BTC drops to 5K, it will be a perfect time to buy (which may, of course, see the price spike again). And there will always be the optimistic bulls who still believe in the outlandish price Bitcoin could hit by year-end, seeing the massive loss of value as only a mere slump.

The Ones that Got Left Behind

The issue, however, is that the market consists of over 1000 lesser-known coins too, and they have been hit the hardest. Is anybody even noticing? Reputable sites Coinopsy and Dead Coins have listed between 800 to 1000 coins that are now effectively worth nothing. Coins such as: Protex, Zcash Classis, and MoxyOn are deceased, whereas Fujinto, Allion, and Nanotec, were all scams.

According to a March analysis from Satis Group (an ICO advisory firm), less than 4 percent of coins with market caps from $50 million to $100 million have actually sustained themselves and become successful or promising. This fact when combined with the reality that the entire market cap has fallen from $830 billion at the crypto-mania peak to $236 billion today, highlights a languishing market; the combined value of tokens tracked by CoinMarketCap.com has dropped by two-thirds.

Crypto Concerns

There has always been concern surrounding cryptocurrency and these concerns have always weighed heavily on the market price. Catalysts for price volatility include; sentiments that the market is a breeding ground for illegal activity, questions over the “true” value of coins, dodgy ICO’s and pump and dump schemes. Add to that, exchanges which are a hotbed for hacking attempts with some major successful attempts over the years.

>>The Watchlist: Three Potential Crypto Hubs Around the World

Bitcoin is considered to be a bubble by many influential voices and its activity is very similar in many ways to the Dot-com bubble of the late 90’s. So many coins are making unkept promises and falling at the hurdles of longevity. Bitcoin is still hanging in there but will it ever hit those highs of late 2017 again? Are investors now buying into what is effectively a long goodbye?

Leave your thoughts below!

Featured Image: DepositPhotos/denisismagilov

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Bank of England Warns Executives of Crypto Risks – An Important Reminder

Bank of England crypto opinionBank of England crypto opinion

Bank of England crypto opinion: Earlier this year financial and political institutions in the United Kingdom decided to respond to claims that the crypto industry has risks attached to it. This would not be the first time the UK spoke on this topic.

On Thursday, June 28th, the Bank of England was the latest institution in the country to address crypto risks.

Bank of England Crypto Opinion: Risk Warning

In March of this year, the UK Central Bank discussed the topic of cryptocurrencies at a conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. The gist of the conversation was that virtual currencies are susceptible to illegal activity, such as money laundering.

Fast forward roughly three months, and the Bank of England is now saying something similar.

Sam Woods, the head of the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority, wrote to various company bosses Thursday. Why? Well, Woods warned these chief executives of various crypto risks and reminded them to wade carefully into the crypto water when investing.

Is There Truth in Sam Woods’ Words?

The Bank of England is on the right track. While it’s true that companies have taken stakes in these assets despite the risks, the more reminded we are of how susceptible cryptocurrencies can be to illegal activity, the more precautious we will be. At least, that’s the hope.

Even Japan is on the same page. Yesterday, Japan rolled out a new regulation, one that is supposed to help crack down on crypto money laundering.

Not every country is willing to do this, though. Some believe the benefits of the crypto industry outweigh the negatives. Is that true, though?

Warning: Danger!

In the written note to company bosses, the head of the Bank of England’s PRA reminded these executives – primarily those who work in banks, investment firms, and insurance companies – that there are certain PRA rules when it comes to “exposure to crypto-assets.”

He warned of two crypto risks, in particular:

1) Crypto assets fluctuate a lot in price, making them hard to sell.

2) Crypto assets are vulnerable to the following: crypto money laundering, fraud, manipulation, and terrorist financing risks.

And if that wasn’t a kick in the butt that some people may have needed to see crypto in a different light, Sam Woods wrote that entering into the crypto market may cause “reputational risks.”

The Takeaway

Do you agree that there are a number of crypto risks? Or, do you think it’s how people go about the industry that makes it risky? For instance, launching coins that weren’t ready to go live, which then causes trouble across the board?

Let us know in the comments below whether or not you believe in the Bank of England crypto opinion!

>> Will Facebook Acquire Coinbase? Cryptocurrency Ad Ban Removed

Featured Image: Depositphotos/© fazon1

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Facebook to Lift Ban on Cryptocurrency Advertising

Facebook Reverses cryptocurrency ad banFacebook Reverses cryptocurrency ad ban

Facebook banned crypto advertising on its platform back in January of this year. This was a blanket ban on all ads which were crypto-related and was deemed necessary to protect users from illegitimate promoters.

The decision caused controversy with many feeling it was an unfair move that meant business growth would be virtually impossible for new business ventures in the cryptosphere. 

In the ever-swaying battle for and against cryptocurrencies, it seemed that all the major social media platforms had gotten together like twittering school girls to leave cryptocurrencies out in the cold. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Bing, had all banned cryptocurrency advertising of any sort.

If Facebook is starting to ease on this though, will we see the others follow? Is the world starting to fall in love with cryptocurrencies again?

Facebook Reverses Cryptocurrency Ad Ban – Whats Going On?

Today, June 26, Facebook updated its policy to allow cryptocurrencies and services such as exchanges to once again be advertised. however, it still maintains its position on ICO advertising. The promotion of initial coin offerings is still prohibited.

Facebook claims it was spending the last few months “refining” its ban on crypto-relative advertising to allow “some ads while also working to ensure that they’re safe.”

The new policy now means that advertisers wanting to run cryptocurrency ads will have to submit an application which Facebook will then assess in order to determine eligibility. Applicants must include “any licenses they have obtained, whether they are traded on a public stock exchange, and other relevant public backgrounds on their business.”

Facebook’s policy is still being developed and may be refined further in time “if necessary”. The company will listen to feedback and understands that not everyone will be happy as they still won’t meet all requirements of the submission necessities.

>>Robinhood Crypto: Is the Trading App Creating a Wallet?

Developments

As with most major companies, the underpinning technology of cryptocurrencies – blockchain technology- is continually being studied by Facebook as it updates its policies. It seems the company is tepidly moving back in favor of the digital coins and we might see a total lift of the ban in the months to come. 

Place your bets! Will Google be next to lift its ban? Share your thoughts below!

Featured Image: depositphotos.com/RedKoala

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Robinhood Crypto: Is the Trading App Making a Crypto Wallet?

Robinhood CryptoRobinhood Crypto

Robinhood Crypto: Rumors are circulating the crypto industry this Tuesday morning. Normally, we see rumors of exchanges adding certain cryptocurrencies – but today, things are a little different.

Robinhood Crypto: Looking for Crypto Engineers – Why?

The week has only just kicked off, and yet, we’re already seeing speculation regarding the future of Robinhood, a stock and crypto trading app.

On June 26th, Robinhood posted a job advertisement. Specifically, Robinhood announced that it is actively seeking multi-skilled crypto engineers. But why?

The advertisement makes a reference to the creation of a crypto wallet. As a result, many are now speculating that Robinhood wants to hire crypto engineers so that it can create its very own storage option.

If you’re reading this, and you’re a crypto engineer, then you may have just found yourself a job! There are some requirements, however, according to the advertisement.

Here are two:

Build New Functionality

Those applying for the crypto engineering position will have to “build out new functionality.” Robinhood provided the following examples: add new virtual currencies and provide functionality for a wallet.

Utilize Blockchains

As a crypto engineer, says Robinhood, prospective candidates will need to know how to “utilize blockchains for new features or infrastructure.”

The Takeaway

As a crypto trading app, Robinhood is actively involved in the crypto industry. However, the company has become even more so as of late. Last month, the company brought in $368M in order to expand its Robinhood Crypto spin-0ff.

Moreover, earlier this month, reports surfaced that Robinhood may be trying to get its hands on a US banking license.

But is the potential crypto wallet going to consume everyone’s minds? If one is created, not only will it be giving crypto engineers jobs, and Robinhood its own in-house option, but it also gives users of the crypto trading app the option of a crypto wallet.

It’s important to mention that Robinhood has yet to make an official statement on these rumors. So stay tuned, and we’ll try to provide one as soon as its published. If it happens, that is.

>> Binance Trading Resumes: Crypto Exchange Shares New Binance Info App

Featured Image: twitter

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Japan’s Finance Minister Considers a Change to Crypto Taxation

Japan Cryptocurrency TaxJapan Cryptocurrency Tax

Japan Cryptocurrency Tax: Taro Aso, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance for Japan, has concerns over cryptocurrency taxes in his country but believes it to be doubtful that the public would accept any changes made to the cryptocurrency taxation law.

Japan Cryptocurrency Tax

Currently, cryptocurrencies are taxed as “miscellaneous income”. Items taxed under this category can incur taxes up to 55%. However, Aso feels a better approach to cryptocurrencies is to tax them as “separate self-assessment taxation”.

This category would bring cryptocurrency taxes to a flat rate of 20 percent which is similar to stocks or forex trades. The question of “tax-fairness” is a concern, however, as the public is expected to react strongly against this potential categorical shift.

Upper House Budget Committee Meeting

Aso spoke during today’s Upper House Budget Committee meeting, where he also talked about the importance of developing blockchain technology. But he added that supporting it is controversial considering the technology’s underpinning of cryptocurrencies. Aso believes that the position of cryptocurrency in the international financial sector remains uncertain.

During the same meeting,  He also spoke of the importance of the development of blockchain technology but added that supporting the technology can be controversial, given that it underlies cryptocurrencies.

What About Coincheck?

Japan is considered a crypto-positive nation but its government has become stricter on cryptocurrencies especially since the infamous hack of Japan’s crypto exchange Coincheck back in January of this year. In this one hack, the equivalent of $530 million USD was stolen, making this the largest hack yet in the cryptocurrency sphere. The exchange is still making repayments to its customers.

>>Crypto World Cup Day 12: Brad Garlinghouse vs CryptoYoda

Since this major hack, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has been cracking down on exchanges and businesses relating to cryptocurrency. The FSA has been issuing business improvement notices to several cryptocurrency platforms. Inclusive in their list are exchanges that may have involvement with an organized crime group for example.

What are your thoughts on cryptocurrency taxes? Is it fair to set a flat-out tax rate of 20 percent across the board? Share with us below!

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Stock Trading App Robinhood Wants to Become a Bank

Robinhood stock trading appRobinhood stock trading app

Robinhood stock trading app: A National Banking Charter is attractive to many financial tech companies but alas! it is very hard to get. That hasn’t stopped California-based stock trading app Robinhood from approaching regulators at the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), with an ambition to acquire necessary licenses allowing it to receive a national banking charter. This would effectively class the platform as a bank. 

The idea is to become a more official banking platform, covering all bases; from cryptocurrency to stocks and fiat accounts for its customers. Currently, Robinhood boasts a 4 million strong user-base who enjoy commission-free stock trading. In the last year, alongside equity investments, it introduced the ability to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum for users across 16 states. If the company can receive ‘bank’ status it could offer more services such as savings accounts to its customers and become a one-stop-shop for finance.

Robinhood Stock Trading App

At present, Robinhood is registered with FINRA as a broker-dealer and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). If the company was to offer traditional banking services, it would join the ranks of several Fintech startups who have the idea of stirring people away from larger banks. This is rather reflective of current trends encouraged especially by those who trade in cryptocurrencies. Promises of higher interest rates, a smoother and convenient user experience, along with transparency, are attractive to many potential clients.

National Banking Charter Regulations

But the regulations surrounding banking services are vast and complicated. Most startups that have been offering banking services are usually affiliated with an existing institution and haven’t actually acquired a banking license themselves. Licenses can in some cases take years to finalize.

Other companies who are said to also be registering as a national bank include Circle – a $3billion crypto finance company and the world-renowned crypto exchange Coinbase.

>>Crypto World Cup Day 8: Vitalik Buterin vs. Charlie Lee

Joseph Otting, Comptroller of the Currency recently stated: “Most Fintechs come to us because they have heard of this thing called a national banking charter that gives them pre-emption across state lines…when they come and they speak to us, and they understand what it really takes to be a bank, they kind of glaze over and often leave skid marks leaving the building.”

It seems the task is an undertaking not to be reckoned with. Will Robinhood succeed? or leave the OCC with its tail between its legs?

Featured Image: indexventures.com

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Charlie Lee Talks Bithumb Hack, Bitcoin Price, and Lightning Network

Charlie Lee on CNBCCharlie Lee on CNBC

Charlie Lee on CNBC: Charlie Lee, founder of Litecoin (LTC), chatted with CNBC about the recent Bithumb hack, Bitcoin price, and the Lightning Network.

Charlie Lee on CNBC: Bithumb Hack

The South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb was hacked earlier this week, with a total of USD $30 million in crypto being stolen. It was enough to shift the exchange from its sixth-place ranking for daily trading volume down to seventh. Along with the loss of crypto from the exchange, many cryptocurrencies’ prices plummeted from the resulting panic, including Bitcoin (BTC).

Lee explained that the price drop was to be expected. “It happens all the time,” he said. Crypto is stolen, people get scared, and so people sell, causing crypto prices to drop.

However, Lee argued that Bithumb being hacked – really, any exchange hack – doesn’t change Bitcoin’s core fundamentals. He likened this to a bank robbery:

“It’s like if a bank gets broken in and gold gets stolen, does this affect the price of gold? It shouldn’t. Same with Bitcoin. If the exchange doesn’t protect their coin well enough and gets hacked, it doesn’t really change the fundamentals of the coin that they’re protecting.”

His reasoning comes down to the fact that an exchange hack has more to do with the security of the exchange than it does with the crypto stolen.

Charlie Lee on CNBC: Bitcoin Price

Bitcoin may be dropping since the start of this year, but Lee is adamant that the coin is still “going really well.” He explains that Bitcoin’s network is becoming stronger and that the price of BTC is probably “disjointed from the actual development of Bitcoin.”

He noted that the market is unpredictable and that right now, it’s a bear market with no way of telling how long that will last.

“I’ve been in this space for seven to eight years now and I’ve seen bear markets last three to four years now. So, this one could be a three to four year market or it could recover tomorrow.”

The takeaway here is that it’s more important to pay attention to the developments of crypto projects than their current prices.

He finished by saying, “I have faith that prices will rebound and come back up fairly soon.”

Charlie Lee on CNBC: Lightning Network

Charlie Lee said that the thing he was most excited about currently in the crypto space was the Lightning Network.

“What I’m most excited about is Lightning Network. Technically, Bitcoin has gotten stronger and stronger over the past few years. SegWit has activated, developers are working hard on getting Lightning Network which is the second layer solution for payments working on Bitcoin and Litecoin.”

What did you think of Charlie Lee on CNBC? Do you agree with him?

>> Litecoin Futures Trading: Coming Sooner Than You Think

Featured image: Bitsonline

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