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Fear Not, China Is Not Banning Cryptocurrency

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In 2008 following the financial crisis, a paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” was published, detailing the concepts of a payment system. Bitcoin was born. Bitcoin gained the attention of the world for its use of blockchain technology and as an alternative to fiat currencies and commodities. Dubbed the next best technology after the internet, blockchain offered solutions to issues we have failed to address, or ignored over the past few decades. I will not delve into the technical aspect of it but here are some articles and videos that I recommend:

How Bitcoin Works Under the Hood

A gentle introduction to blockchain technology

Ever wonder how Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) actually work?

Fast forward to today, 5th February to be exact, authorities in China have just unveiled a new set of regulations to ban cryptocurrency. The Chinese government have already done so last year, but many have circumvented through foreign exchanges. It has now enlisted the almighty ‘Great Firewall of China’ to block access to foreign exchanges in a bid to stop its citizens from carrying out any cryptocurrency transactions.

To know more about the Chinese government stance, let’s backtrack a couple years back to 2013 when Bitcoin was gaining popularity among the Chinese citizens and prices were soaring. Concerned with the price volatility and speculations, the People’s Bank of China and five other government ministries published an official notice on December 2013 titled “Notice on Preventing Financial Risk of Bitcoin” (Link is in Mandarin). Several points were highlighted:

1. Due to various factors such as limited supply, anonymity and lack of a centralized issuer, Bitcoin is not a official currency but a virtual commodity that cannot be used in the open market.

2. All banks and financial organizations are not allowed to offer Bitcoin-related financial services or engage in trading activity related to Bitcoin.

3. All companies and websites that offer Bitcoin-related services are to register with the necessary government ministries.

4. Due to the anonymity and cross-border features of Bitcoin, organizations providing Bitcoin-related services ought to implement preventive measures such as KYC to prevent money laundering. Any suspicious activity including fraud, gambling and money laundering should to be reported to the authorities.

5. Organizations providing Bitcoin-related services ought to educate the public about Bitcoin and the technology behind it and not mislead the public with misinformation.

In layman’s term, Bitcoin is categorized as a virtual commodity (e.g in-game credits,) that can be bought or sold in its original form and not to be exchanged with fiat currency. It cannot be defined as money- something that serves as a medium of exchange, a unit of accounting, and a store of value.

Despite the notice being dated in 2013, it is still relevant with regards to the Chinese government stance on Bitcoin and as mentioned, there is no indication of the banning Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Rather, regulation and education about Bitcoin and blockchain will play a role in the Chinese crypto-market.

A similar notice was issued on Jan 2017, again emphasizing that Bitcoin is a virtual commodity and not a currency. In September 2017, the boom of initial coin offerings (ICOs) led to the publishing of a separate notice titled “Notice on Preventing Financial Risk of Issued Tokens”. Soon after, ICOs were banned and Chinese exchanges were investigated and eventually closed. (Hindsight is 20/20, they have made the right decision to ban ICOs and stop senseless gambling). Another blow was dealt to China’s cryptocurrency community in January 2018 when mining operations faced serious crackdowns, citing excessive electricity consumption.

While there is no official explanation on the crackdown of cryptocurrencies, capital controls, illegal activities and protection of its citizens from financial risk are some of the main reasons cited by experts. Indeed, Chinese regulators have implemented stricter controls such as overseas withdrawal cap and regulating foreign direct investment to limit capital outflow and ensure domestic investments. The anonymity and ease of cross-border transactions have also made cryptocurrency a favorite means for money laundering and fraudulent activities.

Since 2011, China has played a crucial role in the meteoric rise and fall of Bitcoin. At its peak, China accounted for over 95% of the global Bitcoin trading volume and three quarters of the mining operations. With regulators stepping in to control trading and mining operations, China’s dominance has shrunk significantly in exchange for stability.

With countries like Korea and India following suit in the crackdown, a shadow is now casted over the future of cryptocurrency. (I shall reiterate my point here: countries are regulating cryptocurrency, not banning it). Without a doubt, we will see more nations join in in the coming months to rein in the tumultuous crypto-market. Indeed, some kind of order was long overdue. Over the past year, cryptocurrencies are experiencing price volatility unheard of and ICOs are happening literally every other day. In 2017, the total market capitalization rose from 18 billion USD in January to an all-time high of 828 billion USD.

Nonetheless, the Chinese community are in surprisingly good spirits despite crackdowns. Online and offline communities are flourishing (I personally have attended quite a few events and visited some of the firms) and blockchain startups are sprouting all over China.

Major blockchain firms such as NEO, QTUM and VeChain are getting huge attention in the country. Startups like Nebulas, High Performance Blockchain (HPB) and Bibox are also gaining a fair amount of traction. Even giants such as Alibaba and Tencent are also exploring the capabilities of blockchain to enhance their platform. The list goes on and on but you get me; it’s going to be HUGGEE!

The Chinese government have also been embracing blockchain technology and have stepped up efforts in recent years to support the creation of a blockchain ecosystem.

In China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), it called for the development of promising technologies including blockchain and artificial intelligence. It also plans to strengthen research on the application of fintech in regulation, cloud computing and big data. Even the People’s Bank of China is also testing a prototype blockchain-based digital currency; however, with it likely to be a centralized digital currency slapped with some encryption technology, its adoption by the Chinese citizens remains to be seen.

The launch of the Trusted Blockchain Open Lab as well as the China Blockchain Technology and Industry Development Forum by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology are some of the other initiatives by the Chinese government to support the development of blockchain in China.

A recent report titled ” China Blockchain Development Report 2018″ (English version in the link) by China Blockchain Research Center detailed the development of the blockchain industry in China in 2017 including the various measures taken to regulate cryptocurrency in the mainland. In a separate section, the report highlighted the optimistic outlook of the blockchain industry and the massive attention it has received from VCs and the Chinese government in 2017.

In summary, the Chinese government have shown a positive attitude towards blockchain technology despite its enforcement on cryptocurrency and mining operations. China wants to control cryptocurrency, and China will get control. The repeated enforcements by the regulators were meant to protect its citizens from the financial risk of cryptocurrencies and limit capital outflow. As of now, it is legal for Chinese citizens to hold cryptocurrencies but they are not allowed to carry out any form of transaction; hence the ban of exchanges. As the market stabilizes in the coming months (or years), we will see undoubtedly see a revival of the Chinese crypto-market. Blockchain and cryptocurrency come hand-in-hand (with the exception of private chain where a token is unnecessary). Countries thus cannot ban cryptocurrency without banning blockchain the awesome technology!

One thing we can all agree on is that blockchain is still at its infancy. Many exciting developments awaits us and right now is definitely the best time to lay the foundation for a blockchain-enabled world.

Last but not least, HODL!

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Famous Futuristic George Gilder Weighs BSV Over BTC at Summit

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Bitcoin (BTC) Prices Hold Steady After a Severe Turmoil
  • The Summit is held annually to help investors discover new market trends.
  • Gilder highlighted the advantages of BSV over BTC to the current issues.

As per renowned futuristic George Gilder, a “dynamic Bitcoin” that has “really created a miracle in recent months,” BSV is on the verge of becoming the de facto standard for all global currency in the next five to ten years. The Famous futurist gave an online “Six Predictions Summit” presentation to a group of financial experts, highlighting the advantages of BSV over BTC as the answer to the current economic and technical issues.

Framework for New World Order Required

According to Gilder, “immutable, unhackable” Bitcoin and the blockchain have produced freedom from political control currency. “Dual hacking crises” (technology hacking and economic hacking) affect today’s globe. Still, they may be addressed by establishing a new global economy and laying a framework for new world order.

The Six Predictions Summit is held annually to help investors discover new market trends. Due to current travel and other constraints, this year’s event was hosted online instead of in person. Renowned investing trend spotters Jim Rickards, James Altucher, Ray Blanco, Zach Scheidt, and Alan Knuckman joined hosts Doug Hill and Matt Insley on the show.

George Gilder has referenced Bitcoin’s “digital gold” myth at several points. Aside from noting that “the original Bitcoin, BTC” and Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision or BSV are distinct, he reaffirmed gold’s usefulness as a long-term store of wealth.

Gilder said:

“Bitcoin Satoshi Vision has really created a miracle in recent months, rather than the static Bitcoin, which people hold on for dear life. It’s a dynamic Bitcoin that moves with the advance of technology.”

Despite the fact he called BTC “Bitcoin”, “the original Bitcoin” was not the answer he was talking about. The asset was regarded by him as being of no use to anybody except speculators, terming it as static.

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Is the Future of Real Estate in the Metaverse?

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Is the Future of Real Estate in the Metaverse?

Although the metaverse is not a new concept, it has recently gained much more attention. Many are now becoming familiar with the idea, and are looking into what its future offers and how they can be a part of it. The metaverse will completely transform the current way of life for the average individual, affecting work, trade, entertainment, leisure, exercise, social interactions, and everything in between.

Apart from the retail players, big tech companies are also getting into the space. Facebook, the world’s most popular social media platform as of 2021, has recently rebranded to “Meta”, showing its commitment to this new space. According to an official announcement, rebranding was necessary because the company is shifting its focus to bring the metaverse to life. Footwear and apparel giant Nike is also preparing for the metaverse and has signified interest in creating its own space, as well as Adidas, another powerhouse brand.

The metaverse will transform many aspects of life by improving interpersonal interactions, establishing communities, and helping businesses grow. The climate required to create and operate a successful business will also change considerably. Firstly, the metaverse will allow businesses, regardless of size, to establish digital stores for their goods and services. A significant advantage of these capabilities for the average company is that opening a physical store is no longer necessary. This could significantly reduce overhead costs without having to sacrifice customer reach. In a virtual world, a company can tap into wider audiences beyond the physical boundaries imposed in a real-life setting.

There are also multiple metaverse use cases for the entertainment sector. For example, entertainment brands could use metaverse locations to preview music to excite virtual fans, holding mega concerts to listeners around the world. Furthermore, fans may also get the chance to meet and interact with their favorite celebrities, an opportunity rarely possible in the real world.

Additionally, people can gather for leisure activities in virtual parks to play or bond over shared interests and ideas. These locations could replicate attractions available in the real world, engaging all different types of users in the process. For instance, people can build teams based on varying activities, including everything from traveling, virtual combat, or playing chess. The metaverse will offer a slew of new opportunities for individuals and brands alike.

One of the less obvious but very promising advantages of the metaverse is the opportunity to capitalize on virtual real estate. Regardless of sector or industry, the shift to the metaverse still requires individuals and businesses to establish a presence on the metaverse; this is where virtual real estate comes in and plays its part.

All metaverse offerings, including commerce, healthcare, entertainment, and other sectors, must set up shop somewhere in the metaverse to reach their desired base. Individuals can also invest in virtual properties for various reasons, In parallel to the traditional real estate market, Investors can earn profit by purchasing properties and leasing them to businesses and other franchises. Investors can also simply buy virtual properties, hold them into the future, and later flip them for a potential profit. With 500 million dollars sold just in real estate in the metaverse, last year projections state that it will double this year!

The key to making the best out of a real estate investment is getting in early. As with everything else, early buyers catch on quicker and are in a better position to make a profit if and when the value increases. Investors are able to pick their property at floor price in a strategic approach that will allow the potential for a larger profit as well as an easier sale just as investors do in the traditional real estate setting. Users looking to get into digital real estate in the metaverse can start their virtual portfolio and begin with Ethereum Towers.

Ethereum Towers

Ethereum Towers is a community-centric vertical megastructure set in the Ethereum Worlds metaverse. Consisting of 4,388 separate apartments, Ethereum Worlds is a major player in the space available to investors interested in taking an early chunk of the metaverse real estate market as it grows. The apartments in the structure are in two identical towers, each with 101 stories. Each apartment is an NFT on the Ethereum network and is available as an ERC-721 token.

All owners in the Ethereum Towers can use their apartments however they please. Each owner can personalize their space how they wish, giving them full autonomy over their digital real estate asset. For this, the Ethereum Towers offers a marketplace with a wide range of accessories, furnishings, and ornaments that owners can purchase and set as preferred. Since each apartment is available on the Ethereum blockchain as an NFT, ownership is guaranteed and easily verifiable.

Due to the deliberate design, Ethereum Towers apartment owners and guests can explore the social benefits of a large community with similar interests. All residents partake in a virtual social experience supported by meaningful interpersonal interactions. Each tower possesses communal areas where owners can meet and interact, regardless of any preconceived boundaries that would limit interaction in the physical world. Through these interactions, users can build a strong sense of belonging and establish friendships along the way.

Perhaps the most significant advantage to Ethereum Towers is the investment opportunity it offers. In the metaverse, unlike in the real world, digital property assets usually have a much lower entry barrier, making it much easier for interested investors to get involved before the masses. The value of the apartments are projected to increase over time as meta living becomes more popular, providing early adopters a chance to capitalize on being first movers.

Getting In Early

Investors that have been able to identify ideas that dramatically impact the functionality of the future have always prospered. Those who understand the impact and utility around the metaverse too will have a major headstart within the benefits that this realm will offer. With Facebook being one of the largest and most successful companies taking action to rebrand itself as “Meta,” this should give investors a clear idea that a new significant era is on the horizon.

 

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Popular Analyst Predicts Major Breakout for Ethereum (ETH) on the Cards

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Ethereum To Reach $20 Trillion by 2030 as per Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood
  • Ethereum’s price has rebounded from a two-month decline in the last week.
  • Partisans are bullish on ETH 2.0 and are targeting a price of $8,000 shortly.

Since its January lows, the price of Ethereum has risen almost 50%. The Ethereum blockchains native token, Ether, has recently shown indications of resurgence. The altcoin is benefiting from several fundamental factors.

ETH/USDT: Source: TradingVIew

Ethereum’s price has rebounded from a two-month decline in the last week and has already reached the $3,000 mark. Cryptocurrency analyst Benjamin Cowen predicted a significant breakout for Ethereum (ETH) this week. According to him, the ETH price range between $2,000 and $4,000 represents a major re-accumulation zone for a medium-term runway of higher prices.

Upcoming ETH 2.0 Crucial

It’s also predicted that the network’s different offerings would show greener candles. Additionally, Partisans are bullish on ETH 2.0 and are targeting a price of $8,000 shortly. As the price of ETH continues to rise steadily, the fear and greed index for Ethereum weighs more heavily on the greed side of things.

Every obstacle on its path to the $3,200 mark on the daily chart has been overcome by Ethereum. Bulls are fully expecting the next price drop to be taken out by them. Aiming for the $3,600 level, investors have successfully crossed the 50 SMA and the bearish sloping line.

More than 45 percent of Ethereum’s value has been wiped off since its all-time high on November 10. Since its November high, Bitcoin, the world’s most valuable digital currency, has fallen by more than half. However, prices reversed their downward trend in February.

However, if pricing fails to hold above $2,800 in the next few trading days, we might witness a further decline below $2,400. According to CoinMarketCap, the Ethereum price today is $3,195.23 USD with a 24-hour trading volume of $13,485,593,739 USD. Ethereum has been up 3.84% in the last 24 hours.

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