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Blockchain and the Digital Revolution

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Cryptocurrencies and new technologies such as Blockchain are bringing a new idea for the future of finance.

Many people however have been saying that even if the uncertainty towards Bitcoin ends in failure, the Blockchain technology is the real protagonist in this digital revolution.

In an interview with Francesco Abbate and Luigi Matrone, they give some light about the potential of digital currencies and Blockchain.

Interview: Abbate, Matrone

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Francesco Abbate – Finance Director at Procter & Gamble, co-founder of decrypto.biz, CEO at Swiss Crypto Advisors. With 15 years of high level Finance experience in a multinational environment, coupled with many years of study and interest first in Bitcoin and then in crypto-currencies he is not only an investor & trader but also an orator, public speaker in the world of crypto.

Luigi Matrone – Former global brand manager at Procter & Gamble, co-founder and CEO at E-Business Institute, a consulting firm that provide digital and e-business solution for companies. Investing in the crypto world since few years, also co-founder and CEO of Smarter-chains, a digital platform helping manufacturers drive margin improvement and customer centricity by leveraging new technological capabilities.

I tried to get out some tips. But I got much better than only tips.

How is the weather in Davos? Blockchain must have been a dominant part of the narrative at the recent WEF?

It is quite cold and it snowed a lot here, but the super-hot topic was undeniably blockchain, there were so many discussion panels on this, it is clearly one of the most debated area, with people interested in this from all industries. It shows that this is getting traction, although we are still at a very early stage.

Let’s begin with the value. Because in the end it is the ‘value’ that is going to determine the usage, prevalence and future of cryptos. What is the intrinsic value of Bitcoin/crypto? They are not backed up by gold like $ dollar or guaranteed by the government?

That is a very good point. Actually since 1973 Nixon abandoned the gold coverage of $ dollar so we entered into the fiat money era. We are personally the opposite of an anarchist and I like and value order and governments, although to be fair people in Argentina or Zimbabwe might have a different idea of what trust in the government means.

When it comes to intrinsic value it all depends on circumstances and what people are willing to use to transfer value. We started with barter deals, we went through gold, fiat money, credit cards…and credit card was a big revolution decades ago as people could not see the real money. In prisons often cigarettes are used as a mean of value transfer, so it is all relative and what matters is what people are willing to attribute value to, not always this might be what is guaranteed by a government.

So ultimately value is a matter of trust. But how can we believe in Bitcoin if it is not regulated? We often read of hacks and theft. I wouldn’t leave my money on the mercy of these cyber-crooks.

Very important point indeed. We get this question every day. Bitcoin in itself as a protocol and as a software is fully regulated, there are rules for everything, the code is open source and everyone can read it. You can see how new Bitcoin are created roughly every 10 minutes as rewards for mining, how transactions are signed and broadcasted, how the ledger is validated and maintained. You can’t change the rules without consensus; it is a “distributed democracy system”. And in itself the system is completely secure, not because we say so but because that is how it mathematically works, the block-chain itself practically immutable thanks to the amount of computational power necessary to add every block to the block-chain, it is just mathematically impossible to go back and change the content or orders of transaction, you can’t lose your Bitcoin or get stolen this way. What indeed happened and will continue to happen is hacks to personal accounts which are not protected, or to exchanges which are centralized. This has nothing to do with Bitcoin itself, it is either a personal fault (you are responsible for your security, like you would not give your credit card pin to strangers), or the result of a centralized player exchanging money for Bitcoin. If you leave your Bitcoin on exchanges and their central server gets hacked, then you can lose. Again, the point here is not to leave Bitcoin on exchanges and use basic security and safety procedures to be protected, we also take care of education and consultancy about this in www.decrypto.biz. As always, the users are the weakest point of the chain, but this can be minimized with specific knowledge, tools, and good practice.

Source: http://moderndiplomacy.eu/category/business/economy/

 

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Ether Donation to Anti-Aging Research

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Vitalik Buterin has made a donation of $2.4 million worth in Ether to the SENS Foundation, which is a charity fund that focuses in anti-aging research.

Ether Donation

The foundation was co-founded back in 2009 by Audrey de Grey. She is a gerontologist focused on the research of rejuvenative therapies that will extend people’s natural lifespan.

Buterin, was qoted in a press release as a “fan of Aubrey’s work since he first read Ending Aging from de Grey as a teenager”. He said:

“I am happy to have been blessed with the opportunity to personally support SENS’s efforts. Their focus on creating solutions to the diseases of aging, one of the greatest problems facing humanity, is very much in line with my goal to positively impact the lives of millions of people around the world.”

The SENS Research Foundation has already received two large donations totaling $2 million in Bitcoin (BTC) from the anonymous Bitcoin-only charity fund, Pineapple Fund — the first million dollars in December 2017 and another $1 million in BTC on Feb. 2.

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Bitcoinist Talks with David Drake

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In an interview with Bitcoinist, David Drake is the Chairman of LDJ Capital talked about his experiences with cryptocurrencies, his thoughts on ICO quality, and the potential consecuences of regulations in several countries across the world

Bitcoinist: David Drake

Bitcoinist: What is LDJ Capital? How much capital do you currently manage? 

David Drake (DD): LDJ Cayman Fund Ltd is a $200M cryptocurrency fund across the whole Capital stack.

I am also a board advisor for several Initial Token Offerings. Top 15 ICOs I advise raised $500,000,000 in the last 6 months.  Fortunately, I have 25 employees managing daily interactions with the 20 ICOs I help.

I certainly feel like a Lucky Golden Token.

LDJ Capital is a financially integrated family office with a global footprint and local presence in 12 countries. We raise interest from our family office resources and from our LDJ Capital team members, who include the likes of a former chairman of Nasdaq and CEO of Intel Capital. We are taking on a few more ICOs on a road trip in the next few months. 

Bitcoinist: Is your fund involved in cryptocurrency trading? 

DD: Yes, we’re involved in investing in crypto trading, as well as long-term investments but I’d say 80% of our trading you buy and hold as we are long-term players and looking in on the line of strong fundamentals.

After having underwritten and worked with 250 different funds we have finally learned how to understand and underwrite the best of the best. I made it 12 xx on quantstamp making millions.

Bitcoinist: What is your experience with Bitcoin/cryptocurrencies? 

DD: My job is best performed as a global strategist and board advisor. In parallel 150 family offices, crypto traders and hedge funds globally rely on my opinion. Thus, I need your ICO quality to be institutional-grade. 

Bitcoinist: What determines whether an ICO is “institutional-grade”?
DD: Equity capacity, revenue, existing business history, leadership, composition, regulatory framework, brand recognition.
Bitcoinist: What are your thoughts on crypto in 2018 so far? Typical January price correction across the board or something more serious? 

DD: I think we will have Regulators stirring up the marketplace several times a week for the next two months until the SEC comes out with a direction and institutions are starting to invest.

At that point, prices will go off and I think that’s going to happen around March and April.

Bitcoinist: What kind of impact will Facebook no longer allowing crypto ads have on the industry? Is this a good thing (e.g. no more BitConnect ads) or will it have a negative impact? 

DD: I think the industrial address will slow down the growth and the hype of the business, and that’s a good thing.

Bitcoinist: How about China banning ICO’s and clamping down on its mining industry? Is this the end of China being a dominant player in crypto? 

DD: The Chinese moved their business to Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Chinese exporters are getting paid in foreign fiat so they’re still very big exporters of capitals as they export their product. 

Source: http://bitcoinist.com/

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Cryptocurrencies is not Illegal in India

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has made some comments on the fact that cryptocurrencies are completly legal in India and that the government will move to make use of the star technology, Blockchain.

“…The Government does not consider crypto-currencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system. The Government will explore use of Blockchain technology proactively for ushering in digital economy.”

In an interview with Yourstory.com, Khurana clarified some of the doubts related to the issue with cryptos in India.

Interview with Yourstory: India

YourStory: What do you think about the FM’s mention on cryptocurrency in the Budget?  

Ajeet Khurana: We are extremely happy that something like cryptocurrency found mention in the Budget. It only goes on to say that the impact it has is so widespread, and there is an understanding that it exists in a strong way.

However, on the take of it not being a legal tender, we completely agree with the government on its  position.

We understand the concern around the illicit use of cryptocurrency and have maintained this position. Cryptocurrency enterprises have been maintaining complete transparency through KYC and other procedures to reduce the illicit use of these assets.

YS: The FM stated that cryptocurrency is not a part of the ‘payment system’. What is your view on this?

AK: The payments system includes a lot of things like the settlement mechanism, and the banking system. In recent times, digital wallets and other payment mechanisms have been added to the entire scenario.

What the Finance Minister might be saying is that cryptocurrency is not considered to be a part of these payment systems. Similarly, gold is not part of a payment system, but people still barter assets like gold for goods, as long as both parties record the transaction. It is an asset barter transaction.

There is a little subjectivity on the matter. Can an individual swap cryptocurrency for another cryptocurrency?

We have to wait for clarification on what the Finance Minister meant when he mentioned payment system.

YS: What should the end-investor in cryptocurrency take from this announcement?

AK:  There has been no indication by the government that it is banning exchanges. Neither does it stop people from holding a cryptocurrency. It is just saying that the government doesn’t recognise cryptocurrency as money, which no country in the world does except Japan.

YS: We see a powerplay when it comes to banks pulling out from crypto exchanges in the country. Isn’t this hinting at something? 

AK: We have had this discussion, and what we are sure of is that banks who have taken the action of not providing accounts or services to these exchanges have done it on their own will.  They haven’t been instructed by the RBI to do so, and the Central Bank hasn’t issued any circular in this regard.

Source: https://yourstory.com/

 

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