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James Altucher: “Bitcoin Critics Are Dead Wrong”



James Altucher, the former hedge fund manager, business blogger and best-selling author, only invests in things that solve problems. That idea is center of his investment strategy. With that in mind, it might seem strange that he so bullishly invests in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, emerging technologies typically accused of being “solutions searching for a problem.”

Altucher thinks that this claim is nonsense. He thinks that cryptocurrency solves a host of problems caused by the fiat-based financial system, particularly, the fees and time it takes to send international payments.

Altucher said that today, every international payment must pass through a network of local banks, central banks and international wire services, taking seven or eight hops to get to their destination, and with every hop involving fees, potential errors, threats to privacy and other security risks.

These are the kinds of problems cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are solutions for. Even with banks and financial incumbents looking for ways to utilize private blockchain technologies, Altucher is a big believer in cryptocurrency’s potential to take over the roles of financial intermediaries like banks.

While bitcoin could take the role of international payments from banks, Altucher stated ethereum, and its native token, ether, are better suited to provide a cheap and easy way to escrow funds in the form of the platform’s more sophisticated self-executing smart contracts.

Being extremely bullish on the future of cryptocurrency as a whole, Altucher is surprisingly bearish on the majority of cryptocurrencies now trading. In fact, he estimates that 880 of the 900 or so cryptocurrencies in circulation will ultimately prove worthless. Altucher’s pessimism is entirely consistent with his thesis about problem solving. To him, most cryptocurrencies are not solving a clear problem. However, he’s also open to taking the advice of experts and others that have done their homework.

As an example of both strategies at work, Altucher mentioned his recent investment in Filecoin, a distributed storage network that recently sold tokens to institutional investors. Filecoin uses the contract management feature of ether and, according to Altucher, solves several key problems of centralized cloud storage companies, like Dropbox, Amazon and Google. Advocates of decentralized storage like Altucher believe decentralization will make storage more robust, permanent and available while decreasing the cost.

“Imagine the entire storage market suddenly becomes decentralized? That’s a huge $100 billion industry, potentially,” he said.

Altucher sees cryptocurrency (or “data currencies” as he call them) as the next step forward in the long progression of the global financial system. For example, gold solved many of the barter system’s problems by allowing people to price everything using the precious metal as a common currency. But, it’s neither safe nor practical to travel with sacks of gold bars, so paper currency replaced gold.

Banks can track how much money we have by using accounts tied to debit and credit card numbers, and by virtualizing money this way, business is even easier to transact than it was using paper currency. According to Altucher, this transition has profoundly philosophical roots, and won’t end until all transactions and currencies become totally data driven.

Altucher believes we’re in the process of moving from theism, via humanism, to “data-ism.”  Altucher makes this philosophy a lot more practical with a metaphor: If you got sick in the old days, you prayed to god to fix your health problems; then you went to a doctor to fix your illness; and now you go to data to fix your health.

“You get an MRI. You get an EEG. The data figures out what your illness is,” he said, continuing: “If you look at every industry it all boils down to that same trend.”

Altucher thinks that trend is very much alive with currency today, where we’re moving from “In God We Trust” to the more data-driven “In Cryptography We Trust.”






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Cryptocurrencies is not Illegal in India




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, 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.



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Canada’s First Blockchain ETF




Harvest Portfolios has just received a green light to issue Canada’s first ever Blockchain-based Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), according to reports in a press release in February.

Canada’s First ETF


The fund will begin trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange at the beginning of next week.

First Trust’s ETF manager Karl Cheong stated that “every conversation with clients inevitably” will lead to questions rabout Bitcoin and Blockchain tech investments.

However, following the news from Canada’s new ETF, regulators at the US believe that funds such as that one are not yet ready for regulations under US laws.

On the other hand the director of the SEC, Dalia Blass said that there are “significant outstanding questions concerning how funds holding substantial amounts of cryptocurrencies and related products” would fit with legal requirements in the US.

Still, it seems like Canada has earned the right to celebrate its first Blockchain based Exchange Traded Fund.



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Founder of Cardstack Chris Tse Talks




Chris Tse, the Founder and Head of Product at Cardstack spoke to the TechBullion about his projects including his leadership of a team of blockchain architects that work together to make the experience layer of the decentralized Internet.

In this recent interview, Mr Tse will be sharing some of the future plans for the Cardstack blockchain project and the CARD token sale tha was just announced.


TB: Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Chris :I’m a lifelong technologist and designer, working on user-facing applications, analytic data systems, and open source software for nearly two decades: from hacking the Mozilla browser in the early days to designing dApps on Ethereum today. I’ve spent more than half of my career leading R&D and innovation teams for Fortune 500 companies, before more recently drawing upon my passion for open systems and protocols to start the Cardstack project. I’ve also co-founded two other blockchain startups, Dot Blockchain Media and Monegraph, which are pioneering real-world use cases for this new technology.

TB: What is Cardstack ?

Chris :Cardstack began in 2014 as an answer to a few questions: how can we create a user experience that will give people more power over their digital lives? How can we create a sustainable economic model for open source software? How can we use the power of the emerging decentralized Internet to make it all possible?

Users will get to know Cardstack through our Hub: an intuitive card-based user interface that lets users orchestrate their digital lives, whether it takes place on the cloud, on the blockchain, or on their own machine. From one place, users will be able to manage all of their software, and visualize all the information coming in and out. We open-source it, so that the system is not under any one part’s control.

For developers, Cardstack is an open-source SDK that allows for the creation of composable, extensible apps, backed by our off-chain consensus protocol and a deep library of powerful drop-in functionality. The key is that Cardstack allows makers to get paid according to the real usage of their work, calculated by our transparent, community-run payment and governance algorithm.

More than that, Cardstack is a new direction in how we think about the relationship of people to software and people to the Internet. It’s an economically viable, open-source vision of what decentralization looks like.

TB: What inspired you to launch a Blockchain and Cryptocurrency venture with Cardstack ?

Chris :We see an opportunity right now to challenge the way today’s monopolistic digital superpowers put users into silos, mine their data, and extract the value they create. Cardstack’s goal is to reorient the Internet around users. Blockchain and cryptocurrency are innovations that have laid a very strong foundation for that goal; we’re improving the technology and upgrading the experience to make it usable and sustainable for the mass market.

TB: What makes the Cardstack cryptocurrency unique?

Chris :The Cardstack Token (CARD) is an ERC20 token designed to give users one simple way to manage all their digital needs, while fairly paying developers and creators for doing good work. We back it up with a new consensus protocol called Tally, which harnesses currently existing GPU mining power to perform the complex calculations needed to scale up dApps while keeping everything secure. Built into this is a function to reward miners with a share of the ecosystem they’re helping to power, which makes everything economically sustainable.

TB: How much do you intend to raise in the CARD Token Sale and what are the steps for contributing?

Chris :We just announced our Token Generation Event details here: ​


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