A citizen of Japan, Ken Takahashi, created a petition on the site change.org which was aimed at the Olympic Games Committee and proposed XRP as an official cryptocurrency of the upcoming games in Tokyo.
The petition has already been signed by almost 9 thousand people.
According to its author, such a huge sports event boosts the demand for the local currency which in its turn causes multiple problems like the insufficient amount of exchanges, communication issues etc, whereas “the fast transaction times and security of Ripple Lab’s XRP cryptocurrency” could be essential in solving these problems.
A UK-based mining firm, The Bitfury Group, has announced that it will launch a music platform which operates on the blockchain technology. This idea is not new, as many other tech companies also tried to do such a platform.
The platform, named SurroundTM, will become a helpful tool for every musician, as it plans to create a new environment where it is much easier to manage the musicians’ affairs. In particular, the platform will simplify the process of transfer of copyright assets, the user will be able to see his/her output. Bitfury believes that SurroundTM will implement blockchain into music industry much further than anything ever before.
“There is a very strong momentum for an open entertainment-related blockchain where market participants themselves would be participating in the market venue, not only from a transactional point of view.”
The company has offices in Europe, yet, it plans to expand the service and establish offices in Tokyo, LA, Moscow, and Seoul. It also seeks the possibilities of providing a digital system for both monetizing and sharing intellectual property.
Recently, there appeared rumors on the Internet, saying that the second largest financial institution, Bank of America, might be considering forming a partnership with Ripple Labs and incorporating the blockchain technology into its system, according to Fintech News.
Currently, the bank is using SWIFT technology for international transactions, which proved to be quite inconvenient, slow and insecure.
It is still unclear whether Bank of America wants to fully apply Ripple technology or create a similar app, but its main intention is to let the customers make transaction between various banks in a safer and easier way.
Neither of the sides have officially commented on the matter so far.
At first, the streamer received only 4 BTC. He didn’t take it seriously right away, but kept receiving new donations in cryptocurrency. Overall, Sick Nerd became richer by over 20 BTC during his streaming session.
This is the largest crypto donation sent to a video game player ever, and, of course, the largest donation ever received by Sick Nerd (more than 70 thousand dollars).
Cryptocurrency keeps making its way into every sphere of human activity, and video games are no exception. We remind you:
Headlines with RippleNet pop up on the first pages very often meaning that the interest towards the Ripple’s DLT technology does not go away, and it is better to say, even increases. And the company decided to cheer its users by the news that other 13 financial institutions had joined RippleNet, putting the total at over 200.
Among these new 13 customers, only five of them will use the Ripple’s coin for liquidity, they are:
Euro Exim Bank.
Others, like CIMB or Olympia Trust Company, are interested in immediate settlement, they are able to draw faster and more transparent payments using RippleNet. BBVA, in its turn, arranged loans to Porsche, as well as made international transfers using Ripple’s technology stack.
The director of Euro Exim Bank has commented on the partnership:
“As a leader in trade finance solutions for global corporates and fintechs, we are uniquely placed to offer new payment channels and ways to source liquidity. Our customers—whether big corporates or individual remitters—have historically been restricted from obtaining suitable funds or settling transactions in a cost efficient and timely manner. Working collaboratively with Ripple and selected counterparts, we have designed, tested and are implementing both xCurrent and xRapid in record time, and we look forward to the benefits these will bring our customers.”
Bitcoin has had a pretty serious way to recognition of a wider audience in its not very long history. Everyone must have heard the story about two pizzas, which were bought on May 22, 2010 for 10000 BTC. By the way, that was the first official purchase, which was committed with Bitcoin. In these 8 years, a lot has changed. In this article we will tell you about where you can spend Bitcoin, and what can be purchased for it.
Nowadays it is possible to buy property for Bitcoin in many countries of the world.
A building company from the United Arab Emirates, Knox Group began accepting BTC as payment in 2017.
One of the largest real estate agencies in New York, Magnum Real Estate accepts Bitcoins from its customers. According to the company’s board of directors, their main goal is not to popularize cryptocurrencies, but to diversify their own assets.
It is worth noting that there are still not many companies on the real estate market that officially accept cryptocurrency as payment. It is connected with uncertain policies on the part of regulators. It is noteworthy that the opposite situation is observed among individuals – every day an increasing number of property owners are ready to sell their property for Bitcoin. Such deals attract people with their speed, reliability and minimal bureaucracy issues.
An increasing number of people are willing to receive payment in Bitcoins in the car industry. And we are talking not only about individuals, but also about large car dealerships. The first official car purchase with Bitcoins occurred in California in the dealer center of Lamborghini. After few weeks a similar deal happened at the Finnish auto show Auto-outlet Helsinki Oy. Elon Musk`s car brainchild also keeps up with current trends. There is an option to make an application on tesla.com, and then pay for an electric car with the help of Bitcoins without any problems.
The majority of all car dealers that accept payment for cryptocurrency are located in the Czech Republic. Of course, there are much more similar offers on the secondary car market than on the primary. And the reasons for this phenomenon here are absolutely the same as on the real estate market.
Many people, who are interested in cryptocurrencies, have a question: “Where can I use Bitcoin in real life?” Travel agencies, airlines, hotels accept cryptocurrencies most often. The Lithuanian airline Air Lituanica has become a pioneer in this area. It started to accept BTC in 2014 and completely removed the commission in order to popularize such a payment method. The Latvian AirBaltic and the Polish airline LOT followed this example after a while.
Of course, most of the airlines that accept payments in BTC are located in the United States. There is an airline company GuestLogix in Canada, which offers to buy not only tickets, but also other additional services like Wi-Fi, food, drinks for BTC.
But the travelling market is not limited with transportations only; therefore, an increasing number of travel companies that offer a full range of services for BTC, began to appear in this industry.
How to spend Bitcoins in educational field? Honestly, there are not so many educational institutions that are ready to accept BTC as a payment, but this list is constantly growing.
The first university, what began to accept cryptocurrency, was one of the largest educational institutions in Cyprus. After that two quiet large educational institutions: King’s College (USA) and University of Cumbria (Great Britain) joined to the digital economy. Just last year, one of the largest universities in Switzerland was added to this list.
5. Other goods and services
As part of this article, it is simply physically impossible to list all the goods and services that can be bought with cryptocurrency now. The matter is that retailers that accept Bitcoin exist probably in any field. Today it is possible to buy anything with Bitcoin: food, entertainment, household goods, hairdresser services etc. Certainly not all cafes or beauty salons accept Bitcoins, but this is not an obstacle. The matter is there are many intermediaries on the market, who are happy to conduct such deals. With the help of such services like gyft.com it is possible to obtain any goods from any seller for BTC, but it is worth noticing that such kind of deals are not always profitable for the buyer.
Nowadays Bitcoin is not considered a toy in the hands of a geek. With it, you can buy an apartment, a car, a smartphone, a laptop, a plane ticket, book a hotel room, pay for a dinner, a haircut, a manicure and much more. In 2018, the United States government officially began accepting Bitcoins as a tax payment (in some states).
All of this suggests that the digital economy is getting closer to widespread adoption every day.
The digital coins market shows a negative trend throughout the year 2018. Compared to the historical maximum, the total cryptocurrency market cap has decreased by almost 8 times. The cryptocurrency market shows a negative trend throughout 2018. During the year, news of the cryptocurrency market that are actively discussed in media, have a negative meaning. Let us recall the most important events that occurred on the cryptocurrency market.
Content: (please, click the topic to scroll down to it)
At the very beginning of 2018, traditional financial institutions began to limit the capabilities of participants in the cryptocurrency market. A large number of fairly large banks around the world began to close the accounts of companies whose activities are related to cryptocurrency. We may also recall the decision of Visa to terminate cooperation with major European companies. All this adversely affected cryptocurrency companies. But it is worth noting that the restrictions of banks affected not only legal entities, along with this ordinary customers also lost an opportunity to buy cryptocurrency through their credit and debit cards.
A similar policy of the Reserve Bank of India led to the fact that local cryptocurrency platforms closed crypto-fiat trade. In the middle of autumn, Zebpay cryptocurrency exchange was forced to close the cryptocurrency exchange service. A similar situation happened in Zimbabwe, but cryptocurrency companies were able to challenge this decision with the help of the Supreme Court of the country.
Such policy of traditional financial sector representatives speaks only of their concern and desire to get rid of a potential competitor. If to analyze the cryptocurrency market, it becomes obvious that this industry is developing too fast. This makes the financial giants to tremble with fear and uncertainty about the future. This event played a big role in crypto market cap lowering.
2. Internet restrictions
Another damage to the cryptocurrency industry in 2018 was caused by the largest Internet companies: Google, Twitter, Facebook, Baidu, Alibaba, WeChat, Yandex, etc. All of the above mentioned information giants banned the promotion of cryptocurrency and ICO on their sites. This decision caused corresponding consequences, namely, undermined confidence towards the industry, and also cryptocurrency market capitalization decrease. Mining applications were blocked in App Store.
The Internet giant’s representatives explained their decision by the fact that there is a huge number of scammers in the cryptocurrency industry, which trusting users should be protected from. However, just a few months later, Facebook and Google reconsidered their decision and partially canceled it.
3. Bitcoin ETF
One of the most discussed topics in the industry since mid-summer of 2018 is the possible launch of Bitcoin ETF. The fact is that the situation in the cryptocurrency market strongly depends on the SEC decision. We remind you that cryptocurrency market value growth, which occurred in November-December, was caused by the launch of futures at CBOE and CME. Many experts believe that the launch of ETF will be a much more powerful event than the last year’s futures.
But the situation that has developed around this issue is quite controversial. On the one hand, the SEC does not deny the possibility of giving permission to launch Bitcoin ETF. But on the other hand, The United States Securities and Exchange Commission rejects all applicants (or postpones the date of consideration) who submitted the application during the year. The staff of the SEC explain their reasons quite uncertainty.
It is worth mentioning that during 2018 a lot of funds and exchanges have submitted their applications: ITS, Direxion, VanEck, Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, ProShares, SolidX, etc.
Based on the latest data, the Securities Commission must make a final decision on the ETF before February 27, 2019.
The cryptocurrency market`s fall, which began in early 2018, was caused by many reasons, one of them is the lack of a legislative base. In other words, at the moment the cryptocurrency market is not regulated at all. Just this year, a large number of changes were to occur in this matter. But, unfortunately, everything happened not the way it was expected.
It is worth noting that this year many countries of the world drafted bills, that in one way or another dealt with cryptocurrencies. Some states limited the presence of digital coins on their territory due to the complexity of regulation. Others, on the contrary, encouraged and developed this direction in every way. For example, on July 4, 2018, blockchain technology was officially legalized in Malta for the first time in the world.
At the end of the winter, the German authorities signed a law under which Bitcoin equated to legal means of payment and was thus released from taxation.
This year was the first time in the history of the industry, when the regulation of cryptocurrency was discussed at the highest international level. For example, the mechanisms for regulating the industry became an agenda at the G20 meeting. It was decided to postpone this topic till October, but no one has returned to it thoroughly so far. This also had a negative effect on the cryptocurrency ranking.
5. Attracting of institutional investors
This year, for the first time the entry of large players into the market was seriously discussed. The interest of institutional investors in cryptocurrency assets is confirmed by a survey of an independent consulting company Capgemini:
44% of the surveyed large capital owners are interested in cryptocurrency investments;
29% of the surveyed large capital owners showed high interest;
27% of the surveyed large capital owners expressed moderate interest.
Another interview, which was conducted by an independent consulting company DeVere Group, says that almost 40% of large business owners want to see a list of cryptocurrencies by market cap in their investment portfolios.
6. Active development of the OTC market
The situation on the cryptocurrency market today is as follows (according to CoinMarketCap):
market capitalization of 130 billion dollars;
24h trading volumeis about 16 billion dollars.
The situation is not the best, to say the least of it. But it is worth noting that the second mark is not entirely correct. The fact is that we see only turnovers that relate to stock trading. According to the company TABB Group, the UTS trading market is approximately 2-3 times higher than the stock index. It should be noted that such transactions cannot be traced when dealing with blockchain, since private keys from wallets are transferred more often than coins.
There is a sufficient number of large players in the cryptocurrency market (large miners, investors, ICO organizers, etc.), who cannot satisfy their demand with the help of exchanges. More and more OTC platforms began to appear due to the growing demand in the industry.
7. ICO Market Growth
Even regardless of depressing mood on the cryptocurrency market, the number of ICO held in 2018 is much more than in 2017: more precisely, 741 vs 514. The amount of raised funds also grew: $18.16 billion vs $6.89 billion.
The most discussed project of this year was undoubtedly TON from Pavel Durov, who managed to attract $1.7 billion. These funds were obtained even without public ICO, and Durov had to refuse from the overwhelming majority of those who wanted to invest in his brainchild.
But if to consider the amount of collected money, the undoubted leader is the EOS project, which managed to raise about 4.2 billion dollars. This mark is the best not only in this year, but also in the entire history of the industry as a whole.
But even such major events as EOS or TON could not help a fading interest of people to invest in cryptocurrency at the stage of the initial coin offering. The situation is caused by a general decrease in the capitalization of the cryptocurrency market in 2018. Because of the downtrend on the market, the vast majority of coins now cost less than at the ICO stage.
8. Cryptocurrency companies entering the IPO market
ICO is certainly a rather convenient way to raise capital, but despite this, many cryptocurrency companies expressed their interest in entering the more traditional IPO market. The initial public offering or IPO is regulated by the SEC. Investors are more protected there and this fact attracts people with large capital.
As of the beginning of December 2018, only one company successfully conducted its own IPO, all the others did not go further than applications or plans announcement for the future so far. In August of this year, there was an initial public offering of Argo Mining Company. It works in a cloud mining field. The company’s results are quite good, it managed to raise $32.5 million during IPO.
9. Integration of financial conglomerates
As we wrote above, some large financial institutions have limited the cryptocurrency industry development by their policies. But it does not concern absolutely all financial conglomerates of the planet. In parallel with the collapse of the cryptocurrency market (financially), we can observe the world’s largest banks integration into the industry (Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Barklays, etc.).
At the very beginning of the year, Goldman Sachs, with the help of a startup Circle, bought one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges Poloniex. The official sum of this transaction was not disclosed, but according to analysts’ estimates, such a purchase costed them about $400 million. It is worth noting that, Goldman Sachs invested $136 million in a startup Circle before acquiring Poloniex.
In early autumn the largest financial conglomerate of the land of the rising sun (Japan) Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group started its own MUFG coin in a test mode. If the test is successful, then the representatives of MUFG promise to introduce it into their own payment system.
The Bank of America and other major financial institutions owners in the world got curious in Technology Ripple (xCurrent), which helps banks to save about $3 on each transaction. This year, a number of major banks and the Ripple company signed cooperation agreement. It was highly expected, because xCurrent technology allows banks to save tens of millions dollar a year.
10. Integration with Internet companies
Along with the negative news background that accompanies the cryptocurrency industry throughout the year, an increasing number of Internet companies are trying to integrate digital coins into their product. For example, a few months ago, the Opera browser for Android released support for a built-in cryptocurrency wallet. At the moment, this wallet supports only ERC-20 and ERC-271 tokens, but the developers promise to add support for new types of digital coins in the near future. If to follow the news, it is easy to notice how the above mentioned event is connected with Bitmain Company`s purchase of 3% of Opera Ltd in the amount of about $50 million (Bitmain Company is the largest manufacturer of network equipment for mining).
The cryptocurrency browser Brave shows good download dynamics: more than 5 million installations over the past six months. This number can be explained by a good program to attract new users, which was launched by the Brave developers. The browser charges 25 BAT for every 2 months of use. That is, for 1 year, you can accumulate 150 BAT, and for 2 years, 300 BAT. At today’s prices, it costs approximately $25 a year, but BAT is rated as one of the most promising coins of the next bull market. According to various estimates, it will enterTOP-10 and grow by from 30 to 50 times. That means, by using this browser it is possible to get from 1,000 to 2,000 dollars in a couple of years.
The cryptocurrency market today is experiencing a downtrend. Market capitalization has decreased by almost 8 times, compared with the peak values of this year. As you can see, the general news background is negative this year. But it is worth noting that along with this, the infrastructure in the industry is actively developing, and new institutional investors are coming to the market. The forecast of the cryptocurrency market is not quite clear, but major experts believe that there are still many ups and falls ahead of us.