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On 27th March, The Bank of England stated that it is undertaking a POC (proof-of-concept) to figure out how the new RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) facility is capable of interacting with DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology).

blockchain features

Real-Time Gross Settlement

Real Time-Gross Settlement systems are basically special payment systems where the funds transmission is conducted amid banks on a gross basis and in real-time. On the other hand, this means that the transactions are processed immediately after being settled on a one-to-one basis, deprived of connecting with any other transaction. RTGS systems are generally used for “high value” transactions requiring prompt payment and operate by the central bank of a country.

The RTGS blueprint was issued by the Bank of England in May 2017, stating that the new service will be providing a different and flexible variety of settlement models, to make sure that the payment infrastructures have gained access to the money of central bank.

Reason Behind Central Banks’s Announcement

After the announcement by central bank to test blockchain features, it explained the main purpose behind it, which is to develop a payment service, compatible with Blockchain technology. However, in the recent announcement of the central bank, it excluded the idea of transferring to DLT completely due to the immaturity of technology.

The central bank announced that:

“Although the Bank has concluded that Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is not yet sufficiently mature to provide the core for the next generation of RTGS, it places a high priority on ensuring that the new service is capable of interfacing with DLT as and when it is developed in the wider sterling markets.”

The UK bank is going to cooperate with the companies that develop payment solutions by using advanced technologies. Following are the names of the companies:

  • Baton Systems
  • Clearmatics Technologies Ltd
  • R3
  • Token

The capability of DLT-based payment systems to interrelate with the renewed RTGS service and to qualify techniques in which the service’s performance could be extended will be examined by the project parties. The bank is also considering to report their conclusions by the end this year. Also, the ECB (European Central Bank) along with the BOJ (Bank of Japan) released their Blockchain’s potential study this week, for altering securities settlements.

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Social Media Platforms Banned Crypto-Related Ads- Did It Affect the Cryptocurrency Market?

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Recently, major social media sites, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have banned ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) and cryptocurrency advertisements, whereas Google is going to introduce the same regulations from June 2018. The series of bans have damaged the crypto-market, certainly. However, few experts claim that the restriction might lead to the industry’s legitimization.

social media sites

Ban on Cryptocurrency Advertisements

Facebook

Facebook announced it in a blog post, on 3rd January, that it will be banning advertisements that use deceptive promotional techniques, specifically mentioning the cryptocurrencies as well as ICOs.

Certainly, this move by Facebook seemed to agree with the US SEC’s (Securities and Exchange Commission) public announcement about the crypto-related investments and ICO. In the statement, Jay Clayton (SEC chairman) advised that the trend of deception and manipulation is growing day-by-day in the ICO and cryptocurrency markets due to their mounting popularity. However, Clayton also alerted investors that no ICOs were registered with the SEC.

Google

Soon after the reports from crypto advertisers related to the suspensions and account deletion of Adwords started to circulate, on 14th March, the company announced that all crypto-related advertisements will be banned by it, no matter whether they are wallets, exchanges, and ICOs. Google also announced that it will pull the crypto-mining extensions from its Chrome Web Store as well.

Twitter

The rumours about twitter banning all crypto-related advertisements were confirmed on 26th March as the social media giant twitter banned advertising only for ICOs and token sales. According to the policy, the ban was imposed on wallet services and cryptocurrency exchanges, unless they are public firms or are registered on major stock exchanges.

Snapchat

A report related to Snap Inc. (the company behind Snapchat) was also confirmed that since February, the company has been silently banning ads for token sales, however, its future plans related to rest of the cryptocurrency ads are unclear.

Did the Bans Affect Cryptocurrency Market?

  • After the announcement of Facebook about crypto-related bans, Bitcoin collapsed from $10,000 mark to $6,914 however, it managed to come back.
  • When Google announced its plans to ban crypto and ICO ads, the price of Bitcoin dropped below $8,000and loss 9% of its value.

After Twitter’s announcement to ban crypto-related ads, Bitcoin fell below $7500 on March 29, which shows that the bans have affected the overall cryptocurrency market.

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UNDERSTANDING BITCOIN – Recap

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We’re well aware that Bitcoin is an entirely digital currency that lets its users trade money without the involvement of any third-party authority (such as bank, government etc.).  Also, these trades are made anonymously, that means no personal information is given out or even required for a transaction.

Out of the many perks of Bitcoin, two happen to stand out the most:

Instant Transactions:

  • With Bitcoin, you can exchange money almost instantly with anyone anywhere in the world (but do check if Bitcoin is banned in that country or not). You don’t require a bank account, just a Bitcoin wallet that could be installed on your smartphone, tab, computer etc.

Anonymity:

  • You aren’t required to mention any personal details which reduce or eliminates the risk of identity theft.

Bitcoin Mining & Blockchain:

For understanding Bitcoin, one must understand how Bitcoin mining works. It is the process behind the creation of bitcoins. During this process, complex mathematical equations are solved by mining hardware in order to verify and generate a block. Every time a transaction takes place, it is tracked digitally by computers in a record, where all transaction details are described.

Bitcoin miners are the people who own those computers and confirm transactions. Moreover, they’re also paid in bitcoins and sometimes even paid a fee for the transactions. Since there’s no involvement of a central authority, miners ensure whether the right amount has been transferred and each member has the right balance after the transaction is completed.

These transactions are shared onto a public ledger, also known as, the Blockchain, which can be accessed by anyone. Every transaction that ever took place is mentioned here along with the Bitcoin address linked to it.

Bitcoin Wallet:

Now you must be wondering, what’s a Bitcoin address?

Let me help you. In order to own bitcoin(s), one must have a Bitcoin wallet. You can get all sorts of wallets, hardware, and software. Install one on your phone, computer or just purchase a physical one. After you’ve got your personal wallet, the next step is generating a bitcoin wallet address and a private key. This is the address you’re going to share with everyone, whenever you want to make a purchase or transaction. Whereas, a private key is meant to be a secret as it basically holds the key to your coins, if you lose your private key, you lose everything.

Remember! Every transaction generates a new Bitcoin address and this is the reason for its anonymity. No one can actually trace the transaction back to you since it’s always a different address.

 

While Bitcoin has major advantages compared to fiat currency, it’d only seem fair if the drawbacks are pointed out as well.

  • The Bitcoin network is also vulnerable to hackers and viruses. Remember, you cannot enter any personal details on a site promising to give out free bitcoins.
  • Bitcoin is highly volatile, which means that its price is constantly fluctuating.
  • Another drawback is that there are only 21 million bitcoins available. So nobody knows what’s going to happen once it reaches that limit.
  • If you lose your wallet, those coins are gone forever, unless you’ve created a backup of it.
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Bitcoin Market Cap Will Hit Trillions Over The Next Couple Of Years – Winklevoss Twins

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Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, otherwise called the Winklevoss twins, expect the market valuation of bitcoin to surpass trillions of dollars in the upcoming years.

Main Story:

In an interview, Cameron Winklevoss clarified that the properties of bitcoin enable it to work as a premier store of significant worth that is in orders of magnitude greater than gold in various aspects, including divisibility, transportability, and monetary supply.

 

“We’ve generally felt that bitcoin, given its properties, is gold 2.0 — it upsets gold. Gold is scarce, bitcoin is really settled. Bitcoin is much more versatile and way more separable,” said Winklevoss.

 

He included that if bitcoin can keep on disrupting the $6 trillion gold market in the long haul, it will have the capacity to hit a trillion dollars in a moderately brief timeframe, given that the market valuation of bitcoin currently stays near $300 billion.

 

“Long-term, directionally, it is a multi-trillion-dollar resource — I don’t know how long will it take to get there,” said Winklevoss.

 

Bitcoin is quickly changing the global finance industry as a decentralized store of significant worth. If bitcoin market can maintain its development rate over the next couple of years, it will enter into the gold and offshore business industries. The joint market cap of gold and offshore business industry is up to almost $40 trillion.

 

Winklevoss noticed that fiat and different cryptographic forms of money are not the rivals of bitcoin. Instead, other safe haven resources and store of values, for example, gold are the genuine rivals of the digital currency. He explained:

 

“For the vast majority, it isn’t just the source of not paying taxes. It’s the target of getting the privilege to security and looking for financial secrecy,” said Marcovici.

 

Structurally and reasonably, bitcoin is an altogether better framework to store cash for people and institutional investors than offshore bank accounts, primarily because the legislatures can in any case crackdown on offshore ledgers. In 2016, the US government fined Swiss banks $1.3 billion, including more than 43,000 offshore ledgers holding $48 billion.

 

As a decentralized and distributed store of significant worth, governments can’t in any way, shape or form crackdown on bitcoin holders and records. Consequently, it furnishes speculators with security and budgetary privacy, which seaward ledgers were intended to give.

 

If bitcoin can represent even 10 percent of the worldwide offshore business industry, bitcoin’s market can surpass $3.2 trillion. In light of the settled supply of 21 million, a $3.2 trillion market cap esteems bitcoin at $152.380.

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Bitcoin Price Crash: OKEx Repudiates Market’s Manipulation

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OKEx is known as a cryptocurrency exchange giant. This crypto-exchange is pushing back against accusations that the exchange is responsible for the manipulation of the market which triggered the price of Bitcoin to drop below $5,000 on its futures exchange last week.

Bitcoin price cash

Market Manipulation

A statement was released on Wednesday, in which the Hong Kong-based exchange repudiated allegations about its involvement in the futures market’s manipulation to settle the positions of optimistic traders.

Last week, OKEx got criticized following the Bitcoin price crash as the value of its Bitcoin futures dropped to $4,755, in a fevered sell-off, even with the average price of Bitcoin globally, which flitted around $7,000 during the same time.

The Statement

The statement says:

“OKEx provides a platform to allow customers to trade in our order books, but we are not directly involved in the trades. Moreover, all the transaction details are public. We, as a trading platform, do not make a profit from the price volatility but generate income from trading fees. We have not reasoned to, and have never and will not, manipulate the prices of any of our market.”

Merchants whose positions got settled during the sell-off time were incensed, and one of them was so distressed that he went to the headquarters of the company and even threatened that he would take his own life.

Eventually, during the 90-minute incident, the exchange inverted trades that occurred, mentioning this unconventional movement as a planned attempt to deploy the market, and since then, it has added the price limit rules to help in preventing the manipulation in the future market.

 

Moreover, OKEx warned that it will take legal action against those, who falsely accuse them for the manipulation of the market and disseminate false charts to that effect.

What does the company have to say about it?

The company says:

“We reserve the right to take necessary legal action against any parties who libel our company and reputation by any means.”

However, the event following negative press coverage doesn’t seem to have a constant influence on the popularity of the trading platform of the company, as  OKEx is still on the fourth most popular spot cryptocurrency exchange in the ranking, with almost $750 million, 24-hour trading volume.

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