Facebook Crypto Ad Ban | Platform Loosens Restriction on Crypto Ads

Facebook Crypto Ad Ban

According to CNBC, Facebook said on Wednesday that it will loosen its ban on cryptocurrency advertising on its platform. The result will allow businesses related to crypto and blockchain to promote their projects on the social network. The Facebook crypto ad ban first came into effect in January 2018.

Facebook Crypto Ad Ban

The social media giant first started blocking ads on initial coin offerings, saying it had concerns for its users’ welfare. It was afraid that many would fall for scams and fraudulent crypto products.

But earlier this year its stance began to change. In January 2019, it began allowing ads from projects that had received prior written approval.

Was it coincidental that around the same time there were murmurs that Facebook itself was going to venture into the cryptocurrency space with its own coin?

Now, the social media giant has gone another step further, making it so that crypto-related ads will no longer require prior written approval.

In a blog post released yesterday the media giant said:

“We’ve listened to feedback and assessed the policy’s effectiveness […] While we will still require people to apply to run ads promoting cryptocurrency, starting today, we will narrow this policy to no longer require pre-approval for ads related to blockchain technology, industry news, education or events related to cryptocurrency.”

The company’s initial ban was met with ire from many businesses that felt the new policy was unfair. The restriction on advertising meant several projects lost hundreds of thousands of dollars because their ad campaigns were suddenly banned.

>> Bitcoin Price to Hit $7,200 After Demonstrating Bullish Signs?

It also is a convenient time for Facebook to change its opinion of cryptocurrency advertising as it is reportedly working on its own blockchain project.

According to several sources, the company is building its own stablecoin that will allow WhatsApp users to send cryptocurrency payments to one another. Further, last week it was reported that Facebook has been in talks with financial firms and e-commerce companies to support its project.

Are you happy to see the Facebook crypto ad ban reversed?

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Joseph Stiglitz Thinks We Should Ban Cryptocurrencies

Joseph Stiglitz

Most people know who Joesph Stiglitz is. Some know him as the 2001 recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences; others know him as a vocal cryptocurrency bear. This week, Stiglitz is getting a lot of attention for the latter. In a May 6 interview with CNBC, Stiglitz said we should shut down cryptocurrencies.

Here’s everything we know.

Joseph Stiglitz on Cryptocurrencies: The Latest

This week, of course, is not the first time Joseph Stiglitz, 76, has discussed cryptocurrencies in a negative manner. Back in November 2017, Stiglitz told Bloomberg TV that digital currencies, especially Bitcoin (BTC), are dangerous. His reasoning was that the popularity of the crypto market is driven largely by its potential to maneuver around government organizations. He also said the Bitcoin market will eventually hit a wall, leaving hundreds of investors in treacherous territory.

One year later, Joseph Stiglitz spoke again on cryptocurrencies. This time, he said virtual currencies like Bitcoin exist “because of the abuses.”

And this week, Stiglitz is raising his concerns once again.

In an interview with CNBC, the Economics Professor at Columbia University said we should shut down cryptocurrencies. While he admits that digital payments systems have value, he fears that cryptocurrencies facilitate illicit activity.

“I’ve been a great advocate of moving to an electronic payments mechanism,” said Stiglitz. “There are lots of efficiencies.” And yet, he continued to explain that he thinks “we should shut down the cryptocurrencies,” as cryptocurrencies “do not have those attributes” of a good currency, unlike the US dollar.

Fair Points

Cryptocurrencies are similar to penny stocks in the way that both can be used to make a lot of money very quickly. But like penny stocks, cryptocurrencies have considerable risk, so it’s not unreasonable for Stiglitz to have taken the approach that he has to digital currencies. Some take a genuine approach to the crypto market, while others do, in fact, use it to participate in illegal activity. In fact, “crypto crime has gotten worse because regulations are still weakly enforced,” said CipherTrace CEO Dave Jevans.

>> Binance Hack: Hackers Make Off with $40 Million in BTC

Takeaway

Some people might brush off Stiglitz’s comments, and we can’t stop them. But this is something people should keep an eye on, considering the value of losses from crime in the sector hit $1.7 billion last year.

What do you think? Should we ban cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments below!

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Facebook Partners with E-Commerce Companies to Support Crypto Payment

Crypto Payment

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Facebook is in talks with various e-commerce companies and financial firms to support its crypto payment that is under development. So far Facebook has engaged MasterCard and Visa about the project that is known as Project Libra.

Crypto Payment

Facebook is expected to commit $1 billion to the development of crypto payment. The company has approached various e-commerce companies to invest in its crypto payment feature and be a partner of the network. Paying via crypto will not be limited only to Facebook apps but will also be used by the e-commerce partners that support the feature thus enabling the cross transaction between apps. The company plans to motivate merchants by removing transaction fees for cryptocurrency-based purchases.

Facebook’s crypto payment will be pegged on the dollar and users of Facebook app WhatsApp can use it to send money across the platform. With its more than one billion users, Facebook could open the path towards the adoption of cryptocurrency. Social media has the capacity to change the cryptocurrency ecosystem that currently boasts 100 million users. Facebook will incentivize users to pay with crypto with a percentage of the cryptocurrency for engaging with content and viewing ads.

>> LSE Interested in Blockchain and Distributed Ledgers? CEO Hints Yes

Facebook Still Dealing with Privacy Issues

Facebook has faced privacy scandals in recent times, and it is currently making a series of changes regarding privacy, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently asserted the importance of private commerce and payments to their future. With the privacy scandals that Facebook has faced it is yet to be clear how the cryptocurrency payment community will take the new development because the company is yet to gain the trust of its users.

While speaking about the payment plan, Zuckerberg indicated that in the event e-commerce gains traction on any Facebook app, then that will motivate brands to spend more on advertising.

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Crypto Theft Could Hit $1.2 Billion in 2019, Says Cipher Trace

Crypto theft

Crypto theft has greatly reduced this year compared to last year as regulators continue to enhance their scrutiny and the enforcement of anti-money laundering controls.

Crypto Theft Could Hit $1 billion Mark

Despite being $500 million less than last year, crypto theft could still go well beyond a billion dollars by the end of this year.

A quarterly report released on May 1 by Cipher Trace indicates that investigatory specialists had found that over $356 million worth of crypto had been stolen in Q1 2019. The amount stolen includes the CoineBene and Cytopia exchange hacks and also the $195 million that was lost in December last year when Quadriga CX exchange founder Gerald Cotton died.

Projections of Cipher Trace indicate that crypto theft could hit $1.2 billion by the end of the year after a New York attorney general indicated that Bitfinex had misplaced around $850 million in crypto. The crypto market currently has a market capitalization of around $176 billion and the bulk of this is held by Bitcoin with a market cap of $94 billion, while Ethereum has a market cap of $17 billion. If the market loses $1.2 billion this year, this will be a 0.7% loss in the total value of the market.

>> Bitfinex Tether Issue Continues: CoinFlip and TRON Postpone Plans

Intensifying Anti-Money Laundering Rules

Although crypto theft could hit $1.2 billion this year, this is significantly lower than the $1.7 billion that was reported in 2018 and a 400% increase relative to 2017. Stolen crypto assets and funds are mostly taken offshore where regulators cannot reach them.

Cipher Trace has indicated that in the last two years there has been a 46% increase in cross border crypto payments going from US exchanges to offshore platforms. The firm has also indicated that the number of regulators is currently growing across the globe and they have intensified KYC and AML rules. Cipher Trace indicates that such crypto regulations could lead to bans of privacy coins.

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Crypto Adoption | Russia Testing and Finland Regulating

crypto adoption

The crypto world has continued to grow each passing day, and the industry is closer to global crypto adoption judging from the events and developments of the last week of April.

Crypto Adoption: Russia Opens Four Regions

The Russian Federation has indicated that it is opening four regions in the country to test cryptocurrency. This is a significant milestone towards crypto adoption around the world. The Federation will test crypto innovations in regions that are not under the purview of the current regulations.

A bill drafted by the Economy Ministry of Russia indicates that the Federation will allow regulatory sandboxes to establish a base in these areas. Firms and companies will now experiment with cryptos in the four regions without violating any federal legislation even though crypto assets are yet to be regulated in the country.

An advisor to the Russian President, Kirill Kabanov, stated that for years cryptos have been circulating unregulated in most countries, including Russia. He added that the use of regulatory sandboxes will be vital as test grounds for standards that can be applied in the industry.

Crypto Adoption: Finland Joins the List

Besides Russia, the President of Finland has also approved legislation proposed by the finance ministry that aims to regulate crypto service providers. The proposal puts all crypto services, including issuers, exchanges, and custodian wallet providers, under one law. The Fin-FSA stated that all crypto service providers in the country are required to register with the Financial Supervisory Authority of Finland in line with the legal requirements of the legislation.

>> Here’s What We Know ABout the Bitfinex and Tether Issue

The proposed Act on Virtual Currency Providers is expected to be effective from May 1, 2019. In accordance with the new act, the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority will now act as both the registration and regulatory authority for crypto service providers.

Beginning May 1, only crypto providers that comply with the statutory requirements of the Act will be allowed to continue activities in the country.

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Aston Plaza | First Major Crypto-bought Real Estate on Hold

Aston Plaza

A cryptocurrency venture under construction in Dubai has reportedly been put on hold. British Baroness and multi-million dollar crypto entrepreneur, Michelle Mone, had begun a real estate project called Aston Plaza, which broke ground in 2017.

However, citing government inspectors to the site, the project has stopped at only 25% completion.

Aston Plaza

The $325 million project consisted of two complexes making up 1,300 luxury apartments. At least 150 of those were planned to be sold in Bitcoin. This was the first major development of this size to be available for cryptocurrency purchase. Studio apartments were on sale for 15 BTC and two-bedroom apartments for 45 Bitcoins. That equates to roughly $130,000 and $380,000 respectively, as of February 2018 when the venture had already sold 50 apartments in this manner.

The Aston Plaza Website

There have been no details as to why the venture has stopped in its tracks.

According to the website:

“The Aston Plaza & Residences development at Dubai Science Park offers affordable studio, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments that can be purchased in bitcoin or a combination of bitcoin and fiat currencies on this website.”

However, at the time of writing, the website states:

“There are no more units available to purchase at this time. Further information to follow soon.”

It also continues to state how apartments of all sizes now start at 9 BTC, with the exchange rate now pegged to the US dollar rate for Bitcoin as of January 2018. This equates to roughly $147,000.

As stated, construction on Aston Plaza has stopped at only 25% completion. This equals, approximately, 400 apartments that have already been sold.

>> Crypto Adoption: Russia Testing and Finland Regulating

Equi Capital

This is not Mone’s first crypto venture. The founder of lingerie brand Ultimo also started a crypto-related initiative called Equi Capital that reportedly involved Apple’s Steve Wozniak. Equi Capital launched an ICO looking for $80 million to start what was dubbed the “Bitcoin of Britain.” After only raising $7 million, and failing to reach targets, the project lost interest, and those who invested were reimbursed.

Would you pay for an apartment at Aston Plaza in crypto?

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Is TD Ameritrade Working to Enter the Crypto Industry?

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade is a financial services company and provides a trading platform through which users can trade stocks, mutual funds, investments, and much more. TD Ameritrade has reportedly around 11 million users.

TD Starting Crypto Trading?

Rumors are circulating all over the internet that this company is already in testing phases of crypto trading in association with ErisX. ErisX is a Chicago-based company, and according to the rumors, it is developing and testing a beta version of crypto trading on TD Ameritrade’s online trading platform. However, this news is not official yet.

If it is, TD’s 11 million users will be able to dabble in crypto trading officially on its platform. Other top companies like Fidelity and the NYSE are also working toward crypto trading. They said that testing is in the final stages and after completion, crypto trading will be officially available for users.

Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, has some exciting news about whether or not the TD rumors are true. Lee said that he observed TD Ameritrade has tested Litecoin and Bitcoin on their brokerage platform.

>> John McAfee Says He Will Reveal Who Satoshi Nakamoto Is

Any information regarding fees, trade costs, and more will be disclosed to users after ErisX completes the product development without any bugs. TD Ameritrade appears to be planning to make all cryptocurrencies available for trading, not just Bitcoin.

The rates of cryptocurrencies may rise or fall, but there is no downfall for its development. If the world is not focusing on this concept, why are some of the major companies developing their own crypto coins?

This concept is backed by blockchain technology, a superior tech for safety. Transactions can be done irrespective of the sender and receiver locations. There are a lot more advantages with cryptocurrencies, and having big companies like TD Ameritrade introducing crypto trading is a good step for the future of crypto.

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Nike to Launch Crypto Called Cryptokicks? Trademark Application Hints Yes

cryptokicks

The crypto community has known for a while that Facebook might be issuing its own cryptocurrency. And now, it appears the online behemoth might have a little competition. Reports have surfaced that athletic apparel manufacturer Nike is thinking of doing the same. The Oregon-based company even has a name for its digital currency: cryptokicks.

Nike Cryptokicks Coming Soon?

On April 19, Nike filed a trademark application for ‘cryptokicks.’ The application said cryptokicks could be used by an online community. The application also describes an electronic marketplace for clothing and footwear. While significant news, it is not, in retrospect, surprising, considering Nike has been trying to increase its digital footprint for the last while or so.

Nike has filed a trademark application for CRYPTOKICKS.

The filing indicates that Nike is intending to launch a cryptocurrency called CRYPTOKICKS.

Below is my analysis of the filing and its implications 👇#nike#cryptocurrency pic.twitter.com/82gAPlzrXy

— Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben) April 24, 2019

Extensive details about Nike’s plans are still unknown; however, submitting a trademark application is a strong indication the company is preparing itself to launch cryptokicks. According to trademark lawyer Josh Gerben, “if you submit things just for the purpose of submitting things, it will tie up the trademark system unnecessarily.” Gerben went on to say that “Nike does not have a history of filings that are speculative.”

>> Samsung Blockchain? Tech Giant Developing Blockchain Network

Based on Gerben’s thoughts, it looks like Nike launching a cryptocurrency is the real deal. But the reality of that will still depend on whether Nike gets the green light. If it does, the company will have rights over the name, but it will still have to launch a cryptokicks commercial product to get the full trademark, according to sources.

Takeaway

In the coming weeks, it will be interesting to see how the market reacts to the news. While some might not want corporations to have their own cryptocurrencies (Facebook being one of them), it’s also important for these companies to stay relevant. And at the end of the day, cryptocurrencies are at the forefront of relevancy.

What do you think about the potential launch of cryptokicks? Let us know in the comments below.

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John McAfee Says He Will Reveal Who Satoshi Nakamoto Is

John McAfee

According to a Bloomberg report, notorious crypto enthusiast and antivirus software maker, John McAfee, claims to have spoken with Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. Further, he says he will reveal this person’s identity.

John McAfee Claims to Know Satoshi Nakamoto

When this reveal will be, however, remains unclear, despite McAfee initially telling Bloomberg he would expose Nakamoto “within a week.” McAfee said yesterday that the controversy his announcement would bring could damage his efforts to fight extradition to the US. Saying in a Twitter post:

“Releasing the identity of Satoshi at this time could influence the trial and risk my extradition […] I cannot risk that. I’ll wait.”

But in speaking to Bloomberg, McAfee said the following:

“I’ve spoken with him, and he is not a happy camper about my attempt to out him.”

However, it remains skeptical whether his claim is true—so many others have attempted to track down the Bitcoin pioneer and failed.

Satoshi Nakamoto

Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym given to the person or people who created Bitcoin and spawned an entire currency. There have been multiple theories as to who the creator of the digital coin is, with each one causing hot debate. No one who has come forward with a suggestion has ever been able to prove it and theories are often quickly discredited. The mystery has gone so far as to suggest Tesla CEO Elon Musk is Satoshi Nakamoto—something he himself quickly denied.

Other claimants include Bitcoin SV founder Craig Wright and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin.

All we know is if McAfee’s claim is true, then Nakamoto is a man living in the US.

>> Bitcoin Price Surges to a New 2019 High: $5,600 and Climbing

Trust McAfee

In speaking to Bloomberg, McAfee reminded people that he has spent a lifetime tracking down hackers, meaning he is well capable of tracking down Nakamoto.

“People forget that I am a technologist […] I am one of the best,” he furthered.

What do you think? Do you believe McAfee?

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Cryptocurrency Bear Market Wanes | Going through Accumulation

cryptocurrency

In recent weeks various industry observers have indicated that the cryptocurrency market is experiencing a bullish run. The notion has received more support with a fresh report implying that the bear market is actually waning and it is in the accumulation phase.

Heavy Accumulation

According to a recently published report by Adamant Capital, Bitcoin is already experiencing heavy accumulation, and the phase will bring its price to between $3,000 and $6,500, at least until the bullish run gains momentum. Bitcoin whales are already accumulating the major cryptocurrency synonymous to the 2014-2015 bear market, indicating that the cryptocurrency is preparing for a price increase in the future.

The report indicates that retail traders are leaving the cryptocurrency market as long-term and agnostic investors become dominant. This is reportedly consistent with Bitcoin’s volatility analysis, which fell below 5% in the 60-day volatility range, which is lower since 2016.

The report goes on: “During the accumulation phase, the market will trade in a range: the weak hands, who are trying to get out of the market, take profit during rallies and thus create the resistance, and the strong hands, looking to accumulate, buy at the bottom of the range which eventually creates a floor in the piece.”

>> Coinbase Crypto Services Expand to 11 New Countries: Why it’s Important

Millennial Generation Holds Key

The key drivers of the cryptocurrency market growth are millennials, who are said to not trust banks. Millennials are also reported to be the majority of Bitcoin buyers. Researchers have indicated that in the next few years, Bitcoin will experience massive adoption.

In a previous report by Clovr, millennials were the majority of the investors in cryptocurrency, earning between $75,000 and $99,999 per year. The report indicated that the millennial generation is twice as likely to invest in Bitcoin than any other generation, with 23% of women and 43% of men investing in cryptocurrency.

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