March 2018
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In every healthy relationship, communication and honesty are very crucial, though it is about trust, they’re also about some worst lies. Lots and lots of worst lies. Being close to someone means sharing and caring along with hiding and lying. In all long-term relationships, both partners finally turn out to become master manipulators, top-notch detectives, and brilliant liars. People lie because the truth can hurt and also because they care. Those who think their relationship isn’t standing on a foundation of millions of tiny, little lies, then they ’re just lying to themselves.
The person who thinks that their relationship isn’t standing on a foundation of millions of tiny, little lies, then they’re just lying to themselves.
We bring you some of the worst lies people tell in relationships with each other.
1. What a weekend!

When you’re partner spends the Saturday pretending he actually enjoyed the shopping, then you pretend all Sunday that you love football when you give a shit about the game, pretending is one of the worst lies.
2. I am almost ready!

Women tell this quite often when they get ready for an outing or a party. They feel they don’t need to get into details of how long the hair takes, the bra or the panties didn’t match, the lipstick or make-up was not satisfactory, she had to run to the toilet.
3. There was nothing much!

In the past, whether they were engaged, living together or just had amazing $3x, none of that needs to be informed to the current partner. So, an attitude that there was nothing much in that relationship is the worst lie to cut a long story short.
4. I was very busy…
There seems no need to share that it was a work dinner with a hot client or coffee with a handsome co-worker, the worst lies you can absolutely say is I was very busy at the office.
5. No, never!
How many of your friends you’ve hooked up with, when you were drunk, sober or a quickie, what they don’t know won’t hurt them, and what they do will just make them hate your friends, so the lies that bring peace is to deny and no need to admit, either.
6. You’re so big!

He may not be the biggest, but right here, right now, he is. He’s the only guy you’re with, so he’s the only one you’re comparing him to, even if you’ve seen bigger than his. Keep the man happy by telling this worst lie. What’s the problem?
7. Your friends are Ok!
Whether you think her best friend is actually really hot or his best friend is a total douchebag, you’ll never let out the truth. Even not saying is the worst lie in itself.
8. Your the hottest!
Even if your exes looked like Jennifer Lopez or had a built like Tom Brady. This is the worst lie you will tell, ‘your hot!’ to the one you adore right now.
9. I’m doing my workouts!

How much you actually work out, your partner doesn’t need to know when you say you’re going to the gym you’re really just eating donuts on your treadmill on speed level 3.

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Kakao Corp, the major internet conglomerate and service provider for popular South Korean messaging app KakaoTalk, has officially introduced a new business plan, Kakao 3.0, that includes plans for opening a Blockchain platform aimed at the wider Asian markets, local news outlet Yonhap News reported yesterday, March 27.

Earlier this month, Kakao had already tentatively announced the creation of an as-of-then unnamed Blockchain subsidiary, which Yonhap News reports is now called Ground X, and hinted at an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) launch.

Cointelegraph contributor Joseph Young tweeted that the Blockchain platform will launch in 2018:


The impetus for the turn to Blockchain comes from the fast pace of the growing technology sector, according to co-CEO of Kakao Yeo Min-soo:
"Bearing in mind that the global IT paradigm is changing at a breakneck speed these days, we will work tirelessly to introduce services that meet the needs of our users by pioneering new technologies in the age of Internet and mobility, as we have always been a trailblazer in this market."
Joh Su-yong, another co-CEO of Kakao, said during the Kakao 3.0 announcement in Seoul that "armed with the quality digital content, Kakao will expand beyond its strategic market, Japan, into China and Southeast Asia," specifically in the areas of music, games, and videos.
Ground X will also look beyond South Korea’s borders, “explor[ing] the technology with the goal of taking the technological leadership in Asia.” The announcement continues:
"Ground X will open its blockchain platform to the public, explore ways to leverage R&D and investment to ensure further growth, and offer new blockchain-based services combined with Kakao's existing services.”

Another popular messaging app, Telegram, has also expanded into the cryptocurrency sector,  reporting that their ICO presale raised $850 mln in their filing of security exemption notice with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which allowed US accredited investors to participate.

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The Blockchain initiative B31,  run by several international insurance companies, has announced the formation of the startup B3i Service AG in Zurich, Cointelegraph auf Deutsch reported on Monday, March 26.
The consortium aims to create a blockchain trading platform for a value-added chain of the entire insurance industry.
The B3i initiative and the newly founded B3i service AG are both backed by the major reinsurers Munich Re and Swiss Re as well as other major insurance companies, such as Zurick, Allianz and Aegon. While the research initiative initially focused on a pilot project to explore the potential use cases of Blockchain technology in the insurance industry, B3i Services AG will now implement the results in a functioning block-based trading system.
The previous pilot project by B3i for the international insurance coverage for natural disasters involved all in all 38 insurance companies and brokers. According to the blockchain initiative B3i the absolute efficiency gain from a full implementation of Blockchain is 30 percent, as stated in a press release on the project.
The formation of B3i Serve AG is no the first use of Blockchain technologies in the insurance industry. Companies such as Deloitte and a group of other insurers had also successfully tested Blockchain for their customer management during a change of provider in November of last year. Also in September 2017, shipping giant Maersk, along with Microsoft, Ernst & Young and a number of insurers, completed a 20-week trial on Blockchain data management for cargo insurance.
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The Litecoin Foundation published a bulletin Monday, March 26, notifying the public about the closure of “LitePay,” a potential Litecoin merchant solution similar to BitPay, and apologizing for “not doing enough due diligence” before promoting the company.

The notice, written by Director of Operations Keith Yong and addressed to the “entire LTC [Litecoin] community,” notes that the foundation is “greatly disheartened that this saga has ended in this way”:

“We are currently working hard to tighten our due diligence practices and ensure that this does not happen again. Litecoin was doing perfectly fine before the promise of LitePay and will continue to do so.  The ecosystem is far bigger than one company and is continually growing with support from many others with market-ready products joining the space and fulfilling their promises to make it easier for the world to use Litecoin.”

Litecoin founder Charlie Lee echoed the foundation’s sentiments in a Twitter post-March 26:




According to the bulletin, the Litecoin Foundation had recently refused LitePay CEO Kenneth Asare’s request for more funding for LitePay, citing a lack of transparency and explanation for how the previous money had been used.

The problems with LitePay had become apparent during an “Ask Me Anything [AMA]” Reddit post by Asare from March 16, where he was unable to provide answers for many of the questions concerning the company’s documentation, which Reddit users requested, the bulletin notes.

Other Reddit users pointed out the “scam” aspects of LitePay’s website: user BrockFukcingSamson had commented that the privacy policy for LitePay was just copied and pasted from Coinbase but added an update that “they replaced ‘Coinbase’ with ‘LitePay’” without changing the text of the policy. As of press time, the two privacy policies have different wording.

In mid-February, Litecoin’s price had jumped 30 percent following LitePay’s Feb. 12 announcement that they would release their merchant service on Feb. 26, a promise that they were clearly unable to keep.

Litecoin has seen a drop in price since the Monday news of LitePay’s closure – although many of the top 100 coins on CoinMarketCap are also in the red. On Sunday, March 25 LTC was trading at a high around $162, and is currently at $144, down around 1.6 percent over a 24-hour period.

Litecoin Charts


Source
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facebook-google-and-twitter-ban-ads

Social media platforms have recently banned advertising for cryptocurrencies and ICOs, but that stance is contradictory to the thoughts of their directors.
In January, the social network giant Facebook outlawed cryptocurrency related advertising in an effort to protect users from various ICO scams, fraudulent token sales, Ponzi schemes and the likes.
It has set a precedent that is now being followed by other platforms and service - but this disparaging move is at odds with the sentiments of the heads of these businesses.
The people responsible for the creation of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have been singing praises for cryptocurrencies and their underlying Blockchain technology.
It creates a bit of a juxtaposition, as the companies they are responsible have enforced sanctions that potentially stifle the adoption and development of Blockchain.
In order to unpack this disconnect, let’s take a look at what the likes of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey think about the developing technology.

Facebook and Instagram

At the beginning of 2018, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg made some positive comments about cryptocurrencies in a post on Facebook. He focused on the potential benefits they have for businesses like Facebook, as well as the power they hand back to people.
He honed in on an issue that is becoming increasingly talked about – centralization versus decentralization. As CNBC reported, Facebook was in the spotlight for a number of negative issues mainly related to its ad-services and their capabilities.
"There are important counter-trends to this, like encryption and cryptocurrency, that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people's hands. I'm interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services."
No more than two weeks later, Facebook announced that it would prohibit cryptocurrency related advertising on the platform, which was met with varying reactions from the wider cryptocurrency community.
Fast forward three months and Facebook was embroiled in one of the biggest scandals since its inception. In essence, the platform supplied personal data from over 50 bln users to political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.
Zuckerberg took to Facebook to admit the company had made ‘mistakes’ while outlining what had led to Cambridge Analytica access to data from Facebook users. He has since taken out adverts in British newspapers to make a public apology, while Facebook has been hit with a swathe of lawsuits.
In an interview with CNN last week, Zuckerberg even suggested that Facebook could benefit from regulation - an issue that is hanging heavily over cryptocurrencies and ICOs this year:
“I’m actually not sure we shouldn’t be regulated. In general, technology is an increasingly important trend in the world and I actually think the question should be ‘what is the right regulation rather than ‘yes or no, should it be regulated.”
“On the basic side, there are things like ads transparency regulation that I would love to see. If you look at how much regulation there is around advertising on TV and in print, it's just not clear why there should be less on the internet, you should have the same level of transparency required.”
Meanwhile one of the primary attributes of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is the ability to encrypt data giving anonymity and privacy to users.
Facebook’s move to ban cryptocurrency related advertising also applied to partner platforms Instagram and its advertising platform Audience Network.

Twitter CEO beams on Bitcoin

While Zuckerberg battles with Facebook’s ongoing woes, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has been waxing lyrical on Bitcoin of late.
In an interview with the Sunday Times issued on March 21, the Twitter and Square CEO forecast that Bitcoin could one day become the single global currency in ten years time.
“The world ultimately will have a single currency. The Internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be Bitcoin, probably over ten years, but it could go faster.”
Having personally invested in Bitcoin, Dorsey is a staunch advocate for the virtual currency. He’s also the CEO of point-of-sale software startup Square, which would soon integrate a Bitcoin buy/sell functionality.
Furthermore, Dorsey also invested in Lightning Labs, which has seeded $2.5 mln to spearhead the development of the Lightning Network which promises to provide free and fast Bitcoin transactions.
While Dorsey is bullish on Bitcoin, he reiterated that startup companies like Lightning Labs hold the key to further adoption around the world:
“It’s slow and it’s costly, but as more and more people have it, those things go away. There are newer technologies that build off of Blockchain and make it more approachable.”
What is disconcerting is that Twitter is the latest social media platform to ban cryptocurrency advertising.
Murmurs of an impending ban last week were confirmed on March 27. Twitter will begin cutting out advertising of initial coin offerings and their token sales as well as global cryptocurrency wallet platforms if they are not publicly listed on select stock exchanges.
Once again, there is a clear disconnect between the thoughts and views of its leadership and the plans of the business itself.
Twitter has followed in the footsteps of Facebook. The social media platforms are trying to protect users from fraudulent companies and scams, which have taken advantage of many through advertising campaigns on social media networks.
However, that has painted everyone with the same brush. In essence, innovative startups with ingenious business plans have been stifled due to the actions of fraudsters and scam artists looking to ride the Blockchain and cryptocurrency wave.
An infamous example was John McAfee’s Twitter account being hacked and used to promote some obscure virtual currency tokens.
Furthermore, Twitter, in particular, has been rife with accounts impersonating well-known cryptocurrency advocators and accounts, which has caught unsuspecting users out.

Google to follow suit

The world’s biggest search engine, Google, is following in the footsteps of its social media cousins.
As reported in March, Google’s updated financial services policy will rule out all related cryptocurrency advertising through its AdWords service from June 2018. Once again, consumer protection is touted as the main driving factor behind the move.
There is an air of irony to Google’s move. While cryptocurrency adverts will come to an end, Google could actually be stifling the growth of companies it has invested in that directly use cryptocurrencies.
Companies like Blockchain based cloud storage Storj and payment platform Veem, which Google has backed financially, will in essence be unable to advertise on the search engine once the ban comes into effect.
The move to ban crypto advertising comes less than a year after Google’s parent company Alphabet invested in London-based online wallet Blockchain.info. It also remains to be seen how this service will be able to advertise on the search engine come June 2018.
At the time, Alphabet partner Tom Hulme said their investment in the company, which raised over $70 mln in overall funding, was essential because “the pace of innovation in the digital currency space is unmatched,” as quoted by Fortune.
And yet cryptocurrency wallet providers and promising ICOs will no longer have access to the world’s biggest search engine in two months time.

Other platforms

Snapchat is another massive social media platform to make a move against cryptocurrency advertising. They’ve instituted a similar ban on Facebook and Twitter, but have only prohibited adverts for initial coin offerings.
Ironically pioneering Snapchat investor, Jeremy Liew was bullish on Bitcoin and had some lofty price predictions for the preeminent cryptocurrency last year.
China has taken a hard stance against cryptocurrencies from a governmental level and that has filtered down to internet based companies in the country. In September 2017, the country ordered that all cryptocurrency exchanges must close down.
As reported by Recode, the likes of Alibaba and Tencent haven’t allowed this cryptocurrency related advertising for far longer. Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post revealed that it seems search engine Baidu is not returning adverts for any cryptocurrency related searches - only news articles and posts.
Russian search engine Yandex is also expected to follow suit - according to local media reports.

Where to from here?

This is a question that may not be answered for months. The whole world seems to be waiting for clear regulatory guidelines on cryptocurrencies and ICOs.
While the likes of the SEC pioneer this space, we may see continued apathy towards the promotion of ICOs and cryptocurrency tokens sales on most online platforms for some time.
Until there are firm guidelines in place that protect the majority of users from ICO scams and misleading investment opportunities, these extreme sanctions are likely to remain in effect.
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Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex issued a public statement today, March 27, stating that the platform is not going to support the oil-backed Petro (PTR) token, launched by the government of Venezuela this February.




In its blog post on March 27, Bitfinex, the world’s number four crypto exchange by 24-hour trade volume, explained their decision citing the fact that the US had recently banned all US citizens from purchasing Petro, as well as other similar Venezuelan digital currencies that could be introduced in future. The exchange also wrote that it sees the coin as having “limited utility.”

“We have never had plans to include the PTR or similar tokens in the Bitfinex trading platform. In light of the U.S. sanctions and the other clear sanctions risks of dealing in these products, Bitfinex will not list or transact the PTR or other similar digital tokens.”

The Bitfinex team commented that the restrictions are applicable to all customers of the platform, not only US clients. They also relate to all activities on the platform, such as “deposits, financing, trading, and withdrawals.” The platform added that all of its “contractors and employees”, regardless of location, are also prohibited from transacting in the Petro.

Today, March 27, Cointelegraph reported that a Russian government official told reporters the Petro coin had not been offered to pay off Venezuela’s debt to Russia.

Source

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The CLOUD Act (Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act) -- a contentious last-minute addition to the $1.3 trln federal spending bill that will allow the US government more access to Americans’ data for law enforcement purposes, as well as foreign governments, access to US companies for data on their own citizens -- has been signed into law by President Donald Trump, GeekWire reports March 23.

The bill had been opposed by privacy advocates like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which had written after the bill’s passing that “this final, tacked-on piece of legislation will erode privacy protections around the globe.”

The Cloud Act was added to the omnibus spending bill on Wednesday night, ahead of the voting on the 2,232-page bill that took place on Thursday. The bill passed 256-167 in the House, and 65-23 in the Senate.

Republic Senator Rand Paul had tweeted March 22, the day of the vote, that “Congress should reject the CLOUD Act because it fails to protect human rights or Americans’ privacy...gives up their constitutional role, and gives far too much power to the attorney general, the secretary of state, the president, and foreign governments,” but adding the following caveat:




The bill had met previous opposition from several different US organizations, who saw the late addition as a lack of due process and the content of the bill itself as a backdoor to the Fourth Amendment.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) had posted a “Coalition Letter on Cloud Act” on March 12, writing that the bill, in their opinion, “undermines privacy and other human rights, as well as important democratic safeguards,” due to its bypassing Congress and the existing stored information request procedure and “[placing] authority in the hands of the executive branch.”

The content of the act allows for the US to make deals with foreign governments -- the EFF adds that the governments with human rights abuses are not excluded -- that would allow the governments to directly contact US companies for data requests, which “removes a layer of judicial review,” writes GeekWire.

On the other side of the argument for the bill, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Oath had written a joint letter on Feb. 6 supporting the Cloud Act, writing about the need for customer protection that the act would give:

“Our companies have long advocated for international agreements and global solutions to protect our customers and Internet users around the world. We have always stressed that dialogue and legislation - not litigation - is the best approach. If enacted, the CLOUD Act would be notable progress to protect consumers’ rights and would reduce conflicts of law.”


Microsoft again posted a letter supporting the bill on March 21, stating that the Cloud Act
“Creates a modern legal framework for how law enforcement agencies can access data across borders. It’s a strong statute and a good compromise that reflects recent bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress, as well as support from the Department of Justice, the White House, the National Association of Attorneys General and a broad cross section of technology companies [...] it gives tech companies like Microsoft the ability to stand up for the privacy rights of our customers around the world. The bill also includes a strong statement about the importance of preventing governments from using the new law to require that U.S. companies create backdoors around encryption, an important additional privacy safeguard.”
Bitcoin (BTC) advocate Andreas M. Antonopoulos posted on Twitter after the Cloud Act passed that the public must now “go dark:”

Privacy of personal data has been a key point of the founding ideas of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. However, earlier this week NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said that he believed that Bitcoin’s public ledger was “devastatingly public.”

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March 25: cryptocurrency markets have seen a slight decline over 24 hours to press time, but are still in the green over the seven-day period.

All top-10 cryptocurrencies listed on Coin360 are in the red over the past 24 hours, with the total market cap sitting at around $330 bln at press time.



Bitcoin (BTC) has lost as much as 5 percent of its value, trading at around $8,520, according to Cointelegraph’s price index.

Ethereum (ETH) is trading at about $519, having lost 3.7 percent over the past 24 hours.

Cardano (ADA) and Stellar (XLM) are also down 2.19% and 3.13%, trading at $0.18 and $0.23 respectively.

After Bitcoin has managed to approach $9,000 and Ethereum went closer to $600 on March 24, the crypto markets are fluctuating again. Yesterday, Cointelegraph reported that Nigeria’s Deposit Insurance Corporation warned the public to stay away from cryptocurrencies, citing the lack of backing by any “physical commodity,” likely contributing to the renewed downward dynamic.

Additionally, it was reported March 23 that Reddit removed the option to pay with Bitcoin for its premium membership program, Reddit Gold, due to the “upcoming Coinbase change.”


However, over the past 7 days, the majority of crypto markets are still in the green, with some altcoins growing by as much as 60 percent.

Bitcoin and Ethereum are up about 11% and 8% respectively over the past week, with most of the top-10 altcoins displaying similar, or larger growth.

EOS is probably the biggest winner this week with a 58% percent increase from March 18 when it was trading around $4. The altcoin is now at $6.58, according to Coin360. This growth is likely to have been caused by the recent announcement made by Block.one and Finlab AG, about the launch of a $100 mln fund to accelerate development of EOS.IO software projects in Europe.

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A GIRL WAS CRYING BECAUSE HER BOYFRIEND LEFT HER. SHE BROKE A BOTTLE AND A CHAIR. WHAT BROKE FIRST?

Can you solve this viral riddle?

A Girl was crying because her boyfriend left her. She broke a bottle and a chair. What broke first?




Answer: First her relationship than her heart.

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The leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) firm Fujitsu recently announced the opening of its international Blockchain Innovation Center in Brussels, Belgium to explore the technology’s potential applications in all possible areas, according to a  press release published March 21.


In its official statement, Fujitsu claimed that the new center will research and develop Blockchain-based solutions in “sectors of all kinds”, from Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)-based audits to Blockchain-based voting.

Yves de Beauregard, head of Fujitsu Benelux (Belgium Netherlands Luxembourg), noted growing interest to Blockchain technology among customers and claimed that many DLT-based applications are still unexplored.

“This is just the beginning, as we intend to explore the wider potential use of blockchain in a variety of commercial areas,” Beauregard said.

According to the company’s press release, Brussels was chosen as the location of the Blockchain Center for its "geographical, political, technological and linguistic advantages for international organizations that are considering applications of blockchain technology."

Previously Cointelegraph reported that Japanese Blockchain and cryptocurrency firm Tech Bureau offered its private Blockchain to Belgian company Digipolis, an organization for inter-municipal ICT services for Belgian cities Ghent and Antwerp, as part of “The Blockchain Lab” to provide the more efficient administrative framework for cities.

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ripple-launch-intl-payment-app

Banking group Santander will be partnering with Ripple to release an international money transfer app using Ripple’s Blockchain xCurrent and RippleNet platforms, Business Insider reports today, March 24.

When speaking about the upcoming app release at the International Fintech conference in London yesterday, March 23, Nathan Bostock, the UK CEO of Santander said:

“This spring, if not [sic] one beats us to it, we will be the first large retail bank to carry out cross-border payments at scale with Blockchain technology.”

At the end of January of this year, Ana Botin, the CEO of Santander, had mentioned the app launch in the company’s 2017 earnings presentation, noting that it will be open to Spain, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and Poland.



According to Business Insider, Santander had invested in Ripple in 2015 and 2016. The two companies tested an international payment app with test trials in 2016 that showed that Ripple’s technology concluded transfers in less than a day. The payment app will also be able to show an estimate of the cost of a money transfer.

So far this year Ripple has partnered with MoneyGram to speed fiat settlements, a consortium of 61 Japanese banks for creating an instant domestic payments app, and a South Korean bank for “commercial” international remittances, among others.
source
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The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a memo March 23, reminding US citizens of the need to report their digital currency earnings on their income tax returns.


The IRS notes that Notice 2014-21 defines digital currencies as property, and they are thus subject to federal property taxes. Those who fail to report their crypto earnings can be “liable for penalties and interest,” and “in more extreme situations [...] criminal prosecution.”


The recent memo highlights the “inherently pseudo-anonymous aspect” of cryptocurrency transactions, which the organization believes may lead some taxpayers to be “tempted to hide taxable income from the IRS.”

In 2017, only .04 percent of customers of personal finance service Credit Karma reported crypto transactions on their tax returns.

source
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reddit-reportedly-removes-bitcoin-as-payment-cites-coinbase-change
Image Source - cointelegraph
Reddit has reportedly removed the option for users to pay for their premium membership program, Reddit Gold, in Bitcoin (BTC) citing an “upcoming Coinbase change”, according to a Reddit post in subreddit /r/btc published March 23.



Reddit user BitcoinXio posted a video of the steps to give another user Reddit Gold, showing that the only payment options are PayPal and credit card.

Reddit user emoney40, a moderator of several subreddits but not /r/btc, commented that the change is due to the Coinbase Commerce change:

“The upcoming Coinbase change, combined with some bugs around the Bitcoin payment option that were affecting purchases for certain users, led us to remove Bitcoin as a payment option.”

Coinbase posted on its Medium page in early March 2018 about retiring Coinbase Merchant Tools in place of Coinbase Commerce, which they acknowledged “may be disruptive to Coinbase Merchant Tool customers.” As of April 30, merchants that used Coinbase Merchant Tools will no longer have access to that product, with May 31 as the final date for the required switch to Coinbase Commerce.

User emoney40 also said that adding BTC back as a payment option is not a guarantee:

“We're going to take a look at demand and watch the progression of Coinbase Commerce before making a decision on whether to re-enable.”

Some Reddit users on the thread commented that they were not using BTC to pay for Reddit Gold anyway, due to the high transaction fees. However, in February BTC transaction fees dipped below the price of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) fees, which had been one of the main talking points of BTC’s competitors.
Source
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xrp-ripple-surpasses-visa-transaction

The progress of XRP (Ripple) happens so quickly that major news gets buried under FUD on a basis of seconds, but XRP transaction speeds have nonetheless surpassed VISA transaction speeds at a rate of more than two-to-one while few were noticing.

Because of recent updates to XRP, the alt-coin can now process 50,000 transactions per second compared to VISA’s 24,000 transactions per second.

The number of VISA transactions per second is publicly available information published at the VISA website portal, which cites testing of transaction speed that was conducted in 2010.

Image source: ripple.com

XRP’s 50,000 transactions-per-second is information available at the Ripple company’s website portal that was updated in July 2017. However, recent XRP potential COBALT updates and system health decentralization improvements promise to further increase the transaction speed/capacity that the altcoin is capable of, as well as improve the safety of XRP transactions.

The improvement of transaction speed improves the likelihood of XRP (Ripple) adoption by the more than 100 banks that have confirmed the trial of Ripple technologies in their systems.

Banks have embraced the Ripple system so frequently that Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse commented in a recent interview that the company would not announce more bank adoption numbers until they reach 200.

For those who are not aware of the difference between the Ripple company and the XRP alt-coin, Ripple is an international financial transaction company whose owners maintain the majority of the XRP alt-coin for business use—HODn XRP to ensure that banks and financial institutions that it conducts business with will have a sufficient amount of XRP to carry out cross-border fiat-to-fiat conversions and other similar uses of XRP that relate to financial transactions.

Although many in the cryptocurrency community interpret this business decision of the Ripple company to HOD their available XRP as an inherent flaw, for the average XRP investor, this decision is a boon since it permanently reduces the amount of the XRP alt-coin that is in circulation any given day in the trading community, and, most importantly, it ensures that the Ripple company can provide a sufficient amount of XRP to its financial partners.

Thus the value of XRP as an artifact and not as a utility increases, and thus the qualities of XRP an alt-coin simultaneously increase in its capacity to bridge artifact value and use-case value.

In the valuation analysis of alt-coins, two valuation systems have emerged. One that acknowledges the artifact value of an alt-coin that is tied to the limited number and the consequent desirability of cryptocurrency—such as the highly limited number of Bitcoin (BTC) that is available and that therefore makes the coin valuable for the simple fact that the number of Bitcoin (BTC) is limited (now at merely 21 million).

The other emerging consideration to the value of alt-coin involves the use-case of cryptocurrency. In this respect to use-case valuation, XRP is considerably in the forefront of most if not all cryptocurrencies because of the adoption of XRP by the financial sector—most notably to date by the Cuallix financial system, an international company that uses XRP to bridge cross-border fiat transactions and payments. Also, however, this use-case valuation is solidified by the Ripple company’s partnership with SBI Holdings, the leading financial service company in Japan. Their subsidiary, SBI Securities, is Japan’s largest online securities company with more than 4 million brokerage accounts.

SBI Virtual Currencies launched in beta on January 30 and is expected to soon launch in real time. The exchange is designed to provide a respected and reliable exchange for both its institutional customers and individual digital asset buyers in Japan. SBI Virtual Currencies will use XRP as the only digital asset supported at launch.

LIMITATION IS GOOD FOR ARTIFACT VALUE

According to statistics available at coinmarketcap.com, the number of XRP in circulation equals approximately 39 billion, having already neared the number of the alt-coin that is available to the public. According to information from the Ripple company, there are 55 billion of the XRP alt-coin that have been placed into escrow, with the allowance that the Ripple company can sell up to a billion per month. However, the Ripple company seems to be HODn its available XRP, and selling only millions of the alt-coin each month and placing the remainder back into a posteriorly-dated escrow, which means that the XRP that is not sold each month is then positioned to be sold at later than the original escrow timeline dates set by the company, decades down the line. Although each month the Ripple company releases some of the alt-coin to fund its business activity, the number that is sold monthly is low.

Thus there are only really about 6 billion XRP available to the general public, plus the few million that the company sells each month to fund its business activities.

SPEED IS DEADLY

Because XRP can process transactions twice as fast as one of the leading credit card companies in the world, and with more than a hundred banks looking at XRP as a potential artifact to execute cross-border transactions, and with most of the XRP that is available to the public now exhausted, the current undervaluation of XRP is self-evident. Look to XRP in the coming years to become the standard of value for alternative currencies, positioned to continue to lead the cryptocurrency world in use-case valuation.

ADVISORY: Some information in this op-ed was used verbatim from industry websites. Other information referenced comes from news reports. I am not a financial advisor and I do not recommend speculating in cryptocurrency. I own some XRP and other alt-coins, but I don’t day trade.
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The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (CMIIT) has published a list of objectives to encourage the development and standardization of the technology sector, including Blockchain, according to a document released March 23.

The document begins with an objective to “promote the establishment of […] the National Blockchain Distributed Accounting Technology Standardization Committee” and further states that the committee will recommend standards “in Blockchain reference architectures, data format specification, interoperability, and smart contracts.”


The document also states that the new Committee will promote the creation and submission of standards “going out”, i.e. participating in the establishment of international standards in Blockchain technology.

CMIIT issued another announcement on March 23 stating that the day before, it concluded a forum exploring the use of Blockchain technology in China’s industrial sector. The press release says that CMIIT will continue to explore the topic.

Earlier in March, Cointelegraph reported that the government-backed Investment Association of China (IAC) is planning to create a Blockchain Investment Development Center. According a leaked document, the Blockchain innovation plan involves linking domestic and international resources, as well as investing in Chinese Blockchain projects, attracting foreign investment, and leading international Blockchain forums. According to one Chinese official referring to this document, an international Blockchain summit may be held in China in May 2018.

While the Chinese government has taken a hard line against cryptocurrencies, it appears to be embracing the underlying Blockchain technology. The Bank of China filed a patent in February 2018 for a scaling solution of Blockchain technology systems, while China’s top online retailer, JD.com, announced the launch of a startup incubator to attract foreign Blockchain projects.
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Fundstrat’s Tom Lee has forecasted that Bitcoin’s price will reach $91,000 by March 2020, basing his prediction on a chart that shows Bitcoin’s (BTC) performances after past market dips, Forbes reported March 17.



Lee and Fundstrat used an average of the percentage gained in price after each dip to arrive at the 2020 figure.

The Forbes piece notes that because the chart is based on a logarithmic scale as opposed to the traditional linear-based graph, BTC’s highs and lows are not as distinct.

Lee has been predicting high prices for BTC since its price was below $3,000. In July 2017 Lee had already stated that Bitcoin would hit $55,000 by 2022. More recently, in January of this year, Lee said that BTC would hit $25,000 by the end of 2018.


Lee and Fundstrat also recently released the “Bitcoin Misery Index” in early March, which is described as a “contrarian index’ that lets investors know how “miserable” BTC holders are at the current price.