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Bitcoin, and the idea of digital cash has taken hold of the banking sector as banks and financial institutions start to experiment internally with blockchains and cryptocurrencies in order to be at the forefront of these technologies.

This, coupled with the fact that government organizations and even global leadership bodies such as the G20 are looking to regulate cryptocurrencies, again give more legitimacy and longevity to the industry.

The latest wave of adoption is now coming from corporations who, traditionally have come to be successful thanks to their centralized domination over different aspects of the market. Microsoft, in the world of computing, are legendary in driving the world to be digital; then there is Amazon, the pioneers of e-commerce.

These companies are in some manner getting forced towards blockchain technology as it has become apparent that this is the future, and even though it goes against their centralized values, they simply cannot miss out.

Microsoft’s entry
Microsoft has always been one of the biggest companies to give Bitcoin its dues. Back in Dec. 2014, content on the Windows and Xbox stores could be bought in Bitcoin, and this was at a time where Bitcoin’s mainstream adoption and appeal was minimal.

This, of course, was merely a nod towards alternative payment methods, and Microsoft being flexible to its customers wants and needs. However since then, and since blockchain has grown, Microsoft has been pushing to be in front of the innovative queue.

Microsoft has obviously identified the power of blockchain and its far-reaching potential for disruptive applications in the world of enterprise business. The company is now developing blockchain applications - which are not that flashy as some of the solutions put forward by startups, but equally practical.

Microsoft is also looking to build platforms on which businesses can grow their blockchain applications upon, such as the Confidential Consortium (Coco) Framework, an Ethereum-based protocol, which falls under Microsoft Azure, the company’s cloud computing arm.

They have also announced that they are looking into plans to integrate blockchain-based decentralized IDs (DIDs) into its Microsoft Authenticator app.

The latest from the computing giant is that Azure has released its blockchain app creation service, Azure Blockchain Workbench, on May 7. Workbench aims to allow businesses looking to create bespoke blockchain apps to speed up the development process by automating infrastructure setup.

Amazon’s own efforts
Both Microsoft and Amazon have similar origins with their founders - Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos - being driven men with revolutionary ideas. Therefore it is unsurprising to see these two companies pushing to be at the forefront of a new technological wave.

Gates may be spouting some pretty negative things about Bitcoin, and Bezos may be under siege to accept the digital currency on Amazon, but despite what the two founders think of the cryptocurrency space, it is becoming clear that the future is conquering the companies.

Amazon revolutionized the e-commerce space and is looking to at least be near to the top of the pecking order when blockchain technology truly takes a hold. Just like in banking, there is a rush to get blockchain figured out and usable before the rest of the competition gets to market.

Amazon is already in a battle with IBM and Oracle with its own “blockchain-as-a-service” offering. The blockchain framework for Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric, which is allowing users to build and manage their own Blockchain-powered decentralized applications, is being developed in different forms by all three.

Essentially, users would be able to create their own blockchain applications via the Amazon Web Services (AWS) CloudFormation Templates tool to avoid time-consuming manual setups of their blockchain network.

Oracle and others also entering the space
Oracle, the world’s second-largest software company, also recently unveiled blockchain products, and will be releasing them over the next two months. Again, it was a similar cloud service built on the open-source Hyperledger Fabric project like Microsoft, and equally similar to IBM’s blockchain service, announced a year ago.

Major companies are also jumping on the blockchain bandwagon in different easy, shapes and forms. Huawei is loading its phones with a built-in Bitcoin wallet;  Samsung revealed that it will use blockchain for managing its global supply chain; Spanish banking group BBVA became the first global bank to issue a loan on a blockchain, and use-cases continue to grow around the world.

Oracle and others also entering the space

Why the blockchain drive?
It was not long ago that people were calling Bitcoin a fad, a scam, and something that will not last for long. Those voices have been silenced somewhat as even banks, one of the biggest detractors of cryptocurrencies, are realizing that they need to be on the forefront of this emerging technology.

The excitement is spreading, and it is creating an arms race even outside banks and the finance sector. Blockchain technology, while intrinsically attached to cryptocurrencies, also has many applications for other sectors. These applications are being explored and evaluated.

Companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung, Huawei, and others, all realize that with all these possibilities, it would be blind to not dive in, and quick.

AWS vice president Jeff Barr explained in a post:

“Some of the people that I talk to see blockchains as the foundation of a new monetary system and a way to facilitate international payments. Others see blockchains as a distributed ledger and immutable data source that can be applied to logistics, supply chain, land registration, crowdfunding and other use cases,. Either way, it’s clear that there are a lot of intriguing possibilities and we are working to help our customers use this technology more effectively.”

Neil Patel, advisor to Kind Ads, a decentralized ad-network that consults companies such as Amazon and Microsoft, reiterates that these major corporations almost have no choice but to embrace blockchain technology as it is being regarded quite openly as the future of technology. Patel told Cointelegraph:

"Microsoft and Amazon have no choice but to focus on blockchain because it is the future. If they don't, they know that it will hurt their growth in the cloud computing space. Just look at Facebook, they see the value in blockchain so much that they moved around their executive team to put the ex president of PayPal on blockchain projects."

Patel’s example above makes mention of how David Marcus, the former president of PayPal and the Facebook executive who has been running the company’s Messenger app, is now assembling a team to explore blockchain technology for the social media platform.

Contradicting ideas
Bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, in general, all continue to split opinions. However, the voices in the detracting camps are becoming quieter, especially if they are just single voices.

Jamie Dimon, the head of JP Morgan, called Bitcoin a fraud and spouted much vitriol about cryptocurrencies - and yet, JP Morgan is building its own blockchain, Quorum. The Head of Microsoft is in a similar situation as he says he would bet on Bitcoin collapsing while his company pushes to be a blockchain leader.




Many of these older viewpoints about how things were done, the centralized control of a sector and the move to monopolize a service, still reside in the likes of Gates and Dimon, but on the company floor, it is a different story.

Blockchain technology is being touted as the future, and it is not just empty words. The amount of money, time and effort being put into blockchain-based research and development by banks and corporations prove there is something more to it than a passing fad.
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Facebook is reportedly “exploring” the creation of its own cryptocurrency, news media outlet Cheddar reported May 11.

According to Cheddar’s anonymous sources, people “familiar with Facebook’s plans,” the social media giant is “very serious” about plans to launch an in-app virtual coin.

The unconfirmed information comes the same week the platform announced that David Marcus, head of its Messenger app, would transfer to heading a dedicated blockchain research group.

Marcus’ appointment to Blockchain operations was immediately conspicuous, the executive previously having worked in the finance sphere for PayPal and subsequently joining US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase’s board in December 2017.

At the time, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong praised Marcus’ cross-industry background in both payments and mobile communications.

The move nonetheless provides for a curious juxtaposition for Facebook, the platform having banned cryptocurrency-related advertising across its network in January. Also citing “misleading or deceptive promotional practices,” the ban was copied by both Google and Twitter soon after.
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The Supreme Court of India declined to grant an interim injunction against the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) circular banning banking services for companies dealing in cryptocurrency, according to a Twitter post by Crypto Kanoon May 11. Crypto Kanoon is a team of Indian lawyers engaged in crypto regulatory analysis and legal awareness.


11 different representatives from various crypto-related businesses who filed a petition with the Indian Supreme Court seeking an interim injunction against the circular. Court documents confirm that the injunction was denied and the case is still pending. The case will be heard again on May 17.

An interim injunction is a provisional measure sought during legal proceedings, before trial, requiring a party either to do a specific act
or to refrain from a specific act. They are intended to prevent unjust circumstances pending trial.

Last month, the RBI ordered regulated banks and payment platforms to “immediately suspend their services” to companies dealing with digital currencies. The RBI’s statement was met with public outcry as the bank’s move directly affected the interest of a great number of cryptocurrency companies and startups. The circular reads:
“… it has been decided that, with immediate effect, entities regulated by the Reserve Bank shall not deal in VCs [virtual currencies] or provide services for facilitating any person or entity in dealing with or settling VCs. Such services include maintaining accounts, registering, trading, settling, clearing, giving loans against virtual tokens, accepting them as collateral, opening accounts of exchanges dealing with them and transfer / receipt of money in accounts relating to purchase/ sale of VCs.”
Tech investor Tim Draper warned that the move by RBI could cause a brain drain, in which Indian crypto and blockchain entrepreneurs take their business abroad due to restrictive regulations at home. While Draper approves of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s crackdown on corruption, he called the government's denial of crypto as legal tender “a huge mistake”.

In April, a group of cryptocurrency exchanges in Chile appealed to the courts to fight the decision of the country’s banks to close their accounts. The exchanges Buda, Orionx, and CryptoMarket (CryptoMKT), stated that the banking system in Chile was taking matters into their own hands and that they are “killing the entire industry.”

On April 25, Buda persuaded the country’s anti-monopoly court to order the re-opening of its accounts at two major Chilean banks. The court published the ruling on its website, ordering state bank Banco del Estado de Chile and Itau Corpbanca to re-open Buda’s accounts while the exchange’s lawsuit continues.
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huawei-releases-bitcoin-wallet-in-app-store-pre-installed-on-all-new-smartphones

Huawei Technologies Co., a Chinese multinational communications technology company, has announced that mobile phone users will be able to download Bitcoin (BTC) wallets on new Huawei devices starting Friday, Bloomberg reported May 10.

Huawei is releasing BTC.com’s Bitcoin wallet in its AppGallery app store, which will be pre-installed on all new Huawei smartphones, according to Alejandro de la Torre, vice president of business operations at BTC.com. It will reportedly be the first digital currency app offered on Huawei devices.

Access to apps like BTC.com’s is limited in China as the government blocks Android’s Google Play Store and some parts of Apple’s App Store. While Chinese authorities shut down cryptocurrency exchanges and banned initial coin offerings, people can still own cryptocurrencies. De la Torre told Bloomberg:

“It’s a good opportunity to tap into the Chinese market. The use of cashless payments with apps is very big and the traditional banking system is lacking, so there’s a good use case for crypto payments to grow there.”

In March, it was reported that Huawei is planning to develop a smartphone that will support decentralized applications (DApp) running on blockchain technology. Last year, Huawei shipped 90.9 mln units in the Chinese market, where it enjoys a dominant market share of 20.4 percent. Huawei’s global market share was 11.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018. Jaime Gonzalo, vice president of Huawei’s mobile services said in a statement:

“From our leadership position in China, the tip of the spear of mobile payments, we expect to see massive growth in global cryptocurrency adoption habits in the near future.”

Last month, Huawei announced the launch of a Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform focused on smart contract development, “a high-performance, high-availability, and high-security blockchain technology platform service for enterprises and developers.”

Meanwhile, China is planning to release nationwide blockchain standards by the end of 2019. A dedicated working group has reportedly already begun work on the project.
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The sentiment of Bitcoin heading to the moon isn’t going anywhere soon and each and every passing day more crypto experts are coming out to reinforce the belief. The latest statement has been made by experts who are known for their bullish bitcoin predictions. They say Bitcoin will hit $36,000 by end of 2019.
These claims have been made by Fundstrat Global Advisors who are well known for their positive predictions when it comes to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It’s the second forecast in a week after they predicted the price of Bitcoin was set to peak during the upcoming consensus meeting.
Sam Doctor of Fund start wrote in a report addressing investors on Thursday noting that the value of Bitcoin could be anywhere between the range of $20,000 to $64,000. If this is to be believed, then the top crypto coin has a long way to go given that it’s currently trading at $9,153.
Sam’s prediction is based on the fact that improving cryptocurrency mining economics are in support of price appreciation.
Fundstart says:
“Bitcoin miners verify and process transactions, supporting the network in exchange for mining rewards and transaction fees, We argue that the Price/Miner’s Breakeven Cost multiple has proven a reliable long-term support level, and further, that the likely trajectory of future mining infrastructure growth should underpin Bitcoin price appreciation into year-end 2019.”
The latest call from Fund start comes just three days after Bitcoin bull Tom Lee predicted the price of BTC was set to rally following the upcoming consensus conference that will be held in Manhattan and it’s expected to bring together more than 7,000 industry experts together.
Even though their predictions have varied over time, they have maintained the top crypto coin is set to hit $125,000 by the year 2022.
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Source - Google

After clearing the tough supply zone, NEO is on a slow but steady climb to the top. The coin saw a 3% rise in the last 48 hours and the bulls are now eyeing up a reclaim of $100, which was last traded on March 8th.

The coin has formed higher lows and highs, moving inside an ascending channel on its 4-hour time frame. The price bounced off support but it’s hitting a ceiling at the mid-channel area of interest. If it is able to maintain these gains, the coin may soon face another test of support. However, if it manages to break past $90, it could easily move closer or even beyond the $100 level.

NEO has continued to face stiff resistance at the $80 levels and is trading at $84 as of press time. After moving above $80 on April 24th, the lack of buying and profit booking could fail to sustain the momentum. Thus go back below $80.

According to most analysts, the coin is currently trading inside a supply zone and could be drawn to the 100 mark before traders book more returns. In this case, another bounce off the resistance point is inevitable, which could lead to a larger correction for the digital currency. Additionally, there has been positive sentiments in the industry, thanks to increased regulations and a potential boost in liquidity from the institutional investors. As such, we expect the steady climb to continue.

Analysts forecast the NEO’s price at $355 by the end of the calendar year 2018. Moreover, the five-year forecast is around $1275. As such, if you are planning to invest for a long-term period, you could make significant profits from the coin. Additionally, on a five-year investment, you could still make some good return.

With the increased awareness of the coin and its asset digitization, NEO is on a slow but steady climb. And may have a lot of potential ahead.

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Image result for indian government cryptocurrency




Government officials with the Reserve Bank of India announced on Thursday that, effective immediately, banks would be prohibited from "dealing with or providing services to any individuals or business entities dealing with or settling virtual currencies."
Essentially, that means people in India are now unable to move money from bank accounts to exchanges in order to buy cryptocurrency. What's more, if you've sold your fat gains for cash, you are no longer able to move that money back to your bank account.
So reports The Economic Times, which quotes an RBI press release as noting that, going forward, "any user, holder, investor, trader, etc. dealing with virtual currencies will be doing so at their own risk."
This announcement didn't come out of the blue. Earlier this year Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley straight up trashed cryptocurrencies.
"The government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system," he is reported as saying in a budget speech. 
So did India just ban Bitcoin? Not exactly. It did, however, just make buying, selling, or using cryptocurrency in the country a heck of a lot harder. 
According to Cointelegraph, RBI's deputy governor, Bibhu Prasad Kanungo, explained the motive behind the action as a proactive measure to ensure financial stability.
"Internationally, while the regulatory response to these tokens are not uniform, it is universally felt that they can seriously undermine the AML (anti-money laundering) and FATF (Financial Action Task Force) framework, adversely impact market integrity and capital control," he reportedly noted in a press conference. "And if they grow beyond a critical size, they can endanger financial stability as well."
This development follows on the September news that China ordered the closure of all locally based cryptocurrency exchanges, and then in February attempted to straight up block accessto exchange websites. 
While RBI's move is definitely not good for cryptocurrency in general, it is a far cry from the stricter measures taken by India's neighbor. So, you know, all you international hodlers can breathe easy for now. 
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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


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