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Friday, October 19, 2018

Catalan Independence Leaders Reportedly Asking For Bitcoin Donations

Catalan catalonia

Catalan politician Carles Puigdemont is reportedly asking for donations in Bitcoin to avoid scrutiny. Funding is said to be going to assist those who have left the region after the Spanish government cracked down on an independence push.

The former President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, is now reportedly asking for Bitcoin donations so it will be harder to trace financial flows to and from exiled Catalan leadership.

The news outlet said the “request to make donations in bitcoin” can be seen on a website dedicated towards raising money for exiled “promoters of the Catalan republic.”

However, it was unclear as of press time where specifically the Bitcoin donation request was on the site.

A Reddit post about the article had one commenter note how the Bitcoin address was there earlier and then taken down.

The original Reddit post linked to the alleged Bitcoin wallet, but it was unclear if the address is the one actually used by Catalan leadership. As of press time, the purported address received more than 81,000 Bitcoin but had 51.176 BTC in the final balance.

Supporting The Cause

According to El Confidencial, the money is primarily going towards legal logistical, and procedural support for those who fled the region after facing criminal cases by the Spanish government related to a push for independence.

Puigdemont is also reportedly concerned about security for those in exile and is looking to spend money in this area.

Bitcoinist_Bitcoin Devleopment Funding

The fundraising website gives people to donate by credit or debit card. El Confidencial said the site is registered in the small Caribbean nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

The outlet reported on the creation of the website back in April. It said it was made by Peter Sunde, who also was one of the original creators of the Piratebay.

Sunde was sentenced to a year in prison and received a fine a few years ago for pleading guilty in a copyright case in Sweden.

Concerns About Transparency

The website explains how an independent council would work to ensure raised funds were allocated to endeavors that are planned and announced.

Technical management will be governed by principals of “efficiency austerity, and transparency.”

Additionally, plans are listed to carry out an annual external audit on the money that would then be published for public review.

However, El Confidencial noted how “no report on the management of the funds has been presented” in over six months. It also said there has been no word about who is on the independent council.

Do you support the Catalan independence movement accepting Bitcoin donations? Share your thoughts below! 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post Catalan Independence Leaders Reportedly Asking For Bitcoin Donations appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Chip Maker TSMC Forecasts Weaker Crypto Mining Demand in Q4

Taiwanese chip-making giant TSMC has forecast that revenue growth will be impacted by weakness in cryptocurrency mining demand in Q4.

How the Electric Vehicle Industry Could Drive Cryptocurrency Forward

tesla electric vehicle

Bitcoin’s technology combined with the power of the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence are intersecting with self-driving vehicles. And they are confronting a common problem: Talent shortage. In this regard, the experience gained by the electric vehicle industry might help.

Limited Talent

A Korn Ferry Institute study concludes that a major world crisis is imminent, because, by 2030, demand for skilled workers will outstrip supply, resulting in a global talent shortage of more than 85.2 million people. Moreover, the study forecasts that talent shortages could slow the ongoing digital revolution.

For example, right now, the talent shortage of programmers capable of working with COBOL is acutely affecting the banking, fintech, and most emerging industries.

Demand for Bitcoin Jobs Surging as Price Continues to Climb

According to David Silver, self-driving car team leader at Udacity, limited talent hinders the development of driverless cars. Specifically, Silver points out, “very few people know how to program driverless cars.”

The same problem is distressing the crypto industry. Forbes contributor Maria Peretz remarks that few people are cognizant about blockchain and cryptocurrencies,

Executives who are approached to work for these startups have usually heard of Bitcoin, the most well-known cryptocurrency, and they may vaguely know blockchain has something to do with securing digital currency. However, they often have a fleeting grasp of the nuances and possibilities of this dynamic industry. Their haziness and lack of knowledge can be a formidable challenge to startups that want to land key talent in a competitive hiring market.

E-Car Roadmap Could Help Solve the Shortage of Talent

In August 2018, in the U.S., a record high of 7.14 million positions remained unfilled. Regarding the crypto space, statistics provided by Glassdoor show that for the last twelve months, there has been a 300 percent increase in the number of jobs linked to Bitcoin, the blockchain, and other cryptocurrencies. Forbes reports,

As of August 2018, there were 1,775 bitcoin and blockchain-related job openings in the U.S. — up from 693 at the beginning of the year and 446 at this time last year.

Although in sectors such as life sciences, the percentage of professionals using blockchain has tripled since 2017, the shortage of programmers and blockchain professionals continues to increase.

In this regard, Peretz seems to suggest that the electric vehicle (EV) industry is ahead of the crypto industry. Thus, she suggests that crypto companies could benefit from the model the EV industry applied a decade ago, when “Like with bitcoin and cryptocurrency today, exactly what talent the EV needed in 2010 was unclear.”

“This strategy requires a delicate balance of simplicity and sermonizing, clarity and passion. Fortunately, there is a roadmap for how to do it well: Follow the electric car down the highway to success,” Peretz adds.

Do you think the experience gained by coping with the talent shortage in the electric vehicle industry could help the crypto industry? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post How the Electric Vehicle Industry Could Drive Cryptocurrency Forward appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Enough with the ICO-Me-So-Horny-Get-Rich-Quick-Lambo 'Crypto'

What are cypherpunk legend Timothy May's thoughts on the bitcoin white paper? Keep the text but throw out the hanger-ons that have came with it.

World’s Largest Security Firm Now Offers a Cold Storage Vault for Crypto Investors

The World's Largest Security Firm Now Offers a Cold Storage Vault for Crypto Investors

G4S, a multinational security firm, has jumped on the crypto-custodian bandwagon by offering to secure clients’ digital assets in a cold storage vault.

Have No Fear, G4S Is Here

The world’s largest security firm aspires to apply their expertise by safeguarding clients’ digital assets. Currently, the London-based multinational firm provides security for clients in over 90 countries. The firm is reported to already be offering clients a secure method to store digital currencies.

A recent statement from G4S explained that:

With the rise in the popularity and value of cryptocurrencies around the world in recent years, G4S has developed an innovative new service offering high-security offline storage that helps to protect assets from criminals and hackers.

Securing digital assets has been a persistent challenge to cryptocurrency investors, and a considerable obstacle standing in the way of institutional investors hoping to become more involved in the nascent sector. In fact, a report from Carbon Black Security found that $1.1 billion worth of cryptocurrency was stolen during the first 8-months of 2018 and Carbon Black security strategist Rick McElroy told CNBC, “It’s surprising just how easy it is without any tech skill to commit cybercrimes like ransomware.”

Most retail cryptocurrency investors store their assets in hot wallets on their personal computers, or even on cryptocurrency exchanges. Compared to hard wallets and cold storage options, these are easier targets for hackers as they are connected to the internet. Hard wallets and cold storage might not be the best option for institutional investors due to a variety of reasons. G4S believes that their storage option will remedy these concerns.

A Digital Vault with Layers within Layers

G4S has developed a unique method for storing digital assets. Hackers would encounter great difficulty in attempting to steal client assets. This is be cause GS4 uses a “specific” technology to secure digital assets.

Dominic MacIver, a senior risk analyst at G4S explained that their cold storage wallet system does more than just take the assets offline. The digital assets are also broken up “into fragments” that are then stored independently and have no value. These fragments are stored in “high-security vaults” that are not susceptible to attacks from hackers or armed robbers.

McIver also mentioned that access to the digital assets is not possible unless each fragment is combined using G4S’s proprietary technology. In addition to possessing impregnable cold storage vaults, G4S has “multiple layers of security” on site, and access to these sites is “heavily restricted.”

Crypto Custody: A Growing Field

G4S now joins a growing field of crypto-storage custodians as earlier this week Fidelity Investments rolled out Fidelity Digital Assets service and today Goldman Sachs and Mike Novogratz’ Galaxy Digital Ventures announced a $58.5 million dollar investment into BitGo.

If one considers Coinbase’s custody service, as well as Bakkt’s upcoming November launch, it becomes clear that companies anticipate a growing demand for cryptocurrency and digital asset storage services. 

What do you think about G4S offering crypto cold storage services? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock.

The post World’s Largest Security Firm Now Offers a Cold Storage Vault for Crypto Investors appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Cryptocurrency Loans Go Big As Company Reveals $550M Half-Year Traffic

The cryptocurrency loans offshoot of just one firm saw through-flow of over half a billion dollars in its first six months on the market.

‘Incredibly Strong Reception’

That’s according to third quarter statistics released October 18th by Genesis Capital, a US-based over-the-counter trading firm. In March of this year, Genesis began offering cryptocurrency loans to institutional investors.

Upon release, executives said, the product saw an “incredibly strong reception” from hedge funds, trading arbitrage firms.

Regarding the statistics, they wrote:

Over the past year, through client feedback and the rise of derivative marketplaces, we saw a meaningful increase in the number of market participants wanting to borrow and/ or lend digital currencies. […] We built this new business segment to meet those demands and have experienced an incredibly strong reception since our launch.

In total, Genesis has seen $553 million pass through its books, with current outstanding loans totaling $130 million — a number the company says has “steadily grown” despite cryptocurrency prices falling precipitously since March.

New York Stock Exchange Owner to Launch Bitcoin Data Service

Retail Prepares To Catch Up

As the cryptocurrency industry prepares for an influx of institutional cash with the debut of dedicated solutions such as Bakkt, commentators have long claimed investors were already finding alternative ways of accessing the market.

Since its inception, Genesis says its client base has changed in its make-up, with hedge funds being dominant at the start but giving way to traders and arbitrageurs through Q3.

“These firms generally borrow digital assets to trade against derivatives like futures and swaps,” the report added. “We believe this kind of activity will continue to pick up as derivative markets mature.”

The success story looks set to be repeated. The retail sector is also firmly within the sights of an increasing number of businesses aiming to bring cryptocurrency loans to the mainstream.

InLock, one such startup currently in the midst of an ICO, wants to offer cryptocurrency-collateralized loans to private individuals.

Like Genesis, the concept has seen marked interest even prior to its debut, a private presale raising $2.5 million.

CEO Csaba Csabai told Bitcoinist the following in emailed comments:

Despite the current market sentiment, we managed to open with an impressive $700,000 on the first day of our ICO, and the funding progresses steadily towards our goals. This clearly indicates that there is a demand for lending solutions even if the prices are down.

What do you think about the potential of institutional and retail cryptocurrency loans? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock.

The post Cryptocurrency Loans Go Big As Company Reveals $550M Half-Year Traffic appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.