Argentinian Bank Drops Out of SWIFT, Favors Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency

According to Toshi Times, Jose Dakak, the principal shareholder of Argentinian bank Banco Masventas, has stated that the bank will drop out from the global financial network SWIFT and begin utilizing the Bitcoin blockchain network to settle international payments.

Can Bitcoin Replace SWIFT?

Through a strategic partnership with Bitex, a cryptocurrency payment service provider based in South America, Dakak explained that the bank will outsource the conversion process of bitcoin to fiat currencies to Bitex, which will then send bitcoin to the recipient. The end cost would be the bitcoin transaction fee that is sent to the miners that verify transactions on the blockchain and the fee charged by Bitex.

“The service allows you to reduce costs associated with international transfers as there are no international banks as intermediaries,” said Banco Masventas.

Dakak noted that one of the initial actions the bank took to streamline the implementation process of bitcoin was to cooperate with the Bitex development team to ensure recipients of bitcoin payments can seamlessly receive cryptocurrency transactions without boundaries. Dakak stated:

“One of the actions was to contract Bitex as a strategic partner in the implementation of the Bitex platform for payments and collections operations for our clients abroad.”

The SWIFT network, which is utilized by the world’s biggest banks and financial institutions, is essentially a messaging network that enables banks to share information. Sending a payment from one bank to another requires a message to be sent on the SWIFT network, which has to be verified manually.

Sending international payments and remittance transactions on the SWIFT network can take at least five business days to three weeks, depending on the size of the payment. Because most international payments processed by banks are large, it often takes more than a week for the payment to be cleared.

argentina bitcoin
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Bitcoin is not the most flexible blockchain network and it does not have the biggest capacity. But, it is the most robust blockchain protocol with the longest track record, equipped with one of the most active open-source development groups in the industry. Its transparency and security allow the Bitcoin network to operate as a reliable financial network for international payments.

Moreover, most international payments sent by banks, as stated above, are often large transactions that cannot be processed by remittance outlets. Although bitcoin transaction fees could be an issue for $1 to $10 payments, for payments above $1,000, the bitcoin transaction fee is a non-issue.

Why is SWIFT Still Used?

The SWIFT network is not only operated by leading banks by owned by the world’s biggest financial institutions. As such, even though the SWIFT network is outdated and utilizes an inferior technology, banks have the obligation to use it. That is, until minor banks like Bank Masventas opt out of the SWIFT network and begin to leverage public financial networks like bitcoin, which are completely decentralized and peer-to-peer.

Other banks have started to pilot blockchain protocols like Ripple and Ethereum to process international payments, which could be crucial in demonstrating the potential of cryptocurrency as an alternative to the global finance sector in the long-term.

China Ranks Ethereum as the World’s Best Blockchain Network, Bitcoin at #13

On May 17, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released its public blockchain ratings, ranking various blockchain projects like Ethereum in the global cryptocurrency sector based on three criteria: technology, application, and innovation.

Bitcoin at #13

As shown in the chart below, the Chinese government ranked Ethereum as the world’s best blockchain network at number 1. The top five included Ethereum, Steem, Lisk, NEO, and Komodo, all of which utilize smart contracts to efficiently and securely process information in a decentralized manner.

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Replying to @cnLedger

3/ Full list:
1-5: #ETH, #STEEM, #LSK, #NEO, #KMD
6-10: #XLM, #ADA, #IOTA, #XMR, #STRAT
11-15: #QTUM, #BTS, #BTC, #XVG, #WAVES
16-20: #ETC, #XRP, #DASH, #SC, #BCN
21-25:#LTC, #ARK, #ZEC, #NANO, #BCH
26-28: #DCR, #HSR, #XEM

cnLedger@cnLedger

4/ Detailed scores of the first crypto ratings by CCID Research, China’s Ministry of Industry & Information Technology pic.twitter.com/7LiJIWokge

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The addition of Steem in the top five rankings of the Chinese government’s blockchain network was unexpected by the community because unlike Lisk and NEO, Steem is not a base layer blockchain technology that can be used to create decentralized applications. Steem is a content distribution platform based on the blockchain with a primary purpose of distributing content. Essentially, Steem is like Reddit based on the decentralized blockchain.

Another surprising addition to its top 10 rankings was Monero at number 9, given that several governments including the Japanese government and its financial services agency (FSA) have expressed their concerns towards cryptocurrencies like Monero and Zcash that are capable of processing anonymous payments that could be associated with money laundering and criminal activities.

The cryptocurrency community was taken aback by the ranking of bitcoin at 13, which was co-ranked with privacy-focused cryptocurrency Verge. The bitcoin community was understandably outraged by the ranking of bitcoin at 13, considering that bitcoin has the longest track record as the most secure and dominant cryptocurrency in the global market.

The argument that bitcoin’s application is limited to a form of money and payment is illogical, as the Chinese government ranked Steem, which has a single application on its blockchain network that is a content distribution platform, as the 2nd best blockchain network behind Steem.

More importantly, bitcoin has one of the most active open source development communities in the global cryptocurrency sector and it has developed innovative technologies like Confidential Transactions (CT), Bulletproofs, and Lightning Network, which allows developers to enable private transactions, process micro-payments, and with solutions like RootStock, potentially allow bitcoin to function as an Ethereum-like smart contracts platform.

Exceeded Expectations

The majority of the cryptocurrency community expected the Chinese government to rank private blockchain networks and protocols that can assist the government in surveillance or monitoring transactions at the top. Hence, the ranking of the government which placed cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Monero demonstrate the intent of the government to remain objective in its assessment.

However, analysts have stated that the Chinese government has overlooked the long track record, hashrate, computing power, and accumulated difficulty of major blockchain networks like bitcoin and prioritized next-generation blockchain networks instead.

Earlier this month, South China Morning Post, a major publication based in Hong Kong, reported that China’s public blockchain rankings were developed by China Center for Information Industry Development (CIID), an institute that works closely with the government to advise on policymaking in technology.

The high ranking of Ethereum and smart contract blockchain networks could influence the government to potentially allow some blockchain networks to operate in China.

Philippines Legalizes Cryptocurrency in Economic Zone of CEZA

The Philippine government is welcoming nearly a dozen cryptocurrency companies to operate in a special tax-friendly economic zone situated in close proximity to a number of neighboring countries.

According to a Reuters report, the Philippines will legalize the entry of  top 10 blockchain and cryptocurrency companies to operate in the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), a government-controlled economic zone that is within an hour’s flight away from the likes of Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan.

The government aims to woo cryptocurrency companies to operate out of the economic zone with tax benefits to help generate employment opportunities locally, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority chief Raul Lambino told Reuters.

Notably, the official confirmed that the government will also license – in effect legalize – the cryptocurrency firms in the special zone.

The companies will also be allowed to operate exchanges, offer initial coin offerings (ICOs) and engage in cryptocurrency mining within the zone, he added, stating:

We are about to license 10 platforms for cryptocurrency exchange. They are Japanese, Hong Kong, Malaysians, Koreans…They can go into cryptocurrency mining, initial coin offerings, or they can go into exchange.

There is a caveat, however. Any exchange of fiat money into cryptocurrencies or vice-versa should be conducted beyond Philippines’ borders to avoid infringing the country’s laws.

To aid in bringing jobs to those companies, the economic zone’s regulator is also considering establishing a new financial technology university in the economic zone with a specific focus on blockchain technology, Lambino added.

The embracive stance follows newly introduced rules by the CEZA in February which allowed cryptocurrency companies to legally establish offices and facilities in the special zone. To gain a license, companies must invest at least $ 1 million in the zone over two years and pay up to $100,000 in licensing fees.

Meanwhile, in the mainland, the Philippines’ central bank was previously known to be reviewing the applications of a dozen operators vying to register and launch cryptocurrency exchanges in the country as recently as December. It remains to be seen if these operators have since switched tact to register in the economic zone instead.

The Philippines became one of the earliest nations in the world to publish regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges in early 2017. The deputy director of the central bank, appearing in a televised interview in October 2017, lauded the ‘pioneering regulation’ and said bitcoin, as a monetary instrument, is “fast, near real-time and convenient”.

Bitcoin Price Moves To $9,000 With Strong Momentum

The bitcoin price has surpassed $8,800 after rising more than 6 percent over the past 24 hours. Volumes across major cryptocurrency exchanges remain strong and the daily trading volume of the market has increased past $26 billion for the first time over the past month.

$9,200

On March 21, the bitcoin price tested the $9,200 support level but failed to sustain momentum for mid-term growth and fell below the $6,500 mark within two weeks after struggling to bounce off $8,200.

At this juncture, it is likely that the bitcoin price tests the $9,200 level it had touched in late March, and a movement past that level would lead the bitcoin price to the $10,000 region by the end of April.

In November 2017, investors described the $10,000 mark as a psychological threshold and a key milestone. At the time, traders predicted the price of bitcoin to surge substantially subsequent to surpassing $10,000. Almost immediately after breaking into the $10,000 region, the bitcoin price surged to $14,000 and eventually to $20,000.

Since the initial correction of bitcoin in February, the market has not been able to demonstrate any sign of stability. The price of most alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins) and tokens followed the short-term trend of bitcoin and the volume of regional exchanges in Japan and South Korea significantly decreased.

Fundamentally, bitcoin is in an ideal position to initiate a new rally in both the short and mid-term, given that the adoption of cryptocurrency in general has started to increase. Moveover, in late 2017, the majority of speculators who bought into the cryptocurrency market did so out of FOMO, or fear of missing out, without solid knowledge in the structure and fundamentals of cryptocurrencies.

Over the past five months, the awareness of cryptocurrency has increased drastically and a substantially large number of individuals have started to understand the basics of decentralized financial networks and cryptocurrencies.

As such, fintech company Smart Valor CEO Olga Feldmeier stated that in the next two years, the bitcoin price will reach a value of $100,000, and within 2018, the bitcoin price will surpass its previous high at $20,000.

“I believe that we will see a comeback to the height achieved at the end of 2017 this year. Over the next two years I still predict we could see it reach a value of $100,000,” Olga told The Independent.

Rise of Altcoins

Throughout this week, CCN reported that the altcoin season may have started with strong consistent performances of small cryptocurrencies and tokens. Today, several tokens like STORM have recorded a gain of above 30 percent against bitcoin and about 40 percent against the US dollar.

Investors have gained more confidence in the cryptocurrency market and are now willing to take more risks by investing in cryptocurrencies with higher volatility and lower liquidity.

Still, in an interview with FT, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin stated that the valuation of most altcoins or tokens cannot be justified and are overblown. “There’s projects that never had a soul, that are just like, ra-ra, price go up. Lambo, vrromm, buybuybuy now!” Buterin said.

Ethereum , Ripple and other cryptocurrecies values riseas Bitcoin price spikes

The price of bitcoin rose by $1,000 in less than an hour, sparking massive gains across cryptocurrency markets

Bitcoin’s sudden price rise has resulted in gains across cryptocurrency markets, with ethereum, ripple and litecoin all surging in value.

Within the space of an hour on Thursday, 12 April, bitcoin rose by more than $1,000 – breaking above $8,000 for the first time since March.

The movement’s of the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency is usually reflected across other virtual currencies, and this unprecedented spike was no exception.

Ethereum, which boasts a market cap of around $45 billion, shot up in price by 10 per cent, taking it close to $500. At its peak in January, one ether was worth more than $1,300.

Similar percentage gains were experienced by ripple, which has the third highest market cap behind bitcoin and ethereum.

The altcoin EOS saw the largest gains out of all the top five most-valuable cryptocurrencies, rising by over 30 per cent to take its market cap above $7 billion.

The market-wide shift follows several months of steadily sliding prices for bitcoin, which peaked at nearly $20,000 in December 2017.

Dramatic market movements are not unusual for the notoriously volatile cryptocurrency, which can often be triggered by positive or negative news surrounding regulation and laws.

The latest surge does not appear to be related to any significant news within the cryptocurrency space, however, with some analysts suggesting the gains come from a change in sentiment amongst investors.

“In this scenario traders with short positions will start to lose money and liquidate their positions by buying bitcoin,” Ed Cooper, head of mobile at fintech startup Revolut, told The Independent.

“This causes the price to rise further and as more people start to notice the rise they buy in for a quick gain. This continues the cycle.”

Despite the gains, Cooper advised investors to be cautious about betting on a positive direction of the market beyond the short term.

“We’d need to see a sustained rise over a number of weeks to signal the end of the bear market,” Cooper said. “We’re definitely not there yet.”

INTRODUCTION OF CRYPTOCURRENCIES WORLD

Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin was created in 2009 by an anonymous person,  under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. It has a maximum limit of 21 million, and  16,955,337   bitcoins are in circulation as of April 2018. It is widely accepted as the most popular cryptocurrency and has the largest market capitalization.

Ethereum (XRP)

Ethereum is an open-source, blockchain-based platform that runs Turing-complete smart contracts. The value token of the Ethereum blockchain is called ether. It was invented by Vitalik Buterin in 2013 and later developed using a fund, US$18 million worth of bitcoins, raised via an online public crowd sale of ether in 2014.

Litecoin (LTC)

Litecoin was released in October 2011 by Charles Lee, using a technology similar to Bitcoin. Compared to Bitcoin, the main differences are a block generation time that is decreased from 10 minutes to 2.5 minutes per block; a maximum limit of 84 million for Litecoin, which is four times as high as that of Bitcoin; and the adoption of a different hashing algorithm.

Dash (DASH)

Dash (formerly known as XCoin and Darkcoin) was initially proposed in January 2014 by Evan Duffield, who is also the lead developer. Dash has released the decentralized governance by blockchain system, and it is the first decentralized autonomous organization. It is a privacy-centric cryptocurrency. It uses a coin-mixing service called PrivateSend to anonymize transactions and InstantSend to allow for instant transactions.

Dogecoin (DOGE)

The two creators of Dogecoin, Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, hoped to create a fun cryptocurrency that would appeal to more people. Hence, they used the Shiba Inu dog from the “Doge” Internet meme as the logo and created Dogecoin in 2013. There is no limit to the number of Dogecoins to be produced. Transactions of Dogecoins are made in online communities such as Reddit and Twitter.

Monero (XMR)

Monero (originally named BitMonero) is another open-source, privacy-centric altcoin created in 2014. It is a 100% PoW cryptocurrency. The privacy of transactions is protected by ring signatures (that hide the sending address), RingCT (that hides the amount of transactions), and stealth addresses (that hide the receiving address).

BitShares (BTS)

BitShares is an open-source public cryptocurrency platform that offers a variety of features and was invented by Daniel Larimer. It allows users to issue and trade stocks or debts on the distributed ledger.

MaidSafeCoin (MAID)

MaidSafeCoin is designed for the secure-access-for-everyone network. The data of users and transactions are safe and secure. The network encourages users to provide their resources, such as storage space, central processing unit power, and bandwidth, by giving them the coins as a digital token. The maximum number of MaidSafeCoins in circulation is 4.3 billion.

Nxt (NXT)

Nxt was released in 2013 by an anonymous software developer, BCNext. It is the first cryptocoin that uses purely PoS for consensus, thus making the money supply static—1 billion in the case of Nxt. The block generation rate is 1 minute per block. Despite the additional risks, the complex core infrastructure of Nxt makes it a flexible platform because it is easier to build external services on top. For example, it allows for currency creation and has a messaging system and marketplace.

Bytecoin (BCN)

Bytecoin is the first cryptocurrency invented with the CryptoNote protocol. It secures transactions because the identities of the sender and the receiver and the amount of transaction are all concealed. The number of Bytecoins is capped at 184.47 billion, and the block generation time is 120 seconds per block.

Other Cryptocurrencies

In addition to the aforementioned 10 cryptocurrencies, the following altcoins have also been drawing investor attention.

Ethereum Classic (ETC). Ethereum Classic is a continuation of Ethereum’s original blockchain, so it is also an open-source, blockchain-based platform that supports Turing-complete smart contract. It was created after the hard-fork debate in 2016 and is designed to allow smart contracts to run exactly as programmed without any possibility of third-party interference.

Factom (FCT). Launched in 2014, Factom is an open-source, distributed, and decentralized protocol built on top of Bitcoin. Instead of storing only financial transactions, Factom blockchain technology can record any type of data, making it an ideal platform for real-world business record-keeping systems.

NEM (XEM). NEM is a P2P platform that provides services like payment and messaging system. It uses a proof of importance algorithm, so it does not require much computing power and energy to mine. Together with Mijin, which is a licensed version of NEM, it is the first public/private blockchain combination.

Ripple (XRP). Ripple was created by Chris Larsen and Jed McCaleb. It is one of the first cryptocurrencies not developed based on Bitcoin’s protocol. It is an open-source, distributed P2P payment network, but it is centralized—managed by the company. Any currencies, including the ripple digital currency and ad hoc currencies that have been created by users, can be transferred on the payment system. The maximum number of ripple is 100 billion.

Zcash (ZEC). Launched in 2016, Zcash provides privacy and selective transparency of transactions. Although the transactions are recorded in the public blockchain, Zcash allows for completely transparent transactions using t-addresses, and it can also offer a greater level of privacy to its users using z-addresses. It adopts zero-knowledge cryptography to protect the sender, amount, and recipient of a transaction using a z-address. As with bitcoin, the total amount of Zcash is capped at 21 million

For the complet crypto coins list with over 1300 cryptocurrencies and tokens listed ,   visit cryptocoinhubs.com