HempCoin (THC), one of the first 30 cryptocurrencies ever created, has been relisted by cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex. Before being delisted in 2019, HempCoin was a top-100 token on CoinMarketCap, trading over $10 million a day.
HempCoin founder and CEO Tim Renzetti spoke to Cointelegraph about the coin’s rejuvenation and his plans for future development of the platform.
Renzetti first discovered crypto in 2013 and started the HempCoin blockchain as a community project in December of that year. This preempted the farm bill of 2018, which paved the way for the legalization of cannabis in the United States. He said:
“My initial thought on crypto was that eventually industries and divisions of the economy would each gravitate towards one particular crypto. This would help maintain the value within each as, for example, if the oil industry collapses then the agriculture industry wouldn’t. I wanted HempCoin to be the Agriculture Coin, representing a 2 trillion dollar industry worldwide.”
Bittrex picked up HempCoin and listed THC on its exchange in March 2014. However, by the end of 2014 Renzetti had moved on to other non-crypto-related business ventures, in the belief that the project and community would tick along nicely without him.
He revisited the project in early 2017, when interest in all things crypto was starting to explode, and put together a direction and future plan that the community could work with.
During the crypto-boom of 2017, HempCoin soared in value, aided by an enhanced social media presence. It broke into the top-100 coins on CMC, hitting a peak market cap of $170 million in January 2018 and trading over $10 million per day on Bittrex.
Renzetti had big ideas to expand HempCoin by adding a seed-to-sale supply chain traceability platform called HempTRAC. This would have been aimed not just at the cannabis industry, but encompassing the whole of the agriculture and farming sector, he says:
“In 2018 I wanted to change our technology to have a data platform on the THC blockchain and brought on a project manager to help facilitate this change. Because I am not a coder and did not have a dev team I searched for teams that offered this solution.”
He settled on Komodo for its technical capabilities and security, and made agreements with Komodo and Bittrex to facilitate the change. Komodo was to create the new THC technology, while Bittrex was to migrate the code and convert old THC for new THC. At the time, over two-thirds of the total THC supply was held in customers wallets on the exchange.
“I paid both companies for the change and started the process,” said Renzetti “Unfortunately it fell foul of Bittrex’s developing legal and regulatory position. They announced THC was to be delisted which rocked our community.”
Renzetti has spent the last year trying to get relisted on Bittrex, acknowledging that the major exchange listing was always HempCoin’s biggest asset. Meanwhile, Bittrex has been limiting the coins that it supports in the U.S. and moving tokens to its Bittrex Global platform.
As of July 2020, HempCoin had finally been relisted with Bittrex Global. Renzetti now hopes to develop or fund the completion of the HempTRAC platform.
“The HempTRAC platform will encompass all facets of data pertaining to the agriculture/farming industry worldwide. We have many farmers waiting to utilize our platform to make it easier to manage the production supply chain.”
Tether, Bitcoin, and how to revive the passé 60/40 investment rule
In light of rising institutional interest and Bitcoin’s press time RoI of 53.17% YTD, it may be the right time to evaluate what comes after 60/40. Once the mantra of Wall Street Bulls, 60/40 is now a passé strategy. Allocating 60% broadly to stocks and 40% to bonds assured relatively good returns with low-risk exposure back in the 80s and 90s. Fast forward to 2020 and now, alternative investors are eyeing Bitcoin to balance the performance of portfolios afflicted by the Fed’s 0 to negative interest rates and the unpredictability of global stock markets.
Despite the volatility associated with Bitcoin, its RoI has climbed steadily YoY. The risk-reward ratio is low when the investment period is longer than a quarter, and this has been especially true since 2019. In fact, in January 2019, BTC’s price was $3732, before it hiked by 130% to hit $8572 in June 2019.
It should also be noted that there were several profit-taking opportunities at 50%, 70-85%, and 130%. Depending on the desired returns on the portfolio, managers could capitalize on the opportunity and exit based on their risk appetite.
This year, Bitcoin’s RoI is perhaps a little underwhelming at 52%. However, before the recent collapse in BTC’s price, there were profit booking opportunities from 27 July 2020 right up to 3 September 2020. This also coincided with the post-halving price rally of this market cycle. Having established that returns are lucrative to asset managers, what is the barrier to entry?
Buying cryptocurrencies using fiat like USD is one of the top deterrents as most fiat-crypto exchanges charge a premium or high fees on entry and exit. The rising popularity and market capitalization of USDT have tackled this challenge effectively. In the past 3 months alone, stablecoins have consistently added $100M a day in market capitalization. In fact, so potent has the rise of stablecoins like USDT been, that it has risen to 3rd on the rankings by market cap, only behind Bitcoin and Ethereum and well ahead of XRP.
With its supposedly transparent reserves, high market capitalization, and low transaction fees, Tether has made it easier for new players to enter fiat-crypto markets/transfer funds across crypto-exchanges. 2020, ergo, may truly be the year of Tether.
Tether provides liquidity and the opportunity to purchase Bitcoin or altcoins at market value. However, it also provides a true hedge against inflation. It has become a replacement for the USD in countries like Russia and China.
Transferring USD across borders for investing in international business or products comes at a high premium. However, Tether has dropped the barriers and reduced cross border transaction costs drastically. Its adoption is driving its market capitalization and its ease of access and availability is helping institutional investors save millions spent in fees and paid in premiums on exchanges globally.
Contrary to popular perception, relying entirely on the US Dollar may not be the best move in uncertain times. Hence, it is time to replace the traditional 60/40 with an optimized strategy where at least 10% is invested in Bitcoin, held for a quarter or two. Bitcoin, alone, won’t do either. As teenage Bitcoin billionaire Eric Finman once said, “Invest 10% of your income into top cryptocurrencies.”
This 10% can be invested into the top 25 altcoins ranked by market capitalization while another 10% can be held in Tether. Tether is the most crucial cog in this portfolio boosting machine. During a bloodbath, traders are left with two options – Hodling assets in their portfolios as they race to the bottom or converting them back to fiat on fiat-crypto exchanges and booking losses.
However, stablecoins like USDT give traders a third option – converting their crypto-assets to Tether and HODLing through the bloodbath, thus avoiding losses and converting to USD at low fees and near-zero volatility.
Ergo, Tether might just be the key to unlocking 60/40, while introducing a balanced basket of crypto-assets to investor portfolios in 2020.
Hackers Have Been Trying To Crack Bitcoin Wallet Worth $750 Million But Here’s The Catch
A bitcoin wallet containing a little over 69,000 BTC is doing the rounds in hacking communities all over the internet. The reason? It’s obvious.
Everyone (read seasoned hackers and self-professed bitcoin wallet crackers) wants to break it open and take it all. Or at least, a slice of the almost $750 million pie. For the last two years, however, no one has been able to ‘strike it lucky.’
Hackers Tried Cracking The 7th Largest Bitcoin Wallet In The World
According to cybersecurity expert Alon Gal, who goes by the handle ‘UnderTheBreach on Twitter, hackers have been trying to break open a bitcoin wallet holding around $720 million worth of BTC (considering today’s rates). However, Gal reported that no one has posted any success regarding the same.
Get this – there is a Bitcoin wallet with 69,000 Bitcoins ($693,207,618) that is being passed around between hackers/crackers for the past 2 years for the purpose of cracking the password, no success so far.
— Alon Gal (Under the Breach) (@UnderTheBreach) September 8, 2020
As it so happens, the bitcoin wallet in the discussion has the 7th largest BTC stash in the world.
It Is Now Available Online For Everyone To Try
While some folks have tried breaking in themselves, most of them admitting failure has advertised the wallet on online hacking forums for somebody else to do the job.
Alon revealed this to Vice in a one-on-one chat regarding the matter:
Stealing Bitcoin wallets from victims worldwide is a common goal among cybercriminals. Wallets tend to be protected by strong passwords and in the event that a cybercriminal manages to obtain a wallet and cannot crack the password he might sell it to opportunistic hash crackers who are individuals with a large amount of GPU power
Gal noticed one such advertisement on a popular hacking forum RaidForums. And not just hacking portals, the wallet showed up on BitcoinTalk on June 29 last year. After that, on All Private Keys and then Wallet-dat(dot)net.
But Does It Contain The 69,370 BTC Though?
The bitcoin wallet seems like a tough nut to crack. But the important question to ask is – Does it contain the BTC? Although it has an alphanumeric address, it is quite possible that the ‘wallet.dat’ file is ‘doctored.’ There is a public key available but not the private key.
The founder of Wallet Recovery Services, Dave Bitcoin, said that:
It’s possible to doctor a Bitcoin wallet.dat file to make it seem like it contains a high balance. The wallet file contains pairs of public key & encrypted private key of the addresses it controls. So one could modify the file in a binary editor and change the public key of one of the address pairs to that of a high value BTC address.
It may be a bait to beguile folks into making bitcoin payments for a shot at cracking a wallet that doesn’t actually have any BTC.
Breaking In Could Be Impossible
According to another assumption, cracking open this bitcoin wallet may be outright impossible. But why?
Quite possibly, the wallet is protected by a long, unique, and difficult to crack the password. Apart from this, the wallet.dat file may be encrypted using a combination of AES-256-CBC and SHA-512 algorithms. These are super slow to process, making it all the more difficult to ‘brute force’ them open.
Kraken becomes the first crypto company to become a bank in the USA – a report by Saumil Kohli.
The Wyoming Banking Board voted to approve the San Francisco-based crypto exchange’s application for a special purpose depository institution (SPDI) charter earlier this week. Kraken is now the first SPDI bank in Wyoming, USA. According to the Wyoming Division of Banking’s general counsel, Chris Land, Kraken will also be the first newly chartered (de novo) bank in the state since 2006. By becoming a bank, Kraken would get direct access to federal payments infrastructure.
“Kraken can seamlessly integrate banking and funding options for customers.”
David Kinitsky, a managing director at Kraken and the CEO of the newly formed Kraken Financial, said that they can now seamlessly integrate banking and funding options for their customers by becoming a bank. In the wake of a July letter from the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency giving national banks the go-ahead to custody crypto, the Division of Banking also announced it has been working with Promontory Financial Group. A prominent Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm made up of lawyers and former government regulators.
The division will publish the first manual for banks regarding policies for handling crypto.
The Division of Banking, along with Promontory, will publish the first manual for banks regarding procedures and policies for handling digital assets in October, Land said. In addition to more products, Kraken Financial will give Kraken the ability to operate in more jurisdictions, Kinitsky said. As a state-chartered bank, Kraken now has a regulatory passport into other states without having to deal with a patchwork state-by-state compliance plan. The cryptocurrency company has been silent about its application until now. The first hint the crypto firm was interested in the Wyoming charter was in December when it opened a position for the job Kinitsky has now.
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