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Prominent VC and author: Crypto and blockchain will disrupt Big Tech

Albert Wenger, the author of the book “World After Capital,” believes that cryptocurrencies will be one of the things that facilitate the move from the industrial age to the knowledge age.

The post Prominent VC and author: Crypto and blockchain will disrupt Big Tech appeared first on CryptoSlate.

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Albert Wenger, the author of the book “World After Capital,” believes that cryptocurrencies will be one of the things that facilitate the move from the industrial age to the knowledge age.

During Messari’s Mainnet conference, Wenger said that he didn’t believe tech companies would willingly disrupt themselves and that the change in paradigm will have to come from smaller companies in the crypto industry.

The connection between attention and cryptocurrencies

According to Albert Wenger, we’re currently living in a world where the most valuable, and as such the most scarce asset, is human attention. The head of venture capital firm Union Square Ventures said that humankind has evolved from having food as its most prized asset to living in a world where one of the most important resources in the industry is awareness.

Albert Wenger speaking at Messari Mainnet
Albert Wenger speaking at Messari Mainnet

Attention and its value in today’s world was the main topic discussed between Wenger and Messari’s Ryan Selkis during the virtual Mainnet conference earlier this month. Wenger found an interesting and thoughtful connection between cryptocurrencies and the monetization of human attention:

“Attention is to time what velocity is to speed.”

Speed, he explained, is mostly a worthless metric unless we know the direction in which the object is moving towards. The same applies to attention—we all have an equal and finite amount of time in a day, but it’s not the time that matters. Where we decide to put our focus on during that time is something that can be monetized.

This was a relic of an outdated, industrial-era we’re still living in. Everything from our educational systems to our institutions was made in order to sustain a world that was entering an industrial boom at the beginning of the 20th century, which Wenger believes is long gone.

What we’re entering now he calls the “knowledge age,” an era that will mitigate the discrepancies between rapid tech development and mindfulness.

However, to fully transition to the knowledge era and leave the inefficient relics of the industrial age behind us, three things need to be obtained—psychological freedom, freedom of information, and economic freedom.

Cryptocurrencies, Wenger explained, will play a significant role in at least two of the three aspects.

Applying cryptocurrencies to freedoms

Wenger spent quite a bit of time reflecting on the increased use of mobile phones and tech devices in general, telling Selkis that it’s more than obvious that most have already become slaves to the tech that was supposed to serve them. Achieving psychological freedom doesn’t require any tech solutions—he explained that it’s just a simple realization that our brains didn’t evolve to function in the high tech environment that we all live in today.

While cryptocurrencies can do little to provide the psychological freedom Wenger was referring to here, they will be a major driving force in the rest of the transitional process.

When it comes to economic freedom, Wenger said that he believes the only way to achieve it is “through some form of universal basic income (UBI).” He discussed politics mentioning ex-presidential hopeful Andrew Yang, saying that his message regarding UBI resonated with a lot of people within the crypto community despite disagreements with the rest of his political ideas.

He acknowledged that, while promising, UBI came with a set of its own problems and obstacles. However, he noted that there were a number of different cryptocurrency and blockchain projects that are focused on developing solutions for tracking and distributing basic income.

Aside from facilitating UBI, cryptocurrencies by definition are a step in the right direction when it comes to providing economic freedom. Without a trusted third party and the ability to transact peer-to-peer, it’s safe to say that the very concept of digital assets has changed the way we see economic freedom.

Obtaining freedom of information is where cryptocurrencies and the tech that underlies them will have the most impact in, Wenger said. However, it’s worth noting that the freedom of information he referred to both in his book and during the conference is much more complex than just having the freedom to access information.

He explained that having total freedom of information means having a total control over the systems that surround us. These systems include everything from mainstream media and social media platforms to the government entities tasked with policing them.

None of those platforms, at their current state, are programmable, Wenger explained. Implementing protocol changes to platforms as big and complex as Facebook and Twitter are would require such a deep overhaul that it’s unlikely they would ever happen.

Regulating these entities presents an equally complex problem. Wenger believes that all efforts currently coming from the U.S. government when it comes to regulating Facebook and Twitter are focused on the “wrong kind of impedances.” In his book, he talks about requiring social media companies to have APIs and make them programmable. This, he said, would shift the power from the center of the network back to the end-user.

When asked whether the efforts made by companies such as Twitter, which have been working on open-sourcing their backend and making their platform more transparent, are a move in the right direction, Wenger laughed the notion off:

“I’m not honestly super bullish on waiting for big companies to disrupt themselves.”

He explained that it won’t be existing tech giants that will push the world into the age of decentralization, but cryptocurrency companies and various blockchain initiatives. A sensible approach to regulation combined with intense efforts from crypto companies will be what “gets the job done.”

Nonetheless, he warned that the immense network effect of Facebook and Twitter won’t be beaten by a decentralized competitor. This, as history has shown, stands true—none of the social media platforms, blockchain-based or not, that were marketed as an alternative Twitter or alternative Facebook have succeeded so far.

There is, however, hope. Wenger said that only when the current incumbents are “heavily regulated” and a smart approach was taken when designing those regulations, could the market open up for blockchain-based, decentralized platforms.

The post Prominent VC and author: Crypto and blockchain will disrupt Big Tech appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Source: https://cryptoslate.com/prominent-vc-and-author-crypto-and-blockchain-will-disrupt-big-tech/

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Bitcoin is Sucking Liquidity Out of Every Major Market, Charts Show

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On Wednesday, Bitcoin evangelist and Wall Street investor Raoul Pal published a series of charts that pitted the cryptocurrency against major financial markets.

Every graph appeared identical to one another, for they showed how the mainstream assets/indexes were trending lower against Bitcoin, to a point where they all tested a medium-term support trendline. They included gold, the Nasdaq Composite, and its sub-indexes/stocks, which include KBW Bank Index, Treasury Bond ETF Fund, silver, Amazon stock, and others.

gold, bitcoin, xauusd, btcusd

Gold is looking to attempt a negative breakout against Bitcoin once it closes below the rising trendline support. Source: Bloomberg Terminal

Mr. Pal noted that every index/asset was looking to break bearish on the support trendline. The prediction pointed towards more strength for Bitcoin as it compared the crypto with a “supermassive black hole that is sucking in everything around it and destroying it.”

“You see, gold is breaking down versus bitcoin,” Mr. Pal added. “And gold investors will flip to BTC. The Nasdaq is next. Retail specs are going to flip to bitcoin as it eats techs lunch.”

nasdaq, nasdaq composite, bitcoin, cryptocurrency, btcusd, ndx

Like gold, Nasdaq is also looking to break lower against Bitcoin. Source: Bloomberg Terminal

Weaker Sub-indexes

Some of the Nasdaq’s sub-indexes already broke below the Ascending Trendline support. The KBW Bank Index (NASDAQ: BKX), a benchmark stock index of the banking sector, fell to its lowest levels against Bitcoin as worries over an increase in loan defaults stressed the financial corporations.

Read Further: 3 Biggest Bitcoin Takeaways from JPMorgan’s Q3 Earnings

Furthermore, the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond (NASDAQ: TLT) depreciated against the rising Bitcoin prices, adding to the speculation that the US economy is heading for a prolonged period of lower interest rates. The Federal Reserve has already committed to keeping them near-zero up until 2023.

us bonds, TLT US Equity, iShares 20+ Treasury Bonds, Bitcoin

iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF dips against Bitcoin. Source: Bloomberg Terminal

The analogy was the same for the G4 Central Bank Balance sheet, the Refinitiv/CoreCommodity CRB Index, and Apple. Everything fell against Bitcoin.

“The macro, flows, technology, demography and societal strains have all converged to this moment in time and the definite answer from markets is Bitcoin,” wrote Mr. Pal. “I get this sounds a little evangelical but I’m struggling to see it any other way right now.”

Bitcoin to $20,000

As money keeps flowing into the Bitcoin market, Mr. Pal also indicated that the cryptocurrency could soon swell back to its previous record high of $20,000.

cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, BTCUSD, XBTUSD, BTCUSDT, Bitcoin Dominance

A break above the $14K level puts Bitcoin en route to $20K, as per Raoul Pal. Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

As per Mr. Pal, there is not any historically concrete resistance level above $14,000.

Earlier in 2017, it took BTC/USD only a week to pump from lower $13,000s to as high as $19,891 on Coinbase exchange. While the rally mostly took its cues from the infamous ICO boom, it left little hints for technical chartists to pick their ideal long targets on the next breakout above $14,000.

“I fully expect new all-time highs by early next year at the latest,” Mr. Pal predicted, nevertheless.

Source: https://bitcoinist.com/bitcoin-is-sucking-liquidity-out-of-every-major-market-charts-show/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bitcoin-is-sucking-liquidity-out-of-every-major-market-charts-show

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5 Reasons For Bitcoin’s Price Surge To New 15-Month High

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At the beginning of October, Bitcoin’s price was particularly indecisive and trading slightly above $10,000, causing many to believe that the unfilled CME gap down at $9,600 would soon be closed.

Fast forward to the current date, October 27th, BTC is trading at $13,400, having just marked a fresh high for 2020. The cryptocurrency added around $3,000 to its value, representing an increase of around 30%.

With this said, this month was also quite eventful. Many things happened, and, as such, let’s have a look at five possible reasons that could have led to this substantial price increase.

PayPal Announcing Support for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum

Undoubtedly, the most important piece of news that came out this month was PayPal announcing support for cryptocurrencies.

Now, PayPal is the world’s largest online payment processor. Data from Statista shows that for the second quarter of 2020, the company has processed over $221 billion. Moreover, the company has a network of over 26 million vendors, and it plans to enable users to spend their BTC at all of them, starting in early 2021.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that PayPal is a widely-accepted payment method, and most of the banks allow transfers from and to the platform. On the contrary, not a lot of banks support Bitcoin transactions, meaning that they would either have to reconsider their policy, or they would have to drop PayPal as a client altogether.

At this point, it’s unclear how this will be resolved, but it’s exciting to see how the situation develops. If one thing is certain, though, it would put Bitcoin and other cryptos at the forefront of an important discussion.

Major Banks Starting to Change Their Attitude Toward Bitcoin

There’s no clearer example here than JP Morgan – one of the world’s largest multinational investment banks.

The relationship between the bank’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, and Bitcoin is one worth following. In 2017, the high-ranked executive said that BTC is afraid and that if he saw any of his traders dealing with it, he would “fire them in a second.”

Well, fast forward a few years, and now the bank is posting bullish predictions on that very same cryptocurrency that Dimon labeled a fraud.

Just a few days ago, JP Morgan said that even a modest switch in capital from gold to Bitcoin could see its price triple.

Number of Publicly-Listed Companies Which Buy Bitcoin Increases

Perhaps as a direct consequence of the above, we can already see an increased involvement from publicly-listed companies.

The biggest buyer who put Bitcoin on its balance sheet became MicroStrategy, with its massive $425 million investment. Its CEO, Micael Saylor, has been particularly vocal about BTC’s merits.

Jack Dorsey’s Square also jumped on the bandwagon, purchasing $50 million worth of Bitcoin earlier this month.

Below is a list of all the publicly-listed companies and their holdings in BTC.

public_companies

Publicly-listed companies putting BTC on their balance sheet is a huge deal for the nascent cryptocurrency, and industry experts have it that this effect will only snowball.

Singapore’s Biggest Bank Reportedly Launches a Bitcoin Exchange

As CryptoPotato reported just today, DBS Bank, a Singaporean multinational banking and financial services corporation and the city-state’s largest bank, has reportedly launched an exchange that offers fiat-to-cryptocurrency trading pairs.

Purportedly, the new exchange would support the “top digital currencies in circulation,” namely Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Ripple’s XRP. Traders would be able to exchange them against SGD, HKD, JPY, and USD.

More interestingly, the exchange would supposedly only accept financial institutions and professional market makers, as its users. The venue would be regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, which is also its de-facto central bank.

Needless to say, a central bank-backed and regulated exchange aimed at institutional investors should, in theory, facilitate the involvement of larger players in the field.

Uncertainty Around the Upcoming 2020 US Presidential Elections

Undoubtedly one of the most important moments for the global macroeconomic outlook is the upcoming US Presidential Elections, set to take place on November 3rd.

CryptoPotato did a survey, and it turned out that the elections are the biggest concern for Bitcoin investors in 2020.

cryptopotato_survey_btc

It is, perhaps, no surprise that billionaire Paul Tudor Jones III came up with a statement, saying that he likes “Bitcoin even more now than then [when he bought BTC in May].” He also said that it’s going to be the best inflation trade.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/5-reasons-for-bitcoins-price-surge-to-new-15-month-high/

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SEC Director Who Said Ethereum is Not a Security Leaving the Watchdog

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William Hinman, a director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) known for his statements in favor of greater clarity for the crypto ecosystem and other ICOs and fintech, announced his intentions to leave his post in the upcoming months.

Since 2017, Hinman has served as a director of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, an office responsible for giving investors material information to help them come with good financial decisions. His office also provides interpretative assistance to companies with respect to SEC rules. It also makes recommendations to the Commission in different regulatory areas.

William Hinman Paved The Way for a Better Crypto / Fintech Ecosystem

In addition, Hinman participated in creating the SEC’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology, better known as the FinHUB, a program aimed at promoting fintech developments in the country, offering advice on regulatory matters and clarifying somewhat confusing criteria regarding digital assets.

This is Hinman’s best-known area of work when it comes to the world of cryptocurrency. In the heat of conflicting opinions within the SEC on blockchain technologies and cryptocurrency ETFs and ICOs, Hinman gave Ethereum a thumbs up, declaring that, in his view, it was not a security.

William Hinman during his speech at Yahoo! Finance Crypto Summit. Image: Yahoo
William Hinman during his speech at Yahoo! Finance Crypto Summit. Image: Yahoo

For Hinman, Ethereum’s decentralization made it incompatible with the Howey Test’s requirements —a longstanding test used by regulators and the United States justice system to determine whether or not a particular offer constitutes a security.

During his famous speech “Digital Asset Transactions: When Howey Met Gary,” Hinman explained that Ethereum and Bitcoin could not be securities, even though Ethereum went through a funding round. Decentralization was the key:

“Putting aside the fundraising that accompanied the creation of Ether, based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions. And, as with Bitcoin, applying the disclosure regime of the federal securities laws to current transactions in Ether would seem to add little value.

The Need For Clarity Remains

So far, it remains unclear what the minimum decentralization level is for a project not to be considered a security. Regulatory uncertainty remains a conversational topic to the point that several projects – like Ripple – have considered moving outside the United States in search of greater regulatory clarity.

The SEC has been key for many drawbacks in the crypto industry. The rejection of every single Bitcoin ETF, the halts of major projects like Facebook’s Libra, the Telegram Open Network and KIK’s token KIN are one of the most important blows received by the crypto ecosystem.

The official SEC press release does not elaborate on the reasons behind the resignation. William Hinman thanked Commissioner Jay Clayton and his team for their “professionalism, expertise, and commitment to public service.”

When William Hinman effectively leaves his post, Shelley Parratt, who serves as the deputy director of Hinman’s corporation finance division, will temporarily replace him.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/sec-director-who-said-ethereum-is-not-a-security-leaving-the-watchdog/

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