Archive for the ‘cryptocurrency’ Category
Donald Trump is not a fan of Libra, Facebook's proposed cryptocurrency, the president made clear in a series of tweets on Thursday evening.
"Facebook Libra’s 'virtual currency' will have little standing or dependability.," Trump tweeted. "If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks."
Trump is the latest—and most high-profile—public official to raise doubts Facebook's cryptocurrency plans. On Wednesday, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell warned that "Libra raises many serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability."
Mark Zuckerberg is known for his boundless ambition. He's had a longstanding fascination with Caesar Augustus, the Roman emperor who (in Zuckerberg's words) "established 200 years of world peace." So having conquered social networking, Zuckerberg has his eyes on something bigger: reshaping the global financial system.
Payment services from rivals like Apple and Google essentially offer an improved user interface for conventional credit card networks. Facebook, in contrast, is aiming to use blockchain-like technology to build a new payment network from scratch, complete with its own currency.
Facebook has assembled an impressive roster of launch partners for its Libra project. Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal are backing the effort. So are Uber and Lyft, as well as several venture capital firms and non-profit organizations.
Among the many technological breakthroughs of NASA's Apollo project to land a man on the Moon was the Apollo Guidance Computer that flew onboard Apollo spacecraft. In an era when most computers were refrigerator-sized—if not room-sized—the AGC weighed only about 70 pounds. It was one of the first computers to use integrated circuits.
Mining is a key part of the process for maintaining bitcoin's shared transaction ledger, or blockchain. To win the right to add a block to the blockchain, you have to solve a difficult problem: finding a block whose SHA-256 hash starts with a minimum number of zeros. The only known way to accomplish this is by brute force: miners create a block with a random nonce and compute its hash value. If the hash value doesn't have enough leading zeros, the miner changes the nonce and tries again.
Bitcoin's price has soared above $10,000 for the first time since early 2018, a new milestone in the virtual currency's latest comeback.
The price has more than tripled since hitting rock-bottom last December around $3,200. That was after crashing from an all-time high around $19,500 in December 2017.
As always, it's difficult to be sure what drives changes in Bitcoin's price. But one obvious candidate is Facebook's announcement of its own cryptocurrency, called Libra, earlier this week. Libra is a potential Bitcoin competitor, but the announcement also brings added legitimacy to the overall cryptocurrency market.
Many cryptocurrency startups and investors are unhappy with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s uncertain approach to the sector, saying the agency is killing innovation and driving companies from the US. Now the Canadian social media company Kik—backed by prominent voices in the crypto world—is stepping up its effort to use the courts to force the SEC’s hand.
On Tuesday, Kik announced a crowdfunding effort to help it fight the SEC over the company’s 2017 initial coin offering, in which it sold nearly $100 million worth of a token it called kin. The company says it sold a currency that could be used across a network of apps, whether to get paid for taking surveys or to buy new stickers and themes. The SEC disagrees, arguing in a proposed action last November that kin are securities—investments subject to strict rules about how they can be sold.
Kik’s fight has drawn interest from major investors and cryptocurrency exchanges such as Circle, that are hoping for changes in how tokens are regulated. By drawing the SEC into a legal battle, Kik and its backers are hoping the courts will devise rules that would impact a wide array of crypto companies. The catch? The SEC hasn’t taken any action yet, and it’s unclear if it will.
Last Wednesday we reported that bitcoin had risen to $6,000 for the first time this year. On Monday, just five days later, bitcoin reached a new 2019 high of $8,000. As I write this one bitcoin is worth about $7,900.
Of course, bitcoin reached much higher levels in late 2017 and early 2018. Bitcoin's current price just under $8,000 is less than half the all-time high of $19,500 set in December 2017. Bitcoin was last worth at least $8,000 in July 2018.
As often happens, bitcoin's rise is part of a broader cryptocurrency boom. On Saturday, the price of ether—the currency of the Ethereum network—rose above $200 for the first time in 2019. Other cryptocurrencies, including Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Monero, and Dash are at or near 2019 highs.
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