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New frontier for Bitcoin mining

For as long as we can remember, China has been the crypto playground for Bitcoin miners accounting for a staggering 70% of bitcoin mining activities globally. This figure is even more mind-boggling when considering that the Chinese government has never warmed to cryptocurrencies and their development within its borders.

With crypto mining activities enjoying exponential growth in the country, Chinese authorities have employed heavy-handed tactics to crack down on local cryptocurrency mining farms. With such swift action from government authorities, Bitcoin miners have either gathered or abandoned their equipment and fled to greener pastures to continue their activities.

Why has China cracked down on Bitcoin mining?

Like all other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is known to be highly volatile, and its price reflects speculation on its future value – making it a risky investment for crypto enthusiasts. While Chinese authorities have an extensive list of reasons for cracking down on crypto activities in the country, the one most central to their decision is that Bitcoin’s wild price swings severely threaten China’s economic and financial stability.

With such a large proportion of Bitcoin miners and investors in the country, it comes as no surprise that Chinese authorities have taken such a hard stance so swiftly. Government officials are of the opinion that cryptocurrencies disrupt economic order and have forcefully stemmed the flow of the crypto wave in the country. Additionally, Bitcoin mining requires a lot of energy and miners draw these resources from shared supply lines to the detriment of Chinese citizens and businesses.

For Bitcoin miners, every minute that their computers are off translates to a loss of money. Time really is of the essence, so finding a new home for these Bitcoin refugees is critical.  In an effort to continue their activities, Bitcoin miners have sought refuge in nearby countries such as Kazakhstan, Iran, Russia, and Malaysia, where crypto mining activities are permitted under certain conditions. A brighter destination has since dawned, and Bitcoin miners now appear to be shifting the crypto bandwagon to North America.

Why are miners flocking to North America?

An interesting recent study by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance revealed that the US’s share of the global hash rate has shot up four-fold to almost 17% – the second-largest behind China for cryptocurrency mining. With top-grade power infrastructure and regulatory stability, both the US and Canada are seen as ideal locations for Bitcoin mining.

Moreover, these wealthy North American neighbours offer an entrepreneurial culture, an educated workforce, and legal protection for businesses – very appealing reasons for Bitcoin miners to pitch up in their droves. These factors separate the US and Canada from the next tier of crypto mining countries discussed above, and such conducive crypto mining environments directly translate to more money.

Is North America ready to embrace crypto miners fleeing China?

While moving a crypto mining farm from one continent to another is not as straightforward as it sounds, it certainly is a step in the right direction. Bitcoin itself has no physical form – they are created, exist and can be transferred only online – but constructing a Bitcoin farm can take up to 18 months in a foreign country.

Bitcoin miners do need sufficient energy sources, connectivity and internet access, and the right equipment together with enterprise-level services that promote and support their activities, and adequate levels of transparency and trust – all of which can be found in North America.  Energy prices are relatively cheap in North America, with some regions giving Bitcoin miners the opportunity to sell unused electricity back to the grid – a win-win for all concerned.

Final thoughts

When considering this great migration to the promised land, not only will Bitcoin miners have access to a thriving crypto community in North America that is brimming with innovation, but North America will benefit from hosting industry specialists who actively contribute to the development of cryptocurrencies and their virtual environment.

With that being said, North America appears to be well-positioned to adopt an influx of expert crypto miners who will make invaluable contributions to a crypto ecosystem where interest levels are quickly growing with each waking hour – exciting times indeed!

It is important to note that investing in Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining activities is a risky and highly speculative proposition. This article does not provide recommendations, advice or guidance regarding cryptocurrency investments or mining but is rather our opinion on such activities. Investors must conduct their own research and engage in the services of qualified professionals before making any financial and/or cryptocurrency investment decisions. We do, however, recommend established platforms like Wisly to monitor and analyse your crypto investments.

2021-09-17T09:39:12+00:00September 17, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

Wisly Wednesday Industry News

It’s been another exciting week in the crypto world with some thought-provoking developments that are sure to dominate talk amongst crypto circles. Walmart dismisses fake crypto announcement; South Korea closely monitoring crypto exchanges that are set to close; El Salvador imposes penalties on non-crypto businesses; and Magnum Real Estate to accept BTC for Manhattan properties.

Walmart dismisses fake crypto announcement

Walmart has dismissed reports that it would soon be accepting digital currency, Litecoin, after a recent announcement that caused Litecoin’s value to jump by more than 30%. In a press release on Monday soon after the US stock market had opened, Walmart appeared to announce that it would be accepting LTC – sending investors in a tailspin.

The fake press release was published on the communication service GlobeNewswire, which provides a platform for announcements to be disseminated. The news seemed authentic enough for the Litecoin Foundation’s Twitter account to throw its support behind the announcement. Walmart only got wind of the announcement when reporters contacted them for confirmation of the news.

While some news outlets had already published information gathered from the press release, Walmart was quick to pour water over the fire by releasing a statement confirming that the announcement was false and that there was no partnership with Litecoin. GlobeNewswire subsequently withdrew the illegitimate press release and reiterated that it had enhanced authentication steps to prevent such isolated events from reoccurring.

This appears to be a classic case of a pump and dump scheme where the perpetrators of the hoax would have made a healthy profit in no time. Incidents like this are likely to advocate for stricter regulation of the crypto industry that facilitates billions of dollars of unregulated trade – making pump and dump schemes all the more appealing for fraudsters. Wisly will keep you updated on the latest.

South Korea closely monitoring crypto exchanges that are set to close

The Korea Financial Intelligence Unit is closely monitoring all crypto exchanges that are on the verge of closing shop in the country. The unit falls under the umbrella of South Korea’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), which requires all crypto exchanges to register with them by 24 September 2021.

Crypto exchanges in the country that fail to register with the FSC must inform users by this Friday that they will no longer be in operation. In cooperation with the police and financial institutions, the FSC hopes to prevent unlicensed crypto exchanges from stealing funds from user accounts prior to the shutdown.

According to authorities – of the 63 crypto exchanges operating in South Korea, 24 have not applied for licenses, and users have been advised to withdraw their funds from their accounts or risk losing them. All crypto exchanges in South Korea are required to have certification for their information security management systems, and banks are instructed not to allow money transfers to uncertified exchanges. Keep an eye on Wisly for the latest developments.

El Salvador imposes penalties on non-crypto businesses

With El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption finally made official, there have been many changes to the previous financial system in the country, with authorities working hard to ensure that BTC usage reaches all parts of the country. In light of that, El Salvador plans to penalise those businesses that refuse to accept BTC payments from users.

Soon before Bitcoin became legal tender in the country, legal counsel to the Presidential House in El Salvador – Javier Agueta – stated that all businesses in the country are mandated to accept BTC payments from customers, a failure of which could see sanctions imposed. To make this possible, all El Salvadorian businesses are required to have a Bitcoin wallet to facilitate crypto transactions – although they have a choice of receiving the transaction in Bitcoin or US Dollars.

President Bukele chose to focus on the positives of his country’s BTC adoption by emphasising the importance of breaking from tradition and advancing technology. He optimistically remarked, Like all innovation, the process of Bitcoin in El Salvador has a learning curve. Every road to the future is like this and not everything will be achieved in a day, or in a month. But we must break the paradigms of the past. El Salvador has the right to advance towards the first world”.

Magnum Real Estate to accept BTC for Manhattan properties

 

In another ground-breaking deal for the US commercial market, New York-based Magnum Real Estate will soon be accepting Bitcoin for Manhattan retail property purchases. The properties in question are situated within a luxury residential project in Manhattan and are three ground-level shops that are valued at $29 million or about 640 Bitcoin on today’s prices.

Located on 385 First Avenue, the retail properties span an incredible 9,000 square feet of space, with buyers having access to immediate cash flow as the properties are currently occupied and generating income from existing businesses. The sale of these properties marks the first major income-generating asset to be offered for BTC purchase.

Managing partner of Magnum Real Estate, Ben Shaoul, couldn’t contain his excitement as he said, We are a pioneer in bitcoin transactions and see a path where many more transactions can be done using blockchain. I expect about two or three additional transactions in bitcoin this year for Magnum.”

2021-09-16T12:44:02+00:00September 15, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

SEC takes on DeFi

With the spotlight shining firmly on decentralised finance (DeFi) and crypto markets in recent times, it comes as no surprise that authorities and governments from across the globe have begun to scrutinise them more closely.  Reports have surfaced in the past week that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – a U.S security watchdog – has been investigating DeFi platforms and the parties associated with them.

DeFi platforms have enjoyed an exponential rise in prominence and popularity as they provide users with more independence and are free from central decision-making bodies to impose restrictions. In light of that, there appears to be a heightened regulatory interest from the SEC for DeFi platforms and the digital asset market.

Who is being investigated?

According to recent reports, Uniswap Labs – the developer of Uniswap, the largest decentralised crypto exchange – appears to be in the crosshairs of the SEC. Uniswap is an open network that operates on a peer-to-peer protocol where transactions don’t rely on a centralised system with intermediaries.

The SEC has previously stated that DeFi platforms aren’t immune from legal scrutiny, especially with digital asset trading bypassing many regulations together with the activities of marketing investment promoters who encourage users to trade on these DeFi platforms. With that being said, the SEC appears to have come good on their promise to scrutinise such entities with this investigation taking precedence.

Why is Uniswap Labs being probed?

Uniswap has consistently seen over US $10 billion in weekly trading volumes pass through its networks, making it a prime candidate for such an investigation from the authorities. The SEC is looking to gather details on how crypto investors make use of Uniswap and how the platform is being marketed.

In an address to Congress in August, SEC chair, Gary Gensler, appealed to lawmakers for the agency to be granted greater authority to monitor DeFi platforms that are not particularly well regulated. With this civil investigation, the SEC is probing investor protection concerns, whether the tokens on the platform are classified as securities, and the precise role of centralised parties on this decentralised platform.

Investigators are also said to be investigating money laundering activities and/or tracking the proceeds of crime that might be occurring on Uniswap. With such large volumes of trade passing through its network unregulated, financial watchdogs such as the SEC are looking for new ways to exert their authority over those responsible and curb unlawful activities from taking place.

Uniswap Labs have been fully compliant with the SEC’s investigation – with a representative stating that the company is “committed to complying with the laws and regulations governing our industry and to providing information to regulators that will assist them with any inquiry.” While clarity is still required on whether the investigation is purely for information gathering or if enforcement action will follow, it’s clear that the SEC plans to have a prominent role in its oversight of the crypto market and DeFi platforms going forward.

Who else is being investigated?

While Uniswap has grabbed the headlines in the SEC’s investigation, other unnamed DeFi platforms are also being closely watched. Gabriel Shapiro, General Counsel for Delphi Labs – another DeFi platform – has said that crypto-focused legal practitioners have been anticipating DeFi enforcement from regulatory bodies. Shapiro recently remarked, “Lawyers in the space have been aware and talking for about a month about how DeFi projects are starting to get letters from the SEC, inquiries from other regulators, and this is just it becoming more public.”

Final thoughts

The net certainly appears to be closing in on DeFi platforms that have long operated without regulations. Although these platforms are decentralised, the SEC will undoubtedly be looking at centralised parties that play significant roles in these operations. These centralised role players are salient to both decentralised finance platforms and decentralised crypto exchanges.

The manner in which the SEC proceeds with this investigation will provide a clear indication of how well DeFi platforms will perform in the future. While very few details about the investigation have filtered into the public domain, there is a feeling that as the investigation matures there will be stricter regulations for decentralised finance and its associated parties. As things stand, it appears that a new era of crypto enforcement has dawned!

2021-09-16T12:18:19+00:00September 10, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

Wisly Wednesday Industry News

Another fascinating week has passed in the world of crypto with some tantalising news that’s sure to tickle the taste buds of crypto enthusiasts. El Salvador becomes the first country in history to adopt Bitcoin; NFL bans crypto sponsorship deals; Australian neo-bank partners with crypto exchange in ground-breaking deal; and the FCA slams Kim Kardashian for putting investors at risk.

El Salvador becomes the first country in history to adopt Bitcoin

El Salvador has become the first country in history to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender for use of all goods and services in the country, including taxes. This historic moment manifested on Tuesday, 7 September 2021, and is a culmination of remarkable efforts by President Nayib Bukele who has long advocated for the adoption of Bitcoin in the country.

Bukele has been firm in his belief that this day would come judging by his previous remarks where he explained the need to break the paradigms of the past and to move El Salvador towards the first world. El Salvador’s president aims to reduce and ultimately eliminate over $400 million that the country spends each year on commissions for remittances that are mostly paid to the US.

President Bukele announced on Monday that his government had concluded the purchase of 200 Bitcoins ahead of the formal adoption taking place. El Salvador now holds 400 Bitcoins which is estimated to be worth over $28 million at current trading levels.

All citizens will now be able to download an official government app, the Chivo Wallet, that gives each user $30 to promote its use. A buoyant Bukele tweeted, The process of #Bitcoin in El Salvador has a learning curve. Every step toward the future is like this, and we will not achieve everything in a day, nor in a month.” Former El Salvadorian resident and Bitcoin enthusiast, Gerson Martinez, couldn’t contain his excitement as he beamed, “It’s hard to describe the hope and joy it makes me feel that our country is the first domino to fall in this inevitable transition. What a time to be a Salvadoran.”

Despite pockets of protests against Bitcoin’s adoption in El Salvador, this news has certainly galvanised a country that hopes to attract new investments and boost their economy. Wisly will keep you updated on the very latest.

NFL bans crypto sponsorship deals

The National Football League (NFL) has banned sports teams and franchises under its umbrella from participating in sponsorship deals with crypto trading companies. The ban is widespread and includes NFT auctions although it stops short of sponsorships from those companies that have any connection with cryptocurrencies – investment advisory and fund management services – where its primary focus is on that company’s corporate brands rather than crypto.

Despite a growing number of sports teams across the globe collaborating with crypto entities to create non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and lucrative sponsorship packages, the NFL has expressed doubts in terms of its industry participation. In a recently released statement, the NFL said, ”Clubs are prohibited from selling, or otherwise allowing within club controlled media, advertisements for specific cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, other cryptocurrency sales or any other media category as it relates to blockchain, digital asset or as blockchain company, except as outlined in this policy.”

Sponsorship deals with crypto companies have created innovative ways for sports teams and players to earn extra revenue, while crypto companies find additional marketing opportunities and increased visibility. The NFL’s stance, however, is consistent with its views regarding income generation from taboo industries such as alcohol and gambling.

Considering the growing number of sports teams and franchises around the globe collaborating with crypto companies, there is always the possibility that the NFL will change its position in the future. Wisly will keep you posted on the latest developments.

Australian neo-bank partners with crypto exchange in ground-breaking deal

In a first-of-its-kind deal in Australia, neo-bank – Volt – has decided to partner with crypto exchange – BTC Markets (BTCM) – to offer banking capabilities to users of the popular crypto exchange. BTCM’s 325,000 Australian customers will benefit from access to a corporate cash management account with payment automation and real-time notifications courtesy of Volt.

BTCM plans to invite its users to open Volt bank accounts in the coming months so that they can participate in real-time trading. In terms of the Financial Claims Scheme in the country, all deposits in Volt accounts are insured to a maximum of AU$250,000 per account holder. This ground-breaking deal will help neo-banks in the country to forge a presence in the banking sector with its low-cost offers.

Volt hopes to break the monopoly of Australia’s Big 4 banks – Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corp, New Zealand Banking Group, and National Australia Bank. Although the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has imposed stricter requirements for entities seeking banking licenses, this has not deterred neo-banks from competing with the big boys. Wisly will keep you updated on the very latest with this development.

UK financial watchdog slams Kim Kardashian for putting crypto investors at risk

Chair of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Charles Randall, has slammed Kim Kardashian for her recent Instagram post where she advertised for crypto token, Ethereum Max, to her 200 million followers. His remarks were made at the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime this past Monday where he said that celebrities like Kardashian were putting retail investors at great risk by promoting obscure crypto tokens.

Randall elaborated on how celebrity influencers can trick investors towards cryptocurrencies that could very well turn out to be scams. Kardashian’s post is said to be a financial promotion with the single largest audience reach in history – astounding!

Randall was forthright in his comments as he said, “In line with Instagram’s rules, Kardashian disclosed that this was an ad but she didn’t have to disclose that Ethereum Max – not to be confused with Ethereum – was a speculative digital token created a month before by unknown developers – one of hundreds of such tokens that fill the crypto-exchanges.”

He continued, “Of course, I can’t say whether this particular token is a scam. But social media influencers are routinely paid by scammers to help them pump and dump new tokens on the back of pure speculation. Some influencers promote coins that turn out simply not to exist at all.”

The FCA chair was of the belief that regulators should have greater power over cryptocurrencies to curb disreputable cryptocurrency promotions and the associated risks of trading in unregulated digital tokens. He also affirmed that regulating cryptocurrencies would give digital assets more legitimacy in the eyes of investors while concluding that more rules are needed.

2021-09-16T12:19:38+00:00September 8, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

Wisly Wednesday Industry News

As we head into September, it’s been another fascinating week in the crypto world with some very tasty news to whet the appetites of crypto enthusiasts. Cuba lays the groundwork for crypto adoption; Canadian authorities ban Tether from crypto exchanges; Five-star Swiss hotel accepts crypto payments; South African regulators double-down on crypto investments.

Cuba lays the groundwork for crypto adoption

Cuba has started the process of legalising cryptocurrency transactions in the country. Plans have been implemented to legalise and regulate cryptocurrencies due to a surge in crypto use by the island nation’s citizens. Cuba has seen a surge in crypto transactions in the country as investors and traders try to evade state controls.

The Central Bank of Cuba has begun drafting official rules for the legal use of cryptocurrencies in an effort to exert some measure of control over these transactions. Once implemented, legislation will authorise cryptocurrencies to be used for commercial transactions while regulators will issue licenses to digital asset providers in order for them to provide official services.

Cuba currently has high levels of capital controls and inflation which makes digital assets an attractive option for its citizens. Not only do these crypto investors like the independence of crypto from state regulations, but also provides a superb platform for them to save money abroad while dodging foreign currency rules.

In a recent statement, The Central Bank of Cuba noted that insecurity and risks of digital currencies mean that they are prone to fraud. Moreover, the bank stated, ”Users must assume the risks and responsibilities that, in civil and criminal terms, are derived from using virtual assets.”

Canadian authorities ban Tether from crypto exchanges

A Canadian security regulator has prohibited authorised crypto exchanges in the country from trading in Tether (USDT). The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has classified USDT under its prohibited crypto-asset list while popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin are allowed to trade on crypto platforms.

Two Toronto-based crypto exchanges, Coinberry Limited and Wealthsimple, revealed the news in regulatory documents after submitting exemptive relief applications in a bid to reverse the decision. Both Coinberry Limited and Wealthsimple are the only crypto exchanges to have received regulatory approval by the OSC to operate in all Canadian provinces.

Legal Head at Wealthsimple – Evan Thomas – reflected on the news by saying, “Canadians are still waiting to see the impact of regulatory standards being consistently applied across the industry. We hope regulators will ensure other platforms bring themselves into compliance with Canadian securities laws very soon.”

Five-star Swiss hotel accepts crypto payments

Five-star Swiss establishment, the Chedi Andermatt Hotel, will soon become the first hotel in the country to accept cryptocurrency payments. Situated in the Swiss Alps, the 123-room luxury hotel joins a string of growing companies, including the Pavillions Hotel & Resort, that have warmed up to crypto payments.

Guests at Chedi Andermatt Hotel can use Bitcoin or Ether to pay for accommodation bills that exceed $218. The general manager of the Chedi Andermatt Hotel beamed with excitement as he said, ”Due to the popularity of cryptocurrencies, we are proud to be the first Swiss hotel to accept cryptocurrency payments as a safe and secure way to pay for their stay.”

Besides the hospitality industry, American wine shop – Acker, Venezuelan carrier – Turpial Airlines, and Belgian bar – Dolle Mol have all recently announced that they will accept crypto payments. Wisly will keep you updated on the latest list of companies that choose to integrate crypto payments.

South African regulators double-down on crypto investments

South African financial regulators have reiterated their stance that cryptocurrencies are unfavourable investments for its citizens. Governor of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), Lesetja Kganyago, backed up the central bank’s longstanding belief that crypto-assets cannot be classified as currencies as they fail to meet the standard of what a currency constitutes.

In recent remarks at a South African university, Kganyago stated that cryptocurrencies only partially satisfy one of the three key characteristics that a currency should possess. In his explanation, Kganyago said, “One – it must be a generally accepted medium of exchange. Secondly – it must be accepted as a store of value. Thirdly – it must be a unit of account. A cryptocurrency is a store of value. It is a medium of exchange BUT is not generally accepted. It’s only accepted by those who are participating in it.”

Despite the tough stance against cryptocurrencies in South Africa, the SARB governor acknowledged that the central bank needs to regulate digital assets due to a surge of interest in the country. He felt that regulation of digital assets is necessary as investors who lose their funds with crypto investments tend to blame the government and authorities for not putting proper measures in place to protect them.

Kganyago also hinted that Fintech companies in South Africa could be regulated in the same manner as banks if their activities resemble those that regulated entities offer. While acknowledging the value that Fintech companies bring to the financial sector, he was of the opinion that the SARB will have no option but to regulate the industry if interest in cryptocurrencies continues to grow in South Africa.

2021-09-02T05:55:47+00:00September 1, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

Wisly Spotlight Series: Cardano

As we approach September, we are excited to announce The Wisly Spotlight Series where we focus on specific projects in the crypto scene and take a deep dive into the dynamics of those cryptocurrencies. We kick off our very first edition with an in-depth look at Cardano – a hot prospect that has grabbed the attention of crypto investors from across the globe.

What is Cardano?

Cardano is one of the fastest-growing crypto projects in the market. It is a blockchain platform that uses a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism – considered less energy-intensive than proof-of-work algorithms that require copious amounts of energy for mining. This platform is open-source and enables anyone to contribute towards its development – in turn creating a community that is fair, transparent, and more secure.

Its native token is ADA and is regarded as a large-cap cryptocurrency with a market cap of over $83 billion. It has a circulating supply of over 32 billion ADA and a unit price of $2.59 at the time of writing. Cardano was founded in 2017 by Charles Hoskinson and is the first blockchain platform to be created through peer-reviewed research.

Its objective is to enable decentralised apps (DAPPS) and smart contracts to be developed with modularity. Holders of ADA can transact and make peer-to-peer transfers with it across the globe, while Cardano’s network is useful in the agricultural industry as companies use it to track fresh produce. It is also popular in the retail industry where companies use Cardano’s network to identify and curb the distribution of counterfeit goods.

How does Cardano solve congested blockchain issues?

While many other cryptocurrencies try to improve on issues faced by Ethereum and Bitcoin through layering solutions on top of existing technology, Cardano sets itself apart by building a completely new blockchain from scratch. With its proof-of-stake technology, it has the ability to produce around 1 million transactions per second while using much less energy than those networks that rely on proof-of-work algorithms.

Scalability is another issue that Cardano addresses with its multi-layered structure. Most blockchain networks use single layers and that leads to network congestions, slower transactions, and higher transaction fees. Cardano’s platform eases this congestion through incredibly fast processing times that lead to lower transaction fees.

The Alonzo Hard Fork – Cardano’s smart contract functionality

Cardano’s value has soared since a recent announcement about a major upgrade dubbed The Alonzo hard fork that is due to launch in September 2021 – a matter of days! The Alonzo hard fork plans to implement smart contracts on Cardano’s blockchain network.

Smart contracts are coded programmes that are stored on the network and are activated when predetermined conditions are satisfied. Once activated, agreements can be automatically executed on the blockchain. Once the Alonzo hard fork upgrade is complete, any user will be able to create and deploy their own smart contracts on Cardano’s network – in turn paving a way for native DAPPS.

This is certainly an exciting development that showcases Cardano’s immense growth potential and will attract investors in their droves. The launch of Alonzo precedes Cardano’s exciting summit from 25 to 26 September 2021 which will surely provide more details on Alonzo’s anticipated trajectory in the coming months. The summit promises to be their biggest ever and those who are interested in attending can do so here.

Final thoughts

Cardano’s stock is certainly on the rise with exciting developments that are sure to maintain its upward trajectory. The platform addresses many of the inherent issues that the more established cryptocurrencies seem to have trouble with. With the most recent upgrade due soon, Cardano has certainly put itself on the map and should definitely be one of the top alt coins to invest in for 2021.

It is important to note that investing in Cardano is a risky and highly speculative proposition. This article does not provide recommendations, advice, or guidance regarding Cardano investments but is rather our opinion on such activities. Investors must conduct their own research and engage in the services of qualified professionals before making any financial and/or cryptocurrency investment decisions. We do, however, recommend established platforms like Wisly to monitor and analyse your Cardano and cryptocurrency investments.

2021-09-02T10:32:11+00:00August 27, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

Wisly Wednesday Industry News

It’s been quite an eventful week in the world of crypto with some fascinating developments that are sure to dominate talk amongst crypto enthusiasts. PayPal allows UK users to trade cryptocurrencies; Google removes fake crypto apps from Play Store; Iran plans to lift crypto mining ban; and China cuts off hydropower for illegal crypto mining.

PayPal allows UK users to trade cryptocurrencies

Off the back of Bitcoin breaching the $50,000 mark earlier this week, PayPal has now enabled its UK users to trade cryptocurrencies on the global payment service platform. PayPal activated this feature for its US clients at the tail end of 2020 and has now extended this to its clients in Britain. Users will have the option of trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.

This exciting news was announced on Monday and is the first time that PayPal has offered crypto-trading services in a country other than the US. By using the PayPal app, users can get real-time cryptocurrency pricing and will have access to educational content that helps them to better understand the risks of crypto trading. Trading fees and currency conversion will be added with trading starting from just £1. PayPal will not charge users to hold their cryptocurrencies in their accounts.

Jose Fernandez da Ponte, vice president of PayPal Crypto, was ecstatic as he said, “The pandemic has accelerated digital change and innovation across all aspects of our lives – including the digitisation of money and greater consumer adoption of digital financial services. We are committed to continue working closely with regulators in the UK, and around the world, to offer our support and meaningfully contribute to shaping the role digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce.”

Google removes fake crypto apps from Play Store

Google has taken strides to rid its Play Store of fake crypto-mining apps that appear to trick users out of their money. This has been a long-standing problem that Google faces with malicious apps in its Play Store that were previously removed now returning to the platform in a disguised format.

Eight crypto-related mobile apps were delisted by Google as they tricked crypto investors by charging bogus fees for cloud mining services that were deemed illegitimate. This appears to be a popular trend amongst crypto-scammers who have become more creative in disguising their devious methods.

The fraudulent crypto apps in question are BitFunds, Daily Bitcoin Rewards, Bitcoin Miner, Bitcoin 2021, Crypto Hollic, Ethereum Pool Mining Cloud, and MineBit Pro. Users were charged a monthly subscription fee and the app promised subscribers a share of the profits through their cloud mining services. It has since come to light that those users were tricked into watching online ads and paying for cloud mining services that were non-existent.

These scams were identified by Trend Micro as part of its latest research project and the results were forwarded to Google to stop the scammers. Google has now made drastic changes to reduce the number of fake crypto apps on its Play Store and has revised its ad policy on 3 August 2021. Moreover, crypto wallets and exchanges will only be allowed to market their products and services if they register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

Iran plans to lift crypto mining ban

Iran’s blanket ban on cryptocurrency mining in the country will be lifted by the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade on 22 September 2021, according to Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir). The ban on crypto-mining was imposed in May 2021 by the former Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, to ease the burden that crypto mining placed on the national power grid and prevent blackouts.

Iranian officials were unequivocal in blaming crypto-miners for the frequent power shortages that the country faced during the summer months because of their activities. With power consumption expected to decline by the end of summer, crypto-miners have been given the green light to resume their operations according to Tavanir’s spokesperson – Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi.

Crypto-miners in Iran are required to obtain licenses and pay their electricity bills according to export rates with 30 crypto mining units issued with licenses by the Ministry since 2019. Unlicensed crypto miners, however, have contributed to electricity shortages with reports stating that they use up to 3,000MW each day for their activities. Tavanir has seized over 200,000 pieces of mining equipment in the past year to curb electricity shortages caused by illegal crypto mining activities.

China cuts off hydropower for illegal crypto mining

Officials in Yunnan Province, China have issued a warning that forbids hydropower stations from supplying cryptocurrency mining companies with illegal power supply. Moreover, they were instructed to remove crypto mining equipment from the power plant vicinity before Tuesday, 24 August 2021, and destroy any big data workshops.

This directive comes amidst the continued crackdown of crypto mining activities in China. Government officials in Yunnan Province have warned that if crypto mining equipment was not destroyed by the specified time frame, the authorities will instruct the relevant departments to forcibly destroy it and report that to the State Energy Bureau.

The County Development and Reform Bureau has also increased law enforcement presence in the region to make sure that the illegal supply of power for crypto miners is completely removed. The Yunnan Provincial Energy Bureau has previously warned crypto mining companies that it will investigate and punish illegal crypto mining activities. These activities include illegally relying on power generation companies, unauthorised access to electricity, evasion of national transmission, and the distribution of fees, funds, and additional profit-making.

This instruction follows the trend in other parts of China, such as Anhui Province, Sichuan Province, and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region that has cracked down on crypto mining activities in recent times.

2021-08-25T14:58:14+00:00August 25, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

Cryptocurrency Insurance: What does the future hold?

Since the first Bitcoin block was mined way back in 2009, more than $1 billion has been stolen from crypto exchanges and wallets across the globe. While this may seem insignificant when compared to a global market cap of $1.9 trillion, it certainly is cause for concern.

While crypto exchanges and wallets continue to strengthen their security measures to protect their investors’ digital assets, cryptocurrency insurance is certainly helping to reduce the risk to investors. It’s easy to understand why hackers target cryptocurrencies as there is no paper trail to the thieves.

Cybercriminals only need to infiltrate the private key details before transferring the cryptocurrency contained in that wallet to their anonymous accounts. Although crypto storage and exchange services have the utmost confidence in their security protocols, insuring crypto can be regarded as an external seal of approval that puts investors’ minds at ease.

Do cryptocurrencies need insurance?

With the crypto market reaching exponential heights in 2021 from a growing number of investors, there is also an increased need for crypto insurance that helps to protect the interests of investors. Investors want peace of mind knowing that their digital assets are safe, and crypto insurance provides comfort from the very real threats that crypto exchanges and wallets are susceptible to.

When taking into consideration the instability of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, it becomes quite apparent how important cryptocurrency insurance is. With more money flooding the crypto-asset market, hackers are having a field day with investor losses on the rise in 2021.  The result of these increased crypto hacks indicates severe vulnerabilities in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Challenges facing cryptocurrency insurance

Some of the factors that insurers consider when it comes to underwriting crypto are the expertise and experience of the management team, measures in place for physical and online security, and how digital assets are segregated within their systems.

Cryptocurrencies pose a unique challenge for insurers as they usually refer to historical data during the underwriting process. This data is largely absent in a crypto market that is inherently volatile. Moreover, it is very difficult to forecast advances in technology and how they will affect the crypto market.

Unpredictable market swings will affect premiums in a manner that insurers cannot commit to. While a premium may be confirmed today based on the current associated risks, advancements in technology will completely change that dynamic. Insurers will need to constantly monitor both the crypto market and technological developments to stay abreast of risks, and this is not a feasible proposition for most insurers.

Cryptocurrency insurance also gets tricky as regulatory uncertainty in different regions coupled with inconsistent oversight protocols at crypto exchanges can make matters complicated. Insurers who are willing to insure cryptocurrencies have the challenge of determining the correct party to insure.

Although crypto is purchased by buyers, the records are maintained by crypto exchanges. There are also third-party companies that provide digital wallets to investors. In the event of a breach, all of these parties will be at risk and insurers must be absolutely sure of which party will be compensated if there are losses incurred.

Another important factor to consider is what currency a claim will be paid out in. Insurers from different countries are usually paid premiums in the native currency of their country. With fluctuations of fiat currencies occurring daily, there will be grey areas when it comes to the claim stage as crypto may have been bought in a foreign currency. Regulators may also have to get involved as they need to ascertain if an insurer does, indeed, have adequate reserves to settle such claims.

Anonymity is a major attraction for investors who use cryptocurrencies. Such anonymity is not popular in the insurance industry and policies cannot be issued to beneficiaries that remain anonymous. With that being said, cryptocurrency insurance will only be available to a select group of investors who hold cryptocurrencies – essentially meaning that crypto-insurance will not be available for a large portion of the crypto community despite their appetite for it.

Companies specialising in crypto-insurance

While there is a huge demand for cryptocurrency insurance, very few insurers are willing to underwrite such risky policies due to the various challenges described above. Considering the crypto scene is an emerging market for the insurance industry, underwriters appear cautious and look for reassurances from crypto storage and exchange platforms that their risks are well managed and stringent security measures are implemented.

While most of the major insurers are yet to dive into the crypto wave, businesses and investors do have insurance options available to protect their interests. There are some insurers who have taken incredible strides towards making crypto-insurance available and these include Coincover, Nexus Mutual, Bridge Mutual, and AIG.

Coincover offers Custody insurance if a user loses access to crypto keys or the company holding digital assets goes bust. Nexus Mutual and Bridge Mutual offer Smart Contract insurance or DeFi insurance that offers cover for the failure of smart contracts. AIG offers Crime insurance that covers commercial entities for the loss of money, securities, and other asset types due to theft, fraud, or dishonesty.

Since the insurance industry is highly regulated and the crypto industry isn’t, there is a lot of additional underwriting requirements that must be considered by those insurers who are willing to provide crypto cover.

Final thoughts

Although there is a willing market of investors that are ready to get cover for their cryptocurrency portfolios, many insurers are cautious about providing policies to investors who have committed to such an unregulated industry. While that may be the case, great crypto-insurance options are available for investors to secure their crypto. Always remember to read the fine print and know exactly what your cover entails to avoid your claims being repudiated later.

Note that trading in cryptocurrencies is a risky and highly speculative proposition. This article does not provide recommendations, advice, or guidance regarding crypto trading and insurance but is rather our opinion on such activities. Investors must conduct their own research and engage in the services of qualified professionals before making any financial and/or cryptocurrency investment decisions. We do, however, recommend established platforms like Wisly to monitor and analyse your crypto investments.

2021-08-25T12:54:32+00:00August 20, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

Wisly Wednesday Industry News

It’s been another whirlwind week in the world of crypto with some fascinating developments taking place. Walmart explores a new cryptocurrency project; Spain issues warning to crypto trading platforms; World-famous footballer gets paid in crypto; and Venezuelan real estate market accepts crypto.

Walmart explores new cryptocurrency project

It appears that global retail giant, Walmart, is exploring a new cryptocurrency project. The news surfaced after Bloomberg spotted a job vacancy on Walmart’s website looking for a Digital Currency and Cryptocurrency Product Lead. The role entails driving Walmart’s digital currency strategy and would be based at the company’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas within its accounting and finance department.

The job listing states,” As one of the largest retailers and e-commerce companies, Walmart enables a broad set of payment options for its customers. You will provide the leadership to identify technology and customer trends and the investments needed to build on those trends.”

Walmart appears to have followed Amazon’s lead as the global e-commerce giant recently posted a job advert looking for a Digital Currency and Blockchain Product Lead in July 2021. In response to that advert, an Amazon spokesperson said, “We’re inspired by the innovation happening in the cryptocurrency space and are exploring what this could look like on Amazon. We believe the future will be built on new technologies that enable modern, fast, and inexpensive payments, and hope to bring that future to Amazon customers as soon as possible.”

This is, indeed, exciting news for the crypto market as more and more global companies look at adopting cryptocurrencies in their operational model. Wisly will keep you updated on the latest developments.

Spain issues warning to crypto trading platforms

Financial regulators in Spain have issued stern warnings to some of the country’s biggest crypto trading platforms as they continue to operate without the required licenses. The National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) in Spain has warned the country’s two largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Huobi and Bybit, together with ten other companies of their non-compliance with regulations.

This comes after the 12 companies failed to register with authorities for providing financial and investment services to Spanish citizens. The CNMV said, “These institutions are not registered in the corresponding registry of this Commission, and, therefore, are not authorized to provide investment services or other activities subject to the CNMV’s supervision.”

This warning on crypto trading platforms in Spain comes amidst crackdowns from global regulators and watchdogs on some of the world’s biggest crypto exchanges, such as Binance, who have irked financial authorities across the globe with their non-compliance with local laws.

World-famous footballer gets paid in crypto

Arguably the greatest footballer of all time, Lionel Messi, has recently signed for the French football club – Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) – and has accepted some of his payment with cryptocurrency fan tokens. Messi’s contract included the crypto tokens as part of his welcome package or sign-on fee and was provided by PSG’s club fan token provider, Socios.com.

Fan tokens are a variation of cryptocurrency that is growing in popularity and can be traded on crypto exchanges like traditional cryptocurrencies. English football club, Manchester City, and Italian football club, AC Milan, also launched their fan tokens earlier in 2021 and are regarded as a new source of revenue.

While PSG did not disclose the number of fan tokens included in Messi’s sign-on fee, media reports state that it could range anywhere from €25-30 million — truly staggering! The hype surrounding the superstar’s arrival saw a surge in interest in PSG’s fan token as trading volumes exceeded $1.2 billion in the days leading up to the move.

Venezuelan real estate market accepts crypto payment

An unidentified Venezuelan citizen is one of the first people in the country to purchase property with cryptocurrencies. Tether was the cryptocurrency of choice as an apartment in the coastal state of Anzoategui was snapped up for $12,000 in July 2021. This is one of the first recorded crypto property purchases in Venezuela and indicates that the real estate market is warming to the idea of crypto payments.

At the time of writing, there were many more properties listed for sale in Venezuela with payment options including cryptocurrencies. Grau Real Estate facilitated the property sale and according to the manager, Carlos Grau, the client chose to use cryptocurrencies due to the easy nature of the transaction. He elaborated that the transaction was instantly completed and was a remarkable improvement from the traditional time frame for concluding property sales.

Grau said, “An operation of this kind takes between eight and ten days because you have to send a letter announcing that the funds will be received. When using cryptocurrencies, the transaction was immediate, only two phones were necessary to close the deal. There is no risk of fraud or scams.”

While the payment was made in Tether, the property document had to reflect the amount in Venezuela’s national currency as the registries don’t accept documents that reflect cryptocurrencies as payments at the moment.

2021-08-25T14:25:14+00:00August 18, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

The Advantages of Bitcoin Trading

With so much attention on Bitcoin’s unprecedented gains in the early part of this year, more and more investors are jumping on the Bitcoin bandwagon hoping to enjoy a profitable run. While Bitcoin is inherently volatile by nature, there are many incredible advantages that investors should know about before committing to an investment.

Transparency

Bitcoin makes use of a vast network of computers that record and validate every single transaction in a public ledger, made possible through blockchain technology. Every Bitcoin transaction can be tracked on a blockchain network. Moreover, every computer on the blockchain network maintains a copy of all transactions that were facilitated. In a nutshell, all information about the money supply of Bitcoin is available for anybody to view on the blockchain at any time.

Anonymity

While all Bitcoin transactions and wallet addresses are visible on the network, the person or entity of that crypto wallet will remain anonymous. There is no way to link the address of a wallet to a specific person and this makes Bitcoin’s blockchain technology the most anonymous type across the globe.

All Bitcoin traders can be assured that their personal and financial details are kept confidential and secure on the blockchain network. Users have total control and freedom over their activity on the blockchain network. No personal information is required to trade as all transactions are peer-to-peer.

Low trading fees

No investor wants to incur high trading fees, and this is one major attraction for those who choose Bitcoin. Bitcoin transactions are remarkably cheaper to facilitate when compared to traditional bank payments. Although Bitcoin is the most valuable of all cryptocurrencies, it offers extremely low trading fees and this enhances the profitability factor for investors. Investors who transact across different countries benefit from this greatly as cross-border transactions through traditional financial institutions can prove to be a costly affair.

Faster transaction times

Bitcoin traders are attracted to the incredibly fast transaction times on the blockchain network when compared to transaction times at traditional financial institutions. Transactions are completed almost instantly and appeal to those who want the convenience of immediate payments and clearance. This is especially important as transferring funds across borders can take a matter of minutes as opposed to days or weeks with traditional financial institutions.

Stringent security

One of the biggest concerns that any investor has is the control and security of their funds. The good news is that all Bitcoin transactions are stored on a blockchain network that is incredibly difficult to hack. Bitcoin makes use of cryptography that regulates the creation and transfer of any cryptocurrency. These elements make it very difficult for any hacker to breach as there is no single point of failure.

Open-source software

Bitcoin makes use of peer-to-peer technology and its software is open source. This means that the software is public and not owned by a specific entity or person. With open-source software, anybody is free to contribute towards the development of Bitcoin. Developers freely share information about their research and the source code is shared amongst the community of developers for them to modify as they wish.

With open-source software, any member of the public can freely access the application’s source code and they are free to distribute it without the need for any authorisation or approval. Using open-source software is considered a very pragmatic approach in the crypto world as it attracts talent from across the globe that contribute to software development with all types of creativity, innovation, and diversity that commercial platforms lack.

Decentralised platform

Bitcoin is not regulated by any centralised authority such as a government or central bank. Moreover, it cannot be created or distributed by such authorities, unlike fiat currencies. Since no third-party authority has control over Bitcoin, there is no outside interference that could freeze, charge or request your money.

Additionally, there is no need to disclose your personal information to trade with Bitcoin and users only require their private and public keys. This decentralised network is free of restrictions and regulations that financial authorities around the globe usually attach to fiat currencies.

Final thoughts

Bitcoin trading can be extremely rewarding for those investors who are willing to stick it out for the long term. While it is possible to make quick profits in the short term, these investments are not recommended considering the volatile nature of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. That being said, it is vital to learn Bitcoin trading skills and acquire an understanding of the market to make proper technical analysis that helps with your decision-making.

You must note that trading in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is a risky and highly speculative proposition. This article does not provide recommendations, advice, or guidance regarding Bitcoin trading but is rather our opinion on such investments. Investors must conduct their own research and engage in the services of qualified professionals before making any financial and/or cryptocurrency investment decisions. We do, however, recommend established platforms like Wisly to monitor and analyse your crypto investments.

2021-08-25T14:34:17+00:00August 13, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments
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