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Bitcoin and other cryptos fall after Chinese social media site Weibo blocks

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LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 30: This photo illustration shows a visual representation of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency on May 30, 2021 in London, England. Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that has been used since 2009. (Photo illustration by Edward Smith / Getty Images)

Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies continued to fall on Sunday after Chinese social media site Weibo suspended Key Opinion Leaders (KOL), rekindling fears of further action in the country.

The flagship cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC-USD) fell more than 4% to $ 36,194 (£ 25,559) and fell as much as $ 35,453 on Sunday.

Ethereum (ETH-USD) – the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization – fell 4% to $ 2,716 and the Dogecoin (DOGE) meme token plunged 6% to $ 0.37

Weibo (WB) blocked some crypto influencer accounts on Saturday, Coindesk reported, citing a violation of unspecified laws and Weibo community rules. However, accounts that are not involved in ads from exchanges have not been blocked, according to Chinese crypto journalist Colin Wu.

Chart: Yahoo Finance

Chart: Yahoo Finance

The decline comes despite positive news from El Salvador and Square (SQ) that failed to address investor concerns about regulatory risk in China.

Nayib Bukele, the president of El Salvador, said Saturday that he would make Bitcoin legal tender in the country to make it easier for Salvadorans living abroad to send payments home.

The president tweeted that if passed, the move would open financial services to 70% of non-bank Salvadorans.

Bukele added that he would send the proposed bill to Congress and, if supported, the Central American nation would be the first in the world to officially adopt the digital currency.

The environmental impact of cryptos has been a major concern lately, and North American Bitcoin miners are working to make their energy use transparent through the Bitcoin Mining Council.

U.S. financial services firm Square announced on Saturday that it will be investing $ 5 million in a partnership with blockchain technology provider to build a solar-powered bitcoin mining facility at a blockstream mining location in America.

Tesla (TSLA) boss Elon Musk also sparked a sell-off after saying the electric car maker is giving up its plans to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment due to environmental concerns.

The story goes on

Continue reading: How harmful is Bitcoin to the environment?

Although Bitcoin has no direct link to the real economy, its large fluctuation in value in recent years has led the government to consider regulating the virtual asset and central banks to look for ways to integrate digital currencies.

In April, the Bank of England and the UK Treasury announced that they were considering a potential national digital currency amid growing interest in digital markets.

Dubbed “Britcoin” by the press, the BoE said that every UK digital currency was a new form of digital money that could be used by both households and businesses. It would coexist, rather than replace, cash and bank deposits. Both the BoE and the Treasury Department emphasized that they were only investigating the idea and not committed to the introduction of “Britcoin”.

Continue reading: Elon Musk’s breakup memes shortened Bitcoin’s price rally

Blockchain-based tokens have also seen several price drops recently in response to raid threats across multiple countries.

Last month, China’s Deputy Prime Minister Liu Hu said China would “crack down on illegal securities transactions and severely punish illegal financial activities.”

Hong Kong said that cryptocurrency exchanges must be licensed by its market regulator. According to the new rules, which were announced after months of discussion, only professional investors with a portfolio of more than $ 1 million can use the platforms.

Meanwhile, Iran announced that it would ban the energy-consuming mining of cryptocurrencies after some of its cities were hit by power outages. This may have been due to a drought that had affected hydropower generation, but the cryptocurrency was draining more than 2 GW from its grid every day, the country said.

The Turkish central bank had previously announced in April that it would ban cryptocurrencies for payments. The ban, which came into force at the end of April, prohibits the use of cryptocurrencies and other crypto assets based on distributed ledger technology as payment, be it directly or indirectly.

The global crypto market lost 4.28% in the past 24 hours, according to data provider CoinMarketCap.

Clock: What is bitcoin

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Cryptocurrency

Afghans Embrace Cryptocurrency Amid Financial Crisis

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In view of currency bottlenecks and bank closings, the Afghans are relying on cryptocurrency as security

* Afghans take cryptocurrency as a currency crash

* Crypto is particularly beneficial for women and people without a bank account

* Growing acceptance in failed or poorly governed countries

By Rina Chandran

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – When Roya Mahboob started paying her employees and freelancers in Afghanistan with Bitcoin almost 10 years ago, little did she know that the digital currency for some of these women would be the ticket out of the country for some of these women after the fall of Kabul in August.

Mahboob, who co-founded the non-profit Digital Citizen Fund with her sister, taught basic computer skills to thousands of girls and women in their centers in Herat and Kabul. Women also wrote blogs and made videos that were paid for in cash.

Most girls and women didn’t have a bank account because they weren’t allowed to or because they didn’t have the documentation, so Mahboob used the informal hawala broker system to send money – until she discovered Bitcoin.

“It wasn’t feasible – or safe – to send cash to everyone, but mobile money wasn’t used as widely and options like PayPal didn’t exist. Then we heard about Bitcoin, ”Mahboob, 34, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“It was easy to use, cheaper, and safer than other options. So we taught the girls how to use it and started paying our staff and contributors – we told them it was an investment in the future, ”she said.

About a third of the nearly 16,000 girls and women who learned basic computer skills at Mahboob’s centers also learned how to set up a crypto wallet and receive money – and, if they felt like it, how to trade and invest in Bitcoin and Ethereum another major cryptocurrency.

Several of these women left the country after Kabul was captured by the Taliban on Aug. 15, and some used their crypto wallets to withdraw their money, evacuate their families and settle in new lands, Mahboob said.

Cryptocurrency adoption is growing rapidly around the world, with El Salvador becoming the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender last month, despite fears of excluding the poor of nations.

Even if major institutional investors have pushed Bitcoin to record highs this year, it is increasingly being adopted by those without access to the formal banking system, by those in conflict zones or in countries with poor governance, technology and financial experts.

“In failed or challenged states, it gives people an opportunity to support family members,” said Keith Carter, associate professor at the National University of Singapore School of Computing, citing Venezuela, where people bought essentials with Dogecoin after the local currency had gone into free fall.

“Cryptocurrency goes, if at all, where there is a lack of digital infrastructure and promotes the development of the infrastructure through the increasing demand for digital services,” he said.

‘GOOD OPTION’

Cryptocurrencies are shifting from the edge of the financial world to the mainstream, with large investors, corporations, and even countries adopting them as an asset and routine currency.

But it is precisely in countries like Afghanistan, where the majority have no bank accounts, where banks are closed for a long time and the currency has taken a nosedive, that their most passionate fans appear.

Like 22-year-old Farhan Hotak, who helped his family escape to Pakistan from the southern province of Zabul, he then returned to monitor his home and post vlogs on Instagram about the developing situation for his more than 20,000 followers .

Hotak got into cryptocurrency around 2019, he said after hearing about the huge profits that could be made with Bitcoin. With last year’s lockdowns to contain the coronavirus pandemic, he was online most of the time and started investing.

He made quick profits at first, then began following crypto users elsewhere and investing in newer coins like Matic, XRP, and xHunter.

“It’s a good option for me and for others like me,” said Hotak, who posted vlogs about crypto on his Instagram account and was also interested in his friends.

“I would like to set up a crypto course for Afghans – help them understand it better so that it can help them. In the meantime, I’ll be talking about crypto in every province I visit, ”he added.

While advocates of cryptocurrency point to benefits including as a hedge against political uncertainty, hyperinflation, and a way to send remittances without commissions or brokers, governments remain cautious, and China banned all crypto-related activity last month.

Researchers at the University of Technology Sydney found that almost half of all Bitcoin transactions from 2009 to 2017 were related to buying and selling illegal goods and services, with about one in three users involved in such activities.

While a report by research firm Chainalysis showed that the criminal share of all cryptocurrency activity fell from 2.1% in 2019 to 0.34% of total transaction volume last year.

Despite the challenges, the cryptocurrency has provided a lifeline for Mahboob and her former students, as well as for the growing user base of mostly young men in Afghanistan.

“I think now – why didn’t we teach more aggressively about crypto so that more Afghans have crypto wallets and can now access their money,” said Mahboob, who was named Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2013.

“The human traffickers and kidnappers will always find a way to abuse a system. But the power of crypto is greater – especially for women and those who don’t have a bank account, it is very beneficial and so empowering, “she said.

Reporting by Rina Chandran @rinachandran; Adaptation by Zoe Tabary. Credit to Thomson Reuters

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All you need to know about smart contracts

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NEW DELHI: Smart contracts are the new technological favorites in the crypto world.
Top cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Cardano, Polkadot and Solana have adopted them to improve their performance and competitiveness.
How do contracts help you achieve all of this? Here are some essential technical facts ”
What are smart contracts?
Smart contracts may sound like a new kind of technology, but they have been around since 1994 when Nick Szabo, an American computer scientist, developed them with the idea of ​​self-executing digital code in mind.
Basically, these are computer programs that run on blockchain and that execute contracts or agreements if the contracting parties agree on the specified conditions.
These terms are the terms of the agreement between two or more unknown parties. The best part is that executing a contract doesn’t require any paperwork or intermediaries.
Activities such as exchanging funds, stocks, valuables and even property are intelligently carried out between the parties after the requirements have been met with the help of technology. However, transactions with smart contracts are irreversible or immutable.
How does the technology work?
To understand how the technology works, it is important to understand three crucial components of smart contracts. These are the signatories, subjects, and terms.
* Signers are simply the parties who sign the contracts after agreeing to mutually agreed terms, which include the process that follows after the contract is executed.
* The subject matter is the ownership or rights over the transaction of goods and services that the party who bought or acquired a certain value receives after paying a certain amount in cryptocurrency.
Smart contracts work with the if this / then the language that is coded in the blockchain. This means that when the necessary conditions are met, the mutual agreement is automatically enforced through computer codes.
Advantages of smart contracts:
* Smart contracts are inexpensive as there are no paperwork and fees involved in initiating the process.
* You save time as there is no need for complex administrative and official processes.
* You eliminate the need for third parties or intermediaries who grant the parties great independence and decentralized platforms.
* You are efficient and trustworthy with traceable transactions and technology that consistently duplicates the documents to rescue in case of data loss.
Other uses of smart contracts:
Smart contracts are popularly known for being used in cryptocurrencies and the DeFi world. But they are also used in other areas:
* Health – It is used in health insurance to securely record the insurance amount and insurance policy, which are automatically activated and reach the hospital when the patient needs them for a medical procedure.
* Insurance – Used here to prevent fraud and to link the customer directly to their insurance contract.
Fizzy, a flight delay product launched by French insurance company AXA, automatically pays customers for a flight delay of more than two hours.
* Trade – It can be used as a substitute for manual laborious work, such as
However, smart contracts are not immune to cyber vulnerabilities, some of which are:
* Denial of Service – Repeated attacks result in the shutdown of services for the users.
* Random Access Memory Exploitation – This involves the occupation and blocking of RAM, which discourages users from using RAM-based operations.
In order to prevent such errors in the contracts, the best programming language should be used to write the smart contracts on the respective blockchain. Ethereum, for example, prefers the Solidity computer language, while NEO uses JavaScript.
(For the latest crypto news and investment tips, follow ours Cryptocurrency page and for live price updates for cryptocurrencies, Click here.)

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Cryptocurrency may be tender of choice in future, but is risky investment now | Opinion

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Cryptocurrency is taking the nation by storm, with digital currency attracting the attention of large companies and meme traders trading based on popular internet trends. Some financial advisors advise their clients to buy in, while others are not as optimistic.

Although crypto is likely to grow in importance in the future, it currently remains a risky investment as it is too unstable and overshadowed by many uncertainties.

Crypto was developed as a payment method that can bypass traditional banking systems. New crypto is created through mining, a process by which computers solve difficult math problems. There are thousands of flavors of crypto, but Bitcoin is dominant, taking almost half of the market share.

One problem with cryptocurrency is that certain coins are available indefinitely, which means that an infinite amount of crypto could be mined at infinite time. This has led to inflation in the crypto markets, which can also happen with physical currency.

This problem alone is not enough to warrant a hold or sell rating, but what is even more worrying is that cryptocurrencies are being propelled by meme trading. This trading style is named after an online community of merchants who have gathered around “stonks” like GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings who have supported low-value companies through the Reddit site r / wallstreetbets.

When meme traders focus on one company, they are quick to invest to drive the stock price higher. Then, when the stock appears to have peaked, investors quickly sell their holdings in a process known as “pump and dump”. This type of trading is detrimental to the markets and can result in significant losses for both large companies and individual traders. Crypto has become a preferred investment for meme traders, making it riskier and less reliable.

Another factor to consider before investing is how quickly crypto values ​​can go up and down. When Elon Musk tweeted about the Dogecoin cryptocurrency, the price fluctuated sharply. This is a bad sign for cryptocurrency coins because if negative news got out about them, their prices could go down and the investment would be lost.

Some companies are optimistic about crypto as an investment, including the El Salvador government, which introduced Bitcoin as its national currency. The move showed that cryptocurrencies are likely to be widely used in the future, but it also highlighted some of the risks associated with investing at this early stage.

When El Salvador started using Bitcoin, the government had to take its e-wallet offline for several hours when the server was overloaded, which revealed a bug in the system. Crypto is only good if it can be used, and if the servers are overloaded it cannot be used. In the future, this problem could be resolved, but until then, crypto is still an unreliable and dangerous investment.

Another major problem with crypto platforms was uncovered when they mistakenly gave users nearly $ 90 million worth of various crypto coins during a routine update in late September. The error was caused by a bug in the computer code and prompted the workers to recover the lost coins.

Both incidents show that this technology is too new and unreliable to be a safe investment. There are thousands of other investment options with far less risk and almost the same return, including stocks and options.

For now, investors should stay away from crypto, but it will become a viable investment in the future. Technology is improving rapidly and culture is changing. One day cash may be a thing of the past and crypto may be the king of currencies, but that day is not here yet.

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