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To counter bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, momentum grows for the US dollar to go digital

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But to Warren’s dismay, U.S. officials largely dodged any real oversight as crypto expanded its hold.

“There was a kind of run-for-protection feeling among regulators who hope that if they just hide long enough it may go away,” Warren told the Globe. “Cryptocurrency won’t go away.”

That realization has finally caught on in Washington and led to growing support for the possibly killer app for this new private digital money – an official digital version of the dollar that is not minted at the Treasury Department, but exclusively online.

It would be the biggest change to the US currency in a century.

While much of today’s money is effectively digital – think direct deposit paychecks, credit and debit cards – it requires using a bank or payment app like Venmo to process the transaction. A digital dollar would be issued directly by the national central bank, the Federal Reserve, and, like cryptocurrencies, would eliminate the middleman, enabling lightning-fast check clearance, toll-free payments, and other unforeseen innovations, Neha Narula, director of MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative recently said Congress that “could do for value transfer what the Internet did for information transfer”.

The Fed is actively researching the creation of a digital dollar and is one of dozens of central banks around the world, including those of China, Japan, Europe and the UK, considering such a move for their currencies. The Bahamas introduced the world’s first central bank digital currency in October.

Boston is Ground Zero for US efforts.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston partnered with Narula’s team at MIT last year to study the technological feasibility of the move, and they’ll be releasing a report on the design and initial testing this summer, including the open source software, which would form the backbone of the currency. Two key representatives in Congress are Warren, chairman of a committee of the Senate Banking Committee, and Stephen Lynch, Rep. Of Boston, who heads the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee task force on financial technology. Both held hearings on a central bank digital currency this month.

The development and adoption of a digital dollar still faces major challenges, including concerns about how it would be secured and user privacy protected. But there are early signs of momentum for a brave new world for the greenback.

The concept rarely finds bipartisan support in Congress, which would have to approve the creation of the new currency, compounded by a failure of the current system exposed during the pandemic.

While most eligible Americans received state incentive payments by direct deposit, millions of people without bank accounts had to wait weeks to receive paper checks or prepaid debit cards in the mail. A digital dollar could deliver the money instantly through a smartphone app that doesn’t require a bank account or onto a card that could be topped up at retail outlets.

Legislators are drawn to the potential to improve financial inclusion for the estimated 7 million Americans, including many people of color who do not have bank accounts and millions more with restricted banking, who often turn to automated teller machines and other high fee services. They also want to seek a digital currency to keep up with China, which is already testing its digital yuan, so the US doesn’t lag behind its superpower rival in setting standards for digital transactions. They see the digitization of the dollar as key to maintaining its coveted role as the world’s dominant currency for international trade and financial transactions while maintaining the Fed’s control over the money supply and the ability to set monetary policy.

“Central banks are going out of lightbulbs,” said Chris Giancarlo, a former federal financial regulator who now leads the Digital Dollar Project, a nonprofit that promotes research into the new currency. “You suddenly realize that this is a completely different architecture, and if you’re not careful, you could end up like Kodak.”

The changes began in early 2009 with the introduction of Bitcoin, a self-described “peer-to-peer electronic cash system” that eliminated the need for a bank to process transactions. Invented by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, who is believed to be a pseudonym for a person or group, bitcoins achieve their value in the same way that gold and other commodities do: by being rare.

Bitcoins are created by solving randomly generated and increasingly difficult cryptographic puzzles that require enormous computing power. The bitcoins are in a public ledger called the blockchain, which runs on a decentralized network of computers around the world. This transparency and the technological difficulty of changing the blockchain make bitcoins safe, even if the promise of privacy offers the promise of privacy for people to buy and sell them using only digital identities.

The idea of ​​a private currency caught on after a near-collapse of the global financial system in the fall of 2008, said Eswar Prasad, professor at Cornell University and author of the forthcoming book “The Future of Money: How the Digital Revolution Is Transforming Currencies” . and finance. “

“Confidence in state central banks and … commercial banks was at a low point,” he said. “The idea of ​​having access to a medium of exchange that does not require a trustworthy third party and offers a certain level of anonymity was certainly very tempting.”

Bitcoin gained popularity and spurred the creation of other cryptocurrencies such as Ether and Dogecoin that use similar technology. But because they are relatively new, have limited supply, and have no government support, their prices fluctuate widely. To reduce volatility, companies like Boston-based Circle Internet Financial Ltd. developed a version of the cryptocurrency known as stablecoin, the price of which is tied to the value of a more stable asset such as the US dollar or gold.

Facebook is developing its own stablecoin, now called Diem, backed by a basket of government currencies. These efforts, which began in 2019, caused alarms given the size of the social network and the potential to collect the data from people using the currency.

The looming obsolescence bounced off the staid central banks of the world.

“With a broad introduction, stablecoins could serve as the basis for an alternative payment system based on new private forms of money,” warned Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard in a speech in May at a conference on digital currencies. She compared stablecoins to the private currencies US banks had issued in the 19th century, creating a period of fraud, bank runs, and financial instability that spurred the creation of government-sponsored money.

A digital dollar issued by the Federal Reserve would be an even more stable version of stablecoin that could offer the benefits of cryptocurrency without the drawbacks such as volatility and a lack of consumer protection. The decentralized nature of cryptocurrency makes it difficult to regulate, and US officials have only recently focused on it.

Proponents of studying a digital dollar believe that its creation could signal the end of the road for using private cryptocurrencies to buy and sell things.

“Legitimate digital public money could help circulate counterfeit digital private money while improving the financial inclusion, efficiency and security of our financial system – if that digital public money is well designed and efficiently executed, which are two very big ifs,” said Warren said at a hearing for the Senate Banking Subcommittee that she chaired this month on the matter.

The effort has generated resistance from the banking and cryptocurrency industries who see a digital dollar as a threat to their business. Circle’s chief strategy officer, Dante Disparte, warned of the “Orwellian” prospect of having a government operating digital currency in place of the now-existing decentralized private cryptocurrency platforms.

“Do you want a dollar in your wallet that can be turned off?” He said. “Ultimately, it is a surveillance state strategy versus a free market strategy.”

The ability to buy and sell things without revealing your identity is a hallmark of paper money, and integrating that privacy into a government digital currency is a major challenge. A survey published this spring by the European Central Bank found that this was by far the public’s greatest concern: 43 percent of respondents said privacy was what they want most from a digital government currency, followed by security at 18 Percent.

“I think central banks are very, very focused on public concerns about the loss of privacy [central bank digital currencies]”Said Prasad. “The reality is that everything digital is ultimately understandable.”

That became clear after the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline, which led to gasoline shortages across the southeastern United States in May. The company reportedly paid the hackers nearly $ 5 million in bitcoin. However, U.S. law enforcement officials said they were able to get that $ 2.3 million worth of bitcoin back by tracking the transactions and gaining access to a digital wallet.

The process, which included an injunction and digital investigation, was complicated but showed the limits of the privacy of the cryptocurrency.

Digital dollar transactions could be a lot easier for law enforcement to track than Bitcoin, which cheers up those eager to crack down on the darker corners of the cryptocurrency world, but also raises concerns among some privacy advocates. Defenders of the digital dollar say the currency could be equipped with safeguards to hide the specifics of transactions that would only be circumvented by court order.

“It should be possible to catch criminals without the government recording every date, time, amount, and location when I buy a cup of coffee,” Narula told lawmakers at a Lynch Financial Technology Task Force hearing earlier this month .

Brainard said in her May speech that a digital dollar “must both protect the privacy of household payment transactions and prevent and prosecute illegal activities in order to preserve the integrity of the financial system”.

But first the Fed needs to figure out if it can build a highly secure system that can process thousands of transactions per second and be used by millions of people, the basis for what could be a revolutionary change in the local currency.

“The era of cash, the physical currency, is certainly coming to an end,” predicted Prasad. “I think in the next three to five years we will very likely see a digital version of the dollar.”

Hiawatha Bray of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

Correction: An earlier version of this story gave Dante Disparte an incorrect title. He is the Chief Strategy Operating Officer of Circle Internet Financial Ltd.

Jim Puzzanghera can be reached at jim.puzzanghera@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter: @JimPuzzanghera.

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Infinity Token Brings New Cryptocurrency Strategy to Buyers

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Virtual currency trading and crypto mining make Infinity tokens self-sustaining while offering Ethereum dividends.

NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / July 28, 2021 / The increasing demand for high quality cryptocurrency has spawned many new methods to profit from the coins or tokens without having to sell a position. Infinity Token offers a new system that rewards Ethereum (ETH) holders instead of the currency the investor already holds. The creators of Infinity Token say the goal is to create a strong tokenomics system that will reward participants and remain self-sustaining for a long time.

One of the big differentiators of Infinity Token is how the new system rewards people for holding Infinity Token ($ IT). Each transaction includes a 10% fee, which is divided into:

Rewards: 5% of the fee becomes a reflection that turns into ETH and can be claimed instantly at https://app.fairtokenproject.com/. This reflection amount remains proportional to your ownership of $ IT.

Sustainability: The other 5% of the fee goes to a development tax (which funds the “Growth Wallet”) which is used to buy ASIC mining rigs for Bitcoin mining. Profits from oil rigs buybacks and other aspects of token sustainability such as cash injections.

Simply being an investor becomes lucrative with this system, say the makers of Infinity Token. Buyers can hold their $ IT until liquidated for ETH, or hold for longer term to benefit from mining profit and ETH reflection. Instead of buying their own mining rigs, investors are essentially buying into community-owned crypto mining rigs. This community buys and powers the drilling rigs which are then used to mine BTC. “$ IT owners benefit directly from crypto mining with little effort,” explains the company.

Infinity Token reassures investors that it has worked through the numbers and created a cycle that can continue indefinitely known as the “Infinite Cycle”. The company says all profits will remain public so investors can see where the fees are going. The rigs purchased will be used to mine BTC and these profits will be used to buy back $ IT to maintain the token price and support trading activity.

The story goes on

Infinity Token also plans to use its website to educate buyers about cryptocurrencies so they can invest with confidence. Infinity Token follows a fair starting principle without pre-sale. Interested investors can read educational articles, news, and daily tips to help them make good decisions about their crypto future. The company plans to host in-person crypto mining meetups to incentivize people to buy, hold and trade the token.

Infinity Token says it will be one of the first to implement ETH considerations for holders. This makes the company a pioneer in its mission. The sustainable trading volume, the mining concept and the buybacks define the $ IT ecosystem. Infinity Token will officially start trading on Uniswap on August 6th at 9:00 p.m. EST.

Learn more at https://www.infinitytoken.io.

CONTACT:

Infinity token
https://www.infinitytoken.io/
admin@infinitytoken.io

SOURCE: Infinity token

View source version on accesswire.com:
https://www.accesswire.com/657465/Infinity-Token-Brings-New-Cryptocurrency-Strategy-to-Buyers

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Mastercard Launches Global Program to Help Cryptocurrency Startups Scale Their Innovations – Featured Bitcoin News

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Payment giant Mastercard has launched a new global program for cryptocurrency startups. Seven crypto companies have already joined the program. Together with Mastercard, they will work on “expanding and accelerating innovations in digital asset technology and making it safer and easier for people and institutions to buy, spend and hold cryptocurrencies and digital assets”.

The new crypto program from Mastercard

  • Mastercard announced Tuesday “a new Start Path global startup engagement program to support fast-growing digital assets, blockchain and cryptocurrency companies.”
  • Seven startups have already joined the program. They will partner with Mastercard “to expand and accelerate innovation in digital asset technology and make it safer and easier for people and institutions to buy, spend and hold cryptocurrencies and digital assets,” the announcement reads .
  • Startups include GK8, Mintable, Stacs and Supraoracles. GK8 (Israel) is a self-managed end-to-end institutional crypto-custody platform. Mintable (Singapore) is a marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFT), Stacs (Singapore) offers a blockchain infrastructure for the financial industry and Supraoracles (Switzerland) is a blockchain oracle.
  • The other companies that have joined the program are Taurus, Uphold, and Domain Money. Taurus (Switzerland) offers an enterprise-class infrastructure for the management of all digital assets, including crypto-assets, digital currencies and tokenized assets, covering issuance, custody, asset servicing and trading. Uphold (USA) is a crypto investment and payment service provider for consumers and businesses, and Domain Money (USA) aims to build an investment platform to bridge the gap between digital assets and traditional financing for retail investors.
  • The Start Path program has helped more than 250 startups since 2014, the announcement said. The program now gives crypto startups access to “the latest Mastercard tools and solutions to help these companies scale their innovations and cutting-edge technologies”.
  • Mastercard stated, “These startups are using the program to connect with our ecosystem of banks, retailers, partners and digital players around the world to provide new solutions.”
  • Jess Turner, Executive Vice President of New Digital Infrastructure and Fintech, commented, “Mastercard has been dealing with the ecosystem of digital currencies since 2015” and states:

As a leading technology provider, we believe that we can play a key role in digital assets, shaping the industry and providing consumer protection and security. Part of our role is to shape the future of cryptocurrency, and we do it by combining common financial principles with innovations for digital assets.

  • Last week Mastercard announced an expansion of its card program for cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges with the aim of “making it easier for partners to convert cryptocurrency to traditional fiat currency”.

What do you think of Mastercard’s new program for crypto startups? Let us know in the comment section below.

Photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer of liability: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any product, service or company. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author are directly or indirectly responsible for any damage or loss caused or allegedly caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Ethereum Devs Grapple With Worst-Case Scenarios

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This week I’ll be discussing the impact of last Wednesday’s test network issues that uncovered a bug in Ethereum’s majority software client, Geth. Although a patched version of the Geth software has now been released for London, some users, developers and mining pools are calling for further testing of the upgrade, which is set to go live next week.

This article originally appeared in Valid Points, CoinDesk’s weekly newsletter, which breaks down Ethereum 2.0 and its far-reaching impact on the crypto markets. Subscribe to valid points here.

Pulse control

Below is an overview of the network activity on the Ethereum 2.0 Beacon Chain over the past week. For more information on the metrics featured in this section, check out our 101 Eth 2.0 Metrics Explainer.

Related: The Node: Goldman’s ‘DeFi’ ETF is doing nothing

Disclaimer: All profits from CoinDesk’s Eth 2.0 staking business will be donated to a charity of the company’s choice once broadcasts are enabled on the network.

New frontiers

As Ethereum prepares to activate its 11th backward incompatible upgrade, also known as the “hard fork,” on Wednesday August 4th, some developers fear the upgrade may require further testing before deployment.

Shortly after the bi-weekly Ethereum core developer meeting on Friday, July 23rd, Tim Beiko of the Ethereum Foundation wrote in the All Core Developers Discord chat room: “A few people got in touch or tweeted that they are not necessarily happy not to hesitate [the hard fork] … I asked about it [in the meeting] and no one seemed to have a strong opinion, but some people mentioned that this may not be the right approach. ”

In response to Beiko’s comment, Ethereum software client developer Alexey Akhunov said he agreed that it was “strange” that in the bi-weekly meeting, given recent events, there was no further discussion of a possible delay in the hard fork called ” London ”.

The story goes on

Related: How To Fix Ethereum MEV Problem And Give Best Price To Traders

“I suppose I know why,” wrote Achunov. “Delay [London] is a sensitive topic and nobody wants to take the heat, understandable. ”

Others in the chat room begged the Ethereum developers to seriously consider postponing London for a few weeks for further testing.

The backstory

Concerns about the risks of the London upgrade – which includes a controversial code change affecting Ethereum’s fee market known as the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1559 – grew after a bug in the Ethereum software client Geth was discovered.

In the background, Geth is the most popular software used to connect to Ethereum. According to Ethernodes.org, an estimated 86% of all computers, also known as nodes, that are synchronized with the Ethereum network are running Geth client software.

On Wednesday July 21, the Ethereum test network Ropsten, which activated the London hard fork a month ago, suddenly experienced a chain split after an invalid transaction was mined into a block by Node with Geth while being visited by Nodes with minority customers and . Open Ethereum.

Within a few hours, the Geth team released a hotfix and all users were asked to update their software to the latest version number Terra Nova 1.10.6.

The solution

While no developer argued that the bug should delay activation of the main London network during Friday’s call, some developers discussed the appropriate course of action if such a bug were discovered on Ethereum rather than a test network.

“What would we do if something like this happened on the mainnet, especially in a place where Geth, the majority customer, is producing blocks? It obviously takes several hours to find a solution, ”Beiko said during the meeting.

Martin Holst Swende of the Ethereum Foundation pointed out that these errors are not an unprecedented occurrence with Ropsten, and while they are “a thrill” there are two ways to fix them.

First, if a user’s node follows the wrong version of the blockchain, the user must internally rewind the chain back to the block before splitting the chain and using the patched geth software to sync it with the new chain. Second, if a user’s node is not already in sync with a version of the blockchain but tries to connect to the network to collect data about recent transactions or to execute transactions, the user may end up connecting to the wrong version of the Make a chain. To avoid this, these users need to “whitelist” certain nodes on Ethereum that follow the correct chain and isolate them from others who are in the wrong chain.

The fallout

Both rewinding and whitelisting of Ethereum nodes can be done via Geth. The miners at Ropsten were able to use these tactics to resolve the chain split that took place last Wednesday, although a miner discovered during the meeting on Friday that instructions to repair chain splits were not communicated effectively prior to the incident on Wednesday and accordingly many miners were confused how to reboot their nodes properly.

The user “AlexSSD7” wrote in the Discord chat room that he, as a representative of an Ethereum mining pool, was “concerned” about the error in Geth and remarked: “A single minute [of network] Downtime costs us a lot. One hour of downtime costs us $ 20,000. ”

Unexpected errors in the client software would indeed be disruptive to exchanges and companies operating on the main network. For this reason, the developers emphasized the need for a robust monitoring system that could quickly alert node operators to chain splits and encourage them to suspend operations pending further investigation.

“This appears to be a fairly low-hanging fruit that gives the ecosystem a valuable tone. If you’re not sure how to get started, just ask on the Discord, ”Beiko said at the session on Friday.

While these solutions would surely be helpful if an error similar to the one that occurred on Wednesday after London was deployed on the mainnet again, they would not necessarily be the same solutions used to fix bigger problems such as hacker magically prints 100 million ETH.

In the event of such a catastrophic event, Danny Ryan of the Ethereum Foundation said in Friday’s session that it would be difficult to know in advance how the developers would go about it.

“I think there are just a lot of options for the many kinds of bugs and many kinds of specifics that will come up,” said Ryan.

The more severe the impact of a network failure, the more intrusive the solution to fixing the failure is likely to be – and the more damaging Ethereum’s reputation as a secure blockchain becomes.

With increasingly ambitious hard forks on Ethereum’s development roadmap in the near future, it could soon become a must for developers to find potential solutions to worst-case scenario and mitigation plans with network stakeholders.

Validated Takes – EthCC Edition

The following is a special edition of Validated Takes highlighting a handful of panel discussions and keynote presentations from last week’s Ethereum community conference in Paris, France. The full conference agenda can be found on the EthCC official website.

“DeFi for Traditional Markets: When Security Tokens”, lecture by Fountain co-founder Mathieu Chanson. Highlights: Fountain is a decentralized exchange on Ethereum that allows users to buy and sell security tokens. Chanson highlighted the liquidity and accessibility that blockchain technology offers as it is accessible 24 hours a day and allows for immediate settlement. Tokenization of securities offers several other advantages, including transparency and fractionation of assets, which further increase accessibility. However, there are many challenges in creating a fully decentralized stock exchange. Onboarding clients and new securities requires compliance with international regulations, including know-your-customer laws and custody licenses.

“The Power of Credit Delegation”, lecture by Aave founder Stani Kulechov. Highlights: Aave is a decentralized credit protocol based on Ethereum. The team behind the protocol has developed a product that can grant loans without collateral. Kulechov believes this is a step forward to bring DeFi liquidity into the real economy and increase credit demand for Aave.

“Things that are important outside of DeFi”, lecture by Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin. Highlights: In addition to financial services, social media and financing public goods are two activities that haven’t got off the ground on Ethereum. Buterin argues that the token economy and the network’s censorship resistance are two reasons these activities could benefit from being built on a decentralized blockchain.

“Uniswap, DeFi & the future of consumer finance”, talk from Uniswap growth leader Ashleigh Schap. Highlights: Uniswap Labs is trying to partner with blockchain infrastructure companies like Talos, Paxos and Fireblocks to connect DeFi solutions with the backend of well-known fintech companies like PayPal and E * Trade.

“Why DEXs Eat the World”, lecture by Curve protocol developer Julien Bouteloup. Highlights: At its best, [decentralized finance] enables the citizens of the world to have equal access to all currencies, stocks and financial platforms. As space advances, decentralization will be a spectrum. Regulators will watch over protocols used by the traditional financial world, and users will continue to have access to the “Wild West” proving ground that DeFi is today.

– Teddy Oosterbaan

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