On April 23-24 the global blockchain and cryptocurrency industry meets at Blockchain Life 2019 Asia in Singapore.

| 5000+ attendees
| 80+ speakers
| 70+ countries
| 120+ booths

Top managers of international blockchain companies, crypto traders and analysts, funds and investors, perspective ICO and STO projects, developers and miners will meet again to discuss current industry trends, strategies, innovations and show how to earn money in this industry.

Blockchain Life forum is an annual event that brings together international blockchain and crypto-community at the one place. In 2018, event was held in St. Petersburg (Russia) and became the largest industry event in Europe, gathered more than 5000 attendees.

Top speakers of the «Blockchain Life» forums were: Roger Ver (founder Bitcoin.com), Sergei Khitrov (founder Listing.Help, Icotop.io), Jason Hu (WBO), Miko Matsumura (Evercoin), Martin Kuvandzhiev (co-founder Bitcoin Gold), Edward Chen (Huobi Exchange), Aldrich Victorino (OKEx Exchange), Charles Cai (Dalian Wanda Group) and other leading international industry professionals.

The venue for Blockchain Life 2019 Asia will be at the world’s leading hotel Marina Bay Sands, located in the heart of Singapore. Participants are able to attend speeches by world leading experts, meet international companies in the exhibition area, and communicate with like-minded people and experts in networking areas.

*This post is credited to Nulltx

SINGAPORE, 6 December 2018 – Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, will hold the first Binance Blockchain Week in Singapore from 19 to 22 January 2019.

With 2,000 attendees expected from around the globe, Binance Blockchain Week will highlight two large-scale events over the four days: a two-day hackathon known as the Binance SAFU Hackathon, followed by the Binance Conference.

Binance Blockchain Week will bring together industry-leading regulators, investors, academics, entrepreneurs and technologists to discuss today’s blockchain ecosystem and encourage sustainable growth in the industry. The event will prime the international stage for a global exchange of the latest blockchain knowledge and expertise among high-profile figures in the space.

Binance Conference

Held at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre in Marina Bay Sands, the Binance Conference will feature more than 70 speakers, including industry thought leaders, high level executives, academics and heads of state, in an action-packed program filled with keynote speeches, panel discussions, fireside chats and exclusive networking events.

The first wave of confirmed speakers include: Genping Liu, Partner at Vertex Ventures; Justin Chow, Head of Business Development, Asia at Cumberland; Sonia Bashir Kabir, Managing Director at Microsoft Bangladesh; Eric van Miltenburg, Senior Vice President of Global Operations at Ripple; Justin Sun, Founder of TRON; Da Hongfei, Founder of NEO; Patrick Dai, Founder of Qtum; and Changpeng Zhao (CZ), Founder and CEO of Binance. More speakers will be announced over the coming weeks.

“We are thrilled to host the first-ever Binance Blockchain Week in Singapore, the finance and technology hub of Asia,” said CZ. “Gathering the most notable players and thought leaders in blockchain, this will be a defining event. We look forward to many thought-provoking discussions and debates on how we can further work together to move the industry forward.”

The Binance Conference expo floor will feature more than 50 booths for sponsors to showcase the best of blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies.

Binance SAFU Hackathon

The first-ever Binance SAFU (Secured Assets For Users) Hackathon will be held at PwC Singapore, Marina One East Tower from 19 to 20 January. Themed SAFU, the Hackathon aims to seek innovative blockchain solutions to secure crypto assets.

Binance SAFU Hackathon will feature an esteemed panel of judges including PwC, Tribe Accelerator and Binance Labs. Participants will have the opportunity to seek mentorship from senior leadership at companies such as Ethereum Foundation, Primitive Ventures, Earn.com, Binance Labs and IDEO CoLab.

Individuals and teams interested in participating in the Binance SAFU Hackathon can submit applications from 10 December to 6 January. 20 developer teams will be selected via pre-hackathons and direct registration on the event website. Pre-hackathons will be held from December and early January around the world, and winning teams will be given free passes to the final SAFU Hackathon in Singapore. The final hackathon winning teams will share a prize pool of $100,000 in BNB offered by Binance.

Registration for the Hackathon will open on Monday, 10 December 2018. For more information, please proceed to the Binance Blockchain Week Facebook page.

For further updates, do follow Binance on Twitter.

About Binance

Binance is a blockchain ecosystem comprised of Exchange, Labs, Launchpad, Info, Academy, Research, Trust Wallet and Charity.

Binance Exchange is the leading global cryptocurrency exchange, with users from over 180 countries and regions. Capable of processing more than 1.4 million orders per second, Binance Exchange is the largest crypto exchange by trade volume and one of the fastest in the world. The platform focuses on security, robustness, and execution speed — attracting enthusiasts and professional traders alike.

*This post is credited to Coin Telegraph

Someone’s enjoying the new year ride, and they’re doing it with their Ethereum. That’s the case of David Lau, a 27-year-old business developer based in Singapore who has just made part of a car payment with Ethereum tokens. The brand new Honda Vezel he has purchased is worth $84,000, and he intends paying half of that money with cryptocurrency.

$42,000 Worth of Ethereum to be Paid for Car

More details into the transaction show that David Lau had already made a $10,000 down payment for the car in Ether tokens. He intends making an additional $32,000 payment in the next three weeks. The remaining part of the money will possibly be paid in fiat from a loan that will be obtained from the bank.

David Lau who began investing in cryptocurrencies for the past two years revealed that as at 2018, he had a portfolio of $500. But as of today, his digital assets are currently worth about $50,000. The crypto enthusiast revealed that his interest had been kindled with virtual currencies when the hype around it was intense and one can assume this was late 2017.

MGH Cars, the First in Singapore to Accept Cryptocurrencies

The car dealership, on the other hand, is MHG Cars which began operation in December 2018. According to Lydia Ang, the company’s director, they are the only car dealership company accepting cryptocurrencies for payments in Singapore. She added that although this is a niche market, there will be significant changes in the future.

The director was also quick to note that accepting digital assets helped to cut down transaction fees from 3 per cent to as low as 1 per cent. She said this was lower compared to when transactions are carried out using the credit card. Besides, there were no regulations in the country to guide the use of such currencies, and as such, the company was unaffected by policies that may hold in certain jurisdictions.

Reputable Leaders Remark on the Development

While crypto enthusiasts attention has been kindled to this transaction, other reputable leaders in the area have made comments. Chia Hock Lai, the President of the Singapore Fintech Association and chairman of the Token Economy Association, remarked that he is surprised. He also called it a one of a kind transaction adding that the use of cryptocurrencies for payments in Singapore was uncommon.

This may be unique for the region, but it isn’t for places in the US, Venezuela, and other countries where virtual currencies are being accepted online and offline by companies. Birks group, a dealer of Jewelry including Rolex, began accepting Bitcoin in November last year.

*This post is credited to BTCNN

SINGAPORE, Jan. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — 2018 saw the reign of stablecoins amidst a volatile cryptocurrency market. As stablecoins continue to gain traction as a digital asset, many are excited to witness further development of this venture especially in the coming new year.

Mars Blockchain is pleased to announce the launch of its very first stablecoin, 1SG, on the most prominent crypto exchanges in the world – Kryptono Exchange & Top.one Exchange. The fiat-collateralised stablecoin will be available for trading on the platforms from 1 January 2019onwards.

With the launch of 1SG on Kryptono Exchange & Top.one Exchange, the convenience of using this stablecoin is ascertained. Users of 1SG no longer have to worry about the security of their crypto-assets, or the difficulty of trading with cryptocurrency and fiat.

As its tagline goes, Kryptono Exchange is the most “comprehensive crypto platform for everyone everyday.” It is currently ranked top 30 exchange on Coinmarketcap with a monthly volume of over $500M USD and is expected to act as the perfect middle man to provide the necessary escrow services for users to buy or sell cryptocurrencies and fiat through peer-to-peer exchanges.

Top.one Exchange operates on advanced distribution cluster architecture and is able to process millions of transactions per second to enable huge volumes to transact seamlessly and fuss free. The Exchange is also internationally appealing and supports more than 20 different languages.

Now, users can keep their cryptocurrencies safe through both exchange’s air-tight security measures and trade freely without worrying about potential complications.

Mars Blockchain is thankful to have the opportunity for 1SG to be listed on Kryptono Exchange & Top.one Exchange. It is a crucial step in securing the stablecoin’s identity on the cryptocurrency market and marks 1SG’s entry into the international arena. More importantly, these partnerships would offer Mars Blockchain a stronger global network, bringing them a step closer to fulfilling its mission in bringing frictionless spendability to the doorstep of 1SG users.

About 1SG:

1SG is a stable coin, issued by the Mars Blockchain Group which overcomes the problems of today’s cryptocurrencies. With the key features of stable value and high liquidity, Mars Blockchain is a start-up committed to becoming a leading stable coin in global cryptocurrency market. 1SG circumvents the volatility of other major cryptocurrencies by maintaining a fixed peg to $1 SGD through financial markets.

About Kryptono Exchange:

Kryptono is a comprehensive crypto platform for everyone every day. We want to grow the real-world adoption of crypto on a global scale. As part of the long-term evolution of crypto, we make crypto easily accessible and available to everyone through thoughtful products tailored in-house for the mass market.

About Top.One Exchange:

Top.One provides high quality projects with various incubation services, including startup financing, business consulting, resource exchange and exchanges launches. The core team consists comes from top internet and financial enterprises and has profound academic accumulation and experience in internet product development network security, blockchain technology, deep learning, financial services and audit.

*This post is credited to PRNewswire

Cameras, flashlights, tweets – when  Changpeng Zhao takes the stage these days, a kind of mania seems to ensue.

Of course, that’s perhaps to be expected when you’re known to the world over by just two letters, but “CZ” has arguably achieved something greater in 2018 — a celebrity status that’s equaled by his clout as an entrepreneur.

On a sweltering December day in Singapore, Zhao is quick to show why — he has a surprise that’s not so much up his sleeve as under it. “I’m gonna show this to the crowd later,” he says, grin on his face, ear-to-ear.

By the time he takes the stage, the attendees at Forbes Asia Forum in Singapore have shifted from a scattering of somewhat bored businesspeople, some heads down, headphones in, into an excited mass that can almost be felt moving forward.

It’s a testament to Zhao’s crossover appeal — many in the audience are members of a financial establishment that are (at least publicly) still somewhat skeptical, if not derisive of the technology. Onstage, however, those divides melt away as Zhao raises his arm to unveil his first tattoo — a newly minted logo of his exchange Binance.

The move goes to show the root of CZ’s appeal; if he sometimes seems to skirt an outlaw status, what makes him such an effective ambassador for the crypto movement is that he exudes its core beliefs so effortlessly.

Come on in, his smile says, the future is waiting.

But if Zhao has come to embody the current state of cryptocurrency – its runaway growth and newfound cultural appeal – he also matches the industry with an outsized ambition. “I hope someday I can become as influential as Elon Musk,” he tells CoinDesk.

Backstage later, CZ is already showing signs of that kind of celebrity status, where he fields at least a dozen requests for selfies, all under the condition his right arm is held high. (Zhao would go on to write an entire blog explaining how he talked himself into getting his new ink.)

Zhao onstage at Consensus: Singapore 2018.

The post spotlights another key component to Zhao’s charm, his ability to connect with people. That might be one reason he’s also quick to push back on assertions that he is an extremist, or that his work in cryptocurrency represents a political agenda, arguing himself that his appeal stems not from any ideology, but from a love of freedom.

Zhao says:

Money Moves

Still, if Zhao is well-equipped at winning people’s hearts and minds, he’s equally adept at capturing their dollars.

While Western media outlets tend to tout the ascent of Coinbase, even their rise to millions of users is tepid compared to how, in just over 12 months, Binance has gone from white paper to $15 million ICO to an exchange that sees billions of dollars in trading daily.

As of the end of 2018, Binance has eight lines of business – Binance Exchange; Binance Labs; Binance Charity; Binance Academy, Binance Research; Binance Info, Binance Launchpad and Trust Wallet, as well as a ninth, a decentralized exchange, set for launch in January.

That’s not to mention Binance Coin (BNB), the nearly $1 billion cryptocurrency network that the company uses as a de-facto currency for its exchange fees.

Impressive as the list may be, it’s even more so when you consider some – in particular, Binance Coin, as well as Binance Exchange’s crypto-only trading policy – were radical at the time of their launch. Add up the number of businesses that have since followed Zhao’s lead, and it’s easy to see why he is lauded as a visionary.

Jehan Chu, co-founder and managing partner at Kenetic Capital, whose firm passed on investing in Binance, now believes that was a mistake, and that’s largely because of Zhao’s competencies in expanding the company.

“What’s worked really well is his ability to adapt to the changing market and come up with the type of innovations that the market didn’t even know that they want it,” Chu says. “They were the first to come up with an exchange token. I think that’s what’s most impressive about CZ: his vision to just try different things, iterate and then execute.”

There’s also, of course, his impeccable timing. It’s easy to forget Zhao’s swift ascent came after nearly two years in a kind of exile, a period in which he was rumored to be working on a new project, but in which emails from CoinDesk often went unreturned.

Zhao was, by his own account, laying low following a departure from OKCoin, a China-based cryptocurrency exchange. Jack Liu, a former colleague of Zhao’s at OKCoin, now with Circle, shared a recount of the man who he sees as a mentor that hired him in 2014.

Zhao announces the launch of OKCoin’s international investor offering in 2014.

“Product-market fit is his number one skill,” Liu says. “CZ has gotten to be really good at absorbing whatever he’s seeing and learning, and incorporating into what he does.”

Indeed, Binance is neither the first crypto-to-crypto exchange, nor is it going to become the first decentralized exchange. “But he’s good at putting together synthesis of his background, his team, with initiatives he wasn’t able to execute at OKCoin,” Liu says.

And part of the reason for his ability, according to Liu, is that CZ is “very much a people person.” “He has a great sense of humor … and is always just a little bit of like a ‘smart-ass,’ just a little bit ahead of the mainstream, but very relatable.” Liu says.

Still, what might be unique about Zhao is that he was always expected back. When he left OKCoin in 2015, CZ wrote an email to CoinDesk, saying:

In retrospect, he was right. The 2015 winter did pass, and when spring emerged, he was ready, having refined and built exchange engines that were ready to serve an upswell in demand.

Walk the line

Still, Binance’s meteoric rise has been greeted with skepticism by those who feel Zhao might be moving too fast given the state of global regulation.

Take a report earlier this year by the New York Attorney General’s office, which ultimately referred Binance, along with two other exchanges, for investigation. (This in and of itself didn’t indicate any wrongdoing on Binance’s behalf, though it undoubtedly raised suspicion).

Cited at the time was the inability of regulators to assuage concerns over manipulative or abusive trading, as well as a lack of clarity over whether the firms were operating in New York.

Zhao shows off his new Binance tattoo in December.

At Consensus: Singapore in September, Zhao’s main stage appearance coincided with the release of the report, and onstage and backstage, he declined to comment on the inquiry.

A core criticism of Zhao, then, is that he’s been perhaps too willing to engage in regulatory arbitrage, moving his exchange to jurisdictions he believes will give his now global business – he says it operates in over 190 countries – the best chance to offer its services.

For example, Binance left China, where it was initially based, after the country’s central bank banned crypto trading in September last year, and it later moved operations to Tokyo. Then in March, however, the Japanese regulator the Financial Services Agency issued a warning letter that Binance was operating in the country without a license.

Binance is now based in Malta, though Zhao has also made notable appearances with other regulators, including Bermuda and Uganda, that are decidedly outside the financial mainstream.

However, others, like Chu, believe that could be a challenge for the company. “I think playing jurisdictional hopscotch is not a game. You can’t play it for very long,” he says. Yet still, Chu thinks that if anyone can find his way out of these issues, it’s Zhao, adding:

Zhao, for his part, pushes back on these claims, even as he seems to acknowledge how his biases might lead to these assumptions.

“I have a very worldly mentality, but of the countries I live in, I follow the law to the letter. I never do anything dodgy and I never put myself into those kinds of risks,” he says.

Later on, he continues to describe his approach as more tepid than it may appear, noting how Binance left China because it didn’t “want the trouble.”

“In countries that are not crypto friendly, we don’t do any advertising, we don’t do any events, we don’t make a lot of noise,” he says.

Others back up Zhao’s story, and it’s notable that this group includes at least one regulator.

Jason Hsu, an entrepreneur-turned legislator in Taiwan who is pushing for crypto-friendly laws on the island, got introduced to Zhao when the exchange was on an expansion early this year, and within a week, the two had a sit-down meeting.

At the very last minute before their supposedly close-door private chat, the two even decided to make it a live broadcast. “That was spontaneous. If we are both so committed to this new technology, why not make a stance and show it publicly?” Hsu said.

“I didn’t know CZ before the meeting,” Hsu recalls. “But it turns out he’s a straightforward and no bullshit entrepreneur.”

Hsu says Binance is still yet to open up a shop on the island, given that financial institutions and regulators in Taiwan had taken a conservative approach to the industry. However, his time with Zhao has left with the impression that Zhao’s strategy is more nuanced than simply hopping from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

CZ with Premier David Burt of Bermuda. (via Twitter)

In comparing Binance with Coinbase, Liu says the latter still takes a rather traditional internet company approach to regulation in the sense that it chooses to offer services based on the world’s largest markets step by step, i.e. first the U.S., then the Europe and the U.K.

“CZ doesn’t think about which country is the biggest market and therefore I’m gonna set up a team there. He starts with what crypto needs – a wallet and an exchange.” Liu says. “He’s building for a world where once the users go onto the blockchain, the users are the same.”

“He’s like one of those smart people that enjoy taking shortcuts – not shortcuts to do something bad – but to be efficient,” Liu adds, stating:

Iron Man

So, if others may see ‘CZ’ as a kind of Robin Hood, how does he see himself? It turns out, Zhao prefers comparisons to Tony Stark, the billionaire superhero of Marvel comics fame.

“Tony Stark is very resourceful,” Zhao says in explanation of the comparison. “He builds a lot of things. It’s about technology behind, all the tools he builds that he uses to do good things.”

In his eyes, he’s simply trying to do as much good as he can, and if that means challenging the establishment in the process, that’s just a byproduct of his mission.

“We should always provide people with more options to choose. The more options there are, the better. People can choose to use a bank and people can choose to use crypto. We are not perfect either, we are not saying crypto is perfect,” he says.

Though, Zhao is doing his best to further the crypto ecosystem and to avoid banks when possible. In interview, he claims he “doesn’t have to deal with fiat at all” anymore – partially thanks to a team handling his expenses – and that he pays for hotels and flights in cryptocurrency whenever possible – even if with a premium.

It’s a personal mission that has trickled down to his staff as well, where he estimates that “95 percent” of the Binance team gets at least part of their salary in crypto. (As it doesn’t handle cash, he says the company works with a network of over-the-counter traders to pay out fiat).

In this way, Zhao identifies as a HODLer, the cryptocurrency enthusiasts who believe that, no matter whether the market is up or down, the best investment strategy is simply to buy, hold and wait for the world to wake up to the asset class.

CZ in a crowd at Consensus: Singapore.

That apartment he sold in 2013 for just a little over $1 million, before putting the proceeds into bitcoin? He says he hasn’t sold any, even after last year’s run-up.

“Actually, I still have 100 percent of those coins because I don’t really need them,” he says. “I’m not very greedy. I have more than enough money than I need.”

Other attributes of his, he says, have permeated through the Binance team. He describes his overriding mantra as “be fair, be ethical, don’t do crazy shit.” Still, there are differences between the superhero and his team of crypto-Avengers.

One of the most notable is he doesn’t encourage others at the company, except several co-founders and spokespersons, to be as active on social media, citing security reasons. (“We don’t encourage our people to be public. They have a very minimal social profile. It’s basically a guideline we do,” he says.)

As such, he says he sometimes feels his team doesn’t get enough credit for the work they do in carrying out his vision and translating it into action.

Opening the gate

So, where does crypto’s Iron Man go from here? And will Binance’s star continue to rise?

That remains an open question. For one, it’s unclear how the decline of the cryptocurrency market so far will impact Binance’s business, and whether that will put it at a disadvantage against peers operating with more regulatory clarity and institutional clientele.

That, however, appears to be something Zhao is looking to rectify as the exchange is working on opening a shop in Singapore that would accept fiat currency, a company first in one of the largest Asian economies.

“Fiat is still where all the money is in. … And we’ve got to open that gate,” he said at CoinDesk’s Consensus Singapore event in September.

To Zhao, then, Singapore is a major hurdle for Binance, as it still needs to convince a bank to fully back its operation. (Notably, Singapore does not currently regulate cryptocurrency exchanges, though it is close to passing such laws.)

And while domestic regulators in the region remain open to blockchains and cryptocurrency, it’s to be seen how exactly they’ll choose to see Binance and Zhao, whether as a potential asset for the local economy or a possible liability.

CZ takes a photo in Singapore.

And besides, if blockchain is what allows CZ to become so successful so quickly in so many countries, the same technology could, too, allow others to build a Binance knockoff in one or two months at every other domain.

As Liu puts it:

So, too, it’s unclear how Zhao will adjust, as he says he wants to wade back into sectors of the industry that may prove less palatable. For instance, the firm intends to reboot Binance Launchpad in 2019, a listing service for entrepreneurs looking to raise funding via token sales, albeit with what the company claims is a more rigorous review process.

Whether or not the establishment chooses to embrace him, though, for now at least, he still has the backing of the cryptocurrency faithful, and he, in turn, has embraced them at every step.

“Just because I’m not against banks, that does not prevent me from presenting other people another option that could be potentially viewed as a competition to them,” he says.

At a backstage dinner party following the Singapore event, Zhao ends the conversation by focusing on what might be the final and best way to summarize his ethos – his belief that those who believe in crypto, and who help advance the technology toward mainstream, will be rewarded.

Zhao concludes:


Original art by CryptoKitties (@cryptokitties)

*This post and Photos by CoinDesk & Wolfie Zhao

Binance cryptocurrency exchange is cheering blockchain developers during the Hackathon to boost up the blockchain solutions development for solving the security issues.

Moreover, the exchange decides to hold its initial “Binance SAFU Hackathon” at Singapore probably on January 19/20, 2019. This event intends to develop an overall safer and progressive cryptocurrency ecosystem. Moreover, this event will empower blockchain engineers and developers to rapidly enhance ongoing distributive ledger technology standard solutions.

Also, the company via an email says this 32-hour round session (the clock event) will motivate blockchain developers around the space. This helps to step up their prototype development regarding blockchain solutions. Moreover, they will be able to offer solutions to the frequent issues currently buzzing around systems. The statement reads:

With the theme ‘Query Platform for Address Security: Is the transaction address you are sending your crypto to SAFU?’, the Binance SAFU Hackathon encourages long-term, sustainable growth of the blockchain industry, calling for top developers from around the world to build a safer community where users are protected from scams, hackers, and money laundering.

Binance may join hands with majority of the groups. Hence, letting the Binance SAFU Hackathon attain some good and top talent across the industry. The announcement also says that winning team will earn worth $100,000 in prizes.

There were many previous pre-hackathons that have ended, few taking place from December to January at, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Singapore, and Seoul. The first pre-hackathon ended up last December at San Francisco, California. Good news is, the developers, not able to attend the last San Francisco event are still eligible for the final Binance SAFU Hackathon at Singapore.

The can join and qualify one amongst the three remaining pre-hackathons. Moreover, for more information on registration preferring parties need to follow Binance Blockchain Week via Twitter. The panel of judges will choose the hackathon winners depending on quality, innovation, technology pitch, and demonstration.

Apart from cash prizes, the winner will grab a chance to meet senior executives working at Binance as well as incubation program of investment arm at Binance- Binance Labs.

*This post is credited to Coin Pedia

Christine Lagarde, director of the International Monetary Fund, made the case for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) at the Singapore Fintech Festival in November. CBDCs, she suggested, could enhance financial inclusion, security, and privacy. Lagarde also touched upon cryptocurrencies, explaining that bitcoin and its cousins are “vying for a spot in the cashless world.”

This apparent endorsement invigorated bitcoin enthusiasts, who often claim that crypto can be used to achieve many, if not all, of the goals that Lagarde laid out. Numerous projects, like Ripple, have sprung up to reduce the cost of international remittances. And others, like Zcash and Monero, have emerged to protect the identities of their users.

When bitcoin’s price exploded last year, it seemed like blockchain-based assets were destined to be the future of money—and national cryptocurrencies were just around the corner. The technology pioneered by bitcoin even captured the imagination of high-ranking officials, like Kevin Warsh, a former governor at the US Federal Reserve who was among the candidates to become Fed chairman. In May, Warsh told the New York Times that if he were picked, he would have allocated resources to explore “Fedcoin,” a theoretical, blockchain-based national currency. In addition to potentially improving the transparency and efficiency of its paper predecessor, it seemed like a national crypto could give the Fed access to unconventional tools, like negative interest rates.

But, over the last two years, as bitcoin received mainstream attention and investment, Fed researchers have been unconvinced by the arguments for a national cryptocurrency.

In February, Aleksander Berentsen and Fabian Schar, researchers at the St. Louis Fed, wrote that a central bank “could easily” create its own crypto. “However, the key characteristics of cryptocurrencies are a red flag for central banks,” they warned.

For law enforcement purposes, monitoring who’s using a currency is imperative, so creating a national crypto without strict identification requirements could invite abuse by criminals and other fraudsters, they explained. And it would be hypocritical to require that oversight from commercial or retail banks if the central bank didn’t practice it in the first place.

More to the point, they noted, a central bank cryptocurrency isn’t really a crypto-currency at all. If it’s not run on a “permissionless” network—with nodes free to join or leave as they wish—then effectively, it’s just centrally-managed electronic money, with an inconvenient blockchain component. “Once we remove the decentralized nature of a cryptocurrency, not much is left of it.”

Berensten and Schar observed that such centralized electronic money doesn’t even require a blockchain. In fact, “the technology for issuing virtual money in a centralized way existed long before the invention of the blockchain.” They concluded, “cryptocurrency is still a very young technology and there are large operational risks. Overall, we believe that the call for a ‘Fedcoin’ or any other central bank cryptocurrency is somewhat naïve.”

The thing is, Fed officials don’t seem keen on a CBDC in any form—crypto or otherwise.

In fact, in May,  Lael Brainard, a Federal Reserve Board governor, delivered a powerful rebuke of CBDCs at the Decoding Digital Currency Conference in San Francisco. While she seemed impressed by cryptocurrency’s core innovation— blockchain—she noted that price volatility limits crypto’s usefulness as a store of value and unit of account, and she expressed concerns about their vulnerability to hacks and money-laundering.

In her remarks, Brainard raised concerns about international cyberattacks, identity (like Berentsen and Schar before her), and how a national digital currency would affect retail banks, which make loans to the public. Also, she noted that in the US today, we already have electronic money, which is reasonably fast and generally reliable.

So, while the Fed could make the US dollar into a cryptocurrency, there just isn’t a good reason to do it. And, it’s not clear whether the Fed should even digitize the dollar. While increasingly electronic money may yet offer advantages for financial management and inclusion, for now, it’s clear that to the Fed, a national “cryptocurrency” doesn’t make much sense.

*This post is credited to to QZ

This course is going to be offered starting February 2019, and was created to meet the rising demand for those with knowledge in Blockchain, according to The Strait Times, a Singapore news outlet.

This course is to focus on the introductory and beginner aspects of blockchain. It will focus on creating crypto, setting up and developing blockchain systems and smart contracts. Although these are introductory aspects of blockchain tech, the content being taught is a good segway into deeper blockchain, and is just technical enough to ensure those taking the class are really interested in everything blockchain. In order to even be selected to enroll for the program you must have a similar degree, understand coding language, and pass a mandatory online quiz, with a score of 75% or higher.

The instructor to guide the students interested in blockchain is Dr. Ernie Teo. Teo’s credentials include being a research scientist for IBM’s Center for Blockchain Innovation in Singapore. The classes are planned to consist of three hour sessions that occur on weekdays in the evenings. A big six hour session is planned to be held every saturday for two months. The total time spent in the course is to total 120 hours and can cost up to $1,284 or as little as $284, depending on various factors such as age, income, etc. Those outside of Singapore are expected to pay $4,280 for the course.

*This post is credited to to Chepicap

A new beginner’s course to meet the growing demand for talent in blockchain technology will start at Singapore Polytechnic (SP) in February next year.

Targeted at working professionals, Fintech – Blockchain (Beginner) will include classes on creating cryptocurrencies, setting up a blockchain system and developing smart contracts.

Students will also explore the impact of the emerging blockchain technology on the financial sector.

Classes will be conducted by Dr Ernie Teo, a former research scientist at IBM’s Centre for Blockchain Innovation in Singapore.

Students will attend a three-hour session on a weekday evening and a six-hour session on Saturday over two months. They will also have to do online reading, research and project work. There is no full-time option as yet.

The course, developed by SP and the Token Economy Association, aims to “bridge the demand gap for blockchain talent with the right education”, said association chairman Chia Hock Lai yesterday.

He noted the rising demand for blockchain developers as “legacy enterprises and the most promising start-ups look to build upon this early-stage technology”.

For example, IT giant IBM and Mastercard have each filed more than 80 patents for blockchain-related technology, but they are “struggling to find sufficient talent to develop their initiatives”, he said.

An intermediate course on advanced concepts such as initial coin offerings, among others, is in the works. It is expected to roll out in April next year, Mr Chia said.

Students who complete the two courses “will be competent enough to join the ranks of blockchain developers”, he added.

The Token Economy Association will help connect students to career opportunities and professional projects, said Mr Chia.

*This post is credited to The Straits Time

Asian investors are in shock following changes witnessed on Wednesday morning on the cryptocurrency segment. Reports indicate that most of the major cryptocurrencies slipped a case scenario that leaves analysts with quite much to explain.

A close outlook

ABCC, a Singaporean digital currency operator has lately been calling out for the establishment of additional strict regulations .It advocates for rules that will govern the tokens appropriately to avoid major fluctuations like the one experienced on Monday.

From statistics, Bitcoin ended up at $3,391.2 which represents a 1.49% drop. Ethereum stood at $87.81 which means a 2.08% drop. Litecoin and XRP finished at $23.559 and $87.81 respectively and these drops ended up worrying quite a significant number.

Calvin Cheng is the current CEO of ABCC and he had quite much to say in an interview with Cryptovest. The official outlined that with the passage of time security was becoming a matter of great concern. He advises investors to exercise patience and not to lose faith in crypto as a form of investment.

The current state of affairs and the way forward

CryptoCompare in November gave out a review after a close analysis of data emanating from an analysis it undertook earlier. CryptoCompare put under consideration data emanating from about 30 digital currency exchanges. This happened a month ago.

The report indicated that almost a third of the exchanges kept the funds of majority users in the offline wallets. The other thing it outlined was the fact that one out of 10 exchanges got affected. Hacking is a matter of great concern in line with cryptocurrencies despite efforts by experts to combat it.

It worries investors even more that almost 14% of the exchanges are not on point. Such exchanges lack the terms and conditions page as well the public privacy policies. Cheng has lately been scrutinizing the various industry figures and he thinks they tell quite much. The leader speaks out on the various exchanges characterized by strong security. He thinks that such usually account for larger transaction volumes.

Andreas Utermann, the head of Allianz Global Investors gave out a statement. The leader expressed pessimism with the crypto assets. He wants them outlawed for the good of the general public. He calls upon regulators to move in with speed to rescue the situation.

*This post is credited to Journal Transcript