Bitcoin is Almost as Big as Bank of America

As crypto prices continue climbing, Bitcoin's market cap has almost reach par with Bank of America's market cap.

All the speculative capital invested in Bitcoin (BTC) at the moment totals just a few billion dollars shy of Bank of America's market valuation.

Bitcoin's current market cap sits just over $217 billion, according to Cointelegraph data at press time, while Yahoo Finance shows Bank of America's market cap holding slightly over $226 billion — a comparison introduced in a recent article from The Next Web.

Bitcoin's market cap climbing in comparison
Although it has endured its fair share of dramatic price fluctuations, Bitcoin's price has grown substantially in 2020, rising past several different wealth comparisons along the way.

Back in March, just before COVID-19 measures turned the world on its head, the United States Central Bank pumped the economy with $168 billion in capital. At the time, Bitcoin's market cap held near $145 billion.

In April, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' touted a net worth of approximately $140 billion, with Bitcoin's market cap near $130 billion. On paper, it seemed Bezos could have bought all the Bitcoin in circulation with a few billion to spare, although the mass purchase would likely prove impossible in real life due to factors such as rising prices and liquidity.

Since then, Bezos' net worth has reached a staggering $193 billion. Bitcoin's valuation, however, remains higher near $217 billion.

The asset could reach astronomical heights
In an Aug. 4 crossover podcast episode with Peter McCormack, host of the What Bitcoin Did podcast, Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano recently forecasted a future Bitcoin market cap of more than $80 or $90 trillion at some point before the end of time. Pompliano, however, said he was unsure if Bitcoin would reach such a market cap within his lifetime.

A long-time Bitcoin advocate, Pompliano has stated his position many times on Bitcoin as an asset uncorrelated with mainstream markets.


written by Benjamin Pirus


North America may be emerging as the hodling hub of the world

For most investors, the crypto-market is no longer uncharted territory. Thanks to increasing regulatory clarity and mainstream adoption, institutional investors are now flocking in. With the industry maturing over the past decade, it would seem that North America has emerged to become a very important market, something evidenced by the fact that it has more active, professional, and institutional investors than other regions like East Asia and Western Europe.

A recent excerpt from Chainalysis’s 2020 Geography of Cryptocurrency Report highlighted the dominance of North America as a region, with regard to its institutional investors within the larger global cryptocurrency market. The report highlighted that despite North America being the third-most active region by cryptocurrency volume moved on-chain, it contributes significantly towards driving the credibility of crypto as an asset class.

“North America also hosts a growing class of institutional investors moving even larger transfers of cryptocurrency than those we typically see from professional traders. The institutional share of the market has grown over the past few years, which can be seen by many to legitimize cryptocurrency as an asset class.”

The report also underlined how in the past two years, the institutional investor class has been a growing demographic, in comparison to other markets, adding,

“Over the last two years in North America, we’re seeing the impact of a growing class of institutional investors whose transfers account for the growing dominance of professionals in the North American market since December 2019.”


Interestingly, as the previous year came to a close, an interesting trend emerged with regard to the crypto-market. The size of crypto transactions from North America saw a spike, with the share of the region’s total value transferred made up of transfers above $1 million rising from 46 percent to 57 percent in May 2020.

This move is understandable as the pandemic has led to increased uncertainty in the global markets, a development that precipitates more and more institutional investors switching to crypto as a hedge. The increased printing of fiat currencies has also helped crypto’s case, along with the fact that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have a fixed supply.

In fact, Michael Sonnenshein, Managing Director of Grayscale Investments, recently noted that an increasing number of institutional investors today are open to having exposure to more than one cryptocurrency. He said,

“We now see over 80% of them having now invested in more than one Grayscale product, meaning they now each have exposure to more than one digital currency.”

Further, a recent survay conducted by Fidelity Investments had substantiated on the positive sentiment towards crypto from investors in the U.S and Europe, observing that an overwhelming majority of investors find crypto as an appealing asset class. It read,

“Almost 800 institutional investors across the U.S. and Europe, 36% of respondents say they are currently invested in digital assets, and 6 out of 10 believe digital assets have a place in their investment portfolio.”

While the U.S. has often been accused of not showing enough enthusiasm towards crypto, especially with regard to its framing of crypto-specific regulations, investors don’t seem to be holding back, especially in comparison to other regions such as many East Asian countries that are often lauded for robust crypto-regulations.

Chainalysis’s report also noted that despite North America-based addresses falling behind Western Europe and East Asia in terms of cryptocurrency activity globally, North America leads the way when it comes to cryptocurrency balances and exhibits a greater hodling tendency.

“North American addresses hold 29% of all cryptocurrency currently parked at service-hosted addresses, compared to 16% for East Asia-based addresses as of the end of June. Those figures would suggest that North America-based users tend to let the cryptocurrency they acquire sit in their wallets and accumulate.”


written by Jude Lopez


Iran One-Ups the United States? Tehran Seeks Crypto Mining Dominance

Iran’s government OKs power plants mining crypto as the country moves forward with a national strategy for cryptocurrency mining.

Crypto mining in Iran is set to become even bigger with the government giving the green light for power plants to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC). The news is the latest piece of positive development on the virtual currency mining front to come out of the country in the last year.

Since legalizing crypto mining back in July 2019, Iranian authorities have sought to ensure market participants operate only after obtaining the required licenses. By allowing power plants to engage in cryptocurrency mining, Iran is joining other emerging hubs as the global “hash wars” gathers pace.

Iran has seen an influx of miners because of its cheap electricity, catapulting the country to be one of the more significant crypto mining nations outside of China. Meanwhile, major market participants in North America are expanding their operations with multiple inventory acquisitions over the past few months.

Only licensed crypto mining
Iranian authorities have given the go-ahead for power plants to mine cryptocurrency. However, the authorization comes with a caveat, as power plant operators cannot use subsidized fuel. Thus, Iranian power plants looking to mine Bitcoin must obtain a license from the government and use the approved electricity tariffs determined by the authorities.

Not allowing power plants to use subsidized fuel is a measure taken by the government to ensure that such activities do not negatively impact the supply of electricity to residents as well as other industrial sectors in the country. Babak Behboudi, co-founder of digital asset trading platform SynchroBit Hybrid Exchange, told Cointelegraph that this news marks another milestone for legalized crypto mining in Iran:

“It’s a great achievement as it indicated the Iranian government has recognized the crypto mining industry as a fact! It means that cryptocurrency can be considered as a legal and regulated asset by which people can do something for their business and life.”

Iranian authorities emphasizing licensed crypto mining is not a new development. Indeed, as of January, the country’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade has issued over 1,000 licenses for cryptocurrency mining. Before legalization, some miners moved their operations to mosques in order to enjoy free electricity, prompting a government crackdown due to spikes in energy consumption.

A compromise was soon found, with the government allowing crypto mining and even incentivizing more participants to move their operations to the country with the promise of tax holidays. Iranian cryptocurrency miners that repatriate their foreign earnings to the country are eligible for certain tax exemptions. As part of the campaign to only allow licensed crypto mining, the government has also offered rewards for whistleblowers who expose illegal cryptocurrency mining activities, with bounties of about 100 million rials ($2,375).

Iran’s government sets the agenda
In May, Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, called on officials at the Central Bank of Iran, Ministry of Energy, and Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to develop a comprehensive national strategy for crypto mining. The move signaled greater intent by the government to include cryptocurrency mining in its economic recovery plans. With the country facing hyperinflation and a struggling economy made even worse by the coronavirus outbreak, the Iranian government has been increasingly examining the merits of greater involvement in the country’s crypto industry.

Along with Egypt, Kuwait and Myanmar, Iran has one of the lowest electricity rates in the world. Cheap electricity is often an incentive for miners with healthier bottom lines. Outside of China, Iran controls the fifth-largest share of global Bitcoin mining hash rate distribution. Indeed, Iran’s rise in crypto mining activities in 2019 led to a slight decline in clean-energy crypto mining.

In the third edition of its biannual Bitcoin mining report back in June 2019, digital asset management firm CoinShares revealed that global renewable energy penetration in the industry stood at 74.1%. In its latest research findings published in December 2019, the proportion slightly decreased to 73%. Commenting on the possibility of Iran claiming an even larger share of the global Bitcoin mining market, Behboudi remarked that it’s too early to say for sure:

“To become a mining hub, the mining industry of Iran needs to have the access to the latest mining technologies, especially the advanced machines, to improve the efficiency of energy consumption and increasing the ROI of the investors. Moreover, we need to see how the government wants to set the roadmap for this new industry. A key issue is how the government wants to allow foreign companies and investors to participate in the crypto mining industry of Iran.”

Challenging China’s dominance
Power plants in Iran engaging in crypto mining might increase the country’s Bitcoin mining footprint, resulting in a larger share of the global hash rate distribution. As of August 2019, Iran ranked ninth in the world in thermal power generation capacity, with a rapid increase of 9,000 megawatts happening over a six-year period.

The news also comes as participants in other major crypto mining hubs appear to be upscaling their operations. Major North American miners like Bitfarms and Marathon have made sizable orders for mining rigs from major manufacturers like MicroBT and Bitmain in the past few months.

These new inventories contain the latest iterations of mining hardware touted as being able to deliver far greater levels of productivity than the older generation of rigs. Highly efficient crypto mining is even more of a concern in the present climate, especially after the May Bitcoin block reward halving.

In Kyrgyzstan, Bitcoin mining seems to be attracting government interest. Earlier in August, the country’s Ministry of Economy released for public discussion a draft plan to impose a tax rate of 15% on Bitcoin miners. The move is part of efforts by the government to stimulate economic recovery amid the current COVID-19 pandemic.

For Bitcoin permabulls, countries such as Iran will look to compete with the United States in a hash war. According to crypto bull Max Keiser, this tussle will catapult Bitcoin to a market price of $500,000. The migration of hash power from “East to West” could cause a significant decrease in China’s Bitcoin mining hash rate dominance. Western miners moving away from Europe’s high operating costs could relocate to North America where the U.S. is emerging as a viable option due to developments in regulation by a number of states.

COVID-19 and Bitcoin halving
For now, China still dominates the industry, controlling 65% of the hash rate. With the monsoon season underway in China, pundits expect miners to see even greater profitability as electricity becomes abundant.

In 2020, the industry has been forced to weather multiple storms including the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the supply of hardware to miners. Following the Bitcoin halving, the spot market price of BTC also failed to see any upward push, forcing smaller mining operations to shut down. Thomas Heller, global business director at Bitcoin mining pool operator F2Pool, revealed the effects of the halving to Cointelegraph:

“Daily mining revenue has dropped from ~$0.16 per TH/s pre-halving to $0.07 in July and is now around $0.10. Profit margins are much thinner and many old-gen machines have turned off, with the exception of those taking advantage of cheap Hydro Season power prices in China.”

Whit Gibbs, CEO of crypto mining firm Hashr8, echoed similar sentiments, telling Cointelegraph that the post-halving has been brutal: “Obviously anytime you halve the block reward you’re directly impacting a Miner’s bottom line.” He continued: “Add to that the fact that despite months of sideways price action there was also a steady increase in difficulty, it was not a nice few months for Bitcoin miners.” According to Heller, range-bound sideways accumulation also played a big part:

“Due to the BTC price, there has been much less demand for new-gen machines compared to 12 months earlier. A few companies in the U.S. and abroad have made very large orders from MicroBT and Bitmain, however, we aren’t expecting huge increases in network hashrate due to the slowish sales.”




Top-Tier Crypto Exchanges Beat Riskier Platforms as Crypto Trading Volumes Recover

Top-Tier Crypto Exchanges Beat Riskier Platforms as Crypto Trading Volumes Recover

 Top cryptocurrency exchanges have seen their trading volumes surge throughout July, so much so these now represent 60% of the crypto space’s total spot volume.

According toCryptoCompare’s July 2020 Exchange Review, Top-Tier cryptocurrency trading platforms, those graded AA-B according to the firm’sExchange Benchmark, have seen their spot volumes increased by 42.1% to $334 billion last month, which helped them surpass lower quality exchanges. Lower-Tier exchanges, according to the report, saw their volumes decrease 38.1% to $224 billion in July. The volume is dwindling on riskier cryptoasset trading platforms as investors likely moved toward safer cryptocurrency exchanges when the crypto market started rising, after bitcoin’s price surpassed $10,000.

As CryptoGlobe reported,Top-Tier cryptocurrency exchanges have been gaining market share over the last few months against those graded C-E on the Exchange Benchmark. In Q4 2019, Top-Tier platforms accounted for 32% of global volumes, while in the first quarter of this year they accounted for 36%. In Q2 2020, these trading platforms saw their share grow to 40% of the total spot trading volumes, while in June the volume was already 46%. Lower-Tier exchanges, over the same period, saw their volumes drop from 68% to 54%. In July, cryptocurrency trading volumes picked up near the end of the month, after BTC finally broke out of its two-month-long range between $9,000 and $10,000.  The move up saw the global trading volume hit $45.3 billion on July 27, making it one of the days with the largest recorded volumes in the crypto space.

The highest spot volumes ever were seen on March 13, as the cryptocurrency market crash that month, which occurred when top U.S. indexes entered bear market territory and the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, saw tradersexchange a total of $75.9 billion in a single day. In July, exchanges using the traditional taker-fee model represented 82% of total exchange volumes, while those implementing the controversial trans-fee mining (TFM) model represented less than 18% of the trading volume. Fee-charging exchanges, CryptoCompare’s report adds, traded a total of $456 billion last month, up 0.5% from June, while those that implemented TFM models traded $95 billion, down 32% from the month before.

Article Produced By
Francisco Memoria

Francisco is a cryptocurrency writer who's in love with technology and focuses on helping people see the value digital currencies have. His work has been published in numerous reputable industry publications. Francisco holds various cryptocurrencies


Honeywell Creates a Blockchain Search Engine’ for Aircraft Parts Data

Aerospace giant Honeywell will use a blockchain system to streamline the documentation of aircraft parts and services.

Honeywell International Inc has created a blockchain-based system to solve the complex documentation and data storage processes of the aerospace industry. 

The company announced that its blockchain subsidiary GoDirect Trade will integrate the aircraft record generation process into its blockchain system. Doing so will allow Honeywell customers to search aerospace parts and service data through its interface. 

Making data handling more efficient

In its present state, data related to aerospace parts and services are scattered across computer systems and hard copies. This results in airline companies and operators sometimes losing important documents that are crucial for proving the legitimacy of parts.

GoDirect Trade general manager Lisa Butters said that by using blockchain, Honeywell intends to record all data related to the thousands of aerospace parts it manufactures and repairs every day, adding: 

“In aerospace, this is a game-changing technology that will simplify and transform recordkeeping for aircraft owners and airlines around the world."

By recording all data on a single ledger, Honeywell expects to ease the process of searching and accessing aircraft-related data and make data handling more efficient for its customers. 

Honeywell claims that, in the case of missing documents, customers will now be able to reconstruct the aircraft part’s data and document by inputting the part number and serial number on their application. To that end, Butters said:

"Honeywell's offering is like a search engine, but it works for anything and everything related to aircraft parts and service.”


writen by Mohammad Musharrae



Grandmas On Lightning

Grandmas On Lightning

Is Bitcoin truly inevitable? Or too confusing to ever gain mass adoption? One day, the Lightning Network might provide an answer.

Is Bitcoin Too Hard To Understand?

I’ve spent a huge part of the last three years explaining Bitcoin to general audiences and the most common form of resistance I encounter is: “Bitcoin is too complicated. The masses will never understand it.” It’s a fair argument. Bitcoin is complicated and if you want to reach a competent understanding of the big picture then, at a minimum, you’d better get ready to learn about peer-to-peer networks, cryptography and the history of money.

It’s for this reason that I find it bizarre when I hear from friends in the space that Bitcoin is “inevitable.” There’s a belief that one day the masses will suddenly realize the merits of Bitcoin and adopt it on their own. This is certainly not what happened with me. To get to an understanding of Bitcoin I was comfortable with, I had to spend hours with articles, books, podcasts, videos and debating the concepts online. This content had to be produced by other people. Maybe if Andreas Antonopolous didn’t upload 500 videos or Nathaniel Popper didn’t write Digital Gold, then I might still have been in the crowd saying: “lol scam.”There’s a counter-belief as well, and it’s that Bitcoin is simply too complicated for mere mortals to understand, and that mass adoption will only happen when Bitcoin and the Lightning Network are so simple that grandmas can use it. In The Gates of Bitcoin, John Carvalho calls this the “Grandma’s Razor Fallacy”: the elitist belief that new tech is too complicated and we need to protect people from it for their own good. He also points out:

We’ve seen this play out over and over in Bitcoin’s 11-year story. In 2011, Wikileaks learned how to use Bitcoin very quickly after Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union cut it off because of threats from the U.S. Senate. Despite Satoshi Nakamoto himself gatekeeping and telling Wikileaks NOT to use Bitcoin to circumvent the U.S. government, Wikileaks did it anyway and it’s estimated it received some 4,000 BTC in donations. Not only did this keep it alive despite a coordinated effort to kill it financially, it gave it a treasure chest that allows it to persist until today.

Another example, and my favorite, is from 2014. The Women’s Annex Foundation (WAF) in Afghanistan used bitcoin to pay their members for their work in writing, software development and video editing. This was under Taliban rule, where women were not allowed to own bank accounts, earn a living or even go to school. Incentives are a powerful thing. When it’s a matter of life and death, people suddenly discover it’s not that hard to download a mobile app and copy-paste an address. Bitcoin suddenly becomes not all that complicated. I want to break down the idea of Bitcoin’s complexity a little further. There are layers to it. Bitcoin is certainly hard to understand, but that doesn’t mean that it’s hard to use. Most people can drive a car or send an e-mail without understanding the internal combustion engine or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). And certainly both of these were considered “too complicated” for the masses. The very idea of “difficulty” can be unpacked further. For now, I’ll break it down into two concepts: Technical Difficulty and Perceived Difficulty.

Technical Difficulty is the skill required to execute something. Like downloading an app, or driving a car or playing the violin. You have to learn to use the tool. Designers can (partially) lower the skill required by creating user-friendly tools. But they cannot eliminate it. Yet when we look at the number of people who can drive cars and use social media, we see that millions of people, including grandmas, are willing to learn complex operations if you can offer them the opportunity to drive to the mall or fight with anonymous people on Twitter.

Perceived Difficulty is the psychological hurdle, i.e., the belief that something is difficult. It’s when someone says: “I don’t understand calculus, it’s too hard.” Then you ask them how long they’ve studied it and they say: “Well I haven’t tried, because it’s too hard.” Perceived difficulty shows up all the time. People will claim that going on a diet or studying for a test are “too hard” when, from a Technical Difficulty perspective, these things are easy. Don’t eat the cake, go to your room and study. The problem really is incentives. People don’t want to study. They do want to eat the cake. Getting them to change behavior has nothing to do with Technical Difficulty and everything to do with addressing why they do or don’t want to do these things in the first place. I’ve encountered Perceived Difficulty many times in Bitcoin. The most glaring times are the repeated examples where people would message me to say that they bought a large sum of bitcoin but kept it on an exchange. Every single time, I would explain that this is a bad idea, and every time I would hear back: “it’s too complicated.” This prompted me to write not one, but two articles. First, on why keeping bitcoin on an exchange is a bad idea, and second, on how to set up a wallet, both as short and simple as possible. I sent both articles to one of those people. Finally, he relented. He downloaded a wallet, backed up his seed phrase and took his bitcoin off the exchange. “Ok fine,” he told me in the end, “that wasn’t so hard.”

With Lightning, we might eventually be able to take the Technical Difficulty of using Bitcoin all the way down. On the Lightning Network you don’t need to think about blocks, confirmations or fees. As the network matures, you may not even have to worry about channels or capacity either. And with products like Strike, you may not even have to know that you’re using Lightning at all. The dream of Lightning is to eventually provide a dead-simple user experience that still gives people the freedom and autonomy Bitcoin is known for. But even if that experience became available tomorrow, the Perceived Difficulty would remain. The good news is that Perceived Difficulty is ultimately a culture. When I was a kid, using a computer was considered so abstruse you needed a “computer course” to be considered competent enough to use one. Today, you are considered functionally illiterate if you cannot use a computer by age ten. But that culture doesn’t change on its own. We need to change it if we want Bitcoin to be all that it can be for those who need it. We need to alter the perception and align the incentives. And then, one day, we’ll have more grandmas in Bitcoin. If you want to see what that looks like, read up about Hodlonaut’s #LNTrustChain. John Carvalho was there (#115), I was there (#171), Bitcoin Magazine was there (#235) and a lot of people who said Bitcoin is too complicated weren’t there.

Article Produced By
Imran Lorgat

Imran is an Actuary in the reinsurance sector who’s worked in South Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. He loves writing about Bitcoin, personal finance, and travel. You can read more of Imran’s writings on All views expressed are Imran’s own and neither reflect nor are influenced by the views of affiliated companies.


OKCoin Awards Latest Developer Grant To Marco Falke

OKCoin Awards Latest Developer Grant To Marco Falke

Cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin announced today that the latest contribution from its Open-Source Developer Grant is going to Marco Falke,

who has served as a Bitcoin Core maintainer since 2016 and is one of the most active contributors to Bitcoin’s code. “Marco’s work … focuses on making development more efficient,” Elaine Song, a member of OKCoin’s business operations team who is involved with the grant program, told Bitcoin Magazine. “He is the most active contributor to the Bitcoin code since 2017. He is presently dedicated to the improvement of Bitcoin’s test infrastructure, which ensures the reliability and security of the decentralized network.”

This marks the fourth grant the exchange has made since its program was launched eight months ago. Donations have also been awarded to developers Fabian Jahr and Amiti Uttarwar, as well as open-source bitcoin payment processor BTCPay Server. More than $396,000 has been awarded so far. OKCoin would not disclose the dollar value of this latest grant, but said that this was its largest single donation to date. “As a crypto exchange, we aim to make crypto investing and trading accessible to anyone, anywhere,” Song said. “That objective is made possible by the work of our grant recipients who contribute to the sustainable and responsible development of cryptocurrency infrastructure. Without developers, there is no technical breakthrough. Without a breakthrough, there is no disruption.”

The last few months have seen a notable surge in similar donations, from OKCoin as well as BitMEX operator 100x, the Human Rights Foundation, Kraken and others. It’s difficult to pinpoint a reason for this wave of charitable giving at the moment, but it appears that organizations that rely on Bitcoin are starting to see these grants as critical to the technology’s continued growth. “We don’t see these grants as ‘donations’ or altruistic,” Song explained. “We see them as investments to the technology that powers the entire crypto industry… We at OKCoin and others are finding the right incentivization to attract talented developers to open-source Bitcoin development, and keep the best ones like Marco, Amiti, Fabian and the team at BTCPay focused on Bitcoin development.”


Brad Garlinghouse: The Tech Maverick Rippling Through Finance

Brad Garlinghouse: The Tech Maverick Rippling Through Finance

As the cryptocurrency world entered the year 2020, Cointelegraph takes a look at the top 10 influencers in the cryptocurrency space.

Earlier this year, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse responded to controversy surrounding XRP movements by saying that

Ripple cannot control the price of its associated token any more than Bitcoin (BTC) whales control the price of the seminal cryptocurrency. Regarding Ripple’s relationship with XRP, he said, “In the XRP community, Ripple is the largest owner, and the point I have made is we’re the most interested party in the success of the XRP ecosystem.” He added that Ripple would never dump its XRP holdings into the market, as doing so is not in the firm’s best interests. Since taking the helm of the payments-focused fintech company in 2015, Garlinghouse has overseen its rapid expansion into new markets, the launch of new subsidiaries and affiliates, and defended Ripple in public controversies. 

Yahoo and a loathing for peanut butter 

Before joining Ripple in 2015, Garlinghouse held a number of prominent positions in the tech and fintech space. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School, Garlinghouse held positions at Yahoo, AOL and file-sharing site Hightail.  At Yahoo, Garlinghouse occupied several senior management positions, including the role of senior vice president, and in 2006, he authored the “Peanut Butter Manifesto,” which was subsequently published in the Wall Street Journal. In the manifesto, Garlinghouse called for a radical reorganization of Yahoo’s structure, likening small investments across myriad projects and departments to a layer of peanut butter spread thinly across a piece of bread. Garglinghouse wrote, “I hate peanut butter. We all should.”

After criticizing the lack of clarity and decisiveness at Yahoo, he called for a shakeup that would streamline and decentralize various aspects of the firm. In 2012, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer gave a nod to the manifesto with the “PB&J program,” which sought to eliminate needless bureaucracy within the firm, such as mandatory staff orientation at the gym.  Garlinghouse then moved to AOL, which he reportedly left because — like Yahoo — the firm spread its resources too thin across multiple projects. At Hightail, he served as CEO but stepped down in 2014, reportedly due to differences in opinion with the board of directors regarding several buyout offers that the company had received. His distaste for organizational cruft and preference for laser-focused mission would transfer and serve him well at Ripple. 

Expanding Ripple’s network and clientele 

In November 2016, Chris Larsen, then CEO of Ripple, stepped down from the role to be replaced by Garlinghouse. At the time, the new CEO stated that Ripple could stake its place in the world by making financial services more

accessible worldwide:

“I think there are a lot of interesting companies, but there aren’t that many companies that can take their little dent in the universe. […] I think what Ripple is doing is not just, hey, how do we enable banks — it’s a broader effort in how can you enable an Internet of Things and connected devices that are economic actors to pass a couple pennies. Today we fundamentally can’t do that in an efficient way unless I’m handing you 2 pennies. Whether you talk about Africa, or underbanked communities, these are all examples where Ripple can change the way society works.”

Under Garlinghouse’s leadership, Ripple has expanded rapidly, signing on a number of partners worldwide. As of October 2019, Ripple had a reported 168 customers comprised of 118 banks, 16 remittance/money transfer firms, seven foreign exchange companies, two cryptocurrency exchanges, 11 payments providers, six software and technology firms, and eight others, including international auditing and professional services giant Deloitte. Ripple entered into a number of important partnerships with major financial service firms in 2019 alone. In June, Ripple announced that it signed a strategic partnership with money transmission network MoneyGram, wherein MoneyGram would be able to draw up to $50 million dollars from Ripple in exchange for equity.

MoneyGram then said that it would use Ripple’s xRapid product, which allows money to be sent in one currency and instantly settled in another, using XRP tokens as a vehicle for quicker cross-border transfers. In October, the third-largest financial services technology firm in the world, Finastra, partnered with Ripple in order to give its customers — which include 48 of the top 50 banks worldwide — access to the RippleNet blockchain network. PNC Treasury Management, the eighth-largest bank in the United States, started using RippleNet in August 2019 for cross-border payments. 

Defending Ripple from controversy 

While Ripple has expanded rapidly under Garlinghouse’s leadership, the firm has also become a target for some in the cryptocurrency community, who claim that it is not sufficiently decentralized and misrepresents its relationship with the XRP token. In October 2019, some commentators in the cryptocurrency space pointed out an apparent contradiction regarding some of Garlinghouse’s comments on Ripple’s relationship to the XRP token.

The CEO had said:

“One really important distinction is, the XRP ledger existed before Ripple the company. Certainly we are an interested party in the success of the XRP ledger, for sure — we own a lot of XRP. But it’s a little bit like saying, Exxon owns a lot of oil. That doesn’t make oil a security.”

However, co-founder and Castle Island Ventures partner Nic Carter said that this view contradicted claims from a fall 2018 article by attorney Preston Byrne, which Carter considers the authoritative source regarding the nature of XRP. Byrne argued that XRP was created after Ripple formed in 2012,

stating that:

“No ‘Official Ledger’ containing XRP or any transactions on the ledger which is today used as ‘XRP’ existed before Ripple Labs, Inc. (initially named Newcoin Inc.) was incorporated on 19 September 2012.”

Garlinghouse, for his part, said that the firm’s transparency had “opened us up for attack.” In an October interview with Morgan Creek Digital Assets co-founder Anthony Pompliano, the CEO dismissed allegations that Ripple would dump its XRP holdings onto the market in order to drop the price. Garlinghouse repeated the refrain that Ripple is the most interested party in the success of the token, stating that XRP is the “only example of crypto and blockchain being used at scale, period.” Despite criticisms that Ripple controls and could manipulate the XRP price, Garlinghouse has positioned the firm as the major token holder going forward. Indeed, he noted that Ripple would not respond well to other large investors owning significant proportions of the XRP supply. In an interview on CNN last week,

the CEO said:

“There are times when we work with institutional investors or might say, ‘Hey, we want to buy $10 million of XRP,’ and we would have lock-ups to prevent them from dumping on the market.”

Garlinghouse did note that the proposed mechanism was strictly hypothetical and would be based on existing volumes on the market.

Bullish on Bitcoin and XRP, bearish on bullshit

In the summer of 2019, Garlinghouse — like many in the cryptocurrency space — likened Bitcoin to a digital version of gold insofar as it can be used as a store of value in uncertain economic climates. He further stated that Bitcoin and XRP are not competing digital currencies, but that XRP was a “bridge currency” that allows efficient fiat-to-fiat transfers. While noting that it was cheaper and faster to transact with XRP, Garlinghouse said that he did not think that meant Bitcoin would fail,


“I own Bitcoin, I’m long on Bitcoin. I think Bitcoin is a store of value and people hold it.”

While the exec remains positive regarding Bitcoin and XRP, he has derided other projects within the space in 2019, stating that there is “a lot of bullshit in blockchain and crypto market” that makes it difficult to discern truly good projects. In November of last year, Garlinghouse predicted that the value of 99% of digital assets would eventually sink to zero. During an interview with Bloomberg, he said that there are currently too many cryptocurrency projects and added that only 1% will likely remain in the market. Indeed, according to data from Coin360, there are currently thousands of different digital assets in the world, the number of which — per Garlinghouse — is growing because of the hype surrounding the cryptocurrency space. He further argued that very few of these tokens can actually meet real customer needs,


“Anytime there is a new market, there are a lot of people that run into that market and try to show that they can solve a problem, they can deliver a customer need.”

Garlinghouse has also expressed doubts regarding cryptocurrency projects from non-crypto businesses like American financial giant JPMorgan and Facebook.  In February 2019, Garlinghouse said that JPMorgan’s JPM Coin project misses

the point of cryptocurrency:

“Introducing a closed network today is like launching AOL after Netscape’s IPO. Two years later, and bank coins still aren’t the answer.”

Regarding Facebook’s proposed Libra stablecoin, Garlinghouse said that he does not think regulators will give the project the green light anytime in the near future, stating in October, “I would bet that Libra… let’s say, by the end of 2022, I think Libra will not have launched.” Garlinghouse further hinted that Facebook’s reputation with regulators may have given lawmakers a poor impression of the project, saying, “I think maybe it would have been better received if Facebook had not been the point of the arrow.”

Looking ahead

As Ripple moves into the future, Garlinghouse appears to remain confident that blockchain technology and firms like Ripple will change the payments landscape to make finance more accessible, faster and cheaper for users. He also noted that these groundbreaking technologies will be considered a threat by many in the traditional finance space, especially by firms that rely on the trust-building intermediary elements of the payment infrastructure to make profits. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Garlinghouse said that Citibank makes $8 billion a year in profits from various gatekeeping activities within financial transactions,


“It’s going to come down to truly an internet — we have an internet of information — to an internet of value that allows value to move the way that information moves today. Why can’t I use email-like transactions to enable a penny to transact? That’s where we’re going and I think this internet of value will change a lot of different industries.”

Article Produced By
Aaron Wood

Aaron Wood is an editor at Cointelegraph, with a background in energy and economics. He keeps an eye on Blockchain's applications in building smarter and more equitable energy access globally.


Five Years of Ethereum: From a Teenage Dream to a 38B Blockchain

Five Years of Ethereum: From a Teenage Dream to a $38B Blockchain

How far has the Ethereum blockchain come in the five years since its inception? We explore key developments, changes and challenges.

It would seem that five years is a relatively short time for an information technology company,

but Ethereum has made colossal progress during this time, growing from its own initial coin offering project to the largest blockchain platform, running about 2,000 decentralized applications. Today, the market capitalization of its native cryptocurrency, Ether (ETH), is worth $38 billion — larger than Ford Motor Company and the popular app Snapchat. Not only that, but the value of Ether has seen a 121-fold increase over the period of the network’s existence. While the whole team is preparing for the transition to the proof-of-stake consensus algorithm ahead of the upcoming Berlin upgrade, Cointelegraph recalls the striking changes that have occurred to the platform over the five years since its launch, and the failures that have only toughened its resolve.

2013/2014: An idea to an $18 million crowdsale 

Ethereum was invented by Vitalik Buterin, a Canadian programmer of Russian descent. It was 2013, and Buterin was just an 18-year-old teenager, but his idea found a lively response in the global blockchain community. Later, Gavin Wood, a British computer programmer, proved the possibility of creating the system invented by Buterin and described the basic principles of its operation in the Ethereum “Yellow Paper.” Together with the first members of the Ethereum team, they launched a crowdsale and raised $18 million for the project’s development.

2015: Network launch and exchange listing

The first version of the Ethereum cryptocurrency protocol, called Frontier, was launched on July 30, 2015. But the security level the system boasted back then was far from what Ethereum is today. The launch of Frontier marked an important milestone in the history of the network, after which the developers immediately started working with smart contracts and creating DApps on the real blockchain. The first existing historical record of Ether’s price is from Aug. 7, 2015, when ETH was added to the Kraken crypto exchange at $2.77 per coin. Over its first three days of trading, its price dropped to a demeaning $0.68, most likely under the influence of rapid sales by early investors. In the second half of the year, droves of crypto enthusiasts rushed to learn what they could about Ethereum. A particularly significant contribution to its popularization was made by the DEVCON-1 developer conference, which was held from Nov. 9 to 13. The event sparked intense discussions on the development of Ethereum, with the participation of representatives from IBM, Microsoft and UBS.

2016: The DAO, hackers and Ethereum split

At the beginning of 2016, the price of Ether rose rapidly, fueled by news of the upcoming launch of a network protocol with a more stable version: Homestead. As a result, ETH reached its first serious high of $15 per coin on March 13, with the platform’s market cap exceeding the boastful $1 billion mark. On March 14, Homestead went live, which made its blockchain officially secure through new protocols and network changes (EIP-2, EIP-7 and EIP-8), making future updates possible. More specifically, the network protection became based on mining, which was planned only for the initial stage of development with subsequent transition to PoS with a hybrid model at an intermediate stage. At the same time, exuberant requirements for video memory acted as protection against the use of ASIC miners. The next event, which brought the price of Ether to its highest value that year — $21 — was the widespread media coverage of the dizzying success of The DAO project, which raised more than 12 million ETH ($150 million at the time ) in May. The DAO — an acronym for decentralized autonomous organization — was one of the pioneers of the upcoming ICO era and chose Ethereum as its launchpad to raise investments.

However, on June 16, using a vulnerability in The DAO’s code, unknown hackers stole about $60 million in ETH from the project. News of the attack sliced the price of ETH in half to $11. Buterin offered to return the stolen funds by conducting a hard fork to restore the network to its pre-attack state. Following a controversial hard fork held on July 20, the network split into two: Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. On Sept. 22, Ethereum suffered another blow: The network was subjected to a distributed denial-of-service attack, significantly slowing its operations. The news became an impetus for the beginning of a local downtrend in the curbed price, which began consolidating in the $7–$9 range by the end of the year. Two unplanned hard forks were then carried out to improve the resilience of the network and rectify the consequences of the DDoS attack.

2017: ICO boom 

Ether’s price experienced a meteoric rise at the start of 2017 as the cryptocurrency was added to the eToro platform on Feb. 23. Around the same time, the number of unconfirmed transactions on the Bitcoin network had reached 200,000, causing an increasing number of crypto investors and miners to opt for Ether as an alternative investment. On May 6, the price of ETH set a new bar of $95 per coin. The popularity of Ethereum grew rapidly in the crypto community and among DApp developers. The initial coin offering hype also contributed to the increased demand for Ether, as thousands of projects opted to fundraise in ETH. By Sept. 1, the price of Ethereum had almost reached a whopping $400, but news of China banning ICOs and crypto trading quickly slashed it to nearly $220. The price gradually recovered by mid-October after the release of the Byzantium network upgrade, which took place on Sept. 18. Along with the growth of the ICO bubble, in which Ether was still the main means of payment, ETH reached nearly $800 by the end of the year.

2018: Ethereum at $1,400 and a bearish trend

The beginning of 2018 turned out to be even more successful for Ethereum than the previous one. On Jan. 13, the price of Ether reached its all-time high of around $1,400. But the ICO rush, which had triggered the rapid growth of Ethereum’s price in 2017, came to an end. Throughout 2018, its echoes played a cruel joke on Ether as thousands of ICO projects sold their savings, meaning that ETH dropped even faster than the rest of the market. In early September, news of the Constantinople hard fork — expected in November — slowed the drop in the price and injected positive sentiment into the community. However, the network upgrade was delayed. Influenced by inter-bearish sentiments on the crypto market and pending updates, the price fell to $85, dropping from the second-largest to the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization behind XRP.

2019: Technical works, update delays and popularity of DAOs

Many aspects spiraled out of the control of developers over the year as they were actively engaged in conducting technical work on the network. Meanwhile, the community lost count of the number of upgrades carried out. In January, the technical roadmap gained clarity as difficult engineering problems were solved and the Ethereum development community continued to grow. DeFi became the largest sector within Ethereum, and the market saw early signs of growth in gaming and decentralized autonomous organizations. At the beginning of 2019, the only DeFi protocol with significant funds was MakerDAO, which had a total of 1.86 million ETH ($260.4 million at the time). The playing field became much more diverse by the end of the year when new participants rushed into the industry.

On Feb. 28, the Constantinople hard fork took place on the Ethereum network, which prepared it for the transition to the Casper PoS protocol and the abolition of the previous mining model. However, the eighth upgrade, called Istanbul — which initially had been scheduled for Dec. 4 — was delayed and activated on the Ethereum mainnet on Dec. 8.  Among the main objectives of Istanbul were ensuring the compatibility of the Ethereum blockchain with the anonymous Zcash (ZEC) cryptocurrency and increasing the scalability of the network through SNARKs and STARKs zero-knowledge-proof protocols. In addition, the update made it difficult to carry out denial-of-service attacks on the network due to the change in the cost of gas needed for launching operating codes.

The progress of Ethereum 2.0 laid the foundation for the world’s largest corporations to start using the Ethereum blockchain. In July, Samsung released a software kit for Ethereum developers, six months after it was revealed that the development of its new phone included a built-in Ethereum wallet. Another large partnership involved internet browser Opera, which had launched an Ethereum-supported Android wallet at the end of 2018 and announced a built-in Ethereum wallet for iOS users in early 2019. Meanwhile, Microsoft continued its involvement with the Ethereum ecosystem. In May, the company released the Azure Blockchain Development Kit to support Ethereum development. In October, it backed a tokenized incentive system from the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance for use within enterprise consortiums. And in November, it launched Azure Blockchain Tokens, a service that lets enterprises issue their own tokens on Ethereum.

2020: The DeFi boom and PoS 

In the first half of 2020, Ethereum — famous for its numerous conferences and meetups — was forced to postpone all activity due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, the team managed to make significant progress in solving the scalability issue, with the launch of the final Ethereum 2.0 testnet scheduled for Aug. 4. The developers hope that once the upgrade is complete, the Ethereum network will become faster, cheaper and more scalable without compromising decentralization and network flexibility. Meanwhile, the blockchain network continues to grow, as activity in the decentralized finance market has increased significantly. According to, the daily volume of value transferred via DeFi applications reached an all-time high of $1.8 billion on July 2. During the second quarter, a record $4.9 billion was moved through DeFi applications — a 67% growth when compared with the previous quarter — while the number of active users of Ethereum applications reached 1,258,527, an increase of 97%.

Article Produced By
Julia Magas

Julia is a researcher/journalist who covers the latest trends in finance and technology. Since 2013, she has been researching the cryptocurrency market and coordinating international conferences. Julia’s works are featured by popular fintech magazines, including Investing, SeekingAlpha and Bitcoinist, where she interviewed representatives from MIT, Indeed, Ethereum and more. She's trading some stocks and digital currencies for experimental purposes and hunting for the most interesting, cutting-edge technologies' use cases in investing and finance.


Trump urged US Treasury Secretary to hunt Bitcoin

Trump urged US Treasury Secretary to “hunt” Bitcoin

At the time, according to John Bolton’s memoir, Donald Trump asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to restrict the trading and sale of the Bitcoin internet currency.

Mnuchin should not be demoted to a “trading negotiator” of the cryptocurrency, the US President is said to have told him. Rather, he should “track” Bitcoin for fraud. The Trump administration, to which Bolton belonged at the time, has always been skeptical about cryptocurrencies. New guidelines for trading and selling digital currencies were issued earlier this year. Steven Mnuchin said in February 2020 that they want to make sure that technology continues to advance in his country. On the other hand, the coins should not be used like Swiss secret number bank accounts.

Article Produced By
 Bitcoin News source since 2012

Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to consumer protections. holds several Cryptocurrencies, and this information does NOT constitute investment advice or an offer to invest. Everything on this website can be seen as Advertisment and most comes from Press Releases, is is not responsible for any of the content of or from external sites and feeds. Sponsored posts are always flagged as this, guest posts, guest articles and PRs are most time but NOT always flagged as this. Expert opinions and Price predictions are not supported by us and comes up from 3th part websites.


Just another WordPress site