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No, Bitcoin is not ‘technobabble’

While crypto critics and supporters may argue about Bitcoin, they both agree on one thing: It is here to stay.

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Many years ago, I ran hedge funds on Wall Street. With a long pause for philanthropic and government work, I eventually found my way to blockchain, and now, I spend my days writing about decentralized finance versus centralized finance. Some of my old Wall Street friends still run a lot of money in hedge funds, and back in 2018, they would tease me and ask if I was still “doing my crypto thing.” Even today, some of them still think that Bitcoin (BTC) is a Ponzi scheme. One of my dearest friends from my past days in finance recently sent me Nobel Prize winner and economist Paul Krugman’s opinion column on Bitcoin in the New York Times, which further reinforces the argument of the fake world of crypto. So, I took up the challenge to answer Paul’s claims.

It is clear that Krugman doesn’t think highly of cryptocurrencies. It was clear in 2013 with his initial piece in the New York Times, titled “Bitcoin is Evil” (I sure hope he has not been short this entire time).

But actually, I can see where he is coming from, and to be honest, I can think of so many aspects in which cryptocurrencies need to improve. Having said that, repeating the same old tired cliches such as “Bitcoin is only good for illegal activities” or “There is no real use for Bitcoin in real life” does not cut it anymore in 2021. Respectfully, I will say that I was hoping for more from a Nobel laureate in economics.

The progress made

Krugman starts off by comparing Bitcoin’s so-called lack of progress during the past 12 years — since its inception — with other technologies, such as Venmo, the iPad or Zoom that have thrived and become major parts of our lives.

Well, let’s begin by examining Bitcoin’s public exposure. What started out as an ultra-niche software (sorry, Satoshi), grew into a $1 trillion asset class (at its peak) as the graph below shows — faster than any other asset — and has become one of the hottest research topics in leading central and commercial banks, as well as in tech companies all around the world. Not to mention, it has become the topic of multiple United States Senate (and other parliamentary) hearings concerning its regulation and economic impact.

What’s even more interesting is that Krugman completely ignores the fact that this progress has occurred despite multiple governments’ repeated attempts to fight Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

In my opinion, the resilience of a government’s sovereignty can be measured in two major factors: its national security and its economy. What could be a better metric of economic resilience than a currency? In the past, Krugman has claimed that “fiat money […] is backed by men with guns,” which may explain why in this article he ignores the fact that most governments perceive cryptocurrencies as a direct threat to their own currency, and as a result, they try to combat them. Some try to ban crypto, while others refrain from establishing a clear regulatory framework. This reason alone could explain why cryptocurrencies still have yet to become part of our everyday life.

Related: Authorities are looking to close the gap on unhosted wallets

Some use cases of blockchain technology

Krugman goes on with the weak argument that he has never heard a clear answer for the simple question: What is cryptocurrency and/or blockchain good for?

First, I am puzzled by this oxymoron because cryptocurrency is a use case of blockchain, and also because Satoshi gave a very clear answer in 2008 to this question: Bitcoin is here to replace central bank fiat money. I am sure Krugman has had the chance to discuss this with the most knowledgeable, intelligent blockchain and crypto experts out there.

I will admit that other use cases for blockchain (other than finance) are not easy to come by, and it could have been that he was not convinced by the potential that perfect transparency and inclusion, provided by blockchain, could have on better supply chain management, financial and aid funds control, fighting corruption through cleaner public procurement platforms, eliminating elite capture, fighting the proliferation of minors’ abusive imagery, and more. Yet, I cannot comprehend how Krugman can overlook cryptocurrencies’ impact on the people living under crumbling economies, such as in Venezuela, or their potential to save billions of dollars in migrants’ remittance fees.

Instead, Krugman suggests that cryptocurrencies may just be the most current Ponzi scheme, spiced with “technobabble” and “libertarian derp,” while adding in the same breath that gold is too. In fact, Krugman sees the two as similar: “Gold, after all, suffers from pretty much the same problems as Bitcoin.” In many circles, Bitcoin is referred to as “digital gold.” Funnily enough, I cannot think of a better supporting argument that crypto believers could have hoped for, other than Krugman’s quote. He later glorifies gold’s “mystique” and “semi-sacred status,” claiming that cryptocurrencies may never get to that. Maybe he is right; however, he does not explain how he reached this interesting conclusion. In essence, this argument is the equivalent of knowing for a fact that chocolate ice cream tastes better than vanilla.

Related: Did Bitcoin prove itself to be a reliable store of value in 2020? Experts answer

Bitcoin and illegal activities

Last but not least, I want to address Krugman and others’ repeated argument that Bitcoin is closely associated with illegal activities, and whose Pavlovian conditioning to cryptocurrencies summons ransomware, drug trafficking and money laundering.

Yes, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been, and still are, used by bad actors to finance their illegal activities. But by the way, so are cash, gold and bank accounts. In another piece, I explain how Bitcoin actually is better suited than fiat to help law enforcement prevent illegal financial activities.

Allow me to go out on a limb and say: Most owners or users of cryptocurrencies are not criminals. They are law-abiding citizens, wherever on the globe they may be. It is the lack of clear regulations that exacerbates issues. Not only does the lack of regulation fail to block all the legal loopholes that bad actors exploit, but it also prevents most users from having clear guidance as to what they can and cannot do, thus putting everybody in the same bucket as alleged criminals. In my opinion, regulators must react faster and regulate crypto markets sooner rather than later. Some work hard to reach that goal, but most of them are not doing enough.

Conclusion

While Krugman and I hold differing views on Bitcoin, blockchain and their value to the world, we do agree on one thing: They are here to stay. The more these topics are discussed and shared regardless of different opinions, the more people are exposed to the matter, learn about it and form their independent opinions.

This is how concepts evolve. Actually, the fact that such a highly respected Nobel Prize recipient and economist wrote an opinion column about Bitcoin in one of the world’s most popular newspapers — twice already — proves the impact that cryptocurrencies have on our lives, and may have on our future. For us true believers, the potential impact and good that this technology can create in the future is reason enough to hold.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Netta Korin is a co-founder of Orbs and Hexa Foundation. Prior to Orbs, Netta served as senior adviser to Gen. Mordechai Hod on special projects in the Israeli Ministry of Defense, and as senior adviser to Deputy Minister for Diplomacy Michael Oren in the Prime Minister’s Office. Netta began her career on Wall Street as an investment banker, and later became a hedge fund manager. She has extensive experience in philanthropy, and for over 15 years has served on multiple boards in Israel and America, holding high-level positions in executive committees.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/no-bitcoin-is-not-technobabble

Blockchain

VanEck Bitcoin ETF: SEC delays decision and additionally seeks public comment

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has a history of delaying the approval of Bitcoin ETFs. The regulatory hurdles and the indefinite rejections in the past have dented the hopes of a quick SEC

The post VanEck Bitcoin ETF: SEC delays decision and additionally seeks public comment appeared first on AMBCrypto.

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The US Securities and Exchange Commission has a history of delaying the approval of Bitcoin ETFs. The regulatory hurdles and the indefinite rejections in the past have dented the hopes of a quick SEC approval. Crypto-enthusiasts have already been frustrated by the SEC’s reluctance to sign off on an ETF.

In what is the most recent development, the agency further delayed passing its judgment on the VanEck Bitcoin Trust. 

Usually, the SEC delivers a decision on a particular application within 45-day windows. However, to date, the agency has used the upper cap, 240 days, to review most of the Bitcoin ETF applications and has ended up rejecting them. It should be noted that this is the second time that the regulatory body has extended its review period by 45 days for VanEck’s ETF. Previously, in April, the SEC stated that it needed “sufficient time” to evaluate the aforementioned proposal.

Additionally, the SEC has asked for public comment on VanEck’s application. Interested parties need to answer questions with relevant data to substantiate their views on how vulnerable the ETF would be to “market manipulation” and whether or not the regulatory ecosystem has “changed” since 2016. Other questions require the commentators to shed light on their views about the “transparency” of Bitcoin and their standpoint on the “size and regulation” of CME’s Bitcoin futures contracts. 

The SEC has time and again highlighted its concerns over fraud and manipulation in the BTC markets. Additionally, since the agency doesn’t have any control over exchanges, the regulators in the US feel that their “investor protection” obligation gets obstructed.  

However, the community presumed that the regulatory body would be more receptive to the crypto space under the novel leadership of Gary Gensler, but this decision has not sent out the message the community was expecting. However, Galaxy Digital’s exec, Mike Novogratz had recently stated that, in his opinion, ETFs would go live either by the fourth quarter this year or the first quarter next year. Now, since the brakes have already been applied, the approval is likely to delay itself even further. 


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/vaneck-bitcoin-etf-sec-delays-decision-and-additionally-seeks-public-comment

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Blockchain

Crypto fintech Centbee selected for regulatory sandbox

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YouTube has banned ads about gambling, alcohol, politics, and prescription drugs from its masthead, the website’s most prominent advertisement slot. Axios reported the ban…

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/06/crypto-fintech-centbee-selected-for-regulatory-sandbox/

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Blockchain

Crypto fintech Centbee selected for regulatory sandbox

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YouTube has banned ads about gambling, alcohol, politics, and prescription drugs from its masthead, the website’s most prominent advertisement slot. Axios reported the ban…

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/06/crypto-fintech-centbee-selected-for-regulatory-sandbox/

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Blockchain

Finnovex Southern Africa 2021 to be Held on July 27, 28

Exibex organises the 2nd Annual Edition of Finnovex Southern Africa and 7th Edition from the Finnovex Global Series to examine how technology is Changing the Delivery of Banking and Financial Services. It is imperative to invest in a digital future and develop new technological solutions in data, advanced analytics, and digital and new delivery platforms. … Continued

The post Finnovex Southern Africa 2021 to be Held on July 27, 28 appeared first on BeInCrypto.

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Exibex organises the 2nd Annual Edition of Finnovex Southern Africa and 7th Edition from the Finnovex Global Series to examine how technology is Changing the Delivery of Banking and Financial Services.

Sponsored
Sponsored

It is imperative to invest in a digital future and develop new technological solutions in data, advanced analytics, and digital and new delivery platforms. It is also important that fintech and banks collaborate to support businesses and aid people to remain safe, healthy, productive, and connected in the face of COVID-19 and beyond.

The Summit will be held on July 27-282021 and it will hostCXOs, Senior Vice Presidents, Vice Presidents, Directors, and Heads of departments from the Banking and FI industry involved in:

Sponsored
Sponsored

Mobile Banking; Digital Transformation; Digital Banking; Blockchain; Cyber & Cloud Security; Islamic Banking; Fintech; Strategy & Operations; Retail Banking; R&D Innovation; Risk & compliance Management; Product Development; Cryptocurrency; Customer Experience; IT; Big Data Analytics; Open Banking (API) and Innovation.

The event, being organised by Exibexwill be held virtually. Finnovex Southern Africa is a part of the Finnovex Global Series.

This year’s edition is themed “Adapting Reinvention to Rapidly Changed World”.

Anticipate:

➤ 25+ Trail Blazer Speakers

➤ 250+ Delegates

➤ 4+ Panel Discussions

➤ 8+ Networking Hours

➤ 10+ Keynote Sessions

Here are the attendee benefits:

Meet new, creative and inspired people, and form strategies you need to grow. Network, Share ideas and learn new strategies with over 250 of the sharpest minds in banking and financial services.

✓ Learn how to evaluate, deploy, use, and customize the financial technologies to improve business processes

✓ Hear first-hand from customers on the challenges they face across the entire value chain of financial processes

✓ Take away lessons learned, valuable case studies and key insights from peers to apply within your operations

✓ Meet with Fintech solution management, development, support and consulting experts

✓ Fully evaluate and understand how the comprehensive suite of applications can optimize your business process

✓ Visit the showcase centres and demos to better understand the latest solutions in the market that can help your business

Finnovex is dedicated to examining the Future of Financial Services on how disruptive innovations are reshaping the way they are structured, provisioned and consumed.

The Finnovex Global series, which is organized byExibex, examines the Future of Financial Services and how disruptive innovations are reshaping the way they are structured, provisioned, and consumed.

The Finnovex series of Summits highlights thought leadership on cutting-edge issues with long-term implications to the industry and lays the foundation for multi-stakeholder dialogues that explore the potential of these innovations to transform the financial ecosystem as well as the risks and opportunities that could emerge from shifts in the way financial services are designed, delivered and used in the future.

For more information, visit –https://finnovex.com/

If you would like to sponsor or be our event partner, please send us an email info@exibex.com

About Exibex:

Exibex is a market leader in knowledge-based conferences, managed events and business consulting. The team provides innovative and engaging networking platforms to create and engage C-level communities for global corporations. Our platforms enable acceleration of both individual, and organisational performance, to benefit global business leaders. We comprehend the challenges organisations face in this volatile and uncertain market, so we look to help your core revenue generation teams by building a complete 360-degree package tailored to your business strategies, goals and needs.

For more information:

TolulopeFolaranmi| Regional Marketing Manager –Exibex
E:Tolulope@exibex.com

Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/finnovex-southern-africa-2021-to-be-held-on-july-27-28/

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