Dallas Mavericks CTO: Crypto Payment Option Still ‘A Cottage Industry’

The Dallas Mavericks pro basketball team’s cryptocurrency payment option has not yet caught on with the majority of fans, the team’s chief technical officer said in a recent interview.

As sports business-focused media outlet Front Office Sports reported on Nov. 14, Mavericks CTO David Herr said that the team wants to provide its fans with a more flexible way to purchase tickets and merchandise, thus enabling them to pay with cryptocurrencies. However, Herr pointed out that the demand for such an option is still very low, saying:

“[Users] are pretty low, I don’t want to say infancy, but it’s a select group of people using it […] We did some research, heard some discussions and conversations and one comment was it’s still complicated to 99% of the population. Until it’s more widely accepted, it’s a cottage industry or a neat way to pay.”

As previously reported, the Mavericks became the second NBA team to accept Bitcoin (BTC) as a means of payment for match tickets and merchandise in mid-August. The team uses cryptocurrency payment processor BitPay to process their fans’ Bitcoin payments.

Herr said that the novelty of paying in cryptocurrency was part of the decision to introduce the payment option, stating, “We want to provide cool things for the fans and crypto was in response to some requests we’ve had.”

Sports adopting crypto and blockchain

Professional sports teams in various leagues and sports across the world have begun to dabble in blockchain and cryptocurrencies. In mid-October, the Sacramento Kings — the first NBA basketball team to adopt cryptocurrencies — partnered with creator of Ethereum-based Kaiju toys, CryptoKaiju, to launch crypto-collectibles. The collaboration followed the news that the team was launching a blockchain-powered rewards program within its gaming app Call the Shot.

In Germany, FC Bayern Munich became the latest football club to announce blockchain-based merchandise for fans, following a partnership with Stryking Entertainment to produce digital collectibles of its players.

By
Ana Alexandre

German Entrepreneur Claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, Co-founder of Bitcoin

The magic title of Satoshi Nakamoto—the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, seems to draw claimants from everywhere with the latest being a German entrepreneur and former DJ popularly known as “Jorg Molt.”

Molt claims he is the real Nakamoto, a co-creator of Bitcoin, and owns 250,000 BTC. He revealed this to attendees of a crypto industry event in Las Vegas USA, last week.

The Power in ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’

The name Satoshi Nakamoto is quite powerful. The pen name defines the coder (or a group of coders) that created Bitcoin—a decentralized network that remains revolutionary to-date. The network created by Nakamoto provides a transaction settlement layer, which is ultra-secure and functions as non-sovereign digital money.

Since it launched nearly 11 years ago, Bitcoin has removed the barriers that traditional mechanisms failed to jump over. According to estimates from research groups in the industry, those who claim to be Nakamoto own big chunks of coins valued at more than USD$5 billion.

However, while many have come out to claim the ownership of the name, they have fallen off the map and failed to prove that they are the creator or co-creator of the pioneer cryptocurrency. All the same, people still emerge claiming to be the real Nakamoto.

“Bitcoin co-founder” Jorg Molt

Last week, the Vegas Blockchain Week took place in Las Vegas USA, drawing industry members bearing all sorts of professional and entrepreneurial tags.

In attendance was also Jorg Molt, the self-proclaimed Bitcoin co-founder. Both Molt’s Twitter Handle and his biography link to Bitcoin. The handle is “@bitcoin_cofound” while the biography reads “co-founder of Bitcoin.” Besides, Molt claims to own 250,000 BTC, which is equivalent to $2.3 billion according to the current market price.

For the most part of the conference, Molt went under the radar but his statement left an array of criticism from various quarters. A famous crypto commentator Kenneth Bosak posted a videoterming Molt a “scammer.” Another prominent Bitcoin educator Andreas Antonopoulos alsocondemned Molt terming his sentiments “A LIE.”

Dutch Central Bank: World Will Need Gold if Entire System Collapses

Gold will rescue the economy from “collapse”

In comments which have caught critics of fiat by surprise, the Dutch Central Bank, known as De Nederlandse Bank (DNB), said gold would be indispensable in the event of a fiat meltdown.

Retweeted on social media on Oct. 13, a statement from the bank’s website describes gold as “the trust anchor for the financial system.”

“If the entire system collapses, the gold stock provides a collateral to start over. Gold gives confidence in the power of the central bank’s balance sheet. That gives a safe feeling,” it continues.

Sound arguments

While it is known that central banks have begun buying up gold since the 2008 financial crisis, it is the DNB’s phrasing that has excited Bitcoin (BTC) proponents in particular.

As a form of sound money with the highest stock-to-flow ratio of any commodity, gold previously ensured the sound functioning of economies before governments uncoupled their national currencies from its backing over the last century.

Since then, as Saifedean Ammous noted in his popular book, “The Bitcoin Standard,” telltale signs of decay have plagued most countries’ economies.

Central banks, notionally in charge of fiat currencies, use interventions to manipulate their supply artificially, something which is all but impossible to do with gold due to its stock-to-flow ratio.

This championing of the precious metal’s qualities over paper money thus did not go unnoticed among Bitcoin figures.

“It’s an established central bank! Speaks to the times we live in,” Gabor Gurbacs, digital asset manager at VanEck, tweeted in response to DNB.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/dutch-central-bank-world-will-need-gold-if-entire-system-collapses

These Debit Cards Will Help You Spend Your BCH Anywhere

US Crypto Cards That Can Be Topped Up With BCH

The Bitpay card is the leading product of its kind in the U.S. and in fact one of the few remaining options for American crypto users after alternatives like Shift became unavailable. The card issued by the well-established crypto payment service provider supports bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin core (BTC). Those who have a Bitpay wallet can convert their coins into U.S. dollars and spend them with any retailer accepting Visa.

U.S. residents can now also use a crypto debit card from Blockcard. Once you sign up, add digital money, and pass KYC, you’ll be able to get a virtual Visa card. You can fund your account with a number of major cryptocurrencies such as BCH, BTC, ETH, and LTC, as well as several stablecoins. Note that the deposited amount is converted to ternio (TERN) which is then sold for fiat at the time the purchase takes place.

These Debit Cards Will Help You Spend Your BCH Anywhere

According to the platform’s website, you can also use your account to make payments via Apple Pay and Google Pay. The Blockcard crypto debit card is currently available in the United States only but the company plans to launch in over 30 European jurisdictions in the future.

Coinbase, America’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, is already offering a debit Visa in 19 countries in Europe. The plastic Coinbase Card is currently available to customers in Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and the U.K. The trading platform intends to add other markets.

The card can be employed for online and offline payments, at all retail locations that accept Visa. Holders can also withdraw fiat at ATMs around the world. The daily spending limit is £10,000 or €10,000, while cash withdrawals are limited to £500 or €500 respectively.

More Options Available to Europeans

BCH enthusiasts on the Old Continent definitely have more options at their disposal than Americans. At least two other card providers support bitcoin cash. 2gether is a financial platform providing services in the Eurozone, where it allows users to send and receive euros and cryptos from the same wallet app. It also issues a Visa debit card linked to its wallet. As its website explains, your money is managed by Pecunia Cards, an electronic money institution regulated under EU law and supervised by the Bank of Spain.

Bitnovo, another Spanish platform, buys and sells more than 20 major cryptocurrencies. Besides facilitating trades, it has a mobile application and issues debit cards that don’t require a bank account and can be topped up with BCH and other coins with large market cap. Its Bitcard can be used to pay bills online and purchase items in brick and mortar stores as well as withdraw fiat cash at ATMs. It’s currently available only to EU residents.

These Debit Cards Will Help You Spend Your BCH Anywhere

Europeans can also order a virtual or plastic debit card from Uquid. The cards are powered by bitcoin cash among other cryptocurrencies that can be converted to British pounds, euros and U.S. dollars. The platform promises unlimited online spending, ATM withdrawals and fee-free POS purchases. But to find out if the card is available in your country, you need to create an account first. It’s free of charge but you’ll have to pay for the physical card itself.

Other cards that support bitcoin cash and are available to customers elsewhere include Crypto.com’s MCO Visa. The company started shipping its cards to clients in Singapore last year and added BCH this past May. It plans to introduce the card in the U.S. through a partnership with a local affiliate and the New York-based Metropolitan Commercial Bank.

If you need to acquire bitcoin cash you can safely and securely purchase BCH and other cryptocurrencies at buy.Bitcoin.com. You can also freely trade your crypto assets on our noncustodial, peer-to-peer marketplace, local.Bitcoin.com, or register at our recentlylaunched premier trading platform, exchange.Bitcoin.com.

https://news.bitcoin.com/these-debit-cards-will-help-you-spend-your-bch-anywhere/

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There is limit of maximum 10 Bitcoin per transaction, minimum investment limit is 0.05. Please remember that transactions less than 0.05 BTC may not be credited . There is no transactions limits per user – you can make as many transactions as you want (every with maximum 10 BTC limit) – that gives you opportunity to invest more than 10 Bitcon in short period of time.

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‘Big Growth Opportunity’: Billionaire Builds USD 1Bn Crypto Venture

Elwood Asset Management, owned by billionaire investor Alan Howard, is building a new crypto investment platform for institutional investors, The Financial Times reported, citing CEO Bin Ren.

He sees this as a “very big growth opportunity” and hopes that the platform could eventually manage over USD 1bn of assets, the report said, adding that details of Elwood’s new fund have not been finalized.

However, it is already known that the system would design portfolios for each investor, based on their risk preferences, expected returns and the liquidity terms they want. It will also measure the potential correlation with other assets they own, according to the report. It noted that Elwood would then apply its own fee, in addition to the fees investors pay to access the underlying funds.

According to Ren, they have already identified up to 50 crypto hedge funds that “probably satisfy our due diligence”.

As reported in March, Elwood Asset Management, which also manages the personal crypto assets of Howard, is planning to launch a range of regulated investment products to lure more institutions into the crypto space.

The company plans “products that will cover the full spectrum of crypto-assets,” including direct exposure to major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. The company has already launched an exchange traded fund (ETF) that invests in companies involved with Blockchain technology, although they have so far avoided direct exposure to crypto assets.

Howard, who made sizable personal investments in cryptocurrencies in 2017, last year was one of the most high-profile investors participating in EOS’ “strategic investment round.” He has been ranked by Forbes as one of the 40 highest-earning hedge fund managers in the world, with a net worth of USD 1.35 billion (in 2018.)

The crypto hedge fund market:

(May 2019)

  • It is estimated that there are 150 active crypto hedge funds collectively managing USD 1 billion in assets (excluding crypto index funds and crypto venture capital funds)
  • Over 60% of these funds have less than USD 10 million in assets under management (AuM) with fewer than 10% managing over USD 50 million
  • The average crypto hedge fund AuM as of Q1 2019 is USD 21.9 million
  • The median AuM of funds as of Q1 2019 (USD 4.3m) is 3X that of the median AuM at fund launch (USD 1.2m -January 2018), which indicates that funds have been relatively successful at fundraising despite difficult market conditions
  • 52% of funds use an independent custodian, yet only 25% have independent directors on their board
  • The average size of fund team is 7-8 people
  • Typical crypto fund investment professionals have between 3-4 years of investment management experience
  • The majority of crypto hedge fund managers tend to be based in the United States (64%
  • The median fund returned -46% in 2018 vs a Bitcoin benchmark of -72%
  • The average fees for crypto hedge funds are 1.72% management fee and 23.5% performance fee

https://cryptonews.com/news/billionaire-investor-s-firm-builds-usd-1bn-crypto-venture-4550.htm

 

Crypto Exchange: Taiwan to Become Libra’s Chinese-language Capital

A Taiwanese cryptocurrency exchange wants to join Facebook’s Libra Association – and believes that Taiwan will become Libra’s de facto center of gravity in Chinese-speaking countries.

Per a report from the Taipei Times, Taipei-based exchange MaiCoin is hoping to be unveiled as a new association member by the year’s end. The exchange says it wants to operate a node on the Libra blockchain platform.

The news outlet quotes MaiCoin CEO Alex Liu as saying that even though companies like Binance (now headquartered in Malta, but originally based in Mainland China) are already vying for association membership, Taiwan would be a more logical location for a Libra node.

Liu noted that Facebook remains blocked in Mainland China, but is accessible in Taiwan, meaning that “Taiwanese firms have a better chance of being trusted” by Facebook.

Liu also opined that “Taiwanese exchanges are more likely to take the lead in Chinese-speaking regions” than companies with links to the mainland, and suggested that “money would not be a key factor for the Libra Association when choosing members.”

The CEO also claimed that Facebook said it was “confident of building a local user base of more than 20 million people.”

The company would possibly need to obtain regulatory approval from the country’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) should it wish to offer Libra-Taiwanese dollar pairings.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, the Winkelvoss twins, co-founders of the New York-based Gemini exchange, hinted that they may be prepared to put a long-running feud with Facebook behind them and join the Libra Association, which now has 28 members.

In an interview with CNN, the twins claimed they have “been in talks with Facebook about joining” the association.

Even if it does not join, the Gemini exchange could be set to work with the social network in some capacity.

CNN said that the Winklevoss twins are “waiting to learn more about the project before deciding whether to join the association or to list Libra on the Gemini exchange, which they said is another possibility.”

According to Tyler Winklevoss, “Facebook was a dispute, but it didn’t really define who we were as people.”

After going to Harvard University with Mark Zuckerberg, now Facebook CEO, the Winklevoss sued him for stealing their idea for a social network. The twins eventually won a USD 65 million settlement in cash and Facebook shares.

According to the Libra whitepaper, they hope to have approximately 100 members of the Libra Association by the target launch in the first half of 2020. Also, in order to join the Association companies are obliged to pay at least USD 10 million, which also gives a right to become one of validator nodes that “have the ultimate power” in making decisions about the project. However, in July, Facebook confirmed that until now all investments in Libra were made by Facebook only.

Huobi and Abra Keep Their Crypto Baskets as Coinbase Bundle Closed

Crypto baskets were the hot trend of the end of 2018, and multiple companies started offering their own crypto bundles. But we haven’t heard a lot about them since. Huobi, Abra and OKEx replied to our requests for comment.

As a reminder, crypto baskets come with a select suit of coins that are often weighted against the market, which means that the percentage of market dominance is also often the percentage that the coin makes up in a user’s bundle. It’s meant to make things easier for the users and lower the risks.

U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and a popular digital currency wallet and exchange Abra, announced their respective bundles within days of each other in 2018. Coinbase offered its Coinbase Bundle, with five tokens within the basket. However, as it was recently reported, Coinbase quietly removed its Bundle product less than a year since its launch. Their reason for discontinuing the bundles is unknown and the company haven’t replied to our request for comment.

What about the other baskets then?

Singapore-based crypto exchange Huobi was more open about their HB10 Index and its digital asset HB10, that help to invest in 10 coins.

Since its launch in June 2018, “we’ve reconstituted and rebalanced our HB10 product 5 times and it still works well”, a spokesperson of the company toldCryptonews.com, adding that just recently, their average daily trading volume was USDT 955,430.

“It’s been a good fit for certain types of client”, the spokesperson said, adding that ”Traders with very high risk appetite may prefer to trade in tokens that give them a chance at higher returns. However, HB10 it is popular amongst traders coming from traditional institutional markets because its overall volatility rate is small as compared with other single coins, its risk diversification effect is significant, and its overall price performance is stable.”

HB10’s initial net value upon its launch on June 11th, 2018 was USDT 0.9158, while its latest net value is USDT 0.6757. Its asset size stands at USDT 36,7 million, according to their website. The HB10 Index consists of BTC, BCH, BSV, EOS, HT, ETC, XRP, ETH, LTC, ADA.

Meanwhile, the aforementioned Abra, in cooperation with Bitwise Asset Management, provides Bitwise 10 (BIT10) index, which tracks the price of 10 coins. There is a USD 5 minimum investment, no restrictions on entry or exit timing, and no fees. Since June 6th though, Abra no longer offers BIT10 in the United States because of regulatory uncertainty in its market. Nonetheless, Abra told Cryptonews.com that it’s “seeing solid growth” for this product among the international users. “It’s a great option for retail investors because it gives them a simple way to get exposure to the crypto market and benefit from the diversification and rebalancing of index investing”, Abra explained without providing any numbers. Just a week ago, due to regulatory uncertainty, the crypto wallet was forced to make changes that impact its U.S. customers.

Bitwise 10 Large Cap Crypto Index is rebalanced each month and now includes BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, BCH, EOS, XMR, XLM, DASH, ADA.

Also last year, major crypto-to-crypto exchange OKEx introduced its two indices, OK05 and OK06. However, it serves as an index only in providing a benchmark of the market.