Sunday, July 25, 2021

Russia Continues Embrace of Crypto-Currencies – Develops ICO Guidelines

from Russia Insider:

Russia’s Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications (MinComSvyaz) has prepared guidelines for issuing digital tokens, commonly known as Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

Russia appears to be readying regulations of blockchain technology and Initial Coin Offerings, refraining from an outright ban, as the world’s biggest country by territory looks to benefit from the surging popularity of ICOs.

What’s more, Russia is positioning its national currency, the Ruble, to play an integral part in the ICO process.

An insider’s view on the gold versus cryptocurrency debate

by Simon Black, Sovereign Man:

In today’s podcast, I chatted with Silver Bullion’s founder Gregor Gregersen.

Silver Bullion is a precious metals storage company based in Singapore.

While here in Singapore, Gregor and I discussed why the gold versus Bitcoin debate is misguided. It’s not an either-or proposition.

Instead, with systemic risks in the financial system, the case for holding both precious metals and cryptocurrency makes sense.

And Silver Bullion offers solutions for both asset classes.

Click HERE to listen

Read More @

Cyprus, Crisis and Cryptos – Lessons from the Sea of Debt

by Doug Casey, International Man:

Almost ten years have passed since Satoshi Nakamoto unleashed his (or her… or their) revolutionary digital payment system onto the smoldering global financial landscape.

Nakamoto’s revolutionary system – and currency of the same name – rose from the ashes of that post-2008 crisis world as a direct challenge to a traditional banking system that had so abused the trust of the people.

Bra tycoon Michelle Mone selling £192m of Dubai apartments in bitcoin

by Isabelle Fraser, The Telegraph:

Michelle Mone made a splash when she entered the House of Lords. Offering fellow peers advice on underwear and nicknamed ‘Baroness Bra’, the lingerie tycoon was elevated by David Cameron while she served as his business tsar.

Now she is creating waves in the property industry with her new venture: selling homes in Dubai paid for using bitcoin.

This is the first property development ever to be sold using the virtual currency. Baroness Mone of Mayfair, who became a millionaire after founding the underwear brand Ultimo with her ex-husband, is launching it with her boyfriend, businessman Doug Barrowman.

It comes as the volatile cryptocurrency’s value has plummeted, with bitcoin down 20pc against the dollar in the last three days. Its price hit a record high of $4,700 last week, from around $1,000 at the start of this year.

They are selling $250m (£192m) of property in Dubai, which includes two 40-floor towers and a huge shopping mall, covering 2.4m sq ft.

The first 150 apartments in the complex will go on sale today using bitcoin. Buyers can also decorate their new home using Baroness Mone Interiors, her design service, paid for using the cryptocurrency.

A studio apartment in the complex starts from around 30 bitcoins, or $133,000, rising to 85 bitcoins for a two-bedroom flat. They come with access to a gym, swimming pool and residents’ lounge, and have views over the Dubai Hills and the city skyline.

 The 40-floor towers being sold by Michelle Mone and her boyfriend
The 40-floor towers being sold by Michelle Mone and her boyfriend

“I’ve been invested in cryptocurrency for some time, it’s not a new thing,” Mr Barrowman said. “We’re offering the opportunity for people who’ve made significant gains to invest it in land.”

His company, the Knox group, has done a deal with BitStamp to immediately convert the bitcoin payment into dollars so it has no exposure to the volatile cryptocurrency. The apartments are priced in dollars and converted into bitcoin for buyers. 

Read More @

10 Down-to-Earth Things Powell Said about Cryptocurrencies

by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:

Go find someone else to regulate them.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, during his testimony before the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, was asked by representatives Patrick McHenry (R, North Carolina) and Juan Carlos Vargas (D, California) about the Fed’s thinking on cryptocurrencies. Instead of pussyfooting around the issues, as Fed chairs used to do, he refreshingly stepped right into it, with both boots on the ground, so to speak.

The New Cash? Why Governments Don’t Like Cryptocurrency

by Steven Maxwell, Activist Post:

Cash is a problem for banks and governments. And, as we know, banks and governments are joined at the hip – each creating policies that strengthen the power of the other. It is no mystery, then, why we continue to see an acceleration in the “War on Cash.”  Cash creates a barrier to tracking and control and removes the ability to charge a wide range of processing fees and hidden charges. Cash impedes easy tax collection for governments, and creates the perception that governments are allowing crimes and corruption to occur without the ability to swiftly crack down on “evildoers.” Clearly, such an instrument would become the enemy to these institutions.

10 Reasons Why Central Banks Will Miss the Cryptocurrency Renaissance

by Eugéne Etsebeth, CoinDesk:

It’s a familiar trend, one that happened in communications (internet), and that is now playing out in energy (solar), manufacturing (3D printing) and finance (cryptocurrency) – power and control are moving into the hands of the individual and away from nation states.

This has huge implications for central banks, which today enable nation states to maintain their monopolies over the issuance of notes, coins and sovereign bonds. While communications and manufacturing are not their focus, cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) fall predominantly in the realm of central banks.

In these systems, central banks don’t issue legal tender. Rather, miners and algorithms now control the issuance of tokens – effectively, the money supply. Whereas previously banks were licensed to store, send and spend currency, now wallet providers and exchanges allow the same features.

The currency renaissance has arrived and central banks are studying cryptocurrencies, though some central banks are more open to change than others.

Singapore has been investigating the notion of using distributed ledger technologies to settle cross-border transactions in real time, and the Bank of England has experimented with Ripple. Central banks are even looking to build their own versions of central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC).

Even still, central banks are not well equipped to deal with the cryptocurrency renaissance.

In fact, there are 10 good reasons why most central banks will find cryptocurrencies insurmountable. Sure, a small number of forward-thinking (and acting) central banks will maintain monetary competiveness with the burgeoning cryptocurrencies and ICOs that have reared their decentralized heads.

Still, most will succumb to a mix of the following issues:

1. Workforce of the past

Central banks will need to attract and retain fresh talent that will enable them to deal with the new openness and transparency demands, as well as digital transformation and the increasingly complex global world.

2. Slow decision-making

Decision-making in central banks is like wading through treacle – decisions take months because of numerous layers of hierarchy.

Working groups need to compile voluminous and detailed documents that need to be reviewed and signed by all parties before they can proceed to the heads of departments or the deputy governors.

3. Too few technologists and innovators

Academics, economists and big-picture thinkers excel in central banks. The academics ponder on conceptual issues and the economists make interpretations from data, whereas the policy makers and regulators mull over the cause and effect of promulgating laws.

However, technologists are generally not part of the discussion when it comes to policy and economic decisions for currency.

4. Fear of experimentation

Although some central banks are engaging in experimentation, there is a fear of going from proof-of-concept to pilot phase.

This is natural, should a central bank make an error, it may turn out to be a reputation buster – and reputation is the cornerstone of central banks. There is also some trepidation that the early regulation of cryptocurrencies, and associated new technologies, may legitimize their adoption.

5. Territorial and siloed thinking

Central banks are similar to conglomerates in that they have a number of different and distinct departments that require diverse skills and outputs.

These differences make it difficult to approach a new technology and economic tour de force like cryptocurrency, because it doesn’t fit neatly into any one of the industrial-style conglomerate domains.

To highlight the conglomerate type nature of central banks, the core departments and skill sets are listed below:

  • Bank supervision: mainly supervisors and regulators who manage banking licenses and audit
  • Currency management: manufacturing and logistical planners
  • Financial markets: front, middle and back office currency and bond traders
  • National payments: a combination of regulators for payments and technical resources running the RTGS system
  • Research: mainly economists who produce statistics based reports and input into repo-rate decisions.

6. Buy versus build approach

Most central banks do not have substantial software development capability. Therefore any new project will have to buy its technology. There is an acute shortage of central bankers who can explain or use Merkle trees.

7. Stuck in the status quo

A large portion of central bankers are career central bankers, so the desire and ability to change are not incentivised. Change is often considered a threat to staff, and threats are met with jelly-like stickiness to the status quo.

8. Incumbent relationships

Banks are licensed to operate by central banks, giving them the ability to create money from customer deposits.

The central bank asks the banks to protect depositor’s hard-earned money and to serve as many customers as it can: i.e. maximizing financial inclusion. The task of banks is therefore to service a nation’s citizens at the behest of the central bank.

These relationships and licenses are expensive to buy and will not easily be changed to include new members.

Read More @

Keiser Report: Velocity of Money at All Time Low (E1446)

from RT:

In the second half, Max interviews Mitch Feierstein of about the housing bubbles and the turmoil in the repo market.

Keiser Report: Yellow Vests and the Cantillon Effect (E1313)

from RT:

In the second half, Max interviews Chris Martenson of about the economic gap created by central bank money printing and where it all goes from here as political instability rises.