Israeli PM Netanyahu Says Bitcoin Is Rising as Banks Are Destined to Disappear

Israeli PM Netanyahu Says Bitcoin Is Rising as Banks Are Destined to Disappear

Israeli Leader Says Bitcoin Is Rising as Banks Are Destined to Disappear

With the meteoric rise in the value of bitcoin this year and the media cacophony around it, its a surprise that not all world leaders have spoken about the subject yet. One political figure that we can now rest assure is keeping an eye on bitcoin is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Also Read: Israeli Regulator Won’t Allow Bitcoin Firms to Be Included in Stock Indices

Israeli Leader Says Bitcoin Is Rising as Banks Are Destined to DisappearSitting down with reporters to an off the cuff Q&A at the Israeli parliament’s diner, the PM was asked for his advice whether an individual should invest in bitcoin or not. He answered: “So first of all, why can’t you also sell money? Why not? It’s the same. The reason you can’t sell money is that you are very worried and want a mediating party to handle the risks. Prevent theft, all that stuff. That’s why banks exists. Are banks doomed to eventually disappear? The answer is yes! Should this be done tomorrow and should it be done via bitcoin? That is a question. But the truth is that what I just said is what propelling bitcoin upward.”

Asked a follow up question about the current rate of change, the PM added: “Nothing exists that can continue at this pace, it’s not possible.”

Netanyahu is an MIT graduate and prior to his political career he was an economic consultant for the Boston Consulting Group.

Israeli Leader Says Bitcoin Is Rising as Banks Are Destined to Disappear
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Are banks doomed to eventually disappear? The answer is yes!”

Crypto Nation

Israeli Leader Says Bitcoin Is Rising as Banks Are Destined to DisappearLike many other countries around the world, Israel have been taken away by the bitcoin mania in the last couple of weeks. The local media reports price changes daily, it interviews people that became millionaires over night and shows the long lines of people waiting outside bitcoin ATM locations in Tel Aviv.

The Israeli financial press is also focusing on bitcoin as everything crypto-related brings in clicks and viewers these days. The biggest story at the moment is the issue of a Tel Aviv Stock Exchange listed gold company switching to bitcoin mining. Its stock price jumped 3,750% before the regulator came out against it. Another story currently in the headlines in this context is that of local cryptocurrency developer Colu raising $14.5 million from Israel’s largest holding company IDB Development Corporation. The Israeli regulator is also expected to announce a welcoming legal framework for ICOs by the end of the month.

Are world leaders beginning to understand the bitcoin revolution? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.


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‘A matter of survival’ Starving Venezuelans turn to bitcoin but face bribes and extortion

As Venezuela’s national currency loses value at a catastrophic rate, thousands of ordinary but desperate people turn to the world of cryptocurrency.

Federal Reserve Chair: “Fed Doesn’t Really Play Any Regulatory Role” in Bitcoin

Federal Reserve Chair: “Fed Doesn’t Really Play Any Regulatory Role” in Bitcoin

Following her next-to-last Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, outgoing Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairwoman Janet Yellen gave a final scheduled press conference 13 December 2017 in Washington, DC. In a growing sign of its influence, once again bitcoin was introduced as a topic for consideration at the highest levels of finance. No fewer than three times did cryptocurrencies make their way into the discussion: regulatory policy, prospects of a Fed Coin, and bitcoin’s threat to financial stability.

Also read: Only Big Broker Offering CME Bitcoin Futures Allows Whales to Short

Fed Chair Says Bitcoin Very Small

The first woman Chair of the globe’s most powerful central bank, Janet Yellen took what amounted to a gushing victory lap in her final scheduled press conference. Reporters paused in questions to thank her. Some even asked her about future efforts to diversify the field of economics to include more women and minorities. It’s good to go out on top, for sure.

CNBC’s Steve Liesman posed the expected, wanting to know the Chair’s thoughts on equity valuations at historic highs. Before he allowed her to answer, he asked: “Maybe as a sign as to what’s been going on with valuations, this cryptocurrency called bitcoin keeps going up every day, um, what is the policy of the central bank of the United States, of the introduction, use, and incredible rise in popularity of bitcoin?”

Ms. Yellen was appointed by President Obama in 2013, and was generally considered to be more concerned with unemployment rather than inflation, a position known as dovish.

Federal Reserve Chair: “Fed Doesn’t Really Play Any Regulatory Role” in Bitcoin

After answering the first question, she began, “And then you asked about bitcoin, and there I would simply say that bitcoin, at this time, plays a very small role in the payment system,” she said, looking down for brief moments at what appeared to be prepared notes.

“It is not a stable store of value,” Ms. Yellen continued, “and it doesn’t constitute legal tender. It is a highly speculative asset, and the Fed doesn’t really play any role, any regulatory role, with respect to bitcoin other than ensuring banking organizations that we do supervise are attentive… that they’re appropriately managing any interactions they have with participants in that market, and appropriately monitoring Anti-Money Laundering, Bank Secrecy Act, you know, responsibilities that they have,” she elaborated.

Mr. Liesman then quickly followed, “Has there been a directive about bitcoin to banks and their dealings with bitcoin from the Federal Reserve?”

“I don’t believe there’s been anything specific about that,” she said, “just generally banks have Bank Secrecy Act, Anti-Money Laundering responsibilities, and this applies to bitcoin as it does in every other realm.”

Doubtful Fed Will Create State Backed Crypto Coin

At a lull, Justine Underhill of Yahoo Finance was called upon. She referenced recent speculation by a Fed governor, suggesting the central bank was considering its own cryptocurrency. Ms. Underhill asked if this is true.

Federal Reserve Chair: “Fed Doesn’t Really Play Any Regulatory Role” in Bitcoin

“I want to distinguish carefully between digital currency and cryptocurrency,” Ms. Yellen answered. “There is a discussion going on among central bankers about the potential merits of a central bank itself adopting a digital currency, and there might even be a central banker or two around the globe who might go in that direction,” she said, probably referring to Russia and Venezuela.

Ms. Yellen pointed her right hand for emphasis, “I really want to caution that this is not something the Federal Reserve is seriously considering doing at this stage. While we’re looking at research on this topic, there are, I think, to my mind, limited benefits for introducing it, limited need for it, and some substantial concerns, and so I would really doubt that the Federal Reserve would soon go in that direction. But it is something central banks are looking at to see if there could be benefits from doing it,” she stressed.

Fox Business Worries Bitcoin is Threat to Financial Stability

Adam Shapiro of Fox Business wondered if maybe Ms. Yellen and the Fed were in fact missing bitcoin’s threat to financial stability, referencing the 2008 financial crisis. 

Federal Reserve Chair: “Fed Doesn’t Really Play Any Regulatory Role” in Bitcoin

The outgoing Chair said, “I certainly agree it’s important for the Fed to attempt to understand the emerging risks to financial stability, and to be looking not just in the banking system but outside it for developments that could pose financial risks,” she prefaced.

“Now, when you ask about bitcoin,” Ms. Yellen concluded, “I still see the financial stability risks from it as limited. Often risks threaten financial stability when there’s exposure of the banking system to fluctuating asset valuations, and I really don’t see any significant [problems or] threats from bitcoin if its value were to fluctuate. I don’t see a threat to our core financial institutions. Undoubtedly there are individuals who could lose a lot of money if bitcoin were to fall in price, but I really don’t see that as creating a full-blown financial stability risk,” she repeated.

What do you think about Janet Yellen’s answers? Tell us in the comments below.


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PR: Game Machine ICO Finds a Way to Make Investors, Gamers and Developers Happy

Game Machine ICO

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Everyone is a gamer, there is no doubt about it. The time humanity spends in games is enormous. But every man needs to work and to rest. That’s when gaming platforms are patiently waiting. These platforms are simply the tools to gain profit for everyone.

Gaming Industry finds a new way to grow

Gaming became a separate branch of the economics. It spawned a new breed of coders, game experts, and high-level marketers. Gaming industry market hit $108.9B in 2017 and is constantly growing. The bigger stage is opening for the industry with the popularity of decentralized technologies. One of the first who saw the opportunity are the creators of Game Machine. This project can be described as a global open ecosystem in which players, game developers, hardware manufacturers as well as advertisers will work together to complement each other and push further the growth of the whole industry.

There are different problems in the market, which can be solved in non-distant future. Right now players are not willing to buy in-game items and looking at all ICO with caution. From the developers’ standpoint, it’s difficult to attract a mass audience, as well as to convince players to buy their product. And investors are spending a lot of resources for analyzing the market for a worthy project. CEO of Game Machine, Taras Dovgal, explains how the project is aiming to help everyone:

“With Game Machine players will have a built-in feature to extract internal cryptocurrency and invest it in other products. Developers will able to access the entire gaming community and directly interact with their customers. For investors, it will be easier to find a promising game and maintain it inside unified financial and technological system”.

Value of Game Machine

Gaming once was the most promising area for investing, where any project could take off. But the landscape has changed and the search for a profitable project has become much more difficult. Crowdfunding was the breath of fresh air for game developers. With its growing popularity investors started to look for other areas. However, it is still a great task to convince a player to invest in a project in early stages. According to statistics, about 90% of gaming audience is very difficult to monetize. Gamers simply don’t want to spend personal funds within this financial model.

However, players have very powerful computers and this power could be used in mining cryptocurrencies. For this purpose, Game Machine developed and released a working product. Mining is based on Proof-of-Authority and Proof-of-Work principles combined and it is available only for gamers. Users of Game Machine are mining Gamefuel cryptocurrency, which later will be exchangeable. Players are investing only computing power, and smart contracts are the guarantee of developers’ integrity. The system will provide developers a potential to focus on the segments of the target audience, raise funds for their products and start an ICO.

Game Machine Client launched in November and already attracted more than 1,000 users to the mining network. The plan is to release a crowdfunding platform, where developers can create their own game tokens, start Token Sale and use Ads Machine for more reach. The next step will be making Ads Network platform based on Game Machine and adding Crypto-Exchange product.

From investors’ point of view, the project can offer an opportunity to make simple and safe contributions to game projects. Investors will get access to the crowdfunding platform with analytics and interest rating from all participating gamers. The system will show how many users are interested in this or that idea. It will help to choose only high-quality products. Investors will get an invitation to the special club with exclusive big discounts and sales for the majority of crowd sales from crowdfunding platform. Top-tier investors will be able to get a part of all tokens, released by every project.

Token Sale

Game Machine have successfully finished Pre-Sale. Currently, Main Token Sale is about to start. It will go on December 14, 2017 and end on January 31, 2018. Developers are preparing extra bonuses to all purchased tokens for the first weeks of the token sale. On the start, the bonus will be 15%. All participants will receive extra Gamefuel, for those parties interested in joining the community. Total of 140 million GMIT tokens will be available, capping at 40,000 ETH.

More details are provided on the official site: gamemachine.io
Telegram channel: https://t.me/gamemachineico
https://www.gamemachine.io/en/token-sale/whitepaper

Contact Email Address
ak@gamemachine.io

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Once Coy, Hedge Funds Now Rush to Bitcoin

Once Coy Hedge Funds Now Rush to Bitcoin

Bulls are on parade as hedge funds pour money into bitcoin-related projects and products. Traditional hedges have been outperformed by cryptocurrency funds in 2017, and the phenomenon has turned into a full-fledged feeding frenzy. New indices are popping up to track it all. Ecosystem stalwarts Bitgo and Bitpay expect new rounds of funding, and well-over 100 such funds are now dedicated to cryptocurrency.  

Also read: SEC Ramps Up Crypto Oversight – Hires Coin ETF ”Expert”

Once Coy Hedge Funds Now Rush to Bitcoin

Crypto Hedge Funds Up 1,500% in 2017

Hedge funds as a whole are up a nice inflation-beating 7.5 percent as the year finishes. When placed against crypto-related industry products, legacy financial professionals are scrambling to up their game. Hedge Fund Research (HFR) President Kenneth Heins tells Lindsay Fortado: “Investor interest in funds offering exposure to blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies has surged in recent months.”

Citingthe explosive growth in investor interest in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies,” the company created “two new indices, the HFR Blockchain Composite Index and the HFR Cryptocurrency Index, the first family of indices designed to capture performance of hedge funds investing,” its website touted.  

HFR’s Blockchain index shows “a meteoric surge of +1,522 percent in 2017 through November,” while its Cryptocurrency variation “has surged +1,641 percent in 2017 through November,” the company claims. “HFR began tracking the first cryptocurrency hedge fund in 2013, though interest and growth in this area has surged in 2017 as a result of stratospheric price increases and broad proliferation of new coins via ICOs, as well as launches of listed futures contracts,” the company notes.

Once Coy Hedge Funds Now Rush to Bitcoin

Ahead of CME & Nasdaq Bitcoin Futures, Hedge Funds Clamor for Access

As cryptocurrencies hit another all-time-high, racking up a half trillion dollar market capitalization, interest is booming. With futures market makers CME (Monday) and Nasdaq (mid 2018) bringing ‘legitimacy’ to bitcoin and its family, once reticent hedge funds have stopped being coy.

“ED&F Man Capital Markets, a $14.2 billion company, has signed agreements with 35 hedge funds, family offices and proprietary-trading firms to help them buy and sell bitcoin futures and is in talks with at least a half dozen more,” reports Bloomberg.

For the better part of half of 2017, ED&F has been preparing with CME for Monday’s open, according to Sonali Basak. ED&F Man’s Brooks Dudley explains, “The prime brokerage relationship is an important one, people don’t hop around prime brokers. So to bring on a lot of new clients for one product is very unusual.”

The popular narrative of the press is bitcoin’s volatility and its bad actors. Valuations have broken through the noise. According to Mr. Dudley, “There were a couple of proprietary-trading firms that I didn’t expect to trade bitcoin, had never been really excited about it, and then Thursday, Friday they called and asked if we could prepare them for the open,” he noted.

Once Coy Hedge Funds Now Rush to Bitcoin

Bitgo and Bitpay Feel the Love

Two weeks. That’s it. Bitgo gobbled over 40 million USD in a recent funding round. “This has been one of the easiest fundraising processes ever,” CEO Mike Belshe explained to Business Insider.

Bitgo greases entry for institutional investors such as The Royal Mint and CME, allowing access to cryptocurrencies through proprietary tech. It does appear this next year will see a rush of hedge fund bulls into the broader crypto market, especially if valuations continue to rise. Mr. Belshe predicts: “We need to be prepared for the $1 billion fund which needs our technology.”

Meanwhile, only three years after having raised 30 million USD in initial funding for payments processing solutions to companies such as Gyft, Microsoft, and Newegg, Bitpay disclosed its efforts to raise another 30 million.

According to its blog, Bitpay’s 2017 “achieved a record year for merchant payment processing on the Bitcoin blockchain, now approaching $2 billion in annualized payment volumes.” Its popular “prepaid Visa debit card, which lets bitcoin users turn bitcoin into dollars, pounds, or Euros for use with Visa merchants, has also seen significant year over year growth.”

What do you think about hedge funds investing in crypto? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The Crypto Show: Tricia Martinez Of Wala & Doug Scribner With Vaultlogic

On tonight’s episode of “The Crypto Show,” our first guest is Tricia Martinez, a behavioral economist educated at the University of Chicago, who is the founder and CEO of Wala, a financial services platform for the unbanked and underbanked and those who rely on microtransactions, including microloans, in the third world.Our second guest is Doug Scribner, the founder of Watch My Bit. He comes on to talk about VaultLogic, which is a cash storage and transfer service that can be integrated into crypto-ATMs as well as into other financial services, the benefits of the combination of which are very promising though not necessarily immediately intuited except that Doug does an excellent job of describing and explaining a lot of the merits of this technology. Some cool stuff.

Sponsored by: Dash, CryptoCompare and Defense Distributed

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Google Home’s “Mr Satoshi” is Your Cryptocurrency Personal Assistant

Google Home’s “Mr Satoshi” is Your Cryptocurrency Personal Assistant

Google Home, the smart speaker and voice assistant, has been hiding a secret. By default, the device is voiced by an anonymous female. Say the magic words though and she’ll turn into a pseudonymous male – Mr Satoshi, your voice-activated cryptocurrency personal assistant.

Also read: Bitcoin Can’t Stop Breaking Things

Calling Mr Satoshi

Google Home’s “Mr Satoshi” is Your Cryptocurrency Personal AssistantEaster eggs are hidden messages concealed inside games and programs. They’re often put there by developers as an inside joke, spurring gamers on to mash buttons and search through sub-menus in search of these concealed features. Rockstar Games famously pepper their GTA games with easter eggs, and Google are responsible for dozens. Try Googling “do a barrel roll” or “anagram” for some of their more obvious ones.

The latest easter egg to be attributed to Google lies closer to home though – quite literally. It’s been discovered that the Google Home smart speaker conceals a cryptocurrency assistant. To summon it, utter the words “Okay Google” and then ask to talk to Mr Satoshi. “Okay, let’s get Mr Satoshi,” replies the speaker. “Hi, I’m Mr Satoshi,” it adds a beat later – whilst retaining the same female voice. “Which digital currency are you trying to check?”

The voice assistant will then deliver real-time prices on any major cryptocurrency of your choosing. The discovery of Mr Satoshi is evidence of two trends: the pervasiveness of cryptocurrency, and the growing cult of Satoshi Nakamoto.

Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator has spawned an entire cottage industry of stores, apparel, coins, and platforms all named after Satoshi. A Russian brewery is even holding a token sale to launch its Satoshi beer. On Reddit this week, one user sought bitcoin-related suggestions for naming his boat. Responses included BTSea, Crypto Current Sea, and the USS Satoshi Nakamoto.

Should bitcoin mania continue, 20 years from now there may be a string of new cryptocurrency traders answering to the name Satoshi. In 2014, a post on the Bitcointalk forum entitled “Would you name your baby Satoshi for 150 bitcoins?” ran to 17 pages. Today, there are probably crypto-crazy dads who’d do it for one millionth of a bitcoin. Yes, a satoshi.

Do you think you could convince your partner to name your kid Satoshi? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Google.


Keep track of the bitcoin exchange rate in real-time.

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Man Allegedly Kidnaps Friend at Gunpoint and Steals $1.8m of Cryptocurrency

Man Allegedly Kidnaps Friend at Gunpoint and Steals $1.8m of Cryptocurrency

A man has appeared in a New York court charged with robbing an acquaintance of his cryptocurrency hoard. Louis Meza allegedly had a gunman point a pistol at his friend’s head after luring him into a minivan and persuading him to part with his wallet seed. The offense, which is reported to have taken place on November 4, netted $1.8 million in cryptocurrency.

Also read: Tax Investigators Raid Bitcoin Exchanges Across India

With Friends Like These

Technology might be getting smarter, but the same cannot be said of criminals. If the allegations against Louis Meza are proven correct, the 35-year-old committed one of the most brazen and unsophisticated robberies imaginable. Millions of dollars of ether were stolen after Meza lured his supposed friend into a van and had his accomplice point a pistol at him. Due to the nature of blockchains, police were able to easily follow the flow of stolen ether, which reportedly showed up in the accused’s account the next day.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. stated in court that the case demonstrates “the increasingly common intersection between cyber and violent crime,” the NY Daily News reports. In reality, it shows nothing of the short. All the case demonstrates is that violent crooks will do what violent crooks do best: go for the easiest low hanging fruit. In this case it was cryptocurrency, but had the accused’s assets been in the form of gold, dollars, or Air Jordan sneakers, there’s every likelihood they would have befallen a similar fate.

Man Allegedly Kidnaps Friend at Gunpoint and Steals $1.8m of Cryptocurrency
A glum looking Louis Meza appears in court

What is indisputable however is that the sharp rise in value of cryptocurrency this year has turned former friends and acquaintances into targets for the unscrupulous. Cases such as this illustrate the need to keep the extent of one’s cryptocurrency portfolio private. What may be a modest amount now has the potential to turn into a windfall in future, leaving individuals vulnerable to theft. The case also illustrates the the danger of the five dollar wrench attack, as recently noted by news.Bitcoin.com: the notion that even the strongest password in the world is no match for an angry man wielding a gun or wrench.

After being arraigned at Manhattan Supreme Court, Meza pled not guilty to grand larceny, kidnapping, and robbery, and was held on a $1 million bond, with bail set at $500,000 cash. Manhattan Supreme Court does not accept cryptocurrency.

Do you keep the extent of your cryptocurrency holdings hidden from friends? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and New York Daily News.


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