Charity’s Centralization Problem: How Can Blockchain Help?

Charity’s Centralization Problem: How Can Blockchain Help?

They call it the charitable-industrial complex: a system where money for development, for humanitarian needs, and for improving the lives of billions is controlled through a top-down process, run by U.S. charities and shaped by U.S. tax rules and regulations.

Join Michael Casey and Sheila Warren as they speak with Matthew Davie the Chief Strategy Officer of Kiva and Alpen Sheth Senior Technologist of Blockchain at Mercy Corps.

The first Money Reimagined podcast episode of 2021 dives into the problems this creates. Can we get away from this top-down, centralized system to build a bottom-up model that empowers the people charities are trying to help? And will the decentralizing power of crypto and blockchain technology play a meaningful role?

In this episode we dig into the “why” of this empowering new technology. What’s the point? And more importantly, who is it for?

“Reimagining money isn’t about money at all but more about the complexity of the systems surrounding it. […]The exciting part about crypto is that it has the potential to be a partial fix for the problems of exclusion plaguing our financial system” said Sheila Warren.

According to Matthew Davie, “There is a gap between the informal sector and the formal sector, and you can’t build a bridge without figuring out how to solve that problem. So, we came at this from the system side saying we need verifiable identity and how do we do that?”

“What we find is that the unbanked are just too broad of a category to comprehend so it has to be broken down. There [are] substantial gender inequalit[ies]. Whether its device ownership, around participation in the economy, around disasters… People are just stuck underneath layers and layers of intermediaries to just do basic activities” said Alpen Sheth

Matthew Davie @KIVA focuses on long term strategic initiatives to help drive systemic financial inclusion for the world’s most venerable populations. He oversees corporate strategy, emerging technology development, and policy and regulatory engagements.

Alpen Sheth, PhD, is Senior Technologist, Blockchain, at Mercy Corps. a blockchain advisor for companies in the insurance, identity, and energy sectors. Previously, he co-founded the Economic Space Agency, a blockchain R&D startup, and later became the Head of Product at, an insurtech company, creating smart-contract based applications in several different countries


Square Crypto Funds Bitcoin Developer to Improve Mining Pool Software

Square Crypto Funds Bitcoin Developer to Improve Mining Pool Software

Square Crypto’s latest grant will fund a Bitcoin developer’s work on software that could improve how mining collectives pool hash power.

Pseudonymous developer Fi3 (@piccioneLibero2 on Twitter, or “free pigeon”) will receive an undisclosed sum to work on an implementation of Stratum V2, the next iteration of a Bitcoin mining protocol software developed by Braiins, a subsidiary of the Czech mining entity Slush Pool. 

“I also like the personal freedom that this kind of grant gives you,” Fi3 continued.

The co-author of the proposal, Jan Kvapil, will begin work on the implementation in February, Fi3 said.

A mining pool is a collective of miners – from big industrial players to hobbyists farming in their basements – who combine their hash power to increase their collective chance of mining a block.

The Stratum software coordinates this pooled mining. The new edition, V2, will patch a handful of security flaws present in its 2012 predecessor, while improving connection speeds between miners in the pool. It will also give individual Bitcoin miners a say in which transactions they want to include in the blocks that the pools mine, allowing individual miners a bit more freedom in the process.

Fi3’s goal is to develop and create a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (or BIP, code that alters some aspect of the Bitcoin network or protocol) that paves a clear path to activating the upgrade. Stratum V2 has been in the works for some time, but the grant will fund the changes that should finally push the project to fruition.

Toward this end they will consult with Braiins co-founder Jan Čapek and former Bitcoin Core developer Matt Corallo, who now works full-time for Square Crypto as a developer on open-source projects.

Fi3 said a Bitcoin Core pull request for implementing Stratum V2 could be ready in 6 months; this would include a BIP that outlines activation. After this point, “a well-tested implementation [of Stratum V2] should be ready” in a year, Fi3 said.


Bitcoin News Roundup for Jan. 8, 2021

Bitcoin News Roundup for Jan. 8, 2021


Author: CoinDesk

Bitcoin & Ethereum growth signal. Important changes in the cryptocurrency market. BTC ETH prediction | Coin Crypto News

Bitcoin & Ethereum growth signal. Important changes in the cryptocurrency market. BTC ETH prediction | Coin Crypto News

On January 3, 2021, on its 12th birthday, Bitcoin hit a new ATH of $34,538. The following day, Ethereum went up almost 50%, and then the price stabilized above $1,000. In turn, Bitcoin went into correction below $29,000 for Bitcoin, but that’s when the pressure from the sellers eased and the bulls got the price back above $31,000.

In this video we’re analyzing the reasons for the BTC and ETH growth and making a prediction for the future. What are the odds Bitcoin could drop to $20,000 when it could happen, and what do the retail and institutional investors in the cryptocurrency have to do with it? In the second part of the video we’re discussing the prospects of Ether to reach the $2,000 mark in January 2021.

BITCOIN: We’ve got the best year in history ahead. Bitcoin to go global –


#bitcoin #Ethereum #cryptocurrency #altcoins #cryptonews #BTC # forecast #finance #trading #coinpost

Tags: bitcoin, bitcoin forecast, bitcoin, btc, bitcoin rate, bitcoin review, bitcoin news, bitcoin price, bitcoin trading, native, cryptocurrency market, cryptocurrency exchanges, bitcoin 20,000, bitcoin 30,000, bitcoin birthday, cryptocurrency, ethereum, cryptocurrency, ether, ethereum, crypto news, Vitalik Buterin, ethereum futures, ether 1000, altcoin season, altcoins


Author: Post Author: CoinCryptoNews

Bitcoin sets landmarks but alts can go independent

Bitcoin sets landmarks but alts can go independent

On Dec. 8, exactly one month ago, Bitcoin was hovering around the $18,700 range, with many analysts debating as to whether the flagship asset would be able to sustain its bullish momentum and cross its all-time high value close to $20,000. Well, how quickly things have changed since then because within a period of just 30 days, Bitcoin (BTC) has repeatedly scaled up to new ATHs, even surpassing the $41,000 barrier.

Over the course of the last seven days, BTC has exhibited a substantial growth of around 41%, with the digital asset seemingly breaking new ground with each passing day. However, this has led to investors becoming increasingly nervous since there are many who immediately are given flashbacks of the 2018 crash that resulted in most cryptocurrencies crashing hard within a matter of days.

In this regard, Cointelegraph Markets contributor Michaël van de Poppe believes that while 2020 was an amazing year for crypto, everyone should brace for a “healthy correction” in the near future. That being said, for many, that can serve as an opportunity like no other because there is an increasing population of budding crypto enthusiasts who now want a piece of the action, and not just Bitcoin. On the matter, van de Poppe opined: “The higher Bitcoin goes, the more money comes into the market and more money can flow towards altcoins.”

The reasons for Bitcoin’s momentum are manifold, starting with the fact that the industry as a whole had been in a prolonged bear market all through 2018 and 2019, but despite the slumps, accumulation had never really stopped.

Another often overlooked narrative is related to the recent BTC halving, as time and again, historical data has indicated that approximately four to six months after every cycle, the value of the premier digital currency takes a sharp upward turn — something that has happened this time around as well.

Not only that, but the digital asset seems to be right on track with the stock-to-flow model, which was created by Dutch institutional investor PlanB. According to the S2F model, scarcity is used as the defining metric to quantify the value of Bitcoin. And while most people use the setup to assess BTCs future valuation, PlanB claims that the S2F model can also be used in relation to gold and silver, as well as other assets.

#Bitcoin Stock-to-Flow model on track .. like clockwork

— PlanB (@100trillionUSD) January 7, 2021

Ben Zhou, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Bybit, confirmed that it’s the “institutional inflow fueling Bitcoin,” adding that there is now a level of consensus, or at the very least, peer pressure among certain corners of the institutional world to have Bitcoin in their portfolio: “Certainly, those that have a younger clientele feel the need to increase their exposure to BTC.”

Omar Chen, CEO of the exchange, believes that institutional buying has simply served as a catalyst for Bitcoin and has not been the primary driver for its bullish momentum. He told Cointelegraph that investors, both from the traditional and the crypto sectors, are in fact on the lookout for alternative safe havens, pointing toward gold and its rally during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic:

“As people and institutions learn more about its attributes and benefits, Bitcoin has become another haven of choice for money. Combined with the recent spate of negative news about COVID-19 vaccines, investors are increasingly losing faith in traditional finance and the global economic recovery, making the bullish case for Bitcoin even louder.”

As Bitcoin marches on, even crossing the $41,000 threshold, there is no denying that the surge has also seen a number of prominent altcoins soar to new heights. In this regard, over the course of the past week, Ether (ETH), Stellar (XLM) and Cardano (ADA) have showcased prominent gains of 70%, 128% and 70%, respectively.

But will the financial destiny of the market’s top-10 altcoins always be linked to Bitcoin? So far, the value of ETH and Litecoin (LTC) have continued to showcase heavy correlation with BTC whenever the latter witnesses any major market movement. However, Ether may be coming into its own as an independent asset, even though it has yet to break past its 2018 ATH of $1,448.

Thor Chan, CEO of digital asset exchange AAX, opined that even though the term “alt season” is often used whenever Ether or some other altcoins start to surge, its meaning has changed over time. He pointed to the 2017 market when everything had to do with an explosion in innovation around initial coin offerings and about people “getting rich as quickly as possible.” Since then, he believes the market has evolved greatly: “Now, the growth in altcoins is more about portfolio diversification, risk management and rebalancing as traders realize their Bitcoin profits.”

It is worth recognizing that most altcoins, barring a few such as ETH, still largely fall outside the radar of institutional interest. However, with Bitcoin being promoted the way it has been, many mid- to large-scale investors might be looking at ETH and other prominent alts as potential candidates for the next wave of adoption. In this regard, Jay Hao, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange OKEx, highlighted to Cointelegraph:

“It is natural that there will be some spillover into other cryptocurrencies with Ethereum being the first in line as a well-established and long-term project in the industry. While BTC most certainly has the strongest brand recognition, Ethereum has not gone unnoticed, being used by the largest FSIs like JPMorgan and Santander.”

He further noted that Ether has very strong fundamentals and, as a result, has piqued the interest of serious institutional investors, such as TD Ameritrade and Arca Labs. Not only that, but Ethereum is the platform of choice for many cryptocurrency projects and has been behind the huge DeFi momentum that took off in earnest last year.

Hao believes that while Bitcoin has effectively been given the green light, as has Ether to a certain degree, from institutional investors, the same cannot be said for all other cryptocurrencies: “I don’t believe that we can say with confidence that the alt season will be as large or as long as the previous, as the majority of the institutional dollars are still flowing into BTC.”

While the narrative of “Bitcoin being a bubble” is yet to play out, there are still those from the traditional finance sphere who continue to reiterate the statement as a mantra, hoping that their anti-crypto sentiments do come true at some point.

For example, just last month, renowned economist David Rosenberg told Bloomberg that he believes Bitcoin is in a bubble and investors don’t understand how its supply works, adding: “Everybody seems to believe that we’re going to get to that 21 million cap on the supply constraint, but there’s really nothing in the protocol to suggest that the supply of Bitcoin can’t go up once we hit that limit.”

Related: New Bitcoin price highs revive old misconceptions about BTC and crypto

As a wise man once said, “Facts don’t care about your feelings,” as is highlighted by the fact that the crypto industry is seeing unprecedented institutional demand for Bitcoin, especially with the entrance of many key players, such as MicroStrategy, Guggenheim, SkyBridge Capital, Square and PayPal into the space. Additionally, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has recently given U.S. banks the authorization to treat public blockchains as another form of settlement infrastructure and also allowed for banks to offer custody services of digital assets.

When it comes to altcoins, the world’s largest financial derivatives exchange, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange group, has finally announced its plans to launch a new ETH futures product in early 2021. As a result of this development, come February, traders will have the opportunity to speculate on Ether’s future monetary valuation using a fully regulated setup.

The offering, referred to as the CME CF Ether Reference Rate, will help expose crypto to a wide array of investors, traders and investors, allowing for better price discovery and, eventually, increased adoption within institutional circles.


Charity’s Centralization Problem: How Can Blockchain Help?

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