Today’s humanitarian aid model is fundamentally broken. Whether you’re a foundation making a donation to a nonprofit abroad, a government distributing aid to another government, or an individual sending emergency funds to family members across borders, your money only gets to where it needs to go after passing through intermediaries. Even in the simplest payment scenario, there’s your bank; a coordination network; and the aid recipient’s bank. But often, there are even more middlemen, with money moving along complex chains of third parties.
Such a system has obvious flaws. One is that each intermediary between you and the person or organization you are trying to help can delay, surveil, censor or steal your funds. In 2012, the UN’s then-secretary general Ban Ki-moon said that “corruption prevented 30% of all development assistance from reaching its final destination.”
You know those machines at the grocery store that transform your gallon jugs worth of change into more usable currency? They’re about to start selling Bitcoin .
To make this impulse shopping dream come true, Coinstar, the company behind those ubiquitous change-counting kiosks, has partnered with Coinme, a startup that operates a small network of cryptocurrency-dispensing ATMs around the country.
The recent plunge in the stock market is a cakewalk compared to what’s going on with cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin prices are down more than 15% in just the past week and have plummeted nearly 70% so far this year.
Bitcoin hit a peak above $19,000 in December 2017. Its is now trading at around $4,600.
Shares of companies with ties to the crypto market have plunged lately too, including chipmakers Nvidia (NVDA) and AMD (AMD), which make graphics cards used by bitcoin miners. Online retailer turned blockchain investor Overstock (OSTK) and digital payments firm Square (SQ) are also sharply lower. Each stock is down between 15% and 35% in just the past month.
So it seems safe to say that the bitcoin bubble has burst. Should investors start to dip their toe back in to bitcoin and other crypyto-related assets?
Even though cryptocurrencies technically have no physical presence, they really do a make a impact on the environment — and even could affect the amount of money people have in their accounts.
From January 2016 to June 2018, the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education in Cincinnati monitored how much energy it took to mine Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Monero on a daily basis.
The cryptocurrency market is bleeding for the second consecutive day, with prices of most popular coins down double digits in the last 24 hours.
Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, is down 12.4% in this period according to CoinMarketCap and is currently trading at $6,426. Other coins are having it even worse: Ethereum is down 20.5%, Ripple is down 13.3%, Bitcoin Cash is down 20.1% and EOS is down 22.3%.
For Ethereum, the second largest coin by market cap, this is the low point of the year. The cryptocurrency hasn’t been priced this low since August 2017.
Bitcoin is moving up, and it’s taking 99 of its best friends along for the ride. In the last 24 hours, every one of the top 100 coins by market cap was in the green, with 84 of them posting gains of over 5 percent. At the time of writing, Bitcoin was sitting at $7,310, up 14 percent in the last 7 days and up almost 10 percent in the last 24 hours.
All eyes were on bitcoin on Tuesday as the digital currency split in two.
After ongoing debates over how to scale the digital currency called bitcoin, some people have decided to make an entirely new currency called Bitcoin Cash.
It’s a bit complicated for those who aren’t in the bitcoin weeds. Essentially, political, technological, and ideological debates about growing bitcoin have come to a head. And some say that an entirely new currency called Bitcoin Cash could help scale bitcoin and bring it to the masses.
The price of Bitcoin, a digital currency once located at the fringe of finance, has been rising to new records in recent months as digital assets move into the mainstream.
On Tuesday, it shot past $2,200 (£1,700), more than doubling from just two months ago. And a newer currency, Ethereum, has climbed even faster.
Industry members say uncertainty surrounding the value of global currencies, including the pound, is driving demand for alternative currencies.
Cryptocurrency sounds suspicious just by moniker. Cryptography is like a more imposing form of the word “security”, and cryptocurrency can be difficult to wrap one’s mind around. It’s an exciting and volatile new form of currency that has millennials asking themselves whether it’s time to invest.
Banks and venture capitalists don’t like uncertainty, so why is Goldman Sachs rapidly investing in Bitcoin related startups and business ventures? The answer is to stay ahead of the emerging trend (even the IRS is saying Bitcoins are taxable). Cryptocurrency is a very real phenomenon that is starting to show itself in our everyday lives. There are strong odds that you’ve shopped somewhere this week that will accept Bitcoin as a source of payment. That snowball effect has given away to some interesting startups trying to solve fundamental problems related to currency.
Zhou Shuoji is not a bitcoin believer. He says the cryptocurrency will never replace its traditional forebears, and he calls most of its proponents fanatics.
But for Zhou, a 35-year-old high-speed trader in Beijing, bitcoin is also too good to resist. His computers trade it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Using lightning quick orders, they profit from tiny price discrepancies on the myriad venues where it changes hands.
“It’s the golden age to be in the bitcoin market, because it’s imperfect,” said Zhou, a former IBM technology consultant whose firm, Fintech Blockchain Group, runs a bitcoin hedge fund and venture capital fund.