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The Global Cryptocurrency Market Was Valued At Usd 295.26 Million In 2016 And Is Projected To Reach

The Global Cryptocurrency Market Was Valued At Usd 295.26 Million In 2016 And Is Projected To Reach

게시판 The Global Cryptocurrency Market Was Valued At Usd 295.26 Million In 2016 And Is Projected To Reach
khanr635 ・ 1시간 전 URL 복사 이웃추가 본문 기타 기능 번역보기 The Global Cryptocurrency Market was valued at USD 295.26 million in 2016 and is projected to reach USD 3,678.92 million by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 32.35% from 2017 to 2025. A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions, to control the creation of additional units, and to verify the transfer of assets. Cryptocurrency transactions are anonymous, untraceable and have created a niche for illegal transactions. Benefits of Cryptocurrency includes access to everyone, immediate settlement, lower fees, no identity theft, fraud prevention, better security, and universal recognition.
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Sample Infographics:
Market Dynamics:
1. Market Drivers
1.1 Adoption of cryptocurrency across various industries
1.2 Growing opportunities in developing and developed markets
1.3 Rising capital investments
1.4 Increasing remittance in developing countries
1.5 Rising transparency and immutability of the distributed ledger technology
1.6 Changing monetary regulations
2. Market Restraints
2.1 Security, control and privacy concerns
2.2 Complexities related to scalability
2.3 Poor awareness and technical expertise to understand cryptocurrency

Market Segmentation:
The Global Cryptocurrency Market is segmented on the end user, component, type, process, and region.
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1. End User:
1.1 Media and Entertainment
1.2 Peer-to-Peer Payment
1.3 E-Commerce and Retail
1.4 Remittance
1.5 Others

2. By Component:
2.1 Software
2.2 Hardware

3. By Type:
3.1 Litecoin
3.2 Bitcoin
3.3 Dashcoin
3.4 Ripple
3.5 Ethereum
3.6 Others

4. By Process:
4.1 Transaction
4.2 Mining

5. By Region:
5.1 North America (U.S., Canada, Mexico)
5.2 Europe (Germany, UK, France, Rest of Europe)
5.3 Asia Pacific (China, India, Japan, Rest of Asia Pacific)
5.4 Latin America (Brazil, Argentina, Rest of Latin America)
5.5 Middle East & Africa

Competitive Landscape:
The major players in the market are as follows:
1. Intel
2. Advanced Micro Devices
3. Microsoft
4. Alphapoint Corporation
5. Bitfury Group
6. Nvidia
7. Bitgo
8. Xilinx
9. Coinbase
10. Amazon
11. Ripple Labs
12. BTL Group (Blockchain Tech)

These major players have adopted various organic as well as inorganic growth strategies such as mergers & acquisitions, new product launches, expansions, agreements, joint ventures, partnerships, and others to strengthen their position in this market.
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GMO Group loses JPY1.3B in cryptocurrency mining business – CoinGeek

GMO Group loses JPY1.3B in cryptocurrency mining business – CoinGeek

Gerald Fenech GMO Group loses JPY1.3B in cryptocurrency mining business
The Japanese GMO Group lost a considerable 1.3 billion yen in cryptocurrency business in 2018, particularly in the mining sector which saw a huge hit over the past few months.
The losses were attributed principally to two factors which were the decline in the Bitcoin Core (BTC) price as well as the depreciation cost of mining machines . So huge was the loss that GMO are now going for a policy change in this area.
According to the report, GMO’s mining share did not increase as expected due to the rise of the global hash rate, “which went beyond our initial assumption”. As already indicated, the decline in the BTC price was a major factor in this collapse. GMO also said that they bought expensive mining machines from other manufacturers, which led to decreased profitability.
The report goes on to say that the environment is increasingly competitive because of the decreased demand mainly due to the decline in the cryptocurrency price, which in turn leads to the decline in the sales price of mining machines from other manufacturers. Additionally, there was a delay in procurement of part of the electronic components, which led to the postponement of development and manufacture of mining machines.
The impairment loss of mining machines was costed at JPY 11.6B. A decision has been made to relocate the mining center to a region that will allow GMO to secure a cleaner and less expensive power supply.
GMO further stated that it would be difficult to recover the carrying amounts of the business assets, so it has been decided to record a loss of JPY 23.6B on the whole mining operation. The cryptocurrency exchange business also took a hit, but it was not so pronounced, although the slump in prices obviously had some effect.
Additionally, the GMO financial report also clarified that its mining output didn’t include extraordinary losses of circa $319.2 million. In December 2018, the firm announced that it would be closing down its mining operations. At that time, the decision would incur a ¥35.5 billion worth of extraordinary losses as GMO would quit the development, manufacture, and sales of mining equipment. It remains to be seen whether this loss will have an effect on GMO’s operations in the cryptocurrency space in the short to medium term.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain. tags

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What is Blockchain Technology? An Ultimate Guide for Mobile App Development

What is Blockchain Technology? An Ultimate Guide for Mobile App Development

Published by Shanal Aggarwal , Feb 15, 2019 Ultimate Guide to Blockchain Technology for Mobile App Development
According to Statista Report 2017 , the global blockchain technology market will be 2.3 billion USD in size by 2021, assuming a CAGR of 61.5%. Blockchain is proving to be one of the most promising technologies of 21st century. Building upon work done by Stuart Haber, W. Scott Stornetta and Bayer on cryptographically secured block chains in 1991-92, Satoshi Nakamoto built the first blockchain in 2008. Satoshi Nakamoto maybe a person or a group of persons using this pseudo name; no one has been able to ascertain their offline identity till date. What is Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain is basically a digital ledger where data can be entered, verified and then processed further by the approval of computer nodes on a peer-to-peer network. Whether you want to enter new data, validate existing ones or delete data, a predefined number of nodes on the P2P network must validate each transaction. The digital data is stored in blocks that are then linked together form the blockchain. To create a new block of data, any one of the nodes first needs to create a new block and then put all the new transactions in the block. This new block is appended to the existing blockchain and then broadcasted to other nodes on the network. Other nodes must verify the validity of the new transactions before it can be accepted and become part of the blockchain. Features of Blockchain
Having a P2P network implies that all users are equal – there is no server that is superior than its clients, as in the case of Internet. This gives rise to decentralized control over the data contained in the whole blockchain. This involvement of all the nodes for all transactions ensures that there is no single point of control as well as failure. The distributed data ensures that hackers cannot hack into the blockchain from any single point. Similarly, if any one node fails, the whole blockchain would not be disrupted and it will be business as usual. All the blocks are in public domain and hence there are complete transparency. This feature of blockchain has found widespread use, as we will discuss later. Bitcoin and Blockchain
Blockchain was first implemented as Bitcoin, a digital currency design by Satoshi Nakamoto. Or rather, it was the other way round. Blockchain was invented so that digital currency could become a reality. This is the reason why many people think of blockchain as Bitcoin and find it difficult to believe that blockchain is a concept that can be taken much beyond cryptocurrencies. However, blockchain’s contribution to popularizing digital currency cannot be glossed over.
Blockchain was the first technology to eliminate the problem of double spending in digital transactions. You can also take blockchain to be a digital ledger where entries are made only after the approval of all those who have access to the ledger. Once the financial data of the ledger is replaced by any other data or document, you have a blockchain useful for other non-financial fields. How Does a Blockchain Work?
The best part about blockchain is that you do not need to understand the technology behind it to use it. However, it sure helps to appreciate any technology better if we understand its basics. Even though blockchain has been made to sound something highly technical, it is based on a very simple concept for implementation. If you know how Internet works, you can easily understand how a blockchain works. The backbone of any blockchain is the P2P network formed by nodes with huge computing capabilities. The huge computing capability is required because nodes are needed to solve complex puzzles to find new blocks or validate transactions. The moment they join the network, the blockchain is automatically downloaded on their system. There is no copy of the blockchain, the node simply shares the blockchain with other nodes. When a new block has to be created or data has to be added to an existing block, it must be done by a node. Once this new node is put out on the network, it is verified by all the nodes. This is called reconciling the transaction. The network checks itself every 10 minutes to see if any new transaction has taken place, which needs to be reconciled. Are you wondering why any user would do reconciliation and relaying blockchains to other nodes or users? Well, all nodes that successfully create a new block or reconcile a transaction are paid in Bitcoins. That is why bitcoins were invented in the first place – a means to incentivize joining and working on a blockchain network. This process for verifying transactions and getting paid in Bitcoins in return, is called “mining.” The users also mine for blocks to which new transactions can be added. Once the new Block with the new unverified transactions is added to the chain, it is broadcast to all the other nodes. When all the nodes are able to verify the transaction, it becomes a part of the digital ledger.
Remember that no new transactions can be added to the old block because they are already verified. This makes the blockchain tamper proof. To change data of any old block the rogue node needs to put out a complete new blockchain to the network, which is practically not possible because of time and resource constraints. Impact of Blockchain Technology on Industries
Although blockchain was designed to launch cryptocurrency Bitcoin, it has found acceptance in all major Industries like entertainment, sports, retail, finance, logistics, healthcare, etc. Here are some use cases that have the potential to change the face of many industries: Blockchain can be used in supply chain to verify authenticity of products being delivered. Smart contracts can be used to perform transactions without the need for middlemen. Blockchain can be used for crowdfunding where people donating can easily track if they are donations have been put to correct use. Securing personal identities online is one of the biggest drawbacks of current online systems. Blockchain can be used to distribute this data in a way that it becomes secure and there is no central point of hacking. People can store records pertaining to their achievements academically and professionally on blockchain and share with other people like prospective employers or loan managers. As it is on blockchain, the other party can easily verify the authenticity of information. Data that should be in public domain, like land title deeds, stock market value, etc. can be securely put on blockchain so that anyone can access and view them. Patient data can be shared across healthcare organizations to ensure better and more efficient care. How governments are using Blockchain
Most governments around the world grapple with issues of transparency, reliability and security in their various programs. All these issues can be taken care of by using blockchain to maintain information. So, governments are embracing blockchain technology to implement transparency and data security issues. As all information on a blockchain is in the public domain, which can be verified, all government measures become automatically transparent. Smart contracts are also being used to ensure that all the promises made by the government are enforced by concerned parties. Data loss or leakage is also diminished as the need to maintain data physically is not there now. Future of Blockchain Technology
The future of blockchain technology will become self-evident when you read these numbers: A simple search on AngelList shows more than 7500 blockchain start ups Blockchain related jobs posted on LinkedIn tripled between 2017 and 2018 Global spending on blockchain solutions was USD 2.1 billion in 2018
However, the blockchain technology faces some challenges as well, which is two pronged. On the one hand they need to work upon their technological limitations and on the other they need to improve the general perception among common people. The technological challenges they face include issues like scalability, security and decentralisation. SegWit upgrade has improved blockchain protocol to some extent but block size needs to be improved further. While the blockchain technology was gaining traction among industry expert over the past couple of years, its image was taking a beating in the eyes of general public due to controversy over Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. FAQs – Blockchain Technology What is the difference between bitcoin and blockchain?
Bitcoin is Digital currency that is maintained on a public verified digital ledger. Blockchain in a chain of blocks containing data verified by independent users. Bitcoin ledger is also implemented using blockchain Technology. What can blockchain do?
Due to decentralized reconciliation of each data on a peer-to-peer network, a blockchain can help its user in following: Establishing digital identities Keeping records that are immutable, i.e., they do not change over a period of time Maintain and provide digital audit trails Offer Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) through platforms like cryptocurrencies and smart contracts What is Hyperledger?
Hyperledger is an umbrella organization for cross-industry open source blockchain technologies. It is promoted by the Linux Foundation. It was launched in December 2016 and supported by companies like IBM, SAP and Intel. It has participants from some of the major Industries like Finance, Banking, IoT, manufacturing and retail. Starting with just four business blockchain codebases, it now hosts many private blockchain codebases What are smart contracts?
Smart contracts are legal contracts converted into lines of code and implemented using blockchain network. These contracts can be used to perform the allowed legal transactions without the need for a centralised authority, and that is why these contracts are also called self-executing contract. As blockchain is used to maintain and verify transactions, all the transactions are traceable, transparent and irreversible. By using smart contracts, you save on time as well as money. What is SegWit?
SegWit is the acronym for Segregated witness. it is a protocol Upgrade applied by Bitcoin in August 2017 and Litecoin in May 2017. It took care of two issues with the original blockchain protocol – scalability and transaction malleability. Transaction malleability
– The original blockchain protocol had a bug which enabled a user to modify the transaction ID – specifically the witness signature – without modifying the contents. This was no issue for the blockchain per se, but posed problems in developing complex applications over the basic blockchain. Scalability
– The original blockchain protocol limited block size to 1MB. This meant that any blockchain could handle only 7 new transactions per second, a huge limitation as the popularity of blockchains grew and more and more transaction were performed using it. SegWit upgrade enabled a greater number of transactions to be stored in each block. So, the throughput of the blockchain increased. What are blockchain issues and limitations?
Every coin has two sides. Blockchain is taken to be one of the most promising technologies of 21st century. however, it has its own limitations: Resource hog
– Data mining requires great amount of electricity and high computational power. According to a study, blockchain uses more electricity than countries like Switzerland and Czech Republic. It needs to be judged whether the benefits of blockchain far outweigh the resources required to keep it running. 51% assault
– Every blockchain is prone to 51% assault. This essentially means that if 51% of the nodes are taken over by rogue elements, they can add new transactions according to their own wish. This can be taken care of only if more and more people join blockchain network. Complex language
– Blockchain technology uses lots of terms and complex concepts. People need to be as educate in these terminologies so that they feel comfortable to join the blockchain network and make it more useful. The full benefits of blockchain technology can be utilised only if the nodes joining the network come from diverse backgrounds. Offline interface
– The last Mile gap between online information and offline entity is not taken care of by the blockchain. It must be done manually and hence it is prone to human error. Conclusion
Blockchain is essentially an immutable, decentralized and tamper proof ledger. As we have seen, it has the potential to make life easier by providing secure, fast, transparent and middlemen-free way of performing transactions. As more and more people are realizing the way blockchain technology can revolutionize the way we perform transactions, both financial and non-financial, it has the potential to become the most valuable technology of 21st century. Being one of the top blockchain development company , we can help you execute your idea flawlessly.
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Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cryptocurrency: The Insider’s Guide to Blockchain Technology, Bitcoin Mining, Investing, and Trading Cryptocurrencies –

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U.S. Global Investors' (GROW) CEO Frank Holmes on Q2 2019 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

U.S. Global Investors’ (GROW) CEO Frank Holmes on Q2 2019 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

U.S. Global Investors, Inc. (NASDAQ: GROW ) Q2 2019 Earnings Conference Call February 14, 2019 8:30 AM ET
Company Participants
Frank Holmes – Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer
Lisa Callicotte – Chief Financial Officer
Holly Schoenfeldt – Marketing and Public Relations Manager
Conference Call Participants
Holly Schoenfeldt
Good morning, and thank you, for joining us today for our webcast announcing U.S. Global Investors’ results for the Second Quarter of Fiscal Year 2019. I’m Holly Schoenfeldt. If you have any questions during the webcast, you can enter them in the questions area of the control panel side bar, which is normally to the right of your screen. Also, you may download a PDF of today’s slides by clicking on the red handout button.
The presenters for today’s program are Frank Holmes, U.S. Global Investors CEO and Chief Investment Officer; Lisa Callicotte, Chief Financial Officer; and myself, Holly Schoenfeldt, Marketing and Public Relations Manager.
During this webcast, we may make forward-looking statements about our relative business outlook. Any forward-looking statements and all other statements made during this webcast that don’t pertain to historical facts are subject to risks and uncertainties that may materially affect actual results.
Please refer to our press release and corresponding Form 10-Q filing for more detail on factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from any described today in forward-looking statements. Any such statements are made as of today, and U.S. Global Investors accepts no obligation to update them in the future.
Quickly I’ll review about U.S. Global. We are an innovative investment manager with vast experience in global markets and specialized sectors. We were founded as an Investment club, the Company became a registered investor adviser in 1968 and has had a long-standing history of global investing and launching first-of-their-kind investment products, including the first no-load gold fund.
U.S. Global is well-known for expertise in gold and precious metals, natural resources, and emerging markets. And now let’s go to Frank Holmes, CEO and CIO, for an overview of the period. Frank?
Frank Holmes
Well, thank you, Holly. Thank you everyone. Happy Valentine’s Day. We’ll talk a little bit about that Love Trade when we get to gold. But right now our strengths are we’re the go-to stock for exposure in emerging markets, resources, gold and digital currencies.
And I’m going to talk about that – the volatility of the digital currencies and our investments there rather than trying to launch ETF, have impacted our volatile growing stock and I think that’s important positive and negatively. Debt free, strong balance sheet, reflexive cost structure, and monthly dividends, return on equity discipline.
The next visual I want to thank all of our shareholders, those in particular and see the active fund managers that have been very loyal, through this whole period. The Royce Funds, The Financial Investment Management Group out of Michigan and Perritt Capital, and Vanguard and Blackrock is strongly in their index funds. But I just want to really thank active fund managers because I realized, and I’ll talk about a little later, this is the challenges of being an active fund manager and some of the issues with this whole wealth phenomena of ETFs and what we’re doing in that space.
But I think the other important part is that we’ve consistently paid for more than 10 years. A dividend is modest, the yield is the more attractive than the S&P 500. And we’ve continued to buy back stock on a, basically it is a quant approach and we buy back stocks as the stock is more volatile and we may suspend or discontinue any time.
I think for the last quarter we bought back a minimal amount of 11,000 shares, which is approximately $13,000. Our balance sheet, as you can see, has lots of securities and investments and, that’s something that’s important for us as we – all for this bear market that’s in the financial asset class. In particular, small fund managers, that when you take a look at them as public companies and the number of RIAs in the space they are actually shrinking.
And this is all part of this sort of big shift that’s taking place and the burden of expensive regulatory costs. But we want to highlight the next visual, which is the volatility which Lisa is going to comment on, has a lot to do with how you’re reporting your investments and the volatility of our investments in particular HIVE blockchain had a material impact the last quarter on our reporting.
So the next one is to show you that the assets, they are declining. They seem to have slowed down in that decline. Last year we had a strong dollar, emerging markets came under great pressure and I thought on a relative basis we held up overall, because we had to headwinds against us.
One was the money leaving, emerging markets and B, the money that was going and it was predominantly going into U.S at ETFs. So from that end, we held off on a relative basis. Still, we’ve got to find that magic button that turned this around so that we’ve got this asset growth.
The next visual is the highlight, it’s not just a U.S. Global experience it is also a phenomenon that, excuse me, I’ve got these allergies that come through and it gives me my voice, a little raspy this morning. But Follow The Money is overflows from Domestic Equity Mutual Funds have gone to ETFs and 90% of these are just going to ones that are basically free.
And I find it sort of hypocritical that is you cannot, and I cannot induce a investor to put money into our funds by offering them a toaster and the banks used to do that. When, I remember when I first moved to Texas that you could get a toaster if you open up an account and you just couldn’t do that in the fund business. So that was an inducement, but you can induce them, which cheap fees, which basically is still an inducement.
And it’s a flawed process that is just cheaper is better. And that’s one reason why when we’ve gone into the ETF space, we’ve remained with smart Beta and we’re really happy to see that our indexes that were used have outperformed, their asset classes, be it Jets airline ETF, has far outperformed the global ETF – I think the index for the New York Stock Exchange and same thing with GOAU or GO GOLD.
But the idea that just cheaper is better when it comes to investing is really remarkable. And that’s where the assets are flowing. And that means if money is going into a – bigger money is going into these indexes that are buying overvalued stocks and less money is going into undervalued stocks.
So, that active manager is basically a, that used to be like an arbitrage, buying the cheaper stocks and selling the more expensive stocks. And a lot of performance has nothing to do with picking good stocks in the short-term. It has to do with just fund flows.
So these are new dynamics that investors have to be really aware of. And in this race to the bottom, everyone ends up last. The seismic shift and index has come with some unexpected consequences including price distortion. We’ve seen this in the gold business. We saw when GDX in GDXJ, that these are two big gold equity ETFs and they end up having to own each other, then they own to have to unwind that along with owning too much more than 20% of 20 public companies.
And that unwinding, which took a year to basically accumulate, was unwound in three days, damaged the small cap gold stocks, which we, it has a collateral damage of our active funds and nothing to do with good or bad stocks.
And then last year we had Vanguard, abort and get out of it and to do with gold. And a lot of gold fund investors have jumped in, bought their index because it was cheaper than ours, but we outperformed them and lo behold they just didn’t stay with gold and that was part of almost a bottom, but they really hurt. They blew out $2 billion worth of gold stocks.
And in our gold ETF, GO GOLD, GOAU this is the New York Stock Exchange. We saw the biggest activity of stocks going in and out of that particular ETF. Why? Because the pounding of lot of stocks became undervalued, but it does impact the sentiment, the psychological factor of investors. But we’ll see how it unfolds. I think that when the big correction happens to the equity markets, we’re going to see some massive distortions with the S&P 500 because of the trillion dollars of stock buybacks means our folks are smaller, money is going into overvalued stocks in a rapid rate, and if they go to rebalance that, it will have massive distortion.
We have witnessed this as case studies in the gold market, but talking about this, the sharing insights and the financial media industry experts on a range of topics. I speak around the world from Latin America, summit to Fox News in New York, or Kitco, which has the largest following for people looking for gold information in the world and on a weekly basis do their touchdown pass.
So we have a great exposure, in that space as educators, and that’s what’s really important to us. So, here’s the next visual free ETFs, but not free toaster. So that’s the sort of contrarian thought process for investors to recognize and it will just create a distortion capital. And just the fact now we’re seeing that the big wire houses, will not allow a multimillion dollar account to buy stocks under a $200 billion market caps or give margin at $10.
So that whole small cap space is being orphaned with all these interpretations of regulations and rules, by this sort of slew of compliance officers and then have a no experience in understanding of how capital is formed, how people come together, savers and investors to speculate or to invest in income, is this rules upon rules.
And so I like to highlight that eventually it is going to come back to hurt those investors. But here’s the next one is I’m very proud of because despite headwinds, gold can tune to outperform in 2018 and on a regular basis in particular, the CNBC in New York, is so different than the culture of Asia, where there is a cultural affinity for gold versus the UK, which has a more balanced view for gold.
Gold is bad, gold is too volatile. But the facts are the – the DNA of volatility of bullion is about the same as the S&P 500, so it is not more volatile. But since this century started, it is outperformed by a wide margin, the S&P 500. And so when I show this now, well short-term it hasn’t and there’s always an excuse. But here we are going at 18 years of a spectacular track record and we’ve always advocated the 10% golden rule that investors have 10% exposure into the asset and we’ve also allowed small retail investors to be able to invest.
So, that means we have to have higher expense ratios because the cost of having a funds has just gone up dramatically. And the small fund shareholders costs more money and – but still would give them that avenue to participate in gold and gold related stocks. So, I remain that gold, is such an important asset class, especially with the growth of Chindia around the world.
China and India actually known as there are macro force to not to ignore. They are 40% of the world’s population. They have rising GDPs per capita, which are highly correlated to the next visual of the Love Trade. And love is about 60% of the consumption of gold each year, fear is what dominates the media in New York. To get out of gold based on fear, but I think that what’s really important is that people recognize love.
Now we just finished basically the Chinese New Year and we usually get a big run up into it and we get the spoofers in the gold market trying to manipulate the price of gold down during Chinese holidays or the first week of October. But there’s been litigation and I think, we’re seeing the slowdown in that sort of coming into those markets, because gold is actually been relatively stable during this Chinese new year cycle.
So, what drives this fear trade, it’s a binomial model and I continue to try to educate investors all over the world. That government policy, it doesn’t matter who’s on the left or right, who’s the President, who’s the Head of the Federal Reserve. It’s monetary fiscal. Today is Jerome Powell is the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. So as real interest rates of money supply and we’re seeing that the bulk of this debt unwinding has created more volatility in the capital markets.
And then the other side we have fiscal policy which is tax and regulation and spending. Trade wars are basically a form of taxation. And so they actually slow down an economy. Rising tariffs are not good for global economic growth, lower corporate taxes are, so you have sort of a on the fiscal side eye-wash trades. And I’ve seen this, since the year 2000 when gold is actually taken off, has been since 9/11 with the Patriot Act has, it had been this incredible growth in AML, anti-money laundering laws there the regulations continue to grow globally.
Most of the rest of the countries of the world are afraid of dealing with the U.S. so they like in Switzerland, they won’t even allow you to have having an account over there. And it goes on the process of even for corporations in doing business.
So we have a trade war when it comes to the flow of money and it’s been growing. But interesting enough, gold is the fourth most liquid asset class in the world and it is a form of money and it has grown as you’ve seen this these global regulatory AML wars take place. The impact is so I think that gold is an interesting asset class to diversify your portfolio.
And I think the unwinding of QE is really as a monetary aggregate is having an impact on the volatility of the stocks. So here’s the next visual, life is all about managing expectations and I think it is important for you to recognize Bullion is about the same as the S&P 500, crude oil is extremely volatile and emerging markets are also volatile but I point out that gold stocks are the most volatile if you’re looking at that and so investors, so we’ll be looking at the days when you have a gold down, more than 1% of it is down 2% a day.
Usually that’s a lower risk day to take on a position and vice versa. But it’s up 2% or 3% in a day. It’s usually a time to take some profits. That’s all based on regressional math. And why is this important to you and to our shareholders of GROW? Is that volatility is showing up in the 70% of the daily trading in the stock market are quants. It’s quant driven.
Quants look at this DNA of volatility and they apply it to their asset class. So they look for correlations. They are not directly causing effects that you would normally think of, but they just look for patterns of correlations and they call how long would that last for? And they do, I put this called a gamma that that idea is good for maybe one day or seven days. And that is showing up with press releases of how stocks can be impacted up or down.
Now I am going to jump over to the crypto world. So, I was trying to launch a ETF in that space and recognize quickly that the regulators do these AML and KYC, know your client rules were really pushing back about allowing and I understand why an ETF of that would own bitcoin because they’re concerned with some hacker would turn around and be able to get paid in bitcoin.
And maybe that showed up in the listed ETF. But as it may is a rational reason I had all this knowledge and so I launched, was it a co-investor in launching of HIVE Blockchain, which was the first industrial scale mining of virgin coins in Iceland and in Sweden. And this truly caught the imagination of capital markets, it allowed investors the first time to directly play and all of a sudden the DNA of our volatility of growth changed with high and a high grew dramatically in three months, in the last quarter of 2017 raised $200 million.
Predominantly from institutions at three different stages, deployed it and we had this huge revenue and cash flow, but a decline naturally what it would with the decline between 70% and 90% for Bitcoin Ethereum. But this next visuals will show you that the major events suppressing the price has a lot to do with global synchronized regulatory, attacks against that industry.
And it basically started with the launch of the CME futures contract, which allowed, institutions to basically use suppression to push down the price. We’ve seen this in gold and we’ve seen it but this never lasts long because gold is so deep and gold is so wide. It is the fourth most liquid asset class in the world. But you can spoof markets in the futures market, it’s been well known. There’s been lots of litigation. We have written about this, we have commented about this. So, you’re seeing in the Bitcoin, I think it’s a bear market. What’s interesting to me is, is that it’s still the enthusiasm. The conferences are packed. I would never get a 2,000 people for a gold conference if gold had fallen 90%. It just wouldn’t happen or the S&P fell, you know 30%, no one’s going to come out to a small cap or a big cap, gold – equity conference.
So people are very sentiment driven. But this ecosystem of crypto around the world is really quite fascinating to me. And I saw in India where the Supreme Court ruled against the Federal Reserve basically of India, is top one crypto exchange. And then nearly a week later they came out with – they’re doing their own crypto currency as a country.
So we’re seeing many countries looking and exploring this, probably the Bank of England is the most advanced and most positive and constructive. And we’re still seeing during this bear market, fidelity deploying tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure build out. We’re seeing Ivy League institutional, the university is basically buying for their pension funds and some of these crypto currencies we’re seeing, Goldman Sachs deploying capital. So there’s lots of money. There’s lots of people attending these conferences. So that ecosystem has not gone away.
And interesting also enough is that most of it is a cash economy. And so it’s not leveraged so it can easily surge back. When you have a debt crisis like we had in 2008 or the merchant market crisis of 1997, 1998, it takes four years to repair that damage. And we saw last – a week ago, Friday, bitcoin was up 17% and HIVE jumped 70% a day.
It moves just with that and GROW was up with it. So we become a proxy. A HIVE Blockchain is a derivative play on this space. It moves in the same DNA volatility. And the second derivative of that appears to be GROW. That is so important for investors to recognize what’s moving our stock up and down. It used to be gold. It used to be predominantly gold. We were up and down with the movement of gold relative to our gold funds.
And I’ve come back to this sort of educational pieces, oppression of gold. You can see that the decoupling took place in 2012, the QEs 2, 3s and now is – gold, the QE 3 is now being unwound. We’re seeing gold all of a sudden got a base, which is unusual because of real interest rates, but I have been mentioning all over the world that last year was a phenomena of real interest rates in the U.S. spread between – the Japanese government would pay you versus what the U.S. government would pay you versus what the EU countries would pay you that differential was so great.
Then in fact, gold should have been like $700 an ounce and gold and the dollars have been up another 20% because of that spread differential. So you’re seeing this diversification take place. Stay tuned to usfunds.com we read about it a lot. We commented about it a lot and I think it’s important for you and you can go on and take a look at HIVE, at Genesis Mining and learn more if you’re interested on the blockchain and crypto world.
So as I mentioned, rather than spend a lot of time and effort, we’re launching an ETF in that space we launched HIVE Blockchain. Now I’d like to come back to that volatility, as you can see the one-day volatility of bitcoin is 5% versus bullion is 1% and the S&P is 1% and Ethereum.
So that one-day and 10 day volatility of these cryptocurrency is substantially greater. And that will impact the overall asset class. And so you can see here that investors appear to be using HIVE as a proxy for bitcoin, ether and you can see that HIVE has come down just like other currency.
And the next visual is just to give you some highlights regarding HIVE Blockchain technology. So build out and now what we’re doing is just striving to cut costs, cut costs everywhere. And that’s the biggest thing with all of these blockchain companies who like anyone that’s in the mutual fund world that has small funds, the idea there is to drive another day, you have to survive in the short-term. And so that’s one reason why we’re always assessing costs.
And I’m going to turn it over to hardworking, Mrs. Dynamite, the financial world in our bear market sort of the gold fund business, Lisa Callicotte.
Lisa Callicotte
Thank you, Frank. Good morning. Before I summarize our results of operations, I’d like to discuss the investment accounting pronouncement that we adopted this year.
Slide 28 notes changes in the accounting rules related to our investment that is expected to cause our earnings to be more volatile. We adopted Accounting Standards Update, ASU 2016-01 recognition in measurement of financial assets and financial liabilities effective July 1, 2018. This amended the guidance and the classification of measurement of investments in equity securities and certain disclosures.
Starting in this fiscal year, some of our corporate investments are accounted for differently than in the past. There was no longer an available-for-sale classification for equity securities with readily determinable fair value. And as part of the adoption of the new standard, we made a required cumulative effective adjustment and reclassified $3.1 million in unrealized net gains and $1 million in related deferred tax expense out of accumulated comprehensive income and into retained earnings.
Effective July 1, 2018, changes in fair values of investments formerly classified as available-for-sale are now reported through earnings, rather than comprehensive income. This includes any changes in the market value of our investment in HIVE. The impact to earnings for this change for the quarter ending December 31, 2018 was an investment loss of $2.8 million. These losses are related to unrealized declines in securities formerly classified as available-for-sale and previously would have been reduced our comprehensive income, rather than investment income.
The majority of this amount is related to a decline in market value in our investment in HIVE. And though we had an investment loss related to HIVE for the quarter ending December 31, 2018 as of yesterday, the market value of the Company’s investment in HIVE was higher than our cost.
What shareholders need to understand is that no matter if an investment is short-term or long-term in nature, the change in market value will be reported quarterly and cause our income to be more volatile.
Slide 29 summarizes our investment in HIVE. At December 31, 2018, the investment in HIVE was included in investments in securities at fair value noncurrent on our balance sheet. We owned 10 million shares of HIVE, which is approximately 3% of the outstanding shares at quarter-end. And the cost of the investment was $2.4 million and the market value at December 31, 2018 was $1.9 million.
Now I’ll discuss the results of operations for our quarter ending December 31, 2018. Beginning on Page 30, we recorded total operating revenues of $1.8 million for the quarter, which is a decrease of $194,000 or 10% from the $2 million in the same quarter last year. The decrease is primarily due to decreases in assets under management related to market depreciation and shareholder redemption and it was somewhat offset by an increase in annual performance fees earned.
Operating expenses for the current quarter were $2.1 million, a decrease of $21,000 or 1%, primarily due to the following reasons: employee compensation and benefits decreased $167,000 or 15%, mainly due to decreases in bonuses; and the decrease was somewhat offset by increases in general and administrative expenses of $137,000 or 15%, primarily due to increases in fund and consulting expenses. We see our operating loss at the quarter end is $322,000.
On Slide 31, we see that other income loss for the quarter with a loss of $3.4 million, which was mainly related to unrealized losses on investments, including investments formerly classified as available-for-sale. Other income and loss decreased $4.9 million from the same quarter in the prior year. Investment income decreased $3.6 million compared to the second quarter in the prior year, primarily due to unrealized losses of $3.4 million; $57,000 of impairment losses in the current period, compared to unrealized gains of $60,000 and realized losses of $58,000 in the prior period.
Also the second quarter of fiscal year 2018, we recorded income from equity investments of $1.2 million versus a loss of $48,000 in the second quarter of fiscal year 2019. Net loss attributable to USGI after taxes for the quarter ending is $3.2 million, a loss of $0.21 per share, which is a decrease of $4 million compared to the income of $749,000 or $0.05 per share in the same quarter in fiscal year 2018.
Moving to Page 32, we see we still have a strong balance sheet, it includes a high level of cash and unrestricted securities that combined to make up 76% of our total assets. And on Page 33, we still have no long-term debt, the Company has a net working capital of $15 million and a current ratio of 10.2:1.
With that, I’ll turn it over to Holly.
Holly Schoenfeldt
Thank you, Lisa. All right, as you can see a majority of our mutual fund assets are in emerging markets and natural resources, while 36% are in domestic equities and fixed income.
As for distribution, more than three quarters of assets come from retail investors with 18% coming from institutional investors. Our sales and marketing efforts have continued to focus on mutual funds, including those concentrated on gold, natural resources and emerging markets as well as our exchange-traded funds. The company and our funds continue to receive an invaluable amount of viral publicity gained through media interviews. Frank Holmes often shares his insights with financial outlets like CNBC Asia, Bloomberg Radio and Kitco News, just to name a few.
We continue to receive recommendations by influential financial newsletter writers as well, along with sharing and syndication of our award-winning original content by third-party publishers. The newsletters have loyal following and receive millions of visitors each month.
Frank Holmes’ CEO blog, Frank Talk, continues to grow in popularity as well. His commentary is often featured by prominent publications like Forbes, Seeking Alpha, The Crux and Business Insider with millions of monthly visitors. We like to call Frank Holmes our globetrotter because he, along with others on our investment team, travel around the world to share our thought leadership. We also interact frequently with our loyal followers through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.
One of our core values that U.S. Global Investors is curiosity to learn and improve. We believe that providing educational material to investors is one way of many to achieve this. Some of our most recent pieces include What’s Driving Energy handout and our Gold’s Fear Trade white paper. Both of which are available for download on usfunds.com.
Kitco News, the biggest gold website in the world with an audience of over 30 million monthly visitors, in partnership with The Street, continues to feature the Gold Game Film show with Frank Holmes’ gold market analysis. And since the show’s beginning, 157 episodes have aired.
At quarter-end, we like to look into the most visited Frank Talk blog posts over the last year, no matter what year they were actually written in. So on this slide, you can see that the most visited articles include: one, The Top 10 Countries With the Largest Gold Reserves; two, Top 10 Gold Producing Countries and number three, What Does It Take To Be In The Top 1%? You can sign up for the blog for free on our homepage.
All of this coverage helps us leverage our brand by reaching millions of readers, viewers and potential investors in our website usfunds.com was visited 496,000 times from December 2017 through December 2018 by curious investors from all over the world. U.S. Global is well-known for timely, balanced and positive market insights and our thought leadership. The Company has been awarded numerous STAR awards by the Investment Management Education Alliance over the years, adding three more at the end of 2018, including best educational campaign within the small funds category.
The IMEA STAR awards recognize excellence in investor education. To-date, the Company has earned a total of 85 STAR awards. Our subscriber base continues to grow organically and we currently have over 44,000 curious investors subscribed to our investment newsletters in the Frank Talk blog. We also continue to see a large following across all of our social media platforms as well, particularly on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Investors can sign up at usfunds.com and join the subscribers who received the award winning Investor Alert e-newsletter as well as Frank Talk. And quickly as we wrap up today’s presentation, we do want to offer attendees of the live webcast, the opportunity to drop us a line. We love hearing from our shareholders and our subscribers. So if you would like a free enjoy Capitalism tee-shirt, please shoot us a quick note to info@usfunds.com after today’s presentation.
Now we’d like to open it up to questions.
Question-and-Answer Session
A – Holly Schoenfeldt
And as a reminder, you can enter the questions in the control panel on your screen. And I do have a couple of questions. The first I’ll start with, directing towards Lisa. It says in the last webcast, you mentioned the possibility of selling or leasing out a portion of the headquarters building. Can you give us an update on progress with that?
Lisa Callicotte
Sure. Actually we have made some progress in this area. Currently, we are in the process of finalizing a lease for a few thousand square feet of our building. And though it’s a small area that rent will help offset some of our building costs. We are considering making some capital improvements, that may increase the interest in the office space we have available but we’re still open to selling the building of a favorable opportunity present itself. So we are progressing in leasing but we’re also keeping our options open.
Holly Schoenfeldt
Great. Thank you. And Frank, you kind of mentioned this during the presentation, but this question is for you, it says, do you think growth stock will continue moving with the price of cryptos or do you think it will revert back to tracking the movements in gold mainly as it’s done in the past?
Frank Holmes
I think it moves with both. What’s more volatile in the short-term as we seen is bitcoin and Ethereum. So I think the impact on our balance sheet is attracting investors that uses us as a second derivative in that crypto world, where a lot of people do not want to go in and open an account at Coinbase, they don’t want to – they’re afraid of that. They’re not afraid of buying stocks in speculating. And so I think that’s the biggest part is to recognize that small cap investing, microcap investing in new technologies, new biotechnology, new oil or gas fracking or coal mining exploration or Blockchain, the mining that this is all speculative investing.
And what I heard was at a conference recently, was really surprised me in Vancouver, we had 2,000 people show up in a Sunday morning. 500 people showed up at 8:30 in the morning. And the comments were that it’s okay to go, it’s easy to go and speculate buying a lottery ticket or go to the casino. But to speculate in a small cap stock is too risky.
So I thought that was sort of an interesting debate and discussion regarding that topic. And so I think that people – that the speculators up there and looking us speculate in the Ethereum market. They’re using us a proxy and now they’re going directly to HIVE.
Holly Schoenfeldt
Great. Thank you. One more for you, Frank. Can you share any goals or updates as we move towards the rest of 2019 that you want to leave listeners with?
Frank Holmes
Excuse me. I think the rates will peak this year and that peaking will basically see the dollar become weaker and gold, as I’ve said before, in a blink of an eye, it just starts to surge. And we’re witnessing – we’ve written about this, new banks, central bankers buying gold. It’s a 50-year high in new countries’ central banks buying gold.
And 50 years ago, Hungary, Poland, these economies were communist type economies. They had no control of it. Now they have a GDP growth rates twice the year old. And they have been big buyers of gold. So I think you’re going to continue to see that that buying of gold from China, Russia, Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe Bloc countries as a way to diversify their themselves, just like Ray Dalio does, who runs the biggest hedge fund in the world. And he’s always advocated a position in gold as a parity against bonds and other currencies. And I think it’s just wise for investors that follow the 10% golden rule and have some exposure towards the industry and rebalance once a year.
Holly Schoenfeldt
Great. Thank you. This concludes U.S. Global Investors’ webcast for the second quarter of 2019. This presentation will be available on our website at usfunds.com. And thank you all for your participation today.

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AiThority Interview Series with Dr. Alex Yang, CEO at V SYSTEMS

AiThority Interview Series with Dr. Alex Yang, CEO at V SYSTEMS

Know My Company Tell us about your interaction with smart technologies such as AI and blockchain.
I’ve been involved with technology from my first job in Jump Trading , where I used data mining and heuristic algorithm for financial modeling. I started looking at blockchain in the early days of Bitcoin . And I soon turned from an investor in Bitcoin/ETH mining, to personally getting involved in the space to push forward the idea of blockchain as I think it’s a technology with a massive potential on hand. How did you start in this space? What galvanized you to be part of the blockchain community?
When I learnt Bitcoin/blockchain and what had been changed in peer-to-peer transactions from a dear friend, my first thought was that the technology was going to change the whole Wall Street and the way people run financial services. As I dig further into it, thanks to my mathematics background, I am no stranger to realize the potential of blockchain as a potential backbone of an even more general area than finance for most, if not all, database.
In fact, when you come to think of it, many of the world’s systems are in one way or another built upon database. A shift from the traditional centralized model to an open and decentralized model is definitely going to be pivotal in history. I wanted to be a part of the change, which is why I decided to join the community and be the CEO of V SYSTEMS . Our project is the first general database blockchain project.
Read More: AiThority Interview Series with Dr. Michael Green, Chief AI Officer at Blackwood Seven What is V SYSTEMS and how it is impacting the FinTech industry?
V SYSTEMS is a blockchain database cloud project that aims to create a brand new digital economy era with billions of blockchains underpinning society. Our team is led by Sunny King, who was the creator of Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus in cryptocurrency . He has designed an elevated version of PoS, Supernode Proof of Stake (SPoS). Using SPoS, we are delivering the world’s first object-oriented general-purpose distributed database, which is empowered to carry complex decentralized applications.
This is bound to bring a huge impact to the industry, just like how PoS garnered a gigantic amount of adoption since its creation because with SPoS and our modular design, anyone, even people with limited coding knowledge, can easily create blockchains. The usage of that for decentralized applications is unlimited. Tell us more about “Proof of Stake” and what is the consensus opportunity in PoS.
Proof of Stake was created by Sunny King in his Peercoin project. In PoS-based cryptocurrencies, the creator of the next block is selected via a combination of random selection and the stake (e.g. wealth or coin age). Compared to PoW where people are competing on computational power, PoS breaks the linkage between mining and excessive energy consumption. Taking out the constraint of energy, PoS model is much more scalable and can, therefore, expand to much wider usage.
After the creation of PoS, it has since attracted massive adoption. According to research by Crypto Research in June 2018, 21% of global top 100 cryptocurrencies are using PoS as the consensus mechanism, 10% are using PoS and PoW hybrid, while 7% are using delegated PoS. Even Ethereum is now shifting to a PoS model. This is proof as to why PoS could and should serve as the base layer of blockchain in order to make it scalable. What we’re developing now – SPoS, is an elevated version of PoS, which is even more stable and scalable, and in the minting process giving coin owners rewards, creating a self-governing ecosystem. How do you see the raging trend of including blockchain in enterprise digital transformation?
It is definitely happening. And this is also what we are trying to achieve here at V SYSTEMS. We are developing support for enterprise-level decentralized applications, as we believe that enterprises are looking for an easy entry to blockchain. In fact, businesses of any areas can also be benefited by blockchain, as long as there’s database involved, blockchain could help. What are the biggest challenges and opportunities for businesses in leveraging blockchain?
Scalability and stability are in our opinions two of the biggest challenges for businesses. Enterprises have a very high stake to risk for a shift to blockchain. Blockchain must be proven to be extremely stable, while scalable enough to take care of the massive data flow. At V SYSTEMS, we’re solving these two issues through SPoS. PoS has already solved the scalability issue, but SPoS is bringing it to another level.
Supernodes are very stable and high-functioning by design, which, in turn, brings a very high level of stability. After our mainnet and supernode launch in September 2018, they are showing really promising data, with industrial level TPS and production of one block per 4 seconds. It’s much more stable than most public chains, with a block production success rate of 99+% and an average delay of less than 0.1 second.
For opportunities, it’s unlimited. Any business, regardless of size, is in some ways leveraging database, even in tiny ways such as storing employee information. Blockchain opens up the centralized system to a safer decentralized environment, making data much more resistant to attacks.
Read More: AiThority Interview Series with Bhaskar Roy, Head of Growth at Workato How should young technology professionals train themselves to work better with FinTech?
There are lots of resources online and also we’re seeing more institutions, such as universities, offering education on FinTech . I’ve also helped to set up a Blockchain Lab with a group of industrial institutions for SUSTech, Shenzhen, in 2016, one of the first research center among Chinese universities. In my opinion, this is a two-way work. Young professionals have to educate themselves, but also the FinTech industry bears the responsibility to make FinTech more approachable and comprehensible. I’m glad this is happening now and there’s a wave of talents coming into FinTech. What is the biggest challenge to Fintech transformation in 2019? How does V SYSTEMS contribute to a successful digital transformation?
There are more and more projects coming into the FinTech space. It’s not necessarily a challenge, but it’s definitely harder for a business to stand out among the sea of FinTech companies. On the bright side though, it’s a good thing, more competition pushes for better technologies, and, in turn, pushes the FinTech transformation. What we’re doing here at V SYSTEMS is we’re bringing what the market needs – it’s more than just blockchain, it’s blockchain that’s easy to create. We are here to enable anyone to create blockchain at fingertip. Where do you see Blockchain and AI/Machine learning and other smart technologies heading beyond 2020?
Blockchain can definitely boost AI development in terms of data sources and management. The ownership of the data might be, for the first time, handled by individual users in a controllable way. The exchange of the data can be better monetized with the aid of blockchain database. More use cases are coming along, many industries will be impacted by these smart technologies. There are many prototypes in development already. By 2020, I expect to see more than just tests and prototypes, but instead actual implementation of these technologies.
Read More: AiThority Interview Series with Roberta Antunes, CEO at Hack The Good, Bad and Ugly about Blockchain that you have heard or predict –
There are too many “goods” to talk about — security, transparency etc. But so far it’s still pretty much just talks, without actual implementation. One of the major reasons is that the technology, to many, is still a very unfamiliar concept. Many people do not grasp the idea of a decentralized database, and think that blockchain is something unreachable. That’s what we are aiming to solve — by designing our database cloud with a modular structure, hopefully, we are removing the entry barrier and let people create blockchains with just a flick of the finger. The Crystal Gaze What technologies within AI and Blockchain Technology are you interested in?
Smart contract is an area in blockchain that I think will continue to grow in the coming years. As this technology matures, blockchain’s application would be greatly extended, as this helps materialize the advantage of “digitization”.
Another area is mainchain/sidechain in blockchain. By developing a seamless relationship between the two, DApps can function smoothly in a blockchain environment. Sidechains greatly extend the functionality and improve scalability. By running in parallel to mainchains, specialty activities can take place without involving the whole blockchain.
Read More: How AI will Change the Game for Influencer Marketing As a tech leader, what industries you think would be fastest in adopting FinTech with smooth efficiency? What are the new emerging markets for these technology markets?
The finance industry is undoubtedly pouring the largest amount of investment into developing blockchain/FinTech. This is mainly because of the massive cost-saving that blockchain could bring to the space. We’ll soon see on the market new virtual economy tools built on blockchains that enable people to do transactions in an easier and more efficient way. But at the same time, they have to work very closely with regulators to make sure privacy and customers are protected.
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What is Bitcoin Crytocurrency? This latest trend in digital currency uses cryptography for security, which makes it difficult to

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Iran: Still Waiting for the Blockchain Revolution | Cointelegraph

Iran: Still Waiting for the Blockchain Revolution | Cointelegraph

Daniele Pozzi Iran: Still Waiting for the Blockchain Revolution The Iranian national digital currency is still underway. Time for an overview on a controversial issue in a controversial country. The birth of a national Iranian digital currency has been postponed. However, blockchain remains a hot topic in the Islamic Republic of Iran, intertwined with international sanctions and the clash between conservatives and moderates 1346 Total views 102 Total shares Analysis From Jan. 29 to 30, Tehran hosted the eighth annual conference on Electronic Banking and Payment Systems, which was promoted by the Monetary and Banking Research Institution , the research arm of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). Among the announced topics under the theme of the “ Blockchain Revolution ,” it was the unveiling of the Iranian plan for a national digital currency that, as a matter of fact, remained rather vague after it was presented during the conference. In his inaugural speech , Ali Divandari — the director of the Monetary and Banking Research Institution — stressed that “the realities of blockchain technology should be accepted.” Also, many contributions from Iranian and foreign experts focused on the opportunities that fintech and blockchain could potentially open for the Iranian financial and banking industry.
In fact, blockchain seems to be a thrilling topic for Iran: Before the end of the meeting, four Iranian banks announced that they have developed a gold-backed cryptocurrency called PayMon , aiming to tokenize part of their reserves.
Besides, immediately after the conference , CBI stated its overall approach, favoring to recognize and to authorize cryptocurrencies, ICOs , exchanges and mining . However, in the meanwhile, the central bank reiterated that using cryptocurrencies as methods of payment inside the country is still prohibited. Therefore, the road map toward a national digital currency and the future regulation of cryptocurrencies in the country remain uncertain.
For instance, Vice Governor of Information Technology for the Central Bank of Iran Naser Hakimi explained that the new policies of the CBI on the issue “are still in the queue for review […] given the many engagements that decision makers have in this regard,” expressing the hope, nevertheless, to unveil them by the end of the year.
Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi , the minister of communications and information technology , on the other hand, stressed some of the issues that could arise in a process still managed by the state’s central government:
“Blockchain’s essence is decentralized and distributed. However, the Central Bank is the centralized institution for regulating banking, so blockchain is structurally in conflict with the Central Bank. And we cannot expect the central bank to promote it, but the central bank should find its way.”
As a matter of fact, the end of the January conference is just the last step in a long and somewhat controversial walk of approach to cryptos that has involved Iran in the last couple of years. Cautiously exploring cryptos
The interest of the Iranian authorities with regard to the opportunities and threats of cryptocurrencies dates back to at least the winter of 2017-18. For instance, during this period that saw an upward trend in terms of Bitcoin (BTC), the secretary of the presidential commission in charge of internet-related issues — named the Supreme Council of Cyberspace (SCC) — Abolhassan Firouzabadi , showed an attitude that, if not favorable, at least was not hostile toward digital currencies , putting forward the possibility of the state monitoring and regulating them, while the economic commission of the Majlis-e-Shuray-e Islami (the Iranian parliament ), urged the CBI and the Ministry of Communications and IT to promote research, in view of the fact that the “advantages and disadvantages of Bitcoin haven’t been surveyed comprehensively.”
In this uncertain context, the main concerns were related to the risks involved in high volatility and in the “ungoverned” nature of cryptocurrencies: At the end of 2017, and during the first months of 2018, the stance of different Iranian agencies and government bodies was one that aimed to forbid involvement in the cryptocurrency market of entities such as brokerage firms , exchange shops and the whole banking system — that is, until a new regulatory scheme would guarantee CBI’s control of blockchain-based assets. All these measures together brought about a sort of ban on the trade of cryptocurrencies for all the private citizens, at least using official channels based in the country (it is important to note that Iranian citizens are usually banned from using international online exchanges ).
Besides worries that Teheran’s decision-makers share with many governments around the world , the Iranian attitude toward cryptocurrencies could not ignore the vali-e-faqih , meaning the authority to have the last word in every controversial political issue, which, since the 1979 revolution , the Republic of Iran grants the Islamic jurists.
In January 2018, Seyyed Abas Mousavian, a member of the central bank’s Islamic Jurisprudence Council , expressed doubts about “sharp fluctuations” and a “lack of transparency in cryptocurrencies.” By April, his doubts had became a verdict against crypto assets , criticized as “not halal” because they are not based on any real asset and because “they cause faithful and believer society’s wealth goes [sic] to unbelievers’ pocket, paving the path for their dominance in the society.”
In January 2019, the news headquarters of eighth annual conference on Electronic Banking and Payment Systems quoted the most recent authoritative statements by Mousavian :
“I do not consider Bitcoin as money. Because money must have consistency to be able to value other assets based on it. An item whose value is shifted 19 times over the course of one year indicates that the nature of this so-called money is not capable of being used as a benchmark for measuring assets. […] I sometimes call it a mysterious money. It’s coded, and mysterious at the same time, because its dimensions are not known.” A virtual coin against the Great Satan
In spite the criticism, cryptocurrencies could exist in terms of both of monetary orthodoxy and of Sharia. Consequently, Iranian authorities — or part of them, at least — are looking to digital money as a potential solution for some of the problems the country is facing. Among the strongest supporters of an Iranian way to blockchain is Azari Jahromi. An information and communications technology engineer and manager, he was born in 1982 and he was appointed as the minister of communications and information technology in August 2017, becoming the youngest member of the cabinet lead by President Hassan Rouhani.
Committed to a more progressive approach to the development of the internet in Iran, since February 2018 , Jahromi has sponsored the idea of a national digital currency that, as Cointelegraph has already noted , presents strong analogies with the Venezuelan Petro . The advancement of the road map was repeatedly announced throughout the last year, notably in April , August and November . Last summer, IBENA, the news agency affiliate to the CBI, disclosed the main features of the future national digital currency as: “1. It is rial-backed. […] 2. The issuer is Central Bank of Iran and the volume of issuance depends on the bank’s decision. 3. Iranian cryptocurrency has been developed under private blockchain infrastructure and cannot be mined. 4. The infrastructure is supposed to be as an ecosystem available for Iranian banks and active companies in cryptocurrencies area.”
During the conference on Electronic Banking and Payment Systems, Jahromi reported that the CBI is presently testing five different blockchain projects.
However, despite being a simple tool in the hands of the banking system, the upcoming Iranian cryptocurrency could become another element in the diplomatic confrontation between Iran and the United States, which has escalated since the beginning of May 2018, when U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally rejected the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action , the deal — commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal — signed in 2015 by the U.S. , Iran, the United Kingdom , France and Germany to freeze both Iranian nuclear plans and the subsequent international retaliation.
A soon as the U.S. reimposed sanctions on any foreign company that continues to do business with Iran, the plan for a national digital currency appeared as a useful tool to facilitate the international transfer of value , even in the context of an embargo. Iranian sources reported that, last May, President Rouhani received advice from Chinese entrepreneur Bobby Lee in a Tweet saying:
“If you really want to threaten President Trump, you should stop using fiat money.”
However, it is more likely that the whole project for a national digital currency, since its beginning, has taken into account the possibility of worsening relations with the U.S. administration.
U.S. sanctions coming back into effect on some Iranian financial institutions at the beginning of November 2018, for instance, caused the Belgium-based SWIFT financial messaging service to disconnect some Iranian banks : Iranian researchers are positive that the new central bank-issued digital currency or other blockchain-based solutions could compensate for the rising isolation from the traditional international financial network.
As a matter of fact, a digital coin running on a private, state-controlled blockchain, without any economic incentive to sustain the network, would likely encounter very limited opportunities for wide adoption. However, the Iranian press recently reported ongoing negotiations with eight countries — Switzerland , South Africa , France, the U.K., Russia , Austria , Germany and Bosnia) to carry out financial transactions in cryptocurrency: If and how the “digital rial” would take part in these is unclear. However, the news media stressed how many expectations Iran has with regard to blockchain technology as a way of circumventing sanctions .
A hint about how serious the Islamic Republic is in terms of its “going crypto” comes from the reaction of U.S. authorities. Even if no real evidence supports the claim that, in July 2018, the U.S. government confiscated about 500 BTC belonging to Iranian citizens — an action which seems rather infeasible from a technical point of view — it’s true that, since last October, the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau inside the Department of Treasury, warned “virtual currency administrators and exchangers” about the risks of being involved in illicit activities fostered by Teheran’s regime.
Eventually, at the end of the year, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Mike Gallagher introduced a bill in the U.S. Congress ( Blocking Iranian Illicit Finance Act ) encompassing articles aimed to forbid U.S. citizens from engaging in any operation involving a hypothetical Iranian digital currency. It also introduced sanctions on foreign individuals dealing in it. BTCs flight away
While Iranian authorities are looking to cryptocurrencies as a possible tool for dodging the recently-imposed sanctions, Iranian citizens resort to them in order to overcome the fragility of their own domestic currency. The crisis of the Iran nuclear deal, in fact, leading to a severe devaluation of the rial, made the option to convert part of their savings into Bitcoin attractive for many Iranians.
Immediately after the U.S. reimposed the sanctions, Iranian sources reported that about $2.5 billion left the country as cryptocurrencies.
As a matter of fact, to buy or to own cryptocurrencies is not forbidden in Iran, even if trading in crypto asset is not allowed for any legitimate business, and the very nature of crypto remains suspicious from many points of view — not least the religious one. On the other hand, mining has been accepted as an industry since September 2018, a sign of an evolving, yet confusing framework.
No official figures exist that measure how widespread cryptocurrencies are in Iran. However, the U.S. FinCEN defines the use of virtual currency in Iran as “ comparatively small ,” estimating transactions to be about $3.8 million worth per year. Besides, some proxies have emerged from data gathered by the website Coin Dance , on the basis of the weekly volumes of BTC recorded by Localbitcoins . This confirms a rather low level of diffusion, alongside some peaks during the periods of maximum concern about the sanctions and the value of the rial (April-May, September-November 2018). In any case, the highest volumes matched the global highs of the December 2017/January 2018 rally and never surpassed 80 BTC per week.
Even if available data is not complete, Western sources report that, since May 2018, Iranian citizens are encountering enormous difficulties converting their savings into foreign currencies or sending them abroad (for instance, to relatives living in less-troubled countries): In such a context, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies would appear as a valuable life jacket, despite their high degree of volatility during the last few months.
Iran is perhaps experiencing a phenomenon called hyperbitcoinization , an answer that other countries — such as Venezuela , Zimbabwe , Turkey and Argentina — proposed for the rapid inflation and economic crises they are experiencing, turning to crypto as a store of value and a means of exchange. As a matter of fact, BTC would appear as a better store of value than rial, even in one of the blackest periods for the crypto market (to get a correct figure, it is necessary to consider the actual exchange rate on the free market, rather than the official fixed rate).
It is therefore possible to read some of the interventions of the Iranian authorities on the topic of cryptocurrencies as an attempt to bring under control a possible competitor to the national currency or a “hole” in the regulations preventing capital flight. The nongovernmental association Iran Blockchain Community (IBC) argued that the measures introduced by the government since April 2018 to prevent the private sector from accessing cryptocurrencies cut the trade in Bitcoin in Iran from 1,000 BTC daily to 300; in the opinion of Sepehr Mohammadi, IBC’s president, this deprived the country of a valuable asset in regard to future economic development and of a useful tool to counter sanctions. Cryptos, oil, caviar and Telegram
Iran’s attitude toward cryptocurrencies is somewhat similar to the approach of other countries, such as Venezuela and Russia: Both Petro and a CryptoRuble were announced during October and November 2017, the same time when Iran revealed its interest in cryptos. All the envisaged new coins are digital currencies issued and controlled by a national bank, and all of them are somehow connected to a period of economic or diplomatic weakness. Besides this, it is possible to identify some direct connections, as Petro enjoyed — or pretended to enjoy — Russian support and, in November 2018, the Russian Association of the Crypto Industry and Blockchain signed an agreement with Iran Blockchain Labs .
Finally, all these three are among the largest and oldest global producers of oil, with Iran and Russia also sharing primacy for the best caviar in the world. It should be noted, however, that all three countries scored very poorly on The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index in 2018, with Venezuela ranked 134th, Russia at 144th and Iran placed at 150th.
The last point is possibly the most important to understand in terms of the mixed attitude these countries show toward cryptos: For them, some of the typical features of digital currencies would be a resource to oppose the isolation measures imposed by the international community — mostly by the U.S. — while cryptos are viewed rather suspiciously when the same features are used by their own citizens to avoid domestic controls, as the laborious development of both Russian and Venezuelan regulations demonstrates.
The analogies could also include the similarity of the bans imposed both by Russia and Iran on the crypto community’s favored instant messaging platform, Telegram , which both countries accused of trying to create a completely uncontrolled financial system through its ICO .
In Telegram’s case, on the other hand, this shows the complexity and potential dynamism of the Iranian context. The ban was, as a matter of fact, promoted by the conservative wing of the Iranian establishment — the so-called Principalists — which controls the religious-inspired judiciary. However, the ban had very limited success and the hard liners themselves returned to Telegram by the end of 2018. Even if the official stance toward the app remains harsh , the Iranian civil society showed it was sympathetic with the more reform-oriented wing of the government, gathering around President Rouhani — a pattern that could repeat itself on other issues relating to crypto and blockchain. As technology-friendly Minister Azari Jahromi commented , referring to Telegram’s failed ban:
“Victory is not achieved by blocking.”

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BitBull Capital Announces Opportunistic Fund, up 29% in 2018

BitBull Capital Announces Opportunistic Fund, up 29% in 2018

SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — BitBull Capital, known for its crypto hedge fund diligence and its fund of crypto funds, announced today its direct investment vehicle, the BitBull Opportunistic Fund. It has returned +29% since its inception in November, versus Bitcoin at -41%*, a 70% difference.
2018
Nov
Dec
Cumulative
BitBull
13%
14%
29%
Bitcoin
-33%
-7%
-41%
Difference
46%
21%
70%
*In the chart above, “BitBull” refers to BitBull Opportunistic Fund. Note that Bitcoin is a single asset, whereas BitBull spans multiple assets.
BitBull has a unique vantage point; as a pioneering crypto fund of funds, it’s an investor in 10 crypto hedge funds and has done diligence on hundreds. BitBull is now leveraging its knowledge of crypto fund operational security, active management strategies, and deals.
” Our Opportunistic Deal memos–which summarize the best deals we are seeing in the blockchain space–became part of the basis for this fund ,” said its CEO, Joe DiPasquale .
In addition to leveraging deal flow, BitBull’s Opportunistic Fund leverages its diligence of alpha-generating strategies. ” In such a nascent marketplace, there are rapidly evolving opportunities for alpha. Our fund is nimble ,” said Mr. DiPasquale.
Strategies will include:
Market-Neutral and Relative Value: Leveraging crypto’s unique volatility and BitBull’s trading strategy insights
Volatility-weighted positions Arbitrage Market-making Long/Short positions Venture: Leveraging BitBull’s wide access and extensive dealflow
Equity (following in the footsteps of its fund of funds, which had early access to equity in Coinbase, mining companies, and blockchain technology venture capital, among others) STOs/ICOs Event-driven: Leveraging BitBull’s industry connections and market intelligence
Including catalyst-driven and special situations “The returns you see are a direct result of leveraging our market research and knowledge of crypto investment styles to pinpoint investing opportunities,” said Sarah Bergstrand , its COO.
Both BitBull Opportunistic and BitBull’s Fund of Funds are only available to accredited investors, and both allow international investments. A comparison of the terms of both funds is available on BitBull Capital’s website. January returns will be in the investor area of its website at the close of the month.
About BitBull
BitBull Capital manages cryptocurrency hedge funds, including BitBull Fund , a pioneering crypto fund of funds, and BitBull Opportunistic Fund , a direct investment vehicle. BitBull began in 2017 and was incubated at StartX, Stanford’s incubator.
BitBull also runs BitBull Research, which regularly publishes the Crypto Investing newsletter, available for free subscription at www.bitbullcapital.com .
CONTACT: press@bitbullcapital.com
View original content: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bitbull-capital-announces-opportunistic-fund-up-29-in-2018-300794117.html
SOURCE BitBull Capital

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