So what is the bitcoin latest news today? With cryptocurrency taking the world by storm since Bitcoin’s monumental rise to fame, many different organizations, countries, institutions, and entities have begun to interact with cryptocurrencies in different ways:
- Facebook recently updated its policy regarding cryptocurrencies
- PirateBay was recently discovered to be using the CPU power of its users
- David Marcus, who was previously in charge of Facebook Messenger, will be heading the blockchain division
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has begun clamping down on the use of cryptocurrencies
- PornHub list Verge and Tron
- What is Bitcoin ETF about?
Having said that, it is also important to take note of the fact, many organizations and institutions are having trouble addressing the concerns that accompany the use of cryptocurrency, part of which is accrued to its unique nature and novel applications and operations. Even mainstream newspapers now often have entire sections dedicated to the latest bitcoin news.
Here, we will discuss some of the most landmark and iconic news stories from the world of cryptocurrency- from Facebook’s decision to ban and then unban cryptocurrency advertisements, to its new, mysterious blockchain department, all the way to India’s prolonged tussle with cryptocurrency and ICO listings; we have it all!
Bitcoin latest news today and Facebook
Facebook recently updated its policy regarding cryptocurrencies, allowing cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency companies to advertise through its unique advertisement mechanism. Facebook had previously disallowed cryptocurrencies from being advertised from its platform, presumably because they could not decipher a way to ensure that scam cryptocurrencies were presented to vulnerable users.
While the company has still decided to uphold its ban on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), it says it is looking for a way to refine its blanket-ban on cryptocurrencies, particularly because they are becoming an increasingly popular financial instrument and also because there is nothing ostensibly wrong with presenting or advertising cryptocurrencies.
Facebook’s issue before, however, was entirely valid because it could not find a way to ensure that only authentic and reliable cryptocurrencies were presented to its users, a concern that has continuously been generated by several other advertisement platforms as well.
The initial ban on advertising content related to cryptocurrency products was that Facebook could not find a way to ensure that deceptive promotional practices or illegal and/or scam content is shared through its algorithms; this presumably comes after the Facebook’s reputation came under attack when the Cambridge Analytica scandal showed how its algorithm could expose vulnerable users to malicious and/or deceptive content.
The company has now decided to allow advertisements from pre-approved advertisers, which may be a good way to ensure that any cryptocurrency advertised is vetted, and thus there is a way to ensure that ads are secure and not expose users to a fake advertisement asking them to buy digital currency.
The updated policy requires advertisers to submit an application to Facebook before advertising cryptocurrency-related content, which the company will assess to determine eligibility. Applicants are required to include, “any licenses they have obtained, whether they are traded on a public stock exchange, and other relevant public backgrounds on their business.”
Acknowledging the fact that these restrictions might make it harder to cryptocurrencies that are not as well-financed or established to advertise content on Facebook, the company has guaranteed that its policies are not final and that it will continue to listen to feedback to continuously enhance the efficacy and reliability of its advertisement policies on cryptocurrency.
PirateBay caught stealing!
The popular illegal piracy site, PirateBay, was recently discovered to be using the CPU power of its users to mine a cryptocurrency called Moreno through a special browser-based script. Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? Let us explain!
Cryptocurrency mining is the process through which cryptocurrency is generated; it is a way through which transactions on the blockchain ledger are verified, which in turn allow for the creation of more cryptocurrency in the form of rewards. Basically, when any transaction is made on the blockchain ledger, an almost infinite number of mathematical calculations are processed in order to ‘crack the code’ or find the ‘hash’ that can be used to authorize a transaction; once this is done, the person that finds the hash can verify the transaction and use this to win small amounts of cryptocurrency in reward. Bitcoin mining, for example, is when miners on the Bitcoin blockchain verify transactions and are rewarded by a small percentage of Bitcoin in return.
To be successful in mining cryptocurrency, one needs immense processing power so that the mathematical functions required to find the correct hash are quickly completed- the more CPU power you have, the faster you will be able to find the correct hash, and the more cryptocurrency you will mine. Makes sense? Let’s go back to PirateBay now.
PirateBay is an illegal piracy website that is renowned for providing pirated versions of copyrighted content for its users. They are known to have malware-infected pages that hack and/or jeopardize the computers of users and use them for their own benefit.
Recently, news broke out that PirateBay was using a browser-based script to use the CPU power of its users, which it, in turn, allowed it to generate more power for its cryptocurrency mining endeavors. Given the immense requirement for high power, mining pools have been formed which utilize the collective CPU power of all linked machines to mine quicker and more efficiently. PirateBay did the same thing; only, it got caught.
After the operation was exposed by TorrentFreak, PirateBay issued a statement saying that they had been running an experimental script for 24 hours. Yes, very believable, we know. There hasn’t been much news since, but the question that looms large is: are other websites doing the same without our consent? If so, how ethical or unethical is the entire process?
Facebook, Blockchain, and Kevin Weil
Facebook has begun to dig deeper into the world of cryptocurrency, with Mark Zuckerberg recently saying that he wanted his company to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of cryptocurrency. Facebook also has a mysterious blockchain division, presumably a sub-department of its incredibly large Research and Development department. David Marcus, who was previously in charge of Facebook Messenger, will be heading the blockchain division and its Vice President will be Kevin Weil, previously the Vice President of Instagram.
The blockchain is increasingly coming to be known as the next groundbreaking technology- not only is the technology essential to the world of cryptocurrency, but it is also very applicable in other fields, especially fields that require the protection of data and the sharing of information. In that regard, it is not surprising that Facebook, the leader of Silicon Valley, is taking the technology seriously. Facebook can greatly benefit from the blockchain, especially since the very basis of its operations is the transfer of information and the collective organization of large amounts of data. Similarly, it would not come as a surprise if Facebook were to invest in a currency like Bitcoin.
It is also true, however, that after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, anything that Facebook does will invite greater scrutiny and doubt; whether Facebook wishes to use the blockchain to enhance the quality of its interface and user experience, or whether it is part of another of Facebook’s questionable experiments, remains to be seen.
India and Cryptocurrency
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has begun clamping down on the use of cryptocurrencies in the country with various bans and restrictions imposed. In April 2018, it ruled that any entities regulated by RBI can no longer deal with, or provide services to, an individual, entity, or business dealing in virtual currencies.
The decision made by the RBI caused a massive backlash, ostensibly because about 5 million Indians were known to be trading in some form of cryptocurrency. Initially, the Supreme Court of India also took RBI’s side and refused to sanction an injunction on the ban made by the RBI. The RBI’s decision comes in light of various other central bank decisions on cryptocurrency, wherein many central banks in countries across the world have banned the use of cryptocurrencies. This is true particularly in economies wherein the government plays a greater role- China, for example, also banned the trade of cryptocurrencies.
The logic behind restricting the trade of cryptocurrencies has to do with the issue of regulation and stability; for starters, it is very difficult to regulate the transfer of cryptocurrency because the model is designed in a way where transactions are decentralized and hence identity is hidden.
For a country like India where black money and questionable financing is common, it makes sense for the country to disallow the trade of cryptocurrency before it develops comprehensive ways to regulate. Another issue that arises with the use of cryptocurrencies is instability; Bitcoin, for example, saw an almost $10,000 price fluctuation- a fluctuation that can potentially be destructive for an economy. Financial authorities, then, try to prevent such fluctuations from affecting the economy by banning the trade of cryptocurrencies altogether.
In July 2018, the RBI’s three-month deadline to its affiliated entities to stop trading in cryptocurrencies ended, meaning that the ban is now fully in force. The RBI has also asked the Supreme Court to endorse its ban through judgment, but the Supreme Court is yet to respond. Should India completely restrict the trade of cryptocurrency because of its destabilizing and unaccountable effects, or should the market reign supreme?
Pornhub lists Verge and Tron!
PornHub was one of the first organizations to endorse the use of cryptocurrencies, and rightly so. The website has great concern for the privacy of its users and plays an essential role, given its position, in determining how the industry interacts with cryptocurrency. In a surprising move, the website listed Verge and Tron as acceptable cryptocurrencies. This is strange because neither Tron nor Verge is particularly mainstream, nor do they have cutting-edge security and privacy.
Many analysts and a large proportion of the public is baffled by the decision, but the fact that the CEO of Tron claims that he secured ‘a deal’ with PornHub points to a natural conclusion: the website is only willing to list cryptocurrencies that pay them huge sums of money in return for exposure, and so it is banking on the desperation of cryptocurrency companies to make more money. Whether or not others follow suit remains to be seen.
Bitcoin’s $100,000 mark
Around the start of 2018, Bitcoin reached mind-boggling heights and defied the laws of finance, as well as all the predictions that finance gurus had made. In a matter of months, the price of the cryptocurrency increased by a staggering $10,000, making some people richer than they have ever been.
Bitcoin is the world’s most famous cryptocurrency- it was cryptocurrency’s debut to the world, manifest in the various online trading platforms, worldwide legislation, and tireless research that was dedicated to understanding the form and functionality of the novel concept we know today as a cryptocurrency.
Many have predicted that the price of a single Bitcoin will reach the $100,000. For context, Bitcoin’s current price is about $7,000, and its highest price was about $18,000. With loads of positive news coming out of the Bitcoin camp and public trust developing, particularly because of its mainstream operations and because it is not only iconic but also one of the most trusted cryptocurrencies, many believe that the idea that one Bitcoin will be worth $100,000 is not too far-fetched.
Why is this so? There are primarily three reasons for the immense trust people place in the power of Bitcoin. The first is that it is borderless; it can be traded and used anywhere in the world, with no restrictions whatsoever. Bitcoin hence becomes an easy way to transferring money and using it elsewhere; it also becomes a potentially essential component of the global economy, positioning itself as an indispensable asset in the financial world colored with cross-border trading and business.
The second argument in favor of the cryptocurrency is that it is not controlled by the government; Bitcoin operates on a decentralized ledger that is audited by cryptocurrency miners, ensuring that all transactions are transparent and fully dependent on the market. For businessmen, this constant supply and reliance on the market is an essential benefit.
The final argument in favor of Bitcoin is that it allows you to bypass the traditional banking system, which also means that bureaucratic inconvenience, surveillance, and hefty fees can be bypassed through the use of an unregulated, decentralized, independent, and mostly free digital currency.
All these factors, in coalescence, prompt people to believe that Bitcoin is only going to increase in importance.
The alternative view/side is that Bitcoin is too volatile and too ‘free’ for governments to let it be. Just like in India and in China, Bitcoin poses a great threat to the stability of the economy since it Is reliant completely on demand and supply. You may buy a Bitcoin worth $100,000, but if a group of geniuses supercomputers decides to begin mining, the price of Bitcoin will reduce drastically as supply is increased.
Furthermore, it is not easy to convince a government to allow the follow of funds without any oversight; in a world where financing for heinous, malicious organizations has never been easier before, the introduction of Bitcoin into the mainstream would be the death knell of attempts to curtail illegal financing. Critics argue that both these factors, put together, point to the undoubted conclusion that the Bitcoin bubble will burst soon.
Bitcoin’s Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF)
An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is an investment fund traded on stock exchanges, much like stocks. A mutual fund can also be an ETF; the entire idea is to give any monetary asset the figure of stock so that it can be traded in the market.
Several Bitcoin traders and investment enthusiasts have recently required the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to approve a Bitcoin-based ETF so that it can be traded on the market with ease. Reports suggest that the ETF has become so popular that all other cryptocurrency-related approvals have been pushed to September. Created by an organization called Cboe, the ETF will allow people to buy shares in a ‘Bitcoin Trust’
Many believe that this ETF may be the key to reaching the $100,000 mark since a listed ETF approved by the SEC would add great confidence in the stability of the cryptocurrency, and since it will be listed as an ETF, the very nature on investments into the cryptocurrency will add more stability.
Many people have been left traumatized by the cryptocurrency’s massive drop in price at the start of 2018, and measures taken to address this volatility will definitely increase the fame, demand, and trust of Bitcoin.
Rest assured, with investment debates, rigorous research, scandals, economics, and politics involved in the development of the world of cryptocurrency; it would not be unfair to draw the conclusion that cryptocurrencies are the pioneers of modern-day finance. Still in their preliminary stages, whether or not cryptographic and digitalized currencies can stand the test of time, stay relevant, and be acceptable to governments and central authorities, is a question left unanswered.