The cryptocurrency has experienced its second major drop in just days. Rival bitcoin cash has also fallen, plunging to $2,536 per coin, following its rapid climb of more than 50 percent to almost $4,330 per token on December 20.
The value of bitcoin has shot up to 20,000 US dollars, double the milestone 10k mark it hit in late November https://on.rt.com/8v0p
Bitcoin managed to recover some of its losses within several hours, trading around $14,000 as of 9:44 GMT.
Emil Oldenburg, the co-founder of Bitcoin.com – one of the world’s largest sites devoted to the cryptocurrency – recently called the cryptocurrency the “most risky investment you can make,” after he switched to bitcoin cash, which he considers to be the future.
“The old bitcoin network is as good as unusable,” said in an interview with Swedish tech site Breakit.
Despite the declines on Thursday and Friday, the five largest virtual currencies by market capitalization have seen a remarkable rise this year.
– The original bitcoin is up 1,300 percent since January 1.
– The second most valuable cryptocurrency – ethereum – has gained 8,000 percent.
– Ripple is the biggest mover among the top five, with gains of over 16,000 percent this year.
– Since splitting from the original in August, bitcoin cash has gained 600 percent.
– Rounding out the top 5, litecoin has seen an increase of over 5,000 percent.
Over the last 24 hours, cryptocurrencies have lost over $175 billion in market capitalization. Prior to the crash on Thursday, the digital money market was worth $650 billion. After the bloodbath – $474 billion.
Only six out of the top 100 cryptocurrencies listed on the CoinMarketCap website were trading in positive territory as of 8:00 GMT on Friday.
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Despite a seven-fold difference in price, the market capitalization of a virtual currency called ‘ethereum’ is rapidly approaching that of bitcoin.
According to a chart presented by CoinMarketCap, bitcoin currently accounts for nearly 39 percent of the combined market capitalization for all cryptocurrencies, though that figure is down sharply from late February’s 87 percent.
At the same time, ethereum, which accounted for over 31 percent of the combined market cap of virtual currencies, saw just a five percent drop over the past four months.
Bitcoin has enjoyed the largest share of the cryptocurrency market since it was first introduced in 2009, with no serious rivals in sight – up till now.
Ethereum, which has been around for less than two years, is becoming bitcoin’s biggest rival.
The currency was developed by Russian-born programmer Vitalik Buterin, who launched an open-source computing platform called ethereum based on blockchain technology.
In the event ethereum’s market value overtakes bitcoin’s, experts expect a shift in market forces called “The Flippening” to occur, after which ethereum may become the biggest, most valuable, and most important cryptocurrency.
According to data from CoinDesk, the current market cap of bitcoin is slightly above $40 billion, with the price swinging around $2,400, while ethereum’s market cap is over $29 billion, with a price of around $315 per coin.
Some experts say ethereum is definitely set to overtake its rival. The young cryptocurrency “has almost five times as many nodes in its network as bitcoin, meaning more people are using their computers to support it,” according to the Motherboard.vice.com news outlet.
At the same time, banking industry giants have rendered conflicting opinions on digital currencies so far.
Earlier this week, a Goldman Sachs technical expert issued a bearish forecast on bitcoin and Morgan Stanley analysts expect the massive rally for cryptocurrencies to stall until they receive some governmental acceptance.
Because cannabis remains a Schedule I drug under federal law, financial institutions have shied away from marijuana businesses … enter Bitcoin.
By Carey Wedler
As the age of cannabis prohibition slowly comes to an end — despite the best efforts of drug warriors like Attorney General Jeff Sessions — there is an increasing degree of accountability and transparency in the emerging industry. The more states legalize and decriminalize the plant, the more it makes its way out of the shadowy black market and into a more professional, retail setting as retailers and growers face more scrutiny and higher standards.
But even as states legalize cannabis and consumers are increasingly offered safer settings and more product variety, the industry is still struggling as a result of the federal government’s continued tirade against the substance. This is clear in its ongoing police attacks on cannabis operations — even in states where it’s legal. But anti-drug laws are also causing headaches for the industry another way: they’re making it nearly impossible for members of the industry to safely conduct financial transactions.
Because cannabis remains a Schedule I drug under federal law, financial institutions have long shied away from allowing marijuana businesses to use their services. As a result, those working in the cannabis industry are largely forced to conduct their transactions in cash, which is not only inconvenient for both the merchant and the consumer, but also a safety risk; they must hoard large sums of cash rather than being able to deposit their profits in a safe account. The Los Angeles Times has reported that 70 percent of cannabis businesses have no bank accounts.
As a result, Bloomberg reports, participants in the cannabis market are coming up with solutions to this problem. The outlet reports that “[l]egal cannabis was a $6 billion industry last year and is expected to grow to $50 billion by 2026, according to Cowen & Co,” and as a result, at least two cryptocurrency startups are stepping in to help process those profits.
Enter bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that consists of digital coins ‘mined’ by computers solving increasingly complex math problems. At least two financial-technology startups, POSaBIT and SinglePoint Inc., use the cryptocurrency as an intermediate step that lets pot connoisseurs use their bank-issued credit cards to buy weed.
POSaBIT operates by installing kiosks in cannabis shops that allow customers to purchase digital currency with their credit cards (with a two dollar transaction fee added on). That purchased currency can then be applied in the store.
John Baugher, co-founder of POSaBIT, argues the technology is vital.
“There’s no industry — whether it’s the production and sale of cannabis or the production and sale of a cup of coffee — that can operate safely, transparently or effectively without access to banks or other financial institutions and traditional services,” he says.
“That’s where we thought we could leverage the use of digital currency.”
Trove Cannabis, a high-volume shop in Washington that conducts 3,000 transactions per week, started using POSaBIT after spending six months on a waiting list. According to Yin-Ho Lai, the company’s CEO, 13 percent of their customers have since chosen to pay with credit or debit cards and tend to spend more when they use that form of payment.
Consumers also have the option to keep the digital currency they buy and spend it elsewhere.
Though this new development represents the innovation of the market, POSaBIT is still complying with federal and state standards. The consumer buying the digital currency must have a valid ID “that is scanned, encrypted and stored.” They can purchase no more than $150. Further, POSaBIT has a nine-point fraud detection system.
POSaBIT is not the only company coming up with solutions to the government’s impositions on the cannabis trade. “SinglePoint, a mobile-tech firm that specializes in payments via text message, signed an agreement last week with First Bitcoin Capital Corp. to develop a solution for cannabis and other high-risk industries without access to traditional banking,” Bloomberg notes.
SinglePoint put terminals in Washington-based shops two years ago, but banks shut them down, citing too much risk. Now that cryptocurrency is becoming increasingly mainstream, however, there is hope. “It’s not foreign to them now, like some sort of weird scam that they don’t know about,” says Greg Lambrecht, founder and CEO. “More and more establishments are accepting it, but it’s kind of like the wild, wild west.”
Nevertheless, one prevailing view from industry insiders is that by the time these cryptocurrency options are widespread, traditional banks will be more willing to accept cash from the cannabis industry as the plant continues to move into the mainstream. In the meantime, however, the technology will continue to improve the quality of the ever-profitable and burgeoning business.
By Matt Agorist
In Russia, there are free speech zones, gays are persecuted, and speaking out against the State is often met with police brutality — just ask the activist band Pussy Riot. Vladimir Putin is not a hero. That being said, however, on a larger scale, Putin is not attempting to build an empire, he is not destabilizing the Middle East and installing dictators, he’s not funding ISIS, and he tends to resist moves by the globalists that are harmful to the well-being of the Russian people and their money.
As the Free Thought Project reported earlier this year, Putin has begun preparing to release Russia from the crushing grip of the international banking system completely, by moving to a nationalist model based and conducting transactions with allies in gold.
After the massive push toward gold, however, Putin is looking to the future — and the future is in cryptocurrency.
Last week, seeking to further protect Russia from the claws of the international money changing cartel, Putin met with Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin.
As the US seeks to dominate the currency market by limiting the use of cryptocurrency, Russia is proving they are not as beholden to the bankers by facilitating competition with their native currency, the ruble.
As the US seeks to hack, dismantle, and fear monger over the incredible revolution that is the blockchain, Putin wants to implement it.
“The digital economy isn’t a separate industry, it’s essentially the foundation for creating brand new business models,” Putin said.
Putin appears to have chosen Ethereum because of its incredible performance so far this year. In February, Ehtereum was still trading in the low teens but it has seen a near 3000% growth since then. It is also showing the potential to pass the mother of all cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin.
In short, it looks like Russia has plans to deal a massive blow to the banking class and they are looking for the best ways to go about it — gold and cryptocurrency. And, they are wasting no time.
As Bloomberg reports, Russia’s central bank has already deployed an Ethereum-based blockchain as a pilot project to process online payments and verify customer data with lenders including Sberbank PJSC, Deputy Governor Olga Skorobogatova said at the St. Petersburg event. She didn’t rule out using Ethereum technologies for the development of a national virtual currency for Russia down the road.
While central banks across the globe attempt to circumvent the decentralization of cryptocurrencies, they have remained vigilant because of the peer-to-peer nature of the transactions and the security of the blockchain.
It is also important to note that Russia’s move to adopt an Ethereum-based currency is not a flawless measure. It will still be subject to the regulations of the Russian government. However, it is a start and its effect could have revolutionary implications.
“Blockchain may have the same effect on businesses that the emergence on the internet once had — it would change business models, and eliminate intermediaries such as escrow agents and clerks,” said Vlad Martynov, an adviser for The Ethereum Foundation, a non-profit organization that backs the cryptocurrency. “If Russia implements it first, it will gain similar advantages to those the Western countries did at the start of the internet age.”
Rest assured, however, that there are forces in the banking industry who are moving to control cryptocurrencies and stop this progress. Indeed, they are making their own ‘coins’ which will undoubtedly be accepted by governments, easily manipulated, and under total control.
The Bank of England is one such member of the cartel moving to usurp the power given back to the people through cryptocurrencies. Bank of England has an experimental cryptocurrency underway called RSCoin.
RSCoin, however, is the opposite of Ethereum and Bitcoin. Its purpose would be a tool of State control, so the central bank could keep a tight grip on the money supply — ostensibly to ‘protect’ citizens in the times of economic crisis — but, in reality, to enrich those at the top through its manipulation.
The US would do well to get with the times, taking a page out of Russia’s book, and move to adopt and accept the revolution that is cryptocurrency. Otherwise, when the US dollar does finally collapse, it will be the American people holding the bill — a scenario that no one wants to see.
Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Facebook. This article first appeared here at The Free Thought Project.
The war on cash is spreading across the globe. Detailed eport by James Corbett.
Just this week Norway has jumped aboard the cashless society agenda with DNB, the country’s largest bank, calling for a total end to cash. The story only sounds shocking because people haven’t heard the similar stories from Sweden or Denmark or India or Israel or any of the dozens of other countries whose banksters and (bankster-controlled) governments have openly lusted after a world of completely trackable, completely bank-controlled transactions.
But all of these stories, reported piecemeal here and there over the years, doesn’t give the full story about how this “war on cash” is being waged on every continent and in every country by the same banksters that stand to benefit from a cashless world. Let’s fix that by compiling a list of examples from around the world of how cash payments are being regulated, restricted and phased out. The list below will be updated as new stories come in.
If you have a link to relevant news from your own country or know of such news from another country, please let us know. Corbett Report members are invited to contribute to the list by logging in and leaving links to the relevant info in the comments below.
The Cashless Society List
CANADA – In 2007 the Canadian government stopped allowing payment of taxes in cash at government service centers. In 2010 Passport Canada followed suit. In 2011 56% of Canadians polled said they were happy to live in a bankster-controlled cashless society so the country killed the penny in 2012 and the Royal Canadian Mint started pimping the “MintChip” as a new form of electronic payment that will be “better than cash.” The Mint ended the program in 2014 but the Great White North is still on track to be a cashless society in the coming years.
DENMARK – In the 1990s about 80% of Danish retail purchases were made with cash, but these days it’s more like 25%. But if the Danish government has its way, that number will be 0% by 2030. That’s the year the Danish government has set for the complete elimination of paper money in Denmark.
FRANCE – In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks last year, the French government stepped up its war on cash. In March of last year, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin declared it necessary to “fight against the use of cash and anonymity in the French economy” in order to combat “low-cost terrorism.” As of September 2015 it is illegal for French citizens to make purchases exceeding 1000 euros in cash.
INDIA – India is one of the most cash-dependent economies in the world with a cash-to-GDP ratio of 12% almost four times that of fellow BRICS nations Brazil and South Africa). But it won’t be for long if the Indian government has its way. Last June the Indian Ministry of Finance posted a draft proposal to its website for facilitating the rise of cashless payments in the country. In his 2015 budget speech the Finance Minister declared: “One way to curb the flow of black money is to discourage transactions in cash. Now that a majority of Indians has or can have, a RUPAY debit card. I therefore, proposes to introduce soon several measure that will incentivize credit or debit card transactions and disincentivize cash transaction.”
ISRAEL – In 2014 a special committee headed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Chief of Staff Harel Locker released a report examining how to reduce the use of cash in the country. The report advocates reforms (including restrictions and limits on cash transactions) as part of a strategy whose aim is “reduced use of cash, reduced use of endorsed checks, and increased use of electronic means of payment.”
NORWAY – Late last week Trond Bentestuen, a senior executive at Norway’s largest bank, complained to the VG Newspaper that the Norwegian central bank “can only account for 40 percent” of the Norwegian kroner in circulation, meaning “that 60 percent of money usage is outside of any control.” There’s only one conclusion, according to Bentestuen: “There are so many dangers and disadvantages associated with cash, we have concluded that it should be phased out.” Don’t worry, though, the nation’s Finance Ministry says it has “no plans to change the law in this area”…for now.
SWEDEN – Last year Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology released a report stating that the country is on track to completely eliminating cash transactions in the foreseeable future. Noting that there are now only 80 billion Swedish crowns in circulation in the economy (down from 106 just six years ago), the report highlights how digital person-to-person payment technology “Swish” (developed in collaboration with Danish banks) is already transforming the country’s banking sector, where there are now entire banks that do not accept cash.
You can read more from James Corbett and see his informative videos at CorbettReport.com