The Central Bank of the Bahamas (CBOB) plans to launch its cryptocurrency by next year.
As reported by Nassau Guardian, in the near future, CBOB will sign a formal agreement with NZIA.io to create and develop Project “Sand Dollar”. It would be the first digital currency in the Bahamas. At the beginning of 2019, in March, the Bahamas Central Bank announced NZIA Limited as its main partner in this project along with Singapore’s software development company Zynesis.
Equal, Expanded Access to Modernized Digital Payment Capabilities
Project Sand Dollar will be an “integrated, accessible electronic payment system for all businesses and citizens”, the central bank announces. The project will work in accordance with local financial legislation and aims to provid equal access to digital payments to the inhabitants of the archipelago. By doing this, they hope to reduce the volume of operations with cash and service costs.
Although there hasn’t been an official announcement by the CBOB, John Rolle, President of the Bank, noted that the institution hopes to fully expand the project by 2020. In general, the Bahamas are moving closer to full integration of blockchain applications and fintech solutions.
Currently, there are two accepted currencies in the Bahamas. The United States Dollar and the Bahamian Dollar, which is pegged to the US Dollar at 1:1. Since there is no other information, just the fact that there is going to be a digital currency, it’s quite safe to say that the new cryptocurrency will also be pegged to the US Dollar. Thus it becomes just another government-issued stablecoin. It looks like this government praxis will keep on evolving. Governments will continue to look into developing their own cryptocurrency, rather than using a global one, like Bitcoin, for example. But by doing so, they keep themselves on the same path as before. That is, being centralized and controlling the currency. The only question is – how transparent these government cryptocurrency blockchains are going to be. If they’re private and only governments have access to them, then the word “cryptocurrency” loses its definition.
Judging by a recent John McAfee tweet, he is coming out with a new cryptocurrency – Freedom Coin. He announced it earlier today. McAfee claims that the new asset will have a unique paradigm and a new structural concept.
Explains the Problem
When visiting his new website, you can see a long abstract about the main intent behind creating such cryptocurrency. The website itself is very shy of information, yet delivers the message perfectly. In the abstract, he claims that the average American doesn’t care about the price of an asset, in this case, the dollar. Consumers just want to exchange their money for valuable goods.
“Do you, before you buy, look up what dollars are worth in Euros or Yen before you can understand the prices? No. You inherently understand the value of a dollar in terms of what you know it can buy. You are habituated to value goods and services using the dollar as a reference point,” he writes.
The same applies for vendors. He goes on explaining that vendors don’t check an external measure in order to determine the price of their goods each day:
“The natural market for any item is constrained by what options a buyer may have – substitution, a competitor, a change of lifestyle or simply doing without.These are the conditions of an organic market. Measures outside of a specific currency realm have little meaning.”
A Coin Disconnected From Fiat Currencies
After determining the problem, he continues to clarify that the cryptocurrency world has long been hoping for an asset equivalent to the problem described above. That is – a cryptocurrency that people value for it’s purchasing power. McAfee explains that the main reason why this hasn’t yet happened is because customers cannot purchase everything they need with crypto. In order to pay with crypto, users have to exchange the currency to one that the vendor accepts for what they want.
“This leaves the value of the currency, not in the hands of the users and suppliers, but in the hands of a market whose mechanisms operate through fear, greed, manipulation and the vagaries of external economic conditions,” says John McAfee.
He thinks that we need a coin that is disconnected from fiat currencies and other cryptocurrencies. Hence a coin that has no cash-in value, but everyone accepts it universally.
The McAfee Freedom Coin
The new cryptocurrency, as informs McAfee, is designed to confront the problem of exchange which he described. He goes on explaining that the Freedom Coin will use a unique paradigm and a new structural concept. The asset will have no value, hence it will always be worth zero in relation to any other currency asset. However, at the same time, its natural market value will be free. Moreover, he says that this new cryptocurrency is nothing new and definitely isn’t a technological breakthrough. However, what makes it unique is the new approach to understanding the evolution of cryptocurrency “and the mechanisms that have kept the Holy Grail of cryptocurrency – economic freedom – out of reach.”
The ECB Crypto-Assets task force group which over-watches the growth of cryptocurrencies and their potential impact on the financial system has published its May report on key events in the crypto industry.
Crypto is not a Threat to the Global Financial System
The authors of the document admit that the cryptocurrency market is currently not a threat to the EU or the global financial system. It looks like they made this conclusion when the market capitalization of virtual currencies was around $107 billion, in January 2019. However, this figure now has risen to $276.3 billion which is almost three times more than it was January.
The authors draw attention to the fact that the market capitalization of the crypto market accounts for only 4% of popular FAANG shares. Or in different measures – only 1% of EU GDP. However, despite the small share of this sector, in relation to the rest of the financial system, the ECB document still insists on a “united crypto regulation course”.
Other country regulations ineffective in the long run.
A number of uncoordinated and inconsistent approaches at other national levels may result in ineffectiveness, reads the document. The ECB considers that abandoning such an approach will result in regulatory acts disrupting “the stability of the financial system which is linked to the crypto asset market”.
For the time being, ECB researchers are the only group of regional regulators who examines cryptocurrencies as the threat of the existing financial system.
Not so long ago, the head of ECB Mario Draghi also announced that cryptocurrencies are a risky asset category, and in fact, it is not money. He then pointed out that “the size of the crypto market is not large enough for central banks to start the process of regulation”.
Judging by a recent press release by the SEC, Daniel Pacheco, the owner of ProCurrency, has been charged as the alleged perpetrator of a multimillion-dollar pyramid scheme. He is a resident of San Clemente, California.
Fraudulent, Unregistered Offering of Securities
The SEC complaint reads that in the period of January 2017 to March 2018, Pacheco conducted a fraudulent, unregistered offering of securities through his California based companies. IPro Solutions LLC and IPro Network LLC raised more than $26 million from investors “by selling instructional packages that provided lessons on e-commerce. Investors also received “points” that could be converted into a digital asset known as PRO Currency. Investors who contributed additional funds could earn a mixture of cash commissions and additional convertible points by recruiting new investors into the IPro network,” reads the SEC press release.
The SEC also provided the original complaint, and it alleges that Pacheco’s IPro institutional packages consisted of an unregistered sale of securities. “Because the IPro instructional packages involve (i) an investment in a pyramid scheme; and/or (ii) an investment in the PRO Currency digital assets, and therefore must be registered with the SEC unless an exemption applies,” says the SEC. Needless to say that Pacheco didn’t have a registered exemption that would apply to his institutional packages.
According to the press release, Pacheco used the investors’ funds to secure his luxury lifestyle. He purchased a house for $2.5 million in cash, a Rolls-Royce and other expensive things. Of course, this fraudulent use of investors’ funds, led the company to a indefinite collapse. IPro became unable to pay out all the commissions and bonuses that were granted to its investors.
However, the scheme went on for a while. For about a year and a half, IPro managed to reach approximately 20,000 users raising around $26,5 million. IPro sold e-commerce lessons on how to generate profits with an online store. The plan also consisted of a recruitment-based compensation plan which enabled users to exchange IPro points into their native cryptocurrency ProCurrency.
Not to mention that IPro promised their investors that they would establish an e-commerce platform where users could use the ProCurrency. Thus raising the cryptocurrency value as well over time.
Trying to Get the Money Out
Daniel Pacheco transferred $1.9 million to Accept Success Corporation, which is owned by his daughter but still managed by himself. Another $2 million were moved to E Profit Systems LLC, a limited liability company also controlled by Pacheco. From the $2 million he kept $600,000 worth of IPro funds for himself without any justified reason.
However, the compensation plan of IPro had to give out a recruitment bonus between 58 and 65 percent of all its revenue from the company’s packages. Also, according to the SEC, 30% of the recruitment bonuses were given out in Pro Currency-convertible points, leaving the company to allocate between 41.5 and 45.5 percent of all its profit for its members’ bonuses and commissions.
Moreover, IPro started paying out less than 30% between January 2017 and August 2018, which led to the inevitable collapse of the company, forcing it to close its services in March 2018.
“We allege that Pacheco hid an old fraud under the guise of cutting-edge technology. He enticed investors by offering them the opportunity to speculate in cryptocurrency, when in fact he was simply operating a pyramid scheme,”
said Michele Wein Layne, Director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office.
When looking at the statistics that CoinMarketCap provides us, we can see, that ProCurrency now has a market cap of $151,102 (or 17 BTC) and it sits at $0,001479. The price has been gradually fallen since the end of January 2018. Then it was worth $0.15 and the market cap was around $15 million. However, its all-time high was in 2017, July when it reached the price of $0,36. Currently, you can trade the cryptocurrency on HitBTC and Trade Satoshi exchanges, however, only HitBTC has a daily volume of $17,389 while Trade Satoshi has $0 volume.
It is now available to spend your Bitcoin on Amazon using the Lightning Network. A crypto payments processor Moon, recently announced that their browser extension now accepts any kind of lightning-enabled wallets.
Pay using your favorite wallet service
Moon has developed a browser extension which allows users to spend their crypto. Now they have implemented lightning network.
“[The Moon extension] will pop up a QR code and it will have the lightning invoice, which you could also copy and paste if you can’t use the QR code for some reason, and you’ll be able to pay with your favorite lightning wallet,”
says the company’s CEO Ken Kruger.
However, before they launched lightning payments, they had about 250 users who has already used Moon to purchase items on e-commerce websites. They just need to connect the extension to exchange accounts, like Coinbase.
Amazon doesn’t receive Bitcoin
Moreover, Amazon never gets paid in Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency gets converted to fiat with the help of a unspecified financial institution, which Ken Kruger declined to reveal. Also, he added that he thinks that almost all e-commerce sites will accept Bitcoin by 2020. And that it shouldn’t matter whether the platform accepts Bitcoin or fiat.
The browser extension is available on Chrome, Brave, and Opera browsers. A Safari extension is coming soon, says on their website. Additionally, Moon allows payments made with multiple cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, Ethereum, or Bitcoin Cash. Also, Amazon will not be the only e-commerce site which will eventually accept crypto payments. Moon explains that soon customers will be able to use Moon when shopping on AliExpress, Target, or even eBay.
Considering all this, the company’s CEO told that they will be seeking for a Series A funding in 2019 while continuing learning from the user behavior:
“There’s a lot of opportunities to help solve some of those usability problems and getting people onto the lightning network, increasing adoption in that way. We’re going to engage with other folks in the lightning community to see what people are doing, what they’re working on and if there are any significant gaps. We’d love to step in and help whenever possible.”
Today, Friday, May 24, BBC posted a large article about Facebook’s plans on launching their cryptocurrency. Rumours say its name will be “GlobalCoin” despite earlier speculations of Facebook Coin and Libra coin.
Released in a Dozen of Countries by Q1 2020
Facebook is planning to set up its digital payments system/platform by the beginning of 2020. Internal tests will start at the end of this year. Also, the report says that the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has met with the governor of Bank of England to seek advice. More importantly, to discuss the risks that are involved with such a move. Moreover, there also have been talks with the U.S. Treasury and different payments companies. Facebook seeks funding from Visa, Mastercard, and Western Union for its fiat-backed cryptocurrency.
Facebook previously revealed that their cryptocurrency will be a stablecoin which will be backed by multiple fiat currencies, including the USD, EURO, and Japanese YEN.
Project Libra is the name of the whole initiative by Facebook to launch this payment system. Referring to this, earlier this month, Facebook launched a new entity in Geneva called “Libra Networks”. This entity will provide financial and technology services and develop related hardware and software. This was published on the Swiss registration.
This project is set out to help billions of Facebook users/people to transfer money without the necessity of a banking institution. However, there are very few details on this issue. Facebook said that they expect to reveal more in the upcoming months.
Can Facebook take over the whole cryptocurrency market? Facebook has a total of 2.4 billion monthly (!!!) users, while crypto has around 30 million. Of course, that is the traceable data. It could be a lot more, considering the amount of privacy coins and features within multiple cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin.
Judging by recent news, the US telecom and media conglomerate AT&T now will be accepting Bitcoin! Customers will be able to pay for their phone bills online with Bitcoin! AT&T is the largest multichannel video service provider in the US. They have around a total of 22,3 million subscribers.
AT&T Expanding Services
While you cannot use Bitcoin to buy phones and other merchandise what AT&T offers to their clients, this is a very good head-up start for a company of such scale. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts now can pay with Bitcoin for their phone bills. This is done via a partnership with BitPay.
Kevin McDorman, vice president at AT&T, explained that AT&T has a lot of customers using cryptocurrencies. So the company decided to come forward to their clients and a rational step was to allow Bitcoin payments. He said:
“We’re always looking for ways to improve and expand our services. We have customers who use cryptocurrency, and we are happy we can offer them a way to pay their bills with the method they prefer.”
Large companies start to acknowledge cryptocurrencies
This move from AT&T is just yet another step towards mass cryptocurrency adoption. This year, more than ever, there have been multiple companies that announce that they are working on ways how to use, develop or implement Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies as such on their services or platforms.
These companies include Facebook and JP Morgan with their stablecoin development, IBM and their blockchain implementations, Starbucks accepting crypto payments, Fidelity adding Bitcoin to their services, NYSE along with NASDAQ acknowledging Bitcoin, Harvard and Yale investing huge sums into Bitcoin, Microsoft using it in their Azure service, and many others at this point.
Today you can hear about Bitcoin in most of the traditional media platforms. CNBC now covers a daily segment about Bitcoin. They encourage investors to think about investing in BTC. The cryptocurrency lately is all around the news and each day brings new horizons development and implementation-wise. The bull is here to stay for quite a while.
The Copyright Office yesterday, July 22nd, came out with an official statement, clarifying what does it mean “to file a copyright registration”. Basically, they confirm what others had said before, hence anyone can do it. By doing that, registration of that kind does not imply a “determination of truth”. Adding that the Copyright Office does not investigate the validity of those claims. In other words, this does not mean that Craig Wright will have the last word in proving that he is Satoshi. In fact, this is nothing more than an official form which he can use in his recent lawsuits.
“A registration represents a claim to an interest in a work protected by copyright law, not a determination of the truth of the claims therein. It is possible for multiple, adverse claims to be registered at the Copyright Office.”
Craig Wright might be subject to penalties
The Copyright Office explains that false claims might be subject to penalties. They write that when they asked Craig Wright to confirm that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, he confirmed it. How did he do it, it is not clear, but CCN says that he provided written evidence, where he plainly states that he is Satoshi Nakamoto.
“…during the examination process, the Office took note of the well-known pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto,” and asked the applicant to confirm that Craig Steven Wright was the author and claimant of the works being registered. Mr. Wright made that confirmation.”
However, it is not clear to what penalties might be applied, as the Copyright Office clarifies that in a case when the work is registered under a pseudonym, the Office does not investigate these claims.
“In a case in which a work is registered under a pseudonym, the Copyright Office does not investigate whether there is a provable connection between the claimant and the pseudonymous author.”
All in all, this sounds like a very tricky situation. Unless someone files another copyright claim over the Bitcoin white paper. Then they go to court and an actual investigation takes place.
Bitcoin SV pump amidst Wright’s claims
On the day when Craig Wright announced that he had filed a copyright registration, his and Calvin Ayre’s Bitcoin fork Bitcoin SV pumped almost 100%, and the price nearly doubled. BSV went from $63 to almost $120 in the matter of an hour. Was this a planned move? It seems so, because Calvin Ayre’s private news company CoinGeek published numerous bullish articles on BSV. However, being aware of the volatile market which cryptocurrency in most famous for, nothing in impossible.
Additionally, now BSV sits pretty steadily at $99 and the price and volume slowly is declining.
Craig Steven Wright along with Calvin Ayre, know how to shake the cryptocurrency ecosystem in the matter of couple hours. Let’s see how this situation will escalate.
Today cryptocurrency enthusiasts celebrate the day when Laszlo Hanyecz also known as “The Bitcoin Pizza Guy” spent 10,000 BTC on two Papa John’s pizzas.
Computer Programmer With an Eye on Bitcoin
Laszlo is a computer programmer from Florida. Back in 2010, he participated in various crypto forums helping enthusiasts to fix bugs and other technical support. Around that time, he also got familiar with Bitcoin. He says that he was the one who ported Bitcoin to MacOS. As he states now, he didn’t think that Bitcoin would get so popular. He just used the technology behind Bitcoin to actually buy something.
“I’ve always kind of just wanted people to use Bitcoin and buying the pizza was one way to do that.”
The Original Post
At the time of writing, the original post on Bitcointalk.org by Laszlo has been read almost 800,000 times. Not to mention the pile of merits it has received. While reading the post, you get a sense of a little sarcasm in his words, but ultimately the message is clear. The post reads:
“I’ll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas.. like maybe 2 large ones so I have some left over for the next day. I like having left over pizza to nibble on later. You can make the pizza yourself and bring it to my house or order it for me from a delivery place, but what I’m aiming for is getting food delivered in exchange for bitcoins where I don’t have to order or prepare it myself, kind of like ordering a ‘breakfast platter’ at a hotel or something, they just bring you something to eat and you’re happy!
I like things like onions, peppers, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, pepperoni, etc.. just standard stuff no weird fish topping or anything like that. I also like regular cheese pizzas which may be cheaper to prepare or otherwise acquire.
If you’re interested please let me know and we can work out a deal.
Today this is a 73 page long thread, and the last person who commented on it did it in 2016. People have already posted their surprise that after such a long time, this thread is still active. Laszlo created the post on May 18th, and for a couple of days the activity wasn’t very high. On May 21st, he even commented “So nobody wants to buy me pizza? Is the bitcoin amount I’m offering too low?”
This seemed that nobody wanted to exchange their Bitcoins for Pizzas. But surprisingly, on May 22nd, he posted the “Thank you” comment thanking jercos. Along with the comment, he posted pictures of the actual pizzas he received.
The first reply was from a senior member with a nickname “sirius”, saying:
“Congratulations laszlo, a great milestone reached”
So he and another 18-year old student Jeremy Sturdivant (nickname jercos), exchanged 10,000 Bitcoin ($25) for two Papa John’s pizzas. Back then the price of 1 BTC was around 0,0025 cents. It is not clear whether he was aware of the fact that he made the very first successful Bitcoin transaction.
However, he did what Bitcoin was intended to do. He used it as a means of payment, like digital cash, like it was called originally in the white paper “Bitcoin: A peer to peer electronic cash system”.
After the successful transaction, he posted that this is an open offer, and anyone who wants to exchange their Pizzas for 10,000 BTC (more or less) are welcome to do so.
However, judging from the further comments you can understand that Laszlo most likely was mining Bitcoins. In short, he canceled the offer because he “can’t generate thousands of coins a day anymore”. Also, referring to Bitcoin as he has plenty of them. After that, the thread sort of cooled off. Ironically enough, a few replies later, a person with a nickname “ribuck” asked a question:
“Will this eventually become the world’s first million-dollar pizza?”
Little did he know, that this actually became the world’s first billion-dollar pizza.
All in all, Laszlo has done multiple interviews since the historic transaction, and in all of them, he says that he has no regrets that he spent that much Bitcoin.
“I don’t regret it. I think that it’s great that I got to be part of the early history of Bitcoin in that way, and people know about the pizza and it’s an interesting story because everybody can kind of relate to that and be – “Oh my God, you spent all of that money!”
When speaking about Bitcoin, Laszlo speaks firmly, he says that he does not acknowledge the majority of altcoins saying that they are a copycat version of Bitcoin.
“…they changed the logo, or they changed something. I’m not that interested in those, I am interested in Bitcoin.”
Additionally, Laszlo is a pioneer in the sense of real-worldBitcoin transactions. He also has two kids who he tries to educate about Bitcoin. Good job, Laszlo! We celebrate this day with Pizza bought with Bitcoin and we thank you as you are showing the mind-state of a man who knows what he’s trying to accomplish. Regrets don’t change history, but a firm mind-state does. So… moving on!
Claims to be the author of the White Paper and the Bitcoin Code
Craig Wright has filed registrations on two copyrights. One on the Bitcoin White Paper (Bitcoin: A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System), and the second on the Bitcoin Code itself. That means that he copyrights the original Bitcoin Code from 2009. Apparently, he also sent out press releases to some of the top news websites. The press release states:
“In the future, Wright intends to assign the copyright registrations to Bitcoin Association to hold for the benefit of the Bitcoin ecosystem. Bitcoin Association is a global industry organization for Bitcoin businesses. It supports BSV and owns the Bitcoin SV client software.”
Copyright registration does not mean the ownership of Bitcoin
Filing a copyright claim does not mean that Craig Wright will own Bitcoin as such. Neither it means that it could be interpreted as an official patent. However, the copyright process allows anyone to copyright anything. People speculate that the main intent for Wright to file a copyright on Bitcoin is because of his recent lawsuits.
The copyright office explains: “In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work.”
This means that anyone can copyright anything without the official instances actually verifying it!
With all due respect to Craig Wright, this does not seem like a thing that Satoshi Nakamoto would do.