Posts by FarerScary

    Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Sees Pros and Cons in Blockchain Logins

    mark-facebook.jpg

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is seriously evaluating blockchain’s potential to allow internet users to log in to various services via one set of credentials without relying on third parties.

    Such a use for the technology would make a compelling alternative to services like Facebook Connect, the social media giant’s single sign-on (SSO) application, Zuckerberg said in a recently posted video interview with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain.

    “A use of blockchain that I’ve been thinking about … though I haven’t figured out a way to make this work out, is around authentication and… granting access to your information to different services,” he said. “So, replacing the notion of what we have with Facebook Connect with something that is truly distributed.”

    In a nutshell, Zuckerberg added:

    “Basically, you take your information, you store it on some decentralized system and you have the choice to log into places without going through an intermediary,”

    This arrangement for logins would appeal to software developers who don’t want to rely on corporations that can cut off users’ access, Zuckerberg said, noting that there would also be a downside to this since it would also prevent firms from dealing with bad actors.

    Pros and cons

    Citing a scandal that embroiled Facebook last year, he added: “basically people chose to give their data which was affiliated with Cambridge University and that person sold that information to Cambridge Analytica, which was a violation of our policies. We cut off the developers’ access.”

    The lesson, he said, is that “if you have a fully distributed system, it dramatically empowers individuals on one hand but … it raises the question of consent and how people can really know that they’re giving consent to an institution. In some ways, it’s a lot easier to regulate and hold accountable larger companies. … I think this is a really interesting social question.”

    Underscoring his ambivalence about the idea, Zuckerberg added:

    “The question is, do you really want that? Do you have more cases where yes people would be able to not have an intermediary but there’d be more instances of abuse and recourse would be much harder?”

    He further acknowledged the broad technical challenges created by decentralization.

    “Certainly the level of computation that Facebook is doing is really intense to do in a distributed way,” he said. “Decentralized things that are computationally intensive will be harder. They’re harder to do computation on, but eventually, maybe you have the resources to do that.”

    Mark Zuckerberg image via Shutterstock.

    Source: https://www.coindesk.com/faceb…blockchain-authentication

    Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Is Seriously Considering Blockchain ID

    mark-facebook.jpg

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is seriously evaluating blockchain’s potential to allow internet users to log in to various services via one set of credentials without relying on third parties.

    Such as a use for the technology would make a compelling alternative to services like Facebook Connect, the social media giant’s single sign-on (SSO) application, Zuckerberg said in a recently posted video interview with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain.

    “A use of blockchain that I’ve been thinking about … though I haven’t figured out a way to make this work out, is around authentication and… granting access to your information to different services,” he said. “So, replacing the notion of what we have with Facebook Connect with something that is truly distributed.”

    In a nutshell, Zuckerberg added:

    “Basically, you take your information, you store it on some decentralized system and you have the choice to log into places without going through an intermediary,”

    This arrangement for logins would appeal to software developers who don’t want to rely on corporations that can cut off users’ access, Zuckerberg said, noting that there would also be a downside to this since it would also prevent firms from dealing with bad actors.

    Citing a scandal that embroiled Facebook last year, he added: “basically people chose to give their data which was affiliated with Cambridge University and that person sold that information to Cambridge Analytica, which was a violation of our policies. We cut off the developers’ access.”

    The lesson, he said, is that “if you have a fully distributed system, it dramatically empowers individuals on one hand but … it raises the question of consent and how people can really know that they’re giving consent to an institution. In some ways it’s a lot easier to regulate and hold accountable larger companies. … I think this is a really interesting social question.”

    Underscoring his ambivalence about the idea, Zuckerberg added:

    “The question is, do you really want that. Do you have more cases where yes people would be able to not have an intermediary but there’d be more instances of abuse and recourse would be much harder?”

    He further acknowledged the broad technical challenges created by decentralization.

    “Certainly the level of computation that Facebook is doing is really intense to do in a distributed way,” he said. “Decentralized things that are computationally intensive will be harder. They’re harder to do computation on, but eventually, maybe you have the resources to do that.”

    Mark Zuckerberg image via Shutterstock.

    Source: https://www.coindesk.com/faceb…blockchain-authentication

    Spanish Mining Startup to Return $68 Million Raised During ICO

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    Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news…million-raised-during-ico

    SEC Charges ICO With Selling Unregistered Securities After Startup Self-Reports

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    Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news…fter-startup-self-reports

    Ex-Goldman Sachs Engineers Raise $3 Million to Combat Crypto Market Manipulation

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    Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news…rypto-market-manipulation

    Survey: Half of Millennial Investors Trust Crypto Exchanges More Than Stock Exchanges

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    Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news…more-than-stock-exchanges

    Crypto Winter Survivor: Inside Nvidia's Difficult Relationship With Mining

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    On Feb. 14, California-headquartered gaming and computer hardware manufacturer Nvidia reported full-year revenue gains in 2018, despite being one of the companies worst hit by the cryptocurrency market dip and subsequent lack of demand for mining components.

    The firm’s main products include graphics processing units (GPU), among others, which became widely purchased by miners during the crypto boom of 2017 — as a result, the firm’s revenue started to correlate with the crypto market condition (at least to some extent), which resulted in a few shake-ups.

    2017: Nvidia enjoys the crypto boom, becomes substantial part of the market

    In 2017, its primary GPU product line, labeled "GeForce" — as well as its direct competition, Advanced Micro Devices' (AMD) "Radeon" units — began surging in price as the crypto frenzy unfolded and Bitcoin (BTC), along with altcoins, gained mainstream recognition. That year, according to Jon Peddie Research, a market research firm for the computer graphics industry, miners purchased around 3 million devices for more than $700 million. As a result, Nvidia inadvertently became one of the market’s most significant players.

    The ever-increasing demand for mining equipment lead to higher prices: As Cointelegraph previously reported, the cost of flagship chips rose by 25 percent, with Nvidia’s GeForce 1080 being sold for more than $1,000 during the market peak, while it normally retailed for $550. According to media reports, Nvidia even started limiting its online sales to avoid excessive resell, allowing customer to buy no more than two items per person.

    The company’s seniors greeted the sudden increase in sales caused by the rapid growth of an emerging market. In August 2017, while talking to MarketWatch, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang appeared notably bullish about the crypto industry:

    “Crypto is here to stay, and the market will grow to be quite large. [...] It’s not likely to go away any time soon. There will be more currencies to come, they will come from different nations. [...] We stay very close to the market, and understand the dynamics very well.”

    In May 2018, Nvidia shared information about its revenue from chip sales to the crypto mining market for the first time. Specifically, the manufacturer reported earning as much as $289 million from processor sales to miners. Essentially, Nvidia was growing along with the market: The firm’s first-quarter crypto sales that year amounted to over 9 percent of overall revenue for the company, which stood at $3.2 billion.

    “Crypto miners bought a lot of our GPUs in the quarter and it drove prices up,” the company’s CEO reportedly explained on the conference call, adding, however, that high prices prevented other consumers, such as gamers, from buying into the newest GeForce graphics card series.

    First half of 2018: Crypto market plunges, Nvidia GPUs decline in price

    However, by that time, Bitcoin had long entered its notorious nosedive — in January alone, the cryptocurrency lost half of its value from the $20,000 landmark high — and Huang wasn’t as optimistic about the market anymore. The sales to the crypto market would likely decrease by two-thirds in Q2 2018, the company forecasted.

    “In the beginning of the year, we thought and projected crypto would be a larger contribution through the rest of the year, but at this time we consider it to be immaterial for the second half,” Huang told MarketWatch at the time.

    Indeed, as Cointelegraph reported, revenue for miners had decreased, as the crypto market underwent a correction following record highs in December 2017. Hash rates were still growing, however, indicating that the mining pool continued to expand globally.

    In August 2018, the hardware developer declared that crypto mining sales in Q2 were even lower than expected. Nvidia began to dismiss the once profitable market, arguing that it does not expect to make significant mining-related sales for the rest of the year. Colette Kress, the company’s chief financial officer, stated:

    “Our revenue outlook had anticipated cryptocurrency-specific products declining to approximately $100 million, while actual crypto-specific product revenue was $18 million. Whereas we had previously anticipated cryptocurrency to be meaningful for the year, we are now projecting no contributions going forward.”

    Nvidia also forecasted its third quarter revenue between $3.19 billion and $3.32 billion, lower than the figure predicted by analysts of $3.34 billion. As a result, the manufacturer’s shares declined more than 5 percent.

    In July 2018, media started to report that the price of specialized GPUs has been declining along with sinking prices in digital currency markets. Thus, according to Computerworld, in April 2018, AMD’s OEM 4GB RX 580 six-pack was sold out at the price of $3,600, while in July, it was available for just $2,500. Respectively, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition, 8GB GDDR5X PCI Express 3.0 Graphics Card was sold out at a price tag of $1,050 in April, but could be purchased for $709 around July.

    Second half of 2018: ASIC’s takeover, Nvidia experiences “crypto hangover”

    Meanwhile, application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), a special type of computer chip that is designed solely for cryptocurrency mining, had been developed for a number of cryptocurrencies, outperforming GPUs. The largest company to ride the ASIC wave was the China-based Bitmain company, which was eventually also severely hit by the bear market. Nevertheless, the outfit began selling devices that mined non-ASIC-resistant cryptocurrencies much more efficiently than GPUs, hence partially forcing Nvidia out of mining, especially within the BTC blockchain.

    Nevertheless, some cryptocurrencies can still be mined only with GPUs, says Mark D’Aria, founder and CEO of Bitpro, a New York-based installation and mining operation management firm:

    “It is unlikely that Bitmain can drive Nvidia *completely* off of the market – they can certainly drive Nvidia GPUs mostly out of mining certain coins, but there are many ASIC resistant coins out there, and it would be extremely beneficial for Nvidia (and AMD) if Ethereum goes through with the ProgPoW update.”

    The target markets of Nvidia and solely crypto-oriented players like Bitmain are completely different, agrees Jonathan Bertrand, president of Technologies D-Central, mining equipment provider located in Quebec, Canada:

    “Bitmain's performance is closely tied to the performance of cryptocurrency while Nvidia has a wide range of markets such as gaming, AI and hash functions more general, it is not only mining operations that are hashing. Nvidia cards are excellent for the vast majority of hashing operations needed in the world, far more than an ASIC that has a single use. Not to be confused, the unique use of an ASIC is very useful, but strictly in the case of Bitcoin mining.”

    Further, on Nov. 15, Nvidia released its earnings report for the Q3 of 2018. In the report, Huang revealed that the company’s “near-term results reflect excess channel inventory post the cryptocurrency boom, which will be corrected.”

    Basically, while the crypto frenzy increased prices for Nvidia’s gaming cards, once that demand vanished, prices did not decrease quickly enough to attract customers who were waiting for more affordable cards. The CEO referred to this period as a “crypto hangover” in an interview with Reuters:

    “The crypto hangover lasted longer than we expected. We thought we had done a better job managing the cryptocurrency dynamics.”

    Nvidia’s post of sales for Q3 missed expectations yet again, and the company’s shares dropped another 17 percent. Around the same time, Goldman Sachs removed Nvidia from its list of stocks with the most potential for investors. “We were clearly wrong on the stock as we underestimated the magnitude of the channel inventory build in midrange gaming GPUs,” its analysts explained. Thus, Wall Street’s crypto-driven expectations from the hardware developer were not met.

    In December, CNBC reported that in Q4 2018, Nvidia experienced a massive sell-off of its shares, cutting the stock price by 54 percent, which made it the worst performer in the S&P 500. Later that month, Nvidia even faced a class-action lawsuit over its losses. Specifically, the complaint filed by Schall law firm stated that “the Company made false and misleading statements to the market” and “touted its ability to monitor the cryptocurrency market and make rapid changes to its business as necessary.”

    2019: Weak sales are likely to continue. However, the company will carry on regardless of crypto

    In January 2019, Nvidia updated its financial estimates for Q4 for the fiscal year of 2019, reflecting weaker forecasted sales in its gaming and data center platforms, explained by excess midrange channel inventory following the slump in crypto market. The revenue for that quarter was now expected to be at $2.20 billion, opposed to the previous projection of $2.70 billion.

    Jensen Huang said in the press release:

    “Q4 was an extraordinary, unusually turbulent, and disappointing quarter.”

    In addition to a lack of crypto-related business, Nvidia also cited “deteriorating conditions” in China as a indicator of lower-than-expected revenue from gaming GPU sales in Q4.

    Finally, in February 2019, the United States hardware firm reported full-year revenue gains after publishing its Q4 earnings. According to the press release, its total 2018 revenue climbed 21 percent from 2017 numbers to $11.72 billion, even despite the crypto market crash. The growth was allegedly driven by all-time high sales of its gaming, data center, professional visualization and automotive products.

    As a result, Nvidia’s shares jumped 8 percent after the figures were unveiled. Q4 performance turned out to be extremely low, however: Revenue was down 24 percent versus the same quarter the previous year to $2.24 billion, staying just slightly above the adjusted forecast.

    Commenting on the statistics, Nvidia’s CEO stressed the market’s infamous volatility:

    “The combination of post-crypto excess channel inventory and recent deteriorating end-market conditions drove a disappointing quarter.”

    D’Aria of Bitpro was not surprised by those numbers, arguing that Nvidia is not that depended on its performance within the crypto market. He told Cointelegraph:

    “Crypto mining was never the foundation of Nvidia’s revenue, more like a cherry on top. During the 2017 bull run it was a really big cherry, but Nvidia is one of the most innovative chip makers and they are completely dominating their competition in gaming, AI, scientific compute, etc. If crypto went away entirely, Nvidia would be just fine.”

    He adds, however, that 2019 might not be as bleak for the hardware developer, especially if the market recovers enough to make GPU mining profitable again, and large projects such as Ethereum (ETH) adopt ASIC resistance measures, making more room for GPUs over ASICs. However, the frenzy times might be over for at least another few years, D’Aria warns:

    “Nvidia has strong ProgPoW performance, and since they also lead AMD in general power efficiency with their latest GPUs, those two factors would definitely increase crypto mining’s contribution to their revenue, at least compared to the tail end of 2018. It’s unlikely we’ll see a return to the bonanza of late 2017-early 2018 without a another bubble, but I don’t expect that for a few more years. When that does eventually come around again, Nvidia will undoubtedly experience another huge few quarters, followed by another hangover a few quarters later.”

    Similarly, D-Central President Jonathan Bertrand argues that Nvidia will stay afloat regardless of the market condition:

    “I have confidence in the products of Nvidia and I am convinced that with the mining or not, the hash centers have the wind in the sails. It is the parallelization and specialization of traditional data-centers that drives us to the emergence of these new ‘hash-centers’ specialized in computing.”

    Meanwhile, Bitmain has recently announced its next generation 7 nanometer ASIC mining chip, following a series of negative news caused by the crypto winter, suggesting that mining players are not giving up, but are patiently waiting for the spring to come.

    Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news…-relationship-with-mining

    Crypto Dividends: Staking Coins for Gains Potentially a Good Strategy in a Bear Market but Is Not Without Risk

    740_aHR0cHM6Ly9zMy5jb2ludGVsZWdyYXBoLmNvbS9zdG9yYWdlL3VwbG9hZHMvdmlldy9lNWVkNTk5MjljOTFmZmZmNDZlMjgyYjhkODk3ZjdhMS5qcGc=.jpg

    Volatility coupled with one of the longest bear markets ever experienced by the cryptocurrency industry have compelled many investors to consider staking as a method of “playing it safe,” according to a Bloomberg article.

    Staking, which is similar to earning dividends or interest on your investment, is not a new concept. However, in a long bear market, it does become more prevalent among cryptocurrency investors, as possible gains from regular trading are not as fruitful. As Kyle Samani, managing partner at Multicoin Capital Management, stated to Bloomberg:

    “Regardless of market conditions, staking provides returns denominated in the asset being staked. If you’re going to be long, you might as well stake."

    Staking rewards are a byproduct of the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, first introduced by Sunny King and Scott Nadal in a white paper in 2012 for peer-to-peer cryptocurrency Peercoin (PPC).

    Since then, hundreds of cryptocurrencies have adopted a PoS consensus algorithm as a method to verify transactions.

    Proof-of-stake, explained

    The majority of cryptocurrencies use either proof-of-work (PoW) or PoS — or some iteration of it.

    PoW relies on the proof that a certain amount of work has been done to verify transactions. Both Bitcoin and Ethereum use PoW to validate transactions, although Ethereum has been making it clear that they will be moving to a PoS system, called Casper, as part of the Serenity network update expected for later in 2019.

    At an August 2018 Blockchain at Berkeley event, hosted by the student-run organization Origin, Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, stated he can’t wait for all crypto networks to move away from PoW:

    “I am seriously looking forward to when the cryptocurrency community basically passes away with proof-of-work.”

    With PoW, nodes (or miners) compete to verify blocks of transactions by running highly specialized and expensive processing equipment (such as Application Specific Integrated Circuits, or ASICs) to solve complex mathematical equations. The first node to solve the equation can add the next block of transactions and collect the reward, which could either be a set amount or percentage of the transaction fee. The process, also called mining, has a number of drawbacks:

    • It is highly energy intensive (the Bitcoin network consumes almost the same amount of energy as the entire country of Singapore).
    • The high energy dependence is not only expensive but also bad for the environment in countries where nonrenewable fossil fuels (such as coal) is burned to generate electricity.
    • Specialized mining equipment requires a significant upfront investment, which can be risky, considering that rewards are not guaranteed.
    • With the advent of large centralized mining pools, the risk of a 51 percent attack on PoW networks is a very real threat.

    PoS, on the other hand, only requires network participants to hold a certain amount of the native cryptocurrency in a specific wallet for a certain period of time. This is called staking and doesn’t call for any expensive computer equipment or massive amounts of processing power to solve complex mathematical equations.

    Key differences from POW are:

    • Nodes are often called “validators” rather than “miners.”
    • There’s no specialized computer hardware requirement to become a node, which means the burden on power resources is drastically reduced. This is not only cheaper but also more eco-friendly.
    • With PoS, there’s no threat of centralized mining pools.
    • A 51 percent attack would be much more expensive to carry out. In order to take control of a PoS network, an individual or entity would have to purchase 51 percent of the available tokens. Not only that but, if you owned 51 percent of the tokens, you would want to do everything in your power to see the network succeed and continue to turn a profit. That means you are less likely to do anything to defraud the blockchain.

    PoW & PoS

    Different levels of PoS staking for different levels of rewards

    It is common in PoS cryptocurrencies to award those with a bigger vested interest in the network with bigger benefits. This is both in network authority (such as voting weight) and rewards.

    As such, cryptocurrency networks will often offer different levels of staking — i.e., the more coins you lock away for staking, the bigger the network will reward you.

    This gives rise to two distinguishable types of staking: masternode staking and non-node staking.

    Masternode staking to validate transactions

    Masternodes are network participants that are tasked with validating and authenticating transactions on a PoS blockchain.

    To apply for a masternode, participants will generally have to comply with some minimum requirements. This will be different from network to network but may include locking away a set number of tokens (typically a large minimum), being a network participant and holding tokens for a certain period of time, and being an active community member with a good reputation. The number of masternode positions will generally also be limited.

    Rewards are distributed as part of the network fees (transaction fees) and tend to be big, as the vested interest in the network needs to be big. But the barrier to entry is also quite high — i.e., you would need a large initial investment to become a masternode.

    For example, to become a Neo masternode (also called bookkeepers or consensus nodes), a participant will need to stake 1,000 GAS ($2,150) — the fuel token on the Neo network that represents the right to use the Neo blockchain and is used to pay the network fees for issuing new assets, running smart contracts and storage — to nominate themselves as a bookkeeper and also obtain a consensus authority certificate before Neo community members can vote for them. The Neo mainnet is limited to seven consensus nodes

    According to Neo’s economic model, the maintainer of a Neo consensus node will be rewarded with network fees.

    Similarly, to apply for masternode status (also called Authority Masternode) on VeChain (VET), a participant will have to stake 25 million VET ($97,500) to be considered and will have to complete Know Your Customer (KYC) verification in the VeChain portal. Its masternode positions are limited to 101 members.

    VeChain masternodes are compensated in part by transaction fees and part from a predetermined foundation reward pool.

    Non-node staking to earn interest or dividends

    Non-node staking is less complicated, and users are not involved in validating transactions. There is no minimum staking amount and often no minimum holding period, meaning the barrier of entry is much lower.

    All a network participant has to do is hold the specific cryptocurrency in the network’s dedicated wallet to start earning interest or dividend payouts.

    Both the Neo and VeChain examples above have calculators to show you how much you can earn per amount of tokens staked.

    NEO Calculator / VeChain Calculator

    Other popular PoS cryptocurrencies for staking include Ontology (ONT), Tezos (XTZ), Waves (WAVES), EOS (EOS), Cardano (ADA), Pivx (PIVX), Dash (DASH), Decred (DCR), Livepeer (LPT) and Factom (FCT).

    Potential gains and risks of PoS staking

    According to POS List and masternodes.online, rewards and earnings for both masternode staking and non-node staking vary significantly between cryptocurrencies, anything from 0.7 percent to well over 1,000 percent.

    The possibility of long-term gains has also given birth to a number of startups that focus specifically on providing staking services to investors, including Anchorage, Eon Staking Inc., Figment and Staked.

    Perhaps as an indication of the strong market interest in the possibilities of cryptocurrency staking, on Jan. 31, 2019, Staked announced that they raised $4.5 million in seed investment from a number of institutional investors that included Pantera Capital, Coinbase Ventures and Winklevoss Capital, while Anchorage launched on Jan. 23, 2019 after a $17 million funding round led by venture fund Andreessen Horowitz.

    PoS staking is not without risk, though. It’s not just a bear market game, it’s a long game. So, a significant level of trust has to be put in the cryptocurrency network — trust that they will make it through the bear market and still be operational on the other side, and trust that they will consistently payout earnings and rewards in the long run.

    Another risk is monopolization of a network, where a few large token holders end up getting the lion’s share of the rewards. Linked to the risk of monopolization is the possibility of a 51 percent attack. Although it would be much more expensive and counterintuitive, it is still possible for such an attack to be orchestrated and to devalue the network.

    Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news…t-but-is-not-without-risk

    Financial Firm Offers 'Almost Instantaneous' Loans Up to $30,000 With Crypto as Collateral

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    Financial Firm Offers ‘Almost Instantaneous’ Loans Up to $30,000 With Crypto as Collateral

    A financial company is giving crypto holders the opportunity to take out cash loans while using their digital assets as collateral.

    YouHodler — whose name is inspired by the term “HODL” — says its product gives the community a way of accessing money without selling their investments.

    The platform offers loans from $100 to up to $30,000 — also payable in euros and Tether (USDT) — with a maximum loan-to-value of 80 percent, a ratio which YouHodler claims is one of the highest currently available in the industry.

    Six cryptocurrencies are accepted as collateral, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, XRP, Bitcoin Cash and BSV. Others, including XLM, Dash and ZCash, are said to be in the pipeline.

    “Easy to get cash, easy to pay off”

    In a congested market, YouHodler says that one of its unique selling points is how borrowers don’t need to find a lender — a common feature of rival peer-to-peer models. Instead, the platform has its own fiat reserves, and says funds can be released “almost instantaneously” once loan approvals take place — a process which can take seconds thanks to the company’s automated Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks.

    The company’s loans are offered over three timeframes: eight days, 50 days and 120 days. The team emphasizes that customizable loan terms are also available. Interest rates are set between 5 and 13 percent, depending on the duration of an agreement — as are the loan-to-value ratios available. In an attempt to distinguish itself from the “unfairly biased” financial system that exists at present, YouHodler says interest rates are not going to be determined by how much collateral a borrower offers.

    Repayments are made using euro and dollar bank transfers, USDT and major credit and debit cards — and once this process is complete, YouHodler says collateral is returned in full, even if it has increased in value.

    Learn more about the YouHodler platform here

    Over the course of 2019, YouHodler is planning to diversify its offering further through a credit card and app, giving its customers access to their loans on a Mastercard. This facility will have a credit limit of 30,000 euros ($34,000, at the time of writing) and an annual percentage rate of 16 percent, but no monthly fees.

    Services for miners, traders and businesses

    The company says its 120-day loan term is especially popular with miners, so much so that it is referred to as the “Hodler’s Favorite.” This is because this gives them the chance to unlock capital to repair mining hardware and cover business expenses.

    Meanwhile, YouHodler believes its product helps traders leverage their crypto portfolio with additional cash in order to buy further digital assets. Finally, the platform stresses its doors are open to blockchain-based companies that are looking for extra financing in order to grow their businesses.

    YouHolder / Wallet

    According to YouHodler, its “extensive expertise in currency exchange rate risk management” — when combined with its secure wallet system, integration with leading exchanges and partnerships with trusted fiat providers — makes it more attractive than rivals. Its website goes on to state that it has already processed more than $3.5 million in loans on behalf of 1,250 customers, primarily from Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy.

    In explaining where the company sees itself within the current financial ecosystem, CEO Ilya Volkov said YouHodler has no plans to compete with traditional banks and argues that attempting to do so wouldn’t be helpful for society. Instead, the platform wants to adopt a more user-friendly, fast and sustainable approach than old-fashioned institutions can provide, giving consumers in developing economies who lack access to bank accounts a way to access fiat loans like anyone else.

    Learn more about YouHodler

    Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

    Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news…with-crypto-as-collateral

    Germany Seeking Industry Feedback for National Blockchain Strategy

    Reichstag-Berlin-government-germany.jpg

    The German government is seeking industry feedback ahead of developing the country’s blockchain strategy by the summer.

    A Reuters report on Monday, citing anonymous government sources, said that companies and industry groups “that could become stakeholders in a blockchain deployment process” have been invited to provide recommendations on the strategy.

    Whether proposed recommendations would result in any new legislation is unclear at the moment.

    Germany’s capital and largest city, Berlin, hosts around 170 blockchain startups, and the country is seeing “great interest” in exploring blockchain technology across various sectors, including automobile, pharma, energy and public sector administration, the report adds.

    Europe’s strongest economy, Germany has issued positive statements on blockchain tech previously. Back in June, president of the German Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), Felix Hufeld, said that blockchain technology is “revolutionary” and its applications could turn the entire financial sector “upside down.”

    In fact, interest in the tech has been growing across the EU. Just last week, Luxembourg passed a bill providing a legal framework for securities issued over blockchains. And last December, the Italian government published a list of 30 experts brought together to develop its blockchain strategy.

    On a regional level, the European Parliament recently called for measures to boost blockchain adoption in trade and business. Moreover, seven EU member nations – France, Italy, Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Portugal and Spain – came together in December, to promote the use of blockchain tech to boost government services and economic well-being.

    Reichstag, Berlin, image via Shutterstock

    Source: https://www.coindesk.com/germa…ional-blockchain-strategy