Around the Crypto World in 7 Days | Hodler’s Digest


We are here at Cointelegraph’s New York
offices.
live from New York, it’s Sunday night, and
this is your weekly Hodler’s Digest!
As hodlers become increasingly weary of the
will they won’t they, to-ing and fro-ing
of the SEC abour the Bitcoin ETF decision,
it’s time to take a more global look.
So hop into Cointelegraph’s hot air balloon,
and we’re gonna do “Around the crypto
world in 7 days, the HOLDers’ Digest edition”
This week, people are increasingly turning
to cryptocurrencies when their economy is
in turmoil.
India is sending its officials to ‘crypto-college,’
and Alibaba vs IBM in the quest to become
the Blockchain patent king.
Venezuela, Turkey, Iran and Zimbabwe are countries
all facing economic turmoil, suffering high
inflation.
Increasingly, people living in such extreme
situations are turning to crypto as a store
of value and a means of exchange.
The fanciful question is can hyperbitcoinization
ever happen?
We spoke to a Venezuelan professor, Francisco
Panizza from the London School of Economics,
and a Alejandro Machado, a computer scientist
in Caracas, to find out more.
Venezuela has the highest rate of inflation
in the world.
According to some estimates it could reach
even a million percent by the end of the year.
So it’s basically a fiscal crisis.
It’s just getting worse every year or every
day.
The Bolivar is not a store of value.
The government has taken this to extremes
because they keep printing and printing more
money.
If you want dollars you need to go to black
market.
In Venezuela there has been exchange control
for 15 years.
It’s not legal to exchange dollars.
The hope or the thought is that the majority
of people will be able to access cryptocurrency
instead.
Because it’s something doesn’t require
a bank account abroad.
If you have any kind of savings or if you
want to save any kind of money it’s much
much better to access cryptocurrency.
I know for example people mining Zcash inside
of Venezuela, they are making much more money
mining than in their like professions.
And these people are like doctors, engineers,
people with like good jobs, they should have
good salaries, but they are making way more
money mining because electricity is subsidized.
If you travel with like $300 dollars, and
that’s like your life savings, they’re
probably going to check you at the border
and they realise you have a bunch of money,
you’re probably going to be harassed they’re
probably going to take a big cut of that.
If you have cryptocurrency in your head or
have a password written down somewhere, it’s
much much harder for them first to know that
you have money, and to seize it, and they
have to resort to physical violence.
I believe that cryptocurrency is a tool for
the ordinary citizen to be able to challenge
the state in this way.
If cryptocurrency becomes very popular in
Venezuela and the government finds that they
no longer have access to monetary policy as
they used to have, they can’t make everyone
poorer and themselves richer by debasting
the currency, so it’s going to create some
trouble, they are gonna try to ban it.
I would like for us to have a bit more time
to develop it more so that we gain a tactical
advantage in this way because if the government
finds out it’s a subversive tool then its
likely they’ll crack down even harder on
it.
Unlike Switzerland or Japan, India has been
far from crypto-friendly, in fact you could
easily describe them as crypto-hostile.
Strange then, that according to a report,
the Securities and Exchange Board of India
recently organized tours abroad for its officials
to study both crypto and ICOs.
Representatives from the regulator were sent
on “study tours” to gain a deeper understanding
of the mechanisms of crypto at Japan’s Financial
Services Agency, the U.K. Financial Conduct
Authority, and finally the Swiss Financial
Market Supervisory Authority.
The RBI is currently considering the viability
of a rupee-backed central bank digital currency.
The so-called study tour runs contrary to
the recent RBI decision that effectively bans
banks dealing with crypto businesses or individuals.
Long time crypto advocate Andreas Antonopoulos
was very critical of the RBI’s plans.
Do you agree with him?
Tech giants Alibaba and IBM want to be top
dogs when it comes to blockchain patents
An outlet specializing in intellectual property
looked at data filing in the E.U, the U.S,
Japan, South Korea and China.
They also consulted WIPO, the World Intellectual
Property Organization.
And the results are in.
China’s Alibaba comes out on top, but only
just, with 90 blockchain related patents.
IBM comes in at close second by just a whisker
with 89 blockchain related patents.
Further down on the list is Mastercard at
80, the Bank of America at 53, and ranking
in at fifth is the People’s Bank of China
with 44 patents for a central bank digital
currency.
As Cointelegraph previously reported, WIPO
data shows that in 2017 China filed by far
the most blockchain related patents at 225,
America filed only 91 and Australia filed
13.
China’s is certainly embracing the new tech,
but on its own terms, and it’s also taking
an increasingly harsh stance against decentralized
cryptocurrencies as of late.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma also walks this fine
line, as he’s a strong proponent of blockchain
and a pretty harsh skeptic of crypto.
Over 11,000 miles away in the U.S, IBM recently
signed a five-year $740 million deal with
the Australian government to use blockchain
and other new technologies in federal departments.
Good news for all you Ethereum data set fans
out there.
Google’s Cloud team recently Ethereum’s
dataset into its big data analytics warehouse
BigQuery.
Ethereum blockchain data is posted in the
dataset and updated daily.
It’s included there in order to prioritize
updates to the Ethereum blockchain and help
make business decisions.
Google explains that the Ethereum blockchain
contains APIs that can be used for random
functions, like checking transaction status
and looking at wallet balances.
However, these API endpoints cannot be easily
reached.
This is where BigQuery is really useful.
It aggregates this data and turns it into
a form where you can visualize it.
Blockchain game CryptoKitties is also making
use of Google’s shiny new tool; BigQuery
collects data on accounts that have more than
ten CryptoKitties, as well as their mascots’
size.
This is all part of Google’s wider expansion
into the Blockchain and crypto space.
In February the company created a similar
tool for the Bitcoin blockchain.
The market went into freefall on tuesday,
dropping $12 billion in an hour, but it turns
out reports Goldman Sachs are abandoning plans
for a crypto desk are ‘fake news’
This according to Goldman CFO Martin Chavez,
who made the announcement at a conference
in San Francisco, in direct contradiction
with an unnamed source speaking to Business
insider who had claimed the trading desk plans
were scrapped because of an unclear regulatory
environment.
However, Chavez did suggest that the excitement
for a trading desk may have been premature:
He said: “When we talked about exploring digital
assets […] it was going to be exploration
that would be evolving over time.
Maybe someone who was thinking about our activities
here got very excited that we would be making
markets as principal and physical Bitcoin,
and as they got into it they realized part
of the evolution, but its not here yet.”
Earlier this year, a couple of Barclays employees
caused similar confusion when they posted
online about a trading desk for the bank,
a claim which Barclays immediately denied.
And finally, we’ve been debating this tweet
all week here at the Cointelegraph office:
Bitcoin’s best use case is Venezuela, not
Starbucks.
Post what you think in the comments.
I’m on the Venezuela side.
And as always don’t forget to like, subscribe,
and HODL.

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