Blockchain | News and Updates on Blockchain and Bitcoin
With the largest bitcoin wallet platform in the world, Blockchain's software has powered over 100M transactions and empowered users in 130 countries across the globe to transact quickly and without costly intermediaries. We also offers tools for developers and real time transaction data for users to analyse the burgeoning digital economy.
We’ve heard many stories of people being gifted their first crypto, which jump started their journey into this new financial system. Over the years we’ve also given out our fair share of crypto, but it’s gotten increasingly harder to do that at scale.
Late last year we introduced our plans to distribute crypto to the masses and pave the way for further adoption through the Blockchain Airdrop Program. We started with an ambitious goal to give away $125M worth of Stellar (XLM) along with our partners at the Stellar Development Foundation. It was a bold move, not only was it the largest airdrop in crypto history, but arguably the largest consumer giveaway - ever!
How did the airdrop go?
Oprah made it look easy. We had massive demand from the outset and giving away meaningful amounts of value to millions of people in a fair and responsible way was a huge task - but we got there! We achieved this by investing heavily in our global verification processes and machine learning to ensure that real people were benefiting from the airdrop, not fraudsters trying to take more than their fair share. In the end we successfully airdropped Stellar (XLM) to millions of users across 150 countries and have since seen users save, swap and send XLM multiple times over. Not only are people all across the world experiencing true ownership of digital money the first time, but the Stellar network has grown substantially and the network effects have become meaningful.
The gift that keeps on giving
We are now winding down this phase of the Stellar airdrop and are finishing processing applications for new users that are currently on the waitlist. For anyone that’s applied and still waiting, your application may be in manual review and a member of our dedicated team will contact you if we need more information.
Good news! This will be the first of many future airdrops. If you’re not already Gold Verified, sign up and you’ll automatically be eligible for any future airdrops that we offer in your region. You’ll also get access to higher trading limits in the wallet through Swap.
Lastly, thank you to the millions of users that took part in making our first airdrop a success. It’s not often that you can turn a concept into a reality and it would not have been possible without you. Next stop - the moon!
Joined on a panel by Joon Ian Wong (Coindesk), Jennifer Senhaji (MakerDAO), Marcos Viriato (Parfin) and Simona Macellari (Ekon Gold), Garrick shared his perspective that “Stablecoins are arguably the most exciting sector of crypto.” And when you consider the projects already in the market and all the new initiatives, it’s not hard to see why.
So despite the flurry of conversations he’s had around stablecoins and Facebook’s recent announcement of Libra, we were able to steal 20 minutes of Garrick’s time to hear his key takeaways from the event.
Libra: Unannounced, but all the buzz
Libra hadn’t yet been announced at the time of this panel, but the implications of Facebook’s 2.4 billion monthly active users getting a taste of crypto were front of mind for the events’ attendees and panelists.
For cryptocurrencies, Libra could prove to be one of the most significant and positive events in their history as entirely new waves of users will join the digital currency ecosystem. Despite the questions still to be answered, this project has proven to be a huge validation for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology as the financial infrastructure of the future.
Tether remains resilient, but faces stiff competition
Another interesting stablecoin discussed in last Thursday’s Summit was Tether.
Tether, as many of you know, is the largest stablecoin on the market and second most traded cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin. It’s been under both legal and competitive pressures following regulators’ questions about its reserves and the launch of more transparent and New York regulator approved stablecoins like Paxos Standard last year.
However, what was particularly interesting to Garrick’s panel was the fact that Tether has remained resilient despite these difficulties. Tether’s staying power in spite of the considerable turbulence it has experienced is a testament to the demand for stablecoins with established track records.
What lies ahead for stablecoins?
As market conditions change and prices swing, stablecoins continue to prove themselves as valuable tools for cryptocurrency users and traders to manage currency risks. By minimizing volatility and creating ease of mind, Hileman argues, stablecoins can help new users become comfortable transacting and storing cryptocurrencies in their digital wallets. In other words, stablecoins can create a bridge to the broader decentralized finance economy and help new users, in particular, make cryptoassets and blockchain applications a part of their financial services mix.
As exciting as things are at the moment, the overarching consensus of this panel is that we’ve only seen the beginning and it’s reasonable to expect, even encourage, stablecoins to continue to evolve.
To borrow an analogy Garrick used on the panel to describe adoption, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are in the third inning of a baseball game – a lot has happened, but there’s still plenty of game left to play.
For stablecoins, however, we’re only in the first inning and there’s an exceptional amount of untapped opportunity.
As the most trusted cryptocurrency company, we are passionate about helping people navigate the seemingly complex world of digital assets. Today, we’re pleased to release our first “Crypto Investment Thesis”, which outlines our view on why an ever growing number of people are choosing to use and own digital assets.
Why are we publishing an investment thesis?
Since Blockchain was founded in 2011, bitcoin and other digital asset ownership has grown from thousands of pioneers to over 30 million people today. This phenomenal growth has significantly outpaced the internet’s growth rate (approximately 2x faster) and been characterized by some regulators as a “miracle”.
While the rapidly expanding use of digital assets is undeniable, the reasons behind this growth are not necessarily widely understood or agreed on.
According to recent survey data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the reason why more than ten million Americans own cryptoassets is because they are viewed as a “good investment”. However, the exact opposite reason was given by survey respondents on why the vast majority of Americans do not yet own cryptoassets (who view them as a “bad investment”).
But how can both of these views be correct?
The purpose of our investment thesis is to address these and other seemingly paradoxical questions we often hear about the ownership and use of cryptoassets. Addressing such questions is particularly important given the recent dramatic cryptoasset price action, which has once again brought the world’s attention back to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
What you will (and won’t) find in our investment thesis
We already cover the basics on what crypto is and how it works (e.g., you can purchase less than a whole bitcoin; a bitcoin has eight decimal places) on Blockchain’s learning portal.
This thesis instead focuses on why you should consider owning cryptoassets.
While a number of excellent essays have previously been written making the case for crypto, to our knowledge this thesis represents the first comprehensive visualized thesis on the reasons why so many people are passionate (in both a positive and negative sense) about digital assets. We’ve worked hard to make our crypto investment thesis as accessible as possible without compromising on rigor, and sources are provided on each slide.
In this thesis we outline the wide range of ‘pull’ and ‘push’ factors driving growing use of cryptoassets, such as:
how cryptocurrency can be lower cost and more efficient in certain financial uses cases and contexts
the ‘digital gold’ thesis for bitcoin
why more and more people are being drawn towards trust-minimized financial assets and services (what is often referred to as open/decentralized finance, or ‘DeFi’)
We also critically examine some of the frequent criticisms we hear about cryptoassets, such as:
in contrast with the internet, email, smartphones, social media, and other digital technologies, billions of people have yet to use or own cryptoassets. Are there compelling reasons to believe more and more people will soon own cryptoassets, and if yes, what obstacles still exist?
the subject of energy consumption estimates for the bitcoin network, which has received frequent coverage in the media. Where should those interested in this topic turn for the most reliable data and useful perspectives?
are cryptoassets indelibly tainted given their use by criminals?
From tens of millions of people to billions
Today, the vast majority of people are still unclear on why there is so much excitement over bitcoin and other cryptoassets.
Our investment thesis provides a comprehensive view on the reasons why tens of millions of people currently own cryptoassets. It also examines some of the remaining challenges to further expansion in the use and ownership of digital assets. All of the data and sources presented in the thesis are referenced so that readers can perform their own checks and follow-up for additional information.
Like all of our research, this publication is freely available to view or download on our Research page here.
We’ve been in constant build mode over the last year, and we want you to be among the first to know what we’ve been up to.
With that in-mind, we’re kicking off a new series of monthly blog updates to keep you in the loop on what’s going on at Blockchain. In it, we’ll cover things like:
ICYMI: a sneak peek at product enhancements and launches you may have missed
Feature of the Month: highlights a feature you may not be using
The Bottom Line: figures around cryptocurrencies and growth of our community
Blockchain in the Cryptosphere: insights from our team and events on the horizon
We hope you will find these updates as useful as even members of our growing team have found them to be.
ICYMI - USD PAX and Swap Updates
In May, we partnered with Paxos to add the first stablecoin (USD PAX) to the Blockchain Wallet. Since then, we’ve seen a rapid rise in its use across our wallets; global uncertainty and volatility across crypto have grown, and users have turned to USD PAX to hedge currency and portfolio risk.
Next up, we’re preparing for another adoption boom as we add USD PAX to our mobile wallets. The addition will allow Android and iOS users – who make up a significant portion of our community – to unlock peer-to-peer payments and savings pegged to the US dollar. We're especially excited for the opportunity this will bring users in inflation-prone countries like Venezuela, Turkey and Nigeria.
While we’re on the subject of launches, we wanted to take a brief moment to update you on a feature we announced last October called Swap.
For those not familiar with Swap, it’s a quick and easy way to exchange crypto-to-crypto without ever leaving your wallet or having to convert to fiat.
You keep full control over your private keys. We handle the rest.
We’ve seen such high demand for Swap in the last seven months that we’ve introduced Gold Level exchange limits. Gold Level users can now trade up to $10,000 (or your local equivalent) per order, and a maximum of $50,000 per day.
If you’re currently at Silver Level or haven’t signed-up for Swap yet, upgrade to Gold for free and start swapping at our highest level!
Feature of the Month - Login via Mobile
Want to accelerate your web wallet login and save yourself some keystrokes? Try the “Pair Web Wallet” feature to unlock your web wallet through your mobile app.
Begin by selecting “Pair Web Wallet” in the app menu. From there, you’ll be directed to open the web wallet login screen in your computer browser. Select “Login via Mobile” in the bottom left corner of the box, and permit your browser to access your webcam.
Using your computer’s camera, scan the QR code unveiled in your mobile wallet. Note: this code is unique to you and contains your wallet credentials, so keep it hidden!
Once it scans, you’re logged in and ready to go.
Just make sure you don’t rely on Login via Mobile too much and forget your password. Actually, while you’re logged in, why not triple check that you’ve written down your recovery phrase?
The Bottom Line
Did you enjoy BTC’s ride from $5380 to over $8400 in May as much as we did? How about ETH and BCH jumping by more than 60% each? Despite a dip over the first few days of June, I’m sure you share our hopes that the crypto winter is thawing and we’re in for a long summer.
And the rising crypto prices have brought with them a new wave of adopters making the leap into crypto. In fact, we’ve added more than 4M wallets to our community in just the last two months – over double the number of wallets created in April and May last year.
So, if you’re an OG Blockchainer and see a new face adopter join the cryptosphere, give them a warm welcome.
Blockchain in the Cryptosphere
In the news:
Unchained Podcast - Our Co-founder and CEO Peter Smith caught up with Laura Shin to talk the vital role of non-custodial services, our Markets division and plans for our future
Forbes - Laura also spoke with our President and Chief Legal Officer Marco Santori on the SEC, and the challenges of applying current laws to crypto
Coindesk - Leigh Cuen caught up with our Head of Strategy and General Manager of our Wallet, Xen Baynham-Herd to talk about adding USD PAX to our mobile wallet
Times of India - Our Head of Research Garrick Hileman on why stablecoins can have a big impact in India
Quartz - Garrick again, this time talking with Nupur Anand about crypto and why asking Warren Buffett about it is like asking for a taxi driver’s view on Uber
At events in June:
Tokenized Assets London (June 4) - Our Co-founder and Vice Chairman Nic Cary joined a panel on the role of exchanges in mass adoption of crypto
Since January, we’ve been releasing digestible, institutional-grade research in the form of Blockchain Primers as a way for our users to stay informed about the fastest growing and most important sectors of the cryptoverse. Our latest bite-sized report is on the wallet’s newest addition and first stablecoin, USD PAX.
In the report, you’ll find:
Highlights: quick takeaways on Paxos’ key differentiating features (e.g., strengths and use cases)
Data: empirical data such as on-chain trading volume, liquidity & size, and regulatory information
Comparative summary: review of notable ecosystem and token competitors
Launched in September 2018, Paxos Standard tokens are fully backed by physical U.S. dollars stored in FDIC-insured banks and regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
This financial certainty eliminates price volatility and gives users around the world an entirely new way to send value, manage inflation, mitigate trading risk, and gain exposure to the US dollar.
$1 USD PAX equals $1 USD. Always.
USD PAX is now available for the more than 37 million Blockchain Wallets to use instantly and transparently, without minimums or maximums.
Click here to download our Paxos Standard Primer and learn more about how you can use USD PAX today.
Today, we’ve partnered with Paxos to break down a financial barrier for people across the world to access the world’s primary reserve currency with the release of digital dollars to our market-leading wallet.
The digital dollars, listed in the Blockchain Wallet as USD Pax, are powered by Paxos Standard, one of the most actively traded stablecoins and among the first to be regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services. They are pegged 1:1 to USD, eliminating price volatility and giving users an entirely new way to store value, de-risk in a moving market, manage inflation of their local currency, or settle in a fiat currency outside of traditional banking hours.
The Next Leap Toward Financial Freedom
With access to a free Blockchain Wallet, and the ability to store stable value in USD Pax, financial freedom is more tangible than ever for long-time crypto users and an entirely new wave of adopters.
Adding a digital dollar is just the latest in a series of initiatives we have, and will continue to develop, to show you how powerful it is to “Be Your Own Bank.”
In January, we launched a new education initiative called Blockchain Primers to ensure our users have the latest and most reliable information, data, and research on the cryptoasset options in their wallets (and beyond).
Today, we’re happy to share a primer on Stellar (XLM), which many of you have test-driven through our $125M airdrop.*
In it, you’ll find:
Highlights: quick takeaways on XLM’s key differentiating features (e.g., strengths and issues/tradeoffs)
Data: empirical data summarized in charts and tables, including new data not previously available to the public
Comparative summary: quantitative and qualitative data-driven comparison against Ripple (XRP)
References: links to additional information where you can learn more
Founded in 2014 by crypto pioneer Jed McCaleb and Joyce Kim, Stellar is designed to be a “world-wide payment network” that facilitates the fast exchange of currencies, assets and tokens with negligible transaction fees.
That utility and payments focus has led its native token, Lumens (XLM), to consistently rank as one of the leading cryptoassets in both market value and ecosystem support (e.g. exchange listings and partnerships with companies like IBM, Stripe and Kik).
We’ll have more insights on Stellar in the coming months, but encourage you to download our Stellar Primer for a digestible, yet thorough, rundown of how XLM can play a role in your Blockchain Wallet.
We’re invested in the long-term health of the crypto ecosystem and are mindful to support cryptocurrencies that are reliable, safe, and convenient. Since January we’ve offered limited support for Bitcoin Cash SV (BSV) and have been closely monitoring activity of the BSV network since the hard fork in November. After careful consideration, we have determined to end all support of BSV within the Blockchain Wallet by May 15, 2019.
If you have BSV, we recommend simply swapping it for another crypto in the Blockchain Wallet or sending your tokens to another service. To access your BSV tokens, log into your wallet through any web browser and select the Settings option on the bottom left, then Wallets & Addresses. On mobile? You can log into your Web Wallet by logging into the Blockchain app and clicking 'Log in to Web Wallet' in the side navigation.
A few months ago, to mark the tenth anniversary of the genesis block, crypto holders across the globe withdrew funds from third party exchanges. This ‘Proof of Keys Celebration’ honored crypto’s founding principle of independence from centralized financial systems. Recently, a similar movement has taken shape. This time, the focus has been on wallets.
At Blockchain, we’ve always believed that without having full control over your private key, you’re missing the defining aspect of crypto: user controlled, sovereign assets. (Not sure what your private key is? Learn more here.) In fact, “be your own bank” has been our ethos since the inception of the Blockchain Wallet.
Competitors have often claimed that ensuring that users retain control over their funds requires a trade off in functionality. We proved them wrong once again with last year’s launch of Blockchain Swap, a next generation trading product that allows Blockchain Wallet users to exchange crypto quickly and with ease for the price you’d pay on exchange, without giving up control of your keys.
In addition to being driven by a passion to empower our users, we’re equally committed to sanctifying their security. That’s why, as a non-custodial wallet, we never have access to your password or funds.
Not one of the 30M+ Blockchain Wallet holders using our platform to store, trade and transact while maintaining full control of your funds? It takes moments to create a free Blockchain Wallet with a verified email address.
And transferring funds to your newly created Blockchain Wallet is easy: simply send the funds from your existing wallet to the address created when you click on request in your Blockchain Wallet.
Get started here and be on your way to taking back control of your crypto!
At Blockchain, we’re driven by a relentless passion for making crypto easy to use. In that spirit, last last year we launched the biggest giveaway in crypto history. This ongoing giveaway has already allowed us to begin broadening the crypto community and has given our users a way to participate immediately and directly with a new decentralized network.
This week, we’re excited to provide yet another way to use crypto with ease and security, all the while unleashing generosity across the Blockchain community.
Starting Tuesday, February 26th, users in the U.S. and Canada who sign up for our Stellar Airdrop will prompt a donation of $5 worth of XLM to one of our participating charities: charity: water, Code.org, and DonorsChoose.org.
We’ll be partnering with Network for Good, a platform that makes fundraising effortless and transparent, to facilitate these donations.
Whether supporting charity: water’s mission to bring safe, clean water to people in developing countries, expanding access to computer science education via Code.org, or helping teachers and classrooms across the country via DonorsChoose.org — we’re honored and proud to take an extra step towards building a better future with this airdrop.
So, how will this work? Head to this page to create your wallet and claim your XLM. Once you have been verified and receive the airdrop, we’ll send $5 worth of XLM to Network For Good on your behalf, so they can help distribute the donations evenly among the three charities.
We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Stellar Development Foundation and NFG to further open up the world of donations to the crypto community. We hope you’ll join us.