One of the biggest reasons why many started believing in crypto in the first place, was wealth inequality. Wealth inequality has only gotten worse with time. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that most people are in denial about the issue.
The Insane Scale of Global Wealth Inequality Visualized - YouTube
Cryptocurrencies were supposed to solve that issue, but a recent study by Chainalysis proves it’s alive and well in the crypto sphere. The study shows that a mere 376 people own more than 30% of the available Ether. Things with bitcoin are going towards the same path as 448 people currently hold 20% of the available currency.
The so-called crypto whales mostly made their investments between 2009 and 2011. Despite having a large amount of the currency, the crypto whales don’t really affect the price. This is mainly because the majority of crypto whales don’t trade, they HODL.
Research also shows that Ethereum whales sometimes move huge amounts of Ether from private wallets to exchanges. This results in a very slight increase of market volatility for the cryptocurrency. If the bull run began a few months earlier, Chinalysis researches would have had more accurate data.
Ethereum might be the 2nd biggest cryptocurrency, but it falls way behind bitcoin when it comes to market adoption. Back in the end of 2018, there were roughly 50 million Ethereum wallets compared to 460 million ACTIVE from bitcoin. From the 50 million Ethereum wallets, a little more than 300K were active.
Wealth inequality must be dealt with before it reaches fiat levels
Ethereum is slowly but surely, reaching a more mature stage of market adoption. In time, many more small wallets will find their way into the blockchain. Most experts believe that the Ether distribution will flatten naturally during this period. The information revealed by Chinalysis, speaks well for the investment potential, but not so well for the small investors.
Most expectations point out to Ethereum reaching $300 since every time bitcoin goes bullish, altcoins hitch a ride on its back. Currently, Ethereum currently sits just over $235.563 following the slowdown of bitcoin.
It would be great to see someone from the crypto community to address the issues with crypto whales. Wealth inequality will not be fixed if fiat is replaced by crypto and the greedy people on top just get new names and faces.
Bitcoin’s impressive gains over the last week are rumored to be the result of booming institutional interest. Many investors are currently looking into alternative assets when the stock market is highly volatile. The global economy might be on edge, but Chinese investors remain calm and collected and go all-in into bitcoin.
Many experts are speculating that institutional investing is actually falling behind Chinese investors when it comes to the bitcoin price spike. With the yuan taking heavy hits due to the trade war, Chinese investors are looking for a safe haven.
It’s no secret to anyone that the Chinese government is not favorable towards cryptocurrencies. Exchanges were shut down, ICOs were banned and a mining ban is looming on the horizon. It’s more than obvious that the Chinese government and Chinese investors don’t see eye to eye on these matters.
The yuan is buckling under the pressure of the trade war and Chinese investors are beginning to rely on bitcoin. China announced their own countermeasures towards Trump’s tariffs. The measures included Chinese tariffs ranging from 5% to 25% on over $60 billion worth of United States goods. This resulted in the biggest single-day drop since July 2018.
Chinese Investors are making use of loopholes
China had already taken measures against an eventual massive dump of the yuan. The country made the yearly outflow of yuan capped at $50 000. Bitcoin however, gives Chinese Investors the opportunity to go around that ban. Even though crypto exchanges are banned, over-the-counter dealers and peer-to-peer exchanges still make this process possible.
Many rumors are flying around that traders in Hong Kong are massively dumping the Chinese yuan and moving into stablecoins. The Chinese people have always found many genius ways of getting money out of the country.
If a compromise is not reached soon, it’s more than likely that the price of bitcoin will spike a lot. While it’s very early to talk about reclaiming the $20K peak, there are many possible scenarios. It appears that currently both China and the United States are losing the trade war. Bitcoin is the only winner and if this keep going this way, the winning has only just begun.
Bitcoin’s rally is on everyone’s minds. For a little less than a week, bitcoin’s price jumped from $6079 to $8212. Even though this bullish craze is currently focusing on bitcoin, altcoins aren’t missing out on the action. Ontology (ONT) smashed competitors and deserving sits among the market’s best weekly performers.
Ontology began its bull run on May 10th. The price quickly began to rise from $0.99 and stood at $1.52 a week later. In less than a week, a growth of 50% was reached. Bitcoin managed to “only” gain 33% for more or less the same period.
There shouldn’t be a doubt on anyone’s mind that the rally happened on the back of bitcoin. Despite the bullish market mood, Ontology did release a few statements which also gave the price a push upwards. On May 10th, just before the rally began, Ontology fired up the 3rd round of the Triones node applications.
These applications encourage participation in the blockchain network’s Triones consensus system. The system leverages the VBFT consensus algorithm while utilizing a governance model focused on decentralization, incentives and high-performance expansion.
Ontology offers incentives
49 of the most active ONT users will benefit greatly from the above-mentioned incentives. The nodes following the 49 will receive ONG tokens only from transaction fees. ONG tokens are the second coin of Ontology’s dual token system. ONG tokens act as utility tokens that are used for on-chain services.
On May 13th, Ontology shared more good news. The week started off with the crypto wallet app operator Trust Wallet offering full support for ONT and ONG.
TRON’s current predicament can be viewed as both amusing and troublesome at the same time. Lucian Chen, TRON’s Chief Technical Officer announced he is leaving the project after he arrived back in 2017. Chen shared why he believes TRON is not currently the project he signed up for. A few days later, it turned out the CTO fired by TRON was accused of many corporate crimes.
After Chen went into detail about TRON’s current issues, the TRON PR immediately retaliated. Official representatives stated that Chen was fired in the beginning of the year. The reason turned out to be complicated as Chen was accused of:
Misappropriation of funds
Theft of trade secrets and intellectual property
The community was initially confused by the entire situation. Justin Sun, Tron CEO and founder retweeted his claim and posted it on Reddit to inform the TRON community.
There was no official announcement from TRON about the many crimes Chen is accused of. Both TRX investors and developers were apparently clueless during the whole fiasco. Chen’s crimes became public shortly after he began speaking out against TRON. This seems to be the reason a lot of people are taking Chen’s criticisms of TRON seriously.
The CTO fired from TRON somehow fired himself with a few months delay
In the beginning of the week, Chen announced his “official” departure from the project and called out Sun for moving TRON far from its original vision. Chen mentioned that the levels of decentralization of TRON are nowhere near what Sun claims they are. He also stated that TRON is not able to run internet applications.
Thins definitely aren’t adding up when Justin Sun was apparently silent about corporate crimes for months. The only claims against the fired CTO are on a Reddit thread.
If the CTO fired because of crimes had so much to say about the project and the CEO didn’t inform either the developers or the investors, things are not looking good for TRON.
Both sad and amusing at the same time, this development comes a little after Justin Sun made the ridiculous claim that he single- handedly saved the crypto market.
Despite the many accusations against the fired CTO, Sun’s words seem to hold almost no weight behind them. Fingers are being pointed left and right to determine who the real criminal is and he even exists.
It’s always amusing to see huge companies apologize for “bugs” which have freely stolen user information for a while. The latest “bug” opened up a lot of questions about the Twitter privacy levels.
Due to a bug in Twitter for iOS, we inadvertently collected and shared location data (at the zip code or city level). We have fixed the bug, but we wanted to make sure we shared more of the context around this with you. More here: https://t.co/n04LNt62Sa
The biggest problem is not that the “bug” was collecting location information from users without their consent. All social media giants do that, whether we like it or not. The biggest problem is that the collected information was sent somewhere and Twitter never really disclosed where.
According to Engadget, this “bug” wasn’t really spread throughout the entire web. It seemed to only affect users who were simultaneously logged into more than one Twitter account on the social media’s iOS app.
The Twitter privacy was thrown out the window since the “bug” apparently targeted anyone with the location feature. If the feature was turned on in one account, the other had its data stolen as well. Where the location information went is of course, a complete mystery.
Allegedly, the support team’s first action was to try and remove the “bug” by removing the location data from the information that was send to one of its ad partners. Needless to say, that brilliant idea didn’t work because the precise location couldn’t be revealed due to Twitter masking the location to a 5km-squared area.
Twitter privacy is quickly becoming a meme
The company quickly stated that Twitter privacy is not an issue and no usernames or personal details that compromise user identity were “stolen”. Twitter continued to dig itself into a bigger hole when they shared that the ad partner only stored the information for a “limited amount of time”. According to Twitter, the data-handling procedures resulted in a very quick deletion of the information.
This is by no means the first time anything like this has happened with Twitter. This is the 4th “bug” which magically transfers user information out of the platform. Twitter privacy however, is just a small drop in the ocean.
All of the mega corporations like Google, Amazon and Facebook have been doing this openly for years. Data mishandling has been found multiple times and multiple platforms and the answers they give are never satisfying.
Mega corporations always seem to be treated differently by law enforcement. A privacy scandal or leak which will ruin a huge percentage of the smaller companies gets swept under the rug and disappears in a few days if its about either Google, Facebook or Amazon.
If the companies who can hire the best tech developers in the world supposedly cannot fix their security issues, then we’re all in for a ride. Unfortunately, a huge percentage of the population uses the services of these giants daily and everyone should start to live with the fact that your information is not yours anymore.
There’s a new Privacy Coin and it has set very high goals for its debut. DAPS Coin will work solely on the issue of privacy which is apparently lacking with some cryptocurrencies. The coin’s philosophy states that “privacy is a right, not a privilege.”
While the philosophy behind the DAPS Coin sounds nice, they are entering a rapidly growing market of privacy coins. In order to be innovative in a rapidly growing market, you really need to stand above the competition.
This is why the developers are taking the best features from other privacy coins like Monero and Dash and integrating them into a single blockchain via proof-of-stake. The new blockchain will use the Bulletproof Protocol which is responsible for the drastic cost reduction in Monero transactions last year.
DAPS Coin has some interesting new ideas of its own
A jack of all trades is however, a master of none. Taking the best from the competition and putting it together doesn’t seem enough. Andrew Huntley, the CTO of DAPS Coin stated that the project is also unique and innovative by being the first of its kind for many reasons:
“We are direct competitors of the well-established privacy coins. I want to underline that our project is completely different from Monero. Unlike the staking coins Dash and Zerocoin, which require a trusted setup, we don’t. Our setup is a completely trustless scenario in which we have implemented PoS at its full capacity.”
He also spoke about the current Masternode implementations and their current level of centralization. Huntley also mentioned that DAPS Coin had to work around a few technical issues which occur with the integration of the Bulletproof Protocol. Nodes are enabled to verify the amount which a masternode can hold but anonymizes the funds if they are removed from the masternode’s collateralization.
According to the CEO of DAPS Coin, Adel de Meyer, the project will be very appealing to many companies. The companies which can make use of the project will probably want to get into crypto, but will require a higher level of privacy.
DAPS Coin was funded via an ICO. The whole process was overseen by a corporate structure and the developers believe this will allow the coin to go further than most privacy coins.
With the recently discovered bug in the Zerocoin protocol, it became apparent that all coins on it are now vulnerable. The bug allows coins to be endlessly created with the same zero-knowledge proof time and time again. The team behind Zcoin is yet to take action and that raised a lot of alarm bells.
This of course creates a power vacuum which new privacy coins will be rushing in to fill. With great hopes for the next bull run, privacy coins can become quite valuable.
The DAPS Coin has so far traded on a few exchanges for short periods of time, but has not entered mainnet yet. DAPS holders can freely exchange ERC-20 tokens for DAPS.
Consoles have grown in popularity immensely over the last few years. PS4 and Xbox One were both released back in November 2013 and since then, PS4 managed to sell over 94 million consoles. This round of console wars definitely goes to Sony as PS4 seems to smash the competition.
Xbox One is not even close to PS4 with “just” 42 million sales. Xbox One is also rapidly losing ground to the third most popular console in the world, the Nintendo Switch. The Switch has managed to ramp up to 33 million sold consoles and is currently taking 19% of the console market.
Yes, Xbox One currently takes 25% but it launched 2 years earlier. This makes Microsoft’s job a very challenging one when it comes to the next generation of consoles. It’s absolutely certain that once the announcement comes for either PS5 or Xbox Two, the rivals will announce their own product in a matter of days or weeks.
Currently, all expectations point to 2020 to be start of the next round in the console wars. So, in order to be a step ahead of the competition, Microsoft is allegedly planning to release 2 different versions of the Xbox Two.
The first version will be the normal console model, which will be focused on running the latest games. A lot of high-spec hardware will be included to offer gamers the best possible gaming experience.
The second version will be a far more affordable, cloud-specific model. While this doesn’t seem like a huge deal, the Xbox Game Pass subscription, will give gamers over 100 titles to choose from for just $9.99.
All eyes on the console wars
All information points out that Sony is getting ready for the next console wars with just 1 version of the PS5. Sony will reportedly focus entirely on performance and will use the latest AMD Ryzen processors combined with top of the line Navi graphics cards. The console will also feature a new ray-tracing technology that will do wonders for games to appear more realistic.
Microsoft knows full well that performance is key so the Xbox Two will probably not be too far behind. The Xbox Two will most likely support native 4K HDR gaming and be equipped with SSDs to help with load speed. The more affordable, streaming-focused model will definitely be of use in the next round of the console wars.
Most gamers however, know full well that hardware is not the why Microsoft is losing the console wars. Microsoft offers many features that Sony does not. The 2TB storage, the native 4K and even the backward-compatibility with older versions. Microsoft has it all but it fails miserably when it comes to content.
Microsoft is however, already looking to rapidly expand its game library. 15 acquisitions were made back in 2018 and 7 were video game studios.
The console wars are ramping up speed and the next round will see no sides spare expenses. Both parties are fully aware of their strong and weak points and are actively working to fix them. There is no doubt that currently Sony is the king of consoles. The throne however, will be harder to keep as the opposition grows stronger every time.
Many partnerships are forming around the world to speed mass adoption. Companies are brainstorming for different ways to integrate crypto into their business. After the launch of the HTC Exodus 1 didn’t get the desired interest, the smartphone developer is moving forward with the HTC Exodus 1s.
The HTC Exodus 1s will be launched before the end of the year. A lot of crypto enthusiasts were disappointed because the only special feature turned out to be the storage enclave “Zion”.
Zion however, was only able to store keys for… access to digital cats. The phone was also anything but affordable as it costed the mind-boggling $950. HTC quickly realized that the price was too high and allowing people to only purchase the product with either bitcoin or Ethereum was a mistake.
The company quickly lowered to price to $699, but that simply wasn’t enough. Granted, the phone was not a failure by any means, but it still did disappoint. HTC simply shot too far, too soon.
This is why, the Exodus 1s will focus on providing increased support for dApps, decentralized browsing and messaging. According to HTC, this new blockchain smartphone is able to run a full bitcoin node as well.
The Exodus 1s will be quite affordable
Apparently, HTC also realized how far they went with the price so the Exodus 1s will be available for just $300. Yes, for $300, you will able to contain the whole bitcoin blockchain on your phone and verify transactions.
Phil Chen is HTC’s Chief Decentralization Officer and he believes in a fully decentralized web. He hopes to use blockchain solutions which aid in keeping your financial assets safe and under your control. This is the main reason he decided to work on blockchain phones.
According to Chen, people should really consider storing their information on a decentralized network. After all, if technology currently allows for people to secure their savings on an open source blockchain, why not just secure all your information there?
Granted, there are currently limitations like space and computing power. Those are however, issues that will be a thing of the past in a matter of years.
It’s completely understandable that the mainstream media vigorously attacks tech companies who in some cases, try and offer people privacy and security. After all, Facebook and other social media giants freely sell your personal data to add companies for profit.
It’s perfectly natural that a solution which can help people with privacy and security is a thorn in the mainstream media’s sight. Google and Apple are watching how you use their products non-stop, but it’s all good because we agreed to their terms and conditions.
If the Exodus 1s sees more success than its predecessor and decentralized networking increases in popularity, we can expect decentralized social media platforms with transparent algorithms. This will help against central authority banning or shadow-banning anyone who disagrees with their views.
Whether or not the Exodus 1s will be the blockchain phone that kicks things off is unknown. One thing is certain however, blockchain phones are coming, slowly but surely.
Some of the first companies to adopt cryptocurrency use were online casinos. These companies enjoyed the cheap transfer of currency between sides which was much quicker than some of the services that are offered currently, and the users found the fact that the funds could not be traced to one source or another quite attractive. As the pioneers within the industry, the casinos were able to explore the potential of cryptocurrencies as payment systems and were able to further implement them into their fabric, introducing cryptocurrency gambling into the industry; casinos with Bitcoin-games that allowed the use of cryptocurrencies in order to play with, and some casinos even created their own cryptos to play with on the platform. The variety of ways that casinos started using this new technology was one of the first showcases of how versatile and interesting the technology is and how much potential it holds for the future of a large number of industries.
It is a shame then that the cryptocurrency world has also become a source of new income for a number of scammers, around the world and specifically in Australia. In the year 2018, many people have already fallen to different kinds of scams, but one scam has taken the world by the storm in recent years. Once the heroes of the crypto industry, now casinos are slowly becoming the victims of it, or to be more precise, the victims of scammers within it. In 2018, a large number of cryptocurrency scams appeared in Australia. These scams would pose as international casinos (to bypass local online casino regulation) and allow users to gamble with cryptocurrencies they purchased on their online slots and other games. Such gambling resulted in the victims of the scam losing a couple of hundred million US dollars worth of cryptocurrency throughout the year. And while it might not be the most malicious kind of scam in the cryptocurrency world, it certainly became one of the most damaging.
The far-reaching damage
While scams are generally a dangerous tool in the arsenal of criminals, few have been as dangerous as those devised within the cryptocurrency world, and fewer still have been as damaging to the industries they operate in than the one we are talking about here. The scams that were operating throughout 2017 and 2018 resulted in a bit less than Five hundred million dollars of loss to the Australian people and specifically those who became victims of these scams. This is some action will be taken in the near future in order to stop these scams from damaging the people who fall for them as much as they do. What kind of measures will be taken is totally up to the governmental agencies that are responsible for creating such controls for such situations, but the truth of the matter is that the resulting legislation and regulation will not be only there to stem the proliferation of scams, but will also result in damage to legitimate casinos that operate with cryptocurrencies.
Australia is already pretty harsh with how it treats online casinos, with a huge amount of legislation levied upon them. Online casinos originating in Australia are not even allowed to offer their services to the Australian people. Only foreign originating companies are able to do so, and even they have to comply with a large set of rules and regulations associated with operating within the confines of the country. Minimum operating capital, user protection, so on and so on are already rather expensive within the legal framework, and with new regulation, designed to combat the issue of casino scams within the country, is not going to make the creation and operation process any cheaper.
Combine this with the fact that cryptocurrency legislation will, as a result of the years of abuse, going to get stricter, and you have yourself a rather bleak scenario for the few Bitcoin and cryptocurrency-friendly online casinos operating within the AU borders. After all, operating with cryptocurrencies is not a cheap endeavor. The amount of time and investment it takes to develop software that can operate with cryptocurrencies, games that are crypto oriented, as well as professionals who need to dedicate their time to managing the crypto funds, is already rather high. If additional regulation means that more requirements are piled onto companies, it might be a good idea for them to quit operating, as they are currently, altogether. Sometimes the cheaper alternative and the more profitable alternative is to seize operations after all.
The damage remains, only if it is allowed to
So, is there a solution to this problem that does not result in overall damage to everyone? It is not our prerogative to come up with such solutions, but we feel like there might be something that can be done. Specifically, for ACMA, ASIC and so on to start taking a bigger responsibility in regulating casinos and looking for them. Right now, the all-encompassing requirement to be from a foreign state is like a transfer of responsibility that does not entirely work. A good way to go about the process was to either increase the awareness of the citizens of what makes a legitimate casino or to try and find the casinos that are marketed to users and see if they are indeed legitimate. There is no need to sacrifice the crypto casino industry in order to achieve safety for the rest of the population when a little bit of effort might be just enough to provide the safety for the entirety of the population.
The quest for mass adoption is definitely a long adventure. Most people would easily point out that bitcoin has done the most in regards to popularizing cryptocurrencies. While there’s some truth to that statement, at the moment, no one is doing more than Litecoin in favor of mass adoption. The latest endeavor by Charlie Lee has recently been revealed to be a partnership with Travala.
Travala is a blockchain-based booking platform. It’s basically another blockchain company, but its ideas will definitely serve as a model for future agreements. Expedia can also rethink their decision on not accepting bitcoin if Travala can make the Litecoin payments work.
Litecoin’s agreement with Travala will offer the company’s customers incredible deals. Clients can shred up to 40% of the hotel costs if they pay via Litecoin.
Additionally, Travala entered a partnership with the Litecoin Foundation for the upcoming Litecoin Summit. The event will be held in Las Vegas, during the Blockchain Week in October.
Travala’s efforts towards mass adoption aren’t limited only on Litecoin. The company is an official partner of the Bitcoin 2019 Conference.
Travala is also by no means going to force travelers to make compromises in luxury and/or class. Clients who choose to pay via cryptocurrencies will have full access to over 600 000 properties spread over 103 countries.
Travala and Litecoin are showing how things must be done
There is a lot of talk about the “new version” of the Litecoin foundation. Despite the coin being the 5th-largest, it has more than doubled its value from last year. Keep in mind that the majority of cryptocurrencies lost more than 85% of their value during the bear market.
Charlie Lee’s vision about Litecoin is quite simple: A faster and cheaper cryptocurrency than bitcoin. With ever new software upgrade he seems to be getting closer. With the release of Litecoin Core 0.17.1 default transaction fees were lowered. The result was a 0.0001 LTC/kB minimum transaction fee.
With bitcoin fees going up more than 250% recently, Litecoin might just become what Charlie Lee hopes it to be.
Needless to say, there is still a lot of work to be done. Mass adoption is inevitable, but only a few will be able to take credit when the world fully embraces cryptocurrencies.