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In less than a year, the Bitcoin soared to over $19,000 before undergoing a severe correction. An almost unprecedented performance in the history of the markets. Financial revolution or a simple bubble? Our analysis.
It’s the star of the moment. On the markets, one speaks “almost” only of Bitcoin, so much the cryptocurrency shows stratospheric performances.
Despite these fluctuations, the number of investors has increased considerably, to over 50 million users, while investment banks and funds have positioned themselves in the niche. Even economists have taken up the subject. But where does this cryptocurrency that unleashes passions come from, how does it work, is it secure, how far will it climb?
Bitcoin, what is it?
Bitcoin is not a stumbling block of change. It is a cryptocurrency, i.e., a “currency” that takes the form of an encrypted computer program.
This currency was launched in 2009 by a group of unknown hackers, hidden behind the pseudo “Satoshi Nakamoto.” The computer program is equivalent to the DNA of Bitcoin, which defines its technical characteristics and operating mode.
If not controlled and guaranteed by a central bank, Bitcoin is protected by blockchain technology. The “blockchain” is a kind of giant numerical account book that acts as a ledger. It lists and secures all operations performed with bitcoins.
Who uses Bitcoin?
There are mainly two types of investors. Individuals and institutions. The number of private users is estimated at 30 million, almost half of them in the United States. For most of them, it is primarily a speculative investment, to try to take advantage of the bullish wave.
On the other side, there are institutional investors, investment funds in particular, who are more discreet but are very present. These players want to position themselves on a new financial asset. On December 10, the Chicago Stock Exchange launched a futures contract on Bitcoin, while the French fund Tobam decided to offer its clients to invest in cryptocurrency.
Is it secure?
Investors and… hackers are coveting the explosion in the value of Bitcoin. For several months, attacks have multiplied, causing the closure of dozens of cryptomarket “exchanges,” platforms on which investors buy and sell Bitcoin.
A few days ago, the Youbit platform, the fourth largest operator in South Korea, closed its doors after being the victim of a new computer attack, attributed to North Korean hackers. Nor is the sector more exposed than others, such as industry or finance, which are also under attack from IT, even if there are calls for the crypto exchanges to be grouped in order to pool their costs and strengthen their protection system.
How high can it go?
That is the question that is agitating the markets. In December, Bitcoin had sessions with increases of over 30%. Since the beginning of the year, the Bitcoin price has increased more than 15-fold, from $900 to over $17,000, with a peak of $18,000.
Few financial assets have experienced such growth. Only a few stock market values and “penny stocks,” these values whose share is only worth a few cents, posted comparable increases.
Potentially, Bitcoin has no limits as long as demand increases. It could continue to climb in the coming weeks, especially if the futures contracts launched by the Chicago Stock Exchange give credibility to its financial normalization.
Banks are anticipating the decline of the City and the rise of other financial centers.
Without really believing it, the primary European banks had been preparing for more than a year for the exit from the European Union voted by the British. But the Brexit victory took the City and the major international financial centers by surprise. The financial sector is one of the industries that will be most affected. Overview of the major upheavals to be expected in European finance.
What will happen to La City?
London is widely expected to remain an important financial center, but its star is likely to fade. The United Kingdom is now the largest financial center in the European Union, accounting for almost 25% of its financial services and employing 2.2 million people in the financial industry. However, London’s disaffection will depend on the United Kingdom’s exit negotiations with the European Union.
The main risks for La City is to lose its European “passport” and its euro “clearing” activity – and therefore investors. London is indeed an important clearing center in euros, a system that provides financial security for transaction processing. The European Central Bank does not like this situation since it cannot exercise control over these activities, which potentially pose a systemic risk to monetary union. In 2011, the Frankfurt institution had tried to repatriate these clearing houses. But the City had won its case before the European courts. By leaving the European Union, London will no longer be able to invoke the benefit of belonging to the common market to counter a future takeover of the ECB. For the boss of a French CIB “, repatriation of the euro clearing could greatly weaken the City.”
Which financial centers to take over?
For financial analysts, “no financial center is likely to replace London.” For Société Générale boss Frédéric Oudéa, European finance will become more “multipolar.” Who, from Paris, Frankfurt, Luxembourg or Dublin will benefit most from the expected downgrading of London? Everything will depend on the decisions of investors and financial groups to relocate certain activities to the EU. Dublin and Luxembourg are more attractive from a tax point of view than Paris, which can, however, count on several assets: the presence of large groups active on the markets or a leading asset management center, and real estate or transport capacities. While taking note, with regret, of the decision of the British, the Place de Paris is swamping its weapons.
Are French banks ready?
“We are ready to manage the emergence of the coming days and also to adapt to this new institutional framework,” assured Frédéric Oudéa on Friday morning. After having suffered a violent stock market shock, French banks still have to build their post-Brexit future. Across the Channel, they have just under 3% of their total workforce, concentrated in corporate and investment banking (CIB) activities. Will they be partly transferred to the mainland? For the moment, no French bank has revealed its game.” This will depend on the negotiation of Brexit and the behavior of our customers,” explains one banker.
In the shorter term, the consequences of Brexit on the markets could also plummet the results of the French groups’ financing and investment banks in the second quarter. Volatility on the markets could continue, says Romain Burnand, manager at Moneta, everything will depend on political responses, the impact of Brexit on the economy…”.
What are the consequences for banks operating from London?
It is quite possible that, following its negotiations with Brussels, the United Kingdom will lose its European passport, which allows a credit or payment institution authorized in an EU country to operate in the various single market countries. From then on, the major American or Swiss banks, or even fintech, which used London as a bridgehead to radiate in Europe, will have to obtain approval in an EU country.
Tether, owner of the USDT token, announced today that its system had been hacked into. An individual would have managed to divert the equivalent of $30,950,010 to an unauthorized address.
Initially launched as’ Realcoin,’ Tether makes it easy to convert encryption currency into dollars or USDT tokens, this is done via trading platforms such as Bitfinex, Poloniex…
After the announcement of the attack, and for security reasons Tether temporarily suspended its wallet service (Theter. to). A thorough examination of the cause of the attack is under way to prevent similar actions from being repeated in the future.
An update of the Omni Core software has been deployed to prevent stolen funds from entering the ecosystem. The latter are marked as pirated and will not be exchangeable. It is indeed a temporary hard-force, creating a divergence of consensus.
Tether and the Omni Foundation (responsible for the development of the Omni Core software) are studying ways in which Tether can retrieve the tokens in question and rectify the hard fork created by the update. Once this protocol upgrade is complete, Omni Foundation will provide updated binary files that all integrators can install. Once the update in place Tether will reclaim the stolen tokens.
This guide will help you find the right Bitcoin wallet in 2017!
There is no universal Bitcoin wallet. These wallets come in all kinds of forms and functions.
Keep reading if you’re looking for the meilleur portefeuille bitcoin.
What is a Bitcoin wallet?
A Bitcoin wallet is the first thing you need to be able to use bitcoins.
Without a wallet, you cannot receive, keep and spend your bitcoins.
Try to imagine such a wallet as your interface with the Bitcoin network – a bit like your online bank account is an interface to the conventional monetary system.
Bitcoin wallets contain private keys, some secret codes that allow you to spend your bitcoins.
These are not the bitcoins that need to be stored and secured, but rather the private keys that give access to them.
A Bitcoin wallet is an app, website or device that manages your private keys.
Types of Bitcoin wallets
A hardware wallet is a physical, electronic device designed for the sole purpose of securing bitcoins.
The big difference with solutions is that the hardware devices must be connected to your computer, smartphone or tablet before you can spend bitcoins.
The three most popular hardware wallets are:
- Ledger Nano S
Hardware wallets are one of the best choices when you take security seriously, but still, want a convenient and reliable bitcoin storage solution.
Hardware wallets keep private keys away from devices connected to the Internet (and therefore vulnerable).
Your private keys are stored in the wallet hardware, i. e. in a secure offline environment offering complete protection, even when the computer to which it connects is infected.
Since bitcoins are a digital currency, cybercriminals could theoretically attack your computer’s “software wallets” and steal them by gaining access to your private key.
Which wallet suits you best?
To invest? To save money? In this case, a hardware wallet will allow you to keep your bitcoins safe.
If not, a software wallet can also send and receive bitcoins.
Each wallet has its advantages and disadvantages, and each wallet exists to solve different problems.
Some wallets focus on security, while others focus on confidentiality.
Your needs will determine the type of wallet you use because there is no such thing as the “best Bitcoin wallet.”
Mastercard offers for the first time the possibility to send money via a blockchain instead of using a credit card.
After developing its version of blockchain technology over the past two years, Mastercard announced on Friday that it is now opening up blockchain technology to individual banks and merchants as a potentially more efficient alternative to paying for goods and services.
A sign that the widespread adoption of crypto technology is on the rise, Mastercard is the second Fortune 500 company this week to start making payments easier with it. On Monday, IBM revealed that it had also begun making payments on its proprietary blockchain between banks in the South Pacific.
Like IBM, Mastercard also targets business-to-business payments as the primary objective of its blockchain, which can only be used by invitation. Mastercard, however, differs from the technology giant importantly: while IBM’s blockchain transmits only money in the form of Lumens, a virtual currency created by the non-profit company Stellar, the blockchain Mastercard operates independently of a cryptographic currency and instead accepts payments in traditional local currency.
Not a real currency?
On the other hand, according to Pinkham, Mastercard has an advantage that the Bitcoin does not have: a settlement network that includes 22,000 banks and financial institutions around the world.
After all, Pinkham adds, companies still rely primarily on government-issued money for business, which makes it impractical to convert cash into cryptographic money, or vice versa, for every payment on a blockchain. Even in the bitcoin system, there needs to be a trading platform that allows Bitcoin to be exchanged for the euro, which creates complications,” Pinkham explains.
Mastercard hopes to offer the benefits of this technology, including a safer and more transparent way to make and track payments within the existing financial system, without the drawbacks of digital money. What Mastercard brings to the table here is a unique combination of this blockchain capability and Mastercard’s settlement network,” Pinkham explains. (The competitor credit card provider Visa, for its part, has partnered with startup Chain to develop its own similar business-to-business payment system.
Some companies have already signed up to use Mastercard’s blockchain, Pinkham said, although he refused to name them. In addition to payments, Mastercard envisages that businesses could use this blockchain to track the movement of pharmaceuticals and luxury goods such as handbags and diamonds, thereby reducing fraud by providing “proofs of origin.”
Financial technology or Fintech and cryptocurrency are taking over the world. Everyone is trying to improve their financial systems and get them digital. Almost everything else in the world is digital, so why not financial systems as well? There are a few kinks that need to be sorted out and improved and we’re sure that they will be addressed in no time. If you are interested in taking on Fintech for your business, take note of the challenges and how you can solve them.
The first challenge is security. Even though cryptocurrency platforms are secure and decentralized, hacking remains a problem. Digital financial systems will always carry the potential risk of hacking. This is obviously a problem as any business that holds financial information of clients, want to keep that information secure and private. Fintech companies, like Next Bank Asia, are putting systems and precautions in place to ensure the security of these types of information.
If any private information of any kind comes to light, Fintech companies can be held liable. This will poorly influence the company’s reputation and trustworthiness. This is also a concern for the companies making use of the technology. Most Fintech companies, like Next Bank Asia, take this concern very seriously and take extra safety precautions to ensure that there is no breach of confidentiality.
Denial of Service Attacks
This is a concern for most digital financial services and companies. People are taking chances and claiming that transactions never happened. This is becoming a huge problem across the world. Fintech companies can implement measures and protocols to address these potential issues and track the transactions to check whether such claims are true or not.
Any form of digital information runs the risk of becoming public or hacked. Every company and individual who use these systems must take their own precautions to ensure the safety of their information and their money.
Cryptocurrencies have become quite a big thing all across the world. A cryptocurrency is basically a digital form of money or unit of exchange. You can use these currencies to do online transactions without real money ever changing hands. It is fast, secure, and very convenient. Many businesses have also gotten on board and accept or trade in cryptocurrency. The four best-known cryptocurrencies are:
Bitcoin is by far the most well-known type of cryptocurrency in the world. It has become a household name and people all over the world make use of this system. This was also the first cryptocurrency that came on the scene in 2009. It was developed by an anonymous individual or group only known as Satoshi Nakamoto.
Ripple is a distributed ledger system that keeps track of transactions. It can successfully track different kinds of transactions and is very helpful to banks and other financial institutions. It can be used to track more than just the cryptocurrencies.
Litecoin is the smallest of the four cryptocurrencies on this list. It is the newest and also the fastest in terms of development and improvement. It moves quickly when it comes to improving speed and new features.
Ethereum is second to Bitcoin as the most used cryptocurrency. It was developed in 2015 and has a large market capitalization in the billions. It has had some issues with hacking and such things, but regardless of that, the currency is still popular among users.
Cryptocurrencies are being used for various transactions. People are using them to invest, play the markets, make an online purchase, etc. It is a fast and convenient way of exchanging money without a centralized system.
There are many things being said about financial technology and cryptocurrencies – both good and bad. Many people have embraced it and others are still skeptical. People like to play it safe when it comes to their hard-earned money. So, if you are wondering whether these systems are for you, we have some benefits to share. It also helps to realize that banks have been making use of financial technology for years. Many of us use online and cell phone banking. These systems work on the same principle, just without a single entity running it.
Better financial situations in businesses – Fintech companies and the technology that they offer can revolutionize the way businesses run their finances. These Fintech companies come up with innovative solutions to help businesses have better cash flow and stabilize their funding systems. It can even help them manage their working capital better.
Better payment systems – Financial technology can improve a business’ payment systems as well as the efficiency and accuracy of invoicing and collections. It can help improve customer relations in all aspects. When the customer has a good experience with fast payments and quick resolution of problems, they tend to return.
Mobile devices increase convenience – Financial technology allows transactions to take place through mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. This increases the convenience and efficiency of transactions for the customer. With mobile connectivity, a business can streamline all its systems, integrate different accounts, and improve the overall customer experience.
Cheaper advice – These new financial technology systems enable robot-advice. This means that people can easily get advice and information on finances and investments without having to pay expensive fees to the highest qualified consultant.
It seems that Fintech is here to stay and will surely keep improving and bringing us new and improved systems to work with. Fintech could be the answer to your business’ cash flow or efficiency problems. So, approach your local Fintech company and see how they can help you move up in the world.