Banking giants who supports bitcoin technology

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Since its inception six years ago, bitcoin and its parent technology-blockchain have enjoyed favor among many industry players throughout the world. However, one of its biggest opponents has been traditional financial institutions who have viewed it as a threat. Despite this, many of their recent actions indicate a changing attitude; potentially fueled by the advantages that […]

German Finagling of Rules, Bailouts and Bond Markets Send Eurozone Hurtling Toward Oblivion

by Avinash D. Persaud, Peterson Institute for International Economics The Greek tragedy contains more than its fair share of irony. Perhaps the biggest irony of all is that in the drafting of the Maastricht Treaty on Economic and Monetary Union in the late 1990s, it was Germany that insisted on the “no bailout” clause. A Greek default in 2010 would have avoided Greece’s fiscal troubles cascading into an existential moment for the European Union. This is something many, including myself, proposed. But Germany and France did not want that. They feared that the damage it would do to the German and French banks that had gorged themselves on high-yielding Greek debt would further endanger a fragile global financial system. More debt was heaped onto already impossible-to-repay levels of debt. Greece’s economic sustainability was sacrificed on the altar of European financial stability. Benefits to a Default Once a country is in a fiscal mess, there are economic benefits to a default. The object is not to punish creditors, but to allow a country to quickly return to the capital markets. The shame of default often leads to new political leadership, which gives credibility to new fiscal commitments. In the shadow of default, creditors and borrowers act more responsibly. Over the course of financial history, international money often returns surprisingly fast after a default. There are a multitude of potential complications. If you are small enough or uninteresting enough for international portfolios to suffer no loss by ignoring you, the return could be protracted. Debt crises also breed a debtor’s defiance that can keep foreign creditors at bay. In Europe there is an additional challenge. To create a single financial system, it was thought necessary for the European Central Bank (ECB) to treat member state debt as largely equivalent to each other. But this wouldOriginally appeared at:

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Phytoextractum Plants & Extracts Now Accepting Bitcoin Payments

Phytoextractum, a leading provider of plant extracts and botanical products has added support for Bitcoin payments to their website. To celebrate their acceptance of this revolutionary currency, they are offering 10% off to anyone buying with bitcoin. This press release was orginally distributed by SBWire Portland, OR — (SBWIRE) — 07/31/2015 — After much consideration, Phytoextractum Plants Extracts has decided to start accepting Bitcoin as currency for all online orders. Bitcoin is now here to stay. It provides an easy method of digital payment that doesn’t require interaction with banks or other institutions. Bitcoin works just as efficiently as other payment methods. We’re offering customers a chance to try it out with 10 percent discounts on all purchases. For those unfamiliar with Bitcoin, it is a de-centralized digital currency which is quickly growing in popularity. Bitcoin offers both consumers and merchants a wide variety of benefits including increased privacy and reduced costs in the form of transaction fees. Bitcoin is one of the safest digital currencies; it’s been used by large companies such as Starbucks and Whole Foods. On top of the increased benefits and ease that comes with using Bitcoin, Phytoextractum is offering 10% off for anyone paying with Bitcoin. This discount is on top of other coupons, weekly specials, or email promotions, making it a great choice for budget conscious shoppers. “Requests for Bitcoin payments have steadily increased over the past year and we recognized the opportunity to stay on the cutting edge for our customer base.” says Jacob Martus, marketing manager at Phytoextractum. “We have a very tech savvy customer base and we always do what we can to accommodate their requests. Accepting Bitcoin was one way to do this.” Phytoextractum has an extensive selection of tested plantsOriginally appeared at:

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Bitcoin in the Headlines: Rolling With the Punches

Bitcoin in the Headlines is a weekly analysis of bitcoin media coverage and its impact. With celebrities playing an increasingly important role in modern culture, it is easy to see why their endorsement might add credibility to a new technology. From serial entrepreneur and billionaire Richard Branson through to revelations that Hollywood A-lister Lucy Liu was in favour of distributed ledger technology, both digital currency and the blockchain have had their fair share of glitzy supporters. This kind of attention though, as evidenced earlier this week, has not always been positive for bitcoin, with the media scrutinising its reputation yet again. Elsewhere, one of the ecosystem’s most ambitious projects, Ethereum, received little mainstream coverage despite it being 18 months and $18m in the making. Bitcoin in the ring Mike Tyson, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, surprised his 4.9 million Twitter followers with his decision to lend his image to a bitcoin ATM. Under other circumstances, this would probably have just been seen as yet another celebrity endorsement – but clearly bitcoin calls for special treatment. To say that the digital currency needs a reputation makeover is probably an understatement, but is Tyson, the man who notoriously wasted away a $400m fortune the right person to do it? It was not long before the mainstream media reacted to the announcement and subsequently begun to question its veracity. Interestingly, however, it was not Tyson’s involvement that raised eye-brows among journalists, but the company behind the bitcoin ATM. Duncan Riley, a SilliconANGLE reporter beat others to the punch as he shed some light on the new partnership: “Former heavyweight world boxing title holder Mike Tyson may be bitting off more than a rival’s ear in August with the news over the weekend that he is apparentlyOriginally appeared at:

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The Lessons From Turkey’s Intervention: Our Friends Can’t Choose Our Enemies

After World War II, when Stalin encroached upon Turkey and Greece, Harry Truman came to the rescue. Turkey reciprocated by sending thousands of troops to fight alongside our GIs in Korea. Turkey joined NATO and let the U.S. station Jupiter missiles in their country. When JFK secretly traded away the Jupiters for removal of the Soviet missiles in Cuba, the Turks went along. Early this century, under Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey seemed to be emerging as a major power, a land bridge between Europe and the Islamic world, a friend to its neighbors, and future member of the EU. But, recently, a U.S. diplomat blurted, “The Turks are out of their lane!” And that describes the situation succinctly and well. When rebels rose up to overthrow Bashar Assad in Syria, and Assad elected to fight not quit, Erdogan turned on him and began to permit jihadists to enter Syria. When ISIS terrorists seized Raqqa in Syria, and Mosul and Anbar in Iraq, Erdogan refused to let U.S. planes based at Incirlik bomb them. When America supported Syrian Kurds with air power, enabling them to hold off an ISIS attack on Kobani on the Syria-Turkish border, Erdogan denounced the Kurds as the greater threat. But 10 days ago came an ISIS atrocity in Suruc, Turkey, just north of Kobani. Thirty-two young Turkish Kurds who were planning to help rebuild Kobani were massacred, and a hundred wounded. Instantly, Erdogan permitted U.S. planes at Incirlik to attack ISIS targets in Syria and launched air strikes himself. It appeared that, at long last, the U.S. and Turkey were again on the same page, seeing ISIS as the primary enemy, and acting jointly against it. But the Turkish attacks on ISIS proved to be pinpricks. And the Turks began a major air assault on Kurdish forces in exile in Iraq, the PKK, who had fledOriginally appeared at:

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Increasing Political Interest in Bitcoin May Not Be a Bad Thing

When new technology comes along, history shows us that it is usually polarizing in some way. Enthusiasts often make grandiose claims for the future and see everything as proof of the inevitability of the concept. On the other hand, ever since the time of the Luddites, those that stood to lose out with the march of progress have opposed change. That is quite natural; people’s opinions are colored by their economic interest. One of the surprising things about Bitcoin and the idea of a decentralized peer to peer currency in general, however, is how quickly the opposition seems to have faded. When I started out writing on the subject, just a year or so ago, opposition from major finance houses, governments and even random individuals was everywhere. There were several internet comment names that trolled anything Bitcoin relentlessly, but they seem to have given up recently. Politicians of all stripes were vehemently opposed to the idea, even though very few had even a basic understanding of the concept, and bankers warned us that it was all a scam and had no future. Now, vocal opposition is rare. That the bankers, who in theory have most to lose from the widespread adoption of Bitcoin, have changed tack is hardly surprising. They may have most to lose financially, but they recognize that once the cat is out of the bag, there is a lot to gain from co-opting the mechanics of digital currency rather than trying to convince people that it is doomed to failure. Increased adoption, the realization that Bitcoin is a tradable entity and a deeper understanding of what it actually is have all made that the more common path for financial institutions. What is far more surprising in a way is that governments and politicians are beginning to accept the idea. The issuanceOriginally appeared at:

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Gaming on the Blockchain: SoG Preview

So far, all of the games featured on Gaming on the Blockchain were already published and available for you to play. Such reviews are important for consumers lacking the time to try everything on the market to sort the good from the bad, but the emergent nature of this industry means most projects are still on the horizon. Therefore, it’s time to take a look forward–into the future! Spells of Genesis is made by EverdreamSoft, the company behind Moonga (already covered here). Although they’re based in the same universe and share many aspects in common, SoG is being built from the ground up as a blockchain-based game. Everything about it is totally crypto, and reveals a lot about where the gaming industry is headed. The Game The Moonga universe is pretty bare boned: it takes place in the land of the Four Continents, where Kallan Marnordir discovered a way to imbue special cards with magic to fight the evil Sayosian Empire which despotically rules the land. Typical. The twist added by Spells of Genesis, however, is far from generic; it’s one giant Bitcoin metaphor that knows its target audience. The player is brought to the valley of Askian, where local kingdoms have discovered precious magical gems that can be seamlessly transferred through the air. Each kingdom fights for the supremacy of their gem of choice, until the Empire steps in to put a stop to it and re-establish monetary control. The player races to find the Genesis Block (seriously), the source of the gems’ powers which the Empire hopes to destroy. As in Moonga, you need cards to defend yourself; strategic card games, however, don’t appeal to a wide enough audience to push blockchain adoption, so the gameplay has been completely revamped. Although it’s still being tweaked, I’ve been following the test versions, theOriginally appeared at:

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Next era of bitcoin technology, the Ethereum platform

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According to Ethereum communications officer, their eponymous product is the most popular among companies seeking to establish their blockchain apps for the next decade or so. The platform’s developers announced on the 22nd of July that they would be soon launching the full version of the popular not-for-profit product. And yesterday, the Ethereum team announced the […]