Tuesday 28 April 2020 9:17 am

With the Lockdown continuing globally, online technology is saving the day

City A.M's Crypto Insider

Price Watch

The crypto market has had a yet another positive week and at the time of writing, Bitcoin (BTC) was trading at US$7,725.05  / GB£6,230.63; Ethereum (ETH) is at US$196.19 / GB£158.10; Ripple (XRP) is at US$0.1977 / GB£0.1589; Binance (BNB) is at US$16.37 / GB£13.16 and Cardano (ADA) is significantly up by circa 30% at US$0.04613 / GB£0.03720.  Overall Market Cap is at US$222.17bn  / GB£178.59bn (data source: www.CryptoCompare.com)

City AM’s Crypto Insider

Many of you know that I am an unashamed fan of Cardano and its founder, my friend Charles Hoskinson, CEO of Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) the engineering company behind the Cardano project (please read today’s Crypto AM: In conversation with James Bowater). It is therefore difficult for me to ignore the circa 30% uptick in the ADA price.  A lot is down to the rigid adherence to the delivery timetable that saw the Byron Reboot take place, improving the performance of the entire Cardano network and paving the way for Shelley-era decentralisation and beyond. The other thing that cannot be ignored in the global lockdown is the fact that Input Output is a truly decentralised operation, with no central office. As a result, the organisation has been able to continue to operate at rapid efficiency, with no time needed to adapt to the present situation.

Staying focused on the effects of the global lockdown it is unsurprising that almost all major conferences have either been cancelled or postponed. Organisers have had to be inventive and have turned to online technology.  

It seems that, following Erhan Korhaliller’s successful BlockDown 2020 virtual conference, that it has become the new normal with organisers charging modest affordable tickets or free.

LA and London based digital asset investment management firm Wave Financial (www.wavegp.com) are hosting their first ever “Digital Asset Perspectives” online crypto conference this Thursday. They’ve got some well-known from global finance and blockchain, including Charles Hoskinson, Brock Pierce, Monica Singer and economist Robert Wescott, concluding with a keynote from Timothy Draper. Members of the Wave Financial team will be partaking including CEO David Siemer and Benjamin Tsai who’s overseeing the launch of their real asset tokenised Kentucky bourbon whiskey fund. It starts at 10am Pacific time (6pm UK), so with that line up and a glass of wine it should make for an entertaining evening for all this side of the pond.

The following day, Friday, 1st May there is a rather unique event taking place around the world . There is going to be the Global Unconference. This is continuing on from a series of live unconferences which take place in cities as diverse as Hong Kong, Mexico City, Bali and more.

Led by Michael Healy, who works closely with his father Paul, Unit has gathered 288 speakers and experts in over 80 cities from Brazil, to South Africa, to Japan, to speak on topics as diverse as “What the Pandemic of 2020 Teaches Us About This World” by Alex Lightman in Los Angeles, to “What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?” by Olivia Steele in Berlin to “Doing Less While Achieving More” by Cedric Waldburger in Switzerland, to “Building a new country on blockchain” by Vit Jedlicka, President of Liberland.

I have been invited to host a session at 14:30 GMT at ‘Room 5’ with the topic “Digitisation / Tokenisation of commodities combined / converged with blockchain to be auditable with a view to future proofing against further black swan events”. To participate, please send me an email James.Bowater@cityam.com and be part of the experience. I’m very much looking forward to it and hope you can join me there.

BlockExpo and Cointelligence have announced that they are moving ANON Summit online for 2020. The move to a digital format will make the event accessible to everyone despite COVID-19 and the restrictions it has caused for travel and large in-person gatherings. The event is scheduled to take place on May 19-20, 2020, when many are still expected to be under quarantine. Confirmed speakers include renowned blockchain and cryptocurrency professionals Maximilian Marenbach, Head of Banking at Kraken Digital Asset Exchange; Lili Zhao, Director at NEO; and Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of Mastering Bitcoin.  Using novel technology, ANON 2020 will mirror the entire offline experience into the online world. Rather than a simple teleconference or webinar, the conference will have a stage, workshops, networking, and even an expo area. It will be a dynamic event that attendees can engage in from the safety of their own home.

Back to business news. Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange who recently bought Coin Market Cap, seems to be moving forward at breakneck speed benefiting, like the aforementioned company Input Output, from its decentralised make up.

I caught up with old friend Josh Goodbody, Director of Growth & Institutional Business at Binance. He shared with me the news about today’s launch of the inclusive crypto mining platform Binance Mining Pool. He explained to me that “with this new mining platform, we aim to bridge the gap between mining and finance. As mining evolves and its difficulty grows with each halving, it’s essential to help miners remain profitable with a stable flow of income. With the lowest fees and exchange-backed features allowing miners to increase their profitability, this exchange-backed pool provides a wide range of unique features to its users.” 

Going on to cover the unique features, Josh explained that “Binance Pool will primarily support the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus and we hope to contribute to the new all-time-high hash rate for Bitcoin; the whole ecosystem benefits from increased security. We will add additional services and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) to enable staking for users of all the different altcoins as we move forward.

Like any other Binance product, its main advantage is the user-friendliness and as always, the lowest fees and highest possible profits. Miners have direct access to our suite of derivatives products, including Binance Futures, Spot and Margin Trading, Binance Lending, Binance Staking, as well as the OTC services. The whole mining and trading ecosystem in one place.”

I am sure that we will be hearing a lot more from Binance and Josh in the weeks to come! 

Over the last year or so Alex Fazel of SwissBorg has become a familiar face in the London Blockchain scene.  Together with his brother Cyrus who founded the company raising just over CHF50m and after two years of hard work involving over twenty engineers, their key product, the SwissBorg Wealth app, the ‘skyscanner 2.0’ of crypto investments is now available on both iOS and Android. Thanks to the connectivity to four top crypto exchanges, the SwissBorg app offers an effective way to buy#bitcoin and #crypto at the lowest rates, sell at the highest, directly in fiat (GBP, EURO, USD, CHF). Why skyscanner 2.0? The wealth app will also create brand new trading pairs without going through multiple exchanges, like a skyscanner that would create a direct flight to your destination without transits, that never existed before. Examples such as buying DAI or your favourite coin instantly with GBP and Faster payments. 

The wealth app also helps you invest smarter by providing machine learning algorithms calculating the hourly, daily and weekly timeframes making this app one of the first real crypto wealth management platforms.  I’ve downloaded it myself and the user experience was excellent!

Finally, I’d like to remind you again about my ongoing local community effort for the elderly and vulnerable living on the Isle of Dogs. I teamed up with BABB (Bank Account Based Blockchain) to raise money to pay for food and care parcels.  It’s really even more essential now with the added difficulties that Ramadan timings produce. BABB is hoping to add a web donation function by the end of this week but otherwise download the app and donate to the campaign via www.bit.ly/IoDFoodCare 

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