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Russia to Avoid US Sanctions with $10 Billion Bitcoin Investment

According to a Russian economist with ties to the Kremlin, the superpower is preparing a massive $10 billion USD investment in Bitcoin to replace its US dollar reserves. Russia’s Bitcoin investment is a step to minimize US sanctions on the country.

Russia’s Bitcoin Investment

Vladislav Ginko, an economist at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, said the Bitcoin investment was a step taken to avoid US sanctions on Russia.

Ginko believes that Russia’s decision to hold Bitcoin as a reserve currency instead of the US dollar is a move being made to “protect [Russia’s] national interests” in light of a possible interruption of “US nominated payments flows for Russian oil and gas.”

Russia’s Bitcoin investment is expected to begin in February. Mr. Ginko furthered:

“[The] Russian government is about to make a step to start diversifying financial reserves into Bitcoin since Russia [is] forced by US sanctions to dump US Treasury bonds and [take] back US dollars […]These sanctions and the will to adopt modern financial technologies lead Russia to the way of investing its reserves into Bitcoin.”

US Sanctions Behind the Bitcoin Investment?

US sanctions have hit the Russian rouble hard. Now the superpower wants to replace some of its US dollar reserves with the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

>> Are Stablecoins the Future? The Winklevoss Twins Seem to Think So!

Recent US sanctions on Russia came after the poisoning of former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal in London. The former Russian military officer was a double agent for the UK’s Intelligent Services. Two active Russian military intelligent officers attacked Sergei and his daughter Yulia, with a nerve agent.

Russia and Crypto

Cryptocurrencies are very popular in Russia and even receive approval by the country’s President Vladimir Putin. According to Ginko, the cryptocurrency industry accounts for 8% of Russia’s GDP.

The Bitcoin investment is not the only sign of ‘de-dollarisation’ by the country. It has recently bolstered its supply of the euro, Chinese renminbi, and Japanese yen.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © KostyaKlimenko

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Bitwise Files Bitcoin ETF With SEC

According to a US Government SEC registration form, cryptocurrency index fund provider Bitwise Asset Management has applied to launch a new Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) with the government body.

An ETF is a platform that tracks and trades an asset in the same way as stocks are traded on an exchange.

Will Bitwise manage to succeed where so many others are failing?

Bitwise Files Bitcoin ETF

Bitwise’s proposal is for an ETF that tracks the value of Bitcoin via the Bitwise Bitcoin Total Return Index. This value is “calculated based on the prices of Bitcoin that the Index Provider derives from Bitcoin price transactions occurring on cryptocurrency exchanges.”

Basically, the index will take Bitcoin’s value from a variety of crypto exchanges and will, therefore, offer a more accurate and precise market value for the coin.

This is one difference that Bitwise’s ETF proposal offers that previous ETF proposals—which have all been rejected—did not.

Another Vital Difference

Another difference on offer with Bitwise’s ETF proposal is that it would need “regulated third-party custodians to hold its physical bitcoin.”

The company’s Global Head of ETFs, John Hyland, spoke of this in the press release:

“Having a regulated bank or trust company hold physical assets of a fund has been the standard under US fund regulation for the last 80 years, and we believe that is now possible with Bitcoin.”

>> Ethereum Classic Attack: Gate.io Will Return Most Funds

Pending

Bitwise is still awaiting a decision from the SEC on a previously filed ETF that would track the Bitwise HOLD 10 Private Index Fund.

The approval of a crypto ETF has yet to happen, although the industry has been crying out for one. In December 2018, the SEC postponed its decision on a Bitcoin ETF by investment firm VanEck and blockchain company SolidX. It is now expected to make a decision by the end of February.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © cookelma

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TRON (TRX) Up Almost 50% This Week

The world’s eighth-largest cryptocurrency, TRON (TRX), is making quite the bull-run this week. Throughout the entire crypto community, it is known that TRX, in the past, has been ‘pumped up’ on announcements of ‘potential partnerships.’ Justin Sun, TRON’s founder, is notorious for these types of marketing schemes via Twitter.

Is this the cause of TRX’s most recent bull run? Let’s find out!

 TRON (TRX) Up Almost 50%

The big bull run started on January 7th. On this day, Justin Sun released two tweets.

The first tweet was an outlined weekly report TRON’s developers have released ever since late-2017. Just after this report was released, Sun announced that TRX was available on BitKeepOS.

BitKeepOS is a decentralized multi-chain wallet that is in 16 different countries and is used by millions of users. It remains unknown at this time if this is the cause for the coin to rise, but this is the only piece of news that could have contributed.

A few months back, TRON acquired BitTorrent, and the company has been steadily working on that project. The company just released a whitepaper on the new BitTorent Token (BTT).

The new whitepaper reads:

“TRON Foundation and BitTorrent Foundation are introducing a new cryptographic token called BTT along with an extended version of the BitTorrent protocol in order to create a token-based economy around the usage of networking, bandwidth and storage on hundreds of millions of computers on the internet. Our initial entry point is to introduce token-based optimizations to the existing BitTorrent protocol providing a way for the value of sharing bandwidth and storage to be captured by network participants beyond the point at which the current protocol no longer values it.”

Today, Cointelegraph reported that TRON has also secured its first Chief Compliance Officer that has a background with the SEC. This news may also be the cause for TRX’s rise on the market in the last 24 hours.

>> TRON Hires Former SEC Attorney: TRX Soars Today!

There has been quite a change in the company’s marketing tactics, though. It seems Justin Sun has dropped the ‘announcement of a future announcement’ tactics and only releases news when it’s something substantial—a positive step for the crypto community as a whole.

TRX Price Movement

According to CoinMarketCap, TRON (TRX) is currently trading at $0.029 a coin, up 14.18% in 24 hours.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © hitdelight

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TRON Hires Former SEC Attorney

The 8th largest coin by market cap, TRON is running away with the gains today. According to coinmarketcap.com, TRX is up over 12% on the day, selling for just under $0.03 USD.

The reason for its bull run is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek new hiring. The blockchain platform has hired a former US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) supervisory attorney as its first chief compliance officer.

Anyone else finding this news ironically wonderful?

TRON made the announcement earlier today.

TRON Hires Former SEC Attorney

David Labhart, who used to work for the SEC as an attorney, is also being given the task of co-general counsel at TRON.

The company is deemed somewhat controversial mostly thanks to the publicity stunts of CEO Justin Sun. 2018 has been a good year for the blockchain, however, and it has grown steeply; it currently boasts over 1 million registered users. TRON is often considered a rival to the Ethereum blockchain in particular, as both focus strongly on dApp support. It was built as an alternative token development platform to Ethereum. As such, Sun regularly hits out at the Ethereum network.

>> Ethereum Hard Fork Draws Near: ETH up 71% on Verge of Update

TRX

TRX has climbed steadily this week, but today’s gains make it the best daily performer in the top ten.

Cryptocurrency regulation is no joke in the US. The ambiguous restrictions surrounding cryptocurrency make it increasingly difficult to trade in the assets. The issue lies with the true ‘class’ of digital coins as the Government body does not consider them viable securities.

The SEC has shut down hundreds of ICOs purporting to launch new coins into the space as a result

So it’s a tad ironic that TRON’s latest employee is a former SEC official. It is a very fitting action made by a controversial brand and surely has been done to make a point.

It wouldn’t be worth it if it didn’t raise a few eyebrows after all!

Featured Image: Depositphotos © Primakov

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GMO Mining Halted | GMO Internet Group Loses Mining Revenue

Japan’s GMO Internet Group has published a report on its in-house crypto mining operations. The IT giant confirmed that it took a steep hit in its overall GMO mining revenue. However, it steadily increased its monthly BTC mining rewards.

GMO Mining Revenue

The company showed “extraordinary loss” from its hardware manufacturing sector in Q4 of 2018. As a result, GMO said it will “no longer develop, manufacture and sell” miners.

The company only entered the mining hardware sector in 2017, so that was very short-lived.

However, while it will close its hardware manufacturing business, GMO will continue its in-house mining operations.

These operations will be restructured, and the company is to relocate its mining center to a less costly region for electricity.

Increase

So while overall revenue from mining hardware has tanked, the company’s Bitcoin mining reward has consistently increased over time. Receiving just 21 BTC in December 2017, this grew to 528 BTC by June 2018, and even further to 960 BTC in December 2018.

The company explains this: “the market’s total hash rate decreased, so our mining share rose and our mining reward expanded.”

Bitcoin Cash

The released document also gives full data on mining rewards and hash rate for the other cryptocurrency it mines, including Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The altcoin has delivered fluctuating rewards for the company. From 213 BCH in December 2017 to 62 BCH in June 2018, rising to 875 BCH in October before falling to 400 BCH in November 2018.

>> Litecoin’s Charlie Lee Sparks Twitter Battle Over “Bitcoin Extremists”

Moving forward, GMO has stated it will no longer report monthly on its crypto mining operations. It will disclose the results as part of its quarterly earnings announcements instead.

The company made an innovative move at the end of 2018 whereby it offered to pay its employees in Bitcoin. Being paid in Bitcoin meant an increase of 10% on an employee’s regular fiat wage if they opted for Bitcoin.

I don’t know if I would take that risk, would you?

Featured Image: Depositphotos © IgorVetushko

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