Alt-Options Weekly Report (10.16.15)
This week saw the launch of Gemini Exchange, and the continued push by Wall Street to promote Blockchain technology. Headlines featured Qiwi providing insight into their digital currency initiative as well as the World Economic Forum offering insights into the Bitcoin “tipping point.” Wrapping up our weekly rundown is a paper on the ethics of payments and a detailed look into the Alt-Options Trading Competition.
In a survey of 800 executives and experts interviewed by the World Economic Forum, 58% saw a favorable future for the currency predicting a tipping point by 2025, with 2027 set as a bumper.
“[By 2025] 58% of respondents expected this tipping point to have occurred. Bitcoin and digital currencies are based on the idea of a distributed trust mechanism called the ‘blockchain,’ a way of keeping track of trusted transactions in a distributed fashion.”
The WEF highlighted positive aspects of Bitcoin, in it’s report: more direct financial transactions with less and less middlemen, brand new assets that can be traded, better property records, and more financial inclusion in emerging markets, blockchain-based contacts and legal services used as unbreakable escrow or programmatically designed smart contracts; and increased transparency.
The tipping point decided by the WEF was the first time that tax is collected through a blockchain application and expected it to happen by 2023.
“The Internet is driving a shift towards networks and platform-based social and economic models. Assets can be shared, creating not just new efficiencies but also whole new business models and opportunities for social self-organization. The blockchain, an emerging technology, replaces the need for third-party institutions to provide trust for financial, contract and voting activities,”
2015 has transformed into the year of the blockchain. The banking industry has taken akin to the, denoted, sibling of Bitcoin, in it’s ability to secure transactions, reduce fraud, and increase profit margins. However, for each word of praise, they utter 3 of poor form directed at Bitcoin. CoinTelegraph goes over what leaders in the digital currency markets have to say about this tacit acceptance of Bitcoin economics:
“It is kind of like the difference between Che Guevara and a Che Guevara T-shirt being worn by a hipster in Brooklyn. So what do (the banks) do? They look at Bitcoin and say “Let’s see. It is an open, borderless, decentralized, transparent, and peer-to-peer currency. Fantastic! can we have that without the open, decentralized, borderless, transparent, peer-to-peer, and instead add a nice dose of heavy control?”
— Andreas Antonopoulos, speaking at the reinvent.money Conference in Rotterdam, on September 26th.
Antonopoulos perfectly sums up the reality of Wall Street’s misinformation; you cannot truly realize the potential of blockchain without Bitcoin.
BBC on Bitcoin & The Blockchain
In this video, David Grossman, technology Editor at BBC News, introduces viewers to what Bitcoin and Blockchain technology, as well as their practical applications. Grossman discusses the virtual currency movement with Derek White, Chief Design and Digital Officer at Barclays, and Everledger.
Last month, Russian payment services provider, Qiwi made waves when they announced plans to oversee the “bitruble” project. This comes ahead of Pavel Medvedev denouncing the announcement.
Qiwi representatives told ForkLog:
“We think that cryptotechnology is beyond any prohibition. Qiwi is a major processor, and load operation has always been a pressing challenge for us. We’d be happy to reduce costs for [our] back-office — that’s where our development actually originates. We are interested in anything that could reduce costs and expenses related to end-user services.”
The company offered no insight into the project, wishing “to [not] build up artificial interest of our designs.”
James J. Angel + Douglas McCabe — September 14, 2014
This article explores whether the Bitcoin ecosystem is inherently “evil,” as charged by Paul Krugman in the New York Times, and whether there is an asymmetric power relationship between payer and payee, in the credit card and fiat payment systems.
Angel and McCabe debated over the fairness of credit card interchange fees as well as payroll cards. They concluded that issuers of credit cards need to consider the ethical issues involved in marketing credit cards to vulnerable populations of unsophisticated users. In addition, a new payment system such as Bitcoin, like any tool, is neither good nor evil on its own, but it is the ethical or unethical use of the payment system that matters.
Alt-Options Collegiate Trading Competition
Queue the 10 day countdown, the start of our trading competition is nearing. With numerous universities signed up, we expect this month long trading session to be eventful to say the least. Notable participants include students from MIT, Boston University, and Carnegie Mellon University.
First prize includes $500 cash. Sign up today!