Holiday Season Down Time: Bitcoin in ATMs, in Uzbekistan, and in Swiss Watches as well as other Crypto News of January 2019
As it’s not only us who like to dive deep into the holiday spirit and celebrate the New Year on a large scale, and people in China are busy with preparations for their own New Year (this time, the holiday season in China starts on February 5 and will continue for two weeks), there have been no particular events in the blockchain industry over the last three weeks. It looks like while one part of the world is slowly switching to the operation mode, the other part is only preparing to start celebrating. Here is Matvey Danilov with the most interesting stories that occurred over the holiday season.
The number of crypto ATM machines globally has increased 700% over the last three years reaching 4,128 devices as at January 2019; and the growth accelerates and is exponential. Over half of all machines are located in the United States followed by Europe accounting for 23% of the total number. Today, almost five new crypto ATMs are installed each day; and experts are unanimous in their projections of a strong future growth for this industry segment.
One of the most well-known manufacturers of crypto ATMs, Lamassu, moved to Switzerland, a country famous for its super conservative approach to business management. The move can mean only one thing: the Swiss authorities believe in the bright future of cryptocurrencies and, over the long run, in complete legalization of the industry on the global scale.
Play2Live, a project launched by fellow Slavs last year, regarded by many back then as an example of an ICO done right, with clear goals for spending raised capital to build a reasonable and potentially profitable business, unexpectedly started to show signs of having been just another scam ICO. In January, all employees quit the project reporting that Play2Live has suddenly run out of cash to pay salaries and cover marketing expenses. $30 million that the company raised through the ICO are gone.
Alexey Burdyko, Play2Live founder, provided some details stating that after completing the ICO founders did not convert funds raised in cryptocurrencies into fiat expecting the market to stabilize; eventually funds drained with the ETH price decline, and the company is currently seeking alternative financing sources. However, according to the rumors in the cyber sports community that will hardly ever reach mainstream media, describing the project as “a total failure where many people strongly attempt to contact founders who stopped answering their phones altogether” is not completely unreasonable.
Authorities in the post-Soviet Central Asian Republics have always been at the forefront of technological innovation inventively using advanced technology solutions in their countries and never disregarding domestic specifics. Take the Turkmenbashi statue in Ashgabat as an example — it rotates to always face the sun with no humans involved in the process! And recently, authorities in Uzbekistan decided to implement a blockchain platform for selling bus, train, and air tickets. The platform will be made as single web portal where anyone can to buy tickets for any means of passenger transportation to any destination in the sunny country of Uzbekistan. The above is detailed in the presidential edict titled “Regarding Additional Measures for Accelerated Development of Tourism in the Republic of Uzbekistan” published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It looks like the authorities attempt to solve the country’s aged problem where you can be sure of securing a travel ticket only by bribing the ticket clerk.
BitPay, a blockchain-based payments provider, reported an impressive performance in 2018: the company processed over $1 billion in transactions, while the number of B2B transactions jumped 225%. In view of these developments, the company increased its staff by 80% and, to top it off, secured an approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services for processing cryptocurrency transfers, which has made all the company’s activities absolutely legal. Oh yes, bitcoin is certainly dying.
Remove your hats, gentlemen, out of respect for dozens of crypto-related projects that went belly up over the challenging 2018 including as much as 264 altcoins, over half of which launched in the rosy 2017. Coinopsy maintains a virtual memorial providing details on coins that are no longer active. May the memory of those coins live forever. I’ll pour one out for them.
A. Favre & Fils, a Swiss watch manufacturer with a solid brand dating back to 1700s, started developing a luxury mechanical watch with a built-in crypto cold wallet. The new product will be released in the second quarter of this year, with an estimated price tag of $100–150 thousand USD. The timing for the product couldn’t be more perfect: now you’ll be able to cross borders not only with extremely expensive watch on your wrist but having any amount of bitcoin stored inside that watch too. Many citizens involved in exotic activities will certainly appreciate the effort.
Kaspersky Lab has made everyone’s day again by publishing the results of an Internet users survey regarding cryptocurrencies. According to it, 7% of users tried themselves in crypto mining, 6% purchased cryptocurrencies, and 5% used cryptos in the past but then stopped for various reasons. And 2% of users surveyed admitted losing money in crypto due to malicious (and mercenary) software. A finally, a third of our fellow citizens have absolutely no idea what cryptocurrencies are and how they work. And most importantly, why they exit in the first place.
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