World’s second richest man has given some negative publicity to cryptocurrencies and UK lawmakers are probing the benefits as well as risks that these pose to consumers and investors. In positive tidings, the Israeli top court prevented a bank from closing the account of a cryptocurrency broker and Taiwanese central bank’s new governor signaled interest in blockchain.
Here is a wrap up of the main stories from the cryptocurrency space over the last 24 hours.
Bill Gates Says Cryptocurrencies Super Risky, Anonymity Harmful
Cryptocurrencies are super risky over the long term, and the anonymity they provide to buyers could actually be very harmful as it encourages illicit activities, according to Bill Gates. While talking at Tuesday’s “Ask Me Anything” session on news and discussion site Reddit, he said “The main feature of crypto currencies is their anonymity. I don’t think this is a good thing.” The second wealthiest man in the world further said, “Right now crypto currencies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way. I think the speculative wave around ICOs and crypto currencies is super risky for those who go long.”
British Parliament Launches Inquiry On Cryptos, Blockchain
The Treasury Committee of the U.K. Parliament has launched a new inquiry into digital currencies and distributed ledger technology. The inquiry will cover the opportunities and potential risks that digital currencies could pose for consumers, businesses, and Governments in the U.K. including volatility, money laundering, and cyber-crime. Chair of the Treasury Committee Nicky Morgan said, “People are becoming increasingly aware of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but they may not be aware that they are currently unregulated in the UK, and that there is no protection for individual investors.”
Israel Supreme Court Orders Bank Not To Close Crypto Exchange Account
Israel’s top court prevented a bank from terminating the account of a cryptocurrency trading company, reports said. The Israeli Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction prohibiting Bank Leumi from limiting the banking activity of the cryptocurrency broker Bits of Gold, local media reported Monday. The court order is related to the bank’s decision in December to block payments to cryptocurrency exchanges amid the surge in price and demand for Bitcoin and its peers.
Taiwan Central Bank’s New Chief Signals Interest In Blockchain
Taiwan’s new central bank chief said the bank is open to adopting new technology such as the blockchain to improve the functioning of the financial system. In his inaugural speech, Yang Chin-long said the central bank will adopt “artificial intelligence technologies and big data analysis to better predict and analyze global economic conditions. The bank welcomes innovations and is interested in studying how fintech development could reshape the future of the whole financial industry, he added.
11-year Old Massachusetts Boy Writes Book On Bitcoin
Andrew Courey of Massachusetts was just 11-year old when he started dreaming of minting money instead of completing his studies. Courey’s parents agreed that he can drop out of school if he earns $20 million by the age of 14. Courey came across bitcoin and began reading stories and watching YouTube videos about miners and early investors who had made a lot of money from it. Andrew’s father Jeff Courey, a tech investor, advised his son to put the countless hours of research to good use by writing a book about the digital currency in a more simplified manner, which in turn will become a source of income.
Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak’s Bitcoins Were Stolen
Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak has revealed that he is a victim of Bitcoin fraud. Speaking at a Global Business Summit organized by the Economic Times Daily, Wozniak said, “The blockchain identifies who has bitcoins … that doesn’t mean there can’t be fraud, though. I had seven bitcoins stolen from me through fraud,” Wozniak told the gathering of global business leaders, economists and policymakers in Indian capital New Delhi. “Somebody bought them from me online through a credit card and they canceled the credit card payment. It was that easy. And it was from a stolen credit card number so you can never get it back,” he added.
Germany’s Sikur Launches Cryptocurrency-safe, Hack-proof Smartphone
German cybersecurity firm Sikur launched Tuesday a fully encrypted hack-proof smartphone called SIKURPhone that will keep your digital currencies such as bitcoin in a built-in SIKURWallet securely. It is the first smartphone with a built-in cryptocurrency wallet, which is protected via software and hardware. It was launched at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain. The SIKURPhone is the successor to Sikur’s GranitePhone, which was launched at the 2015 MWC. GrinatePhone was mainly targeted at security-oriented corporate and government users. SIKURPhone comes with a two-year license and the SIKURPlatform for free to use on the desktop PC. SIKURWallet is available only on SIKURPhone.
As of 6.28 am ET on Wednesday, Bitcoin was down 0.69 percent at $10,589.61 and Ethereum was lower by 1.31 percent at $866.65 on Coinbase.