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How to Answer Your Family’s Bitcoin Questions This Thanksgiving

With bitcoin at its ATH again, your no-coiner family and friends are sure to be full of questions this holiday (via Zoom at least). CoinDesk has the answers you need, courtesy of a few well-placed friends….

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Nov 25, 2020 at 6:15 p.m. UTC

GOBBLE GOBBLE: This holiday, let’s give thanks to the relentlessly curious friends and family who are interested in bitcoin.(CoinDesk archives)

How to Answer Your Family’s Bitcoin Questions This Thanksgiving

Could bitcoin replace turkey as the object of everyone’s attention this Thanksgiving?

It happened three years ago. The last time bitcoin went gangbusters, conversations in dining rooms across America were less about giving thanks than the fear of missing out.

“Should I buy bitcoin?” your uncle may have asked. “And what’s this about icy ohs? (Can you pass the turnips, puh-lease.)”

It’s evident things are different this time around – and not only because many will be clinking glasses over Zoom rather than their parents’ fancy china. Despite positively effervescent markets right now, it seems like the retail crowd isn’t buying. Or if they are, they’re being awful quiet about it.

But that doesn’t mean Mom and Pop aren’t interested in your fixation with cryptocurrency. Bitcoin has made headlines in mainstream media for breaking a new market cap. Also, due to the relentless work of such Ethereum chroniclers as Cami Russo and Matt Leising, more people are familiar with terms like “the world computer.”

Presuming your wallet is in profit, the folks may even want to hear more about this “Mr. Nakamoto” you’ve been working for. And just what is causing the value of this bitcoin to increase?

“Paul Tudor Jones and Michael Saylor caused the value to increase,” Matthew Graham, an actual investor and chief executive at Sino Global Capital, said. “We control speculative buying through judicious use of such tools as FOMO and FUD.”

Meltem Demirors, the chief strategy officer of CoinShares, is crypto’s own caffeine-addicted, fun-loving bomb-thrower. Your parents may recognize her as a key figure in getting the colloquial (and scatological) synonym for small-capped cryptos added to the Congressional Record.

Ouriel Ohayon, chief executive of ZenGo, a non-custodial wallet startup that produces research reports known to grind gears among bitcoin maximalists, started his career as a tech journalist, attempting to explain the French startup scene to the world.

Kathleen Breitman is one of the co-founders of the community-governed, smart-contract-friendly blockchain Tezos.

Matthew Graham is CEO of Sino Global Capital, a decentralized tech investment firm based in China. He will eat your hot pot.

Ahead of this autumnal feast, we convened a panel of industry experts to answer the vital questions you might expect from family and friends who haven’t thought about bitcoin since they opened a Coinbase account in December 2017.

Is Satoshi Nakamoto the Bitcoin CEO?

Demirors: No leaders. No rulers. No CEO.

Ohayon: To be the CEO, there needs to be a company. And Bitcoin is not a company, it’s a protocol. That’s point number one. Point number two is that it does not matter, at least, anymore. Ten years in, Bitcoin is widely decentralized enough to exist without a CEO … even if it is a company.

Breitman: Is Moses the CEO of Judaism?

Isn’t bitcoin illegal? If it isn’t, it should be.

Demirors: No. Software and math are not illegal, although governments are trying to change that … [F]unny story: Cryptography – the reason why you can securely use the internet – was briefly banned and considered a weapon. Did not last long for, ahem, obvious reasons.

Ohayon: Like everything in life, bitcoin can be used for legal or illegal purposes. A knife could be used to cut a tomato, but also to kill someone. Because every transaction on the Bitcoin network is public, it is a very bad idea to use BTC for illegal purposes. So actually, bitcoin is the best anti-illegal currency on the planet.

Breitman: That would really increase its street cred.

Why would I need a world computer if my desktop works just fine?

Demirors: You won’t even know you’re using it. Do you really even know how your computer works?

If people can go around spending satoshis, why can’t I go around passing Monopoly money?

Demirors: You can, BUT, it will only work if people are willing to exchange goods and services for Monopoly money. Money is just collective fiction, even the dollar.

Ohayon: It’s the difference between paper and math. With satoshis is that you can’t print as much as you want. No one is keeping count of the amount of Monopoly paper in circulation or where they end up. Satoshis are just the opposite, mathematically proven scarce, and therefore attributable and spendable.

Breitman: I would encourage you to try that and see how far you get.

Graham: Why would you want to buy something with bitcoin?

Why are there so many coins? Dimes, pennies, nickels, quarters and the old half-pence will do.

Ohayon: Asking why there are so many coins is like asking why there are so many websites. It’s because every protocol brings a different utility and aspect to the digital economy.

I always keep my wallet in my front left pocket. Aren’t you asking for trouble uploading it to the internet?

Demirors: Why have a physical wallet in the first place?

Ohayon: Money has been electronic for many years now. Banks, PayPal, credit cards and many other monetary intermediaries have gone digital. But now, with blockchain, money can not only be electronic, but digitally native. The advantage is that you have a more secure protocol and proof of ownership, so you know that your money is your money.

Breitman: I bet you can fit two Ledgers in your front pocket!

Graham: You can try a safe deposit box but actually it’s a hard wallet.

I lost all my savings betting on bitcoin in 2017! My family didn’t eat for months. Now you want me to try again?

Demirors: Bitcoin isn’t betting. Please don’t bet on bitcoin. Be reasonable. Ish. (This is NOT financial advice, I’m required to say that.)

Ohayon: 2017 was definitely not a great time to speculate on bitcoin, if that was your intention. When investing, I would not bet more than you can afford to lose.

Breitman: Absolutely not!

If I buy bitcoin, am I not just funding terrorists?

Demirors: No. The paper dollars in your wallet fund terrorism. The banks you hold your money with fund terrorism. Your own government funds terrorism with your tax dollars. When you own bitcoin in a non-custodial wallet, only you can spend that bitcoin.

Ohayon: Bitcoin does not belong to anyone, so you’re not funding anyone. You are usually buying it from services like exchanges and wallets that are usually regulated companies.

Breitman: No, sending money to terrorists is funding terrorists.

Graham: I asked Tether but on the advice of legal counsel they have chosen not to answer.

How do you own part of a bitcoin?

Graham: The same way you can own part of a dollar. Only it’s a religion.

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/how-to-answer-your-familys-bitcoin-questions-this-thanksgiving

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World’s Oldest Central Bank Extends Digital Currency Test Till 2022

Riksbank said it would continue developing a technical solution for a central bank-issued e-krona under its pilot project.

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Sweden’s Riksbank said it would continue work with Accenture on a potential e-krona digital currency until next year.

(Mario Ortiz/Shutterstock)

Feb 17, 2021 at 10:12 a.m. UTC

World’s Oldest Central Bank Extends Digital Currency Test Till 2022

The world’s oldest central bank, Sweden’s Riksbank, is to extend its pilot project for a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC) for another 12 months.

According to a press release on Friday, the project, which is being carried out with assistance from professional services firm Accenture, will run until February 2022.

The Riksbank said it would continue developing a technical solution for a central bank-issued e-krona “as a complement to cash,” with the primary objective being for the bank to increase its knowledge around the technology.

For 2021, the institution will continue developing its potential digital currency offering with a focus on performance and scalability. Testing offline functions and bringing external participants into the test environment is also on the table.

The project has raised some concerns from Sweden’s commercial banking sector over the viability of a sovereign CBDC and how that would impact the entire banking system.

There is no final decision over the issuance of the e-krona despite strong lobbying from the central bank to government last year. But with traditional cash seeing falling use, even more so during the coronavirus pandemic, Sweden has been mulling a switch to the CBDC.

However, questions still remain over the digital currency’s ultimate design and underlying technology, according to Friday’s release.

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/sweden-central-bank-digital-krona-extension

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Bitcoin Mining: Wasted Energy or a Better, Greener System?

Harry Sudock, VP of strategy at GRIID Infrastructure on the modern energy landscape, how far we’ve come and where bitcoin mining fits.

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Is it wasteful to use electricity mining bitcoin? As the Biden Administration settles into power with an ambitious agenda around clean energy, notably promising to eliminate carbon emissions from the US power generation sector by 2035, the question of bitcoin mining and it’s ever-growing use of energy bubbles up once more.

In this episode of ‘On Purpose, With Tyrone Ross,’ Harry Sudock, VP of strategy at GRIID Infrastructure joins the show to discuss the modern energy landscape, how far we’ve come and where bitcoin mining can fit into a sustainable energy system.

The greatest number of people living in poverty are children, we need to change that. If you can, get involved and give back to NoKidHungry.org. Love and Light. I appreciate you!

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Source: https://www.coindesk.com/podcasts/on-purpose-with-tyrone-ross/bitcoin-mining-harry-sudock

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Deutsche Bank Quietly Plans to Offer Crypto Custody, Prime Brokerage- CoinDesk

The bank’s game plan was hidden in plain sight in a widely overlooked report by the World Economic Forum.

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The bank’s game plan was hidden in plain sight in a widely overlooked report by the World Economic Forum.

Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany (Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

Feb 13, 2021 at 2:10 a.m. UTCUpdated Feb 13, 2021 at 2:18 a.m. UTC

Deutsche Bank Quietly Plans to Offer Crypto Custody, Prime Brokerage

Deutsche Bank has joined the growing ranks of large financial institutions exploring cryptocurrency custody, with aspirations to offer high-touch services to hedge funds that invest in the asset class.

The Deutsche Bank Digital Asset Custody prototype aims to develop “a fully integrated custody platform for institutional clients and their digital assets providing seamless connectivity to the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem,” according to a little-noticed report by the World Economic Forum, host of the annual gathering of muckety-mucks in Davos, Switzerland.

In a passage buried on page 23 of the December 2020 report, Germany’s largest bank says it plans to create a trading and token issuance platform, bridging digital assets with traditional banking services, and managing the array of digital assets and fiat holdings in one easy-to-use platform.

Big banks are now announcing plans to enter crypto custody on an almost daily basis, with Bank of New York Mellon, the world’s largest custodian bank, joining the party earlier this week.

U.S. banks were given some regulatory clarity thanks to last year’s interpretation letters from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. In Germany, firms are queuing up to get their hands on special crypto custody licenses from the country’s regulator, BaFIN.

Deutsche, the world’s 21st largest bank, said it aims to “ensure the safety and accessibility of assets for clients by offering an institutional-grade hot/cold storage solution with insurance-grade protection.” No specific cryptocurrencies or tokens are mentioned.

The digital asset custody platform would be launched in stages. It would eventually provide clients with the ability to buy and sell digital assets via a partnership with prime brokers (which act sort of like concierges for hedge funds), issuers and vetted exchanges.

The bank says it would also provide “value-added services such as taxation, valuation services and fund administration, lending, staking and voting, and provide an open-banking platform to allow onboarding of third-party providers.”

The service would be aimed at asset managers, wealth managers, family offices, corporates and digital funds, the bank said.

In terms of a business model, the bank would start out collecting custody fees, it said, later charging fees for tokenization and trading.

Deutsche said it has completed a proof of concept and is aiming for a minimum viable product in 2021, while exploring global client interest for a pilot initiative.

The bank’s press office could not be reached for comment Friday evening. A spokesperson had declined to comment on potential plans for a digital asset custody business when contacted last week by CoinDesk.

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/deutsche-bank-crypto-custody-prime-brokerage

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