Tag Archives: Visa

The Blockchain Arms Race

Sometimes the news gets out. Ideally, you don’t want your competitors to know what you are doing until you have the upper hand. Until you secure your territory. It becomes more difficult to dislodge a successful business, once they have staked their claim. But is that really true today – on the internet?

In today’s digital world, the internet, controlled by the various governments, corporations, groups, and even individuals, the territory can change hands in seconds. One cannot build a toll road and collect digital gold forever. Services change and if the money managers, credit card companies, investment houses, medical records companies, identification services and so on, do not adapt, they could find themselves on the physical streets.

This news has been circulating. AMEX is hiring a Sales Coordinator…related to their involvement with Ripple? What does it mean? 

It means that soon, when AMEX comes clean, they will send out a press release. The major networks will confirm the story and create, whether they want to or not, more of a stir. The crypto-markets will react. Right now, only the secondary news outlets and bloggers have picked up on it. Oddly, the AMEX job advertisement was later edited to delete the reference to Ripple.

XRP Chat has this write-up. It suggests a linkage between a Chinese business (Lianlian Group), Santander Ripple, and AMEX. Further research confirms this linkage.

According to The Camping Canuck, that AMEX will be utilizing Ripple, is at least a week old.

But the Lianlian Group connection with AMEX is also (actually) older, Circa 2012. They served about 300,000,000 million customers with digital wallets – mobile phone accounts, according to AMEX. It also looks like Lianlian (some of their companies) are headquartered in the Cayman Islands as well as Hong Kong.

According to a Coindesk article Lianlian International adopted Ripple’s xCurrent platform on February 7, 2018. And xCurrent does not utilize XRP’s, says Coindesk. The idea then is to move these players into the XRP based systems. If these XRP based platforms save them money, increase profits, this next step seems to be a no-brainer.

But the competition is heating up…

Alipay is also in the digital wallet business. It has secured 14 billion for blockchain development according to CoinTelegraph. Interestingly, Alipay’s Ant International, run by one of Asia’s richest men, Jack Ma, indicated that Bitcoin is a bubble. We keep hearing that. Ant International may roll out its own “AI” blockchain platform soon.

Compare Alipay with VISA. VISA has apparently disdained the blockchain and recently suffered a major outage in Europe. The two issues are probably not connected. Notably, blockchains are not as fast as centralized payment systems, but they do seem to be more secure.

Meanwhile, Mastercard has been obtaining blockchain patents and boasts a working blockchain solution.

So, this is more than a simple Credit Card war. The implication here, as always, is a Blockchain Arms Race. It continues to heat up. Picking the winner might be like changing horses in midstream. Personally, I don’t think many nations will trust an Ant International AI Blockchain coming out of China or Asia, but it might be the one to beat.

Thanks for reading…

JS

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Clif High: “Fact or Fiction?” You be the Judge…

Updated: November 7, 2017


Hello, Crypto Enthusiasts. Thanks for stopping by.

As usual, I’ve been scanning the net for the scoops. Watching the crypto-markets for the fizz and pop. And here’s the latest curiosity I’ve managed to dig up from the fin-tech ether.

Actually, I’ve been listening in to this chap for a while. Hey, I’m open minded, but skeptical.

And mind you, the people (person) I may cite herein may not have one of the cleanest resumes, but damned if he doesn’t get your spaz juices flowing.

I’ve interviewed thousands of people over my former law enforcement career and this guy just strikes me as Mr. Fiction.

The personality I speak of is Clif High. And he’s a bit of a — how can I say this nicely — an unusual chap? But I’m not one for killing the messenger. Actually, he is way past unusual and often his predictions are way off the mark.

And yet, he has a following.

When you listen to his interviews, few people seem to ask him the hard questions. And I often wonder how he would respond to them if they did try to pin him down.

That’s why I’ve been chomping at the bit. Kind of mulling this whole thing over for months. Trying to align my belief in a gold backed (silver backed) monetary system with the alleged future facts (and ideas) Clif High is constantly bringing to the table.

Clif’s detractors are all over the spectrum, but many are simply fuming. It’s okay, if Palm Readers can obtain occupational licenses, so can Clif.

Years of $600 an ounce silver predictions, that have never materialized. Will it? Could it? I think it could — if the US went back on the silver standard or if, as Clif indicates, newly discovered applications drive the prices.

But I can’t really do it justice and I do not work for Clif. Don’t know him from Adam, as it were. Yet, the guy is able to explain, in words and ideas — in a few seconds — in a way that resonates with the listener.

  • Bitcoin (cryptocurrency) may, within the next 10 to 20 years, undo thousands of years of stagnant and centralized money control
  • This new world of crpyto can serve as a shot-in-the-arm for economies, for wealth, technological development and so on

But his often oblique remarks to explain why this is, are rather wanting.

For example, why can bitcoin (or any particular cryptocurrency) succeed?

Here’s what Clif indicated:

  • The U.S. split from Great Britain when about 3% of the people wanted it (Where’s the evidence?)
  • Only about 1% or less of people, now want bitcoin or cryptocurrency (Arguable.)
  • If this margin reaches 10%, the governments of the world, which are always behind the times, will be unable to stop it. (Why?)

That, the iron is heating up and you may be able to make some serious cash, if you invest soon. That’s my crypto-take, but be careful of the pumpers.

These are very positive statements in a lot of ways, in my book. But based on zero facts, unless one considers a Webbot and ESP as factual. The Woo-Woo to be real.

Why does Clif seem to ignore the implications of the PBoC (People’s Bank of China)? They have been waffling for years, but recently they’ve turned over an accusatory leaf. Crypto is a financial threat, they say.

But the Chinese Government cannot be trusted. Can any government? Each new day brings a new policy. And yet Clif advises China will be the home of BTC by the 2020’s. (Boy, was he way off the mark here! At least for now.)

The suggestion here, and not only from me, is that Clif High or who ever he is wrong. Has been, repeatedly — regarding his predictions.

If you check Google Trends you will see that Clif’s popularity peaked in June of 2017. And the Canadians like him best of all, with the US a close second. I wonder if that was about the time Clif “decided” not to make his own videos?

So we listen.

  • Anti-gravity forklifts. They are coming.
  • Turkey will unleash a global financial meltdown, very soon. (Waiting on that.)
  • Major earthquakes were suppose to have diverted rivers in North America and precipitated nuclear meltdowns in August of 2017. (???)
  • Hollow-moon assertions. (Where’s the evidence?)

And we trust that just maybe Clif is onto something about crypto’s?

Maybe, if you buy his reports, you’ll make millions. Many have chimed in on that one. Made money, based upon Clif’s Webbot predictions, with cryptocurrencies.

Maybe his Webbot was garbled by bad data like he said, which is why he currently focuses on cryptocurrency and not a wider set of data, except economic stuff.

As far as I can see, his “predictions” have raised eyebrows for several years now. But are his prognostications simply too general? Like any psychic’s?

Certainly, Clif is more assertive than Nostradamus. He gives better dates anyway.

And his alleged Webbot? It’s not “open source.” We can’t have it inspected.

And yes, there are other experiments like the Webbot, predictive markets, and the wisdom of the crowd ideas. Estimations based upon predictions are akin to gambling, however. It is not like a life insurance actuarial table predicting deaths per thousand, based on past data. Even Google Trends are “trends” and not predictions.

Clif talks about silver prices skyrocketing — for a time — constantly. As I have mentioned. This is not something new. Given the devaluation of fiat currencies worldwide, this scenario is possible, but is it probable? Could anyone with the ability to read and understand basic economics, also make this observation?

Gold is just sort of okay, as far I can judge by Clif’s statements. However, he’s not too enthusiastic about it.

New tech that will create matter from energy is only a few years away, Clif implies. So why mine gold or silver in say, 15 years — anyway? If we will be able to manufacture gold and silver with relative ease, why invest in any metal? At least in the short term.

Potential limited nuclear wars are on the horizon. Really? Is anyone not worried that North Korea or some other rogue nation might push the button?

But by and large, the outlook is very positive, in Clif’s assessments? Really?

How can anyone be happy about earthquakes, nuclear bombs, market crashes and hollow-moons? One cannot.

Clif has apparently spoken about of Cloakcoin. You decide why.

Please — you be the judge. Give this guy a listen. Tell me that he does not, in some weird way, make you very positive about the future of our world and at the same time, make you feel that hell is about to be unleashed.

I think the reports are about $100.00 (US) each now. There are complaints about those too.

Here’s a recent talk. It’s long — a YouTube interview with Clif.

The Interview.

Here’s a rebuttal video. It’s a bit abrasive.

Rebuttal.

 

 

(Click here for more of Clif High’s “Theories”)


Note: I have come into possession a copy of the January 2017 ALTA report. I have reviewed it. If my copy is legit, other than several estimated dates when BTC would rise in value to certain target levels and it did, I don’t find any specific predictions that have come to pass. There are numerous future predictions that I will keep an eye on.


Related Books:

Cryptocurrency Predictions From Experts?

Expertise

Is anyone really — I mean really, really, really — an expert when it comes to cryptocurrency? Even the experts don’t agree what cryptocurrency means. Is it a tool? A convenient form of functional money — like a check with drawing rights. But rights to what?

This aside, what are the latest prognostications from experts? Try these:

  • Balaji Srinivasan, CEO of 21.co
  • Peter Smith, CEO of Blockchain
  • Kathleen Breitman, CEO of Tezos

Bitcoin, the Master

Like all “experts” in this relatively new field, the implication is that bitcoin and Ethereum have staying power is common-speak. A five to ten year future window of opportunity seems to be the consensus — even given the current problems associated with bitcoin. That belief — almost a religion — is nothing new. It is going to make these experts look like digital noobs, if on July 31, 2017 or even down the road a piece,  bitcoin forks anyway. By then I’m sure they will have edited their theories.

There can be only one — or something like that…

New cryptocurrencies will come along and become successful. Some currently unheard of technology could dominate the market. Again, this seems obvious. That’s why we have a thing called progress. Can we be less obtuse here and stop pandering to noob-ville.

Rich Man, Poor Man, Fraud Man?

People will become rich and poor as new cryptocurrencies enter this space. As a result of the people who lose money due to fraudulent enterprises, more regulation seems to be in the offing.

No kidding?

In fact, Ripple may be implying that markets are heavily regulated for a reason. This is yet another eyebrow raiser. Ripple went to the dark side early in the game and is no doubt leveraging its position against the “free” cryptocurrencies as they themselves struggle to become a meaningful player in the cryptosphere. One wonders if they will soon apply for monopolistic benefits. Perhaps become one with “Fedcoin,” in the United States of America.

The Cashless Prison

Cryptocurrency must not be private? Regulation will eventually take over.

The critical component required by governments is ultimately, a cashless system whereby — allegedly — everyone can be more secure. The problem is, one has no privacy in this scenario, no right to life, liberty and, in the end, no private property — even digital property. How can one be even remotely free if every personal transaction is cataloged by the state, controlled by bureaucrats and dictated by the political wind?

Benevolent Big Brothers

Speculation in cryptocurrencies will lessen as certain altcoins become more stable. That bitcoins are not just for drugs.

Right. Got it.

This bit of speculation is a bit disingenuous. In fact, it’s just a set up. Stated to entice the under-educated. The noobs. To hint again, that appropriate rules to unmask the users of cryptocurrencies will magically enable a virtual world-utilization of cryptocurrencies, especially when new “killer apps” come online. All will be well, so long as we obey.

Conversely, it can be argued that the instability of cryptocurrencies are in part, caused by the states themselves. Take China for example. That bastion of corruption on one hand implies that bitcoin miners will be heavily regulated and on the other, they are allowed to profit. Do you hear “payoff?”

Since China purportedly manages most of the bitcoin blockchain, is it any wonder that it bitcoin is inherently unstable? And we all see what happens when bitcoin catches a cold — almost all other relevant cryptocurrencies nosedive.

In support of the move away from state controlled cryptocurrency, things like Bytecoin, Monero and Aeon were born — and many others — in an ongoing attempt to remind the minders that well, all of the people have not rolled over and played dead — just yet.

The Silly Con

Silicon Valley will become a direct competitor to Wall Street. This seems straightforward. As computer technology advances, its underlying information infrastructure will continue lubricate the wheels of finance. All of the major trading floors, worldwide are already supported by the latest Fintech. But the assumption here is much deeper. That the technology itself will make Wall Street, for all practical purposes, passé.

Imagine that for a moment. Not that all the brokers and lawyers would be replaced by smart contracts, but that the wheels of finance themselves are replaced with cryptocurrency. Where paper money, fiat currency, the Federal Reserve, are at once, relics of a bygone age.

Do you take VISA?

Competition will force the old guard — say MasterCard and Visa — to step up. In other words, if bitcoin or any cryptocurrency, can one day compete with the current regulated entities then and only then, would the need arise for the old guard to “improve.” That or be ushered out.

The only problem is, bitcoin is currently too slow to compete with the current credit based entities, except where it comes to moving large amounts of money across borders cheaply. A point that is often ignored. They don’t want to remind anyone that there are inexpensive ways to do big business.

Micro-transactions are all the rage today — supposedly — but when it comes down to the “golden” tacks, if one can move 200,000,000 dollars in ten minutes or less, across 50 borders, without taxes or banking fees, well, who needs bitcoin “micro?” We have Iota for that anyway and they are cheaper — better at the small stuff. Maybe better at all the crypto stuff.

Quantum Query

One should remember that technology is advancing. Governments worldwide are working on systems — quantum computers — which, if true, can crack cryptocurrency addresses — take your funds — in about a minute. It might therefore behoove one, if cryptocurrency seems a lucrative investment, to study the next generation of altcoins which are resistant or even immune to the quantum “state” hackers. Maybe Iota, but there are others.

This being said, if governments cannot get what they want, if they cannot control the newest generations of non-state currencies, they would need to make them irrelevant by installing a better form of money, perhaps by privatizing the banking industry altogether or by controlling the internet, radio waves, WiFi etc. At last resort, Big Brother would require draconian laws, like those in North Korea, and the dismantling of technology altogether.

Absent a total crackdown against cryptocurrency, there are other more curious ways to thwart the ever growing popularity of the expanding cryptosphere: government sponsored hacks, thefts, 51% attacks and so on.

It is interesting of late, how many cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, etc., are being hacked. The newest one today? Veritaseum, to the tune of eight million dollars.