During an interview with Cheddar, Chris Stowe, the CTO of Reddit, asserted that Reddit hopes to bring back payments dealing with Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), and Ethereum (ETH).
Reddit stopped accepting Bitcoin in March of this year, when the Coinbase Merchant Services were experiencing some technical difficulties and bugs. This led the popular sharing site to drop the Cryptocurrency as an option for payment.
Coinbase has since announced the migration of Coinbase Merchant Services to a program called “Coinbase Commerce,” a program specifically designed for merchants. The migration of Coinbase Commerce will end on May 31st, which is when we could see a return of cryptocurrency payments to Reddit.
Reddit has always been very crypto friendly, with subreddits such as r/Bitcoin, r/Crypto, r/Litecoin, and r/Ethereum having tens of thousands of subscribers.
Stowe said the following Thursday:
The upcoming Coinbase change, combined with some bugs around the bitcoin payment option that were affecting purchases for certain users, led us to remove bitcoin as a payment option.
We have been looking at other cryptocurrencies. As a matter of fact, that was part of the issue with the high fees on the bitcoin network. We are looking at Ethereum and Litecoin that are both provided by Coinbase.
Analysts like Tim Draper, The Winklevoss Twins, and Thomas Lee have all made wild predictions as to the potential valuation of Bitcoin. Recently, a new voice has arisen to signal a potential boom in price.
Brian Kelly, the CEO and Founder of BKCM LLC, which is a digital assets investment fund, said in an interview with CNBC that there is “no reason” why Bitcoin can’t visit the $20,000 level, and even the $25,000 level by the end of 2018.
Kelly also made the assertion that while it sounds crazy, $250,000 by 2022 is not out of the question. He justified this by saying that over the past four years, Bitcoin has produced a 4000% trend, so this would simply be following the trend that Bitcoin has been on for the past four years.
He added that Bitcoin is difficult to use right now as a currency, due to its volatility. He said once that dampens, Bitcoin could become more usable.
When asked about Bitcoin’s week last week, and whether or not this week would produce similar results, he said this:
Traffic volume is starting to pick up, we have pack selling rolling off, we have short covering going on, so we need the fundamentals which is the number of transactions to catch up a bit and if we see that, I think we’ve bottomed here and we have a sustainable bull run.
At the time of this interview, BTC was at $7,848. As of 3:26 CST on April 16, Bitcoin has seen a slight jump to $7,962.
Devout investors will not be surprised if Bitcoin hits $25K by the end of 2018. The major volatility of the crypto market could be a huge win for early adopters and silence many critics.
The past couple months have been tough sledding for cryptocurrency holders. After the insane bull run that saw all cryptocurrencies reaching a collective market cap of near one trillion dollars during the holiday season, the crypto market pulled back significantly and many projects that soared to unprecedented heights found their valuations shattered in the span of several disheartening weeks.
One of the projects that benefited most from the bull run was the South Korean blockchain platform ICON. At its all-time high, ICON ($ICX) held a market cap valuation of more than four billion dollars that pushed the price of each individual ICON over $12 dollars. While the token remains eight dollars below its all-time high, Icon has surged more than +50% in the past two days behind speculation of new exchange listings, several promising ICO’s and an imminent token swap from the minted ERC-20 token to Icon’s native blockchain.
— Korean Cryptocurrency & Blockchain News (@BlockchainROK) March 21, 2018
Bithumb, the fourth largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, processes close to one billion dollars worth of transactions a day and the listing of ICON is a major accomplishment for the Korean team. A day later, the tech startup announced they had been listed on UpBit, another top Korean exchange.
With South Korea viewed as the most forward-thinking cryptocurrency community in the world, the dual listing of ICON on Bithumb and Upbit is evidence of a team that achieves state goals in a timely and efficient manner. Further rumors that ICX could be traded on the second biggest Korean exchange, CoinOne, sent primed traders into a buying frenzy.
Last week, Bithumb signed a monumental deal with BitPay that will allow businesses to convert invoices into Bitcoin and use BitPay’s service to settle them quicker than conventional banking institutions.
Speaking to CNBC, BitPay chief commercial officer Sonny Singh suggested that over $200 billion dollars worth of cross-border payments will be made between South Korea and The United States in 2018. Speaking on the inefficiencies in current banking and payment infrastructures, Singh had the following to say:
Right now, people are doing cross-border payments […] and paying bank wires, FX fees around 4% and it takes about four days. Using Bithumb and BitPay, we’re able to make this a 1% fee in one business day.
As ICON raced up the charts and supplanted all other alternative currencies on Binance’s 24hr volume chart, the hype machine spilled over. Some commentators predicted that the South Korean blockchain startup could soon appear on other top exchanges like Bittrex, Bitfinex & possibly even Coinbase.
Other bullish indicators for ICON include a list of ICO’s that plan on launching through on the ICX blockchain. ICO’s that fundraise through ICON’s platform will have to use the ICX token to participate leading to speculation that demand will be high for ICON tokens while the supply dries up. Similarly, ICO’s have helped Ethereum and NEO grow into some of the largest valuations in the community.
I think $ICX bull run has just begun. Getting listed on bitthumb pro already with bitthumb listing coming in 4 days. Upbit (co founded by Bittrex) has confirmed $ICX listing. These are #4, #5, and #6 exchanges in volume, respectively. Shit is about to get real.
In late February, the ICON team announced the launch of their wallet service, ICONex, which runs as a chrome extension and will be available for iOS & Android users within the next few months. According to leadership, a token swap from the ICON’s current Ethereum chain ERC-20 token to a native ICX platform will take place in the next month:
We are currently preparing the ERC20 token to ICX coin Swap. We are working on the details and cannot give you the exact schedule at the moment, however we expect the Token Swap to start next month.
Even after the Token Swap process begins, the ICX ERC-20 tokens will be able to make transactions. After a period of several months with many announcements about the Token Swap, the ERC-20 tokens will be burned.
At the end of January, ICON announced six ICO’s that will crowdfund on the ICX platform between Q2 & Q3 of 2018. Among the decentralized apps included are Blue Whale (ecosystem for workers compensation), Tink (an anonymous social media voting platform), & UPPSALA (a security intelligence platform).
ICON’s close relationship with corporate and government entities within tech powerhouse South Korea have investors salivating about the potential growth of the new cryptocurrency. With a plan to ‘hyperconnect the world’ and major partnerships with Forbes & Bloomberg in the pipeline, 2018 could very well be the year that ICON reaches the mainstream visibility and valuation of other top crypto projects.
When I first interviewed Joshua Smith, he was nothing but a great opportunity to put another face of libertarian activity on the site. Now, he may be the golden opportunity for the Libertarian Party to start making serious moves in the world and begin to actually bring liberty step forward.
Cryptocurrency is under attack. The state hates the subversive nature of it. The IRS recently went after Coinbase, forcing it to turn over plenty of customer information. A recent Senate bill created an IRS crackdown on finances, which included digital currencies. Some have even argued that this bill jeopardizes the privacy of cryptocurrency wallets in general. It is also a possibility that blockchain technologies have become another asset for government spying. This attack on one of the most powerful tools of liberty should be one that the Libertarian Party is at the forefront of challenging, but they are not.
This is just the icing on the cake for the status quo Libertarian Party. Granted, it has been “good,” and we have gained record registered voters for a third party, along with getting record LP votes in the 2016 election, but are people moving to us, or are we moving away from principle. It seems to be the latter. The party seems to be giving up on radicalism in favor of growing numbers, for Gary Johnson, one of the biggest exposures of libertarianism to the public sphere, decided he would support carbon taxes and not let businesses keep the right to discriminate. We’re in a bad place. We need to get back to what libertarianism is all about: radical uncompromising principled anti-statism.
Joshua Smith is a huge leap in that direction. His simples platform includes four points. These points start with an emphasis on enabling local leaders of the movement, giving them an avenue for actual activism and expansion in their communities and cities, which is something the movement really needs. This echoes Larry Sharpe’s advocacy for widespread local activism, which could be one of the only keys to actual LP success. This local mobilization could cause cascades of benefits to the liberty movement as a whole.
Smith’s second point was a principled reform focus. He wants to clean the party of its clutter. The libertarian socialists have no place in the movement and need to be ousted. They do not get to benefit from LP resources, so they should not be in the party. The principles of the party shall be reaffirmed and concretely defined. Joshua Smith will make this happen.
The third point is a focus on membership. As he told is his interview, he had a few issues his first go around with the LP when it came to getting active in the party and spreading the ideas that need to happen. He wishes to simplify and empower membership the LP, giving members new proper tools to spread liberty as soon as they have joined. “We can’t expect new members to be enthusiastic about spreading the ideals of liberty if we don’t act as though we’re happy to have them,” Smith states.
His final point was an emphasis on marketing. The party needs to be able to market itself better to the public. It needs to look appealing to join in, not like a mess with gross naked gingers dancing on stage. The marketing would focus both on member retention and party building, two things the party is definitely going to need in the coming future.
Since devising those points, and since my interview, he has put emphasis on fighting for cryptocurrencies, something that definitely needs to be done in this day and age. He has expressed interests in forming coalitions with big name cryptocurrency individuals and organizations, which would allow the LP to mobilize itself when it comes to defending the new technology from the hands of the state. This would put the voice of a large community of antistate and liberty-oriented people into action, which would be the beginning of a new political voice for the Libertarian Party.
Furthermore, Smith has expressed to me an interest in creating a new youth wing of the party. Young people like me have to be serious self-starters when it comes to activism. During the Hurricane Harvey disaster, my local Libertarian Youth Caucus was able to get active in relief, but most of the help came from the LYC higher-ups, and not the party itself. Libertarians across the board were mobilized in help, but I never saw the Party itself showing its face in this time of need. I am interested in seeing how Smith’s new youth wing would mesh with and integrate with the Libertarian Youth Caucus.
The Libertarian Party is giving up principles for the sake of party expansion, but you can have both. Smith’s election to LNC chair would turn this party around. These new focuses of activity could cause a real political change for the party and allow us to stand strong in the fight for cryptocurrencies. Enough playing games. Its time to start getting active.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions of this article do not reflect that of 71 Republic LLC.
The bill was pushed into a Judiciary Committee hearing on the 28th of November, without much notice to the public. The bulk of the 2-hour hearing focused on other elements of the bill, with the only mention of cryptocurrency happening very briefly during a discussion on money laundering. The hearing also featured a testimony from Kathryn Haun, who is on the Coinbase board of directors. She did not mention any information regarding cryptocurrency or its exchanges.
The bill, which contains 20 sections, was written under the guise of preventing illegal money operations. However, its relatively small changes to the legal status of cryptocurrency are expected to have far-reaching ramifications. Section 13 of the bill indicates that “digital currency” is to be added to the list of items that the US Treasury Department will consider as “financial institutions.” Although this change in legal definition may seem small, the impacts it would have for cryptocurrency users would be significant.
The owners of cryptocurrency would be required to report their holdings in cryptocurrency to the IRS as assets, and also may be required to pay a long-term capital gains tax of up to 25%, or regular federal income tax of up to 39.6%, on the revenue earned from selling cryptocurrency for more than its previous value. Holders of cryptocurrency who do not report their holdings as assets to the IRS would be subject to tax evasion penalties or jail time. The bill fails to address many of the complexities of digital currencies, including the tax protocol for exchanging US Dollars for cryptocurrency multiple times before selling back to dollars, as well as any tax burdens that may be held by cryptocurrency exchanges.
The measure also subjects holders of cryptocurrency to more government scrutiny, meaning individuals who are believed to be misrepresenting their crypto holdings or transactions could have their financial information seized by the IRS or subpoenaed in court. Section 13 of the bill also requires the “detailing a strategy to interdict and detect…digital currencies…at border crossings and other ports of entry for the United States.” This means that even someone with basic electronic equipment could be questioned or searched by border and customs officials, as well as the TSA.
Although the bill does contain a lot of important updates to the criminal code regarding money laundering, many in the cryptocurrency community are calling for a re-examination of the bill itself and section 13, as it is widely believed that it does not properly account for the nature of cryptocurrencies in its attempts to regulate.