After a tumultuous start to the year for cryptocurrencies, there have been plenty of financial gurus predicting a swift and painful demise for the new asset class – with Warren Buffet and Steve Strongin, head of Goldman Sachs global investment research, particularly scathing.
A perhaps surprising champion of Bitcoin emerged over the weekend in the form of Brad Garlinghouse, chief executive of Ripple.
Speaking a Yahoo Finance seminar, he dismissed a lot of the “FUD” – fear, uncertainty and doubt in crypto-speak – around Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. “I am actually long on Bitcoin, personally, I am not a believer that Bitcoin dies some terrible death,” he said. Although he did caution that it doesn’t, in his view, “solve a payments problem”, citing Ripple’s faster, cheaper processes.
Another week, another major organisation opts for Ripple as a payment solution. Chinese payment provider LianLian International is the latest, using the xCurrent payment solution from Ripple to facilitate instant cross-border transactions to its customers.
LianLian processes transactions in 19 different currencies for customers on major e-commerce sites like Amazon, Ali Express and eBay. XCurrent differs from xRapid in that it doesn’t use Ripple’s cryptocurrency XRP for transactions.
Several scientists working at a major Russian nuclear arms plant in Sarov, western Russia, have been arrested for allegedly using the facility’s computer power for mining Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies. The centre's press service said: “There has been an unsanctioned attempt to use computer facilities for private purposes including so-called mining.”
The supercomputer they used was, for obvious security reasons, never meant to be connected to the internet. Once the crypto-enthusiasts tried, the nuclear centre's security department was alerted.
Less than two weeks after the Securities and Exchange Commission in Texas shut down Arise Bank – co-founded by Dubai-based Stanley Ford - New Jersey’s Attorney General has issued a cease and desist order to Bitstrade, an investment platform offer 10 percent returns daily. Like Arise, it was shuttered for selling securities without the proper authorisation.
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