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.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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