Bitcoin breaks $1,000 level

The price of bitcoin has breached the $1,000 mark, hitting a more than three-year high on Monday.
The cryptocurrency was trading at $1,021 at the time of publication, according to CoinDesk data, at level not seen since November 2013, with its market capitalization exceeding $16 billion.
Bitcoin has been on a steady march higher for the past few months, driven by a number of factors such as the devaluation of the yuan, geopolitical uncertainty and an increase in professional investors taking an interest in the asset class.

“We are seeing the aftermath of zero interest rates run amok. So bitcoin is a healthy reminder that we don’t have to hold on to dollars or renminbi, which is subject to capital controls and loss of purchasing power. Rather it’s a new asset class,” Bobby Lee, chief executive of BTC China, one of the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges, told CNBC by phone.

China is the source of the majority of trade in bitcoin and the devaluation of the yuan and fears over capital controls have contributed to the recent spike in the digital currency.
But several other factors have also had a notable impact. For example, bitcoin’s price has appreciated around 137 percent in the past 12 months but got a big boost after Donald Trump won the U.S. election in November.
Another big event this year was in June when a change in bitcoin’s underlying rules meant those who were “mining” the cryptocurrency – a process whereby users are awarded with bitcoin if they solve complex mathematical puzzles in order for a bitcoin transaction to go through – received less rewards. This was due to the process known as “halving,” which essentially reduces the supply of bitcoin.
But overall, bitcoin experts said that the market is growing in terms of volumes and those participating, creating a “network effect” that will see the price rise further.

Source: CNBC
Reporter: Arjun Kharpal

Crypto Finance

Virtual currency or virtual money was defined in 2012 by the European Central Bank as “a type of unregulated, digital money, which is issued and usually controlled by its developers, and used and accepted among the members of a specific virtual community.” Today, hundreds of virtual crypto-currencies are emerging over the world as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the generation of new units.

Recently crypto-finance blockchain technology got recognition from major players in the financial industry. The analysis shows that crypto-finance could allow conventional banks to save up to $80 billion a year on remittances and settlements. Regular banks will lose some revenue, but will gain a huge bonus in savings on costs and could still act as regulatory institutions to identify and serve customers.

Blockchain and bitcoin are the current types and banks and major fintech companies are looking at them, but crypto-finance is not about blockchain technology only. Digital money transfers, digital currencies, e-wallets and many more instruments employ cryptography. For example, Monetas, one developer of the next generation of financial services, is implementing digital wallet pilots in Africa. Africa is the fastest market to adopt new technology as it does not have the traditional and hard infrastructure while instruments like credit cards are 60 years old and an obsolete tool: if you do not have one today, you won’t want it at all.

What is the problem with the regular currencies? First of all, centralized control, which means a lot of regulatory restrictions and poor adaptability, not to mention expensive operation due to high infrastructure investment. Remittances and settlements eat a lot of customers’ money through fees. Huge amounts of manual input are another issue that is improving, but still has a major negative impact. Finally, there are too many security issues and limited infrastructure availability.

While blockchain is gaining traction and popularity, it has a number of limitations that prevent wider adoption. For example, it is very slow: the Bitcoin blockchain can currently handle a maximum of 7 transactions per second globally when a system like VISA handles 47,000 transactions per second. What’s more, Bitcoin is expensive, which is a bit unexpected: the total cost of operating the global Bitcoin network translates to about $10 per transaction. This cost is not paid directly by the user, but by the global network of computers that receive a ‘block reward’ of new bitcoins. The block reward will decrease over time, so fees will likely grow much larger eventually. The next decrease—in a half!—is expected in July 2016.

During the CeBIT 2016, we met a very interesting company called Monetas, which takes the digital notary to the next level, extending the digital contracting model into money, documents, stocks and commodities. The digital notary notarizes entities electronically with a digital signature using a secure public key and validates the act with a digital certificate. The idea is pretty simple, but the implications are far-reaching. Digital contracting applied cryptographically makes it possible to create secure hybrid peer-to peer, client-server mobile applications that can work either offline or with an always-on, globally-accessible web service. It allows instant, irreversible settlements of transactions, and the transfer and exchange of currencies and other assets. It helps connect anyone with a smartphone to financial services. The Monetas mission is to build solutions that give everyone the freedom they need, making the world a freer and more prosperous place.

Crypto-finance is a modern technology with the potential to bring financial services to two billion people who lack access to the most basic ones because of cost and distance. Mobile money has connected more people to financial services in the last decade, than legacy banks in the last 100 years. New crypto-finance technology could have a major impact on humanity and increase life quality through lower fees, mobility, and deep service penetration.

This is why Lakshmi Empire Ltd is investing in Crypto-Currencies and the Future of Payments.

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Man buys $27 of bitcoin…

Bought in 2009, currency’s rise in value saw small investment turn into enough to buy an apartment in a wealthy area of Oslo.

This is the story why Lakshmi Empire Ltd became interested in Crypto-Currency.

The meteoric rise in bitcoin has meant that within the space of four years, one Norwegian man’s $27 investment turned into a forgotten $886,000 windfall.

Kristoffer Koch invested 150 kroner ($26.60) in 5,000 bitcoins in 2009, after discovering them during the course of writing a thesis on encryption. He promptly forgot about them until widespread media coverage of the anonymous, decentralized, peer-to-peer digital currency in April 2013 jogged his memory.

Bitcoins are stored in encrypted wallets secured with a private key, something Koch had forgotten. After eventually working out what the password could be, Koch got a pleasant surprise:

“It said I had 5,000 bitcoins in there. Measuring that in today’s rates it’s about NOK5m ($886,000),”

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