A recent study by Autonomous Research shows that ICOs raised $20 billion since 2017
Nearly 70 percent of Americans surveyed felt “‘uncertainty’ summed up their emotions regarding cryptocurrencies,” according to results published under the title, “How Do Americans Feel About Cryptocurrency?” Research was carried out by Clovr of more than 1,000 Americans. The point was “to understand their feelings about cryptocurrencies and to break down whether excitement (or fear) is the overwhelming emotion toward virtual money.” Using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform, respondents ranged between the ages of 18 and 80, with the average age about 36 years old.
How Do Americans Feel About Cryptocurrency?
Survey results recently published point to roughly nine out of every ten Americans at least having a passing knowledge of cryptocurrency. Of that more than 90 percent, over “75 percent of Americans feel they know what cryptocurrency is,” while “over 20 percent of the remainder believes they ‘sort of’ know what’s going on,” researchers explained. Still, four in ten would not like to be the one to explain just what crypto is to a novice.
“Almost 70 percent of respondents felt ‘uncertainty’ summed up their emotions regarding cryptocurrencies,” Clovr noted. Of course, it would depend upon the reader, but there might be some hope for the bullish among enthusiasts, as the extended bear market, going on nearly a year, has not entirely soured potential participants.
Millennial Urban Males Making More Than $75,000 Are Most Likely to Have Invested in Crypto
Unsurprising findings include how dreams “of riding the bitcoin wave or possibly getting in on the ground floor of an alternative like Litecoin or Ripple could most certainly pay massive returns … if they take off” topped the reasons why most would wish to be involved with cryptocurrency. And, of course, crypto’s perceived risk remains the biggest barrier to more adoption, the survey concluded.
Four of ten answered they were more likely to have dabbled in digital assets should people they know “were doing it,” which could very well be just another way to phrase what enthusiasts have long termed FOMO, fear of missing out. Indeed, nearly as many responded that was the case (35 percent). Clovr also found more than a third of Americans are already investing in cryptocurrency. Bitcoiners and veterans in the space will attest to crypto investors as coming from a broad range of backgrounds. However, the survey found some definite patterns such as how men “are almost twice as likely as women – 43 percent to 23 percent – to have invested in cryptocurrency.”
Close to half of decentralized money investors make $75,000 to $99,999 annually, while half that number earning under $25,000 bothered. Millennials “were almost twice as likely as any other generation to be crypto-investors,” the survey detailed. Double the number of urbanites were interested in crypto compared to rural counterparts.
Researchers conclude, “Americans appear to be divided in opinion over cryptocurrency and its role moving forward. It’s also apparent that while many think they know what it is, when asked whether explaining it to others was feasible, fewer believed they could do so, indicating a superficial understanding.” For businesses and marketers looking forward, such insights and demographics could very well help form a variety of strategies. Surely firms could decide to double down on the kind of folks already inclined toward the space. Perhaps, too, a business could just as likely view those wary or currently uninterested as puzzles potentially containing gold mines.
How would you evaluate Clovr’s findings? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Clovr.
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Ethereum price makes no impact on ICOs’ profiteering, research suggests
Bitcoin mining behemoth Bitmain likely posted a net loss of nearly $400 million last quarter, the China-based firm’s recently-filed public offering documents reveal. CCN reported yesterday that Bitmain had filed offering documents with the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (HKEX), ahead of the long-awaited initial public offering (IPO) that promises to be the largest in … Continued
The post Bitmain Likely Lost $400 Million Last Quarter: BitMEX Research appeared first on CCN
As the Bitcoin network grows, so too does the concern around its environmental impact, and with good reason. Bitcoin consumes more electricity than the entire island of Ireland, and that power consumption is set to steadily rise in the coming years. Beyond the electricity required to run the network, there are the materials required to
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Unrestricted access to financial services is one of the main preconditions for achieving economic freedom. However, large portions of the planet’s population, especially in the developing world, remain excluded from the traditional banking system. The number of the unbanked or underbanked citizens of the industrialized, digitized nations is also unexpectedly high, now when almost everyone, everywhere has a smartphone in their pocket.
Women and the Poor Less Likely to Have a Bank Account
Cryptocurrencies offer an alternative path, a fast track to financial inclusion. Unfortunately, instead of facilitating it, overly worried states, authorities and regulators often hamper the economic emancipation of those whose interests they are supposed to uphold. Trying to please political powers, many banks around the world have been busy raising barriers to both individuals and businesses dealing with cryptocurrency. That’s not to say they’ve done enough to broaden the availability of their fiat-related financial services and products.
Statistics from a number of sources, multiple reports and analyses show that the share of the financially excluded members of societies remains large, despite some positive trends recently. The spread of mobile phones and improved access to the internet have accelerated financial inclusion – over 500 million adults have opened bank accounts since 2014 – but this process develops unevenly across different regions and countries, according to a report by the World Bank.
The Global Findex Database 2017, a study on how people in 144 economies use financial services which was published in the spring of this year, shows that almost a third of the planet’s population remains unbanked. 69% of adults now have an account at a bank or with a mobile money provider. However, while the global number of account holders has increased significantly from 62% in 2014, the progress in nations, characterized by large disparities between men and women, where the gap remains unchanged year after year, and between rich and poor, has been much slower.
Regions That Suffer the Most From Exclusion
Mobile money services have had a positive effect on financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa. The number of people using them has doubled in three years but, nevertheless, remains very low – at 21%, while the share of adults holding accounts with a traditional financial institution stays flat. A fifth of the populations in 8 countries – Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe – use only mobile money accounts. Still, 95 million unbanked adults in the region, receive only cash payments for agricultural products, for example. In North Africa and the Middle East, there is another problem – only 35% of women have an account, the largest gender gap among all studied regions. Also, up to 20 million unbanked adults send or receive domestic remittances using only cash or over-the-counter services.
In Europe and Central Asia, account ownership has increased to 65% in 2017, driven largely by digital government payments of wages, pensions, and social benefits – 17% of the holders opened their first account to receive government payments. At the same time, 40% of the people are currently not making or receiving digital payments. In South Asia, 30% of the adults do not have a banking account. India is a notable exception, with 80% of Indians having an account with a financial institution. In East Asia and the Pacific, however, the growth in account ownership has stagnated during the researched period – close to 30% of the people in the region remain unbanked.
Less than half of Indonesians, whose country has actually scored an increase, currently have an account. Digital financial transactions have accelerated in China, where the share of account owners using the internet to pay bills or purchase goods more than doubled – to 57 percent. The People’s Republic has witnessed the rapid growth of mobile payment services like Alipay and Wechat Pay, while authorities have escalated the crackdown on crypto-related activities. Statistical data shows, however, that over 400 million account owners in the region still pay their utility bills in cash, despite the fact that 95% of them have a mobile phone.
More than half of the adults living in Latin America and the Caribbean own a mobile phone and have access to the internet, which is 15% more than the developing world average. Despite that, only about 20% of account holders in countries like Argentina and Brazil use their mobile devices or the World Wide Web to make financial transactions. By digitizing cash wage payments, the World Bank says, businesses could expand account ownership to up to 30 million currently unbanked adults. Almost 90 percent of them own a mobile phone, according to the report.
The Land of Opportunities Isn’t Faring Much Better
Well, you would’ve thought that the situation is way better in developed economies like the US, but it actually isn’t that different. When the level of development of financial services is taken into account, results should be much more encouraging. According to a detailed report from 2016, produced by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 7% of American households are unbanked – yes, that’s households, not individuals. The unbanked black households, however, were over 18% of the total, more than 16% among Hispanic households. Unbanked rates for Asian households actually increased during the examined two-year period, from 2.2 to 4%.
According to another study, a report by the Corporation for Enterprise Development titled “The Most Unbanked Places in America”, almost 18% of US households are ‘underbanked’ – the term describes people with insufficient access to mainstream financial products such as credit cards and loans. Lacking proper access to common services from retail banks, many of these citizens are often heavily reliant on micro-finance services such as those offered by loan sharks and pawnbrokers. According to the authors, cities where over a fifth of the residents do not have bank accounts include Miami (Florida), Detroit (Michigan), and Newark (New Jersey).
Do you think cryptocurrencies can significantly improve financial inclusion? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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USD is the most traded fiat against in crypto markets, says recent research from consulting firm GreySpark
American stock brokerage firm EF Hutton is initiating coverage of seven cryptocurrencies, each given a rating of one to five stars. New.Bitcoin.com talked to CEO Christopher Daniels who shared his firm’s methodology used to analyze the cryptocurrencies and how they are rated.
EF Hutton Initiating Crypto Coverage
EF Hutton announced on Wednesday, September 5, that this week it is initiating “coverage of bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), ripple (XRP), eos (EOS), litecoin (LTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), cardano (ADA) and will rate each.”
In addition to providing crypto coverage, the firm “will also provide equity research coverage of companies involved in cryptocurrencies and other digital assets,” starting with Hut 8 Mining and Hive Blockchain Technologies. “Ratings scale is one star to five stars with five-stars representing a positive outlook and one-star representing a negative outlook,” the firm detailed.
EF Hutton CEO Christopher Daniels told news.Bitcoin.com:
Our rating on BCH is five stars. In our rating scale – 5-stars is the highest and best rating that can be assigned to an instrument. It means that we foresee significant appreciation within the next 12 months.
Other crypto ratings are in EF Hutton’s reports, available to subscribers.
Founded in 1904, EF Hutton provides digital finance services including online investment services. The firm is a subsidiary of Hutn Group Inc., which also owns mobile communications services provider Vibrant Mobility Inc. and integrated social networks and online services provider Megga Inc.
Methodology Used in Crypto Analysis
Speaking of the methodology used in his firm’s analysis, Daniels explained that “EF Hutton evaluates each instrument separately and also in relation to its position vis-a-vis other cryptocurrencies,” adding:
We consider short, medium and long-term factors that will impact the price of the instrument, however our rating is based on our view of the instrument in the next 12-months.
The first factor his firm considers is “the purpose for which the instrument was originated. We look for intrinsic purpose-driven of demand,” the CEO described.
“Next we look at how the instrument is positioned versus other instruments that may overlap with its originated purpose,” he continued to elaborate. “For example, technology and other factors that may give one instrument an advantage over another instrument.” Illustrating his point, Daniels noted that “A good example of this is BCH’s design to address some of BTC issues,” adding:
After we complete our instrument specific analysis we look to other issues that can impact the supply and demand equation. For example, liquidity. We consider the extent to which peculators attracted to the instrument and thereby add to the liquidity of the instrument.
Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse or support claims made by any parties in this article. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products or companies. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.
What do you think of EF Hutton initiating coverage of cryptocurrencies and related firms? What do you think of the firm’s BCH outlook? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and EF Hutton.
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A recent study by Satis Group states that the BTC price could potentially reach $98,000 in the next five years
This month the Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) published a research report that claims quite a few of the top cryptocurrency exchanges are overstating their trade volumes or participating in wash trades. BTI explains that out of 130 of the top cryptocurrency trading platforms researched, the organization estimates that every 24-hours over $6B worth of digital asset trade volumes are faked.
Suspect Exchanges Ratio Ranged Wildly
Every single day billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies are swapped, and today there’s been about $12.9B traded over the last 24-hours. Over the past year or more many exchanges have been scrutinized for false reporting and various data sites have been called into question for over-exaggerated trade volumes. For example, this past March Sylvain Ribes has published a study that revealed some interesting information about trade volumes stemming from exchanges like Okex and Huobi. This month the Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) published its research that explains 70 percent of the top 100 exchanges listed on data sites like Coinmarketcap are reporting phony volumes.
The methodology in the study used the trading platform’s order book liquidity and the exchange’s unique daily visitor counts. The research was conducted using web traffic data websites like Google Analytics and Similarweb. The BTI researchers detail that the study also used Sylvain Ribes’ slippage paper which BTI says gave them a more accurate analysis of exchange volumes.
“The accurate exchanges outside of the big money exchanges typically have a volume/user to unique visitor ratio of around between 2% and 5% (3.5% average). The suspect exchanges ratio ranged wildly from 10% up to over 655,000%.
For example, Lbank and ZB exchanges which both claim to be in the top 10 of all exchanges, are also claiming to have volume/unique visitor numbers over $214,000 and $74,000 per day, respectively. This is outlandish considering known high liquid markets Bitfinex, Binance, and Coinbase fall between $5,000 and $8,500 per visitor per day.
Three Times the Stated Volumes
BTI also says there are discrepancies with the exchanges Okex and Huobi as well as the trading platform Bibox. The study details that Binance commands the largest unique visitor per day count, and the top trading platform in the USA is Coinbase. As far as South Korea, the BTI researchers state Bithumb outpaces Upbit’s volumes. However, Upbit disputes this statistic and has contacted the BTI team. The researchers detail they will look into Upbit’s mobile app user count and are willing to work with any exchanges who provide verifiable data. In the end, the study concludes that roughly $6B stemming from 130 exchanges reporting trade volumes are likely phony.
“Tallying up the volume numbers of the top 130 exchanges, it is estimated that over $6 billion dollars in daily trade volume is being faked with over 67% of daily volume being wash traded,” details BTI.
Over 70% of the CMC top 100 is likely engaging in wash trading by at least 3x their stated volume.
Phony trade volumes are nothing new to the cryptocurrency industry as there have been accusations since the first exchanges opened. Back in 2013 and 2014, there were many studies and editorials concerning exchanges reporting false numbers. This past July Crypto Exchange Ranks published a report that accuses the site Coinmarketcap (CMC) of incentivizing fake volumes. CMC had made some adjustments to the portal this year which make for a different display of exchange rankings.
What do you think about BTI’s study concerning discrepancies with exchange activity? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.
Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, CMC, and the BTI report.
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The central bank of India has reportedly formed a special unit tasked to track emerging technologies such as those related to cryptocurrencies. Its members will be expected to research, draft rules, and, in the future, supervise the development of digital assets, blockchain and artificial intelligence applications.
RBI Team to Track Crypto Developments
In an obvious attempt to improve its own capacity in the field, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has gathered experts in a newly formed unit that will be responsible for tracking crypto, blockchain and artificial intelligence technologies, The Economic Times reported quoting two sources familiar with RBI’s plans.
According to the report, the new unit will be tasked to research the emerging tech but also prepare rules and supervise the sector at some point in the future. One of the individuals cited in the article commented:
As a regulator, the RBI also has to explore new emerging areas to check what can be adopted and what cannot. A central bank has to be on top to create regulations. This new unit is on an experimental basis and will evolve as time passes.
No formal announcement about the new team has been made yet and the RBI has not responded to media queries for more details. Nevertheless, the publication notes that the unit was formed about a month ago and the bank’s management has already appointed its leader.
The outlet also quotes another expert on the topic. According to Piyush Singh, managing director of financial services for Asia Pacific and Africa at Accenture, unless regulators are part of the ecosystem, they understand and have a clear indication of what is accepted and what is not, they can neither protect the regulated industry nor the consumers who use it. Singh believes the RBI is doing the right thing at a time when new technologies are changing business models.
Researching, Despite Warning and Banning
The news about the forming of the research unit comes after multiple warnings against engaging in crypto transactions issued by the Indian central bank. In December of last year the RBI highlighted a number of crypto-related risks of economic, financial and legal character. This year, the bank ordered all regulated financial institutions to quit providing services to businesses and individuals dealing in cryptocurrencies.
The ban went into effect in July, despite attempts by representatives of the crypto sector to challenge it in court. In two hearings of the filed petitions, the Supreme Court of India did not grant a stay against the ban and eventually scheduled the final hearing for September 11.
In the meantime, Indian officials have been working on a regulatory framework for the crypto industry. Early statements that the draft regulations would be ready in July were later followed by another estimate – the Indian government is now expected to issue detailed cryptocurrency guidelines by September, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. Consultations with stakeholders are underway.
Do you think the RBI will eventually change its attitude towards cryptocurrencies? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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