Top 10 crypto and blockchain stories of 2020 – Cointelegraph

Top 10 crypto and blockchain stories of 2020 – Cointelegraph

The COVID-19 pandemic dominated the news in 2020, affecting myriad sectors — health, economics, social justice, politics and trade, as well as the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. As country after country locked down to halt the virus’s spread, governments seized upon stimulus payments to preserve economic life. 

While necessary, these measures raised the specter of global inflation. This, in turn, pushed many traditional investors and institutions to take a new look at cryptocurrencies as an alternate store of value, especially Bitcoin (BTC), the top crypto. Following a March 11 dip, BTC went on a tear, reaching record levels by year end. With that as a backdrop, here are 2020’s top 10 stories of the crypto and blockchain world.

Bitcoin soars to record heights

The world’s oldest and most widely held cryptocurrency shattered price records and then some in 2020. Now, at the end of the year, Bitcoin’s market cap is standing at about $500 billion — surpassing Visa and Berkshire Hathaway — and its price on spot markets continues to inch toward $30,000.

The pre-rally record high of $19,850 was set in December 2017 by retail traders in Asia (many of which just discovering cryptocurrencies) driving the price, but this year, it was by mature investors continuously purchasing increments of Bitcoin and often holding it off-chain as a long-term investment, as the New York Times noted.

“We’re seeing fresh stories about institutional crypto adoption on almost a daily basis at this point,” Bitcoin
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A New Product Aims To Disrupt Free Credit Scores With Blockchain Technology – Entrepreneur

A New Product Aims To Disrupt Free Credit Scores With Blockchain Technology – Entrepreneur

A product team was assembled by Zoracles Protocol to map out a decentralized and confidential approach to receiving credit scores

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In this era of uncertainty and rapid advancements entrepreneurs need to build the focus on their credit scores, which depict their credit-worthiness and help determine the short-term and long-term financial help that they may seek from the organised sector. Free credit scores have been the foundation of an industry led by incumbents Credit Karma, Experian and Equifax. Usually most of the people don’t pay attention towards their credit scores and there are many who are not aware about what exactly a credit score is. As per Investopedia, a credit score is a statistical value or number which helps the lending parties to evaluate the creditworthiness of their customers based on their previous credit history. The pitch is simple, register and sign up on their website to receive your credit score that is currently reported by the major credit agencies. 

Consumers are then given opportunities to increase their score with ancillary products and services provided by Credit Karma partners like banks and lenders. They believe everyone wins if you sign up for a new credit card or create a new loan on their platform.

This model is very similar to the
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Blockchain Developers Are Focused on the Wrong Problem – Yahoo Finance

Blockchain Developers Are Focused on the Wrong Problem – Yahoo Finance

InvestorPlace

7 Cheap Stocks That Can’t Wait for 2021

Everyone loves a good bargain, right? Well, when the market endured that painful selloff in March, it drove down stock valuations. At the time, though, volatility was so high and there were so many unknowns that it was hard to pile into names. So, are there still cheap stocks to buy now? 
The short answer? Yes. That brutal second-quarter decline created a lot of cheap names. But in many cases, it’s been hard to tell what’s cheap and what’s a trap. That’s because we didn’t know how businesses would react to the new environment.
As we near the end of 2020, though — with all major U.S. stock indices at new highs — it’s pretty clear the market is doing fine. And there are still a number of cheap stocks out there, waiting to fetch a bid from buyers. InvestorPlace – Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Grading 10 of 2020’s Hottest SPACs in Preparation for the New Year I recently looked at some cheap picks that have become not-so-cheap over the past month or so. So, let’s see if we can find some other bargains now.
Alibaba (NYSE:BABA)
Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM)
AT&T (NYSE:T)
Gogo (NASDAQ:GOGO)
Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA)
Ally Financial (NYSE:ALLY)
Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) Cheap Stocks to Buy: Alibaba (BABA)
Source: testing / Shutterstock.com When someone clicks on an article about bargain stocks to buy, they probably
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Blockchain Developers Are Focused on the Wrong Problem – Yahoo Finance UK

Blockchain Developers Are Focused on the Wrong Problem – Yahoo Finance UK

The Daily Beast

Ritchie Torres Is Making Afro-Latino, LGBTQ Political History in Congress—on His Own Terms

When the history-making politician Ritchie Torres won his House seat in November, he told his mom, Debra Bosolet, “This moment belongs to you as much as it belongs to me, because I would not be here without your unconditional love.”On Sunday, when the 117th United States Congress convenes Torres will start his new job representing New York City’s 15th District—which includes the South Bronx, where he grew up. When he returned from his freshman orientation at the House of Representatives, he had dinner with his mom, his “hero.” She told him, “This is the first time I’ve had dinner with a congressman.”LGBTQ Leaders Watch Biden Cabinet Selections With Increasing AnxietyTorres said he was smiling as he recalled the moment to The Daily Beast in the mellifluous, even-toned way he speaks. It is the same tone he employed throughout our conversation, whether discussing politics or the extremely personal—the bullying he endured as a kid, growing up in poverty, contemplating suicide, the mental illness he has confronted, contracting the coronavirus, his disdain for “incompetent” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, his pride in being the first Afro-Latino, out-LGBTQ member of Congress, and his determination to be a politician representing the Bronx on his own terms.Torres’ calm,
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Pedal to the Metal in 2021 for Distributed and Decentralized Mobility – Ledger Insights

Pedal to the Metal in 2021 for Distributed and Decentralized Mobility – Ledger Insights

This is a guest opinion post from Tram Vo, Founder and COO of MOBI.

While considered by many to be one of the most difficult years for business, 2020 has been a catalyst for enterprise blockchain, notably for distributed and decentralized mobility. Call me biased. For both public and private sectors, the pandemic amplified the need to accelerate their digital transformation to emerge stronger, more efficient, and trusted. Blockchain can accelerate these transformations. The catch is scalable blockchain is a multi-team sport and requires cross-ecosystem collaboration. In 2021 killer apps will be about “collaboration to conquer.” Divided we fail.

Research and development take time, and so do regulatory adjustments, socialization, and collaboration. Early proofs-of-concept (PoCs) within corporate silos showed that while it was easy to register an asset on a chain and that various services could be replicated, there were no efficient, agreed ways to communicate, share, and settle with third parties outside the silo. Business protocols, standards, naming conventions, and, above all, networks for ecosystem business collaboration didn’t exist. While siloed blockchain applications could be built, they couldn’t scale. Without an ecosystem and cross-industry participation, the distributed applications had nothing to plug into, nothing to share, and not a lot of value to offer. Therefore no killer app. The iron rules of network economics apply to enterprise blockchain — the value of the network grows as the square of the participants and the square of one is still one.

Before the adoption of any revolutionary technology, industries
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SEC V. Ripple: The Cryptocurrency Trial Of The Century – Forbes

SEC V. Ripple: The Cryptocurrency Trial Of The Century – Forbes


Just hours before Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton left the building on December 23 at the end of his tenure, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple Labs Inc., alleging that it raised over $1.3 billion through the sale and distribution of the digital assets of XRP without registering. Ripple, founded in San Francisco in 2012, operates the RippleNet and the XRP payment protocol, considered superior to bitcoin with its improved ledger, faster settlement speed, and digital wallet for international transactions across 55 countries. Ripple is one of the titans of the new crypto industry in the U.S., developing real-economy products from revolutionary technology. 

Ripple’s blockchain-like exchange network is claimed to be an efficient, inclusive, and low-cost supplement (some say alternative) to traditional payment networks like the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) and others. The SEC suit does not allege fraud
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2021 blockchain predictions from Energy Web – Ledger Insights

2021 blockchain predictions from Energy Web – Ledger Insights

This is a guest opinion post from Walter Kok, CEO of Energy Web.

Three big themes we can expect for 2021: 1) Self-sovereign identity for users and assets, 2) Enterprise adoption of open-source blockchain tech, and 3) Economywide climate action

As we collectively look back on a very unexpected 2020, it seems only fitting that blockchain had the biggest impact in the sector where it started: in financial markets. The financial world is rapidly transforming and can no longer ignore digital cryptocurrencies. The evidence is simply overwhelming.

Numerous countries—from China and Singapore in Asia to Sweden and France in Europe to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East—are all exploring centralized bank digital currency (CBDC) equivalents of their respective fiat currencies. Crypto exchanges like Kraken are taking the unprecedented step of getting bank licenses. Decentralized exchanges are overtaking centralized incumbents (in August, for example, Uniswap surpassed Coinbase Pro in trading volume). And in mid-December Bitcoin reached an all-time high, for the first time crested US$23,000, mainly driven this time by the interest of large enterprises.

Meanwhile, the ‘data for free’ model that has existed for years is coming to an end, and not just because of legislation such as the EU’s GDPR and California’s CCPA. Consumers are fighting back against losing control of their own data as tech giants find themselves the target of lawsuits. In April, a U.S.
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Regulating the Food Supply Chain Through Blockchain – The Regulatory Review

Regulating the Food Supply Chain Through Blockchain – The Regulatory Review

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Blockchain technology could help the international fight against food product fraud.

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When a family in the United States eats a piece of fish for dinner, they could be eating seafood caught near Fiji by a Chinese vessel, shipped to a packing plant in Thailand, and sold to a distributor in Mexico before it ever reached a U.S. wholesaler and finally a supermarket chain in Chicago. And to complicate matters further, the selling name of a fish that travels through a global supply chain can vary across different countries or regions.

How, then, can any single country provide the regulatory oversight needed to protect consumers?

Food fraud regulations vary by country: Some are more tightly controlled, such as in the European Union and pan-European countries, while others are less so, such as in the United States and Australia. Monitoring and enforcement across borders is clouded by differing common food names, definitions of food-related illegal activity, and regulatory processes.

Transnational and often
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Investing in Zcash (ZEC) – Everything You Need to Know – Securities.io

Investing in Zcash (ZEC) – Everything You Need to Know – Securities.io

Zcash (ZEC) is a popular cryptocurrency and decentralized blockchain. The network is known for its focus on privacy. Zcash was the first coin to provide true anonymity on a public blockchain. This peer-to-peer network incorporates a combination of strategies to remain valuable including a capped supply, privacy options, and fungibility.

What Problems Does Zcash (ZEC) Solve?

The main problem Zcash attempts to rectify in the market is a lack of privacy. In the early days of the crypto market, people wrongly assumed that their transactions were private. In reality, the opposite was true. However, it was years before blockchain forensic firms became popular and shed light on this situation. Zcash empowers users with the ability to make anonymous transactions via the network’s unique systems.

Benefits of Zcash (ZEC)

Zcash introduces some valuable benefits to the market. Users can make purchases, investments, and donations with confidence because the network provides users with transparent and confidential transactions. Here are some of the best benefits of the network.

Privacy

Zcash is all about privacy. The network introduces Zero-knowledge proofs to encrypt all the information. This approach is a first in the market and has helped Zcash remain a top cryptocurrency since its inception.

Zcash Homepage

Zcash Homepage

Fungible

Zcash is fungible. Fungibility occurs when you have a currency
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BlackRock is hiring a blockchain VP – Ledger Insights

BlackRock is hiring a blockchain VP – Ledger Insights

BlackRock, the investment firm with $7.8 trillion in assets under management, has published a job posting for a Vice President, blockchain lead. The role isn’t for developing blockchain technology but for making investments in digital assets and blockchain firms.

The firm is looking for a business person rather than a technical candidate but someone who can provide a methodology for valuing crypto-assets and talk about topics such as hashing and consensus mechanisms. The person would need to understand decentralized governance models and be able to analyze a blockchain’s network’s design, especially concerning speed, scalability, privacy and security.

In April 2019, BlackRock hired former Ripple executive Robbie Mitchnick to lead its digital assets area. He also penned a paper outlining a methodology for valuing crypto-assets. In a podcast in September that year, Mitchnick was referred to as the firm’s ‘blockchain lead’ and outlined precisely the same performance trade-offs of speed, scalability, privacy and security.

Interestingly given the recent SEC action against Ripple, Mitchnick spoke about centralization. He said that scalability is only still a limitation for decentralized permissionless networks. “If you’re willing to sacrifice on true decentralization, and have a predetermined set of institutional validators, which in many use cases is a perfectly reasonable trade-off, then actually speed and scale can be orders of magnitude higher,” said Mitchnick.

And he went on to outline a long list of financial applications where he believes enterprise blockchain is relevant. These include payments, KYCSource…