What I’m Loving This Week!

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant”.  Robert Louis Steveson

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Swiss Bank Maerki Baumann to Become Second in Country to Accept Cryptocurrency Assets

Swiss Bank Maerki Baumann to Become Second in Country to Accept Cryptocurrency Assets

The Maerki Baumann private bank will become the second Swiss bank to accept cryptocurrencyassets, financial news outlet International Investment reports August 6.

The private Zurich bank has decided to accept crypto assets from payments received for services rendered, as well as those earned from crypto mining, as a response to new market demands and the rise of cryptocurrencies’ popularity, International Investment writes.

Maerki Baumann noted that they are not ready to provide direct cryptocurrency investments, but will provide “experts” to clients interested in crypto investing. According to their statement, the bank “closely monitors the development” of crypto as an investment vehicle and its “underlying regulation,” noting

“We currently see cryptocurrencies as alternative investment vehicles, but we have limited experience and data (prices, volatility, trading volumes) available in our house.”

However, the bank does state that they “currently advise against larger investments in cryptocurrencies,” adding

 “Crypto currencies [sic] are not, in our estimation, suitable for long-term investment due to the uncertainties outlined above.”

Earlier this summer, the Hypothekarbank Lenzburg had become the first bank Switzerland to provide company accounts for blockchain and crypto-related fintech companies. Last year, the Falcon Private Bank had received authorization from the Swiss Financial Supervisory Authority (FINMA) for managing Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies based on blockchain technology.

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Digital money is coming:… I would hate to say, “I told you so”!


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Only a Matter of Time Before SEC Approves Bitcoin ETF: Tech VC

bitcoin etf matter of time

The market is rapidly approaching the point of acceptance for a bitcoin ETF, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will eventually approve an ETF in the near future. This is the opinion of Fatfish Internet Group CEO, Kin-Wai Lau, speaking to CNBC last week.

According to Lau, what the market is experiencing is a “second wave rally” for bitcoin and cryptourrencies, a strong wave of demand driven by institutional investment entry and adoption. This he said, is generally a positive sign for early adopters and people with an interest in the sector. Going further, he also stated that the likelihood of the SEC approving a crypto market ETF is more a function of what organisation will successfully convince the SEC that it has the necessary tools to float an ETF.

He said:

“I think it’s a matter of time before we see the SEC approve an ETF. It’s just a matter of which organisation will be able to come out with comprehensive tools in terms of monitoring, surveillance, and ability to liquidity. there is a range of tools that need to be equipped, but it’s also readiness of the market. We’re not far away, maybe a couple of months away from the market accepting an ETF product. I think that’s what the SEC will be looking at.”

In Lau’s opinion, boosted bitcoin demand is being driven primarily by organic demand from everyday people around the world – a pattern that he says will not change in the run-up to the end of the year.

Responding to a question about what markers investors should be on the lookout for in terms of predicting bitcoin price movements, Lau stated that adoption, and not ETFs or other ‘abstract’ market instruments is what will substantially impact the asset price.

In his words:

“Adoption is what is driving the demand on ground. It’s being used widely in many countries and a lot of jurisdictions are starting to regulate it and approach it with a cautious but optimistic approach. That’s generally a couple of factors that will affect regulatory interest. It is geared up for a rally toward year end.”

CCN earlier reported that Crescent Crypto CEO Ali Hassan estimated the time frame for SEC approval for a bitcoin ETF at just about a year and a half from now.

This comes just a week after investment firm VanEck responded to the SEC’s concerns over crypto ETFs in a letter published on the agency’s website.

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Coinbase Brings Crypto Payment Option to Millions of Online Merchants

accept bitcoin coinbase woocommerce

Coinbase Commerce, a cryptocurrency payment provider, has announced a series of initiatives to support crypto commerce, including a WooCommerce plugin to give millions of merchants the option to accept cryptocurrencies, the ability to send bitcoin and litecoin directly, and other new capabilities. Coinbase believes the improved access will support adoption of cryptocurrency and a more open financial system.

The WooCommerce plugin, a WordPress e-commerce platform, currently supports more than 28% of all online stores, all of which now have the ability to accept cryptocurrency from customers worldwide, Coinbase noted on its blog.

Users can install the WooCommerce payment gateway from GitHub, from which they can download a zip file of the repository.

Plugin Easy To Install

Source: Coinbase

Coinbase earlier this year announced its plan to allow merchants to accept multiple cryptocurrencies within a user-controlled wallet. While the platform was designed to be a significant upgrade for merchants, it requires them to migrate to a new system, according to Reddit, which noted that some businesses — especially those with low cryptocurrency payment volumes  — could decide it is not worth the effort.

In March, Reddit, which began accepting bitcoin payments for its Reddit Gold subscriptions in 2013, announced it was no longer accepting bitcoin payments for its premium membership program after a user found she could not use bitcoin to gift another user a subscription. Reddit noted it was going to evaluate the demand and the progress of Coinbase Commerce.

Also read: ChainPay asks, ‘Why should just multinationals accept bitcoin?’ after bringing bitcoin to WooCommerce

Coinbase Offers Additional Functionalities

Coinbase, meanwhile, also recently began providing the functionality to allow users to send bitcoin and litecoin directly. The company also plans to introduce the functionality for bitcoin cash and ethereum.

Coinbase also announced that a “React” payment button can be installed on a website to enable cryptocurrency payments, whether the merchant wants to accept donations for an open source project or sell tickets to an event. The React payment button allows users to embed a Coinbase Commerce checkout within the React application.

Coinbase further announced a Coinbase Commerce API for Python library. The company will also provide client libraries for Ruby, PHP and Node.js.

All payments sent through Coinbase Commerce allow customers to send money directly from their crypto wallet to a merchant-controlled cryptocurrency address. Merchants do not incur transaction fees to accept payments and maintain full control of their funds.

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Bitcoin will eventually replace the U.S. dollar and all other fiat currencies. When this will happen, nobody knows. However, a recent UBS study concludes that for Bitcoin to replace the U.S. currency, it has to reach a value of about $213,000 USD.


Fiat money and traditional banking are a three-thousand-year-old concept and technology, which cannot efficiently support today’s economic model. Therefore, they have to be replaced by a neutral, borderless, and frictionless system, such as a decentralized peer-to-peer electronic cash system: Bitcoin.

According to the UBS report, Bitcoin needs to have a value of USD 213,000 to replace the U.S. dollar. In addition, Bitcoin needs to be “considered money or even a viable asset class.”

Granted, Bitcoin is not yet mature enough. It still requires a greater capacity for speedily processing high volumes of micropayments. In this regard, the UBS study states:

Our findings suggest that Bitcoin, in its current form, is too unstable and limited to become a viable means of payment for global transactions or a mainstream asset class.


However, contradicting the UBS report, there is the fact that Bitcoin is already an asset class, and it is being taxed as such.

Moreover, several financial experts and academics concur that Bitcoin is money. Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs told its clients so in a report entitled “Bitcoin is Money.”

On the other hand, new research from The Imperial College London and eToro confirms that Bitcoin fulfills the “store of value” role. This is one of the three main roles that cryptocurrencies must satisfy to function as money. Thus, the research paper notes, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin could be widely adopted as a form of payment within the decade.

The research paper entitled Cryptocurrencies: Overcoming Barriers to Trust and Adoption, specifies that cryptocurrencies need to fulfill three key roles to perform the inherent functions of money and achieve wide adoption: store of value, medium of exchange, and unit of account.

In this regard, Professor William Knottenbelt from Imperial College London and Dr. Zeynep Gurguc from Imperial College Business School, affirm,

Cryptocurrencies are already equipped to fulfill one of the three fundamental roles of traditional fiat money: acting as a store of value.

But to satisfy the remaining two roles, cryptocurrencies must first solve issues of scalability, design, and regulation. If cryptocurrencies can successfully address these issues, researchers say,

Given the speed of adoption, we believe that we could see Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on the high street within the decade.

The good news is that Bitcoin is already addressing its technical limitations, in areas such as scalability, fungibility, financial confidentiality, and privacy.

Specifically, technological improvements such as SegWit, Bulletproof, Lightning Network, and Atomic Multi-Path Payments over Lightning, and Bitcoin Core 0.16.0, are helping to solve Bitcoin’s scalability and security problems while reducing transaction fees.

Due to these advances in Bitcoin and other payment solutions, many predict the death of cash by 2020.

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NIKITA BLOWS | AUG 03, 2018 | 05:00

Enjoying the beautiful coastal state of Queensland in Australia just got easier for cryptocurrency holders. More and more merchants in the area are accepting virtual currencies as payment and in doing so, are assisting the state in growing its tourism sector.

Whether you’re getting geared up for the Great Barrier Reef or hoping to veg out on Vegemite, Australia is the country for you. Along with all of the beautiful views and unforgettable scenery, the land down under is hoping to add another attraction – cryptocurrency acceptance.

According to Finder, one of the country’s most popular states, Queensland, is ready to turn interest and intrigue into adoption with the help of TravelbyBit. The platform, which has the support of the Queensland government, makes it possible for merchants to accept cryptocurrency as payment. In addition to Bitcoin, customers can currently pay for their goods in Litecoin, Dash, Ether, and XEM.


Retailers in the state are not the only ones who benefit. Travelers coming into Australia, or locals who want to explore the world, can make use of the platform’s services to assist in booking their dream holiday.

TravelbyBit made headlines earlier this year when they collaborated with Brisbane Airport to allow a number of stores and restaurants in the terminal to accept virtual currency payments.


With a cash injection of just over $75,000 from the state’s government, TravelbyBit hopes to extend their reach to many other merchants within Queensland with an initial focus on the city of Bundaberg. Known for its Bundaberg Rum, as well as its Bundaberg Distillery, holders will be able to pay for their brew in cryptocurrency.

In showing its support, the state’s Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games, Kate Jones, said:

TravelbyBit has devised a clever way to make it easier for visitors to our state to pay for their purchases with a growing number of local businesses accepting cryptocurrency payments. I understand TravelbyBit is specifically targeting places like Bundaberg – using cryptocurrency to make it easier for tourists to book holidays.

The funding is part of the state’s Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas initiative which aims to promote tourism and job creation in the state by providing financial support to entrepreneurs and start-ups.

TravelbyBit made headlines earlier this year when they collaborated with Brisbane Airport to allow a number of stores and restaurants in the terminal to accept virtual currency payments.


This ability to create an easier travel experience for people is a highly important selling point. By using virtual currency, travelers won’t have to worry about exchange rates or finding innovative ways to conceal their local fiat currency. Travelers will also be able to explore unencumbered by dubiously fashionable fanny packs stuffed with Australian dollars.

TravelbyBit’s founder and CEO, Caleb Yeoh, discussed what the government’s funding would assist with:

With this next phase of technology, we are targeting a different brand of tourist – the tech-savvy traveller from anywhere in the world who are looking to book their travel experiences ahead of their trip and use digital currency to pay for their travels. They can now pay with Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum, XEM and soon, BNB.

Yeoh went on to add:

We have more than 150 merchants across Australia using our system and this funding, [which will help] to develop a purpose-built platform that will accept digital currencies from anywhere in the world, will allow us to add jobs not only directly to our team but also across the broader tourism industry.

This is, of course, not Australia’s first foray into this revolutionary industry. The country has recently partnered with tech giant, IBM, the latter of which will provide a range of services, some of which rely on blockchain technology.

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Bill Clinton to be keynote speaker at Ripple’s Swell conference

The headliners are consistent with Ripple’s focus on regulation, adoption and bringing customers together.

Former US president Bill Clinton will be the keynote speaker at Ripple’s Swell conference in San Francisco, on 1 and 2 October,

He will be giving some opening remarks on the first day, with Gene Sperling, the national economic adviser for the Clinton and Barrack Obama administrations (between 1996 and 2001, and 2011 to 2014) moderating a question and answer session.

The engagement cements Ripple’s reputation as one of the highest-profile blockchain and cryptocurrency companies in the world, and points at the industry in general being in a much more mature stage than it was at the same time last year.

Ripple clearly isn’t squandering the mass interest in blockchain and cryptocurrency that arrived in late 2017.

The agenda also includes representatives of central banks to explain what they see in blockchain, Ripple customers to describe how the company’s solutions have improved their lives, and in-depth discussion of the current regulatory state of play and headaches caused by intractable legacy payments systems.

It also has sessions specifically intended to connect potential future customers, satisfied current customers and suitable Ripple representatives to facilitate all of it.

The presence of so many current customers might be a curious facet of the nature of the technology, where network effects rule and everyone benefits from bringing more businesses online.

Indeed, at its heart Ripple products work by connecting customers with each other rather than with Ripple itself.

With that in mind, headlining an event with a former president will inevitably be controversial to an extent, given the inherently divisive nature of US politics.

Bill Clinton might be a safe bet though. More than half of XRP users identify as more left wing than right wing, which is unusual for cryptocurrency. A large part of Ripple’s current efforts is oriented towards embracing regulation of the cryptocurrency space which may also be seen as more the purview of “big government” Democrats than “small government” Republicans.

Plus, he’s just so darn affable. Bill Clinton is an impressive headliner for any company that can land him, and that a cryptocurrency firm is doing it might be a sign of how much the space has grown.

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Vancouver Bitcoin Mining Firm Installs 85 MW Substation to Power Massive Expansion Plans

Canada Quebec Bitcoin mining cryptocurrency

Vancouver-based DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc. recently announced that it had begun the installation of its 85-megawatt (MW) capacity substation, which will power the expansion of its crypto mining facility.

The new 85-megawatt capacity transformer and electric substation will be connected to the utility power grid when completed, and it will help expand its product offerings. DMG offers a range of products and services which includes Mining-as-a-Service, forensics, and blockchain analytics.

Mining-as-a-Service (Maas) has gained more popularity as companies are setting up mining rigs for clients who want to profit from mining without owning the hardware. A couple of firms such as Bitmain and Genesis Mining already offer Maas, but DMG expects to gain a more significant market share once its 85-megawatt substation is launched.

The company believes the new substation, when fully operational in September 2018, will “power the expansion of DMG’s flagship cryptocurrency mining facility.” The facility is also expected to become “one of the largest in North America,” and the new substation will boost the firm’s “hosting capability by more than 20 times.”

Sheldon Bennett, DMG’s COO, while commenting on the new development said:

“Building and managing a crypto mining operation at an industrial scale requires a world-class supply chain as well as direct access to local government and electricity providers. Our management team at DMG is unique in that we have the experience, the relationships, and the capital backing to do this successfully.”

DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc., is a diversified cryptocurrency and blockchain platform that is focused on “mining public blockchains” and  using ” permissioned blockchain technology to address the fraud and friction that plagues the movement of value through supply chains.”

Previously known as the Digital Mint Group, the company started out offering bitcoin mining to clients through Mining-as-a-Service before branching into blockchain services such as “blockchain software development as well as forensics and data analytics services for law enforcement customers.”

Earlier last month, cloud mining provider Coinmint decided to launch a $700 million mining facility in Massena, New York. The 435-megawatt capacity when completed in 12 months is expected to be the “world’s largest bitcoin mining center.

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Billionaire investor, Bill Miller believes Bitcoin is the cream of the crop as far as cryptocurrencies are concerned. The founder and chief investment officer (CIO) of Miller Value Partners also thinks that the top-ranked cryptocurrency is similar to gold. 


In a recent Bloomberg interview, the self-proclaimed ‘Bitcoin observer’ revealed that he is a Bitcoin investor both personally and as part of a partnership portfolio. He recognized the nascent nature of the market, declaring that no one knows how the asset will end up. Regarding his views of the asset itself, Miller said:

I think that it’s an interesting technological experiment. Every day that it doesn’t blow up or get regulated to zero, what’s going to happen is that more money flows into the ecosystem.

Many market experts have repeatedly said that the entry of institutional money is the next significant phase in the evolution of the cryptocurrency market. However, the entry of these big-money players is contingent on the emergence of robust custody tools as well as clear-cut regulations in the market.


When asked about whether his stance on Bitcoin extended to other cryptocurrencies, Miller said:

Most of them [cryptocurrencies] are probably worthless. Bitcoin is the most stable of the currencies. I think it has the greatest probability of being successful. There are others that people like, but that’s the only one I’m interested in.

Earlier in the month, another billionaire investor, Marc Lasry of Avenue Capital Group, said that Bitcoin is the virtual currency that will attract the most investors.

When asked about whether his stance on Bitcoin extended to other cryptocurrencies, Miller said: "Most of them [cryptocurrencies] are probably worthless. Bitcoin is the most stable of the currencies. I think it has the greatest probability of being successful. There are others that people like, but that’s the only one I’m interested in."


Concerning the appropriate classification for Bitcoin, Miller said that he sees the top-ranked cryptocurrency as a non-correlated asset that is most similar to gold. However, he stressed that BTC held some certain advantages over the precious metal, chief of which are its ease of transfer and ability to function as a medium of exchange.

Despite these advantages, Miller believes that BTC isn’t an yet an efficient payment system or a viable currency. Enthusiasts like Square CEO, Jack Dorsey, and Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak believe BTC can be the single global currency within the next decade.

Miller also predicted that if Bitcoin was able to attain a third of the total market value of gold, then institutions like banks might become more interested in the asset. The current BTC market capitalization stands at $140 billion which is 47 percent of the total cryptocurrency market.

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