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Could This Company And Its Cohorts Overshadow Cryptocurrency? Look What’s Coming

Could This Company And Its Cohorts Overshadow Cryptocurrency? Look What's Coming

Wall Street titans such as BlackRock and Goldman Sachs have backed a crypto company that has received more funding than almost every prevalent crypto project. In addition, this firm has funded the federal government's spending and has close connections to the Federal Reserve. It's anticipated that its stock will be listed on exchanges later this year. 

The company is Circle, the issuer of the USDC stablecoin, and it seems to be setting its sights on slowly dominating the crypto industry. It’s one company we must be mindful of if we value our financial freedom. 

Circle’s History

Interestingly, Circle didn’t start out as a stablecoin project; its history is rooted in the crypto industry and runs very deep. Circle Internet Financial Inc., or Circle, was founded in 2013 by Jeremiah Allaire and Sean Neville. Jeremy and Sean have been working together for decades to build and then sell or IPO cutting-edge technology companies, notably the Allaire Corporation and Brightcove.

One of Jeremy's oldest videos on YouTube is a presentation he did shortly before leaving Brightcove to create Circle. In this video, Jeremy explains how the final step of building a successful technology company is to exit. In other words, to sell to a more prominent company or list it on a stock exchange. Jeremy Allaire has also been involved with the World Economic Forum for many years and has videos on the WEF’s YouTube channel and a profile on the WEF’s website

Circle’s Vision

Jeremy has served as the chairman and CEO of Circle since it was founded, and Sean served as the president of Circle until late 2019, when he stepped down to join Circle’s board of directors. In the beginning, Circle’s focus was Bitcoin payments, similar to other payment companies like Visa and Mastercard, with a vision for bitcoin to become the base layer for a new financial system. However, the concept envisioned was not open and decentralized but closed and centralized. 

To set things in motion, Circle effectively tried to force Bitcoin to fit their vision by pushing for all the altcoin innovations, such as tokenization and smart contracts to the Bitcoin ecosystem. They also urged Bitcoin to increase its block size for scalability purposes, along with the founder of the Bitcoin Foundation, Gavin Andresen, and 60 other corporations. 

The efforts of these entities to increase Bitcoins block size hit their pinnacle in 2017 with the so-called New York Agreement. Furthermore, Digital Currency Group (DCG) reportedly oversaw the New York Agreement.  The DCG conglomerate owns Grayscale and CoinDesk and holds stakes in top crypto projects, including Coinbase and Circle. It’s not surprising that Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong also wanted to increase Bitcoin's block size. In short, 60 corporations tried and failed to convince the Bitcoin Community to increase Bitcoin’s block size. In short, 60 corporations tried and failed to convince the Bitcoin Community to increase Bitcoin’s block size.

Digital Currency Group 

A Rough Start For Circle

In the bull run of 2017, Circle had already raised around $27 million from Goldman Sachs and others. It used this capital to create a suite of crypto services, including an OTC trading desk, and purchased the Poleniex Exchange. Around the same time, Jeremy joined the International Monetary Fund as part of the IMF’s high-level Advisory Group on Fintech. 

For context, the purpose of the IMF is to ensure that the current US-centric financial system continues without interference from cryptocurrencies and other such technologies. Curiously, Circle and other Wall Street-funded crypto companies also held a closed-door meeting with the IMF in 2017, much to the scrutiny of the crypto community, and it seems there have been many meetings since. 

By this time, Circle realized Bitcoin was not the future of payments, although Jeremy still believes BTC is digital gold and could serve as the world’s next reserve currency and has stated he holds mostly BTC and cash. Central banks also hold alternative currencies as part of their balance sheets, with the US dollar declining.  

Since the conclusion that Bitcoin couldn’t be the payment platform, Circle and others turned to Ethereum, the next-best cryptocurrency. Ethereum grew significantly during the previous bull market cycle and established ETH as the second-largest crypto by market cap. They settled on the decision the build a US dollar stablecoin in 2017, and in 2018, Circle raised $110 million from Chinese crypto mining company Bitmain and others to build its stablecoin. 
That same year Coinbase and Circle founded the Centre Consortium to set standards for stablecoins issued on public blockchains and to govern the issuance and redemption of the USDC stablecoin. It’s important to note that any entity part of the Centre Consortium can mint and redeem stablecoins. 

The USDC stablecoin had a rough start when it launched in September 2018 because it was in the middle of a crypto bear market by then. So there wasn’t much demand for stablecoins, and USDC's market cap remained flat primarily during this period. 

Subsequently, Circle sold its suite of products and services to focus on its stablecoin in 2019. The buyers included Kraken’s purchase of Circle’s OTC trading desk and Tron founder Justin Sun, who reportedly purchased Poloniex from Circle.

The WEF, FED, and Synthetic CBDCs

In early 2020, Jeremy attended the WEF’s annual conference in Davos, where he preached about the power of programmable money. He also discussed the importance of a partnership between the public and private sectors to “support the development of global stablecoins backed by central bank money.” Circle also published a stablecoin white paper [pdf] for the WEF.

Image source: Circle Blog

In previous interviews, Jeremy stated that the assets backing USDC would inevitably be held at the FED. As a matter of interest, most stablecoins are backed by US government debt. So, when you buy a stablecoin, you are essentially subsidizing the US government spending. That is a bit of a worry, considering many use stablecoins for safety. 

According to Grant Thornton of the Centre Consortium, the USDC in circulation is backed by the following assets: 61% cash and cash equivalents, 13% Yankee certificates of deposit or CDs, 12% US treasuries, 9% commercial paper, 5% corporate bonds, and less than 1% in municipal bonds.

Almost all of the assets backing the largest stablecoins are some form of debt, i.e., money that’s been lent out. If you’re wondering why all these stablecoin companies hold so much debt, the answer is Interest. The companies behind these stablecoins can make money on their clients’ money by lending it. This makes it possible for Circle to make billions of dollars in passive income.

What’s important to understand is that Jeremy’s repeated prediction that the FED will hold USDC reserves relates to a Synthetic Central Bank Digital Currency. (sCBDC). Synthetic CBDCs involve a partnership between a private company, in this case, Circle, and the central bank of a country, the Federal Reserve, to issue a de facto CBDC, in this case, a de facto digital dollar. 

Unsurprisingly, the IMF and the WEF are particularly interested in this synthetic CBDC setup. The question is, which Blockchain will they agree on to power a synthetic CBDC? Will it be a private and permissioned blockchain created by a big bank or a cryptocurrency? Jeremy has consistently posited the prospect of a global stablecoin that will be modeled on the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights or SDR. The SDR consists of multiple national currencies, and Jeremy believes it will eventually include BTC. 

Image source: Coingecko

A Parabolic Shift For USDC

In mid-2020, the USDC’s market cap was on the move parabolically and continued to grow as  USDC expanded to new exchanges and smart contract cryptocurrencies. Algorand was one blockchain that USDC expanded to and seemed to have a very close relationship with both Circle and the Federal Reserve. Interestingly, Circle is based in Boston, Massachusetts, and in the same proximity as MIT, where Algorand founder Silvio Micali is based. 

CBDC reports by the FED note that the Central Bank partnered with MIT to develop its digital dollar and that the FED would begin testing quantum resistance on its would-be blockchain this year. As it so happens, Algorand recently achieved Quantum resistance by introducing State proofs.

Shortly after Circle announced its multi-chain framework, Wall Street veteran and former CLS Bank CEO David Puth was appointed the CEO of the Centre Consortium. You may not have heard of the CLS Bank; however, according to Jeremy, the CLS Bank is the “biggest bank that nobody knows” and, apparently, settles more than $2 trillion of transactions per day between the 70 largest banks on the planet. 

As per the Centre’s blog post, David's job is to ensure “the most significant transformation of the international monetary system since the formation of the Bretton Woods system.” Oddly enough, David recently stepped down from the Centre Consortium to become a senior advisor to Circle, possibly because of Circle's exponential growth, which began in 2021 as Circle raised a staggering $440 million from various crypto VCs, including DCG and FTX. 

During this time, Circle offered high-yield USDC accounts to institutional investors that were returning 8% – 11% yearly, according to an interview with Jeremy from February 2021. This eventually led to allegations by skeptical journalists that Circle was engaging in extremely high-risk, DeFi activities behind the scenes to earn this high yield. Note that this is the same stuff that crypto platforms like Celsius and Voyager Digital did before they went bankrupt. 

Stablecoins Scrutinized Over Collateral Quality

Following the collapse of the crypto market and the appointment of SEC chairman Gary Gensler, stablecoins began to experience a lot of scrutiny, including USDC. The backlash prompted stablecoin issuers to publish details about the assets backing all their billions of tokens in circulation. Paxos came out as the winner for collateral quality, and Circle has since changed the composition of the assets backing USDC to match those of Paxos’s BUSD. As it stands, the USDC in circulation is currently backed by around 80% short-term US Government debt, and 20% is backed by cash. 

Image source: Cointelegraph

Assuming short-term US Government debt means 2-year treasuries, it implies that Circle is earning a yield of around 4% on almost $40 billion of reserves. If you crunch those numbers, that equals over $100 million in pure passive income every month. This incredible potential for passive profit is probably why Circle managed to secure a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) deal for its stock to list on US exchanges.

Towards the end of 2021, Circle started to call for reasonable crypto regulations and seems to have lobbied to that end. The company also continued to expand USDC to other blockchains and started looking into stablecoins for other fiat currencies, notably the Japanese Yen and the New Zealand dollar. 

Also, in late 2021, Terra’s algorithmic UST stablecoin began to gain serious ground in DeFi protocols, where USDC had reigned supreme for almost two years. According to Decrypt, decentralized stablecoins try to avoid governance issues by maintaining their pegs through algorithms instead of through vast reserves of cash and debt. It also means their creation and destruction are done via voluntary free market arbitrage, and nobody can freeze or confiscate these tokens.

Note that all centralized stablecoin issuers have frozen tokens in the past. This occasional freezing of tokens is just the tip of the iceberg because, in a 2020 interview, Jeremy confirmed that Circle has the power to freeze all its stablecoins in circulation. This prospect is disturbing when you remember that Circle has uncomfortably close ties to Wall Street, the IMF, and the WEF. It's also disconcerting to consider that supposedly decentralized stablecoins, like MakerDAO’s DAI, are backed mainly by USDC. MakerDAO’s founder actually called for DAI to drop its peg to get off of USDC after Circle froze a bunch of tokens related to Tornado Cash. 

Digital IDs And BlackRock Emerge On The Scene

In February 2022, Circle announced the release of the Verite platform, which is instrumental in the rollout of digital identities in cryptocurrencies. Two months later, Circle announced that it had received another $400 million of funding in a round led by BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager. BlackRock and circle also entered a “strategic partnership,” which would see BlackRock manage Circle’s cash reserves. 

Image source: Decrypt

BlackRock's buy-in bought Circle’s total funding to well over $1 billion, and Crunchbase suggests that this figure is much higher, though the details of all these investments were apparently not disclosed. In any case, the market cap of Circle’s USDC hit an all-time high of over $55 billion in the aftermath of the collapse of Terras UST and the concerns around Tether’s USDT that arose during the chaos. 

Incidentally, in previous interviews, Jeremy had admitted that both stablecoins were competitors to USDC. As expected, Terra's collapse and the temporary de-pegging of USDT led to renewed calls for stablecoin regulation worldwide. It appears Circle has been involved in influencing the regulations relating to the EU’s final draft of the MiCA Bill. According to CoinBureau, this could be very favorable for Circle, in Europe anyway, and opines that it could also be the catalyst for the next bull run. 

Competition Is Rife

It’s nothing new if Circle is leveraging regulations, as incumbents have often used regulation to prevent competition. Even the Goldman Sachs CEO admitted that “burdensome regulation protects our business from startups” shortly after the bank invested in Circle in 2015. What’s interesting is that  XRP is a top competitor to the global system that Circle and the Centre Consortium are trying to create.

And it’s not just regulations these stablecoin issuers are competing with; Cryptocurrency exchange Binance recently announced it would end support for USDC and has since de-listed Circle’s prominent stablecoin. USDC's market cap has been slipping, but it took a plunge when Binance dropped USDC in September 2022. 

This means that Circle has to sell assets behind the scenes to ensure that the supply of USDC is in line with the lower level of demand for USDC following its de facto delisting. It's well within Binance’s right to make this move, and it just goes to show that crypto is hyper-competitive, and every crypto project and company has its way of cementing itself in the industry. 

In Circle’s case, this involves working with questionable global organizations and expanding on-chain, including issuing stablecoins denominated in currencies besides the USD to appease foreign governments and regulators. At this rate, it's more than likely that every national currency will have its own stablecoin issued by the Centre Consortium, a perfect synthetic CBCD. 

As with USDC, all these synthetic CBDCs will be backed by the government debt of their respective regions. It means we’ll all be subsidizing our government’s spending along with lower interest rates for institutions when the “powers that be” inevitably phase out cash. 

But Wait…There’s More

Image source: Coindesk

More recently, Circle announced that it would expand to five additional smart contract cryptocurrencies and introduce a cross-chain interoperability protocol for its stablecoins. It also announced that it had partnered with Jack Dorsey’s Block to bring USDC to Bitcoin and to think Jack Dorsey is a Bitcoin maximalist! 

Circle is also quickly taking over every smart contract cryptocurrency. With its stablecoin reserves being held by the FED, Circle could potentially have access to unlimited liquidity, aka the money printer. With the money printer in its grip, Circle will have the power to control every proof of stake smart contract cryptocurrency. Case in point, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin recently admitted that Circle would have the power to decide the future of forks on Ethereum due to its stablecoin liquidity. 

For what it's worth, it looks like Bitcoin’s BTC and physical cash will offer protection from the upcoming dystopia that Circle and its affiliates are not so subtly rushing to roll out. Which begs the question, why else would Jeremy hold most of his wealth in cash and BTC? Maybe, he knows what's coming? 

To Jeremy's credit, he wants stablecoins to be as cash-like as possible, meaning transaction privacy and no KYC. The problem is that the regulators will probably never allow this. As we already know, the institutions' that Circle has aligned itself with explicitly want to take control of every transaction we make forever. 

As mentioned earlier, Circle’s co-founders have a history of building up and then exiting cutting-edge tech companies. This raises the question of whether Jeremy and Sean will do the same with Circle once its stock has IPO’d via the SPAC. Circle could become the most valuable company on the planet if it succeeds in its mission of literally recalibrating the global financial system around stablecoins. 

The only issue with this analysis is that fiat currencies are failing, and stablecoins probably won't help much. Jeremy seems to be highly aware of this, and that is ostensibly why he's so bullish on BTC. As such, it's probably wise to watch whether he leaves Circle after its IPO. If he does, it probably means he knows that Circle will inevitably fail. 

On another note, if you’re wondering which blockchain Jeremy believes will support all of Circle stablecoins, the short answer is all of them. The Circle team seems to be genuinely blockchain agnostic, and Jeremy thinks each smart contract cryptocurrency will have a piece of the financial puzzle. In sum, Circle will probably become the most influential company in cryptocurrency, maybe even the entire world, but it will arguably fail because it's fundamentally leveraging failing fiat currencies.

Image Source: Markethive

The Optimistic Approach

A redeeming feature is that Circle’s domination will make the average person comfortable with cryptocurrency. With special thanks to Guy at CoinBureau for his insights and his take on the final objective, he postulates,

“If I had my tinfoil hat on, I’d tell you that was the end game all along. Partner with all international organizations and the financial system, convince them to adopt stablecoins, sneak BTC in through the back door with an IMF SDR stablecoin and turn BTC into the world's next Reserve currency.” 

That is an outcome we would all love to see because the alternative will see us perpetually enslaved by these technocrats. We must also remember that decentralized cryptocurrency is vastly different from a centralized digital currency and extremely difficult for so-called authorities to over-regulate. I doubt they even know what they’re dealing with to the full extent. 

We have committed and robust communities that are creating ecosystems with crypto utility, built on supply and demand with a free market principle, and will always have a place in society, even if it’s in a Parallel Economy. This is where entrepreneurs rise, reclaim their sovereignty and freedom, and thwart the misaligned, agenda-driven elite. I’ll follow up with an article where we’ll discover what the individuals in power are planning about a new kind of social credit score. It’s wise to be aware. 




Editor and Chief Markethive: Deb Williams. (Australia) I thrive on progress and champion freedom of speech. I embrace "Change" with a passion, and my purpose in life is to enlighten people to accept and move forward with enthusiasm. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.






Tim Moseley

Cryptocurrency Is Here To Stay Here’s Why

Cryptocurrency Is Here To Stay. Here's Why.

In 1995, many seriously claimed that Internet use was about to collapse. That has been one of the worst predictions ever made. Innovation and digitization are paving the way for a future world we can't imagine. Cryptocurrencies, Metaverse, and Web 3.0 are taking the world by storm, providing secure information on the Internet and a whole new virtual experience.

In just a few short years, cryptocurrencies have grown from a digital novelty to a trillion-dollar technology with the potential to disrupt the global financial system. Government officials worldwide have also voiced concerns about digital currencies' stability and risks. Having witnessed every internet fad, we believe this is not one.

Cryptocurrencies are a force, taking money creation and control away from central banks and Wall Street. However, critics say the new technology is completely unregulated in most parts of the world and gives more power to criminal groups, terrorist groups, and rogue states. They argue that power-hungry crypto mining is also destructive to the environment.

Depending on who you ask, cash will not remain king ever again. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the shift toward digital and contactless payments. It led to a more mainstream acceptance of physical cash alternatives like a cryptocurrency that will likely stay.

UK lawmakers recognize crypto as a financial instrument

British lawmakers in the House of Commons have voted to recognize cryptocurrencies as regulated financial instruments in the country. The proposal, introduced by Parliamentarian Andrew Griffiths, was approved by the House of Commons after its second reading on October 25.

Griffith's proposal seeks to include crypto assets as part of a service regulated by the proposed Financial Services and Markets Act. As such, cryptocurrencies are subject to the same regulation as other financial assets included in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2022, except for stablecoins payment.

After the bill is finally passed, the UK Treasury will have the power to regulate the crypto market. At the same time, Griffith said the Treasury Department would consult with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the framework fully maximizes its benefits and addresses the risks of the crypto activity.

How cryptocurrency is here to stay

The invention of cryptocurrencies has revolutionized how people exchange money and buy goods and services. Facilitating rapid and secure transactions is one of the most significant benefits of using cryptocurrency. Below are some reasons why crypto isn't going away any time soon.

The beginning of decentralization: We have entered an era where we can own and control all our assets. Decentralization provides financial freedom from changes in banks and governments. Without third-party involvement, it can provide greater transparency and better transaction security. A network built on the blockchain does not require the trust or knowledge of others. Decentralized finance (Defi) as a system can easily replace traditional financial processes for obvious reasons.

Peer-to-peer transactions: "Saving extra fees" is the most convincing factor for everyone. Intermediaries on financial blockchains added additional costs to transactions. More middlemen mean more money! The appeal of P2P is that you can transfer ownership of assets or goods without the involvement of a third party. Peer-to-peer transactions are transparent, secure, and less complicated. In short, peer-to-peer transactions provide privacy and no additional transmission costs.

Ease of use: We spend valuable time in long lines, filing and filling out forms and slips to send and receive money. Remember when our financial work was suspended due to server outages and holidays? Pretty scary! The advent of digital currencies has paved the way for endless possibilities. The undeniable advantage of digital currency is its ease of use. With a smart device, you can be your own bank, making transactions easier and time-saving.

Fraud Prevention/Transparency: We are constantly concerned about whether the banking details we enter lead to misconduct or whether third-party systems track our transactions and usage. Blockchain concerns user privacy, so data breaches are rare because it contains limited personal information. All transactions are encrypted between "digital wallets" and produce precise parity calculations in the ledger. Blockchain technology is poised to disrupt every aspect of our existence through this security.

Global acceptance: In the past, people had to invest more to send or receive payments across borders. By overcoming international borders, digital currencies promise flexibility and economic growth. Aside from the overall look, it's cheap, easy, and fast. Digital currencies can facilitate trade and provide multiple opportunities to strengthen the financial health of countries. There is no denying that digital currencies are securing themselves to be the currency of choice for future generations.


Cryptocurrency is here to stay since people have found it helpful in our fast-paced world. New cryptocurrencies keep popping up daily to meet users' needs; some have gained popularity among tech enthusiasts due to their unique features.

People are excited about using bitcoin as payment for goods and services and investment vehicles for traders. However, many factors still keep it from mainstream use today- especially compared to traditional currency systems. While there's always room for improvement, it is clear that this new form of currency isn't going away anytime soon!


ecosystem for entrepreneurs


About: Prince Chinwendu. (Nigeria) Rapid and sustainable human growth is my passion, and getting a life-changing opportunity into the hands of people is my calling. Empowering entrepreneurs provides me with enormous gratification. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.






Tim Moseley

Cryptocurrency Decentralization: What Does It Take To Become Fully Decentralized? Which Crypto Projects Meet The Criteria?

Cryptocurrency Decentralization: What Does It Take To Become Fully Decentralized?  Which Crypto Projects Meet The Criteria? 


What differentiates cryptocurrency from traditional finance technologies? Crypto is decentralized, whereas the financial system we have been locked into is centralized. It has undoubtedly been a hot topic since the first bitcoin block was mined in 2009, and now with regulators worldwide converging on the crypto industry, decentralization is more critical than ever. This article explains what decentralization means and looks at the different layers of decentralization in cryptocurrency and which cryptos are the most decentralized.

Decentralization Defined

What is decentralization, and why is it so important? According to this dictionary,  decentralization is the process of shifting control from one main group to several smaller ones. In business, decentralization describes a structure that distributes control among many smaller groups or locations rather than giving that power to a single, central organization. In government, decentralization is often thought of as a way to move power into the hands of individual citizens.

Image by: Markethive.com

As it happens, decentralization is a political philosophy that emerged in the aftermath of the French Revolution. Decentralization fits under the broader umbrella of Libertarianism, another political philosophy associated with the French Revolution, which puts Liberty Above All Else. Liberty is what cryptocurrency is all about; hence, the blockchain networks underpinning crypto are often designed with decentralization as a focal point.

However, it's not just decentralization at the blockchain level that matters. In many cases, being centralized at other levels makes decentralization at the blockchain level irrelevant. Complete decentralization is of the utmost importance, primarily for two reasons. 

  1. Security: When a cryptocurrency is decentralized from top to bottom, it’s almost always highly secure because there's no single point of failure. It also creates censorship resistance, as no central authority can decide what you can and can't do with your digital property. 
  2. Crypto Regulations: A genuinely decentralized cryptocurrency is next to impossible to regulate as there's no identifiable individual or institution that can be coerced or sanctioned. In other words, if a cryptocurrency is truly decentralized, it's challenging, if not impossible, for a central authority to shut it down.

Regulations will destroy crypto projects that are not truly decentralized, and they are the ones that are really not all that different from existing financial technologies. Below, we look at the five layers of cryptocurrency and how important decentralization is at each layer. CoinBureau.com coined the names depicting the various layers for simplicity.

Image source: Coin Bureau

Layer 1: Decentralization At The Developer Layer

The developer layer involves the individuals and institutions that create the crypto project. Arguably, decentralization at this level means the more unaffiliated individuals and institutions a cryptocurrency has, the more decentralized this layer is. Decentralization is vital at the developer layer for a few reasons. The first is regulation; you may know that the SEC uses the Howey Test to determine what cryptos to track. 

In short, this means that if the SEC can identify an individual or institution creating the expectation of profit you have when you invest in a particular coin or token, then that cryptocurrency is a security subject to strict regulations. 

So, what does the SEC think about cryptocurrencies with multiple individuals and institutions creating profit expectations for a particular coin or token? According to the now-famous 2018 speech by SEC director Bill Hinman, he stated that Ethereum wasn't a security because it's “sufficiently decentralized.” 

The second reason why decentralization is essential at this layer is longevity. Simply relying on a small group of individuals or institutions for development means there’s a high risk a crypto project will sink if the core team disbands. One example is the recent departure of the DeFi star developer Andre Cronje, with many of the crypto projects he left behind now facing severe uncertainty. 

The security of the cryptocurrency is the third reason decentralization is important at the developer layer. This is simply because relying on a small group of individuals or institutions for security is much more likely to be compromised by either internal or external actors. A recent example is the hack of Axie Infinity’s Ronin side chain, where the hacker managed to take control of the private keys belonging to Ronin's validators by hacking Sky Mavis, the company behind Axie Infinity and Ronin. 

Layer 2: Decentralization Of A Coin Or Token

The second layer, which is coin or token decentralization, ties in with the first, specifically the distribution of a particular coin or token. The coin or token layer is where the definition of decentralization becomes exceptionally nuanced. It varies from crypto to crypto, along with the effects of centralization at this layer on a cryptocurrency’s market cap, governance structure, and blockchain security.

For all cryptocurrencies, the distribution of a coin or token must be decentralized. In other words, evenly spread out because if a handful of whales hold most of the supply, they can easily manipulate the price. For coins or tokens used in voting for changes to a cryptocurrency’s project, blockchain, or protocol, centralization at the coin or token level means that a handful of token holders can easily monopolize significant decisions about the project. 

For coins belonging to a proof-of-stake cryptocurrency blockchain, if a handful of wallets hold most of that coin supply, they pose a security threat to that cryptocurrency’s blockchain. Although many have come close, there’s yet to be a proof-of-stake cryptocurrency subject to this type of corruption. That’s why Solana actively monitors how much its largest validators are staking to ensure their blockchains remain secure. 

Note that decentralization at the coin or token layer is also essential for proof-of-work cryptocurrency coins because of the price manipulation factors. If too much of the supply of a proof-of-work coin is held by a handful of whales, they could crash the price below the point where it would still be profitable for miners to process transactions on its blockchain. 

Layer 3: Infrastructure 

The third layer of decentralization in cryptocurrency is the infrastructure layer. This refers to the different technologies you use to interact with or access cryptocurrency blockchains. Although many may think crypto wallets, cryptocurrency exchanges are arguably first on the list in any cryptocurrency infrastructure. That’s because it's challenging and sometimes impossible to acquire a coin or token without using a centralized exchange. 

It may seem a bit of a paradox, but for quite a while, centralized cryptocurrency exchanges were surprisingly decentralized as many didn't have an official headquarters. Sometimes, even the company running the exchange didn't even exist. It was just a series of subsidiaries registered in countries with little to no regulation. 

Often, these subsidiaries were established by various individuals or institutions where the people and the physical infrastructure were spread out worldwide in mostly unknown locations. However, this isn’t the case today, as most cryptocurrency exchanges have been forced to register with regulators and impose KYC on their users. The KYC aspect isn’t necessarily bad but leads to centralization as the non-compliant exchanges are shut down. 

Decentralization at the infrastructure layer has also been problematic for some of the most significant crypto projects. It’s an issue for Ethereum because many of Ethereum’s applications rely on Infura for infrastructure to interact with the Ethereum blockchain, including the Meta Mask browser extension wallet. 

As a result, many of Ethereum's services go offline whenever Infura has an outage. It’s only happened twice in the last few years, but it continues to be a wake-up call for the Ethereum community.  Another big wake-up call has been in Infura’s recent decision to begin blocking access to any services using its technology where the end user lives in a sanctioned country. 

Layer 4: The Blockchain Layer 

The fourth layer of decentralization in cryptocurrency is the Blockchain layer. It’s often the layer that's referred to when you hear or see anything related to decentralization in cryptocurrency. Similarly to the coin or token layer, decentralization at the blockchain layer can look very different depending on the cryptocurrency in question; in some cases, the number of nodes doesn't necessarily matter.

Algorand is an excellent example of this, as its blockchain has thousands of participation nodes involved in consensus. However, all transactions on Algorand are processed by a smaller group of 120 relay nodes, most run by the entities behind Algorand and its affiliates. Some would argue that Algorand is technically decentralized because its relay nodes don't participate in consensus, but others disagree. 

Solana, whose mandate is to support its blockchain's decentralization, security, resilience, and adoption, has over 3,400 validator nodes across six continents, including over 1900 consensus nodes, according to its first-ever “Validator Health Report.” Furthermore, an average of 95 consensus nodes and 99 RPC nodes have joined the network every month since June 2021. A large, diverse set of validator operators are essential to maintain a resilient, distributed and credibly neutral network for global usability.

Image source: Solana

There are 1,900 block-producing nodes on the Solana network, but that doesn’t mean all 1,900 are separate entities running each of these nodes. Several companies have built businesses off of running multiple validators on multiple chains. However, it’s critical for the health of the blockchain that no single entity builds up too much control over the validator network of the chain, even if their running multiple validators.

The Solana Foundation has verified that of 1,915 consensus-producing validators, at least 1,688 (88.14%) are run by independent entities. The remainder may also be independent of each other, but it has yet to be verified. 

The other critical issue is centralized Cloud Computing Services, and almost every cryptocurrency uses servers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) for their Blockchain operations.  The decentralized exchange (DEX) protocol, dYdX, went down during the AWS outage last December, and a handful of other cryptocurrencies were also affected. 

Some crypto projects took the AWS outage as a sign that they must ensure all their validator nodes aren't all relying on the same centralized infrastructure. Others have gone as far as integrating with decentralized cloud providers, like Akash Network.

On another note, AWS and Azure have been guilty of banning or suspending newly established free-speech platforms from their hosting services, leading to some forward-thinking crypto social network platforms building their own independent cloud servers. 

Another centralization issue at the blockchain layer for many crypto projects is the storage of their complete transaction histories. You could have a blockchain with thousands of validators leveraging all kinds of computing services, but if only a handful of them have access to the entire transaction history, it’s possible it may result in transaction manipulation, so it would be difficult to determine that the Blockchain is decentralized. 

Only a few crypto projects have been transparent about how their full transaction history is being stored. One of them is Bitcoin, whose full nodes store its full transaction history. There are currently around 15,000 Bitcoin nodes worldwide, arguably making it the most decentralized at the blockchain layer. 

Image source: https://bitnodes.io/

Layer 5: The External Layer 

The fifth and final layer of cryptocurrency decentralization is the external layer. As the name suggests, the external layer is everything cryptocurrencies rely on that isn't necessarily exclusive to cryptocurrency. This is where the definition of decentralization gets complicated because the external layer includes websites, internet service providers, and in some cases, financial institutions. 

Websites for almost every crypto project are hosted on a centralized service. Although some crypto projects are okay with it, it creates a real problem for decentralized applications and other interactive Web3 technologies. The world’s leading decentralized exchange, Uniswap, was forced to delist 100 tokens from its interface, which calls its purported decentralization into question. This has prompted other DeFi protocols like Aave to migrate their front ends to decentralized storage solutions, like the Interplanetary File System. (IPFS)

It gets interesting with internet service providers (ISPs) mainly because banning ISPs from allowing their users to access cryptocurrency-related websites, albeit limited to select countries, has proven that it’s possible. Although it’s presumably unlikely to be enforced elsewhere, the worst-case scenario is that we could see governments dictate that ISPs stop serving cryptocurrency miners and validators. Fortunately, Blockchain projects are hoping to decentralize the internet itself using peer-to-peer signals on open-source infrastructure.

Banks also fit into the external layer with their defacto digital dollars. These are the Stablecoins like USDT, USDC, and BUSD and have some of the largest market caps in cryptocurrency. This is because there's always demand for stablecoins, regardless of market conditions. Also, most of the crypto market's trading volume involves stablecoins. And that means they are one of the core technologies that make most of the cryptocurrencies possible in their current form.

This is why a stablecoin crackdown is one of the biggest threats to the crypto industry. All regulators would have to do is restrict access to the reserves backing the stablecoins in circulation, which centralized financial institutions hold. In fact, most of the reserves backing the USDC stablecoin are in the custody of the world's largest asset manager, Blackrock. More about that in a forthcoming article. 

Image by: Markethive.com

Which Cryptos Are The Most Decentralized?

According to a survey conducted by Cointelegraph of various experts in the crypto industry, there aren’t any cryptocurrencies that come close to Bitcoin's overall decentralization. Bitcoin is leading the charge because dozens of individuals and institutions are building on Bitcoin. Also, BTC supply is broadly distributed, there's no shortage of infrastructure available to interact with the Bitcoin blockchain, and the Bitcoin blockchain has over 15,000 full reachable nodes. 

Considering the five layers explained above, no cryptocurrency has yet scored ideally on all criteria. Even Bitcoin falls short at the external layer. Also, some believe Ethereum’s decentralized applications are more critical as users can participate in fully-fledged economies, whereas that’s not possible with Bitcoin. 

So we could say Ethereum is a runner-up, along with Monero, but as mentioned above, Ethereum decentralization still seems to be lacking on some layers. As for Monero (XMR), it’s constantly at risk of getting delisted from centralized exchanges due to unreasonable crypto regulations.

It’s evident that most of the more decentralized cryptocurrencies have been around for a long time, and many believe that it’s ultimately ‘time’ that has allowed Bitcoin to decentralize so much. However, technology is evolving at a much faster pace today, and it looks like Solana and Cardano may well be the next runners-up. 

A Lifeline For Emerging Decentralized Social Media and Marketing Platforms.  

This is good news for other sectors like social media, marketing, and digital broadcasting. With all the events and censorship issues around social media and tech giants, given their propensity to ban or suspend their services to individuals and companies that go against their narrative, a decentralized blockchain that can handle large crypto-based communities and be part of a parallel economy is of the utmost importance. 

The crypto and blockchain projects that uphold the interests of entrepreneurs and advocate for free and critical thinking are paving the way. They will ensure that individuals and the developing ecosystems will have the financial freedom, liberty, and sovereignty that is fundamentally our right of passage, which seems to be all but forgotten by the monopolies and so-called authorities and their over-zealous regulations. 



Editor and Chief Markethive: Deb Williams. (Australia) I thrive on progress and champion freedom of speech. I embrace "Change" with a passion, and my purpose in life is to enlighten people to accept and move forward with enthusiasm. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.






Also published @ BeforeIt’sNews.com; Steemit.


Tim Moseley

Does This New Trend Correlate With This Flagrant Prediction?

Does This New Trend Correlate With This Flagrant Prediction?

By now, many of us have heard of the declaration, “You’ll own nothing and be happy,” cited by Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum and all part of The Great Reset. Yet, only a few believe this infamous prediction will actually become a reality. Sadly, our ownership of things is vanishing, and many of us unwittingly embrace this new normal. 

There is an alarming trend permeating every sector of the economy, and in this article, we’ll cover where this trend came from and why cryptocurrency could be the only defense. The following will explain how “they” plan to make you happy while owning nothing, and there can be no doubt it’s nothing to be happy about. 

The Ownership Predicament

One of the things we all believe we own is our mobile phone. An essential item that all of us have and these days has become an extension of ourselves, and it’s difficult to function without it. So, the question is, how often do you need to change or upgrade your phone due to poor performance? 

Statistics show that we change our phones every 2 to 3 years, consistent with the battery's life span. A solution to the periodical upgrades would be just to install a new battery so you can enjoy your phone for another two years until you need to replace the battery again, and so on. Well, that’s the theory.

Image source: rapidrepair.in

In practice, however, changing the battery is not so simple and can damage the phone, providing you can actually get a replacement battery. In the case of newer iPhone models, the phone will detect when you've replaced the battery and give you all manner of warning messages, which push you to go to the Apple Store for an extensive repair, which could cost as much as a new phone.

Now, critics of this scheme have accurately observed that the inability to independently open, modify or repair a device that you own means that you don't actually own it because ownership literally means the ability to do all of the above and more. 

These and other issues have given rise to a global movement called Right To Repair, which has pressured Apple and other tech giants to make repairs more accessible, albeit to a limited degree due to the lobbying power these corporations wield. 

However, the right to repair doesn't entirely eliminate the underlying ownership issue. Did you know manufacturers slow down a smartphone’s performance to force you to buy a new one? 

Samsung was fined for this practice in 2018, and as usual with all the big tech companies, Samsung’s fine amounted to nothing more than a rap over the knuckles compared to the profits it probably made from artificially slowing down phones. It’s something that the company is allegedly still doing today, and this level of control negates any aspect of ownership. 

Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko with Solana smartphone. Image: Solana Labs/Decrypt

On a positive note, Solana has developed a smartphone that has unique functionalities setting it apart from other phones. It is a web3-enabled device that features tight integration with the Solana blockchain. Anatoly Yakovenko, the co-founder of Solana, believes the key to unlocking the potential of crypto is to bring it into everyone’s hands. Solana Mobile bridges this gap by allowing easy access to the world of crypto and web3 and provides greater adoption and understanding of crypto. 

The project is an open-source platform that aims for widespread adoption and seeks collaboration from other smartphone manufacturers. If these companies believe crypto is important enough, then billions of users can have the opportunity for self-custody. This has the potential to disrupt the industry, creating a new ecosystem that is not burdened by legacy software and hopefully minimizes artificial manipulation.

Planned Obsolescence 

The practice of forcing people to upgrade through some nefarious means has found its way into everything from household appliances to hospital equipment, and it’s not a new practice. It’s been around for nearly 100 years, known as Planned Obsolescence. The term was coined by an American real estate broker named Bernard London in a paper titled “Ending the Depression through Planned Obsolescence," published in 1932.

Bernard said that the Great Depression made no sense because “factories, warehouses, and fields are still intact and are ready to produce in unlimited quantities, but the urge to go ahead has been paralyzed by a decline in buying power and, by extension, a decline in demand.” Given this situation, Bernard proposed the following solution;

“I would have the government assign a lease of life to shoes and homes, and machines to all products of manufacture, mining, and agriculture when they are first created, and they would be sold and used within the term of their existence, definitely known by the consumer. After the allotted time had expired, these things would be legally dead and would be controlled by the duly appointed governmental agency and destroyed if there is widespread unemployment.”

In other words, everything produced in the economy would be artificially made obsolete by the government at a specific date to cause the population to consume more. So that the economy recovers while simultaneously providing ample employment, further fostering economic growth. 

Bernard's problematic idea of planned obsolescence never really caught on because, arguably, it was the second world war that ended the Great Depression. This is primarily because the post-war period was one of incredible prosperity, particularly for the United States, as it managed to reap much of the rewards of victory while incurring little in the way of losses compared with its allies. Also, the US dollar had just become the world's reserve currency.

Image source: Investopedia

More importantly, the populations of countries like the United States and Canada exploded after the second world war; hence the generation referred to as Baby Boomers. It’s important because the rapid increase in population meant a rapid rise in consumption, so there was no need for planned obsolescence business practices. 

Companies could comfortably sell high-quality hardware that would last for decades because they knew there would always be another wave of buyers coming next year as more baby boomers became adult boomers. However, by the 1970s, it became clear that baby boomers weren’t having the same number of children as their predecessors.

Ostensibly, many western countries tried to fill this future demographic gap by introducing immigration, and this seems to have worked for a while. However, by the early 2000s, it turned out that immigration alone wasn't enough to fill the demographic gap, which continued to grow as companies needed increasingly future consumption to continue their future expansion. 

Meanwhile, native birth rates continued to decline, and this seems to be the period when Bernard's idea of planned obsolescence started to become a reality. Companies were effectively forced into selling low-quality products requiring a repurchase every few years to continue consumption trends in the absence of a growing population. 

Hardware As A Service

So, what does all of the above have to do with us owning nothing and being happy? If you’re an iPhone user, you may recall that Bloomberg reported that Apple would be rolling out a subscription service, and it’s nothing like their current service. It applies to the hardware, not the software, meaning that the subscription service will be for the physical phone itself. 

Louis Rossmann, a popular YouTuber, and computer repair shop owner who has gone head-to-head with anti-repair corporate lobbyists, reacted to the Bloomberg article, pointing out that a service is when someone or something does something for you. A phone is not a service; it’s a product, and it should be yours entirely from the moment you purchase it. 

Louis also highlighted that many Wall Street investors are pushing for publicly traded companies to adopt this so-called Hardware as a Service business model (HaaS) because it will make them trade at higher valuations, regardless of their actual earnings. 

This sounds disturbingly similar to the ESG investment trend, which effectively consists of asset managers moving their money into companies that comply with their ever-changing criteria, causing their stocks to pump even though no actual profits are being made.

Hardware as a service satisfies Environmental criteria because the number of devices in circulation can be reduced, and the ones in circulation can be reused. Any old devices can be easily recycled; you'll likely need to give back your old device to get a newer version. 

Hardware as a service also satisfies Social criteria because everyone will have subscription services for the same devices. There will be no phone with a better camera or a bigger memory.  Nor will there be a faster or slower, bigger or smaller car, which means everyone will be truly equal. 

Hardware as a service satisfies Governance criteria because it will put the company producing the product in total control of its creation, use, and destruction. Furthermore, HaaS will result in actual profits because people will pay for subscription services for just about everything they have in their possession until they die. 

Whereas Planned Obsolescence was formulated to solve the Great Depression, it appears that Hardware as a Service is being introduced to ensure consumption continues to increase even as the demographic decline continues. 

HaaS is not likely to be forced upon us consumers. As we’ve recently seen in other products, applying too much force tends to result in an equal or more significant amount of resistance because people know something is up when they don't have a choice. 

Instead, however, the ability to own anything will likely become ever more difficult as time goes on, starting with items that tend to be the most expensive purchases for the average person. Housing is at the top of the list, with costs going through the roof. 


Image source: The Guardian


The housing market and the rising costs in this sector of the economy will eventually cause the population to push politicians to do something—for example, Berlin’s campaign to resocialize housing. One of the outcomes could be that the government starts nationalizing housing. In other words, taking it away from landlords in the name of the greater good, and while these policies will be directed towards the big fish at first, the small fish will come next, just like with taxation. 

Alternatively, if the housing market collapses, we could see asset managers like Blackstone swoop in and acquire as many properties as possible with the freshly printed money they received from their respective central banks. Basically, you’ll rent from the government or Wall Street. 

Personal Transport Vehicles

The next item on the list is vehicles of all kinds. A lot of activity is already in play by car-sharing companies, electric scooter companies, and shared bicycle companies. There’s every chance these entities are extracting as much data as possible in preparation for HaaS models for similar vehicles. And the fact that many of these companies continue to receive large investments, despite being barely profitable is evidence of this effect.

Interestingly, HaaS in cars is likely a reason why there's such a massive push for electric vehicles. That's because it's easy to break the rules of a sharing economy when the car is powered by petrol and hardware, but it's much harder to break the rules when the vehicle is powered by electricity and software. 

Moreover, there's a limit to how many electric cars can be made because there doesn't seem to be enough lithium on the planet to replace existing vehicles with electric cars, according to the World Economic Forum's own research. So it effectively guarantees that electric vehicles will need to be shared. 

Phones And Computers

Phones and computers will probably be the third class of products to get sucked into the hardware as a service scheme, but the average person could take quite a while to accept it. That's because phones and computers are frequently listed as a person's most valuable possessions, primarily because it's something that you can truly shape to meet your personal needs.

These devices also contain lots of sensitive personal data that you'd rather keep to yourself and not share with anyone. Keeping track of phones and computers would also be very difficult without a digital ID, which is also a prerequisite for the rollout of Central Bank Digital Currencies and internet censorship, which the powers that be have explicitly stated they want to enforce.

Is The Tradeoff Worth it? 

The number of people on board with this Hardware as a service idea seems to be increasing. This is simply because an increasing number of people can't afford a home, a car, or even a quality computer or phone. But many think the tradeoff is too great, given that we are all unique, inherently sovereign human beings with Divine free will bestowed upon us. It’s not in our nature to be enslaved by any physical entity without the freedom to make choices, grow and prosper.

There is something precious that we do own, and that is ourselves. The few things we should have a right to own are ultimately an extension of ourselves. They allow us to exercise ownership of ourselves in the world so long as the path to ownership exists. This is why having a place to call home, a way to get around, and the ability to communicate and express oneself is objectively vital and universally sought after. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. 

I can’t imagine anyone being “happy” in a world where the path to ownership of literally everything except our physical body is obstructed. To make matters worse, we may even lose ownership of ourselves because of a digital ID “they” plan to roll out.

What’s The Solution? 

It should be clear by now that our current financial system is not working, and some say it hasn’t been working for decades or even longer because it’s not just Hardware as a Service, as Planned Obsolescence was proposed almost 100 years ago. As all crypto enthusiasts know, cryptocurrency was built to replace this broken financial system. Although cryptocurrency still has a very long way to go, it has already fixed one of the most critical aspects of finance: the ability to truly own your assets. 

Image source: wtfhappenedin1971.com

Some may consider this is nothing new, but it really is! The money in your bank can be seized, and authorities can confiscate any physical property you have. Even your house can be taken from you if you don't pay your taxes, and in some countries, the government can take your property at will using Eminent Domain.

Some might think this is fine, but it's not. These are the sorts of legal levers that governments and corporations are slowly starting to pull to take control of everything you own. Once realized, it’s easier to understand why the Entrepreneur and CEO of MicroStrategy, Michael Saylor, is a colossal Bitcoin advocate. 

Image source: Markethive.com

BTC can't be seized because a third party does not technically own it. It can't be confiscated because it's not physical. And it can't be taken by the government through some obscure law because the only law in crypto is immutable computer code. This makes BTC the best hedge against a world where you will own nothing because it guarantees you will own something.

A growing number of companies and individuals also realize what’s happening and are building a Parallel Economy to counter the “woke trend” and the elite pushing for this new world order and planning the great reset of the world. We must be aware of what’s happening and what’s in store before we are blindsided. Be part of communities that believe in liberty, financial sovereignty, and the freedom to live the way we have been accustomed to so that the legacy may continue for future generations. 



Editor and Chief Markethive: Deb Williams. (Australia) I thrive on progress and champion freedom of speech. I embrace "Change" with a passion, and my purpose in life is to enlighten people to accept and move forward with enthusiasm. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.





Tim Moseley

Challenging The Crypto Winter’s Devastating Effects Safeguard Your Portfolio and Hang In There

Challenging The Crypto Winter’s Devastating Effects. Safeguard Your Portfolio and Hang In There

Bitcoin and Ethereum prices are down more than 50% this year as inflation and rising interest rates prompt investors to seek safe-haven assets. CNBC confirms that cryptocurrencies have lost more than $2 trillion since their 2021 highs, and not everyone thinks the bear market will end anytime soon. In 2017, the crypto industry witnessed exponential growth. Many crypto enthusiasts saw it as a way to save money and make transactions more secure. 

However, some investors were skeptical of the space when prices were skyrocketing. They believed prices would continue to rise and that many people would profit from cryptocurrency investments. Nonetheless, there were still areas of great concern about the asset. Many have struggled with crypto losses in recent months. Is the crypto winter here to stay?

Many investors became cautious when the crypto market began to decline earlier this year. Prices had dropped considerably from their all-time highs. Some people even believed the market was crashing, leading to mass sell-offs. This led to a massive reduction in the overall cryptocurrency market cap. Although the market has shown signs of recovery, prices are still lower than at the beginning of the year.

As many investors lost faith in cryptocurrencies, many companies suffered as well. Many businesses stopped accepting crypto as payment for goods and services. This left many companies unable to pay their bills and operate normally. Some small businesses even went bankrupt due to a lack of bill payments. Additionally, government agencies began reducing their services for crypto businesses; some even stopped accepting applications from local businesses. All those working in the crypto space saw a drastic drop in their income after January prices.

Fortunately, many people have turned to cryptocurrencies to save money. Typical banks give meager amounts of interest on savings accounts. However, several banks now offer accounts with 0% monthly fees. Some people have even turned to cryptocurrency as an alternative form of investment. Although the market is far from optimal, it's working for those in need of protection against loss of income.

The crypto winter is still prevalent worldwide. Prices remain lower than they were at the start of this year. Several companies have cut jobs and services due to decreased revenue. Chances are that things may become much more alarming than they are already.

What Caused the Crash?

The cryptocurrency market crash began earlier this year as rampant inflation prompted the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates and cool the economy. Despite being a hedge against inflation, cryptocurrencies are more closely correlated with tech stocks than gold prices. The rapid decline of the tech industry has accelerated the collapse of cryptocurrencies.

Algorithmic stablecoins are the next victim. Its sister coin, Luna, fell to zero as investors began dumping TerraUSD (UST), the stablecoin shedding the dollar. While Terra-based Defi protocols like Anchor and Astroport died instantly, leveraged hedge funds holding Luna were the most prominent victims.

For example, Three Arrows Capital (3AC) lost $600 million in the UST/Luna collapse. The hedge fund also had a $1.2 billion highly leveraged position in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, the value of which fell to $550 million. Unsurprisingly, it defaulted on Voyager Digital's $650 million loan and went bankrupt.

The bankruptcy of 3AC had a domino effect on the entire industry. The hedge fund's creditor list brought not only Voyager Digital out of business but also Genesis Trading, CoinList, DeFiance Capital, and FalconX. The companies are still solvent, but massive losses could force them to scale back their growth plans and ambitions.

The collapse of UST and the bankruptcy of 3AC caused many investors to withdraw their funds from the crypto ecosystem. Unfortunately, many Defi protocols rely on two-way liquidity to function and run into problems. Celsius' stETH, in particular, started trading at a discount, making it difficult for the group to raise funds for redemption.

Meanwhile, several high-profile hacks have accelerated those losses and dented consumer confidence. Crypto startup Nomad, for example, lost about $200 million and did not disclose whether customers would receive refunds if funds were not recovered. The robbery comes just a month after Harmon Horizon lost about $100 million to a similar bridge attack.

Potential Long-term Effects

What does crypto winter mean for mainstream crypto adoption? Will this accelerate or impede the efforts of the industry players to make digital assets a standard payment method? The industry has beheld new ways for consumers to pay with cryptocurrencies instead of fiat, suggesting the answer may be uncertain.

The crypto winter has led to a crisis of confidence among retail and institutional investors. For example, Coinbase saw a sharp drop in trading volume and had to cut 18% of its workforce to cut costs. At the same time, many crypto miners are experiencing profitability problems due to the low prices of many tokens.

The good news is that FTX's Sam Bankman-Fried has become a JPMorgan-like figure, bailing out cryptocurrency projects and helping the market stabilize in the short term. For example, he provided a $250 million loan to bail out crypto lender BlockFi and a $200 million line of credit to Voyager Digital through his Alameda research.

The bad news is that the crash negatively affected many people. For example, Morgan Stanley predicts that VC funding for cryptocurrency companies could drop by 50% due to the poor macroeconomic outlook and the crypto winter. A lack of new funding could force many unprofitable projects to scale back or shut down entirely.

Investors may also have lesser interest in crypto assets. Unsurprisingly, retail interest in crypto assets has fallen with prices, and it may take some time to recover. As a result, demand for cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds and other financial assets is likely to decline, while the diversification advantages of the asset class are questioned.

Finally, the crypto industry may also have to deal with structural changes. For example, algorithmic stablecoins may need to reconsider whether they need tangible reserves to back their value. Meanwhile, regulators may use the crypto winter to regulate banking-like decentralized finance (Defi) applications or monetary-like stablecoins.

Safeguard Your Portfolio

Crypto traders and investors have a variety of ways to hedge their portfolios through the crypto winter. While some have exited the market entirely, there is always a chance that they will miss out on an excellent opportunity to re-enter the market. Finally, a lot of market timing research shows that investors tend to sell after a dip and miss out on buying at the bottom.

Some strategies and best practices to consider are:

Dollar-Cost Averaging – Over time, investors may want to continue to buy small amounts of cryptocurrencies, thereby reducing their cost base when the price of cryptocurrencies falls. In the case of a recovery, they can make more profits.

Tax-Loss Harvesting – Investors can sell losing positions to realize the current tax period loss, offsetting their ordinary income and capital gains. Since cryptocurrencies are not subject to wash sale rules, investors can quickly buy back and maintain their asset allocation.

Diversification – Investors should consider holding a more comprehensive range of assets rather than a few risky projects to reduce the risk of a single project disrupting their entire portfolio.

Please note before implementing these strategies, it is best to consult with your financial and tax advisor to discuss how they may affect your overall portfolio. For example, the timing of certain sales may affect your marginal tax rate, or diversification into certain crypto assets may change the risk level of your overall portfolio.

The Bottom Line

The crypto winter has been emotionally and practically challenging for fans of cryptocurrencies. However, lower prices may help cryptos reach new users and create legal channels for investors to interact with projects appropriately. Thus, enthusiasts should be patient as regulators and consumers generally adopt cryptocurrency use.

Prominent cryptocurrencies have all traded sharply lower since the beginning of the year. As a result, retail investors have scaled back their trading activity, miners struggled to make a profit, and institutional investors were reluctant to back up new projects or add crypto assets to their portfolios.

The current crypto winter won’t end the industry, given its explicit goal to become a new monetary system and a much-needed one. With the macroeconomic factors at play, it may take a while for the market to recover and rebuild confidence. Therefore, some cryptocurrencies and projects may offer discounts on their current valuations. Ideally, search out transparent crypto projects with a purpose and utility behind them.

Crypto experts have repeatedly stated that crypto winters are good for Bitcoin. The who’s who of the industry express that bear markets are actually healthy for the crypto industry, as it removes speculators and scams while providing space to build real products and services that assist in creating a sustainable global economy. 

So, all these factors are contributing to a more robust, healthier cryptocurrency industry where genuine projects and communities will flourish. Therefore, all investors, particularly retail and those new to the industry, should look at the bigger picture and understand why crypto is poised to liberate us from a failing traditional financial system. Companies are working hard to make this a reality, and a Parallel Economy is starting to take shape that will eventually become mainstream by the Grace of God. 


ecosystem for entrepreneurs


About: Prince Chinwendu. (Nigeria) Rapid and sustainable human growth is my passion, and getting a life-changing opportunity into the hands of people is my calling. Empowering entrepreneurs provides me with enormous gratification. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.






Tim Moseley

The Rise Of A Parallel Economy: Entrepreneurialism In Full Swing Challenging The Woke Trend

The Rise Of A Parallel Economy: Entrepreneurialism In Full Swing Challenging The “Woke” Trend 

In the current political climate and apparent age of awareness around privilege and oppression, many of us are questioning and re-examining previously unchallenged ideas. The degree of polarity is exponential worldwide, and derision is rampant among societies. Many are experiencing their freedom, identity, and self-expression being stripped away by the disingenuous elite who want to crush entrepreneurialism and critical thinking. 

The wheels have been set in motion for the Great Reset and Stakeholder Capitalism plans involving ESG, global Digital ID, and a new monetary system by the BIS. NGOs, asset management firms, and the banking cartel working with governments are enforcing mandates of ridiculous restrictions on companies in the name of climate change, hurting businesses and citizens worldwide. 

As is with big tech, specifically social media with its cancel culture oppressing free speech and self-expression. Both sides of the spectrum are in lockstep, trying to kill the entrepreneurial spirit and stifle innovation, which is precisely what they want, all in the name of stakeholder capitalism, with an aim to have complete control, but they won’t win. 

As we are in the very throes of a new satanic age, it’s time to be more creative and more entrepreneurial because the reality is the perplexing big tech and big finance left-wing ideology has created an entire woke industrial complex

That complex doesn't like any form of dissonance: you either abide by their rules on everything from climate change to transgenderism and vaccines to abortion, or you're out. That reality has been slowly growing for 20 years but now moving at a very rapid pace.

A growing number of entrepreneurs are seeing this oppressive dictatorship take hold, and the once thought of as “healthy capitalism” has turned into a “woke crony capitalism.” These brave critical thinkers are standing up for their rights and the people's rights, and they are on the verge of breaking the system. 

Thanks to the internet, cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, and the introduction of independent cloud servers as an alternative to the centralized AWS and the like, entrepreneurs are actually developing a Parallel Economy where we don't have to rely on the system and its corrupt ideology.

The individuals and companies that are rising up have proved it can be done. When the system rejects your views and confiscates your liberties and livelihood, you can continue and thrive outside the system, which is terrifying to the media. In the last decade, big tech, especially the social media giants, has become the gatekeepers of speech. This is a real threat to anyone who disagrees with the government and its power and string puppets. 

Many who have dared to share their views have been canceled on social media, email accounts blocked, bank accounts confiscated, and payment provider boycotts. This is the new system the left-wing is creating. If this insane left-wing crusade continues at the current pace, half of the population will be locked out of the economy entirely. That's what Russia faced when it was sanctioned by various governments and the western banking system. In fact, they created a parallel economy by creating their own banking system. 

People just want to participate in regular normal economic activity without being flagged for not believing in and using pronouns or wishing to use energy that actually works. One of the gracious things about the apolitical environment is that it unites us, irrespective of race, gender, or politics. 

The role of capitalism and an apolitical marketplace in an otherwise divided polity is to provide social forces that result in cohesion across divisions. So as this parallel economy grows, everybody is welcome to participate, with the only requirement being that you have the common sense to see the actual value of freedom.

Some innovators are fed up with woke left-wing intolerance and are the first to step out and take risks by building alternatives to counter an ever-increasing oppressed system. These alternatives cover the many aspects of our lives that the woke culture has infiltrated. 

We’ll review some of these inspiring entrepreneurs and their companies from various sectors pioneering the parallel economy, including financial, dating and relationships, entertainment, social media, and marketing, plus find out how we can participate in building a parallel economy.

Image source: Strive, Media Reel

Strive Asset Management 

The mission of  Strive Asset Management is to “restore the voices of everyday citizens in the American economy by leading companies to focus on excellence over politics.” They are in direct competition with the asset management giants like Blackrock. They have seen the need to restore capitalism for the people who want to move in the traditional direction of focusing on products and services for profit rather than social agendas or ideologies.  

What Strive finds is that many major companies are not in competition with each other. So they do not take advantage of an opportunity to fill the gap that may arise due to a company's decisions to push agendas that many customers are adverse to and put off from participating.  

Why is that? It’s because the top shareholders are the same for all these companies; they are the woke investors like Blackrock, State Street, and Vanguard. There's a concentration of capital of around $20 trillion that is handled by these three companies alone. They are essentially the puppet masters behind the scenes pulling the strings and effectively mandating through soft power, ensuring these companies adopt their one-sided political agendas. 

So is that the free market where companies are free to do what they want to be sustainable and grow in the interests of product and service excellence? In effect, they're being told by a small group of actors directly doing favors for the government behind the scenes who are in bed with unelected leaders of the WEF to direct corporate America's and corporations' behaviors worldwide.

Entrepreneur, Author, and Co-founder of  Strive Asset Management, Vivek Ramaswamy, says,

“The free market is not free to fix what it's not free to fix. Companies need to have the restraints lifted so that they are able to and be allowed to pursue their own self-interest.” 

Fascism Hurts The Free World

So how do agendas like climate change, ESG, and pushing for a great reset of the world hurt the entrepreneurial and creative spirit? 

As explained by Vivek, one example is Chevron Oil and Gas Company when in 2020, they were forced to adopt a Scope 3 Emissions Cap. The company and its board were against this change, but Blackrock, State Street, and Vanguard voted in favor of it, so the majority supported the proposal, and of course, it was set in motion. 

The Emissions Cap requires not just Chevron to reduce its own emissions but to reduce the emissions of anyone who uses their oil, all the way downstream, including their employees who commute to work and the Amazon truck delivering food to its customers. So that means Chevron as a company is required to take responsibility for everything and everybody that uses its oil. 

It's a problem because Chevron, as a company, cannot exist as it has done if it has to take responsibility for reducing customers using its own product. Why would it ever be in the interest of a business, whether it be a small entrepreneurial business or a legacy company like Chevron, to say, “it's in my interest to force my consumers to use less of the core product that I make?” 

Nefarious Double Standards

That is a fundamentally anti-growth measure. It's essentially a measure opposed to human flourishing delivered through American capitalism. Furthermore, it's not even good for the environment or the alleged effects of climate change because when Chevron drops these projects, some firms in China get to pick them up that have even worse and dirtier oil production. 

It's interesting to note Blackrock doesn't apply the ESG standards to Chinese companies but gets its license to be an asset management builder in China and make a lot of money. And they're doing it while applying these ESG standards to the United States that cripple American energy companies and affect the lives of everyday citizens. 

It’s important to note that these asset management firms use peoples’ retirement funds to invest in their agenda-driven interests that do not serve the people's interests. It’s becoming clear that most people do not want their asset managers advocating for the political agendas they are pushing. 

It's a geopolitical tool and a trojan horse. They’ve used capitalism as a trojan horse to undermine America from within, and China will be the biggest beneficiary at the end of the day. It's the merger of state and corporate power that neither of them could do independently. It's a hybrid of the two together, making it more powerful than either alone. The merger of state and corporate power is the classical definition of fascism.

Image source: Twitter 

The Right Stuff

The Right Stuff is a new dating app co-founded by Daniel Huff. Huff is a Republican who worked at the White House as an adviser for the Trump administration before becoming an entrepreneur. He saw an opportunity and a real need to counter the antagonism and discrimination from many of the dating apps out there today that either promote or enforce left-wing extremist ideology. 

He brings to light how the conservative individual who subscribes to a “live and let live” philosophy has difficulty finding traditional mediums to connect with people. Many dating apps have agendas and ideologies that don’t necessarily fit society's moral values or ethical standards.  

It’s not just antagonism from the users of an app but the platforms' discrimination. One example of platform bias is when joining the community on one of the largest dating apps; it is an absolute requirement that you affirm your support for Black Lives Matter before having access. 

Another is pressing people to add pronouns to their profiles, which has become a contentious issue for many. Also, adding stickers to profiles relaying your interests, even political interests, except all stickers relate to left-wing only. 

According to Huff, the Left has repeatedly stated that if you don’t like how we do things, build your own, so he did! He says the Republicans have been playing catch up for too long with Liberal technology, adding,

“We just don't want to catch up. We want to make a superior product. And we can do that by adding features that no one else has that distinctively set us apart and help to create a parallel economy.” 

Image source: Twitter, EricJuly.com 

Rippaverse Comics

Rippaverse Comics is about bringing the industry back to its essence. The unfortunate state of the comic industry with the likes of Marvel and Disney, now owned by mega-corporations, where timeless characters have been bastardized beyond recognition. They are distorted with a leftist message of political and social views incongruent with the age-old narrative or characters. 

A bunch of activists masquerading as writers has infiltrated the industry. They use well-known characters as a medium or vehicle to push their leftist agendas and fundamentally ruin the industry for those who aren't interested in that. 

The corporate entities in control have no loyalty to the reader, the customer, or the legendary comic character that people know well and love. They don't protect or care about the sanctity or legacy of these characters. 

Commentator, content creator, and musician Eric July saw the opportunity and the hole in the market for a comic book company with ethics and standards that put customers first. The company vows to deliver content that doesn’t include current politics or narratives that many comic lovers are fed up with being force-fed. Also, the customers' ethnic backgrounds or genetic makeup are totally irrelevant to them. 

Founder and owner of Rippaverse Comics, Eric July, started this venture in the parallel economy with no external investors, and he has expressed it will remain that way, saying,

“We want to expand in many different avenues, including video games, animation, and maybe even live-action movies. But not if it means selling off our assets; we only answer to the customer.” 

In setting up the company, the project was completely organic. Eric bypassed all major organizations and regular channels when dealing with publishing and distribution and has been very successful in helping creatives and the people behind the scenes at Rippaverse Comics. 

This push to subvert the corrupted mega players has successfully gained tens of thousands of followers and subscribers. The company has surpassed its revenue expectations, so it’s clear there is a growing awareness in society of the evil game woke capitalism is playing. 

Image source: Markethive.com

Markethive Media – The Ecosystem For Entrepreneurs 

Markethive is a prominent contributor to the Parallel Economy in the social media, broadcasting, and inbound marketing spectrum. Thomas Prendergast, entrepreneur, author, artist, and engineer, pioneered the automated marketing concept and was ahead of the curve, initiating a social network in the ‘90s before Web 2.0 social media emerged. 

Thomas Prendergast, Founder, Architect, and CEO of Markethive, anticipated the tyrannous and evil direction of where the world was heading, hence the emergence of the first Blockchain-driven, decentralized social market network that circumvents the injustices forced upon us.  

Markethive is a Divine vision giving back the autonomy and freedom of expression desperately needed to communicate and conduct any business online. With a holistic approach, Markethive enables every individual to realize their potential regardless of what is happening out there.

Thomas expressly states,

“Amid this upheaval, Markethive’s primary objective is providing financial inclusion for all. We have blockchain technology and an integrated entrepreneurial ecosystem where people have privacy, autonomy, and sovereignty. 

They earn income with our native crypto coin (Hivecoin) in many different ways daily, including becoming a shareholder via the ILP, the added staking advantage of our crypto wallet with Markethive Credits, and profiting from the many cottage industries within the Markethive ecosystem. Essentially, it’s the community that owns Markethive and not the hierarchy".

Big venture capitalists or corporations do not fund Markethive. It is for the people, by the people, and of the people who stand for truth, liberty, and freedom. Furthermore, Markethive has removed itself from the centralized giant tech cloud services that have shown themselves as wicked despots and established sovereign cloud server systems, free from dictatorship and an internet shutdown due to censorship. 

These aspiring entrepreneurs and critical thinkers will not acquiesce to the insidious actions of big tech and are part of what is causing real frustration and risk for the woke culture and crony capitalists. Due to the fascism of governments and mega-corporations the world is experiencing, Markethive has its own merchant account and exchange to ensure complete privacy and anonymity. It also eliminates the threat of having your account closed or confiscated by authorities who feel the need to censor you and withdraw your liberties for whatever reason. 

The End Goal

The end goal of the projects is not to create a more polarized economy; through healthy competition and true diversity, the private sector that is depoliticized can bring divided communities together to cooperate in a transparent fashion.

There’s a resurgence of entrepreneurs and a rise of businesses being created to serve the hundreds of millions of customers and users who are tacitly ill-affected from their private sector or feel left behind by this woke trend. And they will do it in an elegant way rather than combative. The winners will be the new businesses that operate according to apolitical principles. 

Much to the chagrin of the authoritarian entities, we are entering a more decentralized age, where everybody wins. The free market is at its finest when we are doing what we love serving other people for the sake of all humanity. 

Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of innovation, striving for a free and peaceful world. They are critical thinkers, creative and inspirational. They also ‘walk softly and carry a big stick’ and are not easily fooled by the trickery and lies of self-serving dictatorial agencies. 

With God’s help, we will withstand the technocracy that is trying to enslave humanity. There is something greater than the elite, tech giants, and mega-corporations that even they cannot control. Every thinking individual recognizes that something more prominent is taking place. You can be part of the Parallel Economy by joining and disseminating the good news and supporting the entrepreneurs and companies that will bring us into a new Golden Age. 




Editor and Chief Markethive: Deb Williams. (Australia) I thrive on progress and champion freedom of speech. I embrace "Change" with a passion, and my purpose in life is to enlighten people to accept and move forward with enthusiasm. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.





Tim Moseley

Facebook Instagram and WhatsApp: A Proven Breeding Ground for Cryptocurrency Scams

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp: A Proven Breeding Ground for Cryptocurrency Scams

Cryptocurrency, or crypto, is a digital currency transferred directly between users without a central banking system. It was invented in 2008 as an open source project and is not governed by any bank or government authority, distinguishing it from traditional currencies such as dollars, pounds, and euros.

The first cryptocurrency to be created was bitcoin, which was released in 2009 and has since become the best-known example of cryptos. Bitcoin and altcoins are innovative technologies, but they have also been associated with some undesirable activity, including illicit activities like cybercrime and tax evasion, as well as scams and investment frauds. At the moment of writing, there are 20,942 cryptocurrencies with a market capitalization of $1.06T, according to coinmarketcap.

The world of cryptocurrency is rapidly expanding, but this doesn't mean everyone starting a cryptocurrency project is good or honest with investors' money. Scammers have found new ways to trick people into giving them money without repercussions. Unfortunately, victims of cryptocurrency scams have few options for restitution as perpetrators evade authorities and hide their identities behind fake online accounts.

Cryptocurrency has become an investment vehicle for many people. Naturally, some people take advantage of this new technology to scam innocent people out of their money. Most scammers use social media platforms to lure in victims, with Meta being the chief platform used to perpetrate these evil acts. They pretend to be investors or traders and spread false rumors about specific cryptocurrencies. Those who fall for these tactics end up giving out sensitive financial information to complete scams.

One particularly dangerous scam involves a hacker posing as a bank and requesting personal information from customers. This information is then used to create fake IDs that scammers can use to buy cryptocurrencies with stolen money. After that, the scammers sell the digital coins and get away with stolen funds. These scammers often run away with millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency. Many people lose money due to cryptocurrency scams and are left in serious debts that may take several years to pay off.

However, in most cases, it's difficult for investors to recognize a scam when it occurs. Because most fraudulent projects mimic successful ICOs with similar whitepapers and business plans. The creators often don't even use their names when planning their scams. They usually use fake social media accounts and web forums to communicate with potential victims. These fraudulent projects fail within a year due to shoddy programming and design choices.

An FTC Report released in June showed that since 2021, about 50% of people who have lost money to crypto scams claim to have originated from social media platforms. Meta's Instagram contributed 32% of reported scams, while Facebook and WhatsApp were cited in 26% and 9% of cases, respectively.

U.S. senators have asked Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to detail his company's policies to address rising crypto fraud cases on Facebook and Instagram. The Washington Post reported this on September 9. Lawmakers are calling for this after a recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report showed a significant increase in crypto scams on Meta's social media platform.

According to the publication by the Washington Post, Senator Robert Menendez said:

"Based on recent reports of scams on other media platforms and apps, we are concerned that Meta provides a breeding ground for cryptocurrency fraud that causes significant harm to consumers."

Lawmakers have instructed Meta CEO to provide a detailed report on how the company is crushing cryptocurrency scams and what it is doing to help scam victims. Mark Zuckerberg is directed to respond to the request by October 24, 2022.

For each of Meta's social media platforms, questions asked include how the company detects and removes crypto scammers, educates and warns users about crypto scams, and supports victims of fraudulent crypto schemes. The senators also questioned how Meta verifies that crypto ads are not scams and what regulatory clearances are required to advertise on its platform. Additionally, they asked how Meta works with law enforcement to track down scammers.

The U.S. authorities have warned that scammers are increasingly making use of social media to defraud investors. In August, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned investors against scams that exploit fear of missing out (FOMO) on social media.

According to another FTC Report, more than 95,000 users lost about $770 million to crypto scams on social media. Over 70% of reported scams are classified as investment, romance, or online shopping scams.

Image source: Federal Trade Commission 

A 2021 BBC study found that around 10,500 victims lost more than $18 million to scam giveaways in the first three months of 2021. Most gift-giving scams are carried out by impersonating an influential figure like Elon Musk.

One victim reportedly lost over $550,000 in February 2021 after sending 10 BTC to the Elon Musk giveaway scam.

While several government agencies are busy making plans to safeguard citizens from crypto scams, you have to ensure you make due findings about an investment before injecting your funds into it. Without doing adequate research on the subject matter in question, you may have yourself to blame for it. 

Also, considering that governments have not been effective in combating these crimes, it's clear you have to be more watchful of what you invest your money into. As they say, "you get what you pay for" with cryptocurrencies and ICOs in general, so you should go out there and conduct thorough research on the best possible projects on the market today that can provide you with a real return on your investments.


ecosystem for entrepreneurs


About: Prince Chinwendu. (Nigeria) Rapid and sustainable human growth is my passion, and getting a life-changing opportunity into the hands of people is my calling. Empowering entrepreneurs provides me with enormous gratification. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.






Tim Moseley

Study Shows More Than a Third of Africa’s 53 Million Cryptocurrency Holders Are Nigerians

Study Shows More Than a Third of Africa’s 53 Million Cryptocurrency Holders Are Nigerians

Cryptocurrency and blockchain are hot topics in the news these days. Due to its growth and adoption, many people have become interested in digital money worldwide. However, Africa is making tremendous progress when it comes to cryptocurrency adoption. Cryptocurrency is transforming African economies through payments, international trade, and government functions. As countries look to embrace this new technology, Africa is poised to take advantage of its many benefits.

Several African countries have embraced cryptocurrency and blockchain technology by regulating crypto trading or creating state-backed crypto. For example, Kenya's Central Bank (CBK) classified crypto as a virtual currency and regulated its trade. South Africa also has plans to regulate crypto trading when it issued an amendment to its financial services regulatory framework this year. Uganda introduced a regulatory framework for blockchain development and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), which has led to increased investor interest in the country. Several other African countries are looking into similar strategies, further expanding the continent's cryptocurrency adoption rate.

Businesses in Africa typically use local bank accounts to conduct business with other nations. This allows African companies to make international payments using locally stored funds instead of transferring funds from abroad using foreign exchange dealers (FEDs). All thanks to the introduction of cryptocurrency. Many businesses across Africa now use cryptocurrency for international payments since it's cheaper than FEDs and doesn't require additional paperwork or conversions. This frees up time for other tasks while increasing profit margins simultaneously. The adoption of this technological development makes it perfect for casual businesses without extensive staff resources.

Image Source: https://mediciland.com/

African countries are also looking into blockchain technology to increase government transparency and accountability across the continent. Blockchain is secure and can transfer data quickly without any loss of accuracy like traditional computer systems do. This makes it ideal for keeping records such as land registries safe and easily accessible by all users on a decentralized platform like the Internet instead of an authoritative centralized system like governments have traditionally used.

Some African countries are already implementing this strategy, such as Zambia, which has created several pilot programs with international tech partners. These programs will bring government services online for the first time by allowing citizens access to their records online. Cryptocurrency has revolutionized African economies by making daily transactions cheaper, easier, and more secure than before, something any business would love!

Applying existing technology effectively can improve citizens' lives in developing areas far faster than simply throwing money at problems could ever achieve. Therefore, while developed countries wait to "catch up" with digital currency innovation, things appear to be changing in Africa, and Nigeria is leading the way and will be leaps ahead!

Nigeria Championing Crypto Adoption in Africa

According to the latest crypto-proprietary data from Triple-A, the African continent now has an estimated 53 million cryptocurrency holders. This is about 16.5% of the estimated global total of 320 million people. Interestingly, of all cryptocurrency holders in Africa, Nigerians account for more than a third of the total, or just over 22 million.

Image source: TripleA.io 

Nigeria has the fourth largest cryptocurrency holder globally, while the United States is the highest-ranked country with 46 million cryptocurrency holders. According to statistics, India and Pakistan are close behind, with 27 million and 26 million crypto owners, respectively.

While Nigeria ranks fourth in cryptocurrency ownership, the country is still considered the world leader in the number of people who Googled the keywords 'bitcoin' and 'cryptocurrency.' These findings are supported by the report of another study. The study shows that Nigeria is one of the most crypto-obsessed countries in the African continent.

Meanwhile, data from Triple-A shows that South Africa has the second largest cryptocurrency holder population in Africa at 7.7 million. This figure is equivalent to about 12.5% ​​of South Africa's population. Kenya has the third largest cryptocurrency owner in Africa, with 6.1 million or 11.6% of the country's population.

The top 5 countries in Africa with the most cryptocurrency owners are Egypt and Tanzania, with 2.37 million and 2.32 million holders, respectively. Seychelles is the lowest-ranked African country, with an estimated 1,257 cryptocurrency owners.

Bottom Line

The future belongs to those who will seize it today. No doubt, African countries like Nigeria are doing just that. By embracing cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology early on, the country has created an optimal environment for businesses and investors alike. Boosting their local economies significantly via increased investment and revenue generation opportunities through the adoption of innovative technologies such as these is something they have been doing at a rapid pace and with much success so far!



About: Prince Chinwendu. (Nigeria) Rapid and sustainable human growth is my passion, and getting a life-changing opportunity into the hands of people is my calling. Empowering entrepreneurs provides me with enormous gratification. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.







Tim Moseley

Does OFAC Really Know What They’re Doing? A War On Crypto And Privacy

Does OFAC Really Know What They’re Doing? A War On Crypto And Privacy

This month, we witnessed one of the most significant attacks on crypto privacy in the form of the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioning Tornado Cash. This led to protocols blocking addresses, funds being seized, and one of the Tornado Cash developers being arrested. The action was unprecedented, given that it was the first time we have effectively had sanctions placed on a piece of open-source software – essentially, restrictions on lines of code. 

For those unfamiliar with Tornado Cash, it has long been one of the most well-known mixing protocols on Ethereum. What it would essentially do is obfuscate or camouflage transaction history. This means it would anonymize transactions and remove all traces of where funds originated. Thousands of people used this privacy tool in the Defi space.

Unfortunately, it was also used for laundering the proceeds of cybercrime, which is the use case the Treasury focused on, stating that Tornado was a favorite tool of North Korean hackers and had been used to launder more than $7 billion. 

The moment Tornado was sanctioned, its website was taken down, and the code disappeared from GitHub. Not only that, but one of the contributors had his GitHub account banned. Circle blacklisted any USDC in the affected wallets, and RPC providers such as Infuror and Alchemy started blocking requests to Tornado Cash Smart contracts. 

Additionally, some decentralized applications also began to restrict access to their front ends for wallets that had interacted with the Tornado Cash Smart contract. For example, both Aave and dYdx reported blocking access from wallets that had interacted with Tornado Cash and even those that had received funds from it. Regarding dYdx, users who had insignificant amounts but were associated with Tornado Cash in the past were also blocked.

Dusting Celebrity Wallets Gag

Things were further complicated because someone in the community started dusting several public ETH addresses of celebrities in the space. In other words, they sent many small transactions to hundreds of known wallets associated with ETH addresses and their .ens official addresses. 

The likes of Brian Armstrong, Jimmy Fallon, and Steve Aoki were potentially committing sanctions violations by appearing to be doing business with a sanctioned protocol. What's even crazier than that is that some of those users who were subjected to the dusting found that they could not interact with Aave’s front end. These included the likes of Anthony Cesano and Justin Sun. 

The gag effectively points out the absurdity of such sanctions for users receiving funds from blacklisted addresses that they have no power to decline. The open nature of crypto is designed to cut out intermediaries, unlike the traditional financial sector that would use banks and other financial institutions to act as gatekeepers against such transactions.

Image source: eff.org

Is Code Fundamentally Free Speech? 

Perhaps the most chilling development, at least so far, was the arrest by Dutch police of one of Tornado Cash’s developers. Alexey Pertsev was picked up by the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) two days after Tornado Cash was sanctioned. The Dutch police have yet to clarify which exact rules Pertsev broke, but if it's just because he wrote some code, this is a dangerous precedent for several reasons. Furthermore, he is still detained and forbidden from communicating with his wife.  

The first thing we need to ask ourselves, however, is whether these actions by the treasury were legal. It is the first time that the treasury has effectively sanctioned a tool, a piece of Open Source Code that exists on the Ethereum Blockchain and which can be used by anyone for any purpose, albeit good or bad. Given that it is open source, that means it is akin to the likes of a public good. 

So that could be comparable to a road or a park; it would be as if OFAC were to sanction the use of an interstate highway because drug dealers drive on it. Or a more relevant example would be the treasury sanctioning the TCP IP protocol because hackers use the internet for hacking: It's impractical.

Moreover, just because a tool is sanctioned does not mean that the criminals will not use it. That's because criminals, by definition, have zero consideration for the law; they're likely to continue using the Smart contract as they see fit. Then there is the fundamental question of whether sanctioning a piece of code violates the First Amendment. 

To put it in perspective, thanks to a 1996 case Bernstein versus the DOJ, it's been established that code should be considered as speech, and if it is indeed speech, then it should be protected by the First Amendment. By sanctioning this tool, the treasury effectively says that speech itself is illegal. 

Now there is a real possibility that should someone want to challenge these sanctions, they could have a strong case in court. The Coin Center lobbying group is doing just that and believes the Treasury has overstepped its legal authority. The group wants to engage with OFAC to share their thoughts and will be exploring with counsel a court challenge. Additionally, they have had inquiries from members of Congress about the situation and are keeping the interested parties briefed on the matter. 

Furthermore, if, indeed, the only thing the developer did was write code, then that could also be seen as a violation of free speech. But if any legal challenges are mounted, they will take a long time to settle. Until then, the sanctions will have to be enforced, which means that specific Defi projects and protocols will continue blacklisting the Smart contract for fear of arrest. 


What Are The Practical Issues? 

Apart from the legal aspect, there is a practical consideration for how this will be enforced.  Remember, criminals will be criminals, and they will continue to use it. The code is open source and free to fork. Should that happen, the treasury will ultimately be playing whack-a-mole with a bunch of newly deployed Smart contracts. 

Not only that but those other crypto projects and protocols will also have to monitor not only the funds coming from the original Tornado Cash Smart contract but also from all the forked ones. This could quickly become a logistical impossibility, and projects will always have to worry whether any ETH they handle has gone through a forked version of the original Tornado Cash.

And speaking of which, there's also the broader question around who could technically find themselves violating OFAC rules due to these sanctions. 

If someone sends ETH from the Tornado contract to you, does that mean you are in violation? I mean, it's not like you can refuse to receive it. As we saw with those dusting attacks, protocols themselves have started blocking some of these dusted addresses. Could the Feds start going after any of those wallets that have received Tornado-tainted ETH? Could we soon see Jimmy Fallon dragged away in handcuffs? 

It's not even about addresses that have received funds. What about liquidity providers on a DEX? What happens if they unknowingly convert ETH that has been through Tornado Cash into some other cryptocurrency? Are they thus engaging with sanctioned entities? 

What about Ethereum miners? What liability did they have if they were to propagate a block that included a Tornado Cash transaction? Does that mean that they could also be flirting with illegality? Or how about that ETH that is sent to the ETH2.0 staking contract? What would that mean for Ethereum’s Proof-of-Stake? 

What happens once the transition to proof of stake is complete? Will validators have to decide to censor certain transactions that their jurisdiction deems illegal? Could they get censored? So you can see how quickly this grows out of control. The crypto space has just seen a massive can of worms open up right in front of it. 

Now, of course, there will be some who claim that these actions are justified. Swiped funds from some of the most high-profile crypto hacks of the past two years have gone through Tornado. This was seen in the wake of the $100 million Harmony hack a few weeks ago. 

Why Do We Want Privacy?

Many people have been asking whether there are any legitimate use cases for Tornado Cash, a tool designed specifically for privacy. Essentially this all comes down to the broader question of why someone would want to have financial privacy in the first place. As the old saying goes, “why do you worry if you have nothing to hide?” 

Well, for plenty of reasons; firstly, because blockchains are public and transparent, everyone can see exactly what your wallets are doing and what you could be buying or investing. This is not the case with traditional finance, where your bank account balances and spending habits aren't public. The moment they are public, and someone can attach them to your IRL identity, it opens you up to potential physical harm if criminals ever want access to your crypto. 

Or perhaps you wanted to donate crypto to a cause that may get you into serious trouble in your country. For example, what happens if you were a citizen of Iran or Venezuela who wanted to donate to a journalist or newspaper that the government didn't like? Blockchain is immutable; you’d live in constant fear of being placed on a list of some kind. 

Or how about if you were a Russian who wanted to donate to Ukraine, not something you would like the FSB to know about? On the flip side, you could be a Ukrainian refugee wishing to hide where you are getting your donations from. This is something that Vitalik Buterin himself highlighted earlier this year when he donated to the country. 

Beyond such high stakes implications, it could also just be a situation where you don't want people you interact with on-chain to know what you do with your money. For example, let's assume that you get paid in crypto. That means your employer can see exactly what you do with that money and what you're buying. 

Or perhaps you're buying something from an online Merchant, and you don't want them to know what else you've been spending the money on or how much you have; just imagine the targeted advertising coming your way. Ironically this would be much easier to achieve when paying with a wholly open and permissionless form of money. 

These are reasons why someone would want to anonymize their transaction history. Some might say you could just use a centralized exchange; however, the whole point of the decentralized and censorship-resistant currency is that you don't have to rely on a centralized gatekeeper. Moreover, some people are just not comfortable having others holding their private keys, and can you blame them? 

OFAC’s False Press Release

In its press release, it was also pretty disingenuous for the Treasury to claim that $7 billion was laundered through Tornado Cash. That was the total volume of transactions, many of which would have been for such perfectly legitimate reasons. 

In fact, according to stats from Chain Analysis, only about 17% of the funds that flow through the protocol were tied to sanctioned activity. The vast majority, 50%, was related to DefI activities. That means that these users were thrown into the laundering bucket by the Treasury when all they were really doing was trying to anonymize their funds. 

Image Source: Chain Analysis

First Crypto War Had Net Positive Result

So this raises the question of what all this means for crypto privacy and also privacy in general. It's pretty clear that privacy is under attack, albeit this move by the treasury was prompted by concerns around the North Korean hacking. Still, this radical approach by the Treasury is so nonspecific for what it's trying to achieve that you have to wonder whether the folks at OFAC gave any thought to collateral damage. 

Many have drawn parallels with the early Crypto Wars, for example. For unfamiliar people, this was when the US government arrested Phil Zimmerman, a developer who distributed PGP cryptography online. They accused him of “munitions export, without a license.” 

They contended that his PGP encryption system was a weapon that adversaries could use. Really? It would seem they don’t consider that any citizen wants and has a right to privacy. Only criminals and enemy governments would want to encrypt their communications. 

Well, it turned out that there were many practical uses for encryption online, and various encryption standards have helped power the multibillion-dollar e-commerce revolution we've experienced over the last 20 years. What was initially considered a way to hide state secrets has allowed legal commerce to thrive. 

Many have also wondered why Tornado Cash got hit and not other well-known crypto projects, like Monero. Virtual mixers seem to be viewed with much more suspicion than privacy-by-default currencies. People could see on-chain how the Lazarus group was laundering its funds through the tool. This isn't something that you can easily observe with Monero. 

Moreover, the sheer volume of funds running through Tornado Cash made it a prime target, but this doesn't mean Monero isn't being studied and tracked. There may well be a robust state-backed effort to crack the ring signature technology for which Monero is famous. This is perhaps one of the reasons why the Monero developers pushed through some new upgrades to the protocol only recently. 

Crypto And Congress Take A Stand

There has been a genuine outcry from the crypto industry arguing that the Treasury Department’s actions to shut the Tornado Cash could be “unconstitutional” as people have a right to privacy. 

Abraham Piha, co-founder, and CEO of Web3-focused firm Tomi, told Cointelegraph

“Tornado existed only because most blockchains were not private enough. If successive updates of Ethereum or Bitcoin include protocol integrations like Mimblewimble, will the next step be to block them as well? This act is yet another reason to push for Web3, a free web, controlled by users and not by some big brother governments.”

Kenny Li, co-founder and core developer for Manta Network, a privacy-preservation protocol, said that the Treasury’s decision to sanction Tornado Cash is far-fetched and extreme, even though, in the past, specific individual crypto wallet addresses have been subject to the same treatment. But in most cases, he said, there was a clear case of fraud, hacks, or a Ponzi scheme:

“In this case, smart contract addresses are being blacklisted. Smart contracts aren’t people. Not only that, but people forget that Tornado Cash is a protocol, not a person or an entity, which means it will continue to run regardless of the sanctions. It is time that we realize privacy and anonymity aren’t the same, and Web3 is all about privacy.”

Additionally, some Congress members are standing up, demanding an explanation from OFAC. Specifically, United States Congressman Tom Emmer sent a four-page letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen regarding the unprecedented sanctioning of Tornado Cash. 

He posed a series of questions that sought to clarify the position of the Treasury Department’s OFAC. They were practical questions noting that Tornado Cash is a collection of several Ethereum Smart contract addresses that are not controlled by an individual or entity. 

Emmer asked what persons could be associated with those addresses and:

“Given that the Tornado Cash back-end will operate unchanged […] as long as the Ethereum network continues to operate, who or what entity did OFAC believe was reasonably responsible for imposing controls on the Tornado Cash blockchain contracts?”

Emmer posted the full letter on Twitter, stating that the growing adoption of decentralized technology would certainly raise new challenges for OFAC. Nonetheless, technology is neutral, and the expectation of privacy is normal.

Closing Thoughts

Firstly, I dare say we can all agree that those who engage in criminality should be brought down. The laundering of ill-gotten gains, be it through a bank account or a Defi protocol, should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. 

Those wallets linked to criminal activity should also be sanctioned and flagged. This is precisely what the treasury did before the Tornado Cash sanctions were imposed. And it's not as though this approach wasn't enjoying some success. Thanks to some pretty advanced tools and tracking services, law enforcement can catch such miscreants more effectively than they could in the past. 

They also have the power of subpoenas and search warrants. They simply didn't need to take this action against Tornado Cash. The collateral damage resulted in a loss of privacy for some and a massive disruption for all in the Defi space. 

As for those North Korean hackers, they'll switch to one of the other 100 or so laundering techniques they were using long before Tornado started operating. Moreover, given that tornado cash is nothing but code, it'll be hard to outlaw permanently; it'll be a game of whack-a-mole. It won't have the desired effect. And the collateral damage is already permeating the crypto industry. 

These actions also raise legal questions. Is this a breach of the First Amendment, and what happens to any citizens who have used it in the past? Or anyone that interacts with it? It's a legal quandary, to say the least. 

With legal challenges brewing, this could turn into a new crypto war. One, with a positive long-term impact, as we saw with the first crypto war. Or maybe the large centralized institutions will conform, and we’ll have a more amenable but less free crypto space. It does demonstrate how some developers will continue to embrace decentralization, and many of us as individuals will fight for our right to freedom and privacy. 

Coin Bureau




Editor and Chief Markethive: Deb Williams. (Australia) I thrive on progress and champion freedom of speech. I embrace "Change" with a passion, and my purpose in life is to enlighten people to accept and move forward with enthusiasm. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.






Also published @ BeforeIt’sNews.com; Steemit.com


Tim Moseley

2022 Q1 Survey Reveals Over Half of South Africans Know Little or Nothing About Cryptocurrency

2022 Q1 Survey Reveals Over Half of South Africans Know Little or Nothing About Cryptocurrency

In many countries, years of ultralow interest rates coupled with the government stimulus unleashed during the pandemic sent cash flows into riskier investments, like tech stocks and crypto. Now some of those initiatives are winding down, and the potential for inflation to weigh on economic growth has many exploring safer investments than they'd gone for in the past.

Over the years, cryptocurrencies have become a viable way of conducting transactions anytime and anywhere. This is possible through users' ability to transact with each other directly without any intermediaries. Based on the value of their virtual money, cryptocurrencies are also referred to as money. South Africans use cryptocurrencies, but many still don't know much about them. The cryptocurrency space has been left to develop organically in South Africa, with no clear-cut awareness to encourage maximum adoption.

The Merchant Consumer Survey revealed that 53% of South African participants knew little about cryptocurrencies. Interestingly, nearly half of respondents said they would be more open to the cryptocurrency space if local banks offered such services. The report noted a considerable growth opportunity for crypto trading platforms on the African Continent. In South Africa, local exchanges lead the way, in stark contrast to the rest of the continent, where global exchanges lead in market share.

According to the report from Merchant, a global telemarketing firm:

  • Only 14% of South Africans have any significant knowledge of the cryptocurrency industry.
  • 23% of participants remained neutral.
  • The vast majority (53%) said they had limited or no knowledge of the matter.
  • 18-24-year-olds have higher literacy rates than any other demographic group, including 25-42-year-olds.

The survey also noted that cryptocurrency adoption in South Africa could be boosted if domestic banks embrace the asset class and offer educational programs to users.

Due to technological advancement, cryptocurrency is being used to a certain extent in South Africa. Businesses can accept and pay their employees using cryptocurrency without affecting their current cash flow. Additionally, some South Africans use cryptocurrency as a hedge against inflation. By purchasing cryptocurrencies when prices are low and selling them when prices rise, users earn more money than they spent on their investments. Through this strategy, they become financially independent from traditional banks that charge high-interest rates on loans.

“There is a real opportunity for banks to get involved in cryptocurrency as it begins to really take off on the continent, rather than waiting until it is more established – by when consumers are likely to have a preferred platform or partner who they have built that trust with.”

– Group CRO, Merchants

Another recent report by Bitget Exchange, Boston Consulting Group, and Foresight Ventures found that South Africa has the continent’s most significant cryptocurrency market, as evidenced by its more advanced financial infrastructure and fiat-to-crypto payment rails.

Source: BCG, Bitget and Foresight Ventures Report File

The report noted a considerable growth opportunity for crypto trading platforms on the African Continent.

On-platform exchange services, such as Coinbase and Gemini, have been less competitive in the African market. However, with few existing exchanges offering access to fiat currencies or local payment methods, it might be challenging for them to thrive in that market.

In Summary 

Despite the benefits that cryptocurrencies offer users, including lower transaction fees, increased financial security, and uncomplicated business operations, few people know much about them in South Africa at present. As awareness rises among local users, more will start investing in cryptocurrency and allowing themselves greater economic freedom over time.

Cryptocurrency transactions help to remove the procedural bottlenecks that plague traditional banking and financial services. Fearing a collapse of the banking industry or arbitrary appropriation of money by the government, Africans who live in politically unstable countries could be attracted to cryptocurrency.

Generally, it is expected that there will be an increase in cryptocurrency awareness amongst users in Sub-Saharan Africa over the coming years. This would drive the adoption of cryptocurrencies within the region.




About: Prince Chinwendu. (Nigeria) Rapid and sustainable human growth is my passion, and getting a life-changing opportunity into the hands of people is my calling. Empowering entrepreneurs provides me with enormous gratification. Find me at my Markethive Profile Page | My Twitter Account | and my LinkedIn Profile.







Tim Moseley