Today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief showcases the continued rapid pace at which the cryptocurrency revolution is disrupting all segments of the business world, from the adult entertainment industry, to stock exchanges and even social networks.
Stripper Promotes Bitcoin for the Adult Industry
Brenna Sparks, the exotic dancer last featured in the news about a Las Vegas club where strippers accept bitcoin payments via QR tattoos, has published a blog post in an adult entertainment industry portal explaining the advantages of cryptocurrency to her colleagues. While she notes it can help with privacy, fixing piracy and other issues, the main advantage is helping people in the business avoid paying almost 50% to middlemen.
Sparks writes: “Every time you perform or make content and distribute it, you’re losing up to half of your earnings to who-knows-what on fees alone…Nothing is more discouraging than to watch yourself give up nearly half of your earnings ‘just because’…Although greed does play a role, what plays an even bigger role is discrimination. The reason this issue exists is because common payment processors like Paypal, Google, Stripe, etc. will not allow you to perform a transaction related to any adult work, and Banks like BofA or Chase will close your account if they suspect you do adult work…Cryptocurrency offers a simple solution – ultra-low fees, no discrimination, and instant transactions anywhere in the world. No bank, company, or government can tell you what you can or cannot use your money on or where you can use it, and no more ultimatums that studios and performers have grown accustomed to.”
Facebook Explores Blockchain
Facebook has formed a new team of top executives to explore the uses for blockchain potentially available for the company to improve its business. This according to multiple sources familiar with the matter cited by Silicon Valley media recode. The team is headed by David Marcus, the former head of Facebook Messenger until this move. The company did not provide any details about the applications they will be working on, however, Marcus is former president of Paypal and currently seats on the board of Coinbase, so speculating about cryptocurrency-enabled payments via messaging is not totally out of the question.
Kin Forks Stellar
While Facebook is just exploring, other social app developers are already implementing. The Kin Ecosystem Foundation, the governance body for Kin which will be integrated into Kik as the primary transaction currency, has announced that it will build its own blockchain based on Stellar. This while continuing to use ethereum for security and liquidity to token holders. “Most crypto projects to date have been technology-driven first and product-driven second. Kin has always been the opposite,” said Ted Livingston, Founder and CEO of Kin and Kik. “After working heads down alongside the best minds in the industry we came to the conclusion that a hybrid solution of Ethereum and our own fork of Stellar would benefit the Kin Ecosystem, both short and long-term. Our goal is for Kin to be the most used cryptocurrency in the world, and this will help get us there sooner.”
Kik Messenger has over 300 million registered users, and is mostly popular with teenagers. It is known for features preserving users’ anonymity, such as allowing registration without a telephone number. Kin was meant to be an ERC20 token but the developers were frustrated with Ethereum’s performance and ditched the plan. Its ICO last year raised nearly $ 100 million from more than 10,000 investors from 117 countries.
ICE to Launch Bitcoin Platform?
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), the parent company of 23 regulated marketplaces including the New York Stock Exchange, has reportedly been working on an online trading platform that would allow big investors to buy and hodl bitcoin. This according to The New York Times, citing emails and documents viewed by the newspaper and four people briefed on the effort who asked to remain anonymous because the plans were still confidential. Details of the platform that Intercontinental Exchange is working on have not been finalized and the project could still not come to fruition, however, this news serves as another signal for Wall Street’s strong desire to tap into the bitcoin market.
Sex Scandal Brings Down NY AG
Speaking about New York, the state’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has resigned just hours after the news about a violent sex scandal broke. As you may recall, Coinbase recently applauded the investigation into the operations of bitcoin exchanges launched by the NY AG in sharp contrast to the rebuke by Kraken CEO which took a brave stand against the American regulatory overreach.
The New Yorker magazine reported that four women complained about non-consensual physical violence by the AG. “In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in non-consensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”
CZ Defends ICOs
ICOs have gotten such a bad reputation recently that many projects today do their best to call their token crowdfunding by any other name. But now Changpeng Zhao , the Binance CEO, has come to the defense of initial coin offerings. The main argument by CZ is that ICOs enable many more projects to get funded than by traditional VC means, thus accelerating the pace of innovation. They also allow entrepreneurs to create solutions instead of wasting time on trying to raise funding in the old ways, and smaller investors can get in on the action that is normally reserved for accredited investors only.
Regarding the issue of fraud, CZ writes: “Scams exist everywhere, in every industry. I still receive phone calls and SMS telling me I won a grand prize, but I need to make a bank transfer to someone first. Does that mean we should stop using phones, SMS, and banks? The same law enforcement dealing with scams in traditional industries still applies in new industries. We don’t need to re-invent the wheel here.” And as for failures, he adds: “Most ICOs are new startup projects, and have a high rate of failure, just like in traditional startups. This is nothing new. Most ICO investors already know this.”
What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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