Baidu Launches Plug and Play Blockchain Engine (BBE) platform Dapps

Chinese search giant Baidu has launched a blockchain platform aimed to simplify commercial deployment of decentralized apps, or dapps.

Officially announced by Baidu Cloud on Thursday, the Baidu Blockchain Engine (BBE) platform is touted as a kind of operating system allowing developers to produce blockchain applications “just like mobile apps,” and get around the storage and computing “bottlenecks” that are holding up blockchain’s potential.

BBE is built on what the company calls the ABC (AI, Big Data, cloud computing) technology stack, allowing customers to explore and develop ways to commercialize blockchain tech.

Hosted on Baidu’s “intelligent” cloud platform, the system uses a modular blockchain framework to provide developers with a multi-chain system including smart contract templates, dapp templates and other...

Stocks Edge Higher Despite Trump Tariff Warning; Crypto Top 10 Shake Up

U.S. stocks pulled ahead on Tuesday, as investors shrugged off calls by President Trump for additional tariffs on Chinese goods. Cryptocurrencies faltered after a solid start to the week as bitcoin SV made its debut.

Stocks Finish Higher

Equities pulled ahead in the final hour of trading, with the S&P 500 Index registering gains of 0.3% to close at 2,682.20. Seven of 11 primary sectors contributed to the gains, led by the defensive consumer staples and utilities categories. Healthcare and the much smaller real estate sector also notched solid gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 108.49 points, or 0.4%, to 24,748.73. Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) were the biggest contributors.

The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index finished flat at 7,082.70.

Trump Threatens Additional China Tariffs

U.S. President Donald Trump told The Wall Street Journal on Monday that he plans to move ahead with harsher tariffs on Chinese goods, lowering the prospect of an imminent trade deal later this week. China had requested that the president hold off on raising tariffs on $200 billion worth of U.S.-bound experts scheduled to come into effect Jan. 1. Trump not only said...

Being a Woman Entrepreneur In China's Get-Rich-Quick Crypto Culture

Sa Wang has co-founded several successful companies in the tech and blockchain space, first at popular Chinese self-service kiosk startup Dora, and now at top 50 crypto project and blockchain protocol IOST.

We hear a lot about women (or the lack thereof) in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space.

Confirming what many of us already suspected, CoinDesk's Q2 2018 State of the Blockchain Report found that only 4 percent of crypto investors are women. In tandem, reporters regularly call the "blockchain bros" on the carpet for elbowing women out of yet another lucrative emerging industry.

But this has been a predominantly West-centric conversation, casting the spotlight on gender inequality and underrepresentation at Western crypto companies, Western blockchain conferences, and Western meetups.

Thus far, news articles, Twitter threads, and Medium posts have largely neglected the diversity of female experiences in other parts of the world, such as China, South Korea and Japan, where the crypto space is equally — if not more — dynamic and growing.

Take China, for instance. Despite banning ICOs and bringing bitcoin trading to a virtual standstill, in 2017, China was responsible for over half of the world's blockchain-related patent applications — with the U.S. coming in a distant second. The top three cryptocurrencies by market cap launched in 2018 — Zilliqa, Ontology, and IOST — are all Chinese.

With such a strong Asian presence in the blockchain world, why do we rarely hear about Asian women in crypto? What can the rest of the world learn from our experiences?

Chinese women in crypto

In order to understand what it's like to be a Chinese woman in crypto, first you must understand the Chinese crypto space itself.

Despite China's ban on crypto trading, there is a ravenous appetite for crypto wealth — traders have simply started placing their bets in Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea. The regulatory crackdowns have done little to stifle the hundreds of scam crypto projects in China (many of them deployed overseas), while newly minted bitcoin millionaires — mostly male with no education or merits necessary — abound.

In contrast to the West, where conversations are slowly evolving towards a more nuanced discussion of the merits of blockchain technology and institutional adoption, Chinese crypto enthusiasts largely maintain a single-minded speculative focus: Will this coin be listed on a Korean exchange soon? What is its market cap? Should I buy? Should I sell?

This get-rich-quick mentality makes it very difficult for serious blockchain advocates — especially females, who already have to fight for a voice — to cut through the noise and evangelize a longer-term (and much less sexy) message.

As Carylyne Chan of CoinMarketCap writes in her fascinating and detailed account of Chinese crypto culture:

"Scam cases… have engendered many tragedies, and created a more insidious impact: For those who truly believe in the blockchain, such scams are smearing the blockchain technology...

A Chinese Regime Critic and an Irish Conceptual Artist

Ai Weiwei and Kevin Abosch have teamed up on an art project that uses twin Ethereum-based tokens they have created. This is “conceptual” art -- that is, the sort of art that is supposed to make you say “oh, wow” when you hear the idea explained.

The project, called PRICELESS (PRCLS) involves twin ETH based tokens because one of them is to be made publicly available and the other will be utterly inaccessible. Dear reader: has your head just exploded?

Ai Weiwei is a critic of China’s government who was arrested in April 2011 and held for 81 days on unspecified “economic crimes.” He was allowed to leave the country in 2015 and he now lives in Germany. Abosch is an Irish artist working in film. He once sold a photograph of a potato to an anonymous businessman for  €1 million.

Abosch describes the idea behind the Ethereum project as “just another thing to engage people in the hope that they will spend a little bit more time reflecting on the perversity of hw most of us ascribe value to things.”

Bitmain Becomes Biggest Blockchain Conglomerate Following Series B Funding

Bitmain's series B funding closes to create the largest global cryptocurrency conglomerate in China.

China’s dominant bitcoin mining manufacturer has become the largest crypto conglomerate in the world after securing a new round of Series B funding.

Bitmain Expands Influence

Caixin news agency reported last week that Bitmain has secured between $300 million and $400 million in new funding from Sequoia China, U.S. hedge fund Coatue and Singapore-based EDBI, effectively becoming the largest cryptocurrency company in the world. With the latest round, Bitmain’s total value has swelled to $12 billion.

Bitmain is making waves across the blockchain industry, having recently announced plans to purchase roughly 43% of Opera Ltd., a Norway-based internet browser that has filed for an initial public offering with Nasdaq.

Back in May, the company led a $110 million financing round for Circle, an influential cryptocurrency company with backing from Goldman Sachs and others. In an official announcement, Circle said Bitmain’s stake in the company will allow it to expand critical infrastructure needed to power the crypto economy:

“Bitmain Co-founder and CEO Jihan Wu is well known for espousing a vision similar to ours regarding the creation and adoption of a new global economy powered by cryptographic...

The Yuan Now Accounts for Less than 1% of Bitcoin Transactions

China’s comprehensive ban on cryptocurrency trading has had its desired effect: the yuan renminbi now accounts for less than 1% of global bitcoin transactions.

Yuan Transactions Down

Once the dominant quote currency for bitcoin, the yuan is no longer being used to facilitate fiat-to-crypto trades, according to new data from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). The central bank disclosed the data Friday through the state-run Xinhua news agency, which showed that the yuan accounts for less than 1% of bitcoin trades from a peak of more than 90%.

Last September, China’s central bank issued a blanket ban on domestic cryptocurrency exchanges and announced a zero-tolerance policy for initial coin offerings (ICOs). Over the past ten months, regulators have also stepped up efforts to limit access to foreign digital currency exchanges.

The PBOC says it has ensured a zero-risk exit for 88 cryptocurrency exchanges and 85 ICO trading platforms, according to Xinhua.

A blockchain analyst by the name of Zhang Yifeng believes that China’s ban had a positive impact on price volatility:

“The timely moves by regulators effectively fended off the impact of sharp ups and downs in virtual currency prices and led the global regulatory trend,” Zhang said, as quoted by Xinhua.


Asia’s Influence on the Cryptocurrency Markets

Asia is one of the leading influencers in the crypto markets and trading volume.

Nowadays cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are considered widely to be real investment vehicles, with the future goal being mass adoption. This is slowly progressing within the US and Europe, but some areas of Asia, particularly in the Southeast region have really started to embrace this revolution. Cryptocurrency is being used in many ways such as Bitcoin Cash beer gardens in Thailand and blockchain based microlending programmes in Cambodia.

Until midway through 2017 China was regarded as the biggest market worldwide for Bitcoin trading, however from September onwards this began to change when ICOs were banned and then government officials shut down some local Bitcoin exchanges, such as OKcoin and Huobi, which were two of the largest in the world and this then made Japan the largest Bitcoin market in the world. It is only set to get worse for China too as now their Government Officials also want to crack down even further on Bitcoin mining and stop local internet access to cryptocurrency exchanges internationally. This would stop any potential Chinese Bitcoin consumers buying from foreign exchanges as well as their own.

Asia’s Influence is undeniable

It has been noticed that cryptocurrency trading in Asia has proved to be very adaptable, in particular in relation to the wide ranging prices across the continent. The chief exec of a Hong...

EOS 1st, BTC 17th in China's Latest Government Crypto Rankings

The 2nd China government-backed cryptocurrency rankings were released.

China's Latest Government-Backed Crypto Rankings Put EOS 1st, BTC 17th

The second round of China’s state-backed monthly ratings of cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects has been released, Cena News reported June 21.

Dubbed the “Global Public Chain Technology Evaluation Index,” this latest round was announced at the Shanghai Science Hall on June 20, and ranks EOS 1st, Ethereum (ETH) 2nd, and Bitcoin (BTC) 17th, out of a total of 30 analyzed cryptocurrencies.

China’s monthly “Global Public Chain Technology Evaluation Index” is published by the China Center for Information Industry Development (CCID) of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and is said to be compiled by “first-rate domestic experts and scholars,” according to the original Index press release.

EOS’ top ranking is attributed to the “outstanding technical advantages in transaction confirmation efficiency, network throughput, and transaction costs” of the protocol.

While conceding the EOS...

Escalation Overflow

Hi Everyone,

Financial markets appear to be reacting to the latest escalation in the trade war between the U.S. and China.

It now appears that the United States may have the upper hand due to the wide trade imbalance between the two nations. Indeed, it would be very difficult for the Chinese to find $200 billion worth of US imports to curtail.

Under the circumstances, I guess you could say that markets are holding up pretty well, as we’ll see below. Even though the declines are sizeable, this doesn’t come close to the volatility we saw in February.

President Trump’s approval ratings are now as high as they’ve ever been despite outrage over recent hardline anti-immigration actions that saw authorities separating more than 2,300 children from their parents.

eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • Stocks Minor Sell-off
  • What Brexit Negotiations?
  • Crypto Off the Lows (Focus on ETC)

Traditional Markets

Looking at the financial markets today it seems there is a bit of fear creeping in.

The Chinese stock market is down 3% and the Japanese market isn’t far behind with losses of 2.5%. Though these are quite substantial movements for any stock index, by putting things in context on the long-term chart we can see that it’s not the end of the world.

Please notice how in February, before the whole trade tensions began, the stocks experienced a much sharper sell-off.

On this chart of the VIX we can also see that even though volatility spiked yesterday, it’s still way below the levels seen...