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Cryptocurrencies January 10, 2023

Bitcoin is a ‘Natural Reaction’ to the ‘Central Bank Scam,’ Says Argentina Presidential Hopeful

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Bitcoin is a 'Natural Reaction' to 'Central Bank Scam,' Says Argentina Presidential Hopeful
Presidential candidate Javier Gerardo Milei.

Bitcoin (BTC) represents the return of money to the private sector, and is a “natural reaction” to the “central bank scam”, Argentina presidential candidate Javier Gerardo Milei has said, signalling support for the top cryptocurrency.

“The first thing we have to understand is that the central bank is a scam,” stated Milei, in response to a question on whether Bitcoin could work as a monetary alternative.

“It is a mechanism by which politicians cheat […] the good people with the inflationary tax.”

Who is Javier Gerardo Milei, the Bitcoin lover?

He was speaking in a recent TV interview. Milei is an Argentine businessman and economist currently serving as a federal deputy of Buenos Aires. The 52-year old far-right politician is running as a candidate for a coalition party in the Argentine presidential election slated for October.

Milei pledged not to vote for any tax raises or new taxes if elected as president. The popular TV and radio personality is a supporter of Austrian economics and considers himself to be a “short-term minarchist”, although “philosophically an anarcho-capitalist.”

In his campaigns, Milei has denounced the “political caste,” which he claimed to be made up of “useless, parasitic politicians who have never worked.” His ideological views are thought of as a mixture of conservative and libertarian. Most Bitcoiners hold liberal views.

Also read: Smart AR Contact Lenses Inching Closer to Reality

Bitcoin returns money to private sector

in the interview, Milei explained that “Bitcoin is representing the return of money to the original creator: the private sector. Money is a private invention…[that is] to be used to solve problems.”

He went on to discuss the history of money and how governments had since 1445 “appropriated the exclusivity to issue money” with disastrous results.

According to the economist, legal tender, or government-issued money, is a major problem because it “allows politicians to scam you with the inflationary tax.” For this reason, he said, governments will not give up legal tender.

Milei contrasts the governmental chokehold on money with Bitcoin, which has a maximum supply of 21 million coins.

“Bitcoin has an algorithm that one day it will reach a certain amount and then there is no more. And it can compete with other currencies. In fact, it competes with Ethereum and others. The good point is that its the return of private money,” he said, adding:

“Bitcoin is the natural reaction to the central bank scammers and to make money private again. And the flip side is that the thieving politicians are not going to allow you to go against the legal tender. That’s why, as I suggest, you can propose to close the central bank.”

Stepping into Bukele’s shoes

Javier Gerardo Milei could be looking to follow in the footsteps of Nayib Bukele, president of El Salvador. The Bitcoin maverick president took perhaps one of the bravest decisions in modern economics: adopting the divisive crypto asset as legal tender.

Although the decision has been interpreted as progressive in the cryptocurrency world, the merits are yet to reflect on the country`s balance sheet. Bukele wanted to build Bitcoin City, a tax-free haven running entirely on Bitcoin.

Both the new city and his regular BTC purchases were a statement of intent. The idea still exists, though very little has happened in the city’s construction. A planned $1 billion Bitcoin bond to finance energy and mining infrastructure has stalled.

The bond, also aimed at buying even more Bitcoin, was announced in November 2021 and initially scheduled for March 2022.

Bitcoin is a 'Natural Reaction' to the 'Central Bank Scam,' Says Argentina Presidential Hopeful

Bukele Bitcoin purchases

According to Nayib Tracker, a website that tracks the president’s Bitcoin buys, El Salvador is 60% down on its Bitcoin bet. Since Sept. 2021, when Bukele started his Bitcoin purchases, the country has acquired 2,486 BTC, at an average price of $43,812.

That’s a total of $108.9 million, but the portfolio is currently worth just $43.15 million. The purchases have not yet justified the decision by Nayib Bukele to go against warnings by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney.

AI

Unlike Bitcoin, ChatGPT Creator Mira Murati Wants AI Regulated

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Unlike Bitcoin, ChatGPT Creator Mira Murati Wants AI Regulated
Mira Murati, OpenAI.

OpenAI chief technology officer Mira Murati has called for regulation of the company’s wildly popular chatbot ChatGPT and other generative AI tools to prevent companies from deploying the tech irresponsibly.

Murati’s comments contrast sharply with those of early Bitcoin visionaries who emphasized freedom, autonomy and democracy. But some new movers have welcomed regulation as a solution to the trust problems that have affected the cryptocurrency industry.

Also read: Google’s AI Bard to rival ChatGPT

“It’s important for OpenAI and companies like ours to bring this into the public consciousness in a way that’s controlled and responsible,” Murati said in a recent interview with Time Magazine.

“But we’re a small group of people and we need a ton more input in this system and a lot more input that goes beyond the technologies – definitely regulators and governments and everyone else,” she added.

Growing AI impact

ChatGPT is an AI-powered tool that generates human-like responses on almost every topic. It can write complex essays, poetry, code and even pass MBA exams at the Wharton School of Business.

The software has set the Internet on fire since OpenAI launched the chatbot in November 2022. In January, ChatGPT reached 100 million active users, making it the fastest growing Web application in history.

When Mira Murati was asked whether it was too early for policymakers and regulators to get involved, over fears that government involvement could slow innovation, she said:

“It’s not too early. It’s very important for everyone to start getting involved, given the impact these technologies are going to have.”

Murati also spoke about the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI) and how OpenAI was responding to those threats.

“[AI] can be misused, or it can be used by bad actors. So, then there are questions about how you govern the use of this technology globally. How do you govern the use of AI in a way that’s aligned with human values?” she stated.

“This is a unique moment in time where we do have agency in how it shapes society. And it goes both ways: the technology shapes us and we shape it. There are a lot of hard problems to figure out… And it’s important that we bring in different voices, like philosophers, social scientists, artists, and people from the humanities.”

ChatGPT surpasses Bitcoin in Google search

Searches for ChatGPT on Google have risen sharply over the last few months as interest in artificial intelligence continues to gather pace.

According to Google Trends, ChatGPT surpassed Bitcoin among popular search terms for most of January. The global Google searches for the word ‘ChatGPT’ peaked at a popularity score of 100 as of Feb. 2, compared to 45 for Bitcoin.

This is significant. At the beginning of November, when ChatGPT launched, the tool had a score of under 1. At the time, Bitcoin’s popularity score was 94. Search terms such as “crypto” and “Bitcoin” have declined in recent months, mainly due to the current bear market.

As shown in the graph below, searches for ChatGPT are more than double those of Bitcoin, even when the BTC price surged to more than $23,800 in recent days.

Unlike Bitcoin, ChatGPT Creator Mira Murati Wants AI Regulated

However, Murati’s calls for AI regulation are in stark contrast with the foundational principles of Bitcoin of privacy and autonomy. Bitcoin was conceived as an anti-authority invention where unmediated business is done peer-to-peer, away from regulatory oversight.

Has regulation helped curb Bitcoin illicit activity?

While the lack of internal controls, requiring users to utilize their own discretion, has been exploited by those with criminal motives, things are beginning to change. Illicit Bitcoin activity dropped sharply over the past decade and now accounts for under 1% of BTC usage.

Crypto analyst PlanB posted a chart on Twitter showing how crime-related use of Bitcoin fell between 2012 and 2020. “Less than 1% of Bitcoin usage is associated with ‘crime,’” said the pseudonymous Dutch investor, inventor of the stock-to-flow (S2F) model.

The chart from the Chainalysis Crime Report 2022 shows that illicit activity involving Bitcoin peaked at about 7% in 2012. It fell sharply to 1% the following year after the shutdown of Ross Ulbricht’s Silk Road darknet marketplace (DNM).

Bitcoin scams virtually ground to a halt in 2017 and 2018 following the closure of AlphaBay DNM. It picked up somewhat in 2019 to the current levels of under 1%. Thanks to the $2.25 billion PlusToken Ponzi scheme.

Observers say the declining illicit Bitcoin activity may be the result of regulation. It is this regulation which helped to bring transparency and credibility to the Bitcoin network. Bitcoin may have resisted regulation earlier on in its life, but governments eventually had their say.

Regulators tightened their grip on cryptocurrency following the multi-billion-dollar collapse of the Terra blockchain in May 2022. More recently, the spectacular collapse of FTX exchange means regulation has become a major focal area for governments all around the world.

Across the world, government agencies are targeting crypto investors not only with taxes but mandatory registration and full disclosure rules. State regulation appears to be the price the crypto community will have to pay for assimilation into the mainstream economy.

For OpenAI CTO Mira Murati, embracing governmental regulation now, rather than later, may be key to preventng future failures that impact negatively on the public.

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Cryptocurrencies

AI and Big Data Tokens Are Exploding with Fetch.ai (FET) Soaring More than 200%

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AI and Big Data Tokens Are Exploding with Fetch.ai (FET) Soaring More than 200%
Fetch.ai are among the current winners.

AI and Big Data tokens have joined metaverse tokens and industry-related cryptocurrencies to spike substantially in price. Among the hundreds of AI and Big Data tokens in the market, Fetch.ai (FET), Ocean Protocol (OCEAN), and The Graph (GRT) have brought awesome gains to their holders in the first three weeks of January. 

Fetch.ai (FET) has soared more than 200% 

Fetch.ai was created in 2017 as an AI laboratory that builds open, decentralized, and permissionless machine learning networks within the crypto economy. 

After shedding more than 80% of its value in 2022 due to an industry-wide bloodbath that wiped off more than $2 trillion from the crypto market, FET rebounded strongly in 2023. 

After opening the year on Jan. 1 with a trading price of $0.09166, the coin reached a monthly low of $0.09041 on Jan. 2. On Jan. 13, Binance announced the launch of FET/USDT Perpetual Contracts across multiple margin assets. The largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume followed this up by opening trading for FET/TRY (Turkish Lira) on Jan. 26. On Jan. 17, another exchange Bitrue also listed FET/USDT on its futures platform. In the crypto space, staking, the adoption of a crypto asset by a mainstream institution as well as token listing by reputable exchanges (in this case Binance and Bitrue) are major drivers of price. 

The listing of the coin led to it reaching a monthly and yearly high of $0.3045 on Jan. 23. After seeing a low daily volume of $5.5 million, increased demand for the coin on the more than 30 exchanges that supports it led to the new high daily volume of $170 million

In the process, FETs market capitalization has risen by 232% from $75 million on its opening day to over $230 million

AI and Big Data Tokens Are Exploding with Fetch.ai (FET) Soaring More than 200%

TradingView

Ocean Protocol (OCEAN) spiked over 130% due to the Hackathon progress

As a blockchain-based ecosystem that allows individuals and businesses to unlock the value of their data and monetize it via the use of Ethereum-based tokens, OCEAN has benefitted immensely from the cryptocurrency market rebound of 2023. 

Ocean has built on top of several mainstream blockchains in the industry and the highlight was when it partnered with Moonbeam Network on Polkadot to allow stakeholders of the Polkadot ecosystem to buy, stake, and publish data. 

OCEAN, like more than 90% of cryptocurrencies shed around 80% of its value in 2022 after opening and closing the year at $0.8586 and $0.1633 respectively. OCEAN opened 2023 with a price of $0.1633, reached a monthly low of $0.1592 on Jan. 2, and since that day, the token has benefitted from the Data Builders Hackathon the Ocean Foundation launched with Gitcoin which launched on Jan. 5 and it’s slated to end by the end of the month. Through this Hackathon, $40,000 in bounties will be shared among participants. 

OCEAN tested a monthly high of $0.3834 on Jan. 24 after seeing its least daily volume rise from $6.6 million to the highest of $143 million

Within 25 days, OCEAN’s price ascended by 134% which increased its market value from $100 million to more than $220 million

AI and Big Data Tokens Are Exploding with Fetch.ai (FET) Soaring More than 200%

TradingView

The Graph (GRT) is increasing due to positive market sentiment 

As an indexing protocol for querying data for networks like Ethereum, The Graph has helped power many applications in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space and the broader Web3 ecosystem. 

Renewed interest in cryptocurrency coupled with the awarding of funds to hackers by The Graph Foundation to build bold new decentralized applications (dApps) with sub-graphs has contributed to GRTs price spike. GRT, which is the novel token of the Graph lost 91% of its value in 2022. The token has impressed so far in 2023 recouping more than 70% of investor losses after opening at $0.05538 and reaching a monthly high of $0.0963 on Jan. 24. The significant rise in daily volume from $9 million to $86 million has also led to a rapid rise in market capitalization from $493 million to over $800 million

AI and Big Data Tokens Are Exploding with Fetch.ai (FET) Soaring More than 200%

TradingView

Other AI and Big Data coins and tokens that have spiked in value include, but are not limited to, Singularity NET (AGIX), Phala Network (PHA), Phoenix (PHB), and Covalent (CQT), Alliance Block (ALBT).

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Cryptocurrencies

SHIB The Metaverse at Texas Film Festival: Here’s What You Can Expect

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SHIB The Metaverse at Texas Film Festival: Here's What You Can Expect

Shiba Inu (SHIB), the popular dog-themed meme coin that started as a joke, will showcase its developing immersive metaverse experience at the upcoming Southwest Film and TV festival (SXSW) in Texas in the U.S.

It comes as the creators of SHIB announced on Jan.15 the impending launch of Shibarium, a layer-2 (L2) solution built on the Ethereum blockchain. The new network will help to make transactions faster and cheaper – and even improve user experience for metaverse and gaming apps.

According to a recent blog post, Shiba token was invited to participate at the annual festival where visitors will get a first-time preview of the ecosystem’s WAGMI Temple, the first of 11 hubs in SHIB The Metaverse.

Also read: Microsoft Makes Big Moves in AI – Is the Firm out to Dominate Our AI Future?

“Hubs are epicenters of activity within the [SHIB] metaverse, offering distinctive experiences rooted in each hubs’s theme,” said Sherri Cuono, metaverse advisor to Shiba Token. “Each offers special attractions that may only be experienced in that hub.”

SXSW is known for its conferences and festivals that celebrate the convergence of tech, film and television, music, education, and culture. The festival runs from March 10 -19, and will also feature exhibits covering experiences in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

What is SHIB The Metaverse?

Shiba Inu was created to make up for what rival Dogecoin (DOGE) lacked in functionality. Itself, Dogecoin started as a joke, just like Shiba Inu, but has since acquired meme status thanks to billionaire Elon Musk’s backing.

SHIB gained the limelight when it sent half of its initial supply of one quadrillion tokens to Vitalik Buterin. The Ethereum co-founder immediately sold about $1 billion worth of SHIB and donated the proceeds to India’s pandemic relief fund.

However, without utility, meme coins like Shiba Inu and DOGE “are examples of speculative hype-coins better classified as fun for gamblers on an unprecedented 24/7 global scale,” as Mike McGlone, Bloomberg senior commodity strategist, previously said.

SHIB has not grown at the scale that its pseudonymous creator Shytoshi Kusama hoped it would. The crypto token is now building on strong community support in addition to a series of improvements being made on the network to boost its token price and improve utility.

On Oct. 6 last year, Shiba Eternity game was launched, and now the launch of Shibarium is imminent. Shiba Inu already operates a decentralized exchange (DEX), allowing users to transact peer-to-peer. The DEX is to be upgraded to ShibaSwap 2.0.

There are plans to unveil a metaverse, which is still in development, part of which will now be showcased at SXSW. According to its creators, SHIB The Metaverse is “a virtual representation of Shiba Token’s collective history.”

It “is home to immersive experiences that will allow people to explore, learn from and interact with the Shiba Inu ecosystem.” At the Texas festival, visitors will experience WAGMI Temple, so named to reflect crypto’s rallying cry of “We’re All Going to Make It”.

“The common thread is digital-plus-IRL utility including activities, commerce, customization, expression, events, education and exploring,” said Sherri Cuono, the Shiba Token metaverse advisor. She added:

“Users will be able to earn passive income, collect in-game resources, generate rewards, and even have their own space to build and manage their projects in SHIB: The Metaverse.”

What’s it like in the SHIB WAGMI Temple?

WAGMI Temple “is a zen-like realm with calming sensations, meditation, natural beauty, and spiritual connections to the world. Echoes whisper through the region, with a rich history and discovery of SHIB’s birth and its decentralized roots,” the blog post claims.

The Shiba Inu team at SXSW is hoping to use the showpiece to help participants learn how to connect their digital wallets, purchase metaverse land, and explore the WAGMI Temple. It believes that SHIB’s presence “will make it easy for people to take part in the metaverse.”

The metaverse enables new online social interactions and group experiences, such as virtual reality and gaming, according to experts. It is providing new ways for people to connect and collaborate, as well as new types of digital services that go beyond physical limitations.

Shibarium launch imminent

The Shiba Token team announced on Jan. 15 the imminent launch in beta of the Shibarium layer 2 blockchain, which is expected to make SHIB transactions faster, cheaper, and more private.

Shibarium runs on top of the Ethereum (ETH) network, and will also serve as a transitional evolution to the Shiba Inu ecosystem, centering around metaverse, Web3 innovation, and gaming. The team wrote in a separate blog post that:

“This is primarily due to the commonality of scalability and performance limitations of current existing blockchain networks.”

Shibarium’s layer 2 blockchain tech can enable a new decentralized metaverse and gaming ecosystem, “where players can interact and transact in a trustless and decentralized way and where players can own, buy and sell the digital assets they acquire.”

Shiba Inu token price action

After a massive rally two years ago, Shiba Inu has crashed 88% since peaking at $0.000086 on Oct. 28, 2021, according to CoinGecko. While the token fell in line with the rest of the crypto markets, investors have also sobered up about their expectations of the asset.

Despite the decline, SHIB remains the 15th largest cryptocurrency, with a market value of $5.78 billion. That compares with DOGE’s $11 billion, making it the ninth largest crypto asset. Dogecoin is down 89% from its all-time high of $0.7315 reached on May 8, 2021.

As of writing, SHIB is down 1.8% at $0.00001052.

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