Novogratz Addresses Tether’s Shortcomings, Roubini’s Remarks

Mike Novogratz, the founder of Galaxy Digital Holdings and an avid supporter of cryptocurrencies, has said that Tether has nobody but itself to blame for the recent issues they have been facing.


Novogratz Addresses Recent Tether FUD

Bitcoin bull Mike Novogratz believes that Tether (USDT) needs to be more transparent. He was speaking recently at a conference in Frankfurt, and his observations were published in an article on Bloomberg.

The billionaire investor, founder of Galaxy Digital Holdings, and former partner at Goldman Sachs said, “I think Tether didn’t do a great job in terms of creating transparency.” He added that the digital asset will need time to regain the lost trust.

Tether

Tether, a U.S. dollar-backed stablecoin, experienced panic selling earlier Monday based on rumors that many leading exchanges were going to delist the coin. Traders and investors dumped their USDT holdings in favor of Bitcoin and other stable currencies like the Circle-backed USD Coin (USDC) and Gemini USD (GUSD). This led to a 7% drop – from USDT’s Sunday high of $0.995 to a low of $0.925 on Monday.

“The concept of stablecoins make sense,” Novogratz said, adding that stablecoins have more of a transactional character than other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. He further mentioned that he would prefer a stable coin like GUSD as it is backed by a U.S.-based bank like State Street to maintain its backup reserves.

Tether earlier had a banking relationship with Noble, a Puerto Rico-based bank, which recently ran out of cash and is likely to be put up for sale. As reported by Live Bitcoin News, Tether is known to have withdrawn its cash reserves from Noble and switched over to Bahamas-based Deltec Bank.

Seeking to clarify some of the statements made in the Bloomberg article, Novogratz later tweeted:

Also Talks About Roubini’s Senate Remarks

Responding to the recent attack on cryptos by economist Nouriel Roubini during a Senate hearing, Novogratz said that the rise in custodian firms will help give the asset class a boost. He added that these firms have the potential to replace credit card companies. Roubini had called digital money, “the mother of all scams and (now busted) bubbles.”

“You can agree with Roubini on several points, but he is judging cryptocurrencies as if it was a PhD student. Cryptocurrencies are third- or fourth-graders, so still in need to mature,” Novogratz said.

Nouriel Roubini

Observing that the bubble last year was the result of speculation by retail investors, he argued that the investments into cryptocurrency infrastructure and custodian services will help the industry mature.

Novogratz, along with Goldman Sachs, earlier this week announced the investment of over $15 million in BitGo’s custody services arm. He also referred to Fidelity setting up a subsidiary for custody of digital assets.

He believes that custodians may also take over a significant part of the business currently done by credit card companies like Mastercard or Visa. “The transaction costs are much cheaper,” he said, adding “The least the proliferation of custodians will do is drive fees much lower.”

With growing competition from USDC and GUSD, which are more open in their operations, Tether needs to bring transparency in its working if it must maintain its current lead in the stablecoin space.

Do you agree with Novogratz that lack of transparency is hurting Tether? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Twitter/@novogratz and Shutterstock.

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U.S. Job Market Thrives as Blockchain Companies Continue Hiring Spree

The U.S. job market is undergoing some noteworthy changes. A positive trend has been established over the past few months as the number of unfilled jobs has increased. Emerging technological trends are playing a part as the Bitcoin and blockchain job market is increasing in popularity.


A Booming U.S. Job Market

Several signs indicate whether a nation’s economy is doing well. The number of available job openings is one such key factor. In the United States, that metric is getting a lot of attention. Over 7 million unfilled job openings were present in August of 2018. A healthy job market shows there is still plenty of financial growth ahead for U.S. companies.

The blockchain industry is helping push a boom in the U.S. job market.

One notable contributor is the Bitcoin and blockchain industry. Job market listings pertaining to this industry have increased by 300% compared to the same period in 2017. That is a promising sign. It also confirms the United States should play an increasing role of importance in this growing industry. Just over 1,700 positions were waiting to be filled in August of this year.

These findings come at a crucial time for the cryptocurrency industry. An ongoing Bitcoin price decline for the majority of 2018 has made a lot of people wary of cryptocurrency. Yet many businesses are seeing the potential value of distributed ledger technology. The number of listings on the U.S. job market indicates companies are still in the process of expanding their presence into this particular ecosystem.

Filling the Right Positions

One interesting trend is the growing demand for Bitcoin and blockchain software engineers. A number of companies are eager to hire such candidates, as well as other blockchain positions. As an increasing number of universities around the world are now starting to offer courses pertaining to this topic, that part of the job market will continue to expand. It also shows how difficult it can be for companies to find, much less retain, talented staff during this crucial growth stage.

blockchain

One of the major companies on an active hiring spree is IBM. The technology giant is currently exploring numerous blockchain ventures. ConsenSys, a renowned company in the cryptocurrency industry, is also looking to fill many different positions. It is also worth noting these kinds of jobs are in prime demand. The average pay is over 60% higher compared to the median base pay on the U.S. job market.

Not all companies in this industry are successful, though. A proven track record does not warrant future growth. Exchange providers are going through a rough patch right now. Given the growing competition on the market, that is not entirely surprising. This is a growing pain the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry will have to go through prior to entering the next stage of adoption.

Do you plan on getting a job in the blockchain industry? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Two-Thirds of Applicants Failed Malta’s Cryptocurrency Agents Exam

Less than 40 percent of the applicants for Malta’s cryptocurrency agent certification have managed to pass the official exam. The large number of failures comes even after last-minute changes were made to boost the pass rate. 


Increased Scrutiny

Last month, Live Bitcoin News reported that Malta will enact two new blockchain bills starting November 1st. One of them is the Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFA). Under its stipulations, financial service practitioners who look to act as agents in the field of cryptocurrencies need to undertake a short training course and, after that, pass an exam. The first of those took place in September.

Local media, citing sources familiar with the matter, reports that the exam saw participation from about 250 lawyers, auditors, and accountants. It was held by the Malta Financial Services Authority and administered by the Institute of Financial Service Practitioners.

Initially, the exam consisted of multiple-choice questions and was supposed to be graded with a negative marking scheme. However, shortly after the process began, it reportedly became clear that the pass rate was particularly low. Hence, authorities made last-minute changes, scrapping the negative marking scheme in order to increase the pass rate.

Unfortunately, this didn’t do participants much good as more than two-thirds of them failed the exam anyway.

Increased Scrutiny

Full Steam Ahead Nevertheless

Despite the dismal pass rate on the exam, Malta’s overall stance on cryptocurrencies remains unwaveringly positive. Earlier this month, the Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, reaffirmed his overly positive sentiment towards cryptocurrencies at the 73rd annual UN General Assembly:

I passionately believe technology revolutionizes and improves systems. This is why in Malta, we have launched ourselves as the blockchain island. By being the first jurisdiction worldwide to regulate this new technology that previously existed in a legal vacuum. Blockchain makes cryptocurrencies inevitable future of money. More transparent, it helps filter good business from bad business. – Said Muscat.

Furthermore, Malta also expressed willingness to assist their fellow island nation Vanuatu with developing a strong blockchain regulatory framework.

What do you think of the high failure rate at Malta’s cryptocurrency agent exam? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


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