Can You Actually Invest in Cryptocurrency? 1 139

You’ve probably read in the news how Bitcoin recently set an all-time high in value of over $7,000 per bitcoin when just a year ago each one was worth less than $1,000. Or you may have seen stories about certain cryptocurrencies increasing over 20 times in value in this year alone. To the typical investor, this may seem like the wild west and be entirely intimidating, which can lead many everyday people to avoid the cryptocurrency market because of the volatility and difficulty in entering it in the first place.

For instance, if you stop 100 people on the street and ask them how to buy a bitcoin, probably less than 5% of them would be able to tell you how it’s done. And you’ll get a lot of conjecture from the rest. So then, how are casual investors and people who don’t have computer science degrees supposed to invest in a market that is undeniably hot and producing returns?

Well, the folks over at Vaultbank think they have a solution.

Getting into the market

The act of purchasing a cryptocurrency can involve multiple steps, different websites, long wait times for deposits, and some anxiety over the validity of the groups you’re using. But that’s because there are so many exchanges selling coins at varying prices and there are hundreds of different coins that the typical investor wouldn’t recognize.

Additionally, you’re hoping that the returns we’ve been seeing in the cryptocurrency space will continue to happen. But what about more conventional, stable investments? There are a few less risky investments that you can make with cryptocurrency that can still pay great dividends.

To reduce these barriers and offer a more secure investment, Vaultbank has teamed up with Ambisafe to create a secure and simple trading terminal and exchange called Vaultbank Exchange, with industry low fees. This technology could change the cryptocurrency world as it makes investing in ICOs easier, more cost efficient, and faster than ever.

Vaultbank will be ICOing a new token, Vaultbank Token, that will act as an investment in their entire business and fund. 80% of the ICO funds raised will be invested in a secured loan portfolio, fueling the quarterly dividends. This will be the first asset-backed token to pay quarterly dividends. Vaultbank’s portfolio managers and Board of Directors have over 100 years of combined banking and investment management experience. Vaultbank, through its token, will also be creating liquidity while delivering hedge fund returns, but with no minimum investment. The Vaultbank Executives and Board Members experience include BlackRock, Portfolio Financial Servicing Corporation, GE Capital, Bank of America to name a few on the finance end; combined with successful ventures in Blockchain businesses including Ambisafe, and worldwide payment solutions including Gyft and Volopa debit MasterCard.

Accessing Funds

As I mentioned above, a problem that isn’t unique to cryptocurrency, is the access to your invested funds quickly and easily. Most funds require a lot of paperwork and time to allow you access to your money, and in some cases, high fees for early withdrawal penalties. This then forces most people to have a delineation with their money: their liquid assets and their illiquid assets. But Vaultbank thinks there shouldn’t be a separation.

Using blockchain technology and a distributed ledger, Vaultbank will provide a debit MasterCard that will give immediate access to the invested funds whenever the investor wants to access them. Just to note here, there are some accredited investor requirements that may affect this access in certain jurisdictions. But this means most people will now be able to experience the yields of a hedge fund but with the convenience of a checking account. Meaning, for the first time ever, an asset backed security will be able to be used as a tender for everyday purchases.

And because the blockchain expedites and improves on almost every aspect of portfolio management, the excessive and high fees that are typical in the investment world will be significantly lowered for their users.

So yes, investing in cryptocurrency is possible and it doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems. Who wouldn’t want an asset backed cryptocurrency which is professionally managed and offers quarterly dividends and token price appreciation? If you’re interested, you can check out Vaultbank’s ICO that’s starting on December 5th. You can find out more about it on their website.

This article was originally published on The Huffington Post on November 3, 2017.

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Starting her career on Wall Street at just 19 years old, Danielle went on to be one of the youngest equity traders in the industry. After a successful career in Financial Planning, she went on to found her media company What Vibes Your Tribe, which connects the worlds of digital marketing and public relations. Her experience in brand strategy along with successfully developing the thought leadership of C -level executives has played an integral part in her client's achieving prestigious awards such as Inc 500, Forbes Next Billion Dollar Startup, Entrepreneur 360 among other top level recognition.

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Kenya Looks to Blockchain for Affordable Housing Project 1 142

The “Silicon Savannah” is moving deeper in direction of tech. The Kenyan government has announced a plan to manage the property allocation and funding of 500,000 affordable housing units with blockchain technology.

The units, which the government aims to build by 2022, will be set aside for households with an annual income below 100,000 Kenyan Shillings, about $990 USD. The World Bank estimates Kenya’s gross national income per capita at $1,290, according to Business Daily.

Blockchain will help ensure that the affordable housing is in fact going to those who fall below the average income bracket. Land title fraud has caused problems for Kenyans, as land grabbers target homes and even schools for illegal sales and development. Blockchain’s ability to store verifiable proof of title could help safeguard against fraudsters.

“Kenya will use blockchain technology to ensure the rightful owners live in government funded housing projects,” said Principal Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Charles Hinga, speaking with the World Bank on Monday.

Hinga said the plan will be financed by the National Housing Fund, which will raise over $59.5 million per month to get the project underway. But Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development James Macharia said it will take $31.7 billion to build a million homes, each of which will cost between $3,000 and $30,000. Macharia called for support from private sector financing.

Under the financing plan, working Kenyans will contribute 1.5 percent of their salary, which will be matched by their employers. “On affordable housing one should not spend more than 30% of their disposable income for housing,” Hinga tweeted yesterday. “Anything above 30% is not affordable.”

A Trustless Relationship Between People and Government

The initiative represents a considerable push to solve housing and title problems for the nation’s lower income families. But how will the government decide to whom the housing units will go? With so much talk about financing underway, people are already calling on the government to outline a plan for how they’ll distribute the affordable housing units.

The government will need to deliver the housing projects in a time when, Hinga acknowledges, the public is skeptical. Earlier this year $78 million went missing in a corruption scandal involving the National Youth Services. Where there is little trust between the people and their government, Kenya hopes to establish transparency through the blockchain’s distributed ledger system.

Kenya’s Move Toward Tech

In March, Kenya’s Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology appointed a blockchain taskforce to explore the ways the nation could use blockchain technology in the public and private sectors. They called it the Distributed Ledgers and Artificial Intelligence taskforce, and by September its chairman, Bitange Ndemo, was calling on the government to tokenize the economy.

Ndemo also proposed government implementation of blockchain to certify the authenticity of retail goods, so consumers can be sure of where their food is coming from, for example.

Governor of Kenya’s central bank Patrick Njoroge has also voiced support for the use of blockchain technology to strengthen service delivery, although he’s opposed the use of tokens and digital currencies.

But the affordable housing initiative could be the Kenyan government’s first real world implementation of the blockchain.

There’s an Inflatable ‘Bitcoin Rat’ Staring Down the Fed 1 126

Someone has put a giant inflatable rat outside the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.

It’s covered in Bitcoin code, printed in rainbow colors, and is apparently a piece of installation art aimed at subverting the federal institution that controls the US dollar. Or is it pale, puffed-up pariah a commentary on Bitcoin bros themselves? Or does it have something to do with Warren Buffett, who earlier this year called Bitcoin “rat poison squared”? According to CoinDesk, who first reported on the inflatable rat, the meaning is intentionally ambiguous.

The artist behind the puzzling prank is Nelson Saiers. He describes his own work as “mystifying” and “singularly original”, notwithstanding the long history of rats being inflated as protests or used as economic and political icons in art and entertainment around the world.

“It’s art, so I hope they’re entertained by it,” he said, apparently implying that art is entertainment. “It’s informative, I hope people will learn [and] I’m hoping it’ll at least help people understand bitcoin better and be kind of faithful to what Satoshi would have wanted,” he added, citing the mysterious pseudonym of Bitcoin’s founder with a touch of reverence.

A $50 Million Artist

Saiers, a phD in theoretical mathematics, was a hedge fund manager who did that thing where you give up all the money to chase your dream of being an artist.

His financial experience includes a stint as managing director at Deutsche Bank’s prop trading desk, before becoming CIO of Saiers Capital, the hedge fund that bears his name. His creative career gives credence to the theory that working as an artist is more and more a privilege of the very wealthy.

CNBC estimated Saiers’s wealth to be around $50 million at the time of he departed from the financial industry to pick up his paintbrushes.

The Rat Joins a Tradition of Sculpture-as-Commentary in FiDi

The Bitcoin rat, which stands on Maiden Lane, isn’t the first pop up sculpture to grace Manhattan’s financial district. Last year, Kristen Visbal’s 50 inch bronze ‘Fearless Girl’ statue made waves by staring down the famous ‘Charging Bull’, to the outrage of ‘Charging Bull’ sculptor Arturo Di Modica. The 3.5 ton ‘Charging Bull’ itself was left on Wall Street in the middle of the night when Di Modica originally created it, obstructing traffic and drawing the curiosity of passers by.

When Saiers placed the Bitcoin rat, he initially set it up on private property and was promptly ushered off by security guards, who he says were good natured about the situation. He expects the sculpture to be more temporary than the aforementioned Wall Street bronzes, and will probably only be around for a few days.

A Critique of the 2008 Bailouts

The placement of the rat on Maiden Lane seems to be no accident, but rather a reference to the Maiden Lane Transactions, more commonly known as that time when the Fed bailed out the big banks after they all caused the 2008 market crash. The Bitcoin crowd’s antipathy towards the Fed and the big banks is palpable in Sairs’s rat sculpture, and while a more specific meaning eludes, perhaps the success of the piece depends upon its ability to start conversations about the state of finance.

We’ll leave it to the viewers to decide who’s the rat—the Federal Reserve, or Bitcoin itself—and what that means for the future of currencies.

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