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Microsoft and GE dropped this management practice years before it landed Yahoo in hot water

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Marissa MayerAround the time proponents of stack ranking like Microsoft and GE were ditching the system in favor of more employee-friendly management strategies, newly appointed Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer embraced the strategy with the unveiling of her quarterly performance review (QPR) system.

Shortly after joining the company in 2012, she implemented the employee performance review process, which had managers score their employees and distribute them into "greatly exceeds," "exceeds," "achieves," "occasionally misses," and "misses" categories, with a target percentage of employees to be distributed into each.

Now, as Mayer comes under fire from investors over Yahoo's management and insufficient turnaround, Yahoo also has a lawsuit to contend with surrounding its controversial QPR system.

In the lawsuit filed on Monday, former Yahoo editor Gregory Anderson accuses Yahoo of implementing its performance review system knowing that stack ranking had been criticized and rejected by larger employers because it was "subject to abuse, often resulted in claims of discrimination, and needed to be closely monitored in application and effect." 

He says the rules implementing the QPR process were vaguely drawn, were communicated on a need-to-know basis, differed from department to department, and would change quarterly to achieve headcount-reduction targets.

Anderson further alleges that even if all employees on a team were performing well or at the same level, managers were required to place some of them in "occasionally misses" and "misses" buckets, resulting in good employees being let go.

Yahoo would not comment on the lawsuit but stands by its performance review system. A spokeswoman told Business Insider: "Fairness is a guiding principle of our annual review and reward process. Our performance review process was developed to allow employees at all levels of the company to receive meaningful, regular, and actionable feedback from others."

The headquarters of Yahoo Inc. is shown in Sunnyvale, California May 5, 2008.  REUTERS/Robert Galbraith Gripes against stack ranking systems aren't isolated to Yahoo. Many large corporations — including IBM, Microsoft, GE, and Accenture — have done away with the practice in the past several years as a result.

Former GE CEO Jack Welch popularized stack ranking more than 30 years ago. In a USA Today interview from 2005, he described this system as "taking care of your very best, being sure the valued middle is cared for, and weeding out the weakest." He considered the strategy an act of kindness that let employees know where they stood.

But under new management, GE decided to eliminate formal, forced ranking about 10 years ago, according to Quartz.

"It existed in more or less the same form since I started at the company in 1979," GE's head of human resources, Susan Peters, told Quartz. "But we think over many years it had become more a ritual than moving the company upwards and forwards."

Microsoft also did an about-face on its employee ranking system. According to a 2012 Vanity Fair article, the large majority of employees under then-CEO Steve Ballmer found stack ranking to be the most destructive force within the company, saying that it "effectively crippled Microsoft's ability to innovate."

As Business Insider's Nicholas Carlson writes in his book, "Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!":

Because someone would have to be ranked worst even on teams full of all-star performers, Microsoft's most talented employees refused to work together. Because employees were not judged on their own work, but on how well they did relative to their peers, they would actively seek to undermine each other.

Microsoft eventually shed the practice in late 2013 after Ballmer's departure.

Steve BallmerAccording to Carlson, in 2013 Mayer received complaints from managers who said they felt "uncomfortable" telling employees they had "missed" when they didn't feel they had. "I understand we want to weed out mis-hires/people not meeting their goals, but this practice is concerning. I don't want to lose the person mentally," said one employee. 

Carlson writes that stack ranking forced Yahoo teammates to directly compete with each other, prevented talented people from working in the same group together, and caused employees to prioritize tasks that got them closer to their personal goals over doing anything collaborative. "Somebody always had to 'occasionally miss.' Even if no one ever missed," he writes.

In a statement to Business Insider, the Yahoo spokeswoman said of its QPR system: "We believe this process allows our team to develop and do their best work. Our performance review process also allows for high performers to engage in increasingly larger opportunities at our company, as well as for low performers to be transitioned out."

Many management experts see stack ranking as a thing of the past, saying companies will increasingly focus on individuals.

Data from management research firm CEB shows that 6% of Fortune 500 companies have already gotten rid of rankings, and Kris Duggan, CEO of enterprise software company BetterWorks, predicts that over the next three years, that number will be closer to 50%.

Duggan sees companies moving to a model where there's regular coaching instead of pitting employees against each other. It will be more "what do you need from me, what do I need from you, and how do we both have a mutual discussion around what it's going to take to win," she says. "And it's a very different perspective."

SEE ALSO: 19 signs your company is about to conduct mass layoffs

DON'T MISS: A man who got laid off from Yahoo is suing the company for alleged gender discrimination

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Harmless lies that can help you ace your job interview

CEO: Glencore held 'a gun to our head'

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

gun american gun control

This is the kind of stuff that happens when commodities markets collapse.

The CEO of South Africa's main power supplier, Eskom, told a group of reporters that Glencore — the massive international commodities trader — threatened to cripple the country's power supply over the summer, Bloomberg reports.

Glencore wanted Eskom to renegotiate its coal contract in July and pay a higher rate — 530 rand per metric ton instead of 150 rands per metric ton.

When the CEO, Brian Molefe, refused, Glencore mentioned that stopping the supply of coal to one of South Africa's power plants would lead to more electricity outages. 

From Bloomberg: 

“They had something that they thought could get us to pay an exorbitant amount for their coal. Basically, from where I was sitting rightly or wrongly I felt like they were holding a gun" to my head, he [Molefe] said. "But we were able to procure coal at less than the price they were asking" and the power plant didn’t shut down.

Glencore was preparing itself for "balance sheet armageddon" in September as commodities prices collapsed. Cashflow and debt became huge issues. It announced a plan to reduce a serious portion of that debt back in December.

Bloomberg's commodities index is down over 26% for the year. This statement from Eskom's CEO gives us a glimpse of how ugly it can when a commodities company is faced with the reality of plummeting prices.

It's a situation that, as a commodities producer, South Africa shares.

For more on this head to Bloomberg>>

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NOW WATCH: Wall Street's unbelievable secret history

Commonwealth Pushes Member Countries to Declare Bitcoin Legal

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The Commonwealth has released a new report that calls on its 53 member countries to speak out on the legality of digital currencies.

SatoshiPay Launches Bitcoin Nanopayment Network for Online Content

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

SatoshiPay, an online payments company headquartered in London, announced the launch of a platform for Web publishers, offering a new way to monetize content through frictionless micropayments.

SatoshiPay’s payment technology gives users the ability to transact amounts as small as one cent or less – which the company refers to as “nanopayments” – by leveraging blockchain technology.

“Nanopayments can be fractions of a cent. They are instantly settled and can be executed at high frequency. Imagine a couple of payments per second by a single user,” said SatoshiPay co-founder and CEO Meinhard Benn. “This enables completely new ways of monetizing Web content and digital goods in general. In an increasingly digital society, nanopayments allow for new business models that existing payment technology cannot facilitate due to its fee structure and trust models.”

SatoshiPay Ltd. is headquartered in London and development is done through the Berlin subsidiary SatoshiPay Germany UG, founded by Benn, Henning Peters and Kilian Thalhammer in 2014. In July 2015, the company won second prize at Coinbase Bithack.

“SatoshiPay is a bitcoin nanopayment wall for publishers which allows you to pay for the section of text that really interests you, make metered payments for streaming video, and make paid downloads with a single click,” noted the Coinbase announcement. SatoshiPay recently announced that it closed a €360,000 seed funding round.

“SatoshiPay would like to become a standard for paying for digital goods on the Web,” Benn told Bitcoin Magazine. “It’s widely assumed that micro or nanopayments are one of the applications that could become Bitcoin’s killer-app. We strongly agree and we hope that we built a use case that can prove this.”

Micropayments are difficult to implement with traditional payment systems, because the overhead costs (transaction fees) would be too high. But fast micropayments with the low transaction fees permitted by Bitcoin enable alternative models for paid online content.

We are used to a “free” Internet where nobody has to pay, but, of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch. The price that we pay for free email is spam, and the price that we pay for free content is rampant advertising – often annoying, intrusive, and ugly – or registration to websites that could sell their registered users list to spammers. Needless to say, many users install ad-blockers and don’t register to websites with mandatory sign-up. The company recommends trying the SatoshiPay model as an alternative to ads and registration.

In SatoshiPay there is no registration, and payments are done with one click or tap. The user can also choose to pay for content completely automatically. The balance of the user’s SatoshiPay wallet is displayed in the SatoshiPay’s floating Web widget at the bottom of the publisher’s website (example here). The user’s balance is shared across all websites that integrate with the SatoshiPay widget, and a user interface to manage SatoshiPay wallets is in the works. Publishers can join the SatoshiPay nanopayment network and install a Wordpress plugin, and more options for both publishers and users are expected to be available later on.

“A lot of people are talking about how smart contracts and payment channels can power tomorrow’s applications,” Benn told Bitcoin Magazine. We’ve built something that is already very useful today.”

Florian Glatz, a developer who is also SatoshiPay’s lawyer, wrote an article to explain how SatoshiPay is prototyping innovative uses of smart contracts “to change the Internet economy forever.” The SatoshiPay service is a trustless intermediary that mediates contractual negotiations and performance between buyers and sellers of digital goods, without those parties having to trust the service with their money, by implementing micropayment channels built on 2-of-2 multisig addresses and the nLockTime property.

The SatoshiPay service seems a clever and streamlined way to monetize online content without annoying readers, and the first impression is that it could really change the Internet economy once it achieves a critical mass of users and publishers.

“We automatically generate a Bitcoin wallet for each website visitor – without them even knowing,” Benn told Bitcoin Magazine. “When users that were previously not familiar with Bitcoin realize they have a wallet now, they might be curious to learn more about Bitcoin and its other applications. So besides being an easy-to-use payment tool, our product also helps to spread the word. As someone on Twitter put it: Blockchain is moving into publishing.”

“Go to satoshipay.io and show me your QR code,” is Benn’s message to people that wonder how to get bitcoins. “I will send you some bitcoins right now and you can start using them. There is no on-boarding.”

The post SatoshiPay Launches Bitcoin Nanopayment Network for Online Content appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

A bunch of hedge fund managers are chasing the 'dream of crushing a major structural problem'

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

William Ackman, founder and CEO of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, speaks during the Sohn Investment Conference in New York May 4, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid  Finance Insider is Business Insider's midday summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours.

To sign up, scroll to the bottom of this page and click "Get updates in your inbox," or click here.

Wall Street already has a trade of the year.

Everyone from Bill Ackman to David Tepper to Kyle Bass is betting against the Chinese yuan. The shorts seem to be everywhere.

"Clearly a bunch of smart guys are chasing the [John] Paulson 2008 dream of crushing a major structural problem in the market," said Tim Seymour of Triogem Management.

In bank news, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein today made his first TV appearance after 600 hours of chemotherapy. He said he can easily explain what's going on in the equity market right now. The rest of the market, not so much.

The bank just announced a big shake-up, with lots of people moving role. Most notably, Jim Esposito, who was cohead of the global-financing group, will join the securities division as chief strategy officer. To read about him, click here. To read about what his appointment means, click here.

In other news, an 18-year-old tennis player once sponsored by billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman pulled off a pretty impressive trick shot to win a point in the RBC Tennis Championships of Dallas.

And Uber will let you order a puppy squad to your office.

Here are the top Wall Street headlines at midday:

We just got terrible news about the most important part of the US economy The services sector is slowing down.

A kid in Bill Gross' high school nicknamed 'God of Thunder' eventually fell on hard times - Bill Gross had a big kid in his high school class.

Chipotle's disastrous 2015 explained in one chart -  Fewer customers see it as a healthy food option. Ouch.

OLIVER WYMAN: It will take 10 years for the tech behind bitcoin to break big in financeBlockchain database technology, which underpins digital cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, has got finance industry executives very excited.

Pack your bags, Wall Streeters: Your jobs are moving to Nashville - UBS has a plan to move about 2,500 jobs to low-cost locations such as Poland, India, China, and Nashville, Tennessee, over the next year. Yes, Nashville.

A Bill Gates-backed startup that wants to edit your genes just raised nearly $100 million - Editas became the first company to price an initial public offering in the US in 2016.

Join the conversation about this story »

Bitcoin Price Selling Into A Corner

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

At the time of writing bitcoin price is declining to support with previous days’ reluctant selling giving way stronger – but still hesitant – decline. This analysis is provided by xbt.social with a 3-hour delay. Read the full analysis here. Not a member? Join now and receive a $29 discount using the code CCN29. Bitcoin […]

The post Bitcoin Price Selling Into A Corner appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Core Developer Jonas Schnelli: Segregated Witness Improves and Optimizes Bitcoin Protocol

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The long-lasting block size dispute has catapulted into the center of attention again. One of the most talked-about developments is Segregated Witness, of which a public testnet iteration was launched last week. The innovation as recently proposed by Blockstream co-founder and Bitcoin Core developer Dr. Pieter Wuille is a centerpiece of a scalability “roadmap” set out by Bitcoin Core.

To find out where the broader development community stands on Segregated Witness, Bitcoin Magazine reached out to library and wallet developers; those who will need to do the heavy lifting in order to utilize the innovation once rolled out.

In part 5 of this series: Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin C library developer Jonas Schnelli.

Less Than a Week of Work

Jonas Schnelli is an independent Bitcoin Core developer who also develops the libbtc library that runs on iOS, Android, Mac, PC, Linux and MCUs. Schnelli additionally founded digitalbitbox.com, which is in the process of creating a simple and secure hardware wallet.

Like many other wallet and library developers, Schnelli believes the integration of Segregated Witness would significantly benefit the Bitcoin protocol.

Schnelli:

“I have read the relevant Bitcoin Improvement Proposals in detail, and have started experimenting with Segregated Witness to get a better feeling for how it works and how long it might take to adapt it for my projects. I think from the wallet perspective – SPV, hardware-wallet, wallet-libraries – integration is pretty simple. Probably less then one week of work, including testing and deploying. This is also evident from looking at the basic Bitcoin Core wallet changes; it’s just a couple of lines of code.”

Schnelli agrees that a roll-out of Segregated Witness is the best first step toward broader Bitcoin scalability.

“I completely agree the added effort for wallet and library developers is worth it, considering the risks of hard forking,” Schnelli explained. “People are often favoring simple infrastructure improvements rather then going into optimizing the software itself. But that’s a common mistake we have seen in the IT industries in the past decades. It’s short-term thinking and will very likely cause bigger problems in the future.”

Soft Fork: Chance for a Better Protocol

Roll-out of Segregated Witness on the Bitcoin network is currently scheduled for April of this year. Once a super-majority of miners agrees on the solution, Segregated Witness will be activated, and can be utilized by wallet software.

The most notable difference between Bitcoin Core and its recently launched competitor Bitcoin Classic is that the former plans to roll out Segregated Witness through a soft fork, while the latter wants to deploy a block-size increase through a hard fork, meaning all full nodes on the network need to switch.

Schnelli considers the choice an obvious one: a Segregated Witness soft fork is preferable for now.

“A 2-megabyte hard fork does not improve the protocol itself, not a tiny bit,” Schnelli said. “With Segregated Witness, we have a chance to get a ‘better,’ more optimized protocol, and reach almost the same amount of transactions per block. And, extremely important, Segregated Witness has almost full consensus.”

He continued:

“I personally cannot understand why some developers are still thinking that a 2- megabyte hard fork is preferable. The main risks of a hard fork are not technical, but there are huge risks of disrupting the whole Bitcoin economy. The Bitcoin market is extremely fragile, and it fully trusts in developer consensus. Bitcoin is still very young. If we start fighting and disagree on the very deepest technical layer, we hurt Bitcoin in its core and will lose irreplaceable trust from the markets.”

Schnelli noted, however, that he has no fundamental problems with alternative Bitcoin implementations, including Bitcoin Classic. It’s mostly the proposed block size increase prior to consensus that he condemns.

“I’m still hoping there could be a full agreement between Classic and Core on the consensus layer. Code forks are healthy – chain forks not,” he said. “If we go down the road of a ‘Let’s see who will make the race; Classic or Core’ there will only be one winner in the end: other cryptocurrency protocols like Ethereum and Ripple.”

For more information on Segregated Witness, see Bitcoin Magazine’s three-part series on the subject, or part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5 of this development series.

The post Core Developer Jonas Schnelli: Segregated Witness Improves and Optimizes Bitcoin Protocol appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Core Developer Jonas Schnelli: Segregated Witness Improves and Optimizes Bitcoin Protocol

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The long-lasting block size dispute has catapulted into the center of attention again. One of the most talked-about developments is Segregated Witness, of which a public testnet iteration was launched last week. The innovation as recently proposed by Blockstream co-founder and Bitcoin Core developer Dr. Pieter Wuille is a centerpiece of a scalability “roadmap” set out by Bitcoin Core.

To find out where the broader development community stands on Segregated Witness, Bitcoin Magazine reached out to library and wallet developers; those who will need to do the heavy lifting in order to utilize the innovation once rolled out.

In part 5 of this series: Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin C library developer Jonas Schnelli.

Less Than a Week of Work

Jonas Schnelli is an independent Bitcoin Core developer who also develops the libbtc library that runs on iOS, Android, Mac, PC, Linux and MCUs. Schnelli additionally founded digitalbitbox.com, which is in the process of creating a simple and secure hardware wallet.

Like many other wallet and library developers, Schnelli believes the integration of Segregated Witness would significantly benefit the Bitcoin protocol.

Schnelli:

“I have read the relevant Bitcoin Improvement Proposals in detail, and have started experimenting with Segregated Witness to get a better feeling for how it works and how long it might take to adapt it for my projects. I think from the wallet perspective – SPV, hardware-wallet, wallet-libraries – integration is pretty simple. Probably less then one week of work, including testing and deploying. This is also evident from looking at the basic Bitcoin Core wallet changes; it’s just a couple of lines of code.”

Schnelli agrees that a roll-out of Segregated Witness is the best first step toward broader Bitcoin scalability.

“I completely agree the added effort for wallet and library developers is worth it, considering the risks of hard forking,” Schnelli explained. “People are often favoring simple infrastructure improvements rather then going into optimizing the software itself. But that’s a common mistake we have seen in the IT industries in the past decades. It’s short-term thinking and will very likely cause bigger problems in the future.”

Soft Fork: Chance for a Better Protocol

Roll-out of Segregated Witness on the Bitcoin network is currently scheduled for April of this year. Once a super-majority of miners agrees on the solution, Segregated Witness will be activated, and can be utilized by wallet software.

The most notable difference between Bitcoin Core and its recently launched competitor Bitcoin Classic is that the former plans to roll out Segregated Witness through a soft fork, while the latter wants to deploy a block-size increase through a hard fork, meaning all full nodes on the network need to switch.

Schnelli considers the choice an obvious one: a Segregated Witness soft fork is preferable for now.

“A 2-megabyte hard fork does not improve the protocol itself, not a tiny bit,” Schnelli said. “With Segregated Witness, we have a chance to get a ‘better,’ more optimized protocol, and reach almost the same amount of transactions per block. And, extremely important, Segregated Witness has almost full consensus.”

He continued:

“I personally cannot understand why some developers are still thinking that a 2- megabyte hard fork is preferable. The main risks of a hard fork are not technical, but there are huge risks of disrupting the whole Bitcoin economy. The Bitcoin market is extremely fragile, and it fully trusts in developer consensus. Bitcoin is still very young. If we start fighting and disagree on the very deepest technical layer, we hurt Bitcoin in its core and will lose irreplaceable trust from the markets.”

Schnelli noted, however, that he has no fundamental problems with alternative Bitcoin implementations, including Bitcoin Classic. It’s mostly the proposed block size increase prior to consensus that he condemns.

“I’m still hoping there could be a full agreement between Classic and Core on the consensus layer. Code forks are healthy – chain forks not,” he said. “If we go down the road of a ‘Let’s see who will make the race; Classic or Core’ there will only be one winner in the end: other cryptocurrency protocols like Ethereum and Ripple.”

For more information on Segregated Witness, see Bitcoin Magazine’s three-part series on the subject, or part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5 of this development series.

The post Core Developer Jonas Schnelli: Segregated Witness Improves and Optimizes Bitcoin Protocol appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Blockstream Gains $55 Million Funding to Aid in Sidechains for Bitcoin’s Blockchain

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

In an announcement today, Blockstream has announced that it has successfully raised $55 million in Series A funding, bringing the total capital raised in its funding run to $76 million. The influx of finances will help the company further develop its innovative sidechain technology. Blockchain-based Blockstream has announced significant new investment into its Series A […]

The post Blockstream Gains $55 Million Funding to Aid in Sidechains for Bitcoin’s Blockchain appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Brock Pierce: China Not Able to Hold Control over Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Blockchain Capital Managing Partner Brock Pierce said in a recent interview that although there are legitimate concerns with the current state of Bitcoin mining, the blockchain-focused venture capitalist indicated China’s stranglehold on the mining process will not last forever.

Pierce was interviewed on the most recent episode of This Week in Startups, where he was asked about the issue of bitcoin mining centralization. The source of the question appeared to be Mike Hearn’s farewell Medium post in which the former Bitcoin developer claimed the Bitcoin payment network is “controlled by China.”

Pierce Would Not Invest in a Chinese Bitcoin Mining Operation

Pierce said bitcoin mining in China is probably not always sanctioned by the Chinese government. In fact, Pierce suspects various mining operations in the country may be going on without the government’s knowledge and behind closed doors.

Pierce said he would not invest in one of these mining operations due to the legal uncertainty surrounding them.

He noted:

“In China, you’ve got a lot of the hydro dams. They offer one to two – we’ll call it two to four megawatt facilities. The problem you have in China is you’re not allowed to buy energy from anyone except for the government, and so when these deals are being done, they’re being done outside of the government, so they’re probably in violation of the law. There’s some risks there about its long-term sustainability. I would not be comfortable investing in one of those operations because there’s a bunch of risk factors there that I don’t know how to quantify.”

In Pierce’s view, the fact that these operations may not have the blessing of the local government could impact their long-term viability as profitable investments.

Bitcoin Mining May Not Scale in China

Pierce said the legal ambiguity surrounding Bitcoin mining in China also means it may not be able to continue to scale with increased Bitcoin adoption over time. Pierce put Bitcoin mining’s scalability in China into question due to his belief that this is not something being financed by the Chinese government:

“The question is: Are they stealing? Are they circumventing? In some cases, are there backdoor deals? And obviously, these sorts of things do happen in that region. There are those risks where, long term, I wonder how scalable it can get because I don’t believe this is like – I don’t believe the Chinese government has decided this is a matter of national security and are financing this. I believe this is a lot of sort of backdoor dealing and guys hustling to make a buck.”

An inability to scale to much larger levels of hashing power would likely mean the rest of the world would eventually catch up to China and retake majority control of the overall network hashrate. Pierce pointed to BitFury and KnCMiner as two companies that could eventually help bring more of the Bitcoin network’s hashing power outside of China.

Not a Long-term Risk

Pierce said the China-related question is this is not an issue that keeps him up at night.

He noted:

“I don’t go, ‘Oh, this is a long-term, legitimate risk.’ … I don’t think China has a monopoly.”

And besides, Pierce noted, there wouldn’t be much to worry about even if the majority of mining continued to take place in China. In his view, Bitcoin’s incentive structure persuades everyone in the system to act properly.

He explained:

“The thing that I rely on more than anything else is more than a contract; it’s an alignment of incentives. How do the the Chinese miners that are investing all this money and hustling to make a buck benefit by destroying Bitcoin? The most important thing that I think we have as an industry is everybody’s interests are aligned that are currently investing in this.”


Kyle Torpey is a freelance journalist who has been following Bitcoin since 2011. His work has been featured on VICE Motherboard, Business Insider, RT’s Keiser Report and many other media outlets. You can follow @kyletorpey on Twitter.

The post Brock Pierce: China Not Able to Hold Control over Bitcoin Mining appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Russian Finance Ministry Proposes a 2-Year Prison Sentence for Bitcoin Adopters

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

According to a report, the Russian Finance Ministry is seeking to push for amendments to the Criminal Code by proposing two-year ‘corrective labor’ sentence, or a fine of up to 500,000 rubles for bitcoin users. The Russian Interior and Finance Ministries see cryptocurrencies as a threat to not only the Russian economy, but also its […]

The post Russian Finance Ministry Proposes a 2-Year Prison Sentence for Bitcoin Adopters appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

TradersBit: Launch and Trading Competition

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin Press Release: TradersBit, the marketplace for actionable streams of Bitcoin trading signals, has now launched in beta. TradersBit is the creation of Cluda, a company based in Nesbyen, Norway. The platform offers people new opportunities to earn money through their understanding of the Bitcoin market. Publishing trading signals are free and give publishers the opportunity […]

The post TradersBit: Launch and Trading Competition appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Blockstream Raises $55 Million to Build Out Bitcoin’s Blockchain Tech

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Blockstream has raised $55m in Series A funding, bringing its total capital raised to $76m over two investment rounds.

OLIVER WYMAN: It will take 10 years for the tech behind bitcoin to break big in finance

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Slow sign Flickr

Blockchain database technology, which underpins digital cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, has got finance industry executives very excited.

But they may have to cool their jets according to consultant Oliver Wyman and post-trade service provider Euroclear.

The companies jointly released a report on blockchain, declaring that "it is likely to take more than ten years to overhaul core parts of the system" in capital markets where stocks and bonds are traded.

Blockchain technology allows institutions to directly trade and transact with each other securely, without having to work through a middle-man or record keeper. It has the potential to hugely reduce costs and speed up activity.

Investment banks are going gaga for the technology, with 42 signing up for an industry-wide consortium looking at the technology and Goldman Sachs declaring that it has the potential to change "well, everything."

The pair think that while "challenger disruptors" will start to develop workable blockchain solutions within the next two years, it will take collaboration between banks to truly change the system and that is a much slower process. On top of that, the systems that need overhauling are simply massive — it's a big job.

Here's a visualisation of how Oliver Wyman and Euroclear see adoption going:blockchain adoption

You could make a case for saying that Euroclear has a vested interest in saying the blockchain will be a slow burner — the post-trade services it supplies are precisely the type of costs that blockchain could cut. But most in the banking industry that I've spoken to say five years is the most optimistic timeline for industry adoption.

The report also includes the below handy chart that sums up all the main potential use cases for blockchain technology within financial services:uses for blockchainAnd the report also includes this helpful table summing up the potential benefits of blockchain technology in capital markets at each stage of the trading and holding timeline:blockchain benefits

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We tested an economic theory by trying to buy people's Powerball tickets for much more than they paid

Columnist: Betting On U.S. Elections With Bitcoin Is Doable And Not Really Gambling

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Betting on U.S. elections is illegal. But according to Brett Arends, a columnist for MarkeWatch, there isn’t much the government can do to stop you from betting with bitcoins. For one thing, bets can be made anonymously on offshore gambling sites. For another, bitcoins are considered property by the Internal Revenue Service, so gambling with […]

The post Columnist: Betting On U.S. Elections With Bitcoin Is Doable And Not Really Gambling appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

MIT-EF NYC Event Feb 9 at 6pm – Digital Trust in a Blockchain World

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin Press Release: Digital Trust in a Blockchain World With expert Panel led by Michael Casey, Marco Santori, Fredrik Voss, George Prokop and John Burnett Organizer: Cristina Dolan Registration link:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/digital-trust-in-a-blockchain-world-tickets-20586744507 Location: PwC Auditorium 300 Madison Ave (at 42nd Street) New York NY 10017 Date: TUESDAY FEBRUARY 9, 2016 Time: 6.00PM – 8.30PM, Reception following event Many are familiar with Bitcoin – […]

The post MIT-EF NYC Event Feb 9 at 6pm – Digital Trust in a Blockchain World appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

European Commission Seeks to End Anonymity of Bitcoin Transfers

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

In a sweeping effort to present an action plan to combat and curb terrorism financing, the European Commission is looking ascertain more information from virtual currency service providers in Europe. The services under the scanner include exchanges and wallets. The European Commission – the executive arm of the European Union – is looking to make […]

The post European Commission Seeks to End Anonymity of Bitcoin Transfers appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Digital Asset Sees IBM & Goldman Sachs Join as Investors, Pushing Funding Beyond $60 Million

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Digital Asset Holdings (DAH), the New York firm developing blockchain solutions for the financial services industry has announced two new investors joining its funding round. IBM and Goldman Sachs join 13 other investors with the funding round now scaling beyond $60 million. Digital Asset has announced that Goldman Sachs and IBM are now among the […]

The post Digital Asset Sees IBM & Goldman Sachs Join as Investors, Pushing Funding Beyond $60 Million appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

PwC and Blockstream Announce Strategic Partnership on Blockchain Tech

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

As momentum continues to build for mainstream adoption of blockchain tech, PwC and Blockstream recently announced a strategic partnership to “bring blockchain technology and services to companies around the world.” This partnership comes on the heels the close of a big round from Digital Asset Holdings and a noteworthy announcement of further exploration and excitement […]

The post PwC and Blockstream Announce Strategic Partnership on Blockchain Tech appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

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