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New $25,000 Hublot ‘Blockchain Watch’ Buyable Only With Bitcoin

Swiss luxury watch brand Hublot has opened pre-orders for its limited edition Big Bang watch commemorating Bitcoin’s 10th anniversary.


Hublot Will Only Accept Bitcoin

Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Hublot has unveiled a special timepiece in collaboration with OS Limited (OSL) to commemorate Bitcoin’s 10th anniversary.

The new hand-assembled limited edition ‘Big Bang’ model is now available for pre-sale to celebrate the upcoming 10th anniversary of Bitcoin 00. And in the spirit of crypto, the homepage even displays a project roadmap. 

At a $25,000 price tag, the watch can only be bought for bitcoin and will be limited to 210 pieces as a symbolic nod to the 21 million bitcoin that will ever exist.

Hublot

“Paying homage to both the Big Bang series and Blockchain technology, the watch features Big Bang’s signature industrial design as well as aesthetics inspired from cryptocurrency. To no surprise, ‘210’ was chosen for a reason,” the official announcement reads.

This Big Bang watch was created to commemorate the 10th anniversary of this epochal invention including the fact that only 21 million bitcoins will ever exist in this world. 

Hublot adds that the timepiece represents “a fusion between top-notch Swiss watchmaking and cutting-edge FinTech.”

KYC for Watches?

Hublot has partnered with Octagon Strategy Limited (OSL) to promote the new model, which will be officially launched on November 6th and will be delivered to customers January 3, 2019.

OSL, a digital asset brokerage firm, will help process customer data during the pre-sale and promises customers “a safe and secure” shopping experience.

However, the pre-sale registration may raise some eyebrows from the many Bitcoin fans who favor privacy.

That’s right. If you’d like to order a timepiece that costs tens of thousands of dollars, additional information such as the full name, address, and a phone number will be required. However, get ready to also upload copies of their government ID, passport and proof of address – as if you’re registering for a regulated Bitcoin exchange.

Not the First Bitcoin Watch

But Hublot is not the first brand to release a Bitcoin-inspired mechanical watch. Moreover, if spending tens of thousands of dollars on a timepiece is a no-no for you, Cryptomatic, which has been producing Bitcoin-themed watches since 2014, offers a much more affordable option at an $800 price point – or 30 times cheaper than Hublot’s new ‘Big Bang.’ 

Cryptomatic watches all flash the Bitcoin ฿ logo on the crown and includes 21 jewel bearings. The company intends to remain a small and exclusive brand while continuing making small runs of high-quality, hand-assembled watches, limited to a few hundred pieces.

Meanwhile, some other watch designs have also surfaced on social media as of late showcasing their own timepieces inspired by Bitcoin.

[Full disclosure: the author of this article owns a couple of Cryptomatic watches.]

Would you wear a Bitcoin-inspired watch? Share your comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, Hublot.com

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Financial Expert Pinpoints Signs Confirming Bullish Bitcoin Sentiment

Chris Kline, co-founder and COO at Bitcoin IRA, identifies the signs that lead him to predict Bitcoin price will reach USD $40,000 in the next few months.


Kline: Bitcoin Price Might Surpass USD $40,000 by the End of 2018

Bitcoin’s (BTC) 00 sustained steady rise towards the USD $7,000 price mark is causing investors to pore over data trying to identify indicators that can confirm whether the bearish trend is now reversing course.

In a Forbes article, Chris Kline identifies these Bitcoin bullish signs and predicts that “the price may well surpass $40,000 by the end of 2018 and could continue to climb as we enter 2019.”

Kline’s predictions are in line with those of billionaire investor Marc Lasry, who also forecasts that the Bitcoin price will reach USD $40,000 in a few years as the cryptocurrency continues to show signs of becoming more mainstream and more accessible to trade.

Kline’s optimism is based on the belief that the regulatory uncertainty affecting the crypto market is being resolved, and that the SEC will approve a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) soon.

Kline: Massive Increase in Institutional Adoption

Once the SEC approves Bitcoin ETFs, the pool of cryptocurrency investors will swell, releasing big money into the crypto market. According to Kline,

If the application is accepted, then I believe bitcoin will become far more accessible to a wider range of investors who wish to invest in a crypto fund rather than directly into crypto itself.

To illustrate that Wall Street and the crypto space have already begun to “intertwine,” Kline refers to the fact that Goldman Sachs reportedly plans to launch Bitcoin trading operations. And he forecasts that the rate of Bitcoin adoption among financial institutions will continue,

I believe that as more financial institutions build out crypto products and with the likely passage of bitcoin ETFs, more investors at both the individual and institutional level will get involved with bitcoin, which will reflect positively in the price.

On the other hand, several factors are buoying the sentiment that Bitcoin will become increasingly part of our ordinary life.

For example, in July 2018 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted MasterCard a patent for a method that speeds up cryptocurrency transactions. The granting of this patent has invigorated crypto investors because, as Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisor, put it “It’s really validating the idea that digital money, or blockchain-based money, is a valid form of transaction.”

With this in mind, Kline says that if the new MasterCard product reaches the market,

I predict cryptocurrency will become a much more ingrained part of our daily lives, as it will be a viable option at many of the places where we conduct our day-to-day transactions.

Kline also argues that in addition to the surge in Bitcoin’s price, momentum is also building from the blockchain perspective. To substantiate this argument, he points out that the number of daily transactions surpasses at least 230,000 on-chain transactions, “the highest since the beginning of the year.”

Do you think the approval of Bitcoin ETFs will increase the rate of adoption and trigger the release of big money into the crypto market? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, BitcoinIra, Shutterstock.

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In Argentina, Investors Flock to Safe-Haven Bitcoin

The economic crisis in Argentina is driving investors to buy Bitcoin in order to protect their wealth, pushing the cryptocurrency’s price higher in-turn. In parallel, to satisfy the increasing demand, the first of 12 Bitcoin ATMs has already begun to operate in a Buenos Aires mall. The number of stores accepting Bitcoin also continues to rise.


Bitcoin Is a Safe-Haven During an Economic Crisis

As the country’s currency plunges, Argentinian investors and ordinary people are exchanging their pesos for Bitcoin (BTC) 00. In this regard, economist and mathematician D.H. Taylor writes,

“Argentinians are moving in large numbers out of their peso and into a more stable currency, BTC. The numbers being witnessed by the markets in BTC are surging from Argentina.” And he adds, “The stability being offered by the digital currency is far greater than the peso and Argentinians are moving in quickly.”

As for substantiating evidence, Taylor refers to the chart below showing the weekly volume of Bitcoin purchases in Argentina:

As for substantiating evidence, Taylor refers to the chart below showing the weekly volume of Bitcoin purchases in Argentina:One of the wealthiest countries in Latin America, Argentina is once again undergoing a severe economic crisis. In April 2018, the peso started plunging against the dollar at an unexpected speed.

Most economists agree that the devaluation of the peso is due to investors’ doubts about the government’s ability to contain its unrelenting inflation and to minimize the effects of the U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate increases, which have strengthened the dollar all over the world.

Now, the Argentina year-over-year inflation rate reaches over 34 percent.

Now, the Argentina year-over-year inflation rate reaches over 34 percent.

Taylor: The Biggest Solution is Bitcoin

So far, the efforts of Argentina’s Central Bank to stabilize the peso have been to no avail. As a result, according to Taylor, the Central Bank is exploring the possibility of diversifying into Bitcoin,

The biggest solution is Bitcoin, or BTC-USD and, according to the data, Argentinians are buying large amounts. At the same time, the Argentinian Central Bank is considering diversifying their currency reserves into BTC.

The Central Bank has already eased regulations regarding ATMs in the country. This easing of regulations has facilitated the installation of ATMs processing cryptocurrencies.

On September 19, 2018, Athena Bitcoin installed the first ATM designed to exchange the cryptocurrency in a mall, auguring that these machines will soon mushroom in Buenos Aires.

Indeed, according to Matias Goldenhorn, Athena Bitcoin Director for Latin America, 12 ATMs will soon be installed in the capital city. These units will operate with Bitcoin as well as other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash.

On the other hand, a variety of merchants are already accepting Bitcoin as payment. Taylor also highlights that “8,000 new Bitcoin pay stations are in convenience stores in Argentina.”

For example, La Nación recently reported that a butcher shop in Cordoba city is now accepting Bitcoin.

What solutions can Bitcoin provide to soften Argentina’s severe economic crisis? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, Infobae.

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“Crypto Is Not Dead” Says Allianz Chief Economic Adviser

Despite the fact that the cryptocurrency market has lost over $600 billion of its capitalization since January, the Chief Economic Adviser of Allianz maintains that it’s not even close to being dead.


“Crypto Is Not Dead”

2018 has been rough for cryptocurrencies as the total market shrank from near $800 billion in January to $199 billion at the time of writing. Bitcoin (BTC) 00 has lost around 60 percent of its total value, while Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency, is down with around 80 percent.

However, Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic advisor of Allianz, holds that cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology are far from being dead. Instead, he sees more widespread adoption coming from both the public and the private sectors.

Crypto is not dead, and certainly the underlying technology is not dead. […] we’re going to see more widespread adoption, by both the private and public sector, of the blockchain technology and related technologies.

Earlier in July, El-Erian said that bitcoin is a buying opportunity if the prices fall below $5,000.

Allianz

At the same time though, the chief advisor also maintains that adoption is not going to be as rapid as cryptocurrency proponents would like it to be:

In terms of crypto, what we’re getting is the realization that adoption is not going to be as big and as quick as the proponents of crypto would like. I think it’s going to be there, it’s going to last for a long time, it’s going to play a role in the ecosystem, but it’s not going to be the currency that a lot of proponents would like it to be.

Is Bottom In?

El-Erian’s statement comes as prominent cryptocurrency investor Mike Novogratz outlined that the market has bottomed and that, “we retraced the whole of the bubble.” However, this is not the first time the owner of Galaxy Digital Investment Bank has called in the bottom. In July, Novogratz also said the same thing speaking to Ran-Neuner, host of CNBC’s “Cryptotrader.”

Neu-Ner himself seems to be sharing similar sentiments as Novogratz, as he also tweeted September 13 that prices may have bottomed, citing data from Coinbase.

Received these Coinbase numbers from @BarrelProtocol yesterday. They suggest that we may have seen the bottom. Withdrawals seem to have bottomed out. Fiat inflows on the way up. It’s not a confirmation but certain a good sign.

What do you think about Mohamed El-Erian’s position on cryptocurrencies? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter.

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72% of Consumers Plan to Buy More Cryptocurrency, New Survey Finds

Despite the flurry of bad news hitting cryptocurrencies, the latest SharePost’s survey reveals that consumers and investors remain optimistic. Indeed, they are considering more digital currency purchases within the next 12 months. Moreover, according to the survey, implementation of projects involving blockchain technology continues to grow.


Survey Says: A Growing Demand for Cryptocurrencies

A series of negative news stories continue to affect the crypto industry negatively. For example, the latest hit comes from a recent Goldman Sachs decision to reportedly drop its crypto trading plans due to an unclear regulatory environment. As a result, Bitcoin price 00 fell by over 5 percent on September 5.

Even so, retail investors are keeping their faith in the crypto industry, as shown by the results of a September 5th SharePost survey entitled Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Survey: Consumers Bullish, Investors Cautiously Optimistic.

One of the main findings of the survey states:

Cryptocurrency prices have seesawed over the past several months. Nevertheless, 59 percent of investors and 72 percent of consumers plan to increase their holdings over the next 12 months. Majority of respondents expect crypto valuations to increase over the next 12 months though investors were less bullish than in our previous survey. 57 percent of investors and 66 percent of consumers expect growth in crypto valuations over the next year.

Nevertheless, 59 percent of investors and 72 percent of consumers plan to increase their holdings over the next 12 months. The survey comprised the responses of 2,490 consumers and 528 institutional investors and accredited individuals.

Bitcoin remains the king of cryptocurrencies. According to the survey, Bitcoin is owned by the greatest number of survey respondents, followed by Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin. As shown in the chart below, over 70 percent of investors believe Ethereum will be the most successful currency.

As shown in the chart below, over 70 percent of investors believe Ethereum will be the most successful currency.

On the other hand, 78 percent of consumers think Bitcoin will be the most successful currency.

On the other hand, 78 percent of consumers think Bitcoin will be the most successful currency.

Survey: Money Transfer and Payments are Top Candidates for Blockchain Disruption

The study also concludes that consumers and investors also retain a bullish outlook for blockchain technology. Specifically, “32 percent of investors and 49 percent of consumers say employers are planning to roll out Blockchain in the near future.”

Most of the respondents believe blockchain disruption will most likely occur in financial services, mostly in transactions involving payments and money transfer:

Four out of the five sectors respondents picked that would be impacted by Blockchain hail from financial services. Both investors and consumers are bullish about Blockchain disrupting money transfer, payments, and asset management sectors. Over 58 percent of investors and 55 percent of consumers think Blockchain will first strike money transfer.

For respondents, price volatility and security remain the main concerns.

For respondents, price volatility and security remain the main concerns. Additionally, the survey highlights that a lack of education about blockchain technology, compounded by a lack of use cases are obstacles to a higher rate of adoption.

On the bright side, consumers and investors are now more cognizant of cryptocurrencies — The study states that “Over 95 percent of consumers and 100 percent of investors are aware of crypto assets.”

Moreover, the SharePost survey concludes that a majority of the respondents believe 2025 would be a realistic projection for when cryptocurrencies would become mainstream currencies.

Do you think Bitcoin will become a mainstream currency by 2025? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of SharePost, Shutterstock