Will Blockchain Projects Maintain Their Autonomy in the Face of Centralized Investors?

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by Andrey Sergeenkov · 5 min read
Will Blockchain Projects Maintain Their Autonomy in the Face of Centralized Investors?
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Few crypto projects and facilitators remain pure. Bitzlato, a P2P exchange and a trading platform, is one of them. It has no corporate or venture capitalist influence and its building blocks are guided by service offering.

In the tail end of December 2017, the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies was approximately $850 billion, $150 billion shy from the history-making $1 trillion mark. At those mega valuations, the digital currency scene space was worth slightly less than established, decades-old Wall Street megaliths like Apple and Amazon.

For opportunistic investors and specialists of acquisition through seed investments, banks saw an opportunity, but they were surprisingly not ready to invest in “volatile” assets rocked and pumped by “unsophisticated” retail traders motivated only to make money.

Bitcoin Is a “Fraud”?

What stuck was their “volatility” defense. It was then that J.P. Morgan and Chase CEO Jamie Dimon dropped the bombshell, saying Bitcoin was a fraud. He joined other billionaires like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and regulators across the board from demonizing the sprouting digital asset.

Jamie added that Bitcoin was even worse than Tulips and it won’t end as “someone is going to get killed.” He even took it further warning his employees that anyone who flouted Bitcoin as an investment would face the sack for being stupid.

Jamie has since apologized but still insists that he was confident in blockchain’s capabilities. His backpedaling and ironic throwing of the towel appeared strategic because roughly three years after the infamous criticism, his bank is now offering services to two of US cryptocurrency exchanges.

Gemini and Coinbase are Now on J.P. Morgan and Chase’s Client List

Coinbase and Gemini are now J.P. Morgan and Chase’s clients. The bank will offer deposit, withdrawal, and transfer services to customers of the exchange with Automated Clearing House (ACH) infrastructure. However, the bank won’t deal with digital assets directly even though they already have a stablecoin called the JPM Coin which was initially thought to be a threat to XRP, a digital coin that was designed to reduce the cost of transactions between banks and other financial institutions across the globe.

The RippleNet over which the coin can be transacted on is marketed as an alternative to the 43-year-old SWIFT network.

The dramatic thawing of J.P. Morgan and Chase, a banking behemoth with over $2.7 trillion worth of assets, is not only a signal for acceptance but a sign that the legal and business structures of banks might shift and somehow offer support for digital currencies.

While the banks and regulators don’t deny the underpinning technology in blockchain, it is some of their applications like cryptocurrencies—and its variations, which is frowned upon sometimes due to a lack of understanding.

Besides, regulators are largely blamed for their slow formulation of laws or for stringent blanket conclusions, a move that has since prevented investors in the US and China from funnelling their assets into crypto.

Will Blockchain Projects and Facilitators lose?

The decision by J.P. Morgan and Chase could, therefore, warm the scene for other cryptocurrency ramps to strike worthy liquidity deals with trusted and regulated banks. And it will be vital and a huge step forward for cryptocurrencies.

Last year, Bitfinex, a leading Hong-Kong based exchange, was sued by the New York Office of the Attorney General following claims that they lost $850 million after a partner, Crypto Capital, went under.

This highlighted the plight of the industry, a weak point in which banks and other centralized entities seem to take advantage of now by decently offering support but gradually muscling their way into an ecosystem built on decentralization anchors.

Few crypto projects and facilitators remain pure, bent on serving the community while remaining secure and growing from users’ network effects. Bitzlato — which is a P2P exchange and a trading platform, as an example, has no corporate or venture capitalist influence and its building blocks are guided by service offering.

Meanwhile, the exchange depends on its community to thrive without compromising the P2P ideals and Satoshi’s building principles. Bitzlato is liquid with a $45 million turnover as its trading platform supports several coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), DASH and Bitcoin Cash. Traders are also not subject to privacy-invading Know-Your-Customer (KYC) or AML rules. Clients can, therefore, trade coins for cash while being cushioned by a transaction protection system.

In the spirit of community, there is a Bitzlato Referral program in which clients can invite friends and receive almost half of commission whenever they trade on the Bitzlato exchange. On the P2P exchange, the referee can get 32 percent of the service fee for the transaction, if your referral makes a deal and eight percent of the service fee for the transaction, if the referral creates an ad to which another user responds.

The “Coinbase Effect” Is Long Gone

On the contrary, talk is that Coinbase, which was known for their conservative approach to crypto listing, seem to have had their hands twisted by venture capitalists.

Before 2018 when Coinbase announced their plans of ramping up support for various currencies which met their listing criteria, only a few coins including Bitcoin, ETH, LTC, and Bitcoin Cash were offered.

News or rumors, of a Coinbase listing, created the “Coinbase Effect” where the price of the listed coin surged several folds. The “Coinbase Effect” has since fizzled out probably because of interference from venture capitalists and possibly banks angling to profits from the lucrative crypto scene by imposing high charges, deviating from their listings principles, while not offering the best crypto onboarding ramps when markets are trending higher.

Altcoin News, Bitcoin News, Blockchain News, Cryptocurrency news, Guest Posts
Andy Watson
Author: Andrey Sergeenkov

Cryptocurrency investor, journalist, analyst, and growth hacker. I cover crypto, blockchain, crowdfunding, and education.

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