This is not an article about the rise and fall of Bitcoin, as the crypto lingers in the $8000 range, and seems to be stuck on idle, for now.
This is about how crypto currencies are going to have a huge on our social and business lives, with three separate developments, each bewildering in their own way.
Fortune, a robust business site, reported that the Internet will one day have its very own currency, quoting Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey telling attendees at the Consensus blockchain conference last Wednesday.
Dorsey said he’s positive that the “Internet is going to have a native currency”, adding he hoped it would be the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
The Internet does not have its own currency with which to pay for goods and services.
“Dorsey argues that the Internet will eventually move to a currency standard that every person and company would ostensibly use to facilitate transactions,” said Dorsey.
“Let’s not wait for it to happen, let’s help it happen.”
Fortune said it’s very likely big companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon will help steer that idea forward before any of the hundreds of crypto currencies stake their claim on the information superhighway.
Dorsey owns digital payment company Square which allows for Bitcoin transactions to take place.
Dollar on Blockchain
CNBC reported that Goldman Sachs-backed Fintech start-up Circle is introducing a crypto version of the US dollar.
Circle is looking make a better, faster, digital version of the U.S. dollar, it reported.
“The Goldman Sachs-backed start-up announced a new cryptocurrency pegged to the dollar and a $110 million investment round led by profitable crypto-mining company Bitmain, which brings Circle’s value near $3 billion,” the company announced Tuesday.
“It unlocks an incredible amount of power for the dollar,” said Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle. “It’s basically a dollar that operates on blockchain.”
The fintech company operates its peer-to-peer payment network using blockchain, the technology that underpins bitcoin.
Circle’s new USD Coin is meant to solve a key problem in digital currencies’ use case: Volatility, which has been the argument against using crypos as means of payment.
According to CoinDesk, Bitcoin dropped by more than 50% since its high near $20,000 in December.
“Circle customers will be required to hold $1 for every USD Coin, keeping the price stable. Other companies, such as Tether and Basis, also have offered “stable coins” with a value tied to the U.S. dollar,” said CNBC.
“The framework for the coin is “open sourced,” meaning multiple developers can work on the project and help its development.”
The world’s most dominant Crypto “mining” company, Bitmain Technologies, has a $110 million strategic investment in Circle in a first funding round also includes investors such as Breyer Capital, Tusk Ventures, IDG Capital, Pantera and Blockchain Capital.
AI to have a new owner: Crypto
Bloomberg reported today that Bitmain Technologies has been selling the chips that generate as much as 80% of the world’s cryptocoins, booking revenue of $3.5 billion in 2017.
A February report by Bernstein Research estimated that the company might be generating profits of more than $3 billion per year. “We feel lucky,” says Jihan Wu, the co-chief executive of Bitmain Technologies Ltd., which was more or less unknown two years ago.
Wu is already planning for the company’s next act: artificial intelligence.
During a rare series of interviews with Bloomberg Businessweek at Bitmain’s headquarters, Wu and his executives say AI chips are a natural adjacency for their privately held, extremely secretive company.
“Artificial intelligence requires lots of computations,” says Wu.
That makes it like Bitcoin mining, which is best done by a custom chip known as an application-specific integrated circuit, or ASIC, said Bloomberg.
The Bernstein report also suggested that Bitmain is probably one of the five biggest customers of the most advanced fabrication process offered by the Taiwanese chip giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which also counts among its clients Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Technologies Inc.
The ASIC chip, which is sold as part of a $600 accelerator card that you attach to a computer, is designed expressly to speed up machine learning.
Wu estimates that as much as 40% of Bitmain’s revenue will come from AI chips within five years.