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What TRON’s $100 Million Blockchain Gaming Fund Indicates

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One of the first use cases first explored by member of the cryptocurrency community was the role of crypto in video games. Unfortunately, the most recent wave of blockchain games has primarily fallen flat. What effect could the TRON Arcade fund have on this pivotal niche?

On November 29th, TRON announced a three year, US$100 million investment fund. This fund, coined TRON Arcade, will incentivize and empower developers who build blockchain gaming solutions on the TRON network. This can be seen as yet another initiative by the network to try and coerce activity to migrate from Ethereum to TRON.

In all fairness, Ethereum has fallen short in every metric regarding blockchain gaming. Simple games, that barely qualify as fostering actual “gameplay”, such as CryptoKitties have completely clogged the ETH network in the past. Gameplay that has taken place has been incredibly sparse, slow, and expensive. At its fundamental core, the speed and throughput of the network combined with inefficient handling of data suggests that Ethereum simply isn’t a compatible host for blockchain gaming activity.

Alas, this heavyweight fund, combined with a TRON network that is better situated for fast-paced, resource-intensive activities could act as a major catalyst to help bring blockchain gaming up-to-speed with mainstream counterparts. As several major players in gaming have already began to toy with blockchain integration, a proliferation of the niche by TRON could inevitably urge many of the blockchain-curious Triple A studios to begin developing blockchain and cryptocurrency games.

For TRON fans that are interested in blockchain gaming, this move might evoke mixed reactions. Of course, TRON Arcade will likely have a major impact on the niche, but this announcement also undermines the role of TRON subsidiary Game.com (GTC). Game.com is a social gaming platform that dates back to the start of the year.  After hitting an all-time high market cap in April of roughly US$250 million, GTC has been bleeding severely. Prior to the Arcade announcement, Game.com was teetering around the $6.5 million mark. However, it fell significantly to a current market cap of $5 million in response to the announcement, as speculators suggest the Arcade fund means TRON plans to phase out interactions with GTC.

In relation to the crypto space as a whole, utilization of TRON’s warchest is a stark contrast to many of the projects that have tried to stretch funds as long as possible, with some even being forced to fold already. TRON’s relative success in the recent crashes means that the market values effective business negotiations, perhaps even moreso than tangible developments.

This blockchain gaming fund is not the first big spending by TRON. In the summer, the project purchased BitTorrent for a cool US$140 million. As the project continues to trek through the bear market, the focus of developments may turn to the projects and coins that are equipped to generate profit and armed with enough funds to build a business.

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This Goldbug Boasts That HE Caused the Bitcoin Price Crash

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Goldbug Peter Schiff boasts that he has cracked the case of the plunging Bitcoin price. No, it wasn’t the US government’s sudden crypto scrutiny that triggered the decline – it was Peter Schiff himself!

Schiff, the CEO of investment firm Euro Pacific Capital, advised a YouTube audience on Monday to buy silver and sell Bitcoin. Subsequently, the Bitcoin price went down as silver appreciated. That, he claims, is no coincidence.

A closer look at the charts, however, suggests that Schiff might be full of hot air.

While there are individuals who can certainly move markets simply by the power of their words (think the Federal Reserve Chairman), this was clearly not the case since the prices of the two assets were already trending in the respective directions.

bitcoin price vs silver price
Bitcoin (orange) and silver (blue) aren’t correlated. | Source: TradingView

Schiff’s YouTube Bitcoin challenge was held on Monday at 9 pm ET, by which time the cryptocurrency had already fallen below the key $10,000 psychological level.

Silver, on the other hand, had been on an uptrend since May. On the day of the Bitcoin challenge, silver had experienced a slight correction before resuming its upward move.

silver futures vs bitcoin price
Silver futures are in a severe uptrend. | Source: TradingView

Schiff remains defiant, will not welcome crypto into his heart

During the YouTube stream where the Bitcoin skeptic had invited the crypto community to turn him, Schiff came away largely unconvinced about the potential of cryptocurrencies.

For instance, he argued that Bitcoin’s short lifespan does not give it a chance to trade places with gold as a store of value, and he would not invest his hard-earned money in the digital asset.

Contrasting it with the yellow metal which has been in use for thousands of years, Schiff said that he owns “a pair of socks that I have had for more than ten years,” a clear jab at Bitcoin.

Schiff: Bitcoin price only goes up when there’s a greater fool

Schiff also argued that demand for Bitcoin was being generated by the irrational expectations of market participants who are only purchasing it because they expect to sell it to someone else at a later date at a higher price.

Additionally, the goldbug expressed his frustrations at Bitcoin maximalists. He ranted that just because BTC is the first cryptocurrency does not guarantee it a future.

Instead, he insisted that anything manmade can always be improved upon, noting that technological innovation always ensures that all first-generation products get antiquated within a matter of time.

“How many times has the very first invention of something been the best? Zero!”

Goldbug hedges his bet

In the same video, Schiff continued to predict that Bitcoin will “implode.” But even if it succeeds, Schiff argued, it will become a victim of its own success:

“I don’t believe that Bitcoin is actually a threat to the monetary system that we have now… I don’t think it’s a threat to the fiat monetary system ‘cause it’s going to implode on its own. But if I am wrong, if it doesn’t die on its own, the government will kill it because if the government actually thinks it’s a threat they are going to act to protect their monopoly on money.”

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Buy Bitcoin? Legendary Investor Dalio Expects “Paradigm Shift” in Finance

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Since Bitcoin (BTC) was birthed in the wake of 2008’s Great Recession, the macroeconomy has changed dramatically. Following the brutal collapse of the stock market and the housing bubble, which resulted in mass unemployment and bankruptcy, central banks commenced “easing strategies”.

By keeping Federal Fund and interest rates lows and participating in Open Market Operations (OMOs)/Quantitative Easing (QE), the U.S. Federal Reserve spawned a reflationary environment, during which stocks rallied to new heights and economic indicators flipped positive.

Across the pond, the story was similar, with the European Union also participating in QE and the Bank of Japan forcing interest rates to move under 0%.

In a recent blog post, however, a legendary hedge fund manager warned that a “paradigm shift” is on the horizon, leading him to advise readers to buy gold.

Unsurprisingly, many in the cryptocurrency community have taken that as a suggestion to scoop up Bitcoin. Why is this the case though?

Buy Bitcoin, Buy Gold

According to Ray Dalio’s latest LinkedIn post, titled “Paradigm Shifts”, the world’s economy is poised to enter a tough time. In the essay-esque piece, the Bridgewater Associates co-chairman warned of central banks’ effort to devalue their currencies and inflate the economy somewhat artificially.

He also used historical shifts in the macroeconomic and geopolitical climate, like the World Wars and the Great Depression, to explain that the economy is poised to see a “paradigm shift”.

This paradigm shift, according to Dalio, who has a net worth of $18 billion, will see “the value of money depreciate ” and “significant domestic and international conflicts. In other words, the writing is on the wall for an alternative asset and stores of value, like gold or Bitcoin.

Dalio recommends gold, writing that it may be “risk-reducing and return-enhancing” for investors to add the precious metal to their portfolio, adding that securities and bonds could face diminishing returns.

Arguably, that was also a tacit recommendation to buy Bitcoin. You see, the inflationary policies currently being enlisted are, according to former Wall Streeter Travis Kling, “brazenly bullish for a non-sovereign, hardcapped supply, global, immutable, decentralized digital store of value.” And by that, he obviously means BTC.

Unlike traditional monies and even gold (in some cases), Bitcoin is not susceptible to warrantless, hidden inflation and is not controlled by a central authority. So, if (or when) the economy collapses due to a mishap on the part of central bankers, many, including Kling, are sure that alternatives monies will see massive inflows.

Dalio, Not a Fan of BTC

While Bitcoin arguably exhibits the same properties as gold, Dalio’s isn’t a big fan of digital assets, presumably hence why he didn’t dare to utter BTC.

In fact, as reported by NewsBTC last year, Dalio called cryptocurrencies a “bubble”, noting that the Bitcoin market is based mostly on speculation, meaning that there is a lack of real-world usage.

But one thing is for certain, there is some financial turmoil right on the horizon. As the Bridgewater co-chairman explained in an interview earlier this year:

“There are a lot of parallels between now and the late 1930s. From 1929 to 1932 we had a debt crisis — interest rates hit zero. Then there was a lot of printing of money, and purchases of financial assets brought their prices higher.”

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Everyone Is Talking About Bitcoin and Crypto This Week

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The attention around Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies this week has been incredible. The focus on both seemed to have stepped up sometime around the time when President Donald Trump (or someone in his media team) tweeted out to the public that he was not a fan of Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies.

“I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air.”

He continued to talk about Facebook and their plans to create their digital asset Libra.

“If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National and International.”

After Trump’s quotes about Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency stumbled, briefly falling below $10,000. CNBC was sure that this was in direct relation to the President’s tweets.

Next was Jerome Powell’s statement before the Senate Banking Committee where he compared Bitcoin to gold.

“I think things like that [the obsolescence of today’s reserve currencies] are possible but we really […] haven’t seen widespread adoption. Bitcoin is a good example, almost no one uses it for payments […] it’s a speculative store of value like gold.”

Once again, Bitcoin seemed to regain lost traction, recovering from a similar drop in price, yet again under the $10,000 mark – after prices had reached $13,000 just a few days earlier.

Trump was then joined by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who stated that he had “very serious concerns” about cryptocurrencies.

So at the beginning of the week, we could see factions in the US government work to bring down Bitcoin and make a bearish case for cryptocurrencies. 

Competition from cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin’s decentralized nature are a welcomed addition

Fast forward a couple of days and we could see further fuel being added to the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency discussions.

“I like Bitcoin.” – House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told CNBC that he was a fan of Bitcoin and the decentralized nature of blockchain, the technology behind it. He also shared his thoughts about the upcoming cryptocurrency from Facebook, Libra. He’s not a fan.

“When I’m on Facebook, I’m not the customer, I’m the product. Facebook is free because they sell your data to make money. Now they want to get into the business, and they’re not bitcoin, in this Libra. They’re not decentralized.”

He was joined by former presidential candidate and former Congressman Ron Paul.

“I’m for the least amount of regulation. I don’t know what’s gonna happen to cryptocurrencies. I think it’s a great idea. And I only have one rule: no fraud … I think that the government has a role. And [if] somebody has a case that there is fraud, I think it should be investigated … What I want to do is legalize the freedom of choice, absent blatant fraud.”

Paul, who was less negative about Libra than McCarthy, believes it could help open up the market and bring down the government’s monopoly on fiat currencies.

“Historically, governments always have to have monopoly control over money and credit. That’s why we have a Federal Reserve instead of allowing the market to operate.”

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