BlackRock CEO: Crypto ETF Will Come When Industry Is ‘Legitimate’

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said that the company will not offer a crypto ETF until the crypto industry becomes “legitimate.”

The CEO of investment management corporation BlackRock, Larry Fink, does not see the company offering a cryptocurrency Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) until the industry is “legitimate,” CNBC reported Nov. 1.

BlackRock is a financial planning and investment management firm that currently has $6.28 trillion in assets under management, including equity, real estate, fixed income, and cash management.

Speaking at the New York Times Dealbook Conference in Manhattan on Nov. 1, Fink questioned the reasonability of launching a crypto ETF, at least until the industry becomes “legitimate.” “I wouldn’t say never, when it’s legitimate, yes,” Fink stated.

Fink reportedly said that ETFs “ultimately” have to be backed by a government, and that a government would not greenlight such a financial instrument unless it knew the funds were not being used for illicit activities. Fink noted Bitcoin’s (BTC) anonymity as a risk factor, since the leading digital currency could possibly be used for “tax evasion and all of these other issues." He added:

“I do see one day where we could have electronic trading for a currency that could be a store of wealth. But right now the world doesn’t need a store of wealth unless you need that store of wealth for things you should not be doing.”

Although Fink expressed some skepticism towards cryptocurrencies, he pointed out that the company is “a huge believer in blockchain.”

“The biggest use for blockchain will be in mortgages, mortgage applications, mortgage ownership, anything that’s labored with paper.”

Fink’s comments come ahead of the Nov. 5 deadline that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) set for reviewing proposed rule changes related to a series of applications to list and trade various BTC ETFs. The review period affects nine separate ETFs that had been proposed by three different applicants, including ProShares, in conjunction with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ETF exchange NYSE Arca, and Direxion.

Last month, crypto analyst and host of CNBC’s show Cryptotrader Ran Neuner claimed that a Bitcoin ETF is a “way bigger deal” than a cash settlement Bitcoin futures contract, since it “requires actual purchase of BTC.”

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How to Use a VPN Within Your Browser to Protect Your Privacy

How to Use a VPN Within Your Browser

Major internet browsers now offer access to VPN services via a number of third-party extensions and in some cases through built-in features. These provide an easy and affordable means to protect your privacy and enjoy a censorship-free browsing experience.

Also read: Arbitrators to Resolve Disputes in the Russian Cryptocurrency Industry

Chrome VPN Extensions You Can Buy With Cryptocurrency

Using a virtual private network (VPN) to surf the internet has become almost a necessity these days on account of the growing need to preserve your online privacy or circumvent restrictions that may apply to a specific location or jurisdiction you are visiting. A number of providers offer VPN services, and many of them accept cryptocurrency. Browser extensions and integrated features are making it even easier to obtain uncensored and largely untraceable access to the web.

How to Use a VPN Within Your Browser to Protect Your Privacy

There are many options available for Google Chrome users, and crypto enthusiasts should be interested in some of them. VPN Mentor suggests several extensions, the providers of which are happy to be paid with cryptocurrencies. Private Internet Access is one of them; it can be downloaded directly from the Chrome Web Store. Once you install it and sign up, you’ll be able to choose a subscription plan. Fees start at $2.91 per month for a two-year subscription and cryptocurrency is accepted.

How to Use a VPN Within Your Browser to Protect Your PrivacyExpress VPN is another popular choice. However, in order to take advantage of the Chrome extension, users need to install a desktop application first. Subscribers are required to register with an email on the VPN’s website, pick a plan ­– they start at a little over $8 per month – and choose a payment method. BTC is among the available options. Nord VPN is a simpler alternative, a proxy extension that hides your IP address but does not use the same tunneling/encryption technologies employed by VPNs. It can also be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store. A three-year plan costs $2.99 per month.

In most cases, when you install a VPN extension you’ll see its icon to the right of the address bar of your browser. Use the dropdown menu to change the settings and choose a preferred location. Some VPNs support additional security features, ensuring protection against malware and unwanted ads which can be activated there as well.

Mozilla Testing VPN Subscription Service

The aforementioned VPN services are also available as add-ons for Firefox, the internet browser that supports a variety of useful and often free extensions. However, the software company that develops Firefox is currently testing a new feature that will allow users to boost their privacy with better encryption for around $10 a month. Mozilla has recently teamed up with the Swiss company Proton VPN to integrate the paid subscription-based service which provides a higher level of security.

How to Use a VPN Within Your Browser to Protect Your Privacy

In addition, the servers of Proton VPN are located in Switzerland, Sweden and Iceland where local laws prevent authorities from accessing the stored information. The company also claims it does not log any data about the usage of their service. In a blog post, Mozilla revealed that it will offer the experimental feature to a group of Firefox users in the U.S. over the next few months, starting on Oct. 24. The service is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android systems. The company noted that the launch is part of its efforts to explore additional sources of revenue.

Opera Offers Free VPN Feature

Opera, another popular browser, has gone a step further by integrating a free VPN service. The feature is activated with a dedicated button that’s on the left side of the address bar and can be customized in the Settings tab. It comes with unlimited data transfer and enables users to switch between virtual locations. Several options are available, including Europe, the Americas, Asia, and an automated “Optimal location” setting. When active, it does slow down connection speeds a little, although there’s an option to bypass the VPN for default search engines. Nevertheless, the Opera VPN is a useful built-in feature that will not cost you anything and does not require a subscription.

What is your opinion about VPN browser extensions? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

At there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

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Holacracy: Governance in an Age of Innovation and Subversion

Holacracy: Governance in an Age of Innovation and Subversion

The following opinion piece on Holacracy was written by Max Borders, director of Social Evolution and author of The Social Singularity.

Imagine turning on your mobile device one morning to find only two apps: Red and Blue. It’s bad enough that these are the only two choices. Only one works at a time–and not very well.

Also read: Markets Update: Traders Play a Lower Range After Cryptocurrency Prices Dip

And yet this is more or less the social operating system upon which most of the developedHolacracy: Governance in an Age of Innovation and Subversion world runs. The Madison-style Constitution was a great innovation, but it’s still built atop the 2000-year-old DOS (Democratic Operating System).

“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government,” Winston Churchill remarked, “except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

Really? Is this the best we’ve got? Such a fatalistic view gives us an excuse to accept the status quo, but it is a failure of imagination. It’s time to rethink governance.

Changing Our Relationship to Power

The strongest candidate for a new global-scale social operating system is Holacracy.

Never heard of it? Holacracy is a organization management system Brian Robertson developed to help businesses run without bosses. HolacracyOne’s mission is to “change our relationship to power” and the system does just that, which is exactly why some are skeptical. After all, command-and-control systems have been working for blue chip companies and standing armies for centuries.

But now, more than 1000 companies worldwide have adopted Holacracy, jettisoning the traditional firm structure.

If you’re into cryptocurrencies, you already know that command-and-control hierarchiesHolacracy: Governance in an Age of Innovation and Subversion can be destructive and inhumane. Satoshi Nakomoto, for example, wanted both to help us escape the inflationary Skinner box of central banking and build bitcoin in a decentralized way. The idea was to work with a growing team of coders and miners to build out the ecosystem, but no one would control the network. Satoshi changed our relationship to power — for both developers and users.

Holacracy provides a governance framework that is decidedly holonic — roughly, systems within systems. In this way, a holacratic organization approximates a living organism as opposed to a machine to be “run.” Practitioners aren’t arranged by managers as cogs within a traditional org chart, but rather define their own functional roles within wider spheres of activity, or “circles”.

Just as cells make up organs within organisms, people have roles within teams within organizations. And though certain cells and roles might hustle themselves into an “executive function,” both the organism’s and the holacratic organization’s brains are self-organizing.

How Holacracy Works

Holacracy makes an organization a complex adaptive system. Unlike command-and-control hierarchies, complex adaptive organizations respond with relative autonomy to stimuli that are, for lack of a better way of putting things, not quite right. Practitioners call these “tensions.” Every part of the organization wants to get things flowing, following constructal theorist Adrian Bejan. To resolve tensions is to get things flowing–that is, towards realizing the mission.

At the risk of oversimplification, let’s break it down:

  • Mission. Why the organization exists at all and the end all roles serve.
  • Holacracy Constitution. Sets out the relatively fixed protocols and fundamental rules that make up Holacracy’s (open source!) social operating system.
  • Tactical Meetings. A group process for addressing one-off, operational issues in a formalized way, relevant to some functional sphere of activity.
  • Governance Meetings. A group process for creating roles, making policies, or assigning ownership of responsibilities.
  • Data management. The inputs and output of meetings gets recorded so that anyone can see the rules, roles, policies and system interconnections at any time.

The devil is of course in the proverbial details. And learning the system is rather like learning a team sport: You can’t learn the game from the rulebook. You have to get out there and practice. But in doing so, practitioners can become Holacracy pros–increasing organization efficiency while scaling.

But how far up can Holacracy scale?

Teams within Teams (within Teams)

Complexity scientist Yaneer Bar-On warns of the coming breakdown of the current order:

Why should governments fail? Because leaders, whether self-appointed dictators, or elected officials, are unable to identify what policies will be good for a complex society. The unintended consequences are beyond their comprehension. Regardless of values or objectives, the outcomes are far from what they intend.

But Bar-on suggests a solution.Holacracy: Governance in an Age of Innovation and Subversion

It begins with widespread individual action that transforms society — a metamorphosis of social organization in which leadership no longer serves the role it has over millennia. A different type of existence will emerge, affecting all of us as individuals and enabling us to live in a complex world.

To be successful in high complexity challenges requires teamwork. Each team member performs one part of what needs to be done, contributing to the complexity and scale of what the team does while limiting the complexity each individual faces.

Holacracy — or something close to it — seems to be a system that that adequately deals with complexity through the application of superior team dynamics.

Scaling to Society

If Brian Robertson is to be believed, it’s possible for Holacracy to scale to the level of society. I think he’s onto something. Robertson draws influence not only from his computer science background, but from integral theorist Ken Wilber. In his philosophical work, Wilber expands on Arthur Koestler’s holarchy, that is, the idea that systems can give rise to systems (that can give rise to systems) at different levels of description.

And with that we come full holon. Robertson puts it best:

Anarchy comes from the greek “an”, meaning without, plus “arkhos”, meaning rulers. Anarchy doesn’t mean without rules, but without rulers. If you have the right rules, the absence of top-down rulers doesn’t remove order —i t simply enables order to emerge dynamically from peer-to-peer interactions distributed throughout a system, one tension at a time. So by this definition, you could describe Holacracy as a rule system for humans working together in anarchy—with rules, but without rulers.

Hmm. I thought anarchy was all punk rock and molotov cocktails.

Getting There from Here

By this point, you might want to know how to get there from here. With humility, I offer what can only be described as a set of interconnected cliches that one might associate with crypto-enthusiasts:

  • Start using it. Adoption shows its benefits better than any article.
  • Don’t half-ass it. Adulterated versions create problems that tarnish Holacracy’s reputation and cause people to re-embrace hierarchy.
  • Hold onto it. The longer you use it, the more wider ecosystems can develop.
  • Train others. The more we can reduce the time and cost of adoption, the better.
  • Underthrow. When hierarchy hits the fan, people will seek a more antifragile way to organize what’s left of society. Holacracy will already be in full flower.

I realize that last point is a rather dark note on which to close, but keep in mind that as society becomes more complex, hierarchical governments running on DOS will have a hard time keeping up with the information processing demands. Meanwhile, practitioners of Holacracy will be running their distributed organizations and changing their relationship to power. They already hold the source code for a new era of rules without rulers.

Do you think holacratic forms of governance will replace democracy?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock and Kindling XYZ

OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.

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