Daily News Digest Featured News

Monday December 31 2018, Daily News Digest

Market Cycles
Source: Invest in Blockchain

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United States

International

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News Summary

United States

Bitcoin Hits $ 4,000 But Retraces, is Another Drop to Mid-$ 3,000 Next? (CCN), Rated: AAA

On December 29, the Bitcoin price briefly surpassed $4,000, initiating a promising rally from around $3,600.

In the past 24 hours, the value of Bitcoin has retraced from $4,000 to $3,800, falling to $3,688 at the day’s lowest point.

Bitcoin
Source: CCN

Bitcoin Maximalists’ Impossible Dream (Forbes), Rated: A

Bitcoin maximalists never give up. Bitcoin’s price has crashed from over $19,000 a year ago to under $4,000 today, and there are no signs that the price is going to rise again any time soon. But maximalists don’t care. They are in this for the long haul. Their belief? Eventually, Bitcoin will replace all government-issued money. So all they have to do is HODL on to large amounts of the future world currency, and they will become the next generation of fantastically rich elites. Or so they think.

Bitcoin Subreddit Grew In Size by 380,000 Users in 2018 Despite the Crypto Crash (Smartereum), Rated: B

Earlier this month, Ethereum World News reported that the Bitcoin (BTC) subreddit group has surpassed one million subscribers.

While surpassing the one million subscribers mark was a great milestone, it did not really paint the whole picture for the performance of subreddit in 2018. A long time Bitcoin (BTC) developer and chief technology officer at Casa – Jameson Lopp – recently noted that the in-house Bitcoin (BTC) community of Reddit grew by 380,000 this year. This is a growth of 61 percent throughout this year.

Paxos Standard Hassling Ethereum Traders Trying to Redeem Stablecoin PAX for Dollars (CCN), Rated: AAA

At time of writing, Paxos Standard had been withholding funds from our source since December 23. This is the second time they have given him a significant hassle. Their customer support agents gave multiple reasons:

  1. They needed to know if he was the owner of the Ethereum.
  2. They questioned whether the use of multiple Binance-controlled addresses was legitimate.
  3. They questioned PAX withdrawals and deposits to Binance.

All of the people discussed in this article held legitimate Paxos Standard accounts with itBit. Until their accounts got closed following sizable redemptions, that is. One remaining person’s account hasn’t been closed, but he has $1.1 million in limbo.

Paxos Standard
Source: CCN

Despite Breakthrough of 2018, Ripple “still has some way to go to reach critical (ICO Examiner), Rated: A

However, whilst Ripple’s total number of partnerships is thought to stand at just over 160, according to one tracking tool, the number of formal commercial deployments is thought to stand at around 75 according to sources which quote Ripple’s own development team.

This falls short of the 200 quoted by former CEO of Ripple, Chris Larsen, who felt that achieving such a number “would allow Ripple’s product range to reach critical mass” within the banking world and that this would consequently engender the kind of network effect that gives rise to organic growth.

Visa Acquires Ripple Earthport for $ 250M (Filthy Lucre), Rated: B

Credit card giant Visa Inc. acquired British payments firm Earthport, which provides cross-border payment services for banks and businesses. Earthport is also partners with Ripple, the blockchain-based payment network,  which begun back in 2015.

3 Top Crypto Stocks for 2019 (The Motley Fool), Rated: A

Leading cryptocurrency bitcoin has lost 74% of its value in 2018, and most other major cryptocurrencies have fared even worse. Year to date, Ripple, Ethereum, and Litecoin are down by 80%, 81%, and 85%, respectively, just to name a few of the other major tokens.

A crypto trading business and so much more

Square has evolved quite a bit over the past few years, from a niche manufacturer of payment processing hardware for small businesses into a lender, person-to-person payments facilitator and so much more.

This high-flying tech leader has been cut in half

Graphics chip leader NVIDIA has done extremely well in recent years thanks to booming sales for PC gaming and data center applications. However, another major application of graphics cards — cryptocurrency mining — has seen demand fall off a cliff as many mining activities are simply no longer profitable.

Crypto investments and lots of room to grow

First off, Goldman Sachs has backed off from the actual cryptocurrency markets. In September, the investment banking giant reportedly scrapped its plans to open a cryptocurrency trading desk, mainly due the uncertain regulatory environment digital assets are facing right now.

Justin Sun Delivers on Tron (TRX) Promise by Recording Over 80 DApps on Their Network (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: A

In this environment of uncertainty, the Founder of Tron Foundation, recently announced that the company was within touching distance of the promised milestone. He took to his official Twitter handle and noted: “#TRON has 74 Dapps in @dapp_review now and 80+ secured!” What’s more, at the time of press, the 80 DApps threshold had been crossed.

Cryptocurrency Exchange Kraken Adds Bitcoin Cash and Ripple Margin Trading (CCN), Rated: A

Kraken has added Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Ripple(XRP) to Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Augur (REP), Monero (XMR), and Tether (USDT) bringing its margin trading offering to a total of eight cryptocurrencies.

Litecoin (LTC) Price Analysis: Primed For More Gains (Ethereum World News), Rated: A

  • Litecoin price struggled to break the $33.50-34.00 resistance and declined (Data feed of Kraken) against the US Dollar.
  • There is a short term breakout pattern formed with resistance at $32.10 on the hourly chart.
  • LTC price remains well supported near $30.00 and it may soon bounce back above $33.00 and $34.00.
Litecoin
Source: Ethereum World News

Top 50 Richest Litecoin Addresses (BTCWires), Rated: A

Sustainable Growth and Token Economy Design: The Case of Steemit (MDPI.com), Rated: A

This study aims to propose a process for building a desirable model of a token economy, based on the case of Steemit—a blogging and social networking website that is creating high values due to its efficient token economy model. We suggest the following design process of a token economy model: (1) Determine token-business fit, (2) determine the chance of success, (3) determine the properties of token, (4) give tokens intrinsic value, (5) establish strategies to raise token value, (6) establish operational strategies of token economy system, (7) establish strategies for token liquidation, and (8) continue modifying the operational base.

Steemit case study
Source: MDPI.com

Read the full report here.

Bank of America Wants Patent for New DLT ATM (Coin Idol), Rated: B

A new patent application that was officially published on Tuesday, December 25, shows that Bank of America (BofA) plans to ameliorate cash handling with the help of a blockchain system.

U.S. Federal Reserve Doesn’t Like the Idea of a Government Cryptocurrency (CryptoSlate), Rated: B

The Federal Reserve Board governor is still not fond of the idea of central bank digital currencies, despite the fact that the reserve is equipped to issue one.

International

Top Cryptocurrencies Mostly in the Red, Bitcoin Falls Below $ 3,900 Again (CoinTelegraph), Rated: AAA

most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are seeing discreet losses while a few report discreet gains. Bitcoin’s (BTC) price is under $3,900 again, according to Coin360 data.

Bitcoin 7-day
Source: CoinTelegraph

On the weekly chart, the current price is higher than $0.367, the price at which the coin started the week. However, the current price is also notably lower than the mid-week high of $0.446 reached on Monday.

Ethereum has seen over a 2 percent of increase of value over the last 24 hours. At press time, ETH is trading at around $139, having started the day at $136. On the weekly chart, the current price is higher than $129 — which was the value of ETH on last Sunday — but also lower than the Monday high of $157.

Ethereum
Source: CoinTelegraph

Bitcoin in 2019: Analysts See Institutional Investors Wading into Crypto (CCN), Rated: A

Some analysts believe bitcoin will re-emerge — like the proverbial Phoenix rising from the ashes — on back of momentum created by institutional investors, the Australian Financial Review reported.

The influx of institutional investors — which some expected in late-2018 — was stalled by the unexpectedly harsh bear market. Institutions reportedly got scared off by the protracted downturn, said JPMorgan Chase analyst Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou.

Across the pond in Europe, French legislators are aggressively pushing blockchain adoption. Some even suggested that the Bank of France or the European Central Bank should issue their own digital currencies.

Ethereum Closes Gap on XRP, While Tron Makes Network Milestones (NewsBTC), Rated: AAA

The recent market volatility has resulted in constant shifting of the order of the top ten cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Naturally Bitcoin remains at the head of the digital table but the battle for second place is heating up again.

At the time of writing the difference between the two cryptocurrencies was $750 million market cap. XRP has lost 3% on the day whereas Ethereum is only down 1%.

Further down the chart Tron has managed to hold tenth spot and is challenging for ninth. Cardano has dropped out of the top ten completely and has been one of the year’s worst performing altcoins. Since the 2018 low on December 15 TRX has recovered 58% and its market cap is currently $1.3 billion, closing up on Bitcoin SV above it with $1.5 billion.

The 800lb Shitcoin: Why Bitcoin SV Market Cap Is Pure Fantasy (CrpytoBriefing), Rated: AAA

Market capitalization is the blockchain equivalent of an online horoscope. It’s total bollocks, but it holds a powerful fascination. And despite repeatedly pointing out the fallacies of the metric, we’re not immune to fixating on it ourselves: every time there’s a drop, we check the charts for the latest flippening.

The problem is worse for forks: their market capitalization includes all possible coins, even those that have not been claimed. For Bitcoin Cash (BCH) that’s not a huge issue: 9.3 million BCH have been active since Block 478558, when the fork occurred, compared to 9.8 million BTC coins.

CoinMetrics Realizes The Problem

Luckily, we’re not the only ones who find CMC’s data… incomplete. CoinMetrics, which broke the story of the invisible BTCP Premine, has made a business of accurately measuring blockchain activity, and they’ve invented a new measure for crypto value.

The result is “realized capitalization,” a substitute for market capitalization which places more weight on recent transactions than on on older ones.

Realized market cap
Source: CryptoBriefing

5 ludicrous cryptocurrency exit scams that regretfully happened in 2018 (The Next Web), Rated: AAA

1. The exit scam that was, and then suddenly wasn’t

A blockchain startup, Savedroid, whose claim to fame was raising $50 million through an ICO in the heat of 2017’s crypto-mania, bombastically replaced everything on its website with this meme:

savedroid
Source: The Next Web

Turns out, the whole thing was a heavily manufactured PR-stunt.

2. South Korean crypto-startup disappears with $2.7M

Last month, ringleaders of cryptocurrency scam named “Pure Bit” exacted the final stage of their plan: screwing over all of their investors.

3. A classic cryptocurrency exit scam, with a cocky twist

At the start of the year, Prodeum caused a stir with a seemingly plausible plan to create a fruit and vegetable coding system for tracking produce on the Ethereum blockchain.

All seemed well until one night, the Prodeum site was scrubbed, replaced with simply one word.

5. All hail the King of the Exit Scam – BitConnect

BitConnect
Source: The Next Web

How Hackers Stole $ 1B From Cryptocurrency Exchanges In 2018 (Forbes), Rated: A

According to the Cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering Report from Ciphertrace some $927 million had been stolen from cryptocurrency exchanges in the first three quarters of 2018 alone. That total will almost certainly have hit, if not smashed straight through, the $1 billion mark by now. So, who were the hackers behind the heists and how did they get away with it?

So, there’s a 21 year old opportunist criminal who managed to steal $1 million from the Coinbase and Gemini accounts of San Francisco resident Robert Ross after convincing the victims mobile network provider to assign that phone number to his own device.

In this regard, Lazarus is thought to have been spectacularly successful: more than $571 million in cryptocurrency is reported to have been stolen by the Lazarus Groupsince the start of 2017 and it is thought that 65% of stolen cryptocurrency ends up in North Korea.

Crypto Startups Forked Out $ 878,000 To White Hats In 2018 (NewsBTC), Rated: A

The Next Web’s Hard Fork column recently reported that over the course of 2018, blockchain firms awarded $878,504 to goody too shoes hackers for rectifying bugs. Block.one, the company behind the crypto juggernaut in EOS, forked out upwards of 60% of the aforementioned sum. Considering that the startup raked in an approximated $4 billion for its EOS token offering, one of the most hyped cryptocurrencies of all-time, it makes sense why Block.one awarded $534,500 to white hats.

Coinbase, the seemingly unhackable $8 billion upstart, comes in behind Block.one with $290,381 in paid bounties.

3 Reasons To Be Optimistic About Cryptocurrency In 2019 (Invest in Blockchain), Rated: AAA

1. Natural Market Cycles

Traditional market cycles are an emotional roller coaster, and the volatility of the cryptocurrency market only exacerbates that idea. However, if you understand you’re on a roller coaster, it’s easier to detach yourself from the ups and downs, and maybe even enjoy the ride.

Market Cycles
Source: Invest in Blockchain

2. Positive Institutional Responses

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts are making a massive claim when they predict that fiat currency will be replaced. And when they go on to explain that it’ll be replaced by what most people understand as “that internet money thing used to buy drugs and launder money,” it’s not surprising they get looked at sideways.

ICOs
Source: Invest in Blockchain

One of the more notable advancements in this realm is called Bakkt, which is an open-source Bitcoin Futures trading platform backed by the Intercontinental Exchange: the same company behind the $20 trillion New York Stock Exchange. It’s also worth noting that Starbucks and Microsoft have partnered with Bakkt.

3. Cryptocurrency Developments

Bitcoin job growth
Source: Glassdoor

Best Altcoins To Invest In 2019 (BTCWires), Rated: A

  1. Litecoin
  2. NEO
  3. Cardano
  4. EOS
  5. DASH

Flashback 2018: 10 cryptocurrencies that lost the most in 2018 (Money Control), Rated: A

Bitcoin| Loss: $162.4 billion | World’s first cryptocurrency lost more than the current market cap of whole cryptocurrency market ($131 billion) in 2018. The market-cap of bitcoin on January 1 was over $229 billion, which slumped to $66.7 billion on December 29 despite an increase in circulating supply. However, it still is the largest and most popular cryptocurrency.
XRP (Ripple)| Loss: $77.6 billion | XRP by Ripple was the second biggest loser in 2018 taking a hit of about $78 billion in its value. Its market cap tanked to about $15 billion on December 29 from $92 billion on January 1. The difference can be bigger if we consider its year high valuation of $131 billion.

Ethereum | Loss: $60 billion | ETH or ethereum started the year with a market cap over $74 billion. It touched a high of $135 billion in January. However, market-wide slump caused its value to reduce to slightly over $14 billion at the end of December.

How will other Cryptocurrencies be Affected if Bitcoin (BTC) drops to Zero? (ZyCrypto), Rated: A

Will trading still continue? Yes. Altcoins will not cease to exist because BTC bottomed, in fact, traders who believe in coins like Ether and Ripple XRP to be the new BTC will continue in trading. So the effects of BTCs downfall will not be the end of cryptocurrencies, however, the effects of BTCs downfall will largely affect the already volatile structure of the cryptocurrency market.

Nearly 1,000 Cryptocurrency Projects ‘Died’ During This Year’s Bear Market (CryptoGlobe), Rated: A

Approximately 1,000 different cryptocurrency-related projects failed in 2018, according to data from DeadCoins and Coinopsy. Some of them were relatively well-known bear market victims.

Glut of cryptocurrencies a turnoff for merchants (PaymentsSource), Rated: A

In addition to a lack of simplicity, the sheer number of cryptocurrencies vying for attention make direct crypto adoption too risky. Instead, merchants should take a watch-and-wait approach, looking for three key signs that cryptocurrency is gaining traction as a payment option.

crypto for payments

2019: The Year We Might (Finally) See Better Blockchain UX? (CoinDesk), Rated: A

Look at the crypto services you regularly use. Admit it: you aren’t in love.

Some of them are OK, most of them are terrible – you know it. I’m not referring to the cosmetic allure of those products, which most of the time feel like pre-dial up era, but about how they work, how the onboarding was presented, how they feel.

This is the current state of UX affairs in blockchain.

However, crypto winter or not, this hasn’t stopped the industry from growing so far. A lack of great UX has been obvious, but not a breaking point. The question is whether we have reached a ceiling – where the market needs something dramatically better to grow significantly – in order to extend to new types of users, geographies and use cases that have not yet been covered.

5 Things Crypto Investors Need to Watch in 2019 (Brave NewCOIN), Rated: A

2018 was an interesting year for crypto. As Brave New Coin predictedaround twelve months ago, key themes of the year have been regulation, the widespread adoption of KYC procedures, crypto taxation, and an increase in institutional investor participation in the market.

All that was overshadowed, however, by a steep correction in the crypto markets that led to a 70 percent drop in the price of bitcoin year-to-date.

In 2019, we expect similar trends with regulations and the institutionalization of crypto to take center stage.

Cryptocurrency yearly rundown: A look at the crypto market in 2018 (AMBCrypto), Rated: A

The cryptocurrency market in 2018 saw its fair share of up and downs this year with events like market surges, exchange hacks and major developments on networks making the entire picture. News from within the cryptocurrency market also gave out signals that the world of digital assets was slowly but surely making it into the mainstream realm.

Crypto Wallets Still Aren’t as Safe as They Should Be (Live Bitcoin News), Rated: A

A team of security researchers – Dmitry Nedospasov, Thomas Roth and Josh Datko – began examining varying cryptocurrency wallets in June to see if these wallets could be compromised or hacked. Six months later, they’re showing their findings in a new presentation at the Chaos Communication Congress.

Among the wallets tested were the Trezor One, the Ledger Nano S, and the Ledger Blue. The developers tested these and other wallets against both supply chain and side channel attacks, finding both chip and firmware-level vulnerabilities in the process.

The Top 5 ICO Token Platforms (Coin Revolution), Rated: B

  1. #1 – Ethereum
  2. #2 – Stellar
  3. #3 – NEO
  4. #4 – Waves
  5. #5 – NEM
European Union

XRP Surges 18% as Binance Uses it as Base Currency (Finance Magnates), Rated: AAA

On Monday, XRP surged in value after Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by traded value, added the cryptocurrency as a base currency, meaning that all the other cryptocurrencies would be paired with it.

Can Ethereum Still Compete? (CryptoBriefing), Rated: AAA

No coin is perfect, but Ethereum has more than its share of problems. The ICO-laden token has shed 80% of its value since its peak and given up the No. 2 spot to XRP (that had to hurt). Now its very mission has been called into question. In a much-publicized tweet storm last week, early bitcoin investor Tuur Demeester likened Ethereum to “the Yahoo of our day – an unscalable blue chip cryptocurrency.”

ETH ICO withdrawals
Source: Diar.co

Dapps Have Yet To Reach Mainstream Adoption

The blockchain is home to more than 2,000 dApps, according to State of the Dapps. But mainstream adoption remains a pipe dream. The most popular game on Ethereum, My Crypto Heros, has barely more than 1,150 users per day.

Ethereum Dapps
Source: DappRadar

30 experts to aid in countrywide implementation of blockchain (Coin Insider), Rated: B

Back on the 20th of September, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) published a public notice calling for the formation of a group of 30 experts in the crypto field. This group would be responsible for developing a national strategy for the integration of blockchain and distributive ledger technologies (DLT). MISE has now recently, on the 27th of December, revealed the members of this group.

United Kingdom

FCA probes 18 businesses involved in cryptocurrency transactions (Financial Times), Rated: AAA

The Financial Conduct Authority on Sunday confirmed it was investigating 18 businesses involved in the sale of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. The regulator has also issued alerts and warnings about dozens of companies suspected of cryptocurrency investment scams.

Samsung Wants UK Trademark For Crypto Wallet (Chainbits), Rated: A

One of the biggest electronic companies in the world, the South Korea-based firm, Samsung is reportedly looking for a trademark in the United Kingdom. It is meant to be applied on its cryptocurrency wallet. The report came after the official filing made at with the U.K. Intellectual Property Office.

Crypto Wallet Electrum Bleeds 250 BTC in Phishing Attack (Cryptovest), Rated: A

Cryptocurrency wallet Electrum has fallen victim to a phishing attack that was first reported on social media Reddit and later confirmed by the company’s development team. The hack has resulted in nearly 250 Bitcoin (BTC) (about $917,000 at current exchange rates) stolen from users.

China/Hong Kong

Huobi To Launch The First EOS-Based Crypto Trading Platform Of The Firm In The First Quarter Of 2019 (Smartereum), Rated: AAA

Huobi Plans To Launch the First EOS-Based Crypto Trading Platform of the Firm in the First Quarter of 2019 Huobi Group recently revealed its plans to launch the first digital currency trading platform of the firm within the first three months of next year. According to the press release which was published on the 29th of December, the trading platform will be dedicated to EOS.

Bitmain Sacks Entire BCH Client Development Team (Finance Magnates), Rated: A

At the beginning of this week, reports surfaced that Bitmain, a Beijing-based Bitcoin mining giant has laid off its entire Copernicus team, according to a tweet by Samson Mow, the Blockstream Chief Strategy Officer and former BTCC Chief Operations Officer.

Nearly 40% of Chinese Would Still Invest in Cryptocurrencies, Survey Finds (CryptoGlobe), Rated: A

According to 8BTC, the survey was conducted by local news outlet PANews, and it found that 82.8% of the polled individuals would consider buying crypto a “trendy investment,” while 40% claim they would like to invest.

Out of the who 598 reportedly bought cryptocurrencies, and 60.5% of them were aged 19-28 and invested between $1,450 and $14,500. Most entered the market after last year’s bull run. When asked where they would invest if they had some available funds, 39.6% claimed they would go with crypto.

Study Finds That 1 In 7 Citizens Have Invested In Crypto (Smartereum), Rated: B

According to a recent survey conducted by media outlet Panews, about 1 in 7 Chinese citizens have invested in digital assets. This means that the number of people within the Asian nation who have invested in cryptocurrencies is an impressive 14%. The study also discovered that about 98% of the respondents showed that they are familiar with cryptocurrency and Bitcoin 3% more than the people who said that they have had heard about the Blockchain technology.

APAC

Binance to Hold Singapore Hackathon to Create Safer Crypto Ecosystem (Cryptovest), Rated: AAA

Global cryptocurrency exchange operator Binance is holding its first Binance SAFU Hackathon in Singapore on January 19-20, 2019. The event aims to create a safer digital currency ecosystem by empowering blockchain engineers to rapidly improve existing distributed ledger technology solutions.

Bithumb Wins Hack Case Court Battle; Judge Rules Crypto Exchanges are “Not Financial Institutions” (BTC Manager), Rated: A

South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb has been acquitted of a lawsuit filed by an investor named Ahn Park. Park accused the trading platform of lax security measures which allowed hackers to steal his crypto holdings worth $355,000, reports Finance Magnets, December 26, 2018.

Philippine Startups Increasingly Implementing Blockchain, Study Finds (Cryptovest), Rated: A

The Philippines is witnessing a trend for more startups utilizing blockchain technology at full capacity to improve a broader range of systems, according to a study released by digital marketing company  Cyberius.

The Philippine energy sector is embracing blockchain, and the technology could be of great benefit for a country where an estimated 17% of the population has limited or no access to electricity, Tomczyk said.

Eurasia

Bitcoin listed as worst investment of 2018 by Russian firm (Chepicap), Rated: AAA

According to an article by CCN, the Russian network of auditing firms FinExpertiza has labelled Bitcoin as the most underperforming investment of 2018, against 14 other popular assets.

Bitcoin investment
Source: Chepicap

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

About the author

Allen Taylor

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