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Monday January 7 2019, Daily News Digest

Bitcoin market cap
Source: CCN

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The Bitcoin Price Has Leaped Sharply Higher–Here’s Why (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Bitcoin, which many investors and traders are hoping is going to begin 2019 with a bang, has leaped sharply over the last 24 hours, adding some 6% and climbing above the psychological $4,000 mark for the first time this year.

Just ahead of the bitcoin market spike last night a bitcoin whale moved some 2,500 bitcoin (worth just under $10 million) on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, according to the Twitter price tracking bot Whale Alert. The move pushed the daily bitcoin volume up to over $5 billion, a 2019 high.

The Coming Bifurcation of Bitcoin (CoinDesk), Rated: A

Amongst many others, the bitcoin community for the past few years has been working with two particularly important ideas related to the asset’s future.

One is the narrative of institutional adoption: the idea that institutions will begin buying (or facilitating the buying) of bitcoin as an investment. The other is decentralization: emphasizing control of one’s own monetary sovereignty and the ease with which people can participate in the network at an affordable cost.

While both are important in their own ways, considering how institutions operate, it is likely that these two narratives are going to conflict. This does not need to be a problem, however. What we’re likely to see is a bifurcation in bitcoin usage throughout the world for different purposes, and consequently, how it is handled.

Bitcoin Surges 5% in Minutes: Can it Lead to Bigger Rallies This Month? (CCN), Rated: A

With a 20 percent increase in its daily trading volume, Bitcoin has been able to show some momentum above $4,000. But, as DonAlt, a cryptocurrency technical analyst said, the slight increase in the price of Bitcoin is not sufficient to declare a trend reversal even in the short-term.

Bitstamp BTC USD
Source: CCN

Analyst: Bear Market Not Over Yet, Bitcoin to Resume Downtrend Soon (CCN), Rated: B

According to Mike McGlone, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, the asset will most likely endure a longer bear market in the first two quarters of 2019.

Why the fall of bitcoin will accelerate the development of distributed ledger technology (e27), Rated: A

Deloitte’s 2018 global blockchain survey revealed 84% of respondents expressed confidence that blockchain technology is broadly scalable and will eventually achieve mainstream adoption.

Indeed, the staggering fall of bitcoin only serves to underscore the fundamental deficiencies of PoW protocols.

Crypto exchange Coinbase’s venture arm invested in over a dozen companies in Q4 2018 (Token Post), Rated: AAA

Coinbase Ventures, the investment arm of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, has made investments in 13 companies in the final quarter of 2018.

Armstrong said that in the last quarter, Coinbase Ventures extended its support to Spacemesh, Abacus, Nomics, Risk Labs (UMA), Starkware, Realtybits, Alchemy, Terminal, Flipside Crypto, Relevant, Securitize, Staked.us, and Gauntlet. With this, Coinbase Ventures’ total number of portfolio companies has grown to 26.

Crypto Giant Coinbase Bans Account of Gab Founder (Cryptoground), Rated: A

Crypto Giant Coinbase has banned merchant account of Andrew Torba, the founder of social media platform – Gab. The announcement was made from the official twitter account of Gab. This is the second time in one year, the exchange has banned Gab. The increasing amount of crypto censorship has forced crypto firms to follow the rules, while others are happy with the latest ecosystem rules.

XRP Trading Will Hit Nasdaq’s Regulated Crypto Exchange On January 7 (Ripple Coin News), Rated: AAA

Partnering with Nasdaq, DX Exchange is a new entrant to crypto market and will hit the crypto floor on January 07, 2019. With the launch announcement, the official twitter account of DX exchange also revealed that they will begin XRP trading from tomorrow – 07th January 2019.

Ripple Proposed to the Federal Reserve to Support Interbank Settlements (CryptoVibes), Rated: A

On December 13, 2018, Ripple submitted a proposal addressed to US Federal Reserve named ‘Potential federal reserve actions to support the interbank settlement of faster payment‘.

Litecoin Commanding The Market With A 12% Surge (TokenTops), Rated: A

The last couple of hours have seen the ‘silver’ of cryptocurrencies make some big leaps in the market. Litecoin has now set a new 2019 price peak following a more than 12% price surge.

Litecoin Surges Past Stellar As It Closes In On The Market Cap Of EOS (Invest in Blockchain), Rated: A

It seems that the recent marketing efforts from the Litecoin Foundation, combined with recent exchange partnerships, have helped Litecoin surge over the past few days as LTC races toward the $40 handle.

Litecoin
Source: Invest in Blockchain

Litecoin rallies over 8 percent while other cryptocurrencies are bleeding (Trijo News), Rated: A

Ethereum, which has increased a lot in recent days, has declined around three percent in the last 24 hours. However, litecoin, the world’s sixth biggest cryptocurrency, has rallied over eight percent.

Currently, around 64 of the 100 biggest cryptocurrencies show red numbers.

Crypto Projects Are Not Very Decentralized, Claims New Yahoo Finance Report (Blokt), Rated: A

Cryptocurrencies rose to fame while talking about decentralization, but a new analysis by Token Analyst for Yahoo Finance UK claims otherwise.

It suggests that of the top 50 currencies by trading volume*, the top 20 wallets hold an average of 78% of all coins.

Across the top 50 currencies by trading volume, the top 20 wallets get an undue power over the rest of the community as they hold an average of 78% of all coins.

In 16 cases, the 20 biggest wallets were holding over 90% of the total token supply, revealing how centralization works in the background of decentralized crypto networks.

Privacy and Credit Reporting Through Blockchain (Forbes), Rated: A

We spoke to Adam Jiwan, CEO of Spring Labs, a company that is using blockchain to improve the security and efficiency of the credit reporting industry.

Blockchain Travel Initiative To Offer Hotels 20% Cheaper Than Booking.com Or AirBnb (Smartereum), Rated: A

LockTrip, a European-based company is looking to put the accommodation sector on the Blockchain which will facilitate the creation of “the first Blockchain-powered travel service. The startup already offers over 100,000 hotels and 1,500 vacation rentals worldwide with a discount of 20% on the average compared to other booking platforms. LockTrip is looking to add 300,000 more hotels and 900 airlines by the end of January this year.

What Honeywell’s Ecommerce Platform Means For Blockchain In Aviation (Forbes), Rated: A

Honeywell recently announced the launch of its online buying and selling platform for new and used aircraft parts. Not only are online transactions in this space extremely rare, but Honeywell is also doing something even more uncommon: using blockchain technology. According to Lisa Butters, who leads the Honeywell Aerospace venture, “Currently, less than 2.5 percent of all transactions in this space are done online.” She continues: “We are the first marketplace to enable customized seller storefronts, and we are the first to leverage blockchain technology to build trust between the buyer and seller.”

Some Nevada governments using blockchain for public records (MRT), Rated: A

Some northern Nevada counties are using blockchain, the online ledger best known for helping secure virtual currencies such as bitcoin, to store digital versions of government records like birth and marriage certificates.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that as of December in Washoe County, about 950 couples had received secure digital marriage certificates to home computers and smartphones since the program debuted in April 2018.

Colorado Introduces Bill With Securities Law Exemptions for Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin.com), Rated: A

The U.S. state of Colorado has introduced the “Colorado Digital Token Act” which provides some “exemptions from the state securities laws for cryptocurrencies,” according to the text of the bill. Meanwhile, the state’s securities commissioner has already taken action against 20 initial coin offerings.

Nano Cryptocurrency Facing Second Class-Action Lawsuit Over BitGrail Hack (CCN), Rated: A

For the second time, Nano’s developers and other parties are facing a class action lawsuit. The lawsuit names Francesco Firano, Nano as an entity, BitGrail, and four others in a lawsuit proposed Friday in a California federal court. Among the allegations against them are fraud and violations of the Securities Act. The lawsuit alleges the defendants tricked investors. Nano was once worth more than $50 but today is around $1.

NY State’s Cryptocurrency Task Force to Consider Regulation (FTF News), Rated: B

NY cryptocurrency task force

Four Fintech Companies to Watch for IPO (FINSMES), Rated: B

Next IPO plans have recently been denied by Asiff Hirji, Coinbase COO and President. Following its latest $300m Series E funding round, which valued the company at at $8 billion in October, the rumors about a possible IPO sparked.

Proof of Keys Event May Highlight Centralization of Crypto, but Some of Its Claims Are Unfounded (Cryptosumer), Rated: B

Bitcoin celebrated its 10th birthday on Jan. 3, and in commemoration of this milestone, the very first Proof of Keys event was held. Organized by crypto investor and podcast host Trace Mayer, it urged cryptocurrency traders to withdraw their holdings from crypto exchanges, in order to promote the decentralization and monetary independence on which Satoshi Nakamoto‘s vision for Bitcoin was founded.

International

Why the Bitcoin Bubble Burst is Good for Crypto (CCN), Rated: AAA

Even the most ardent crypto evangelist must admit that bitcoin appears to have been the worst investment of 2018, at least in pure dollar terms. The cryptocurrency has lost almost 80 percent of its market capitalization since it established an all-time high at around $327.15 billion. The adoption rate and volume have dropped likewise. Organizations that were planning to launch their bitcoin-based services have delayed their projects or scrapped them entirely.

The bursting of a bubble does not necessarily mean the death of the underlying asset.

Bitcoin price
Source: CCN

The crypto market has crashed similarly after most of its startups failed after raising millions of dollars in over-hyped investments. Bitcoin, as many believe, is the survivor of a market-wide wipe off.

Bitcoin market cap
Source: CCN

Since November, bitcoin has been occupying around 50 percent of the entire crypto market, reflecting investors’ improved sentiment.

Nearly 80% of Crypto Investors Still Net-Invested in Bitcoin (CryptoGlobe), Rated: A

Bitcoin: Retail trader data shows 77.5% of traders are net long with the ratio of traders long to short at 3.44 to 1. The number of traders net long is 0.4% lower than yesterday and 6.2% higher from last week, while the number of traders net short is 2.7% lower than yesterday and 6.4% lower from last week.

Bitcoin above $ 4.1k, Ethereum at $ 165 and XRP at 38 cents, trade volumes also pump (AMBCrypto), Rated: AAA

According to CoinMarketCap, at press time, Bitcoin was trading at $4085 with a market cap of $71.3 billion. The trading volume for the coin is recorded to be at $5.39 billion and has surged by over 5% in the past one hour.

Ethereum was trading at $159.55 with a market cap of $16.61 billion. The cryptocurrency with a trading volume of $3.15 billion has seen a hike of more than 14% in the past seven days, with the important news of the upcoming hard fork, Constantinople scheduled to take place around January 16, 2019.

Crypto market
Source: AMBCrypto

The Biggest Problem for ICOs? In 2018, It Was Their Own Investors (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

Why do most ICOs fail to succeed? Some would cite the greed of individuals blindly looking to make a quick fortune, incompetent project teams led by entrepreneurs that lack expertise, the technical limitations of platform blockchains that lack scalability and inadequate regulations in countries that have been unable to keep up with changing market conditions.

These are all true. However, there is little to learn from this, as these are difficulties that all innovative, paradigm-shifting technologies face when forging new markets in their early stages.

In this article, I aim to take stock of the current situation by examining the inherent limitations of ICOs, in particular the belief that “anyone can invest in an initial project,” and discuss some potential solutions.

RIP ICOs: 2019 Will Be the Year of Enterprise Blockchain Tokens (CoinDesk), Rated: A

One year ago, I wrote an article for CoinDesk in which I humbly argued that the price of ether didn’t matter and what everyone in the blockchain community should focus on is building useful applications instead.

Hate to say I told you so, but… I did.

A few short months later, CryptoKitties were chased away by the bears, the initial coin offering (ICO) boom was gone, and the euphoria of $1,000 ether and $20,000 bitcoin had been replaced by the dire prognostications that crypto was “ded.”

Below I review what I regard as the major developments of 2018, and what lies ahead in 2019. And at the risk of being accused of double-spending, I’m going to quote freely from my earlier article, since many of the points I made have been vindicated or bear repeating.

List And Guide Of IOTA Partnerships (Use the Bitcoin), Rated: A

IOTA announced, in November 2017, that it launched the world’s first public data marketplace on an Internet of Things (IoT) distributed ledger in conjunction with Microsoft.

2. Volkswagen

The world of motoring is seeing more and more technological advancements, and IOTA is lending a helping hand to the process. Driverless technology is an application of IOTA’s data marketplace, seeing as the cars face different driving conditions all over the world.

3. DnB

At the beginning of June, IOTA announced that it signed an agreement with Norway’s largest financial group – DnB.

4. BOSCH

Bosch is a German-based multinational engineering and electronics company, which is currently the largest supplier of automotive components in the entire world.

5. Fujitsu

In September, the IOTA Foundation entered a partnership with Fujitsu, a provider of IT products and services.

Cryptocurrencies: 4 dead altcoins in 2018 (Ripple News), Rated: A

First of all it is worth to specify how many cryptocurrencies have never really seen the light because of projects shipwrecked by negligence, lack of commitment, lack of funds and so on.

In other cases, virtual currencies have been manipulated through pump and dump schemes. During the ICO small groups of investors have bought massive amounts of token reselling them at the first useful opportunity. This scheme caused the collapse of their valuation and killed the cryptocurrencies.

McKinsey & Company Finds Evidence Of Practical Blockchain Use Cases (Smartereum), Rated: A

Smartereum understands that McKinsey & Company, a major financial consulting startup, believes that there is only little evidence of actual practical use for the Blockchain technology. This report was revealed via an official post by the company published on January 4 2019.

The Ethereum Constantinople Fork will be Supported by Binance, OKEx, and Houbi (Altcoin Buzz), Rated: B

The Ethereum Constantinople hard fork will occur near the block height of 7,080,000. 

Here’ is a statement from the Binance blog in response to the hard fork:

Binance would like to confirm support for the upcoming Ethereum Constantinople Hard Fork. “

Houbi and OKEx have both advised their clients to deposit Ethereum onto the site, as they too will handle all the technical aspects needed for the fork.

European Union

Can Binance Launchpad Resurrect the ICO Market? (Bitsonline), Rated: AAA

A late December article in The Wall Street Journal found 16 percent of all cryptocurrency projects–not limited to, but including ICOs–were in one way or another fraudulent.

ICOs fared even worse in the Satis Group’s assessment, with a whopping 81 percent defined as “scams”.

Binance announced on January 3rd that it plans to create a platform for ICOs, which will have significant documentation requirements and a grueling vetting process by the exchange itself. The project, which aims to re-legitimize the much-maligned, token-driven startup funding method will list new token launches monthly, beginning with BitTorrent and Fetch.AI.

Ethereum Price Analysis: ETH Could Make Sustained Move Higher (NewsBTC), Rated: AAA

Recently, there were bullish moves in ETH price above the $145 support against the US Dollar. The ETH/USD pair traded above the $150 and $154 resistance levels to move into a bullish zone. It even spiked above the $160 level and traded as high as $160.12. Later, it started a downside correction and traded below the $157 support. It also moved below the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last wave from the $147 low to $160 high.

However, there are many supports on the downside near $154 and $150. Moreover, there is a crucial bullish trend line formed with support at $148 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD. The price is likely to move higher if buyers gain traction above $157 and $160.

Ethereum
Source: NewsBTC

Ethereum (ETH) Developers Give Tentative Go Ahead To ASIC-Blocking Code (Smartereum), Rated: A

Members of the open source development community of Ethereum have tentatively agreed to implement a new algorithm, which would block ASICs or block specialized mining hardware pending further testing on a proposed code.

Leading crypto wallet adds Bluetooth support for mobile bitcoin access (The Verge), Rated: A

On Sunday at CES, the crypto wallet company Ledger revealed its latest device — the Bluetooth-enabled Ledger Nano X. The device is roughly similar to the previous Nano S, offering more support for multiple wallets and coin types but leaving internals otherwise the same. But Bluetooth will allow the X to connect to mobile devices through the new Ledger Live app, a powerful new way to access hardware wallets through your phone.

Crypto-Friendly Statesman Takes Over Swiss Presidency (Bitcoin.com), Rated: A

After serving as finance minister of one of the most economically influential nations over the past three years, Ueli Maurer is now starting his term as President of the Swiss Confederation. Given his track record and liberal views regarding fintech regulation, Maurer’s election is considered a positive development for the alpine nation’s expanding crypto industry.

United Kingdom

Finance Analyst: Bitcoin (BTC) To Boom In 2020, Blockchain Poised To Revolutionize (Ethereum World News), Rated: A

Speaking with the Evening Standard U.K., Clem Chambers, the founder of ADVFN and a Forbes contributor/finance journalist and analyst, has claimed that Bitcoin is poised to run in the near future. More specifically, he told the outlet that during next year, 2020, he expects for BTC to “boom again,” especially as blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies establish themselves as game-changing technologies. He explained that eventually, the aforementioned innovations will “define the next 25 years in the same way as online/dotcom has defined the last 25.”

XRP could eventually become the world’s foremost cryptocurrency: Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings (AMBCrypto), Rated: A

The XRP community has been one of the most active participants in the crypto space and has always maintained a steady positive stand on the cryptocurrency’s present and future. This moral was boosted when Weiss Cryptocurrency ratings recently released a post stating that XRP could become the number one cryptocurrency in 2019. The report said:

“Ripple’s XRP, in particular, is aiming to disrupt SWIFT, the giant payments network of the global banking system. If it can manage to chip away at SWIFT’s market share and even replace it in some areas, there’s a chance that XRP could eventually become the world’s No. 1 cryptocurrency.”

China/Hong Kong

Hong Kong investors lost HK$ 3 million in venture of cryptocurrency promoter (SCMP), Rated: AAA

A number of Hongkongers claim to have been duped into investing in cryptocurrency “mining machines”, losing about HK$3 million in total in a venture linked to a flamboyant businessman thought to be behind a money tossing stunt last month.

This 26-year-old dropout is saving people big bucks with her blockchain business – and she isn’t betting on bitcoin (CNBC), Rated: AAA

Maxine Ryan is not your typical blockchain buff.

A 26-year-old college dropout, she has virtually zero formal tech training and is skeptical of the string of volatile cryptocurrencies it has spawned. In fact, five years ago Ryan was a self-confessed “newb” – tech speak for total newcomer – to the digital ledger system and, even today, she says she’s no expert.

Ryan is co-founder and chief operations officer of Bitspark, a blockchain-based remittance platform that allows users to send money overseas without the need for a bank account or its associated fees. Ryan and her fellow co-founder, CEO George Harrap, launched the start-up in 2014 after they met via a flatshare in Canberra, Australia and decided to find a way to put the decentralized network to good use.

Asia

Cryptocurrency and ‘proper’ regulations for ICO (Korea Herald), Rated: AAA

Indeed, major IT companies in Korea have established companies engaged in cryptocurrency- or blockchain-related business and more than 100 venture companies related to cryptocurrencies are currently active in Singapore as of today. As a result, the Korean government is facing criticism that its ban on ICOs and overreach regulations have caused national wealth to flow out of the country and hindered the development of blockchain technology in Korea.

Of course, the clear, proper regulations are necessary as various social problems have arisen in related to ICOs, shown as (i) 10 percent of total funds raised through ICOs in 2017 (equivalent to $400 million) was stolen by hacking; (ii) the success rate of ICOs remained only 25 percent; and (iii) ICOs have been abused in various fraudulent schemes.

New Home-Grown Peer-to-Peer Cryptocurrency Exchange in Malaysia to be launched in March 2019 (Benzinga), Rated: A

BitNicx Exchange will make history as the first home-grown cryptocurrency exchange in Malaysia to have peer-to-peer (P2P) technologies integrated into their platform where users can buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies easily and safely in Ringgit Malaysia with no capital deposits required.

India Postpones Plan to Issue National Crypto (iHODL), Rated: A

India decided to postpone a plan to issue Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), because “the government doesn’t want the digital currency anymore,” The Hindu BusinessLine reports.

The cryptocurrency mining market has claimed another victim (Crypto News Review), Rated: B

The sizeable Japanese e-commerce firm DMM has abandoned its ambitions to become one of the biggest cryptocurrency mining firms in the world…

MENA

Can Dubai Become the First Blockchain Powered City by 2020? (CCN), Rated: AAA

Smart Dubai are the organizers of the Global Blockchain Challenge, which is a blockchain-related competition geared to finding the most innovative blockchain startups from across the world and to entice them to operate in Dubai.

Latin America

5 Ways Cryptocurrency Can Help Make The World a Better Place (The Costa Rica News), Rated: AAA

  1. It’s a Cycle.

As cryptocurrency becomes more popular, more people join in and thus, causing a chain reaction.

  1. More crowdfunding.
 

This is another important step because as more people get involved, more startups and products come out as a result.

  1. More privacy and security

Every time you use a credit card, the machine stores certain information about you. And not all databases are secure. This is how most data breaches happen. When using cryptocurrency, your name and security are prioritized.

  1. No censorship

Adding to the above, censorship is another topic that becomes easier to overcome through cryptocurrency. For example, people in China and Russia are already bypassing strict surveillance laws by using Bitcoin in order to communicate freely.

  1. No middleman

Finally, when using cryptocurrency, there are usually only two parties involved – the one who sends and the one who receives.

Africa

2018 saw $ 1 billion worth of cryptocurrency thefts (The South African), Rated: AAA

In October, the US-based cybersecurity company CipherTrace claimed that cryptocurrency thefts had already $927 billion in just the first nine months of 2018, as Reuters reported.

CipherTrace’s report caused a major stir in October largely because, according to an earlier report from the firm, the worth of digital currencies stolen from exchanges the year before was only $266 million. This means that cryptocurrency theft has increased by almost 250% year-on-year.

CMA caution Kenyans against investing on crypto-asset markets (CIO), Rated: A

In a deliberate effort to protect investors against emerging crypto-asset markets, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has cautioned the public against participating in any initial coin offering or trading in any coin exchange offered by Wiseman Talent Ventures.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

About the author

Allen Taylor

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