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Bitcoin Obituaries Lists Another Crypto Eulogy, 2020 BTC Deaths in the Single Digits
The infamous “Bitcoin Obituaries” has seen another addition to the long list of deaths since bitcoin’s oldest death on December 15, 2010. According to the list of articles with 382 deaths to-date, bitcoin was declared dead again on September 4, 2020. Ever since Satoshi Nakamoto released the decentralized network, a number of people have doubted bitcoin and over the years some individuals have deemed the project “dead.” Famous people, journalists, economists, luminaries, and many more have written long-winded essays on why the cryptocurrency is sure to fail. The website 99 Bitcoins maintains a list of “Bitcoin Obituaries” collected over the years and so far there’s been 382 deaths in total. This past weekend the crypto economy slid in value considerably, as a number of digital currencies lost between 15-35% during the last seven days. Out of the top ten coins in terms of market capitalization, binance coin (BNB) staved off the market rout by only losing 12% and bitcoin (BTC) lost a touch over 16%. The rest of the top ten crypto assets lost a much larger percentage, as coins like ETH and DOT lost close to 30%. Despite this, another bitcoin obituary was listed on September 4, when BTC dropped to $10,500 per coin. The death stems from the web portal Newsbtc and it was written by Uri Shalev who titled the article: “Bitcoin is Worthless in Long-term.” Shalev says that even Warren Buffet won’t go near the crypto asset and BTC must be a bubble. “In contrast, bitcoin or other digital currencies are very likely worthless in the long term, and those are the kind of assets that investing legend Warren Buffet won’t touch,” Shalev writes. “It’s these latter kinds of assets that have a greater chance to be in bubble territory because they don’t generate cash flow to support their valuations.”
In case you missed it: Major Crypto and Blockchain News from the week ending 12/14/2018
Developments in Financial Services
A cryptocurrency exchange-traded product (ETP) that trades on Switzerland’s Six Exchange saw record trading volumes on Thursday and Friday last week, suggesting that institutional investors may be buying the dip in cryptocurrencies. Four major cryptocurrencies underlie the HODL ETP, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). While HODL ETP’s one-month average daily trading is 20,000 shares, on Thursday, December 6th, and Friday, December 7th, 53,233 shares and 62.986 shares were traded, respectively.
A report published last week by global anti-money laundering policymaker, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), indicates that cryptocurrency exchanges in the United Kingdom pose a, “low risk,” for money laundering and terrorist financing activities. The report, however, does highlight that such activities on UK cryptocurrency exchanges are an, “emerging risk,” although there is not yet enough evidence to suggest that these activities are occurring through cryptocurrency exchanges. In its report, the FATF urged UK regulators to, “Continue to develop an understanding of emerging risks (such as virtual currencies) and intelligence gaps, and take appropriate action.”
Andreas Utermann, CEO and CIO of Allianz Global Investors, called on global financial regulators to ban cryptocurrencies while speaking at a panel discussion in London. According to a report by Reuters, Utermann said, “You should outlaw it,” while participating in a panel alongside Andrew Bailey, the head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority. Bailey responded by saying that Utermann’s comments were, “quite strong,” before adding that cryptocurrencies have, “no intrinsic value.”
Basis, a major US-based stablecoin project, is shutting down its operations and returning most of its funds to investors, according to a report by crypto news outlet The Block. The report by The Block cited, “multiple people with direct knowledge of the situation,” in claiming that the algorithmic stablecoin project, which generated UDS$133mm of funding through private investments in April, will return funds to investors. According to the Co-Founder and CEO of competing stablecoin project Nevin Freeman, Basis’ shutdown is due to regulatory concerns around one of its token types. Freeman explained, highlighting that algorithmic stablecoins implement a “secondary token”, known as a “bond token”, to help maintain the primary token’s peg. In many cases, regulators like the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) consider these secondary tokens to be securities.
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, announced that it has added Circle’s US dollar-pegged stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC), to its combined Stablecoin Market. Circle, a company backed by Goldman Sachs, first released its stablecoin in September of this year. Binance’s combined Stablecoin Market features other notable stablecoins, like Tether (USDT), that trade against cryptocurrencies as interchangeable base pairs.
Coinone, a South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange, has officially launched Cross, a cross-border payments application that leverages Ripple’s xCurrent product to increase efficiencies. The application, released by Coinone’s payments subsidiary, Coinone Transfer, targets unbanked or underbanked South Koreans by enabling the transfer of funds to Thailand or the Philippines at a low cost.
Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange heralded by the Winklevoss twins, released an official company blog post this weekend announcing that the firm will support Bitcoin Cash (BCH) custody and trading. The exchange will support only the Bitcoin Cash ABC network at this time, adding that they, “are continuing to evaluate Bitcoin SV over the coming weeks or months, and we may or may not choose to support withdrawals and/or trading of Bitcoin SV in the future.” Additionally, the company detailed that its listing of BCH is pending regulatory approval by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Gemini, the cryptocurrency trading platform founded by the Winklevoss twins, announced the launch of a mobile crypto trading application in an official blog post today. Accompanying the launch of the crypto trading app is a new investment vehicle, dubbed, “The Cryptoverse,” that is comprised of a basket of cryptocurrencies weighted by market capitalization. While speaking to Bloomberg today, Cameron Winklevoss said that, “A lot of our decisions have perhaps given off a perception that we’re more institutional-based. The reality of the situation is that we have a diverse customer base. And the retail story is just beginning.” The Winklevoss twins went on to detail of a goal to expand reach to Asian markets by 2019’s end.
Good Money, a US neo-banking platform, has closed its Series A investment round that generated USD$30mm led by cryptocurrency-focused merchant bank Galaxy Digital and the founder of EOS (EOS) Block.one. Good Money aims to provide a variety of banking service and certain financial instruments to US account holders while exploring innovative changes to traditional banking practices. “Modern banking is a primary driver of so many issues we as a society face – from economic inequality, institutional racism, environmental destruction to political corruption,” said Good Money founder Gunnar Lovelace. Specifically, Good Money eliminates ATM fees while offering each bank user equity in the company.
Kraken, a notable cryptocurrency exchange, is seeking to raise funding with a USD$4bn valuation for the company and a USD$100,000 investment minimum, according to CoinDesk. In an email to investors, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell wrote, “There is presently a limited time opportunity available to a very small select number of clients to purchase shares.” The email goes on to detail that the exchange will close its offer on December 16th.
OKEx, the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, will begin listing Bitcoin Cash ABC under the original Bitcoin Cash ticker (BCH), as per an official announcement Tuesday. Additionally, OKEx will change the Bitcoin Cash SV ticker from BCHSV to BSV. The announcement by OKEx comes after other notable cryptocurrency exchanges have made the same switch, including Coinbase and Gemini.
PayPal, an online payments portal, has launched its own internal private blockchain platform that will allow staff to trade and exchange tokens while generating ideas and participating in programs to foster innovation, as per a report by news outlet Cheddar. The private blockchain network, which was built by 25 PayPal employees in just 6 months, will allow employees to earn more for enrolling in learning and development programs. The PayPal tokens are not tradeable, or worth anything for that matter, outside PayPal’s blockchain.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a big four consulting firm, is partnering with Bitfury Group, a large blockchain software and mining firm, to develop a blockchain accelerator specific to Russian businesses. As per an official press release by PwC, the partnership will leverage Exonum, Bitfury’s open source framework to build blockchain applications, for educational courses and seminars. The partnership aims to meet the, “current needs,” of PwC’s enterprise clients in Russia.
Revolut, a digital banking alternative with an in-application cryptocurrency exchange, announced that it has been awarded a European banking license. Seeking to become the, “Amazon of banking,” the license will allow Revolut to offer traditional banking services alongside its current cryptocurrency offerings to European customers. Nikolay Storonsky, Founder and CEO of Revolut, said in regards to the newly acquired license that, “With the banking license now secured, commission-free stock trading progressing well, and five new international markets at final stages of launch, we are living up to our reputation as the ‘Amazon of Banking’. Our vision is simple: one ap with tens of millions of users, where you can manage every aspect of your financial life with the best value and technology.”
Shinhan Bank, the second-largest commercial bank in South Korea, is launching a new project to implement blockchain technology in its internal processes with a goal of eliminating human error. According to a report by news outlet The Korea Times, Shinhan also recently completed a training program for its staff to increase their knowledge of blockchain technology across various applications. After Shinhan implemented blockchain technology for interest rate swap transactions on November 30th, South Korea’s second-largest bank is now aiming to apply the technology in its record-keeping process to enhance overall efficiencies.
SolarisBank, Germany’s second-largest and Europe’s ninth-largest stock exchange, is partnering with Stuttgart Exchange Group, a German fintech company, to jointly develop a cryptocurrency exchange. As per a report by Cointelegraph Germany, the joint cryptocurrency exchange venture, “is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2019.” This news comes after SolarisBank announced plans to launch a zero-fee cryptocurrency trading application this past May.
The Canadian city of Calgary is becoming the first city in Canada to launch a digital version of its local currency, according to a report by the Global News. Dubbed as the Calgary Digital Dollar, the digital currency will be exclusive to Calgary and operate alongside the country’s Canadian Dollar. Calgary-based businesses will now be required by law to accept at least 10% of a payment in digital currency, although they are allowed to accept up to 100%.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is launching a pilot of its Global Payment Initiative (GPI) to combat growing blockchain and fintech solutions, according to an official announcement last week. Currently, the SWIFT Network is used by global financial institutions to conduct global financial payments and cross-border transfers of fiat currency. Although the project is still in its early stages, the GPI pilot hopes to, “build the foundation of a new integrated and interactive service that will significantly improve efficiencies in the payments process and which will ultimately be made available to all 10,000 banks across the SWIFT network.”
The United Arab Emirates’(UAE) central bank is partnering with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to develop a cryptocurrency to facilitate cross border transactions between the two countries, according to a report by news outlet GulfNews. In a meeting pertaining to global banking standards and regulation in the Arab region, Mubarak Rashed Al Mansouri, the governor of the UAE’s central bank, said, “This is probably the first time ever that witnesses the cooperation of monetary authorities from different countries on this topic and we hope that this achievement will foster similar collaboration in our region.” The prospective digital currency will be used by both central banks and financial institutions in the countries.
TokenSoft, a security token offering (STO) startup, has acquired a 20% stake in regulated broker-dealer Marpine Securities LLC in order to launch its own regulated broker-dealer. After acquiring the 20% stake, TokenSoft will launch its new regulated broker-dealer entity, called TokenSoft Global Markets, that will be registered through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The new regulated broker-dealer entity will allow TokenSoft to advise token issuers through every step of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) process. Additionally, TokenSoft will now be able to legally operate in services related to insurance and management.
Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors and a notable cryptocurrency pundit, believes that the current fair value of Bitcoin (BTC) is between USD$13,800 and USD$14,800, according to a note published on Thursday. Lee arrived at this valuation by taking into account the number of active wallet addresses, usage per account, and other supply and demand metrics. Additionally, Lee forecasted that the fair value of BTC will reach USD$150,000/coin once BTC wallets account for 7% of Visa’s 4.5bn account holders.
UAE Exchange, an exchange based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is partnering with Ripple to launch a blockchain-based cross-border remittances platform by 1Q2019, as per a Reuters report on Thursday. The report details further that Finablr, a payments and foreign exchange company that owns UAE Exchange, observes a high level of remittance inflows from expatriate workers in the Middle East region. “We expect to go live with Rippel by Q1, 2019 with two other Asian banks,” said Finablr CEO Promoth Manghat, adding, “This is for remittances to start with, from across the globe into Asia.”
De Nederlandsche Bank, the Netherlands’ central bank, will soon require domestic cryptocurrency providers to obtain a license from the regulator to operate, as per a report by Dutch news outlet DeTelegraaf. The Netherlands' central bank is taking these measures in the hope that it will, “prevent such cryptocurrencies from being used to launder money obtained through crime or to fund terrorism.” In order to receive a license, cryptocurrency firms must maintain Know-Your-Customer procedures and report any suspicious activity to the Dutch central bank.
Eddie Hughes, a conservative member of the United Kingdom’s Parliament, suggested that Bitcoin (BTC) should be accepted as legal tender for tax and utility payments, according to news outlet Express.co.uk. The article discusses that Hughes, who is a self-described, “crypto enthusiast with amateur knowledge,” recently met with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which accepts cryptocurrency donations. This news comes after the US state of Ohio announced that it would begin accepting BTC as legal tender for tax payments.
Following a case in Canadian courts that resulted in a ruling ordering mistakenly sent crypto funds to be returned to their owner, a blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law is noting that there could be repercussions with the case potentially setting a precedent for lost or stolen cryptocurrency claims. The Canadian court case’s ruling will require defendant Brian Wall to return USD$370,482 worth of Ethereum (ETH) tokens to the plaintiff, Copytrack. The blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law reads, ‘This precedent may have major repercussions for the enforcement of claims regarding lost or stolen cryptocurrencies,” adding that the ruling allows the plaintiff to recover tokens, “in whatsoever hands those Ether Tokens may currently be held.”
Japan’s government is considering plans to ease cryptocurrency taxes in an effort to revitalize the domestic cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. This week, Japanese Congressman Takeshi Fujimaki proposed four significant changes to taxation requirements pertaining to digital assets, which include: a reduction on the cryptocurrency gains tax from 55% to 20%; elimination of taxes on crypto-to-crypto payments; elimination of taxes on miniscule cryptocurrency payments; and an adjustment that would allow cryptocurrency investors to carry forward losses across quarters and years, effectively until cryptocurrencies are ‘cashed’ out.
Jay Clayton, Chairman for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC), said during a speech that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), “can be effective,” for fundraising, but that, “securities laws must be followed.” Clayton went on in his speech to comment on the US SEC’s work regarding distributed ledger technology (DLT), digital assets, and ICOs, saying that it is an, “area where the Commission and staff have spent a significant amount of time,” and, “that this trend will continue in 2019.”
Jay Clayton, the Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), expressed his optimism for distributed ledger technology’s potential impact on traditional financial markets in a testimony before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs yesterday. According to a transcript published on the SEC’s website, Clayton said, “I am optimistic that developments in distributed ledger technology can help facilitate capital formation, providing promising investment opportunities for both institutional and Main Street Investors.” Additionally, Clayton highlighted that the SEC is, “Focusing a significant amount of attention and resources on digital assets and initial coin offerings (ICOs).”
Maxim Akimov, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, announced that no significant changes will be made to the draft of a bill concerning cryptocurrency regulation in the country, as per news outlet Finmarket. The bill was already approved by Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, in May 2018, although the bill has generated substantial discussion since. Since approval of the bill, all cryptocurrency and token-related terminology have been removed and replaced with the term “digital rights”. At the beginning of December, Pavel Krasheninnikov, Chairman of Russia’s State Duma, said that the bill needed to be, “significantly,” changed.
Pan Gongsheng, a deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, highlighted that Security Token Offerings (STOs) in China are illegal while speaking at a summit in Beijing. As per a report by news outlet the South China Morning Post, Gongsheng told the summit that, “illegal financing activities through STOs and ICOs were still rampant in the mainland despite a nationwide clean-up of the cryptocurrency market last year.” In citing reasoning for the continued ban on STOs, Gongsheng explained that, “Virtual money has become an accomplice to all kinds of illegal and criminal activities.”
Pantera Capital, a blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused investment firm and hedge fund, is warning investors that as much as a quarter of their ICO project could potentially be violating US securities laws, according to a Bloomberg report. In a newsletter to clients, Pantera Capital warned, “While we believe the vast majority of the projects in our portfolio should not be affected, approximately 25% of our fund’s capital is invested in other projects with liquid tokens that sold to US investors without using Regulation D or Regulation S”
Russia has no intention of implementing Venezuela’s state-backed digital currency, the Petro, into commercial operations, according to a report by news outlet RIA Novosti. While speaking to reporters this week, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said, “Representatives from our tax service and central bank... got acquainted with the cryptocurrency Venezuela is introducing,” adding, “But no more than that. As for payments, they’re not happening yet.”
South Korea’s representative body, the National Assembly, held its first official meeting with seven of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges on Monday. The purpose of the meeting was to debate cryptocurrency regulation between stakeholders of South Korea’s cryptocurrency industry. Cryptocurrency exchanges Bithumb, CobitCoin, Coinone, Upbit, Gopax, Coinplug, and Hanbitco were among the attendees of the debate, which reportedly focused on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) customer protections and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures.
The United Kingdom’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental financial security body, is calling on the country’s government to increase monitoring of cryptocurrency markets. According to an official report last week, the UK must overhaul its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and combat terrorist financing (CFT) efforts in order to prevent illicit activities with cryptocurrencies. “Virtual currency exchange providers are not yet covered by AML/CFT requirements,” the report details, adding, “this is an emerging risk and there is not yet evidence to suggest that broad scale ML/TF is occurring in the UK through this relatively small sector.”
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is interested in learning more about the Ethereum (ETH) network, its technology, and the markets build around it. On Tuesday, the CFTC published a Request for Input (RFI) that requests the public’s feedback on different questions concerning Ethereum. The RFI explains that its goal is to inform the CFTC about Ethereum and similar emerging technology, saying, “The input from this request will advance the CFTC’s mission of ensuring the integrity of the derivatives market as well as monitoring and reducing the systematic risk by enhancing legal certainty in the markets. The RFI seeks to understand the similarities and distinctions between certain virtual currencies, including here ether and bitcoin, as well as ether-specific opportunities, challenges, and risks.”
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC) is ordering that cryptocurrency asset manager CoinAlpha Advisors LLC pay a USD$50,000 fine, alleging that the firm conducted an unregistered securities sale. After forming in October 2017, CoinAlpha raised more than USD$600,000 from investors to invest in digital assets. In an official release, the US SEC said that CoinAlpha did not file a Notice of Exempt Offering of Securities, meaning that the firm breached securities laws by soliciting securities investors. Additionally, the firm allegedly did not adhere to proper know-your-customer procedures to verify that investors were accredited.
Venezuela is reportedly beginning to convert its citizens’ monthly pension payments into Petros, Venezuela’s controversial state and oil-backed cryptocurrency, according to a report by local economics blog the Caracas Chronicles. The conversion of Venezuelan pensioners’ payments into Petros came after the country already sent pensioners their monthly payment in the form of a check for Venezuelan Bolivars -- normally, upon receiving their check, pensioners would deposit their funds into a bank account where they could then withdraw fiat from local branches. The Venezuelan government, however, converted pensioners’ fiat payments into the Petro upon their deposit into a bank. In the first few weeks of the Petro’s existence, its value has risen from 9,000 to more than 15,000.
Warren Davidson, an Ohio Congressman and notable advocate of blockchain and digital assets, is floating blockchain technology as a solution to fund US President Donald Trump’s prospective US-Mexico border wall. While interviewing with NPR, Congressman Davidson suggested, “the American people, or whomever should choose to donate,” could pay for the border wall, adding, “you could do it with sort of like a crowdfunding site or you could do a blockchain and you could have WallCoins.”
“The long-term value of Bitcoin (BTC) is more likely to be USD$100 than USD$100,000,” says Kenneth Rogoff, a former Chief Economist for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the current Harvard University Professor of Economics and Public Policy. While writing an article for major UK news outlet The Guardian, Rogoff highlighted that, because BTC’s use is limited to transactions, it makes the digital asset more vulnerable to a bubble-like collapse. Rogoff also cited that BTC’s energy-intensive verification processes is, “vastly less efficient,” than systems that leverage, “a trusted central authority like a central bank.”
A new report by PeckShield, a blockchain security company that monitors various cryptocurrency ecosystems, details that decentralized applications (DApps) on the EOS (EOS) blockchain have lost as much as USD$1mm in hacks since July 2018. The report details further that DApps on the EOS network have sustained 27 breaches since July, which are responsible for the up to 400,000 EOS that have been compromised from hacks. Guo Yonggang, a blockchain security expert cited in a report on the matter by crypto media firm Blockchain Truth, believes that the hacks can be attributed to security problems with the DApps themselves, rather than with the EOS network.
A new study published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance on Wednesday finds that the number of unique ID-verified cryptocurrency users nearly doubled in in the first 3 quarters of 2018. The study details that total ID-verified users increased to 35mm in the first three quarters of 2018 from 18mm at the end of 2017, representing an increase of 94%. As per an analysis of the study by Bloomberg, the growth of crypto’s userbase despite the market decline, “could signal that an eventual recovery could be coming.”
Amid the continued cryptocurrency sell-off, only two cryptocurrency mining machines remain profitable, according to real-time data from ASICMinerValue.com. ASICMInerValue.com, which calculates the profitability of Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) miners, indicates that only indicates that only the Ebank Ebit E11++ and ASICminer 8 Nano 44Th mining models are profitable for mining cryptocurrencies based on the SHA-256 hash function -- notable cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) use this has function.
Bitmain, a large Chinese cryptocurrency mining firm, announced that it is closing its development center in Israel, citing current cryptocurrency market conditions. In closing Bitmaintech Israel, the crypto mining giant was forced to fire all 23 employees. Among the employees let go is Gadi Glikberg, head of Bitmain’s Israeli branch and Vice President of International Sales, who said on the recent market turmoil, “The crypto market has undergone a shake-up in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and to refocus its business in accordance with the current situation.”
Busan, a major South Korean city, will be the beneficiary of the South Korean government’s plan to spend 4bn Korean won (USD$3.5mm) to establish a blockchain-enabled virtual power plant (VPP). As per a report by South Korean news outlet Yonhap News Agency, the project will be angled as a national competition in 2019, hosted by South Korea’s largest electric utility, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). The VPP will integrate the idle capacities of multiple energy resources through a cloud-based distributed ledger in order to optimize power generation and decrease costs.
Church’s Chicken, a large international fast food franchise, is partnering with Dash Venezuela to accept cryptocurrencies in its Venezuelan locations. According to an official press release, 13 Church’s Chicken establishments will begin accepting Dash (DASH) as payment following, “extensive and rigorous days of training,” staff to understand cryptocurrencies. With the addition of Church’s Chicken, more than 2,200 establishments in Venezuela accept DASH as payment.
Crypto.com, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency payments platform, announced the appointment of former PayPal executive Tyson Hackwood to serve as the firm’s Vice President and Head of Global Merchant Acquisition in an official press release today. Crypto.com aims to increase cryptocurrency adoption by both merchants and consumers through their point-of-sale (PoS) transaction terminals. Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek believes that Hackwood will be integral in furthering this goal, saying, “As we develop the Crypto.com Chain to fulfill the current industry need to pay and be paid in crypto, Tyson will play an important role in expanding the number and quality of merchants that are part of our network.”
Hyperledger, a notable blockchain consortium, is continuing its robust expansion after announcing the addition of 16 new members at the Hyperledger Global Forum in Basel, Switzerland. Among the notables to join the consortium are, Alibaba Cloud, Citigroup’s Citi Ventures arm, and Deutsche Telekom. The latest addition of 16 members brings the total membership of Hyperledger to more than 260 different companies. In a public statement, Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf said that, “The growing Hyperledger community reflects the increasing importance of open source efforts to build enterprise blockchain technologies across industries and markets. The latest members showcase the widening interest in and impact of DLT and Hyperledger."
Jeremy Henrickson, the former Chief Product Officer at Coinbase, has departed the US-based cryptocurrency exchange after serving since July 2016. “Jeremy’s contributions to Coinbase over the past two years were invaluable,” said a Coinbase spokesperson, adding that, “he helped to build our scrappy startup team into a high-functioning product and engineering organization -- overseeing a 5x+ growth of the team.” Henrickson’s departure comes after long-term Coinbase executives Adam White and Hunter Merghart left the US-based cryptocurrency exchange in recent months.
LinkedIn’s, “2018 U.S. Emerging Jobs,” report released on Thursday ranks the role of blockchain developer as the fastest growing job in the United States. The report by LinkedIn indicates that blockchain developer jobs have increased 33-fold in the past 12 months alone. San Francisco, New York City, and Atlanta are among the cities with the highest demand for blockchain developer jobs.
Orbs, a unique hybrid blockchain platform, raised more than USD$15mm in cryptocurrencies to fund its development of a public blockchain, according to a company blog post. South Korean application provider Kakao lead the fundraising efforts with a representative telling CoinDesk that the company, “always seeks to invest and support innovative startups, and Orbs is a good example.” In total, Orbs raised 139,000 Ether (ETH) and 892 Bitcoin (BTC), amounting to roughly USD$15.4mm. Orbs aims to build a public blockchain with this funding that is, “universal,” and, “scalable,” for decentralized applications (DApps) with the, “liquidity of a base layer.”
Samsung has reportedly filed patent applications for three different blockchain-related trademark requests that all pertain directly to smartphones, according to news outlet Galaxy Club. Specifically, the patents named “Blockchain KeyStore”, “Blockchain Key Box”, and “Blockchain Core” all pertain to cryptocurrency custody capabilities on smartphones. This news comes amid the release of HTC’s Exodus 1 and Sirin Labs’ FINNEY, both of which are being marketed as blockchain smartphones with cryptocurrency custody capabilities.
"Have you heard of Bitcoin?" No doubt you have, and it's likely you've not only heard of it, but you've heard of it in the form of this question 100 times over the last year. In fact, second to any mention of Donald Trump, this question may be the most tired phrase of 2017. But if you had asked this question even a year ago, you would have gotten near-unanimous no's. In fact, seven years ago today, Bitcoiin had just reached its first 'bubble.' At $31.00, Bitcoin was certainly overvalued, the market said. And over the following 6 months, its price dropped back down to $2.00. Looking back, we think "Wow, what an opportunity, imagine if I'd bought it back then." And hindsight is 20/20, but how could we have known? Well, this is the question some are now asking within the cryptocurrency community, and on Wall Street, albeit less publicly. Now I'll assume you've heard of Bitcoin, and are aware of the existence of thousands of other cryptocurrencies. Believe it or not, you probably know as much if not more about the tech than most people who are already invested. Investment in cryptocurrency is a global phenomenon with few barriers to entry. This has brought those wiith no background in investing into the market, and because of that, the ways people value each 'currency' varies, especially in complexity. They use different heuristics which roughly fit four categories. I call them tiers, paradigms, levels - they're the lenses through which investors look at cryptocurrencies. Tier One is a surface glance at a cryptocurrency and looks exclusively at price. Crypto markets saw a rush of presumably novice investors jumping on the bandwagon to invest in Ripple (XRP) and Cardano (ADA), two of the lowest priced cryptocurrencies because of their relatively high circulating supply, which results in a high market cap (although what crypto enthusiasts call market cap is more accurately monetary base). Most websites that provide historical price info for cryptocurrencies rank by market cap. This leads us to the next tier of crypto valuation. Tier Two is a little more complex, but still an 'at a glance' kind of valuation. Investors with a "Tier Two" lens are looking at market cap relative to other cryptocurrencies', particularly to market caps of a currency's competitors. For example, blockchains in the cloud computing space have 3 main players: Golem (GNT), with a monetary base of $287.6 million, iEx.ec (RLC) at $65.8 million, and SONM (SNM) with a total value of $51.7 million for the entire outstanding supply of all SONM tokens - the currencies required to use the SONM network. Analysts might note that RLC has an excellent team and little marketing to date, or that SONM is going after a different market of service providers by leveraging smart devices. Tier Three models begin to look at the factors which make each protocol unique and might provably affect its price. This includes mechanisms to improve the function of the network, like staking, and overtly deflationary price mechanisms like Binance (BNB)'s quarterly burn rate. There are still other mechanis ms in existence and more yet to be created which are starting to be used by developers and project leads to increase the value of a currency by some means - most fundamentally by increasing demand or decreasing supply. Tiers One, Two, and Three all look at basic indicators in isolation, with a view of the scope of the technology's impact in view. A Tier Four view looks at a way to value a cryptocurrency by its intrinsic worth - as an economist or analyst would. Surprisingly, but perhaps not so, few people are doing this, at least publicly. One of the reasons is because the overlap of disciplines required. There are a few burgeoning thought leaders in this area, namely Chris Burniske, who co-authored Cryptoassets which gives an excellent look at the different types of cryptocurrencies with an economic and technology-focused view. The fundamental recognition that most investors in cryptocurrencies don't have is that these are currencies, and therefore shouldn't be valued like stocks. Most don't pay dividends, and many have mechanisms to increase their price by creating demand for large quantities and locking up supply through a deposit system called staking. Stakes are essentially deposits given as collateral by network hosts who are paid to maintain the blockchain (miners), escrowed by the network to disincentivize bad actors. Burniske wrote an article which factors these in with his own assumptions in the resulting model - a good read, but a little more math-heavy. Burniske's model revolves around the Equation of Exchange, an economic model for valuing traditional currencies, based on M1 and other factors. Other compelling models involve the Network Value to Transactions ratio (NVT), and the number of transactions per second on a blockchain (Tx/s). Each of these approaches can be used to approximate the intrinsic value of a cryptocurrency, and are what I would call Tier Four models. Interestingly, results in each often vastly deviate from current prices. For reasons including still-rampant speculation on cryptocurrencies and insufficiently nuanced models informing most investors, we can expect this trend to continue until there are more well-thought out models, discussions, and thought leaders in the space. Until then, the faults in others' current paradigms present an excellent opportunity for the savvy analyst.
Crypto Rollercoaster: Explaining the Recent Market Performance
https://www.ccn.com/crypto-rollercoaster-explaining-the-recent-market-performance/ Just when it appeared that the cryptocurrency market was about to bottom out just a fortnight ago (with Bitcoin reaching a reported 14-month volatility low), the market subsequently started displaying indicators of a directional shift. Last week however, we saw a short-term appreciation in value. In typical crypto fashion it was just as rapid if not more so than the recent decline and Bitcoin, in particular, was observed to have exceeded “a key resistance level at $7,000 after breaking out of the $6,800 mark… crucial for the short-term recovery of Bitcoin.”. Right now however, we are looking at what some mainstream media organisations have described as an ominous price-crash: if not full-blown ‘meltdown’.
Causation Between News and Value?
The reasons for the crash – like many before – are likely plenty, such as the theory of market manipulation by wealthy crypto-barons, amongst other interested parties. Just looking at the news recently, we can identify a handful of reported events and moments which might have contributed, coincided with or preceded this rapid deppreciation in value. They include:
Goldman Sachs’ decision to shelf previously announced plans for opening a Bitcoin trading desk.
Speculative doubt stemming from recent pump-and-dumps which utilize the ‘Bitcoin’ moniker.
Prophetic warnings from pundits and other luminaries.
Looking at the Market
The large fall in value could be considered either a correction or a short relief. Either way, it is fair to say that if the market were to return to a more positive trajectory: we could expect the collective growth to be reflective year-over-year, exponentially. Coinschedule (an “ICO listing and cryptocurrency portal”) recorded $3.695 billion total funds raised in 217 from 209 ICOs. By compairson, the same site records 500% times more investment this year (up until August 2nd, 2018) – with $17.489 billion gathered from 686 ICOs so far. It is still important to bear in mind the sobering fact that a great number of ICOs and cryptocurrencies fail.
Additional Studies and Observations
Cezary Graf (AKA Crypto Poland) is a Polish blockchain enthusiast who recently shared a tweet which featured an image which depicted where ‘Bitcoin & The Crypto’ as a collective industry would place in Statista’s list of ‘The 100 largest companies in the world by market value in 2018 (in billions of U.S. dollars)‘. Graf’s post only provided information from the first page and 10 entries of Statista’s list. This suggests that the total industry value is comparable with the likes of Apple, Alphabet, and Amazon (The Big A’s) – whose combined value is over $2471.1 billion. Veering beyond these pages however and considering cryptocurrency’s overall market value has surpassed $262,5 billion. Comparatively it would fit it closer to 17th place – best resembling the following trio of financial industry giants.
Some of the great issues, conversely, plaguing the crypto market include fraudulent and scam ICOs: as well as honest projects which simply offer little to no value to justify their price or existence. This is in addition to (and arguably supported by) an almost universal lack of effective regulations or standards to prevent such tokens, and has led to some going as far as to call ICOs an ‘investment bubble’. If true, the space will prove unsustainable if it continues on its current trajectory: a claim which has been thrown around by those in the industry since at least the end of 2017. If, however, things continue as they are right now then we are likely to enjoy a profitable end of 2018.
Court of the Crypto Kings
No matter the market status: the value of many a cryptocurrency lies in their viability and practical effectiveness of their end-goals, and means of achieving them. Bitcoin of course is the original cryptocurrency and has established its value through its integrity (public whitepaper and open-source nature), as well as it’s practical effectiveness and the rate of adoption it has enjoyed upon implementation. Ethereum is arguably one of the most successful challengers to the BTC throne so far. The project helped to instigate the now-prevalent ‘Blockchain As A Service’ (BaaS) sector, and offers a platform upon which new utility tokens can be constructed – powered by ‘Ether’. Lightning Bitcoin is an example of the new market contenders. One of many which offer a direct and highly competitive alternative to many of the key features associated with Bitcoin. According to their website: ‘LBTC’s utilitarian value as a tradeable currency is boosted by its speed and low-cost transaction fees.
Looking at New Securities
Security Tokens’ comprise a much newer field, which has been quoted to have contributed to the major crypto-crash back in January 2018. The first of these digital securities contracts were sold in December of the previous year and expired the following month – and thus, correlated with the market drop. There has been a lot of news regarding security tokens over the past year, including attempts to either regulate or otherwise ensure a level of safety with regards to risk and fraud prevention, as well as protection of funds. These efforts come from a combination of governments and independent projects and organizations. MOBU is one of these projects and seeks to utilize a proprietary utility token (the eponymous ERC20 ‘MOBU’) to power its “end-to-end solution for ICOs to launch compliant security tokens on the blockchain.”. Features of MOBU cited include KYC / AML compliance integration, enforced and maintained through Ethereum based smart-contracts. This is in addition to what they call the “MOB20 protocol will define a set of commands that a compliant security token should implement.”
→ South Korea to Invest $230M in Blockchain Technology DevelopmentSouth Korea revealed a Blockchain Technology Development Strategy on June 21st earmarking a total of 230 billion Won toward its development. → Crowdfunding Token Sales, the New ICO?The EU is to raise the crowdfunding exemption from accredited investors rules to €8 million ($9.35 million) from the current €5 million. → Robinhood Aims to Disrupt Further by Launching a Cryptocurrency WalletRobinhood is working on a crypto wallet. This would allow their customers to move their crypto from other wallets and brokerages into the platform without having to sell them first. Daily Performances General Comments: As Bitcoin bounced back after crashing below USD6,000 at the end of the previous week, some crypto bulls come out with optimistic views. Crypto bulls struggle to calm down speculative panic on the market by reminding traders and investors that Bitcoin has a history of deep corrections and even downside trends, but in the longer-term perspective it is still a viable investment and revolutionary concept. Weekly Top 5 Price comparison - BTC . - ETH . - XRP . - BCH . - EOS Technical Analysis -BTC BTC is changing hands at USD6,246, off Monday's high reached at USD6,300, but still in the green zone on daily basis. Once USD6,300 handle is cleared, the ultimate resistance of USD6,400 with come into focus. A sustainable break higher is vital for extended recovery. https://preview.redd.it/408dqus6zb611.png?width=1344&format=png&auto=webp&s=7300a6bab7069a47dbd4557514a28df757716159 -------------------------------------------------------------
Bitcoin price when compared to last year has eroded substantially this year till date. And, the plunge hasn’t stopped yet. The fall in the prices of the digital currencies is primarily due to the two reasons. Bitcoin price was trading at $9,761.91 up 2.58 percent on Coindesk today at the time of reporting.The highest it reached today was 9,804.55. Despite these slight gains, there is still a long way to go before the virtual currency matches the highs set by it last year. Here are the three reasons behind Bitcoin price fall. Last week three negative news related with cryptocurrencies triggered their plunge.The first was related with Nobuaki Kobayashi, the Mt. Gox. Trustee, that he sold $400 million of Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash in the January and February this year. He still owns $1.7 billion worth of Bitcoins and this is adding further fears in the market. Then there was a rumour in the market that popular crypto exchange Binance has been hacked in an attempt to influence Viacoin’s price. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a statement last week that cryptocurrency platforms should not be called by the name of exchanges since it creates an illusion of regulated activity. Investors are misguided in believing various online trading platforms to be SEC-registered and regulated marketplaces when they are not, SEC said. Even the Financial Services Agency (FSA) came out with a statement that domestic cryptocurrency exchanges will be suspended. All these factors lead to nearly 11 percent plunge in Bitcoin price. Last month, Nouriel Roubini, the famous economist who successfully predicted the US housing crash in 2008, said that Bitcoin is mother of all bubbles and it’s also the biggest bubble in human history if you compare it to Mississippi bubble, tech bubble, and Tulip mania.
Economist Claims Bitcoin Bubble Is Still in the Early Profit-Taking Stages 0. By The-eCoin on 3 June, 2018 OP-ED. It is only to be expected that economists and other financial experts remain wary of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies at this stage. After the onslaught which traders have witnessed throughout most of 2018, the future price direction remains unclear. Economist Joost van der Burgt ... It is quite common to hear that Bitcoin is another example of a financial bubble. But, connecting the Tulip Mania with Bitcoin fails to account their different asset classes and market circumstances. Our current financial environment is completely different and with far more players than the tulip markets of the 17th century. Moreover, the cryptocurrency markets are quite distinct from the ... - Per the economist, the next stage will see panic set in as the bubble pops and the price crashes. Joost van der Burgt, a policy advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, has recently argued that if bitcoin is indeed in a bubble, it’s still in its early profit-taking stages, and panic is set to follow, according to MarketWatch . Bitcoin and Stock Markets Could Snap Back After 'Irrational' Coronavirus Fears Dwindle /u/jwinterm Binance, Coinbase, And Other Cryptocurrency Exchanges Reportedly Targeted By A New Trojan Virus /u/joy4874 Opinions on Reserve Tokens? /u/financlfreedomcj A hater of everything Crypto said he would buy XRP if he were to ever invest in Crypto. Here's why!! ... Yale economics professor and co-founder of the Case-Shiller index, Robert Shiller in an interview with CNBC, said that while the bitcoin bubble will burst, it doesn’t mean that it will “burst forever” or disappear.. In fact, he said, the cryptocurrency could be around for a while. The economist said it “wasn’t really panic, it was more of a scare.” Notably, the co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors Tom Lee has argued bitcoin futures contracts were behind bitcoin’s “gut-wrenching” drop. Per Lee, the flagship cryptocurrency endured “dramatic price changes” around the times CBOE contracts expired.
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