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West Virginians Begin Using Blockchain-Based Mobile Voting App

 

West Virginians have begun using a blockchain-based mobile voting app for casting absentee ballots in the upcoming midterm elections, Slate reported September 25.

Citizens of West Virginia that currently live overseas have reportedly started using  a blockchain-enabled application for voting on Friday, September 21. The application — dubbed Voatz — will allow voters registered in 24 countries to cast absentee ballots via smartphone, mainly targeting military members stationed abroad.

The pilot project for remote voting, which was only available to a select group of voters, started in March and was successfully completed on May 8, the day of West Virginia’s primary elections.

In early August, Mac Warner, the West Virginia Secretary of State and Voatz told CNN about the successful outcome of testing after “four audits of various components” of the platform.

Following the report, Warner’s deputy chief of staff Michael L. Queen said that each separate West Virginia county will make the final decision about using the app for November elections, adding that voters will be still allowed to cast paper ballots if they choose.

The blockchain-powered remote voting initiative has drawn some criticism, namely over security concerns. Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the Chief Technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, claimed:

“Mobile voting is a horrific idea. It’s Internet voting on people’s horribly secured devices, over our horrible networks, to servers that are very difficult to secure without a physical paper record of the vote.”

Bradley Tusk of Tusk Montgomery Philanthropies — the company which funded the app’s development — encouraged blockchain deployment for voting. Tusk stated that remote voting can turn out more voters, and as a result, “democracy would work a lot better.”

https://blog.cofredcoin.com/2018/09/27/west-virginians-…obile-voting-app/ ‎

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Bitmain Likely Lost $400 Million Last Quarter: BitMEX Research

Bitcoin mining behemoth Bitmain likely posted a net loss of nearly $400 million last quarter, the China-based firm’s recently-filed public offering documents reveal.

CCN reported yesterday that Bitmain had filed offering documents with the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (HKEX), ahead of the long-awaited initial public offering (IPO) that promises to be the largest in the cryptocurrency industry’s history.

Much information about the company is redacted in the public versions of those filing documents, but, according to a thorough analysis published by BitMEX Research, there is enough data to glean that Bitmain likely had a historically-abysmal quarter.

bitmain profit loss chart

Source: BitMEX Research

Per the filing, Bitmain turned a $742 million net profit during the first half of 2018, extending a rampage that saw the firm rake in $1.2 billion in 2017. What those figures mask, however, is that — according to a leaked investor deck — the firm posted a net profit of $1.1 billion in Q1 alone. Consequently, Bitmain would have had to have posted a net loss of $395 million in Q2 to reduce its six-month returns to $742 million — assuming the leaked investor deck is genuine, that is.

Bitmain appears to allude to these poor quarterly results in the filing, stating that the firm had placed large orders during the early part of the year, anticipating that cryptocurrency prices would continue to increase, along with demand for mining rigs.

“In early 2018, we anticipated strong market growth for cryptocurrency mining hardware in 2018 due to the upward trend of cryptocurrencies price since the fourth quarter of 2017, and we placed a large amount of orders with our production partners in response to the anticipated significant sales growth. However, there had been significant market volatility in the market price of cryptocurrencies in the first half of 2018.”

This poor performance would explain why Bitmain conducted two funding rounds in quick succession over the summer, raising $442 million in August after raising $293 million just two months prior in June. Those funding rounds enabled Bitmain to significantly increase the amount of cash on its balance sheet, which had reportedly taken a multi-hundred million dollar hit due to the large amount of bitcoin cash that the BCH-promoting firm is holding in reserve.

Despite these setbacks, BitMEX Research alleges that Bitmain remains in a strong position relative to its competitors, several of whom have in recent days unveiled a new generation of miners. While Bitmain has not announced the follow-up to its wildly-successful Antminer S9, CEO Jihan Wu has said that the firm has developed a new ASIC chip that should allow its bitcoin mining hardware to at least remain competitive with upstart mining rig producers, none of whom are as flush with cash as Bitmain.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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https://www.ccn.com/bitmain-likely-lost-400-million-last-quarter-bitmex-research/

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Swiss Financial Services Company Raises $100 Million to Launch Crypto Bank.

A financial services company based in Zug, Switzerland has raised roughly $104 million (100 million CHF) from investors as it looks to create a bank to lets consumers trade fiat for digital currency.

According to Bloomberg, Seba Crypto AG raised the cash from a mixture of private and institutional investors.

One of the people behind the venture said the company has been speaking with the Swiss financial authority known as Finna about submitting an application for a license by the end of October.

Hopes right now are to have a license secured by mid-2019. The startup is headed by two former UBS managers, Guido Buehler, who serves as CEO, and Andreas Amschwand, who serves as chairman.

Bridging The Gap Between Banking And Crypto

Buehler told Reuters how the goal of the venture is to “bridge the gap between traditional banking and the new world of crypto.”

He noted how Seba would offer a myriad of services, including custody, trading, and virtual currency asset management for private and institutional investors.

Buehler also asserted that Seba, who would be able to offer “bank accounts in fiat and crypto,” would help fill a “critical missing element of the currency ecosystem,” since many banks are not really willing to open accounts for companies involved in the cryptocurrency (or blockchain) spaces.

The vision behind Seba, according to Buehler is to make it possible for people to log onto online banking serves to “have access to crypto and fiat within one account.” Investors in the venture include entitles like Black River Asset Management AG and Summer Capital, who stand alongside a number of local and global backers.

Buehler says some of the funds will go towards actually building the company, while others will be allocated towards capitalizing in order to provide investor protection. Overall, he expects to double the number of company employees by the tail end of 2019, while also eventually expanding out to Singapore and other parts of Europe at an undetermined time.

Switzerland’s Open Minded Stance Towards The Industry

Switzerland has been well-known for their open and approachable stance towards digital currencies and blockchain. Last year, the small European nation ranked second (behind the USA) in money generated from ICOs, according to the Financial Times.

The finance director of the canton of Zug, which has made headlines for being the home of a blockchain-based voting test, said in July that certain regulations would be stripped away at the end of the year. These would essentially let crypto firms work with banks in the same manner a ‘traditional’ company could.

Just a few days ago, CCN reported on an agreement between Switzerland’s Finance Minister and Israeli officials to collaborate on blockchain regulations and other initiatives related to financial technology.

https://www.ccn.com/swiss-financial-services-company-raises-100-million-to-launch-crypto-bank/

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Japan Gov’t Outraged by $60m Crypto Hack of Zaif, Regrets Lack of Suspension.

Earlier this month, major Japanese crypto exchange Zaif was hacked, losing $60 million worth of crypto in user funds.

The Financial Services Agency (FSA), the main financial watchdog of Japan, has stated that it regrets allowing Zaif to continue its operation after the exchange was given two warnings to drastically improve its system.

“It is extremely regrettable that such an incident happened when (Tech Bureau) was given two business improvement orders,” an FSA official said.

Two Warnings on System Failures and Fraudulent Withdrawals

On September 24, the Japanese government officially opened an investigation into Zaif to evaluate the method of hacking attack utilized to breach into the exchange and the vulnerabilities the exchange had to prevent similar cases from occurring in the near future.

Prior to its hack, the FSA issued two business improvement orders to Zaif, which essentially were warnings, to overhaul their internal management system and security measures to ensure that its system is operating with the risk of being compromised.

However, the exchange failed to comply and implement necessary changes to improve its infrastructure. It remains unclear whether the exchange simply did not have the resources and manpower to implement significant changes to its infrastructure or did not feel the need to update its systems.

Within months after the business improvement orders were issued, the exchange suffered a $60 million hack, becoming a second high profile crypto exchange subsequent to the $500 million security breach of Coincheck.

Currently, the FSA and cybersecurity agencies perceive the root of the attack to be a hacked employee PC, a method utilized by a group of hackers who breached into the internal management system of Bithumb and stole millions of dollars in crypto as well as customer data on the Bithumb platform.

“We have not received enough explanation on what exactly happened. What they told us is an employee’s PC was hacked,” a senior official at FSA said.

Already, the FSA and the Japanese government have streamlined the process of compensating investors affected by the hack. Almost immediately after the breach, acknowledging that it cannot repay $60 million to its investors, Zaif secured a deal with publicly-listed technology corporation Fisco.

In the weeks to come, Fisco is expected to pay over $40 million on behalf of Zaif in return for majority stake in the crypto exchange.

Why Wasn’t Zaif Suspended?

In hindsight, officials at the FSA could have lawfully suspended the crypto exchange of Zaif citing issues related to investor protection and company security. In South Korea, local agencies led by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) initiated an investigation to all of the country’s crypto exchanges.

In its findings, the FSC stated that Upbit, Korbit, Coinplug, Huobi, Bithumb and Coinone had decent security measures in place. The listing of Bithumb as a safe exchange was taken aback by the local crypto community but the decision of the FSC was understandable given that it requested Bithumb to shut down its platform until the systems are fully improved.

More than 20 crypto exchanges in South Korea received orders to overhaul their systems within a period of 30 days.

In the months to come, as the FSA prepares to go through 160 applications filed by local businesses to operate as crypto exchanges, it is most likely that the agency will proactively stop trading platforms with low-security measures, which may be massively beneficial for the entire market of Asia.

https://www.ccn.com/japan-govt-outraged-by-60m-crypto-hack-of-zaif-regrets-lack-of-suspension/

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Crypto Market Eyes Rebound at $115 Billion, Short-Term Rally Looking Unlikely.

Over the past 24 hours, Bitcoin Cash initiated a 20 percent rally fueled by the initial public offering (IPO) of Bitmain but the rest of the crypto market remained relatively stable at a low price range.

The valuation of the cryptocurrency market has maintained its position in the $114 to $115 billion range, as Bitcoin and ETH, the native cryptocurrency of Ethereum, both recorded a slight increase in price of 0.5 percent.

Is a Short-Term Rally Next?

Crypto Dog, a respected technical analyst in the cryptocurrency community, stated that if the valuation of the crypto market comfortably breaks out of the $114 billion mark, then a short-term rally could materialize.

“This is exactly what you want to see on a retest. So far so good. Clear the $114 billion marketcap resistance and we’re due for another large gap up,” he wrote.

Throughout this week, many experts and prominent investors including billionaire hedge fund legend Mike Novogratz emphasized $6,600 as an important resistance level for Bitcoin.

Throughout the past several days, Bitcoin has been on a downtrend, declining from around $6,520 to $6,440. Still, as it did on September 26, as long as the volume of bitcoin can be sustained in the mid-$4 billion region, it is possible for the dominant crypto to initiate a minor rally in the short-term.

But, Bitcoin would need to rebound quickly to the $6,600 region in the next few hours to confirm a short-term rally. Since achiving $6,550 around 18 hours ago, Bitcoin has been on a downward trend. If Bitcoin fails to break out of the $6,500 region, given its increasing sell pressure since September 22, it is highly likely that BTC tests the lower end of $6,000.

If Bitcoin experiences a spike in volume and does break out of the $6,500 mark comfortably in the upcoming hours, a strong short-term rally of tokens is expected, especially since Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) have outperformed tokens in the past week and most tokens have struggled to record any major movement on the uspide.

In short, the low volume of Bitcoin presents a problem for traders, as the low volume could lead BTC to drop below the $6,400 mark in the next 12 to 24 hours.

Trend of Tokens

Although most major cryptocurrencies and tokens have massively outperformed Bitcoin since mid-September, the general trend of the market still heavily depends on the performance of Bitcoin. Given the weak short-term movement of Bitcoin, it is likely that tokens will not initiate a short-term rally in the near future, unless BTC shows strong recovery.

Already, XRP and BCH have started to retrace, with Ripple falling by more than 3 percent within minutes which once again increased the gap between Ethereum and Ripple to a billion dollars.

Due to the unpredictability of cryptocurrencies in recent weeks, the current phase in the crypto market does not offer a viable opportunity for investors to explore high-risk trades, especially tokens as they generally rely on the price movement of Bitcoin.

https://www.ccn.com/crypto-market-eyes-rebound-at-115-billion-short-term-rally-looking-unlikely/

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How CSIRO’s Red Belly blockchain manages 30k TPS and what it means.

Where does Red Belly stand in the grander scheme of blockchain things?

CSIRO and Sydney University have completed the first global test of their Red Belly blockchain system, clocking it at 30,000 transactions per second (TPS) when deployed across 1,000 virtual machines over 14 Amazon Web Service Geographic regions.

To put this in context, when the Red Belly system was tested a year ago it racked up on-paper numbers of 660,000 transactions per second. But that was only on 300 machines in a single data centre.

That the numbers are so much lower in more realistic conditions highlights one of the main problems facing blockchain technology today: networks need to reach consensus quickly, but real world conditions are unpredictable.

Equivalence

Context is important. Understanding the Red Belly numbers means comparing equivalents, not just on TPS alone, but also on how they manage to achieve those numbers.

The 0 - 2,000 TPS range full public blockchain

Bitcoin does about 7 transactions per second, Ethereum is said to be about 10 to 15. That's fairly standard for clunky first generation public blockchains. Zilliqa might currently hold the crown for the highest fully public blockchain throughput, testing at 1,000 to 2,000 TPS through its use of sharding.

These are said to be fully public blockchains, meaning anyone can fire up a node and start validating transactions on these networks. It also means anyone can fire up a node to try to deliberately sabotage transactions or attack the network.

Bitcoin assumes that at least 51% of the network is honest, meaning it can theoretically be fine even if 49% of its hashing power is actively trying to destroy it from within. This makes it as sturdy as a rock, but extremely slow.

When someone talks about byzantine fault tolerance, they're talking about what kind of assumptions a network is making of its nodes.

By changing the network design in a way that lets you relax these assumptions, you can get a huge jump upwards in TPS.

The 2,000 to 10,000 TPS range semi-centralised blockchain

XRP Ledger clocks in north of 1,500 TPS with a system of innate node quality control. There are no direct rewards for being an XRP Ledger validator, so it's mostly a semi-organised group of institutional users who see XRP Ledger as a valuable tool. This level of organisation and public nature of validators means XRP can relax certain security assumptions in order to achieve more TPS.

In this case, it assumes that at least 80% of its nodes are doing the right thing and that the actual real users can simply get together and pursue the "real" fork even if there is a hostile attack, which kind of removes the incentive to even bother attacking it. So XRP's security assumptions are a bit more brittle and centralised than bitcoin's reassuring proof of work, but they allow for much higher TPS.

juicy crypto words

Others, such as EOS and VeChain Thor go even further by combining similarly relaxed assumptions with a capped amount of nodes.

EOS manages to test at about 5,000 TPS. It does this with a system that only has 21 nodes. With so few of them, information can fly through the network much faster resulting in much higher TPS, broadly similar to how Red Belly tested at 660,000 TPS on 300 machines but only 30,000 on 1,000 machines.

EOS also lets transactions pass through with the approval of only 14 nodes. This gives it a relatively low threshold for consensus (further improving TPS), but also means it assumes that no more than 33% of nodes are hostile. The end result is a system that's fast, but highly centralised and dependent on some eyebrow-raising assumptions.

VeChain Thor manages to test at 10,000 TPS with a broadly similar largely-centralised system which depends on masternodes staking their real world identity and reputation on their node behaviour, and the assumption that this will keep them in line. It also boosts TPS with a system that hands more decisions to active and faster nodes, letting them reach the required consensus threshold sooner.

Basically, this category manages to greatly increase TPS, but at the cost of centralisation and potentially riskier assumptions.

Visa's 56,000 TPS

Visa has tested at 56,000 TPS. It's a big number for the same reasons most distributed ledgers and blockchains have smaller numbers. Visa is entirely centralised with two USA-based "nodes", each of which is a data centre capable of running the network by itself. The main reason there are two centres is in case one gets struck by an earthquake, or something like that, rather than because both are contributing to network throughput.

So that 56,000 TPS comes from a single data centre housing a few hundred tightly connected servers. It's extremely centralised, non byzantine fault tolerant because it doesn't need to be, and consequently it doesn't need to wait for any kind of consensus at all. It can more or less just run at the maximum speed its hardware and infrastructure allows.

Red Belly's 30,000 TPS

With this context, it's much easier to appreciate the significance of Red Belly's 30,000 TPS test. It's a pretty big number by itself, but it's even bigger than it might seem for a byzantine fault tolerant system test across 1,000 virtual machines spread across 14 different geographic regions, including Australia, Canada, the United States, UK, Germany, Brazil, Japan, India, South Korea and Singapore.

This new research (PDF) is what makes it possible. It's a method the researchers call democratic byzantine fault tolerance (DBFT).

How is DBFT so damn fast?

Note that the following explanation is more analogous than technical. It's intended to help give a broad, rather than a detailed, understanding.

So, a typical blockchain works by beaming transactions around the network and waiting for enough nodes to acknowledge it. The number of nodes you have to wait for depends on the assumptions you make when designing the system. You can make "relaxed" assumptions for more TPS or "stricter" assumptions for more security.

The kinds of assumptions you can make depend on how the network is designed though. So a system that lets you relax assumptions can help a great deal. A central "coordinator", for example, can act as a central point of trust to kind of soak up some of the more annoying assumptions and give you more leeway to design a faster system. It's relatively rare in public networks, but IOTA is temporarily bootstrapping its network with a central coordinator, Hyperledger uses a coordinator, and a few others do too.

Of course, you now have to start making assumptions of the coordinator. Classically, the coordinator is a "strong coordinator", who is like the leader of the network, signing off and finalising transactions, with a new coordinator being chosen semi-randomly from the available nodes each time. It can be faster because you only have to wait for the coordinator to finish up, rather than waiting for the majority of the nodes.

The problem is that the entire thing can fall apart if the coordinator is unreliable, which it's almost guaranteed to be at some point whether due to Internet outage, earthquake, malicious intent or being a victim of a DDoS attack. Strong coordinators can theoretically get much more speed in a network, but require you to relax your assumptions past the point of reasonableness.

But DBFT is a new way of relying on a "weak coordinator". So even if the coordinator is slow or faulty, the system can keep working. So it's kind of like a system where you can offload some assumptions onto the coordinator (for more TPS), and can then relax those coordinator assumptions for even more TPS without crossing the line like you would with a traditional coordinator.

Rather than giving orders like a strong coordinator, the DBFT weak coordinator just gives suggestions, and the network isn't dependent on its suggestions to finish signing off on transactions.

This opens the floor to further designs which can add even more speed. In the case of Red Belly's DBFT, this includes a way for processes to complete asynchronous rounds as they reach certain thresholds. In other words, subsets of nodes can sign off on transactions and then start working on others, instead of needing to wait for a majority of nodes to chime in. The coordinator helps speed up the process dramatically, but isn't essential for the network to reach consensus.

Where does Red Belly fit in?

The end result of DBFT and Red Belly is a system intended for consortium blockchains, which are hybrids of public and private blockchains.

  • Public: Tend to have lower TPS and requires strict security assumptions because no one can be trusted.
  • Consortium: Middle TPS, security assumptions can be looser than public blockchains but still must be tighter than private blockchains. A certain amount of trustworthiness can be expected.
  • Private: Tend to have highest TPS, can operate with loosest security assumptions because everyone is presumed to be trustworthy.

The biggest remaining question marks might be whether Red Belly can operate with similar efficiency in the real world, rather than just real world-like tests, and whether there are any obscure vulnerabilities or problems that might have flown under the radar.

Overall, DBFT and Red Belly seem to be extremely impressive.

https://www.finder.com.au/how-csiros-red-belly-blockchain-manages-30k-tps-and-what-it-means

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OnRamp’s AUDRamp goes live as first AUD-pegged stablecoin cryptocurrency.

It's like tokenising Australia's tangibly crypto-friendly regulatory climate.

Shortly after the announcement of a still-unnamed AUD-pegged stablecoin from Bit Trade and Emparta, set to launch in 2019, OnRamp technologies has gone live with the world's first fully operational and fully compliant fiat backed AUD stablecoin.

The move comes as part of OnRamp Technologies' broader efforts to tokenise assets as part of an ASIC-approved registered managed investment scheme. AUDRamp (AUDR) is up first, along with the slightly mind-bending ERC20 bitcoin-pegged BTCR, which is in a sense putting bitcoin on the Ethereum blockchain.

AUDR got the stamp of approval from Australian regulators on 8 June, making it one of the earlier projects to achieve that level of formal recognition.

Beyond being an easier way to get at crypto, their compliance chops mean AUDR and BTCR are almost akin to a tokenised form of Australia's crypto-friendly regulatory environment.

What it's all about

The initial goal is to create an easy, compliant and fully registered way for financial services and wealth management advisers to give their clients access to cryptocurrency exposure, and a way of hurdling over some of the potential risks and regulatory barriers.

As the OnRamp name suggests, it's all about an easy way into digital assets.

Onboarding is done in connection with OnRamp partners at Hut34, Australia-based creators of the first Google-powered Ethereum wallet (and owners of a very tastily-designed website). This lets users get at an OnRamp wallet which can be managed through one's own Google account, which might make go a long way to removing the mystery of the process and turning it into something downright familiar for most.

juicy crypto words

From there, AUDR can help bring users closer to easy and unrestricted access to the crypto space. And transparent as the blockchain is, it might also be a very interesting way of seeing where the money tends to go in an anonymised way.

"We're thrilled to be offering OnRamp to Australian investors," said OnRamp's Tim McNamara. "Dollars on the blockchain is a regulatedand compliant way for your customers to get into crypto. The first asset is AUD, and we're accepting applications from Australians through our website."

"Providing a managed investment scheme under the strong protection of Australian rule of law is a first, and really unlocks huge potential from here on in. We're starting with dollars on the blockchain, and think you'll be as excited as us to see what's around the corner." said Peter Godbolt, also of OnRamp.

The element of legitimacy and protection under Australian law is worth emphasising. With regulations rapidly shifting underfoot, a lot of crypto companies need a solid place to stand and put funds, while retaining the benefits of blockchain ease.

Bitcoin Australia CEO Rupert Hackett has described an Australian foundation as an advantage which can be leveraged when expanding a crypto company overseas, and it's similarly been enough to draw other crypto companies to Australia in search of a place to stand while they leverage crypto to move the world.

https://www.finder.com.au/onramps-audramp-goes-live-as-first-aud-pegged-stablecoin-cryptocurrency

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Bitcoin Cash price analysis 27 September: BCH token’s price ascending at rapid pace.

The coin's price and trading volumes are skyrocketing.

 

Key takeaways

  • Bitcoin Cash's price is surging at the moment as most of the crypto market sees green.
  • Trading volumes have shot up since yesterday, rising by two fifths.
  • Now-defunct Mt Gox announced that it had recently exchanged bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash for fiat currency.

The price of Bitcoin Cash, the hard-forked cryptocurrency of leading token bitcoin, is pumping right now. At the time of writing, the digital coin's price is trading almost one fifth (19%) higher than it was 24 hours ago.

Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash was trading sideways most of yesterday, its price ranging between US$430 and US$448.

However, during early trade today, the coin's value soared from US$448 to US$520 in just one hour.

At the time of writing, BCH was valued at US$520.86.

24-hour trading volumes have risen by almost two fifths (39%), from US$414 million to US$579 million.

The overwhelming majority of the cryptocurrency market is in the green. XRP (18.86%), EOS (8.62%), Cardano (8.18%), Stellar (7.17%), Litecoin (5.06%), Ethereum (4.65%), Monero (3.01%) and bitcoin (1.79%) are all up.

This is a significant u-turn from the bearish sentiment experienced across the marketplace yesterday.

Embattled cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox revealed that over US$230 million worth of bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash was exchanged for fiat currency between March 18-June 22, as part of civil rehabilitation proceedings.

Five years after the giant hack of the now-defunct Japanese exchange, victims have been afforded the opportunity to submit restitution claims and potentially have some or all of their funds returned. Last month, rehabilitation trustee and attorney-at-law Nobuaki Kobayashi, on behalf of Mt. Gox, announced that past exchange users can now file rehabilitation claims via a new online system operating on the company's website.

You can learn all about different exchanges, understand exactly how to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, calculate your taxes, discover digital wallets to hold assets and explore a list of all the alternative coins on the market.

 

https://www.finder.com.au/bitcoin-cash-price-analysis-20180927

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This Trader Shorted Bitcoin to $5,950 on CNBC, Bitcoin Price Now at $6,500

Scott Nations, the president and chief investment officer of NationsShares, a division of Fortress Trading, shorted Bitcoin through the Cboe futures market live on CNBC on September 26. Since then, the price of Bitcoin has slightly increased to $6,500.

“I want to be a seller of the October contract. The Cboe Bitcoin futures, that is a single Bitcoin in a futures contract. My targeted downside is $5,950 and my stop to the upside is $6,600. Why do I want to short? Because it is Bitcoin. It has no fundamental value. We’re in an unravelling of this collosal bubble and the only thing going for it is hope, and hope is a horrible strategy,” Scott said.

Since Scott shorted Bitcoin at $6,370, the price of BTC has increased by 2 percent, demonstrating stability in the mid-$6,500 region.

Why Short Contract Holders are Losing out

Holders of short contracts of Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Ripple have lost out massively over the past week, especially as XRP, the native cryptocurrency of Ripple, recorded a three-fold increase in value and ETH, the base currency of the Ethereum network, demonstrated decent gains throughout the same period.

It is difficult for short contract holders to bet against the cryptocurrency market at the current phase of the correction because as billionaire investor Mike Novogratz said, the market is in a bottoming out process wherein it has started to demonstrate seller fatigue.

Novogratz emphasized that once Bitcoin surpasses major resistance levels at $6,800, $8,800, and $10,000, the cryptocurrency market may also start to see actual demand from institutional investors that could drive up the price of Bitcoin by more than 30 percent by the end of the year.

No Fundamental Value Argument has no Merit

The argument of Nations that the price of BTC will decline by 3 percent in the short-term because it has no fundamental value and that it will eventually hit zero has no merit, because if that is the case, Nations should not even be attempting to short the market in a short-term downtrend.

As demonstrated by Iran, Turkey, and Venezuela in the past nine months, it has become difficult to argue that fiat currencies have fundamental value as well, as their value depend on the economy they are based in and if the economy fails, it has no support.

Over the past few months, the national currencies of Iran and Venezuela have declined so massively in a short period of time that it has been unable to operate as currencies. Citizens and residents in the two countries have found it difficult to purchase basic necessities and food with their national currencies.

The fundamental value of Bitcoin comes from its ability to operate as a consensus currency. The market, based on a simple concept of supply and demand, measures the value of BTC in real-time. In the months to come, especially as the crypto market continues its gradual recovery, the relevance of Bitcoin as an alternative currency to fiat money will likely increase in struggling economies.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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https://www.ccn.com/this-trader-shorted-bitcoin-to-5950-on-cnbc-bitcoin-price-now-at-6500/

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Dell Has Blockchain Ambitions to Driver Server Expansion in India.

Technology giant Dell has outlined plans to invest in emerging tech like blockchain to retain its top position in India’s server market.

 

The comments surfaced in light of Dell’s ambition to retain its top position in India’s server market. The multibillion-dollar tech giant received requests from its clients for tapping modern server solutions, confirmed Manish Gupta, senior director, and general manager of Dell EMC India. He told the  Economic Times that Dell is looking to introduce newer products that would have the potential in the blockchain, as well as artificial intelligence, cloud, and analytics.

 

 

 

The clientele of Dell EMC India comprises of major local IT firms, banks, financial organizations, insurance companies, and even the government which is reportedly taking a keen interest in the blockchain applications.

 

For a public ledge that stores transaction data of Bitcoin, first-of-its-kind decentralized money, blockchain has now gone beyond its use case with a promise to innovate almost everything. Startups, corporate giants, and governments are unilaterally looking into it with hopes of integrating their day-to-day working models. Because lines read blockchain as a technology that cannot be hacked or messed around with; that also is simpler, more secure, and faster than any record-keeping solution from the past.

 

Dell, whose networking and server business model earned a global revenue of $5.1 billion in the second quarter of 2018, believes blockchain could be the ingredient to keep its success untouched. The sentiment, the company recently launched a new server known as PowerEdge MX that would support both traditional and emerging data center workloads, including blockchain.

 

 

 

To which extent the new servers would support blockchain is yet to be confirmed. In of the previous statements, Dell EMC had established PowerEdge MX’s ability to “flexibly build and combine compute, storage, and networking” by handling workloads of the organizations focusing on artificial intelligence, IoT, and software-defined storage and networking. There was, however, no mention of the blockchain.

 

Nevertheless, the inclusion of blockchain as a potential workload itself marks growing adoption of the technology among Indian organizations. The Indian government, which keeps hostile views about cryptocurrencies, has launched blockchain pilots for issuing birth certificates, registering land records, tackling drugs menace and whatnot.

https://www.ccn.com/dell-has-blockchain-ambitions-to-driver-server-expansion-in-india/

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Walmart Demands Salad Growers Use Blockchain for Food Safety

Walmart has advised its fresh, leafy greens producers to use blockchain technology to trace the movement of their products under its food traceability initiative, and to have all systems in place about one year from now, according to the company’s website.

letter to its suppliers noted the U.S. has suffered a multi-state outbreak of E coli linked to romaine lettuce, resulting in 210 confirmed cases, 96 hospitalizations and five deaths. Blockchain technology will make product information available in real-time throughout the supply chain from farm to table.

Existing Process Outdated

The letter called the existing one-step up and one-step back model of food traceability outdated.

Once a product has been flagged as containing E coli or Salmonella, the consumer might not know if something they bought was contaminated.

During the recent E.coli outbreak, customers and grocers had to throw away large amounts of romaine lettuce because they could not know if the lettuce they received was contaminated. The Centers for Disease Control advised people not to eat lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona, but none of the bags sold listed Yuma, Arizona.

Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety at Walmart, said traditional paper-based systems for gathering information at farms, packing houses and warehouses make it hard to track critical data from multiple sources. The processes are also highly time consuming, as it can take seven days to track a product. This involves contacting the supplier, attaining paper records and contacting the company that shipped or imported the product to a Walmart distribution center.

This process then has to be multiplied by the 70,000 food items stocked in a typical food store.

The company has called for the new requirement to be addressed in two phases. Direct suppliers must first conform to one-step back traceability on the blockchain network by Jan. 30, 2019. After that date, the company expects suppliers by Sept. 30, 2019 to work inside their vertical systems or with their suppliers to allow end-to-end traceability back to the farm.

Also read: Walmart tests the blockchain to tackle food safety

Consumers Will Have Access To Product Origin

In the future, blockchain technology will allow a consumer to scan a bag of produce and know where it came from. Yiannas said Walmart has worked with IBM to digitize the process to capture the information at the farm with a handheld and at the packing house.

Robert Tauxe, M.D., director of the Centers for Disease Control division of foodborne, waterborne and environmental diseases, said the improved ability to trace food to its source will help agencies and companies identify the source of a foodborne outbreak and coordinate more efficient recalls.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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https://www.ccn.com/walmart-demands-salad-growers-to-use-blockchain-for-food-safety/

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Cryptocurrency is the ‘Natural Evolution’ of Money: Ethereum Co-Founder Joseph Lubin

ConsenSys founder and Ethereum co-creator Joseph Lubin recently expressed his thoughts on the “equal waves of fascination and skepticism” concerning cryptocurrency, in a Quartz op-ed publishedon Sept. 25.

Lubin referenced a number of historical antidotes to assert that society has always been a bit skeptical towards those who come up with new concepts of money but argued that:

“Cryptocurrency is in many ways a natural evolution of prior representational systems, though one that favors truth over state-sanctioned power.”

A New Representation System For The Future

In the piece, Lubin noted that much of Europe demurred on representative money until the 1600s and that it also took time for digital cash transfers and wires to gain acceptance.

He characterized digital currencies as just the “21st century’s version of that flimsy paper money” and also pointed out that the decentralized and open character behind them stand in contrast to the “government-run property systems (and the financial vehicles that followed it).”

Lubin wrote that the use of cryptocurrencies could eventually lead to better distributions of wealth thanks to the power of decentralized networks.

He also touched on the power of virtual currency and blockchain to give displaced persons or refugees an ability to maintain an identity, since they could use the technology to store and present documents in other countries for practices relating to economic livelihood, like securing a loan.

According to Lubin, networked open platforms will eventually serve as the foundation for “collective common-good relationships,” overall replacing an adversarial system comprised of corporations and customers.

Growth Only Continues

Ethereum mining

ConsenSys is a blockchain development studio that focuses on building on Ethereum.

Lubin’s bullish perspective in his piece seems to echo earlier optimistic sentiments about continued growth, despite price turbulence.

Speaking to Bloomberg in mid-August, he noted that price slumps would seem like “little pimples on a chart” due to future exponential growth. Lubin asserted that each bubble has actually led to a “tremendous surge in activity.”

Lubin also made several wide-ranging comments during an interview with CCN at TechCrunch Disrupt SF.

He spoke about the work of ConsenSys, which includes projects related to education, consultancy, advising, and capital markets endeavors.

Lubin also explained that the company was operating according to guidance dating from the summer from the SEC’s director of corporation finance, Bill Hinman, concerning questions about if a particular token project is a security token or a consumer utility.

When asked about the potential disruptive capabilities of ConsenSys’ work, Lubin said the blockchain could be a big game-changer in pretty much any scenario where there are “companies or people who don’t trust one another” but want “to enhance trust in their interactions.”

Featured Image from Collision Conference/Flickr

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https://www.ccn.com/cryptocurrency-is-the-natural-evolution-of-money-ethereum-co-founder-joseph-lubin/

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U.S. Will See Blockchain Exodus if Congress Doesn’t Figure out Cryptocurrency Regulation.

More than 50 stakeholders from the cryptocurrency and finance industries this week met with U.S. lawmakers in Washington to discuss the future of blockchain regulations in the country.

 

The roundtable, which took place at Capitol Hill at the behest of Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH), saw attendance from the representatives of industry heavyweights including Coinbase, Kraken, Nasdaq, Andreessen Horowitz, State Street, ConsenSys, Fidelity, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The message from most visitors was loud clear: lawmakers should intervene to bring more clarity to crypto regulations, or blockchain innovators will be forced to leave the country.

 

A New Asset Class against Old Rules

According to CNBC’s  summary of the summit, the panelists criticized the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for defining a new asset class like cryptocurrencies after taking cues from the outcome of a 72-year old case. The 1946 Supreme Court decision SEC v. Howey Co. held that the offer of a land sales and services would qualify as “investment contracts.” The SEC applies the same “Howey Test” to cryptocurrency distributions and initial coin offerings (ICOs), marking many of them as securities in the eyes of the law.

 

As a result, young startups in the U.S. waiting to launch blockchain assets stand confused about their compliance status. Most of them desire to issue utility tokens, cryptocurrencies that would be used to purchase or sell assets within a centralized or decentralized platform. They do not possess an iota of usability a security token should possess, industry representatives said. The visiting group questioned whether they should be brought under the U.S. securities framework at all.

 

Legal Actions amidst Unclear Regulations

 

Rep. Warren Davidson | Source: Warren Davidson for Congress/YouTube

As uncertainty deepens, the SEC has also mounted its crackdown against some domestic crypto companies. While some of them are indeed outright frauds, many small companies get fined for smaller violations, such as not registering with the SEC. The concrete legal actions against crypto companies that are already working in the gray areas could encourage them to move to foreign jurisdictions that seem more welcoming to their kind.

 

“If the rules are unclear, unwritten, or unknown it’s not appropriate to punish people for making the wrong guess,” said David Forman, the chief legal officer at Fidelity Investments.

 

 

 

Since bitcoin and other currencies are borderless and can be used and issued from anywhere in the world, moving a crypto-business abroad is not a difficult task, ConsenSys’ Joyce Lai reminded lawmakers. Jesse Powell, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, leveled up the argument by comparing what the U.S. is losing to what the rest of the world is gaining.

 

“Foreign companies [can] outraise their U.S. competitors and often whoever raises the most money is who wins,” Powell said. “Not only are U.S. companies not able to raise enough to compete globally, [but] U.S. investors also are not able to invest in these global companies.”

 

What Lawmakers Said

Rep. Davidson assured that the industry’s views would encourage them to come up with a friendly cryptocurrency regulatory framework.

 

“Legitimate players in the industry have a desire for some sort of certainty so we can prevent and prosecute fraud,” he said. “I’m confident we can move forward and make this a flourishing market in the U.S. It’s imperative for us to do, we did it well with the internet.”

 

 

 

Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), who has introduced multiple blockchain bills in the legislature this month, feared that they were running out of time to come up with a conventional regulation practice. His Democratic colleague, Darren Soto (D-FL), agreed.

 

He said, “I’m sensing we may need an entirely new category that treats this as a new asset so that we’re not trying to squeeze a square peg into a round hole,” adding that, “There needs to be some streamlining based on the definitions of digital assets.”

 

Rep. Davidson said that he will introduce his crypto bill to Congress this fall.

https://www.ccn.com/147533-2/

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North Korea is Using Cryptocurrency to Evade U.S. Sanctions: Experts.

Two Washington-based financial experts say that North Korea is increasingly using cryptocurrency to evade U.S. Sanctions.

 

According to Lourdes Miranda, a financial crimes investigator specialized in intelligence collection and analysis, and Ross Delston, an expert witness who specializes in anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, Pyongyang is creating its own cryptocurrency and is likely also using popular cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

 

 

 

Cryptocurrencies are being preferred by international criminals and for terrorist financing, and the country of North Korea is no exception, the duo said in a written statement to  Asia Times. They said:

 

“Crypto-currencies have the added advantage to the DPRK of giving them more ways to circumvent US sanctions.”

 

They added, “They can do so by using multiple international exchangers, mixing and shifting services – mirroring the money laundering cycle – to exploit international financial institutions that have correspondent banking relationships with the United States.”

 

According to Priscilla Moriuchi, a former NSA  cybersecurity official, North Korea is earning around $15 million to $200 million by mining  and selling cryptocurrencies. Speaking to The Hill earlier this year, Moriuchi said:

 

“North Korea has pursued other avenues for obtaining cryptocurrencies as well, including mining of both bitcoin and Monero, ransom paid in bitcoin from the global WannaCry attack in May and even commissioning a cryptocurrency class for North Korean students in November.”

 

 

Source: Shutterstock

Now, per the Asia Times report, Miranda and Delston stated that North Korea could use the most popular cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, or the country’s government could create its own.

 

“Having their own crypto-currency would also facilitate their ability to open online accounts under the guise of a non-adversarial nation using anonymous communication to conceal the user’s locations and usage on the internet,” they stated.

 

 

 

The researchers also said that the country would create its own blockchain in order to alter their public record of transactions to show that these transactions are coming from legitimate sources. Further, the country would create its own cryptocurrency wallet services.

 

Explaining about the making of successful exchange of crypto into fiat currencies — all the while undetected — the pair said that North Korean-mined cryptocurrencies would be laundered onto European exchanges, enabling the rogue nation to obtain USD “with none of those pesky sanctions attached.” The investigators are not sure about the current scale of North Korea’s crypto-currency operation.

 

As CCN reported, America’s rivals including Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela have recently turned to cryptocurrencies in order to counter economic pressure from the U.S. and its allies.

 

 

 

For example, the petro, an oil-backed cryptocurrency announced by Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, was banned in the United States. Earlier in May, President Trump issued an executive order banning American citizens from buying, trading, or dealing with the petro cryptocurrency “in light of recent actions taken by the Maduro regime to attempt to circumvent U.S. sanctions by issuing a digital currency.”

 

Also, Iran has recently revealed the details of its national cryptocurrency in response to U.S.-led economic sanctions. Iran’s future cryptocurrency is allegedly backed by the fiat Rial and is developed on the Linux Foundation-led open-source Hyperledger Fabric technology, the report said.

https://www.ccn.com/north-korea-is-using-cryptocurrency-to-evade-u-s-sanctions-experts/

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Ripple Expat Jed McCaleb Ramps up Cryptocurrency Sell-Off as XRP Rallies.

The co-founder of two of the six most valuable cryptocurrency tokens is capitalizing on a September rally to ramp-up the speed at which he cashes out of one of those assets: ripple (XRP).

 

Why a Ripple Co-Founder is Cashing Out

Jed McCaleb, instrumental in the launch of both Ripple and Stellar — as well as the cryptocurrencies associated with them — has in recent weeks increased the rate at which he is selling his remaining XRP tokens, which are meted out to him on a daily basis. McCaleb’s increased selling activity was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

 

McCaleb, who founded bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox (but was no longer at the helm at the time of its infamous demise), served as Ripple’s first CTO until 2013, receiving at least 9 billion XRP as part of the blockchain startup’s founding agreement.

 

 

 

In 2014, McCaleb sparked an XRP firesale when he abruptly announced his intention to dump his entire stake on the open market. However, he later struck a deal with Ripple to cap his sales and spread them out over a seven-year period to minimize their effect on the token’s market price. Under the terms of that original agreement, McCaleb would only have been able to sell $20,000 worth of XRP per week during 2018.

 

Two years and a million-dollar lawsuit later, McCaleb signed a new agreement that authorized him to sell tokens equivalent to a set percentage of XRP’s average daily volume. Assuming this deal is still in force, his sales must not exceed 0.75 percent of XRP’s daily volume.

 

At the time of that agreement, Ripple said that McCaleb and his children owned 7.3 billion XRP. He agreed to donate 2 billion XRP (now worth more than $1 billion) to a charitable donor-advised fund (DAF) subject to the same sale limits as McCaleb himself. The remaining 5.3 billion XRP were placed into a custody account controlled by Ripple and distributed to him on a daily basis.

 

Jed McCaleb Speeds up XRP Sell-Off

 

XRP/USD | Bitstamp

Though still trading far below its early January peak, XRP has seen a marked uptick in late September. Rallies such as this tend to correlate with increased volume, allowing McCaleb to sell more tokens without hitting the daily cap. In this case, though, his sales have reportedly increased even as volumes have — at least up until the past week — remained relatively consistent.

 

According to the WSJ, his sales “dramatically” spiked in late August, from less than 40,000 XRP per day to as much as 752,076. However, McCaleb has maintained that he has not violated the terms of his agreement with Ripple. “I’m not selling more than I have agreed to with Ripple,” he told the publication in an email.

 

 

 

When reached for comment, Ripple declined CCN’s request for comment on the report and whether the firm had struck a new, as-yet-undisclosed agreement with its co-founder.

 

Ripple is currently trading near $0.55, providing the XRP token with a $21.9 billion market cap and making it the third-largest cryptocurrency. Stellar, meanwhile, is priced near $0.25 and ranks sixth with a market cap of $4.8 billion.

https://www.ccn.com/ripple-expat-jed-mccaleb-ramps-up-cryptocurrency-sell-off-as-xrp-rallies/

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Walmart Demands Salad Growers to Use Blockchain for Food Safety.

Walmart has advised its fresh, leafy greens producers to use blockchain technology to trace the movement of their products under its food traceability initiative, and to have all systems in place about one year from now, according to the company’s website.

 

A letter to its suppliers noted the U.S. has suffered a multi-state outbreak of E coli linked to romaine lettuce, resulting in 210 confirmed cases, 96 hospitalizations and five deaths. Blockchain technology will make product information available in real-time throughout the supply chain from farm to table.

 

Existing Process Outdated

The letter called the existing one-step up and one-step back model of food traceability outdated.

 

Once a product has been flagged as containing E coli or Salmonella, the consumer might not know if something they bought was contaminated.

 

 

 

During the recent E.coli outbreak, customers and grocers had to throw away large amounts of romaine lettuce because they could not know if the lettuce they received was contaminated. The Centers for Disease Control advised people not to eat lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona, but none of the bags sold listed Yuma, Arizona.

 

Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety at Walmart, said traditional paper-based systems for gathering information at farms, packing houses and warehouses make it hard to track critical data from multiple sources. The processes are also highly time consuming, as it can take seven days to track a product. This involves contacting the supplier, attaining paper records and contacting the company that shipped or imported the product to a Walmart distribution center.

 

This process then has to be multiplied by the 70,000 food items stocked in a typical food store.

 

 

 

The company has called for the new requirement to be addressed in two phases. Direct suppliers must first conform to one-step back traceability on the blockchain network by Jan. 30, 2019. After that date, the company expects suppliers by Sept. 30, 2019 to work inside their vertical systems or with their suppliers to allow end-to-end traceability back to the farm.

 

Also read: Walmart tests the blockchain to tackle food safety

 

Consumers Will Have Access To Product Origin

In the future, blockchain technology will allow a consumer to scan a bag of produce and know where it came from. Yiannas said Walmart has worked with IBM to digitize the process to capture the information at the farm with a handheld and at the packing house.

 

Robert Tauxe, M.D., director of the Centers for Disease Control division of foodborne, waterborne and environmental diseases, said the improved ability to trace food to its source will help agencies and companies identify the source of a foodborne outbreak and coordinate more efficient recalls.

https://www.ccn.com/walmart-demands-salad-growers-to-use-blockchain-for-food-safety/

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Ripple and Bitcoin Cash Gain 20% as Crypto Market Adds $12 Billion.

The crypto market has demonstrated a gain of $12 billion in the past 24 hours, triggered by a staggering 20 percent increase in the value of Ripple (XRP) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

 

On September 25, CCN reported that the volume of XRP was a concern for traders as it dropped from $2 billion to $800 million, by more than 60 percent. Over the past 12 hours, the volume of XRP surged by nearly 60 percent from $1 billion to $2.2 billion.

 

 

 

Bitcoin Cash recorded the second highest gain amongst all cryptocurrencies in the market with a solid 21 percent gain. The volume of BCH remained relatively stable in the $700 million region.

 

 

Massive Volatility

It is evident that Bitcoin, the most dominant cryptocurrency in the market, has been relatively stable since early August. For more than two months, since August 6, the price of Bitcoin has remained in the region of $6,300 to $6,800, rarely breaking out of the $6,800 resistance level.

 

Yet, many cryptocurrencies like Ripple, Ethereum, and Stellar have demonstrated a high level of volatility throughout the past few months.

 

 

 

It is possible that the stability of Bitcoin in both corrections and corrective rallies is providing a platform for alternative cryptocurrencies to regain momentum and establish strong foundation to initiate short-term rallies in the future.

 

Alex Kruger, a well-recognized technical analyst in the cryptocurrency community, stated that due to the selling pressure on Ethereum from initial coin offering (ICO) projects, diversification to EOS, Stellar, and Bitcoin Cash could be better in the short-term.

 

“Tech aside, ETH investors would likely be better off diversifying among coins eg. holding ETH, EOS, XLM & BCH. ETH still faces considerable ICO selling pressure, and already is listed everywhere, taking away the exchange listing bullish factor,” Kruger said.

 

More importantly, cryptocurrencies like EOS, XLM, BCH, and XRP are impacted by external events and developments more so than Bitcoin and Ethereum. For instance, on September 26, many analysts attributed the increase in the price of Bitcoin Cash to the successful IPO filing of Bitmain.

 

 

 

Earlier today, CCN reported that Bitmain filed an IPO with the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. The firm explicitly emphasized its 74.5 percent market share of the Bitcoin mining equipment manufacturing sector and 328.2 percent yearly revenue growth.

 

It is likely that investors in BCH responded positively to the filing of an IPO by Bitmain because the Chinese conglomerate holds a significant chunk of BCH. Previously, false rumors that Bitmain has initiated an IPO to liquidate its holdings of Bitmain placed its IPO at risk.

 

“Our cryptocurrencies, including, among others, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Litecoin and Dash, are generated mainly from (i) sales of mining hardware settled in cryptocurrencies, (ii) proprietary mining, and (iii) our share of mining rewards generated from our mining pools operation,” the IPO document read.

 

Where Market Goes Next

With Bitcoin breaking out of the $6,500 mark, a bullish movement is expected for the majority of major cryptocurrencies in the market. The volume of Bitcoin still remains low in the $4.3 billion region, but the overall volume of the market has started to improve.

https://www.ccn.com/ripple-and-bitcoin-cash-gain-20-as-crypto-market-adds-12-billion/

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Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis: BTC/USD Confirms Inverse H&S.

Bitcoin on Wednesday rose over 3.5 percent against the US Dollar on a bounce back from previous day’s low towards $6,330.

 

 

 

 

 

The BTC/USD on 1H timeframe has just confirmed the completion of an inverse Head & Shoulder (IH&S) pattern with neckline situated near 6500-6515-fiat area. A buy stop order above the neckline has brought us a decent profit already. We are now in a breakout phase which traditionally has a probability of being false in case of an IH&S pattern. Waiting for a retrace could be ideal at this point of time, should there be a slippage phase.

 

Coupling the inverse H&S theory with the parallel channel formation, we could expect the BTC/USD to reverse from the channel resistance to pursuing short sentiments towards the channel support. Any similar action would confirm the IH&S’ false breakout scenario. The parallel channel, meanwhile, is narrow enough to confirm a breakdown should price slip below its support levels. In that scenario, we will confirm the prevailing bear pole formation as discussed in our previous analysis.  Thus, a fall towards 6330-fiat would be a piece of cake.

 

 

 

There is also another scenario in which BTC/USD confirms the breakout extension and attempts a run towards the next upside targets. Then, we are looking at an extended IH&S situation with neckline situated around 6638-6650-fiat area. Let’s check out the medium-term bias to understand the mood of the market further.

 

BTC/USD Technical Analysis

 

 

The price must be inside a medium-term bear flag formation phase. But anyhow, the situation looks bullish for now. The BTC/USD is above its 100H SMA and is now targeting 200H, which is coinciding with the neckline of the extended IH&S action discussed above. The RSI indicator and the Stochastic Oscillator both have jumped from their respective oversold and selling areas and should complete the cycle as BTC/USD looks to achieve 6600-fiat as its next upside target.

 

 

 

The bullish bias, however, is only near-term. In a longer run, BTC/USD is still capped by a descending trendline, meaning a reversal towards bottom area – 5774ish-fiat – should not surprise.

 

BTC/USD Intraday Analysis

Referring the 1H chart above. We are now above 6500-fiat, our psychological resistance to the previous buy stop order. We are initially waiting to hold our horses down and will avoid going long until 6600-upside is achieved. That said, we are shorters for today. A reversal would have put a short position towards the parallel channel support with a stop loss order 2-pips above the entry point to minimize our losses.

 

If price pulls back from support, we will enter a long position towards 6550-fiat while maintaining our stop-loss order 3-pips below the entry point.

https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-price-technical-analysis-btc-usd-confirms-inverse-hs/

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Newsflash: Bitcoin Unicorn Circle Launches USD-Pegged Cryptocurrency.

Circle, the $3 billion bitcoin startup backed by investment banking giant Goldman Sachs, has created a cryptocurrency “stablecoin” whose value is pegged to the U.S. dollar and backed by physical currency stored in company-owned bank accounts.

Circle Unveils USD-Backed Cryptocurrency

Announced on Wednesday, the new cryptocurrency — USD Coin (USDC) — will allow individuals and institutions to tokenize physical currency for use in overseas trading and other cross-border transactions that require rapid settlement.

Commenting on the announcement, Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville, co-founders of Circle, said:

“When we founded Circle five years ago, we and many in the crypto community envisioned fiat money and financial contracts executing on top of distributed public network infrastructure, building on open standards that would allow us all to share value as instantly and easily as we can access content in web browsers and exchange messages in email and messaging apps. Just as HTTPS, SMTP and SIP enabled free borderless information sharing and communications, crypto assets and blockchain technology will enable us to exchange value and transact with one another in a similar way: instantly, globally, securely and at low cost.”

Circle previewed USDC back in May in tandem with its announcement that it had achieved a $3 billion valuation following a Series E funding round led by bitcoin mining giant Bitmain.

Contrary to most other USD-backed stablecoins, Circle will not be USD Coin’s sole issuer. Instead, the token will in the future have multiple issuers as more organizations join CENTRE, an open-source consortium launched to develop a decentralized network of fiat stablecoins.

Per CENTRE’s organizational guidelines, USDC issuers must possess regulatory licenses authorizing them to handle electronic money, have audited anti-money laundering and compliance programs, provide audited monthly reports demonstrating that tokens they have issued are fully-backed by reserves stored in bank accounts, and agree to redeem all USDC tokens — including those issued by other consortium members.

USDC is structured as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum network. According to CENTRE, it utilizes a Ricardian smart contract that will allow the consortium to change the code if it determines a particular issuer is not fulfilling its obligations.

30 Launch Partners

poloniex cryptocurrency exchange

Poloniex, Circle’s cryptocurrency exchange, will eventually replace tether with USDC.

At launch, 30 partners have agreed to provide support for USDC, including top-10 cryptocurrency exchange DigiFinex. The token will also soon be listed on decentralized cryptocurrency exchange (DEX) platforms including Paradex and IDEX, as well as lending protocol Dharma.

Additionally, major cryptocurrency wallet services including Coinbase, BitGo, Ledger, and imToken will provide native support for USDC.

The consortium also includes cryptocurrency payment processor BitPay, whose merchant network received more than $1.2 billion in bitcoin and bitcoin cash payments in 2017.

“BitPay has always been supportive of open source crypto communities and blockchain initiatives and likes the direction CENTRE is taking with USDC,” said Stephen Pair, CEO of BitPay. “We envision a future where all digital assets and payments live on the blockchain.”

USDC joins a growing list of stablecoins seeking to unseat the controversial tether (USDT) as the dominant USD-backed cryptocurrency token. Just this month, cryptocurrency exchange operators Gemini and Paxos have launched stablecoins under the oversight of New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS), creator of the rigorous BitLicense regulatory framework.

In an interview with Business Insider, Circle’s Allaire said that Poloniex — the cryptocurrency exchange Circle acquired earlier this year — will eventually replace tether with USDC, though he did not give a timetable for this transition.

https://www.ccn.com/newsflash-bitcoin-unicorn-circle-launches-usd-pegged-cryptocurrency/

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Most Americans Unsure About What Bitcoin Actually Means, Survey Claims.

Bitcoin” is the financial term for which Americans are least confident of its meaning, according to The Knowledge Academy, a U.K. based provider of training courses which conducted a survey of 1,135 Americans to measure their understanding of financial terms.

That “bitcoin” would rank as the least understood term is not surprising, given its newness in comparison to the other financial terms the survey included.

Americans’ Financial Awareness Suffers

Americans were less uncertain about “index fund” (49% expressed uncertainty), “asset allocation” (44%), “stock options” (43%), “endowment” (42%), “annuity” (41%), “capital gains and losses” (40%), “Roth IRA” (39%), “mutual fund” (39%), “liquidity” (37%), “amortization” (36%) and “premium” (36%).

The low level of confidence about bitcoin is especially understandable given Americans’ generally poor grasp of financial terms in general, the survey indicated.

The researchers found the term “savings account” to be the one most Americans feel the most confident about, with 88% expressing confidence in the term. The second most confident term was “credit union,” with 76% of Americans claiming confidence, followed by “net worth” at 72%.

The key two elements of net worth, however, “assets” and “liabilities,” each only garnered 70% confidence.

Also read: 80% of Americans are aware of bitcoin, study reveals

Low Literacy Undermines Financial Competence

Joseph Scott, a spokesperson for The Knowledge Academy, said a lack of knowledge about financial terms will undermine Americans’ ability to make the best decisions about property management, investments and savings.

Only 16% of Americans demonstrate a high level of financial literacy according to research from the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, which provides investment and insurance services for those working in education, medicine, culture and research.

However, another study by YouGov Omnibus conducted in late August found that nearly 80% (79%) of Americans are aware of one type of cryptocurrency, and bitcoin led the field with 71% awareness. The vast majority of those aware of bitcoin (87%) said they have not used it in any way.

https://www.ccn.com/most-americans-unsure-about-what-bitcoin-actually-means-survey-claims/

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