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Bitcoin Takes a Breather and Falls Below $6,700, Losses Across the Board.

Since September 18, within six days, the crypto market added $34 billion to its valuation. After a massive short-term rally, Bitcoin has retraced slightly, leading other major cryptocurrencies to fall by 3 to 5 percent.

 

While Bitcoin recorded a slight loss of less than 1 percent, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, and Litecoin demonstrated losses in the range of 3 to 5 percent, with IOTA recording the steepest decline amongst major cryptocurrencies.

 

 

 

 

 

The volume of Bitcoin, which remained above $5.3 billion up until September 22, fell back down to the lower end of $4 billion. The volume of XRP, the native cryptocurrency of Ripple, also fell below $1 billion mark to $800 million, after surpassing $2 billion at its weekly peak.

 

Short-Term Breather

Bitcoin has shown stability throughout September, even during corrections. While Ripple and Ethereum recorded 30 to 110 percent increase in price over the past seven days, the two cryptocurrencies suffered massive losses throughout August, during a period in which Bitcoin remained stable in the low $6,000 region.

 

As such, when most cryptocurrencies dropped by more than three percent in the past 24 hours, Bitcoin recorded a mere 0.75 percent losses in value. A slight retrace in the valuation of the crypto market was expected by many traders, considering the sheer magnitude of the gains recorded by both major and small market cap cryptocurrencies throughout last week.

 

 

 

XRP demonstrated a three-fold increase in price, with Stellar and Cardano mimicking the short-term trend of XRP. Considering the large gains of cryptocurrencies throughout September, it is positive that the market has obtained a minor breathing room to strengthen momentum.

 

But, one concern in regards to the short-term price trend of cryptocurrencies is the low volume of Bitcoin. Within the past 24 hours, the volume of the dominant cryptocurrencies has dropped by more than 20 percent.

 

The substantial decline in the volume of XRP was expected because of its 130 percent increase in value. Still, the volume of XRP has dropped from nearly $2 billion to $800 million, by nearly 60 percent in a 48-hour period.

 

Due to the wild volatility of the crypto market in recent weeks, it is entirely possible for the volume of major cryptocurrencies to pick up and recover in the next 24 hours. It is also possible that the decline in volume is merely a minor retracement the market needed to stabilize after a major corrective rally.

 

Bitcoin to $6,800

As CCN reported, billionaire investor Mike Novogratz outlined $6,800, $8,800, and $10,000 as important resistance levels for Bitcoin. On September 23, Bitcoin came close to breaking out of the $6,800 resistance level but struggled in the higher end of $6,700.

 

In the next 12 to 24 hours, if the volume of Bitcoin can recover to mid-$4 billion and show some resilience above the $6,700 mark, it is likely that BTC tests $6,800 in the short-term. Although the daily chart of BTC shows a lack of momentum in the short-term, the weekly and monthly charts of BTC demonstrate optimistic mid-term price development.

https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-takes-a-breather-and-falls-below-6700-losses-across-the-board/

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Opinion: Is India’s Central Bank Nervous About Supreme Court Allowing Crypto Trading?

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the central bank of the country, has told the supreme court that the institution’s decision to prohibit crypto trading should not be challenged by local businesses.

 

In an affidavit filed with the supreme court of India, RBI stated:

 

“The impugned circular and the impugned statement neither violate the right to equality guaranteed under Article 14 or the right to trade and business guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution…The petitioner cannot seek to exercise the extraordinary jurisdiction of this Honorable Court to avail a right which they do not have. The impugned circular and the impugned statement have been issued in a manner that is consistent with the powers conferred on the RBI by the law and the same are legal and valid.”

 

Timing of the Central Bank’s Statement

According to the affidavit, the RBI claimed that it has prohibited crypto trading in a lawful way that does not violate any of the country’s existing regulations. Hence, the supreme court should not even consider evaluating the petitions submitted by crypto-related businesses and investors in the market of India.

 

The RBI emphasized that petitions against the imposition of a ban on crypto trading are not maintainable and that they should be dismissed, due to the lack of reasonable arguments made by associations including the Internet and Mobile Association of India, a non-profit organization that expands and enhances the online and mobile value added services sectors.

 

 

 

While the RBI’s statement is accurate in that it has imposed a ban on a new asset class within its power in a legal and lawful manner, it is also legal for businesses and associations to file petitions with the supreme court to challenge decisions made by government bodies and agencies.

 

 

India’s central bank is vehemently against domestic cryptocurrency trading, but the Supreme Court could see the RBI sweating.

If the RBI remains confident in its decision to impose a ban on crypto trading and is able to clearly justify it, then it should not feel the need to interfere with the country’s petition system. Even at a supreme court level, parties can file a review petition to challenge the decision of the supreme court.

 

As such, it is legal and valid, based on the laws of India, for associations to file petitions to challenge the decisions of authorities and the RBI’s affidavit has dismissed the right of businesses and associations to file petitions against the country’s central bank.

 

 

 

The aggressive approach of the RBI towards maintaining its ban on crypto trading comes in a time in which the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has sent authorities to Japan, UK and Switzerland to study their regulatory frameworks around cryptocurrency exchanges and trading.

 

In early September, the RBI already told the supreme court that the current legal system cannot acknowledge and recognize Bitcoin as a currency. Yet, without providing the supreme court sufficient time to digest and evaluate the situation, the RBI has come out with another affidavit to protect its decision.

 

RBI is Concerned

In a span of one month, the RBI has asked the supreme court to dismiss petitions without a proper review process and emphasized that Bitcoin as a currency cannot be recognized in the country, which suggests that the RBI is concerned regarding the relatively high probability of the supreme court to reverse the decision of the RBI to ban crypto trading

https://www.ccn.com/opinion-is-indias-central-bank-nervous-about-supreme-court-allowing-crypto-trading/

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Thailand’s Kasikornbank to Pilot Visa’s Blockchain Cross-Border Payments Platform.

The biggest bank by market capitalization in Thailand, Kasikornbank, has become the first financial institution in the Southeast Asian country to get on board the Visa B2B Connect platform. Designed to enable fast and secure cross-border payments between businesses using blockchain technology, the platform relies on a permissioned private blockchain architecture which is operated by global financial services firm, Visa Inc.

 

According to Visa Thailand’s country manager, Suripong Tantiyanon, the B2B Connect platform makes extensive use of the core capabilities of the global financial services company in governance, security and distributed ledger technology, per The Nation.

 

 

 

“Building on the enterprise blockchain technology, Visa B2B Connect is a new transaction platform designed for the exchange of high-value international payments between participating banks on behalf of their corporate clients,” said Suripong.

 

Enhanced Transparency

Besides speed and security, Visa B2B Connect platform will also offer increased visibility in the transaction process for Thailand’s fourth-largest bank in terms of assets, loans and deposits.

 

“With our technological capability and network, we are pleased to partner with Kasikornbank to create a more efficient, transparent way for business-to-business payments to be made across the world,” added Suripong.

 

 

 

Announced in October 2016, the Visa B2B Connect platform was developed in partnership with Chain Inc, a cryptographic ledger company based in San Francisco, California, using an enterprise blockchain infrastructure known as Chain Core. As revealed by Visa and Chain at the time, the predictability and transparency of the platform is aided by the fact that banks, as well as their corporate clients, are provided with near real-time notification on the status of transactions.

 

The first bank-to-bank test transactions on the Visa B2B Connect platform were conducted last year in November with some of the earliest banks to join the program being United States’ Commerce Bank, South Korea’s Shinhan Bank, Singapore’s United Overseas Bank and the Philippines’ Union Bank.

 

 

No need for USD

As previously reported by CCN, this is not the first time that Kasikornbank is piloting a blockchain platform for making cross-border payments. In late 2016, for instance, Kasikornbank partnered with International Business Settlement, a Chinese fintech firm, to develop a blockchain platform focused on making cross-country payments between China and Thailand in the native fiat currencies of the two countries. This blockchain platform obviated the need for the conversion of the Chinese yuan or Thai baht to the dollar at any point in the transactions.

 

“IBS has the technology and network to facilitate international settlements that is not based just on the U.S. dollar, at a time when the yuan’s international presence is increasing,” the chairman of Kasikornbank, Banthoon Lamsam, said at the time.

https://www.ccn.com/thailands-kasikornbank-to-pilot-visas-blockchain-cross-border-payments-platform/

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Dubai Govt Upgrades Payment Portal DubaiPay with Blockchain technology.

The Smart Dubai office, a government initiative led by the Crown Prince of Dubai, is integrating blockchain technology into its retail payments smartphone app DubaiPay, enabling reconciliation and settlement transactions in real-time.

 

Developed in collaboration with Dubai’s Department of Finance (DoF), the Smart Dubai Office (SDO) launched the system on Sunday with a  press release labeling it a “blockchain-powered upgrade to its financial system’(Dubaipay)’.

 

 

 

Current DoF procedures are dependant on staff members physically checking payments collected from different portals to manually reconcile the transactions before settling them. This extensive process includes a fee deduction before the remaining sum is transferred to the relevant overseeing authority, altogether taking up to 45 days.

 

 

Speaking to  Gulf news, Mira Sultan Obaid Abdul Rahman, Smart Dubai Government’s director of smart services-enablement department said the notable pivot was to increase the government’s efficiency ‘by transferring all transactions to the blockchain network’ wherein the DoF will be tasked to keep an eye on reconciliations, settlements, disputes, refunds and other payment-related matters.

 

The DubaiPay portal has over 40 entities, including 27 government and 14 non-government agencies, connected to the platform. The portal also collected Dh13 billion ($35 million) from 9.4 million transactions, a 17 percent increase in 2017.

 

 

 

The ‘Payment Reconciliation and Settlement System’ has already been tested by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). The two government agencies – first to join the blockchain platform – have processed in excess of 5 million transactions over a decentralized led.

 

“Blockchain is one of the most promising of these [new smart] technologies, attracting more investments every year,” Smart Dubai’s director-general Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr said.

 

Smart Dubai Government Establishment (SDG) chief executive Wesam Lootah added of the “game-changing technology”:

 

“We, at Smart Dubai, consider technology to be a means for us to help improve people’s quality of life and spread happiness among them. Correctly applied across various key sectors, we believe Blockchain has massive potential to achieve our emirate’s ambitions for a fully-fledged smart transformation.”

 

A number of government agencies including Dubai Police, the Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Airpots, Dubai Customs, Dubai Municipality and other local government bodies will join the blockchain platform in the near future, the announcement added.

 

The Smart Dubai Office has already gained recognition for its sizeable blockchain endeavor that includes a roadmap to transfer all government documents on a blockchain.

 

 

 

The Dubai Government has already greenlit a citywide payments system powered by blockchain technology.

https://www.ccn.com/dubai-govt-upgrades-payment-portal-dubaipay-with-blockchain-technology/

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XRP briefly dethrones Ether as second highest cap cryptocurrency.

The short-lived change shows there's still plenty of room for big swings among top market cap coins.

A lively weekend on the cryptocurrency markets saw continued rises, with the total cryptocurrency market cap now being up about US$20 billion from Thursday. XRP has continued to be the talk of the town, rising enough to briefly disrupt the long-held status quo and take second place by market cap, momentarily toppling Ether.

The position was short-lived though, as traders took advantage of the move to cash out, restoring the now-familiar hierarchy of the top three; bitcoin, Ether and XRP in that order. The last time this pattern changed was the very end of last year, on 29 December, as XRP prices briefly skyrocketed above US$3.

Right now, XRP is nipping more closely at Ether's heels than it has for a long time, through a combination of Ether's ongoing price slump and XRP's decisive rises in the last week.

Source

A sign of things to come?

XRP's recent rise is quite distinctive, and in some ways might feel a little bit like the "good old days" of less than a year ago, when big market cap cryptocurrencies would often swing 20% in a day (in both directions).

Smaller cap coins will still pull it off with aplomb, usually because they've been deliberately pumped and dumped, but it's much more difficult for a big cap coin like XRP to do the same.

In this case, the major catalyst was almost certainly the news that Ripple xRapid is likely to go live for commercial use in the next couple of months. Depending on how much appetite there is for Ripple's new solution, XRP could be sitting on completed fundamentals by Christmas.

That was probably the spark that lit this particular fire. Traders then fanned the flames by... well... trading. In most cases that involved heavy buying. This seems to have caused the initial sharp rise in the first couple of days.

But what goes up is generally expected to come down, proportional to the speed of its rise. And so traders started piling up the shorts in expectation of an XRP selloff. It probably would have seemed like a solid bet from most angles, with cryptocurrency markets typically being a see-saw of ups and downs.

It didn't eventuate this time though because apparently the buyers weren't done yet. The bulls fought off the bears, as zoologically-inclined analysts say.

The result was a pronounced short squeeze, with liquidated shorts causing prices to cascade higher. This is probably what gave XRP its second wind over the weekend.

 

A fair price?

But as always, it's not yet possible to say whether XRP has found its fair price. As heady as the gains are, it's still more in the nature of regaining ground than going somewhere new. XRP prices are still well down from what they were in June, and pure speculation alone has previously been enough to see it go much higher and lower than it is right now.

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xRapid's release will bring more clarity to XRP's foundation, but that might take the form of traders deciding that the stuff is overvalued. The sheer magnitude of the international payments market might suggest that this is unlikely, and that there may be room for XRP to grow on its actual merits rather than pure speculation, but there are never any guarantees.

It's also worth noting that Stellar prices have been having a good time too. This should probably come as no surprise because Stellar (XLM) prices have always been a remarkable mirror for XRP, but it still suggests that the fight to become the international payments crypto is far from over and that traders continue hedging across both coins.

Of course, the percentage change of each doesn't tell the whole picture. The raw amounts of money involved in XRP are still much, much larger than XLM.

https://www.finder.com.au/xrp-briefly-dethrones-ethereum-as-2nd-highest-cap-cryptocurrency

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US Navy explores permissioned blockchain to track aircraft parts.

It stands to be a huge improvement over the existing pen and paper systems.

One team at NAVAIR, the United States Naval Air Systems Command, is working with Indiana-based Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO) to explore the potential of its SIMBA blockchain for tracking aircraft parts, according to a recent press release.

SIMBA came to life as a product of a DARPA project which intended to apply blockchain principles to messaging in order to better monitor and verify the source of communications. But it also has some very clear applications in defence supply chains. Not only is supply chain management one of the most immediately promising blockchain applications, but defence supply chains in particular tend to be remarkably fragmented, opaque and downright primitive in some ways.

"In the defense industry, the way people buy and sell is by picking up the phone," said Deloitte veteran Eric Piscini to CoinDesk previously (when describing Zerv, a completely separate defence supply chain project).

In this case, the system to be replaced is one where parts are delivered, and then tracked with pen and paper on a "scheduled removal component card," which is then manually entered into a database. The system is entirely manual, and dependent on many different parties manually creating and maintaining their own siloed paper trails. The end result is that errors are inevitable, it's extremely difficult to trace individual parts and difficult to gather any kind of bird's eye view of where aircraft parts come from or go.

"Knowing the origin and history of flight-critical aircraft parts is a resource-consuming process that drives up the cost to operate military aircraft," the press release says.

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Tracking down the service history of individual components means sifting through the database and hoping everyone's done their paperwork correctly along the entire custody chain and every time a part undergoes maintenance.

ITAMCO was chosen due to its experience in data management in precision manufacturing settings as well as its existing strategic partnership with Notre Dame's Center for Research Computing. Beyond trialling a blockchain and getting a chance of understand the pros and cons of using one, the agreement also gives the Navy access to protocols for quickly and securely recalling large data sets.

"The ability to manage large data sets is not inherent to blockchain but these ancillary developments, along with managing life events and custody on a distributed ledger, will be a useful toolset among Navy, DoD and external industry partners," says the pleasantly detailed press release. "In return for helping the Navy understand how to use these exceptional software tools, ITAMCO will get to understand facets of the Navy and how the supply chain operates. The goal of the agreement is to develop a conceptual architecture for what a connected and visible supply chain could look like.

"The Fleet Support Team believes the increased visibility and traceability will help NAVAIR support the Naval Air mission with an increased emphasis on safety and at a lower cost than we currently can achieve.

"Conceptually developing consensus methods that maintain the integrity of the ledger while providing for all of the stakeholders will be a collaborative effort."

The key features of blockchain systems, whether private or public, lend themselves extremely well to supply chain management. And the eventual ability to more easily perform large scale data analysis on aircraft parts and other goods will probably lead to many further efficiency gains in the future as well.

Given the current outmoded state of the Navy's supply chain management, this might be the start of a fruitful experiment.


https://www.finder.com.au/us-navy-explores-permissioned-blockchain-to-track-aircraft-parts

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Free KYC for businesses: Brave Browser to use Civic blockchain ID.

Brave would probably be in a tough spot without Civic's free KYC system.

These days all money is tracked and accounted for to theoretically prevent criminal and terrorist financing. It doesn't work very well, but everyone has a legal obligation to kind of just roll with it.

But cryptocurrency is money too, which leads to some interesting legal anomalies. For example, you'll often need to provide ID when buying bitcoin miners but not when buying GPUs which can also be used to mine cryptocurrency.

This is also a pain point for many cryptocurrency projects, which are often all about rewarding people with cryptocurrency incentives. If only there was some way to quickly and automatically verify user identity without paying a cent.

An impossible problem

Brave browser and its Basic Attention Token (BAT) cryptocurrency is one of those projects in the awkward position of technically paying people money. It aims to reward people for viewing ads through a revenue sharing agreement where advertisers buy BAT to spend on ads, and that BAT is paid directly to publishers and ad consumers.

But technically, those browser users and publishers are getting paid. This means users actually need to provide identification to the Brave browser before they can opt in to ads, while publishers are similarly obligated to provide identification. It's a strange future where people provide ID to a browser before surfing the web.

Traditional methods obviously wouldn't be feasible for anyone. It would be a ridiculous point of friction for new users, while also being inordinately risky and expensive for Brave.

It will often take days and thousands of dollars in labour costs to verify a single domestic individual. It only gets even more complicated and expensive when the individual is overseas, or when you're trying to verify a corporate entity. There's a reason global financial institution annual KYC costs are measured in the countless billions of dollars.

This puts Brave in a seemingly impossible position. It needs to conduct timely KYC checks on its opting-in publishers and users without causing undue friction, without taking too long and without paying too much, all while maintaining complete user privacy.

On 21 September, at Consumer Identity World conference in Seattle, Brave announced that it would be using Civic KYC.

Describing it as nifty doesn't really do it justice. It's a free KYC solution, available right here right now, for businesses or anyone else who needs to verify identities online.

How Civic works

A KYC check takes two parts.

The first is to get information from a user. In the case of a financial KYC check this includes full name, address, date of birth and other things.

The second step is to verify the information provided. This is commonly done by asking for a picture of the user's driver's license or other ID. This is then cross-referenced with the issuing institution (the DMV in the USA, the RTA in Australia, etc) to make sure it's legitimate. Smaller businesses will often outsource these procedures, while larger businesses might have hundreds of employees to handle it.

Once the information has been collected and verified as being accurate the company can say it's done its due diligence. The exact amount of due diligence required will depend on the situation.

Civic is a way of automating this process by giving people re-usable digital identities which can be verified just as legally and accurately without everyone needing to go through the entire KYC song and dance every time over and over again.

Individuals can upload their documents to Civic (the information providing stage), and these can then be verified by "validators." A validator might be, for example, a bank which has previously verified that person's identity and can therefore attest to the legitimacy of their driver's license, or anyone else who can legally verify the information. They're paid to for their trouble with the CVC cryptocurrency.

As such it's a way for existing businesses to recoup some of their previous IDV expenses, as well as a potential revenue stream when someone is being verified for the first time.

Typically this cryptocurrency would be paid by the businesses that want to verify a user, but Civic is covering the costs for the rest of the year to help seed the system with a large user base and verified identities - hence being a $0 KYC service. The attestation only needs to be provided once, and then it can be attached to the user identity in the Civic app, where it's good until it reaches the relevant expiry date, or until someone changes addresses and that needs to be re-verified, or similar.

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The end result is a system where the legwork can be done once, at which point users can provide KYC-compliant verification instantly. It's infinitely better than the painful and wasteful current system where everyone needs to constantly re-provide and re-verify information over and over again.

For the user, these verification events take the form of requests arriving on their phone through the Civic app, saying something like "Brave browser is requesting your verified name, address, etc, so you can participate in the paid publisher program."

The app itself is unlocked through biometrics to ensure the match between the app user and their personal digital identity.

One of the best upshots of this entire system is that users don't need to give out their actual data to be verified. So, for example, instead of entrusting Brave with all their personal information and a picture of their driver's license, they can just send over bits of information that say something like "I have been verified in line with AML regulations for this particular service, as verified by that institution."

This further reduces costs for companies that want to use it, by removing the costs of storing sensitive consumer data and the cost of brand damage when it inevitably gets stolen.

It's one of those kinds of systems that's only possible with distributed ledger technologies like blockchain. And it's here just in time for platforms like Brave, which would have an impossible headache without it.

These unique types of application are why identity itself was inevitably going to end up on the blockchain.

https://www.finder.com.au/free-kyc-for-businesses-brave-browser-to-use-civic-blockchain-id

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Indian Authorities Round up on Bitcoin Scammer’s Properties Worth $60 Million.

The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) attached $60 million worth of assets in connection with its probe against Amit Bhardwaj in the alleged Bitcoin Ponzi fraud of $5.26 billion.

The Indian law enforcement agency has attached immovable properties of the owner of GainBitcoin.com, including six offices in Dubai and the residential apartments and bank balances of two of his associates Hemant Bhope and Pankaj Adlakha, under the provision of Anti Money Laundering (AML) act.

It is the first attachment in the case where Bhardwaj, under the guise of Variabletech Pvt Ltd, Singapore, duped 8,000 people into investing in his fraudulent Bitcoin trading Ponzi scheme, www.gainbitcoin.com. The alleged conspirator would hold marketing events at expensive hotels across India, where his associates attracted attendees towards their Bitcoin mining investment schemes. In an event held in Noida city in 2016, which the author attended in person, the marketers claimed that GainBitcoin owns mining facilities in China. As proof, they showed attendees video clips that formerly belonged to one of the Motherboard coverages of a Chinese mining facility.

Tricks such as these were used to lure people that had no prior knowledge of Bitcoin. The digital currency’s potential as an investable asset would fuel investors’ interest, with most of them often mistaking GainBitcoin as the “Bitcoin company.” One of the Indian parliamentarians even went ahead calling Bitcoin a Ponzi scheme while referring to GainBitcoin.

Under these shady schemes, Bhardwaj and his associated embezzled around 8,000 Bitcoins. When the time to pay back investors arrived, Bhardwaj issued them a privately created, and worthless, cryptocurrency called MCAP. He even purchased sponsored stories across the leading news channels in the Bitcoin industry to fake a positive sentiment about his coin.

“There are large numbers of investors who got cheated in this way,” the ED stated.

For a more significant time, readers in India with access to basic knowledge of Bitcoin saw the digital currency as a tool to scam people. GainBitcoin unknowingly initiated a mistrust between the regulators and digital currency companies that continues to haunt the crypto-regulatory climate in the country even today.

Bhardwaj even roped in Bollywood celebrities, including Bipasha Basu, Shilpa Shetty, and Nargis Fakhri, to promote his ebook called Cryptocurrency for Beginners. Shilpa Shetty’s husband and celebrated Indian businessman Raj Kundra also faced ED over his monetary involvement in Bhardwaj’s company.

 

The Pune police arrested Bhardwaj in April at New Delhi airport when he was returning from Dubai. Since then, Bhardwaj has offered to repay his investors in Indian Rupees. The price of Bitcoin has increased ever since which is why investors have rejected Bhardwaj’s proposal in fears of losing out on profits they could make had they held onto their crypto-assets.

https://www.ccn.com/indian-authorities-round-up-on-bitcoin-scammers-properties-worth-60-million/

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Brazil’s Biggest Brokerage Processes Bitcoin Trades, Gov’t Supportive.

Grupo XP, the largest independent brokerage in Brazil, has publicly released its plans to launch a Bitcoin and Ethereum trading platform by the end of 2018.

 

Guilherme Benchimol, the chief executive officer of Grupo XP and XP Investimentos SA, stated that the business will integrate Bitcoin and Ethereum into the existing infrastructure of the brokerage, allowing more than three million investors in the country to invest in the asset class.

 

Monumental Decision

As CCN previously reported, on Sept. 20, the government of Brazil and its antitrust watchdog have launched a formal investigation into banks and major financial institutions in the country after receiving complaints that crypto exchanges received subpar financial services from local banks.

 

Officials at the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) said:

 

“However, it does not seem reasonable for banks to apply such restrictive measures a priority on a straight-line basis to all cryptocurrency companies, without examining the level of compliance and the anti-fraud measures adopted by individual brokerage firms conferring unlawful treatment per se on businesses brokering cryptocurrencies.”

 

In an official announcement, Grupo XP CEO Benchimol emphasized that he personally is not a fan of cryptocurrencies as a store of value and consensus currency. But, he stated that the company feels obligated to start advancing in the market because ultimately, similar to banks, investment firms are required to meet the demands and needs of their clients.

 

“I must confess, this is a theme I’d rather didn’t exist, but it does. We felt obligated to start advancing in this market,” Benchimol said.

 

 

 

 

 

The surprising decision of Grupo XP is particularly monumental for the South American cryptocurrency market because it comes at a time in which the government of Brazil has taken its first approach towards legitimizing the market with stable financial services and banking partners.

 

 

 

With support from the government and the country’s largest investment firm involved, in the next few months the cryptocurrency market of Brazil will likely see an emergence of exchanges that are capable of providing services that were not available to the population less than nine months ago.

It is entirely possible that the encouragement of the government to banks to provide financial services to local cryptocurrency exchanges could leave the market open to established exchanges that are eying international expansion.

 

Already, in the past week, Binance and Upbit, the crypto market’s two largest exchanges alongside OKEx and Huobi, have expanded to Singapore.

 

Market Structure

Since mid-2017, the US, Japan, and South Korea have seen the stabilization of their respective cryptocurrency exchange markets equipped with robust infrastructure and practical regulatory frameworks designed to protect investors and facilitate the growth of crypto-related businesses.

 

For many years, South America and Europe have lagged behind Asia and the US due to regulatory uncertainty, but the forward-thinking approach of the Brazilian government and the encouraging trend of major financial institutions entering the crypto market could potentially lead to exponential growth of the crypto market of Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela.

https://www.ccn.com/brazils-biggest-brokerage-processes-bitcoin-trades-govt-supportive/

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This Off-Grid, Solar-Powered System Sends Crypto Through Radio Waves.

To many, cryptocurrency is a way of securing financial independence from banks and governments. Those interested in going off-grid, distancing themselves from authority, and even “preppers” who believe that major catastrophe is coming any day share many of the values of hardcore crypto advocates.

 

One point of contention is blockchain’s reliance on the power grid — how can something truly grant freedom from government if it can’t operate outside of government infrastructure? How can crypto replace cash if it can’t be even used when the lights go out?

 

 

 

The developers of Burst believe they have the solution: a solar-powered blockchain that operates completely off-grid. They claim to have already completed a solar-powered cryptocurrency transaction using short burst radio waves. While other projects have incorporated radio waves into their transaction process, Burst may be the first project to have performed a fully off-grid transaction, opening a use case for cryptocurrency in instances of natural disaster or areas with poor infrastructure.

 

 

The project was designed as part of the Call For Code challenge, which brings developers together to design tech that is used for good — humanitarian relief being one of the areas of focus. Developer Daniel Jones described the project to CCN, saying:

 

“Radio is used in natural disasters and is an infrastructure we often overlook. Burst is mined with hard drives, it requires far less power. And as far as developing the radio piece, it’s done. It’s not hard to send a packet over radio, just got to use right tools and understand the myriad of regulations.”

 

Burst would allow people suffering from natural or man-made disasters to preserve value and have something worth trading even in the event of banks and on-grid blockchains being blockaded or destroyed. The trope of money being useless in an apocalypse scenario applies to fiat, certainly, but less so to Burst. Theoretically, the disruption of infrastructure and centralized government should not affect the value of the currency or the ability of people to transact with it in a secure, immutable way around the world.

Beyond that, the project enables users to confirm that they are alive and send messages without revealing their location, which also has a use case in war-torn or disaster-stricken areas. Jones explained that this was the purpose of the first transaction, a demonstration to show “Proof of Life.”

 

He said:

 

“[The] transaction…was a multi factor verification of Proof of Life….  [D]uring a disaster…there could be cases where you may need to verify [that] someone is who they claim to be but without being able to see them …. [T]he wallet was assigned to someone who sent a transaction with the fee to show the target wallet they were ‘alive.’ This gives us some levels of certainty, wallet seed, target wallet known, and amount + fee or message content.”

 

It’s worth noting that shortwave radio operators are legally required to be trained and licensed — licensed amateur HAM radio operators can and do communicate with the International Space Station, space shuttles, and other vehicles and radio operators around the world, and the licensing is required to prevent interference with air traffic and other activity. You can learn more about becoming a licensed radio operator here.

https://www.ccn.com/this-off-grid-solar-powered-system-sends-crypto-through-radio-waves/

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More than a Ripple: What Pushed XRP up 100% in a Week.

In a supernormal rally that almost lost ethereum its silver spot, ripple (XRP) gained about 100 percent in a week.

 

The maximum difference in XRP’s market cap between the week’s lowest and highest level turned out to be almost $19.8 billion. That’s nearly a 184 percent jump. True, the valuation dropped after establishing the weekly peak, but the extent of the drop was low. During the uptrend, the market cap of ripple once even went above the market cap of ethereum. For a short period, XRP was the new silver to bitcoin’s gold. However, an imminent sell-off near peak reversed the XRP trend and brought it back to the third position.

 

 

 

But, what were the reasons behind the XRP’s bullish behavior? So far, no technical aspects could explain it, so CCN dug into the fundamentals instead. And, to begin with, we found several that correlated with the XRP rally.

 

 

Fundamental Factor 1: Launch of xRapid Solution

Ripple Labs’ long-anticipated cryptocurrency service, dubbed xRapid, is heading for a commercial launch as soon as next month. The commercial payment service allows financial institutions to use XRP tokens for conducting cross-border transactions. So far, xRapid has not bagged many major partnerships from mainstream financial institutions, in contrast to RippleNet, Ripple Labs’ XRP-negated blockchain project for enterprises, that has a top-ten US bank lined up for integration.

 

The news of the xRapid launch surfaced first on CCN on Sept. 17, when XRP was trending sideways against USD. The value began trending upwards just at the beginning of the next day’s session, establishing a new intraday high towards $0.33990-fiat from the low of 0.26627-fiat.

 

Fundamental Factor 2: Coil and PNC Announcement

An announcement linking XRP with the web’s biggest names, including Wikipedia, Twitch, and YouTube, came on Sept.  20 from Coil. The San Francisco company, headed by former Ripple Labs CTO Stefan Thomas revealed details about their web monetization app that would allow content creators to earn tips via XRP tokens. Overall, the news brought a likely user-adoption case for XRP in limelight, while it was already riding high on previous bullish sentiment.

 

On Sept. 20, another Ripple-centric news that surfaced on the web was PNC-related. The $380 billion US banking giant joined RippleNet to enable near-instant money transfers with on-demand liquidity and end-to-end tracking on a blockchain. The partnership, however, does not guarantee a boost in XRP adoption. Nevertheless, it positioned XRP’s largest holder, Ripple Labs, as a company with a big future ahead — something that could have excited the traders speculating on XRP.

 

The Concluding Fundamental Factor: FOMO

When an asset keeps breaking its crucial resistance levels one after another, day traders mainly go long on their positions in “fear of missing out” on profits. XRP traders seem to have undergone a bullish transformation after witnessing an impressive rally after weeks of a downward trend. Ripple has brought back the buying sentiment in the market, and all the top coins went green as it mooned.

 

 

 

 

XRP/USD formed higher highs towards 0.79162-fiat. Since then, the pair has corrected almost 27 percent. Those who entered long anywhere below the current value could attempt to exit their positions on a decent profit, causing a minor sell-off towards 0.54490-fiat, the support level from late May. A breakdown from there could push XRP/USD further down towards 0.45627-fiat, the support from early April that influenced a sharp rally towards 0.96635.

 

While returning to its bearish sentiment, the pair would need to invalidate the two support levels mentioned above. The launch of xRapid next month, meanwhile, would promise a positive buying scenario overall.

https://www.ccn.com/more-than-a-ripple-what-pushed-xrp-up-100-in-a-week/

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Bitcoin Price Intraday Analysis: BTC/USD Trending Sideways.

The bitcoin price on Sunday paused its upside momentum to trend sideways against the US Dollar, fluctuating just about 2 percent between the trading range.

 

BTC/USD over the last week had jumped from its previous weekly low near 6125-fiat to a new weekly high near 6840-fiat. Over the course of last 24 hours, the pair only managed to secure its recent gains while avoiding any bearish pullbacks. That said, the Asian trading session saw minimum momentum, a sentiment that rippled through the entire European trading hours. BTC/USD only formed lower low once towards 6500-fiat, but the pair’s imminent recovery confirmed the presence of long position traders.

 

BTC/USD Technical Analysis

 

Bitcoin has just attempted a successful breakout from an inverse head and shoulder pattern whose neckline was near 6551-fiat. A buy stop order above the neckline could have brought some decent profits to day traders. Overall, the breakout signals a sharper move to the upside, if not proven false by strong crucial resistance levels ahead.

 

BTC/USD today is capped by an interim resistance level near 6788-fiat, as it looks forward to sustaining its upside momentum. There is already an established bullish bias supporting the continuation of the prevailing uptrend. For instance, the 50H SMA has crossed above its 100H SMA, a crossover which indicates a near-term buying sentiment. The Stochastic has slipped from its overbought positions on the 4H chart, which could mean price retesting the neckline of the previous inverse head and shoulder as support while eyeing the ascending trendline as the potential downside target.

 

Let’s look into our intraday prospects to understand the price action further.

 

BTC/USD Intraday Analysis

 

The range we are watching for today is defined by 6788-fiat as our interim resistance and 6642-fiat. There is enough room for intrarange action, so we’ll put a long towards resistance on a bounce back from support, and a short towards support on a pullback from resistance. In the event of a breakout action, such that either of the range parameters get broken, then we’ll switch to our breakout strategy. That said, a break below support would have us put a short towards 6551-fiat while keeping a stop loss 2-pips above the entry point — to minimize our losses in case the pair bounces back. A further break below 6551-fiat would have us apply the same short strategy towards the ascending trendline.

 

Similarly, a break above resistance would have us put a long position towards 7000-fiat, while a stop loss somewhere 3-pips below the entry point will define our risk.

 

Trade safely!

https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-price-intraday-analysis-btc-usd-trending-sideways/

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Meet The Man Who Tracks Kidnappers and Paramilitaries Using Blockchain.

We first mentioned Ben Strickland in our coverage of his report on SadaqaCoins, a dark web marketplace aimed at crowdfunding for weapons and paramilitary training of Syrian jihadists. Strickland didn’t just stumble across the site — he’s an OSINT (open source intelligence) investigator who uses OSINT techniques to trace cryptocurrency transactions and draw connections between paramilitaries, extortionists, and organized criminals online.

 

In June, Strickland published a Medium post called “Tracing a Jihadi cell, kidnappers and a scammer using the blockchain — an open source investigation.”

 

 

 

Strickland spoke to CCN about the open-source data techniques he used in his investigation, describing open source data as anything from YouTube videos, blockchain data, satellite imagery, or social media posts.

 

“I started by looking at a jihadist group that were requesting donations from the public through the typical channels groups like that generally operate on (Telegram, Twitter). Doing the same as I do with human rights abuses, I looked at all of the data available. It became apparent to me than an address linked to their account was linked to a kidnapping in South Africa.”

 

 

He started to run searches on Google and Reddit regarding linked bitcoin addresses and found a comment about a scam Facebook account containing one of the addresses he had flagged.

 

“I looked through the alleged Facebook account. It was pictures of the guy and his girlfriend from the UK, but he was cashing his bitcoin out in South African Rand. In other images he was posting pictures of handfuls of US dollars and statements on ‘how I can make you the next bitcoin millionaire.'”

 

He later found multiple other Facebook accounts with a similar setup that actually offered each other support and guidance on how to scam their victims as well as praising each other’s successes.

 

“Needless to say, my bullshit radar was going off. Those Facebook accounts had pictures of their bitcoin addresses to flash how much they had made. On the blockchain, those addresses were in the middle of it all. I eventually identified a former South African exchange that was connected to them all.”

 

Asked about the reasons behind his work, Strickland cited the growing amount of cryptocrime cases, pointing out that on BitcoinWhosWho, a site aimed at identifying bitcoin addresses and reporting scams, there are 10-30 daily reported cases of sexual extortion alone. He said that just as we have the ability to monitor the more prevalent world of fiat-funded crime, it’s important that people are aware of the methods used to monitor crypto-crime as well.

 

He concluded:

 

“It is important to realize that this is what the power of the blockchain is supposed to be. As much as it is a free market, unregulated and decentralised, the power of the blockchain should be that someone like me, from the comfort of my home on my laptop, with no formal training, can identify any wrongdoing on the blockchain.”

https://www.ccn.com/meet-the-man-who-tracks-kidnappers-and-paramilitaries-using-blockchain/

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Bitcoin Price Nears $6,800 Resistance as Crypto Market Records Large Gains.

Over the past few hours, Bitcoin has recorded a slight 1 percent increase in price, nearing the $6,800 resistance level. The rest of the crypto market recorded large gains across the board as Electroneum and Stellar led the market with 70 percent and 20 percent gains respectively.

 

 

 

 

As CCN reported on September 22, billionaire investor Mike Novogratz laid out $6,800 and $8,800 as major resistance levels for BTC in the short-term. If BTC can break out of the $6,800 mark in the next few hours, it is highly likely for the dominant cryptocurrency to enter the $7,000 region for the first time since September 4.

 

Why is Bitcoin Lagging Behind

Over the past week, Bitcoin has demonstrated decent momentum and gradual increase in volume, rising from the lower end of $6,000 to $6,700. But, in comparison to other major cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Ripple that recorded monstrous gains against the US dollar, the short-term rally of Bitcoin has been lackluster.

 

The discrepancy between the gains of Bitcoin and the rest of the market can be attributed to the stability of the dominant cryptocurrency. From July to September, for nearly three months, Bitcoin has demonstrated a slight loss of 9 percent. Meanwhile, Ripple and Ethereum declined by more than 45 percent.

 

 

 

As such, the corrective rally of the crypto market that was initiated earlier this week, which was primarily formed due to massively oversold conditions showed by major cryptocurrencies, did not lead to a large increase in the price of BTC.

 

But, as Novogratz stated, considering the stability in the price of BTC and its resilience in the low price range, breaking out of the $6,800 mark and eyeing an entrance into the $7,000 region could establish a strong foundation for a potential mid-term rally later this year.

 

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs), institutional investors, and large-scale hedge funds will likely not enter the crypto market in 2018. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has no reason to rush its decision to approve the first cryptocurrency-backed ETF in the country’s history and while there exists trusted custodian solutions in the market, institutional investors will likely wait out until the asset class recovers and for the market to mature.

 

 

 

Hence, if Bitcoin reaches $10,000 by the end of this year, which Novogratz said it is impossible for it to not happen, it will be individual investors and retail traders leading Bitcoin to its yearly high.

 

Considering that many billions of dollars from institutions will not hit the market for at least a couple months, it is important for Bitcoin to gradually climb to $8,800 and $10,000, to reduce the probability of a major retracement.

 

Volume Remains Strong

The volume of the crypto market remains strong at $14 billion, but the volume of Bitcoin has declined from over $5 billion to $4.2 billion, which suggests that either the market has started to take a breather or investors are focusing on high-risk trades to maximize profit.

https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-price-nears-6800-resistance-as-crypto-market-records-large-gains/

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Massive Hacks, Price Targets and a Bitcoin ETF: This Week in Crypto.

Make sure you check out our previous edition here, now let’s go over what happened in crypto this week. Also, make sure you subscribe for this week’s edition of The CCN Podcast on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Google Play Music, Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts.

 

Price Watch:

Bitcoin is up 2.69% this week to $6,700 surpassing $6,500 late last week after oscillating between $6,300 and $6,400 before flirting with the $6,600 level and the $6,200 level within days of each other. This week was remarkably similar but ended higher with this week starting off at the $6,500 level  and managing to hold it  coming into this week until Monday when the price hit $6,274 before coming back to the $6,500 level on Tuesday as some alts like Ripple surged. The next day was not quite as fruitful with prices falling back to the $6,200 level and oscillating between $6,200 and $6,400. Later in the week, the price managed to regain the $6,500 level showing several bullish indicators in CCN’s own Yashu Gola‘s analysis. The price finally ended at $6,700 as alts like XLM and Ripple continued to rally. The last time we were at this level was in the face of the 9 ETFs that were rejected.

 Ethereum is up 10% this week to $240 after a gain of 16% last week. The gains are a recent phenomenon with preceding week having a drop of 31% last week, 5% the week before and drops of 11%  and 24% in the preceding weeks with single and double-digit drops going back months. The recent drops have continued to be blamed on ICO sell offs and the recent price gains are seen by analysts as evidence that the price is coming back. It wasn’t until last Thursday that, despite negative statements by Vitalik, the price increased 9% and analysts said we’d finally hit ‘a’ bottom. This week wasn’t all gains with the price briefly dropping below $200 on Monday.

The entire coin market cap is up 8% as Ethereum, Ripple and Stellar recorded strong gains. Bitcoins comparatively small gains held the market back as it sought to regain the $225 billion level.

Targets:

Tim Draper Stands By Bullish $250,000 Bitcoin – Tech billionaire Tim Draper stands by his bitcoin price target of $250,000 for 2022. Despite the recent slump, Draper remains undeterred in his enthusiastic outlook for the largest virtual currency by market cap.

Novogratz Sets $10,000 Price Target for 2018 – Billionaire investor Michael Novogratz, a legendary ex-hedge fund manager, formerly of the investment firm Fortress Investment Group, has said that the Bitcoin price will likely see a 30 percent increase by the end of 2018.

Governments:

U.S. Rep. Emmer Introduces 3 Blockchain Bills – On Friday, Congraaaessman Tom Emmer (R-MN) announced that he will introduce three new bills aimed at supporting the development of blockchain technologies, as well as the use of cryptocurrency, within the United States. The first bill is a a house resolution to express support for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The second bill, the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act, states that certain entities such as cryptocurrency miners and multi-signature providers, who never fully take control of consumer funds, will not need to be registered as money transmitters.  The third bill, the Safe Harbor for Taxpayers with Forked Assets Act of 2018, aims to address confusion surrounding how to report gains made as a result of cryptocurrency forks to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

SEC Begins Reviewing Physically-Backed Bitcoin ETF – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Thursday that has begun a formal review process for the physically-backed bitcoin ETF proposed by VanEck and SolidX. The timing of the order comes as somewhat of a surprise. CBOE first filed to list shares of the VanEck Solidx Bitcoin Trust in June, and in August the SEC postponed ruling on the application, setting a new deadline of Sept. 30. Many analysts, including Canadian investment firm Canaccord, speculated that the SEC would likely delay ruling on the fund at least once (and probably twice) more, until March 2019. Read the Full Order: VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust Order by CCN on Scribd

Report: India’s Crypto Regulations Causing Exodus – According to a recent News 18  report, a substantial number of developers, service providers and other organisations within India’s cryptocurrency and blockchain sphere have already fled, or are in the process of fleeing from India to jurisdictions with friendlier regulatory dispositions such as Thailand, Estonia and Switzerland. The reports comes in the wake of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) filing an  affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that under the provisions of the Coinage Act and the RBI Act, bitcoin is not recognized a valid payment system  under the Indian constitution because there is no backing legal framework for it and India’s bank ban on crypto purchases.

Canada to Study Cannabis Cryptomarkets – The Department of Public Safety Canada is looking to commission a study that will shed light on the cryptomarkets – online drug marketplaces that rely on the TOR browser and cryptocurrencies – with regards to the North American country and its citizens. According to a tender notice published online, the study will focus on both buyers and sellers of cannabis on the cryptomarkets. The move comes in the wake of soaring prices of publicly-listed cannabis stocks.

U.S. Navy Explores Blockchain to Enhance Tracking of Aviation Parts – The U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is currently exploring the blockchain technology for tracking aviation parts throughout its lifecycle. The Navy has partnered with Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO) under the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, NAVAIR hopes to get “access to cutting-edge chain code” as well as innovative protocols that can “recall large data sets” swiftly and securely.

5 Members of Congress ‘Strongly Urge’ IRS to Update Bitcoin Tax Guidelines -In a letter dated Sept. 19 and published on the House Ways and Means Committee website, five representatives — Kevin Brady (R-TX), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Darin LaHood (R-IL), and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) — “strongly urged” the IRS to issue comprehensive, updated guidance on federal tax obligations associated with disposing cryptocurrency assets, either through trading or other means. The letter follows a letter sent last May expressing concern over the agency’s decision to ramp up enforcement of cryptocurrency-related violations without also adopting a “comprehensive virtual currency strategy” to help taxpayers more successfully navigate the murky regulatory code.

Ex-FDIC Chair Sheila Bair: We Need A Federal Framework To Regulate Cryptocurrencies – Sheila Bair, the former chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), says the time has come for a formal federal regulatory framework to be established to regulate cryptocurrencies.

Kraken vs New York Attorney General – In the continuing feud between New York’s Attorney General and Kraken CEO Jesse Powell, another round of shots has been fired. New York released it’s report “Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative”. Powell criticized other exchanges for answering the questionnaire and proceeded to thank  taxpayers for funding the research and providing information about his competitors. The report specifically targeted Kraken among other exchanges that did not participate including Huobi, Gate.io and Binance. Powell went on to accuse the Attorney General of manipulating bitcoin futures. In the same series of Tweets, it appears a Bloomberg reporter who had used term “red flags” in reference to Kraken was mocked.

Japan Cryptocurrency Theft Cases Tripled in H1 2018, $530 Million Stolen: Police – In the wake ofthe news that Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Zaif had been hacked and slightly less than US$60 million stolen, the National Police Agency (NPA) of Japan has released a report highlighting the vulnerability of Japan’s crypto space.

Enterprises & Exchanges:

Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange Zaif Hacked, $59 Million in Losses – Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Zaif was the victim of a major hack last week, local media sources have reported and the company has now  confirmed. The hack, which occurred on Sept. 14 but was not discovered until Sept. 17, saw the hacker steal various amounts of bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and monacoin from the exchange’s hot wallet, collectively worth 6.7 billion yen (just under $60 million).

Bitcoin Mining Giant Bitmain Unveils ‘Next-Generation’ 7nm Chip – China-based Bitmain’s CEO Jihan Wu announced on Friday that it had developed a new 7nm application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) mining chip for the SHA256 algorithm used by bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and many other cryptocurrencies. The s announcement came just two days after competitor Bitfury unveiled a new SHA256 ASIC chip. The announcement also comes ahead of Bitmain’s rumored initial public offering (IPO), which will reportedly take place “very soon.”

UK’s Biggest Port Operator to Explore Blockchain Solution – The privately run UK port operator, Associated British Ports (ABP), has inked a Memorandum of Understanding with freight forwarder Marine Transport International to explore a blockchain technology application aimed at improving connectivity at the 21 ports it runs.

Coinsquare Lists Blockchain ETF On Toronto Stock Exchange – Coincapital, which is registered with the Ontario Securities Commission, has become Canada’s newest ETF provider following the introduction of the LDGR and the STOXX B.R.AI.N. Index Fund (THNK), the company’s first ETFs.  The ETF’s selections are based primarily on blockchain intellectual property patent filings, which enables the fund to identify blockchain adopters and innovators. The selections also make use of the iSTOXX Yewno Developed Markets Blockchain Index.

AntPool to Sponsor NBA’s Houston Rockets – A partnership agreement signed by AntPool and the Houston Rockets for the 2018-2019 professional season and will stand out as one of the significant moves by the China-based company towards achieving its expansion goals into the Houston area. At the same time, this joins in the increasing number of similar awareness and publicity programs being experienced by cryptocurrency in recent times, especially in associating with the sporting industry.

IBM: Blockchain for Drone Fleet Security – Computing giant and prolific blockchain researcher IBM has applied to patent a system that would use distributed ledger technology (DLT) to address privacy and security concerns associated with the increasing usage of drones in both commercial and recreational applications. The patent is similar to a a patent application from Walmart that sought to use blockchain technology to secure packages throughout a supply chain made up of robots and autonomous vehicles.

Crimes:

Darkwallet Dev Cody Wilson Arrested on Sexual Assault Charges – Cody Wilson, 3D-printed firearm pioneer and DarkWallet developer and anti-Bitcoin Foundation campaigner, has been arrested in Taiwan in connection with charges that he sexually assaulted a minor in Texas. Taiwan does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S., but local police have nevertheless cooperated with authorities in the U.S. to arrest Wilson, and — according to translated reports from Taiwanese media — potentially deport him to his home country.

 

 

Noteworthy:

 

These are a few pieces that were particularly popular this week.

 

Decentralized Crypto Exchange is Solution to Hacks, Will They be Ready? – Analysis of the development of decentralized exchanges in the wake of  the successful hacking attempts on crypto exchanges Bithumb and Coincheck and most recently Zaif.

https://www.ccn.com/massive-hacks-price-targets-and-a-bitcoin-etf-this-week-in-crypto/

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Stellar Surges 19%, Cardano Gains in Sunday’s Best Performing Crypto.

Stellar (XLM) and Cardano (ADA) have performed exceptionally well against Bitcoin over the past 24 hours, recording 19 percent and 8 percent gains against the dominant cryptocurrency.

 

 

 

 

At its daily peak, XLM achieved a 25 percent price increase against the US dollar, achieving $0.297. Within a period of 48 hours, the price of XLM rose from $0.21 to $0.297, by more than 38 percent.

 

To mirror Ripple’s three-fold increase in value in the past seven days, Stellar and Cardano will have to increase by more than 30 percent from their current price range, which is unlikely in the short-term.

 

But, it is important to acknowledge that dissimilar to the short-term rally of XRP, the short-term increase in the price of XLM and ADA were primarily triggered by optimistic technical indicators and price movement, rather than a series of events and announcements.

 

XLM Rally Was Inevitable

Ever since XLM demonstrated a major break out of a descending trendline dating back to mid-July, it was quite evident that a major rally for XLM was in play. Within four days, from September 19 to 23, the price of XLM nearly doubled from $0.17 to $0.29.

 

Similar to Ethereum and Ripple, Stellar experienced a steep decline in value from July to September, which was the case for most major cryptocurrencies apart from a few exceptions including Bitcoin, EOS, and Binance Coin (BNB).

 

 

 

As such, when the market demonstrated a short-term trend reversal, massively oversold XLM was first to see a major movement to the upside. As soon as XLM recorded a sudden spike in volume on September 19, its momentum continued to increase, mimicking the short-term trend of Ripple.

 

Prominent cryptocurrency trader who operates under the alias “Crypto Dog” stated on September 20 “after XRP comes XLM, watch out,” implying that historically, XLM has tended to follow the price trend of Ripple.

 

Perhaps due to the connection of Ripple co-creator Jed McCaleb to Stellar and conceptual similarities between the two platforms in that they both process cross-border transactions for individuals and institutions, the price trend of XLM and XRP have shown consistent correlation throughout 2018.

 

Over the past few years, the Stellar network has been utilized by companies including IBM, KlickEx, Deloitte, Parkway Projects, Tempo, Wanxiang Labs and Stripe, which funded $3 million to Stellar in 2015 in its early development phase.

 

 

 

Since then, Stellar has continued to maximize the potential of its blockchain protocol, acquiring Chain to form Interstellar, possibly to collaborate more actively with financial institutions.

 

In 2014, Chain secured investment from Visa and Citi, working with the two financial institutions to make progress in commercializing and integrating the blockchain in the traditional finance sector.

 

A combination of Stellar’s similar price movement as XRP, the organization’s acquisition of Chain, and optimistic technical indicators regarding its short-term trend reversal led XLM to surge by a large margin in the past week.

 

Cardano is Similar

ADA has demonstrated similar movement as the early stage of Ripple and Stellar’s corrective rallies this week. Depending on the volume and momentum of Cardano, in the upcoming days, it is possible for Cardano to experience a major movement on the upside.

https://www.ccn.com/stellar-surges-19-cardano-gains-in-sundays-best-performing-crypto/

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CNBC Analyst Predicts Bitcoin Bounce Back Based Purely on Market Tacticals.

CNBC Futures Now trader Jim Iurio has predicted that bitcoin will trade above $6,800 based on market analysis that holds $6,000 as its critical support level. Speaking on the show alongside Anthony Grisanti, Iurio stated that market tacticals hold the key to accurately predicting the movement of bitcoin on any meaningful level.

 

He made the comments on September 20 during trading on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) ahead of the close of the latest CBOE bitcoin futures contract. In his view, while bitcoin does not seem to have any fundamentals with which to base its pricing on, the use of market tacticals can be a useful way to predict its pricing, specifically a trading technique called ‘stop-in’.

 

Stop-in Trading on Bitcoin Futures Contract

Responding to a question about how he intends to trade the bitcoin futures contract, Iuro stated last week:

 

“$6,000 is a big deal. I don’t know why it’s a big deal but if you look at the charts, it’s clearly something. Every time it gets there, it gets rejected again. If it trades at $6460, about $60 above where it is now,  we do this technique a lot called the stop in. We wait for a little bit of strength and try to jump in at the right time.”

 

Continuing, he stated that with bitcoin then at about $6,460, he would make the call to stop-in with a target of $6,860. At press time, bitcoin price is trading at  $6,750. In his view, only if bitcoin retraces to trade below $6,210 does the entire bet fall apart, leaving bitcoin to once again test the $6,000 support level.

 

Agreeing with this assessment, Anthony Grisanti stated that the sheer lack of fundamentals with which to price bitcoin makes it a necessity to base trades off of tactical data.

 

In his words:

 

“When you don’t have anything else like fundamentals to trade off of, you trade off of tacticals, and that’s what Jim is doing. He’s stopping himself in at a tactical level, looking for a follow-through. If he doesn’t get it, he’s not in the trade.”

 

Concluding, Iuoro stated that while the lack of fundamentals means that it is difficult to price bitcoin, price discovery nevertheless does happen in the market, and this appears to be taking place with $6,000 looking increasingly likely to be the asset’s crucial support level.

 

CCN reported on Thursday that bitcoin rose over 1.5 percent against the US Dollar, moving steadily toward $6,500-fiat in spite of the hack at Japanese exchange Zaif which led to the loss of 6,000 BTC.

https://www.ccn.com/cnbc-analyst-predicts-bitcoin-bounce-back-based-purely-on-market-tacticals/

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BitPesa, SBI Remit Partner for Blockchain Payments Between Japan And Africa.

BitPesa, a digital treasury management solution that leverages blockchain settlement to lower the cost and improve the speed of payments to and from frontier markets, has teamed with SBI Remit, Japan’s largest remittance service provider, to make it easier for Africans to buy Japanese products.

 

 

 

The two firms are leveraging blockchain technology to reduce friction, improve efficiency and interoperability for cross-border payments between the two continents. The partnership will help businesses scale faster between Japan and Africa.

 

Conversions Simplified

The partnership allows the African customer to deposit funds in their local currency directly into BitPesa’s local bank account, Elizabeth Rossiello, founder and CEO of Nairobi, Kenya-based Bitpesa, told CCN. “They don’t need to do any conversion,” she said. “Our fees are much lower than most banks’ transfer fees.” In addition, the transfer happens much faster than the two weeks it would take most banks, depending on the amount.

 

“Using SBI Remit’s payout network, we transfer the money to SBI Remit, and they can pay out to their large Japanese network,” she said. “There is a flow of funds by Africans to Japan.”

 

Focus On Key Industries

While there are numerous industries expanding in the Africa/Japanese corridor, BitPesa and SBI Remit will focus on certain industries, such as Japanese cosmetics, electronics and used cars. Japanese car dealers, for example will be able to improve their payment operations and reduce the forex risk between Japanese exporters and African buyers. The BitPesa merchant collection solution will also allow them to expand more easily into new markets.

 

The partnership marks the first with an African company for SBI Remit, a subsidiary of SBI Group, which has helped pioneer financial services, especially on the internet, in Japan.

 

 

 

BitPesa’s clients range from African businesses and multinational companies paying suppliers as far as China and the UAE to global remittance companies using API services for payments to mobile money operators and bank networks in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

 

One of the major demands in Africa is for used cars, Rossiello said. A Kenyan shopping for a Japanese used car online will typically have to find a bank that will convert their Kenyan currency into a G20 currency, and then convert that to Japanese yen before sending the funds to the Japanese company’s bank account.

 

Some Japanese companies have accounts in African countries, she said, but this does not remove the weeks’ long currency conversion wait.

 

 

 

“Regardless of which way they’re going, they still have to go through a complex currency conversion,” she said.

 

Simplifying Cross Continental Trade

The partnership also addresses a demand by Japanese businesses to enter the African market.

There are more than 400 registered Japanese businesses already active in Africa, including cosmetics, electronics heavy machinery and used cars, she said.

 

“They need a more seamless way for the African customer to be able to pay them directly,” Rossiello said.

 

“While there is a growing interest in Africa, there is still a lot of hesitation due to market conditions and lack of hybrid financial infrastructure to support agile growth of businesses,” she said. “Through our partnership with SBI Remit, we have created a secure, fast and easy-to-use forex solution for Japanese companies to buy and sell eight frontier market currencies with G20 currencies including Japanese yen. Businesses can do this instantly from and to all major African bank and mobile money accounts.”

 

African Governments Create Barriers

Businesses in Japan and other Asian countries have long been wary of doing business in Africa because of African governments’ currency controls, she noted. “(African) central banks are afraid of value leaving the country,” she said.

 

It is also difficult to find services to convert African currencies to G20 currencies. When such services exist, they carry high fees.

 

 

 

There are also no direct conversions among African currencies, Rossiello said. To convert from one African currency to another, it is typically necessary to convert first to a G20 currency. The conversion costs are especially high for smaller companies.

 

“This is not a small problem within the African continent,” Rossiello said. United Airlines, for instance, discontinued doing business in Nigeria in the early 2000s over problems with the repatriation of funds, she said.

 

Making the funds more liquid decreases a Japanese company’s risk of entering the African market, she said.

 

 

More Partnerships Coming

BitPesa, which is licensed by both the Financial Conduct Authority in the U.K. and by the Bank of Spain to operate in the European Union, will be looking for more partnerships similar to SBI Remit as more international regions increase trade with Africa, Rossiello said.

 

In the past, BitPesa has focused on the Europe/Africa corridor, one of the most active corridors in the world, she said.

 

“We’re looking at how we can open access to Africa to other parts of the world as well,” she said. “Our vision is to accelerate the growth of businesses in frontier markets.”

 

“Africa has become a strategic interest for SBI Group recently and we have been looking for innovative solutions to partner with and serve our customers better,” said Nobuo Ando, representative director of SBI Remit. “With the accelerating interest of collaboration between Japan and African countries, we will be able to leverage BitPesa’s expertise in the market and technological prowess in offering efficient FX solutions.”

https://www.ccn.com/bitpesa-sbi-remit-partner-for-blockchain-payments-between-japan-and-africa/

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Cryptocurrency Wallet Blockchain Files Complaint Against Copycat Website.

Cryptocurrency web wallet provider Blockchain has filed a complaint in a U.S. federal court alleging attempted deception by a copycat website.

 

In a  blogpost, Blockchain — whose website is hosted at blockchain.com — identifies the platform, blockchain.io, as a deliberate impostor that is attempting to rebrand itself in order to continue in its usual insincere practices from years back.

 

Deliberate Attempt to Mislead

Blockchain’s major concern over this development as reported includes the fact that the establishment is confusing customers and misleading them into thinking that they are “Blockchain”. This concern arises from the brand similarities which are thought to be designed deliberately.

 

They include:

 

Similar domain name to website (blockchain.io)

Similar colors to website (shades of dark blue)

Similar logo (a cube instead of a square) made up of similar geometric shapes (circles instead of rounded boxes).

Repurposed tagline “connecting the world to crypto” through a thesaurus to come up with “your gateway to the internet of value.”

A Familiar Character

 

 

According to Blockchain, the supposed new establishment is actually an old platform with the original name Paymium, also known as “Instawallet”, which in 2013 lost its users’ funds in a widely-publicized hack.

 

 

 

Blockchain claims from its findings that one of the major reasons for Paymium’s rebranding tends towards its attempt to launch an initial coin offering (ICO). Having damaged its own reputation due to the way it handled the 2013 hack case, aggrieved customers may take it up with them upon resurfacing. Hence the reappearance under a new name entirely, albeit in a suspicious manner.

 

The Bane of Anonymity

The relative anonymity that exists within the blockchain ecosystem has been blamed for most of the scams and fraudulent practices that have befallen a lot of participants. Most often, victims are left to mourn their loses without any hope or respite. This is one of the key issues that is assumed to be delaying the regulatory framework within most regions and by extension, also delaying mainstream adoption.

 

In the time being, the framework laid out by SEC is going a long way in protecting investors from fraudulent performers in the ICO space. This is one of the reasons why Blockchain is calling out Paymium and exposing what they claim to be another attempt to scam and defraud the unsuspecting public. Blockchain notes that there is no registration statement in existence for the exercise as claimed by Paymium, this means that it does not only fail to fulfill the requirements by SEC but is also lying about it.

 

 

 

Blockchain claims that, by embarking on a litigation procedure, it does not only intend to protect its brand but also protect its customers and the general public from investing into the promise of a technology that in the actual sense does not exist at all.

https://www.ccn.com/cryptocurrency-wallet-blockchain-files-complaint-against-copycat-website/

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Content Creators on YouTube, Twitch, and Wikipedia Can Now Accept Ripple (XRP).

Content creators on the internet will now be able to accept payments in XRP tokens directly from their users.

 

The tipping-for-content has become possible because of Coil, the brainchild of Stefan Thomas, the former CTO of Ripple Labs. The San Francisco company has launched the beta version of its browser extension app of the same name, which allows users to tip content creators directly via XRP tokens. While the concept is arguably borrowed from Changetip, a now-defunct bitcoin tipping app, Coil somewhat has established its advancement by posing itself as an alternative to today’s ad-supported web.

 

“For decades, people have discussed the potential of micropayments to support content creators that would move us away from the broken ad-supported web,” Thomas said. “Others have created subscription services that bundle content. But micropayments and subscriptions have always been built as closed systems, which fail to capture the huge variety of content on the web.”

 

Coil is actually the first when it comes to paying out websites using Web Monetization, an Interledger-powered standard that would enable browsers to pay websites. Towards that goal, Coil will be compatible with some of the biggest names in the web industry, including YouTube, Wikipedia, Twitch, Internet Archive, and Beat, for starters.

 

 

 

 

 

The Coil launch packs a lot of possibilities for future adoption, specifically in the case of subscription-based content. Discussions on various online forums are filled with references to websites that offer content for monthly subscriptions. These subscriptions allow users to access unlimited content on the site. However, the fact remains that users seldom utilize the entire package. The only solution proposed to tackle the issue is pay per view.

 

Coil offers a use case. The browser extension could promise to unleash web content for XRP, be they text, video, sound, or other.

“Think Spotify, think Uber, think ads on the web – or no more ads on the web,” a Redditor commented while referring to Coil’s additional features, which include paywall bypassing, and lesser ads display. “This is just the beginning of Internet of Value! COIL is big, COIL is huge – Coil deserves as much attention as we are giving Ripple!”

 

 

 

Coil could lock horns with Brave on micro-payments. The latter is not an extension but a full-featured web browser in itself that somewhat offers the same services as Coil via its BAT tokens. Brave already has an exception user-base of over 4 million active individuals. The browser also provides privacy and ad-blocking to further its attractiveness to an average crypto user. The team behind the project expects to attract over 5 million users by the end of this year.

 

The crypto market is still young, and there is room for innovation for every project. Coil, despite its celebratory launch, could up its game with future updates. So far, the micropayment browser app could at least boost the bullish potential of XRP tokens, which are already rising high amid a strong buying sentiment phase.

https://www.ccn.com/content-creators-on-youtube-twitch-and-wikipedia-can-now-accept-ripple-xrp/

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