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XRP price analysis 21 September: Coin enjoys another substantial surge in value.

The token's price continues to rise this week on the back of Ripple's latest xRapid announcement.


Key takeaways

  • XRP has shot up by about 15% over the past 24 hours of trading.
  • Trading volumes have increased by almost two fifths (38%) since yesterday.
  • The token's value is likely soaring as a result of heightened potential for Ripple's xRapid platform.

XRP continues its hot streak this week. The cryptocurrency has experienced a flurry of support from buyers this week and enjoyed another price hike of 15% in the last 24 hours of trading.


Yesterday, the token began trading at US$0.317. From there it continued its climb, rising as high as US$0.329 before trading sideways for an extended period. In the early hours of this morning the coin's value gathered momentum, increasing to US$0.373. It has since lost a little steam but there remains the potential for further price advances.

At the time of writing, XRP was valued at US$0.371.

24-hour trading volumes have soared overnight, growing from US$489 million to US$675 million.

Earlier this week, Ripple's head of regulatory relations for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East Sagar Sarbhai told CNBC that we will likely see real-world adoption of the company's xRapid product in the next month or so. xRapid has been undergoing a number of practical tests lately. The fact that it could be rolling out commercially in the next month is having a positive impact on prices, despite Ripple and XRP being two separate entities.

BitBull Capital cryptocurrency fund chief executive Joe DiPasquale told Forbes that XRP's latest surge has been driven by the anticipation of Ripple's new fintech development. However, he remains sceptical of its benefits.

"The main development fueling this drive is the upcoming xRapid release, which, many believe, will lead to real-world usage of XRP and push the price even higher," he said. "Despite all the partnership news surrounding Ripple, there are no concrete commitments regarding the extent to which xRapid will be employed, and given all this, I am inclined to term this a 'buy the rumor, sell the news' event."

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.

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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.


The MOU will see ABP try out a blockchain solution developed by MTI, thereby helping ease one of the biggest headaches in the logistics sector – lack of system interoperability. The solution is expected to enhance efficiency as no time will be wasted on manually re-entering data. Currently, the port operator handles a quarter of the seaborne trade in the United Kingdom and this is nearly 100 million tons of cargo annually.


“The logistics industry is awash with proprietary technology that forces users to work in a certain way – with blockchain, we can connect all those systems to ensure data is accurately and quickly shared, helping speed-up and simplify the flow of trade in and out of the UK,” the founder and chief executive officer of MTI, Jody Cleworth, said in a statement.


Successful Trial

This is not MTI’s first blockchain trial though. A year ago the freight forwarder completed a pilot program aimed at automating and digitizing the entire supply chain process from shipper to hauler as well as from port operator to carrier, on a distributed and decentralized ledger as CCN reported.


The verification of the results from the successful pilot was conducted by University of Copenhagen’s scientists and BLOC (Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration) tech leads. At the time, Cleworth remarked that blockchain technology had the potential of revolutionizing supply chain businesses by assisting in the generation of cost savings of up to 90%.


Besides Associated British Ports, other port operators in the world that have launched similar blockchain efforts in the recent past include Abu Dhabi Ports, which three months ago launched a blockchain solution that enhances efficiency by enabling real-time tracking of cargo and eliminating paperwork. Last year in September, the Netherlands’ Port of Rotterdam Authority also unveiled an effort aimed at exploring blockchain technology with an eye on enhancing efficiency as well.


Global Trade Inefficiencies

Inefficiencies in global trade processes are blamed for holding back the expansion of trade volumes as a new World Economic Forum report released earlier this month noted while advocating for blockchain technology:


“Paper-based, manual processes, some created centuries ago, lead to complexity and delays, introduce errors and risks, and stand in the way of reliable, real-time information gathering and tracking required for credible financing decisions.”

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Coinsquare Lists Blockchain ETF On Toronto Stock Exchange.

Coin Capital Investment Management Inc. (Coincapital), the portfolio management division of the Coinsquare digital asset trading platform, has listed a blockchain exchange traded fund (ETF), the STOXX Blockchain Patents Innovation Index Fund (LDGR), among two new ETFs the company has listed on the 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 LDGR and THNK ETFs were scheduled to commence trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange this morning.


ETF Taps Artificial Intelligence

LDGR, Coincapital’s first ETF, invests in global equity securities of companies that are investing in blockchain technologies. Coincapital uses a proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to identify companies for the fund.


The selection is 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.




THNK, the second ETF, invests in equity securities of companies focused on AI, nanotechnology, robotics and biotechnology. The main consideration is the company must generate half of its revenues from the aggregate of the B.R.A.I.N sectors. The fund also makes use of the iSTOXX Developed Markets B.R.A.I.N Index.


Also read: Toronto Stock Exchange adds a newe blockchain ETF


Canadians Technology Savvy

“Canadians know technologies like artificial intelligence and the blockchain are going to change the way we live and work, but it can be difficult to access high quality investments in these sectors without deep domain expertise,” Lewis Bateman, Coincapital CEO, said in a prepared statement. “We’re doing the work for investors, using our in-depth industry knowledge to provide Canadians with an innovative suite of investment options that help them invest in new technology even if they’re not an expert.”


The LDGR is not the first blockchain ETF to be listed in Canada.




Horizons ETFs Management Canada Inc introduced the Horizons Blockchain Technology and Hardware Index ETF earlier this year. The ETF backs companies such as Hive Blockchain Technologies Ltd, Nvidia Corp, Digital Realty Trust Inc. which develop blockchain hardware and services.

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Stellar Price: XLM Cryptocurrency Ready to Resume Rally.

The Stellar price has been rising steadily over the last two days. On Friday, Sept. 21, it is trading at 0.2514, adding 8.60% to its value. This rally is based on both tech signals and the overall market trends, says Dmitriy Gurkovskiy, chief analyst at RoboForex.


On H3, Stellar is rising after the MACD convergence and the descending channel resistance breakout. The local target is at the long term channel resistance, i.e. 0.2750. The support is now the ex-resistance, which was previously broken out. The rally is also supported by the Stochastic forming the golden cross and the MACD moving into the positive territory.





On H1, the rally has stopped near the projection channel resistance, which, with the Stochastic moving into the oversold territory, may signal a pullback to the support at 0.2300.





There has not been much news for Stellar recently, but still, there’s been some. For instance, OKCoin has added 5 new instruments to its portfolio, which includes Stellar. This may boost the interest towards the crypto, as it’s now available for trading.


Previously, Stellar obtained the Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) certificate, as the authority licensed by the Bahrain Central Bank allowed Stellar to establish presence in the country once the recommendations are fulfilled. The SRB was especially interested in the crypto itself, while the authority is absolutely fine with the blockchain itself.


Conquering the Gulf of Persia was a very daring goal, but it looks like nothing is impossible for Stellar. As the management says, the Shariah certificate will help look at the platform and its technologies at another angle. Meanwhile, what Stellar is interested in is overseas payments and asset digitization. As the Islamic financial market is huge and Bahrain is striving to become its center, it looks like Stellar is going the right way.




Any predictions contained herein are based on the authors’ particular opinion. This analysis shall not be treated as trading advice. RoboForex shall not be held liable for the results of the trades arising from relying upon trading recommendations and reviews contained herein.

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Bitcoin Mining Pool AntPool to Sponsor NBA’s Houston Rockets.

One of the world’s largest cryptocurrency and bitcoin mining companies, Bitman’s Antpool, has entered into a sponsorship agreement with popular NBA team Houston Rockets.


A Step Towards Expansion

The partnership signed by both outfits is 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.


According to AntPool overseas operations manager Haijiao Li, there is no better way for his company to continue with its momentum in expanding to the U.S. than partnering with the Houston Rockets. He describes the NBA outfit as most popular team in China — Chinese Hall of Famer Yao Ming played for the Rockets — and a legendary basketball club with global recognition.




“We’re excited to work with AntPool as a conduit in the U.S. for their ever-growing business,” added Rockets vice president of corporate development John Croley. “The Rockets are always looking to stay ahead ofthe curve with technology both on and off the court and AntPool’s prowess with crypto currency makes for agreat partnership.


It is obvious knowledge that the crypto industry is still trying to find its way into the mainstream. This phenomenon requires a lot of awareness and proper education in order to encourage reasonable adoption. Efforts such as these are becoming more popular in the industry and also seem to be delivering expected results.


An Important Development For Crypto


Source: Bitmain

Li acknowledges the increasing number of mainstream cryptocurrency partnerships as an important step towards the conversion of consumers to adopt and understand bitcoin and other digital assets.


“As the cryptocurrency industry around the globe continues to evolve and develop, it is going to be more and more important for companies like AntPool to lead the conversation and conversion of consumers to adopt and understand digital currencies. It is an exciting time, and we welcome Rockets fans and those traveling to Houston to visit our showcase at Toyota Center and learn more about the technology that will change the world.”


Prior to this time, CCN reported similar partnerships by other cryptocurrency companies with a number of sporting outfits both in the field of baseball and football, among other sports. The reason for such partnerships is easy to understand based on the volume of audience that professional sports teams attract. This same philosophy is being applied by companies that partner with celebrities in the entertainment industry.


If there is one thing that the cryptocurrency industry needs now, it is awareness and proper education. Therefore, while individual companies make efforts for their own publicity and expansion, the overall positive impact that they have on the industry at large cannot be overemphasized.

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Bitcoin Core Vulnerability Would Have Allowed Miners to Inflate the BTC Supply.

A newly-patched vulnerability in Bitcoin Core was far more severe than initially revealed, developers disclosed in an updated statement on Thursday.


Bitcoin Vulnerability More Serious Than Earlier Announced

The statement, posted on the website for the open source project, revealed that Bitcoin Core versions 0.16.3 and 0.170rc4 not only patch a denial-of-service (DoS) bug but also address a serious vulnerability that would have allowed malicious miners to artificially inflate the supply of bitcoin through a specific type of double spend transaction.


The developers explain:


“Thus, in Bitcoin Core 0.15.X, 0.16.0, 0.16.1, and 0.16.2, any attempts to double-spend a transaction output within a single transaction inside of a block where the output being spent was created in the same block, the same assertion failure will occur (as exists in the test case which was included in the 0.16.3 patch). However, if the output being double-spent was created in a previous block, an entry will still remain in the CCoin map with the DIRTY flag set and having been marked as spent, resulting in no such assertion. This could allow a miner to inflate the supply of Bitcoin as they would be then able to claim the value being spent twice.”


Initially, developers had disclosed a lesser but still serious DoS bug that would have allowed miners to crash nodes and disrupt the Bitcoin network. However, doing so would cause them to forfeit their block reward, which is currently 12.5 BTC (~$83,500 as of Friday).


According to the statement, this bug had been present in the Bitcoin Core software since version 0.14, though it had not been discovered until this week. Version 0.15 introduced the inflation vulnerability.


Core Waited for Upgrade to Reach Critical Mass



Developers said that they waited to disclose the full extent of the bug to prevent malicious miners from exploiting it prior to the upgraded client reaching critical mass.


From the statement:


“In order to encourage rapid upgrades, the decision was made to immediately patch and disclose the less serious Denial of Service vulnerability, concurrently with reaching out to miners, businesses, and other affected systems while delaying publication of the full issue to give times for systems to upgrade.”


However, Core developers decided to disclose the full extent of the vulnerability — which they do not believe was ever exploited — after a majority of the BTC hashrate upgraded to the patched software. Nevertheless, full node operators who have not yet upgraded to the latest version of Core should do so as soon as possible.


“At this time we believe over half of the Bitcoin hashrate has upgraded to patched nodes. We are unaware of any attempts to exploit this vulnerability,” the statement said. “However, it still remains critical that affected users upgrade and apply the latest patches to ensure no possibility of large reorganizations, mining of invalid blocks, or acceptance of invalid transactions occurs.”

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U.S. Lawmaker Introduces 3 Pro-Cryptocurrency Bills to Congress.

On Friday, Sept. a U.S. member of Congress 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.


Rep. Emmer: U.S. Must Support Blockchain Development

According to Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), the initiator of this bold move, the U.S. needs to pass favorable legislation to the burgeoning blockchain industry if it hopes to remain a leader in this space.


“The United States should prioritize accelerating the development of blockchain technology, and create an environment that enables the American private sector to lead on innovation and further growth, which is why I am introducing these bills.”


Overall, the new legislation will support the rapidly growing blockchain industry within the U.S. by providing clear and concise guidelines for investors companies, and businesses, as well as a safe harbor for taxpayers using cryptocurrency assets.


Rep. Emmer, who has just been named co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, also added that, “Legislators should be embracing emerging technologies and providing a clear regulatory system that allows them to flourish in the United States.”


Emmer’s Three Pro-Crypto Bills

Emmer’s first piece of legislation is a House resolution to express support for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. As mentioned, this and the other two bills are aimed at supporting the use and development of blockchain technology in the United States. According to the Emmer, and many other industry experts, the U.S. government cannot do anything to stop their development. Therefore, legislators should be stepping in to provide a clear, concise, and legal framework for their use within the country.


The second bill, the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act, confirms 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. This is because they are only there to help validate the network’s integrity, by providing more security for those who use digital assets.




The final 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). Previously, there was little IRS guidance on this matter, so the bill will be used to give taxpayers tight regulation about the use of forked funds. Furthermore, it will also protect individuals from facing fines until the IRS establishes some guidelines on how taxpayers are to report their digital assets.

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Decentralized Crypto Exchange is Solution to Hacks, Will They be Ready?

Not long after the successful hacking attempts on crypto exchanges Bithumb and Coincheck, Japan’s Zaif was hacked, losing $60 million in user funds. All three exchanges were found to have poor security measures.


Coincheck in particular, which lost more than $500 million in XEM, the native cryptocurrency of NEM, outraged investors in Japan after the company’s CEO Koichiro Wada admitted that the firm did not have enough security experts overseeing the exchange.




“We were aware we didn’t have enough people working on internal checks, management and system risk. We strived to expand using headhunters and agencies, but ended up in this situation,”  said Wada.


The NEM team also stated in an official statement that while it has deployed an automatic tagging system to trace lost funds for the investors of Coincheck, the team emphasized that the exchange had extremely poor security systems in place.


Bithumb was similarly criticized by the government of South Korea and local security firms, which ultimately led the exchange to close down for over a month and overhaul its internal management systems.


Decentralized Exchanges Can Solve These Issues


Ledger wallet

Ethereum-based decentralized crypto exchanges like IDEX utilize smart contracts on an immutable blockchain network to process trades in a peer-to-peer manner. Decentralized exchanges are protected from hacking attempts and security breaches because hackers cannot possibly hack into a peer-to-peer network.


On a decentralized exchange like IDEX, users trade crypto with non-custodial wallets like Trezor, Ledger, and MetaMask. Hence, at all times, users have complete control over their funds by connecting their non-custodial wallets to exchanges.




Funds do not leave the wallets of users unless trades are executed on the mainnet of Ethereum, which is irreversible. As such, user funds are never in danger or vulnerable to external attacks.


Decentralized exchanges have already started to appeal to a niche group of traders that are interested in investing in newly launched crypto with low liquidity prior to their integration on centralized exchanges.


Newly created ERC20 tokens and crypto deploy their assets on peer-to-peer digital asset trading platforms first to gain liquidity, as it costs no capital to do so, and then aim for centralized exchange integration.


As for user experience and usability, because most decentralized exchanges are compatible with Ethereum wallets, it is not that much more complex than centralized exchanges. While it requires several more steps, traders that are already technically literate can easily shift to decentralized alternatives.


Can Decentralized Exchanges Compete Against Centralized Exchanges?

As CCN reported, US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) commissioner Hester Peirce previously stated that “only a very particular type of investor can pursue the diversification opportunities such assets can provide,” stating that it requires a specific set of skills and knowledge to trade cryptocurrencies in the market.


Given that cryptocurrency trading on exchanges is already a niche market of its own, it is possible that with better user interface and more incentives, users will explore decentralized exchanges as alternatives.

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Bitcoin Mining Giant Bitmain Unveils ‘Next-Generation’ 7nm Chip.

Bitmain, the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency company, isn’t ready to relinquish its position as the dominant manufacturer of bitcoin mining chips — at least not yet.


The China-based firm on Friday announced 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.




Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu announced the new chip — the BM1391 — at the World Digital Mining Summit in Georgia, adding that it will be deployed in the firm’s next generation of mining rigs, the follow-up to the Antminer S9.



GMO Internet, a Japanese tech company based out of Tokyo, unveiled a 7nm chip in June. According to Wu, the BM1391 has an energy consumption ratio of 42W/TH, while GMO’s B2/B3 miners consume 81W/TH at peak.


Notably, Bitmain’s announcement came just two days after competitor Bitfury unveiled a new SHA256 ASIC chip. The “Bitfury Clarke,” while much larger than the BM1391 at 14nm, offers “unparalleled efficiency,” according to the company. Per the company, each chip can achieve a hashrate of 120GH/s with a power efficiency of 55mW/GH. Bitfury, incidentally, operates a mining farm in Georgia, where Wu announced Bitmain’s new chip.




“Bitfury is looking at all factors, including silicon packaging, chip efficiency, optimal power distribution, cooling designs and speed of development when designing our mining hardware,” said Valery Vavilov, CEO of Bitfury. “We think that this will lead to solutions that deliver the best ROI to our customers?—?regardless of ASIC size.”


The announcement also comes ahead of Bitmain’s rumored initial public offering (IPO), which will reportedly take place “very soon.”


Seemingly responding to rumors among analysts that Bitmain was at risk of losing its dominant industry position ahead of its IPO due to lagging technological development, the company said in a statement that this new chip reflects the “strength” of Bitmain’s research and development department and “further consolidates” the firm’s 70 percent market share.

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Canada to Study Cannabis Cryptomarkets Ahead of Recreational Marijuana Legalization.

As Canada prepares to legalize recreational marijuana next month, the impact this will have on online drug marketplaces has remained unclear.


Consequently, 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 general goal of this project is to estimate the extent to which cannabis is illicitly bought and sold by Canadians on cryptomarkets, identify trends in the buying and selling behaviours of Canadian cryptomarket users, and discuss the policy and law enforcement implications of cryptomarkets within a Canadian context following legalization.”


Thorough Examination

Specifically, the study will be required to estimate the volume of cannabis sold by Canadian vendors to Canadian buyers in 2017 as well as build buyer and vendor profiles. Additionally, comparisons between the dark web drug market with the traditional drug distribution market will be required to be drawn while also determining the relationship between organized crime networks and cryptomarkets.


Per a report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Canada is one of the leading countries in the world in the illicit trade of drugs on the internet. With cannabis making up 33% of all the online drug transactions, Canada is hoping to identify the kind and extent of impact the legalization of recreational pot on October 17 will have on the cryptomarkets.




“One of the primary aims of cannabis legalization and regulation is to reduce criminal involvement in the cannabis market,” Public Safety Canada’s tender notice further adds. “It is therefore important to examine the current state of illicit cannabis markets in order to assess any changes in such markets once cannabis is legalized.”


Getting High…

This comes at a time when the expected legalization move by the Canadian government is sending the publicly-listed cannabis stocks soaring to record highs as CCN recently reported. The soaring stock prices of cannabis stocks saw some financial analysts equate it to the ‘bitcoin boom’ that was experienced towards the end of last year.


An example of a cannabis stock that appreciated drastically is the NASDAQ-listed Tilray which reached a market capitalization of over US$22 billion earlier this week after its shares rose to a high of US$263 in pre-market trading, marking a parabolic rise from its July listing price of US$17.

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US 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, according to its press release.


For NAVAIR, changing the way it currently tracks the lineage of parts is a critical step into reducing the high costs it takes to operate a military aircraft. The current process involves writing down details of the parts on a Scheduled Removal Component Card—used for recording aviation parts information— before manually entering it into a database.




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.


ITAMCO developed SIMBA Chain, a blockchain as a service platform which allows for tracking secure messages using blockchain for the United States military.


According to the press release, ITAMCO will help the Navy understand how to leverage the distributed ledger for its operations and in return, the startup will get to understand how the Navy operates so it can create a “conceptual architecture” for what a “connected and visible supply chain” could look like when fully developed.


Developing such a platform for the NAVY will not be easy, and one of the hurdles that have to be scaled through is “information assurance and accreditation” for a distributed information system which will depart from the current centrally controlled database architecture. There is also the issue of cyber-security, as the connection of all the nodes supporting the supply chain increases the vulnerability of the system. NAVAIR is bringing the experts in early to create a conceptual architecture, as it hopes to understand the risks and reward that comes with a connected distributed system.




Navy’s Fleet Support Team believes the blockchain can help the Naval Air mission focus more on safety and at a lower cost than it currently can with the old system.


George Blackwood, Logistics Management Specialist F/A-18A-E & EA-18G ISSC North Island Fleet Support Team, was ecstatic about the partnership. He said:


“The Navy is very excited to work with ITAMCO on this cutting-edge technology to improve visibility, anti-tampering, traceability and data transparency in the NAVAIR supply chain.”

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Billionaire Tim Draper Stands By Bullish $250,000 Bitcoin Price Target For 2022.

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.


“This is going to be so big, so if you see a dip [in prices], jump in,” Draper told TheStreet at the 2018 Crypto Finance Conference in Switzerland. “Maybe it will dip further, but boy, I made that prediction and I’m sticking to it. $250,000 by 2022 for bitcoin.”


After a massive spike in 2017, BTC prices tumbled 50 percent in 2018. Despite the recent bear market, crypto’s profile has never been higher, and the industry continues to expand.


‘Believe It, It’s Happening’

In April 2018, Draper generated countless headlines after boldly predicting that bitcoin would soar to $250,000 by 2022, as CCN has reported. And nothing has happened to change his outlook.


“They’re going to think you’re crazy, but believe it,” he said. “It’s happening and it’s going to be awesome!”




Draper has an impressive track record with predicting bitcoin price movements, so it’s hard to dismiss any forecast he makes.


In 2015, the venture capitalist accurately predicted that bitcoin would top $10,000 by the end of 2017. BTC soared above $13,000 on December 31, 2017.



Four years ago, Draper invested $250,000 in bitcoin when its price hovered at around $6. He lost it all when Mt. Gox collapsed in February 2014.


“We were going to have this new kind of currency and it was going to be awesome and I thought [Mt. Gox’s collapse] was the end of it,” Draper recalled. “But bitcoin only dropped about 10% or 15% that day on news that basically the biggest exchange just stole a whole bunch of money. Then I thought: ‘Wait a second. People really need this. This is really important.’ So I started buying a little bit at a time.”




Draper became a bitcoin whale in late-2014, when he purchased 40,000 bitcoins at a federal auction for $600 apiece.


At the time, the U.S. Marshals had seized 144,336 bitcoins from the operators of the Silk Road drug marketplace. Draper said they were auctioning off nine lots, and most of the bidders were venture capitalists like him.


“Here was my thinking,” Draper recounted. “Either this thing goes to nothing and — you know, too bad — or it goes sky-high and nobody’s going to care that I paid 5% more for it. So I bid up to $632 and I didn’t just get one lot. I got all the lots.”


‘This Is Bigger Than The Internet’

Since then, the crypto market has mushroomed, and BTC approached $20,000 in December 2017. By then, Wall Street and the mainstream financial industry had taken notice of this burgeoning new asset class.


Throughout the market’s meteoric rise and recent slump, Tim Draper has steadfastly remained a vocal proponent for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.


“There are plenty of hacks around the crypto-world, but the bitcoin blockchain has never been hacked,” Draper said. “In fact, I am more confident in my bitcoin than I am in the U.S. dollars in Wells Fargo.”


Draper has no doubt that blockchain will revolutionize the world. “This is the beginning of something that’s bigger than the Internet ever was,” he gushed.



Because success is never linear, Draper said cryptocurrencies will inevitably weather their share of ups and downs, but the market will continue to forge ahead.


In fact, he predicts that the industry’s market capitalization will soar to $80 trillion by 2023, as CCN has reported.


“The Internet started in the same way,” Draper said. “It came in big waves and then it kind of came crashing down. And then the next wave comes concentrated but much bigger. I suspect the same thing will go on here.”

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Circle’s Poloniex Sees 190% Jump in Crypto Trading Volumes, Overtakes Bittrex.

Poloniex, one of the oldest crypto exchanges in the global market, has become a major digital asset trading platform once again after years of stagnation.


Until 2015, Poloniex was one of the largest crypto exchanges alongside Coinbase. It was the go-to exchange for traders investing in smaller trading pairs like tokens and alternative cryptocurrencies.




But, controversy around the legitimacy of the exchange and the operating team of Poloniex led the platform lose out in tight competition, falling behind Bittrex, Bitfinex, Binance, OKEx, Huobi, HitBTC, and many other major cryptocurrency exchanges.


Circle’s Acquisition Leads to Revival

In February, Circle, a cryptocurrency and blockchain company that raised hundreds of millions of dollars from large venture capital firms throughout the past few years, acquired Poloniex for over $400 million.


At the time, the acquisition of Poloniex was controversial, primarily due to the stagnation of the exchange and the emergence of new exchanges like Binance and Huobi that started to gain dominance over the market.


While the Circle team spoke highly of Poloniex and its core development team, the community was not convinced that the exchange should be valued at $400 million.




After a month and a half since the acquisition, in April, the Circle team stated that it made significant progress in rebuilding the exchange, especially the customer support side of the exchange. Prior to the acquisition, Poloniex had 159,000 pending customer complaints.


The build up of complaints about the platform and its operations largely affected the downtrend of the exchange. Subsequent to acquiring the platform, Circle immediately implemented a strong communication and technical support team. And it worked.


Within seven months, Circle turned around Poloniex and allowed it to climb back to its previous position. It recently surpassed Bittrex in volume, becoming a top 20 cryptocurrency exchange in the market.





“When the Poloniex-Circle integration began in late February, together we faced a backlog of 159,000 customer issues. Over the past 6 weeks, we have resolved 76,000 of those issues and added 6 new agents to our support team. We have tripled the number of engineers working on our wallet infrastructure and streamlined the process for notifying engineering when technical support is needed,” the Circle team said in April.


What’s Next?

Based on the volume of Poloniex, it is quite evident that the exchange has shifted its focus from serving ERC20 tokens and less liquid assets to major cryptocurrencies like Ripple, Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Stellar.


In the upcoming months, as the market regains momentum and volume, Poloniex will have to compete against Binance, Huobi, OKEx, Upbit, Bithumb, Bitfinex and other leading exchanges that have loyal user bases and robust reputation.


Although the mid-term strategy the company will implement remains to be observed, the fact that large venture capital-backed companies have started to rebuild infrastructure in the cryptocurrency market, as seen in the Japanese market in recent months, is positive.

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Newsflash: Ripple (XRP) ‘Flippens’ Ethereum, Becomes 2nd-Largest Cryptocurrency.

A “Flippening” has once again arrived in the cryptocurrency markets, but — much to the chagrin of ethereum investors — it’s not the one that ETH holders have long anticipated.


Bolstered by a seemingly-parabolic rally not seen since January, ripple (XRP) has managed to unseat ethereum as the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.



Source: CoinMarketCap

According to CoinMarketCap, XRP currently has a total valuation of $23.9 billion, placing it more than $400 million ahead of ethereum. The ripple price has risen an astounding 64 percent in the past day, capping off a week-long rally of more than 113 percent.


There’s no clear trigger for the XRP price rally, other than San Francisco-based blockchain startup Ripple’s recent announcement that XRP-based commercial blockchain applications will go live “in the next month or so.”




Commenting on XRP’s recent rally, Matthew Newton, analyst at eToro, told CCN that “the stars seem to have aligned” for the coin.


“Despite being one the most polarizing cryptos of them all, eToro customers can’t get enough of XRP at the moment; it has more exposure than any other asset on our platform. As we’ve seen in the past, the price tends to move in short, sharp bursts, picking up a lot of momentum when the hype builds. It remains to be seen how much further it could go.”


Ed Cooper, head of mobile at crypto-friendly fintech company Revolut, said in an emailed statement that it “remains to be seen” whether the rally will hold.


“The high transaction values, coupled with market sentiment following the announcement on Monday could indeed be the reason why XRP reached new highs, having gained nearly 50% in the last 24 hours. While this is great news for many crypto enthusiasts and especially for XRP fans, it remains to be seen if the bullish trend will prevail, given the current market conditions that have seen nearly all cryptocurrencjy losing around a great deal of their value since the beginning of the year.”


As CCN reported, XRP briefly surpassed ethereum’s market cap in December and early January, when investor mania and the “Kimchi Premium” drove its price as high as $3.84 and made ripple the first cryptocurrency after bitcoin to achieve a $100 billion market cap. However, ethereum ultimately regained the silver podium, a position it has held throughout 2018 — until now.

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New Core Patch Fixes Bitcoin Network Vulnerability to DDoS Attacks.

The Bitcoin Core team yesterday released a patch for a DDoS vulnerability that could prove fatal to the Bitcoin network.


The patch note urged miners to shut down their older versions urgently and replace them with the new version, Bitcoin Core 0.16.3. The announcement, first reported on Hacked,  revealed that all the recent Bitcoin Core versions could be vulnerable to Distributed Denial-of-Service attack. An attack of such kind typically involves multiple compromised systems to flood a single system (or network) – similar to zombies encircling an uninfected person and disabling his movements.




DDoS perpetrators could attack a Bitcoin network by either flooding the block with duplicate transactions, thus jamming the transaction confirmation of other people, or by flooding the nodes on Bitcoin’s peer-to-peer network, thus over-utilizing the bandwidth through malicious transaction relays. The recent DDoS vulnerability, termed as CVE-2018-17144, tried to attempt the latter – flooding full node operators with traffic. Hacked reports:


“The way the potential exploit could work was by allowing anyone who was capable of mining a sufficient number of proof of work blocks to crash Bitcoin Cores running software versions 0.14.0 to 0.16.2.”


It also means that the miners who occasionally run Bitcoin Core were not vulnerable to the attack. Still, developers recommended all the miners to go ahead with the latest update to stay safe. Also, the patch fixed some other minor bugs related to consensus, RPC, invalid flag errors, and documentation.


DDoS Vulnerabilities across Crypto Networks

It is worth noticing that Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency that is on the DDoS attackers’ hitlist. Flaws have been found in other cryptocurrency clients as well, including Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum. An effective attack on the Ethereum network lasted more than a month and created million of dead accounts. In response, developers had to go through two on-chain forks and one off-chain process to clean up the mess.


In another DDoS attack that slowed down the Ethereum network, miners had to increase gas fees to repel the attackers. There was no consensus failure.




DDoS continues to be a global problem that impacts all spheres of the internet. Europol in its latest investigative report noted:


“Criminals continue to use Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks as a tool against private business and the public sector. Such attacks are used not only for financial gains but the ideological, political or purely malicious reason. This type of attack is not only one of the most frequent (second only to malware in 2017); it is also becoming more accessible, low-cost and low-risk.”


Meanwhile, decentralized networks like Bitcoin are still more secure against such attacks purely because single entities would not be able to bring them down.


Also, because the people, including the attackers themselves, are heavily invested in Bitcoin, a coordinated attack would just rip them off their bitcoin validation commissions.

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$20 Billion in 2 Days: Crypto Market Surges as Ripple Continues Rally.

Within the past 48 hours, the valuation of the crypto market has increased from $198 billion to $218 billion in a rally boosted by a surge in Ripple token XRP.


XRP, the native cryptocurrency of the Ripple blockchain network, recorded a 40 percent rise on September 21, continuing its momentum that was established earlier this week.





Qtum, Stellar, 0x and Cardano were some of the best performing cryptocurrencies on the day, recording 15 percent gains against the US dollar.


End of the Bear Market?

Throughout this week, Bitcoin recorded a 6 percent increase in price, stabilizing in the $6,700 region, while the majority of cryptocurrencies in the global market demonstrated 10 to 50 percent increase in value.


The struggle of Bitcoin to break out of the $7,000 resistance level and record similar movements on the upside as other cryptocurrencies is attributable to the dominant cryptocurrency’s trend over the past few months.




From June to August, major cryptocurrencies like Ripple and Ethereum recorded 40 to 50 percent losses against the US dollar while Bitcoin dropped by less than 10 percent. Extreme oversold conditions as a result of intensified movements on the downside caused Ripple, Ethereum, and the rest of the market to initiate a strong rally.


According to Mike Novogratz, at Yahoo Finance’s second annual “All Markets Summit,” Michael Novogratz, former macro hedge fund manager and billionaire investor, the bear market of crypto has come to an end with Bitcoin bottoming out in the lower region of $6,000.


Novogratz stated that in December of 2017, the crypto market demonstrated a classic speculative mania but throughout the past eight months, the market has endured a major correction and achieved a classic bottom in recent months.




If bottom has been established by Bitcoin last week in the low region of $6,000, as long as the volume of the crypto exchange market can be maintained in the weeks to come, it is likely that most cryptocurrencies will recover further in a strong short-term rally.


In the past seven days, the volume of the crypto market has increased from $10 billion to $17 billion, with Bitcoin’s volume rising from $3.3 billion to $5.4 billion. The abrupt rise in the prices of XRP and ETH has created strong momentum for the market, which is expected to extend throughout the month.


Mid-Term Rally?

From here, a gradual rally after a short-term corrective rally is more likely than an exponential increase in price. Previously, Japanese analyst Masayuki Tashiro said:


“Personally I am bullish, and by the time the outline of the regulations will come together in October, those investors who will feel safer will come back. I hope things won’t get as overheated as last year, but I believe BTC can win back the value of 1 million yen (9,020$) in range.”


Based on the price prediction of Tashiro, and the momentum of the market, a price target of $9,000 by the end of October could materialize. With positive developments in the US crypto market and optimistic progress in regulating crypto in the Japanese and South Korean market, investors expect the strong short-term rally to continue.

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Australia’s First Dollar-Backed Crypto Stablecoin to be Launched in 2019.

Just like has already happened with the US Dollar and the Euro, among others, Australia is about to get its first Aussie-backed stablecoin.


This will be made possible by a partnership between Bit Trade, one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges in Australia, and blockchain employment platform, Emparta. The two firms will collaborate in designing and launching the stablecoin which is expected to be launched next year.



According to the managing director of Bit Trade, Jonathon Miller, the AUD-backed stablecoin will fill a gap that exists in the market as it will act as a buffer against the wild fluctuations associated with cryptocurrencies.


“Stablecoins solve one of the principal issues that may drive investors seeking steady returns and merchants that currently accept traditional currency away from digital currencies: volatility,” wrote Miller in a statement. “We believe that stablecoins will boost trust, accelerate wide-spread adoption, and could function as the backbone of blockchain-based financial applications, especially here in Australia given the favourable regulatory environment.”


Prototype Phase

The two firms are currently working on a prototype which will be completed in a period of a little over a month. Per Emparta, full redeemability on demand will be one of the key differences that will exist between the AUD-backed stable coin and the world’s best known stable coin, Tether. Emparta also revealed in a Medium blog post that the stablecoin’s initial treasury will be located in the continent-cum-country.


“The first treasury will be based in Australia to support the first partner platforms – Bit Trade and Emparta Payments – and deliver the first Australian Dollar backed stablecoin,” wrote  Emparta.




The AUD-backed stablecoin comes less than a fortnight since Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange started by the Winklevoss twins announced a USD-backed stablecoin. While making the announcement Gemini made it clear that it was aiming to supplant Tether by offering the very qualityTether has been accused of lacking – a ‘trusted and regulated digital representation of the U.S. dollar on the blockchain’.


Stablecoin Naysayer

However, stablecoins have not been greeted warmly in all quarters despite serving as a bridge between fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies. For instance, soon after the announcement by Gemini, Barry Eichengreen, a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, questioned the viability of stablecoins.


According to Eichengreen, stablecoins which are fully collateralized involve a great deal of expense for the issuing firm since every unit of the stablecoin has to be backed by an equivalent of the asset that it’s pegged to. The semi-collateralized ones, on the other hand, are prone to the equivalent of a bank deposit run in the event of loss of faith and trust in the issuing institution.




Despite these arguments, it is highly unlikely that the AUD-backed stablecoin by Bit Trade and Emparta will be the last one the crypto world will ever hear of.

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Ripple Price Intraday Analysis: XRP/USD Moons 45% amid FOMO.

Ripple on Friday underwent massive appreciation against the US Dollar, rising as much as 45 percent from its intraday low.


Ripple Labs expressed strong fundamentals over the course of the past week. For starters, the San Francisco company behind the XRP token signed a strategic partnership with the National Commercial Bank, Saudi Arabia’s first national bank. They also forged ties with SBI Holdings, Japan’s financial giant, and British Transfer. Ripple also roped in a top-ten U.S. bank as a member of RippleNet. All the partnerships will use Ripple’s underlying blockchain framework – reportedly.




The XRP/USD today kickstarted with an aim to continue its prevailing bullish sentiment. The pair opened the Asian trading session forming corrective lows towards 0.42362-fiat on a pullback from its intraday high near 0.50295-fiat. The upside sentiment, however, gained momentum as the day matured. By the beginning of the European session, XRP/USD had established lower highs towards 0.48008-fiat. At the time of this writing, the pair is trending sideways in near-term.


XRP/USD Technical Analysis


The XRP/USD without a doubt in its golden bullish times. The pair is retesting its July highs in hopes to extend the bullish momentum towards 0.52542-fiat and a steady descending trendline to its upside. A breakout scenario could replicate the rally from April this year, in which the price recorded 110 percent gains against the US Dollar. A pullback, in the meantime, should also be a consideration for a potential dump, if sellers begin to exit their longs near the new highs, causing a trend reversal.




Should that happen, the pair could be supported by their 200H, 100H and 50H MAs which are now way under the XRP/USD present position. The RSI and Stochastic indicators are already inside their overbought areas, which could mean an imminent correction.


In whichever position XRP/USD moves, we should be prepared with our intraday strategy to chunk out the maximum profits. Have a look.


XRP/USD Intraday Analysis

XRP/USD is now closer to attempting a breakout/pullback action with respect to the 0% Fibonacci retracement level of the swing from 0.26648-low and 0.48115-high. Our intraday strategy allows us to be prepared for both the expected price actions. That said, in the event of a breakout, such that the pair crosses above 0.48115-fiat, we’ll put a long position towards 0.50284-fiat, our intraday high and temporary upside target. A stop loss somewhere 3-pips below the entry position will define our risk. Note that 1 pip, in this case, represents a 0.00100-fiat move.


Likewise, a pullback from 0.48115-fiat will have us put a short towards a distant 0.43049-fiat purely because we expect an intense sell-off anytime. Nevertheless, a stop loss just 2 pips above the entry position will define our risk just as well. We’ll refrain from entering any long positions on a downtrend. Can’t trust the price action!


Trade safely!

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California Watchdog Bans Bitcoin Donations in Political Campaigns.

The California state government’s political watchdog has ruled that candidates will not be allowed to receive donations for political campaigns with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.


The Fair Political Practices Commission, a five-member non-partisan commission that functions as the state’s campaign watchdog, has voted to ban cryptocurrency donations for candidates running for public offices in the state. The vote on Thursday was 3-1 in favor of a ban, the  Associated Press reports, with authorities citing concerns in tracking the origin of crypto donations and their transparency in the political sphere.




The vote follows a staff report submitted to the Commission earlier this month wherein the latter sought to ascertain the approaches taken by other states toward campaign contributions in cryptocurrency.


Beyond the gathered research, the staff also outlined four draft regulations with varying outcomes.


Option one expressly forbade all contributions in cryptocurrency. Two – permit crypto contributions as cash donations up to $100 wherein the cryptocurrency had to be converted to cash upon receipt before its deposit into the campaign bank account. Option three allowed for ‘in-kind’ contributions with crypto-to-cash conversion while the last option allowed for in-kind cryptocurrency contributions without any fiat conversion wherein campaigns see the funds transferred to their own cryptocurrency wallet.




The option to prohibit all crypto contributions, the staff report explained, is “consistent” with campaign activity FAQs from 2014 which determined that the ““staff has done extensive research on the topic and recommends that committees not accept bitcoins or other digital currency as campaign contributions at this time.…”.


This, despite a 2014 ruling wherein the Federal Elections Commission continues to allow  political campaigns and political action committees (PACs) to accept cryptocurrencies as in-kind donations.


A guideline from the FEC reads:


A committee can receive bitcoins as contributions…Bitcoins may be received into and held in a bitcoin wallet until the committee liquidates them.


Earlier in May, Brian Forde, a former Obama aide and Californian democrat running for Congress saw a political attack from a rival for accepting bitcoin contributions for his political campaign.


In August, North Carolina moved to forbid  campaign donations in cryptocurrencies while the likes of Colorado have permitted crypto donations with a limit.

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Candidate Receives First Ever Bitcoin Donation to a Political Campaign in Taiwan.

A candidate for a local government seat in the city of Taipei has made history as the first politician in Taiwan to ever receive a campaign donation in bitcoin.


According to BusinessNext, the bitcoin donation was made to Hsiao Hsin-chen who is vying for a seat in Taipei City Council on a New Power Party ticket. The US$325 bitcoin donation comes after a month since the political candidate announced that he would be accepting cryptocurrency donations.




Per Hsiao, the donation will have not only political implications but also technological ones as the adoption of cryptocurrency donations could assist in keeping the political system of Taiwan clean owing to the transparent and public nature of blockchain technology on which bitcoin is built.


“Accepting bitcoins as a political donation is more symbolic than the act appears,” said Hsiao.


Regulatory Gap

While Taiwan lacks comprehensive cryptocurrency regulations, bitcoin donations to political campaigns are classified as non-cash political donations and anonymous donors are allowed to give amounts not exceeding US$325. To close the regulatory gap, Taiwan’s Justice Minister, Qiu Taisan, earlier in the year called for cryptocurrency regulations to be enacted before the end of 2018 with a view of curbing money laundering.


Taisan made the plea during an anti-money laundering conference that was ongoing then and possibly with the Asia Pacific Anti-Money Laundering Organization meeting expected to be held in Taiwan in late November in mind. Towards these efforts aimed at developing cryptocurrency regulations, Taisan said it would be an inter-agency initiative that would involve among others the Bureau of Investigation, the central bank as well as the Ministry of Interior.




Around the same time the chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission of Taiwan, Wellington Koo, was also caught on record saying that these efforts would be restricted to ensuring that bitcoin, as well as other cryptocurrencies, are not used in money laundering. Koo assured the Taiwanese cryptocurrency sector then that the country would not follow China and other countries which at the time were imposing severe restrictions or outright bans on crypto-related activity.


‘There’s no Stopping Them…’

Noting the growing stature and importance of cryptocurrencies in the world, Taiwan’s Vice Premier, Shih Jun-ji, also earlier in the year also called for measures to be implemented in order to safeguard the island country’s financial health, as CCN reported. At the time Shih noted that with the market capitalization of bitcoin then being US$160,000, this was more than double Taiwan’s budget.


Additionally, Shih stressed that bitcoin’ market capitalization then was equal to the combined assets of all the banks in Taiwan while it constituted around 33% of the foreign exchange reserves held by the Asian country.

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