BitMEX Adding More High-Performance Trading Tools

bitmex

BitMEX owner HDR Global Trading has officially announced a partnership with Trading Technologies International, Inc. (TT). 


Trading Technologies International, Inc. provides high-performance professional trading software to clients worldwide — and its new partnership with BitMEX means that the latter’s users will now have access to improved trading tools on all BitMEX products.

Bitocinist_Futures Contract BitMEX

 

Geared Towards Professionals

Specifically speaking, TT is most widely known for offering professional traders with a privately-managed infrastructure that directly connects to global markets and executes trades. The tools are not designed for casual retail traders but, rather, professional traders and brokers.

BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes stated in a press release:

Like Trading Technologies, BitMEX is committed to providing innovative financial products and a seamless experience for sophisticated traders. By combining our robust technologies, this partnership will not only extend BitMEX’s unique services to Trading Technologies’ discerning clients, but advance our mutual vision to unlock access to cutting-edge cryptocurrency products.

Likewise, Trading Technologies CEO Rick Lane stated:

This collaboration with BitMEX brings our award-winning trading software to a much broader cryptocurrency market. We expect this partnership will grow trading volume on BitMEX, not only through our existing clients, who want access to cryptocurrencies, but also through new users keen to leverage professional trading software and enjoy better trading experiences.

bitmex

Increased Competition for BitMEX

BitMEX’s partnership may stem from increased competition in the cryptocurrency derivatives sector.

Last month, OKEx claimed that it had executed more trades with a higher volume than BitMEX in a 24-hour period — “topping the industry globally” with $2.4 billion in trading volume in a single day.

While it is unlikely that Hayes and company are shaking in their boots at the thought of OKEx surpassing BitMEX, such an event may have helped spur the latter company into action.

Hayes also recently told Venture Coinist’s Luke Martin that BitMEX is investigating the possibility of launching bitcoin-backed short-term bonds and other BTC-backed financial products.

What do you think of BitMEX’s partnership with Trading Technologies International, Inc? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock. 

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Market Caps for Bitcoin and Altcoins Set to Test New Yearly Highs

cryptocurrency

2019 is looking up for the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets, with a new yearly high being put in on Apr 10. 


The total cryptocurrency market capitalization has been on an absolute tear in recent months. Various altcoins — such as DASH (DASH), Zcash (ZEC), and others — saw their valuations spike ahead of Bitcoin’s newsworthy jump to $5000 on Apr 2.

The total market cap for all cryptocurrencies reached over $186B five days ago.

crypto market cap

‘A Sustained Stabilization’

Prices have since cooled off and corrected, but now appear ready to make another leg upwards should buyers take control early this week.

“After the false breakout earlier this week, cryptos took a step down,” eToro’s Mati Greenspan explained, as noted by Forbes. “The fact that we failed to go further up speaks volumes about the current appetite, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it will go lower, as many bears have indicated,” Greenspan added:

In fact, in my view, the most likely scenario is that we now create a new range, or even, hopefully, a sustained stabilization … The market is clearly still excited.

bitcoin price equilibrium

Bitcoin Dominance

Though Greenspan and others have been apt to label the cryptocurrency market’s price action pre-Apr 2 “altseason,” one should note that Bitcoin (BTC) dominance has remained consistent throughout the year.

In fact, Bitcoin dominance only ever dropped below 50 percent once, on Apr 3, when it fell to 49.98 percent.

bitcoin dominance

Bullish on Bitcoin (BTC)

Many analysts have recently come back into the spotlight to share their newly-rekindled bullishness on the cryptocurrency market leader.

Xapo CEO Wences Casares, for example, believes that it would be “irresponsible” for any investor not to have at least a one percent position in bitcoin — citing the idea that the first and foremost cryptocurrency could be more impactful than the Internet.

Noted Bitcoin permabull Tom Lee also claims the sentiment surrounding Bitcoin has turned, while predicting that the cryptocurrency will hit $10,000 by the end of the year.

Even Binance Research has put forth data which may indicate that Bitcoin and brethren have bottomed out.

What do you think of Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market in April? Do you think we’ve seen the bottom, or are we in for more pain? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of CoinMarketCap, Shutterstock.

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4 Reasons to Be Bullish on Bitcoin and Altcoins, According to Brian Kelly

bullish bitcoin

Since bursting out of its rising wedge formation on April 2, the big question on everyone’s mind is: Has Bitcoin bottomed? CNBC’s resident Bitcoin expert, Brian Kelly, thinks so. 


The founder & CEO of BKCM LLC, a digital currency investment firm, stated his opinion on Bitcoin’s recent surge this week on CNBC Fast Money — claiming that he believes this Bitcoin revival is real.

“I actually think it is a Bitcoin resurgence,” Kelly told his fellow panelists, “I think there’s a really good chance that the December lows we saw in the $3000s were probably the lows for this cycle.”

bitcoin price chart

‘A Strong Fundamental Tailwind’

One reason Kelly believes Bitcoin’s resurgence is the real deal is that the first and foremost cryptocurrency has only been improving on the fundamental front — particularly in regards to network activity. He explained:

There’s a couple things that are going on. You’ve seen improving fundamentals. You look at active addresses — that’s one of the big metrics I look at. That’s up 26 percent from the January lows. You look at transaction levels. Those are back to 2017 levels. So there’s a lot of network activity.

As Bitcoinist previously reported, Bitcoin handled its 400 millionth transaction April 8 — an impressive feat which only solidifies the fact that the market leader is here to stay. Bitcoin has also seen nearly 400,000 confirmed on-chain transactions in a 24-hour period, the highest network activity since the price of BTC was over $10,000 in January 2018.

bitcoin etf date

Institutional Interest at an All-Time High

Kelly also notes that institutional interest for Bitcoin is growing rapidly, thanks to on-ramps from the likes of Fidelity and others. He explained:

Then you look at who’s buying this. You see people like Fidelity still rolling out their institutional platform. And then, as a proxy, look at the CME Bitcoin Futures. The large open-interest holders — so these are big institutions — those are at all-time highs. And it continues to grow. Last week they saw record volume on CME Bitcoin Futures. So you’re starting to see institutional investors come in here with a good fundamental tailwind and that’s got Bitcoin back in the saddle again.

Indeed, institutional investors surely have a keen interest in buying the bottom.

 

Bitcoin Will Surpass All-Time Highs ‘Without Question’

If the bottom is truly in, the next question is: how high does Bitcoin go from here? According to Kelly, Bitcoin will easily surpass previous all-time highs during this market cycle. In fact, it’s not even a question. He explained:

Without question, [we surpass all-time highs] this next cycle. You’re talking about probably a two-year cycle. Generally speaking, in 2020 the supply of Bitcoin is going to get cut in half. The cycle for Bitcoin is usually about a year before to a year after, so over this two year period you will likely get this big upswing and I think we surpass all-time highs.

Top Altcoins ‘Are Here to Stay’

For Kelly, Bitcoin won’t be the only cryptocurrency that benefits from the next bull run. According to the prominent CNBC analyst, the top altcoins have proven themselves as viable contenders after surviving this ‘crypto winter.’ He noted:

Well, so we had that insane ICO craze, right? And there’s a lot of junk out there. A lot of those have gone to zero. I think you’ve separated the wheat from the chaff. You’ve got a lot of good altcoins — let’s call them the top 10 or 20 in market cap — that I actually think are here to stay and will be big parts of the ecosystem.

What are your favorite altcoins for the next bull run? Will the Bitcoin price surpass all-time highs? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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PewDiePie Boosts Blockchain’s Legitimacy by Joining New Streaming Platform

Blockchain Offers Viable Alternative to Outdated Online Ad Tech

The most famous individual YouTuber ever, Felix Kjellberg — most commonly known by his handle, PewDiePie — has announced that he will be joining blockchain-based live-streaming platform DLive in an exclusive partnership. 


DLive is a live-streaming platform which aims to compete with prominent industry titans like YouTube and Twitch by rewarding both viewers and content creators — with the latter garnering a more favorable cut of the revenue earned. Specifically, DLive offers an estimated 90 percent of the profits from every subscription or gift, while the other 10 percent is put into a pool that rewards viewers with in-house Lino Points. Said points are actually cryptocurrency coins existing on the Lino blockchain and may be rewarded to viewers for watching, commenting, sharing, etc.

“Personally, I think it’s very cool to have a creator-based website actually putting creators first,” the top YouTuber stated, as noted by Sputnik International. “I’m really excited to finally be live streaming again!” he also exclaimed.

In celebreation, PewDiePie has promised to launch with a “pretty epic” live stream on April 14, where he will donate between $10,000 and $50,000 to upwards of a hundred other people streaming on DLive. Such a promotional effort is obviously favorable for the platform, with Lino Network’s co-founder stating:

PewDiePie has always been a fierce advocate for the value that creators bring with their hard work, time, and effort, and he believes in DLive’s vision. Our livestreaming platform has the potential to forever change how creators are represented in this industry, and we’re proud to have PewDiePie help us lead this charge.

The announcement also comes at a time when PewDiePie’s reign as the proverbial King of YouTube may be coming to an end, with Indian record label and film production company T-Series currently battling for the top spot — with less than half a million subscribers comprising the difference between the two.

What do you think of PewDiePie joining DLive? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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New York, New York: Bitstamp Obtains BitLicense, Plans to Expand Into US

nyc

Bitstamp now can officially offer cryptocurrency trading services in the state of New York after the state’s Department of Financial Services granted the exchange a BitLicense. 


Obtaining a BitLicense is undoubtedly good news for the traditionally European-focused Bitstamp, which will now find it easier to make inroads into the United States cryptocurrency trading ecosystem and expand its presence in the large North American market. Stated the Luxembourg-based exchange in an official announcement:

Bitstamp has always embraced regulatory efforts which focus on transparency and accountability that can help expand the industry. Obtaining a BitLicense is a key element in ramping up our presence in the United States, especially when it comes to working with institutional investors.

bitstamp

Acquiring a BitLicense is no easy feat in the restrictive state of New York. In order to obtain the somewhat-coveted permission slip, companies must adhere to a slew of strict requirements relating to consumer protection.

Many individuals in the cryptocurrency space are critical of the BitLicense — and for good reason. However, Bitstamp claims that the license essentially validates its operation as operating under the “same high standards followed by traditional financial institutions.” Notes the company:

Since we opened our doors in 2011, we’ve strived to not only be the most secure and trusted crypto exchange in the world, but to shape new frontiers for the industry by developing best practices in security and self-regulation. We look forward to carrying the lessons we’ve learned in Europe over the ocean and helping to develop a better environment for all crypto businesses, both in the US and worldwide.

Bitstamp was rumored to be close to finalizing a deal for the sale of the company to a South Korean gaming company nearly one year ago — but little information regarding the rumors followed.

What do you think of Bitstamp and New York’s infamous BitLicense? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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More Than Half of All Companies Will Use Blockchain Tech in 3 Years, Says Oracle VP

blockchain

The blockchain has become something of a buzzword over the past year or so, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a viable solution for many businesses. In fact, one expert believes the made-famous-by-Bitcoin technology will be used by upwards of 60 percent of companies. 


This projection comes from Oracle’s group vice president of blockchain product development, Frank Xiong, who told Forbes CIO Summit that he predicts “between 50% and 60% of companies will use blockchain in the next few years.”

Xiong knows what he’s talking about, too, since Oracle has more than 100 customers using its blockchain platform for the purpose of tracking items.

That said, the company vice president is also realistic in his assessment of the technology when he notes that it really isn’t the be-all-end-all solution for business. “We’re past the stage that blockchain can cure everything,” he told the American business magazine, “so people are becoming more realistic about what’s good for their business model.”

blockchain

Blockchain: Not For Everyone

Samsung SDS vice president in blockchain, Ted Kim, agrees that the nascent-but-growing technology isn’t for everyone. He told Forbes:

At the end of the day blockchain makes multipart collaboration more efficient, whether it’s having a consortium to track data on counterfeit getting into supply chains, or how much inventory you need to create a better forecast. There is tangible ROI in the blockchain.

Kim’s bullishness on the future of blockchain is more reigned in than Xiong’s. The former expects 20 percent of companies to use blockchain technology in three years.

amazon

Keeping The Status Quo

Of course, the possibility exists that decentralized blockchain technology will essentially just get co-opted by centralized companies, and the promise of freedom will be forgotten. Noted Bext360 CEO Daniel Jones:

People are predicting that the blockchain will allow people to be decentralized, that everyone will have distributed trusted networks. I don’t think that’s possible—I think what we’re going to see is companies vertically integrating, the Amazons of the world are going to continue to vertically integrate to the farm level.

Hence, Bitcoin.

What do you think about the future of blockchain technology in the business world? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Litecoin Price Continues to Rip Pre-Halvening, But May Need a Correction

litecoin

Litecoin (LTC) continues to lead the altcoin market with a recent push to establish an even higher level of support and sustain trading in a new range against Bitcoin (BTC). 


Litecoin’s Weekly Chart

When trading against Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC) has respected each level and zone created by a simple Fibonacci Retracement measure.

litecoin weekly fib levels

Chart courtesy of TradingView.

Litecoin broke out in February following news that the altcoin project plans on implementing confidential transactions as some point in the future. This news pushed the BTC valuation of LTC through the 0.236 level, which it respected until pushing up through above the 0.382 level.

With an increased amount of hype slowly building around Litecoin’s block reward halving in August, the BTC price of LTC pushed through 0.5 on recent days — while making an attempt to break straight through to the range between 0.618 and 0.786. However, LTCBTC has found rejection at this level, and it remains probable that Litecoin will need to cool off a bit by consolidating in the lower range.

That said, bullishness and FOMO (fear of missing out) can throw the guidebook out the window. We cannot rule out an impending push from the Litecoin bulls to take the price towards 0.02 satoshis per litecoin.

Litecoin’s Stochastic Weekly RSI

Like its big brother, Bitcoin, Litecoin has been hanging out in overbought territory for far too long — particularly on the weekly timeframe — according to the Stochastic Relative Strength Index indicator.

litecoin weekly stochastic rsi

When it comes to momentum indicators like the Stochastic RSI, the rule applies that what goes up must come down. At some point, LTCBTC will have to come down — but how hard will depend on a variety of factors.

The fact that Litecoin’s halvening event will come at the end of the summer makes us believe that a correction will not be terribly sharp — at least not until we come closer to the block reward halving. Consolidation above 0.016 satoshis would be particularly healthy.

What do you think of the price of Litecoin (LTC) compared to Bitcoin (BTC)? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of TradingView.

Trade Litecoin(LTC), Bitcoin (BTC), and other cryptocurrencies on online Bitcoin forex broker platform evolve.markets.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are not intended as investment advice.

 

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Bitcoin Price Bulls Show Up on Saturday, Push BTC Back Above $5100

bullish bitcoin

BTC bulls continue to push the bitcoin price higher, with the market-leading cryptocurrency up 2.56 percent on Saturday — as of this writing. 


Bitcoin’s Hourly EMA Ribbon Providing Support

On the one-hour chart for Bitcoin, the exponential moving average (EMA) ribbon has, thus far, provided significant support for the price of BTC.

bitcoin hourly ema ribbon

Bitcoin chart provided by TradingView.

The bitcoin price only dropped below the EMA ribbon once, on April 4 for a few hours, since commencing on its uber-bullish breakout rally. Since then, the ribbon has held strong as support for Bitcoin (BTC). This strong support has undoubtedly assisted in the price jumping up in recent hours.

Bitcoin’s Weekly EMA Ribbon Under Siege

Bitcoin’s recent price surge has, thus far, topped out almost exactly at the upper band of the weekly EMA ribbon. However, price continues to knock on the door, with the bulls working hard to get a weekly close above $5400. Such a weekly close would be exceptionally bullish but nonetheless remains a tall order.

bitcoin weekly ema ribbon

Weekly Stochastic RSI Refuses to Come Down

One potentially alarming factor for the sustainability of this impressive bitcoin rally is the fact that the weekly Stochastic Relative Strength Index (Stochastic RSI) refuses to come down from its extremely overbought levels. Instead, it is simply moving sideways while remaining maxed out.

bitcoin weekly stochastic rsi

What goes up most certainly must come down, but the Stochastic RSI is far from the be-all-end-all of technical indicators. The bitcoin price could well keep surging towards what will undoubtedly prove to be a staunch resistance at $6,000 before the weekly Stochastic RSI comes back down to Earth.

Where Does Bitcoin Price Go From Here?

Nobody has a crystal ball, but it stands to reason that bitcoin could very well continue to rally as FOMO (fear of missing out) continues to build. However, there remains very little chance that the price of BTC will be able to sustain levels above $5,500 for very long without a corrective move.

The $6,000 mark will almost certainly provide extremely strong resistance. Should price reach this point, a profit-taking event or corrective move is probable. Such a move could potentially turn out to be a significant shakeout before truly confirming a bull run — but such speculation on the future movements of Bitcoin are purely educated guesswork at this stage.

Trade Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies on online Bitcoin forex broker platform evolve.markets.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are not intended as investment advice.

What do you think about the current price of Bitcoin (BTC)? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


Images via TradingView, Shutterstock

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Cryptocurrency Startup Becomes Japan’s 2nd Billion-Dollar Tech Unicorn

billion dollars

Liquid.com, a Japan-based cryptocurrency platform, announced the successful closure of its Series C fundraising round, which saw the company achieve a total valuation of over US$1 billion — making it one of only two tech unicorns in the country’s startup industry. It took Liquid less than five years to achieve this prized $1 billion title. 


Series C funds will be used for the purposes of global expansion and product development.

Liquid’s Series C investment round was spearheaded by IDG Capital and Bitmain Technologies, one of the world’s largest (and most controversial) makers and users of cryptocurrency mining rigs. The former company is already invested in Coinbase, Ripple, Bitmain, and Kakao’s cryptocurrency company, while the latter has recently invested in ErisX, a derivatives-and-crypto asset trading platform with goals to gain a license from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

tech unicorn

Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu, who recently stepped down as CEO after a dismal year, stated via a press release:

Japan is one of the leading nations in putting crypto industry under proper regulations, and Liquid Group has proven itself to be the exemplary player within such compliant rules. This is a very important and unique moat amid global competition.

Young Gao, General Partner of IDG Capital, likewise stated:

IDG has been actively investing in the global crypto space since 2012, identifying some key players early. We came to realize that Tokyo has emerged as a top destination for crypto innovation and it is our honor to back such visionary pioneers as Liquid Co-founders Mike Kayamori and Mario Gomez Lozada to carry out this innovation.

bitmain

IDG Capital and Bitmain Technologies are not the only high-profile investors to pump funds into Liquid. The company has already raised more than US$20 million from JAFCO, SBI, B Dash Ventures, Mistletoe, and ULS Group, following a more than US$100m pre-discounted initial coin offering fundraising event — Japan’s first regulated ICO.

Liquid CEO Mike Karamori was understandably stoked following the successful fundraising round, stating:

As we enter into a new age of digital disruption in financial services, consumers are increasingly placing a higher value on digital assets and technologies they can trust and use with greater ease. Our vision is to make financial services accessible to all, which means bringing more people into the digital asset space so that anyone can be a part of it. This first round of Series C funding from our two highly respected investors, IDG Capital and Bitmain, puts us in an incredibly strong position to make a global impact in 2019.

What do you think of Liquid’s status as a tech unicorn after gaining major investments from Bitmain and IDG Capital? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Load The FUD: Is Bloomberg Intentionally Ignorant When It Comes to Bitcoin?

bitcoin denial

Bloomberg Opinion’s Europe columnist isn’t buying the Bitcoin price pump, and he thinks you shouldn’t either — but what’s he really on about? 


The price of Bitcoin (BTC) surged to slightly above $5,000 yesterday morning, which was cause for celebration for many Bitcoin bulls looking for signs of a market bottom. Some in the mainstream media, however, are still in the business of throwing shade and spreading some FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt).

In a column titled “Bitcoin Is Surging Again. Just Ignore It.” Leonid Bershidsky prefaces his opinion piece by stating, “Whatever the explanation, there’s no good reason to turn bullish on crypto.”

But is he really struggling to find a good reason? If so, we can help him.

bitcoin price

No Good News (Except The Good News)

Bershidsky boldly claims that there has been no good news about cryptocurrencies, stating:

There has been no good news about cryptocurrencies lately — they aren’t acquiring greater acceptance as investments or payments, and the crypto experiments of central banks, governments and major companies haven’t moved beyond dabbling. There’s been bad news, though — more big hacks, more dying currencies, more pump-and-dump schemes (sometimes, the extinctions and the schemes go together).

Maybe Bershidsky doesn’t read Bitcoinist or is intentionally oblivious.

Yesterday, Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, a second-layer scaling solution, reached a significant milestone of $5 million in capacity. Authorities at the Kiev City State Administration (KCSA) are reportedly re-examining the merits of adopting Bitcoin (BTC) payments in the city’s public transport system. Bitcoin’s on-chain transactions have steadily climbed and recently reached all-time highs. The town of Innisfil, Ontario will soon be the first municipality in Canada to accept bitcoin in payment for property taxes. And this is all in the past two weeks, alone.

Only someone intentionally disregarding fundamental developments in the Bitcoin landscape would state what Bershidsky states in his FUD-piece.

bitcoin price break $4000

Technically Speaking

Disregarding fundamentals, there are plenty of technical indicators per classical technical analysis theory to suggest a large green candle was inbound — but Bershidsky apparently disregards these, too, writing:

Given the small real trading volumes, any number of events could have caused Tuesday’s spike: A “mystery buyer” who placed a $100 million Bitcoin purchase order on multiple exchanges, or even trading bots going crazy over an April Fools’ Day story saying the SEC has approved two crypto exchange-traded funds. It could be neither: Perhaps enough retail investors saw all the optimistic tweets and drove the market up, which sparked a frenzy based on the fear of missing out, as sometimes happens in small, wild markets.

Bershidsky should have listened to Bitcoinist’s own FilbFilb, who clearly predicted this price increase was a strong possibility. The market-leading cryptocurrency was knocking on the door of its upward resistance — the top of a rising wedge formation. Breaking out of said wedge all but guaranteed an explosive move to the upside.

Overall, Bershidsky’s response to Bitcoin’s move should be disregarded, since taking advice on the cryptocurrency market from mainstream media FUDsters is rarely sound advice — especially when Bloomberg’s writers are rewarded for moving the market.

What do you think of Bitcoin’s price increase? Do you ever listen to Bloomberg when it comes to Bitcoin? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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‘Doesn’t Seem Like Too Many People are Selling’ – Says Bitcoin Market Analyst

buy bitcoin businessman

Today, Europeans woke up to a big green candle on the Bitcoin (BTC) charts. Naturally, everyone wants to know why. 


Searching For Reasons In All The Wrong Places

Everyone has their reasons for Bitcoin’s morning pump, of course.

Oanda Corp. told Bloomberg that the price movement is another example of Bitcoin’s immaturity, stating:

Bitcoin is still primarily retail-led. It’s still a relatively unsophisticated area of trading.

Some take a slightly different opinion and really don’t think the price movement is a big deal. According to Kenetic Capital managing partner Jehan Chu, today is nothing to write home about. Chu told the outlet:

The Bitcoin market and crypto market in general continues to be small relative to the rest of the markets — and emotional. It’s still very much subject to waves of enthusiasm. I don’t think today is anything special.

Bitspark CEO George Harrap meanwhile told the privately held financial, software, data, and media company that he is going to pause what he’s doing and see how things shake out from here. In regards to why Bitcoin pumped so hard, he stated:

The reason why? Anybody’s guess at the moment.

Joel Kruger, currency strategist at LMAX Exchange, however, said:

“Bitcoin has rocketed higher, to clear some major levels, breaking back above a consolidation high from back in December, to suggest it could be thinking about turning back up again in a more meaningful way,” said Kruger, who also noted that central banks may be responsible for dollar’s inflationary achilles heel against deflationary Bitcoin.

At a time when central banks have exhausted themselves with the unprecedented printing of money to keep sentiment running high and the global economy afloat, over a decade after the crisis of 2008, it would seem a peer-to-peer decentralized currency, with limited supply and an attractive technology that it rests on, could be a compelling alternative option.

Simple Technical Analysis At Work

In reality, there may be no guesswork needed.

Bitcoin price has been in the throes of a rising wedge for months, which some would say is a bullish pattern per classical technical analysis theory. Upon breaking out of the said wedge, a massive pump was to be expected.

“Bitcoin’s break above $4,200 this morning was critical, as the market had been watching that level for a while,” eToro’s Mati Greenspan correctly told CNBC, continuing: “No doubt some entry orders and stop losses were grouped right above.”

The analyst also noted that shorts on Bitfinex, one of the biggest bitcoin exchanges by volume, are at monthly lows, suggesting that traders may be gearing up for a prolonged rally.

“Bitcoin shorts…near their lowest levels since February,” he said.

So no, it doesn’t seem like too many people are selling the pop.

CryptoCompare’s Charles Hayter agreed, stating:

Bitcoin has been trading range bound for a while now and shaking off some of the negative sentiment that it accrued in 2018. This trigger was through volume-led price action driving the price and triggering algos on a breakout.

Bullish sentiment is also palpable on Bitmex, one of the largest Bitcoin margin trading platforms in the world. Longs to Shorts ratio currently leans toward the bulls at 62 to 38 percent, respectively.

Why do you think the price of Bitcoin (BTC) broke out this morning? Was it just technical analysis at work, or is there something else at play? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images via Shutterstock

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Randomized Proof of Work, Privacy, and its Own Lightning Network: Usechain Makes Bold Promises

The alpha version of the Usechain (USE) mainnet is now live, after more than one year in development. 


Usechain purports to be the first mirror identity blockchain project — but what does that even mean?

Randomized Proof of Work

According to Huining Cao, it’s all about Randomized Proof of Work (RPow). Cao told CNBC Africa’s Ran Neuner, according to a press release:

We map each person to the blockchain using Mirror Identity Protocol(MIP), so that each person can only have one account on the blockchain, there is a one-to-one correspondence. This allows us to use new consensus algorithm call Randomized Proof of Work(RPOW). Using RPOW, each account will receive a random number and this random number will be compared to a public random number to determine the likelihood of them to mine the next block. In this way, it will be very fast and energy efficient.

Providing Both Privacy and Regulatory Compliance?

The press release also notes that Usechain is apparently quite useful for law enforcement, as the network “can use multiple signature to have access to the ID information” of someone who uses the blockchain to evade taxes, fund terrorists, or launder money. (Nothing says economic freedom like the blockchain checking in on you.)

Though this sounds off-putting, Cao claims that Usenet almost miraculously provides privacy on top of this regulation-friendly behavior. HE stated:

However, the users also want privacy, so the hurdles to get to the intervention must be high; that’s why we use multiple signature. That is what we call a mirror identity. It is a muddled up identity that needs to be unscrambled. With this technology, we can build a blockchain platform that is compliant with regulation and provide financial services.

data privacy

Usechain’s Own Lightning Network

Usechain’s boldest promise, however, comes at the end of the press release, which states that it will “introduce lightning network-like channel technology in the future to scale up to one billion users.”

We’ll believe that when we see it.

What do you think of Usechain and its bold promises to provide regulatory compliance, privacy, and Lightning Network-like solutions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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From Bears to Bulls: Financial Advisors Change Opinions About Bitcoin After Crash Course

bullish bitcoin

Financial advisors only need to be educated on Bitcoin (BTC) to turn from skeptics to believers. 


Ric Edelman staged a Blockchain and Cryptoasset Pre-Event with Barron’s Top Independent Advisor Summit ten days ago. The event offered financial advisors Continuing Education Credits and was sponsored by major blockchain and cryptocurrency players Kingdom Trust, Bitwise Investments, Blockforce Capital, Fidelity Digital Assets, Grayscale Investments, Orion Advisor Services, Pantera Capital, State Street Global Advisors, and Van Eck. It was presented by The Advisor Blockchain and Crpyoassets Council.

At the event, no less than 155 of the United States’ “top financial advisors and influencers in the digital asset space” underwent a half-day of training and education pertaining to distributed ledger technology and cryptocurrencies / digital assets. Most of them went in as bears but came out as bulls — if an official press release is to be believed.

bitcoin bull

Newfound Bitcoin Bulls

According to said release, “virtually every participating advisor (96%) who completed a survey said they do not recommend cryptoassets to clients and almost eight in 10 (79%) do not plan to do so,” before the event.

Afterward, 89 percent held more favorable views towards cryptoassets and no longer considered Bitcoin (BTC) mere speculation. 82 percent, meanwhile, claimed they were more likely to purchase cryptocurrencies. 71 percent left believing Bitcoin would reach higher prices than they initially expected. Perhaps most importantly, 91 percent stated that they would cease discouraging their clients from purchasing cryptocurrencies.

Interpreting the results, Edelman stated:

This remarkable turnaround in attitude by these top financial advisors demonstrates the urgency of teaching advisors about this important emerging asset class. Advisors who can’t answer their clients’ questions about bitcoin will lose credibility with their clients, and they may end up losing the clients.

Who would’ve thought that a little knowledge on the subject would turn financial advisors into Bitcoin bulls? Now, they just need to read the whitepaper.

What do you think about financial advisors changing their opinions after a half-day of Bitcoin education? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock. 

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Formula One Launching Blockchain Game ‘F1 Delta Time’

formula one

Formula One, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile’s highest class of single-seater auto racing allowed, will see its owners, Liberty Media, launch a blockchain-based game in an effort to bring in a younger, more tech-oriented subset of fans. 


The game will come from Hong Kong-based gaming firm Animoca Brands and will be titled F1 Delta Time.

Non-Fungible Fun Time

F1 Delta Time will make use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as collectible elements. NFTs are a specific type of blockchain-based token that is verifiably unique and owned entirely by owner, who has the sole ability to sell, use, or trade it. For example, a player might own a car with unique characteristics or abilities that no other player owns, and the holder may decide to use it, sell it, or trade it. According to a report from Forbes, “all cars, drivers and components in the game are NFTs.”

Furthermore, all of the games NFTs “have special race day attributes that increase the chances of winning races and are produced in limited quantities as determined by their level of rarity.”

The game will launch in the near future, on May 10.

formula one

Brand Power

Formula One is one of the world’s most recognizable sporting brands, and its new blockchain-based game will almost certainly draw some level of attention to the increasingly-less-nascent technology. 1.6 billion viewers tune in to Formula One races, while 4.1 attend in person, according to Animoca. “Securing a partnership to make blockchain games with Formula 1 – one of the most recognized brands in sport – is a notable achievement,” Yat Siu, the company’s co-founder and chairman told Forbes. “We will leverage Formula 1’s considerable global reach to drive product uptake and revenue growth as together we seek to increase consumer exposure to Blockchain.”

The move from Formula One comes amid a declining audience in the sport’s most popular regions.

What do you think of F1 Delta Time? Will you play? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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We Can’t Take Wells Fargo’s and Mastercard’s Blockchain Bearishness Seriously (And Neither Should You)

blockchain

CEOs of major financial companies are jumping on the bearish-on-blockchain bandwagon, with both Wells Fargo’s and Mastercard’s CEOs telling CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin that blockchain’s utility in the business world is still unproven and unclear at the Fintech Ideas Festival on Wednesday. 


According to the American multinational financial services companies’ CEOs, blockchain technology is still overhyped and its use-cases for the industry are still unproven — which is almost downright laughable, given the fact that anyone reading this can transfer value overseas with Bitcoin (BTC) faster than they can with a Wells Fargo bank transfer (and for lower fees).

Despite the fact that Bitcoin’s blockchain (and others, for that matter) have proven themselves capable of facilitating speedy and low-fee trustless transactions, Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan thinks blockchain technology is overhyped. He stated on stage in San Francisco:

Blockchain has been way oversold. I think the fundamental technology is very interesting, but it’s been very slow to roll out […] If you turned the clock back a few years ago, it should have completely changed the industry — that’s just not the way it works.

Still, Sloan through in a little footnote, stating, “Over time, I think it’ll have an impact.”

You think?

wells fargo

Meanwhile, Mastercard CEO Ajaypal Banga also has some issues with the increasingly not-so-nascent technology, stating:

I think blockchain could be interesting, but the business model is not proven. A lot of this has to improve and change over time.

These statements were made together with Sloan, on the same stage, in a seemingly coordinated effort.

mastercard

It is worth noting that Mastercard, according to CNBC, as the third most blockchain patents. The company with the most, Bank of America, recently saw its Chief Operations Officer state that she is bearish on the technology:

I haven’t seen one [use case] that even scales beyond an individual or a small set of transactions. All of the big tech companies will come and say ‘blockchain, blockchain, blockchain.’ I say, ‘Show me the use case. You bring me the use case and I’ll try it’. […] I want it to work. Spiritually, I want it to make us better, faster, cheaper, more transparent, more, you know, all of those things.

bank of america

At this point, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to take these kinds of opinions seriously.

What do you think of Wells Fargo, Mastercard, and Bank of America’s bearish statements against distributed ledger technology? Do you agree that they are well aware of the use-cases for the technology, but merely spewing negative rhetoric for their own purposes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Envion AG Liquidated, FINMA to Continue Fighting Illegal ICOs

zug switzerland

FINMA, Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority, has found Envion AG guilty of receiving commercial public deposits from a minimum of 37,000 investors in the context of an initial coin offering (ICO). 


Envion AG is currently being liquidated.

FINMA’s enforcement proceedings against the company began in July 2018 and have concluded this month. Its investigation discovered that more than 90 million Swiss francs had been raised by the company in the form of an initial coin offering — a once-popular and now-notorious fundraising method that exploded during the cryptocurrency bull run of 2017. This initial coin offering was conducted without a proper statutory license and thus “seriously violated supervisory law,” according to an official press release.

The unlicensed ICO offered investors EVN tokens in exchange for US dollars, ether, or bitcoins. Token owners were reportedly granted “a claim to repayment after thirty years,” despite the fact that Envion AG lacked a banking license. Explains FINMA:

The conditions for the EVN tokens issued in a bond-like form were not equal for all investors, the prospectuses did not meet the minimum statutory requirements and there was no internal audit unit as required by law. In the present case, this acceptance of US dollars and the Ethereum and Bitcoin cryptocurrencies therefore amounted to an acceptance of public deposits for the purposes of the Banking Act. This however requires a banking licence.

FINMA

FINMA’s supervisory role, in this case, is now finished, as bankruptcy proceedings against Envion AG have been opened by the Cantonal Court of Zug. However, the financial regulator has noted that it “will continue to consistently take action against ICO business models which violate or circumvent supervisory law.” FINMA is not afraid to liquidate companies that ran illegal ICOs.

What do you think about FINMA’s actions against Envion AG? Do you think the initial coin offering (ICO) bubble has well and truly popped, or will security token offerings (STOs) and initial exchange offerings (IEOs) take its place? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Most Powerful Woman in Banking Bearish on Blockchain, But Amassing More Patents Than Anyone

2018’s most powerful woman in banking, Cathy Bessant, is admittedly bearish on distributed-ledger technology — despite the fact that the company for which she is the tech and operations chief, Bank of America (BofA), has the most blockchain patents in the financial services industry. 


Bank of America may be stockpiling blockchain patents like it’s nobody’s business, but Bessant apparently believes the technology may not amount to anything. She stated in an interview:

What I am is open-minded. In my private scoreboard, in the closet, I am bearish.

Bank of America Files Three New Blockchain Patents

Show Me The Use Case!

Bessant’s self-proclaimed bearishness stems from her belief that the technology made famous by Bitcoin (BTC) doesn’t have a viable use case — not even one. She stated:

I haven’t seen one [use case] that even scales beyond an individual or a small set of transactions. All of the big tech companies will come and say ‘blockchain, blockchain, blockchain.’ I say, ‘Show me the use case. You bring me the use case and I’ll try it’. […] I want it to work. Spiritually, I want it to make us better, faster, cheaper, more transparent, more, you know, all of those things.”

Bessant’s desire to make BofA better is apparently shared by others in the financial services giant, as the company has reportedly applied for or received 82 blockchain-related patents. As noted by CNBC, no other financial firm in the industry can rival that stockpile of patents — a fact confirmed by intellectual property law firm EnvisionIP.

JP Morgan, which recently announced its own in-house cryptocurrency, JPM Coin, only has six such applications.

jpmorgan

Who Will Use JPM Coin?

Regarding JPM Coin, itself, Bessant is equally skeptical, stating:

I will be curious to see what the actual volume of usage is on the JPM Coin in a year.

Considering BofA has such a healthy stockpile of blockchain-related patens for the sake of ‘future-proofing,’ it is possible that Bessant is choosing her words carefully to put off potential competitors from joining the blockchain race.

What do you think of Cathy Bessant’s supposed personal opinions on blockchain technology’s usability? Is she just posturing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Reuters, Wikipedia Commons.

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Cryptocurrency ATM Market Projected to Moon by 2024

bitcoin atm

According to a new report titled “Crypto ATM Market – Forecasts from 2019 to 2024,” the global market for cryptocurrency automated teller machines (ATMs) is expected to explode at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46.61 percent — reaching $183.779 million USD by 2024. 


Last year, the global cryptocurrency ATM market sat at $18.503 million USD, according to the report.

This booming growth is expected to be led by the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), which will increase demand for cryptocurrency ATMs, in turn. The hospitality industry is also expected to be a leading driver of cryptocurrency ATM adoption.

The main roadblock to cryptocurrency ATM adoption is government regulation, of course.

Bitcoin ATM

Increased Demand in the Asia Pacific

The report finds that North America and Europe unsurprisingly garner a large market share of the cryptocurrency ATM market, but the Asia Pacific region is expected to see an increase demand for the machines on account of “rising disposable income and growing popularity of cryptocurrency.”

Some of the major cryptocurrency ATM companies examined in the report are Genesis Coin, Inc., General Bytes, Lamassu, Inc., Bitaccess, Coinsource, Covault, and Mainstreet Automaten GmbH.

bitcoin atm

Cryptocurrency ATMs Already Spreading Like Wildfire

The report only confirms what many in the cryptocurrency industry already know — or, at least, suspect.

Chicago has recently seen a significant increase in cryptocurrency ATMs, thanks to Atlanta-based Lux Vending. The US population center now has nearly 100 such machines.

New York recently issued a precious BitLicense to Cottonwood Vending LLC, which has provided New Yorkers with 88 more Bitcoin ATM locations where they can purchase the market leader using cash.

Overseas, one of the largest banks in the Philippines, Union Bank, has collaborated with the Southeast Asian country’s central bank to launch a Bitcoin ATM — which will afford customers the abilities to both buy and sell bitcoins for cash.

What do you think of the proliferation of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency ATM machines around the world? How many Bitcoin ATMs do you think will exist in 2024? Let us know your projections in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Financial Action Task Force Calls For Stricter Regulation of Virtual Asset Service Providers

bitcoin bad

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) — an intergovernmental organization founded to develop policies against money laundering and terrorism financing — is even more squarely setting its sights on regulating, supervising, and monitoring providers of services for digital assets. 


Specifically, FATF has admittedly been working on an Interpretive Note to Recommendation 15, which defines how the FATF standards apply to activities or operations involving virtual assets. As has been the case for quite some time, the discussion is firmly centered on the idea that cryptocurrencies are used for money laundering and terrorist financing — despite the fact that many, like Bitcoin (BTC), feature a distributed public ledger that allows skilled investigators to trace immutable transactions that cannot be changed, altered, or deleted.

The Interpretive Note states that countries should define virtual assets as “property,” “proceeds,” “funds”, “funds or other assets,” or other “corresponding value.” As such,  “countries should identify, assess, and understand the money laundering and terrorist financing risks emerging from virtual asset activities.”

Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs), according to FATF, should be appropriately regulated and monitored. (Or, in another word, controlled.) “Countries should ensure that beneficiary VASPs obtain and hold required originator information and required and accurate beneficiary information on virtual asset transfers, and make it available on request to appropriate authorities,” states the Interpretive Note, while also stating that, “Countries should ensure that there is a range of effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions, whether criminal, civil or administrative, available to deal with VASPs that fail to comply with AML/CFT requirements.”

financial action task force (fatf)

In short, a prominent financial regulator unsurprisingly wants cryptocurrencies — which pose a significant threat to legacy financial institutions, central banks, the status quo, and those who aren’t particularly fond of individual financial freedom — to be strictly regulated and monitored.

Who would have thought?

What do you think about The Financial Action Task Force’s directions regarding virtual assets? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Australian Bank ANZ Still Doesn’t Understand Blockchain Technology

ANZ

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) has thrown some serious shade at distributed ledger technology — commonly referred to as ‘the blockchain.’ 


According to the third-largest bank by market capitalization in Australia, legacy financial institutions aren’t exactly under immediate threat from the trustless transactions introduced by Bitcoin (BTC) and its creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.

Maria Bellmas, ANZ Institutional’s associate director of trade and supply chain products, stated:

Blockchain has been the darling of the tech world for some time and increasingly so over the medium term, perhaps in part pushed by scorned crypto fanatics grasping for some justification of their obsession in the wake of the bitcoin collapse. Sold as a solution to all of life’s problems, blockchain offers a ton of legitimate solutions for businesses – but raises just as many questions.

One of those questions, according to Bellmas’, is why legacy financial institutions need blockchain technology to improve their offerings. She believes that traditional banks and the like “do not necessarily need it and are better off using existing good old databases and technology solutions.”

anz foreign exchange

Bellmas’ statements come shortly after JPMorgan Chase announced its own in-house cryptocurrency, JPM Coin. International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) also recently launched its blockchain-powered World Wire service, which aims to provide new financial pathways that both clear and settle cross-border payments almost instantaneously.

So, yeah … maybe those good old databases and technology solutions aren’t quite good enough. Still, that news apparently didn’t reach Bellmas, who continued:

The reality is a lot of the problems blockchain projects attempt to fix have already been solved by existing technologies. In many cases, a regular database can solve for the problem with more reliability and for much less cost than blockchain.

Bellmas failed to note which existing technologies, specifically, remove the need for a trusted third-party when transacting value across borders for virtually non-existent fees and in real-time.

What do you think of Bellmas’ statements? Do you agree that financial institutions do not need blockchain technology? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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