Guest Authors Archives - Crypto Bloomberg

Guest authorNovember 27, 2019
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2min98
First Licensed Blockchain Lottery Provider Joins SiGMA to Showcase its Blockchain Gaming Solutions

 

[27th , Nov, 2019, Douglas, Isle of Man] — Quanta Technology, the world’s first licensed blockchain lottery operator is heading to Malta hot after its successful showing at Singapore’s Blockshow Asia. Quanta will be exhibiting at SiGMA 2019 in Malta between 27th-29th November. If you are attending the event and are interested in how blockchain can be utilised in gaming please visit us at BR70. We will also be talking about the role of blockchain in fintech and payments at Tech Giants, Payment Solutions & Emerging Markets on 28th at 11:30-11:50.

 

Quanta is an innovative technology company that utilizes smart contracts to ensure fully automated and transparent blockchain-powered solutions. Quanta has built and operates the world’s first licensed blockchain-based lottery platform with plans to expand the reach of its products and services.

 

Satoshi Okubo, Marketing Manager: “Quanta is looking to establish its blockchain-based lottery and gaming solutions in markets and verticals that can most benefit from the characteristics of blockchain, whilst working seamlessly with traditional technologies. It is the beginning of our journey and we have big ambitions, seeing applications in high volume / low value markets that will leapfrog mature markets in their adoption of new technologies.”

Quanta’s blockchain-based random number generator, RANDAO, was rigorously tested and subsequently certified by NMi (now part of GLI). Quanta continues to expand its blockchain-based lottery solutions and is broadening its reach into other parts of the gaming ecosystem. Quanta is expanding its interest in Africa and plans to add new partners and markets to its established operations in Nigeria.

 

Press release

 


Guest authorNovember 14, 2019
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5min164

Blockchain, the tech that gave rise to the creation of Bitcoin, is arguably the most important innovation to come out of the ongoing fintech boom. As a decentralized, distributed, and immutable ledger, Fortunly attests that its disruptive prowess goes beyond the financial sector.

Imagination is the only limit to the number of blockchain’s feasible use cases. One of its most viable applications is proof of provenance.

As the global “ethical sourcing” movement grows stronger, the pressure on major brands across different industries to join the bandwagon mounts. Blockchain is the logical solution to rendering supply chains more traceable and transparent, which are key characteristics to satisfy the sensibilities of many consumers.

Here are a few brands that are integrating blockchain into supply chain management.

Volvo

As a strategy to stake out a claim for itself in the potentially lucrative worldwide electric vehicle (EV) market, Volvo is partnering with fintech firms to prove to consumers that it does not use child labor to manufacture lithium-ion batteries.

The Swedish automaker, with the cooperation of its battery suppliers, LG Chem and CATL, intends to use blockchain to track the journey of cobalt, a prized raw material for EV battery production, from the mineral’s point of origin to its XC40 Recharge.

Volvo’s move is consistent with the policies of some African countries to promote responsible mining. Nations such as Kenya and Rwanda are bent on reducing the demand for conflict minerals.

Topco

The largest food cooperative in America is adopting the Wholechain traceability system by Envisible. Topco wants to send a message to shoppers that its seafood items, such as shrimp and salmon, are sourced in an ethical and environmentally responsible way.

With the help of the Wholechain mobile application and QR codes, customers can easily learn about how the grocer’s products get from the sea to the store.

Walmart

The retail giant has teamed up with IBM to render its leafy greens seamlessly verifiable with blockchain. Using the IT corporation’s Food Trust platform, Walmart is requiring its vegetable suppliers to indelibly input data onto the blockchain to improve the tracking of goods.

Fonterra

Fonterra is one of the first partners of Alibaba in its blockchain-driven food traceability platform called Food Trust Framework. Thanks to this collaboration, the New Zealand dairy titan is able to bring its tracked goods to Tmall in China.

Martine Jarlgaard

A pioneering blockchain adopter in the fashion industry, designer Martine Jarlgaard has joined forces with London-based startup Provenance to tell the story of her collection. She used blockchain to record her supply chain in detail.

Using the QR code on the verified garment’s label, shoppers could see how the alpaca fabric made its way from a farm to Jarlgaard’s studio.

Helzberg Diamonds

The US jewelry retailer, along with three other parties, has tapped IBM to implement the TrustChain blockchain project. The initiative is designed to prove the legitimacy of its diamonds and gold by forcing supply-chain participants, such as miners and shippers, to build a shared, tamperproof record.

In addition to eliminating counterfeits, Helzberg Diamonds also hopes to capitalize on the tech to identify gems and precious metals coming from conflict areas with less difficulty.

Conclusion

Thanks to blockchain, average consumers are becoming empowered to scrutinize the supply chains of their favorite brands. Hopefully, more influential global corporations will follow the lead of these ethical vanguards to finally solve the many injustices in the world in the near future.

The infographic you can find here: https://fortunly.com/infographics/how-startups-disrupt-the-finance-ecosystem-infographic/

 

Guest Author: Stefan Ateljevic


Guest authorSeptember 26, 2019
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3min541

Hong Kong – September 27, 2019 – A new study conducted by QRC Group shows the blockchain industry has rebounded considerably from 2018 with very high investor and industry confidence (in part due to Facebook’s launch of Libra.) North America, South America, and Europe exhibit the highest confidence levels.

The research survey was titled “Global STO, Regtech Blockchain Industry Survey & Sentiment Analysis” and looked into the impressions of the current STO and blockchain industry held by industry professionals.

Fewer institutional investors are currently in the market. Investors’ stance in the market has shifted from “extreme caution” to a more neutral/normal stance concomitant with the blockchain/crypto recovery. The more aggressive investors are found in Singapore, North America, and South America. While there are more investors in Hong Kong per capita than other regions, they tend to be more conservative or extremely cautious.

CEOs looking for advisory firms to assist with STOs tend to look for technical expertise, experience, and connections to capital and investor networks. Each region has a different priority for these traits sought.

“We are very proud and excited to reveal our research results to the rest of the world,” said Shogo Ishida, CEO of QRC Group. “The STO and blockchain industry is currently in the midst of a great surge and professionals are beginning to trust the technology. Our report reflects this truth and we believe that many companies will begin to seek help and advisory to adopt the technology as a part of their business.”

Conducted in June 2019, the survey took a sample of 1871 respondents located primarily in North America (28%), Europe (and Russia) (18%), The Middle East (9%), Asia (23%), South America (3%), Africa (17%). This sampling and response provided 99% confidence +/- 2.98% error.

The survey comprised of CEOs (CXOs, Founders, Owners, Principals, Partners: (30%), senior management (VP, Director, SVP, EVP) (17%), mid-level management (14%), specialists / associates (9%), marketing and sales (5%), and investors (exclusively) (4%).

Visit our website to see the full research report. http://bit.ly/2nIjnDo

 

About QRC Group 

QRC is a RegTech and GovTech consultancy based in Hong Kong for the blockchain industry providing advisory services for STOs and IEOs and RegTech solutions globally. QRC is a recognized thought leader in RegTech, dedicating resources to supporting innovative RegTech technology, working on international standards for security tokens and partnering with academia including the University of Malaya and Taiwan Tech on RegTech and the re-structuring of capital markets using blockchain. QRC has an extensive global network including local lawyers, corporate finance agencies and broker distribution channels in the region.

 

Press release

Media contact: Al Leong

 

 

 

 


Guest authorSeptember 26, 2019
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7min570

If you are new to the world of cryptocurrency and looking to make your first Bitcoin purchase or get into trading, this guide will give you the ins and outs of how Bitcoin exchanges work. This is designed to provide you with related knowledge and help you make informed trading decisions.

Let’s get to it.

What is a Bitcoin Exchange?

There are a few ways of getting your hands on Bitcoin, none of them is particularly straight-forward. Buying cryptocurrency isn’t like walking into the local convenience store and picking something off the shelf.

Earlier, Bitcoin was easily mineable. With a bit of computing power, you could join mining pools that allowed you to harvest Bitcoin. However, the mining days are dying out. Although Bitcoin is still being mined, it is becoming increasingly difficult (impossible for anyone without sophisticated computer equipment and plenty of electricity) for even the most professional miners.

This means that for those looking to acquire Bitcoin there aren’t many ways available. You can either receive it as a gift or purchase it from someone who currently owns it. This is where the exchanges come into play. They facilitate the buying and selling of Bitcoin between the owner and the new acquirer and create a safe trading platform for this.

How Do Exchanges Make Money?

Exchanges will charge additional payment or fees on the transactions you make within the platform. This is akin to the fee structure of PayPal or other financial transaction processors. Some exchanges charge very high fees for their services because it is still expensive to send and receive money across borders. They lack the infrastructure to make the exchange process cheaper.

Other exchanges offer free or low-fee transactions, which you should be wary of. Some no-fee exchanges are looking to harvest your payment details to carry out scam activities. As mentioned above, it is still costly to transact across currencies and across borders. Even banks charge fees on foreign currency exchange. So, any platform that seems too good to be true should be given intense scrutiny.

Is there a way to enter the exchange “safe zone” though? Most reputable exchanges offer transactions with medium or market-rate fee levels. You will find that these exchanges are well-known, have been in operation for a number of years, and cooperate with the leading financial institutions.

Are Exchanges Safe?

Exchanges vary in their level of safety. Some take pride in their security processes, while others are a bit less risk-aware. Fortunately, the top-rated exchanges are regulated money service businesses that are bound to comply with the laws and regulations of the countries they operate in. Still, before joining any exchange site, check the certificates that they have.

Do I Need a Credit Card?

The answer is yes. But most big exchanges have full payment functionality and allow for bank or e-wallet transfers as well. Depending on which exchange you select you will find that there are different payment methods.

Some exchanges use the basic credit card payment system. Although it is easier to transact in this method, the credit card fees are inherently high. Other exchanges have switched to flexible platforms like PayPal to give users more payment-friendly experience.

What is a Wallet and Do Exchanges Have Them?

Like hard currency, your digital currency needs somewhere to be stored. We always advise using hardware wallets (detachable hard drives) and plugging them in only when you need to transact. Software wallets are also available. They are downloaded and function as a gate for cryptocurrency.

Exchange wallets are also available and come in two forms. Some exchanges provide free software wallets for their users to download. These are as effective as normal paid-for software wallets but they are free. The other version of the wallet is what you would view as your exchange account. Exchanges have to facilitate the buying and selling of the currency and in order to do this, they have collective wallets that hold user funds.

It is advisable to never leave all your cryptocurrency in the exchange account/wallet. Although some exchanges have never been hacked, it doesn’t mean that one day some clever hacker won’t be able to compromise them. It acts as one safety precaution that you, as a user, can take. So, remove funds from the exchange to your own private wallet.

Exchange Features

All exchanges have different features, interfaces, and functionality. No two are the same. This means that when you have selected your exchange you will need to become accustomed to all its features and how the platform works.

If you use an exchange for the first time, there should be either a tutorial mode that carefully explains how things work, or a “dummy” mode, which allows you to familiarize yourself with the exchange using fake funds. Which option works best for you will be down to your personal preference as we all have different ways of learning. It is crucial not to skip this step as it can prove costly to realize that you have lost money because you failed to learn how the platform works.

 

Guest author: Mary Ann Callahan

 

 


Guest authorSeptember 17, 2019
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5min725

One of blockchain-based tech’s big selling points is that it’s extremely secure. In theory, at least. The immutable nature of the data, the strict authorization process, and the decentralization of data all look good on paper.

Unfortunately, in reality, setting up a truly secure system is a little harder. Many of the cryptos currently on the market run in a way similar to Bitcoin. And, as we’ve seen, Bitcoin has proven that technology can work. In fact, the success of Bitcoin is one of the reasons that the world has sat up and taken notice of the tech.

The big concern for cybersecurity experts is where these systems need to interact with real-world systems. If we look at the most spectacular hacks, the failures are usually at the junctures between third-party apps and blockchain apps.

Personal Computers and Hot Wallets are Prime Targets

Part of what makes cryptos so secure is that you get along the cryptographic key. In theory, that’s a good thing. In practice, if you’re using hot storage it can be hacked. It was a hard-won lesson for the Japanese exchange Coincheck.

In January of this year, the exchange admitted to being hacked. The hackers stole in the region of $534 million worth of cryptos. As if that wasn’t enough, it now appears that the hackers gained access via employee’s personal computers.

The virus responsible for giving hackers access is said to have been delivered via email. And, while we’d like to give the employees some leeway here, the virus wasn’t even unique – it’s one that has been used before.

Someone at Coincheck slipped up badly. Had the staff been given basic security awareness training, this hack might not have happened at all. They did just about everything wrong:

  • They either didn’t use an effective anti-virus program or they didn’t bother updating it
  • The employees had access to the exchange’s network on their personal computers
  • The coins were obviously not stored in cold storage
  • Employees weren’t trained to detect potentially risky emails

It’s a lesson for investors – be careful which exchanges you trust with your coins. And, for safety’s sake, be sure to take out coins that you don’t need and use cold storage to protect them.

Smart Contracts

Smart contracts, though, are potentially the worst weakness in the system. The DAO hack exploited a loophole in the code. This loophole allowed them to get away with 3.6 million Ether coins.

Now, most people would think it would be simple enough to reverse the fraudulent transfers as they had to sit in a child account for a fixed period before they could be used. That highlights another big flaw when it comes to blockchain-based tech – you can’t reverse transactions.

To deal with this issue, the DAO had to create a hard fork. In this case, they reverted the chain to a time before the hack took place. Users could vote to upgrade or stay on the same chain.

That’s why there are now two Ethereum blockchains operating more or less independently of one another.

This hack highlighted a very serious problem when it came to smart contracts. These contracts are only as good as the code they’ve been based on.

What’s the Solution?

It appears that the tech that has been billed as “unhackable” has some kinks to be worked out. In all fairness, considering that it’s only about a decade old, there were bound to be teething problems. It is possible to hack the tech, but why bother when personal computers and hot storage give you access to such a vast sum in coins?

 

Chris Usatenko
Growth Marketing & Blogger

More about Cyber Security: https://www.everycloud.com/cyber-security-facts


Guest authorSeptember 3, 2019
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4min955

 

There are many reasons why people would want to sell their Bitcoins. If it is time to get out of the crypto fad or you just want to sell them for profit, then you need to know more about the process. Because there are many risks involved, though there is a claim that blockchain technology is the safest, it is good to take all of the necessary precautions.

You are likely to face challenges at times during the selling process. But the good news is that we will take you through this in the easiest way possible. Read on to learn more.

 

Selling with Everyone Else is Not Good

If you are planning to sell your Bitcoins when everyone else is, you may face several problems including running at a loss. Remember that a high supply leads to a low selling cost of Bitcoins. This is also the time when mistakes may happen, including hacking and fraud because people are busy looking for buyers. You can follow the procedures below to sell your Bitcoins successfully.

 

Creating an Exchange Account

If you are holding any Bitcoins, you can sell them successfully through a reputable exchange account. Most buyers come here to look for sellers because they trust these platforms. Furthermore, your Bitcoins and accounts will be protected from fraudsters who are always ready to con you.

This is the main essence of an exchange account. Their environment is the best whether you are selling for the first time or not. If you are looking for a reputable one, you can check out Nakitcoins for more information and guidelines.

 

Create a Secure Wallet and Sell Order

Before you sell the Bitcoins through an exchange account, they will need to be in a secure wallet provided by the exchange account. Once it is set up, you can now move the Bitcoins from whatever account they are in into the wallet. Only move the number of coins that you intend to sell for security purposes.

When they have been successfully added, you can place a sell order so that they will be visible to the buyers. The steps to do this may vary depending on the exchange platform that you are using. However, it is a straightforward process that is simple even to novices.

 

Receiving Funds and Transferring to Your Bank

As soon as your Bitcoins have been bought, the money will be credited to your account on the exchange platform, and it is up to you to transfer the money to your bank. Although it is not recommended, some people leave their money in the exchange account if they are planning to buy Bitcoins after a few days. If you are not such a risk-taker, you can only call the transaction a success when the money is settled in your bank account.

 

Conclusion

Selling Bitcoins is easier than many people think. When the above simple and straightforward steps are followed, you can rest assured that it will be a success. Although there are other ways to sell like to individuals and through Bitcoin ATMs, using a reliable exchange program remains the best option.

 


BrankoJune 3, 2019
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17min461

May 31: The week ended with a steep dump all across the crypto market, but the majority of crypto assets still achieved positive gains for the week, and some assets even set yearly highs before the decline. Market sentiment is increasingly bullish, as bitcoin crossed 9K USD mark for a short period and on-chain transactions and hashrate is nearing ATH levels. Traditional companies are continuing to launch their solutions related to blockchain technology or crypto assets and Tezos stakeholders successfully upgraded the network via a three-month-long process. We further explore what might be additional factors behind the recent surge in the crypto market.

 


NOTEWORTHY NEWS

Wall Street’s FOMO: Grayscale Gobbling Up 21% of Newly Mined BTC—May 29, Bitcoinist

According to a recent tweet by Bitcoin analyst Rhythm, Grayscale bought more than 11,000 BTC in April 2019. With 54,000 BTC being mined per month, the largest cryptocurrency asset manager is buying up about 21 percent of the monthly bitcoin supply. This suggests an increasing demand for crypto assets from Wall Street.

 

First Tezos Amendment Protocol Activates Network Upgrade-May 30 Coindesk

After three months of on-chain voting, the first Tezos Amendment Protocol process has been completed, and two backwards-incompatible changes have been automatically activated. The baking roll was reduced from 10K to 8K XTZ, and the block computation limit was increased. This is the first network hard fork executed via such a process, with more than 80% of stakeholders casting their vote.

OUR OPINION: The successful activation could be important not just for Tezos, but for the governance of public blockchains in general, which are currently governed by informal DAOs. This was the first amendment process where the activity of stakeholders was more significant than the network upgrades themselves and was a social and technological experiment. In this upgrade, no changes were contentious, and the real test of this governance approach will be tested when the majority of stakeholders split into two or more camps regarding the best approach for further progressing the network, as Bitcoin experienced, resulting in a network and community split.

 

JP Morgan Blitzing Towards Privacy for Its Ethereum Fork, Quorum—May 31, Blockonomi

Banking giant JP Morgan is continuing to build out the privacy functionalities of its permissioned Ethereum fork, Quorum. The bank’s blockchain developers have built out a modified version of Zether, a zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) system that allows users to conceal transaction amounts on Ethereum or similar account-based smart contract blockchains, e.g. Stellar. Morgan’s rendition, “Anonymous Zether,” goes one step further, allowing users to obfuscate their identities in addition to the transacted sums.

 

Yahoo! Japan to Enter the Crypto Trading Fray with Upcoming Taotao Launch—May 28, CCN

Yahoo! Japan is launching its FSA-licensed cryptocurrency trading platform Taotao on May 30. It is rumored that the new exchange will largely focus on BTC and ETH spot trading, and options trading on BTC, ETH, BTC, LTC, and XRP are expected. They have also announced that these are only the first offerings and additional crypto assets might be listed later.

OUR OPINION: This is a positive development, as it means more traditional financial firms are entering the crypto exchange business, improving ease of access for institutional investors and risk-averse individuals and increasing the legitimacy of the asset class. Such services, especially outside the US and licensed by a relevant financial authority, are much needed for the possible crypto ETF in the US. One of the main reasons the SEC has not approved a crypto ETF yet is the limited ability of the SEC to prevent spot price manipulation. Cryptocurrencies are global assets not limited to a single juridistriction, meaning financial authorities need to cooperate in order to surveil spot markets and prevent illicit activity. Licensed exchanges from reputable companies in countries where crypto trading activity is high are a positive sign for the convergence of cryptocurrency and traditional financial companies.

 


 DIGITAL ASSETS ON THE MOVE

Possible Reasons Behind This Spring’s Price Surge

The crypto market started to surge rapidly in the beginning of April; here are some possible reasons why. 

Since crypto became more popular, several individuals and companies have developed many different metrics and approaches to analysing crypto networks and native cryptocurrency price dynamics. While many fundamental metrics and statistics are being widely used and interpreted today, only a few of them are resistant to manipulation. For example, social metrics from different social networks can be manipulated by bots and fake accounts, and the focus of the average investor can also be manipulated by timing news to create social buzz. On-chain statistics like number of transactions can also be manipulated, especially on networks with low or zero-fee models.
One factor that is set in stone and cannot be manipulated that has great impact on network economics and native coin price dynamics is block reward halving. The next block reward “halvenings” are less than one year away for several large networks: Litecoin is 66 days away from a 25 LTC to 12.5 LTC halvening, and Bitcoin is 356 days away from reducing the block reward from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC. Many other Bitcoin forks will have halvenings in a similar time period. Halvenings have an important impact on the price of native coins because the constant selling pressure from miners is cut in half; currently miners mine approximately 1,800 BTC per day, the majority of which is most likely sold to cover costs.
Large IT and financial companies around the world are launching products based on blockchain technology. While this is not directly related to cryptocurrencies, as most of these products are permissioned and offer completely different solutions, they are still based on the same technology, which raises the general level of knowledge and interest. Facebook’s Libra project can potentially introduce their stablecoin to millions of users (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp), who will be more open to real cryptocurrencies after they have some experience with similar technology.
As prices achieved new 2019 heights, social sentiment became more bullish and prices started to react more to positive news and developments. Many projects are exploiting this fact, so we see more “announcements of an announcement.” Such announcements can be about real development progress, but the crypto industry has already figured out that hype is more important for short-term price increases than actual positive development. Short-term price increases later have a multiplicative effect, as they raise even more interest and are generally a very effective marketing tool. For example, Daniel Larimer, the founder of EOS, has been hinting at a big announcement on June 1 by Block.one (B1); at the same time, B1 is conducting share buybacks and has bought a large amount of RAM, a resource on the EOS blockchain. Coinbase is also planning to capture some of the hype, as they have just listed EOS on Coinbase.com. The same positive sentiment was recently exploited in China, where gambling is very popular. Fake news that Craig Wright had proven himself to be Satoshi by transferring 50K BTC from one of the early addresses that was used to mine some of the earliest blocks by Satoshi was shared on social media, resulting in a more than 100% increase in the BSVBTC market in a span of 24 hours.
Lastly, the Tether USDT supply is growing quite fast and is currently at ATH with 3.125B tokens issued. Many things have happened with Tether and Bitfinex lately, including the clarity that reserves can include crypto assets such as bitcoin. According to Bitfinex, their 1B USDT IEO for LEO tokens was successful, but the whole situation is not very clear for those not directly associated with the organisation. Given everything that happened, it is hard to imagine who would deposit fiat with Tether and issue USDT this days. Nevertheless, there is still a possibility that issued tokens are being used to purchase crypto assets that then serve as a reserve, especially when the USDTUSD market is above 1.

 


 MARKET OVERVIEW & METRICS

Weekly Market Overview, 24 to 31 May 2019. Source: Coin360

Weekly Crypto Stats

  • Global network value is $261.65B, with a 6% weekly delta.
  • Global crypto market turnover is $101.32B, 1% from ATH.
  • Real 10 market turnover was $5B, 114% weekly delta.
  • Bitcoin dominance is 56.3%, with -0.9% weekly delta, and beta of 0.85.
  • Ethereum dominance is 10.49% with 1.8% weekly delta, and beta of 1.26.
  • Bitcoin hashrate is 59.33B TH/s, with 12.67% weekly delta.
  • Ethereum hashrate is 164.79K GH/s, with 2.79% weekly delta.

 


CHART OF THE WEEK

Bitcoin mining difficulty—an indicator of how strong Bitcoin network security is—has just hit an all-time high.

Source: Source: Twitter @kerooke

Information provided above is not to be considered as an investment advice.

ANNOUNCEMENT

Block Analitica, the company behind Squared Capital, has just launched its digital asset metrics dashboard to the public. Though still in beta, if you are interested in a more in-depth analysis of blockchain fundamentals — everything that’s happening with stablecoins, development activity, exchange balances, and much more — we invite you to register for a free account.


BrankoMay 5, 2019
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12min447

May 3: Bitcoin is seemingly waking up from its long winter sleep, but the reasons for its recent spike don’t have much to do with the oldest cryptocurrency’s fundamental developments. The overall crypto market capitalization increased by 6.24% this week, quickly turning the crypto community’s sentiment more positive. While India is looking into banning all public cryptocurrencies, rumors about Facebook’s coin are slowly gaining some solid ground. The current USDT situation is something the crypto market doesn’t seem to mind much, but it could end badly if the Bitfinex/Tether drama doesn’t get resolved in the public’s eye sometime soon, causing a market-wide selloff due to panic.

 


NOTEWORTHY NEWS

Indian Government Again Discussing Ban on Cryptocurrencies —Apr 26, Coindesk

The government of India is said to be renewing its efforts to completely outlaw public cryptocurrencies. A recent report citing anonymous “government officials aware of details” said that a number of government departments in India have backed the idea of a complete ban on the issuance and trading of cryptocurrencies. Banks in India were barred by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last year from serving cryptocurrency firms and exchanges. Since then, a number of exchanges have filed legal petitions to overturn the RBI ban. The next Indian supreme court hearing regarding the subject is scheduled to take place in July.

High-Speed Traders Don’t See an Alternative to Tether—May 2, The Block

The ongoing Tether-NYAG dispute surprisingly did not reflect significantly on the price of tether over the past week. There are not many opportunities to short tether at the moment, because a lot of institutional investors are unwilling to lend the stablecoin out due to increased risk. Given the popularity of USDT, no other stablecoins in the market can substitute for it in the near future.

 

Facebook Seeks $1B for FB Coin Amid Talks With Visa, MasterCard—May 3, Cointelegraph

Citing people familiar with the plans, it was revealed that Facebook is talking to major payment networks—namely Visa and MasterCard—about potential support, along with payment processor First Data Corp. Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, dubbed “FB Coin,” has been fuelling rumors for about a year. According to the rumors, Facebook wants to provide in-house payments to users. As more information reaches the outside, it appears various payment options are under consideration by executives, including payments via users’ Facebook profiles.

OUR OPINION: Facebook is clearly looking to extend its reach into our lives by creating something in the form of a mobile wallet focusing on banking-like services for its users. Banks’ revenue per customer is said to be $800 per year, while Facebook’s average revenue per user is $7 per year. Putting these numbers together, Facebook adding payment services represents an opportunity for 100x growth. With its existing enormous ecosystem, Facebook could quickly grow—or even enforce—the adoption of their own cryptocurrency, even if in a more centralized way. An interesting thought here is that Facebook will not necessarily compete directly with other public blockchains such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, but rather with services like Google Pay and Apple Pay.

 


THE WEEK AHEAD

BTC/USD Trading at a $400 Premium on Bitfinex

The Bitfinex BTC/USD price difference on Bitfinex compared to the BTC/USD pair on BitMex has crossed $400 today, which is the highest it’s been since November when BTC broke $6k and fell by nearly 50%. 

One trader says, “This price difference is a measure of the market’s lack of confidence in Bitfinex’s solvency. The simplest interpretation is that insiders who were confident in solvency are losing confidence and getting out and this will not end well.”. 

The situation with Bitfinex’s premium, while at the time of this writing bitcoin is trading at north of $6k, means that people are willing to pay a premium for bitcoin in order to get out of USDT, which is only 74% backed by USD or equivalent assets, so many consider it a very risky position to hold. Meanwhile, the USDT price on Bitfinex remains steadily above its $1 peg, trading at $1.05, while most other exchanges where USDT trading pairs are available have it trading below $0.99. This percentage difference is then reflected in the $400 premium evident on Bitfinex.

 

 


 MARKET OVERVIEW & METRICS

Weekly Market Overview, 26 Apr to 3 May 2019. Source: Coin360

Weekly Crypto Stats

  • Global network value reached $180.4B, with 6.24% weekly delta.
  • Global crypto market turnover was $47.94B, 33.4% from ATH.
  • Real 10 market turnover was $1.2B, -46% weekly delta.
  • Bitcoin dominance is 54.9%, with 0.18% weekly delta, and beta of 0.83.
  • Ethereum dominance is 9.68% with -1.93% weekly delta, and beta of 1.30.
  • Bitcoin hashrate is 54B TH/s, with 4.91% weekly delta.
  • Ethereum hashrate is 153.39K GH/s, with 4.63% weekly delta.

 


CHART OF THE WEEK

Despite the bear market, the percentage of people who indicated that they are “very” or “somewhat” likely to buy bitcoin in the next five years rose by nearly half , from 19% in October 2017 to 27% in April 2019.


This content has been put together by Marko Štemberger and Tilen Držan. Feel free to contact us for any feedback or if you have questions.

Information provided above is not to be considered as an investment advice.

ANNOUNCEMENT

Block Analitica, the company behind Squared Capital, has just launched its digital asset metrics dashboard to the public. Though still in beta, if you are interested in a more in-depth analysis of blockchain fundamentals — everything that’s happening with stablecoins, development activity, exchange balances, and much more — we invite you to register for a free account.


Joe Duncan (IRIS)February 20, 2019

8min590

Blockchains Can Scale to Enterprise Levels, Here’s Why

In a television interview last month, I compared the state of blockchain adoption to a 4-stage relay race, saying we’re at stage 3 where the baton is being passed from anarchist-early adopters onto enterprisers. In a subsequent follow-up interview on February 8th, I said the portal to mass scale consumer adoption in the U.S. would be thru the banks, given their large existing footprint into 94% of U.S. households. I also put a time frame on it of 2 years, which at that moment may have seemed ambitious. If anything, the announcement from JPMorgan the following week about launching its own coin may already render that outlook conservative! This leads directly into the final point I wish to make at this time regarding the odds and pace of mass scale blockchain consumer adoption.

If an outlook, forecast or “bet” (for lack of a better word) comes down to technologists solving for scale … I say take it, take it every time … they always come thru for us and often exceed their own expectations.

In the February interview, I also said the largest hurdle to enterprise blockchain adoption at this stage is scale; expressed as transactions per second (tx/s) the enterprise payment processing standards Visa and Mastercard routinely process 2,000 tx/s and exceed 50,000 tx/s during holiday peak seasons, versus a paltry-looking 7 tx/s for the current Bitcoin and Ethereum networks. However large that gap may seem, there are already distributed ledger projects approaching those levels and beyond, with many competing approaches and efforts in the works. More generally, we should all derive confidence from technologists on this point – if there’s anything we can count on them getting right it’s scale: 

  • They did it with storage where one can now rent a whopping 2 terabytes in the cloud for about $10/month (depending on provider); 
  • They’re doing it with 5G bandwidth which is “100 times faster than the previous cellular technology, 4G LTE” to address the so-called “last mile” problem;
  • And perhaps the most famous scaling achievement thus far is computing power; largely attributed to former Intel CEO Gordon Moore and thus known as “Moore’s Law“, it is a forecast originated in the 1960s which stated that integrated circuit silicon chip productivity would double about every 18 months. Initially projected to hit a ceiling in the mid-1970s, this productivity increase has only begun to observably slow recently (although some would argue the data coming in is still too early to officially declare the law expired).

In any case, the technologists exceeded their own expectations by at least 4 decades!

“The existing Visa credit card network processes about 15 million Internet purchases per day worldwide. Bitcoin can … scale much larger … for a fraction of the cost. It never really hits a scale ceiling.” Satoshi Nakamoto, April 2009

Back to blockchains, the beauty of the current race to scale for mass consumer adoption is that we don’t need to predict some intricate trifecta or even which “horse” will cross the finish line first, we just need at least one of them to do it.

With regard to scale and the protocol described in the Bitcoin whitepaper, Satoshi Nakamoto had this to say: “The existing Visa credit card network processes about 15 million Internet purchases per day worldwide. Bitcoin can … scale much larger … for a fraction of the cost. It never really hits a scale ceiling” [full quote here]. On the outlook of future metrics, the pseudonymous character also asserted: “I’m sure that in 20 years there will either be very large transaction volume or no volume.” Halfway thru the experiment and with the Bitcoin network alone managing in excess of 300,000 transactions per day (at the time of this writing), I think it’s safe to say we’re past the “no volume” threshold, and well on our way to “very large transaction volume.”  

In a nutshell, if an outlook, forecast or “bet” (for lack of a better word) comes down to technologists solving for scale (once identified as the key constraint) I say take it, take it every time … they always come thru for us, and often exceed their own expectations.


Stefan (Iris)February 14, 2019

5min644

A Guide To The Blockchain Tech

A lot has been said about Bitcoin. A lot has been said about Bitcoin. This blockchain-based cryptocurrency is the first but, as you’ll see from Bitcoinfy’s infographic below, not the only one of its kind. It has changed the way we do ordinary and business transactions. Although many investors virtually made a fortune when Bitcoin reached its peak by the end of 2017, its volatile price has been the main reason why new investors shy away from the currency. However, most of them would still agree that it is the best cryptocurrency at the moment, despite thousands of other crypto alternatives.

What are Bitcoin and Blockchain?

Bitcoin was launched in 2009 by an unidentified person under the alias of Satoshi Nakamoto. The platform which Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies utilize is known as blockchain. This is a P2P-based digital, decentralized, and distributed ledger that stores data in blocks. The entire system is arranged in such a way that hacking or deleting these blocks is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Only authorized parties are able to make legitimate changes to the system.

Concepts Related to Cryptocurrencies

Mining

The invention of Bitcoin brought us a lot of new concepts. One of them is the so-called Bitcoin mining. You might have heard about mining cryptocurrencies. Simply put, mining is a process on the blockchain network by which network nodes verify transactions. After the verification, transactions are added to a new block of data. As a reward for their computing power, miners (owners of the nodes) are given a specific amount of the mined cryptocurrency (for example, 12.5 bitcoins). 

 

Wallets

Crypto wallet is another popular term in the cryptocurrency world. As the name suggests, it is a digital wallet used to store cryptocurrencies. It is not possible to own a digital currency without owning one of the countless wallets out there. They are quite easy to open and handle. Many have only the basic functions, such as “send” and “receive” funds, so you need to have basic computer and smartphone skills to operate them. However, you should always go for the one that offers a high level of security. Note that if you ever lose access to your account, it is not possible to retrieve it and your coins are gone forever.

ICOs

Perhaps you are aware of another popular cryptocurrency item – initial coin offerings (ICOs). Before a crypto startup launches its product and crypto coin, they might run an ICO to collect funds for further development. It goes like this. You believe that startup X has a promising future. You can buy its tokens on presale during its ICO for Bitcoin or Ether (another popular cryptocurrency). If everything goes according to the startup’s business plan, the tokens you purchased will significantly increase in value (sometimes more than 1,000%) in the future, and then you can sell them, getting yourself a nice return on investment. 

What Is Next for Bitcoin?

Bitcoin has made a name for itself over the years, but there seems to be a general declining of its value. However, this trend might be only temporary, and we could see it reaching a new all-time high level pretty soon. Unfortunately, it is not possible to predict future developments. All we can say at this moment is that Bitcoin and blockchain adoptions are growing at an unprecedented rate. This is good news, and we should hope for the best.



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