Luka Kovič, Author at 21000NEWS

Luka KovičNovember 26, 2018
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3min637

The #1 cryptocurrency could soon overtake Mastercard’s daily transfer volume, judging by the official numbers released by Mastercard. This means Bitcoin is becoming a serious rival of the leading traditional money transfer system.

According to company’s public records, Mastercard has a daily volume of $11 billion, while Bitcoin on the other hand, transfers around $8 billion per day, meaning that it moves 73% of Mastercard’s volume. While Bitcoin daily transfer is especially noteable given the current situation in the crypto markets, it may seem that the cryptocurrency is already moving amount comparable to those handled by Mastercard.

Mastercardreports that it has processed transactions worth a incredible $4.4trillion since the beginning of the year. Although there’s no such statistic accessible for Bitcoin, it’s possible to accumulate it’s daily transfers. Supposably $8 billion daily transfer volume would mean Bitcoin could have an annual volume of $3 trillion, which is a incredible number for any transfer system, especially a cryptocurrency.

Ethereum, which transfers the second-highest daily volume, processed around $600 million in the 24-hour span. That would mean it equals approximately $0.25 trillion annualy. Moreover, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash are also having a noteable amount of daily transfers, approximately $170 million and $120 million, respectively.

Despite having a far lower capacity in transactions per second, it could be speculated that all cryptocurrencies put together could rival Mastercard’s daily transfers. While Mastercards volume mostly stems from small purchases, cryptocurrency transaction could be worth millions. Although Mastercard’s main rival is Visa, which is handling 65.000 transactions per second, processes around $30 billion daily volume, that equals  roughly $11 trillion a year. Given that Bitcoin supports 7 tx/s on-chain, it would equal only 0.01% of Visa’s transaction capacity, the premier cryptocurrency still transfers around 25% of the value processed by Visa.


Luka KovičNovember 26, 2018
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3min390

In the course of last fourteen days, Bitcoin and the crypto market has taken a pummeling, as we seen major price drops, which caused Bitcoin holders to experience losses up to $2.600 per coin. 

The price of Bitcoin has dropped below $4.000 for the first time since September of last year, trading to an average price of $3.970, falling 40% in last 10 days, or staggering 80% of its all time high $20,000 back in December. The price downturn of #1 cryptocurrency also reflected on the global crypto market, experiencing losses of 18 billion U.S. Dollars, with total market cap of 132 bil., at the press time.

But Bitcoin is not the only one taking a beating, as Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC) also reached lows of 2018 with price of $111 and $29, respectively. Other altcoins in TOP10 category have lost from 10-15% according to Coinmarketcap, with Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Stellar (XLM), Monero (XMR) and Cardano (ADA) being the worst performers.

The price drop could be due to several reasons, one of them being the discovery of price manipulation of Tether. Researchers have found out that the company have been printing Tether (USDT), cryptocurrency backed by 1 USD per coin, without any backing. This could be done to drive up market prices, so the U.S. Justice Department launched an investigation. One of the possible reasons for the downturn could be the SEC (Security and Exchange Commission) issuing its judgements on two ICOs; they had to return up to $27 million to investors, and paying $250.000 fines in addition to other penalties.

“We have made it clear that companies that issue securities through ICOs are required to comply with existing statues and rules governing the registration of securities,” said Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC Enforcement Division.

Analysts are also mentioning another reason, that is Bitcoin Cash hard fork. The lack of consensus between Roger Ver and Craig Wright caused the coin to fork, splitting BCH community. While all this could be the reason for downturn, it might be none of the above. The market could just be correcting itself due to extreme volatility and a profusion of people investing in it.


Luka KovičNovember 13, 2018
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On 31st of October Bitcoin became 10 years old and the currency has much to show in this decade. In 2008 Satoshi Nakamoto, »the father of bitcoin«, authored the Bitcoin white paper, simply called ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.’ The publication was then sent to selected cryptographic experts, who were among the first to get to know and develop the digital currency as we know today.

There are many mysteries surrounding mr. Nakamoto and his true identity, which to this date, still isn’t known. There were some theories, that the name Satoshi is combined from companies like Samsung (SA), Toshiba (TOS) and Hitachi (HI), but there is no official proof that this may be true. However, Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious creator of bitcoin »dissappeared« in 2011 with a simple message: ‘I have moved on to other things’.

Looking back to the beginning, a short amount of people actually knew about Bitcoin, most of them probably didn’t even know it could change the financial system we knew, forever. Very first transactions were made to test the network, soon after, in March 2010 the first Bitcoin exchange emerged, simply called BitcoinMarkets.

One of the most famous Bitcoin transactions also happened in 2010, with a guy named Laszlo Hanyecz, who started a thread on a bitcoin forum in which he offered 10.000 bitcoins to someone willing to offer a couple of large pizzas. Back then, he would get 41 U.S. Dollars if he’d traded his Bitcoins on an exchange. For comparison – these 10.000 BTC are now worth more than 63.5 million dollars.

More infamous transactions were done on back-then-popular Silk Road, webpage with illegal things they were selling their users, which were paying with BTC. An astounding sum of $1 billion worth of cryptocurrencies were transferred through that website. At that time, Bitcoin »jumped« from 100 U.S. Dollars to $1.200, with the most noteable bull runs in history. The trend ended with two events that shocked the crypto community; in 2013, the People’s Bank of China (PboC) banned Chinese banks from using Bitcoin, and even more, when Mt Gox was hacked. Then the largest bitcoin exchange in the world, had lost 740.000 bitcoins (6% of all bitcoins in circulation). Mt Gox never recovered and the money (at least the most of it) was never been found.

Also in 2013, another milestone in cryptocurrency world emerged. A company by the name Mastercoin (now Omnilayer) became one of the first projects to build on top of Bitcoin Blockchain. First ever ICO (Initial Coin Offerings) project, raised around 5.000 BTC, what was then worth 500.000 U.S. Dollars and was a very successful ICO at the time. By 2014, Mastercoin reached 100 multiples of it’s ICO price. The ICO model burst with growth from $62.6 million raised in 2016, to $2.2 billion in the next year.

Following years, 2014, 2015 and 2016 were significant for Bitcoin and all cryptocurrencies. Few major companies started to involve, with Overstock.com, becoming first online retailer to accept Bitcoin payments. Famous rapper 50 cent sold his albums for bitcoin though collaboration with BitPay, encouraging others and impacting on understanding and acceptance of cryptocurrencies. Many retailers followed Overstock through those years, with most noteable mentions is Dell, who became highest valued retailer (revenue of $57 billion) and is still accepting Bitcoin payments for their products. Third major company to enable BTC payments was Microsoft, allowing users to use Bitcoin to buy Xbox games. In 2016, Steam, a gaming platform also started accepting Bitcoin payments.

The impressive growth exploded in 2017, with Bitcoin price boost from $1.000 in start of the year and ended being traded close to 20.000 U.S. Dollars on the end of 2017. In 2018, history was made in 4th biggest city in Slovenia – unveiling the world’s first public Bitcoin monument. A Bitcoin roundabout was financed by Bitstamp, cryptocurrency exchange that used to be based in Slovenia.

While the market was growing extremely fast, it crashed in 2018. Numerous countries have implemented bans and regulations, ICOs started to fade and some currencies dropped for astonishing 90% of their price. Crypto currencies were, and are still being criticized in the course to these years, but the community is expecting a price recovery in the coming months. Looking back, Bitcoin achieved a lot in this decade as there are thousands of virtual currencies in the market and being used by multiple companies across the globe.


Luka KovičMay 15, 2018

1min317

CHERR.IO is a blockchain solution for charitable donations, aiming to open new horizons for the way charitable, humanitarian and socially responsible organizations operate. After the successful ICO, the platform will allow for optimizing operations, expand outreach, reinforce donors’ trust and improve the donation process for charities. Our top focus is fraud prevention and transparency.

Alongside this, we are aiming to enable decision power for our donors and a reward system for our active participants. We aim to raise funds with cryptocurrencies and thus, enable our donors to experience low transaction fees. CHERR.IO will use a gamification process to engage with a multitude of interested parties willing to both donate and volunteer for others in need. The opportunity to help and reap rewards is now open to the masses – to everyone!


Luka KovičMarch 19, 2018

5min218

Eligma, AI-driven and Blockchain-based commerce platform is presenting the first of its many features. Elipay system will showcase the usage of crypto payments beyond trading and exchanges, also into the offline world.

The team behind Eligma announced that they will start testing their Elipay system in the first Bitcoin city starting this April. Their »testing lab« is BTC CITY Ljubljana, the largest commercial, trading and business center in the heart of Slovenia, Ljubljana, where they will offer transactions with cryptocurrencies in some selected offline stores.

EliPay, the platforms cryptocurrency transaction system, is set to enable the cryptocurrency transactions online and offline. In the early development and testing phase during the crowdsale campaign (token sale with hard cap of 24 million U.S. dollars starts on 17th April), EliPay will showcase its usability in BTC City. Jože Mermal, Chairman and CEO of BTC said, that the company is looking forward to the implementation of the technology.

He added: “The BTC d.d. company strives for the development and implementation of the latest technologies into its business environment. As a strategic partner of the Eligma company, we will, therefore, enable the testing of Eligma’s EliPay system in a real environment at selected business partners in BTC CITY Ljubljana. EliPay will enable the use of cryptocurrencies both online and in the physical world, creating a modern, transparent and simple shopping experience for our visitors and business partners.”

Dejan Roljič, the man behind Eligma and their system called EliPay was thrilled with the partnership:
“We are lucky in partnering with BTC d.d., a company which runs an esteemed Slovenian retail, logistics, business and entertainment center called BTC City Ljubljana, with over 60 years of tradition. Its area, which spreads over 475,000 square meters, annually attracts more than 21 million visitors. With its unique ecosystem and more than 450 stores, BTC CITY hosts more than 4,000 business partners; they are an ideal testing lab, where we plan on testing EliPay and launching the first version of Eligma by the end of 2018,” stated Dejan Roljič, founder and CEO of the start-up behind the idea.

With a first-stage roadmap and milestones spread over the next three years, the Eligma team is planning to develop a complete technological solution for resolving the drawbacks of commerce and e-commerce and simplifying the shopping experience. The start-up will be selling 300,000,000 ELI tokens with the hard cap of 24 million U.S. dollars through a public crowdsale, starting on 17 April, with the pre-sale for early project believers and contributors starting on 20 March. To learn more about the AI-driven blockchain platform that has a vision of transforming online shopping experience, visit www.eligma.io.

ELIGMA SIGNS FOUR PARTNERSHIPS ON FIRST DAY OF OPERATIONS

On their first day of official operations, Eligma has signed up Big Bang Slovenija tech store, Dulcis Caffe with 4 restaurants, the Vodno mesto Atlantis water park complex and the Modni dodatki Bijoux accessory store all located within the BTC shopping complex.

Time is quickly running out to complete the KYC procedure for the public presale which starts tomorrow, March 20th at 12:00:00 UTC.


Luka KovičMarch 15, 2018

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The cryptocurrency world found itself in turmoil in start of 2018. We saw the peak of some currencies in
late 2017, the same year brought ICO frenzy, incredible Bitcoin price shifts and immense growth of
Ripple (XRP).

The start of 2018 didn’t bring investors to ‘promised land’, on contrary, the bans, regulations and even
several exchange hack attempts contributed to severe cryptocurrency price drops. Ripple was one of the
ground breaking currencies in 2017, which shot up in price by more than 1000% in the month of
December.


The price of XRP reached its all time high on January 4th with the price of 3.29 USD, then dropping hard
and is now trading around $0.69. XRP could easily be set for another ‘boom’ according to their CEO Brad
Garlinghouse: “We, Ripple, will stay focused on solving that institutional use case, but we would certainly partner with
companies that are looking to use XRP in lots of different ways.”

New use cases for Ripple?

They’re also looking for investment in startups that could develop new uses for Ripple, which could
potentially push crypto values up. The announcement follows the emergence of an XRP payment app
that will allow transactions to take place faster. The software is being developed in partnership with 61
Japanese banks to improve crypto trader experiences in the region.

Takashi Okita, the CEO of SBI Ripple Asia, the firm helping to form a joint venture between Ripple and
the SBI group, declared that the app will allow for payments that are “faster, safer and more efficient”.

xCurrent is Ripple’s enterprise software solution that enables banks to instantly settle cross-border
payments with end-to- end tracking. Banks message each other in real-time to confirm payment details
prior to initiating the transaction and to confirm delivery once it settles.

Fast transaction times and low fees could make XRP more appealing than other cryptocurrencies on the
market. Unlike the highest-valued virtual currency, Ripple is not limited to 21 million coins, instead 100
billion XRP are able to exist, making it greater in supply than Bitcoin by 4700 times. That could mean it
will offer lower volatility long-term, as the price will most probably continue to rise. But when those
prices stabilize, the large coin supply of Ripple will lead to lower volatility.

For now, Ripple has created something that few other cryptocurrencies have managed to this point; a
currency that pre-existing businesses are not only willing to use, but will benefit from doing so. Amazon
and Everything Store are one of the giant costumers to take this step in 2018, as they would like a virtual
currency, that offers fast transaction times without crippling fees.


Luka KovičFebruary 23, 2018

4min889

First company to offer zero trading commissions for US listed stocks is planning to launch in Europe as the company seeks for a »Chief Executive« to lead and operate planned UK/EU expansion. Launched in 2013, the RobinHood app lets users invest in publicly traded companies and exchange-traded funds listed on US exchanges without paying a commission. Its mission is to make financial tools accessible to everyone, as well as inspire a new generation of investors.

Vladimir Tenez, co-founder of the app had spoken about the issue in the interview for Techcrunch: »Most stock brokerages out there have been around for 30 years, their interfaces are clumsy, and they’re targeting older professionals and active traders.«

“They’re no place for first time investors and that’s one of the things we focus on. Making it accessible. Having it be mobile friendly.”

In 2015 the company triggered its global expansion following $50 million of founding led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), announcing Australia as first international market. They have been waiting for its regulatory approval since.

According to Jan Hammer, a partner at Index Ventures, which has invested in company, RobinHood has »not just made trading simpler, mobile and free; by doing so, they’ve opened up stock market,« Hammer told Business Insider.

The RobinHood App

The RobinHood App won an Apple Design Award in 2015, with minimalistic and stylish interface. Users first need to link their bank account and credit their RobinHood account by a one-time transfer to start trading. Once the amount is deposited (usually it takes about three days in the US), the home screen shows the total money (in stocks and cash) – and how much you’ve earned through the past 24 hours.

RobinHood Crypto

Since February, first set of costumers can buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum with RobinHood Crypto. All your investments commission-free on one platform. For now, it’s available for US costumers residing in California only, while looking forward to releasing crypto trading functionality in many other states later. In meantime, RobinHood users and investors can monitor and track market data for 16 cryptocurrencies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=233RzfqYExI

One million users registering in first four days, shows the interes tof RobinHood’s services, which gained over four millions users. For now, users from above mentioned states of California, can buy Bitcoin and Ethereum, but they can track 14 other cryptocurrencies; bitcoin cash, litecoin, XRP, ethereum classic, zcash, monero, bitcoin gold and dogecoin.

Company also announced RobinHood feed, a new way to discuss cryptocurrencies, news and market swings in real-time with other investors on app itself. Over the past few weeks, RobinHood Crypto reached four million users and well over $ 100 billion in transaction volume on the brokerage platform, leading to over $1 billion in commissions saved in equity trades. With the release of RobinHood Crypto, they’re continuing their mission of making the financial system work for everyone, not just wealthy.


Luka KovičFebruary 21, 2018

4min314

Bitcoin was a bear market in 2018. As we look at the prices in the cryptocurrency market, we could state that 2018 started badly for investors and traders. In January the opening price of Bitcoin was $13.794 (11.135€), with a high of $17.252 (13.927€) and low at the end of the month $9.231 (7.451€), losing more than 25% of its value. Back in December, the price of No. 1 currency was at its ATH (all-time-high), reaching almost $20.000 (16.179€), fast forward to February 5th, price dropped below $7.300 (5.893€), loss of more than 60 percent of its value in 6 weeks.

Global regulations and mass media bashing

When we speak about how mainstream media presents cryptocurrencies, we can often hear cryptos being in domain of money launderers and drug dealers. Yes, we all heard about Silk Road. We all know, there are/will be individuals on dark net who’ll try to put a stain on blockchain technology. When we touch the issue of regulations, we aren’t talking about something new. In 2018 G20 summit, two European countries, Germany and France will propose cryptocurrency regulation

Sheldon Corey, the President of Worlds Financial Centre and Arges Inc. says, “Government critics will be given plenty of airtime in the mainstream media, as they focus on the anonymity of digital currencies and the bad actors using them to commit money laundering, terrorism, and fraud. These are painful issues that need to be addressed, to bring more stability and credibility to the industry. The good news is that the debate will lead to greater general awareness and adoption, and probably a decent recovery after the G20 goes home.”

South Korean exchanges from ban to self-regulation

The South Korean government announced that it plans to regulate cryptocurrency trades by law, but uplifting ban which influenced to the latest market crash. More than 200.000 Koreans backed a petition against the (excessive) regulation of virtual currency. By now, Korean cryptocurrency exchange platforms started to self regulate. They formed an Korean Blockchain Association (KBA) which is set to make a huge difference in the country’s cryptocurrency industry.

Facebook banning all ads for Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies

The social network is banning all crypto-related ads, as it attemps to crack down on scammers and frauders. ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) are a largly unregulated method for company fundraising and Facebook has put down the foot with new rule:

“prohibits financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency.”

Hacked exchanges

More and more exchanges getting hacked. The recent hacking of one of Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, CoinCheck, raised a lot of dust. About 260.000 users who lost NEM deposits will get compensated. But theft of $534 million worth of NEM coin is due to negligent in the storage of mentioned tokens. CoinCheck stored them online rather then offline, however, they weren’t using multi-signature wallet. But according to Bitnation’s CFO, Dr. John Mathews ACA, the hacking has had “minimal” impact on the crypto trading, compared to Mt. Gox hack in 2014:

“The $500M Coincheck hack had little impact on the wider crypto markets, demonstrating the increasing diversification and maturity of the ecosystem, compared to the $460M Mt. Gox hack in 2014, which precipitated a multi-year bear market.” he says.

 


Luka KovičFebruary 21, 2018

2min200

Anonymous buyer of  $400 million Bitcoin became a billionare

The mysterious investor put nearly 400.000.000 U.S. dollars into No.1 digital currency Bitcoin. He is on the way to become the next »crypto billionare« in the coming days. Cryptocurrencies are making a comeback, after a loss of a much as 50 percent to start the year, which could be because of the ongoing regulation and security fears.

The price of Bitcoin increased more than 60 percent since trading under $6.000 of February 6, catapulting the price back above $10.000 for the time being.

“Not sure who that big buyer was but many have bought this dip and have added since the rebound and additional regulatory clarity in the US and Asia,” said Alex Sunnarborg, founding partner of Tetras Capital.

The mysterious buyer with the bitcoin address 3Cbq7aT1tY8kMxWLbitaG7yT6bPbKChq64 made his purchase between February 9. and 12. He increased overall balance from 55.000 coins to over 96.000. News of the purchase blasted all over social media and forums. The community has been debating about the possible owner of this coins. “Buy low, sell high,” is the advice that’s been heard many times in investing circles. This particular investor did the right thing at the right time.

Jeff Koyen, president of 360 Blockchain USA said: “In the meantime, the $400 million whale is fuel for the Telegram channels where traders lay out their conspiracy theories. However, I am willing to believe that, seeing bitcoin bottom around $6,000, Wall Street smelled blood and jumped back in.”

That huge purchase could as well be the most brave and smart thing to do at the moment. Due to a well-timed trade, the risk-taker joined the ‘bitcoin billionaire’ club.

 

 


Luka KovičFebruary 17, 2018

4min199

Cryptocurrency market continues its recovery with Litecoin leading the way with 49% growth in 7 days.

Since early February the market has seen a lightning recovery, which could happen due to a number of factors. Over past week, Litecoin has been leading the way. Sudden rebound has seen names like Litecoin, Ripple and Neo working its way from low prices. Litecoin (LTC) in particular, has had a nice run since February 6.. It is up almost 50% from its low point of 85,63€ ($106.94) and is valued at 178,76€ ($223.23) according to CoinMarketCap at the time of writing this article.

Ripple’s token (XRP) on the other hand has strenghtened from its low of 0,46€ ($0.58) from Feb. 6th, and now ranks second on the list of biggest gainers among the TOP10. XRP is now trading at 0,90€ ($1,13), while still down 51 percent from price of 1,84€ ($2,30) at the end of December.

Neo has seen a rise of 86% from Feb 6. low of 52,14€ ($64.88) with reported 59 percent year-to-date gains – the highest in TOP10. At press time, its price was 99,14€ ($123.35).

Meanwhile, Bitcoin value continues to rise, shaking of market crash over recent weeks.

A record high of 15.955,18€ ($19.850) in mid-December seen a rapid drop, result of continiuing fears that trading was about to be banned in South Korea and regulation. Its value stumbled even harder in February, falling from 8.037,87€ ($10.000) to 4.822,72€ ($6.000) in just four days. Now, however, it seems to be recovering. Price has increased nearly 16 percent over the past seven days, although it has declined almost 5 percent over the past month. Bitcoin is still notoriously volatile as its value shifts unpredictably. Numerous financial experts have advised potential investors to be carefull when involving in cryptocurrencies.

Supporters of Bitcoin, on the other hand are asking mentioned financial experts »Crash, what crash« while the volatile currency is climbing back slowly, but surely. Veterans have already seen those kind of corrections in past few years. But it’s safe to say the Bitcoin price crash wasn’t something most people had expected.

This correction is likely to be one of the biggest ever seen.

With Bitcoin rise up more then 1000% since the start of January 2017, we have seen multiple times such gains doesn’t come without corrections, FUD (short for ‘fear, uncertainty and doubt’) and drama. If you look closely at the Bitcoin/USD chart the last 3 years, you will see that Bitcoin has corrected eyery year between 4th and 15th of January. Many believe going into holiday period, plenty of traders want to jump out of the market and leave the extreme volatility, or they’re pulling out their earnings. Only time will tell if Bitcoin can reach its all-time-high price and/or overcome it. We can sit back and watch the deepest technological experimentation period in the history of Bitcoin. Some think regulations are very important for the health of this ecosystem. Others are ‘advocates’ of it’s decentralization, which could be its greatest obstacle. Once again, only time will tell.



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