Beginning on April 24, Brave browser users will be able to deposit Basic Attention Tokens into their Gemini accounts.
Brave, the open-source pay-to-surf browser, will soon have more options for trading its signature token.
In April 6 blog post on the Gemini website, the platform announced they would soon support trading for Brave’s Basic Attention Token (BAT). Users will be able to deposit BAT into their Gemini accounts starting on April 24th at 9:30 AM EST, with trading to begin “soon thereafter”:
“BAT is the sixth digital asset available for trading on the Gemini platform, joining bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, litecoin, and Zcash. We will be offering USD, BTC, and ETH trading pairs for BAT on both our continuous order book and our automated block trading system.”
The crypto asset associated with the browser can normally be earned by participating in specific activities — for example, opting into viewing ads Brave normally blocks.
Increased traffic on Brave browser during pandemic
With much of the world limiting their exposure to COVID-19 through self-quarantine measures, Brave has seen a spike in its number of users. Head of Marketing Des Martin reported on April 1 that more than one million new people had logged into the browser in March alone.
Part of the reason for Brave’s success has been its devotion to user privacy. Touted as a privacy-oriented rival of Google Chrome, the browser’s efforts to protect individuals’ data have seen their number of users double from 2018 to 2019. Its tokens are nearly as popular among users, with the browser selling $35 million worth of BAT in less than a minute for a 2017 initial coin offering.
Investors fear that the upcoming Bitcoin halving is in peril after last month’s 50% drop but blockchain data from CryptoQuant shows miners remain strong going into May.
Approximately 4-weeks ago global equities markets were in distress as investors finally realized that the coronavirus was not just an illness restricted to China, but rather a global pandemic which could permanently damage economics across the globe.
Crypto markets were not shielded from the mayhem that led the S&P 500 and Dow to post some of the biggest losses since the 2008 global financial crisis and investors will recall that on March 13 Bitcoin (BTC) price dropped more than 50% in the span of 24-hours.
To date, the volatility and fear within financial markets remain and the future forecast for equities markets is still gloomy but some investors are at least beginning to feel that the absolute worst has passed.
As is customary in the crypto sector, when a catastrophic event occurs, analysts, traders, soothsayers and crypto Twitter personalities peer through the dust and rubble in an attempt to piece together a clearer picture of ‘what happened’.
Bitcoin investors will recall that a cascading waterfall of liquidations across multiple crypto exchanges offering margin trading and derivatives leads the price of the digital asset to quickly collapse.
BitMEX Cumulative Long Liquidation Value. Source: Skew, Multicoin Capital
At BitMEX alone, $1.6 billion in leveraged long positions were liquidated and hundreds of millions of dollars were wiped from Bitcoin’s market cap. Many investors, along with a hedge fund were virtually wiped out in the course of a day.
The narrative that the crash was the result of the correlation between Bitcoin and equities markets, along with liquidations on leveraged positions on crypto derivatives exchanges seems to have been accepted by the majority of investors, but there is growing concern that Bitcoin’s drop to $3,750 may have also negatively impacted miners.
Investors are curious as to whether the current prices are below miner’s profitability margins and if the upcoming halving event will incentivize or discourage miners as Bitcoin prices are already far below the projected price estimates for April 2020.
To gain further insight into this matter, Cointelegraph spoke with Joe Nemelka, a data analyst at blockchain analytics provider, CryptoQuant.
Cointelegraph: Are investors right to be worried about the state of Bitcoin miners after the March 13 collapse to $3,775? There are also murmurs that miners could have played a role in catalyzing the 50% price drop. What are your thoughts on this?
Joe Nemelka: As miners are one of the biggest players in the ecosystem when they are selling more in relation to other players, it would indicate capitulation and some sort of incoming volatility.
This move could be to the downside as miners selling off pushes through demand. It could also push the price up as the last unprofitable miners leave and only profitable miners are left, thus drastically decreasing selling pressure.
Miner to Exchange Flow Percentage. Source: CryptoQuant
As shown by the chart above, when this metric is low, it indicates a turn in price. We see this take place in Feb. 2018, Aug. 2018, Nov. 2018, Dec. 2018, April 2019, July 2019, Oct. 2019, and Feb. 2020. Each of these instances signaled a change in direction of the trend.
Miner to exchange flow percentage. Source: CryptoQuant
Another interesting insight is that miners percentage of exchange inflows hit an all-time low (all time being since the start of our miner data in 2016) This was .02. It seems to mean that miners are, at least for the time being still doing relatively ok when it comes to sustaining operations through this drop in price.
BTC flows from all miners into all exchanges. Source: CryptoQuant
This idea that miners are doing ok looks even more true when looking at the raw miner outflows. Although they were high, they weren't significantly high compared to any previous period.
BTC inflows into all exchanges. Source: CryptoQuant
Comparing that to exchange inflows, we see that exchange inflows had record all-time highs, being nearly triple previous highs. This means that lots of Bitcoin, more than any time in the previous few years, went into exchanges.
The significance of this is that Bitcoin going into exchanges is a way to measure desire to sell and as we can see, desire to sell was relatively the highest we have ever seen.
In crypto terms, one way to look at this would be that it seems the weak hands have sold.
Thus, it seems that based on our data that the main miners, at least for now, have significant enough cash reserves to maintain their operations until the halving, barring another significant drop in price.
CT: Does this take into account things like borrowed funds, operation costs, fiat and crypto loans? From your view, what is the break-even price for miners?
JN: Well, that’s a bit harder to pinpoint but I like to reference Charles Edwards’ Bitcoin production cost data as it gives you a band that has pure electricity cost (the bottom) and electricity + overhead (the top).
BTC USD daily chart. Source: TradingView
I would put the break-even price between $7,500 and $8,000 for a typical mining outlet right now.
The biggest things that will change this are, obviously, the halving and mining hardware. As older, inefficient (S9, S11, similar models) go offline and newer miners take up more hashrate, it might ease the burden on miners.
As part of the Financial Statements Committee, the Minister of Finance is conducting an investigation into digital assets in Japan.
According to top government officials in Japan, the current national tax system is not yet capable of accepting declarations of digital assets, potentially leading to outflows overseas.
In a Q&A session at the Financial Statements Committee on April 6, Representative Shun Otokita of the Japan Innovation Party pointed out the importance of market research for the introduction of separate taxes for crypto currencies.
Otokita was concerned with the current high-tax system in Japan. He acknowledged that it would be difficult to quickly change the tax code to apply to digital assets, and indicated the necessity of market research to determine what changes are necessary.
Recent changes to crypto regulations in Japan
In Japan, individuals can not be identified only by the blockchain address of a transaction, whether it’s for a non-taxable gift or a taxable payment for services. Japanese Minister of Finance Taro Aso said that the lack of oversight for these transactions was a major reason their investigation was moving at a crawl.
As there are no official laws to regulate crypto in Japan, amending existing regulations is the only way at this time for digital assets to have any kind of legal status in the Asian nation. The Payment Services Act and Financial Instruments and Exchange Act will start to be enforced in Japan by the Financial Services Agency (FSA) on May 1.
However, when it comes to taxes, the FSA has not investigated any transactions other than those conducted by registered cryptocurrency exchanges. Aso has called for the committee to investigate “the taxation of transactions involving crypto assets,” while Otokita pointed out the Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association (JCBA) was conducting an investigation of its own into the matter.
After losing a large sponsor in February, cybersecurity organization Shadowserver obtained a new $400K grant from HDR Global Trading.
HDR Global Trading, the operator of crypto exchange BitMEX, is giving a $400,000 grant to the cybersecurity nonprofit Shadowserver Foundation.
In an April 6 statement on the company’s blog, HDR Global Trading announced that it would offer $400,000 to the organization over the next four years. The BitMEX operator will be acting as a member of the nonprofit’s new industry alliance for Internet security.
Richard Perlotto, Shadowserver Director, thanked HDR for “their rapid response to our call for help” and emphasized the organization’s commitment to fighting cybercrime. The director is referring to IT firm Cisco Systems pulling their support for Shadowserver in February, precipitating a call for new sponsors.
Samuel Reed, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of BitMEX, said:
“Shadowserver is an extremely highly regarded player in the botnet defence community. They work tirelessly and make a tangible difference to ensure the Internet is more secure for all users. Cross-industry collaboration is going to be essential to the future security of the Internet at large, and not least the cryptocurrency industry. We’re keen to play our part championing security over the long term by supporting such a brilliant organisation.”
BitMEX blames DDos attacks for March 13 crash
The trading giant has courted controversy in recent weeks, especially after unexpectedly going offline at a critical moment in trading, causing the price of Bitcoin (BTC) to plummet to $3,700 on March 13. BitMEX blamed the event on “two DDoS attacks” responsible for crashing the platform, but some questions remain unanswered.
The crypto exchange is also one of seven targeted in 11 lawsuits filed in a New York federal court on April 3. The lawsuit alleges that the exchange has sold unlicensed securities without broker-dealer licensing and engaged in market manipulation.
Bulls take control of the market by breaching $7,300 but as $8,000 approaches what is next for Bitcoin price?
Bitcoin (BTC) closed the week up 15.4% at $6,775 and has started the day with a further 6% move to the upside, breaching the $7,000 handle and making highs at $7,300.
Crypto market daily price chart. Source: Coin360
The total cryptocurrency market capitalization breached the $200 billion level, breaking from the diagonal resistance dating back to February when the total market value briefly touched $300 billion.
Total Cryptocurrency Market Capitalization chart. Source: TradingView
The cryptocurrency market as a whole is up 86% off its lows of a little over $100 billion but still down 30% from its 2020 highs. This highlights the volatility in the market over the last few weeks.
Bitcoin weekly timeframe
BTC USD weekly chart. Source: TradingView
Bitcoin closed the week with a large bullish candle after continuing to find buying interest at the 200 week moving average (WMA). The 100 WMA halted progress at $7,000 but the Stochastic relative strength index oscillator has crossed bullish and shows momentum is still favoring the bulls.
Trading volume continues to decline, but it remains higher than average. For context, we can see that buying interest last week was similar to that seen in October 2019 when Bitcoin catapulted from $7,200 to $10,400. This would suggest that there is still strong buying interest in the market.
Above the 100-WMA is a cluster of resistance, along with the 20-WMA which typically defines whether Bitcoin is in a bull or a bear market. In addition, both the 100 and 200-week moving averages are in this area and both have played an important role as resistance in the past.
Amongst the moving averages is also the yearly pivot point at $8,100, so if the bulls can continue their progress through the 100-week moving average, there is little resistance to the upper $7,000s.
Bitcoin daily chart
BTC USD daily chart. Source: TradingView
As shown on the daily timeframe, Bitcoin broke through the previous trading range highs and also the 100 WMA after finding support on the point of control at $6,600. The MACD indicator is showing a clear trend continuation to the upside and about to cross its zero line meaning that the 12 and 26 EMAs on price are about to cross bullish on the daily timeframe.
If Bitcoin can close the day across $7,200 it would clearly signal that bulls are in full control after printing a higher high after a succession of higher lows. This would imply that the path is clear until the resistance around $8,000.
Bitcoin 4-hour chart
BTC USD 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView
The 4-hour chart shows that Bitcoin price is currently across the 100 WMA which has been providing resistance at the top of the trading range. The volume profile visible range (VPVR) shows that there has been very little volume traded at prices up to the next price interest zone of $7,850 where the 20 WMA also lies.
The MACD is crossed bullish and is printing higher highs on its histogram which demonstrates momentum in price remains bullish.
Furthermore, the Chaikin Money Flow indicator (CMF) which looks at the amount of Money Flow Volume over the last 20 periods shows that there is a bullish divergence within the volume. This is indicative of relative buying pressure.
It is clear from the current price action that there is little selling interest and buyers are in control. Traders in profit on short positions or shorting the trading range appear to find that there is little supply above.
CME Bitcoin Futures Commitment of Traders chart. Source: TradingView
The CME Commitment of Traders report issued on April 3 showed that institutionally sized traders once again reduced their net short position in the market.
While the global economic markets continue to face unprecedented uncertainty around monetary policy, Bitcoin could prove to be an attractive vehicle to safeguard against both inflation and counterparty risks which were not present only a short time ago.
$8,000 is the key level the bulls need to reclaim before the market could be considered as being back in a bull market.
With little over a month to go until the halving and little selling interest at current prices, Bitcoin continues to look up at the key resistances, but despite the swift recovery from $4,000, the markets remain a shaky environment in which to be a bull.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Most of the blockchain firms that closed in 2019 were cryptocurrency scams or had a lacking business model, according to recent research.
Most of the blockchain firms that closed in 2019 were cryptocurrency scams or had deficient business models, according to recent research.
Research sent to Cointelegraph by Chinese market research firm EqualOcean on March 26 suggests that most blockchain-backed Chinese businesses that halted their activity last year had major flaws.
The report found over 70 blockchain projects that shut their doors last year. Among them over 70% of the projects reportedly did not survive their first year and 30% did not last 6 months. The research reads:
“A considerable number of which were crypto exchanges that involved scams, digital wallets and decentralized applications that used multiple-level marketing, and public blockchains that did not have a defined business model.”
Per the report, “China's blockchain scene in 2019 was more or less like a slow recovery after a high fever.” Overall, last year China’s blockchain space reportedly got rid of the scams and turned to real-world applications of distributed ledger technology.
The researchers behind the report said that during 2019 blockchain awareness in China increased among state bodies and state-owned enterprises. The researchers also point out that in October China’s president Xi Jinping called for the country to accelerate blockchain adoption. An EqualOcean spokesperson told Cointelegraph:
“With support from the public sector, the scope of real-world business scenarios is likely to be boosted considerably this year. Especially in areas adjacent to the DCEP, supply chain and e-government. This imposes feel-good factors for permission blockchain players in particular.”
Furthermore, the firm’s representative said that public blockchains — on the other hand — have still a long way to go. Still, the researchers “project changes in side-chain and cross-chain areas, stirred by the expanding DeFi ecosystem.” They also told Cointelegraph:
“A crypto market, as it’s known in most of the western countries, can’t appear in China in the near future due to the specific regulatory environment: we don’t see how decentralized currencies can avoid possible clashes with the local financial watchdogs. Nonetheless, the country’s enterprises will continue to dominate in several essential subsectors. An epitome of such a company is ASIC giant Bitmain, a monopolist in the global mining hardware market.”
China’s blockchain developments
Chinese officials see great potential in blockchain technology and its digitization potential. As Cointelegraph recently reported, the country is stepping ever-closer to releasing its central bank digital currency.
Still, after hype tapered off, salaries for blockchain-related jobs decreased by 37% in China.
Baite, formerly one of the top Chinese mining pools, has dropped out of the BTC mining race in favor of altcoins.
Although the Bitcoin hashrate has increased 33% in the last 48 hours the mining industry still faces uncertainties. This has left Baite mining pool, one of the top Chinese pools with no choice but dropping out of the mining race.
According to local blockchain media on April 6, Chinese mining company Valarhash’s Baite mining pool hash rate decreased significantly from 4000 to 200 petahashes per second earlier in March. The pool decided to leave the Bitcoin mining business and possibly move into altcoin mining in the near future.
Over 9% of Bitcoin hash rate used to link to Valarhash
Valarhash launched two Bitcoin mining pools Bytepool and 1THash, along with Bitcoin cloud mining platform 1TMine and mining farm management software Nelson in July last year in Sichuan, China.
Bytepool and 1THash reportedly accounted for over 9% of the total Bitcoin network hash rate back in their prime. While 1THash currently ranks number 8 as of press time, it’s likely that Bytepool will transfer the majority of its leftover hashpower to 1THash, says the report.
Impact of pandemic on China miners
As Cointelegraph reported a couple days ago, more than 40 established mining operations were forced to shut down due to the price drop of BTC and unprofitable mining equipment business.
Tezos co-founder Kathleen Breitman suggested in a Reddit post the possibility of not using Tezos’ blockchain for her new trading card game.
Tezos co-founder Kathleen Breitman has left open the possibility that her trading card game Emergents may not be built on the company’s blockchain, according to statements made on April 5.
According to the Reddit post, Kathleen pointed out that Emergents might not be using Tezos blockchain technology, saying she had not yet decided on the platform she will use in the game.
In a comment left on the post, she added the following:
“The alpha doesn’t have a marketplace, it’s an alpha. The white paper doesn’t describe any feature that could not be satisfied by any other smart contract platform. I have an obligation to my investors to pick a platform with certain properties, and I am not bound to Tezos.”
Emergents was announced in March, as reported by Cointelegraph. It was advertised as a blockchain-based game competitor to card games like Magic: The Gathering and Hearthstone, where payments could be made in Tezos’ native token XTZ.
Arthur Breitman is no longer in the Tezos Technical Committee
Within the Reddit post, it was also made public that Tezos’ other co-founder, Arthur Breitman, is no longer part of the Tezos Technical Committee. Although official confirmation is still pending, he said the following:
“I bowed out from my already minimal activities after receiving veiled threats.”
Within the comments made by both co-founders, Kathleen expressed her concerns about Tezos:
“Candidly, I have a lot of concerns about the platform and an obligation to my investors to make sure that we choose the right one for the game.”
The news comes after the Tezos Foundation released its second Biannual Report on March 19, highlighting they've granted $37 million to ecosystem developers since August 2019, divided in three categories: research and development efforts, ecosystem projects, and community support.
MakerDAO founder Rune Christensen talks Black Thursday and the foundation's mysterious radio silence on the matter.
As the dust begins to settle over MakerDAO’s Black Thursday incident, the team is now returning to a normal working pace. We took the opportunity to catch up with Rune Christensen, one of the original founders of the protocol, for a full recap of the situation and what it means for Maker (MKR).
Christensen had been oddly quiet as the events were unfolding, never joining any forum discussion or issuing comments to the media — until now.
MakerDAO provides users with stable DAI cryptocurrency in exchange for their volatile crypto holdings, and the platform faced a reckoning as Ethereum crashed in unison with almost every other economic asset on March 12. A series of issues resulted in the protocol missing about $5 million in collateral, destabilizing the lending platform and its DAI stablecoin.
In this first part of his interview with Cointelegraph, Christensen provides commentary and explains why he was off the radar during these trying times for MakerDAO.
In answering questions about his view of Black Thursday, Christensen said the sudden sell-off placed the Ethereum ecosystem under extreme stress. “This could very well be the worst crash we've seen yet in crypto,” he said.
As traders continued selling ETH for more stable assets (such as DAI), its liquidity “essentially dried up,” explained Christensen. Fees on the network increased drastically as well, which only compounded the problem for Maker.
He emphasized that the protocol was not at fault:
“While the Maker protocol actually did function completely as it should throughout this whole event, unfortunately, the keeper ecosystem, which is meant to help the protocol deal with risky debt in crashes like this, didn't perform as expected.”
The Maker Foundation had some keepers of its own, but they were not able to contain the flood. Due to the extraordinary number of auctions, its keepers exhausted the pool of DAI available for bidding. But when the foundation replenished the keeper’s reserves, a technical issue related Ethereum’s high gas fees meant that “several hours passed before they actually started bidding.”
In any case, community-run keepers had also failed in their task. Christensen stressed that this was not in any way caused by the foundation’s keeper software, which he said most bidders don’t use anyway.
The complexity of keepers
Keepers are crucial for maintaining DAI’s stability, and Christensen repeatedly emphasized that the community is responsible for maintaining the ecosystem. He said:
“This was the goal from the beginning, that it really would be the community that would take care of this part of the system [the keepers] as much as possible.”
Keepers require technical programming knowledge to operate, which doesn’t exactly help their widespread adoption. Christensen suggests the job of building a user-friendly UI goes to the community, not to Maker Foundation.
“And what we see is that there's already two independent front ends for the flip auctions that emerged,” he added. So-called “flip auctions” are responsible for selling ETH collateral to maintain the DAI peg. Regardless, Christensen believes that UI-based keepers will not be able to keep up with bots, though they do have utility during extreme events.
“The next time there's a big crash, then I really think that having these front ends is going to be very useful.”
Responsibility for the crash
Christensen was notably absent from any community decision-making in the wake of Black Thursday. While the community quickly passed decisions like the inclusion of USDC to patch up the system, the final issue left to resolve is the compensation for Maker users who saw their ETH holdings unfairly liquidated.
This is proving to be a much more complex decision to make as some community members have invoked the help of the foundation — only to receive radio silence.
“The thing about DeFi is that it is permissionless, open, and decentralized — most importantly. What's great is that you don't have to ask anyone for permission to use it, but it often means when something goes unexpected [...] it’s not right to assume that we should just let the foundation decide.”
Answering a question often posed in the community as to why the foundation is not compensating these losses directly, he said:
“I think if the foundation were making guarantees around the system, that would go against the whole purpose of DeFi. The foundation did develop the protocol [...] but ultimately, the foundation isn’t operating the system.”
Christensen expressed admiration for the Maker community’s response to the crash, despite no input from the foundation. He continued:
“I think that it's incredible to see the level of sophisticated discussion that's happening, the analysis, and the arguments. So it would be a big mistake if the foundation weighed in and basically shut all that down and decided for some arbitrary action, which is simply not the place of the foundation to do.”
True to the spirit of DeFi, the burden of solving the situation falls on the Maker community, argues Christensen. He concluded:
“It’s been clear from the very beginning within the foundation that our job in this situation is to simply support whatever the community decides.”
Professors in Japan unveiled a blockchain system to settle legal disputes through a “digital court.”
A group of researchers has devised a blockchain-based mechanism to perform legal functions in a so-called “digital court,” according to an April 6 announcement.
Professors Hitoshi Matsushima from the University of Tokyo, and Shunya Noda from the University of British Columbia, have been leading the project, which aims to settle legal disputes without the need for a “costly legal process.”
In the announcement, the University of Tokyo clarified that this would be an extension of existing ideas for smart contracts without a centralized administration.
A digital court’s advantages and challenges
The University says that the benefit of the system is that most stages occur away from the blockchain, which is only invoked to maintain records of the parties involved in the dispute.
Professor Matsushima provided additional details regarding the design of the blockchain-based mechanism:
“On suspected violation of some agreement, those involved post their opinions to this digital court. The court algorithmically aggregates the parties’ opinions and judges who violated their agreement. If the digital court judges that a party violated the agreement, the party is fined by withholding a deposit made during the initial agreement.”
However, they clarify that there is a key factor that they must face with this mechanism. The technology, according to the researchers, has received “bad press” due to its decentralized nature. In fact, they expressed concern that the digital court would be open to the same issue.
Responding to such concerns, Matsushima said the following:
“Blockchains in some ways are a double-edged sword. But this kind of system signals the dawn of a new economic paradigm that must be embraced and explored rather than feared and ignored.”
Prior example cases
This “digital court” mechanism is not new in the world. Cointelegraph reported on February 12 that Aragon Court had launched a decentralized online court.
At that time, the team behind the design of the system aimed to eliminate “traditional artificial barriers such as national jurisdictions or the borders of a single country” when it comes to mediating disputes.
Large charitable organizations embrace Bitcoin and other crypto donations as the usefulness of crypto in times of crisis emerges.
In the war against the novel coronavirus, cryptocurrencies are emerging as a much-needed tool for charity and fundraising projects. Already there are a number of large nonprofits accepting Bitcoin donations. Plus, some blockchain and crypto firms are contributing medical supplies to hospitals in an attempt to curb the virus, while others are setting up fundraisers and charities that are aimed at helping its victims.
As a number of nonprofits continue to accept cryptocurrency donations, they are starting to realize that crypto transactions significantly reduce costs in terms of fees. Here are a number of charities and fundraisers that accept donations in crypto.
The rate of coronavirus infections in Italy is astonishingly high. For this reason, the Italian Red Cross moved to accept Bitcoin (BTC) and other crypto donations on March 12 with the goal of using the proceeds from the campaign to set up second-level advanced medical posts. The medical posts would be used to pre-triage coronavirus patients.
The project turned out to be such a success such that its fundraising goal of $10,710 was achieved by the third day of the campaign. Since then, the charitable organization has moved to raise even more funds through Bitcoin and other crypto donations with the goal of $26,000. The funds from the second round of funding are set to be used to buy emergency equipment. So far, the organization has achieved around 85% of its goal.
The Water Project
Apart from social distancing, one of the frequent calls by hygiene experts has been to wash hands. Without a doubt, hand washing is one of the crucial ways of fighting the spread of the coronavirus. Charitable organizations such as The Water Project have been at work installing and repairing water points all over impoverished regions in Africa.
They have also been teaching communities how to wash hands and how to keep their water sources free from germs and other pathogens, as well as how to begin and maintain other good health practices. With coronavirus spreading through various countries in Africa, charitable organizations like The Water Project are crucial for the containment of the virus.
For the first time, the organization has launched a fundraising project called WaSH — an acronym for water sanitation and hygiene — with the aim of raising funds to provide clean water and hygiene. Aside from standard methods of donation, the water project also accepts crypto donations in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC).
Binance Charity Foundation
Binance, one of the biggest crypto exchanges, recently launched the Crypto Against COVID initiative through the Binance Charity Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization that aims to build a united front within the crypto community against the pandemic. So far, $1 million has been raised through the foundation with an overall goal of raising $4 million by the end of the campaign.
Apart from accepting crypto donations, Binance Charity will also record all transactions on the blockchain to improve transparency. All crypto donations will then be converted to fiat and displayed on the organization’s website. The exchange arm of Binance has also pledged $1.4 million to help in the fight against the virus.
Houbi, a major crypto exchange based in Singapore, also announced that it has established a charity organization with a pledge of contributing up to $1.4 million. In a tweet, the company stated that the money would be used to “purchase protective equipment and donate to the medical staff working at the frontline.”
According to a tweet from Huboi’s charity wing, it has already completed its first round of the fundraising campaign, and the protective medical equipment has been delivered to hospitals.
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the city of Wuhan in China was the most affected area. The huge number of people who contracted the virus in the area overwhelmed medical resources in the province, leading to a shortage of protective equipment for medical staff.
As a result, the blockchain marketing firm Krypital launched a charity foundation with the aim of acquiring medical supplies for coronavirus victims. The firm's charity campaign is built on a blockchain-enabled donation system that promotes efficiency and transparency. When asked in an interview about the company’s motivation for launching the charity, Krypital’s CEO and co-founder, Margie Wu, replied that the aim of the effort was to safeguard medical staff.
Save the Children
While communities all over the world are encouraged to wash hands, have access to a strong health system and maintain social distancing, refugee communities where people are densely packed in camps cannot enjoy such luxuries. In areas such as Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, children are the most vulnerable.
Save the Children is one of the charitable organizations helping to spearhead efforts to protect children from the coronavirus. The organization is present in over 100 countries and works to ensure that children grow up safe and healthy.
In conjunction with the company The Giving Block, Save the Children has the ability to accept Bitcoin and donations in other cryptocurrencies while staying committed to its purpose of giving kids a certain future.
United Way Worldwide
In an effort to make it easier for donors to support causes that matter to them, United Way Worldwide started accepting Bitcoin as far back as 2014. This was achieved through a partnership with Coinbase, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchange platforms.
United Way Worldwide is a nonprofit organization that focuses on solving the most critical problems in communities around the globe. During the global coronavirus pandemic, the charitable organization has been part of a lobby group advocating for the passing of a law to bring relief to coronavirus victims. Now, the United States Congress has signed into law a bill that includes some big wins for nonprofit organizations fighting the spread of the pandemic.
The Giving Block
With the U.S. Internal Revenue Service treating crypto as property, those donating cryptocurrencies to charitable foundations within the country obtain huge tax incentives. With this in mind, The Giving Block has emerged as a solution that helps nonprofit organizations accept Bitcoin and other crypto donations to the benefit of both the donors and the organizations.
In addition to helping nonprofit organizations accept crypto donations, The Giving Block is also running its own campaign called #cryptoCOVID19. Through its partnership with Gitcoin, an open-source work platform for crypto enthusiasts, The Giving Block is working to unite the most important crypto stakeholders in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. One of the goals of the campaign is to raise $100,000 in crypto donations.
No Kid Hungry
No Kid Hungry is a campaign organized by the nonprofit Share Our Strength, and as the name suggests, this charitable organization aims to end childhood hunger and poverty in the United States. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the organization has begun to accept both fiat and crypto donations. With kids unable to attend schools and benefit from the school meals they depend on, No Kid Hungry is using the donations to serve 1.7 million healthy meals to children in need.
Waves’s charity campaign
On April 3, the crypto exchange Waves launched a controversial campaign aimed at raising relief money for coronavirus victims through betting pools that speculated on the number of confirmed coronavirus cases.
The betting platform allows users to purchase tokens on the exchange specifically assigned for speculation. For instance, if a user thinks the number of coronavirus cases will rise, that user would buy the “COVID-UP” token.
Apart from winning prizes, users will have a chance to share their gains with charity organizations. According to the platform, all proceeds from the event will go to fund projects by nonprofit organizations.
Field Ready provides people in crisis with the most important tools for survival by spreading skills and knowledge of how to make safety equipment, including manufacturing appropriate medical supplies that help people to stay healthy during the coronavirus crisis.
Amid the current global pandemic, the charitable organization will soon be accepting crypto donations that will go into disseminating knowledge about workable solutions toward preventing the spread of the virus. Examples of the open-source products the organization plans to design include unique protective items, face masks, locally made medical equipment repairs and oxygen splitters.
Crypto donations help finance nonprofit projects
As the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry continues to grow, more innovators, creators and millionaires will appear. This means that registered nonprofits that accept crypto donations are set to have a competitive edge in the market.
Aside from the fact that crypto donations open up new opportunities for project financing, they also reduce fees that nonprofits may incur during transactions. This makes it easier for nonprofits to move funds around and finance projects, especially in remote areas that lack financial infrastructure. In the long run, nonprofits can free up more funds to put toward more projects. At a time when the whole world is in crisis, solutions like the ones provided by cryptocurrency donations are much needed.
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IOTA & TMEA partner up to improve infrastructure and trade through technology
TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) is one of the most respected organizations in East Africa and well-known globally for its work on improving livelihoods through improved trade conditions. Following a long due diligence process, multiple ideation sessions, and hands-on work, the IOTA Foundation (IF) is proud to receive the approval of the board of TMEA and become a strategic partner.
Dev Status Update — March, 2020
Most of you are probably aware that the IOTA Foundation’s focus significantly shifted throughout February into resolving the Trinity attack incident. The incident temporarily affected many of the development projects since the mitigation and resolution were pretty much ‘all hands on deck’ on many occasions. Nevertheless, we were able to keep on progressing towards our goals of making Chrysalis a reality.
Research Status Update — March, 2020
Our research groups are pleased to share our latest progress updates from February & March 2020. All groups are progressing nicely toward our goals. Much progress has been made since our February ReSum — where we were engaged with the topics outlined below, as well as liaising with several of our engineers, with whom we are working together to translate our results into end-user products
Community Projects — Machine Payment Prototype
Welcome to the IOTA Community Projects! Every week, we share a new project from our amazing community to inspire you to get hands-on with IOTA. The first initiative we showcased was the Machine Payment Prototype from Akita Block.
Community Projects — Distributed Health Record
The second initiative of the IOTA Community Projects — our initiative to show hands-on projects powered by IOTA — is a Distributed Health Record that uses IoT and the Tangle. The goal is to enable medical home monitoring & sharing with healthcare professionals.
Automation Series — Episode #7
In the 7th episode of the Automation Series, David Sønstebø, our cofounder, discusses M2M transactions, automation, and how digitally native assets, accounting, and contracts fit into the future digital world.
In case you missed it…
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IOTA Newsletter #19 — IOTA strategic partnership with TMEA, Dev Update, Research Update & more was originally published in IOTA on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
Can a new communications platform make security breaches a thing of the past?
Jeff Pulver, a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) pioneer and the co-founder of Vonage, has launched a decentralized application (dApp) that claims to provide the “most secure end-to-end business communications network” available.
The move follows reports last week that rival videochat app Zoom exposed personally identifiable information and private conversations on the open web.
Centralized data storage provides a centralized point of failure
According to Pulver, the problem with existing communication solutions is that they route all business and personal data through one central point. This creates a huge security threat to confidential information.
Pulver’s latest project, Debrief, addresses this issue by implementing encryption, data storage and authentication on the blockchain. Debrief itself retains virtually no user information, as everything is decentralized.
This also prevents hacking or tampering with information once that data is hashed onto the network. Any attempt to edit information on one recipient’s device would be rejected by the other devices on the network.
Debrief can also act as a middleware solution
Aside from its own communications solutions, Debrief can also be used by other blockchains and traditional communication tools (such as Zoom) as an open-source middleware layer. This allows other apps to benefit from Debrief’s secure blockchain authentication and decentralized architecture.
The beta version has already been released, providing HD video-conferencing, peer-to-peer audio and video calling, messaging, file storage and more. There are almost 3,000 participating users right now.
Jeff Pulver was also the primary author of the Pulver Order, adopted by the FCC in 2004 to ensure that users of communication apps such as WhatsApp, FaceTime and Messenger do not have to pay for the service.
As Cointelegraph previously reported, YouTube’s recent action against cryptocurrency-related channels has caused content creators to search out censorship-free alternatives. Users are turning to decentralized versions of popular platforms for an increasing number of reasons.
Bitcoin (BTC) hashrate has increased 33% in just two days while the price of Bitcoin trails behind.
BTC price & hashrate
Bitcoin hashrate has exploded from 91,290,582 TH/s on April 4 to 121,029,181 TH/s on April 6. Historically, Bitcoin hashrate and price have exhibited a very close relationship, with a 0.77 correlation.
This relationship makes sense considering that the hashrate represents, on the one hand, the production cost of Bitcoin for the miners and, on the other hand, the overall security of the Bitcoin network. In other words, the higher the total hashrate, the more expensive it will be for an adversary to take over the network. This decentralized trust is one of key values that Bitcoin possesses.
Source: Cointelegraph, Quandle
Will the price follow?
Over the same timeframe, the price of Bitcoin has increased only 0.92%. The rapid growth in hashrate comes on the heels of recent favorable adjustment in Bitcoin mining, which itself was precipitated by the previous drop in network hashrate.
If Bitcoin price/hashrate correlation remains constant, we can expect to see a significant price surge. However, these dynamics are further complicated by the impending halving of Bitcon block rewards, which is only 36 days away.
With everything else remaining constant, after the halving, miner revenue will also be halved. On the other hand, for miner revenue to remain at the same level, the price would have to double (holding mining efficiency constant). The recent surge in Bitcoin hashrate may indicate that the miners are betting on the second scenario.
Gemini announced that it will be listing Basic Attention Token to its retail platform for U.S. cryptocurrency investors. Following the announcement, on-chain went through the roof.
Gemini to list Basic Attention Token
In a recent blog post, Gemini, a New York-based regulated cryptocurrency exchange, wallet and custodian, revealed that it will be adding Basic Attention Token to its retail platform. The move will provide market access to the altcoin for millions of retail investors.
Basic Attention Token is an Ethereum-based token that is considered to be the backbone of Brave Browser. It improves the efficiency of digital advertising within this internet browser by creating a new unit of exchange between publishers, advertisers, and users.
BAT is set to become the sixth digital asset available for trading on the Winklevoss twins’ platform on April 24 at 9:30am ET. Thereafter, users will be able to deposit their tokens into their accounts and start trading it against multiple trading pairs. These include, the U.S. dollar, Bitcoin (BTC), and Ethereum (ETH).
On-Chain metrics explode
Following the announcement, there was a substantial increase in on-chain metrics, according to Glassnode. The blockchain data intelligence firm affirmed that in the last 24 hours BAT’s network activity skyrocketed. The number of transfers on the network went from 65.5 to 122.13, representing an 86.5 percent increase.
Despite the significant spike in on-chain metrics seen recently, IntoTheBlock’s “Historical In/Out of the Money” reveals that nearly 89 percent of all the addresses holding BAT are losing money. At the moment, only 4.7 percent of Basic Attention Token addresses are “in the money.”
Even though Basic Attention Token appears to have stolen the spotlight lately after multiple announcements that are meant to increase the utility of this altcoin, the massive amount of holders that are in the red suggests that it could have a hard time reaching higher highs. Only time will tell whether demand for BAT increases as it becomes available to a new range of investors.
The post Here’s why Basic Attention Token’s on-chain metrics are exploding as Gemini prepares listing appeared first on CryptoSlate.
Following the growth in internet adoption, several industries have noted an increase in online activity. The gambling industry has been one of the biggest benefactors in this regard, especially in the state of New Jersey.
New Jersey Welcomes all Kinds of Gambling
Individual states across North America may have their own set of guidelines and regulations when it comes to gambling, both online and offline. Casinos, sports betting brokers, and even high-risk coin pushers all have to be strictly regulated to ensure nothing nefarious is going on behind the scenes.
Not all regions in North America treat gambling in the same manner. New Jersey, for example, is far more open to brick-and-mortar gambling, as well as online casinos.
It is widely considered to be the largest market for online gambling across the United States today. By using a platform to see a full list of online casinos in New Jersey, it becomes easier to determine where one should place their bets next. This success can be attributed to the wide variety of online gambling options customers can explore.
Options include online poker games, sports betting through registered online service providers, and online casinos, among others. With competition heating up in the space, it becomes all the more important to find a resource where one can see the full list of online casinos in New Jersey.
Online Casino Revenue is on the Rise
There are ample statistics to back up these claims. Research confirms that online gambling revenue in New Jersey spiked to $482.7 million in 2019. Compared to other regions in North America where online gambling is allowed, New Jersey is clearly ahead of the pack.
During December 2019 – well before the coronavirus crisis became a global issue – online gambling in New Jersey generated $49.3 million in combined revenue. This is a 70% increase compared to December 2018. Primarily the online casinos contribute to this ongoing growth, whereas online poker noted a slight decline in the same month.
Going by the year-in-numbers, online casinos represent the lion share of the total gambling revenue. Of the $428.7 million, roughly $461.7 million came from online casinos alone. Poker games brought in another $20.93 million, representing a 2.1% decline compared to the year prior.
As this industry continues to grow and expand, keeping tabs on the different service providers becomes even more crucial.
The post Online Casinos in New Jersey Record Monster Revenue in 2019 appeared first on NullTX.
Santori joins to the Kraken’s legal team with broad experience in working on legal frameworks for the crypto industry, including SAFT.
The U.S. based crypto exchange Kraken has appointed Marco Santori as the company’s new chief legal officer (CLO), according to an announcement shared with Cointelegraph on April 6th.
Santori’s background in crypto law
Santori is known for his work in litigating, advising and creating new laws in the crypto industry.
Among his professional experience, Kraken’s new CLO worked for Blockchain.com as President, in addition to being part of the Cooley LLP and Pillsbury Winthrop team.
He is also an advisor to the International Monetary Fund, the blockchain ambassador to the State of Delaware, and the chairman of the Regulatory Affairs Committee of the Bitcoin Foundation.
Challenges ahead in crypto’s legal matters
In the company’s announcement, Santori highlighted the fact that the industry has undergone significant changes since his 2012 entry into the crypto world:
“The ‘industry’ at that time was just a small handful of bitcoin exchanges, miners and payment processors. There was only one network - Bitcoin. There was no regulatory guidance and no laws specifically written for digital currency. Now there is, of course, a great multitude of networks, a growing body of regulatory guidance, and even crypto-specific laws.”
Regarding what lies ahead at Kraken, the new company’s CLO stated that balancing effective advocacy across multiple regulators is a “challenge,” not only because of the different laws in their jurisdictions but also, because of the variety of cultural approaches.
Regarding his plans for the future, Santori added the following:
“I expect to continue my work in creating a regulatory environment that fosters innovation while sanctifying consumer well-being. Internally, I aim to create an environment of ability and success for all things legal — from product innovation to business partnerships and corporate governance.”
Santori is also well-known for being one of the authors in the SAFT Project’s paper “Toward a Compliant Token Sale Framework,” which has played prominently in U.S. regulators’ approaches to initial coin offerings.
Cointelegraph reached out to Kraken for additional details, but received no response as of press time. This article will be updated accordingly should a response come in.
Kraken’s ongoing expansion
The announcement follows Kraken’s recently announced expansion plans in India after the country’s lift of a crypto ban.
Additionally, Cointelegraph reported on March 12th that Kraken had launched Forex trading for nine new fiat currency pairs.
CEO of Bitcoin.com Roger Ver has swiped away claims that he laid off 50% of his staff, labeling the news “more Bcash FUD”.
Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver has brushed aside assertions that his website laid off 50% of its workforce, labeling the claims “more Bcash FUD.”
Several cryptocurrency news outlets reported the layoff news after a post appeared on Candor, a site that purports to list jobs lost in response to the coronavirus.
Problems with Candor’s methods
However, Candor’s list is entirely user-generated, meaning anyone can list job layoff statistics from companies they have nothing to do with. Judging by Ver’s recent posts on the r/btc subreddit (which he also moderates), that appears to have been the case regarding Bitcoin.com.
When asked to clear up reports that 50% of Bitcoin.com staff had lost their jobs, Ver gave the terse reply:
“More Bcash FUD.”
The term ‘Bcash’ is used in a derogative fashion by members of the Bitcoin community who disagree with Bitcoin Cash’s aims. ‘FUD’ stands for fear, uncertainty and doubt.
The layoff claims come amidst a changeover in personnel at Bitcoin.com, with outgoing CEO Stefan Rust being replaced by Mate Tokay, previously COO at the organization.
The same claims may have been fuelled by the wording of Stefan Rust’s goodbye post, in which he suggested Roger Ver intended to trim down the size of Bitcoin.com’s team. Rust wrote: “Given these roller-coaster times we are in, Roger is looking at a leaner, more guerilla, team.”
‘Bitcoin Jesus’: block reward halving is non-event
In a YouTube video from April 5th, Ver (aka Bitcoin Jesus) poured cold water on the prospect of the BCH coin price exploding in response to the upcoming block reward halving (now 2 days away). Ver said:
“The last two times, basically nothing happened at all. It was a non-event; it wasn’t exciting at all, and that’s my prediction for what’s going to happen this time as well. But we’re just a couple of days away, so stay tuned and see what happens with that.”
The upcoming halving will see Bitcoin Cash block rewards halved from 12.5 BCH per block, to 6.25 per block. Bitcoin’s own block reward halving is 37 days away, and will see miners’ block rewards reduced by the same ratio.
One of the most exciting things about being a stakeholder in the fledgling cryptoeconomy is having the opportunity and privilege to be constantly surrounded by brilliant and creative people of all stripes.
With that said, new conversations have been unfolding around crypto’s place in the world amid the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic plunging the world into societal and economic uncertainty.
Some of these conversations have already brought curious newcomers in, and there’s reason to believe more will be coming as these conversations continue. It’s always useful for novices to know great sources of information in any learning curve, so with today’s post I wanted to highlight a select list of people I’ve found to be among the brightest minds grappling with cryptocurrencies today.
Naturally, the following thinkers approach the crypto ecosystem in different ways and from different positions, but they all share in common rigorous intellects, industrious track records, and senses of sincerity in their work.
In a space with no shortage of noise and mirage, then, these thinkers have consistently offered nuanced and bright insights — some more optimistic and others more skeptical, of course, yet all being worthy of closer consideration — and they’re worth keeping in mind as trusted sources accordingly.
Ryan Sean Adams
Publisher of the Bankless newsletter, RSA is one of the best “explainers” in the Ethereum ecosystem — he has a knack not only for illuminating complex things about the platform in simple terms but also for routinely hosting awesome guest posters at his newsletter that are also very bright and insightful in their own rights. He’s an educator, and he’s among the bests so far.
Example work: “ETH’s monetary policy is underrated”
John Adler is one of the great technical talents in the Ethereum ecosystem. Currently at Fuel Labs, Adler is one of the pioneers of the “Optimistic Rollup” technology that burst onto the scene last year. That tech is set to become among the brightest stars in Ethereum’s wider scaling constellation, so Adler’s past, present, and future work and writings are of note in general.
Example work: “The ‘Why’s of Optimistic Rollup”
Artist and art writer Jason Bailey is a foremost specialist when it comes to the crossroads of art and tech. Bailey isn’t defined by his work in the crypto space, but his work therein is notable. He’s seen solid sales (a few to me as I love his style) on SuperRare, Ethereum’s leading art platform to date, and amassed a significant early cryptoart collection. Bailey even made cryptoart history earlier this year when he sold Robbie Barrat’s “AI Generated Nude Portrait 1” for 75 ETH.
Example work: “2020 Art Market Predictions”
Jill Carlson, a principal at Slow Ventures, is among the leading entrepreneurs in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. And you don’t rise to that position without having fostered a keen and assertive feel for the space, which Carlson absolutely has. “To judge cryptocurrency based on mainstream adoption is to judge it on a metric it was never designed to achieve,” the entrepreneur notably argued in the op-ed below.
One could argue Nic Carter, a partner at Castle Island Ventures and co-founder of Coin Metrics, is easily among the three best Bitcoin analysts in the world. Of course, others might reason differently, but I personally lean toward thinking it’s true. Carter has a sharp mind, understands Bitcoin deeply, and knows how to get the most out of cryptoeconomy data that others might tend to overlook.
Example work: “A most peaceful revolution”
Amy Castor is one of the best journalists in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Castor’s written for herself as well as for numerous industry publications, and the whole time she’s exhibited her signature writing style, which has proven consistently to be excellent, focused, biting, and witty. Don’t miss her stuff!
Matthew Graham is the CEO of Sino Global Capital, a vantage point that has allowed him to accrue considerable experience with, and many direct insights into, China’s domestic cryptocurrency scene. As such, if you’re interested in tracking China’s crypto arena, Graham is definitely one of your best bets.
Alongside Nic Carter, I think Hasu is among the best Bitcoin analysts in the game. From their writings Hasu is obviously bright and articulate, but they also strike me as extremely fair and intellectually curious. Taken altogether, those combinations make for a Bitcoin analyst worth closely tracking.
Example work: “A model for Bitcoin’s security and the declining block subsidy”
David Hoffman is the COO of Ethereum real estate project RealT, but he’s also one of the best writers and thinkers in the Ethereum space. Some of his early writings have gone on to become seminal pieces in the platform’s fledgling brainpool, which have in turn inspired further notable pieces.
Example work: “Ether: a New Model for Money”
Matteo Leibowitz is among the top three most talented Ethereum analysts, full stop. There’s no further qualifications needed. If you’re into Ethereum, you simply have to have him on you’re radar.
Example work: “Open Finance: 2020 Trends”
Sarah Jamie Lewis
Sarah Jamie Lewis is a supremely talented anonymity and privacy researcher as well as the executive director of the Open Privacy organization. Like Jason Bailey, Lewis is hardly defined by the areas where her work links up with cryptocurrency, but her supreme expertise in all things privacy makes her a mind worth consulting, crypto or not.
Example work: “Incentivizing Trustlessness”
Hester Peirce is a commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that has come out in recent times as one of the biggest pro-crypto figures in the U.S. government. She’s a force to watch going forward accordingly.
Gabriel Shapiro is a talented attorney with programming chops, which makes him something of a magical unicorn at the edge of the Ethereum community. He doesn’t hesitate to be skeptical or argue as the devil’s advocate, but that speaks to just how wide his perspective is. He’s an asset to the ecosystem and has helped out in big ways with things like MetaCartel Ventures.
Example work: “An open letter to SEC Commissioner Peirce on token safe harbors”
Ameen Soleimani is a pioneer, not only as the head of SpankChain but also as the found of grassroots Ethereum funding group MolochDAO. That DAO spawned an explosion of innovation around Ethereum, making it major illustration of why Soleimani is one to watch.
When it comes to the “NFT” digital collectibles arena blooming on Ethereum right now, Andrew Steinwold is unquestionably one of the best analysts around, if not the best. Steinwold publishes the excellent Zima Red, which tracks “all things non-fungible.” If you’re into even a little bit NFTs, following him is a no brainer.
Example work: “Cryptovoxels Investment Thoughts”
Camila Russo, the publisher of The Defiant newsletter, is the great Ethereum storyteller. She’s arguably the best DeFi writer around and someone you’ll want to be reading at length.
Katherine Wu is a principal at Notation Capital that has gained the cryptocurrency community’s appreciation for insightfully annotating major crypto legal documents, often in prompt fashion. She has a sharp mind and a helpful spirit, so she’s a great follow like the rest.
Example work: “Dissecting the Block.one Settlement with the SEC“
The post The Minds of Crypto: Highlighting Great Thinkers Around Bitcoin, Ethereum & More appeared first on Blockonomi.