Bitcoin at Most Overbought Level Since Record Bull Run: Bloomberg Analyst

Bitcoin is at its most overbought level since its record highs in December 2017, Bloomberg analyst Mike McGlone claims.

Bitcoin (BTC) is at its most overbought level since its record highs in December 2017, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mike McGlone claimed in an article published on April 5.

Per the report, Bitcoin’s GTI Global Strength Indicator shows that the coin has not been this overbought since its price neared its record peak of $20,000. Bloomberg also claims that similar patterns in the past have heralded multi-week long downturns.

Bitcoin’s GTI Global Strength Indicator

Bitcoin’s GTI Global Strength Indicator. Source: Bloomberg

According to McGlone, recent market market growth occurred because of long-term price compression and low volatility, which caused the price to be “released from the cage.” McGlone stated that he expects a similar downturn period to follow the recent growth:

“Now it’s a question of duration and I suspect when you have such a massive bubble, you’ll always have an overhang of people who need to sell.”

The article also quotes David Tawil, president of crypto hedge fund ProChain Capital, who reportedly expects the market to continue its downward trend. While he admits that “it’s nice to see a positive move as opposed to a negative move,” he notes that it is not comforting:

“Certainly, an investor would much rather see a gradual rise with constant floors in terms of downside being established, as opposed to a very, very quick run-up. It could easily be easy come, easy go.”

McGlone’s and Tawil’s analysis appear to contrast with that of Fundstrat Global Advisors co-founder Thomas Lee. As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, according to Lee, Bitcoin is back in a bullish trend. Lee pointed out that BTC has now broken over its 200-day-moving-average.

Additionally, trade and author Peter Brandt seemingly disagreed with McGlone, having tweeted on April 5 that he wouldn't be surprised if Bitcoin was to enter another parabolic phase.

Earlier this week, leading United States derivative market CME Group pointed out that its Bitcoin futures reported record trading volumes on April 4.

Bitcoin Climbs Over $5,100 as Top Cryptos See Solid Gains

Most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are seeing moderate to notable gains on the day by press time, as Bitcoin climbs over the $5,100 mark.

Sunday, April 7 — most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are seeing moderate to notable gains on the day by press time, as Bitcoin (BTC) climbs over the $5,100 mark.

Market visualization courtesy of Coin360

Market visualization courtesy of Coin360

Bitcoin’s price has seen a gain of two and a half percent on the day, trading at around $5,156 by press time, according to CoinMarketCap. Looking at its weekly chart, the current price is a solid 20% higher than $4,095, the price at which Bitcoin started the week.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Bloomberg analyst Mike McGlone claimed earlier this week that Bitcoin is at its most overbought level since its record highs in December 2017. Also, leading United States derivative market CME Group pointed out that its Bitcoin futures reported record trading volumes on April 4.

Ethereum (ETH) is holding onto its position as the largest altcoin by market cap, which is currently at about $17.7 billion. The second-largest altcoin, Ripple (XRP), has a market cap of about $15 billion by press time.

ETH is up by 2.12% over the last 24 hours. At press time, ETH is trading around $168, after having started the day at $163. On its weekly chart, ETH has seen its value increase by almost 19%.

Ethereum 7-day price chart

Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Second-largest altcoin Ripple has gained one and a half percent over the 24 hours to press time, and is currently trading at around $0.36. Looking at the coin’s weekly chart, its current price is over 16% higher than the price at which it started the week.

Ripple 7-day price chart

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Among the top 20 cryptocurrencies, the one reporting the most notable gains is Ethereum Classic (ETC), which is up over 20% on the day to press time.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has also seen notable daily growth, up 11% to press time. On the week, BCH has seen massive growth of 91%.

The total market cap of all cryptocurrencies reached $180 billion today, which is almost 25% higher than $144.3 billion, the value it saw one week ago.

Earlier this week a Japanese news outlet reported that G20 member countries will meet to discuss international cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulation on June 8 and 9 in Fukuoka, Japan.

G20 to Establish Crypto AML and Counter-Terrorism Financing Regulations in June: Report

G20 member countries will reportedly meet to discuss international cryptocurrency anti-money laundering regulation in June in Fukuoka, Japan.

G20 member countries will meet to discuss international cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulation on June 8 and 9 in Fukuoka, Japan. The news was revealed in a report from local news outlet Kyodo on April 4.

Per the report, and in accordance with official plans, G20 central bank governors and finance ministers will take part in the meeting. The event will be focused on establishing a framework to combat crypto-enabled money laundering and terrorism financing.

Further, according to the Kyodo, it is expected that “it was revealed” on April 4 that the countries are expected to reach an agreement over new regulations during this meeting. The report states that the main aim is anti-anonymity. Namely, the group is reportedly looking to establish stricter identification of individuals transacting in crypto at the moment of transaction, to keep asset flow transparent.

As Cointelegraph reported in December last year, the G20 countries have already called for “a taxation system for cross-border electronic payment services” as well as regulation to combat money laundering. It has been reported at the time that the member countries, which then gathered in Argentina, would consider the issue during this year’s meeting “when Japan will be the president of the summit.”

In March, the founder and CEO of United Kingdom-based digital banking app Revolut publicly denied allegations of a money laundering-related breach and negligence by the company.

Luck of the Draw: New Binance Launchpad Lottery Structure Divides Critics

The world’s leading crypto exchange and token offering platform turns to a lottery-style structure.

Despite the changing attitude toward altcoins and initial coin offerings (ICO) on the whole, Launchpad — the token offering platform developed by the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance — is selling out of its offerings in a matter of minutes. With the firm now concluding a series of sold-out token launches, the company divided opinions when it announced changes to the structure of its platform. Cointelegraph takes a look at the changes to the service, along with the latest Binance token offering news and developments.

Binance Launchpad changes format

On March 24, prominent cryptocurrency exchange Binance published a post laying out fundamental changes to the structure of its Launchpad token sale platform.

The company had previously used a first-come, first-served system that resulted in long waiting lists and some investors missing out on tokens. According to the press release, the company will now use a lottery-style format for its future token sales on Launchpad.

As per the press release, the new system will focus around a lottery ticket initiative in which service users will be able to claim a maximum of five tickets by holding a certain amount of Binance Coin (BNB) over the 20-day period preceding the lottery. Users are allocated one ticket per 100 BNB held, up until the maximum of five tickets is reached. The minimum amount of 100 BNB necessary to take part in the lottery currently sets the investment threshold at $1,700. According to the company, users will be able to choose how many tickets they want to enter into the lottery 24 hours before the winners are selected. The maximum number is chosen based on their BNB holdings over the 20 day period prior to the lottery event.

It appears that the change in format stems from a multitude of factors, varying from customer demand to efforts to make the process more fair. Although the company did not specify what specific demands customers had requested, or whether or not they were experiencing a change in clientele, a spokesperson for Binance Launchpad spoke to Cointelegraph about the rationale behind the changes:

“In a fast-changing world, we listen, learn and adapt. We created a new lottery format for Binance Launchpad because we are prioritizing for fairness, transparency and a better user experience.”

Despite increased investor skepticism of the usefulness of ICOs in general, Binance claims to be experiencing an increase in its token sale participants, citing figures released by founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao (aka CZ):

“if you look at the number of participants CZ has publicly announced on his Twitter, the demand is actually growing for Launchpad with each session. For example, 39,003 people participated in the recent Launchpad token sale, whereas only 19,860 people participated in the token sale prior.”

Although the figures appear to suggest that Binance’s appeal for ICOs is undimmed, the changes to Launchpad’s format drew sharp criticism from members of the crypto community, with many saying that the changes would price out small investors. Investors and crypto enthusiasts alike took to Twitter to voice their concerns over what implications the new format could have:

As it became clear that the new format was experiencing a mixed reception at best, CZ engaged with a number of Twitter users to try to gauge what might be more palatable to the widest range of potential investors:

In the thread, CZ addressed the most commonly mentioned issues and suggestions, stating that the “Launchpad model is not set in stone. It’s the result of multiple detailed discussions over the weekend, while considering all angles. We will consider suggestions and will make certain tweaks.”

The main concerns fall into two categories. The first issue that critics were swift to point out is that the proposed system appeared to favor “whales” — i.e. individuals or entities that hold a large number of cryptocurrency — and was in danger of pricing out smaller investors unable to hold 100 BNB. CZ pointed out that, while it would be possible to lower the threshold, this would consequently reduce the percentage chance of winning and could result in dissatisfaction with the service. Many critics suggested a “magic number” of 50 BNB. While CZ admitted that the threshold could potentially be a mistake, he did stress that the core demand remained very high for Launchpad and that limiting the minimum amount does not represent a quick solution to the problem.

The second issue concerned whales creating several accounts in order to gain additional tickets, thereby maximizing their chances of being selected. In addition to information in the press release stating that all due diligence and Know Your Customer (KYC) measures would still apply as usual, CZ stated that all measures to prevent this from happening were both strong and already in place:

The CEO also made sure to point out that people should only take part in Launchpad token sales if they are in a financially stable position and can factor in the losses that they may potentially suffer. Likewise, in the press release announcing the changes published on March 24, the company stated that entry into the lottery does not guarantee winning and that fluctuations of BNB’s price were likely:

“BNB price will fluctuate during the 20 day period. If BNB price drops, it is entirely possible the drop in BNB price will outweigh any gains made by the new token. That is first assuming you win in the lottery draw. Further, the new token being sold is not guaranteed to increase in price. It may drop in price. There are significant risks. You are responsible for your own decisions.”

When Cointelegraph questioned a spokesperson for Binance Launchpad about whether the platform was experiencing a shift toward larger investors, the company declined to comment but gave a short response regarding criticism of the new format:

“As CZ tweeted recently about Launchpad, we take suggestions into careful consideration, and will make certain adjustments based on the feedback we receive.”

Recent coin launches

In recent months Binance Launchpad completed a number of high-profile token sales. Demand is clearly high for coin launches, with many of the token sales completed in a matter of minutes. Most recently, the company completed a $4 million sale of Celer Network (CELR) tokens. Celer Network is a layer-2 scaling platform that works to enable off-chain transactions for payment transactions and off-chain smart contracts.

All 597,014,925 CELR tokens were sold in a single session that lasted 17 minutes and 35 seconds. As with previous token sales, Binance only accepts payment via BNB. At press time, each CELR token is worth 0.001051 BNB, equating to $0.020181.

On Feb. 25, Binance Launchpad completed the sale of Fetch.AI (FET) tokens, reaching a total of $6 million, with over 69 million tokens sold. According to a tweet published by CZ, the sale was completed in just 22 seconds.

Fetch.AI is a project that seeks to establish an “economic internet” by combining machine learning, multi-agent systems, intelligent smart contracts, distributed ledger technology and artificial intelligence.  FET’s initial coin offering was set to close once the $6 million hard cap was reached or on March 3. According to a tweet published by CZ, the sale was oversubscribed, leading to a bottleneck on the exchange:

“24000 people pre-signed the User Agreement, 19860 people successfully submitted a buy order, 2758 people got a piece. The first 22 seconds.”

As per a Binance blog post published on Feb. 25, the tokens were, in fact, sold to participants in less than 11 minutes and 14 seconds. The extension in the initially reported time is allegedly the result of taking into account the processing time for submitted buy orders.

At the time of the launch, 1 FET token was sold at 0.00858400 BNB, equating to $0.0818, at a BNB-USD exchange rate of $9.53, as of Feb. 26. Participant token purchases were capped at $3,000, with a minimum investment threshold of $20.

Binance also concluded the sale of Tron-based BitTorrent token (BTT) on Jan. 28, bringing in a total of $7.1 million dollars and a total sale of 50 billion tokens in less than 15 minutes. BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file-sharing platform that allows service users to share files such as music or videos via the internet.

Unlike the sale of the FET and CELR tokens, the BTT launch consisted of two simultaneous sessions, with one for buyers purchasing with BNB and another for buyers using Tron (TRX). According to information posted on the Binance website, each token was priced at $0.00012 at press time.  

Tron CEO and founder Justin Sun confirmed the successful sale of the tokens in a tweet after the launch had been completed:

“It is official: In the BNB session, all 23.76 billion BTT were sold to token sale participants within 13 minutes and 25 seconds. Meanwhile, in the Tron session, all 35.64 billion BTT were sold within 14 minutes and 41 seconds.”

Despite the success of the sale and its seemingly short duration, CZ tweeted that the launch could have concluded much faster were it not for some unexpected technical issues relating to the sheer level of demand for the product:

“Both sessions concluded. Took about 18 minutes, due to a system issue, would have taken 18 seconds otherwise. Demand was astronomical.”

Huobi launches rival platform

With several lucrative ICOs under its belt, Binance Launchpad’s success has not gone unnoticed. Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Huobi Global announced on March 20 the launch of its own platform for prerelease token sales in a blog post.

The platform, officially named Huobi Prime, will give investors the change to access new altcoins before they appear publicly on the most prominent exchanges. The services will be powered by Huobi Token. According to Leon Li, founder and CEO of Huobi Group, the new service stems from customer demand and has been designed “from the ground up to be a more innovative, direct and responsive way to access up and coming new tokens.”

According to information published in the Medium post, all coins purchased through Huobi Prime are immediately deposited into users accounts. The company also states that a “rigorous screening and selection process” has been put in place, citing the importance of a progressive business model, financial backing, community support, reputation, technical innovation and expertise in aspiring projects.

Listings on Huobi Prime were initially set to involve three 30-minute rounds of coin offerings, however, the company announced  a change to 5-minute rounds of active trading with 5-minute breaks in an April 3 press release. The first two rounds will have a similar structure in that a certain amount of discounted tokens will be made available to users on a first-come, first served basis.The ratio will be 20 percent of total supply in the first round and 30 percent in the second. The biggest shake up to the existing structure is the allocation of the remaining 50 percent of discounted tokens in the third round. The company explains in the press release that this will benefit users who have not reached their cap in the preceding rounds:

“Users who have not exhausted their personal cap and place limit buy orders in the third round will receive at least some portion of the tokens they ordered via adjusted system matching. Orders must be placed at the highest buy price in order to be filled partially and the amount filled will be positively correlated to the size of the order.”

While the group states that Huobi Prime is open to all types of investor, the blog post states that individual purchases cannot surpass a $1,000 USD equivalent in Huobi Tokens.

In order to take part in future token sales, users need a verified account and an average monthly holding of at least 500 Huobi Tokens. The company said that the limit was put in place to try to strike a balance between larger- and smaller-scale investors, in addition to ensuring legitimate usership.

 

Huobi Prime reported that the company’s inaugural launch of TOP token on March 26 enjoyed high demand and that all 1.5 billion tokens were sold:

“Our inaugural launch was met with enormous demand, with 3,764 users buying 1.5 billion TOP Tokens using Huobi Token (HT). The total supply of TOP tokens offered was sold out for all three rounds of trading, with the first round selling out of available tokens in 7 seconds, the second round in 5 seconds, and the third in 7 seconds.”

Regarding the fresh competition from companies attempting to launch their own coin offering platforms, Binance Launchpad remained optimistic, stating that they are confident its products and user experience will guarantee high standards:

“Many IEOs are popping up on other exchanges, so we anticipate new formats and systems. Binance Launchpad will always uphold the highest standards for token launches; we select the highest quality projects and seek to provide the best user experience.”

The next coin launch on Huobi Prime will take place on April 16.

Not Staying Neutral: Switzerland Paves the Way for Crypto Regulation

Armin Schmid Armin Schmid is CEO of Swiss Crypto Tokens, a provider of the token issuance services which is a part of the Bitcoin Suisse Group. _______________________________ F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote that, “Switzerland is a country where very few things begin, but many things end” — It’s unfortunate that blockchain was not of his time, as he may have been convinced other

Analyzing Charlie Lee’s legendary Litecoin price predictions

Charlie Lee, the creator and founder of Litecoin, made a number of bold price predictions over the past few years. These predictions have had startling accuracy. Among his predictions, he accurately forecasted the bottom for LTC and also infamously sold his holdings near the top of the 2017 bull market.

Charlie Lee was a former Google employee and computer scientist prior to founding Bitcoin’s complementary cryptocurrency, Litecoin. After Google, Lee was the managing director of engineering at Coinbase. He now works for the Litecoin Foundation to encourage the cryptocurrency’s adoption full-time. Lee said to Forbes:

“When I released Litecoin there were a lot of other cryptocurrencies that were pre-mined by founders [that] wanted to be super rich. I preannounced Litecoin on Bitcointalk, so people could mine it from the get go. It was more widely distributed from the start than Bitcoin.”

Litecoin is a cryptocurrency that aims to be a medium-of-exchange counterpart to Bitcoin’s proposition as a store-of-value. So much so that Litecoin is oftentimes colloquially likened to silver and Bitcoin to gold among crypto-enthusiasts.

Lee’s Legendary Price Predictions

On May 8th, 2017, Litecoin was the first major cryptocurrency to implement Segregated Witness (SegWit). SegWit mitigates a blockchain size limitation problem that reduces transaction speeds and also laid the groundwork for Lightning Network.

More than a month prior to the network-wide implementation of the update, Charlie Lee correlates the number of nodes signaling that they will implement SegWit to the price of LTC:

At open on Apr. 3rd, the day of the tweet, Litecoin was trading at $7.74 per coin. With a final prediction of $14, his forecast was expecting an 81 percent increase in the price of LTC.

Two days later, On Apr. 5, the coin closed above $11. On May 10th, the day of SegWit’s full implementation on the Litecoin network, it closed at $31.96—far above what he was expecting, with the price increasing over four-fold.

Source: CoinMarketCap

On Sep. 14, 2017, Tuur Demeester—founder of Adamant Capital, a Bitcoin Alpha fund—started buying bitcoin after it precipitously dropped from $4,650 to $3,000 in one week. Charlie Lee agreed, calling the bottom:

LTC price
Source: CoinMarketCap

By the next day, bitcoin hit its bottom just below $3,000. BTC has not traded at such a low price since.

Predicting the Incoming Crypto Winter

Charlie Lee went on to predict the top of the market in anticipation of the ensuing crypto winter. He announced that he expected a similar multi-year bear market to decimate the price of LTC:

Roughly one year after cryptocurrency prices peaked in December-January, amidst the lows of the bear market, traders were astonished at Lee’s predictions of Litecoin bottoming at $20:

Shortly after his tweet predicting Litecoin’s bottom at $20, Lee also announced that he sold his entire LTC holdings—almost perfectly predicting Litecoin’s bull market peak.

Source: CoinMarketCap

In his announcement to the community on selling his holdings, Lee stated:

“…there will always be a doubt on whether any of my actions were to further my own personal wealth above the success of Litecoin and crypto-currency in general. For this reason, in the past days, I have sold/donated all my LTC. Litecoin has been very good for me financially, so I am well off enough that I no longer need to tie my financial success to Litecoin’s success. For the first time in 6+ years, I no longer own a single LTC…”

The “Flappening”

The Unflappening, Bitcoin Cash Leaves Litecoin to Roost
Related: The Unflappening, Bitcoin Cash Leaves Litecoin to Roost

The ‘Flappening’ is a play on words on the previously anticipated “flippening,” where Ethereum would overtake Bitcoin by market capitalization. The Flappening is where Litecoin would overtake Bitcoin Cash in the rankings, with BCH outranking LTC for several consecutive months.

Litecoin enthusiasts adopted the terminology by embodying its founder, Charlie Lee, into the term–Lee’s online nickname and persona as the ‘Chikun’ makes the vernacular appropriate.

On Feb. 25, 2018, Lee predicted that LTC would overtake BCH’s position:

And, in December of that same year, the “flappening” occurred following the Bitcoin Cash hash wars where BCH split into Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin SV, significantly devaluing the coin.

On Dec. 15, 2018, the day after the flappening, Litecoin briefly hit its multi-year bottom of $22—just $2 away from his prediction over a year earlier—Lee (aptly) tweeted:

Source: CoinMarketCap

Following his tweet, Litecoin rebounded from its $22 low and has not traded at a lower price since.

These are only a limited selection of the predictions that Charlie Lee has made. Unlike other pundits who assert that they can predict the price of Bitcoin or see into the future, Lee doesn’t make those claims. And, the times he does make predictions he often does so with astounding accuracy.

If his track record tells investors anything, the Litecoin founder’s advice “don’t bet against Charlie Lee” seems sound.

The post Analyzing Charlie Lee’s legendary Litecoin price predictions appeared first on CryptoSlate.

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

bullish bitcoin

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


Bitcoin’s Hourly EMA Ribbon Providing Support

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

bitcoin hourly ema ribbon

Bitcoin chart provided by TradingView.

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

Bitcoin’s Weekly EMA Ribbon Under Siege

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

bitcoin weekly ema ribbon

Weekly Stochastic RSI Refuses to Come Down

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

bitcoin weekly stochastic rsi

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

Where Does Bitcoin Price Go From Here?

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

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

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

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

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


Images via TradingView, Shutterstock

The post Bitcoin Price Bulls Show Up on Saturday, Push BTC Back Above $5100 appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Hypocrite: Why Trump Needs to STFU About the ‘Creepy Joe Biden’ Scandal

Donald Trump is reveling in hypocrisy by taunting ‘Creepy Joe Biden.’ Given his own record of allegations of sexual misconduct and disturbing statements about his own daughter, the president might be wise to tread cautiously. Joe Biden Facing Pressure After Accusations Four women have recently accused Joe Biden of making them feel uncomfortable by touching them in an overly familiar way. One is Lucy Flores, who claims he grabbed her shoulders and kissed her head. The former Nevada state legislator was disappointed in Biden’s lack of contrition in his response on Twitter, which lacked an unreserved apology. Joe Biden’s actions

The post Hypocrite: Why Trump Needs to STFU About the ‘Creepy Joe Biden’ Scandal appeared first on CCN

Blockchain and DEX Startup Radar Releases New Lightning Network Developer Tools

Radar, the startup behind decentralized exchange Radar Relay, announced that it will release new Lightning Network developer tools.

Radar, the startup behind decentralized exchange Radar Relay that raised $10 million last year, announced that it will release new Lightning Network developer tools. The statement was made in a Medium post published on April 5.

The developer tools, which will be released at the Lightning Network hackathon sponsored by the company, Boltathon, include a node configuration helper, a tool for opening channels and requesting channels, an invoice sandbox for test and an invoice decoder. The tools will be accompanied by setup tutorials, software recommendations and configuration guides for connecting through anonymity network Tor and accessing unreleased features.

The tools and educational material above are part of the company’s Radar ION initiative, which aims to bring new users to the Lightning Network. The Lightning Network is a cryptocurrency scalability solution — most well-known in its application to Bitcoin (BTC) — aiming to provide nearly free and instantaneous transactions.

As Cointelegraph reported in March, blockchain development company Lightning Labs announced the initial release of the Lightning Network offramp Lightning Loop.

Also in March, Bitcoin mining and development company Bitfury entered into a partnership with United States payments processor startup HadePay to allow its merchants to accept Lightning Network transactions.

$5,000: Why Amazon Stock is Primed for a Parabolic 175% Rally

One equities analyst is going all out on his bullish thoughts about Amazon stock (NASDAQ: AMZN), saying the company has the makings of what it takes to command $5,000 a share by 2025. That would put the company’s valuation at $2.5 trillion. It would also make it the first ever to reach that level, according to Doug Kass, president of Seabreeze Partners Management. He sent out an email to his firm’s clients with his opinions. Kass and Seabreeze Partners aren’t the only ones who are bullish on Amazon, but they are in a class by themselves with the mammoth $5,000

The post $5,000: Why Amazon Stock is Primed for a Parabolic 175% Rally appeared first on CCN

Blockchain Mortgage Tech Startup Acre Software Raises $6.5 Mln From UK Financial Advisor

UK startup Acre Software raised about $6.5 million to apply blockchain technology to the mortgage and insurance application process for advisers.

United Kingdom startup Acre Software raised about $6.5 million to apply blockchain technology to the mortgage and insurance application process for advisers, a press release published on April 4 states.

Per the release, nearly three-quarters of UK mortgages are facilitated by advisers, and the company aims to help them retain their position by matching the speed of an end-user service. Acre reportedly uses blockchain to store all the data about mortgage advice immutably.

The investment reportedly comes from UK financial adviser Sesame Bankhall Group (SBG), which, according to the release, has more than 11,000 advisers in the country. Owler estimates the annual revenue of the advisory firm to be around $4.5 million. Moreover, the release also claims that SBG closed an exclusive deal with the startup, the details of which were not disclosed.

As Cointelegraph reported in October last year, mortgages are seemingly a target for modernization and decentralization through the application of blockchain technology. Big Four auditing firm PWC claimed in a report that blockchain “technology could remove cost and friction from the process, create transaction records that are infallible and incorruptible, and facilitate near-instantaneous settlement.”

More recently, in March, Swiss mortgage bank Hypothekarbank (“Hypi”) Lenzburg partnered with Swiss crypto asset manager TokenSuisse to expand the bank’s service offerings for crypto and blockchain firms.

Why Bitcoiners Shouldn’t Worry About High Transaction Fees

The BTC price recently surged to $5,000. This movement was accompanied by an increasing number of transactions (and resulting fees) on the Bitcoin network. The current average transaction fees ($1.9), albeit not as high as it was the first time bitcoin crossed the $5000 mark in 2017 ($4.4), have raised concerns about a potential congestion, slow operations and high costs on the network, should the rally continue.

This article explains why slow transactions and high fees on the main Bitcoin blockchain is not a matter of grave concern.

Bitcoin

Chart from bitinfocharts.com shows the sharp increase in average BTC transaction fees.

Prioritizing Security On Bitcoin

Firstly, it is important to note that Bitcoin prioritizes security over speed and low fees. While it’s true that faster and cheaper mediums of exchange existed before Satoshi’s invention, censorship resistance and secure transactions are paramount for this technology. Consequently, the focus is on enabling users to store funds that cannot be confiscated. Allowing transfers that cannot be blocked by any authority is another priority.

The bitcoin hashrate is a key determinant of the security of the network. Hashrate refers to the amount of power being used by miners to keep finding blocks. Networks with higher hashrates are more secure since they make 51% attacks more expensive to execute. This is because an attacker will have to control more than 50% of a network’s hashrate in order to carry out that majoritarian attack. Hence, the Bitcoin network is more secure with more miners.

In order to encourage more miners to join the Bitcoin network, the transaction fees that come with block rewards will have to be high enough to keep the operations profitable. In simple terms, low fees disincentivize miners. Also, fewer of them also lead to a less secure network.

This is why users need not be overly worried about high fees on the main bitcoin blockchain. The incentive system for miners makes it nearly impossible to simultaneously prioritize the security of the network, push for increased adoption and have very low fees.

The Lightning Network Offers Lower Transaction Fees

The Lightning Network has seen increased adoption since its launch. At the time of writing, the network had 7,805 nodes, 38,963 channels and a capacity of 1076.48 BTC. More importantly, the median transaction fee on the LN is $0.000048684, or 1 satoshi.

The Lightning Network — with its negligible fees and almost instant transactions — makes it unnecessary for the Bitcoin community to compromise the security of the main chain in a bid to lower fees. For instance, there is no need to complain about the current $1.98 average transaction fee on the main blockchain. A user can simply opt for the Lightning network when making small payments.

Presently, there is no excuse to not use the Lightning Network since many user-friendly wallets have been developed to enable users to easily and seamlessly make transactions on this second layer. Eclair, Zap the Bitcoin Lightning Wallet are examples of Lightning wallets with great and intuitive user interfaces and experiences.

It is true that opening and closing Lightning channels involve on-chain transactions. Such on-chain operations do not incur the minimal fees associated with transactions executed when a channel remains open. Here, users still have on-chain transaction fees to worry about when leaving and returning to the Lightning network. Critics will, however, agree that Lightning still offers significantly lower fees in general, when making multiple transactions.

There are also custodial Lightning wallets for users who prioritized low fees over decentralization. These solutions go against the ideals of bitcoin because they are centralized and do not give users 100% control over funds. They are, however, beneficial when it comes to low fees and somewhat convenient to non-technical users. This is because they keep channels open for their customers, so they can make transactions without worrying about on-chain transaction fees.

The implementation of the Lightning Network may not prevent the occasional spike in bitcoin transactions fees. However, the satoshis you pay for every operation on the second layer network remain insignificant. Depending on preference for security or low fees, users can choose from on-chain transactions and Lightning transactions from either custodial or non-custodial wallets. There is, therefore, no point in worrying about fees on the main bitcoin blockchain.

Image by 5933179 from Pixabay 

Read more:

The post Why Bitcoiners Shouldn’t Worry About High Transaction Fees appeared first on Crypto Insider.

YouTuber Accuses Ian Balina – Despite Lawsuit Threat – of Shilling Crypto Garbage

Love him or hate him, Ian Balina is inarguably one of the most major influencers in the cryptocurrency space. While he has been relatively quiet of late, there was a time when Balina was a regular figure in crypto news. With 145,000 Twitter followers and 115,000 Youtube subscribers, Balina has access to a major audience. He appeared on mainstream media outlets like CNBC and Forbes discussing cryptocurrency price action in 2017. Balina has made millions as an influencer, investor, and entrepreneur. Alleged Hacks and Controversy Like many crypto influencers, Balina is a controversial figure, with many in the space accusing

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CME Group Bitcoin Futures Reported Record Trading Volume on April 4

Leading United States derivative market CME Group pointed out that its Bitcoin futures reported a record trading volume on April 4.

Leading United States derivative market CME Group pointed out that its Bitcoin (BTC) futures reported a record trading volume on April 4, according to their tweet.

Per the tweet, the volume of its Bitcoin futures hit an all-time-high of over 22,500 contracts on April 4, which is equivalent to about 112,700 BTC. The previous record has been hit on February 19 and was reportedly over 18,300 contracts, equivalent to 64,300 BTC.

CME Bitcoin Futures Cumulative Volume on April 4, 2019

CME Bitcoin Futures Cumulative Volume on April 4, 2019. Courtesy of CME Group

The CME Bitcoin Futures, according to a dedicated frequently asked questions page, were launched on December 17, 2017, and started trading the next day.

Bitcoin gained over 27% from Tuesday to Wednesday of this week, with Fundstrat Global Advisors co-founder Thomas Lee claiming that since it has now broken over its 200-day-moving-average, Bitcoin is currently in a bull market.

Last month, news broke that also United Kingdom-based crypto exchange and futures provider Crypto Facilities had seen its trading volumes grow by over 500% after being acquired by crypto exchange Kraken.

As Cointelegraph reported in March, CME Group told Business Insider that Bitcoin’s finite amount is a challenge for regulators.

In March, a Commodity Futures Trading Commission commissioner revealed that the U.S. regulator is actively working to approve multiple crypto-related applications, including for Bitcoin futures from institutional trading platform Bakkt.

Bitcoin Hovers Over $5,000 as Top Cryptos See Losses

Most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting slight losses on the day by press time as Bitcoin hovers near the $5,000 mark.

Saturday, April 6 — most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting slight losses on the day by press time, as Bitcoin (BTC) hovers near the $5,000 mark.

Market visualization

Market visualization courtesy of Coin360

Bitcoin’s price has seen a gain of half a percent on the day, trading at around $5,004 by press time, according to CoinMarketCap. Looking at its weekly chart, the current price is a solid 18% higher than $4,095, the price at which Bitcoin started the week.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ethereum (ETH) is holding onto its position as the largest altcoin by market cap, which is at about $17.2 billion. The second-largest altcoin, Ripple (XRP), has a market cap of about $14.7 billion by press time.

ETH is down by 0.38% over the last 24 hours. At press time, ETH is trading around $163, after having started the day at the same price. On its weekly chart, ETH has seen its value increase by over 12%.

Ethereum 7-day price chart

Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Second-largest altcoin Ripple has lost three percent over the 24 hours to press time, and is currently trading at around $0.354. Looking at the coin’s weekly chart, its current price is over 12% higher than the price at which it started the week.

Ripple 7-day price chart

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Chris Larsen, co-founder of San Francisco-based technology company Ripple, and his wife Lyna Lam have donated $25 million in XRP to a university in California, according to an announcement released yesterday.

Among the top 20 cryptocurrencies, the only ones reporting gains (other than Bitcoin) are Binance Coin (BNB) and Monero (XMR), both under a percent up, and Tezos (XTZ), about 1.88% up.

The total market cap of all cryptocurrencies is currently equivalent to $174.6 billion, which is almost 18% higher than $143.4 billion, the value it saw one week ago.

Fundstrat Global Advisors Co-Founder Thomas Lee: Bitcoin Is Back in a Bullish Trend

Fundstrat Global Advisors co-founder Thomas Lee said that Bitcoin is back in a bullish trend.

Fundstrat Global Advisors co-founder Thomas Lee said that Bitcoin (BTC) is back in a bullish trend during an interview with Bloomberg published on April 5.

During the interview, Lee pointed out that Bitcoin’s critics declared the cryptocurrency dead because it lost 90% of its value. However, it has now broken over its 200-day-moving-average, which is why he thinks sentiment has to change and that BTC is currently in a bull market. Lee noted that a tailwind for Bitcoin formed this year because the dollar wasn’t strengthening and China’s equity multiplier has been growing.

Lee also noted that there is evidence that the so-called whales — investors who hold great quantities of cryptocurrency — have started accumulating more crypto once again. He said:

“A lot of them sold, in early 2018, that’s dry powder, they’re starting to put that to work.”

As Cointelegraph reported in March, Thomas Lee previously told CNBC that he thinks a bull mark could return within six months, noting the indicator to keep an eye on is 200-day-moving-average.

In February, Lee’s New York-based research company Fundstrat Global Advisors released its 2019 crypto outlook in which analysts describe incremental improvements that will purportedly support higher prices for cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin Set Record for Average Transactions: Is a Major BTC Price Run Near?

On average, the Bitcoin blockchain has been handling an unprecedented number of transactions per block as of late.

That dynamic came to light on the heels of the genesis blockchain breaking its record for the average number of transactions in a block not once but twice over the past two weeks.

Bitcoin’s previous high mark came near the peak of the cryptoeconomy’s last bull run — December 20th, 2017 — when its chained averaged 2,722 transactions per block on the day.

Bitcoin Bull Run

Trade Bitcoin with Cryptohopper

As murmurings of another bull run have taken hold in the cryptocurrency ecosystem recently, a fresh flurry of on-chain activity saw that former record fall on March 26th, when Bitcoin averaged 2,734 transactions per block. Days later on March 31st, that newly-set record was also eclipsed as Bitcoin hit 2,745 transactions per block.

That latest milestone notably came just one day prior to April 1st, when the bitcoin price surged approximately $1,000 USD to hit a valuation above $5,000 — its highest to date in 2019 — and as the Bitcoin mempool filled with more than 50,000 transactions for a 3,000 percent increase on the week.

The acute usage boon has caused an acute interest boon in kind. That’s because amid the recent price run the word “Bitcoin” began trending on Baidu, China’s version of Google, whereas in the West Google searches for “Bitcoin” tripled between March 31st and April 2nd.

With all the Activity, Is a Major Bitcoin Price Run Near Accordingly?

Some say “it’s possible,” some say “not even close.”

What is clear is that the genesis cryptocurrency’s surge to $5,000 USD this week has more people debating bitcoin’s prospects — both in the cryptoverse and in the mainstream — than at any other point in recent months.

On the side of those saying a big upward move could be in the cards is classical chartist Peter Brandt. On April 5th, Thomas Lee of pro-crypto Wall Street firm Fundstrat highlighted Brandt’s new suggestion that another “parabolic advance” may be nigh for the bitcoin price.

Per his Twitter, Brandt will be the first to tell you that a trader must be flexible and willing to accept defeat. Accordingly, he’s no stranger to sentiments that didn’t come to fruition. And his “would not be surprised” phrasing is a far cry from calling an imminent bitcoin price of $60,000.

However, his hunch is at least worth mulling since Brandt correctly predicted a prolonged bitcoin bear market at the peak of the 2017 bull run.

He was right on target with that call, as bitcoin then proceeded to enter its longest bear cycle to date upon a series of sharp selloffs throughout 2018.

Past performance isn’t indicative of future results, but Brandt’s new suggestion that BTC could be entering another parabolic advance a la 2017 is certainly one way stakeholders in the space can try to frame and understand the recent surge of activity around bitcoin.

As for Lee, his firm Fundstrat also made headlines a few days ago when it published its optimistic 2019 crypto outlook. Therein, Lee and his peer analysts argued that the cryptoeconomy may be finally be starting to claw out of the bearish market cycle that came to dominance last year.

“Bottom line: We see fewer reasons to question the recent recovery [in] Bitcoin prices—the best quarter since 2017,” the firm declared.

If the actualization of a Bitcoin recovery really ends up being the case and another bull run arrives, then the Bitcoin blockchain may be breaking further usage milestones yet. That will all surely depend on whether BTC’s price action and activity boom can be sustained in the interim.

Whatever ends up happening, it seems there’s a definite sense of change in the cryptoeconomy’s air. Whether that’s simply a fickle change in sentiment and bearish market conditions end up persisting remains to be seen.

The post Bitcoin Set Record for Average Transactions: Is a Major BTC Price Run Near? appeared first on Blockonomi.

State-Owned Gazprom Looks to Take Business Onto Blockchain in Russia

Russia’s massive natural oil and gas industry titan, Gazprom, is eyeing ways to pivot its business operations onto blockchain tech.

To do that, the company, which is majority-owned by the Russian government, has devised its own in-house smart contract platform prototype to automate the execution of real-world contracts.

Gazprom

That production was confirmed by the Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, Alexey Miller, when he briefed Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Gazprom’s digitization efforts earlier this week. During the talks, Miller noted that the oil powerhouse was pursuing distributed ledger tech to streamline its industry dealings:

“As for digitalization, we are working towards it, specifically towards the digitalization of the gas supply process and the implementation of the distributed ledger technology in our operations. Together with Gazprombank, we have developed a prototype of a technological platform to automate the process of concluding, monitoring and executing contracts. This system also provides for automated arbitrage and calculation of payments for gas […] It is fully protected from tampering and unauthorized changes.”

For now, there’s no word on if Gazprom’s blockchain platform has been built from the ground up or rather based upon a fork or permissioned version of a popular blockchain like Ethereum.

Gazprom’s Example “Could Be Followed”

During his briefing with Alexey Miller, PM Medvedev notably argued that the embrace of technologies like Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain could prove critical for the future of Russia’s major industries. He told the chairman:

“In this case, your example could be followed by other companies that are approaching this technology in one way or another. Especially when it comes to a large pool of consumers and standardized services with quality control, mutual obligations and, if necessary, accountability measures. I believe that this technology has a promising future in our industry and in the activities of companies like Gazprom.”

That quote bears serious political weight, as it comes from someone near the highest levels of the Russian government. To that end, not only does Medvedev and his colleagues at the Kremlin approve of Gazprom’s blockchain embrace, they are actively facilitating it.

That dynamic is yet another example of the Russian government’s increasingly pro-blockchain stance in recent months.

Indeed, Russia Not Slouching on Blockchain

More Russian leaders have turned to blockchain tech as a viable foundation for mainstream innovation over the past year.

Last October, former Russian energy minister Igor Yusufov floated the idea of creating an oil-pegged cryptocurrency via blockchain as part of a campaign to sidestep the biting trade sanctions. One month later, Russian legislator and financial committee chairman Anatoly Aksakov proposed launching a ruble-backed stablecoin in the nation’s Duma, or lower parliamentary chamber.

That December, Russia’s then-Deputy Minister of Finance Alexey Moiseyev revealed that the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) — comprised of four other states in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan — was negotiating on the creation of a joint cryptocurrency for the bloc that could be released as early as 2020.

Major Russian institutions have also been conducting their own on-chain work, as well.

In January 2019, state-owned lending giant VTB announced that it had patented a blockchain system for digital payments, albeit one that didn’t rely on native cryptocurrency. That development marked a bit of an about-face for the bank, considering that its senior vice president said in 2018 that blockchain tech wasn’t commercially viable.

Then in February, another large Russian lender — Alfa Bank — launched its blockchain payments platform designed to streamline customers’ ability to pay their utility bills. The platform leverages R3’s Corda blockchain.

The flurry of recent activity comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russians “need to build our own digital platforms” last spring.

The post State-Owned Gazprom Looks to Take Business Onto Blockchain in Russia appeared first on Blockonomi.

Central banks looking to cryptocurrency to replace cash

A central bank digital currency (CBDC) would see central banks distribute digital money which could be redeemed for their respective domestic fiat currencies. In the case of an American CBDC, this would be the US dollar or in Russia, this would be a “Cryptoruble.” These digital currencies would be maintained on any number of blockchain networks and propose a handful of different advantages.

To get a better idea of the current state of research in this specific field, the World Economic Forum (WEF) prepared a March 2019 report that asks, how are central banks exploring blockchain today?

Canada, England, Singapore, and France Leading the Race

Despite central banks historically being risk-averse, a number of different nations have contributed numerous white papers, reports, and investigations into how blockchain technology could improve their operations. In a cursory report from the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), researchers Christian Barontini and Henry Holden wrote that:

“A survey of central banks shows that a majority are collaboratively looking at the implications of a central bank digital currency.”

The Bank of England, for instance, has been developing research since 2014 starting with two seminal papers.

In their work “the economics of digital currencies,” a group of British researchers concluded that the incentives models at that time were the greatest impediment to widespread adoption. In a companion piece, the Bank of England described the ways in which digital currencies differ from traditional monetary schemes and wrote broadly about the technology’s advantages. Both documents indicate an early and unwavering interest in the possibilities behind cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology.

Global Banking Standard Setter Admits Bitcoin and Crypto are a Risk to Banks
Related: Global Banking Standard Setter Admits Bitcoin and Crypto are a Risk to Banks

In November 2018, the central banks from England, Canada and Singapore teamed up to write one of the first large scale reports on how digital currencies could improve cross-border interbank payments and settlements. The trio determined that “cross-border payments and settlements have not kept pace with advances in domestic payments and continue to be based on the correspondent banking model, which has not evolved materially over the decades.”

With such little change in the finance sector, a series of different CBDC pilots have emerged that explore the above-mentioned subject among others. Typically, these pilots have been launched on Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric, R3’s Corda, J.P. Morgan’s Quorum, or a novel iteration of the Ethereum network.

For a full range of different research topics, WEF’s blockchain lead Ashley Lannquist has compiled a comprehensive list of resources.

The most promising pilot and ultimate implementation of this technology came from the Bank of France with their Project MADRE initiative in 2016. The bank used a blockchain-based solution to improve a relatively time-consuming procedure in which multiple banks needed to be in constant contact.

Related: Largest Bank in the US, JP Morgan Chase, Unveils Cryptocurrency “JPM Coin”

The replacement of SEPA Credit Identifiers (SCIs) with “the alternative system decentralizes and automates the SCI management and sharing process with ‘smart contracts’ or programmes within Ethereum and other blockchains that enable automatic transactions among participants using predetermined terms.“

At the time of press, smart contracts “are used to issue 100 [percent] of the SCIs in the system.” For the uninitiated, SCIs refers to the centralized mechanism through which member states of the EU can identify a creditor without making reference to a specific account.

Top 10 Blockchain Use Cases for Central Banks

Central banks around the world have all been exploring their iteration of CBDC and blockchain technologies.

Brazil, for instance, is piloting a decentralized information exchange platform (Project PIER), South Africa is looking into a CBDC for domestic interbank payments (Project Khokha), and Sweden is hoping to use a CDBC (e-krona) in a push to become a cashless society.

While many central banks are tinkering with blockchain technology rather than a CBDC, the WEF report outlines nine other potential use cases that central banks could implement:

  • Cash money supply chain
  • Trade finance
  • Know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money-laundering (AML)
  • Payment system resiliency and contingency
  • Information exchange and data sharing
  • Customer SEPA Creditor Identifier (SCI) provisioning
  • Retail central bank digital currency (CBDC)
  • Wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC)
  • Interbank securities settlement

Each of these ten use cases has seen some experimentation in the private sector. It is for this reason, as WEF states, that many banks are still sidelined but attentive to developments in the space.

The report describes three tiers in the central banking space in which the banks of England and France have looked closely into the subject and launched pilots, another demographic that is curious, but content to “largely [monitor] activity by peer institutions and within the private sector,” and a third group which sees no interest in the technology at large.

The Cons of a Retail CBDC

Retail consumers are primarily interested in how a digital replacement of their current cash experience would affect their day to day dealings. Although a fully-auditable currency is appealing to some policymakers, the threat of a potential surveillance state and the downsides of a cashless society are essential to consider.

Big Bankers Say Cryptocurrencies Do Not Pose a Threat to Global Financial Stability
Related: Big Bankers Say Cryptocurrencies Do Not Pose a Threat to Global Financial Stability

The primary risk, according to the WEF, is “the potential for financial exclusion rather than inclusion.”

For all its promise to welcome the unbanked, crypto’s poor usability could make it difficult for other demographics to adopt such technology. A second concern is the potential for a CBDC to undermine commercial banking stability.

If a large portion of a country’s citizens determine that a CBDC is indeed safer than a commercial counterpart, the latter could experience decreased volumes and risk greater volatility, making this make lending activity unattractive. To remedy these risks, each country will likely have to approach the subject contextually with a specific focus on transaction size limits and how to resolve interest payments of a national CBDC. To conclude, the WEF predicts that,

“Over the next four years, we should expect to see many central banks decide they will use blockchain and distributed ledger technologies to improve their processes and economic welfare. Given the systemic importance of central bank processes, and the relative immaturity of blockchain technology, the banks must carefully consider all known and unknown risks to implementation.”

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Considering Third-Party Staking Services? Read About These Risks

One of the biggest trends in crypto right now is for proof-of-stake (PoS) cryptocurrencies, with the likes of Cosmos, PIVX and EOS being some of the more recent examples. And with this trend, there has been an almost parallel growth in third-party staking services, platforms which stake coins on behalf of users who don't have the time or inclination to stake coins f

Trump Declares War on OPEC, Saudis Laugh as Oil Price Surges

Donald Trump is ramping up his attack on oil prices as US crude hit a 5-month high today. While up to now the US president has been focused on denouncing high energy costs via Twitter, it appears he now is looking to do more than merely bash OPEC online. As CNBC reported, the US wants to ensure “dominance” in this sector through a blockbuster executive order designed to boost pipeline infrastructure. In reality, Trump walks a dangerous tightrope when it comes to crude. Very important that OPEC increase the flow of Oil. World Markets are fragile, price of Oil getting

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Blockchain is here to stay, highlights from Seattle’s TF3 Conference

Last week Seattle saw one of its most successful blockchain conferences to date. TF Blockchain 3 was sold out, attracting renowned speakers from around the US and packing the top-floor of the Columbia Tower.

The energy at Seattle’s latest blockchain conference was refreshing, especially considering that the blockchain scene was still reeling from 18 months of bear market sentiment. The event was sold out—with standing room only—and featured a cohort of some of Seattle’s most renowned blockchain entrepreneurs and tech-executives, along with founders from crypto projects from across the United States.

Compelling Talks

One of the most compelling events at TF3 featured Anthony Pompliano’s “Off the Chain” podcast with Viktor Radchenko, CEO of Trust Wallet—a crypto wallet acquired by Binance in July of 2018. Radchenko shared how he went from a family-farmhand to a young hacker—paving the way for his career in systems security.

Another interesting discussion was one between Coinme and Coinstar CEOs, Neil Bergquist and Jim Gaherity, who talked about Bitcoin’s potential for mass adoption.

“We have rolled out to over 2,000 locations today… Our opportunity here, over the next year or two, is about 78,000 locations that we can spread to in the US and then we’ll look at expanding internationally,” said Gaherity.

“Coinstar has a kiosk located within 5 miles of 95 percent of Americans,” added Bergquist, meaning Bitcoin will be accessible to most of the US.

Another thought-provoking speech was delivered by ProgPow inventor and Core Scientific CTO Kristy-Leigh Minehan on the intersection between AI and blockchain. These talks were just a few of many at the conference.

Jonathan G. Blanco, the founder of TF Blockchain, had the following to say about the conference:

“I’m thankful to our loyal community of TF Blockchain attendees, speakers, and partners who are striving to learn and grow their networks around blockchain regardless of crypto market conditions. Thanks to our community, TF3 has proven to be our best conference yet.”

What’s Next?

The event wrapped up with an attendee happy hour and tournament style poker. For those interested in networking, TF Blockchain made it hard not to network. And, unlike other conferences which may leave attendees looking for more, those who attended TF Blockchain thought that it was exceptional:

On the heels of the event’s success, TF Blockchain announced that they’re opening local chapters to further their mission of “connecting blockchain innovators with technology and business executives.” The chapters will host their “evening event series” of meetups, micro-doses of what can be expected at their conferences with facilitated networking and interactive speaker sessions. Chapters are forming in Portland (OR), Vancouver (BC), Austin (TX), and Seattle (WA).

“We look forward to growing blockchain communities across the US and are actively searching for chapter directors who resonate with our mission,” said Blanco.

Although the date for TF Blockchain 4 hasn’t been set yet, before ticket prices start going up, those looking to make meaningful connections while learning more about the technology should reserve their tickets today.

The post Blockchain is here to stay, highlights from Seattle’s TF3 Conference appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Dow Rally Loses Steam as Investors Cringe at Vicious Earnings Season

The Dow lagged the broader U.S. stock market on Friday, as shares of the previously ascendant Dow Inc. (D) gave up weekly gains ahead of what’s expected to be a grim earnings season for Wall Street. Dow Lags While S&P 500 & Nasdaq Rally All of Wall Street’s major indexes were seen approaching record highs in the final session of the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 100 points through the early morning, reflecting a strong pre-market for U.S. stock futures. The blue-chip index settled up 40.36 points, or 0.2%, at 26,424.99. After six consecutive gains,

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New Data Shows Users ‘Overpay’ as Bitcoin Fees Lower Than Wallets Suggest

bitcoin fees

Bitcoin users are overpaying significantly on transaction fees, new analysis warned April 4 as the cryptocurrency’s bull run sparked a surge in activity.


Fee Estimators ‘High’

Data published on social media by Bitcoin education and consultancy organization Bit Consultants shows an ongoing mismatch between required fees and those selected by users.

The Bitcoin price had risen significantly earlier in the week, accompanying a sudden uptick in transaction volume on the Bitcoin network, pushing up fees as blocks became fuller.

Bitcoin’s mempool – the size of the total number of unconfirmed transactions – similarly peaked, before dropping off Friday.

Despite the phenomena, users were still paying too much to have their transactions confirmed in a timely manner, Bit Consultants warned. This, researchers suggest, is due to consumer wallets incorrectly estimating the appropriate fee rate.

“Even at these levels next block fee is only 0.00003100 BTC ($0.15),” they summarized on Twitter. “Fees aren’t high, the fee estimators are[.]”

Balancing Act

As Bitcoinist reported, fees have previously formed a major topic of debate as periods of increased activity saw long delays and huge charges for users.

Network robustness has since increased dramatically, resulting in the current uptick bearing little resemblance to previous scenarios such as in 2017 during Bitcoin’s progress to its $20,000 all-time high.

Critics have meanwhile warned that rock-bottom fees will not go on indefinitely, despite progress on alternatives to on-chain transactions such as the Lightning Network making rapid progress.

To mitigate the problem in the short term, Bit Consultants recommended using wallets with better features for estimating and handling fees.

These should have customizable fee amounts for end users, ‘replace-by-fee’ capabilities allowing a user to replace a transaction fee with a higher one, and ‘child pays for parent’ – looking at the history of a transaction in order to determine its mining priority.

Users should also consult the mempool prior to sending a transaction, and ensure the fee rate is suitable for inclusion in the next Bitcoin block.

At press time, popular Bitcoin wallet Blockchain.com recommended at fee rate of 64 satoshis per byte. Despite its status, Blockchain has yet to deliver Segregated Witness-enabled Bitcoin addresses as standard, a feature which contributes significantly to keeping fees low.

Earn.com, another popular resource for estimating suitable network fees, gave a much higher suggestion – 160 satoshis per byte, which it described as the “fastest and cheapest” option.

What do you think about current Bitcoin fees versus those recommended? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Shutterstock

The post New Data Shows Users ‘Overpay’ as Bitcoin Fees Lower Than Wallets Suggest appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

World Economic Forum’s project lead compares stablecoins with CBDC

In a press release shared with Crypto Insider earlier this week, Amanda Russo, the public engagement lead at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, revealed that “central banks are emerging as some of the most forward-looking users” of blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Around 40 central banks worldwide are experimenting with various use cases related to blockchain technology, including issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). This, according to a recent whitepaper published by the WEF, states that the Bank of France, “with project MADRE, has fully replaced its centralized process for the provisioning and sharing of SEPA Credit Identifiers (SCIs) with a decentralized, blockchain-based solution. “

In comments shared exclusively with Crypto Insider, Ashley Lannquist, the Project Lead, Blockchain & DLT at World Economic Forum, noted that “cryptocurrencies and digital currencies [those that operate on distributed ledger networks] are a breakthrough because they enable people to move money digitally, very rapidly, and very affordably without needing to operate through, trust, or share private information with a third party. This was not possible before DLT.”

Settling Cross-Border Payments, Remittances With DLT-Based Digital Currencies

Lanniquist, an economics graduate from Columbia University in the City of New York, added that “cryptocurrency can be quite impactful depending on the region; for those in regions with high inflation or authoritarian control over money and fund flows, cryptocurrency can be extremely valuable to enable people to save money and move money freely without suffering from inflation or government censorship or funds seizure. It can also enable more affordable payments overseas.”

Going on to mention that CBDCs “can be impactful, particularly in emerging market countries [that] have underbanked populations or fragmented payments systems,” she also noted that “a CBDC issued for the general public’s use (retail CBDC) can provide a streamlined way for people to access savings accounts and send digital payments to each other. It can also help with cross border payments and remittances, helping people save money.”

She continued: “Moreover, in the future, in regions with diminished use of cash such as Scandinavia, CBDC can provide an important alternative for (digitized) fiat currency issued by the central bank instead of physical cash.”

The Stablecoin Market

Sharing her views about the emerging stablecoin market exclusively with Crypto Insider, Lannquist said: “Stablecoins issued by the private market, such as those in existence today, seek to enable DLT transactions where users aren’t vulnerable to the price fluctuations of the crypto asset they employ. This is important, as [digital] asset prices are famously volatile. Today’s stablecoins use various means to reach this goal. While a successful model may emerge in the future, as of today, no model of stablecoins has yet proved itself as fully reliable or resilient to the forces that affect cryptoasset pricing.”

While comparing stablecoins to CBDCs, Lannquist noted that “CBDCs achieve a similar goal as most stablecoins, although likely more credibly. Currency issued by a credible central bank is the only currency in which you can be fully confident it is redeemable 1:1 by the central bank for the fiat currency in question. Because the forms of stablecoins we see today are all subject to important vulnerabilities, it follows that CBDC (if issued) could be the most reliable form of blockchain-based digital currency in terms of price stability.”

Read more:

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Bitcoin Holds Recent Gains Near $5,000 as Stocks Report Minor Uptrend

Most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting slight to moderate gains as Bitcoin stays just over $5,000.

Friday, April 5 — most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting slight to notable gains on the day by press time, as Bitcoin (BTC) hovers near the $5,000 mark.

Market visualization courtesy of Coin360

Market visualization courtesy of Coin360

Bitcoin’s price has seen almost no change on the day, trading at around $5,000 by press time, according to CoinMarketCap. Looking at its weekly chart, the current price is a solid 22% higher than $4,096, the price at which Bitcoin started the week.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Data from the Google Trends platform recently revealed that Google searches for "Bitcoin" nearly tripled during the recent price spike.

Ethereum (ETH) is holding onto its position as the largest altcoin by market cap, which is at about $17.3 billion. The second-largest altcoin, Ripple (XRP), has a market cap of about $15 billion by press time.

ETH is also up by over 2.5% over the last 24 hours. At press time, ETH is trading around $164, after having started the day at $162. On its weekly chart, ETH has seen its value increase by about 16%.

Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Second-largest altcoin Ripple has gained a solid almost 7% over the 24 hours to press time, and is currently trading at around $0.36. Looking at the coin’s weekly chart, its current price is over 16% higher than the price at which it started the week.

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Among the top 20 cryptocurrencies, the one reporting the most notable growth is Tezos (XTZ), which is up nearly ten percent.

The total market cap of all cryptocurrencies is currently equivalent to $174.7 billion, which is almost 22% higher than $143.5 billion, the value it saw one week ago.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier today, United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo has emphasized the agency’s commitment is to monitor, but not impede, the development of the crypto asset sector.

In traditional markets, the stock market is seeing discreet gains so far today, with the S&P 500 up 0.4% and Nasdaq up 0.55% to press time. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), on the other hand, has lost a 4.27% on the day at press time.

Earlier today, CNBC reported that the stocks rose after the release of a jobs report that eased the fear of an economic slowdown in the U.S.

Major oil futures and indexes are showing mixed movements today, with WTI Crude up 0.74%, Brent Crude up 0.59% and Mars US down 0.54% to press time. Opec Basket on the other hand is up by 0.42%, and the Canadian Crude Index has seen its value increase by 0.35%, according to OilPrices.

XRP Price Analysis – XRP/USD Up Again

ripple

By Dmitriy Gurkovskiy, Chief Analyst at RoboForex

XRP is rising again on Friday, currently trading at around $0.3689.

On H4, there’s an uptrend representing a midterm correction against the latest downside movement. The correction trend approached 38.20% Fibo, or $0.3850, and is now heading to 50%, or $0.4184. Meanwhile, the support is at $0.3300, and the MACD is diverging, signaling a pullback.

On H1, the Stochastic formed a golden cross in the oversold territory, thus confirming the rise. The local resistance is at $0.3783.

xrp price analysis

Meanwhile, Ripple is still striving to promote blockchain around the world. An organization called INATBA has been created recently, comprising IBM, Ripple, SWIFT and many other companies. Its mission will be promoting blockchain in the EU, for which reason it’s going to work with both European Commission and the World Bank, collecting all necessary information to start developing the project.

It has already been rumored that Ripple may work with SWIFT on a joint project in the bank transfer area, which is now considered a huge step forward.

Meanwhile, the SIX has launched an XRP-based ETP with AXRP ticker. The exchange got an appropriate permission in Feb 2019. Currently, the SIX already has four crypto-based derivatives.

Disclaimer

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

Image(s): Shutterstock.com

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