News double: airdrop goes awry and Cryptopia hack details released

A crypto exchange in South Korea recently had quite the mixup. During a scheduled airdrop, the wrong assets were sent to customers, totaling about $5.3 million in value.

According to a CoinDesk report with details from CoinDesk Korea, the Coinzest exchange planned to take part in an airdrop and send customers We Game Tokens (WGT).

Coinzest, however, suffered a computing mistake and server difficulties which ultimately sent out bitcoin and other assets instead of We Game Tokens. Certain users even saw Korean Won accidentally sent to them as a result of the event.

“Coinzest’s server issues were resolved by Jan. 19, and the company plans to roll back transactions to restore its assets. It has also asked customers to return funds they received by mistake,” CoinDesk noted. Customers sent back roughly half the funds as of January 19 reporting.

An eventful year already

Even though it’s still January, 2019 has already seen significant action in terms of plight and plunder. Just several days ago someone hacked Cryptopia, a decently prominent crypto exchange.

A recent Elementus post highlighted that Cryptopia has not provided many additional details on the hack since the event. Elementus utilized the Ethereum blockchain public ledger to find details on the event.

According to the article, roughly $16 million in funds disappeared via the hack. However, this calculation only takes into account ether and ERC20 token funds (the team has not looked into other blockchain ledgers as of yet).

The post mentioned several specific stolen assets, including ether, Dentacoin, Oyster Pearl, Lisk ML and Centrality, among others.

Since the hack, the perpetrators have moved the stolen funds to several locations. “[T]he hackers have been shuffling the funds around in small pieces and gradually moving them into exchanges to cash out,” explained Elementus.

The perpetrators have moved an estimated $882,632 of stolen funds to exchanges. “Of the $16m that was stolen, the vast majority (~$15m) remains in two wallets controlled by the thieves,” Elementus noted.

The article also pointed out that this hack is unique from other similar events which took place on crypto exchanges. Cryptopia hackers stole assets from 76,000 separate wallets, and the pilfering continued even after the exchange found out about it.

Elementus posited, “[t]he only plausible explanation for Cryptopia’s inaction is that they no longer had access to their own wallets.”

Conclusions included that almost 2,000 Cryptopia wallets still hold about $46,000 total in assets, which may still be at risk.

The post News double: airdrop goes awry and Cryptopia hack details released appeared first on Crypto Insider.

2018 bitcoin transaction volume beats out PayPal

Bitcoin payment volume picked up steam last year even during one of the asset’s worst bear market years. In 2018, bitcoin had six times more transactional volume than mainstream giant PayPal.

Bitcoin transactions surpass $3 trillion in 2018

According to Satoshi Capital Research, users sent more than $3.3 trillion via bitcoin (BTC) last year.

Visa led the charge last year with roughly $10.2 trillion in payment volume. Bitcoin posted a notable fifth place, coming in behind Mastercard’s $5.2 trillion volume.

At fifth place in Satoshi Capital’s chart line up, bitcoin beat out the other competition by a landslide with $3.3 trillion. PayPal had just $0.5 trillion in volume last year. Discover had $0.3 trillion, and Western Union posted $0.2 trillion.

In Satoshi Capital’s “USD Value Sent Using Bitcoin” chart, 2018 saw a decrease in BTC volume, falling from 2017’s total of about $3.7 trillion. In comparison, however, the past two years have shown significant success. 2016 hosted only a paltry $552 billion, which is less than a quarter of 2017’s volume.

In 2018, bitcoin tallied $2.2 trillion in trading volume. According to Satoshi Capital’s “Developing Market Yearly Trading Volumes” graph, Thailand’s Baht currency came in first place with $6.57 trillion in cumulative trading volume.

Israel’s Shekel came in second place, and the Chilean Peso took third. Bitcoin took a firm stance in the fourth place position. At $2.2 trillion in volume, bitcoin sat handly ahead of Argentina’s Peso, which posted $0.73 trillion.

Bitcoin’s transaction volume is also significant in that its transactions per second (TPS) are much lower than Visa and other competitors. “Visa currently averages about 1,700 TPS, while bitcoin only averages between 3.3 and 7 TPS,” Crypto Insider noted in a recent article.

Public comments

Some controversy over the information has arisen, however, with notions that the information is misleading. In Reddit’s r/Bitcoin forum about Satoshi Capital Research’ tweet, users commented on bitcoin’s transactional context.

Users basically argued the information was misleading, and that most of bitcoin’s stated transactional volume was used to transfer bitcoin to and from exchanges as part of trading or investing actions. This, as opposed to PayPal’s transactions, which Reddit users claimed to host more buying and selling transactions for actual products and services.

Still, the amount of bitcoin transactions shown in Satoshi Capital Research’ data reveals people are still interested in bitcoin, even after such a downturn in price. In addition, bitcoin movement and attention have grown considerably over the past two years.

The post 2018 bitcoin transaction volume beats out PayPal appeared first on Crypto Insider.

Darknet bitcoin usage doubled last year amidst falling prices

Bitcoin’s falling prices in 2018 apparently did not discourage darknet payments via the asset. Last year’s end saw roughly twice the number of bitcoin darknet transactions in comparison to the beginning of 2018.

Increased darknet bitcoin volume

According to a Reuters report based on Chainanlysis’ study on the subject, bitcoin darknet transactions totaled almost $2 million per day near last year’s end. 2018 started with roughly half that volume.

2017 saw about $700 million pumped into the dark side of the internet’s markets, while 2018 saw only $600 million.

Back in July of 2017, The Guardian reported on the closure of AlphaBay and Hansa, two notable dark market players. “Europol said there were 250,000 listings on AlphaBay alone, with 200,000 members and 40,000 vendors,” The Guardian reported.

AlphaBay and Hansa closures led to decreased darknet bitcoin volume leading into the beginning of 2018, seeing 2018 start with half the volume seen by year’s end.

Bitcoin’s volatility obviously did not deter such darknet users as bitcoin dropped more than 80% in price over the last 14 months. Included in Reuters’ report, Senior Economist for Chainalysis Kim Grauer explained, “[F]or someone who wants to buy something on a dark marketplace, the fact that bitcoin price is fluctuating doesn’t really matter.”

In a recent article, The Next Web pointed out closing down such darknet sites apparently does not have a lasting effect as new sites eventually replace the old ones.

It is, however, debatable whether or not bitcoin is more anonymous than cash.  Since all bitcoin transactions are recorded on a public ledger, anonymous bitcoin usage may not be so easy according to MIT’s Technology Review from 2017.

As more exchanges add Know Your Customer (KYC) practices, bitcoin traceability becomes even more common. Although, there is still the argument that users can improve bitcoin usage privacy if they use it in an over-the-counter (OTC) fashion.

Big interest even after bitcoin’s plunge

Institutional interest also grew over the course of 2018 in spite of bitcoin’s dramatic fall from grace. Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) Bakkt crypto trading platform saw numerous headlines on its journey toward its launch (possibly in 2019).

The VanEck/SolidX bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) petitioned many times for regulatory approval of a bitcoin-backed institutional trading product. The product, however, is still searching for such approval into 2019.

2018 actually saw nine bitcoin ETF regulatory rejections at one point, showing a vast amount of interest from big players.

Traditional financial market traders were even chomping at the bit to trade crypto assets near the end of last year, even though the asset had dropped by leaps and bounds.

The post Darknet bitcoin usage doubled last year amidst falling prices appeared first on Crypto Insider.

Weekly roundup Jan. 14-18

Today signaled the close of another week in the crypto space. January is now already more than halfway over, and the market still has not seen much public interest in bitcoin, as reflected in its struggle to maintain any kind of upward price momentum.

Bitcoin’s price this week showed consolidation in the mid-$3,000 range. News headlines, however, continued to roll in, spicing up bitcoin’s slow week.

Check out some of this week’s top headlines:

$100 in funds returned after ETC hack

Monday kicked off this week with a dash of intrigue as one of ethereum classic’s (ETC) recent hackers returned $100,000 in funds to the Gate.io exchange. Motives for the return reportedly were unclear. Although, Gate.io speculated the hacker might have been someone simply looking to bring awareness to security flaws via the original hack.

ETC recently fell victim to a 51% attack, resulting in more than $1 million in total stolen ETC.

Read on Crypto Insider

John Carvalho challenges Roger Ver to a fight for the Bitcoin.com domain

John Carvalho, aka Bitcoin Error Log, challenged Roger Ver to a fight this week, suggesting the fight’s winner receive the Bitcoin.com site. Bitcoin.com is predominantly run by bitcoin cash (BCH) proponents.

The details of the event have not been ironed out yet, but Roger Ver reportedly is interested, according to a podcast interview with Peter McCormack (“What Bitcoin Did” podcast). McCormack also interviewed Carvalho on a separate episode of his podcast.

Read on Crypto Insider

MimbleWimble, Beam and Grin: What’s the buzz all about?

MimbleWimble is the new technology everyone is talking about on the streets of crypto. Beam launched its MimbleWimble-based crypto asset earlier this month. Grin launched its much-anticipated similar coin this week on January 15.

The difference, however, is in the supply. Beam has a capped total supply. Grin, on the other hand, has a steep inflation curve with no maximum supply, making it more of a usable private currency than a scarce store of value.

Read on Crypto Insider

Is the MIT-backed Unit-e better than bitcoin?

Distributed Technology Research (DTR), a new non-profit organization, has set out to create a crypto asset that solves all of bitcoin’s problematic issues, including scalability. The group named the asset the Unit-e.

The DTR team is made up of professors from some of the most notable universities from around the U.S., including Stanford and MIT. DTR also touts support from the popular hedge fund Pantera Capital.

The group desires to make a crypto asset with transactions times comparable to Visa, while still holding as closely as possible to bitcoins true nature and roots.

Read on Crypto Insider

Vontobel Bank announces Digital Asset Vault for crypto custody

This week also brought more news of institutional interest in the crypto space. To accommodate for increasing customer interest in digital assets, investment banking and asset management player Vontobel announced a digital asset custody product this week.

Vontobel’s Digital Asset Vault will allow utilization of traditional banking infrastructure for digital asset custody.

“With the new Digital Asset Vault business solution, Vontobel is therefore the first bank in the world to offer industry-standard quality standards within the established and regulated environment,” Vontobel noted in its news release.

Read on Crypto Insider

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Daily Crypto Roundup 1/17/2019

Today in crypto, top professors started building a coin to beat bitcoin, Joe Lubin joined ErisX and BitPay showed $1 billion in transactions from last year. USD Coin also passed its third audit and big investors showed continued hesitancy toward the crypto space.

Crypto Insider also dove into decentralized energy, Proof-of-Stake (PoS) coins and MimbleWimble’s Grin and Beam.

Catch the news:

Is The MIT-Backed Unit-e Better Than Bitcoin?

Distributed Technology Research (DTR), a new non-profit group, has set out to create a digital coin that solves the major issues seen in bitcoin. DTR is comprised of top university professors from MIT, Standford and others, with support from hedge fund giant Pantera Capital.

The new coin, Unite-e, will aim for scalability and transaction times comparable to that of Visa, without compromising the asset’s decentralization and true blockchain roots.

Read on Crypto Insider

Ethereum Co-Founder Joe Lubin Joins Board Of Crypto Futures Platform ErisX

Amidst planning its launch, the ErisX crypto exchange has picked up two key players. ConsenSys founder (and ethereum co-founder) Joe Lubin and entrepreneur Cris Conde have jumped on ErisX’ board.

Upon launch, ErisX will offer bitcoin futures trading with its sights set on ethereum and litecoin futures trading in the coming days.

Read on CoinDesk

BitPay Says It Processed Over $1 Billion In Crypto Payments Last Year

Crypto payment system BitPay recently revealed its transaction totals from 2018, showing more than $1 billion in transactions.

According to a BusinessWire release, BitPay Co-founder and CEO Stephan Pair explained, “[t]o process over a $1 Billion for a second year in a row despite Bitcoin’s large price drop shows that Bitcoin is being used to solve real pain points around the world.”

BitPay also saw growth on the business-to-business (B2B) side, growing by 255% comparative to 2017.

Read on CoinDesk

Circle Releases Third Audit Report Of Stablecoin USDC’s Dollar Reserves

Stablecoins picked up steam last fall as many new stablecoin projects entered news headlines. An important question, however, concerns each project’s fiat currency reserves. According to Circle’s statement yesterday, its USD Coin (USDC) has passed its third audit inspection.

At the end of 2018, December 31 showed 251,211,148 USDC tokens, with $251,211,209 of backed USD, as Circle stated based on the audit report. (The extra $61 was kept in USD reserve.)

Read on CoinTelegraph

Winklevoss Capital: Investors Are ‘Thoughtfully Dipping their Toes into Crypto,’ Not Taking the Plunge

Winklevoss Capital partner Sterling Witzke recently interviewed with CoinTelegraph, making several interesting statements on mainstream crypto interest.

Witzke posited the last crypto bull run caused misconceptions regarding the rate of new technology interest and adoption.

“Because the end of 2017 was so crazy, people tend to think the space moves at lightning speed [..] At the level of underlying [tech] development it [often] does […] but I think it takes a while for institutions to get comfortable. There needs to be better custody, healthy debt and credit markets to get [them] really excited. So I don’t think 2019 will necessarily be the year,” Witzke said.

Witzke mentioned she has seen interested parties hesitantly test the waters of crypto, but the areas of regulation and security still appear to be troubling.

Read on CoinTelegraph

 

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Is the MIT-backed Unit-e better than bitcoin?

A new non-profit organization comprised of professors from some of the best U.S. universities has joined up to create a crypto asset better than bitcoin. Could Unit-e dethrone the king?

According to a Bloomberg article today, Distributed Technology Research (DTR), a new non-profit backed by hedge fund powerhouse Pantera Capital, has set out to build a digital asset which improves upon bitcoin’s flaws.

DTR hosts a vigorous store of brain power on its team, touting professors from some of the most notable universities in the U.S., including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University to name just two.

The team’s first endeavor is to create the Unit-e. The Unit-e, as mentioned, aims to solve bitcoin’s scalability issues while still holding true to a decentralized model. Bitcoin’s scalability for mainstream adoption has been a significant concern. At the height of the last crypto bull market, bitcoin users waited hours for their bitcoin transactions to complete.

The team hopes its new Unit-e digital asset will complete transactions comparable to Visa, or even quicker, posting up to 10,000 transactions per second (TPS). DTR looks to launch the new asset sometime in Q3 or Q4 of 2019. Visa currently averages about 1,700 TPS, while bitcoin only averages between 3.3 and 7 TPS.

Pantera co-chief investment officer and DTR council member Joey Krug mentioned the mainstream world already knows current blockchain solutions do not scale for mass use. “We are on the cusp of something where if this doesn’t scale relatively soon, it may be relegated to ideas that were nice but didn’t work in practice: more like 3D printing than the internet,” Krug said, as reported by Bloomberg.

DTR member Pramod Viswanath expressed optimism in crypto assets and their innovation, but not their current level of capabilities. “Bitcoin has shown us that distributed trust is possible but its just not scaling at a dimension that could make it a truly global everyday money,” he explained.

The team is designing the Unit-e with parameters as close to bitcoin’s design as possible, while still making many improvements to further performance. After the Unit-e, the team likely will move on to other projects in the field, possibly including smart contract research.

In a press release from PRNewswire, DTR Foundation Council Chairman Babak Dastmaltschi commented that blockchain and crypto innovation are at a pivotal point. “The blockchain and digital currency markets are at an interesting crossroads, reminiscent of the inflection points reached when industries such as telecom and the internet were coming of age,” Dastmaltschi explained.

DTR lead researcher Giulia Fanti also noted the progress blockchain has made over the past decade, now seeing it as a viable endeavor. “In the 10 years since Bitcoin first emerged, blockchains have developed from a novel idea to a field of academic research,” Fanti said in the press release.

Bitcoin maximalists Jimmy Song and Tone Vays are very outspoken on their views against all current altcoins.

Some of their main altcoin concerns stem from arguments on bitcoin’s superior decentralization. It is unclear if Song and Vays would argue against the Unit-e, although one might infer they would express hesitancy toward it. Vays and Song did not reply for comment at the time of publication.

 

 

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Daily Crypto Roundup 12/28/2018

Today in crypto, courts denied Craig Wright’s dismissal request, the National Bank of Kuwait joined Ripple, and mainstream companies expressed skepticism in blockchain. Researchers also found vulnerabilities in popular crypto hardware wallets, and Huobi’s Derivatives Market broke $1 billion in trading volume.

Catch the details on today’s news:

Craig Wright Denied Attempt To Dismiss Lawsuit Over Billions In Bitcoin

A current ongoing lawsuit alleges Craig Wright deceived partner Dave Kleiman out of billions of dollars in bitcoin. Dave Kleiman died in 2013. However, Ira Kleiman, Dave’s brother, is suing Wright.

The lawsuit posits that Wright stole Dave’s bitcoin, as well as intellectual property held within bitcoin’s technology.

Wright reportedly tried to dismiss the lawsuit back in April. According to recent developments yesterday, “most counts of Wright’s motion have been denied,” CoinDesk reported today.

CoinDesk continued, quoting the recent court document. “Here, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged a claim for conversion. The Amended Complaint alleges that Defendant converted at least 300,000 bitcoins upon Dave’s death and transferred them to various international trusts, which was an unauthorized act that deprived the Plaintiffs of the bitcoins therein. Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ claim for conversion (Count I) survives Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss.“

Read on CoinDesk

National Bank Of Kuwait Taps Ripple For New Remittance Service

Ripple gained another client as the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) recently jumped on board Ripple’s blockchain payment ecosystem.

Announced yesterday, NBK will now utilize NBK Direct Remit, which uses Ripple’s network for fast blockchain-based payments.

NBK will open the service for the country of Jordan initially, with more nations to come in the future.

“NBK is charging a fee of 1 Kuwaiti dinars ($3.29) per transaction for Jordan transfers if funds are sent to its local branch. For customers using other banks, it will levy 5 KWD ($16.47) per transaction. The default limit for transactions is capped at 2,000 KWD ($6,586),” CoinDesk detailed.

Read on CoinDesk

Expect More Of The Same For Blockchain In 2019, Say CIOs

UPS has reportedly tested several blockchain technology applications. Although the company noted they did not find many advantages in using the technology.

According to a Wall Street Journal report today, Chief of UPS engineering and information Juan Perez said, “I don’t expect significant benefits in 2019, primarily because the technology itself is continuing to evolve and mature … it requires a lot of parties to come to the table to participate and evaluate the technology.”

United Airlines Inc. has also not found their niche yet, as executive vice president of technology and chief digital officer Linda Jojo explained, “We have a small team looking at blockchain, but we are still searching for the killer use case.”

Read on The Wall Street Journal

Research Team Demonstrates Hard Wallets Vulnerabilities, Trezor Promises Firmware Update

At a recent conference, popular hardware wallets Trezor One, Ledger Nano S, and Ledger Blue were proven hackable via a planned demonstration.

Researchers were able to hack the Trezor One by utilizing custom firmware. “However, they pointed out that this exploit only works if the user didn’t set a passphrase,” CoinTelegraph reported.

Trezor stated an upcoming firmware update in January will fix the issue.

Ledger Nano S and Ledger Blue devices also contained vulnerabilities.

Read on CoinTelegraph

Daily Traded Volume On Huobi’s Crypto Derivatives Platform Breaks $1 Billion

Huobi’s crypto Derivatives Market (DM) is apparently booming as daily trading volume recently breached the $1 billion mark.

Huobi Global is behind one of the world’s most sizeable crypto spot trading exchanges, and opened Huobi DM in November 2018.

“The new platform allows traders to trade Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) contracts that aim to allow for arbitrage, speculation, and hedging,” explained CoinTelegraph according to information from a press release yesterday.

EOS trading on Huobi DM also reportedly began today.

Read on CoinTelegraph

 

 

 

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2018: Year in review

Another year has passed in the crypto space, leaving people both frustrated and hopeful for 2019. Even though this year has been difficult, it is important to remember the hard times and learn from them.

Spanish philosopher George Santanya once said:

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
The earth has music for those who listen.

Quarter 1

January this year started off hot. Euphoria was in the air. Dreams of Lamborghinis and yachts came true for some folks in the crypto space.

However, some versed old-timers knew the situation was too good to be true. Crypto-veteran Ryan Selkis published his “95 Crypto Theses for 2018” in early January, predicting a 99 percent drop this year in crypto asset prices. He was largely proven right as even crypto’s largest asset, bitcoin, has plummeted more than 80 percent.
The latter half of January saw a string of events that led to crypto’s unraveling. Bitconnect finally pulled its much-anticipated exit scam, which seemed to coincide with dropping prices. Regulators also subpoenaed Tether and Bitfinex at the end of January, sending a surge of fear throughout the entire crypto sphere.
February continued the downward spiral. According to CoinMarketCap, BTC dropped all the way down to the $6,000 range on February 6, before seeing a rally of almost $2,000 on the same day. Perhaps the rally was in part due to a bullish Senate meeting on the topic of cryptocurrencies on February 6.
Bitcoin continued its rally, seeing the $12,000 range by the middle of February, before heading to the mid-$7,000 range by mid-March in a downward continuation of lower highs.

Quarter 2

April saw one last big push upward in bitcoin’s price, rallying from the $6,000 range, all the way up to almost $10,000 by early May. April was a solid month in general for market prices as speculators likely hoped for the start of another bull run.

May was mostly a down month, returning back to the low-$7,000 range. On May 11, Bloomberg reported on South Korea’s raid of the Upbit crypto exchange, lessening market confidence.

CNBC reported on Coinbase launching “Coinbase Custody, Coinbase Markets, The Coinbase Institutional Coverage Group and Coinbase Prime,” catered toward institutional interest.

May also saw Circle launch its stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC), and the U.S. Department of Justice start an investigation into bitcoin price manipulation.

June was a largely sideways month for the market. Early June saw the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) establish a leader “for its emerging cryptocurrency division,” according to a CNBC report, and SEC head Jay Clayton also claimed the regulating body would not change securities laws in favor of crypto assets.

June also saw bitcoin ETF talks heat up as VanEck, SolidX, and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) banded together, filing with the SEC for approval.

Additionally, the SEC declared Bitcoin and Ethereum free from classification as securities.

Quarter 3

Bitcoin’s price started relatively low in July, but ended the month on a high note, climbing from the low-$6,000 range to the low-$8,000 range on anticipation for a bitcoin ETF approval.

July’s headlines were still filled with speculations for bitcoin to rocket past all-time-highs by the end of the year. Other bitcoin ETF SEC applications came out of the woodwork by the end of July as bitcoin jumped up to $8,400.

In late July, The Wall Street Journal reported on the SEC’s denial of the Winklevoss twins’ bitcoin ETF proposal, which seemed to kickstart a bevy of bitcoin ETF proposals by different entities, making bitcoin ETFs a popular topic for the rest of 2018.

On August 3, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced a November launch for its Bakkt exchange, which promised to host bitcoin-settled futures trading, according to a report by Business Wire.

Additionally, the SEC postponed the VanEck-SolidX bitcoin ETF in early August, as bitcoin found its way back down to $6,000 by mid-August. August also saw news from Bloomberg on Venezuela and their national cryptocurrency endeavor.

As August neared its close, CNBC reported on a staggering nine bitcoin ETF rejections by the SEC.

In early September, bitcoin dropped close to $1,000 in one day as price fell from almost $7,400 down to about $6,400.

Near the middle of the month, the Winklevoss twins unveiled their new stablecoin, the Gemini Dollar (GUSD), and the SEC started a more in-depth crackdown on initial coin offerings (ICOs).

The SEC also chose to further delay the VanEck-SolidX bitcoin ETF, as reported by Abacus Journal.

By the end of September, bitcoin had entered what would become a long and drawn out period of consolidation, severely lacking in volatility.

Quarter 4

The entire month of October was virtually flat regarding bitcoin’s price, which hovered somewhere in the $6,000 range for the whole month on most exchanges.

The first half of October was relatively quiet in comparison to the rest of the year, although things started heating up when Tether (USDT) fears and rumors caused the stablecoin to fluctuate largely in price, while Bitfinex also incurred large price discrepancy compared to other exchanges.

In the latter half of October, Crypto Insider also reported on Coinbase adding USDC to their exchange, as well as Coinbase receiving a custody service license from the state of New York.

In addition, late October saw ICE delay their Bakkt exchange until December, as reported by Finance Magnates.

November continued bitcoin’s flat-priced path until November 14, which started an aggressive downtrend continuation, seeing prices below $4,000 by the end of the month.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) caused significant drama in mid-November with its civil war and associated hard fork. The hard fork caused BCH to split into Bitcoin SV (BCHSV) and Bitcoin ABC (BCHABC). Speculators noted a possible correlation between the fork and bitcoin’s price nosedive.

The SEC also continued its crackdown on the ICO market throughout November, and ICE delayed its Bakkt exchange once again, targetting January 2019 for its next launch date estimate.

Downward price action was the main topic of conversation as November faded into December.

December brought new bitcoin price lows for the year in the low-$3,000 zone, as the SEC once again delayed the VanEck-SolidX bitcoin ETF until 2019. Stablecoins have also continued in their popularity as the market seeks a new option to replace Tether.

Bitcoin currently sits at a price of $3,620 on Blockmodo at the time of this writing, with future price direction unknown.

2019?

What will 2019 bring? No one knows. 2018 saw a flood of regulatory action as the Wild West saw enforcement from its sheriff – the SEC.

2019 will likely see a refining of regulation for the crypto space, as well as further price struggle. A significant amount of institutional interest is indeed present, regardless of this year’s sea of red prices. Crypto Insider reported on mainstream traders’ excitement for further crypto involvement, as well as a host of institutional crypto asset projects in the pipeline.

Happy New Year everyone. Here’s to a positive 2019.

*The mentioned events and topics in this article were obviously only a snippet of this year’s crypto narrative. It would take many pages to chronicle all the important events that occurred in 2018.

*CryptoInsider is sponsored by Blockmodo. As part of our arrangement, we may occasionally link to them and quote them when appropriate. This is done at the discretion of CI staff and CI sponsors have no say in any editorial decisions made by CI.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Daily Crypto Roundup 12/27/2018

Today in crypto, RChain allegedly faced failure, Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpelès continued to claim innocence, and Litecoin unveiled a partnership with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). A Taiwanese man is also said to have stolen millions of dollars in electricity to mine crypto, and a major Electrum wallet hack filled the internet.

Catch up on the details:

RChain Facing Troubled Waters

The once mighty RChain project appears to have derailed as evidence shows questionable business moves.

Based on a report by The Block, RChain appears to have invested the majority of its capital into developing a music app called RSong.

RChain also partnered with a venture capital fund called Pithia, utilizing even more capital, only to ultimately lose the partnership.

RChain published a rebuttal post regarding The Block’s article, claiming the site reported false information.

Read on Crypto Insider

Mt. Gox CEO Claims Innocence, But How Will The Courts Rule?

Even after many years, the infamous Mt. Gox exchange fiasco is still a relevant topic of conversation.

Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpelès has also not reportedly changed his plea of innocence in his ongoing two-and-a-half year trial. Karpelès faces charges of market manipulation and embezzlement.

Authorities slated March of 2019 as the trial’s scheduled end date.

Read on Crypto Insider 

Litecoin Takes To The UFC Octagon In New Sponsorship Deal

According to a CoinDesk report today, the Litecoin Foundation has confirmed partnership with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

The UFC has an anticipated upcoming rematch between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson on December 29, in which the Litecoin logo will be advertised.

Read on CoinDesk

Taiwan: Suspect Arrested For Stealing $3+ Mln Of Electricity To Mine Crypto

A Taiwanese suspect named Yang was recently taken into custody for allegedly mining Bitcoin and Ethereum, using $3 million of swindled electrical power.

Stadedly, Yang successfully mined about $14.5 million worth of crypto assets with said stolen electricity.

“Yang is purported to have used a minimum of 17 various business premises to open toy shops or internet cafes there as a facade for his alleged crypto mining activities,” CoinTelegraph reported today based on news from EBC Dongsen.

Read on CoinTelegraph

Phishing Attack On Electrum Wallet Nets Hacker Almost $1 Million In Hours: Report

Hackers have stolen almost 250 bitcoin, the result of a hack on Electrum crypto wallets.

According to a GitHub post from Electrum, the attack is ongoing and includes luring wallet users into downloading and installing malware disguised as a wallet update.

Earlier today, a Reddit post warning about the attack stated, “[i]f someone’s Electrum Wallet connected to one of those servers, and tried to send a BTC transaction, they would see an official-looking message telling them to update their Electrum Wallet, along with a scam URL.”

The scam also includes a request for two-factor authentication when logging into the pseudo-electrum wallet. The true Electrum wallet only requires two-factor authentication for sending assets, not logging in.

Read on CoinTelegraph

 

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Daily Crypto Roundup 12/26/2018

Today, Bithumb won in its court battle against a hacked customer, Bank of America filed for a blockchain ATM patent, and Anthony Pompliano predicted bitcoin to fall below $3,000. BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes also predicted an initial coin offering (ICO) rebound over the next 18 months, and Vitalik Buterin called Bitcoin SV a dumpster fire.

Catch up on today’s headlines!

Court Win For Bithumb Exchange In Case Of Crypto Investor’s $355K Hack

According to recent reports, Bithumb customer Ahn Park lost $355,000 in a hack on his account.

Park transferred 400 million Korean won to his Bithumb account back in November. Only a few hours after the transfer, someone allegedly sold his won for Ethereum (ETH) and then transferred the ETH out of the exchange.

Park tried to sue Bitsy Korea.com (parent company of Bithumb) claiming the exchange had inadequate security.

However, Korean courts sided with Bithumb, explaining that Bithumb was different than traditional financial entities in their obligations and guidelines.

Read on CoinDesk

Bank Of America Files For Blockchain ‘ATM As A Service’ Patent

Bank of America recently filed for a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

According to the patent, the product is a “cash handling device” employing blockchain to “accelerate transaction speed and/or facilitate other types of transactions in addition to ATM transactions like cash withdrawals and deposits, such as gift registry transactions.”

This new technology enables individuals to use these ATMs regardless of what institution they are with.

Read on CoinDesk

Bitcoin’s Price Will Go Below $3,000, Anthony Pompliano Tells Mainstream Media

Anthony Pompliano thinks bitcoin has not bottomed yet and is headed below $3,000. Pompliano is the founder of Morgan Creek Digital Assets and is a notable influencer in the crypto space.

During an interview with CNBC, Pompliano commented on bitcoin’s price future. “Short term, actually I think that we’ve got lower to go,” he explained.

Pompliano also explained his opinion that falling FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google) stock prices were not associated with bitcoin’s falling price this year.

Read on CoinTelegraph

BitMEX CEO: Ethereum ‘Will Quickly Test $200’ When ICO Market Returns

In an interview with CoinTelegraph Japan, BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes claimed initial coin offerings (ICOs) would return over the next 18 months, and that low Ethereum (ETH) prices were currently correlated with a dead ICO market.

“Once there are new issues, then Ether will rebound aggressively. When the ICO market returns, Ether will quickly test $200. The timing of the ICO rebirth is 12 to 18 months out,” Hayes said.

Hayes also mentioned the future prevalence of stablecoins and security tokens in 2019. “While their fundamental raison d’etre is flawed, investors in this time of pain will latch onto anything they believe will be their ticket to easy riches.”

Read on CoinTelegraph

Vitalik Buterin: Bitcoin is ‘Genuinely Cool Tech,’ Bitcoin SV Is ‘Pure Dumpster Fire’

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin recently discussed Proof-of-Work (PoW) versus Proof-of-Stake (PoS) on Twitter with crypto influencer Tuur Demeester.

A spectating Twitter member chimed in on the conversation, referencing Bitcoin SV and their scaling solution while also bashing the Lightning Network.

Positing a different view, Buterin stated, “I have my disagreements with the bitcoin roadmap, PoW, etc but they’re trying to do something that’s genuinely cool tech. BSV is a pure dumpster fire.”

Read on Bitcoinist

The post Daily Crypto Roundup 12/26/2018 appeared first on Crypto Insider.

RChain facing troubled waters

It appears the wheels have fallen off another crypto project as the current bear market wages on. According to recent news, the once-mighty RChain project has fallen apart.

RChain who?

At the top of the last altcoin bull market in January 2018, RChain’s RHOC token appeared to be a serious contender among other top projects. According to coinmarketcap.com, RHOC was once priced at more than $3 per token.

Last week, The Block reported on RChain’s recent demise. RChain was a blockchain platform project that once contended with other powerhouse platforms like EOS, Tezos, and NEO. RHOC even ranked in the top thirty projects on CoinMarketCap at one point. RHOC is now ranked at 199th, sitting at $0.03 at the time of this writing.

Fall from grace

The current bear market has taken its toll on many projects and tested them to their core. One recent LinkedIn article from November detailed the common sentiment that 99% of projects would fail, but the 1% that survived would be revolutionary.

According to The Block’s research, RChain conducted several questionable business moves, which could lead to the project’s demise.

$23.5 million wasted?

RChain invested $23.5 million into developing a music app (RSong) built on the RChain blockchain, based on Immersion Networks’ technology. This move did not make sense regarding RChain’s goal to become a scalable blockchain. $23.5 million was also an extreme amount to allocate to such an endeavor considering RChain raised only $31 million total.

The Block reported on one RChain investor who stated a great analogy.

I’m not saying it’s not a good piece of tech. But it was a crazy amount for what we had. Let’s say you’re building a house for yourself and it’s $1m. But then you find a nice piece of furniture and you blow half a million on it. And now you don’t have enough to finish the house and you’ve completely destroyed the main project you’re working on.

Unwise deals

RChain also invited a venture capital fund called Pithia on board to supposedly aid in RChain ecosystem construction. “Pithia was loaned 105 million RHOC tokens in 2017 to ‘find and fund’ 12 start-ups, in exchange for keeping 20% of any profits they returned,” The Block explained.

Although if RChain did not launch its mainnet by the end of March 2019, Pithia apparently had the right to end the agreement and keep any leftover RHOC tokens, according to contract revisions from August 2018.

After the August contract revisions, RChain had to move its mainnet start to April 1st, missing the deadline by one day. Pithia then proceeded to end the agreement with RChain.

Mismanaged

The Block additionally reported on RChain CEO Greg Meredith’s poor management of the project. The whole project was said to be vastly centralized. Meredith conducted business in a tyrannical fashion and rejected comments from investors. He even bought “a $1.5 million house in Seattle for cooperative members to stay in,” which was a questionable business decision.

One of RChain’s investor’s stated Meredith as intelligent, but that he lacked business ability. Meredith has allegedly not given up on the project yet.

RChain’s response

In a blog post last week, RChain published an article in response to The Block’s article.

RChain Cooperative is not bankrupt nor even close to bankruptcy […] We have restructured our deployment of capital assets to focus almost entirely on development [and] [t]he characterization of both our liabilities and tax estimation is incorrect and grossly overstated.

The blog post mentioned RChain did not have investors, but only “members”, according to their co-op model, and that RChain never actually had an initial coin offering (ICO).

RChain also went on to describe confusion regarding Immersion technology and the music app RSong (associated with the $23.5 million investment mentioned).

RSong does not “rent songs,” nor is the Immersion technology ‘helping build’ the DApp. We feel that Immersion’s technology offers an important component to RSong that subsequently brings great value to what we are creating throughout our ecosystem, yet the coding behind RSong stands on its own. (See here and here.)

RChain mentioned several other rebuttals to The Block’s article, ending their post with a positive note.

This is not to say that the road hasn’t been rocky as we have worked hard to build a new decentralized world compute platform from the ground up. Thanks to the robust community we have made great strides in 2018 and will continue to be the in the forefront of technical innovations in this new blockchain industry.

 

*CryptoInsider is sponsored by Blockmodo. As part of our arrangement, we may occasionally link to them and quote them when appropriate. This is done at the discretion of CI staff and CI sponsors have no say in any editorial decisions made by CI.

 

 

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Daily Crypto Roundup 12/21/2018

Action filled today’s headlines as Coinbase launched a new crypto education program, Facebook continued its path toward crypto involvement, and U.S. officials filed to amend securities laws in favor of crypto. Upbit exchange was also indicted for market manipulation and bitcoin’s price held steady after this week’s bullish movement.

Catch up on today’s action!

Coinbase Launches Program To Educate New Crypto Users

Coinbase recently launched a project called “Coinbase Earn” which looks to educate the public on cryptocurrencies, while rewarding them with tokens.

The project is currently in the invite-only stage and rewards users in ZRX tokens for completing educational tasks relating to the 0x project. 0x is currently the only option in the program, but Coinbase hopes to add more in the future.

Coinbase studies showed many people were hesitant to interact with assets they did not understand. The project aims to teach them about new cryptocurrencies while giving them a small amount of the asset to test out.

Read on Crypto Insider

Facebook Makes Significant Moves Towards Crypto

Social media powerhouse Facebook recently showed continued interest in the blockchain space. David Marcus made quite the journey over the past year, as he joined the board of directors for Coinbase last December, in addition to keeping his position at Facebook. He then left Coinbase in August of this year, due to a stated conflict of interest.

Coinbase has also recently filled several key positions in their blockchain department.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, hinted at this year’s blockchain development when he stated interest in the crypto space and its application back in January of this year.

Read on Crypto Insider

US Lawmakers File Bill To Exempt Cryptocurrencies From Securities Laws

Yesterday, Warren Davidson and Darren Soto of the U.S. House of Representatives suggested a movement called the “Token Taxonomy Act”.

“According to the text, the bill – among other items – seeks to exclude ‘digital tokens’ from being defined as securities, amending both the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,” CoinDesk reported.

The amendment suggests an exemption for digital assets that are largely decentralized. Exempt assets would not include those directly related to the success of an underlying centralized company (acting like stocks as part ownership, for example).

Read on CoinDesk

South Korea Regulators Indict Three Upbit Employees for Alleged Trade Volume Manipulation

South Korean regulators recently launched an investigation into crypto exchange Upbit, suspecting market manipulation. Dunamu is the development company behind Upbit, which happens to be the largest crypto exchange in South Korea.

Accusations against Upbit include three accounts of artificial volume inflation over the past fourteen months. Two of Dunamu’s top staff members, as well as one Upbit employee, were “indicted, but not detained, as part of an investigation into the proceedings,” reported CoinTelegraph today based on news from The Korea Times.

According to The Korea Times’ report, “254 trillion won worth of fake orders [were used] to inflate the exchange’s trade volume.”

Read on CoinTelegraph

This Price Chart Indicates Bitcoin’s Bulls Are Back In Business

Bitcoin has held its recent bullish momentum, closing above the $4,000 mark yesterday. This confirmed CoinDesk’s bullish 3-day reversal chart mentioned a few days ago.

Today, CoinDesk mentioned the next resistance zone could be around $4,400. Bitcoin’s relative strength index (RSI) has also confirmed a bullish divergence pattern from December 15.

Read on CoinDesk

 

The post Daily Crypto Roundup 12/21/2018 appeared first on Crypto Insider.

Coinbase launches program to educate new crypto users

Coinbase recently announced their intention to help educate the public about cryptocurrency. Through the Coinbase Earn program, users will receive crypto assets to help them learn.

Coinbase Earn

In a blog release yesterday, Coinbase announced t the new program. The program aims to reward new crypto users by paying them small amounts of cryptocurrencies to complete educational tasks like videos and quiz questions.

The idea is for users to understand more about an asset’s utility and its underlying technology, while getting a bit of the asset to try out.

At the moment, the program only exists for ZRX tokens. Although Coinbase plans on branching out in the future. The program is also currently on an invite-only basis. But interested parties can still access the material for free, and join a waitlist to fully participate in the program in the future.

Current public confusion

Cryptocurrencies are confusing to people on the outskirts of the sector. Coinbase research found people to be largely hesitant toward assets they did not understand. However, the people surveyed did want to learn about cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin but did not know how to go about it.

The Coinbase Earn program allows interested folks to learn about crypto assets while being able to tinker with them, applying their new-found knowledge. This first round of the program received ZRX funds for the program from the 0x Core Team, as stated on their own blog release yesterday.

The 0x Core Team has allocated 1,600,000 ZRX tokens from our external development pool for the initiative. 100% of these tokens will be distributed to Coinbase Earn participants.

Crypto Twitter’s response

Crypto twitter had mixed feelings on the whole announcement. Notable bitcoin maximalist Jimmy Song looked at the event negatively, stating the 0x donation as a listing fee.

The Block writer Larry Cermak wrote about an interesting connection between Coinbase Earn and Earn.com, which the company purchased back in April of this year.

A spokesperson for Coinbase told The Block that Coinbase will be scaling up Earn.com via Coinbase Earn, piece by piece. According to the spokesperson, ‘[t]he first piece is today. Beyond that, we don’t have specific plans to share at this time.’

Some members of Twitter expressed skepticism toward the new initiative, expecting the newly rebranded Earn.com to fail.

While other speculators worry Coinbase Earn could be a gateway for further scams.

*CryptoInsider is sponsored by Blockmodo. As part of our arrangement, we may occasionally link to them and quote them when appropriate. This is done at the discretion of CI staff and CI sponsors have no say in any editorial decisions made by CI.

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Daily Crypto Roundup 12/20/2018

Today, Coinbase Pro added four tokens, bitcoin continued its upward momentum, and McAfee reports revealed rampant crypto-mining malware. Western Union also made positive statements toward cryptocurrency, and OKEx added a new “Perpetual Swap” bitcoin futures product.

Catch up on the details!

Coinbase Pro Continues Growing, Adds DAI, GNT, MKR, And ZIL

Coinbase Pro recently added Dai (DAI), Golem (GNT), Maker (MKR), and Zilliqa (ZIL) to their trading platform.

The company noted that not all features of these products will be available on the exchange, such as MKR governance for example.

These four assets will begin trading activity once the order books establish sufficient liquidity. Although Coinbase noted U.S. customers will not be allowed to trade ZIL and MKR for the time being due to regulatory compliance.

Read on Crypto Insider

Bitcoin’s Path To $5K Faces A Major Hurdle

Bitcoin continued its upward price path today, breaching the $4,000 level. Significant trading volume also accompanied such action.

According to a CoinDesk report today, the $4,400 price level could prove difficult to break, based on technical analysis chart levels.

At the time of CoinDesk’s report, bitcoin price held at $4,040 on Bitstamp, showing a gain of 8 percent over the last twenty-four hours.

Read on CoinDesk

McAfee: Crypto-Mining Malware Grew By Over 4,000 Percent In 2018

According to McAfee research (McAfee the company, not John McAfee), crypto-mining malware has run rampant this year, up by more than 4,000 percent.

“[T]here were nearly four million new mining malware threats in the third quarter of 2018 alone, compared to less than 500,000 in 2017 and 2016,” CoinDesk explained, based on McAfee’s December 2018 report.

An additional McAfee report also revealed a stark 55 percent increase in the number of harmful crypto-miners in Q3 of this year. All-together, malware expanded 4,467 percent in 2018.

McAfee reports also noted that many ransomware pirates are now moving into criminal crypto-mining activities.

Read on CoinDesk

Western Union Considers Crypto, Partners With Ripple To Test Blockchain Payments

Western Union Global Money Transfer stated a few days ago that they might be open to cryptocurrencies.

CoinTelegraph reported on a Reuters Plus interview with Western Union president Odilon Almeida on the subject. Almeida explained cryptocurrencies to be pretty much the same as their current standard digital payment system.

Almeida did however state the need for solutions to difficulties in volatility, governance, and compliance.

A press release on December 5 stated that Western Union “partnered with Ripple Labs to test whether sending payments by blockchain was faster and less expensive. The tests are ongoing.”

Read on CoinTelegraph

Second Largest Exchange OKEx Launches New Crypto Derivative Product

A press release CoinTelegraph received yesterday revealed OKEx recently launched its new “Perpetual Swap” bitcoin futures product.

“Per the release, currently each swap contract has a notional value of $100 equivalent in Bitcoin (BTC) and features leverage ranging from 1x to 100x,” CoinTelegraph reported. These new OKEx futures have no expiration. OKEx is also one of the largest crypto exchanges.

BitMEX is known for its bitcoin futures Perpetual Contracts. Those contracts are $1 USD each, and also have no expiration.

Read on CoinTelegraph

The post Daily Crypto Roundup 12/20/2018 appeared first on Crypto Insider.

Coinbase Pro continues growing, adds DAI, GNT, MKR, and ZIL

Yesterday, Coinbase Pro has announced the addition of four new Ethereum-based assets to its platform. Accordingly, Dai (DAI), Golem (GNT), Maker (MKR), and Zilliqa (ZIL) have joined the mix.

Listing details

Coinbase made the announcement yesterday, via their blog. Each of the added token projects also include other functions, aside from trading. The crypto exchange noted these smart contract functions are not yet available on Coinbase Pro.

As a result, users who want to engage in MKR governance, use their GNT tokens to submit rendering tasks to the Golem beta network, utilize functionality like Compound, or exit DAI positions in the event of global settlement will need to move their assets from Coinbase Pro to a local wallet.

Coinbase also interestingly noted that only DAI and GNT will be tradable on the U.S. Coinbase Pro exchange, and that “International Coinbase affiliates” will include MKR and ZIL trading for specified non-US customers.

As for popular crypto assets other than ERC20 token options, Coinbase is looking into the legal compliance associated with such additions. “[W]e are exploring the addition of many new assets beyond ERC20 tokens on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis.”

Incoming transactions for DAI, GNT, MKR, and ZIL opened after 11:45am PT on December 18. Coinbase mentioned they needed at least twelve hours to build up sufficient asset liquidity after deposits opened.

Trading will commence once sufficient liquidity has been determined. As of the time of this reporting, it appears as though only GNT is tradable on Coinbase Pro. DAI, MKR, and ZIL still seem to be waiting for sufficient volume to come through. These assets are also only available on Coinbase Pro and not Coinbase.com.

Coinbase explained four sequential stages for the mentioned token listings: transfer-only, post-only, limit-only, and full trading. These stages exist to properly build the exchange’s order books for effective trading.

DAI will be the second stablecoin made available on Coinbase Pro, as the exchange announced USD Coin (USDC) listing in October.

Legal compliance

2018 has seen significant regulatory pressure from the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). Numerous Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have been labeled as unregistered securities. Coinbase is one crypto party that seems to keep pace with regulatory expectations.

Two months ago, Crypto Insider reported on Coinbase receiving a crypto custody service approval from the hard-line regulatory state of New York. It is interesting to note that the company received custody approval for Ripple’s XRP, but has not listed the asset yet.

Coinbase’s regulatory compliance could explain why ZIL and MKR will not be tradable for U.S. customers right away. Many crypto asset projects may still be in the cross-hairs of the SEC regarding their status as securities.

More to come

Coinbase released a list earlier this month, stating thirty-one additional assets for potential future listing. DAI, MKR, ZIL, and GNT were on that list.

This fall’s frequent Coinbase listings are quite different from last year when Coinbase additions were one of the rarest occurrences in the crypto space. Readers likely remember when Coinbase added Bitcoin Cash last December, causing the asset to rise above $4,000 on some exchanges.

Although we find ourselves in the middle of a bear market, Coinbase listings still appear to provide some sort of price action, whether speculative or not. However, that price action could simply be associated with bitcoin’s recent bullish movement, currently sitting just under $3,800 on Blockmodo at the time of this writing.

 

Image Courtesy: Coinmarketcap.com

 

*CryptoInsider is sponsored by Blockmodo. As part of our arrangement, we may occasionally link to them and quote them when appropriate. This is done at the discretion of CI staff and CI sponsors have no say in any editorial decisions made by CI.

The post Coinbase Pro continues growing, adds DAI, GNT, MKR, and ZIL appeared first on Crypto Insider.

Daily Crypto Roundup 12/19/2018

Today in the crypto world, bitcoin futures may have ruined bitcoin’s price, Venezuela reported toxic crypto propaganda, and bitcoin continued its upward price path. Reports also showed significant crypto pump-and-dump activity this year, as well as increased bitcoin over-the-counter (OTC) interest.

Catch up on the news –

Did Mainstream Bitcoin Futures Crash BTC’s Price?

Bitcoin’s all-time price high anniversary was just two days ago, seeing the asset at a fraction of its former glory. Coincidentally (or maybe not), bitcoin hit its all-time price high on the same day the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) launched its bitcoin futures trading product.

Popular YouTuber Crypto Daily recently posted a video on the subject, referencing a Reddit post by “Turtlecane”. The jist of the information showed that bitcoin’s price could have been wrecked by the creation of “paper bitcoins”.

The CME and Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) both created cash-settled bitcoin futures. In short, this allowed traders to trade bitcoin’s price action without ever having to touch actual bitcoin. The futures products were to be paid out in cash, which created an artificial bitcoin supply. Artificially adding to bitcoin’s supply made the asset less scarce, thus decreasing its price.

Read on Crypto Insider

Venezuela Isn’t The Crypto Use Case You Want It To Be

Venezuela has graced many headlines this year with its astronomical inflation and attempted incorporation of a national cryptocurrency, the Petro. Venezuela’s overall efforts to incorporate crypto have been toxic.

According to a CoinDesk report, the Venezuelan government has forced citizens into using the Petro, instead of them learning about cryptocurrencies through their own interest. Additionally, there have been “aggressive outreach strategies from projects like dash.”

Blockchain Academy’s David Diaz, along with Cryptobuyer’s Jorge Farias, are working to provide free education to Venezuelan folks on bitcoin, programming, and other topics.

Read on CoinDesk

Bull Reversal: Bitcoin Climbs Key Price Hurdle To Target $4K

Over the past few days, bitcoin has seen a notable price rally. CoinDesk reported today that bitcoin recently exited a bearish chart pattern, closing above the important resistance level of $3,633.

Yesterday’s daily candle close also strengthened the odds for a positive three-day candle close higher than the $3,590 level. This candle will close tomorrow. Bitcoin’s price at the time of publication today was $3,750 on Bitstamp.

“So, with the short-term picture looking bullish, the focus shifts to the next major resistance levels lined up at $4,000 (psychological hurdle) and $4,410 (Nov. 29 high),” CoinDesk reported.

Read on CoinDesk

Crypto Market Rife With Pump-and-Dump Schemes, Study Shows

Today, Bloomberg reported on evidence showing tons of pump-and-dump activity within the crypto space. Pump-and-dumps are a type of market manipulation in which certain parties often make profits while dumping their assets of unsuspecting buyers. An academic research group called SSRN released a report with numbers showing this type of market manipulation’s prevalence.

“Researchers identified 4,818 so-called pump-and-dump attempts between January and July, using data scraped from Telegram and Discord, two encrypted messaging apps popular with the cryptocurrency community,” Bloomberg explained today.

Read on Bloomberg

Bitcoin OTC Trading Volume Soars As Institutions May Be Accumulating

According to a recent Bitcoinist report, over-the-counter (OTC) bitcoin buyers are apparently flocking to crypto’s largest asset. Recent research data from a company called Diar showed a significant uptick in OTC demand for bitcoin over the past few months.

Diar pondered how institutions fit into the equation. “[A]re institutional traders keeping at bay or have they shifted towards higher liquidity over-the-counter physical Bitcoin markets? The answer is likely a little bit of both,” stated Diar in their report.

Bitcoinist also mentioned the possibility of large players using OTC markets to buy, and then selling on traditional exchanges to keep prices low until they are finished accumulating.

Read on Bitcoinist

The post Daily Crypto Roundup 12/19/2018 appeared first on Crypto Insider.

Did mainstream bitcoin futures crash BTC’s price?

Last year around this time, bitcoin’s price hit its peak near $20,000. Bitcoin reached all-time price highs on the same day the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) launched its bitcoin futures. Coincidence? Evidence may show otherwise.

Exact timing

Popular YouTuber Cameron from Crypto Daily recently published a video correlating mainstream financial market bitcoin futures with bitcoin’s subsequent price collapse.

According to coinmarketcap.com data, bitcoin hit its all-time price high of $19,769.90 on December 17, 2017. This is the same day the CME launched its bitcoin futures trading product. Since then, bitcoin has seen its price fall more than 80 percent, currently sitting at about $3,545 on Blockmodo at the time of this writing.

Referencing a Reddit post by “Turtlecane” as source material for the video, Cameron mentioned “paper bitcoins” as a culprit for bitcoin’s price collapse.

(It is important to note that the Chicago Board Options Exchange also released its bitcoin futures trading product a week before the CME, adding to the paper bitcoin prevalence.)

Bitcoin futures

CME and CBOE futures products are cash-settled. Put simply, this means that trading positions are paid out in cash and not in bitcoin. The CME and CBOE do not need any actual bitcoin in their possession for the system to work.

So people can essentially trade bitcoin’s price action without ever needing to touch the actual bitcoin supply. Bitcoin’s limited 21 million coin supply is a significant factor in its price valuation. There are far more people in the world than there are bitcoin available.

But if people can gain financial exposure to bitcoin’s price action, via CME and CBOE futures products without having to buy physical bitcoin, then it decreases bitcoin’s overall demand.

“Each paper Bitcoin issued on CME diverts demand away from the Bitcoin spot market, lowering Bitcoin’s price, and also increases the total supply of Bitcoin beyond the actual Bitcoins in existence,” Turtlecane explained in his Reddit post.

“CME Bitcoin futures contracts are 5 Bitcoins each, and settled once a month. The volume of Bitcoin futures has been rapidly increasing, as Bitcoin dives lower and lower, and this is not a coincidence. The higher the volume of Bitcoin futures, the more paper Bitcoins that are printed.”

Image Courtesy: Tradingview

Gold connection

Turtlecane explained in a previous article the same market effect occurred when Comex (a branch of the CME) introduced gold futures back in 1974.

Gold is also of scarce supply. Over the last seven years or so, gold futures, ETFs, and other paper-backed gold products have picked up speed, causing a similar effect seen in bitcoin. “There is 360 times more paper gold printed than the physical gold backing the contracts,” Turtlecane mentioned.

Image Courtesy: Tradingview

Cameron stated a logical overall conclusion to bitcoin’s crash near the end of his video. Bitcoin may have crashed due to several different causes, matched with bad timing.

Many crypto speculators have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) Bakkt crypto trading platform. Unlike CME and CBOE, Bakkt futures trading will be settled in crypto assets.

*CryptoInsider is sponsored by Blockmodo. As part of our arrangement, we may occasionally link to them and quote them when appropriate. This is done at the discretion of CI staff and CI sponsors have no say in any editorial decisions made by CI.

The post Did mainstream bitcoin futures crash BTC’s price? appeared first on Crypto Insider.

Daily Crypto Roundup 12/18/2018

Today in crypto news, the upcoming Proof of Keys event was explained, bitcoin rose noticeably in price, and Bloomberg found evidence of Tether backing. Blockchain Capital partner Spencer Bogart also spoke bullishly on bitcoin, and Japan revealed a potential label change for cryptocurrencies.

Catch up on the details –

‘Proof of Keys’ Is Coming, But What Is It?

Popular crypto enthusiast Trace Mayer has been promoting a new event to take place on January 3, 2019, called Proof of Keys.

The Proof of Keys event urges crypto users to withdraw their funds from all third parties on or before January 3, 2019. Third parties include exchanges, gambling sites, etc.

Mayer explained several reasons for the event. He mentioned the event could prove third-party solvency (that third parties actually hold customer assets for them). The event also may show crypto holders the importance of holding their own private keys (crypto assets), and could additionally validate different crypto asset chains.

Read on Crypto Insider

Bitcoin Price Jumps 10% On Anniversary Of All-Time High

The last twenty-four hours have been bullish for bitcoin as the asset shot up to a price point of $3,590. Bitcoin has not seen such price levels in more than a week.

CoinDesk explained this price action could lead to further upward movement in the days ahead. “With the bounce, BTC has not only validated the oversold readings on the 14-week relative strength index (RSI), but also established a bullish reversal pattern on the widely followed three-day chart.”

Although validation on the three-day chart cannot be confirmed until Thursday’s close.

Read on CoinDesk

Crypto-Mystery Clues Suggest Tether Has the Billions It Promised

Tether (USDT) solvency still remains unproven as the bear market continues. A Bloomberg report today provided evidence leaning toward Tether actually holding sufficient USD backing.

Bloomberg was able to review several of Tether’s private documents. Although the documents were not complete records, they did show cash numbers matching the amount of USDT in circulation at the time of recording. The files were also verified for authenticity.

However, the documents Bloomberg reviewed did not reveal the origin of the assets or their ending location.

Read on Bloomberg

A Year After $20K, Blockchain Capital Exec Says Investors Will Regret Not Buying In Now

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of bitcoin’s all-time price high. Blockchain Capital partner Spencer Bogart stated now as a great time to buy bitcoin.

In yesterday’s interview with CNBC, Bogart explained that bitcoin has been mostly fueled by retail trading so far. He said this often leads to bull markets that go a bit too high and bear markets that stoop too low.

“[T]he reality is that the fundamentals have not changed […] 2018 has been a fantastic year for bitcoin. Ignore the price. I mean underlying it, the technology – this is the first year that we’ve started to move scale bitcoin with the lightning network.”

Bogart mentioned many other aspects as well, including the ongoing development of institutional players coming into crypto.

Read on CoinTelegraph

Japan: Crypto May Be Classified As ‘Crypto-Assets’ To Prevent Confusion With Legal Tender

According to a CoinTelegraph Japan report a few days ago, the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) may propose a change in terminology, legally classifying cryptocurrencies as “crypto-assets.”

Through this classification change, Japan “hopes that traders will no longer purchase them believing that they are legal tender recognized by the government,” CoinTelegraph reported.

Read on CoinTelegraph

 

The post Daily Crypto Roundup 12/18/2018 appeared first on Crypto Insider.

‘Proof of Keys’ is coming, but what is it?

Notable crypto enthusiast Trace Mayer has been recently advocating the importance of a “Proof of Keys” celebration. The event will take place on January 3, 2019.

Proof of Keys event

Trace Mayer is now promoting a crypto ownership awareness event called “Proof of Keys“. In the event, cryptocurrency holders are urged to remove their crypto assets from exchanges and other third parties in an effort to prove solvency.

The idea is that if the exchanges actually hold customers’ crypto assets (which they claim to store for customers after deposit), then all customers should essentially be able to remove their assets from those third parties at any point. Mayer described the details and reasoning on his website.

“By demanding and taking possession of their assets, individuals will learn real fast with blockchain proof whether they are part of the elite HODLers or not. Proof of Keys is the annual HODLer initiation.”

Popular crypto YouTuber Crypt0 recently interviewed Mayer, talking largely about the Proof of Keys event.

Mayer mentioned several points of importance for the event. He described that crypto holders should know how to store and protect their crypto private keys, and effectively transfer them into their own possession at will.

Mayer also stated the issue of third-party solvency for crypto assets. After a year of solvency doubt regarding Tether (USDT) and others, Mayer urged the crypto community to use this event to find out which crypto exchanges (and other third parties) can prove they have the funds they claim to store. “This is a fight over your monetary sovereignty,” Mayer said.

Many exchange hacks and casualties have occurred since bitcoin’s inception, showing the importance of skepticism, as well as the personal storage of investor private keys.

“People kind of need to understand the importance of proof of keys and proof of work. And so why not do it on the genesis block day [January 3]. Why not turn this into an annual celebration that we can do as a community, and just demand proof of the keys.”

The event encourages anyone who holds crypto assets on exchanges, gambling websites, or other third parties, to withdraw all those assets to private individual storage. “You can always send them back, but just prove that they’ve got them,” Mayer said.

Additionally, Mayer explained this event to help test the blockchain network consensus as well. Withdrawing assets, in theory, would prove the validity of different asset chains.

Doubts against the event

There could be a potential problem with this event, however. Exchanges like Binance for example, do not hold all customer assets on the exchange at one point. They store an amount of those funds in cold storage, to protect customers.

If everyone wanted to withdraw all funds in a short period of time, it would likely create significant traffic while waiting for the exchange to transfer those funds and then allow customers to withdraw them.

Back when 1Broker was shut down by the FBI a few months ago,  Crypto traders flocked to 1Broker’s sister-site 1Fox exchange to withdraw all their bitcoin in fear of a related shutdown. This caused hours of delays in asset withdrawls.

Actively trading crypto assets can also often require an amount of funds to remain on exchanges. This event in theory could basically make trading inoperable until all the transfers were sorted out and sent back.

Who is Trace Mayer?

According to his own website, Trace Mayer is “an entrepreneur, investor, journalist, monetary scientist and ardent defender of the freedom of speech,” with degrees in law and accounting.

Back in October 2017, Mayer Tweeted a price speculation for 2018, seeing bitcoin priced around $27,000 by February. This prediction was made while bitcoin was priced near the $4,400 range, via coinmarketcap.com data.

Considering the exuberant run in the months following that tweet, Mayer was not terribly far off. He did however make a few projections in later months that were not accurate. One such scenario saw bitcoin reaching more than $100,000 by the end of 2018.

*CryptoInsider is sponsored by Blockmodo. As part of our arrangement, we may occasionally link to them and quote them when appropriate. This is done at the discretion of CI staff and CI sponsors have no say in any editorial decisions made by CI.

The post ‘Proof of Keys’ is coming, but what is it? appeared first on Crypto Insider.

Daily Crypto Roundup 12/17/2018

As the crypto week kicked off, a small republic talked about crypto mining regulation, Crypto Insider reported on a recent Cypherpunk death, and the crypto public remembered last year’s bitcoin all-time price high.

Early crypto adopter Erik Finman also made grim statements on bitcoin, and data showed mass Ethereum withdrawals over the past thirty days.

Take a look at the details:

The Republic Of Abkhazia Regulates Crypto-Mining To Get Through The Winter

Coming in at a population of less than 4 million people, the small Republic of Abkhazia (near the Eurasian country of Georgia) has recently seen regulatory rumblings regarding crypto mining.

Abkhazia reportedly has many abandoned factories and other locations where crypto mining is prevalent. In 2017, Georgia (including Abkhazia) “was ranked as second in the world for crypto mining as per power consumption, after China,” Crypto Insider explained.

However, cold weather, low water levels, and high electrical consumption could cause concern that there may not be enough power to go around.

Read on Crypto Insider

Tribute To One Of Crypto’s Godfathers, Timothy C. May

Cypherpunk movement co-founder Timothy C. May died last week at age 67. May was also notably responsible for discovering integrated circuit Radiation-Induced Single Event Upsets.

May had a history in technical writing and electrical engineering, among other things, before co-founding the Cypherpunk movement.

May worked with many others in the Cypherpunk group throughout the 1990’s and later, developing ideas and concepts that would end up forming cryptocurrency markets and theories.

Read on Crypto Insider

A Year Ago Today Bitcoin’s Price Hit A Record $20k

Last year on December 17, bitcoin hit its all-time high of about $20,000. Today, bitcoin remained at just a fraction of that price.

After sustaining an 83.5 percent drawdown since this time last year, bitcoin sat at roughly $3,230 on the Bitstamp chart at the time of writing.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) launched its bitcoin futures on this day last year. Bitcoin then proceeded to drop 44 percent by the end of last year. CoinDesk also recounted some of this year’s events as bitcoin struggled in price.

Read on CoinDesk

Bitcoin Is Pretty Much Dead, Says Teenage Crypto Phenom

Popular crypto youngster and millionaire Erik Finman recently explained his opinion that crypto could have one or two more bull runs. However, he stated his long-term view as bleak for bitcoin.

Market Watch stated Finman invested $1,000 into bitcoin, back in 2011. That $1,000 ultimately gave Finman over $4 million in return.

According to an interview with Market Watch, Finman stated, “[b]itcoin is dead, it’s too fragmented, there’s tons of infighting I just don’t think it will last,” […] “[i]t may have a bull market or two left in it, but long-term, its dead.”

Read on Market Watch

Over 400,000 ETH Left ICO Team Wallets In The Past Thirty Days, Data Shows

CoinTelegraph reported today that large quantities of Ethereum (ETH) have moved, based on data from a firm called Santiment. Over the past thirty day period, ETH wallets have seen asset exodus to the tune of more than 400,000 ETH.

Although there is no confirmation these funds were sold after being moved. Based on Santiment’s data, ETH exodus from ICO team wallets has been much higher over the past thirty days than periods prior.

“According to a study from ICO analysis firm ICORating in mid-November, not only are ETH outflows seemingly on the rise, but the sector overall saw a decline in initial funds raised in the third quarter of this year,” CoinTelegraph also noted.

Read on CoinTelegraph

The post Daily Crypto Roundup 12/17/2018 appeared first on Crypto Insider.

Daily Crypto Roundup 12/14/2018

Today in the crypto space we saw Basis shut down its stablecoin operation, as U.S. government officials warned against bomb threats that demanded bitcoin, and the Civic team gained a former Apple powerhouse. Binance also added another stablecoin, and Tom Lee explained bitcoin’s true price value.

Here are the details:

Basis Stablecoin Project Will Shut Down And Return All Funds

The Basis stablecoin project recently announced closure due to regulatory difficulties.

Basis reportedly had a great team and vision. However, their stablecoin system included two other tokens, “bond tokens” and “share tokens”. These other two tokens might have been the cause for concern in the situation.

In order to retain price stability, Basecoins needed to be switched out with the projects other two tokens, depending on market conditions.

Read on Crypto Insider

US Government Issues Advice Over Bitcoin Bomb Threat Emails

The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) recently warned the public of recent bomb threat emails.

Emails included individuals threatening to bomb organizations, demanding bitcoin as payment to avoid such violence.

According to the NCCIC announcement, “[i]f you receive a bomb threat email, NCCIC recommends the following actions:

  1. Do not respond or try to contact the sender.
  2. Do not pay the ransom.
  3. Report the email to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center or to a local FBI Field Office.”

Read on CoinDesk

Blockchain Startup Civic Appoints Apple Veteran As Executive Director Of Identity.com

Civic, a popular blockchain project in the self-sovereign identity space, brought Phillip Shoemaker on board as Identity.com’s new executive director. (Identity.com is the ecosystem for the Civic project.)

Shoemaker is the former senior director for Apple’s App Store Review operation. He grew his team from a handful of employees to a team of more than 300 during his seven years there.

Civic’s Co-founder and CTO Jonathan Smith said in yesterday’s press release that the “caliber of [Phillip’s] experience immediately set him apart as a dynamic leader.”

Read on CoinTelegraph

Top Crypto Exchange Binance Adds Circle’s USDC To Its Combined Stablecoin Market

Binance recently added USD Coin (USDC) to the mix as yet another stablecoin option on their platform. USDC will be available on Binance’s USDⓈ Stablecoin Market.

Last month, Binance “rebranded its Tether (USDT) Market as the combined USDⓈ market to allow for the support of more trading pairs with different stablecoins offered as a base pair,” CoinTelegraph explained in today’s report.

Read on CoinTelegraph

Unabashed Bitcoin Bull Thomas Lee Says The Market Is Wrong

Fudstrat’s Tom Lee, known for his $25,000 end-of-year bitcoin price prediction earlier this year, recently made further comments on bitcoin’s value.

According to a Bloomberg report yesterday, Lee stated bitcoin was vastly undervalued at less than $3,400. He said the asset should be worth about $14,800.

Lee mentioned the number of active wallet addresses, account usage, and supply aspects, to explain why bitcoin should be valued in the price range of $13,800 to $14,800.

Read on Bloomberg

 

The post Daily Crypto Roundup 12/14/2018 appeared first on Crypto Insider.

Basis stablecoin project will shut down and return all funds

The Basis stablecoin project must close operations due to regulatory difficulties. Basis received $133 million in funding as a highly anticipated stablecoin venture.

Closing up shop

According to yesterday’s report from The Block, intel from one Basis investor stated the presence of a contract indicating how the raised funds would be utilized.

The contract explained the majority of invested capital had to remain in its original form and untouched until Basis introduced their stablecoin. Investors would also get their funds back if Basis did not launch.

Basis reportedly ran into regulatory difficulties, leading to the project’s cancellation and a return of investor money. The project touted prestigious interest and investment from players like “Bain Capital Ventures, GV, Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Ventures and a number of other firms,” noted The Block.

The Basis project looked very promising, with an ambitious and skilled team. The Block noted a sizeable investor in the project who mentioned:

“this [the Basis team] is an extraordinarily talented team with an extremely ambitious vision tackling a very difficult problem […] our respect for this team is as high as it has ever been.”

Basis: a complex stablecoin

The goal of a stablecoin is to ideally remain pegged one-to-one with a specified national currency. Many U.S. dollar pegged stablecoins exist, including USD Coin (USDC) and the Gemini Dollar (GUSD).

The problem, however, is that keeping those stablecoins pegged to their underlying dollar can be difficult. For example, GUSD saw a price increase to $1.19 USD per GUSD at one point this year (although normal fluctuations are often just a penny or two).

Stablecoins can also often have difficulty proving a sufficient supply of the underlying currency, as seen in the controversial Tether (USDT) chronicles this year.

Basis held a unique model, hoping to provide a more stable dollar pegging. The project was touted on their website as “[a] stable cryptocurrency with an algorithmic central bank.”

The Basis (formerly called Basecoin) whitepaper explained the project was based on the Quantity Theory of Money. “[T]he Basis protocol estimates changes in demand by monitoring the exchange rate between Basis and its pegged assets,” the whitepaper explained. “[The] protocol expands and contracts Basis token supply based on the exchange rate.”

Speaking at the East-West Blockchain Conference last year, Basecoin founder Nader Al-Naji said, “elastic supply is how you get rid of volatility. When you have an elastic supply, you can fight fluctuating demand with fluctuating supply, to keep the value of the unit stable.”

For this system to work, Al-Naji mentioned the presence of “bond tokens” and “share tokens”, used in a fashion similar to how central banks currently operate. Put simply, the complex system involved switching out Basecoins, bond tokens, and share tokens at different points to help retain a one-to-one dollar pegging.

In a recent report on the subject, CoinTelegraph mentioned sources indicating that the referenced bond and share tokens could be classified as securities under U.S. Security and Exchange Commission regulations.

*CryptoInsider is sponsored by Blockmodo. As part of our arrangement, we may occasionally link to them and quote them when appropriate. This is done at the discretion of CI staff and CI sponsors have no say in any editorial decisions made by CI.

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Daily Crypto Roundup 12/13/2018

Today in the headlines, Razer gaming encouraged ZCash mining, as a major German stock exchange reported plans for crypto. Also, a study showed added crypto interest, PAX touted notable popularity, and Weiss Ratings said it was time to buy bitcoin.

Here’s the scoop:

The Razer SoftMiner Scheme Is Not What It Seems

Gaming computer giant Razer has started an interesting new customer loyalty initiative. Users can reportedly mine ZCash on their computer when it is not in use, via a downloadable app.

Customers can earn Razer reward points on the app to spend on things like games and hardware from the Razer store.

The catch however, is that customers cannot utilize whatever ZCash is mined. And even though the computer app is mining while the computer is idle, significant power is still being used.

Read on Crypto Insider

Major German Stock Exchange To Launch Crypto Trading Platform

Yesterday Boerse Stuttgart Group announced plans to start a crypto trading operation sometime in the first two quarters of next year.

Boerse Stuttgart Group is the second-biggest stock exchange in Germany, and will collaborate with a company called SolarisBank for the operation. The trading platform will be open to institutions as well as individuals.

“Initially, trading for bitcoin and ether will be enabled on the platform, with support for other tokens expected once its initial coin offering (ICO) platform – also currently under development – goes live,” CoinDesk reported today.

Read on CoinDesk

Number of Crypto Users Nearly Doubled In 2018, Study Says

Apparently people are still coming into the crypto space, even after a difficult year overall in the price category. The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance released a study yesterday, showing the crypto space to have netted an additional 17 million “verified users” in 2018.

CoinTelegraph noted from the study that “in the first three quarters of 2018 the number of ID-verified cryptocurrency users nearly doubled, climbing from 18 million to 35 million.”

The study also made an interesting note about self-regulation, stating, “[i]ndustry actors are pro-actively adopting measures that appear to comply with existing regulation despite not necessarily being explicitly subject to regulations.”

Read on CoinTelegraph

PAX Stablecoin Exceeds $5 Billion In Transactions In First 3 Months

In a race to gain stablecoin dominance, the Paxos Standard (PAX) token recently reported over $5 billion in transaction volume.

According to a press release given to CoinTelegraph today, “the coin [PAX] has as of today has been used in $5,245,958,124.65 worth of transaction volumes, with a market cap of over $174 million (as of press time, slightly down to $159.5), of which the trust company has redeemed ‘over $136 million.’”

PAX is reportedly the second-most used stablecoin on the market, and included proof of backed funds in its press release.

Read on CoinTelegraph

Now Is The ‘Best Opportunity Of The Year’ To Buy Bitcoin, Says Weiss Ratings

Weiss sent out several tweets this week, stating the longevity of bitcoin, as well as indicating now as the time to buy.

Weiss basically stated bitcoin to be a good buy this week because prices were the lowest of the year.

The Weiss tweet also included that “[a]s a store of value, [bitcoin] is here to stay. We truly think it’s the least speculative investment a person can make in [crypto] right now.

Bitcoinist noted a change of sentiment for Weiss, as the rating company gave bitcoin only slightly above an average rating earlier this year.

Read on Bitcoinist

The post Daily Crypto Roundup 12/13/2018 appeared first on Crypto Insider.

Importance of a trading plan in crypto

The cryptocurrency market is often called the “Wild West”, mostly due to its seemingly lawless nature (although regulation has quickened pace more recently). At the same time, this new space which brilliantly merges applied digital cryptography with economics may resemble the gun-slinging days of Billy the Kid in the area of trading and investing as well.

Since crypto is such a young and developing market, with its 1000 percent gains and the like, it can exude an aura of “easy money”, leading people to dive into the market head-first without a plan. However, having a trading plan in crypto is vital – especially one that is specific to each trader or investor.

A tough game

Crypto trading is a zero-sum game. There must be winners and losers. Every winning trade results in someone else losing money. Having a plan can help traders or investors have a better chance at success, instead of just rolling the dice and leaving it up to chance.

Just because someone randomly threw $1,000 into the crypto market and ended up with $10,000, doesn’t mean the same will happen to everyone who takes a similar gamble. Trading and investing are largely about playing the odds – and randomly buying assets does not likely lead to the best odds.

Longevity in trading and investing is often about consistency. Making a huge one-time profit is not effective if that money is later lost to the market due to a lack of consistency.

Control

Financial service veteran Michael Carr once gave a wise and applicable quote that can be used for the creation of a trading plan. “Don’t worry about what the markets are going to do, worry about what you are going to do in response to the markets.”

No amount of willpower can entirely control the crypto markets. Markets have a mind of their own. That being said, the trader or investor is still in control of his or her own actions, and how to play the market in order to find success.

A plan

Rockwell Trading listed a good example of some points to consider when developing a trading plan.

Points include evaluating:

  1. “The market(s) you want to trade.
  2. The timeframes you want to trade, e.g. 5 min, 10 min, tick or range bars.
  3. brief description of the strategies you want to trade and when to use what strategy.
  4. The entry rules of the strategies.
  5. The exit rules of the strategies.
  6. Other important rules, e.g. when to trade and when not to trade.
  7. The money management approach you are using.”

(These points are also sensible for investing, but would need to be applied to a much longer timeframe.)

A custom plan

An aspect that makes trading and investing so difficult is that what may work for one person, may not work for the next person. Each individual has different biases, tendencies, tolerances, emotions, and capital allowances.

Notable fund manager Richard Driehaus once said, “[a] trading philosophy is something that cannot just be transferred from one person to another; it’s something that you have to acquire yourself through time and effort.”

In his book, Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom, author Van K. Tharp noted, “[m]y understanding has always been that you cannot trade the markets. Instead, you trade your beliefs about the market.”

Tharp’s quote is another good example of why trading and investing plans differ from person to person. Such plans and experiences are largely an exercise in self-discovery. Each person is subject to their own biases, beliefs, etc. It is important to develop a plan that provides consistency according to the individual trader or investor.

Crypto application

How does it all relate to crypto markets? Crypto markets are in their infancy, riddled with volatility. When this volatility is to the upside, it can create stories of tremendous profit. Fantastic stories filled the media with random crypto assets rising by thousands of percents during the last bull market.

These stories logically had a higher chance of luring unprepared people into the markets, than stories of common stock market successes. There is a large amount of risk if those investing or trading have early success attributed largely to luck. Without a plan, the odds could point to losing such gains in the long term.

There have been stories of people putting enormous amounts of money into crypto (money they could not afford to lose), buying the top of the market last December, as well as this year in January. This put them in a difficult position due to 2018’s bear market.

The New York Times reported on one individual who invested $23,000 into cryptocurrency markets during the hype. As of the August report, he was left with $4,000. “I got too caught up in the fear of missing out and trying to make a quick buck […] The losses have pretty much left me financially ruined,” he said.

Having a trading or investing plan can potentially help better prepare those involved, possibly leading to greater long-term success.

*Nothing written or said is financial advice in any way. Nothing written is any kind of advice whatsoever. Proceed only at your own risk after doing your own research. Trading and investing are highly risky endeavors.

*CryptoInsider is sponsored by Blockmodo. As part of our arrangement, we may occasionally link to them and quote them when appropriate. This is done at the discretion of CI staff and CI sponsors have no say in any editorial decisions made by CI.

The post Importance of a trading plan in crypto appeared first on Crypto Insider.

Daily Crypto Roundup 12/12/2018

Another day in the crypto bear market trenches passed as research indicates many projects as being quite centralized. Kraken announced an opportunity to invest in their operation, Calgary launched its own digital asset, and more negative comments surfaced from mainstream players, all as bitcoin’s price future remained uncertain.

Catch the details:

Dogecoin Is More Decentralized Than NEO, IOTA, NEM, Stellar, And Nano

Crypto Insider released a report today, stating Dogecoin to be more decentralized than several top crypto assets.

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts often evaluate the concept and importance of decentralization regarding different assets. Lacking a single point of failure leads to a more hack-resistant operation.

Referencing Dogecoin creator Jackson Palmer’s recent research on centralization, Crypto Insider reported a lack of decentralization for several important projects, including NEO, IOTA, NEM, Stellar, and NANO. Dogecoin fared surprisingly well in comparison.

Read on Crypto Insider

Kraken Is Seeking ‘War Chest’ Investment At A $4 Billion Valuation

Recent news showed Kraken to pursue investments from select parties, offering them shares in the company. Kraken looks to raise $4 billion through these efforts.

The exchange will offer a window of time for investors to buy company shares, enforcing a $100,000 minimum investment amount. This is not a public event or IPO, and the deadline for investment is December 16.

According to a CoinDesk report today, Kraken sent an email to investors, stating a few reasons for the opportunity.

“We’re profitable and sitting on significant reserves so fundraising is not a necessity, however, further aligning interests with our top clients while building a war chest for acquisitions in the bear market presents a win-win opportunity,” Kraken explained in part of the email.

Read on CoinDesk

Bitcoin Price Charts Indicate Glimmer Of Hope For Corrective Rally

After the most recent drop in price, bitcoin has struggled to forge a convincing rally. According to a CoinDesk report today, $3,600 is an important level of resistance to break for crypto’s largest asset to begin a move upward.

Last week, bitcoin dropped to its lowest point in over a year, down to the $3,200 price level. The relative strength index (RSI) was also below a level of 30, showing the market to be largely oversold.

“So, with bitcoin so extremely oversold, a recovery rally cannot be ruled out – more so because there is evidence of bargain hunters challenging the bears’ resolve to push prices lower,” CoinDesk explained today.

Read on CoinDesk

Canadian City Of Calgary Launches Local Digital Currency For Intracity Transactions

Canada appears to be warming up to crypto assets as Calgary Alberta recently introduced the Calgary Dollar.

Customers can use Calgary’s digital currency for products and services. No other cities in Canada have launch coins as of yet. The Calgary Dollar also holds approval from the government of Alberta.

“[Alberta] officials expect that the Calgary Dollar could support small businesses and nonprofits by keeping funds within the city,” reported CoinTelegraph today.

The Canadian city originally introduced Calgary Dollars in 1996. “What’s new, however, is that Calgary Dollars now has [its] own dedicated app, allowing users to store currency on their devices,” explained HuffPost Canada last week.

Read on CoinTelegraph

Cryptoassets should be “outlawed” – Allianz GI CEO

Asset management giant Allianz Global Investors’ CEO Andreas Utermann commented negatively on cryptocurrencies, according to a yesterday Reuters report.

“You should outlaw it,” Utermann said. “I am personally surprised that regulators haven’t stepped in harder.”

Involved in the same panel discussion, head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority Andrew Bailey also chimed in and said that cryptocurrencies had “intrinsic value”.

Read on Reuters

The post Daily Crypto Roundup 12/12/2018 appeared first on Crypto Insider.

Bitcoin looking very bearish: Tone Vays

Bitcoin’s negative price action this year is no secret. According to popular technical analyst Tone Vays, bitcoin’s price does not look good going forward – at least for a while.

Tone Vays Analysis

Expert technical analyst Tone Vays jumped on a YouTube video today to analyze bitcoin’s price action. According to Vays, the next few months of price action for bitcoin look bleak at best.

Looking at the monthly Bitcoin chart, (where each candle portrays one month of price action) Vays speculated on price, with the comparison to bitcoin’s last bear market end back in 2015.

Image Courtesy: YouTube.com (black circle on the bottom left is 2015 and the black circle in the upper right is 2018 – added by CI author for reader clarity)

As seen on the chart image above, last month’s red candle did not end with a long bottom wick, breaching a satisfactory level to the downside, as was seen in 2015’s candle.

Tone Vays noted that price last month did not breach the fifty-month moving average (50 MA). “It makes me believe that this big down candle [upper right black circle in image] is not, and I repeat, not the equivalent of this big down candle [lower left black circle in image],” Vays said.

Vays observation and analysis here is an indication that bitcoin has possibly not yet found an ultimate price bottom or reversal.

Referencing this month’s red candle, Vays mentioned that buying pressure did not follow last month’s big red candle, indicating further downward momentum ahead instead of a price reversal.

Vays then went into several interesting scenarios going forward for bitcoin. In his most optimal scenario, he stated, “this is going to sound very very ugly right now.”

His optimal scenario includes a few more months of price consolidation in the $3,000 price range. This would involve price staying slightly above the fifty-month moving average until March of next year, ending the month in the $3,150 range.

“And then in April, have a gigantic drop down to approximately below $1,500, in early April. But by end of April, be back above the fifty-month moving average, creating this giant hammer candle.”

(A hammer candle is a candlestick with a small body and very large bottom wick. This type of candle can indicate capitulation, market bottoms, and buying pressure, depending on where the candle occurs in any given chart.)

This could be a more positive situation than if prices were to linger under the fifty-month moving average for a prolonged time period.  After April in his mentioned scenario, Vays sees bitcoin returning to the $5,000 price range and higher by the end of 2019, with the possibility of breaking all-time highs in 2020.

Vays also detailed other chart time frames, such as weekly and daily bitcoin charts, explaining those time frames to look very bearish as well.

Notably, Vays has provided some accurate analysis in the past.

Tone Vays also won a $10,000 bet against ex-pro poker player turned crypto influencer Doug Polk earlier this year.

It is important to note that nothing is ever certain. Technical analysis can be a great way to analyze price action and make possible projections for the future. However, no one knows what will happen for certain until it happens.

*Nothing written or said is financial advice in any way. Writing about price levels is purely speculation, subject to speculatory bias. Nothing written is any kind of advice whatsoever. Proceed only at your own risk.

*CryptoInsider is sponsored by Blockmodo. As part of our arrangement, we may occasionally link to them and quote them when appropriate. This is done at the discretion of CI staff and CI sponsors have no say in any editorial decisions made by CI.

The post Bitcoin looking very bearish: Tone Vays appeared first on Crypto Insider.

Daily Crypto Roundup 12/11/2018

In today’s news, the bear market appears to have taken a toll on bitcoin miners as crypto may struggle to break out of the current negative trend in days ahead. Crypto participants expressed hesitation for a bitcoin ETF, and PayPal also launched blockchain incorporation.

Here are the details:

Bear Market Weighs On Bitcoin Miners

The current crypto bear market has been difficult for virtually everyone. Traders and investors are often the first to come to mind. However, bitcoin miners have also taken significant damage.

Bitmain is a household name in the crypto mining space. However, Bitmain’s development center recently had to eliminate 23 staff members due to regulation and bear market struggles.

Other mining companies facing hard times, for various individual reasons, include Canaan and Ebang International Holdings.

Read on Crypto Insider

When Will The Crypto Bear Market End?

Many current speculations exist regarding when the crypto bear market will finally end, and what price low bitcoin will ultimately hit.

Venture Capitalist Albert Wegner wrote a recent article about the current situation. He explained this crypto bear market may be different from previous ones, due to the vast publicity and added capital this time around.

Market moves will likely stem from big players going forward. Wegner states big players are unlikely to jump into the market right now. This is because they would face negative price perceptions, but also negative public perceptions (meaning the public obviously sees crypto as dying, so going against that perception is against the odds).

Read on Crypto Insider

Not Everyone Wants A Bitcoin ETF

This year the crypto market has been flooded with ETF optimism and talk. Although according to a CoinDesk report today, some cryptocurrency members are hesitant about the idea.

One main argument for bitcoin ETF positivity is that it would bring significant money into the space. However, crypto OGs (early crypto participants) see the new product as mostly insignificant at best.

Alex Bosworth, developer for Lightning Labs, even indicated an ETF could be harmful. Bosworth recently spoke with CoinDesk on the subject, explaining that an ETF could lead to collusion (institutional crypto manipulation).

Read on CoinDesk

Panic Mode? What A Wall Street Chart Tells Us About Bitcoin’s Price

The “Wall Street Cheat Sheet” has been floating around the crypto space for a while now. The chart shows the psychology behind a market cycle. From “Euphoria”, all the way down to “depression”.

“Euphoria” was seen in bitcoin’s space mission toward $20,000. A recent CoinDesk article made a case that bitcoin currently sits in the “panic” stage, with a break below $3,000 starting the “capitulation” phase, as well as other stages to follow.

Read on CoinDesk

PayPal Launches Blockchain-Based Innovation Reward System For Employees

PayPal appears to one of the latest mainstream giants to jump on the blockchain bandwagon with news last Thursday.

The payment entity reportedly started up operations for its blockchain incorporation last month.

“Employees using the program are granted tokens for participating in innovation-related programs and contributing ideas,” CoinTelegraph reported today.

Members of the program can only spend said tokens on PayPal, and are able to swap them with other program members.

Read on CoinTelegraph

The post Daily Crypto Roundup 12/11/2018 appeared first on Crypto Insider.

When will the crypto bear market end?

Over the past several months there has been no shortage of timeline speculation regarding the current cryptocurrency bear market. Venture capitalist Albert Wenger recently wrote a few interesting thoughts on the situation.

Stuck in a bear market trend

Bitcoin sits at a price of $3,450 according to Blockmodo data at the time of writing. Crypto’s largest asset has struggled to break out of its bearish trend for most of 2018, with no definitive end in sight. Negativity for bitcoin is logical as the coin is down over 80% from all-time highs last year.

Forbes interviewed ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees a few months ago, in which he commented on 2018’s crypto bear market.

“In terms of price I think we’ve neared our low, however we could very well stay here for a while before a bull market returns. That being said, crypto is crypto. This bear market could last for several years, or we could see it end in a month or two. Neither would surprise me.”

Interesting perspective

Many crypto participants and speculators cannot help but compare the current bear market to the last one seen between 2013 and 2015.

However, the situation may be more complex now. Albert Wenger is a venture capitalist and partner at Union Square Ventures. Last Wednesday he posted an article talking about public risk perception.

In the article, Wenger mentioned the correlation between returns and uncertainty. Where large institutional investments are concerned, the aspect of perception plays an important role. “[I]t is one thing to lose money on a trade, it is another to lose money on a trade that people have tried many times before and is now widely ‘known’ to be a money-losing trade,” Wenger explained.

In general, potential investors must weigh general risk on their investment. But in a major bear market situation like crypto, they must also weigh the added risk of market perception.

Current perceptions for cryptocurrency markets include negativity and money loss. Wenger mentioned, “[i]f the others [public perceptions] are right, then not only will returns be below the benchmarks but there is also the question: why did you think you were smarter than everyone else?”

Wenger explained a similar situation in the early 2000s after the infamous dot-com bubble burst. He recounted the struggles one of his funds saw trying to raise money in 2001. Big players did not want to invest in something thought to be a trivial dead end.

He went on to discuss crypto application for these points, and a repetition of history. This cryptocurrency market crash is different than all previous ones. This time around, things are the same in terms of pure investment risk numbers, but different from the aspect of perception.

The last bull run gained more publicity than the crypto space had ever seen before. Institutions and big players got in on the action, while mainstream media covered the space frequently. Wenger noted these differences as important to how the current bear market will play out.

“So to think that institutional investors will [be] piling in right now is to ignore perception risk. To invest now means taking both return risk and perception risk. That’s why climbing out of the winter of the burst Dotcom bubble took time and that’s why the same is likely to be true for crypto.”

More money in the game

The 2013 cryptocurrency bull market turned bearish after achieving a total market cap high of about $15.7 billion, according to Coinmarketcap.com data. The most recent bull market saw a high of just over $800 billion in market cap.

Climbing out of the 2013-15 bear market took much less capital. The total market was a fraction of even the current market cap size. Investors could move that market’s direction with far less money than would be required now. To substantially move the current crypto market would take significant amounts of money. Institutional players have that kind of money. But as Wenger explained, those players may be hesitant to enter the market for a while going forward.

*CryptoInsider is sponsored by Blockmodo. As part of our arrangement, we may occasionally link to them and quote them when appropriate. This is done at the discretion of CI staff and CI sponsors have no say in any editorial decisions made by CI.

 

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Daily Crypto Roundup 12/10/2018

Today, the SEC made positive statements on the potential of ICOs, as bitcoin failed to achieve a significant price bounce. Japan proposed tax changes in favor of cryptocurrencies, China banned STOs, and Crypto Insider reported on Stellar and Ripple application headway.

Here are the details:

Stellar And Ripple Penetrate Further Into Traditional Banking

It makes logical sense for banks to fear cryptocurrencies. However, banks are now looking into blockchain technology application, instead of shunning the potential it holds. Stellar and Ripple are two cryptocurrency projects looking to mesh with the traditional financial system.

Along its journey thus far, Stellar has partnered with mainstream giant IBM, and has created a blockchain solution to improve bank transfers. It’s also worth mentioning that these are only two of their achievements. Stellar also acquired a blockchain startup called Chain, which touts a list of powerful investors among which you can find Citi Ventures and Visa.

Ripple has also made waves in their pursuit to help banking. Some of their achievements include a partnership with UAE (United Arab Emirates) exchange in order to provide a decentralized global payment solution. Other partners include the Brazilian banking giant Bradesco.

Read on Crypto Insider

ICOs Are ‘Effective Way’ To Raise Capital If Rules Are Followed: SEC Chairman

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Jay Clayton recently discussed the topic of ICOs, providing his additional thoughts on their potential.

According to a speech last week, Clayton stated, “I believe that ICOs can be effective ways for entrepreneurs and others to raise capital.”

Although Clayton sees potential for the ICO model, he also notes their need for structure and regulation. “[T]he novel technological nature of an ICO does not change the fundamental point that, when a security is being offered, our securities laws must be followed,” Clayton said.

Read on CoinDesk

$3K Ahead? Bitcoin Price Bounce Is Again Losing Steam

The crypto space could still see a price of $3,000 for crypto’s largest asset, according to a CoinDesk report today.

Last week, bitcoin hit price lows it hadn’t seen for over a year, coming in at $3,210. BTC did have a small price rally which ensued shortly after. However, prices only reached $3,633 before heading back down toward $3,470 today. (Price levels mentioned refer to Bitstamp data.)

CoinDesk explained the lack of a convincing bounce as a maintained control position for the bears, with lower prices ahead. Additionally, “the 3-day chart, which can offer a better picture of the broader market trend than the daily and intra-day charts, is indicating room for a drop below the psychological support of $3,000,” CoinDesk said.

Read on CoinDesk 

Japanese Lawmaker Proposes 4 Changes To Ease Crypto Tax Burden

Cryptocurrency taxes are currently complicated. Japan recently came out with several possible tax rule alterations to simplify the process, while promoting crypto adoption.

Nippon Ishin political party member Takeshi Fujimaki’s proposition stated, “[w]e will change the virtual currency taxation system to a certain form to promote the wider penetration of virtual currency into society and encourage the development of block chain technology.”

“The tax system should not crush the future of virtual currency or block chain,” Fujimaki added.

CoinDesk’s report went into further details of the proposals mentioned.

Read on CoinDesk

Central Bank Deputy Governor: STO Business ‘Essentially An Illegal Financial Activity In China

The People’s Bank of China outlawed security token offerings (STOs) in an official ruling recently.

In a report referencing statements from deputy governor Pan Gonsheng (People’s Bank of China), the South China Morning Post reported unlawful “financing activities through STOs and ICOs were still rampant in the mainland despite a nationwide clean-up of the cryptocurrency market last year.”

In a recent statement, head of Beijing Bureau of Financial Work explained, “I want to warn those who are promoting STO fundraising in Beijing. Don’t do it in Beijing. You will be kicked out if you do it.”

Read on South China Morning Post

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Bollinger Bands: What are they?

There are many different views concerning technical analysis for cryptocurrency trading and investing. Along with those views, come a host of chart indicators, each with their own stated advantages. Each trader has their own bias on which indicators work for them.

One indicator sometimes referenced in the crypto space are the Bollinger Bands.

What Are They?

Bollinger Bands (also abbreviated to B.B.) are a charting indicator invented by financial analyst John Bollinger. They comprise three specific lines on the price chart of any given asset. The lines are overlayed on top of price candlesticks, moving and reacting based on the asset’s price action.

According to his website, Bollinger explained he developed his Bollinger Bands based on researching former financial market players and their previous methods. These include Wilfrid Ledoux’s Dow Jones Industrial Average high low curves, and Chester Keltner’s 10-Day Moving Average trading system.

Other indicators like Keltner BandsDonchain bands, and percentage bands are similar but do not account for certain aspects of the market. “Bollinger Bands use standard deviation to adapt to changing market conditions”, Bollinger stated. His bands account for volatility in the market.

Volatility is important to consider when trading crypto. Volatility is basically the state of price movement in the market. High volatility means more dramatic price swings.

Image Courtesy: Tradingview.com

The above image is an hourly bitcoin chart for the Bitmex exchange. Each candlestick represents one hour of price movement. The two blue lines and single red line are the Bollinger Bands.

The specific parameters for the lines remain unchanged, even after more than 35 years, Bollinger said.

“20 periods for the moving average with the bands set at plus and minus two standard deviations of the same data used for the average”.

How The Bands Work

As mentioned above, Bollinger Bands are three lines around price action. The middle line is a 20-period moving average. Based on a chart with hourly candlesticks, the 20-period moving average takes into account the past twenty hours of price, concluding an average price for that time frame.

The two outer bands lie two standard deviations above and below the middle line. According to Bollinger, the upper and lower bands “answer the question as to whether prices are high or low on a relative basis.”

Bollinger continued explaining. He said, “Bollinger Bands work best when the middle band is chosen to reflect the intermediate-term trend, so that trend information is combined with relative price level data.”

When volatility increases, the outer bands widen in opposite directions, proportionate to the amount of volatility.

Image Courtesy: Tradingview.com

When volatility is low, the bands tighten. Band tightening can indicate an upcoming breakout with greater price volatility. Although “narrowing bands do not provide any directional clues,” stockcharts.com stated in an article on Bollinger Band squeezes.

Image Courtesy: Tradingview.com

Bollinger Bands in Crypto

Cheds Trading (also known by his Twitter handle, @BigCheds) is a crypto trader who commonly uses Bollinger Bands in his strategy.

Chonis Trading (@BigChonis on Twitter), and Josh Rager (@Josh_Rager on Twitter) also referenced Bollinger Bands in their price analysis, seen in the figures below.

Trading crypto (or any asset for that matter) is a tough game. What may work for one person may not work for another. Bollinger Bands are just one tool out of many that traders and investors can investigate for their personal use.

*CryptoInsider is sponsored by Blockmodo. As part of our arrangement, we may occasionally link to them and quote them when appropriate. This is done at the discretion of CI staff and CI sponsors have no say in any editorial decisions made by CI.

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