How to Invest Like Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin

If you’ve ever wanted to model your crypto portfolio after that of Ethereum wunderkind Vitalik Buterin, your chance has finally arrived. Buterin responded to an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit by disclosing his current crypto holdings and other financial interests. Based on Buterin’s statement, we can estimate that he owns less than $5 million in cryptocurrencies besides Ethereum and ETH-based tokens. We arrivate at this round figure by looking at his publicly available wallet and his statements. In Ethereum tokens, he also owns less than 10%, the majorilety of which are denominated in Kyber Network (KNC), Maker (MKR), OmiseGO

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Crypto Markets Continue Climbing as Bitcoin and XRP Transaction Volumes Surge

The crypto markets have continued to climb higher after seeing two days of large and widespread gains across nearly all major cryptocurrencies. Today’s price climb has led many investors and analysts to believe that the markets have already established a long-term bottom.

Despite there being a bullish sentiment that is currently spreading through most cryptocurrency communities, analysts are now pointing to the importance of transaction volumes as an indicator of where the markets are heading next.

Bitcoin and XRP See Sustained Rise in Transaction Volume

Although there may not be a fundamental reason behind the recent crypto market surge, one factor that may be contributing is an increasing amount of transaction volume that may have an impact on various cryptocurrencies prices.

Naeem Aslam, the chief market analyst at Think Markets U.K., recently told MarketWatch that he believes that Bitcoin will see increased fundamental strength in the coming months, which could help contribute to positive price action.

“The cryptocurrency king is on track to secure its first positive month since July 2018… With the wind of change blowing, the fundamentals are likely to improve in the coming months for the cryptocurrency space. The hopes are pinned on the improvement of the transaction volume for on-chain transactions. This will attract growth because of a larger number of industries becoming part of this infrastructure,” he said.

Mati Greenspan, the senior market analyst at eToro, shared a similar sentiment to Aslam, and also noted that Bitcoin’s recent price ascent occurred at the same time its transaction volume began to increase.

“We can see this period of low transaction rate in the purple rectangle below… The green line is $BTC,” Greenspan noted while referencing a chart that shows the volatility BTC saw during a period of low transaction volume.

Greenspan also noted that XRP has seen an influx of transactions in late-January after XRP’s transactions dropped off a cliff on December 11th, which is about the time that XRP fell back towards its 2018 lows in the mid-$0.20 region.

“Transactions in XRP went quiet from December 11th but came back with a vengeance on January 26th,” he said.

Crypto Markets May Not be Out of the Woods Yet

Although the recent market surge that has sent many cryptocurrencies up 10% or more is certainly positive for investors and traders alike, Greenspan warns that a tight correlation between major cryptos and Bitcoin could signal that bear market is not yet over.

“Despite recent optimism, crypto correlations remain strong… Major coins still bearing a positive correlation to $BTC of about 0.8, which is very high… Yet another sign the [bear] market might not be over just yet,” he warned.

At the time of writing virtually all major cryptocurrencies are trading up, with Ethereum, XRP, EOS, trading up 1.2%, 3.2%, and 5.1%, respectively.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Coinbase Acquires Blockchain Analytics and Intelligence Startup Neutrino

Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet providers in the US, has acquired Neutrino, a blockchain intelligence startup based out of Italy. The move is a potential acquihire to augment Coinbase’s analytics talent.

In a bid to expand its offering of crypto assets, US giant Coinbase has acquired a blockchain analytics startup Neutrino. According to the company’s official announcement, Coinbase sees blockchain intelligence as becoming increasingly important in the crypto ecosystem. Neutrino will reportedly help the company bring more cryptocurrencies and features to a wider range of users while helping ensure compliance with local laws and regulations.

Image courtesy of Coinbase

Neutrino, which currently has 8 employees, will be moving into Coinbase’s London office on Jan. 25th, but will continue to operate as a standalone business. Varun Srinivasan, Coinbase’s director of engineering and product, said the companies won’t merge in order to allow Neutrino to continue serving external clients.

However, neither of the two companies disclosed the financial terms of the deal.

Giancarlo Russo, the CEO of Neutrino, said the company decided to join Coinbase because it was “totally aligned with the company’s mission of building an open financial system.” Russo also said that the acquisition was not just a big milestone for the company, but for the entire blockchain community in Italy, where Neutrino is based.

Streak of Acquisitions

And while the news about buying Neutrino has garnered a lot of coverage, Coinbase has been on a streak of acquisitions since 2018. Back in April 2018, the exchange acquired for around $100 million.

The website was originally used as a way to contact “busy people” for a small fee, paid out in cryptocurrencies. And while it managed to gain significant traction once it launched, the website lost some its appeal once the ICO craze of 2017 died down.

However, Coinbase may have seen value in’s underlying technology, which lead to Coinbase’s launch of Coinbase Earn, an educational website focused on cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

The same principle seems to have been applied to Neutrino, which was founded in 2016 by a team of cybersecurity experts. This means that the buy out could be a potential acquihire, as Neutrino’s experience in the field of intelligence gathering could be invaluable to Coinbase as it seeks to expand its analytics offerings.

This wouldn’t be the company’s first acquihire either, as some speculate that Coinbase purchased to bring Balaji Srinivasan on as CTO.

The company’s European clients and contacts also mean that Coinbase could start building a stronger presence in the region. Varun Srinivasan said that the company plans on bringing Neutrino to both the US and international market.

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Canadian Judge Appoints Legal Representatives for QuadrigaCX Customers

A Nova Scotia supreme court justice has chosen the legal representatives for clients of Canada’s major crypto exchange QuadrigaCX.

The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia has ordered Canadian law firms Miller Thomson and Cox & Palmer to represent customers of cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX in upcoming proceedings. The ruling was announced in a court filing published on Feb. 19.

On Tuesday, Justice Michael Wood rendered a decision that Miller Thomson and Cox & Palmer will act as lead counsel to represent the representative committee of users of Canada’s major cryptocurrency exchange Quadriga.

Specifically, the representative counsel will be responsible for “managing communications with users; acting as user liaison for the monitor [Ernst & Young]; advocating for user interests before the court; identify[ing] potential conflicting interest amongst users; and advocating for user privacy.”

In the filing, Wood says that the proceedings should concentrate on efficiency and cost effectiveness, and that the counsel should not have open-ended retainers and undertake inquiries where they can exact fees from the exchange’s assets. The filing further explains:

“Representative counsel can make the proceeding more efficient and cost effective for all parties by providing a clear mechanism for communicating with the stakeholders and avoiding a multiplicity of potentially conflicting retainers.”

While the next hearing is scheduled on March 5, 2019, Justice Wood stated in the filing that he “expect[s] that representative counsel, the Monitor and the Applicants should be able to come to an agreement on most, if not all, of the terms of the order which could then be presented to the Court for consideration.”

Wood’s decision follows a hearing on Feb. 14, when the Nova Scotia Supreme Court brought together over “a dozen” lawyers who were vying to represent the 115,000 cryptocurrency traders owed around $260 million ($195 million) by QuadrigaCX.

On Feb. 13, Cointelegraph reported that Ersnt & Young’s recently released report dubbed “First Report of the Monitor” stated that “on February 6, 2019, Quadriga inadvertently transferred 103 bitcoins valued at approximately $468,675 to Quadriga cold wallets.” Quadriga has purportedly been unable to access its cold wallets as its recently deceased found Gerald Cotten was solely responsible for the wallets and corresponding keys.

New Survey Indicates Businesses Unprepared to Deploy Blockchain Technology

A new survey reveals that organizations are not ready to implement blockchain tech, although a half of respondents are considering blockchain adoption.

A new study has revealed that, while businesses are considering blockchain adoption, overall they do not feel ready to implement the technology. The survey was conducted by software development firm Globant and published on Feb. 19.

The report says that 64 percent of organizations are intent on investing in blockchain solutions to improve their internal operations, while only 46 percent of respondents feel ready to deploy the technology.

Out of 61 percent of organizations that are already researching blockchain, only 28 percent have chosen a blockchain provider. According to the survey, the majority of decision-makers are still investigating the technology and comparing vendors, and have not yet defined their stance on blockchain tech.

Diego Tartara, CTO Latin America at Globant, said, "Blockchain implementation is different for every organization, so it's imperative for business leaders to have a unified idea of what their integration will look like. The technology as such usually requires a shift in paradigm to adopt it, thus sharing core objectives for the technology is key for a successful blockchain integration."

To prepare the study, the researchers reportedly surveyed 679 senior-level decision makers employed in the fields of marketing, IT and operations in the United States during first quarter of 2018.

Earlier this month, a TD Bank survey revealed that 90 percent of treasury and finance professionals think that blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) will positively affect the payments industry. Per the survey, only 14 percent of the respondents said that their organization has training strategies for blockchain.

A survey by the Global Blockchain Business Council published last January revealed that 63 percent of respondents believe that senior business executives have a poor understanding of blockchain technology. 30 percent consider their knowledge of the emerging technology as “average.” The remaining 7 percent described senior executive understanding of blockchain as “good.”

Binance CEO: Money Doesn’t Drive Me – Crypto Adoption Does

changpeng zhao binance

Binance founder and CEO, Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ (Cee-Zee) spoke to Anthony Pompliano in the latest episode of ‘Off The Chain’. Amongst other things, they discussed philosophy, philanthropy, and “how the world works”.

The Cee-Zee Way Out

Binance sprang from seemingly nowhere to become the biggest crypto-exchange in the world. But CZ puts that largely down to their international outlook. A career working around the globe taught him that individual currencies are limited to one country.

When Binance launched, most players were focussing on the larger fiat markets, or just trying to crack crypto-to-crypto in the US. Binance settled on the smaller crypto market but multiplied that by 180 countries.

Regarding the speed of Binance’s growth and development, CZ explains that getting the right team solved a lot of the issues in scaling so quickly. The company does not make long-term plans, just weekly plans, which leads to the fast implementation of new ideas.

How The World Works

Trading in 180 different countries, means 180 different sets of (generally still unclear) regulations. Rather than try to dictate or influence these, the CZ way is to work within them. However, he has strong views on where regulation must focus:

regulations should try to prevent bad actors but not limit industry growth

When the industry learns how to deal with scams, CZ believes fundraising (through ICOs) will return. He says this is one of the most valid use-cases for blockchain, stressing the importance of entrepreneurs (and supporting their development through the Binance Labs investment arm) in making the world a better place.

CZ is not anti-establishment, hoping to redefine how the world should work, he just wants to make better solutions for “how the world works.”

binance coin BNB

Give It Away, Give It Away, Give It Away Now

When asked about his philanthropy, CZ admits that it is a little bit self-serving, in that he is using social impact work to promote crypto. While the projects themselves are rewarding, giving the next generation a positive first interaction with crypto is also key.

CZ explains that he has enough money, and doubling or halving it would not change his life very much. After taking care of yourself, he believes that the most fulfilling life involves taking care of others. He wants to achieve something impactful and says he believes that:

increasing adoption of crypto is most positive impact I can bring to our species

Think About The Future

CZ thinks that Binance is already covering enough in terms of initiatives, but wants to go deeper into each one. He says Binance doesn’t have to do everything, but:

want(s) to be the infrastructure player for a few things out of many and… want(s) to do them well.

Interestingly, the price of Binance token (BNB) 00 has just hit a fresh all-time high against BTC.

What do you think of CZ’s comments? Share your thoughts below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Survey Ranks South Africa Top for Cryptocurrency Ownership

Survey Ranks South Africa Top for Crypto Ownership

South Africa has been ranked as the top country for ownership of cryptocurrency, according to a global survey by social media management company Hootsuite and global agency Wearesocial. The survey found that 10.7 percent of internet users in the country own cryptocurrency. Thailand is second, with 9.9 percent of mobile users owning cryptocurrency and Indonesia third with 9.5 percent, while the global average was 5.5 percent.

Also read: Drug Dealer Fights to Prevent Canadian Police From Forfeiting his BTC

Africa Steadily Embraces Cryptocurrency

The Global Digital Report 2019 also placed other sub-Saharan African countries such as Ghana and Kenya within the top 45 nations in the world where a large number of people owned cryptocurrency such as bitcoin. The results were based on the survey of internet users aged between 16 to 64 years during the six months to September 2018.

The survey confirms that Africa has embraced the digital currency revolution. A growing number of people on the continent are utilizing cryptocurrency to fulfill both personal financial needs and entrepreneurial ventures such as transferring goods, services and money internationally and domestically.

Survey Ranks South Africa Top for Cryptocurrency Ownership

There is also an emerging generation of Africans buying virtual currencies as investment vehicles, while a relatively small number of Africans trade digital currencies speculatively for profit.

In, 2018, Paxful Inc., a peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange, reported seeing significant growth in Africa. The U.S.-based company said Africans now accounted for the largest number of people buying and selling cryptocurrency on its platform, with average monthly transactions totaling $64.5 million.

Over the past year, users from the African continent of 1.2 billion people soared by 225 percent, Ray Youssef, chief executive officer of Paxful, said. Transactions on the exchange climbed 60 percent in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, 25 percent in South Africa, the continent’s most sophisticated economy, and by up to 100 percent in other parts of Africa.

South Africa Consults on Crypto Regulation

The top ranking for South African cryptocurrency ownership comes at a time when monetary authorities in the country have asked the public to make submissions on policy and regulatory proposals for crypto assets like bitcoin. There is currently no regulation for cryptocurrencies in South Africa, a situation which has prompted the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to come up with measures that provide legal protection or recourse to investors and users.

Survey Ranks South Africa Top for Cryptocurrency Ownership

Whereas the rest of the South African financial system is tightly regulated to prevent issues of market failure, the crypto market isn’t, SARB said. In its policy paper, the central bank makes several proposals including leaving crypto-assets without legal tender status, so as not to recognize them as electronic money.

The document also recommends that an appropriate regulatory framework be developed through a registration process for crypto-asset service providers. It also proposes a review of existing regulatory frameworks followed by new regulatory requirements or amendments to existing regulations.

“The phased approach, starting with the registration requirement, could lead to formal authorization and designation as a registered/licensed provider for crypto asset services operating in South Africa at a later stage,” states the central bank.

What do you think about growing cryptocurrency ownership in Africa? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Express yourself freely at’s user forums. We don’t censor on political grounds. Check

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Ether to Have Dealt with the Major Crypto Issue

By Dmitriy Gurkovskiy, Chief Analyst at RoboForex

The ETH is rising on Tue, Feb 19, trading at around $147.19.

The ascending trend broke out the resistance and reached 76%, now the coin may bounce back to $137.20 in the short term, and then target the major high at $160.44.


On H1, the Stochastic formed a black cross in the overbought territory, which signals a possible pullback with the targets at 23.60% ($141.20), 38.20% ($136.30), and 50% ($132.30) Fibo. In case the high at $149.28 gets broken out, the price is likely to hit the resistance at $157.


This time, the ETH price went up due to fundamentals. Streamr presented Monoplasma, a scalability technology that in fact is able to solve the major crypto problem, making Ether quicker and more effective.

Steamr may be applied to DAPPS, including for distribution. Henri Pihkala, Steamr CEO, sent dummy tokens to 200,000 Ethereum addresses in order to demonstrate the technology. Working with it is like taking the TV signal: you can get money with a transaction, but can’t send it back. With such a ‘one-to-many’ technology, the users will be able to re-distribute the values through a large dynamic set of Ethereum addresses.

Monoplasma, however, will not only be used for money distribution, its initial purpose being dividend distribution and bet fees.

Monoplasma has a double protection system enabled against hacker attacks, which is a good idea, as tokens get very often hacked. ETH made new yearly highs thanks to the news on Monoplasma release.

Meanwhile, on Feb 27, the Constantinople hard fork is finally due to take place, which should also support the token.


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


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Could Bitcoin ETN’s Large Premium to BTC be a Sign of Institutional Buying?

Over the past year discussions of a Bitcoin ETF being approved by regulatory authorities in the US has dominated the news cycle and has even – on multiple occasions – impacted the markets. Many investors and analysts believe that the approval of a BTC ETF will lead to an influx of investors as it would place the cryptocurrency in front of all traditional equity investors.

Although the status and potential effect of a Bitcoin ETF remains unknown, there already exists and exchange-traded product that allows investors to add some exposure to Bitcoin’s price through the form of an Exchange Traded Note (ETN).

Bitcoin ETN Trades at Large Premium to BTC

The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) is a popular ETN that allows traditional investors to gain some exposure to the daily price movements of Bitcoin without actually owning the underlying asset.

Grayscale describes their product as “the first publicly quoted securities solely invested in and deriving value from the price of bitcoin” that allows investors to “gain exposure to the price movement of bitcoin through a traditional investment vehicle, without the challenges of buying, storing, and safekeeping bitcoins.”

Each share of GBTC trades at approximately 1/1000th of Bitcoin’s actual price and is currently trading at $4.82 per share. This means that GBTC is valuing one BTC at $4,820, which is significantly higher than Bitcoin’s current price of under $4,000.

Thomas Lee, the co-founder of Fundstrat Global, pointed out this premium in a recent tweet, hypothesizing that GBTC’s premium to BTC’s net asset value (NAV) is a sign of institutional buying, as purchasing GBTC is easier than purchasing BTC through a cryptocurrency exchange for traditional investors.

“CRYPTO: $GBTC premium to NAV creeping up to 36% on heels of $BTC surge to ~$4,000… Rise in premium is a sign of institutional net buying (easier to buy this ETN from @GrayscaleInvest than buy via a crypto exchange) … another sign 2019 way better than 2018 for crypto,” he explained.

Although GBTC doesn’t entitle buyers to Bitcoin – the underlying asset it tracks – it does allow buyers to get in on some of its volatility in an easy to access fashion.

Is Growing GBTC NAV Premium Actually The Result of Institutional Buying?

On February 17th Bitcoin’s price surged after briefly dipping towards $3,600, and is now pushing up against $4,000, which has proven to be a level of resistance.

BTC’s price has surged over the past couple of days.

Historically, GBTC’s premium grows whenever BTC experiences price surges, and drops whenever Bitcoin’s price drops. With this being said, it appears that GBTC historically exaggerates Bitcoin’s sentiment shifts, which does not serve as strong support for Lee’s theory regarding the growing premium being the result of institutional buying.

Furthermore, Lee’s assessment of GBTC’s current NAV premium is exaggerated, as Bloomberg notes that GBTC’s current premium is just under 19%, while its average 52-week premium is nearly 40%.

Lee addressed this in response to a comment on his original post, noting that a 20% NAV premium does appear to be more accurate.

With that being said, although it is possible that institutions are trading the cryptocurrency via GBTC, there is little evidence of this and its current price premium is nothing extraordinary.

At the time of writing, GBTC is trading up nearly 15% from its opening price, while BTC is only trading up 1.5% over a 24-hour trading period.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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$8 Billion Coinbase Faces Backlash for Latest Acquisition

Bitcoin exchange giant Coinbase has acquired Chainalysis competitor Neutrino in an effort to enhance its compliance efforts and regulatory relationships. Neutrino uses blockchain analytics to identify potential money laundering or other illegal transactions on the blockchain. Until its acquisition, it was one of a few companies growing in the space of analyzing blockchains. Its work mainly benefits crypto exchanges, regulators, and other centralized powers. According to Coinbase, companies like Chainalysis, Whitestream, and Elementus are “necessary” in an “open financial system.” “Blockchain intelligence is increasingly important in the crypto ecosystem, and is necessary to achieve our mission of bringing the open financial

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Gambling with Cryptocurrency: Is it legal?

Anyone who might question the continued growth of the online gambling industry has surely been living under a rock. The reality is this industry is one of the fastest growing industries on the Internet.

In light of this massive expansion that’s spanning the entire globe, there’s a number of issues with which every nation is having to deal. Most of the issues revolve around the legalities of online gambling from one jurisdiction to the next. These issues are sure to have effects on online operators like Casumo. It’s notable that the US, one of the world’s largest consumers of gambling products, is seeing a number of states that have moved forward with the legalization of online casino gambling and online sports betting for its residents. Given the huge tax revenue incentives for the states associated with such legislation, it’s a good bet every state will eventually allow online gambling operations within its respective states.

Cryptocurrency and the Online Gambling Industry

Thanks in large part to some amazing advancements in the world of technology, there’s a new issue for each nation to contemplate in the online gambling realm. That new issue involves the use of cryptocurrency as a legal means of funding gambling accounts. Cryptocurrencies are managed through a process known as “blockchain technology.”

Here’s a brief definition of blockchain technology: Blockchain is a distributed database or ledger spread over a network of electronic devices where records of cryptocurrency transactions are kept, away from revision or from tampering.

By definition, this means of exchange is making national governments nervous because it eliminates the middleman (banks, credit card processors) and the transparency the taxing agencies like to see for accountability. At a broader level, each country is working to determine the legality of using digital currency by its residence.

At a lower level, the online gambling industry is wrestling with the same issues. Moving forward, online gambling will likely be looking at Bitcoin as a favorite casino banking option because of the low fees, fast transactions and the anonymity offered by the blockchain technology. Let’s take a quick look at where each major gambling jurisdiction currently stands on the issue cryptocurrency for the online gambling industry.

UK – In the UK, all gambling operations fall under the rules and regulations set forth by the UK Gambling Commission. The first and most important requirement for online gambling operators wishing to provide services within the UK is the proper licensing provided by the UKGC. To date, any online gambling operator that holds the required licensing is free to accept cryptocurrency as a mode of banking.

Australia & New Zealand – Overall, Australian online gambling operations are governed by the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 (IGA). Under said law, online casino gambling operators are not permitted to operate within the country. However, online sports books and race books are legal. There are no laws that prohibit Australian residents from using offshore services in countries that will permit such participation. It’s further noted that most Australians can use cryptocurrencies when the accommodating jurisdiction permits it. The one caveat is Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC) has issued an informal ban against the use of cryptocurrencies by its residents. In New Zealand, residents fall under the Gambling Act of 2003, which states residents are permitted to gamble offshore. The legality of using cryptocurrencies is therefore remanded to the offshore gambling jurisdiction.

US – As noted, the legalization of online gambling in the US has a long way to go. With only 3-4 states currently on board with such activities, the notion of using cryptocurrencies to fund gambling accounts is yet to be tested. However, the 2006 the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) made clear that banking by electronic means is illegal. With that said, it’s safe to assume cryptocurrencies in not currently a legal means of funding online gambling accounts.

Canada – Canada’s laws closely resemble those as set forth by Australia and New Zealand. There appears to be no regulations in place that would disallow Canadian residents from using cryptocurrencies to fund offshore gambling accounts so long as the proper gambling jurisdiction finds it legal.

In summary, we can expect to see a lot of changes in the coming months/years related to both online gambling and the use of cryptocurrencies. For now, it is the responsibility of each prospective online gambler to understand the laws in the country where their favorite gaming sites are licensed.


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Dogecoin Price Faces Bearish Pressure in the DOGE/BTC Segment

NulLTX Dogecoin Price BTC Gains

As the hourly cryptocurrency charts show minor signs of weakness, some currencies will dip in the red pretty quickly. Dogecoin is one of the first to do so, which may come as a surprise to a lot of people. Although the losses are not even all that significant, the Dogecoin price is slowly turning bearish. Especially the DOGE/BTC ratio remains under a lot of pressure, for the time being.

Bearish Dogecoin Price Momentum was Expected

In the cryptocurrency world, bearish hourly Bitcoin charts can spell trouble for altcoins, regardless of their total market cap. Although a bearish hourly candle seems more than warranted after the recent gains, it is already spelling trouble for Dogecoin. The meme currency of the internet is losing ground across the board. A dip below $0.002 may not necessarily occur, although it will be tight.

In the past hour or two, the Dogecoin price declined by 0.4% to bring its value to $0.002081. What is of more concern, however, is how DOGE/BTC continues to face immense pressure. With another 2.25% drop in that department, the 52 Satoshi level will need to act as thorough support right now. Only time will tell whether it can fulfill that role or not.

As one would come to expect, the negative price pressure isn’t exactly a hot topic on social media yet just. Adem BCD sees an interesting few hours ahead for DOGE/USD, although it is anyone’s guess as to where the value will head next. If Bitcoin turns bearish as well, the losses can start to pile up incredibly quickly.

One rather interesting topic of debate is whether or not there is any upcoming development for Dogecoin. While the obvious answer would be negatory, it might not sit well with some members of the community. As such, some clarity on this front would be appreciated. It is unclear what type of feature Dogecoin really needs, as the brand does just fine in its current form.

It has been at least a full day since someone last mentioned Dogecoin isn’t on Binance. That streak has now been broken, courtesy of David Love Doge. This enthusiast claims Binance, while it may become the Amazon of crypto, will not be the “Prime Binance” without Dogecoin. An interesting sentiment, although it won’t get DOGE listed on this exchange any faster either.

All of these signs seem to indicate some rough times may be ahead for Dogecoin. While that is nothing new for this altcoin whatsoever, it comes at a bit of an odd time. If all markets resume their uptrend later in the week, it will be interesting to see what happens to DOGE. Under normal circumstances, it will follow suit, although that is not always the case.

Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency.


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Crypto Expert Warns Not to Trust the Bitcoin Rally

The bitcoin price has not bottomed yet, but it’s close — and the sooner it tanks, the better. That’s the assertion of Alex Sunnarborg, a founding partner of New York crypto hedge fund Tetras Capital. “Calling is very difficult,” Sunnarborg told Forbes. “That’s part of the reason I’m really thankful that we’re in the position we are right now. “We can hedge ourselves, remain more neutral, and not have to call that exact price or timing bottom. I’m not confident right now. Our portfolio is relatively neutral. We have cash and short positions.” Sunnarborg Prefers Scorched-Earth Approach Sunnarborg

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Survey: Half of Millennial Investors Trust Crypto Exchanges More Than Stock Exchanges

A new survey from investment platform eToro has revealed that 43 percent of millennial traders trust traditional stock exchanges less than crypto exchanges.

Nearly half of millennial traders have more trust in digital currency exchanges than in United States (U.S.) stock market exchanges. Data regarding millennial investment attitudes was collected in a new study from investment platform eToro and published on Feb. 19.

Per the report, 43 percent of the surveyed millenial online traders demonstrate less trust in the traditional stock market, while having more faith in cryptocurrency exchanges. 93 percent of millennial cryptocurrency traders reportedly said that they would invest more in digital currency if traditional financial institutions proposed such an option. At the same time, 71 percent of millennials that do not trade cryptocurrency said that they would begin if it were offered by conventional institutions.

Managing Director of eToro U.S., Guy Hirsch, said that the market is now witnessing a generation shift in trust from traditional stock exchanges to digital currency ones. “Immutability is native to blockchains and that makes real-time audit to be sensible and cost-effective and that is why millennials and Gen X perceive crypto exchanges as less likely to be subject to manipulation and less likely to be a place where bad actors get rewarded with taxpayer money,” Hirsch explained.

45 percent of the respondents expressed interest in allocating cryptocurrency in their 401(k) retirement savings plans, and 74 percent of digital currency traders would like to receive that option from their 401(k) plan providers.

The research was conducted by market research and strategy firm Provoke Insights on behalf of eToro in September 2018. Throughout the course of the study, the company surveyed 1,000 online investors from ages 20 to 65. The company notes that the margin of error is around 3 percent.

Research published last November revealed that cryptocurrency investing is most popular among millennials earning from $75,000 to $99,999 annually. The survey collected responses from over 1,000 Americans between ages 18 and 80. Almost 40 percent of respondents cited peer influence as a main reason for investing in crypto, and over 35 percent have reportedly been lured into the crypto market by the “Fear of Missing Out.”

A few parameters from the FBI for avoiding ICO scams

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) have painted many headlines over the past two years. As the regulatory hammer came down in 2018, many of those headlines turned negative. At this point, ICO fraud awareness has become increasingly important.

FBI insight

The Paypers, an independent payment industry information and news source, recently posted an interview with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) financial crimes investigator Steven M. D’Antuono.

In the interview, D’Antuono elaborated on fraudulent ICOs, as well as how to pick them out from the crowd. He mentioned corrupt ICOs often promise more than they can deliver. Advertising outlandish profit returns might be one example, as Bitconnect displayed before its 2018 exit.

D’Antuono also referred to potentially fake team credentials and members, as quoted in the Paypers interview.

The fraud scheme may vary, but some of the consistent threads running throughout most ICO scams are misrepresentations regarding the principals’ experience, misrepresentations regarding industry’s interest in the ICO, and misrepresentations regarding the coin’s probable rate of return. Like any investment product, rates of return can never be guaranteed and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Mr. D’Antuono noted the importance of investor research, stating possible buyers must look into projects and their intentions, as well as the teams and promoters behind them. Investors should also statedly investigate projects’ legal implications based on location, and be skeptical if a prospective ICO is entirely web-based.

Based on the profit potential, ICO scams reportedly are still prevalent. D’Antuono and the FBI are making strides against such action. The crime investigator did, however, express the importance of being informed.

While the FBI and other law enforcement and regulatory agencies are actively trying to eliminate the scams and bring the scammers to justice, there seems to be a lucrative market for the scammers, meaning they continue to appear. Perhaps our best tool in mitigating fraudulent offerings is getting information out to the public that they need to be careful prior to investing in these projects.”

ICOs: a fraudulent front

The past two years have indeed yielded seemingly countless ICO scams. Bloomberg found more than 80% of ICOs to be fraudulent, leading up to its  July 2018 report on the subject.

The latter half of 2018 saw the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) start cracking down on projects that it felt opposed regulation. Airfox and Paragon, two ICOs from 2017, faced repercussions from the SEC for failing to register appropriately, according to an SEC press release from November 2018.

A website called Dead Coins even exists to show all the dead cryptocurrency projects, as well as those that turned out to be scams.

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Bank of Spain Report: Bitcoin Is a Solution for a System Without Censorship

Bank of Spain Report: Bitcoin Is a Solution for the Creation of a System Without Censorship

A recent report published by the Bank of Spain states that Bitcoin is a solution for the creation of a system without censorship. This is in contrast to public comments made by most central bankers who are prone to attack cryptocurrency with little insight into why it is needed.   

Also Read: Survey: ‘Blockchain’ Was Most Overrated Buzzword of 2018

Explaining Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash to Bankers

Banco de España, Spain’s central bank and supervisor of the Spanish banking system, recently published a report aiming to explain how Bitcoin works. The document details the functions of the cryptocurrency, as well as analyzing its strengths and weaknesses from the point of view of the established financial order. It also explains that the best way to understand the aims of the new system is by consulting the original Bitcoin whitepaper written by Satoshi Nakamoto.

Bank of Spain Report: Bitcoin Is a Solution for a System Without Censorship

The report mentions that according to Nakamoto the world needs “an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.” Thus the goal is to create an electronic payment system similar to cash which allows remote payments without the need for the intermediation of institutions such as banks. This is meant to enable truly irreversible payments and reduce intermediation costs.

A System Without Censorship

The report concludes that cryptocurrency was envisioned as a payments system without the possibility of transaction censorship or a central authority with the power to authorize or reject transactions. It states that “bitcoin is an imaginative and elegant solution to this problem” of “the creation of a system without censorship.” However the central bank’s report also determines that traditional payment systems do not seek to resolve this problem and therefore cryptocurrency is not an alternative to them.

Bank of Spain Report: Bitcoin Is a Solution for a System Without Censorship

In line with the common position usually expressed by central bankers, the report ends by saying: “Taking into account that for most agents the existence of trusted intermediaries is not a problem, along with the costs and inefficiencies generated when an attempt is made to eliminate these intermediaries, it does not seem that bitcoin, as it currently stands, is going to have a significant impact for the financial sector as an alternative payment system to the traditional channels.”

What do you think about the conclusions of this report? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from

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Binance Coin Price Surges Past $11 as Resistance Levels Melt Away

NullTX Binance Coin price 17

With all of this bullish cryptocurrency momentum, it is hard to pick the coin to watch and ignore everything else. For those who like to watch the Binance Coin price, today is an exceptionally good day. This token has risen by another 14% as its value surpassed $11 again.

Binance Coin Price is on a Tear

It is only normal the alternative markets benefit from this ongoing Bitcoin bull run. While it is only normal some coins see bigger gains than others, Binance Coin is checking a lot of the right boxes for traders and speculators. So much even that it is quickly rising in value without facing too much resistance. Those gains can be noted all across the board, which makes this latest run even more impressive.

Over the past few hours, there has been a 14% increase where the Binance Coin price is concerned. As such, one BNB is now valued at $11.02, a value which has been reached a few times in the past. There is also a 12% gain in both BTC and ETH value, which is what most traders will be looking for. After all, most people own altcoins and tokens to increase their Bitcoin or Ether holdings over time.

Yellowbee, while pleased with the bull trend, is not too certain this will remain in play for very long. Until Bitcoin breaks the $4,000 resistance in a decisive manner, there is a chance this entire uptrend will collapse. If that would be the case, currencies such as Binance Coin can see some major repercussions because of it.

Cryptonia, on the other hand, seemingly expects big things from BNB in the coming days. Considering how this token closed below resistance last week and turned very bullish shortly after, the market can swing in either direction without much effort. If the bull run continues, a further push to $15 is certainly plausible, albeit not necessarily possible.

Crypto Mori acknowledges he has a serious issue when it comes to cryptocurrencies. More specifically, this user has a compulsive altcoin buying disorder when green candles materialize. Most traders try to cost average down their investments, yet this user seems to hoard and accumulate only when gains materialize. A bit of a unique trading strategy, although one with serious risks attached as well.

It is anything but surprising to see Binance Coin gain value when all other markets are moving up. As BNB is not just a tool to reduce fees on Binance, this price increase will be quite telling. It may help determine whether or not people are effectively spending this token as a currency for goods and services. Higher prices usually get people spending, thus the commerce side of cryptocurrency might receive a healthy boost if this keeps up.

Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency.


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Crypto Financial Services Firm to Offer Crypto Insurance Through Lloyd’s of London

Blockchain security firm and wallet service BitGo revealed plans to offer crypto insurance through Lloyd's of London.

Blockchain security firm and crypto wallet service BitGo has revealed plans to offer crypto insurance through Lloyd's of London, according to a press release on Feb. 19.

BitGo Business Wallet clients will be able to acquire insurance for their digital assets held on BitGo’s Business Wallet service and Custodial offering

Assets held by either BitGo or BitGo Trust Company can insured for up to $100 million by global insurance and reinsurance market Lloyd’s, the release says. Lloyd’s had nearly $43.8 billion in gross written premiums in 2017, and has insured such eccentric items as Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richard’s hands.

BitGo crypto insurance can be paid out following the loss of private keys caused by a hack or a theft by third parties or insiders, or in the case of physical loss or damage of private keys, the press release notes.

BitGo Business Wallet clients will be able to purchase theft insurance and key recovery service called Lost Key Cover through Digital Asset Services, an insurance provider operating under the purview of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the United Kingdom’s financial services regulator. The Lost Key Cover service will reportedly be available for purchase on an annual subscription basis, or at the time when needed, the release says.

On Feb. 1, Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX filed for creditor protection when it was revealed that it had lost the keys for cold wallets holding $145 million in digital assets. The exchange’s founder Gerry Cotten, who was purportedly the sole controller of the wallets and corresponding keys, passed away suddenly in December on a trip to India. Following his death, neither officials, Cotten’s wife nor the court-ordered monitor — Big Four audit company Ernst & Young — have been able to locate the keys.

Earlier in January, BitGo partnered with Bitcoin (BTC) over-the-counter (OTC) trading platform Genesis Global Trading to provide clients with an option to trade crypto directly from BitGo custody.

Google Introduces Bitcoin Symbol on iOS Keyboards

ios apple iphone

Google now enables the Bitcoin symbol on keyboards for iOS mobile devices, suggesting that the IT giant recognizes Bitcoin as a mainstream currency.

Google’s Legitimization of Bitcoin

Users of iOS mobile devices can now use the capital letter serif B, traversed with two vertical lines.  Crypto journalist Tim Copeland explains,

“To access it, make sure you’re using the Google keyboard, not just the default Apple one, and hold down the dollar symbol to see a pop up of several of the world’s major currency symbols. The Bitcoin symbol is located on the far left.”

Actually, Google’s decision to incorporate the cryptocurrency symbol in its keyboard might be Google’s second step towards considering Bitcoin a mainstream currency.

Google Co-Founder Says He’s Been Mining Ethereum With His Son

In September 2018, the tech giant lifted the ban it had imposed four months earlier on cryptocurrency advertising. In the announcement, Scott Spencer, Google’s Director of Product Management, Sustainable Ads, stated:

We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution.

According to Copeland, these moves by Google might not help to dramatically increase Bitcoin’s rate of adoption,

But, it is a major endorsement by the web giant that has so far stayed away from cryptocurrencies, although a recent ban on advertising crypto projects was recently lifted suggesting Google might be warming to crypto: A small step, but a positive one.

Tech Giants Are Stepping Up Their Support for Bitcoin

The symbol representing the Bitcoin currency unit is already part of the Unicode standard, version 10, and it has been since June 2017. The Unicode character assigned to Bitcoin is 20BF.

Thus, for example, Microsoft products allow users to insert the cryptocurrency symbol, ₿, by typing 20BF plus ALT. In addition, Microsoft accepts payments in Bitcoin for media content on its Windows and Xbox stores.

Although Apple has not yet officially enabled the Bitcoin symbol, last September, its mobile operating system iOS12 added two Bitcoin glyphs as part of the Siri Shortcuts app.

Now, Bitcoin enthusiasts are waiting for Google to further legitimize the cryptocurrency by also making the Bitcoin symbol available to Android operating devices.

How do you think Google’s enabling of the Bitcoin symbol in its keyboard for iOS devices will impact the cryptocurrency’s rate of adoption? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Twitter/ @Timccopeland, AppleInsider, Shutterstock

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Bitcoin Price Skyrockets, But BTC Faces Growing Resistance Around $4,000

Bitcoin has been able to maintain its upwards momentum that it incurred a few days ago and BTC has now pushed up to $4,000. This upwards price move has been fueled by a surge in trading volume, but one analyst is now importantly noting that trading volume over high-time-frames must improve in order for an upwards price move to be sustained long-term.

Other analysts are also importantly noting that Bitcoin is now beginning to establish $4,000 as a level of resistance, which could prove to be a critical level that must be broken through in order for further gains to ensue.

Bitcoin (BTC) Continues Climbing, But Faces Resistance at $4,000

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up nearly 3% at its current price of $3,985. Bitcoin began its recent push on February 17th, when its price dipped to $3,600 before surging to its current price levels.

Following this move, BTC traded sideways for less than a day before continuing to climb until it hit approximately $4,000, which has proven to be a level of resistance.

Lucid TA, a popular cryptocurrency analyst, spoke about this resistance level in a recent tweet, noting that he believes BTC will rest around its current price levels before continuing climb.

“$BTC is hitting the first significant resistance since the breakout, I think we’re likely to rest a little while here.”

Hsaka, another popular analyst, shared a similar sentiment in a recent tweet, telling his followers that he will begin looking to short Bitcoin when its price reaches the low-$4,000 region.

“$BTC Not looking to short until the demarcated zone. Meanwhile, here’s an alternate way to find confluence with your S/R levels. Divide up a range/swing into quarters.”

Because Bitcoin and the entire cryptocurrency markets are fresh off of a large price surge, it is likely that they will range sideways, or drop slightly, before garnering enough buying pressure to propel them higher.

Analyst: Bitcoin Trading Volume Must Increase in Order for Price to Surge Higher

One notable feature of this latest BTC price surge is that its 24-hour trading volume has climbed significantly, surging from weekly lows of under $6 billion to its current levels of roughly $10.5 billion.

Josh Rager – another popular analyst – explained that over a longer time frame, Bitcoin’s trading volume is down significantly and an inability to continue increasing may lead BTC’s price back down to its support levels in the low-$3,000 region.

“$BTC Chart: Bitcoin currently at resistance level with a break and close above $4100 is bullish… But… Volume continues to decrease on high time frames: the decreasing volume w/ rising price = bearish. If the volume doesn’t pick up, I foresee $BTC price dropping back to support,” he explained.

As Bitcoin begins picking up steam and recovering much of its recent losses, analysts will likely gain further insight into whether or not this is a sustained movement, or if a drop back to its strong support level of $3,000 is inevitable.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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How can blockchain technology impact the travel industry?

Traveling these days can be a headache. From security checkpoints and canceled flights at the airport to lost reservations at our favorite hotels – it can be a nightmare. One clear way to cut through some of the difficulties, however, is to utilize the blockchain technology. Is it possible to track every step on the blockchain? From the first reservation made, continuing on through stepping out of the last cab home- are we there yet?

Let’s take a look at how implementing different technologies would create a more secure, faster, cheaper, pleasant and unique experience for the user.

AI in the travel industry

Today, when somebody goes online to book a hotel reservation, often times there will be a chat box available for the user to ask questions. This is an example of AI working in the realm of travel. When there is no customer service representative available these chatbots can obtain and filter information quickly, supplying the user with answers promptly. People want quick service without mistakes. In other words, these chatbots provide just that- a solution. The more information the chatbot communicates, the better it learns to correspond with people. Because a bot can work 24 hours a day 7 days a week without vacation, it reduces costs in paying for employees, thus saving the business time and money.

Intelligent hotels

Intelligent hotels have many benefits. Some hotel chains have even been implementing intelligent features in their rooms. How they do this is; the hotel collects information and preferences from customers such as the type of lighting they prefer, or how warm or cool they like their room. That information is then loaded into a database. This allows the customer to gain more control over their room, and what happens in it. There are hotels that even have intelligent conference rooms where a customer can order more plates or pens if needed.

Ron Galloway explains Hotel Intelligence and blockchain technology in the hotel industry here:

Wynn announced in the summer of 2017 all their rooms (4,748) will be equipped with the Amazon Echo. Allowing customers to interact with Alexa, they will be able to control their drapes, temperature, TV and lighting, along with personal requests. As of February 2019, Amazon announced that Alexa has released it has over 80,000 skills set world-wide.

Some to watch for

LockTrip helps customers find hotels using blockchain technology, totally cutting out the middle man, saving on average of 20%, providing the lowest cost for the customer.

Atlas launched in the summer of 2018 is a decentralized company to watch for this year. It is a Dapp that connects suppliers and consumers alike. It offers commission-free infrastructure to suppliers to list inventory. And consumers are completely accommodated to purchase event tickets or reserve a time at their favorite restaurant. They plan to launch the first half of this year by creating an exchange listing.

Arise Travel plans to use blockchain technology through a cache distribution of hotels and rates all in one place. Hotels set up the nightly rate, and their commission and all connected systems are able to use it at the same time. Through smart contracts, any service can sell that hotel room and make the commission.

In closing

In conclusion, blockchain technology is not as expensive as one may think. It is fairly affordable to implement. And by implementing this tech, it is impacting the travel industry by cutting out the middleman. Eliminating the third party and the supplier profits, blockchain tech can eventually pass some of the savings to the consumers. Companies that use or plan on using the blockchain will know their exact inventory available at all times. The many other benefits available are pricing integrity, validation of transactions and payments, securing customer data and borderless transactions, to name a few. This creates a safer experience for all. It is a win-win for companies and consumers involved.

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Billionaire Bitcoin Bull Tim Draper Has a Wild 5-Year Prediction for Cash and Crypto

Tim Draper has been one of Bitcoin’s most enthusiastic proponents. He was steadfast in his optimism even when other finance gurus thought he was crazy for giving the new-fangled crypto the time of day. Forgetting about the naysayers, Draper became about $89 million richer for sticking to his Bitcoin guns. He was steadfast while others, including JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, made jokes about Bitcoin being tulips. FOMA, or simply recognizing the staying power of cryptos, JP Morgan shocked the financial community this month when it announced it would be the first major institutional bank to release its own cryptocurrency.

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Top Ethereum Developer Afri Schoedon Just Rage-Quit

Afri Schoedon, a long-time Ethereum contributor, abruptly quit working on the second-largest cryptocurrency. A few days ago, Schoedon tweeted a meme that said “Polkadot delivers what Serenity ought to be. Change my mind.” The meme raised ire on Reddit, and the situation devolved from there until the developer quit early this morning. I did not quit social media, I quit Ethereum. I did not go dark, I just left the community. I am no longer coordinating hard-forks, building testnets, or contributing otherwise. I did not work on Polkadot, I never did, I worked on Ethereum. I did not hate Ethereum,

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Ripple (XRP) Bears?…Prices up 11.1% But Yet to Close Above Key Liquidation Level


  • Ripple prices up 11.1 percent but technically bearish
  • Crypto–Fiat bridges important for XRP and crypto
  • Transaction levels up, volumes lower than Jan 10


Despite upbeat prices, Ripple (XRP) is technically bearish and yet to breach the 35 cents mark. From our previous XRP/USD iterations, once bulls find momentum and pump prices above 35 cents risk-off traders can begin making projections with first targets at 60 cents.

Ripple Price Analysis


Crypto may be risky for some governments, but things are beginning to change. As some view them as property, charging capital tax gains on profits, others are warming up to the idea of blockchain as the next inevitable change that despite headwinds will eventually permeate to the mainstream. Malta is one of the many jurisdictions, and now Binance–the world’s largest exchange by adjusted volumes have bases in that country.

Besides being a go-to platform for investors, it is also one of the few exchanges where users can purchase crypto with their Visa credit or debit cards. While many will be attracted to this feature, some Redditors claim that fees depends on volumes and some credit card companies may treat credit card purchases as cash advances which attract additional fees:

“What about any credit card fees? I’ve heard rumors that credit card companies charge it as a cash advance, resulting in additional fees. This drastically changes my position on using credit cards to buy. Unless you can use a Visa pre-paid, the additional fees could be a dealbreaker.”

All the same, thing is, this is an excellent deal for XRP and other crypto users who may not have time to make wire transfer more so when there is an opportunity to capitalize price moving news.

Candlestick Arrangements

Ripple (XRP)

At the time of writing, XRP is up 11.1 percent and 3.2 percent in the last 24 hours. No specific XRP or Ripple related news is pumping prices. So, we reckon that XRP prices are up partly because of resurgent Bitcoin prices and new streams of supportive fundamentals.

Although prices are up, our trade conditions are not yet valid, and prices are trading below 35 cents–the 50 percent Fibonacci retracement level of Dec 2018 high low.

Unless otherwise there are price upswings that trigger risk-off positions, we recommend patience despite Feb 18 rally confirming the double bull reversal pattern of Feb 8. It’s only after when XRP bulls drive price above Jan 14 highs that risk-off traders can buy on dips with first targets at 40 cents and later 60 cents–Dec 2018 highs.

Technical Indicators

Volume is on the rise, and Feb 18 bar had high volumes–52 million, above those of Jan 30–49 million and even those of Feb 8–35 million. Technically, this is bullish, and in an effort versus result analysis, buyers may have the upper hand. However, it would be perfect if Feb 18 bar had high volumes above Jan 10–83 million.

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Cyprus Securities Regulator Calls for Adoption of EU Anti-Money Laundering Framework

Cyprus’ securities regulator is calling for the transposition of an extended version of the European Union’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive into national law.

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) is calling for the transposition of the European Union (EU)’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Directive (AMLD5) into national law — bringing local regulation of cryptocurrencies under its provisions. CySEC’s announcement and consultation paper on the matter were published on Feb. 19.

Тhe directive, which came into force on July 9, 2018, sets a new legal framework for European financial regulators to monitor crypto-related businesses and service providers in order to protect against money laundering and terrorism financing.

Specifically, the directive extends the scope of regulatory oversight to crypto exchanges and wallet providers, enforcing stricter transparency requirements directed at anonymous payments — whether made via exchanges or prepaid cards. EU member states must incorporate the directive into their respective national laws by Jan. 20, 2020.

In its announcement, CySEC notes that its fintech-oriented CySEC Innovation Hub has received multiple enquires from crypto-related entities, many of which do not yet “appear to fall within the existing regulatory framework.”

The agency thus advocates for the formalization of the AMLD5 into law, and proposes bringing several additional areas of crypto-related activity  in Cyprus under AML/CFT obligations. These, which are notably not included in the provisions of AMLD5, would be as follows:

“a) exchange between crypto assets, b) transfer of virtual assets, and c) participation in and provision of financial services related to an issuer’s offer and/or sale of a crypto asset.”

In its consultation paper, the agency states this extension is based upon its “judgement of the potential risk posed to investors’ protection and the integrity of the market, and the industry-accepted definitions.”

As recently reported, this January Ireland's cabinet approved a bill that would give effect to AMLD5 in the country.

Last December, Cyprus was one of seven southern EU member states to release a declaration calling for the promotion of the use of Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) in the region.

In fall, Invest Cyprus — the republic’s national investment partner — signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Singapore-based blockchain platform VeChain Foundation to work on a series of national level investment strategies to foster blockchain innovation.

Amazon’s Flailing China Unit Plots Major Merger to Challenge Alibaba

Talks are underway to merge Amazon’s Chinese venture with NetEase-owned Kaola, according to business publication Caijing. Kaola is a Chinese e-commerce firm which specializes in selling imports. The business publication added that an agreement had been inked late last year amidst difficult negotiations. NetEase is listed on the Nasdaq and boasts a market cap of slightly over $30 billion. Besides Kaola, the Chinese tech giant also develops internet content, including games for personal computers and mobile devices. Amazon China Chooses to Compete in a Niche Rather than Target Alibaba Directly Currently, Kaola is the biggest Chinese e-commerce firm that deals

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Apple Realizes its iPhone Problem But Pivot Sees Major Challenges

Apple, the $801 billion electronics giant, is reportedly initiating major changes in its executive team by altering roles and establishing new strategies. According to The Wall Street Journal, the move is a response to the lackluster sales figures of the iPhone in key markets including China. Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook released a public letter to investors describing the company’s struggle in China, mainly attributing it to geopolitical risks including the trade war with the U.S. Some analysts stated that the lower-than-expected sales of the company’s flagship product were largely triggered by the plateauing smartphone technology development. Smartphones have

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