Basic Attention Token (BAT) is surging as Brave 1.0 launches

Brave Software announced the official launch of its popular privacy-centric web browser Brave. Meanwhile, several technical indicators estimate that its native crypto, Basic Attention Token (BAT), could be bound for a further bullish impulse. 

Brave 1.0 is here

Brave is an open-source web browser with a built-in ad-blocker, tracking, and security protection. It anonymously monitors user attention, then rewards publishers accordingly with Basic Attention Tokens via the integrated Brave Rewards program. Approximately 70 percent of ad revenue is distributed among its users.

In a blog post, Brave Software revealed that the official version of its web browser is live. Brave browser is now available for download for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, which widening its accessibility to millions of users.  

Brendan Eich, co-founder and CEO of Brave Software, believes that Brave 1.0 is the solution to the “surveillance capitalism [that] has plagued the Web.”

“Brave is the answer. Brave 1.0 is the browser reimagined, transforming the Web to put users first with a private, browser-based ads and payment platform. With Brave, the Web can be a rewarding experience for all, without users paying with their privacy,” added Eich.

Brave browser comparison
Brave leads in terms of privacy against other browsers. Source: Brave 1.0 Reviewer’s Guide

The move to finally launch the stable version of Brave comes after the success that its beta version had over the last three years. In mid-October, the firm announced that its daily active users surpassed 2.8 million. And, its monthly active users hit an all-time high of 8 million. The ads on the open-source browser also saw an exponential increase hitting a click-through-rate of 14 percent. This represents 7x more than the industry average. 

Today, Brave has nearly 9 million monthly active users across the globe. This achievement is correlated with the substantial growth of Brave’s verified publishers. Since the beginning of the year, the number of verified websites, which include The Washington Post, The Guardian, and Wikipedia, surged 3.5x. Meanwhile, the number of verified publishers coming from YouTube alone skyrocketed 11x. 

Brave verified publishers
Brave’s Verified Publishers. Source: BatGrowth

Brave’s rise in popularity can also be perceived in its native cryptocurrency, Basic Attention Token. Since late September, BAT’s has gone up from a low of $0.15 to a high of $0.27, representing an 84.5 percent increase. Now, this crypto could be hinting a further advance. 

BAT technical analysis 

From a long-term perspective, Basic Attention Token broke out of a multi-month consolidating phase. During this time, its price was contained within a descending parallel channel, which appears to be part of a significant bull flag. This is considered a continuation pattern, which is developing on BAT’s 1-week chart since February. 

The 4x upswing that took this crypto to hit a high of $0.50 in mid-April formed the flagpole. And, the 70 percent correction to a low of $0.15 in late September created the flag. The bull flag estimates an 80 percent target to the upside given by the height of the flagpole. 

BAT US dollar price chart
BAT/USD by TradingView

If the buying pressure behind Basic Attention Token continues to increase, it could lead to a move up to the 38.2 percent Fibonacci retracement level, which sits at $0.35. This cryptocurrency would have to first close above the 61.8 Fib, then break above the 50 Fib with enough volume to hit the 38.2 Fib. 

Nevertheless, a close below the 65 Fib could invalidate the bullish outlook. If this happens, Basic Attention Token could then retrace to $0.22 or even $0.19. 

Moving forward

Based on the success that Brave browser had this year, it seems like the launch of its stable version could set the stage for a great 2020. The recent partnership with Everipedia opens a whole new range of opportunities. With the millions of monthly unique users that Everipedia has, Brave will likely continue to increase its popularity, which is already skyrocketing. It remains to be seen if Basic Attention Token would catch up with the growth of Brave browser. 

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Stephen A. Smith Couldn’t Be More Wrong About Colin Kaepernick

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Gold Price Zips Higher as Eastern European Countries Urgently Load Up on Bullion

Gold rallies to an intraday high of $1,475.50/oz. Precious metals trade at more than one-week highs as risk appetite wanes. Serbia bought nine tons of gold in October to hedge against crisis. The price of gold extended its rally on Thursday, as waning risk appetite drove investors into the relative safety of precious metals. In […]

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Blockchain.com Loan Desk On Track to Lend Over $120 Million In November

U.K.-based cryptocurrency data and wallet provider Blockchain.com is reportedly on track to lend out more than $120 million in November.

United Kingdom-based cryptocurrency data and wallet provider Blockchain.com is reportedly on track to lend out more than $120 million this month.

On Nov. 14, the Block reported that Blockchain.com has been quietly building its loan desk to be competitive with firms like Genesis Global Trading and BlockFi.

CEO of Blockchain.com, Peter Smith, said that his lending business initially started out by making loans to other cryptocurrency lending firms on a “case-by-case basis.” While the company lent out around $10 million in new loans during the month of August, by the end of November the firm is expected to be on track to lend out $120 million.

Possible blow-up of crypto lending?

A group of former Wall Street traders told Bloomberg in October that the crypto credit business has been adding too much credit too fast and that it could be heading for a painful blow-up. 

However, Smith did not seem overly concerned about a looming blow-up. He told The Block that the company’s “loan desk is so heavily collateralized a Lehman moment would be impossible,” referring to the collapse of global financial services firm Lehman Brothers Holdings in 2008.

Blockchain.com believes the company faces less risk compared to other lending firms due to the fact that every loan deal is customized to each individual client. Zac Prince, CEO of competitor lending business BlockFi, seemed similarly convinced that a blow-up is not to be expected any time soon, when he told Bloomberg that his firm “has stringent standards and has never experienced a late payment or loss.”

Of course, as Matthieu Jobbe Duval of CoinList pointed out, “Crypto is still a small market relative to traditional asset classes, however, the feeling of deja-vu is there: lack of regulation, cheap credit available with minimal due-diligence, and broad optimism.” All the ingredients for a possible blow-up some might say.

Blockchain.com losing its executives

In October, Blockchain.com came into the spotlight after a string of exits by company employees. Sources familiar with the matter claimed that Blockchain.com’s longest-serving senior executives — COO Liana Douillet Guzmán and Chris Lavery, executive vice president of finance — were both expected to leave. Their departures, if accurately reported, would be just the latest in a steady stream of team members calling it quits on the company.

Dow Wobbles as US Senate Hong Kong Bill Pressures Trump-Xi Relations

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Andreessen Horowitz Leads $25M Funding Round for Crypto Lending Startup

Decentralized finance (DeFi) lending protocol Compound secured $25 million in an investment round led by Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z Crypto.

Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has led a $25 million funding round for crypto lending startup Compound.

On Nov. 14, Fortune reported that Compound, a decentralized finance (DeFi) lending protocol, secured $25 million in an investment round led by Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z, with participation from other top investors including Paradigm, Bain Capital Ventures and Polychain Capital.

To integrate with crypto exchanges, custodians, wallets

Compound CEO and co-founder Robert Leshner said in an interview with Fortune that the company now has over $150 million in assets on its platform and that the fresh $25 million investment will go towards making the service more accessible to ordinary people. Andreessen Horowitz general partner Chris Dixon commented on the partnership: 

“Compound is a lending protocol that is open to anyone in the world, that disintermediates banks and allows anyone to earn interest on their money [...] We’ve worked with Robert and his team for over two years and think they are world class technologists and entrepreneurs.”

The San Francisco-based startup is an automated crypto lending platform that has predominantly focussed on working with large-scale customers. However, Leshner mentioned that the company will soon start to cooperate with crypto exchanges, wallets and custodians for wider market expansion, so retail investors will also be able to use its services. 

Integration with these additional crypto platforms is planned to take place by the end of 2020. 

Andreessen Horowitz invests in Arweave

At the beginning of November, Arweave, a blockchain startup focused on permanent online data storage, attracted $5 million in another investment round led by Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z, with the participation of Union Square Ventures and Multicoin Capital.

Bitcoin Price Defies ‘Death Cross’ as Bulls Pin Hopes on $9.1K Bounce

Bitcoin price continues to drop as the 50 and 200-DMA cross but the current falling wedge pattern means bulls might have their target set at $9,100.

Bitcoin (BTC) price continues to trend lower, marking 5 consecutive lower highs as the price makes a stairstep decline in a falling wedge. Interestingly, the pattern is interpreted by many analysts as a signal of a potentially bullish outcome so perhaps there is still hope.

Crypto market data daily view

Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360

BTC USD daily chart

BTC USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

The price has pierced the $8,674 support three times over the past 4 days, increasing the chance that the price will drop to the lower trendline of the falling wedge at $8,480. The daily chart shows that Bitcoin had spent the week riding along the 200-DMA, a point which was lost earlier today. 

The volume profile visible range (VPVR) shows a volume gap between $8,780 and $9,062, meaning the Bitcoin could rally 3.45% to $9,062, a point which would bring the price above the 50-DMA and slightly below the Bollinger Band indicator moving average at $9,121. 

A move to $9,148 would set a 3-day higher high at the 100-DMA, bringing Bitcoin price out of the falling wedge and possibly serving as the first indication of a short-term trend change for investors. A pop above the falling wedge resistance would bring the price above the 50% Fibonacci retracement level, a point thoroughly discussed in a previous analysis. 

BTC USD daily chart

BTC USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

A move to the Bollinger Band indicator moving average at $9,121 would also bring Bitcoin price to the 61.8% Fib retracement level from the Oct. 25 move from $7,400 to $10,540. Bearish traders are calling for a much more significant drop and taking a bird’s eye view of the rally from $3,127 to $13,800 shows that the 61.8% Fib retracement level is situated at $7,840. 

BTC USD daily chart

BTC USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

This point is also strongly supported (3rd pink bar) and failure to bounce at this point could see the price sink as low as $6,846, the lower trendline of the larger descending channel beginning at the 2019 high. Bounces from this trendline have been strong and previous analysis and the VPVR suggests the $8,300 to $7,800 range as a possible support area where buyers are expected to show interest.

Bearish scenario

Taking a macro view of Bitcoin’s price action on the daily timeframe (chart above), further downside moves in the falling wedge could see the price drop to the support levels (pink bars) at $8,591 and $8,305. In the event of a falling wedge breakdown, the price could drop to $7,862 but before this happens it’s probable that buyers will have stepped in around $8,300 and $8,000. 

BTC USD 4-hour chart

BTC USD 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

At the time of writing, the 50-day moving average (DMA) and the 200-DMA are converging on the 4-hour timeframe, forming the oft-discussed dreaded death cross that traders have worried about at length over the past two weeks. 

Bullish scenario

On the 6-hour (or one can view the 4-hour chart above) timeframe traders will spot a divergence within the relative strength index (RSI). Given that falling wedges have a tendency to flip bullish, some traders might interpret this divergence as additional proof that Bitcoin could be on the verge of a trend reversal. 

Possibly, Bitcoin’s price will continue its current trend, bouncing off the support and resistance line of the falling wedge until price reaches the second (pink bar) support at $8,300 where buyers might show up to push the price back to $8,650. 

As mentioned earlier in the analysis, a high volume spike could see the price rally to $9,060, which would be a 9% gain from $8,300. Given that Bitcoin’s trading volume has reduced to a trickle and the current price action looks bearish until $8,373, traders are likely in cash, waiting to see if they can catch a bounce at $8,460 and $8,300. 

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author (@HorusHughes) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

The Ripple Drop: Highlights From the Inaugural UBRI Connect and Xpring Hackathon

This episode of The Ripple Drop features discussions from Xpring’s Interoperability Hackathon and the inaugural UBRI Connect conference, both held at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Xpring’s Interoperability Hackathon
The night before UBRI Connect, Hackathon participants had the opportunity to be one of the first developers to work with and experience Xpring’s new developer platform. Hacking until 5 a.m., Berkeley Computer Science (CS) students and developer teams from around the world, built new applications leveraging the XRP Ledger and Interledger protocol (ILP).

The night before UBRI Connect, Hackathon participants had the opportunity to be one of the first developers to work with and experience Xpring’s new developer platform. Hacking until 5 a.m., Berkeley Computer Science (CS) students and developer teams from around the world, built new applications leveraging the XRP Ledger and Interledger protocol (ILP).

The developer platform offers a set of tools, services and programs that makes it easier for developers to send and receive payments in any currency, across any network. According to the SVP of Xpring, Ethan Beard, the platform helps remove the pain and friction from integrating money into apps. 

“What we set out to do with Xpring was to build tools for developers and enable them to easily tap into the power of the digital asset XRP and ILP,” said Beard. “We want to make it simple to add money into their app, no matter where their app is or what programming language they’re using.”

Beard explained that when developers previously worked on the XRP Ledger or ILP they would need to write dozens of redundant lines of code to access the technology. With the new software development kit (SDK), that burden is lifted.

“Previously a developer had to write 100 lines of javascript for example, in order to just do a simple transaction on the XRP Ledger,” Beard explained. “Now, using this SDK, an IOS developer who writes in Swift can actually use ten lines of code and do the exact same thing.”

The winners of the Hackathon did just that by leveraging the new SDK to build a powerful app using ILP. Undergraduate students from Berkeley’s Blockchain at Berkeley Club, Ayoush Aggarwal and Eric Hou, built a transfer payment solution that leverages QR codes and the power of Interledger to send money and avoid the friction they experienced using popular apps like Venmo.

“The first thing is privacy. [Apps can submit user data] into social media, which we find concerning given that we don’t have a stake in that data,” said Aggarwal. “The second thing is that money isn’t really ours, because it’s on Venmo’s servers. So we wanted to use venmo to solve those two problems.”

Hou explained that using ILP and QR codes allowed their new app to have almost universal accessibility across platforms and devices, while maintaining the privacy of each user.

“Since everything is based on QR codes, any device that has a QR scanner can use the app,” said Hou. “So when you scan this QR code there is a secret there and the website will go ahead and parse that secret and handle it automatically.”

UBRI Connect
In October, the University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) had its first annual conference, UBRI Connect. The event brought together UBRI participants from around the world to share their research and discuss new projects being started in blockchain, digital assets and FinTech.

Faculty and students from 40 universities and over a dozen countries convened at the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley. 

According to Senior Manager of University Partnerships, Lauren Weymouth, the event came at the request of the initiative’s participants who wanted to connect and learn what other schools were working on.

“We received a lot of good feedback that they not only wanted to collaborate with Ripple, but they wanted to be collaborating with each other,” said Weymouth. “So we formed this academic convening so we could get everyone together in one space.”

The event kicked off with a keynote by Ripple CTO David Schwartz and the formal announcement of Xpring’s new developer platform tools.

In addition speakers from UBRI-sponsored universities, speakers from Xpring partner companies such as Forte, Coil, SendFriend and more took to the stage to share the work they’ve been doing.

Critically, the event allowed participating universities to get together and share the new curriculum, courses and research they’ve done in the last year. 

UBRI Connect 2020 is already on the horizon and will take place in London at the University College of London next fall.

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This article was originally published on: The Ripple Blog on 

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Multiplayer Issues Blight Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition Launch

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Uncharted Movie Casts Mark Wahlberg and Gamers Are NOT Happy

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XRP Down 16% Since Swell, Can Price Recover?

XRP drops 16% since swell, can price recover?

Ripple’s XRP not only failed to rally during the highly anticipated Swell conference this year, but actually sank by 16% shortly after. But can the price recover, or will see the asset slump even further? 


XRP Eyes $0.25 in Current Trend

The XRP market price is among the few to mark double-digit drop since the start of 2019, extending the losses to around 30%. The asset has promised use cases and utility, but this failed to support trading interest.

XRP so far has struggled to hold even above the $0.30 mark. The conference also did not offer new optimism on XRP. Currently, the coin’s use case is still uncertain, as Ripple Net became the unified Ripple product where the coin may be used optionally.

XRP traded at $0.27, on relatively small volumes of about $1.7 billion per day. The asset lost some of its support as Korean traders abandoned highly active speculation, and the coin was left to find new markets.

In 2019, Ripple’s token repeated previous periods of almost no price movement. But in the past however, the asset jumped spectacularly from sub-penny prices, causing a huge commotion. Now, outlandish predictions are not entirely abandoned on social media, and the Ripple community is strong as ever.

The potential for large amounts of XRP to dump on the markets has remained one of the biggest problems standing in the way of the asset’s future price prospects.

The other reason for Swell’s failure was that all eyes were also on Stellar (XLM), which appreciated fast to $0.083. The Stellar Development Foundation also burned 55 million of its tokens with the aim of lowering inflation of XLM production, and setting a fixed supply for the coin.

The XRP price moves may see the coin sink as low as $0.25, based on the current trend.

Coinbase Card Gives Hope for New Demand

The asset is still in a relatively short-term price slide, and a bullish recovery is certaintly possible. XRP has shown the $0.30 price range is achievable even after sharper drops. Currently, the price levels for altcoins are showing surprising stability, even without an outright “altcoin season”. There may also be reasons to pick up the token at lower prices.

But the biggest boost to XRP potential for recovery is the addition of XRP to Coinbase Card. The new mode of payment, a VISA card for spending crypto assets, targets 29 European countries. With the relatively accessible and stable price of XRP, the asset is ideal for storing value while allowing liquid spending.

XRP is also concentrated on ZB.com, making it possible for upward price pressures coming from a single exchange. Around 30% of all XRP volumes are boosted by the pairing with Tether (USDT), potentially aiding a new period of price discovery.

What do you think about the chances of XRP to regain ground? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @RipplePandaXRP @RitizSapkota1 @OhNoCrypto @CryptoBull2020 @Brumdogmillion

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Litecoin Correction Causes Serious Bearish Action, Why Further Pullback is Likely

  • LTC broke out of a channel to a new descending wedge after dropping below $61 price levels earlier today.
  • The price rejection at $66 price levels has made Litecoin stay under a bearish pressure since the weekly opening.
  • Litecoin may gain bullish momentum if the price can reclaim $61, which appeared to be a critical confluence zone for the market.

Litecoin has witnessed a lot of price reductions over the past three days due to a significant correction which is making the bears gain control of the market.

However, a bullish step back is expected for LTC, once it climbs back above $60 price level, although the $61 resistance is an essential level for the next bullish phase on the hourly chart.

Litecoin (LTC) Price Analysis

Following November 10, rejection at $66, Litecoin has remained in a downward range. The latest bearish scenario has caused LTC to trade inside a descending wedge, but the price is now sitting on the lower boundary of the wedge.

Therefore, a retracement could be underway to the upper boundary of the wedge at $60. A break above the wedge could allow the bulls to regain control of the market. This could bring the next resistance levels at $62, followed by a decent rally to $64.6 resistance levels.

Litecoin is currently holding near support at $58. This support could become weak if we continue to witness a devastating price drop.

However, we may need to keep an eye on the $57 and $56 supports in the next swing low. Additionally, Litecoin is still showing a bullish sign on the daily chart.

Litecoin to Enter the Bullish Trend

The market structure looks bullish on the higher time frame, but, the lower time frame is currently suggesting a bearish mode for Litecoin.

Meanwhile, the last three days’ downward direction is just a sign of a small pullback on the daily chart. We can expect a bullish continuation in the next couple of days. Otherwise, we may continue to see a decline until Litecoin finds vital support for a rebound.

Litecoin price

Source: Tradingview

Technical Indicator Reading:

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for Litecoin has dropped to the extremely oversold region but has recovered a bit to the 30 levels.

Hourly MACD (Moving Average Convergence and Divergence) – The MACD for Litecoin is currently negative to show a bearish momentum

Key resistance levels: $60, $62, $64.6

Key support levels: $58, $57, $56

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Cardano vs EOS: Who is Really ‘Superior’?

Cardano vs EOS: Who is really superior?

Weiss Ratings surprised and divided the crypto community, by stating Cardano (ADA) is a project superior to EOS. This is a far cry from China’s belief, who still ranks EOS as #1 on its CCID ranking while Cardano sits way down at #31. 


Weiss Crypto Ratings Bullish on Cardano

Weiss Crypto Ratings admitted that ADA is yet to be used for its intended smart contract functionality. But the comparison against EOS heated the discussion. While some agreed wholeheartedly with the assertion, many argued that Weiss rating is becoming a mouthpiece for elevating ADA over EOS.

The Cardano network turned two at the end of September, but it is still a long way off of becoming a platform coin to displace Ethereum (ETH). Cardano has gone through multiple testnet stages, but ADA remains a relatively unused coin which does not see many transfers.

ADA has also not started proper staking, with another testnet proposed as the solution. The new Shelley testnet is supposed to start distributing ADA awards for the first time, though for now, there is no deadline for the mainnet launch.

The Cardano project aims to differentiate itself by using Haskell to build its code base. The other difference from EOS is a proposed consensus mechanism, known as Ourobouros. But the mechanism is not yet in place, as proof-of-stake is still incomplete and only happens through basic wallet staking. Once this feature goes live, it will be much easier to evaluate which platform is better.

China Still Backs EOS

China continues to favour EOS as the leading cryptocurrency project in the market, based on a number of factors including basic tech, creativity and applicability. Bitcoin is surprisingly much further down on the list at 11, while Cardano sits all the way in #31 position.

While EOS hosts an entire ecosystem of tokens and distributed apps, the Cardano network for now only produces blocks with few transactions. Thus, ADA remains a speculative asset until further development stages are completed.

EOS has received its share of criticisms too however, especially after the recent EIDOS token minting event, which took over network resources. Also, many of the dApps built on the EOS network are simply gambling or gaming projects, not to mention the platform continues to suffer from serious governance issues.

As it stands, it’s difficult to accurately compare the two projects, and will remain so until Cardano has fully launched.

Where do you stand on the Cardano vs EOS debate? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @Weisscrypto @dkhanevich

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Ethereum (ETH) Volatility Nears All-Time Low

Ethereum Volatility Nears All-Time Low

Ethereum (ETH) is closing in on the smallest volatility of all times, show recent trading data. For the past few months, ETH has traded in a tight range, with a relatively predictable price.


ETH Prices Stabilize Below $200

Based on Skew analysis, the price of ETH has budged little, with the volatility index at 1.73%.

ETH moved between $180 and $190 in the past weeks. On Thursday, the asset traded at $186.69. The ETH price has barely moved in the past week, despite the relatively large sway in BTC prices. Ethereum is showing signs of decoupling from BTC, as the coin is no longer facing sell-offs, or the bet between BTC and ETH positions.

One of the reasons for ETH stability are the higher trading volumes, currently above $7.7 billion. The share of ETH in terms of overall crypto trading is also rather stable, close to 12% of all activity over the past few months. And while Ethereum is no longer looking ready to attack or “flippen” BTC, it has become an important fixture in the crypto market.

Tether Continues to Boost Ethereum Trading

ETH receives more than $737 million inflows from Tether (USDT), up from around $500 million in the past days. The inflows from the BTC market line up with $462 million. One of the reasons for the stability of ETH is that the new form of ERC-20 USDT is using the Ethereum network, and is among the most active tokens. The share of USDT pairings in the ETH market has crept up to 60%, allowing a separate process of price discovery.

The value of ETH fluctuated wildly during the 2017 bull market, as well as during the ICO craze in 2018. At that time, the prediction for ETH was to remain a utility coin with a value around $400. But Ethereum settled a little under $200, boosted by its new use case in decentralized finance.

At the same time, the Bitcoin volatility index has settled just below 4%, and the leading coin is also stabilizing its price.

The Ethereum network is also running in its usual state, with mining set to continue for more than a year after developers are set to delay the mining ice age once again. The debate about ETH 2.0 for now has not hurt the asset’s market price.

What do you think about the price action of ETH? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @skewdotcom

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Poop Token: A Literal Sh*tcoin for San Francisco’s Homelessness Crisis

A blockchain developer has created an appropriately titled sh*tcoin to track poop sightings in San Francisco. Despite its more humorous nature, the project may have some real-world applications. The city’s homelessness crisis remains grim. If ever there was a sh*tcoin that lived up to its name, SF Poop Token would be it. Blockchain developer Hart […]

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Iran Offers Bounty for Illicit Cryptocurrency Mining Operations

Iranian authorities are offering a bounty to anyone who exposes unauthorized mining operations in the country.

Iranian authorities are offering a bounty to anyone who exposes unauthorized mining operations in the country, Iranian news outlet PressTV reports on Nov. 13.

A spokesman of the Energy Ministry announced the bounty program during an interview with local news outlet IRIB News, while illustrating the new electricity pricing mechanism for miners.

Mostafa Rajabi, the spokesman in question, said yesterday that people who expose cryptocurrency mining operations that are illicitly using subsidized electricity will receive up to 20% of the recovery of damages.

Rajabi told reporters that new regulations ban miners from operating during the hours of peak consumption of electricity. 

The spokesman also said that 9,650 rials ($0.29) per kilowatt-hour will be the average price of power for miners, as it is for the export of electricity. He explained that the price would be about half of that during colder months, and four times as much during warm months, when electricity consumption increases due to the hot weather.

Iranian crackdown on illicit crypto mining

Recent regulations for the cryptocurrency industry in the country have been followed by a crackdown on illicit mining operations. As Cointelegraph reported on Aug. 1, Iranian provincial police arrested an individual for smuggling cryptocurrency mining machines into the country.

Iran is increasingly regulating cryptocurrency mining, having announced the possibility of an annual register of cryptocurrency mining operations in September.

Iranian cryptocurrency mining regulations are not entirely negative for local operations. In September, Iran's National Tax Administration announced that domestic mining firms are eligible for a tax exemption if they agree to repatriate their overseas earnings

Chainlink (LINK) Surges 100% Since September as the Heavy Hitters Back Its Technology

Chainlink is up more than 100% since mid-September. The bullish sentiment behind it comes after a series of partnerships that show the true value of its technology. A renowned technical analyst says LINK could push for new all-time highs. Chainlink, a decentralized oracle system, is making significant strides to push the adoption of its technology. […]

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Trump’s China Trade Deal Hits Another Stalemate Over America’s Pigs

Beijing doesn’t want to commit to buying American pork and looks set to play hardball with Trump. Trump might not be willing to give China the concessions it is demanding to come around and sign a limited trade deal. The U.S.-China tariff war looks all set to extend further as none of the parties appear […]

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Crypto Exchange OKEx Launches Bitcoin Futures Margined With Tether

Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx announced the launch of its Tether-margined Bitcoin futures contracts.

Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx has launched Bitcoin (BTC) futures contracts that are margined with the Tether (USDT) stablecoin. OKEx announced the new offering in a press release on Nov. 14.

OKEx first announced its intention to launch USDT-settled futures trading with up to 100x leverage at the end of October. Now, after conducting a simulation that began on Nov. 5, the exchange listed the BTC/USDT offering on its trading platform.

The exchange previously said that offering a stablecoin-based derivatives contract will make it simpler and more efficient for traders to navigate the market and calculate risk. OKEx CEO Jay Hao commented:

“The simulation of our USDT Futures Contract was very successful, and we received positive feedback from traders in the OKEx community.”

The derivative in question is quoted and settled in USDT and each BTC/USDT contract has a face value of 0.0001 BTC and has an available value range of 0.01 to 100 times. The platform’s users can take both long and short positions on the contract.

More assets to come

In the future, OKEx will also launch USDT-margined futures for other crypto assets. More precisely, the firm announced plans to launch such contracts for EOS, Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), XRP, Ethereum Classic (ETC), Tron (TRX), and Bitcoin SV (BSV).

As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, Bakkt announced that its Bitcoin futures trading on the Intercontinental Exchange will expand to include a cash-settled option.

Could Linux help overcome blockchain’s usability challenge?

2019 has been a good year for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. An influx of institutional money and Facebook announcing its Libra plans have provided a boost to the markets, lifting the total market cap from a just over $125 billion in the first quarter, to $240 billion currently.

Nevertheless, blockchain still suffers from an adoption problem. The height of the ICO boom brought much enthusiasm about the vast potential that the technology had to offer. Now, the user statistics on the dApp ranking sites say it all. At the time of writing, the top-rated dApp on DappRadar shows 3,400 users in the last 24 hours. Furthermore, looking down the ranking tables, the vast majority of dApps are gambling games, with the odd DEX thrown in.

Many would point to scalability as the root of the problem. As if simply making blockchains faster would suddenly attract an influx of new users and inspire developers to start building different dApps. But scalability isn’t the only challenge and using it as a catch-all explanation for any and all adoption challenges fail to understand the extent of the current status quo.

Chickens or Eggs?

Whether blockchain needs to attract users or developers is something of a chicken-and-egg question. However, there are barriers on either side. There aren’t enough talented programmers building enough appealing, high-quality dApps. This is partly an accessibility issue — programmers need to learn new languages to develop dApps, and attracting them is a problem when user numbers are still so low. They don’t have access to the kind of audiences that the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, which makes it even less attractive to build a dApp.

It is fair to say that the scalability issue also doesn’t help. Most blockchains simply cannot handle the computing power needed to run complex smart contracts, so the scope to build sophisticated dApps is limited. Even faster blockchains like EOS deter the development of more powerful dApps, as the cost of RAM becomes prohibitive.

From the user perspective, dApps simply aren’t accessible enough. Most still require the user to own some cryptocurrency, necessitating the use of wallets and exchanges. Furthermore, without being listed on the major app stores, most mainstream users outside of crypto aren’t even aware of dApps.

Put simply, the current gap between blockchain and the real world is still too big.

Making dApps More Accessible

Some developments show significant promise for making dApps more accessible to both developers and users. This year, Samsung opened up the Blockchain Keystore, a platform that allows users to manage their private information and digital keys. It also offers an SDK for developers to build Android dApps for download via the Blockchain Keystore.

Android, developed on Linux, is the biggest mobile operating system by far, used by 85 percent of users. Given its credentials as an extremely popular open-source and free operating system, Linux could provide the most powerful opportunity to build a bridge between blockchain and the real world.

Although it’s not widely used as a desktop operating system, Linux has been released for more hardware platforms than any OS in history. The chances are you’re already using it in some format, as Linux is embedded into hardware such as TVs, game consoles, routers, smartwatches, and more.

Linux as Decentralized Infrastructure?

Early next year, a blockchain project called Cartesi will release its testnet after two years in development. The project aims to create a decentralized Linux infrastructure for scalable blockchain applications.

In a similar way to layer 2 solutions such as the Lightning Network or Plasma, Cartesi will take computations off-chain to be carried out by Cartesi nodes. These nodes are self-contained Linux systems running on a deterministic architecture. In doing so, the platform can manage far faster processing speeds, as it doesn’t require that blockchain consensus algorithm confirms every transaction.

Furthermore, these off-chain computations are reproducible, meaning that developers can port their dApps easily between different blockchains.

However, the Linux connection is where the potential of Cartesi really becomes apparent. Getting to know the Linux operating system is Programming 101, as it provides a free and easy-to-use sandbox for anyone learning to code. This means that most, if not all, programmers are already familiar with it. Therefore, Cartesi offers the potential to open up blockchain to a vast pool of would-be dApp developers all over the world.

Furthermore, through the Linux implementations that are already available in Android and other hardware, it means that we could start to see blockchain-based dApps integrated into smart TVs or game consoles.

The potential is vast. Imagine, in the future, downloading a dApp game to a game console, paying for it with a crypto wallet that’s also integrated to the device itself, with the transaction and the wallet still secured by blockchain.

Building an Operating System for Blockchain

Although Cartesi appears to be the first project to use an existing operating system, it’s not the first to coin the idea of an operating system for blockchain. Aelf is currently making waves throughout Asia for its cutting-edge, scalable blockchain that uses sidechain technologies.

The project’s white paper identified that blockchain requires an operating system to make it more accessible, and outlined how the aelf ecosystem is analogous to the Linux kernel. By taking the bulk of processing off the mainchain and into sidechains, aelf has managed to achieve transaction speeds of up to 15,000 per second.

Furthermore, since it launched on mainnet in March this year, the project has established various partnerships in a bid to bridge the gap between blockchain and enterprise. Notably, it was one of the first to achieve recognition by the Chinese government in July this year, along with Lenovo and Alipay. It has also confirmed it’s in discussions with Orange and Huawei for cloud computing services, as well as partnering with well-known blockchain names such as Decentraland, Huobi, and Chainlink.

Although we aren’t quite there yet, these projects show that building a bridge between blockchain and the rest of the world isn’t an impossible mission. It gives some hope that the current levels of dApp usage will eventually move from thousands to millions, and eventually to billions. Nevertheless, for that to happen, those in the blockchain space need to look beyond scalability as the root of all problems.

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Canaan Mining May Settle for Modest $100M IPO

Canaan mining IPO asks for $100 Million

Canaan Mining’s IPO in New York may raise only $100 million, at least based on recent edits to the prospectus. The company will aim to list on NASDAQ and become the first Chinese mining equipment producer to trade as a public stock.


Canaan May Reflect Worsened Sentiment About Crypto Investments

Just days after Canaan scheduled the IPO deadline for November 20, the success of the stock placement is put in question. Initially, Canaan Mining planned to raise as much as $400 million. Based on previous private placements, Canaan has been evaluated in the billions.

Dovey Wan, co-founder of Primitive Crypto, pointed out the fact that Canaan was not ready to raise the funds previously intended.

Credit Suisse, the leading underwriter for the IPO, reportedly also left. The IPO problems arrive despite relatively robust results from Canaan for the past quarter. The company hoped to raise funds and go public a year after failing to list on the Hong Kong exchange.

The lower target for the IPO is seen as a sign of a worsened sentiment about cryptocurrencies and the activity of mining. Despite the growth in mining in 2019, there are still doubts the activity is viable. Additionally, the centralization of mining farms in China is seen as a risk factor.

Mining Profitability Highly Uncertain

At the moment, mining teeters on the brink of breakeven, depending on the BTC market price. With cheap electricity and an older investment, a large-scale pool can be viable. But for Canaan’s Avalon 1066, the machine marks an annual loss of around $150, and as deep as $700 with more unfavorable BTC prices and less rewards. The current loss of the S9 Antminer by competitor Bitmain is at around $500 and varying each day.

Just as the Canaan IPO news surfaced, BTC mining underwent another unexplained downturn. The BTC hashrate is down to 78 quintillion hashes per second, down from a recent high above 104 quintillion hashes. The sudden drop may be a concerted effort to once again turn down difficulty. The next difficulty adjustment comes in about a week, and if miners keep activity low, they may enjoy another difficulty downturn.

With mining’s uncertainty, recent comments saw the attempt of Canaan Mining and its rival Bitmain as desperate moves to secure funds and additional liquidity. Canaan has been plagued by volatile earnings, with a 50% drop in revenues in 2019 despite the pickup in mining. Bitmain, on the other hand, is having leadership problems, as one of its co-founders, Zhan “Micree” Ketuan, was ousted and banned from physically accessing the offices.

What do you think of Canaan’s IPO plans? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @DoveyWan

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