Bitcoin to $250K by 2023 Prediction is ‘Absolutely Solid,’ Says Tim Draper

BTC price prediction bitcoin

Serial cryptocurrency investor and billionaire Tim Draper has said his Bitcoin price prediction of $250,000 by 2022 is “absolutely solid.”


Draper: Destination Clear, Path Uncertain

Speaking during the giant Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon which ended November 8, Draper, who is well known for his optimistic outlook on Bitcoin, in particular, doubled down on his price forecast few others have dared rival.

“I have a pretty good sense of what’s going on four, five, six ten years from now because that’s my business – to meet with young entrepreneurs who are putting a future into my mind,” he told a panel which also featured Blockchain CEO Peter Smith and Managing Capital co-founder Garry Tan.

…My prediction for $250,000 by 2022 – maybe 2023 but in that range – is absolutely solid, but I’m not so sure how we’re going to get there[.]

Cryptocurrency became an increasingly focal topic at this year’s Summit, which with almost 70,000 attendees constitutes the largest such conference in Europe.

Smith’s Blockchain, announcing a partnership with payment network Stellar at the event, has begun giving away $125 million in the latter’s Lumen tokens in a bid to increase awareness and adoption of cryptoassets.

‘Just Go Do It’

While touching on different aspects of how the industry should grow in future, both Smith and Draper agreed on the need to continue placing financial sovereignty in users’ hands.

“Why we aren’t all… creating Bitcoin, putting together a wallet – just go do it so you get the feel for it because it’s so much better than what we have today,” Draper told the audience.

All three panelists, with varying degrees of reluctance, meanwhile agreed that BTC/USD 00 should trade higher this time next year, Smith additionally confirming he was still accumulating bitcoin.

Anticipation of an end to what Tan among many others referred to as the “crypto winter” continues to run high across the community, with markets yet to provide hints of an imminent end to bear market conditions.

Tan added he was uncertain whether the ‘winter’ would be over by the end of 2019.

What do you think about Tim Draper’s price prediction reiteration? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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EtherDelta SEC Action Could Impact Entire Industry, Experts Warn

EtherDelta

Legal figures engaging with cryptocurrency are warning over continued regulatory uncertainty impacting businesses after US regulators fined EtherDelta almost $400,000 November 8.


EtherDelta Could Set Precedent

EtherDelta, which operated since 2016 as a smart contract on Ethereum, fell victim to securities obligations under the US’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), leaving owner Zachary Coburn liable for penalties totaling $388,000.

This, securities lawyer Jake Chervinsky and Blockchain chief legal officer Marco Santori among others note, comes despite EtherDelta sharing few characteristics of a traditional cryptocurrency exchange.

“Even though EtherDelta was just a smart contract on Ethereum, the SEC said it was legally an ‘exchange’ because it ‘brought together purchasers and sellers of securities,’” Chervinsky notes quoting a filing Coburn uploaded about the dispute.

While the revelation about Coburn’s fine appeared to unsettle users, Chervinsky adds the event should have been expected given the raft of investigations the SEC has hinted are ongoing this year.

In future, he suggests, larger, “wealthier” targets could also come in for penalties, including those which have only tenuous links to the SEC such as overseas-registered entities.

No Way Out Of Obligations

“(Decentralized exchanges are) not a good way to escape securities laws,” Santori meanwhile summarized.

They are very, very broad. Much broader than the money services laws in the US.

In response to the continued fluid regulatory situation regarding cryptocurrency tokens in the US, some industry businesses have opted to take preemptive measures by excluding US users from accessing certain assets.

As Bitcoinist reported, Bittrex, in addition to the US’ largest exchange Coinbase, is in the process of offering ‘international’ versions of its resource which will effectively segregate US accounts from others.

“U.S.-based customers will continue to use the Bittrex.com site and will not have access to the new tokens available on Bittrex International,” it explained outlining its plans late last month.

What do you think about EtherDelta’s impact? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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Web Summit Conference Sees Cryptocurrency Businesses Give Away Over $127M

Web summit conference

November 8 marks the culmination of this year’s Web Summit conference, the largest tech event in Europe and one which saw businesses give away cryptocurrency worth at least $127 million.


Airdrops, Wallets And Adoption

The sold-out Web Summit, which is taking place in Lisbon, brings together thousands of startups and speakers to join a giant attendee list of almost 70,000 people.

Cryptocurrency businesses stood out at the event, with several adopted-focused schemes which gave away millions of dollars in free cryptoassets.

As Bitcoinist reported, data analytics and wallet provider Blockchain led the charge, revealing a partnership with Stellar at the conference, part of which included a giveaway worth $125 million.

The deal sees anyone able to sign up for Stellar Lumens (XLM) tokens worth $25 provided they own a Blockchain wallet.

“…Blockchain Airdrops are a great way for crypto creators to drive decentralization and adoption for new networks. We think they’re great for crypto users too,” CEO Peter Smith explained in an accompanying blog post.

“They let you test, trade, and transact with the next generation of crypto assets without having to buy them or mine them.”

UK Leads Troupe Of Giveaways

Along with Blockchain, fellow UK-based player eToro also announced free cryptocurrency would form part of the publicity drive for its new wallet which it released earlier this week.

The fiat and cryptocurrency trading platform plans to award 0.1 ETH ($21) to the first 100,000 people who download the wallet, dubbed eToroX, which will also cater to Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.

“Just as eToro has opened up traditional markets for investors, we want to do the same in a tokenized world. The eToro wallet is a key part of this,” CEO Yoni Assia commented confirming the rollout.

A smaller distribution at Web Summit meanwhile came from BTC.com, which sought to advocate Bitcoin Cash adoption by giving away cards loaded with 0.003 BCH (around $1.80).

What do you think about this year’s Web Summit crypto giveaways? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Bitcoin Ownership Hits 9% In UK, YouGov Survey Reveals

Bitcoin UK's Cryptocurrency Task Force Concerned Over Recent Exchange Hacks

Over 90 percent of UK residents have now heard of Bitcoin and up to 9 percent of some demographics own it, an upbeat new survey revealed November 7.


21 Percent See Bitcoin Being As Common As Fiat

The findings by market research agency YouGov paint a surprisingly positive picture of consumer attitudes towards the largest cryptocurrency, coming despite a year-long bear market and associated media criticism.

While the largest section of the respondents described their knowledge of Bitcoin as “not very” good, over one-fifth foresee its usage becoming as common as traditional payment methods “in the future.”

The survey was timed to coincide with the tenth anniversary of Satoshi Nakamoto publishing Bitcoin’s whitepaper.

“A decade on, YouGov research explores how much we think we know about the cryptocurrency, how many of us have ever bought it, and whether we think currencies controlled by the people using them – rather than by a central institution – have a long-term future in Britain’s financial system,” the agency writes summarizing the data.

Everyone ‘Knows’ A Bitcoin Owner

While many responses make for unremarkable reading, subtle nuances in the UK’s changing attitudes to crypto are becoming easier to spot.

While ownership of coins among participants ostensibly remained fairly low – the biggest owners being 18-24 year olds at 9 percent – a considerably larger percentage claimed they “knew someone personally” who own cryptoassets.

Across all age ranges, those who knew an owner outnumbered owners themselves around four times over. This may suggest that respondents have become more aware of admitting ownership, or that the concept of ownership has at least become more of a talking point.

The gap between Bitcoin as a trend and as an ideology meanwhile remains.

Asked about how they felt given Bitcoin’s decentralized nature, not under the control of a central banking authority, most answered they were “neutral,” while higher numbers appeared to feel “fairly negative” than any other option, including “positive.”

Cryptocurrency regulation in the UK is currently a contentious topic, with disagreement on the general direction being forged by authorities.

What do you think about the YouGov survey? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Bakkt Launch Next Month May Not End Bear Market

Bear market bakkt

Intercontinental Exchange’s “regulated ecosystem” for Bakkt should launch December 12, but “lingering concerns” remain, industry figures warn this week.


‘Lingering Concerns’ Over Long-Term Plans

In a series of tweets, securities lawyer and regular social media commentator Jake Chervinsky summarized the gaps in public knowledge about Bakkt, which is still awaiting regulatory permission to begin operations.

“In the minds of many, Bakkt’s launch has become a full-fledged narrative for when & how the bear market will end,” he wrote. “[…] Hype aside, some people have lingering concerns about Bakkt.”

If all goes to plan, December 12th will see the company launch one-day physical Bitcoin futures.

As Bitcoinist has previously reported, this will allow institutional investors to take physical ownership of cryptocurrency, setting the offering aside from many current futures available on the market, including pioneers CME Group and Cboe.

Buzzword Rehypothecation

While Bakkt executives have used that narrative to quash fears about the platform having a detrimental effect on Bitcoin 00 long term, critics maintain they have not been thorough enough in their explanation.

Highlighting the lack of a complete picture, Chervinsky quotes ex-Morgan Stanley senior executive Caitlin Long, who in October relayed her concerns on social media. These specifically revolve around rehypothecation, the practice of financial institutions using deposited client collateral to their own ends.

“[A] big open question (is) will (Bakkt) lend coins in its warehouse?” she explained.

Rehypothecation could happen at any of 3 levels (futures contract, clearinghouse, warehouse) – Bakkt has only answered regarding futures contract. [The] warehouse is where it would normally happen (and) that question not answered[…]

Bakkt officials subsequently reiterated their “transparent” approach to their offering in what was seemingly a fresh bid to calm industry doubts.

Further “mysteries” remain on the horizon regarding the platform.

After the futures, Chervinsky notes, the next phase of the platform’s expansion could be a different offering altogether, yet the major partners involved for him suggest “some type of consumer-grade payment system. […] Maybe the kind you’d use at Starbucks to buy coffee with bitcoin,” he added. “We’ll have to wait and see.”

What do you think about Bakkt’s unanswered questions? Let us know in the comments below!


Images and media courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter (@jchervinsky)

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Bitcoin Mining ’50 Times More Useful’ – Barry Silbert Rebuts Energy Cost vs. Gold

Cryptocurrency industry figures continue to hit back at negative stories about Bitcoin mining in mainstream media, Barry Silbert claiming mining Bitcoin was “50 times more useful” than gold.


What’s In A Number?

In a tweet November 6, the Digital Currency Group founder and CEO rebutted claims over Bitcoin mining which originally surfaced in the Nature International Journal of Science.

In it, researchers allege mining Bitcoin 00 is three times more expensive than gold, while the total emissions for mining the four largest cryptocurrencies by market cap between January 2016 and June 2018 lay anywhere between 3 and 15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The findings were widely reported by mainstream media publications, including MarketWatch, which led with a headline focusing on the financial costs of Bitcoin mining.

Silbert, who like many social media commentators appeared irked by the report, retaliated, saying that the usefulness of minting new cryptocurrency outweighed that of new gold fifty times over.

The Scourge Of ‘Research’ on Bitcoin Mining

While his argument received critiques of its own, the episode underlines to continuing battle the cryptocurrency industry faces regarding both research and media coverage of its growth.

At the end of last month, a separate report into Bitcoin’s purported impact on climate change also received widespread coverage.

Investigating, Bitcoin Core developer Nic Carter soon unearthed what he described as “naive assumptions” about Bitcoin’s energy usage which he then extrapolated to demonstrate the ‘Bitcoin network’ the report analyzed does not exist.

Mining Farms Opening Around the World

Among the characteristics of Bitcoin which researchers claimed would contribute to 2-degree rises in global warming are 3.2 gigabyte block sizes, fixed (not decreasing) issuance and the complete absence of all level-two technology such as the Lightning Network.

“That major mainstream media organizations are reporting on this is a scathing indictment of the MSM. It’s simply fake news; to publish is either incompetence or fraud,” he commented.

What do you think about the latest research into Bitcoin mining costs? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Venezuela Traded More Bitcoin Than Ever Before In October

venezuela btc price trading volume localbitcoins

Venezuela set a new Bitcoin trading record last week as the country embraces cryptocurrency more than ever.


Venezuela Trades 1075 BTC in 7 Days

According to data from monitoring resource Coin Dance, despite continued volatility in the country’s dubious redenominated currency the Sovereign Bolivar, trade volumes for the seven days ending November 3 still beat all previous highs.

In total, 1075 BTC ($7 million) changed hands on P2P trading platform Localbitcoins alone, 10 BTC more than the record set two weeks prior.

In bolivar terms, the number easily swept all previous totals off the chart, coming in at 1.6 billion VES. Two weeks ago, the figure stood at 1.1 billion.

Bitcoin, Petro and Dash

The causes behind the latest spike appear to be multiple. As Bitcoinist reported, a combination of inflation, capital controls, foreign currency shortages and more continue to blight Venezuelans’ ability to maintain control over their financial sovereignty with fiat.

Petro

At the same time, the government is fixed on forcing citizens to interact with its newly-revitalized national cryptocurrency Petro, despite the latter’s highly-suspect stability.

Instigating mandatory Petro payments has also appeared to have formed a method for forcing up prices, passport application fees exploding in VES terms when Caracas began only accepting Petro last month.

This week, international pressure also stepped up, with the US announcing sanctions on Venezuela’s gold exports.

On Sunday meanwhile, privacy-focused altcoin project Dash 00 launched its local merchant acceptance scheme Dash Text. Targeted at payments, the plan aims to allow merchants to accept DASH payments with a basic mobile device, bypassing the need for a smartphone an internet connection.

Executives had previously claimed Venezuela now constitutes Dash’s second-biggest market, while separate controversy focuses on allegations Petro plagiarized vast swathes of the asset’s whitepaper.

Dash itself has also failed to escape criticism, one commentator branding the company’s claims of market penetration as “snake oil” last month.

Sporadic reports of merchant acceptance also continue to surface, one Reddit user relaying that department store Traki was now accepting five cryptocurrencies.

What do you think about Venezuela’s cryptocurrency trading? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, coin.dance

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Venezuela Traded More Bitcoin Than Ever Before In October

venezuela btc price trading volume localbitcoins

Venezuela set a new Bitcoin trading record last week as the country embraces cryptocurrency more than ever.


Venezuela Trades 1075 BTC in 7 Days

According to data from monitoring resource Coin Dance, despite continued volatility in the country’s dubious redenominated currency the Sovereign Bolivar, trade volumes for the seven days ending November 3 still beat all previous highs.

In total, 1075 BTC ($7 million) changed hands on P2P trading platform Localbitcoins alone, 10 BTC more than the record set two weeks prior.

In bolivar terms, the number easily swept all previous totals off the chart, coming in at 1.6 billion VES. Two weeks ago, the figure stood at 1.1 billion.

Bitcoin, Petro and Dash

The causes behind the latest spike appear to be multiple. As Bitcoinist reported, a combination of inflation, capital controls, foreign currency shortages and more continue to blight Venezuelans’ ability to maintain control over their financial sovereignty with fiat.

Petro

At the same time, the government is fixed on forcing citizens to interact with its newly-revitalized national cryptocurrency Petro, despite the latter’s highly-suspect stability.

Instigating mandatory Petro payments has also appeared to have formed a method for forcing up prices, passport application fees exploding in VES terms when Caracas began only accepting Petro last month.

This week, international pressure also stepped up, with the US announcing sanctions on Venezuela’s gold exports.

On Sunday meanwhile, privacy-focused altcoin project Dash 00 launched its local merchant acceptance scheme Dash Text. Targeted at payments, the plan aims to allow merchants to accept DASH payments with a basic mobile device, bypassing the need for a smartphone an internet connection.

Executives had previously claimed Venezuela now constitutes Dash’s second-biggest market, while separate controversy focuses on allegations Petro plagiarized vast swathes of the asset’s whitepaper.

Dash itself has also failed to escape criticism, one commentator branding the company’s claims of market penetration as “snake oil” last month.

Sporadic reports of merchant acceptance also continue to surface, one Reddit user relaying that department store Traki was now accepting five cryptocurrencies.

What do you think about Venezuela’s cryptocurrency trading? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, coin.dance

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BitFury $80M Funding Round Attracts Galaxy Digital’s Novogratz

Achain Enters Phase 2 of its Development: ‘Galaxy’

Bitcoin mining infrastructure company BitFury Group has closed a private funding round worth $80 million from both global and cryptocurrency-focused investors.

Cash To Fund ‘Hardware And Software’ Objectives

In a press release November 6, BitFury, which is also rumored to be planning an IPO, revealed Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital to be among the participants in the round, which was led by European venture capital firm Korelya Capital.

“This private placement will take our corporate governance to the next level, broaden our financial strategic options, and ideally position us for our next phase of growth as the market matures,” executive vice president George Kikvadze commented on the plans for the fresh funding.

The cash injection appears destined to be spread across BitFury’s empire, the head of the company’s Russian arm confirming it would seek expansion into next year. 

Dmitry Ufaev added:

It is a great day for Bitfury and for the future of blockchain and bitcoin technology […] This private placement will help us pursue many new objectives in Russia and Europe in 2019 in both hardware and software.

Novogratz

IPO Preparations?

BitFury is yet to confirm its plans to conduct a public flotation, placing it in a similar position to industry stalwart Bitmain, already the source of IPO rumors for several months.

If BitFury’s rumored plans go ahead, it will seek a valuation of up to $5 billion, Bloomberg reports.

Novogratz meanwhile, continuing to pledge his trust in a resurgence of Bitcoin prices during the first half of next year, is conspicuous in his input.

“We are excited to partner with Bitfury,” he commented, adding that the company’s various attributes were “essential to advancing the underlying bitcoin ecosystem.”

According to the Galaxy Digital CEO, institutional investors experiencing ‘FOMO’ (‘fear of missing out’) will push Bitcoin prices to new highs next year, with a return to $10,000 coming as soon as Q1.

What do you think about BitFury’s funding? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock.

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BTCC to Shut Down Mining Pool Following ‘Business Adjustments’

The turbulent journey of the Bitcoin mining sector continues this week as BTCCPool announces it will close “indefinitely” November 30.


BTCC Pulls Out Of Mining

The pool, which constitutes the mining arm of Hong Kong-based exchange BTCC (formerly BTCChina), began operating in 2014, yet rarely competed with giants such as Bitmain’s Antpool.

A statement confirmed the closure November 6, with officials remaining coy over the exact impetus behind the decision.

A rough translation reads:

Today, we regret to announce that due to business adjustments, the BTCC pool will shut down all mining servers on November 15 and will cease operations indefinitely from November 30. 

The “adjustments” involved are not mentioned but come at a time when Bitcoin mining is a headache in terms of profitability due to long-term price suppression.

At the same time, the closure appears not to be an entirely permanent move, with BTCC hinting a return to the market could occur in future.

The statement concluded:

We firmly believe that the cryptoassets and the Blockchain industry represented by Bitcoin will continue to develop and improve.

[…] We will see you again!

mining farm

Money Stays in Mining

In June, BTCC had stuck provisional plans to sell a 49 percent stake of BTCCPool to Value Convergence Holdings in a deal which would have raised around $18 million. No news has surfaced since the plans went public, and the status of the handover remains unknown.

Bitcoin mining’s household names meanwhile continue to see mixed fortunes.

While Bitmain grapples with mixed publicity over its financial health, BitFury today released details of a giant $80 million funding round from a basket of Asian and European investors.

Executive Vice President George Kikvadze said:

This private placement will take our corporate governance to the next level, broaden our financial strategic options, and ideally position us for our next phase of growth as the market matures […]

Like Bitmain, the company is rumored to be planning an IPO.

What do you think about BTCCPool closing? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock,

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Scam Me Once: Twitter Promotes Fake Elon Musk’s ‘Bitcoic’ Giveaway

Twitter

Twitter has come under fire from cryptocurrency commentators once again after the social network began actively promoting an ongoing scam involving a Bitcoin giveaway.


‘Elon Musk’ Offers Millions of Dollars in ‘Bitcoic’

The scam, which has involved various accounts in recent weeks, currently revolves around a fake Elon Musk account using the hijacked Twitter handle of publishing house Pantheon Books.

In line with a huge number of similar scams which have appeared on Twitter this year, the fraudulent account invites users to participate in a giveaway in order to win a huge sum of Bitcoin — in this case, 10,000 BTC ($64.1 million).

This week, however, the scam appeared to go one step beyond the norm, achieving ‘promoted’ status on Twitter.

“I’m giving away 10 000 Bitcoic (BTC) to all community! I left the post of director of Tesla, thank you all for your suppoot!” the tweet reads. “I decided to make the biggest crypto-giveaway in the world, for all my readers who use Bitcoin.”

Thanks, Elon!

The apparent error quickly came to the attention of pundits, who slammed Twitter for allowing an advertiser to pay for added visibility for the fake giveaway and for failing to spot its obviously fraudulent nature.

“Someone is using the hacked account of a major publishing imprint to pretend to be Elon Musk in order to perpetrate a bitcoin scam and Twitter allowed them to promote it,” Washington Post editor Jacob Brogan wrote, reproducing a tweet from the account.

Other users reported seeing the promoted tweet multiple times.

The same scam had used other accounts earlier last month, yet Twitter had appeared to shut them down — raising questions over the consistency of its monitoring policy.

The blunder is particularly poignant for the platform, executives having previously riled the cryptocurrency industry by banning advertising associated with ICOs outright, regardless of a token issuer’s status.

Unlike Facebook and Google, both of whom have relaxed their own bans, Twitter’s remains in force. 

What do you think about Twitter promoting a Bitcoin scam? Let us know in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Twitter.

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Swiss Regulator: Crypto Assets Need 800% Risk Weighting In Absence Of Formal Rules

switzerland swiss bitcoin weight

Swiss financial regulator has informally signaled cryptocurrency investments should have a risk weighting ratio of 800 percent of the original amount.


FINMA Highlights Bank, Dealer Queries

According to local news media outlet Swissinfo, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) revealed the figure in October in response to a query by trustee and accountant association EXPERTsuisse.

In the letter, dated October 15, FINMA suggested it had come under pressure to provide clarity on the issue from banks and associated players, but the requisite regulatory guidelines were yet to appear.

Swiss Based

“FINMA has recently received an increasing number of inquiries from banks and securities dealers holding positions in cryptoassets and are subject to capital adequacy requirements, risk distribution regulations and regulations for the calculation of short-term liquidity ratios,” Swissinfo quotes it as stating.

Switzerland has several years’ experience of formal integration of cryptoasset-based products in its banking sector, has taken a proactive role in creating a supportive legislative environment for the new instruments.

At the same time, Swissinfo notes, FINMA can only give ballpark figures until all-encompassing formal statutes are set in stone by the international adjudicator Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

A decision may come as soon as the Committee’s next meeting at the end of November.

‘No Impact’

In the meantime, cryptoassets should be “assigned a flat risk weight of 800% to cover market and credit risks, regardless of whether the positions are held in the banking or trading book,” the letter continues.

According to sources commenting on the situation, the 800 percent figure is high, but not prohibitive.

SEBA, a startup which in September raised $103 million to build a cryptocurrency bank in the country, said the recommendation “had a limited impact on its business model.”

“It’s encouraging to see banks no longer turning down the increasing number of client requests for crypto services but asking for guidance and providing their input along the way,” lobby group the Bitcoin Association Switzerland added to Swissinfo.

What do you think about FINMA’s recommendation? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Bitly Blocks 200 Links From Andreas Antonopoulos’ ‘Mastering Ethereum’

broken link bitly andreas antonopoulos blockchain chain

Bitly (bit.ly) has come under fire from cryptocurrency circles after the business appeared to block all the links from Andreas Antonopoulos’ new book.


Bitly Silent On Surprise Block

Antonopoulos, who is weeks away from publishing his latest guide, ‘Mastering Ethereum,’ publicly took issue with the URL shortening service and link management platform on social media after a tip-off about it preventing around 200 of the book’s links from opening.

“I’m about to publish my 4th book and it has about 200 http://bit.ly links in it,” he wrote on Twitter November 3.

“If you are going to block links, I will need to remove all 200 and replace them with a competitor[.]”

Bitly has existed since 2008 and currently sees monthly traffic of around 600 million link shortenings.

As of press time, officials had not responded to Antonopoulos’ tweet, and the cause and future status of the block remains unknown.

‘Not Your Shortener, Not Your Link’?

In the absence of an explanation from Bitly, Twitter users were swift to call for a “decentralized” alternative to private link shorteners, identifying them as a bottleneck.

“Don’t rely on bitly or ANY shortener service. They are all a single point of failure,” one response read.

Not your keys, not your bitcoin? Not your shortner (sic), not your link.

The tone echoes recent calls among some cryptocurrency figures to abandon the traditional stalwarts of the online ecosystem, Bitcoinist previously reporting on an increasing distaste for Twitter itself in favor of decentralized open source alternative Mastodon.

Antonopoulos Bitcoinist

The Bitly episode is the latest headache for Antonopoulos on the road to publishing Mastering Ethereum, the celebrated educator previously defending his choice of subject material in the face of fans who appeared confused about a refocusing away from Bitcoin 00 to altcoins.

Mastering Ethereum is due for publication within the next four weeks, Antonopoulos further confirmed.

What do you think about Bitly blocking links from ‘Mastering Ethereum’? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Charlie Shrem To ‘Vigorously Defend Himself’ After $32M Winklevoss Lawsuit

Charlie Shrem

Charlie Shrem, the early Bitcoin adopter and advocate who spent a year in prison for alleged facilitation of drugs purchases with Bitcoin, faces a $32 million lawsuit from Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.


Winklevoss Twins: Shrem ‘Stole 5000 BTC’

As the New York Times first reported November 2, Shrem, who previously worked with the billionaire twins on his ill-fated Bitcoin exchange project BitInstant, faces claims he “stole” 5000 BTC (now worth $31.7 million).

Winklevoss

According to a lawsuit filing seen by the publication, the dispute goes back to 2012, when the Winklevosses gave Shrem $250,000 in order to help them amass cryptocurrency.

Shrem, they allege, only sent them $189,000 in Bitcoin, leaving the remainder – $61,000 or 5000 BTC at the time – unpaid.

“I have been patient, and at this point it’s getting a bit absurd,” the Times quotes an email from Cameron Winklevoss to Shrem in 2013 included in the lawsuit. “I don’t take this lightly.”

The same year, BitInstant ceased operating, with Shrem facing separate legal problems dating to before the Winklevosses entered which would eventually see him sent to jail.

Claims ‘Erroneous’ Says Lawyer

Since then, private detective work has reportedly revealed Shrem’s debt, along with a missing $950,000 in restitution owed to the state as part of his plea deal.

The judge in charge of the fresh lawsuit is the same one previously dealing with Shrem, in September signaling he would freeze assets as part of the proceedings.

While Shrem has remained silent on the situation, his lawyer has already struck a defiant tone, calling the lawsuit “erroneous.”

“Nothing could be further from the truth. Charlie plans to vigorously defend himself and quickly clear his name,” he commented.

In late 2017, the Times estimated the Winklevosses’ Bitcoin holdings to be over $1.3 billion, based on the then all-time high prices around $20,000.

What do you think about the Winklevoss twins’ lawsuit against Charlie Shrem? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Germany Gets First Bitcoin ATM In Years (But How Long Will it Stay?)

Bitcoin Germany

Germany has received its first ever legally-sanctioned Bitcoin ATM (BTM) following a landmark legal ruling — but its longevity is already in doubt.


Munich Machine Hangs On Court Ruling

As t3n.de first reported October 30, the owner of a casino in Munich opted to import a BTM from Austria after a German court ruled cryptocurrency dealing was not subject to mandatory licensing.

Previously, those wishing to conduct business involving BTMs, as an example, had to get permission from financial regulator BaFin; ignoring this constituted an offense.

The situation changed last month when the Berlin Kammergericht overturned the authority of BaFin to decide such matters, deciding Bitcoin and cryptocurrency was not “money.”

That judgment led the Monte24 Casino and Video Store to set up its BTM, bringing it across the border from Austria, where cryptocurrency regulations have been more supportive for several years.

Bitcoinist_Bitcoin Adoption Germany

BaFin: We ‘Respectfully Acknowledge’ Court Decision

Due to the uncertain nature of the Kammergericht’s decision regarding the long-term ability of entities to operate BTMs and other cryptocurrency exchange services, however, its future is already hard to estimate, says t3n.

“Whether the ATM will be found in Munich for a longer period remains unclear and depends on how long the judgment can remain in force,” the publication reports.

Germany’s slow progress in acknowledging consumer interest in cryptocurrency has often led to frustration, especially viewed in contrast to well-known progressive neighbors Austria and Switzerland.

Attempts to operate BTMs in the country have previously ground to a halt over red tape, with installations several years ago all disappearing.

In an interview last week, BaFin said that while it “respectfully acknowledged” the court ruling, the issue as to whether cryptocurrency constituted a unit of account as per the law was a different matter.

President Felix Hufeld further called for an international push to regulate phenomena such as ICOs.

What do you think about Germany’s Bitcoin ATM? Let us know in the comments section below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Cryptocurrency ‘Code Of Conduct’ Comes From Circle, Coinbase and Others

Circle, Coinbase and ConsenSys are among the group of “founding members” choosing to leverage crypto nonprofit Global Digital Finance to create new ethics standards.


Businesses Will ‘Demonstrate Professional Standards’

In an October 1st press release, the recently-formed Global Digital Finance (GDF) announced it was releasing its Code of Conduct (also known as the GDF Code) and Taxonomy for Cryptographic Assets after a two-month ratification period from its community over a “series of mini summits.”

The Code, the release explains, is the departure point for what should become a “shared rulebook” government reputable businesses in the cryptocurrency arena.

These will then “demonstrate to their customers, markets and regulators, that they abide by ethical and professional standards in their conduct with clients, money handling, risk management, and market practice,” GDF claims.

“Customers want to know the firms they are doing business with are ethical and not breaking (international) laws,” co-founder Simon Taylor commented.

“This extends from cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, wallet providers and exchanges, to firms offering investment products in tokens, securities, and funds.”

The Push For Recognition

The diverse regulatory landscape worldwide and dubious reputation of many even better-known cryptocurrency entities have traditionally made for troublesome coordination.

Self-regulatory efforts continue to take off, however, such as in Japan where authorities granted permission for an autonomous body governing the exchange sector to legally police it last month.

Going forward, an industry group working with regulators to shape the future landscape is essential for the GDF, a lawyer associated with the project says.

“It has been incredibly positive to see the industry come together with regulators and policy makers to achieve something significant in a relatively short space of time,” Hogan Lovells Blockchain Practice head John Salmon continued.

Other community initiatives focus on open standards for security and knowledge certification such as the CryptoCurrency Security Standard (CCSS), which has drawn expertise and input from figures such as Andreas Antonopoulos.

What do you think about the GDF code of conduct? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter (@GlobalDigitalFi).

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Bithumb Launching US Securities Exchange with SeriesOne Partnership

Bithumb

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb has joined the league of exchanges diversifying their international offerings by setting up a US securities trading platform. 


Preempting ‘Global’ Blockchain Asset Tokenization

Through a partnership with blockchain fundraising platform SeriesOne, Bithumb seeks to speed up its growth into a “global financial firm” by cornering the securities token market, local South Korean media outlet Yonhap News Agency reported Nov 1.

The announcement comes days after US exchanges Bittrex and Coinbase announced they were preparing to launch international versions of their exchanges catering to non-US residents in a bid to bypass the country’s complex regulations.

“SeriesOne actively sought to strike a deal with Bithumb after assessing it as the most suitable partner,” Yonhap quotes an unnamed Bithumb official as saying.

Bithumb will ramp up efforts to develop into a global financial firm as the blockchain-based asset tokenization is expected to spread globally down the road.

Bithumb

Platform To Launch By Q3 2019

The partnership will leverage SeriesOne’s license to operate as an environment for trading cryptocurrency tokens deemed to be securities by US regulators. The joint platform, Yonhap says quoting anonymous “sources,” should debut “during the first half of next year.”

In a tit-for-tat move, SeriesOne has already expanded into the South Korean market, where it also plans to trade securities.

The country continues to modify its stance on the cryptocurrency industry, authorities nonetheless opting not to end the country’s fourteen-month-old ban on ICOs.

“Although many people call for the government to allow initial coin offerings, there are still uncertainties related to such a move as well as the possibility of serious fallouts,” Financial Services Commission (FSC) Chairman Choi Jong-ku said during a parliamentary meeting earlier in October.

At the same time, Bithumb saw a change of ownership place it in the hands of Singapore investor BK Consortium, which purchased the exchange for $353 million.

What do you think about Bithumb’s US exchange? Let us know in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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GK Group’s KAMBO Platform Launches To Put ‘Idle’ Cryptocurrency To Work

KAMBO

UK-based fintech and financial services conglomerate Global Kapital Group (GK Group) has formally released its dedicated cryptocurrency loans platform KAMBO.io as the sector quickly diversifies.


Bitcoin And Ethereum As Loan Collateral

In a press release dated October 30, GK-Group, which has operated various brokerage, consumer and business finance services since 2010, said it planned to level the playing field for private investors looking to use their cryptocurrency holdings as collateral.

Instant loans are available in the modest range between $1000 and $10,000, while larger sums are reviewed and approved within 48 hours. Collateral can come in the form of either Bitcoin or Ethereum (though more cryptocurrencies are planned to be added soon).

“We believe cryptocurrencies and novel fintech concepts will liberate the financial ecosystem, and more tools a system has healthier it becomes,” co-founder Can Gulec explained.  

“Our goal is to build those tools, starting with giving people basic freedoms to use their cryptocurrencies as they please.”

The platform makes money by charging 14 percent APR on all loans, a model similar to other actors set to launch in the fledgling cryptocurrency loans market.

No ICOs

Amid the ongoing bear market across crypto-assets, KAMBO and others see a desire among consumers to put their cryptocurrency to work while waiting for markets to pick up.

Unlike competitors such as Salt Lending and Nexo, GK Group has taken steps to avoid raising funds via an ICO.

Pointing to statistics showing the extent of losses taken by investors in token sales since 2017 prior to the launch, KAMBO suggested conducting an ICO of its own could prove counterproductive, adding it did not need to raise funds to build and operate a lending platform.

“…People have seen through the smokescreen and realize, like many governments and regulators, that ICOs are mostly big and empty promises,” executives wrote in a blog post.

“Our mandate is to rather underpromise, and then over deliver.”

What do you think about KAMBO.io? Let us know in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Why Did Bitmain’s Antpool ‘Stop Mining’ SegWit Blocks?

Bitmain mining empty blocks

Antpool, the Bitcoin mining pool owned by hardware manufacturer Bitmain, has stopped mining Segregated Witness (‘SegWit’) blocks.


A Question Of ‘Charity’?

In a move which has sparked suspicion among cryptocurrency figures, data from the past seven days of block mining shows Bitmain mining blocks of under 1 megabyte – smaller than SegWit blocks mined by other pools.

“AntPool no longer includes SegWit txs in Bitcoin (BTC) blocks,” one Twitter account confirmed October 30.

If there are enough non-SW transactions to fill up Core’s 1MB base blocks and they pay higher fees than the SW transactions, why should (it) be charitable?

The curious statistics contrast with Bitmain’s desire to increase the Bitcoin block size limit as an alternative to the off-chain scaling options favored by SegWit proponents.

The apparent conflict was not lost on the industry, the research team of Hong Kong-based trading platform BitMEX also highlighting the sub-megabyte blocks on Twitter.

“Despite Bitmain’s strong support for larger blocks, Antpool has recently been producing smaller blocks (below 1MB), while other pools produce larger blocks,” staff commented.

Worst Of Both Worlds

Reactions to BitMEX included claims Bitmain, through excluding SegWit, could continue to use the highly-controversial Covert ASICBoost mining technique it had previously claimed was “not practical.”

Last month, the company began rolling out Overt ASICBoost for its Antminer hardware family, a move which similarly drew suspicion from commentators.

Bitmain 135 Watt Data Center

In a further nuance meanwhile, Blockstream’s Warren Togami noted that despite non-SegWit blocks ostensibly having a higher fee attached, the blocks Antpool had chosen to mine in fact contained less in fees than the SegWit blocks it was avoiding.

Bitmain continues to hold a monopoly on Bitcoin mining through control of Antpool and BTC.com, the latter regularly mining the most blocks on a given day.

The proportion of transactions using SegWit had continued to climb in recent months, reaching an all-time high of 48 percent in early October before dropping.

What do you think about Antpool’s mining behavior? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Bitcoin At 10 Years Old: Industry Celebrates A Decade Of Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin is ten years old, and for one day only, the cryptocurrency industry is coming together to celebrate the “life-changing” event that gave the largest cryptocurrency to the world in 2010.


Ten Years Of Financial Freedom

The original Bitcoin whitepaper that started the cryptocurrency revolution turns ten today.

Bitcoin Whitepaper

It is rare to observe a lack of infighting in cryptocurrency – especially on social media – but Bitcoin’s tenth anniversary appears to have received unanimous positive reactions.

From analysts to traders to educators, businesses and exchanges, everyone involved in Bitcoin was (understandably) grateful for the largest cryptocurrency’s enduring fortunes against all odds.

“10 years ago a bunch of nerds came together and memed a global currency into existence,” Coin Center Neeraj K. Agrawal summarized in a popular tweet shared by names including Andreas Antonopoulos.

Bitcoin Doesn’t Care

Bitcoin’s humble, more ‘niche’ beginnings are often forgotten in the days of mass trading and prices which continue to hover in the thousands of dollars not tens of cents.

Bitcoin still has a majority cult following, but it is nothing like the cult of its first months and years.

“Back then, the technology was simply a concept, a potential vehicle for technological innovation and inspiration. Ten years later, we have a robust global community forging the path ahead, carrying the technology forward,” List co-founder Max Kordek continued in emailed comments.

(The) Blockchain industry has propelled Satoshi’s initial vision to new heights.

In 2018, Bitcoin is receiving attention from the world’s governments and financial elites. Some wish to interact with and acknowledge its status as an entity beyond centralized control; others seek to restrict or criminalize its use.

Regardless of differing treatment by nation states, however, the industry remains more confident than ever that the coming decade will see Bitcoin attain the prestige of traditional assets.

“Bitcoin has shown resilience over the past decade, and has managed to ride the wave of volatility,” Iqbal V. Gandham, UK managing director of fiat-crypto crossover trading platform eToro forecast.

“Looking ahead to its second decade, the price should fall in line with other assets, as its utility increases and it becomes the norm for transfers and payments.”

What do you think about Bitcoin’s first ten years? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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Bittrex Segregates US Traders With Launch Of International Exchange

Bittrex

US-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex confirmed it was relaunching its Bittrex Malta platform as a new exchange for non-US traders.


US Traders To Stay On Bittrex.com

In a press release and blog post, executives confirmed its new Bittrex International would host all its non-US users when it launched following a “brief evaluation process.”

US residents will use a segregated Bittrex.com platform, which will not feature some new tokens available to International account holders.

“All customers will continue to have access to all of the same tokens, trading pairs and wallets on Bittrex.com (even if you are redirected to (Bittrex International)), and non-U.S. customers who are eligible to access the international platform will be able to trade new tokens only available on Bittrex International,” the blog post confirms.

U.S.-based customers will continue to use the Bittrex.com site and will not have access to the new tokens available on Bittrex International.

The move leverages Bittrex’s new base in Malta, allowing its new offerings to circumvent the complex laws governing cryptocurrency token trading in various US states.

The Maltese Trend Continues

Bittrex International will be an EU regulated exchange and follows in the footsteps of similar moves by Binance, Huobi and, most recently, ZebPay.

As well as new tokens, the listing process for the new platform will be “streamlined,” CEO Bill Shihara says, and — like Bittrex.com — will be free of fees for token teams. “We are committed to being a driving force in the blockchain revolution by increasing adoption of this innovative technology around the world,” he commented in the press release.

Malta has signed various deals with cryptocurrency exchanges this year as part of its plan to embrace disruptive technology.

Senior politicians have publicly praised both the crypto and blockchain sectors, with president Joseph Muscat telling the United Nations this month that the former represents the “inevitable future of money.”

What do you think about Bittrex International? Let us know in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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3.2 GB Block Sizes: Developers Bash Bitcoin Climate Change Study as ‘Fake News’

3.2 GB Block Sizes: Developers Bash Bitcoin Climate Change 'Fake News'

Bitcoin Core developer Peter Todd joined the backlash against a “fake news” report about Bitcoin’s impact on global warming October 29. This occurred after multiple appearances in mainstream media publications.


Nature‘s ‘Naive Assumptions’

Originally published by Nature, the brief report claims that Bitcoin (BTC) 00 mining could help increase temperatures by over 2 degrees Celsius within just “11 years” depending on Bitcoin’s rate of adoption.

“Bitcoin is a power-hungry cryptocurrency that is increasingly used as an investment and payment system,” an excerpt of the paper reads.

Here we show that projected Bitcoin usage, should it follow the rate of adoption of other broadly adopted technologies, could alone produce enough CO2 emissions to push warming above 2 °C within less than three decades.

While claims Bitcoin is environmentally unfriendly often surface in the media, the Nature piece sparked controversy with some of Bitcoin’s best-known figures.

Not only was its data based on “naive assumptions,” but many of the mainstream outlets reporting on it failed to link to the paper itself, CoinMetrics.io co-founder Nic Carter noted.

A Small Matter of 3.2 GB Bitcoin Blocks

Todd went on to, call out those who repeated the report’s findings without fact-checking as “either incompetent or a fraud.”

“That major mainstream media organizations are reporting on this is a scathing indictment of the MSM. It’s simply fake news; to publish is either incompetence or fraud,” he added.

According to Carter, the report’s figures are so far from the truth that the Bitcoin network would look nothing like it does if it produced the emissions Nature claims.

Carter said the characteristics the network would need to exhibit are 3.2 gigabyte block sizes, fixed issuance of newly-mined bitcoins and scaling to process 310 gigabytes of transactions on chain.

Carter added he had himself attempted to estimate Bitcoin’s future energy consumption, but his figures were “not at a level of quality” for him to share any findings at present.

What do you think about the Nature.com report picked up by the MSM? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twittwer (@nic__carter)

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eToro Partnership Sees Binance Coin Exchangeable For Fiat For First Time

Binance Coin (BNB)

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance today saw its in-house token Binance Coin (BNB) become available to buy and sell with fiat currency for the first time.


BNB Leaves The Crypto Realm

In a partnership with UK-based trading platform eToro, the exchange will open up its token, which traders can use to pay fees, to direct exchange against the euro, British pound, US dollar or Japanese yen.

BNB is the thirteenth cryptocurrency asset to launch on eToro, which has cemented its bullish position on the asset class over the past two years.

Commenting on the decision, eToro CEO and co-founder Yoni Assia continued the upbeat sentiment. “Despite sensational headlines about the death of crypto, we continue to believe in the potential for crypto assets, as do our clients who are increasingly looking to diversify their crypto holdings,” he said in an accompanying press release. “In response, we will continue to add the leading crypto assets to our range and we are pleased to add BNB to the platform.”

Zhao: BNB ‘Can Reach Millions’

Until now, only all-cryptocurrency exchanges had offered the token, Binance similarly not supporting fiat currency beyond USD-pegged stablecoin Tether (USDT).

One of the more successful ICO tokens of 2017, BNB has managed to avoid the bear market which saw multiple other assets plummet in value by over 95 percent.

“With this addition, the Binance coin can reach millions more people, many of whom are more accustomed to the traditional financial industry,” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao continued. “As (a) utility token, we believe in creating long term utility and value.”

eToro had already made the cryptocurrency news this week meanwhile, with managing director Iqbal V. Gandham telling Bitcoinist that cryptocurrency sports signings would “soon” become a major new phenomenon.

The comments follow a raft of partnerships the platform signed with UK premier league football clubs, as part of which sponsorship money will be paid solely in Bitcoin. 

What do you think about eToro launching Binance Coin? Let us know in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

[Editor’s Note: eToro is a premium partner of Bitcoinist, as is clearly displayed on our homepage.]

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UK Fintech Industry Slams Govt’s ‘Blunt Instrument Approach’ To Cryptocurrency

The UK could compromise its fintech sector with “very blunt instrument” regulation currently under consideration, a new report from several industry entities warns.


‘Ashamedly Geared Around Bitcoin’

As local news outlet the Telegraph reports October 29, the report criticizes plans to award more power to regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and says treating all cryptoassets in the same way as Bitcoin was counterproductive.

“Bad regulation is worse than no regulation at all,” the Telegraph quotes it as reading, adding that the extant proposals are “ashamedly geared around Bitcoin.”

Politicians had lobbied for wider FCA jurisdiction in September, six months after the regulator had launched a dedicated “task force” with the remit of formalizing the domestic space.

Far from increasing security and consumer protection, however, one of the report’s authors argues a laissez-faire attitude would be considerably more beneficial for a sector which is only just beginning to mature.

“It is a very blunt instrument approach and I haven’t seen this in other countries,” Patrick Curry, chief executive of the British Business Federation Authority (BBFA) commented about the plans.

The use of this technology is still a voyage of discovery and these technologies are being refined for different types of use. My concern is the law of unintended consequences.

Overreaching?

The government had pledged to make London a home for fintech in the coming years, sounding out concerns that Brexit would make the city an unattractive place for innovative newcomers.

Blockchain Expo - Crypto La La land

At the same time, the Bank of England has said it is open to the concept of a self-issued national digital currency while also claiming that cryptocurrency poses “reputational risks.”

“Crypto-assets also raise concerns related to misconduct and market integrity,” Deputy Governor Sam Woods wrote in June.

Many appear vulnerable to fraud and manipulation, as well as money-laundering and terrorist financing risks.

What do you think about the UK’s cryptocurrency regulation plans? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Bitcoin Money Velocity Hits 2010 Lows, As BTC Price Flatlines

Bitcoin price

Bitcoin’s monetary velocity is at its lowest point in eight years, and investors should be “realistic” about the chances of the 2018 bear market ending in the medium term.


Echoes Of The Dawn Of Bitcoin Speculation

That was the message from data analyst Willy Woo October 29, who uploaded new data tracking quarterly velocity for Bitcoin versus USD money supply.

At its current level, the data shows velocity matches that last seen in 2010, when the cryptocurrency ecosystem was months old.

“Silk Road had yet to appear to drive velocity up and Mt Gox was 2 months old, speculation had barely begun,” Woo noted.

Monetary velocity refers to the rate – or frequency – at which currency changes hands. Research from various sources into the circulation of the Bitcoin supply earlier this year confirmed a sharp decline in activity following 2017’s all-time price highs, with investors keen to use their holdings for investment rather than payment.

‘Bearish On Many Touch Points’

Going forward, Bitcoin’s 00 correction of its precipitous rise to $20,000 could continue beyond the short term, Woo suggests.

“One does not simply turn a bear market around without sufficient monetary velocity as its fuel,” he wrote, adding a further chart of Bitcoin outputs.

“…[T]he data is bearish on so many touch points, we gotta be realistic in the medium term.”

Commentators from both within and beyond the cryptocurrency industry had renewed their faith in an impending reversal of the current bearish trend this month, with figures such as Tom Lee and Mike Novogratz both forecasting an unexpected price jump.

For the latter, institutional money pouring into Bitcoin via regulated instruments, starting with Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt in mid-December, should begin to impact prices by Q3 2019.

For Woo too, the “longer term” picture is something to be confident about.

“Bitcoin is on the base of an adoption curve that will continue to drive one of the biggest bull runs in history,” he concluded.

What do you think about Bitcoin’s monetary velocity? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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After Coinbase, PayPal Bans Social Media Platform Gab ‘Just Because’

PayPal

Gab.ai, the social messaging platform born in 2016 as an answer to the “Big Social Monopoly” of extant social media giants, has lost access to its PayPal account.


PayPal: Gab Should ‘Find Alternative’

Gab, which in June saw itself unexpectedly banned from US cryptocurrency exchange and wallet provider Coinbase, did not receive an explanation from PayPal, the company’s decision being effective immediately.

“(Gab) is now banned from Paypal ‘just because,’” officials wrote on the platform’s Twitter account.

According to a reproduction of the email Gab received from PayPal, the company had opted to pursue its decision as part of its “right to terminate your account for any reason and at any time upon notice to you.”

More curiously, the notice does not even suggest Gab had flouted its User Agreement, and adds that its seller status or volume of sales did not factor in its decision.

“We encourage you to use this time to find an alternative online payment processor,” it adds.

The Perils Of Trust

The episode comes just four months after Coinbase was similarly opaque about its reasoning for suspending Gab’s access, leading CEO Andrew Torba to label centralized exchanges as “cancer” and “contradictory to everything crypto stands for.”

Despite the inconvenience of the debacle, it is unlikely Gab will struggle to find a more willing payment processor or settlement portal.

PayPal has earnt itself a dubious reputation among cryptocurrency users for its policies, in March this year becoming the subject of intense scorn over a mass email warning its account holders not to trade cryptocurrency.

While the email subsequently appeared to be fake, the centralized nature of the business and its ability to freeze funds at will have put it head-to-head with cryptocurrency advocates.

Coinbase too, along with multiple mainstream exchanges, continually face criticism over its policy implementations, social media regularly seeing horror stories over blocked accounts, missing funds and other irregularities.

What do you think about PayPal blocking Gab? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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New Research: Large-Raise ICOs ‘Never’ Deliver Returns

ICO

If an ICO raised “large” amounts during its token sale, it means the returns to investors are “never high,” according to new research published October 25.


Big Investment, Small Dividends

The results of a survey by cryptoasset investment fund Primitive confirm that investors choosing to send money to ICOs should, in fact, look for those which plan to raise smaller – not larger – amounts.

“We surveyed major ICOs and found – large raises never mean high returns,” Primitive co-founder Dovey Wan commented on Twitter uploading the data.

[A] War chest may buy superficial ‘traction,’ like how 40% of VC money for traditional startups all goes to Google/Facebook on ads. Being able to run lean is key to succeeding as a founder, in any sectors.

What’s In A Market Cap?

While Wan did not initially reveal which ICOs had constituted the data, the results continue recent negative publicity for the sector, which has seen losses this year often making headlines.

As Bitcoinist reported in September quoting data from monitoring resource Diar, some of the biggest ICOs of 2017 have since lost the most money relative to their starting capital.

A list of the industry’s “top ten losers” placed Sirin Labs at number one, the project’s market cap dropping from $158 million after the ICO to just $17 million now – a loss of 89 percent.

Death Cross

Paragon, Bancor, and Kin also fared disastrously, shedding 96, 52 and 53 percent of their market cap respectively.

However, while the total figure for ICOs being “underwater” this year has passed 70 percent, market sentiment has since turned away from pure capital, Diar notes, due to the very nature of many of the projects behind fundraising moves.

“And with tokens having no equity representation, markets have shrugged off cash-on-hand as part of an enterprise valuation,” it summarized.

What do you think about the latest ICO returns data? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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