Dow Winces as Trump Berates Republican Critics as ‘Human Scum’

The Dow Jones dipped on Wednesday, unable to garner any meaningful momentum even as Boeing shrugged off some wobbly earnings and Apple basked in more positive forecasts. A lack of China trade war developments appears to have removed the volatility from the marketplace, but the Dow began slipping late in the session as growing fears […]

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Bitcoin Price En Route to Descending Triangle Target of $5,000

This morning, Bitcoin price began to fall from a high timeframe bear flag that was formed following a breakdown of a multi-month triangle chart pattern – a pattern that signaled the end of the 2019 bull rally and possibly a major market trend reversal.

With the rally now over, and given that the chart patterns are now confirmed, according to a prominent crypto analyst, the measured target of the massive structure would put Bitcoin price at around $5,000 before a reversal back into a bull market is possible.

After a 45% Drop, Bitcoin Price Has a Lot More Room to Fall

Bitcoin price is currently trading below $7,500, an over 45% drop from the high of the 2019 parabolic rally, that took the price of the leading crypto asset to $14,000 before being rejected.

Related Reading | Bitcoin Price Breaks Below $8,000, Is $7,000 or $9,000 Next? 

After that rejection, Bitcoin began to consolidate in what eventually formed into a descending triangle – a predominantly bearish structure, that sometimes breaks to the upside. The uncertainty of the formation kept traders buying at each low, and selling each decreasingly lower top until it broke down last month and the crypto asset almost instantly fell $2,000.

The powerful drop confirmed the chart pattern as valid and took the price of the first-ever cryptocurrency to $7,700 where it bounced and consolidated for a few weeks in what appeared to be a textbook bear flag. But the bear flag was formed along the way to what a prominent crypto analyst says is the eventual target of $5,000, according to a measurement taken from the height of the triangle to its base.

The analyst says that the target aligns with prior support, which had never previously been retested as such, after Bitcoin price broke through resistance in April 2019, kickstarting the parabolic run.

However, before it gets there, Bitcoin price needs to smash below an intersection of horizontal and diagonal support on the weekly timeframe. The diagonal runs from a retest of Bitcoin’s bear market bottom, where it bounced off the 200-week moving average. The horizontal support resides at $7,300 – exactly where the leading crypto asset by market cap first found support after this morning’s free fall.

Below this support, lies former bear market support at $6,000, and below that, is the ultimate descending triangle target at $5,000. If for some reason $5,000 does breakdown further, Bitcoin would be at risk of potentially setting a new bear market low – suggesting that a bottom wasn’t actually in, and it could cause widespread fear and panic across the cryptocurrency market.

Related Reading | Crypto Analyst Calls As Low As $300 Bitcoin, Cites Lack of Demand

A strong bounce at $5,000 or any of the aforementioned support levels would result in a successful retest and confirmation of resistance turned support, and could give bulls enough confidence to be able to push Bitcoin back into a bull market, and out of the claws of bearish traders.

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It’s Finally Fair to Wonder if Father Time Has Come for LeBron James

LeBron James turns 35 in December. He’s already played the fifth-most minutes in NBA history and is coming off the most significant injury of his 16-year career. Needless to say, that’s not exactly the normal resumé of a player expected to lead his team to championship contention. But James has always stood above the norm, […]

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How You Can Help Kelly Ripa’s Son Escape from ‘Extreme Poverty’

Kelly Ripa’s son, Michael, is having a hard time. After moving out of Ripa’s $27 million townhouse in Manhattan, 8 miles away to Brooklyn, he’s apparently experiencing “extreme poverty.” He can now join the 38 million other Americans living paycheck to paycheck (or worse), though most of them don’t have a mother worth more than […]

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3 Likely Reasons Why Bitcoin Price Crashed — And What’s Next for BTC?

Why did is Bitcoin dropping? Let’s take a look at a few possible causes of today’s sudden plunge and look at the charts to evaluate the next possible move.

The moment many traders have anxiously anticipated arrived this morning as Bitcoin price (BTC) plunged below $7,800 and eventually settled near $7,400. It’s possible that the bleeding isn’t over yet and investors will likely wait for the 4-hour and daily close before making any strong moves.

Many traders anticipated a decisive move occurring sooner than later simply based on the fact that Bitcoin has been bouncing around in the $7,800 to $8,300 range since Sept. 26 and the digital asset’s consistent failure to sustain above $8,200 to $8,300 suggested that momentum was waning.

Let’s explore several reasons that caused the price of Bitcoin to suddenly plunge today.

1. Technicals: support finally gives after 9th try

Since dropping from $9,500 on Sept. 24, Bitcoin has dropped below $7,800 on eight separate occasions and today’s price dump is the ninth. So from a technical point of view, Bitcoin was already biased towards bears on the short-term timeframe and this bias has also steadily increased on the longer time frames.

Today’s price dump liquidated $200 million worth of leveraged longs at BitMEX. According to twitter analyst “taiwandan” the Bitcoin liquidation at BitMEX could have begun with a 3,600 BTC sale at Bitstamp. Taiwandan said that “every bid from $7,800 to $6,200 wiped out in less than 15 minutes.”

BitMEX XBT USD Liquidations. Source: Skew.com

BitMEX XBT USD Liquidations. Source: Skew.com

Data from TradingView also shows that price dramatically fell at Bitstamp shortly before cascading significant price drops occurred at other major exchanges.

Bitstamp BTC USD 1-minute chart. Source: Tradingview

Bitstamp BTC USD 1-minute chart. Source: Tradingview

Interestingly, data from Skew also showed that open interest was coming close to a multi-month high of 110,000 BTC ($900 million) and this figure peaked one hour before the dump occurred.

Exchange BTC Futures Open Interest ($bln). Source: Skew.com

Exchange BTC Futures Open Interest ($bln). Source: Skew.com

2. Mr. Zuckerberg goes to Washington

Similar to traditional markets, the crypto sector is heavily influenced by media and it’s possible that recent news might have exacerbated the shock to Bitcoin’s price.

Today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is testifying before U.S. lawmakers about the Libra project, political ads, and the proliferation of fake news on the platform. It seems every time the U.S. Congress discusses cryptocurrency, Bitcoin’s price drops.

Adding to the fear, on Oct. 22, U.S. congresswoman Sylvia Garcia presented a draft bill proposing that all stablecoin be categorized as securities. If passed into law, all stablecoins and their issuers would fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

3. Google’s quantum breakthrough spooks Bitcoin investors?

Additional news that could be impacting Bitcoin’s price is Google’s announcement that a quantum computing breakthrough has enabled one of its machines to carry out tasks that would take a supercomputer 10,000 years to execute.

Quantum computers solving complex algorithms seem to make investors nervous that the Bitcoin network is under threat and it’s possible that some crypto investors jumped ship as the story circulated through the New York Times, Bloomberg and crypto media.

Clearly, a lot is happening during a short time span and this is weighing on Bitcoin’s price. Let’s take a brief look at the charts to see what might happen next. 

BTC price double top hinted at today’s drop

Bitcoin formed a double top at $8,312 and this was a sign that a reversal was on the cards. Previously, bulls defended $7,800 and buyers consistently stepped in to prevent the price from dipping below this point.

But today’s sell-off broke through the $7,800 and $7,500 support. The 111 Daily Moving Average (DMA) still appears en route to cross below the 128 DMA and today’s downside break pulled the price far below the 20-MA of the Bollinger Band indicator.

BTC USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

BTC USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

Prior to the break, the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) indicator was trending upward on the daily time frame whereas Bitcoin price had descended since Oct. 11.

One could also argue that the head and shoulders pattern on the daily was completed and repeated failure to break above $8,300 increased the chance that BTC price would take the southern route.

To reverse the trend, bulls need to push the price to $8,225, $8,600 and $8,800 to set a higher high. The $8,600 mark also aligns with the upper arm of the Bollinger Band indicator and above the $8,200 to $8,400 resistance zone. Then the volume profile visible range shows open-air until $9,300, which would also place price above the 111 and 128-DMA.

Telltale signs of today’s drop were a tightening range over the past 3 weeks, decreasing volume and a bearish weekly MACD and (Relative Strength Index) RSI.

Day traders will attempt to play both sides of Bitcoin’s interim chop, while swing traders are likely licking their chops and eyeballing the 50% Fibonacci retracement on the weekly time frame as it is this price point that has three things going for it:

  • Some traders have pointed to the importance of variations (100, 111, 128, 200) of the weekly moving averages; this could be a make it or break it point for Bitcoin. 

BTC USD weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

BTC USD weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

  • The 50% Fibonacci retracement level is an important point with support reaching all the way back to March 26, 2018. BTC spent a lot of time in the $6,000 to $6,500 zone so a drop to this level could serve as strong support.

BTC USD weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

BTC USD weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

  • The VPVR also shows demand at the $6,000 to $6,500 zone so it could at least provide a strong oversold bounce or two for interim traders, and if price settles in this region investors will be looking to open leveraged longs from this price.

Across multiple time frames Bitcoin appears to be in bear territory but some traders see a silver lining in the current scenario.

For example, veteran trader and crypto analyst Scott Melker hinted that the 4-hour chart appears to suggest a reversal could be in order. Melker identifies a possible bullish divergence taking place on the 4-hour and daily timeframe.

BTC USD 4-hr chart. Source: Tradingview

BTC USD 4-hr chart. Source: Tradingview

BTC USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

BTC USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

If Bitcoin price can find support at $7,300 to $7,400 after a few 4-hour candle closes, traders may be induced to re-enter long positions. The 4-hour chart also shows that the RSI and Stoch RSI are deeply oversold so an oversold bounce could be in play before the daily candle closes. 

Ultimately, similar drops in Bitcoin price occurred at $12,500, $9,400, $8,300 and now $8,000.

Often, BTC price seemingly settles on the 4-hour timeframe before plummeting even harder so traders are advised to approach with caution and wait for further confirmation that a bottom has been reached before making their move.

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.

Is There a Bitcoin Bull Case After 10% Plunge to $7,400?

On Wednesday morning, Bitcoin bears finally managed to get the upper hand over bulls.

For those who missed the memo, the leading cryptocurrency’s price fell by 8% or so within a few hours’ time, falling from above $8,100 to as low as $7,400 in a dramatic blow to bulls. In fact, this move saw hundreds of millions of dollars worth of leveraged longs on BitMEX liquidated. Ouch.

Related Reading: Indicator Prints Massive Bitcoin Buying Signal, Price May Resume Uptrend

Due to the dramatic nature of this move, coupled with the expectations that Bitcoin was starting to trend green once again, analysts are expecting for bearish continuation.

So, is there any hope for bulls? According to a number of analyses, just maybe.

Bitcoin Bear Momentum Already Paused

One notable bullish argument is that the sell-off, by many measures, wasn’t as dramatic as a capitulation event. As analyst BTCKyle pointed out, volume was actually rather low on the drop — as low as the days of non-action before. This simple sign helped Kyle come to the conclusion that bears’ $6,000 price targets are unlikely to be entertained.

That’s not all. In a thread building off the above tweet, the cryptocurrency trader noted that Bitcoin is currently seeing a bullish divergence, with the RSI trending higher as the price of BTC has dropped. This implies a further recovery.

Another bullish argument is the fact that in the previous market cycle, Bitcoin experienced similar price action to what the cryptocurrency is seeing now prior to the start of the long-term bull trend. As Nunya Bizniz pointed out, a “move below the 100-week moving average” marked “the beginning of a stunning rise.”

Still Bullish Above $7,100

Also, trader Mr. Anderson has noted that as long as Bitcoin remains above $7,100, which is where the 89-week exponential moving average lies, the asset remains in bulls territory. He said that losing this level would result in “DEEP BEAR.”

Related Reading: Too Obvious? Current Bitcoin Price Action Resembles $3,200 Bottom
Featured Image from Shutterstock

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How Centralized Payment Systems Learned to Accept Decentralized Cryptocurrency

How Centralized Payment Systems Learned to Accept Decentralized Cryptocurrency

They might not be shouting it from the rooftops, but fiat payment gateways are no longer the enemy of bitcoin. Hostilities have ceased, the bad blood has been let, and today the fiat and crypto worlds are bridged and doing business. Despite the two systems sporting opposing aims and architecture, many centralized payment processors have learned to live with decentralized currency.

Also read: How Fiat Money Fails: Deconstructing the Government’s Paper-Thin Promise

From Enemies to Frenemies

In the early days of Bitcoin, traditional fiat payment systems were an unwitting friend of cryptocurrency. Paypal was the on-ramp for the first bitcoin exchange, bitcoinmarket.com, though it was a short-lived affair. Cold feet on the part of fiat payment systems, once they caught wind of exactly what bitcoin was, saw crypto payments banned altogether, but in the years since, the tide has turned. Today, centralized and decentralized payment systems are more closely aligned than ever.

How Centralized Payment Systems Learned to Accept Decentralized Cryptocurrency

It would be stretching the truth to claim that the overlords of traditional finance are enamored with crypto, but they have at the very least turned a blind eye to the practice of cashing in and out of crypto using fiat gateways. For most bitcoiners, begrudging acceptance from centralized systems is good enough. Some payment solutions have gone further though, extending a warm embrace to crypto assets, as the following examples show.

Skrill

Founded in 2001 as Moneybookers Limited, then rebranded a decade later as Skrill, it took the online payment platform a further seven years before it started allowing users to buy and sell cryptocurrency, in the summer of 2018. CEO Lorenzo Pellegrino gushed about crypto when the announcement was made, venturing that cryptocurrency trading was “exciting and dynamic” and that Skrill’s digital wallet service lent itself to the environment.

How Centralized Payment Systems Learned to Accept Decentralized Cryptocurrency

Skrill’s cryptocurrency offering lets users from over 30 countries trade digital tokens including BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, XRP, and ZRX, after partnering with an unnamed exchange to facilitate the service. Conversion from 40 fiat currencies into crypto is swift, and requires no additional verification. It’s a far cry from the company’s circumspect attitude to crypto in the years since bitcoin launched in 2008. A Skrill blog from earlier this year demonstrated the company’s evolving outlook: “If the past decade was cryptocurrencies’ proof of concept stage, the next decade will see them become rooted in the everyday fabric of life.” Bullish words.

Paypal

It’s possible to deposit and withdraw from crypto exchanges such as Coinbase and Gocoin using Paypal, and has been since Paypal formed a partnership with the companies in mid-2015. The online payments giant was also on board with Facebook’s new Libra cryptocurrency, and although it withdrew from the project earlier this month, it’s evident that Paypal is now pro-blockchain.

Consider, for example, the company’s filing of a patent last year to increase cryptocurrency payment speed by utilizing secondary private keys, thereby cutting wait times for transactions between merchants and consumers. Although bitcoin isn’t a major focus at Paypal, Chief Financial Officer John Rainey notes that the company “have teams clearly working on blockchain and cryptocurrency” and “want to take part in whatever form that takes in the future.”

The Daily: Coinbase Adds Paypal for Withdrawals, Gazprombank to Manage Crypto Assets

Credit Card

Credit card giants Visa and Mastercard have blown hot and cold on crypto, and a number of banks that issue their cards have banned cryptocurrency purchases altogether. Through third parties that operate on the financial rails controlled by the credit card giants, however, bitcoiners can cash in and out of crypto using credit and debit cards. Companies like Simplex are also helping in this respect. The Israeli-based payment processor allows crypto merchants to accept payments via credit card, backed by machine-learning algorithms that eliminate fraud, providing protection against chargebacks.

Earlier this year, Binance – the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume – linked up with Simplex to enable purchases with credit and debit cards. Bitcoin.com also has a similar deal in place, allowing BCH and BTC to be bought directly from the homepage with the aid of Simplex.

Debit Card

The last two years have seen the emergence of crypto debit cards that combine a cryptocurrency wallet with a conventional debit card that can be funded through liquidating cryptocurrency directly within the app. There have been speed bumps along the way, such as when Visa subsidiary Wavecrest withdrew service for several crypto card companies, but the sector has flourished since that upset. Centralized crypto wallet services such as Wirex and Revolut are now joined by a decentralized counterpart in Monolith. It enables users to retain custody of their crypto right up until the point that they liquidate it to load it onto their debit card.

Decentralized Finance Projects Are Starting to Ship
Monolith

News.Bitcoin.com spoke to Monolith’s CEO Mel Gelderman about the challenges of maintaining a decentralized wallet service with a centralized component. He explained how the U.K.-based Monolith took part in the Financial Conduct Authority’s regulatory sandbox and runs a Visa approved card program through its partners. “It has not been easy to develop the compliance and operational capabilities required to run crypto-fiat gateways,” Gelderman conceded. “However, crypto is steadily becoming more palatable to traditional financial services players.”

The New Norm

Today it’s much easier to purchase cryptocurrency than it was 10, five or even two years ago. The aforementioned firms are not the only payment processors keen to satisfy their customers by integrating with decentralized finance, incidentally. Last year, Square, best known for its payment-processing hardware such as chip and PIN readers, was licensed to offer New York residents the ability to transact bitcoin on its Cash App, causing shares of the company to hit a 52-week high.

There are still concerns over excessive KYC, financial surveillance on both the fiat and blockchain sides, and the propensity of fiat gateways to withdraw service at the drop of a hat. Nevertheless, the cryptosphere finds itself in a far stronger position than at any time in its short history. If centralized and decentralized payment systems can learn to co-exist, everyone stands to benefit.

Do you think traditional payment processors are more accepting of cryptocurrency these days? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Block Explorer tool? Simply complete a Bitcoin address search to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry.

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Bitcoin’s decreasing search interest does not bode well for BTC price

According to data from Google, search interest for the term ‘Bitcoin’ is currently near the lowest it has been in the past three months. The lack of interest in the world’s largest cryptocurrency seems to go hand in hand with a sharp decline in price, as the coin has dropped to a worryingly low $7,500 at press time.

The number of times people Google a term is often reflective of that term’s popularity, which is why search data is often seen as an important factor when determining the success of a project.

When it comes to Bitcoin, search interest is often used to determine how mainstream it is. As more people search for “Bitcoin,” more new money is expected to enter the market. This was especially true at the end of 2017 when Bitcoin was nearing the end of its incredible bull run.

However, as Bitcoin dropped from its all-time high of just under $20,000, so did the number of searches it got. Apart from a few upward spikes, the interest Bitcoin has got globally has been on the decline ever since.

Bitcoin search
(Source: Google Trends)

The latest price drop Bitcoin has experienced, going from $8,200 to $7,455 in 24-hours, also seems to coincide with a drop in search interest. According to data from Google Trends, the number of searches Bitcoin got on Oct. 21 was half of what it was at the beginning of August.

Google measures the interest a search term gets over time relative to the highest point on the chart, with the value of 100 being the peak popularity for the term. According to the data, in the past three months, Bitcoin reached peaked popularity on Aug. 5 but has been half as popular in the past couple of days.

Bitcoin interest over time
(Source: Google Trends)

The U.S. couldn’t care less about crypto, while Africa gets on the crypto bandwagon

However indicative of the overall status worldwide searches are, zooming in on particular countries paints a more realistic picture of the crypto market.

Google data showed that most searches for Bitcoin in the past few days came from Nigeria, followed by South Africa and Ghana.

Bitcoin interest by region
(Source: Google Trends)

The U.S., which has long been considered the hub for everything crypto-related, fell behind on the list, with Google showing the interest in Bitcoin dropped to a low 23 on the scale.

Looking at the data on a 5-year chart shows that the interest in Bitcoin has touched its May 2017 levels and is in danger of dropping even lower.

Bitcoin interest over past few years
(Source: Google Trends)

Zooming in on the past 90 days shows that interest in Bitcoin has been on a downward spiral since July.

Bitcoin interest in past 3 months
(Source: Google Trends)

While it’s hard to say whether it’s the lack of interest that caused Bitcoin’s price to drop, or the declining number of searches came after a price dip, the two metrics seem to be correlated. We are yet to see how this plays out and whether the burst of volatility Bitcoin saw affects its ratings even further.

The post Bitcoin’s decreasing search interest does not bode well for BTC price appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Australian Law Enforcement Nets 20x Gains From Seized Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a wildly volatile asset, known for its massive price swings and for being the best performing asset of all-time. It’s made many early investors millionaires as a result.

It’s even helped law enforcement gain over 2000% returns on a large sum of BTC that was seized as part of a sting on an Australian arms dealer, according to a new report.

Law Enforcement Down Under Experience Huge Upside On Seized Bitcoin

Back in 2016, Australian authorities arrested a suspect in a sting involving an arms dealer. The weapons were bought and paid for using Bitcoin, resulting in the Bitcoin used in the transactions being seized as evidence.

Related Reading | Visualized: Bitcoin ROI Crushes Stock Market Returns 

At the time, long before the crypto hype bubble and the Bitcoin bull run heard round the world, the crypto asset was worth under $1,000. After years of a drawn-out ligation process, the suspect finally agreed to forfeit over any BTC involved to the Brisbane Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce.

When Australian authorities finally gained control over the seized BTC, it was November 2018, and Bitcoin’s price had grown significantly over the course of two years – reaching a peak of $20,000.

When law enforcement first began the litigation process, the seized crypto assets in total were worth roughly $5,000, but by the time they had received the cryptocurrency, the grand total value of all seized Bitcoin had ballooned to $105,000, resulting in a 2,000% gain for law enforcement.

This Is Why You HODL

The term HODL – often said to be an acronym for “hold on for deal life” – was coined as a way to remind crypto investors that when times get rough, and prices start falling, simply continuing to hold onto Bitcoin will typically result in a significant payoff.

The earliest investors in Bitcoin who held onto the young, untested technology (at the time) experienced gains that are unheard of in financial markets. Bitcoin as an asset at first was virtually worthless, and today it is traded $7,500 per BTC.

The above story highlights why simply holding Bitcoin in the long-term almost always results in significant gains. In just two years time, $5,000 worth of the cryptocurrency went on to do an over 20x return, and increased over $100,000 in value. Had law enforcement received the Bitcoin near the top of the crypto bubble, the same amount of BTC could have been worth close to a half a million dollars.

Even investors who bought the bear market bottom and sold the recent local top around $14,000, would have netted a 350% return on investment.

Related Reading | Tech Stocks, Gold, Oil, and S&P 500: Bitcoin ROI Beats Them All 

These examples show that its never a bad time to buy Bitcoin, and even if the price of the asset collapses shortly after a buy order is made, it has in the past always rebounded, and brought investors such substantial gains, no other asset has ever outperformed Bitcoin.

The post Australian Law Enforcement Nets 20x Gains From Seized Bitcoin appeared first on NewsBTC.

Kawhi Leonard’s “Terminator” Ad With PG Is an Epic Piece of HoF Cringe

Kawhi Leonard knocked off the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James, even without co-star Paul George on Tuesday night in an epic NBA opener. Unfortunately, a historically cringe-worthy advert for Terminator: Dark Fate, starring Leonard, George, and movie stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton aired during a time-out, and it can not be unseen. Kawhi […]

The post Kawhi Leonard’s “Terminator” Ad With PG Is an Epic Piece of HoF Cringe appeared first on CCN.com

Zuckerberg: Facebook Would Leave Libra if It Launched Too Early

In a Congressional hearing on Oct. 23, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed confidence that a lot more firms will join Libra eventually.

Facebook could withdraw from the Libra Association — the governing body of the eponymous stablecoin project — should it launch without approval from regulators in the United States. 

Libra could lose its primary member

In a Congressional hearing on Oct. 23, Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg reiterated the company’s commitment to not launch its planned cryptocurrency project until it receives the green light from U.S. regulators.

Zuckerberg delivered his statements before the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, where lawmakers grilled him on various aspects of the company’s activities including Libra, data practices and the handling of hate speech on its platform. 

When asked by Representative Bill Huizenga about Facebook’s response should the Libra Association insist on launching without American regulatory approval, Zuckerberg said, “Then I believe that we would be forced to leave the association.”

Throughout today’s hearing, Zuckerberg reiterated that Facebook is based in the U.S. and considers itself an American company. As such, it would seek approval and compliance with U.S. regulators. 

Zuckerberg is sure that more firms will join the Libra Association 

Rep. Juan Vargas, in turn, expressed skepticism about Zuckerberg’s statement, claiming that he does not believe the Libra Association could exist without Facebook. He also expressed concerns over the fact that Libra is now formally based in Switzerland, noting that it would relieve a lot of fears if the project was based in the U.S.

When Vargas noted that several major firms had already dropped out of the association, Zuckerberg stated that he is convinced that more companies will take interest in the project and join Libra.

As previously reported, the Libra Foundation originally counted 28 founding members. Recently, seven high-profile global firms have dropped out of the consortium, including PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Stripe, eBay, Mercado Pago and Booking Holdings. 

In Libra’s white paper, Facebook initially projected that the association would expand to around 100 members by the time of Libra’s launch in the first half of 2020. To date, Facebook is the only firm that has financially committed to the Libra project among the 21 founding members, as reported by the BBC.

Blockchain Lobbying: Interests Fragmenting as Crypto Field Expands

As more diverse interests engage with lawmakers and regulators, the blockchain industry no longer has a unified voice.

Over the past few months, Libra, Facebook’s prospective global digital currency, has stolen much of the spotlight across many areas of the cryptosphere. The field of blockchain lobbying was no exception: From Mark Zuckerberg smooth-talking powerful officials into supporting his global initiative to an expansion of the impressive roster of corporate lobbyists summoned to advocate for it, Libra has been dominating the recent coverage of government–crypto industry relationships. 

Related: How Facebook Libra Is Seeking Compliance, but May Not Launch by 2020

Meanwhile, these much-publicized efforts undertaken by the social media giant are only the tip of the iceberg that is blockchain lobbying. Making the industry’s voice heard on the Capitol Hill requires daily, systematic work and immense resources, even though much of it occurs behind closed doors and rarely makes headlines. 

Given that the majority of crypto businesses operate in the highly regulated sphere of finance, as well as being the overall arcane character of the digital asset field, staying in touch with lawmakers is indeed vital. As the blockchain industry matures, so too does its specialized lobbying scene, and compared to just months ago, it has undergone some noticeable changes.

Moving into the second inning

The latest wave of popular interest in blockchain-related lobbying occurred last spring, when the congressional disclosures indicated sizeable growth of both the number of lobbyists and the funds spent on their work in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the last quarter of the previous year. Even mainstream media took notice of the dynamics, with Politico calling it the “blockchain lobbying boomlet.”

At the time, Dina Ellis Rochkind, a prominent lobbyist at the law firm Paul Hastings, told the publication that, “For companies pursuing other uses of blockchain technology [than cryptocurrency], ‘we’re in inning one’ in terms of winning allies on Capitol Hill.”

Speaking to Cointelegraph in October, she noted that, overall, the industry is now past the initial stage of establishing its presence on the Hill. The field is picking up steam, but heightening activity also seems to result in increased fragmentation of interests:

“We’re not in the earliest stages we were 18 or so months ago, however we’re more in the second inning or so. Leaders have emerged, but there are now more groups than ever, many of them with competing interests, which makes it difficult for the industry to move in a unified direction.”

It also appears that the expanding interaction between legislators and blockchain actors is not a one-way street anymore. As the matters of digital finance emerge from obscurity and make their way into mainstream agendas, more lawmakers than ever are taking an interest in — or are acknowledging, at least — regulatory issues surrounding the crypto industry. 

Related: Why Lobbying Growth Is a Sign That Crypto Is Maturing

Admittedly, the wave of publicity stirred by Libra’s arrival was instrumental in raising general crypto awareness among members of Congress. Kristin Smith, director of the Blockchain Association, shared her observations with Cointelegraph:

“Blockchain and crypto technology has become much more mainstream in the past year, reaching a new peak of interest with the launch of Facebook’s Libra project. Due to that rising awareness, members of Congress in particular have had to pay much closer attention to the industry.”

Overall, there is evidence that the crypto industry is stepping up its efforts to influence how policymakers consider crypto regulation. What does this work look like, and who are the main actors in the field?

Key players and issues

Any review of the blockchain lobbying landscape would have to contend with the fact that there is neither a homogeneous set of organizations that advance their interests in a standardized fashion nor an established format of doing such work.

Some industry groups act as direct, registered lobbyists, some hire professional firms to lobby on their behalf, some focus on a broad range of concerns, while others are single-issue operations. For some, influencing specific legislation is a top priority, while others seek to educate legislators on important technical and conceptual distinctions that may help inform more nuanced policies down the line. 

Advocacy groups such as the Chamber of Digital Commerce transcend national borders to champion pro-blockchain regulation globally. Trade groups such as the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance and Government Blockchain Association primarily work to promote networking and cooperation between those involved in the industry.

To complicate matters even further, some entities that are active in crypto-related lobbying are not necessarily crypto industry groups. Rather, many are representatives of adjacent or wider industries whose interests spill over into the realm of crypto. For example, the National Venture Capital Association, which is involved with the Securities and Exchange Commission over the regulation of initial coin offerings, has reportedly spent $60,000 in the first quarter of 2019 on blockchain-related lobbying.

Speaking of “crypto-native” entities, the Blockchain Association, backed by heavy-hitters such as Coinbase, Protocol Labs and Circle, launched in September 2018 to coordinate the industry’s stance on regulation. One of the group’s primary concerns has been the advancement of the Token Taxonomy Act, reintroduced in April by Rep. Warren Davidson and a group of co-sponsors, including Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who is running for president in 2020. 

A Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, Coin Center, is a major policy think tank whose positions on regulatory issues largely align with those of the Blockchain Association. Unlike the direct-action lobbying group, Coin Center focuses on research, advocacy and education. Smith, from the Blockchain Association, told Cointelegraph:

“There are several members of the Blockchain Association that are active in Washington, D.C., and more companies are acknowledging the importance of engaging with Congress and the key regulatory bodies. I think it’s a natural development of a maturing industry and a recognition that we should have a voice in the important legal and regulatory conversations.”

Although the Blockchain Association comprises some of the most prominent names in the trade, it is hardly representative of the entire blockchain sector. Digital assets are far from homogeneous, and it is reasonable to expect that projects dealing with different manifestations of blockchain technology will eventually seek to establish their own outposts in D.C.

Until very recently, the Ripple-led Securing America’s Internet of Value coalition has been an example of such compartmentalization, as it could be seen as an alliance of firms reliant on permissioned distributed ledgers. However, Ripple has recently moved to join the Blockchain Association in addition to establishing an office in the U.S. capital and onboarding a group of big-name experts with regulatory experience. This development illustrates how, in the dynamic field of blockchain–government relations, convergence tendencies exist alongside fragmentation processes.

Related: Pushing for Crypto Self-Regulation Amid Tightening Government Scrutiny

One vivid example of the centrifugal trend is the recent emergence of the Proof of Stake Alliance, conceived as a vehicle for educating regulators on the differences between various consensus protocols while articulating unique legal challenges that proof-of-stake assets present. The move seems justified, given widespread concerns over how proof-of-work systems like Bitcoin are wasteful and unsustainable, but it also adds to the increasingly cacophonous character of blockchain representation on Capitol Hill.

However, rifts exist not only along technological lines: Industry players still diverge in the degree to which they are ready and willing to engage with regulators to advance their interests. As Rochkind pointed out to Cointelegraph:

“There is still a disconnect between D.C. and West Coast where much of the innovation is occurring. Many folks are hoping that an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach will work. In my opinion, the best business opportunity is to work with regulators and lawmakers, even if it means added compliance costs in the short term.”

Evidently, such disparities lead to some companies’ voices being amplified in the hallways of power while others are underrepresented.

Looking ahead

Blockchain-related lobbying is indeed a burgeoning field that grows larger and more nuanced with more interests from across the sector entering the arena. Its current shape is still far from definitive as new players emerge and alliances rearrange themselves. 

Late September saw former Sen. Mark Kirk establish a group called U.S. Blockchain Advocacy Partners, which aims to “develop and implement a long-term, comprehensive, and inclusive blockchain technology plan for the U.S. government” and even register a political action committee, or PAC, as a means to that end.

Related: Can PACs Popularize Cryptocurrency Donations in US Politics?

Soon, more groups may be organized around specific technologies, protocols or governance models, seeking to educate regulators on the advantages of their solutions. While it will certainly put a strain on legislators’ attention spans, the influx of crypto-related information could actually lead to increased levels of their awareness of blockchain technology. 

In turn, cooperating and organizing to represent group interests will produce a more interconnected and self-aware industry. However, uneven representation and concentration of lobbying power at the hands of the few are indeed real threats, and the blockchain industry would do well to start thinking of safeguards against them early on.

Security Numbering Association to Consider Standards for Digital Assets

The Association of National Numbering Agencies will assess the adoption of numbering standards for digital assets.

A global association of national numbering agencies has set up a new task force to assess the adoption of name standards for digital assets.

All types of tokens to be considered

The Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA) will examine the identification of digital assets such as tokens and cryptocurrencies, the organization announced on Oct. 23.

ANNA oversees the work of global national numbering agencies — organizations responsible for issuing International Securities Identification Numbers (ISINs) —  and will now consider the role and scope of ISINs in regard to the identification of digital assets.

Within the new initiative, ANNA will provide recommendations on the potential advantages of creating global standards for the assignment of ISINs to all types of digital assets including asset tokens, payment tokens, utility tokens and hybrid tokens, the association clarified.

What are ISINs?

An ISIN is a unique universal identifier of securities including equities, debt instruments, entitlements, derivatives as well as other assets including commodities, currencies, indices and interest rates. 

First introduced in 1981, ISINs serve as standard identification for common securities. All internationally traded securities issuers are urged to use ISIN numbering. Unlike a ticker symbol, which varies depending on particular securities listed on a specific exchange, an ISIN code is fixed for a certain security and consists of 12 characters.

Uwe Meyer, the executive director at ANNA, stated that standardized reference data will help to build a trusted token market, noting that ISINs are issued in more than 200 jurisdictions over the globe to enable cross-border trading and improved transparency.

European companies release Bitcoin bond in a first for ISINs in crypto

In July, Luxembourg-based Argento, a securitization firm, partnered with London Block Exchange to issue a Bitcoin-denominated bond. The financial product, which is regulated under the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, became available via Bloomberg Terminal and was reportedly the first crypto product to have its own ISIN code.

Bitcoin Price Could Drop Down To $7000; Diamond Top Breakdown Confirms Right Shoulder

bitcoin price analysis

Bitcoin price continues to free-fall after a failed bullish rally. New signals and a breakdown of two, now confirmed patterns point to bearish downside targets in the low $7,000 range.


Bitcoin Forms Elusive Diamond Top, Signaling a Deep Drop

 On Friday, October 18, Bitcoin price set a higher low at roughly $7,800, signaling that bearish sell pressure may be waning. It resulted in bulls being able to push the price of the first-ever cryptocurrency to $8,300, where an elusive diamond top chart pattern formed on lower timeframes.

 Diamond tops typically form at the top of uptrends and signal that a deep drop is ahead. The pattern, while commonly said to form infrequently by traders across all markets, often results in a powerful move to the downside.

 According to crypto analyst Akira Max, the pattern, once confirmed, would result in a return to local lows around $7,800 once again, where Bitcoin would be in critical danger of another even deeper descent to set a new lower low.

 The low timeframe diamond top pattern is also acting as a right shoulder in a bearish head and shoulder’s pattern, that if confirmed, will cause Bitcoin to free fall to the next support zone around $7,000.

 Will Bitcoin Price Test $7,000 Next?

The leading cryptocurrency by market cap has struggled to regain the bullish momentum to once had following the breakdown of a multi-month descending triangle at the top of the 2019 parabolic rally.

 Once the trading range was violated, Bitcoin price fell to a low near $7,700 where the asset began to consolidate once again. Bitcoin bounced at the low, but the relief rally stopped short at $8,500 before falling back to the bottom of the range.

 Bulls made another attempt, setting a higher high around $8,800 where the cryptocurrency was violently rejected. The higher high also set the early stage for what ultimately became a head and shoulders pattern, creating the peak or “head” to the pattern.

 Following the rejection and another visit to retest recent lows, Bitcoin once again rallied into the above-aforementioned diamond top pattern, forming a right shoulder on a larger, high timeframe structure.

The diamond top sent Bitcoin falling back down, to the bottom trendline where up until a few hours ago, Bitcoin was resting. The important support has now been broken, and according to charts shared by a prominent crypto analyst, the target of the larger formation would take Bitcoin price as low as $7,000.

If Bitcoin price falls to $7,000 it will be a full 50% drop from the high it set back at the end of June at around $14,000. Buyers will need to step in with force to help push Bitcoin back into a bull market and prevent a new bear market low from eventually being set.

Do you think Bitcoin will reach $7,000? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Disclaimer: The above bitcoin price technical analysis is sponsored by Akira Max, founder of thecointop.org and contains a link to his Twitter account and tweets. 


 

 

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Fallout 76 Critics Raze Bethesda’s Money-Grubbing $99 a Year Subscription

In an ambitious, misguided attempt to resurrect Fallout 76 from the dead, Bethesda has announced a new premium subscription service for the beleaguered multiplayer survival game. Unsurprisingly, the news has proven perfect ammunition for a dressing down on social media. Fallout 1st Aims to Fix Fallout 76 for $99 Per Year Dubbed Fallout 1st, a […]

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CryptoCompare Exchange Review: OKEx Tops Derivatives Total Trading Volume for September

In the report “Exchange Review for September 2019” recently released by CryptoCompare, a cryptocurrency market data provider, the Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange OKEx has earned the distinction of being the top cryptocurrency exchange in terms of derivatives monthly volume.

The exchange known for its spot and derivatives trading while supporting hundreds of trading pairs registered a total derivatives volume of $90.34B in the previous month. The September 2019 figures for derivatives volume on OKEx is down by 14.9% when compared to the August 2019 figures, yet it emerged at the top while considering the entire market.

In fact, OKEx is not the only exchange that is affected by the drop in monthly volumes as the figures indicate that all platforms are equally affected by the turn of events in the derivatives market, resulting in a downtrend of anywhere between 1% to 19% across the sector.

cryptocompare, okex

Figure 1. Crypto Derivatives Total Monthly Volume (CryptoCompare)

Acknowledging the change in market conditions, the CEO of OKEx, Jay Hao recently shared a Tweet stating, “It’s been a tough month for us all. But let’s face it. Pain is good. It can’t be rainbows and sunshine every day. The overall crypto market simply reflects one thing – how we all perform. And now we need to do better.”

Hao further tweeted, “Still, we’re proud to have stayed at the top in derivatives trading. And we will keep innovating – a new derivatives product will be launched by the end of this year!”

The Exchange Review is one of the comprehensive monthly information gathering and publishing exercise handled by CryptoCompare, which is known for its real-time global cryptocurrency market data accessed by both institutional and retail investors alike. The data supplied by CryptoCompare includes over 5300 cryptocurrencies and 240000 currency pairs from exchanges across the world. OKEx features regularly in CryptoCompare data as it has a very huge userbase, in terms of millions spread across 100 countries, resulting in chart-topping market volumes.

cryptocompare, okex

Figure 2. Derivatives Exchange Volumes in September – Overview (CryptoCompare)

Contents of the Exchange Review report for the Month of September don’t come as a surprise as OKEx represented a significant share in overall daily derivatives volumes trading at $3B per day which is almost 33.7% market share. The availability of futures contracts and perpetual swaps for 9 different cryptocurrencies has further helped OKEx consolidate its position way ahead of its market competitors in terms of total derivatives volumes.

There are indicators that OKEx might launch a new derivatives product in the coming months. The speculation is further strengthened by Jay Hao’s recent tweet where he mentions a new derivatives product by the end of this year.

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Brave browser becoming increasingly popular in Spain, overtakes Firefox

Privacy-focused Brave browser seems to be making huge strides in Spain, where it is currently ranking 10th in the communications category on Google Play Store. The ranking prioritizes engagement over the number of downloads, which shows that the browser has been increasing in popularity in Europe.

Brave moves up on the Google Play Store

Created to revolutionize the online advertising industry, Brave Browser has seen consistent growth throughout 2019. The browser has recently reached an all-time high of eight million monthly active users, showing that its crypto-incentivized advertising model is gaining serious traction.

Brave hits eight million monthly users, launches “Transparency” page for tracking growth metrics
Related: Brave hits eight million monthly users, launches “Transparency” page for tracking growth metrics

While data from the Brave analytics website BATGrowth doesn’t break down the popularity of Brave by country, Google Play rankings show that the browser has become increasingly popular in Europe.

According to a Reddit post, Brave has moved from the 26th spot on the Google Play Store in Spain and is currently the 10th most popular app on the platform.

Brave also ranks number two in Japan in the communications category on Google Play store, ahead of Yahoo Mail, Facebook messenger, and Skype.

The browser took over Mozilla Firefox and is preceded by messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, and Discord.

Gooel Play Rankings in Spain
(Source: Appbrain)

The user that shared the stats, going by the username Wega58, said that information on the desktop version of Brave was much harder to track, but he assumed it mirrored the popularity of its Android app.

Play Store ranking not a definitive metric of success

However, many Reddit users contested the post, saying that the amount of attention Brave got on the Google Play Store doesn’t automatically mean a better Brave ecosystem. Some even said that it doesn’t measure real usage, as the ranking doesn’t take into consideration the number of downloads an app has.

While it is true that the number of downloads an app gets is not the single most important factor in app ranking, it does contribute to its ranking. Earlier this year, Paul Bankhead, the director of product management at Google Play, said that what makes or breaks an app ranking is engagement and app quality.  he said in a blog post:

“Apps and games that have high retention rates, low crash rates, low uninstalls, and many other factors, are recommended more often.”

Therefore, while Brave’s jump on the Google Play Store doesn’t automatically mean it will overtake the much larger and older Mozilla, it shows that the app has shown consistent quality and was frequently used.

This is positive news for Brave, which has seen its popularity skyrocket this year. The company’s research and development team have introduced several new features, including tipping users on Reddit, Twitter, and Vimeo, and currently has just under 300,000 verified publishers on its platform.

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Saudi Arabia Joins SoftBank in Biggest-Loser Club with $1.1 billion Uber Loss

Uber Technologies’ (NYSE:UBER) fifth largest shareholder, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, has now lost over a billion dollars by investing in the ride hailing firm. Based on the most recent holdings report to the SEC, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund currently owns 72,840,541 shares in Uber Technologies. PIF made the […]

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Bakkt Hits New All-Time High, With Over 450 Bitcoin Futures Contracts Traded

The volume Bitcoin futures on digital asset platform Bakkt has hit a new all-time high, with over 450 Bitcoin futures contracts traded today.

Bitcoin (BTC) futures volumes on digital asset platform Bakkt have hit a new all-time high, with 452 BTC futures contracts traded at press time.

Per historical data from Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) — the operator of Bakkt — today the platform has traded 441 Bitcoin futures contracts for November 2019, with the last recorded trading price settling at $7,400 per Bitcoin. 11 futures contracts for December have been sold, with the last recorded trading price at $7,407.

Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) monthly futures contract data. Source: ICE

Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) monthly futures contract data. Source: ICE

Twitter account Bakkt Volume Bot, which carries out live tracking on the platform, indicated that the amount of BTC futures contracts is forecasted to reach 1,089 BTC by the end of the day.

EToro senior analyst Mati Greenspan also noted the contract volume surge earlier in the day. “Bakkt trading volume hits a record high. 334 BTC and counting,” Greenspan tweeted.

ICE conducts block trade of Bakkt Bitcoin futures contract

Earlier in October, ICE executed the first block trade of Bakkt Bitcoin futures contracts. ICE specified that the trade was executed between digital assets merchant bank Galaxy Digital and crypto investment firm XBTO, and cleared by agricultural commodities merchant ED&F Man. XBTO commented on the deal:

“Last week, we bought the first Bakkt Bitcoin Daily Futures contract and took the first physical delivery of a digital asset under existing commodity futures laws and regulations. This week, we executed the first block trade. We’re pleased to report that the launch was successful and can accommodate large trades.”

Oil Prices in Danger of Crashing Next Year Thanks to Weak Demand

Oil prices were flying high when the year began. OPEC and its allies decided to reduce their output to the tune of 1.2 million barrels per day for the first six months of 2019. Consequently, the international benchmark Brent crude oil touched nearly $75 per barrel by the third week of April. Brent crude started […]

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New Rumors Heighten Fears Sony Will Delay Ghost of Tsushima

Two well-known industry leakers recently hinted at a possible delay to an unnamed first-party Sony title that fans fear could be Ghost of Tsushima. The rumor comes from Daniel Ahmad and Jason Schreier, two gaming insiders who’ve reliably leaked valuable information in the past. Rumors Swirls About Unnamed Sony First-Party Title The original tweet came […]

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The 1 Ingredient Driving Chipotle (CMG) Stock’s Huge Gains

Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) stock is once again a star on Wall Street. It is up more than 80% year-to-date and this is even after a 7% dip from its earnings report this week. CMG Stock Update CMG is a stock that has a complicated history with Wall Street traders. Before the Fall of 2015 it was […]

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Bakkt Bitcoin Trading Volume Sets New Record After Flash Crash

bakkt bitcoin trading

Bitcoin just lost over $500 in a few minutes, and apparently, institutional investors went crazy. On Bakkt, trading volume for its Bitcoin monthly futures almost hit 350 BTC today. The indicator might exceed the 1,000 threshold by the end of the day.  


Institutional Investors Use Bakkt to Buy Cheap

While it’s difficult to understand the precise reasons behind the BTC flash crash, institutional investors are in a hurry to buy the cryptocurrency at the discount price.

We just reported that the largest cryptocurrency by market cap had tumbled over $500 or nearly 9% over the day after a surprising flash crash.

About two hours before the crash, Twitter user Bakkt Volume Bot said that the trading volume was 8 BTC at the time. It anticipated a total of 58 BTC till the end of the day.

However, the flash crash raised investors’ appetite so much that the volume on Bakkt exceeded the daily forecast by about five times in less than two hours. Thus, shortly after the drop in Bitcoin price, Bakkt Volume Bot announced that the daily volume reached 296 BTC at the time, forecasting a crazy figure of 1139 BTC.

At the time of writing, the official site of Bakkt is displaying a total volume of 348 BTC.

This is already a record since the daily all-time high was 224 BTC, reached on October 9. For example, yesterday, the trading volume on Bakkt was 85 BTC, up 77% from Monday.

Volume Surges Everywhere

Naturally, the trading volume has jumped on other crypto exchanges as well. However, while Bakkt volume increases thanks to buyers, other exchanges might have been in a different situation, as they have to liquidate long positions. On BitMex, long positions worth about $200 million have been liquidated during the last 6 hours. Elsewhere, liquidated shorts were worth an invisible $43,000 for the same period.

The reason behind these huge liquidations of long positions is that traders were taken by surprise by the Bitcoin flash crash.

Do you think the recent bitcoin drop has something to do with whales? Share your thoughts in the comments section!


Images via Bitcoinist Media Library, Twitter: @BakktBot, Datamish

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Researcher: Google Quantum Breakthrough Could Improve Proof-of-Stake

Google’s quantum computer could purportedly help improve the random selection process of proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies.

The application of Google’s quantum computing technology could purportedly help improve the technology which underpins proof-of-stake (PoS) cryptocurrencies.

Quantum computing would create truly random numbers

PoS is a type of consensus algorithm where block creators are randomly chosen with probability proportional to their stake, while the algorithm of proof-of-work-based digital currencies uses mining. However, the PoS variant has raised doubts regarding the integrity of random selections.

Scott Aaronson, a quantum theoretician at the University of Texas at Austin, told Fortune on Oct. 23 that quantum computing could assuage PoS-skeptics doubts, as a quantum supremacy experiment could generate certifiably random numbers. He previously wrote on his personal blog:

“A sampling-based quantum supremacy experiment could almost immediately be repurposed to generate bits that can be proven to be random to a skeptical third party (under computational assumptions). This, in turn, has possible applications to proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies and other cryptographic protocols. I’m hopeful that more such applications will be discovered in the near future.”

Google’s project challenges the Church-Turing thesis

On Oct. 23, Google published the results of its quantum supremacy experiment, which Aaronson peer-reviewed. In the experiment, “Sycamore” — a 54-qubit processor with quantum logic gates — took 200 seconds to sample one instance of a quantum circuit a million times. In contrast, IBM’s supercomputer Summit, which is purportedly the most powerful computer to date, would run such a calculation for 10,000 years.

Google states that its experiment is the first experimental challenge against the extended Church-Turing thesis — also known as computability thesis — which claims that traditional computers can effectively carry out any “reasonable” model of computation. In a dedicated blog post, Google explained:

“We first ran random simplified circuits from 12 up to 53 qubits, keeping the circuit depth constant. We checked the performance of the quantum computer using classical simulations and compared with a theoretical model. Once we verified that the system was working, we ran random hard circuits with 53 qubits and increasing depth, until reaching the point where classical simulation became infeasible. [...] With the first quantum computation that cannot reasonably be emulated on a classical computer, we have opened up a new realm of computing to be explored.”

Is Bitcoin affected?

Previously, ex-Bitcoin Core developer Peter Todd poured cold water on fears that recent advances in quantum computing could endanger the security of Bitcoin (BTC) — which is a proof-of-work-based cryptocurrency. Todd concluded that financial impediments alone would keep Bitcoin free from potential trouble.

Bitcoin Collapses below $7,500 after Brexit Breakthrough

Bitcoin took a deep dive on Wednesday to test the levels last seen in May.

The benchmark cryptocurrency plunged by up to circa $566.29, or 7.65 percent, in just two hours of trading. The move downside brought bitcoin down to a session low of $7,402.20. While the price later corrected, its upside remained capped by the support-turned-resistance level of $7,500, hinting an extended bearish action.

bitcoin, bitcoin price

Bitcoin dips below $7,500 in latest bearish continuation signal | Source: TradingView.com

The story was the same across the other top cryptocurrencies. Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was down 7 percent while the third-largest XRP plunged by circa 6 percent. Litecoin, Binance Coin, and Bitcoin Cash also suffered similar setbacks. On a whole, the entire cryptocurrency market cap lost about $19 billion on a 24-hour timeline.

A Random Dump after Brexit Vote?

The downside in the bitcoin and altcoin markets appeared almost a day after UK President Boris Johnson was able to secure parliamentary support to his Brexit deal. Nevertheless, the optimism did not last for too long as the House of Commons refused to get Brexit implemented on or before October 31. As a result, PM Johnson would not be able to live up to its populist promise of delivering Brexit before the said, make-believe deadline.

FTSE 100 Index, Brexit

UK’s FTSE 100 index surged more than 1.5 percent on Brexit hopes | Image credits: TradingView.com

The outcome, in the long-term, appears positive for the UK, signaled by the upside performance of local equities on Tuesday and Wednesday.

As Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser to Allianz, said on Twitter, a good deal could offset weakening global fundamentals” and “growing central bank ineffectiveness” to boost global equities.

Meanwhile, investors could take a Brexit deal as a sign to move out from hedging assets like Bitcoin to risk-on assets. With the cryptocurrency dipping massively right after the Brexit breakthrough, the signals are becoming more accurate.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Grilling on Libra

Bitcoin’s massive fall also comes on the day when Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is appearing before the US Congressional committee to answer questions about their payment project Libra. Earlier in June, the cryptocurrency had surged by more than 50 percent after Libra announcement. However, it also dropped after global lawmakers and regulators voiced their concerns against Facebook’s involvement in a financial project.

BitMEX Liquidation

Meanwhile, there are reports of more than $250 million liquidations of Long positions on controversial crypto derivative exchange BitMEX. The impact is clearly visible on the spot market rates of bitcoin.

“If buyers weren’t interested in $7,800 bitcoin, they’re likely not interested in $7,500 price,” said market analyst Josh Rager. “It likely goes lower with confluence support at $7,200 & below Even after a natural bounce there, it comes down to where large/aggressive buyers are interested.”

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Gold Price Regains Its Shine as U.S. Economy Flashes Two Warning Signals

The price of gold rallied on Wednesday and was making a fast return to $1,500 as investors weighed the multitude of risks facing the U.S. economy. The latest warning signal came from the housing market after existing home sales tumbled much more than expected in September. Gold Price Recovers; Silver Follows Futures on December gold […]

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Tesla Lawsuit Blames Space-Age Door Handles for Horrific Driver Death

Most of the controversy stemming from Tesla accidents has revolved around the electric carmaker’s “autopilot” feature. But now Elon Musk’s company is in the spotlight following a fatal accident the family blames on something far more basic – door handles. According to a local CBS affiliate, the family of a man who died after his […]

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Flash Crash Sends Bitcoin Price Below Key Moving Average

Ouch. Over the past few hours, Bitcoin has finally seen some volatility play out after a multi-week lull, plunging below $7,500 after holding in the low-$8,000s for days on end. Per previous reports from NewsBTC, this move largely caught traders off guard, with there being a massive long liquidation event of over $200 million on BitMEX amid this crash.

While the selling pressure has paused, there are some technical signals that imply bearish continuation over the coming days.

Yesterday, analyst Philip Swift noted that in the previous market cycle, Bitcoin followed a pattern of bottoming at the 200-week moving average, then seeing its first bull market rally to bottom at 100-week moving average.

Bitcoin seems to be doing the same this time around. But if the 100-week moving average is lost, a potential macro bear market or at least months more of consolidation could follow suit.

That’s not all, this move lower will slightly accelerate the occurrence of the fabled “death cross”. In a few days’ time from the time of publishing this, Bitcoin will experience a “death cross” when a  short-term moving average, often the 50-day as it is indicative of short-term trends, crosses below a long-term moving average, often the 200-day. As Investopedia accurately defines the term, “The death cross is a technical chart pattern indicating the potential for a major selloff.”

Long-Term Bullish for Bitcoin

Although the technical picture for Bitcoin now seems to be bearish for the short run, some have asserted that the cryptocurrency’s fundamentals remain strong, at least in the long run.

In a Twitter post published after the crash, Galaxy Digital’s Mike Novogratz said that he thinks it’s wise to be long on both gold and BTC, adding that while the cryptocurrency will be more volatile than its physical counterpart, the same macro trends will drive the assets in the same way.

Indeed, he has previously said in a CNN interview that he expects for Bitcoin to hit $20,000 in 18 months’ time. Novogratz attributed this prediction to macro trends that may favor decentralized money: negative interest rates, geopolitical unrest, and mistrust in centralized systems.

As covered extensively by this outlet, negative interest rates, for instance, which will be passed onto the consumers through negative-yielding savings accounts, will force consumers to look for alternatives like Bitcoin.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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How Fiat Money Fails: Deconstructing the Government’s Paper-Thin Promise

How Fiat Money Fails: An Overview of Government's Paper-Thin Promise

Fiat money has a surprisingly short lifespan. The almighty U.S. dollar currently serving as world reserve currency is not exempted, in spite of all proclamation that it cannot fail. Throughout history, fiat money has failed over and over again, where sound assets like gold have survived. Ruling out acts of god and unforeseen circumstance, the number one reason fiat fails is due to unsound economic policy. This is where gold and bitcoin stand to truly prevail.

Also Read: Credit Suisse Is Latest Bank to Charge Clients for Cash Deposits

Good as Gold

There’s a reason no one hears people saying “good as fiat” to describe something trustworthy or valuable. Gold has been used as currency for thousands of years, since at least 700 B.C., when it was favored by Lydian traders. The oldest fiat money still being used today has only been around for a little over 300 years, beginning in 1694 with the founding of the Bank of England. Prior to its use as currency, gold was used in barter and trade all over the world, in the absence of political mandate. By contrast, “fiat” means “by decree” or “let it be done” and depends on the force-backed laws of a state or monarch to demand its use, or else.

Exponential Failure

A recent tweet by user @100trillionUSD makes an interesting observation. When fiat failure strikes, it tends to happen first as a gradual build, and then spiral out of control suddenly, skyrocketing to oblivion. The German gold mark was a gold-backed currency for the empire from 1873-1914. After the gold standard was abandoned in 1914, the paper mark would soon become worthless, hyper-inflating itself to toilet paper tier within 10 years.

This is an extreme case, to be sure, but even where the most reliable fiat money is concerned, it always devalues into relative worthlessness at some point. As mentioned, the current title holder for longest lasting fiat currency is the British pound sterling, at 325 years old. Compared to its initial value in silver, when it was created to help finance war in 1694, it has lost almost 100% of its value.

How Fiat Money Fails: Deconstructing the Government's Paper-Thin Promise
Reichsbank Berlin, October 1923

The devaluation story of the U.S. dollar is no less dismal. As noted by one prominent inflation calculator:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, today’s prices in 2019 are 2,493.53% higher than average prices throughout 1913 … The 1913 inflation rate was 2.06%. The current inflation rate (2018 to 2019) is now 1.71%. If this number holds, $1 today will be equivalent in buying power to $1.02 next year.

So the real question with fiat is not how stable is it, but “How long until it’s suitable for kindling?” A much cited but highly disputed 27-year fiat lifespan study found that 20% of the 775 fiat currencies examined failed due to hyperinflation, and that 21% were destroyed in war. 24% percent were reformed through centralized monetary policy. This means that the majority of failure or discontinuance of fiat is by way of government intervention, warfare and economic policy.

Emphasizing the inability to wage large scale warfare in the absence of this paper fiat, dollardaze.org states that “Initially, money is a tangible commodity. That commodity is then concentrated by those who issue paper receipts merely representative of the underlying commodity. The reason for doing this is to lend out more in paper receipts than what can be legitimately backed.” In other words, the powerful amass hard assets via scammy, obfuscated pilfer, while the poor suffer hardship, forced to use the garbage currency being offered instead.

How Fiat Money Fails: Deconstructing the Government's Paper-Thin Promise
Section of the Hanke-Krus Hyperinflation Table

 

Modern Fiat Faceplants

For a highly detailed list of modern cases of hyperinflation, the Hanke-Krus Hyperinflation Table is an eye-opening resource illustrating the unreliable nature of government money. Though now slightly dated and not including recent examples like Venezuela, the data is presented in starkly direct fashion. In August 1945, prices in Hungary doubled in only 15 hours. Brazil experienced a daily inflation rate of 2.02% from December 1989 to March 1990. Even Austria is not immune historically, the crown hyper-inflating for almost a year from October 1920 to September 1922. The Hanke-Krus study is a sobering reminder of what happens when sound economic principle is ignored. As Austrian school economist Ludwig von Mises put it:

The most important thing to remember is that inflation is not an act of God, that inflation is not a catastrophe of the elements or a disease that comes like the plague. Inflation is a policy.

And further: “The gold standard did not collapse. Governments abolished it in order to pave the way for inflation. The whole grim apparatus of oppression and coercion — policemen, customs guards, penal courts, prisons, in some countries even executioners — had to be put into action in order to destroy the gold standard.”

Whether or not one agrees with the proclamation of the renowned economist is immaterial in the face of the economic reality. Fiat money is, was and always will become worth less over time by its very nature. Bitcoin and crypto stand to remedy this if leveraged properly and by a large and determined enough market. Judging by the current regulatory climate and history itself, however, fiat won’t fall without a fight.

Which fiat collapse do you find most remarkable? Why? Let us know in the comments section below.


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