Manga Book Promises to Teach Readers about Basics of Blockchain

The link between blockchain, crypto and manga continues to deepen in Japan – where a software company has published a new book explaining all the intricacies of blockchain, cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology using the power of manga. Entitled “Blockchain through Manga” (rough translation), the book is the brainchild of software and computer network systems

Tether’s Market Valuation Grows 144% in 2020, USDT Market Cap Worth $10 Billion

The most popular stablecoin, Tether, has propelled its way into the third-largest position by cryptocurrency market capitalization. At the time of publication, a number of market valuation aggregators show that Tether’s market cap is between $9.1 to $10.1 billion.

Tether (USDT) is a well known stablecoin token issued by the company Tether Limited. The company claims each token is backed by a single U.S. dollar, but during the last few years, the firm admitted the backing included loans as well.

USDT has always been controversial, but even with the contention, tether is the most popular stablecoin by far. This week cryptocurrency proponents have been discussing how tether’s market cap has grown massively since the beginning of 2020. Since January, USDT’s market valuation spiked by 144%.

Today the market data and analysis web portal, Messari, tether (USDT) has a $10.2 billion market valuation and $1.4 million in 24-hour global trade volume. Statistics on Coinmarketcap.com indicates that the market cap for tether (USDT) is $9.1 billion and a whopping $20 billion in 24-hour trades.

A number of other market aggregators show tether’s market valuation is just above the $9.1 billion mark. There also a number of other stablecoins that are doing well growth-wise, but not nearly as exponential as USDT.

The second-largest stablecoin by market valuation is USDC, a stablecoin token created by Circle. USDC is close to reaching a $1 billion market cap with $927,077,875 worth of USDC coins in circulation. The stablecoin BUSD launched by the crypto exchange Binance has a $165,876,444 market valuation at the time of publication.

Paxos Standard, otherwise known as PAX, has a $244,966,858 market cap, which is well above BUSD. This is followed by trueusd (TUSD $144M) and gemini dollar (GUSD $9.8M). Gemini’s stablecoin is barely a blip on the radar when it comes to the rest of the stablecoin competition.

In addition to tether’s (USDT) rise to a $10 billion dollar market, the coin has moved a massive amount of USDT value from the Omni Layer network over to the Ethereum network. In fact, 60% of tethers have been issued as ERC20 tokens to-date.

At press time, there are 6,037,847,550 USDT tokens that leverage the ERC20 standard. The Ethereum blockchain holds a large majority of stablecoins as well (that are mentioned above) and the network’s value transfer is dominated by stablecoins.

What do you think about tether’s (USDT) whopping $10 billion dollar market cap? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

The post Tether’s Market Valuation Grows 144% in 2020, USDT Market Cap Worth $10 Billion appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Russian Court: Theft Of 100 BTC Isn’t A Crime Because Bitcoin Isn’t Property

A Russian court turned down a request from a victim of a 100 Bitcoin theft seeking restitution, with the court arguing that cryptocurrencies have no legal status.

On June 30, a Russian criminal court denied a motion to provide restitution to a victim of what would in many jurisdictions be a felony, arguing that Bitcoin (BTC), as a virtual currency, does not enjoy the same property protection as other assets.

The case goes back to 2018, when the two men impersonating Federal Security Service (FSB) agents and their accomplices kidnapped the victim and forced him into giving them 5 million rubles or $90,000 in cash and 99.7 BTC — worth about $900,000 at the time. The kidnappers were sentenced to eight- and ten-year prison sentences. 

Virtual currencies have no legal status

As part of the criminal proceedings, the victim requested the court rule to force the thieves to repay the funds that they stole from him. The court ruled partially in the victim’s favor, asserting the thieves must repay the 5 million rubles. However, when it came to the cryptocurrency, the court declared that it is unable to satisfy the claim, since virtual currencies are not recognized by Russia’s laws as legal tender or its surrogate.

The victim may still try his luck in a civil court. Regardless of any future legal proceedings, this court decision is remarkable — in essence, it declared that Bitcoin theft is not a crime.

Kazakh Gov Plans to Double Its Investment in Digital Currency Mining

Kazakhstan says it will double its digital currency mining investment at the end of this year, and is eyeing a CBDC.

Kazakhstan officials revealed the nation’s digital currency development plan to experts from Russia and China at "2020 Astana Online Financial Day". According to the China Ministry of Commerce on July 1, Kazakhstan plans to double its digital currency mining investment by the end of this year, and continues to develop its central bank digital currency.

According to the report, Kazakhstan's digital currency mining project attracted 82.6 million Tenge, which is about 20 million USD. The scale of this investment will increase by 80 million Tenge in 2020.

Blockchain and CBDC a work in progress

The development of blockchain technology gives digital currency new practical significance, says Kazakhstan. 

In May 2020, Mu Xin, Kazakh President's adviser proposed the introduction of blockchain technology and the digital Tenge. This would aim to combat corruption and ensure transparency in the allocation of state budget funds. In June, Kazakhstan adopted a development outline for blockchain and digital technology. 

At present, the Central Bank of Kazakhstan is demonstrating the feasibility of introducing the CBDC Tenge. Zarenov, adviser to the president of the Central Bank of Kazakhstan, emphasised: 

“The main task of the central bank is to maintain inflation targets and financial market stability, and the digital currency solution is the second priority. The key is to ensure that the design of a digital currency system is consistent with the objectives of monetary policy.”

Legal framework for its CBDC

Kariyev, development manager of Astana International Financial Center, or AIFC, said AIFC is willing to provide test support and formulate a legal basis for Kazakhstan to introduce its digital currency. The AIFC’s protocol includes cryptocurrency classifications, smart contract, digital wallet and other common cryptocurrency market terms. 

Kazakhstan previously developed a method of cryptocurrency storage and circulation meant to standardize these processes through a professional platform.

University of California pays out millions in Bitcoin after ransom attack

The University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) paid out over $1.14 million in Bitcoin to hackers earlier this week, days after their data was held as ransom by a group of unidentified individuals.

Authorities are monitoring transactions and have passed the case on to relevant cyber-crime officials, as per reports on Tuesday.

UCSF affected

Hackers blocked a selection of data servers from the university’s overall computing network. Compromised data containing sensitive research information — such as the UCSF’s work on medical studies — among other uncategorized data.

The affected servers were blocked by encrypted malware, masking the hackers’ identities.

The incident first came to light on June 1, after UCSF’s I.T. department raised concerns of and confirmed an isolated security incident on a “limited number of servers in the School of Medicine.” the servers were isolated from the UCSF core network.

UCSF medical school at night. (Source: Linkedin)

All servers, at the time, were left inaccessible, and stolen data immediately encrypted to prove a hack — instead of carelessness in data handling — had been perpetrated.

In a release, UCSF said the data was vital to research for “serving the public good,” adding that the data that was encrypted is important to some of the academic work we pursue as a university serving the public good.”

This caused the school to make the “difficult decision” of paying $1.14 million to the individuals heading the malware attack.

Bitcoin paid, tool received 

UCSF has since received a tool to unlock the encrypted data and the return of the data held by attackers, the release confirmed.

University officials told reporters their work on patient care, COVID-19, or general campus activities was unaffected. In terms of avoiding such an attack again, they said a team of security experts will be brought in to educate and eliminate such future threats.

Affected servers will be restored in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, UCSF said the incident highlighted the growing threat of malware by cybercriminals, although not blaming the use of Bitcoin in any way:

“This incident reflects the growing use of malware by cyber-criminals around the world seeking monetary gain, including several recent attacks on institutions of higher education.”

Investigations are ongoing.

The post University of California pays out millions in Bitcoin after ransom attack appeared first on CryptoSlate.

OKCoin Exec Says PayPal Will Boost Crypto Adoption, If Rumors True

OKCoin's COO said a PayPal crypto listing would give the industry vast exposure.

Rumors recently surfaced of mainstream payment giant PayPal adding crypto as an option on its platform. Although he had no additional information on the legitimacy of the rumors, OKCoin COO Jason Lau said digital assets on PayPal would further crypto adoption. 

"When a traditional player like PayPal, who has 325 million users, enters the crypto space, it is sure to have a positive impact in highlighting cryptocurrencies to a big new audience," Lau told Cointelegraph via email correspondence on June 24. 

PayPal rumors and job listings surface

Rumors hit the web on June 22 of PayPal adding cryptocurrencies to its platform. In tandem with the rumblings — job listings PayPal posted on the web searching for crypto and blockchain-related engineers. Little information has been confirmed, however. PayPal declined comment on the rumors, according to previous Cointelegraph reporting. 

Given the fact the public is unsure of a PayPal crypto listing in general, details around specifics on such a listing obviously lie unconfirmed as well. "Whether they are merely giving the customer price exposure or allowing users full on-chain ownership to send to an external wallet remains to be seen," Lau said. 

"Having complete control of your crypto adds a very important level of security and utility to users," Lau added.

People generally start with the basics

Crypto on a mainstream payment giant means exposure. "PayPal adding crypto would bring additional awareness, adoption, and a new low friction payment method for individual users," Lau said. 

At the start, when people hear about crypto, they often become involved through more mainstream, user-friendly and simply avenues. 

"Typically, our users first get initiated to crypto via an app like Square Cash, Robinhood, or now potentially Venmo, and then come to OKCoin to develop and execute their investing and trading plans," Lau said after mentioning OKCoin and other exchanges as more complex, touting added capabilities.   

Lau added:

"As with fiat, investing usually comes after people learn how to acquire, store, and transact an asset. We're excited to see more and more platforms providing users the ability to take that first step into crypto to grow the market."

PayPal is just the latest sign of the growing mainstream crypto interest seen in 2020, which includes mainstream billionaire hedge funder Paul Tudor Jones' dive into Bitcoin investment, and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling's comments about Bitcoin on Twitter. 

Bitcoin Has Only Had One Other Rounded Top, And a Major Correction Followed

If the current price action is a top formation, then it doesn’t match the sharp spikes Bitcoin and blow-off tops the cryptocurrency is known for. Only one other time has a comparable rounded top formation appeared on BTCUSD price charts over the last ten years. And when it happened, a major correction followed.

Should the first-ever cryptocurrency fail to pump soon and prove this trading range isn’t a top, then another collapse could be next.

When Will The Confusing, Sideways Trading Range End and Crypto Break Out?

The current Bitcoin price action has the crypto market and its participants confused. The indecision is reflected in both the sideways price action and the doji on the June monthly close.

Volatility in the normally notoriously explosive asset class has reached record lows. The cryptocurrency rarely stays in this tight of a trading range for very long. When it does eventually break out, a powerful, over 20% move follows, according to data.

Crypto analysts review past price action in Bitcoin seeking clues to how current and future price movements may play out.

Related Reading | Bitcoin Monthly Shows Indecision, Data Reveals The Shocking Aftermath of Past Doji

Fundamentally, Bitcoin has never been healthier. The cryptocurrency’s halving just passed, and records are being set for the fewest BTC moved in years. A number of key indicators are “screaming buy.”

Technically speaking, the cryptocurrency could be on the verge of its next long-term uptrend. Or, another crash could be on the way before that happens.

And if the current price action is a slowly rounding top, it marks only the second structure of this kind in the asset’s history. Only one other time did Bitcoin trade within a similar range and timeframe, and a massive correction followed.

Bitcoin Ditches Sharp, Blow-Off Tops For Rounded Formation, Last Time a Dangerous Drop Followed

The leading cryptocurrency by market cap is at an impasse. A new tool indicated that Bitcoin’s next bull run was here, but the pandemic had other plans. Now, cases of the outbreak are skyrocketing across the globe, putting the crypto market at risk of another steep selloff.

The last panic-driven selloff on Black Thursday cut Bitcoin price in half within 48 hours. The move shocked the investment world as record losses were around every turn.

While the asset has since recovered alongside the stock market, as cases spike again, there’s more danger and risk ahead.

Coinciding with this concerning increase in cases and a return of fear, Bitcoin is ready for a decision to be made.

The asset has been trading sideways for a total of 63 days within a 20% range. The only other instance of a rounded top in Bitcoin’s history that traded within a similar range and timeframe, resulted in a shocking drop.

bitcoin btcusd rounded top

The drop resulted in yet another lower low in Bitcoin and a deeper dive into an extended bear market.

Such a scenario, given Bitcoin’s fundamental health and the hyperinflation that is coming, is unlikely. However, Bitcoin must prove that this isn’t a long, drawn-out rounded top.

This type of rounding top formation exhausts buyers at high levels, causing the drop to be that much more significant. Fewer buyers are willing to step in on the way down after buying at a loss above.

Related Reading | Fund Manager: If Black Thursday Didn’t Shake Out BTC Holders, Nothing Will

It could be the catalyst necessary for a larger, more effective shakeout of the strongest holders.

A rounded top here at current prices would result in a lower high. The Black Thursday drop following the fall to $6K in December 2019, acted as a lower low.

A lower high and a lower low is the definition of a downtrend forming. If Bitcoin cannot set a new high, a lower low may be coming, and this rounded top could be the reason.

SBI Invests $30M in B2C2, Largest Proclaimed Market Maker in XRP

SBI invests $30 million in major crypto liquidity startup soon after revealing Japan’s first digital fund comprising 50% XRP.

SBI Financial Services, a subsidiary of Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings, has bought a $30 million minority stake in British crypto liquidity startup, B2C2.

The investment marks the beginning of a strategic partnership between the firms as B2C2 is set to become SBI’s main liquidity provider. As announced on July 1, the collaboration is aimed to expand SBI’s crypto offering to millions of customers. B2C2 is intended to benefit from SBI’s distribution network as the London-based startup launches an electronic prime brokerage.

A spokesperson at B2C2 told Cointelegraph that the investment is “one of the largest in the digital asset industry this year,” declining to disclose more details about the deal.

The representative continued:

“Ultimately, bringing together B2C2’s sophisticated asset liability management framework, valuable client base and deep expertise in trading and prime brokerage with SBI’s balance sheet strength will be a game changer, uniquely positioning us to tap the $20bn-a-year prime brokerage market.”

SBI to launch Japan’s first digital asset fund focused on XRP

The news comes shortly after SBI revealed plans to launch a crypto investment fund. SBI CEO, Yoshitaka Kitao, announced the plans in a June 26 investor presentation, claiming that the fund will become Japan's first digital asset fund.

As reported, SBI’s new crypto fund will mostly operate XRP, which is planned to account for 50% of the fund’s portfolio. Other digital assets include Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), comprising 30% and 20%, respectively, based on a chart from SBI’s presentation.

B2C2 claims to be the “largest market maker in XRP”

The latest minority stake acquisition is the first time SBI invested in B2C2, a spokesperson at the company told Cointelegraph. B2C2 is primarily self-funded with the majority owned by B2C2’s founders, the representative said. Co-founded in 2015 by Max Boonen, a former Goldman Sachs trader, B2C2 is a major over-the-counter, or OTC, trading platform. In an email to Cointelegraph, a B2C2 spokesperson claimed to be the “largest market maker in XRP.”

SBI has been actively involved in a number of crypto projects, paying special attention to XRP. As reported, Ripple has been a major crypto partner of SBI Holdings, providing solutions for their joint venture SBI Ripple Asia, which was formed to promote XRP usage in Asian financial markets in 2016. On June 18, Adam Traidman, CEO of SBI Ripple Asia, said that Ripple has started to roll out its On-Demand Liquidity in Asia.

XRP Tanks Compared To Crypto Counterparts Bitcoin And Ethereum, But Why?

XRP spent the last several years as the worst performer in the cryptocurrency market. And even though the altcoin has been beaten and battered, it has recently sunk even lower compared to Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Why exactly is the altcoin commonly referred to as Ripple, so severely crippled and unable to gain positive momentum?

XRP Underperformance Against Bitcoin and Ethereum Reaches New Extremes

For two years running, XRP has been among the worst performers in the cryptocurrency space, alongside XLM.

The previously third-ranked cryptocurrency reached an all-time high of over $3.50 per token following Bitcoin’s peak in 2017. But since then, it has fallen so hard that the stablecoin Tether has knocked it out of the third-ranked spot.

The altcoin remains over 94% down from its record set in early 2018 on the XRPUSD pair. On the XRPBTC pair, the asset is currently down 91%.

XRPUSD XRPBTC XRP

Ripple XRPBTC & XRPUSD Comparison | Source: TradingView

The cryptocurrency has reached extremely oversold conditions, yet any glimmer of a rally is immediately sold down. Even Ripple execs committing to cease selling themselves hasn’t had any positive impact on price action.

Related Reading | It’s Official: Tether Flippens Ripple After Recent Crypto Crash

Negative sentiment continues to build. It’s led the altcoin, now in fourth place in the top list of crypto asset by market cap, to underperform Bitcoin and Ethereum over the last 30 days. But what is causing the gross underperformance in Ripple, and the extreme deviation between it and other assets?

 xrp btc eth usd

Ripple Bitcoin Ethereum Comparison | Source: TradingView

Why Are Whales Accumulating The Crypto Market’s Worst Performer?

The altcoin known as Ripple over the last 30 days, has fallen nearly 14% according to data. During the same timeframe, Bitcoin dropped over 3%, and Ethereum, just over 4%.

The three long-time top crypto assets are typically tightly correlated. When one pumps, so do the others. Especially on USD trading pairs.

Then why exactly is XRP falling so sharply against BTC and ETH by comparison?

A large supply of the altcoin held by PlusToken scammers is said to have been mixed recently, and stealthy selling could be responsible for the continued drawdown. However, these scammers are said to have Ethereum and potentially more Bitcoin to sell as well.

Related Reading | Ripple Effect: Crypto Whales Buy Up A Sea of Small Fish Selling

Sentiment could simply be this bad in XRP holders, who have suffered far worse than most other altcoin bagholders.

Watching Tether “flippen” the asset, and Bitcoin and Ethereum surge could be causing mass capitulation amongst holders of the altcoin.

But while any capitulating small-time fish are selling off their XRP at extreme lows, the largest account holders – whales – are absorbing the selling.

Data shows that the largest under 1% of wallets are increasing their holdings, while smaller wallets dump theirs.

Even despite the ongoing downtrend in XRP, even reaching new depths, the reason why investors continue to hold out hope can be seen below.

xrpusd xrp

Ripple XRPUSD Weekly | Source: TradingView

Although the cryptocurrency has spent nearly three full years in an over 90% downtrend when it does breakout, it is unstoppable.

In less than a year, XRP rose over 50,000%. That’s not a typo, it’s one of the largest gains ever recorded in cryptocurrency history. If this happens again, anyone selling now at these lows are going to experience something far more painful than the downtrend has been.

Ethereum Bulls Defend Crucial Support, But Outlook Remains Gloomy

Despite navigating down towards its crucial support at $220, Ethereum’s buyers were able to defend against a break below this level The cryptocurrency now appears to be well-positioned to maintain above this level in the near-term, as buyers are currently ardently defending another crucial support level That being said, on its daily chart the cryptocurrency does appear to be flashing some signs of overt weakness One group of analysts recently noted that the recent break below $228 damaged ETH’s technical structure They say that its continued reaction to this level is critical for determining what comes next Ethereum visited its crucial high time frame support at $220 earlier this week, with the dip to these lows proving to be fleeting. Buyers were able to rapidly slow the crypto’s descent once it reached this level and have helped push it higher in the time since. It is important to note that the rebound from these lows has also allowed ETH to recapture $228, another crucial level that analysts have been closely watching. The crypto has posted strong reactions to this level on multiple occasions in the past, signaling that a continued defense of it will be imperative for buyers to catalyze any momentum. Ethereum Defends Crucial Support Following Bout of Intense Weakness  At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading up over 1% at its current price of $228.75. This marks a notable rise from its recent lows of $220 that were set late last week, and also marks a slight outperformance of Bitcoin. This level has proven to be important on multiple occasions. While ETH traded within its range between $230 and $250, each dip below the lower boundary was halted when it reached this level. In order for bulls to recapture this trading range and propel Ethereum higher, a continued defense of this level is vital. One cryptocurrency analyst spoke about this in a recent tweet, explaining that the region between $226 and $228 has been established as a heavy support level over the past month. “Ethereum daily chart – Trying to hold key short term support at previous S/R flip,” he said while pointing to the below chart. Image courtesy of Big Cheds. Chart via TradingView. ETH’s Macro Market Structure Remains Firmly Bearish Although buyers have been able to recapture this key resistance, the crypto’s macro outlook remains gloomy. In a recent blog post, two respected technical analysts shared their thoughts on the cryptocurrency, explaining that they believe this weakness would be confirmed and morph into a downtrend if $223 is broken. “So, shorter-term market structure is bearish, but weekly support is intact… A compelling bearish case can be made if $223 fails. This would be good evidence of market structure continuation and the objective would the other boundary of that same weekly cluster i.e. $212,” they stated/ Featured image from Shutterstock. Charts from TradingView

Crypto Mobile Apps Are on the Rise in India Following Supreme Court Decision

Crypto businesses keep showing interest in the Indian market by attracting users through products like mobile apps.

India’s crypto developers have begun to release new mobile apps, following a positive ruling by the nation’s Supreme Court with regard to blockchain technology. The Court’s decision reversed laws that previously prohibited banks from providing services to crypto traders and businesses.

A growing interest in the Indian crypto market

B21, a digital asset investment company, recently launched their own Blockchain investment portfolio app in light of these changes. They claimed that the Supreme Court of India's announcement "has led to renewed interest in digital asset investing and a spike in exchange trading volumes" in the country.

Speaking with Cointelegraph, Nitin Agarwal, founder and director of B21, commented on the technology’s market potential in India, following the Supreme Court's decision:

"The decision in India has helped us focus on partnerships and marketing in India, as we see a large population which are smartphone savvy and also a large emerging class of investors looking for investment opportunities which previously were not available to them."

Will crypto remain legal in India?

B21's founder stated that India has "a lot" to contribute to the development of crypto-assets and the emerging blockchain ecosystem.

The Supreme Court's decision on cryptos in India could still face future challenges, however. Cointelegraph reported on June 12 that the Indian Ministry of Finance has proposed a ban on cryptocurrencies within the subcontinent.

Three reasons why China will “lose its grip” on Bitcoin mining as political tensions mount

Weeks after the Bitcoin halving in mid-May, miners are seemingly moving out of China and into Europe — with one prominent mining pool stating geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China are a major catalyst.

Losing “inertia”

F2Pool, one of the world’s largest Bitcoin mining pool as per data on BTC.com, said in a tweet this week that “inertia” is keeping the most of the Chinese hashrate still intact, but the country will “eventually lose its grip on the industry.”

China commands over 65 percent of the global Bitcoin hash rate, as per reports. F2Pool, AntPool, Pooling, and BTC.com are the major players, with smaller ones like Lubian and ViaBTC also making their mark.

China is no newcomer to mining. Such businesses have thrived there for years, with F2Pool itself active since 2013. Low labor costs, cheap electricity, and technical know-how have each played their part in catapulting China’s rise in the mining industry.

However, the podium is likely to see change. F2Pool believes mining farms outside of China will “increase [their] pace” this year.

A 21 Shares analyst echoes the thoughts. Going by @elidinga on Twitter, he said earlier this week that “three important geopolitical” patterns could explain China’s sharp mining decline in recent times.

Three political factors

First is the ongoing U.S-China trade war, presumably coupled with the latter’s political behavior with India, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Capital outflows have seen a record level in the country since 2010. Western investors, hedge funds, and even some East Asian VCs are running for the exit.

The above has, by extension, caused funds spent on Bitcoin mining and farm setups to steadily decline. Mining, by nature, is an expensive affair, oft requiring millions in upfront investments to building a mid-sized mining outlet.

Mining farm in China. (Source: Charl)

Next is the “de-dollarisation of various financial systems, specifically in emerging economies.” The latter are increasingly turning to crypto-assets ahead of traditional financial instruments. Eli adds:

“Since accessing cryptoassets from crypto exchanges is undoubtedly impossible for users in countries like Iran, setting up mining operations to earn Bitcoin presents [a] viable option.”

Last, is Bitcoin mining businesses getting institutionalized in the U.S.

U.S Prominence and rising difficulty

Just last week, a relatively new mining firm, Core Scientific, led by ex-Microsoft COO Kevin Turner said it would purchase over 17,595 units of mining rigs from Bitmain. Another firm in Canada, Hut 8 Mining, also raised $8 million from investors to build mining capabilities.

As such, U.S. investors interested in such avenues are family offices, traders, and accredited investors, notes Eli. He added this trend was likely to shift to professional traders in the short term.

Data shows the U.S. is already catching on — commanding 7 percent of the global mining hash rate:

(Source: Cambridge Alt Finance)

Meanwhile, Eli said retail mining still remains active in the Bitcoin market, presumably using old GPUs to earn their bread. However, they are likely to be stamped out in the near-term as Bitcoin’s difficult changes and corporate miners invest in better equipment.

The post Three reasons why China will “lose its grip” on Bitcoin mining as political tensions mount appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Price Analysis 7/1: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, BSV, LTC, BNB, ADA, CRO, EOS

Bitcoin and a few altcoins have bounced off their recent lows, suggesting that the sentiment remains to buy the dips.

Bitcoin (BTC), gold, crude oil, and the US equity markets all rose sharply throughout the second quarter of this year. This shows that investors’ appetites remain strong as they are confident that central banks will continue to keep the money supply flowing. 

While monetary easing can be a short-term solution, if it is not rolled back at the right time it can destroy the economy in the long-term, as seen in Zimbabwe.

Although the top-ranked asset on CoinMarketCap has been stuck in a range for the past few days, the participation from both institutional investors and retail investors has been increasing. This shows that informed investors have been buying Bitcoin for the long-term.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

The third quarter has historically been the weakest quarter for the US stock markets, according to CFRA Research chief strategist Sam Stovall. If history were to repeat itself and the correlation between Bitcoin and the S&P 500 remains high, Bitcoin’s price action might remain subdued for a few more weeks.

BTC/USD

The bears were unable to take advantage of the breakdown from the trendline of the ascending triangle on June 27 as there was no follow up selling in Bitcoin (BTC) below $8,825. This indicates that selling dries up at lower levels.

BTC/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

BTC/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

Currently, the bulls are attempting to push the price back above the trendline. Even if they are successful, they will face stiff resistance at the 20-day exponential moving average ($9,314) and also at the 50-day simple moving average ($9,428).

A breakout of the 50-day SMA will signal strength and is likely to attract further buying, resulting in a move to $10,000.

This view will be invalidated if the BTC/USD pair turns down from the overhead resistance. In such a case, the bears will try to sink the price below $8,825 and if they succeed, a drop to $8,638.79 and $8,130.58 is possible.

ETH/USD

The rebound off $216.06 has reached the 20-day EMA ($230), which is likely to act as a stiff resistance, but if the bulls can push Ether (ETH) above this resistance a rally to $253.556 is possible.

ETH/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview​​​​​​​

ETH/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

Conversely, if the second-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap turns down from the 20-day EMA, a retest of $216.006 is possible. A break below this support can result in a deeper correction to $200 and below that $176.112.

The 20-day EMA is flattening out and the relative strength index has risen to the midpoint, which suggests a balance between supply and demand. This could keep the ETH/USD pair range-bound for a few more days until the bulls drive the price above $253.56 and resume the uptrend.

XRP/USD

The relief rally in XRP could not scale above the $0.18 level, which shows a lack of buying support at higher levels. If the bears sink the price below $0.173278, a retest of the recent lows at $0.169012 is likely.

XRP/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview​​​​​​​

XRP/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

Both moving averages are sloping down and the RSI has been trading near the oversold zone, which suggests that bears are at an advantage.

A break below $0.169012 is likely to attract further selling that can drag the price to the support line of the descending channel. A break below the channel could intensify selling resulting in a drop to $0.14.

This bearish view will be invalidated if the bulls can push the fourth-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap above the descending channel.

BCH/USD

After rising above $217.55, the buying in Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has dried up, which has resulted in a tight range trading for the past two days. A bounce off the current levels is likely to face stiff resistance at the moving averages.

BCH/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview​​​​​​​

BCH/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

The 20-day EMA ($232) is sloping down and the RSI is in the negative territory, suggesting that bears have the upper hand.

If the fifth-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap slips below $217.55 a drop to the critical support at $200 is possible.

For this bearish sentiment to change the bulls will have to drive the BCH/USD pair above the 50-day SMA ($239).

BSV/USD

The relief rally in Bitcoin SV (BSV) fizzled out at $162.53 on June 28, which suggests that the bulls are hesitant to buy at higher levels. However, the bounce off the lows today indicates that lower levels are attracting some buying by the bulls.

BSV/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview​​​​​​​

BSV/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

Both moving averages are sloping down and the RSI is close to the oversold zone, which suggests that the path of least resistance is to the downside.

If the bears can sink the sixth-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap below the $146.20–$135 support zone, the downtrend is likely to resume. The next target objective on the downside is $110.

Conversely, the first sign of strength would be a breakout and close (UTC time) above the breakdown level of $170.

LTC/USD

For the past three days, Litecoin (LTC) has been trading in a tight range of $40.5–$42, which shows that the bulls are struggling to carry the price higher. The 20-day EMA ($43) is sloping down and the RSI is in the negative zone, suggesting that the bears have the upper hand.

LTC/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview​​​​​​​

LTC/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

If the bears again sink the seventh-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap below $41, a retest of $39 will be on the cards. A break below this critical support could signal the start of a new downtrend, with a short-term target objective of $35 and below it $32.50.

However, if buying picks up and the bulls are able to push the price above both moving averages, a rally to the resistance of the $39–$51 range is possible. The next trending move is likely to start after the LTC/USD pair breaks out of the range.

BNB/USD

The bulls are trying to propel Binance Coin (BNB) back above the overhead resistance at $15.72. Above this level, the recovery is likely to hit a wall at the 20-day EMA ($16).

BNB/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview​​​​​​​

BNB/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

If the eighth-ranked crypto-asset on CoinMarketCap turns down from the current levels or the 20-day EMA, the bears will attempt to sink the price below the immediate support at $14.80. Below this level, a drop to $13.65 is possible.

However, if the buyers can push the price above the 20-day EMA, a move to the 50-day SMA ($16.54) and then to $18.1377 is possible. The next trending move is likely to start after the BNB/USD pair breaks out of the large $13.65–$18.1377 range.

ADA/USD

Cardano (ADA) has broken out of the symmetrical triangle and the overhead resistance at $0.0901373, which indicates a resumption of the up move.

ADA/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview​​​​​​​

ADA/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

The pattern target of the breakout of the triangle is $0.10686 but it is unlikely to be a straight dash to the target as the bears might attempt to stall the uptrend at $0.10.

However, as both moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is close to the overbought territory, the advantage remains with the bulls.

This view will be invalidated if the ninth-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap turns down from the current levels and plunges below $0.0901373.

CRO/USD

Crypto.com Coin (CRO) hit a swing high of $0.133539 on June 30, which was just below the target objective of $0.135202 as suggested in the previous analysis. A series of higher highs, supported by the upsloping moving averages, confirms an uptrend.

CRO/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview​​​​​​​

CRO/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

However, the bearish divergence on the RSI is warning that the uptrend might be weakening and a minor correction or consolidation is likely.

Sometimes, in strong uptrends, such divergences are invalidated as the asset continues the uptrend but traders should remain cautious when a divergence develops because several times they forecast a correction.

If the bears sink the 10th-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap below the 20-day EMA ($0.116), it will be the first warning that the uptrend is weakening. A break below $0.11 will signal the likelihood of a deeper correction.

This view will be invalidated if the CRO/USD pair breaks above $0.133539 and resumes its journey towards the target objective of $0.135202 and then $0.15306.

EOS/USD

Although the bulls purchased the sharp dip on June 27, they are struggling to carry EOS higher, which suggests that buying dries up at higher levels. The price has been consolidating close to the $2.3314 support for the past three days.

EOS/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview​​​​​​​

EOS/USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

If the price does not move up, the bulls might lose interest and that could result in another fall towards $2.1926.

The downsloping 20-day EMA ($2.49) and the RSI below 40 level suggests that bears have the advantage in the short-term. If the bears can sink the 11th-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap below $2.1926, the decline can extend to $1.80.

This bearish view will be invalidated if the EOS/USD pair bounces off the current levels and breaks above the moving averages.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author 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.

Market data is provided by HitBTC exchange.

Bitcoin Investors Pocketed 42% in Gains During the Second Quarter of 2020

Bitcoin Investors Pocketed 42% in Gains During the Second Quarter of 2020

The second quarter of 2020 was very profitable for bitcoin investors, according to data analytics firm Skew.

During the period, the top cryptocurrency climbed 42%, its fourth-best quarterly close since 2014. For the March quarter, the digital asset fell 10.6%, dragged by the massive Black Thursday crash. As a matter of fact, bitcoin declined in three successive quarters before Q2 2020.

In terms of price, bitcoin (BTC) soared from around $6,420 at the beginning of April to more than $9,140 at the end of June, Skew figures show. The coin has, however, struggled to break the psychological $10,000 level in a quarter in which Bitcoin underwent its scheduled supply cut.

Despite the sharp rise, this is not bitcoin’s biggest Q2 gain in the past seven years. Investors pocketed profits of 158% and 125% for the second quarters of 2019 and 2017, respectively. In 2016, Q2 gains came in at 62%.

According to Skew, third quarters have been historically more challenging for bitcoin. With the exception of “2017 vintage” when the BTC price surged 80%, thanks to that year’s phenomenal rally, and another 2.9% gain in 2018, Q3 performances have remained in the red for the last seven years.

While poor performance may not be valid for Q3 in all years, pundits expect 2020 to show little difference. That’s largely because BTC transaction volumes have not increased in recent days while it’s 60-day moving average has not improved.

There’s still optimism in some quarters, however, that Bitcoin’s third halving will lead to an increase in the price of the benchmark cryptocurrency in this quarter and beyond. A number of analysts’ predictions put BTC at a price of $20,000 by year-end.

At the time of writing, each BTC is trading at $9,191, down 0.16% over the last 24 hours, according to data from markets.bitcoin.com.

What do you think about bitcoin’s quarterly performance? Let us know in the comments section below.

The post Bitcoin Investors Pocketed 42% in Gains During the Second Quarter of 2020 appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Mac Users Beware — New Ransomware Targets Apple Computers

EvilQuest ransomware is launching attacks against macOS users through infected installers.

A new ransomware is targeting macOS users who download installers for popular apps via torrent files.

Known as EvilQuest, the attack was first spotted by Dinesh Devadoss, a K7 Lab malware researcher. Findings show that EvilQuest has been quite active since the start of June 2020. Malware lab firms, like Malwarebytes, have found the ransomware attached to pirated macOS software distributed mainly through torrent sites and warez forums.

Same BTC address used

EvilQuest asks victims to pay a ransom through the same static Bitcoin (BTC) address in every documented attack. One of the first signs that EvilQuest has deployed an attack is that MacOS Finder freezes. Once file encryption is complete, a text file is generated with ransom instructions.

Speaking with Cointelegraph, Brett Callow, threat analyst and ransomware expert at malware lab, Emsisoft, believes that EvilQuest is unlikely to be anything other than a very small-scale threat:

“The fact that Macs have a relatively small market share means they’re not a particularly attractive target for ransomware groups and they’re unlikely to invest significant resources in targeting Mac users.”

Not a significant threat

Findings also show that the average ransom demanded by the attackers is $50 worth in BTC. Victims are usually given a deadline of 72 hours to pay.

Callow adds:

“That said, a threat is a threat and it’s something Mac-users should be aware of. Thankfully, as this ransomware appears to be targeted exclusively via pirated software, it’s very easily avoided simply by not using pirated software. That holds true whether you’re a Mac user or a Windows user: pirated software and cracks are the primary distribution method for the types of ransomware that target home users.”

Recently, Cointelegraph reported on the rise in ransomware that targets home users rather than companies.

This is How Facebook’s Novi Can Share Libra User Info With Others

Social media giant Facebook's subsidiary Novi Financial has retained the right to share the information of Libra users with the third parties, with users' consent, and in certain cases - "without further notice." As reported, in May, Facebook rebranded its Calibra subsidiary, responsible for the Libra project, saying that the first product Novi Financial will

Startup Brings Blockchain Functionality to Steam Gaming Platform

The Pavillion Hub games platform integrates with Steam to enable easy issue of tradable NFTs.

Blockchain’s inexorable push into the world of gaming is occurring simultaneously on a number of fronts. From AAA tentpole productions backed by major crypto players, through crypto-powered Esports tournaments in popular non-blockchain titles, to encouraging developers on board with easy-to-use blockchain integration tools.

GOATi Entertainment is taking a dual-headed approach of its own with its Pavillion Hub offering; targeting both the developers and players on one of the largest gaming platforms around, Steam.

Steam, but turbo-charged and blockchain-enabled

Pavillion Hub, powered by Phantasma blockchain, acts as a kind of blockchain-enhanced front end for Steam.

Gamers can simply link their Steam accounts to the downloaded app, and play all of their existing Steam content. However, the app will also create a Phantasma wallet for the player, allowing them to seamlessly utilize tradable non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, along with their Steam inventory.

Game developers can use the blockchain back-end of Pavillion to deliver the same in-game inventory through NFT assets. This stretches from in-game items and expansion packs, to mods and even the game licenses themselves.

The real draw is that it enables this with no need for specialist blockchain knowledge.

Steam, but with a resale marketplace

Steam has locked down the selling of individual in-game assets, meaning the only way to profit from that level 99 warlock that you’ve spent the last 4 years levelling is to sell your entire steam account, game licenses and all.

However, with Pavillion Hub’s NFT marketplace, any item represented as an NFT can be bought and sold. This means your rare amulets, complete characters, and even game licences can be sold on.

It also enables the modding community to monetize their skill, as game mods and extensions can also be freely traded.

The platform also allows the running of events, with smart contracts dealing with the collection and distribution of GOATi tokens, through betting or prize money.

Interested gamers can download a test version of the app now. Look out for a full review of the sample game, 22nd Century Racing Series, on Cointelegraph soon.

Libra Partner Bison Trails Just Announced Support for Ethereum 2.0

Over the past few weeks, Ethereum as a network has seen a spike in transactions and active users.

Just days ago data from Santiment indicated that the number of daily active addresses passed a two year high. Simultaneously, the number of daily confirmed transactions ticked past 1,000,000, making many think back to the 2018 bubble.

Fees, though, have responded in kind, reaching a multi-year high.

Enter Ethereum 2.0, an upgrade slated to dramatically change how the network operates.

Related Reading: A Hacker Just Drained $500k in Ethereum & Altcoins From a DeFi App

What is Ethereum 2.0?

In short, Ethereum 2.0 is a new iteration of the blockchain that will cast aside Proof of Work (mining) and the current virtual machine for a new system.

The new system will be based on Proof of Stake, which removes miners from the equation, sharding, and other technologies. In doing so, the speed, transaction throughput, and decentralization of the network will be increased. The amount of power Ethereum consumes will also be reduced.

At the March 2019 Ethereum Asia Supermeetup in Hong Kong, Vitalik Buterin said the following on the upgrade:

“[It is] a way to bring technical improvements, like PoS and sharding, together to improve the Virtual Machine, Merkle Trees, the efficiency of the protocol, and a whole bunch of small technical things that you have never heard of.”

It’s important to know that due to the changes being implemented, transitioning to Ethereum 2.0 is an arduous process.

It’s so arduous that technically speaking, there will be two blockchains running at the same and data will be transferred over in a multi-year process.

Bison Trails Backs Upgrade

To help ease the transition, firms are springing to provide products that allow one to interact more easily with Ethereum 2.0. One such firm is Bison Trails, a Libra Association partner that announced “support for Eth2” on July 1st.

According to the announcement, the firm will be offering a “suite of enterprise products.” These products will “make it easy to interact with the Beacon Chain, stake ETH, and automatically manage validators, validator clients, and beacon nodes.”

Bison Trails will also help its clients automatically manage their infrastructure in relation to Ethereum 2.0:

“Bison Trails’ autoscaling software will manage customers’ infrastructure automatically, as network requirements change and customers choose to add more validators. This innovation will enable Bison Trails’ customers to continue earning rewards without the hassle of manually managing participation.”

It is unclear which firms currently are looking for a service like this. Yet, it is important to point out that there may be individuals and exchanges incentivized to migrate to Ethereum 2.0 due to staking rewards.

Related Reading: Crypto “Reserve Currency,” Tether (USDT) Hits a $10 Billion Market Cap
Featured Image from Unsplash
Price tags: ethusd
Libra Partner Bison Trails Just Announced Support for Ethereum 2.0

Libra Partner Bison Trails Just Announced Support for Ethereum 2.0

Over the past few weeks, Ethereum as a network has seen a spike in transactions and active users.

Just days ago data from Santiment indicated that the number of daily active addresses passed a two year high. Simultaneously, the number of daily confirmed transactions ticked past 1,000,000, making many think back to the 2018 bubble.

Fees, though, have responded in kind, reaching a multi-year high.

Enter Ethereum 2.0, an upgrade slated to dramatically change how the network operates.

Related Reading: A Hacker Just Drained $500k in Ethereum & Altcoins From a DeFi App

What is Ethereum 2.0?

In short, Ethereum 2.0 is a new iteration of the blockchain that will cast aside Proof of Work (mining) and the current virtual machine for a new system.

The new system will be based on Proof of Stake, which removes miners from the equation, sharding, and other technologies. In doing so, the speed, transaction throughput, and decentralization of the network will be increased. The amount of power Ethereum consumes will also be reduced.

At the March 2019 Ethereum Asia Supermeetup in Hong Kong, Vitalik Buterin said the following on the upgrade:

“[It is] a way to bring technical improvements, like PoS and sharding, together to improve the Virtual Machine, Merkle Trees, the efficiency of the protocol, and a whole bunch of small technical things that you have never heard of.”

It’s important to know that due to the changes being implemented, transitioning to Ethereum 2.0 is an arduous process.

It’s so arduous that technically speaking, there will be two blockchains running at the same and data will be transferred over in a multi-year process.

Bison Trails Backs Upgrade

To help ease the transition, firms are springing to provide products that allow one to interact more easily with Ethereum 2.0. One such firm is Bison Trails, a Libra Association partner that announced “support for Eth2” on July 1st.

According to the announcement, the firm will be offering a “suite of enterprise products.” These products will “make it easy to interact with the Beacon Chain, stake ETH, and automatically manage validators, validator clients, and beacon nodes.”

Bison Trails will also help its clients automatically manage their infrastructure in relation to Ethereum 2.0:

“Bison Trails’ autoscaling software will manage customers’ infrastructure automatically, as network requirements change and customers choose to add more validators. This innovation will enable Bison Trails’ customers to continue earning rewards without the hassle of manually managing participation.”

It is unclear which firms currently are looking for a service like this. Yet, it is important to point out that there may be individuals and exchanges incentivized to migrate to Ethereum 2.0 due to staking rewards.

Related Reading: Crypto “Reserve Currency,” Tether (USDT) Hits a $10 Billion Market Cap
Featured Image from Unsplash
Price tags: ethusd
Libra Partner Bison Trails Just Announced Support for Ethereum 2.0

Bitcoin Continues Closing Below a Crucial Level, Boosting Bears

Bitcoin has remained caught firmly within its long-held consolidation phase, with both its buyers and sellers being unable to catalyze any sharp momentum in either direction It is important to note that unlike weeks past, BTC is now consolidating just above its crucial support level at $9,000 This seems to be a sign of overt weakness, and could hurt buyers should the crypto begin inching lower Analysts are now noting that Bitcoin has been consecutively closing beneath a crucial resistance level, opening the gates for a move into the $7,000 region Bitcoin and the aggregated cryptocurrency market have been struggling to garner any clear direction as the multi-week consolidation trend persists. This trading range has been tightening as of late, as BTC previously saw much greater volatility between $9,000 and $10,000, whereas it is now trading between $9,000 and $9,200. One analyst is noting that the benchmark digital asset remains in bear territory until $9,700 is surmounted. This level has proven to be resistance on multiple occasions. Another analyst is noting that a break above this level in the near-term remains unlikely, as the crypto is currently trading beneath a crucial support level. He offers a downside target within the upper-$7,000 region. Bitcoin’s Trading Range Narrows as Price Hovers Around $9,100  At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up marginally at its current price of $9,150. This is around the price level at which it has been trading for the past several days and weeks. Last week, BTC did incur some volatility when it rallied to highs of $9,800 before facing a grim rejection that then sent it down to lows of $8,900. Buyers stepped up when BTC broke into the $8,000 region and helped boost it higher. Although Bitcoin’s near-term outlook remains somewhat foggy, it does appear that the crypto could be positioned to decline further due to its inability to break above its $9,225 resistance. One analyst offered a chart showing a potential downside target within the upper-$7,000 region. “Another day, another daily close below previous support now resistance.” Image Courtesy of Teddy. Chart via TradingView. Here’s The Level Bulls Need to Shatter to Spark an Uptrend As for where Bitcoin needs to go for it to end this consolidation phase and gain a clear uptrend, one respected trader believes the $9,700 region is crucial. Josh Rager spoke about this in a recent tweet, explaining that BTC first needs to flip $9,285 into support, and then it may be able to test this critical resistance level. “BTC: Buyers step in yet again, last two times we’ve seen this, Bitcoin pushed up over 4% and 2.4%. Watching the S/R at $9285 to get tagged. Break and hold there on 4 hr and we go higher though trend is still down until price closes above $9700s,” he explained. Image Courtesy of Josh Rager. Chart via TradingView. Featured image from Shutterstock. Charts from TradingView.

Destination Blockchain: Shaking Up Travel Industry and Cutting Costs

Blockchain initiatives are being applied by large companies to reduce intermediaries and costs in the travel industry.

The word “blockchain” is no longer perceived as something exotic and super innovative, partly because large companies have found various uses for this technology and customers have begun to understand how it works. On the other hand, the growing adoption and awareness of blockchain has led to the fact that since 2017, many projects have used the technology solely for marketing purposes. The tourism industry is no exception.

Some of the initiatives related to the use of blockchain for traveling failed to materialize, with some cases proving that the majority of decentralized travel projects had nothing to do with the real application of blockchain in tourism. For example, the startup Beenest promised to build a middleman-free, decentralized network of hosts and guests during an initial coin offering. The project appears to have been abandoned, according to comments left by users on the project’s official subreddit.

Meanwhile, the experience of other companies has shown that blockchain is still an immature technology and is inferior to more traditional ones. For example, decentralized platform FlightChain — which logged more than 2 million flight changes between British Airways, Geneva Airport, Heathrow Airport and Miami International Airport — turned out to be more difficult to use than cloud-based data services.

The good news is that there are solutions that are recognized by large travel companies as promising and are being adopted at the state level, primarily relating to air travel and the hotel industry.

Eliminating intermediaries and agent fees

According to a report published by SITA, a provider of air transport communications and information technology, 59% of airlines are implementing pilot or research projects with the goal of integrating blockchain into their internal processes by 2021. Along with the airlines, airports continue their experiments: 34% of them are planning to finalize research and development in this area by 2021. A survey conducted by consulting company Accenture in 2018 showed that 86% of aerospace and defense companies planned to implement this technology within the next three years.

And here, blockchain can be used for a wide range of purposes — from identifying passengers to selling tickets, tracking luggage and managing loyalty programs. Each of these use cases enhances the collaboration between industry stakeholders.

Today, air carriers and airports are getting increasingly fed up with siloed data and multidepartment infrastructure. The biggest obstacle to comfortable, efficiently organized passenger transportation is the isolation of the work processes of airlines, airports, ground handling specialists and regulatory authorities. Delayed flights or overbooking — the consequences of this management model — can cost companies tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, how can blockchain attempt to solve this problem?

The way out is eliminating the middlemen by deploying a peer-to-peer network. For example, S7 Airlines, one of the largest Russian air carriers, issues and sells tickets through blockchain technology. More specifically, it uses a private blockchain based on the Ethereum protocol that uses smart contracts to exchange data between parties, reducing the settlement time between the airline and agents from 14 days to just 23 seconds. The platform is being actively used now, and according to the data revealed by S7 in 2019, the monthly volume of transactions processed through the blockchain exceeds $1 million.

S7 Airlines became the first air company to deploy blockchain infrastructure to make payments from start to finish — from the ticket booking system to the bank’s payment system. In a press release, S7 noted that the introduction of the platform allowed it to increase the transaction speed and reduce paper workflow while guaranteeing the safety of operations. Jennifer Willy, the editor of Etia.com — a platform that provides the travel community with the latest travel-related information and education — told Cointelegraph:

“Blockchain tech has resulted in a reduction of transaction costs up to 20% for consumer ticket bookings. Several airline companies including Air New Zealand has employed this tech, which has resulted in preventing over boarding, simplification of the process, and quick & secure payments.”

Last year, Hahn Air, another airline company, also issued airline tickets in collaboration with Winding Tree, a blockchain-based travel distribution platform, and has already conducted its first flight using such tickets. Through the Winding Tree platform, Hahn Air is said to list inventory, manage booking requests and accept payments. Winding Tree has also entered into agreements with numerous well-known airlines, including Air Canada, Air France-KLM and Lufthansa along with its subsidiaries Eurowings, Swiss Air Lines, Swissport, Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines and Air New Zealand.

Winding Tree also found a way to bypass commissions taken by hotel services. The team says it has created a specialized blockchain platform that allows people to conduct transactions without incurring third-party fees. Despite the fact that some transaction costs remain, they are not comparable with those in today’s services such as Expedia, Booking.com and Airbnb, where agency fees can range from 10% to 30%.

Last year, Hobo Hotel in Stockholm, a member of the Nordic Choice Hotels group, completed a booking on a public blockchain, conducting the first transaction through Winding Tree. Additionally, tourist giant TUI moved all of its contracts onto a blockchain even earlier. Its BedSwap project created back in 2017 helps hotels with extra inventory and allows all authorized parties to track real-time prices and work directly with the hotelier. Such a system removes the need for intermediaries such as Expedia and, therefore, becomes cheaper for both parties.

Flight delayed or overbooked? Blockchain compensates

French insurance company AXA began to use blockchain back in 2017 to automate the compensation payment process for passengers whose flights are delayed. When a customer signs up for flight-delay coverage at the insurance company, its “fizzy” platform creates a smart contract and connects to global air traffic databases. If a delay of more than two hours is recorded, compensation is provided automatically, eliminating the need to file a claim and reducing the processing time of the application.

Related: Cryptocurrency Adoption: How Can Crypto Change the Travel Industry?

In order to make the overbooking compensation experience smoother, software developer Volantio launched its so-called “Flex-Schedule” program. The solution is now used by United Airlines and helps to resolve instances where a passenger is removed from a flight due to the number of passengers exceeding the number of seats.

In cases of overbooking, the system automatically selects flexible clients — those for whom a flight change is less critical — sends them compensation, and allocates them a new flight. This, in turn, maximizes profits for airlines, allowing them to sell highly profitable seats to last-minute passengers.

Known Traveller Digital Identity

The hours spent waiting at the airport and customs clearance can cast a shadow over any trip, but Accenture came up with a digital passport for travelers. Canada and the Netherlands were the first countries to agree to apply this system at their airports, with cooperation agreements reached with Air France-KLM and Air Canada, among others. It was reported that the blockchain identification system developed by Accenture will allow travelers to inform customs and border control about their route and biometric characteristics in advance.

A blockchain will store the traveler’s personal and biometric data, and the status of a “known traveler” will be obtained through the accumulation of attestations or requests that are confirmed by trusted partners, such as border agencies and airlines. It is expected that the new data identification system will significantly reduce the time spent at the airport. Norbert Goffa, the executive manager of ILCoin — a scalability-focused blockchain startup — told Cointelegraph that such solutions can be important given the rapidly growing volume of air travelers:

“World airlines carry more than 3 billion passengers annually and the industry’s annual profit exceeds $600 billion. Analysts predict an increase in passenger traffic by 50% in the next 10 years, which means that companies will face the need to optimize their business processes through automation and technology adoption. The experience of world companies in using the blockchain has shown that this technology has great potential for simplifying the exchange of data between participants.”

Dubai International Airport uses blockchain, but in a slightly different format, as the Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, or GDRFA, has signed a contract with the British startup ObjectTech to install biometric tunnels.

This technology is designed to reduce long lines at the airport upon arrival into the United Arab Emirates. It will be possible to register in the country with the help of a preapproved and fully digitized passport, which includes an electronic chip, fingerprints, a scanned aperture and face scan data. Face scanning will be carried out using LIDAR technology, which is already used in autonomous vehicles in Dubai. GDRFA has already launched the “Emirates Smart Wallet” program, which allows passengers to pass through border control using smartphones rather than the traditional passports.

Another blockchain initiative is “Smart Path,” which has been used at the Orlando International Airport to enhance the air travel experience since 2018. The solution combines distributed ledger technology and biometrics to reduce the number of documents necessary for passenger identification.

Get rewarded

Almost every traveler has several airline or hotel loyalty cards at once, but according to a survey conducted by Colloquy, 28% of travelers leave these programs without using their accumulated loyalty points. Having a large number of cards may turn into a burdensome process that requires constant monitoring of promotions, using hard-to-remember codes and so on.

Businesses can move their loyalty programs to the blockchain to reduce costs. Some U.S. companies can spend up to $35 billion per year on such programs, and the introduction of cryptocurrency-based bonuses that are distributed automatically can entail significant savings.

A real-world example of this scheme is a blockchain-powered loyalty program offered by Singapore Airlines that allows its clients to spend their air miles at stores. The company became the first carrier in the world to launch a digital loyalty wallet, dubbed “KrisPay,” based on blockchain technology. By downloading the KrisPay app, users can convert their KrisFlyer miles to KrisPay miles, make purchases with the KrisPay QR code, and choose the number of miles to be used. At the moment, 18 sellers from various industries are working with the platform.

Related: Not Just a Pretty Name: Blockchain Creating Real Value in Traditional Industries

Similarly in 2016, Loyyal used blockchain tech in a universal loyalty system that allowed hotels and air companies to offer their clients more favorable reward programs and reduce costs associated with account reconciliation and payment management. In February, the company signed a three-year production vendor contract with The Emirates Group. In a conversation with Cointelegraph, Evan Luthra, an Influencive “Top 30 Under 30” tech entrepreneur and blockchain expert, noted the smooth experience offered by blockchain-based loyalty systems:

“As someone who spends hundreds of nights every year in Hotels and flights, I see tremendous opportunities for the payments and points systems in use by various different companies coming together to work with each other using Blockchain. Travel is already heavily impacted by Blockchain Technology and we will see a much smoother, faster and overall better experience for the customer.”

So, is blockchain scratching the surface of tourism?

Blockchain has great potential in tourism and is already being used to improve the travel experience. Easy-to-access and low-cost decentralized business models can make it an attractive alternative to traditional systems, with the elimination of middlemen being one of the key benefits.

On the other hand, blockchain still needs to address several serious issues before reaching widespread adoption, such as personal data storage and identification, which can become a stumbling block because in case of improper management, the information can be accessed by third parties. Ian Khan, the director of the documentary Blockchain City, told Cointelegraph that the use of blockchain in tourism has not even scratched the surface:

“The global tourism industry is a multi-trillion dollar industry that has multimillion-dollar inefficiencies and the opportunity for technology companies to create efficiencies and enable seamless financial transactions, and transparency is in the billions. Startups and technology companies with a good value proposition must look at the complexity of how various segments within travel work, and how they can be helped.”

Bitcoin Supply Metric Reaches Low Last Seen Ahead of Historic Bull Market

Momentum is building in Bitcoin. The asset has never been healthier fundamentally, and its most important indicators are all screaming buy.

On-chain activity, hash rates, and BTC supply metrics also support this. In fact, one BTC supply data point has now reached a level that last time led to the greatest bull market in crypto history.

Bitcoin: First Of Its Kind Financial Asset Requires Unorthodox Fundamental Analysis Tools

Bitcoin is an asset unlike anything else that exists today. It’s just over a decade old. And while many cryptocurrencies were made in its image, none are privy to the same level of acceptance and adoption.

Unlike stocks that derive their valuations from things like company revenue, crypto assets create value through utility and their networks.

Because the value of the native asset relies on the underlying protocol, fundamental analysis looks at the health of this network. This involves hash rates, the cost of production, mining difficulty, transactions, and supply.

Related Reading | Fund Manager: If Black Thursday Didn’t Shake Out Bitcoin Holders, Nothing Will

The beauty of blockchain that Bitcoin birthed with its creation, is that all distributed ledgers are fully transparent. This means that anyone can look up public transactions and wallet data.

Wallet addresses may not be easily tied to individuals. But the way blockchain works, the total value stored and all transactions flowing in and out of the wallet are visible.

Advanced tools have been developed to monitor blockchain data and the movement of BTC through addresses and across the network. Understanding if wallets, particularly the largest wallets, are holding BTC for the long term, can provide insight into coming trends.

If more large investor wallets are increasing in supply and aren’t moving that supply in months, it could be a sign of an uptrend brewing. And that’s exactly what data is showing now.

Just Over One-Third of BTC Supply Has Moved in Last Year, Lowest Since Last Bull Run Began

According to BTC supply data, only 38.5%, or just over a third of all BTC supply, has moved in the previous year. The remaining nearly two-thirds of circulating BTC supply, haven’t moved in over a year.

This metric has now fallen to a level not seen since 2016, just ahead of the bull market that propelled Bitcoin into the public eye.

Related Reading | The Crypto Market’s Most Accurate Tool Says New Bitcoin Uptrend Is Here

Actively moving BTC supply dropped to this bullish low in 2016 and stayed grinding near the low until mid-to-late 2017. Then, Bitcoin prices reached highs too attractive not to sell, and the asset started moving again.

During that time, thebitcoin btc supply cryptocurrency took the world by storm and rallied from $1,000 to $20,000.

This data indicates that more Bitcoin investors and wallets are holding in anticipation of the next bull market. Not even the Black Thursday collapse was able to shake out these strong hands, and nothing possibly will.

UK Bitcoin Firm to Sell $30M Stake to Financial Conglomerate SBI

bitcoin, sbi holdings, b2c2, crypto prime brokerage
London-based bitcoin firm B2C2 announced on Wednesday that it is selling stakes worth $30 million to SBI Holdings, Inc. The FCA-approved crypto business confirmed that it would provide liquidity to SBI. The fintech giant wants to expand its cryptocurrency offerings to its millions of customers. The partnership also expects to assist B2C2 as the award-winning bitcoin business builds an automated financing facility. B2C2, a London-based bitcoin firm, is partnering with financial giant SBI Holdings via a deal that expects to benefit both the companies. Expanding Prime Brokerage Solutions The institutional cryptocurrency trading platform announced on Wednesday that it will sell a minority stake worth $30 million to SBI. The company called the partnership “strategic,” explaining that it would make B2C2 the prime crypto liquidity provider to SBI’s crypto services in Japan. The partnership will accelerate SBI and B2C2’s expansion in the crypto and financial markets, writes @maxboonen https://t.co/RTfI0U4OBf#cryptotrading #liquidity #automation #innovation #fintech pic.twitter.com/BaXBYWxwHm — B2C2 (@B2C2Group) July 1, 2020 In return, B2C2 will receive assistance from SBI’s strong distribution network and financial foothold. The U.K. bitcoin firm will build an electronic prime brokerage. It noted that SBI would provide them with top-grade lending and custodial solutions. The new capability expects to enhance B2C2’s existing financial operations, which includes the loaning of hundreds of millions of dollars. The company also plans to launch “a fully automated facility to provide the most competitive two-way prices in the funding market” in the coming weeks. “B2C2 will benefit from SBI’s balance sheet, which is far larger than anything committed to the crypto market to date,” said the bitcoin company’s founder Max Boonen in a press statement. Preparing Grounds for Bitcoin Adoption The latest partnership between B2C2 and SBI Holdings points to an emerging buzz word in the global financial market. It is “crypto-prime brokerage,” firms that assist institutional investors by financing and facilitating their trades. It is no coincidence that three major bitcoin companies – Coinbase, Genesis Trading, and BitGo – in late May concurrently announced their plans to become prime brokerage service providers. All the crypto firms entered strategic partnerships with existing brokerage services. It helped them solidify their balance sheets so they can perform the prime functions of loaning, clearing, and custody. Institutional investors expect higher capital efficiency leverage. They also require solutions concerning netting, custody, and frictionless access to other financial products. On the other hand, an average Bitcoin investment firm typically lacks such services. Therefore, the B2C2-SBI partnership paves the way for institutional investors to trade cryptocurrencies on familiar grounds. That is especially noteworthy in times when people are looking for investment alternatives beyond low-yielding government bonds and delusionally bullish stocks. Featured image from Shutterstock.

Bitcoin Whale Population Growth Might Be A Mirage

Despite a recent increase seen in the number of bitcoin (BTC) “whales,” much of this may be a result of already large holders taking their coins off exchanges, a new report from blockchain analytics firm Glassnode suggested. “Much of the recent increase in the number of whales can be explained not by new money, but rather by existing wealthy entities withdrawing

Brewdog Tokyo Accepts Bitcoin Cash Payments: Local BCH Meetup Gathers to Celebrate

Brewdog Tokyo Accepts Bitcoin Cash Payments: Local BCH Meetup Gathers to Celebrate

On July 1, 2020, the popular eatery and bar in Japan, Brewdog Tokyo, started accepting bitcoin cash payments for products and services. The establishment is the third Brewdog bar to accept bitcoin cash, as the cryptocurrency is accepted at the London and Budapest locations as well.

In order to celebrate Brewdog Tokyo supporting bitcoin cash, a number of Tokyo-based BCH Meetup members gathered at the bar on Wednesday to socialize and purchase refreshments. The meetup was the first in-person BCH Meetup in Tokyo since the start of Covid-19.

The Roppongi location is officially the third Brewdog establishment that accepts bitcoin cash (BCH) for goods and services. The firm’s state-of-the-art breweries are located all around the world, and the eateries and bars are some of the most popular places to acquire craft brews.

Brewdog Tokyo Accepts Bitcoin Cash Payments: Local BCH Meetup Gathers to Celebrate

There are Brewdog locations in Roppongi, Aberdeenshire, Brisbane, London, Budapest, Ohio, and more. The Brewdog Tokyo location follows the acceptance from locations in Budapest and London.

On Wednesday, July 1, the Tokyo Bitcoin Cash Meetup decided to host the first in-person meetup since Covid-19 started. Around 20-25 people attended (less attendance due to Covid-19) and the members will start to have meetups weekly again.

Brewdog Tokyo Accepts Bitcoin Cash Payments: Local BCH Meetup Gathers to Celebrate

According to an attendee, Brewdog Tokyo, located in Roppongi accepts bitcoin cash (BCH) via the Bitcoin.com Register application. Funds are then sent directly to a single address using a Bitcoin.com Wallet and owned by Brewdog.

Discussing the subject with Tokyo Bitcoin Cash Meetup co-organizer, Akane Yokoo, she explained that the group was thrilled with Brewdog Tokyo supporting BCH. “I am really glad that Brewdog Roppongi is open-minded and they decided to accept bitcoin cash (BCH) and host our meetups,” Yokoo told our newsdesk.

Yokoo also highlighted that a number of new BCH meetups are being launched in July, “which shows us that the BCH community is growing fast.” The new BCH Meetup regions will include the South Coast, U.K., Gold Coast Australia, Luxemburg, and another location in Texas as there is another meetup location in Huston, Texas.

Moreover, Yokoo explained that the other BCH Meetup community leaders are going to approach Brewdog in their own cities, in order to promote more BCH acceptance. “These use cases are great because the community can use them as an example when they approach new merchants for BCH payment adoption,” Yokoo concluded.

What do you think about Brewdog Tokyo accepting bitcoin cash for products and services? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.

The post Brewdog Tokyo Accepts Bitcoin Cash Payments: Local BCH Meetup Gathers to Celebrate appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin Flirts with Posting a Bull Cross as Crucial Resistance Nears

Bitcoin’s recent price action has done little to offer investors with insight into the cryptocurrency’s current trend, as it has been stuck between $9,000 and $10,000 for an extended period.

There are a few crucial price regions within this trading range that could hold massive sway over the cryptocurrency’s near-term trend, and one analyst believes that the first level to watch exists just above BTC’s current price.

He notes that a break above $9,260 could be all that is needed to boost the benchmark digital asset up towards $9,500. He does contend that the trend favors sellers as long as BTC is below $9,700.

It is important to note that BTC is in the process of forming a coveted “bull cross” between its 8-day and 34-day EMAs. This could provide it with some momentum in the days and weeks ahead.

Bitcoin Pushes Past $9,200 as Buyers Catalyze Some Slight Momentum

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up over 1% at its current price of $9,240. This marks a notable climb from daily lows of $9,100, and it does appear that buyers are trying to generate some upwards momentum.

The crypto is now pushing up against some resistance. One analyst is noting that $9,260 is a key short-term level to watch; as a firm break above it could catalyze significant upside.

The analyst also contends that the crypto remains in bear territory as long as it trades below $9,700.

“BTC: If price can close above $9260 here I think it pushes as high as $9500s. And then back down at least for short term. Wouldn’t complain if Bitcoin just shot straight up here, but the trend is still down until over $9700s,” he said.

Bitcoin

Image Courtesy of Josh Rager. Chart via TradingView.

If it does navigate back into the upper-$9,000 region, another rejection here will just further elucidate the weakness that has plagued buyers over the past several weeks, potentially causing it to see even further downside.

BTC is About to Form a Bull Cross

One factor that could help boost Bitcoin higher in the coming hours is the potential formation of a coveted bull cross between its 8-day and 34-day moving averages.

Depending on which EMAs are crossing, these technical patterns vary in their significance. Bull crosses between these moving averages are fairly common, as the last one occurred on June 22nd.

Another respected pseudonymous trader spoke about this in a tweet, saying:

“Bitcoin: 4 hour update – After re-test, now flirting with 8/34 EMA bull cross. Last cross (on June 22nd)”

Image Courtesy of Big Cheds. Chart via TradingView.

This could, however, be enough to push Bitcoin over its near-term resistance, thus catalyzing some short-term momentum.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Charts from TradingView.

Bitcoin Flirts with Posting a Bull Cross as Crucial Resistance Nears

Bitcoin’s recent price action has done little to offer investors with insight into the cryptocurrency’s current trend, as it has been stuck between $9,000 and $10,000 for an extended period.

There are a few crucial price regions within this trading range that could hold massive sway over the cryptocurrency’s near-term trend, and one analyst believes that the first level to watch exists just above BTC’s current price.

He notes that a break above $9,260 could be all that is needed to boost the benchmark digital asset up towards $9,500. He does contend that the trend favors sellers as long as BTC is below $9,700.

It is important to note that BTC is in the process of forming a coveted “bull cross” between its 8-day and 34-day EMAs. This could provide it with some momentum in the days and weeks ahead.

Bitcoin Pushes Past $9,200 as Buyers Catalyze Some Slight Momentum

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up over 1% at its current price of $9,240. This marks a notable climb from daily lows of $9,100, and it does appear that buyers are trying to generate some upwards momentum.

The crypto is now pushing up against some resistance. One analyst is noting that $9,260 is a key short-term level to watch; as a firm break above it could catalyze significant upside.

The analyst also contends that the crypto remains in bear territory as long as it trades below $9,700.

“BTC: If price can close above $9260 here I think it pushes as high as $9500s. And then back down at least for short term. Wouldn’t complain if Bitcoin just shot straight up here, but the trend is still down until over $9700s,” he said.

Bitcoin

Image Courtesy of Josh Rager. Chart via TradingView.

If it does navigate back into the upper-$9,000 region, another rejection here will just further elucidate the weakness that has plagued buyers over the past several weeks, potentially causing it to see even further downside.

BTC is About to Form a Bull Cross

One factor that could help boost Bitcoin higher in the coming hours is the potential formation of a coveted bull cross between its 8-day and 34-day moving averages.

Depending on which EMAs are crossing, these technical patterns vary in their significance. Bull crosses between these moving averages are fairly common, as the last one occurred on June 22nd.

Another respected pseudonymous trader spoke about this in a tweet, saying:

“Bitcoin: 4 hour update – After re-test, now flirting with 8/34 EMA bull cross. Last cross (on June 22nd)”

Image Courtesy of Big Cheds. Chart via TradingView.

This could, however, be enough to push Bitcoin over its near-term resistance, thus catalyzing some short-term momentum.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Charts from TradingView.

Samsung to Launch App that Reports ‘Lost or Stolen’ Crypto + More News

Crypto Briefs is your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news. Crypto adoption news Samsung and South Korean software firm Uppsala are set to launch a crypto losses tracking system for the Samsung Blockchain Wallet – a feature on a number of flagship Galaxy

This Researcher Says Bitcoin’s Elliptic Curve Could Have a Secret Backdoor

According to one of the world’s leading cryptographers, Bitcoin’s elliptic curve could have a secret backdoor, invalidating all underlying security.

One of the world’s top cryptographers believes that Satoshi Nakamoto chose Bitcoin’s (BTC) elliptic curve either for its efficiency or because it may offer a secret backdoor.

Elliptic curve is worth $ billions

A Bitcoin public key is created by applying elliptic curve cryptography to the private key. One can easily create a public key from the private key, but it is impossible to go in the reverse direction. Unless, of course, Bitcoin’s elliptic curve is compromised.

Many crypto experts have noticed that Bitcoin’s choice of secp256k1 elliptic curve was unusual for its time as it was not yet well researched. Cointelegraph asked one of the world’s leading cryptographers, Tatsuaki Okamoto, about this unusual choice. Okamoto currently serves as director of the Cryptography & Information Security Lab at NTT Research.

Efficiency or vulnerability?

According to Okamoto, there are two alternative explanations for this choice, either Satoshi picked because it offers greater efficiency or because it may have offered a secret backdoor. Of course, Okamoto underlines that these are just two logical hypotheses, as he has no way of knowing what Satoshi was thinking at the time:

“(1) The Koblitz curve is specially designed for faster scalar multiplications. Hence the (signing, verifying and key generation) operations on Secp256k1 are faster than those on Secp256r1. (2) Although the Secp256r1 curve was announced to be randomly selected, there could still exist some suspicion that some backdoor might be secretly set up in the curve parameters. In contrast, the Koblitz curve parameters are mathematically determined, and there is little possibility for setting such a backdoor.”

Okamoto is impressed with the way the Bitcoin creator was able to combine several cryptographic techniques (hash chains, Merkle trees and elliptic curves) to create the world's first decentralized currency:

“I think it is a revolutionary invention, the first decentralized currency, and its core technology blockchain, is giving a great impact on our society.”

Bitcoin Core developer agrees

Bitcoin Core developer, Wladimir van der Laan, told Cointelegraph that he does not know why Satoshi chose this particular curve. He also notes that if he someone has discovered a vulnerability, they have not stepped forward to announce it:

“I have no idea why Satoshi chose this particular curve, they have provided no rationale anywhere (it seems, in hindsight, to have been a fairly good choice though). Even if Secp256r1 has a vulnerability, no one has stepped forward yet to announce their discovery. On the other hand, keeping this discovery to themselves could yield a multi-billion dollar reward.”

European Innovation Council Awards $5M to Six Blockchain Projects

A Dutch project fighting fake news with blockchain wins European Commission’s “Blockchains for Social Good” prize.

A tech unit at the European Commission has awarded millions of dollars to several blockchain projects in an effort to support the use of blockchains in socially beneficial ways.

The European Innovation Council, or EIC, has awarded 5 million euro ($5.6 million) to six blockchain initiatives within its “Blockchains for Social Good” program.

Announcing the news on Tuesday, the EIC noted that the prize intends to promote blockchain development in areas of traceability, fair trade, financial inclusion, and decentralized circular economy.

The awarded startups include Dutch content authenticity firm WordProof, British startup PPP, finnish GMeRitS, Oxfam’s UnBlocked Cash Project OXBBU, French e-commerce platform CKH2020, and an Italy-based digital marketplace project, PROSUME.

All of the winners have presented their projects in open source. The EIC noted:

“It is worth pointing out that one of the requirements of the Prize was to submit solutions developed in Open Source. This will enable more innovators to benefit from the advanced technological solutions developed by the prize winners and the other participants in the Prize.”

Areas of blockchain applications turned out to be wider than the EIC expected

According to the announcement, a total of 176 participants have applied for the award program since it was opened in May 2018. Applications came from 43 countries, with 19 of them arriving from outside the European Union, the EIC said.

Closed on 3 Sept. 2019, the program originally sought to award 1 million euro to five projects in five different social innovation areas, the organization noted. However, the EIC eventually decided to fund six projects, extending the scope of the Prize to six different areas and splitting equally the fifth prize, the organization explained.

The winner specializes in blockchain use against fake news

WordProof, the first project on the EIC’ winner list, tweeted that the project received a $1 million euro prize. “The European Commission has just rewarded WordProof with 1,000,000 euro by winning the ‘Blockchains for Social Good’ contest,” the Amsterdam-based startup wrote.

Committed to fighting plagiarism and fake news with help of blockchain, WordProof recently received € 275,000 ($308,700) financing from Noord-Holland Innovation Fund for the development of technologies to better protect data on the Internet.

The European Innovation Council was launched by the European Commission to support “high-risk, high-impact ideas, turning science into new business” and accelerating innovation. Launched in 2017, the EIC is currently at the pilot stage and is expected to be fully implemented in 2021. Recently, EC’s head of the digital innovation and blockchain unit, Pēteris Zilgalvis, highlighted uses of blockchain tech in communication between member states and fostering crypto innovation.