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.

XRP Price Can Outperform Bitcoin in the Short Term — Here’s Why

As Bitcoin price continues to range sideways, the momentum may be shifting to XRP for the next big move.

Bitcoin (BTC) price sidewards action of late has been a hunting ground where whales can easily liquidate misinformed traders on leverage trading platforms. Without decent swings, any asset can become boring.

But let’s not forget BTC isn’t the only cryptocurrency out there as several altcoins are currently staging somewhat of a comeback. However, there’s one coin that doesn’t seem to be having a good time lately, namely XRP, the fourth-largest digital asset by market capitalization.

So in today's analysis, I’m going to look at whether holding XRP is likely to be more fruitful than BTC in the short term.

Daily crypto market performance. Source: Coin360.com

Daily crypto market performance. Source: Coin360.com

The bigger picture for Bitcoin

Starting out with the weekly chart, one can see why the bears favor this timeframe. Bitcoin is forming a massive pennant that is far clearer now than it was before the March 12 black swan event.

BTC/USD 1-week chart. Source: TradingView

BTC/USD 1-week chart. Source: TradingView

Typically, pennants break towards the end of the pattern, sometimes a little before. However, they are invalidated after. As things stand for Bitcoin, a breakout or breakdown could occur any time between now and approximately September 2021, 14 months from now.

With the current price around $9,156, a small 6% increase would put Bitcoin on the resistance line, and this is why we have failed to reclaim $10K. But at this rate, reclaiming just $9,750 would be a welcome breakthrough for the bulls.

On the flip side, there is a massive 47.42% gap from the current price to the support of the pattern. This puts a figure of $4,500 as a potential target, which may be a great opportunity to stack some sats. But is this just wishful thinking from overly aggressive bears that shout “burn this Ponzi to the ground?”

More bearish news for Bitcoin

BTC/USD 1-day chart Source: TradingView

BTC/USD 1-day chart Source: TradingView

The 1-day chart can be interpreted as equally bearish for Bitcoin. Using the Fibonacci retracement tool from the March 12 dump to the last time $10,500 was rejected, the price is still above .236. But should this level fail, then the .382, 50%, and .618 Fibs are where the action is, and this puts support levels at $7,900, $7,150 and $6,350, respectively.

While none of us hodlers want to see $6,350 or $4,500 Bitcoin, you can’t ignore the charts. However, the bull in me sees that just a 13% uptick in the price of Bitcoin is needed in order to reach the multi-year resistance of $10,500.

So what is more likely? Number go up? Or number go down?

Short-term resistance for Bitcoin

BTC/USD 1-hour chart Source: TradingViewBTC/USD 1-hour chart Source: TradingView

In the short term for Bitcoin, and using now the 1-hour chart, as well as the Fib levels from the tip of the June 23 pump and the $8,800 bottom on June 27, we can see that Bitcoin has broken the 382 (as I type this article). Thus, following the Fibonacci structure would put the most likely resistance levels at $9,300 on the 50% Fib and $9,420 on the 618.

Should Bitcoin continue on an upward path, reaching the top of the Fib at $9,794 would invalidate the pennant structure and also wipe out the chance of $4,500 to boot.

Once the bulls are in control, then $12K Bitcoin is the next key level to break, and when all is said and done, this is still only a 25% increase in price. Which brings me to Ripple’s XRP, an altcoin that has piqued my interest.

XRP is the new XRP

XRP/USD 1-week chart. Source: TradingView​​​​​​​

XRP/USD 1-week chart. Source: TradingView

At first glance, the XRP chart looks like any other altcoin. A huge 2017 spike followed by a monster downtrend. Anyone that looks at this chart would draw the same conclusion that this project is dead.

But is the fourth-biggest digital asset by market cap really dead? Or is it the investment opportunity of a lifetime?

Using the Fib with a massive pinch of salt, the first target being the 382 is $1.33. With XRP currently trading at about $0.175, that’s approximately a 750% ROI. If the price continued to the 50% retracement, then that’s 900% and a massive 10x gain if it was to reach the .618 level.

I like those numbers, and since XRP is somewhat of the “Ralph Wiggum” of crypto, responding rather slowly after Bitcoin and Ethereum make their moves, and remaining stagnant for the majority of 2017, this could be a great speculative investment as Bitcoin looks like it’s close to its top.

The downside for XRP

XRP/USD 1-week chart. Source: TradingView​​​​​​​

XRP/USD 1-week chart. Source: TradingView

Moving down to the 1-day chart for XRP and the downside doesn’t look that great. If $0.16 support fails to hold, $0.10 XRP is what the Fib retracement tool shows as a potential target.

However, there is massive buying and selling pressure for XRP on Bitfinex, between $0.17 and $0.18 with no big orders below $0.17, according to the Tensorcharts orderbook heatmap.

XRP/USD heatmap. Source: Tensorcharts

XRP/USD heatmap. Source: Tensorcharts

This all leaves me asking the question: is the bottom in for XRP? But also, are we close to the top for Bitcoin?

Obviously, XRP hasn’t won as many hearts and minds as BTC as it’s generally discounted by the crypto community due to its centralized nature, Ripple’s regular monthly sales from its escrow and its “XRP Army” supporters.

Nevertheless, XRP is currently at mid-2017 levels while Bitcoin is already at December 2017 prices. So which horse looks better to bet on at these levels? Obviously, you should DYOR. But as Warren Buffet once said: “be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.”

Bullish scenario

For Bitcoin, the first level of resistance is at $9,450. However, should we break this, then $9,750 is where bulls need to push toward to regain control.

Bearish scenario

Defending $8,900, which is the 236 Fib is massive for Bitcoin right now. Should this level fail, I would be looking at $7,900 as a very real target should the bears win this battle.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of @officiallykeith 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.

Blockchain Service Bison Trails Announces Support for Ethereum 2.0

Libra Association member Bison Trails looks forward to moving from the Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism to Proof-of-Stake, launching Eth2 support.

Blockchain infrastructure-as-a-service company, Bison Trails, has announced support for Ethereum 2.0 — an upgrade that will move the network from its proof-of-work consensus mechanism to proof-of-stake.

Bison Trails offers a suite of enterprise products that allow users to interact with the Beacon Chain, stake Ether (ETH), and automatically manage validators, validator clients, and beacon nodes.

Importance of adopting Eth2

Joe Lallouz, CEO of Bison Trails told Cointelegraph about the importance of adopting Eth2 within the crypto industry and which benefits could bring like new scalability options for the protocol:

“The transition to Eth2 is incredibly important for the crypto ecosystem because it allows one of the most important and most adopted blockchains—with millions of users and tens of thousands of dApps—to introduce new scalability options for the protocol and that’s a big deal.”

Lallouz mentions that a fully-featured Participation Cluster product is included, which allows their customers to manage their Beacon Chain and validators from within the Bison Trails platform.

Bison Trails’ CEO said the network will reward validators early, with a reward rate of 23% on ETH, representing “a significantly higher potential return than most alternative uses of ETH.” He added:

“Because stake and rewards are locked up for several years on Eth2, choosing an infrastructure provider you trust is an important consideration. It is risky to change providers because transferring a validator requires sharing the private key, risking slashing.”

Recently, Bison Trails announced support for NEAR, which is designed to power open finance and the open web.

Why The Hot New Trend In Crypto Is The Twitter Hashtag Emoji

crypto twitter hashtag emoji
The “Crypto Twitter” hashtag emoji has become all the rage across the industry in recent weeks, but why? Is it just to jump on a trend, or is it to gain valuable brand visibility? Or is it something more altogether? The Crypto In Crowd: Binance Joins Bitcoin and CRO With New Twitter Hashtag Emoji Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is a well-known Bitcoin backer, and also heads the company Square Inc. Square offers the popular payments app CashApp, which acts as a fiat payment gateway for Bitcoin buying. Dorsey has gone on record saying he sees the cryptocurrency someday becoming the currency of the internet. The outspoken CEO has taken several steps to see this through. In early February 2020, Dorsey revealed in a tweet that Bitcoin now had a hashtag emoji. Twitter users could include within their character strapped tweets a hashtag of #Bitcoin. Inputting the hashtag also results in an emoji for the cryptocurrency. The crypto community had been expecting perhaps Ethereum, Ripple, or Tether to arrive next. RELATED READING | REDDIT’S NEW ETHEREUM TOKEN HAS REACHED 10K FORTNITE USERS SINCE ROLLOUT Months later, in June 2020, crypto-focused debit card provider Crypto.com was the next crypto asset to get an emoji of its own. The company debuted it alongside a giveaway and a 4th-anniversary celebration. Typing the CRO# hashtag would result in the emoji. Today, top crypto exchange Binance revealed it too now has a crypto emoji on Twitter of its own. The Changpeng Zhao-run organization has its hands in everything, recently acquiring CoinMarketCap and growing its stronghold over the industry. This latest move to gain an emoji is just another part of its strategy. And it explains why crypto Twitter hashtag emoji are becoming the hottest trend in the space. How Including an Emoji On Social Media Boosts Big Business Binance getting a Twitter hashtag emoji isn’t just the crypto exchange jumping on the bandwagon. Including emoji in social media posts has been statistically shown to increase user engagement. Data shows that including an emoji within a tweet can increase engagement by over 25%. Using emoji on Facebook yields even better results, at an increase of over 57% ‘Likes.’ It can also increase comments and shares on Zuckerberg’s platform by 33%. RELATED READING | IRONY OR CRUSHING THE COMPETITION? FACEBOOK CONTINUES TO BLOCK CRYPTO ADS, DESPITE LIBRA EFFORT But it’s not just to increase engagement, it’s also to boost brand visibility. By having a logo acting as a hashtag emoji on Twitter, the brand will immediately have more visible exposure to its audience. Emoji are also a universal language. Users speaking any language at all will instantly understand what the tweet is regarding. Beyond that, it’s a fun way for brands to interact with their users and more easily grab their attention in Twitter feeds. Considering the impact that Twitter emoji can have for brands of any kind, more crypto companies will likely jump on this trend moving forward. Featured image from Shutterstock.

Billions of Dollars May Be Waiting to Enter Bitcoin, Stunning USDT Data Shows

Tether has long been used as a flight to stability when Bitcoin crashes. The influx of capital reentering the cryptocurrency market also helps to drive up valuations during bull runs.

With over $9 million sidelined and climbing, could all of this capital be waiting to enter Bitcoin at the first sign of a breakout? Or has Tether developed new use cases that are fueling its tremendous growth in 2020?

Tether’s Unstoppable, Growing Market Supply Dominance Over Crypto

Cryptocurrency stablecoins like Tether, USD Coin, and Paxos Standard all are tied 1-to-1 to the dollar. Each asset is backed by a corresponding dollar, or an equivalent valued asset.

By acting as a stable peg to the dollar, these assets have long been utilized as a safe haven during crypto market volatility. During drawdowns – the majority of the last three years – stablecoins are especially valuable to crypto traders.

Moving capital from Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and other altcoins to stablecoins can protect wealth from loss. It also keeps capital in the cryptocurrency market, rather than cashing out to fiat.

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

All of this capital remains on the sidelines waiting for an uptrend to begin, then crypto traders will use the USDT to take positions.

If all of this USDT is sitting waiting on the sidelines to make its way into BTC, it could result in a major boost to Bitcoin’s next bull run.

The Tether market cap has now surged past $9 billion. In the comparison chart below, the growth in Tether’s market cap has begun to outpace growth in Bitcoin price.

bitcoin btcusdt btc usdt tether

Bitcoin BTCUSDT Tether Market Cap Comparison | Source: TradingView

Is This Money Sidelined Waiting For Bitcoin, Or Has USDT Found A New Use Case?

Over time, stablecoins have become more valuable than the dollar they are tied to. Dollars are stable, however, they are often costly to move and require an intermediary to do so.

Because stablecoins are cryptocurrencies built on blockchains like Omni-layer Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others, they make moving money fast, easy, and cheap. And because they are tied to the dollar, the stability that earned these assets their names remains.

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

This gives them a flexibility that the dollar cannot yet match, and is perhaps becoming a strong use case outside of a safe haven during downtrends.

Tether’s growth may be less tied to Bitcoin than it once was. Regardless of any bullish moves in Bitcoin, much of the USDT supply could remain parked there for whatever reason.

However, not all of it would remain in the stablecoin, and at least a portion would flow into the first-ever cryptocurrency. Along with new fiat coming in, institutional money finally entering the market, any inflow of stablecoins could be the final ingredient missing for Bitcoin’s next bull market.

IOTA and the Department of Informatics at UiO, Norway’s largest university, cooperate on Research…

IOTA and the Department of Informatics at UiO, Norway’s largest university, join forces to research Digital Trust and the Tangle

The IOTA Tangle is a new open-source Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) protocol designed to serve as the backbone for the Internet-of-Things and the new data economy. As the technology matures towards production-readiness, the IOTA Foundation, the main engine behind the development of the Tangle, is scaling its cooperation with research institutes and academia. This ensures critical access to research capabilities and transparency towards public authorities and a growing business ecosystem interested in leveraging on the Tangle for new products and services.

Over the past years, IOTA has been growing a research and innovation ecosystem in Norway. This resulted in a number of initiatives in the smart city and industrial IoT domains such as Positive City Exchange, Dig_IT, Future Farm demo, Sustainable Energy Traceability showcase. As Norway further accelerates its transition to a leading digital and sustainable nation, UiO’s Department of Informatics and the IOTA Foundation will cooperate in areas of Basic Research, Applied Research and Education.

The group of Distributed Infrastructures and Systems at the University of Oslo (UiO) has been a leading center in DLT-related research and education in Norway. In line with national prioritization on information security, the group has been conducting basic research in technologies underlying DLT for the last decade, combining it with applied research in popular DLT application domains.

The collaboration will initially focus on Decentralized Digital Identity and GDPR compliance of the IOTA stack and its use across multiple application domains. The research will cover:

  • Research collaboration towards building a technical solution to facilitate GDPR compliance for IOTA technologies in the context of decentralized digital identity platform
  • Set up an IOTA DLT/Blockchain Lab at the UiO Department of Informatics

The Department of Informatics at UiO will also join the Tangle Enterprise Edition Working Group, a collaborative initiative hosted under the Eclipse Foundation. Digital Identity is one of the key focus areas where several enterprises, SMEs and academic institutions are cooperating to research, co-develop and ensure market fit of IOTA’s digital ID stack for people, organizations and machines.

Wilfried Pimenta de Miranda, IOTA Foundation BD Director for the Nordics: “A new Data economy is in the making. Decentralized Digital Identity lies at the heart of many new opportunities within smart cities, eHealth and many human-centered and cross-silo innovations. We are delighted to welcome UiO in our research and innovation ecosystem and accelerate together the development and adoption of DLT for real-world applications.”

Roman Vitenberg, Blockchain Lead at UiO: “We are living in exciting times that allow us to witness how the DLT technology is transforming the conventional methods of storing and sharing data central to the functioning of the society, in areas such as decentralized digital identity and certificates, eHealth, smart cities, trading, and more. From the data safety, authenticity, and nonrepudiation point of view, DLT is considered a perfect fit for dependable data storage since it provides an easily accessible, immutable, and transparent history of all related data, adequate for building applications with trust, accountability, and transparency. We are eagerly looking forward to a successful collaboration with IOTA and to leveraging on our joint expertise towards the design of real-world applications.

A broader range of further activities will be fostered over time including:

  • Empower Academics and educate students with the skills and tools needed to understand and use the IOTA technology for societal and for-profit purposes
  • Collaborate in the field of core research related to the IOTA Tangle technology through joint initiatives including joint research grant projects
  • Share knowledge and insights, and explore the integration of academic research and IOTA technologies through joint applied research & innovation projects and public-private partnerships in Norway and internationally
  • Promote the excellence of the university and the impact of IOTA technology through joint research and thought leadership publications

To explore collaboration opportunities with UiO, IOTA Foundation and its partner ecosystem, please get in touch with:

About IOTA Foundation

IOTA is a global non-profit foundation supporting the research and development of new distributed ledger technologies (DLT), including the IOTA Tangle. The IOTA Tangle solves the fundamental shortcomings of blockchain: scalability, environmental sustainability, and cost. IOTA is an open-source protocol connecting the human economy with the machine economy by facilitating novel Machine-to-Machine (M2M) interactions, including secure data transfer and feeless micropayments. To learn more visit www.iota.org, the IOTA Foundation YouTube channel, and follow @iotatoken on Twitter.

About the University of Oslo (UiO)

UiO is a leading European university and Norway’s largest. It is one of the highest-ranked institutions of education and research in Norway and one of the World’s Top 100 universities according to us.news Best Global Universities Ranking and Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). Department of Informatics (IFI) has contributed substantially to research, innovation, and education in the ICT field. www.uio.no


IOTA and the Department of Informatics at UiO, Norway’s largest university, cooperate on Research… was originally published in IOTA on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

This article was originally published on the: IOTA Blog on 

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Cartesi Launches ‘Descartes’ SDK Portal – Future of DApps

Disclaimer: The text below is a press release that was not written by Cryptonews.com. The Future of Linux DApps - Cartesi Launches 'Descartes' SDK Documentation Portal July 1st, 2020 ~ Cartesi, the most recent Binance Launchpad IEO announced the launch of their Descartes SDK Documentation portal. The SDK Portal represents a leap forward for the Cartesi team in fulfilling their ambition in

Cointelegraph Talks Recap: Blockchain Giving Power to the LGBTQ+ People

Seven experts from different institutions and organizations discussed topics relating to diversity, inclusion, challenges and opportunities for LGBTQ+ with Cointelegraph.

Yesterday, Cointelegraph hosted another episode of “CT Talks,” dedicated to Pride Month and addressing important questions on diversity, inclusion, stigmatization, acceptance, challenges and opportunities for the LGBTQ+ community in the crypto and blockchain space.

For many people — mostly heterosexuals — the terms “blockchain” and “LGBTQ+” used so close together might seem irrelevant. For those who are a part of the community, as I am, it is perfectly natural to raise this topic within the space, combining these discourses.

Emerging technologies such as crypto, blockchain, AI and big data have already made an enormous impact on people all over the world, and the LGBTQ+ community is no exception. There are myriad potential benefits that these technologies can bring to the community, and we are still only at the early stages of its implementation. I personally believe that a lot of great things will appear in the near future.

Speaking on one of the benefits, Joe DiPasquale, CEO of BitBull Capital and co-founder and director at StartOut, underlined the positive impact of privacy and anonymity that crypto and blockchain provides to the space:

“There is a lot of excitement about blockchain and crypto and how it could impact society. [...] The thing is that blockchain and crypto truly brings in though is also true privacy. [...] I guess for fundraising or raising money online, that’s obviously a major impact for crypto. And you can do it in a truly anonymous way.”

Christopher Wood, the co-founder and executive director at LGBT Tech, spoke about the LGBTQ+ community and how it can help in terms of adoption and implementation:

“The LGBTQ+ community has always been an early adopter of technology because of the fact it could create an opportunity for the community, for us, for people who were really isolated or felt that they were alone. [...] Newer technologies allow our community to put money where their month is, to go ahead and support causes they really care about.”

Susan Oh, the founder and CEO at Muckr.AI, while speaking about technology highlighted that blockchain possess a great philosophy behind it that brings value to the tech:

“The most important thing to understand about the technology is that it can only amplify the philosophy. [...] There are great opportunities to democratize value. [...] We get to look at the value by its utility, by how it serves us. And we can do it peer-to-peer. It’s a beautiful philosophy.”

Christof Wittig, the co-founder and CEO of Hornet, stressed the criticality of blockchain and other emerging technologies in countries that still have homophobic laws. In those countries, LGBTQ+ people rely on anonymity and community support to navigate their everyday lives under an authority that discriminates against them. He also said:

“There is still a lot of discrimination within the United States and Western countries, we are not there yet for everyone, and there is still a lot to do. Everyone who thinks otherwise is either very insular in their thinking […] and doesn’t know about people of color, underprivileged people, positive people. [...] And then of course we have 72 countries that criminalize LGBT.”

The second part of the panel addressed — among other things — probably one the most important topics for the 21st century: health, with a focus on HIV/AIDS and COVID-19.

Answering on whether blockchain tech could help humanity fight different diseases, Dr. Jane Thomason, chief inspiration officer at Fintech.TV and former CEO at Fintech Worldwide, stated:

“Yes, yes and yes! And if there is one benefit of the COVID-19 pandemic that I see is that it’s forced some of those legacy curtains in the health system to start opening up, as people have been much more willing to accept technology to help, to try and solve some of the issues of the pandemic.”

Erik Lamontagne, a senior economist at UNAIDS, underlined that we are still at the very beginning of technological development in blockchain, and there will be a lot of new discoveries in the field. He said:

“Just think how it was less than 10 years ago when there was an emerging epidemic in a village, in a remote place in a country in Africa or Latin America, for example. [...] This technology [DLT] enables us to move almost as quickly as epidemics are moving. And this is fantastic! This is one of the opportunities.”

Sean Howell, the chair at Tech4HIV and CEO at LGBT Foundation, highlighted the issue of stigmatization of HIV-positive people and the lack of accessibility to HIV tests in many regions. This can be solved via e-commerce on a blockchain for selling cheap and high-quality tests while preserving people’s privacy, as enabled by the immutability and privacy of distributed ledger technology:

“In places that have high epidemics face high stigma. [...] These are places that have high HIV and it’s almost impossible to go and get a HIV test — either they are simply not offered or you don’t want to disclose that you have sex with men or you being HIV-positive [as it] would be associated with being gay.”

Indeed, our problems cannot be solved with technology, whether it’s blockchain, crypto or something else. Technology itself is very inclusive and doesn’t hold any prejudices, stereotypes or unacceptance of its own. It’s people that have those things. We have to first change our own attitudes in order to work toward a better world and teach ourselves how to be more tolerant, more open-minded and more inclusive to all kinds of diversity. Blockchain will be a great tool in our fight for equality and social justice for everyone.

Cointelegraph Talks is a series of online meetups where crypto and blockchain experts discuss challenging topics in the space. Keep posted for new episodes on Cointelegraph YouTube.

A Crypto Startup in India Raises $650k to Bring “Chit Fund” on Blockchain

Crypto startup ChitMonks has raised $650k in a pre-series A round with the help of early-stage investors Unicorn India Ventures (UIV).

The firm aims to revolutionize proceedings by bringing 21st-century blockchain technology to the old-fashion chit-fund market.

“At ChitMonks, we are building India’s largest blockchain network for Savings and Borrowings. We synergize Chit Fund Companies, Regulators, Subscribers, Banks, Service providers, EcoSystem enablers to drive the largest trusted network of Savers and Borrowers platform.”

Records of Chit-funds go back to the 19th century. They are a type of rotating savings and borrowing facility practiced in India, where members make monthly contributions to build a pot.

An open auction determines the lowest bid a member is willing to take that month. The winning bidder receives their bid amount from the pot.

The remaining pot balance is then redistributed equally among the other members, minus an organizer’s fee. All members contribute again for the next month.

Chit-funds often exist as an informal arrangement between friends and neighbors. A regulatory body does not insure member’s funds, and risks, such as winning bidders defaulting on the next payment, or improper record-keeping, present challenges to the operation of chit-funds.

With that, Co-founder and CEO of ChitMonks, Pavan Adipuram, thinks that his firm can reinvent the chit-fund market through the use of crypto technology.

“We believed that such technologies can redefine chit funds and they can re-emerge as a bonafide sector where retail investors can invest and borrow money in a trustless manner.”

Modernization Through Crypto Technology

ChitMonks has developed a crypto powered platform that allows regulators to administer chit fund operations on a blockchain network.

The firm works with chit fund companies to make their services more efficient, and with the use of immutable crypto technology, much more trustworthy compared to traditional paper records.

As part of their expansion, ChitMonks is rolling out its program to chit fund companies of all sizes and across the whole of India.

They hope that the advantages they offer, including process efficiency in collections and auctions, as well as improved underwriting capability, for example, in respect of credit checks and financial records, will modernize the entire chit-fund space.

On that note, Bhaskar Majumdar, Managing Partner at UIV, sees a real need to revamping the chit fund sector. He believes, by doing so, the users of chit-fund services stand to benefit immensely.

“Even before the current COVID-19 scenario, we saw the potential in ChitMonks to revolutionize the current antiquated system of the chit fund industry by bringing the whole ecosystem online. It is in-line with our philosophy of investing in businesses that can digitize current processes and make them more transparent and accessible.”

UIV’s shared vision and confidence in the platform will allow ChipMonks to develop India’s largest blockchain network for savers and borrowers.

US Investor Backs up Telegram’s Claim of Completing $1.2B Refund

Documents shared with Cointelegraph confirm that Telegram refunded some American TON investors 72% of their investments about a month ago.

Telegram, the creator of the failed Gram (GRM) token and the Telegram Open Network, or TON, was well into investor reimbursement weeks before a court in the United States ruled that the firm had to return $1.2 billion.

A U.S.-based TON investor tells Cointelegraph that he got his 72% refund from Telegram in late May 2020. According to a bank statement seen by Cointelegraph, the investor received $7.2 million out of the original $10 million investment through a wire transfer.

Telegram CEO says that the firm has repaid over $1.2 billion already

The investor’s statement backs up Telegram’s recent announcement that the firm already paid out more than $1.2 billion to investors that participated in its $1.7 billion initial coin offering, or ICO, back in 2018. Soon after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) proposed a $1.2 billion settlement to the case on June 25, Telegram CEO Pavel Durov claimed that the firm has already repaid more than $1.2 billion.

In his June 25 Telegram post, Durov specified that the amount was paid to investors either directly or in the form of loans. He wrote:

“Today’s proposed settlement reconfirms our commitment to repay the remaining funds to purchasers under the Purchase Agreements. We’ve already repaid more than 1.2bn to the purchasers either directly or in the form of loans.”

Are investors really satisfied with a 72% refund?

As previously reported, Durov first introduced a reimbursement scheme for TON investors on April 30, weeks before the TON project was officially terminated. At the time, the Telegram CEO offered two options — an immediate 72% refund, or a 110% refund in 12 months. While the majority of investors apparently decided to get the 72%, some TON investors voiced concerns over potential lawsuits from investors unsatisfied with the refund plan.

American TON investors were only offered a 72% refund instead of a choice between the two options. Accounting for about $420 million of TON’s $1.7 billion ICO, U.S. investors were not eligible for the 110% reimbursement option due to Telegram’s apprehension about further dealings with U.S. regulators.

In an April 29 investor note seen by Cointelegraph, Telegram wrote:

“Unfortunately, in light of the recent US district court decision, we are unable to issue Grams to you by the 30 April Deadline Date. Accordingly, under the terms of the Purchase Agreement, we owe you the Termination Amount. We are hereby honouring our plan communicated to you in October 2019 to repay 72% of your original investment.”

It’s still unclear why the SEC asked for $1.2 billion instead of $1.7 billion

It remains unclear whether Telegram has reimbursed all of TON investors so far. It is also unclear why the SEC came up with a $1.2 billion settlement instead of $1.7 billion originally raised in the TON ICO.

Philip Moustakis, attorney at Seward & Kissel LLP and former SEC counsel, believes that it is not clear exactly how the parties reached the $1.2 billion settlement. Moustakis said:

“It is difficult to know what offsets to disgorgement, if any, the SEC credited in arriving at a settlement with Telegram, or the degree to which the final number reflects compromise between the parties.”

Vitalik Buterin Pushes for Rollups as Ethereum’s Scaling Solution

Vitalik Buterin. Source: a screenshot, YouTube/ETHWORLD. Vitalik Buterin, Co-founder of Ethereum (ETH), reiterated that rollups are the way to go when it comes to the network's scaling issue. They'll likely be the main solution for at least two years, he suggested. As is all too well known, terms 'Ethereum' and 'scalling' are far from strangers, given that they've been a topic of discussion for

PayPal Dabbling in Crypto Could Make BTC a Mainstream Payment Option

As PayPal is rumored to join the crypto game, what will it mean for the industry and the price of Bitcoin and Ether?

Earlier this month, global payments giant PayPal was rumored to be considering listing crypto assets on its platform, which is estimated to have around 325 million active accounts worldwide.

The company is currently hiring crypto and blockchain specialists, meaning that its potential arrival could be more than a wild guess. But what does PayPal’s apparent interest in crypto mean for the industry, and how well does it align with the company’s principles?

Two steps forward, one step back

PayPal started to take baby steps toward crypto back in 2013. At the time, David Marcus, then-president of the payments company and now leading the Facebook-backed digital wallet Novi, told Bloomberg that “it’s just a question of whether Bitcoin will make its way to PayPal’s funding instrument or not.”

Several months later, John Donahoe, CEO at Ebay — PayPal’s parent company at the time — essentially confirmed that the payments platform will have to integrate Bitcoin (BTC) one day in order to keep up with the changing financial landscape. Following bullish remarks from its executives, PayPal partnered with three payment processors in the space in September 2014: BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin. But PayPal merely tapped some third parties to handle Bitcoin transactions, and did not integrate Bitcoin into its digital wallet or offer to obtain crypto directly via its website.

Soon after the integration, PayPal started to split off from Ebay, and by July 2015, it became a separate public company. Donahoe took over as the payment platform’s chairman, while Dan Schulman became CEO at PayPal. Schulman’s views on crypto are mixed and arguably more bearish compared to that of Donahoe, who revealed that he owns Bitcoin, but finds cryptocurrencies too volatile to be a convenient medium of exchange in traditional commerce.

At the start of 2016, PayPal appointed Wences Casares — CEO and founder of Bitcoin wallet Xapo — to its Board of Directors, adding some crypto talent to its roster. In April 2019, the payments giant backed a blockchain startup for the first time, investing an undisclosed amount into Cambridge Blockchain — a fintech firm aiming to leverage the technology to empower users with more control over their digital identities.

However, in May that year, chief financial officer of PayPal John Rainey distanced the company from crypto, saying that it’s still “a little early on” to enter the sector. However, just one month later, PayPal was revealed as one of the founding members of the Libra Association — a not-for-profit, Switzerland-based consortium behind the Libra stablecoin — but left the organization soon after due to regulatory backlash.

As PayPal’s chief technical officer Sri Shivananda said, crypto developers must follow consumers in order to succeed. “If consumers start to feel like there’s some leverage that they get through cryptocurrencies, everything else will automatically fall in line,” he said.

“PayPal does not comment on rumors or speculation”

On June 22, it was reported that the payments giant is considering introducing direct sales of crypto assets via PayPal and Venmo, citing “three people familiar with the matter.” According to CoinDesk’s sources, PayPal may be working with multiple exchanges to provide liquidity. It is also allegedly planning to offer custodian services, offering users to store their crypto using PayPal’s digital wallet.

When asked to confirm or deny that information, a PayPal representative told Cointelegraph that “PayPal does not comment on rumors or speculation.” Nevertheless, PayPal’s job listings, posted around the same time, made the rumors somewhat more credible. PayPal advertised for a “crypto engineer” — a person responsible for “new initiatives for PayPal global with a focus on agility, time-to-market and innovation” as well as a blockchain research engineer to work within the company’s newly formed research group.

However, in its latest 10-K form filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in December 2019, PayPal mentioned potential “rapid” developments in blockchain and virtual currencies as a possible risk factor that may negatively affect the company.

The customer is always right

Experts are generally not surprised by the reports suggesting the payment giant’s crypto expansion, as Alex Mashinsky, CEO and founder of the crypto lending platform Celsius Network told Cointelegraph: “I don’t see any contradiction to what they already do, their customers have crypto and they want to serve their customers better.” Aaron Henshaw, co-founder of blockchain infrastructure firm and Libra Association member Bison Trails, shared a similar sentiment in an email conversation with Cointelegraph:

“It wouldn’t be surprising that PayPal is looking at an overall adoption of digital assets. PayPal’s mission, to enable everyone to participate fully in the global economy, fits squarely with the promise of digital assets and blockchain technology providing greater access to financial systems around the world.”

In Henshaw’s view, embracing digital assets, which already account for billions of dollars, would just mean that PayPal is “looking toward the future.” John Todaro, the director of institutional research at TradeBlock told Cointelegraph that established mainstream companies are normally guided by potential client interest, not their past remarks:

“I do not think a move by traditional payments companies into the digital currency space necessarily contradicts their previous statements. Early on traditional financial institutions viewed the space with skepticism, as you saw with JP Morgan’s CEO in the past, and you are now seeing these same institutions warm up to crypto and that’s likely because they are seeing real, potential client interest/demand for crypto services.”

Sinjin David Jung, the managing director of blockchain firm IBMR.io, argued that PayPal’s expansion into crypto “was inevitable,” adding that it “will have been well thought out and strategically motivated,” and likely focused on the millennial clientele: “PayPal coming in means that they have assessed all the legal and regulatory risks along with the competitive benefits of providing crypto.” He went on to add: “This is not a B2B market play, rather, it is definitely directed to grabbing that millennial consumer base.”

Potential competitors

So, if the payments juggernaut goes ahead and decides to enter the crypto space after all, who would it have to compete against? According to Mashinsky, PayPal might be too large of a player to clash with any industry firms and might bring a whole new audience to the market: “They have over 270m customers and all of crypto is less than 50m users so the growth opportunity for everyone is that PayPal will double the crypto community and so all boats rise.”

Wayne Chen, CEO of Interlapse fintech firm, suggested that PayPal would have to compete with top-tier exchanges like Coinbase, but its largest rival might be Jack Dorsey’s Square app, as it was also created to provide alternative payment solutions. While according to Jung, the real competitors for PayPal are “really the other fintech wallet apps like Robinhood and Revolut,” and referred to PayPal as their “granddaddy” who has “definitely fallen behind on the innovation front,” adding:

“But with PayPal coming in, this is more a threat to every other fintech crypto app out there who are focused on payments and remittance as their competitive advantage. [...] I doubt PayPal will ever run an exchange and their margins will always be better served by acting as the buyer and seller of crypto from exchange sources. If anything PayPal becomes a strong onboarding tool for exchanges such as Coinbase and Gemini.”

Mass adoption and market demand

The most obvious implication of PayPal’s rumored expansion is adoption — if a financial service with 325 million active users starts listing digital assets, it is likely to make crypto more viable in the eyes of the financial mainstream. Mashinsky argued that it will consequently drive the price of BTC and Ether (ETH) up significantly, “as the scarcity of the coins will play a big part when adoption comes.”

Jung told Cointelegraph that PayPal’s arrival might signal the start of crypto’s mainstream adoption and prompt the industry to become more consolidated, largely putting an end to altcoins as a class. He added, “This doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be fewer tokens, in fact, this will likely create a boom in the tokenization of assets and more robust crypto businesses.”

Finally, PayPal may benefit the crypto industry by serving as a bridge to connect crypto audience with traditional finance and onboard new users that have not experienced crypto before, TradeBlock’s Todaro suggested, adding: “In order to gain heightened adoption of digital currencies, there needs to be a bridge between traditional incumbents and these new decentralized crypto services, which we have been seeing.”

Meanwhile, it becomes apparent that PayPal is in demand among crypto users. Earlier this week, Singapore-based blockchain firm Pundi X integrated PayPal support for its point-of-sale device, Xpos. The move followed a Twitter poll asking which mobile payment app they would like Xpos to integrate with first. PayPal received nearly 70% of votes, outstripping WeChat Pay, Alipay and GoPay, among others.

Gold Industry Shaken as 83 Tons of Fake Gold Bars Used to Secure $2 Billion Loans in China

The gold industry has been shaken after it was discovered that 83 tons of fake gold bars have been used as collateral for loans worth 20 billion yuan from 14 financial institutions to a major gold jewelry manufacturer in Wuhan, China. This amount of gold “would be equivalent to 22% of China’s annual gold production and 4.2% of the state gold reserve as of 2019.”

Using 83 Tons of Fake Gold to Get Loans

One of China’s largest gold jewelry manufacturers, Kingold Jewelry Inc., has been using fake gold to secure loans obtained from 14 Chinese financial institutions, Caixin reported Monday. The loans were for 20 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) obtained over the past five years. The Wuhan-based jewelry company was able to pass on the fake gold as pure gold, using it as collateral for loans and insurance policies to cover any losses. The publication detailed:

At least some of 83 tons of gold bars used as loan collateral turned out to be nothing but gilded copper. That has left lenders holding the bag for the remaining 16 billion yuan [$2.3 billion] of loans outstanding against the bogus bars.

Founded by Jia Zhihong in 2002, Kingold is the largest privately-owned gold processor in central China’s Hubei province. The Nasdaq-listed company (NASDAQ: KGJI) was previously a gold factory affiliated with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) that was split off from the central bank during a restructuring, the publication conveyed. Kingold’s chairman and controlling shareholder, the 59-year-old Jia served in the military in Wuhan and Guangzhou. He previously managed gold mines owned by the People’s Liberation Army.fho

Gold Industry Shaken as 83 Tons of Fake Gold Bars Used to Secure $2 Billion Loans in China

The fake gold was first discovered in February when Dongguan Trust Co. Ltd. tried to liquidate Kingold’s collateral to cover defaulted debts. However, the gold bars turned out to be just “gilded copper alloy,” the news outlet described, adding that “The news sent shockwaves through Kingold’s creditors.” China Minsheng Trust Co. Ltd., one of Kingold’s largest creditors, then obtained a court order to test Kingold’s gold bars sitting in its coffers. The test result came back on May 22, confirming that the gold bars were just copper alloy. Two other creditors also tested Kingold’s pledged gold bars and found they were fake, Caixin learned, adding:

The 83 tons of purportedly pure gold … would be equivalent to 22% of China’s annual gold production and 4.2% of the state gold reserve as of 2019.

According to the news outlet, Chinese authorities are investigating how this happened. While Jia flatly denies that anything is wrong with the collateral his company put up, the Shanghai Gold Exchange, a gold industry self-regulatory organization, disqualified Kingold as a member on June 24.

Gold Market Dilemma and How Bitcoin Outshines Gold

The news of China’s fake gold has been heavily discussed on social media, with some questioning how much fake gold is in the overall gold market. Saifedean Ammous, the author of the popular book “The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking,” tweeted: “A quantity [approximately] 20% of China’s annual gold production was found to be fake. China is the world’s largest gold producer. How much more fake gold is out there? Could gold’s market supply be growing at 5-15% every year because of all the fake gold?”

NY Times bestselling author Jim Rickards opined: “The problem with Wuhan is not only do they lie about the [covid-19] virus, they lie about gold also. Wuhan looks like the world center of counterfeit gold bars.”

Many bitcoiners also chimed into fake gold discussions, comparing gold’s attributes to bitcoin’s. Tyler Winklevoss of Gemini crypto exchange noted, “This is why bitcoin is gold 2.0. It’s mathematically impossible to counterfeit.” Shapeshift CEO Erik Voorhees commented, “I’m an advocate of gold, but one monetary attribute in which bitcoin handily beats gold is ‘verifiability.’ With free software any human (or machine) can verify bitcoin authenticity. Verifying gold requires expertise and equipment, & hard to scale.” Parallax Digital CEO Robert Breedlove tweeted:

Bitcoin is more divisible, durable, portable, recognizable (which encompasses verifiability), and scarce than gold. Bitcoin is also cheaper to safeguard and less vulnerable to theft. I wonder which one the free market will select?

What do you think about this fake gold situation? Let us know in the comments section below.

The post Gold Industry Shaken as 83 Tons of Fake Gold Bars Used to Secure $2 Billion Loans in China appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Latest Compound proposal aims to resolve issue soaking up 80% of BAT’s liquid supply

A previous Compound proposal for COMP yield farming caused a mess in the DeFi market, pushing users to yield farm only in the markets with the highest interest rates. This has caused Compound to soak up over 80 percent of BAT’s liquid supply, reducing the amount borrowed from other protocols such as UADT, WBTC, and ETH. A patch implemented on Jun. 27 managed to resolve the issue.

High-interest rates led to 80% of BAT to end up in Compound

Decentralized liquidity provider Compound has seen its popularity increase with the launch of yield farming, reaching $1 billion in total supply and over $383 million in total borrows. However, the protocol’s massive success brought some of its problems to light, showing that it over-incentivized certain behavior on the platform.

The current COMP distribution system, introduced in proposal no. 10, has two major issues, the first and less important one being a slight issue with flash loans. The second, more major problem, involves the protocol incentivizing users to lend to whichever money market has the highest interest rate.

While this wouldn’t be a problem if the interest rates across various markets remained relatively the same, a huge discrepancy arose when the interest rates for lending the Basic Attention Token (BAT) jumped to the top of the board.

The huge increase in new users meant that the majority of them naturally gravitated towards BAT, which led to Compound soaking up over 80 percent of BAT’s liquid supply.

According to data from DeFi Rate, $319 million worth of BAT out of the $391 million in liquid supply is currently locked in Compound.

New COMP distribution patch fixing issues with high-interest rates

To mitigate this issue, which led to other cryptocurrencies being drastically less represented in yield farming, a new patch was proposed. The proposal, which is the 11th patch issued on Compound, was introduced by Compound Labs CTO Geoffrey Hayes and it addresses both of the above-mentioned problems.

Hayes’ proposal aims to address the risky yield farming by removing the “interest accrued” metric that’s used to allocate COMP tokens across various markets on the platform. Instead of using the accrued interest, the protocol will allocate COMP to markets proportional to the users’ demand for borrowing each asset. This, it explained in the official proposal, should remove the incentive to push markets into “extreme levels” of utilization and prevent yield farmers from gathering in a single market, as is currently the case with BAT.

Chart showing the economics of COMP distribution before and immediately after the patch
Chart showing the economics of COMP distribution before and immediately after the patch. (Source: Compound)

The patch will affect all borrowers as they’ll receive the same amount of COMP no matter how high the interest rate they’re borrowing at is. Data from Compound has shown that the patch, implemented on Jun. 27, had an immediate effect on the distribution of COMP and has effectively resolved the issue. Nonetheless, the event highlights the need for tight control mechanisms when it comes to yield farming as more and more people enter the market unaware of the risks it carries.

The post Latest Compound proposal aims to resolve issue soaking up 80% of BAT’s liquid supply appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Coinbase Custody to Hold Assets Backing 21Shares’ Bitcoin ETP

Crypto asset manager 21Shares will use Coinbase Custody to secure the Bitcoin backing its ETP launch tomorrow.

21Shares, an asset manager specialized in cryptocurrencies, has chosen the custody service offered by crypto exchange Coinbase for its Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded product.

According to a July 1 Coinbase announcement, 21Shares will use Coinbase Custody to secure the Bitcoin backing the ETP launching tomorrow. The derivative will launch on Deutsche Börse’s Xetra — Germany’s second-largest stock exchange.

The product is purportedly he first physically-backed Bitcoin ETP in Europe.

Cryptocurrency derivatives see explosive growth

Cryptocurrency derivatives are seeing new developments increasingly often. In late-February, 21Shares’s also launched an inverse Bitcoin ETP called Short Bitcoin on Xetra. In January, the same ETP also began trading on leading Swiss exchange SIX.

As Cointelegraph reported, cryptocurrency exchange OKEx launched Ether (ETH) and EOS options in early June.

At the time, OKEx CEO Jay Hao said that financial derivatives “play an irreplaceable role in hedging risks and maximizing profit.”

Still, the space has recently seen its share of controversy when Qiao Wang, an investor, analyst and head of product at a crypto market data firm raised criticism about how the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust is set up. According to him, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust’s system could allow for it to trade at a discount compared to the net asset value of the fund’s assets.

New ‘Red Dot’ and Criticism Hit Bitcoin S2F Model

The S2F chart. As the widely followed pseudonymous bitcoin (BTC) analyst PlanB added another data point, the ‘red dot’ to his famous stock-to-flow (S2F) bitcoin price model, the community appears to be getting increasingly dismissive about the model’s predictions. Writing on Twitter today, PlanB first shared the “cross asset” version of his model, dubbed S2FX,

Bitcoin Analyst: Central Bank Rate Cuts Mean ‘World Has Gone Zimbabwe’

Zimbabwe-style mayhem is a possible outcome from a flood of cheap money hitting the global economy, warns MMCrypto.

Bitcoin (BTC) supporters are watching as almost every central bank in the world lowers interest rates and the global fiat money supply skyrockets.

Statistics compiled by Charlie Bilello, CEO of wealth manager Compound Capital Advisors, show that in 2020, 84 of the world’s 118 central banks cut interest rates.

“Bitcoin cannot be printed!”

Largely due to coronavirus, institutions have slashed rates by as much as 1,700 basis points, with Argentina leading the way.

Israel changed the least, with a 15 basis point reduction, while Ukraine, Pakistan, Barbados and the East Caribbean joined Argentina at the top of the list.

Argentina’s current central bank interest rate is 38%, the highest of any central bank on the list.

Lower rates are designed to incentivize borrowing and spending and go hand in hand with quantitative easing policies, under which the money supply of fiat currencies can increase exponentially.

Missing from the rankings are countries such as Venezuela, Iran and Lebanon, where currency meltdowns have become an unavoidable feature of central bank policy. Zimbabwe, famous for hyperinflation since 2000, is also absent.

“The world has gone Zimbabwe,” on-chain analyst MMCrypto summarized.

“...#Bitcoin can NOT be printed!”

Central bank interest rate cuts in 2020. Source: Charlie Bilello/ Twitter

Central bank interest rate cuts in 2020. Source: Charlie Bilello/ Twitter

The endless contradictions of the “Fiat Standard”

As Cointelegraph reported, frantic responses to Covid-19 throughout the world have left proponents of sound money speechless.

In the United States, cheap money has accompanied an almost incomprehensible 10-year record for quarterly stock market growth. What’s more, despite a huge spike in unemployment, data shows that poverty has fallen due to government handouts.

This sets the stage for a tussle between rich and poor central banks alike when it comes to the future of immutable, non-inflatable Bitcoin.

This week, RT host Max Keiser laid out his prediction for the coming years: the U.S. will go head-to-head with Iran and Venezuela for the biggest slice of Bitcoin hash rate. This in turn will propel the BTC price to $500,000.

Analyst Expects Bitcoin Price to Break Below $8,500; Here’s Why

  • Bitcoin is maintaining its interim support level near $9,100, but an analyst expects the price to break bearish towards $8,500.
  • The trader forecasted the downside move days after Bitcoin established a second-quarter top near $10,500 on June 1.
  • The cryptocurrency has since accurately moved as predicted, further raising the possibility of a breakdown ahead.

Bitcoin may undergo an aggressive sell-off in the coming weeks.

The downside risks surface as the benchmark cryptocurrency cautiously trades above $9,100, accompanied by lackluster volume and record-low volatility. Traders are showing a clear bias-conflict, unable to open traders in either direction as the price action becomes almost motionless.

An $8,500 Bitcoin

The ongoing sideways trend prompted one analyst to predict further downside moves in the Bitcoin market. It is the same trader who, on June 3, accurately forecasted a bounce towards $10,000. His later predictions about an extreme pullback also came true.

The analyst now sees Bitcoin extending its bearish correction towards $8,500 or lower. In a chart published ahead of the New York trading session Wednesday, he highlighted the cryptocurrency leaving behind a trail of lower lows and lower highs, indicating a downtrend.

bitcoin, btcusd, xbtusd, btcusdt, cryptocurrency, spx, s&p 500, us index, coronavirus, covid19

Bitcoin chart showing its extended negative trend following a rebound from $10,500 on June 1. Source: CryptoCapo, TradingView.com

He also spotted levels that served as the last point of supply (LPSY) in the market. As shown in the chart above, each of Bitcoin’s local pullback levels flashed traders’ inability to inject money into the market. That reflected their underlying conflict towards a bull market.

“Consolidation below $9,300 and it should go to the range low ($8200-8500),” the analyst said in early June. “That would be the decision point, in order to know if it’s SOW or Spring.”

He added that breaking below $8,200 could also expose Bitcoin towards lower levels, starting with $7,000 and bottoming near as low as $1,000.

More Bearish Signals

Bitcoin’s flat price action also prompted other market observers to see its price declining in the coming sessions.

Josh Olszewicz, an analyst associated with Brave New Coin, said in a Wednesday tweet that he finds bias in an “awkward spot.” He highlighted bitcoin’s weakening bullish momentum using a popular technical indicator known as the Ichimoku Cloud.

“Cloud still shows weakening bullish momentum. If you are bearish, you want an e2e to 7.1. If you are bullish, you want a TK cross [to] recross above Cloud  with a $13k target.”

bitcoin, btcusd, xbtusd, btcusdt, cryptocurrency, spx, s&p 500, us index, coronavirus, covid19

Bitcoin price chart showing its Ichimoku Cloud indicator pointing to a weakening upside momentum. Source: Josh Olszewicz, TradingView.com

Meanwhile, the analyst who predicted a bitcoin price plunge towards $8,500 also noted that invalidation of his forecast would push the cryptocurrency back above $10,000.

Russia: Bitcoin Activity Rising Despite Strict Law Proposals

As Russia draws up new strict cryptocurrency legislation, P2P Bitcoin exchanges and crypto trades in the country rise significantly.

A branch of the Russian federal government has recently published a draft of new litigation called “On Digital Financial Assets,” which is focused on enforcing strict cryptocurrency laws in the country. The legislation has not been approved yet and has been in discussion since 2018.

The new laws define Bitcoin as property but not legal tender, and propose, among many other things, that Bitcoin (BTC) miners register as individual companies so they can be appropriately taxed. President Putin is planning on developing and revealing a new tax for Bitcoin miners by July 1, but many are skeptical about the government’s ability to regulate the cryptocurrency industry.

In spite of this recent development toward increased regulation of digital assets, Russian peer-to-peer Bitcoin transactions have spiked significantly.

In this article, Russia’s legislative approach toward cryptocurrencies will be discussed and compared to the attempts made by other governments to understand and regulate the industry. First, let’s take a look at the recent popularity of Bitcoin in Russia.

Related: One Step Forward and One Step Back: Why Is Russia’s Crypto Regulation Treading Water? 

The popularity of cryptocurrency and financial technology

It is clear that financial technology and the shift toward online banking, investing and cryptocurrencies are changing the world.

Debit and credit cards, online banking and the popularity of digital receipts with the simple snap of a picture on your phone may turn paper money and other paper documents obsolete very soon. The free investing app Robinhood caused a surge of millennial investors to join around the coronavirus pandemic, rocking the United States stock market and creating financial gains that even the experts couldn’t predict. Now, even PayPal and Venmo are discussing rolling out their own crypto buying and selling platform.

With nearly 84% of millennials either owning a website or using social media daily as a means to support their income, it is obvious that the internet is the new frontier for earning, managing, and investing money. However, many in the government have concerns that the rapidly developing industry of cryptocurrency will become more like the Wild West, where lawlessness abounds and illegal activities rule the day.

The question is: Do politicians around the world know enough about cybersecurity and cryptocurrency to effectively regulate these industries? Or are they still grasping at the darknet?

Is it possible to police the internet?

Since its inception, the government has grappled with how to regulate cryptocurrencies. “There is no doubt that decentralization and peer-to-peer transactions by their very nature presents regulators with real challenges,” says Eddy Trava, CEO of Coinsilium, a blockchain and digital asset investment firm.

Predictably, most central banks were quick to vilify Bitcoins, attributing them to immoral activities such as human trafficking — and governments were quick to follow this train of thought.

However, as the industry has grown and gained legitimacy, many governments are switching tracks and trying to make sure they also have a finger in the pie by focusing tax efforts on digital assets.

Many are worried that this increase in oversight is an infringement of digital privacy and defeats the purpose of blockchain technology. Countries such as Australia have passed laws giving the government backdoor access to encrypted technology under the guise of fighting terrorism and criminal activities. But cryptocurrency users expect to have trustworthy platforms for trading — not ones that can be legally obligated to aid in government surveillance.

Many critics note that the increased government focus on cryptocurrencies — also seen in South Korea with the announcement of a new Bitcoin tax — is occurring at a suspicious time. World governments are seeing huge economic uncertainty and facing vast public health expenditures in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it makes sense for these governments to be looking for different avenues for taxation and revenue.

Peer-to-peer exchanges and trades are booming in Russia

This new development regarding Russian regulation of digital assets has not put a damper on peer-to-peer exchanges and trades. Coin Dance statistics indicate that Russia accounted for 20% of Localbitcoins trade volume in May — the second month in a row that the country has topped the charts for trade volume.

“We are following the legal situation in Russia,” a spokesperson for Localbitcoins claimed, adding, “We hope that Russian people will continue to have access to Bitcoin and its benefits in the future too.”

However, it seems like most Russian cryptocurrency aficionados are not really worried.

Artem Tolkachev, Russian citizen as well as founder and CEO of digital asset investment platform Tokenomica, feels like the draft of the legislation is more a failed attempt to understand cryptocurrencies than a concerning new development in the industry. Tolkachev said:

“Given the Central Bank’s prohibitive stance and other law-making actors’ lack of expertise with the subject, the [presidential] order has been executed in a purely formal fashion — with the view to ostensibly develop regulation while refraining from taking any tangible decisions in the text. The resulting bill, ‘On Digital Financial Assets,’ has gone through several editions, but it never got close to regulating the most pressing matters.” 

What is the future financial frontier? 

As rapidly developing financial technology calls to question our traditional methods of banking and investing, many wonder whether governments and even economic experts adequately understand the new online frontier of finance.

In the future, will we see more “Buffett was wrong” moments and lose faith in such time-honored tipsters as the Oracle of Omaha? Will politicians and governments with limited cybersecurity knowledge ever be able to regulate the cryptocurrency industry in an effective and non-intrusive way? Are we on the verge of a series of unpredictable economic developments as currency and digital assets become rapidly decentralized, and even the most financially unsavvy can invest en masse online with the tap of a finger?

It’s clear that many Russian investors believe in the future of cryptocurrency and have much less faith that their government can ever effectively put a damper on this industry’s growth. They are playing a high-stakes gamble and investing a large amount of money in the hopes that Bitcoin pays off as an investment — and so far, they are winning.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Sam Bocetta is a freelance journalist specializing in United States diplomacy and national security, with an emphasis on technology trends in cyber warfare, cyber defense and cryptography. Previously, Sam was a contractor for the U.S. Department of Defense, working in partnership with architects and developers to mitigate controls for vulnerabilities identified across applications.

Report: Japanese Blockchain Sector Grows Over 30% Since 2019

The number of crypto and blockchain-related companies in Japan increased by more than 30% this year, data from Monex Group's Monex Crypto Bank shows.

The number of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related companies in Japan increased by more than 30% this year. 

Monex Group's Monex Crypto Bank told Cointelegraph Japan on June 30 that there are 430 crypto and blockchain-related companies in Japan as of May 2020. This represents a 30.7% jump from the 329 companies reported in July 2019. 

The data is part of the “Blockchain Data Book 2020” that Monex Crypto Bank released on Wednesday, detailing the conditions of the Japanese blockchain industry.

Monex Group runs Coincheck, one of the biggest crypto exchanges in Japan. 

Many firms have a primary focus on blockchain and cryptocurrencies 

Of the firms, 64% are “primarily" focusing on crypto and blockchain-related businesses while 36% are involved “non-primarily." 

In the section labelled "large corporations," Monex noted 193 crypto and blockchain-related companies, 105 of which are primarily pursuing blockchain and crypto-related business. The report further found 31 public companies conducting crypto and blockchain-related business.

According to Monex Crypto Bank, there are 529 blockchain and crypto-related products in Japan. Excluding dubious offerings and applications that are no longer operational, there are currently 422 active products. 

Breakdown of 422 active blockchain-related products

“The third pillar” for cryptocurrency business in Japan

Yusuke Otsuka, the co-founder of Coincheck noted the gaming industry as the possible foundation for the "third pillar" of crypto business in Japan after exchanges and mining, stating, “As to the third pillar, I think Japan has a strong foundation of gaming."

However, Otsuka also noted that there are some regulatory concerns, particularly in regard to "gacha" — a game based on slot machines that uses digital currencies. It is currently unclear the game can be classified as gambling, and Otsuka stated that game developers need to communicate openly with Japanese regulators. 

Monex Group itself is actively exploring the potential of crypto and blockchain-related businesses. Monex Securities became the first securities company to join the Japan Virtual and Crypto Assets Exchange Association.

Amid the Crisis, a New Generation Is Ready for the Crypto Revolution

As the world’s nations and financial institutions plan their recovery from the unprecedented economic upheaval in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, more and more people are turning to digital assets.

Cryptocurrency’s extraordinary resilience during the coronavirus crisis has lent renewed vigor to central banks’ plans to integrate digital currencies. Meanwhile, the younger generation is embracing cryptocurrency as an alternative way to build wealth. All this is made easier by innovative platforms that lower the barrier to entry.

Corona makes the case for crypto

It has become clear that the economic shock of the pandemic will not be done away with by 2021. Decisions being made by governments to reopen national economies will be felt far in the future.

Record unemployment in the US and Europe poses challenges that current systems are struggling to meet: to make sure people have enough to survive, to prop up markets and businesses, and to maintain demand.

In order to do this, the distribution of money will have to modernize. The US stimulus package, delivered through a horribly inefficient bureaucratic patchwork, highlighted the flaws in an old, broken system and brought the discussion of the digital dollar back to the table. Meanwhile, China’s own digital Yuan is underway. Proposals such as UBI, tentatively rolling out in Spain, also pose organizational challenges that digital assets can meet.

To safeguard against future shocks, monetary systems of the future should be fast, efficient, scalable, and where possible decentralized. For the younger generation bearing the worst of the crisis, the cryptocurrency community already shows how things can be done.

The hope of the disenfranchised

The demographics of cryptocurrency adoption according to a recent report from CoinMarketCap show increased interest in digital assets in the first quarter of 2020. More significantly, this was most pronounced among the young, among women, and also in regions outside the US, many of which would be termed emerging markets (usually with unstable currencies). The highest user growth was in India, Pakistan, Colombia, Canada, and Nigeria. Greece and Romania were the countries with the most female user growth.

CoinMarketCap reported a 43.24% growth in interest from female users on its platform and a 46.04% quarterly growth in interest from young adults. A quote from the report observes that: “In relation to the youth user segment (aged 18-24), the continent of Oceania saw the biggest percentage jump of 151.95%, followed by Africa with 91.47%.” In short, demographics that are left behind in the current dollar-dominated system see the emancipatory potential of cryptocurrency.

And why shouldn’t they? A youth that is increasingly aware of global economic and social issues will naturally turn to their main advantage over their elders—they have more trust in technology.

The importance of platforms in building trust

Cryptocurrency’s increased popularity isn’t just about rebellion. We can’t talk about increased adoption without highlighting the role that digital platforms have played in making crypto accessible for everyone.

Digital platforms are a tech revolution that advanced in tandem with cryptocurrency to affect almost every aspect of our lives – media, travel, rent, productivity, retail, finance, and more.

When bitcoin first started in 2009, only serious computer geeks could play around with the new digital currency, which was stigmatized as a niche interest at the best, and criminal activity at worst.

We’ve come a long way since then. Crypto platforms have won the trust of their userbase by offering an easy way for people to buy, sell, or trade cryptocurrency from their smartphones.

StormGain is the current leader of the pack among crypto trading platforms. Available as a smartphone app or on the web, StormGain has won a string of awards including The European magazine’s ‘Cryptocurrency Trading and Exchange Platform of the year’ in 2020.

With increased competition in the market, StormGain understands that simply offering a digital service is not enough. StormGain clients have several advantages including a loyalty program with discounts of up to 20% on trading commissions and 12% APR interest.

But the key element of StormGain’s success is trust. The company has garnered particular praise for its attentive multi-lingual customer support and its extensive education program, which provides a range of information on cryptocurrency, blockchain, and best trading practices that empower beginners to become crypto trading experts, and ultimately take more control over their finances.

Crypto’s coming of age

The case for cryptocurrency has only become stronger as more individuals and businesses turn to digital assets as a hedge against uncertainty, cross-border payments, and smart contracts.

No small thanks to the crypto’s resilience during crisis, we are seeing the point where governments and big banks are finally coming around to meet the rising digital generation. Now is the time for savvy traders to build up their crypto portfolio and take advantage of the knowledge base on platforms like StormGain to be prepared for the future.

 

How Cryptocurrency Funds Work

Cryptocurrency funds have some key differences from traditional investment funds, and we’ve laid them all out along with how you can get involved.

Tokenbox

Cryptocurrency funds are a new type of investment vehicle that parallels traditional portfolio investments, like hedge funds, but are composed entirely out of digital assets. Because of this, they play by slightly different rules than their legacy counterparts. Knowing how they differ and where to get involved is key for those who want to jump into this intriguing new world, so we’ve outlined the main points in this helpful guide.

What are cryptocurrency funds?

The term “cryptocurrency fund” refers to a portfolio containing a variety of different digital assets and is usually managed by one or a few individuals. Investors are then able to buy into these funds so that they can share in the profits as the value of the fund grows. According to data from Crypto Fund Research, a little over half of these act as venture capital funds, while the rest are predominantly hedge funds. 

Venture capital funds involve a variety of investors pooling their money in order to buy into smaller businesses with high growth potential. Of course, in cryptocurrency funds these businesses are new projects and altcoins. Once the asset or assets have grown by a sufficient amount, they are usually sold off and investors take a cut of the profits. 

Hedge funds act as portfolios that are actively managed and work to minimize risk in the market, hence the name “hedge.” These can be made up of any assets, but different assets are typically used in both long and short strategies, diversifying the portfolio in order to make the fund resistant to, or even profitable during, high volatility. Again, these funds are usually managed by small teams and are often only available to high-end investors, with minimum investments ranging in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Traditional hedge funds also usually have minimum time constraints attached to them, so investors would be committed to keeping their money in the fund for at least one year, for example. They also tend to have fairly high fees, around 20% of profit, as incentive for the managers to provide solid performance. On that note, this entails putting trust into the team managing the strategies, and there is no guarantee that the fund will ultimately see a return. If poorly managed, the market volatility that these funds are supposed to protect against can also quickly wipe them out. This was seen in March with the sharp drop that came amid the coronavirus market panic. Some cryptocurrency funds weren’t prepared for such a sudden drop, and collapsed as a result.

Common strategies used by cryptocurrency fund managers

At this point, we should explore the strategies that fund managers use to grow their investments. One common tactic often invoked is called “long/short equity.” In this scenario, fund managers look at the assets they believe are undervalued and overvalued, and then place long and short positions accordingly. If their analysis is correct, then their portfolio should see gains whether the market is rising or falling. 

A similar strategy is known as “market neutral.” Here, the goal is for the long and short positions to balance out, so that the market exposure nets to zero. Therefore, a manager may take a 50% long and 50% short in the same industry or asset in the hopes of reducing risk from volatility. It should be noted that reduction of risk generally means lower returns as well, which is an acceptable trade-off for some.

Another common strategy used is arbitrage. There are many types of arbitrage, but the general idea is to buy assets on one exchange and then sell them on another that is offering a better price. This is common in traditional hedge funds, but the cryptocurrency market often offers more lucrative opportunities due to its young and volatile nature. It is common for different platforms to offer slightly different prices on various assets, and if the move can be made fast enough, then making a profit can be relatively easy. That being said, speed is key, making this strategy a common favorite among high-frequency traders.

There are other strategies as well, such as “global macro,” which looks to take positions based upon larger trends within a market, and “short only,” which basically focuses on explicitly shorting assets that the managers feel are overvalued. Lastly, there is “quantitative,” which focuses solely on models, data and research to craft the portfolio. Realistically, it is not uncommon for multiple different strategies to be used, but it is essential that the fund managers understand what they are doing in implementing whichever one and are transparent about it with investors.

A variety of different ways to invest

This is generally the largest risk involved with investing in a cryptocurrency fund: clients need to put their trust into those behind it, which is why it is important to do research. The more information the managers are willing to share about who they are, how they are managing and what their track record is can help determine if they are right for an investor. That’s why, for many, partnering with a reputable firm is an essential part of the trust that they will see a return on their investment. Some of the biggest names in cryptocurrency funds include the Digital Currency Group, Galaxy Digital and Pantera Capital, among many others. All focus specifically on cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.

Of course, these will still generally require large, upfront investments from qualified individuals. However, retail investors who want to be in on this type of action might want to look at projects like Tokenbox. In addition to acting as a general wallet and exchange, Tokenbox allows users to “tokenize” their portfolios as well as invest in the tokens attached to the portfolios of others. This acts as a streamlined way to either begin a new cryptocurrency fund or get involved in an existing one. The tokens that are tied to winning portfolios can themselves be bought and sold, and their value is tied explicitly to the performance of their fund. Managers can then showcase their success to try and attract more backers. All of this is possible without the need for a massive initial investment, but rather acts more like purchasing any single cryptocurrency on an exchange.

What can this market look forward to?

The cryptocurrency fund outlook is fairly bright these days. According to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Elwood Asset Management Services Ltd., the overall value of Assets Under Management in these funds grew from $1 billion in 2018 to an impressive $2 billion in 2019 — doubling the market’s size in a single year. On top of that, the median return on these investments in 2019 was 30%, down a little from 2018 but still far above most traditional hedge funds. This is, of course, due to the room for upside that is available in the market. Though a wide variety of cryptocurrencies can be found in various offerings, the study found that 97% offered Bitcoin (BTC), followed by Ether at 67% (ETH) and others such as XRP (XRP), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC), all being offered by about a third of the funds available. 

This all points to a market that is really only beginning to be explored. As cryptocurrency grows into mass adoption, it is only logical to assume that the number and value of these investment vehicles will continue to rise. Risks will always be present, which is why investors must always do their homework, but the untapped potential of digital assets looks promising. If more retail investors can be brought into this realm as well, then the story of cryptocurrency funds may be just beginning.

Learn more about Tokenbox

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

Digitex Futures’ DGTX to Start Trading on KuCoin, Expansion Plan Revealed

Digitex Futures, the commission-free bitcoin futures exchange platform by Digitex Ltd is on its way to achieving a significant milestone by listing its native DGTX exchange token on KuCoin. According to the recent announcement, DGTX/BTC and DGTX/ETC trading pairs will be available on IDG Ventures backed KuCoin global exchange from July 3, 2020. Deposits for DGTX will open a day before on July 2.

The listing of DGTX trading pairs on KuCoin enables over 5 million users from more than 200 countries to start trading the digital asset against popular cryptocurrencies. Popular as the “People’s Exchange”, KuCoin has a strong presence in some of the emerging crypto markets like South Korea, Vietnam, Turkey, India and Italy which will play an important role in promoting the adoption of DGTX and Digitex Futures platform by the crypto community.

“We’re extremely excited about our latest partnership with KuCoin… Our community has been asking for a listing on a major exchange for a while now and we’ve always been fans of the diversity of offering on KuCoin as well as its reach and popularity. As we head into the public launch of the Digitex Futures mainnet, being listed on KuCoin will allow us to get in front of even more traders and make buying DGTX even easier,” said Adam Todd, founder and CEO of Digitex Futures exchange.

Soon, the Digitex community can start trading on KuCoin and avail the benefits of multi-language round-the-clock customer service, cold storage technology, high-liquidity and a user-friendly interface offered by the global exchange giant. Apart from the web platform, KuCoin has also made mobile applications available on Android and iOS devices.

Digitex Future is currently in a limited-release phase after the mainnet launch on April 27, 2020. At present, the platform is offering just one market (BTC/USD) perpetual swap for select traders. The platform is following a gradual phased approach to adding more traders as it gears up for a full public launch in the coming weeks. Digitex uses DGTX as the denomination for all accounting and transactions on the platform.

The CEO of Digitex, Adam Todd has also revealed that following the public launch, the platform will be expanding its offering by adding contracts tracking the price of ETH and other markets including traditional assets like gold, oil, and forex. By doing so, Digitex will broaden its appeal to a wider group of traders.

Coin Race: Top Winners/Losers of June, 2nd Quarter, and 1st Half 2020

May's mixed bag turned into a June's red one - at least for the top 10 coins by market capitalization. Only one has seen a rise in its price in the month of June. Nonetheless, for the coins outside of the top 10 list, the picture is not as drastic. Though many saw a drop in their prices, many others appreciated. The situation is also a lot greener when observing the coins in

Central Bank Digital Currency Touted as Solution to US Economic Overhaul

Talk of a US central bank digital currency (CBDC) dominated proceedings, as the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs conducted a virtual meeting yesterday.

The near two-hour-long hearing titled “The Digitization of Money and Payments” discussed competing with China’s CBDC offering, financial inclusion, and modernizing the current US economic model.

Taking the lead in tabling senator’s questions was former Chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Chris Giancarlo.

Chris Giancarlso leading discussed of central bank digital currency

Source: banking.senate.gov

Now of The Digital Dollar Project as Project Director, Giancarlo shared his insights into how a US digital currency could work.

Previously, the US administration had given mixed signals on whether a US CBDC would ever see the light of day. But, yesterday’s hearing shows the matter has become a pressing concern.

US Digital Currency is Inevitable

Committee Chair, Senator Mike Crapo, in his opening remarks, stressed the importance of implementing a US digital currency. This, he sees, as vital to defending the dollar’s status as the world reserve currency.

“these and other similar innovations are inevitable, beneficial and the US should be the lead in their development.”

In response to Senator Crapo’s point, Giancarlo sought to assure him by saying the sturdy “pillars,” which uphold US financial dominance, remain in place.

But initiatives by the Chinese government, including the Belt and Road scheme, and the possible implementation of a free trade zone in the east, will inevitably chip away at those “pillars.”

“Nevertheless, the Chinese efforts and some other efforts are directly targeting some of those pillars. The U.S. dollars’ dominance is based on an account based global banking system. The moved toward a digital yuan by China is meant to bypass the accounts based system and allow for direct payments.

Source: shutterstock.com

Giancarlo then championed the need for a digital dollar by bringing up commodities trading. Major commodities trade in dollars, but that process is becoming increasingly digitized.

So, to meet the demand of users of dollars, it makes sense also to digitalize the dollar. Doing this would create seamless interaction and fend off competition from other digital currencies.

“I believe it’s also vitally important that the dollar itself also becomes digital in order to interact with those commodities. Otherwise, other country’s digital money will be able to interact with them.”

More than that, Giancarlo believes without digitalization, the dollar would become as irrelevant as a “flip phone.”

Financial Inclusion

As global economies face extraordinary challenges set about by the pandemic situation, the panel saw fit to discuss financial inclusion.

However, the idea of a digital currency fared poorly in the eyes of Senator Sherrod Brown. He slated “big tech” for its consistent abuse of monopoly power over their respective markets.

As far as Brown was concerned, the technologically driven level playing they had promised has only resulted in the little man getting squeezed.

“They disrupted industries and institutions for taxi cabs to local journalism to our democracy itself. Instead of building something better, they tear down things for their own profit.”

Also sharing an opposing position, Duke University Assistant Professor of Law, Nakita Cuttino raised the issue of how CBDCs would affect the cost of banking.

Cuttino said that banks class low-income Americans as unprofitable, and feared a CBDC would widen this form of discrimination.

What’s more, given that broadband infrastructure within the US is patchy, and 45 million Americans don’t have a smartphone, she implied that cash is much more inclusive.

While there remain many issues to hammer out, the priority of the US administration is competing on the international stage. With that, a US digital currency seems necessary.

Fund Manager Challenges Bitcoin Price Model Predicting $100k By 2021

Bitcoin price
If you’ve been involved in Bitcoin or crypto over the past year, you likely have heard of “PlanB.” He is a pseudonymous quantitative Bitcoin analyst that works as an institutional investor in Europe by day. PlanB is best known for the Stock to Flow (S2F) model. The model suggests that the value of BTC and other precious assets can be related to their level of scarcity, or “flow.” Many have adopted PlanB’s analysis as the key to cryptocurrency investing. Yet there are some challenging it, including the chief investment officer of Strix Leviathan, a crypto fund focused on research and algorithmic trading. Bitcoin Stock to Flow Model Basics Early last year, PlanB released his first work: “Modeling Bitcoin Value with Scarcity.” In that piece, the analyst suggested that both gold and silver are valuable due to their scarcity. PlanB then argued that Bitcoin, which is also similarly hard to produce as precious metals, has that same characteristic. Using the stock-to-flow ratios of Bitcoin, silver, and gold, PlanB attempted to illustrate there is a relationship between these assets’ level of scarcity and their value. “Stock” is an asset’s above-ground supply and “flow” is the annual growth of that stockpile. The graph below is what he first came up with. The original iteration of the model found that assuming the model holds true, BTC will trade at $55,000 after the halving in May. Updated iterations suggest a price of ~$100,000 by 2021.  BTC S2F chart (original edition). Source: “Modeling Bitcoin Value with Scarcity” by PlanB For some context, Bitcoin rallying to $100,000 would mark a ~1,000% rally from current levels. The model quickly gained steam after it was revealed. Blockstream CEO Adam Back, who thinks BTC will hit $300,000 in the next five years, said: “It’s just a back tested curve fit to historic data, affirmed by co-integration stats test. What’s not to believe? More interesting is interpreting why, given good fit. It does seem logical that rate of supply halving, other things being equal, would tend to drive up price.” It’s a “Chameleon Model”: Fund Manager Despite the support of the model from Back, other executives, and the crypto diaspora, some are pushing back. Nico Cordeiro, the CIO of Strix Levithan, released a report on June 30th entitled “A Chameleon Model – Why Bitcoin’s Stock-to-flow Model is Fatally Flawed.” He found that gold’s stock-to-flow ratio over the past century has seemingly had no effect on or relationship with its price. The investor also noted that from a pure numbers standpoint, the fact that the model predicts a Bitcoin price in excess of $200 million in 2045 makes it illogical. Cordeiro joins Alex Krüger, an economist closely following the crypto industry. The investor once said : “People using S2F to predict BTC may as well be using the moon cycles to predict BTC. […] The S2F analysis is interesting. But the S2F model is useless for predicting price, as the underlying assumptions of the model are not met. Now and always.” Featured Image from Shutterstock Price tags: xbtusd, btcusd, btcusdt Hedge Fund CIO Challenges Bitcoin S2F Model Predicting $100k By 2021

Q&A with NEM

Q&A with NEM

June 30, 2020 | Moses Ilunga

In the pursuit of seeking clarity, knowledge, and understanding behind this yet-to-mature cryptocurrency market – we are approaching various altcoins (organizations, foundations, companies, and businesses) in order to learn more about what they do, and the people behind the projects. We believe in empowering Altcoin investors and enthusiasts with more information in order to better navigate the crypto-market, and in turn make a more educated financial decision.

NEM, the New Economy Movement, has created an ecosystem that is a significant contributor to the evolution of blockchain technology by ensuring mainstream adoption and their use of NEM’s blockchain solutions. Pedro Gutierrez is the Senior Business Development at Latam in Spain as well as in NEM and has agreed to put some time aside today to answer some questions about himself, NEM, and what we can expect to see in the future from NEM.

To start off, why don’t you tell the readers where you are from, what were you doing prior to being involved in cryptocurrency, and how did you get involved with NEM?

How was NEM started?

“In 2014, a user named “utopianFuture” based his inspiration on the NXT blockchain and proposed to carry out a fork on the Bitcoin Talk forum.  However, him and other members who joined his discussion on Bitcoin Talk ultimately decided to create a blockchain from scratch, and in March 2015 the NEM blockchain officially launched, with a solid community and group of central developers already supporting the project.”

How would you describe what NEM does to a non-technical individual?

“NEM, like other blockchains, allows you to complete transactions using the platform’s native cryptocurrency, XEM. NEM’s technology also enables the streamlining of everyday business functions on one unified platform, such as sending messages, registering domain names, creating accounts with several holders or casting votes.

Without a doubt one of NEM’s most interesting applications is its ability to register smart assets (smart contracts). These assets include traditional property titles, notarial documents or patents that, when inserted in the NEM platform, can be transferred or registered without the need for third parties such as notaries and property registries.”

What is the relationship between NEM, NXT, and NANO?

“There is no relationship, except for the anecdote provided above on utopianFuture’s inspiration for creating NEM.”

Could you explain the benefits of Proof-of-Importance (POI) and Harvesting as opposed to Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work (POW) or Proof-of-Stake (POS)?

“NEM’s Proof-of Importance (POI) and Harvesting mechanism not only rewards those with a balance in XEM, but also takes into account how many transactions users make with their Nanowallet and who they transact with.

This means that the XEM user community helps foster the growth of the NEM ecosystem, creating an equally shared benefit for all. The system not only compensates those who have the most XEM, but also takes into account other activity that is valuable to the ecosystem.

Each user is given a confidence score, or POI, and the higher the score, the higher the chance users have of being rewarded. Your ‘importance’ is calculated based on how much you use the network — the more you use it, the better!

This means that there is a more even distribution of wealth; anyone who contributes can earn extra XEM if they make them available to the network via the delegation, a procedure similar to the fixed-term deposit offered by banks.

Likewise, in the consultation and voting system that NEM makes available to users through the Nanowallet, your POI is taken into consideration. Community members with more POIs have more weight within the community and their vote has more considerations than others in voting where influence is measured.”

What are some examples where NEM could be used in today’s businesses, technology, or services?

“NEM has a multitude of real world applications across sectors. We currently have a number of active uses across business verticals such as: construction, agriculture, notarization of professional titles (Education), digital payments, among many others.

Symbol’s technical capabilities are geared specifically for enterprises, with a wide variety of user friendly configurations, scalability and network security.”

Who Runs NEM (Makes the decisions on the direction in which NEM should take)?

“Currently, NEM is run by an active ecosystem of companies and professionals, who take care of every decision that is made to protect  investments made by the community. A truly decentralized project to its core, the NEM ecosystem is fully supported by the community.

The NEM Group Board of Directors oversees all collaborative operations across three entities: NEM Software, focused on the product and business development; NEM Trading, responsible for all finances, including liquidity management, exchange support and token lending; and NEM Ventures, the venture capital and investment arm, focused on strategic partnerships and ecosystem growth.

The Board of Directors is made up of a team of experienced NEM employees and enterprise experts. Because of the team’s business expertise, we will likely see many more applications and real use cases come to fruition in the near future.”

How long can board members serve on the governing body, and what does the selection process look like (if it applies in this case)?

“N/A”

With over 5,000 cryptocurrencies, who are your main competitors?

“Hyperledger, Chainlink and Tezos.”

Could you briefly talk about what is the Symbol from NEM platform?

“Symbol is the development engine for decentralized applications (DApps). It is designed to work in critical load conditions, that is, in networks that require extremely high speed and a large number of transactions per second, such as product traceability applications, production chains, interaction with IoT devices and industrial machinery. These features make Symbol a natural fit for enterprises of all sizes.

The most important advantages of Symbol are the following:

1. Aggregated transactions and decentralized swaps. A “disposable” smart-contract is generated that adds several transactions into one. This feature can be leveraged for  cross-chain interactions in an environment without trust, and guarantees that all transactions reach the recipient successfully, and if not, they are automatically canceled.

2. Multi-level-multi-cascade firms. These are multi-signature transactions with additional “yes / no” logic added. In other words, at each stage, a transaction can be allowed or canceled, creating a huge opportunity for business processes to be carried out.

3. System of configurable accounts. The user can configure his account in such a way that if he loses access to the account, he can recover it with the help of his co-signer.”

What significant plans, projects, or activities are planned within the next five years for NEM and/or Symbol?

“The primary focus for the NEM ecosystem is the upcoming launch of Symbol, previously codenamed Catapult, which is expected to launch later this year. To support the successful launch of this enterprise blockchain platform, NEM Group has created NEM Software, responsible for Symbol’s product development. NEM Software is focused on producing solutions, adoption on public chains, security token offerings and enterprise adoption. Once Symbol is live, we can expect more meaningful use cases and partnerships to arise, however our current focus is on Symbol as the technology is the basis of all we do. [Latam]”

If someone has never heard of NEM before this interview, and they wanted to get involved within the NEM community after reading your responses – where would you recommend them to go?

“Definitely visit our website www.nem.io and follow us on Twitter @NEMofficial for more information!”

Anything else you like to tell the Altcoin community?

“The blockchain ecosystem has reached a point of maturity where we will begin to see more businesses adopting the technology than ever before. In the coming years, I expect we will see increased growth,  as well as renewed teams and strategies within a magnitude of blockchain projects.

Symbol, as an innovative technology that offers unique characteristics in the enterprise blockchain market, has taken the lead in this regard, which is why I expect business and government adoption to be more prominent in the years to come.”

Thank You!

Originally posted in Altcoin Investing News


About NEM Foundation
The NEM Foundation is registered in Singapore and is operating globally. It was launched to promote NEM’s blockchain technology worldwide, an out-of-the-box enterprise-grade blockchain platform which launched in March 2015. NEM has industry leading blockchain features that include: multisignature account contracts, customizable assets, a naming system, encrypted messaging, and an Eigentrust++ reputation system. It is one of the most well-funded and successful blockchain technology projects in the cryptocurrency industry.

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