Something is definitely brewing in Facebook’s newly formed department. Early in May, there was a rumor that Facebook was interested in opening a cryptocurrency department within its headquarters. The advertised positions are: Two Software Engineers
Cryptocurrency start-ups have had a rough year with a huge section of them laying off loads of their workers with the Bitcoin price crash. Bitcoin has lost around $280 billion of its value this year alone, and the value of all digital tokens as at the time of posting has lost about $600 billion. So, comes with it a struggling market that has now led to a decline in cryptocurrency start-ups, Especially those that invested this year, banking on the close of 2017 prices.
Coinbase, for example, gained a surging number of customers since October 2017 and March 2018. The company is the largest coin brokerage in the U.S. ETCdev, following the incredibly volatile market conditions in 2018 has announced that it will be closing its doors due to lack of funds and being unable to raise more capital to keep the company afloat. This is despite the fact that the company is among the top most successful cryptocurrency start-ups, having launched Ethereum Classic and having a market capitalization value of $400 million.
As of September 2018, the cryptocurrency funding level recorded its lowest figures standing at $279 million, just shy of the required $300 million mark. Since cryptocurrency ICOs heavily depend on funding, the decline was blamed on the stricter regulations that have been put in place for most of this year mainly from the SEC, classifying ICOs as securities made it difficult for crowdfunding to function like it used to before since the funds were now subjected to securities law and scrutiny.
According to a recent post by Tech Crunch, another reason start-ups are failing is that the sheer amount of money being crowdsourced for cryptocurrency projects is simply frightening. Hence the inevitable scrutiny by regulatory bodies. According to tech experts, too much fuel in such a short period of time will always end up consuming the project and the drivers of the ICOs.
The marketing tactics are also very weak on the trust levels in the sense that ICOs are marketed via multi-level theory, just like Ponzi and pyramid schemes. Therefore creating greed for quick money and the fact that the future of the tokens is not analysed only opens doors to fraudulent funding.
David Schumpeter; Eidoo utility token backer, is calling this ‘creative destruction’. First of all, with the failing start-ups, what is alarmingly clear is that majority of the investors are actually quiet about so much money going down the drain. According to David, the destruction of these failed ICOs is good news to some of the investors who do not plan on letting the whole idea collapse but are waiting for the ‘inevitable’ recovery of the market since the value of their investments will increase.
If the market recovers, which is hopefully soon, it will be very interesting to see how start-ups will come back from this mess.
A bitcoin-replica launched with an aim to discourage miners from forming pools and gain a monopoly over its network has been compromised.
Mark Nesbitt, a security expert, revealed that the blockchain of Vertcoin, a peer-to-peer PoW cryptocurrency, is under a 51% attack. The Coinbase engineer found that some anonymous cybercriminals rented a large amount of ASIC hash rate to attack the four-year-old cryptocurrency network. They eventually got hold of more than 50% of the mining hash rate which allowed them to own and govern the Vertcoin public chain literally.
The integrity of a PoW cryptocurrency depends on the distributed nature of its network. It is considered decentralized when no miner or mining pool possesses more than 50% of the network hash rate. If a mining entity gains control of the majority of the hash power, then it could create separate blocks from any arbitrary previous block, creating two versions of the same blockchain. And if the alternative blockchain – controlled by a single entity – starts producing more blocks than the rest of the network, then it could lead to a situation termed as chain reorganization.
To worsen the situation, if a miner holds a large number of coins, it can also launch a double spending attack on the network. For instance, a miner can initiate a transaction on the main chain, but it can replicate the same transaction on the alternative fake chain as well. As a result, both the transactions send the same coin, and only one of them can be confirmed while the other remains invalid.
Altcoin Exchanges Vulnerable
Nesbitt warned exchanges involved in the trading of PoW-based altcoins of potential losses, blaming their lack of effective countermeasures.
“This is because exchanges allow deposits to be hurriedly traded into different assets and then withdrawn,” he emphasized. “An attacker can make a soon-to-be-reversed deposit, trade for another asset, move the new asset off the platform, and then reverse the original deposit.”
Nesbitt cited similar incidents that have taken place in the industry this year, naming BTG, XVG, and MONA. They all eventually got delisted from some of the significant global cryptocurrency trading platforms.
“I encourage you to trade on exchanges that place the security of customer funds as their highest priority,” Nesbitt affirmed.
The development firm behind Ethereum Classic (ETC) will be shutting down immediately. ETCDev had struggled to raise sufficient funds in order to continue its operations. The company, which had been in operation for two and a half years, said its financing issues partly stemmed from the crypto market downturn.
ETCDev’s founder and CEO, Igor Artmanov, said on Twitter earlier today that they had no choice but to shut down immediately. A shortage of ready cash and a drop in the value of the company’s crypto assets meant ETCDev was no longer financially secure. The company had appealed to members of the community, as well as external investors, for additional funding but there was not enough to meet its short-term needs.
“As is publically known we have struggled with funding our operation in the last few weeks”, Artmanov said in an announcement. “This was partially due to the market crash, combined with a cash crunch in the company. We appealed to investors in the ecosystem as well as external to it. We also did the community fund, but in none of these cases were we successful in securing short-term financing.“
Unfortunately ETCDEV cannot continue to work in the current situation and has to announce shutdown of our current activities pic.twitter.com/N6xWnpBNJJ
— ETCDEV (@etcdev) December 3, 2018
Ethereum Classic received a boost during the summer when it was listed on Coinbase. ETC tokens, which had benefited from last year’s bull run, shot up. The coin’s total value went up by over $600m. But like many other cryptocurrencies, the last few months haven’t been kind to ETC price. Its value slid downwards since the beginning of August, from approximately $16.50 per coin to its current valuation of $4.62. More than half of ETC’s value was wiped across November during the market wipeout.
or ETCDev, which had a large holding in ETC, this represented a significant drop in the company’s assets. The company’s ability to fund new projects and develop existing ones, like the Emerald Wallet, were severely restricted.
There had been rumours that ETCDev faced financial difficulties, but it only publicly admitted this today.
ETCDev is not the only company to fall victim from the crypto market crash. GPU chip maker, Nvidia, has also reported its own crypto hangover. Having produced large amounts of chips during last years bull-run, the firm has been left with significant amounts of unsold stock as prices fell and enthusiasm waned.
IOHK remains the only other development company focused on building the ETC ecosystem. But it is also busy developing the Cardano (ADA) platform.
The loss of the one dedicated development company will be a blow for Ethereum Classic.
Ripple (XRP) on Tuesday established a bullish setup after rising more than 10 percent against the US dollar.
The pair broke above the October peak to set a new one-month high at 0.569-fiat. It was previously stuck in a narrow trading range for multiple weeks amidst lower volatility. While the lack of bias-defining price action is itself not significant, the absence of solid bullish momentum, coupled with failed rally attempts of the recent weeks, confirms XRP’s overall downtrend. The latest rally marks the asset’s latest attempt to break above a strong resistance trendline.
However, nothing concrete is backing the XRP rally at this moment. The coin’s fundamentals have remained strong even in the times of bearish actions. The launch of xRapid, the presence of Bill Clinton and the financial market’s key players at Ripple’s Swell Conference, and many strategic partnerships are all favoring XRP’s rise in the long term. The company has also expanded its operations to the Middle East, with its Global Head Dilip Rao confirming that banks in the region would be using XRP to settle cross-border payments.
The volume indicators in the last 24 hours point to a massive traffic coming from Japanese and Korean markets. At the same time, tether is also contributing about 18% of the volume in XRP markets, hinting the influence of USDT traders on the altcoin.
The latest upside breaks in the XRP/USD chart now look to correct some of its action. Those who closed their long positions already could allow the rally to step back for a while before confirming an extended bullish momentum. That said, the pair could likely repeat the September 26 action, while targeting its low at 0.496-fiat as the potential support.
The corrective action is further confirmed by the RSI momentum indicator and the Stochastic Oscillator, both of which are inside their oversold areas and should attempt a pullback anytime.
To the upside, the XRP/USD pair is testing the falling upper trendline in red as a potential breakout threshold. The pair has previously failed to break above the said level, so its invalidation could fuel the bullish bias further. Any such upside action could put XRP traders’ long position towards 0.624-fiat.
A full-fledged assault on bears could be confirmed once the XRP/USD pair breaks above 0.93-fiat, the April high. Until then, sharp corrections on every near-term rally should not surprise traders.
Bitcoin (BTC) turned ten on Oct. 31, but there were no fireworks to mark the celebrations: the cryptocurrencies continue to trade in a tight range. Arthur Hayes, CEO of BitMEX, believes that the current period of low volatility can remain for another 12 to 18 months and can drag the price of the leading cryptocurrency to the $2,000–$3,000 zone.
However, we have a different opinion. We believe that the volatility is unlikely to stay subdued for long. Within the next few weeks, we should get a large range move that will start a new trend, either up or down.
This week, we have a new leader, Bitcoin Cash, that has risen about 9 percent during the past week. Until Thursday, the price of the digital currency was languishing similar to the other cryptocurrencies. However, on Friday, prices soared following an announcement by crypto exchange Binance that it would support the impending hard fork on Nov. 15. After the initial bump up, can the rally continue? Let’s find out.
The long-term trend on the BCH/USD pair is clearly down. Throughout this year, it has failed to hold on to the support levels and has continually made a lower low. Though the bulls have held onto the $408.32 mark for the past seven weeks, they haven’t been able to push prices higher. This shows a lack of demand at higher levels.
The current pullback will face a stiff resistance in the zone of $591.41–$660.0753. If price sustains above this zone, it can climb to $891.4634 and thereafter to $1,200.
On the downside, $408.32 is the critical support, below which the fall can extend to $282. The longer the virtual currency stays in a tight range, the sharper the next move will be. It has a history of vertical rallies; therefore, the traders can buy when a reliable buy setup forms.
After the recent listing of BAT on crypto exchange and wallet Coinbase, will Stellar be the next cryptocurrency that will make the cut? Many believe that XLM has the requisite credentials to be listed on Coinbase. If that happens, we might see a rally. What are the key levels to watch?
The XLM/USD pair has formed a large descending triangle pattern that will complete on a breakdown and close (UTC time frame) below $0.184. Currently, the bulls are attempting to break out of the downtrend line of the triangle, which will invalidate the bearish pattern. Failure of a bearish pattern is a bullish sign.
We like the way the digital currency has stayed above $0.2 levels for the past five weeks, which shows demand at lower levels. If the bulls succeed in sustaining above the downtrend line, a rally to $0.36 followed by a move to $0.47 is likely. Traders can wait for prices to sustain above $0.30 before buying. That is because if the prices turn down sharply after a break out of the downtrend line, the probability of a break down of $0.184 increases.
ARK is currently ranked 71st in terms of market capitalization. It is about to release the much-anticipated new core code base, making it faster and modular with full plugin capabilities similar to WordPress.
Anyone can create their own fully customizable cross chain compatible blockchain using ARK. It will also be the first delegated proof of stake (DPOS) with a switch from static/flat fees to a customizable dynamic fee structure. There are a number of new features and partnerships being added regularly whose details can be accessed on its blog.
Similar to the other cryptocurrencies, the ARK/USD pair has also been in a strong downtrend since topping out in early-2018. The bulls attempted to stall the decline around the $2 mark, which was a strong support. However, the bears broke below it in early-June, resulting in a sharp fall.
The virtual currency bottomed out in mid-August at $0.50712042. Since then, the price has gradually inched higher, which is a positive sign. On the upside, $1.02093420 might act as a stiff resistance. If the bulls scale this level, a rally to the overhead resistance zone of $1.68–$2 is probable. The digital currency is likely to pick up momentum above $2.
On the downside, if the bears sink prices below $0.50712042, a fall to $0.40 and $0.30 is possible.
Monero rose by just over 1 percent in the past seven days, claiming the third spot in the list of top performing cryptocurrencies with a market capitalization of more than $1 billion.
Since early July, the XMR/USD pair has been trading in the range of $81–$150. For the past seven weeks, the range has shrunk to $100.453–$128.65. From last week, the weekly range has reduced further. The tighter and longer the range, the stronger the eventual breakout or breakdown will be.
However, the first move is often a false one. Therefore, traders should wait for the breakout to sustain and show follow up buying before jumping in to buy. There are no significant resistances above $150 until $300.
Conversely, a break below $100.453 will increase the probability of a fall to $81. This is a major support, as it has not been breached convincingly for more than a year. Hence, if this level gets broken, the digital currency can quickly correct to $52–$58.
EOS again received the top standing in China’s 6th global public blockchain technology assessment index. On the other hand, research conducted by benchmarking firm Whiteblock for ConsenSys concluded that EOS lacks “the fundamental components of a blockchain or peer-to-peer network” and is “fundamentally same as a centralized cloud computing architecture.”
The EOS/USD pair has been trading inside the range of $4.493–$6.8299 since August. For the past five weeks, the range has tightened further. This shows a balance between the bulls and the bears. Currently, neither party is making a major move and new investors are sitting on the sidelines.
If the price breaks out of the tight range, it can move up to $6.8299. Above this, we anticipate buying to resume that can carry the digital currency to $9.4456 and $15. However, if the price breaks below the current tight range, it can drop to $4.49, which is a minor support. $3.8723 is the critical support, below which the price might plummet to $2.40 and $1.70.
Ripple has been making progress in signing various institutions to its platforms, mainly targeting cross-border payments. The Middle East is a lucrative market for the company because of the high level of payments that go in and out of the region. Ripple has already tied up with a few banks in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, and the company now reportedly plans to open an office in Dubai by the end of the year. How does its chart look?
The XRP/USD pair rallied sharply in mid-September. However, the bulls could not sustain the momentum and the pullback extended to 78.6 percent retracement levels. Usually after such a deep retracement, a range bound action for a few weeks is likely. For the past two weeks, the 20-week EMA is acting as a resistance. If the bulls break out of the immediate resistance zone at $0.475–$0.5, a move to $0.62 and $0.7644 is plausible. We expect a new uptrend to begin above $0.76440.
If the bears sink the price below $0.37185, the virtual currency will complete a 100 percent retracement and drop to the critical support at $0.24508.
Coinbase has just announced that trading of the Basic Attention Token is soon to be enabled on the Coinbase Pro platform, and deposits of the token are now being accepted. Trading in the token — which runs on Ethereum — will actually begin after a market begins to formulate.
From the announcement:
“Once sufficient liquidity is established, trading on the BAT/USDC order book will start. […] BAT trading will be accessible for users in most jurisdictions, but will not initially be available for residents of the state of New York.”
Trading is apparently not going to be allowed to residents of New York, likely due to regulatory concerns. Users will have to bring their own BAT, as purchase of the token is not currently available on the regular Coinbase.com.
The price of BAT was around 25 cents as of yesterday, but on today’s news, it has gone up by a nickel. It is not difficult to speculate that the increased exposure through the Coinbase Pro platform will continue this incline and that BAT could see new highs beyond its all-time-high of more than 60 cents per token.
The Brave browser project is the primary effort behind BAT, which is aimed at rewarding users for enabling ads. Brave browser has ads disabled by default. BAT tokens have a real-world value assigned by market traders and benefit both sides of the content world – the viewer and the content provider. Last year, Brave enabled them on YouTube videos and over the past few weeks, prior to the listing on Coinbase Pro, the token has seen a rally due to the program entering beta and increased awareness.
The Chrome-based browser itself has millions of active users and discourages tracking, malvertising, and inefficient website coding. Current market share reports on browsers do not sufficiently differentiate user agents enough to tell the difference between various forks of Chrome; thus, it is hard to estimate how many people are currently using the browser. Nevertheless, as market share of it grows, the native utility of the BAT will continue to grow, and thus so will demand for it.
CCN will check in with BAT as trading on Coinbase goes live to see whether the move by one of the oldest, largest, most compliant exchanges will have a positive impact. It’s important to note that BAT has long traded on Binance, which is an exchange with the most volume across several markets.
Tether Limited, the issuer of controversial USD-pegged cryptocurrency stablecoin tether (USDT), has confirmed that it has established a banking relationship with a small financial institution based out of the Bahamas.
The cryptocurrency firm, notorious for its opaque operations, broke from standard practice on Thursday, announcing publicly that it has formed a banking partnership with Deltec Bank, a 72-year-old financial institution located in Nassau.
Writing in the announcement, Tether said that Deltec had only opened the account after a several month review that included evaluating whether the company could maintain the USDT token’s $1.00 peg. That, peg,, has faltered in recent weeks, even as Tether has redeemed more than $1 billion worth of the token at full face value since the beginning of October.
|“The acceptance of Tether Limited as a client of Deltec came after their due diligence review of our company. This included, notably, an analysis of our compliance processes, policies and procedures; a full background check of the shareholders, ultimate beneficiaries and officers of our company; and assessments of our ability to maintain the USD-peg at any moment and our treasury management policies. This process of due diligence, was conducted over a period of several months and garnered positive results, which led to the opening of our bank account with this institution. Deltec reviews our company on an ongoing basis.”|
Tether further published a letter from Deltec apparently confirming that the firm — accused by some of operating a fractional reserve — is holding $1.83 billion at the bank, more than enough to cover the assets backing the 1.78 billion in outstanding USDT.
The letter, which was attributed to Deltec Bank & Trust Limited, stressed that this confirmation was made “without liability” to the bank:
“We hereby confirm that, as at the close of business on October 31, 2018, the portfolio cash value of your account with our bank was US$1,831,322,828.
“This letter is provided without any liability, however arising, on the part of Deltec Bank & Trust Limited, its officers, directors, employees and shareholders, and is solely based on the information that is currently in our possession.”
Prior to this public confirmation, Tether’s relationship with Deltec had first been reported by The Block. Previously, the firm was said to be banking at Puerto Rico-based Noble Bank, which is now reportedly up for sale following the departure of Tether and other large crypto industry clients.
In June, Tether published a report from US legal firm Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan LLP that vetted the firm’s bank accounts, finding that they contained enough funds to cover the outstanding USDT as of June 1, the date on which the review was conducted.
Ripple Labs has secured the capture of Google’s erstwhile head of rich communications services (RCS), Amir Sarhangi. The startup confirmed to Reuters on Friday that Sarhangi will be joining the Ripple team as Vice President of Products. Prior to his move, Sarhangi led the rollout of a new wireless messaging system at Google after joining the tech giant through its 2015 acquisition of his startup Jibe Mobile, which developed technology that enabled cell service providers to adopt RCS.
Sarhangi brings a considerable body of experience in tech and corporate fields to Ripple, having previously spent time with Intel, Deloitte, and Vodafone, including a four-year stint as Senior Manager at Vodafone Japan between 2002 and 2006.
Alongside Steve Schroeder, he then founded Jibe Mobile, which provided an open end-to-end cloud technology solution for mobile providers to carry out IP-based communication including high-quality video calling, group chat, and large media-file sharing services which are agnostic of network, device, or region.
After raising more than $9 million in two funding rounds, the company was acquired by Alphabet’s Google in 2015 in a move that saw Sarhangi move into a new role as Director Product Management & Partnerships, Messaging. He also served a board member of the Area 120 Company, Google’s workshop for experimental products.
His departure will come as a significant blow for Google, which sees RCS as a replacement for SMS texting and has been looking to push through its vision for general cross-platform adoption of RCS in the face of resistance from Apple and Samsung.
Ripple, on the other hand, will see Sarhangi’s capture as a key part of its plan to develop the potential of RippleNet, its enterprise blockchain platform offering seamless, near-instantaneous global cross-border payment services with end-to-end tracking and transparency. RippleNet currently boasts a little over 100 members globally including banks, remittance operators, and payment providers.
Earlier this month, Moneytint, a UK-based corporate foreign exchange service provider, has integrated the RippleNet with its services, enabling it to pay out in Israeli New Shekels as well as euros on behalf of other RippleNet members. This came just a day after news of another successful RippleNet trial from Malaysia as central bank-approved fintech startup MoneyMatch successfully carried out a cross-border payment from Malaysia to Spain, converting Malaysian Ringitt (MYR) to euros at what it described as a “significantly lower cost” and in just a few hours, compared to a traditional bank transfer which would normally take days.
Tether Limited, the issuer of the USD-pegged USDT cryptocurrency, has destroyed 500 million units of the embattled stablecoin.
Blockchain data reveals that earlier today, the firm transferred 500 million USDT from the token’s treasury address to this address, which the firm’s website indicates is the official USDT issuing address. Immediately following that transaction’s confirmation, the issuing address revoked the tokens, not only removing them from circulation (as tokens within the treasury are not counted as circulating) but also — once the transaction is confirmed — destroying them completely.
USDT’s market cap has plunged in October, primarily because token holders have redeemed nearly 800 million USDT since the beginning of the month. Following these redemptions, nearly 1 billion tokens were sitting in the treasury where they remained on-chain but out of circulation. At the time of writing, the treasury continued to hold approximately 467 million USDT.
Update 17:29 UTC: Tether published a statement confirming that the tokens have been destroyed:
“Over the course of the past week, Tether has redeemed a significant amount of USDT from the circulating supply of tokens. In line with this, Tether will destroy 500m USDT from the Tether treasury wallet and will leave the remaining USDT (approx 466m) in the wallet as a preparatory measures for future USDT issuances.
“Conceptually, the Tether issuance and redemption process is outlined in the Tether whitepaper, with issuances and redemptions visible through observing the Tether treasury balance on the OMNI blockchain.”
Five days since losing its U.S. dollar peg, fiat-backed cryptocurrency tether (USDT) continues to trade at a discount to its supposed $1.00 valuation.
Defenders have largely chalked up the markdown to FUD, arguing that supporters of other “stablecoins” are launching a coordinated assault on tether, which has long dominated this market niche. However, billionaire investor and cryptocurrency bull Mike Novogratz says that USDT’s woes are the fault of its issuer’s lack of transparency.
“I think Tether didn’t do a great job in terms of creating transparency,” said Novogratz on Wednesday at a conference in Frankfurt, according to a Bloomberg report. The former Fortress principal specifically called out Tether Limited, the token’s creator, for operating offshore and remaining cagey about its financial relationships, including with whom it is banking.
Tether is said to be currently banking at the Nassau-based Deltec Bank, where it opened an account after severing ties with the now-floundering Puerto Rican institution Noble Bank. Neither of these relationships has been confirmed publicly.
Concerned about the firm’s opacity, Novogratz said that he prefers some of the newer stablecoin options, particularly the Gemini Dollar (GUSD), which is issued by the cryptocurrency exchange founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Unlike Tether, Gemini’s assets are housed in a U.S. correspondent bank, the Boston-based State Street. The stablecoin issuer, which received approval from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYFDS) to release the token, has also contracted with accounting firm BPM LLP to evaluate Gemini’s monthly attestation reports detailing that the token is always fully-backed by USD.
“The concept of stablecoins make sense,” Novogratz said, explaining that they are ideal for transactional exchanges, unlike bitcoin, which he has referred to as “digital gold.”
However, competition within the stablecoin market is growing increasingly stiff. GUSD, along with “regulated” stablecoins Paxos Standard (PAX), TrueUSD (TUSD), and USD Coin (USDC), has been listed on a number of major exchanges in recent weeks. All of these tokens have consistently traded at a premium to tether, suggesting that, at least right now, the market trusts them more than USDT. Moreover, two of them — GUSD and USDC — have been added as settlement options on BitPay, which processed more than $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency payments last year.
In follow-up comments posted on Twitter, Novogratz stressed that he believed USDT is fully-backed by physical dollars and did not want to sow rumors about the token.
|“Id like to put context to these quotes as the last thing I want to do is spread FUD. I said I thought tether has a dollar for every tether and that we actively traded it. The fact that almost $700mm has been redeemed in an orderly fashion is important.”|
Nevertheless, he said that Tether must work harder to earn back lost trust and prove that its token should trade at its full $1.00 valuation.
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