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For most of the year, a heated debate has been raging across markets and industries about the regulation, speculation and proper utilization of cryptocurrencies and, more specifically, ICOs. With the increased popularity of ICOs and the overall phenomenon of digital currencies, more business professionals than ever before want to know what it takes for a company to launch an ICO and, subsequently, what they’ll need for success and legitimacy.
Live music platform Viberate’s record-breaking ICO raised $11 million in under five minutes. One key to their success was the concept of their VIB token — a live music industry token any user can earn and spend. Viberate’s first and current phase after raising money is to implement the VIB token into their ecosystem as an incentive mechanism.
It’s all about the community
Viberate’s successful initial coin offering is best seen as a reflection of the VIB token’s unique value compared with what else is offered in the live music industry. As with most blockchain-powered marketplaces, user engagement is the most essential part of Viberate’s platform and that is why the company has maintained a persistent vision of giving a voice to their community members and supporters. Based on the belief that live music should be accessible to all, Viberate reached out to users so they could contribute to the community and the community responded.
How to Earn VIB Tokens
Users in the Viberate ecosystem earn VIB tokens through social engagement such as posting on forums and across social media; inviting friends to join the community; publishing promotional content, provided by Viberate; and making contributions to Viberate’s database, such as adding new artists, venues or events to the database and suggesting changes to the existing profiles (provided it’s approved by the editorial team).
Viberate managed to create a demand for their product by offering a secure, easily traceable token that offers real value, not just in fiat currency but in Viberate’s community. The company transfers 5,000 VIBs into the pool each day for the first 2,000 days during which the bounty pool will be drained in different time periods. Subsequently, at the end of each period, the total amount of VIB will be distributed among contributors, whose awarded actions will be marked valid by the editorial team in the respective period.
Users are able to see their VIBs balance and the value in fiat, as with most digital wallets, but that’s not all – users are able to spend VIB tokens in freshly launched VIB store, selling celebrity merchandise, Viberate merchandise and selected event tickets. In the future users will be able to spend VIBs for paying booking fees, subscribing to premium services, and even advertising on Viberate. But what is the roadmap for the next few months? By end of 2017, Viberate is scheduled to launch booking agency profiles and in Phase 2, Viberate plans to expand their service with event organizer profiles and marketplace features.
With the goal of becoming the go-to digital currency and biggest talent marketplace for the live music industry, Viberate is setting out to engage its users through empowerment one phase at a time.
The post A Vibrant Community: Viberate’s Key to ICO and Product Success appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.
Missed out on the bitcoin bubble? You might have gotten rich (in spirit) along the way.
The Chinese government has often had a tumultuous relationship with Bitcoin, but things came to a head in 2017. By the end of the year, there was no longer a Chinese industry exchanging bitcoin for fiat currency. How did that happen, and where does China go from here?
From his office in Shenzen, Virgilio Lizardo, Jr. has watched the waning of China’s influence on bitcoin pricing with interest. As Vice President of International Affairs at Bitbank Group, he sees cryptocurrency trends and pricing daily. The group’s businesses include China’s former fourth largest Bitcoin exchange CHBTC, alongside BW Mining, which manufactures miners and runs its own pool. With its Bitbank Bitcoin bank and crowdfunding business, the group is well-acquainted with all parts of the cryptocurrency’s ecosystem.
As Head of International at Bitbank Group, he sees cryptocurrency trends and pricing daily. The group’s businesses include Bitcoin exchange CHBTC, alongside BW Mining, which manufactures miners and runs its own pool. With its BitBank Bitcoin bank and crowdfunding business, the Group is well-acquainted with all parts of the cryptocurrency’s ecosystem.
Fissures in China’s relationship with Bitcoin appeared in January, when the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) warned citizens about the risk of trading in bitcoin, and then investigated three exchanges: OKCoin, Huobi, and BTCC. The investigation led to a temporary freeze on margin trading, traditionally used as a means of capitalizing on short-term price changes.
Some exchanges subsequently re-introduced margin trading with limits on the available leverage, but the damage was done.
“In China, you could get into bitcoin and leverage by 10x, 20x, 100x – even up to 250x,” recalls Lizardo. “That ended overnight.”
International traders who were still interested in the Chinese market suffered another blow in early February, when the three exchanges froze bitcoin withdrawals altogether, locking up bitcoins for four months.
This volatile policy shifted the focus of Chinese exchanges from the international to the domestic market. In the meantime, Japan gained dominance, passing legislation legitimizing bitcoin as a payment currency and increasing its price.
By the time the exchanges re-opened withdrawals, market focus had shifted. “By this time, Japan already cemented its position as the leading market for bitcoin trading, because a lot of international traders just didn’t feel confident about Chinese exchanges,” Lizardo says.
That lack of confidence was well-founded. In September, the Chinese government once again cracked down on a key aspect of the cryptocurrency market, this time banning initial coin offerings (ICOs) (see original announcement here). These financial events allow the public to buy cryptocurrency tokens. The tokens give them a stake in new software applications that run on blockchain technology.
ICO bans and voluntary closures
“In the summer China was probably the number one market for ICOs,” says Lizardo. “There were a lot of scammy, fraudulent ICOs happening that caught the attention of the authorities.”
From there, the conversation escalated quickly, resulting in Chinese exchanges voluntarily closing down their Yuan-BTC trading services. BTC China and Via BTC both said that they would halt trading, as did OKCoin and Huobi, and BTCC. Some exchanges have since mulled moving operations overseas, or restricting activities purely to non-fiat cryptocurrency trading.
The exchange closures led to plummeting bitcoin prices, which slipped from a high of US$4884 on Sept 4 to US$3312 on Sept 17. But after that, bitcoin’s price rise has been astronomical. It was nudging US$9800 at the time of writing.
The rebound punctuates China’s decreasing influence over the last year, says Lizardo.
“It was a combination of the momentum built up by nation states – particularly Japan – legitimizing the currency, and traders realizing that the influence of China on the price of bitcoin is coming to an end.” There are other markets ready to absorb China’s bitcoin trading volumes, he adds.
Refocusing on domestic trading
There are still plenty of options for Chinese bitcoin traders, though, as the market focuses inward and moves to over the counter (OTC) trading.
“When exchanges were locked out of the picture, all the volume and trading in that network went into over-the-counter (OTC),” he says.
He notes that following the crisis earlier in the year, the user base for BitKan, the leading OTC bitcoin app in China, increased fifteen-fold.
Bitkan, which has since closed, connected users initially, but then enabled them to exchange their own messaging information and begin transacting directly.
“In China the mobile ecosystem is beyond anything in the world. It’s easy to transfer fiat to each other using just a messaging app,” he points out. Based on BitKan’s user numbers, the real volume of OTC bitcoin trades in China today is probably huge, but it’s also almost entirely invisible.
“Informally, every OTC trader in China is doing spectacularly well right now,” Lizardo Jr concludes. “The market is so huge that each trader can have their own network and it won’t overlap with another OTC network, and that doesn’t even count international OTC relations,” he says.
While the market has refocused internally for the time being, Lizardo says that the government has “left itself some wiggle room” if it wants to re-establish a trading environment between Bitcoin and fiat markets in the future.
“Blockchain technology and Bitcoin are marching on at their fastest pace ever,” he says, adding that there is always an option to reopen the markets. “With Japan and others moving forward more positively, I don’t think that China will stay on the sidelines forever.”
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Every year, over one trillion dollars is spent on impact projects supporting the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs), which aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all by 2030. Unfortunately, organizations lack the data they need in order to make informed decisions on what and how they can improve.
That is until now.
The ixo Foundation, an open source software development foundation, is aiming to optimize impact by combining data with trust to ensure transparency, accountability and security. To achieve this, it’s harnessing blockchain technology and Web 3.0 standards to create the ixo Protocol. It is through this that the foundation will be able to collect and verify high quality data about sustainable development.
Speaking to Bitcoin Magazine, Anne Connelly, network lead at ixo Foundation, said that organizations can build applications via the ixo Protocol, thereby enabling service providers to create an impact claim about the work they have achieved that relates to the SDGs.
Connelly used the example of projects that claim to have taught 100 children or planted 10,000 trees.
“The claim is then verified by an evaluator or a data source,” she added. “This verified impact claim is proof of impact. This proof enables increased access to social impact bonds, government subsidies and other types of impact funding.”
By validating the work that has been achieved, it reduces fraud, costs and corruption while giving the service provider and the funder valuable insight and proof of the work achieved. The data then becomes part of a global impact ledger, an open data commons that can be accessed by anyone, enabling governments, researchers, funders and organizations to make more informed decisions about their work and how to optimize their impact, said Connelly.
“[The] blockchain is a critical technology for changing the way we approach sustainable development,” she said, adding that the protocol would not be possible without it. “The ixo Protocol leverages public, public permissioned and private layers to ensure maximum functionality using blockchain technology while maintaining data privacy.”
Since November 2016, the ixo Foundation has been working with two of its founding partners, Unicef and Innovation Edge, on an application called Amply that supports early childhood development. Connelly explained that, in South Africa, many parents can’t afford to send their children to preschool, a critical time in a child’s development. In order to rectify this, the South African government has a subsidy programme to support over 800,000 children to attend preschool.
“However, in order for teachers to access these subsidies they must track attendance through an antiquated paper-based system and have the papers checked at a government office every quarter,” said Connelly.
Through the Amply project, which has now been through over a year of field testing, a basic mobile application was built using the ixo Protocol to enable teachers to track attendance digitally. With each positive attendance record, an impact claim is made, delivering greater access to government subsidies, which, in turn, means more underprivileged children being taught at school.
“To date, Amply is being used in over 72 schools across the country and has recorded more than 45,000 attendances,” said Connelly. “Through these trials, we have found that the digitized system has saved more than 4,000 hours every month.”
Access to a decentralized global ledger of data will answer the UN’s called for a data revolution for sustainable development. According to a press release from the UN, in 2015, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said “good data and statistics are indispensable for informed decision-making by all actors in society.”
“By tackling an issue that is at the foundation of every organization’s ability to succeed — high quality data — we’re enabling every funder, government and service provider to optimize their impact and achieve the UN’s SGDs by 2030,” stated Connelly.
On October 27, 2017, ixo Foundation announced that it had partnered with Singularity University’s SU Ventures and ConsenSys’ Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition (BSIC), both of which give it greater access to important resources.
Image courtesy of ixo Foundation
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Digital rent processor ManageGo will instantly convert the digital currencies into dollars before sending it on to landlords.
We are closing in on the end of a week that’s going to be remembered for some time by many in the bitcoin space. The bitcoin price broke through the $10,000 level – a level that many claimed it would never reach – and topped out above $11,000 before quickly falling back below the major threshold. Since then, we’ve had a degree of instability, with participants on both sides of the market seemingly unsure as to what happens next. There’s a strong chance we’ll see a return to the overarching upside momentum, of course, but how deep the current correction will go remains to be seen.
As we always say, however, whatever happens, we’re going to be on top of the markets with our short-term efforts.
So, with this all noted, let’s get some levels in place that we can use to try and draw a profit from the markets as and when things move. As ever, take a quick look at the chart below before we get started so as to get an idea where things stand and where we are looking to get in and out on any volatility. It’s a one-minute candlestick chart and it’s got our range overlaid in green.
As the chart shows, the range we are looking at for the session comes in as defined by support to the downside at 10438 and resistance to the upside at 10618. Standard breakout rules apply for the session, so we’ll be looking at jumping in long on a break above resistance towards an immediate upside target of 10680. Conversely, if price breaks below support, we’ll get into a short entry and target a downside level of 10380. Stops on both positions (somewhere around $15 or $20 the other side of the entry) will help ensure we are taken out of the trades if things turn against us.
Let’s see what happens.
Charts courtesy of Trading View
The governor of the Bank of France has warned on the risks of investing in bitcoin, calling the cryptocurrency “speculative.”