Ripple price formed a decent support near the $0.3100 level and moved higher against the US dollar.The price broke the $0.3150 resistance, but upsides remain capped near the $0.3200 level.There was a break above a key bearish trend line with resistance at $0.3145 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair (data source from Kraken).The pair faced a strong resistance near $0.3200 and it corrected towards the $0.3150 support.Ripple price failed to hold gains against the US Dollar, but upsides were limited versus bitcoin. XRP/USD is currently consolidating above $0.3140 and it could slowly move higher.Ripple Price AnalysisRecently, ripple price formed a solid support near the $0.3100 level against the US Dollar. The XRP/USD pair started a nice upward move and traded above the $0.3120 and $0.3140 resistance levels. There was even a close above the $0.3140 resistance and the 100 hourly simple moving average. The upward move was strong as the price cleared the 76.4% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $0.3185 high to $0.3095 low.Besides, there was a break above a key bearish trend line with resistance at $0.3145 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair. The pair climbed above the $0.3180 level, but it faced a strong resistance near the $0.3200 level. The current price action in bitcoin and Ethereum seems to be positive, but ripple failed to remain in a positive zone. It corrected lower below $0.3180 and the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the recent wave from the $0.3094 low to $0.3201 high.However, the $0.3150 level is acting as a support, which was a resistance earlier. The 50% Fib retracement level of the recent wave from the $0.3094 low to $0.3201 high also acted as a hurdle. At the moment, it seems like there is a short term channel formed with support at $0.3150. Therefore, as long as the price is above $0.3150, there are chances of a fresh upside towards the $0.3200 barrier.Looking at the chart, ripple price is clearly struggling to clear the $0.3200 barrier. If there is a bearish break below the $0.3150 and $0.3140 supports, there is a risk of a fresh drop. The next key support is at $0.3100, which prevented losses on many occasions in the past three days. Overall, traders can keep a close eye on $0.3140 for the next move in the near term.Technical IndicatorsHourly MACD – The MACD for XRP/USD could move back in bearish zone.Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for XRP/USD is currently correcting lower towards the 55 level.Major Support Levels – $0.3150, $0.3140 and $0.3100.Major Resistance Levels – $0.3180, $0.3185 and $0.3200.
Archives for March 20, 2019
Lightning Labs has released a new feature aimed at improving the usability of the lightning network, a bitcoin payment channel technology aimed at scaling the cryptocurrency.
Called “Lightning Loop,” users will now be able to receive bitcoin in increasing quantities without having to close and reopen new payment channels.
Opening a payment channel requires users to pay the same fees and wait the same amount of time as sending a regular bitcoin transaction the blockchain. However, once the payment channel is opened, a user is able to send bitcoin payments almost instantaneously and at a fraction of the cost.
Normally, these payment channels are set up by users with a fixed capacity.
As Lighting Labs developers Alex Bosworth and Bryan Wu described in a blog post:
“Lighting channels are like tubes of money … Money moves around in the tube, but the total amount of funds remains constant. So, unlike other payment systems, Lightning requires ‘inbound capacity’ in order to receive funds.”
With Lightning Loop, this inbound capacity can be withdrawn so that users can keep using the same payment channel to receive bitcoin.
In essence, the Lightning Loop moves funds out of a payment channel and “into a bitcoin wallet, cold storage, or fiat currency via an exchange,” Bosworth and Wu explained in their post. “This emptying of the channel allows [a lighting user] to receive more payments.”
Calling it the “Loop Out” feature, Bosworth and Wu also highlighted that they were currently working on an opposite “Loop In” feature to enable payment channel refills with “on-chain bitcoin from wallets or exchanges.”
“We believe Loop will contribute to the efficiency, scalability, and usability of Lightning. We encourage any Lightning developers, testers, and enthusiasts to begin trying Loop today,” they added.
Since the alpha release of the tool, Lightning Labs has been receiving positive reception from users with product development director of bitcoin wallet Conio, Marco Pesani, going so far as to tweet:
“Loop from [Lightning Labs] solves one of the biggest lightning network pain points: channels liquidity management … I’ve never seen so many advancement and such focus on the final objective. Massive.”
Elizabeth Stark via CoinDesk archives
ETH price gained traction and surpassed the key $138 resistance level against the US Dollar.The price formed a strong support near the $136 level before climbing above $138.This week’s major bearish trend line was breached with resistance near $138 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD (data feed via Kraken).The pair is now trading nicely above the trend line and eyeing more gains above $140 and $142.Ethereum price slowly moved above key resistances against the US Dollar and bitcoin. ETH could continue to move higher towards the $145 resistance as long as it is above $138.Ethereum Price AnalysisAfter a brief consolidation, ETH price formed a strong support near the $135 and $136 levels against the US Dollar. The ETH/USD pair slowly moved higher and broke a few important resistances near the $138 level. There was even a close above the $138 level and the 100 hourly simple moving average. This is a positive sign and has opened the doors for more gains above the $142 and $144 levels. More importantly, bitcoin price already climbed higher, challenging the $4,050 resistance, and it may continue to rise in the near term.Therefore, it could help ETH, XRP, and other cryptocurrencies. During the recent upside, this week’s major bearish trend line was breached with resistance near $138 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD. There was a break above the 50% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $142 swing high to $135 low. The price traded close to the $140 level and later corrected lower. It traded below the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the recent wave from the $135 low to $140 high.However, the $138 level and the 100 hourly SMA acted as a strong support. Besides, the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent wave from the $135 low to $140 high acted as a support. The current price action suggests that the price is well supported above $138 and it may continue to rise. An immediate resistance is at $140, above which the price could break the $142 level.Looking at the chart, ETH price is trading in a positive zone above the $138 level. If buyers remain in action, the price may even challenge the $145 resistance level. On the downside, if there is a break below the $138 support, the price may revisit the $136 support. The main support is near the $135 level.ETH Technical IndicatorsHourly MACD – The MACD for ETH/USD is currently gaining traction in the bullish zone.Hourly RSI – The RSI for ETH/USD climbed above the 50 level and it is currently near the 55 level.Major Support Level – $138Major Resistance Level – $142
Facebook’s blockchain recruitment drive continues, as the social network looks to hire a lead commercial counsel for its initiatives with the technology.
A new job posting at the company’s career page says the position will be responsible for “drafting and negotiating a wide variety of contracts related our blockchain initiatives, including partnerships needed to launch new products and expand such products internationally.”
Another part of the job is advising clients on legal risks, business strategies and other business issues. The commercial counsel will also structure Facebook’s relationships with key partners and the commercial aspects of the products and programs.
The candidate should be able to “manage numerous deals” and have a proven lawyer’s qualification: a J.D. degree and membership in at least one U.S. state bar are a must.
But the job also requires serious tech expertise: “5+ years of legal experience, including 4+ years of technology transactions experience,” particularly with blockchain or payments technology and related legal issues. “Strong interest in mobile and alternative payments” is preferred.
Facebook’s ambitions related to blockchain-enabled payments have been known for a few months: a February report by the New York Times revealed that the social media giant has been working on a token for payments across the company’s media platforms, which include WhatsApp and Instagram.
According to NYT’s sources, the cryptocurrency, expected to be released in the first half of 2019, will be a stablecoin pegged to a basket of several fiat currencies.
Another possible use of the blockchain tech Facebook might be looking at is an integrated identity solution, mentioned by the CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a recently posted video interview with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain.
“Basically, you take your information, you store it on some decentralized system and you have the choice to log into places without going through an intermediary,” Zuckerberg said.
Further signaling Facebook’s interest in this technology, it has posted more than 20 blockchain-related jobs this year.
Image of Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg via Shutterstock
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is partnering with real estate auctioneer James Pratt Auctions (JPA) to launch a live property auction using bitcoin and Binance Coin (BNB).
On April 8, buyers can bid on – and buy – a futuristic-looking, luxury, beach-front mansion nicknamed ‘The Jetsons” in Casuarina, New South Wales, using BTC or BNB.
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CEO of JPA and head auctioneer James Pratt said his company is excited to embrace cryptocurrency:
This process gives the consumer another option to consider when purchasing real estate. For the vendor, it can help attract a whole new kind of buyer … There is a large audience internationally excited by this.
BNB – Real World Use?
Founder and CEO of Binance Changpeng Zhao tweeted about the auction, utilizing the hashtag #useBNB. TrigonTrading, a Queensland-based exchange specializing in high-volume, over-the-counter (OTC) trades, says it will help facilitate the auction and sale.
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) March 11, 2019
While this isn’t the first property to be bought with crypto, the move marks the first time a live property auction using BTC and BNB will occur.
The inclusion of BNB as a payment option alongside BTC is significant, and will no doubt help the native Binance coin’s recent meteoric rise up the charts as it seeks to become a more widely-used payment option.
Crypto influencer and YouTuber Blockchain Brad responded to CZ’s post and said the addition of BNB as a payment option was interesting, while Binance fans said this was further evidence that “mass adoption is near.”
A Surfer’s Paradise
Anyone looking to place a bid on the luxury home should be ready to dig deep to win. Properties in the suburb sell for an average of $1.16 million (AUD), though you seem to get a lot of house for your money.
Nicknamed “The Jetsons” because of its ultra-modern design, 1 Beech Lane, Casuarina, is an 412 square meter mansion with five bedrooms and three bathrooms. It boasts heated 25m pool, a trampoline, full Google Home automation, a key-less entry system, solar panels and of course, air conditioning.
The house is listed on Realestate.com.au and is described by sellers as setting new benchmarks in “design, excellence, innovative engineering and ultimate liveability.” It is listed as being only 30 minutes away from the popular surfer mecca known as Byron Bay.
The auction was announced by Sydney-based JPA in an Instagram post to its 17K followers on March 7. It will take place at 11am (AEST) on Monday, April 8.
Bitcoin has now firmly established its position in the low-$4,000 region, which was previously a strong resistance level for the crypto. Although this current stability is certainly positive for investors, BTC has, on multiple occasions, spiraled downwards after long bouts of involatile trading.One analyst is now pointing out that Bitcoin is approaching a historic bounce level, which could mean further gains in the near-future are imminent.Bitcoin (BTC) Trades Sideways Above $4,000At the time of writing Bitcoin is trading up nominally at its current price of $4,070 and is up slightly from its daily lows of $4,030. Ever since BTC pushed above $4,000 last Friday, the cryptocurrency’s upwards momentum has stalled, leading it to trade in an incredibly tight trading range around its current price levels.In late-February, Bitcoin swiftly pushed up to $4,200 before incurring significant selling pressure that brought its price back down to $3,800, which validated $4,200 as a strong level of resistance.Josh Rager, a popular cryptocurrency trader on Twitter, discussed the strength of the $4,200 resistance level in a recent tweet, explaining that he does not believe BTC will be able to break above it any time soon, which means to drop to $3,500 could be inevitable.“$BTC Weekly Chart. Gandalf is holding $BTC below the mid $4,200 level. Bitcoin shall not pass the current resistance. So my target for the next drop has an aim at previous support near mid $3,500s,” he explained.$BTC Weekly ChartGandalf is holding $BTC below the mid $4,200 levelBitcoin shall not pass the current resistanceSo my target for the next drop has an aim at previous support near mid $3,500s pic.twitter.com/BGUWMmAl4V— Josh Rager 📈 (@Josh_Rager) March 20, 2019Bitcoin Hits a Historic Bounce Level, Could a Crypto Market Surge be Imminent?Although Bitcoin may now be pressing up against strong resistance levels, its volume is also resting at a historic bounce level, which likely means that increased volatility is right around the corner.Crypto Thies, a popular analyst on Twitter, discussed this, noting that he expects the crypto to continue upwards, as this bounce level is typically followed by a decent price swing. Despite this, he also notes that the one factor that is going against BTC’s bulls is the lack of any sell climax so far.“$BTC Volume MA (on bottom) is at historic bounce levels on the 1W. Volatility incoming. Confident in continuation to upside, although positioned to be fine in event of price dump. Always prepare for best and worst case. 1 bear thought I have, is a lack of sell climax thus far,” he explained.$BTC
Volume MA (on bottom) is @ historic bounce levels on the 1W. Volatility incoming.Confident in continuation to upside, although positioned to be fine in event of price dump. Always prepare for best and worst case.1 bear thought I have, is a lack of sell climax thus far pic.twitter.com/hmpWojyRiN— Crypto Thies (@KingThies) March 19, 2019Assuming that Bitcoin is able to build a greater level of buying pressure at its current prices, than there is a high likelihood that a move upwards will occur in the near future.As the crypto markets enter the weekend, it is likely that they will see increased levels of volatility that stems from the lower-than-average trading volume.Featured image from Shutterstock.
According to a report in Forbes, Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of the City of Chicago, has stated that he sees crypto adoption as inevitable. He bases his outlook on the growing appeal of Bitcoin and other digital assets in an increasingly unstable geopolitical world.Emanuel posited that financial crises, like that currently being experienced in Venezuela, would eventually force people to opt out of fiat currency just to survive.He’s “Gotta Learn About It” But Emanuel is Refreshingly Grounded When it Comes to CryptoThe Mayor of Chicago gave his outlook on crypto during a meeting held to debate the city’s growing fintech industry on March 18. In response to a question from the audience, he stated that he felt cryptocurrency adoption was an inevitability, however, a timeline for such a great shift from current monetary norms would be anybody’s guess.After admitting that he really was not an expert on the field, the mayor stated:“Nation states are falling apart or receding. City states are emerging, so the political structures we all grew up under are changing. One day, somebody’s going to figure out – whether that’s Argentina, ten years from now, five years from now – how to use cryptocurrencies to stay alive when their facing a financial crisis, and then you’re going to find out that this moment has arrived.”Although lacking explicitness in his response, Emanuel appears to be alluding to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies giving populations a means to “opt-out” of a national economy. Those living in nations where governments mismanage finance to such a degree that inflation spirals out of control – Zimbabwe, Venezuela, and Turkey, in recent years – can elect to store their wealth in digital assets, the value of which is not correlated to any entity, government or otherwise. Although wildly volatile, Bitcoin has proved more stable over short periods than numerous national currencies numerous times over its ten year existence.In economies suffering hyperinflation, huge stacks of cash are worth next to nothing.Another audience member later asked Emanuel about his overall thoughts about the crypto asset and blockchain space. Again, the mayor reiterated that the industry was not his forte but added:“The trend lines are affirmative for its future. I don’t know if that’s ten years, and I don’t know if that’s 20 years, but it’s affirmative. I don’t know what it is. I know it’s an alternative way to trade, and therefore, I gotta learn about it, and I gotta be honest, as mayor, it’s not the top 100 things I would have to learn about.”Chicago the Crypto Hub?With its history steeped in finance, a crypto-curious mayor, and a hive of high profile companies, including Coinbase offices, setting up shop there, Chicago is fast becoming a cryptocurrency hot spot in the US. Recently, the city also received an additional 30 Bitcoin ATMs taking the total number of units in the city centre up to a relatively impressive 184 according to CoinATMRadar.Until recently, the city also hosted two of the most over-hyped but high-profile Bitcoin trading products – BTC futures contracts were offered by both the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the CME Group. However, following the recent announcement that the CBOE was halting Bitcoin futures for an undisclosed period of time, that number has fallen to one. Related Reading: Why Bitcoin Market May Be Better Without CBOE Futures ContractsFeatured Image from Shutterstock.
Tezos is on fire, moving up from 45 cents a week ago to a high of over 60 cents. The change in bitcoin’s price probably isn’t enough to do that by itself, and Tezos has been charting steadily in both markets in the same direction. Luke Martin, a trader and analyst, asked the question first:
Why is everyone talking about Tezos?
— Luke Martin (@VentureCoinist) March 20, 2019
Gains Not Based on Social Media Buzz
Santiment, a bot that follows the frequency of crypto terms in social media, noted that Tezos hasn’t seen a spike today:
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Neither did the social volume skyrocket. But it did pick up a little:https://t.co/9UclNxAoIG
Perhaps a while more before Everyone = Crowd. 😀 pic.twitter.com/IfERdMsyh9
— Santiment (@santimentfeed) March 20, 2019
Tezos sports on-chain governance. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin spoke to such models yesterday in a podcast. Buterin believes that on-chain governance may be overrated, while the governance model used by Ethereum is currently underrated.
Decentralized Governance Is All The Rage
Tezos founder Arthur Breitman recently pointed out that Tezos is partly responsible for increased interest in blockchain protocol governance:
In 2014, before the Tezos paper came out, almost no one was talking about governance of cryptocurrencies. Today, there isn’t a single project that doesn’t discuss its own plans for governance. I am proud that Tezos led the way here. But what is governance, and why do we need it?
— Arthur B. 🚀 (@ArthurB) March 9, 2019
Much of the renewed interest in Tezos stems from its Athens protocol upgrade, which is the first on-chain upgrade to feature an “invoice.”
Nomadic Labs explains that a small fee of 100 Tezos will be paid by the network to the developers. It’s an example of how protocol development can be funded in the future. The money is generated by everyone that holds Tezos. In the case of this particular upgrade, it boded well. The Tezos token has seen a lot more demand in the past couple weeks.
On-chain governance is all the rage. Tezos requires a multi-stage process and maximizes coin holder engagement to ensure the protocol moves in the direction its holders want. One aspect of the Athens upgrade that has seen some pushback is the elimination of “spendable contracts.”
The change means that contract holders can no longer create contracts allowing them to move money out without checks and balances in place. Arthur Breitman wrote a justification for this, explaining:
TL;DR the most pressing action item is to amend the protocol to prevent the creation of code carrying, spendable, KT1 addresses. The rest of the changes can follow.
A KT1 address in Tezos is an address that can stake (mint or “bake”) coins. Until now, KT1 addresses could be used like regular addresses. They are also used to create smart contracts in Tezos.
Elimination of Spendable Contracts
The change means KT1 addresses, which have some smart contract code, can’t directly move funds around. They will instead have to withdraw funds to a regular address to spend the coins. The goal is to make “baking,” the process by which new coins are created in the Tezos protocol, more efficient.
The Winklevoss twins have made it public that they are invested in Tezos. The platform shows on their portfolio webpage. Interest from the Twins and speculation that the token might find its way to Gemini is a huge driving force for the Tezos market.
Tezos reached its all-time high of over $5 at the height of the crypto boom in December 2017. It has since lost more than 50 percent of its BTC value, which isn’t bad when compared to most other altcoins or bitcoin itself, which has lost a greater percentage of its value in the same time frame.
Payments startup Square plans to hire a number of engineers and a designer to work on its crypto initiatives, according to tweets from CEO Jack Dorsey.
The twist: These new hires may just be paid in bitcoin.
Dorsey, who also founded and runs Twitter, announced Wednesday evening that Square plans to hire three or four engineers and one designer “to work full-time on open source contributions to the bitcoin/crypto ecosystem.” A Square spokesman said there was no additional information to share beyond the tweets.
Perhaps more notably, these new hires have the option of being paid in bitcoin, Dorsey said.
All work will be open source, and according to Dorsey, the new hires will not be focusing on Square’s own commercial interests, but rather, “on what’s best for the crypto community.”
“Square has taken a lot from the open source community to get us here. We haven’t given enough back. This is a small way to give back, and one that’s aligned with our broader interests: a more accessible global financial system for the internet.”
Square’s Cash App already supports bitcoin purchases and sales, and Dorsey previously announced that it would support the Lightning Network, a layer-2 solution aimed at facilitating small, fast transactions.
Jack Dorsey image via U.S. House of Representatives
When it comes to cryptocurrency transactions, questions about alleged money-laundering quickly get thorny.
A Wall Street Journal investigation from last September, titled “How Dirty Money Disappears Into the Black Hole of Cryptocurrency,” claimed the crypto conversion platform ShapeShift had facilitated at least $9 million worth of money laundering over several years with “a parade of suspected criminals.”
Now, at ShapeShift’s request, the blockchain analytics firm CipherBlade recreated the 2018 report and found less than $3 million in transactions involving potentially “tainted” funds.
The main distinction here is that CipherBlade focused on allegedly tainted coins instead of the total value held in each affiliated wallet or account.
“Of the ShapeShift addresses which receive ETH within three hops from the initial dirty addresses, less than half of the ETH traded through them are tainted,” the CipherBlade report says. “Using the most generous assumptions, this is still only 23.53 percent of the WSJ’s claimed $9 million.”
Add to that ether to roughly 40 bitcoin, which ShapeShift itself found to be associated with suspicious wallet’s the WSJ identified, and the total estimate falls just shy of $3 million.
When asked about the investigative process, a WSJ spokesperson told CoinDesk:
“An analysis looking at individual tainted ethereum coins, rather than tainted wallets, would be a different project than what the Journal embarked on, and one we can’t comment on because we have not reviewed it.”
All parties agree the most pessimistic reading of the data still indicates questionable transactions made up a pittance of ShapeShift’s volume since the company was founded in 2014. According to a tweet by CEO Erik Voorhees, ShapeShift processed crypto worth $30.3 million a month in 2017 alone.
Still, experts such as Pawel Kuskowski, CEO of the analytics firm Coinfirm, told CoinDesk there’s no clear answer to how much may have been laundered through the platform – because until October 2018 ShapeShift did not perform know-your-customer (KYC) identity checks.
“If you don’t know the underlying clients, how do you know?” Kuskowski told CoinDesk. “This is why you have KYC in the first place, to understand the profile.”
When asked about whether it’s better to account for the whole wallet or focus on the tainted coins themselves, Kuskowski said the truth hides in the shades of gray in between. He said a complex analysis of the risks associated with the people involved in these transactions, along with “plausibility and some other rules,” all combine to reveal whether the wallets themselves should be considered tainted or suspicious.
In Coinfirm’s own report on risks associated with crypto platforms, ShapeShift was classified as “high risk” with regards to anti-money laundering procedures and compliance because of anonymous usage until the KYC policy began last October. According to Kuskowski, it often takes months for a traditional bank to de-risk after any association with money laundering.
“It’s a good direction, that’s for sure,” Kuskowski said of ShapeShift’s added KYC procedures.
That de-risking process actually began months before the WSJ report, according to ShapeShift Chief Legal Officer Veronica McGregor.
“Among law enforcement, ShapeShift is regarded as a very helpful and cooperative player,” she told CoinDesk. “Just because we started implementing those KYC procedures does not mean that we didn’t already have procedures in place to detect fraud and bad wallet addresses and theft, things like that.”
The company was already working with external consultants to identify and block transactions from suspicious wallets, McGregor said. Then ShapeShift underwent a compliance overhaul throughout the second half of 2018, mandating KYC identity checks for all users and working with three independent analytics firms, Chainalysis, ComplyAdvantage and IDology.
McGregor said ShapeShift continues to “tweak” its procedures, both in-house and through work with the three aforementioned services providers, in order to keep up with the evolving technology.
Richard Sanders, CSO and co-founder of CipherBlade, told CoinDesk he believes the claims in the WSJ report were “grossly exaggerated.”
“We did find around $3 million, which isn’t a great look for ShapeShift,” Sanders said. “But it is significantly smaller than what the Wall Street Journal reported.” CipherBlade says its independent analysis was not paid for by ShapeShift.
For his part, ShapeShift’s Voorhees continues request the WSJ retract the report, which was published in September 2018 during the company’s compliance overhaul. He believes the methodology used to tally questionable funds was fundamentally flawed.
“Crypto is bringing light, truth, and openness to finance,” Voorhees told CoinDesk. “And it’s a pleasant irony that the transparency of blockchains so easily vindicates us from the narrative that the Journal has imagined into existence.”