Monero (XMR) steady in the last 24 hoursNick Szabo is advocating MoneroPrivacy is the future, and Monero is well-positioned. Despite their reliance on developers, Monero as a network is resilient, rebuffing miner centralization attempts. Thus far, like most coins, XMR is vulnerable. Even so, it is trading within a bullish breakout pattern against the USD.Monero Price AnalysisFundamentalsThe future is, indeed, private. Affirming this is a conscious campaign by citizens against behemoths keen on collecting and processing personal data for their benefit. Social media giant Facebook is one such firm. Notwithstanding their $5 billion settlement with regulators, they are looking to launch a stablecoin backed by several fiat currencies.Although it is novel in theory, there are concerns. One of them is that Facebook will not be trusted with financial data given its track record. Whether or not Facebook’s Libra will weather the storm, Monero, the most visible privacy coin stands a chance. Already, it has support from Nick Szabo, the creator of smart contracts.It’s a lucrative share that will cement Monero developers’ ambitions of creating a perfect cryptocurrency that is cheap, secure, and above all, without vulnerabilities because of complete decentralization.Even so, there is always a trade-off. In the quest for complete decentralization and riding of ASIC miners, the network is vulnerable. Not only is it less secure in terms of computing power, but there is a risk of placing Monero’s code to developers relied on their frequent upgrades.Candlestick ArrangementsPresently, XMR is steady but under pressure. Similar to BTC and other liquid coins, there is a chance that bears will flow back. That’s regardless of XMR is trading within a bullish breakout pattern against the USD.Unless otherwise there is a surge past the middle Bollinger Band (BB), the flexible resistance line and $100, the round number, XMR is likely to edge lower. From the chart, it is clear that XMR bulls are weak.Notice that in spite of the under-valuation of July 17, prices are still oscillating within July 16 trade range. If anything, that is bearish. As such it is an opportunity for bears to re-enter from an effort versus results point of view. Immediate target is $50.Aside from that, XMR is printing lower at the back of increasing trade volumes as of June 26, and July 8 candlesticks demonstrate.Technical IndicatorsAs aforementioned, leading this trade plan is July 8 bear candlestick. Trading volumes are decent at 48k.Because of the level of participation vis-a-vis recent averages of 10k, any surge past $100 with high trading volumes surpassing 48k shall confirm buyers of early May.In that case, XMR may float to $120 and later $150. On the reverse side, any drop below $75 will open doors for $60 and if bears are persistent, to $40.Chart courtesy of Trading View. Image Courtesy of Shutterstock
Archives for July 2019
Gold stocks are on a tear. So much so that one analyst believes that they are about to become the next FAANG stocks, the latter of which represent high-flying tech companies that have been fueling much of the stock market’s gains lately.
On CNBC, Wolfe Research Technical Analyst John Roque touts what he calls the BAANG stocks, which are a group of five gold companies that together have advanced more than 40 percent since May. These companies include Barrick Gold, AngloGold Ashanti, Agnico Eagle Mines, Franco Nevada, and Gold Fields. And while investors may be flocking to these gold names lately, don’t be surprised if they are also “hodling” some digital gold – bitcoin – whether they admit it or not.
A new acronym could spell opportunity for one surging group of stocks, says top technician John Roque: pic.twitter.com/PPwGq8UhF3
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) July 22, 2019
CCN previously reported that Bridgewater Associates Co-CIO Ray Dalio provided a bullish outlook for gold, describing a “paradigm shift” in which the No. 1 precious metal would be used to diversify investment portfolios in an environment of persistently low interest rates. In fact, this scenario has played out lately, with the price of gold up by a double-digit percentage year-to-date and hovering at $1,427 while bond yields remain low.
In his argument for gold, Dalio recently wrote that while many expect “the best risky investments will continue to be equity and equity-like investments,” he disagrees.
“I think these are unlikely to be good real returning investments and that those that will most likely do best will be those that do well when the value of money is being depreciated and domestic and international conflicts are significant.”
While Dalio says he’s talking about gold, he could make the very same argument for another store of value – bitcoin.
Dalio Could Move Bitcoin Market
While it’s true bitcoin has proven to trade on good news once again in 2019, we have yet to see one person move the market significantly. Ray Dalio could be the one to do it.
Travis Kling, who is the founder of Ikigai Asset Management, suggests that you might have to read between the lines with Dalio’s analysis. There are several gems in Kling’s hypothesis, not the least of which is that “you can’t be that smart and hold that view and not be bullish BTC. ” The asset manager also points to the influence that Dalio has on the market, saying that if the gold bug were to admit that he owns bitcoin, “price would be at an ATH next week.”
This is pure speculation on my part, but after reading this post, I would bet that Ray Dalio owns BTC.
He couldnt tell the world that right now or price would be at an ATH next week, but you can’t be that smart and hold that view and not be bullish BTC. https://t.co/tVwYiA2BXa
— Travis Kling (@Travis_Kling) July 22, 2019
With or without Dalio’s blessing, the technical and fundamental signs remain bullish for bitcoin and could send the leading cryptocurrency to a fresh 2019 high soon.
Following U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s warning that the federal government will pursue “very, very strong” enforcement of existing cryptocurrency regulations, various federal agencies and self-regulatory organizations have started to take a step further in tightening oversight on the budding bitcoin industry.
Regulators are starting to increase enforcement, will crypto sector improve as a result?
Mnuchin Warns Bitcoin Users of ‘Very, Very Strong’ Regulations https://t.co/NFnQXLwuVC
— CCN Markets (@CCNMarkets) July 18, 2019
Secretary Mnuchin first criticized the use of crypto assets in financing illicit activities on July 15. He stated that with the establishment of the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s Working Group on Digital Assets, regulators will work at full capacity to combat risks posed by the emerging asset class.
At the time, Mnuchin noted that crypto entities and money transmitters are to be regulated in the same way as banks and financial institutions in the U.S., essentially warning companies to watch their backs.
“The rules governing money service providers apply to physical and electronic transactions alike. As money service businesses, cryptocurrency money transmitters are subject to compliance examinations, just like every other U.S. bank. To be clear, FINCEN will hold any entity that transacts in bitcoin, Libra, or any other cryptocurrency to its highest standards.”
In a regulatory notice, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) encouraged every member firm engaging in activities related to crypto assets to notify the organization.
“Firms that engage in activities related to digital assets, whether or not they are securities, are reminded to consider all applicable FINRA rules and federal and state laws, rules and regulations,” the document read.
FINRA has been cooperating with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to lead the approval process of broker-dealer custodians of crypto assets and said that members will have to open lines of communication on the matter throughout the short to medium term.
“As securities regulators continue to provide guidance to members regarding the unique regulatory challenges presented by digital assets – e.g., Joint Statement on Broker-Dealer Custody of Digital Asset Securities – FINRA believes it is important to keep the lines of communication with members open on this important topic.”
In early July, the SEC jointly stated with FINRA that firms that intend to provide custody of crypto assets have to register with FINRA and the SEC, even those that are already registered with the agency.
“Various unregistered entities that intend to engage in broker-dealer activities involving digital asset securities are seeking to register with the Commission and have submitted New Membership Applications (‘NMAs’) to FINRA. Additionally, various entities that are already registered broker-dealers and FINRA members are seeking to expand their businesses to include digital asset securities services and activities,” the SEC statement read.
With the skeptical stance of the Trump administration towards cryptocurrencies, FINRA and the SEC are expected to implement a rigorous approval process for broker-dealers.
Meanwhile, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is reportedly probing BitMEX, the world’s largest crypto derivatives trading platform. Other industry giants including Bitfinex and Tether also remain under the regulatory spotlight.
Good & bad news for bitcoin investors
All of this presents bitcoin investors with a mixture of good and bad news.
Stronger oversight of the cryptocurrency market could be seen as a protective safeguard for retail investors and could help institutional investors become more comfortable with the industry.
However, there’s also a concern that enhanced restrictions will hamper the industry’s growth, making it more difficult for legitimate bitcoin businesses to operate in the world’s largest economy.
DST Global, a prominent investor in internet startups led the financing round along with crypto-notables Ribbit Capital and Sequoia.
According to Reuters, the company will direct the capital towards expanding the business and offering new financial services.
“We’ll use the funding to keep pursuing our mission of democratizing finance for all,” a Robinhood representative wrote in a statement.
Since offering crypto assets beginning in January 2018, the Silicon Valley-based startup has rolled out a number of coins and crypto-related trading features. In May, Robinhood launched cryptocurrency trading for seven assets including bitcoin and ethereum in New York.
Notably, the firm added ethereum classic trading one day ahead of Coinbase in August 2018. It offers crypto trading in bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash, ethereum classic, litecoin, and dogecoin to 20 states.
Nearly a year ago, in September, Robinhood started the IPO process in motion. CEO Baiju Bhatt said at the time, “Being a public company I think aligns very closely with our mission as well. And it’s definitely on the horizon, not in the immediate term, but that’s something we are thinking about.”
The platform has gained popularity through offering commission-free trades. It is also looking to add cash management services.
Robinhood’s total valuation topped $7.6 billion with this latest round, which also saw participation from Thrive Capital and NEA.
Robinhood app photo via Shutterstock
Ripple (XRP) adds 4.3 percentThe Mexican exchange, Bitso, has a license from Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC)Bitso is the first exchange from Latin America to comply with the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) regulations. While at it, the citation of Ripple in a patent by Bank of America is bullish for XRP. At the time of writing, it is up 4.3 percent from last week’s close.Ripple Price AnalysisFundamentalsThe debate on whether or not Bitcoin is a tool for money laundering and funding terrorism is dominating headlines. Ripple is aiming to distance itself from such discourse. The financial technology company is offering a suite of products that intends to appeal directly to big-name financial institutions.So, banks make use of some of Ripple’s financial solutions. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that it might take years for Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse’s vision to be actualized. Ripple’s drive in the Middle East is bearing fruit.With the Bank of America (BoA) citing XRP in a recent patent, the Wall Street household name could end up using xRapid in the near future. Nothing is substantiated at the time of writing this. Nonetheless, the mere mention of XRP — and xRapid by extension — should be huge for Ripple fans.Meanwhile, Bitso, a Ripple partner opening up the US-Mexico corridor via xRapid, now has a distributed ledger license from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC):“This license gives Bitso a leading position as one of the most innovative financial services providers in LatAm and the world, by becoming the first exchange platform in LatAm, licensed and regulated by the GFSC.”Candlestick ArrangementsAt the time of writing, XRP is one of the leading performers in the top 10. By adding 4.3 percent week-to-date, there is relieve for XRP bulls. Not only are prices edging higher following the rebound from Q1 2019 support at 30 cents, but accompanying the revival is a definite increase in trading volumes.Bullish as it is, traders must resist the urge to jump in on the first signal. Instead, the best option, and this is for aggressive traders, is to wait for pullbacks.Accompanying this should be a safety net, a stop limit, just below 30 cents with the first target at 40 cents.On the other hand, conservative traders should wait for a breakout above 40 cents or liquidation below 30 cents before trading as per the direction of the breakout.Technical IndicatorsSignaling trend continuation or bear resumption will be an extensive candlestick. Any breakout above 40 cents or below 30 cents with high trading volumes exceeding 50 million of July 10 will be hinting.Any rally past 40 cents could see May 2019 bulls flow back. In that likelihood, XRP prices may end up floating to 60 cents and 80 cents respectively. Conversely, losses below 30 cents would be a trigger for 25 cents or lower in days ahead.Chart courtesy of Trading View. Image Courtesy of Shutterstock
Due to mounting regulatory pressures in the United States, the crypto company Circle is moving the majority of its exchange operations offshore.
Circle announced Monday it received a full Digital Assets Business Act license in Bermuda for its crypto exchange Poloniex. Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire told CoinDesk that 70 percent of Poloniex users hail from beyond the U.S. and the new Bermuda-based entity will handle those accounts from now on. In May, the company geofenced some assets on Poloniex from U.S. customers.
“Europe and Asia are both pretty significant markets for us in particular,” he said, adding the USDC stablecoin is particularly popular with institutional Asian investors. “The lack of regulatory frameworks significantly limits what can be offered to individuals and businesses in the U.S.”
Circle laid off around 30 employees earlier this year to “ensure our costs were in line with the market,” Allaire said. The cuts were attributed in part regulatory uncertainty in the U.S. Circle now says it plans to hire around the same number of people over the next 24 months, perhaps with different roles, to focus on global markets.
“The project to establish a new international operations hub for our market, exchange and wallet services, was a major project,” Allaire told CoinDesk, adding:
“It took a long time working with the Bermuda government and the Bermuda Monetary Authority.”
Looking forward, Allaire said more diverse assets will be available to global customers and that Poloniex might also expand to financial services, which the startup previously couldn’t offer in the U.S. He declined to specify what types of products and services those might entail. However, he did say users can expect to see more “yield-generating crypto accounts,” similar to the staking services already available for Cosmos and Stellar.
Image: Circle’s Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville speak at Consensus 2016 (via CoinDesk archives)
An Indian inter-ministerial committee on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology has finalized a report recommending both the establishment of a digital Rupee and a ban of cryptocurrencies.
Ban Crypto, Establish E-Rupee
The roughly 200-page report spends thousands of words breaking down and praising the potential uses of blockchain technology, specifically in areas like land management.
Ultimately it concludes that while banks and financial institutions should be allowed to utilize digital ledgers, private citizens should be barred from holding or transacting with them. It includes a piece of draft legislation making it a crime to hold, buy, or sell cryptocurrencies.
The proposed legislation makes room for crypto research, but bans most normal activities, including mining and holding cryptocurrency.
Newsflash: India’s Insane Anti-Crypto Bill Proposes 10-Yr Prison Sentence for Bitcoin Adopters: Report https://t.co/RPYSjcY9c1
— CCN Markets (@CCNMarkets) June 7, 2019
In the same legislation, the authors would establish a “Digital Rupee” system which would be the only legal crypto tender in India.
Indians have suspected the government was heading this direction since the country’s central bank prohibited all subordinate from offering services to crypto companies.
Legislators have previously floated the idea of long prison sentences for Bitcoin adopters. Indian authorities have been among the most active in prosecuting crypto crime and fraud cases, playing a critical role in the unraveling of the Bitconnect scam and just today announcing a large seizure in that case.
Outdated Findings Weaken India’s Ban Hammer
Established in 2017 when it was impossible to ignore Bitcoin, the committee languished for two years determining how the world treats cryptocurrency. One of the primary and loudest conclusions of the report is that:
“It is essential to note that as of date no country across the world however treats virtual currencies as legal tender.”
However, several countries have changed their views in the intervening years. In many places, using cryptocurrency isn’t viewed differently as using other money. There are even some places, such as the US state of Ohio, where you can make tax payments using cryptocurrency.
India’s “Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Act, 2019” would make it a crime to do virtually anything related to cryptocurrency. If convicted, an offender would face not less than 1 year in prison with possible sentences up to ten years long.
Penalties also include fines, which seem more likely, of up to “three times” the amount a person earned. So if you somehow made $1 million in crypto, the Indian government could come after you for $3 million, and so forth.
Every major financial authority in India, including the Reserve Bank of India and the Securities and Exchange Board of India, had input on the report.
If carried out, the recommendations of the act would make India the first major country to completely ban its citizens from using and holding cryptocurrencies.
The committee is far from the first working group or politician to suggest an all-out ban, but they are perhaps the most influential such group to date.
The proposal comes at a time when governments around the world are reckoning with the potential menace of Facebook’s Libra and possible alternative financial system.
Bitcoin futures platform Bakkt is scheduled to begin testing its new contracts Monday.
Nearly a year since revealing its ambitious vision, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is still waiting on regulatory approvals to take the platform live. Still, despite having to delay its new market multiple times, the parent of the New York Stock Exchange is moving forward with plans to offer potentially the first physically-settled bitcoin futures in the U.S.
It will apparently be testing two different types of contracts Monday: a daily and a monthly contract. Bakkt aims to list the futures, which would be traded through ICE Futures U.S. and cleared through ICE Clear U.S., the parent company’s clearinghouse.
It is unclear what specifically will be involved in the testing process. Bakkt did not reply to multiple requests for comment.
The company plans to offer U.S. traders access to physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts, which differ from the cash-settled futures contracts that Chicago exchanges CME and Cboe offered starting at the end of 2017. With cash-settled contracts, traders receive the cash equivalent to the contract’s value when it expires, while with a physically-settled contract they receive the actual underlying commodity – in this case, bitcoin.
Bakkt hopes to draw fresh institutional funding to the bitcoin ecosystem with its regulated product, which may attract investors wary of the broader market.
Bakkt initially announced a December 2018 launch date, before delaying to January 2019. The company announced another, indefinite delay later as it continued working with regulators to secure the necessary approvals to launch.
While Bakkt was initially said to have asked the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to approve its new product, Bakkt announced in May that it had filed to self-certify the contracts instead.
Under a self-certification process, a company essentially verifies for the CFTC that its futures contracts fulfill all legal requirements. The CFTC can review this certification, but unless there are any legal or regulatory violations, it cannot stop the product from moving forward.
While Bakkt has self-certified its contracts, it cannot launch the product until it secures a trust company charter through the New York Department of Financial Services. It is unclear if Bakkt has also applied for one of New York’s signature BitLicenses.
Bakkt isn’t alone in trying to launch the first physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts in the U.S.: LedgerX and ErisX have both recently received CFTC approvals to offer their own such product. Neither company has yet announced a firm timeline for when they might launch.
Separately, Seed CX wants to launch forwards contracts, though it is waiting on regulatory approval.
CoinDesk’s Michael Casey, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler and ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher at Consensus: Invest 2018, image via CoinDesk archives
“Bitcoin Billionaires” author Ben Mezrich has joined the hit Showtime TV series “Billions” as a consulting producer. The move will ensure that more crypto story lines will bubble up in forthcoming episodes of the finance-centered show.
Mezrich shared the news on Twitter, where he joked that he’s “taking the Acela straight to Hollywood, baby!”
— Ben Mezrich (@benmezrich) July 22, 2019
‘Bitcoin Billionaires’ Chronicles Winklevoss Twins’ Crypto Journey
“Bitcoin Billionaires” is the bestselling book that documents the Winklevoss twins’ meteoric rise in the cryptocurrency industry.
In 2017, the twins were crowned the “world’s first bitcoin billionaires” based on the market value of their bitcoin holdings.
Ben Mezrich first wrote about Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss in his 2010 book “The Accidental Billionaires.” That book was later adapted into the Facebook-centered movie “The Social Network.”
In 2004, the Winklevoss twins sued Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, claiming he had stolen their idea for Facebook when they were students at Harvard.
In 2008, Zuckerberg settled the lawsuit by paying Tyler and Cameron $65 million in cash and 1.25 million in Facebook stock. The twins used part of that settlement to buy bitcoin and made their move into crypto.
‘Billions’ Explored Crypto In Past Seasons
Starting this week, Mezrich — who’s based in Boston — will travel to New York to consult on crypto story lines for “Billions.” He’ll also be on the set during the filming of season 5, the Boston Globe reported.
Mezrich is a huge fan of the TV show, which stars Damian Lewis as hedge fund czar Bobby Axelrod and Paul Giamatti as Chuck Rhoades, the ruthless New York State Attorney General.
“I’m psyched to be working with the smartest people in TV,” Mezrich gushed. “I’ve been a huge fan of [co-creators] Brian Koppelman and David Levien since ‘Rounders.’ I love ‘Billions.’”
As CCN reported, “Billions” has broached the topic of cryptocurrencies in several episodes. However, most of the references were negative, with crypto being used almost exclusively for money-laundering.
On Season 4, a recurring theme involved using blockchain technology to allow people to vote using their cell phones. And on Season 3, billionaire Bobby Axelrod twice featured Ledger‘s crypto hardware wallet.
Naturally, Ledger was thrilled with the shout-out and tweeted: “It was a great surprise for us! Getting more and more mainstream.”
Ledger Nano S featured in the last episode of @SHO_Billions (Billions S03E07) “one million dollars straight in crypto, in cold storage”. It was a great suprise for us! Getting more and more mainstream. pic.twitter.com/KYrprYAMSJ
— Ledger (@Ledger) May 7, 2018
Bitcoin Is Becoming More Mainstream
With the addition of the “Bitcoin Billionaires” author as a consultant, it’s a certainty that crypto will be featured more extensively — and positively — on “Billions.” The show will increase visibility for crypto, since “Billions” averages 4.2 million viewers a week across all platforms.
Bitcoin’s profile has spiked dramatically during the past three years, so it’s no surprise that crypto is starting to enter the mainstream consciousness.
As CCN reported, Google searches for “bitcoin” soared to a 13-month high in May, just as the market was emerging from the brutal 2018 bear market.
The mainstreaming of bitcoin was recently aided by a feature on the CBS News show “60 Minutes.” Being spotlighted on the popular news magazine program was a watershed moment for the budding ecosystem.
As CCN reported, the May 19 bitcoin-focused “60 Minutes” episode scored a stunning 8.2 million viewers.
Property worth over Rs 38 Crore ($5.5 million) has been seized in the Indian state of Gujarati from promoters of the Bitconnect cryptocurrency scam. According to the Times of India, the property includes 280 Bitcoins which at the current prices are worth nearly $2.9 million. The seizure of the properties follows the arrest of Bitconnect promoter for the Asia region Rakesh Savani, over the weekend.
Other properties which are believed to have been acquired using proceeds from the Bitconnect scam include land worth around Rs 18 crore ($2.6 million).
Apart from seizing two properties worth Rs 15 crore and 3.23 crore belonging to the accused, the CID has also seized 280 Bitcoins. The price of one Bitcoin is approximately Rs 7 lakh, making the seizure of Bitcoins worth Rs 19.60 crore.
Same old bait
The Bitconnect scam lured investors by promising unrealistically high returns on their investment in its Initial Coin Offering. As of mid-December in 2017 when Bitcoin was setting a record high, the Bitconnect token (BCC) boasted a market capitalization of more than $2.5 billion. Each token was valued at over $500 at the time.
With the ICO price having been just under 20 cents this was an appreciation of nearly 300,000 percent. The tokens were however available only on Bitconnect’s proprietary exchanges. In January last year, the price of BCC crashed to mere cents after securities regulators in the U.S. issued public warnings to Bitconnect investors suggesting that the investment scheme was a Ponzi.
Alleged Bitconnect scammers arrested in the last 12 months
The arrest of Savani and the seizure of the properties comes nearly a year since the alleged head of Bitconnect in India, Divyesh Darji was arrested. Among other things, Darji was accused of holding seminars and events across India promoting Bitconnect. He was arrested last year in August while traveling from Dubai to India.
Outside of India, a top Bitconnect promoter in Australia, John Bigatton, was also arrested and his assets frozen earlier this year. His arrest and the seizure of his assets was done at the recommendation of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
There are likely to be more arrests in the future as investigations by different law enforcement agencies around the world are still active. Just a couple of months ago, the FBI invited victims of the Bitconnect scam to get in touch with a view of aiding its investigation.
The FBI is seeking victims in a Bitconnect investigation https://t.co/qbAQE3Cjig
— Neeraj K. Agrawal (@NeerajKA) February 20, 2019