Tezos (XTZ) is proving to be a better near-term investment than bitcoin this week. The altcoin, accompanied by favorable fundamentals, has surged by 44 percent in the last four days as it looks to close the week at an even higher rate.As of 12:29 UTC, the XTZ/USD instrument was trading at 1.452, up 3.71 percent in the last 24 hours. The move upside brought Tezos market capitalization to circa $962 million, which makes 0.40 percent of the entire cryptocurrency market valuation. At its highest, the cap was around $1.457 billion.Tezos has Surged 16% in the Previous 24 Hours | Image Credits: CoinMarketCap.comThe surge accompanied a similar price action across the rest of the cryptocurrency market. Bitcoin, the world’s leading cryptocurrency, broke out of its interim bearish bias soon after the Federal Reserve reduced the interest rates by 25 bps. It further got a boost from US President Donald Trump’s decision to slap additional tariffs of worth $300 billion on Chinese imports.Our representatives have just returned from China where they had constructive talks having to do with a future Trade Deal. We thought we had a deal with China three months ago, but sadly, China decided to re-negotiate the deal prior to signing. More recently, China agreed to…— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2019Altcoins, which typically move in tandem with bitcoin, surged likewise on the news. Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was up 2.87 percent on a 24-hour timeframe. Other assets, including Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Bitcoin SV also surged similarly.Nevertheless, Tezos reserved the title of the best performing crypto-asset this week after rising the maximum. It had great fundamentals fueling the price rally.Coinbase IntegrationOn July 30, San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Pro announced that it is going to add Tezos to its trading platform. The move followed the addition of Tezos staking services to another Coinbase division, Coinbase Custody, injecting confidence in the market about the blockchain project’s growth potential in the US.“On Monday August 5, transfer XTZ into your Coinbase Pro account ahead of trading. Support for XTZ will be available in Coinbase’s supported jurisdictions, with the exception of New York State. Additional regions may be added at a later date,” — read the announcement.The XTZ/USD instrument started posting gains right after the Coinbase announcement. On the day, the pair surged by as much as 26.97 percent – from $0.997 to $1.269. By the end third daily session, it had already extended its gains by setting a weekly high of $1.474.Court ControversyWhile Coinbase has lifted the spirits of Tezos bulls, some events could foul the cryptocurrency’s upside.Like Ripple, Tezos is currently facing a high-profile lawsuit from several investors who claim XTZ is a security, not a utility asset. Should the court agree with the plaintiffs, then trading XTZ on Coinbase – a US-based regulated exchange – would be illegal. Moreover, Tezos founder could be held accountable for selling securities without obtaining permission from the Securities and Exchange Commission.Such events could negate a large percentage of Tezos gains.
Archives for August 2019
Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to publish a public dataset of bitcoin transactions associated with illicit activity.
The group’s study detailed how researchers at the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab used machine learning software to categorize 203,769 bitcoin node transactions worth roughly $6 billion in total. The research explored whether artificial intelligence could assist current anti-money laundering (AML) procedures.
After examining the nodes’ association with known entities, researchers found only 2 percent of those 200,000 bitcoin transactions were deemed illicit. While 21 percent were identified as lawful, the vast majority of the transactions, roughly 77 percent, remained unclassified. (To date, there have been an estimated 440 million bitcoin transactions since the network’s launch in 2009.)
The 2 percent figure in line with a study from competing analytics firm Chainalysis, which estimated just 1 percent of bitcoin transactions in 2019 were known to be associated with illicit activity.
Since Elliptic is frequently hired by law enforcement agencies around the world to identify illegal activities using cryptocurrency, this research aimed to identify patterns that can help distinguish illicit usage from lawful bitcoin usage, especially among unbanked individuals or other unknown entities.
“A big problem with compliance, in general, is false positives. A big part of this research is minimizing the number of false positives,” Elliptic co-founder Tom Robinson told CoinDesk. “The key finding is that machine learning techniques are very effective at finding transactions that are illicit.”
Sometimes, Robinson added, software was able to find patterns that would be difficult to describe yet still matched with known entities, based on pre-existing data from darknet markets, ransomware attacks and other criminal investigations.
Following the academic study, Elliptic made the same dataset public to encourage open-source contributions.
“On the AML side, we are sharing our early experiments with domain experts to solicit feedback,” MIT researcher Mark Weber told CoinDesk, adding:
“We are also hoping the release of the Elliptic Data Set inspires others to join the effort to help make our financial systems safer by developing new techniques and models for AML.”
CNBC reported in April that surging demand for U.S. $100 bills was likely driven by a rise in global criminal activity. A 2017 report by the American Institute for Economic Research, estimated that “more than a third of all US currency in circulation is used by criminals and tax cheats.”
MIT image via Shutterstock
The company behind a popular suite of tools for ethereum developers is expanding to three new blockchain networks.
Truffle CEO and founder Tim Coulter will announce Friday at the startup’s TruffleCon event in Seattle that additional tooling would be built for Hyperledger Fabric, Tezos and R3’s Corda.
“Last year at TruffleCon, we celebrated 1 million downloads,” said Wesley McVay, Truffle’s vice president and head of global strategic partnerships. “I said the next million downloads are going to be focused around enterprise. This year at TruffleCon, we are announcing two incredible enterprise integrations and one really amazing open-source public integration.”
Both Hyperledger Fabric and the Corda network are marketed as enterprise-focused, permissioned blockchains. Developers for these platforms are backed by large enterprise organizations such as IBM and SBI.
Tezos, on the other hand, is a public blockchain network that at one point amassed a total token supply value of over $1 billion. It too has been used and developed upon by major companies including Brazil’s fifth-largest bank, BTG Pactual.
With the expansion of Truffle developer tools to these blockchain networks, Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf see these formerly divided technical communities being able to better cooperate and work across chains.
“This integration marks another step towards compatibility and interoperability in blockchain and smart contract development,” said Behlendorf in a press statement. “We believe the Truffle integration will bring even more energy and ideas from the Ethereum developer community into Hyperledger.”
Interoperability is also a stated goal of Truffle’s as it looks to grow beyond the 3.4 million downloads it has clocked to date. The ConsenSys-backed company was recently spun out of the Brooklyn-based venture studio, though it continues to receive support from ConsenSys. An internal ConsenSys document from early 2019 pointed to Truffle as one of the firm’s standout successes.
“We’re called Truffle and we have all this chocolate branding because we want the experience for developers to be as delightful as eating a chocolate truffle,” Coulter said, adding:
“Truffle’s the start of the development experience. You start building with Truffle, then build your application and deploy it to whatever platform you want. … This multi-chain future I’m talking about has a lot of people working to have the many protocols themselves integrate with one another.”
Truffle’s Wes McVay (left) and Tim Coulter (right) speak at TruffleCon 2018 (photo via ConsenSys)
The problem: Given 1024-bit input x, compute the verifiable delay function ‘h=x^(2^t) mod N’ as fast as possible.
If you can understand the above, you could be in for a portion of a $100,000 prize – that is, if you can then beat the others attempting to calculate the answer with the greatest speed improvement.
The highly technical conundrum has been posed to coders in a competition supported by by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that aims to “change the face of blockchain,” as well as how hardware is designed and made.
Launched by the VDF Alliance, the competition aims to solve how to calculate the verifiable delay function (VDF) in the shortest time.
In its announcement, AWS paraphrases Justin Drake, a researcher with the Ethereum Foundation, explaining that “VDFs are a low-level building block in cryptography, barely more than a year old. It’s the “V” or ‘verifiable’ in VDF that makes the approach so unique.”
“It’s trustless,” according to Drake. “For the first time, it adds this notion of time with which you can build all these cool things.”
Included in the “cool things” promised by VDF tech is “unbiased proof of randomness.” Effectively, it could enable trustless, truly random number generators on blockchains. Currently, these are pseudo-random and can be exploited by bad actors by effectively being able to guess the number. With true randomness, that wouldn’t be possible.
If the tech can be advanced sufficiently it could help to move blockchain such as ethereum from the energy-intensive and hence costly proof-of-work algorithm to one called proof-of-stake.
“The Ethereum ecosystem alone currently uses on the order of 850 megawatts to extend blocks. That’s about $460 million in running costs per year,” said Tim Boeckmann, senior startup business development manager for AWS in the U.K. “With VDFs in Ethereum, there is an opportunity to bring down that cost to less than $0.13 million for the 0.25 megawatts of energy to power the hardware random beacons.
In fact, the competition is being held in partnership with the Ethereum Foundation, as well as other alliance members, the Interchain Foundation, Protocol Labs, Supranational, Synopsys, and Xilinx, which are sponsoring the event “with support from AWS.”
As reported by CoinDesk previously, the Ethereum Foundation is already working on the VDF problem, revealing in February that it was considering spending $15 million in the search for true randomness.
VDFs are envisioned for use in ethereum’s much-anticipated proof-of-stake system called Serenity, to which the ethereum network will migrate in the next few years.
The first round of the competition will run till the end of September, and will award prize money to the fastest design that solves the problem at the top of this article.
In the initial round of the competition, successful entrants will be awarded $3,000 for every nanosecond improvement. Full details can be found here.
Drakes suggests that those entering will need a blend of skills.
“You are going to need people who are really good at hardware design, but also people with algorithmic skills,” he said. “My guess is the winning team will have a combination of that expertise.”
AWS image via Shutterstock
Offering her own views, SEC commissioner Hester Peirce believes the regulator is stifling the crypto industry. | Image source: YouTube
Pro-bitcoin SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce says adopting a single global regulatory framework for crypto is an “unwise” approach to governing the budding industry.
Peirce says continued communication among the world’s financial regulators is the key to unlocking the opaque regulatory puzzle we find ourselves in.
“While I believe a single global regulatory framework would be unwise, regulators can create a healthy environment for this new market to grow by sharing information that will smooth cross-border transactions while stamping out fraud and other harmful activity.”
Hester Peirce: One set of crypto rules not the answer
Peirce made the remarks this week at the Singapore University of Social Sciences’ Convergence Forum, where she discussed crypto regulations.
At the event, Peirce — who has been dubbed “Crypto Mom” for her pro-bitcoin viewpoints — underscored the need for global cooperation as the worldwide market grows.
Peirce says because so much crypto activity occurs outside the United States, the SEC has to approach regulations with “a sensitivity for cross-border considerations, cooperation, and co-learning.”
SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce says different nations should have their own set of crypto rules. | Source: SEC.gov
Peirce stressed that international dialogue about “how and whether to regulate crypto” in different countries is critical for nurturing this nascent industry.
However, Peirce says a single worldwide regulatory framework is not the answer. Why? Because it’s important to have regulatory competition to ensure a healthy, non-monopolistic marketplace.
“My fondness for competitive markets extends to regulatory markets. The resulting regulatory competition will allow us to see what works well and what does not work at all.”
Peirce says the SEC should continue to talk with its international counterparts for ideas on how to address crypto laws and policies. However, she says each nation should have its own set of rules tailored to their own jurisdictional needs.
“We can look to our fellow regulators for shared consideration of difficult issues and coordination, but not for regulatory directives.”
Peirce: SEC should have approved a bitcoin ETF already
As CCN reported, Hester Peirce blasted the SEC for being a backward relic that’s taking too long to issue regulatory clarity governing cryptocurrencies.
Specifically, Peirce is concerned that the murky regulatory framework in the United States will chase crypto businesses offshore.
In June 2019, Peirce slammed the SEC for not approving a bitcoin ETF, saying it should have done so already.
Hester Peirce is one of five commissioners at the Securities and Exchange Commission. They each have differing opinions on cryptocurrencies.
SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce has been nicknamed “Crypto Mom” for her advocacy of bitcoin and blockchain. | Source: SEC.gov
In July 2018, Peirce was the only SEC commissioner who wanted to approve the bitcoin ETF application submitted by the Winklevoss twins, Tyler and Cameron.
As CCN reported, the SEC twice rejected a bitcoin ETF application submitted by the Winklevoss twins. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss own the New York-based crypto exchange Gemini.
The rejections — in March 2017 and again in June 2018 — cited the twins’ failure to demonstrate how their bitcoin ETF could prevent market manipulation.
Peirce to SEC: Welcome to the 21st century
Peirce says her anti-crypto colleagues rejected the Winklevoss twins’ bitcoin ETF application because they’re uncomfortable with new ideas. She says that’s a terrible attitude that stifles innovation.
“We want people to come in with innovation. We want to see change, because those innovations ultimately serve investors well.”
Peirce said the SEC has had an antiquated, counterproductive approach to innovation for years. She says the agency must evolve with the times and be more open-minded about embracing innovation such as bitcoin and blockchain.
The bitcoin price soared higher on Friday after US President Donald Trump announced another $300 billion tariffs on Chinese goods.The world’s largest cryptocurrency touched the $10,527-high ahead of the European market open, posting up to 2.47 percent intraday gains. The upside action brought its weekly profit closer to 11 percent, accompanied by a decent rise in volume on spot exchanges. The move further influenced the rest of the cryptocurrency market to follow suit, with the combined altcoin market capitalization surging from $91.149 billion on July 29 to as high as $97.697 billion today.Bitcoin Up by 11% This Week | Image Credits: TradingView.com, CoinbaseMeanwhile, global markets felt the pressure of Trump’s announcement. The Asian equity markets posted more than 1.4 percent losses, while their European counterparts opened 1 percent lower on Friday morning. US Futures, at the time of this writing, were also erasing their Fed rate cut gains, indicating a weaker session for the Dow Jones Index, Nasdaq Composite Index, and S&P 500 Index this Friday.The US Dollar Index also felt the heat of an escalating US-China trade war as it gave up its overnight gains to Trump’s tweets. It fell 0.14 percent to 98.23.Our representatives have just returned from China where they had constructive talks having to do with a future Trade Deal. We thought we had a deal with China three months ago, but sadly, China decided to re-negotiate the deal prior to signing. More recently, China agreed to…— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2019For Haven SakeAnalysts have been digging a possible correlation between the ongoing US-China trade dispute and bitcoin price. They believe the rising tensions between the two superpowers weaken their national currencies, especially the Chinese Yuan, which remains under a strict capital control imposed by the Chinese government.Between May 5 – the day Trump announced that he would increase tariffs on Chinese imports – and June 26, the bitcoin price surged by more than 142 percent. The period also saw yuan tumbling to its six-month low after Beijing counterattacked Trump’s tariffs with its own.The fundamentals are very same even today. Soon after Trump’s tweet yesterday, yuan took a beating and fell up to 0.83 percent against the dollar.Chinese Yuan Slips against US Dollar following Trump’s Tariff Threat | Image Credits: TradingView.com, ICEThe correlation is not entirely accurate, believes Garrick Hileman, head of research at Blockchain.com. The London School of Economics researcher told SCMP in May that bitcoin price moves uniquely alongside yuan concerns.“We can’t be 100 percent certain that bitcoin’s recent price increase is being driven by concerns over the trade tensions and declines in the RMB’s exchange rate as correlation does not necessarily equal causation,” Hileman said.But Brian Kelly of CNBC believes the correlation cannot be a coincidence. He tweeted shortly after Trump’s tariff threat an image showing very correlated price movements of yuan and bitcoin.“Offshore Yuan and bitcoin moving together after additional tariff announcement. [It] does not appear to be [a] coincidence,” he stated.
Bithumb, one of South Korea’s largest crypto exchanges | Source: REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
Bithumb, one of Korea’s largest exchanges by reported volume, has decided that Koreans are not adequately represented in the EOS network.
Korea Gets a Voice In EOS Governance
The exchange claims that as much as 10% of all EOS belongs to Koreans.
In a letter to users this morning, Bithumb said:
“One of the important characteristics of EOS is that those who hold EOS can elect EOS block producers by voting. However, according to various channels including Bloks.io there are no main BPs among the users in EOS community who actively work in Korea as of 8. , 2019. This is unusual considering that approximately 10% of the entire amount of EOS issued are circulated in Korea, which implies that most EOS holders in Korea are excluded from the EOS eco.”
The EOS governance model is unique in several ways. One of its more notable features is an “arbitration system” which allows for reversible transactions under limited circumstances.
All decentralized networks rely on their users and beneficiaries to maintain their infrastructure. The resilience of a given system can be determined by its points of failure.
Bithumb is utilizing all the EOS the exchange holds to make the Korean vote count. They are hiring an outside firm to manage the endeavor.
If the exchange earns any profit from its participation as a block producer, it will redistribute some funds to exchange users whose EOS was impacted.
The letter makes plain that the current terms and conditions for Bithumb users do not allow for any of the above, so a change is expected to be published on August 31st.
The new terms and conditions give the user some rights – they can “withdraw consent” at any time.
Bithumb Rewards EOS Hodlers on Platform
Money talks. Bithumb is one of the first major exchanges to acknowledge its ability to help users. The move is similar to Binance deciding to ensure that NEO users receive their GAS.
Bithumb’s reported volume at press time was over $620 million in the past 24 hours.
FYI: Bithumb has previously been exposed as fluffing its volume numbers.
- Bitcoin has jumped to $10,500 as expected and looks set to test key resistance at $11,120 over the weekend with the daily chart indicators beginning to align in favor of the bulls.
- The outlook as per the daily chart would turn bullish if BTC prints a UTC close above $11,120 on the back of high volumes.
- Prices may pullback to key supports at $10,318 and $10,172 first, as the hourly chart is reporting bearish divergence of key indicators.
Bitcoin (BTC) is flashing green for the fourth consecutive day and could test key resistance above $11,000 over the weekend.
The top cryptocurrency by market value is currently trading at $10,530 on Bitstamp – up 1.10 percent on the daily opening price of $10,417. Prices rose 1, 5 and 3 percent on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
Bitcoin’s repeated rebound from sub-$9,400 levels in the 13 days to July 29 likely indicates seller exhaustion. Another strong sign of bearish exhaustion emerged in the form of a long-legged doji candle on July 28, as discussed earlier this week.
Hence, BTC’s $1,000 rise seen in the last 48 hours is hardly surprising. The bullish move could be extended further as short duration technical studies are beginning to align in favor of the bulls.
The 14-day relative strength index seems to have found acceptance above 50.00, a sign of bull market conditions.
The moving average convergence divergence (MACD) histogram, an indicator used to identify trend change and trend strength, has crossed above zero, confirming bullish reversal. The MACD is indicating that the pullback from June’s high of $13,880 has ended and the path of least resistance is now to the higher side.
So, BTC could test the bearish lower high of $11,120 (July 20 high) over the weekend. A high-volume UTC close above that level would further confirm bullish revival and open the doors to $13,000.
The widely followed 50-day moving average (MA) is currently located at $10,570 may cap upside for the next few hours, though, as BTC is looking heavy on the intraday charts.
Both the RSI and the MACD have produced lower highs, contradicting the higher highs on price.
The bearish divergence of key indicators suggests scope for minor pullback to support lines located at $10,318 and $10,172.
Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.
While shunning Bitcoin (BTC), central banks have embarked on somewhat of a gold buying spree. Russia’s monetary authority, for instance, now owns over $100 billion worth of the precious metal, which amounts to over 2,000 tons, after purchasing 20 tons just weeks ago.Related Reading: California City Confirms It Was Hit by Bitcoin Ransomware AttackOther prominent central banks have made similar purchases as they liquidated reserves of foreign currencies, including the long-standing reserve currency, the U.S. Dollar (USD).Gold Being Bought Up En-Masse According to prominent crypto investor Anthony Pompliano, the world’s central banks have scooped up more than $15 billion worth of gold in the first six months of 2019. This figure stems from a report from the Financial Times, which states that central banks accounted for one-sixth of global demand during H1 2019. While $15 billion is a mere 0.2% of gold’s market capitalization, this marks one of the larger accumulation events in written history.Pompliano claims that these monetary juggernauts are trying to hedge their bets on the U.S. Dollar, despite the fact that the Dollar Index (DXY) continues to trend higher.Related Reading: Bitcoin Holds Key Trend Line as Real Volume Climbs Over 120% Since 2018The fear seems to be that the U.S. may get put in an unfavorable position in the world’s economy due to higher interest rates, the ongoing trade war with China, and the rise of other currencies.There also seem to be fears of overall macroeconomic risk, which has been made quite evident by the collapse in the European banking sector, runaway sovereign debt, geopolitical tension, protests across the globe, and other trends, including the rise of an alternative money like Bitcoin.And it isn’t only central banks that are fearing USD risk. JP Morgan recently released a report advising their clients to decrease their USD allocation for gold. In reference to the report, Bitcoin and gold bull Max Keiser added in a recent episode of “Keiser Report” that the USD could lose its reserve status.
Bitcoin to Be Bought by Central Banks?
But what exactly will the USD lose its reserve status to? According to some, it may be Bitcoin.
Pompliano, a co-founder of industry investment firm Morgan Creek Digital Assets, wrote that central banks may soon start purchasing Bitcoin en-masse.
Central banks bought more than $15 billion of gold in the first 6 months of the year.
They are trying to hedge their risk to the US dollar.
Wait till they find out about the non-correlated, asymmetric upside profile of Bitcoin.
Every central bank will be buying Bitcoin 🔥
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) August 1, 2019
From an investment standpoint, Pompliano claims that Bitcoin makes a lot more sense. The most notable of these reasons is the cryptocurrency’s asymmetric risk-return profile, which means that it has outsized potential upside for relatively little downside.
Indeed, BTC is valued at $200 billion; global wealth is somewhere in the hundreds of trillions, depends on what asset classes you include. If Bitcoin is to absorb 1% of global wealth, it still has 500% to run, to $50,000 a coin.
Pompliano claims that once central bankers acknowledge the fact that Bitcoin has a “non-correlated, asymmetric upside profile”, “every central bank will be buying BTC”.
That’s not all. In a recent CNN interview, the former Facebook employee (who claims that the social media giant may be the most important company to grace the crypto industry) explained that Bitcoin is better than gold.
Speaking to an audience of millions, Pompliano explained that unlike gold’s supply, that of Bitcoin is predictable, inflationary, and can be predicted and tracked with the pseudo-transparent nature of the blockchain.
Featured Image from Shutterstock
Cryptocurrency exchange CEX.io now operates in 31 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
Since launching a U.S. office early in July, the London, U.K.-based firm says its compliance team has been working with regulators to satisfy the required checks and audits and be granted money transmitter licenses in the new states.
Following that effort, the company says it’s been granted seven new licenses, bringing its total to 15, including Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia.
Alexander Kravets, CEO of CEX.io US, said:
“Our mission is to become fully approved and regularly audited license holders, while facilitating CEX.IO’s US growth under a transparent and regulated umbrella. Within less than a month, we’ve managed to collect MTLs in seven more states, and we’re not stopping here. The goal is to cover all 50 states and roll out new products uniquely tailored to each.”
The firm further operates in 16 states that do not require exchanges to be licensed as money senders: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
CEX.io first launched exchange services in some states in the U.S. back in 2015.
In other news, CEX.io said that it has recently received a distributed ledger technology license from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC).
Discussing the licensing effort, Oleksandr Lutskevych, CEO and founder of CEX.IO, said that, “It takes lots of time and resources, but we are successfully building a solid foundation as a trustworthy platform for customers from all over the world who want to work with digital assets in a legal, transparent way.”
U.S. map image via Shutterstock