Archive for Category: News

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  • Fundstrat’s Tom Lee ‘Pleasantly Surprised’ by Recent Stability of Bitcoin

    Fundstrat’s Tom Lee ‘Pleasantly Surprised’ by Recent Stability of Bitcoin

    Fundstrat Global Advisors’ Bitcoin (BTC) analyst Tom Lee said that he is “pleasantly surprised” by the recent stability of BTC in an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box Oct. 29.

    Lee expressed surprise at Bitcoin’s recent behavior given a recent 9 percent slump in equity markets. Lee said he expected that “Bitcoin volatility should be much higher” based on “how small Bitcoin is in terms of market cap.”

    When asked whether the current period of stability is “a good point to get in” for those wishing to enter the cryptocurrency space, Lee answered in the affirmative, as “Bitcoin seems to find its floor at $6,000.”

    As for sustained BTC price growth, Lee said that the Bitcoin needs more fiat inflows, which is — in his view — real evidence of adoption. This will start happening by the end of this year or early next year, with the launch of new platforms and offerings from Bakkt and Fidelity, according to Lee.

    Another factor that could influence BTC price growth is currency, according to Lee, as BTC is essentially priced in U.S. dollars. “So dollar strength has actually been a headwind for Bitcoin. But if the dollar begins to weaken, there will be a tailwind for Bitcoin,” Lee stated.

    Crypto markets have been seeing somewhat continued stagnation over the past couple weeks, with few of the leading cryptocurrencies budging in price. As of Oct. 18, data from  Bitcoinity showed a consistent decline in BTC volatility, calculated as an averaged standard deviation from all market trades throughout 2018. Another explanation of price stability could be low trading volumes of BTC.

    Crypto markets experienced some brief volatility on Oct. 29, when all of the major cryptos were in the red. As of press time, BTC is trading at $6,314, up just 0.41 percent on the day and down 2.62 over the last week, according to CoinMarketCap.

    Previously, Lee claimed that Bitcoin “could end the year explosively higher,” citing a correlation between it and emerging markets. The “important correlation,” per Lee, lies in the fact that both markets are running somewhat parallel to each other, with both having “really essentially peaked” in early 2018, as well as “both [having been] in a downward trend” from then on.

    Based on the results of last month’s Fundstat survey of 25 institutions and 9,500 responses to a public Twitter poll, Lee concluded that Wall Street is calling a bottom in BTC. Notably, 57 percent of those surveyed said that the BTC price is going to reach anywhere from $15,000 to “the moon” by the end of 2019.

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  • Russian Industrialist Union to Create Arbitration Board for Crypto-Related Disputes

    Russian Industrialist Union to Create Arbitration Board for Crypto-Related Disputes

    The Arbitration Center at Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) has announced the creation of a board for disputes on issues pertaining the “digital economy,” including crypto-related cases, Kommersant reported Wednesday, Oct. 31.

    The chamber will reportedly be created to hear cases related to blockchain technology, smart contracts and Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). As per experts cited by the newspaper, the number of such cases will increase up to 40 times from 2020-2025.

    Elina Sidorenko — who heads a Duma working group evaluating the possible risks of cryptocurrencies — said that the framework for the chamber has already been prepared and that arbitrators have been hired. According to Kommersant, Sidorenko herself will head the newly created entity.

    Sidorenko noted  that the nation’s courts are facing several challenges due to the significant growth of crypto-related cases, with almost half of them related to smart contracts:

    “The courts are now facing a lot of problems, including the lack of regulatory mechanisms to protect the rights of citizens, who create and apply digital technologies, and the ability to accept digital data as a new type of evidence."

    Major entrepreneurial interest in the digital economy can only be protected if the issuers of smart contracts will be civilly and legally liable for their activity, Sidorenko concludes. According to the RSPP, the the complexity of legal issues in the blockchain and crypto space necessitates the creation of an independent body for arbitration.

    RSPP, the members of which include mineral mining and smelting billionaire Vladimir Potanin, and Viktor Vekselberg, the head of the Russian innovation fund Skolkovo, has proposed an alternative to the state draft bill on crypto “On Digital Financial Assets.”

    The group first announced it was working on the alternative crypto bill in mid-September. The main aim was to eliminate contradictions in the government draft and to serve the interests of Russian entrepreneurs involved in crypto-related activity.

    In October, RSPP sent its proposals on crypto regulation to the country’s prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev. The lobby group then requested to postpone hearings for the government draft in order to discuss controversies and have more time to develop token classifications.

    Following recent edits to the government draft law, the legislation now lacks core crypto terms, such as a definition of crypto mining, or of cryptocurrency itself.

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  • Blockchain Software Firm ConsenSys Acquires Asteroid Mining Company

    Blockchain Software Firm ConsenSys Acquires Asteroid Mining Company

    Blockchain software technology firm ConsenSys Inc. has acquired American asteroid mining company Planetary Resources, Inc. through an asset-purchase transaction, according to an announcement published Oct. 31.

    Founded in 2009 and formerly known as Arkyd Astronautics, Planetary Resources is supposedly engaged in the exploration, extracting and refining of resources from asteroids. The company, which reportedly has over 30 investors and has raised more than $50 million in investments, has sent two satellites into orbit over the last six months.

    Per the recent announcement, Planetary Resources has been acquired by ConsenSys to bring “deep space capabilities” into the ConsenSys ecosystem. Planetary Resources’ President and CEO Chris Lewicki and Counsel Brian Israel have joined ConsenSys following the acquisition.

    Commenting on the deal, ConsenSys Founder Joe Lubin said that “it reflects our belief in democratizing and decentralizing space endeavors to unite our species and unlock untapped human potential.”

    Before joining Planetary Resources, Lewicki was employed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as Flight Director of the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers and Phoenix Mars lander.

    Israel served in the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser and was responsible for the international legal dimensions of outer space, ocean, and international environmental governance matters. Israel stated that “Ethereum smart contract functionality is a natural solution for private-ordering and commerce in space in which a diverse range of actors from a growing number of countries must coordinate and transact.”

    This month, Lubin made a $6.5 million investment to secure a minority stake in enterprise distributed ledger (DLT) startup DrumG Technologies. The startup aims to facilitate the adoption multiple interconnected distributed ledgers in the corporate world.

    In July, ConsenSys signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China’s Xiongan New Area government to bring blockchain technology to the “smart city.” The company  will advise the Xiongan government on blockchain and software solutions in order to establish it as a “next generation smart city [and] leading blockchain innovation hub.”

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  • Circle Joins Industry Body for Developing Global Crypto Standards

    Circle Joins Industry Body for Developing Global Crypto Standards

    Crypto finance company Circle has joined the Global Digital Finance (GDF) industry body as a founding member to develop a global “Code of Conduct” for crypto, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Wednesday, Oct. 31.

    Circle has confirmed participation with the GDF on Twitter, stressing the company’s commitment to developing standards for the industry in order to promote the acceleration and adoption of digital assets. Other industry players in the group purportedly include Coinbase, ConsenSys, DLA Piper, Diginex, and others.

    Today the GDF released the Code of Conduct and Taxonomy for Cryptographic Assets after approval by the GDF community in a series of global mini-summits held in Asia, Europe and the U.S., according to the press release. The Code also underwent a 60-day consultation with contributions from over 200 firms from the global crypto industry and community.

    The “Code of Conduct” will be the start of a “shared rulebook” of standards pertaining to money handling, risk management, interaction with customers and regulators, and market practice.

    GDF co-founder Lawrence Wintermeyer said that the industry body intends to build a global self-regulatory model for the industry, aiming to make “digital assets work seamlessly across borders which challenges current jurisdictional models.”

    Companies can register with the GDF as Code-compliant starting in the first quarter of 2019. Per the press release, the organization is still developing a registration scheme.

    Last week, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) granted self-regulatory status to the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA). The JVCEA is an organization of crypto exchanges registered in Japan, which collaborate on rules to protect client assets, contribute to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policy, and provide work process standards for crypto exchanges.

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  • Unconfirmed Report: Miner Manufacturer IPO Halts Due to Alleged Illicit Finance Practices

    Unconfirmed Report: Miner Manufacturer IPO Halts Due to Alleged Illicit Finance Practices

    Investigators have reportedly halted the public listing process of cryptocurrency mining machine manufacturer Ebang International on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx), local financial news outlet Sina Finance reported Oct. 14. According to reports, the move was prompted by the firm’s alleged involvement in illicit financial practices.

    Ebang International operates in the field of Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chip design and production, telecommunications services, and the development, manufacture and sale of blockchain processors, or miners. In 2017, the company’s market share reportedly was 11 percent in terms of sales revenue, totalling 9.79 billion yuan ($1.4 billion). The annual profit of the company was 385 million yuan ($55.2 million) in 2017.

    In June, Ebang filed a listing application with the HKEx, in addition to submitting a prospectus for an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Sina Finance reports that Ebang planned to go public on Oct. 16, however the company was ostensibly accused of illicitly using over 500 million yuan ($71.7 million).

    An investigation of a 524.9 million yuan ($74.6 million) transaction between investment and wealth management portal Yindou.com and Ebang, reportedly discovered that in 2017, Cui Hongwei, the wife of Yindou director Li Yonggang, transferred the funds to Ebang. Between March and April 2018, Ebang supposedly transferred 380 million yuan ($54.5 million) back to Cui Hongwei, but 144.9 million yuan ($20.8 million) were lost.

    According to Sina Finance, Ebang received the funds from Yindou.com for money laundering, inflating sales revenue, or collecting a fictitious sales contract for the deposit, all in order to make their listing on HKEx go more smoothly.

    Ebang reportedly explained the alleged loss of 144.9 million yuan as a regular business relationship between Yindou.com and Ebang for the purchase of cloud computing server equipment. Sina Finance states that total order amounts of specific items are unknown.

    On Oct. 12, a request was reportedly submitted to the HKEx in order to prevent Ebang from listing on the exchange. The claim subsequently put Ebang’s listing application under investigation by the Listing Department, which is now supposedly reviewing relevant information in order to decide whether further action is needed.

    At press time, Ebang has not responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

    Another Chinese mining equipment manufacturer Bitmain has also been caught in questionable practices ahead its IPO. In June, the company submitted an application for launching its IPO on the HKEx, scheduled for September 2018.

    The media subsequently reported that Bitmain had held its first round of pre-IPO funding, with the participation of such industry giants as major Uber shareholder SoftBank, DST Global and Chinese IT giant Tencent as notable investors. In August, both DST Global and SoftBank denied investing in the Bitmain.

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  • Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, TRON: Price Analysis, October 31

    Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, TRON: Price Analysis, October 31

    The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

    The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

    Bitcoin’s White Paper was published ten years ago, today. From an obscure beginning in 2008, Bitcoin has become a worldwide phenomenon. Thousands of cryptocurrencies have been born since then, but Bitcoin has managed to maintain its relevance. Currently, its dominance over the market is hovering around the 54 percent mark.

    In the past ten years, Bitcoin has witnessed wild swings. From being valued 2,300.03 Bitcoin for $1 in October 2009, its price rose to a high of $19,531.9 per single coin in late 2017. Such a huge appreciation is unprecedented in any other asset class.

    With such an impressive rise, Bitcoin has attracted several supporters and critics alike. Many traditional investors and economists remain skeptical of Bitcoin, whereas many millennials and technology enthusiasts see a bright future for it in the next decade. Analysts have set very aggressive targets for Bitcoin in the next few years.

    Though the next decade will continue to attract new investors to Bitcoin, a parabolic rise similar to that of the first decade, is unlikely. The rise will be more measured and gradual with sporadic spurts in between.

    BTC/USD

    Bitcoin is looking weak. There are no signs of a pullback yet. The RSI has dipped into the negative territory, and the 20-day EMA is turning down, which shows that the bears have an upper hand in the short-term. A fall to $6,200 and thereafter a retest of the $5,900–$6,075.04 support zone looks probable.

    BTC/USD

    The failure of the bulls to capitalize on the break out of the descending triangle is a negative sign. If the bears sink the BTC/USD pair below $5,900, a quick fall to $5,450, and further to $5,000 is possible.

    Cyclically, the digital currency closes the year with strength. In the past three years, November and December have been strong months. Therefore, we anticipate a similar move this year. If the bulls succeed in breaking out of $6,831.99, a rally to $7,400 is likely. Traders who own long positions can keep their stops at $5,900.  

    ETH/USD

    Ethereum has been trading below $200 for the past three days. A retest of the $188.35 mark, which has held on the two previous occasions, is likely.  

    ETH/USD

    The 20-day EMA is turning down and the RSI is in the negative territory, which suggests that the short-term trend is down. A break of $188.35 can push the price to the next lower level of $167.32, which should act as a strong support. A break of this level will be negative, sinking the pair to the next support at $136.

    The trend on the ETH/USD pair will change if the bulls break out of $249.93. Such a move is likely to attract buyers, who can push the price to the next resistance at $322.57.

    XRP/USD

    Ripple has been trading in a tight range since Oct. 16. The RSI is also close to the midpoint. This shows balance between supply and demand.

    XRP/USD

    The XRP/USD pair will either break out or break down of this tight range within the next few days. Traders can buy a breakout and close (UTC time frame) above $0.48, with the stop loss at $0.42. A rally to $0.55, followed by a move to $0.62 is possible.

    On the other hand, if the bears break down of the tight range, a fall to the next support zone of $0.37185–$0.38838 is probable.  

    BCH/USD

    Bitcoin Cash broke down of the symmetrical triangle on Oct. 29. An attempt to climb back into the triangle failed on Oct. 30. If the price slides below the Sept. 11 low of $408.0182, we anticipate a fall to the next support at $300. Therefore, traders who are long can keep their stops at $400.

    BCH/USD

    The declining 20-day EMA and the RSI in the negative zone show that the sellers are in command. The bearish view will be invalidated if the BCH/USD pair bounces from the current levels and breaks out of $500. Until then, the rallies will be sold into.

    EOS/USD

    The bulls are attempting to hold EOS above $5. However, they have not been able to achieve a bounce, which shows a lack of buying at higher levels.

    EOS/USD

    If the EOS/USD pair breaks down of $5, it can drop to the next support at $4.49, and below that to $3.8723. Therefore, traders can keep the stops on their long positions at $4.9.

    If the bulls push the price above the moving averages, a rally to $6.1, followed by a move to the top of the range at $6.8299 is likely. The trend will reverse if the price sustains above the top of the range.

    XLM/USD

    The bulls might attempt to support Stellar at the trendline, below which a fall to the next support at $0.2 is probable.

    XLM/USD

    If the bounce from the current level scales above the moving averages and the downtrend line of the descending triangle, it will signal a change in trend. The XLM/USD pair can be purchased on a breakout above $0.27, which can result in a rally to $0.36, with a minor resistance at $0.304.

    LTC/USD

    Though Litecoin has broken below the support at $49.466, the bulls are trying to defend the Sept. 12 intraday low of $47.166. If this level breaks, a fall to $40 is possible.

    LTC/USD

    If the LTC/USD pair bounces from the current levels, it will face resistance at the moving averages, which are trending down, and the downtrend line of the descending triangle.

    A break out of $60 will indicate the probability of a change in trend that will be confirmed on a close above $69.279. We shall wait for a new buy setup to form before suggesting a trade on the pair.

    ADA/USD

    Cardano has continued its journey southward after breaking down of the symmetrical triangle. It can drop to $0.060105, which will act as a strong support. If the bears sink the price below $0.060105, the downtrend will resume.

    ADA/USD

    The bulls are trying to hold the immediate support at $0.068989. If the virtual currency rebounds from the current levels and breaks out of the moving averages, a rally to the top of the range is probable.

    The ADA/USD pair will signal a reversal if it sustains above the range. The traders should wait for buying to resume before initiating any long positions.

    XMR/USD

    The bulls are attempting to defend the support at $100.453, whereas the bears are stalling the pullback at the 20-day EMA. Monero will correct to $90 if it plunges below $100.453, and will move up to $112.5 if it breaks out of the 20-day EMA. A break out of $112.5 might carry the cryptocurrency to $128.65.

    XMR/USD

    Below $100.453, the XMR/USD pair can correct to the bottom of the $81–$150 large range. If the price bounces strongly from $81, we might suggest a long position on the pair. However, if the bears break this support, a fall to $61 is probable.

    TRX/USD

    TRON continues to slide lower, towards the next support zone of$0.0183–$0.0225. The moving averages are still flat, which suggests that the range bound action is likely to continue.

    TRX/USD

    A break and close (UTC time frame) below $0.0183 will resume the downtrend that can extend to the next support at $0.01095383.

    The TRX/USD pair will show signs of a turnaround if it scales $0.03. The breakout can carry the price to the next overhead resistance at $0.0415.

    The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. The charts for the analysis are provided by TradingView.

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  • A Brief History of Bitcoin: 10 Years of Highs and Lows

    A Brief History of Bitcoin: 10 Years of Highs and Lows

    October 31 marks the ten year anniversary of the release of the Bitcoin whitepaper, which was authored by Satoshi Nakamoto, and whose identity still remains a mystery.

    In this relatively short period of time, Bitcoin has challenged the way modern society looks at global finance and banking, and has been the catalyst for the birth of over a thousand different cryptocurrencies as well as many more blockchain projects.

    Its history has been full of highs and lows, as the volatile cryptocurrency has battled through years fraught with controversy and success. With the release of the whitepaper, a movement was set in motion that has left an indelible mark across a multitude of industries.

    Cointelegraph takes a look at some of the most memorable and infamous moments over the 10 years since Bitcoin was brought to life.

    Formative years

    On Aug. 18, 2008, the Bitcoin.org domain was registered by an anonymous entity as a precursor to the body of work that would describe the intricacies of the Bitcoin protocol.

    This came to life with the publishing of the Bitcoin whitepaper on Oct. 31, 2008. Titled “Bitcoin - A peer-to-peer electronic cash system,” the initial nine page document was distributed on cypherpunk mailing list in November 2008.

    On Jan. 3, 2009, Nakamoto successfully created the Genesis Block, the founding block of the Bitcoin blockchain. The Genesis block was hardcoded into the Bitcoin software and the 50 BTC, which were created cannot be spent, due to the way the code was written. The exact reasons for this aren’t known, just another mystery to add to Satoshi’s story.

    The average time between the creation of new blocks is 10 minutes, but it took a full six days before the next block was added to the Bitcoin blockchain, according to the timestamps of those specific blocks.

    There are a number of speculative theories why it took so long, ranging from Nakamoto using the next few days to mine the first block to test the network, while other have even suggested that he waited six days in a figurative reenactment of the book of Genesis from the Bible, in which God created the world in six days.

    Nevertheless, the first ever Bitcoin transaction took place on Jan. 12, 2009, between Nakamoto and the late Hal Finney, who was an early contributor to the project. Nakamoto sent Finney 10 BTC as a test, while the computer scientist began mining blocks himself.

    Ten months later, on Oct. 5, 2009, the New Liberty Standard set the first ever Bitcoin exchange rate against the dollar. At the time, $1 equalled 2300.03 BTC.

    The first ever transaction of Bitcoin for physical goods took place on May 22, 2010. The famous Bitcoin Pizza saw two pizzas bought for 10,000 BTC by Laszlo Hanyecz. The programmer had offered users on a Bitcointalk.org forum the BTC in exchange for two pizzas. A teenager named Jeremy Sturdivant, nicknamed Jercos, accepted the Bitcoin and sent Hanyecz two pizzas from Papa John’s.

    The transaction is a comical milestone for Bitcoin, but it is staggering what one could buy with the same amount of BTC today and is often used as a reference point for the rise in value of the preeminent cryptocurrency.

    First real highs and lows

    On Feb. 9, 2011, Bitcoin reached parity with the US dollar at a 1:1 ratio. The milestone would mark the start of a tumultuous period for Bitcoin. In the space of just four months, Bitcoin skyrocketed from $1 to $31.91.

    Four days later, on June 12, 2011, Bitcoin plummeted in value to $10.25, in the first major correction experienced by the Bitcoin community. This was also exacerbated by the first major security breach of Mt. Gox on June 19, 2011.

    After a relatively quiet six months, the price of Bitcoin dropped again, following news that e-wallet company Paxum had stopped accepting BTC. This period of time marks the first real instance where Bitcoin experienced high volatility and humbling corrections.

    First halving, Silk Road closure & Mt. Gox liquidation

    On Nov. 28, 2012, the first halving of Bitcoin rewards occured, when the block reward reduced from 50 to 25 BTC after the 210,000 block was mined. The price of BTC continued to climb into 2013, and the cryptocurrency went past the $200 mark for the first time ever on April 9.

    Things went downhill just ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Bitcoin whitepaper, as the infamous dark web site, Silk Road, was shutdown and over 26,000 BTC were seized. The price of Bitcoin dropped from $139 to $109 in a few short hours.

    By November 2013, the value of a single Bitcoin reached parity with an ounce of gold, over $1000. This feat was short lived though, as the price of Bitcoin tanked once again the following month, to as low as $600, before moving between that range for the next two months.

    In February 2014, rumors began circulating that Mt. Gox had been hacked and the exchange formally suspended trading that month after a series of “thefts.” By the end of February, Mt. Gox CEO, Mark Karpeles, had resigned from his position on the board of the Bitcoin Foundation amid controversy at the exchange.

    In March, the company filed for bankruptcy protection with debts over $60 million declared by its legal team at the time. Around 850,000 BTC had been “lost,” with Karpeles blaming technical issues with the Bitcoin protocol.

    Bitcoin foundation’s Gavin Andresen refuted these claims at the time, pointing to problems with Mt. Gox’s wallet software.

    Signs of mainstream adoption

    While the Mt. Gox debacle, and the controversy surrounding the Silk Road, gave a negative perception towards Bitcoin, the next couple of years marked the first real waves of mainstream adoption by big name companies.

    On Dec. 11, 2014, Microsoft began accepting Bitcoin payments, marking a big milestone for Bitcoin approval by global corporations.

    Six years after Satoshi released the Bitcoin whitepaper, the cryptocurrency appeared on the front page of The Economist on Oct. 31, 2015.

    Amid these positive moves for the cryptocurrency, the value of Bitcoin went through a two year period of relative stability.

    On July 9, 2016 the second halving of Bitcoin mining rewards took place, with the BTC reward dropping to 12.5 for every block mined.

    The beginning of Bitcoin’s big bull run

    The dawn of 2017 marked the start of what would be the biggest bull run in Bitcoin history, the most prolific year for the cryptocurrency, and its move into mainstream consciousness. Having breached the $1,000 mark three years previously, Bitcoin hit the mark once again on Jan. 2, 2017.

    The Winklevoss twins, who successfully sued Mark Zuckerberg for stealing intellectual property that led to the creation of Facebook, grabbed headlines in Mar. 10, 2017. The brothers had filed an application to launch, Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF), which was turned down by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

    The price of Bitcoin had surged past its previous all time high in the week leading up to this decision, in anticipation of the ETF approval. The value of the cryptocurrency dipped for a couple of months before a slow and steady rally began.

    On June 11, Bitcoin crossed the $3,000 mark for the first time ever, amid an ongoing debate around the possible measures to address scaling issues affecting Bitcoin.

    This came to an infamous end on Aug. 1, 2017, as a small part of the Bitcoin community couldn’t agree with proposed changes to the protocol. The likes of Roger Ver, advocated for an increase in the blocksize, which ended in a hard fork from the original Bitcoin blockchain - giving birth to Bitcoin Cash.

    A few weeks later, on Aug. 23, 2017, the SegWit soft fork activated, as the outcome to what originally led to the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, but also to a decision which was made to support SegWit.

    Still, Bitcoin continued a surge in value and surpassed the $5,000 mark on Sep. 2, 2017.

    A couple weeks of volatility followed, with the price of BTC dropping down to $3,000 before rebounding, after China banned ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges from operating in the country. Another compounding factor were infamous comments made by JPMorgan Chase CEO, Jamie Dimon, calling Bitcoin a “fraud.”

    After the dust had settled, Bitcoin set off on a mind-bending bull run from October onwards. The cryptocurrency surpassed $10,000 in value on November 29, and then breached the $11,000 mark a few hours later.

    The cryptocurrency continued to gain value as investors scrambled to join in on the action. A driving factor was the perception that the launch of Bitcoin futures in December 2017, would cause an influx of institutional money into Bitcoin, further stimulating the price of the cryptocurrency.

    With no sign of stopping, Bitcoin finally breached the $20,000 mark, marking an historic high for the cryptocurrency. Sadly for the community, the price of Bitcoin slumped back down to the $13,000 mark by Dec. 31, 2017.

    2018 – Bitcoin volatility reaches record lows

    After the lofty highs of 2017, the cryptocurrency community had to endure a tough start to the new year. January saw the price of Bitcoin drop as low as $10,000 as a wave of FUD took over the markets.

    Murmurs of a cryptocurrency ban in South Korea contributed to the correction, as did talk of China ramping up existing cryptocurrency sanctions, as well as Facebook’s ban of cryptocurrency and ICO adverts on its platform.

    Things looked even more bleak in February, as Bitcoin slumped to the $7,000 mark on Feb. 6, 2018.

    On the very same day, the Commodities and Future Trading Commission and the SEC held a highly anticipated hearing focused on cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICO), and blockchain technology.

    The meeting ended up being somewhat of a lifeline, as the regulatory bodies produced positive outlooks for Bitcoin, while promising to provide an environment that protects investors from the volatility and inherent risks of participating in ICO funding.

    The cryptocurrency markets rebounded after the hearing, but the next few months continued to be relatively unstable.

    In March, Twitter followed in the footsteps of Facebook by banning cryptocurrency advertising, while Google also announced plans to stop cryptocurrency advertising through the AdWords service.

    The slow slide in value of Bitcoin hit its lowest point on June 24, 2018. According to data from CoinMarketCap, the cryptocurrency went as low as $5,868.

    Despite the mid-year slump, the markets slowly began to look up in the lead up to the SEC’s decisions on a number of anticipated ETF proposals.

    Unfortunately, optimistic investors were left disappointed as the SEC rejected all nine Bitcoin ETFs due to concerns of “inadequate resistance to price manipulation” on August 2.

    While the final decision over these proposed ETFs has been pushed further into the future, there is a silver lining for Bitcoin at this present moment in time.

    On October 17, Bitcoin market volatility hit a 17 month record low, with its highest level of stability in over 12 months. This prompted various industry experts to put out optimistic forecasts for the cryptocurrency.

    As we celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the Bitcoin whitepaper’ release to the general public, it is important to recognize this topsy-turvy journey over the past decade.

    While it has been fraught with difficulty, the cryptocurrency has endured and still remains the most valuable in terms of market capitalization - an impressive feat considering over a thousand cryptocurrencies have been launched since Bitcoin’s inception in 2008.

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  • Indian Official Suggests Ban on ‘Private Crypto’ Prior to Supreme Court Decision

    Indian Official Suggests Ban on ‘Private Crypto’ Prior to Supreme Court Decision

    India's secretary of Economic Affairs has recommended that the country’s Ministry of Finance to impose a ban on “private cryptocurrencies,” according to a report published by the Indian government press center Oct. 31.

    The Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC), headed by India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley, held a meeting on the current economic and financial situation in India, attended by senior government and financial regulation officials.

    Shri Subhash Chandra Garg, secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs, reportedly proposed that the Council “devise an appropriate legal framework to ban use of private cryptocurrencies in India,” as stated in press-release.

    He further suggested “encouraging” the use of distributed ledger technologies (DLT), such as blockchain, in the country.

    Crypto Kanoon — a team of Indian lawyers that publishes crypto and blockchain regulation news — posted a quote from the press-release in Twitter, questioning whether or not the potential ban would extend to possessing digital currencies and trading.

    The Council’s discussion was held shortly after a hearing in Supreme Court of India last week, which had set a deadline for the Indian government to clarify its position on crypto. The Supreme Court requested that officials present their stance by mid-November.

    The Indian crypto industry has been struggling to uplift a partial ban for seven months now, after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ordered that local banks cease operations with persons or legal entities that are involved in cryptocurrency. As a response to central bank’s move, several crypto businesses filed a complaint against the RBI in India’s Supreme Court. The latter continued to uphold RBI’s ban, subsequently postponing the hearings.

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  • ERC-20 Co-Author Proposes New ICO Model to Protect Investors from Fraudulent Token Sales

    ERC-20 Co-Author Proposes New ICO Model to Protect Investors from Fraudulent Token Sales

    The Ethereum (ETH) developer that co-authored the ERC-20 token standard has introduced a new model for Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), Czech business news outlet Kurzy reports Oct. 31.

    Speaking at Ethereum’s annual Devcon conference in Prague Oct. 30, Fabian Vogelsteller, also the main developer of decentralized application (DApp) browser Mist, proposed a new approach for running ICOs that he claims will better protect investors.

    Vogelsteller described the concept, dubbed a “reversible ICO” (RICO), as a fundraising model that allows investors to return their tokens – and be reimbursed – at any stage of the project, via a special-purpose smart contract.

    According to the developer, such a setup would decrease the risks for investors of facing a fraudulent ICO, while also making ICO issuers more motivated to fulfill their obligations:

    "You are able to take your funds back at any point in time and do it simply by sending your tokens back.”

    According to Vogelsteller’s proposed model, once tokens issued in a RICO were returned, they could be purchased by other investors. However, given such a model would make funding amounts less stable, startups would also need more “core funding" from private investors outside of a the public token sale, he suggested.

    Despite the persistent bear market in crypto this year, ICOs have reportedly amassed twice as much in funds between January and May 2018 alone, in comparison with the entire year of 2017.

    On Oct. 28, Germany’s financial regulator urged the global community to regulate ICOs on a worldwide scale, citing “mostly minimal rights” of ICO investors.

    Oct. 26, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a warning about  investing in nine digital tokens and Initial Coin Offerings that had not been approved by the regulator.

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  • Move Over Smallville: Drama and Myths of Crypto Come to Life in New Comic Book Series

    Move Over Smallville: Drama and Myths of Crypto Come to Life in New Comic Book Series

    Move over DC and Marvel: a fledgling company wants to create a comic book universe where crypto and blockchain are at its center – building an immersive experience for readers with a whole new suite of coveted collectibles.

    Tokenville says comics offer an exciting format for entertaining crypto enthusiasts, not to mention enlightening those who are new to the community. It also believes that non-fungible tokens and decentralized apps (DApps) mean this medium can become more interactive than ever before – meaning everything from comic book characters to strips (and even the front covers of issues) can become tokenized.

    Comic debut unveiled

    The business is close to releasing its first effort in infusing comics with blockchain – known as The Crypto Treasures. Designed by the renowned comic book author Vitaly Terletsky, the storyline centers on the so-called “Myths of Crypto.” Set in ancient times, it explores the clashes between Good and Evil as they both pursue a mythical beast known as “Mass Adoption.”

    Tokenville’s argument is that, when you think about it, the crypto world has established its own mythology over the past 10 years of existence. The team said: “There is an own genesis with Satoshi as a creator, stories of rise and fall, friendship and betrayal and own heroes and villains contending for a MacGuffin of mass adoption.”

    It says that The Crypto Treasures will stand out from other comic books for two main reasons. Firstly, readers will be able to purchase mystic artifacts in the form of non-fungible ERC-721 tokens – and trade them through a marketplace. Collecting special artifacts will also give them the chance to win a jackpot. In order to access the comic, readers pay for a subscription using non-fungible tokens too.

    Further titles are already in the works. Tokenville has teamed up with CryptoKitties to develop a new show known as Crypto Detective, as the collectibles brand attempts to expand its so-called “KittyVerse.” The stars of this particular title will include genuine CryptoKitties submitted by their owners for participation.

    A bridge from crypto to pop culture

    Tokenville says the crypto community has always been closely tied with geek culture – and many industry leaders have long had an affinity for comic art.

    The company acknowledges there have been several projects in the past which have sought to inject the crypto universe into comics. They have included Bitcoin: The Hunt For Satoshi Nakamoto – a graphic novel which officially became the very first comic book about Bitcoin. Available in regular bookstores after a successful crowdfunding campaign, the title capitalizes on the mystery surrounding Nakamoto – resulting in a dramatic tale where he is admired and idolized by the public but pursued by the mafia and the National Security Agency.

    Crypto-driven comic books have also been able to achieve a different purpose: satire.

    A good example has been found on Reddit, where Cryptos decided to create strips which feature digital currencies as the characters – gaining hundreds of thousands of fans in the process. In one example, Bitcoin tries to buy a coffee, only to find out that it will cost $31: $3 for the drink and $28 in transaction fees. Although they reluctantly pay, they then need to wait for the payment to go through – and the scene gradually changes from day to night before they receive the coffee, poking fun at the rather slow transaction times this cryptocurrency has faced.

    The TV Token, which fuels the Tokenville ecosystem and provides access to comics for users, is available on the HitBTC exchange.

     

    Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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