SEC Could Approve the First Bitcoin ETF in Next 45 Days as Review Process Begins

Well, after all the wait and drama surrounding the Bitcoin ETF, the US SEC has finally announced that it is beginning the process of reviewing Bitcoin ETF applications again and has picked up the Bitwise application for initial review.
SEC publishes Bitwise proposal in Fed Register on Feb 15
Are we in sight of a Bitcoin ETF? Well, there is every possibility as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it is moving forward with its process for the ETF approval and beginning to review the Bitcoin ETF rule change proposal filed by NYSE Arca and Bitwise Asset Management on Feb. 11. The proposal itself was published in the Federal Register on Feb. 15, starting the countdown of 45 days which SEC has to make its initial decision on whether to approve, reject or extend the proposal.
Even though NYSE Arca and Bitwise had filed the application at the start of 2019, there was no way ahead because of the US government shutdown. But all seemed to back on track now as the Federal Register has been amended on February 15th, 2019 marks the start of the much-awaited process.
The process of approval is still lengthy and has several roadblocks, Bitwise Bitcoin ETF has generated quite a lot of hype of being different which could get a nod from the SEC. The proposed ETF gets its valuation from physically settled Bitcoin futures contracts, something that has never been proposed before.
Bitwise’s global head of Exchange-Traded Funds John Hyland remains hopeful that the SEC will approve their Bitcoin ETF. His confidence is clearly visible when he was quoted saying
“While there can be no assurance that the 19b-4 application will be granted or the SEC will review and ultimately accelerate the registration statement, we are optimistic that 2019 should be the year that a bitcoin ETF launches.”
Bitwise was recently founded in 2017 and is headquartered in San Francisco. The firm’s team is made up of professionals with decades of asset management experience. Some of the firm’s members come from backgrounds such as Facebook, Wealthfront, BlackRock, NYLife Investments, IndexIQ, US Commodity Funds, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and ETF.com.
The company has also pioneered the first cryptocurrency index fund and is the leading provider of rules-based exposure to the crypto asset space. Together, the firm features 4 best-in-class crypto indexes: Bitwise 10 Large Cap, Bitwise 20 Mid Cap, Bitwise 70 Small Cap, and Bitwise 100 Total Market. While many firms have attempted this previously, Bitwise has meticulously designed to follow a clear-set rule base that takes various factors into account
Will Bitwise ETF find the holy grail and be the first US SEC approved Bitcoin ETF? Do let us know your views on the same.
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Source: CoinGape

Bitcoin Trading Volumes Across Crypto Exchanges See a Spike: Expert Opinion

Note: “This analysis is an adaptation from the work of Mati Greenspan, Senior Market Analyst at eToro
Key Highlights

Under pressure from SEC, Reality Shares withdraws its Bitcoin ETF
Technical and Fundamental Analysis stay disconnected in the crypto markets
Trading volumes across crypto exchanges see a spike

Crypto Trading Volumes spike across major exchanges
Well, the news of Reality Shares pulling out its ETF application got a mixed reaction on the street as many believed that more products built on bitcoin without backing are actually bad for the industry and they much prefer services like Bakkt or the proposed VanECK ETF that are actually backed up one for one with real bitcoin.
Even though the news of the pullout was sentimentally negative it did not impact the price much. This is how the price of the Bitcoin prices is behaving for quite a while as the fundamental analysis and technical analysis of Bitcoin stay disconnected. Fundamentally the crypto world is getting some great news about the growth but yet the patterns that are forming on the charts are decidedly bearish.
While the divergence continues, the trading volumes across crypto exchanges have recently seen a strong spike. The volumes during December 2018 was close to USD 10 billion per day, which was way below the current volume. Over last  24-hours, volumes across exchanges have reached $36 billion this morning, on a day with very little price movement. While this is a rare phenomenon one has to remember, this is an entirely new market that has only surpassed the $1 billion mark for the very first time in March 2017. This industry has basically grown from nothing into a global market place in just a few short years.
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Source: CoinGape

Ripple Security Case: The Decision May Still Take Some Time To Come Says Lawyer Chervinsky

One of the most awaited legal judgments that the crypto world is waiting for is the case pertaining to Ripple(XRP) being security or not. But according to the latest update put forward by Lawyer Chervinsky, the wait could just get a little longer as the presiding judge has vacated the next week’s case management conference.
Will Ripple’s wait gets over in February or will it stretch longer?
Well, the debate whether Ripple is a security or not could stretch a little longer as the next case management conference for the case(s) with respect to Ripple being security or not has been vacated by presiding judge Hamilton. This update came as a tweet from Jake Chervinsky, who is a lawyer himself and is keeping a close eye on the Ripple case along with many other cases where cryptos are involved.

Ripple litigation update:
Today, Judge Hamilton heard oral argument on the plaintiffs' motions to remand & decided to cancel next week's case management conference. This implies her decision will take a while … or the case is going back to state court.https://t.co/L9kRmRv500
— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) February 14, 2019

Chervinsky has sighted a variety of reasons why Judge Hamilton could have canceled the hearing. According to him, Judge Hamilton might need some time to think over her decision or she may just move this case back to the state court. While Chevinsky says these reasons could be a probability, things could be as light as “so the parties wouldn’t have to show up again next week. Or maybe she’s going out of town”

It also could mean nothing at all. Maybe Judge Hamilton decided to handle the case management conference today so the parties wouldn't have to show up again next week. Or maybe she's going out of town.
I'm watching for a quick decision though, maybe by the end of February.
— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) February 14, 2019

He believes if there is a quick decision coming it could only be as early as the end of February.
Ripple has been amidst debate for quite some time regarding it being security or not because of the centralization claims. Currently, it is defending one lawsuit which is a combination of three cases in California courts which include  Two state cases in San Mateo County, brought by plaintiffs Zakinov & Oconer and one federal case in the Northern District of California, brought by Greenwald.
Initially, Ripple had four cases are security class actions and all of the cases allege Ripple for the same thing that is XRP is security and Ripple violated state & federal law by failing to register it before offering, promoting, and selling it to retail investors.
An excerpt investor Zakinov class action lawsuit complaints the following
“XRP, despite its name as a ‘token,’ is actually security under California law. In particular: (i) Ripple uses the funds it raised from the sale of XRP to fund its business ventures; (ii) the Company indiscriminately offers XRP for sale to the public at large; (iii) plaintiff and the Class (as defined herein) are effectively powerless to control the success of Ripple and XRP; and (iv) plaintiff and the Class members’ investment is substantially at risk and is without any security.”
But in November 2018, Attorneys for Ripple Labs and its affiliated defendants filed to move a consolidated class-action lawsuit from its previous venue at the San Mateo Superior Court to the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California as the consolidated suit matches the requirements for a case to be brought before the higher, federal court. This consolidation clubbed the three cases filed by plaintiffs Avner Greenwald, David Oconer and Vladi Zakinov while the fourth suit filed by Ryan Coffey was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff, though Ripple’s attorneys later filed to have it related to Zakinov’s suit.
While the debate is still on, everyone has their eyes stuck on to judge Hamilton’s next move. It would all joys on the street for XRP if the case goes in favor of Ripple but if it goes against it or moves back to state courts it could see a knee jerk sell-off.
Will Ripple get a decision soon or will the wait continue? Do let us know your views on the same.
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Source: CoinGape

Crypto Provides Attractive Asymmetric Risk: Expert Opinion

Note: “This analysis is an adaptation from the work of Mati Greenspan, Senior Market Analyst at eToro
Key Highlights

Two Large pension funds invest USD 40 million in cryptos
While the amount is in actual terms looks good, it’s just 0.7% of the fund
With this minimal investment, the risk to the upside far outweighs the downside risk.

Cryptos has Asymmetric Risk
As the news of the two Fairfax funds investing $40 million into cryptos hit the street, it bought a definite joy to every crypto investor. But for the fund, this investment was opportunistic and lucrative created a position where cryptos provided an attractive asymmetric return profile.
To explain, the two Fairfax funds involved in this investment have a combined $5.7 billion under management. So the $40 million they’ve put into crypto is only 0.7% of that. This is good money management at play.
Should the crypto market see another year like 2018 with an 80% drawdown, the fund will only lose 0.56% of its total portfolio. As long as the rest of the portfolio performs properly, nobody will even notice the hit. But, If crypto has a fantastic year as it did in 2017 and rises by 1000%, their overall portfolio will rise by 7%. This is what we call asymmetric risk, where the risk to the upside far outweighs the downside risk.
Traders and investors are always looking for an advantageous risk/reward ratio and now that we’ve already seen a large retracement in the crypto market, the ratio is becoming very attractive. Now that Fairfax County has opened the door, it will be interesting to see if other traditional fund managers join in.
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Source: CoinGape

Coinbase Eyes Emerging Markets For Next Leg Of Growth :Research

Crypto trading has grown leaps and bounds and so have exchanges in the past couple of years. But most of the trading volumes were restricted to advanced countries such as USA, Japan, and Korea. Having seen success in these countries, crypto exchanges are slowly hunting for a newer destination to sustain their growth and which happens to be the emerging markets.
Coinbase Eyes Emerging Markets
According to the recent report released by Diar research, Coinbase is eyeing emerging markets to tap the next leg of growth in crypto trading as part of is 2019 strategic plans. According to the report Coinbase’s Vice President focusing on international expansion, Dan Romero gave an interview to Diar where he discussed the exchange’s growth plans and strategy for 2019. With Japanese license procedure already underway and business nearly settled in the developed countries, Coinbase believes moving to emerging countries should give them a similar response and continue to accelerate the company’s growth.
To quote Dan’s excerpts from the interview, who says that the exchange is currently trying to understand specific solution for emerging markets, he mentioned
“Use cases in developed markets will be different to those in emerging markets as the US and Europe have a fairly well-developed financial system. Our mission is to build out the ecosystem so that we can move away from the narrative of crypto only being a speculative investment. We need to move the technology into the Utility Phase”
While he did not mention any specific countries that the exchange is looking at he mentioned
“What you’ll see in 2019 and beyond is a big push to dramatically expand the number of countries offering an easy on-ramp into crypto. We are actively exploring countries in Latin America, Africa, and South East Asia.”
“People speak about remittances as a use case for crypto but the reality is that in emerging markets the access for fiat on and off ramps is very low”
Crypto volumes gaining strength in Emerging countries
While the crypto markets are still bearish and bitcoin prices in languishing way below USD 4000, volumes from the peer to peer bitcoin trading site local bitcoins, which is now back online, shows the usage is rising steadily in emerging market countries such as India, Kenya, Nigeria, and across Latin America.
According to data provided on Coin.Dance, the volumes are slowly seeing a rise in these countries somehow adding color to the strategies of these exchanges

Crypto volumes Chart for India

Crypto volumes Chart for Kenya

Crypto volumes Chart for Nigeria
While the story and growth prospects look interesting, the challenges in these emerging countries are not going to be easy regulators and lawmakers have been continuously issuing warnings that the freewheeling crypto sector is vulnerable to hacks, fraud and money laundering. Getting regulators on their side would be the biggest challenge for these exchanges
Will crypto exchanges be able to reap benefits from emerging markets? Do let us know your views on the same.
The post Coinbase Eyes Emerging Markets For Next Leg Of Growth :Research appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Ripple, Barclays Invest $1.7 Million in Remittance Start-Up Using XRP

While Ripple and its token XRP are changing the way cross border remittance industry works, it is also backing young start-up which shares the same vision of disrupting the payments industry. According to the latest announcement, Ripple has joined hands with Barclays and Mastercard to infuse $1.7 million funding for remittance start-up SendFriend.
SendFriend envisions to open services in New Jersey
SendFriend is a start-up founded at MIT by a group of individuals with a background of working at The World Bank and MoneyGram. The remittance start-up plans to start operations in New Jersey and envisions to open its first remittance corridor between the United States and The Philippines.
The company, which came out of Barclays‘ accelerator programme, has got into an agreement with Ripple to use XRP tokens as a liquidity vehicle for cross-border payments, allowing SendFriend to bypass the corresponding banking system and convert USD to XRP to PHP in a matter of seconds.
The other investors that have joined Ripple in this round of funding include MIT Media Labs, TechStars, Mahindra Finance, 2020 Ventures, and 8 Decimal Capital.
While the services are yet to go live, SendFriend mentions that it plans to cover the whole of the United States in short term and it plans to offer its services via desktop and mobile apps.
In its funding announcement, SendFriend claimed that it will offer 65 percent lower fees compared to the industry average for international money transfers, as blockchain “replaces the frictions and fees of the banking system.”
The start-up is in the process of hiring its team, community engagement, and marketing.
Speaking to media SendFriend’s co-founder and chief executive officer David Lighton said
“XRP is used as a liquidity vehicle for cross-border payments, enabling SendFriend to circumvent the corresponding banking system and convert USD to XRP to PHP [Philippine peso] in a matter of seconds.”
From the investors side, Yuan Ruan, founder of 8 Decimal Capital mentioned “This is a highly competitive space with longtime incumbents, but we are confident in the success of SendFriend,” “SendFriend has a good combination of an experienced team, large $650 billion remittance market, investors that provide more than just capital, and a growth strategy focused on more than revenue from transactions including APIs and white-label solutions.”
With XRP’s support, SendFriend would try capturing the Filipino population that is currently staying and working in the United States. If its able to achieve its vision, SendFriend could gain a lot of market share in the remittance industry
What is your view on SendFriend? Do let us know your views on the same.
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Source: CoinGape

Bitcoin Adoption Gets Stronger in Venezuela As Trading Volume Hits All Time High

Countries with weaker economies and collapsing fiat currencies are at the forefront of crypto adoption. While this phenomenon is witnessed across the globe, Latin American countries, which are facing an economic slowdown, are at the forefront to accept this new form of ‘money’
 Venezuela leads the way while others follow  
The economic situation of Venezuela and the collapsing sovereign fiat Bolivar has forced a lot of citizens to adopt cryptocurrencies and Dash has grabbed this opportunity with both hands as it has led the cryptocurrencies to use case in Venezuela. While adoption has been at the forefront of citizens of Venezuela, the people there are also using OTC markets to trade their monies.
According to a recent tweet put forward by Kevin Rooke, Venezuela’s P2P Bitcoin market does 157x the volume of their largest stock exchange.  Venezuela’s top stock exchange did $8,117 of trading volume on Friday while Bitcoins traded on Local Bitcoins is an average of USD 1.28m

Venezuela's P2P Bitcoin market does 157x the volume of their largest stock exchange.
Venezuela's top stock exchange did $8,117 of trading volume on Friday.
Not a typo. $8,117 USD.
Venezuelans traded an avg of $1.28M of Bitcoin on LocalBitcoins each day this week. pic.twitter.com/Uu4Ed2B9V3
— Kevin Rooke (@kerooke) February 11, 2019

The adoption of cryptocurrency is increasing at such a pace in the country that, according to Dash’s CEO, Ryan Taylor
there are use cases where people have invested in Bitcoin to try and preserve the value of their money, utilizing the major cryptocurrency as a store of value and it is Dash’s adoption and quick, cheap transactions that are making it an important financial tool in Venezuela.
Just like Venezuela, other countries in Latin America are also embracing cryptocurrencies.  According to the data provided by DiscoverDash, Colombia, another South American country which has a struggling economy, ranks third in the world for Dash-accepting merchant listings. Colombia’s 327 merchants are among 3,000 merchants in South America that accept Dash as a payment option.
Argentina too seems to be in pro Bitcoin mood as now millions of people in the country’s capital and beyond will now be able to pay for transport on buses, subways, trains and highway toll booths using cryptocurrencies.   Payment platform Alto Viaje, which allows users to charge their SUBE smart cards, announced that it has partnered with South American blockchain startup Bitex to enable payment in Bitcoin. SUBE cards are primarily used in Buenos Aires, but transport systems in cities like Mar del Plata and Villa Gesell and some 30 other locations also accept SUBE payment.
Similar scenes are also seen in Mexico where crypto exchange Bitso had mentioned to media that some 800,000 citizens are now actively trading in digital tokens. Bitso also mentioned that its average annual growth is a staggering 522%.
Cryptocurrencies have definitely found a strong footing in South America and it looks like they would just grow vertically from here thus ultimately improving the adoption and investing in cryptocurrencies. Latin American countries are definitely setting an example for the world to follow.
Will cryptos be able to spread their wings to other countries at will, like they have done Latin America? Do let us know your views on the same.
The post Bitcoin Adoption Gets Stronger in Venezuela As Trading Volume Hits All Time High appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Sentimental Analysis for Cryptocurrencies- February 10

Cryptocurrencies are in a very difficult territory where no fundamental or technical indicators is actually affecting the price than the sentiment of the community. Every news article or a social mention is actually driving the trend and direction of where the prices are heading. Although most of the sentiment is derived from the sentiment of the Bitcoin- the largest cryptocurrency, still some altcoins have their specific pros and cons that change their variance from that of Bitcoin. Let’s look at the few indicators that are used widely across to determine the sentiment.
Bitcoin Sentimental Analysis
As mentioned it’s the largest coin in the market that decides most of the trend for the crypto markets is necessary to understand that sentiment it garners among the community. A lot of news flow and sell off has dampened the short term sentiment but yes there are some long-term positives which make Bitcoin an interesting study. An analysis of its social mention and greed and fear index would give us a clear idea of what is happening

Analysis Type
Tool
Analysis- Score
Sentiment

#BTC – Hashtag Analysis
Keyhole
Score: 92
Positives: 54.7 %
Negative: 4.2%
Neutral- 41.1%
Positive to Neutral- Positives rising

#BTC- Social Media Mentions
Social Mention
Sentiment 8:1 in favor of positives
With 15 scores towards neutral and 172 in favor of Positives
Positive to Neutral

Fear to Greed Index
Alternative.me
Score 42–Fear
Negative

Fear to Greed Index
CNN Money
Score 61 -Greed
Positive

 
So Bitcoin is forming a base close to 3600 and that is what keeps the sentiment neutral to positive. The greed and fear indexes are still showing divergent views of fear and greed indicating the non-decisiveness and cautiousness in the market all though things are improving
Altcoin Sentimental Analysis
Fear and Greed index is only available for BTC as not may altcoins have all components required to calculate it

Altcoin
Keyhole #  analysis
Social Mention
Sentiment

ETH- Ethereum
Score – 89
38.2% Positive
4.4% Negative
57.4%- Neutral
15:1 towards Positives
Neutral 62
Neutral to Positive- Positive rising

XRP- Ripple
Score 90
23..7% Positive
2.6% Negative
73.7% neutral
2:1 towards Positives
Neutral 108
Neutral to Positive, Neutrals rising

BCH- Bitcoin Cash
Score 80
29.6 % Positive
7% Negative
63.4% Neutral
7:0 towards positives
Neutral 19
Neutral to Positive- Neutrality rising

EOS
Score 91
21.2% Positive
1.9% Negative
76.9%- Neutral
8:1 towards positives
Neutral 100
Neutral to Positive-
Neutral rising

XLM-Stellar
Score 95
43.4% Positive
1.9% Negative
54.7% Neutral
1:1 towards positives
Neutral 148
Neutral

 
Sentiment for most of the altcoin has been neutral to positive as most coins remain range bound. The only standout here is Ethereum which has seen some sharp rise in price due to some positive sentiment. XLM has gone extreme flat on sentiment turning neutral completely.
Will this sentiment actually pull back the prices? Do let us know your views on the same.
The post Sentimental Analysis for Cryptocurrencies- February 10 appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Cryptocurrency Price Analysis for the week February 04 to February 10

Hi Readers, welcome to cryptocurrency price analysis for the week. Do not forget to check movers and shakers for this week at the last of the article.
Bitcoin (BTC)
Bitcoin saw some positive sentimental moves this week as the top coin was up 5.33%. The good thing about  Bitcoin is that it still hodls itself above 3600. The prices hit a high point of USD 3,695.61 and the lowest point of USD 3,391.02 during the week. The exchanges that were more active, in volumes, with BTC across various pairs this week were,  BitMex (8.47%), CoinBene (4.20%) and OEX (2.60%)
Among prominent news around Bitcoin, Bitcoin billionaire Changpeng Zhao says the world is still at the Beginning of the Beginning’ of Bitcoin Revolution.
Source: Coin360.com
 
Ripple (XRP)
XRP still holds second place again but Ethereum still stays in close vicinity. On the top, this week the prices of XRP were at USD 0.315308 and towards the bottom, it quoted USD 0.290119. The exchanges that were more active, in volumes, with XRP across various pairs this week were, ZB.COM(8.38%) ZBG (5.68%)  and Binance (3.58%)
For XRP this week, Finablr, a global platform for payments and foreign exchange solutions, has announced that its network brands UAE Exchange and Unimoni are now on RippleNet
Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum on the top, this week was at USD 120.69  and were at lows of USD 102.93. The markets that were more active, in volumes, with ETH across various pairs this week were OEX (5.78%), Bibox (2.89%) and ZBG (2.85%)
Among news surrounding Ethereum this week that Spankchain CEO actually is criticizing Ethereum, which he has supported in the past.
The Other Movers and Shakers
The Other coins that made to the top and bottom this week according to Coin Market Cap (accessed on February 10 at 3:35 pm IST) were
Movers

INO Coin [INO] – Showing a rise of 290.97%
Twinkle [TKT] – Showing a rise of 196.87%
Quant [QNT] – Showing a rise of 114.06%

Shakers

Centercoin [CENT]- Showing a drop of 64.10%
Snapcoin [SNPC] – Showing a drop of 56.98%
Everus [EVR] – Showing a drop of 55.16%

What do you think would be the sentiment of the crypto markets next week? Do let us know your views on the same.
The post Cryptocurrency Price Analysis for the week February 04 to February 10 appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Is It #BUIDL That Will Decide Next Amazon of Cryptoworld or Most Cryptocurrencies will die?

While all investors are hunting for the coin or token that will multiply their wealth manifold, CZ has come forward asking investors to look into their portfolios and identify the coin whose teams are actually working and progressing on their respective roadmaps.
Not everyone will survive this crypto craze say crypto experts
Discussing which coins and projects would sustain, CZ spelled out Twitter that when the market turns back to its bullish days and move towards its all times highs again, a lot of coins that were created and raised money through ICO’s will reach zero and die. According to CZ its, only the teams that are working and #Buidling will ultimately prove winners and these are the coins that will make money for investors. CZ also asks investors to review their holding and eliminate the coins and tokens whose teams are not progressing with their works.

When markets do go back up that doesn't mean all projects will.
A lot of coins with no development will die.Review your holdings. Make sure teams are WORKING👀 https://t.co/sikvGBNzY9
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) February 10, 2019

CZ’s tweet is a clear indication that projects that put in the effort will ultimately survive to bring the dawn of decentralization and cryptocurrency to this world. And it’s not just CZ a lot of research and personalities in the crypto world have said the same.
In July, last year, a research conducted by Boston College academics reveals that most crypto startups that have raised money via initial coin offerings (ICO) and crowdfunding have a pretty short lifespan and most projects do not survive even 120 days which is 4months from their launch. The research was conducted by authors – Hugo Benedetti, assistant professor at the Carroll School of Management and finance Ph.D. student Leonard Kostovetsky.
The authors based their analysis by studying the official Twitter accounts maintained by these projects and their founders. According to the report, the authors estimated that the survival rate of the startups, 120 days after the end of the sale, was only 44.2%. The assumption is that companies that are inactive on social media in the fifth month most probably did not survive. The report covered almost 2,400 ICOs and examined over 1,000 Twitter accounts.
A similar sentiment was put forward by Goldman Sachs early last year, its Head of Global Investment Research and Chair of the Global Markets Institute, Steve Strongin mentioned that Most digital currencies are unlikely to survive in their current form, and investors should prepare for them to lose all their value. According to him, many virtual currencies lack long-term staying power because of slow transaction times, security challenges and high maintenance costs.
“Are any of today’s cryptocurrencies going to be an Amazon or a Google, or will they end up like many of the now-defunct search engines? Just because we are in a speculative bubble does not mean current prices can’t increase for a handful of survivors. At the same time, it probably does mean that most, if not all, will never see their recent peaks again,”
A lot other crypto influencers have also said that its real progress on roadmaps will help most altcoins to survive. Yoni Assia, the CEO of eToro, a social trading platform that supports a range of cryptocurrencies had mentioned to Business Insider that
“Ninety-five percent (ICO-Coins ) is going to end as nothing because that’s startup funding,”
Joseph Lubin, the co-founder of cryptocurrency Ethereum, has often compared the crypto boom to the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s that ended in a spectacular bust in the early 2000s. Speaking at a press conference at MoneyConf in Dublin, Lubin had mentioned
“If you look at the dotcom boom and bust, there were so many of the same issues back then. So much money invested, lots of money lost, lots of failing projects.”
Dominik Schiener, another influential name in cryptos and the creator of IOTA was also heard saying he expects less than 10 of the more than 1,400 crypto projects that have sprung up over the last two years to survive
While everyone who understand cryptos, be it influencers, researchers or even Wall Street investment banks believe that it’s the fundamentals and real development that counts.
For all, it’s the same mantra- those projects that do survive will transform the world and make huge amounts of money for those who back them.
Which Coins and Tokens do you believe will make money for its investors in long run? Do let us know your views on the same
The post Is It #BUIDL That Will Decide Next Amazon of Cryptoworld or Most Cryptocurrencies will die? appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Is Facebook Preparing Its Shopping List to Fuel Its Blockchain Dreams?

While it is in a well aware fact now that Facebook is building its war chest for blockchain, from open hiring to acquiring top talent from the street. But last week news of acquisition blockchain start-up Chainspace took a lot of people by surprise as the Social Media Giant was moving much faster than expected with blockchain.
Is acquisition the way for Facebook?
Since blockchain became prominent and people start recognizing and realizing its advantage, a lot of mainstream tech companies turned towards this newest tech kid on the block. Facebook too took a lead here but it remained officially silent on most part of its plan with respect to the blockchain. Although there have been several reports of the company hiring and recruiting blockchain developers not many had expected Facebook to take an acquisition route.
While the news is still fresh in the minds of people, a tech news website The Information has come out with a report stating that Chainspace is not the only startup   Facebook was talking too and its sources say that Facebook may be scouting a few more startups to fuel its blockchain dream,
Going to the article one thing stands out it that Facebook is acquiring these startup as a hiring mechanism or what they call it as “aqui-hire”. The report states that One investor told The Information that Facebook had approached him multiple times about making an acquisition of a company from his portfolio as a way to hire engineering talent.  Another person familiar with the matter said Facebook was contemplating deals worth tens of millions of dollars.
According to the sources close to the company also mentioned that Facebook has had active conversations with a few more startups such as

Algorand, a company founded by an MIT professor that is creating a scalable blockchain (previously reported by Cheddar)
Basis, a stable coin startup that shut down in December after encountering regulatory issues
Keybase, an encrypted messaging app that supports Bitcoin and Zcash wallet addresses

While Facebook has always been in denial regarding any of these talks, Chainspace acquisition has just got the rumor mill rolling. As per the article, A few sources reported that Facebook has a conversation with Basis in December shortly after the company reported closure. There were reports of Keybase discussions towards the beginning of 2018
The names that spring up from these rumor mills actually gives insight on what’s going through the mind of decision-makers at Facebook. While Basis conversation could be linked to Facebook’s endeavors of creating a stablecoin in India, its conversation with Keybase could be of its desire to integrate its cryptocurrency into WhatsApp messaging
And with respect Chainspace and Algorand, these could be answers to the company’s concerns about cryptocurrency networks’ ability to accommodate its billions of users, a problem whose answers are available with both these startups.
One thing is clear that out of all these news and rumors is Facebook is progressing with blockchain and the tech giants presence is definitely a positive for the nascent blockchain industry.
What do you think is Facebook’s dream with respect to blockchain? DO let us know your views on the same.
The post Is Facebook Preparing Its Shopping List to Fuel Its Blockchain Dreams? appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

NEM Foundation Releases Funding Proposal For 2019, Envisioning #BUIDL Again

In an attempt to fund and restructure its plan for 2019, NEM foundation has released a with a funding proposal. The foundation plans to completely rebuild the Foundation’s operating structure and mission after having a really tough start to 2019 where there was bankruptcy rumor against the foundation of the controversial exit of its President Lon Wong.
NEM want to hit refresh and start from scratch
According to a recent announcement put forward by NEM Secretariat Office, NEM Foundation has released a funding proposal for 2019. Via this funding, the foundation plans to completely rebuilt the corporate structure and mission which would include renewed focus under this new leadership and create a NEM Foundation that truly exists to serve and support its powerful community. The proposal released is as

 
The company has released a complete proposal deck and FAQ spelling out the complete information on what could be expected out of the “new NEM Foundation”. According to the information available from the foundation, the previous structure of the foundation will cease to exist at the end of February 2019 and the new structure that is designed to house interim global product team leaders. The foundation plans to carry on the transition immediately and is expecting the new structure to be in place by March/April the funding plan is approved condition being
The requirement for the approval of this funding plan is

Minimum of 3% POI voting (includes 3% of TOTAL POI votes – both ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ votes included).
65% majority of ‘YES’ votes out of total vote count

Both requirements have to be met in order for the funding proposal request to be successful
While the new structure would get in place, NEM foundation believes to continue operating as a product-focused, revenue-driven and community-oriented organization. The new leadership team has been only one month old and is committed to working with transparency and accountability. Alex Tinsman, the elected President had the highest votes for both POI and registered members votes.

Once the funding is approved, NEM foundation expects to achieve the following in 2019 (quoted from the release)

More enterprise adoption utilizing Catapult with a revenue-driven culture.
More public and private chain transactions when Catapult launches.
Stronger leadership, solid governance and more service to the community, partners and the world as it hopes for a brighter future.

Following is the plan of deployment that the foundation has laid out

NEM had a terrible last week as the coin tanked 9% in 4 hours on the back of the news that there were Potential reports of layoffs and financial troubles which had made investors lose their confidence in NEM. There were also reports that the foundation had reportedly spent $80 million on marketing in the year 2018, a budget quite extravagant that led to low liquidity inside the company.
Also Read: NEM Foundation Reaches Out to the #NEMcommunity and Proposes Transition from a Promotion-Based to a Product-Based Organisation
Even with its problems, NEM is one of the more popular cryptocurrencies in the market. NEM foundation comes out as one of the first blockchain-based projects to implement bold changes to align their goals and products. The Catapult project implementation and results will finally decide the fate of the NEM project.
Will NEM flourish back under new management? Do let us know your views on the same.
The post NEM Foundation Releases Funding Proposal For 2019, Envisioning #BUIDL Again appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Bitcoin Exchange Popularity Sees a New Trend, Diar in its Astonishing Report

Despite bear markets, crypto exchanges did enjoy success in 2018 making it as a record year. While 2019 is anticipated to bring fortunes back to cryptos, the exchanges have started the new year with some nervousness as the trading volumes have begun to collapse. While Binance’s Bitcoin/USD volumes slashed by around 40%, Gemini and Coinbase also have reported some sluggishness.
Is the popularity of crypto trading decreasing?
According to the recent report released by Diar research, Cryptocurrency exchanges have begun 2019 on a slumber note as trading volumes of nearly all major exchanges have hit new lows in January, which was something that was not seen since 2017. One of the first reason that comes to the mind for this drop-in volume is the lack of volatility so far this year, which has kept traders away, who enjoyed making quick bucks riding the huge price movements. If this continues, exchanges could soon hit a new plateau after coming from the record-breaking year of 2018.
While the plateauing of growth is seen across exchanges, Binance draws special attention where the trading volumes of the most popular Bitcoin/USD market saw a dip of by over 40% versus December-18, marking the worst period for Binance since its inception in 2017.
While Binance definitely seemed off-guard, Coinbase’s Bitcoin/USD markets also saw a drop-in volume tanking it below the May 2017 volumes. The same has been the case with Winklevoss promoted Gemini exchange whose trading volumes have been pretty stagnant over past 2 months and OKEx which has lost its 3-month growth streak in January 2019.

While the numbers look weak for January 2019, one has to keep in mind that these numbers are in following some stellar months for all the crypto exchanges. Volumes on Binance’s Bitcoin dollar-pegged markets accounts for the year of 2018, were just shy of 50% of the total on the largest exchange. Same was the story for other exchanges as well, Coinbase BTC/USD markets accounted for 46%, slightly down from 2017 when it stood at 48%. Combined with Ethereum markets, however, the two majors accounted for 75% of total trades two years straight. US Dollar markets hit over $83Bn in trading volume for Coinbase last year, up from $67Bn in 2017.
While the growth in volumes looks slightly off the radar this month, the numbers are still big enough to conclude that there is any kind of sluggishness in the market. Drop in volumes could also be an indicator that people are not just trading cryptos for some quick bucks and are turning investors and holding their assets for long term appreciation.
Why do you think are these crypto trading volumes falling? Do let us know your views on the same.
The post Bitcoin Exchange Popularity Sees a New Trend, Diar in its Astonishing Report appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Kraken Acquires Derivatives Trading Platform Crypto Facilities in A Record Nine Figure Deal

Kraken has been one of the most secure crypto exchanges since its inception with has been a consistent leader in terms of Euro volumes. But even with a leading position, the exchange is still making every attempt to the best as it has now acquired a world-leading, regulated cryptocurrency trading platform and index provider called Crypto Facilities
Kraken and Crypto Facilities come together to create a global leader in futures trading
While the crypto industry is still pretty nascent, acquisitions have already become a great tool for growth for companies as it always them to grow in size or acquire new products or enter new geographies pretty easily. With a similar motive of committing to meeting client demand for innovative products and services that complement its core spot exchange and white-glove OTC service, Kraken has acquired regulated cryptocurrency trading platform and index provider London-based Crypto Facilities.
Coming out of the official announcement,
“London-based Crypto Facilities offers individuals and institutions transparent, secure, 24/7 trading on a range of cryptocurrency derivatives.  A pioneer in the industry, the firm was the first regulated entity to list futures on Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple XRP, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. The firm is also the leading cryptocurrency index provider, calculating the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate that powers the CME Group’s Bitcoin futures.  Users value the high integrity, low latency marketplace that Crypto Facilities provides under the regulatory supervision of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.”
While the acquisition gives Kraken strength in its derivative vertical, it also allows eligible  Kraken clients gain access to futures on six cryptocurrency pairs, providing a highly efficient way to trade and hedge cryptocurrency in any market environment.
The Official announcement also quoted comments from both sides.
For Kraken CEO Jesse Powell said “I’m thrilled to welcome the Crypto Facilities team into the Kraken family,” “We are excited to introduce eligible clients to these industry leading futures and index products.  Over the coming months, our teams will continue to enhance and expand these offerings. We’ve got great stuff in store for traders and institutional clients in 2019.”
He also twitted regarding the same using his Twitter account

Awesome team, awesome product. Super stoked to have @CryptoFLtd join the @krakenfx family. https://t.co/sfG4zSemC9
— Jesse Powell (@jespow) February 4, 2019

For Crypto Facilities, CEO and Founder, Timo Schlaefer said, “It has been our mission to build the most sophisticated, powerful and user-friendly cryptocurrency trading platform.  Teaming up with Kraken allows us to innovate the next generation of products and tremendously boosts the value we are able to provide to our clients.”
For Kraken acquisition has been a great way of moving forward as it has successfully acquired and integrated major exchanges like  Coinsetter, Cavirtex, and CleverCoin; the award-winning wallet funding service Glidera; and the popular multi-exchange charting, trading and portfolio tracking platform Cryptowatch. And now with this nine-figure deal, which is Kraken’s largest acquisition to date and one of the largest the industry has seen, Kraken has just gone stronger.
Will Kraken acquire more exchanges to make its way to the top? Do let us know your views on the same.
The post Kraken Acquires Derivatives Trading Platform Crypto Facilities in A Record Nine Figure Deal appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Bitcoin ETF Serves Essential Benefits for the Crypto Market, says VanECK’s Gabor Gurbacs

After having played a masterstroke of resubmitting the Bitcoin ETF application and extending its deadline for approval from SEC, VanEck’s Director of digital asset strategy, Gabor Gurbacs, took onto his Twitter account to spell out reasons why Bitcoin ETF made sense and was a move that could serve the public interest.
A Bitcoin ETF could open a new avenue to crypto investing
According to the recent tweet put forward by Gabor Gurbacs, who has been one of the key persons in drafting the ETF document for VanEck, Bitcoin ETF will change the way crypto investing takes place across the globe. According to him, a Bitcoin comes with a variety of advantages which would serve in the public interest. He feels a Bitcoin ETF would

Increase the liquidity in crypto markets using the ETF ecosystem
The counterparty risk in Bitcoin/ Crypto investing will be reduced to a great extent
The price determination of bitcoin will be more peculiar and better valuation & execution practices could be expected to follow.
The Bitcoin ETF will get in the separation of duties amongst industry players in terms of some managing trading, custody or valuation based on their capabilities and expertise.
The fees that are being charged to investors and traders will be more transparent and may even lower out in some cases
The compliance framework around the whole cryptoshpere will significantly improve thus bringing down the wrong activities and chance of fraud which is currently rampant in the industry

I believe, a #Bitcoin #ETF serves the public interest via: + Increased liquidity using the ETF ecosystem+ Lower counter-party risk+ Better valuation & execution practices + Separation of duties: trading, custody, valuation+ Transparent fees+ Established compliance framework pic.twitter.com/OB0XUZeJ1O
— Gabor Gurbacs (@gaborgurbacs) February 3, 2019

While Gabor has nicely put forward the advantages of having a Bitcoin ETF, a lot of people do feel it’s a little too early for a Bitcoin ETF to give out benefits.

ETFs can lead to systemic risk via immense accumulation of liquidity.
Most ETFs benefit market makers, or authorized participants, rebalancing the NAV against ETF share price.
In a non-liquid $65B market such as Bitcoin, an ETF is too early to benefit investors.
Thoughts?
— Thib⚡ (@thibm_) February 4, 2019

Big believer of ETFs as vehicles to easily enter a market for institutional investors and fiduciaries.
Proper custody, insurance, valuation, governance, rebalancing, etc. are necessary.
Timing is critical as liquidity concentration in an ETF related to broader market is risky.
— Thib⚡ (@thibm_) February 4, 2019

While timing could be critical for a Bitcoin ETF, the advantages listed down by Gurbacks is definitely worth making note of. As ETF has been able to change the way, people invest in other commodities and securities, a lot of people including Gurbacs believe the same could happen with cryptocurrencies.
Successful or not will be secondary, but Bitcoin ETF can definitely bringing the maturity to the crypto ecosystem which in itself will be a big achievement
Will Bitcoin ETF help the crypto ecosystem to mature or will it just remain a trading tool? DO let us know your views on the same.
The post Bitcoin ETF Serves Essential Benefits for the Crypto Market, says VanECK’s Gabor Gurbacs appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape