Week in Review: Cryptocurrency Price Analysis For the week April 29 to May 5

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)
After a minor halt at around USD 5200, the BTC has started its upward journey and now sits pretty around USD 5700. The prices hit the high point for Bitcoin were at USD 5,886.89 and the lowest point of USD 5,216.49 during the week. The exchanges that were more active, in volumes, with BTC across various pairs this week were,  BitMex (14.37%), Negocie Coins (6.68%) and Tidebit (2.19%)
Source: 360.io
Among prominent news around Bitcoin, anonymous Bitcoin whale, known only by his crypto addresses, has accumulated a fortune of more than 7,000 BTC. The crypto holdings are worth $35 million USD at the time of writing, and they’re mostly held in this wallet.
Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum on the top, this week were at USD 170.65  and were at lows of USD 153.19. The markets that were more active, in volumes, with ETH across various pairs this week were LATOKEN (3.39%), ZBG (3.26%), DOBI Exchange (2.90%)
Among news surrounding Ethereum this week, The bi-weekly meeting between Ethereum’s Core developers was held recently and during that conference call, one of the Ethereum Foundation researchers, Justin Drake, stated that Ethereum’s journey towards proof-of-stake consensus is on track and that the new code will be ready by June 30th, 2019.
Ripple (XRP)
XRP continues its struggle as the coin has been slow and steady on either side. On the top, this week the prices of XRP were at USD 0.315657 and towards the bottom, it quoted USD 0.291652. The exchanges that were more active, in volumes, with XRP across various pairs this week were, ZBG (10.33%) ZB.COM (5.12%) and BW.com (4.72%)
For XRP this week, Ripple Partners Ria Money Transfer, a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide
The Other Movers and Shakers
The Other coins that made to the top and bottom this week according to Coin Market Cap (accessed on May 5 at 3:30 pm IST) were
Movers

SpectrumNetwork [SPEC] – Showing a rise of 6379.78%
ICOBay [IBT] – Showing a rise of 187.72%
Diruna [DRA] – Showing a rise of 170.15%

Shakers

Kambria [KAT] – Showing a drop of 55.35%
INMAX [INX]- Showing a drop of 46.25%
Bitcoinus [BITS] – Showing a drop of 45.56%

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 Week in Review: Cryptocurrency Price Analysis For the week April 29 to May 5 appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

This Week in Cryptos: Bitfinex IEO, Bakkt, Square BTC and Nasdaq Among Major Newsmaker

Key highlights

US taxpayers get refunds in BTC
Square BTC revenue $65M in Q1
AWS launches blockchain service
Bitfinex launching $1B token sale
Bakkt acquires custody company
Nasdaq data adding XRP index

US taxpayers get refunds in BTC
Surprise Surprise, If you are a US taxpayer here is a crypto surprise for you. It looks like the tax regulators are embracing the future as they have announced US Tax refunds in BTC. What looks like a joint endeavor between BitPay and Refundo taxpayers can now earn their BTC through Payouts from BitPay, the world’s largest crypto payment provider. Refundo is a market leader in tax-based financial products and has put measures in place that enable taxpayers on its platform to receive in full or part of their refunds in Bitcoin through its CoinRT tool.
Square BTC revenue $65M in Q1
The effect of stable to positive Bitcoin in the first 3 months 2019 is now showing fruits for companies which have been associated with cryptos. And the leader of the pack is Jack Dorsey’s flamboyant Startup Square. According to the result reported, Square Q1 bitcoin sales topped a record $65 million, almost double Q1 volumes from 2018.  When analyzed this translates to over 17,000 in underlying bitcoin volume, up more than 70% since Q4 and 5x volumes from a year ago.
AWS launches blockchain service
Amazon has now officially released its blockchain service. According to the announcement this week, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing platform subsidiary of retail giant Amazon, has made it’s Amazon Managed Blockchain (AMB) generally available. The product will purportedly allow customers to set up blockchain networks within their organizations and uses the Ethereum and Hyperledger open source frameworks. Notably, Amazon states that AMB can scale to support thousands to millions of transactions.
Bitfinex launching $1B token sale
Well, according to the messages released by Zhao Dong of D Group, Crypto exchange Bitfinex will conduct an initial exchange offering (IEO), aiming to raise $1 billion. Bitfinex’s exchange tokens, dubbed LEO, would first be offered to private investors, then subsequently opened to the public after May 10 if there is any allocation left, according to the white paper posted by shareholder Zhao Dong. According to Zhao Dong, Bitfinex has already raised $600 million in private, verbal commitments. Since last week, it has been rumored that Bitfinex would raise money via an IEO, a red-hot fundraising mechanism that allows crypto firms to sell tokens on an exchange to raise cash.
Bakkt acquires custody company
Well, there is some further development from Bakkt and this time the yet to release bitcoin futures exchange Bakkt has acquired the Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC), secured insurance for assets it will hold in cold storage and revealed a partnership with BNY Mellon. Adam White, the former Coinbase executive turned Bakkt COO, wrote in a blog post-Monday that it acquired DACC to continue developing a secure digital asset storage solution. DACC’s team “share [Bakkt’s] security-first mindset,” he wrote, while also bringing experience in building its own secure and scalable custody solutions.
Nasdaq data adding XRP index
This week, XRP had its share of gains as Nasdaq, an American stock exchange announced that it is adding XRP index developed by Brave New Coin (BNC) to its Global Index Data Service (GID) on May 01, 2019. With successful addition of BLX (bitcoin liquidity Index), ELX (Ethereum Liquidity Index), BNC has finally made its XRP Liquidity index or XRPLX on Nasdaq’s Global Index Data services.
The post This Week in Cryptos: Bitfinex IEO, Bakkt, Square BTC and Nasdaq Among Major Newsmaker appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Bitfinex IEO Details Go Public as The Exchange Plans to Issue New 1 Billion “LEO” tokens

Well if the last week of April was all about the Tether and Bitfinex controversies, the start of May has begun with another news coming from Bitfinex. It appears that that the exchange may be heading to and IEO at least as per the document shared by Zhao Dong, the founder of DGroup, on his Weibo account.
LEO tokens to be regularly destroyed in a monthly repurchase manner
Well, Zhao Dong, the man-in-charge of DGroup and a prominent shareholder in Bitfinex, is slowly becoming a messenger of critical news coming from the exchange’s corridor. Recently using his Weibo account, shared a document which perhaps is the IEO white paper of Bitfinex.
Source: Weibo
The whitepaper is quite insightful and states that Bitfinex will be launching its own exchange tokens, named LEO. Bitfinex’s participation in this IEO is divided into private placement (as of May 10, 2019) and public offering (after May 10, 2019). Private placements are only for those who receive the IEO white paper, and public offerings will only take place when private placements are insufficient and there is still a share of tokens remaining. According to certain media houses Zhao Dong has put forward that Bitfinex already raised $600 million in private but only verbal commitments.
Also Read: Bitfinex Vs. New York AG Case: $850 Million Lost? Here are the Facts and Updates
The white paper gets a little more interesting as it mentions that one of the major reasons for issuing the exchange tokens at this particular time is because the company’s $850 million funds are currently frozen in several accounts controlled by the payment processing company Crypto Capital. This could be linked to the April end controversy where the New York Attorney General (NYAG) sued Bitfinex and Tether for commingling funds to cover a loss of $850 million.
However, Bitfinex states in the white paper that it is “actively collaborating with the legal investigation and applying to unfreeze these funds through legal procedures.” And the company is “confident that it will retrieve these funds,” according to the white paper.
Based on this document, we can summarize the following main points (loosely translated from Mandarin):

IEO Release Background: At the end of 2018, iFinex & Bitfinex’s $850 million assets deposited with payment partner Global Trading Solution were frozen, and Bitfinex’s loan from Tether solved the problem of capital flow.
LEO token parameters: a total of 1 billion LEO tokens, with a token code of LEO, will be offered for global distribution
LEO economic model: LEO will regularly be destroyed in a monthly repurchase manner. Source of funds for repurchasing and destroying LEOs would be as quoted in the white paper that stated

“The frozen ($ at least) 95% of the frozen $850 million will be used to repurchase and destroy LEO. ·

LEO token usage scenarios: The paper states that LEO could have following use cases which include 1. Bitfinex transaction fee 2. Bitfinex lending fee 3. Bitfinex withdrawal and recharge fees, etc.

With Bitfinex own proprietary token, which could be on lines of BNB, will make this space more competitive. All eyes are now on May 10 when it would be clear of what actually is IEO once it is opened to the public.
Will Bitfinex succeed in its IEO and launching LEO tokens or are we heading to another Tether like a problem? Do let us know your views on the same.
The post Bitfinex IEO Details Go Public as The Exchange Plans to Issue New 1 Billion “LEO” tokens appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

27% of Germans Foresee Bitcoin’s Value Doubling by 2021: Survey

The fall of 2018 bought Bitcoins to a level of USD 4000 which was way off its all-time high. But even with significant devaluation, the confidence that people have in Bitcoin fails to fade away. The same confidence was seen in 27% of Germans who were part of a recent survey where they mentioned that Bitcoin had a potential of doubling in value in the next 2 years.
3% believe it will be worth more than EUR 20,000
Germany has been the flag bearer for cryptocurrencies in the European Continent and its citizens have high faith in the newest form of money. And if anyone has any doubts regarding it, a recent survey conducted by German crypto information website Coincierge.de clears it.
A survey of 2,000 Germans which was recently conducted revealed that 27% of young adults believe that Bitcoin will more than double in value in 2 years.  The firm surveyed 2,054 German adults to gauge their attitudes towards Bitcoin.
The result of the survey also listed out some interesting insights on other facts as well as to how Germans perceive Bitcoin’s value to be. The survey included a question about the future price of Bitcoin. The respondents were asked about their views on the Bitcoin price after two years. The price scale was set in the range of EUR 0-50000, and respondents were expected to predict the succeeding value. Most of the respondents predict that the price of Bitcoin will remain stable over the next two years.
The results reveal that:

15% of Germans believe Bitcoin will more than double in value to EUR 10,000+
25% believe it will at least halve in value,
26% believe it will halve or be worth nothing;
15% believe it will double or more in value;
3% believe it will be worth more than EUR 20,000.

The analysis of the Bitcoin survey also highlights that most investors would prefer investments such as stocks or exchange-traded funds. People in the age group of 18-24 showed interest in selecting cryptocurrencies as their preferred investment type.
The research also reveals that although many Germans consider Bitcoin as a potential and profitable currency, they still tend to hold back on their predictions and are always on the lookout for alternate markets.
Recently Germany was also named as the fast-growing as a hub for bitcoin nodes, as it is now responsible for 20% of all public nodes, inching closer to the United States, which accounts for 25% of bitcoin nodes.
The way Germany is growing as a crypto nation on all fronts, it won’t be suppressing to see a lot of crypto companies shifting their bases there. Germany’s increasing contribution towards cryptos may intensify the race of grabbing top sports in the World order of the future.
Will Germany emerge the leading crypto country and challenge US, Korea, and Japan in the race of supremacy? Do let us know your views on the same.
The post 27% of Germans Foresee Bitcoin’s Value Doubling by 2021: Survey appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Grayscale Launches #DropGold Campaign to Place Bitcoin As an Alternative to Gold

Its been a decade since Bitcoin came into existence and it’s almost the same time frame that crypto enthusiasts have been claiming Bitcoin to be “digital gold”. Considering how investment dynamics in Gold works, Grayscale Investment has launched a campaign to promote Bitcoin as an alternative to investing in gold calling it #DropGold.
Investments in Gold will be reallocated to Bitcoin by millennials says, Barry Silbert
Gold is currently the asset that is often found safe and is used widely as a hedge against market dislocations. But as the world is slowly progressing to the digital age, a lot of people, especially the millennials, have already started questioning Gold’s status as the best store of value.   
Understanding this changing time and preferences, Grayscale Investments, a global leader in digital currency asset management, has launched a campaign which focuses on the emergence of Bitcoin as an alternative to investing in gold. This came is branded as #DropGold. The whole purpose of this campaign is to shift the mindset around modern investment opportunities and portfolio allocations. Although the campaign’s initial positioning is about promoting the emergence of Bitcoin as a viable digital asset, it is also expected to build  awareness around Grayscale’s flagship Grayscale Bitcoin Trust ( OTCQX: GBTC )
Barry Silbert, Founder, and CEO of Digital Currency Group and its subsidiary Grayscale Investments candidly put forward the whole thought process behind this campaign. He was quoted by Associated Press saying
“There is a generational shift in how individuals are approaching investing. We strongly believe that investments in gold will be reallocated to Bitcoin as Baby Boomers begin transferring their wealth to a younger generation of investors, one that wasn’t raised on the gold standard,” “The gold industry has done a fantastic job of marketing an overpriced metal, but Bitcoin has superior physical properties and market utility. I believe that Bitcoin will become the store-of-value for our digital age.”
The webpage of the campaign has a commercial that put forward the question: Why is gold still in your portfolio? The commercial follows two heroes who escape an apocalyptic, gold-obsessed setting by embracing a digital future.
Also Read: 1 Billion XRP Moved From Ripple’s Escrow; Missing Link to Decentralization Explained?
Speaking on this campaign idea Michael Sonnenshein, Managing Director at Grayscale Investments said
“We wanted to create a compelling, provocative, and illustrative story to showcase the absurdity of gold in our modern world. #DropGold is a call to action – investors should reassess and reallocate the gold in their portfolios, invest in Bitcoin, and reap the benefits of a diversified investment strategy,”
Grayscale has played really smart to attract the millennial investors to look beyond Gold and chose Bitcoin as an investment option. With this campaign, Grayscale believes that shifting a portion of a portfolio’s gold investment into Bitcoin could improve performance and enhance diversification.
Do you think this campaign will be successful in attracting more investment to Bitcoin? Do let us know your view on the same.
The post Grayscale Launches #DropGold Campaign to Place Bitcoin As an Alternative to Gold appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Tether only 74% Backed By Cash And Equivalents: Tether Lawyers

Tether has been the largest stablecoin in the crypto ecosystem. But its large stature is plagued by even larger controversy- the stablecoin is not backed by real dollars. While Tether has tried to clear the air around this controversy several times, the truth is finally out that the stablecoin is only 74% backed by Cash and Equivalents.
Tether Holds about USD 2.1 billion in Cash and Securities
Well, it seems the controversy around Tether is about to end and it’s going to have an ugly ending for Bitfinex and Tether. The company behind USDT, Tether seems to be holding only about $2.1 billion in cash and short-term securities which accounts to only 74% of the total Tether in supply. This fact was put forward  by Tether’s general counsel Stuart Hoegner in an affidavit which was presented in response on Tuesday with the Supreme Court of State of New York which was seeking to vacate or modify an injunction filed against them by the New York Attorney General last week in an effort to prevent disruptions to its business.
“The order effectively freezes a line-of-credit transaction among the respondents indefinitely and orders them to produce huge volumes of documents by this Friday,” according to the filing, made on behalf of Hong Kong-based IFinex Inc. and other affiliated companies.
This affidavit filing comes after the April 25 statement given New York Attorney General Letitia James who was quoted saying that the companies behind Tether and Bitfinex engaged in a cover-up to hide the “apparent loss” of $850 million of the co-mingled client and corporate funds.
The same report stated that it seemed that executives allegedly cooked up a series of “conflicted corporate transactions” in which Bitfinex gave itself access to up to $900 million of Tether’s cash reserves, which Tether repeatedly told investors fully backed its coin one-to-one, the attorney general said.
Also Read: Bitfinex Vs. New York AG Case: $850 Million Lost? Here are the Facts and Updates
While the official confirmation from Bitfinex or Tether is yet to arrive, the news has jolted the crypto community. Many believe a loss of faith in the stablecoin would be a major blow to traders who rely on it for liquidity on many of the world’s lightly regulated crypto exchanges. This would also impact the investor sentiment in cryptos and drive away investment from crypto markets.
Although this news was significant, the markets dint show much to it and continued its green. The same was quoted by Ran Neuner in his tweet

This morning news broke that Tether is 74% backed by Fiat & market cap increased by $4bn.This is not good news!
Was this pump people trading out of Tether to tokens or acceptance that 74% is a sufficient reserve?
Why is the market so accepting of the Bitfinex/Tether situation?
— Ran NeuNer (@cryptomanran) April 30, 2019

While news like this can erode overall market sentiments, it is surely not great news for Tether. If Tether doesn’t give a reasonable reply to this it could be the endgame for the largest stablecoin.
Is the end for Tether approaching? Do let us know your views on the same.
The post Tether only 74% Backed By Cash And Equivalents: Tether Lawyers appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

UAE Takes Over USA To Become Global Crypto Capital: Report

The race for the next world order already begins with blockchain and crypto acceptance and as more and more countries line up it has definitely intensified. While most of the focused activity is still concentrated in Japan, Korea, and the USA, the United Arab Emirates has emerged as the world’s capital for sales of digital tokens.
UAE accounts for more than a quarter of funds raised in 2019
According to the data posted by CoinSchedule, it looks like the United Arab Emirates has just emerged as the world’s capital for sales of digital tokens, accounting for more than a fourth of all funds raised in offerings this year through early April.
Sale of Token in UAE accounted to more than $210 million defeating the United States which has been the leader for quite some time. For UAE the rise has been amazing as the country, till last, did not even feature in the top 10 by funds raised in token sales. For the United States, the story has been pretty opposite and the slide has been pretty steep as the western nation has slipped from first place for 2018 to seventh in recent months.
Source: CoinSchedul   Covers period from Jan. 1 to April
Alex Buelau, chief executive officer of CoinSchedule, was quoted saying by certain media where I mentioned
“We are seeing the continuation of the move away from the USA due to regulatory concerns,”
For UAE, the spike in volume is tied to two big sales. GCBIB, which is developing banking and insurance products for cryptocurrency holders, raised $142 million, and Bolton Coin, offering a way to invest crypto mining and real estate, raised $67 million.
In terms of countries leading the number of token sales this year, Singapore leads the way followed by the U.K. and the Cayman Islands
UAE, since last year, has been striving to become a  leading destination for blockchain-related businesses. The lawmakers in the desert nation have also been striving to build up promising new crypto legislation. According to the last announcement, UAE was to finalize rules for initial coin offerings by mid-2019 and is expected to bring in friendly law.
“The UAE is perfectly positioned to be a global leader in the ICO space,”
said Hans Fraikin, chief executive of Libra Project in Abu Dhabi, which is issuing equity tokens in green utility infrastructure.
For Tokenised start-ups using encrypted blockchain technology, the UAE is the most progressive and promising jurisdiction in the world to be based out of right now, Mr. Fraikin said.
UAE is definitely changing the game for cryptos in Asia and seems to have found a way to make it economy less dependent on oil. With friendly regulations for cryptos, UAE looks to cement its position back as one of the leading financial centers of the world
Will UAE become the leading nation for blockchain and crypto going forward? Do let us know your views on the same.
The post UAE Takes Over USA To Become Global Crypto Capital: Report appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Will The Raising Institutional Investment Bring Back Glory Days For Cryptos?

Everyone that has ever traded cryptos knows for sure that it’s the institutional money this is expected to change the game for the industry. There was a long wait for Bitcoin ETF but there is no result yet. Finally, the patience seems to be running off as the leading institutions including hedge funds have suddenly raked by their exposure to cryptos nearly doubling it over past months.
Crypto Asset Under Management has gone up from USD 5 bn to USD 14 billion over a year
Institutions are coming to cryptos. This is a statement which most crypto investors were waiting to hear all this while and it looks like this is coming through at least according to a new report by Crypto Fund Research. According to the report, there are currently more than 700 cryptocurrency/blockchain investment funds. The majority are set up as hedge venture capital funds, while a large numbers are hedge funds or hybrid funds.
The statistics presented in the report shows that 2017 was a record year for the launch of new cryptocurrency funds with over 200 new funds including hedge funds and venture capital. This was more than triple the number of funds launched in 2016. However, 2018 has now surpassed 2017 in terms of crypto fund launches with more than 230. However, the new launches may see a slow down in 2019
Source: Crypto Fund Research
While the number of funds looks great, The vast majority of crypto investment funds are small. Half have less than $10 million in assets under management (AUM). However, there are a number of crypto funds with over $100 million in assets including Pantera Capital, Galaxy Digital Assets, Alhpabit Fund, and Polychain Capital, among others. Despite lower cryptocurrency prices in 2018, assets under management for crypto funds actually increased. Current crypto fund assets are still quite small. All crypto funds combined make up less than 1% of total hedge fund assets.
Source: Crypto Fund Research
 
Source: Crypto Fund Research
On the private investment fund, venture funds have now surpassed hedge funds as the most common type of crypto investment funds. Existing tech/FinTech VC firms are expanding investments into blockchain startups and launching their own blockchain funds. As some blockchain companies mature, private equity funds are beginning to get involved. Hybrid funds – those funds investing in cryptocurrencies as well as initial coin offerings are listed above as hedge funds although they take on some characteristics of venture funds.
It looks like the institutional money is flowing into cryptos not just for trading and investing in coins but also in real business by way of the venture and private equity investment. This will definitely help in the creation of the ecosystem and one may soon see the prices of coins and tokens also rising.
What are your target for Bitcoin in 2019 with this institutional money coming in? Do let us know your views on the same
The post Will The Raising Institutional Investment Bring Back Glory Days For Cryptos? appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Crypto Investment Rises in South Korea as the Middle Age Population Doubles its Exposure Taking It to USD 6100

Korea has been at the forefront of the crypto and blockchain revolution as it has been a leader in regulations, innovation, support and investments in this nascent technology. While 2018 saw a drop in global investment in crypto, Korea still was an outlier at its population above the age of 40 have doubled their exposure in crypto since 2018.
Average amount invested by individuals surged by 64.2%
According to the Korea Financial Investors Protections Foundation, the average amount invested in crypto by retail investors in South Korea hovers at around $6,100 and is up nearly two-fold since 2018 amongst investors in their 40s and 50s.
In a survey conducted across South Korea‘s six largest cities targeting investors aged 25 to 64 years old, the Korea Financial Investors Foundation found that the number of investors who are now committed in the crypto market has increased from 6.4 percent to 7.4 percent and the average amount invested in crypto by individual investors surged by 64.2 percent in the past 12 months.
Joseph Young too mentioned the same in his tweet
Source: Twitter
It’s the second such survey that the non-profit organization has carried out. For 2017, the KFIPF found that cryptocurrency investors on the Korean Peninsula spent an average of approximately $3,660 on digital assets.
Distinctively, the report claims that South Koreans in their 50s were most likely to buy cryptocurrency assets in 2018. That was followed by people in their 30s and 40s. This is a really startling figure as cryptocurrency investment is usually considered an investment tool used by the millennials and younger people.
South Korea is the only nation were investing in cryptocurrencies is truly mass market. Housewives, grandparents, millennials, boomers — people from every age group — have invested in a cryptocurrency. While people in other countries may be hesitant to take the leap on something so new and unproven, South Korea has a track record for quick adoption of new tech offerings — even ones that are truly culture-changing.
Last year, South Korea was the third largest market for Bitcoin trading and the largest market for Ether trading in the world (it accounted for at least 35 percent of Ether’s global trading volume). The country has also been quick to adopt the tech powering such currencies.
With the kind of revolution, South Korea is witnessing it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the country is definitely paving a roadmap for the world to follow. It would be great to see which other countries follow the footstep of South Korea
Will other countries too will show the same rise in investment in cryptos as South Korea? Do let us know your views on the same.
The post Crypto Investment Rises in South Korea as the Middle Age Population Doubles its Exposure Taking It to USD 6100 appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Bittrex Clarifies its Stance on North Korean Account Flagged by New York Regulators

Its been a couple of weeks since Bittrex was denied license by the NY Regulators for a variety of reasons. One of the grave claims that came against the exchange was that Customer due diligence and the regulators flagged two accounts that it identified as users from North Korea. But after studying and researching the origins of these accounts, Bittrex has released an official statement stating that he mentioned accounts were actually from South Korea and NYDFS had mistakenly flagged their origins to North Korea.
Were these two accounts the only reason for denial of Bitlicense to Bittrex?
It was the second week of April 2019, while everything was going smooth for cryptos after a long time, Seattle-based crypto exchange Bittrex hit a roadblock. The New York Department of Financial Services, the regulator that is in charge of providing Bitlicense, rejected Bittrex application, an action that it had not taken in over two years.
While there were a variety of reasons put forward by the regulator issued to Bittrex on the grave claim that came forwards was Bittrex had poor customer due-diligence practices and also had incomplete or missing customer identity data.
Although Bittrex did claim to media outlets that “the fake accounts cited by the regulator were not active ones.” It came out to be that, more than 70 percent of the “fake name” accounts sampled by DFS had been active accounts at some point, and some still contained funds at the time of DFS’s on-site review in 2019 of Bittrex’s operations.
Over and above this, when DFS examiners sampled accounts in 2019, their small sample identified two North Korean accounts. More may exist. At least one North Korean account was active into 2017. At least two Iranian accounts were still active in the Bittrex system when DFS examiners visited Bittrex in 2019, and potentially usable. Both Iran and North Korea have not been great friends of the United States and for an American exchange to hold accounts from these countries was not appreciated.
After studying these claims for nearly a fortnight, Bittrex has begun replying to the questions that were raised by the NY regulator. Its first answer it is with respect to the two flagged North Korean accounts. According to the exchange, the flagged accounts were actually from South Korea and not North Korea.

Statement of allegations of North Korean accounts on @BittrexExchange. pic.twitter.com/Ttdb1NpoxM
— Bittrex (@BittrexExchange) April 22, 2019

Bittrex also objected to DFS’s standard supervisory agreement, which contained provisions that have been applied to all prior applicants, and which are either required by the Virtual Currency Regulation or are an implementation of its provisions. These supervisory agreement provisions require pre-approval of new products, pre-approval of mergers and acquisition transactions, and set forth a capitalization formula that implements the regulation’s capitalization requirement.
As Bittrex has started answering back to NYDFS, one can expect more replies in days to come. Every reply is bringing Bittrex closer to the Bitlicense
Will Bittrex be able to get its hand on the NY Bitlicense in 2019? Do let us know your views on the same.
The post Bittrex Clarifies its Stance on North Korean Account Flagged by New York Regulators appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

43% Rise in Bitcoin to USDT Volumes Signal That Investors Are Coming Back: CryptoCompare report

Like every month, CryptoCompare released its Exchange Review report which aims to capture the key developments within the cryptocurrency exchange market. But this time the report was much awaited as the report captured the month of March 2019 which was a stepping month. And like always the report handsome startling revelations.
Total Spot Volumes increased by 47.5% as the majority of the volumes came from Malta
Exchanges are a critical part of the crypto ecosystem as they drive the trades and determine the prices of any coin. Hence any analysis around them gives out a somewhat accurate picture as to how the crypto industry is shaping up. This is where the CryptoCompare report on exchanges becomes really important as it provides a perspective into various aspects of trading and investing.
The recent report, that covered the month of March 2019, gives a great insight into the built up that led to the rise of crypto markets in the first week of April 2019. One standout point was that “BTC trading into USDT totaled 8.9 million BTC in March, an increase of 43% since the previous month. In March, it represented 81.7% of total BTC volume (traded into fiat or stablecoin), while last month the pair represented 70%. “ which signified that USDT still dominated the most popular stablecoin and a lot of investors managed volatility using USDT. This rise here also meant that a lot of investors were switching their holdings between stablecoin and BTC and would inch towards Bitcoin as they found opportunities.
The report also covered some other points which gave a glimpse of how things were shaping up. These included

Malta-registered exchanges represented the majority (56%) of trading volume, followed by those legally registered in Hong Kong and South Korea which were at 54% and 21 %
Exchanges that charge taker fees represented 84% of total exchange volume in March, while those that implement trans-fee mining (TFM) represented 14%.
OKEx traded the highest average daily derivatives volume in March at a figure of USD 1.5 billion which included both futures and swaps. This was followed by Bitflyer Lighting at 1.14 billion USD and BitMEX at 645 million
Regulated bitcoin derivatives product volumes are still dominated by CME. This was followed by Grayscale’s GBTC product traded on the OTC (over the counter) markets, and CBOE’s bitcoin futures.
March also saw a sharp increase in volume from crypto to crypto exchanges. Crypto to crypto exchanges saw a rise 70% in trading volumes while those offered fiat pairs decreased 8%

One other point that clearly showed investors were returning to cryptos was that s, total exchange web traffic increased 32% in March, in conjunction with a total spot volume increase of 47.5%.
These figures give a fair bit of indication that why the prices of cryptocurrencies shot up in early April. If these trends continue on can expect the prices of most coin go further up.
Will we see a further rise in crypto prices based on the exchange activity that was put forward by crypto compare? Do let us know your views on the same.
The post 43% Rise in Bitcoin to USDT Volumes Signal That Investors Are Coming Back: CryptoCompare report appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Coinbase Expands Crypto-To-Crypto Conversions To 11 new countries including India, Argentina and South Korea

Coinbase has been one of the flagship crypto exchanges in the world and has been growing its presence across the world. The exchange has taken another progressive step and according to the recent announcement the exchange is now introducing  crypto-to-crypto conversions and trading to 11 more  countries across Latin America and Southeast Asia countries through Coinbase and Coinbase Pro
Direct trading between cryptos is increasingly the new norm: Coinbase
Coinbase has been the flagship crypto exchange and every project and every trader or investors wants to be on it. But the exchange has taken a cautious approach and has rolled out to various geographies in a phased manner. For over a year the exchange has been serving customers in various countries across two continents and its priorities has been to bring Coinbase services to people in all corners of the globe.
Now after stabilizing its feet in these region the exchange has decided to take a new leap and has decided to expand to 11 more countries across Latin America and Southeast Asia to the cryptoeconomy by allowing customers to store, trade, send, and receive cryptocurrencies on Coinbase Pro and Coinbase.com — increasing the reach to 53 countries, spread across four continents.
The countries which can now avail Coinbase services include major markets like South Korea, India and Argentina along with Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Chile, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines and New Zealand.
While making this announcement, Coinbase also recognised that Direct trading between cryptos is increasingly the new norm and in the last year has overtaken traditional fiat to crypto trading across the globe. The exchange quoted
“As crypto moves from the current “investment phase” into what we call the “utility phase,” a host of new use cases will present themselves. This could take the form of decentralized versions of traditional financial services like lending or micropayments or truly novel crypto applications that no one has even thought of yet. The ability to convert from one crypto to another will form the backbone of this new decentralized economy.
Coinbase’s roll out to these new countries will definitely be received well as everyone looks forward to be on the best exchange. Like the previous markets, one can expect Coinbase to be a leader in these new countries as well
Will you be opening your account with Coinbase if you reside in these 11 countries ? Do let us know your views on the same
 
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Source: CoinGape

Stealth [XST] Rises 3750% – Is it Fundamental, Technical or Just A Freak Trade?

Cryptocurrency markets are known for their volatility and seeing huge spurts in coin prices Just couple of 100% is not really a big deal, but coins that rise over 1000% in a fraction of time is something that can be ignored. Today happened to be one such day when Stealth Coin (XST) rose over 3600%.
Was this Stealth (XST) rise Fundamental, Technical or just one freak trade?
Its been well noticed that crypto markets are pretty nascent and have been often caught not following any technical or fundamentals. Hence it sometimes becomes difficult to understand what actually caused the price rise in one particular coin. Same seems to be the case with Stealth (XST).
Source: Coinmarketcap
Fundamentally, the coin released a development blog on 12 April, which spoke about distributed clock used by Stealth coin’s qPoS. While this updated block was a basic roadmap update there was no such evidence as to why this coin saw a spurt.
This update although gave an insight on Stealth qPoS block production which is “scheduled” rather than being “competitive”. According to the blog
“Scheduling allows qPoS to have five second blocks with highly regular spacings, with any deviation typically in the milliseconds. This combination of fast, regular blocks gives a much better user experience. Users can send coins and expect them to be confirmed and spendable within a few seconds, quicker than most credit card transactions.”

Technically too there was no much reason as the coin has very low volumes and doesn’t see much movement. The price of the coin saw the rise of over 3600 %, which basically looks to have come from the Bitinka Exchange where the price is currently quoting at USD 4.50 compared to USD 0.1261 on Bittrex, the only other exchange where Stealth is listed.

Source Coinmarketcap.com
What is Stealth (XST)
Stealth is a cryptocurrency project (by a developer named James) that aims to provide a completely secure blockchain with untraceable transactions, thanks to the integration of the TOR network. It plans to be the primary privacy coin, protecting user’s assets from snooping and maintaining their privacy. Stealth eventually plans to introduce an innovative new consensus mechanism called the quantum Proof-of-Stake (qPOS). Here, the node signing the block will be decided by a round-robin certification system, and block rewards would be dynamically adjusted and results-driven.
Stealth is a really interesting coin and its qPOS is really unique and could solve a lot of problems such as congestion. One will have to see whether the coin stays at this level or will it move back to its prices which were below USD 1.
Will Stealth (XST) continue to be in Top 50 coins? Do let us know your views on the same.
Disclaimer: this article is not financial advice and should not be used as one. It is only written for informational purpose. Do personal research, by contacting financial experts, before investing in any crypto.
The post Stealth [XST] Rises 3750% – Is it Fundamental, Technical or Just A Freak Trade? appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

What Happens When Litecoin Mining Block Rewards Halves in August 2019?

Litecoin was one of the earliest spinoffs of Bitcoin which came into existence in October 2011 and since then the coin has stayed pretty identical to Bitcoin. Just like the Bitcoin, Litecoin too would be undergoing the mining reward halving process in August 2019 and every stakeholder needs to be prepared for the event as to what could be the probable consequences. Binance Research explains
Litecoin’s block profitability will be cut in half in the span of 5 minutes
In crypto world, halving is a fixed event when the block rewards cut into half and the profitability from a block is reduced to 50%. For Litecoin, its chain’s block rewards for mining are perpetually reduced by one half every 840,000 blocks. With the way, the current block generation time is set to ~2.5 minutes this event is occurring is scheduled to happen every four years. Litecoin’s current block reward is set at 25 litecoin per block and will subsequently decrease to 12.5 litecoin per block around August 6th (at exactly block 1,680,000)
Litecoin has had just one block halving in August  2015 when the price of the coin  increased from around 1.5 USD (3 months before halving) to over 3 USD post-halving, with a peak of 7 USD  in mid-July 2015 while the hashrate dropped by roughly 15% around the event, before quickly rebounding in the two weeks following the halving.
While the past is behind us there are four possible “watch outs” for Litecoin block halving this time. These include

Price Rallies Before Stabilizing at a new high: The price of Litecoin has already started rallying since the beginning of the year, exhibiting a 200% year-to-date return, while the broader market is up by 40% YTD
Hashrate Increases Before The Halving: This too has already happened. As the rewards will be halved, more miners may decide to start mining Litecoin (instead of other currencies) as they want to mine as much litecoins as possible short-term in anticipation of the future decrease in mining rewards
Mining Profitability Adjust as Miners Exit the Market: If some miners were to leave the market and/or switch over to mining other, more profitable coins, the hash rate would decrease. As a result, this reduced competition would help compensate for the loss of profitability due to the absolute block reward reduction.
Permanent Drop in Mining Profitability: If Litecoin’s post-90-day price post-halving would be near its historical long-term median, all other things being equal, it would result in lower profitability for all Litecoin miners

While there could be many possibilities depending on how the coin is placed closer to the halving date. However, rational miners would still consider the marginal profitability and opportunity costs of mining each PoW cryptocurrency over the same time periods to decide whether or not it is more profitable to mine Litecoin or other cryptocurrencies. While the event is important for every Litecoin stakeholder, with no much history in place it becomes difficult to predict what would actually happen.
What do you think would be the possible outcome of Litecoin halving? Do let us know your views on the same.
The post What Happens When Litecoin Mining Block Rewards Halves in August 2019? appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Bitcoin Craze Peaks in Brazil As The Country Creates A Latin American Record

A slump in most South American economies and collapsing local fiat currencies is becoming a big reason that citizens of these countries are embracing cryptocurrencies. But the craze for this new form of money is high that Brazil’s recorded trading volume on April 10th surpassed 100 thousand Bitcoins creating a new Latin American record
Brazil seeing a spike in volumes since the start of April
Latin America has been a market that has embraced the crypto revolution really well. There is a general acceptance of cryptocurrencies has been extraordinary in the southern continent and the trading volumes to have been on the rise. And with the recent rise in the price of Bitcoin, the volumes have been skyrocketing.
The impact of this price rise has been so high  the movements of the crypto active market in Brazil and on April 10, the country broke the record in Latin America of BTC trading volume, with more than 100 thousand Bitcoins traded in 24 hours, according to data from the Cointrademonitor tool (which includes the exchanges of the Bitcoin Banco Group).
Source: Cointrademonitor tool
According to the site’s index, while NegocieCoins and TemBTC were the exchanges which contributed most to this record , other exchanges too had their share to it. This includes exchanges like the  Bitcoin Market , Bitcoin Trade , BitBlue , bTCBolsa , 3xBit and BitCambio which all had more than 100 BTCs traded over a 24-hour period.
Since the beginning of April, Brazil has seen and unexpected rise in the price of Bitcoin and the market for cryptocurrencies is exploding with interest. Apart from the exchanges mentioned above, the volume of transactions has increased over 500%, rising from around 200 BTC to over 1700 BTC in the Exchequer Bitcoin Market. In BitcoinTrade, according to founder Daniel Coqueri, the negotiations has gone up from R $ 3 million to R $ 17 million (between 01/04 and 03/04), due to the high price of the crypto.
And its not just Brazil that’s growing, Argentina to is envisioning to be a crypto leader in the region. In a recent announcement, the government of Argentina had said that it wants to become a leader in technological innovation in Latin America, and for that, it is implementing a national plan in which it predicts that the country will be the most technologically advanced continent by 2030.
It’s a welcome sign for crypto believers that big countries like Brazil and Argentina are putting forward examples of how cryptos could change the world. With economies slowing down across the globe, the world could soon witness a lot of countries following the example of Brazil and Argentina.
Can Brazil and Argentina provide a roadmap for other countries on accepting the crypto revolution? Do let us know your views on the same.
The post Bitcoin Craze Peaks in Brazil As The Country Creates A Latin American Record appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape