Indonesia Not Lifting Bitcoin Ban – Ministry Confirms Possible Only On Futures Exchanges

Reported today, on Feb 15, 2019, the Chief Economic Minister for Economic Affairs, Darmin Nasution talks about Bitcoin usage within Indonesia. Mr.Darmin told CNBC Indonesia that Bitcoin and crypto ban imposed during 2017 won’t be lifted.
No Plans To lift Implicit Ban on Crypto – Indonesia
It’s been more than a year, Indonesia announced a ban on bitcoin and other altcoins. Following the ban, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies cannot be considered as a payment instrument in Indonesia. In a recent talk with Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, it has been revealed that the country is not lifting the ban anytime soon. The official announcement states that;
“Bitcoin, as long as it’s not money for payment instruments, let’s just do it. But for payment later. We just make paper money dizzy, you still want to talk about bitcoin?”
He further notes that the Government of Indonesia didn’t legalize Bitcoin, adding that he says, it was ‘only futures exchanges’. Moreover, Mr.Darmin explains that Bank Indonesia isn’t an optimistic player for Bitcoin – thus doesn’t regulate crypto money as a currency. He claimed that;
“Not the government as a whole. Bank Indonesia also does not regulate crypto money as a currency. That is what our futures exchange does is not as a means of payment. As goods are traded, if you want to buy, just buy it. “
It means that Bitcoin is considered as a commodity and can also be traded on Futures exchanges only and not in the country. However, Bitcoin trading on the futures exchange came into the picture when Bappebti (an Indonesian regulatory agency) issued regulation No. 5/2019 on crypto asset provisions on the futures exchanges.
As of now, cryptocurrency payments in Indonesia will remain illegitimate because lifting the implicit ban on Bitcoin is not the country’s priority at the moment.
Note – Information gathered from CNBC Indonesia source 
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Source: CoinGape

Will Bitcoin Block Size Reduction Argument Cause Another Crypto Conflict?

Things have been busy in crypto land this week and the big debate over Bitcoin’s block size has only just been usurped by JP Morgan’s attempt to launch its own completely centralized crypto coin. The block size issue is an important one so we’ll delve a little deeper into that.
Another Crypto Conflict Imminent?
Bitcoin Core, the enigmatic code that runs the world’s largest decentralized currency, has a highly calibrated and specific set of instructions and protocols. Any attempt to deviate from them is usually met with brimstone and fire from the developers and community. When they disagree a hard fork usually occurs and there have been a lot of them over Bitcoin’s short ten year lifespan.
The highly controversial proposal discussed this week came from Core developer Luke Dashj who suggested decreasing the size of the blocks from their current 1Mb to 300Kb. In theory this may increase adoption by reducing costs associated with network participation.

Another example: This patch would enforce a very simple softfork, reducing #Bitcoin block sizes to ~300k between Aug 1 and Dec 31. It demonstrates how one can make a truly TEMPORARY softfork.https://t.co/sukdk2zJpR
(DO NOT RUN THIS IN PRODUCTION EVEN IF YOU SUPPORT A UASF)
— Luke Dashjr (@LukeDashjr) February 7, 2019

Since the Bitcoin network has grown so large now (over 200Gb) running a full node, which stores and updates a copy of the entire blockchain, is extremely resource intensive and costly. The reduction in block size would alleviate these expenditures but would require the majority to move to a soft forked version of the existing BTC chain.
The decentralization case is a strong one; if data centers are required to run full nodes then the network effectively becomes centralized. Blockstream’s strategy chief Samson Mow told Hard Fork;
“This is also why most Bitcoin users do not want huge blocks, because then full nodes could only be run in data centers, which perfectly defeats the purpose of having a decentralized network,”
Some of the community have backed this notion and still advocate for a smaller block size to reduce the potential centralization of running full nodes. The counter argument is that this ‘minor tweak’, as some have described it, will result in a huge disruption to a well-functioning system.  The demise of Bitmain has already reduced centralization concerns and smaller blocks would be of greater benefit to miners who can earn more from transaction fees. The crypto community on twitter has also had their say as the debate rages on;

The crypto community is tired of being tortured by a Bitcoin that refuses to scale and remains in constant limbo. Live or die: scale or go off-chain, huge blocks or teeny ones. This is crypto fatigue. Just get it over with, and deal with what happens. https://t.co/lI8RPPBwJD
— Joel Valenzuela (@TheDesertLynx) February 13, 2019

Bitcoin guru John Carvalho added; “Right now, there isn’t a lot of support for [block size] adjustment ideas because many see it as a controversial and sore topic. We all still feel the bruises from the Segwit2x/No2x/BCash debates,”
There has also been a big push to the Lightning Network which could be affected as proponents of the recently forked Bitcoin SV noted;

I'm shocked the core devs want to reduce the block size from 1MB to only 300KB.
I'm flabbergasted!
Do they not understand along with killing mainnet adoption they're also killing LN adoption???
How the fuck are you going to onboard billions of people if you shrink???#Bitcoin
— Mike Relentless [SV] (@mikerelentless) February 13, 2019

The most pertinent comment though highlights that infighting such as this can only cause longer term damage to Bitcoin and the entire ethos of decentralized currencies;

Stop this madness! Last thing Bitcoin needs is yet more contentious forks in this key year for adoption! A soft fork to "reduce the block size" is a hard fork in all but name. This will split off from the established consensus, cause massive drama, and damage trust in Bitcoin. https://t.co/54tzz4UIli
— Cøbra (@CobraBitcoin) February 11, 2019

Changes to the established code and network are always a hot potato in the crypto world, and block size is top of that tree. Bitcoin has a long way to go before it can truly be considered autonomous and decentralized and these debates are part of that evolution process for the nascent technology. However, with markets battered and bruised, another public crypto conflict between rival factions will cause more damage than good in the short term for Bitcoin and its brethren.
Image from Shutterstock
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Bitcoin Price Watch: BTC Buyers Eye Next Crucial Bullish Break

Bitcoin price dived with bearish moves and retested the key $3,540 support area against the US Dollar.
There is a crucial declining channel in place with resistance at $3,585 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
A break above the channel resistance and $3,600 could spark more upsides in the near term.
On the downside, the main supports for buyers are near $3,540 and $3,500.

Bitcoin price is consolidating above key supports against the US Dollar. BTC buyers are eyeing the next bullish break above the $3,600 resistance area in the near term.
Bitcoin Price Analysis
There were a couple of rejections noted near the $3,600 resistance in bitcoin price against the US Dollar. The BTC/USD pair declined recently and broke the $3,570 and $3,550 support levels. The price even broke the 61.8% Fib retracement level of the upward move from the $3,538 low to $3,635 high. However, the decline was protected by the key $3,540 support area. A low was formed near the $3,534 and later the price bounced back above the $3,550 level.
Buyers pushed the price above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $3,632 high to $3,534 low. However, there is a strong resistance formed near the $3,585 and $3,600 levels. The 100 hourly simple moving average is also near the $3,585 level. More importantly, there is a crucial declining channel in place with resistance at $3,585 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair. Besides, the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $3,632 high to $3,534 low is at $3,583.
Therefore, a break above the $3,585 and $3,600 resistance levels is a must for an upside acceleration. The next key resistance is near the $3,630 level, above which the price could rally towards the $3,700 level. An intermediate resistance is $3,655 and the 1.236 Fib extension level of the recent decline from the $3,632 high to $3,534 low.

Looking at the chart, bitcoin price seems to be facing a strong resistance near $3,600. There are two possible scenarios, first, the price breaks the channel resistance and trades towards the $3,630 and $3,655 levels. Second, it declines once again towards the $3,540 support. If there are more losses below $3,540, the next major support can be seen near the $3,500 level.
Technical indicators
Hourly MACD – The MACD is slightly placed in the bullish zone, with a few positive signs.
Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is placed nicely above the 50 level, with a minor bearish angle.
Major Support Level – $3,540 followed by $3,500.
Major Resistance Level – $3,585 and 3,600.
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Bitcoin is decentralized and the ledger is correct but the structure is inefficient, says Bank of Canada

Bitcoin [BTC] and other cryptocurrencies have been considered revolutionary in the finance and technology industry. Moreover, Bitcoin, currently the largest cryptocurrency in the space and also the very first cryptocurrency, is often hailed as digital gold, and a currency that would give financial freedom to all.
The topic of whether “Cryptocurrencies offer something new” was recently discussed by the Bank of Canada in its report, ‘Crypto money – Perspective of a couple of Canadian central bankers’. Here, the report elucidates on whether Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies offer anything new in terms of economic services. It also talks about whether it should be coined revolutionary, considering that cryptocurrency claims to remove intermediaries and the need for trusted third parties.
On this topic, the report first elucidates on blockchain technology. According to the bank, the distributed ledger service has two main economic services; first is noted to be ‘well-established’ and the other is ‘innovative’. Here, the well-established service is “record keeping in a ledger” and the innovative service is the “distributed consensus mechanism,” wherein the most common consensus mechanism is noted to be Proof-of-Work [PoW].
Furthermore, the report states that the main reasons the Bank of Canada and several other players are looking into the use-case of blockchain technology is its ‘potential efficiencies’ and ‘the need to update legacy systems.’
The report reads,
“That said, these experiments show that efficiency gains are not always realized, especially when the existing system is already very efficient. The initial phases of the Bank of Canada’s project to experiment with a DLT-based interbank large-value payments system is an example of this kind of result, mainly because the existing system is highly centralized and efficient. “
It further states,
“That said, efficiency gains may be more likely in other payment systems that are less efficient, for example, because they involve multiple intermediaries across jurisdictions. This is one reason why the Bank of Canada, Monetary Authority of Singapore and Bank of England have examined cross-boarder payments and uses of DLT in this process.”
Furthermore, the report states that despite the technology being built to be trustless, in reality, it is not completely trustless. It states that even if a person does not have trusted counter-parties, an individual will have to trust the developers, miners and the protocol itself.
“One example of a vulnerability that can arise in the system design is the possibility that the ledger could be distorted by a 51 per cent attack. This is not just a theoretical possibility; several altcoins such as Bitcoin Gold, have had issues due to 51 per cent attacks in which miners have ganged together to manipulate the whole ledger. “
This was followed by the report stating that it is “critical” for users in the space to trust the people developing the code that supports crypto assets. It added that people in the space “have to know” that the code is bug-free and is resilient to tampering. Here, the report quotes the bug found in Bitcoin in September 2018 as an example for its importance.
Furthermore, the report speaks about the ‘blockchain trilemma’, written by Abadi and Brunnermeier. According to this, a general blockchain has to correct, cost-efficient and decentralized. However, the blockchain trilemma suggests that “no ledger can simultaneously meet all three criteria.”
The report reads:
“For instance, Bitcoin is decentralized and the ledger is essentially correct. But structure is very inefficient. The consensus process is onerous to ensure the correctness of the ledger. This is done by imposing a computational burden in the form of a very high energy cost, as well as a slow speed for processing transactions.”
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Source: AMB Crypto

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

Crypto Markets Trade Down as Bitcoin (BTC) Short Positions Plunge

Since the crypto markets witnessed a large price swing last Friday, they have been gradually drifting downwards, with Bitcoin (BTC) expressing some levels of stability in the low-$3,600 region. This stability may not last long however, as BTC short positions are rapidly dropping while long positions climb, which may signal that bulls are getting overly confident.
Most cryptos have dropped slightly today, with EOS and TRON being the worst performing major cryptocurrencies, dropping 3.5% and 2.5% respectively.
Bitcoin (BTC) Short Positions Plummet as Crypto Markets Drop
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down slightly at its current price of $3,620. Last Friday, the cryptocurrency surged from $3,400 to highs of $3,700. Although this price surge was certainly positive for investors, BTC has not been able to garner a significant amount of buying pressure at its current price levels.
Despite this fact, there is an interesting trend that is currently occurring, where open short positions against BTC are plummeting as long positions begin to climb.
Lucid TA, a popular cryptocurrency trader on Twitter, recently spoke about this trend, concluding that it is “concerning.”
“Current movement in longs/shorts is concerning. Mass exodus from short positions while longs continue to climb… $BTC,” Lucid noted.

Current movement in longs/shorts is concerning. Mass exodus from short positions while longs continue to climb… $BTC pic.twitter.com/eG9rb5uLTg
— Lucid TA (@Lucid_TA) February 14, 2019

Many traders and analysts view long and short positions as contrarian indicators, which may signal that Bitcoin will soon see a drop.
Another important thing to consider is that Bitcoin is currently facing strong resistance at its 50-day Moving Average, which currently exists around $3,630.
Chonis Trading, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, spoke about the importance of this resistance level, noting that it has been a level of resistance ever since Bitcoin dropped in January.
“$BTC – The MA50 holds firm resistance after several reattempts to break above after failing to hold support in January. The blue line MA100 rapidly falling through $4k and has also resisted #bitcoin daily candle close since early September…”

$BTC – The MA50 holds firm resistance after several reattempts to break above after failing to hold support in January. The blue line MA100 rapidly falling through $4k and has also resisted #bitcoin daily candle close since early September… pic.twitter.com/ZfXi1zAKyl
— Chonis Trading (@BigChonis) February 14, 2019

Most Cryptocurrencies Drop Today, but Analyst Claims Ethereum Classic (ETC) May be Bullish
Although Bitcoin has been stable, most major cryptocurrencies are trading down today.
At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading down marginally at its current price of $122. Ethereum has been able to maintain most of its recent gains and is only down slightly from its weekly highs of $124.
EOS and TRON have both dropped significantly today and are both trading down 3.5% and 2.5% respectively.
Ethereum Classic (ETC), is trading flat today, but Ezbrah, a cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, recently noted that ETC may soon see a price surge towards $4.8, which is significantly higher than its current price of $4.13.
“$ETC… hard to justify being bearish on etc right now,” he concisely stated.

$ETC
Even hard to justify being bearish on etc right now lol pic.twitter.com/T0U6kYdNJR
— ezbrah (@ezbrahBTC) February 14, 2019

NEM is one of the few cryptocurrencies that is trading up by a sizeable amount today, as it is currently trading up over 4% at its current price of $0.043. NEM is up significantly from its weekly lows of $0.0368.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Bitcoin [BTC]: Lightning Torch gains momentum as Binance’s CZ and Erik Voorhees participate

The cryptocurrency ecosystem has recently been very active in the development and growth of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. The introduction of Lightning Network has been getting more and more attention due to ever-increasing support for an improved rate of adoption.
Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance exchange recently tweeted through his support for the implementation of Lighting Network through his Twitter.
He tweeted:

The wider adoption of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network has been assisted by the ‘Lightning Torch,’ a social experiment that has generated a lot of attention for the network.
According to the LN developers, Bitcoin’s Lightning Network offers significant improvements over major issues that plague common payment systems. The LN is supposed to enable users to transfer capital across the globe without the involvement of a third party, unlike MasterCard or PayPal.
With the help of the social platform Twitter, the experiment has caught enough momentum and people are passing the “torch payment” from one person to another after adding 10,000 satoshis [valued at $0.357 at press time] to the payment, before passing it further forward.
The experiment has got a lot of high-profile personalities to participate in the BLT [Bitcoin Lightning Network] experiment, including the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey who openly participated and by extension, promoted the Bitcoin LN. Jack Dorsey had recently dubbed Bitcoin as the future “native currency” of the internet.
Regarding the experiment he had stated,
Source: Twitter
The Lightning Torch was recently passed on to Changpeng Zhao and the founder of Binance exchange was also happy to engage in the experiment and demonstrate his support for the cause.
Zhao has passed on the lighting torch to the Tron Foundation’s CEO Justin Sun who was delighted to be part of the experiment as well.
He tweeted that,
Source: Twitter
Justin Sun’s shout out and endeavour to pass on the Lightning Torch failed however as Tesla CEO Elon Musk and NBA player Kobe Bryant failed to respond and participate.
The Lightning Torch is now in the possession of Shapeshift exchange’s CEO, Eric Voorhees who recently tweeted on the subject.
He tweeted,
Source: Twitter
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin [BTC] Price Analysis: Bear lures the coin into its trap

Bitcoin [BTC] the largest cryptocurrency in the world was going through its longest bear market until it pumped slightly on February 8. The coin has been performing sideways for the past few days and has now reported a 0.21% fall over the past day.
At the press time, the coin was valued at $3,630.81, with a market cap of $63.6 billion. The coin registered a 24-hour trade volume of $6.4 billion while reporting a seven days growth of 6.25%. The coin registered a growth of 0.16% by the past hour.
1-hour
Source: Trading View
The coin has marked an uptrend from $3,360.46 to $3,664.19 followed by a downtrend from $3,664.18 to $3,582. While the coin marked resistance at $3,606, there was no sign of a strong support.
Bollinger Bands appear to be diverging, increasing the volatility in the market. The moving average line is over the candlesticks, pointing towards a bearish market.
Awesome Oscillator marks a weakened bearish momentum.
Chaikin Money Flow indicates a bearish market as the marker is under zero.
1-day
Source: Trading view
The one-day chart of the coin marked strong downtrends from $6,188 to $3,774.99 and another one from $6,259.35 to $3,627.99. The coin did not mark any significant uptrend. Two resistances were marked at two points, at $3,652 and $4,075.33. The coin marked support at $3,344 and another strong support at $3,183.
Parabolic SAR marks a bullish momentum as the markers have aligned above the candles.
MACD line is over the signal line, marking a bullish market.
Relative Strength Index indicates that the buying and the selling pressures are evening each other out.
Conclusion 
The indicators, Bollinger Bands, Awesome Oscillator, and Chaikin Money Flow, from the one-hour chart, predict the bear’s attack. However, the indicators from the one-day chart, Parabolic SAR and MACD forecast a bullish ride. The bearish reign might return to the Bitcoin market as the majority side by the bear.
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Source: AMB Crypto

The Lightning Pump, Bitcoin Adoption Inevitable as BTC Prices Inch Higher

Bitcoin prices are technically bullish, must close above $3,800
Lightning Network picking up, Domino’s Pizza now accepts Bitcoin via LN
Participation levels have been shrinking, volumes behind a bull confirming bar must exceed 35k

From the look of things, Bitcoin adoption will be fast-tracked by the Lightning Network. Elizabeth Stark’s project recently got a boost. At this rate, it appears as if it’s a matter of when before BTC prices rally to $6,000.
Bitcoin Price Analysis
Fundamentals
It’s the month of love, and it seems like merchants are in love with the Lightning Network. Many don’t agree with their off-chain option. Nonetheless, that is the modus operandi of Elizabeth Stark’s LN. Because of this implementation, the Bitcoin legacy network is scalable. Besides, it allows instant transactions without confirmation time worries.
These properties are perhaps the reason why the number of supporting nodes and channels are increasing. As nodes pick up, the total network capacity is also expanding and at the time of press, statistics indicate that the LN capacity is at $2.4 million—or around $645 BTC.
Remember, LN is still in beta. Now, new businesses are interested in allowing their clients to pay for merchandise or services using their Bitcoins via the LN. The latest addition is Domino’s Pizza, a multi-billion-dollar business with more than 15,000 branches all almost all continents of the world including China.
Candlestick Arrangements

Market participants are expectant, and after 13 months of damaging lows, BTC buyers are trying to wrestle control from bears. Prices are stable but encouragingly up 5.7 percent from last week’s close. All the same, BTC is under immense sell pressure despite gains of Feb 8 when at one point, the coin registered double-digit gains.
The good thing, despite possible downturns, is sellers are yet to reverse losses and trending inside Feb 8, high-volume, wide-ranging bar meaning buyers are technically in charge. However, there must be evidence from candlesticks. Therefore, it is only after prices race above at $3,800—according to data from BitFinex, that aggressive traders can comfortably load up on dips. Our immediate buy targets will remain unchanged at $4,500 with the pace of this target being hit depending on market participation levels.
Technical Indicators
In a defined trend, buyers—as we have mentioned, have to prove their mantle. Market participation levels have been low, shrinking in the last two months from around 33k in mid-Dec to about 10k as registered yesterday.
For buyers to be in control, a bar that prints above $3,800 triggering short-term bulls should have high volumes—exceeding 10k (recent averages) and 32k of Feb 8.
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Bitcoin [BTC] is still king but a majority of the tokens will go to zero, says Digital Currency Group CEO

The return of the bear to the cryptocurrency market has been met with much trepidation by investors and users as the prices have fallen back to the trend of moving sideways. The price drop has also had an adverse effect on the market momentum as the capital coming into the market has declined.
During this period, some proponents of the space have come forward to support the crypto market, especially Bitcoin [BTC]. The latest official to speak for the largest cryptocurrency has been Digital Currency Group CEO, Barry Silbert. He was of the opinion that most cryptocurrencies will fail but Bitcoin is still king. In a recent interview with CNBC, Silber stated:
“I’m not a believer in the vast majority of digital tokens and believe most will go to zero. Almost every ICO was just an attempt to raise money but there was no use for the underlying token. The vast majority of what’s out there will be eliminated.”
The elimination that Silber was referring to is in connection with the measure taken by the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States of America. Silber teen applauded the SEC’s decision of making the founders of cryptocurrency company’s register with the regulatory body. Despite his cynicism about the market, he has claimed that he is “as bullish as ever” about Bitcoin. In his words:
“As far as I’m concerned bitcoin has won the race to be digital gold. I’m convinced that whatever money is in gold is not going to stay in gold. That gets handed down to millennials — I’m highly confident a lot of that will go into bitcoin.”
Silbert was also of the opinion that Bitcoin’s use case as a buy and hold commodity is proven and should be promoted. The CEO further added that 2019 will see an influx of capital from institutional investors which will propagate the market.
Institutions like Fidelity and ICE have already jumped on the cryptocurrency bandwagon and added on to Silbert’s point of view. According to the Digital Currency Group official, as and when the investor sentiments start changing, Bitcoin’s price “will snap back hard”. He concluded by saying that:
“There are certain institutional investors that have put money to work and many more are considering it. Until now they wanted to make sure they’re not catching a falling knife.”
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin [BTC] may still be the rockstar in this asset class but, it appears to be aging fast, says Bank of Canada

Recently, Bank of Canada, the North American country’s central bank released a report on Bitcoin [BTC] and other cryptocurrencies, titled ‘Crypto Money – Perspective of a couple of Canadian Central Bankers’. The report takes a deep dive into the cryptocurrency space, its evolution and its current role in terms of affecting the central bank’s role in the economy. The primary focus of the report was to highlight the payment and money properties of digital currencies as the bank claims them to be of “utmost importance.”
The report begins with five key observations about the cryptocurrency space. They are,
Classification of cryptocurrencies available in the market
Trading volume of cryptocurrency against the trading volume of U.S municipal bonds and U.S corporate bonds
Bitcoin’s market share over the course of time
Entry and exit of crypto-assets trading on exchanges
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a means of payment
The first observation speaks about the classification of digital currencies present in the space currently. Here, the report has divided the token found in the space into three types of currency. The first is cryptocurrencies, tokens that were created to play the role of currency and with which users can purchase goods and services. Here, Bitcoin [BTC], Litecoin [LTC], and Monero [XMR] are quoted as an example for this type of currency.
Second are Security Tokens, tokens that allow investors “to take some form of position in the firm”. According to the report, several Initial Coin Offering [ICOs] fall under this category. Third are Utility tokens that allow users “to consume goods and services specific to the platform,” like Ethereum’s token, Ether [ETH].
The report states,
“The difficulty for regulators is not only that there are shades of grey between different types of cryptoassets. They also may change types over the lifecycle of a project; many that start off primarily as a fundraising tool are intended to eventually be either a currency or a utility token.”
Furthermore, it also mentions CoinMarketCap’s distinction of cryptocurrencies in the market into four “broad buckets”. The first two buckets are Bitcoin and Ethereum, which are classified to be the most prominent assets in the space. The third bucket includes altcoins, cryptocurrencies that have their own blockchain and the fourth are those tokens that are based on other blockchains like the Ethereum blockchain.
The second observation is pertaining to the cryptocurrency market’s trading volume which saw massive growth over the past year and a half. Here, the report states,
“While cryptoassets may not yet be prominent enough to pose immediate financial stability concerns, they are prominent enough to warrant active monitoring assessment. In fact, the trading volume of cryptoassets is currently the same as U.S municipal bonds, which is also roughly the same as that of Canadian-Dollar spot foreign markets.”
It further reads,
“Moreover, during the peak trading in 2017, Bitcoin and tokens rivaled US corporate bonds trading volume. This raises the question of how the composition of the market has changed over time.”
The third observation the report speaks of is concerning Bitcoin’s market share in the cryptocurrency market, which has seen a steady decrease over the years. It states that the coin once had a “Lion’s share” of weekly trading volume when measuring in U.S dollars till 2015. However, this was soon cut to 50% in 2017, during the emergence of other tokens in the space.
“Bitcoin may still be the rockstar in this asset class, it appears to be aging fast”
The fourth observation is related to the entry and exit of cryptocurrency assets in the market. The report states that new cryptocurrencies started to enter the market in 2015 and picked up their pace in 2017. It further states that even though there were many crypto assets that were introduced to the market, there were several that failed.
Here, the reasons for the failure is stated to be either the failure of the exchange the token was listed on, providing no volume and liquidity for the coin, the failure of the asset itself, or the possibility that the token could have been a scam or the project would have met a dead-end.
“The introduction of cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero and EOS among many others show that at least some of the entry of new coins and tokens represent a kind of creative destruction with new coins and tokens improving on older coins and tokens.”
The last observation of the report was related to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. Here, the report stated that the high volatility in the price of cryptocurrencies makes them a “very poor means of payment.”
“The high-price volatility of bitcoin imposes a large short-term risk to its users; and the relevance of this risk is accentuated by the fact that bitcoin is not the unit if account in most cases, for either goods and services or wages.”
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin [BTC] Core developer proposes reduction of Bitcoin chain’s block size to 300KB

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency in the crypto universe, has facilitated yet another development making use of the Lightning Network as Luke Dash Jr, a Bitcoin Core Developer, has put forward the idea of shrinkage of the Bitcoin’s chain block size down to 300kb.
The concept to reduce the size of BTC’s block chain was introduced by Luke Dash in January 2017. The support for the reduced size block has received more of a consensus than the first time to further accelerate the adoption of Lightning Network.
In January 2017, Dash Jr proposed a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal or termed as a ‘BIP’ which had the following request to reduce the block size to 300kb. The proposal was submitted before the transaction fee had a spike of about $30-$50 per trade.
However, the BIP was quickly dismissed following the scalability debate of the protocol and Bitcoin users were also upset with the rise of the transaction fee.
Luke Dash recently tweeted:
Source: Twitter
The proposal has garnered a lot of attention and Bitrefill’s CCO, John Carvalho, has expressed his support for Dash’s idea.
John Carvalho stated:
“I agree with Luke Dash Jr that the block size should be smaller. I feel more confident to say it now that we have Lightning Network making strides — I’ll run the soft fork,” I could imagine a few, to increase fees (doesn’t even have to be malicious, could be for survival). To move transactions to Lightning Network (maybe miners realize they can make easier money by increasing fees on L2, under the right conditions) and to reduce costs (new network/web conditions).”
A Twitter account named Mark Lamb responded to John Carvalho:
Source: Twitter
However, the reduced blocksize concept has received its fair share of criticism regarding Dash Jr’s idea and John Carvalho’s explanation about higher fees to push more Lightning Network implementation.
One observer on Twitter posted his opinion and commented,
“Smaller blocks simply means less transactions on the chain, purposefully hard-coding a lower limit — It doesn’t make any logical sense.”
Cobra Bitcoin, who is the anonymous owner of Bitcoin.org, also pushed forward with the criticism rally and responded with a tweet. Cobra responded to John Carvalho’s tweet and stated:
Source: Twitter
The post Bitcoin [BTC] Core developer proposes reduction of Bitcoin chain’s block size to 300KB appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

Nasdaq’s Bitcoin and Ethereum Indices Solve a Major Problem for Crypto

Nasdaq may have just removed one of the most significant barriers before a potential cryptocurrency adoption.
The US stock market exchange on Monday announced two cryptocurrency indexes which provide real-time spot or reference rate for Bitcoin and Ethereum. Dubbed as the Bitcoin Liquid Index (BLX) and Ethereum Liquid Index (ELX), both the indexes extract price data from multiple exchanges to provide onlookers single price point for BTC and ETH. Nasdaq assured that independent auditors had verified their methodology of obtaining and unifying price data to present the best USD-equivalent value of cryptos.
“The BLX,” the exchange said, “is one of the most widely-referenced BTC indices among crypto traders and has been calculated back to 2010.”
At the same time, the ELX price data dates back to 2014, the exchange added. The indices’ underlying algorithm, created by New Zealand-based blockchain research firm Brave New Coin, will refresh price information at a frequency of thirty seconds.
IOSCO Principles
Nasdaq said that their independent auditors had verified both BLX and ELX against the critical principles proposed by IOSCO. They are investors’ security, regulating markets to ensure fairness, efficiency, and transparency, and curbing systematic risks.

The Nasdaq is going to list #Bitcoin & #Ethereum indices!! The herd is coming. A #BTC & #ETH ETF will be next. @APompliano #crypto #blockchain #cryptocurrency #digitalasset https://t.co/Zayz9avkLB
— Roland (@rolandstautz) February 14, 2019

In a broader perspective, the move could lead to solving regulators’ concerns about new-age bitcoin trading derivatives. For instance, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had consecutively rejected the applications of nine bitcoin exchange-traded funds fearing market manipulation. The regulator had stated that exchanges that acted as a bitcoin’s reference price point remained loosely regulated.
Reducing Market Manipulation Risks
Some ETF applicants processed the SEC’s concerns. They took initiatives to bring more transparent pricing systems for potential investors. VanEck, for instance, launched a bitcoin price index through its New York-based subsidiary, MV Index Solutions, in November 2018.
Fast forwarding to the present, it appears Nasdaq is also working on the same concerns. The stock market operator has been very active lately in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. In January 2019, it led a $20-million Series B of blockchain startup Symbiont.
In November 2018, a Bloomberg report claimed that Nasdaq was planning to launch bitcoin futures contract in early 2019. Per the news agency, the exchange was working with the Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to solve some regulatory issues. At that time, Nasdaq had partnered with VanEck to use their bitcoin index solution, as mentioned earlier, for their futures contracts.
It is not clear whether or not BLX would play any crucial role in Nasdaq bitcoin futures offering. But it inevitably opens the exchange’s horizons to achieve more stable and transparent crypto pricing indexes.
Opportunity to Attract Big Investors
The launch of Nasdaq crypto indices could lead to regulatory approval for crypto-based derivatives in the market. In the near-term, the move could project cryptocurrencies as new investment alternatives to both retail and institutional investors. According to Ari Paul, the founder and CIO of crypto fund BlockTower Capital, the institutional investment is coming to the crypto space. But, nobody should expect it to arrive earlier.

9/ the level of interest and education continues rising, but slow progress on adding crypto to the platform (whether that’s a wealth management platform at a bank, or trading services at a big hedge fund.
— Ari Paul (@AriDavidPaul) February 1, 2019

“I’ve been too optimistic about the pace of institutional adoption in the past,” said Paul. “It’s coming, but I can’t estimate which quarter (whether that’s this year or 2022) that we’ll see a big spike. As a humble guess, something like Q3 2019.”
Both BLX and ELX will go live on Nasdaq on February 25.
The post Nasdaq’s Bitcoin and Ethereum Indices Solve a Major Problem for Crypto appeared first on NewsBTC.
Source: New feedNewsBTC.com

What Makes Binance the Most Profitable Crypto Exchange in a Bear Market

Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange by volume, is also doing great in terms of profitability, its chief financial officer told CNBC.
The statement follows one of the most extended bear phases in the cryptocurrency market, during which the industry lost almost one-third of its valuation. The depressive trend prompted many small and medium-size crypto companies to shut down their operations. At the same time, big firms like Bitmain and ShapeShift resorted to layoffs to compensate their losses.
But Binance walked in a different direction, according to CFO Wei Zhou, who claimed that they remain a profitable business even in a bear market.
Guessing the Profits
Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao estimated that their 2018 earnings would be anywhere between $500 million to as high as $1 billion. CZ explained that they had earned $300 million in the first half of a bearish 2018, while their number of customers had increased to 10 million at the same time.
However, the company didn’t release any quarterly or annual reports to justify its projects. Media reports self-calculated Binance profits based on its token buyback and token burning event. As mentioned in its whitepaper, Binance would spend 20% of its total monthly benefits to buy back its native utility token BNB. Eventually, the exchange would push 100 million BNB out of circulation. Therefore, with simple maths, one only has to multiply BNB totals with its per token price on the day of the burn to get a rough USD-equivalent profit.
So far, Binance has conducted six quarterly BNB buybacks, in which it burned a total of 10,824,871 BNB tokens, which is close to $131.02 million. So, the total profits made by Binance between Q3-2017 and Q4 2018 should be approximately $655.14 million. Meanwhile, its most successful quarter is Q4 2017, when the crypto market was at its prime. During that time, the exchange posted $200 million in profits.
Source: The Block
Meanwhile, the same report shows that Binance fell just short of meeting its annual profit estimates. As calculated by the Block, the company generated $446 in total profits, $54 million lower than CZ’s minimum target. The gains continued dropping with each passing financial quarter, noting its most miserable period in Q4 2018, in which Binance earned close to $50 million. That is 75% less than what the exchange made during Q4 2017.
Why so Profitable
Launched in July 2017, Binance was already a famous name after it raised $15 million in an ICO funding round. By March 2018, the exchange surpassed competitors like Coinbase and BitFinex to become the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume. It remained at the top of the exchange board albeit the trading volume fell significantly during the 2018’s crypto meltdown.
It is evident that users love Binance, most notably for its ability to process up to 1.4 million orders in a second. More importantly, the exchange cuts back its BNB supply quarterly, which makes it an attractive asset for traders from profitability.

Thank you, Andrew! https://t.co/n36dLKVnBB
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) February 13, 2019

As a company, Binance has grown arms everywhere, be it the development and subsequent launch of their ICO-friendly Binance Launchpad platform, or their investments into blockchain tech startups.
The company has also expanded into new regions. In Bermuda and Malta, for instance, Binance signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with their governments and regulators.

Binance Coin hit an ATH against BTC and is up nearly 2x against USD since January. @cz_binance – DEX– Financially stable– Successful Binance Jersey launch– $400M+ profit in 2018– Coin burn ($9M in Q1 2019)
Seems like investors are confident.https://t.co/ga3c5M1ZKe
— Joseph Young (@iamjosephyoung) February 11, 2019

The company also launched new divisions in Jersey and Uganda to gain influence in European and African markets. In August 2018, Binance raised $32 million for a stable coin project. And the very latest, the exchange partnered with Israel-based payment processor Simplex to simplify cryptocurrency purchases via traditional banking methods.
The post What Makes Binance the Most Profitable Crypto Exchange in a Bear Market appeared first on NewsBTC.
Source: New feedNewsBTC.com

Bitcoin is Still King – CEO Made Bullish Bet on Bitcoin But Warns on Most Cryptocurrencies

Digital Currency Group (DCG) founder, Barry Silbert rings an alarm for most cryptocurrencies while optimistic only on Bitcoin. Accordingly, he says, ‘Bitcoin is still king and believe ‘most crypto tokens will go to zero’.
Most Cryptocurrencies Will Fail  – But Bitcoin Will Still Rule The Market
During an interview with CNBC, Grayscale’s Fund Manager, Barry Silbert talks about the rise of ICO, Bitcoin growth and the future of cryptocurrencies. He says that
“I’m not a believer in the vast majority of digital tokens and believe most will go to zero,”
Berry’s bullish bet on Bitcoin is not an incident, rather he is an early investor in bitcoin and undergone various market fluctuations. According to him, all of these price plunges were a full recovery. Sources quoted, ‘Berry is as bullish as he has ever been on Bitcoin‘.
Nevertheless, the value of Bitcoin today is trading with negative marks, dragging other major currencies down the line. At the time of writing, the average trading volume of Bitcoin counts $63,648,604,014, declining with 0.48 percent over the past 24hrs.

Image Source – https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/bitcoin/
In contrast to Bitcoin, Berry is not in favor with other digital tokens. In his view, most of those cryptocurrencies will fall since he doesn’t find any potential value as Bitcoin has. Additionally, he viewed Bitcoin as it is in the ‘race to be digital gold’.
“As far as I’m concerned bitcoin has won the race to be digital gold,” said Silbert. Continuing that, he says; “I’m convinced that whatever money is in gold is not going to stay in gold, that gets handed down to millennials — I’m highly confident a lot of that will go into bitcoin.” Silbert Said
Also Read: Is It #BUIDL That Will Decide Next Amazon of Cryptoworld or Most Cryptocurrencies will die?
Talking about ICO, Silbert appreciates the move that SEC is following to curb activities of these tokens. He says that many ICO offerings don’t hold value and are just launched to raise money. Additionally, he thinks that there are no tokens with real-use cases. He said;
“Almost every ICO was just an attempt to raise money but there was no use for the underlying token,” Silbert said. “The vast majority of what’s out there will be eliminated.”
Do you agree with Berry Silbert? Share your opinion with us.
The post Bitcoin is Still King – CEO Made Bullish Bet on Bitcoin But Warns on Most Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape