Indian Government to Draft Cryptocurrency Regulation Next Month

The Indian government is reportedly getting ready with draft regulations on cryptocurrencies next month.
The finance ministry set up a panel in November 2017 for the purpose of preparing a regulatory framework on the issue, but the central bank has created a hostile environment for digital currency trading platforms in 2018.
After a multitude of petitions filed by operators against the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) anti-crypto circular, the Supreme Court of India has ordered Narendra Modi’s government to clarify its policy in November.
India to Clarify Policy on Cryptocurrency Trading in December
A counter-affidavit produced by the Indian government and filed in the supreme court on November 19 says the finance ministry is about to draft cryptocurrency regulations next month, according to news website Quartz.
“…currently, serious efforts are going on for preparation of the draft report and the draft bill on virtual currencies, use of distributed ledger technology in (the) financial system and framework for digital currency in India. The draft report and bill will be circulated to members of IMC (inter-ministerial committee). Thereafter the next meeting of IMC will be held so that discussion can take place on the draft report and bill. It is expected that the draft report will be placed before the IMC by next month.”
The finance ministry panel is headed by Subhash Chandra Garg, a secretary in the department of economic affairs, and includes RBI deputy governor BP Kanungo and the chairman of India’s market regulator Ajay Tyagi.
The latter has said that virtual currency so far has not posed any systemic risk and is adept of distributed ledger technology. Kanungo, on the other hand, is a leading figure in the fight against cryptocurrency exchanges and is responsible for pushing many of them towards crypto-friendly countries such as Singapore.
“In view of the associated risks, it has been decided that, with immediate effect, entities regulated by RBI shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities dealing with or settling VCs [virtual currencies.] Regulated entities which already provide such services shall exit the relationship within a specified time,” Kanungo said in July.
Subhash Chandra Garg, the head of the panel, took to Twitter in December 2017 to issue a statement with a somewhat unfriendly tone towards the cryptocurrency space as he likened trading in digital currencies to classical Ponzi schemes.
“Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins are neither currency nor coin. Not legal tender in India at all. Trade in these currencies has assumed character of classical Ponzi schemes. Limited supply and uninformed demand makes every new investor assume higher risk. No underlying real value.”
A previous task force, which was set up in March 2017, recommended that consumers should stop trading cryptocurrencies and operators should be choked instead of banned. The document was attached to the government’s counter-affidavit submitted to court, but in a sealed envelope, according to Quartz, which indicates the intention of making its content unknown to the public.
Related Reading: Major Indian Crypto Exchange CEO Openly Asks Gov’t to Regulate Crypto
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Israeli Startup Launches Crypto Funds Amid Institutional Push

Since the value of Bitcoin began to recede in early-2018, investors from across the globe have sought to find a silver lining to latch onto.
However, with initial coin offerings (ICOs) seeing less than adequate amounts of interest, security tokens failing to pick up steam, and corporations remaining hesitant to adopt blockchain-based technologies, investors have only found hope in institutional involvement.
And, with a number of developments and cries for the arrival of the “institutional herd,” it has become apparent that finally, after a multi-month downtrend, crypto investors can find some much-needed solace.
Silver Castle Launches Two Crypto Funds, Looks to Institutional Investors
According to a report from Bloomberg, Silver Castle, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based digital asset investment house, has recently launched two cryptocurrency-centric funds.
Silver Castle’s first fund trades on the back of an undisclosed group of algorithms, which reportedly analyze the momentum of the five most capitalized cryptocurrencies, before opening short or long positions as it sees fit. Eli Mizroch, CEO of Silver Castle, explained that these algorithms have been used in-house for over a year, with results being in the “high double-digits,” presumably in terms of percentile.
The second fund, which also makes use of algorithms, offers investors a collection of this market’s top 10 cryptocurrencies. The latter fund is likely aimed at the long-term crypto investor, while short to medium-term investors would have a penchant for the former.
By year’s end, Silver Castle, Israel’s first institutional-focused cryptocurrency investment corporation, hopes to have $50 million in investor capital under its belt via the two aforementioned funds. Speaking on his firm’s appeal to institutional grade investors, Mizroch stated:
“We spent close to a year building robust infrastructure for managing other people’s money at the level of institutional grade with very, very high security.”
If the two aforementioned funds garner adequate support, Mizroch hinted at his startup’s plans to offer a third fund, which would be focused on investing capital in ICOs and tokens.
Silver Castle evidently wants to maintain its hegemony over the Israeli crypto ecosystem, as a multitude of startups and organizations in the region continue to eye blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies. Israel-based eToro, for one, recently doubled-down on its crypto-related offerings, launching a cryptocurrency wallet after first offering Bitcoin (BTC) speculative trading in 2014.
Binance CEO: Institutional Involvement Is “Very Net Positive”
Interestingly, Silver Castle’s foray into professionally managed crypto funds comes amid a newfound drive to obtain the business of institutional players in this market. Speaking with The Street’s Jordan French, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, CEO of Binance, explained that “increased institutional participation is a very good thing.”
Bringing up Boston-based Fidelity Investment’s recent foray into the crypto market, dubbed an “all-in play” by optimists, CZ noted that the establishment of Fidelity Digital Asset Services (FDAS) “suggests the crypto market cap will grow a lot more.”
Essentially using the age-old concept of the “snowball effect” to describe this market’s potential growth cycle, Zhao then explained that as this market swells, so will adoption, subsequently bolstering prices.
The Binance executive then discussed volatility in this market, verifying the popular theory that institutional involvement calms emerging markets, like Bitcoin, while also enticing more players in.
Taking this all into account, in short, as put by Zhao:
“All of this I think is very positive. It’s just a matter of time [that institutions will arrive en-masse]. I don’t know how quickly it will happen, but it will happen.”
Zhao’s aforementioned comments echo a tweet he made in late-October, in which he noted that “sooner or later,” funds from the pockets of institutions will make a perceptible appearance in cryptocurrency markets for the first time ever.
Interestingly, Zhao isn’t the only industry savant to be making such claims, far from it in fact. Mike Novogratz, a former institutional banker-turned-cryptocurrency investment deity, recently lauded FDAS’ proposed custody solution, before subsequently aiming his firm’s scopes at institutional clients.
Related Reading: Why Are Novogratz, Fidelity, and Bakkt Banking on Institutional Crypto Investors?
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North Dakota Regulator Issues Cease and Desist Order Against Union Bank ICO Fraud

The North Dakota Securities Department, responsible for the enforcement of the securities laws in the U.S. state, has issued a cease and desist order against Union Bank Payment Coin (UBPC) for allegedly promoting a fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO).
The financial watchdog accuses the firm of being a copycat of Liechtenstein-based Union Bank AG, which is a pioneer in the cryptocurrency space.
Union Bank Payment Coin ‘Spoofs’ Legitimate Union Bank AG Crypto Project
The order, issued by Commissioner Karen Tyler, is the result of ongoing investigations being conducted by the Department’s ICO Task Force and part of Operation Cryptosweep, a multi-jurisdiction enforcement effort involving over 40 U.S. and Canadian securities regulatory agencies.
Union Bank Payment Coin and its associates have been ordered to stop promoting the unregistered and potentially fraudulent crypto fundraiser in North Dakota.
The fraudulent website attempts to appropriate the cryptocurrency project of the Liechtenstein bank under the name of Union Bank Payment Coin, which is similar to the name of the real bank, Union Bank AG.
UBPC uses the same wording of the real project, including being a “security token offering” for the investment in a tool “designed to store wealth by utilizing income-producing digital assets.” The company, which claims it seeks to become the “world’s first security token backed by a fully licensed bank,” says it is issuing a stablecoin backed by the Swiss Franc (CHF).
Unlike the real Union Bank AG, which is located in Liechtenstein, the IP address for Union Bank Payment Coin is located in Russia and registered to an individual, according to Tyler.
“Because ICOs are sold over the internet and pitched heavily through social media platforms, North Dakotans can be exposed to the offers whether the promotor is down the street or on the other side of the globe. Financial criminals continue to cash in on the hype and excitement around blockchain, crypto assets, and ICOs – investors should be exceedingly cautious when considering a related investment.”
The real Union Bank has announced it is launching its own cryptocurrency in August 2018. Its plan is to take advantage of the principality’s blockchain-friendly regulations to issue its own security tokens and a fiat-backed digital currency. The bank is looking to position itself as a full-service blockchain investment bank.
“As a fully licensed and regulated bank we are in a privileged position to combine all the advantages of traditional banking with the possibilities inherent in the blockchain technology. As such, our fiat-backed Union Bank Payment Coin has the potential to disrupt the approach to international trade and international cross-border transactions.”
Related Reading:The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority Is Investigating 24 Crypto Firms
Talk of the fraudulent ICO can be traced back to October on the Bitcointalk.org forum. The North Dakota regulator warned investors of hackers “spoofing” legitimate ICOs to intercept and steal investor money.
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DoJ Bitcoin Manipulation Probe Homes in on Tether and Bitfinex

Tether Burns Half a Billion USDT Coins in an Act of RedemptionAn ongoing criminal probe into potential Bitcoin price manipulation conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice has begun to take a closer look at how Tether and crypto exchange Bitfinex may have played a role in Bitcoin’s parabolic rise in late December.
Bitcoin Manipulation Probe Sets Sights on Tether, Bitfinex
Back in May of this year, the United States Justice Department (DoJ) in collaboration with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) launched a criminal probe into whether or not crypto traders were manipulating the price of Bitcoin.
They were trying to determine where they were using tactics such as wash-trading and spoofing – a practice in which large orders are placed in an attempt to influence the direction of price movement, only to have the order “wall” pulled once its orders begin closing into it.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, investigators have homed in on the leading stablecoin by market share, Tether, and the popular margin-trading crypto exchange Bitfinex that it is closely tied to.
As many as three different sources “familiar with the matter” suggest that the probe evidence potentially points toward Tether and Bitfinex being used to illegally boost prices. Both Tether and Bitfinex share the same management team, which appears to be at the center of the investigation.
Research Suggests Tether Used as FOMO Fuel, Tether and Bitfinex Deny
Shortly after the DoJ launched its probe, academic researchers from the University of Texas released a scathing 66-page report claiming they had discovered data that suggested Tether was printed and used following “market downturns,” which resulted in “sizable increases in Bitcoin prices.”

“Less than 1% of hours with such heavy Tether transactions are associated with 50% of the meteoric rise in Bitcoin and 64% of other top cryptocurrencies,” the paper surmised.

Despite repeated questioning into the integrity of the businesses he oversees, Jean-Louis van der Velde, CEO of Tether Ltd., refutes all claims and asserts his business is legitimate.
Related Reading: Tether Burns Half a Billion USDT Coins in an Act of Redemption
Continued Controversy Surrounding Tether and Bitfinex
Controversy seems to follow Tether around at every turn. The company has long been under scrutiny that the stablecoin cryptocurrency isn’t tied 1-to-1 to a corresponding U.S. dollar as the company claims. Tether has released reports from third-party auditors confirming the Tethers supply is appropriately backed, but the cryptocurrency community remains skeptical.
Uncertainty surrounding Tether recently led to the price of Bitcoin becoming out of sync across cryptocurrency exchanges, depending on if the exchange offered a trading pair against BTC tied to Tether, or tied to USD. Exchanges that offered Tether saw Bitcoin prices trade at as much as a $1,000 premium at once point, as capital flowed out of Tether and into cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin on the exchanges that offered the controversial stablecoin.
In the past year, Bitcoin has risen from around $6,000 to $20,000, only to this week break below $5,000 to a one-year low of $4,250. Tether is said to have been used to pump Bitcoin’s price, creating a parabolic rise and subsequent market crash.
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Nobody Panic! Bitcoin Plummet Prompts Reassurance from Crypto Pundits

Bitcoin has dropped close to 30% in November and is hinting more losses. But many prominent crypto figures believe the digital currency will recover one way or another.
CNBC Crypto Trader Ran Neu-Ner said that the crypto market is at most bearish not in a full-fledged panic mode. He predicted that bottom was near which could allow people to reestablish their long positions in Bitcoin and other top crypto-assets.

Up until now even though we have been in a bear market we haven’t seen panic or capitulation. In the last few days panic is clearly upon us. It’s a great signal that the bottom is near…
— Ran NeuNer (@cryptomanran) November 20, 2018

Keep Calm and HODL
Analysts from all across the crypto-sphere had previously highlighted $6,000 as their potential bitcoin bottom. Bears broke the said level on Thursday last week, which ultimately shifted many preconceived notions about Bitcoin supports. Some predicted it will crash to as low as $4,500 before it corrects higher. While a widely reported analysis by Bloomberg called $1,500 an achievable bottom for Bitcoin.
The crypto market, which mainly consists of retail investors prone to emotional trading, tends to react to these predictions. A dump orchestrated by bear whales can easily send jitters across the whole community, leading them to sell shortsightedly fearing additional losses.
Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the founder and CEO of Binance, the world’s leading digital assets exchange, highlighted this problem and requested the community to avoid reacting to Bitcoin bears. He reminded how bitcoin since inception has gone through similar wild swings only to reemerge as a winner.

been through this many times already. Secret of success? Keep your head down and build.
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) November 19, 2018

Earlier this month, CZ had predicted a bull run in the Bitcoin market albeit without mentioning the catalysts that would drive it.
Glorious Spring Ahead
John McAfee echoed his pro-crypto view albeit with a dramatic touch to it. Comparing the current bearish bias with a harsh winter, the antivirus pioneer predicted a spring – a strong upside correction based on the historical price action of Bitcoin.

People have panicked. But there's no fucking need. We're in a bear market. They suck, yes, and not like a hooker with no teeth. But I'm 73 and have seen this dozens of times in many markets. Bear markets are like Winter. It's always followed by a glorious Spring. Fucking relax.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) November 20, 2018

While Bitcoin bulls attempt to re-inject confidence in the market, Bitcoin is already undergoing a free-fall. On Bitfinex, the BTC/USD rate briefly breached the $4,500-support area and established lower lows towards $4,400. A minor correction appeared later and took value back above the so-called bottom.
Nevertheless, on Coinbase, the BTC/USD is now trading at $4,403 at the time of this writing, with its daily low already established at $4,218.
All eyes are now fixed on the launch of the ICE-backed Bakkt trading platform in December. If it does prove bullish, then the SEC’s decision on Bitcoin ETF remains the only interim catalyst that could drive the Bitcoin higher – as the crypto celebs mentioned above predict.
 
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KPMG Report Lays Out Incredibly Bullish Case for Crypto Assets

A recent report from “Big Four” auditor, KPMG, details the key challenges facing cryptocurrencies, and importantly notes that digital assets are a “big deal.”
The report comes as institutions and corporations are becoming increasingly interested in cryptocurrencies as an investment class.
The KPMG report opens with a section titled “Cryptoassets are a big deal,” explaining that despite the markets still being nascent and small, waves of new entrants and increased public interest have led their parabolic upwards rise over the past several years, and their growth has made them “impossible to ignore.”
In this opening section, the report’s authors note a few key developments in the cryptocurrency industry that have increased their intrinsic values, citing the release of multiple stablecoins backed by major financial institutions, and the entrance of traditional financial service companies into the markets, like Fidelity.
“In 2018, we are seeing a wave of new entrants in the market such as security token platforms, stablecoins, and even established financial services institutions that are launching crypto products and services. Cryptoassets are now impossible to ignore.”
The Case for Crypto
Following KPMG’s introduction to the cryptocurrency markets and industry, they offer readers a bullish look at the future of cryptocurrencies in a section titled “The case for crypto and institutionalization.”
In this section, the authors open with a candid look at the problems that cryptocurrencies are trying to solve, citing issues with traditional means of wealth storage, fundraising, currency transfers, and the non-digital nature of assets in a digital world as the main issues that are solved by cryptocurrencies.
“So, is crypto a solution looking for a problem? No, there are real problems in the global financial services ecosystem that cryptoassets are looking to address. More participation from the broader financial services ecosystem, will help drive trust and scale for the tokenized economy and help the crypto market grow and mature,” KPMG explains.
Furthermore, the auditing giant notes that the future success of cryptocurrencies as both an asset and a tool is based on whether or not it can efficiently reduce the friction and inefficiencies that exist in the current financial ecosystem on a large scale.
“The staying power of many cryptoassets will be defined by their ability to reduce friction and inefficiencies that currently exist within the global economy,” KPMG said, further adding that their volatility is seen as being the main barrier to this, but that the issue of volatility will likely subside as the markets mature.
“While volatility is certainly a problem, it is important to recognize that these assets are still fairly immature and will become less volatile as they mature.”
Related Reading: Survey: Four in 10 Brits Don’t Think Crypto Will Be Used as Cash or Card
Crypto Creating an Open Financial System
The next section in the report, titled “Creating an open financial system and why institutionalization is key,” tackles that issue of how cryptocurrencies can increase the transparency and accessibility of the world’s financial system, and is authored by two Coinbase executives.
In this section, Jeff Horowitz, the chief compliance officer at Coinbase, and Eric Scro, the vice president of finance at Coinbase, explain that in less developed countries, cryptocurrencies act as a gateway to traditional financial services for users in countries like Argentina.
“Let’s take the example of Argentina, where they currently see hyperinflation. A globally accessible, decentralized store of value could have a significantly stabilizing impact on
the country’s economy. Bitcoin could potentially represent such a store of value in the future,” the two men noted.
But in order for cryptocurrencies to increase the global accessibility and transparency of the financial ecosystem, cryptoassets need to be institutionalized, which will in turn increase their liquidity, accessibility, and utility, and for this to happen global regulators need to step in and seriously discuss the role crypto can play in the future financial system.
“Regulatory agencies are also beginning to seriously discuss cryptoassets, which could help drive institutional participation, encouraging the marketplace to think about how engagement with these assets fits into both existing rules and regulations and new frameworks that may be needed for crypto. The focus on crypto innovation must not come at the expense of security, compliance, and consumer protection,” they further explained.
Although increased regulation is critical for the future of cryptocurrencies, it is also cited in the KPMG report as being one of the main factors that is leading to stagnation due to the uncertainty it has caused, along with an increase in fraudulent activity and unclarity due to possible and unclear tax implications associated with the possession and trading of digital assets.
Although the markets are caught in a persisting bear market, with Bitcoin sitting at fresh 2018 lows, it is becoming increasingly clear that cryptocurrencies are becoming a serious asset class that will likely help shape the future of our world’s financial system.
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Ron Paul Poll: 50% in Favor of Bitcoin as Long-Term Investment

Former U.S. House Representative Ron Paul recently polled his Twitter followers on which long-term investment vehicle they’d prefer if given a $10,000 gift and the choice of what to invest in. The overwhelming majority selected Bitcoin as their choice for a 10-year hold.
Ron Paul Twitter Poll Shows Preference for Bitcoin
Ex-Texas Congressmen and thrice-failed Presidential candidate Ron Paul took to his Twitter soapbox this week.
He was seeking an answer to what his followers would choose if given a gift of $10,000 and the option of which investment instrument to put the cash into for the long-term. The only catch was the investment of choice needed to be held for 10 years.
The poll offered up the choice between Federal Reserve notes, United States 10-Year Treasury Bonds, gold, and digital gold: Bitcoin – which has recently reached new one-year lows after 11-months of an ongoing bear market.
Bitcoin received the highest number of votes at 50% of all respondents. Federal Reserve Notes, 10-year Treasury Bonds, and gold all received 2, 11, and 37 percent of the vote, respectively.
Considering the return alone of each asset type over the last decade, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Bitcoin received the overwhelming majority of votes, even despite it being a relatively new, often misunderstood, and even demonized asset for its use in criminal activities, conspiracy around price manipulation, contributions to energy consumption, unrivaled price volatility, and more.
Related Reading: Survey: 72% of Institutional Investors Believe Crypto Prices Would Rise in a Recession
10-Year Investments: A Comparison Against Bitcoin
Federal Reserve Notes is just another term for USD paper currency, meaning the $10,000 would be held directly in cash for 10 years. Given the fact cash isn’t technically an investment vehicle and can actually lose value over the course of 10 years due to inflation, it’s not shocking to see this option receive the least amount of the votes.
U.S. 10-year Treasury Bonds have offered investors return rates that have fluctuated between 2-3% over the last 10 years. Treasury Bonds are considered among the safest investment types as there is virtually no default risk, given the fact the government can just print more money to pay off its debts.
Over the last 10 years, gold has provided investors with a 65.7% return, all while providing peace of mind. Gold is often considered a safe-haven asset during times of uncertainty. And with many financial and economic analysts predicting a global market crash and subsequent recession on the horizon, gold is a sound 10-year investment.
Bitcoin however, over the 10 years since inception has gone from being virtually worthless, to being worth $20,000. Even at Bitcoin’s currently traded price of around $5,000 – the digital gold equivalent, as its pegged – has brought investors over 166 million percent gains over the last 10 years.
There’s a saying in cryptocurrency investing suggesting to “never invest more than you can afford to lose” that does put Bitcoin in a category by itself in terms of risk, but since the $10,000 was a gift in the first place investors are even more willing to put their investment at risk for a chance of substantial wealth.
Considering the exponential gain outlined above stacked against extremely moderate returns by comparison, it’s almost more surprising that Bitcoin didn’t receive an even larger number of the votes.
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Tokens Plummet 15-20% Following SEC’s Crackdown on ICOs, Dark Days Ahead

A broad selling action in the cryptocurrency market today saw ICO coins losing 15 to 20 percent of their value. And the sentiment is likely to extend thanks to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The U.S. regulator at the beginning of this month charged the founder of a decentralized exchange (DEX) EtherDelta on accounts of enabling the trade of unregistered securities. The Exchange until this time was available to investors as a source of liquidity for the ICO tokens.
Its “decentralized” status allowed ERC20 projects to list their assets without regulatory approval, but the SEC’s crackdown has closed their doors effectively. For the regulator, the creator of a smart contract-enabled exchange would also need to register its work with the authorities. And whatever asset these exchanges would list on their trading platforms, would have to get a securities license as well.
The news sent shivers across the lower market cap coins, each registering huge daily losses on the top of what they had already lost amidst the Bitcoin Cash fork. Loopring, for instance, dropped 19.11% against the U.S. Dollar on Monday, followed by Maker, Self, and ICON that also noted steep drops in their value.
SOURCE: CoinMarketCap
Related Reading: Ethereum Plunges 12%: Will ICOs Continue to Drag ETH Down?
DEX, ICO Industry in Trouble
The SEC decision has led the crypto community to believe that the regulator would target more exchanges in the future.
It has been warning about the potentially unlawful trading platforms for trading crypto assets already. The EtherDelta case particularly has validated that even exchanges without a central authority in place could land their developers in trouble. Zachary Coburn, the creator of EtherDelta, became a test study after he agreed to settle and pay a total of $388,000 in penalties, disgorgement, and interest.
The impact of the SEC’s crackdown can affect developers in the longer term, especially those who are U.S. residents. While it is true that the regulator cannot stop a DEX from running online, they are still able to hold someone liable for beginning the trading platform at fault. Therefore, the only way a DEX developer can avoid punishment or a fine is by moving to locations with no U.S.-treaties. It sounds good on paper but, in reality, it would not be feasible.
The only option these developers are left with is to go anonymous. But that doesn’t always work.
As far as the ICO industry is concerned, the backers of the now-listed assets have two options: either get a security license or unpin the U.S. from their crypto market map. In the near-term it could disallow U.S. residents to trade the unlicensed digital assets that the SEC deems as securities, provoking them to sell-off.
“I read this as the SEC laying the groundwork to prosecute ICOs directly for failure to register under the Securities Act, which they still haven’t done so far (except for blatant Ponzi & scams),” said Jake Chervinsky, a lawyer at U.S.-based Kobre & Kim agency. “If you launched an ICO after the DAO Report, you might be in the line of fire.”
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Ethereum Plunges 12%: Will ICOs Continue to Drag ETH Down?

Bears hit the cryptocurrency market today, and Ethereum was among the most severe casualties.
The world’s third largest cryptocurrency erased as much as $2.25 billion from its market cap. Meanwhile, its value plunged 12 percent from an intraday high at $177 to $155.60 – its new intraday low – within a few hours, according to aggregated data available at CoinMarketCap.com. Aayush Jindal, a crypto market analyst at NewsBTC, predicted further declines in the Ether-to-dollar market, citing a critical bearish trendline that is capping every upside attempt of the digital currency.
SOURCE: COINMARKETCAP.COM
“There is a key connecting bearish trend line formed with resistance at $178 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD,” he forecasted.
ICOs Likely to Intensify Selling Action
A report coming at the behest of Diar, a daily crypto newsletter, also found strong bearish catalysts that point to an extended selling action in the Ethereum market. The study based its bearish prediction on the possibility of the leading ICO projects liquidating their ETH holdings.
“Some of the most popular and anticipated projects, most of which have yet to launch, are sitting on treasuries north of $500Mn. That’s excluding their cash on hand, as well as their own token reserves,” Diar research found.
Larry Cermak, head analyst at Diar, believed that these decentralized applications project would become unprofitable. Meanwhile, they will continue shorting Ether to cover their expenses against the lower market demand. The imbalance will prove bearish to the Ethereum market, overall.
“Obviously, a lot of the ICO companies will continue selling ETH to cover operating expenses and to fund their businesses,” Cermak said in a tweet. “It’s important to realize that the majority of these projects isn’t generating any revenue. And most likely never will.”
Demand to Drive Ether Bulls
The Diar analysis offered its predictions based on how ICO projects would behave with their Ether holdings. It provided a more straightforward view of the projects that reportedly holds roughly 3.7% of the total Ether coins in circulation. While the likelihood of ICO project selling their entire holdings is high, the same cannot be predicted on the demand side which keeps fluctuating.
Retail investors, hedge funds and every other speculator could keep looking at Ether as an investable asset, similar to Bitcoin. On the other hand, blockchain projects could create network effects for their platform growth and use Ether as money or store-of-value.
Then, scalability should continue to challenge the Ethereum network and hamper its adoption rate at a larger scale. Other projects are also developing in the blockchain space to circumvent Ethereum’s shortcomings but even they are facing challenges over some factors related to feasibility – and even decentralization.
In a near-term scenario, the Ethereum market should act on the whims of speculative investors. That means, an extended selling action should establish a new bottom and retrace its steps to find an equally crucial resistance – just like Bitcoin.
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Tron Surpasses Ethereum for dApp Transaction Volume, Launches Program for Developers

Ethereum has had a tough week. Not only has it been pushed down the market cap charts by XRP, now Tron has surpassed it in terms of network decentralized application volume.
dApp Volume on Tron Higher Than Ethereum
According to analytics website dapp.review the Tron Network is now above Ethereum in dApp transaction volume:

No.1 DApp on ETHIDEX – 2430 ETH txn volume in last 24 hours
While on #TRON@TRONbet has over 422 MILLION #TRX txn volume
DappReview is the first DApp platform supporting #TRON DApps. Check and play TRON Dapps at https://t.co/wfUfRx2xoq@justinsuntron @Tronfoundation pic.twitter.com/IDedGpiMc3
— DappReview (@dapp_review) November 17, 2018

TRONbet is the platform’s leading dApp at the moment with a 24 hour transaction count of over 543,000 equating to a volume of 181 million TRX. TRONdice has over 18,000 daily transactions with a volume around 744 million TRX at the time of writing. These are the only real two dApps driving traffic though, the rest are pretty inactive. Comparatively Ethereum’s top dApp, IDEX, has only 7,400 daily transactions with a volume of just over 2,090 ETH.
Accelerator Program for Developers Launched
To keep this network momentum up and encourage further growth Tron has launched an accelerator program for dApp developers. The million dollar initiative is ‘aiming to empower developers and foster innovation within the blockchain industry,’ according to the official website.
The site goes on to explain that the accelerator program is effectively an online competition which will be;
“rewarding up to 56 winning DApp projects across multiple categories. Unlike some of the previous programming contests that rewarded multiple developers, TRON Accelerator does not features loan or equity model. Winning teams and developers will keep ownership of their products after they get rewarded.”
Registration and submissions will be accepted up until the end of the year with the winners announced in January. Tron is also hosting its first international summit in San Francisco in January called niTROn. Running on the 17th to 18th the event will be hosting a wide selection of speaker panels, technical workshops, and networking events, though no specifics have been posted on the website yet.
The Tron Network has been aggressively expanding despite the bear market this year. Following its acquisition of peer-to-peer network, Bittorrent, Tron went on to acquire payment app, Poppy. Last month discussions with Chinese internet giant Baidu resulted in collaboration on cloud computing services between the two.
TRX did not escape the crypto rout last week however, falling 18% over the past seven days. Market cap has declined to $1.2 billion but it has managed to hold on to eleventh spot on the crypto charts. At the time of writing TRX was trading down 6% on the day to just below $0.018.
 
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Another Crypto Dump, $12 Billion Slashed on Monday Markets

FOMO Moments
Markets getting mashed this Monday; Ethereum, Cardano, Tron and Iota dumping.
Monday brings more doom and gloom to crypto land as markets have taken another turn south. A small rally over the weekend was not enough to form a sustained recovery and the bears have regained control to knock total market capitalization back below $180 billion.
After a couple of days holding around the $5,600 level Bitcoin has tanked again. BTC is currently down 5% on the day and trading at $5,320 at the time of writing, further losses look likely. Ethereum is falling hard and has hit a new low for the year. Dumping almost 11% on the day, ETH is down to $157, its lowest price since May 2017.
Altcoins are getting hammered again, even XRP can’t escape the bears this time, dropping 7.5% on the day. Cardano is disappearing down the digital drain, with another 12% shed today. EOS, Litecoin and Monero are all losing over 8% on the day. The only winner at the moment is Tether which has finally made it back to a buck.
In the top twenty Tron, Iota and Dash are dumping hard with an 11 percent lost in 24 hours.  Neo, Ethereum Classic and Tezos faring worse, all dropping over 12% on the day.
For the second day Factom is the fomo pumper, adding 28% today to take FCT close to $8. Nothing has been posted on the team’s twitter feed to explain the momentum. ODEM is also defying the drop also with an 8% gain on the day. Loopring, Wanchain, Icon and Aion are all plummeting with 17-18 percent losses today.

Total crypto market capitalization is down 7% at the moment as another $12 billion gets dumped pushing things down to $173 billion. Since the same time last Monday markets have lost over 18%, or almost $40 billion. A number of analysts have predicted further losses for Bitcoin et al, and they’re getting plenty today. Another new yearly low is about to be made by the looks of things.
FOMO Moments is a section that takes a daily look at the top 20 altcoins during the current trading session and analyses the best performing ones, looking for trends and possible fundamentals.
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Ripple Remains Strong Up 10% on The Month, Can it Decouple and Catch Bitcoin?

There have been few survivors from last week’s crypto rout which saw almost $30 billion wiped off the markets in a couple of days. Bitcoin for one has taken a beating this time and has settled at a new price range indicating that a recovery could be a long way off. XRP on the other hand has weathered the digital storm and emerged on top, well on top of Ethereum at least.
Solid Performance Over The Past Month
Ripple constantly claims that XRP has nothing to do with the company but the simple fact is that it does. What happens to Ripple will affect XRP, and with over half the supply locked away by the company, it is still holding all of the strings. Positive developments for both the firm and its token have made XRP one of the few cryptocurrencies to make a gain over the past month. It has made over 10% in the last thirty days while Bitcoin and Ethereum have nosedived 14 and 16 percent respectively.
These gains have pushed XRP above $20 billion market capitalization and into second place as Ethereum continues to slide. The crypto twitter-sphere is awash with talk of a ‘flippening’ today as the notion of XRP catching Bitcoin becomes more valid. It still has a long way to go however with a market cap gap of over $75 billion and many observers are commenting in jest.

The higher $XRP climbs the more I am certain it will flip $BTC in 2019.
Very obvious this will be our new crypto standard.
Hard to accept for many but so was bitcoin back in 2010
— 𝕭𝖎𝖙𝖑𝖔𝖗𝖉 55 (@Crypto_Bitlord) November 18, 2018

CNBC’s crypto-trader host Ran NeuNer highlighted that the recent hash wars between Bitcoin Cash clans has done nothing to bolster the crypto ecosystem or its communities;

These hash wars highlight why everyone should dump BTC and BCH and just put all their money into XRP!
— Ran NeuNer (@cryptomanran) November 17, 2018

Other memes have included pictures of the Grim Reaper coming for Bitcoin. Even Craig Wright of the ‘faketoshi’ tribe chimed in tweeting “For XRP not to be a security, it will need to be a real utility offer. IF something is exchanged with expectations of profit, it is not a utility token. XRP is a tradable good that is sold under the expectation of profit. That in itself makes it a security.” If the US SEC agrees with this, XRP hodlers could be dumped en masse.
Decoupling In Motion?
For XRP to truly be propelled though, it needs to be decoupled from Bitcoin which has driven the state of crypto markets since they began. The only way to do this would be for more exchanges to offer trading pairs in XRP in addition to BTC, ETH and stablecoins. Weiss Ratings tweeted that BTC should not dictate the outcome of every single project in the industry;

What's it gonna take for #XRP to decouple from #BTC? Simple: XRP-based trading pairs. The sooner we add more diversity to the crypto space, the safer we'll all be. #Bitcoin shouldn't dictate the outcome of every single project in this industry. #Binance, are you listening?
— Weiss Ratings (@WeissRatings) November 16, 2018

Binance boss, CZ, meanwhile has also responded, talking about the growing requests for XRP base pairs;

The xrp base shill is strong. Let's get it out of your system, and put all your shills under this one tweet, and let's see how much we get. https://t.co/usiISCtuSj
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) November 18, 2018

At the time of writing during the Asian trading session XRP was trading at $0.50, down less than a percent on the day, but more significantly Bitcoin and Ethereum were dropping even further.
 
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In 2017 Bitcoin Went From $5.5k to $19k in 33 Days, Not Impossible in 2019

Mainstream media, renowned economists and other crypto critics have killed Bitcoin more than 300 times since its launch. But the digital currency always come back from the dead.
Every bitcoin crash from the past has witnessed a surge in crypto-doomsday theories. As a relatively new market, BTC charts do not behave like any conventional asset out there. They demonstrate wild price fluctuations that are adequately scary for weak-hearted traders. Even then, every serious BTC fall eventually turns into an equally vibrant bullish action. Traders, speculating on the long-term potential of the digital currency, buy the dips, hold on to them, and awaits a rally to exit on a profitable note.
The latest Bitcoin crash somewhat repeats the same cycle of death and resurrection. Only this time, the negativities are more intense presumably because of analysts. Almost every prominent Bitcoin bull had pushed $6,000 as an unbeatable bottom. They had reasons, of course. The said level had defended the bullish forts throughout this depressive year. Every extended selling attempt reversed from $6,000 area. Miners recognized it as break-even level based on their return on investments. Factors such as these led the industry to believe that $6,000 will hold the bears for good.
The belief got shattered on Thursday when Bitcoin established a new yearly low below their presumed bottom. The price found interim support at $5,188, attempted an upside correction, and is now trading at $5,471 on Coinbase at the time of writing. However, the market can extend its selling action, for the correction appears weak. In short, BTC is bleeding and in need of blood bags.
Why 2019 is Crucial
Bitcoin bull Tom Lee almost doubled down his price prediction for the digital currency, from a whopping $25,000 to a modest $15,000 by the end of this year. Whether the market will be able to recover to a five-figure value cannot be known yet, but it certainly has enough going on in the background.
Bitcoin ETF, for instance, still holds relevance to how the digital currency sentiment would be in the future. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected nine Bitcoin ETF applications but keeping one under review. The decision about it will come before the last quarter of 2018. VanEck, the ETF’s applicant, is confident about its approval this time, so the bitcoin speculators have enough positive sentiments to keep the market afloat until then.
Similarly, large-scale institutions are launching crypto products to cater to big investors. Fidelity, ICE, Galaxy Digital – the list is growing already. Alex Krüger, a prominent market researcher, claimed that the Wall Street alone had injected $5.9 billion worth of capital into the crypto space. The fruits of such investments will take time to flourish, but they will thrive in a longer run.
In 2017, the Bitcoin market added multi-billion dollars to its market cap within just 33 days. Between the said period, the BTC/USD value shot up to $19,000 from a mere $5,500. And that happened because the speculation was high. In the present, there is speculation. But it is more realistic. So a near-term fall might scare-off day traders but long-term speculators are holding their grounds.
A strong upside won’t surprise, therefore. 2019 has more blood bags for Bitcoin than 2018.
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Crypto Week In Review: Bitcoin ETP Launches In Switzerland, KuCoin Scores $20M

Unfortunately, as cryptocurrencies capitulated throughout the week, losing upwards of 15-20% of their value, so did the news cycle. However, it isn’t all doom and gloom, as there were still a handful of developments indicating that the crypto and blockchain industry is far from dead in the water.
Amun Launches Bitcoin, Ether, XRP ETP In Switzerland
After hinting at the product for two months, over the past seven days, it has been divulged that Amun, a London-based fintech firm, will be listing a multi-crypto exchange-traded product (ETP) in Switzerland. The vehicle, fittingly dubbed the “Amun Crypto ETP,” will track the crypto market’s five leading assets — Bitcoin, Ether, XRP, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. Interestingly, while Amun has focused its product on Bitcoin, the undisputed godfather of all cryptocurrencies, the fund will give a relatively-hefty quarter portion to XRP and one-sixth to Ether.
The product is slated to launch on the Zurich-based SIX Swiss Exchange, the European nation’s largest equity market in terms of capital flow. Jane Street and Flow Traders, two “specialist” market makers, have seeded the ETP, while also agreeing to act as authorized participants in the creation and facilitation of the vehicle.
Speaking with Financial Times on the legitimacy and regulatory viability of the product, Amun CEO and co-founder Hany Rashwan noted:
“The Amun ETP will give institutional investors that are restricted to investing only in securities or do not want to set up custody for digital assets exposure to cryptocurrencies. It will also provide access for retail investors that currently have no access to crypto exchanges due to local regulatory impediments.”
In an evident nod to the crypto community at large, the product will trade under the “HODL” ticker, underscoring the fact that Amun likely has its ear close to the ground of this industry, so to speak. Although this is a far cry from the launch of a product of similar stature in America, many see this as a positive sign nonetheless.
However, the exchange-traded product scene has also been heating up in the U.S. as well, with Gabor Gubacs, VanEck’s head of Digital Asset Strategy, recently sitting down with Ran NeuNer of CNBC Africa’s Crypto Trader to discuss prospects for his firm’s Bitcoin-backed ETF. Gubacs explained that VanEck has now “done everything” they could to counteract the Securities and Exchange Commission’s fears of market manipulation, which led to a negative ruling on the firm’s ETF proposal previously.
As such, many are hopeful that VanEck and its partners at the CBOE and SolidX will be able to procure a regulatory green light, before subsequently launching America’s first Bitcoin ETF in early or mid-2019.
Related Reading: Bitcoin ETF Hopefuls Speak to SEC in Closed-Door Meeting
Susquehanna: GPU Ethereum (ETH) Mining Is Now Uneconomical
In mid-August, NewsBTC reported that some forward-thinking students, like Penn State grad Patrick Cines, had once sought it advantageous and profitable to set up shop mining crypto assets in their dorm rooms. But now, Susquehanna, a Pennsylvania-based trading and technology enterprise, has explained that such small operations are far from feasible.
Per data compiled by Susquehanna, relayed through CNBC, the average Ether (ETH) focused graphics card (GPU) miner has seen their profits dwindle to $0 in the month of November, down from approximately $150 last summer. This collapse in profitability can be attributed to the rise in the Ethereum Network’s hashrate, which has more than doubled in the past 12 months, and the ever-growing presence and viability of EthHash ASIC machines.
Susquehanna representative Christopher Rolland explained that even with Nvidia’s flagship GPU, the GTX 1080, the return-on-investment (ROI) provided shouldn’t make financial sense, especially in the long run. And as such, at the current trajectory that profitability is heading, GPU-enabled miners, even those who are looking to accumulate crypto assets for the long-term, will likely flunk out of mining entirely in due time.
However, Tim Copeland from Decrypt Media has since debunked these claims, speaking with a number of mining savants, including Omegapool founder Greg Meszaros, who claim that throwing computational power at Ethereum to obtain Ether can be profitable in some nations.
Regardless, Nvidia’s publicly-traded shares, presumably due to the decline of the GPU mining market, fell by upwards of 17%, due to missed profit forecasts and qualms made apparent by equity analysts. On Thursday, CEO Jensen Huang touched on the effects that mining has had on Nvidia’s business, noting that “the crypto hangover lasted longer than we expected.”
Related Reading: “Crypto Hangover” Causes Nvidia’s Stock to Tumble 17%
Bitcoin Cash Upgrade Activates, ABC And SV Duke It Out
After months of anticipation, crypto investors woke up giddy on Thursday morning, as the scheduled Bitcoin Cash hard fork remained at the forefront of this industry’s mind. In the hours preceding the network upgrade, banter regarding Bitcoin Cash’s proposed future began to ramp up, with everyone and their mother quipping about this conflict.
Related Reading: BCH Fight: Bitcoin Cash Bashing Heats Up, Rivals Duke It Out Ahead of Hard Fork
Interestingly, the Bitcoin Cash network upgrade went live as expected, with the decentralized nature of blockchain networks preventing direct denial-of-service attacks.
Bitcoin ABC, Roger Ver and Jihan Wu’s client of choice, quickly overtook Craig Wright’s “Satoshi Vision (SV)” following the upgrade, which activated during Bitcoin Cash’s 556,767th block. Just 40 minutes after activation and the subsequent hard fork, Joseph Young, a well-regarded crypto journalist, explained that “[it] seems like a win for BCH,” adding that “[there’s] certainly not enough for a 51% attack on BCH… SV nodes reportedly crashing.”
While SV supporters held tight to their liferaft, ABC supporters celebrated, with Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of the Ethereum Project, even joining a livestream of the event to congratulate Roger Ver and his peers.
However, since the NewsBTC report, Craig Wright’s camp has seen a monumental resurgence in mining activity, with SV quickly closing the block height and hashrate gap. Earlier today, as revealed by Coin.Dance, a website launched to monitor the fork, SV temporarily passed ABC in terms of hashrate, which is a first since the upgrade went live. Although ABC has since regained some strength, the block height cap has fallen to 15, down from a jaw-dropping ~50 on Thursday night.

Regardless of the specifics, as a result of the continued confusion around the “true winner” of this fork, BCH has continued to capitulate, indicating that this multi-month conflict instilled more fear than faith in crypto investors at large.

Crypto Tidbits

Google, Target Hacked In Bitcoin Twitter Scam: Early this week, reports arose that the Twitter account of Target, the multinational retailer, had fallen victim to an unfortunate security breach. Although this isn’t news in and of itself, the supposedly-hacked account posted a Bitcoin (BTC) scam in the format that crypto enthusiasts found all too familiar. Although the tweet was was only online for 30 minutes, mainstream media went into a frenzy, taking to their respective sites to essentially lambast hackers and crypto assets. This debacle saw Target and Twitter respond, with the latter explaining that it has implemented the correct measures to prevent such wanton security breaches. However, just hours, if not minutes later, Google’s G Suite Twitter account, responsible for telling consumers about Gmail, Google Drive, Google+, and a number of other popular products, fell victim to the same hack.
Research: ICO Performance Dismal In Q3 2018: A 67-page report from ICORating, a leading crypto analytics startup, has indicated that token offerings suffered through the third quarter of this year. More specifically, funding of blockchain/crypto projects was down to $1.8 billion, a far cry from the $8.3 billion posted in Q2. Even worse, a mere four percent of the 597 ICO-issued tokens were listed on exchanges, with these tokens making up a small portion of the mere 23.15 percent of projects that had more than just a concept, idea, or vision. Reasoning why projects suffered throughout the past quarter, ICORating drew attention to a significant drop in returns (bear market), decreasing levels of transparency from teams, maturation of investors/funds, failure to innovate properly, slow blockchain/crypto adoption rates, and most importantly, the fact that ICO regulation has reached new heights.
KuCoin Scores $20 Million In Funding Round: KuCoin, a Singapore-based, Asia-centric crypto exchange, recently revealed that it secured $20 million in funding from a number of venture capital giants, including Matrix Partners, Neo Global Capital, and IDG Capital, the latter of which led the Series A round. This funding is evidently a sum of utmost importance, as the startup explained that it will use this injection of capital to bolster its services, platform, and products, which are aimed at cryptocurrency investors across the globe. Speaking with Straits Times, IDG Capital’s Young Guo touched on his employer’s KuCoin investment. Guo explained that KuCoin is a “legitimate project led by [a] team with integrity,” before subsequently noting that IDG sees boatloads of potential in blockchain as the world’s next ground-breaking innovation. Or as put by Dan Morehead, CEO of Pantera Capital, in a recent Bloomberg interview, “[crypto will become an] industry serial killer.”

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Cryptocurrency Market Update: Swiss Crypto ETP Approval Elevates XRP, Stellar Tops EOS

FOMO Moments
Markets recovering a little on Sunday; XRP moving up, Stellar and Monero not far behind.
A Sunday bounce has pulled cryptocurrency markets back from the abyss … for now. Following one of the largest falls this year during the week markets are recovering a little today as total capitalization creeps back up over $185 billion.
Bitcoin has made it back to $5,600 with a small gain of 1.3% on the day. Since its 2018 low of $5,350 on Thursday Bitcoin has regained 4.7%, however, since the same time last week it has dumped 12.5%. Ethereum has not been able to recover much at all and has only made it back to $176 with 1.4% added at the time of writing.

XRP is the big mover in the top ten today, accelerating away from Ethereum in third spot. XRP has risen 10% on the day taking it to $0.516 at the time of writing. It is now over $2.5 billion clear of ETH in terms of market cap.  Momentum has come from Switzerland which has given the green light to the first cryptocurrency ETP (exchange traded product) with over 25% invested in XRP. Japanese traders have been buying up the token on Bitbank this morning as trade volume climbs 36% on the day to $730 million.
Stellar is also recovering well today with a 5.5% gain, pushing it up to fifth spot above EOS. Monero is not far behind adding around 4.5%. The rest are up around 2-3 percent on the day. In the top twenty Zcash has clawed back 4% but the rest are only gaining one or two. Nem and Tezos were still marginally in the red at the time of writing.
Today’s obscure fomo pump is BOScoin, entering the top one hundred with a 16% surge on the day. Stratis is also doing well adding 10% and CyberMiles is climbing over 7%. Still dropping like a stone is Nasdacoin with a further fall of 14%.
Total crypto market capitalization has gained a little on yesterday’s low levels. $5 billion has been added over the past day to lift markets 2.8% to $186 billion. Things are still grim on the weekly and monthly views with a 12.5% dump for crypto markets for these periods.
FOMO Moments is a section that takes a daily look at the top 20 altcoins during the current trading session and analyses the best performing ones, looking for trends and possible fundamentals.
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