Crypto and Blockchain Smartphones Will be The Next Big Thing

This week the crypto-sphere has been awash with talk about Samsung and its next generation flagship phone coming loaded with crypto goodies. While the company itself has dismissed the story according to reports, rivals are shipping out products that will no doubt keep Samsung on its toes.
Samsung Rumors Aplenty
The hype was instigated by a Samsung community website which ran a story on crypto cold storage functionality being included on the Galaxy S10. According to SamMobile which ran an exclusive a few days ago;
“After hearing about the trademarks for Samsung’s blockchain and cryptocurrency software, we decided to dig around a little deeper. We can confirm that the company is indeed developing one and that it may be launched with the Galaxy S10.”
The story went on to tout a number of features such as a cold wallet for storing crypto, signing of public and private keys, and a wallet for transfers and viewing transaction history. The story was syndicated across the crypto media web building a level of hype akin to that when Facebook was rumored to be delving into digital coins. Even crypto warlord John McAfee commented;
“Has Samsung ever made a strategic miscalculation? I think not. Crypto is not just here to stay. It is taking over. Listen market — you damn well better keep up.”
Contrary reports on Cointelegraph claimed that Samsung has refuted the story labeling it as ‘speculation’. “Unfortunately we are unable to provide any information as the below is rumor and speculation,” the South Korean tech giant reportedly said.
The fact is that Samsung has filed for several blockchain and crypto related patents including those regarding storage and cold wallets, so putting two and two together SamMobile garnered a lot of traffic for itself.
The company is remaining tight lipped but the launch of a blockchain powered smartphone with cryptocurrency transaction capabilities is only a matter of time. The two technologies go hand in hand – making micro-payments instantly while on the move would be better with a dedicated smartphone than a clunky laptop.
Rival phone maker HTC is already on the ball with the launch of its Exodus 1 blockchain phone this week. Reviews are already hitting the web and it was announced that the device would come preloaded with the Brave decentralized browser that is powered by the BAT token which has recently been listed on Coinbase Pro.
From a hardware perspective the device is very similar to those from rivals, but it functions as a node on HTC’s own blockchain to enable the running of dApps and allow fee free cryptocurrency transactions.  The Exodus 1 also comes pre-loaded with a raft of security features and crypto storage facilities.
It is without a doubt that Samsung are working on something similar even if they are being coy about it right now. While these crypto-phones may just be something out of a cypherpunk’s dream, they are the pioneers today of what is likely to be commonplace in the not too distant future.
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Coinbase and PayPal – A Match Made in Crypto Heaven?

Crypto exchange giant Coinbase usually blows its own trumpet when a new option is available on its trading platform. This has not been the case however with the recent addition of PayPal as an option to withdraw fiat for a small number of its customers.
There has been no official announcement however the company FAQ page has been updated with the following notice:
“Beginning in November, Coinbase will add the ability for customers to link their PayPal and Coinbase accounts. Depending on country of residence, customers can either withdraw cash to PayPal or sell their crypto to their PayPal account.”
Currently the countries of residence are reportedly limited to the US, UK, EU and Canada but at the time of writing the PayPal option was not available via the UK portal when we tried to link an account as confirmed by the Coinbase support chatbot.

The announcement goes on to state;
“Currently, customers are only able to use PayPal to withdraw or sell, and transaction availability depends on region. Coinbase does not support the ability to purchase digital currency using your PayPal account.” It also states that all of the regular KYC requirements must be satisfied before the PayPal option is made available.
Varying reports are filtering down the Coinbase Reddit stream from users that have tried withdrawing to PayPal. Some are claiming it takes 13 days to transfer out, others stating that it doesn’t work for Canadians yet, and our own experience of failure from the UK portal indicates that there is probably a reason Coinbase has kept this quiet.
PayPal’s Excessive Fees Are Another Case For Crypto
Whether the option is available or not, PayPal is hardly a bastion of decentralized finance. It does not adhere to any global banking regulations and can freeze or close accounts at its whim – which appears to be the source of the highest number of complaints from its users.
In addition to the vice-like grip of control over it maintains over customer finances and accounts, PayPal has some of the highest foreign exchange fees in the industry. Converting currencies can cost as much as 5% if you do it via PayPal. That is a cost of $50 to send $1000 if converting to or from another currency. This is evidently how the company has made over $13 billion profit in 2017.
In addition to excessive forex fees, and waiting times of up to a week for bank withdrawals, PayPal is constantly increasing its base fees which are often much higher than high street banks. This will eventually send users to crypto where transfers are virtually instant and cost a fraction.
PayPal is the antichrist when it comes to cryptocurrencies and the entire model of decentralized peer-to-peer finance. Coinbase also gets its fair share of complaints about higher than industry average fees, and rather zealous account controls. In this scenario it appears to be modeling itself as the PayPal of the crypto world.
 
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UBS Economist Bashes Bitcoin, Arguments Based on Lacking Information

Another day, another CNBC Fast Money crypto- and Bitcoin-related segment.
Following a three-day streak of bullish-on-Bitcoin guests, CNBC’s somewhat notorious Fast Money panel turned the tables, calling upon an impassioned cryptocurrency critic to make an appearance. However, as is normally the case, this skeptic’s arguments fell short and failed to dent the price of Bitcoin, even in the slightest.

UBS says it's time to bury bitcoin. The man behind the bold call UBS' Paul Donovan makes his case. #bitcoin $BTC pic.twitter.com/8eX8E4fK1A
— CNBC's Fast Money (@CNBCFastMoney) November 29, 2018

UBS’ Bitcoin Basher Takes To CNBC Fast Money
On Wednesday, to the dismay of crypto’s advocates worldwide, Paul Donovan, the global chief economist at UBS, released an anti-crypto note, endowed with the hair-raising title, “I come to bury Bitcoin, not to praise it.” Although Donovan was quickly put on the back foot by crypto’s zealous knights, the UBS executive took to Fast Money to double-down on his scathing comments.
CNBC anchor Mellisa Lee first asked the apparent cynic if the timing of the note’s release was opportunistic, meant to capitalize on crypto’s recent collapse to finally “bury Bitcoin.”
Responding to this inquiry with unbridled assurance, Donovan, the author of the now-infamous piece, exclaimed that “anybody with a higher school education in economics would be a Bitcoin skeptic from the [get-go],” essentially echoing near-identical claims made by Nouriel “Dr. Doom” Roubini.
Trying to referencing his credentials and multiple decades of experience inside the economic realm, Donovan touched on the controversial sentiment that cryptocurrencies aren’t currencies, nor will they be at “any point in the future.” The representative of UBS, a multinational investment and financial services giant, then touted his cynicism further, noting that by late-2017, it was clear that “this (cryptocurrency) was going to end badly.”
Aiming to contradict his remarks, given with little-to-none context, Lee, a crypto-leaning CNBC host, brought up the Wall Street and Silicon Valley “brain drain,” where traditional firms saw executives and employees exit en-masse to foray into crypto. Still, Donovan remained true to his conjectures, noting that this so-called “brain drain” was the result of hype and fears surrounding the legacy financial system.
Missing the point of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies entirely, the economist added that it is irrational to think that the U.S. government’s incessant money printing habits should be a concern, totally skipping over the value proposition of this nascent technology in borderless, decentralized, and censorship-resistant transfers of value and data.
He concluded his comments by trying to disprove the sentiment that Bitcoin is digital gold, the world’s next go-to store of value, by stating that with Bitcoin, supply cannot be controlled, before claiming that he dismantled the gold 2.0 argument entirely.
Again, this couldn’t be further from the truth, as Bitcoin hasn’t only maintained its value over its decade-long history, but outperformed every single other asset class in just a few years.
Not So Fast, Paul Donovan
In a testament to Donovan’s fallacious points, prominent crypto commentators and analysts took to Twitter to contradict the controversial CNBC Fast Money segment. Airswap’s Rob Paone, better known as Crypto Bobby, joked:

Shaking in my space boots, Paul pic.twitter.com/VWRX0DdUtT
— Crypto Bobby (@crypto_bobby) November 30, 2018

Tom Lee, Fundstrat’s head of research and internal crypto proponent/researcher, addressed Donovan’s comments with skepticism by simply stating that “time will tell,” ending his tweet on the matter with a foreboding ellipsis.
Crypto Dog and I am Nomad, two prominent pseudonymous crypto traders, called out UBS, with the former analyst trashing the performance of UBS’ public shares, while the latter drew attention to the financial institution’s kerfuffles regarding money laundering.
Related Reading: Bitcoin is Criminal Money Says the Media While Deutsche Bank Gets Raided for Laundering
The four comments were just the tip of the iceberg, as dozens, if not hundreds of this community’s most devoted participants quickly picked apart Donovan’s claims and unease around this infant subject.
And as such, it has become apparent that this nascent industry’s leading players aren’t ready to bury the hatchet with UBS and its in-house Bitcoin skeptic, as such pieces of criticism are usually wanton and arguably, slanderous. So just like with JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s classification of Bitcoin as a “fraud,” many believe it is just a matter of time before Donovan will take to public forums to shamefully retract his baseless qualms with the world’s first cryptocurrency.
Related Reading: No, Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffett Won’t Have the Last Laugh on Bitcoin
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Are We There Yet? When Will Crypto Markets and Bitcoin Hit The Bottom

When things go south in crypto land it happens fast, a digital avalanche sweeping away everything that stands in its path and blasting most of digital coins into oblivion.
This weekend’s exodus has been a third wave of selling which has resulted in the loss of over $90 billion from crypto markets this month alone. In a fortnight the market has shrunk by 43% in what has been the largest loss this year.

Since Bitcoin still dominates proceedings and performance for the rest of the market it should be BTC that we look to when searching for a bottom. It was widely predicted that Bitcoin would find a plateau at around $6,000 which it did for a couple of months. External influences such as the SEC or ICOs, or even the Bitcoin Cash fork, have been blamed for it dropping below that level but this is unlikely to be the case.
As we have seen, $6k was not the bottom, not even close to it. The next level predicted was $4,500 but Bitcoin plunged through this support level yesterday as it dropped below $4k for the first time since September 2017.

The next level is $3,000 and this one is key if longer term charts and trends are to be observed. Taking previous price swings into consideration, market analyst Murad Mahmudov predicted things will fall even further if Bitcoin is to replicate previous patterns before it recovers.

5/ low 3000s not outside the realm of possibility if the Descending Triangle pattern plays out fully pic.twitter.com/i96zTtPQ5V
— Murad Mahmudov (@MustStopMurad) November 15, 2018

A fall to around $3,000 will leave the entire crypto market with a capitalization below $100 billion and the rest of the altcoins in severe pain. Once this level is reached things are likely to stay there for several months before any sign of recovery so hold on to your seats because things will probably get worse before they improve.
Others predict an even lower bottom with Bitcoin back at $1,000. Either way, Bitcoin and crypto has fallen this fast and this heavy before, in several instances over the past decade BTC has lost over 80% in less than a year. It has recovered before and will do so again, the fundamentals for this technology are still extremely strong.
The bear market this year has simply weeded out all of those that got into crypto to make a quick buck, usually with little understanding of what they were investing in. Things will find their equilibrium and eventually the trends for the market will start to reverse. Those in for the long haul will be adding value, building, and working on wider scale adoption of cryptocurrencies which is the only thing that will sustain their development and secure their place as part of our technological future.
 
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No, Governments Can’t do a Better Job Developing Crypto

Would a state-backed cryptocurrency be better than its decentralized counterpart? International media has already rolled out their opinions on the matter. It’s a YES-IT-CAN.
The opinions find their inspirations in comments made by Christine Lagarde last week. The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that a government-backed cryptocurrency would eliminate the issues of trust that have clogged the decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
New York Times reacted to the IMF chief’s remarks, calling it “a hopeful sign for digital tokens,” while predicting it could “have a chilling effect on existing, nongovernmental tokens.” The Guardian offered its editorial space to a long-time Bitcoin critic and economist Nouriel Roubini to further his plan. He outright called cryptocurrencies worthless when compared to central bank digital currencies (CBDC).
“If a CBDC were to be issued, it would immediately displace cryptocurrencies, which are not scalable, cheap, secure, or [actually] decentralized,” Roubini claimed.
Missing Links
The comments mentioned above appear at a time when the cryptocurrency market cap has plunged by more than 70 percent since its all-time high. It has allowed critics to jump to the conclusion that decentralized digital currencies, mainly Bitcoin and Ethereum, have no intrinsic value, that they are highly speculative unlike central-bank issued fiat money. Yet, critics have ignored the whys and whats that prompted the launch of decentralized assets at the first place. They have been unable to respond to how Federal Reserve stimulus programmes, secret bailouts, and money production have destroyed the value of the US Dollar.
Their focus has turned more towards proving Bitcoin as a sugar-coated false promise of a financial revolution while ignoring the very bads of the existing financial system. Economy believes that an asset has value when it checks scarcity and utility. The US Dollar lacks scarcity, for its supply is governed by a centralized body called Federal Reserve. There is no check on how many dollars would get printed, allowing insiders to manipulate a greenback-backed market on their whims.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, has a set cap of 21 million tokens. Its supply is governed by mathematical algorithms, meaning no corrupt human involvement would be able to topple it. As far as the use-cases are concerned, Bitcoin has been constantly looked at for its potential of becoming a store-of-value asset like Gold, while being constantly considered for settling cross-border payments despite its price volatility.
The critics then say that bitcoin has no intrinsic value. But even gold and paper money suffers from the same stigma. According to the World Council, only 15 percent of the global Gold supply is used in industrial applications. The rest goes into making bars, bullions, and jewelry – mainly because people trust they have value.
Trust is the Only Factor
The launch of Bitcoin was a response to a global financial crisis in which – let’s accept it – banks had f***ed up the economy. The digital currency – more or less – follows the philosophy of the Austrian Monetary Theory. According to it, money can be sound only when its supply is limited. It believes that money should not be controlled by the state. These facts are missing from the reports and opinion pieces of anti-Bitcoin economists.
The Federal Reserve and central bankers believe that only they have the right to print money. Bitcoin is only a beginning towards breaking the myth. As long as the central banks do not innovate and protect people against currency inflation – as evident in the case of Zimbabwe and Venezuela – there is no chance they would be able to outrun crypto. People need to trust their banks, but mainstream media and economists are avoiding a broader discussion.
The next financial crisis should bring more evidence to the theory. No rush.
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Are You Bothered by Shallow Project Reviews?

Those who want to support the blockchain community must call out the sarcasm and half-truths of shallow reviews. Or should we even bother about this issue?
Journalistic freedom (or freedom of expression and its corollaries, press freedom and freedom of information) is both a right and a responsibility. If you throw a punch as a writer, you should be able to parry counterpunches. Everything should be in the spirit of getting to the bottom of things.
A press statement might be partly true, or only part of the whole truth, but with the use of some deceptive element, such as improper punctuation, innuendos or double meaning, the writer is able to deceive, evade, blame or misrepresent the truth. Critical supporters of the blockchain space must detect sarcasm and half-truths so as not to victimized by shallow reviews.
In the Blockchain space, we are NOT protagonists, we are collaborators. If there are differences in perception, we ask for due clarification. This is my perception of one review of #MetaHash where some sections of the code were sarcastically commented upon and the marketing strategy was dismissively criticized.  Here are my comments on Cronje’s review:

This situation is an example of shallow reviews which highlight the ignorance of the reviewer and the incapacity to understand fully, encouraging prejudgment without further proof.
Capacity to answer questions like “is the project capable to show the capacity which it promised” should be verified not by the code but by tests properly done and explained. This could be arranged if the journalist would allow the developers to show even once instructively.
Shallow reviews get media attention but what the space needs are neutral reviews for the blockchain to obtain massive support.
A lot of scam and badly developed projects are on the market, and misleading reviews don’t help the audience to critically select what is real and what is not.
Without deep analysis and testing, good projects may just not be noticed and analyzed in the right way, and thus, lose its chance to be verified as viable products.

If any writer uses SENSATIONALISM while disregarding his public duty, take care. Here’s a warning:“Naysayers, unfortunately, delay massive adoption of the blockchain by their ineptitude, lack of objectivity, inflexibility, ignorance, and incredulity.” We in the blockchain space all lose by default.
For whose cause are you in? Weigh the evidence against consequences.
Although the “thoroughness” of Andre Cronje from Crypto Briefing concerning #Metahash seems fair, consider the disparaging remarks which cloud the real issue of clarifying matters for the growing community. If we want to demolish traditional monopolies and work together for distributing power to the greater population, what’s the other agenda?
Can you detect the biased, dismissive, vague, and ill-defined manner by which the Cronje review started and concluded? Such journalistic style contravenes the tenets of the  Journalist’s Creed which partly advocates:
“Advertising, news, and editorial columns should alike serve the best interests of readers; that a single standard of helpful truth and cleanness should prevail for all; that the supreme test of good journalism is the measure of its public service.”
Here are sections of Cronje’s “sarcastic” review:

Major “points” raised in Mr. Cronje’s “conclusion” read:

“Started rough but we ended with some fair code. No secret sauce there, and nothing really wow.”
“Not seeing any of the massive claims they are making being validated by the code though.”
“I really don’t like the hype focus, makes them feel very scammy, and the promises are not validated.”
“But there is some good code supporting this.”
“Is it what is being promised on the website? No, definitely not.”

#Metahash offered Andre Cronje to take part in the live stream with Gleb Nikitin, Tech Lead of #MetaHash. At the live stream, they will discuss the concerns Mr. Andre raised and any other questions he may have regarding #MetaHash and its code.
Here is the invite from #MetaHash, in Crypto Briefing telegram channel:

And Andre Cronje’s response:

I wonder if this invite was too long to read, or was the code really read in full before commenting on it? I am no judge, I think an open discussion should be the field and the community should be the wise judge, not me, or any one person. So, is the challenge on @Andre Cronje?
#MetaHash replied to it after a day’s time:

Another Social Media Fiasco?
Let’s make the blockchain community a transparent one. Freedom of expression is a universal human right but misuse of this could get many in trouble. Putting down a project for the main reason that you could not understand some sections of it is irresponsible and implies lack of professionalism.
Cronje’s continued avoidance to be “enlightened” by Gleb Nikitin in an open discussion can be interpreted in many ways:

Cronje is not really interested to know the answers to his queries.
Cronje has other motivations besides knowing the answers.
Cronje has been privately “satisfied” in his queries.

If clarification is the issue, then let’s all get clarification done in a public forum, with all matters laid out for general education. Bottomline, the community expects Mr. Andre Cronje to accept the #Metahash invitation as the matter has repercussions in the blockchain space.
About the Author: Karnika E. Yashwant (KEY) is a multi-awarded CEO of a dozen brands.
He has been advising blockchain projects since 2013.

Disclaimer: The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those
of the author and do not necessarily represent those of NewsBTC.

Image: Pixabay
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BCH Fight: Bitcoin Cash Bashing Heats Up, Rivals Duke it Out Ahead of Hard Fork

The cryptocurrency industry is still in its infancy, or so we keep being told. That infancy, or childishness, is often revealed on the crypto-sphere’s primary tool for communication, Twitter. No greater example has been seen than the recent battles between rival camps over the upcoming Bitcoin Cash hard fork.
Three Camps, One Vision
The Bitcoin Cash hard fork, set for November 15, is part on an ongoing network upgrade published in its roadmap. It is a high possibility that the two or even three versions of the fork will be updated from BCH in different ways. The three current proposals are Bitcoin ABC, Bitcoin SV (Satoshi’s Vision), and Bitcoin Unlimited.
The first version is Bitcoin ABC which is essentially Bitcoin Cash in its current state with no major changes aside from a few network updates. This was founded by Bitcoin’s own ‘antichrist’, Roger Ver, last year when it split from the original chain in order to increase block size for faster transactions at lower cost. It currently has the majority of the mining power.
Bitcoin SV is an opposing liberal branch led by the man often referred to as ‘Faketoshi’, Craig Wright. Its vision is to overwrite existing code and increase block size even further, from 32Mb up to 128Mb in order to scale the network even further. It does not have the community support of the other two.
In the third corner is Bitcoin Unlimited which is a compromise between the two above headed by lead developer, Andrew Stone. The upgrade gives more voting power back to the miners to select the changes they want in the network. This would be achieved by switching to the Bitcoin Unlimited client and submitting a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal for proposed changes.
BCH Fight
The social media outbursts and claims from some of these ‘crypto pioneers’ leading up to this technological division have been a source of entertainment in themselves so here are a few …

And, no you ABSOLUTE cuck
Bitcoin IS not even close to a soy boy commitee
It is all use hard assed buggers bending you over to show you the light.
It is capitalism. Enjoy pic.twitter.com/oLsr2I407v
— Dr Craig S Wright (@ProfFaustus) November 13, 2018

The #BitcoinCash Civil War camps, $BCHSV $BCHABC summarized in a few quotes by @ProfFaustus who advocates Bitcoin Satoshi Vision and @rogerkver on the side of Bitcoin ABC. Billions at stake for both sides… Who is right at the end? $BCH #November15th #HardFork pic.twitter.com/s0KyKd94Si
— Global Chain (@global_chain) November 14, 2018

BTC supporters are too incompetent to even keep the blocks full like they want. #FAIL https://t.co/7BkqaVqLZS
— Roger Ver (@rogerkver) November 1, 2018

The whole BCH community are working together to kick Fake Satoshi out. The resisitence against cult leader proves the inner strength and sophistication of the BCH ecosystem!
— Jihan Wu (@JihanWu) November 9, 2018

Will be interesting af to see how the $BCH hash rate reacts when #Bitmain turns on 70,000 asics to signal for $BCHABC.
Does the crazy CSW have a hidden move for $BCHSV to outpower @JihanWu and @rogerkver?
This #Decentralised hash war is gona be so exciting for the bystanders
— Crypto Galacticos (@CryptoGalactico) November 13, 2018

If @jihanwu, @Rogerver & ABC devs want to make #Permissionless Kiddie porn sites and Silk Road Version2.0
They can piss off to #Dash
They are NOT adding this to #BCH
This is the ONLY real use case they have and it is not happening!
— Dr Craig S Wright (@ProfFaustus) November 8, 2018

Bitcoin maximalists on the other hand are reveling in it all, harking back to their own battles when BTC split back in November 2017 to create the BCH fork;

Oh well.. Karma's a $BCH. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
— WhalePanda (@WhalePanda) November 13, 2018

 
Regardless of ideology or fork preference, the petty squabbling is detracting from the real enemy, at least according to the original Satoshi; the centralized banking system. Essentially everyone wants the same thing, to improve the system, but they can’t seem to get over their egos to come to a human derived consensus yet. And so the tweet wars continue, at least until tomorrow when it looks like the miners will decide. Current stats on miner, node and hashrate divisions between all versions can be found on Coin.dance.
 
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Is Coinbase Trying to Disrupt Bitcoin’s Reserve Asset Status by Listing New USDC Pairs

In recent weeks two new cryptocurrencies have been listed on Coinbase, 0x and BAT. Both resulted in predictable pump and dumps immediately before and a few hours after the announcements. This is no surprise, but the fact that one of these two new listings is only available to trade in USDC could raise a few eyebrows.
Stablecoins to disrupt Bitcoin’s dominance
USD Coin, or USDC, is a dollar-pegged ERC20 stablecoin from Circle and Coinbase. It has been designed to rival Tether which has been embroiled in its fair share of controversy recently. According to the blurb on the website “CENTRE stablecoins are issued by regulated and licensed financial institutions that maintain full reserves of the equivalent fiat currency. Issuers are required to regularly report USD reserve holdings, and that information will be made available upon request.”
According to Coinmarketcap USDC volume is currently $2.2 million with a market cap of $134 million, so still a long way off USDT. Coinbase Pro is now using USDC to facilitate trading on its exchange for US customers. Those in Europe and the UK on regular Coinbase will have Euros and GBP respectively. The notable thing now is that the latest newly listed cryptocurrency is ONLY available in USDC and not Bitcoin or fiat as has traditionally been the case.
BAT was listed on Coinbase Pro over the weekend and the token predictably pumped 23% following the announcement. It is however only available in USDC which could be a sign of things to come when Coinbase lists more cryptocurrencies. The next most likely to be added to the platform are Stellar, Cardano and Zcash according company blog posts.
Bitcoin has traditionally been the medium of choice for trading altcoins when fiat trading is unavailable. Some have observed that if the trend continues Coinbase could be trying to disrupt Bitcoin’s position as a reserve asset for the crypto space;

Coinbase listed BAT only against USDC, not BTC. So if you wanna buy BAT (not that anyone should), you need to buy USDC first. Let's see if this trend continues with future pairs (or even existing ones), could be an attempt to disrupt BTC's status as reserve asset of this space.
— Hasu (@hasufl) November 6, 2018

The battle for stablecoin supremacy has shifted gears in the last month with a new one appearing almost weekly. All of these fiat-pegged currencies are slowly weakening Bitcoin’s status as a crypto reserve for trading and hodling, but that maybe the intention of Coinbase and other exchanges such as Gemini. At the moment the majority of BAT trade is in BTC on Binance which has 65% of the total so there is no change as yet.
However, if future pairs listed on Coinbase and other exchanges are only available in USDC, GUSD, or whatever the respective exchange is offering, then this could be the case. We will have to wait until the next announcement to see if this trend continues, which should not be that long.
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Crypto Volatility Woes Over? Bitcoin and Ethereum Stable for Over a Year

Word is, Bitcoin is the new stablecoin. Indeed it has, and behind this observation are solid metrics and research findings.
Recently, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) released their findings demonstrating that Bitcoin volatility is lower than that of Amazon and a majority of FANG stocks. Bitcoin and similar digital assets are, or were, known to move by wide margins.
Low Volatility: CBOE and BVI Trackers
The CBOE clearly demonstrated that Bitcoin’s 20-day historical volatility had dropped to 31.5 percent and this was lower than that of Amazon (35 Percent), Netflix (52 percent), and a long list of other publicly traded stocks like Nvidia whose 20-day volatility stood at 40 percent.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Following this is the visible drop in standard deviation. According to MarketWatch, the standard deviation of Bitcoin dropped from $4,640 or around +/-42 percent in January to $475 or +/-7.3 percent in October.
Standard deviation is a measure of dispersion of price from the mean, and the higher the dispersion, the greater the standard deviation. As such, this finding clearly demonstrated that there is a taper in volatility as standard depreciation decreased by a factor of 10.
Coincidentally, this finding meshes well with statistics drawn from the Bitcoin Volatility Index. The Bitcoin Volatility Index (BVI) measures the standard deviation of daily returns within a 30-and 60-day window and the BVI is an indicator of volatility based on Bitcoin’s historical prices.

 
The BVI tracks the volatility of Bitcoin prices in USD and the latest 30-day estimate puts Bitcoin’s volatility at 1.50 percent while the 60-day estimate is at 2.05 percent. By comparison, the volatility of Gold stands at 1.20 percent and the average volatility of fiat oscillates between 0.5 percent to 1.0 percent during the same time frame.
Bitcoin is not the same coin whose prices are stable. Ethereum’s weekly volatility stands at 2.69 percent according to data from BitMex.

Ethereum $200 in May 2017Ethereum $200 in October 2018
Ethereum is the real stablecoin https://t.co/cfaO2mUoQj
— Joseph Young (@iamjosephyoung) October 28, 2018

Signs of a Bottoming Market?
Could this be an indication that Bitcoin is finally bottoming out. As we can see from the technical price charts, the BTC/USD pair has been moving within a larger $3,000 price range with clear support at $6,000. This level has been retested a record six times, but despite strong bear pressure, prices do recover and surge higher.

Besides the strong support at $6,000, it is visible that whenever prices print lower, the standard deviation decreases and the last 14 days has been characterized by a tight $350 trade range inside Oct 15 high lows. This raises more questions than answers: is this tapering volatility pointers to a maturing market or has the market finally shaken off speculators?

One thing that people are ignoring in this quiet market is the fact that, as of tomorrow, Bitcoin will have held $6,000 for over a year. That’s huge. It’s proving that bitcoin is functioning as a store of value.
— Nicholas Merten (@Nicholas_Merten) October 28, 2018

Charlie Morris, multi-asset head at Atlantic House Fund Management in London weighed in on the surprising volatility around Bitcoin’s price saying:
“It simply means the market is calm and in balance. That implies that speculative interest is low. Given this bear market is now 10 months old and is getting tired, I’d be inclined to be bullish for the next major move.”
Bubble Popped
Around this time last year, in a FOMO moment, people were simply not willing to let go of a chance that could see then double or even triple their Bitcoin investment in matter of days or weeks. An opportunity which would have taken years in traditional investments.
This buying wave increased volatility, hampering adoption, and were the hallmarks of a bubble which was well-observed by Angela Walch, a law professor at St. Mary’s University in Texas. Angela is an expert studying financial and cryptocurrency stability and in an interview with Vice she said:
“Some of the hallmarks to me involve the FOMO idea—the fear of missing out and never being able to get in. People see other people making a lot of money and they just want in on it. The housing bubble is a good example of that. People thought another person would always want to buy their house from them at a higher price.”
Now that the bubble has been popped, many project that the market will recover and trend within reasonable volatility encouraging market wide adoption. In turn this will benefit coin holders who are here for the long haul.
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Chinese Yuan Weakens to Yearly Low Point, Will it Strengthen Bitcoin?

The national currency of China weakened beyond a critical level as political tensions with the US worsened.
The yuan dropped below 6.93 per dollar this week, within a striking range of its January 2017 low, owing to a series of negative factors from weaker equities to a vaguer monetary stance by the People Bank of China. Despite the central bank’s efforts to preserve the yuan value by relaxing reserve ratios for banks, the market’s largest stocks fell by over 5 percent.
The latest drop of yuan contributes to an overall 9 percent loss against the dollar in the last six months, making the Chinese yuan one of the worst performing Asian currencies. With the price now forming downside sentiments towards January’s low, investors are already building up their positions towards the said downtrend.
“Investors are stepping up building positions betting the yuan will drop to 7 per dollar now after the currency breached 6.9,” Ken Peng, an investment strategist at Citi Private Bank in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg. “The RRR cut sends a strong signal that China is in an easing cycle and all external news makes a case for a stronger dollar.”
Bitcoin-Yuan Correlation
Researchers have previously established a mild inverse correlation between the price action of yuan and bitcoin. Before the PBOC ban took effect, China was contributing to the 90 percent of the overall Bitcoin trading volume that somewhat bridged the fundamentals of both the distinctive assets. However, with all the local crypto exchanges now either closed or offshored, the association between bitcoin and yuan has faded vastly.
The latest Yuan drop could enable PBOC to reintroduce stricter capital controls similar to July. Bitcoin traditionally has posed itself as an answer to any centralized finance control. The devaluation of Turkish Lira and Iranian Rial in the wake of US sanctions, for instance, had raised the local Bitcoin volume – and reportedly even the value – in those regions. However, this time around in China, no such impacts can be noted in the peer-to-peer Chinese crypto trades.
According to the data available on Local Bitcoins, the minimum Yaun-to-Bitcoin ask rate listed is circa $6,643 (46,000 CNY) which is only 20 dollars higher than the global standard, at the time of this writing. Similarly, the minimum bid rate is 30 dollars cheaper than the international Bitcoin rate.

The Bitcoin volume is also not showing any significant response to the depreciating yuan value. It means that the notion of investors bypassing undervalued fiat currencies by investing in cryptos is fading. Nevertheless, only big investors pouring funds into crypto sector would show some volatile global movements in price, which cannot be the case when a majority of Chinese Bitcoin community trades retail – under a ban.
In a broader perspective, a depleting correlation between fiat and crypto confirms that these assets have different fundamental factors working behind them. While fiat values are traditionally more responsive to global policies, inflation, interest rates, debts and whatnot, and cryptos, being a new asset class, responds to factors including regulations, investment influx, adoption in real time, etc.
Nevertheless, Bitcoin continues to pose itself as a last resort of struggling economies.
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Zebpay’s Co-Founder is Still “Bullish on Bitcoin” Despite Exchange Closure

Sandeep Goenka recently closed down his Bitcoin exchange in India, but he remains optimistic towards the digital currency that began the financial decentralization movement.
In his latest tweet, the co-founder of the now-defunct Zebpay said that he is more bullish on Bitcoin than he ever was. Goenka is not the first entrepreneur or investor who has expressed his upside bias towards the digital currency. But the statement comes at a time when Zebpay is facing criticism from former users for drawing out their exchange services without warning.

U and ur company betrayed us by charging so high fees and giving us so less time…thanks for showing ur real face to our indian crypto community…ur company deserved to be closed like this only
— cryptovenom (@mayank03541396) October 2, 2018

On September 28, Zebpay announced its departure after assuming a dismissal from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Ministry of Finance, the Directorate of Enforcement, and the Income Tax Office.
Indian exchanges were already fighting a court battle with the central bank after feeling exposed to their banking ban circular. However, the Indian apex court is continuously delaying the case to first wrap-up previous backlogs. At the same time, the losses faced by local exchanges are mounting every day.

We are stopping our exchange. At 4 PM today, we will cancel unexecuted orders & credit your coins to your Zebpay wallet. No new orders will be accepted. The Zebpay wallet will work even after the exchange stops.
Read more: https://t.co/W8ygzPIYz1 pic.twitter.com/tPWCnyu7Yu
— zebpay (@zebpay) September 28, 2018

“The curb on bank accounts has crippled our, and our customer’s, ability to transact business meaningfully. At this point, we are unable to find a reasonable way to conduct the cryptocurrency exchange business,” Zebpay reasoned in its announcement.
The exchange allowed users to cancel their existing crypto-to-crypto orders on the very same day they made the announcement. This annoyed its users, though, who accused Zebpay of not giving them enough time to draw out their long/short positions. Hoever, Zebpay has assured that it would continue to function as a wallet service, for that does not concern the Indian regulators.
Is Zebpay Playing Safe?
Goenka’s tweet strikes as an effort to create a right balance between regulators and the crypto community.
The Zebpay co-founder has remained vocal about the need to regulate cryptocurrencies, but never pretended to hold the government’s collars for it – unlike many of his peers in the Indian Bitcoin community. He had spoken in favor of regulations and defined the role of Zebpay in complying with every AML/KYC regulation – even at the time when Bitcoin exchanges did not need to be compliant.
“Every citizen and business in this country should play their role in eliminating financing of illegitimate activities, regardless of whether such financing is done using legal tender, cryptocurrency, gold or any other medium […] We encourage the government to work with our members, as we are committed to detect, report, and eliminate suspicious transactions in pretty much the same way as other institutions do,” he had said in February.
And yet, the exchange has had to bow down before the RBI circular that eventually cut its ability to convert crypto from/to fiat. Other Indian exchanges chose to go peer-to-peer instead.
It is clear Zebpay could wait, but ceased its trading services anyway to remain in the excellent book of the regulators. It does not mean the wallet services cannot relaunch itself as an exchange. But from what it seems, it prefers to take a break than annoy regulators with circumvention tactics.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Ethereum Price Weekly Analysis: ETH/USD Remains Sell on Rallies

Key Highlights

ETH price is under heavy selling pressure as it recently broke the $200 support against the US Dollar.
There is a major bearish trend line formed with resistance at $205 on the 4-hours chart of ETH/USD (data feed via Kraken).
The pair remains sell on rallies near the $200, $205 and $210 levels in the near term.

Ethereum price is heading south versus the US Dollar and Bitcoin. ETH/USD could continue to move down until buyers take a strong stand.
Ethereum Price Decline
There was no major recovery above the $230 level in ETH price against the US Dollar. The ETH/USD pair remained in a bearish zone and it extended declines. It broke the last swing low near $209 and extended slides. Sellers even managed to push the price below the $200 and $190 levels. More importantly, the price is now trading well below the $230 resistance and the 100 simple moving average (4-hours).
Recently, the price broke a consolidating pattern with support at $225. It opened the doors for more losses and the price traded to a new monthly low at $185. It seems like sellers remain in full control and the price could decline further. On the upside, the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $287 high to $185 low is at $209. Moreover, there is a major bearish trend line formed with resistance at $205 on the 4-hours chart of ETH/USD. Therefore, if the pair corrects higher, it could face sellers near the $200, $205 and $210 levels in the short term.

The above chart indicates that ETH price is likely to extend declines below the $185 level. The next major support is near the $175 level where buyers may perhaps appear. To recover, the price has to move above the $200 and $220 levels.
4-hours MACD – The MACD is placed in the bearish zone.
4-hours RSI – The RSI is currently well below the 20 level.
Major Support Level – $175
Major Resistance Level – $209
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Bitcoin Cash Price Weekly Analysis: BCH/USD Could Decline to $440

Key Points

Bitcoin cash price is under a lot of pressure as it broke the $500 support against the US Dollar.
There was a break below a major bullish trend line with support at $540 on the 4-hours chart of the BCH/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
The pair is now trading below the $500 support and it could trade towards the $440 level.

Bitcoin cash price declined heavily recently against the US Dollar. BCH/USD may continue to move down towards the $440 and $420 levels in the near term.
Bitcoin Cash Price Decline
There was a sharp downside move from the $640 swing high in bitcoin cash price against the US Dollar. The BCH/USD pair tumbled and broke many supports like $560, $540, $500 and $480. The decline was such that the price even settled below the $550 pivot level and the 100 simple moving average (4-hours). Moreover, the price broke a key horizontal support near the $490 level.
During the decline, there was a break below a major bullish trend line with support at $540 on the 4-hours chart of the BCH/USD pair. All these are bearish signs and suggests more losses below the $500 level. The price recently took out the 1.236 Fib extension level of the last wave from the $522 low to $661 high. Therefore, it could extend losses below the $470 level in the near term. The next support lies near the 1.618 Fib extension level of the last wave from the $522 low to $661 high at $436.

Looking at the chart, BCH price is likely to accelerate declines towards the $440 level. And, if sellers remain in action, there could be a test of the $400-420 support area as well in the coming sessions.
Looking at the technical indicators:
4-hours MACD – The MACD for BCH/USD is placed heavily in the bearish zone.
4-hours RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is near the oversold levels.
Major Support Level – $435
Major Resistance Level – $550
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Ethereum Classic Price Analysis: ETC/USD Eyes Test of $10

Key Highlights

Ethereum classic price failed to settle above $14.00 and declined sharply against the US dollar.
There was a break below an important bullish trend line with support at $14.00 on the hourly chart of the ETC/USD pair (Data feed via Kraken).
The pair declined towards the $11.00 level and it remains at a risk of more losses towards the $10.00 level.

Ethereum classic price is back in a bearish zone against the US Dollar and Bitcoin. ETC/USD is likely to decline back towards the $10.00 level in the near term.
Ethereum Classic Price Dropped Heavily
After a decent upside move above the $14.00 level, ETC price faced sellers near $14.20 against the US dollar. The ETC/USD pair started a sharp downside move and broke the $14.00 and $12.00 support levels. The price even settled below the $12.00 support and the 100 hourly simple moving average. It seems like a crucial medium term top was formed near the $14.40 level.
During the decline, there was a break below an important bullish trend line with support at $14.00 on the hourly chart of the ETC/USD pair. The pair traded as low as $11.03 and it is currently consolidating. An initial resistance is near the $11.75 level. Moreover, the 23.3% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $14.23 high to $11.03 low is also near the same zone. Additionally, there is a connecting bearish trend line in place with resistance at $11.60 on the same chart.

The chart suggests that ETC price is back in a bearish zone below $12.00. If it corrects higher, it could face sellers near $11.60, $11.80 and $12.00. The next major hurdle is near the 50% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $14.23 high to $11.03 low at $12.63. On the downside, sellers could eye a test of the $10.00 support.
Hourly MACD – The MACD for ETC/USD is back in the bearish zone.
Hourly RSI – The RSI for ETC/USD is currently well below the 35 level.
Major Support Level – $11.00
Major Resistance Level – $12.00
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Bitcoin Cash Price Weekly Analysis: BCH/USD Reaching Crucial Juncture

Key Points

Bitcoin cash price failed to gain momentum above the $540 level and declined against the US Dollar.
There is a major bearish trend line formed with resistance near $535 on the 4-hours chart of the BCH/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
The pair must stay above the $500 and $510 support levels to avoid a downside break in the near term.

Bitcoin cash price is showing a few bearish signs below $540 against the US Dollar. BCH/USD could make the next break either above $540 or below $500.
Bitcoin Cash Price Resistance
There was a strong buying interest emerged above the $500 level in bitcoin cash price against the US Dollar. The BCH/USD pair slowly moved higher and traded above the $520 resistance. There was also a break above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $573 high to $509 low. However, there was a strong resistance near the $540 and $545 zone along with the 100 simple moving average (4-hours).
The price failed to gain momentum and struggled near the 50% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $573 high to $509 low. More importantly, there is a major bearish trend line formed with resistance near $535 on the 4-hours chart of the BCH/USD pair. The same trend line is positioned with the 100 SMA at $545. Therefore, the price has to break the $540 and $545 resistance levels to accelerate towards the $570 and $580 levels. On the flip side, the $510 level is an initial support. Below this, the next major support is near $500.

Looking at the chart, BCH price seems to be preparing for the next move either above $540 or below the $500 level in the near term.
Looking at the technical indicators:
4-hours MACD – The MACD for BCH/USD is slightly placed in the bearish zone.
4-hours RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD has moved below the 50 level.
Major Support Level – $500
Major Resistance Level – $540
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