BTC, ETH, XRP & LTC – Which Is Doing More For Adoption?

The financial and investment company founded in 1971, Weiss Ratings is something a lot of cryptocurrency enthusiasts use to get some insight on different digital currencies. Whereas not everyone will agree with what Weiss has to say on some currencies, they are well-respected for their ratings.
They base their ratings on objective computer models driven by complex algorithms with large volumes of data, excluding each analyst’s personal opinion from the process.
With this, the entities that are being rated are always treated with complete objectivity and fairness according to Weiss.
There are four things that cryptocurrency ratings are based on:

Technology
Risk
Reward
Adoption

They typically give currencies a ‘grade’ from A to E.
Just for reference, A is excellent, B is good, C is fair, D is weak and E is very weak.
With this all in mind, today we’re going to have a look at some of the biggest cryptocurrencies in the space and have a look at Weiss’ insights on those digital assets in terms of adoption.
Before we start though, it’s worth saying that none of the cryptocurrencies were given an A, as an overall rating. Not even Bitcoin…
Bitcoin
Speaking of Bitcoin, let’s take a look at the leading cryptocurrency first.
The flagship currency was graded with an overall B rating, whereas it was given an A for technology/adoption.
It probably won’t come as a surprise that Bitcoin came in first place with BTC being the original cryptocurrency, most established cryptocurrency and most trusted cryptocurrency.
There are a lot of firms looking into Bitcoin for currency means such as Microsoft, Subway, Virgin Galactic, Lamborghini and Expedia but mainstream adoption hasn’t yet been achieved.
Fiat-based exchanges also play a pretty big role in offering Bitcoin as a purchase option for investors.

Ethereum
Much like in its market cap, Ethereum is in second place on Weiss ratings in terms of its adoption. The Vitalik Buterin co-founded cryptocurrency also had an overall B rating but for adoption means, an A was graded to Ethereum. That being said, the second biggest cryptocurrency has a risk/reward rating of a D+. This is lower than Bitcoins grade of C-. Weiss justify this saying that its algorithms claim Bitcoin is a slightly safer investment than Ethereum when it comes to the risk/reward ratio.
Back to adoption though. Etherum is the first and most preferred dApp (decentralised application) development platform with more than 72,400 people using dApps based on Ethereum.
As reported by Hackernoon:

“Decentralized exchanges (DEX’s) make up more than half of the Ethereum DApp transaction volume with gambling DApps coming in second. Gamers are the most active Ethereum DApp users, making up over 40% of Ethereum’s daily DApp user base.”

Ripple
Ripple’s XRP token comes flying in at third with an A for adoption and D+ for risk and reward. So in a nutshell, these are the same ratings that were given to Ethereum by Weiss.
XRP is as safe an investment as Ethereum according to the rating firm but slightly more risky than Bitcoin. With the digital asset shooting up more than 35,000 percent in 2017, XRP has proven to be very profitable for early investors.

“When it comes to adoption, Ripple $30 million worth of shares in MoneyGram, with the chance to buy another $20 million over the next two years. As part of the deal MoneyGram will use XRP through Ripples xRapid product to transfer money across the globe in seconds and at close to no cost.”

The new MoneyGram partnership deal is just one amongst 200 other banks, startups and payment companies which include the likes of Santander, HSBC and Barclays.
Litecoin
Sitting in fourth place is Litecoin which was given a B+ rating for technology and adoption and a C grade for risk and reward.
Originally being forked from the Bitcoin source code, Litecoin was built to offer faster transactions time and lower transaction costs than even the leading cryptocurrency itself.

“In regards to adoption, Litecoin has partnered with Travala.com, a blockchain based hotel booking platform. As part of the deal, users can reduce their hotel booking costs by 40% if they pay with Litecoin. Seeing as Travala boasts a portfolio of nearly 600,000 properties in hundreds of countries, this partnership could have a considerable impact on Litecoin’s adoption.”

On top of this, Litecoin’s adoption has probably been boosted thanks to its Atomic Swap technology.
Source: Crypto Daily

Weekly Roundup: $15k BTC? Libra Officially Announced & LTC To Release Debit Card

It’s been very exciting past few days in the crypto world this week. The highlight was, of course, Facebook’s official announcement on its stablecoin coming next year which we will go into detail later on. In addition to Facebook’s announcement was Tyler Winklevoss claiming Bitcoin could reach $15k and Litecoin who are launching their own debit card.
$15k BTC
The Winklevoss twins are well-known throughout the crypto space for putting their Facebook lawsuit pay-out into Bitcoin.
They are two of the original Bitcoin billionaires and with the price continuously rising over the last weeks, Tyler Winklevoss has spoken his mind on the sudden price momentum. The Gemini exchange co-founder took to Twitter to say that if the leading cryptocurrency can reach $10k range then the $15k price mark won’t be far behind.

If bitcoin breaks 10k, you can bet it’s going to break 15k…👍🏻🚀
— Tyler Winklevoss (@tylerwinklevoss) June 19, 2019
There are many contrasts from when Bitcoin was hovering around the $3,200 price range in December last year compared to today. This week alone saw the price move up above the $9k mark.
During the December lows of 2018, there was less than 20 percent chance that the price could succumb to $10,000 by June 2019. Whereas the price is still on its way to $10,000 at the time of writing, Bitcoin is on its way.
Tyler Winklevoss isn’t the only person to predict the price surge for Bitcoin though. The co-founder of Fundstrat, Tom Lee has claimed that the price will take out the all-time high of $20,000 with ‘ease’.
As we reported earlier this week:

“Investor Max Keiser claimed this week that the launch of Facebook’s Libra could push bitcoin’s price beyond its all-time high. Keiser described CEO Mark Zuckerberg as “Satoshi’s useful idiot.” Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire made a similar prediction this month, claiming the launch of Libra could push bitcoin past $10,000 as early as June.”

Libra’s Launch
Of course, the thing that caught everyone’s eye this week was Facebook’s announcement in regards to its upcoming stablecoin called Libra.

It’s been rolling around as a rumour for a long time now but now we have official confirmation that Facebook has been developing a cryptocurrency which will launch in 2020.
The social network will let users use the currency via its apps and Facebook-owned messaging services such as WhatsApp.
After it is launched, people will be able to buy Libra and store it in its own digital wallet, dubbed Calibra.
In a statement, Facebook said:

“Over the coming months, the association and its members will be recruiting additional members to further diversify and support the network. We will also be raising money in a private placement to help jumpstart the ecosystem and drive adoption.”

Tom Lee thinks that this new stablecoin is proof that the industry is going mainstream.
He says:

“The Facebook announcement is a complete validation that mainstream is now focused on cryptocurrencies and I think it really destroys those arguments that say, ‘I believe in blockchain, not Bitcoin.’”

Litecoin’s Debit Card
The Litecoin Foundation recently announced that it would be releasing its own debit card. This card will be giving users the chance to spend their crypto either online or in a physical store location, located anywhere in the world where major banks are accepted.
The Litecoin BlockCard is a joint effort developed by three crypto companies including Litecoin Ternio and the Bibox Exchange.
If you wish to use your cryptocurrency as if it was cash then this debit card is one you’re going to want to keep an eye on.
The user-base in the US will be the first customers with Bibox Exchange acting as a custodian of users’ funds, leveraging it $200 million worth of crypto trading volume to help route the deposits and spending for users.

“The special edition debit card will first be released to United States residences and soon after for non-US customers. Bibox Exchange and the Litecoin Foundation will integrate the debit card directly into the Bibox Exchange and LoafWallet – the official Litecoin wallet. Users will be able to access their cards directly within these ecosystems, giving  them instant access to spend.”

Source: Crypto Daily

BTC: Will Facebook Be Bitcoins Downfall?

Let’s take a look back into 2008 during the financial crisis, one of the biggest bouts of economic chaos since the great depression in the 1930s. During the financial crisis of the last decade, there was a big depression caused by distrust amongst bankers which almost saw the western world sink into the depths.
With this now firmly behind us, we can appreciate the significant role bankers have played in the evolution of money.
While they given society means to embrace money, bankers have also taken advantage of the loopholes and weaknesses in the present financial system to better themselves and their associates, all at the expense of you and I.
Introduction of BTC
The introduction of Bitcoin came around this time. Specifically, it was in 2009 when Satoshi Nakamoto brought Bitcoin into the world as a decentralised currency which would be separate from government entities that would turn it into a centralised and regulated digital currency asset.
The late noughties was a time of turmoil economically. People had disillusioned faith in the financial systems and general banks following the 2008 crisis. This was something that Nakamoto saw and decided to build a cryptocurrency, the first cryptocurrency. After banks in the United States, as well as the rest of the world, failed and billions of dollars were lost, taxpayers across the globe changed significantly.
For years now, Bitcoin has been seen as the ‘future of finance’, ‘future money’ or ‘Google money’ to the uneducated man, but how much of this is true?
The Future of Money?
Mainstream adoption is tantalisingly close for Bitcoin but it isn’t here just yet. A lot of countries across the world will have heard about BTC by now with Bitcoin ATMs popping up all the time over the US (4,000 and counting!).
The free and open-source content management system, WordPress was the first big business to accept Bitcoin back in 2012. Since then, many more have joined the list but global adoption is still far away as BTC is still plagued with a lot of issues like speed, transaction fees, and being easier to understand for new users.
Despite all these very valid factors, the big thing that will impact Bitcoin’s mainstream outreach is the Chinese government who view the currency as a threat to its own fiat money.

Here are some of the following notable benefits of Bitcoin make it stand out from the rest as the currency of the future.

The leading cryptocurrency is being increasingly accepted as a payment method on an international level. Thousands of merchants from across the globe have jumped on the crypto bandwagon over the past few years. This includes big companies that have doubted the legitimacy of the currency for many years beforehand.
New users might have a tough time using Bitcoin as it stands but in the grand scheme of things, international Bitcoin transactions are pretty simple. As reported by Hackernoon:

“There is virtually no difference between cross-border international transactions and local transactions when it comes to Bitcoin because there are no red tapes or location-based banks to deal with. Since it is popular around the world, Bitcoin is best placed to become the currency of the future better than any other currency or cryptocurrency.”

Bitcoin has the potential to give the power of money back to the people too. This is in comparison to gold in the early XX century when the US government seized the people’s gold by law. With this, growing your Bitcoin portfolio is the future for some investors.

Facebook & Regulations

So these were just a few benefits that Bitcoin holds but what does the future hold? Facebook has just announced its Libra cryptocurrency coming in 2020 with the social network stating:

“Over the coming months, the association and its members will be recruiting additional members to further diversify and support the network. We will also be raising money in a private placement to help jumpstart the ecosystem and drive adoption.”

Yahoo News have reported on Facebook’s cryptocurrency, saying:

“Libra, the cryptocurrency, will run on its own Libra blockchain, which today launches an open-source testnet. The blockchain and cryptocurrency will all be overseen by the Libra Association, a not-for-profit that is separate from Facebook and headquartered in Geneva. Libra Association says Libra is not a stablecoin, because it is not pegged to a single currency and does not have a fixed value in any fiat currency. Rather, a spokesperson says, it will be ‘a blend of multiple currencies,’ so its value ‘will fluctuate in any given local currency, and exchanges will charge a spread above or below the value of the reserve,’”

With Facebook getting involved in the crypto picture many people believe that Bitcoin’s time in the limelight is over.
So maybe big corporate institutions like Facebook are the future of crypto? We have stated the benefits of Bitcoin but don’t forget the glaring issues that face it too. It’s hard to put it all in one video, there are so many factors to consider! We haven’t even mentioned how exchanges are vulnerable to hackers!
Source: Crypto Daily

Weekly Roundup: BTC to $40k? Ripple Travels to Brazil & Ubisoft Shows Interest in Crypto

Welcome back to CryptoDaily’s weekly roundup! This week has been yet another exciting week for the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain and so today, we’re going to discuss Fundstrat’s Tom Lee who recently made a $40k Bitcoin prediction. We’re also going to talk about Ripple who have just expanded their operations to South America as well as how the gaming industry is making moves into the crypto space.
Ripple Goes South
Ripple, the company behind the XRP token has just opened up an office in Brazil in order to get more clients on board with RippleNet, the network for institutional payment-providers. The company is also hoping to get local universities on board so that Ripple will be able to educate students on the benefits of blockchain tech.
According to a new report by business wire, the firm launched an office in Latin America to help spread blockchain awareness. The main focus of this expansion though is to help Ripple in the the sense of RippleNet adoption and other financial businesses across the country.

The former Chief Executive of Warranty Group, Luiz Sacco will be the one taking control of the new branch in Brazil. After he joined Ripple in the spring, Sacco has cited that Ripple wants to source for more clients to use the RippleNet system.
Ripple wants to make waves in universities too. The San-Francisco-based firm wants to partner up with some uni’s in the country to provide training programs, seminars and so on. In addition to this, Sacco says that this will help the promotion of distributed ledger technology as well as boost recognition of the XRP token.
Ripple is currently competing with SWIFT, another cross-border payment network but Ripple’s blockchain is reportedly used by around 200 companies on an international level. Over the next six months, we expect that this number will surge, especially as the firm expands into new territory like South America.
Gaming on Crypto
There is no doubt that cryptocurrency is an ever growing industry. One that has got several non-profit organisations showing significant interest. Despite this though, blockchain and cryptocurrencies as a whole haven’t really made any moves into the gaming space.

You might get dApp gaming but it isn’t quite the same as the AAA titles on your PlayStation or Xbox.
Things are looking up now though as it seems that one of the biggest game publishers in the world is starting the get involved in cryptocurrency.
As reported by the French publication – Les Echos – Ubisoft (Tom Clancy, Assassin’s Creed) has shown interest in the space as the French-based firm is eager to identify the potential applications of blockchain in gaming. The article also confirmed that Ubisoft’s team has already identified a suitable use case that can be put into practice.
The report says:

“The idea is to give a digital existence on the blockchain to the “items” (accessories) available in video games; content that publishers monetize and which constitute a manna more and more colossal for the actors of the sector.”

This move by Ubisoft is definitely an interesting one as it will first start the project off on the Ethereum blockchain.
You might be a gamer yourself and whether you love them or hate them, you can’t deny that they are one of the biggest companies out there which is home to some of the best AAA titles such as Assassin’s Creed.
In the future, Ubisoft will most likely bring in in-app/in-game purchases through the Ethereum network but nothing suggests cryptocurrency will be leveraged any time soon for these kinds of purchases.
Tom Lee & Bitcoin
Tom Lee, the co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors has recently spoke of his most recent prediction for Bitcoin where he states when BTC hits $10k, after that it will hit $40k within just five months.
The $10k mark alone is a very anticipated key resistance level for Bitcoin but $40k is one that would be a dream to many investors.
During an interview with the CFO of Binance, Wie Zhou, Lee spoke about his bullish prediction where he claims that fear of missing out (FOMO) will kick in for many investors and the market will slowly surge.
As we reported earlier in the week:
He [Lee] goes on to say that it will be “fast and furious” on the run towards $20,000 and said that after $10k is reclaimed, he thinks that Bitcoin will reach $40k within five months.
The reasoning behind this was because when FOMO takes action with investors, the price has historically surged from 200 percent to 400 percent.”
Source: Crypto Daily

Litecoin: Could 2019 Be The End Of LTC?

There are a lot of similarities between Bitcoin and Litecoin. Just like bitcoin can half, so can Litecoin. But even though the altcoin is similar to the leading cryptocurrency, it sports a different block hashing algorithm, quicker block times, and a different overall focus as Litecoin has block rewards reductions built in.
You may know that every four years, the amount of LTC issued per block half in an event known as the ‘halving’ or ‘halvening’ – not as daunting as it sounds.
This is something that was integrated by the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. For what reason you may ask? Well, we don’t know, no one does. It’s a mechanism that more than likely has something to do with the programmer’s alleged distaste towards centralised financial institutions, many of which have the ability to print money at will, without giving such knowledge to the public.
Litecoin’s Downfall
Litecoin’s halving is quickly approaching (August), something of which many people are aware of. In fact, LTC could see a surge. But a number of analysts claim that Litecoin is ready to drop instead of making a rally.
Josh Olszewicz of Brave New Coin’s recently tweeted that the digital asset’s one-day chart isn’t looking all that good.
Olszewicz explained that the asset is in the midst of a rising wedge at the moment and has also seen some bearish divergence in its Relative Strength Index (RSI). Keeping this in mind, LTC has strayed far above its 200-day exponential moving average makes Olszewicz think that a collapse of the cryptocurrency is just around the corner.

1D $LTCRW + bear divdeath looking imminentsupport near 55-70article on Chikun coming later this week for @bravenewcoin pic.twitter.com/A7jNSZgh7c
— Josh Olszewicz (@CarpeNoctom) June 10, 2019
Olszewicz isn’t the first person to bring this up though. An analyst for Ethereum World News, Nunya Bizniz recently said that a bull run for Bitcoin is more than likely to occur, going off what historical evidence shows us.

From the bottom to its peak throughout 176 days in 2015, LTC rallied around 700 percent. But it didn’t take long for it to collapse into a halving. As reported by Nick Chong for EWN, something doesn’t add up as:

“Litecoin has just completed that exact pattern, rallying 700% in the past six-odd months. Barring that historical trends don’t hold up today, Litecoin could fall back down to double-digits in the coming months.”

Others are more bullish and optimistic on the whole scenario though. Litecoin still has some more room to run according to Financial Survivalism who highlights that “prior to the cryptocurrency’s previous block reward reduction, LTC rallied strongly against Bitcoin, eventually finding a parabolic peak right after the auspicious event.”
If history rhymes, LTC will continue its rally against BTC. But if BTC keeps on making gains, the rally could see a translation into $250+ on the cards by the time of halving.

Bear Market
Despite the potential that Litecoin has to collapse later this year, a major trend has recently occurred suggesting the bear market is definitely over.
In May, markets were up by around fifty percent, making gains from $175 billion to about $265 billion by the end of the month. Several other signals indicate that a new bull market has started. Any corrections could provide investors with a chance to buy in during the dips when FOMO kicks in, but we aren’t financial advisors so make sure to do your own research before investing.
During the last uptrend, Bitcoin corrected itself by over thirty percent and eight times! But it still recovered to new highs. The analyst and trader, Josh Rager said:

“People have questioned if “dips are buying”. And my answer is still a strong “yes, dips are for buying”. Even if we do see strong pullback lasting weeks, the correction will only serve to refuel a strong move up post-correction with past avg of 150% gain between 30% pullbacks.”

If Bitcoin pulls back, an altcoin resurgence could be on the table. Altcoins typically follow the flagship currency but last month, Bitcoin gained 55 percent, Ethereum and EOS gained 60 percent along with Bitcoin Cash. A major correction could suggest the start of altseason. Either way, there will most likely be a lot of chances to buy in as this uptrend gains momentum.
Source: Crypto Daily

Facebook: What Globalcoin Really Means For Crypto (2019)

Over the past year, Facebook has been rumoured to be releasing a new cryptocurrency (Globalcoin) which is set to be a stablecoin. Although, it seems that these are no longer just rumours as news reports suggest Facebook will shortly launch it’s ‘Project Libra’ cryptocurrency, which will be available to users of its suite of platforms. It’s assumed that any merchant with an account on these platforms could transact in the cryptocurrency with customers who also have accounts, for near enough anything. From online purchases, real-world purchases and things like general goods and services.
Last week, Facebook announced plans to give more details in regards to the cryptocurrency on 18th June and confirmed its cryptocurrency will be stablecoin whose value will be tied to a handful of fiat currencies.
Based on Facebook’s statement and several anonymous comments made by people working on the project in the interviews with The Information.
Caitlin Long for Forbes has given her predictions on what Facebook’s cryptocurrency will actually mean.
Interest
One of her points was that Facebook will pay interest to holders of its cryptocurrency which will eventually lead to populist calls to repeal corporate subsidies to banks at the heart of the US banking system.
Long believes that Facebook will pay interest to users of its cryptocurrency because the assets backing the crypto will generate interest income. If the social network doesn’t share these interest spoils with users, a chorus of critics will loudly publicise how much money Facebook and its partners are pocketing.
If Facebook can park the whole US dollar balance at the Federal Reserve through one of its bank partners, it has the potential to earn 2.35 percent without the risk. This would equate to $235 million for every $10 billion deposited into its cryptocurrency. These profits will rapidly change into a new “hot potato” for Facebook – in the political sense – if it isn’t shared with investors.

Long adds:

“But there’s a side benefit—the brouhaha this issue could create would reveal the magnitude of corporate welfare at the heart of the US banking system. The 2.35% number is the actual interest rate the Fed pays its member banks for interest on excess reserves (IOER)—and this year it’s projected to amount to $36 billion of corporate welfare paid to US banks, which equates to roughly half the amount the US spends on its food stamp program. Just imagine how critics will have a field day shouting “corporate welfare for Facebook” if Facebook and its partners simply pocket that amount.”

Developing Nations
Another point Long makes is that the currency will be a powerful force for good in developing countries which is where Facebook intends to market the product.
This is because central banks in developing countries are notorious for their lack of discipline in maintaining the value of their fiat currencies, which too often lose purchasing power. A good example is that of what is occurring in Venezuela now which is experiencing hyperinflation worse than that of Germany following the first world war.

By providing those in developing countries the access to a store of value that is more reliable than their government-backed currencies, Facebook’s Globalcoin will indirectly exert fiscal and monetary discipline on developing nations. Moreover, on a global scale, this could improve lives drastically.
Capital Markets
Facebook seems to be planning to hang up the political control of its project to an independent foundation. This is positive as not only does it give Facebook defence against antitrust allegations, but it also helps reduce the degree of its cryptocurrency’s centralisation.
Long writes:

“This foundation is likely to become a huge power within global capital markets relatively quickly—because it will do what central banks do, which is to define the basket weights for the fiat currencies to which the stablecoin is pegged and manage the assets to ensure the peg doesn’t break. There are plenty of powerful “basket-setters” in capital markets, and their power to move markets can be significant—think of the committee that defines components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (DJIA) or the S&P 500 Index, or central banks that peg their currencies to baskets (such as China’s PBOC).”

Facebook’s jump into the crypto/blockchain space is something that has been on the table for a while now and is likely to be a beneficial detour on the path to stretch out the adoption of Bitcoin.
Source: Crypto Daily

Weekly Roundup: BSV = Scam?

Another week, another crypto! As usual, it’s been an exciting past few days for the crypto space with Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin slating Bitcoin SV claiming that it is a ‘scam’ as well as the SEC filing a lawsuit to the messaging app Kik over a new ICO, and we’re going to look at how one hacker started running bitcoin on a Nintendo Switch.
Is BSV a Scam?
This week, the co-founder of Ethereum sat down with the YouTuber Hardcore Crypto to discuss all things crypto-related, but an interesting topic came up in regards to Bitcoin SV.
Buterin didn’t leave much out when he started digging into the nChain scientist Craig Wright’s crypto project. The Ethereum co-founder gave his thoughts on decentralised exchanges and the concerning centralised accumulation of power by Binance.
Speaking to Hardcore Crypto, Buterin said:

“Obviously BSV is a complete scam, but the delisting from Binance – that was interesting. There’s arguments in favour of it, but then there’s also an argument that this is a centralized exchange that’s wielding a lot of power.”

Although Binance also has a rough history. Rumours surfaced in the past about the exchange demanding big fees from projects to gain a listing.
Speaking on this, Buterin said:

“They’ve asked for big listing fees. They influence which coins win and lose by deciding which trading pairs they have – so it’s weird to criticize that one decision (the delisting) without looking at all their others.”

Buterin has spoken on Bitcoin SV in this way before.

Last year, Buterin took to Twitter to say that Wright’s project is actually a threat to his own, saying:

“BSV is a threat to ETH and he knows it. ETH will be nothing but a novelty sidechain of BitCoin run by a handful of autistic NEETs for nostalgic purposes to play with their antique ‘smart contracts’ and ‘chain links’ like so many neckbeards with N64 emulators.”

SEC Sues Kik
Earlier this week, it came to light that the US Securities and Exchange Commission had filed a lawsuit against the messaging app Kik over a $100 million securities offering.

The SEC has claimed that Kik had pushed the token sale as a speculative investment an had begun to ‘pivot’ the cryptocurrency as a pretext to “salvage its ailing business.”
The app has now set up a $5 million fundraiser in aid of support for its legal fight against the commission with the representatives from the app issuing a report.
The token, called Kin, had internally been characterised by Kik executives as a vehicle for speculative gains, at least that’s according to the SEC.
Kiks General Counsel Eileen Lyon said in a press release that the Commission’s complaint was all based on ‘flawed legal theory’.
Lyon says:

“The complaint assumes, incorrectly, that any discussion of a potential increase in value of an asset is the same as offering or promising profits solely from the efforts of another; that having aligned incentives is the same as creating a ‘common enterprise’; and that any contributions by a seller or promoter are necessarily the ‘essential’ managerial or entrepreneurial efforts required to create an investment contract. These legal assumptions stretch the Howey test well beyond its definition, and we do not believe they will withstand judicial scrutiny.”

A few attorney’s from the US have had their input on the whole situation including a principal at Smolinski Rosario Law, Nelson Rosario who said:

“Obviously this is a very sophisticated kind of token offering, done by a company that was already established [and not a token startup] but [the] kind of evidence that the SEC brought to bear is very much the same that it’s brought against [other ICOs].”

It will be interesting to see how this suit plays out in the coming weeks/months.
Playing Bitcoin on Nintendo
To finish off, let’s take a look at some lighter news from the space this week.
Bitcoin is constantly splitting opinions throughout the world. Whether you love it or hate it, you can’t deny that it is an asset outside of the governments reach. But some people prefer to tinker with the technology in Bitcoin, rather than dwelling on the political and economic impact it has.
One hacker has done just that and has somehow integrated Bitcoin core onto the Nintendo Switch console.
Take a look at the screenshot the hacker posted on Twitter this week.
I guess this shows the fun side that Bitcoin has, rather than the often dreary one we are constantly hearing about.
Source: Crypto Daily

Mt Gox: Former CEO Launching New Blockchain Venture

When Mt. Gox was hacked, hundreds of investors were left out of pocket and at a loss for words. The man behind the operation, Mark Karpeles is now as disgraced as the exchange but that hasn’t stopped him announcing some new plans for the future of his time in the blockchain space.
The now infamous exchange was based in Tokyo, Japan and just 3-4 years after it was started in 2010, Mt. Gox was dealing with more than seventy percent of all Bitcoin transactions on a global scale.
So when the exchange collapsed, jaws hit the floor.
It seems jaws are about to hit the floor again though as the former CEO of the defunct exchange says he will launch his new venture with a view to make Japan a ‘global leader in blockchain’.
Karpeles was found guilty for manipulating data at the exchange and was handed a suspended sentence earlier this year. But now it seems that Karpeles is getting back on the horse with his new blockchain business venture.
$450 Million Lost
The former CEO of the exchange was almost unheard of before the Bitcoins went missing on Mt. Gox. But now, people who were in the crypto community during this time at least, his name will forever be tied towards fraudulent means that was Mt. Gox.
Around 850,000 Bitcoins were stolen from the exchange under his leadership and so the exchange sunk into bankruptcy.
Prosecutors were quick to track down Karpeles for embezzlement and fraud, claiming he laundered $3 million from client accounts before the hack. Karpeles was cleared of these charges through and snuck around a potential ten-year prison sentence.
Despite this, the judge found evidence of record tampering in the weeks that lead up to the loss of funds:

“The charge of electronic record tampering is true and deserves punishment.”

So basically, this is trying to say that Karpeles manipulated and falsified Bitcoin trading data on the exchange. He is currently appealing the charge that gave him a two-year sentence, suspended for four years.
For those that don’t know, here is a good definition of what a suspended prison sentence actually is:

“A suspended sentence is a legal term for a judge’s delaying of a defendant’s serving of a sentence after they have been found guilty, in order to allow the defendant to perform a period of probation.”

Karpeles’ Next Journey
There aren’t a lot of details out there on Karpeles’ next step in the blockchain space but we do know that he aims to make Japan a “global leader in blockchain.”

In fact, the Frenchman has also written a book which got published last month called Cryptocurrency 3.0. The publishers of the book say that Karpeles is a genius who was proved ‘clean’.
(The following is translated from Japanese):

“This book is the definitive guide written for the first time by a man who is the best in the world in virtual currency… The first book of a genius programmer who proved “clean.”

It is a brave claim to make given Karpeles history, to say the least.
More than just a trust issue?
I can’t help but question whether this is more than just a trust issue. The idea of Karpeles booting up another blockchain or Bitcoin business is a haunting thought. You’ve got to remember that whilst he sets up his next venture, the victims of Mt. Gox are still hung out to dry whilst they desperately try and get their money back.
One victim took to Twitter earlier this year to ask for help in retrieving their funds:

#mtgox my claim was disapproved on the grounds the amount was incorrect, trouble is I can’t remember my balance and have no access to that info. Any ideas anyone? Cheers
— Penny Gaff (@PennyGaff) March 20, 2019
The CEO of Ledger Eric Larchevêque spoke on  what needs to happen to make sure exchanges are more trustworthy in the future, saying:

“Exchanges need to be audited on their security process and adhere to very high standards when dealing with private keys management, both in terms of technology and governance. Regulators, whose role is to protect the end customer, must enforce the use of state-of-the-art hardware security systems.”

Source: Crypto Daily

Bitcoin Cash: Coinbase Release Research On BCH 51% Attack

Researchers at one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, Coinbase have released their own investigate findings into the recent controversy behind the Bitcoin Cash 51 percent attack, but it seems their finding may upset a few Bitcoin enthusiasts.
Following the attack on Bitcoin Cash in mid-May, a group of miners colluded to reverse the attacked blocks and return misappropriated funds to their rightful owners.
The Bitcoin Cash community came under fire from supporters of Bitcoin. Although according to a blog post published at the end of last week by Coinbase, the worldwide cryptocurrency platform ultimately saw good sense in the decision.
Why is this attack so significant?
The upgrade on Bitcoin Cash was temporarily put on pause last month when an attacker exploited a bug in the blockchain. Even though the attack only lasted a short while, it took some time before Bitcoin Cash miners figured something was wrong and made some moves to address it.
At the time of the attack, one BCH user said on Reddit:

“The attackers used p2sh addresses that had easily guessable scriptSigs (they lacked a signature altogether to redeem). […] I ended up liquidating about ~1.2BCH of their funds just now […] So you will see the mempool now has lots of tx’s and is 18MB full as of the time of this writing. These tx’s are all the special tx’s that have a lot of sigops that I made to liquidate (take) the attacker’s funds.”

This is seemingly where the controversy surfaced. It seemed that critics refused to see the difference between an attacker switching up the blockchain and miners doing the same. When Binance was hacked earlier last month, the CEO of the exchange, Changpeng Zhao suggested ‘rolling back’ the blockchain to retrieve the funds that were lost.
At the time, miners of Bitcoin basically told him that this was a poor idea and so the plan was dropped.
Although, this idea has floated around before. When Bitfinex was hacked in 2016, the concept posits that the financial rewards of reorganising the chain to trick the attackers were much higher than the incentive to keep the blockchain as it was. Research at the time pointed out:

“In this case, Bitfinex could promise to pay the miners, say, 25 BTC per block for however many blocks it takes to reorg out the theft transactions and replace them with a spend aggregating the funds off of BitGo and into cold storage. As long as this is less than a few thousand blocks, it makes economic sense for everyone involved, simply because of the enormous size of the theft. […] To be absolutely clear I hope that this doesn’t happen. If it does, I’m not sure what value proposition bitcoin would have left. Uncensorable, nonpolitical money is what bitcoin is about, and without that it is nothing. If this manages to go through, I hope the outrage pushes people to fight for more decentralization and fungibility at the protocol level. Otherwise I don’t know what future bitcoin would have.”

As CCN put it, this is one of those instances where the rubber meets the road in the crypto space. Blockchains are meant to be immutable, however, if enough miners band together and can agree to make a change, then anything is possible.

Others have made similar moves in the past. In fact, the whole reason we have Ethereum Classic is because the Ethereum community split into two following a contentious hardfork after the DAO attack.
The Honourable Thing
Coinbase had their own interest in finding out what happened during the hardfork/attack as Bitcoin Cash is a huge asset that is hosted on the platform. In its blog, it says:

“On May 15th, Coinbase detected a depth-2 chain reorganization on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. The reorg targeted BCH funds that were erroneously sent to BTC segwit addresses…”

These funds summed up to around 3,655 BCH. At the time this would have been worth around $1.5 million. Most of these coins were safely recovered and then sent to their proper addresses by the BCH miners. This seems to be very appreciated by Coinbase.
The blog states:

“We find it remarkable that BTC.top derived the technical solution to recover BCH funds mistakenly lost by users, choosing to send the coins to their intended recipients rather than claiming the funds for themselves.”

It was specifically because one miner had tried to move the stolen funds to their own address that BTC.top stepped in. For those that don’t know BTC.top is one of the biggest Bitcoin Cash mining pools which represents ten percent of the BCH hashrate.
Some still believe that BCH miners neglected the principles of the blockchains in their recovery of the stolen funds.

Source: Crypto Daily

Blockchain: is AI the Future of Blockchain?

Throughout the short history of blockchain, there have been two major events in its innovation, with the first being the creation of Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. This gave a podium for the emerging technology to stand on and software that resolved the double-spending issue traditionally associated with digital currencies by means of harnessing a probabilistic mathematical equation in the manufacture of Bitcoins.
But the second major event was the creation of the Ethereum network in 2015. This innovation allowed anyone to deploy a similar non-forgeable unit of currency without the requirement for building a blockchain on every unique cryptocurrency.  The way this worked was through redistributing computer power across the network and reusing the cost to support an additional layer of the Ethereum network on which digital token (as opposed to blockchain coins) were supported.
As reported by Mark Harrison for Hackernoon:

“The explosion in the number of digital currencies as a result of Ethereum’s global network propagation has resulted in an innovation irony. That irony is that while Bitcoin and Ethereum are both decentralised networks, the exchanges that digital currencies trade on are for the most part not.”

So even though each network confirms the principle of preventing double-spending problems and ensuring fair and transparent market behaviour, heinous actors have been able to bypass the barriers the networks put up to fight this kind of behaviour with ease as cryptocurrencies have grown over the years.

As a result of this, market manipulation is, unfortunately, a common thing in the cryptocurrency space, with a lot of blockchain project listing tokens for a minimum of $30,000 upwards only to find that there isn’t liquidity for their currency. If it just so happens that their currency does pay off (quite literally), the central server they are on will crash the price most of the time to the point that they are financially incentivised to put profitability over their customers’ user experience.

“Part of the problem with bad actors becoming an increasing influence on digital currency markets has to do with the highly-centralised mining processes that dominate the new currency protocol. In the case of proof-of-work Blockchains, coin age usually serves as a function of mining priority.”

This was a rule that was integrated to incentivise miners to hold larger shares of coins for longer so that the price of the digital currency stronger as demand outpaces supply. The issue is that holding periods aren’t suitable weight for determination of preference and as a result of this feature of the Bitcoin Blockchain, market makers and other liquidity providers aren’t incentivised to create meaningful liquidity.

“In this way, they are directly incentivised to purely prioritise the liquidity of one currency only — that which is easiest for them to cash out in; Bitcoin.”

AI
From the time when Bitcoin was launched, there have been several large-scale improvements in the overall usability and application of software programs that are artificially intelligent, specifically when it comes to the financial technology space. Many so-called ‘robotraders’ employ self-learning trading systems that have been proven to profitably conduct trading returns based on real-time assessments of market behaviour and pricing.
An artificially-intelligent Blockchain was implemented into its own exchange at the same time. This traded against a whole variety of non-securitised and essentially, securitised assets, as digital cash product would end a lot of the problems that today’s blockchain innovation drain is a victim of, as well as the ongoing, continuous ‘copy-and-paste’ of traditional blockchains by new blockchain teams which is followed by the exchange ‘pump and dump’ of the new chain’s currency, which after that is most often simply abandoned altogether.
More specifically though, an AI blockchain would be able to achieve the following:

It is market price-efficient. By constantly scanning the exchange for price updated and volume order updates, the AI Blockchain can easily synchronise its mining algorithm with whatever price increase or decrease is likely to occur in its own currency over the short- and medium-term. This will over time make it a stronger source of purchasing power and act as a more robust store of value than any digital asset today, where there is no correlation between currency inflation and market pricing, leading to sudden one-time spikes and erratic volatility versus steady, scalable value growth.

It rewards superior market behaviour. One of the best features of the AI Blockchain is that it could assess how wallet holders and market makers were behaving, and ascribe accounts (and by association strongly connected accounts) with individual weights which would determine how much of the newly mined coins a wallet holder received. In doing this, it would look at factors such as how much liquidity that account brought to the network, how aggressive the account was about trying to quickly profit in the event of market price increases in the currency, to which accounts the account holder was connected with etc.

Having additional AI software in a blockchain network is able to engineered relatively easily. Developers would create an integrated exchange-Blockchain network which would make obtaining the necessary wallet data, and market-making data from each wallet in particular, much easier.

Source: Crypto Daily

Here’s Why IOTA Hit The Moon This Week

IOTA, the internet of things-based cryptocurrency has seen some very positive movements this week with IOTA investors no doubt feeling quite pleased with their investment choices. Of course, we can’t guarantee that these positive movements will continue, the nature of cryptocurrency is one that tends to be quite erratic, meaning that just as a crypto begins to climb, it can crash back down too. Why is this important? Well we want you to know that crypto is risky business, yes, invest in IOTA but only do so after you have done extensive research into the IOTA project. These weeks movements are one thing, but next weeks movements could see something totally different entirely.
So, what’s happened this week? The spike in the value of IOTA comes off the back of an announcement that suggests the IOTA ecosystem is about to see a huge upgrade, one that promises to address a number of concerns that investors and traders have had with the IOTA ecosystem. As we know, no blockchain project or cryptocurrency is truly decentralised just yet, though with this new update, IOTA is about to take one giant step closer to decentralisation.
Known as the Coordicide Solution, IOTA have announced an update that solves a big problem with the IOTA coordinator, a system that was designed to help keep the IOTA network (Tangle) secure. In order to understand Coordicide, we have to understand the coordinator. Here’s a little description of the IOTA coordinator that we have found within the main IOTA FAQ page:

“In IOTA because each transaction requires a tiny amount of Proof-of-Work and/or requires a tiny amount of bandwidth, the communitive throughput of transactions is what secures the network. The more transactions which occur, the more secure the network becomes.”

Furthermore:

“Additional security measures, such as checkpoints, which are needed to secure the Tangle in its early days as referenced by the White Paper come in the form of ‘milestone’ transactions issued by The Coordinator, a special node which digitally signs transactions it issues in the Tangle, as well as their location. The Coordinator issues transactions by the same method as any other node, the only difference being that it also signs the location so that they cannot be subsequently reattached to a different location. It is recommended for other nodes to not consider a transaction confirmed until referenced directly or indirectly by the Coordinator’s milestone transactions.”

As you can tell, it’s pretty complicated. In essence though, the coordinator had to expose transaction locations when the Tangle saw low transaction volumes in order to ensure the network remained secure. Coordicide finally removes the need for this. This is an update investors and blockchain fanatics have been waiting for, for a very long time as simply put, it makes IOTA and the Tangle a hell of a lot better.
This week, IOTA made their first official announcement about the roll out of Coordicide:

“We are proud to unveil our blueprint for the Coordinator’s removal — a momentous step towards realizing IOTA’s promise as the first decentralized and scalable DLT. Removing the Coordinator from the IOTA network will realize a long sought-after goal in the field of DLT: scalability without centralization. The solution itself is inherently modular, meaning that users will have ultimate freedom to tailor the system to their individual needs. Its implementation will be a major milestone in the IOTA Foundation’s goal of creating a truly enterprise-ready DLT.”

By being enterprise ready and by moving one step closer to true and total decentralisation, IOTA is preparing themselves for a huge wave of developer interest in the coming months. As we have mentioned, IOTA is an internet of things focused system. The internet of things or IOT refers to technologies that work together in real life, moving way past the current format of the internet which is heavily software and data driven. The internet of things includes smartphones, smart cars and anything else that could eventually be made smart, through interaction with artificial intelligence, the internet and in IOTA’s case, the blockchain.

Being enterprise ready means that large companies and businesses will be able to make the most of IOTAs technologies, this is huge for both IOTA and the rest of the blockchain company because it’s allowing this technology to be moulded and shaped for use at an industrial level. Because IOTA and the Tangle is so malleable, we don’t yet know what enterprise technologies Coordicide enables just yet, but truthfully it seems that the possibilities are endless with this one.
If you want to know more about Coordicide we have included a link to the Coordicide website in the video description below, please take a look through it and learn more about this exciting update and how it will go on to impact IOTA for years to come. If you’re not so technically minded then don’t worry, the website has been designed for all investors, no matter your skills or prior knowledge, it gives you a really good chance to make sense of this incredible technology. As the Coordicide website says:

“The IOTA Foundation is preparing to take its most important step to date in the maturity of the IOTA protocol — realizing the dream of a permissionless and scalable distributed ledger technology (DLT). We refer to this event as Coordicide: the death of the Coordinator.”

As we say bye to one fantastic piece of technology and welcome this new and frankly fascinating project, it really puts perspective on how much the blockchain industry has grown over the past few years. Developments are fast and upgrades are frequent, IOTA remains on top of this and promises to continue to grow for the long term too.

Source: Crypto Daily

Bitcoin: Is This The Next Trend In Crypto Fraud?

Internationally fraud caused through money, be that cash or digital seems to be on the decline. As banks and governments become more tech savvy, the room for fraudulent financial activities decreases. It’s actually quite hard to commit financial crimes with FIAT currency, for good reason too. The intervention of banks and financial service providers means that criminals tend to get caught – this is a good thing of course. Cryptocurrency on the other hand brings some question to this, through cryptocurrency fraud such as money laundering can be a little easier to carry out, thanks to the anonymity and decentralisation of the blockchain.
Thankfully though, cryptocurrency is hard to translate back into the real world, so often laundered money through crypto struggles to re-enter traditional financial systems. The international worry regarding cryptocurrency is when the bridge between FIAT and crypto is truly established. Yes, this will allow for the adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but it will also allow for a new kind of fraud and a new kind of money laundering. A recent article by Financial Times explores this idea further, suggesting that the production of Visa based cryptocurrency cards could be the catalyst for this new, potential explosion in crime.
According to Financial Times:

“In the battle against international money laundering, cryptocurrency remains the weakest link. Users can receive payments from unknown sources from around the world, which makes it hard for the network to keep out the proceeds of crime — ransom cyber-attacks, drug trafficking, or worse. An extensive network of dealers also buy or sell crypto against cash.”

As we have stated, as it stands it’s usually quite hard to translate stolen and falsified cryptocurrencies back into the real world – it’s possible, but it’s a difficult task that often costs a lot of money (through blockchain transaction fees like gas for example). So, you might ask what the worry here is? As Financial Times rightly points out, we are on the cusp of seeing a huge move from Visa that could open the gates and build that bridge between the crypto world and the FIAT world:

“Criminally obtained cryptocurrency is still mostly contained in terms of real-world spending. Any big cash-out spree by the dark economy also bears the risk of crashing the entire crypto market, which puts many people off from taking money out. This is changing. One of the biggest gateways into the core financial system, the Visa network, is opening itself up to crypto-funded debit cards. Others have tried to launch such crypto cards before but failed for compliance reasons.”

Crypto funded debit cards will in turn allow hackers and bad actors to more easily turn their stolen or laundered cryptocurrency into FIAT currency to spend in the real world. Moreover, this money will in theory be cleaned up and rendered untraceable as it’s made its way through the blockchain. The Visa card is currently in production in partnership with Coinbase, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges. The idea is simple, anyone with a Coinbase account will be able to use the Visa card anywhere they would use a normal Visa card, the account will then spend cryptocurrency and convert it into FIAT currency at the point of sale. This means, potentially illegitimate or laundered cryptocurrency is changing hands via an easy to use Visa payment system – something that hasn’t been available before, and something that many rightly believe could leave the industry exposed to bigger and more sophisticated money laundering scams.

Furthermore, according to Financial Times:

“In theory, that means anyone with a Coinbase account has the potential means to receive payments from an illegitimate source with little to no barrier. Visa says that it subjected this partnership to enhanced scrutiny and noted that Coinbase is regulated by US authorities. Although Coinbase often blocks accounts because of suspicious activity, I find it hard to believe that their system can eliminate risks entirely.”

What do we think about this? The points made by Financial Times are valid, though we think they are being a little pessimistic about this. We have to put more trust in companies like Coinbase and of course Visa who are no doubt aware of the risks associated with a payment card of this nature. Policies and systems will be put in place to ensure that the risk of crime is reduced and is minimised.
Yes, people can and probably will launder money through cryptocurrencies and crypto payment cards, but surely the focus here should be on the law and the law makers who are letting these criminals slip through the nets?
Cryptocurrency payment cards such as the one in development by Visa are going to do very good things for cryptocurrency adoption, making the likes of Bitcoin more accessible to the general public and more like a normal part of our daily lives. Yes, there’s some risk here but all money includes risk, be that FIAT, crypto, gold or even something else. If its got a store of value, people will use it for good and for bad – as a community we just need to work together to ensure that the good always outweighs the bad!

Source: Crypto Daily

Ethereum: What You Need To Know About Ethereum 2.0

Currently, Ethereum sits very close to its original design. Way back when Ethereum was first created, it was designed to provide a new platform to allow people to be creative with blockchain technology. Whilst Bitcoin remained very static, Ethereum was designed to open up new opportunities. As it stands, Ethereum hasn’t changed much over the years, however according to new reports it looks as if the next few years promise some huge transformations for Ethereum. Ethereum 1.0 is about finished with, now it is time for us to move on to Ethereum 2.0, a new era for the Ethereum blockchain and all of the decentralised applications that exist within it.
Today we will explore exactly what Ethereum 2.0 could hold for this new blockchain. As we know, Ethereum has the potential to grow, in a few years time the entire architecture of Ethereum could change drastically, many developers believe that this is the best thing that could happen to Ethereum, a cryptocurrency that us currently at risk of being left behind as rival cryptocurrencies such as TRON seem to be making great pace and catching up with Ethereum. The worst thing that could happen to Ethereum is of course having Justin Sun’s TRON take over, so, what does Ethereum need to do to stop this?
In a blog post published by SFOX, a cryptocurrency asset dealer, their research time have found that Ethereum is now reaching its limit under it’s current 1.0 design:

“The Ethereum network, in its present state, would not be able to accommodate dApps that have a large number of users – as it can only process around 15 transactions per second (TPS). Moreover, the team at SFOX claims that several core projects for Ethereum have stalled, while noting that ether’s market capitalization has fallen from around 51% of Bitcoin’s market cap in January 2018 to around 17% today.”

dApps as you should know are decentralised applications that exist on the Ethereum blockchain, they allow users and developers to carry out a number of different actions on the blockchain, from gambling and playing games to traditional cryptocurrency investments. Ethereum was created to allow for the creation of these dApps, but now, these dApps are getting too popular for their own good, Ethereum simply can’t handle this many users. This is known as a scalability issue, where a network can’t handle the sheer scale of demand it’s users are creating.

Thankfully though, there is a way to fix this:

“To address scalability issues and other performance bottlenecks which have prevented Ethereum from being used in enterprise environments, the SFOX team noted that transitioning from PoW to PoS consensus will eliminate the need for expensive mining (required by PoW). Additionally, codebase modifications which will integrate sharding are expected to further enhance the the speed and throughput of ETH transactions, SFOX’s blog stated. Notably, upgrading to Ethereum 2.0 will require building out a new, separate platform from the [existing Ethereum mainnet], SFOX’s team explained. The crypto asset dealer clarified that Ethereum 2.0 activation will eventually replace the current Ethereum network implementation.”

This all sounds very complicated, but once you scratch the surface, the fix is pretty clear. The way Ethereum tokens are mined on the blockchain is what is causing such a huge energy demand that the network is unable to fairly distribute its resources. Moving to a PoS consensus helps alleviate this and in theory, will allow the growing demand for dApps to actually be met by Ethereum.
This isn’t a small change though and as SFOX point out, this sort of move will switch the entire design of Ethereum, paving the way for a new type of Ethereum, Ethereum 2.0, a blockchain that is capable of so much more than the current Ethereum that we all know today.
This upgrade will happen over a series of steps, leading to something that the Ethereum creator – Vitalik Buterin is calling the ‘world computer’. Part of the specification for this ultimate computer allegedly states:

“To truly distinguish Ethereum as the World Computer we need to have a very performant VM. The current architecture of the VM is one of the greatest blockers to raw performance. WebAssembly aims to execute at near native speed by taking advantage of common hardware capabilities available on a wide range of platforms. This will open the door to a wide array of uses that require performance/throughput.”

Imagine a more powerful and less abstract version of Ethereum, one that is less like a blockchain based in the ether and one that acts like and works like a supercomputer. That thing you’re imagining… that’s Ethereum 2.0!
For now, we’ll have to wait and see how this develops. Ethereum 2.0 is not an overnight change, we are sure to see aspects of this start to creep into the current Ethereum design. As this happens and over time, Ethereum will become bigger and better than ever before. It’s an exciting time for the Ethereum project, for us lowly investors, things could be about to get much more exciting too!

Source: Crypto Daily

Weekly Roundup: ETF Delay, Ripple Banks & Bitconnect’s Dreaded Return

Yet another exciting batch of fresh news stories straight out of the crypto space for this week. Over the past five days, we’ve seen the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) unable to come to a decision on the VanEck ETF and therefore delaying it. We also saw the infamous Bitconnect making what seems to be a comeback and Ripple adoption keeps on getting pushed by big banking institutions.
Bitconnect
Now you may remember a certain crypto project that went bust nearly straight after it was making waves throughout the space, Bitconnect.
In case you don’t know, Bitconnect is now one of crypto’s most infamous pyramid schemes and was a hot topic for discussion after the hilarious ‘press conference’ earlier in 2018. Media outlets were quick to slam the cryptocurrency as well as memes being made overnight of the ringleader of the project, Carlos Matos. Even the popular YouTuber PewDiePie made a video dedicated to the man himself which has now got nearly 6 million views.

The now-defunct crypto project has since announced its return from what was a lot of controversy at the time.
This time, the project will be going under the name Bitconnect 2.0 and it will launch on 1st June according it’s Twitter page.
“Welcome everyone back to Bitconnect 2.0
We will launch Bitconnect2.0 on July 1st
Visit our website for more Infoshttps://t.co/xKJ10yeYoP”
The Tweet has actually since been deleted though so who knows what the future holds for Bitconnect.
Bitconnect initially came into existence in 2016 to offer loans to lenders in return for interest. The platform exchange BCC for Bitcoin which lenders were asked to lock the amount for a period for a daily calculated interest of 0.25 percent.
On the companies website, the process was described as:

“You can invest BitConnect coin in Bitconnect lending platform exclusively from the BitConnect Dashboard. This investment option involves profiting from Bitconnect trading bot and volatility software. You will receive daily profit based on your investment option. Upon investment term completion, you will receive your CAPITAL BACK to take out from the Bitconnect lending platform or optionally reinvest back in lending platform to continue receiving daily profit.”

Ripple & Banks
Now Ripple has been making waves a lot in terms of adoption over the past year or so. The founder of Gokhshtein magazine, David Gokhshtein is a very big supporter of Ripple’s XRP token and believes that the tokens parent company is in the perfect place to infiltrate the international financial system.
It seems that across the world, banks are starting to think about the potential that cryptocurrencies could bring them.
According to Gokhshtein, when these banks start to actually get stuck in with crypto, they’re going to be easier, efficient and much more cost-effective in using the Ripple-built infrastructure.

It costs the banks less to partner up with $XRP than it does for banks to create their own #crypto.
— David Gokhshtein (@davidgokhshtein) May 19, 2019
The founder has advised his followers that banks and other big financial giants will not allow themselves to become obsolete. In fact, he said that the more powerful companies will get used to the current financial season, leaving crypto to become a hot topic soon enough.

“Bottom line: banks aren’t going to fade out. they will always find a way to adapt to the current environment. That being said; @ripple has the perfect system in place for them and that’s why most of them are teaming with them.”

VanEck Delayed
This week saw the SEC make a decision on the VanEck Bitcoin ETF and as many people had expected, the proposal was delayed so that the commission could review more information on the ETF before they make a final decision.
The official filing by the SEC was published earlier this week and it says that they need more information on the rule change before making a decision. The commission has further inquired info on the ETF and stated that there are 25 comments lined-up on the proposed rule change.

“On January 30, 2019, Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. […] filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, […] a proposed rule change to list and trade shares of SolidX Bitcoin Shares issued by the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust […] The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on February 20, 2019.”

The VanEck SolidX #Bitcoin #ETF decision has been postponed by the SEC. We continue the hard work towards better-regulated, safer and more liquid digital assets markets. Bitcoin is too big to ignore. Vires in numeris! Public document and timelines: https://t.co/F9cV95CHKN pic.twitter.com/hgyhVE0nJr
— Gabor Gurbacs (@gaborgurbacs) May 20, 2019
Usually, when the SEC delay an ETF the market takes a hit but nothing seems to have happened much this time. The agency has postponed its ETF decision until 30th September, so it will be interesting to see how the market reacts then.

Source: Crypto Daily

Stellar: Does Anyone Really Care Anymore?

The Ripple hardfork that Jed McCaleb and Joyce Kim initially released in July 2014, Stellar went down at the end of last week but the thing is, no one really cared?
The founder of Post Oak Labs, Tim Swanson first brought up the network being down last week in a tweet (see below) and a representative from Stellar later confirmed its occurrence.

Breaking: yesterday the Stellar network went down for about 2 hours… only those who run validators noticed it.no new transactions were added for ~2 hours.network stats:https://t.co/eSRYFPjDQi
— Tim Swanson (@ofnumbers) May 16, 2019
Very few people noticed it and it kind of goes to show how little people care about the network. I mean we didn’t even hear about this until a week after it had happened!

Bear with me here, I’m aware this sounds like we’re digging into Stellar but the incident does raise a few questions about the level of decentralisation on the Stellar network. This uses the same ‘validator’ network design as Ripple does. In this design, only a few servers validate the transactions of the network at large. But if these servers do experience a rough patch then the whole system can potentially become unstable.
Decentralisation
The chief scientist at Stellar has confirmed decentralisation is a worry for the protocol has he said that last month.
In the blog post, the scientist goes to respond to a separate report by researchers who conclude that Stellar is too centralised to be considered ‘secure’.
The researchers had said:

“As can be seen from many articles and papers, some network attacks, such as DDoS, can occur in the blockchain networks. In this paper, we are saying that if two centralized nodes can not receive or send any message because of DDoS, then all nodes in Stellar network wull [sic] be blocked and can not move to the next step in the consensus process.”

McCaleb has said that the Stellar Development Foundation nodes aren’t the only thing to blame though for the outage on the network. But he did say that the project has been working on getting people to rely less on these nodes.

“Over the last months we have worked to get people to *not* depend on the SDF nodes. As of maybe a month or so ago the SDF nodes could safely go down and the network would continue. But this also means that the network can halt even if the SDF nodes are still running. Unfortunately this is what happened. Enough other nodes stopped for various reasons that the network halted. The SDF nodes and in fact the majority of validators in the network were still up. They just couldn’t close ledgers safely because they weren’t hearing from enough nodes in their quorums so the network halted until it could be restored to a good state.”

Swanson points out that, were this to happen on another network, the effect would be more than doubled due to the fact that they are simply more active. Compared to other networks, Stellar is quite small in reality.

“What basically happened was that a critical mass of nodes went down causing a cascading failure and so the entire network went down but because it isn’t frequently used, few noticed.”

So when the network did go into ‘outage mode’, not many people noticed. It is the equivalent of a majority of miners going offline in Bitcoin and the remaining miners have effectively been unable to find blocks to give support for the network.
It was recently announced by Stellar that they would be teaming up with the guys at IBM. this boosted sentiments towards the cryptocurrency with Ripple and Stellar working in an increasingly fractured marketplace, where some banks have chosen to crate blockchain solutions as opposed to utilising these ‘industrial’ products.
If you are new to the space then your attention will probably be initially pointed towards Bitcoin or Ethereum but Stellar (XLM) is a project that is taking a different approach to the model of what a cryptocurrency is.
We are not by any extent ripping into Stellar here, it is still a project that is making waves throughout the crypto space, there’s no denying that. Although, no matter how you look at it, XLM isn’t as popular as XRP, BTC or even LTC.

Source: Crypto Daily