Čvn 13

Factors That Will Push Bitcoin’s Price Higher Are Gathering Steam

· June 12, 2018 · 10:30 pm

The hacking of exchanges and relentless attacks from financial powers have, in the short run, adversely affected the price of Bitcoin. However, once the news about these adverse effects fades, investors will be able to turn their focus to several bright ongoing developments.


What Doesn’t Kill Bitcoin Makes It Stronger

The recent spate of crypto exchange hacks, ongoing regulatory issues, and reports of an investigation into possible price manipulation have sent the price of Bitcoin – and nearly every other cryptocurrency – tumbling. Despite these setbacks, the growing consensus is that, given Bitcoin’s inherent resiliency, developments taking place in both technical and financial arenas will enable Bitcoin’s value to retake its ascending trajectory with even greater intensity.

For example, frequent exposure to hacking will eventually make Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies immune to such attacks. As Forbes put it, hacking may be adversely affecting Bitcoin in the short term, but in the future, the cryptocurrency will rise stronger as a result. In this regard, Christian Ferri, President and CEO of BlockStar, declared:

As in every technology, hacking will be painful for some in the short term; but it will be a major driver in strengthening the crypto ecosystem, making it more secure, which is key for mass adoption.

Moreover, giant financial actors, including exchanges and big banks, are investing heavily and hiring talent to build Bitcoin trading capabilities.

For example, NASDAQ is planning to launch a futures market for cryptocurrencies. In fact, the stock exchange has already joined forces with Gemini, a digital asset exchange, to improve market surveillance to detect market manipulation and fraudulent trades. Additionally, a NASDAQ-powered cryptocurrency exchange platform – DX.Exchange – will be launched sometime this month.

In parallel, The New York Times reports that ICE, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), is working on its own online trading platform that will allow large Wall Street investors to trade cryptocurrencies.

Goldman Sachs is already ahead of the curve, having begun offering clients the ability to trade Bitcoin futures via one of its New York desks last month. According to The New York Times:

Goldman will begin using its own money to trade Bitcoin futures contracts on behalf of clients. It will also create its own, more flexible version of a future, known as a non-deliverable forward, which it will offer to clients.

Bitcoin Transactions Becoming Cheaper and Faster

Bitcoin Transactions Becoming Cheaper and Faster

On the technical side, Bitcoin has already advanced significantly in solving a key issue – scalability. Technological improvements that include SegWit, Lightning Network, and Atomic Multi-Path Payments over Lightning, and now Bitcoin Core 0.16.0, are already solving the issue of scalability and transaction fees costs.

Recently, Bitcoin enthusiasts celebrated the launch of Bitcoin Core 0.16.0, which among novel features, introduced full support for SegWit. Prominent Bitcoin exchanges, such as Coinbase and Bitfinex immediately started to implement SegWit and, as a result, transaction fees are now lower and faster, thus facilitating near-instantaneous low-value Bitcoin payments. At the present time, nearly 40% of all Bitcoin transactions are processed using SegWit.

In addition to SegWit, many exchanges are using a new technique to increase efficiency – batching transactions. Batching further increases the efficiency of Bitcoin transactions by over 75 percent by clustering multiple outputs into a single transaction.

For a digital currency that has “died” 300 times and counting, Bitcoin’s future is looking pretty bright, indeed. Innovative techniques are making Bitcoin transactions more efficient, and its exposure to hacking attempts will make it stronger. Lastly, major financial institutions are becoming increasingly interested in trading Bitcoin. These are crucial factors that are amalgamating to drive Bitcoin’s value to new highs.

What do you think are the main factors that will eventually drive Bitcoin’s value higher? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Kvě 21

Wall Street Cryptocurrency Trading is Imminent, Former J.P. Morgan Exec Says

· May 20, 2018 · 7:00 pm

The cryptocurrency market continues to be a trending topic in the world of finance. However, the question remains; when will Wall Street banks begin crypto trading? The day is closer than we think, according to a former J.P. Morgan executive.


Big Banks to Start Trading Cryptocurrency Soon

Amber Baldet, formerly of J.P Morgan believes that the big banks will soon start trading cryptocurrency. She made this declaration during an interview with CNBC. According to her, such a move is even closer than many people think. This revelation holds a fair bit of weight given that it is coming from someone with insider knowledge of Wall Street.

Baldet used to head J.P Morgan’s blockchain division before leaving the bank in April. Goldman Sachs, another prominent Wall Street has already announced plans to establish a bitcoin trading service. When launched, it will be the first ever Wall Street crypto trading platform.

Amber Baldet

Baldet, however, identified some critical issues standing in the way of broader crypto adoption by big banks. Lack of regulatory clarity and problems concerning custodial services are among the main challenges preventing a greater institutional presence in the market. The major banks have no secure crypto custody framework at the moment. This lack of trusted safeguards for cryptocurrencies might soon be a thing of the past, however. Both Nomura and Coinbase announced last week that they were launching crypto custodial solutions.

Search Engine for the Blockchain Ecosystem

Baldet also spoke about her new venture since leaving Wall Street. The former J.P. Morgan executive unveiled Clovyr at the recently concluded Consensus conference in New York. Clovyr is designed to be an app store for blockchain DApps. Commenting on the project, Baldet said:

There’s no way to discover what’s out there right now; there’s no Google for finding applications. The ability to discover apps is helpful, but the ability to build them is also encompassed in there.

Thus, Clovyr is more than a blockchain search engine; it is also a platform that allows developers to create useful DApps. Baldet has a lot of experience with developing blockchain solutions. She was an essential member of the team that created J.P. Morgan’s legacy blockchain project, Quorum.

Will the entry of the likes of J.P Morgan and Goldman Sachs be a good thing for the crypto market? Please share your views in the comment section below.


Image courtesy of Twitter @AmberBaldet., Shutterstock

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Kvě 05

3 Altcoins to Outperform Bitcoin For The Week of May 5

· May 5, 2018 · 5:00 pm

To title this week dramatic in the cryptocurrency space would be an understatement. BTC has seen a price surge with renewed interest from big names like Goldman Sachs while altcoins have major events on the horizon. This is a very exciting period for altcoins like BTC, ZCL, ENJ, and DGB.


What a Week It Has Been, What a Week It Will Be 

The cryptocurrency markets have finally broken out of a multi-month bear slump in brute force. BTC is up more than 50% from recent lows with altcoins trading significantly higher. With positive momentum in the cryptocurrency markets, teams from across the world are announcing major cryptocurrency projects, deadlines are being hit, and milestones are being reached.

Bitcoin price

The bearish markets in the past week have begun to seem increasingly bullish with a major forking announcement from ZClassic; a security break-through for DigiByte, and the Unite world tour for Enjin.

BTC- Goldman Sachs Futures Trading and Possible Trading Desk

The most important name in cryptocurrency trading at $9,952 per coin with a market cap of $170 billion is Bitcoin. This week has been exciting and the near future should also be exuberant as Bitcoin bulls have retaken the reigns and it once again is pressing the $10,000 mark. BTC was trading as low as $6,000 during this recent bear raid and looks to have built significant momentum heading into May.

There are a few main reasons BTC has once again accelerated forward in value: renewed interest from the world’s wealthiest via OTC (over the counter deals) and trading platforms/operations opening up to institutional investors such as Goldman Sachs.

So Long, All-Time Highs? Goldman Sachs Says Crypto Peaks Have Been And Gone

Goldman Sachs announced earlier this week they would begin futures trading of BTC and also were considering a trading desk. This was confirmed on Thursday, May 3, 2018, with the likely pursuit of similar operations by other Wall Street Banks. As more money pours into the cryptocurrency space BTC will obviously be the first big winner with institutional money likely trickling off to other altcoins as well.

A recent announcement by the Anonymous Bitcoin team revealed that BTC and ZCL will both be receiving a forked coin on September 10, 2018. Allowing those that enjoy the BTC bull run to have a nice ‘dividend’ at the end of summer.

ZCL – A Real Forking Announcement (FUD, Upcoming Announcements)

ZClassic (ZCL) is trading at $21.50 with a market cap of $83.6 million. This past week a new dev team announced on CNBC they would be forking ZCL with BTC, creating Anonymous Bitcoin. This was the first televised fork announcement by a major broadcaster like CNBC. The technology behind Anonymous Bitcoin WILL include zkSNARKs anonymity features plus masternode staking ability.

ZCL – A Big Forking Announcement (Anonymous Bitcoin)

This would allow individuals to be incentivized to hold their Anonymous Bitcoin vs actively trade it. This fork was officially announced April 28, 2018. ZCL quickly rose to over $40 before conflicting news was announced by prior ZCL dev teams regarding the inauthenticity of the fork.

The Anonymous Bitcoin team has defended their position and remained completely transparent regarding their methods for forking ZCL while being present and doing interviews at the last two cryptocurrency conventions in Miami and Los Angeles.

The Anonymous Bitcoin lead developer, Sam Abbassi, proudly has a speaking engagement coming up at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). The Founder of the project, Jake Greenbaum, will be going to Consensus to continue to network, interview, and share the philosophy behind why forks create better technology at little to no cost to the crypto community. The Anonymous Bitcoin team is not hiding behind the veil of a fork but instead attempting to create a new cryptocurrency with a vibrant community behind it.

In the months leading up to ZCL’s prior fork, ZCL was trading as high as $220 per coin with a market cap of almost $700 million. Currently, ZCL is trading under $22 with new advisors to be announced in the near future, the executive summary to be released in the next week, and the white paper to be released by June 1st. At a bare minimum, the next few weeks will be exciting to watch the charts of ZCL.

Enjin Unite Tokyo: May 7-9; Unite Beijing May 11-13 

Enjin (“ENJ”) is currently on the “conference tour” at Unity events. For those that are not big gamers or developers “Unity” may not be a familiar term. Unity is a cross-platform game engine that is used to develop video games for all consoles and mobile devices. The unity platform now includes over 15 platforms and hosts major conferences regarding gaming, app development, and technology all over the world.

This week is important for ENJ because they are speaking and having booths at Unity’s event in Tokyo and next week’s event in Beijing. ENJ is attempting to integrate its currency into multiple gaming platforms and where better to demonstrate their capabilities than at Unite Tokyo and Unite Beijing?

ENJ currently is trading at $.17 with a market cap of $127 million. If ENJ’s presentations and exposure in Asia is viewed positively this numbers should trend upward. As an altcoin ENJ is well suited to enter the gaming market as they are already partnered with Unity for “True in Game Ownership of Digital Assets.” Having a partner like Unity while being on their conference tour should provide ENJ the perfect amount of momentum to build their user base and continue to excel as a cryptocurrency. 

DigiByte (DGB) – Blockchain Based Open Authentication Protocol Service May 11

One of the biggest concerns of individuals actively participating in the cryptocurrency space is the possibility of being hacked. Managing a handful of passwords that conceal what could amount to thousands of dollars is a frightening prospect. May 11, 2018, maybe a revolutionary day for passwords and that irritating 2FA authentication.

A highly secure, DigiByte blockchain-base open authentication protocol service is claiming it can be used to replace usernames, passwords, and even 2FA. If this is correct this will relieve much of the irritation associated with logging into an exchange or accessing a wallet. However, if a hack occurs their entire platform could come crumbling down.

DGB is trading at $0.048 with a market cap of $492 million. DGB was trading over $0.12 January 7, 2018. With one of their biggest developments to date being released May 11, this should be a very exciting week for DGB. The price of DGB will gauge the market’s reaction. DGB’s focus is their security, “by putting security first, our decisions help make sure that transactions, mining, and the blockchain distribution are as decentralized as possible.

DGB blocks occur on the network every 15 seconds making DGB the fastest UTXO blockchain in the world.” DGB has focused on security and speed and this week releases their authentication protocol that very well may revolutionize how passwords and usernames are used as a means of verification.

Bulls Retaking the Reigns 

This has been an exciting week for many as their portfolios have risen nicely and major projects have started back up in the crypto space. Summer should be a period where enthusiasm is rebuilt and the BTC train begins to build major momentum again. With such excitement on the horizon, it is important to look at coins this week like BTC, ZCL, DGB, and ENJ.

[Full disclosure: Jakethecryptoking has a stake in and is the founder of Anonymous Bitcoin. To get in contact directly with the Crypto King, you can on Twitter (@JbtheCryptoKing) or Reddit (ICO updates and Daily Reports)]

Do you agree with this week’s picks? Share your thoughts below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Dub 12

Mike Novogratz Hires Goldman Sachs Exec for Crypto Merchant Bank

· April 12, 2018 · 3:30 pm

Famous cryptocurrency investor and trader Mike Novogratz has hired a Goldman Sachs executive for his cryptocurrency merchant bank.


 $40K Bitcoin by End of 2018?

Last November, Mike Novogratz made headlines when he predicted that Ethereum would hit $500 by the end of 2017 and Bitcoin could reach $40K by the end of 2018. Novogratz’s prediction for Ethereum proved true as the cryptocurrency actually surpassed $500 and even almost hit $1400.

Mike Novogratz

Since then, the whole cryptocurrency market experienced a major “shakedown” and dropped from a total market capitalization of over $8oo billion to $260 billion. The big correction may have caused uncertainty for retail traders, but many institutional investors are confident that a correction to the market was due and will soon stabilize. Some analysts predict that the total market cap for cryptocurrency could far surpass its old all-time high.

From Wall Street to Cryptocurrencies

This optimism for the cryptocurrency space is leading quite a few people from Wall Street to make the jump into the crypto world. One of the more notable of these individuals is Mike Novogratz, who was one of the first institutional investors to start seeing a future for cryptocurrencies.

Novogratz didn’t only bring millions of dollars to the cryptocurrency space, but he also brought years of trading and investing experience that he gained from Wall Street. Last December, the legendary investor announced that he would launch one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency hedge funds. The fund was supposed to launch on December 15th but, due to uncertainty in the market situation, was put on ice. He then turned his attention to creating a merchant bank, Galaxy Digital, that would serve the blockchain and cryptocurrency space back in January.

merchant bank

But Novogratz won’t be investing alone. According to CNBC, Novogratz has hired Goldman Sachs executive Richard Kim for the position of the chief operating officer for Galaxy Digital. Even though Novogratz’s fund launch is still paused, he stated the following to CNBC:

We are still feverishly building out a full merchant bank for crypto, i.e., I am still very bullish on the space.

The new hire is part of an ongoing trend and shows that, in the future, more Wall Street executives may switch from traditional trading instruments like stocks and bonds to a market with a brighter future, such as cryptocurrency and digital assets.

What are your thoughts on Novogratz’s decision to hire a Goldman Sachs executive for his COO? Do you think that the fund will eventually be launched and receive interest from non-cryptocurrency investors? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of  Pixabay and Bitcoinist archives.

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Úno 28

So Why Did Goldman Sachs-Backed Circle Really Buy Poloniex?

· February 28, 2018 · 10:00 am

Goldman Sachs-backed startup Circle made waves earlier this week when it acquired cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex. A couple of experts share their thoughts on the implications for the soon-to-be first compliant US crypto exchange and its customers.


Most Crypto Exchanges ‘Over-Regulate Themselves’

As the dust settles on Circle’s acquisition of Poloniex, U.S. regulators are keeping a close eye on KYC/AML compliance of cryptocurrency exchanges.

Joseph Weinberg

Joseph Weinberg, OECD Think Tank Special Advisor and Chairman of Shyft, a blockchain protocol that will create a new standard for the KYC/AML mandates, shared his comments with Bitcoinist. He states:

Most crypto exchanges that are processing fiat to crypto transactions are very compliant and, in some cases, even more so than banks. It all really depends on jurisdictions and the compliance policies given by countries to crypto exchanges.

He continued:

For crypto exchanges, the challenge lies in how little formal guidelines there are from regulators. As a result, most of the industry has been doing self-compliance in absence of clear procedures. To err on the safe side, crypto exchanges over-regulate themselves. For example, most exchanges ask for passport verification in order to confirm users’ identities, whereas most banks only require government-issued IDs, such as drivers licenses.

Interestingly, Circle acquired the crypto exchange over a year after announcing it was shifting focus from Bitcoin to blockchain-based services. At the time, the company informed its Bitcoin customers that they can can cash out or transfer their balances to Coinbase, if they wished to continue to use the cryptocurrency.

So why did Circle decide to jump back into the crypto game?

It appears that Poloniex was struggling to keep up with the unexpected surge in new users as prices skyrocketed in the second half of 2017. Additionally, being based in the United States, the company also had to keep up with rising compliance costs as it rolled out its new KYC policies late last year.

Weinberg explains:

In the past, Poloniex had a lot of issues with onboarding new users and properly building out its KYC process, mainly due to the large amounts of time it takes to verify users. Given the level of KYC that exchanges force themselves to go through, scaling compliance is almost a separate product that the exchange has to build out.

According to him, this is where Circle comes in with their KYC/AML expertise. He says:

Through this acquisition, Circle will deploy more people to help handle compliance—more employees to build and process KYC due diligence faster. This is the same type of issue traditional banks have when it comes to scaling. Compliance costs keep multiplying, and yet, they aren’t always found to be effective.

The SEC Is Watching

Meanwhile, another takeaway has been put forth by Nathaniel Popper, author of Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money.

Popper noted on Twitter that the SEC informally suggested to Circle that no enforcement action will occur if the Boston-based startup “cleans up Poloniex and turns it into a regulated exchange.” He adds:

The SEC seems to be saying here that it’s okay if you broke the rules, as long as you get acquired by a legitimate player before we crack down on you.

The question now seems to be whether the SEC will apply this same thinking to other virtual currency exchanges if they are acquired by large players.

In addition to facilitating compliance, Circle also announced that it will add fiat bridges and expand operation to other markets. Namely, the company promised to explore “USD, EUR, and GBP connectivity that Circle already brings to its compliant Pay, Trade, and Invest products.”

This would imply that the exchange must also become compliant and answer to regulators from across the pond, who are currently scratching their heads on how to approach cryptocurrencies without stifling innovation in the process.

Therefore, regulators in the U.S. and abroad could be playing the carrot and stick strategy by providing an incentive for crypto exchanges to get acquired by the large players, such as Goldman Sachs, before a potential crackdown. Admittedly, this could also be a clever way for traditional finance to not only appear innovative through association but also assimilate would-be future competitors.

If true, the strategy may be futile and usher in the Streisand effect to boot. As technology advances, so do new methods of exchanging cryptocurrency. Therefore, assimilating centralized exchanges like Poloniex could force users to migrate en masse to decentralized exchanges and further bolster their development.

Why do you believe Circle acquired Poloniex? Share your comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter/@nathanielpopper.

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Úno 26

Goldman Sachs-backed Circle Buys Poloniex Cryptocurrency Exchange for $400M

· February 26, 2018 · 11:30 am

Circle, the notionally cryptocurrency-focused payment services startup, has reportedly bought exchange Poloniex for $400 million.


Job Done Between Circle And Polo

According to Fortune editor Robert Hackett who leaked the news in advance, an official statement will follow Monday. The takeover means a cryptocurrency exchange is now under direct ownership of a Goldman Sachs funded company.

Hackett wrote on Twitter earlier this morning:

Rumors have swirled in recent weeks that Circle has been in talks to buy the cryptocurrency exchange (Poloniex). […] I can confirm here for the first time that, yes, Circle has completed the acquisition. (A source familiar with the terms told me the price tag came to roughly $400 M.)

Circle Takes On Crypto Exchange Giants

Circle had fallen out of favor with diehard Bitcoin fans after it made the decision to divest itself of Bitcoin interaction. One of the pioneering major movers in cryptocurrency, many saw the removal of Bitcoin from the Circle Pay app as a rejection of the more innovative values cryptocurrency represents.

Commenting on Poloniex’s incorporation, however, Hackett saw Circle establishing a firm foothold in the now vastly-expanded crypto corporate arena:

This is a huge coup for Circle—putting it within striking distance of other big U.S. crypto exchanges, like Coinbase’s GDAX, Kraken, and Bittrex.

According to the report, Circle’s revenue from cryptocurrency trading would significantly increase thanks to Poloniex – up to around $1 billion per year, proportionally roughly similar to the combined revenue of the entire exchange sector of South Korea.

Poloniex itself had been facing mounting criticism in recent months. A huge influx of new users over the second half of 2017 saw technical problems and outages at key trading moments as technology struggled to cope with demand.

Also struggling was customer support, a problem repeated across many exchanges in the industry as newbie traders made rookie mistakes and relied on staff to provide a remedy.

What do you think about Circle buying Poloniex? Let us know in the comments below!


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Říj 08

Former Goldman Sachs VP Believes Bitcoin is the Next Internet

· October 7, 2017 · 9:45 pm

Matthew Goetz, former vice president at the famous financial institution Goldman Sachs believes that investing in Bitcoin is like investing in the Internet in the late 90’s. 


Betting Big On Bitcoin

Betting big on Bitcoin

The decentralized cryptocurrency had a very good run this year. Even after receiving bad publicity from the comments of the JP Morgan CEO and the recent report that China ordered Bitcoin exchanges to close down. Bitcoin is up by 450% this year and is currently stabilizing at the $4350 area.  Former Goldman Sachs VP, Matthew Goetz, believes that investing in the digital currency is like investing in the Internet in the late 90’s. Many experts and analysts strongly believe that Bitcoin might not stay as the number one cryptocurrency for very long.

The Next Big Cryptocurrency

After leaving Goldman Sachs, Matthew Goetz started a hedge fund called BlockTower Capital that specializes in cryptocurrencies. In a recent article by Business Insider, Goetz stated that in the future another cryptocurrency will take over the first place from Bitcoin. He further quoted:

There is some chance that something an order of magnitude better than bitcoin, technologically, could come along.

Goetz also added:

It’s something like Facebook. If someone creates a new Facebook that has slightly better features, say 10% better. That’s great, but network effects are strong. So, that new thing isn’t going to kill Facebook.

Matthew Goetz believes that Bitcoin is just a software and so it can easily be replaced by a way better and more advanced version in the future. Similar to how Facebook managed to overtake MySpace as the number social media website, another cryptocurrency with more features will be able to overtake Bitcoin’s position in the future. Goetz said that the cryptocurrency market is still very risky just like the Internet was in 1992.

What are your thoughts on Matthew Goetz’s opinion? Do you think that another cryptocurrency will be able to overtake Bitcoin as the number one cryptocurrency? 


Images courtesy of Pixabay, AP

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