Lis 10

Cryptocurrencies to Target for the Next Bull-Run (OAX, XLM, HOT)

Cryptocurrencies OAX, HOT, and XLM are worth looking into if you’re looking for coins with the best chance to outperform Bitcoin price in Q4 2018. 


Small Cap Vs. Low Price Cryptos (A Trader’s Mindset)

The mindset of a cryptocurrency trader in a bull vs. a bear market is vastly different. During the last bull-run, two types of cryptocurrencies had a tendency to ‘pump.’ Ones with very low market caps on big exchanges and those with very low prices.

The coins with low market caps, dedicated teams, with the network to get listed on top exchanges should be acquisition targets heading into the next bull-run vs. the alternative of buying low priced coins.

A very low market cap coin with major unknown quarter four events: OAX, should perform exceptionally well in the short term. 

The market sentiment has continued to shift from the summer of 2018 through the beginning of quarter four. With crypto personalities and technical analysis pointing to a December bull-run, the question becomes fairly obvious: How does one take advantage of the shifting of market sentiment and the possible impending moonshot?

Amusement park ride

The last bull run which concluded 2017 had two main types of cryptocurrencies that saw significant pumps. These two types included very low cost per coin cryptocurrencies regardless of their market capitalization. The other type were coins that had a very low market cap. Coins with a low market cap are the coins which should be targeted vs. the ones that the price seems “cheap” on.

Most individuals who are not accustomed to cryptocurrencies do not realize the importance of market capitalization vs. actual price.

For example: consider 2 cryptocurrencies, one is trading at $0.50 the other at $2.00, the first has a market cap of $100 million, the second has a market cap of $5 million.

Which is the better investment if both are about to have $1 million in demand of the cryptocurrency generated by an announcement?

The answer is the second, with a $5 million market cap and $2.00 price. The reason for this is if $1 million of demand is generated for a cryptocurrency with a $5 million market cap the total market cap will increase to $6 million. This 20% increase in market cap will be reflected by the price increasing by 20%, from $2.00 to $2.40.

The first coin with a market cap of $100 million would now have a market cap of $101 million and the $.50 crypto would have increased to $0.505. If you purchased the cryptocurrency with the lower market cap you would make 20% compared to 2% for the coin with the higher market cap.

With all else equal it is always a better idea to target a lower market cap cryptocurrency vs. one with a ‘lower price.’

OAX has one of the smallest market caps on Binance and is my #1 acquisition target for this reason, along with many others. For those wanting a lower price coin with a significantly higher market cap HOT and XLM are fantastic options.

OAX

OAX 00 is one of the lesser known and discussed cryptocurrencies, which is a great reason to begin targeting it before the Twitter personalities and “whales” begin their accumulation. OAX is also listed on the highest volume exchange, Binance, which is notorious for solely listing tier 1 projects.

So what is OAX’s project that impressed Binance enough to list?

I had the pleasure of discussing with the OAX team many aspects about their project during a recent interview. According to Wayland Chan who is the Technology Lead of the OAX Foundation, by the end of 2018 OAX will “deliver a stand-alone DEX using the work done building a scalable layer 2 solution.” This very significant event is not listed on cryptocurrency calendar websites nor is it commonly known in the space.

What is most impressive about OAX’s decentralized exchange (“DEX”) is that they plan to have an “off-chain order book, off chain order execution, as well as no custody of user assets.” OAX could be the scalable solution that DEX’s have sought for years. The OAX project is very ambitious but having secured a Binance listing their legitimacy should not be challenged.

The first prototype of the DEX was delivered in June and since the developer have been finalizing the layer 2 solution using off-chain solutions to solve the performance problems of blockchains.

According to OAX’s Technology Lead,

We’ve made huge strides…and expect to soon announce some big news that will definitely rock the boat.

As much as I pressed I was unable to get an inside glance at what this ‘breakthrough’ was.

This year, OAX was trading as high as $2.28, having dropped to under $0.35 since. With their platform becoming a reality, now is the perfect time to acquire a position. The future of OAX looks very bright. OAX plans to have a layer 2 working prototype by the end of 2018. Their DEX has the potential to revolutionize the exchange community and the scaling difficulties they face.

ICOs were all the craze at the end of 2017, DEXs are becoming the next craze with looming regulations and government crackdowns already underway. With decentralized exchanges becoming the new ‘hot thing’ and the bear market coming to an end, OAX clearly is an acquire and HODL for traders and investors alike.

OAX is one of the few cryptocurrencies that could re-approach their all-time high, once the crypto community awakens to the significance of their project.

HOT

How does HOT (Holochain) 00 compete against other cryptocurrencies in the space?

HOT has a lower “price per coin” than OAX but their market cap is almost 20x higher than OAX’s. This means if both HOT and OAX received the same amount of publicity the price of HOT would move 5% while the price of OAX would move 100%.

This is the main reason targeting smaller cap cryptos with platforms on the cusp of development makes for better “moonshot” investments than targeting a crypto with a $100 million-plus market cap.

However, HOT does get a unique award for being the least expensive coin on Binance (even though it has a huge market cap). During a bull run new ‘dumb’ money enters the market and they flock to both the cheapest coin and the ones with the lowest market caps (once they get a bit smarter). HOT qualifies as the “cheapest cryptocurrency on Binance,” and therefore money will likely flow into it the minute the markets start moving North.

Understanding market caps makes those looking to choose between HOT and OAX, pick OAX very easily. However, when choosing an investment, it is important to look beyond the market cap. How is the team? What is the product or platform?

Holochain is distributed hosting, owned and run by the users. The goal of HOT is to facilitate businesses and communities to build the next internet paradigm. Their goals seem to be extravagant but the team is continuously pushing forward with their roadmap.

For those wanting to capitalize on new ‘dumb’ money rushing into the crypto space in the next few months, HOT is not a bad option. OAX will likely to provide much higher returns than the larger market cap coins like HOT, however, diversification should not be overlooked for short-term profits.

XLM 

XLM (Stellar Lumens) 00 has been all over the news this week with their announcement of the Blockchain wallet giving away $125 million XLM.

This coupled with their likely imminent addition to Coinbase makes them a short-term speculatively play receiving a lot of attention. With a market cap in the Top 10 cryptocurrencies and a coin value of under $1.00, XLM could post impressive gains.

Stellar: Headed Towards $1?

However, that “moon” that everyone is searching for is unlikely to come from a cryptocurrency with a $1 billion-plus market cap. One can expect reasonable gains following a Coinbase listing but that is truly what all are HODLing for at this point.

Even though XLM is unlikely to post gains associated with coins that have less than a $10 million market cap, they still have plenty of exciting developments occurring.

XLM has partnered with IBM to allow them to use their Stellar network to bring more transparency into their payment structure. Analysts have predicted this partnership could actually replace the current SWIFT/IBAN structure as the global standard. If this partnership results in anything relevant XLM will have moon potential even as a $1 billion-plus market cap cryptocurrency.

Another one of XLM’s unique partnerships is with Veridium and IBM to tokenize carbon credits globally. This is one of many partnerships that will make XLM relevant for the short and long term.

The projects for XLM continue with Stellar X. This is Stellar’s version of a DEX. Also:

  • Open Garden is a project that allows users to turn their phone into a hotspot while earning a reward in XLM for data used.
  • TillBilly is Stellar’s version of a point of sale system, easing the burden of a paper receipt.
  • SmartLands looks to tokenize agricultural lands on the Stellar Network.
  • Sure Remit is one of the leading remittance networks in Africa that allows the transfer of funds. They have partnered with Stellar and have branches in Kenya, Rwanda, and many other African countries.

The list of partnerships and use cases for XLM go on and on. XLM is a great long-term HODL when compared to other cryptocurrencies in the Top 10. However, for significant short-term gains, lower market cap cryptocurrencies with major under the radar events are better options.

Cryptocurrencies Ranked By Risk

As new money rushes into the crypto space it will likely end up in 1 of 2 places: very low-cost coins, or very low market cap coins. Regarding percentage return, it is always better to target low market cap coins, not just ‘low cost’ coins.

This is why OAX is a favorite this week with their DEX on the horizon, a 1 on 1 interview, and a Binance listing; this project is well positioned being one of the smallest market cap coins on Binance. With little public awareness regarding their underlying news, OAX could be one of the most significant gainers of quarter four. If OAX ends quarter four with a market cap of $28 million, it will have returned over 200% for those reading this article.

HOT will likely be a target of ‘dumb’ money searching for a cheap coin on the biggest exchanges. Once they learn what a market cap is they will likely switch their position. The HOT project is a great one, but regarding undervalued cryptocurrencies, there are better options.

XLM may be a Top 10 cryptocurrency but with a Coinbase listing seeming imminent and partnerships that compete with Ripple they will likely post positive returns in the short-term. This is important as they are positioned for long-term success as well. Their short-term gains will likely be inferior to those with micro-caps but their guaranteed success long term reduces a great amount of investor risk.

Those seeking the highest risk, highest reward crypto should target OAX. Those wanting a safer play that is likely to still post positive gains, XLM is the choice. For those wanting to chase dumb money entering the market HOT is an okay choice, but OAX will likely still post better returns based on their market cap being 1/20th of the size.

To read the Crypto King’s prior articles or to get in contact directly with him, you can on Twitter (@JbtheCryptoKing) or Reddit. The King is the founder of ANON and actively trades cryptocurrencies.

[Disclaimer: This views expressed in this article belong solely to the author and do not reflect the views of Bitcoinist. They are intended as opinion for educational purposes and should not be taken as financial advice.]


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Lis 05

Swiss Regulator: Crypto Assets Need 800% Risk Weighting In Absence Of Formal Rules

Swiss financial regulator has informally signaled cryptocurrency investments should have a risk weighting ratio of 800 percent of the original amount.


FINMA Highlights Bank, Dealer Queries

According to local news media outlet Swissinfo, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) revealed the figure in October in response to a query by trustee and accountant association EXPERTsuisse.

In the letter, dated October 15, FINMA suggested it had come under pressure to provide clarity on the issue from banks and associated players, but the requisite regulatory guidelines were yet to appear.

Swiss Based

“FINMA has recently received an increasing number of inquiries from banks and securities dealers holding positions in cryptoassets and are subject to capital adequacy requirements, risk distribution regulations and regulations for the calculation of short-term liquidity ratios,” Swissinfo quotes it as stating.

Switzerland has several years’ experience of formal integration of cryptoasset-based products in its banking sector, has taken a proactive role in creating a supportive legislative environment for the new instruments.

At the same time, Swissinfo notes, FINMA can only give ballpark figures until all-encompassing formal statutes are set in stone by the international adjudicator Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

A decision may come as soon as the Committee’s next meeting at the end of November.

‘No Impact’

In the meantime, cryptoassets should be “assigned a flat risk weight of 800% to cover market and credit risks, regardless of whether the positions are held in the banking or trading book,” the letter continues.

According to sources commenting on the situation, the 800 percent figure is high, but not prohibitive.

SEBA, a startup which in September raised $103 million to build a cryptocurrency bank in the country, said the recommendation “had a limited impact on its business model.”

“It’s encouraging to see banks no longer turning down the increasing number of client requests for crypto services but asking for guidance and providing their input along the way,” lobby group the Bitcoin Association Switzerland added to Swissinfo.

What do you think about FINMA’s recommendation? Let us know in the comments below!


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Lis 03

3 Cryptocurrencies Likely to Beat BTC Price Short-Term (WaBi, BNB, TRX)

Who can beat BTC price in the short term? This week three very unique coins have been selected: WaBi, BNB, and TRON. WABI looks to be the top contender to produce the highest returns as a cryptocurrency.


Market Conditions

The price stagnation within BTC price 00 has led to many mini altcoin rallies. Cryptocurrencies highlighted in similar articles such as GOChain increased well over 100% since their being selected as an ‘undervalued cryptocurrency.’

These current market conditions represent a spring coiling in the cryptocurrency space. Summer was filled with negative news about Bitcoin and blockchain. However, since quarter four has begun there has been no real BTC positive price movement. This is contrary to the news which has been positive for over a month.

Last week saw:

  • NYSE’s parent company announced December 12th as their launch date for Bakkt (BTC settled USD pairs).
  • The country of Singapore invested directly in Binance.
  • The country of China which had previously different styles of bans on ICOs and crypto ruled BTC as property.
  • Coinbase added USDC.
  • Bitfury considering an IPO (not ICO).

The prior week in blockchain and cryptocurrency has seen BTC stagnate even with the spectacular news. The spring has been coiled and the question that remains is which cryptocurrency will appreciate against BTC in the next few weeks to few months?

When analyzing the market to see which coins have already had their mini bulls runs it becomes increasingly obvious that WaBi, BNB, and TRON should all have major positive movement.

WABI has the smallest market cap and significant quarter four news. Most of their news has yet to be announced but an exclusive interview with the founder this week provided some inside details. BNB and TRON are likely to produce returns far greater than BTC’s due to their communities and utility.

However, WABI is the most undervalued on this list as TRON and BNB have market caps over $1 billion, while WABI’s market cap is under $20 million.

Although a higher risk cryptocurrency play, WABI is most likely to produce the highest returns when compared to BTC and other cryptocurrencies in the market.

stock market quotes

WaBi 

WaBi 00 is a cryptocurrency with under a 20 million dollar market cap, is traded on Binance, has major events and news all quarter four, and provided an exclusive interview with the founder for this piece. Not only is right now the opportune time to research WaBi but it radiates as an undervalued cryptocurrency.

Walimai is a safe-channel ecosystem for consumer products. The purpose of Walimai is to secure supply chains of important consumer goods (such as baby milk). So what is the WaBi?

Well the WaBi is provided as an incentive for scanning anti-counterfeit labels of WaBi products. This helps drives consumer awareness of the product’s transition through the supply chain and insures product safety.

China (where WaBi is predominantly located) has had multiple scandals involving food which has resulted in large scale accidental poisonings. WaBi looks to solve the issue of supply chain monitoring for consumer goods and has found a way to incentivize the public for participating in the process.

The WaBi cryptocurrency once attained can be used to discount the cost of consumer products along with improving delivery terms. This demonstrates clear utility in a niche market which needed blockchain support (consumer goods and the supply chain).

Why is now the time for WaBi? According to CoinMarketCal WaBi is undertaking a full rebranding in quarter four, they are going to open up sales to South East Asia, Latin America, and Europe, and they plan to introduce Walimai Labels for pharmaceuticals as well. This is a very impressive roadmap for quarter four which led to my desire to speak directly to the Founder, Alex.

In my exclusive interview with the WaBi Founder, I was able to uncover a few more details regarding the upcoming big news. The rebranding is not just the altering of some colors. WaBi is about to undergo a full rebranding regarding the name, colors, fonts, websites (WaBi and Walimai). They have been working with a top design agency while having interviewed almost 1000 users regarding user friendliness and aesthetics. Their rebranding is the first of its kind because they are bringing the active WaBi community into the process. They are providing prizes to supporters who participate in the rebranding, holding an almost scavenger hunt to ‘find’ the new website and additional features.

A cryptocurrency rebranding is very exciting especially because of how different WaBi plans to handle it. Immediately following the rebranding WaBi intends to have a major press release push, almost identical to what they did in 2017 when they were featured on BBC, CNBC, Business Insier, Reuters, and many more (this prior PR push dramatically increased WaBi’s value). The rebranding, budget allocated for major advertising and press releases all take place in quarter four. The public only knows the basics about the rebranding and has no idea a major publicity campaign is about to begin.

The WaBi token is being introduced to a large number of convenience stores across Asia where deals are being negotiated currently to accept WaBi as a form of payment (not just as a discount or to improve shipping terms). This is one of the biggest surprises as once completed the WaBi cryptocurrency will be able to be spent simply across their biggest market demographic.

WaBi’s roadmap positions them with a focus on developed parts of the world where there is the lowest access to quality authentic imported goods. Places like China where counterfeit goods are rampant have been fast to adopt the WaBi coin and Walimai platform.

The WaBi team has been adding new hires and continuing to build out their platform during this extended bear market. The development team has seen 5 new hires added in the last few months. While most cryptocurrencies have been hiding in the shadows of the bear market WaBi has been building at an unprecedented rate.

The last poignant point Alex, the Founder of WaBi made was in regards to my question, “Given the market fluctuations since the ICO how has your coin coped?”

He was very direct in his response. WaBi is up 71% against BTC in the prior year, 8% against the USD, and 158% against ETH compared to their ICO prices. Their focus shifted entirely from publicity and marketing to internal product and core team development. He was also very quick to mention how supportive and active their community is, one of the main reasons WaBi fared so well against other cryptocurrencies. This internal development and platform enhancement is about to pay significant dividends in quarter 4 once the rebranding is complete and the PR campaign goes into full swing.

My final question was regarding the long-term plans for WaBi. I was excited to hear WaBi plans to enter the alcohol products arena as many parts of the world have suffered toxic counterfeit alcohol poisonings. This expansion of products is followed by their expansion to new demographics in different parts of the world.

Many supply chain cryptocurrencies have market caps in excess of 1 billion dollars. WaBi has a working platform, a utilizable token, a quarter four with more exciting news than 99% of cryptocurrencies, a dedicated team, and expansion at an unprecedented rate.

If there was a cryptocurrency that had a significant likelihood of “mooning” in quarter four due to every possible positive factor going their way, it would be WaBi. Look for WaBi to test 50-200% returns in the short term depending on how quickly the traders and investors look ahead to the cryptocurrency calendars.

BNB – Binance Coin

For those that actively trade or even occasionally invest it is obvious to “own” where you trade. The BNB 00 token is the native token of the Binance exchange. By possessing BNB in your account many benefits are provided from lower trading fees to earning a higher percentage of the fees generated by your referrals. If you have any referrals or make any trades it only makes sense to own the required 500 BNB to lower your fees while increasing your referral bonus.

Binance

It was only last week that Singapore announced directly investing in the Binance platform. Financial capitals of the world are taking a keen interest in the largest and most respected cryptocurrency exchange. Binance also announced that in their first week in Uganda they signed up over 40,000 users. Africa being underbanked and needing financial stability will likely turn to cryptocurrencies to combat hyperinflation. Exchanges will capitalize on this with Binance making early moves into the continent. This was not the only positive news for BNB and Binance this week.

Travelbybit is integrating BNB as a payment method across all their platforms and merchants. BNB originally had very little utility beyond the benefits it provided for ‘hodling’ on Binance (lower trading fees and a higher referral bonus). However, the BNB cryptocurrency is pivoting from a coin used solely to benefit Binance traders to one that can be openly transacted and utilized on the same level as the predominant players like BTC. This not only greatly increases the utility of BNB but when utility increases price usually follows soon after.

What about Binance’s fearless leader that seems to maneuver through any regulatory hurdle thrown his way? Changpeng Zhao or more commonly known in the crypto space as “CZ” is one of the most influential individuals in the entire blockchain community. Not only did he manage to build what has been continuously ranked as the #1 exchange by volume in under two years but also actively engages the community, attends conferences, and is exceptionally humble for all he’s accomplished. CZ is hands down one of the most active Founders in the space and his influence is rivaled by almost no one.

Supporting a coin that CZ is the Founder of, is the ‘baby’ of the largest cryptocurrency exchange, has news that regularly adds more utility (can now be used to pay for travel), and provides daily benefits for just HODLING makes BNB a top candidate for accumulation prior to the next bull run.

There will be a flood of new traders to the biggest exchanges when the Altseason begins, at that point it will be too late to buy BNB. The time to accumulate coins that are likely to trend North in the short term is not once Altseason has begun, but prior with enough time to enjoy the gains.

BNB is a cryptocurrency with a market cap over a billion dollars that should easily see 100% returns at the nearest sign of the next bull run.

TRX – TRON

 The cryptocurrency community has been all over the place regarding their feelings about TRON. TRX 00 is a cryptocurrency that like many has been on the hot seat through the bear market. Say what you want about TRX, the reality is their community is one of the most devoted and loyal in crypto. The only more enthusiastic community may be XRP enthusiasts. With TRX regularly being supported by their community regardless of market conditions this cryptocurrency popped onto the radar this week because of their upcoming quarter four news.

TRX plans to release their open-source platform on December 29, 2018. It seems many cryptocurrencies have a feeling the second half of quarter 4 will provide many catalysts. TRX’s open-source platform will provide a revolutionary smart contract and Dapps platform. This is when true utility begins. With their open-source platform going live in the final week of quarter four TRX seems like an acquisition target prior to gem hunters finding this news.

This week on November 1, Coinsuper listed TRX paired against both BTC and ETH. Even with the majority of top exchanges already supporting TRX their team has committed to continued listings. This shows that both the developers are hard at work on their open source platform while the community managers and Founders are focused on reaching out to exchanges and networking.

Directly following quarter four TRX hosts the Nitron Summit January 17 and 18 in San Francisco. TRX is fiscally positioned to be able to host conferences, pay for major exchange listings, fund future development, all through a bear market. If this does not demonstrate dedication in the crypto space, nothing will.

Justin Sun, the Founder of TRON is also one of the more influential individuals in crypto. Having such an influential, well connected, and educated blockchain leader is positive for any cryptocurrency.

TRX has their open source Dapp platform going live before the end of the year, they are hosting a major conference in San Francisco in January and were just listed on Coinsuper. For a ‘safer’ cryptocurrency play TRX seems to have many important catalysts through early January.

Beat BTC Price: Take Your Pick

Cryptocurrency is a risky environment to be trading, gambling, and investing in. However, with enough research, a significant portion of risk can be mitigated. Not every cryptocurrency selected will appreciate as no trader/investor is an oracle.

However, by analyzing almost every coin on Binance thoroughly, I’ve intentionally selected the ones that have the highest probabilities to appreciate in the short term based on upcoming news, their community, market sentiment, their teams, and many other factors.

The highest risk cryptocurrency, which is likely to produce the greatest returns from the cryptocurrencies on this list is WaBi. Their marketing plan coupled with a rebranding, platform expansion, demographic expansion, dedicated team, communicative founders, and major quarter four news provide more catalysts than most can expect.

Look for WaBi to outperform almost every cryptocurrency on Binance in the next few days through the end of December.

Changpeng Zhao Binance

For those looking for a safer ‘blue chip’ option, the cryptocurrency of choice would be BNB. CZ could not be more dedicated or passionate about crypto. Hopefully, more individuals emulate his behavior in the space over the long term. BNB benefits every hodler on Binance and as more traders begin trading again BNB will become highly sought after.

TRX has had the hype train take it on a wild ride. However, quarter four has plenty of reasons that as a cryptocurrency it should appreciate. Hosting conferences and open source platforms built for Dapps is a fantastic start regarding catalysts.

WaBi remains a coin that can likely breach a $100 million market cap providing a 6x for those that accumulate prior to the market cap surpassing $20 million. Given the high-risk high reward nature of crypto, WaBi should be on the “accumulation and research list” for those looking for major quarter four gains.

[Disclaimer: This views expressed in this article do not reflect the views of Bitcoinist and should not be taken as financial advice.]

To read the King’s prior articles, to find out which ICOs he currently recommends, or to get in contact directly with the King, you can on Twitter (@JbtheCryptoKing) or Reddit (ICO updates and Daily Reports). The King is the founder of ANON and actively trades cryptocurrencies.


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Říj 30

Japan’s Financial Regulator Says Stablecoins Are Not Cryptocurrencies

The lack of uniformity in stablecoins has led Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) to conclude that stablecoins are not cryptocurrency.


Not All Digital Assets Are Created Equal

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) recently announced that it does not believe stablecoins should be classified in the same category as cryptocurrencies.

According to Japan’s Payment Services Act and the Fund Settlement Law, cryptocurrencies are considered a method of payment that users do not need to pay taxes for. Meanwhile, stablecoins do not meet these criteria as the majority of the current dollar pegged digital assets have varying characteristics, and the lack of a uniform set of characteristics makes it impossible to categorize them.

FSA Japan

JVCEA Cannot Regulate Stablecoins

Under the Payment Service Act, stablecoins fail to meet the current criteria for classifying as a “virtual currency” and an FSA spokesperson said, Due to [varying] characteristics [of stablecoins], it is not necessarily appropriate to suggest what those companies need to obtain or register before issuing stablecoins.”

Interestingly, while the FSA recently ceded authority to Japan’s Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) by granting the collective the authority to self-regulate Japan’s cryptocurrency exchanges, the JVCEA will not be able to regulate stablecoins as they have been determined to not be cryptocurrencies.

It appears that the task of regulating stablecoins to will fall to the FSA and regulators will need to analyze each stablecoin on an individual basis.

Do stablecoins function the same as non-fiat pegged digital assets? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 


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Říj 29

UK Fintech Industry Slams Govt’s ‘Blunt Instrument Approach’ To Cryptocurrency

The UK could compromise its fintech sector with “very blunt instrument” regulation currently under consideration, a new report from several industry entities warns.


‘Ashamedly Geared Around Bitcoin’

As local news outlet the Telegraph reports October 29, the report criticizes plans to award more power to regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and says treating all cryptoassets in the same way as Bitcoin was counterproductive.

“Bad regulation is worse than no regulation at all,” the Telegraph quotes it as reading, adding that the extant proposals are “ashamedly geared around Bitcoin.”

Politicians had lobbied for wider FCA jurisdiction in September, six months after the regulator had launched a dedicated “task force” with the remit of formalizing the domestic space.

Far from increasing security and consumer protection, however, one of the report’s authors argues a laissez-faire attitude would be considerably more beneficial for a sector which is only just beginning to mature.

“It is a very blunt instrument approach and I haven’t seen this in other countries,” Patrick Curry, chief executive of the British Business Federation Authority (BBFA) commented about the plans.

The use of this technology is still a voyage of discovery and these technologies are being refined for different types of use. My concern is the law of unintended consequences.

Overreaching?

The government had pledged to make London a home for fintech in the coming years, sounding out concerns that Brexit would make the city an unattractive place for innovative newcomers.

Blockchain Expo - Crypto La La land

At the same time, the Bank of England has said it is open to the concept of a self-issued national digital currency while also claiming that cryptocurrency poses “reputational risks.”

“Crypto-assets also raise concerns related to misconduct and market integrity,” Deputy Governor Sam Woods wrote in June.

Many appear vulnerable to fraud and manipulation, as well as money-laundering and terrorist financing risks.

What do you think about the UK’s cryptocurrency regulation plans? Let us know in the comments below!


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Říj 28

Fidelity Won’t Build Its Own Exchange, Focused on Bitcoin Custody, Exec Confirms

Tom Jessop, President of Fidelity Digital Asset Services says that the asset manager will take crypto to the next level by enhancing the sector and providing a secure Bitcoin custody solution so institutional investors can get a piece of the crypto pie.


Bitcoin Custody Solution Will Remove Barrier

In the most recent episode of her Unconfirmed podcast, Laura Shin interviewed Fidelity president of Digital Asset Services Tom Jessop. The two had a cryptocurrency and blockchain focused discussion about the company’s plans to help develop the Bitcoin 00 and cryptocurrency market to a higher level of functionality and value.

When asked whether or not Fidelity would build its own cryptocurrency exchange, Jessop explained that he believed that the current exchanges do a fairly good job at this and Fidelity is more focused on providing custody services for institutions looking to become involved in cryptocurrency.  

Jessop also explained that a current barrier to cryptocurrency has been service providers that require pre-funded accounts and Fidelity intends to remedy this problem by building a more traditional investment platform, which allows users to execute trades on one or more exchanges at best price, then determine how to settle once completed.

Fidelity Foresees the Future of Crypto

Shin and Jessop them delved a bit deeper into the nuts and bolts of Fidelity custody solution and Jessop explained that at the moment there are plenty of investors with sizeable cryptocurrency positions that lack a custody solution and also find it tedious to carry out trades.

Fidelity intends to fill this niche by providing a cold storage solution and Jessop believes that the well-known fact that Fidelity manages more than $7 trillion in assets will provide the assurance of security that institutional investors require. According to Jessop, this is why Fidelity chooses to focus on custody rather than developing an exchange since “we know how to manage security at scale.”

Shin and Jessop closed the interview by forecasting future events in crypto and Jessop believe that retail and institutional interest in crypto is increasing as the market matures. He points out that hedge funds managers, family offices and emerging market analysts are all focused on creating new cryptocurrency products and instruments that will move the industry forward.

When asked what does 2019 hold, Jessop said the world can “expect more [influx] over this year and into ‘19, which will raise the bar for everyone and help accelerate growth in the market.”  

Do you think Fidelity’s Digital Assets Service will usher in the next cryptocurrency bull run? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 


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Říj 20

Crypto-Mergers and Acquisitions Increased by 200% in 2018

Institutional investors, venture capitalists, and other well-heeled entities “in the know” are using a year-long bear market to buy up future technologies for what might turn out to be pennies on the dollar.


It Takes Money to Make Money

Yesterday CNBC reported that most of  2018 has been a “deal frenzy” for cryptocurrency and blockchain-related companies as mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are reported to have increased by 200 percent. Pitchbook had JMP Securities crunch M&A data the results showed that by the end of 2018 there will have been 145 M&A deals.

The data is inclusive of majority investments, partial and full acquisitions but it does not pinpoint the exact dollar amount spent for each deal. JMP did mention that most of the M&As are “relatively small” as the sum is less than $100 million. The uptick in M&As took place as Bitcoin declined to trade nearly 53% below its January price.

Interestingly, buyers did not appear deterred by Bitcoin’s fall from $20,000 in January as the $830 billion dollar market capitalization began to disintegrate. In fact, according to Satya Bajpai, the head of blockchain and digital assets investment banking at JMP Securities, “You’re seeing a mispricing of assets.” Bajpai believes that the majority of crypto-startups have token values that “remain correlated to Bitcoin” and this phenomenon “can create an ideal opportunity for strategic acquirers.”

Crypto is an Investors Smorgasbord

Bajpai used the analogy of a “land grab” when describing how the rapid pace of growth and innovation in a new sector compels investors to buy up technology producers instead of attempting to build their own platform. Bajpai explained that “[The M&A route is] expensive, but you get the technology and product immediately. This industry is like a treadmill – the only way to keep up on a treadmill is to keep running by investing in new technology.”

The Ends Justifies the Means

Bajpai also pointed out that hasty acquisitions come with significant risks as a number of the companies scooped up during mergers and acquisitions are startups in infancy and have yet to prove themselves. Nonetheless, the uptick in mergers and acquisitions shows that many investors are willing to look past these issues as the potential for future returns could far outweigh these risks.  

What do you think about venture capitalists and institutions purchasing crypto-startups? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of JMP Securities, Shutterstock.

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Říj 12

‘Nurture Productive Aspects Of Cryptocurrency,’ US Presidential Hopeful Tells Senate

The US senator and potential presidential contender who suggested cryptocurrency “hurt” American families repeated concerns about the industry on October 11, saying it was “easy to steal.”


Warren Argues For Consumer Protection ‘Balance’

In a Senate Banking Committee hearing, Elizabeth Warren voiced fresh worry over the current regulatory climate in Washington, implying balanced rules should come into force.

At the same time, Warren poured scorn on ICOs, alleging “a lot of small investors” were being “scammed” by them, Forbes reports.

“The challenge is how to nurture productive aspects of crypto with protecting consumers,” the publication quotes her as saying.

Last year, Warren had claimed when US regulators turn their attention away from an emerging phenomenon in need of regulation, it was “American families” who “suffer” as a result.

“It was exactly that attitude at the Fed in the run up in the crash in 2008,” she said at the time. “The Fed had a lot of tools they could have intervened, but they sat there on their hands and said, ‘Let the market go forward.’”

Elizabeth Warren

Roubini Has No Time For Cryptocurrency

The Senate hearing meanwhile has already become infamous in cryptocurrency circles following comments from economist and famed naysayer Nouriel Roubini, who delivered what could be considered his most scathing appraisal of the industry yet.

“Crypto is the mother or father of all scams and bubbles,” he told the Committee as part of the prepared testimony.

“Especially folks with zero financial literacy – individuals who could not tell the difference between stocks and bonds – went into a literal manic frenzy of Bitcoin and Crypto buying.”

On ICOs, Roubini was also keen to espouse the view the industry was mostly legally dubious, using results of research published earlier this summer by Satis Group which concluded over 80 percent of such projects were scams.

“It would appear that ICOs serve little purpose other than to skirt securities laws that exist to protect investors from being cheated,” he concluded. 

What do you think about Elizabeth Warren and Nouriel Roubini’s appraisals? Let us know in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Říj 11

BREAKING: Bitfinex Reportedly Halts Fiat Deposits

Bitfinex, the world’s fourth-largest cryptocurrency exchange by means of trading volume, has purportedly halted fiat deposits temporarily.


EUR, USD, JPY, GBP Wire Deposits Temporarily Halted

Screenshots of customer accounts started circulating on social media moments ago, suggesting that the British Virgin Islands-based and Hong-Kong-operated cryptocurrency exchange has temporarily paused wire deposits with EUR, USD, JPY, and GBP. However, the screenshot also indicates that the situation is expected to “normalize within a week.”

“Bitfinex’s EUR, USD, JPT, GBP wire deposits are temporarily paused. Things are expected to resume in a week,” notes Twitter account Squeeze.

Questionable Timing

As Bitcoinist reported last week, citing anonymous sources speaking to Bloomberg, Noble Bank is supposedly facing financial difficulties. The sources also revealed that two of the bank’s clients – Tether and Bitfinex — are seeking a buyout.

The exchange was quick to answer, stating that:

Stories and allegations currently circulating mentioning an entity called Noble Bank have no impact on our operations, survivability, or solvency.

Shortly after, an online report started circulating, raising concerns that the cryptocurrency exchange was bankrupt. Interestingly enough, the report has since been removed. Regardless, Bitfinex released an official rebuttal, claiming:

Bitfinex is not insolvent, and a constant stream of Medium articles, claiming otherwise is not going to change this. As one of only a very few exchanges operating since 2013 with a small team and low operating costs, we do not entirely understand the arguments that purport to show us to be insolvent without providing any explanation about why.

Furthermore, Bitcoin (BTC) 00 lost around 5 percent in hours on October 11, dragging the entire cryptocurrency market down with more than $16 billion. The decline followed a transfer of more than 15,000 BTC from one unknown wallet to another in a single transaction, quickly firing up suspicions about market manipulation.

What do you think of Bitfinex’s move to halt some fiat deposits? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Říj 08

U.S. Senate Candidate Vows to Speak with President Trump About Clemency for Ross Ulbricht

Ross Ulbricht could have a powerful voice advocating for his freedom if U.S. Senate Candidate Eric Brakey is elected.


Cruel and Unusual Punishment?

Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silk Road, is a less than 4 years into his double life sentence for his involvement in running the Silk Road exchange. Since his conviction, a Change.org petition has advocated for a reduction or re-evaluation of his sentence — many view the punishment as cruel and unusual. Still, the chances of the petition succeeding are slim to none. Upon sentencing, the court tossed an additional 40 years on top of Ulbricht’s sentence, and he is not eligible for parole.

Ross Ulbricht

To date, nearly 84,465 people have signed the petition stating that Ulbricht’s investigation and sentencing violates his Fourth and Sixth Amendment rights. The number continues to grow. Furthermore, allegations of investigative corruption, prosecutorial misconduct, and constitutional rights violations are cited as reasons for Ulbricht either needing to receive clemency or the right to appeal his case before the Federal Courts.

While the odds of ever walking freely are certainly stacked against Ulbricht, a recent petition by a U.S. Senate candidate for the state of Maine could bring the possibility of freedom a tad bit closer for Ulbricht.

The Silk Road Lives On

Republican Senate candidate Eric Brakey (D-ME) recently tweeted that Ulbricht has, “very clearly been treated unfairly by our criminal justice system.” In addition to signing his change.org petition, Brakey found the fact that “the judge considered pending charges during sentencing that were later dismissed due to corruption by federal investigators […] terrible.” Brakey has promised to raise the issue with President Trump “when I win election to the U.S. Senate this November.” Ulbricht and Brakey have now exchanged a series of tweets, and Ulbricht affectionately refers to Brakey as his “new favorite Senate candidate”.

The Supreme Courts Adds an Extra Nail to the Coffin

In June of 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Ulbricht’s petition for a writ of certiorari. This essentially permanently prevents Ulrich from appealing his punishment before the Supreme Court. This move motivated the Libertarian Party to draft and pass a resolution appealing to President Trump to provide a full, unconditional pardon to Ulbricht. 

Sen. Eric Brakey (D-ME)

Ulbricht’s involvement with The Silk Road marred the public’s perception of cryptocurrency, but as blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption by the wider public and international businesses has grown, the negative image has begun to dissipate. Furthermore, a growing number of people are also beginning to question the severity of Ulbricht’s sentencing as the drug policies of numerous states change, and the nature of online marketplaces evolves.

Do you think Ross Ulbricht should receive clemency from President Trump? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, EricBrakey.com, Shutterstock.

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