Říj 15

Nick Szabo: Ethereum (ETH) is Becoming a “Centralized Cult”

The Ethereum (ETH) leadership is showing signs of becoming a force to be reckoned with, commented bitcoin pioneer Nick Szabo. While Ethereum was inherently democratic, the need to perform a series of hard forks and upgrades has put the developer team in charge.

Ethereum Developers Steer Transfer to ETH 2.0

Now, Ethereum has unrolled once again the drive to move on to ETH 2.0, the proof-of-stake version of the network. But while early hard forks happened with the support of miners, now there is the disparity between the interest of miners, node operators, and developers.

The conflict became apparent in a simulated environment, as the Ropsten testnet split into two, with an entity still mining the old blocks. The question was raised whether miners could dispute the decision of the developers, and “vote with their feet”, by continuing to produce blocks.

Now, Ethereum developers have put up insurance against such an event, namely the “mining ice age”, which would make mining impossible at the protocol level. However, miners may still have significant influence. The developer team, on its side, has the power to sway multiple decisions. This has led to the accusations of Szabo, who sees the network becoming cultish.

Proposed Upgrade Goes Against Miners

The Ethereum protocol is trying to reinvent itself while the network is still alive and running. Smaller projects have managed to relaunch on new blockchains, but in the case of ETH, there is too much at “stake”.

Ethereum coins are increasingly important in the crypto ecosystem. The most recent trend, Defi, or crypto-collateralized lending, concentrates significant ETH funds in smart contracts, with expectations of returns. Any tremors on the Ethereum network would have wider repercussions for the crypto ecosystem.

Currently, Vitalik Buterin has expressed beliefs that users would not feel the switch between ETH1 and ETH2. However, the series of upgrades and decisions raise the specter of centralization, every time the developers decide on steering the network.

By all expectations, Ethereum was expected to enter the proof-of-stake stage much earlier. But so far, the phasing out of mining has been slower, limited to rolling back the crypto ice age, while decreasing the block reward.

ETH currently trades at $184.62 as the most liquid altcoin, with registered volumes above $7.24 billion in 24 hours.

What do you think about the platform governance model of Ethereum? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @NickSzabo4, @VitalikButerin

The Rundown

Říj 14

Bayern Munich Partners with Stryking for Blockchain-Based Collectibles

Bayern Munich, Germany’s most successful football club, has partnered with the blockchain-oriented venture of fan engagement firm, Stryking Entertainment.

Blockchain-Based Collectibles on Bayern Players

According to the agreement, Stryking, which is itself a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands – a mobile games developer, will issue and distribute digital collectibles based on Bayern players. Thus, the German football club will become part of a global platform for blockchain collectibles.

Stryking has created a fantasy sports challenge aimed at its “Football-Stars” game. The latter provides gameplay for the blockchain-based collectibles. It allows fans to use the virtual cards to compete against each other in special challenges.

For example, users will be able to create virtual teams with their player cards and compete against the teams of other users. Consequently, the results will influence the value of the non-fungible collectibles, which the users can then sell at a better price.

Stryking will start with cards related to Bayern stars like goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, forward Robert Lewandowski, and former Barcelona player Philippe Coutinho.

Dirk Weyel, founder and CEO of Stryking Entertainment, commented:

FC Bayern is one of the biggest football clubs in the world and their fans all around the globe should watch out for the first pre-sale with rare cards of their favourite stars coming soon.

In the upcoming weeks and months we will add more football licenses and other sports to the platform. Our vision is to build a truly global hub where sports fans meet to collect and trade, as well as play with their digital collectibles

Bayern is not the only football club connected with blockchain. There are more European teams that are embracing digital tokens. Giant clubs like Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), AS Roma, and Benfica are all using cryptocurrency in one way or another already.

Most of the clubs that adopt blockchain-based tokens are using them to better engage with the fans. Socios.com, a startup offering customized Fan Tokens aimed specifically at football clubs, partnered last year with Juventus and PSG, which host two of the most popular players in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr., respectively.

Individual players are also becoming aware of the new technology. For instance, former Bayern player James Rodriguez launched his own cryptocurrency called JR10 Token.

What is your favorite football club? Would you buy customized tokens offered by it? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Images via Shutterstock

The Rundown

Říj 09

Ethereum 2.0 Critics Call The Entire Network “a Scam”

While the deadline for the gradual launch of Ethereum 2.0 is just around the corner, critics express concerns over potential risks and even call Ethereum a scam.

Skeptics Feel Misled Over Network’s Scalability

Ethereum started as an ambitious idea of a global platform to host decentralized applications (Dapps) and smart contracts. While there are many projects and Dapps on Ethereum, the network might not be capable of supporting potential mainstream Dapps with millions of users.

For example, when the blockchain game CryptoKitties reached its culmination, the transaction fees on Ethereum rose to 0.02 ETH, or $20. Besides the increasing fees, there are concerns that the network wouldn’t provide the same performance during mass adoption of Dapps.

In other words, there is a scalability issue with Ethereum that has to be addressed, and this is exactly what the network’s development team wants to do by switching to Ethereum 2.0 through iteration.

But wait a minute – hasn’t Ethereum been advertised as a scalable blockchain network right from the beginning? This is the critics’ main concern, especially for those from the “Bitcoin” side. Bitcoin core developer Peter Todd went as far as to say that Ethereum has always been a scam.

Todd continued.

The most common type of scam in the crypto space has been claiming that things scale when they don’t, and that things are trustless when they aren’t. ETH 1.0 has done both types of scam. They’re the hardest challenges; fertile ground for lying

His comments attracted supportive remarks from Gabor Gurbacs, digital asset strategist at investment manager VanEck:

For Ethereum Supporters, Iteration is Inherent

On the other side of the line, Ethereum developers and supporters don’t see anything wrong with upgrading to another blockchain. They regard iteration as a natural process that should solve the challenges of the first version of the network. Even those who understood right from the beginning that Ethereum wasn’t scalable don’t consider these marketing statements as false.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin claims he has been talking about advancing to a more capable network since 2014.

He added:

You can literally find speeches I made every year since 2014 ranting about how all existing blockchains are inadequate and we need to make them better. And somehow this gets spun as ‘we were making a platform we knew was doomed from the start’

When responding to Dapp developers who expressed concerns of developing on a platform that is about to be depreciated, Buterin tweeted:

All in all, the debate is really fierce, and no-one seems to be backing off.

Do you think Ethereum is a scam? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @VitalikButerin @Peterktodd @Gaborgurbacs

The Rundown

Říj 07

Twitter Mentions of Bitcoin SV Down 87% Since May Highs

Bitcoin SV, an offshoot blockchain project that self-proclaimed bitcoin inventor Craig Wright supports, is losing touch with its core audience on Twitter. 

Cryptocurrency researchers at the TIE found that Bitcoin SV lately suffered one of its worst ‘Twitter-mentions’ deficit. Tweet volumes on the project dropped by a sheer 87 percent since its May highs, marking an all-time low. The move downhill reflected that social media users are quietly losing interest in Bitcoin SV, which is further visible in the price performance of the project’s native asset, the BSV.

bitcoin sv, bsv price

Bitcoin SV dwindles sharply against the US dollar and Bitcoin | Image credits: TradingView.com

The ninth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization slipped by more than 75 percent against the US dollar between June 22 and September 25. Its performance against the benchmark cryptocurrency bitcoin was similar. The BSV/BTC instrument, within the same period, plunged by 76 percent, showing that traders parked their BSV capital to other cryptos and fiat currencies.

What Drove Bitcoin SV Followers/Traders Away?

At the core of Bitcoin SV’s surplus losses is its founder Wright. The self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto lost credibility before its hardcore followers after a Florida court judge savaged him for repeatedly lying under oath.

Judge Bruce Reinhart, who was hearing a case against Wright’s alleged involvement in cheating his deceased partner Dave Kleiman, noted that the Bitcoin SV founder forged documents to steal multimillion dollars worth of bitcoin. He ordered Wright to handle back all the bitcoin, which many believed were mined during the early years of the cryptocurrency, to Dave’s brother Ira Kleiman. A defensive Wright responded that he couldn’t produce bitcoin without Dave’s signatures, clarifying that they remain locked inside a so-called Tulip Trust.

The same bitcoin could prove that Wright is the true inventor of bitcoin.

“Dr. Wright’s demeanor did not impress me as someone who was telling the truth,” Judge Reinhart wrote. “I completely reject Dr. Wright’s testimony about the alleged Tulip Trust, the alleged encrypted file, and his alleged inability to identify his bitcoin holdings […] Dr. Wright’s story not only was not supported by other evidence in the record, it defies common sense and real-life experience.”

Bitcoin SV’s followers supported the project because of the weight Wright – which they believed was the real Satoshi Nakamoto – put behind it. Kleiman’s case against Wright damaged the latter’s reputation, which could have been instrumental in driving its core users away.

What do you think about Bitcoin SV’s diminishing social media popularity? Let us know in the comments below!  

Images via Shutterstock, BSV/USD charts by TradingView, Twitter: @TheTIO

Říj 03

MavixBTC Served Cease and Desist by Missouri Securities Regulator

MavixBTC, a get-rich-quick scheme feeding off the popularity of crypto assets, was served a cease-and-desist order. The Missouri Securities Division ordered the firm to stop operations based on accusations of dishonest offers.

MavixBTC Hijacked Real Financial Advisor Account

MavixBTC offered fast returns for its investment scheme and was found to offer brokerage and financial advice services without a license. The company was also found to be using the number of a registered investment adviser without their knowledge. MavixBTC hijacked the account of broker Benjamin F. Edwards &Co., a legitimate financial advisor with thousands of clients.

Securities Commissioner David M. Minnick said,

The novelty and promise of quick profits by investing in cryptocurrencies can be enticing to investors… But there are significant, real risks associated with these non-traditional investments, and scam artists are hard at work trying to defraud investors. Always check with our office before you invest.

Local US regulators have been instrumental in stopping some of the most pernicious schemes in cryptocurrency’s history. The states of Texas and New Jersey have kept serving cease and desist orders to multiple projects, including giants like Bitconnect and Davorcoin.

MavixBTC will now have to show the size of its operations, and convince the regulators that the fines and restitutions should not exceed $30,000. At this point, it is unknown how large the scheme was.

Scheme Offered 55% Returns

The MavixBTC scheme promised returns of 55%. The site, which is still up, boasts of having attracted around $1.89 million, a relatively small amount compared to other unregistered ICOs or fast returns offers. Reportedly, the scheme opened on October 10, 2018, and during that time onboarded 51,022 accounts.

Earnings were supposed to come from mining cryptocurrency, as well as bot trading on crypto exchanges. MavixBTC claimed its bots could generate outlandish returns to satisfy its high interest rate payouts. Cryptocurrency mining, however, is still an operation with rather thin margins, even for Bitcoin.

Similar earnings schemes have been proposed by projects like “Bitcoiin2Gen”, spearheaded by none other than Steven Seagal. State regulators have also stopped multiple ICOs, which usually misrepresent their legality and the risk of cryptocurrencies. The fast-earnings schemes are also not targeted to the more skeptical crypto community, but at inexperienced investors looking for appealing offers.

What do you think about schemes like MavixBTC? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images via Shutterstock

The Rundown

Zář 30

Litecoin Price Analysis: LTC Poised For Bullish Reversal

Litecoin has recently broken out of a descending channel on the Bitcoin pair and looks poised for a bullish reversal as Bitcoin continues to create lower lows. Traders speculate Bitcoins decline could fuel a Litecoin pump over the coming days.

Litecoin 1-Hour Price Analysis

On the 1 hour chart for LTC/BTC we can see a wedge type pattern has formed as price levels re-test close to the breakout point of the descending channel which will be visible on the daily analysis below. Typically, price action will re-test any breakout point before Litecoin price levels begin to pump. The wedge has created a clear descending overhead resistance, which if broken will likely result in a dramatic increase.

The breakout point for the smaller wedge on the hourly chart sits just 1-2% above the current market price. A short-term decision will be made within the next 2-3 days, and will be determined by whichever direction price action breaks through the current wedge. If the overhead resistance at 0.006900 sats is broken to the upside, a higher high for the visible range is expected to be made taking price levels to above 0.008000 sats. Adversely, if price levels break-down through the wedge support, a drop to 0.0061000 sats is likely.

Both the 50 EMA and 200 EMA are moving close to each other and will likely cross over in conjunction with a breakout. If price levels breach either way out of the wedge I will be looking for a crossover of these EMA’s to take place along with increasing or decreasing volume to confirm the sustainability of the breakout or breakdown.

Daily Price Analysis

On the 1 day chart for LTC/BTC, we can see the descending channel that has formed stemming back to price action in May through to July. Price levels have seen a steep decline over the last few months as Litecoin sheds around 50% of its value. The re-test of the breakout point as mentioned in the hourly analysis above is now more visible.

RSI hovers just above oversold as the 50 EMA sits just 1-2% above the current market price. The 50 EMA can be used as a resistance point that needs to be passed in order to sustain bullish momentum. The 200 EMA at 0.009600 sats can be used an ambitious profit target providing there is a bullish breakout.

Do you think Litecoin will attempt a bullish reversal over the coming days as a result of the recent breakout? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below!

This article is strictly for educational purposes and isn’t to be construed as financial advice

Images via Shutterstock, LTCBTC chart by Tradingview

The Rundown

Zář 27

Coinbase Celebrates One Year of USDC Stablecoin

The stablecoin USDC has established itself pretty well within the crypto ecosystem, with its first completed year. USDC was launched in September 2016 and quickly gained ground as one of the more influential dollar-pegged coins.

USDC Stablecoin Marks Fastest Growth Pace

Over the past year, USDC reached a total supply of 421,469,737 coins, becoming the second-largest dollar-pegged asset after Tether (USDT). The minting of USDC is also strictly controlled and reflects only real-world fund inflows. USDC has continued growing despite the occasional token burn, as the asset also works like a fiat off-ramp.

“USDC has established itself as the second most popular stablecoin in the world; it has unparalleled support from more than 100 companies across the global crypto ecosystem, and it’s the first stablecoin to reach $1 billion in issuance in less than a year,” commented the Centre consortium.

The Circle, Inc. fin-tech company and Coinbase used their joint efforts to rapidly grow the supply of USDC. USDC started off with a supply of roughly 24 million coins. Over the past year, the supply has fluctuated and fell significantly during the bear market in late 2018. Later, USDC reached peak supply above 450 million coins.

Fighting for Market Share

USD Coin, as the asset is also known, now participates in 169 trading pairs. It fuels Binance trades as part of its basket stablecoin market. USDC also links both Western and Asian exchanges, being accepted by most major market operators.

Still, USDC takes up just 0.83 of the entire stablecoin market, where USDT is still the leader. TrueUSD (TUSD) and Paxos Standard (PAX) take up a larger market share, but USDC is also evolving. USDC was one of the first stablecoins to add customer screening, or KYC, to avoid fueling terrorism financing.

Stablecoins have attracted the attention of regulators, including the European Central Bank and the IMF, as they are tools that could alter international payment systems. Within the cryptocurrency space, stablecoins have already established themselves, way ahead of Facebook’s Libra. USDC is one of the most successful examples of a fully transparent asset.

USDC has a daily turnover of around $200 million, still smaller in comparison to other stablecoins. USDC also has the advantage of being offered to merchants through the Coinbase payment system.

What do you think about stablecoins and USDC? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @Coinbase

The Rundown

Zář 24

Binance Coin Price Analysis: BNB Creates Lower and Plunges To $18

Binance coin has yet to see any relief as bears force price action to create a third lower low. The current market price rests of a key support line at $18.9 and will determine whether price levels drop further.

Binance Coin 1-Hour Analysis

On the 1 hour chart for BNB/USD, we can see price action has created a third lower low as price levels continue to plummet as shown in my previous analysis. Binance coin has formed a falling wedge more visible on the daily chart posted below. It’s likely price levels will not break below the descending support where the current market price is testing. RSI appears to be coiling as RSI levels bounces between oversold and overbought in quick succession.

A short-term bounce off of $18.9 is expected to occur over the next few days which will propel price levels back up into the falling wedge trading range highlighted in purple. There will need to be a clear influx of additional selling volume in order for price levels to break below $18.9 which is unlikely. 200 EMA is far from the current market price and will likely act as a magnet forcing price action to bounce off of the support around $18.9.

Overall, I’m anticipating Binance coin to bounce here and continue ranging between $19 and $22 over the coming weeks.

1-Day Analysis

On the 1 day chart for BNB/USD, we can see the falling wedge that has formed. Stemming from the yearly highs at $43 to now the quarterly low at $18.9. Binance coin has lost 50% of it’s value over the last few months. This is nothing to worry about, many traders including myself anticipated such a pull-back in order to sustain such growth.

Both the 50 MA and 200 EMA are about to cross down signalling a bearish MA cross. However, if price levels bounce off the wedge support at $18.9 as mentioned in my hourly analysis the moving averages may not cross down in a bearish fashion. $18.9 is not only the visible wedge support but also the 38% fib level, meaning this a key level in determining the direction of BNB.

We know if price levels break below $18.9 the next real support level is around $13. This would result in yet another 20% + move the downside. RSI has yet to turn oversold, however momentum is shifting in that direction. BNB is very much in pull-back mode. The best approach to take here is to sit back and wait for reversal indicators such as a breakout of the falling wedge to the upside with a clear increase in buying momentum.

Do you think BNB will break below $18.9 support? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below!

This article is strictly for educational purposes and isn’t to be construed as financial advice.

Images via Shutterstock, BNB/USDT charts by Tradingview

The Rundown

Zář 12

‘Ripple One’ Discord Channel Opened To Discuss XRP Fork

A Discord chat has been opened for those that want to re-create the Ripple network, essentially forking XRP. But so far, only a handful of posters have replied, and the general attitude is skeptical.

Ripple Keeps XRP Price Low?

The community of XRP owners has shown displeasure with the practice of Ripple to sell some of its 55 billion stash of coins each month. Some believe that XRP would command a higher price if the founding company abstained from selling. The talks of a hard fork started a few days ago, after Ripple unlocked one billion XRP, and awarded 100 million XRP additionally to Jed McCaleb, one of the co-founders of the protocol.

Finally, Twitter personality @Crypto_Bitlord made the call for a hard fork, to create a mirror asset to XRP.

In theory, the hard fork would re-create the Ripple network and its 100 billion coins. For now, the proposed Discord channel invites nothing more than derision on the idea. Commenters suggest that a hard fork of Ripple would be nothing more than a bad version of Stellar.

Ripple Still Has the Upper Hand with Reputation and Products

Ripple is actually one of the few coins that has not forked. Stellar, while using a similar protocol, is not a hard fork in the classical sense. The project started its blockchain from block zero.

On the other hand, a hard fork that also holds the history of the distributed Ripple ledger would mean someone still has control of the majority of coins. Ripple has established for itself a fund of 55 billion coins, which was locked for a predetermined period to limit the XRP in circulation. The Ripple One fork, however, will remove the pre-mined coins and also start from scratch.

Ripple also has the advantage of a longer presence in the crypto space. The company is also known for its high-level publicity. Almost constantly, Ripple promotes itself to banks and gives away coins for testing.

Ripple One will have to convince all partners and supporters that its proposition is better. But the project may have a hard time competing with the Ripple social media community, as well as investors that already hold XRP.

It is also unknown if Ripple One would be able to re-create the XRapid protocol or other products developed by the Ripple team.

Ripple One should not be mistaken for XRP1, another asset based on the DigiByte protocol.

What do you think about a Ripple (XRP) hard fork? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images via Bitcoinist Image Library, Twitter: @Crypto_Bitlord, @XatoshiXakamoto

The Rundown

Zář 07

Binance Coin Price Analysis: BNB Could Attempt Reversal To $26

Binance coin has created three lower lows between now and June as price action loses close to 50% of its value. Further downside is expected, however, signs of a reversal could be playing out.

BNB/USD 1 Hour Analysis

On the 1 hour chart for BNB/USDT, we can see at the end of August price levels crashed through $25 support as mentioned in my previous BNB analysis, since then price levels have bottomed around $21 and market price action creates an ascending channel. Both the 50 MA and 200 EMA are touching for the first time within the 1 hour visible chart range. RSI has also created three higher highs.

Volume has been gradually increasing since the 30th of August just before price action bottomed at $21. Volume levels will need to keep increasing to sustain the newly developed ascending channel which could result in Binance Coin testing breakout resistance at $24.5.

It’s likely BNB price levels will trade within the ascending channel over the next week, then create a new low. It’s important not to enter into a position until either price levels have breached the breakout point at $24.5, or clearly breaks down through the ascending channel support if you’re looking to short.

BNB/USD 8 Hour Analysis

On the 8 hour chart for BNB/USDT, we can see a clear falling wedge has formed. Stemming from the highs at $39 down to the current third lower low at $21. Falling wedges are inherently bullish, especially when forming off the back of an explosive move to the upside. Further downside within the falling wedge is likely. Key support to look out for below the current market price is $19.8.

Volume has begun to rise over the last few days in comparison to volume levels seen throughout August. In order for price levels to attempt a bullish breakout through the falling wedge, volume levels must return to levels seen in May through to July. Currently, the market price is trading right below the 0.236 Fibonacci level which is also at the same level whereby price action would break out through the falling wedge. Bullish breakout is only confirmed once both of these levels have been surpassed.

RSI turned oversold towards the end of August and now appears to be forming bullish momentum which aligns nicely with the ascending channel on the 1-hour chart.  However, there are almost no indications that this uptrend will be sustainable.

Do you think Binance Coin will break out through the falling wedge in a bullish fashion over the coming weeks? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Images via Bitcoinist Image Library, BNB/USDT charts by TradingView

The Rundown