Zář 18

ING Survey: Europe Still a Patchy Landscape of Crypto Adoption

European countries present a patchy landscape of cryptocurrency acceptance. Most consumers remain skeptical, but there is an emerging class of true believers, shows the latest ING survey, “From cash to crypto: a money revolution.”


True Believers and Enthusiasts Boost Adoption

The insurance giant went through another annual analysis of attitudes to cryptocurrencies. The research found out that outside of a small group of true believers and enthusiasts, Europeans are cautious about the promises of crypto coins. ING queried respondents in 15 countries, with close to 1,000 respondents in each country.

“The crypto type”, as ING names this group of respondents, is the most positive about the future of cryptocurrencies. But extreme enthusiasts are not the most knowledgeable about crypto assets. The researchers discovered that knowledge and understanding of crypto coins do not correlate with a positive attitude or expectations.

Respondents comfortable with crypto assets are already used to various forms of cashless payments. This is especially true of male respondents with relatively high incomes, ING discovered. But the general European consumer still prefers traditional modes of payment, including physical cash.

Turkey, Romania, and Poland hold the lead when it comes to positive attitudes about digital assets. In the case of Turkey, the country has shown strong adoption of multiple crypto schemes, as locals attempt to mitigate the crash of the lira exchange rate. In Turkey, 62% of respondents had a positive attitude to crypto assets.

Most Europeans Cautious About Cryptocurrencies

One of the curious discoveries was that Europeans were very cautious about sending money via social media. When queried about Facebook’s use as a platform for payments, as much as 60% of Europeans responded negatively. Even in crypto-friendly Turkey, the usage of Facebook or other social media for payments was viewed with relatively low approval rates, with 43% against.

Europeans get informed about digital coins mostly from online media, ING discovered. But there are multiple regional differences, as some countries have stronger online communities or news portals.

Given that Europe is one of the hotspots when it comes to crypto exchanges, the ING survey shows that the general population is still largely unaware of crypto assets, and still far from quick or mass adoption. The UK, which is the leading country for crypto exchanges, was not included in the survey.

The survey also excludes the notoriously crypto-friendly Baltic countries, where adoption and startups are relatively higher.

What do you think about cryptocurrency adoption in Europe? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Image via Shutterstock

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Zář 11

Tether Churns Printers Again; Mints 20 Million USDT

Tether, the issuer of the USDT dollar-pegged coin, is running the money printer again, increasing the supply to 4.088 billion USDT. After Bitcoin (BTC) price once again threatened to drop below $10,000, a USDT liquidity injection may boost prices.


New USDT Enters Markets

Tether once again grew the supply of USDT, after testing the waters with recent coin burns. But after BTC prices responded with significant drops, bots noticed new USDT hitting the markets. New coins came out of the minting wallet, and the Tether treasury moved funds into circulation.

The latest printing intervention made USDT the sixth biggest digital coin by market capitalization, with a daily turnover exceeding that of BTC. The latest USDT printings are happening both on the Omni layer, and the Ethereum network. In the future, more USDT will migrate as Ethereum tokens. ETH-based USDT has now grown to 1.63 billion, almost double since the start of 2019. Major exchanges are switching their USDT wallets to only operate with the new type of asset.

Crypto Yuan Arrives on Bitfinex

But these new USDT printings seem routine, compared to another move that may shake the crypto markets. Bitfinex immediately launched trading pairs for the brand-new Chinese yuan stablecoin. The asset, intended to capture trading demand from China, is an Ethereum-based token. There are only 20 million CNHt tokens minted as of September 11, 2019.

Verified users will be able to make a direct switch between the Chinese yuan and CNHt, the newly minted asset. Bitfinex also limits certain jurisdictions from using the direct exchange. In theory, Tether, Inc. is launching an asset that could bypass Chinese capital controls, and Bitfinex is helping the process.

Tether also managed to create a digital yuan-denominated coin, even before the People’s Bank of China unrolled its long-awaited government-backed crypto coin.

Bitfinex has also slowly grown its influence, first by removing the $10,000 minimum deposit requirement, to attract a larger number of small-scale investors. The exchange also offers various tiers of verification, to gain access to assets or services.

But despite their expansion, Bitfinex and Tether, Inc. are still facing troubles. The New York Attorney General has extended its investigation, with the potential to discover multiple faults. Both companies showed evidence of working with New York-based clients, despite not qualifying for BitLicense, the local business license for crypto-related services.

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


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @whale_alert, @bitfinex

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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

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Zář 07

Ethereum Hard Fork: How Important Is Backwards Compatibility?

The Ethereum Foundation has delayed the testnet launch of the Istanbul update until the start of October. But some are raising concerns about one of the Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) which will break certain smart contracts. So should technology be backward compatible ad infinitum?… or is a little disruption necessary in the name of progress?


Too Many EIPs Delay The Upgrade

The testnet activation of the latest update was originally due to happen on September 4th. However, the date has been pushed back to the start of October due to a large number of EIPs submitted for review. Developers eventually accepted six of these for inclusion in the Istanbul package, with a further eight in the following upgrade.

The testnet delay means that the mainnet activation will also occur a month later, in November after the DevCon developer conference.

Breaking Ethereum’s Contract

However, Parity developer, Wei Tang, has raised concerns about one of the improvement proposals, Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1884. This “will break at least a few deployed contracts,” he tweeted, continuing that “what worries me is that some participants on last AllCoreDevs seem to classify it as acceptable behavior.”

He goes on to say:

For software engineering, if you’re developing something that many people depends on, then backward compatibility is one of the top priorities for making any design decisions. This is especially important for blockchain, because a lot of money can be involved.

The technical details of the compatibility issues can be found on GitHub.

You Can’t Make An Omelette Without Breaking Eggs

While Tang’s concerns may seem valid, there is, of course, a counter-argument that obsessing over backward compatibility is counteractive to progress.

Tang makes the example of Microsoft’s Windows gaining popularity because of backward compatibility. Whilst it may have gained popularity in this period, it arguably fell into a technological black-hole.

Apple’s insistence on allowing old-tech to fall into obsolescence was (and still is) widely criticized. However, it took Microsoft years and many iterations of Windows before it caught up to the advances of Apple’s OS X, losing backward compatibility on the way.

If it were purely down to Microsoft, we would likely still be lugging around laptops with legacy VGA and serial ports. Slimline, slimline!

With concerns as to how much space is left on the Ethereum blockchain, clearly something must be done or technology could die. With stakes that high, surely a few broken contracts are a small price to pay?

What do you think about the disputed Ethereum Improvement Proposal? Comment below.


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Zář 01

Sunday Digest: Bitcoin Price, Libra-Killers and Craig Wright (again)

Obviously, it’s still just about the end of summer, so French air traffic controllers have decided to go on strike. Maybe there would be less annual havoc across Europe’s skies if they ‘paid them in Bitcoin’?


Bitcoin Price: Yet More Consolidation

So BTC has spent another week trading sideways in a band around $10k. Whilst the lack of breakout will undoubtedly be disappointing for some, the further solidification of support is welcome.

The week again started strongly, with a push on Monday taking price up to $10,600. We also saw the realized market cap (which adjusts for lost coins) breakthrough $100 billion for the first time ever.

The MACD indicator turned bearish for the first time this year, but we still had plenty of bullish sentiment from analysts. Bulls were accumulating, the order book looked bullish, and Max Keiser chipped in with a $25k prediction based on the fragile stock markets.

Institutional investors were becoming more bearish according to one report, but this could all change in the autumn with the Bakkt futures launch, and final Bitcoin-ETF decisions from the SEC.

All the while Monday’s gains had been slowly trickling away. Then Wednesday evening through Thursday saw a larger crash of 9% over the course of a few hours. Support at $9,400 held and we looked for potential reasons for the sudden drop.

Still, looking at longer-term trends, there are a lot of reasons to be positive. The uptrend for the year is still very much intact and will be even if price falls back to $6k levels. Although at least one analyst believes that bitcoin won’t retrace that level, claiming that $10k is the new $6k, and is just a stepping stone on the inexorable grind upwards for bitcoin price long-term.

Technicals were good, as hash rate hit an all-time high, while BTC price finished the week trading sideways at around $9,600.

The Race Is On To Beat Facebook’s Libra

The one thing that Facebook appears to have achieved with its announcement of the Libra ‘cryptocurrency’ is galvanizing the entire crypto-community to make it obsolete before it even launches.

It seems that everyone and their mum is now working on a stablecoin for online payments and money transfer. Telegram has long mooted its cryptocurrency, but recent reports suggest it is now imminent, along with a bunch of localised stablecoins from Binance.

Even the Chinese government is (or isn’t depending on who you believe) about to launch a Libra-killer.

Meanwhile, Facebook launched its bug bounty program for Libra. Anybody who finds 100 bugs will bag themselves a cool $1 million… and with Facebook, one would imagine that there will be enough bugs to go around.

News In Brief

Goldbug Peter Schiff couldn’t wait to gloat after bitcoin’s midweek price drop, claiming it had ‘failed [the] safe haven test again’. Obviously he didn’t mention the recent Reuters report saying that $50 million of forged bars had been flooding the gold market.

An XRP advocate has suggested that users fork the cryptocurrency to prevent Ripple from repeatedly dumping its ‘reserved’ share of the tokens for profit.

Blockstream’s Samson Mow called Ethereum a technological dead-end, much to the chagrin of the Ethereum community.

And Finally…

Always nice to finish with an update into (Dr) Craig Wright’s clownery.

The Craigster didn’t have much luck in his Florida court case with the estate of Dave Kleiman this week. The judge ordered that he must hand over half of his claimed 1 million BTC and half of all his intellectual property (which arguably may not be worth all that much).

‘Faketoshi’ stated that he now ‘had no choice’ but to do this, warning that the flood of $4 billion worth of bitcoin would likely tank the market. Few were convinced by his insistence that (as Satoshi) he could do this though. Peter McCormack, currently being sued for libel by Wright in a UK court, bet $10k that Wright would/could not move any of the coins in the next year.

What do you think of this week’s Bitcoin news roundup? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!


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Srp 22

‘Foolish’: Crypto Fund CEO Warns Against Bitcoin Maximalism Narrative

Cryptocurrency politics is focusing on Bitcoin at the expense of altcoins, but a flip could occur any time, an industry investor has warned.


Simpson: Don’t Pin All Your Hopes on Bitcoin

That was the conclusion from Arianna Simpson, founder and CEO of crypto and blockchain-focused investment fund Autonomous Partners.

In a discussion on social media August 22, Simpson said sentiment favored Bitcoin over altcoins now, but that status quo has changed multiple times and could do so again.

“The general crypto narrative seems to be drifting back to bitcoin maximalism,” she summarized.

…BTC has clearly outperformed most other cryptoassets by a wide margin YTD. Expecting that this will always be the case (or that holding only BTC is the right move) strikes me as foolish.

The comments come at a timely juncture in cryptocurrency’s history. As Bitcoinist reported, Bitcoin’s returns have vastly outperformed major altcoins in 2019. Unlike the previous bull run in 2017, alts have so far failed to rally, losing more and more value in BTC terms. 

Top five tokens such as Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) continue to trade around 80% below their all-time highs. Against BTC, both are lower than ever.

Well-known traders have thus gone on record in recent weeks to announce the death of the altcoin market, possibly for good. Among them was Peter Brandt, who likened the lifelessness of alt markets to the dot com boom of the early 2000s.

Ethereum ‘Better Performing Investment’

Simpson’s opposing argument is thus even more conspicuous.

“Those who have been in this space for many years should recall that this is by no means the first time the pendulum has swung back and forth — in 2017 bitcoin was old news and it was all the shiny new (Layer 1 technologies) that were going to take over the world,” she continued.

“In reality, ETH was a better performing investment for many (even when considering the major correction of 2018!) than BTC was. So BTC remains king, but discounting everything else is silly.”

Her remarks will be music to the ears of long-suffering investors whose portfolios have failed to react to this year’s Bitcoin bull market. 

Pressure also continues to come from Bitcoin advocates, with developer Udi Wertheimer this week publicly chastising Ethereum participants in particular for the losses following 2017’s ICO craze. 

“It’s time for the ETH gang to wake up, smell the ashes, and take some responsibility,” he tweeted. 

“Their 2017 ‘blockchain everything’ narrative failed miserably and cost retail investors BILLIONS, dumped into scams supported by ETH naiveté.”

What do you think about the Bitcoin vs. altcoins debate? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Shutterstock

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Srp 16

Coinbase Custody Acquires Xapo’s Institutional Business

Coinbase Custody today announced that it has acquired Xapo’s institutional business, making it the largest crypto-custodian in the world. The acquisition brings Assets Under Custody (AUC) to over $7 billion, servicing over 120 clients in 14 countries.


Innovation In Cryptocurrency Custody

Xapo is a long-respected name in the world of cryptocurrency custody solutions. It has led the industry in developing security techniques to meet the rigours of institutional clients.

In 2017 it hit the headlines for storing customers’ bitcoin in a fortified ex-military bunker in the Swiss Alps. By May 2018 it was holding around $10 billion in bitcoin for customers across five continents.

CEO, Wences Casares, has long been a champion of Bitcoin, and Xapo’s mission is to make Bitcoin secure and accessible. Casares believes that any investor who doesn’t have at least a one percent position in Bitcoin is being irresponsible.

Coinbase’s Move Into Crypto-Custody

Coinbase Custody started trading a year ago, with a remit to provide secure cryptocurrency storage for institutional investors. According to marketing it combined the ‘battle tested’ cold-storage solutions employed by the Coinbase exchange, with an institutional-grade broker/dealer.

It quickly added a raft of additional crypto-assets to its original four of BTC, ETH, BCH, and LTC. However, there were questions as to whether institutions would immediately trust the offering. Certainly, while the bear market was in full swing, growth in AUC was slow.

It wasn’t until the bulls really started taking control again in May this year, that AUC crossed the $1 billion mark. But since then, growth has been steadier, and with this latest acquisition of Xapo’s institutional business, Coinbase Custody are claiming over $7 billion in held assets.

The Final Hurdle To Institutional Adoption?

There are many who think that crypto-custody is the final hurdle to institutional adoption of bitcoin and cryptocurrency. This area is certainly where a lot of resources are currently being deployed.

Bakkt is still waiting on approval from the New York authorities for its custody solution, before it can start offering its physically backed bitcoin futures products. Fidelity’s move into crypto-custodianship was supposed to remove one of the final barriers to institutional adoption back in March.

Even the South Koreans are getting in on the act, although technically, the legality of cryptocurrency in the country is still in question.

We are still waiting for the expected flood of institutional investors, but steps are certainly being made. Whether their eventual arrival will be a positive thing is another question entirely.

What do you make of this latest Coinbase acquisition? Add your thoughts below!


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Srp 14

Facebook Covert Audio Sharing Casts Doubt Over Libra Privacy

Facebook used third-party contractors to listen to user audio without telling them, in a move which raises questions about the third-party sponsors of its libra cryptocurrency.


Facebook Shared Messages With Third Parties

As Bloomberg reported on August 13, Facebook confirmed it had used middleman firms to transcribe audio messages from its Messenger app. 

The practice, which the company says it halted just last week, only involved users who had given their permission for audio collection in the app’s settings. However, Facebook did not disclose the data would be sent to third parties. 

“Much like Apple and Google, we paused human review of audio more than a week ago,” an official told Bloomberg, which reported contractors involved felt their work constituted a moral dilemma. 

The latest privacy shock is pertinent for cryptocurrency fans watching developments of Facebook’s in-house token and financial platform, Libra. 

As Bitcoinist reported, the project, while yet to launch, has the backing of some of the tech world’s biggest – and on occasion most notorious – names.

Large corporations such as PayPal have agreed to stump up $10 million to run a node for Libra, with critics already warning that a future Libra user could have their financial freedom entirely controlled by those nodes.

“…If 10 of the 28 initial validators (eg. Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, eBay, Facebook, plus 5 others) agree in a closed-door meeting that they want to reject your Libra transactions, they have the power to do so because they prevent a two-third majority from validating them,” angel investor Marc Bevand summarized in a review of Libra in June. 

Libra’s Data Honey Pot

With freedom, however, comes concerns about data protection. A power-sharing agreement involving all the world’s tech and finance heavyweights could spell disaster in the event of data mismanagement – or simply provoke anger if similar methods to Facebook’s own data collection habits become commonplace.

Nonetheless, commentators from both within and beyond the crypto industry have identified positive improvements Libra poses over central bank fiat money.

“To be fair, Libra is still probably somewhat of an improvement over the current financial system,” Bevand continued. 

“Today Paypal can unilateraly (sic) freeze your Paypal account. While in Libra you need at least 1/3rd of Libra members to collude and block your payments.”

Arthur Hayes, CEO of crypto derivatives giant BitMEX, echoed that perspective last month, bluntly describing PayPal’s own model as “fucked.”

In a world where Libra is ubiuquitous, he said in an interview, “all a bank is relegated to is a dumb node that holds fiat currency in electronic form at a central bank.”

What do you think would be Facebook’s privacy practises under Libra? Let us know in the comments below!


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Srp 06

Bitcoin Market Cap Is Actually Over 75%, Says Asset Management Founder

Bitcoin in fact accounts for a much larger proportion of the overall cryptocurrency industry, a former Google and Facebook executive has claimed.


Bitcoin Market Cap Has Long Been over 60%

Presenting new figures on social media August 6, Avichal Garg, who now runs cryptocurrency asset management firm Electric Capital, said standard methods for measuring Bitcoin’s dominance were flawed. 

Resources which compute market cap, specifically CoinMarketCap, draw on thousands of cryptocurrencies, including those with no liquidity at all. This, he argues, makes them irrelevant to calculations and allows them to dilute Bitcoin’s true presence.

“True BTC market share is probably 75%+ and has likely been 60%+ for a long time,” he wrote. 

Coinmarketcap incorrectly calculates dominance using alts that have 0 liquidity. Most (though (definitely) not all!) projects are worth 0, which would put BTC dominance at 75%+

Bitcoin’s market cap currently circles $317 billion after a several-day bull run took the largest cryptocurrency over $12,000 once more. 

Dominance for Bitcoin, according to CoinMarketCap, is 68.5%, the highest the percentage has been since April 2017. 

While altcoins remain factored in, the landscape this year overwhelmingly favors Bitcoin investors, with multiple analysts warning that altcoin markets will no longer challenge Bitcoin in a meaningful way. 

BTC Realized Market Cap Hits New All-Time High

Garg’s calculations surface several weeks after another alternative metric for gauging market cap hit an all-time high of its own. 

As Bitcoinist reported, so-called ‘realized market cap’ reached a record $93 billion last month, and has since continued to fresh highs – currently at $97.8 billion

Realized market cap refers to the price at which a bitcoin last traded, along with how many coins moved in that trade. 

By multiplying those two values it generates a number which more accurately judges Bitcoin’s health, analysis from industry media resource Longhash said. 

Market cap is just one aspect of the Bitcoin network that been consistently breaking records in the 2019 bull market. As Bitcoinist noted, hashrate, difficulty, volume and more are all at highs which were unthinkable at the beginning of the year. 

Even temporary bearish sentiment sparked by US regulatory scrutiny failed to last, with BTC/USD bouncing back by over $2000 in a matter of days since the start of the weekend.

Trade war worries, coupled with wider economic uncertainty, fuelled the action which also resulted in improved performance for safe haven assets such as gold.

What do you think about Bitcoin’s market cap? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Shutterstock, Longhash

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Čvc 26

Bitcoin Price Struggling To Stay Above $10,000

Another day has brought another movement in BTC markets and yet again it has been downwards. As bitcoin price battles to stay above $10,000, analysts are looking at new levels of support.


Bitcoin Bart Patterns Back

Yesterday’s bounce from $9,500 topped out at around $10,180, hitting the 200-hour moving average twice. A few hours ago the ‘Bart pattern’ materialized again as BTC plunged back down. Three large red candles resulted in a drop to $9,660 according to Tradingview. Bitcoin price is currently trading just above that at 00

bitcoin

BTC price one hour chart – Tradingview.com

The Bart pattern was not lost on crypto traders on twitter as one pointed out just before the dip.

The previous dip was just above $9,500 so BTC needs to hold above its current level or face further losses which could send it back to $9,200 today. Most are still of the opinion that further losses are likely as the downtrend remains intact. Crypto trader ‘BenjaminBlunts’ mapped out a possible scenario for the next couple of months which shows a dip deep into the $7,000 price range.

“Due to the deep decline off yesterday’s highs this next wave up more likely still a corrective flat and this is the scenario i have in mind for BTC, trading more or less sideways until august, but ultimately break down again. This scenario can still set the stage for alts though”

On the daily chart, the bitcoin price appears to be consolidating still just below the 50 day moving average. A retest of this would take BTC back to $10,200 but a decline eyes the $9,200 level.

Altcoins in Lemming Mode

As usual, the altcoins have blindly followed bitcoin’s lead as most of them are dumping today as well. The $10 billion that flowed into crypto markets yesterday has all been lost today as total capitalization slides back down to $270 billion once again. Daily volume has also now dropped below $50 billion as things cool down in crypto land.

The digital lemmings are mostly in the red this Friday morning. Ethereum has dumped 3% in a fall back to $215, Bitcoin SV is down a similar amount. The only altcoin in the green in the top twenty is Bitcoin Cash but it has only eked out 2% reaching $312.

Nano is today’s big mover and the only altcoin gaining double digits in the top one hundred. There are a few of the lower cap altcoins dumping doubles but there is very little movement for the majority of them at the moment.

Will bitcoin price fall back to $9k this weekend? Add your thoughts below.

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