Does Dash have what it takes to be a frontrunner in the cryptomarket?

The current market is sending many a-token to sinking values and few coins are managing to stay positive in the current downturned digital business. In this, we are looking to see whether the Dash is managing to outrun the bear market.

At the beginning of the year, the token was sitting as in the eleventh position of most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap on January 7th and was trading at a value of $1,334.78 USD. In January, it was totaling a market cap of $10,415,498,427 USD.

Moving ahead to the current state of affairs, Dash has dropped to the thirteenth most valuable cryptocurrency and is trading for $183.95 USD, with a total market cap of $1,523,552,858 USD.

To put it in statistical form, the network has lost a whopping 86% of its trading value over the past eight months, while its market cap has similarly diminished by approximately 85%.

Transaction fee estimates

According to calculations based on the network’s average transactions, the network’s fees will see a value of 0.00019 DASH/KB per high priority transaction, (1-2 blocks) 0.0001 DASH/KB per medium priority transaction (3-6 blocks) and 0.00007 DASH/KB for a low priority transaction (more than 7 blocks).

An unusual partnership

Although it is not a breaking story, it is still worth remembering that the network positioned itself as the frontrunner for a Zimbabwean cryptocurrency in the partnership struck with KuvaCoin.

At the time, Dash Core CEO Ryan Taylor stated that the company could flourish in the African nation:

“I have been advocating for quite some time the potential benefits Dash can provide to economies with less stable currencies, and Zimbabwe seems a prime location for these benefits.

This project, in particular, is well-researched with value propositions, branding, and go-to-market strategies tailored to the local market. Combining the ideal network – Dash – with a well-considered strategy should lead to a high probability of success.”

Looking to the future

With the markets being in the current space they are in, we can’t predict with ease how tokens might perform. If we take a look only at the last month, Dash has taken been on the up since the weekend and has seen a positive trajectory after taking a major dip at the beginning of the month.

At press time, Dash trades at $183.55 USD.

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Ethereum found to be the hottest target for phishing scams

In a quarterly review released by anti-phishing software developer Kaspersky Lab, Ethereum has been listed as the most popular cryptocurrency to be targeted by cybercriminals running phishing scams. The second quarterly review of 2018 states that, by rough estimate, $2,329,317 USD worth of potential investor money has been siphoned out of the market by criminals posing as both fake and existing initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the last quarter alone. This figure excludes traditional phishing methods to gain access to private key information and accounts, such as posing as popular wallets and exchanges.

The investment scams impersonate true ICOs by creating fake sites that mimic the real project page or by contacting potential investors directly via email whilst masquerading as the official ICO. Multiple other phishing scams have also been documented including fake mobile apps, airdrops and wallet registrations; most of which request a comparative small sum deposit for a large reward upon completion.

The ICO market holds a particularly strong appeal to scammers, with ICO’s raising $17,895,606,193 USD worth of funds across 717 different programs in 2018 alone, and many investors allured to the prospect of gaining early access and capitalizing on new ICO’s.

The anonymity of online currencies has made it particularly easy to run cryptocurrency giveaway scams on social media platforms such a Twitter, Facebook and Instagram; with bot accounts masquerading as celebrities offering free coins in exchange for a small deposit. Recent celebrity names targeted have been the likes of Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and, Martin Lewis; all of whom have a strong crypto following. According to the recent report, deposit wallets can be located on separate websites in order to build the victim’s trust, with the wallets containing a list of live fake transactions “updating” to confirm transferred money is being reimbursed at several times the initial amount invested.

It is, however, not the first time these types of bot phishing scams have been documented; after an open letter signed by a number of prominent members of the cryptocurrency community was published calling for action, Twitter attempted to counter some of these bot accounts by putting an indiscriminate block on any account using Elon Musk’s name. Once blocked, the account must verify itself by completing an anti-bot challenge and validating an associated phone number.

The industry is also seeing a stronger and more prevalent involvement from government bodies in response to this rise in fraudulent activities. The City of London Police’s Economic Crime Academy (ECA) recently launched a UK first course on cryptocurrencies for officers, after the National Fraud and Cybercrime Reporting Centre (ECA) published a separate report stating that between 1 June 2018 and 31 July 2018, 203 reports of fraud involving cryptocurrency were issued which pointed to a combined loss of £2,059,501.29 GBP.

With such a lack of consumer protection within the cryptocurrency market, it is understandable why more international regulatory bodies are intervening to mitigate these scams. While centralized intervention is rarely welcomed in the crypto space, the need for more action is now greater than ever.

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Three things you need to know about Bitmain’s IPO

According to industry sources, Bitmain – the giant behind an estimated 80% of all cryptocurrency mining equipment in existence – is mulling a Hong Kong-based Initial Public Offering (IPO).

For the uninitiated, an Initial Public Offering – the first sale of a stock issued by a company to the general public – marks the transition where a ‘private’ company becomes a ‘public’ one.

When a company goes ‘public’, it gains the potential of drawing in thousands of new investors (and subsequently, new capital), and can more easily facilitate acquisitions and mergers through issuing stock. However, this is weighted against regulations which ensure that public firms account to a strict set of legal procedures, form a visible board of directors, and are beholden to financial regulators.

Given Bitmain’s large footprint, the news that the company – under its CEO and co-founder Jihan Wu – could go public has set tongues wagging in numerous circles.

$3 billion USD: The IPO that could be

While no official figures have yet been published by Bitmain nor Wu, early reports indicate that Bitmain could seek to raise as much as $3 billion USD to $18 billion USD through its IPO, and the company might file a listing application with the Hong Kong stock exchange in September this year.

The company is reportedly valued at around $15 billion USD, though no official valuation has yet been given. The company is believed to have brought in $2.5 billion USD in revenue in 2017 through both sales of mining equipment and its involvement with several mining pools.

The company will be set to compete with Canaan Inc – which has similarly filed for a $1 billion USD IPO in Hong Kong – and further with Ebang International Holdings.

Bitmain reportedly unloaded its Bitcoin in favor of Bitcoin Cash

In a leaked dossier that apparently depicts pre-IPO information, Bitmain revealed that it had sold most of its Bitcoin in favor of Bitcoin Cash.

In a purported slide, Bitmain apparently disclosed that it owned some 22,082 BTC in January of 2018 (down from 71,560 BTC in December of 2017) and carried some 1,021,316 BCH (up from 841,866 BCH in the same time period).

Commentators on Twitter have noted that the company may be proceeding with an IPO in an attempt to offset its losses throughout 2018’s ongoing bear market.

Source: Bitcoin Magazine

In a popular thread by Vijay Boyapati, communities debated the allegation that Bitmain had sought to prop up Bitcoin Cash as a company-controlled alternative to Bitcoin, and, as a result, was now forced to obtain other means of funding as the deal soured.

Should Bitmain elect (or be forced to) dispense with its Bitcoin Cash holdings at any stage, the company could ultimately shake cryptocurrency markets by selling as much as 5% of the cryptocurrency – potentially pushing the digital currency into all-time lows.

Bitmain may branch out into other sectors

In more positive news, an IPO might propel Bitmain into new industries.

In an interview with Bloomberg in May, Wu quipped that the next phase of the company would involve “advancing our technology beyond what we’ve already achieved” – and it remains to be seen as to where Bitmain itself might head once public.

The company might square off more closely against Canaan Inc, which itself has committed to developing silicon chipsets applied to both artificial intelligence and cryptocurrency mining.

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Xapo president claims that 90% of cryptocurrencies will disappear

Ted Rogers, the president of Xapo – a Hong Kong-based company dealing with Bitcoin wallets – has claimed that a shocking portion of the cryptocurrencies currently listed will be wiped out.

Rogers believes that 90% of the tokens currently listed on CoinMarketCap are facing “extinction” if they are not the heavyweight cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

Rogers further stated that now, when the market is down, is a good time to invest in more Bitcoin before it starts peaking again.

In response, Erik Voorhees of Shapesift.io, a company which offers global trading in digital assets, suggested that perhaps the market movements have more to do with the “extinction”.

The idea of Bitcoin dominance – whereby Bitcoin holds more than 50% of the cryptocurrency market trading volume –  has been a topic that investors are not shy about. Tom Lee, CEO of Fundstrat, believes that Bitcoin dominance will make a huge improvement in the cryptocurrency space, saying that “Bitcoin is the best house in a tough neighborhood” and suggesting that investors should focus on the original cryptocurrency and ignore other altcoins.

At the time of writing, almost half of the 15 leading cryptocurrencies including Ripple, Cardano, IOTA, TRON, Dash, NEO, and NEM while Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Monero have seen 80% or more dips.

Whether Bitcoin will naturally emerge as dominant over falling altcoins will be evident quickly within the market movers and we can only wait to see what will happen.

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Playboy files lawsuit, claiming cryptocurrency company breached contract

Playboy Enterprises, the MacDaddy which owns Playboy Magazine, has opened a case against Global Blockchain Technologies (GBT), a Canadian-based investment company focused on cryptocurrency,  claiming that the company has committed fraud and breached a contract between the companies.

In a report by LA Times, the lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court and it states that the Playboy company had come to an agreement earlier this year with GBT. The agreement specifies that GBT would incorporate the third-party cryptocurrency Vice Industry Token as a means of payment on Playboy’s sites.

According to Playboy, GBT has not fulfilled the requirements of the deal and the company is seeking justice as well as the $4 million USD it was promised as part of the agreement. However, at this time, it has not been disclosed as to how much Playboy is seeking, according to the suit filed by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld attorneys.

GBT has responded to the suit, calling it a “normal dispute” between the two commercial companies, and suggesting that any accusation of fraud is “frivolous“.  Representatives from the company stated that “Global believes it has a strong defense to the action and will be vigorously defending same”.

Adult entertainment companies such as Playboy have been attracted to the idea of cryptocurrency as a payments platform owing to the pseudonymous nature, as well as having a way to avoid extortionate processing fees through wire transfers or credit card payments for international customers.

Pornhub is explicitly accepting cryptocurrency for customers to use on premium services on the site with reasons similar to that of Playboy’s. David Corey, Pornhub Vice President, said on the matter of crypto-payments for adult entertainment:

Cryptocurrencies are especially viable in the adult entertainment industry because they are privacy-centric and incorporate more anonymity tools than traditional tender“.

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Is Monero holding strong through the bear market? A retrospective

While 2018 has brutalized several pre-eminent cryptocurrencies, Monero has been fortunate to grace headlines in a variety of ways; whether for the fact that – for better or worse – cryptojacking software has reportedly mined some $175 million USD worth of XMR, or the launch of Tari – a merge-mined sidechain for digital assets.

At the start of the year, Monero entered proceedings as the thirteenth most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap on January 7th, and traded at $476.33 USD. At the time, the cryptocurrency bore a total market cap of $7,417,611,689 USD.

Fast forward to August, and time seems to have taken its toll on all things in interesting ways. Now the tenth most valuable cryptocurrency, Monero trades for $89.38 USD, and bears a total market cap of $1,453,909,220 USD.

In relative terms, Monero has lost some 81% of its trading value over the past eight months, while its market cap has similarly diminished by approximately 80%.

Transaction volume

At its height on the 9th of January, the Monero network saw some 8.2k XMR transacted daily – down from a record of 10.8k XRM on the 6th of December in 2017.

The network’s lowest point saw only 1.1k XMR transacted on the 7th of March, while the network’s next high point of 7.53k XMR shifted hands on the 1st of May.

Development changes

While the Monero protocol itself is under constant development, the cryptocurrency network drew attention earlier this year when it adopted an emergency hard fork to mitigate the impact of ASIC mining.

The move specifically targeted Bitmain’s Antminer X3 – which was designed to mine Monero in the first instance – and instead increased the presence of consumer-grade laptops and other entry-level hardware – all of which can mine Monero through the cryptocurrency’s Cryptonight script.

In a declaration on GitHub, core developer Riccardo Spagni decried that “I will do everything in my power to help the community prevent the proliferation of centralization-inducing ASICs on the Monero network”.

The decision had relatively little impact on Monero’s trading price, which shuffled from $182.11 USD on the 3rd of April to $165.95 on the date of the fork on the 6th of the month. Monero regained its strength shortly thereafter, and traded for $184.15 USD on April 12th.

Adoption

While Monero’s trading price may have diminished along with a majority of the cryptocurrencies present in digital currency markets, Monero has seen notable adoption cases.

Perhaps most significantly, Tari – a new project spearheaded by Riccardo ‘FluffyPony’ Spagni, Naveen Jain, and Dan Teree – aims to cut out ‘middleman’ ticket and asset vendors, and instead empower the original the original owners of digital assets such as artists, sports teams, or even event promoters. Tari will be built as a merge-mined sidechain which will function in concert with Monero itself.

Elsewhere, Monero further found inroads into charity – earlier this year, Change.org has jumped on the crypto bandwagon with a new, downloadable screensaver that mines (and donates) Monero.

Simply called ‘The Mining Screensaver’, the utility functions similarly to a standard screensaver save for the fact that it leverages idle processing power to mine Monero.

Finally, in perhaps one of its most significant moves, Circle Invest proceeded to list ZCash and Monero amongst its existing inclusions of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin earlier this year.

Into the future

While cryptocurrency markets shudder and shake under the pressure of roaming bears, Monero continues to generate robust transaction volumes and, with Tari, has found a new utility in digital asset management.

The cryptocurrency may yet be well placed to thrive in the future – as Bitcoin was years ago, Europol has noted that that Monero has quickly become the flavor of choice for cybercriminals and online black markets given its privacy mechanics, and has notably played a role in the rise of cryptojacking.

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Technical Analysis – Buy when there is blood in the streets

After a strong rally peaking at $8500 during the month of July, Bitcoin fell over 30% to a low of $6250 on Tuesday this week. As brutal as this sell-off was for Bitcoin, major altcoins were punished even more severely over the same period.

Approximate return from 24 Jul – 14 Aug for major Alts:

Bitcoin

Ethereum

Bitcoin Cash

XRP

Bitcoin’s relative resilience in this latest crypto market bloodbath has shown without a doubt that Bitcoin is still the boss! Whilst all major alts have broken below their previous low points for the year, the Bitcoin support level at $5825 has held firm. Furthermore, for the first time this year Bitcoin market dominance is back over 50% (i.e. the value of Bitcoin is greater than the value of all the altcoins combined).

Looking forward, it is critical that the support zone (orange area) between $6020 and $5750 holds. If there is a clean break of this level then it is likely that Bitcoin will suffer the same fate as the rest of the altcoins. There is a support trendline (blue line) which may offer some respite on the way down, but on the back up the recovery will likely be halted by the previous support zone (orange area) which will now act as resistance. This is the bearish scenario (red arrows).



Crypto Bloodbath – Buy When There Is blood In The Streets by tennant.graeme on TradingView.com

The bullish scenario (green arrows) would see the price hold above the support zone and form a reversal pattern of some kind. It is possible we may see an inverse head-and-shoulders forming as indicated on the chart. Should it develop further it could signal the beginning of some sort of recovery. I will be waiting for confirmation of either a break below support (bearish scenario) or a reversal pattern above support (bullish scenario) before placing any trades.

Whilst it is tempting to apply the adage “Buy when there is blood in the streets” and load up on Bitcoin and some unloved Alts, I feel it is prudent to wait until there is reason to believe that the bleeding has stopped before jumping back into the market.

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Facebook will not be using Stellar’s platform to go to the moon

According to a spokesperson from the mega-corporation, Facebook will not be developing a project using Stellar’s network, as told by Cheddar.

Allegedly, the blockchain division of the Facebook team also has not had any dialogue about using Stellar‘s platform to develop a Facebook blockchain:

We are not engaged in any discussions with Stellar, and we are not considering building on their technology”.

The rumors about the partnership stemmed from an article from Business Insider, which reported that the social giant in discussions about creating its own platform using the Stellar blockchain network. Although this seems to have been disputed by the spokesperson’s comments, it does not answer for the timing that the head of the Facebook Messenger division David Marcus resigned from his position at Coinbase. It has sparked mystery owing to the fact that he was very interested in the Stellar protocol.

Marcus stated that he was stepping down from the Coinbase board “[because] of the new group [he’s] setting up at Facebook around blockchain” and he had  “decided it was appropriate… to resign from the Coinbase board”. With regards to those at Coinbase, he said that he had “been thoroughly impressed by the talent and execution the team has demonstrated during [his] tenure, and [he wishes] the team all the success it deserves going forward.”

Bearing in mind that Marcus had previously stated that it was unlikely that Facebook would see cryptocurrency as a payment system, he did not mention anything about a potential blockchain.

Although the Stellar rumors have been squashed, it has been expressed by another Facebook representative that the company is “still in the very early stages and [they] are considering a number of different applications for the blockchain.” But they continued to say that they “don’t have anything else to share at this time.

Currently, Stellar has not seemed to have seen a positive impact by the rumors and has decreased in day-on-day trading by a 7.54% and is now sitting at a value of $0.211 USD.

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The “un-hackable” wallet of McAfee hacked by a team of researchers

John McAfee, of McAfee antivirus, states that he has created the world’s first unhackable storage, but it would seem that bold claim has been pulled apart in a recent security breach.

According to Hard Fork, a group of security researchers from Pen Test Partners were able to crack into the wallet – which apparently is of a Bitfi system – and were able to install and play Doom on the device. This particular component of the crack came courtesy of a fifteen-year-old hacking genius Saleem Rashid and was following a number of other breaches on the system as part of the team’s research. Through hacking the system, the researchers were also able to sign and allow transactions using Bitfi to go through, which is a key factor in the hardware wallet’s bounty program.

Andrew Tierney (known on Twitter as @Cybergibbons), a consultant at Pen Test Partners, stated that the endeavor sounds like Bounty 2.

According to Tierney, the Pen Test researchers managed to change the device’s firmware remarkably and were, therefore, able to impede messages between the hardware and the wallet. He also said that hacking the hardware of the wallet was a team effort, with the team pulling in assistance from various other entities.

McAfee has generally been a big talker when it comes to cryptocurrency and has eccentrically expressed his take. When he announced that he was going to be launching a coin, it opened with him saying that it wasn’t a hoax. Whether he responds to the security breach is yet to be seen, but if he does, it will likely be in some sort of entertaining fashion.

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Vietnam strictly ceases imports on all cryptocurrency mining equipment

According to Vietnamese customs departments, the country has stopped allowing the importation of cryptocurrency mining equipment.

Yesterday Viet Nam News reported that importing of equipment for cryptocurrency mining had been ceased at the beginning of July and since then, local businesses and independent cryptocurrency miners were unable to bring any mining hardware into the country, as claimed by the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department.

Viet Nam News stated:

“The department said firms and individuals imported more than 3,664 cryptocurrency mining rigs in the first six months of the year, most of which were ‘Antminer’ branded models from China. Four enterprises imported more than 3,000 machines this year, while the rest were imported by individuals and organisations, which do not have import tax codes. Last year, HCM City Customs Department completed customs clearance for more than 7,000 Bitcoin and Litecoin miners. Meanwhile, the Hanoi Customs Department approved import of 190 Bitcoin miners and 350 Litecoin miners.”

Vietnam cracked down on cryptocurrency regulations towards the end of last year and remain one of the countries still against Bitcoin with the government declaring that virtual currency does not constitute a “lawful means of payment”, while explicitly saying that the “issuance, supply, use of Bitcoin and other similar virtual currency as a means of payment is prohibited.” Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been forbidden as a means of payment by law and failure to comply can result in criminal prosecution and those using cryptocurrency can be fined up to $9,000 USD.

Now, the country is strictly restricting the mining of cryptocurrency, following a scam by Bitcoin.vn, a cryptocurrency trade exchange which was seized by the government for conducting the illicit business.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance initially presented a prohibition on importing equipment in June following the scam, and the Minister has since said that State management is required for “agencies to take strict control measures with the import and use of this [crypto mining] commodity’.

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How difficult is it to use the Lightning Network for every day use?

The Lightning Network is the most exciting and paramount development underway for the Bitcoin ecosystem in recent years. The Lightning Network is widely regarded as the ultimate solution for the scaling problem plaguing blockchain technology. If things pan out as hoped it could be the killer app that could break the barriers hindering mainstream adoption. Let’s take a quick overview about the current state of Lightning Network and potentially how easy or difficult it could be to incorporate the Lightning Network into everyday use.

What is Lightning?

The Lightning Network is a second layer solution on top of Bitcoin which allows users to perform transactions off-chain instantaneously in a secure fashion.

Given that each transaction doesn’t require to be recorded on the public ledger, this implementation enables for over a million transactions per second. Essentially users can open payment channels with each other where both of them commit to a certain amount of Bitcoin to the channel.

From here, users can send each other multiple payments and once they’re done they can close the channel which settles the final amount on the blockchain. Lightning network is cryptographically designed in such a way that if either of the party decides to act maliciously they are penalized and will end up losing the Bitcoin they committed to the channel.

While the implementation might not apply to general transactions, the payment channel mechanism allows parties that transact frequently to exchange seamlessly. The basic idea is that smooth payment channels, such as one with yourself and the coffee shop you frequent, will solve the scaling problems and lead to mainstream adoption.

The state of Lightning in 2018

There are currently three implementations of the Lightning network being worked on by Lightning Labs, Blockstream and ACINQ. All three clients are currently in beta and in their nascent stages.

The easiest way to use Lightning network is to use the web wallet HTLC.me where users can simply create a wallet and start exchanging Bitcoin over the Lightning network. While the website currently uses test Bitcoin for transactions the basic idea still holds true for the main network.

If you intend to use a native client instead, Lightning App by Lightning Labs is an efficient way to transact. The application has a very intuitive and easy user interface which makes it easier for a beginner.

Zap is another desktop client with a wonderful GUI which uses the same technology as Lightning App on its backend.

There are also mobile applications such as Eclair Wallet for Android and Zap for iOS (currently work-in-progress).

These applications are not necessarily ready for mainstream usage just yet and it is definitely still risky to transact large amounts. However, it is evident that these application lay solid groundwork and prove that Lightning Network isn’t necessarily too complex to use.

The main difficulty in the realm of Lightning Network is definitely going to be adoption. Convincing people to lock up a certain amount of Bitcoin for the payment channel is going to be the tricky part.

There is a certainly a “catch 22” element because while lightning is definitely going to ramp up adoption, it’s adoption is certainly depended on the popularity and usage of Bitcoin in general. However, with more rapid onset of groundbreaking technologies in the ecosystem it isn’t a stretch to say that the Lightning Network might just be the solution that brings Bitcoin to the masses.

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