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.


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, 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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Bitwise proposes a new ETF for the top ten cryptocurrencies by market cap

Bitwise may be more recognizable for its HOLD 10 Cryptocurrency Index Fund, though the startup has now confirmed that it is seeking regulatory permission to launch an Exchange Traded Fund catering the top ten cryptocurrencies by market cap.

The company has proposed that its ETF offering would track the returns based on its HOLD 10 Index, which “captures approximately 80 [percent] of the total market capitalization of the cryptocurrency market”.

As such, the aptly named Bitwise HOLD 10 Cryptocurrency Index Fund ETF would use “a 5-year-diluted market cap and other eligibility criteria meant to address challenges of the crypto space such as continuously changing supply, liquidity, trade volume concentration, and custody limitations.”

The company has publicly revealed that a registration statement has now been filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), though the registration has not yet been declared effective.

Presiding over the news, Bitwise Global Head of Exchange-Traded Products John Hyland elaborated that “We are aware that other investment firms have filed for cryptocurrency ETFs under the Securities Act of 1933, and that there continues to be interest in filing under the Investment Company Act of 1940. As best we know, all of these funds plan to offer exposure to a single coin such as bitcoin or ether. That is fine, but our proposed offering is obviously different”.

Hyland went on to elaborate that “We know that the current crypto ETF filings have generated a great deal of discussion and analysis within the SEC about this emerging asset class, and the SEC and its staff, to their credit, have asked for public comment on a wide range of issues relating to these products. We expect the staff of the SEC has had ongoing discussions with the investment firms making the crypto filings to date, and we look forward to having our own discussions with the SEC about the nature of our proposed offering.”

More recently, the SEC announced its bid to postpone its verdict on several Direxion-proposed ETFs until September this year.

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US SEC delays ruling on Direxion’s five proposed Bitcoin ETFs

In a new statement, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has confirmed that it will delay its ruling on whether five Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (EFT) proposals from Direxion will be accepted or not.

The Commission has now noted that it will use a special extension period to delay its planned verdict until September this year.

The SEC release outlines that NYSE Arca, Inc had submitted a filing for a proposed rule change that would accept the trading and listing of shares of the planned ETFs under ‘NYSE Arca Rule 8.200-E’.

The SEC has indicated that it retains some concerns as to whether the proposed changes would be line with the SEC Act, given that that the rules of a securities exchange must be designed in order to “prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, and to protect investors and the public interest.”

The Commission will accordingly reach its final decision by September 21st, at the latest date.

In a statement, the Commission elaborated that it “finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change. Accordingly, the Commission, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,10 designates September 21, 2018, as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove the proposed rule change.”

Presently, the five named Bitcoin ETFs as proposed by Direxion are the Direxion Daily Bitcoin Bear 1X Shares, Direxion Daily Bitcoin 1.25X Bull Shares, Direxion Daily Bitcoin 1.5X Bull Shares, Direxion Daily Bitcoin 2X Bull Shares, and Direxion Daily Bitcoin 2X Bear Shares.

Bitcoin has traveled upwards by 0.90% in the past twenty-four hours, and presently trades at $8,216 USD.

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Binance and Neufund collaborate to build a decentralized stock exchange

Decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges themselves might have some way to go in garnering both sufficient liquidity and popularity, but that hasn’t stopped the likes of Binance and Neufund from collaborating with the view of producing a decentralized stock exchange.

In what’s tipped to be the first “regulated and decentralized, global stock exchange for listing and trading tokenized securities alongside crypto-assets”, Binance, Neufund, and MSX (a subsidiary of the Malta Stock Exchange) will work to launch a pilot decentralized exchange by the close of the year.

According to early reports, Binance will endeavor to build the platform’s underlying architecture.

In a statement on Neufund’s blog, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao offered that “We are glad to partner with Neufund over the pioneering idea to create a complete ecosystem for issuing and trading securities on Blockchain. Today’s announcement marks a new chapter for Binance’s development, with the goal to tokenize traditional financial assets.”

A Neufund spokesperson similarly quipped that “We are thrilled to announce the partnerships with Malta Stock Exchange and Binance, that will ensure high liquidity to equity tokens issued on Neufund. It is the first time in history, that security tokens can be offered and traded in a legally binding way.”

Neufund has set the self-goal of becoming the ‘first end-to-end primary issuance platform for security tokens’, and aims to offer secondary trading of equity tokens. The view may one day enable firms around the world to raise funds through blockchain technology.

According to the release, seven companies have thus far decided to conduct an Equity Token Offering with Neufund, including Founders Bank, Brille24, Uniti, MySwooop, Next Big Thing, Blockstate and Emflux Motors.

Speaking more broadly, the move is not the only decentralized exchange Binance plans to flirt with. Earlier this year, Binance announced a new pivot that will see the launch of a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange dubbed Binance Chain.

Explaining the move as part of a wider bid to transition its services from ‘a company to a community’, the firm has now announced that Binance Chain would be used to transfer different blockchain assets and would re-appropriate the company’s Binance Coin token to its own native blockchain, rather than leverage Ethereum’s ERC20 standard.

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Bithumb recovers half of the stolen funds and promises full compensation for hack victims

After last week’s attack on one of South Korea’s most prominent cryptocurrency exchanges, Bithumb which was hacked for $31 million USD, it has been announced that the exchange has been able to recover almost fifty percent of the stolen funds.

Bithumb has been keeping investors and users up to date on the progress of any information pertinent to the hack, and has released the latest update, which states that approximately ₩16 billion KRW (which currently translates to around $14 million USD) of the stolen funds have been reclaimed, which brings the total down by almost half the original amount lost.

Bithumb was able to obtain the addresses of lost hot wallets in a partnership with the Cryptographic Fund and Worldwide Cryptographic Exchange and together they are working to recover more of the stolen assets.

In the blog by the exchange, it is explained that this process not only is looking out for the investors but is also hoping to aid in building the cryptocurrency ecosystem in order to prevent other damages from happening in the future.

“The main reason for the reduction is the ongoing participation, support and cooperation of cryptocurrency exchanges and cryptocurrencies foundations across the world… At this moment we will continue our recovery process as well as a preventative measure until this incident is fully concluded.”

Bithumb has also reached out to victims of the hack, and have reassured them that full compensation for stolen funds will be. The initial step of this comes in the form of free commission fee coupons, and users will be able to register for compensation via a cryptocurrency airdrop in the following manner:

“The amount of holding cryptocurrencies will be calculated from 8:00 PM ~ 9:00 PM (UTC+9) each day starting from the date of applying the event until the end of the event. And then annual interest rate of 10% will be prorated to the combined number of days at the end of the event. Then the equivalent value of cryptocurrencies will be given away in a form of airdrop.”

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Mt Gox has been ordered to pay back the money – totally in Bitcoin

Mt Gox, the cryptocurrency exchange which suffered ‘the most famous Bitcoin hack ever’ in 2014, has been ordered by the Tokyo District Court to start paying back victims for the losses.

The order comes in line in accordance with the civil rehabilitation law and not under the rules of bankruptcy. If the victims were to be reimbursed under the bankruptcy proceeding, they would receive compensation in the national currency which would be equal to that of “non-monetary” claims based on value at the time of bankruptcy. This means that if we took the value of the loss at the time of the attack, the payout would amount to around $483 USD per Bitcoin, while if we look at today’s value, one Bitcoin is worth $6127 USD.

If this is, in fact, the way in which investors will receive compensation, it might be in their favor as they might have chosen to trade their assets at a lower value.

And since civil rehabilitation proceedings ensure the recompensation in the original assets – rather than in the equivalent national fiat value  – it entitles the victims to claim back lost Bitcoins making the triple-digit percentage back on what they had lost. Although no official schedule for proceedings for the payments has been set yet, it has been said that investors who lost out in the hack will need to file official claims by October of this year in order to be eligible to claim recompensation.

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Massive crypto exchange Coinbase is “on track” to procure trading licence

Coinbase has announced that they are on the right track to receiving a necessary registration from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

With the SEC looking to nail cryptocurrency regulation (finally), things for cryptocurrencies in the US will take a massive shift, such as the fact that initial coin offerings (ICOs) will be classified as securities and rules on private sales will be both stricter and enforced.

As a response to the new regulations, massive US-based cryptocurrency trading exchange Coinbase has announced that it is taking every step to being granted an SEC registration. The exchange has been making efforts to ensure that everything is in order, such as gaining the proper licenses and registrations in order to meet the regulations and the rules to trade in a legitimate and legal manner.

According to a public announcement from Coinbase, they are “on track” with the SEC registration and are currently pending approval to manage a regulated broker-dealer.

The exchange suggested that the approval will be able to grant the opportunity for them to offer more exciting features on the platform such as “future services that include crypto securities trading, margin and over-the-counter (OTC) trading, and new market data products.”

Coinbase has also recently obtained Keystone Capital Corp., Venovate Marketplace, Inc., and Digital Wealth LLC to assist in the endeavor of procuring the license.

Coinbase’s chief operating officer Asiff Hirji stated in the announcement:

There are now many types of blockchain-based digital assets, from cryptocurrencies to security tokens to collectibles. In the United States, some of these assets will be subject to SEC oversight. With this in mind, securing these licenses will bring us a step closer to our goal, which is to be the most trusted way for our customers to buy, sell, and use many different types of crypto assets.”

The news comes in the wake of several new products from the service – including a new venture fund as well as a new passively-managed index fund.

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Huobi bets $100 million USD on new DAO aspirations

Huobi – one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges – has now outlined a $100 million USD bid to become a decentralized autonomous organization by migrating its operations onto a blockchain.

The exchange’s goal is now to replace its ‘traditional’ management structure with code, and to implement community-based decision making where no middleman controls financial transactions.

Similarly, the new offering would aim to decentralize the registration of new members on its network.

In an official release, a Huobi spokesperson quipped that “by building a public blockchain, Huobi is migrating from a centralized corporation to a decentralized one that’s run by the communities”.

The news comes in parallel to recent moves made by Binance, which recently confirmed that it would pivot to become a decentralized exchange and would over time move its proprietary token, Binance Coin, to its own blockchain.

Huobi has confirmed that its operation is now in its infancy, and it is seeking its own development team to bring the project to launch in roughly eighteen months.

Huobi has confirmed that it will spark the creation of its new blockchain through a $100 million USD investment into the Huobi Chain Superhero Championship Program (HCSCP) through some 20 million Huobi Tokens.

Similarly, Huobi would contribute a portion of its yearly revenue to the program.

In a statement to the press, Huobi Group CEO and founder Lin Li quipped that “We firmly believe in a decentralized future and the main goal of the Huobi Chain project is to transform a centralized corporation to a decentralized one that’s run by the community. Our dream is for Huobi to run on the public blockchain and become a truly decentralized autonomous organization.”

Huobi, founded in 2013, now boasts over five million users in over 130 territories. Earlier this week, Huobi further confirmed the development of its own exchange-traded fund, dubbed Huobi 10.

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eToro launches new exchange, Hilo adopts ID system, Genesis gains BitLicense – Daily News Roundup

When eToro makes millions, they need wallets in which to put the funds

eToro has just announced that they will be launching a new cryptocurrency exchange and mobile wallet in the United States.

Before the exchange is officially launched, users will be able to sign up on the waiting list where they can pre-verify their registration. At launch, the platform will only be supporting ten different cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Litecoin, EOS, Stellar, NEO, Dash and Ethereum Classic. The company also plan to add more coins by the end of this year.

This announcement comes just after the financial tech trading platform closed its massive $100 million USD series E round of fundraising.

No High-Low’s with Civic’s new ID system for social platform Hilo

Hilo is looking to adopt Civic’s newly launched blockchain verification system into their platform.

The social media network has integrated the system called “ID Codes,” to their website and are offering registrations for all levels of cryptocurrency traders (whether new in the game or a king player) and will be able to provide information on cryptocurrency coins and their prices.

With this initiative, Civic is hoping to reduce false listings of top industry figures as advisors on scam fundraising websites and this exact case point in mind sparked Hilo’s interest.

The CEO of the platform, Monica Puchner said that the team is excited about the ID Codes because is “allows [them] to authenticate [their] team members, [their] investors and [their] advisors on [their] website”.

Genesis first in NY to show their shiny new “license and registration”

Genesis Global Trading has been granted a BitLicense from the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS).

This will make the company the trading firm from New York to work with BitLicense and the fifth company globally. The license will allow Genesis to trade in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Litecoin, and Zcash.

Before gaining the license, the company had to jump through a number of DFS hoops. Genesis CEO of Global Trading Michael Moro said that although they “have operated under a safe harbor provision in recent years, today’s decision is an important step forward”.

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Korea’s biggest crypto exchange seized in authority raid

The weekend is meant for relaxing and unwinding, but relaxation is anything but what South Korean exchange UPbit must be experiencing following the raid of investigating persecutors of the exchanges’ offices recently.

The offices of UPbit, South Korea’s largest crypto exchange, were the matter of investigation on Thursday and Friday this week. The investigation was caused owing to a suspicion that the company was acting in fraudulent behavior – selling cryptocurrency to customers when it did not actually hold the funds possible – according to a report.

A search of the company’s head office in the Gangnu-gu district of Seoul took place and the prosecutors have already reported that they “have secured hard disks and accounting books through confiscation. Analysis is expected to take days”. No news of whether the review will be publicized or the process of the analysis in which it takes place has been disclosed yet.

UPbit representatives, on the other hand, have allegedly declined to offer any insight into the raid merely answering that they “can not answer anything about this seizure.

However, looking that the exchange’s support page establishes that the company has admitted to the fact that the investigation is a current matter saying that they are “currently under investigation by the prosecution, and [they] are working diligently.” The exchange continues to offer to customers that “UPbit services such as all transactions and withdrawals are operating normally. [Customer] assets are kept securely in your account, so [they] can rest assured that [they] can use UPbit services.”

The news of the investigation is timeous with other investigations that the country’s authorities have been conducting.  Last month there were reports that the country’s prosecutors had raided the offices of three other cryptocurrency exchanges (including Coinnest – the country’s fifth largest exchange at that time) under the supposition that the companies were drawing funds from the accounts of their customers.

The investigations also come at the same time that regulations have been heightened in the country.

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