Technical Analysis: Bitcoin weakens while DOGE and DASH provide some bullish respite

Last week our trend continuation bear pennant pattern completed into the take profit zone. Arguably, a long setup could have been considered when closing a short in a support zone and along our immediate trend line support. However, counter-trend trading a bearish weekly engulfing candle has had limited success this year, so our onus should still be on finding a short setup for a possible next leg down to support.

We find values have returned to a range within prices that had previously consolidated in June and recently in August for two weeks. So it’s fair to assume we can expect similar range-bound trading setups. This means shorting $6620 USD to $6650 USD as a 0.382 retrace and prior support-turned-resistance level with stops above the 0.5 Fibonacci level. This is around $6800 . This trade, I’d argue, does require some trade management, as these levels may tend to invite volatile price “jumps” unexpectedly.

So perhaps setting a trailing stop or multiple take profit zones if the trade setup is valid.

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Daily bitcoin short setup 11 Sep 2018 by Pansyfaust on TradingView.com

An immediate trade one could make, if price fails to manage to enter our uppermost short zone, is a second, more aggressive short condition setup. Should we begin to show price weakness and close a daily candle under $6260 USD or closing outside of the bear pennant formation. If that happens, then look for an intra-day setup to short $6260 USD, stop loss $6410 USD and close the short at approximately $6020 USD. This is a highly aggressive short at these levels, so be prudent with your position size to limit risk.

As of yet, no long condition has activated on Bitcoin, since there are no interesting high time frame bullish divergences in price and oscillators. However, some Alt/BTC pairs have shown movement that can invite some attention, namely Dogecoin and DASH.

Looking at DASH/BTC on the long-term weekly time frame, DASH came right into a historically major demand zone, as prior highs through 2014-2017 that were resistance have become support, and as such, we should trade the trend that it’s beginning to suggest.

Not only that, but the weekly RSI dipped into oversold territory and has exited that zone on bullish price action. The question, now, is where can we enter the trend forming? Price has cleanly bounced and is forming a bullish price structure, making higher highs and higher lows while also invalidating a bearish consolidation zone, which seems to have turned into support (Red/Green Rectangle). To enter this trend while lowering your risk, bidding out the 0.382 Fibonacci at 0.0285 with a stop bellow prior lows at 0.025 should yield a favorable R/R. The daily bearish divergence on the RSI gives us a clue that we can expect a pull back, which can be longed.

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Daily trade setup for Dash. 11 Sep 2018 by Pansyfaust on TradingView.com

For those wanting to ride Doge to a new high, it might be prudent to manage those bullish dreams for now. After consolidating between 35 and 40 satoshis for weeks, Doge exploded upwards while the wider market reclined into bearish price movements. However Doge has come into major resistance, and after forming a bearish RSI daily divergence, it might be the signal to exit a portion of your longs you may have or at least short hedge on Poloniex. A good re-long zone would be 64 satoshis as it shares confluence with a 0.618 Fibonacci and a prior resistance-turned-support zone. If the price does decide to consolidate at these current 90-100 satoshi levels, it’s likely it will push to next resistance at 140-145 satoshis.

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DOGE Daily Update 11 Sept by Pansyfaust on TradingView.com

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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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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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Where are 2015’s top cryptocurrencies by market cap today?

With cryptocurrency markets enduring an ongoing bloodbath in 2018, 2015 might seem like a distant memory – and a better one at that.

At a time when Bitcoin had only orbited $200 USD figures, the landscape of the wider cryptocurrency market was vastly different – with several players that might be considered obscure today taking pre-eminency then.

In this article, we’ll compare historical data from cryptocurrency price indices as recorded on January 4th of 2015 to today. It is important to note, however, that different prices may list differently according to different sources at the time.

Bitcoin

Position today: 1

In 2015, Bitcoin traded for $281.79 USD and bore a total market cap of $3,856,201,593 USD. At the time, Bitcoin held a circulating supply of 13,684,794 BTC.

Today, Bitcoin trades at $6,054.60 USD and bears a total market cap of $5,312,938,501 USD. With a circulating supply of 17,209,025 

The cryptocurrency itself has endured numerous scaling debates and a division that resulted in Bitcoin Cash, and is now in second-layer development as programmers continue to build the Lightning Network.

Ripple

Position today: 3

The second most valuable cryptocurrency in 2015, Ripple traded for $0.0211 USD and bore a total market cap of $656,661,649. At the time, XRP held a circulating supply of 30,978,075,200 XRP.

Fast forward three years, and Ripple trades at $0.263213 USD and bears a total market cap of $10,363,330,664 USD. With a circulating supply of 39,372,399,467 XRP

While Ripple has endured regulatory pressure, several banking institutions have partnered with the company to trial cross-border transfers.

Litecoin

Position today: 7

Formerly the third most valuable cryptocurrency in 2015, Litecoin traded for just $2.12 USD and bore a total market cap of $74,761,847. At the time, Litecoin held a circulating supply of 35,294,322 LTC.

Litecoin presently trades at $51.32 USD and bears a total market cap of $2,968,235,787 USD. With a circulating supply of 57,840,509

Litecoin has enjoyed great press over the years, with founder Charlie Lee most notably advocating that he would step aside from the project in coming years in the interests of ‘decentralization’.

PayCoin

Position today: not within the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap

How the mighty have fallen.

PayCoin, formerly the fourth most valuable cryptocurrency in 2015, has endured a difficult history. In 2015, PayCoin traded for just $3.20 USD and bore a total market cap of $39,464,544 USD. Paycoin held a circulating supply of 12,327,048 XPY.

Today, Paycoin trades at $0.015152 USD and bears a total market cap of $180,801 USD. The project now bears a lonely circulating supply of 11,932,159 XPY.

Paycoin ultimately derailed after Mississippi Power Company (MPC) sued GAW Miners (the hands behind PayCoin) for $350,000 USD for ‘failure to make payment for services provided.’

PayCoin was ultimately handed over to a ‘consortium of organizations’, where the PayCoin Foundation elaborated that “the fate of Paycoin is now in the hands of every person and organization that hold coins. With this newfound freedom, we want to exercise our rights to make Paycoin the people’s money and do what is necessary to help the coin thrive”.

Ultimately, that didn’t happen.

BitShares

Position today: 29

BitShares was the fifth most valuable cryptocurrency in 2015, and at the time traded for $0.014471 USD and bore a total market cap of $39,464,544 USD. BitShares held a circulating supply of 2,497,973,773 BTS.

Today, BitShares remains the 29th most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap, and trades at $$0.097384 USD with a total market cap of $258,122,142 USD . The project now has circulating supply of 2,650,550,000 BTS.

While BitShares offers financial services including exchange support and blockchain-based banking, the cryptocurrency has been overtaken by the likes of other tokens, such as Binance Coin.

MaidSafeCoin

Position today: 59

MaidSafeCoin was once the sixth valuable cryptocurrency, and in 2015 traded for $0.046897 USD. The project bore a total market cap of $21,223,340 USD, and held a circulating supply of 452,552,412 MAID.

Charting today at 59, MaidSafeCoin trades at $0.212688 USD with a total market cap of $96,252,597 USD. The project retains its circulating supply.

MaidSafeCoin serves as a token for token for Safecoin, a decentralized currency network. Ultimately, Safecoin will serve as the currency for the ‘SAFE network’, a ‘network made up of the extra hard disk space, processing power, and data connectivity of its users’.

While MaidSafeCoin has appreciate, time has not been especially kind to the cryptocurrency – earlier this year, Bittrex officially moved to delist the asset.

Nxt

Position today: 81

Despite a long drop from 7 to 81, Nxt is still in the game.

In 2015, Nxt traded for $0.017362 USD. The project bore a total market cap of $17,361,750 USD, and held a circulating supply of 999,997,096 NXT.

Today, NXT trades at $0.065251 USD with a total market cap of $65,185,738 USD, with a circulating supply of 998,999,942

A proof-of-stake cryptocurrency, NXT was launched by BCNet and serves as a ‘flexible platform around which to build applications and financial services’.

Dogecoin

Position today: 30

You can’t keep a good DOGE down. Back in 2015, Dogecoin was hot to trot – trading at prices of $0.000165 USD, with a market cap of $16,084,147 USD, and a circulating supply of 97,268,423,164 DOGE.

Today, DOGE trades at $0.002184 USD, has a market cap of $252,717,366 USD, and a circulating supply of 115,711,020,675

Not bad for a ‘joke’.

Dogecoin’s community has gone on to be one of the most lively spheres in crypto – funding the likes of the Jamaican bobsled team and more.

Stellar

Position today: 5

Stellar’s fortunes have improved over time. In 2015, Lumens traded at $0.004513 USD, with a market cap of $16,060,639 USD and a circulating supply of 3,558,618,775 XLM.

Today, those figures stand at $0.218107 USD, $16,060,639 USD, and 18,771,735,150

Stellar has racked up numerous achievements in the intervening years – gaining certification as Shari’a compliant, and even partnering with Facebook for a mystery project.

Peercoin

Position today: not within the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap

Once the tenth most valuable cryptocurrency, Peercoin traded for $0.503996 USD in 2015. The project, at the time, bore a total market cap of $$11,080,850 USD, and held a circulating supply of 21,985,977 PPC.

Presently, Peercoin trades for $1.04 USD, and bears a total market cap of $25,847,369 USD. The project enjoys a circulating supply of 24,908,466 PPC.

Peercoin continues to leverage both proof-of-stake and proof-of-work systems, and does not possess a hard cap.

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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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In the wake of 2018’s BRICS summit, where do emerging nations stand on crypto?

Comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, world leaders from emerging economies gathered this Thursday in Johannesburg, South Africa to attend the 2018 BRICS summit.

An association of emerging national economies, BRICS member-nations meet annually at summits and collectively represent over 3.1 billion people. Each summit sees member-states co-operatively discuss mutual development and themes from emerging market spaces – and as such, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (or Industry 4.0) weighed highly on this year’s agenda.

Industry 4.0 itself is a loose term denoting automative trends defined by the Internet of Things, cloud and cognitive computing, and cyber-physical stems. More broadly, the term has also recently enjoyed connotations with blockchain technology – which has been thought to be the genesis of faster, more trustworthy, reliable, and low-cost settlements and transactions.

Speaking at the summit, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa urged BRICS countries to develop new policies to deal with the fourth industrial revolution – saying “by working together, I am certain that we will be able to confront the challenges and seize the opportunities that this new of development presents.”

While Ramaphosa has previously issued his optimism on the creation of unilateral – and potentially digital – currencies, not all of the BRICS nations have been aligned to the idea of supporting cryptocurrencies, or much less developing national digital currencies.

Brazilian officials nabbed for Bitcoin-powered money siphoning scheme

Brazil

In April this year, the Brazilian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain launched in São Paulo with the view of fostering the growth and adoption of digital currencies while in dialogue with local governement.

Despite the organization’s founding, the Brazilian Central Bank has previously played a cautious role in raising concerns around a potential ‘Bitcoin bubble’.

The Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain has largely lobbied for the rapid drafting and adoption of sufficient legislation to accelerate the use of cryptocurrencies within the region.

Brazil’s Securities and Exchange Commission previously banned registered investment funds from investing in cryptocurrencies – though, interestingly, the Commission has allowed Brazilians to take indirect ownership of cryptocurrencies by investing in funds that themselves had stakes in funds that were invested in cryptocurrencies.

Presently, the Commission has a working group to develop new regulations fro crypto-assets, while the Brazilian education system has benefitted from the first Master’s degree in Cryptofinance offered by Fundação Getúlio Vargas.

Russia

While Russian government and President Vladimir Putin himself has remained skeptical of cryptocurrencies in general, the Russian Central Bank has both mulled the creation of a state-backed digital currency.

Recently, two of Russia’s largest banks – Alfa-Bank and Sberbank – have trialed cryptocurrencies within regulatory sandboxes

At the time, Anton Rakhmanov – the man responsible for managing the development of the product offer of the Alfa-Bank’s “Private Wealth Management” division – elaborated on his opinion that virtual currencies will be included sooner or later in the global economy and it would be unwise to ignore them.

While six cryptocurrencies have been trialed, only four have been named to the public – specifically, BitcoinEthereumBitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

In May this year, a Russian arbitration court of appeals recognized cryptocurrency as a property with value – while earlier in March President Putin confirmed that cryptocurrencies would ultimately be regulated under the Digital Assets Regulation Bill.

Ripple considered a 2 billion XRP giveaway to secure dominance in Indian markets

India

Perhaps the most stony-faced BRICS member, India’s Reserve Bank moved to cull support for both persons or businesses that deal in cryptocurrencies in April this year.

Previously, India’s Finance Ministry had limited the functionality of cryptocurrency exchange accounts after criticizing Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies for having a ‘lack of basic utility’.

In a move that would later prompt outcry from local cryptocurrency communities, the Reserve Bank wrote that “In view of the associated risks, it has been decided that, with immediate effect, entities regulated by RBI shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities dealing with or settling VCs. Regulated entities which already provide such services shall exit the relationship within a specified time.”

Ultimately, a petition against the Reserve Bank’s decision was brought to bear – over 18,000 signatures, directed to the Reserve Bank as well as the Prime Minister of India, called for a for a cryptocurrency-friendly framework and identifies the ‘hypocrisy’ of the Reserve Bank’s bid for its own digital currency.

The Reserve Bank has not, however, outright dismissed the idea of a national cryptocurrency. Elaborating on its interest in digital currencies and their underlying foundation, the Reserve Bank has noted its interest in the “rapid changes in the landscape of the payments industry along with factors such as emergence of private digital tokens and the rising costs of managing fiat paper/metallic money.”

More recently, a new legal report revealed that Indian lawmakers have mulled legalizing the country’s sports betting industry, and would be prepared to accept cryptocurrencies as legal payment methods.

China

While China shocked cryptocurrency markets in 2017 with a spot decision to ban several international cryptocurrency and ICO websites behind the so-called ‘Great Firewall’, the nation has instead seemingly committed its efforts to developing a number of technical improvements to blockchain technology itself.

In March this year, a new report from the head of China’s Banknote Blockchain Research Center claimed that the development of a state digital currency is underway.

The Banknote Blockchain Research Center is a subsidiary of the People’s Bank of China through both the China Banknote Credit Card Industry Development and the China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation.

Previously, People’s Bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan claimed that the development of a state-backed digital currency is “inevitable”.

In the mean-time, the Blockchain Research Institute division at the China Electronic Information Industry Development has continued to release evaluations of leading cryptocurrencies – with June’s report outlining that EOS is the most convincing cryptocurrency network.

Among technical improvements, Chinese researchers have further gathered to develop blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platforms, as well as new blockchain scaling solutions.

south african reserve bank

South Africa

South Africa’s President Cyril Rampahosa set tongues wagging earlier this year with the proposition for a single and potentially digital African currency, South African efforts have largely focused on launching new FinTech programs for blockchain technology as well as clarifying legal stances.

In February, the South African Reserve Bank announced a new FinTech programme which will seek to evaluate assess the impact – and potential regulatory requirements – of newer financial technologies such as cryptocurrencies.

According to the Reserve Bank, the programme will launch with three objectives; the first will see the review of private cryptocurrencies, which will, in turn, inform ‘an appropriate policy framework and regulatory regime’.

Secondly, the Reserve Bank aims to investigate the ‘applicability’ of innovation facilitators such as hubs and accelerators, and finally aims to facilitate ‘Project Khoka’ – a new initiative which will experiment with distributed ledger technologies.

In April, the South African Revenue Service outlined that it will continue to apply “normal” income tax rules to cryptocurrencies where taxpayers will need to declare their according gains or losses as part of their taxable income.

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jfGi: New African blockchain startup makes remembering your Bitcoin address easier

While hard-core Bitcoin enthusiasts might keep their public address etched on their cerebellum, the rest of us might struggle to remember one – or several – Bitcoin addresses. Thankfully, a new African startup – jfGi, or just for Getting it – is here to help.

Led by Rafiq Phillips, jfGi helps to address a common stumbling block for new Bitcoin users by making wallet payments even easier. jfGi serves to link one’s twitter handle to their public Bitcoin address, where users need only remember a simple link rather than a mix of 35 alphanumeric characters.

Phillips explains that “jfGi simplifies and demystifies receiving bitcoin payments for anyone, anywhere on any mobile device in the world with just 1 click. It really is a case of clicking on an easy to remember jfGi.cc link and you’ll be transacting on the bitcoin blockchain.”

The idea behind jfGi first emerged after Phillips found it time-consuming to copy and paste a wallet address or generate a QR code for invoicing purposes while offering his consulting services.

Phillips elaborated that, after becoming frustrated with the process, he endeavored to use used his personal website to develop what has become the alpha version of jfGi.

Working development partner Tim Akinbo – the co-founder of Nigerian Bitcoin marketplace, Tanjalo.com – the duo have now developed the service using only Twitter, crowdsourcing and open source business design principles.

The first users of the service – termed ‘the jfGi 100’ – offered requests for new features and shared the idea behind the platform.

Users looking to make use of jfGi need only follow several steps. Phillips explained that users simply need to:

  1. “Follow @jfGi on Twitter & wait for it to follow you back.
  2. Send a Direct Message (DM) with any of your public BTC addresses that you can receive bitcoin at.
  3. Send 0.001111 (about USD 8 at time of publication) by clicking jfGi.cc/jfgi on mobile or 3H8iYZfFEPyrC7AtUz2Dg1UHvkg47TR2HA
  4. Wait for @jfgi to DM your jfgi.cc/twitter-handle link.”

Speaking on the success of the service and his future plans, Phillips quipped that “I’m blown away by the various use-cases from schools using jfGi for Bitcoin fundraising to twitter users collecting Bitcoin tips from their followers. The feedback we’ve received and numbers are testament that consumers were ready for this… jfGi is the glue between the foundation of internet communication (the URL) and a user’s bitcoin wallet.”

Signing up to jfGi

CoinInsider readers interested in testing jfGi can claim a limited number of free accounts by following several steps:

  1. Following @jfgi on twitter https://twitter.com/jfgi & wait for @jfgi to followback.
  2. Sending a direct message(DM) to @jfgi with @coininsidercom
  3. Send any public BTC address you can receive funds at (paper, exchange, hardware or mobile wallet).

jfGi is intended to remain free to charities and non-profits, while the service will remain available to individuals and companies for0.001111 BTC per year.

The post jfGi: New African blockchain startup makes remembering your Bitcoin address easier appeared first on Coin Insider.

Death markets arrive on Augur as communities debate morality and censorship

Earlier this year, Augur – the decentralized platform designed to facilitate bets on real-world predictions – officially launched its mainnet blockchain and REP digital asset.

Augur, as a predictions market, enables users to bet on the outcome of real-world events. Previously, users have employed the service to gamble on the outcome of events such as the 2018 FIFA World Cup final – at shortly after its debut, Augur achieved 543 active prediction markets, with more than $1.4 million USD staked on various bets.

Now, as the platform rounds out its first (official) few months in existence, cryptocurrency communities have been left to debate the role of ethics, morality, and censorship resistance as controversial ‘assassination’ markets have appeared on the platform.

As their name might imply, assassination markets gamble on predictions that certain public figures may be murdered within a set duration of time. A common candidate, for example, is US President Donald Trump – with several polls offering predictions as to whether the incumbent US leader might see out his term of office in 2018.

Censorship resistance

Given Augur’s role as a decentralized platform, there isn’t much avenue to remove markets which participants might find distasteful – leaving controversial markets, such as those that might bet on Donald Trump’s wellbeing, at play.

So-called ‘death markets’ can, however, be omitted from display in certain dApp browsers – leaving circles to debate as to whether ‘front-end’ censorship should be tolerated on an open and decentralized network.

The argument runs close to the core beliefs espoused by libertarian advocates of blockchain networks – that blockchain technology itself empowers a new generation of peer-to-peer trade that is open, free, and can prevent censorship or intervention by a third party.

While peer to peer trade can at least function pseudonymously in the sense that only stringent investigation or chain analysis might determine interactions between parties, Augur’s prediction markets have quickly become a dividing line wherein parties have on the one hand advocated for the suspension of ‘illegal’ markets, while on the other communities have advocated against introducing censorship to the network.

The wisdom of the crowd

In closer context, the presence of death markets creates a legal conundrum for Augur developers. Should a participant place a bet on a potential assassination and then commit murder to ensure its probability with the goal of a payout, legal ramifications could quickly impact the maintenance and development of Augur itself.

No easy solution exists. While Augur did employ an ‘escape hatch’ which would allow developers to ‘lockup’ (or pause) contracts on its network in the event of a critical bug, the mechanism itself has been ‘burned’ (deprecated) – meaning that, essentially, Augur now exists as a decentralized network with no central point – or threat – of authority.

The role of filtering death markets, or other unsavory vehicles, thus falls to Augur’s Reporters – community members to verify the outcome of events of the platform. While Reporters can indicate a market is unethical and prevent predictions and bets from taking place, the network relies on crowd-driven attention to such issues – and individual reporters attempting to flag unsavory markets might be financially penalized should their view diverge from popular opinion.

It remains to be seen how Augur will proceed to handle the emergence of death markets. Ultimately, the platform will be forced to achieve its own consensus as to what markets are open to bettors – regardless of what legal or moral conundrum that might create.

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Five of the biggest venture capital firms investing in blockchain

Venture Capital (VC) firms have not been as quick as other organizations to sink their funds into cryptocurrency, and the move into the virtual market has been a slow and cautious one. This is only natural, as the cryptocurrency market is known for risks involved, volatility in prices, as well as the innovative nature, and has thus given a reason for firms to be shy to invest and offer customers services surrounded in the new industry.

Now, however, the market is a little more known and aspects are a little more established and few-by-few, VC firms have been trickling into the world of cryptocurrency.

In this, we will explore five of the biggest VC firms who are interested in the blockchain, listing their Crunch Base (CB) Rank, listed investments and leading investments and whether the firm has any exit strategies planned.

RRE Ventures

CB Rank: 4,725 (Investor)

RRE Ventures is a firm based in New York which takes a specialized approach towards investment in cryptocurrency and aims to invest in companies which deal with private information technology with a focus on Internet tech, software, communications, and economics.

Since the company was established in 1994, it has raised, through various stages of funding, an impressive figure of over $1.5 billion USD.

The company claims on its website to “believe in unique ideas” and so they “partner with extraordinary teams, and [commit] to supporting great companies as they develop and grow.” Included in those companies that are supported, we see names like Ripple and BitPay as clients for the firm.

RRE Ventures currently has 425 investments with 108 leads, and 72 exit strategies planned in total.

Fenbushi Capital

CB Rank: 1,375 (Investor)

This firm is the first China-based venture capital that invests exclusively in companies which are operating on blockchain technology. Fenbushi was founded in 2015, and the company immediately set to work to establish itself and its goal, claiming its mission on its website as an organization “to accelerate the inevitable future of blockchain economy by supporting as many companies as possible.

The companies are clients associated with blockchain which are supported by the VC are Symbiont, Circle, Hashed Health, and the prominent privacy coin Zcash. Fenbushi also has some notable names on its team of advisors, with Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin taking a role in the company (which was general manager, before he stepped down from the position) and bringing a wealth of knowledge and credibility to the team.

The cryptocurrency fund holds a $50 million USD price tag and the focus of the capital is towards blockchain-based companies through initial coin offering (ICO) investments and offering to invest in companies in their seed rounds.

The firm currently has seventeen investments with two leads and have no exit strategies listed for the fund.

Pantera Capital

CB Rank: 66 (Investor)

In 2014, a year after the firm was established after an early stage and seed round investing, Pantera Capital announced that it was placing a focus on blockchain and cryptocurrency transactions. That same year, the firm also made its new partnership with Fortress Investment Group, Benchmark, and Ribbit Capital public knowledge and moved into focusing on bitcoin transactions in a new fund, called Pantera Bitcoin Partners. The firm has also claimed investments in BitPesa, Xapo, and Bitstamp in its portfolio.

Since then, then, the firm only looks at offering services related to ventures, tokens, blockchain projects, cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency assets.

Regarding Pantera Bitcoin Partners, the firm’s CEO Dan Morehead said at the time that they “believe bitcoin is at an inflection point making it the right time for a transition to more institutional management“.

Pantera Capital currently has 41 investments with 13 leads and have only four exit strategies planned.

Blockchain Capital

CB Rank: 51 (Investor)

The San-Francisco firm was established and launched in 2013 and bags itself the title of the first VC firm which is focused on cryptocurrency. It is a firm which endeavors to invest in entrepreneurs and startups who are looking to build up and promote the blockchain industry. Blockchain Capital also bags another ‘first’ in its field as the first fund which offered to accept capital calls in bitcoin.

The company is headed by brothers, Brad and Bart Stephens, who have experience in Internet security and cryptography and financial technology development respectively. Brad has worked with Credit Suissie and Fidelity while Bart has E*TRADE and Silicon Valley hedge-funding experience under his belt.

Together, the two have managed to gain the business of Coinbase, bitaccess, Blockstream, ShapeShift, and Singularity in Blockchan Capital’s fund.

Blockchain Capital currently has 66 investments with three leads and have only four exit strategies planned.

Andreessen Horowitz

CB Rank: 49 (Investor)

Founded by prominent venture capitalists Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, this firm has had good roots from the beginning with the two having invested millions into startups before the firm’s launch – gaining credibility, experience, and funds which could then be plugged into Andreessen Horowitz.

The firm had an initial capital of $300 million USD and has been making a name for itself since 2009. It quickly climbed the ladder to grab the number one spot of the Investor Ranks’ listed firms in 2011 and around the same time, had managed to acquire $1.2 billion USD in two funds.

The American-based firm is making its name now in the cryptocurrency and blockchain economy and the firm has seen to the investment of blockchain-based companies Dfinity Network, MakerDAO, and dYdX.

Andreessen Horowitz currently has a whopping 572 investments with 178 leads and have 91 exit strategies planned for the fund as a just-in-case.

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Technical Analysis: The Bitcoin bull is back!



The Bitcoin Bull Is Back! by tennant.graeme on TradingView.com

What a great week it was for Bitcoin! After a tentative rally from it’s low at the end of last month, followed by some sideways meandering, last weeks price action showed that the Bitcoin Bull still has some bite!

Last week’s analysis highlighted a potential inverse head & shoulders setup with resistance (shaded red) around the 6800 mark. To the delight of Bitcoin bulls, the price smashed through the 6800 resistance to rally approximately 13% to the target price at current levels.

In a bear market, a trader must look to sell the rallies. In a bull market, a trader must look to buy the dips. This completed head & shoulders provides a solid base for what will potentially be the next bull market. As such, we can now view the market with a bullish bias and look to buy with a fair degree of confidence when the market pulls back.

Even more good news for the bulls – we are now looking at an even bigger inverse head & shoulders setup with a neckline at about $7750 USD which itself is a significant resistance zone (shaded pink). Should the price break this resistance zone the target price is just short of $10000 USD which coincides with the next significant resistance zone (shaded orange).

But wait – piling into Bitcoin right now is not necessarily the best move. We are yet to break through a significant resistance level (shaded pink) as well as not just one, but two important, long-term resistance trend-lines (blue lines). Furthermore, on the 4-hour chart there is bearish RSI and OBV divergence (full explanation). As such, if you are wanting to buy (particularly if one is a long-term investor), I would suggest phasing a capital amount into the market rather than buying all at once.

It would appear that the “Bull is Back”, but there can always be a “twist in the tail”. Pick your entries intelligently and make use of stop losses when using leverage or taking large positions.

Look to minimize losses from a potential short-term pull back now because if the price can hold above $6800 USD and then break strongly above $7750 USD, I expect that there will be further opportunities for profitable long trades up to 10000 and maybe even beyond!

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