Former Mt. Gox CEO Maintains Innocence in Tokyo Trial Closing Arguments

Mark Karpelès, the former head of the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox, apologized for losses that bankrupted the company but insisted that he was innocent of charges of embezzlement during the closing arguments of his Tokyo trial, the South China Morning Post reported on December 27, 2018.

Karpelès Maintains Innocence

During the hearing of the closing arguments in his Tokyo trial, Mark Karpelès, the former chief of Mt. Gox, restated his innocence and denied any wrongdoing in the events that ultimately lead to the company’s bankruptcy.

The 33-year-old French national, faces charges of embezzling over 340 million yen, or around $3 million, from the exchange. He also faces charges of fraudulent manipulation of customer and financial data related to Mt. Gox.

According to the South China Morning Post, earlier in December Tokyo prosecutors demanded a 10-year jail term for Karpelès, claiming his alleged acts “were extremely vicious, as they completely undermined confidence in trading.”

Mt. Gox Mark

Mark Karpelès, Former CEO of Mt. Gox

(Source: The South China Morning Post)

The trial began in July 2017, but the Tokyo District Court isn’t expected to announce a final verdict until March 15, 2019, making the trial almost two years long.

December 27, 2018, saw the closing arguments of the trial take place, where Karpelès apologized for failing to prevent the disappearance of almost 850,000 bitcoin that ultimately led to the company’s demise. He did, however, insist that he was not guilty of charges of embezzlement and manipulation.

The Downfall of Mt. Gox

Founded in 2010, Mt. Gox was one of the first crytpo exchanges on the market, allowing users to trade the relatively new bitcoin and emerging cryptocurrencies on their platform. The exchange saw limited traffic in its first year, which prompted its original creator to sell the website to a French developer living in Japan: Mark Karpelès.

After Karpelès acquired the website, the exchange saw exponential growth and became the world’s most popular exchange in 2013. Mt. Gox was handling over 70 percent of all Bitcoin trades well into 2014 and became the largest Bitcoin intermediary in the world.

Following a few months of lawsuits, warrants, seizures, and withdrawal suspensions, the exchange went offline, claiming that it had suffered an attack which led to the disappearance of over 850,000 bitcoin and $28 million in fiat.

By the end of February 2014, Karpelès had resigned from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation, and the company filed for bankruptcy protection both in Japan and the U.S. By the time the Tokyo District Court decided to halt bankruptcy proceedings from the Bitcoin exchange and begin the civil rehabilitation process that would reimburse the exchange’s affected clients, many of the recovered coins were already sold.

Bitcoin May Breach $333,000 By 2023: Why This Prediction Isn’t Crazy

There’s no denying it, the crypto industry is known for its eccentric individuals, statements, and startups. John McAfee, for example, promised to consume his family jewels if Bitcoin (BTC) doesn’t reach $1 million apiece by 2020’s end. While McAfee’s call is by far the most bizarre, especially what he wagered, he isn’t the only industry insider to expect for BTC to break out of its quintuple digits cell.

In the end, these predictions may be headline-seeking, but there are a number of catalysts that could push BTC far beyond current price levels.

Market Cycles Predict Bitcoin Could Surpass $333,000 By 2023

Filb Filb, a prominent crypto analyst that often touts zany charts, recently took to his Twitter feed to release another one of his (in)famous charts. The chart, which highlighted Bitcoin’s entire history as a liquid asset, accentuated the asset’s multi-year cycles, which were created by the Bitcoin issuance (halving) cycle.

Basing his prediction off the previous cycles, Filb noted that BTC could bottom at anywhere between $2,500 and $3,100 over the next year. And if the cards play out correctly, once the halving occurs in ~500 days, the Bitcoin price could begin its next run beyond $10,000. If the asset’s historical action is any indication, BTC could eclipse $332,733, once the effects of the halvening hit the supply and demand of crypto markets.

Why This Bitcoin Call Isn’t Too Zany

Trace Mayer, one of the earliest Bitcoiners and an anti-establishment proponent, recently explained his personal take on Bitcoin’s value proposition, specifically from a long-term point of view. The diehard, who began publicly advocating for cryptocurrencies in 2011, told The Crypto Sphere that as the financialization of Bitcoin occurs, BTC will become a “huge player” on the global stage.

Mayer explained that with the advent of Lightning Network and other innovative protocols, coupled with the eventual influx of Wall Streeters, BTC will become the de-facto go-to investment for any intelligent consumer. Mayer even quipped that holding BTC will easily outpace an IRA or 401k, as the latter investments may get nationalized over time, or get printed straight out of existence (hyperinflation).

This wasn’t the only bullish catalyst that the “hard money” apostle touted, telling his interviewer that there “simply isn’t enough [crypto] to go around,” claiming that there’s only 0.17 BTC for every active consumer in this market. And as global economies begin to sag under inflating worldwide debt figures, more consumers will continue to flock to cryptocurrencies en-masse.

Speaking on the deteriorating state of macro markets, Mayer noted:

“In the play Hamlet by Shakespeare, [he writes that] neither borrower nor lender be. We have way too much debt globally. It came largely in response to having too much debt and a failure starting in 2007… Now we have publicly-traded corporations borrowing money to buy back shares, but the productivity of the globe isn’t enough to service this debt. So people are going to fail [to pay] this debt.”

Perfectly segwaying into his cardinal point, Mayer noted that this financial crisis, which is rapidly festering, will drastically alter the globe’s power and influence structure. And as traditional markets flounder, the investor noted that psychologies will shift, as fractional reserve-based money becomes antiquated and equity-based money (like BTC) takes over. This, of course, is hyperbitcoinization exemplified, and could single-handily propel the cryptocurrency beyond the limits of human rationale.

This isn’t an unpopular opinion by far, as pundits like Tim Draper and John McAfee have claimed that the collapse of fiat will push BTC well past the all-time highs it established in late-December 2017.

Yet, there remain a number of roadblocks in Bitcoin’s way, namely scalability and a lack of suitable infrastructure. As it stands, exchanges and platforms supporting cryptocurrencies would likely crumble if millions were to unload fiat simultaneously. Moreover, the decentralized networks themselves would likely undergo a catastrophic period of congestion, where transactions grind to a near-halt. But, these (to-be) issues haven’t gone unchecked, as there are dozens, if not hundreds whose raison d’etre is solving these issues at any cost, and by any means necessary. So have no fear, [maybe] hyperbitcoinization is near.  

Featured Image from Shutterstock

From Blanket Ban to Its Own Stablecoin: How Facebook’s Relationship With Crypto Changed Over 2018

On Dec. 20, Bloomberg reported that Facebook is making a stablecoin for WhatsApp users. The cryptocurrency will reportedly be used for money transfers made within the messaging app and will focus on the Indian market.

The move provides a curious juxtaposition for the social media giant, which banned cryptocurrency-related advertising across its network back in January and then partly reversed it in June.

Here’s how Facebook’s relationship with cryptocurrencies and blockchain has been developing in 2018 — overall, it has been a patchy road.

January: Zuckerberg is being bullish about crypto; Facebook bans crypto ads

On Jan. 4, Mark Zuckerberg set out his person challenge for 2018: to fix Facebook. While this year brought even more problems for the social media giant — Zuckerberg’s sweaty testimony on data privacy before the United States Congress being a primary example — the Facebook CEO seemed optimistic about the company’s future at the start of 2018. Interestingly, he cited encryption and cryptocurrencies as potential ways to empower users in his Facebook post:

“There are important counter-trends to this – like encryption and cryptocurrency – that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people’s hands. […] I’m interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services.”

Despite Zuckerberg’s bullish statement, on Jan. 30, Facebook announced that it will prohibit ads that use “misleading or deceptive promotional practices,” referring specifically to initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies. Rob Leathern, product management director at Facebook, explained the company’s decision in a blog post:

“We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception. That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.”

The ban was “intentionally broad,” meaning that the social media company decided to ban all cryptocurrency ads on its platforms (namely Facebook, Instagram and Audience networks) first, and then find out how to pick out ones that are actually “deceptive.” However, Leathern also stated that the company intends to “revisit this policy and how [they] enforce it as [their] signals improve.”

Facebook’s move seemed to coincide with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) public announcement regarding crypto-related investments and ICOs, which was published earlier in December 2017. In that statement, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton suggested that there is a growing trend for “fraud and manipulation” in the cryptocurrency and ICO markets due to their rising popularity.

Importantly, by rolling out its crypto ad ban, Facebook had set a precedent for other big tech companies, as Google and Twitter eventually followed suit. There was a shorter-term effect, too: The Facebook blanket ban was followed by a large Bitcoin (BTC) price drop, as it went from $11,200 to $8,800 over the few days after the decision was announced.

February: Facebook has no plans for crypto, says its head of Messaging

On Feb. 2, CNBC published an interview with David Marcus, Facebook’s head of Messenger and Coinbase board member, who has also admitted to having “a longtime” interest in cryptocurrencies.

Marcus told the news outlet that crypto won’t appear on his platform anytime soon, citing cost and scalability issues:

“Payments using crypto right now is just very expensive, super slow, so the various communities running the different blockchains and the different assets need to fix all the issues, and then when we get there someday, maybe we’ll do something,”

During the interview, Marcus also defended Facebook’s decision to ban all crypto-related ads:

“We want to protect the community. That’s job number one. All the legitimate people in the crypto world that I spoke to at least thanked me for what we just did with that move. […] The reality is the vast majority of these ads were a scam and we cannot allow scams to exist on our platform.”

However, he noted that the policy might be reviewed “once the industry self regulates a lot better and you have better more legit products that want to be advertised on the platform.”

May: Facebook forms its Blockchain team; rumors about social media’s own crypto emerge

On May 8, Facebook unveiled its blockchain plans, as David Marcus announced that he will head up the technology-focused group assembled within the social networking service company.

“I’m setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch,” Marcus stated on his personal page.

A few days later, on May 11, news outlet Cheddar reported that the social media outlet is “very serious” about launching its own cryptocurrency. Cheddar’s anonymous sources “familiar with Facebook’s plans” reportedly said that Facebook is “specifically interested in creating its own digital token” for its 2 billion users.

The company did not respond to rumors about the cryptocurrency, limiting their statement to a brief comment on the newly established blockchain team:

“Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology. This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share.”

June: Facebook backpedals on the crypto ad ban

On June 26, Facebook made somewhat of a U-turn in regard to its views on crypto. The social media giant updated its policies to once again allow cryptocurrency ads on the platform — however, it has kept its ban on ICOs.

In the accompanying announcement, Facebook said it has been looking into the best way of “refining” its blanket ban on crypto-related ads “over the last few months,” in order to “allow some ads while also working to ensure that they’re safe.”  

Facebook’s revised “prohibited products and services policy” stated:

“Starting June 26, we’ll […] allow ads that promote cryptocurrency and related content from pre-approved advertisers. But we’ll continue to prohibit ads that promote binary options and initial coin offerings.”

However, the updated policy required advertisers to submit an application so that Facebook can evaluate their qualification to run crypto-related ads. Specifically, applicants were advised to include “any licenses they have obtained, whether they are traded on a public stock exchange, and other relevant public background on their business.” Ultimately, Facebook stated that “not everyone who wants to advertise will be able to do so.”

July: Facebook’s director of engineering moves to its blockchain team

On July 6, Evan Cheng, Facebook’s director of engineering of three years, moved to the same position at the company’s recently established blockchain team led by David Marcus.

The software engineer updated his LinkedIn profile to reflect the newly acquired position, and the change has also been confirmed by Facebook.

Prior to this, Cheng was heading up the programming languages and runtimes division at Facebook for about three years. Before joining the social media company, Cheng was working on back-end engineering for the tech giant Apple for almost 10 years.

August: Marcus leaves Coinbase to avoid conflict of interest; Facebook denies working with Stellar

On Aug. 10, Marcus announced he was quitting his position on the board of Coinbase, which he obtained in December 2017:

“Because of the new group I’m setting up at Facebook around Blockchain, I’ve decided it was appropriate for me to resign from the Coinbase board. […] I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the talent and execution the team has demonstrated during my tenure, and I wish the team all the success it deserves going forward.”

According to a Facebook spokesperson cited by CNBC, the move was “to avoid the appearance of conflict, rather than because of an actual conflict.”

Also on Aug. 10, Business Insider reported that Facebook and Stellar, a decentralized protocol for cross-border digital currency to fiat currency transfers, had been considering a potential partnership to build a Facebook variant of the Stellar blockchain. The move “could shed light on Facebook’s ambitions to push into finance and take on big banks,” the report suggested.

However, Facebook promptly denied entering into talks with cryptocurrency firm Stellar. The social media giant’s spokesman reportedly told Cheddar that Facebook was “not engaged in any discussions with Stellar, and [was] not considering building on their technology” on the same day.

December: Facebook’s blockchain arm is on a hiring spree; rumors about a WhatsApp stablecoin surface

In December, the Facebook blockchain arm’s hiring spree was noticed by Cointelegraph, as the social media company listed at least five new blockchain-related positions on its careers page over three weeks, most of which have been closed as of press time.

The only remaining position mentioning blockchain is for a business development lead, for which potential applicants are required to have a “deep understanding of blockchain product and technology” in order to “inform and influence [Facebook’s] product roadmap and support and execute on product plans.”

As per Cheddar, by Dec. 13, Facebook’s blockchain department, once categorized by its head David Marcus as “small,” had nearly 40 employees. Facebook job listings state that its blockchain group’s “ultimate goal is to help billions of people with access to things they don’t have now,” which “could be things like equitable financial services, new ways to save, or new ways to share information.”

Further, in December, rumors about the Facebook-run cryptocurrency reignited once again. First, Cheddar cited a source who said that “Facebook employees pitched the idea of creating a decentralized digital currency” at a private dinner the company hosted during an unspecified crypto conference.

Further, on Dec. 21, Bloomberg followed with a more detailed report, stating that the social media company is making a cryptocurrency for users of the messaging service WhatsApp, which Facebook obtained for $19 billion back in 2014.

The token will allegedly allow users to make money transfers within the messaging app and will focus on the remittances market in India, where WhatsApp is reported to have more than 200 million users. According to data from the World Bank, the country received nearly $69 billion in foreign remittances in 2017, which is 2.8 percent of India’s GDP.

More specifically, Bloomberg’s sources said that Facebook is developing a stablecoin. However, it is not likely to be released anytime soon, as the social media company is reportedly still figuring out which asset their stablecoin will be tied to.

As for public comments, Facebook has been forwarding the same statement since May, when first rumors regarding their own crypto emerged. It reads: “Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology. This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share.”

Italy Unveils ‘High-Level Experts’ to Help Develop Its Official Blockchain Strategy

The Italian government has published its list of 30 blockchain high-level experts to further its integration of the technology at state level, Cointelegraph Italy reported Dec. 27.

The result of a four-month hiring and consultation process, the group will work for free advising authorities how to create a “national strategy on distributed register and blockchain technologies.”

The project is being convened by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development (MSE).

“Emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain are intended to radically change our lives, the society in which we live and the economic and productive fabric of the country,” deputy prime minister and minister of economic development Luigi Di Maio said in September.

Maio added:

“Emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, are bound to fundamentally change our lives, the society we live in and the economic fabric of our country.”

The participants all come from Italy and are involved in mostly domestic sectors. They include trade association Assobit co-founder Gian Luca Comandini, Italtel head of marketing portfolio Angiolini Giorgio and Blockchain & Society Policy Research Lab board of directors member Marcella Atzori.

Italy has sought to extend its monitoring of cryptocurrency-related activities within its borders as well as associated phenomena such as blockchain.

Authorities have released multiple warnings against illegitimate actors in the crypto this month, warning the public to exercise caution.

Italy was also one of seven European Union member states that signed a declaration to promote blockchain use earlier this month.

Italy Announces 30 Experts to Lead National Blockchain Strategy

The Italian government has published a list of 30 experts brought together to develop the nation’s blockchain strategy.

The Ministry of Economic Development published the list on Thursday, revealing a pool of expertise across areas such as business, academic research, computer science and law – of course, all with knowledge and experience of blockchain tech.

Notable individuals include Angiolini Giorgio, head of marketing portfolio at a telecoms firm Italtel and also a member of UN INFO’s blockchain group; Monaco Marco, leader of the blockchain competence center at PWC Italy; Pimpinella Martino Maurizio, president of the Italian Association of Paying Services Providers; and Vitale Marco, president of blockchain firm Quadrans Foundation.

The ministry had initially called for members of the group back in September, saying at the time that the country’s fundamental priority is to “know, deepen and address the issue of distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and blockchain, as well as increase public and private investments in this direction.”

The group will be working to identify potential use cases for blockchain in the public and private services, and developing necessary technical and regulatory tools to promote adoption of the technology, according to ministry’s September statement.

Luigi Di Maio, Italy’s deputy prime minister, commented at the time: “Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain are destined to radically change our lives, the society in which we live and the economic and productive fabric of the country. We have to decide which way to go.”

Earlier this month, Italy signed a joint declaration along with another six southern EU states saying it would take the lead on blockchain in order to transform its economy.

Ministry of Economic Development image via Shutterstock

Tron (TRX) Price Analysis – December 28


Tron (TRX) Price Analysis – December 28


Tron chart by tradingview

TRX/USD Medium-term Trend: Ranging

Supply zones: $0.03000, $0.04000, $0.04500

Demand zones: $0.01000, $0.00900, $0.00800


continues in a range-bound market in its medium-term outlook. The bearish inverted hammer that opend yesterday’s market continue to sustain the bearish pressure as TRXUSD dropped initially to $0.01901 in the demand area following the bearish marubozu candle formation.

After a bearish spinning top formed by the 4-hour opening candle,  TRXUSD is back within the range after the bullish marubozu candle formation. $0.01942 was the high the bulls manage to push the price as TRXUSD continues in the range.

TRXUSD is in consolidation and trading between $0.02200 in the upper supply area and at $0.01880 in the lower demand area of the range. Traders should be patient for a breakout at the upper supply area for buy opportunities or breakdown at the lower demand area for sell opportunities in the medium-term outlook.

TRX/USD Short-term Trend: Bearish

Tron chart by tradingview

TRX remains in a bearish trend in its short-term outlook. The cryptocurrency continued the journey to the south was further confirmed by the breakdown at the descending channel with a large bearish engulfing candle as TRXUSD was initially down to $0.01905 in the demand area.

Although the bulls managed a push back into the channel as the price rose to $0.01942 in the supply area, this is a should be seen as a false break as the bears still remain in control of the outlook. A continuation to the downside may resume shortly with the stochastic oscillator signal point down at the overbought region at 81%.

The views and opinions expressed here do not reflect that of and do not constitute financial advice. Always do your own research.

Too Soon for Blockchain Benefits in 2019, Says UPS Executive

Senior executives at United Airlines (UA) and logistics giant UPS think 2019 will not be the year blockchain goes mainstream, the Wall Street Journal reported on Dec. 28.

Speaking to the publication, UPS chief engineering and information officer Juan Perez and UA’s executive vice president of technology and chief digital officer Linda Jojo remained level-headed on blockchain’s prospects.

“We have a small team looking at blockchain, but we are still searching for the killer use case,” Jojo said.

As 2018 draws to a close, blockchain has faced mixed reviews in the press and from businesses, some sources claiming the technology is not developed enough to fulfil its disruptive and even innovative promises.

By contrast, the year began with companies seeing huge share price increases simply by adding the term “blockchain” to their name.

Gauging genuine interest from the international community has been difficult, with a survey by India’s Tata Communications this month nonetheless revealing a 44 percent uptake rate for blockchain across international respondents.

Governments also continue to signal their desire to get a hold on the phenomenon, with Italy this week publishing a list of 30 “high-level experts” who will help develop an official state strategy.

For UPS, however, it is still too soon for real implementation.

“I don’t expect significant benefits in 2019, primarily because the technology itself is continuing to evolve and mature,” Perez continued, adding:

“It requires a lot of parties to come to the table to participate and evaluate the technology.”

In August, the company had issued a blockchain-related patent for the logistics industry.

EXCLUSIVE: Mystery ‘8 Whale’ Moves 5% of Total Bitcoin Supply in the Past Month

Bitcoin 8 whale News

EXCLUSIVE: Mystery ‘8 Whale’ Moves 5% of Total Bitcoin Supply in the Past Month

A new Bitcoin mystery has emerged. 848,000 BTC or almost 5 percent of the total supply, is contained within 106 addresses, each one holding exactly 8,000 BTC. What’s more, all were recently created as bitcoin reached the lowest price in over a year. 

Weird Coincidence?

According to the ‘Rich List’ on BitInfoCharts, there are 106 Bitcoin addresses which reveal freakishly close similarities. These addresses number from 125 to 231 on the given list. Strangely, each one of them contains exactly 8,000 BTC.

Each one has its transactions deliberately structured to amount to give the number 8,000. For instance, some of the addresses have two transactions, adding up to exactly 8,000 BTC, while others have more than 10 in different bits and chunks to add up to the exact same number.

Just a popular, nice big round number you say?

Well, 10,000 is even nicer, and rounder. But there are only about 20 such addresses and they don’t share the same similarities as the 8K BTC bunch.

But it gets even weirder.

All of these (noticeably non-SegWit and non-multisig) addresses have received the funds within the same time period: from November 30th to December 6th.

All 106 addresses account for 848,000 BTC moved or 4.86 percent of the total supply.

The transactional structure, the matching amount of BTC in each address, as well as the accumulation period indicate that all of these addresses have likely been created by the same entity.

So is it a major exchange moving funds?

Probably not. For one, creating over a hundred different wallets with the exact same number of BTC is not typical of an exchange. Additionally, most known exchange wallets are marked as such and many are found in the top 10 of the richest wallets list.

What’s more, these addresses comprise a staggering amount of almost 850,000 BTC. Compare this to Binance, which holds around 165,000 BTC in two different labeled cold wallets. Despite it being the largest crypto exchange in by volume, its holdings are still over 5 times lower than of the mysterious wallets.

If this mysterious ‘8 whale’ is indeed one entity, the total amount dwarfs even the richest wallet address on the list belonging to Bitfinex with around 138,000 BTC.

$3.18 Billion Worth of BTC at Year Low Prices

Even more interesting, all of the 106 wallets have been created while Bitcoin was trading at its lowest price 00 in over a year.

The highest price of BTC during the mentioned 7-day period of creation was around $4,320 according to CoinMarketCap. Prior to November this year, the last time Bitcoin was trading under $4,320 was in October 2017.

It’s unclear what the purpose of this structuring is or who, in fact, ultimately controls the private keys.

We also don’t know whether the entity controlling this massive amount of BTC (assuming it’s the same entity) is simply trying to not put all the eggs in one basket or is distributing the funds for some other purpose.

Whale breaching and diving.

Could a super-wealthy investor or fund manager be moving this many bitcoins over-the-counter? Are they Chinese? (The number 8 is indeed culturally significant in China and associated with fortune.)

But if this was indeed ‘buying’ – wouldn’t the price shoot up during the given period considering roughly $3.1 billion was moved at today’s prices?

Perhaps it’s an early adopter who’s spreading out their holdings to mitigate risk and/or collect forked coins? Or maybe it’s a major institution moving its funds around? Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust, for example, was reported earlier this month to now control 1 percent of total supply. Could there be an even bigger unknown institutional player moving billions beneath the surface?

One can only guess.

However, with the prices and transaction fees being as low as they are, it’s safe to say that whoever did this, likely did it at the right time.

What do you think of this peculiar accumulation of 8K BTC addresses? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Analysis – December 28


Bitcoin (BTC) Price Analysis – December 28


Bitcoin Chart by Trading View

BTCUSD Medium-term Trend: Bearish

  • Resistance levels: $7,000, $7,200, $7,400
  • Support levels: $3,500, $3,300, $3,100



pair was in a bearish trend as price broke the 12-day EMA and the 26-day EMA to the downside. The crypto’s price fell to the low of $3,730.40 and it is trading below the EMAs which is the bearish trend zone. The price of Bitcoin is now ranging above the $3,700 price level.

However, if the bears break below the $3,700 price level, the crypto will find support at  the $3,400 and $3,200 price levels. Meanwhile, the Stochastic indicator is out from the overbought region but below the 60% range. This indicates that the price of Bitcoin is in a bearish momentum and a sell signal.

BTCUSD Short-term Trend: Bearish

Bitcoin Chart by Trading View

On the 4-hour chart, the crypto’s price is in a bearish trend. On December 27, the BTC price fell to the low of $3,730.40 and commenced a range bound movement above that price level. In this time frame, the stochastic indicator is in the oversold region but below the 20 % range. In this case, Bitcoin is in a strong bearish momentum and a sell signal.

Also, the crypto’s price is below the 12-day EMA and the 26-day EMA which indicates that the price is likely to fall.

The views and opinions expressed here do not reflect that of and do not constitute financial advice. Always do your own research.

2019: The Year Digital Securities Offerings Become the New ICOs

Carlos Domingo is the founder and CEO of Securitize, an end-to-end platform for issuers seeking to tokenize assets. He is also the founder and crypto capitalist of SPiCE VC.

The following is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2018 Year in Review

2018 year in review

2018 was a tumultuous year for cryptocurrencies, but for those of us who work in digital securities, also known as security tokens, our enthusiasm for the blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) has never been stronger.

Digital securities are not theoretical concepts anymore, but rather a foundation for real applications on the blockchain. A nascent industry poised to fundamentally evolve global capital markets, it’s just now getting started.

The digital evolution of legacy securities

It is amazing to think that just a few decades ago, the New York Stock Exchange would shut down every Wednesday just to process trades and settlements via couriers on bikes physically carrying stock certificates between buildings on Wall Street every time a stock changed hands.

This lead to the “Paperwork crisis of the 1960s” in 1968 when the volume of stocks traded rose threefold to 15 million shares per day. Following the crisis was the creation of the Depository Trust Company in 1973 and the National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC) in 1976, which later merged in 1999 to create the Depository Trust and Clearing Company (DTCC).

This signified that the digital era had come to Wall Street.

Today, DTCC holds trillions of dollars in shares and settles more than $1 quadrillion in trade value. However, the sector failed to truly digitize the end-to-end process. Pre-trade order routing and electronic trading of securities had become extremely low cost and frictionless, but the same improvements have not arrived similarly to clearing, settlement and custody.

Blockchain-based digital securities have emerged to solve these problems and enable low risk management, proxy votes, liquidity and seamless dividend distributions among other features. First, they allow for individual ownership of the digital shares through tokens. Second, they enable instant settlements so there is no counterparty risk, eliminating billions of dollars in intermediary fees. You trade you own, not like today.

They also help to enhance transparency measures by providing visibility for an almost real-time cap table for the issuer. And finally, digital securities can simplify governance processes through voting or payout distribution, which could also be done using smart contracts and stablecoins to improve efficiencies and reduce the processing fees.

Paving the way for digital securities

Blockchain technology has pulled the rug out from under legacy financial systems.

For all the trouble ICOs may have inflicted and still might on investors, issuers and regulators, one fact remains – they proved that blockchains, coins and tokens were a phenomenal system for successful fundraising.

Anyone with patience and a computer could list their idea for investment and any inclined investor could buy an interest in a company or community and then trade that interest with an instant settlement for fiat currency or another coin on the blockchain. Suddenly there was a way for investors to invest in private companies and startups and to have instant liquidity in global markets. And the market responded with resounding attention.

Blockchain technology is so good at raising money that the crypto markets lost their minds. One study – which examined over 4000 ICOs – found that within four months of issuing a token, more than half of the projects launched had already failed.

ICOs may have tainted the narrative around cryptocurrencies, but digital securities are helping to shift the conversation to show the wider public that blockchain technology can help to power compliance, too.

BUIDL-ing the foundations

In mid-2017, we saw the blockchain technology’s potential to digitize securities. The technology could be used to automate and provide transparency to the process of purchasing, owning and transferring a security between investors.

By end of 2017, three funds, had successfully raised funds and issue tokens representing digital securities on the Ethereum blockchain, first Blockchain Capital, then Science Blockchain, then Protos. They represented early attempts at creating digital securities that followed rules and regulations associated with securities.

Following in their footsteps, I had begun to work on SPiCE VC, a blockchain technology venture capital firm, in March 2017, which would eventually become the fourth digital security ever issued. At that time, the market was still heavily focused on ICOs and there was no platform that could provide the level of compliance to security tokens that we wanted for the issuance and lifecycle management of SPiCE VC, so we built one and launched it in September 2017.

By that time, the SEC had issued the DAO report saying that the infamous leaderless ICO, which raised $50 million in crowdfunding, was actually a security offering.

Secondly, many prominent people in the industry started discussing how tokenizing securities on the blockchain was a way to improve private securities and was a big deal beyond just making ICOs legal since it is a much larger market. For context, there were $1.7 trillion private placements in capital raising in the U.S. alone in 2017 as opposed to a few billion dollars in ICOs worldwide according to a 2018 SEC report.

We saw the opportunity to provide a compliant security issuance platform for others and spun it off as a new company called Securitize, which we launched in January 2018.

Along with other key players in the space like Polymath and Templum, we knew that eventually regulators would catch up with ICOs. The digital security offering (DSO) is already taking over as the preferred, complaint way to raise capital and issue debt on the blockchain and not only for blockchain companies but for other type of operating business or even real estate or art.

Transforming the securities landscape

2019 needs to be the year of increased liquidity of digital securities. This can be done via the emergence of regulated trading platforms for tokenized securities like Open Finance, which just launched this year.

Right now, there are several companies looking to tokenize assets but few individuals wanting to invest in the tokens themselves. As other regulators begin outlining the rules and guidelines around how transactions should take place, investor confidence will grow.

Public perception on digital securities is evolving too as the ecosystem is maturing. The drop in the cryptocurrency market has helped to consolidate the industry and cut out the unnecessary projects in the space. Mainstream financial media publications are covering the digital securities industry more frequently too, which is a great indication that the masses are beginning to recognize the benefits of cryptocurrency.

Digital security industry community building efforts are emerging with more to come in 2019. The first dedicated conferences and associations, like the Security Token Academy, are starting to gain momentum helping to stimulate meaningful dialogue in the industry.

The key action point for 2019, for the industry, is to start communicating the advantages of digital securities to traditional financial markets and investors to encourage them to enter the market. Once this starts to happen, we are optimistic that we will see a wave of DSO adoption.

Have an opinionated take on 2018? CoinDesk is seeking submissions for our 2018 in Review. Email news [at] to learn how to get involved. 

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