Crypto Wallet Firm Blockchain to Airdrop $125 Million in Stellar

Crypto wallet provider Blockchain says it’s about to stage what it’s calling the “largest crypto giveaway in history.”

The company will distribute $125 million in Stellar lumens (XLM), nearly half a billion tokens, to Blockchain wallet holders who sign up for the airdrop. The first batch of recipients will see their tokens arrive within the week, according to an announcement Tuesday. The amount of XLM being dropped to each wallet was not disclosed by the firm.

With the news, Stellar becomes the first partner for Blockchain’s airdrop program and guiding framework announced last month.

Blockchain CEO Peter Smith said the Stellar network was chosen as it’s “built for scalability” and has “an active and growing ecosystem.”

While to outsiders it might seem an effective way to boost the firm’s customer growth and wallet usage, Smith said the airdrop is part of an effort to put “users first” and allow them “to test, try, trade, and transact with new, trusted cryptoassets in a safe and easy way.”

Smith told CoinDesk:

“Looking back at the last five years of crypto, one of my favourite things has been giving users their first $20 of crypto and watching them realize the power of a new financial system in their hand as they saw their first transaction. But you can only do this for so many people in that fashion. The genesis of this project was; how do we help millions of people make their first transaction?”

Blockchain is also working with charity:water, Stanford d.school, code.org, Network for Good and IBM to boost adoption of XLM.

Stellar Development Foundation co-founder Jed McCaleb said in the release that the foundation believes airdrops are key to building a “more inclusive digital economy.”

“Giving away lumens for free is an invitation to communities to design the services they need,” McCaleb continued. “By working with Blockchain to increase the availability and active use of lumens on the network, leveraging their almost [30 million] wallets, we will increase the network’s utility by many orders of magnitude.”

XLM image via Shutterstock

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Crypto Mining Tech Firm Bitfury Closes $80 Million Funding Round

Cryptocurrency mining technology firm Bitfury Group has just closed an $80 million funding round led by venture capital firm Korelya Capital.

Also participating in the private placement were investors such as Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, Macquarie Capital, Dentsu Inc., Armat Group and others, according to a Bitfury press release. Advising Bitfury on the funding was investment bank Bryan, Garnier & Co..

George Kikvadze, Bitfury’s executive vice chairman, said in the release:

“With a half billion dollars in revenues, Bitfury is the leading blockchain B2B global technology infrastructure provider at the corporate and government level. This private placement will take our corporate governance to the next level, broaden our financial strategic options, and ideally position us for our next phase of growth as the market matures.”

Bitfury is best known for manufacturing processors and devices used for mining cryptocurrencies, and launched a new “Clarke” ASIC chip for bitcoin mining in September. It said at the time it plans a new range of miners based on the processor.

The firm also capitalizes on its mining tech business by running crypto mining datacentres in countries such as Canada, Norway, Iceland and the Republic of Georgia. The new Clarke chip will being installed across these facilities as well, the firm indicated.

The funding round after Bitfury was said to be eyeing going public via an IPO as a way of raising funds in late October. A news report at the time suggested the firm might list in Amsterdam, London or Hong Kong, possibly as soon as next year, though a final decisions hasn’t been made.

Its biggest rival in the crypto mining space, Bitmain, launched a prospectus for its planned IPO in September, though it has not been without controversy.

Discussing why his firm took part the funding round, Mike Novogratz, CEO and founder of Galaxy Digital, said, “We are impressed with Bitfury’s unparalleled team, as well as the company’s vision, technical expertise and global reach, all of which are essential to advancing the underlying bitcoin ecosystem.”

Dollars and bitcoin image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Crypto Roundup – 06 November 2018

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Crypto Roundup – 06 November 2018

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MVIS CryptoCompare Top 100 IndexThe MVIS CryptoCompare Top 100 Index has raised 0.50% in the last 24 hours to 2,205.09

Nine coins from the top 10 coins by 24-hour volume posted positive changes, ranging from 0.40% to 16.25%. Institutional investors ‘Piling Into This Bear Market’, Grayscale Investment confirmsAmerican actress Gwyneth Paltrow tweets about investing in Bitcoin.

Top 10

CryptoCompare Top 10 Coins

Nine coins from the top 10 coins by 24-hour volume posted positive changes, ranging from 0.40% to 16.25%. ZCash ($123.97) posted a positive change of 3.79%, followed by EOS ($5.65) and Litecoin ($54.66) which prices raised around 3.37%. Ethereum Classic ($9.56) recorded a gain of 2.03%. Monero ($113.10) value increased 1.40%, while Dash ($166.35) suffered a loss of 0.45%.

Winners and Losers From TokenInsight

TonkenInsight.PNG

BTC

Bitcoin BTC/USD CryptoCompare Chart

At the time of writing, the Bitcoin price is sitting at $6,440 representing a gain of 0.40% in the last 24 hours. More than 165 Mln worth of BTC were exchanged in the BTC/USD market representing a 8.33% share of the global daily volume. The BTC/USDT pair represents a 41.66% share.

XRP

Ripple XRP/USD CryptoCompare Chart

The XRP price is sitting at $0.53 representing a positive change of 16.25% in the last 24 hours. More than $80 Mln worth of XRP were exchanged in the XRP/USD market representing a 11.96% share of global daily volume. The XRP/USDT pair represents a 20.56% share.

BCH

Bitcoin Cash BCH/USD CryptoCompare Chart

The BCH price is sitting at $566 representing a gain of 2.40% in the last 24 hours. More than $65 Mln worth of BCH were exchanged in the BCH/USD market representing a 9.94% share of global daily volume. The BCH/USDT pair represents a 30.26% share.

ETH

Ethereum ETH/USD CryptoCompare Chart

The Ethereum price posted a gain of 2.37% over the past 24 hours and is currently sitting at $212, with over $55 Mln worth of Ether exchanged in the past 24 hours on the ETH/USD pair, which has a 8.82% market share of the daily trading volume. The ETH/BTC pair represens a 35.08% share.

Cryptocurrency Market Update: OKEx New Margin Trading Pair Propels XRP

Markets still climbing today; XRP leading the way, Polymath getting pounded.

Crypto markets are still moving upwards this Tuesday and momentum is positive. A number of altcoins are making strong gains today which has pushed total crypto market capitalization closer to $215 billion, its highest level for a couple of weeks.

Bitcoin has not been the catalyst this time and has remained at the same level overnight. BTC is currently trading at Just over $6,400, but poised for further gains. Ethereum has also remained static over the past 24 hours and is still around the $210 price level. It too could start to climb if market momentum continues.

XRP is today’s top gainer, not just in the top ten, but the entire top one hundred. XRP has added 13% on the day according to Coinmarketcap taking its price to $0.523. Trade volume has over doubled from $400 million to $850 million as XRP leads the markets during Asian trading today. There is a whole bunch of rejoicing on the XRP daily Reddit but little explaining the pump.  However, it could well be due to the new XRP/BTC margin trading pair being added to OKEx;

Japanese exchange Bitbank is leading the exchanges for XRP trade in JPY, with Binance and Upbit also up there. Over the past seven days XRP has made 17.5% percent and it is currently hunting down Ethereum for that second spot, just $600,000 in market cap away.

Elsewhere in the top ten Stellar and Cardano are making 4% gains but the rest are not moving much. Further down the list in the top twenty Tron and Zcash are both adding 2.5% to their values on the day but the other altcoins have not done much since yesterday.

Aside from XRP, WAX is also performing well with a 9% gain on the day, MaidSafeCoin is in third spot with a 6% climb. Suffering at the red end of things in the top one hundred is Polymath dropping almost 8%, closely followed by Ravencoin and Chainlink both falling over 6% on the day.

Total crypto market capitalization has reached $214 billion, adding nearly 1.5% since the same time yesterday. Over the past week $10 billion has entered the crypto markets resulting in a 5% climb and many are speculating that this could be the beginning of the recovery. Bitcoin’s dominance has fallen back to 52% largely at the expense of XRP which is having a grand day.

FOMO Moments is a section that takes a daily look at the top 20 altcoins during the current trading session and analyses the best performing ones, looking for trends and possible fundamentals.

Dash Text, SMS Portal For Dash, Goes Live In Venezuela

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Dash Text, SMS Portal For Dash, Goes Live In Venezuela

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Dash Text, a mobile/SMS-based platform for sending and receiving payments of the Dash (DASH) cryptocurrency in Venezuela, has finished beta testing and has gone live, according to social media posts from the startup.

 

The platform is notable in that it can function without a smartphone, and without an internet connection – only a cellular connection is required. The user can both send and receive funds to/from either a Dash public address, or a Venezuelan phone number associated with an address through the Dash Text system. The use of the user’s telephone number as an address is therefore completely optional.

 

These features are important in a country where, according to Dash Text, 47% of the population does not have Internet access, and 60% do not have smartphones. And due to the well known economic difficulties in Venezuela, 7% of Venezuelans – again according to Dash Text – rely on remittances to survive.

 

Indeed, according to World Bank data, between 2014 and 2017 remittances to Venezuela from abroad climbed from $128 million to $293 million. This figure corresponds to the 2014 collapse in oil prices – crude oil sold abroad made up over 90% of Venezuela’s exports, although that export industry is now in a state of collapse.

 

remittance_WB.png(Remittances to Venezuela over time, in millions of dollars; source: World Bank)

 

Usability over trustless-ness

 

There is hardly any signup process to speak of for Venezuelans to begin using the service, and users are required only to text “Dash” to a phone number to be issued a Dash wallet accessible to them via their phone number. The service is completely free to use, costing only the price to send a SMS text message over their mobile network.

 

These benefits have a downside, however, as the system is not completely trustless. Lead developer Lorenzo Rey confirmed this in a discussion thread on the Dash community funding forum, which Dash Text benefited from. Rey wrote that “We wish there was a way to do this in a completely trustless way, however that’s not possible.”

 

Dash Text uses BlockCypher, a blockchain-focused web services company, to generate Dash addresses and private keys, and Karen Hsu, head of growth at BlockCypher, explained in an interview that “the private keys that we generate [for Dash Text] are not stored anywhere […] we definitely do not do any kind of private key management, we throw away the keys after you have them.” Dash Text private keys are therefore linked to a phone number and then lost (according to BlockCypher). In effect, ownership of the phone number becomes the private key to Dash Text.

 

The service has been available durings its beta period on the Movistar network, with plans for adoption on all of Venezuela’s mobile networks, as well countries outside Venezuela that “most need [the service]” – the first of these slated to be Ghana, according to Rey.

 

Dash Text reportedly has plans to integrate its service into the Whatsapp and Telegram mobile messengers, as well as designs on point-of-sale terminals.

 

 

Crypto Markets See Widespread Wave of Green, Bitcoin Pushes $6,500

Monday, Nov. 5: crypto markets are seeing a wave of decent growth, with all of the top twenty cryptocurrencies by market cap in the green, as data from Coin360 shows.

Market visualization by Coin360

Bitcoin (BTC) is today up close to two percent, trading around $6,400 at press time. Since sustaining mild losses Oct. 29-31, the top coin has in early November been edging close to the $6,400 mark, but failed to break through until today’s solid boost.

In a tweet today, crypto commentator Joseph Young underscored the comparatively higher trade volumes for Bitcoin, which are today at around $4.4 billion for the 24-hour period, according to CoinMarketCap (CMC). CMC’s historical data shows a trend of rising BTC trade volumes, which had stagnated towards $3.2-3.6 billion multiple times in October – notwithstanding the market rally Oct. 15, when volumes briefly spiked to almost $7.4 billion.

On the week, Bitcoin is now around 2.2 percent in the green, with monthly losses at 3.3 percent.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index

Ethereum (ETH) has been the strongest 24-hour performer among the top ten coins, seeing around 5 percent growth on the day to trade just under $210. Despite seeing lacklustre sideways trading in recent weeks and even some mild losses since it’s rapid price plummet Oct. 10-11, the leading altcoin has seen strong upwards momentum over the past 24 hours.

On its weekly chart, Ethereum is an impressive almost 8 percent in the green; on the month, the coin is about the same amount in the red, down 7.7 percent.

Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index

The remaining top twenty coins on CoinMarketCap are all in the green, mostly within a 1-3 percent range. After Ethereum, the strongest performer is DASH (DASH), up almost 5 percent at $168.

In the context of the top twenty coins, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and IOTA (MIOTA) are both up a strong 3 percent. The 20th largest altcoin Vechain (VEC) is pushing 4 percent growth to trade at $0.01.

Earlier today, major Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency derivatives platform BitMEX announced it has launched a network monitoring tool for both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, dubbed ForkMonitor.info, which it describes as “useful for monitoring the situation during network upgrades (softforks or hardforks). The release has been explicitly timed to coincide with the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, scheduled for Nov. 15.

Total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is around $212.66 billion as of press time, up from $203.5 billion at the start of the weekly chart.

7-day chart of the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies from CoinMarketCap

Securities lawyer Jake Chervinsky emphasized on crypto twitter that today’s date, Nov. 5, is the deadline for the public to submit statements to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as part of the Commission’s review of various – previously rejected – Bitcoin ETF proposals.

Some crypto industry figures, including CNBC’s Ran NeuNer in a tweet Friday, have implied that the Nov. 5 deadline pertains to an actual SEC decision, which, as Chervinsky notes, is not the case.

Cryptocurrency Market Update: Monero and Dash Driving Monday Recovery

Markets recovering this Monday; Monero, Dash and BAT climbing, Eternal Token getting trounced.

As we start another week crypto markets have made some upward progress. Total market capitalization has passed $210 billion for the first time in seven days and green is the predominant colour at the moment.

Bitcoin is up marginally and has made it to $6,440 after a low just under $6,300 a few hours ago. Bullish momentum appears to have returned, in the short term at least. Ethereum is faring a little better and is posting a 4% gain since this time yesterday taking it to $208 at the moment.

Altcoins are all green right now and one or two are recovering well. In the top ten Bitcoin Cash has taken the lead with a 4.5% gain to $562. Monero is also trading strongly, knocking Tether down a spot and taking ninth place with a 4.8% rise on the day to $112. XMR market cap has reached $1.85 billion whereas USDT is at $1.77 billion, dropping it back to tenth place. The rest of the altcoins in this section are up a percent or two aside from Stellar which hasn’t really moved over the past 24 hours.

Dash is posting the best gain in the top twenty at the moment, up almost 6% to $167. Iota, Zcash and VeChain are all up between 2-3 percent on the day and the rest are trading around a percent higher than weekend levels.

BAT is still enjoying gains following its Coinbase listing and tops the top one hundred with a 9% rise to $0.321. Wax is also trading positively this Monday morning with an over 8% gain.

Getting bashed up at the bottom of things in the top one hundred altcoins is Eternal Token dumping over 17% at the time of writing. Ravencoin is also in the red with a 6% loss on the day and Bitcoin Diamond is not far behind with a drop of 5% since yesterday.

Total crypto market capitalization has gained almost 1.5% on the day to reach $211 billion, its highest level for almost two weeks. Things seem to have settled in this channel over the past few hours and, at least for the short term, the trend is bullish.

Bitcoin dominance has taken a hit as the altcoins start to show signs of recovery. It has dropped back below 53% as Ethereum has slowly crept back over 10% and Bitcoin Cash has made solid gains. Since last Monday’s market dump things have recovered by 4% over the past seven days.

FOMO Moments is a section that takes a daily look at the top 20 altcoins during the current trading session and analyses the best performing ones, looking for trends and possible fundamentals.