How Gemini Works in Sync With Samsung’s Wallet

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Argo’s Mining Revenue Dips After Bitcoin’s Halving

London-listed Argo reported a dip in May revenue, possibly as a result of the bitcoin halving event.

Per the mining firm’s monthly operational update, monthly mining margins – revenue minus operating costs – was roughly 34% in May, down from 39% in April. Overall, the company mined 252 bitcoin (~$2.4 million at press time), down from 319 bitcoin (~$3 million) the month before.

This slight dip in revenue comes straight after the bitcoin halving – which took block rewards down from 12.5 to 6.25 BTC last month. Argo says it was able to mitigate potential disruptions from the halving by investing in “state-of-the-art” mining rigs.

Argo, which listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in 2018, currently operates 18,000 mining rigs with a combined total hashpower of 730 Petahash – a 244% increase since the end of 2019.

With the halving event coming near slap-bang in the middle of the month, it’s difficult to say what effect this may have had on Argo’s mining revenues.

In a statement, CEO Peter Wall said they anticipated Bitcoin’s mining difficulty to drop between 4-6% at the next adjustment, expected later this week. “This change is expected to result in improvements to our overall mining margins,” he said.

Argo’s share price remained relatively unchanged on the LSE, ending the U.K. trading day at £0.04 (~$0.05).

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Recent Data Hack Could Put Millions of Dollars in Bitcoin at Risk

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France: Financial Regulator Greenlights ICO for Renewable Energy Provider

France: Financial Regulator Greenlights ICO for Renewable Energy Provider

French stock market regulator – the Autorie des Marches Financiers (AMF) – has OK’d an initial coin offering (ICO) for a French renewable energy provider named WPO. The regulator approved the ICO under its “ICO visa” scheme on May 12, Coindesk reports, June 3, 2020.

WPO Approved to Raise Funds via ICO

France’s AMF, under its “ICO visa” scheme, has given the green light to renewable energy provider WPO to raise funds through a public token offering, or ICO. Per sources close to the matter, the ICO will run from September 8 through to November 12.

For the uninitiated, AMF launched the ICO visas as part of its broader comprehensive legal framework for digital currencies in 2019. This method of crowdfunding a project mitigates risks associated with the infamous ICOs that surfaced during the late 2017 bull-run.

To obtain an ICO visa, the applicant must show the AMF that it has abided by all regulatory requirements and provided all investor-specific information about the token sale, including the risks associated with it.

According to the report, WPO will hold the ICO of its GreenToken (GTK), aiming to raise approximately $11.2 million, starting with a trading price of $1.06 per GTK. Notably, GTK is an Ethereum ERC-20 standard digital token.

As to the utility of the token, the firm added that GTK could be used to purchase and value goods and services from WPO and the GreenToken Network. For the uninitiated, the GreenToken Network is a professional community involved in the operation and optimization of renewable energies.

Commenting on the development, Barthelemy Rouer, CEO and founder, WPO, remarked:

This approval from the AMF is a key milestone to bring clarity and trust for investors. We are very proud to receive this approval and publicly offer this incredibly innovative tool, the GreenToken, to immediately invigorate and optimize the production of renewable energy.

Crypto Regulations in France

French regulators have been considerably receptive to cryptocurrency businesses along the lines of other European crypto-friendly countries, including Malta and Switzerland.

BTCManager reported in April that digital currency trading firm Coinhouse had successfully registered with the AMF.

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Market Wrap: A Bitcoin Lull as Stocks Signal Economic Optimism

Bitcoin (BTC) was trading around $9,575 as of 20:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET), gaining less than a percent over the previous 24 hours. 

After Tuesday’s rapid 8% drop in less than five minutes on high sell volume, bitcoin’s prices have steadied. At 00:00 UTC on Wednesday, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was  changing hands around $9,528 on spot exchanges like Coinbase. Ten hours later, it staged a small run-up to $9,650 yet low trading volumes dashed any hopes of a substantial rally. Bitcoin is below its 50-day moving averages, signaling a technical sideways bearish sentiment. 

Bitcoin trading on Coinbase since June 1
Source: TradingView

After an exciting start to a week where bitcoin surged quickly then dropped, traders certainly have strong opinions on recent market activity

Rupert Douglas, head of institutional sales at brokerage Koine, believes that the movement’s intention was to wipe out some traders in the derivatives market. “My take is that this sharp rejection is a shakeout of the weak longs,” said Douglas.

Global equities

After the cryptocurrency excitement over the past few days, stock markets across the globe are taking center stage, as all major indices are doing well. 

Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed its day up 1.6%, led by increased demand in the automotive sector within Asia. The FTSE Eurotop 100 index of the largest stocks by market capitalization ended trading in the green 2.6% as the Eurozone eases lockdowns

In the United States, the S&P 500 index was 1.3%, up over 2% so far in June on optimism as businesses begin to reopen amid a global pandemic.

“Equities are approaching levels that I think we will see at least a pullback from and I expect that weakness in equities will see strength in bitcoin,” said Koine’s Douglas. 

Such a situation would only make bitcoin’s recent performance look even better comparatively. Although not exactly a smooth ride, since the start of May, bitcoin is up over 14%, outperforming all the major stock indices. Only the Nikkei 225 is exceeding 10% in the green during the same time, according to data compiled by CoinDesk Research. 

Bitcoin versus global indices since 5/1/2020
Source: CoinDesk Research

A quiet day for bitcoin might just be the platform for another price breakout, said Henrik Kugelberg, an over-the-counter cryptocurrency trader based in Sweden.“I have had massive signals of an imminent surge in bitcoin the last couple of days”. 

Deal flow seems to be skewed towards traders hitting up desks for more crypto during the bitcoin lull Wednesday, Kugelberg told CoinDesk. “Many are buying, and sellers are much more scarce now,” he said.  

“My network is split,” said Mostafa Al-Mashita, an executive at digital asset liquidity provider Secure Digital Markets. “Some people are calling for $7,000 bitcoin and others are bullish for $11,000.”

Other markets

Digital assets on CoinDesk’s big board are in the green Wednesday. The second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, ether (ETH), the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, climbed 2% in 24 hours as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. EDT). 

Ether trading on Coinbase since June 1
Source: TradingView

Cryptocurrency winners on the day include cardano (ADA) in the green 8%, nem (XEM) climbing 6.7% and iota (IOTA) up 6%. The lone loser Wednesday is bitcoin SV (BSV), down 2%. All price changes were as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. EDT).

In commodities, gold is in the red, with the yellow metal losing 1.5% and closing at $1,697 at the end of New York trading.

Contracts-for-difference on gold since June 1
Source: TradingView

Oil is flat on the day, slipping less than a percent as a barrel of crude is priced at $36.74 as of press time. 

U.S. Treasury bonds climbed Wednesday. Yields, which move in the opposite direction as price, were up most on the 2-year, in the green 11%.

Disclosure

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.

CME Bitcoin Futures Post Strong Trading Session Amidst Market Chaos; What This Means

Bitcoin’s immense volatility seen yesterday caught investors and traders off guard, leading to over $200 million in positions to be liquidated. It also made it increasingly unclear as to how strong BTC’s recent uptrend truly is.

This volatility appears to have been driven primarily by users on margin trading platforms like BitMEX, although it also coincided with a spike in activity on the CME.

Data shows that CME futures saw a massive volume surge that came about after a month of dwindling trading volume.

Open interest on the platform still remains slight below its all-time highs that were set in May.

Bitcoin’s options activity also extended its momentum, with the ratio seen between calls and puts suggesting that traders are primarily focused on catching upside movements.

Bitcoin Posts Massive Volatility; Sparking Heightened CME Trading Activity 

Yesterday Bitcoin saw some rare turbulence that sent it surging to highs of $10,400 before buyers lost all their momentum.

From here, the crypto declined to lows of $8,600 on BitMEX before garnering some buying pressure. This led it back into the mid-$9,000 region, at which point it entered a consolidation phase.

This has done little to clarify the state of the cryptocurrency’s mid-term trend, as it has generally been caught within a bout of sideways trading throughout the past several days and weeks.

One bearish possibility for the benchmark crypto is that it has formed a triple top formation, as this was the third rejection at $10,400 that it has seen over the past couple of months.

If this pattern plays out, BTC could be positioned to see serious downside in the days and weeks ahead.

Institutions, leveraged funds, and professional traders on the CME appear to be gearing up for the crypto to see some notable near-term volatility, as futures trading volume on the platform spiked to highs of nearly $800 million yesterday.

Analytics platform Skew spoke about this in a recent tweet, saying:

“CME had a strong trading session yesterday with Bitcoin futures trading nearly $800mln.”

Bitcoin

Data via Skew

BTC Options Data Suggest Traders are Anticipating Upside

The latest rejection within the $10,000 region is an overtly bearish occurrence, but options traders don’t seem to mind too much.

Data from Skew also reveals that options activity has maintained its serious upwards momentum despite the crypto’s recent price action. This activity largely appears to be centered around July of 2020 calls.

“Options activity also continues to see good momentum with Jul20 calls trading in good size,” the analytics firm noted.

The current call to put ratio does signal that options investors are focused on trying to capture any imminent Bitcoin upside – signaling that they remain unphased by the potential triple top pattern BTC could soon confirm.

“Open interest and volume put / call ratio near one year lows indicating focus is mostly on the upside currently,” Skew said.

Data via Skew

Featured image from Shutterstock.

BTCUSD, BTCUSDT, XBTUSD

Despite Russia’s Confusing Crypto Laws, P2P Bitcoin Trade Volumes Soar

Despite Russia’s Confusing Crypto Laws, P2P Bitcoin Trade Volumes Soar

Peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trading data shows digital assets like bitcoin are growing extremely popular in Russia, despite the State Duma’s opinions and regulations aimed at crypto assets. On Monday, the Russian government published a draft version of litigation mandates called “On Digital Financial Assets,” and lawmakers are looking for public opinion. Despite the strict proposal drafted by the Russian bureaucracy, trade volumes on certain exchanges have seen significant demand from the country’s citizens.

Russia’s Cryptocurrency Laws Remain in the Gray Zone

Just recently Russia’s State Duma released a draft of proposed litigation toward cryptocurrencies and companies that deal with the technology. The draft called “On Digital Financial Assets,” is an updated version on how lawmakers might regulate the crypto industry in the near future. The documents do not delve much into personal holdings, trading, and cross-border remittances, unless it is applied to startups and veteran companies that leverage cryptocurrencies. People can own bitcoin or other digital assets, but the new proposal does prohibit the widespread circulation and even evangelism when it comes to digital currencies versus the Russian ruble.

“Сryptocurrencies go completely into the gray zone in Russia,” explains Waves Enterprise representative Artem Kalikhov. “People who own one or two bitcoins are not at risk. But all cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets hosted on Russian sites with a .ru at the end are now at risk.”

Despite Russia's Confusing Crypto Laws, P2P Bitcoin Trade Volumes Soar
Russia’s State Duma recently published this draft called “On Digital Financial Assets.”

Demand for Cryptos Like Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash Has Been Thriving in Russia

Despite the newly updated proposal, Russian trade volume for bitcoin (BTC) on the peer-to-peer trading platform Localbitcoins (LBC) has been surging. For two months straight Russia has outpaced a number of other countries who have also been seeing significant trade volumes stem from the Russian people. Coin Dance statistics indicate that Russia has accounted for 20% of May’s LBC trade volume. Even though regulatory clarity has kept Russians in the dark, LBC’s data shows that citizens from the region are demanding more bitcoin than they have in years.

Despite Russia's Confusing Crypto Laws, P2P Bitcoin Trade Volumes Soar

Data from Bitcoin.com’s local bitcoin cash (BCH) marketplace, Local.Bitcoin.com, indicates that Russians are trading a lot of BCH as well. In popular regions like Venezuela and Colombia, there are people who have traded 50 to over 100 times using Local.Bitcoin.com. In Russia, however, traders have settled over a thousand buys and sells in the local region. People accept credit cards, Advcash, Qiwi, and bank transfers. One trader from Russia shows that he/she has settled over 15,000 trades in the country purchasing bitcoin cash.

Despite Russia's Confusing Crypto Laws, P2P Bitcoin Trade Volumes Soar
Local.Bitcoin.com’s BCH marketplace is seeing a lot of action in Russia.

Russia was recently featured in an Onfo research report, which had shown the country saw a faster network effect than the likes of the U.S. and Germany. The trend of adoption continues despite Russian lawmakers proposing a law that will allegedly criminalize buying bitcoin with cash.

News.Bitcoin.com’s Jeff Gogo reported on how offenders from Russia could face seven years in jail if the law is enacted. While the Russian government seems like it will crack down on bitcoin, there have been rumors of the country banning digital assets for over seven years now. Even though, Russian residents are still in the “gray zone,” like Artem Kalikhov stressed, the demand for cryptocurrencies continues to thrive.

What do you think about the peer-to-peer exchange volumes stemming from Russia? Let us know in the comments below.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Coin Dance, Local.Bitcoin.com, Russian Duma

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Charlie Shrem’s Way to Bitcoin: From Millionaire to Felon and Beyond

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Nonprofit Energy Consortium Trials Blockchain Management for Wastewater Tracking

The Offshore Operators Committee, a nonprofit organization focused on offshore energy, has found a blockchain management system reduces costs and time for transporting wastewater.

The (OOC)’s Oil and Gas Blockchain Consortium has completed its first pilot of a produced water haulage management system using blockchain technology. The pilot, the first industry-wide use of a blockchain-native network for produced water haulage, essentially tried to streamline the process of transporting wastewater byproducts collected during the extraction of oil and natural gas, referred to as produced water.

The pilot automatically measured volume and generated invoices during the transportation process.

Developed in partnership with Data Gumbo, a blockchain software company based in Houston, Texas, the pilot found the new tools reduced the amount of time it takes to transport produced water. The process also required less human intervention and reduced costs, the consortium said.

Water logistics and transportation firm Nuverra Environmental Solutions, and an unnamed midstream disposal company worked on the pilot, which was used across five oil and gas wells in the Bakken field in North Dakota.

The OOC Oil and Gas Blockchain Consortium comprises 10 big-name oil and gas member companies, including Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Hess, Marathon, Noble Energy, Pioneer Natural Resources, Repsol and Shell.

The consortium set out to study and define blockchain use cases across the industry value chain in order to solve common pain points. The initial pilot results saw a reduction in the process workflow from 90-120 days down to between one and seven days, and reduced 16 steps to seven that require no manual intervention.

In addition, 85% of all volume measurements are now automatically validated against the data provided by the various parties involved, and this figure could climb close to 100%, the release said.

Validations during the process automatically triggered the execution of related invoice transactions which reduced financial risk by giving peace of mind that payments matched up with certain field activity.

“The results of this pilot prove that non-manned volume validations can trigger automated payments to vendors, and showcase the opportunities that exist for blockchain to reduce costs, increase efficiency, provide transparency and eliminate disputes in the oil and gas industry,” chairman of the OOC Oil and Gas Blockchain Consortium, Rebecca Hofmann said.

The consortium also said that 25%-35% of resources can be reallocated, in comparison to its current business model for the operator and trucking company, thanks to DLT’s inherent benefits.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg for the potential of blockchain in our industry,” Hofmann added.

Disclosure

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.