US Defense Dept. Wants to Use Blockchain to Improve Disaster Relief

Blockchain could make its way into disaster relief operations from the United States Department of Defense, the organization revealed in a press release Dec. 21.

During a presentation hosted by the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support’s Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) office in Philadelphia earlier this month, officials reviewed how blockchain technology could help emergencies responses.

Efforts to provide aid following Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico were used as a case study.

“We think there’s a lot of potential [in blockchain],” CPI management analyst Elijah Londo commented, quoted in the press release:

“Where do we want to be as an organization in shaping and influencing where the [Department of Defense] goes with blockchain?”

The technological improvements would target centralized aspects of the current system, notably areas of logistics that depend on multiple centralized entities. Data sharing under such circumstances is an area ripe for innovation.

Also under review are “transaction processing and in-transit visibility of shipments.”

“This is where I can see where blockchain would have been a big help,” Construction and Equipment deputy director Marko Graham continued:

“Flowing [materiel [sic’ specifications and tracking data] from the manufacturer buying the raw materials to…getting the transportation and getting it on the barges.”

The broader U.S. defense setup has targeted blockchain’s benefits for several years, involving everything from blockchain workshops to a cryptographic chat platform.

Bitcoin Mining Firm Bitmain Rumored to Cut 50 Percent of its Staff

According to a report published by Finance Magnets, on December 24, 2018, Bitcoin mining behemoth Bitmain has sacked its entire Copernicus team, which was responsible for the development of the firm’s Bitcoin Cash client.

Bitmain to Cut its Workforce by half in the Coming Week

Per sources close to the matter, Bitmain has silently laid off its entire Bitcoin Cash client development team with just one-week notice. Blockstream CSO and former BTCC COO, Samson Mow made the layoff public on Twitter on December 24, 2018, adding that some of the employees “had just joined the company.”

Having a total strength of 2000 employees, an abrupt layoff of close to 50 percent of the workforce will undoubtedly take its toll on the goodwill of the mining giant. Bitmain is inarguably the largest bitcoin mining firm in the world. The fact that its hashrate is steadily reaching 51 percent of Bitcoin Network speaks volumes about its dominance in the crypto mining industry.

Bitmain has not confirmed the reports yet, but it can be safely assumed that the recent crypto market plunge might have had its impact on the company’s long-term strategies.

The civil war within the Bitcoin Cash community between Roger Ver and Craig Wright further added fuel to the falling cryptocurrency prices. Bitmain’s large BCH holdings made matters worse. This chain of events has made business difficult for the Chinese mining firm, as it is now struggling with its upcoming IPO.

Things took an ugly turn for Bitmain when it came to the knowledge that crypto miners in China are selling their mining equipment at giveaway prices. The inability to breakeven forced many miners to sell their mining rigs for trash.

Bears in Firm Control of the Market

Notably, it is not only Bitmain which is facing the wrath of the bears. BTCManager reported on December 10, 2018, how companies like ConsenSys, SpankChain, and Steemit are axing their staff due to the prolonged dull market.

After hitting a market cap of $813 billion in January 2018, today the entire crypto industry has a market cap of just around $130 billion. In October 2018, bulls were pretty confident of a repeat of the historic 2017 rally.

Unfortunately, the price of bitcoin and all the altcoins took a significant hit during November, which resulted in bitcoin tumbling down to figures close to $3,200. At the time of writing, the price of BTC was $3,741.

BTCManager reported on December 11, 2018, how Bitmain shut down its development center in Israel in the wake of the market crash.

Monero (XMR) Price Analysis – December 27

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Monero (XMR) Price Analysis – December 27

monero-xmr-price-analysis-december-27

Monero, XMRUSD, CryptoCompare chartMonero Chart By Trading View

XMRUSD Medium-term Trend: Bearish

  • Supply zones: $120, $130, $140
  • Demand zones: $ 40, $30, $20

The XMRUSD pair had been in a bearish trend since December 25 after the resistance at the price of $60. From the price action, the price of Monero is below the 12-day EMA and the 26-day EMA  which indicates that the price is in the bearish trend zone.

If the downtrend contines the crypto is likely to revisit the previous low of $40 and $45 because the bears have broken the EMAs to the downside and the $50 price level. Meanwhile, the stochastic indicator is out of the overbought region but it is below the 60% range. This also indicates that the price of Monero is in a bearish momentum.

XMRUSD Short-term Trend:  Bearish         

Monero, XMRUSD, CryptoCompare chartMonero Chart By Trading View

On the short term trend, the price of Monero is in a bearish trend. The crypto’s price is also below the 12-day EMA and the 26-day EMA which indicates that the price is also likely to fall. On December 26 and 27, the 12-day EMA acted as a resistance to the price of XMR, as the crypto continued its downtrend.

At the lower time frame, the stochastic is in the oversold region below the 20% range. Here, the crypto’s price is in a strong bearish momentum.

 

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

PwC’s ‘Crypto Leader’: Large Financial Institutions Will Accelerate Cryptocurrency Adoption

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PwC’s ‘Crypto Leader’: Large Financial Institutions Will Accelerate Cryptocurrency Adoption

pwc-s-crypto-leader-large-financial-institutions-will-accelerate-cryptocurrency-adoption

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the world’s “Big Four” accounting and professional services firms, has predicted that institutional investors will be the main drivers of digital currency adoption in the next 12 months.

More Institutional Players Will Enter The Crypto Space In 2019

During an interview featured on Australia’s Bloomberg Television, Henri Arslanian, the “fintech and crypto leader” at PwC Asia, revealed that he thinks there’s a big year ahead for cryptocurrencies. Arslanian, a former director at UBS investment bank’s prime brokerage capital consulting services, remarked:

I think there is a lot of exciting things that the crypto ecosystem is looking forward [to] in 2019. One of them, I think, is really the entry of institutional players.

Reflecting on the business activity in the crypto space during this past year, Arslanian noted: 

I think in 2018 we saw a lot of the big banks enter the space and in 2019 I expect many more to enter the space as well, in different ways. Some of them may decide to launch their own solutions, like Fidelity did here in the US by setting up a new company.

The Columbia University and London Business School graduate added: “Others may try to partner with some of the other crypto firms… And others may try to invest in crypto companies a bit like Goldman did with BitGo and Circle.” According to Arslanian, partnerships between blockchain and crypto-related companies and traditional institutions are “very good” because they “will bring the [appropriate and required] kind of level of institutional expertise” to the crypto space.

We Can Expect More “Regularity Clarity”

Similar to how many other crypto market analysts have observed, Arslanian told Bloomberg’s DayBreak program: 

I think a lot of elements are changing at a global level, one of them is the regulatory clarity … If you look at 2018, a number of jurisdictions provided more regulatory clarity than we had before.

He also believes that other countries, which have not yet formulated comprehensive regulatory guidelines for cryptocurrencies such as France, “will be pushing ahead with some legislation on ICOs.” Arslanian further noted: “in the US, with all the news going on right now, [there are] some bipartisan initiatives [underway] to try to make the US more competitive when it comes to” regulating cryptoassets.

Crypto Is Much “Better Off” Without The “Hype”

Interestingly, Arslanian believes the crypto industry will be much better off without all the hype we saw in late 2017 when digital currency prices reached their all-time highs. He remarked: 

In other industries there’s booms and busts, I think some of the positive news of the crypto fall was it actually cleared a lot of noise in the crypto sector.

Going on to draw comparisons between the Dotcom bubble and the emergence of cryptoassets, Arslanian said: 

Like in the dot com boom, you’ll have some companies that’ll survive this boom and those may change their role in ways we can’t even imagine today, but in the short term there’s definitely a lot of crypto companies that are hurt.

Expressing views somewhat similar to those shared recently by Arthur Hayes, the CEO of BitMEX, the world’s largest crypto derivatives trading platform, Arslanian predicted that stablecoins and security tokens will play a key role in the crypto industry.

According to Arslanian: 

Stablecoins [allow] crypto traders to stay in the crypto space but with an asset that is definitely less volatile. [Stablecoins] can [also] be used on a day-to-day basis [by] people who want to use crypto without the volatility that we’ve seen in recent months. … [Meanwhile], security tokens … are backed by real-life assets, for example, real estate. [These] … bring liquidity [to the crypto] space, [which is usually not there] for larger real estate projects. [Security tokens] also allow us to streamline a lot of the corporate action and dividends and that is actually very exciting.

Venezuela Sees Biggest Increase in Bitcoin Volume to Date

Venezuela bitcoin Bitcoin

Venezuela Sees Biggest Increase in Bitcoin Volume to Date


Venezuela has experienced its biggest jump in bitcoin volume over the past week with 1,974 BTC traded on LocalBitcoins.


Venezuela Sees Biggest Jump in Bitcoin Volume to Date

As the word spreads about the worsening humanitarian crisis in Latin America’s most oil-rich country, peer-to-peer purchases of bitcoin are on the rise.

This week saw a jump of 11 percent from 1,743 BTC the week of Dec 15 to 1,974 BTC the week of Dec 22–the highest ever recorded activity on LocalBitcoins.

One Million Percent Inflation

Bitcoin is a volatile asset. Even the most iron-cast stomached of all hodlers has to admit to getting jittery at times. Yet, even when you look at drastic statistics like bitcoin losing 80 percent of its value in 12 months, it pales into insignificance compared to a national coin that lost 95 percent in value from one day to the next.

The IMF reported back in July that the Latin American country was on track to hit an inflation level of one million percent by the close of this month. To give you some context, inflation in the US is 2.2 percent and recent Federal Reserve hikes caused a severe round of backlash from business–and even president Trump saying that the Fed had “gone crazy.”

In neighboring Chile and nearby Peru, inflation is set to reach 3 percent and 3.7 percent respectively. In that context then, it’s hardly surprising that bitcoin makes an appealing alternative to a national currency that’s running out of use–except as toilet paper, which is also scarce in this South American nation.

And if you thought one million percent was out of control, that figure could reach as much as 10 million by the end of 2019. Director of the Western Hemisphere Department of the International Monetary Fund, Alejandro Werner, confirmed:

Yes, 10 million percent because prices in Venezuela are doubling or tripling every month. And that, when you take it to 12 months, generates an exponential inflation rate.

He added that the Venezuelan economy (already in tatters) had contracted by as much as 50 percent over the last four years.

Venezuelans Buying Bitcoin on the Rise

Whether this latest jump has been fueled by the fact that pensioners are forced to receive their funds in the national Petro cryptocurrency or simply due to the ongoing devaluation and deluge on the streets is unclear.

The deepening oil crisis in the region as Exxon begins to drill for oil in neighboring Guyana could also be a factor. Perhaps the word about bitcoin as a safer alternative for these people is simply getting out.

Who Else Is Buying Bitcoin?

In contrast to Venezuela, there was a slight drop in the amount of US citizens buying bitcoin this week of around 2.7 percent, whereas the UK saw a rise of just over 1 percent for the week.

Without doubt, Venezuela registers the biggest jump–along with Colombia, that also saw an 11 percent rise.

Despite a plea from president Maduro for Venezuelans to “stop cleaning toilets” abroad and come back to their country, many Venezuelans have been forced to flee across the border to Colombia and are simply too fearful to return: the civilian militia is now at 1.6 million people strong.

In a country where bills are scarce and depreciating at breakneck speed, human rights are at their lowest point, people are staving in the streets, and speaking out against Maduro could get you landed in prison (all while your wealth is vanishing before your eyes), it’s not surprising that Venezuelans buying bitcoin is at an all-time high.

And for these poor people who’ve been through so much human misery and suffering, let’s hope the next bull run comes soon and gives them the power to rebuild.

Will Bitcoin buying continue to rise in Venezuela? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coin.dance

EOS Price Analysis – December 27

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EOS Price Analysis – December 27

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Eos, EOSUSD, Cryptocompare chartEOS chart by tradingview

EOSUSD Price Medium-term Trend: Bearish

  • Supply zones: $9.00, $10.00, $11.00
  • Demand zones: $2.00, $1.00, $0.50

EOS remains in the bearish trend in its medium-term outlook. The bulls manage a push to $2.67 in the supply area after the bears’ brief momentum lost at $2.53 in the demand area. A market correction was necessary hence bullish pullback.

The bears’ return was announced with a bearish engulfing candle at $2.64 as at market opening today. EOSUSD had dropped to $2.50 in the demand area.

The price is clearly below the two EMAs crossover while the stochastic oscillator signal points down at 24% which implies downward price movement. As more candles formed and closed below the EMAs due to the bearish momentum, $2.40 in the demand area remains an initial target by the bears.

 EOSUSD Price Short-term Trend: Bearish

Eos, EOSUSD, Cryptocompare chartEOS chart by tradingview

EOS remains in a bearish trend its short-term outlook. The crypto is in a downward channel in the short-term as the bears kept price with the channel. The bullish momentum from the $2.50 in the demand area aims at the upper line of the channel before a possible return of the bears.

$2.62 at the upper line around the 50-EMA was the point the bullish pressure shows weakness and the bears staged a return to drop the price down to the lower line of the channel in the short-term.

 

 

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

Former Mt. Gox CEO Karpeles Declares Innocence in Final Argument

Mark Karpeles — the former CEO of now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox — has affirmed that he is not guilty in the final argument for his trial, Cointelegraph Japan reports Dec. 27.

In court in Tokyo on Thursday, Karpeles apologized for not being able to avoid his exchange being hacked, but also reiterated the idea that he is innocent. As Cointelegraph Japan reported, in July, he declared that he treated the subtracted money “as a loan from the company,” and that he was going to settle later.

Mark Karpeles has been charged with embezzlement of approximately 340 million yen (about $3 million) from the exchange and manipulating its data to inflate its cash balance. Karpeles allegedly transferred 340 million yen belonging to customers from a Mt. Gox account to his personal account between September and December 2013.

As Cointelegraph recently reported, prosecutors asked for a ten-year prison sentence for Karpeles, who is currently facing the charges in Japan. During his trial, Karpeles has repeatedly denied having stolen money or manipulated Mt. Gox ledgers.

According to today’s report, the ruling for Karpeles’ trial is set to be delivered on March 15, 2019.

Nobuaki Kobayashi, the trustee of Mt.Gox, released a statement in September in which he claims to have liquidated almost 26 billion yen (about $230 million) in Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in around four months.

In the document, he informed the public that since the third quarter of 2017 he sold 24,658 BTC and 25,331 BCH.

Pompliano: Bitcoin Could Fall Under $3,000, But It Remains Non-Correlated

As traditional equities have plummeted in value, especially Nasdaq-based technology stocks, interestingly, so has the Bitcoin (BTC) market. This seeming correlation was most recently exemplified by crypto’s tumble on Christmas Eve, as BTC fell from $4,200 to $3,800 as industry commentators were claiming that a “Santa Claus rally” was nigh. Other digital assets followed, with Ethereum (ETH) quickly posting a double-digit loss as it trailed behind the flagship crypto.

During the same trading session, worldwide macro markets purportedly saw their worst Christmas Eve since the Great Depression, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 2.25 percent in a day’s time. The freefall wasn’t isolated to U.S. markets, however, as Japan’s Nikkei 225 collapsed by 1,000 points, a five percent loss, and a move which made global investors trepid en-masse.

Yet, for the longest time, Bitcoin’s cardinal narrative is that its day-to-day action shouldn’t be reminiscent of traditional markets. So, it should come as no surprise that Andrew Sorkin, a prominent journalist and CNBC anchor, called crypto’s non-correlated nature into question during a recent installment of “Squawk Box.”

Bitcoin Is Non-correlated, Christmas Crash Was Just a Coincidence

And who better to ask than one Anthony Pompliano, a former Snapchat and Facebook growth team member turned crypto diehard, who now heads Morgan Creek Digital. On Boxing Day’s Squawk Box episode, Pompliano, better known as Pomp to his followers, claimed that Bitcoin is “definitely” a non-correlated asset. Referencing data compiled by Morgan Creek, which NewsBTC cited in a recent report on Bitcoin’s role in pension funds, Pomp noted that the correlation between BTC and the S&P 500 is near-zero. The investor even added this is much of the same with the U.S. dollar index.

Sorkin, taking Pomp’s comments with a grain of salt, claimed that he believes that cryptocurrency holders “have a lot of money in FANG stocks, technology stocks — [so] they’re the first movers.” Explaining why this is relevant, the reporter claimed that the decline in markets en bloc could be investors trying to de-risk their portfolios by liquidating their Nasdaq stocks and cryptocurrencies — both deemed relatively risky investments — simultaneously.

The Morgan Creek lead, doubling down on his aforementioned comments, rebutted by simply stating that “the data is the data.” Continuing on about Bitcoin’s non-correlated theme, Pomp noted that forward-thinking investors should allocate one or two percent into Bitcoin, likely touching on the asymmetric risk/return profile that has become crypto’s calling card.

Another CNBC host backed Pomp’s claim, noting that astute pundits have claimed that Bitcoin’s most recent cycle could have foretold the equity markets’ boom and bust, as BTC is often classified as the epitome of a risk-on asset.

Crypto Still Nascent, May Falter In The Short-term

While Pomp is evidently bullish on cryptocurrencies for the long haul, the prominent investor noted that BTC could continue lower over the short-term, adding that sub-$3,000 is a possibility. Although such a claim could be seen as a bearish signal, this sentiment isn’t unheard of. Michael Bucella, for instance, told CNBC’s “Fast Money” that cryptocurrencies have one leg lower to go in its year-long “distress cycle.” But, the BlockTower partner noted that the “smartest money is still moving into” crypto, before explaining that he has high hopes for this industry, even while his outlook on the market may not reflect that.

In closing, Pomp took a moment to draw attention to crypto’s anti-establishment overtones, quipping that a popular phrase in the industry (popularized by himself) is, “long Bitcoin, short the bankers.” The Morgan Creek representative noted that when you boil cryptocurrencies down, they’re driven by math and software, rather than the nefarious individuals that can plague traditional industries. This is, of course, crypto’s underlying value proposition, and this industry’s fundamental narrative since its earliest days, or blocks if you will.

Featured Image from Shutterstock