Users Can Now Send Crypto Directly to Firm’s Wallet App

Coinbase has launched a new feature allowing user to directly transfer cryptocurrency holdings on to accounts in the firm’s Wallet app.

The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange announced the news in a blog post on Tuesday, saying that users will be able to link their accounts once the app gets updated in the “next few days.”

“Once your Coinbase account is linked, you can easily transfer crypto to your Wallet app with just a couple of clicks, anytime you need it,” the exchange said.

Coinbase explained that with the account, users can buy cryptocurrencies and the exchange itself stores the keys centrally. However, with the Wallet app, users safeguard their own private keys.

The new feature is optional. After the app update is released, users will receive an in-app notification to “Connect to Coinbase” to link the accounts if they so choose.

The account linking can be turned on or off at a later date from the Settings menu, the exchange said, adding that the feature would add convenience for Coinbase users that regularly transfer funds from their account to a software or hardware wallet.

Coinbase is also planning a future update that will allow cryptocurrencies to be directly sent to users’ accounts from the app.

Coinbase has added a series of new features to the Wallet app lately. Last month, the app announced support for bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH) and litecoin (LTC) on both iOS and Android.

Also in February, Coinbase announced that Wallet users would be able to back up their private keys on personal cloud storage platforms Google Drive and Apple iCloud.

App images courtesy of Coinbase 

Blockstream Debuts User-Friendly Liquid Bitcoin Sidechain Wallet

Blockstream Debuts User-Friendly Liquid Bitcoin Sidechain Wallet

Blockstream has announced the release of its Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC) sidechain wallet for everyday users. The Bitcoin infrastructure developer says the sidechain wallet offers greater ease in L-BTC transactions instead of the more technical command line protocols. This according to an official blog post, March 11, 2019.

Liquid Core: The User-Friendly Liquid Bitcoin Wallet

As per the announcement written by Blockstream chief architect, Lawrence Nahum:

“Today we’re excited to release Liquid Core, a new multiplatform desktop wallet for transacting Liquid bitcoin (L-BTC). Based on the battle-tested Bitcoin Core codebase, Liquid Core provides power users with a friendly alternative to the command line required to operate liquidd and liquid-cli.”

With this new release, Blockstream hopes to increase adoption of its Liquid Network as the competition in the offchain Bitcoin arena begins to intensify. Bitcoin enthusiasts will be waiting to see how the L-BTC sidechain wallets compete with the Lightning Network even though Blockstream insists that both technologies can coexist.

Faster Offchain Bitcoin Transactions

With the new desktop L-BTC sidechain wallet, more traders will now have the necessary tools to exchange Liquid bitcoin without requiring an intermediary party. According to Blockstream, L-BTC transactions have a throughput time of two minutes which is much faster than transactions on the Bitcoin network.

Apart from faster transactions, Blockstream says the Liquid Network provides greater privacy for users. Protocols that enhance transaction confidentiality are already enabled by default on the Liquid Network. Thus, users can keep sensitive details such as asset type and even the amounts involved, private.

Critics of the Liquid Network, however, say the use of federated sidechains for faster offchain transaction settlements leads to the emergence of centralization. Presently, 23 organizations among which include prominent bitcoin exchange platforms and other institutions run the Liquid Network sidechain.

Blockstream Satellite API Goes Live

In another development, the Blockstream satellite message API is now live on the mainnet. Thus, users with the proper configuration can send data via satellite using Bitcoin. This application is yet another example of BTC utilization outside of the Internet following recent developments involving shortwave radio technology.

Back in January 2019, BTCManager reported the Beta launch of Blockstream’s Lightning Network-powered Satellite API. As reported on Tuesday (March 12, 2019) by BTCManager, people are already using the service to send messages with one user by the name of Jordan Pearson sending a portion of the Communist Manifesto to space.

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Digital Currency Wallet Abra Adds Direct Support for ETH Instead of as Asset Derivative

Digital currency wallet and exchange Abra has launched native Ethereum (ETH) support, according to an official blog post published on March 12.

Users will now be able to receive, hold, sell and buy ETH directly from the Abra wallet, as well as use the altcoin as an on-ramp to invest in other Abra-listed crypto and fiat currencies — over 30 crypto assets and 50 fiat currencies.

These include Abra’s recently-listed BIT10 Index token, which tracks the ten largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

As the Abra blog post outlines, up until now, Abra had only supported Ethereum as a so-called “synthetic asset” — an investment mechanism that creates crypto-collateralized contracts so that users could gain exposure to the altcoin’s price movements, but not hold the coin itself.

Abra CEO Bill Barhydt has given a short statement, noting that Ethereum support “sets the stage for Abra to launch native ERC-20 support, in particular a whole bunch of [ERC20-based] stablecoins, that we’re excited about.”

As reported, Barhydt has recently said that even as the Abra wallet service gains traction as an investment platform, the company — as many crypto firms, he suggested —— is yet to conquer the sphere of crypto-enabled consumer cross-border payments and remittance services at scale.

Last month, Barhydt said he believes that private — or permissioned — blockchain networks will eventually “fail miserably,” comparing them with the now-defunct concept of the private extranet from the 1990s, which similarly restricted access to an authorized set of users.

New Blockchain ETF Co-Operator Elwood Plans Fresh Crypto Investment Options

United Kingdom-based asset management company Elwood Asset Management is looking to increase its cryptocurrency offerings after co-launching a blockchain exchange-traded fund (ETF), Bloomberg reported on March 12.

Elwood, which is owned by billionaire Brevan Howard creator Alan Howard, partnered with Invesco to bring a blockchain ETF to market this week.

Now, the company told reporters that it is already eyeing what else it could offer institutional investors eager to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency arena.

“The only way for institutions to get meaningful exposure to digital assets has been to buy Bitcoin, but many are reluctant or unable to buy Bitcoin – and for good reason,’’ CEO Bin Ren commented to Bloomberg, adding:

“An ETF gives a highly liquid and regulated way to gain exposure. This is the right point to start.’’

Ren did not mention specific products or services Elwood could offer.

“Elwood also plans to develop investments tied to the trading of digital assets, and may eventually offer exposure to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH),” Bloomberg summarized.

Cryptocurrency investment products continue to gain both uptake and publicity, a trend which is contrasted by the still patchwork regulatory climate, which makes serving large numbers of clients vary in difficulty depending on jurisdiction.

As Cointelegraph reported, both the U.K. and United States currently present uncertain environments for operators.

London has eyed banning certain cryptocurrency-related trading instruments, while in the U.S., regulatory conformity has led to the repeated delay of Bakkt, a major institutional trading platform many hope will dramatically increase the industry’s public profile.

Why Has’s CRO Token Surged 380% in a Couple of Days?

When a crypto asset goes on a parabolic moon shot it needs a closer look. One that is flying up the market cap charts at the moment is Chain, muscling its way into the top thirty with a 170% pump on the day.

CRO Token Surges 200% in Under 2 Days

This time last week CRO was an obscure altcoin, flat lining at $0.0130 (333 satoshis). Things started to bubble up over the weekend but over the past couple of days this token has literally shot for the moon with a massive pump of 380% to $0.0625 (1600 satoshis). CRO prices 24 hours.

Very few altcoins have made triple figure daily gains but CRO is one of them with a 170% pump today alone. Daily volume has multiplied from a mere $90,000 to over $800 million and it appears that South Koreans are going crazy for at the moment. Over half of that volume is currently in KRW on the GOPAX exchange so what do they know that we don’t?

The epic pump has increased CRO market cap over $200 million which has made it bigger than Decred, Icon and 0x and on a par with Qtum and OmiseGO.

What is CRO and Why is It Pumping?

Hong Kong headquartered is a pioneering payments platform that aims to increase crypto adoption through various payments channels including Visa cards. It claims to offer zero fees or markups and touts itself as the best place to buy crypto. Last month the company launched its Vortex Trading Engine which pools liquidity from major exchanges globally and routes orders to them to ensure the best execution price.

The platform also offers several fiat on ramps, though these are mostly in Asia at the moment. There is also a crypto wallet with cash back features and a Visa card powered by the MCO token. Other benefits include free Netflix and Spotify subscriptions to card holders as users who pay for their subscriptions with the MCO Visa Card can receive a full rebate on the cost of their plan. Discounts on travel and booking websites Expedia and Airbnb are also available by using the crypto card. According to CEO Kris Marszalek;

“The MCO Visa card now offers best cashback terms of any card in the market, along with perks that match the lifestyle of our community. We’ve received hugely positive feedback from our customers in Singapore and are looking forward to shipping the cards in the US, Europe and other key markets. The product is irresistible whether you’re a hardcore cryptocurrency fanatic or someone who is just learning about it.”

Last week the Pay system went live which has initiated the run of its native ERC-20 CRO token. It has had over 400,000 app downloads and over 125,000 MCO Visa card registrations worldwide.

Today’s big spike has come from a listing on the Indodax exchange which taps into a potentially massive new fiat market – Indonesia.

Deposits on the Indonesia Digital Asset Exchange start today and full trading will go live tomorrow. After South Korea and Japan, Indonesia is one of the region’s biggest crypto trading markets. The listing has obviously provided a big boost for CRO which the top performing altcoin in the top one hundred at the moment.

Image from Shutterstock

It’s Getting Harder to Send Bitcoin’s Lightning Torch – Here’s Why

An experiment designed to push the boundaries of crypto payments, bitcoin’s “Lightning Torch” has so far grown from a single transaction worth less than one-thousandth of a cent to a global game whose users have included Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman.

But in the process of passing the Lightning Torch from one person to another, each recipient adding value each time, users have brought to light a lesser-known problem with the lightning network itself.

The problem is that when some users try to retrieve the torch, they find out they can’t.

“#LNTrustChain was designed as a social experiment – but due to overwhelming success, it turned into a stress test of channel liquidity,” tweeted pseudonymous bitcoin enthusiast “BTChap” alongside a “that escalated quickly” GIF.

This problem goes to the foundations of the lightning network: channels. To use lightning, you need to put money into a channel, which is then shared with another person. Some of the money sits on your side of the channel and some on the other side. Or all of it might be on your side or vice versa.

But say you’re looking for money for your services. Or, in this example, you want the Lightning Torch. You need to have some money on the other side of the channel – called “incoming liquidity” that your counterparty can then push to you. The problem is that “liquidity” isn’t necessarily going to be there.

“This concept is still not widely known and I think some people with big enough channels failed to receive the torch due to missing ‘incoming’ liquidity,” said “Stadicus,” a lightning developer known for putting together a popular guide for setting up bitcoin and lightning nodes on hobbyist computers.

It all sounds a bit odd and confusing, but the idea is that all these nitty-gritty details wouldn’t be visible to the end-user once the network has more liquidity.

Educating effect

Still, that isn’t changing the fact that today, the Lightning Torch is becoming too large for the network now that it contains $150.

“Since the torch [has] became larger and larger, the number of channels providing sufficient liquidity became smaller and smaller,” BTCChap told CoinDesk.

You can think of it in terms of a famous quote from sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Lightning isn’t quite at the “magic” stage yet. The inner-workings and springs are popping out all over the place. As such, some users have had to do a little extra work to pass on the torch. Some have split up their lightning payments into batches to get the full payment over to the person, Linux and lightning developer Rusty Russell told CoinDesk.

Then, going off of what Stadicus said earlier, some users need incoming capacity in order to accept payments. Some users have gone to recently-launched lightning products, such as Bitrefill’s Thor, to tackle this problem.

Stadicus, when he ran into problems retrieving the torch (in the torch’s very early days), got help from a friend on Twitter.

“I just set up my Lightning node a day before and the one incoming channel I had was big enough, but not well connected. So @meeDamian opened a channel to me and pushed the torch directly with that single bitcoin transaction to my lightning node,” Stadicus said.

But after that the payment was smooth.

“Coming back to your question about the liquidity, I think that it had quite an educating effect, also on the current limitations of the lightning network, and unfortunately pushed many people to custodial wallets like [Blue Walet], as this takes care of these kind of kinks,” Stadicus told CoinDesk.

That said, the creator of the torch, the pseudonymous “Hodlonaut,” is less certain it’s had such a big impact.

“Generally my impression is that most passes of the torch have worked with little issue, and that the slower pace of the torch is more due to other reasons,” Hodlonaut said.

“All in all [it’s] a fun stress test for the lighting network, especially in routing payments bigger than just a few cents,” Stadicus added.

A possible solution

Even long-time Bitcoin Core contributor Pieter Wuille joked about the liquidity “problem,” though in a tongue-in-cheek way, implying that fiat money doesn’t have the same abilities as lightning.

In this way, some developers argue it’s expected that a network so small and new would have liquidity issues and that it will get easier as more money enters the network. Others think it could continue to be a problem in the long-term.

On the other hand, technologists argue that the lightning network isn’t exactly suited for larger payments anyway. Users can continue might continue to use regular, on-chain bitcoin transactions for that.

But developers are also working on technology that they hope will help with the problem – at least a little bit.

Right now, there are limits to lightning. Say you have three lightning “channels” open, each carrying 1,000 satoshis. You want to get 2,000 satoshi to someone. The technology so far won’t let you join two of your 1,000-satoshi channels together to form a 2000-satoshi payment. This limitation makes it much less practical to make larger payments over the lightning network.

But next-generation solutions like Atomic Multi-Path Payments (AMP) are in the works, and they’ve been added to the 1.1 specification roadmap, in part, because they’ve been highlighted by the Lightning Torch.

Russell concluded:

“[The torch] does show that AMP is definitely something we need already.”

Flare image via Shutterstock

Xena Launches Leveraged Contract for Yet to Be Released Telegram Token

Xena Launches Leveraged Contract for Yet to Be Released Telegram Token

The Telegram token (gram) has started trading as a perpetual contract on London-based Xena Exchange. On Mar. 12, the crypto exchange launched a derivative contract for grams, with up to 100x leverage. The Xena-listed perpetual contracts are publicly tradable and are intended to provide liquidity for the gram token ahead of its release later this year.

Also read: Malta Appoints Cybersecurity Firm Ciphertrace to Monitor Crypto Transactions

Derivatives Aimed at Institutional Investors

Xena’s derivatives initially became available on Feb. 28 in beta for a limited number of users and are now open to the public with effect from Tuesday, March 12. In a statement, Xena chief executive officer Anton Kravchenko explained that the development of the derivatives market was aimed at institutional investors.

“This is a significant step for the entire crypto market, considering the importance of the gram token and its potential value as an asset for derivative contracts trading,” Kravchenko said. “This is the first time on the cryptocurrency market where contracts have been used not only to speculate on the rate changes but also to hedge the risks.”

Xena Launches Leveraged Contract for Yet to Be Released Telegram Token

Unlike futures, perpetuals do not expire, meaning they are often viewed as a better hedge against price drops. However, both contracts represent an agreement to purchase an asset, in this case the gram token, at a pre-determined price.

Telegram’s Billion-Dollar ICO

Telegram’s TON blockchain project became one of the most successful initial coin offerings in 2018 after it raised $1.7 billion from private investors. The public sale was later suspended. Now Xena is billing its gram perpetuals as an opportunity for “those who passed up the chance to invest [to be] able to earn dividends on the potential rate hikes” through trading on the exchange. At the same time, “current gram holders will be able to hedge their investments against possible exchange-rate drops,” it stated.

Xena Launches Leveraged Contract for Yet to Be Released Telegram Token

Before the gram derivatives launched, Xena issued derivatives known as Xena Listed Perpetuals, designed with a focus on the cryptocurrency market. At the moment, perpetuals are settled through bitcoin core. Later, it is anticipated settlements in fiat currency will also become possible and the risk of BTC/fiat currency volatility losses reduced.

“In traditional markets, derivatives trading is 10 times higher than the volume of the underlying assets. Derivatives, such as tradable indices and futures, are useful for hedging as well as for leveraging trading profits,” Kravchenko opined.

“The indices simplify investments and reduce the risks for investors due to diversification. Thus, we really stress the development of this side of Xena Exchange with Bitcoin and GRAM contracts as the first step,” he added.

What do you think about Xena’s gram token perpetual contract? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Jeffrey Gogo

Jeffrey Gogo is an award winning financial journalist based in Harare, Zimbabwe. A former deputy business editor with the Zimbabwe Herald, the country’s biggest daily, Gogo has more than 15 years of wide-ranging experience covering Zimbabwe’s financial markets, economy and company news. He first encountered bitcoin in 2014, and began covering cryptocurrency markets in 2017

Brock Pierce Predicts Blockchain to be Propelled by Gamers, STOs and D’apps

Brock Pierce Predicts Blockchain to be Propelled by Gamers, STOs and D’apps

In a series of predictions regarding the blockchain industry in 2019, Brock Pierce has stated that d’Apps will see greater success, security token offerings (STOs) will take over and gamers will drive crypto adoption, as reported by Forbes, March 12, 2019.

Crypto Crystal Ball

The crypto market just like the traditional financial market runs on predictions, which have never been in short supply. There have been predictions about everything from the future of the industry to possible tax conundrums the technology will inflict on baffled regulators and governments.

Even as the price of cryptocurrency took a hit in late 2018, enthusiasts have continued to voice their opinions, including the ever-controversial Brock Pierce who recently espoused some interesting views.

The Man and the Headlines

Brock Pierce is an actor best known for his role in the 1990’s Mighty Ducks movies, but has positioned himself since the early 2010s as one of the most active voices in cryptocurrency.

While he has repeatedly spoken about the blockchain industry in general, most of his 2019 predictions have centered around STOs, d’Apps and the adoption of crypto from the gaming community.

Pierce’s Predictions

On the topic of d’Apps, Pierce has stated that they will see even more progress in 2019 and that the bear market is partially to thank for that. When the market is doing well, many d’Apps developers do not stick around to focus on their projects because they are too busy getting rich off the booming price. Now that the price is down, they have no choice but to buckle down and focus on their projects, he says.

To move d’Apps to the next level, Pierce says they have to be scalable, frictionless with zero fees. According to him, this is because no one will make use of a new internet that costs significant amounts, is slow or doesn’t scale.

Should these conditions be satisfied, Pierce believes that we could see d’Apps hitting the million user goal.

When asked his opinions on STOs, Pierce stated that they are future of the digital asset market.

“Security tokens are going to give birth to a quadrillion dollar market,”

He added:

“This is because we will see the tokenization of the world’s fiat money, debt market, real estate, equities, and art.”

He went on to say that he believes that STOs will pick up from where ICOs left off and will improve on what they did by offering greater protection for market participants, and by driving more investment.

Besides STOs, Pierce also believes that messaged-based cryptos and peer-to-peer transactions will also be the future of the industry due to their convenience and accessibility for the average internet user.

Speaking of internet users, Pierce, who founded Internet Gaming Entertainment (IGE) in 2001, made sure to touch in the gaming community and how they have and will be essential in the pushing of crypto adoption, he said:

“It’s that community of users around the world that have driven the first wave of crypto adoption and so I think there’s a very good chance that gaming in all its forms will be one of the major drivers of the success of the ecosystem,”

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Crypto Market Wrap: Will $3 Billion Recovery Lead Markets Higher?

Crypto markets recover from correction; Litecoin, BNB, Stellar and Dash going strong.

Crypto markets have bounced back from the dip yesterday to the same level they traded at for the past few days. The minor dump dropped markets back to $130 billion but they have since recovered back to resistance levels again.

Bitcoin is having a tough time breaking through heavy resistance at $4,000. Two intraday highs of $3,920 were reached but BTC was unable to push past this level and has remained at just over $3,900. Volume has fallen back below $10 billion but BTC remains range bound at the moment.

Ethereum has been sliding all week, it is up on yesterday’s prices but down in general. Currently trading at $133 ETH is still ahead of Ripple’s XRP by $1.2 billion. XRP has shown similar declines and is back to $0.309.

The top ten is mostly in the green during today’s Asian trading session. Three altcoins are making most of the gains though. Litecoin has added 5% to reach $57 and increase its lead over EOS in fifth. Binance Coin is motoring yet again with a 6.5% gain to $15.4 as it chases down Bitcoin Cash in sixth spot. Stellar is the third altcoin gaining today with a 6% push to $0.104 as it is poised to flip Tether when XLM reaches $2 billion market cap.

The top twenty is all green at the moment and Dash is moving the most with a daily gain of over 11%. According to studies Dash has been one of the top three performers since initial exchange listing. Today it has topped $92 and is the best performer in the top twenty.

Monero, IOTA, NEM and Zcash have also recovered 5 to 6 percent since yesterday’s dip. VeChain also needs a mention as it is pumping 17% at the time of writing.

FOMO: Crushing It

Today’s epic pump is’s CRO token which has surged over 100% on the day and is the top one hundred’s top altcoin. The payments platform token has just been listed on Indonesia’s top exchange, Indodax which has driven the spike.

Komodo is also having a strong rally with a 33% surge at the time of writing. Maximine Coin has just entered the top one hundred with a 32% spike today and Zcoin is not far behind gaining 25% on the day. At the red end of the table is ABBC Coin, getting beat up and dumping 14% today. Theta, which has pumped recently is dumping again now with a similar loss.

Total market cap 24 hours.

Total crypto market capitalization has returned to $134 billion, adding $3 billion since Tuesday’s minor correction. The 2.3% gain has returned markets to their consolidation channel where they have spent the best part of last week. Daily volume is still at $30 billion and Bitcoin’s dominance continues to slowly decline as altcoins are driving markets at the moment.

Market Wrap is a section that takes a daily look at the top cryptocurrencies during the current trading session and analyses the best-performing ones, looking for trends and possible fundamentals.

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Watch: Case For Larger Rally Above 100 SMA

  • Bitcoin price stayed above the $3,800 support area and recovered recently against the US Dollar.
  • The price is trading above the $3,840 level and facing a strong resistance near the 100 hourly SMA.
  • There is a key bearish trend line in place with resistance at $3,865 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
  • The pair could rally sharply if there is a close above $3,880 and the 100 hourly SMA.

Bitcoin price rebounded nicely from the $3,800 support against the US Dollar. BTC is currently sighting an upside break above the $3,880 resistance and the 100 hourly SMA.

Bitcoin Price Analysis

Yesterday, we saw a downside reaction below the $3,860 support in bitcoin price against the US Dollar. The BTC/USD pair tested the key $3,800 support level and later started an upside correction. A swing low was formed at $3,801 and the price corrected above the $3,840 level. Buyers were successful in pushing the price above the $3,850 resistance as well. Besides, there was a break above the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent drop from the $3,910 swing high to $3,800 swing low.

However, the recovery faced a strong resistance near the $3,880 level and the 100 hourly simple moving average. More importantly, there is a key bearish trend line in place with resistance at $3,865 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair. The pair also struggled to clear the 61.8% Fib retracement level of the recent drop from the $3,910 swing high to $3,800 swing low. At the moment, the price is consolidating just below the trend line, $3,870, and the 100 hourly SMA.

A successful break above the trend line and $3,880 could really boost the market sentiment. In the mentioned case, the price could climb above the $3,900 and $3,920 resistance levels. The next stop could be $3,960 or even $4,000. On the flip side, if there is a downside correction, the price may find buyers near the $3,840 level. The main support is near the $3,820 and $3,800 levels. If there is a downside break below $3,800, the price could move into a bearish zone in the near term.

Bitcoin Price Analysis BTC Chart

Looking at the chart, bitcoin price seems to be preparing for a larger upside break above $3,880. Having said that, it won’t be easy for buyers to gain traction above $3,880 level and the 100 hourly simple moving average.

Technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD is placed is about to move into the bullish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is currently above the 50 level, with a bullish angle.

Major Support Levels – $3,840 followed by $3,800.

Major Resistance Levels – $3,865, $3,880 and $3,900.