OKEx Bitcoin Derivatives Trading Volume Highest in March

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Even before the April breakout of Bitcoin (BTC), derivative Bitcoin markets saw strong volume during the month of March. According to CryptoCompare’s most recent exchange review, OKEx exchange traded $1.5 billion in average daily bitcoin derivative volume.

March Exchange Review Bitcoin volume

The above exchanges all benefit from being registered in more crypto-friendly jurisdictions and thus have fewer KYC requirements than more institution-focussed exchanges offering Bitcoin futures. The CME, a US registered exchange, offers such a highly regulated Bitcoin product – but the trading volume on this exchange is paltry (about $70 million daily) compared to OKEx, bitFlyer, and BitMEX, owing to the difficulty involved in being approved to trade on such platforms.

Bitcoin Market Outlook

Continuous retests (below, purple circles) of Bitcoin’s key $5,350 resistance zone seem to confirm the presence of an ascending triangle, a bullish pattern. There has not been sufficient volume, however, to punch through this key level.

This pattern still has all of April to play out. A retest of the bottom regions of the pattern, at $5,100 and above, would be normal and even likely after repeated small rejections during the latest attempt up. Volume was so weak on these movements that they could hardly even be called attempts.

Bitcoin market analysis

On the other hand, some chartists are recognizing the presence of a symmetrical triangle rather than an ascending triangle, with the top pole located at the top of the April 10 false breakout.

While these patterns are similar in that they are consolidating patterns, the former one is not inherently considered bullish whereas the latter one is.

Indeed, the price has been contained – barely – within this symmetrical triangle range. Bitcoin is currently on a downward leg within this structure and approaching key support at $5,180. This level marks the rough midpoint of the structure, and also the first regions of the rising support trend band (in green, below). Traders should watch the volume in the next few days, which may give clues as to BTC’s breakout direction.

Bitcoin price chart

Both of these consolidation patterns transpire toward the end of April, and in either case a long term bullish bias is suggested. We can say this because of Bitcoin’s dogged refusal to drop below $5,000, which is an impressive feat given the strength of the shocking April 2 breakout. A deeper retrace could have easily been accommodated without worry, anywhere above $4,500-600.

What’s more, a Golden Cross is impending within a matter of days – two or three – which is commonly thought of as a very bullish long term signal. However, seeing as this event has been priced into the market for a while already, it may not mean positive price action in the short or even medium term. A breakdown after a Golden Cross would not be impossible, especially if it were a temporary one.

Bitcoin (BTC) May Have Bottomed, But Crypto Could Still See A “Black Swan” Event

In the eyes of analysts across the board, Bitcoin (BTC) decidedly bottomed at $3,150. They cite the fact that at $3,150, BTC was down 85% from its all-time highs, which is where the crypto asset has bottomed in previous cycles, coupled with the idea that industry fundamentals are better than ever.

And so far, this call has been vindicated, as BTC now sits at a casual $5,300. However, some pundits fear that a so-called “black swan” event could still strike this market, forcing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to enter a freefall. Let’s take a look.

Why Crypto Could Head Lower From Here

Adamant Capital, an Alpha-seeking Bitcoin fund, recently released its latest report about the state of cryptocurrency markets. While the report, titled “Bitcoin in Heavy Accumulation,” had bullish undertones, its authors, which includes prominent analyst Tuur Demeester, weren’t remiss to not mention the cases for lower lows in this cycle.

Adamant’s researchers and partners gave three/four cases for a collapse to new lows in the coming months.

First, hacks or failures of exchanges and other infrastructure providers. While the unwinding of the 2013 rally was partially a result of natural cycles, some of the drawdown was catalyzed by the decimation of Mt. Gox, hacked for hundreds of thousands of BTC. Adamant postulates that if a similar event occurs in the coming six months, Bitcoin markets could see a negative demand shock.

Second, a macroeconomic crash. Although cryptocurrencies have been lauded as non-correlated assets to stocks, it was proposed that a collapse in traditional markets could create a situation similar to the “2008 paradox” of the value of gold falling by 30%, even as demand surged.

Last, a “secondary Bitcoin mining capitulation.” Adamant remarks that while miners have already capitulated in this cycle already, if BTC “drifts down” to $3,000, this capitulation could be replicated as miners go out of business en-masse.

Bitcoin Looks Hopeful

More likely than not, however, Bitcoin has bottomed. As reported by NewsBTC previously, the same report showed clear signs that BTC is in accumulation.

It was explained that the Bitcoin Unrealized Profit/Loss (BUPL) indicator, which aims to estimate how much BTC holders’ are cumulatively profiting or losing, is reading at $13 billion in the positive. If the indicator is adjusted for the approximate number of lost coins, however, BUPL currently reads at $3 billion — 3% — of unrealized losses.

While this doesn’t sound all too important, as the measure is lesser-known, as Adamant explains, the recent BUPL movements confirms that Bitcoin has exited a “capitulation” phase, entering into a stage of “hope” (and fear). It is important to note that when BTC exited the “capitulation” phase during 2014 to 2016’s cycle, there was strong BUPL uptick, as we are experiencing now due to Bitcoin’s recent rally past $5,000.

What’s even more optimistic is that the 60-day volatility chart for BTC is currently sitting at 5%, a level not seen since late-2016, and even fell as low as 2% in early-November 2018. This, as Murad Mahmudov once explained, shows that a Bitcoin rally could be on the horizon.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

Technical Indicator Signals That Bitcoin (BTC) May Be on the Verge of a Bull Run

The crypto markets have dropped slightly today after tepidly climbing higher over the past week. Despite this, Bitcoin (BTC) has been able to firmly establish its position within the $5,000 region and has not incurred any significant selling pressure after climbing towards $5,300.

Although many analysts are currently looking towards freshly formed levels of support and resistance for where BTC is heading next, one technical indicator may signal that the cryptocurrency is on the verge of another bull run.

Analyst: Bitcoin (BTC) a Good Buy Between $4,900 and $5,150 

At the time of writing Bitcoin is trading down less than 1% at its current price of just below $5,300. BTC is down slightly from its daily highs of $5,360, but did not incur any significant selling volume after nearing $5,400, which has historically proven to be a strong level of resistance for the cryptocurrency.

It now appears that Bitcoin is caught in a newly formed trading range between approximately $5,000 and $5,400, with its support level first being formed when BTC treated $5,000 as a level of strong support on April 11th.

Flood, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, explained in a recent tweet that he is looking towards the $4,900 to $5,150 price range as an area in which he will buy more Bitcoin.

“I’m a buyer from 5150 to 4900. That is all,” he concisely noted.

Because Bitcoin has been unable to break above the upper boundary of the aforementioned trading range, it is probable that it will revisit the lower-$5,000 region in the near-future.

BTC May Be on The Verge of a Massive Bull Run 

Bitcoin’s relative strength index (RSI) – which is an important technical indicator that many analysts use to gain insight into whether or not an asset is overbought or oversold – is nearing a level that has historically marked the start of previous bull runs when broken above.

Cow Jones, a cryptocurrency trader on Twitter, discussed this in a recent tweet, pointing towards Bitcoin’s historical RSI action as evidence for why this level could signal an imminent bull run.

“Personally don’t use RSI much. However, this is an interesting fork in the road. Past bull market began with RSI above the boxed range,” he explained.

As a relatively quiet weekend trading session wraps up and a fresh week begins, trader and investors alike will likely gain greater insight into where the crypto markets are heading next.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Ethereum Classic Could Provide Security Services to Ethereum, Analyst Explains

/latest/2019/04/ethereum-classic-could-provide-security-services-to-ethereum-analyst-explains/

Donald McIntyre, one of the most active communication coordinators in the Ethereum Classic (ETC) community, has drawn some interesting comparisons between ETC and Ethereum (ETH), the world’s largest platform for building decentralized applications (dApps).

Comparing Ethereum and Ethereum Classic

McIntyre, a former Business Development Manager at ETCDEV, a leading organization which is focused on the ongoing development of Ethereum Classic (but was forced to shut down due to lack of funding), told CryptoGlobe: 

A useful analogy is to see ETH as a sports car and ETC is an armoured vehicle. The problem is to think that ETH can be an armoured vehicle and ETC can be a sports car. ETH is about scaling and performance and ETC is about high value and security.

McIntyre, who also previously served as Senior VP at Morgan Stanley and VP at UBS, explained: “ETH and ETC have different functions in the blockchain industry stack. ETC will be a highly secure base chain, perfectly suitable for decentralized computing and high value smart contracts between people and businesses, while ETH is aiming to be a high speed and high volume transactions layer to satisfy high performance applications.”

“ETC Could Provide Security Services to ETH”

McIntyre added: “In that context, ETC could even provide security services to high performance networks such as ETH. I think it would be a big advantage for both ecosystems (ETH and ETC) to analyze that possibility as it would likely minimize, in the context of a standards war, which means that only few networks will survive in the future, the threat of alternative ETH compatible chains such as EOS, Tezos, Cardano, and others.”

Commenting on the unique features of Ethereum Classic, McIntyre remarked: “When ETH finally moves to ETH 2.0, which is a proof-of-stake (PoS) based system with database fragmentation, in the form of sharding, and variable monetary policy, ETC will be the only non-fragmented, fixed monetary policy, (proof-of-work) PoW and Turing complete blockchain. That is an extremely valuable niche in the industry that will be increasingly appreciated in the next few years as the layer 1 (L1) vs layer (L2) and security vs performance segmentations become more evident for market participants.”

When asked about the main challenges Ethereum Classic faces as a platform, McIntyre noted: “On the technical side, ETC as a platform is not facing major challenges as I see the ECIP (Ethereum Classic Improvement Proposal) upgrades pipeline is advancing smoothly. For example, the Atlantis hard fork on block 8,750,000, which integrates ETH’s Spurious Dragon and Byzantium upgrades, will likely be deployed and activated by mid September 2019, and the Agharta hard fork on block 9,200,000, which integrates ETH’s Constantinople and St.Petersburg upgrades, is under technical analysis, but has minor observations that are being ironed out.”

McIntyre continued:

On the marketing side, I do observe ETC, for historical reasons, has a lower profile and less top-of-mind awareness, so communications about its true state and advancement is always more difficult and costly to convey. The fact that ETH and EOS and the others have billions of dollars to spend on this, is of course a factor as well. However, there are several volunteers, professionals and entities in the ecosystem working on more and more effective communication, such as the ETC Cooperative, IOHK, ETC labs, Christian Seberino, Kevin Lord, myself and others.

“DPoS Ledgers Are Not Blockchains”

When asked to comment on Daniel Larimer’s (the CTO at Block.one and technical lead for the EOS project) statements that delegated proof of stake (DPoS) is more scalable and compatible with future technologies, McIntyre noted: “No matter how many gimmicks PoS distributed ledgers such as EOS invent, they are just that: distributed ledgers. Those are not blockchains, they just make blocks to mimic the authority and perceived security of Bitcoin and Ethereum Classic, but they are no better than normal Byzantine Fault Tolerant and subjectiveness dependant networks.”

He added: “Their security is up to 1/3 fault tolerance and nothing more. I would say that the fact they designate stakers or, even worse, a few privileged nodes to be ‘master nodes’ reduces security further, because the consensus has to be reached only between that subset of a few players, and the rest of the nodes become just followers of their decisions instead of true validators.”

McIntyre further mentioned:

For a system as centralized and subjectively directed as EOS to say that it is ‘scalable’ and ‘compatible’ with future technologies is not only a truism, but a stupid truism. This is because it is actually a very inefficient centralized and cumbersome distributed ledger, when AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, Google Cloud are equally centralized, but less bureaucratic and much more efficient and secure by trusted third party standards.

According to McIntyre: “From a business strategy perspective, EOS is ‘stuck in the middle.’ This means it is not trust minimized as Bitcoin and ETC, but it is not as efficient as AWS or Azure and the other cloud services. Therefore, EOS is a dead end for all intents and purposes.”

In response to Larimer’s statements that PoW is not a future-compatible protocol, because we cannot create a new chain with the same network effect as BTC and ETH, McIntyre stated: “That is the false argument that assumes that high computing power is the only security feature of blockchains that use PoW. It also shows why Larimer would use PoS and copy features of democracy such as ‘delegated-proof-of-stake’ and voting, because he ignores the security model of PoW chains, and thus ignores that EOS is a significantly inferior system in terms of security, and not competitive even in the performance segment, as I mentioned above.”

McIntyre further mentioned: “To illustrate, proof of work blockchains security features include, but are not limited to:

• Consensus & transaction ordering with 1/2 fault tolerance, which is not achievable by PoS.

• Sybil resistance is much stronger in PoW, with most accumulated work fork choice, than the subjective model of PoS.

• Accumulated work means that the work done by the miners since genesis is accumulated, making it practically impossible to reverse the chain, even with all the hash power in the

network. In PoS, 1/3+ of stakers can reverse to genesis in seconds.

• Unforgeable costliness means the coin is extremely costly to create, thus very difficult to forge.

Also, that cost sets a proxy for its value in the economy. In PoS, creating the coins has no cost.

• The above unforgeable costliness also creates a fallback in case the fee model doesn’t work (which is unlikely) or the social layer goes rogue with monetary policy.

• Broadcast and replication among all full nodes who are true validators, not like PoS, where the only validators are stakers (or ‘master nodes’ in EOS).

• Miner-client division of power, related to the previous point, also means that PoW miners only build blocks, but those blocks are worthless if not validated by full nodes; this divides the power in the chain and renders no particular participant all powerful, even with 1/2+ computing power.

In PoS, such division of power does not exist, rendering 1/3+ of stakers (note this is a subset of the subset) as the only group that controls everything in the distributed ledger.

All of the above means that whether there are several proof of work chains and some are larger than others or if they even share the same mining algo, does not mean they are less secure. It only means that the smaller chain users have to use more confirmations for larger transactions as they may be vulnerable to double spends, which is in itself a local, non-systemic attack vector in PoW public blockchains. In fact, ETC is proof of this.”

“Impossible for Me to Know What’ll Happen in Next Few Years”

When asked what he thinks the crypto landscape will look like next year, and maybe two years from now, and what potential role ETC will play in that, McIntyre said: “It is impossible for me to know what will happen in the next year or two, but what I expressed above indicates that the whole industry will eventually reorganize itself in layers: L1 being the most secure, low performance, high value layer; L2 being the high performance, high volume, and lower transaction value layer; and other systems on top that may constitute the applications layer, such as Lightning Network, Plasma, Raiden, Liquid, other sidechains and others.

He added:

If ETH, EOS, Cardano, Tezos and other PoS networks actually acknowledge their true nature, they would stop trying to compete at the base layer, and assume their position as layer 2 systems that would use the security services of the base layer as I described in the first question.

Hodler’s Digest, April 15–21: Top Stories, Price Movements, Quotes and FUD of the Week

Top Stories This Week

In an apparent first, the United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has given a penalty to a California resident who has been accused of wilfully violating money transmission laws as a peer-to-peer virtual currency exchanger. The department noted that the move marks its first such enforcement action, thus setting a precedent. The defendant — Eric Powers of Kern County, California — has been fined $35,000 and debarred from future work that qualifies as a money services business. The fine came from the determination that Powers violated his reporting obligations under the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act.

Craig Wright, the chief scientist at nChain and founder of bitcoin SV (BSV), filed a libel claim in the United Kingdom against cryptocurrency podcaster Peter McCormack. McCormack had previously accused Wright of fraud and falsely claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of bitcoin (BTC). In response, Wright’s claim allegedly requests over $130,000 in damages, as well as legal costs and court fees. Earlier this week, Binance, ShapeShift and Kraken decided to delist BSV amid Wright’s continued claims to be Satoshi, as well as his bounty offering in the search for the identity of the anonymous Twitter user behind the Lightning Torch.

Cédric O, France’s Minister of State for the Digital Sector, said this week that he is open to accepting cryptocurrency donations for the reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral, which experienced a debilitating fire last week. The donations for the medieval cathedral’s reconstruction have already reached over $1 billion, while not yet allowing for donations in crypto. The official fundraising site is linked to four approved organizations, with Cédric O noting that the government is open to discussion on how to accept crypto to drive up the fundraising.  

Both BlockShow, an international blockchain event powered by Cointelegraph, and major crypto exchange Binance have launched crypto donation campaigns for the renovations.

Financial news outlet Forbes released their “Blockchain’s Billion Dollar Babies,” a list of companies implementing blockchain technology that have minimum revenues or valuations of $1 billion. The list includes both companies in the crypto and blockchain development spaces, as well as larger companies in the traditional markets, such as banks and clearing houses, food companies and supply chain management firms. The list contains such household names as Amazon, Walmart, Facebook, ING, Mastercard, Microsoft and Nestle, as well as U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, European mining and hardware firm Bitfury, and blockchain-based financial services network and XRP token creator Ripple.

Switzerland-based food giant Nestlé, French supermarket chain Carrefour and IBM have partnered in order to use IBM’s blockchain tech to track French instant mashed potatoes. Shoppers will be able to use their smartphones in Carrefour stores to scan the packs of Mousline instant mashed potatoes with a QR code and be able to see data on the potatoes, including the varieties of potatoes used, the date and place of manufacture, and their journey to the store. In general, around 5 million different food items already employ blockchain in their supply chain in some form.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, bitcoin is up, trading at around $5,348, ether at around $173 and XRP at $0.32. Total market cap is around $180 billion.

The top three altcoin gainers of the week are fivebalance, atlantis blue digital token and segwit2x. The top three altcoin losers of the week are cointogo, ezoow and robocalls.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“We have no idea what the extent of the malfeasance is on centralized exchanges. If we extrapolate from what we’ve seen on DEXes, it could well be on the order of billions of dollars.”

Ariel Juels, professor at Cornell Tech

“We should let investors, companies, and individuals know what the landscape and treatment will be moving forward to support innovation and development. The blockchain has vast potential.”

Andrew Yang, U.S. presidential candidate

“From day one, I’ve maintained the allegations are bogus, and they are of course. After their attorney was sanctioned and they were ordered to pay my legal fees twice, we recently reached a confidential resolution, and I’m dismissed from the case.”

Charlie Shrem, in regard to the court case with the Winklevoss twins

“The digitalization will also create much needed synergies among the government organizations for ensuring friction-less service delivery and improving ease of doing business in the country.”

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan

FUD of the Week

This week, following crypto exchange Binance’s announcement that they were delisting bitcoin SV, anonymous exchange ShapeShift has also delisted the currency, as well as Kraken. ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees posted on Twitter that the exchange stands with the sentiments of Binance and CZ, the CEO, in their decision to delist BSV following controversial claims from BSV founder Craig Wright over his alleged identity as Satoshi Nakamoto, as well as his public bounty to unveil the identity of anonymous Twitter user @hodlonaut. Shortly after, a community poll from Kraken led the exchange to also delist the altcoin.

Unocoin, an Indian cryptocurrency exchange, has reportedly let go of half its staff, leaving the company with 14 workers. Unocoin cited regulatory uncertainty in the industry, noting that it made the decision concerning staff reduction ahead of an Indian Supreme Court hearing on cryptocurrency’s legal status in India, set for July. Since the peak of the business, Unocoin has allegedly fired 80% of its staff, and the business operations are reportedly running off of capital reserves as executives await news about the future. The crypto industry in India is in the process of fighting the country’s previous negative ruling on crypto dealings, in the form of a lengthy Supreme Court process.

A group of individuals have been indicted by the Manhattan district attorney for allegedly selling drugs and laundering millions of dollars with bitcoin (BTC). According to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., with help from the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, Chester Anderson and his criminal accomplices, Jarrette Codd and Ronald Maccarty, allegedly operated dark web stores that sold and shipped hundreds of thousands of tablets of counterfeit drugs. According to the press release, the defendants laundered a reported $2.3 million in bitcoin by using preloaded debit cards and withdrawing cash at automated teller machines.

Best Cointelegraph Features

After noting that Lagos, Nigeria, is the number one city in terms of the volume of online searches for bitcoin, Cointelegraph checks out how Nigerians actually interact with the top cryptocurrency.

After this week saw a mass deslisting of Craig Wright’s bitcoin SV, Cointelegraph examines what caused the crypto community’s anger toward the self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto.

In Cointelegraph’s first-ever movie review, Emmy-award winning screenwriter Edward Zuckerman takes a look at the “Crypto” movie, finding (spoiler!) little to do with cryptocurrencies and a lot more to do with the Russian mob.

Attempts to Deplatform @Bitcoin Account Reveal Private Message With Twitter CEO

Attempts to Deplatform @Bitcoin Account Reveal Private Message With Twitter CEO

A number of cryptocurrency supporters have been getting riled up lately over the @Bitcoin account on Twitter. Over the last 48 hours, various bitcoin core (BTC) supporters have been reporting the account to Twitter and the platform’s CEO Jack Dorsey. Things escalated when one BTC supporter private messaged Dorsey about getting the @Bitcoin account banned, to which the social media executive replied: “What do you recommend we do with it?”

Also read: Darknet Users Allege Wall Street Market Exit Scammed, Possibly Snatching $30M

Private Messages Shared on Twitter Spark More Debate About the @Bitcoin Twitter Handle

Crypto Twitter has a lot of vitriolic energy and lately some of it has been directed at the @Bitcoin Twitter account. The account in question has over 930,000 followers and is controversial to some individuals because it regularly tweets about bitcoin cash (BCH). The @Bitcoin account described long ago how it changed it’s opinion since BTC wasn’t scaling and the Core developers behind it decided not to fix the issues at hand.

Attempts to Deplatform @Bitcoin Account Reveal Private Message With Twitter CEO

By 2017, this became really apparent to the @Bitcoin account when network fees exceeded $50 per transaction and some Core enthusiasts decided to celebrate the problem. Since the BTC narrative change from peer-to-peer cash to a store of value, the @Bitcoin account decided to support the BCH roadmap. The account has been tweeting about BCH and criticizing the BTC network’s problems for quite some time now. This has caused some maximalists on Twitter to get infuriated with the account’s tweets and a few have been reporting the account to Twitter admins.

Attempts to Deplatform @Bitcoin Account Reveal Private Message With Twitter CEO

Some of these people also called upon Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter who is also a known investor in the Lightning Network. A few of the people simply tagged @Jack and asked him to ban the account. However, one BTC proponent and analyst for Messari, Zack Voell, sent Dorsey a private message. Voell was allegedly sent a response from Dorsey as well, according to the screenshot Voell shared. “What do you recommend we do with it?” asked the Twitter CEO in the private message. After a few individuals told Voell that it was unethical to share a private message to the public, the tweet was then deleted. The owner of Bitcoin.org, Cobra Bitcoin, told Voell: “It’s bad etiquette to share private messages.”

Attempts to Deplatform @Bitcoin Account Reveal Private Message With Twitter CEO
According to this screenshot (now deleted) and shared by Messari representative Zack Voell, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded by asking: “What do you recommend we do with it?”

The @Bitcoin account has already been banned in 2018 and then subsequently shadow banned following the initial removal. The @Bitcoin profile, with close to 1 million followers, now has far less of an audience reach than before. On April 20, the account spoke out once again about the individuals attempting to silence it.

“The BTC maxis especially don’t like when I point out the obvious contradiction in promoting censorship-resistance as a fundamental value,” the @Bitcoin account tweeted. “While they also going around abusing Twitter’s report function to deplatform voices they don’t like. Twitter CEO @jack is aware and is complicit.”

A Private Account Is Free to Support Whatever Chain it Believes Is Bitcoin

After all the tweets about reporting the account to Twitter admins and the private message to Dorsey, many BCH fans changed their Twitter profile pictures and replaced them with the @Bitcoin avatar. They also started a hashtag #WeAreAllBitcoin as an act of protest, similar to last week’s Twitter display where many Twitter users changed their profile pictures claiming to be the Twitter user @Hodlonaut. The basic argument concerning the @Bitcoin account is that maximalists believe there can only be one version of Bitcoin and everything else is fraudulent.

Attempts to Deplatform @Bitcoin Account Reveal Private Message With Twitter CEO

On the other side of the debate, BCH supporters and those of other forks of the protocol believe there are multiple versions of Bitcoin now. This is similar to the debate that was spurred when Ethereum split into two chains and there are many today who believe Ethereum Classic is a legitimate version of the protocol. Some even consider ETC the “original chain” whose immutability remains intact.

Attempts to Deplatform @Bitcoin Account Reveal Private Message With Twitter CEO

There are also those who believe that only a couple of versions of the Bitcoin protocol have what it takes to compete in the free market. Supporters of the @Bitcoin account say the owner should be able to support any version of the protocol they desire.

Attempts to Deplatform @Bitcoin Account Reveal Private Message With Twitter CEO

The @Bitcoin Twitter profile is a private account and no person or group besides the owner should obstruct the account’s opinions. In many people’s eyes, Bitcoin itself is open source technology, free from copyright, trademarks and owners, so banning the @Bitcoin account would be an act of censorship. Furthermore, with Dorsey being an investor in Lightning, some have said that it may not be in his best interests to ban an account based on the subjective opinions of others.

The debate on Twitter rages on this weekend and it has been quite the spectacle to say the least. It’s likely the arguments will continue in this vein long into next week across crypto Twitter. As the adage goes, there’s never a dull day in Bitcoin.

What do you think about the controversy surrounding the @Bitcoin account? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Twitter.


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Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Redman has written thousands of articles for news.Bitcoin.com about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

Neutral Dollar Stablecoin Founder Explains How to Access Shared Liquidity Pools

/latest/2019/04/neutral-dollar-stablecoin-founder-explains-how-to-access-shared-liquidity-pools/

Matthew Branton, the Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Neutral, a smart contract-enabled platform that provides various financial instruments for the cryptocurrency industry, has predicted that stablecoins will have “a tremendous impact on the future economy.”

Branton, a computer science graduate from Lafayette College, told CryptoGlobe that stablecoins offer “access to a digital currency that can enable payments, credit, and banking services which many people don’t have access to.”

According to Branton:

[Stablecoins are] innovative digital assets [that] will help lower the barriers for [major financial] applications and [they will also] help people transact in value [systems] they are familiar with, such as the USD [and other fiat currencies.]

“Cultivating Healthy Dialogue to Help Build Wider Understanding” of Stablecoin Market

In response to a question about how the traditional financial system could be upgraded (in terms of both the regulatory framework and technological infrastructure) so that it can allow users to legally acquire stablecoins and other digital assets, Branton remarked:

In order to ensure that regulation evolves in tandem with advances in financial technology (FinTech), dialogue between regulators and innovators is essential. Cultivating a healthy dialogue among fintech project [developers], stakeholders and regulators of traditional finance will help build wider understanding of the benefits of stablecoins, and in turn accelerate the creation of regulation and infrastructure that accommodates stablecoins in the global economy.

Neutral Dollar Aims to Provide “Diversified Exposure” to Investors at “Lower Risk”

When asked what unique value proposition the Neutral Dollar stablecoin offers, which may not currently be available in the cryptoasset market, and how this is supposed to be relevant and useful, Branton said:

The Neutral dollar provides diversified exposure, presenting a lower risk alternative against other stablecoins (which contrary to their name, may not exhibit stability) in the market. In addition, the Neutral Dollar functions in a way that creates an additional layer that allows for shared liquidity amongst constituents stablecoins, a property that isn’t inherent in their design. Given the fragmented and nascent nature of the crypto market structure right now, this solution is particularly relevant and unique in the marketplace.

Responding to a question about the potential impact he expects his company’s line of products to have on the cryptoasset market, Branton stated:

The impact of our products is to not only give end-users a better means to invest, trade, or hedge cryptoassets, but to also facilitate liquidity and engage in better portfolio management practices through our products. In order for the digital asset space to reach its full potential, the industry needs reliable financial instruments that take us beyond the limitations of fiat currencies, while also upholding the highest standards in stability and transparency. In the longer term, we plan to explore the launch of a suite of financial products to improve market infrastructure and activity.

Digital Asset Security Is “Quite Solid”

Commenting on how we can ensure the security of our assets, including stablecoins users might acquire, since the technology used to transact in these assets is highly technical, Branton noted:

Given that collateral is on-chain and smart contract based, security is decentralized in nature and quite solid. Asset safety is still the responsibility of the end-user — crypto-storage extends beyond the case of stablecoins and Neutral Dollar itself.

He added: “Ultimately, once a Neutral Dollar token is deployed on smart contract networks, it will function completely autonomously. The math and algorithms that govern its operation will operate independently of a centralized entity and in a transparent manner, and provide continuous services on the network.”

Bitcoin Bull Tom Lee: Alt-Season May Be Underway, Crypto Assets To See Strong Rally

All eyes may be on Bitcoin (BTC), but other crypto assets have seen their fair share of gains since the start of 2019, sparking calls that what is known as “altseason” is right on the horizon. Per one prominent industry analyst, this cyclical industry event, which sees altcoins dramatically outperform the de-facto cryptocurrency lead, may actually be live as we publish this.

Historical Precursor To Altseason Is Showing Its Face

Fundstrat’s prominent head of research, Tom Lee, recently took to Twitter to remark that one of the “pre-conditions” for historical altcoin rallies is coming to life in the current cycle. This precursor, for those unaware, is a drop in the correlation between the crypto asset class at large and Bitcoin itself.

Per Lee’s chart, which cites data from Bloomberg, CoinMarketCap, and his own firm, a drop in the rolling 90-day correlation between the two subsets has preceded three altseasons — Mar 2016, early-2017, and late-2017/early-2018. An altseason, as defined by Fundstrat, is when a large percentage of altcoins in the “liquid universe” rally by over 200% in a short period of time.

With preliminary indicators predicting a further collapse in the correlation between digital assets and BTC, an altseason might already be well underway. If you take a brief gander at CoinMarketCap or other analytics providers, this would seemingly be the case.

Binance Coin (BNB) recently surpassed its all-time high, in a brutal bear market no less, as Litecoin has rallied by over 200% since December’s low. Cardano, Ethereum, Tezos, and Basic Attention Token are among other prominent cryptocurrencies that have also seen jaw-dropping gains in the past 90 days. But, this surge might just be the tip of the iceberg.

As Lee explains, historical altseasons averaged gains of 1,100%. He adds that Fundstrat expects for the next rally in cryptocurrencies to “deliver returns similar to the 2017/2018 cycles.”

Bitcoin Likely To Rally Alongside Other Crypto Assets 

While Lee is hinting that the fabled altseason is finally here, this isn’t to say that he is bearish on Bitcoin. Far from, in fact.

In a recent CoinTelegraph Youtube segment, the analyst claimed that the Bitcoin Misery Index, a measure meant to determine the average sentiment of a cryptocurrency holder, reached 89 — the highest the signal has ever read in a bear market. In the eyes of Lee, this confirms that BTC is out of a bear market, as x > 67 readings only came during bull markets. He adds that as Bitcoin has held above its 200-day moving average for an extended period, he is fairly convinced that bears are finally biting the dust.

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Everything But Crypto, Or How the ‘Crypto’ Movie Does Not Live Up to Its Name

Edward Zuckerman is a journalist and an Emmy-winning television writer.

The best news for crypto enthusiasts about the movie “Crypto” is that “Crypto” has very little to do with crypto. It is mainly concerned with Russian mafiosi, money laundering and a main character who plods through the heavy plot with the affect of a depressed zombie.

Cryptocurrencies do make three appearances in the movie:

1. It is revealed that a major bank, because (one character explains) such banks are terrified of being made irrelevant by cryptocurrencies, is secretly buying crypto in order to drive the price up, on the theory that high prices will make cryptocurrencies unaffordable and dissuade people from buying them. I am not sure this makes sense, since I was under the impression that rising prices make cryptocurrencies not less but more attractive to the general public (hence the bitcoin buying frenzy at $20,000). But this is not a major plot point.

2. The Russian mob, which is laundering money through that same bank, is doing some of its laundering by the use of crypto. The details of this are vague, but it is apparently being done in league with one of the bank’s employees, so #2 may be linked to #1 above. Or maybe not.

3. One major character — who owns a failing discount liquor store — is making a lot of money by investing in initial coin offerings. He is also mining crypto with a computer set-up in his store’s back room. It’s that easy!

All of this is explored, or stumbled upon, by the film’s main character, Martin Duran, played by Beau Knapp. Martin is allegedly a top-ranked business school graduate who has a fairly mundane job as a compliance officer for the major bank. After he angers the bank’s brass by nixing a proposed big client, he is punished by being transferred to the bank’s branch in his own home town, a small farming community. Although many scenes are set in that bank branch (which does not look like a bank), no customers ever appear. Regardless, Martin’s new job as the branch’s compliance officer involves a specific brief to keep an eye out for money laundering. I was not aware that individual bank branches had compliance officers, but never mind.

Martin’s attention is soon drawn to a high-end art gallery where pictures sell for millions of dollars. (We are told the town has a newly gentrified section, although we never see any of the gentry.) The women working at the gallery find Martin attractive, which is among the film’s least likely plot turns. Martin is a thin, sallow fellow who speaks in a low monotone and sports traces of what might or might not be an attempted beard. (Even a casual viewer may have the urge to tackle him to the ground and administer a shave.) He also wears the same dark suit, black tie and dress shoes in every scene, even when he is hiking through the woods on a date with an attractive gallery assistant played by Alexis Bledel (former star of “Gilmore Girls,” who deserves better).  She suggests he wear more appropriate shoes next time.

The gallery’s finances are suspicious, and indeed the place is linked to the Russian mob, represented locally by Vincent Kartheiser (of “Mad Men” fame, who ditto). The mob gets wind that Martin, with the help of his friend — the failing liquor store owner, who also happens to be a genius hacker — is looking into its affairs. The mob disapproves. Kartheiser gets his revenge by out-acting Knapp (Martin). Also there is mayhem and violence.

A parallel story involves Martin Duran’s family, from which Martin has been estranged. His brother (played by Luke Hemsworth), a damaged Iraq war veteran, is no happier to see Martin than we are. His widowed farmer father, played by Kurt Russell in one of the grimiest t-shirts ever seen onscreen, is gruff but affecting and seems to harbor the wish that his boys will reconcile.

In the end (spoiler alert!), they do. And all is well. Martin departs the depravities of Wall Street to return to the family farm, where he helps his father and brother dig up potatoes. Martin and his brother smile for the first time in the film. And Martin sets up a crypto mining operation in a home office. After all, it’s that easy, right?

Blockchain & Real Estate: How Tokenization May Be a Game Changer for Investors and Owners

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Blockchain & Real Estate: How Tokenization May Be a Game Changer for Investors and Owners

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The real estate market represents one of the oldest and most significant investment classes. Real estate investments yield competitive returns and are particularly effective hedges against inflation, however, there have been several persistent barriers to entry, including the high cost of entry and low liquidity.

With cryptoassets emerging as a new asset class, their underlying technology – blockchain networks – have evolved to not only serve transactional systems but also confer, hold and transfer value in general.

As the industry and technology continue to develop, there is considerable room in merging the old with the new, and few areas hold potential equal to the tokenization of real estate.

Tokenization, as the name suggests, is the representation of an asset or equity, in token equivalents, which can be fractionally divided and owned.

A tokenized property would be akin to a real estate investment trust (REIT), but much more flexible and with very little middlemen fees.

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Unparalleled liquidity

Tokenized equities and real estate will witness unparalleled liquidity, given how the ease and secure settlement of cross-border transfers in tokens can take investment pools truly global.

Fractional ownership/Low cost of entry

Since tokens support fractional ownership, they considerably lower the cost of entry, further opening up the investor pool and unlocking developing regions and economies around the world.

Efficient administration/No middlemen

Tokenized securities can be further programmed for efficient administration – this is done via the use of smart contracts, which can easily send out dividends and support other functions, such as voting rights. Moreover, since all of these activities are recorded on the blockchain, management overheads are significantly reduced, middlemen are removed from the picture and costs are lowered for both investors and issuers.

Increased transparenc

Not only are blockchain networks secure, but they are also immutable and allow for increased transparency, where every transaction and value transfer is recorded on a ledger. Access to the ledger can be permissioned if required, and overall, blockchain implementations are flexible.

Current challenges to tokenization of real estate

While the prospect of tokenized real estate is quite attractive, its implementation is not without challenges.

First, there is a need for improved security practices and general awareness around the custody of digital tokens. Time and again, we see exchanges getting hacked and/or cryptocurrency owners losing their holdings due to security lapses as simple as phishing attacks and keyloggers.

Until institutional-grade custody solutions and exchanges become mainstream, the dream of tokenized real estate will be difficult to realize.

While there are several reputable platforms, such as Polymath and Swarm, they only take care of the technology end of tokenization. Before there can be any meaningful adoption, regulatory developments need to be made. Even when tokenized, real estate tokens fall under securities law, and compliance procedures need to be followed. Unfortunately, there is the feeling of a lack of clarity surrounding digital securities, and presently, industry stakeholders have adopted a “wait and watch” approach.

Promising ventures in the real estate space

Given the benefits of tokenizing securities (particularly the reduced buy-in price and increased liquidity in real estate), it is all but certain that the future will see a larger-scale adoption of digital securities, and it will be better for the industry that it happens when everyone is ready for it.

About the author:

Joe DiPasquale is CEO of BitBull Capital and has unique insights into crypto fund investment styles, diligence, and deals. Previously, he worked in investment management, investment banking, technology, and strategy consulting at Deutsche Bank, Bain, and McKinsey. Joe completed his BA at Harvard University and MBA at Stanford University.

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