1 watch actual coin news with cryptomarket mood rating.

German National Tourist Board Now Accepting Cryptocurrencies as Payment for Services

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Starting March 5th, 2018, the German National Tourist Board, headquartered in Frankfurt, is accepting payment in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin for services, as a response to their interest in utilizing the blockchain technology supporting cryptocurrencies in the German and international markets. Primarily financed by the German National Ministry of Economy & Technology, the GNTB serves to

The post German National Tourist Board Now Accepting Cryptocurrencies as Payment for Services appeared first on CCN

Intel Wants to Patent a Bitcoin Mining Hardware 'Accelerator'

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Intel explains in a recently-released patent application how it would improve its products for bitcoin mining purposes.

Promoted: Sharing Your Identity? Get Paid in ShoCoin

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Shocard

Encouraging early adoption is always a hurdle when launching a new technology – especially one that is trying to crack a problem that has been around for decades. ShoCard, which is creating a blockchain-based ID management solution, is using tokenization to help meet that challenge. The company begins its ICO on May 28, and hopes that the launch of its ShoCoin token will provide an incentive for people to use its secure identification app.


Personal identity information has value. If it didn’t, why would cybercriminals try so hard to steal it? Until now, centralized sites storing that data didn’t reward people for handing it over. ShoCard CEO Armin Ebrahimi wants to change all that with a token-based system that allows people to compensate each other for what they share.


Using ShoCard’s mobile app, people encrypt their identity information and share it with third parties ranging from banks to airlines and even their local bartender. A digital hash of that information stored on the blockchain proves that it is legitimate. The system enables individuals to keep hold of their data rather than leaving it in someone else’s potentially insecure database.

Stakeholders in the ShoCoin ecosystem can reward each other for a range of tasks including creating user identities, certifying users, and sharing those certifications.


Some of those tasks are less obvious than others. A bank running a know-your-client (KYC) check on a potential customer may have to go through an expensive internal KYC process. It traditionally has had no way to recover that cost.


A second bank signing that user up for a credit card would traditionally have to repeat that KYC check. Using ShoCoin, the bank could instead pay the first bank a small fee to prove the user’s identity. That reduces the cost for both banks and accelerates the process for the user. The banks can also acknowledge the user by paying them a small fee in ShoCoin for the information.


ShoCard will retain just over 60 percent of the total ShoCoin produced, using a little under half that amount for operations. Others go to its advisors and ecosystem partners, with some more covering the ICO expenses. It will offer the remaining 10% to the community in its ICO selling tokens at 11 cents apiece. Along with the 10% in an earlier presale, it hopes to make $20m in revenues.


Half of the funds raised will go to R&D and operations, with another 45% used for business development and marketing.


Ebrahimi says that the company is already ahead of many others at the ICO stage. “A lot of ICOs raise the money, and then there’s a big pause while they build the product,” he says. “We are in the fortunate position that we don’t have to build it.”

The company, which is now three years old, had already created its proof of concept before even hiring its initial team, and demonstrated it at TechCrunch Disrupt in May 2015. That helped it to raise its first $1.5m in seed funding from Morado Ventures, Cloud Ventures, DCG & Enspire Capital two months later.


In fact, ShoCoin is using its product for the presale and larger ICO. Other decentralized app companies have also asked it to develop an entire KYC solution for them based on ShoCard’s core technology to help them manage SEC requirements.


That’s a significant market to serve, Ebrahimi says. “A lot of existing solutions out there want an email and a phone number,” he says. That approach may come back to bite them later, given the SEC’s increasing scrutiny of ICOs.


The SEC requirements are one reason why ShoCard has been cautious in its ICO approach, he says. The company wanted to ensure that it understood the SEC’s requirements and complied with them. As the market floods with ICOs, many waving a white paper and a promise, that that’ll be something investors appreciate.


This promoted article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

John McAfee’s $1 Million Bitcoin Price Bet Just Hit a Major Technical Hurdle

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Eccentric cybersecurity pioneer and long-time cryptocurrency bull John McAfee just hit a major technical hurdle in his gamble that the Bitcoin price will reach $1 million by mid-2020. On Thursday, the “McAfee Bitcoin Price Prediction Tracker” — which charts the price of Bitcoin relative to McAfee’s ambitious prediction — fell more than two percent below

The post John McAfee’s $1 Million Bitcoin Price Bet Just Hit a Major Technical Hurdle appeared first on CCN

Cryptos on the Brink: Ethereum, Ripple Prices Plunge as Coins Post 2018 Lows

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The cryptocurrency markets continued to sour on Thursday, as the first quarter’s bearish wave continued to reverberate throughout the nascent industry. A variety of altcoins sunk to year-to-date lows and large-cap coins like Ethereum and Ripple were not immune from the bloodbath. Altogether, the cryptocurrency market cap shed another $17.8 billion — a daily decline

The post Cryptos on the Brink: Ethereum, Ripple Prices Plunge as Coins Post 2018 Lows appeared first on CCN

Cryptos on the Brink: Ethereum, Ripple Prices Plunge as Coins Post 2018 Lows

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The cryptocurrency markets continued to sour on Thursday, as the first quarter’s bearish wave continued to reverberate throughout the nascent industry. A variety of altcoins sunk to year-to-date lows and large-cap coins like Ethereum and Ripple were not immune from the bloodbath. Altogether, the cryptocurrency market cap shed another $17.8 billion — a daily decline

The post Cryptos on the Brink: Ethereum, Ripple Prices Plunge as Coins Post 2018 Lows appeared first on CCN

Did Futures Markets Negatively Affect Bitcoin Price and the Entire Crypto Industry?

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Late last year, the cryptocurrency community highly anticipated a surge in bitcoin price after the launch of the bitcoin futures market operated by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) and CME Group, two of the largest options exchanges in the global market. Almost immediately after the entrance of Cboe and CME Group in the cryptocurrency … Continued

The post Did Futures Markets Negatively Affect Bitcoin Price and the Entire Crypto Industry? appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin ‘Death Cross’ Lures Market Bears

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

With Easter just around the corner, it almost seems ironic that the bitcoin price is technically nearing a death cross. Everywhere you turn, there’s a new forecast for the bitcoin price — from $30,000 to $3,500. Technical analysis, which is used by traders to forecast whether securities are going to move higher or lower, has been around

The post Bitcoin ‘Death Cross’ Lures Market Bears appeared first on CCN

CRYPTO INSIDER: 'I might have accidentally ruined my life': Tax season hasn't been fun for crypto investors

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Carlsen Hand Head Game 5

Welcome to Crypto Insider, Business Insider’s roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get this email delivered direct to your inbox.

Tax season hasn't been fun so far for crypto investors. "I feel like I might have accidentally ruined my life because I didn't know about the taxes," one Redditor said. Frank Chaparro has the full report here>>

Here are the current prices:

bitcoin price today

What's happening:

New to Crypto Insider? Business Insider has a ton of articles to get you caught up to speed, including:

What other questions do you have about crypto? Ask them in Business Insider's Crypto Insider Facebook group today to discuss with readers from all over the world, as well as BI editorial staff. 

SEE ALSO: Google is banning all bitcoin, ICO, and cryptocurrency ads starting in June

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How all-you-can-eat restaurants don't go bankrupt

CRYPTO INSIDER: 'I might have accidentally ruined my life': Tax season hasn't been fun for crypto investors

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Carlsen Hand Head Game 5

Welcome to Crypto Insider, Business Insider’s roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get this email delivered direct to your inbox.

Tax season hasn't been fun so far for crypto investors. "I feel like I might have accidentally ruined my life because I didn't know about the taxes," one Redditor said. Frank Chaparro has the full report here>>

Here are the current prices:

bitcoin price today

What's happening:

New to Crypto Insider? Business Insider has a ton of articles to get you caught up to speed, including:

What other questions do you have about crypto? Ask them in Business Insider's Crypto Insider Facebook group today to discuss with readers from all over the world, as well as BI editorial staff. 

SEE ALSO: Google is banning all bitcoin, ICO, and cryptocurrency ads starting in June

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How all-you-can-eat restaurants don't go bankrupt

CRYPTO INSIDER: 'I might have accidentally ruined my life': Tax season hasn't been fun for crypto investors

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Carlsen Hand Head Game 5

Welcome to Crypto Insider, Business Insider’s roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get this email delivered direct to your inbox.

Tax season hasn't been fun so far for crypto investors. "I feel like I might have accidentally ruined my life because I didn't know about the taxes," one Redditor said. Frank Chaparro has the full report here>>

Here are the current prices:

bitcoin price today

What's happening:

New to Crypto Insider? Business Insider has a ton of articles to get you caught up to speed, including:

What other questions do you have about crypto? Ask them in Business Insider's Crypto Insider Facebook group today to discuss with readers from all over the world, as well as BI editorial staff. 

SEE ALSO: Google is banning all bitcoin, ICO, and cryptocurrency ads starting in June

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Harvard professor Steven Pinker explains the disturbing truth behind Trump's 2 favorite phrases

CRYPTO INSIDER: 'I might have accidentally ruined my life': Tax season hasn't been fun for crypto investors

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Carlsen Hand Head Game 5

Welcome to Crypto Insider, Business Insider’s roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get this email delivered direct to your inbox.

Tax season hasn't been fun so far for crypto investors. "I feel like I might have accidentally ruined my life because I didn't know about the taxes," one Redditor said. Frank Chaparro has the full report here>>

Here are the current prices:

bitcoin price today

What's happening:

New to Crypto Insider? Business Insider has a ton of articles to get you caught up to speed, including:

What other questions do you have about crypto? Ask them in Business Insider's Crypto Insider Facebook group today to discuss with readers from all over the world, as well as BI editorial staff. 

SEE ALSO: Google is banning all bitcoin, ICO, and cryptocurrency ads starting in June

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Harvard professor Steven Pinker explains the disturbing truth behind Trump's 2 favorite phrases

Bitcoin Is Dead

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

This is a submitted sponsored story. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the content below. Bitcoin has been pronounced dead at least 250 times in its short life by the world’s media. The original cryptocurrency is still less than a decade old – it

The post Bitcoin Is Dead appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin just grabbed its biggest piece of the crypto pie since last year

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

STILL_Pineda_Bevins_Pizza_Slice

  • Bitcoin's share of the crypto market reached its highest level of 2018, according to CoinMarketCap data. 
  • Still, the red-hot coin was trading down more than 5% at $7,486 a coin. 
  • Watch bitcoin in real time here.

As the market for digital currencies sheds billions, bitcoin continues to eat up market share. 

During Thursday's trade, the largest crypto made up 45.66% of the total market, its largest slice of the cryptocurrency pie since the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, the total market cap for digital currencies stood at $274 billion, down more than $500 billion from its all-time high. 

The cryptocurrency marketplace, which is known for its spine-tingling volatility, saw bitcoin grab market share as it ran up to $20,000 at the end of 2017. As its price fell at the beginning of 2018, and smaller coins saw relative gains, its share bottomed out below 33% in January. 

As uncertainty around regulations and the future of initial coin offerings mounts, it looks like investors are pouring back into bitcoin. Joe DiPasquale, the founder of BitBull Capital, a cryptocurrency fund of funds, said this is a trend that has played out before. 

"When cryptos go down in value, investors want to go to bitcoin, the largest market cap, since it is seen as the safest coin," DiPasquale said. "It's the one that has the most acceptance, the most use, and of course it is first mover."

Still, the coin is trading down more than 5% Thursday, according to Markets Insider data, at $7,449.

screenshot coinmarketcap.com 2018.03.29 11 14 51

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How all-you-can-eat restaurants don't go bankrupt

Bitcoin Price Bull Tom Lee Says Hodl on Amid Market Slump for Later Gains

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee is emerging as a voice of reason for cryptocurrency investors even as bitcoin continues to trade in the doldrums. JPMorgan Chase’s former chief equity strategist is applying the lessons of the stock market to bitcoin investing. Trying to time the market is “challenging” because bitcoin even in its short history has proven to generate

The post Bitcoin Price Bull Tom Lee Says Hodl on Amid Market Slump for Later Gains appeared first on CCN

Major Cryptocurrencies Are Hitting 2018 Lows Today

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Ripple's XRP, ether and bitcoin cash have all hit fresh lows for the year, amid broader crypto market weakness.

Major Cryptocurrencies Are Hitting 2018 Lows Today

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Ripple's XRP, ether and bitcoin cash have all hit fresh lows for the year, amid broader crypto market weakness.

Two More Japanese Exchanges Shutter Their Businesses

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Two More Japanese Exchanges Shutter Their Businesses

Two more Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges are closing their operations. This adds to three other exchanges in the country closing their doors after regulators stepped up oversight in the wake of the late-January hack of Tokyo-based Coincheck, where $530 million in NEM tokens vanished.

According to revised payment services laws that went into force in April 2017, when Japan made bitcoin a nationally accepted cryptocurrency, any virtual currency exchange that wants to do business in the country or solicit its citizens needs to be licensed with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA).

As reported by Nikkei, Tokyo GateWay and Mr. Exchange are now withdrawing their applications to register as exchange operators. Both companies must return customers’ cash and cryptocurrency holdings before they close. Mr. Exchange was among those issued orders on March 8, 2018, to improve data security and other safeguards.

The FSA began issuing its first licenses in September 2017. So far, 16 exchanges are now fully licensed. Another 16, including Coincheck, have been allowed to continue operating as “quasi-operators” for an undetermined amount of time until they bring their safety standards up to date. Quasi-operator is a special category relegated to exchanges that started their businesses before the registration system was put into place.  

Since then, the FSA has been grappling with how to deal with its quasi-operators. After the Coincheck theft, the FSA doubled down and began doing on-the-spot checks for all quasi-operators to make sure they were taking proper measures to protect customers. Since some operators have little hope of meeting the agency's standards, the FSA has given them the option to step down on their own before ordering them to do so.

So far, among the 16 with quasi-operating status, Raimu, bitExpress, BitStation, and now Tokyo GateWay and Mr. Exchange have bowed out voluntarily. Earlier this month, the FSA ordered BitStation along with FSHO to suspend operations for a month while they dealt with their compliance issues.  

Last week, Binance, the largest exchange by 24-hour trading volume, was also issued a warning by the FSA, as it had begun operations in Japan without a license. Binance, originally based in Hong Kong, is now seeking to relocate to Malta, although it says it is also working with Japanese regulators to remedy its situation there in the meantime.

Japan learned its lesson in the need for setting up systems to oversee cryptocurrency exchanges after Tokyo-based exchange Mt. Gox collapsed in February 2014, reportedly losing some 850,000 bitcoins (worth $6.7 billion today). At the time, Mt. Gox was the largest virtual currency exchange in the world.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Cryptocurrency Interest: Is It on the Decline, and Could It Spike Again?

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Cryptocurrency Interest: Is It on the Decline, and Could It Spike Again?

Has cryptocurrency lost its footing? Following a three-month period of drooping prices, it appears interest in bitcoin and digital currencies is falling to new lows, and the market value is sinking along with it.

Most major data stems from online searches and Google Trends. One source claims that searches relating to bitcoin and cryptocurrency have slumped by 80 percent since last October. In addition, it says that searches in Japan and South Korea — two of the world’s largest bitcoin havens — have fallen to their lowest levels since March of 2017.

Looking at a recent Google chart, one can see that amongst the three top cryptocurrencies — bitcoin, ether and litecoin — bitcoin is the only one that remains a “global trend.” Ethereum still boasts interest in certain parts of Asia and Eastern Europe, but Litecoin doesn’t appear anywhere.

google trendsSource: Google Trends

Another source dated in January 2018 discusses search patterns of the previous three months, and suggests that general interest in crypto has dropped so significantly, the price could ultimately hit $7,100.

This was an understatement compared to what really occurred. Back in February, the price of bitcoin briefly fell below $6,000 in what was considered a new low following “Red Tuesday” and the recent sell-off that had taken place. Though the price recovered somewhat by early March, this prediction became a reality in the short term.

In addition, interest in bitcoin and cryptocurrency related jobs are on the decline according to Indeed.com, though blockchain gigs remain stable enough.

This news comes, however, less than two weeks after Indeed reported a massive surge in cryptocurrency-related job posts. The site claims that the number of advertisements for crypto and bitcoin jobs amongst tech leaders has jumped by over 620 percent since November of 2015.

This could suggest that interest has only dropped for the time being and intrigue in the cryptocurrency arena remains stellar in the long term. It is to be expected that investors and followers of bitcoin would feel disheartened by rapid price declines and the loss of value, but crypto and blockchain technology arguably remain forces to be reckoned with, especially in the tech industry.

Furthermore, job growth within bitcoin enterprises has ultimately grown in regions like India. This is especially hopeful considering the country’s present stance on cryptocurrencies. Job growth in the virtual asset sector has grown by nearly 300 percent since November 2017, and searches on Indeed.com for India have risen by a whopping 52 percent.

Regulators in India have repeatedly targeted cryptocurrency exchanges and commented that bitcoin and digital currencies are not “legal tender.” A task force has been officially developed to increase efforts against money laundering and other illicit activities, and new regulations could be implemented by late March.

Still, approximately 10 percent of cryptocurrency transactions occur in India. Combined with present job searches and the overall growth in India’s bitcoin arena, there is evidence suggesting that a decline in bitcoin interest is not occurring on a global scale.

What we’re probably witnessing is a “shift” in interest. It’s not that regard for cryptocurrency is on the decline; instead, interest may be adapting as people learn more, and universal intrigue is taking less of a general stance and gravitating more toward more specific terms and topics. Bitcoin and Ripple searches, for example, remain prominent in countries like Ghana, Singapore and Austria. Terms like “ripple price” and “bitcoin bubble burst” dominate most of the cryptocurrency-related searches in these nations, while Bolivia and Australia-based searches suggest more interest in things like bitcoin cash.

We are also witnessing a change in the types of investors behind cryptocurrency, who may ultimately be influencing search numbers. When bitcoin inched past $10,000 last year, the number of people interested in bitcoin grew to exponential levels. Platforms like Coinbase saw their userbases explode practically overnight, though it’s possible many of the people climbing aboard had little research under their belts. Uninterested in the long-term effects, it’s probable they merely saw crypto as a route to garner fast wealth.

As the price of bitcoin waned in early 2018, several of these new investors, simply looking to strike it big, likely turned away when their hopes of becoming overnight millionaires were dashed. Thus, while interest and search volume would naturally decrease, it still appears some of these new traders may have been young people who have stayed surprisingly loyal to cryptocurrency.

Many sources show that millennial interest in cryptocurrency has stayed strong to the point that several are even using educational funds to invest. Younger generations may be helping to prevent bitcoin and altcoin interest from falling away altogether.

Analysts are also predicting that overall interest in crypto could spike again later this year. Many remain bullish on virtual assets, particularly bitcoin, and suggest it could reach new price highs by the summer of 2018.

Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee, for instance, suggests that bitcoin might jump to $20,000 by July of this year. He says the behavior exhibited by bitcoin today is reminiscent of its behavior following an April–July 2013 sell-off, which was followed by what he calls a “monster rally.” He says if bitcoin continues its present track, $20,000 is a reasonable figure.

Lee is not alone in his sentiment. Abra CEO Bill Barhydt says a new “price boom” is on its way in the coming months, and all “hell will break loose” once this occurs. He says that bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency are in for some huge jumps; hedge-fund managers and other wealth-driven individuals already see their volatility as potential opportunities and are swiftly adding them to their portfolios.

Growing interest among the mega-rich could potentially cause prices to spike once again. Should that happen, it’s likely safe to say that general interest in cryptocurrency and bitcoin will surpass numbers witnessed in 2017.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Cryptocurrency Interest: Is It on the Decline, and Could It Spike Again?

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Cryptocurrency Interest: Is It on the Decline, and Could It Spike Again?

Has cryptocurrency lost its footing? Following a three-month period of drooping prices, it appears interest in bitcoin and digital currencies is falling to new lows, and the market value is sinking along with it.

Most major data stems from online searches and Google Trends. One source claims that searches relating to bitcoin and cryptocurrency have slumped by 80 percent since last October. In addition, it says that searches in Japan and South Korea — two of the world’s largest bitcoin havens — have fallen to their lowest levels since March of 2017.

Looking at a recent Google chart, one can see that amongst the three top cryptocurrencies — bitcoin, ether and litecoin — bitcoin is the only one that remains a “global trend.” Ethereum still boasts interest in certain parts of Asia and Eastern Europe, but Litecoin doesn’t appear anywhere.

google trendsSource: Google Trends

Another source dated in January 2018 discusses search patterns of the previous three months, and suggests that general interest in crypto has dropped so significantly, the price could ultimately hit $7,100.

This was an understatement compared to what really occurred. Back in February, the price of bitcoin briefly fell below $6,000 in what was considered a new low following “Red Tuesday” and the recent sell-off that had taken place. Though the price recovered somewhat by early March, this prediction became a reality in the short term.

In addition, interest in bitcoin and cryptocurrency related jobs are on the decline according to Indeed.com, though blockchain gigs remain stable enough.

This news comes, however, less than two weeks after Indeed reported a massive surge in cryptocurrency-related job posts. The site claims that the number of advertisements for crypto and bitcoin jobs amongst tech leaders has jumped by over 620 percent since November of 2015.

This could suggest that interest has only dropped for the time being and intrigue in the cryptocurrency arena remains stellar in the long term. It is to be expected that investors and followers of bitcoin would feel disheartened by rapid price declines and the loss of value, but crypto and blockchain technology arguably remain forces to be reckoned with, especially in the tech industry.

Furthermore, job growth within bitcoin enterprises has ultimately grown in regions like India. This is especially hopeful considering the country’s present stance on cryptocurrencies. Job growth in the virtual asset sector has grown by nearly 300 percent since November 2017, and searches on Indeed.com for India have risen by a whopping 52 percent.

Regulators in India have repeatedly targeted cryptocurrency exchanges and commented that bitcoin and digital currencies are not “legal tender.” A task force has been officially developed to increase efforts against money laundering and other illicit activities, and new regulations could be implemented by late March.

Still, approximately 10 percent of cryptocurrency transactions occur in India. Combined with present job searches and the overall growth in India’s bitcoin arena, there is evidence suggesting that a decline in bitcoin interest is not occurring on a global scale.

What we’re probably witnessing is a “shift” in interest. It’s not that regard for cryptocurrency is on the decline; instead, interest may be adapting as people learn more, and universal intrigue is taking less of a general stance and gravitating more toward more specific terms and topics. Bitcoin and Ripple searches, for example, remain prominent in countries like Ghana, Singapore and Austria. Terms like “ripple price” and “bitcoin bubble burst” dominate most of the cryptocurrency-related searches in these nations, while Bolivia and Australia-based searches suggest more interest in things like bitcoin cash.

We are also witnessing a change in the types of investors behind cryptocurrency, who may ultimately be influencing search numbers. When bitcoin inched past $10,000 last year, the number of people interested in bitcoin grew to exponential levels. Platforms like Coinbase saw their userbases explode practically overnight, though it’s possible many of the people climbing aboard had little research under their belts. Uninterested in the long-term effects, it’s probable they merely saw crypto as a route to garner fast wealth.

As the price of bitcoin waned in early 2018, several of these new investors, simply looking to strike it big, likely turned away when their hopes of becoming overnight millionaires were dashed. Thus, while interest and search volume would naturally decrease, it still appears some of these new traders may have been young people who have stayed surprisingly loyal to cryptocurrency.

Many sources show that millennial interest in cryptocurrency has stayed strong to the point that several are even using educational funds to invest. Younger generations may be helping to prevent bitcoin and altcoin interest from falling away altogether.

Analysts are also predicting that overall interest in crypto could spike again later this year. Many remain bullish on virtual assets, particularly bitcoin, and suggest it could reach new price highs by the summer of 2018.

Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee, for instance, suggests that bitcoin might jump to $20,000 by July of this year. He says the behavior exhibited by bitcoin today is reminiscent of its behavior following an April–July 2013 sell-off, which was followed by what he calls a “monster rally.” He says if bitcoin continues its present track, $20,000 is a reasonable figure.

Lee is not alone in his sentiment. Abra CEO Bill Barhydt says a new “price boom” is on its way in the coming months, and all “hell will break loose” once this occurs. He says that bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency are in for some huge jumps; hedge-fund managers and other wealth-driven individuals already see their volatility as potential opportunities and are swiftly adding them to their portfolios.

Growing interest among the mega-rich could potentially cause prices to spike once again. Should that happen, it’s likely safe to say that general interest in cryptocurrency and bitcoin will surpass numbers witnessed in 2017.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Cryptocurrency Interest: Is It on the Decline, and Could It Spike Again?

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Cryptocurrency Interest: Is It on the Decline, and Could It Spike Again?

Has cryptocurrency lost its footing? Following a three-month period of drooping prices, it appears interest in bitcoin and digital currencies is falling to new lows, and the market value is sinking along with it.

Most major data stems from online searches and Google Trends. One source claims that searches relating to bitcoin and cryptocurrency have slumped by 80 percent since last October. In addition, it says that searches in Japan and South Korea — two of the world’s largest bitcoin havens — have fallen to their lowest levels since March of 2017.

Looking at a recent Google chart, one can see that amongst the three top cryptocurrencies — bitcoin, ether and litecoin — bitcoin is the only one that remains a “global trend.” Ethereum still boasts interest in certain parts of Asia and Eastern Europe, but Litecoin doesn’t appear anywhere.

google trendsSource: Google Trends

Another source dated in January 2018 discusses search patterns of the previous three months, and suggests that general interest in crypto has dropped so significantly, the price could ultimately hit $7,100.

This was an understatement compared to what really occurred. Back in February, the price of bitcoin briefly fell below $6,000 in what was considered a new low following “Red Tuesday” and the recent sell-off that had taken place. Though the price recovered somewhat by early March, this prediction became a reality in the short term.

In addition, interest in bitcoin and cryptocurrency related jobs are on the decline according to Indeed.com, though blockchain gigs remain stable enough.

This news comes, however, less than two weeks after Indeed reported a massive surge in cryptocurrency-related job posts. The site claims that the number of advertisements for crypto and bitcoin jobs amongst tech leaders has jumped by over 620 percent since November of 2015.

This could suggest that interest has only dropped for the time being and intrigue in the cryptocurrency arena remains stellar in the long term. It is to be expected that investors and followers of bitcoin would feel disheartened by rapid price declines and the loss of value, but crypto and blockchain technology arguably remain forces to be reckoned with, especially in the tech industry.

Furthermore, job growth within bitcoin enterprises has ultimately grown in regions like India. This is especially hopeful considering the country’s present stance on cryptocurrencies. Job growth in the virtual asset sector has grown by nearly 300 percent since November 2017, and searches on Indeed.com for India have risen by a whopping 52 percent.

Regulators in India have repeatedly targeted cryptocurrency exchanges and commented that bitcoin and digital currencies are not “legal tender.” A task force has been officially developed to increase efforts against money laundering and other illicit activities, and new regulations could be implemented by late March.

Still, approximately 10 percent of cryptocurrency transactions occur in India. Combined with present job searches and the overall growth in India’s bitcoin arena, there is evidence suggesting that a decline in bitcoin interest is not occurring on a global scale.

What we’re probably witnessing is a “shift” in interest. It’s not that regard for cryptocurrency is on the decline; instead, interest may be adapting as people learn more, and universal intrigue is taking less of a general stance and gravitating more toward more specific terms and topics. Bitcoin and Ripple searches, for example, remain prominent in countries like Ghana, Singapore and Austria. Terms like “ripple price” and “bitcoin bubble burst” dominate most of the cryptocurrency-related searches in these nations, while Bolivia and Australia-based searches suggest more interest in things like bitcoin cash.

We are also witnessing a change in the types of investors behind cryptocurrency, who may ultimately be influencing search numbers. When bitcoin inched past $10,000 last year, the number of people interested in bitcoin grew to exponential levels. Platforms like Coinbase saw their userbases explode practically overnight, though it’s possible many of the people climbing aboard had little research under their belts. Uninterested in the long-term effects, it’s probable they merely saw crypto as a route to garner fast wealth.

As the price of bitcoin waned in early 2018, several of these new investors, simply looking to strike it big, likely turned away when their hopes of becoming overnight millionaires were dashed. Thus, while interest and search volume would naturally decrease, it still appears some of these new traders may have been young people who have stayed surprisingly loyal to cryptocurrency.

Many sources show that millennial interest in cryptocurrency has stayed strong to the point that several are even using educational funds to invest. Younger generations may be helping to prevent bitcoin and altcoin interest from falling away altogether.

Analysts are also predicting that overall interest in crypto could spike again later this year. Many remain bullish on virtual assets, particularly bitcoin, and suggest it could reach new price highs by the summer of 2018.

Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee, for instance, suggests that bitcoin might jump to $20,000 by July of this year. He says the behavior exhibited by bitcoin today is reminiscent of its behavior following an April–July 2013 sell-off, which was followed by what he calls a “monster rally.” He says if bitcoin continues its present track, $20,000 is a reasonable figure.

Lee is not alone in his sentiment. Abra CEO Bill Barhydt says a new “price boom” is on its way in the coming months, and all “hell will break loose” once this occurs. He says that bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency are in for some huge jumps; hedge-fund managers and other wealth-driven individuals already see their volatility as potential opportunities and are swiftly adding them to their portfolios.

Growing interest among the mega-rich could potentially cause prices to spike once again. Should that happen, it’s likely safe to say that general interest in cryptocurrency and bitcoin will surpass numbers witnessed in 2017.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Ripple’s XRP tumbles to its lowest levels of the year

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Ripple XRP price

  • XRP, the cryptocurrency created by Ripple for cross-border payments, plunged to its lowest levels of the year on Thursday. 
  • Most cryptocurrencies were also down, continuing a year that has been marked by heavy losses.
  • You can track the price of XRP in real-time here>>

Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency plunged to its lowest levels of 2018 early Thursday morning,  down as much as 7.8% to $0.525 per token on a day when most major coins also saw heavy losses.

The last time XRP, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was trading this low was December 2017, according to historical data from CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin, still far and away the largest and most prominent cryptocurrency, was down 5.2%, below what the London Block Exchange said was below a "key support level," that appears to be denting sentiment across the board. Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency, also declined to a 2018 low on Thursday

Ripple, which controls a majority of the XRP tokens in circulation, has made several big name hires in recent months. Former hedge funder and journalist Cory Johnson joined the San Francisco-based firm as Chief Market Strategist in March

It’s also been quickly securing new customers for its liquidity and settlement products for cross-border payments, most of which are powered by XRP.  Spanish bank Santander is set to launch an international money transfer app with Ripple, Business Insider reported last week.

Still, CEO Brad Garlinghuse maintains XRP should not be considered a cryptocurrency. "It’s not actually a currency," he said in February. "These are digital assets. If the asset solves a real problem for a real customer, then there’ll be value in the asset.”

Despite the steep losses in 2018 so far, many investors believe the peak has yet to come for many cryptocurrencies.

Bill Barhydt, the CEO of crypto wallet startup Abra, told Business Insider this week that he believes the market will recover this week as more institutional money invests in the asset class. 

"I talk to hedge funds, high net worth individuals, even commodity speculators," he said. "They look at the volatility in the crypto markets and they see it as a huge opportunity. Once that happens, all hell will break loose."

Oscar Williams-Grut contributed to this report from London

You can follow live cryptocurrency prices on Markets Insider>>

SEE ALSO: Ethereum hits a new 2018 low as cryptocurrencies dive

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why 555 is always used for phone numbers on TV and in movies

Ripple’s XRP tumbles to its lowest levels of the year

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Ripple XRP price

  • XRP, the cryptocurrency created by Ripple for cross-border payments, plunged to its lowest levels of the year on Thursday. 
  • Most cryptocurrencies were also down, continuing a year that has been marked by heavy losses.
  • You can track the price of XRP in real-time here>>

Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency plunged to its lowest levels of 2018 early Thursday morning,  down as much as 7.8% to $0.525 per token on a day when most major coins also saw heavy losses.

The last time XRP, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was trading this low was December 2017, according to historical data from CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin, still far and away the largest and most prominent cryptocurrency, was down 5.2%, below what the London Block Exchange said was below a "key support level," that appears to be denting sentiment across the board. Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency, also declined to a 2018 low on Thursday

Ripple, which controls a majority of the XRP tokens in circulation, has made several big name hires in recent months. Former hedge funder and journalist Cory Johnson joined the San Francisco-based firm as Chief Market Strategist in March

It’s also been quickly securing new customers for its liquidity and settlement products for cross-border payments, most of which are powered by XRP.  Spanish bank Santander is set to launch an international money transfer app with Ripple, Business Insider reported last week.

Still, CEO Brad Garlinghuse maintains XRP should not be considered a cryptocurrency. "It’s not actually a currency," he said in February. "These are digital assets. If the asset solves a real problem for a real customer, then there’ll be value in the asset.”

Despite the steep losses in 2018 so far, many investors believe the peak has yet to come for many cryptocurrencies.

Bill Barhydt, the CEO of crypto wallet startup Abra, told Business Insider this week that he believes the market will recover this week as more institutional money invests in the asset class. 

"I talk to hedge funds, high net worth individuals, even commodity speculators," he said. "They look at the volatility in the crypto markets and they see it as a huge opportunity. Once that happens, all hell will break loose."

Oscar Williams-Grut contributed to this report from London

You can follow live cryptocurrency prices on Markets Insider>>

SEE ALSO: Ethereum hits a new 2018 low as cryptocurrencies dive

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why 555 is always used for phone numbers on TV and in movies

Can the Lightning Network Avoid Going Corporate?

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

As startups developing bitcoin's Lightning Network start pushing the tech forward, some wonder whether it'll be taken over by corporate interests.

$7K Next? Bitcoin Bears Pull Off Downside Break

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin bears have come out victorious in the two-day tug of war with the bulls and may push prices down to $7,000.

Ethereum hits a new 2018 low as cryptocurrencies dive

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

ethereum



LONDON — Cryptocurrencies are falling on Thursday morning, as the sector's prolonged slump deepens.

Ethereum has hit a new low for the year and bitcoin has breached what analysts say is a key support level. Here's the scoreboard at 8.45 a.m. GMT (4.45 a.m. ET):

Analysts at the London Block Exchange said in their daily market email on Thursday that $7,700 is a "key support level" for bitcoin and the fact that it has broken below it appears to be denting sentiment across the market.

Crypto markets have been sliding all year after a bull run up to Christmas. The total market value has declined from a peak of $800 billion in December to around $280 billion as of Thursday, amid concerns about regulation, scams in the market, and falling consumer interest.

The CEO of crypto wallet startup Abra told Business Insider this week that he believes the market will recover this week as more institutional money invests in the asset class. Bill Barhydt said: "I talk to hedge funds, high net worth individuals, even commodity speculators. They look at the volatility in the crypto markets and they see it as a huge opportunity. Once that happens, all hell will break loose."

You can follow live cryptocurrency prices on Markets Insider.

SEE ALSO: 'All hell will break loose': The crypto market will boom again in 2018 according to the CEO of American Express-backed startup Abra

DON'T MISS: City Minister: There could be 'a stable, flourishing cryptocurrency exchange in London' with the right regulation

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Traders should be focused on the massive growth opportunities in Asia right now, says an HSBC investment chief

Ethereum hits a new 2018 low as cryptocurrencies dive

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

ethereum



LONDON — Cryptocurrencies are falling on Thursday morning, as the sector's prolonged slump deepens.

Ethereum has hit a new low for the year and bitcoin has breached what analysts say is a key support level. Here's the scoreboard at 8.45 a.m. GMT (4.45 a.m. ET):

Analysts at the London Block Exchange said in their daily market email on Thursday that $7,700 is a "key support level" for bitcoin and the fact that it has broken below it appears to be denting sentiment across the market.

Crypto markets have been sliding all year after a bull run up to Christmas. The total market value has declined from a peak of $800 billion in December to around $280 billion as of Thursday, amid concerns about regulation, scams in the market, and falling consumer interest.

The CEO of crypto wallet startup Abra told Business Insider this week that he believes the market will recover this week as more institutional money invests in the asset class. Bill Barhydt said: "I talk to hedge funds, high net worth individuals, even commodity speculators. They look at the volatility in the crypto markets and they see it as a huge opportunity. Once that happens, all hell will break loose."

You can follow live cryptocurrency prices on Markets Insider.

SEE ALSO: 'All hell will break loose': The crypto market will boom again in 2018 according to the CEO of American Express-backed startup Abra

DON'T MISS: City Minister: There could be 'a stable, flourishing cryptocurrency exchange in London' with the right regulation

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Traders should be focused on the massive growth opportunities in Asia right now, says an HSBC investment chief

Ethereum hits a new 2018 low as cryptocurrencies dive

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

ethereum



LONDON — Cryptocurrencies are falling on Thursday morning, as the sector's prolonged slump deepens.

Ethereum has hit a new low for the year and bitcoin has breached what analysts say is a key support level. Here's the scoreboard at 8.45 a.m. GMT (4.45 a.m. ET):

Analysts at the London Block Exchange said in their daily market email on Thursday that $7,700 is a "key support level" for bitcoin and the fact that it has broken below it appears to be denting sentiment across the market.

Crypto markets have been sliding all year after a bull run up to Christmas. The total market value has declined from a peak of $800 billion in December to around $280 billion as of Thursday, amid concerns about regulation, scams in the market, and falling consumer interest.

The CEO of crypto wallet startup Abra told Business Insider this week that he believes the market will recover this week as more institutional money invests in the asset class. Bill Barhydt said: "I talk to hedge funds, high net worth individuals, even commodity speculators. They look at the volatility in the crypto markets and they see it as a huge opportunity. Once that happens, all hell will break loose."

You can follow live cryptocurrency prices on Markets Insider.

SEE ALSO: 'All hell will break loose': The crypto market will boom again in 2018 according to the CEO of American Express-backed startup Abra

DON'T MISS: City Minister: There could be 'a stable, flourishing cryptocurrency exchange in London' with the right regulation

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Traders should be focused on the massive growth opportunities in Asia right now, says an HSBC investment chief

Chicago's CME makes £3.9 billion bid for Tory donor Michael Spencer's Nex Group

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Nex Group CEO Michael Spencer

  • Exchange group CME has made £3.9 billion offer for London interdealer broker Nex Group.
  • Nex CEO Michael Spencer, who founded the business formerly known as ICAP in 1986, says the deal is "industry-changing."
  • Spencer will join CME's board after the deal closes and CME will base its European headquarters in London.


LONDON — Chicago exchange group CME has announced a £3.9 billion bid for British-headquartered interdealer broker Nex Group.

CME said on Thursday that it had reached an agreement with Nex's board to acquire the business for the equivalent of £10 per share. Shareholders will be offered £5 in cash and the remainder in CME shares.

Nex Group shares leapt on Wednesday amid speculation that a deal could be imminent.

CME said on Thursday that the acquisition "delivers streamlined access and new trading opportunities across spot and futures FX products as well as cash, repo and futures products in U.S. Treasuries," and "expands [its] clearing offering."

The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year and CME said it has identified $200 million worth of cost savings from the combined group.

CME CEO Terry Duffy said in a statement: "At a time when market participants are seeking ways to lower trading costs and manage risk more effectively, this acquisition will allow us to create significant value and efficiencies for our clients globally.

"As one organization, we will be able to employ the complementary strengths of each company to serve a wider client base while diversifying our combined businesses across futures, cash and OTC products and post-trade services."

CME Group runs a derivatives marketplace in Chicago and owns the Dow Jones Indexes.

Nex Group, formerly known as ICAP, runs markets for trading currencies and treasuries, as well as offering risk management software. The London-headquartered company was founded by Michael Spencer in 1986 and Spencer remains CEO of the business.

Spencer, who served as Conservative Party Treasurer from 2006 to 2010, will join CME's board after the deal closes. Spencer said the deal will be "an industry-changing transaction."

CME will base its European headquarters in London and Spencer said the decision is "a signal of tremendous support for Britain’s financial services sector."

Spencer, who is already thought to be a billionaire, will see his net worth rise thanks to the CME deal. He is Nex Group's largest shareholder, with a stake of around 18%. His holding is worth around £670 million under the terms of the acquisition.

News of the deal came as the Financial Times reported that the start of the year was the biggest quarter ever for takeovers, with $1.2 trillion-worth of deals announced in the first quarter.

SEE ALSO: Wall Street trading firm trueEx is set to launch a derivatives platform for cryptocurrency

DON'T MISS: Data overload: commodity hedge funds close as computers dominate

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Goldman Sachs investment chief: Bitcoin is definitely a bubble, Ethereum even more so

Bitcoin Price Slides Under $7,600 as Market Dips Below $300 Billion: Possible Reasons

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin has fallen below the $7,600 mark for the first time since March 19. Earlier today, the price of bitcoin dropped to $7,530, after peaking at $8,150 less than 20 hours ago. Futures Market Throughout the past 4 hours, sell volumes intensified across all major cryptocurrency exchanges, and the market was likely affected by the

The post Bitcoin Price Slides Under $7,600 as Market Dips Below $300 Billion: Possible Reasons appeared first on CCN

10 things you need to know in markets today

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan during the bank's annual news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, February 2, 2018.

Good morning! Here's what you need to know.

1. John Cryan, chief executive of Deutsche Bank told staff he was "absolutely committed" to the lender. "Once again we are the subject of widespread rumours," Cryan said in the memo, posted on the bank's website. "I just wanted to reaffirm that I am absolutely committed to serving our bank and to continuing down the path on which we started some three years ago."

2. Tesla shares fell more than 9% on Wednesday. That followed a downgrade by Moody's, a probe by the National Transportation Safety Board of a recent fatal crash and concerns about Model 3 production.

3. US exchange operator CME Group is in advanced talks to acquire Britain's NEX Group for about £4 billion, Bloomberg reported. NEX Group had said earlier this month that it had received a preliminary takeover approach from CME Group.

4. Reckitt Benckiser's chief executive Rakesh Kapoor got an 18% pay cut in 2017, his second in two years. Kapoor received total compensation of £12.5 million pounds in 2017, down from £15.3 million in 2016.

5. Portugal's Novo Banco reported a record net loss of €1.4 billion for 2017. The bank applied for a fresh capital injection from the country's bank resolution fund.

6. Europe's antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager is looking to three academics to help her deal with anti-competitive practices in fast-moving technology markets. Regulators on both sides of the Atlantic worry about the power of a few giant technology companies over businesses and users.

7. Catalan academic Clara Ponsati, accused by Spain of rebellion for her role in Catalonia's independence campaign, was granted bail by a Scottish court on Wednesday. Ponsati is one of the Catalan leaders being sought by the Spanish courts for organizing a referendum on independence in October last year that was deemed illegal under Spanish law.

8. Canadian mining magnate Peter Munk, who built Barrick Gold from a single mine into the world's largest producer of gold, has died at the age of 90. The blunt-spoken miner became renowned for his philanthropy, donating millions to healthcare.

9. A federal judge on Wednesday overturned a US jury's verdict that required Teva to pay GlaxoSmithKline Plc more than $235 million for infringing a patent covering its blood pressure drug Coreg. The judge ruled that the evidence did not support the jury's finding in June that Teva sales of a generic version of the drug caused doctors to infringe GSK's patent.

10. Cadillac and Lincoln both unveiled SUV models this week at the New York auto show to meet rising American demand. But they're also are keeping one eye on a growing Chinese appetite for the same vehicles, executives said.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Goldman Sachs investment chief: Bitcoin is definitely a bubble, Ethereum even more so

Judge refuses to dismiss a shareholder class-action suit against Elon Musk and Tesla's board (TSLA)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

elon musk

  • Tesla shareholders scored a small victory in their lawsuit against CEO Elon Musk and Tesla's board on Wednesday.
  • A judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit stemming from the electric-car maker's 2016 acquisition of the energy company, SolarCity, allowing the case to move forward.
  • Shareholders in the class-action claim are accusing Musk and the board of failing to act in their best interest in connection with the $2.6 billion SolarCity deal.


A judge refused to dismiss Tesla shareholders' claim that CEO Elon Musk and Tesla's board of directors acted improperly amid the electric-car company's acquisition of SolarCity. The judge's ruling on Wednesday effectively allows the class-action suit to move forward.

In the claim, shareholders point to Tesla's $2.6 billion, all-stock deal to absorb SolarCity in late 2016, a move that happened while Musk held a majority stake in Tesla.

The claim alleges that Musk and the board exercised improper influence in the deal "to, among other things, orchestrate Board approval of the Acquisition," the filing said. If true, that would violate US laws prohibiting publicly traded companies from engaging in actions that do not serve the shareholders' best interests.

The SolarCity deal came during a difficult time for that company, which had $3 billion in debt when the board approved the acquisition in November 2016. Tesla absorbed that debt as part of the arrangement.

Shareholders in the class-action suit claim Musk and a handful of Tesla board members improperly benefited from the acquisition.

In an emailed statement Wednesday night, a Tesla spokesperson told Business Insider:

"We do not agree with the decision and will be taking appropriate next steps. It’s important to emphasize that this was a motion to dismiss in which the court was required to assume as true all of the allegations that are made in the complaint. We of course contend the allegations in the complaint are false.”

The news adds to a fresh slate of negative headlines around Tesla this week.

Moody's downgraded the company's corporate credit rating on Tuesday, citing Tesla's ongoing struggle to produce the Model 3 entry level sedan. And federal investigators are also looking into a fatal crash involving a Tesla Model X SUV that caught fire after slamming into a highway barrier in Northern California.

SEE ALSO: Everything is going wrong simultaneously for the tech juggernauts that have kept the market afloat for years

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Goldman Sachs investment chief: Bitcoin is definitely a bubble, Ethereum even more so

Cryptocurrency Exchange Bitfinex Plans Move to Switzerland

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Cryptocurrency Exchange Bitfinex Plans Move to Switzerland

Bitfinex, the fifth-largest cryptocurrency exchange by 24-hour trading volume, is looking to hoist itself out of Hong Kong and settle in Switzerland, as first reported by Handelszeitung. As confirmed by sources close to Bitfinex, the exchange is already in talks with Swiss authorities.

Jean-Louis van der Velde, CEO at Bitfinex, told Handelszeitung, “We are looking for a new home for Bitfinex and the parent company iFinex, where we want to merge the operations previously spread over several locations.”  

Van der Velde said that Bitfinex, now based in Hong Kong, was also considering London as a potential new location, but for now, Switzerland remains its first choice.

If iFinex pulls off the move successfully, it will form a new AG (or Aktiengesellschaft, which is German for “public company”) to replace the former iFinex in the British Virgin Islands. The company’s core businesses would be based in Switzerland, and van der Velde and other managers would likely relocate there as well.

In addition, iFinex is also the parent company of Tether, a subsidiary that produces tether (USDT), a token pegged to the U.S. dollar. USTD trades on several exchanges, including Bitfinex, but since no third-party audit has ever taken place, questions linger as to whether the $2.3 billion in USDT so far issued by Tether are backed by actual dollars.

Adding to the opaqueness of Bitfinex’s business dealings, since April 2017, Bitfinex and Tether have been cut off from banks in the U.S. and Taiwan and have been left to move among a series of banks in other countries, without informing their customers.

Read the full Bitfinex and Tether timeline here.

Van der Velde hints that a move to Switzerland would bring a renewed transparency to the business. “We want to be the most transparent of all exchanges and meet the requirements of the Swiss regulator,” he said, adding that Bitfinex is currently in talks with Swiss banks.

Switzerland has emerged as the home of several initial coin offerings (ICOs), where the town of Zug has unofficially become “Crypto Valley.” The move could be a win-win for both Bitfinex and Switzerland. Bitfinex could help Switzerland attract more blockchain technology business, while the support of Swiss banks could shine some light on Tether.  

Bitfinex is not the only exchange that is looking to exit Hong Kong. Last week, Hong Kong–based Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, announced it was looking to relocate to Malta, after running up against regulatory hurdles in Asia.  

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Minds Wants to Offer a Blockchain-Based Alternative to Facebook

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Minds Wants to offer a Blockchain Based Alternative to Facebook

The decentralized social media platform Minds is making moves to implement the Ethereum blockchain into its core features. After launching in 2015, Minds.com has quickly grown to one million registered accounts and over 73 million unique page views.

Now, the project is taking decentralization even further with the launch of the Minds Crypto Social Network. This evolution of the platform will make it a fully functioning dApp running on the Ethereum blockchain for both mobile and web devices, replete with a white paper to outline this direction and the specifications of the project’s next step.

“This is the biggest upgrade we’ve ever done,” Minds founder Bill Ottman told Bitcoin Magazine. “We revamped the UX for the web and we completely rewrote all the mobile apps in React Native so they’re high performing now. There’s a whole list of changes.”

One of the most foundational changes is Minds’ migration to the Minds token for its native rewards system. Replacing the points system the platform currently has in place, Minds tokens will allow users to monetize their content through a peer-driven, incentive-based rewards system. Users can use Minds tokens to subscribe to or tip content creators on the platform, and platform participants will receive a portion of the Minds Daily Reward Pool proportionally to the popularity of their posts. For now, the token model will run on the Ethereum testnet until the team is certain of its functionality and reliability.

In addition, Minds.com will feature a built-in wallet for these tokens so users can freely manage their earnings, subscribe to exclusive content from other users and transact with each other on the platform. Among a number of additional features, the network will also feature encrypted messaging, anonymous accounts and a non-tracking ad model.

These features are instrumental to Ottman’s vision for a completely democratized, user-run social media platform, and this is just the beginning. For Ottoman, these are the budding fruits of a concept that took root in 2011, one that he believes could disrupt the centralized status quo for global social media.

“I always knew that an open-source social network was inevitably going to emerge and become competitive with the top establishment social network. It also became clear that the mainstream social networks were not rewarding people — were not incentivizing people. They weren’t giving revenue opportunities. They’re restricting people’s reach — they’re spying on people! So it became sort of obvious that there’s a market requirement for this space that we’ve filled.”

To some in the cryptocurrency realm, that “market requirement” has become increasingly obvious in light of Google’s, Facebook’s and Twitter’s blanket ban on crypto-related ads. These restrictions especially hit home for Ottman, whose brainchild was nixed by Google when Minds.com ads were banned from all of Alphabet Inc.’s platforms.

Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson invited Ottman on his show to share his experience and comment on what he sees as censorship by Alphabet. During the segment, Ottman expressed his hope for a future where social media platforms are completely decentralized and freed from the monolithic control that big tech companies like Google and Facebook hold over the internet’s landscape.

“I’m very idealistic, as well, to think that we can have wholly decentralized social networks,” Ottoman acknowledged during our talk. He finds that “there are also benefits of centralized servers” to “support certain [functions]” alongside the blockchain. As such, Minds is working toward a “hybridized” approach, according to Ottman, one that allows users to choose whether or not to participate in the Minds token economy.

“Our goal is to give users the option. When you do a post on social media, how do you want to post? Do you want to post it to the blockchain? Do you want to do a torrent? Do you want to post it to a Minds server? Do you want to post it to your own server so you can delete it? Because depending on the post, you’re going to have different intentions.”

The on-chain/off-chain model will certainly ease the network burden Minds.com could bring to the Ethereum blockchain as it picks up steam. However, Ethereum’s scalability raises questions for blockchain-powered posts, and Ottoman himself acknowledged that the tech is too underdeveloped right now to support a completely decentralized social network.

“We’re not there yet,” Ottman admitted in our interview. “We’re taking a step-by-step approach. We want to get there.”

With incremental, steady progress, however, Ottman is confident that platforms like Minds.com will mature enough to hold their own against tech’s industry titans. Once people are given the choice of reclaiming control (and purchasing power) over their content, he believes that it’s only a matter of time before users make the switch.

“Now it’s just a matter of catching up to [mainstream platforms] in terms of functionality. When people have the choice between something transparent, protecting privacy, and reward-based — it’s a no brainer.”

Still, it takes a village, and those who share Minds.com’s vision for a liberated social media landscape must do their part to secure this future.

“It is important to sign up, to show support,” Ottman said. “Not just with Minds, but with all the different projects going on in this space because that’s what empowers the movement. Being active on these apps is literally what transfers power — so this whole #deletefacebook movement is really important. That’s how sites grow, that’s how they earn revenue, that’s how they become sustainable businesses.”




This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Why Token Curated Registries Could Become the Lists of the Future

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Token Curated Registries Could Become the Lists of the Future

People have a fetish for lists: frequent versus infrequent; business versus personal. There are grocery lists, to-do lists, bucket lists, Oscar nomination lists, top charts, top movies and top restaurants. By utilizing blockchain technology, token-curated registries (TCRs), that is, decentralized lists created with underlying economic incentives, have the potential to increase the accuracy and governance of any online list.

Online Lists Created by Centralized Companies

In 2018, most public online lists are curated by a centralized company or individual. Public online lists include: Spotify’s “Rap Caviar Playlist,” Lonely Planet’s “Top Locations in Budapest, Hungary,” or Opentable’s “Best Restaurants in Madrid, Spain.” Consumers trust centralized companies to create these lists honestly.

As a result, these companies hold all the power and exert an enormous amount of influence. They can easily remove an item from a list with few repercussions or manipulate a list by including advertisers who pay a price to be included or be listed higher than competitors.

Imagine a hypothetical situation where Spotify decides to cut ties with Katy Perry for her outspoken views and no longer recommends her music in curated pop playlists. Because Spotify owns the pop playlist lists, it can theoretically exercise this sort of complete control and remove popular (or up-and-coming) artists without the Spotify community’s approval. Spotify could also, for example, list other artists who are willing and able to pay a premium price for advertising above those who do not, putting rising talent at a disadvantage.

Online List Created by Individuals:

Lists created by individuals include YouTube playlists, iTunes playlists, polls that create a list based on individuals’ votes and other parameters, and more. These lists are created for a variety of reasons: for organization, clarity, self expression or ranking, or to share content with friends, family and the community at large. Shared online lists created by individuals are beneficial to the community because they can help people find what they are looking for or validate information they have already encountered.

These lists are often ranked and filtered based on likes or some form of human feedback. But they can be manipulated and spammed by online bots.

Token Curated Registries (TCRs)

Unlike traditional lists, TCRs are inherently decentralized, community-dependent and driven by underlying economic incentives. Co-invented by Mike Goldin, James Young, and Ameen Soleimani, TCRs use intrinsic tokens to “assign curation rights proportional to the relative weight of entities holding the token.” In simpler terms, TCRs allow people to stake tokens for or against an item that is proposed to be added to a decentralized list. In this way, these lists are maintained through economic incentives and the Wisdom of the Crowds principle — the idea that large groups of people are collectively smarter than individuals.

How Token-Curated Registries Work

At a high level, each TCR (list) is completely decentralized, meaning it isn’t owned by a single entity. Each requires three kinds of participants: consumers, candidates, and the list’s token holders.

For example, imagine a list called “Best Restaurants in Madrid, Spain.” Consumers in Spain search for this list when looking for the best places to go out for dinner. Candidates (in this case, restaurants in Madrid that think they are “the best”) want to be part of this list. The list’s token holders (those who own tokens in “Best Restaurants in Madrid”) want their tokens to increase in value.

If a hypothetical restaurant candidate — let’s call it Pablo’s Tapas — wants to be listed on the “Best Restaurants in Madrid” TCR, it needs to apply to the TCR by making a deposit denominated in the TCR’s intrinsic token.

If the majority of the TCR’s token-holding community votes to accept Pablo’s Tapas as a “best” restaurant in Madrid, then the restaurant will appear on the list, get to keep the tokens it deposited, and be able withdraw the tokens anytime they want to leave the TCR and de-list.

If the TCR’s token-holding community doesn’t think that Pablo’s Tapas should belist on the “best” restaurants list, they can challenge the restaurant’s application. If the majority of the community votes to deny Pablo’s Tapas, it gets rejected from listing and must forfeit its deposit to the TCR. The deposit is then divided as a reward among token holders who participated in the challenge.

Candidates and token holders continue this process, until all candidates either receive a spot on the list or are rejected.

In this idealized scenario, consumers searching for “best restaurants in Madrid” can now enjoy a Wisdom-of-the-Crowds driven, economically-incentivized final product that isn’t owned (and therefore isn’t manipulated) by any single party. Theoretically, a TCR should be more accurate than a traditional list because people are willing to stake economic value for an entry they strongly believe belongs on the list.

Current State of TCRs

Although TCRs promise an economically-driven way to crowdsource lists, they are far from ready for the average consumer.

For starters, TCRs are currently limited to binary lists  either the item is listed or it is not. In the future, TCRs could evolve to support ranking. For example, a concert-goer could stake a larger amount of tokens on the artist’s setlist TCR so that the artist plays the concert-goer’s favorite song and not another song.

Furthermore, it’s uncertain if economically-curated lists that pay other list-members for their actions could be considered gambling under U.S. law. There has never been any legal action regarding TCRs, so no precedent has been set.

Other unanswered questions include: Will TCRs lead to polarized lists, in which groups of like-minded people will continue to only pay attention to lists they are contributors to? Will TCRs create echo-chambers? Could non-blockchain companies implement the TCR concept using traditional software and micropayments in fiat currency? What kind of attacks are TCRs susceptible to, and how will they protect themselves?

Nevertheless, TCRs are a fascinating, practical application of blockchain technology that have the potential to create next-generation platforms for online list curation.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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