Bitcoin is booming because a split in the cryptocurrency has been narrowly averted

Bitcoin is booming because a split in the cryptocurrency has been narrowly averted

Bitcoin is booming because a split in the cryptocurrency has been narrowly averted

 

Bitcoin has risen as much as 28% over the past 24 hours, driven by news that an imminent split in the cryptocurrency has been narrowly averted. The price of bitcoin nearly hit $3,000 late on July 20, within spitting distance of its all-time high, set last month.

The remarkable rally took place as bitcoin’s miners coalesced around one of several competing proposals that would increase the number of transactions that can be processed on the network. The issue has gained urgency in recent months, because one of the measures, known as Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 148 (BIP 148), would lead to a split in the cryptocurrency on Aug. 1 if implemented.

The price rallied as bitcoin’s miners began broadcasting their support for a less radical proposal, BIP 91, in increasing numbers yesterday. This proposal avoids the so-called “hard fork” by stopping short of altering the hard-coded limit on transaction capacities that is the bone of contention within the bitcoin world, while offering slightly enlarged transaction capacity.

The threshold for activating BIP 91 is 80% of all the processing power on the bitcoin network. That was achieved in the early hours of July 21. Currently 97% of the processing power on the network, which is largely controlled by miners, is voting in favor of BIP 91.

But it’s not settled yet. Although enough miners have signaled support for their preferred proposal—a process akin to broadcasting a preference over the network—enough of them must now run the software that implements this proposal within the next two and a half days. Failure to maintain a simple majority of the processing power, also called the hash rate, would mean BIP 91 does not activate. This would put the bitcoin world back at square one, with just a week to go before the potentially destabilizing hard fork on Aug. 1.

There are also still signs that the fundamental disagreement that led to this showdown—a “civil war,” as some call it—is far from resolved. The fight is between bitcoin’s miners and the influential programmers who contribute to bitcoin’s open-source code, known as the “core developers.” The core devs say bitcoin is at risk of being controlled by a cartel of miners who, by virtue of their huge investments in processing power, are able to dictate what changes are made to the code—anathema to bitcoin’s decentralized founding ethos. But the miners, and other heavy users, like payment processors, point out that the bitcoin network could be abandoned if it doesn’t enlarge its limited capacity soon.

The architect of BIP 91, James Hilliard, a miner himself, told industry publication CoinDesk: “This is where mining centralization makes things easier, because I can just message everybody on WeChat and help them if needed.” That may be so, but it won’t comfort the parts of the bitcoin world concerned with centralization of the cryptocurrency, even if the current fix to bitcoin’s problems goes according to plan.

 

David Ogden
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Author:  Joon Ian Wong

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3 reasons cryptocurrency prices are in free fall

3 reasons cryptocurrency prices are in free fall

3 reasons cryptocurrency prices are in free fall

Whether it be Bitcoin or Ethereum, every cryptocurrency has suffered massive losses over the past several days. Prices have dropped to as low as 64 percent, bringing the entire cryptocurrency market cap down to $70 billion from $110 billion.

Ethereum’s price has gone from $400 right down to $151 in about a month, leading investors to panic sell. On the other hand, Bitcoin, which dominates the cryptocurrency market is down about 36 percent from its high (it’s currently trading around $1,894). Investors are finding it hard to hold onto cryptocurrencies at such a low price — especially amateur investors who bought them at a much higher price.
 

So what is causing the prices to dip so low? Could they go any lower? Could the market rebound from here?
 

Here are a few possible causes for the recent price tumble:
 

1. August 1st is looming

The infamous crypto “civil war” is around the corner. The debate on whether or not to increase the Bitcoin block size has been going on for a few of years now, with disagreement between the miners and nodes.

 

On August 1st, we could see a split, with part of the Bitcoin network supporting a change in protocol and the other part sticking to the current protocol. The result could be a massive devaluation of Bitcoin. This particular concern is making investors nervous, and some are liquidating their BTC into fiat, which could be the cause for this free fall.
 

As the Bitcoin price falls further, it will take down most of the major currencies with it. It is safe to say August 1st is not only Bitcoin’s independence day, but also a big day for all the blockchain based currencies.
 

2. Post-ICO “startups” are cashing out

Many blockchain-based companies have managed to raise millions of dollars in ETH — through initial coin offerings (ICOs) without even having a product. Nearly $700 million was raised in total last month through ICOs on the Ethereum platform.
 

Needless to say, most of these so-called startups are not worth the money they have raised. For instance, the BAT ICO raised $25 million in less than a minute, Cosmos raised $16 million, Status raised $95 million, and Bancor raised $153 million. One thing these companies are good at is marketing and writing fancy white papers.

 

Serious startups may hold onto Ethereum when they receive their funds, but those that are looking to make a quick buck could immediately cash out. This trend could also cause honest companies to liquidate their ETH and hold their funds in fiat (because, well, less volatility).
 

This could be one reason the Ethereum price is feeling downward pressure. EOS, for instance, which raised $200 million worth of ETH earlier this month, has apparently been offloading its ETH to Bitfinex. EOS is not alone; TenX, which listed Vitalik Buterin as an investor, raised 200,000 ETH ($67 million at the time) in its token sale, has sold nearly 30 percent of that ETH cache already. It is not clear whether TenX’s ETH are being sold on open exchanges or directly to individual investors, but they are going off TenX’s smart contract address.

 

From a startup’s perspective converting ICO funds (ETH) into fiat isn’t a bad thing at all, as Jeremy Epstein explained recently on VentureBeat. It helps them stay away from a highly volatile market and focus on their project.

 

Still, given that many ICO project developers have no incentive whatsoever to deliver on their promises following a big fundraise, we need an ecosystem to regulate these irrational multimillion-dollar seed funding rounds — and it needs to be set up quickly. The system must ask for provable business models. The projects must have use cases, users, flowing revenue, and even profits. Also, a working prototype would be nice.
 

3. We’re seeing market manipulation and amateur panicking

The cryptocurrency market is as unregulated as it can get. Things that would result in jail time on the stock market are legal here. In such a scenario, it’s no surprise that big players are manipulating the markets for their own gain. It’s no longer rare for people to run bots to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

 

Amateur investors, on the other hand, want to make quick profits. Once the price starts falling, these investors tend to panic sell. The combination of market manipulation and panic selling may be a reason behind the current price fall. One might argue that the market is going through its long term growth correction, but there is a chance it could be in for a deeper fall. The market could swing either way.

 

The bright side

Cryptocurrency is here to stay. While most of the current coins might disappear in the years to come, a few of these startups hold the potential to disrupt the entire financial system as we know it.

 

Some analysts are very bullish on this market and say it is still in the nascent stage with very few investors. Once the cryptocurrency market goes mainstream, the market cap will grow and so will the prices of coins.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

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Author: Anupam Varshney

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Cryptocurrencies Took A Hit, But Some Experts Say Now Is the Best Time to Buy

Cryptocurrencies Took A Hit, But Some Experts Say Now Is the Best Time to Buy

Cryptocurrencies Took A Hit, But Some Experts Say Now Is the Best Time to Buy

 

Cryptocurrencies took a hit Tuesday, with bitcoin and ethereum dropping significantly. However, many experts are advising investors to hold, and some are even advising people to buy now.

 

BLACK CRYPTO TUESDAY

Tuesday, July 11, was a rough day in the cryptocurrency world, with very few of the Top 100 Coin Market Cap list cryptocurrencies in green. At the time of this writing, bitcoin was still leading the market after plummeting by 8.8 percent on Tuesday; by Wednesday morning it climbed back a little, hovering above $2,300. Ethereum Classic fell by 18.4 percent, opening Wednesday just above $200. All of the other major cryptocurrencies did worse except for Litecoin, which dropped a relatively modest 11.4 percent.

However, it’s important to see this problem in context and remember where we were before this period of explosive growth that began just half a year ago. On January 1, 2017, bitcoin closed at $997.69; on January 3, ethereum closed at $8.35.

So while this is the first time since May that the price of ether has dropped below $200, for example, the values are still significantly higher than they were just months ago, and they have retained most of their 4,500 percent growth from this year.

 

HANGING IN

Some analysts predicted that July would be a critical month, given the ongoing Bitcoin network scaling issue. However, although this is certainly a time of turbulence in cryptocurrencies, many experts are advising investors to stand fast — and some are even saying that now is the best time to buy.

“This is the time for all those who thought they have missed the boat to get on board.” — Samuel Dwomfour

Initial coin offering (ICO) consultant Murray Barnetson told Coin Telegraph that holding remains the best choice even though things might still get worse, should people start to panic. ICO expert Priyabrata Dash agreed that the scaling issue underlies the overall drop in major cryptocurrencies, but told Coin Telegraph that August may well be positive.

Bitcoin Powpow’s Edward Cunningham also spoke to Coin Telegraph: “We have all known that July was going to be a bumpy month due to the BTC possible split drama which only adds to the ICO’s dumping for liquidity — let’s hope beginning August the trend changes and heads North. In the meantime, hold as best you can.”

Ghana Blockchain Institute president Samuel Dwomfour is among the experts who think now is a good time to buy. “I’m not perturbed at all. This is the time for all those who thought they have missed the boat to get on board,” he told Coin Telegraph.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

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Author: Karla Lant

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Bitcoin is Permanently Superior to Paper Money in Ways – German Business Magazine

Bitcoin is Permanently Superior to Paper Money in Ways - German Business Magazine

Bitcoin is Permanently Superior to Paper Money in Ways – German Business Magazine

While many mainstream media personalities and analysts remain skeptical about bitcoin (and often rehash misinformation), others are beginning to give cryptocurrency an honest appraisal.

The latest comes from leading German business magazine Wirtschafts Woche, which recently published an article praising bitcoin. “The Revolution of Cryptocurrency,” written by economist Thorsten Polleit, argues that the advent of cryptocurrency set off a monetary revolution that could eventually supplant fiat national currencies.

Public fiat money, he explains, possesses four inherent flaws:

1. Inflation

2. Monetary distribution inequality

3. The tendency to produce boom-bust cycles

4.The temptation to increase national debt

Polleit states that cryptocurrencies avoid these and other flaws due to market competition. As long as no currency has a state-mandated economic monopoly, consumer demand should favor better coins.

However, it should be noted that not all cryptocurrencies resist the flaws Polleit finds in fiat money. Many cryptocurrencies are inflationary, although their rate of inflation is generally fixed rather than variable. Cryptocurrency distribution models can also exhibit inequality, and there is much debate about what constitutes a fair coin/token dissemination method. That said, by divorcing monetary policy from the national government, one will avoid the final two flaws of public money.

Polleit believes consumer demand for bitcoin will likely increase as fiat money loses purchasing power and national governments reduce or even eliminate cash transactions. He foresees the potential for blockchain-based currencies to “make…Fiat money worthless.”

Despite this bullish tone, Polleit urges investors to approach cryptocurrency speculation with caution. As he states (translated into English):

While many mainstream media personalities and analysts remain skeptical about bitcoin (and often rehash misinformation), others are beginning to give cryptocurrency an honest appraisal.

The latest comes from leading German business magazine Wirtschafts Woche, which recently published an article praising bitcoin. “The Revolution of Cryptocurrency,” written by economist Thorsten Polleit, argues that the advent of cryptocurrency set off a monetary revolution that could eventually supplant fiat national currencies.

Whoever obtains [cryptocurrency] should know that he does not invest, but speculates. Unlike in the case of shares or bonds, they do not have a recognized and tested valuation formula – the same also applies to raw materials or art objects. You can not even estimate whether the price you pay is justified with regard to the “intrinsic value” of the [coins].

For this reason, he seems to favor colored coins tied to physical assets, such as gold.

Diverging from other pro-bitcoin analysts, Polleit encourages investors to avoid currency speculation. The sensible investor, he says, should instead continue to invest in “great companies” and take a long-term approach to the markets. The monetary revolution may cause economic upheaval, but he explains that solid companies will continue to bring positive returns no matter what currency–or cryptocurrency–they use to transact business.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

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Author: Josiah Wilmoth

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Bitcoin could nearly double and reach $5,000 soon, says Standpoint Research

Bitcoin could nearly double and reach $5,000 soon, says Standpoint Research

Bitcoin could nearly double and reach $5,000 soon, says Standpoint Research

 

Bitcoin traded near $2,600 Wednesday, according to CoinDesk.

Standpoint Research founder Ronnie Moas said the digital currency could rise to $5,000 "in a few months."

"This is not something I could keep my hands off of," Moas said.

Stock research analyst Ronnie Moas said he bought bitcoin this weekend and thinks it could reach $5,000 within a year.

 

"$5,000 could happen in a few months. It's only starting to gain traction right now," Moas, founder of Standpoint Research, told CNBC in a phone interview Wednesday. "It's starting to spread like wildfire right now."

He pointed out that since only 21 million bitcoin can ever exist, increasing demand for the digital currency will naturally drive its price up.

Bitcoin briefly tripled in value this year, hitting a record $3,025.47 on June 11, according to CoinDesk. The digital currency traded Wednesday near $2,600, still more than double its Dec. 31 price of $968.

"This is not something I could keep my hands off of," Moas said. "What would be more painful than losing [money in cryptocurrencies] is not acting."

The research analyst said he invested a few hundred U.S. dollars each in bitcoin, ethereum and another digital currency called litecoin through Coinbase.com. After he releases a 40-page report on cryptocurrencies in the next few weeks, Moas said he plans to invest more in them.

The research analyst's view on bitcoin joins the optimistic views of others on Wall Street. On Sunday, Goldman Sachs' technical analyst Sheba Jafari said in a note that bitcoin could rise as high as $3,915.

300

Bitcoin could nearly double and reach $5,000 soon, says Standpoint Research Bitcoin could nearly double and reach $5,000 soon, says Standpoint Research

Stock research analyst Ronnie Moas said he bought bitcoin this weekend and thinks it could reach $5,000 within a year.

"$5,000 could happen in a few months. It's only starting to gain traction right now," Moas, founder of Standpoint Research, told CNBC in a phone interview Wednesday. "It's starting to spread like wildfire right now."

He pointed out that since only 21 million bitcoin can ever exist, increasing demand for the digital currency will naturally drive its price up.

Bitcoin briefly tripled in value this year, hitting a record $3,025.47 on June 11, according to CoinDesk. The digital currency traded Wednesday near $2,600, still more than double its Dec. 31 price of $968.

"This is not something I could keep my hands off of," Moas said. "What would be more painful than losing [money in cryptocurrencies] is not acting."

The research analyst said he invested a few hundred U.S. dollars each in bitcoin, ethereum and another digital currency called litecoin through Coinbase.com. After he releases a 40-page report on cryptocurrencies in the next few weeks, Moas said he plans to invest more in them.

The research analyst's view on bitcoin joins the optimistic views of others on Wall Street. On Sunday, Goldman Sachs' technical analyst Sheba Jafari said in a note that bitcoin could rise as high as $3,915.

Goldman Sachs says bitcoin could rise another 50% Goldman Sachs says bitcoin could rise another 50%

"In the next 6 to 12 months you're going to have a little bit of a hysteria," Moas said. However, "this has a long, long way to go before it gets to bubble territory."

Moas' reasoning is so little of global capital is in cryptocurrencies right now that the young digital currencies can absorb more of those funds without becoming overvalued.

McKinsey Global Institute estimated that the value of the world's stocks and debt rose to $212 trillion in 2010.

On the other hand, CoinMarketCap data showed the market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies has grown from below $20 billion at the start of this year to about $100 billion, still less than a tenth of a percent of global capital markets. Bitcoin has a market value of about $42 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

"There will be scams, there will be accounts wiped out, there will be people that get hurt, like every other technology that is going on," Moas said. But "I think the cryptocurrency is here to stay. I think we're in the second inning of a 9-inning ball game."

Many, including some on Wall Street, believe that the blockchain technology behind bitcoin can fundamentally change the way the world operates, just like the internet did.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

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Author: Evelyn Cheng

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Bitcoin and Decentralized Networks are the Future, Says University Professor

Bitcoin and Decentralized Networks are the Future, Says University Professor

Bitcoin and Decentralized Networks are the Future, Says University Professor

 

Lorenzo Fioramonti, Professor of Political Economy at the University of Pretoria (South Africa), who also directs the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, recently published a write-up stating that money systems are in the process of transitioning from “centralized authority to decentralized networks.”

Cryptocurrencies represent a significant part of such decentralized networks. According to Fioramonti, there is a growing demand for digital currencies. On one hand, he exemplified with the recent adoption of cryptocurrencies in the world. Japan regulated bitcoin in April 2017, while the Russian government – who threatened virtual currencies last year – made a U-turn and even President Vladimir Putin met with Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. In addition, China halted its initial freeze on bitcoin exchanges in the country, therefore, the major BTC exchanges in the country resumed trading in June 2017. In the United States and Australia, digital currencies are experiencing higher adoption rates, in addition, the Oceanian country will soon exempt traders and investors from goods and services tax.

The professor stated, in the near future, cryptocurrencies will “become much more common as methods of payment for a wide range of purchases, from online shopping to the local supermarket.” Not just developed, but developing countries are making efforts to implement digital currencies in their economies, Fioramonti wrote.

In Venezuela, where the current economy is facing major problems, bitcoin has become “the leading parallel currency”, the professor wrote. While the official national currency of the South American country is worth almost nothing, bitcoin can be used to perform transactions, buy food along with other basic necessities, and to purchase products from overseas countries bypassing the strict controls on capital.

Local innovators in East Africa implemented the use of cryptocurrencies in cross-border transactions. An example for this is BitPesa. According to the professor, the popularity of cryptocurrencies in South Africa is also on the rise. Since the Nigerian government failed its citizens by conventional money, local traders and activists believe digital currencies has a potential to democratize the economy. Verengai Mabika, founder of BitFinance in Zimbabwe, stated bitcoin is an attractive alternative for conducting online payments and remittances, which “constitute the backbone of the economy.” Verengai told Fioramonti that 37 percent of BitFinance’s customers use cryptocurrencies for savings since the 2008 hyperinflation resulted in the collapse of the Zimbabwe’s financial institutions.

Fioramonti stated that decentralization is the “core of this new trend.” According to the professor, the use of cryptocurrencies “will make economies more resilient against shocks and will support more equitable and sustainable development, by putting users in the driver seat and reinforcing local economic development.”

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author: Benjamin Vitáris

 

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Cryptocurrencies Could Reach $5 Trillion in 5 Years, Says Wall Street Billionaire Bitcoin Investor

Cryptocurrencies Could Reach $5 Trillion in 5 Years, Says Wall Street Billionaire Bitcoin Investor

Cryptocurrencies Could Reach $5 Trillion in 5 Years, Says Wall Street Billionaire Bitcoin Investor

 

Billionaire investor Michael Novogratz, a former hedge fund manager who has been supportive of bitcoin, claims cryptocurrencies could be worth more than $5 trillion in five years, speaking at the CB Insights Future of Fintech conference in New York,

Get exclusive analysis of bitcoin and learn from our trading tutorials. Join Hacked.com for just $39 now.

For this to happen, companies have to develop business principles that satisfy regulators. The recent cyberattack that disabled computers and demanded $300 bitcoin ransom payments is one reminder of the challenge bitcoin faces, following May’s WannaCry attack. Such events reinforce bitcoin’s reputation as a currency favored by hackers and criminals.
 

Bitcoin Needs A Better Reputation

Novogratz, who formerly managed liquid strategies for Fortress Investment Group LLC and has addressed bitcoin investments since 2013, is among Wall Street’s most visible cryptocurrency supporters, according to Bloomberg. He urged cryptocurrency companies to pay their taxes since “nobody in that space” pays taxes. He said a core group of developers have good intentions, however.

The Nasdaq reached $5.4 trillion in 1999, he noted.

 

Hack’s Impact Not Great

The recent cyberattack did not impact bitcoin’s price, which at 2 p.m. Tuesday was $2,339.66. Some makers of chips used for bitcoin mining equipment did retreat, however. Bitcoin has gained more than 140% on the year, while Ether has skyrocketed from $8 to $240.

 

Challenges still face cryptocurrencies, Novogratz noted. The cyberattack struck amidst questions about the strength of the current cryptocurrency rally and about the scalability of digital assets, Novogratz noted.

This week’s downturn in crypto values shrunk the total market cap from $110 billion $90 billion, according to coinmarketcap.com.
 

Novogratz Bets On Bitcoin

Novogratz said he has profited on the bitcoin and ether surges, and still has 10% of his net worth in cryptos, including assets he acquired in initial coin offerings. He hopes to add more bitcoin if the price falls to $2,000, and more Ether should the price drop between $200 and $150.

Bitcoin could emerge as a store of wealth similar to gold, he said, while Ethereum could provide the foundation for future Facebooks and Googles. He suspects money transfers to securities settlement will discontinue using blockchain technology.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur David Ogden

 

Author: Lester Coleman

 

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Beware Cryptocurrency Gold Rush Mentality

Beware Cryptocurrency Gold Rush Mentality

Beware Cryptocurrency Gold Rush Mentality

On one hand, it's hard for many investors not to be excited about the meteoric rise of cryptocurrencies in the past few months. Bitcoin has roughly tripled in value since the beginning of the year, Ethereum is up by about 40 times, and Ripple, one of the newest arrivals on the scene, gained a shocking 3800%. What's more, the total market cap for the cryptocurrency industry has been steadily increasing as well, and more and more businesses are finding ways to incorporate digital currencies into their models and payment systems. However, with all of this excitement about the new industry, there are also many analysts approaching with caution. Aberdeen Asset Management is one of the latest firms to do so, suggesting that there is a virtual currency bubble which will, at some point, eventually burst.

Prices Driven By Speculation?

In an interview with Bloomberg, the head of global venture capital at Aberdeen Asset Management had some words of caution for investors considering the cryptocurrency field. Peter Denious said that "prices right now aren't being driven by network usage, they're being driven by speculation that tokens are going to appreciate. It's a gold-rush mentality." Denious and others point to the rapid increase in the number of initial coin offerings, or ICOs, as well as the quick gains in the price of tokens upon listing as two signs that a bubble is in effect. ICOs are tremendously successful, with many companies operating in the blockchain space making millions of dollars in minutes, even if they have no proven or distinctive idea backing their token.

Cryptocurrencies Not the Only Assets to Reach Heights

It may be important to note, however, that digital currencies are not the only assets which have seen gains to record levels in recent months. The returns on the leading cryptocurrencies so far in 2017 have been unparalleled in other areas, but other asset classes have also made impressive gains. Nasdaq and S&P 500 indices are at record levels, despite the widespread uncertainty surrounding global markets. At the same time, housing prices seem to have mostly recovered from an earlier burst.

Coin Telegraph suggests that the increase in asset prices may be due to large degrees of liquidity across global markets, thanks to quantitative easing by many central banks around the world. Considering this possible reason for the gains, it may not be just a cryptocurrency bubble that eventually bursts. If there is, in fact, a burgeoning bubble in either the real estate or equity worlds, those could have serious and long-lasting effects on the worldwide economy. As cryptocurrencies are untested, it's more difficult to say what the impact of a bubble burst would be in that area.

 

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

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Author: Nathan Reiff |

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Market Turns Green

Market turns green

Market Turns Green

The cryptocurrency market takes a turn to the green, led by Ethereum and Bitcoin.

After two days of the so-called ‘crypto correction’ in the final days of June, the wider cryptocurrency market is seemingly back on a comeback trial as all top ten cryptocurrencies by market cap make gains over a 24-hour period.

According to CoinMarketCap, all but two of the top 50 cryptocurrencies have taken a positive turn during Tuesday’s trading period. At press time, only Bytecoin, the original anonymous crypto which made a 250% jump in May and Ardor, a blockchain-as-a-service platform, see their respective tokens fail to make gains at the top half of the table.

 

Ethereum leads the way among the big dogs, with a near 8% gain as Ether prices return to hitting above $275. Bitcoin, up over 2%, is trading just above $2,475. Ripple, Litecoin and Ethereum Classic are following the trend. Dash, at #7 on the crypto-ranks, is up nearly 13% at over $170 per DASH.

 

Today’s upward gains will come as respite during a dramatic few days for the cryptocurrency market. Rewund back to mid-June, the entire cryptocurrency market cap had struck $117 billion. At its lowest point on Tuesday, the combined market cap of all cryptocurrencies in circulation had fallen to $88 billion – a wipeout of $29 billion in two weeks. Monday, in particular, saw 92 of the top 100 cryptos hit red, with the IOTA’s IOT token and Ethereum taking the biggest falls.
 

Tuesday didn’t start off on sound footing either, as Ethereum fell nearly 20% to a low of $227.14 today, a near 4-week low. A mainstream rumor that Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin died in a car crash didn’t help matters.

 

Ultimately, the downturn that began on Sunday evening could have ultimately proven to be the pause the market needed following significant gains in recent months. A breather helps. It never was, nor will ever be a sprint. It’s summer time, after all. Everyday investors, having helped boost entire cryptocurrency market leap from $28 billion in mid-April to a dizzying $117 billion in mid-June, could be closing their positions for profits during summertime.

 

“All that really happened today was some newcomers and bull traders got discount coins,” wrote CCN’s P.H. Madore amid Monday’s gloom. For others, these last few days have merely been an exercise of holding on.

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author: Samburaj Das

 

 

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IMF Urges Banks to Invest In Cryptocurrencies

IMF Urges Banks to Invest In Cryptocurrencies

IMF Urges Banks to Invest In Cryptocurrencies
 

A June 2017 staff discussion note from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggests that banks should consider investing in cryptocurrencies more seriously than they have in the past. According to the IMF staff team responsible for the note, including prominent economists such as Dong He, Ross Leckow, and Vikram Haksar, "rapid advances in digital technology are transforming the financial services landscape." These members of the IMF feel that such transformations generate new opportunities for consumers as well as service providers and regulators. The ultimate message of the report seems to be one of support for cryptocurrencies, as it outlines some of the ways that the fintech industry might be able to provide solutions for consumers related to trust, security, financial services, and privacy in this area.

 

Boundaries are Blurring

One of the key findings of the IMF report is that "boundaries are blurring." This means that the borders between intermediaries, service providers, and markets, previously well-defined, have become blurry with the advent of new technology related to digital currencies and cross-border payments. Along with the blurring of these boundaries, the authors of the report suggest that "barriers to entry are changing." This does not, however, mean that barriers to entry are universally being lowered. Rather, they are being lowered in some situations but raised for others, particularly "if the emergence of large closed networks reduces opportunities for competition."

 

Trust Remains Essential

Absolutely key in the view of the authors of this report is that "trust remains essential." With less reliance on traditional intermediaries, consumers are turning more toward new networks and providers. The facilitation of this transfer on a large scale requires significant levels of trust in security, privacy, and efficiency. Along with this, and perhaps contributing to a new sense of trust, is the authors' conclusion that "technologies may improve cross-border payments" by serving better and more cost-efficient services, by lowering compliance costs, and by working to fight against terrorism financing.

 

In the view of the IMF authors, the financial services sector is poised to make the change toward cryptocurrency involvement. That being said, the report suggests that "policymaking will need to be nimble, experimental, and cooperative" in order to successfully navigate this crossing. Simultaneously, regulatory authorities will have a careful job to do: they must balance efficiency concerns and stability tradeoffs. In order to be willing to enter into this world, regulatory authorities will likely need reassurance that risks including cyberattacks, money-laundering, and terrorism support can be mitigated without harming the innovative progress of the digital currency world. To do this, the authors believe that regulators might need to increase their attention on activities and that governance will need to be strengthened. If all of these things take place, the IMF authors believe that banks could integrate cryptocurrencies successfully.

 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur

 

Author: Nathan Reiff

 

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