Doge Is Helping Ethereum Solve Its Biggest Issue

Doge Is Helping Ethereum Solve Its Biggest Issue

Doge Is Helping Ethereum Solve Its Biggest Issue

A cryptocurrency modeled after a dog meme is proving yet again it's not just a joke.

Created on a whim in 2013, dogecoin isn't simply still around, it's playing a crucial role in the ongoing testing of at least one "serious" technology. In fact, on February 5, it notably factored into an experiment that successfully showcased one of ethereum's more enterprising projects.

On that date, the much-anticipated technology truebit successfully sent dogecoin to ethereum's Rinkeby testnet, where it became a distinct asset on that blockchain. A historic first, the transaction marked the completion of a years-long project developers see as a stepping stone toward the interoperability of crypto assets more broadly.

Nicknamed the "dogethereum bridge," the test also marks the first real release for truebit, which aims to solve one of ethereum's biggest problems: scalability.

In short, the smart contract platform can't support many users right now. Indeed, because of all the data ethereum needs to store in its globally distributed database, it requires more than three times as much data as bitcoin, and that's making it more difficult for users to run.

Though truebit is lesser-known than scaling solutions like raiden and sharding, the technology is perhaps more ambitious because it's designed to scale any type of ethereum computation, rather than just transactions. This is key, since ethereum bills itself as more than "just" a financial cryptocurrency.

In the long run, truebit wants to scale video, machine learning or just about any computation you can think of, and dogethereum is the first use case, so far.
 

Truebit co-founder Jason Teutsch:

"We built a first version of that, which we're calling 'truebit lite.' It demonstrates that all the core pieces of truebit work. It's a big milestone for us."

$1 million on the line

Backing up, the history of dogethereum is an interesting one.

In the heyday of dogecoin (back when its thriving community could pool together $30,000 in donations to fund a bobsled team), Ethereum Foundation UX designer Alex Van de Sande got together with other developers and set a bounty to incentivize someone to come up with a way to move coins from dogecoin to ethereum and back.

The group locked up the funds in a DAO, a kind of application that runs on ethereum, enabling money to be spent only once specific rules are met. In this instance, the funds were set to only be released if five of the DAO leaders vote to do so by signing approval with their ethereum private keys.

Since the price of ethereum ballooned over the years, the smart contract holds ether worth about $1.2 million today. But no one's received the bounty so far, primarily because running dogethereum in an efficient way has proven to be a much more difficult problem to solve than expected, as Van de Sande pointed out in a string of tweets describing the project's origins.

The heart of the issue is it's too computationally expensive to validate a coin going from one chain to another – and back again – costing millions of dollars in ether. In order to solve this problem, it needs to be less expensive to run computations on the ethereum blockchain.

"This [bounty] kicked off a two- or three-year discussion about how best to implement it," said truebit developer Sina Habibian, adding:

"Dogethereum is representative of a larger problem of how to run big computations."

And dogethereum is how truebit was born – the seemingly silly bridge sparking Ethereum Foundation developer and truebit co-author Christian Reitwiessner's interest in designing a scalability layer on top of ethereum.
 

The big test

Truebit developers might be getting close to snatching the dogethereum bounty, though, since some successful tests on the Rinkeby copy of the ethereum blockchain have been executed.

The only other step is doing it live.

Truebit built a dogecoin light client, a smaller version of the blockchain that slashes most of the historical data, embedding it in the doge relay so it can securely move coins from chain to chain.

Yet, Truebit's developers stressed the challenging aspect of what they've accomplished, arguing that the dogethereum bridge is different than decentralized exchange via atomic swaps, an idea that's been gaining ground of late. Rather, it's more like sidechains, a long-stalled bitcoin technology.

"We want to actually pull coins off of the dogecoin blockchain and put them onto ethereum in the form of ERC-20 tokens," Teutsch explained. "And be able to move them back."

"You don't need a counterparty. You're doing this completely on your own," Habibian added.

To accomplish this, there has to be some way of locking coins on dogecoin so that they cannot be spent until they are sent back from ethereum. But that's not the most difficult part. What remains computationally expensive is proving that the owner of the dogecoin owns the ether coins on the other side.

They then executed a transaction on the Rinkeby testnet, sending the dogecoin to ethereum – and back again – using truebit under the hood, so the normally expensive proof is executed off-chain, in a much cheaper way.
 

No estimates

Despite the public debut for the scaling project, though, the team behind truebit still has their work cut out for them.

In this first version of the technology, the incentives are "greatly simplified," Habibian said.

In the technology they have ready today, some of the participants are behaving "altruistically." That is, the system's verifiers are performing expensive computations just to be nice.

And while that probably wouldn't work in practice, truebit's goal is to one day create a marketplace where participants are paid for doing computational work on their computers and contributing correct results.

"People will come out of their own self-interest to run these computations and make money in return," Habibian said.

So, when will all that be ready exactly? Habibian wouldn't give an estimate for how long it will take to launch for real on ethereum.

"It's always hard to make estimates like that because one of the rules of software engineering is, 'However long you think something's going to take, it'll take three times as long,'" he said.

Still, he revealed truebit plans to release new software programs iterating on this milestone in the coming months now that the startup has teamed up with decentralization startup Aragon and ethereum-based video service LivePeer.

That's how they think the technology will spread at first, beyond dogethereum, marking a big step for truebit – and potentially ethereum too.

As Habibian told CoinDesk

"When it's done and it's fully built, you'll be able to run any computation on ethereum."

 

Author Alyssa Hertig Updated Feb 19, 2018 at 03:41 UTC

 

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CFTC Warns Against Cryptocurrency Pump-and-dump Schemes

CFTC Warns Against Cryptocurrency Pump-and-dump Schemes

CFTC Warns Against Cryptocurrency Pump-and-dump Schemes

The rising popularity of cryptocurrencies is of great concern. Especially when it comes to pump-and-dump schemes, there’s reason to be concerned. As such, the CFTC issued an official warning against this type of market manipulation. They advise customers to avoid such schemes, especially when it comes to small and new altcoin markets. It is evident doing one’s research is always the best course of action.

In the world of cryptocurrency, pump-and-dump schemes are nothing new. In fact, they are a lot more common than some people might think. The CFTC has issued an official warning on this topic earlier this week. This is quite a surprise, even though it is evident consumers need to be aware of these manipulative efforts. Especially smaller cap coins and new alternative cryptocurrencies pose a significant risk in this regard. Moreover, it is always best to avoid any promotion on social media altogether.
 

Avoiding Cryptocurrency Pump-and-dump Schemes

This seems to stem forth from the recent BitConnect issues. That pump-and-dump scheme caused hundreds of millions in financial losses. It was mainly promoted on social media and YouTube. The CFTC doesn’t want history to repeat itself in this regard. They now want consumers to blow the whistle on any suspicious currencies first and foremost. It’s always better to submit tips than ignore pump-and-dump schemes altogether. Whether or not the general public will follow this guideline, remains to be seen.

According to the CFTC, pump-and-dump schemes in the cryptocurrency world take place on social media first and foremost. Online chat rooms, such as the ones on Telegram, are also problematic in this regard. Ignoring these buy signals will prove to be rather difficult for a lot of novice users. It is these people the marketers and scammers prey on first and foremost. A lot of people never do any research for specific coins or projects, even though they really should.

For now, the CFTC will not undertake further action against pump-and-dump schemes. They are not in a position to do so either, unfortunately. It is evident users need to conduct their due diligence first and foremost. Those who purposefully defraud other investors will face legal issues sooner or later, though. Anyone participating in market manipulation also violates the law. It is evident this new financial industry needs some boundaries first and foremost. Cracking down on pump-and-dumps is the right way to go in this regard.

 

Author JP BUNTINX • FEB 18, 2018 • 03:02

 

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What Could Lift Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, And Litecoin Prices Back Towards New Highs

What Could Lift Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, And Litecoin Prices Back Towards New Highs

The cryptocurrency party is on again.

After being in a deep correction for a few weeks, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin have been coming back nicely over the last week, gaining 19.87%, 10.48%, 30.57%, and 53.90% respectively—see table 1.

 

Table 1
 

7-Day Price Change For Major Cryptocurrencie

Source: Coinmarketcap.com 2/16/18 at 10:30 a.m.
 

The turnaround in cryptocurrency markets comes as equity markets rebounded from the sell-off early in the month, with NASDAQ gaining close to 5% in the last five days—see table 2.
 

Table 2

Source: Finance.yahoo.com 2/16/18 at 10.30 a.m.
 

Most notably, the cryptocurrency “technicals” remained strong, with 83 cryptocurrencies advancing and only 17 declining among the top 100 listed currencies—see table 3.
 

[Ed. note: Investing in cryptocoins or tokens is highly speculative and the market is largely unregulated. Anyone considering it should be prepared to lose their entire investment. Disclosure: I don't own any Bitcoin.]

 

Number of Cryptocurrencies That Advanced/Declined In The Top 100 Ranks

The strong rebound in major cryptocurrencies is a cause of celebration for investors who purchased near the market bottom.
 

How long will the party last? Will major cryptocurrencies prices test the old highs? It’s hard to tell. Still, there are a few scenarios that could help major cryptocurrencies move in that direction.

One of them is the proliferation of Wall Street products like ETFs and Futures contracts that will allow a broader investor participation in cryptocurrency markets. In fact, it was the introduction of Futures contracts that created a great deal of buzz for major cryptocurrencies last December, and taking some of them to new highs.

Another scenario is an improved access to cryptocurrency exchanges that will ease the difficulty of buying cryptocurrencies by the average investor. “The biggest tailwind I can see right now is greater acceptance of cryptos by mainstream investors and improving ease-of-access to the crypto exchanges,” says Jesse Cohen Senior Analyst with Investing.com. “Trading app RobinHood for example has a waiting list of around 1.2 million users for its new crypto trading service, which would allow easy, quick and most importantly safe investing in all the major coins."

A third scenario is the adoption of cryptocurrencies as a medium of payment by major merchants. Already, there has been talk that Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts are considering accepting Bitcoins for their products.

While all this talk sounds like pie in the sky, the likelihood for one of these companies to adopt a cryptocurrency is very appealing, for an obvious reason: it will create a great deal of buzz among younger customers.

And it will drive cryptocurrency prices higher, provided that big governments, big banks, and hackers do not spoil the party again.

 

Author Panos Mourdoukoutas ,

 

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
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Cryptocurrency latest – Unprecedented Bitcoin legal battles BAFFLE top regulation lawyers

Cryptocurrency latest - Unprecedented Bitcoin legal battles BAFFLE top regulation lawyers

Cryptocurrency latest – Unprecedented Bitcoin legal battles BAFFLE top regulation lawyers

UNPRECEDENTED legal battles are set to take place in the UK after it was reported that divorce lawyers are struggling to come up with settlement agreements over cryptocurrencies.

The unusual legal cases are said to concern at least three couples looking to legally separate.

One pair has a fortune of £600,000 in cryptocurrencies that they are currently struggling to agree how to split.

The lack of regulation surrounding the digital currencies means that there is little legal cover for those looking to protect their online assets in the case of a divorce.

Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple and Ethereum are all understood to be at the centre of online money involved in the divorce cases.

Vandana Chitroda, a partner at the law firm Royds Withy King, said: “These are the first cases we have seen, and we expect to see many more.

“We believe that cryptocurrencies will be a significant feature in a large number of divorces.

“Whilst cryptocurrencies are volatile, they are not going to go away.”

Bitcoin has dramatically seen its value plunge throughout 2018 from a record high of nearly £15,000 in December 2017 to now under £7,000.

However, there is evidence to suggest the number of people investing in cryptocurrencies is rising.

Ms Chitroda added: “It is important that if you believe your husband or wife has invested in or purchased cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, and you are separating, you tell your legal adviser.”

Countries around the world are currently looking at implementing regulation for digital currencies in an effort to catch up with the latest financial craze.

The finance minister and Central Bank Governors of France and Germany have requested that talks on policy and monetary implications of cryptocurrencies be part of G20 talks in March.

They want world leaders to come up with a global strategy for the online assets.

Some countries have already begun to act unilaterally to increase regulation.

South Korea introduced a raft of measures last month aimed at regulating Bitcoin and similar currencies such as Ripple and Ethereum.

A ban on anonymous trading was implemented by the Asian power in a bid to crack down on all possible criminal activities the secret nature of trading Bitcoin allowed.

Meanwhile, India’s Government has said it does not consider cryptocurrencies to be legal tender and will try to phase out payments using the online money.

 

 

 

Author DAN FALVEY UPDATED: 05:29, Thu, Feb 15, 2018

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
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Prices Aside, Crypto’s Tech Stack Is Steadily Improving

Prices Aside, Crypto's Tech Stack Is Steadily Improving

Prices Aside, Crypto's Tech Stack Is Steadily Improving

Rachel Rose O'Leary and Alyssa Hertig

Feb 11, 2018 at 14:45 UTC

 

A look at the headlines of late may leave you with a familiar conclusion – with all the ups and downs in the market, it's just too early to take crypto seriously.

And it's true, despite the best efforts of even the industry's most notable developers, the world's largest cryptocurrencies remain not just volatile, but difficult (and risky) to use, at least in a way that their creators' intended.

Still, heading into 2018, enthusiasts the world over are hard at work on improvements.

As such, there's optimism advances could start to compound, creating a user experience that finally starts to transcend the issues – namely, the high fees and long wait times – users of most blockchains have become all too accustomed to.

In fact, in the year ahead, blockchain users could see exciting new features and scientific firsts that just might help push the industry closer to that vision:

 

1. Off-chain channels

What if it was possible for blockchain-based transactions to avoid using the blockchain at all?

That's the big idea behind off-blockchain payment channels, an idea that harkens back to 2015, but whose time may have finally come this year. Most associated with Bitcoin's Lightning Network, the idea is actually more general than this specific instance.

Essentially, off-blockchain payment channels would allow two people using any one cryptocurrency to send small payments back and forth, settling to the blockchain (and dealing with its high fees and slow transaction times) only when absolutely necessary.

Due to the potential impact, the idea is catching on – ethereum developers, while they often don't see eye-to-eye with their bitcoin peers, are at work on the same type of solution.

But there's more than just a rivalry at play, there's also reason to believe 2018 might be different in that actual live transactions could be sent in significant numbers.

The developers behind bitcoin's Lightning Network have declared the technology almost ready based on successful tests. Meanwhile, ethereum's developers have also unveiled successful tests for their versions of the concept, Raiden Network, with a more ambitious version, Plasma, potentially around the corner.

 

2. Real-live staking

As their popularity grows, attention is also being paid to the electricity required to sustain cryptocurrencies.

While the relevant data is difficult to pin down, proof-of-work, the consensus protocol that underlies bitcoin mining, is best defined as an energy-intensive process. As such, there are concerns about its electricity use could have large-scale environmental effects.

This is leading to new research on an idea from 2011. Called proof-of-stake, or "consensus by vote," the idea has been implemented, however, not at the scale intended by ethereum.

As such, it's long-awaited project Casper is likely to be under significant scrutiny this coming year, and early versions are beginning to see the light.

In a testnet released on New Year's Eve, one variation of Casper, was claimed to be functional. Karl Floersch, a leading developer behind the technology, told CoinDesk at the time that the code is working with "no hiccups."

Work remains to adapt this early version of Casper across the different ethereum clients, but ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin has said he expects the technology will be tested alongside proof-of-work sometime in the future.

 

3. Privacy advances

Privacy has been a somewhat neglected promise in the majority of blockchains, but it's nonetheless an issue that could see improvement this year.

Most notable is the advances in zero-knowledge proofs, what Buterin has called "the single most under-hyped thing in cryptography right now," are getting cheaper and easier to deploy.

A form of cryptography that hides information without risking validity, it's already been adapted to a small degree into ethereum, which could lead to a wave of startups experimenting with private smart contracts in novel and unexpected ways.

Plus, in a white paper published earlier this month, a system for achieving zero-knowledge without compromising trust – a point of contention in some earlier iterations of the tech – was released, an update which could have exciting consequences.

And as existing tech matures, privacy-centric cryptocurrencies such as monero and zcash are also set to improve.

In preparation for an upgrade, zcash has been steadily reinforcing its security, while monero is stepping up to implement "bulletproofs," a feature that could cut fees by 80 percent.

 

4. Decentralized exchanges

No, this isn't just a new version of Coinbase or Kraken.

As the industry's largest exchanges struggle to cope with the influx of new adopters, an increasing number of projects are at work developing something called a decentralized exchange. The term denotes not just a new browser-based exchange, but rather a type of software users can use to swap one cryptocurrency with another without a central entity.

2017 saw a flood of new decentralized exchange projects, such as ShapeShift's Prism, 0x, OmiseGo, Kyber Network, and many others.

Expect those efforts to accelerate this year.

So far, hardware wallet Ledger has already integrated with decentralized exchange Radar Relay, allowing users to trustlessly exchange tokens based on ethereum.

While functionality is limited (it's only supported by a single wallet and only ethereum-based tokens can be sent), many in the industry see it as a glimpse into the future of not just cryptocurrency exchanges, but the technology itself.

 

Posted By David Ogden Entrepreneur
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Bitcoin ‘SKYROCKETS’ Cryptocurrency soars 25 per cent in 24 hours as ‘investors celebrate’

Bitcoin ‘SKYROCKETS' Cryptocurrency soars 25 per cent in 24 hours as 'investors celebrate'

Bitcoin skyrocketed last year that saw the prized currency hit an all-time high of £13991.86 

 

Bitcoin ‘SKYROCKETS’ Cryptocurrency soars 25 per cent in 24 hours as 'investors celebrate'

 

A BITCOIN resurgence could be underway as the cryptocurrency soared over 24.5 per cent in the last 24 hours that has surely given investors an excuse to celebrate, it has been revealed.

Leading virtual currency tracker Coinbase declared that Bitcoin has seen an 24.5 per cent rise that saw its value climb back up to £5,288.03 ($7,383.45).

Bitcoin skyrocketed last year that saw the prized currency hit an all-time high of £13991.86 ($19,535.70) on December 17.

The increase will surely cause investors to let off a sigh of relief – the cryptocurrency had been plagued with severely declining values since it broke its price record.

As Bitcoin saw sharp declines, so too did other leading currencies Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple and Litecoin.

Ethereum is currently valued at £534.31 ($746.04) while Bitcoin Cash sits at £656.88 ($917.17).

Meanwhile, Litecoin is worth £97.29 ($135.84) per coin and Ripple is worth 53p ($0.74).

The dramatic fall in virtual currencies recently could have been caused by increased regulations around the world.

India has been labelled as the next significant nation to outlaw cryptocurrencies, according to a finance ministry official.

New Delhi’s economic affairs secretary, Subhash Chandra Garg, stated that the government is setting up a panel to analyse cryptocurrencies and aims to submit a report on them in the current fiscal year.

He explained: “The government will take steps to make it illegal as a payment system. As well as having a regulator in place.

“We hope now within this financial year the committee will finalise its recommendations… certainly, there will be a regulator.”

Meanwhile, there are fears that China could harness its Great Firewall to block access to virtual markets.

Any and all websites offering services related to cryptocurrencies have been wiped from search engines and social media in the Asian superpower.

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) have already been banned in China.

ICOs have been previously attacked for being harnessed by scammers in a desperate effort to steal investor funds.

The US could also be targeting “increased federal regulation” for cryptocurrency trading platforms.

 

By JOSEPH CAREY | UPDATED: 05:41, Wed, Feb 7, 2018

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur

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Bitcoin Not Giving a Big Enough Hit as ‘Gateway Drug’

Bitcoin Not Giving a Big Enough Hit as ‘Gateway Drug’

Interest in Bitcoin hit its high point leading up to its own high of $20,000 in the middle of December last year. Interest peaked, not only in investing circles, but also in the mainstream as Bitcoin became the buzzword on everyone's lips.

This adoption was championed by Bitcoin as it welcomed millions of users to the cryptocurrency community, as expressed in Coinbase’s figures alone. However, in this fast paced ecosystem, Bitcoin is not enough to hold the attention of this vastly diverse community. So, while it may be the ideal coin to get people hooked on cryptocurrencies, once they are in and settled, there is time to seek out a multitude of other coins that are better suited to their needs or beliefs.
 

The draw of big growth

Bitcoin’s biggest draw was the incredible returns it was offering as it rallied from 2,000 percent in 12 months. This phenomenal growth continued to increase interest in the currency, and that sparked even further growth in this massive hype cycle. It has been correlated before that searches for on Google for Bitcoin are closely related to its growth – a phenomenon known as the ‘Satoshi Cycle’. In the lead up to December’s high, the Satoshi Cycle was in full effect as Google trends showed some interesting figures.

Nicholas Colas, a pioneering Bitcoin analyst in the world of traditional investments, has taken this correlation very seriously and states that it plays a big part in his predictions. "Going into December, [searches] skyrocketed," Colas said on CNBC’s Fast Money. He added that the total number of Bitcoin Google searches worldwide tripled that month:

"You saw that correlates to the total increased number of wallet growth, which doubled in December from approximately 5 percent to 10 percent as Bitcoin rallied.”
 

Already hooked

However, taking this metric into consideration, it could be argued that the new wave of adopters are now starting to disperse and find their way to other coins that are more suited to their individual needs. It makes sense that as people become educated and learn more about options in the crypto community that they begin to diversify and pick out their favourite coins to invest in. This often leads to money moving away from Bitcoin and into Altcoins.

Bitcoin, being the dominant, most adopted and scene-leading coin, will continue to be the ‘gateway drug’ of the community, but it is finding it harder to hang on to total support and dominance.

These sentiments are expressed by Colas, who adds:

"Bitcoin is considered the gateway drug to all cryptos and it has acted exactly that way. Right now [the Google search data] is telling me there's not really that next leg up in Bitcoin because there's not that interest that leads to wallet growth that leads to price appreciation."
 

Proof?

Colas tries to justify this position by explaining how Ethereum has been the only coin that has fared relatively well in the top echelons of the CoinMarket Cap:

“Some of the movement in Ethereum, which has traded much better [in January], is just money which is being pulled out of Bitcoin."

However, it is important to note that Bitcoin’s price fluctuations and movements are still heavily linked to all other coins. The saying that: ‘the tide moves all boats’ is still true in the cryptocurrency market with Bitcoin essentially being the tide. When Bitcoin is up, most coins follow, and when it is down, the same red graphs appear to follow suit across the board.

 

Author Darryn Pollock

 

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The Bull And The Bear Case For Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, And Other Cryptocurrencies

The Bull And The Bear Case For Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, And Other Cryptocurrencies

bull or bear market

The Bull And The Bear Case For Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, And Other Cryptocurrencies

There have been better days and worse days for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies.

The better days were back in November and December when a “virtuous” rotation helped spread the rally from Bitcoin to other cryptocurrencies. This means that funds cashed out from one currency were invested in other currencies.

That’s a bullish "technical" sign for cryptocurrencies, as it keeps the momentum for the sector alive.

[Ed note: Investing in cryptocoins or tokens is highly speculative and the market is largely unregulated. Anyone considering it should be prepared to lose their entire investment. Disclosure: I don't own any cryptocoins or tokens.]

The worse days were early this week when the sell-off in major cryptocurrencies spread across the entire sector. This means that money cashed out from one cryptocurrency didn’t flow to other cryptocurrencies, but moved to cash or to other investments.

And that’s a bearish sign for cryptocurrencies, as it undermines the momentum for the sector.

Apparently, momentum is changing very fast in cryptocurrencies, much faster than in other asset classes.

That’s why technical analysis alone may not be a reliable indicator for trying to guess the direction of the cryptocurrency markets.

What about fundamental analysis?

For the vast majority of cryptocurrencies there are no fundamentals to talk about, other than a website with a message that promises to make capitalism better.

 

For major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, there’s some information to make both a bullish and a bearish case.

 

The bullish case is about the advantages Bitcoin has a “headless” currency. "Increasingly widely accepted as a means of payment with no bank intermediation and absolutely no fees, Bitcoin has some of the attributes of a headless currency,” says Eric Pichet, a KEDGE professor.

 

Then there’s the rarity of the cryptocurrency and the low ownership rate, which explain its price spike, and the potential for further gains. “The relative rarity of the virtual product explains its rise in large part because only 0.01% of the world population own any,” adds Pichet. “Therefore, one can imagine the effect on its trading price if the primary cause of speculative bubbles, namely FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) were to spread to a mere 1% of the world population, or 100 times more holders.”

 

The bearish scenario centers on two major threats which cryptocurrencies face. One of them is an intrusion in the blockchain system and the circulation of fake coins. Another threat is a concerted effort by governments around the world to ban their use.

 

 

As Eric Pichet concludes, "Under these conditions, what type of needles would burst the bubble? The first would be the heist of the century: an intrusion in the blockchain system that created a deluge of fake bitcoins. The second would be the adoption of a common position by all national governments and central banks to prohibit this means of payment in the name of fighting fraud, for example.”

 

 

Author Panos Mourdoukoutas

 

Posted By David Ogden Entrepreneur
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Cryptocurrency prices edge higher with ripple bouncing back 65% after ‘severe’ sell-off

Cryptocurrency prices edge higher with ripple bouncing back 65% after ‘severe' sell-off

Cryptocurrency prices edge higher with ripple bouncing back 65% after ‘severe’ sell-off

  • Bitcoin and ethereum — the first and second largest virtual currencies by market value — appeared to recover after Wednesday's lows.

  • Experts told CNBC earlier this week that investors had been "spooked" by news of regulatory crackdowns from both South Korea and China.

  • Regulators have expressed concerns over digital assets due to their extremely volatile nature and worries that they could be used for illicit activity.

Major digital currencies edged higher on Thursday, after a two-day sell-off saw the world's biggest cryptocurrency bitcoin lose more than 50 percent from its December high.

Bitcoin and ethereum — the first and second largest virtual currencies by market value — appeared to recover after Wednesday's lows.

Bitcoin fell as low as $9,199.59 on Wednesday morning, but bounced back to $11,702.74 as of Thursday at 12:00 p.m. ET, according to CoinDesk, which tracks prices from cryptocurrency exchanges including Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and Bitfinex. It was up 5 percent in the last 24 hours. The red-hot digital asset also broke the $12,000 level, hitting $12,045.10 at about 10:14 a.m.

Ethereum on the other hand dived below the $800 mark to a three-week low of $780.92 Wednesday, but lifted to $1,072.57 the following day. It was more than 5 percent higher in the last 24 hours.

Ripple's XRP, which is also known as ripple, surged 65 percent to $1.64 a coin, according to data from CoinMarketCap. The digital currency — which is controversial among crypto enthusiasts due the firm behind it being backed by big banks — fell as low as 90 cents the previous day.

 

Regulatory concerns

Experts told CNBC earlier this week that investors had been "spooked" by news of regulatory crackdowns from both South Korea and China.

South Korea — one of the largest markets for cryptocurrencies — has reportedly been considering the shutdown of trading through cryptocurrency exchanges. On Thursday, the country's policymakers said they were considering closing all domestic virtual currency exchanges, echoing a move last year from Chinese regulators.

China, separately, is reported to be deepening its clampdown of its digital currency market. According to reports from Bloomberg and Reuters, the country is planning to ban the centralized trading of digital currencies.

"Trade volumes were very noisy yesterday as the bulls and bears fought it out and some sort of calm has appeared on the markets after what has been a severe correction," Charles Hayter, CEO of digital currency comparison site CryptoCompare, told CNBC in an email Thursday.

"New has a lot to play with this," Hayter said, adding, "this market is now big and governments are sensing revenue for the coffers as well as a threat in some degrees. This will catalyze regulation where regimes who legislate severely will balkanise themselves to the industry."

Hayter said that regulation of cryptocurrencies "will be good in the long run," but warned that "unnecessary hoops and bureaucracy" could inhibit the industry's potential.

Regulators have expressed concerns over digital assets due to their extremely volatile nature and worries that they could be used for illicit activity.

Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro, said: "Now that the reasons for the recent sell-off are more clear to everyone and the slightly sour regulatory concerns have been priced in and the Asian premiums are evening out, traders will most likely start focusing on the technicals."

Greenspan told CNBC Tuesday that South Korean and Japanese investors often pay a premium of "20 percent or more per coin."

Nolan Bauerle, director of research at CoinDesk, said that the sell-off was "a feature of the global, liquid cryptocurrency trading environment."
"When the price of bitcoin drops, there is a pattern of traders that move to take different positions, either in another cryptocurrency or in fiat," he told CNBC.

"These large drops, usually between the 25-40 percent range, generally find a bottom that is a consolidation of a previous all time high. When this bottom is found, the pattern continues with demand causing a new upward bounce."

Disclaimer: This story has been amended to reflect the fact that bitcoin lost more than 50 percent from its December high.

 

Author Ryan Browne Updated 10 Hours Ago

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

David

Bitcoin Alternatives – Ethereum Vs Litecoin Vs Verge Vs Ripple Vs Zcash

Bitcoin Alternatives - Ethereum Vs Litecoin Vs Verge Vs Ripple Vs Zcash

Bitcoin Alternatives – Ethereum Vs Litecoin Vs Verge Vs Ripple Vs Zcash

After bitcoin, ripple is one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization

The bitcoin prices may have stabilized but, they still hover around $13,000, a price far too high for a lot of potential investors. The exorbitant price of bitcoins dissuaded hundreds of thousands of potential investors who missed the 2017 rally. The bitcoin prices had jumped in the last month of 2017 in run up to the launch of futures trading by CBOE (Chicago Board of Options Exchange) and CME Group this month. After the futures trading launch, the prices have more or less fallen from the peak of $19,666, a feat achieved on December 17. However, there are numerous cryptocurrencies which are still not as popular and can be bought owing to their affordability.

Following are some of the bitcoins' smaller rivals

Ripple (XRP): Ripple, one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, claims to offer frictionless experience to its customers to send money globally using the power of blockchain. By joining Ripple, financial institutions can process their customers' payments anywhere in the world instantly. The Ripple woos banks and payment providers to use the cryptocurrency for reducing costs. Ripple's price had surged $1 for the first time on December 21.

 

Litecoin (LTC): The market capitalization of litecoin rose from $1 billion in November 2013 to $4.6 billion. What makes a litecoin appealing is that the price of a litecoin (at $277) is still affordable for many such investors, at least as of now. Another thing that distinguishes litecoin from a bitcoin is that the litcoin takes relatively less processing speed (2.5 minutes) unlike bitcoin that takes around 10 minutes for one block. The market capitalization of litecoin is over $15 billion.

 

Ethereum: Ethereum is a distributed public blockchain network. Ethereum was proposed in late 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency researcher. Bitcoin offers one particular application of blockchain technology, a peer to peer electronic cash system that enables online Bitcoin payments, the Ethereum blockchain focuses on running the programming code of any decentralized application. The value token of the Ethereum blockchain is called ether. The price of Ethereum is over $700.

 

Verge (XVG): Verge currency is a cryptocurrency that improves upon the original Bitcoin blockchain and aims to meet the primary purpose of providing individuals and businesses with a fast, efficient and decentralized way of making direct transactions while maintaining personal privacy, says the Verge currency's website. Verge makes it possible to engage in direct transactions quickly, efficiently and privately. With Verge currency, businesses and individuals have flexible options for sending and receiving payments. Verge uses multiple anonymity-centric networks such as Tor and 12P. The IP addresses of the users are obfuscated and the transactions are completely untraceable. Price of one verge is around $0.1583 on Saturday while the total market cap is over $2.2 billion.

 

Zcash (ZEC): While the bitcoin blockchain contains records of the participants in a transaction, as well as the amount involved, Zcash's blockchain shows only that a transaction took place, and not who was involved or what the amount was. Zcash is an open-source protocol because of which, the Zcash Company does not control it (including controlling the mining or distribution of it), not does it have any special access to private or shielded transactions. Just like anyone else, the Z cash Company only has the ability to see a private or shielded transaction if it is a party to that transaction or someone provides it with the correct view key. Zcash is valued at $518.

 

David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

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