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1  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-07-02] Crypto Market Remains Above $250 Billion as 0x, Status, and Tokens on: July 02, 2018, 10:49:15 PM
Crypto Market Remains Above $250 Billion as 0x, Status, and Tokens Surge.

The valuation of the crypto market has remained above the $250 billion mark, closing July 1 at $255 billion. Tokens have performed particularly well, recording gains in the 10 percent region.

0x, Status, Funfair, and Aion
The top performers of July 2 were ERC20-based tokens 0x (ZRX), Status (SNT), Funfair (FUN), and Aion (AION). ZRX demonstrated the largest gain amongst major digital assets and tokens, seeing a 14 percent increase in its value against the US dollar and bitcoin.

Throughout last week, amidst a drop from $6,500 to $5,800, the price of 0x fell below the 0.00010 BTC mark, reaching a montly low. In the past 24 hours, the price of 0x has rebounded to 0.000137 BTC, with strong momentum.

Various momentum indicators and momentum oscillators show that the recent run of 0x is supported by high volume and a rapid rise in demand in the short-term. Both exponential and simple moving averages and MACD are portraying a positive short-term trend for 0x. Given that the Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 0x is at 54.77, the token is still not demonstrating an overbought condition and has the potential to continue its move to the upside.

In a sideways market, during a period in which bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, and other digital assets struggle to record any major movement on the upside, tokens tend to perform well. The abrupt rise in the volume and momentum of tokens also show that investors have become more comfortable with the market now that it has become slightly more stable than where it was last week.

The volume of bitcoin has recovered to $4.6 billion and the volume of Ether has risen to $1.5 billion, from $3 billion and $1 billion respectively. The recovery of the daily trading volumes of major cryptocurrencies signify an increase in stability in the crypto market.

Still, the high daily trading volume of Tether (USDT) is a worrying indicator, as the volume of USDT is currently twice as large as the volume of Ether, the second most valuable cryptocurrency in the market.

If the volume of bitcoin and Ether decrease in the next few hours, the high volume of Tether would signify that investors are once again hedging the value of major digital assets to the value of the US dollar, which may trigger the market to enter yet another short-term downtrend. Hence, the next 24 hours will likely dictate the short-term price trend of bitcoin throughout the week.

Funfair, Status, and Aion did record a 10 percent gain over the past 24 hours, mostly due to the volume coming from Binance, the world’s most widely utilized cryptocurrency exchange. But, with a volume of less than $5 million, it is unlikely that the short-term movement of Aion and FunFair can be sustained, dissimilar to 0x and Status whose volume have supported their corrective rallies.

0x Coinbase Rumor
Several analysts have suggested that the corrective rally of ZRX on July 2 was initiated by the re-emergence of rumors about ZRX integration on Coinbase.

Last month, Coinbase clarified with its acquisition of Paradex that it will indirectly implement tokens through a decentralized digital asset relay, and if the ZRX run was solely triggered by Coinbase listing rumors, it is unlikely to continue throughout the next few days despite its optimistic momentum indicators.

https://www.ccn.com/crypto-market-remains-above-250-billion-as-0x-status-and-tokens-surge/
2  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-07-02] Bitcoin and Ether Surge 6% as Crypto Market Adds $15 Billion in 2Hr on: July 02, 2018, 10:48:07 PM
Bitcoin and Ether Surge 6% as Crypto Market Adds $15 Billion in 2 Hours.

In the past 2 hours, bitcoin and ether, the native cryptocurrency of Ethereum, recorded a 5 percent increase in value supported by a sudden spike in volume.

Within merely hours, the volume of bitcoin surged by over $1 billion while the volume of ether increased by nearly 20 percent.

Volume is Coming Back
Earlier today, CCN reported that the next 24 hours would be crucial to the crypto market and will define the trend of major digital assets including bitcoin and ether throughout this week.

“The volume of bitcoin has recovered to $4.6 billion and the volume of Ether has risen to $1.5 billion, from $3 billion and $1 billion respectively. The recovery of the daily trading volumes of major cryptocurrencies signify an increase in stability in the crypto market. The next 24 hours will likely dictate the short-term price trend of bitcoin throughout the week,” a CCN report read.

Over the last several hours, the volume of both bitcoin and ether rose by $1.5 billion, while the volume of Tether achieved $4.2 billion. The movement of the volume of Tether (USDT) and BTC / ETH to the upside signify that investors are reallocating their funds stored in USDT, whose value is hedged to the value of the US dollar, to digital assets.

Already, as a result of the short-term bounce of bitcoin, tokens including Aelf (ELF), ICON (ICX), Zilliqa (ZIL), WanChain (WAN), and 0x (ZRX) increased by the range of 6 percent to 21 percent, with ZRX recording a 21.5 percent gain against bitcoin and a 27 percent gain against the US dollar.

The rise in the price of bitcoin from $6,300 to $6,600 in the past two hours demonstrates more significance than a mere 5 percent increase for the digital asset; it could lead the price of bitcoin to potentially break the $7,000 mark throughout this week with strong momentum and volume.

Funds are Still Bullish
Ryan Rabaglia, a partner at Octagon Strategy, said that despite major corrections, the cryptocurrency market has always managed to come out of bear cycles with hundred percent gains and big rallies. He stated that the market will see its previous numbers by the end of 2018 and funds are still bullish and optimistic regarding the mid-term growth of the industry.

“Year over year, the cryptocurrency market is up well over a hundred percent still, the markets are still in the growth phase and it is still a nascent industry. The regulatory stance of the industry is a double edged source. The uncertainty that is driven around this regulation is what gives pressure to this market and drives this market further down” Rabaglia said, emphasizing that the establishment of regulation will lead the market to surge in the long run.

The cryptocurrency community has been extremely optimistic in regards to the corrective rally of bitcoin and ether over the past two hours. While analysts could downplay the corrective rally given that it really was only a 6 percent increase in value, the rally was a symbolic movement with a large spike in volume that may dictate the trend of the cryptocurrency market in July.

https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-and-ether-surge-6-as-crypto-market-adds-15-billion-in-2-hours/
3  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-07-02] Crypto-Troll John McAfee Claims HitBTC ‘Killed People’ on: July 02, 2018, 10:46:52 PM
Crypto-Troll John McAfee Claims HitBTC ‘Killed People,’ Calls for Boycott.

Cybersecurity pioneer-turned-crypto-troll John McAfee is at it again, and this time he’s setting his sights on HitBTC, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges.

McAfee began his war on HitBTC last week, when, without clear provocation, he called for a boycott on the Hong Kong-based exchange, which has more than $270 million in daily trading volume.

“The crypto exchanges have become the thing that we have originally fought against. Their power is immense. Hitbtc, for example, has increased suffering for millions of poor people who cannot afford the minimum buy-in since it is greater than their monthly income,” he tweeted. “Boycott them.”

McAfee seems to be referring to the withdrawal fees that HitBTC, like virtually all other exchanges, charge when customers remove assets from the platform, though his tweets are tellingly vague about the precise nature of his grievance.

The provocateur, who claims to have recently been the victim of a failed assassination attempt, continued his verbal assault throughout the weekend, vowing to be HitBTC’s “worst enemy” until the company takes unspecified steps to address the unspecified issue.

On Saturday, HitBTC issued a formal response to McAfee, thanking him — perhaps cheekily — for taking the “discourse to another level” and explaining the company’s policy on calculating withdrawal fees. The exchange further invited him to convey his advice on how to implement an “algorithmic solution” that would render its withdrawal fees less subject to the price volatility of the associated assets.

“Thank you for being the voice of the crypto community!, the note concluded. “We share your values!”

McAfee, it seems, disagreed, as evidenced by his reply:

“Your algorithm killed an unknown number of people. You tell me what algorithm recompenses these deaths. You have unjustly subgected Docademic [sic]. Tell me sir what do you owe to them? Docademic deserves your highest priority to make things just for your past offenses.”

While it’s possible that McAfee — who until recently charged $105,000 per tweet to promote initial coin offerings (ICO) — is truly concerned about the plight of HitBTC’s less-fortunate customers, the saga appears to be a dramatic ploy to plug Docademic, an ICO token referenced throughout his tweetstorm.

Despite claiming that he would no longer promote ICOs due to pressure from U.S. regulators, McAfee has been shilling this token on his Twitter account for several weeks, even claiming that it could hit $10 per unit by next year, up from a present value of $0.25. It’s not clear whether Docademic is paying McAfee for these tweets, but he has said on Twitter that he has invested in the project’s token.

https://www.ccn.com/crypto-troll-john-mcafee-claims-hitbtc-killed-people-calls-for-boycott/
4  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-07-01] 2014 vs 2018 Bitcoin Price Correction on: July 02, 2018, 10:09:20 AM
2014 vs 2018 Bitcoin Price Correction: This Year Will Likely be Significantly Shorter.

Quartz revealed a chart comparing the mid-term price trend of bitcoin in 2014 and 2018, and based on the movement of bitcoin from December of 2017 to June of this year, the correction bitcoin is currently enduring could be substantially shorter than its correction in 2014.

2014 and 2018 is Very Similar
From December 4, 2013, to January 4, 2015, in a 400-day period, the bitcoin price dropped by over 80 percent, recording the worst correction in its history. The mid-term decline in the price of bitcoin was prolonged by a four-month period during which BTC rebounded to its previous support level and remained above that level before inevitably falling by more than 80 percent.

In 2014, it took bitcoin 300 days to drop by more than 70 percent. In 2018, it took BTC less than 200 days to decline by over 72 percent and in contrast to its correction in 2014, BTC is falling significantly faster than it did four years ago.

If the price chart of bitcoin year-to-date is compared with the price chart of bitcoin from December, 2013 to January, 2015, with the chart of BTC from 2013 to 2015 compressed, the price trend of BTC seem nearly identical to its price trend in 2014 with one key difference: speed.

Purely based on the price trend of BTC year-to-date and the price trend of BTC in 2014, BTC is experiencing a faster version of the 2014 correction. It has experienced similar drops and corrective rallies in similar timing, and it is now on track to decline further to bottom out at a stable region.

If the chart of bitcoin year-to-date and the compressed chart of BTC in 2014 are compared as seen below, many similarities can be detected.

Shorter Correction
As BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes said during his interview with CNBC Fast Trader on June 30, it is possible that bitcoin bottoms out in the range of $3,000 to $5,000, and experience an 80 percent+ correction.

“Absolutely [BTC can reach $50,000 by 2018]. I think something [bitcoin] that goes up to $20,000 in one year can have a correction down to $6,000. I think we can find a bottom in the $3,000 to $5,000 range, but we are one positive regulatory decision away, maybe an ETF approved by the SEC, to climbing through $20,000 and even to $50,000 by the end of 2018,” said Hayes

Given that bitcoin has experienced the 2014 correction in almost a fast-forwarded fashion, it is highly likely that the correction of BTC in 2018, considering the difference in market conditions and regulatory state of the industry, ends significantly faster than the correction in 2014.

Moreover, as Hayes said, an unforeseen regulatory change by the US government or any other leading cryptocurrency market could lead the price of BTC and other major digital assets to recover with strong momentum and demand, especially if an ETF or a publicly tradable instrument is launched in the U.S. financial market.

https://www.ccn.com/2014-vs-2018-bitcoin-price-correction-this-year-will-likely-be-significantly-shorter/
5  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-07-01]Few Real Opportunities to Pay with Cryptocurrencies at the World Cup on: July 02, 2018, 10:08:06 AM
The guest contributor investigated the possibilities to use Bitcoin during the football in Russia

The FIFA World Cup currently being held in Russia highlights the world’s best footballers and also gives the possibility to get to know more about life in the host country. Hundreds of thousands of fans from all over the world have come to the championship host cities. While there, they will purchase souvenirs, eat in restaurants, and enjoy the nightlife in clubs. Is this World Cup the global event where cryptocurrencies gain traction as a payment mechanism despite the fact that they are not regulated by Russian legislation in any concrete way? We decided to check how things really stand with paying for services using cryptocurrencies, and went to the shops that have announced in one way or another that they work with digital currencies.

A restaurant called Valenok, which specializes in Russian cuisine, was one of the first places in Moscow to begin accepting cryptocurrencies as payment. A client paid for his dinner there using bitcoin as early as last year, an event which was covered extensively by the local media.

Our conversation with Viktoria, a restaurant employee, started as follows: “Hello, I would like to reserve a table for me and my friends from Serbia, but there is one nuance: they would like to pay using bitcoin.” She initially brightened up at the unexpected request and nodded her assent, but suddenly she paused to think and asked us to wait for a minute. “I know for a fact that we have accepted bitcoins several times in the past, but I have to ask whether we can do so right now,” she said and went to confer with the manager. Viktoria returned after about 30 seconds, apologized, and said ruefully: “We are not taking cryptocurrencies right now, but you can pay with a card or with cash. We may start accepting digital currencies again at some point in the future, but I have no idea when that might be.”

Oh well, we were off to a rocky start, but there was no need to get discouraged!

The next place we decided to visit was LavkaLavka, a farmers’ cooperative that advertises the possibility to pay for products using bitcoins on its official website.

“Unfortunately, we are temporarily not accepting bitcoins,” the store manager immediately doubled our disappointment, but added: “On the Internet you can pay for any product using our native cryptocurrency BioCoin. It can be purchased on an exchange or received as a bonus on each purchase depending on the amount of the bill.”

Not losing heart, we headed to one of the Pivoteka 465 chain of craft beer and cider bars and stores.

“Sure, you can pay here in bitcoins. We will generate a QR code for you at the cash register, and you can debit the required amount from your electronic wallet using your smartphone,” the waiter explained.

That is just what we did, and it worked brilliantly: the most popular drink among football fans in Moscow can be purchased using cryptocurrency!

By the way, we also tried to reserve a room in an SPBInn hotel in Saint Petersburg using bitcoin, and we were successful. All we needed to do was to send the required amount in cryptocurrency to the hotel’s electronic wallet address and call the manager to confirm that the money had been received. Very convenient!

It must be said, however, that all of these scenarios are more the exception than the rule. Most places, even in downtown Moscow, do not accept digital currencies, to say nothing of the other smaller host cities, where cryptocurrencies are only on the radar of individual enthusiasts. Besides, even the fans we questioned for now prefer to pay in more traditional ways, either by card or in cash: on game days there are long lines at the exchange offices in downtown Moscow.

“It is encouraging that some shops are trying to work with cryptocurrencies in theory. It means that we are not just spinning our wheels, some progress is being made and people are ready to pick up on new market trends and form offers, even when the demand for them is still low,” comments Daria Generalova, co-founder of ICOBox, the world’s largest supplier of SaaS solutions for preparing for and holding ICOs. “Of course, it is still early to talk about this World Cup flying the flag of cryptocurrencies, but I do not rule out the possibility that the situation in Russia and Europe may change over the next two years. Digital currencies will be regulated, and market participants will begin to understand the rules for working with them.”

So, the final score in our attempts to pay using Bitcoin in Russia ended up as a respectable 2:2 tie – two food places refusing to serve us with our Bitcoins while a bar and hotel accepted. Let’s hope for a stronger result at the next World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

https://www.ccn.com/few-real-opportunities-to-pay-with-cryptocurrencies-at-the-world-cup/
6  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-07-01] Rumors: Flood in Sichuan China Destroyed Bitcoin Mining Centers on: July 01, 2018, 09:18:26 PM
Eric Meltzer, a partner at INBlockchain, the largest blockchain-focused fund in China, reported that rumors suggest a bitcoin mining facility in China was destroyed by a massive flood that affected the entire province of Sichuan, China.

Heavy Rain and Flood in Chinese Provinces Affect Mining Centers
As an investor in bitcoin back in 2013 and an early investor in Ethereum, Zcash, Qtum, EOS, OmiseGo, Status, and Decentraland, within five years, INBlockchain has become one of the most influential cryptocurrency investment firms in Asia with strong connections in China.

This week, Meltzer shared a photograph of a destroyed mining facility showing stacks of ASIC miners that were affected by heavy rain and flood that swept most parts of China over the past few days.

The Chinese News Service (ECNS), the second largest state-owned news agency in China, reported:

“From Wednesday to Thursday, heavy rain hit Anhui, Jiangsu, Sichuan, Shandong and Jilin provinces. Caolaoji, Anhui, and Dafengzha, Jiangsu, were the most heavily hit, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said.”

Based on the data provided by Blockchain, the second most widely utilized cryptocurrency wallet platform behind Coinbase, the hashrate of bitcoin temporarily dropped from 43 million TH/s to 30 million TH/s, by more than 30 percent overnight. While volatility in the hashrate chart of bitcoin is expected, the sudden drop in the hashrate of bitcoin was sufficient to alert investors and analysts.

Over the past 24 hours, the hashrate has rebounded to 40 million TH/s after its initial 30 percent drop, and analysts have attributed to the decline in the hashrate of the Bitcoin network to the Sichuan flood incident.

However, Meltzer, who discussed the Sichuan bitcoin mining facility case with local analysts, said that the theory China-based analysts have on the bitcoin hashrate drop is a combined effect of the flood in Sichuan and increasing heatwave in Eastern Europe causing mining centers with low profit margins to generate even less money.

Did it Have an Impact on Bitcoin Hashrate?
The majority of bitcoin’s hashrate originates from mining pools like BTC.com, AntPool, and ViaBTC, which outsource computing power from ASIC miners globally. Hence, while a large mining center in Sichuan may have shut down due to poor weather conditions, it is not sufficient to have any real impact on the hashrate of bitcoin.

As of current, the rumors about the situation in Sichuan and the destruction of large-scale mining centers by strong floods and heavy rain are yet to be confirmed by local authorities. But, local analysts have emphasized that even if the flood wiped out a major mining facility in China, it should not be enough to trigger the hashrate of bitcoin to fall by 30 percent in a short period of time.

More to that, if the flood was the sole cause of the hashrate drop, it would signify that a significant chunk of the computing power that powers the Bitcoin network is based in a single region and a certain mining center. It is highly unlikely that the flooded mining centers in Sichuan caused the drop in the hashrate.

https://www.ccn.com/rumors-flood-in-sichuan-china-destroyed-bitcoin-mining-centers/
7  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-07-01] Bitcoin Remains at $6,300 as Crypto Market Gains Stability on: July 01, 2018, 09:17:20 PM
Bitcoin Remains at $6,300 as Crypto Market Gains Stability amid Low Volumes.

The bitcoin price has dropped slightly by 1 percent over the past 24 hours, declining below the $6,400 mark. Other major digital assets have failed to record any significant movement on both the upside and the downside.

Low Volume Has Led Market to Drop
Throughout last week, the cryptocurrency market has seen a lack of daily trading volume on most of its major digital assets. Bitcoin recorded a daily volume of around $3 billion while Ethereum struggled to see a volume of over $1 billion.

As of July 1, the volume of BTC remains above $4.2 billion and the volume of ETH has also recovered to $1.4 billion and the market is at a significantly better position than where it was a week ago.

Still, the cryptocurrency market has started to enter yet another downtrend with Ripple (XRP) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) recording a 2 percent loss in the past few hours. Given the high daily volume of Tether (USDT), a digital asset whose value is hedged to the US dollar at nearly $3 billion, the market is showing a high level of volatility.

In the short-term, the market will likely struggle to initiate a major movement on the upside or the downside. The lack of demand coming from the bulls and the lack of pressure from the bears will likely result in the cryptocurrency market and major cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, and XRP to remain at their current levels.

If the volume of stablecoins including USDT continue to surge and traders start to allocate their holdings in digital assets to stablecoins, a slight correction in the short-term can be expected. On Bitfinex and Binance, BTC has initiated a sell daily candle, ending its recent corrective rally that saw the price of BTC jump from $5,780 to $6,500.

The relatively low volume of BTC in comparison to early May and April could likely result in BTC dropping to below the $6,000 mark once again, especially if BTC fails to secure its support level at $6,200.

Even Perma Bulls Expect Downtrend to Continue to $5,000
As CCN previously reported, Arthur Hayes, the CEO at major bitcoin exchange BitMEX, said on CNBC Fast Trader that the price of BTC will highly likely achieve $50,000 by the end of 2018. Hayes also noted that BTC will bottom out in the range of $3,000 to $5,000. But, in the mid-term, BTC will surpass its all-time high.

“I think that something that goes up to $20,000 in one year can have a correction down to $6,000 and will definitely find a bottom at about $3,000 and $5,000 range,” Hayes said.

The cryptocurrency market is experiencing a fast-forwarded version of the 2014 correction, and bears have sold off their holdings too quickly, leading the entire market to demonstrate a strong oversold condition. As such, analysts expect the cryptocurrency market, as it did in its downtrend, to experience intensified movements on the upside in the last quarter of 2018.

https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-remains-at-6300-as-crypto-market-gains-stability-amid-low-volumes/
8  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-06-30] What’s the Motive Behind Pornhub’s Listing of Verge and now Tron? on: July 01, 2018, 01:21:07 PM
Pornhub, the largest pornographic-video platform in the world, is set to integrate Tron.

In April, CCN reported that Verge, a privacy-focused cryptocurrency, disclosed its strategic partnership with Pornhub, with the announcement made by Pornhub vice president Corey Price, who stated:

“The volatility of crypto is concerning for subscriptions with recurring payments. As such, at present, we aren’t offering it for recurring payments, though we are in the process of working to do so. Our services have fixed prices in fiat so the value in cryptocurrency will change”.

Nature of Pornhub-Verge Partnership
The initial partnership led investors to ponder about the nature of the Pornhub-Verge partnership and the motive behind the listing given that contrary to the optimism of Pornhub towards the cryptocurrency market, the platform has not integrated any of the major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash.

More to that, if privacy was the main concern of Pornhub, it would have considered Monero, Zcash, and Dash, three anonymous cryptocurrencies with longer track records, more active developer communities, and bigger userbases ahead of Verge.

The controversial partnership between Verge and Pornhub triggered rumors that the developers of Verge paid the pornographic platform a significant sum of money to have its token listed on the site. While the Verge team has not disclosed the intricacies of the partnership, the community assumed that Verge had to incentivize the Pornhub team in some way to have its cryptocurrency listed on the platform.

This week, according to Variety, Pornhub has revealed that it is listing Tron and ZenCash next. Following its listing of Verge. Justin Sun, the CEO of Tron, said that it has secured an exclusive deal with Pornhub to expose it 90 million users to Tron, which recently launched its mainnet.

Price, the vice president of the company, said:

“Decentralized payment systems have continued to grow in popularity, and cryptocurrency adoption is exploding across a broad economic spectrum. Today, cryptocurrencies are especially viable in the adult entertainment industry because they are privacy-centric and incorporate more anonymity tools than traditional tender.”

Based on the statement of Price, the supposed motive of the Pornhub team in integrating cryptocurrencies is to leverage the anonymous and privacy-centric nature of digital assets. However, Tron and ZenCash are not privacy-focused cryptocurrencies, and the company has not listed the most widely utilized three anonymous cryptocurrencies in the market.

More to that, the belief of Pornhub in the potential of cryptocurrency and the adoption of digital assets contradicts its decision to list digital assets with significantly less adoption in contrast to major digital assets like bitcoin and Ethereum. If the primary concern of Pornhub was to increase the adoption of cryptocurrencies, it would have listed digital assets with active communities and userbases.

Pornhub Wants to List Digital Assets That Pay a Lot of Money
Based on its listing of Verge, Tron, and ZenCash, three cryptocurrencies that are less than a year old and have limited userbases, it is evident that the platform is only willing to list and integrate cryptocurrencies that are willing to pay the platform a significant sum of money to process its payments in digital assets.

https://www.ccn.com/whats-the-motive-behind-pornhubs-listing-of-verge-and-now-tron/
9  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-06-28] Pornhub Will Now Take Your Tron (TRX) and ZenCash (ZEN) on: June 28, 2018, 10:35:27 PM
That the porn sector is an early adopter of new technology is cliché. Still, this has been proven once more with adult entertainment firm, Pornhub, announcing that it has begun accepting Tron (TRX) and ZenCash (ZEN) as a means of payment. With TRX and ZEN coins, consumers of adult entertainment will now be in a position of accessing premium content on Pornhub and its affiliated sites including Brazzers.

According to ZenCash, which is a Zcash fork, there are more than 115 million users who visit Pornhub and its affiliated websites on a daily basis making it the largest group of adult entertainment websites in the world.

No Paper Trail, no Worries
Per the co-founder of ZenCash, Robert Viglione, the anonymity-enhanced cryptocurrency makes use of the best privacy technology available in the market. As a result consumers of adult entertainment content will be able to pay for premium services without worrying about getting outed.

“We are excited to provide a private payment option for over 115 million daily users on the MindGeek [Pornhub’s parent company] websites! The exposure to the digital entertainment industry provides an excellent use-case for ZenCash by giving individuals the ability to pay for digital entertainment privately without fear of exposure. ZenCash uses the best privacy technology available in the market,” said Viglione.

For Tron, the announcement comes a few days after Tron marked its Independence Day by activating its mainnet upon migrating to an independent public blockchain from the Ethereum network. To commemorate the big day Tron Foundation burnt TRX coins amounting to one billion and estimated to be worth approximately $50 million at the time. The total distribution of TRX is now 99 billion.

Tron’s User Base Expanding
With the goal of Tron being to become a decentralized content-sharing platform that eventually leverages peer-to-peer and blockchain network technology, a partnership with Pornhub is a big step towards building a user base.

This strategy was also recently on display following the acquisition of file-sharing website, BitTorrent, which boasts of around 170 million users, by the founder of Tron, Justin Sun. According to reports, Sun paid $140 million for the file-sharing firm which was founded in 2014 and whose investors included DCM Ventures and Accel Partners.

Not Amused
Earlier this year in April, Pornhub entered into a partnership with Verge cryptocurrency where XVG became accepted as a means of payment. Prior to the deal Verge had engaged in a crowdfunding exercise aimed at raising money needed to secure the partnership. At the time the hype that was generated was so high that when the partnership turned out to be with Pornhub, many deemed it anti-climactic.

It has also become apparent that some enthusiasts, investors and hodLers of XVG assumed the partnership with Pornhub would be exclusive and they are now not too thrilled with the adult entertainment firm accepting ZEN and TRX.

https://www.ccn.com/pornhub-will-now-take-your-tron-trx-and-zencash-zen/
10  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-06-28] Messaging Giant LINE Announces New Global Crypto Exchange on: June 28, 2018, 10:34:16 PM
Messaging Giant LINE Announces New Global Crypto Exchange, Excludes U.S., Japan.

Japanese messaging app LINE has announced plans to launch its cryptocurrency exchange BITBOX in July with support for 30 coins including bitcoin.

In an announcement on Thursday, LINE revealed the new exchange will only allow for crypto-to-crypto trading with no exchange between fiat currency and cryptocurrencies.

In an excerpt, LINE said:

With the need to trade cryptocurrencies rising around the world, LINE has been preparing to provide opportunities for users to do so securely, and as the secure system is in place now, the company will be offering the service.

The exchange platform will be available in 15 languages with notable exclusions in Japanese and Thai. LINE is Japan’s biggest messaging service used by some 70 million active Japanese users. The app is also popular in other regional Asian nations including Thailand.

At launch, the exchange will support 30 coins including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, all of which were selected following a ‘rigorous review by a listing committee composed of experts’, LINE said. The exchange will also assume a trading spread of 0.1% for transactions, with zero-commission trading offered to users for a month from launch.

Pointedly, the exchange platform is excluding Japanese nationals – both residents and citizens living outside Japan – and US residents.

The move to refrain from offering services to Japanese nationals comes despite LINE revealing it had filed an application with the Financial Services Agency (FSA), Japan’s financial regulator, to register and launch a cryptocurrency. The application was under review at the time but the decision to exclude services to both Japanese and U.S. citizens is a consequence of regulatory hurdles in both jurisdictions.

LINE’s foray into the cryptocurrency sector is a part of a wider financial strategy under a newly formed company aptly called LINE Financial.  The company has previously launched a popular mobile remittance and payments service LINE Pay, a service embedded in LINE’s messaging app. Line Pay topped 40 million global registered users in 2017 who transacted over ¥450 billion ($4.1 billion) using the platform.

LINE joins a growing list of major Japanese corporations including the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), Japan’s largest financial institution, financial services giant SBI and Yahoo! Japan to make moves toward launching or acquiring existing cryptocurrency exchanges to enter the sector.

https://www.ccn.com/messaging-giant-line-announces-new-global-crypto-exchange-excludes-u-s-japan/
11  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-06-28]‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Jordan Belfort Claims Bitcoin Market Has ‘Run on: June 28, 2018, 10:33:24 PM
‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Jordan Belfort Claims Bitcoin Market Has ‘Run out of Fools’.

The ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ is saying “I told you so” about bitcoin prices’ recent retreat.

In a video shared on his Youtube channel, former stockbroker Jordan Belfort, infamously known as the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, has claimed it’s the “beginning of the end” for bitcoin as the market has run out of fools. He believes the market has not “even crashed yet” but warned investors of an imminent meltdown where they could “lose all of their money.”

Belfort, who spoke about the “greater fools theory” in his video, which he believes is the main issue affecting the market, and will ultimately lead to its end. The Greater Fool theory is an investment theory which believes the price of a security can be justified by a rational buyer who “foolishly” believes someone else can pay a higher price for it irrespective of its intrinsic value. While hammering on Bitcoin not being a store of value, Belfort also compared the current dip in Bitcoin prices to the economic crisis of 2008 where investors were unable to find buyers for faulty mortgage-backed securities.

Pro Blockchain
Bitcoin has often been on the receiving end of harsh criticisms. Earlier this year, Billionaire Warren Buffett thrashed Bitcoin by saying “it’s rat poison squared.” Another famous entrepreneur who has criticized bitcoin in the past is Alibaba Co-Founder Jack Ma while consistently praising the blockchain technology.

Belfort went on to explain further his thoughts on blockchain technology. He said while he believes in Blockchain and its use-cases, he advises investors who are holding Bitcoin to “get out if you don’t want to lose all your money.” As with other investors who are bearish about the prospects of Bitcoin, they have faith in the technology, but they don’t believe in the currency.  Belfort also referred to the Bank of International Settlement report which was released earlier this month, where the BIS remarked that while Bitcoin has its uses, it had too many limitations to be considered a medium of exchange that could replace money.

The cryptocurrency market is often affected by FUD, and there are some commenters online who believe Belfort is only trying to spread FUD among investors who listen to him. Others think he’s trying to stay relevant by sharing his opinion on one of the most debated topics in the world.

This is not the first time Belfort is criticizing Bitcoin openly. In an interview last year, he said the cryptocurrency was a fraud as “[bitcoin] is specifically being backed by nothing other than a program that creates artificial scarcity. It seems bizarre to me that it can ever really be sustainable.” Belfort doesn’t support ICOs either, and he refers to them as“the biggest scam ever.”

https://www.ccn.com/wolf-of-wall-street-jordan-belfort-claims-bitcoin-market-has-run-out-of-fools/
12  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-06-28]Bithumb Has Recovered Nearly Half of Funds Stolen in Last Week’sHack on: June 28, 2018, 10:31:43 PM
Bithumb Has Recovered Nearly Half of Funds Stolen in Last Week’s Hack.

Cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb claims that it has recovered nearly half of the funds stolen in a recent high-profile hack at the South Korean trading platform.

As CCN reported, hackers breached Bithumb’s online hot wallets on June 20, making off with approximately 35 billion KRW (~$31 billion) before the exchange operator was able to transfer its remaining hot wallet assets to offline cold wallets.

The Seoul-based company on Thursday announced that it had already recovered more than 45 percent of the stolen funds, reducing the value of the still-missing funds to just under 19 billion KRW (~$17 million) as of June 27.

Bithumb said that the recovery was made possible through coordination with other cryptocurrency exchanges located throughout the world. Presumably, these exchanges seized the funds when the hackers attempted to launder them.

“The main reason for the reduction of the damage is due to the ongoing participation, support and cooperation of cryptocurrency exchanges and cryptocurrencies foundations [sic] across the world,” Bithumb said in the announcement. “Also our quick response to the cyber-attack by removing cryptocurrencies from hot wallet to cold wallet effectively contributed to reducing the overall damage.”

Notably, the exchange revealed in the announcement that the hackers had breached the hot wallets for 11 different currencies. Nearly three-fourths of the outstanding funds are denominated in BTC, while the remainder is spread out across BCH, ELF, ETH, ETHOS, GNT, HSR, KNC, OMG, VEN, and XRP. The nature of the stolen assets had not previously been made public.

Even before recovering these funds, Bithumb vowed that it would fully compensate users out of its reserves, which allegedly hold $450 million.

As of Thursday evening local time, withdrawals remain frozen at the exchange, and Bithumb continues to advise users against making deposits, though it said that many users have not adhered to this request.

Nevertheless, trading remains open at the exchange, though volume has declined considerably since the hack. Even so, Bithumb still ranks as the world’s 10th-largest cryptocurrency exchange with a 24-hour volume of about $131 million. The exchange is currently the second-largest platform in South Korea, trailing fellow Seoul-based exchange UPbit by approximately $13 million in single-day volume.

https://www.ccn.com/bithumb-has-recovered-nearly-half-of-funds-stolen-in-last-weeks-hack/
13  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-06-26] Breaking New Ground: South Africa Gets Its First Bitcoin Atm on: June 26, 2018, 01:47:35 PM
South Africa, whose citizens are increasingly interested in investing and trading in cryptocurrencies, is to have its first functional bitcoin Automated Teller Machine (ATM), following up on Zimbabwe and Djibouti.

The country has the most sophisticated financial services sector in Africa and has been the front-runner in cryptocurrency taxation on the continent. This is in stark contrast to Zimbabwe which has banned banks form dealing in cryptocurrency payments and transactions.

In 2004, South Africa got its first ever bitcoin ATM at Kyalami in Johannesburg but reports say it was closed as there was no significant user interest in it.

The latest attempt is by Northwood Spar, whose general manager, George Neophytou, is optimistic that the timing is just right now. South Africa has also become a hub for digital ventures and innovators, with Zimbabwe’s Golix.com crypto exchange platform saying it will open a new office there as it expands into Africa.

Neophytou said:

“It is all awfully exciting. It will take away much the frustration of buying and selling cryptocurrency, and hopefully help make cryptocurrencies mainstream.”

According to a report, there is an estimated “200 000 to 300 000 people in South Africa involved in cryptocurrencies” as of the end of 2017.

The new bitcoin cash machine for South Africa will allow trade and purchases of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, which is the most popular virtual currency. CCN reported this week that about 47% of South Africans plan to invest in cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency mining.

According to those spearheading it, the ATM will “take away much of the frustration of buying and selling cryptocurrency, and hopefully help make cryptocurrencies” breakthrough onto the mainstream as trade, investment and payment options.

A website www.coinatmradar.com which tracks crypto ATMs across the world mentions Djibouti and Zimbabwe as the other African countries that have bitcoin cash machines. The website says there are about 3042 bitcoin ATMs in about 68 countries across the world, highlighting that these are run by about 424 operators.

https://www.ccn.com/breaking-new-ground-south-africa-gets-its-first-bitcoin-atm/
14  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-06-25] Bitcoin Price Leads Monday Recovery as Market Fights Off Weekend on: June 26, 2018, 01:36:55 PM
Bitcoin Price Leads Monday Recovery as Market Fights Off Weekend Firesale.

The cryptocurrency markets experienced a labored recovery on Monday after the deep bitcoin price sell-off that occurred over the weekend.

Monero Price Headlines Monday Recovery
Monero (XMR) has seen a huge rebound in the past 24 hours, up nearly 15% to $128.86. Monero saw a steep sell-off with the news out of the United States that the Secret Service recommended a crackdown on privacy cryptocurrencies , as CCN reported on June 22.

The coin has also appeared recently in the news for its use in crypto-jacking malware. Lastly, speculation has swirled that Bitmain has dumped larch amounts of XMR coins as retaliation for the project’s efforts to disable ASIC miners from using the blockchain.

The beatings from all the poor news for monero in particular recently could have thus led to an oversold position, especially during the general market down-trend. Thus the steep ramp-up makes a bit more sense compared to other coins.

Recovery for Rest of the Market
Bitcoin (BTC) dropped to as low as $5,800 yesterday but has since shot back up to $6,200, an almost 6.40% increase over 24 hours. With that quick rise, bitcoin is maintaining a clear support around $6,000, with very little movement below or above that line. It has traded sideways around the $6,000 range for over two weeks.

Following the trend of previous market corrections, other coins and tokens have generally followed the same pattern as the bitcoin price. In early June, however, ripple (XRP) stood out as a token maintaining its price while bitcoin, ethereum, and bitcoin cash saw sell offs. Later this month, however, the bearish trend did catch up to ripple.

Today, the recovery is nearly across the board. The top ten coins and tokens by marketcap are seeing strong gains, in addition to nearly all of the top 100 coins.

Ethereum (ETH) has jumped 6.91% to $469.57 over the past 24 hours.

The $30 million Bithumb hack was partly of the decline across the market last week, as CCN reported. However, in light of other previous, large-scale hacks, the price drops were not as steep and Bithumb has already promised to reimburse customer funds. The bitcoin price remained within its $6,000 trading range.

Despite the Bithumb hack, the steep price drops last week and into the weekend across the entire crypto market is contrary to the good news and sentiment overall. More and more large corporations are showing interest in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, as regulations become clearer. Additionally, a law firm also reported that Tether did in fact have the funds to match the amount of USDT that the company has produced.

The question is whether the market recovery will continue or prices will remain within their monthly ranges.

https://www.ccn.com/bitcoin-price-leads-recovery-as-market-fights-off-weekend-firesale/
15  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-06-25] Fiat Withdrawals Could Become ‘Impossible’ on: June 25, 2018, 12:16:49 PM
Fiat Withdrawals Could Become ‘Impossible’, Warns Major Indian Cryptocurrency Exchange.

As the date for India’s banking ban on the cryptocurrency sector approaches, Zebpay – one of India’s biggest exchanges – is proactively warning users that their fiat deposits could be affected.

Bitcoin wallet and exchange platform Zebpay, one of India’s largest crypto firms, has warned its customers that their fiat rupee withdrawals could stop altogether in the near future, a consequence of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) recent ban.

On April 5th, the central bank published a circular mandating regulated financial institutions including domestic banks to prohibit services to cryptocurrency businesses like exchanges. The central bank mandated a three-month deadline and it’s plausible that cryptocurrency exchanges could see their bank accounts shuttered by July 5.

In such an event, customers will no longer be able to withdraw their deposited rupees, India’s fiat currency, from cryptocurrency exchanges.

In an announcement on Saturday (first published on Thursday), Zebpay stated:

In light of that [RBI circular], please note that if Zebpay bank accounts are disrupted, rupee deposits and withdrawals will become impossible. This can cause discontinuation of crypto trade based on rupees, or at least cause significant price movements.

Pointedly, the exchange stressed that customers will only be able to resume withdrawing their fiat deposits if “Zebpay has banking services that permit such withdrawal” after the July 5th deadline has passed.

In a related-FAQ, the exchange said its ‘present intention is to allow crypto-INR pairs” after their bank accounts are shut in order to allow users buy crypto with their frozen fiat deposits. However, Zebpay warned it “cannot guarantee that we will continue the crypto-INR trade pairs forever”, stating it’s unable to currently “fathom all the consequences” of the looming banking blackout.

Prices took a sharp plunge amid a spike in trading volumes surrounding the announcement, sinking to a low of ₹350,782, approximately $5,150, after trading near ₹460,000 ($6,758) within a 24-hour period. At press-time, prices have seemingly stabilized above ₹400,000 with bitcoin trading at ₹414,000 ($6,081) domestically on Monday afternoon.

Earlier this month, the central bank revealed it had conducted no research nor consulted any opinions from experts or the government prior to enforcing the arbitrary banking ban on the cryptocurrency sector.

https://www.ccn.com/indian-crypto-exchange-zebpaywarns-fiat-withdrawals-could-become-impossible/
16  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-06-22] Bithumb Hack ‘Doesn’t Really Change the Fundamentals of Bitcoin’ on: June 22, 2018, 02:38:49 PM
Bithumb Hack ‘Doesn’t Really Change the Fundamentals of Bitcoin’: Charlie Lee.

Charlie Lee, the founder of Litecoin, went on CNBC’s Fast Money program on Wednesday to discuss the recent hacking of South Korea’s cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb, among other developments in the crypto sphere.

Speaking via telephone, the founder of the world’s fifth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap pointed out that while it is normal for cryptocurrency investors to panic when an exchange gets hacked, such an act does not change the fundamentals of crypto assets.

“Whenever there’s an exchange hack, people get scared and the price drops. It happens all the time. The thing is it doesn’t really change the fundamentals of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” said Lee.

Litecoin’s founder then drew parallels to a gold heist at a bank, arguing that — theoretically — it shouldn’t affect the price of the precious metal. Likewise, according to Lee, the hacking of a cryptocurrency exchange shouldn’t have any impact on the fundamentals of crypto assets.

Teething Problems
However, Lee agreed that big strides need to be made with a view of improving the security systems of the exchanges. But Litecoin’s founder was quick to point out that cryptocurrencies are a nascent technology and exchanges are still on the learning path, with improvements constantly being made, even though a lot still remained to be done.

Additionally, Lee said the responsibility of protecting crypto assets shouldn’t wholly lie with exchanges like Bithumb. He argued that investors must be responsible for the security and safety of their digital assets by making wise choices with regards to the exchanges they entrust their coins with. Compared to traditional fiat currencies, investors must bear more responsibility.

With regards to developments in the cryptocurrency sphere, Lee observed that Bitcoin developers had made great strides in the recent past and this included the activation of SegWit (Segregated Witness). Currently, many developers are focused on rolling out the mainnet release of the Lighting Network, which is expected to enhance Bitcoin’s scalability. But while the Lightning Network was primarily developed with Bitcoin in mind, the protocol has been adapted for Litecoin and other networks as well.

Bitcoin Price Lagging its Blockchain’s Technological Advances.

Despite the progress made, Lee lamented that the price of the flagship cryptocurrency had fallen by between 60-70% and this was not reflective of recent technological advances. Lee, however, expressed hope that with time the price will adjust to reflect the progress that had been made. Per Lee, the only reason for the current prices was the overwhelmingly bearish sentiment.

When asked how long the bear market would last, Lee could not hazard a guess, noting that having been in the space for between 7-8 years, he has witnessed bear markets which have lasted for a period of between 36 to 48 months and it was therefore impossible to predict whether this particular one will last just as long or bulls will take over soon.

Tether’s Controversy
On the same Fast Money show, Lee also commented on the report by the Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan LLP law firm that Tether’s USDT tokens are fully backed on a ratio of 1 to 1 by US dollars. He noted that if this were indeed true, the markets would benefit from increased confidence. As evidence, he noted that cryptocurrencies rose slightly after the report came out.

“If they actually do have a USD backing then that means that the run-up is created by real demand and not fake demand. And that’s really good news,” Lee said.

https://www.ccn.com/bithumb-hack-doesnt-really-change-the-fundamentals-of-bitcoin-charlie-lee/
17  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-06-22] $17 Billion Deleted From Cryptocurrency Market in 24 Hours on: June 22, 2018, 02:37:27 PM
$17 Billion Deleted From Cryptocurrency Market in 24 Hours as Ethereum Falls 7%.

The cryptocurrency market has recorded a loss of over $17 billion in the past 24 hours, triggered by the loss of major cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, and EOS.

EOS recorded the largest loss amongst major digital assets, demonstrating a loss of more than 10 percent overnight. Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Stellar, and Cardano fell behind EOS, falling by just over 7 percent.

What Triggered the Sell-Off?
On previous reports, CCN noted that the cryptocurrency market is still in a bear cycle and that it had only initiated a corrective rally, not a bull rally. In mid-June, the market seemed more stable than any other period throughout the past two months. But, the unforeseen hacking attack of Bithumb, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, terminated the corrective rally of the market and led major cryptocurrencies to a short-term decline.

Prior to the Bithumb hack, the cryptocurrency market had shown significant momentum, as Bitcoin rebounded from $6,300 to $6,700. But, the breach of the most widely utilized digital asset trading platform in South Korea, the third biggest cryptocurrency market behind the US and Japan, led investors to panic, even though the outcome was not particularly detrimental.

On June 21, CCN reported that Bithumb confirmed $30 million was stolen from its hot wallet and has started to cooperate with the Korea Internet and Security Agency, a sub organization of the Ministry of Science and ICT, to minimize its losses. The Bithumb team stated that the $30 million figure could decrease in the future, as KISA and Bithumb security experts initiate various recovery efforts.

“After the incident occured on June 20, Bithumb quickly followed the procedure to immediately report [the] incident to KISA announcing that about 35 billion Korean Won worth amount of cryptocurrency was stolen. However, as we undergo recovery process on each cryptocurrency, the overall scale of damage is getting reduced. Hence, we expect that the overall damage will be less than the amount we initially expected,” the Bithumb team said.

Bithumb also confirmed that with company funds, valued around $450 million, the exchange will be able compensate its investors fully with ease, as the stolen amount only accounted for around 6 percent of company funds.

Hence, the end result of the Bithumb security breach was not detrimental to the point of triggering a 6 percent cryptocurrency market correction. Rather, it was the end of an optimistic short-term corrective rally triggered by Bithumb that led the cryptocurrency market to experience a minor correction.

Where Ethereum Goes Next
Ethereum experienced the biggest loss amongst major cryptocurrencies today alongside EOS, and given that smaller cryptocurrencies and tokens follow the trend of BTC and ETH, the short-term trend of ETH is important to observe.

Various momentum indicators indicate neutral zone for ETH. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) of ETH is at 40.5 and the MACD of ETH is demonstrating a buy signal. But, a neutral signal for ETH, in a strong downward trend, could mean that its decline could be prolonged to the higher end of the $400 region, from the current price of ETH at $503.

https://www.ccn.com/17-billion-deleted-from-cryptocurrency-market-in-24-hours-as-ethereum-falls-7/
18  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-06-20]3 Hacks in 12 Months: The Reasons Behind Crypto Exchange Bithumb on: June 21, 2018, 09:40:19 AM
3 Hacks in 12 Months: The Reasons Behind Crypto Exchange Bithumb’s Failings.

South Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb, which has been the most trusted digital asset trading platform within the country alongside UPbit, Coinone, and Korbit over the past few years, has been hacked for the third time in 12 months.
Hackers Can Hack Any Cryptocurrency Exchange

On June 20, Bithumb experienced a $30 million hacking attack, following a $40 million security breach suffered by CoinRail in early June. Only a small portion of Bithumb’s funds stored in its hot wallet has been stolen and the speedy response by the Bithumb team to move funds from its hot wallet to cold or offline wallet allowed the company to prevent a bigger theft.

Local investors have claimed that Bithumb was aware of the hacking attack since June 16 and its security team and developers tried to prevent the breach from affecting its wallet. Several hacking attempts have been made throughout the past four days and after failing to cope with the attacks, Bithumb moved coins in its hot wallet to cold wallet as a last resort.

According to Chosun, a mainstream media outlet in South Korea, local security experts have told the publication that hackers can breach into local cryptocurrency exchanges with ease if they allocate sufficient resources to it.

For many months, throughout 2018, industry experts have encouraged local investors to rely on top cryptocurrency exchanges to trade digital assets to ensure they do not fall victim to hacking attacks and lose funds.

However, in light of the recent Bithumb breach, investors have lost trust in local cryptocurrency exchanges and the market, primarily because the Bithumb hack occurred merely weeks after the $40 million hacking attack of CoinRail was disclosed.
Not All Exchanges are Hackable

While most experts in South Korea believe that all local cryptocurrency exchanges are hackable and vulnerable to security breaches, there exists quite a few cryptocurrency trading platforms that have operated more than five years with a clean record and no signs of breach.

Coinbase (US), Binance (Malta), Gemini (US), UPBit (South Korea), Korbit (South Korea), Huobi (Hong Kong, Kraken (US), Bittrex (US), and BitMEX (Republic of Seychelles) remain as the world’s leading digital asset trading platforms and yet, none of these exchanges have been hacked.

One synonymous quality amongst all of the abovementioned exchanges is that they allocate a significant portion of their resources and capital in securing client funds and they all have pride in their clean record.

Previously, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao and Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong have emphasized their focus on security and their priority on keeping user funds safe. Fred Wilson, a prominent venture capitalist and one of Coinbase’s early investors, said that Coinbase is world class at security and trust.

“If you look at what they are world-class at, it’s security, trust, safety … all these things that, frankly, banks are good at,” said Wilson.

Companies like Coinbase and bitFlyer have also recently started a hiring spree of talents from the traditional finance sector, who specialize in dealing with the most complex aspect of finance; custodianship, security, infrastructure-building, and compliance.

Bithumb, like Japan’s Coincheck, have struggled to find talented and experienced security and finance experts to build up a strong executive and the consequence of that has been three hacking attacks within a 12-month period.

https://www.ccn.com/3-hacks-in-12-months-the-reasons-behind-crypto-exchange-bithumbs-failings/
19  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-06-19] Bitcoin Price Outperformed Crypto Hedge Fund Pantera Capital Last M on: June 20, 2018, 07:03:37 AM
Bitcoin Price Outperformed Crypto Hedge Fund Pantera Capital Last Month.

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to diversify — just ask cryptocurrency hedge fund Pantera Capital, whose fund underperformed the bitcoin price last month.

According to Bloomberg, the firm’s Digital Asset Fund underperformed bitcoin during May as the cryptocurrency markets continued to decline further from the all-time highs they set in late December and early January.

Pantera CEO Dan Morehead acknowledged the poor performance in a monthly investment letter distributed to clients on Tuesday, explaining that the fund had dropped 26 percent for the month and is now down 51 percent in 2018.

The bitcoin price, meanwhile, posted a 15 percent decline in May and is also down approximately 51 percent for the year. That may not exactly be an attractive return on investment, but at least it comes without Pantera’s management fee.

Pantera’s poor performance in May represented a sharp reversal from April when it rallied 46.2 percent to outperform the flagship cryptocurrency, as well as the crypto market writ-large. Morehead attributed the recent decline to its stakes in Dash, Waves, Bitshares, and OmiseGo, assets which fared poorly during the period.

Diversification is a common investment strategy, but its wisdom in regard to the cryptocurrency markets has long been in debate. Individual asset prices remain highly-correlated, and even today the majority of fiat investments flow into the cryptocurrency ecosystem through bitcoin.

Moreover, so-called “bitcoin maximalists” often point to market cap charts from past years as evidence that — at least to date — diversification has been a poor strategy. To wit, just two of the 10 most valuable cryptocurrencies in June 2013 — bitcoin and litecoin — still rank in the top 100.

That’s an extreme situation, given the nascency of the ecosystem at the time, but glances back at market cap charts from years past reveal a number of now-forgotten projects that investors once believed could take bitcoin’s crypto-crown.

Nevertheless, off-the-shelf diversified investment products continue to grow in popularity. The Coinbase Index Fund recently began accepting investments from accredited investors looking to purchase at least $250,000 worth of cryptoassets, while firms including Grayscale Investments, OKEx, Huobi, and Bitwise Asset Management have rolled out index-tracking products in recent months.

https://www.ccn.com/the-bitcoin-price-outperformed-a-top-crypto-hedge-fund-last-month/
20  Bitcoin / Press / [2018-06-19] Coming ‘Reckoning’ Will Shake up ICO Market: CBOE President on: June 20, 2018, 07:02:12 AM
“The reckoning will come in two waves.” There’s a big shakeup happening in the ICO market, and it should be keeping investors up at night,” says CBOE President and COO Chris Concannon.

Concannon, also CEO of BATS Global Markets, told Business Insider that the market for ICOs is about to undergo major regulatory changes leading to the SEC classifying ICO tokens as securities and then pursuing industry participants and seeking litigation.

Coming from a Wall Street trader the pronouncement could often be dismissed as FUD, but Concannon has long been one of Wall Street’s most prominent cryptocurrency advocates, with CBOE launching Bitcoin futures trading last year. Concannon believes that the SEC will first pursue ICO market participants individually and then issue class-action lawsuits against the ICO teams and projects themselves.

While US officials have been repeatedly criticized for their unclear stance on cryptocurrencies and ICOs, earlier this month SEC chief Jay Clayton cleared some things up by categorically stating that ICOs would not be given special regulatory treatment and that many of the ICOs on the market were indeed selling securities and that the SEC would take action to regulate them.

Any ICO selling tokens that essentially represent a future share in the profits of the ICO project are to be classed as securities, and Concannon says the “waves” of regulation coming are not to be taken lightly. The SEC subpoenaed dozens of cryptocurrency firms this year, and if Concannon is correct, they’re just getting started.

Over $5 billion dollars have already been raised through ICOs this year alone, with some estimates ranging above $7 billion. The SEC will now be deciding which of the projects which received funding and issued tokens were actually issuing unregistered securities, something that could land both the project teams and investors themselves in hot water legally speaking.

“The actual party that offered the unregistered coin, they could have been involved in issuing an unregistered security,” Concannon said. “Anyone who sold that off could be deemed an unregistered underwriter.”

Cornell University Professor of financial regulation Robert Hockett said it is unclear whether the SEC would retroactively seek legal action against all market participants at this time.

“I don’t think it is the case that people involved in the business are going to be prosecuted against as if they have been violating the law,” Hockett said. “But there is a little bit of a room for exception with something particularly egregious.”

The real concern is that for investors, ICOs deemed as unregistered securities could be rendered completely worthless, which is where Concanon’s prophetic second, catastrophic wave kicks in.

“If you sold someone an unregistered security you are liable to them if they decide to take them to court,” Concannon said.

If events unfold as Concannon is describing, US investors could be in for a free-for-all of lawsuits as investors scrabble to minimize losses and defend themselves against other parties doing the same by taking legal actions.

The market has seen a number of class-action lawsuits. A disgruntled XRP investor has hit Ripple with a class-action lawsuit concerning the security classification of the cryptocurrency, and similar suits have been filed against other projects, including Tezos.

Professor Hocket believes that lawsuits of this nature may indeed hold up in a court of law.

“If they can prove investors were defrauded and misled by people who were better suited to understand the regulatory framework, but still instilled in investors a — no pun intended — false sense of security, then some suits would have merit.”

Hockett stated that this is a natural process for any popular new asset which beings unregulated.

“It is a legal life cycle of every new asset that becomes highly popular,” he said. “It was true for tulips, junk bonds, and mortgage-backed securities, and now crypto,” he said.

https://www.ccn.com/coming-reckoning-will-shake-up-ico-market-cboe-president/
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