Monthly Archive: August 2018

Crypto Onslaught in China Continues as Guangzhou Bans Cryptocurrency Events 0

Crypto Onslaught in China Continues as Guangzhou Bans Cryptocurrency Events

In an ongoing onslaught on the once-booming Chinese cryptocurrency industry, China’s Guangzhou Development District government has prohibited all physical venues from hosting digital currency-related promotions or events. Guangzhou Development District, which is one of China’s special economic zones, reportedly issued a circular to all local business on August 24 outlawing them from hosting any crypto-related activities. The new ban is meant to help “maintain the security and stability of the financial system,” the circular read.

The Onslaught Continues

The move by the Guangzhou financial watchdogs comes after a similar ban was imposed upon local businesses in Beijing’s Chaoyang district two weeks ago. As reported by local media, the ban forbids all public venues in the region — including hotels, offices, business centers and malls – from hosting any form of crypto-related activities.

Among the whys and wherefores given by the Beijing Chaoyang district financial bureau to justify the new ban is the protection of public property rights, prevention of money laundering and the upholding of the security and stability of the financial system.

As far as anti-crypto rhetoric goes, China has a history of inauspicious digital currency sentiments. The Chinese government banned virtual currency trading and initial coin offerings late last year and intensified its efforts to clamp down on the domestic cryptocurrency market this year. While Chinese authorities prohibited cryptocurrency exchanges last year, they’ve lately noted an uptick in activity on alternative platforms.

China’s has this month deepened its crackdown on cryptocurrency space, targeting online platforms and communication channels through which Chinese crypto-enthusiasts can gain exposure to crypto trading and ICOs.

On Aug. 21, the China National Fintech Risk Rectification Office initiated a move to restrict 124 overseas cryptocurrency exchanges from offering trading services to local crypto investors. Additionally, the watchdog also announced that it plans on setting up measures to monitor the crypto space as well as block internet access to these trading platforms.

At around the same time, WeChat, China’s top social media platform and payment app permanently blocked a dozen blockchain and crypto related accounts that were alleged of publishing material related to crypto trading and ICOs.  The reason given by WeChat to justify its actions was that these users flouted the new rules. WeChat follows in the footsteps of Baidu, the Chinese multinational technology company which shut down two of their famous cryptocurrency related chat forums.  Citing a similar reason to that offered by WeChat, Baidu sent a notice to their users   that the move comes “in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies.”

In a bulletin released by multiple Chinese financial regulators on Friday, the regulators issued a blunt caution about unlawful fundraising efforts claiming affiliation with the cryptocurrency space. The bulletin, inked by the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the Banking Regulatory Commission and the Ministry of Public Security issued a risk alert against “illegal” ICOs.

While the Guangzhou Development District financial bureau strives to crack down further on the trading of cryptos, the government of Guangdong province, in which the city is located, is taking a divergent stance.  In mid-August, Guangdong province government published a circular that foisted county and municipal level administrations to initiate the process of rolling out policies to support blockchain companies and hasten the adoption of systems based on this nascent technology. The text urges the crypto enthusiasts to be “lucid” about blockchain-related information.

OKEx and Huobi, formerly two of the leading digital currency exchanges in China prior to the Chinese government ban on crypto trading, relocated immediately after the ban on digital currency trading was imposed in late 2017 to Hong Kong.

The two cryptocurrency exchanges have continued to flourish over the past several months. OKEx is presently the second largest crypto exchange in the world by 24-hour trading volume, seeing about $916 million in trades on the day to press time, with Huobi ranking third and processing about $679 million in trades.

Ethereum Core Devs Delay ‘Difficulty Bomb,’ Reduce Block Rewards to 2 ETH 0

Ethereum Core Devs Delay ‘Difficulty Bomb,’ Reduce Block Rewards to 2 ETH

Ethereum core developers have decided to delay the “Difficulty Bomb” and reduce block rewards

Litecoin Price Analysis: Litecoin Will NEVER Test $400 Predicts Sabis Group 0

Litecoin Price Analysis: Litecoin Will NEVER Test $400 Predicts Sabis Group

The crypto verse is can be dramatic and depending on your preference, Litecoin and Bitcoin enjoy wide media coverage—and sometimes from research groups as Satis. They claim Litecoin gains shall average at $255 in the next decade and despite on-chain developments and adoption levels, LTC will never rise to $400.

From the News

Perhaps a stand out as the week concludes is this ruffling price prediction from Satis Group. While no one can accurately predict the future value of an asset even with the help of the latest valuation software, the research group has churned out some rather bold prediction of Bitcoin and its proxy, Litecoin.

Understandably, the crypto market is still nascent and that’s part of the reason why institutional investors are wary of sinking investors’ money. As a market that’s still trying to find a footing in a fast moving environment underpinned by technology, Litecoin and the rest of the markets are volatile but that didn’t stop Sherwin Dowlat and Michael Hodapp the authors of this controversial report from laying out their expert predictions.

Basing their forecast on peer-peer metrics and various traditional valuation models, they project that prices will never see the light of $400. That’s where Litecoin peaked before sinking to current levels.

What’s odd is that they took the John MacAfee route, placing Bitcoin at $144,000 in 10 years and $60,000 by the end of 2018. While all these are potential prices tags, many remain upbeat of Bitcoin but end up placing Litecoin at the dredges as they completely ignore the positive co-relation between Bitcoin and Litecoin.

Besides the obvious relationship, the network continues to find broad support from businesses, exchanges and investment firms with the foundation further oiling the systems by implementing solutions that deal with scalability, speed and most importantly adoption.

Litecoin Technical Analysis

Weekly Chart

Odds are, Litecoin will end up higher this week. So far, prices are up six percent and while they remain higher than last week, we must acknowledge that LTC prices are still in range mode. Not only are they moving within the last two week’s high lows but week ending Aug 12 bearish engulfing candlestick shadows any attempts of higher highs.

This is why LTC is most likely to dip provided prices are oscillating below $70 and more importantly below week ending Aug 12 highs at $80. In any case, prices might end up moving horizontally for some time as price accumulate/distribute ready to break below $50 or above $70.

Daily Chart

In this time frame, the reason for our neutral proposal is technical and clear from the chart. Notice that LTC prices are moving inside Aug 17 high low and are yet to break above $70—the immediate resistance line despite trend continuation following that high volume thrust of Aug 27.

Either way, risk on traders can load up longs with stops at $55 and targets at $70 and later $90. The safest route is the conservative way of trading and that dictates either a break above $70-asuming Aug 17 and 27 bull bears are confirmed or a dip below $50—in case there is trend resumption.

Disclaimer: This is not investment advice and views represent that of the author. Do your own research before making an investment decision.

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University College Oxford Set to Launch Blockchain Research Center 0

University College Oxford Set to Launch Blockchain Research Center

University College Oxford has become the latest institution to establish a blockchain research facility. The university will now have an ultra-modern research center explicitly designed to research blockchain technology. The initiative will be spearheaded by the university’s cryptography expert, Professor Bill Roscoe, who has been researching automated verification and cryptography for over three decades. The institution joins many other leading universities which are making major strides in becoming blockchain research hubs.

Universities Leading In Blockchain Research

Professor Roscoe will work alongside a team of experts in various subject areas of the distributed ledger technology initiative. Their primary task will be to work jointly to come up with technology that reduces the vast amount of energy consumed in the mining process, better known as green mining technology. They will also be expected to set blockchain technology standards as well as discuss privacy, trust and protocols for digital asset exchange platforms.

Commenting on the launch, the professor who joined Oxford in 1975 said:

The new blockchain research facility focuses on bringing blockchain to the mainstream. We will achieve this by embracing regulation through know your clients (KYC) guidelines and also through the use of green mining technology.

In even more good news for academic blockchain research, the University of Malta has set up a €300,000 blockchain and distributed ledger technology scholarship fund. The fund is as a result of a partnership between the university and the Malta Information Technology Agency and will be split over three years. It will benefit Masters’ and Ph.D. students whose dissertations are related to blockchain technology. To further increase the scope of the scholarship, the university stated that it will review other courses in the fields of finance, law and ICT to include blockchain tech, AI and fintech.

Oxford joins the likes of Stanford University which announced the launch of a blockchain technology research center in June. Stanford’s Center for Blockchain Research focuses on improving the current state of blockchain technology and developing a curriculum that will facilitate the use of blockchain tech in other fields. The center also intends to work closely with notable technology institutions like OmiseGo, Ethereum Foundation and Protocol Labs to solve blockchain scalability and privacy issues.

In the Philippines, the University of Ateneo de Manila inked an agreement with the NEM Foundation to launch a blockchain lab aimed at developing the state of blockchain tech in the country. The university, which has been in existence for 59 years, operates the Ateneo MediXserve Blockchain Education and Research lab which develops blockchain-based healthcare platforms for developing countries. The University of Arkansas also recently set up a blockchain research center aimed at boosting the national economy by encouraging more investors to adopt blockchain technology.

The spread of blockchain technology in institutions of higher learning was recently affirmed by a survey carried out by Coinbase and London-based research firm, Qriously. The survey revealed that 42 percent of the world’s top 50 universities are offering blockchain courses. The universities are responding to increasing interest from students who want to get a solid footing in the emerging technology, with some universities having to make new arrangements to accommodate the unexpectedly high number of blockchain students

Rakuten Acquires Crypto Exchange to Fast-Track Into the Japanese Market 0

Rakuten Acquires Crypto Exchange to Fast-Track Into the Japanese Market

Japanese mega e-commerce and internet company Rakuten Inc. is entering the crypto space. Instead of submitting a new application to the country’s financial regulator, Rakuten is acquiring an existing crypto exchange to fast-track into the Japanese crypto market.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Rakuten to Operate Crypto Exchange

Rakuten Inc. announced Friday that “it decided to acquire Everybody’s Bitcoin Inc. through its subsidiary, Rakuten Card Co. Ltd.” After the stock acquisition, which is expected to take place on October 1, Everybody’s Bitcoin will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rakuten. The acquisition cost is listed as 256 million yen (~US$2,305,484).

The e-commerce giant wrote:

We expect that the role of cryptocurrency-based payments in e-commerce, offline retail and in P2P payments will grow in the future. In order to provide cryptocurrency payment methods smoothly, we believe it is necessary for us to provide a cryptocurrency exchange function, and have been considering entry into the cryptocurrency exchange industry as the Rakuten Group.

Furthermore, the company revealed that a growing number of its FX and securities customers “have been calling for the provision of a cryptocurrency exchange service.”

Founded in 1997, Rakuten claims to have more than 1.2 billion members globally. The company has over 70 businesses across e-commerce, digital content, communications, and fintech. It owns messaging app Viber and has invested heavily in car-hailing service Lyft. In 2016, the firm established a dedicated research and development unit in Belfast called Rakuten Blockchain Lab. In addition, the Japanese government gave Rakuten a concession in April to operate Japan’s fourth major wireless carrier.

About Everybody’s Bitcoin

Known in Japanese as Minnano Bitcoin, Everybody’s Bitcoin began operating a crypto exchange service on March 30 last year. The exchange currently offers the trading of BTC, BCH, and ETH against the yen.

In April last year, the revised Payment Services Act went into effect in Japan, legalizing cryptocurrency as a means of payment and requiring all crypto exchanges in the country to register with the Financial Services Agency (FSA).

Everybody’s Bitcoin applied for a license on September 7, 2017, but its application is still under review. The FSA has, however, approved 16 crypto exchanges. As for those companies that were already operating crypto exchanges prior to the regulation taking effect, the agency has allowed them to keep operating while their applications are being reviewed. These companies are referred to as “quasi-operators” of crypto exchanges or “deemed” crypto exchanges.

Rakuten described:

Currently, Everybody’s Bitcoin operates the business as a deemed cryptocurrency exchange and is waiting for approval of the official registration.

A Fast Track to Registration

Since the hack of Coincheck in January, the FSA has tightened its review process of crypto exchanges. The agency has issued a number of business improvement orders and has temporarily shut down some quasi-operators.

On April 25, Everybody’s Bitcoin received a business improvement order from the Kanto Local Finance Bureau. “Everybody’s Bitcoin is working to implement improvements in the items outlined in the business improvement order,” Rakuten detailed.

Due to the stricter review process, most of the 16 quasi-operators have exited the industry. The FSA confirmed this week to that only three applications from these operators are left. They are for Coincheck, Lastroots and Everybody’s Bitcoin.

Coincheck was acquired by Monex Group after the hack. Lastroots just had more investments from SBI Group, which also has its own crypto subsidiary, SBI Virtual Currencies, and offers a crypto trading service called Vctrade.

According to Friday’s announcement:

Rakuten Group decided to acquire Everybody’s Bitcoin shares so that it can realize the early registration as a cryptocurrency exchange and develop cryptocurrency services to customers.

According to the e-commerce giant, Everybody’s Bitcoin “decided to expand the business under the Rakuten Group to maximize synergies…in order to further promote its cryptocurrency business.”

What do you think of Rakuten fast-tracking into the Japanese crypto market? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Rakuten Inc, Everybody’s Bitcoin, Coincheck, and Lastroots.

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PwC’s New Digital Skills Course Will Teach Employees about Blockchain 0

PwC’s New Digital Skills Course Will Teach Employees about Blockchain

“Big four” auditing firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is launching training programs to employees on blockchain and other nascent technologies. The two-year digital skills course, dubbed “Digital Accelerators” and said to begin in January, will train 1,000 employees on everything from drones, blockchain, and cleansing data to 3D printing, a news report from tech publication Digiday says. The

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Hong Kong Extends Migrant Policy to Facilitate DLT and FinTech Professionals 0

Hong Kong Extends Migrant Policy to Facilitate DLT and FinTech Professionals

Under a new “Talent List” initiative, the Hong Kong government will simplify its immigration policy to attract DLT and fintech professionals

Taiwan Hospital Launches Blockchain Platform to Improve Medical Record-Keeping 0

Taiwan Hospital Launches Blockchain Platform to Improve Medical Record-Keeping

The Taipei Medical University Hospital has launched a blockchain platform to enable the secure keeping and transfer of medical records

Yahoo Finance Users Can Now Trade Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin 0

Yahoo Finance Users Can Now Trade Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin

2018 seems to be a year of mainstream cryptocurrency adoption, as Yahoo Finance has joined the party by integrating buy and sell options for three cryptos. Yahoo Finance users can now buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin through the site’s portal. The three digital assets are currently ranked first, second, and seventh respectively in market capitalization, with Bitcoin trading at $6,900, Ethereum at $280 and Litecoin at $60 at press time. The move has been lauded by the crypto community, with many commending the direction taken by Yahoo at a time when many internet giants have shunned the industry. Anthony Pompliano, the founder of crypto-focused VC firm Morgan Creek Digital, euphorically broke the news on Twitter, stating that the crypto adoption virus is spreading.

Spreading To The Masses

Yahoo Finance platform uses Coinbase, a top US crypto exchange and trading app Robinhood as third-party brokers for the transactions. Consequently, the platform does not hold any user data, but the users must have an account from at least one of the two platforms when they want to trade in crypto assets through its platform.

While many of the top ten cryptos such as XRP, Bitcoin Cash, EOS and Stellar Lumens are not yet available on the platform, users can access their statistical data. Yahoo Finance is yet to disclose whether it intends to add support for the trading of other cryptos. In 2017, Yahoo Finance integrated numerous key features to its platform to allow investors to track dozens of cryptocurrencies on its platform. In partnership with crypto data aggregator CryptoCompare, the platform added such features as the support for quote pages, data on currency pairs, market capitalization and coins’ outstanding and historical data.

Historically, Yahoo Finance has been one of the most comprehensive financial portals regarding equities and other financial instruments, specifically for the United States and North American investors. With plenty of free and exclusive information, traders use such data to guide their investment decisions. However, since last year, the offering has extended rapidly to include dozens of digital currency pages.

The move by Yahoo Finance to integrate cryptocurrencies into its platform comes a month after Canada-based information and news provider Thomson Reuters partnered with CryptoCompare to track a number of digital assets on one of its desktop finance feeds. Under the partnership, CryptoCompare collates order book, trading information and statistical data for over 50 digital currencies sourced from trusted exchanges to be provided to investors through Thomson Reuters’ Eikon platform.

This latest move follows up on other efforts by the company to make inroads into the crypto trading industry such as the acquisition of a 40 percent stake in Tokyo-based BitARG crypto exchange. The acquisition was done in April through Yahoo Japan’s wholly owned subsidiary YJFX, costing the company $19 million (2 billion yen). The company further revealed its plan to launch an easy-to-use digital currency exchange in the next year.

Yahoo Finance platform is currently reported to have about 165 million users monthly, of which 70 percent reside in the United States. Hopefully, the new service will be expanded to accommodate those living outside the US as the buy and sell option is only currently available for US citizens.

EOS, Litecoin, Stellar Lumens, IOTA, Tron Technical Analysis: TVM Launch “Slow”, IOTA’s Dev Team 88 Sec Consensus Dominate 0

EOS, Litecoin, Stellar Lumens, IOTA, Tron Technical Analysis: TVM Launch “Slow”, IOTA’s Dev Team 88 Sec Consensus Dominate

As altcoins prices fluctuate, out trade plans continue to hold true. While we remain bullish on most coins as EOS, Tron, Litecoin and IOTA, the latter shows promise. It all has to do with on chain development and with Roman simulation prove that it’s possible for the tangle to reach consensus within seconds and process up-to 11,500 TPS, IOTA investors should be upbeat—and they are.

Let’s have a look at these charts:

EOS Price Analysis

As the week concludes, EOS is ending on a high shaking off Aug 30 bear attempts. While our trade plan is live and edging higher as laid out in prior EOS price analysis, taking a cautious stand as prices approaches the first level of resistance at $7 is ideal. After all, considering the general set up—prices are moving within a bear break out pattern primarily ignited by Aug 8 bear bar—, it doesn’t  make sense to buy as risk reward ratio is prohibitive.

Instead, a more sober approach is to wait for a reversal at $7—now that prices are slowing down OR a high volume break above $7 steeling bulls and allowing buyers to flow into EOS with first targets at $9 and later $15.

Litecoin (LTC) Price Analysis

Even with a four percent gain, it’s obvious that Litecoin bulls like in most coins are slowing down. Regardless, taking a temporary bullish stand-with lofty expectation of a break above $70-syncs well with recent higher highs set in motion by Aug 17 and 27 high volume thrust.

As spelled out in our last LTC trade plan, taking a neutral stand and halting trading in the time being might present a better entry position once there is a trend defining break out above $70 or dips below $50. If the latter is the case, then odds are LTC might drop towards $30. The level is our previous bear target in the process re-affirming the third stage of a bear break out pattern.

Stellar Lumens Price Analysis

Relative to prior moves, XLM is technically in a range mode. It is  moving within the monthly support trend line capping losses and 25 cents on the upside in a perfect wedge.

Though the market buyers are losing steam, taking an upbeat approach considering Stellar Lumens is oscillating at historical reversal levels clear when we paste a Fibonacci tool between 2017 high lows.

Nonetheless, any move below that support trend line asserting bears will be pointers to weak bulls. On the contrary, a move below 18 cents will open doors for 8 cents as highlighted before.

Tron (TRX) Price Analysis

From the News

  • The super hyped Tron’s Virtual Machine which the foundation says is lightweight, faster, better and compatible with the market pioneer Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is now live.

Technical Analysis

Even with a well-orchestrated marketing campaign, the launch of Tron’s virtual machine has been deflating for many anticipating “action and volatility”.

Like their prior beta announcement, TRX is picking up slow and up just six percent. This means our trading plan is active. However, taking a more conservative approach today as the markets digest the impact of EVM especially on developers is better.

For these reasons, we shall remain neutral for today. But from the way candlesticks are set up—we have a potential retest and trend resumption here—taking shorts with stops at 28 cents should bode well with aggressive traders.

IOTA (IOT) Price Analysis

From the News

  • Marwen Trabelsi and Sam Chen are the latest members of the Iota Foundation.
  • There is a potential breakthrough in IOTA after the development team printed a theoretical CTPS of 11,363 and reaching consensus in just 88 seconds for one million transactions all done from 900 virtual nodes.

Technical Analysis

Going by yesterday’s development, previous IOTA trade plans hold true even as IOTA gains four percent as statistics shows. Those apparent gains mean nothing by the way. From the chart, IOTA prices are moving inside Aug 27 candlesticks. That’s another reason why bull momentum has an edge over sellers.

While spot rates won’t allow for buys—risk reward ration won’t allow, conservatives can wait for better moves above 90 cents before loading up longs. On the flip side, any dip high volume dip reversing Aug 27 bulls would definitely hint of a slowing momentum and a possible resumption to bears. Sell triggers should be around 55 cents—Aug 17 highs.

Disclaimer: This is not investment advice and views represent that of the author. Do your own research before making an investment decision.

The post EOS, Litecoin, Stellar Lumens, IOTA, Tron Technical Analysis: TVM Launch “Slow”, IOTA’s Dev Team 88 Sec Consensus Dominate appeared first on NewsBTC.