Category Archives: Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin price breaks above $4,000 amid Samsung Galaxy S10 cryptocurrency wallet rumours – The Independent

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The price of bitcoin has broken above $4,000 for the first time since early January, as cryptocurrency markets continue their recent surge.

The latest gains come amid rumours that Samsung is planning a cryptocurrency wallet in its forthcoming Galaxy S10 range of smartphones, set to be unveiled on 20 February.

In January, a leaked photo of the iPhone rival suggested the handset will come with an in-built cryptocurrency wallet that support both bitcoin and ethereum.

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Several other smartphone makers have included in-built cryptocurrency wallets in their phones, such as the HTC Exodus and the Sirin Finney.

If the South Korean electronics giant features a wallet, it could signal a major shift towards such technology being standard on smartphones, helping cryptocurrencies achieve mainstream adoption.

Market experts say the latest gains are the result of increased positivity surrounding cryptocurrencies in recent days.

“These gains are clearly creating a wave of optimistic sentiment throughout the crypto community, with market volume up by $8 billion in the last 24 hours,” Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at the online trading platform eToro, told The Independent.

“Market volume is now above $36 billion and we haven’t seen these levels since April 2018. But, until Bitcoin breaks above the much-needed psychological level of $5,000, the bear market is still very much in play.”

Samsung is expected to confirm the cryptocurrency wallet feature at its Unpacked event this week.

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Bitcoin price: is the cryptocurrency heading for a bull run? – The Week UK

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Bitcoin is on course to breaking a six-month stretch of continual losses, as analysts predict a cryptocurrency bull run on the horizon.

Since July, bitcoin prices have tumbled from a peak value of $8,160 (£6,310) to $3,480 (£2,690) at the end of January 2019, according to ranking site CoinMarketCap

The digital coin has been gaining momentum over the past few weeks, however, with prices sitting at around $3,920 (£3,030) as of Tuesday morning.  

If values remain at or above their current levels until the end of February, bitcoin will score its first positive month since values began plummeting last summer.

Mati Greenspan, senior online market analyst at trading platform eToro, told The Independent that bitcoin’s recent gains “may well suggest that the long-awaited bull market is not far away”.

But “until bitcoin sees a strong breakout above the psychological level of $5,000 (£3,860), the longest bear market in cryptocurrency’s short history continues”, he added.

What’s behind the sudden gains?

Most analysts believe bitcoin’s climbing values are the result of banking giant J.P. Morgan’s decision to launch its own cryptocurrency.

The firm’s “JPM Coin” is based on blockchain technology, the same architecture used by the likes of bitcoin, and will be used to facilitate “near-instantaneous” settlements of money transfers, the Financial Times reports. 

Although the newly announced cryptocurrency will be used only for internal online payments at the bank, and is not available for public trading, the move indicates that the wider financial sector is ready to adopt the controversial tech.

“At the end of the day, the fact is that JPM using the digital coin for cross-border payment only strengthens the entire space” and “fosters the very concept that these digital coins are the future”, says Forbes.

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Awareness among Indian Ophthalmologists is more, says ICO Officer Cordula – The Hitavada

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Source: The Hitavada      Date: 19 Feb 2019 09:53:02

By Vikas Vaidya,

Even she appreciated Indian Ophthalmologists for their awareness about their field, Cordula Gabel-Obermaier, Fellowship Executive at International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) explained how the courses run by ICO are beneficial for the eye specialists to bring quality in ophthalmic treatment. Cordula means small heart. People with this name supposed to be sensible and do lot many good things for society– says its Latin meaning.

It is her that disposition that helps ICO to connect with the people in different countries. Cordula was in Nagpur to visit Dr Mahatme Eye Hospital, one of  the global centres that stood third in world in terms of number of ophthalmologists joining courses of ICO, at the centre. ‘The Hitavada’ talked to Cordula Gabel-Obermaier. Below are the excerpts of this interview Que: Can you brief about the work of ICO?

Cordula: ICO Fellowships Programmes are conducted to help promising young ophthalmologists from low-resources countries to improve their practical skills and broaden their perspectives of ophthalmology. Money to be spent on ophthalmologists for providing fellowships, is generated through donations. Host centres are not supposed to charge single penny from the ophthalmologists.

Que: Whether the programmes being conducted by ICO are recognised?
Cordula: Programmes are not recognised. Our motto is not limited to providing certificates. Our aim is to build the overall personality of the ophthalmologists who attend the course, enhance their professional skills.

Que: What ICO teaches to the ophthalmologists?
Cordula: We have different courses for different specialties. For example, Nagpur’s Dr Mahatme Eye Centre conducts course on cataract surgery. Those who have expertise in cataract surgery can add value to their information by doing ICO Fellowship in cataract surgery at Dr Mahatme Centre. Likewise there are courses on various specialties and subspecialties.

Que: What are your observations about the ophthalmologists world over who get ICO fellowships?
Cordula: While conduction selection of doctors for the fellowship, we ask them certain questions. For example, why they want to take up the fellowship? Which are the areas they want to focus on? These are some of the questions. As per my observation, Indian ophthalmologists are more aware. Their zeal to learn new things, add value to their skills is greater than ophthalmologists of many other countries. I must admit it. In fact the number of ophthalmologists from India opting for ICO fellowships is quite impressive. In number of examination centres too, India stood third in the order.

Que: Do you notice anything that lack among the ophthalmologists that opt for ICO fellowships?
Cordula: We don’t see from that perspective. We just focus on developing the comprehensive personality of the person completes fellowships. We teach them what kind of attitude they have when they deal patients or their relatives? How they should care for the patients? How they should maintain the sensibility while treating patients? These are the things which have human values, taken into account apart from professional skills.

Que: How the ophthalmologists in different countries respond to ICO?
Cordula: The activity is being conducted for the last 17 years successfully, is the evidence of the response we are evoking. We are happy with whatever number we have as people with thirst for knowledge come to us.

Que: Whether ICO fellowships have different standardisation as per the country’s need?
Cordula: Yes. We focus on regional needs. And we keep changing as per the advancements so that ophthalmologists would get updated.

Que: Do you have any follow-up system where you take feedback of participants post-training?
Cordula: Yes. We do take feedback after every 2 and 6 years. About 50 per cent do respond and out of them, 95 to 98 per cent give positive feedback. They admit that course was helping them a lot.

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XRP, not Bitcoin [BTC] is the top cryptocurrency in the market, says SBI Holdings’ CEO – AMBCrypto News

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A new war is set to take over the cryptocurrency realm, one that will feature two of the largest coins in the industry, Bitcoin [BTC] and XRP.

XRP maximalists have been pushing the coin as the foremost payment solution, causing massive ripples in the global coin market. Several proponents have backed the coin and have come out against other decentralized cryptocurrencies in the market, the latest being the CEO of Japan’s SBI Holdings, Yoshitaka Kitao.

In a recent interview, Kitao questioned the relevance of Bitcoin, even suggesting that the coin is valueless due to its rapid decrease. The SBI Holdings CEO also used a stock market analogy of price decline, suggesting that Bitcoin defies the principles of the stock market and hence, has no “fundamental value.”

He stated,

“Because the fundamental value (of Bitcoin) is zero, it falls by 80% from the peak. This is rare in the stock market and others. It has been said from the long ago that the rule of the rice exchange rate, even if it fells, it is said that it will almost stop at “half price eight odd discounts,” but it continued to fall without stopping. After all, it is because there is no fundamental value.”

Further, he questioned the long-term practical use of Bitcoin, primarily because of the price of the cryptocurrency. At press time, Bitcoin is priced at just over $3,900 after a market surge which has added over $10 billion to the collective market cap within the past 24 hours. Kitao stated that because of these reasons he sides with XRP.

“There is basically no value for Bitcoin. The fact that coins are going to be used more and more in practical use is not easy when it comes to that price. So I think that ‘XRP’ in the crypto world is probably the number one crypto asset.”

In terms of use-cases as well, Kitao pegs XRP to have the upper hand over Bitcoin, citing the advancements made by Ripple via RippleNet and xRapid.

Kitao added,

“Still searching for a use case (for Bitcoin), whereas XRP already has utility as a tool for making faster and cheaper cross border payments.”

SBI Holdings has long been a partner of Ripple and hence, it comes as no surprise that their CEO is bullish about XRP and not very keen on Bitcoin. Ripple confirmed their partnership with the Japanese giant in January 2018, in a bid to better serve their Asian market and has since gone on to cement various partnerships with SBI Holdings.

Recently, SBI Holdings had announced that its cryptocurrency exchange, VC Trade will commence trading in March 2019. Despite launching in July 2018, the exchange restricted the withdrawals of cryptocurrencies and had limited their users to use hardware wallets. The exchange will now allow trading in the following virtual currencies: XRP, Bitcoin [BTC], Ethereum [ETH] and Bitcoin Cash [BCH].

XRP’s straightforward appeal in the payments realm with banking institutions emanates from it being centralized, with the center being Ripple. On the other hand, Bitcoin is always going to be promoted as a ubiquitous, universal currency that can be used as a medium of exchange and a store of value.

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Graduate of Finance and Economics, interested in the intersection of the world of decentralized currency and global governance.

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Litecoin Massively Outperformed Bitcoin Since November Sell-Off By 4x – newsBTC

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Investors who purchased Litecoin during the significant November 2018 sell-off earned four times more returns than the investors who bought Bitcoin, highlighted Joe McCann.The financial expert, who serves as the head of systematic trading at crypto asset management firm, Passport Capital, calculated the returns made by the “silver cryptocurrency” from its three-month low to its three-month session high. He found that between November 14, 2018, and February 18, 2019, bitcoin price recovered up to 25.19 percent from its session low. On the other hand, Litecoin corrected as high as 118.67 percent within the same timeframe.Bitcoin vs. Litecoin | Source: Joe McCann Twitter Profile“Looking at how LTC had outperformed BTC since the epic selloff on November 14th, 2018, we can see that LTC has outperformed BTC by better than 4:1 from the current cycle low to the current session high,” McCann stated.Looking at how #LTC has outperformed #BTC since the epic selloff on November 14th 2018, we can see that LTC has outperformed BTC by better than 4:1 from current cycle low to current session high.As mentioned before, LTC has historically led BTC rallies…— Joe McCann (@joemccann) February 18, 2019Altcoins Lead Bitcoin RallyMcCann also called attention to the correlation between Bitcoin and Litecoin over the years. He claimed that Litecoin historically led the Bitcoin rallies, hinting that the altcoin’s latest upside moves could prompt an extended bullish momentum in the BTC market.As of 0900 UTC, the BTC-to-USD exchange rate was trending near $3,944, which is its best since January 11. According to 24-hour price calculator, the pair has surged a little over 5 percent. On the other hand, Litecoin has jumped close to 8 percent within the same time.However, it cannot be said that Litecoin gains could benefit Bitcoin. It could have been possible when the altcoin was among the few projects that competed with bitcoin. But now, the altcoin market is overpopulated with cryptocurrencies that could allow traders to swap their LTC positions for coins other than BTC.Galaxy, a Twitter-based cryptocurrency analyst with 48.4k followers, said that it was the entire altcoin market that was leading the ongoing bitcoin rally. It predicted that BTC dominance rate would breakdown in 2019 while the market will enter a so-called altseason.1. Build up $BTC domination
2. Breakdown
3. Altseason
4. Rinse and repeat.
Furthermore, looks like the weaker the dominance uptrend the longer the altseason and so far this one is the weakest.Expecting dominance to fall under 30% and the longest altseason to date. #crypto— Galaxy (@galaxybtc) February 18, 2019So far, some of the top coins have indeed outperformed bitcoin in terms of a rebound. Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency, posted a 90-day surge of 10 percent. Similarly, Tron’s TRX surged 81 percent, Binance’ BNB jumped 62.46 percent, and even Bitcoin SV’s BSV leaped 30 percent. At the same time, bitcoin’s 90-day performance was at a negated 13 percent.90-Day Crypto Performance | Source: OnChainFx.comWould Bitcoin Fall Behind?It is unlikely for altcoins to displace Bitcoin from its top position despite its weak dominance scenario. The world’s leading cryptocurrency is running ahead of its clone projects in terms of institutional adoption. Its fundamentals are the strongest for 2o19, thanks to regulators’ likelihood of approving its trading derivatives.BlockTower’s Ari Paul said that cryptocurrencies couldn’t match up to the supremacy of bitcoin by just adding features or with incrementally better transactional throughput.A.T. Kearney, a management consulting company, also claimed that bitcoin would reserve its dominance on the crypto market. In the firm’s opinion, the bitcoin dominance rate could even go up to 66% in the future.

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Bitcoin Mining Giant Bitmain Reveals $500 Million Loss; End of the IPO Dream? – CCN

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The world’s largest maker of cryptocurrency mining equipment Bitmain made a $0.5 billion loss in 2018’s Q3, CoinDesk reports.

Citing a source who viewed an update that was filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange the publication also reported that Bitmain generated revenues of more than $3 billion during the first three quarters of 2018 with only $200 million being generated in Q3.

The loss is evidence that the crypto bear market has dampened demand for mining rigs, the firm’s major product. It comes at a particularly bad time as Bitmain has been planning an IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

While it is not a given, these results might now complicate this effort. This is especially so considering that the CEO of HKEX, Charles Li Xiaojia, has previously raised concerns with the cryptocurrency firms.

Sustainability of Bitmain’s Business Model Questioned by Stock Exchange

Last month in Davos, Switzerland during the World Economic Forum gathering, Xiaojia questioned the sustainability of Bitmain-like businesses. This was in light of the toll that had been exacted on the cryptocurrency mining sector by ‘crypto winter’.

Investors have also echoed similar concerns. According to a partner at the risk assurance practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers China, Chun Yin Cheung, investor concerns primarily have to do with whether the sustainability of the business model. They are also concerned about the exposure makers of cryptocurrency mining gear such as Bitmain have to cryptocurrencies:

Investors share some concerns. For one thing, it remains a question if the cryptocurrency mining business still makes that much money. Secondly, the cryptocurrency bear market has largely weighed on the valuation of these candidates. Some own a considerable number of tokens.

Troubles at Bitmain Have a Human Toll

Besides now threatening to torpedo Bitmain’s IPO plans, the dwindling fortunes of the mining rigs maker have also reportedly cost the company’s co-CEOs, Jihan Wu and Zhan Ketuan, their jobs.

Late last month South China Morning Post reported that Jihan and Ketuan, who are also the co-founders, would be stepping down. A product engineering director at the firm was tipped to step into the CEO role. Jihan and Ketuan are however slated to remain as co-chairs of the company. Towards the end of last year, CCN had also hinted that the two were on their way out.

The restructuring at Bitmain has not been limited to the top echelons though. Over the last couple of months, the mining rig manufacturer has laid off employees at various locations around the world. Last month Bitmain shut down a cryptocurrency mining operation in Texas where it had between 7,000 and 8,000 crypto mining rigs.

Bitmain Scales Back as it Abandons Expansionist Mode

Earlier in December last year, Bitmain had closed a development center in Israel and laid off all 23 employees. At the time, the development center’s head Gadi Glikberg indicated that the move had been prompted by the bear market.

The crypto market has undergone a shakeup in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and refocus its business in accordance with the current situation.

With all the bad news that Bitmain has been generating the past few months, it remains to be seen whether it will push ahead with the IPO plans in the face of the $0.5 billion loss. And if it does, whether HKEX will allow it.

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Earn FREE Bitcoin Cash (BCH) With the New Mobile App From Bitcoin Aliens – Invest In Blockchain

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Released now on Android and coming soon on iOS, download the new Free Bitcoin Cash game from Bitcoin Aliens.

Claim BCH rewards with free spins on the hourly jackpot table. If you don’t hit the prize you want, you can watch a short ad and get extra spins for more chances. The whole app is 100% free to use; we never ask for anything, we just simply send you BCH for free.

It’s a great fun way to get started with crypto and earn a little free Bitcoin Cash, sent automatically to your wallet every week.

Between jackpot claims, you can earn bonus BCH with the bonus wheel too – -simply watch a video ad and claim some extra BCH satoshi:

As well as the jackpot and bonus claims, large rewards may be earned through offer walls, which will pay out into your in-app BCH balance.

The Bitcoin Aliens team has been in the cryptocurrency space since 2014 developing crypto incentive mobile apps. They originally paid out Bitcoin transactions directly on the blockchain but were forced to use alternative payout options as the blocks filled up and transaction fees became unmanageable.

The new free Bitcoin Cash app has been built from scratch, and allows them to finally once again send payouts for free, directly to any Bitcoin Cash wallet.

With over 2.5 million installs across 5 apps, including the original “Free Bitcoin” with over 1 million installs alone, they have given away a total of 1,090 btc, at time of press worth over $3.6 million.

Download the new app here on Android, and check out the full collection of Android and iOS apps here.

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Bitcoin tops $4,000 for the first time in over a month – Business Insider

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Bitcoin hit a high of $4,002.71 a coin on Tuesday, just days after JPMorgan said it would launch its own cryptocurrency that was tied to the US dollar. The largest cryptocurrency by market cap has surged by 10% to its highest level in more than a month following Thursday’s announcement.

The largest US bank by assets said on Thursday that it had created and successfully tested a cryptocurrency that would have a value equivalent to one US dollar. The digital currency, called “JPM Coin,” is based on blockchain technology and is intended to enable the “instantaneous transfer of payments between institutional accounts,” CNBC first reported.

Investors in the digital-currency space saw prices explode higher in 2017 as cryptomania swept over the world. Bitcoin began 2017 worth less than $1,000 a coin before soaring more than 2,000% to a high of $19,511. However, the year of 2018 was a different story, with the cryptocurrency’s value plunging by 70% to a low of $3,136 a coin.

Bitcoin was up 3% this year following Tuesday’s spike.

Now read:

Markets Insider

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Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Discloses Non-ETH Crypto Holdings and Other Revenue Sources

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Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin has disclosed that his crypto investments are virtually exclusively devoted to the Ethereum network, in a post published to an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) Reddit thread on Feb. 18.

The AMA post is dedicated the Ethereum leadership and accountability, asking those in leadership positions in the ETH community to share their possible conflicts of interest.

In Buterin’s summary, his total holdings of non-Ethereum ecosystem tokens — comprising Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin (BTC), Dogecoin (DOGE) and Zcash (ZEC) — account for less than 10 percent of the value of his Ethereum holdings.

A further set of non-ETH Ethereum ecosystem tokens — comprised of Kyber (KNC), OmiseGo (OMG), Maker (MKR), (OMG) and Augur (REP) — are similarly reportedly collectively worth less than 10 percent of Buterin’s Ethereum (ETH) holdings.

Buterin also disclosed on the AMA that he has “significant corporate shareholdings” in blockchain research and development firm Clearmatics, as well as in scalability- and privacy-focused blockchain startup Starkware. The latter notably develops cryptographic technology such as zero-knowledge proofs, of which Buterin is a vocal proponent.

Aside from this, Buterin revealed his external revenue over the past 12 months — aside from the Ethereum Foundation — was accounted for by his advisory role for the tokens disclosed in his holdings.

Vitalik also discussed his non-financial involvement in other blockchain projects — including the ecosystems for the aforementioned tokens — as well as several non-token-based Ethereum-related organizations; such as L4, Plasma Group, EthGlobal and EDCON.

He is also reportedly involved in several non-token-based and non-Ethereum organizations — “mainly professional cryptography and economics circles” — which he didn’t specify.

As reported, Vitalik has recently been engaged in an Ethereum developers’ discussion in regard to a new smart contract creation feature set to be released in the forthcoming Constantinople hard fork.

Some community members had voiced their concerns that the feature could have negative security implications, which Buterin refuted, while emphasizing the need to evolve the feature in question with a longer roadmap in view.

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MIT Technology Review: Although Touted for Security, Blockchain Is Still Hackable

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MIT Technology Review magazine has published an article today, Feb. 19, arguing that security-touted blockchain tech is still vulnerable to hacks. The magazine is fully owned by the United States Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

In the recent article, the MIT Technology Review stressed that blockchain technology represents a complex economic system that depends on unpredictable human behavior.

As such, the Review pointed out multiple security breaches that have been increasingly emerging in cryptocurrency and smart contract platforms since the inception of crypto, citing a number of incidents including the recent double spending vulnerability that was found on a major U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase on Jan. 7.

The Review has further enumerated a number of conditions that make blockchain technology vulnerable, including both unintentional bugs in the system and the human factor. The magazine wrote:

“In short, while blockchain technology has been long touted for its security, under certain conditions it can be quite vulnerable. Sometimes shoddy execution can be blamed, or unintentional software bugs. Other times it’s more of a gray area — the complicated result of interactions between the code, the economics of the blockchain and human greed.”

The Review has further cited numerous bounties — programs provided by blockchain and crypto companies that allow white hat hackers get rewards by reporting a certain blockchain flaw on a given platform.

According to TheNextWeb, white hat hackers earned $878,000 in total by reporting crypto bugs in 2018.

Recently, Coinbase handed out a $30,000 reward for reporting a critical bug on its system, which is the largest crypto bounty ever given out by the exchange on HackerOne.

Previously, the MIT Technology Review had argued that blockchain technology will finally become common in 2019, considering the technology a disappointment of 2018.

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