For the first time in a blue moon, the crypto market underwent a notable rally. Since Ethereum (ETH) bulls began to show signs of life on Sunday, with the cryptocurrency rallying past $130, Bitcoin (BTC) and other digital assets have followed close behind.As of the time of writing, BTC has found itself at $3,920, approaching the ever-important level of technical and psychological resistance at $4,000. Ether has neared its $150 mark, as ETHDenver and the upcoming Constantinople hard fork have seemingly given the asset a slight boost. A majority of other cryptocurrencies have also posted notable gains, which comes after a ten-day lull in this budding market.Gains across the board, which were backed by a staggering $34 billion in daily nominal volume, have allowed the aggregate value of all cryptocurrencies to swell from $120 billion on Sunday morning to $133 billion currently — a gain of a jaw-dropping 10% in under 36 hours.Related Reading: Bitcoin Surges Nearly 10%, Analyst Claims BTC Likely to Target Mid-$4,100 Region NextWhile some optimists have called further short-term highs from here, analysts have remained cautious, predicting short-term pullbacks.Analysts Expect Bitcoin PullbackFinancial Survivalism, a full-time crypto trader that recently called for BTC to bottom at $1,165, noted that the cryptocurrency peaking just shy of $4,000 was likely the end of yesterday’s run. The self-proclaimed “financial revolution prepper” explained that the four 15-minute and nine 15-minute exponential moving averages (EMAs) recently underwent a “bearish crossover,” leaving BTC below it.That might have been the end of today’s run. 4 & 9 EMA’s recently made bearish crossover with price below. $BTC is +8% in the last 24 hours. For the most part 8% – 10% is the most it likes to move in one day. I’m expecting pullback to $3,750 before retesting $4,100 – $4,200. pic.twitter.com/NhheoSu6XB— Financial Survivalism (@Sawcruhteez) February 18, 2019Considering Bitcoin’s propensity to undergo a 10% rally or drop in a day’s time, rather than anything more, coupled with the status of short-term EMAs, Survivalism concluded that a pullback to $3,750 could be a possibility to precede a rally past $4,100.David Puell, a lesser-known, yet well-respected trader, also remained skeptical in the very short-term. Puell noted that as it stands, BTC is currently trading in a bull trap pattern, and could be eventually pushed down by a declining trendline, along with the 30-week moving average.$BTC: If we get there, beware the bull trap, lads. Lots of work yet to be done. pic.twitter.com/R9jpiGMK02— David Puell (@kenoshaking) February 19, 2019Puell also noted that the fact that weekly volumes are in a downtrend should have investors worried, as this could indicate that there is little propping up the crypto market as is.Does This Crypto Rally Have Legs?While the aforementioned analysts seem to be convinced that a short-term pullback would be in order, some argue that Bitcoin still has legs to run on. The team at Bitcoin Bravado, a leading crypto-centric technical analysis outfit, recently divulged that due to the influx of volume seen Sunday and Monday, along with the fact BTC surpassed its 50-day EMA, this move could see further upside.After failing to retake the 50-day EMA for over 3 months, $BTC has blasted through with nearly double the daily volume of any other day in 2019.Based off the influx of volume, we think this move has a lot more legs. pic.twitter.com/kpAKtVnHMk— Bravado® (@BitcoinBravado) February 18, 2019Mati Greenspan, eToro’s in-house crypto researcher, echoed the idea that the notable levels of volume should have investors enthused. In a recent Twitter thread, Greenspan noted that a “very healthy sign” is that the recent market price action was catalyzed by “strong volume,” adding that this means this move is likely “more meaningful” than the sporadic pumps seen historically.Although some would claim that it’s too early to be bullish from a medium-term (or longer) standpoint, Monday’s move has already convinced some that bears are preparing for hibernation. Trader Mayne, a long-time cryptocurrency trader, noted that as there have been notable bullish moves over recent weeks, it wouldn’t be nonsensical to claim that the bear market could be over. He added that those stuck with bearish lenses, like Murad Mahmudov, Tone Vays, along with other short-term skeptics, could miss out.Some may be calling for an end to the bear market, but there remains a notable level that Bitcoin needs to breach confidently to confirm a longer-term bull trend. For those who missed the memo, this level is around $4,800, which Greenspan, Survivalism, and the Bravado team pointed out in recent tweets. In their eyes, the 200-day EMA, currently situated around the aforementioned price point, will continue to be an important level of resistance, as this measure supported Bitcoin throughout multiple times its 2017 rally.As traders say, old levels of support become new levels of resistance (or vice-versa).Featured Image from Shutterstock
Mexico’s new government, led by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is setting its sights on financial technology to get the country out of poverty.
According to a report from Reuters, the Mexican government recently announced plans to make financial services more affordable in a country where more than half of the population does not have a banking account, otherwise known as the unbanked. The government is gearing up to roll out a digital payments system that will be operated by the central bank, enabling citizens of Mexico to make and receive payments via a smartphone without any fees. The payment system, called CoDi, is slated to launch in March.
To use the mobile app, consumers must have an account with an institution that is participating in Mexico’s existing interbank payments systems, which will power the payments platform. Jaime Cortina, director of operations and payments at the central bank in Mexico, told Reuters that the aim is to create a payment method that citizens can use to send money to one another and to make payments at stores and online.
“In the future, it will no longer be necessary to have a bank in the sense of a traditional, established bank,” said Arturo Herrera, Mexico’s deputy finance minister. “Mobile phones will become banks.”
The report noted that banking systems embedded on mobile phones are popular in emerging markets, including in China, India and Kenya, driven in part by private-sector FinTechs. It’s not clear whether a state system in Mexico will be easy to use. Reuters noted that initially, the system will require help from the same banks that kept the financial services market out of reach for low-income Mexicans for decades due to the associated fees. Less than reliable telecom service in the country could also hurt the efforts.
“Mexico has a lot of the key ingredients to succeed, but it’s not plug and play,” said Monica Brand Engel, a partner at Quona Capital, in an interview with the newswire.
The price of bitcoin has broken above $4,000 for the first time since early January, as cryptocurrency markets continue their recent surge.
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.”
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.
|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.
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.”
“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.”
“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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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… pic.twitter.com/AkAN6GPf8j— 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 CoinMarketCap.com 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
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 pic.twitter.com/eabtk6rGG9— 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.
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’.
‘Be Sustainable’: Hong Kong Stock Exchange CEO Scoffs at Crypto Giant Bitmain’s IPO Attempt https://t.co/1weg5JysDz
— CCN.com (@CryptoCoinsNews) January 24, 2019
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.
Bitmain: Chinese Media Reporting Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan to Step Down https://t.co/13XYXv1vED
— CCN.com (@CryptoCoinsNews) December 30, 2018
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.
The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) has revealed new details about its efforts to regulate crypto assets, hinting more discussions might already be underway. The CySEC wants to increase oversight of cryptocurrencies and related assets by integrating EU anti-money-laundering rules into the Cypriot laws.
“CySEC has been contacted by entities engaging in crypto-asset activities; a number of which do not appear to fall within the existing regulatory framework. As a consequence, CySEC considers the transposition of the parts of the AMLD5 concerning crypto asset activities, into national law, as appropriate,” the watchdog said in a regulatory circular.
Derivatives referencing cryptoassets would not fall under this suggestion, but we understand they remain subject to ESMA’s current restriction and any future proposals by the CySEC regarding the sale of these instruments to retail investors.
Published in June 2018, the AMLD5 is a pan-European anti-money laundering directive that member states will have until January 2020 to implement it into their national laws. The legislation is notable because it represents the EU’s first attempt to expressly regulate cryptocurrency activities at EU-level.
Filling the Gap Between Brokers, LPs, and ClientsGo to article >>
Under AMLD5, crypto exchanges and custodian wallet providers will be brought within the scope of EU anti-money laundering rules for the first time. The law imposes registration and customer due diligence requirements that force operators to disclose their traders’ identities and report suspicious activity.
Crypto platforms face tighter AML rules
Meanwhile, the CySEC intends to go beyond the requirements set out in the fifth directive as it wants to bring new activities, which are not included in AMLD5, under the AML/CFT obligations. According to the regulator, these activities include:
- a) exchange between crypto assets,
- b) transfer of virtual assets and
- c) participation in and provision of financial services related to an issuer’s offer and/or sale of a crypto asset.
As it stands, the current shifting regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies across the globe is still very confusing as local regulators are struggling to keep pace with the innovations in the space.
Extending AML regulations to cryptocurrency activities is being considered in several countries around the world such as Australia and the UK, and already tracks the EU’s recent push to regulate Bitcoin.
But the really big challenge is the absence of coherent direction on cryptocurrency regulation as each country has its own approach. Some countries are welcoming, including Japan, while others are cautious, such as the US and Europe. And some nations like China are downright antagonistic.
Financial technology provider trueDigital, a subsidiary of swap execution facility operator TrueEX, announced on Tuesday that Thomas Kim has joined the firm as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Kim will also join the company’s board of directors.
“Thomas brings the expertise and the boldness to carry forward our vision of bringing blockchain-based financial technologies to life,” said Sunil Hirani, trueDigital’s Founder and Member of the Board of Directors. “His accomplishments at some of the world’s most technologically-driven and demanding institutions speak to his ability to think creatively and lead effectively. This will be instrumental as we double down on our ambitions to innovate, grow and scale.”
Kim joins the financial technology company from Bridgewater Associates, an American investment management company, where he spent seven years. Before joining trueDigital, Kim was working as Chief Operating Officer for Bridgewater’s Investment Engine Group.
Prior to that, Kim also spent time at a number of major financial institutions, including Lehman Brothers and UNX.
Filling the Gap Between Brokers, LPs, and ClientsGo to article >>
Kim to lead the trueDigital blockchain charge
According to a statement released by trueDigital on Tuesday, Kim will be responsible for developing the company’s business in the world of digital assets and blockchain technology.
In December of last year, the technology company confirmed that it was launching a blockchain-based payments system with Signature Bank, a commercial bank based in New York that has a number of branches throughout the US.
A couple of months prior to that announcement, in October of 2018, trueDigital also got approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to list margined, physically-delivered bitcoin swaps on TrueEX’s swap execution facility.
“Transforming financial market infrastructure is an ambitious goal, yet the progress to date shows the potential of trueDigital’s technologies to modernize markets and bring digital assets forward,” said Thomas Kim, CEO, trueDigital. “The team, the thinking and the technology at trueDigital are all attuned for significant growth, and I look forward to leading the way.”