The Intrinsic Value of Crypto (What the Bubble Hasn’t Changed)

Hu Liang is co-founder and CEO at Omniex, an institutional trading platform for crypto assets, and a former senior vice president of State Street.

The following is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2018 Year in Review

At the inaugural Consensus Invest last year in New York City, I was on stage with a host of notable names in the crypto world to discuss what 2018 would hold.

That event, in November 2017, would also mark the first time I announced the formation and funding of Omniex, the first institutional investment and trading platform focused on crypto-assets, following my departure from State Street Bank & Trust.

Just a few weeks ago, I was again in NYC for Consensus Invest. Now, with the eventful year of 2018 almost behind us, I’ve spent some time thinking about what has transpired and whether the intrinsic value of crypto has materially changed for institutional investors.

The Intrinsic Value Argument

I’ve always maintained the true intrinsic value of crypto is its ability to create decentralized networks that ultimately lead to new forms of businesses. In fact, in this article from one year ago, I made this exact argument.

The financial use case, beyond that of blockchain technology, is that of crypto as a new and standalone asset class in a multi-asset class portfolio, be it passive or active. A year later, I have not wavered in my thinking. What I have realized and adjusted to, however, is that a new asset class is not created in just one year.

The meteoric price increase in nearly all crypto assets a year ago has affected everyone from retail investors to institutions. While I externally maintained the price increase was not sustainable, there were nights when I thought to myself “Maybe this can go on,” even though I knew the fundamentals did not support it at the time.

I can’t help but think back to the 1996 speech of former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan during the rise of the Internet bubble, “How do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values, which then become subject to unexpected and prolonged contractions…?” Well, with hindsight being 20/20, I think we can say we now know.

But does this come as a surprise? For someone like me who went to college and started his professional career during the height of the internet bubble, this really does not surprise me. In fact, many have equated the rise of blockchain and crypto to internet’s rise during the 1990s.

In other words, saying their use cases have yet to fully mature.

When I was leading the Emerging Technologies Center at State Street, I actually equated crypto and blockchain to the internet of the 1970s, which would imply it’s even further away from maturity. The asset pricing bubble, however, came quicker in crypto than for the internet. This is logical as both information dissemination and business model transformation are much faster post Internet.

A Post-Bubble View

Is the fall of crypto really that impressive?

Let’s put it in perspective with the dot-com. NASDAQ, at its peak in 2000, fell 72 percent. Cisco, a bellwether of the technology industry, was down about 86 percent from its peak. And finally, Amazon, the biggest story of the internet age, was down a massive 95 percent from late 1999 to late 2001, crashing from $107 to just $5.97.

The similarities I’m attempting to draw here aren’t about the crash, but rather its aftermath.

We learned post dot-com that for a company to have sustainable value, it must have real utility. An online pet store isn’t very interesting in the long run, but an online book store with path to become the online “everything store” is compelling.

Now is when we really need to focus on delivering on the true intrinsic value of crypto and blockchain, turning away from undue speculation and creating real use cases and value networks. As Michael Casey so clearly put it, we caused the current crypto-winter and we are the ones who should fix it.

What does fixing it mean? As stated earlier, I don’t believe the true intrinsic value of crypto has changed. It is the foundation of a new business and economic model, one in which a fully or partially decentralized network can provide similar value to those of centralized networks with fewer intermediaries. It also plays a vital role in demonstrating that centralized and decentralized models are not mutually exclusive.

I often hear people and panel moderators asking “Which model will win?”

The answer is quite simple, both. Just as we don’t expect one company to dominate a market sector, we should not expect centralized business models of today to be the only model going forward. This plays true for the inverse as well; decentralization will also have to share the market. So, to me, fixing it means proving the decentralized model will work, en-masse, over time.

A 2019 View

As we greet 2019, I look forward to two areas of advancement.

The first is moving beyond retail to create a crypto ecosystem that empowers institutional investors to participate in the crypto and blockchain revolution. Let’s not forget that crypto is the only asset class in history that didn’t start from the institutional front, and as a retail-first phenomenon we’ve been left with an ecosystem devoid of institutional infrastructure.

However, the infrastructure and uptake are well on their way.

2018 has also shown that crypto and blockchain have clearly caught the attention of institutions. With crypto moving beyond the retail market, companies like Fidelity, ICE (parent of NYSE), NASDAQ, Microsoft, Starbucks and a host of Ivy League endowment funds have all either started initiatives or invested in the space. Along with global regulators, this concerted effort is now laying down all the appropriate functions and a solid foundation for institutional fund managers to enter the space.

The second and perhaps more important area of advancement in 2019 is a broader adoption of decentralized networks at the protocol level. New opportunities are invitations to startups. The important thing to remember is that startups don’t all succeed. Despite the setback of the ICO boom, as true innovations succeeds in garnering wider adoption, the true intrinsic value of crypto will be realized – and that moment will be a great one.

For now, at Omniex, our goal for 2019 is to continue building a sustainable ecosystem for institutions to easily adopt crypto as a new asset class. Along with the other institutions mentioned earlier, I’m a firm believer the industry will regain its prior highs, built on a sturdier foundation, as broader protocol network adoptions continue into 2019.

Have a strong take on 2018? Email news [at] coindesk.com to submit an opinion to our Year in Review.

Bitcoin on computer image via Shutterstock

Cryptocurrency prices continue to be dragged down by the bear market – CoinAnnouncer

It’s no secret that digital currency has been going through a tough time over the last few months. According to recent reports, the prices have started to dip once more following the bear market after a few days of price consolidation. Currently, the entire cryptocurrency economy is under risk of dropping below the 100 billion dollars market valuation.

What’s more is that cryptocurrency global trade volumes are at their lowest ever. Only $11.5 billion worth of assets has been traded over the last 24 hours. There is fear that the figure may continue to drop as a result of the persistent bear market.

More price dips

The cryptocurrencies market has been very volatile in recent times, and this time the market is experiencing a drop in prices. The latest records reveal that the top 10 digital assets incurred between 2-13% losses in the last 24hrs. At the time of reporting, the trade volume of all the coins in the market was valued at $104.2 billion. Bitcoin, the most used cryptocurrency, enjoys 55% dominance in the entire digital asset economy and had dropped its price by 3.8% as of Friday. This statistic brings the BTC average global price to about $3,302.

Following BTC is ripple (XRP) which is being traded for $0.29 per coin, Ethereum comes third and its markets are down by 4.6% and gets traded for $86 per token. Other currencies have shown dips too as the effect of the bear market is felt throughout the economy.

Final word

The cryptocurrency markets exhibit strong uncertainty, and that can be shown by the trend so far this December. The cryptocurrency values were expected to be bright this month but the values are not as expected. As we approach the new year, there have been no price improvements so far.

The frustration is evident across all corners of the globe and has triggered many reactions across as well. Fundstrat’s Tom Lee commented, “I am getting tired of cryptocurrency price predictions.” His sentiments are understandable considering what is happening in the sector.

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Week in Review: Cryptocurrency Price Analysis for the Week December 10 to December 16 – Coingape

Congressmen Introduce Bills Opposing Crypto Price Manipulation

The Republican Ted Budd and Democrat Darren Soto have joined hands across the aisle to put an end to cryptocurrency price manipulation. The two men have introduced a couple of bills that “direct the CFTC and other financial regulators to make critical recommendations for how to improve the regulatory environment for both the consumer and business development side.” The first bill, The Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act, asks the CFTC to analyze current price manipulation and propose regulatory changes to prevent it in the future. The second, The U.S. Virtual Currency Market and Regulatory Competitiveness Act, wants the organization to conduct a study of the regulations of other countries to find “alternatives for current burdensome regulations that may inhibit innovation.” The new bill seems like a win for all parties involved.

CFTC Looking for Ethereum Know-How

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is now looking for your Ethereum expertise. This week, the organization released a Request for Information (RFI) to learn more about the smart contract supernetwork. The RFI includes surprisingly relevant questions such as: “Does the Ethereum Network face scalability challenges? If so, please describe such challenges and any potential solutions.” and “Has a proof of stake consensus mechanism been tested or validated at scale?” Maybe these government officials know a little bit about blockchain after all

Coinbase Donates Cryptocurrencies To Venezuelans

Needless to say, Venezuela is going through one of its worst times as a nation. And president Nicolás Maduro has made it worse by increasing the fiat cryptocurrency Petro price from 3.6K Bolivar to 9K Bolivar. This too at a time, when there are hardly any wallets offering the conversion.
Now, the leading cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has come to the Venezuelans’ rescue. The cryptocurrency exchange has announced that it will donate Zcash ($ZEC) of worth $10K to Venezuela as part of exchange’s GiveCrypto.org project.

Zebpay goes live in Europe

Once India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Zebpay, after exiting from Indian market this September citing unfavourable and unclear regulations, has now started its operations in European markets. Based out of Malta, the exchange is live now in 21 countries of the EU. In its official statement, the company said, “We are live with euro deposits/withdrawals and trading in 21 countries (Malta, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Austria) in Europe.”

Saudi Arabia’s ICD Bank Announces Blockchain Powered Islamic Banking Solutions

Internationally, The Saudi media reported that the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) is planning to develop sharia-compliant blockchain product. ICD’s plan of rolling financial products powered by blockchain is to enable Islamic banks to manage their liquidity needs. With the proposed plan for developing blockchain solutions for an Islamic bank, ICD has already incorporated an agreement with I-FinTech Solutions (IFTS), a Tunis-based company. ICD is a branch of Islamic Development Bank Group which claim that the product penned with IFTS is solely designed to attempt liquidity management issues.

Source: coin360.com

Bitcoin (BTC)

This week too Bitcoin continued its meltdown. The prices hit the high point of USD 3,647.33 and the lowest point of USD 3,191.30 during the week. The exchanges that were more active, in volumes, with BTC across various pairs this week were,  BitMex (20.02%), CoinBene (3.85%) and OEX (3.19%)

Among prominent news around Bitcoin, Tom Lee updated his estimate for what a fair price for bitcoin should be: Between $13,800 and $14,800.

Ripple (XRP)

XRP still is at second place as Ethereum continues to take a beating. On the top, this week the prices of XRP were at USD 0.316210 and towards the bottom, it quoted USD 0.282523. The exchanges that were more active, in volumes, with XRP across various pairs this week were Bitbank (11.58%), ZB.COM (10.61%) and ZBG (5.73%)

For XRP this week, Ripple added Israel’s Largest Financial Services Firm GMT To Its Network

Ethereum (ETH)

Ether, like BTC, is hit severely now and sits below USD 100 levels. Ethereum on the top, this week were at USD 96.26 and were at lows of USD 82.83. The markets that were more active, in volumes, with ETH across various pairs this week were OEX (8.71%), DOBI trade (7.71%) and RightBTC (6.62%)

Among news surrounding Ethereum, The creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, has just been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Basel.

The Other Movers and Shakers

The Other coins that made to the top and bottom this week according to Coin Market Cap (accessed on December 16 at 3:35 pm IST) were

Movers

  • Veros – Showing a rise of 395.05%
  • Swarm – Showing a rise of 141.85%
  • ARBITRAGE – Showing a rise of 126.75%

Shakers

  • KWHCOin – Showing a drop of 93.20%
  • HyperQuant – Showing a drop of 70.64%
  • Octcoin Coin – Showing a drop of 62.32%

What do you think would be the sentiment of the crypto markets next week? Do let us know your views on the same.

Cryptocurrency Price Analysis for the Week December 10 to December 16
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Cryptocurrency Price Analysis for the Week December 10 to December 16
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Cryptocurrency manipulation schemes could be found and foiled by new algorithm – Tech Xplore

Credit: Jiahua Xu and Ben Livshits

Imperial scientists have created an algorithm to predict when specific cryptocoins are at risk of ‘pump-and-dump’ schemes.

The could help market regulators predict and prevent cryptocurrency schemes that sees traders spend seven million US Dollars per month, only to find the price of their purchased currency falls as the scheme unfolds.

Pump-and-dump schemes are used to artificially inflate the price of a cryptocurrency – types of virtual currency—so that scheme organisers can sell the currency at a profit. However, the scheme works by rallying hundreds or thousands of investors together to boost, or ‘pump’ the price – some of whom don’t act quickly enough when the price peaks, and will therefore lose money.

Long used by traditional , pump-and-dump schemes are now common in crypto financial markets too. Pump-and-dump scheme organisers often use their knowledge to gain from pump-and-dump events at the sacri?ce of fellow pumpers, and the practice costs the cryptocurrency market seven million USD per month. Deceived by the scheme, many investors rush into purchasing certain coins and lose money.

Now, for the first time, researchers at Imperial College London have studied pump-and-dump schemes as they happen and developed a machine learning algorithm that could help market regulators predict and prevent this type of market manipulation. An initial draft of the paper is published on arXiv.

Market manipulators

Organisers of pump-and-dump schemes promote a specific cryptocurrency, in crypto-exchanges like Binance or Yobit, to a group of people who then rally together to buy it simultaneously. The target cryptocurrency is often a relatively unknown token, like EZToken or Tajcoin.

The increase in demand causes the value of the currency to skyrocket quickly. Although markets fluctuate naturally, deliberately manipulating a currency to rise in value is known as ‘pumping’.

When the currency has risen, the initial buyers quickly sell their coins and the value drops sharply, known as the ‘dumping’ stage. At this point, the currency’s value has often dropped to well below what many users bought them for, meaning they lose money.

Lead author of the paper Dr. Jiahua Xu, from Imperial’s Department of Computing, said: “Organisers of these schemes, who control the process and are ahead of the curve, can make large profits – while less experienced users often fall behind the curve and lose money.”

Cryptocurrency manipulation schemes could be found and foiled by new algorithm Credit: Jiahua Xu and Ben Livshits

Dumping the pump

Pump organisers use anonymous messaging apps to organise pump-and-dump schemes. They also advertise in public forums like Reddit or Bitcointalk to attract partakers.

In their study, the researchers traced the message history of over 300 Telegram groups from July to November 2018, and identified 220 pump-and-dump events orchestrated through those groups.

The researchers found that around 100 Telegram pump-and-dump groups organise two pumps a day on average, ultimately encouraging investors to spend seven million USD per month.

They then looked for signs to identify which coin, if any, was about to be pumped by analysing coin features like ratings and market movements. Signs included coin market cap, and unusual fluctuations in price and volume, prior to the pump

Based on these signs, the researchers developed an algorithm that predicts with good accuracy how likely a specific coin is to be pumped before it happens.

The researchers say their algorithm and subsequent trading strategy suggestions could feasibly be used by regulators to curb pump-and-dump schemes.

They added that although these schemes may not technically be illegal, they are unethical and harmful to cryptocurrency users and markets in general. Co-author Dr. Ben Livshits, also from Imperial’s Department of Computing, said: “At the moment, regulators like the Commodity Futures Trading Commission can only warn users of the financial risk inherent in the schemes, and perhaps offer rewards to potential whistleblowers. Our algorithm might help them to proactively prevent pumping and dumping.”

Dr. Xu said: “Like the buyers who fall victim to these schemes, market regulators often fall behind the curve of pumping-and-dumping. Our paper suggests a cheap and relatively easy way to tackle the issue.

Next, the researchers will consider measuring just how much money investors can lose in the schemes. Dr. Xu added: “In the current study, we only measured the total amount of money involved in trading. Our next task could be to measure financial losses to individual users.”


Explore further

Why do investors seek out stock swindles?


More information: The Anatomy of a Cryptocurrency Pump-and-Dump Scheme, arXiv:1811.10109 [q-fin.TR] arxiv.org/abs/1811.10109

Provided by Imperial College London

Citation: Cryptocurrency manipulation schemes could be found and foiled by new algorithm (2018, December 16) retrieved 16 December 2018 from https://techxplore.com/news/2018-12-cryptocurrency-schemes-foiled-algorithm.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Bitcoin Cash [BCH] Technical Analysis: Bullish market imminent, but bear has not let go completely – AMBCrypto News

After the bear market engulfing the cryptocurrency market, bullish outbreaks are finally on the horizon. Bitcoin Cash [BCH], which has been struggling and falling on the CoinMarketCap list, stands on the eighth position, above Bitcoin SV [BSV].

According to CoinMarketCap, at the time of press, the coin was valued at $82.30, with a market cap of $1.4 billion. The eighth largest cryptocurrency registered a 24-hour trade volume of $82 million and had grown by 7.58% over 24 hours, after a steep fall of 25.04% over the week. At the time of reporting, the coin was keeping its growth intact at 0.64% over the hour.

1-hour

Source: Trading View

According to the one-hour chart, the coin registered a steep downfall from $102.33 to $98.08, which continued only further from $95.81 to $79.78. BCH also saw a miniscual uptrend from $73.92 to $78.61. The coin met with an immediate resistance at $81.07 and going with a strong support at $78.56.

Awesome Oscillator indicates that a bullish trend is gaining momentum.

MACD line is over the signal line marking a bullish market, however, it appears that the lines are about to undergo a crossover hinting a changing trend.

Parabolic SAR, on the other hand, is pointing towards a bearish market as the marker lines are above the candles.

1-day

Source: Trading View

Source: Trading View

As per the one-day chart, the coin recorded a massive downtrend from $775.99 to $627.54, which continued to go as low as $86.68. The one-day chart did not point towards a significant uptrend in the chart. An immediate resistance was noticed by the coin at $107.85, while a strong support was observed at $79.64.

Bollinger Bands appear to be at a converging point, indicating less price volatility, however previous trends indicate a change in trend. The moving average line is above the candles, marking a bearish market.

Chaikin Money Flow also indicates a bearish market, as the marker line is below 0.

Relative Strength Index is in the oversold zone, pointing towards a bearish market.

Conclusion 

As per the indicators Awesome Oscillator and MACD the market is bullish, whereas the one-day chart’s indicators, Bollinger bands, and CMF point towards a bearish market. This could be a momentary bullish trend, but only time will tell the fate of BCH.


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Binance, Bitfinex only exchanges in top-25 list not faking trading volume, says research

Namrata Shukla

Namrata is a full-time journalist and is interested in covering everything under the sun, with a special focus on the crypto market.

Is Bitcoin The Ultimate Recovery Play? | The – The Motley Fool Singapore

The last year has been a ‘sea of red’ for the Bitcoin price. After coming close to reaching $20,000 in late 2017, it has fallen dramatically to trade at less than 20% of that price today. Investors, it seems, have become increasingly unsure about its prospects, with demand moving lower during a similar timeframe to stock prices experiencing a prolonged correction. Falling asset prices can, of course, present recovery opportunities. In fact, turnarounds can offer attractive risk/reward ratios due to investors having adequately factored in the risks which may be ahead. As such, could Bitcoin now represent a buying opportunity?…

The last year has been a ‘sea of red’ for the Bitcoin price. After coming close to reaching $20,000 in late 2017, it has fallen dramatically to trade at less than 20% of that price today. Investors, it seems, have become increasingly unsure about its prospects, with demand moving lower during a similar timeframe to stock prices experiencing a prolonged correction.

Falling asset prices can, of course, present recovery opportunities. In fact, turnarounds can offer attractive risk/reward ratios due to investors having adequately factored in the risks which may be ahead. As such, could Bitcoin now represent a buying opportunity?

Track record

The virtual currency’s fall in price may be disappointing, but it is not unprecedented. It has a track record of exceptionally high levels of volatility, which until now have always been followed by a recovery. For example, having risen to almost $1,000 by the end of 2013, it proceeded to fall to just over $200 by the start of 2015. By the start of 2017, however, it had returned to $1,000 and then proceeded to rise almost twenty-fold to hit an all-time high by the end of the calendar year.

This shows that the virtual currency’s past has been filled with volatility, uncertainty and disappointment at times. Investors who are bullish about the prospects for a recovery will point out that it could take time for the cryptocurrency to mount a successful comeback, but that it has always been able to achieve this in the past.

Differing circumstances

The reality, though, is that Bitcoin has benefitted from one of the longest bull markets in decades. It was created during a challenging period for the world economy, but in recent years it has benefitted from investor sentiment being extremely bullish. Just as during previous stock market booms, investors have become increasingly ‘risk-on’ and this has led them to be more open to new ideas which could deliver high returns in a growing world economy.

Now, though, the outlook for global GDP has deteriorated. Protectionist policies implemented by the US and China could slow down global GDP growth over the medium term. Likewise, a rising US interest rate may introduce an element of caution into investor psyche. This could cause demand for riskier assets such as Bitcoin to remain low. Since its price is based on demand and supply, rather than any fundamentals, it could therefore move even lower if investors become increasingly risk averse during the course of 2019.

Simple solution

While seeking to buy an asset after a price fall can prove to be a sound idea, there may be much better recovery plays available than Bitcoin. Global stock markets may remain under pressure in the near term, but they could offer long-term buying opportunities as a result of wide margins of safety and growing profitability being on offer. As a result, buying Bitcoin now may not be a sound move compared to the turnaround prospects of a variety of stocks.

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Gab Says Bitcoin is The Clear Solution as 'Free Speech Money' – Bitcoinist

Censorship-free social media platform, Gab, took to Twitter to proclaim the gospel according to Bitcoin. Describing the grandaddy of cryptocurrency as “free speech money,” it pledged to educate its near million-strong community.


The Next Evolution Of Online Payments

In recent tweets, Gab calls for the next evolution of online payments, in the form of un-censorable money. This must take payment processing online out of the hands of a small number of gatekeepers. Touting Bitcoin as “the clear solution,” Gab cites Silicon Valley’s inability to de-platform it from using the cryptocurrency.

Gab sees its role now as being to make Bitcoin easy to purchase and use. Something it says it can (and will) achieve with enough education and time. Gab:

We aren’t doing it because it’s hip or cool or the latest technology fad. We are doing it out of necessity.

All well and good, but Gab is hardly the first to the ‘championing of Bitcoin’ table. What does it think it can bring with it which is different?

A Community Of Almost A Million People (And Growing)

Taking a clear swipe at what it calls “vaporware crypto startups,” Gab mocks their relative lack of interest from users. Despite raising tens of millions of dollars, these startups cannot match Gab’s highly engaged community, according to the tweets.

Gab claims its users have been “put through the ringer for years,” for standing by its mission of delivering free speech. It adds:

Bitcoin is inherently pro-liberty and pro-freedom. It is free speech money. Gab has the distribution to introduce it to a huge and growing community.

A million people doesn’t sound all that impressive though, next to over 35 million authenticated users, already using cryptocurrency. And it’s rather telling that Gab chose Twitter to spread its message, rather than its own platform.

No Room At The Inn

Gab’s championing of Bitcoin comes on the back of its recent banning from PayPal. Despite this, Gab starts the tweet-storm praising PayPal’s achievements in initially breaking down barriers to online payments.

Ironically, Gab has repeatedly found itself de-platformed, often as a result of its refusal to de-platform those who have been barred from other major platforms. This has led to a reputation as a haven for hate speech.

Despite this latest missive, Gab has not always had the smoothest of paths regarding Bitcoin. Earlier this year, it had its Coinbase account closed without warning. This led it to describe centralized exchanges as “cancer,” and “contradictory to everything crypto stands for.”

The social media platform has since switched to the self-hosted BTCPay Server solution, reducing its dependence on third-party payment processors such as Coinbase and BitPay.

Gab now claims it “…has the power and community to reverse the current bear market. That’s not an understatement.”

Holding your breath while waiting for that to happen is not, however, recommended.

Will Bitcoin be increasingly used by de-platformed entities? Share your thoughts below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Coinbase Exec. Unpacks the Industry Giant’s About-Face on Crypto Listings – CCN

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Coinbase Vice President Dan Romero has given reasons behind the platform’s recent announcement that it is exploring support for dozens of new cryptocurrency assets, arguably in contrast to its long-cautious approach to supporting individual crypto tokens.

Speaking recently to Linda Shin on an episode of the Unchained podcast, he delved into the factors that predicated the unusual move, coming against a background of the platform’s historically conservative nature when it comes to adding new assets.

In response to a suggestion that Coinbase may be loosening its approach to add coins that are more experimental or less proven than the big names like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, and so on, Romero stated that Coinbase is, in fact, revising its approach based on customer feedback and current developments in the regulatory space. According to him, the recent shift in strategy is particularly driven by customers who have overwhelmingly requested the addition of new cryptocurrencies to the platform.

Coinbase Adopts Customer-Driven Crypto Strategy

Ripple price coinbase cryptoCoinbase has said it is exploring support for more than 30 new cryptocurrency assets, including ripple (XRP).

Explaining the reasoning behind Coinbase’s new strategic direction, Romero said:

“I think our plan now is to list as many cryptocurrencies possible within a compliant, legal constraints and also having information and quality signals easily available for customers so that they can kind of determine if a cryptocurrency makes sense for them.”

In reference to cryptocurrency’s ongoing pivot into a utility phase, Romero explained that in the event that customers decide to change their crypto holdings on Coinbase and it cannot offer them that service due to non-support for their cryptocurrency, they will only end up exchanging the assets on less secure platforms, which serves neither them nor Coinbase.

This he said, raises the need for Coinbase to recognise that that “the ability to switch cryptocurrencies is the core piece of functionality in the ecosystem.” Thus, he revealed, Coinbase now intends to list as many assets as they can legally do in as many jurisdictions as well.

Despite the SEC’s position on registering securities which creates a risk of listing a token that later turns out to be an unregistered security, Romero expressed confidence in the company’s legal and security procedures working in tandem with in-house checks and balances to ensure that this does not take place.

According to him, the company’s Digital Asset Framework has enabled Coinbase to develop an efficient process to ensure the quality bar and re-affirm the brand’s identity of “trusted and easy to use.” Among the fail-safes deployed in registering a new asset is the use of vetos by every team before an asset is added to the platform.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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Is Ripple A Cryptocurrency? – BTC Wires

By Swati Kishore

Have you wondered if Ripple is a cryptocurrency?’ This question gets a lot of attention, and as a result, the remittance network stays controversial. To wrap your head around Ripple and to understand if Ripple is a cryptocurrency you may want to begin by reading our Beginner’s Guide to Ripple.

Often called the ‘poor man’s Bitcoin,’ Ripple, in reality, is much more than just a digital currency. In fact, it is breaking the status quo. The CEO of Elpis Investment, Anatoly Castella explains it well. Castella says that Ripple’s XRP token is complex, as it is neither a real digital currency nor a virtual fiat.  According to Castella, Ripple does not fall under the definition of ‘cryptocurrency.’ As per the investment executive, Ripple actually combines the best of Blockchain-based cryptocurrencies and fiat money to deliver an impeccable FinTech platform.

You may also read: 5 Sites To Buy Bitcoin With Debit Card

What is Ripple?

Ripple was launched in 2012 as the successor to Ripplepay. To know the future of Ripple, don’t forget to read our article. It was released as a comprehensive cryptocurrency platform which combines to serve as a  currency exchange, remittance network, as well as a real-time gross settlement system (RTGS). Ripple’s official website states that Ripple aims to serve as a frictionless experience to send money worldwide. Ripple is a step away from traditional banking as it eradicates the long waiting times and hefty fees associated with transferring money through the conventional route.

You may also read: 10 Differences Between Ethereum And Ethereum Classic

How does it work?

As compared to Bitcoin’s PoW mechanism, Ripple works through a common ledger which is upheld by a network of servers that compare transactions records consistently. The distributed public database of Ripple deploys the consensus mechanism between servers to maintain integrity. The data is collated into a single value through a hash tree. Subsequently, it is compared across servers for the provision of consensus.

What is XRP?

How Ethereum serves as the platform for the Ether cryptocurrency, XRP is Ripple’s token or the digital currency associated with the Ripple platform. One hundred billion XRP tokens were issued at the time of the launch of Ripple in 2012. To know the Best Ripple Crypto Wallets for 2018, do read our article.

You may also read: 10 Reasons To Buy Bitcoins In 2018

How is Ripple different?

Ripple differs from other such platforms such as Ethereum and Bitcoin because it is a centralised version of the distributed ledger technology of Blockchain. In the case of Ethereum and Bitcoin, their systems are supported by a network of global miners. Hence nobody wields a central control over their network. Ripple, however, differs here as the nodes, in addition to Ripple Labs, are also controlled by financial institutions.

Here are a Few Articles for you to Read Next:

5 Things You Should Know About Blockchain

A Beginners Guide To Bitcoin Cash

A Beginners Guide To Bitcoin Gold

Swati Kishore

Swati has a keen interest in emerging technologies and she loves to write about them. She loves trance and is also interested in the philosophy of life.

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Romania Bitcoin Exchange CoinFlux Halts Activities after CEO’s Arrest – CCN

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CCN recently reported on the case of CoinFlux CEO Vlad Nistor. The Romanian bitcoin exchange executive has been arrested on suspicion of money laundering and other crimes and is currently fighting extradition to the United States.

Earlier this week, CoinFlux posted to Medium.com to inform followers that they are unable to access parts of their platform including those which would allow them to deliver information in the usual way.

“Another unpleasant consequence of the investigation is the fact that our access to some parts of our platform has been restricted, thus we are unable to send this announcement through the usual communication channels: e-mail and website. Our expectation is that we will gain control back, within the next days.”

They said at the time that they were working to regain access to exchange funds so they could determine what the next course of action would be. Currently, they remain legally disallowed from doing any sort of cryptocurrency exchanges.

Exchange Returning All Funds, Might be Shutting Down

bitcoin exchange conflux vlad nistor arrest romaniaCoinFlux, a cryptocurrency exchange based out of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, has halted activities following reports that its CEO, Vlad Nistor, was arrested in connection with a money laundering investigation.

Saturday, the exchange posted another update. In this update ,they said that they are working with the financial institution who manages all of their bank accounts, MisterTango, to have all funds returned to clients.

The wording of the update is unclear, in that it says:

“We’ve sent MisterTango (the Financial Institution hosting our frozen bank account) a list of people who have money blocked in CoinFlux wallets, as well as the exact associated balances, and the instruction to transfer those funds back into the clients’ bank account.”

As any reader knows, crypto balances are not held by banks.

Thus, the post does not seem to address crypto funds held in the exchange’s wallets, but fiat. They have not yet issued an announcement about how and when they intend to return client crypto balances. As we said, in the Thursday post they mentioned that they were unable to use their platform for legal reasons.

The case against Vlad Nistor centers on activities of Romanian scammers in 2014 and 2015. He is alleged to have actively helped scammers via Telegram in disposing of their ill-begotten gains. This would involve the conversion of knowingly stolen funds for cryptocurrencies. The crypto gains from then to now would be substantial, 2015 being a downturn year for Bitcoin.

The number of affected individuals in this situation is likely low, as the volume is so minor that places like CoinMarketCap.com, which lists hundreds of small exchanges, does not even report CoinFlux volume.

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Asia-Pacific Newswire