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Crypto Markets Hit 6 Week High at $400 Billion

The bullish momentum has continued throughout the day and total market capacity has topped $400 billion as we start another week in crypto land. This marks the first time that markets have been back over this level since March 8, over six weeks ago.

The Crypto Rally Continues

Six weeks is a long time in crypto land, a lot of things have happened since early March and we have had the lowest dip of the year on April 1 at $244 billion. This is a loss of around 70% from the all-time high in early January of approximately $830 billion. Markets were last trading at such low levels around November 22, 2017 but the difference then was that they were largely bullish and on the way up.

This rally since that low has increased total market capitalization by $156 billion, or just below 64%. This has occurred in just three weeks, quashing all the mainstream media FUD about the bubble bursting. A couple of hours ago Coinmarketcap posted a level of $400.56 billion and at the time of writing markets are hovering just below it but still looking bullish.

Momentum has been driven as usual by a Bitcoin recovery which has seen the king of crypto recover 35% from a low of $6,600 at the beginning of April. Bitcoin dominance is currently a touch under 38% which is a decline from its 2018 high of just below 46%.

Altcoins have also rebounded largely, some performing better than others. At a glance those posting the best gains over the past week and driving the recovery include Bitcoin Cash which is up over 80% and Bitcoin Private which has surged into the top 25 making 127% gains on the week. The gains have been shared with many of the altcoins and others performing exceptionally well with over 30% increases in the past seven days according to Livecoinwatch include Ripple, EOS, Stellar Lumens, Iota, Monero, Icon, and Bitcoin Gold.

Total trade volume over the past 24 hours stands at $22.9 billion which is 43% higher than the $16 billion traded per day this time last week. The next critical level for all crypto markets is around $500 billion which is the level reached on the previous rally following February 6th dip to just below $280 billion. At the moment the bulls are back in charge of the crypto train.


Image from Shutterstock

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Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Snatching Blockchain, Tracking Bitcoin

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Snatching Blockchain, Tracking Bitcoin

No one likes missing the train. Of course, jumping on the wrong one is sure to delay the arrival even more. In today’s Bitcoin in Brief, we cover the latest attempts by big corporations to stay close to the crypto waters without really wetting their feet. Also, do you want to know how Cryptokitties have inspired a new Ebay-like platform for crypto enthusiasts?

Also read: This Week in Bitcoin: Taxes, Forks, Pranks and Porn

Another Badge of Patents

While it is somewhat understandable when central banks want the blockchain but not bitcoin, it isn’t that clear why serious businesses make similar choices. Some of them prefer to shy away from the decentralized cryptocurrency, for which the awesome technology was actually invented. Getting on the crypto train has the power to lift stock prices. If it’s the wrong train, however, it could also postpone the arrival at the final destination.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Snatching Blockchain, Tracking BitcoinThe blockchain technology is what makes bitcoin possible, but Walmart wants to use it without the cryptocurrency. The US retail giant has announced plans to employ blockchain in payment systems for vendors and customers. Two patents, filed by Walmart last year, were approved last week. The vendor payment sharing system will automatically process payments for products and services, the company explained. The system will also encrypt the transactions on a blockchain.

The planners at Walmart may not have noticed, but processing encrypted payments on the bitcoin blockchain has been working flawlessly for many years. Much smaller businesses, like some companies in the Baltic states, have realized that already. Besides, instant conversion to fiat, offered by crypto payment providers, eliminates the risk that comes with the volatility in crypto markets. So, what’s so scary about using bitcoin and its blockchain?

Tracing the Untraceable

Realizing, probably, that bitcoin is here to stay, another giant, Amazon, has recently obtained a bitcoin tracking patent. The online retail behemoth wants to track multiple datastreams, combine the information, and sell the data. The patent explicitly mentions bitcoin. Amazon claims that every time a bitcoin transaction takes place, related data can be captured and correlated. That’s interesting! “Untraceable and anonymous” transactions have often been cited among the “mortal sins” of cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Snatching Blockchain, Tracking BitcoinNow, it turns out that a bitcoin address could be easily associated with a shipping address, an IP, an email, a bank account, or a social media profile by online retailers, internet providers and banks. The patent aims to make the presumably anonymous crypto information relevant and identifiable by collecting data from multiple sources and then finding the correlation with other transactions. As Tamebay reports, the authors specifically note that law enforcement may be interested in receiving data for bitcoin transactions by country.

Here Comes a “Rare” Competitor

Another global retailer, Ebay, may soon feel competition from a young fintech startup. Rare Bits brands itself as an Ebay-like platform for crypto enthusiasts who want to buy digital assets. The platform allows users to purchase, sell and search for virtual assets denominated in cryptocurrency. The startup launched just a couple of months ago but has since raised $6 million. As CNBC reports, some big names are on the investors list, including Spark Capital, First Round Capital, Twitch CEO Emmett Shear and founder and former CEO Justin Kan.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: Snatching Blockchain, Tracking BitcoinRare Bits is a matchmaker for sellers and buyers of crypto assets. For its services, the platform takes a cut of a developer’s revenue from the sale of their assets. The business idea has been inspired by the success of Cryptokitties, a game of buying and selling digital kittens with ethereum-based contracts. The company claims to have processed more than $100,000 in transactions during its first month. Unlike cryptocurrency exchanges or crypto wallet providers, Rare Bits doesn’t trade cryptocurrencies but crypto products. Its users are offered a catalogue of more than half a million such items.

The platform focuses on consumers familiar with cryptocurrencies but its co-founder Amitt Mahajan says there is plenty of room for new people to get on board. “Imagine if a celebrity like Beyoncé or someone really well known were to release ten backstage passes on the blockchain… How many millions of people do you think would go out of their way to acquire one of those things?”

What do you think about businesses trying to separate blockchain technologies from decentralized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.  

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Another Chinese City Is Backing a Big Blockchain Investment Fund

The city government of Shenzhen, China, is backing an $80 million blockchain investment fund, soon after Hangzhou city supported a similar effort.

Top cop to crypto exchanges ‘explain yourselves!’

The Attorney General of New York has written to 13 major crypto exchanges requesting disclosure on their operations, use of bots, conflicts of interest, outages, and more

Saxo Investment Bank is Bullish on Crypto Over Next 3 Months

Saxo Investment Bank is Bullish on Crypto Over Next 3 Months

Influential investment bank Saxo released the 35 page, Q2 2018 Quarterly Outlook. In it, the bank’s newly hired Crypto Analyst, Jacob Pouncey, noted the perils of this year’s first financial quarter with regard to digital assets. Taking into account several factors, he believes the next three months could be a breakout time for digital assets, holding the potential to trigger a bull market.

Also read: German Cops Look Hard at Antics of ICO Savedroid After Ghost Prank

Heavy Hitter Saxo Bank Released Bullish Outlook on Cryptocurrencies

It takes all of 33 pages to find it, but there it is: a very influential investment bank not only hired a “Crypto Analyst,” but allowed him to have an authored section titled – Are Cryptocurrencies Entering a New Cycle?

The Danish bank, Saxo, forwarded its general outlook for 2018’s second set of three months. Turning to cryptos, Mr. Pouncey prefaced, “Cryptocurrencies fell back to earth with a bang in the first months of this year, having enjoyed exponential growth in 2017. The situation remains fragile, given the outlook to increased regulation and social media advertising bans. That said, we can’t rule out the possibility of a comeback.”

Saxo is based in Copenhagen, and its products include online trading in futures spreads, funds, bonds, CFDs, stocks, and even a foreign exchange. It has the rare charter of being both a proper bank and a broker. As such, it typically caters to institutional, legacy financial companies (more than 100 globally). Its European presence is well established, though it has exposure in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Saxo claims to handle $12 billion USD daily, having clients in 180 countries.  

Saxo Investment Bank is Bullish on Crypto in the Next 3 Months

That its main analyst in the crypto sector is optimistic going forward means cover for institutional investors who’re looking to dabble. Indeed, Mr. Pouncey details, “The market has seen several acquisitions of crypto exchanges from financial firms such as Goldman Sachs backed Circle acquiring Poloniex, Monex Group acquiring Coincheck, and Yahoo Japan buying a 40% stake in Bitarg Exchange Tokyo.” Additionally, crypto exchanges such as Coinbase have been able to recruit real talent from Silicon Valley, and they’re being placed in key executive positions. These moves seem poised to take advantage of price spikes.

Mr. Pouncey concludes, “several events could serve as springboards for a cryptocurrency bull market in Q2, whether it is through fundamental drivers, or it is just a self-fulfilling prophecy [….] In my opinion, we will eventually see the end of the current, negative cryptocurrency cycle, as many of the weak hands have been shaken out by the bear market and the remaining investors are on the ready to latch onto any good news after the bad start this year.”

Saxo Investment Bank is Bullish on Crypto in the Next 3 Months
Jacob Pouncey

Much of the Positive Outlook is Based on Institutional Investors Entering the Crypto Space

Many professional financial legacy gurus expect the easy credit market to dry up a bit in the coming months as a hedge against inflation. This could mean traditional equities are less attractive, and the search for “uncorrelated assets” begins.

These are “assets that lie outside the reach of the traditional financial system in which cryptocurrencies are a potential alternative,” Mr. Pouncey insists. “Historically, many of the blue chip cryptocurrencies have seen price increases in the face of global uncertainty and [… the] inflow of institutional capital to the cryptocurrency market due to the increase in regulation and investor protection could lead cryptocurrencies to a positive quarter.”

Do you believe institutional investors are going to enter the crypto market soon? Let us know in the comments section below.

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The post Saxo Investment Bank is Bullish on Crypto Over Next 3 Months appeared first on Bitcoin News.

How ‘Whales’ influence the price of Bitcoin

The term ‘whale’ refers to an investor with deep pockets who can move the market by buying or selling in large volumes. Given the relatively modest market caps of crypto assets compared to other sectors, the movements of crypto whales can provide important price signals to alert investors

Bitcoin Magazine’s Week in Review: Acquisitions and Inquisitions

Week in Review

Coinbase continues to grow with its acquisition of this week, getting both a CTO and a company out of the deal. In the meantime, the New York Attorney General is working to bring greater transparency into how cryptocurrency exchanges operate with a letter and a three-page questionnaire going out to 13 exchanges, one of which is Coinbase.

The seemingly neverending struggle to find a new online ad model continues with a new proof of concept slated to be released next month from a triumvirate of companies with different interests in the question, IBM, Salon and AdLedger. Advertising however is the least of the problems faced by Telegram as Russian security forces try to crack down on the popular messaging app, even going so far as to block huge swathes of IP addresses.

Featured stories by Amy Castor and Nick Marinoff

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Coinbase Buys, Gaining Top Talent in the Process

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is buying, a social network that allows users to earn digital currency by replying to emails and completing small tasks online. In the process, Coinbase has made co-founder and CEO Balaji Srinivasan its CTO.

Coinbase has been on a bit of a buying binge lately having just acquired Cipher Browser last week, making their fifth acquisition. While Coinbase hasn’t revealed how much they spent, it is telling that has raised more than $120 million in a series of funding rounds. In addition to the tech talent and technology acquired by Coinbase, Srinivasan said the plan is to “scale it up across Coinbase’s massive user base.”

New York Attorney General Launches Inquiry Into Cryptocurrency Exchanges

In the interest of bringing greater transparency into how cryptocurrency exchanges operate, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has sent letters to 13 virtual currency exchanges requesting they disclose key information about their operations. The letter was part of a “Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative” launched by Schneiderman to shine a light on the policies and practices of platforms used by consumers to trade virtual currencies and initial coin offering (ICO) tokens.

In addition to the letter, the attorney general sent a three-page questionnaire to Coinbase, Gemini, Bitfinex, Poloniex and nine other exchanges asking them to disclose details such as the banks used, fees charged and how they are derived, how funds are held, who has access to their order books and the scope of third-party audits.

Salon Joins With AdLedger and IBM to Trial a Blockchain Approach to Ad Tech

The internet has made advertising models increasingly complicated, where advertisers and publishers once had a one-on-one relationship, today’s ads go through a series of intermediaries before they reach their target audience. The model allows for fraud that siphons money away from advertisers by spoofing them with fake impressions. Some estimates show that one third of paid-programming impressions are not viewed by actual people.

Joining a growing list of companies looking to address this problem, Salon is teaming up with IBM and nonprofit AdLedger to participate a proof-of-concept permissioned blockchain for programmatic ad buying. The project is expected to launch next month.

Telegram’s Pavel Durov Is Using Bitcoin to Bypass Russian Sanctions

Telegram CEO Pavel Durov is battling against Russian security forces, after they implemented a block on Monday, April 16, 2018, on the messaging app when it refused a court order to “grant state security services access to its users’ encrypted messages,” according to Reuters.

He is offering bitcoin grants to both companies and individuals alike that run proxy servers and virtual private networks (VPNs). He says he’s “happy to donate millions of dollars” from his personal stash to illustrate and assist in this cause, noting that both VPNs and proxy servers work against the hindrances set in place by Russian authorities.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

$10K Test? Bitcoin Price Hits 4-Week High As Altcoins Shine

Despite the pullback from $9,060, the outlook for bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, remains bullish.

“Venture Capital Working Group” Seeks Select Cryptocurrency “Safe Harbor”

“Venture Capital Working Group” Seeks Select Cryptocurrency “Safe Harbor”

Several venture capitalists (VCs) and entrepreneurs have been petitioning federal authorities to see certain virtual currencies in a “different light.”

Right now, many cryptocurrencies are in danger of being classified as “securities,” which would place them under strict regulatory scrutiny. Working to change this, venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures have gathered a team of lawyers and investors known as the “Venture Capital Working Group” to meet with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to develop what they call a “safe harbor” for specific digital currencies and establish long-term proposals for how they should be viewed and handled.

The New York Times alleges that several regulators are considering placing well-known cryptocurrencies — including ether, the world’s second-largest digital asset — in the securities category, which may cause their prices to fall drastically.

Richard Levin, a lawyer who’s worked with various blockchain and cryptocurrency ventures, described the meeting as “crucial” to the safety of digital assets and their respective users.

“It’s a ‘come to the lord’ moment,” he explained. “We are seeing a watershed moment in which many firms in the digital asset community who may have been ignorant of the law — or poorly informed — are now coming to terms with the fact that they are subject to regulators.”

While details surrounding the meeting remain largely confidential, the group says it’s trying to garner “utility token” classifications for many specific cryptocurrencies.

Many virtual entities have been introduced through initial coin offerings (ICOs). The process involves a team of entrepreneurs selling these virtual assets to raise funds for future projects. Generally, these currencies work as “internal payment methods” in the software the entrepreneurs create.

For a coin to classify as a security, users who buy it must have the opportunity to transform money into capital and garner profit by owning the asset without taking physical possession of it.

Securities are typically designed to be “shares” or stakes in a company, while utility tokens represent “access to [a] company’s product or service.” In bearing more practical uses, utility tokens are usually exempt from securities regulations.

Since 2017, over $6 billion in revenue have been generated through initial coin offerings, and most trade via unregulated exchange platforms. Many investors claim that these coins, in serving as payment methods, carry utilities, and should not be classified as securities or investment contracts.

But Jay Clayton — chairman of the SEC — disagrees, and believes every token offered through an ICO should be officially “registered as a security.” Very few are, and the SEC has sent dozens of subpoenas to both individuals and ventures involved in cryptocurrency, requesting data regarding how certain digital assets were marketed or issued.

Investments that fall into the securities category must have paperwork filed with registered exchanges. For the most part, entities like bitcoin, litecoin and monero can’t be placed here, as they were not originally distributed through ICOs. Furthermore, new coins are given daily to computers that work to extract them and maintain current networks.

While ether now follows a similar pattern, the coin is still in danger, primarily due to Ethereum’s past of garnering funds through ether token “presales” — events now classified as ICOs. The Venture Capital Working Group is arguing that ether “has become so decentralized,” it should not be labeled as a security, and that should it ever achieve “full decentralization,” it must be exempt from all future securities laws.

The group says it has the support of many “key players” in the digital currency and blockchain arena. Nevertheless, regulators have been slow to accept the proposal, and at press time, it is unclear what results will arise. Bitcoin Magazine will provide further updates on this story as they occur.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Crypto Facilities launches new and improved Instant Margining System

London-based Bitcoin (BTC) and Ripple (XRP) derivatives exchange Crypto Facilities today announced the launch of their new Instant Margining System (IMS) which will markedly improve the speed, stability, and user-friendliness of the trading platform.

Crypto Facilities launches new and improved Instant Margining System