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Crypto projects to look forward to in 2018

2017 has been an important day for both Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. While hopefully not as tumultuous, 2018 is looking like it will bring us a lot of interesting innovation in the space. Here are some of the things I’m personally looking forward to seeing unfold in the new year.

Banking as usual is NOT an option

I’ve blogged quite a bit about adapting to change lately, and will continue to do so as banking-as-usual (BAU) is not an option. It’s similar to standing in the middle of the road. If you stand there for long enough, you’ll get run over. This is as true in banking: if you stop changing, you die. Now banks know this – they’re not stupid – and have been changing a lot over the past decades.

Exchange Problems Mount at Kraken and Coinbase but Bitfinex Reopens Registrations for 10k+ Deposits

Exchange Problems Mount at Kraken and Coinbase but Bitfinex Reopens Registrations for 10k+ Deposits

Exchanges are regarded by many in the cryptocurrency world as a necessary evil. They provide liquidity and an on-ramp from fiat currency, but many other aspects of their service leaves a lot to desired. From onerous KYC requests to sudden withdrawal of service, nary a week goes by without major exchanges leaving customers seething. This week, Coinbase and Kraken have been bearing the brunt of the rage, but there’s good news from Bitfinex at least, which is open for registrations again with a $10k fiat or crypto minimum.

Also read: Bitstamp Is Asking Users Who Want to Withdraw a Lot of Questions

Kraken Goes Down and Stays Down

Cryptocurrency exchanges are frequently forced offline for maintenance, but such outages usually take less than an hour to resolve. Kraken announced that it would be going offline on Thursday January 11, and was expected to be back the same day. 24 hours later though and there’s no sign of the exchange, with an update posted at 7am on Friday January 12 stating:

We are still working to resolve the issues that we have identified and our team is working around the clock to ensure a smooth upgrade. This means it may still take several hours before we can relaunch the site.

Kraken’s service has been the subject of jokes and discontent for months, but it had been hoped that recent infrastructure upgrades had laid these problems to rest.

Exchange Problems Mount up as Kraken Goes down and Coinbase Halts Withdrawals

Coinbase Can’t Code

Cryptocurrency exchanges have been having a hard time this week, whether it’s customers complaining about being “grandfathered” by Bittrex – trapped inside the exchange with no means of withdrawal while interminable verification procedures play out – or Bitstamp asking extraordinarily probing questions of its customers. And then there’s Coinbase, whose engineers simply can’t code, according to those in the know, including Bitgo’s chief developer Jameson Lopp.

He’s been scathing about Coinbase in the past, and today followed that up, tweeting: It’s not a new revelation that a significant cause of bitcoin network congestion is from popular services such as @blockchain, @coinbase, and @gemini who are using block space inefficiently. If you don’t want to contribute to the problem, don’t use them.”

Exchange Problems Mount up as Kraken Goes down and Coinbase Halts Withdrawals has previously reported on the “technical incompetence” of Coinbase for amassing millions of UTXOs, which is an extremely expensive and inefficient way of dealing with small fractions of a bitcoin. On January 11, Coinbase announced that it had been forced to temporarily disable BTC withdrawals. It was swiftly pointed out that the exchange was culpable of snarling up the network, with one individual complaining:

You need to batch your outgoing transactions. You are ALONE spamming the network. If you would use segwit and batch all outgoing transactions the mempool would be EMPTY.

They finished: “This is your core business and you are ruining it for your customers”. It is hard to fathom Coinbase’s reasons for such shoddy housekeeping, but it’s not doing them any favors with their customers or with users of the bitcoin network at large, who are also affected by their failure to batch transactions. CEO Brian Armstrong has since tweeted to say “Coinbase is working on batching transactions, SegWit, and a number of other strategies to improve transaction backlog. Thx for bearing with us!”

Bitfinex is Back

It’s been a bad week all round for cryptocurrency exchanges, with only Cryptopia, Binance, Bitfinex, and Kucoin earning pass marks, with the former three opening their doors to new customers once more. Such is the demand for an exchange that will take on new customers, and permit them to deposit and withdraw without requiring a dozen identification documents, Binance registered 240,000 new users in a single hour. It, together with Kucoin, is fast becoming the last refuge for cryptocurrency users who have had the door slammed shut on them elsewhere.

Bitfinex is also open to new customers again, explaining that the “extreme growth has not come without challenges…one month ago we decided to temporarily curtail new account registration in a move designed to preserve the trading, support, and verification experiences of our existing, long-term user base.” The exchange is open once more, but new signups will need fiat or crypto assets worth at least $10k to get involved.

Exchange Problems Mount up as Kraken Goes down and Coinbase Halts Withdrawals

Interest in Kucoin and Binance has grown exponentially in recent weeks.

Coinsmarkets Has Been Down for Days

Finally, users of Coinsmarkets, a small but thriving exchange – until recently at least – have become extremely concerned by its disappearance. The site has been offline for around a week, following a message declaring that the exchange was switching to new servers. Days later and with no word from the team concerns have been mounting that the site’s operators may have pulled an exit scam.

In a video message posted by Alqo, a privacy coin that’s listed on Coinsmarkets, its developers urged calm, explaining that like everyone else they’re in the dark.

Cryptocurrency users are well aware of the mantra to keep control of their coins in wallets they hold the private keys for. The reality though is never that simple. Many new coins, such as those listed on Coinsmarkets, have desktop wallets that are buggy or simply unwieldy, requiring users to download the full client. As a result, they’re forced into the arms of cryptocurrency exchanges, a necessary evil for now.

Do you think 2018 will be the year when cryptocurrency users finally manage to break free of centralized exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Twitter.

Keep track of the bitcoin exchange rate in real-time.

The post Exchange Problems Mount at Kraken and Coinbase but Bitfinex Reopens Registrations for 10k+ Deposits appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Tennessee Might Also Recognize Blockchain Data Through Proposed Law

A lawmaker in Tennessee has filed a new bill that recognizes a blockchain signature as a kind of legal electronic record.

Republic Protocol announces decentralized dark pool for crypto assets

Dark pool trading, which accounts for approximately 15% of all trades on Wall Street and is not currently widely available in cryptocurrency markets, would allow traders to sell large orders of Bitcoin and Ethereum…

Republic Protocol announces decentralized dark pool for crypto assets was published on CryptoNinjas.

Smart money and OTC trading — how the 1 percent buy crypto

So who exactly are the ultra rich and what is the smart money? As detailed in Credit Suisse’s 2017 global wealth report, the ultra rich are the 150,000 people worldwide who sit at the very top of the international wealth pyramid, with a net worth in excess of US$50 million.

No, Mainstream Media, That Country Did Not Ban Bitcoin. Again.

No, Mainstream Media, That Country Did Not Ban Bitcoin. Again.

Headlines roared late last night in the western hemisphere, morning in the east, as mainstream media outlets breathlessly ran with an initial report from a legacy wire service: the Republic of South Korea is to ban cryptocurrency. The truth is more subtle, and it’s fast becoming an object lesson in fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD). Veterans and those new to bitcoin and crypto have clear choices as to reliable media coverage, and the South Korean “ban” is a perfect example.

Also read: Mainstream Media Libel of Bitcoin

South Korea isn’t Banning Crypto, Again

“There are great concerns regarding virtual currencies and the justice ministry is basically preparing a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading through exchanges,” Minister of Justice, Park Sang-ki, was quoted, according to Reuters. Except, maybe not.

The attribution actually reads: “Park told a news conference, according to the ministry’s press office.” The country’s top cop was paraphrased by his press office. It’s a game of human telephone gone very, very wrong.

No, Mainstream Media, That Country Did Not Ban Bitcoin. Again.

The salient word in the press office staff’s paraphrasing of their boss is “ban,” and mainstream media plastered it all over the known digital universe. Markets responded accordingly, and within hours domestic bitcoin prices slumped double digits as they did internationally.

The “ban” followed a new year’s spate of South Korean FUD: raids, crackdowns, looming pronouncements. Coinmarketcap reweighted The Republic’s price premiums, which can run as high as 30 percent, making adjusted figures considerably lower, and instantly. To casual observers, such a sudden fall shook weaker hands, and panic selling began.

The Reality

Buried well within the wire “ban” story was reality: “Once a bill is drafted, legislation for an outright ban of virtual coin trading will require a majority vote of the total 297 members of the National Assembly, a process that could take months or even years,” Reuters clarified.

법무부 Ministry of Justice statements riled the South Korean street, as tens of thousands signed a petition sent to the country’s Blue House 청와대, offices and home of its President. The office has since issued a statement on the “ban” as only a proposal, nothing more. Traffic to its website was so heavy, it reportedly slowed.

South Korea Ban: Mainstream Media’s Giant Nothing Burger

For sure, legislators are working on regulations, from setting minimum ages, making sure investors are vetted and accredited, and suspending institutional investing in cryptocurrencies. All of it and more could be outlined as early as this month. As for a “ban,” savvy governments are often not so keen on outright prohibitions, as they carry oversight usually not possible.

Indeed, South Korea’s Ministry of Strategy and Finance responded to media “ban” FUD by explaining, “We do not share the same views as the Ministry of Justice on a potential cryptocurrency exchange ban.” Still other agencies within its government have argued for a deregulatory regime, leading to taxation efforts as a way to both boost the domestic economy and fund ministries.

What are your thoughts on mainstream bitcoin coverage? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Pixabay.

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The post No, Mainstream Media, That Country Did Not Ban Bitcoin. Again. appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Cardano Price Analysis: ADA Recommended to Trade

After descending since the start of this year, Cardano price could finally out-do the sellers and break above resistances. Is the pair ADA/USD per/moment signaling an up-coming bullish trend?

Important to Note:

  • Cardano price facing resistances for a week now as various attempts to clear them failed.
  • The pair ADA/USD just broke the important $0.65 after dipping to the lows of $0.60. The change could mark.
  • Cardano has listed ADA futures on BitMex.

Cardano Crypto – ADA against the US Dollar

Since our last Cardano token value-related writing, in which we mentioned that after clearing the range bound of $0.74 – Cardano price could possibly make it above $1.00 for the first time. It did, however, upon spiking upwards to the new record high of $1.3100, the pair could not hold ground as sellers were waiting for a gain like that to step in. The deep dive continued for seven days now, tanking the price to its Dec development supportive areas of $0.6000.

Cardano analysis

Source: coinmarketcap

The level being around [a little more] 61.8 percent in decline of its previous gain against BTC from 0.00002539 to 0.00009180. Which is signaling now that it will act as a strong support and could be the best [lowest] to buy in before it starts advancing upwards. However, a break even below the trend line could push the pair ADA/BTC to its previous lowest again.

Against the US Dollar, the token value on the very near term, most likely will retest $0.8000 and $1.0000 with each being very struggling to overcome. However, ADA price against the US Dollar which is being experienced now could be the lowest we see for the time as the declining got slower and it is preparing for entering a bullish trend.

Starting on Monday, January 8, 2018, at 8:00 a.m. GMT, the ADA token from Cardano began to be listed on the futures exchange at BitMEX. This makes BitMEX the fifth exchange to list the ADA token since Bittrex did so in October 2017, followed by Upbit, Binance and Coinnest.

Cardano, a project of IOHK, was designed by leading experts in academics and cryptography over the last couple years and draws from various features of existing cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ripple and Ethereum, but uses a proof-of-stake/security model as opposed to proof of work.

Charles Hoskinson, CEO of IOHK, said: “As markets evolve, there is an increasing need for liquidity and more sophisticated trading strategies. I’m glad to see BitMEX list ADA and hope this continues to aid our march towards becoming the financial stack for the developing world.”

Trade safely and do not overtrade!

The post Cardano Price Analysis: ADA Recommended to Trade appeared first on Ethereum World News.

White Paper Published for Blockchain Privacy Tech Zk-starks

The highly-anticipated white paper for zk-starks, which does away with the so-called trusted setup made famous by zcash, is out. wallet improves Bitcoin transaction fee choices, the popular bitcoin wallet application from Bitmain Technologies announced today it has released updated options for Bitcoin network fee transactions in order to give users more liberty to choose the preferred fee that… wallet improves Bitcoin transaction fee choices was published on CryptoNinjas.