This Week in Crypto: May 4, 2018
No Bulls***, Market’s Looking Bullish
With another week of reliable gains in the books, markets are looking up, portfolios are in the green, and that morning coffee you may be drinking while reading this is tinged with optimism.
Crypto’s overall market cap is above $450bln for the first time since the first days of March. Over the week, it’s gained 7%, and it’s doing even better on the monthly, up 42% from its position at the beginning of April.
Before we start getting ourselves carried away, don’t forget, nothing is certain in this market; Bitcoin could make one of its infamous $1,000 dumps in a matter of minutes, for all we know, or even a $1,000 pump. Even still, the positive price action is steady and trading volumes are up, so keep an eye on Bitcoin as we approach $10k. If it breaks that, then it could be a long way up still.
Bitcoin: With a price of $9,658, Bitcoin is up 4% on the week. Modest gains, but then again, not every week of green can be painted with double-digit gains.
Ethereum: For Ethereum, though, it is one of those double-digit weeks, as crypto’s #2 is up 15% at $791.
Ripple: Ripple had a relatively quiet week, as well, posting a 6% gain with its $0.90 price tag.
“Bitcoin is not a fraud,” Goldman Sachs Admits, Looks Towards Trading: Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Goldman Sachs is living proof you can, as the legacy financial firm revealed that it plans to offer cryptocurrency services in the near future. Rana Yared, a Goldman Sachs executive charged with establishing the firm’s cryptocurrency strategy, remarked that the firm has been overwhelmed with client requests. “It resonates with us when a client says, ‘I want to hold Bitcoin or Bitcoin futures because I think it is an alternate store of value,’” she told the New York Times.
The Odd Man Out: Crypto Unlike Any Other Asset Class, “investors should tread carefully,” says Bloomberg: Another day, another traditional financial news outlet reporting on cryptocurrency’s volatility (I think most of us got the memo after December’s run-up and February’s crash). Bloomberg released a report on Wednesday thoroughly examining this volatility. The article actually offers some nuanced perspectives into crypto’s relative market position compared to established assets, including a colorful, if abstruse, graph that looks at correlated performances across various asset classes.
As Questions Over Ethereum’s Legality Loom, Should it (Retroactively) Be Considered a Security?: This debate isn’t anything new, but recently, regulators have been hitting on it with increased scrutiny. Last week, former CFTC chairman Gary Gensler spoke in an address that “there is a strong case that one or both of ETH and XRP are noncompliant securities.” If the federal government were to treat Ethereum as a security, this would make the project’s 2014 ICO an illegal sale of securities, and the cryptocurrency would have to register with the SEC to be traded in the US. Still, nothing is set in stone and the debate is exposing a “gray area” for regulating cryptocurrencies; a proposal submitted to the SEC in March that requests regulatory exemption, for instance, argues that Ethereum “has become so decentralized it should not be deemed a security,” a sentiment the Ethereum foundation echoed when it announced that it only controls less than 1% of ETH’s circulating supply.
On Regulation at Large, Don’t Expect Consensus or Clarity Anytime Soon, CFTC Chairman Warns: Chris Giancarlo has become the crypto movement’s political darling ever since his testimony before the Senate in March. But that doesn’t mean that Crypto Dad is gonna sugarcoat the asset class’s regulatory classification for his family of US investors. In an interview on Monday, the CFTC chairman indicated that it’s tricky to apply statutes written in 1935 to a brand-spanking-new asset, stating that “Bitcoin and a lot of other virtual currency counterparts really have elements of all of the different asset classes whether a medium of payment, whether a long-term asset, and so as regulators we’ve come to grips with this just now in real time and it’s complicated. And I don’t see it being resolved any time soon.”
SEC Makes Headway Against Blockchain Company Longfin for Illegal Stock Sales: In early April, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Longfin Corp, a company that saw its stock soar 2,000% after shifting its focus to blockchain. The SEC is charging Longfin associates Andy Altahawi, Suresh Tammineedi, and Dorababu Penumarthi with exploiting this rebranding by selling some $27 million worth of illegally traded stocks, freezing the roughly two million shares in the process. “The SEC has shown that it is likely to prove at trial that these defendants participated in an unregistered, illegal public offering of the stock of Longfin Corp,” US District Judge Denise Cote writes in a court report.
Colorado Officials Probe Companies for Alleged Illegal ICO: The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is coming down on two companies for promoting unlawful cryptocurrency sales to Colorado residents. DORA has pinned the California-based Linda Healthcare Corp. and the Washington state-based Broad Investments LLC with violating Colorado state securities laws. Both companies are in the midst of their own ICOs, and DORA argues that neither provides investors with caveats regarding the risk of investing in utility tokens.
Oscar Mayer Launches a Cryptocurrency Promo and It’s About What You’d Expect: Oscar Mayer created a cryptocurrency that’s backed by what it considers to be the gold standard of America’s cholesterol-infused breakfast go-to: strips of its own processed, preservative-packed bacon. You can’t make this stuff up, people. Bacoin, as the company calls it, is “redeemable for packs of real Oscar Mayer bacon.” The company is giving away the promotional coin, which holds no monetary value, through a sweepstakes that lasts through May 14, and winners and participants can share the promotional campaign on Twitter to bolster Bacoin’s fat-backed returns.
What’s New at CoinCentral?
How to Build a Proper Cryptocurrency Portfolio: There’s no Crypto Investing for Dummies guide out there yet, but we’ve got a few words to say on the subject.
How Blockchain Can Eradicate Poverty in Third-World Countries: Sounds a bit optimistic, but banking for the unbanked and decentralized services have the potential revive third-world economies.
Monero Mining: An Introduction to Entering the Privacy Coin World of Mining: Looking for guidance to get started with Monero Mining? Look no further.
MOVA’s Lachlan McDonald Wants to Bring Accountability to Supply Chains: Check out our interview with MOVA CEO and co-founder Lachlan McDonald to learn more about blockchain’s place in supply chain logistics.
The Bitcoin Stock Debate: Practical Investment Advice for the Long-term Investor: Hedging crypto risks with traditional stocks may be treason to some hodler, but we think it’s a pretty bang-up idea.
Are Earnings from Cryptocurrency Mining Subject to Taxes: The short answer is, depending on your location, yes, it’s likely that mining proceeds are treated as part of ordinary income.
Waves Launches Smart contracts on Testnet: Waves started breaking in their newly featured smart contracts this week on the network’s testnet.
How is Blockchain Being Applied to Cybersecurity Right Now?: People often ask for examples of blockchain’s real-world application; how about in the realm of cybersecurity?
Should You Accept Your Wages in Bitcoin?: We can give you the pros and cons, but ultimately, the choice is yours.
Could Cryptocurrency Investments Revolutionize the Healthcare Industry?: Health records on the blockchain, health insurance on the blockchain, decentralized healthcare data management–the list goes on.
Bitcoin Cash to Upgrade to Smart Contracts, Bigger Block Size with May 15 Hard Fork: Yes, you can fork a fork, and yes, Bitcoin Cash wants bigger blocks and to compete with Ethereum.
Exclusive Interview with Qtum’s Patrick Dai: Scaling in the High Velocity Crypto Ecosystem: In our interview, Patrick Dai had some terrific insight into scalability and the developments needed to take crypto mainstream.
Kik’s Kin Coin: Rethinking the Attention Economy: Kik wants to decentralize social media with its ICO for Kin Coin.
Coinbase vs. Binance Exchange Comparison: Arguably the two biggest exchanges out there, see how these two behemoths stack up against each other.
Oscar Mayer Just Created Bacoin, a Cryptocurrency You Can Redeem for Bacon (Seriously): You can trade Bacoin for “the gold standard of bacon,” truly giving new meaning to our understanding of the phrase “legal tender.”
Ethereal Summit 2018: Impact-Focused Blockchain Projects, Art, Music, and More: We’re delighted to announce our role as a media sponsor at this year’s Ethereal Summit, a blockchain conference with a focus on visual art and music.
Qlink (QLC) & The Quest to Reimagine Telecommunications: Imagine a cell phone provider that isn’t a provider at all but a network of distributed, wifi-connected devices.
CyberMiles (CMT) & The Challenge of E-Commerce Smart Contracts: CyberMiles is a new blockchain platform designed to facilitate fast e-commerce transactions.
Loopring NEO: All About the LRN Token & Airdrop: Loopring is launching a new token for NEO’s network–here’s what you need to know.
Bittrex vs. Binance Exchange Comparison: See how the two exchanges compare with our guide.
How Will Blockchain Revolutionize IT Infrastructure: Let’s take a look at some of the biggest blockchain projects on the market today and how they can potentially influence the future of IT infrastructure.
Miner One Bring Bitcoin to the Stars, Launches Mining Rig Into Space: Space Miner One is literally bringing Bitcoin to new heights.
Blockchain Will Revolutionize the Medical Industry–Here’s How: Blockchain’s functionality is primed to change how the healthcare industry operates.
Three Strategies for Choosing Which Cryptocurrency to Invest in Next: A little refresh on the green (and red) flags to look for when shopping for new coins.
Bittrex vs. GDAX Comparison: Our third exchange comparison for the week, because if you’re gonna trade, it’s better to trade with the best.
Ethereum Mining in the Era of ASICs: ASICs for Ethereum are here, and they’ll likely throw a wrench in the hashing spread of a coin that, to this point, has been dominated by GPUs.
Introduction to Technical Indicators: An overview of some of the more important indicators you should look for while trading.
Is Mobile Mining Profitable?: We sure hope so, because mining rigs have hella upkeep.
Cryptocurrency News from Around the World.
Telegram Cancels Its Public ICO After Raising More than a Billion Dollars in Private Rounds: Telegram has had its fill of funding, so it’s canceling plans for its public ICO. The encrypted messaging services announced this week that a public sale for its blockchain platform Telegram Open Network would no longer be necessary after the company raised roughly $1.7bln between 165 accredited investors in two private ICO rounds. Recently, Telegram was banned in both Iran and in its home country Russia, the latter ban coming from its founder’s refusal to turn over encrypted keys to the Russian government.
China National Radio Fires Shots at OKEx, Accuses Exchange of Illegally Serving Chinese Citizens: In a segment entitled the “Voice of China,” China National Radio calls out OKEx exchange for serving Chinese client. According to Yang, the Radio’s pseudonymous source, OKEx is still operating out of Beijing, not Belize and Hong Kong as it advertises. Yang continues to allege that OKEx has been selling Chinese users Bitcoin futures contracts, utilizing Alipay and Wechat accounts for payments.
Miner One Makes History By Sending Mining Rig Into Space: Equipped with a Raspberry Pi 3 hard drive, a battery, a satellite transmitter, and a GoPro Hero 5, Space Miner One was launched into the stratosphere this Monday to test Bitcoin mining’s feasibility in the vacuous final frontier. After reaching 100,000 feet, the rig’s hydrogen balloon burst, sending the equipment hurling back to earth. Silly as it might sound, there’s actually a case for mining in space, including the benefit of easily harvested solar energy and cooler temperatures.
Not as crazy as it sounds: a lot cheaper to beam solar power collected in space back to Earth in the form of blocks than as electricity. https://t.co/GWeby2f9ce
— Peter Todd (@peterktodd) August 16, 2017
Legal Framework for ICOs Underway in South Korea: According to the Korean Times, South Korean lawmakers are drafting legislation that would legalize ICOs and new coin offerings in the country. Democratic Party of Korea representative Hong Eui-rak is leading the welcomed initiative, which looks to overturn the government’s decision last year to ban domestic ICOs. “The bill is aimed at legalizing ICOs under the government’s supervision,” Hong said at a National Assembly forum on Wednesday, continuing to state that the”primary goal [of the legislation] is [to help] remove uncertainties facing blockchain-related businesses.”
More on Korea: Developer Records Korean Peace Treaty on Ethereum Blockchain: The Panmunjom Declaration will be permanently accessible on Ethereum’s blockchain thanks to the initiative of one South Korean developer. Ryu Gi-hyeok hashed two transactions to Ethereum’s blockchain with English and Korean transcripts of the peace treaty signed by Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un at the 2018 Inter-Korean Summit. The peace treaty marks a formal end to the 1953 Korean War Armistice, and includes a pledge by both countries to “make joint efforts to alleviate the acute military tension and practically eliminate the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula.”
Huobi Labs Enters into Partnership to Establish Billion Dollar Blockchain Fund: Chinese exchange Huobi, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency trading platforms, is partnering with Tianya Community to create a $1bln blockchain industry fund. The initiative is a “national-level” strategy sanctioned by the Communist Party of China’s General Secretary Xi Jiping, according to the fund’s official press release, and will include the building of a “Global Cultural and Creative Blockchain Lab in Hainan Province, China.”
Ethiopia Partners with Cardano to Bring Blockchain Home to Agritech: This week, the Ethiopian government signed a memorandum of understanding with Cardano to apply blockchain technology to the country’s agricultural tech industry. Struck with the Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Technology, the agreement stipulates that Cardano will help train Ethiopian developers in blockchain technology. The agritech solutions will be built on Cardano, with a full platform expected by the end of the year. “This year we will offer our first course in Africa, probably in Ethiopia, and expect the first cohort of Ethiopian developers to be contributing to Cardano code by the end of the year,” John O’Connor, Director of African Operations at Cardano’s parent company, IOHK, said in regards to the agreement.
Just signed an MOU with the Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Technology to explore training blockchain developers and use Cardano in the Agritech Industry pic.twitter.com/r06W0RSZye
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) May 3, 2018
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