This Week in Cryptocurrency: August 10th, 2018
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Last week, the total cryptocurrency market took an 8% hit from the SEC’s rejection of the Winklevoss ETF filing.
This week, the total cryptocurrency market cap fell 14.33%, largely catalyzed by the SEC postponing their decision on a Bitcoin-ETF proposed by CBOE, VanEck, and SolidX.
Jeez, SEC, no respect *Rodney Dangerfield voice*
Bitcoin fell from $7,400 to $6,388.59, a drop of 13.67%. Bitcoin’s lowest price this year was around $6,194 on February 6th, 2018. To put things into perspective, Bitcoin is still 88.67% higher than it was this day last year.
Ethereum fell from $413 to $357.18, a drop of 15.6%.
Saving the bigger fireworks for last, XRP fell from $0.43 to $0.33, a drop of 23%.
Editorial commentary: These market conditions bring us to plead, JAMES – where are you!? We beg of you James, the market needs the advice only someone in a lab coat holding about $27 dollars can provide! If only we had all subscribed to his “secrets to making a fortune from this red-hot market!”
Unfortunately, not even the all-knowing James or his scammy Facebook ads could have prepared us for this!
Jokes aside, this ad is a snippet of the sentiment that played a substantial role in today’s market conditions. Massive speculation launched the total cryptocurrency market cap into the stratosphere, but then gravity set in.
That’s why news of the SEC even so much as *delaying* a judgment leads to a sharp market movement of speculators panicking and converting their BTC to Tether or USD.
Many people’s first introduction into cryptocurrency in 2017 was throwing money into a random coin they knew very little about, and magically seeing it go up 50% – 100% a day. With lambo and moon memes aplenty, the insanity of the cryptocurrency market somehow became normalized in our psychology.
It’s this live by the lambo, die by the lambo mentality that likely has many people feeling bleak after checking out the cryptocurrency prices (on our sick homepage *plug*).
However, that doesn’t mean that any of the developments have zero impact on the cryptocurrency world. To the contrary, a handful of them are super critical and can set precedents for years to come.
That’s why it’s important to stay level-headed, absorb information, and search for the long-term value and return on your attention.
SEC Postpones Bitcoin ETF-Filing Rule Change: To the dismay of cryptocurrency markets, the SEC decided to postpone its decision to the pending rule change filed by CBOE, VanEck, and SolidX until September 30th, 2018 at the latest. The SEC commented, “The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change.”
The motion originally aimed to launch a Bitcoin-backed ETF, as opposed to one backed only by futures. An ETF is essentially a financial product that follows an asset’s price and is itself listed on an exchange for trading. So, investors don’t have to actually buy the underlying asset but can have a stake in its price growth or decrease.
Upon the news, the cryptocurrency market took a nosedive with Bitcoin (BTC) declining by 6.15%, Ethereum (ETH) declining by 8.2%, and Ripple (XRP) declining by 13.77%.
It’s Not Over Until the Fat Lady Sings: The publicly traded, Norway-headquartered Opera (NASDAQ: OPRA) integrated its crypto wallet into its desktop browser. Opera currently has north of 322 million users and aims to please its users with new built-in features such as this. To put this into perspective, Google Chrome has about 2 billion installs, and Opera seems to be one of the only mainstream browsers to allow for a cryptocurrency wallet integration without bulky plug-ins.
Opera Crypto Product Lead Charles Hamel noted, “By adding a crypto wallet directly into the browser, we removed the need for complex extensions or separate apps. Opening up the PC browser to crypto marks Opera’s second step towards making cryptocurrencies and Web 3.0 mainstream.”
Twenty States Get SALTy: SALT (Secured Automated Lending Platform), a platform that allows users to put up their cryptocurrency holdings as collateral in exchange for cash loans, announced that it was opening its doors to 20 more states. SALT currently sits at 35/50 states in the United States. The platform has currently issued more than $50M in U.S. Blockchain-Backed Loans, with over 70,000 users on its platform.
Houston, We Have Bitmain and AntPool: The Beijing-based mining juggernaut Bitmain Technologies Ltd (recently valued at around $12 billion) announced that it is launching a cryptocurrency mining facility and blockchain data center in the heart of Texas in Rockdale (population <6,000). Bitmain will be launching their mining facility and data center in a former aluminum smelting facility that was recently retired as a coal power station.
To sweeten up the deal for Bitmain, the Milam County Industrial Development Corp. and the Milam County Commissioners Court approved a tax abatement phased in over 10 years. Bitmain estimates that it will help create 400 local jobs in Rockdale over the first two years, and is currently recruiting for multiple positions.
AntPool, owned by Bitmain, is one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency mining companies and has identified Houston (about 150 miles away from Rockwell as a high-potential market and aims to bolster its client base. This will be AntPool’s first expansion city in the United States.
Censorship-Resistant Social Platform Conversation Heats Up: The banning of controversial InfoWars talk show host Alex Jones from Apple, Spotify, Spotify, and Youtube has many in the cryptocurrency world exploring censorship-resistant social platform options such as Gab.ai, Mastadon, and Memo. Looking past the contentions of Alex Jones, the revealing of an orchestrated silencing by four of the world’s most powerful companies Facebook, Apple, Google (Youtube), and Spotify in the music/podcast realm, the news is alarming for free speech advocates on both sides of the discussion.
Bittrex Adds USD Markets for XRP and ETC: Bittrex, a cryptocurrency exchange currently ranked 8th in terms of 24-hour volume, announced that it is launching USD markets for Ripple (XRP) and Ethereum Classic (ETC). This will allow customers to directly purchase XRP and ETC with their USD without having to purchase Bitcoin or another asset to facilitate the trade. With these two new trading pairs, Bittrex users will have access to USD markets for BTC, ETH, USDT, TUSD, XRP, and ETC. The trading pairs are available to current Bittrex corporate and personal account customers who reside in eligible states and qualified international regions.
DEA Agent Claims Illegal Activity No Longer Dominant Use for Bitcoin: DEA special agent, Lilita Infante, explained to Bloomberg that five years ago, her study of blockchain data showed that 90% of Bitcoin transactions involved criminal activity. Today, she claims, illegal activity has shrunk to about 10% and speculation is the dominant driver of transactions. Infante also noted, “The blockchain actually gives us a lot of tools to be able to identify people. I actually want them to keep using them.’’
High Times to Accept Cryptocurrency at IPO: In a relatively novel move for companies going public, High Times announced it will be accepting cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The capital raise will be administered through a Regulation A+ crowdfunding event, which opens private companies to investments from both accredited and average investors.
What’s New at CoinCentral?
The CoinCentral Cryptocurrency Starter Kit: This week, we launched a cryptocurrency starter kit we’ve been working on for the past few months.
We asked our readers and cryptocurrency beginners about their biggest, burning questions. We consulted with cryptocurrency experts about the best sources of information and the most pertinent things anyone in the space should know. We did our own research based on personal experiences and packaged everything in a reader-friendly guide for just $7.
Decentralized Internet – Affordable Resources And Privacy On The Web: When people speak of a decentralized internet, the gist of the matter seems to be the lack of privacy on the web, the lack of control over our personal data, and the desire for affordable resources.
Don’t Miss Out on the FOMO3D: Enter FOMO3D, one of the most active Ethereum-powered smart contracts that let you go long on greed itself, created by a group going by the name Team Just who refer to the project as “a psychological social experiment in greed.”
ChainXChange Kicks off Las Vegas Blockchain Week: ChainXChange, a super conference hosted at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, will be kicking off Las Vegas Blockchain Week on August 13th to August 15th.
See speakers such as:
- Steve Wozniak (Apple-Cofounder),
- Paul Krugman (Nobel-Prize winner and New York Times Columnist),
- Nicholas Thompson (Wired Magazine Editor-in-Chief),
- Gary Vaynerchuk (CEO of Vaynermedia),
- Josh Constine (TechCrunch Editor-at-Large),
- and more!
Snag 50% off tickets with the code XCXXX50
A Look at the Now Famous Bitcoin Whitepaper: This unique document has started a decade-long digital transformation of the traditional financial system by providing the world with a viable alternative to the current models in practice. Let’s take a moment to examine this game-changing whitepaper.
Utility and Security Tokens: A Growing Case for Crypto Self-Regulation: Most observers of the current ICO craze would agree that some kind of regulation is needed to reduce the rising risks in this wild west of the digital age. At the same, it’s worthy to note that allowing a highly centralized authority like the SEC to regulate a decentralized network is highly suspect.
Is There a Bitcoin Conspiracy? The Top 7 Theories: Market manipulations have led to the development of wide-ranging conspiracy theories focused around BTC. Many Bitcoin conspiracy theorists now claim to have credible evidence to back up (at least portions) of their claims.
Crypto Facebook – What You Need to Know: The social media giant continues to remain silent regarding the development of a cryptocurrency, but they have openly embraced blockchain technology, including the creation of a new blockchain research group.
Japan & Crypto – Lessons in Blockchain Regulation: Japan continues to be a dominant force in the blockchain space. The country’s pro-crypto stance has helped to drive blockchain-based businesses to its shores in record numbers. Now, Japan is looking to cement its position as the world’s blockchain epicenter.
The Ultimate Guide to Blockchain Programming for New Developers: The only question is what project do you want to start working on & what problem do you want to start solving?
Blockchain but not Bitcoin | Do Private Ledgers Have a Chance?: Can private blockchains really take on the public darlings of cryptocurrency? The showdown is unfolding and the players are set. Let’s get ready to rumble!
How Blockchain Can Help the Homeless: Blockchain has already established its use cases in a number of worthy causes. Helping refugees, and reducing poverty in the developing world to name a few. Now, blockchain is also proving its value to vulnerable people closer to home. Several cities are now running blockchain-based initiatives to help the homeless gain quicker and easier access to the services they need.
What is Stox? (STX) | A Beginner’s Guide: Stox is a blockchain prediction market build on the Ethereum platform. It offers participants the ability to predict the outcomes of events in almost any imaginable category. Harnessing the power of the “wisdom of the crowd” combined with individual intuition, participants can make predictions on events in real time. They can also build new markets, trade with their peers, and make profits on the platform.
A Complete Guide to Bitcoin Casinos: There are a number of bitcoin casinos emerging to offer new gambling options for players around the world. While bitcoin casinos are relatively new, they have already begun to drastically change the landscape of online casinos.
Cryptocurrency News from Around the World
Okcoin Exchange Sued by One of Its Users: According to the source, an Okcoin user by the name of Feng Bin is suing the exchange for not receiving 38.75 in Bitcoin Cash from the August 2017 fork. When Bin contacted the Okcoin team, he was told that the deadline set for post-fork recovery had passed and he was no longer eligible. If the investor is able to successfully sue the exchange for his post-fork tokens, this will set an interesting precedent that could be quite scary for cryptocurrency exchanges with poor customer support (ie. all of them).
Don’t Be Silly, Get Two Factor Authentication: A Moscow-based cyber security firm, Group-IB, analyzed the 2017 theft of 720 user accounts from the 19 largest exchanges and released some interesting breakdowns. The number of compromised accounts increased by 369% from 2016 to 2017, and 689% from 2017 to 2018. The study also found 50 active botnets that can be used to launch cyberattacks on users. These tools seem to be modified versions of the same tools used for attacks on banks. The main reason many of these users got hacked, however, was the failure to use two-factor authentication, and the second reason was weak passwords.
Chinese Billionaire Sets Eyes on Hartford for Near $300M Blockchain Hub: Bruno Wu is looking to develop a $300M blockchain hub in Hartford, Connecticut due to its proximity to several higher-learning institutions such as the University of New Haven, Yale University, University of Connecticut, and the University of Hartford with the goal of talent development. The move seeks to solve the limitations in the global gap in blockchain talent, as well as to establish influence in the American blockchain community.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Moskov is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of CoinCentral. Alex leans on his formal educational background (BSBA with a Major in Finance from the University of Florida) and his on-the-ground experiences with cryptocurrency starting in 2012. Alex works with cryptocurrency and blockchain-based companies on content strategy and business development. He privately consults entrepreneurs and venture capitalists on movements within the cryptocurrency industry.
His writing has been seen in The Hustle, VentureBeat, Yahoo Finance, Harvard Business Review, and Business Insider. His articles on CoinCentral have been cited on publications like Forbes, TechCrunch, Vice, The Guardian, Investopedia, The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, and more.
He also regrets not buying more Bitcoin back in 2012, just like you.
You can connect with Alex on Twitter.