The Future of DeFi: Boom or Bust?

After a slow start, with a number of DeFi protocols having been around for a few years, the segment has recently drawn plenty of attention.

Projects are on the rise and some of the main players within the CeFi space are making sure that they aren’t left behind.

As with any new space, however, the pitfalls are many and the gold rush could be short and sweet.

At the time of writing, simply comparing the market cap of non-stable coins and stable coins shows how far behind DeFi is from CeFi.

Based on numbers at the time of writing, the total market cap of non-stable coins stood at US$310bn. By contrast, the total market cap of stable coins stood at just US$16bn

Some of the main players within the DeFi space predict a 20 fold increase in the market cap of stablecoins. It is, therefore, unsurprising that there is an explosion in the number of protocols hitting DeFi.

The Projects

To view the current protocols launched within DeFi, DeFi Pulse provides a platform for protocols to list.

The list is broken down by function to make it easier for investors to find the protocol of their liking. These categorizations include:

Lending; Trading; Payments; Wallets; Interfaces; Infrastructure; Assets; and Scaling.

Additionally, there are the following categories to assist DeFi communities or new entrants:

Analytics; Education; Podcasts; Newsletters; and Communities.

While the projects are readily accessible, with DeFi Pulse making it easier for DeFi investors, key risks exist.

As a result of the very nature of DeFi, which is Permissionless and Trustless, not all of the protocols are audited.

Without governance and the anonymous nature, the protocol developers are anonymous. This has led to a vast number of scams and Ponzi schemes. Akin to any industry, bad news and dishonest participants tend to slow progress and, in particular, adoption.

Due to the sheer number of projects coming to the market, we, therefore, expect a period of consolidation. Many of the main players within the DeFi space expect that the vast majority of the existing projects will eventually fail.

What to look out for

When considering the view that a large number of scams and Ponzi schemes exist, there are ways to at least mitigate some of the risks.

These would include:

  • Avoid protocols that are unaudited or unverified: While DeFi is a Trustless and Permissionless world, the more serious projects provide investors with the necessary comfort.
  • Look for projects with longer vesting and incentive periods: Projects with vesting periods of as little as 2-weeks are unlikely to be there in a few months, let alone a few years. The anonymous founders will take their money and run… The same view is taken on incentives given to protocol communities. Within the DeFi space, it is the communities that are of greater importance. Short-term incentive schemes will not keep a community together for the longer-term. This should be considered negative.
  • Look for innovative protocols: The key to the success of DeFi is to deliver protocols over and above those available within the CeFi and banking space. Finding protocols that bring innovative financial services to the DeFi space will find support. This is assuming that they address the issues raised above.
  • Reputable Communities: As previously mentioned, communities are key to the success of a project. Not only must they be appropriately incentivized but they must also be reputable.
  • Governance and Transparency: Alongside the communities, some sort of governance is also needed. That should come from a degree of transparency in the early years before becoming fully Permissionless and Trustless.

The Risks

As with anything nascent, there are plenty of risks associated with DeFi. An advantage for the DeFi space, however, is certainly the lessons learned from the ICO boom.

For the DeFi space key risks and threats to its evolution include:

  • Bad news: As with any investment opportunity, bad news does not help. The ever-present threat of scams and hacks leave DeFi exposed to unscrupulous participants. News of thefts and hacks would give DeFi a bad name and put its advancement back by years.
  • Blockchain constraints: Ethereum’s blockchain is already at capacity. This means that the market requires a degree of fragmentation. Currently, Tron’s blockchain is the next viable alternative. Ensuring that there is not a complete fragmentation is important, however. A degree of specialization would be an acceptable solution. Here different blockchains would support different sectors…
  • Vesting and incentive periods: As previously discussed these would need to tie in developers and communities for the long haul. A cut and run mentality would slow the evolution and adoption of DeFi.
  • Financial Risk: Investors are currently exposed to the risk of significant loss. The developers and communities can mitigate some of the risks by:
    • Carrying out greater testing and verification to eliminate debilitating bugs.
    • Provide insurance to protect investor capital.
    • Educate: Vastly increase the education currently available on DeFi.
  • Platform Access: Simplify access to DeFi. The more user-friendly the greater the degree of user comfort. This is another avenue to build trust in the Trustless world of DeFi.

Looking Ahead

When considering the risks associated with DeFi, these are not wholly different from those seen in the CeFi space.

The key to the success of DeFi is to deliver communities with solutions that are also available in the CeFi and banking space. At a minimum, DeFi must deliver viable alternatives that deliver greater earning power.

Additionally, DeFi will need to be far more innovative and offer protocols that address the shortcomings of both CeFi and banks. In essence, this would be the development and mass adoption of automated asset managers.

Communities don’t need people but smart contracts that are able to locate the best earnings power across DeFi.

Coupled with smoother user experience, zero gas fees, and addressing the issue of unaudited smart contracts, the future does look bright.

DeFi will need to experience some consolidation, however. As was the case in the .Com and ICO booms, a large number of the DeFi projects will not last.

To prevent a DeFi implosion, however, developers and communities must address existing blockchain constraints. There will also need to be a greater degree of auditing, addressing vesting and incentive periods, and the availability of insurance to protect investors.

Fishing out the scammers and Ponzi schemes with limited reputational damage to DeFi will also be a must.

The Positives

Having said that, there are certainly some positives that yield optimism. These include:

  • Speed of innovation: While currently lagging CeFi, market leaders expect DeFi to grow exponentially relative to CeFi.
  • The benefit of hindsight: DeFi can take the lessons learned from CeFi and the ICO boom and avoid the same mistakes.
  • Early Awareness: There is early awareness of some of the key DeFi risks. This gives communities the opportunity to mitigate the risks quickly to support growth.
  • Education: As the news wires report huge earnings potential, the education side is also improving. There is yet the widespread awareness needed, however, to compete with the banking sector. DeFi remains a niche space today and will likely remain so for the near-term.

When considering the risks and the positives, addressing these while continuing to offer a greater earnings multiple would support a positive future for DeFi.

There is a sizeable audience that DeFi can capture with relative ease. Target audiences would include:

  • The non-banked: At the time of writing, the World Bank estimated 1.7bn people with access to basic banking. In the DeFi world, all a user would need is a mobile phone or a computer. There are no KYC or AML requirements…
  • CeFi Users: For CeFi users, a migration to DeFi seems a natural one. Once DeFi has gone through its teething problems it is hard to envisage CeFi keeping up.
  • Disgruntled banking customers: This is possibly the largest target audience of them all. For DeFi, the inflection point is expected to be when users don’t know that they are on DeFi. At this point, the banking community and CeFi may well find themselves in the history books.

In conclusion

We don’t expect a bust. The more innovative and transparent projects will likely enjoy longevity.

There is undoubtedly going to be some pain ahead, however, something that is hard to avoid in the early days.

As with blockchain and cryptos, the concepts are right and so it rests in the hands of innovators to deliver.

One curveball to consider, as always, is whether governments and central banks will allow the untimely demise of the global banking system.

If we learned anything from back in 2017 and 2018, anonymity within the world of finance is a no-no for governments.

How this plays out may eventually decide the fate of DeFi

How the Blockchain Can Turnaround Africa’s Mining Industry

The use of the blockchain, otherwise known as the Distributed ledger technologies (DLT), involves the setting up of digitally stored databases around several privately held locations around the globe, enabling the creation of electronic records which can be verified using peer-to-peer mechanisms, without any verifying party having centralized control of the database. Such a record is secure, accessible to all, and is immutable.

The very structure of the blockchain makes it suitable for use in eliminating the various challenges that have beset Africa’s mineral sector, which is riddled with problems that are created from the relative opacity of all segments of the sector. Take any person living in a typical African mining community and ask whether he or she knows what happens to the minerals taken from their soil and you would be lucky to get an informed answer.

The opacity of the processes involved from the extraction point to when the precious minerals and the payments change hands provides the perfect cover for those who game the system at all levels.

In many African countries, national governments do not even know how much of their minerals leave their shores. Such is the level of decadence in the mineral sector in Africa.

The situations above probably operate where there are legitimate governments in place. When there are conflict situations or conditions where renegade movements are in control of the areas where the mineral resources are located, things take a gory turn. The problems of conflict minerals which the film “Blood Diamonds” portrayed in a toned-down manner are now well known.

The emphasis now is to deploy initiatives that can address all the problems associated with Africa’s extractive industry and to bring about improvements. The use of distributed ledger technology will directly address the problems with record-keeping, traceability, and management of the entire supply chain. The blockchain can be used to enforce standards that comply with international conventions on the extraction, processing, marketing, and distribution of mineral resources and their derivatives.

The Issues

The political, economic and social cost of illegal mining in Africa is immense. From Ghana to DR Congo, Nigeria to South Africa, the story is the same. The locals and the economy of the mining communities are left impoverished as vast lands that could be used for agriculture are destroyed by uncontrolled and unethical mining methods.

Local workers are subjected to slave-like, dehumanizing conditions with armed soldiers paid for by these companies, set over these workers. The countries bleed foreign exchange as revenues that could have gone to development projects is siphoned off by large foreign corporations. The only gainers are the big mining companies, their executives and local collaborators in government and the communities.

The Blockchain: The Tool for Audibility and Accountability

Distributed ledger technologies have certain features that make them adaptable as tools of audibility and accountability in the African mineral sector.

  1. They are decentralized and available to all
  2. The records stored on the databases are immutable
  3. The records are open to public scrutiny and validation

The lack of a single clearinghouse or a single point at which information is warehoused makes it very hard to alter records pertaining to the mining operations. A government can in an instant, know who has been granted mining licenses, who has commenced operations, and which companies are not listed on the national database of mining licenses.

Records are secure and cannot be altered or subjected to fraudulent accounting practices. No single person can lay hold of control on the ecosystem. The records can be viewed by all. Transactions can be scrutinized and validated. Tax records of mining companies can immediately be accessed. Prosecution of errant parties in the mining industry can be made a lot easier as incontrovertible evidence of wrongdoing can be gathered quickly. Opacity is sacrificed instantly on the altar of transparency; this is what the blockchain offers.

The blockchain can significantly degrade the ability of those who game the mining industry in Africa in an instant. Its efforts can be supplemented by the demands of increasingly aware consumers, who want to be sure that what they are buying was ethically sourced in an environmentally friendly manner.

Consumers also want to be sure that what they are getting was not produced by dehumanizing labor practices, and that it passed through an accountable supply chain management system that can pinpoint the pathway of the minerals from point of origin to destination.

Blockchain technology is not a fix-all solution to the problems in Africa’s mining industry. But the blockchain forms a very strong foundation on which fundamental change can occur.

Use Case Applications of the Blockchain in Africa’s Mining Industry

One of the ways in which the blockchain can be used to benefit Africa’s mineral industries is by the tracking of conflict minerals. One country that is already doing this is Rwanda. Rwanda became the first country in the world to adopt blockchain technology in addressing the problem of conflict minerals within its borders. Rwanda uses the blockchain to track the entire mining chain of Tantalum, from the mining pots to the refining furnaces.

Another example of the use of distributed ledger technology to track minerals in Africa comes from a private company. IAMGOLD Corporation is a gold miner which is using the blockchain to track responsibly sourced gold. IAMGOLD Corporation has its African operations in Burkina Faso and uses a blockchain technology solution developed by California-based company, Emtech.

These two are examples of how a government and a private corporation in Africa are helping contribute to the use of distributed ledger technologies to combat Africa’s mining problems.

What Does 2020 Have in Store for the Blockchain?

2018 and 2019 could be described as years in which there was a redefinition of blockchain technology and to what uses it should be channelled to. The decline of the market in 2018 as well as the rollercoaster ride of 2019 gave room for real-life use cases for blockchain technology to come to the fore.

So what does 2020 have in store for the blockchain? We can expect to see the following:

1. Greater Regulation

A bill has been submitted to the US Congress seeking to provide a proper regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, with legal backing. Harnessing the full potential of the blockchain and cryptocurrencies is only possible when this industry is regulated just enough to root out the bad guys, but not too much as to stifle innovation.

Many countries may perhaps be waiting to see what model of regulation the US brings to the table. Successful deployment of a regulatory framework in the US could spur a slew of similar actions across the globe.

2. Greater Institutional Footprint

If blockchain assets and other digital currencies are brought into regulation in the US, this may finally give the confidence to other institutional players to bring money into the market, knowing that they have a cover for their humongous investments. Enterprise adoption is going to increase and we will see further deepening of the cryptocurrency market as well as adoption of more real life use cases for blockchain projects.

3. The Death of More ICOs of Yesteryears

Many more of the much-hyped ICOs of 2017 and 2018 that were on one form of life support or another may finally be killed off this year as disillusioned investors jettison whatever they can of their battered holdings in order to recover some of their investment. Many of those ICOs were simply riding the moving horse. With that horse starting to tire, it became aware of all the deadweight and started to throw them off its back. This is exactly what has happened to all the deadbeat ICOs which had no real product, no value to add, but only served as a way for the founders to make money off gullible people who could not predict what would happen down the road.

4. More Funding for Viable Blockchain Projects

Ripple was able to raise an additional $200m in December 2019 despite the underwhelming performance of its token in the market. The reason is simple: it has a working product which is gathering loads of attention from the relevant market and more players in that sector are signing up. Projects which have great use case scenarios will keep attracting more funding and more clientele. It will only be a matter of time before the boys are separated from the men.

5. Bitcoin to Continue Its Market Domination

Bitcoin looks good to continue its dominance in the cryptocurrency market. According to TradingBeasts cryptocurrency guide for novice traders, it still commands the market capitalization, the trading volumes and market interest all across the world to maintain this position. Mention some other cryptocurrency in some parts of the world and many would draw blank; mention Bitcoin and the lights come on.

We expect this to continue in 2020. This will be more pronounced in countries whose national currencies would struggle in the face of economic turmoil. In these areas, Bitcoin would become the new safe haven asset, which only serves to continue Bitcoin’s market domination.

6. Launch of a Few National Cryptocurrencies

Some countries are in the stage of conceptualization, or are already in advanced stages of development of their national cryptocurrencies. Examples of countries that are considering launching digital versions of their national currencies include Switzerland and China, although the latter continues to keep mum over such a development. 2020 may also see more countries opening discussions and consultations to kickstart the digitalization of their national countries. However, these discussions seem to be well pronounced in Europe, less so in Asia and virtually non-existent in Africa and Latin America. Will the lagging countries be open to the idea? 2020 will tell.

7. The Make or Break Year for Libra

Libra is yet to take off the blocks and already the project has started to face hitches with stiff opposition from the US, France and a few other countries. Some of its consort partners have also pulled out of the project. 2020 will determine if this project will take off or if Mark Zuckerberg and his team will decide to either kill off the project or replace it with something that is more agreeable to regulators and finance ministers.

So these are the events we think will shape the blockchain industry in 2020.

The Crypto and Blockchain World – Trading and Investing in Today’s World

The Landscape

Throughout 2018, we saw regulators across key crypto markets including, but not limited to, China, India, Japan, and South Korea, clamp down on what was commonly referred to as the Wild West of the Global Financial Markets.

Over the course of the current year, however, the public attitude has shifted.

There are numerous reasons behind this, including significant steps by regulators and governments to shut down the more cavalier exchanges permitting the trading of cryptocurrencies, without the need for the standard disclosures seen across exchanges offering to trade of more traditional asset classes.

While jurisdictional restrictions continue to be a thorn in the crypto sphere’s side, crypto exchanges have also made significant strides in delivering more technically advanced trading platforms.

Not only have exchanges delivered the platforms for the effective trading of cryptocurrencies, but a number have also been built on blockchain tech, adding an additional layer of security.

Cryptocurrency Trading

Since the early days, when investors were only able to invest in the actual cryptocurrencies across exchanges that were no able to protect investor funds, times have changed.

The crypto trading market has evolved from exchanges offering crypto to crypto trading, into trading between cryptocurrencies and fiat money, but also the trading of certificates of deposits, derivatives and more.

As crypto exchanges have developed, risk management and other platform capabilities have been introduced. Encouraged by the volatility and potential earnings the crypto market offers more seasoned investors crossed over.

Across the crypto exchange spectrum, the types of exchanges on offer vary. While some are under the more standard web-based models, others are built on a blockchain platform.

As the blockchain world expands, the number of exchanges and trading platforms based on blockchain is also on the rise.

One such trading platform is Torex.

Torex

Torex is a multifunctional blockchain platform supporting cryptocurrency trading.

The advantage of using Torex is that it consolidates different exchanges, coins, and analytical tools onto the Torex platform.

In the first quarter of 2020, traders will be able to trade, gain experience and share trading strategies.

The Torex trading platform delivers the following capabilities to support both more novice and advanced crypto trading:

Centralized Parallel Monitoring

Enables the tracking of cryptocurrency rates on different exchanges on the Torex platform.

Advanced Analytics

The platform is planned to provide diverse analytics, ranging from embedded news aggregators to detailed technical analysis.

Multi-Exchange & Multi-Coin

Fast operations with any coin or token (like Bitcoin and Ethereum for example) from different exchanges.

Diverse Trading Tools

The platform, in 2020, will allow traders to choose between API-trading, copy trading, arbitrage trading, crypto betting, and more.

Advanced Cryptocurrency Arbitrage

Torex’s Arbitrage Tool analyzes the liquidity and depth of order books across multiple crypto exchanges, providing traders with easy access to liquidity-driven price arbitrage.

Cryptocurrencies are considered to be the most volatile of asset classes, with values capable of rising or falling by a few percentage points in a matter of minutes.

The volatility delivers traders with the rare opportunity of inter-exchange arbitrage.

Torex provides traders with the platform to take advantage of arbitrage windows. An arbitrage window develops when the strike price of a cryptocurrency at one exchange is higher or lower than found on another.

Using the Torex Arbitrage Tool, traders are also able to adjust the parameters. Traders are able to select the exchanges, cryptocurrency pairings, minimum trading volumes, and the minimum percentage of profit expected.

This capability is delivered through the manual mode of the Torex Arbitrage Tool. In automatic mode, an arbitrage assistant will carry out the functions, with the trader being required to make only minor inputs.

Cross-Platform

Torex is fully functional on PC and mobile devices. (A fully functional mobile version for Android and iOS is due out in Q4, 2020)

The Future of Crypto Trading

The nascent nature of the crypto trading world means there are plenty of opportunities for traders, both the novice and more advanced alike.

Crypto exchanges will need to continue to develop and introduce greater capabilities to hold onto existing liquidity and fee income.

Additionally, being flexible as such to meet the ever-fluctuating demands on the regulatory front, is also an important factor for traders domiciled across multiple jurisdictions.

The minimum requirements for the vast majority of crypto traders now include:

Stop loss, take profit, and trailing stop orders. Traders now can simultaneously place stop loss and take profit orders.

Trailing stops have become more popular in the volatile world of crypto trading.

Trailing stops allow traders to adjust the order limit along with the price, which is essential within the more volatile crypto sphere.

Other Modern Trading Platform Capabilities

API Trading

API Trading allows traders to make transactions and monitor currency rates across different exchanges. The added advantage is that it supports the managing of several accounts on one exchange.

Torex uses the official APIs, developed and released by the leading stock exchanges. These APIs allow users to manage all of their exchanges on the Torex platform.

Crypto betting is similar to the futures markets, where investors and traders forecast future prices.

Crypto Betting

Another development in the crypto world is the offering of crypto betting. In crypto betting, the user needs to predict how the rate of a coin or token will change in a given period of time. (Due for release in Q3, 2020).

Idea Sharing

On the Torex platform, there is also the opportunity to share trading tips through an encrypted TOREX end-to-end messenger.

Trader ideas is a recommendation to open a transaction that a trader creates and makes visible to all users on the platform.

Within the Torex world, traders will be able to purchase a subscription for a given number of published ideas for a given number of days. In 2020 traders will have a possibility to make payments in Torex tokens, called TOR. Basic Torex functionality is and will be available free of charge.

For an investor, the investor pays a commission for the ability to view and accept trading ideas.

The platform uses a Telegram Messenger bot to ensure both quick and easy to view trading ideas and signals in support of the network.

Trading ideas provides traders and investors alike with the opportunity to seize on a series of trading ideas.

Torex will release the idea-sharing capability in Q1, 2020. The copy trading capability is due to roll out in the 2nd quarter.

Blockchain

As the cryptocurrency world has evolved, the number of exchanges developed on blockchain technology has also increased.

A key attribute to the use of blockchain technology is the level of trust and transparency it delivers.

There are a number of increasing advantages of using blockchain tech. These go beyond the recording of transactions on the exchange.

The use of smart contracts is certainly one, which delivers even greater transparency.

Conclusion

As the crypto trading world evolves, more traders and investors continue to cross over from more mature asset classes. Trading platforms, including Torex, will need to continue to deliver equivalent, if not, more advanced trading experience than seen across traditional exchanges.

Catering to the need of both traders and investors will further fuel interest in crypto trading.

Alongside the necessary tools to trade and the appropriate transaction logging, security and speed are also significant priorities.

Since the early days, when hacking and theft was rife, cryptocurrency market players have begun to provide a far safer environment.

Exchanges are increasingly using cold wallets, which holds funds offline and out of reach from hackers. 2-factor authentication (“2FA”) is widely offered to further protect investor and trader accounts. With that in mind, 2FA authentication is implemented in Torex universal trading platform as well.

Coding has also become more sophisticated. Ensuring that hackers are unable to break into the system and take what very little is online is key.

We can expect the use of blockchain and an ever-increasing number of capabilities across the exchanges and trading platforms to further support the cryptomarket.

By historical standards, more recent crypto exchange offerings are certainly more sophisticated.

This is not surprising when considering the risks associated with trading in cryptocurrencies.

For investors looking forward to Torex, the IEO is coming soon. The soft cap has already been reached. Torex’s intention is to create a sophisticated, transparent and truly universal platform to meet the needs of every crypto trader.

Why Crypto Processing Systems Is The Future

Thousands of years ago people were exchanging goods for other goods – that’s what we call bartering. Then the government-controlled currencies, also known as fiat currencies were introduced. It was a huge leap forward for our society because people were finally able to trade more conveniently and huge distances between parties became much less of a problem. The appearance of the term “money” is one of the most important keys to creating the world we live in today.

However, since the beginning of the new century, like many great inventions, traditional currencies started to become obsolete. Nowadays, our society demands things to happen immediately. By today’s standards, waiting for more than a week for goods to arrive and more than an hour for the transaction to complete is unacceptable. As CEO of cryptocurrency payment processor CoinsPaid said in his interview: “As a currency becomes more digital, customers’ wants to become more aligned to faster payment methods”. And this trend will only become more present. From exchanging bread for butter to ordering sushi via messenger app: we are on the verge of another drastic change in how we approach payments.

In this article, we will talk about how the introduction of cryptocurrency payment systems will affect both customers and businesses.

Consumers

You own your data

Financial institutions like banks collect most of the information about customers’ personalities and finance. Your bank knows your name, where you live, how much savings you have, everything about your investments, credit score, whether you married or not and the list goes on. Moreover, businesses also gather information about their consumers. Your browsing history on e-commerce sites and bits of your personal information are always stored and used by them.

Using cryptocurrency payment systems allow users to remain anonymous. The nature of blockchain technology implies that the only accessible piece of information is a string of numbers that is tied to your virtual wallet. Surely enough, there is still some personal information available to businesses, but the amount and significance of it are not comparable to what credit card transactions provide.

Less or no commission at all

One of the main ideas of the banking system is to make money using the money of its clients. ATM withdrawals fee, transaction fee, the yearly fee for having an account – almost any service offered by a bank comes along with a certain amount of money you have to pay.

Crypto wallets are superior to bank accounts on this matter. The majority of crypto processing systems offer to open a wallet for free and transaction fees are small or non-existent. For example, CoinsPaid provides its customers with 0% commission from transaction fees through its ecosystem.

Global and instant

Cryptocurrencies often don’t belong to any country, as traditional currencies do. Most of the cryptocurrencies available on the market are decentralized, which means it can be instantly traded across all of the parts of the globe. Banks on the other hand often have limitations when it comes to international trade, but all you need to trade crypto is internet access.

Businesses

Speed, thus security

Today’s payment system provided by banks is always under a risk. Billions of dollars are lost due to credit card fraud worldwide. When you buy goods or services using credit cards, your transaction often takes days to complete, because your money always has to go through a third party, before reaching the receiver. This is the time when fraudulent actions take place. The customer cancels his payment before it’s processed, which means that business may already send goods or perform service without receiving any money. When it comes to crypto, once a transaction has been performed, there is nothing that can be done to reverse it.

Moreover, fraudsters often use drawbacks of the centralized nature of the banking system. The thing is that if a person may hack into the bank’s database – he instantly has access to information of every person in that database. However, because of the fact that most cryptocurrency processing systems are decentralized, there is much less risk of such a situation.

Customer loyalty

This may be not so obvious advantage at first sight, but considering the number of people that use crypto today, this may be a turning point for some businesses. If a customer happens to be an active cryptocurrency user and there is 1 out of 10 businesses in a particular niche that accepts crypto, it may be the determining factor in customer’s choice.

Moreover, he will most likely return to the same company next time. The adoption of the cryptocurrency processing system by most businesses is inevitable in the long run, but those who can get ahead of the competition earlier can easily win over this specific target audience.

Installing a cryptocurrency processing system for your business can be done easily and in the shortest period of time. Service like CoinsPaid would be a perfect example.

Lower prices, same profit

Cryptocurrency transactions can have a commission between 0 and 1.6%. Banks, on the other hand often charge somewhere between 0.5 to 5% for one transaction, depending on location, type of currency, etc. With this in mind, businesses now can attract more customers by lowering the prices, while receiving the same amount of profit per transaction.

Conclusion

Centuries ago the introduction of traditional fiat currencies was an enormous step for better living and convenient trading. However, unfortunately, those payment options don’t satisfy the needs of the current society.

Cryptocurrency payment methods offer huge advantages over traditional ones: lower fees, faster speeds, lower prices and a higher level of security. The introduction of crypto payment systems is the next step for better trading worldwide.

Pavel Durov Holds Off With TON, Waiting For the Libra Hearings to End

The scale of the decline so far has allowed only a very cautious optimism, however, after the drop below $10K, the crypto-media indicated that the current correction gives the last chance to buy Bitcoin at such a “low” price.

The Block citing informed sources reported about the introduction of a bill in the U.S. Congress to ban the creation of their digital currencies by major IT-companies. Obviously, it will be Facebook, Google, and Telegram, which have the greatest chance of success with such projects. Separately, the market of “first” cryptocurrencies did not cause such fears among officials around the world, but Facebook was able to change the situation. David Markus, CEO of Calibra, will speak at the Congress on July 16-17. It is believed that cryptocurrencies could also decline in this regard, as now there is a question about the future attitude of the authorities to the crypto project as a whole. After all, if such a bill to ban the release of digital currencies will become law, it will also pressure the Bitcoin and the whole market of altcoins.

TON project: the start

The market used to be full of expectations for the new cryptocurrency, but now it is quiet. Facebook decided to be the first among the largest technology companies to dare to challenge the U.S. government’s monopoly on the currency issue. Telegram and other companies have now become observers. This approach can save billions of dollars. The experience of Facebook in cooperation with the U.S. government will be invaluable for all participants. There is no doubt that the position of the authorities will be indicative and will give a clear signal to everyone else.

According to the initial plan, Telegram token is not stablecoin, i.e. the price will be formed in the market, which means that the project may have additional difficulties with the authorities. In addition, the wallet will be available to 300 million instant messenger users with the ability to make micro-payments. Agiotage demand, growth of the price of a token and the subsequent “hodl” can play an evil joke with the project as at parabolic growth nobody will spend the tokens as it mostly occurs with Bitcoin and similar coins.

In 2018, Telegram held a closed ICO. The developers were able to raise $1.7 billion, although they could attract much more if the ICO had been a public one, even there the first place was given to possible problems with the regulators. In May 2019, Telegram officially released its test client TON, which indicates the final stage of testing, and the project itself may be ready for public launch in the second half of 2019.

Technical difficulties of the project

TON is written in an unusual Fift language. The popularity of any project depends on the developers, and in this case, the founders have deliberately limited the circle of developers, relying on more experienced specialists. This can be both an advantage and a vulnerability of the project. Thus, starting with ICO, the creators of the project clearly point to strict control over its development. At the moment, all views are focused on Facebook, which shows signs of “reverse gear” when faced with severe pressure from officials around the world. This was probably a surprise even for a company. Given the approach of Pavel Durov, it is likely that all FB’s mistakes will be taken into account, the reaction of the officials will be analyzed, and Telegram will be able to offer the market the product in the form that will be accepted by all parties.

3 Reasons Why Bitcoin is Still King of Crypto

Over its ten years of existence, Bitcoin has managed to stay ahead of the pack, and while other cryptos offer various advantages in terms of technology, speed and usability, Bitcoin is still the most dominant crypto coin, accounting for more than 50% of the market. But why is Bitcoin still number 1? Here are three reasons to consider.

1. A Major Head Start

One of the main advantages Bitcoin had over its counterpart is the fact that it existed. It took about two years between the time the first Bitcoin was mined in 2009 until other cryptos emerged. By that time, Bitcoin has already being used by early adopters for payment and money transfer and had a real-world value of around $13 per 1 BTC.

There were already more than 8 million Bitcoins in circulation when the second cryptocurrency was launched, giving it a market cap of more than $100 million at the time. Naturally, back then Bitcoin accounted for much more of the market than its current 50%+, but even as more cryptocurrencies were constantly introduces, some gaining great popularity, such as Ethereum and XRP, to this day, no other crypto has been able to reach a market cap that is even half that of Bitcoin.

2. Mainstream Acceptance

As Bitcoin grew in popularity and value, an increasing number of mainstream investors began to turn to it as a legitimate option. The currency’s extreme volatility, that often amounted to double-digit movements over a single day, made it an alluring option for those speculating to make short-term profits. Remaining in the spotlight, “Bitcoin” was almost synonymous with “cryptocurrency,” and was often mentioned when discussing the introduction of crypto into mainstream markets and regulatory issues.

Bitcoin also started being accepted as a legitimate form of payment. The first such transaction was made in 2010, when two pizzas were purchased for the price of 10,000 BTC. Today, numerous companies accept Bitcoin payments, ranging from travel companies such as Expedia to fast food chains such as KFC.

To this day, Bitcoin continues to be the yardstick by which all other cryptos are measured. Several high-profile, well-known investors, such as the Winklevoss Twins (made famous due to their role in creating Facebook), started petitioning to introduce Bitcoin into mainstream markets. The SEC began receiving applications for Bitcoin-based ETFs and several popular exchanges began offering Bitcoin futures to their clients. Moreover, in recent years, financial giants such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley began offering their clients several Bitcoin-related services further pushing the digital currency into the mainstream.

3. The Popular Vote

In 2012, the then-popular TV drama The Good Wife aired a Bitcoin-centric episode entitled “Bitcoin for Dummies.” This was one of several instances that began putting Bitcoin in popular consciousness. At first, Bitcoin was more infamous than famous, with the cryptocurrency being linked to black market deals, including the notorious Silk Road platform, whose users opted to use the coin due to its ability to keep both parties of a transaction anonymous.

However, Bitcoin’s image was later cleaned up and popularized, mainly due to its rapid price increase, reaching an all-time high of nearly $20,000 in late 2017. By then, everyone was talking about Bitcoin, both in financial media and pop culture, including hit shows such as The Big Bang Theory, which discussed the crypto in their stories. In pop culture, most of the references made were about Bitcoin, which kept its popularity steady – and well ahead of its altcoin counterparts.

Whether or not other cryptocurrencies ever reach the popularity or market cap of Bitcoin remains to be seen. However, with its enormous current market share of more than 50%, its constant referencing in popular culture, and ongoing efforts to introduce it into mainstream financial markets, Bitcoin is still the king of crypto – and it is hard to believe it will be dethroned anytime soon.

Bitcoin Breaks Out, the Bull Market is in Full Swing

Bitcoin Prices Top $9,000, Traders Eye On $10,000

Bitcoin prices topped $9,000 last week and put the token on track to move higher in the near-term. The move resulted in the breakdown of a significant resistance level that had been keeping prices in check. Now that resistance is broken down prices are likely to keep rising but just how far can they go? Simple technical targets based on the peaks set in 2018 suggest $10,000, $12,000, and $16,000 are logical targets.

Projecting technical patterns like the run-up to, and subsequent break of resistance at $8,500 gives an equally optimistic target. The magnitude of that move is $5,300, projecting it from the $8,500 resistance line gives a target near $14,000. Momentum is slowing winding down but that is not a concern at this time. momentum remains firmly bullish and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. At current levels, the MACD histogram could take several months to wind down to zero and in that time BTC may have already surpassed its all-time highs.

This Is What’s Driving The Rally In Bitcoin

There are several factors driving the rally in Bitcoin. Yes, Facebook’s launch of Libra is helping to support prices but no, it isn’t really that important to Bitcoin other than as a sign of growing acceptance of blockchain technology. The two things that are driving Bitcoin’s price higher is next year’s scheduled halving and this summer’s launch of Bakkt physically-settled Bitcoin futures.

The halving is an important event for Bitcoin as it will significantly reduce the number of available tokens. The halving is when the mining reward for Bitcoin is cut in half. After the halving, which occurs next May, each block will only be worth 6.5 Bitcoins. Because the cost of mining will remain the same this means the fundamental value of BTCs all over the world will increase.

Bakkt and its launch of BTC futures are important for two reasons in and of itself. First, physically settled BTC futures will increase the volume of Bitcoin trading and that will aid its liquidity. Second, Bakkt is an SEC-approved trading venue. Now that it is cleared to test its futures products we are one step closer to a BTC ETF. The approval of a BTC ETF will be a game-changing event for Bitcoin.

What we can expect from the price of Bitcoin over the next few months is this. A steady increase in prices punctuated by periodic tests of resistance and minor consolidations. This should continue up to and until BTC reaches its all-time high. Once BTC reaches its all-time high I see a flood of new money come into the market that may push it up to $50,000 within the next two years.

The article was written by Anthony Darvall, Chief Market Analyst at easyMarkets

Why $10,000 is so Important for Bitcoin

Thus, the coin continues to follow the technical analysts’ forecasts, reinforcing the demand of market participants and not allowing corrections to cause bearish sentiment. The next most important resistance level is expected at $10000.

Price dynamics near this level promises to attract particularly close attention. On the one hand, it is precisely this level that can provoke really strong profit-taking activity. If the growth momentum dries right after touching $10,000, we can see a massive correction, as many will rush to “exit”.

On another hand, so far more likely scenario in light of the ongoing rally is that Bitcoin will continue to blaze through resistance levels one by one. Fear of lost profits and desire to join the new crypto rally can further move the prices up.

Anyway, the market reaction around $10,000 can be indicative, laying the foundations for the trend for the following days and even weeks.

Rumours about Facebook and the Telegram cryptocurrencies have long been in the focus of the crypto market participants. Pavel Durov does not yet make it clear what exactly is happening with the most desired product of the messenger, while a Facebook subsidiary launched a digital wallet Calibra with a cryptocurrency called Libra. The digital wallet will receive support from major brands, including MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, and many other major heavyweights. Thus, a wide range of sellers will be able to get paid via this cryptocurrency. It became known that Calibra has already published Whitepaper, and also launched Test Net. The launch for clients is planned in the first half of 2020. Libra cryptocurrency will be built into WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

It is simply impossible to underestimate such an event, but you should also think about what will happen to the “first” cryptocurrencies. Now the whole market is on the rise: along with BTC, altcoins are also growing. However, it must be admitted: this growth is almost completely speculative. No one wants to spend Bitcoin (BTC) or Zcash (ZEC) on daily expenses, because tomorrow their price may add 10% or more. The same fate awaits Libra or TON if their prices will float freely, and, therefore, the only way to get a massive adoption of digital currency is to make it stable. On the one hand, this will nullify the speculative demand, on the other hand, Facebook’s huge user base will provide Libra with tremendous liquidity and trade volume.

This article was written by FxPro

Facebook’s Libra Seeks to Improve on Existing Crypto Technology

Facebook’s Coin Expected for Release in 2020

Although Facebook has not set a specific date for release, it expects to release both its coin Libra, as well as a digital wallet named Calibra, sometime next year.

The social media company has been collaborating with 28 companies thus far and hopes to have 100 groups on board before launching. The current list includes some big names such as Spotify, Visa, Mastercard, and Lyft, just to name a few.

Each group will contribute $10 million dollars to the project to facilitate its launch.

The focus for Libra is on the large population of people around the world that currently don’t have access to simple banking facilities. They claim that half the adults in the world don’t have a bank account. This statistic is even worse for developing countries.

M-Pesa runs on a similar platform. The company is the largest mobile phone-based money transfer system in the world. M-Pesa launched in 2007 and targets mobile phone users in Kenya and Tanzania. They have enjoyed tremendous success as the population in these countries often don’t have access to simple banking options.

Facebook appears to be catering to essentially the same market. Their product will likely focus on consumers in China, India, Indonesia, Iraq, and Afghanistan as these counties have the largest number of citizens that don’t have a bank account.

Facebook Tries to Address Shortcomings in Existing Technology

Although Facebook has taken a lot of ideas from existing crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, it will make several improvements to facilitate a user-friendly experience.

Significant improvements are expected for Libra

High Security – Obtaining a Calibra wallet involves some of the same verifications and processes as obtaining a bank account. This anti-Fraud measure is a drastic change from Bitcoin and other currencies. Currently, many currencies issue wallets without any verification, which opens up the doors for fraud.

Fraud Protection – Building on Fraud, Libra consumers will be protected.
Facebook intends to reimburse consumers that are impacted by fraud.

Support – Facebook will have support in the event you forget your password, lose your phone, or are a victim of fraud. This is a major advantage to traditional crypto currencies. Currently, there may be millions of dollars lost in crypto currencies where consumers were consumers have lost their passwords, as there is no way to recover it.,

Privacy Protection – Facebook intends to offer it and promises not to use any information for marketing purposes. Perhaps this last item does not belong under the improvement category.  Current crypto technology is designed this way already. Nevertheless, Facebook is committed to keeping user information private and will not publish user information to the blockchain.

Aside from improvements for the user, Facebook has developed a programming language called Move to facilitate writing commands to its blockchain. Libra will also have smart contracts, a technology borrowed from Ethereum.

Libra will start out as a peer to peer payment system. But, as Facebook expands its network, it will be able to facilitate bill payments and purchasing of consumer goods. Calibra will have integration with Messenger and Whatsapp, and will also be available as a stand-alone product.

Bitcoin Turns to Growth after a Pause

The Bitcoin settled during the week after a rollback from $9,000 to $7,000. No matter how paradoxical it may sound but correction and consolidation in accordance with the forecasts went as positive factor for market participants, confirmed the retention of technical patterns. According to this pattern, after a rollback, the market will once again return to growth.

As is often the case during the consolidation period, the collision of bulls and bears has intensified. Both sides have arguments in favour of one or another position: technical indicators, patterns, historical references, moods. In this cycle, Bitcoin will have to prove or disprove the assumption that digital currencies fall under the framework of the development of a traditional asset. If so, then this means a tendency to grow over a long time period but does not exclude prolonged corrections.

The largest BTC wallets continue to attract huge funds. Since early June, they have grown by 340,000 BTC ($2.72 billion). A significant part of these funds credited to the cold wallets of crypto exchanges, which again creates the basis for large-scale speculations regarding a future of the asset.

While market participants are arguing about the future of Bitcoin, speculations about the launch of Facebook cryptocurrency are becoming louder. In addition to the digital currency itself, we are now talking about the emergence of physical crypto ATMs, through which the company’s token will be bought. Crypto community don’t like to discuss the prospects for the influence of this event on BTC and the leading altcoins, since investors still hope to return the money invested during the December 2017 hype, however, if such a strong player appears, the alignment of forces can change very quickly. Such events can negate all the forecasts and market expectations. It is obvious that big business is aware of what is happening, the only question is when they will start to “cut” retail investors in favour of new strong projects.

The media sources more and more rarely are linking crypto with bubbles or Dutch tulips. Everyone is aware that this is an extremely volatile and speculative market, but not a “scam bubble” or a “dotcom crash”. The market really has much of common with these events, but the fact that the world’s largest technology and investment companies are closely involved in either existing cryptocurrencies or creating their own does not allow to treat the new type of currency as a “money surrogate for geeks”.

This article was written by FxPro

Stablecoins – The Landscape and the Outlook

Stablecoins and the Cryptomarket

While the evolution of stablecoins has been a gradual one, the number of stablecoins in existence has been on rapid rise of late. As the likes of Bitcoin and Ripple’s XRP bounce around, the stablecoin has provided investors with a far less risky exposure to the cryptomarket.

There are an array of stablecoins, some of which are fully collateralized by either fiat currency or commodity or other. There are others, however, that are partially collateralized to an asset class and some that are uncollateralized.

The very fact that stablecoins are a crypto mirror image of more traditional asset classes and financial products means that those without access to the banking world can explore exposure through the cryptomarket.

This can’t be a bad thing for the cryptomarket. After all, offering coins that have similar exposure to political and economic risk rather than whether they will be offered on an exchange is likely to have greater longevity.

As for the regulatory environment, investors exposed to fully collateralized coins will likely benefit from the regulatory oversight that is enjoyed across the more mature asset classes. That’s another positive.

Too Many Stablecoins?

As was the case during the dot.com era and even in the cryptomarket over the last few years, it has become more commonplace for an asset class to become flooded with viable investment alternatives packed with slightly different wrapping.

We can expect the environment to change as Darwinism takes hold. Only the fittest will survive and the rest will fall by the wayside. This can only be positive for the cryptomarket. While barriers to entry are low, those developing stablecoins will have the ability to be far more creative. Evolving and moving away from the more mature asset classes, whilst offering like for like on the volatility scale would make the cryptomarket a far more viable alternative investment strategy.

Tether: Can it Stay on Top?

Tether was an early entrant as a stablecoin. As history has proven, first entries tend to pave the way for the longer lasting alternatives. New entrants may well benefit from the hindsight of such teams as the Tether team. Tweaks here and there and Tether’s competitor may well become a more formidable alternative to fiat currency itself. Tether has faced a number of issues and the next true alternative will need to have a clean track record. We are likely to see a number of these roll out, which may ultimately cater to regional preferences.

In the end, can there be one single global standard stablecoin? Unlikely, as that would ultimately defy the very principle of the cryptomarket, decentralization.

Stablecoins: The Attributes

Key to the success of a stablecoin is in its name. First and foremost, they need to deliver stability and do exactly what they say on the package…

For now, stablecoins may soften the volatility that some crypto investors crave for. It may only be a matter of time before the market environment changes.

Today’s positives may well become tomorrow’s negatives. The cryptomarket was created to deliver a financial asset class that takes governments and central banks out of the equation. Stablecoins fail to deliver that.

Until then, however, using a stablecoin as an alternative to fiat currency makes perfect sense. Buying Bitcoin at $19,000 to buy a house, only to see its value fall to $3,000 ahead of the purchase is of no benefit to anyone. Well, except for the seller, maybe.

Facebook, Stablecoins and the Global Economy

While Facebook has had plenty of bad press in the recent past, there is no denying its global reach. The creation of a Facebook stablecoin makes perfect sense. When considering the ad revenues, etc. that Facebook Inc. is able to generate and the user base, Facebook’s stablecoin will likely be a standard for the FINTEC market as a whole. There’s e-bay, Amazon.inc, Netflix, Google, Alphabet and more and that’s before considering mobile operators.

Nakamoto Satoshi may not have envisaged the cryptomarket to evolve this way, but this avenue could really become a mainstream competitor to fiat money.

As Crypto Activity Rebounds, These are the Best Cryptocurrencies to Trade

It’s no surprise to anyone who’s up-to-date on the financial markets that cryptocurrency is the new “big thing” with investors. For good reasons, too. Financial and business ideas are well-suited to the blockchain, and cryptocurrency is how they absorb value. Countless businesses, financial organizations, and applications are built on blockchain, and pinpointing the cryptocurrencies that act as foundation to this innovative decentralized environment allows one to take advantage of its overall growth.

The market capitalization of blockchain is measurable through the amount of fiat money invested into its many cryptocurrencies, and therefore the services funded by them. Since the invention of the grandfather cryptocurrency Bitcoin in 2009, this new market reached $8 billion in 2016, $25 billion by 2017, and $135 billion by 2018. For fresh and veteran cryptocurrency investors alike, the best cryptocurrencies to trade are simple to identify.

Factors to Focus on for Crypto Traders

If a cryptocurrency satisfies all four of the criteria below, then it exhibits longevity, making it a solid trading option.

  • Statistical Significance

Traders will appreciate cryptocurrencies that have high daily volume, which also usually means a larger market capitalization and a presence on many cryptocurrency exchanges. This is beneficial because it’ll be easier to find another trader to take the opposite side of a trade and act on market trends in an agile manner.

Example: Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin enjoys the highest market cap ($102 billion) and volume ($16 billion daily) of any cryptocurrency and has yet to be unseated. It’s the grandfather coin and remains popular among traders due to its first-mover status, and an ambition to replace banks. With the decentralized ledger used to keep track of BTC transactions over a peer-to-peer network, its main value is derived from the ability to transact easily across the globe, but also its place as a common counter-currency.

  • Follow the Value

Blockchain is good at improving services that already exist, but also creating new value-added utilities as well. New and improved blockchain platforms have cryptocurrencies that generate value because their core ideas are so useful, and these are excellent assets to trade because of their potential.

Example: Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum is called the “decentralized computer”. As far as creating value using new ideas, there are few more impressive. Used as a type of fuel to power applications on its blockchain, people can also use ETH to participate in games, decentralized financial services, and blockchain businesses that are a part of the growing Ethereum ecosystem.

  • Private Sector Enthusiasm

Look for mature blockchain solutions that have a market history, established team, and some sort of partnership or integration with the traditional private sector. It’s well and good to exist in the margins and slowly steal value from a business sector, but blockchain and crypto solutions that are invaluable enough are readily welcomed by those with deep pockets. This ensures a future purpose and progress to fuel fundamental price action.

Example: Ripple (XRP)

Ripple takes a constructive view of blockchain and resists the decentralized model in favor of its own administrated approach, exemplified by the cryptocurrency XRP which has some of the fastest transaction speeds in the market. Moreover, a notable group of international banks have partnered with the Ripple Foundation to appropriate XRP’s agility for their own purposes, and the list continues to grow.

  • Accessibility

It’s important for traders who don’t want to operate blockchain wallets and would rather have a unified investment portfolio to consider accessibility. Some cryptocurrencies are only available on the blockchain, necessitating knowledge about public and private keys, operating on exchanges, and more. For many it’s preferable to trade cryptocurrency Contracts for Difference (CFDs) with an online platform like Plus500, which offers direct bank deposits and CFDs for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and more.

Cryptocurrencies that are tradable as CFDs allow users to participate in these volatile markets without holding the underlying coins themselves. For instance, the BTC Plus500 instrument mirrors the rises and falls of Bitcoin itself, empowering traders to take advantage of its noteworthy price swings from outside the blockchain ecosystem.

It may be the new kid on the block compared to traditional assets, but cryptocurrency’s limited lifespan has proven nothing short of breathtaking. Although enormity of the risk does merit caution, traders with a taste for volatility will appreciate cryptocurrency’s immense possibilities.


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Bitcoin News And Market Analysis, Bulls Are In Control

Bitcoin Leads Crypto Market To Ten-Month High

The Bitcoin market has emerged from its long slumber and is even now moving higher. The price of Bitcoin versus the dollar is now at a ten-month high, trading just below $8,500. At these levels, it is on the verge of a major breakout. The $8,500 level is equal to the ten-month high, a break of which would lead to BTC higher. My targets are $10,000, $12,000, $16,000, and eventually $20,000.

While the entire cryptocurrency market is experiencing bullish behavior, Bitcoin is the clear winner. Not only has it’s total market cap increased by more than 60% over the past month, but its dominance of the market has also increased. Bitcoin dominance, a measure of BTC’s market share, has surged nearly 10% over the last month. This is its highest level of dominance since just before the 2017 market crash.

Likewise, Bitcoin’s hash-rate has also seen a notable increase in recent weeks. The hash-rate, a measure of computing power allocated to the BTC blockchain, has been steadily rising since early 2018. This gain is contrary to most of the price action during 2018 and a sign of support within the mining community.

Interest In Bitcoin Is On The Rise

TD Ameritrade recently revealed “tens of thousands” of their clients are interested in Bitcoin. This interest is driving the market toward full regulation, a sentiment echoed by the SEC chief when he said a BTC ETF was inevitable.

Meanwhile, the use of Bitcoin is also on the rise. The Lightning Network has made it possible for merchants and customers to transact in BTC even if merchants don’t technically accept it. The latest development is the release of the SPEDN app from payments provider Flexa. The app is already being used by major retailers like Whole Foods, Lowe’s, and Nordstrom.

Bakkt Is On The Way

One of the most bullish developments for the Bitcoin market in recent months is the Bakkt platform. Balkt is a full-service Bitcoin exchange, wallet, trading platform, and clearing-house that has been in the works for over a year. It is a joint venture between the Intercontinental exchange and its partners but slow in its release. The delays have not been due to the platform itself but rather to how it was planning on holding/clearing BTC transactions. The platform has made plans to alleviate regulators issues tied to its holding/clearing process and now slated to begin live testing this summer.

The Bakkt development is crucial for one simple reason; it is an SEC-regulated Bitcoin Exchange. This means the infrastructure for SEC-regulated derivative products, long a reason why the BTC ETF has been denied, is now in place. With the infrastructure in place for a regulated BTC ETF, it seems more and more likely the SEC will approve said ETF in the near future.

Bitcoin – Is the Next Stop at $9000?

On the intraday charts, it is clearly seen how exceeding the threshold levels of $7,000 and $8,000 caused a wave of profit taking, but pretty quickly it was ended up by the new wave of purchases. The return of public interest was so intense that previous levels of consolidation were simply swept away. Given this dynamic, the next stop could be level at $9,000 and local peaks of May 2018 at $9,500.

BTCUSD Daily Chart
BTCUSD Daily Chart

FOMO (fear of missed opportunities) has returned to the market, as retail investors became the real driving force behind this dynamic. Nevertheless, it must be remembered that in addition to optimism and patterns similar to the 2017 rally, many new participants appeared on the market, who firstly benefited from pushing the market to the bottom, and then it would be profitable for them to sell at highs.

It is equally important that growth not only increases but also widens, actively engage altcoins in the rally. Since May 10, the total capitalization of the cryptocurrency market has grown by $47 billion. Over the past 24 hours, the XRP token shows the most significant growth by 21% to $0.38. Probably, the coin attracts demand due to the low price, while market participants remember it at a price of around $4. Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) add 10% and 12%, respectively. At the moment it is difficult to find a cryptocurrency in the red zone. The Bitcoin domination index has grown in recent days, reaching 60%, however, it gave back some gains to 59.2%.

The cherry on the top was the news that Amazon’s Whole Foods now accepts Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Gemini Dollar (GUSD). This made possible by the partnership of the Winklevoss twin project Gemini with payment start-up Flexa. In addition to Whole Foods, people can spend their digital currencies at Starbucks, Baskin Robbins, Nordstrom, and others. It should be noted that so far there were no “leaks” about the project, and the launch took place exactly at the right moment, heating the growth impulse. Whether it is a coincidence or not, the twins won’t tell, but they are pushing the entire crypto sector to integrate with the real world.

This article was written by FxPro

Cryptocurrency Forecast – Bitcoin Goes Ballistic, $10,000 Is In Sight

Bitcoin Prices Are Going Ballistic, Up 13% Today Alone

The cryptocurrency market, led by Bitcoin, is going ballistic. The price of BTC/USD has risen more than 13% today alone and 60% in the last three weeks. With no visible catalyst driving the gains traders and investors are asking the questions, what’s causing the rally and how high can it go.

The cause of the rally is two-fold. On the one hand, the bear market of 2018 finally ran its course. The price of BTC was driven down to its December 2018 low and there began to reverse. The second cause of the rally is the halving scheduled for next May. The halving is a regularly scheduled mining reward reduction and will greatly reduce the number of available tokens.

At current rates, miners are rewarded with 12.5 Bitcoins for every block produced, after the halving the reward will be only 6.25 Bitcoins. The combination, no bears and an expected supply reduction, have caused a rush on BTC that will likely take it to $20,000 before its all said and done.

Bitcoin Price Forecast, The Near-Term Is Bullish

Bitcoin’s near-term price forecast is bullish. The world’s leading cryptocurrency s moving up strongly in a vacuum of sellers. With BTC’s rapid advance to and through the $7,400 resistance target, the next logical stops are $8,500 and then $10,000. The indicators are quite bullish too, both stochastic and MACD are consistent with rising prices, and MACD is at an extreme. Extreme peaks in MACD are one of the more reliable signals in technical analysis. They indicate a strongly trending market and one likely to set new highs.

Bitcoin Long-Term Price Prediction, $20,000 Is Only A Matter Of Time

Bitcoin’s long-term price forecast is equally bullish. The token is moving up strongly on the weekly charts, confirming support at key levels, and supported by the indicators. Support is solid at the $5,100 level just above the 150-days EMA and moving higher with each subsequent push to new highs. Since bouncing from the EMA the price of BTC/USD has broken and moved up from resistance at $5,800 and $7,400 which are now our new support targets.

The indicators are also very bullish. Stochastic is trending high in its range and showing signs of strength with a fresh bullish crossover, MACD is steadily gaining strength after forming its first bullish crossover since the 2017 market top. This combination shows buyers are clearly in control of the market and suggest $8,500 will be easily surpassed. The $10,000 may provide stronger resistance as it is a likely point for profit-taking. Once it is surpassed, though, the path to $20,000 will be cleared.

Bitcoin is at Risk of Getting Stuck Around $6000

This week, growth momentum allowed Bitcoin to hit the level of $5,800, which since the end of 2017 has acted as an important support level. And this is a good bullish signal. As for technical analysis, Bitcoin can meet with insignificant resistance up to $6,050- $6,250. The Bitcoin almost nonstop dropped from $6,250 to $3,500. Most often this suggests that recovery can also occur without significant difficulties in the growth path. However, there are a number of important levels in the area above $6,050. If the market gets stuck in them, this will be the first signal of worsening prospects.

The reason for the recent growth momentum can be considered rumors that the world’s largest investment company Fidelity with assets of $7 trillion is going to launch crypto trading services for institutional investors with a focus on Bitcoin. The company did not confirm this directly, but recently conducted a survey of 400 institutional investors. The survey showed that half of the respondents want to invest in digital assets.

The growth of transactions in the network indicates the return of interest in Bitcoin trading. In April, their volume exceeded $130 billion, which is the maximum since June 2018. The market capitalization of BTC for the first time since November 15, 2018 exceeded $100 billion at the beginning of the week, whereas by Tuesday this value is almost at $105 billion.

Another positive impulse for the market was the news of the CFTC’s intention to approve the launch of Ethereum futures contracts (ETH), which in theory will lead to the influx of institutional funds. On this news, the ETH rate jumped by 10% in the last 24 hours and is trading at around $177. It should be noted that the ether grew along with the entire market, and since the end of January, the main altcoin managed to add almost 70% in price.

This article was written by FxPro

Tokenised Securities 101: Everything you need to know

What are tokenised securities?

Before you can understand what a tokenised security is, you must first know what constitutes a security. A security is a tradable financial asset. However, the term security differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction depending on how the regulatory body defines it.

For instance, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority defines securities as either equities, debentures, government bonds, pensions, and anything that may be admitted to the Official List. The United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) defines a security as a tradable financial asset of any kind, providing it can pass the Howey test.

The term ‘security’ is, then, that of one with two meanings: it has both a conceptual and legal definition. What constitutes a security isn’t universally agreed upon, however, it is probably fair to define one as I did so prior: a tradable financial asset.

A tokenised security is therefore a tokenised tradeable asset. But what does it mean for a security to be tokenised? This means taking existing financial instruments and starting to maintain shareholder balances on an encrypted distributed ledger or a blockchain.

This process of issuing digital tokens that represent an underlying financial instrument on a blockchain is called ‘tokenisation’. It is easier to consider tokenised securities away from the abstract definition. For instance, tokenised securities can take the form of a tokenised stock or tokenised bond.

Cryptocurrencies and tokenised securities

Like anything blockchain-related, it doesn’t take long until you hear talk of cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies and tokenised securities are both built upon the same underlying technology: blockchain.

Cryptocurrencies were conceived as digital money and designed to be independent of any platform, whereas tokenised securities were conceived as a means of digital ownership, a solution to various problems and are run within a platform.

What is a security token offering (STO)?

You’ve probably heard of an initial public offering (IPO). You may even have heard of an initial coin offering (ICO), but chances are, you have little idea what a security token offering (STO) is.

An STO is where an investor is issued with a security token, but unlike an ICO, a security token represents an investment contract into an underlying investment asset such as a stock, bond or fund.

STOs are commonly described as a hybrid approach between cryptocurrency ICOs and the more conventional IPO. This is because an STO seemingly overlaps these two methods of raising capital through investment.

What is the purpose of tokenised securities?

Using blockchain technology to maintain transactions and ownership is vastly different to the historical way of storing this information in a spreadsheet or privately owned central database.

Storing information on a distributed ledger increase efficiencies in several areas. These include: paper-free transfer speed and cost, transparency, auditing and the maintenance of the shareholders’ registry. Tokenised securities will improve clearing and settling processes for traditional stocks in the post-trade market.

The decentralized nature of blockchain would reduce the time, cost and counterparty risk of clearing and settlement. It was estimated, by a 2014 Oliver Wyman report, that as much as $80 billion is spent annually on post-trade processes, with the majority of that money going to depositories and agents along the settlement process.

Blockchain technology would dramatically reduce this amount and alleviate the need for intermediary agents, allowing the counterparties to deal directly with one another.

There has long been a problem among cryptocurrency traders accessing traditional financial markets. Namely, that they cannot easily trade equities, indices or commodities without having to first swap their cryptocurrency for fiat.

However, through the tokenisation of derivative products such as CFDs, cryptocurrency traders can gain access and trade traditional markets whilst simultaneously using their cryptocurrency as collateral.

This means that crypto traders need not exit the crypto market (which can often come with fees or opportunity cost) to profit from trading traditional markets.

Where can you trade tokenised securities?

There are currently only a handful of tokenised securities exchanges due to the fact that this technology is such a recent innovation. However, the trading space for tokenised securities is currently exploding with many companies working on developing their exchanges at this instance.

Are tokenised securities regulated?

The legal status of cryptocurrencies and tokenised securities varies across the globe. Countries can broadly be categorised into three groups in terms of the legal recognition of these markets.

Firstly, there are countries that have been proactive in passing laws that recognize and regulate cryptocurrencies and tokenised securities. Countries in this list include Belarus and Malta.

Secondly, there are countries that allows the markets to exist but are yet to pass industry-specific laws. These include countries such as Brazil and France.

The last group of countries are those that have taken measures to ban cryptocurrencies and tokenised securities, such as China and Iran.

There are few countries with fully-scoped crypto legislative frameworks, partly due to poor institutional acceptance and the tendency of regulation to be reactive instead of proactive.

Author: Currency.com

Description: Currency.com is the world’s first regulated tokenised securities exchange. As a project it is democratising investment in traditional markets by allowing clients to trade and profit using cryptocurrency as collateral.

Thinner Bitcoin vs Thicker Wallets

The scandal around Bitfinex and Tether again nullified the positive momentum in the market. In moments of cryptocurrency decisive growth, unflattering stories reminiscent of rather controversial methods of doing business in this sector. The echoes of the “Wild West 2017″ still make themselves felt. Over the past 24 hours, Bitcoin loses a little more than 1% and trades around $5,250

As for technical analysis, quotes are currently around the 200-day moving average. Maintaining positions higher is often perceived by investors as a signal of a potential mood for growth. However, it is also worth noting that last week the support for the April uptrend was broken, and the RSI on the daily charts dived into the neutral zone from overbought, giving a correction signal.

The downward trend may increase on the news that the fifth largest Bitcoin wallet, which belongs to Bitfinex, has “lost” more than 30,000 BTC in the past few days. In this case, we can talk about escape from a sinking ship. In addition, the list of the largest wallets during the last week shows an increase of almost 52,000 BTC.

Behind a veil of negative news, there are reasons for optimism. For example, the browser extension Moon allows users to pay with Bitcoin on Amazon. So far, we are talking only about Amazon, but such opportunities open up quite good prospects for cryptocurrency, in principle, since over time there will be more such extensions.

On Monday, the Bitcoin futures platform Bakkt announced the purchase of Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC) to develop an integrated solution for the secure storage of cryptocurrencies. Apparently, Bakkt seriously intends to enter this market and get approval from regulators, since it is security issues that prevent the industry from moving forward.

The IOTA (Internet of Things) project yesterday defied gravity, and at the background of general market decline, the token managed to show an increase of 20%. Behind the growth is the news of the partnership Jaguar Land Rover and IOTA. The largest automaker in Britain tests a smart wallet built into cars that will reward drivers for the information provided, including traffic jams, problems with the road surface. Earned tokens can be spent on parking, road tolls.

This article was written by FxPro

The First Blockchain War is About to Begin

At some point last night, the BTC fell below the MA (200). Nevertheless, on Friday morning, Bitcoin returned to $5300 with a total capitalization of $93 billion. All of this indicates strong support on the way down to $5,000. As always, altcoins follow bitcoin, dropping from 1% (Litecoin) to 5% (Ethereum).

On top of this, there are doubts regarding “Ether”, which long holds the second place in terms of capitalization, now stands at $16.4 billion. The development team is very slow in moving towards PoS, and the head of the company, Vilatiy Buterin, is rather poorly promoting the project, which is now frankly behind of EOS and TRON. At the moment, there is an obvious trend to create own blockchains, in which Binance has been very successful. By the time of the switch to a new stage, it may happen that the Ethereum project will no longer be relevant.

Ripple reported a 31% sales increase of XRP (3d by market cap with 12.3 billion). However, in the crypto community, attitudes toward XRP are not so rosy. Against the background of the cryptocurrency triumphant return to growth since the beginning of 2019 (BTC + 40%, BNB + 283%), the XRP token has lost more than 16%. This is due to the company’s minor progress in promoting xRapid in the banking sector. The product was tested by many banks, but it never came to real use. At the end of 2017, XRP had few competitors, but by the end of the current year, there could be too many of them that could throw off this token from an honourable third place.

In the next few years and, perhaps, by the end of the current year, the list of top cryptocurrencies may have serious changes.

The first does not mean the best, and the practice can prove it once again. In the meantime, there is news almost every day that the large companies are developing their own blockchains/tokens, or they are entering into partnerships with projects in the crypto sphere.

The end of the “first browser war,” put new leaders on the market. At the moment the “first blockchain war” may already begin, and the number of its participants is already impressive.

This article was written by FxPro