Bitcoin Cash in a Gravity Defying Move

Tuesday’s cryptocurrency slump has yet to be forgotten and the cryptocurrencies have certainly not looked like clawing back the losses, with Bitcoin sitting down 4.05% at $10,924.94 at the time of writing.

Alongside Bitcoin, Ethereum has fallen back to sub-$1,000 levels with an 8.34% decline through the early part of the day, with Ripple doing its best to stay above the psychological $1.00 level.

It’s not quite a bloodbath from a cryptocurrency perspective, but if sentiment doesn’t turn around soon, another drop could be on the horizon.

While the majors are in a slump, with Cryptonites across the world licking their wounds pondering on what’s next for the markets, there’s a beacon of light in the markets in the form of Bitcoin Cash.

Following Tuesday’s 18% decline, which wasn’t too bad considering some of the losses elsewhere, Bitcoin Cash has recovered from an intraday low $1,591.9 in the early hours of this morning to $1,768.2, marking a 3.23% gain at the time of writing.

While the gains not be considered significant when comparing it to historical moves across the cryptocurrencies through the latter part of 2017 and the first few days of this year, the divergence could become a significant moment in the Bitcoin Clan’s future and, more importantly show signs of which of the three will most likely progress to become the vision of Satoshi Nakamoto and become a realistic competitive alternative to fiat money.

It may be too early to call, but it’s certainly worth considering, particularly when the cryptomarkets continue to get bombarded with negative news, almost on an hourly basis.

Let’s face it, Bitcoin Cash has almost negligible transaction fees, while Bitcoin’s is material and that’s before considering block sizes and of course, transaction speeds.

Bitcoin transaction speeds alone make it an unviable alternative to fiat currency.

While there’s plenty of talk of regulation and the shutting down of exchanges, with BCC Token holders the latest victim of regulatory oversight, an alternative to fiat money will come in some shape or form and Bitcoin Cash may become the market’s choice and the decision may come sooner rather than later, with the market’s hand being forced by events through the first half of the week.

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A Bitcoin Cash move through to $2,000 levels would certainly cement Bitcoin Cash’s position over the near-term as a Bitcoin’s main rival, with Litecoin on the ropes.

The market’s will need to reconsider how it views Bitcoin however, which still seems to be the cryptomarket pet, in spite of all of its short comings.

Looking at the hashrates, Bitcoin miners may not yet be convinced of a paradigm shift in market preference between the two, with hashrate divergence favouring Bitcoin based on yesterday’s figures. Today’s figures may tell a different story however, though these will not be available until tomorrow.

The day ahead will more than likely see further volatility, with the only saving grace being that there’s unlikely to be any more regulatory chatter from Asian governments until tomorrow.

Bitcoin Futures haven’t thrown in the towel just yet, with February’s contract sitting at $11,320, though one wonders whether the markets will pay any attention with the key drivers coming from elsewhere.

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Bad News Grips Bitcoin and the Cryptomarkets

Bitcoin managed to move through to a Monday high $14,150.02 in what had been a positive first half of the day, before the slide returned, with Bitcoin ending the day down at $13,250, a 2.92% fall for the day.

While the day’s decline may not be significant in the world of cryptocurrencies, the bearish trend and the negative sentiment is perhaps of greater concern for Bitcoin investors.

While Bitcoin Futures have played their part in pinning back Bitcoin from any rallies this year, the latest pullback has less to do with the futures market and more to do with government and regulatory chatter.

Despite the South Korean government averting a cryptocurrency sell-off last week, there was more chatter on Monday, with calls for greater government oversight ultimately weighing on Bitcoin and the rest of the cryptomarkets.

Adding to the negative sentiment has been news coming out of China of the government being more interested in removing Bitcoin from the country altogether and not just the mining cartel.

A movement is afoot and it’s not a decentralized one that led to the exponential gains through 2017. Even France’s finance minister has jumped on the anti-crypto bandwagon calling for new regulations in the interest of clamping down on tax evasion and the funding of illegal activities.

While France may not be at the epicentre of cryptomania, a coordinated effort across the EU would certainly have an impact and if the EU can coordinate with the South Koreans and the U.S, then there really will be a problem for investors looking to retain their anonymity.

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At the time of writing, Bitcoin was down 7.95% to $12,525.03 and the negative news has taken the rest of the Bitcoin Clan with it, with Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold down 10.73% and 14.5% respectively.

Even Ethereum has been hit with the South Korean government’s talk, Ethereum down 9.37%, with the ICO market unable to prop up Ethereum in the midst of all the negative chatter.

It was only going to be a matter of time before governments and regulators stepped up the fight against money laundering and the funding of criminal activities, with 2017’s exponential gains raising multiple red flags from a regulatory perspective.

Bitcoin’s fall to mid-$12,000 levels has been a rapid one this morning, with the decline from $13,000 levels coming in just the last 30-minutes.

It’s certainly not looking bullish for the cryptomarkets and with talks of money laundering and theft adding to the negative sentiment, there are plenty of reasons for governments and regulators to begin taking a firm stance on exchanges and the anonymity offered.

Based on current trends, support levels are falling away and Bitcoin could be sitting at sub-$12,000 before the afternoon. The only real question the cryptomarkets will be asking is if this is the end.

To date, the cryptomarkets have found ways around government control and oversight, but the threat of a coordinated global effort is something that may be too much, even for the most evasive of exchanges.

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Bitcoin Struggles for Direction, with Canada Looking set for a Bitcoin Rush

The Bitcoin bulls were in search of a rally going into the weekend and things were looking good in the early part of the weekend, with Bitcoin moving to a weekend high $14,619.

There was a lack of momentum however and, with volumes on the lighter side through the weekend, it was downhill from there, with Bitcoin closing out the weekend down from Friday’s $14,167.98 close to a Sunday close of $13,732.75.

Last week, the South Korean government demonstrated just how influential governments and regulators can be on the direction of cryptocurrencies, with the threat of a ban on trading and a shutdown of the exchanges a scenario that could still play out at any time.

This time around, the government’s decision was to go against the Justice Department’s plans to introduce legislation to ban trading. While the U-turn eased tensions, the reality remains that the cryptocurrency landscape is changing, with new laws in South Korea requiring identity verification, the government having banned the opening of anonymous accounts.

There is still plenty for the markets to consider and some uncertainty over what impact the Chinese government’s planned clamp down on Bitcoin mining will play a hand in the direction of Bitcoin over the near-term.

Bitcoin is unlikely to see hashrates collapse, post an initial correction, with the mining cartel likely to relocate mining operations to other favourable mining environments, where electricity costs are low and temperatures are on the cooler side.

Bitcoin hashrates fell from Saturday’s 17.8749E to 16.7562E on Sunday. It’s too early to suggest that Sunday’s decline was as a result of the Chinese government’s progress on bringing an end to the power sapping mining that has certainly been rewarding for the Cartel.

It will be interesting to see who reaps the benefit of the Chinese government’s decision to bring mining to an end, with the market chatter pointing to Canada, Switzerland, the U.S and even India.

Bitmain has already announced a Swiss mining arm and is in talks with the Canadian government to open mining operations in Quebec, with Quebec reportedly producing a significant hydropower surplus, which would fuel a mining boom.

In the meantime, a fall in Bitcoin hashrates will be considered a negative, with Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold likely to benefit until the dust settles, though even Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold are struggling at the start of the week.

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At the time of writing, Bitcoin was down 0.25% to $13,613.6, with Bitcoin falling back from an intraday high $13,831.7.

It perhaps comes as little surprise that Bitcoin futures prices are down through the day, with 17th January contract down $170 to $13,630 and March’s contract down $260 to $13,550.

With the futures contracts providing very little direction for Bitcoin investors, investors will continue to look elsewhere for opportunity, with BNB up 10.3% against the Dollar, NEM’s XEM up 6.92% and EOS up 6.21% through the first half of the day.

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Interview with Andrew MacDonald, JoyToken CEO

  • How was the idea of JoyToken born?

It started whilst we were working on an online casino build, we were asking key questions about what makes an online casino product stand out and started to deconstruct some key issues with the industry. We noted that there had been some stagnation and complacency with no real innovation. There were a number of games providers, all generating similar content with no real commitment to building something new – mainly the same engine with a new skin wrapped around it. We also noted that there were key providers that generated the most desirable content, yet they too lack true innovation. From the view of the player, we felt that there was room to grow and that not only could we produce some great games, but we could add another USP using blockchain technology – true transparency. With this technology comes the opportunity to log every single transaction on a smart contract and for each individual player to audit their play should they wish to. This builds an environment where trust in a system isn’t necessary as we would have full disclosure with the player. Project JoyToken was a concept made reality from these observations; we believe that we have the power to shake things up and challenge the status quo.

  • Can you explain the common people about your product?

Simply speaking, we’re making it easier for games developers to create casino games and to bring them to market (the players). We then have a deal with the developers whereby they receive a revenue share from their games paid in JoyTokens. The developers are free to create something original and innovative or create a run of the mill type of game. We handle all the legal and compliance. The only catch is that they need to include our code to make sure that players can check the validity of their bet. All in all, it’s good for the people building the games and good for the players.

As the company is carrying out ICO, what has already been done and what are you going to create on the money collected by the ICO?

So far we’ve been working on the technology; making sure that we have a workable product. The API demo of this code is available on It’s been essential that we show the world that we can do what we promise as the ICO cash will be spent on developing the business in other areas. We’ll need to invest in outreach programmes to bring games developers on board, increase our number of developer staff to review code from all independent partners that wish to publish their games, expand our compliance team, as well as marketing the games on our platform to both content providers and players. Last but not least, we will be educating players about the benefits of playing with JoyToken. We want to do this quickly and the cash injection from the ICO should accommodate this.

  • How does JoyToken differ from similar services? How can your innovative service assist the gaming industry?

We’re bringing a totally new approach to the eGaming space. We’re passionate about games and our players, and as such we’re hoping our independent development community will create exciting and innovative content. We believe that the current obstacles that inhibit developers have strangled innovation as small players cannot bring their games to market without extreme costs and be having to do a lot of ‘leg work’ to get the game published by content providers. This is why most of the content on casinos looks similar and is created by a handful of large firms. In terms of the player, aside from great games content, we’re using the blockchain technology to ensure full transparency with the player. Every wager is logged in a smart contract and is fully auditable by any user should they wish to. This creates a robust system where trust and faith in the system and outcomes are completely unnecessary. Ultimately, we’re about empowerment, fun, and transparency.

  • How do you see the future of gaming industry? How can JoyToken be part of it?

Every so often industries has revolutions. Look at what’s going on with cars – for decades it’s all about the internal combustion engine, now the focus is on an electric future. Okay, so the online gaming space is comparatively new, but realistically the games and content are age-old and can be traced back to mid-20th-century ideas in land-based casinos – in any case, it’s all about reputation, faith, and trust in all transactions. Although we acknowledge that the existing system has served the industry well, we believe that it’s time for a change… time for our revolution. We’re bringing down barriers to allow innovation and we’re including an API to ensure all wagers are logged with full transparency. The gaming industry knows change is coming, but it’s reluctant to embrace the new and often the large firms have so much red-tape that they’ll take time to get up to date. JoyToken is nimble, dynamic and focussed on this change – we’re bringing tomorrow’s technology to the sector today. We believe that by the time other entities in the eGaming space catch up, we’ll have carved out a new sector in the market. We are already in discussions regarding partnerships for our content, so keep an eye on us – we’re coming!

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  • Why do you need Token Sale?

The token sale will be instrumental in allowing us to have more resource to ensure we get the product up and running as quick as possible. We don’t have the resources of the larger content providers and games vendors, but we do have the technology. We will be investing heavily in people required to grow this business at an exponential rate: Marketing, Sales, Developers, Legal to name only a few key areas that are essential for this growth.

  • What are your plans after ending of Token Sale?

The sale is just the beginning. Following the sale, we see 2018 as an exciting year for us. We’ve got our API ready and we’re working on the user interfaces – this will be a key development as it’s player facing. We’ll be reaching out to independent developers and building our community to generate content for our platform. We will be launching our games in partnership with our sister company’s online casino and will be forging further partnerships with e-gaming providers and solutions to ensure a broad reach with our content.

South Korea U-Turn – The Cryptocurrency Winners

Following news hitting the cryptocurrency markets on Thursday morning of the South Korean government looking to ban cryptocurrency trading and shut down the exchanges, the cryptomarket went into sell-off mode.

The market response was somewhat surprising when considering the implications, South Korean cryptocurrency holders needing to sell their coins in a worse-case scenario or at best, deal with the uncertainty of a possible clamp down on being able to trade on exchanges beyond South Korea’s borders a major issue.

Bitcoin slumped to a low of $12,000 in the early part of the day on Thursday, which was not far off Thursday’s $13,057.48 close.

There’s likely to be some debate over the government’s handling of the situation, with the government distancing itself from the Ministry of Justice that had released the statement on introducing legislation to bring to an end cryptocurrency trading.

Interestingly, there had been reports of a petition being signed calling for the resignation of the head of the Ministry of Justice in response to its statement. Whether the Ministry of Strategy and Finance flinched at the prospect of voter backlash will never be known, but one thing comes to light from the events of yesterday and this morning.

While governments and central banks will have some influence on the availability and performance of cryptocurrencies, voters will certainly make their voice heard. South Koreans have been known to hit the streets in protest and a backlash over such a ban would have certainly been an embarrassing one for the government, particularly when considering the size of the cryptomarkets today.

Through early part of the day today, the recovery has not been as spectacular for Bitcoin as for some of the other cryptocurrencies on offer. The less than impressive gains this morning will likely be down to two key reasons:

  • Bitcoin trading volumes are less concentrated than other cryptocurrencies, with the threat of a South Korean ban on trading and the shutting down of exchanges in South Korea having less of an impact on Bitcoin demand and therefore price.
  • Investors will have gone elsewhere in the early part of today in search of the more sensitive cryptocurrencies, which would have been a simple task. The cryptocurrencies that tanked the most on the South Korean news would have also most likely seen the biggest upside in the event of a U-turn, which would have also eased appetite for Bitcoin and the Bitcoin clan.

Bitcoin has gained just 3.32% to $13,683.1 at the time of writing and, as has been the case since mid-December, the Futures market may well be to blame, with the January Cboe Bitcoin futures contract rising by just $360 to $13,680 at the time of writing.

It will be interesting to see how Bitcoin moves through the weekend, once the futures markets are closed, with Bitcoin currently sitting well below the start of the week $16,300 high.

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So, looking through the cryptomarket this morning, there have been some impressive returns for investors dipping their toes back into the market.

At the top end of the market cap table, Ripple has rallied 6.86% to 2.066 at the time of writing, recovering from a Thursday $1.514 low.

Going down the table, Stellar’s Lumen has been far more impressive, surging 21.6% through the early part of the day, with NXT and Binance’s BNB also impressing, with gains of 13.6% and 10.51% respectively.

While there have been some impressive gains, particularly amongst the more recently launched coins, a little more damage has been done to the cryptomarket and its image, with the fact that governments and central banks are able to have such an influence on the broader market being of particular concern.

Time will tell whether Bitcoin investors will regain the confidence to drive Bitcoin back towards $20,000, with the recent trends certainly suggesting that forecasts of $40,000 by the end of the year may have been a little too optimistic.

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RepuX Launches a Sharing Ethereum-Backed Data Platform

A company currently in its pre-sale Token sale is RepuX. RepuX is taking a variety of decentralized blockchain technologies, including Ethereum, to deliver a protocol that enables data producers to increase earnings from their data output by streamlining the circulation process, targeting small to medium-sized business.

The RepuX platform will allow business to sell anonymised data and earn RepuX tokens, with the platform already live and usable and not just a white paper.

When considering the amount of data that sits in electronic storage and unused, the very fact that the data can now be uploaded and shared on the RepuX platform means that smaller sized companies will be able to share their works in the RepuX marketplace, without having to go out into the real world and try to find interested parties, with the global nature of RepuX bringing down cross-border issues faced by many companies.

On the other side of the coin, small and medium-sized companies will also have access to much-needed data to progress and streamline existing and up and coming projects in order to increase the probability of success, without having to hire the world’s leading developers, which the smaller companies are certainly unable to afford. Such a marketplace levels the playing field, with David able to fight more successfully against Goliath for market share.

The RepuX token pre-sale started on 17th November 2017 and is scheduled to end on 5th March 2018, with the token sale starting on 6th March and ending on 5th April 2018.

40% of proceeds from the RPX token sale will be used to cover development costs, 25% for marketing, 20% for partnerships and 15% for operations, with a total supply of 500,000,000 RepuX tokens at an estimated price of 1 RepuX to US$0.20, with prices, discounted on a rising scale from a 50% presale discount to a 10% discount on 2nd March.

Interested parties can access more information from the RepuX website.

South Korea Sinks the Cryptomarket

It’s been a rough ride for the cryptocurrencies at the turn of the year and it looks like it’s going to get a little tougher before there is any improvement in market conditions.

The major cryptocurrencies have seen heavy selling pressure through the morning and it’s all been down to the South Korean government, which has continued to plague the cryptocurrencies since the end of last year.

Going back to the rallies across the cryptocurrencies in December, much of the gains were attributed to the increased trading activity in South Korea. Both Ripple and Litecoin were beneficiaries, with the pair managing to break through to record high levels through much of the 2nd half of December.

Things have shifted at the turn of the year however and it’s come down to regulatory risk. If investors were of the view that the cryptomarkets were free and clear of government and central bank oversight, they have been clearly mistaken and, while certain governments have been embracing, others have not.

The market is in its infancy and there is no common ground amongst the G7 or G20 on how to handle cryptocurrencies, so it’s each to their own and the South Korean government is certainly not aligned with the Japanese government, when it comes to Asia.

Concerns over cyber-theft may well be the government’s motivation, with frequent reports of the North Korean government steeling cryptocurrencies a major concern, as the North looks to build its nuclear capabilities and ruffle the feathers of the South and the West.

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Looking at current valuations, there will be a temptation for investors to jump in and take advantage of the recent declines, with Bitcoin down at sub-$14,000 and Ripple sitting at $1.6476. The argument could be that if things were really that bad then Ethereum would have also followed up with a sizeable loss. The difference here is that Ethereum’s gains didn’t come in mid to late December, of the back of rising demand from South Korea. Ethereum’s gains came in spite of the initial reports of the South Korean government looking to clamp down on the cryptomarkets, which makes Ethereum less sensitive to the news.

How the cryptos will fare through the remainder of the day remains to be seen, but with Cboe Bitcoin futures down at $13,740 for January expiry and with Bitcoin currently down 7.09% to $13,835, there’s not much wriggle room for the crypto and the other majors to look to move ahead on.

We are unlikely to get any comments from the South Korean government that could shift sentiment through the rest of the day, with the raiding of exchanges and investigations into South Korean banks, not to mention the Justice Department’s intentions to introduce legislation to ban the trading of cryptocurrencies all quite dire for the markets.

Unless there is a U-turn, things are likely to go from bad to worse until the exchanges find a way to circumvent the system and provide the platforms in other jurisdictions, away from the purview of the South Korean government.

It’s testing times and investors will be hoping that the anti-cryptocurrency movement does not spread to other major crypto-centres. While there is no news of such a scenario, as we have seen with the South Korean government, the decision can be spontaneous and that’s never good for a market.

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Game Changer: Kodak Plans to Launch KodakCoin Cryptocurrency on ICO

To-date, initial coin offerings have been launched by start-ups looking to develop blockchain technology to upgrade archaic processes in the interest of both businesses and consumers, whilst looking for a decentralized platform and a digital currency that sits away from the purview of governments and banks.

The world of photography is a maze when it comes to the licensing and registration of works and its KODAKOne’s intention to revamp the market and provide photographers with a piece of the pie, by providing a platform for photographers to, not only register and license new and archived works on the platform, but also receive payment for the licensing of works and have a platform for the sale of works that has certainly been restrictive to the growth of the industry in recent years.

KODAKOne platform will also the identify unlicensed use of images, ensuring that such images enter into the licensing process in order to reward the relevant photographers.

KODAKCoin will be the cryptocurrency and will be the payment method for agencies and photographers to buy and sell works stored on KODAKOne’s ledger and to make the fee payments in the licensing and registration process.

KODAK announced the partnership with WENN Digital and the planned Initial Coin Offering on 9th January 2018. Eastman KODAK Co’s share price surged 119.36% to $6.80 on the New York Stock Exchange upon Kodak’s announcement, with the returns more akin to a cryptocurrency move than that of a long-established stock listed on a long established stock exchange.

At the time of writing, the share price is up another 70% in the pre-market open, with the continued rally a clear indication of just how well the markets and investors have received the news and how well the KODAKOne ICO will likely perform at the end of January. While the KODAKOne platform will provide existing agencies and professional photographers with a platform to manage the licensing and registration of new and archived photography, the platform will also bring the market the amateur photographers and up-and-coming photographers looking to showcase their work in a bid to make a living from photography.

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Payments will be made with KODAKCoins, replacing the use of fiat currency, which will make KODAKOne’s cryptocurrency the photographic community’s monetary unit of the future, taking the industry into the digital world, quite apt considering the fact that photography had transitioned to digital format many years ago.

With KODAK’s entry into the crypto world gripping the financial markets by storm, the planned Telegram ICO in March of this year is also another one for investors to look out for, with the ICO expected to be the largest ever. There is a distinct difference between the intentions of the two companies, however, with KODAK looking to revamp the photography industry, while Telegram is looking to deliver a decentralized global payment system, taking advantage of it’s more than 180m existing Telegram app users.

KODAK will certainly be the oldest company to-date to launch develop its own ICO, with Eastman KODAK established back in 1888. The announcement will likely lead to a domino effect and stock market investors may also begin to speculate on which companies will be next to announce blockchain tech that could deliver similar gains to those enjoyed by Eastman KODAK this week.

ICO Market Update: Telegram and Kodak ICOs in Focus

Telegram is a well know social media chat platform and is launching its very own blockchain technology and cryptocurrency that will be used to make payments on its Telegram application and more.

Funds raised from the Telegram ICO will be used to meet the development and running costs of the project and the ICO is anticipated to be the largest in the ICO market’s nascent history, with Telegram expected to raise hundreds of millions of Dollars in presales, with the ICO scheduled for March of this year.

Telegram’s blockchain platform is to be called Telegram Open Network (“TON”) that will be integrated into its existing messenger app, with the release of Gram, Telegram’s very own cryptocurrency. The TON platform will allow Telegram users to transfer money via the Telegram platform, away from the prying eyes of governments and central banks.

Expectations are that Telegram will be able to handle one million transactions per second, which is significantly quicker than other platforms in the marketplace, including Bitcoin and Litecoin.

According to the project team, 200 million Grams will be released, 4% of which will be allocated to the development team, 52% to be held in storage to prevent speculative trading, with the remaining 44% to be distributed to investors.

The coins are likely to go fast when considering the fact that Telegram has close to 200 million users globally and in presales alone, the team has targeted to raise $500m, with the market cap of TON estimated to ultimately sit between $3bn and $5bn.

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With Telegram’s March ICO anticipated to be possibly the largest ever, Kodak is also jumping on the blockchain tech bandwagon, with Kodak’s ICO scheduled for the end of this month.

Kodak is joining forces with WENN Digital on the project that is expected to provide photographers and agencies with a digital ledger of rights of ownership, ultimately enabling photographers to register their works. KODAKCoin, the currency, will then be used to make payments for the rights and licenses, with photographers and agencies likely to register both old and new works on the ledger.

The platform, to be named KODAKOne, will likely open the photography market, allowing amateur photographers to also showcase and look to sell works via the KODAKOne platform.

While the ICO is not anticipated to raise as much as Telegram ICO, there’s plenty of hype around the KODAKOne ICO, with KODAK’s (“KODK”) share price having surged a whopping 119.36% to $6.80 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, following the announcement of the 31st January ICO.

The very fact that KODAK’s share price rallied by such a huge amount will likely see the KODAKOne ICO draw a lot of attention in a few weeks. If an established stock on the NYSE can deliver more than a 100% single day rally, one can only imagine how KODAKOne will perform.

YoCoin Cryptocurrency Price Accelerates with Higher Trading Volume as New Features Ahead

YoCoin, a decentralized P2P digital currency created to allow people to store and invest their wealth in a non-government controlled currency while delivering attractive interest on investment has attracted investors’ attention recently.

As with Bitcoin, the YoCoin ethos is to provide financial freedom to those looking to get out of the world of banking and the centralization that comes with it, where the concept of customer care and security of information no longer exists.

YoCoin can be used to transfer money to friends and family, as well as to pay for goods and services, giving the holder complete freedom to transfer from one wallet to another in a safe and secure manner.

For businesses looking for an alternative to credit and debit cards and cash payments, YoCoin offers a cheap and secure platform, with no chargebacks, low fraud and none of the form filling exercises and compliance checks that businesses and consumers have to go through to open an account and manage fund transactions.

YoCoin is also launching a ‘plug and play’ merchant platform to make it even easier for businesses to accept YoCoin as an alternative payment system.

Launched in 2016, YoCoin had an impressive end to 2017 and start to 2018, with YoCoin rallying from an end of September 2017 $0.001215 to a year-end $0.056882 and to $0.068136 as at the time of writing.

While YoCoin’s current market price sits well below its mid-2016 $0.343787 peak, the outlook is bright and with Bitcoin’s speed bumps, the current rally reflects the upbeat sentiment towards the capabilities and the future of YoCoin.

For those interested in YoCoin and all that it has to offer, the YoCoin website has a wealth of information and also provides a list of exchanges and wallets to help kick-start the YOLife, also you are welcome to email for any questions.

Is that the end of the Great Ripple?

Following all the crypto-hype of December, things have certainly turned and the cryptomarkets are getting hammered through the early part of January, with the current week declines being particularly telling of market sentiment towards the cryptocurrencies.

We’ve heard all the news and seen the impact that governments can have on cryptocurrencies, with each country owning the power to shut down exchanges, ban initial coin offerings and more. Does that make cryptocurrencies a flawed concept, with the entire ethos of Satoshi Nakamoto having been to take the power away from the governments and central banks?

On the face of it, there is a strong argument that the cryptos have been marred by recent government interventions, but the reality remains that the fundamental concept remains intact. There’s no printing of cryptos and rewards for cryptocurrency holders that come from the verification process continues to remain independent and out of the hands of a single authority.

Ethos intact, but governments in power. That has been the downfall of the cryptocurrencies this week, with Cboe Bitcoin futures falling by $480 to $14,310 for January’s maturity, by $550 to $14,260 for the February contract and by $570 to $14,300 for the March contract.

The smart money has certainly responded to the regulatory risk noise that even the less savvy investor knows is bad news for the cryptos. The fact that Bitcoin futures are sitting well above Bitcoin’s current value of $13,700 is perhaps more worrisome. The futures market has managed to pin back the likes of Bitcoin from any late 2017 rally that had been enjoyed by many of the other cryptocurrencies, but is providing little comfort as investors shun the futures contracts as a pricing guide, looking to preserve capital and 2017 gains instead.

It’s not looking particularly bright for Bitcoin and the rest of the majors through the remainder of the day and, while the futures contracts have some buffer for Bitcoin to move northwards, it’s more likely that Bitcoin futures will be taking its cues from Bitcoin today.

While Ethereum has taken the limelight this week, even the world’s 2nd largest cryptocurrency by market share is fallible, with Ethereum having pulled back from today’s intraday high $1,386.99 to $1,271.25 at the time of writing.

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For the day ahead, it’s going to be a tough one for the cryptomarket and one doesn’t have to go too far back to recall the last time that Bitcoin was under the hammer and talks had built of a possible end to the Bitcoin dream.

We will expect the Bitcoin futures contracts to catch up to the negative sentiment towards the cryptos, which should see Bitcoin futures fall to Bitcoin’s current values, though whether Bitcoin can steady this afternoon remains to be seen.

Investors will be looking to work out re-entry prices and for some, entry prices though, with the speed of today’s declines, when to enter the markets will be a hot topic in key markets.

Ripple at $1.64 and Bitcoin at sub-$14,000 sound like bargains, but buying on the dip would certainly not be recommended today.

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Ethereum Leads the Way in the Face of South Korean Adversity

It was a tough start to the week for Bitcoin, which stumbled from a weekend high $17,234.99 to an intraday low $13,900 before recovering to close the day at 15,179.68 on Monday.

We’ve talked about regulatory risk being the key driver for the markets, following the impact of South Korean government chatter on the cryptocurrencies late last year.

Monday was no different and the effects were certainly evident, with losses seen across the board, with one exception, Ethereum that has appeared to shift a gear through the first week of the year and manage to hold on to $1,000 levels whilst those around sit well below record highs.

At the time of writing, Ethereum was up 6.41% to $1,209.92, with the doom and gloom of yesterday’s news seemingly having little long-term effect on appetite for a currency that had given up the number 2 spot, albeit for a very short period of time.

Perhaps good news for investors this morning has been a bounce back by the Bitcoin clan, with Bitcoin up 1.37% to $15,204.98 at the time of writing, recovering from an intraday low $14,816.87 hit earlier in the day.

We will expect Bitcoin to be the market’s litmus test for risk appetite this week as investors grapple with the South Korean government’s chatter on regulation, with the markets likely to have been a little too sensitive to the comments.

Even for cryptocurrencies where South Korean investors account for the largest trading volumes, such as Zcash, there has been on the bounce this morning, which supports the view that the currencies may have been oversold on Monday.

Volatility is certainly significantly greater than the more traditional asset classes and with it, the bad news swings continue to be more significant.

Monday’s declines looks to have provided investor opportunity rather than deliver a more significant blow to the markets, though it remains too early to say what the eventual outcome of all of the increased oversight will be and what effect they will have on overall volumes.

Barring any further negative chatter, the currencies are likely to remain in recovery mode, while Ethereum rallies in what has been an impressive response to Ripple’s challenge.

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This morning’s Bitcoin recovery that has provided much needed support to the broader market, comes off the back of a rebound in the futures market.

The Cboe futures contract for January had hit an intraday low of $14,560, before recovering to $15,040 at the time of writing. In contrast to the January contract gains through the early part of the day, both February and March expiries on the Cboe futures exchange were in the red at the time of writing, with February’s contract down $70 to $14,900.

The ranges are particularly narrow in spite of the degree of uncertainty that has pressured the cryptomarkets this week and that should be considered a positive.

Whether Bitcoin can find its legs through the remainder of the day remains to be seen, but one thing looks certain and that is Ethereum staying on the front foot, as it continues to fight off the competition and defy gravity.

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The Next Bitcoin, Avoid Your Fear of Missing Out

After all, elephants don’t dance is the old stock market adage, so surely there are smaller stocks worth keeping an eye on.

Litecoin Litespeed

Traders look for instance at the recent Litecoin example. A currency which is meant to mimic Bitcoin in that it is supposed to be faster at settlement and with a greater supply of coins. Well, it went from $100 in the first week of December, to $370 by the middle of December and currently is trading at $252.

And without any news, any announcements, no new major institutional user or investor. So the reason? Access. Coinbase made it possible for more people to access Litecoin.

Exactly how big is the popularity of such exchanges for trading. Well, if you remember the dot-com boom, then here is an interesting fact – Coinbase already has more customers than Charles Schwab. Over 10m to be precise.

Price Lite

A key reason for the push is UX – user experience. I know from my years of trading online, writing about trading online in the Financial Times, presenting on trading online on Bloomberg TV – that the simple fact that if Litecoin is priced at say $300 and Bitcoin at say $13,000, that makes private investors think Lite is the next Bitcoin because they think $300 will go to $13,000.

And in a stupid, dot-com kind of way, this is what the users want you to think. It is not new to the market. It is a general rule of thumb that US stocks grow from $50 to $100 and then split. Sure, not a strict rule, but it didn’t half fuel quite a few rallies. Whilst it may take a traditional stock, like Microsoft a year to go from $50 to $100, the point is the number, not the timeframe.

You see, users forget they can buy fractions of Bitcoin, so in a sense, it’s price per coin is irrelevant. Its value is more important. But when did you meet rational investors, let alone speculators?

Or as Barberis at the University of Washington put it in 2005: “In addition, prior studies show that investors with a taste for gambling concentrate their trading in lottery-like stocks with high skewness and volatility and low nominal prices.”

Basically, it’s a lottery ticket to people who see nominal prices as a sign of value. And that is the attitude of many people. But then again, trading and investing is about buying low and selling higher. Whether you sell to a fool or not is irrelevant, as long as it is higher.

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Bringing up the rear

Other currencies seemingly benefiting from this no news rallies include Verge, IOTA, Monero, Tron, Qtum, Cardano and Stellar Lumens.

Verge: Supposed to be better than Bitcoin by making transactions untraceable so maintaining privacy. It has a market cap over a billion US dollars*. Never in the history of the markets have so many become so big so fast. Leave your morality at the door.

Tron: A market cap of $3 billion* and its goal is to use the blockchain to allow users to control data they publish and how it is distributed including cost.

Cardano: Used for smart contracts and already worth $14 billion*. Its technology will help in compliance and identity recognition.

IOTA: This one doesn’t even use the blockchain but its focus is zero fees in peer to peer transfer. Again a crypto solving one but not all problems. If you think that problem is really important, then this is one for you.

Monero: After celebrities, such a Mariah Carey started accepting the coin, this crypto whose aim is to hide origin and destination of transactions, started skyrocketing.

Qtum: This aims to be the best of Bitcoin and Ethereum by using the Bitcoin blockchain and its proven reliability and using Ethereum’s smart contract flexibility.

This article was written by Alpesh Patel, a hedge fund manager and author of Trading Online (Financial Times). Patel is a partner to 24option, offering CFD trading on Cryptocurrencies.

The content of this article constitutes Marketing Communication and does not qualify as Investment Advice or Investment Research. 24option accepts no liability for the content of this article, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.

Ethereum takes the Battle to Ripple

The weekend was a telling one for Ethereum that had given up its 2nd place ranking to Ripple at the turn of the year, with many seeing Ripple as Bitcoin’s main challenger for the number one spot in 2018.

It’s been a stellar weekend for Ethereum however and, while Bitcoin may have coughed up its weekend gains, Ethereum has been on the rise with gains of 8.85% to $1217.33 at the time of writing.

Having broken through to $1,000 levels for the first time last Thursday, talk of an end to Ethereum’s dominance behind Bitcoin has certainly woken up investors who had been looking elsewhere for the exponential gains that many have become accustomed to.

Sideways moves are of no interest to anyone and cryptocurrencies face significant selling pressure even after a few days of lateral instead of vertical.

For Ripple, today’s losses have been telling, with Ripple down 9.52% to $2.5.

The good news is that, in spite of Ripple’s losses in recent days, there are three major cryptocurrencies with market caps in excess of the $100bn market.

The bad news is that investors may be unclear on who actually has the greatest influence on the future of the cryptos, the teams developing and bringing the respective blockchain technologies into the real world, or the exchanges who decide what can and can’t be sold.

If there was a moment when it became evident that the cryptomarket is just not mature enough, it would have been the market response to the announcement that additional cryptocurrencies would not be included on the Coinbase exchange.

It’s been downhill ever since for Ripple and Ethereum has been the primary beneficiary. Since the news, Ripple has seen its market cap slump to $100.66bn, with Ethereum retaking 2nd spot, with a market cap of $120.04bn.

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While Ethereum and Ripple fight it out for the number 2 spot, Bitcoin investors have something interesting to consider.

Going into the weekend, Bitcoin managed to rally through to 17,000 levels, before coughing up the gains ahead of the start to the new week. The relationship between Bitcoin and Bitcoin futures during the week is certainly evident, with today’s 1.71% decline to $15,849.01 more likely to be as a result of Bitcoin future contract declines than a shift in sentiment towards Bitcoin itself.

Through the early part of the day, the Cboe’s January Bitcoin contract was down $885 to $15,890 at the time of writing. With the futures markets closed through the weekend, the influence of the Cboe and CME futures platforms appears to soften on the Bitcoin clan and Bitcoin in particular.

It’s too early to suggest that such a trend will likely establish itself, particularly when there is no suggestion in the futures markets that $17,000 are on the horizon at the time of writing, even when looking down the road towards March expiry.

Friday’s settlement price on the January contract may well have supported a move to $17,000 levels, but one does wonder whether investors on the futures markets are taking a similar view with regards to the unsupervised weekends.

Momentum for now is with Ethereum, but we’re not likely to see the other cryptos go through the day without attempting to draw in some of the appetite. Ripple has lost the most and has the least to gain for investor sentiment to bounce back. For Ethereum, it’s going to be about holding on to $1,000 levels. A pull back to sub-$1,000 could see appetite for Ripple return.

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Regulators, Exchanges and their influence on Cryptos

What was gearing up to be an interesting week for Bitcoin has ended with little more than a huff, after talk of the South Korean government shutting down the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges, saw Bitcoin fall back to sub-$13,000 levels.

The reality is that such a move would have a far greater price impact than seen over the last week and the very fact that central banks and governments still have the power to have such a material impact on what is considered to be a decentralized, independent alternative to fiat currency goes to show that it’s not quite what it says on the label.

For now, the South Korean government appears willing to allow the exchanges to continue, though they will certainly be under increased scrutiny, and if there are more cyber-attacks that can be linked back to North Korea, then speculation may build again on whether there will be more from the government.

Other good news for Bitcoin was the China’s PBoC stating that there would be no ban on Bitcoin mining, though the talk of increased power consumption will test the government’s new found interest in the environment.

Regulatory risk remains one of the key risks that the cryptomarket faces and with Bitcoin being the largest by market cap, it has more to lose.

Bitcoin closed the day relatively flat on Thursday, down just 0.65% on the day, having fallen to an intraday low $14,192.37 in the early part of the day.

A lack of chatter and an uninspiring futures market has seen investors look elsewhere for gains. The Cboe Bitcoin futures January contract is up $115 to $15,060 at the time of writing, easing back from an intraday high $15,280. The limited upside and Bitcoin’s falling market dominance can be partially associated with the launch of the Bitcoin futures market last month.

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Adding further direction towards the cryptocurrencies is crypto-exchange chatter. As was the case on Thursday, with Coinbase killing off rumours of Ripple being included and last month’s talk of insider dealing and the resulting impact on Bitcoin Cash. These are just two examples of how much influence the larger exchanges have on the direction of the crypto-majors and in an unregulated environment, manipulation is likely to be more common than the news feeds suggest.

As the markets begin to view Bitcoin as more of a tradable asset class and less of a speculative investment that can derive exponential gains, sensitivity to the noise will be akin to the impact of central bank commentary on fiat currencies. The question will be whether crypto-exchanges will take advantage of their position of influence, as central bankers do, or simply provide the necessary platforms for investors to trade.

With Bitcoin down just 0.5% at $15,067.32 at the time of writing, the day ahead looks to be an almost mirror of how the market played out on Thursday and, if there any signs of one of the other cryptocurrencies looking to make a move, that’s likely to be another negative for the Bitcoin futures and Bitcoin clan.

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CryptoMania: TerraNova Surges 500%. Ripple, Cardano, Stellar and TRON with Double Digits Gains

The action continues in the cryptomarkets as more and more coins begin to come under the limelight. The BTC market is in a bit of a lull as the bitcoin futures has helped to cap the gains for now and also, the regulators seem to be focussing increasingly on the BTC market which has made the investors and the speculators a bit edgy. That is why they have been shifting their attention to the altcoins and today, Terranova has been the star.

This crypto had been quiet for a long time and a study of its history shows that there has been very little volume in it during this long period. But it looks as though some big investor or whale seems to have noticed it over the last couple of days as its price has surged by over 500% over the last 2 days and it now trades comfortably over the $2500 region as of this writing. There does not seem to be any specific fundamental developments or news that has made the price of the coin go berserk during this period but it looks more like some serious investor entering into this market.

Other altcoins are also enjoying the limelight as ripple, TRON, Cardano and Stellar have posted double digit gains over the last 24 hours with ripple especially having a great time over the last couple of weeks having more than tripled during this period. It is turning out to be a survival of the fittest in these markets and it remains to be seen which of thee cryptos would be able to overcome the odds and gain the attention of the investors and traders who would in turn help to push the demand and the prices higher.

The Future of Cryptocurrencies: There’s a 20% Chance of a Significant Correction

What will happen next year? Crypto-technologies have integrated deeply into the financial world – the future of Bitcoin has already been announced, cryptocurrencies are indexed on exchanges, token sales successfully raise funds. Without any doubts, cryptocurrencies have become part of the economic landscape.

But will this development continue at the same incredible pace, or will it instead become more streamlined? Will the Bitcoin’s rate continue to grow, or can we look forward to some correction? How flexible or rigid is regulation going to become?

We asked the head of BANKEX Capital Network David Finkelstein to share his insights about the future of cryptocurrencies in 2018.

  • To what extent are cryptocurrencies accepted today?

Many affluent people today still have no faith in cryptocurrency, attributing its dynamics to the hype and expecting it to crash. Personally, I don’t believe in such collapse. I believe cryptocurrency is going to find its place in the modern economy, even though for the time being, unlike other assets, it has no fundamental evaluation.

When, for example, you purchase shares in Tesla, you can look to the various models in order to estimate the fundamental values of the shares. Which is why, if Tesla shares suddenly skyrockets, it will be clear to everyone whether its price is warranted. This model, at least, allows you to understand what kind of profitability the marketplaces in the shares.

In case of Bitcoin, however, there is no such model, so nobody knows how much it should be worth. From my perspective, its proper value is supposed to be derived from the quotient of USD people are willing to store in it. For instance, if people are willing to store $100M in Bitcoins, while the total amount of bitcoins is 21 million, we can divide one by the other then we will receive a reasonable exchange rate for Bitcoin.

  • Why store dollars in Bitcoins? Will cryptocurrency replace fiat currencies?

This is unlikely to happen. Because there are countries that can, at any point, put an end to the existence of the crypto world. It’s not complicated, but they don’t want to do it. What they want to do is to head this whole movement in order to collect taxes. That is why regulators all over the world are pondering how to find a better approach in this field. And when they come to a conclusion, which may well take time, the rules of the game will change.

  • Bitcoin is already being referred to as “digital gold” and one of its unique features is its finite amount. We don’t know how much gold there is in the world, and someone might discover a new mine and start extracting it. That is not the case with bitcoin. Imagine if there was a limited amount of dollars and you could never print more.

That’s normal, it means there is a secondary market needed. Bitcoin, like anything else, has its market price, which is currently being defined by crypto exchanges. In economics this is always the case: when a person has an asset, there will always be a sum for which the person would be willing to sell this asset. If everyone decides to sell the Bitcoins they have,  its price will decrease. Whereas if many people decide they want to buy them – their price will grow. But between them, there will always be an equilibrium price.

  • Will other cryptocurrencies as powerful as bitcoin emerge anytime soon? Right now we see an enormous gap between Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies.

Generally speaking, all cryptocurrencies is a whole. Bitcoin grows simply due to the fact that the concept of crypto-currency is associated only with it. The investments from non-professional players have begun to invest in Bitcoin and that stimulated such a growth – an asset can only keep growing while there is a demand for it. If it’s a bubble, then it bursts once the influx of buyers comes to an end. This leads to a natural state of panic and all starts to collapse.

  • Can you make a balanced portfolio out of cryptocurrencies? Even though they move together with Bitcoin?

Yes, you can. A balanced portfolio can be made out of anything. Every time we add any new asset, it decreases the overall volatility of the portfolio.

  • What should one add to bitcoin in order to make such a portfolio?

That depends on the goals of the portfolio. If it’s solely for sake of exposure to crypto, then you would need to add other cryptocurrencies. But there are many nuances. If it’s a long-term portfolio, then it would require some Bitcoin, some Ether, and some other cryptocurrencies, evaluating them in terms of reliability and combining them with reasonable counterweights. You can calculate the Kelly Criterion, optimize your portfolio… but all of this has to be done professionally.

  • Are there other secure cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin and Ether that are worth including in your portfolio?

There must be, but I am not ready to name them. The reality today is that people mine whatever is the cheapest because it’s easier. But for now, the market has no faith in new currencies, because the power of a currency is defined by the number of people who use it, and this number is not great enough. So people mine it, then at the end of the day, they convert whatever they mined into Bitcoin because it’s considered more secure. How exactly this situation is going to change, I can’t tell now.

  • With the year coming to an end comes a time to make predictions. What do you think will happen to Bitcoin, how will the world of cryptocurrency develop in general?

If we are talking about exchange rates, then I don’t believe it will drop too much. There will not be a total crash. I would say there’s a 20% chance of a significant correction of Bitcoin rates to the level of $5000. For the same reasons I have already mentioned earlier – there is no fundamental model, based on which you could say Bitcoin is worth 5 or 100 thousand dollars.

In all other cases, whenever collapses occur in the market, there is always a fundamental price model, and that has been true for everything from tulips to shares in certain tech companies, that is, in my opinion, currently overrated.

In this case, either the market value catches up with the model and the asset rises or model catches up with the cost.

  • How much is the level of cryptocurrency acceptance going to grow? What will happen to regulations?

There is no doubt that everything is going to develop very rapidly. New products will emerge in capital markets and they will very find ways to implement crypto quickly. Basically, everything there is on the financial markets today will re-emerge with the form of crypto. And I do mean everything, such as advisory, investment management, financial management etc.

  • All the same, but with “crypto”?

It will more likely be crypto-fiat asset management. Asset managers now want crypto to be included in their portfolio. Another noteworthy trend is that at some point regulators will have to find a suitable place for crypto. I don’t think this field will enjoy as much leniency as there is now. There will be more regulations, as well as mutual conversions and eventual integration between fiat and crypto-financial services.

  • And of course, we have to bring up ICO…

I think ICO is very reasonable. Much like IPO and, before them, LLC – Limited Liability Companies, ICO provides people who receive capital to realize their ideas with even greater freedom. This new fundraising mechanism truly does accelerate the economy, therefore it’s very reasonable. Humanity has a natural need for ICO. Before that, there was no way of collecting 25 cents per person out of a million people, but now there is one. This injects more energy for the most ambitious projects, the greatest fantasies. ICO is a great idea!

  • So why do regulators try to ban ICOs while proclaiming it is to protect non-professional investors? Shouldn’t people think for themselves when choosing to give their money to whom?

The problem is there is a fine line between those who are raising funds for an actual project and frauds. The economy needs a mechanism to get rid of frauds. For instance, people take their company to ICO, then they just take the money and vanish without a trace. Or else they falsify accounting information and overrate the company’s value (as it happened with Enron). The regulator’s task is to distinguish frauds and legitimate businesses.

They are trying to do this with ICOs, although perhaps this task could be carried out with the help of the community, the communication between people. The regulator’s role is not to defend the investors, but to clear the market for scams. Non-professional investors are easily lured when you promise them a goldmine. And if there are too many cases of fraud, then it discredits the idea of ICO in the first place and makes people lose their faith in the crypto economy –That actually poses as disadvantageous to the government.

  • I know BANKEX token sale is coming to an end. How are you planning to use the raised funds? When should investors expect results from their investments?

Our website has an elaborate description of our directions and roadmaps that we follow. For instance, in Q1 BANKEX will issue an innovative blockchain platform for movie financing. Led by Oscar-winning Hollywood producer Christopher Woodrow, MovieCoin™ will use BANKEX’s blockchain based Proof-of-Asset protocol and BKX tokens to help film industry raise funds with greater ease and speed.

As we are a B2B company, our token price is strongly associated with the news about BKX token usage. For example, when there is news that Ripple will be used by BBVA bank its price increased around 10x times.

Financial institutions that adopt BANKEX solutions will form the backbone of the early-era Internet of Assets. Our tokens will make this happen. Taking into account that in the future the number of services and ecosystem participants will grow, we realize that the volume of tokens should also increase. The tokens are designed as utility tokens and their primary function will be in circulation. The idea of issuing more tokens in the future is intended to keep the growth of the ecosystem with the focus on value.

Ripple Solves Business Problems: Bitcoin Bubble and the First Mover Advantage Problem

Could Ripple be a better choice than Bitcoin?

If I had to bet on one crypto coin, then the case for Ripple is far stronger. Most people do not dig into the technicalities. Ripple has a strong advantage when it comes to technology.

Whereas Bitcoin was principally established for peer to peer money transfer between individuals, Ripple was established to handle interbank transfer at the larger size. That means more volume and therefore more value of the coin.

Of course, it has the basics of any decent Cryptocurrency; first, connectivity across payments networks, second, the speed of instant on-demand settlement, third, real-time traceability of funds and finally, low operational and liquidity costs.

But what caught my attention is the global network of customers. Ripple has customers such as Santander, Standard Chartered, Credit Agricole, UBS, American Express, India’s Axis Bank, BBVA among others. That’s impressive and Ripple’s investors know that with a solid costumers portfolio, Ripple’s future is bright.

FYI, Ripple is not the original name of the coin, XRP is the name of the coin. Ripple is a private company, different than other cryptocurrencies, meaning, XRP is a centralized coin.

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Who Solves the Bigger Problem?

Ripple was created to solve an important problem, the transaction’s delays between banks. Currently when my business wires fund abroad through my bank, if any information is incorrect, the payment is returned and delays accrue. The chances of error are huge. If you’ve never sought an MT103 trace from your bank, you will not truly appreciate the problems of international corporate money transfer and the ensuing stress.

Ripple ensures both banks validate critical information such as customer ID, fees, rates, time of delivery before funds are transferred. This allows the bank to know beforehand if the transaction will pass or not and so remove the failed transaction problem. By removing the correspondent bank, we remove risk management issues too.

But unlike Bitcoin, which can take over an hour to settle, (still better than traditional systems taking 3-5 days, if you get to your bank before 1530!), Ripple settles in 4 seconds. By the way, Ethereum takes over two minutes.

Ripple handles about 1,500 transactions per second, 24×7. They do claim they can do match Visa scale of 50,000 per second.

Who is behind Ripple?

As mentioned above, Ripple is a private company and that XRP is a private cryptocurrency. As an asset manager running a private equity fund, I like to know who is investing a backing a company. Ripple’s shareholders include Andreessen Horowitz. Not heard of them? They backed PayPal as an original founding investor. How about Google Ventures, Santander InnoVentures, Standard Chartered and Accenture – all investors as shareholders in Ripple.


A traction of any technology is not just if the public is interested, but the big entities. In the case of Ripple, it does not get bigger than the Bank of England. The Bank of England Accelerator has published a report on how they may be able to use Ripple for real-time settlements.

This article was written by Alpesh Patel, a hedge fund manager and author of Trading Online (Financial Times). Patel is a partner to 24option, offering CFD trading on Cryptocurrencies.

The content of this article constitutes Marketing Communication and does not qualify as Investment Advice or Investment Research. 24option accepts no liability for the content of this article, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.

Fire Lotto is the First Blockchain Lottery Platform

It won’t come as a complete surprise that, while the business world is catching up with the blockchain revolution, the lottery fraternity is looking to jump on the bandwagon with the launch of Fire Lotto.

When considering the fact that Lotteries account for just shy of 30% of the gambling industry, that’s a sizeable market to tap into and the breakdown of borders and reaching out to parts of the world where heavy restrictions prevent lotto growth is an enticing prospect. The anonymity element of playing on Fire Lotto means that players are not caught out by regulatory bodies in their home countries.

For the winners, the added incentive to purchase lottery tickets through Fire Lotto is taxation. In many tax jurisdictions, lottery winners face heavy taxes and withholdings that take the shine off winning the jackpot

The lottery platform is 100% decentralized and built on Ethereum (ETH) smart contracts, with a focus being on transparency. 70% of ticket sales goes to the jackpot and winners are paid immediately after the draw to the winners’ ETH wallets. Winners won’t face delays or the possibility of being paid out over a number of years or even face the fear being defrauded, with payments being fully secure and made at a click of a button.

Of the remaining 30% of ticket proceeds, 12% goes towards advertising, 10% as commission to token holders, 5% to cover technical costs and 3% to cover ongoing legal costs.

Fire Lotto successfully launched the first lottery on January 1st. There are four different lottery formats to cater to the needs of its clients. The lottos will be 4/20, 5/36 and 6/45 and there will also be Roger’s Wheel, with tickets starting at 0.007 ETH, approximately US2.

Depending upon demand, Fire Lotto will be free to deliver more popular lottery games to draw in an even greater number of players, who can access Fire Lotto from any device without an app. Currently, any investor can join the business through investing in the company token sale or as a participant in a lottery.

For investors, the 10% commission that is paid to FLOT token holders delivers investors with an endless source of crypto-income, with the prize pool capable of growing into the millions and millions of Dollars and, there’s no government capable of shutting down the operation.

The private token pre-sale is already live and will end on 15th January 2018, with the crowdsale running from 15th March 2018 to 15th April 2018.

77% of tokens will be distributed to investors, 20% to the Fire Lotto team, with the remaining 3% held as bounty.

A total of 100,000,000 tokens will be issued, with an initial price of US$0.5, while investors participating in the bonus program will have a minimum purchase price of US$0.4 and US$0.35 per token in the closed round. The closed round of sales was to finance Fire Lotto’s ICO advertising campaign and generate a minimum prize pool of US$1,150,000, with the lottos already up and running ahead of the Fire Lotto ICO.

Interested parties can buy tokens from Fire Lotto directly.

Move Over Bitcoin!

The Bitcoin Clan have been left floundering at the start of the year and Bitcoin has struggled to inspire, with the only good news of the year being the recovery from the end of the 2017 low of $12,050.

Bitcoin may have managed to hold on to the 2nd half of the day bounce on Tuesday, but since then, any attempts to break through to $16,000 levels have been thwarted.

Wednesday’s 2.95% gain will certainly not be grabbing any crypto-headlines and, as was the case on Wednesday, today’s high of $15,430.27 was followed by a sharp pull back to $14,873.95 at the time of writing, with Bitcoin down 1.88% in the early part of the day.

Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold are down 6.28% and 4.23% respectively, with Bitcoin’s fall weighing on the pair, while Litecoin was also feeling the heat, down 4.9%.

It’s not all doom and gloom in the cryptomarkets however, with Ripple’s continued rise drawing plenty of attention and all for the right reasons.

Following the team’s decision to place the XRP coins held into escrow to bring comfort to the markets that there would be no flooding of XRP coins in the event of a price rally, the gains have been exceptional since and one gets the sense that Ripple has only just warmed up.

Not a bad starting point, with Ripple having already surged to the number 2 spot by market cap, with Bitcoin now in its sites. On its current trajectory, it’s not going to take long before Ripple splashes its way past Bitcoin into the number 1 spot. The sudden shift in momentum is no mean feat when considering the surge in the cryptomarkets, with the global market cap having moved above $700bn for the first time on Wednesday.

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Previous surges in the global market cap had usually been attributed to Bitcoin, but things have changed and this week, Bitcoin has seen its market cap fall to around 35% of the global market cap, which is an all-time low.

The roll out of Bitcoin futures looks to have stifled what was once the darling of the cryptoworld and with hot cryptos, including Ripple and Stellar Lumens to play with, Bitcoin’s grip on the number 1 spot is likely to loosen further.

Many had expected Ethereum to challenge Bitcoin, with Ethereum ever present in the funding of ICOs, but with Ripple’s ascendency and trailblazing start to 2018, the momentum alone could see Ripple ride the wave past Bitcoin.

Bitcoin investors may be wondering what might have been and where Bitcoin would be sitting, if the advice of leading financial institutions had been heeded to and the roll out of Bitcoin futures had been delayed in the interest of allowing the market to age more.

But, while the Bitcoin Billionaires will sit on their accumulated wealth, those dreaming of joining the crypto-millionaire club will be on the hunt and Ripple looks to be an obvious choice.

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