Yuri Molchan

Bitcoin Keeps Hanging Below $4,000, TRX Enters Top-10, BNB Getting Close to It

Market keeps declining, Bitcoin shows a small gain, Tron (TRX) and Binance Coin (BNB) are moving up in their market positions, taking over other coins
Bitcoin Keeps Hanging Below $4,000, TRX Enters Top-10, BNB Getting Close to It
Contents

This morning, Wednesday, December 5th, the cryptocurrency market remains in the fall, as it has been for a while already.

The major cryptocoin, Bitcoin, has gained slightly compared to Tuesday morning and is trading at $3.899 at press time. However, CoinMarketCap is showing that the asset has lost 1.78 percent over the last 24 hours.

Altcoins are rising along with stablecoins

Today, many members of the top-100 list by market value are going green. Among them are stablecoins, such as Tether, Maker, TrueUSD, USD Coin, Gemini USD, etc. From altcoins the gainers are Binance Coin, Nem, Waves, Augur, Holo and a few others.

Ethereum Classic (ETC) is among today’s losers. On Tuesday, U.Today reported that one of the project’s major developer teams, ETCDEV, is dumping maintaining the network’s operations over absence of funds and the reluctance of the ETC community to support them. It is not yet clear whether this news has propelled the coin’s decrease or if it is simply in line with the rest of the market.

Overall, the altcoin market seems to recovering gradually, unlike the top-10 list of coins with the highest market cap.

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BNB, TRX are advancing

A few top coins have swapped their positions compared to where they were on Tuesday. Tron (TRX) has managed to get to the position 10, having pushed out Cardano (ADA). Binance Coin (BNB), the native token of the same-name exchange, has moved from place 15 to position 13, taking over Dash and IOTA, upon its market cap increase. Over the last 24 hours BNB shows a gain of nearly 8 percent.

Earlier this year, TRX already managed to enter the top-10 list, however, the coin held there just for a couple of days.

BNB, TRX are advancing

Bitcoin forecasts

Earlier, U.Today reported that various prominent traders and analysts are expecting BTC to find bottom at the $3,000 mark, whereas top figures from banking industry, such as Jamie Dimon, have begun calling it a bubble and scam once again. The Russian Economy Minister, Maxim Oreshkin, also said that the Bitcoin bubble has burst, referring to the current bearish dominance in the market.

However, leading crypto investors and developers, such as Mike Novogratz, Tom Lee from Fundstrat, and Tim Draper remain bullish. Recently, the co-founder of Ethereum, Joe Lubin, also mentioned that the market movements do not mean a thing, since blockchain and crypto are not only technologies and assets but they are movements, which are gaining more and more followers and users every month. In particular, he mentioned Ethereum products MetaMask, Truffle and Infura, which have gained a great amount of downloads and new user accounts over 2018.

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🕵️‍ ICO Watch Eric Eissler

Past ICO Review: How Cobinhood’s Arrows Have Missed the Mark

👁 ICO Watch
Cobinhood’s tokens grew at amazing rate, but identity crisis and lost of banking access made it miss the target
Past ICO Review: How Cobinhood’s Arrows Have Missed the Mark
Contents

It has been a rough ride for cryptocurrency exchange provider Cobinhood. Not only did the stock, and now crypto, exchange Robinhood sent them a cease and desist order because of similar name touting the same services, the Taiwanese company lost access to banking services for its customers. Meaning users could not send or receive fiat transfers to the platform.

To remedy this, Cobinhood has accepted stablecoin Tether, which is tied to the US Dollar at 1:1. Cobinhood’s claim to fame is its zero-trading fee. Before diving deeper, let's look at the ICO financials.

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Big break out, bigger bust

Cobinhood’s ICO ran from September 13, 2017 to October 22, 2017 and raised $13 million. The entry native token price was $0.04 on September 30, 2017. At the time of writing, the price per token now sits at $0.08, a 100-percent growth.

While 100% looks like an amazing rate, it should be noted that Cobinhood hit a high of $1.52 on January 10th, 2018, a 3,700-percentage gain! But then over the course of a month, the price tumbled down to $0.25 by February 10th, and continued its slide to the present day.

Note that the token started trading before the launch of the exchange on December 17, 2017. CoinMarketCap rank is 305

Without bank access, buying crypto isn’t easy

Cobinhood’s banking partners decided at the start of 2018 that they would not do business with the exchange. It is assumed that this reasoning came about due to the nature of many banks not wanting to work with cryptocurrencies. This essentially strangled the exchange and put a burden on the users.

To remedy this, the exchange announced that it would enable Tether-based buys and sells. In other words, the user would have to hold Tether off exchange to make purchases on the exchange. This led to a crypto-for-crypto buys and sells. If you know anything about exchanges, then you know that this adds on more costs, fees, and waiting time for the user and this is not ideal.

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Despite the Name, it Hangs in the Game

Despite the name and the issues with competitor Robinhood, it seems to be a technologically sound exchange. The company has taken several measures to ensure a quality experience with the exchange.  when the company performed a stress test to push the platform to its limits, the exchange averaged 1,154,284 orders and 10,142 order book updates per second for each trading pair — making it the first cryptocurrency exchange capable of true high-frequency trading. A rather impressive feat, considering the largest exchange Coinbase has had several meltdowns over the past 6 year when trading volume skyrocketed.

The Team

Popo Chen - CEO and Founder
Chen Tai Yuan is a 26-year-old serial entrepreneur who earned an Electrical Engineering master’s degree at the age of 22. At the age of 24, he founded 17 live streaming, a leading live streaming platform across Asia with more than 5M daily active users. In three months, 17 live streaming raised 10M USD.

Wei-Ning Huang - CTO and Co-Founder
Wei-Ning has three years' working experience at Google. Before that, he was an active open-source contributor and worked in the open-source space for more than five years. He specializes in building large-scale web applications with demanding throughput and availability. Wei-Ning is also an early adopter of cryptocurrencies, having five years of cryptocurrency trading experience and deep understanding of the blockchain technology.

Tony Scott - Advisor to Cobinhood and Former U.S. Federal Chief Information Officer
Tony Scott was the third U.S. Federal Chief Information Officer, serving from 2015-2017. During his tenure, he was involved in leading various digitalization and blockchain-themed projects as well as improving the cybersecurity of government.

The Bottom Line

Cobinhood is an interesting case because it has many users and a strong technology platform, and advised by the former U.S. CIO.  

However, the red flags are big ones: name contesting with Robinhood, loss of banking partners and thus the ability to buy and sell fiat, adding more steps and fees to a complicated process for new users. The native token has suffered much in the past few months almost returning to its starting position. The ICO raised a good bit of funding, but the subsequent hits have damaged the reputation.

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Darryn Pollock

Will Gemini Dollar Calm the Wild West of Cryptocurrencies?

The Winklevoss Twins have introduced a stablecoin that has all the regulatory tick marks and none of the controversy, but is this what the market needs?
Will Gemini Dollar Calm the Wild West of Cryptocurrencies?
Contents

Monday saw the launch of a very interesting digital currency that could have a big say in the way the market is heading. It is called the Gemini dollar, and is the brainchild of the Winklevoss Twins, who are in charge of the Gemini exchange which aims to be as compliant as possible.

The Gemini dollar also brings with it a big regulatory tick, but it is a coin which is pegged to the USD in a similar way in which Tether is. However, the Gemini dollar has a lot less controversy around it, despite it only just launching.

The question is, will this coin be the answer to some of the problems that have stymied the cryptocurrency market in recent times. The cryptocurrency space has reached a point where regulatory pressure is dictating its movement and adoption, and that pressure is causing unnecessary volatility.

Will a full regulated coin, with zero volatility, be the answer to adoption of cryptocurrency as it will become a situation where the USD is digitalized entirely with the properties of Bitcoin, but without any volatility, or worries about regulators and lack of auditing.

What the twins have to say

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who have been trying to push the envelope for the cryptocurrency market for some time now, including applying for ETFs, believe that this coin will be a bit of the best of fiat and digital currency.

We have been thinking about the stable-coin idea for over a year now,” Tyler Winklevoss told Business Insider. “The thing that is attractive about the concept is that is does something different than any other digital asset. When we think about the first-ever digital asset, Bitcoin, which is a virtual commodity, it took years for the market to sort out the broad understanding of what Bitcoin is.”

“The legal precedent and the use case is definitely coming down as a virtual commodity. And Ether is the same. Those are very cool use cases. Ether as a digital oil. And Bitcoins as a digital gold. The idea of a digital commodity is there and well understood.”

However, there is now a move in the cryptocurrency back towards digital currencies. The digital commodity has hit its ceiling if Vitalik Buterin is to be believed, but there is a lot of room for digital cash to grow, especially digital cash that has evolved a bit.

“There was a time in this world when people didn't know if Bitcoin would kill fiat or the financial system or both,” The twins continued. “And some people tried to live off Bitcoin for a month. As it turns out people generally don't believe Bitcoin will be used to buy Starbucks or a Happy Meal.”

“The question is actually does it disrupt gold or exist side-by-side precious metals in a portfolio? The beauty of a stable coin is you don't need to worry about spending it. And groups don't need our permission to use it. Starbucks could accept it if they wanted to. And we will be open to those conversations.”

Is this needed?

On the surface, before the coin has had time to be tested and explored fully, the idea seems sound. Stablecoins are becoming more and more popular because of their ability to halt the infamous digital currency volatility.

The issue has long been that as a digital currency, things like Bitcoin and others are too volatile to use on an everyday basis, or for companies to adopt. The fact that a coin can be worth 20 percent more or less in 24 hours will direct people to either want to keep it and not spend it or not bother at all because of the loss.

So stablecoins have the ability to instantly take away this issue, thus the adoption of them in the needs of digital currency should be right up there? The next problem is the controversial nature of the stable coins that are out there currently.

The stablecoin market is famously made up of names like Tether and the Petro. Both these coins have been taken through the ringer for issues such as poor auditing techniques and transparency, as well as centralized corruption and propaganda, in the case of the Venezuelan oil-backed coin.

But, the Gemini Dollar is also fully compliant and regulated, having received approval from the New York Department of Financial Services. It is also being audited by a batch of third-party auditors to ensure no chance of double spending.

A new frontier?

This form of stablecoin could be a fresh direction for the cryptocurrency market to take. Its initial sell was this idea of a digital and borderless currency which could be sent easily and cheaply, and now that could be returning.

Across Twitter, the general reaction has been positive, but cautiously so, as there is still a road to travel to see how this coin is received.

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Anatol Hooper

Stablecoins Are Thriving Amid Crypto Market Collapse

As the cryptocurrency market is updating its year-to-date lows, the big winners are stablecoins, which recently saw a significant increase in trading volume.
Stablecoins Are Thriving Amid Crypto Market Collapse
Contents

As the cryptocurrency market is updating its year-to-date lows, the big winners are stablecoins, which recently saw a significant increase in the trading volume, suggesting fast adoption. Even though it has been surrounded by much controversy, Tether (USDT) remains the most popular stablecoin as of today, with a market capitalization of nearly $1.8 billion, which puts it in the eighth position on Coinmarketcap’s list of largest coins.

Tether market cap

Besides USDT, there are five more stablecoins that are currently expanding at a fast pace: True USD (TUSD), Circle-backed USD Coin (USDC), Paxos Standard Token (PAX), DAI, and Gemini’s GUSD. It’s worth mentioning that all of these coins are backed by US dollars with a 1:1 ratio.

Balaji Srinivasan, CTO of US-based crypto exchange Coinbase, reportedly said:

“Stablecoins bring some of the early potential of crypto into view, and they make possible payments that are very small, very fast, very large, very international, very transparent and very automated.”

Balaji Srinivasan

Indeed, stablecoins can easily smooth the volatility noise found in most of the cryptocurrencies out there. While speculators are looking for digital currencies with potential returns, stablecoins are attractive through their stability and functionality.

Antoni Trenchev, managing partner at crypto loans service firm Nexo, told Forbes that the volatility associated with Bitcoin and similar coins was both a blessing and a curse.

“Unfortunately, volatility works both ways so the corrections are heavy as well. I think that is the foundation for the rise Stablecoins - the search for price stability. They also come with the ease of transferability and cost-efficiency, which we all like with regards to crypto assets,” he added.

As the crypto market is in free fall, many cryptocurrency holders are worried about the new lows and are selling their coins in exchange for stablecoins. This is because many major crypto exchanges don’t provide fiat-based pairs, which suggests that traders cannot directly buy or sell their coins in exchange for US dollars, euro or other fiat money options. Instead, investors can access any cryptocurrency through one of the few stablecoins, especially USDT. This is the reason why the present massive selloff has driven the trading volume of USDT-like coins.

Stablecoins are rapidly expanding

Major crypto exchanges and payments services are in a hurry to add the newly created stablecoins. For example, on Tuesday, Nov. 20, crypto payment service BitPay added Paxos to the list of payment options. The partnership between the two entities comes a month after BitPay added USDC and GUSD.

In October, Paxos boasted that it had reached 20 top exchanges and OTC trading desks, such as OKEx, Binance, KuCoin, and Gate.io, among others.

Last week, BitGo said that it was providing custody solutions for most of the major stablecoins, including USDC, DAI, PAX, TUSD, and GUSD, which was the most recently added coin. Thus, the crypto security firm reached and even expanded its target to support 100 cryptocurrencies by the end of this year.

At the end of September, crypto exchange Poloniex gave up the trading fees for USDC to support the coin’s trading volume. The decision is valid until the end of November and might be extended.

USDC publishes positive audit report

As we reported on Thursday, Circle, the company behind USDC, announced that it had successfully passed an audit performed by Grant Thornton LLP. The leading audit firm found that the Circle’s tokens are sufficiently backed by US dollars.

The report says that, as of the end of October 2018, Circle’s token assets were worth $127,412,250, while the amount of stablecoins at that time was $127,408,827.

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What are Stablecoins and What do They Mean for the Crypto Market?

📚 Wikicoin
Stablecoins are sure to bring forth a paradigm shift in the way cryptocurrencies operate
What are Stablecoins and What do They Mean for the Crypto Market?
Contents

Technology, sometimes, takes a long-winded, tortuous path. As we have often experienced in life, the graph of success is never a straight line. It’s filled with contours, slopes, steep valleys, and few peaks. When you think of cryptocurrencies and how far Bitcoin has come, you might be tempted to smile and count it as a remarkable success. But let’s take a closer look.

Traditional cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile. Let’s consider Bitcoin – at the beginning of 2017, it was barely $1,000, but before December of the same year, it peaked at $20,000. Cool, right? But as of June 2018, the Bitcoin price is hovering around $7,000.

Ethereum, Litecoin and other altcoins have demonstrated a similar behavior so we know that it’s not peculiar to Bitcoin alone. In fact, traditional fiat currencies also suffer from inflation and hyperinflation. Check out the case of Venezuela, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and even some European countries. It seems as though the concept of a stable currency is an illusion. Is there a solution?

What are stablecoins?

The extremely volatile nature of cryptocurrencies makes them attractive for long-term investors, highly skilled short-term day traders and news analysts. However, this same characteristic makes them less than ideal for mainstream purposes.

What if we had a kind of cryptocurrency which could afford us the level of stability that we have with our fiat currency? Well, we do. We have stablecoins.

Stablecoins, basically, are cryptocurrencies which are stable in the purchasing power they possess. Even if they exhibit traits of inflation, this is in a bid to encourage the holders of this currency to spend rather than hold the currency. In other words, stablecoins are cryptocurrencies which have a fixed price, usually measured against another fiat currency.

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What are the properties of a stablecoin?

Now that you have an answer to the question, “what are stablecoins?” we can go on to explore what makes a stablecoin ideal. In essence, if a crypto can achieve the properties discussed below, it is an ideal stablecoin.

  1. Can the coin be used as a medium of exchange to trade goods and services?

  2. Can it be used to maintain wealth over a period of time without depreciating in value?

  3. Is it an appropriate measurement unit which can be used to define and compare different values?

  4. Is it scalable? Can it be used by 7 billion people?

If any cryptocurrency meets all four conditions, then we can agree that it is, indeed, one of the best stablecoins we have.

Why are stablecoins important?

All about stablecoins crypto involves stability and making cryptocurrencies parallel fiat currencies better. This is in a bid to diversify and have cryptocurrencies enjoy wider use, especially in practical applications. We can safely say that stablecoins would attract more than investors or short-term traders. The success of stablecoins will cause an average person to consider crypto for day-to-day trading activities. What more do we stand to gain? Here are some of the benefits of stablecoins.

1. Stablecoins hedge against volatility

Remember the time when Bitcoin was selling for $20,000? If you had 2 BTC and then decided to trade the BTC for a stablecoin which was measured in USD, the transaction would give you 40,000 units of stablecoins. Now that the price is around $7,500, rather than having $15,000, you would still have $40,000 worth of stablecoins. This is pretty impressive, right?

2. Stablecoins facilitate the global use of a stable currency

In countries like Nigeria and Argentina, the annual inflation rate can be as high as 15 percent yearly. For this reason, it is not unusual to see citizens of these countries seeking USD to preserve the value of their wealth. Think of the stress which will be eliminated if a digital, decentralized and stable currency was made available to the general public.

3. Stablecoins suit the crypto-based lending and derivatives market

A modern financial system with very minimal interference, human error and middle-men is perceived as the ideal concept of finance and cryptocurrencies provide that advantage. However, at the moment, it is impossible for capital markets to rely on cryptocurrency because of the lack of stability.

Providing or collecting crypto-based loans will prove daunting to both the lender and the borrower due to the fluctuations in price. Stablecoins will ensure that there’s a reliable price which one can expect.

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Types of stablecoins and how they are created

1. Fiat-collateralized stablecoins

These are quite straightforward and they are relatively easy to create. Using this method, a certain amount of fiat currency is held as collateral and then the coins are provided in a 1:1 ratio. The simplicity and flexibility of this approach make it ideal, but it requires a custodian and close monitoring.

2. Crypto-collateralized stablecoins

Instead of fiat currency, these have another cryptocurrency as collateral. Over-collateralization, the concept of paying more than is required – for example, paying $1,000 worth of BTC to receive $500 in stablecoins – is a common drawback of this approach. In the event that the crypto being held as collateral also loses its value completely, the holder of the stablecoins loses out.

3. Non-collateralized stablecoins

The concept of trading these stablecoins with the expectation that they will retain their value is, perhaps, the best alternative. The seigniorage shares approach which uses an automatically-programmed smart contract to control the supply of the currency has been hailed as the best alternative yet.

Different stablecoins in existence

If you think stablecoins are doomed to fail or that they are only good on paper, think again. We already have existing currencies which attest to the viability of the concept.

Tether

Tether is backed by a fiat currency and the currency is held in a reserve account. It uses the 1:1 concept, making 1 USDT equal to 1 USD. However, it is centralized and this brings an iota of distrust.

MarkerDao

MarkerDao is decentralized and also measured with respect to the US dollar. The Ethereum network is the underlying tech and stability is ensured by a series of smart contracts. The coin, Dai, is also worth 1 USD. However, it can prove complex and slow.

Havven

This system supports itself by providing two coins – Nomins, the stable coin which can be used during day-to-day transactions, and Havvens, the coin in reserve. It is fully decentralized and fast, however, it is relatively new and might not be fully trusted.

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Crypto-Related Enforcement & Regulatory Actions Become Global Trend

The cryptocurrency market is currently experiencing the biggest struggle in its 10-year history, with Bitcoin at the forefront
Crypto-Related Enforcement & Regulatory Actions Become Global Trend
Contents

The cryptocurrency market is currently experiencing the biggest struggle in its 10-year history, with Bitcoin at the forefront. A combination of major fundamental factors of bearish nature showed up simultaneously, which resulted in immense pressure on this emerging industry.

While the hash war following the Bitcoin Cash hard fork has its portion of negative influence, the market is also strained because of raising concerns over increased regulation. In the past few weeks, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed through its actions that it was ready to get serious about the crypto market and show no mercy on initial coin offering (ICO) projects that don’t comply with the rules.

The precedents from SEC

On Nov. 16, the SEC penalized two ICO firms for not registering their tokens as securities and required them to do so. Besides, Airfox and Paragon, the two startups targeted by the US regulator, have to return the ICO funds to investors. This represents the first cases of civil penalties involving ICO companies violating the SEC’s registration requirements, and judging by the regulator’s sentiment — these won’t be the last ones.

A week earlier, the American securities regulator penalized EtherDelta’s founder for failing to register the platform as a securities exchange. Thus, Zachary Coburn agreed to pay about $388,000 in fines.

Justin Litchfield, chief technology officer of crypto fund ProChain Capital, commented on the current cryptocurrency disaster in an interview with Bloomberg:

“The sell-off is related to enforcement, which is almost certainly underway. Projects are being made to return investor money, which, after having spent a ton of money marketing their $100 million ICO on a lavish party-filled road-show that was the norm for this vintage of ICOs, will be tough.”

However, not everyone agrees with this position. As we reported earlier, Stephen Palley of Washington, D.C.-based law firm Andersen Kill told the same Bloomberg that the SEC’s decision against Paragon and Airfox was not a bearish signal at all.

Stephen Palley

On the contrary, Palley says that the securities regulator is pro-blockchain and that the recent enforcement actions were justifiable.

Italy is taking action too

While we don’t know whether the US SEC triggered a general trend, the regulators from other countries became more severe against crypto companies, too. On Monday, Nov. 19, the Italian Companies and Exchange Commission (CONSOB) halted the local activity of three crypto firms — Crypton, Cryptoforce, and Eagle Bit Trade — for a period of three months. The three entities are suspected of violating the financial law.

Italian parliament

Crypton is providing investments in its cryptocurrency with the same name. The firm runs a website that promises Italian residents monthly returns of up to 40%, the regulator notes.

While Paragon and Airfox might be providing real use cases, the three firms suspected by the Italian regulator are dubious indeed.

Other cases of enforcement actions and regulatory

This month was very abundant in regulatory decisions against crypto and ICO firms. Recently, the US Department of Justice started to investigate crypto exchange Bitfinex and stablecoin issuer Tether, which are suspected of manipulating the price of BTC.

Elsewhere, the securities commissioner of North Dakota has banned a fake ICO project known as Union Bank Payment Coin (UBPC), as the entity was violating the state’s law by imitating a genuine crypto project backed by Liechtenstein-based Union Bank.

In Spain, the Ministry of Finance is inspecting 15,000 taxpayers who have been conducting crypto transactions in an effort to fight fraud and tax evasion.

In India, the special committee formed by the local government last year is ready to propose a draft regulation touching upon cryptocurrencies. The committee said that the draft bill would be presented by the end of 2018.  

The general sentiment in the crypto space is bearish, with the total market cap falling to its lowest level since September 2017.

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