Thomas Hughes

Switzerland’s First Crypto ETP Registers Record Numbers

Amun’s Crypto Basket Index (HODL5) has become the product with the highest volume on the SIX Stock Exchange
Switzerland’s First Crypto ETP Registers Record Numbers

Just a week into its lifespan, Amun’s Crypto Basket Index (HODL5) has become the product with the highest volume on the SIX Stock Exchange (Switzerland’s largest stock exchange and 4th largest in Europe). Amun’s HODL5 is composed of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

This is the first Exchange Traded Product (ETP) listed on a regulated stock exchange, and its current appeal raises hopes that if the SEC will allow ETFs to be traded in the US, there will be an afflux of institutional investors pouring money into the crypto market.

Chart Analysis – LTC/USD

Chart Analysis – LTC/USD

Litecoin has been performing very well lately, gaining more than 3% over the last 7 days and more than 7% for the last 24 hours, currently trading at 34.20 against the US Dollar.

After moving below the long-term support zone between 35 and 30, LTC/USD reached a low at 27, then recovered most of the losses and is now attempting to break resistance for the second time in a short while. A break above the key handle at 35 will open the door for a move into 40, which is psychological resistance, rather than purely technical. As long as the pair remains above the middle line of the Bollinger Bands (BB), our bias is bullish for the short term.

Support zone: middle line of the BB, followed by 27

Resistance zone: 35

Most likely scenario: break of resistance en route to 40

Alternate scenario: choppy, sideways movement with a bearish bias

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David Dinkins

US Lawmakers Worried Digital Currency Burst Lead to Global Financial Contagion, Experts Disagree

While some lawmakers are becoming nervous about Bitcoin’s possible effects on the world economy in the event of a crash, experts think the concern is overblown
US Lawmakers Worried Digital Currency Burst Lead to Global Financial Contagion, Experts Disagree
Contents

 

Earlier today, CryptoComes reported that Congressional Republicans are increasingly diverging from their anti-regulatory stance, and are beginning to support efforts by Democrats to regulate Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Some lawmakers have attributed their shifting views to the possibility of a cryptocurrency collapse threatening the global financial system.

Republican Congressman Dave Brat of the House Freedom Caucus, a staunchly conservative group, said:

I‘m a total free-marketer, so I don’t want to regulate. But if it’s a currency that could destabilize the whole economy, you’re going to have that conversation.

Size matters

Concerns about the crypto market tanking the economy seem overblown in light of the relative size of each. The global crypto market cap currently stands at $500 bln, according to Coinmarketcap.com. On the other hand, the global capitals market (stocks and bonds) exceeds $118 tln, according to McKinsey. Meanwhile, the US GDP stands at $19.7 tln.

By comparison, the dot-com bubble peaked at around $3 tln, according to CNN Money. In inflation-adjusted terms, that would be equivalent to $4.4 tln today. While the $500 bln crypto market cap is undoubtedly huge, it’s barely a tenth the size of dot-coms in their year 2000 heyday. The dot-com bubble was large enough to tank the entire market, and did, but it’s unlikely that a digital currency bust could do the same.

Systemic risks?

BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Richard Turnill does consider the cryptocurrency market a bubble, saying “I look at the charts, and to me, that looks pretty scary.” But he doesn’t think it rises to the risk of a systemic threat:

There’s no evidence that if that price went to zero tomorrow that there’d be any broader financial implication over time.

Garrick Hileman at the University of Cambridge agrees, telling Business Insider:

There haven't been enough people who hold them [cryptocurrencies] or institutions that own them or enough credit or leverage used. Having said that, I can imagine scenarios, although I'm not predicting this, where they do become systemically important.

In fact, a survey from London’s Center for Macroeconomics reported that 75 percent of top European economists do not think Bitcoin poses a threat to the financial system’s stability, according to Fortune.

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🤷 Opinions Aliya Prokofieva

Сreative Сommunities in Space and Crypto Give Shape to Future Social System

Opinions
Equality based on trust and mutual respect is a viable prototype of democracy 2.0
Сreative Сommunities in Space and Crypto Give Shape to Future Social System
Contents

Aliya Prokofieva is founder of the international space company “Galaktika,” space exploration visionary and active public speaker. She writes for U.Today on the cutting edge tech and disruptive projects that may change the life of billions of people.

Whatever sociologists say about the growing popularity of individualism in the modern world, man was, is and will be a social being. Without denying the importance of individual genii, it is necessary to recognize: it is collective actions that ensure the progressive development of our civilization.

A notable phenomenon of modern social life is communities, the new forms of social groups that Thomas Hobbes defined as "a certain number of people united by a common interest or common cause." Compared with formal teams, they are much more effective and mobile, more focused on the outcome, and reveal the individual capabilities of participants better. It is communities that have all the chances to become a link between the traditional forms of social order that prevail today and those that will replace them in the future.

Working in various projects, I was able to observe the activities of such communities and identify the criteria that they must meet in order to become successful.

image

What makes communities effective

Here are the conclusions I came to:

1. The community needs a goal.

It does not matter what it will be: taking care of homeless animals or finding solutions to the Navier-Stokes equations. The main thing is that

a) it is clear and concrete,

b) it had high value for a certain circle of people.

Communities without a goal or with unclear targets are not viable- this is easily seen from the example of today's Internet. Instead of interested participants, they attract a crowd of trolls, ready to kill any idea. The exchange of views on such sites quickly gets sidetracked from the means of achieving the goal itself. The result is a massive outflow of capable members and the sudden end of the community.

2. Community members should be associated with joint activities.

Groups, united by the exchange of information or the discussion of common interests, have the right to exist, but they look like blank cartridges: from what they are, the surrounding world is neither hot nor cold. Here everything is simple: if nothing is done, nothing will happen.

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3. Community activities should be of public benefit, i.e. not limited to solving the personal problems of its participants, but to project the result into an external society.

The more people outside the community that feel the positive effect of his work, the higher is his social value.

For example, the social significance of a group of volunteers who decided to equip the courtyard of an apartment building will be limited to the circle of its tenants. However, if after this, volunteers take care of neighboring yards, attract new participants, embrace other areas, they will soon become a significant public force citywide.

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4. The task of a result-oriented community is not to suppress, but to promote the individuality of participants.

Equalization in such social groups is similar to death: it sharply reduces the level of responsibility of members of the collective. As a consequence, the effectiveness of joint activities will be zero. The maximum benefit to the community will come from a participant who can say to himself: this is mine, here I will be able to realize my abilities to the maximum and get a worthy reward (not necessarily material).

5. Full participation in decision-making is a distinctive feature of a properly organized community.

Social groups built on a tight vertical of power have no future. In the modern world, fewer people are ready to be content with the role of a pawn in another's game. A joint search for the right solution; the ability to listen and adequately assess points of view that are different from one's own; the willingness to accept a collective verdict, even if it does not agree with their ideals, is a consistent step on the road to a new type of democracy.

6. Trust is the ultimate catalyst for any community.

Communities in the past had to live, and many still do, on platforms that are not transparent in how they operate and the commoditization is obfuscated. Decentralization and the Blockchain technology are changing that. Blockchain transparency is what will shoot communities to the next level. The essence of the immutable ledger is that your every action is always yours. The Blockchain is for you, the individual. This forms trust. There are projects like U°Community that build a transparent community platform with dynamic reputation.

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The "Ether" orbital city

These considerations were fully taken into account when forming a group of like-minded people united by the idea of ​​creating the orbital city "Ether.” The result was a project that met all the criteria of a successful community, which could well become the prototype of a new model of social structure.

First, it has a well-defined goal, understandable to the participants and having a significant value for them. The idea of ​​creating a city in orbit with a population of several tens of thousands, equipped with an autonomous life support system and its own biosphere, is a powerful unifying force.

Secondly, the "ethereal" community is capable: it includes many high-level professionals competent with various fields of knowledge. But even more enthusiasts, keen on the grandiosity of the goal and ready to learn in the process of achieving it, improve themselves and make a feasible contribution to the common cause.

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Thirdly, the community's activities have a high social value: its result will be a breakthrough not only for the participants but for the entire population of the Earth. The engineering and social technologies obtained in the process of working on the project will become the property of not a narrow group of people, but all of mankind, and will bring the day when we begin to consider outer space as our second home closer.

Fourth, the scale and level of complexity of the tasks to be solved are such that there is space for self-realization for everyone. The theoretical physicist and engineer-designer, power engineer and biotechnologist, space designer and city manager- practically any professional experience multiplied by the ability to generate non-trivial ideas, will be in demand and appreciated.

And, finally, at all stages of joint activities, from the development of the concept to the full settlement of the station, key decisions affecting the future of the "Ether" are done collectively. Each member of the community has the right to vote, and every voice will be heard. Equality based on trust and mutual respect is a viable prototype of democracy 2.0.

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Darryn Pollock

Blockchain's True Value Shown in Sierra Leone’s Blockchain-Powered Elections

Beating corruption and manipulation in areas that need it most is where Blockchain can really shine
Blockchain's True Value Shown in Sierra Leone’s Blockchain-Powered Elections
Contents

While the world continues to implement Blockchain technology in seemingly endless facets of society, there are a few instances where its usage is desperately needed. Blockchain technology is being heralded as the tool to revolutionize everything from banking to economics, but politics is where it could really shine.

There is no doubting that corruption and manipulation are rife in political realms, and in countries where there are many impoverished and disadvantaged citizens, the corruption is usually at its highest.

Recently, in the poverty-stricken country of Sierra Leone, there was some positive news emanating around the use of Blockchain technology as elections in the country had a boost with the help of this distributed ledger.

Welcomed transparency

Presidential elections are underway in Sierra Leone as president Ernest Bai Koroma leaves office after serving two five-year terms.

In Sierra Leone Western District, votes cast were manually recorded by Agora, a Swiss foundation offering digital voting solutions, using a permissioned Blockchain.

The idea was simple: just like Blockchain technology helps ensure transparency with cryptocurrency transactions using public ledgers, by recording each vote on Blockchain, Agora ensured transparency with votes cast in the district.

While everyone can view entries on permissioned Blockchains, entries can only be validated by authorized persons.

Proper use case

With so many uses for Blockchain being spouted and developed through ICOs and the likes, it is difficult to envisage a use that can truly help make the world a better place, and not be one that is simply aimed at being a money grab.

Blockchain elections have been mulled over and discussed at length, but as with a lot of Blockchain applications, they have lacked the ability to be executed successfully and to full effect.

Now, by Sierra Leone opening the door to this possibility, suddenly, Blockchain can have life-changing ramifications. The power of the technology exists in its transparency, decentralized nature and anonymity, and, when it comes to elections, all of those facets are key.

Making the world better

Elections have been fraught with corruption and manipulation for ages, especially in African countries were dictatorships spring up easily, and the will of the people is brushed aside.

However, the use of Blockchain technology can easily ensure that the people’s will is available for all to see - immutable, unhackable and transparent.

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Wikicoin George Shnurenko

What is Hard Fork – Explained For Beginners

📚 Wikicoin
Hard forks have become more and more popular and obvious since a major one happened with Bitcoin Cash in August 2017, that is why it is important to understand them
What is Hard Fork – Explained For Beginners
Contents

Blockchain and crypto trading has been a popular trend lately. More and more crypto coins are coming in and offering investors some great opportunities to make a fortune. Among all that, there are some fancy terminologies associated with Blockchain as well and understanding them is equally important as understanding crypto trading itself. One such term is hard fork and it is used quite widely in the world of Blockchain. So, what exactly it is? Well, before we get into that, let’s first find out what is Blockchain protocol and what does fork mean?

Blockchain

What is Blockchain protocol and fork?

Well, these two terms are directly associated with the primary term that is the focus of investigation here– hard fork. Here is what each of these refers to.

  1. Blockchain Protocol: It refers to the set of rules that defines connection, mining as well as transaction laws in Bitcoin mining. For becoming part of the Blockchain network, one needs to comply with all these rules defined by the Blockchain protocol.
  2. Fork: It refers to the moment when there’s a change in protocol version.

What is a hard fork?

Now that you know what Blockchain protocol and fork refer to let’s try to understand the term hard fork. Well, it actually refers to a drastic change in Blockchain protocol due to which the blocks/transactions that were previously rendered invalid become valid (or the other way around). A hard fork requires all users or nodes to upgrade to latest protocol version. In other words, hard fork refers to a permanent change from previous Blockchain version where nodes on the previous versions won’t be accepted any longer by the latest version of Blockchain.

Essentially, it creates a kind of fork in Blockchain where one path goes to new and upgraded Blockchain while the other continues along that old one. As it normally goes, it only takes some time for all the nodes on old Blockchain to realize that they’re running on an outdated version and a quick upgrade to the latest version is required.

If all that sounds too technical, let’s try to understand this in simple terms. Hard fork refers to a situation when one cryptocurrency splits into two. It usually happens when a change is made to the existing code of the cryptocurrency in question and this change leads to an old version and a new one.

Why Blockchain protocol updates are necessary?

Well, that’s a pertinent question and there are actually several reasons for such updates to Blockchain protocol. Here are top three of them:

1. To patch major security risks from older versions

With cryptocurrency being a comparatively new invention, it’s in the stage of its life that regular currency has already been through. For regular currency, we have seen different versions of color, paper, security layers and font over the years before we had what’s available today. With all that refining, it is almost impossible now to manipulate it. Now, that’s exactly the case with cryptocurrency. Every update makes it securer and better.

2. To add some new functionality

One of the major reasons behind most software updates that come today is that some improvement was needed to the older version. That’s exactly the case with Blockchain code as it is upgraded year after year. Being open source, the developers from all over the world are allowed to work on Blockchain code and suggest improvements. Any feature that is considered good is then added to its upcoming version.

3. For reversing transactions

If you remember fake bucks, you’d very well understand that the culprit could have been put into jail but the whole amount of money might not have been refunded. However, the best part about crypto is that the damage can very well be minimized. As soon as some security breach is detected, all transactions that took place in a given time period can be proclaimed as non-existing. This certainly makes stealing harder.

Is there anything like a soft fork?

Well, Yes! The term soft fork refers to pretty much the same concept and the only difference is that in this case, just one Blockchain remains valid when the users adopt the update.So, that means both the types of fork result in a split, where only the hard fork leads to two coins/Blockchains.

You can also refer to soft fork as a change in protocol that offers backwards compatibility as well. It does not require you to upgrade the Blockchain version you’re using right away and you can continue to work the same way as before unless you plan on doing something that does not comply with the new upgraded protocol.

A couple of popular hard fork cases

Despite the fact that Blockchain isn’t something too old, we already have witnessed hard fork quite a few times. A couple of popular examples include:

1.     Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash offered a few major differences from original Bitcoin as it was less decentralized and offered better transaction speeds. The protocol update came on Aug. 1, 2017 and as a result, Bitcoin Cash turned into a separate, new cryptocurrency. Those who owned Bitcoin before this hard fork got exactly the same Bitcoin Cash amount in their wallet.

2.     The DAO

The DAO

This one was built on Ethereum Blockchain as some sort of smart contract while it was intended to work as venture capital fund. Once it was all set up, it could allow every Ether holder to get DAO tokens as a replacement. However, it got hacked and led to 3.6 mln Ethereum going down the drain. A soft fork was voted by the community to make sure the hacker wouldn’t be able to cash it. However, it only took a short amount of time before the majority of the votes were given to a hard fork.

So, that’s probably all about what is hard fork. Hope all this detailed information on the subject would help understand it!

Wikicoin
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Patrick Thompson

Bitmain Brings in $3 Billion

5 year old Bitmain may have made more in profit than 24 year old computer chip maker Nvidia.
Bitmain Brings in $3 Billion

Bernstein analysts estimate that hardware creator and mining company Bitmain earned more than publicly listed computer chip company Nvidia ($NVDA) did in 2017. Bernstein’s analysts estimated that Bitmain made $3 to $4 bln in operating profit in 2017 while Nvidia’s profit in 2017 was estimated to be $3 bln. What analysts found impressive was that Bitmain was able to achieve these numbers after only five years of operation, Nvidia on the other hand, has been in business for 24 years.

Bitmain is a Beijing based hardware and mining company founded by Micree Zhan and Jihan Wu. Bitmain’s most notable product is the Antminer, a cryptocurrency mining rig that sells anywhere from $200 to $2,400 on the Bitmain website. Bernstein analysts estimated that Bitmain has 70-80 percent of the market share for cryptocurrency mining rigs. In addition to creating mining hardware and mining rigs, Bitmain operates a number of mining pools, the most notable being AntPool with a 15.1 percent share of the entire hashrate.

It is estimated that Bitmain made most of their $3 bln profit from selling ASIC chips and mining rigs. The other portion of Bitmain’s profit comes from the company collecting management fees from their mining pools, renting out mining power through cloud services, and through their own mining operations. That being said, 2017 was a great year to be involved in cryptocurrency mining. During the California gold rush, they say the people who made the most money were the ones who sold the shovels. What chip and rig creators are essentially doing in the cryptocurrency industry is selling the shovels. The first day of 2017, the price of Bitcoin was $979.5 (coinmarketcap.com), and at the end of the year, Bitcoin was worth $13,096 – an increase of over $12,116.5 equivalent to over 1,200 percent.  As the price of Bitcoin increased, Bitmain’s mining equipment increased in price. As Bitcoin approached a high of 19,994 on Dec. 17, 2017, the price of the Bitmain AntMiner s9 crawled toward $5,000.

Bitmain plans to open mining farms in Canada and Switzerland in the future. Bitmain also plans to expand their services to other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Monero.

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