Alex Morris

US Lawmakers Urge SEC to Take Definitive Stance on Crypto

A dozen House members are joining bipartisan effort in order to stop crypto startups from fleeing the US due to regulatory uncertainty
US Lawmakers Urge SEC to Take Definitive Stance on Crypto

Just days after the forum held by US Rep. Warren Davidson with over 50 industry influencers, Congress is now asking the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to clarify where it stands on cryptocurrencies. On Sept. 28, a dozen House members sent a letter to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, urging his agency to outline their plan on regulating the new asset class.

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Clearing up the regulatory uncertainty

The letter states that it is important to determine which virtual currencies are securities. During the aforementioned meeting, one of the speakers also raised this issue. For instance, Ripple is currently fighting tooth and nail in order to prove XRP’s non-security status after being hit with numerous lawsuits for allegedly violating US security law. The SEC did clarify that Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are commodities, but the lion's share of ICOs are regulated as securities.

This initiative might be an icebreaker when it comes to changing US security laws that are currently in place. Back in June, Clayton weighted in on this issue, claiming that the SEC is not going to change the traditional definition of a security. Under a 1946 U.S. Supreme Court ruling (SEC v. W. J. Howey Co.), an instrument is considered a security if it involves an investment of money. In order to be defined as a security, the asset has to pass the so-called “Howey Test.”

Keeping crypto innovations at home

Similarly to TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, US lawmakers seemingly acknowledge the fact that lack of regulatory clarity may put a damper on US dominance in the rapidly growing industry as many crypto-oriented startups are fleeing to other countries. The letter clearly states the current regulatory uncertainty is “hindering” innovations in the US.

The letter also emphasizes that there should be a hands-off approach to dealing with digital assets, which would help to create a welcoming environment for crypto-oriented businesses.

Earlier, U.Today also reported about US Rep. Tom Emmer introducing three bills that are aimed at propelling the cryptocurrency industry.

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Coins Guide George Shnurenko

How to mine NEM (XEM): Profitable NEM Mining

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Decide what kind of mining hardware you would like to use. Your choice solely depends on the cryptocurrency you want to mine.
How to mine NEM (XEM): Profitable NEM Mining

Step 1. Decide what kind of mining hardware you would like to use. Your choice solely depends on the cryptocurrency you want to mine. Despite the constantly increasing level of difficulty, there are still some fdcryptocurrencies that can be mined with ordinary computer (Bytecoin, Monero or Zencash). Of course, it will not bring you any substantial profit now, but there is still a chance that at least one of these altcoins will significantly increase its value in the future.

You have to invest in ASIC chips in order to mine Bitcoins. Before purchasing a mining device, you have to take into account such factors as its price, electricity usage and hashing power. You can use any specifically designed online calculator to find out the profitability of the miner. As of now, the DragonMint T1 is the most efficient and the most powerful mining chip on the market with a hashing rate of 16.0 TH/s. At the same time, this is the most expensive mining chip as well – it will set you back $2,729.

The DragonMint T1 could potentially help with the decentralization aspect of Bitcoin, since most of the Bitcoin hashing is coming from Bitmain’s hardware. The Antminer S9, Bitcoin’s flagship product, is currently the most popular mining chip on the market. It costs $2,320 and offers hashing power of 13.5 TH/s. Another option is AvalonMiner 761 produced by Canaan: its price is fixed at $1,860, but it offers only 8.8 TH/s. With thousands of miners purchased every day, the competition between different manufacturers keeps escalating. There is no doubt that we will see more powerful miners in the nearest future. For example, it has recently been confirmed that Halong Mining is collaborating with Samsung to produce new chips.

If you are not ready to invest in ASIC hardware, you can buy or build your own mining rig. Before purchasing a pre-build mining rig or separate motherboards, pay attention to the fact that GPU rigs are not efficient for Bitcoin mining in 2018. There is a chance that you will not be able to cover the cost of GPU even when you do not have to pay for electricity. Bitcoin’s difficulty is steadily rising, so it is hard to profit from mining even with ASIC hardware (not to mention FPGAs or GPUs).

There is also another alternative such as cloud mining. When it comes to cloud mining, there are two options: renting a mining machine hosted by a company or simply ordering a specific amount of hashing power. The profitability of cloud mining is significantly lower due to the fees charged by a certain provider.

Genesis Mining is the most reputable cloud mining company that actually came up with this business model in 2013. The price of 10 GH is fixed at $1,5. If you use Hashing24 or Hashflare, 10 GH will cost you $2,6 and $1,25 respectively. If you are looking for an advantageous offer, Hashflare will be your obvious choice since they offer significantly cheaper contracts (you can save almost 50% if you decide to buy 100 GH). However, Hashflare sets significantly higher long-term charges than Genesis Mining. Therefore, the choice definitely depends on your investment strategy. Hashing24 stand outs among the other cloud mining services because of its close collaboration with the Bitfury Group, one of the biggest companies in the cryptocurrency business (that explains the high cost of hashing power).

You can make money off cloud mining by meticulously calculating the potential profit. As it gets more and more difficult to mine Bitcoins, it is not advisable to sign long-term contracts: cloud mining only tends to bring profit for a couple of months. You also have to be aware of the risks associated with cloud mining. There are numerous fake cloud-mining services which may lure users with cheap contracts.

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Step 2. Create a Bitcoin wallet. After choosing the most suitable way of mining, you can proceed with creating a Bitcoin wallet for storing your coins. Bitcoin wallets are divided into hot, semi-cold and cold. Hot or online wallets are not recommended due to security concerns, so it would be better to download a software wallet (semi-cold), buy a hardware wallet or print a paper wallet (both of these are considered cold wallets).

Step 3. Choose a mining pool. As mentioned above, it did not require a lot of processing power to mine Bitcoins 5 years ago – practically any GPU could solve a hash puzzle. As Bitcoin grew more popular, its value increased along with the mining difficulty. Miners with weak hardware decided to unite in order to mine Bitcoins together by creating a so-called “mining pool”. Miners collectively solve a cryptographic problem and proportionally share the block reward taking into account the amount of computational resources they contribute.

You can still prefer solo mining, but you will need extremely powerful hardware to successfully mine Bitcoin alone. However, there is no need to pay any charges with solo-mining, and, in case of successfully solving a block, a miner gets 100% of the block reward (which is obvious because only his computing power was used). Solo mining also offers more security, but at the same time there is less stability – you may fail to earn a single coin for an extensive period of time.

Popular Pools

Among the most popular mining pools one can mention AntPool, BitMinter, BTC.com or Slush Pool. Slush Pool is the oldest mining pool that is also AsicBoost compatible. The AsicBoost technology increases the speed of mining by almost 20%. In order to start mining, simply create an account and set up a worker. As a rule, there is only one worker per one computer, but you may create more if there is such a necessity.

Money Withdrawal

Once you start earning BTC, you may want to withdraw them into your wallet. Just simply choose the 'Payouts' menu to add a new wallet by entering your public address. Each mining pool has a certain payout threshold.

Safety Measures

Since mining pools are often targeted by hackers, it is important to make sure that the miner establishes an encrypted connection with the help of SSL. If that’s the case, you will see a SSL indicator (a green padlock icon near a website's URL).

Slush Pool also allows its users to enable TFA. In order to login to your account, you will have to use the Google Authenticator mobile application or simply receive an SMS.

Step 4. Download mining software. GUIMiner is the most preferable option for inexperienced miners because of its user-friendly interface. Once you have installed the software, pay attention to the “Server” option. Simply click the dropout box to choose your mining pool (Slush Pool, for example). After that you will have to enter your username and password. The last thing that you have to do is to select your GUI miner and click “Start”.

Now pay attention to the bottom status bar. On the right side of the status bar, you can see the current hash rate while the number of shares is displayed on the left. The bigger amount of shares you contribute, the bigger reward you get.

If you want to boost the performance of your graphic card, you can add extra flags. These configurations allow users to enable vectors, reduce temperature, etc. Make sure that you choose only those flags that match your hardware in order to reach the maximum level of efficiency. Another good way to accelerate your GUI is overclocking. There are numerous graphic card overclocking utilities that you can use (MSI Afterburner, EVGA Precision XOC and so on). Every graphic card should be overclocked separately. Check that the hashing rate wasn’t affected by the overclocking.

Step 5. Cold down your system. It is a commonly known fact that the performance of the mining hardware depends on its temperature. For example, the most powerful ASIC miner DragonMint T1 can reach its maximum hashing power (16.0 TH/s) only if the temperature doesn’t rise above 25°C.

Those miners who live in hot climate may consider installing an AC unit inside their mining room. Your AC system should be powerful enough to keep up with the heat output, but that comes with a big disadvantage – air conditioning adds at least 35% to your electricity bill.

Big mining companies usually use immersive cooling for rapid and efficient heat removal. The mining equipment is submerged in special non-corrosive and non-electrically conductive cooling liquid. Such an innovative technology was introduced by 3M Novec.

The excess heat that is being generated by Bitcoin miners can now be used for heating your home or even growing vegetables. A Czech exchange service has recently introduced a startup that combines cryptocurrencies and agriculture.

Step 6. Make sure that Bitcoin mining remains profitable. Nowadays, amateur miners can hardly make any significant profit without large initial investments in ASIC chips. Numerous data centers based in countries with inexpensive electricity (Iceland, Russia, China and so on) have established a big mining monopoly.

Bitcoin mining becomes less profitable due to its rising difficulty and proportionally rising electricity expenses. While there is no way to make Bitcoin mining easier in the ASIC-era, you can still try to reduce your electricity expenses. If mining is your major source of income, you may seriously consider moving to another country with low electricity prices. You can also try to build a solar-powered mining plant – solar panels will offset the energy consumption. However, the efficiency of solar energy for Bitcoin mining depends on a number of factors such as the amount of solar radiation, the surface, the angle and so on.

As of now, it is more advisable to invest small fractions of money in different altcoins, since most recent trends show that their value may significantly rise in the future. Of course, you may still buy Bitcoin mining hardware, but first you have to determine your potential income with the help of any mining profitability calculator.

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Darryn Pollock

The Case for a Bullish Q4 Across the Cryptocurrency Markets

There are history and charts and general optimism to go on, but there is also a good case for a bullish Q4 in the cryptocurrency markets
The Case for a Bullish Q4 Across the Cryptocurrency Markets

2018 has been a tough year for cryptocurrency enthusiasts, especially for those who joined at the conclusion of last year on the hopes that the massive rally would continue ever upwards. The market has been decidedly bearish as it has stripped a lot of its value.

However, the pessimism seems to have abated as many believe that Bitcoin, and as such the majority of the cryptocurrency market, has reached its bottom. Thus, the belief is the only way for Bitcoin now has to be up.

This belief is also being strengthened by other factors in and around the cryptocurrency market which could well lead to a Bullish Q4 for the digital currencies. Things such as potential regulatory approvals, oncoming global market war can lead to smaller but still meaningful advancements.

Google has lifted its ad ban, Coinbase is expanding its offerings, ICE’s Bakkt is launching soon, and even history puts Q4 in a good light.  

Positive Q4 news

There is a host of good news approaching the cryptocurrency market in Q4 that could help catalyze a resurgence in the price of cryptocurrencies across the market. It has often been seen that a positive piece of news has a big effect on an upward trend.

Some of the things which could lead to a stronger and more engaging cryptocurrency market include things like Ripple’s xRapid product. The XRP token is often shunned by the purist cryptocurrency fans as it has a centralized nature, but the manner in which the space is heading dictates that a level of compliance is needed, as well as solutions for banks and other institutionalized entities.

Ripple hits these notes and could well be the starting point for an uptake in institutionalized interest for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Furthermore, Bakkt will provide a Bitcoin Future’s platform that also serves as an all-in-one consumer marketplace to buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies. Microsoft and Starbucks are supporting this endeavor and Bakkt could help crypto become mainstream.

But still, the biggest piece of institutionalized news that both sides of the equation are waiting on is the possibility of a Bitcoin ETF. The SolidX ETF could very much catapult the market to a new stratosphere. The next decision date deadline is Dec. 29, 2018, but the SEC can issue a delay into February 2019.

Still an issue of volume

But, despite all the positive news, the real underlying issue for Bitcoin’s price and growth has to be its low volume. Any news that has come Bitcoin’s way recently, that in the past would send it rallying, has quickly died down because of lack of trading volume.

Naeem Aslam, Chief Market Analyst at ThinkMarkets, explains that the biggest thing lacking for Bitcoin to break through some real levels of resistance is participation from its community.

“As it has been the case recently, Bitcoin’s upward momentum is lacking one critical element: participation from the wider community. Remember, last year’s move towards $20,000 was supported by the retail client. It was the masses going crazy about the cryptocurrency thinking that buying Bitcoin is the shortcut to acquire the Lambo they always wanted,” he said.

“No matter which exchange you look at, there is one common theme: no volume. A lot of questions are being raised in regards to the opening of new accounts at various different exchanges and the key problem continues to be the lack of a reliable third-party auditor.”

So, as Aslam explains, the cryptocurrency market needs an influx of new money and participation, and for him and foe many others, that will potentially come if an ETF is granted by the SEC.

“Bitcoin needs some sort of a blessing to revitalize the rally. This could come in the form of an ETF approval from the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). To date, the SEC has rejected nearly nine applications in this space. But there is still hope. The department has invited parties and public people to share their views on Bitcoin ETFs. The date set for this is Oct. 26, 2018,” Aslam added.

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Darryn Pollock

EOS’s Mainnet Upgrade is Seeing Massive Gains, What’s it All About?

EOS is setting itself up for a switch of Blockchain as it moves away from Ethereum and onto its own ‘mainnet’. The coin’s price skyrocket to new all-time highs.
EOS’s Mainnet Upgrade is Seeing Massive Gains, What’s it All About?
Contents

EOS, a digital currency that backs itself as a powerful infrastructure on which dApps can be built upon, is making the move away from the Ethereum Blockchain on June 2 to its own MainNet. This step towards autonomy has seen the price of the digital currency reach a new all-time high at the end of last week as interest grows.

The importance of its mainnet move is that the cryptocurrency Blockchain will be able to utilize its own infrastructure on which other dApps can build upon, rather than simply piggybacking off the Ethereum Blockchain.

They have also seen partnerships begin to develop, and support to be shown, which has helped the coin reach new heights.

Ditching Ethereum

The EOS.io launch will be a transition for EOS from its current Ethereum Blockchain to its mainnet. With the MainNet launch, EOS would swap its current Ethereum based tokens too.

This means that those who have EOS tokens will need to register them before the launch as when it does make the switch all the Ethereum-based tokens will be frozen.

Key partnerships

The launch of the mainnet is still a month away, but as interest grows, and EOS starts to get its ducks in a row with key partnerships, the positive speculation has helped drive the price of the coin up.

eToro, one of the world’s largest crypto-trading and investment platforms, added the EOS token to its list of assets, towards the end of last month.

Additionally, Binance exchange, which is among the most popular exchanges, has also announced their support for EOS’ mainnet launch. In a blog post, they said, “Binance would like to confirm that we will support the EOS MainNet Token Swap. We will handle all technical requirements involved for all users holding EOS.”

Price rises

The coin has hit the all-time high of $23 on Sunday. It jumped more than 70 percent last week alone, allowing it to grab the fifth spot in cryptocurrency ranking, with the market capitalization of $15.5 bln.

Price rises

 

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📈 Pricewise Vaido Veek

Bitcoin- Seven Failed Attempts, LTC is on the Important Area, TRX Approaching Key Level: Crypto Price Analysis Update, Sept. 12, 2018

Pricewise
Bitcoin has seven failed attempts, LTC is on the important area, TRX approaching the key level
Bitcoin- Seven Failed Attempts, LTC is on the Important Area, TRX Approaching Key Level: Crypto Price Analysis Update, Sept. 12, 2018

*** Please note the analysis below is not investment advice. The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of U.Today. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Bitcoin has seven failed attempts

Now we have been in this consolidation phase a little bit over six days. Currently, BTC price has drawn us a "Triangle" pattern and we have a down channel where the price moves downwards.

Bitcoin

Yesterday we got a small sign that the price may come down and test the lower levels. It made a breakout from the triangle downwards which is a bearish sign, but currently, on the four-hour chart, we could see that there is a very strong level- $6,250.

BTC price has tried to break this seven times but all those attempts were unsuccessful and it bounced back above the mentioned level. So, basically, we have a sign that we may go downwards from triangle breakout, now, if we get a close below the $6,250 this could mean that there is a very high probability to go test the lower levels. If we start to drop then the first support is $6,000 where we want to watch what the price action does but we think it will go much lower than $6,000 but let's see and let’s take this step-by-step.

If we start to go higher then you already know our resistances from yesterday’s post.

Litecoin (LTC/USD) is on the important area

If some alts are approaching the 2018 low point then Litecoin is almost there. Currently, LTC price is on the very important support area- $50 which starts to work as a support and the 2018 low which was made on Aug. 14.

Litecoin (LTC/USD)

If we don't find that power to hold the price above $50 then bearish confirmation would be a four-hour candle close below the 2018 low (red box).

A break below the 2018 low could mean bad news for LTC because there are exactly zero recent supports until the next round number area of $40. There are also two different trendlines pulled from different wicks and lows (let's call those trendlines the minor trendlines) and they make a cross on the $40 level + there is also some Fibonacci extension areas. So, this means the next support area and a pretty significant one is around $40.

To trade between the $50 and $40 level is pointless and very risky. Because technically there is almost nothing remarkable. Wait for $40 or if the price doesn't reach into this are then wait for our technical analysis, we will try to keep you posted.

Tron (TRX/USD) is approaching the key area

If we take a look at Tron’s four-hour chart then it has dropped below the round number $0.02 and below the strong support which was around $0.0188 and looks like there is room to go even lower.

Tron (TRX/USD)

TRX possible next targets/supports are the 2018 low which occurred on Aug. 14. In this price level, we have to watch what BTC does, if it also finds the support, from let's say from $6,000, then it would be good for Tron also since those distances are almost the same.

Around the 2018 low, we have a round number of $0.015 which could start to support the price.

If TRX price doesn't catch the momentum from the mentioned level then we might go and touch the minor trendline which is pulled from the June 13 wick and we may go as low as $0.011-$0.013.

So, currently investing in Tron is not recommended because there is room to go lower and the market is on the selling pressure.

Hopefully, those levels and this analysis helped you out a little bit to confirm your own analysis.

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Coins Guide George Shnurenko

How to Store Dash Offline

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All lucrative businesses attract two kinds of people; those who want to work and earn and the ones who want to use underhand methods to acquire rewards.
How to Store Dash Offline

All lucrative businesses attract two kinds of people; those who want to work and earn and the ones who want to use underhand methods to acquire rewards. The cryptocurrency industry is no different. Being a technology-driven industry, hackers are the biggest threat to your portfolio. However, cases of theft are not unheard of as well.

Therefore, irrespective of how you have acquired your dash tokens, it is paramount that you secure them safely. There are several dash compatible wallets that you can from; however, before getting to that, it is essential to consider your plans for these cryptocurrencies that you possess. For instance, do you plan on:

  • Trading regularly

  • Making frequent transfers to other people

  • Or simply storing your dash for the long run

Your intentions will help you to determine a more suitable storage system that will allow you the liberty to as you wish without comprising on their safety.

Hot wallets Vs. Cold Wallets

Simply put, hot wallets are online wallets, they are constantly connected to the Internet and can be accessed from any online terminal given the terminal user has the required verification credentials. Their accessibility aspect makes them ideal for users who intend on trading or transferring their crypto regularly. At the same time, it makes hot wallets the least secure storage option. You are, therefore, advised to keep a small portion of your crypto on hot wallets for transaction purposes only.

Cold wallets, on the other hand, are offline wallets and therefore, allot safer. With these wallets, you have nothing to worry about as long as your computer operating system and malware detection applications are up-to-date. You should store the vast majority of your stash on an offline wallet. They come in several categories include desktop wallets, hardware wallets, mobile wallets, paper wallets, and web wallets. For your benefit, a few of the most reliable Dash compatible, offline wallets have been explained below.

Hardware wallets

Hardware wallets come in the form of physical gadgets that are retained offline. However, you can easily plug one into a computer when necessary. The fact that you have to confirm every transaction by pressing a specific button on the device makes them a very secure alternative. There have no cases of hacked hardware wallets so far, so can rest assured that your crypto is safe.

Examples of hardware wallets include the legger Nano S, KeepKey, and Trezor.io. They are all different regarding features; therefore, you should do some research before selecting one.

Desktop wallets

Dash compatible desktop wallets are readily available with varying security and utility features. These include the Dash Core Win/64 Installer, Dash Electrum, cash core Win/64 ZIP and Exodus.

As the first multi-currency desktop wallet, Exodus has an attractive user interface and offers its users a full pie-chart of their crypto stash. It supports up to eleven altcoins and using it is free of charge. Exodus also has an inbuilt ShapeShift exchange facility, which means you can conveniently convert your dash tokens to other cryptocurrencies within seconds. This feature makes taking advantage of price shifts a lot easier for traders.

Dash Paper wallets

Paper wallets are vital bearer gadgets, in a way that whoever holds the wallet has unlimited access to the stored digital assets. They are some of the best yet cheapest storage units, especially for storing cryptocurrency secretly. The paper wallet bears both your public and private keys; therefore, it is vital that you keep them safe. Though, they are impossible to hack. An ideal example of paper wallets is Dash Core Paper Wallet.

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