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Bitmain Struggling Amid Market Downturn, IPO No Longer Certain

Bitmain Struggling Amid Market Downturn

Bitmain may be the largest manufacturer of cryptocurrency mining equipment in the world but despite the size of the company and its near-total monopoly on the mining industry, it is not immune to the impacts of the 2018 cryptocurrency bear market.

Bitmain has been forced to close down its Israeli development center, amid rapidly declining revenues. Possibly over 1 million Antminers have been shut off since the beginning of November 2018.

The mining industry has entered its worst bear market in history. For years, Bitcoin’s hash rate had been exponentially increasing, but now it has declined from 60 EH/s to 35 EH/s. This represents billions of US dollars of Bitcoin mining equipment being shut off, the equivalent of 1.3 million S9 Antminers according to BitMEX Research. Total daily Bitcoin mining revenue has fallen from USD 12 million to USD 6 million per day, leaving only about a USD 1 million daily profit margin across the entire Bitcoin mining industry, even after the mass shutdown of mining rigs.

Bitcoin mining manufacturers are in a situation they have never experienced before, where the rigs they sell are rapidly becoming worthless. This is causing demand to dry up and possibly leaving Bitmain with excess inventory it cannot sell. The shutdown of Bitmain’s Israeli development center and subsequent layoff of the 23 employees that worked there are signs that Bitmain has switched from global expansion mode to contraction. The Israeli development center was a critical hub for the creation of new blockchain and AI technology.

Bitmain was trying to go public on the Hong Kong stock exchange via an IPO, which is supposed to occur by Q1 2019 at the latest. However, the company is in a particularly bad position its major budget problems may postpone the IPO. Not only is Bitmain seeing drying up sales and being forced to close their critical development centers, it is heavily invested in Bitcoin Cash, which has fallen more than 80% in a month due to the Bitcoin Cash fork. Essentially, the firm put its entire war chest into Bitcoin Cash and now that money is mostly gone. Also, Bitmain is being sued for their role in manipulating hash rate during the Bitcoin Cash fork.

A silver lining to all of this is the Bitmain monopoly may finally be breaking, which will allow other mining manufacturers to become competitive. This would be a good thing for cryptocurrency miners worldwide since increased competition generally brings better technology and lower prices.

 

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Trade Follow Global Matches Investors with Expert Traders for Maximum Profits

Trade Follow Global Matches Investors With Expert Traders For Maximum Profits

Trade Follow Global (TFG) is an estabilished Global Forex and CFD Broker trading platform that utilizes social trading to bring maximum profits to cryptocurrency investors. In addition to cryptocurrency, TFG offers metals, CFDs, stocks, and fiat currencies. New users can open a demo account to see how TFG works, before investing any actual money. Social trading may be the next big thing for cryptocurrency and traditional market trading.

TFG uses proven strategies and sources for selecting Top Traders. These are expert traders and money managers. Their history of trading must have stable income. TFG’s Top Traders make short-term trading orders, will close all orders within a day, and must produce consistent profits of 2% daily.

Followers are people who invest with TFG, and they are matched with Top Traders. Followers can see all of the trading decisions of the Top Traders they select, which can provide an educational crash course on how to trade. Also, followers can allow the Top Traders to make investment decisions for them, so users can take part in the market without investing the time and research needed in order to profitably trade. Profits will be more stable because Top Traders are reliable. Depending on the amount of capital invested, Followers will be able to follow up to 10 Top Traders. Following more Top Traders minimizes risk. The below chart shows the different levels of membership at TFG, and the corresponding number of Top Traders that can be followed for each membership level.

TFG will keep 30% of the Followers’ profit to give rewards to the Top Traders (15%), and the remaining is given to the Operation and Insurance Fund. Followers can receive 50% insurance if their daily trades result in a loss.

Overall profits for followers is capped at 200%. After this goal is reached, Followers will receive the principal and need to deposit more to continue trading and earning with TFG.

TFG aims to be listed publicly in 2020. TFG is awarding shares to all investors until the total amount of awarded shares reach 1,400,000,000 shares (40% of total corporate shares). The holders will receive dividends from the company’s revenue on a monthly basis, and after August 2019 these shares can be traded in the community. Higher membership levels come with increased stock bonuses, as can be seen in the above chart.

Followers can get bonuses from the TFG referral program. Anytime a new investor is referred, the Follower that referred them will get a fixed bonus based on the plan the new investor purchases.

Thus, users of the TFG platform have multiple avenues to make money including receiving profits by investing in Top Traders, earning TFG stock, and referring new users. New users can learn more by viewing this TFG presentation, contact TFG via the email contact@tradefollow.global, and can open a TFG account at this link.

 

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Morgan Creek Founder Seeks $1 Million Bet on Crypto Outperforming S&P 500

Morgan Creek Founder Seeks  Million Bet on Crypto Outperforming S&P 500

Morgan Creek founder Anthony Pompliano is looking to make a USD 1 million bet that the Digital Asset Index Fund, a weighted average of major cryptocurrencies, will outperform the S&P 500 over the next ten years.

Pompliano is hoping a cryptocurrency skeptic will take up his bet, due to start on 1 January 2019 and end on 1 January 2029.

It takes obvious inspiration from Warren Buffet’s infamous USD 1 million bet that the S&P 500 would outperform a collection of hedge funds. In January 2018, Buffet won the bet. One might be inclined to suggest the American business tycoon be the opponent in this new bet, taking into account that Buffet notoriously has labeled Bitcoin as “rat poison squared” and insisted it has no intrinsic value.

The Digital Asset Index Fund will be the basis for this bet, rather than betting purely on Bitcoin. This index is a combination of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin  Cash, EOS, Monero, Zcash, Dash, IOTA, and NEM. The fund reconstitutes monthly to capture the evolving market, so even if some of these cryptocurrencies were to be devalued ten years from now, the negative impact should be minimal. Overall, the fund serves as a good proxy for the overall crypto market. Likewise, the S&P 500 is a good proxy for the overall stock market and it reconstitutes periodically as well to capture the evolution of the stock market.

Pompliano says, “It [cryptocurrency] outperformed over the last 10 years and we believe that will not change moving forward for the next 10 years.”

Indeed, Bitcoin has risen from USD 0.01 to USD 3,250 as of 7 December 2018, and went as high as USD 20,000 in December 2018, outperforming all other asset classes.

 

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Binance Adds Sub-Account Features to Attract Institutional Investors

Binance Adds Sub-Accounts Features for Institutional Investors

Top cryptocurrency market shareholder by daily trading volume Binance announced today through its blog post that it is creating a sub-account support feature to help with accommodating institutional investors.

It’s widely acknowledged that there’s a growing interest from the institutional sectors in cryptocurrency and some believe that the next phase of cryptocurrency development will be facilitated by these entities.

Binance seems to be preparing itself for this expectation by adding features to improve its services. “Binance is thrilled to announce the launch of our long-anticipated sub-account feature, which brings improved managerial control and asset audit tools to institutional account holders”, the blog post reads. It further touts this development as “one step closer to a comprehensive, full-stack offering for institutional clients”.

Binance further explains that “the new sub-account feature is available to corporate users and individuals with VIP 3 tier (or higher) accounts”. That is based on the already established institutional account system.

These sub-accounts are designed to allow institutions to have flexible handling and access control to multiple trading accounts for different firms. Different account levels will be provided to these institutions and they’ll have control over each sub-accounts of the firms. According to the exchange, “the original/main account has sole control over the movement of assets… different access levels for up to 200 sub accounts”.

The blog also infers that sub-accounts are properly compartmentalized with enhanced with security features to minimize risks of tampering. More so, the accounts have unique APIs with different access privileges.

The perceived coming influx of institutional investments has prompted similar service providers to adjust their operations to accommodate these significant changes when they happen. About a week ago, Coinbase launched over-the-counter (OTC) trading for institutional clientsIn Israel, an investment house plans to launch the first dedicated digital coin investment platform for institutional and accredited investors.

 

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Binance Releases Preview of Binance DEX, Launches Own Blockchain

Binance Releases Preview of Binance DEX, Launches Own Blockchain

Binance, the #1 spot cryptocurrency exchange in the world with USD 0.5-1 billion of daily trading volume, will launch the Binance decentralized exchange (DEX) in early 2019.

A video preview and the launch of its own blockchain has seen a major rally for its native token, BNB, with its market cap increasing USD 150 million, rocketing it to #13 on CoinMarketCap with a market cap of USD 800 million. This is likely because speculators expect that Binance DEX users will be buying up BNB in order to pay for trading fees and voting on the Binance DEX.

The Binance DEX will allow users to completely control their crypto assets in their own wallets, issue new assets, suggest trading pairs which will be voted on by the community and potentially added to the DEX, and trade for any cryptocurrency on the Binance DEX without having to hand over any identification information.

Its own blockchain, the Binance Chain, will be the backbone of the Binance DEX and all trades on the exchange will be recorded on the blockchain. It appears the Binance Chain has an extremely fast block time of 1 second or less, facilitating instant confirmation of trades. Binance Token (BNB) will be the native cryptocurrency of the Binance Chain and the Binance DEX, and will be used to pay trading fees.

Aside from issuing tokens, trading cryptocurrencies, and proposing new trading pairs, users on the Binance DEX will be able to send and receive tokens peer to peer, burn tokens, and freeze tokens. Binance DEX will be community run, and is intrinsically decentralized since it runs off of the Binance Chain. At this time, based on the video, it appears no know your customer (KYC) information is needed to create an account, preserving the anonymity of users.

The developer in the video says new features will be added to Binance DEX before launch. The true degree of decentralization and anonymity of the Binance DEX will only be known once it launches.

 

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Switzerland to Adapt Existing Laws to Accommodate Blockchain

Switzerland to Adapt Existing Laws to Accommodate Blockchain

Contemplating a separate blockchain legislature are out of the question for the Swiss as the Finance Minister Ueli Maurer said Switzerland will instead adapt the current legal framework to account for blockchain technology.

Maurer said during the Infrachain blockchain conference in Bern that there won’t be a special blockchain law, instead, the current legal framework will be tweaked to adapt to the new technology and its derivatives. This will involve an adaption to six different laws starting with the “laws of obligations and ending with bankruptcy law”. The whole process should be completed in the coming year.

About a year ago, in a fintech round-table discussion involving the minister and other financial and scientific stakeholders, attendees agreed upon the urgency of attention to the development of blockchain and initial coin offerings (ICO). This led to setting up a committee to determine the necessary actions to be taken towards the development and adoption of the new enterprise.

Blockchain interest in the country has taken up a rather interesting turn with jurisdictions such as London, Singapore and Shanghai identified as “tough competitors”. However, countries like Liechtenstein are ahead of the Swiss in terms of blockchain-related legislature with a bill already in motion will be passed in 2019.

Blockchain developments (standardization) and regulation are currently being considered simultaneously in Switzerland to effectively groom the industry. With FINMA proposing a structural operational model for financial institutions to work against the volatility of the market on one hand. Switzerland’s State Secretary Joerg Gasser has opined that standards are now more important than regulation since according to him, fintech has moved beyond the “hype-cycle”. On the horizon, more utility use for blockchain enterprise seems to be developing as well.

 

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Top Ethereum Whales Increase Share by 80%

Top Ethereum Wales Increase Share by 80% This Year

It would seem that the top actively trading Ethereum whales have been taking advantage of the cryptocurrency’s poor performance this year, as data shows they have increased their holdings four-fold since 2017; this is the highest accumulation by annum recorded.

A study conducted by blockchain research institute Diar using data from TokenAnalyst reviewed over 5,200 Ethereum addresses, finding that the top holders by scale have accrued a massive 80% increase in their holdings. The aggregate Ethereum portfolios of these investors now account for over USD 2.3 billion, nearly 20% of that in circulation.

In January 2017, these whales owned just ETH 5 million, meaning there has been a four-fold increase to date.

Fewer whales, more concentration

The study also shows that there has been around a 30% drop in the number of whale addresses compared to the start of the year, with Ethereum becoming increasingly concentrated in those at the top.

The big investors carry a net positive figure in trading, meaning they are still investing at higher rates than they are cashing out. Around USD 1 billion has been sent to the top addresses so far this year, increasing Ethereum balances by 270% compared to the last quarter – levels this high have not been seen in nearly two years.

A struggling token market is suggested to be the cause in Ethereum hoarding as it is the cryptocurrency pair of choice for most tokens. Backing this up, the data indicates that wallets belonging to cryptocurrency exchanges have seen a spike in Ethereum activity from traders, as they presumably exit the token market.

Last month, the top exchanges recorded around USD 470,000 in Ethereum withdrawals, compared to deposits which reached over USD 1.8 billion.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin was awarded an honorary PhD last week from the University of Basel for his contributions to blockchain.

 

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Nasdaq Bitcoin Futures Confirmed

Nasdaq Bitcoin Futures Confirmed

Just last week, Bitcoin News reported Bloomberg’s findings on the world’s second largest stock exchange’s plan on moving forward with Bitcoin futures listing. This week, Nasdaq has cleared the air of all speculation by confirming this.

UK news outlet Express heard it from the horse’s mouth yesterday that Nasdaq would definitely be launching its Bitcoin futures within the first half of next year. This was obtained from two credible inside sources from within the organization.

Vice president of Nasdaq’s media team Joseph Christinat told an Express point man: “Bitcoin Futures will be listed and it should launch in the first half of next year – we’re just waiting for the go-ahead from the CFTC but there’s been enough work put into this to make that academic.”

Christinat added, “We’ve seen plenty of speculation and rumors about what we might be doing, but no one has thought to come to us and ask if we can confirm it, so, here you go – we’re doing this, and it’s happening.”

The current market trends might just be in need of a good news as this, in particular, is of more interest to institutional investors. However, this has a way of rippling into other mainstream financial affairs. The most likely of all institutions to feel the most impact would be traditional banking institutions, as the move will enlighten them on the serious roles cryptocurrency has in the future of finance. More so, it may be a step closer to legitimizing the market.

From Joseph’s statement, it would seem that they are no strangers to the development of both the blockchain technology and the cryptocurrency market, as he does emphasize on the efforts of the exchange toward engaging with the new venture.

“We got into the blockchain game five years ago, and when the technology first popped up we just leaned out of the window and shouted “hey come over here” right at it.”

However, the most assuring is that the exchange has spent so much on achieving this milestone:

“We’ve put a hell of a lot of money and energy into delivering the ability to do this and we’ve been all over it for a long time – way before the market went into turmoil, and that will not affect the timing of this in any way. No. Period. We’re doing this no matter what.”

Right now, all that’s left for the exchange is the final confirmation from the CFTC. This would also be the case with other players who are currently looking to launch their Bitcoin futures too. In the case of VanEck partnering with SolidX for a physically-backed Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), they are simply waiting on the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for approval.

 

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Crypto Reading Catch Up? Now Could Be the Perfect Time

Crypto Reading Catch Up? Now Could Be the Perfect Time

With cryptocurrencies currently languishing ahead their next step major step forward as international interest continues to grow, now might be the time to grab something to read, do some research, fill a few educational gaps, and prepare for the future as the industry gathers new momentum.

Whether it be a fiction or a non-fiction read, there is plenty out there on bookshelves for the discerning reader looking to expand their crypto knowledge. Even screenplays are becoming more frequent, often attracting familiar names from stage and screen. So where to begin then?

If it’s blockchain that holds a fascination, there are two books which have undeniable popularity: “The Internet of Money” by Andreas Antonopoulos and Nathaniel Popper‘s “Digital Gold”. These two promise an insightful read examining blockchain and Bitcoin from two entirely different angles and two very different writing styles.

Antonopoulos takes the reader into the world of blockchain, examining every detail and every aspect of what the technology can offer and how it functions, including advice that an enthusiastic reader might soon find themselves passing on to others. His quote, “First they ignore us, then they laugh at us, then they fight us, then we win”, has already become an industry catchall quote among enthusiasts for explaining how blockchain technology has forged new ground, often against the predictions of detractors and the actions of legislators, to become one of this century’s more notable and significant new technologies.

Popper’s “Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money” is simply a good read. Described by many as a “page-turner” and certainly written like a novel, the book examines the origins of Bitcoin and the mysteries surrounding its anonymous founder and its adherents, through the eyes of some of its central characters such as the Winklevoss twins, with the enigmatic Satoshi Nakamoto taking on the book’s pivotal role.

Another book, this time promising an all-you-need-to-know guide to crypto trading and investment, is Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar’s “Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond”. Although it a may lack the flair of Digital Gold, Cryptoassets is classed as a masterpiece in crypto writing and an all-encompassing guide for the serious investor. The book covers a framework for investigating and valuing crypto assets, practical guides to exchanges, wallets, capital market vehicles, and ICOs, and portfolio management techniques, complete with comprehensive references, charts, and tables.

“Blockchain Basics”, Saifedean Ammous‘s “The Bitcoin Standard”, “The Truth Machine”, “Mastering Bitcoin”, Sam and Alex Tapscott’s “Blockchain Revolution” and “The Age of Cryptocurrency” by Paul Vinya and Michael J Casey are others worthy of note as Christmas approaches or even possibly for revitalizing those new year’s plans for launching an ICO or simply that long-delayed cryptocurrency portfolio.

Whatever the project, these reads will move you further down the road to a greater understanding of the world’s fastest-growing financial technology.

 

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Federal Reserve: CME Bitcoin Futures Prompted Bear Market

Federal Reserve: CME Bitcoin Futures Prompted Bear Market

In a statement widely overlooked by the Bitcoin community, the Federal Reserve published a letter on its website in May 2018 blaming the launch of Bitcoin futures markets on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) for the decline of Bitcoin’s price.

Indeed, Bitcoin futures launched on CME on 17 December 2017, the same day the biggest Bitcoin rally in history reversed into a fall. On the very first day of Bitcoin futures trading, futures opened at USD 20,650 and closed at USD 19,055.

The Federal Reserve says this sort of market behavior has been observed in other asset classes when futures markets are introduced. Specifically, it mentions how the mortgage industry boom was reversed when futures markets for mortgage securities were launched.

Its reason for this is that when a new asset class is born, there are optimistic investors who buy it up, driving the market upwards. However, pessimistic investors have no voice and no way to bet against an asset’s value, until futures markets are launched. Once futures markets are launched, pessimistic investors can short sell, where they buy futures contracts via a loan, sell them for cash and then buy back the contracts later at a lower price before the contracts expire.

The Federal Reserve implicitly says that Bitcoin would have kept rising past USD 20,000 if CME had not launched Bitcoin futures and explicitly says the CME Bitcoin futures are the exact reason for the beginning of Bitcoin’s price collapse.

Further, the investment opportunity presented by Bitcoin futures diverts investment away from the spot markets. Bitcoin futures on CME are cash settled, meaning no Bitcoins are backing them. Therefore, investment into the futures does not increase spot demand for Bitcoin but in fact, causes Bitcoin’s price to be lower since the money invested into the futures is diverted from the spot market.

The Federal Reserve explains how the combination of short selling and diversion of investment away from the spot markets creates a feedback loop which forces Bitcoin’s price lower.

 

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