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Daily Trending News and Market Sentiment: BitMEX Insurance Hits $241M, DLive Joins BitTorrent

bitcoin

  • Bitcoin records a daily low of USD 7,176 as the final day of 2019 continues amid low trading volumes
  • The BitMEX Insurance Fund has grown 61% in 2019 to record almost BTC 33,491 (USD 241.7 million) in total
  • BitTorrent adds blockchain livestreaming platform DLive to its ecosystem

 

Bitcoin has not been able to hold on to the heights of 30 December, and today on New Year’s eve, it looks like it may not even hold on to USD 7,200 levels with a daily low so far of USD 7,176 (CoinDesk) and volumes and pressure that look to push it downwards before the start of the new year.

1 BTC Price: Bitstamp 7216.78 USD Coinbase USD #btc #bitcoin 2019-12-31 06:10 pic.twitter.com/jCpHr6GraO

— coinOK (@coinok) December 31, 2019

Not everyone will be too unhappy, though, as more good news pours the way of BitMEX, one of the world’s largest platforms for Bitcoin trading, which also oversees some of the biggest daily volumes internationally.

The year so far has seen the BitMEX Insurance Fund adding close to BTC 13,000 to record a grand total of BTC 33,491 (approximately USD 241.7 million) as of today. Compared to the total supply of actual Bitcoin in circulation, this means that the insurance fund is 0.19% of all available Bitcoins, at least, according to metrics on Blockchair.

The fund was set up by the cryptocurrency exchange to guarantee that all its liquidation orders related to leveraged positions are filled. At the end of last year, it ended up with almost BTC 20,800, which means that the fund has grown by over 60% in the 364 days since.

As a platform for crypto derivatives, BitMEX is famous for allowing margin trading or leveraged trading, essentially allowing traders to make orders up to 100 times their actual capital. But because margin trading uses up a lot of leverage, the insurance fund is necessary to guarantee that margin traders will in fact receive their winnings if they close orders in profit.

Leveraged trading essentially means that traders bet for or against the price of bitcoin, based on the amount the deposit (their wager, basically). Profit potential (and conversely, losses) are amplified by the value of their leverage.

However, traders in a leveraged market have to pay for the losses that are incurred, and in flash crash events such as the one earlier in the year on Poloniex, resulted in a “socialized” loss for all traders. In a traditional trading activity involving large financial institutions, a default event would significantly jeopardize the entire system. An insurance fund typically protects the company from such an event.

So the fact that BitMEX is growing its insurance fund, despite the inherent risks associated with margin trading, implies that Bitcoin trading, at least in terms of derivatives, is only getting more popular.

Speaking of popular global platforms, peer-to-peer file-sharing platform BitTorrent has announced that it will include the DLive blockchain-based live streaming platform in its ecosystem. This new partnership hopes to bring P2P content sharing and livestreaming ability to 100 million monthly active users of BitTorrent.

BitTorrent CEO Justin Sun said that the recent crypto content ban on YouTube — although later retracted — reminds people that decentralized content platforms are the way forward. He said:

“It’s unfortunate to see content platforms such as YouTube taking down crypto-related content, this is the issue with centralized agencies. Decentralized content platforms such as TRON’s newest partner DLive are the platforms of the future.”

Launched in early 2018, DLive boasts some 5 million active users every month and hit the headlines when popular YouTuber PewDiePie embraced the platform in April this year. Sun, who also heads the TRON Foundation, claims that DLive is “one of the best real-world examples of what is possible when you combine blockchain and digital media”.

DLive CEO, Charles Wayn, himself welcomed the integration, noting:

“We are ecstatic to have the opportunity to be part of the BitTorrent ecosystem. I’ve watched them pioneer the digital peer-to-peer space. DLive’s goal of empowering creators and rewarding communities is one step closer with the amplification of this new venture.”

 

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Daily Trending Bitcoin News and Market Sentiment: UN Bullish on Blockchain, Argentina, Venezuela Record Highs on Bitcoin Trading

bitcoin

  • Bitcoin has been trading above USD 7,200 on Sunday so far, looking to test USD 7,500
  • UN urges an embrace of blockchain technology to meet its sustainable development goals
  • P2P Bitcoin trading on Localbitcoins.com has hit record highs in Argentina and Venezuela

Bitcoin is enjoying a minor resurgence over the weekend as it plants a foot firmly in front of USD 7,200 to trade mainly in a range above USD 7,300 (CoinDesk), with sights set on the USD 7,500 resistance. It is, however, still in a very narrow range of less than USD 100 as most traders remain in holiday mode.

#Bitcoin 📈

▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░░░░░ 38%

price: $7322.935

— Alert Shark (@Alert_Shark) December 29, 2019

If you’re looking for some festive cheer for crypto, take note that the United Nations (UN) secretary-general António Guterres has urged his global organization to embrace blockchain technology. Reported in Forbes, Guterres has gone on record to say that he believes that blockchain should be among the technologies used by the UN. He was quoted as saying:

“For the United Nations to deliver better on our mandate in the digital age, we need to embrace technologies like blockchain that can help accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.”

Guterres touted the technology, acknowledging that it was popularized by Bitcoin, and sees it as a critical part of the UN, especially with significant portions of its annual budget’s goals put towards “building a more sustainable world”.

Those familiar with the UN will know this is not the first time that Guterres spoke well of the potential of blockchain technology. It does seem like a recurring theme for the UN, of course, since Guterres has been a known advocate of blockchain technology. Earlier in July, the same man had been the brains behind a High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation that put blockchain firmly on the UN’s agenda. A year earlier, during his 78th address to the UN General Assembly, he was acknowledging that the levels of trust in national institutions and among states has declined, as well as with public trust in organizations like the UN at an all-time low. In response, he had fingered blockchain technology as one possible mitigating factor. He had been less friendly about crypto at the time, however, saying:

Organized criminal networks lurk on the dark web, profiting from encryption and near-anonymous cryptocurrency payments to traffic in people and illegal goods.”

The unfavorable tune seems to have changed more recently, of course, with UN organizations like the fund for children (Unicef) now happy to accept donations in cryptocurrency.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin demand continues to rise in parts of South America, especially where some developing economies continue to experience the effects of hyperinflation amid joblessness and economic sanctions. In Venezuela and Argentina, Bitcoin weekly trading volumes have hit new all-time highs, calculated in their respective national currencies.

According to crypto data website CoinDance, peer-to-peer trading platform LocalBitcoins has seen a trading volume on the week ending 21 December hit more than ARS 32.6 million (Argentine pesos) or about USD 544,905. This was a jump of over 34% than the amount registered a fortnight before that. In Venezuela, it was a similar case with more than VES 248 billion (Venezuelan bolivars) or USD 24.8 million changing hands in the same period.

BitcoinNews.com frequently reports on record-setting Bitcoin volume in such countries. In Venezuela, once capital controls were imposed by the central bank, preventing citizens from buying up US dollars and foreign currency, locals have instead gone peer to peer to get Bitcoin to store monetary value. In Argentina, since September, the central bank has been increasing the peso’s monetary base by 2.5% per month, further increasing inflationary pressure.

While both bolivar in Venezuela and peso in Argentina have been steadily losing value over the past year, Bitcoin has in fact risen to over 100% of its value from March 2019.

 

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Daily Trending Bitcoin News and Market Sentiment: Huobi Indonesian Fiat Gateway, MenaCash Tipping for Twitch Streamers

bitcoin

  • Bitcoin steadies above USD 7,200 on the start of weekend trading
  • Huobi crypto exchange expands in Indonesia with fiat-to-crypto gateway
  • MenaPay enables stablecoin tipping for Twitch users

Bitcoin price is steadily creeping back up the hill beyond USD 7,200 on the weekend, as the final days of 2019 run out and the new year approaches. Despite the world’s most popular digital asset seemingly unable to shrug off the bearish trends marking lines all over technical analyses, price action continues to strongly favor the resistance from long traders.

For weeks now, the daily charts show a tightening range for Bitcoin, meaning that volatility is in store and monthly close fast approaching could propel the bulls to aim for the next resistance at USD 7,600. Without any notable volume though, change could just as quickly unravel.

Sentiment is lukewarm, but in Southeast Asia, crypto adoption is heating up with global names in crypto keen to make their mark. For instance, China origins crypto exchange Huobi has not launched a fiat gateway in Indonesia, enabling a fiat to crypto trading between the Indonesian rupiah (IDR) and stablecoin Tether (USDT).

A press release from the Huobi Group yesterday said this move would enable Indonesian investors to make use of their IDR holdings to freely trade over 250 digital assets on the subsidiary platform in the country, Huobi Indonesia. Huobi Cloud senior director David Chen stated:

“The new fiat gateway is part of Huobi’s global expansion strategy and reflects our ongoing commitment to working with strong local partners in key markets across the globe […] By continuing to add new fiat/crypto pairs for Huobi Cloud 2.0, we want to make it frictionless for investors anywhere in the world to trade digital assets on a trusted and proven platform.”

The crypto exchange sees one of the world’s most populous countries (Indonesia has a population of around 264 million) a “major opportunity to contribute to the growth of the greater blockchain community and help drive crypto adoption globally”. Huobi Indonesia CEO Xiong Dan also said that the company would not only expand in the new location but consolidate and improve service quality.

Huobi’s global expansion began with an inroad into Turkey earlier in the year, with a planned fiat onramp for Turkish lira still before the year’s end. Alphan Gogus had already been appointed for Huobi Turkey as a general manager and much is expected from crypto’s potential in a country where lira has been experiencing devaluation and constant economic sanctions.

Turkey, which is commonly associated within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, is seen as a hotbed for mass crypto adoption. Recently, mobile payments service MenaPay also announced support for Twitch tipping with their MenaCash stablecoin. In a press release shared with CoinTelegraph, the company said that users of the popular livestreaming platform — typically gamers sharing livestreams of their gaming sessions — could now tip each other or their favorite players with MenaCash, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar.

A week earlier, MenaPay apps could be used by streamers to seamlessly collect donations on the blockchain. It is thought that some 3.7 million streamers donate or subscribe to others on Twitch. MenaPay CEO Cagla Gul Senkarders reiterated her belief that the gaming community was core to the further development and recognition of blockchain technology, and that the new donation option was a “critical milestone” in that relationship. She said:

“Following the announcement, we saw incredible demand from Twitch’s viewer base, which also wants to use a simple means of donating. We made the necessary advancements and updated our app to support the gaming community further. Now, viewers can also integrate their MenaPay app with Twitch and make their donations from their smartphones in seconds.”

Turkey has been one of the surprise entrants in the blockchain and crypto space this year, with Binance calling it as a key target for blockchain development. Back in June, Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay announced its intentions to launch a digital lira by the end of next year, with trialing set to start early 2020.

 

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Daily Trending Bitcoin News and Market Sentiment: Holiday Sprees, YouTube Reinstates Crypto

bitcoin

  • Bitcoin trades quietly at USD 7,200 on Friday
  • Holiday spending on e-commerce trumps traditional brick and mortar establishments
  • YouTube reinstates crypto-related content, says previous bans were a mistake

Bitcoin price looks to be faltering after enjoying a wonderful Boxing Day rally, although the bulls will not be concerned, since volumes remain as thin as ever in the final week of December. With the weekend looming and only the Americas left to trade on Friday, will Bitcoin break out from its current resistance levels near USD 7,200?

Maybe if Bitcoin traders are as bullish as American consumers! According to SpendingPulse, the report by Mastercard, e-commerce sales have broken all-time records during the holiday season, with online retail growing almost 19% from the same festive period in 2018. In fact, now online sales make up for 14.6% of the total spend of holiday shoppers, including for purchases made with Bitcoin.

Clothing took up the lion’s share, with 17% of the spend on them, but jewelry (8.8%), electronics (10.7%) were also big on shopping lists, with a further 6.9% spent at departmental stores. All in all, 2019 has seen a 3.4% jump in online shopping over the holidays, despite it being one of the shortest one on record, with six days less than last year’s.

MasterCard adviser Steve Sadove, said that retailers saw this coming and adapted to the shortened season:

“Due to a later than usual Thanksgiving holiday, we saw retailers offering omnichannel sales earlier in the season, meeting consumers’ demand for the best deals across all channels and devices.”

Crypto accepting merchants, however, had been a little slow to respond to queries about how well they were doing in terms of Bitcoin spend, but eGifter’s VP of Marketing insisted that they had definitely seen an overall growth in crypto sales. The gift card trading service explained:

“We saw more gifting with crypto in 2019, compared to buy-for-self use cases in prior years.”

Much-maligned Bitcoin payment processor BitPay even said things looked up for them, with CMO Bill Zielke saying they saw their daily averages doubling in the days leading up to the holiday.

And of course, everyone will be happy to hear the news from YouTube that confirms the deletions of crypto-related content over the past week have, in fact, been a mistake on the part of the video streaming giant.

We are now seeing more and more such content being re-enabled on the social media platform after days of deletions and silence from YouTube. However, they just announced today on Twitter — via a response to YouTuber and crypto influencer Carl The Moon — some responses in regard to the crypto-related videos that this week had been removed from the platform. Using the handle @TeamYouTube, they said:

“Hey there, this was an error on our side during the review process – your video should be reinstated and strikes resolved. Let us know if you’re seeing otherwise!”

Finally an official response from YouTube! Good news!

However, I’ve learnt a valuable lesson, not to trust or be too dependent on a central authority.

I will try to “decentralize” my audience from now on!

This “mistake” created some serious issues for us YouTubers. https://t.co/Xhcvv6a1UP

— The Moon (@themooncarl) December 26, 2019

Carl himself responded saying: “I can confirm that my warning/strike was removed, and most of the other censored YouTubers have also had their strikes removed.”

Few other confirmations have been received, though suffice to say, YouTube won’t have gained any more popularity votes by a community already feeling let down by the silence from the corporate giant over the holiday season. Carl himself has said that trust in the mega platform has been lost and will be very difficult to regain:

“YouTube has admitted that this was a mistake, but this has severely impacted YouTubers business. However, the biggest thing I have learnt as a Youtuber is to not trust Youtube.”

Might be wise for crypto video lovers to seek out and try one of many alternatives to video streaming.

‘Tis the season for taking, and giving back, right YouTube?

 

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Daily Trending Bitcoin News and Market Sentiment: Google Search Correlation, Russia Central Bank Trialing Stablecoins

bitcoin

  • Bitcoin marks a daily high so far of USD 7,372 on Boxing Day
  • Google Search interest in Bitcoin correlates with sudden price moves, long or short
  • Bank of Russia reported to be testing stablecoins as a hedge of stability against crypto volatility

Bitcoin on Boxing Day is proving to be a better day than Christmas for Bitcoiners, as price is slowly climbing up in late Europe trading zones, recording a daily high of USD 7,372 (CoinDesk) with the Americas yet to enter the fray.

Tomorrow is the expiry of ₿TC  futures contract on CME for the month of December. This will be the closing price of the futures contract for the year 2019. Currently crossed 7350 level +2.5% of the day
Pump up 🚀#Bitcoin #cryptocurrency pic.twitter.com/hkP3dj99gK

— ₿ 𝓙𝓪𝔂𝓮𝓼𝓱 ₿ (@bitjayesh) December 26, 2019

We frequently report on how interest in Bitcoin tends to go up as Bitcoin price does, and we now have even more data that supports this theory, with recent Google trends showing that Bitcoin’s sudden price movements — whether or not it is up or down — tend to trigger even more interest, despite recent performances seemingly giving up ground on price for the world’s most traded digital asset.

Google Trends now shows that interest worldwide in Bitcoin has been trending upwards, with last month recording its highest ever search ranking since 26 October when price was at USD 9,200. And more interestingly, the majority of this new interest is coming not from typical Bitcoiner country like USA or West Europe, but from emerging economies such as Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. Tinier European nations like Austria and Switzerland are also climbing up the list, apparently, meaning to say that the diversity of interest in Bitcoin is also increasing.

Digging more into the data, we can find that in 2019, interest in Bitcoin on Google Search has been during periods of intense volatility, where Bitcoin has lost or gained the most value. One example is during the rally from USD 9,000 on 19 June to USD 12,900 on 29 June — the 10-day period witnessed the highest global interest in Bitcoin in a year. The second best rate of interest? This came during the second week of May, when price rallied from USD 5,500 to USD 8,000.

But opposite price action also triggered mass interest. For example, from 14 to 20 July when Bitcoin lose 10% of its value, and in September when Bitcoin lose 20% of its price in just a week. Blockchain Today analyst Jeroen Van Lange concurs:

“On the 24th and 25th of September Bitcoin dipped from USD 10,080 to USD 8,126. On those exact dates we are seeing a spike in volume on Google trends. The same counts for 25th and 26th of October, huge volatility increases search volume.”

Interest or not, Russia is hot on the heels of China in terms of launching its own central bank digital currency (CBDC), with news emerging that the Bank of Russia is now trialing stablecoins pegged to real assets in a regulatory sandbox.

Elvira Nabiullina, the chief of the Russian central bank, has clarified that these stablecoins are not necessarily going to be a means of payment or substitute for money, however. Russian media arm Interfax said that the bank was merely exploring stablecoin potential, as a hedge against crypto volatility. She said:

We are testing stablecoins in our regulatory ‘sandbox’. We see companies willing to issue tokens pegged to certain real assets. In our regulatory sandbox, we are learning the potential uses of stablecoins but we do not assume that they will function as a means of payment and become a surrogate for money .”

The same report also touched on the issue of the digital ruble or the Russian CBDC, which says that the bank is still working to fully understand their potential by looking at the experiences of other countries using them. Nabiullina did say that issuing such a digital ruble could lead to unintended “serious consequences” such as financial market structure changes like deposit outflows.

Russian sentiment on crypto doesn’t seem to have changed, though, as she said that despite Russians’ continued belief that private money without government interference was a possibility, the state was firm in its resolve against “private money”. She explained:

“We are against private money. If some digital currencies were designed to become a substitute for private money, we could not support that.”

 

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Daily Trending Bitcoin News and Market Sentiment: Digital Yuan Doesn’t Need Reserves, ShenZhen Top 50 Blockchain Index

bitcoin

  • Bitcoin tapers off but continues to trade strongly above USD 7,000 on Christmas day
  • People’s Bank of China (PBoC) official says digital yuan won’t need actual currency reserve backing
  • Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SSE) in China has launched an index of top 50 blockchain companies

 

Bitcoin trading has seen a slight leveling off for bullish action during Christmas, as price threatened to come close to the USD 7,000 support, although is now trading close to the daily high at USD 7,292 (CoinDesk).

One of the big news items comes, unsurprisingly, from China, where a central bank official has apparently said that the planned digital yuan coming out next year will be unlike Libra, in that it won’t need to be backed by actual currency reserves.

Local financial publication Shanghai Security News reports that the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) digital currency research subsidiary boss, Changchun Mu, said China’s new cryptocurrency will be able to act as an asset with a stable value without the need for a currency basket.

Mu was talking to journalists at The China Finance Association Academic Annual Meeting and China Finance Forum Annual Meeting in Beijing over the weekend. He said this aspect alone differentiated the new Chinese national crypto from other centralized projects like Facebook’s crypto, Libra. He said:

“The [digital yuan] currency is not used for speculation. The RMB is used to spend, not for speculation. It does not have the characteristics of bitcoin speculation, nor does it require the currency basket assets to support the value of the currency like stable currency.”

It was not made clear if the central bank will seek an alternative method to peg the central bank digital currency (CBDC) to the country’s renminbi (CNY). Nevertheless, its Digital Currency Research Institute has been hard at work at making the currency system known as Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP), since 2014. CoinDesk says that an ex official had confirmed in November that retail payments and cross-border payments would form two main use cases for the currency.

It was only after Facebook had unveiled its Libra plans that China has publicized its own plans for a crypto, but it is keen to remind people that the digital yuan would be a cheaper and faster remittances solution, and now, won’t need a basket of currencies to remain stable, unlike Libra.

Mu also promises that the PBoC would guarantee privacy for transactions, much like cash, and still be able to trace illegal activity, without compromising privacy and increased surveillance, as many are thinking will happen.

If China’s 2020 plan succeeds, it will be the world’s first major economy to launch a CBDC, and all signs appear to show that it is on track to do just this. Mu confirmed it was soon able to issue the currency to Chinese citizens using partners like Tencent and Ant Financial:

“At present, the digital currency DCEP of the People’s Bank of China has basically completed the top-level design, standard formulation, functional research and development, joint debugging and testing.”

Meanwhile, more news in China. The Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SSE), already famous for mirroring its city’s namesake as a tech company haven, has now launched an index tracking the performance of 50 blockchain firms. Their Christmas eve announcement confirmed that they will base the new index on the stocks of 50 companies listed on the SSE as long as they participated in the blockchain industry.

SSE will use the average daily market value over the past six months to assess and rank the top 50 blockchain-related stocks. This means the index will be updated twice annually, on the second Friday of June and December

SSE says it has ensured that the index only ranks companies actually using blockchain technology, and not just merely associating themselves with blockchain for hype.

 

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Daily Trending Bitcoin News and Market Sentiment: TenCent Headhunts Blockchain Boss, Reuters to Release Crypto Tax Tool

bitcoin

  • Bitcoin rally ends, price steadies at USD 7,220
  • TenCent headhunting for a new head of blockchain research
  • Thomson Reuters to release crypto tax planning tool

It was a rally on Monday but one that has failed to gain more traction on Tuesday, as long traders seem to have lost steam on Christmas eve.

Bitcoin trading volume, as to be expected, is back to lower levels, and volatility has also dropped off in Europe, and we should expect to see more of the same in American trading zones later. As of now, Bitcoin is stable around USD 7,220 at 11:30 am London time (CoinDesk).

Along with the end of that rally, altcoins in the Top 20 have also withered, with ETH dropping back below USD 130, LTC ending at USD 41.3 and XRP closer to 19 cents than to 20 cents as Bitcoin dominance sticks around at 69%. (CoinMarketCap).

One huge piece of bullish news comes out from China, where popular WeChat developers Tencent has announced plans to form a digital currency research group that hopes to further advance the field of blockchain technology research.

As reported by local media outlet iFeng, the household name has apparently told its workers that it is now headhunting for a person to lead the new research group. The new division is going to focus on Tencent’s work in digital payments, augmented with blockchain technology.

There wasn’t much in the article, except that when queried by a Beijing Commercial Daily reporter, Tencent did not deny the announcement but did not provide any further information. The internal notice had purportedly said that it was actively responding to the call of the:

“Opinions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on Supporting Shenzhen to Build a Socialist Pioneering Demonstration Zone with Chinese Characteristics” on “Innovative Applications such as Digital Currency Research and Mobile Payment in Shenzhen”.

The notice also says that the WXG WeChat business group-WeChat payment line, and all other financial lines will be reporting to relevant business group leaders for review and decision. TenCent apparently has been involved in blockchain-related research at least since 2015, with several milestones since, including a completed “blockchain ecological platform” in 2018 and a “2019 Tencent Blockchain White Paper” released just recently.

Will Tencent overtake the likes of Facebook in building a corporate-driven version of a digital currency based on blockchain? Only time will tell!

Meanwhile, global media conglomerate Thomson Reuters has partnered with crypto accountancy Verady, to build a new tax tool for crypto.

The new tool, a “Virtual Currency Organizer”, will be included in the Thomson Reuters GoSystem Tax RS product, targeted at individuals who will be reporting cryptocurrency transactions on tax form 1040. According to Thomson Reuters, the tool will be a single point of data entry and review for digital asset transactions. It covers the comprehensive slew of exchanges, forks, purchases and payment for services rendered.

Users of Varady’s Ledgible blockchain accounting platform will soon also be able to call up reports made just for Thomson Reuters’ GoSystem Tax and Ultra Tax products. Verady CEO Kell Canty told Cointelegraph:

“Once Ledgible users have integrated their wallet and exchange activity, they’ll be able to notify their accounting professionals that the data is ready to go. Tax preparers can then bring that data into the GoSystem Tax product, placing it in the virtual currency organizer.”

With only a week left to the year, it still seems as if Thomson Reuters will launch its Virtual Currency Organizer sometime in 2019, but it won’t be the first product it sells related to crypto. It already features a digital asset price data feed dubbed “Cryptocurrency Real Time Rates”. In June 2018, the media giant also released the latest version of its MarketPsych Indices (TRMI) that collated information on market sentiment data for the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.

 

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Daily Trending Bitcoin News and Market Sentiment: Bitcoin Supremacy to Obliterate Alts, Bitcoin Reddit Grows 22%

bitcoin

  • Bitcoin is in the midst of a rally with a daily high so far above USD 7,500 on Monday trading
  • Tone Vays believes Bitcoin supremacy in hash rate will result in 98% dominance and destroy altcoins
  • Bitcoin Reddit subscribers jumped by over 20% in 2019 amid an unexpected rally in the year

The Bitcoin bulls are back! Monday trading took an unexpected turn for the better as a rally kicked off basically in Japan session, with at least three spikes each creating a new weekly high, with USD 7,498 (CoinDesk) recorded so far on the third peak, still ongoing right now.

Along with Bitcoin, the rest of the crypto market rode the rising tide, with every coin in the Top 10 by market capitalization seeing positive gains. ETH rose to USD 132, and Ripple (XRP) is now within touching distance of 20 cents. Only TRON (TRX) among the non-stablecoins in the Top 25 (CoinMarketCap) posted a daily loss.

Not everyone believes that altcoins will always benefit from Bitcoin’s boom, of course, as crypto influencer Tone Vays predicts that Bitcoin “incredible” hash rate gains, which have been on a steady rise ever since it was first recorded, will obliterate all other cryptocurrencies.

This Bitcoin maximalist point of view was presented in Vays’s latest Trading Bitcoin YouTube episode, who said that altcoins, already taking a battering since the bull run of 2017, were in for another rough year ahead. He even predicts that Bitcoin dominance in 2020 will touch 85%, en route to an unstoppable and inevitable 98% dominance.

The veteran Bitcoin trader says that this year’s gains only solidifies that case, with Bitcoin’s 69% dominance today already leaving January’s 51% dominance far away in the dust. Bitcoin dominance is up 87% since its position in that month. He explains:

“I think Bitcoin dominance has one more push. The way we went from about 50% to 70% in 2019 — I think we have another 10-15% in Bitcoin to gain on the sh*tcoins as it continues towards 90% and 95% and then 98%.”

All this, he believes, is down to the hash rate patterns of Bitcoin, which has never gone down beyond temporary dips. Even since dollar value has dropped from an all-time high near USD 20,000, hash rate has only multiplied 800%, meaning to say that more and more miners are securing the network, or are including more machines to the pool, using the awesome computational might to validate transactions and secure the Bitcoin network.

Even with prices declining overall, miners continue to cooperate and continue to show more interest, making Bitcoin’s case as the world’s most secure financial network stronger by the day. There is no comparison in altcoins, says Vays:

“Show me another sh*tcoin that has this kind of hash rate growth.”

He went on to say that Bitcoin’s Liquid Liquid sidechain product would lead to the destruction of utility that competitors so far have as a slight edge, and says that this would present a reasonable USD 50,000 by 2023.

The rate of new subscribers to the /r/bitcoin subreddit accelerated after the exchange rate jumped this summer. It grew in size by 222,000 users – 22% growth in 2019. pic.twitter.com/9q0bASk2C3

— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) December 23, 2019

Meanwhile, Bitcoin is also enjoying a boom in Reddit subscribers, according to Jameson Lopp, another Bitcoin maximalist. The cypherpunk said Reddit’s Bitcoin community increased by over 20% this year alone:

“The rate of new subscribers to the /r/bitcoin subreddit accelerated after the exchange rate jumped this summer. It grew in size by 222,000 users – 22% growth in 2019.”

In fact, 1 million people already subscribed to the subreddit in early 2019, so now some 200,000 new people have joined Bitcoiners on the social platform. The platform is popular among enthusiasts of cryptocurrency, with many blockchain firms maintaining a presence there to keep engages with their communities.

Earlier in May, scientists from the University of Notre Dame and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory published research that found a strong correlation between Reddit conversation volume and their market prices, when looking at data from 2015 to 2018. It is thought that the surge in the price of Bitcoin was buoyed by large market actions, together triggering mass consumer interest in both buying and trading the digital asset.

In turn, this led people to discuss and find out what was going online.

 

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Daily Trending Bitcoin News and Market Sentiment: Outshining Stocks and Gold, Crack-Proof Bitcoin Chips

bitcoin

  • Bitcoin shrugs off last week’s malaise to trade at a high on Sunday of USD 7,348 so far
  • Bitcoin is set to outperform gold and stocks by many folds in 2019 in terms of price performance
  • Scientists claim to be developing a new crack-proof encryption chip that isn’t vulnerable to quantum computing

Bitcoin seems to have shrugged off the end of last week’s jitters when it momentarily crashed through the USD 7,000 support levels, with Saturday trading strong, and Sunday trading so far strengthening claims of a reversal en route with a daily high of USD 7,348 (CoinDesk).

Although the world’s most used digital asset is now recording almost 50% value loss from its 2019 high of USD 13,880, it has still managed to put itself strongly ahead of the year’s most profitable assets. Trading at well over 100% of its 2019 low of about USD 3,400, Bitcoin can still afford to lose a few hundred dollars of its current price by 31 December 2019 to still proudly say it will almost double its year-on-year value.

US stocks have enjoyed a huge year under President Donald Trump, achieving almost 30% for the S&P 500 index, a yearly gain not since since the Clinton era in 1997. Gold has also seen a resurgence this year and the classic precious metal now trades at about USD 1,480 to record a year-on-year growth of 15%. But despite the huge bullish sentiment on these traditional assets, they pale in comparison with Bitcoin’s performance, and look to remain in runners’ up positions by the first day of 2020.

And while both stocks and gold have been getting positive interest, it has been due mainly to monetary easing measures done by the US central bank. The Federal Reserve is still hot on the move too, expanding its balance sheet by over USD 300 billion in the last three months.

Bitcoin, surprisingly, has been facing all sorts of selling pressure, from fundamental operations like mining costs to external issues like regulatory crackdowns, negative moves from governments and the occasional exchange hacks that get unnecessary due.

Meanwhile, a new development is surfacing that promises to address one old news item the bears like: Bitcoin’s supposed vulnerability to quantum computing.

The solution, according to a scientific team’s paper in the Nature journal, is a silicon chip that they developed to enable encryption that simply can’t be broken. They say a prototype already exists, using a normal silicon-based semiconductors in a complex system of “chaotic wavepackets“.

Jointly developed by researchers from UK’s School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, and the Center for Unconventional Processes of Sciences in California, the chip believes that it may make Bitcoin’s cryptographic encryption standards obsolete, since they believe it is vulnerable to quantum computing.

Some academics think that quantum computing essentially means Bitcoin’s encryption can simply be brute forced at unimaginable speed. Most believe the threat to be theoretical, while others believe pragmatism and progress in technology will always ensure Bitcoin is up to speed with the latest developments.

BitcoinNews.com has covered this topic several times and has outlined several times why quantum computing isn’t the threat to Bitcoin it’s made out to be.

But others, like Xinxin Fan, head of cryptography at privacy and IoT-focused blockchain platform IoTeX, believes the threat should be addressed soon.

And the scientists behind this break-proof encryption claim that the idea of a one-time pad (OTP) inspired the new chip, and that they have tried to make it a practical implementation that puts a safe way to exchange keys. They say they have a mission:

“[to] develop a physical realization of the OTP that is compatible with the existing optical communication infrastructure and offers unconditional security in the key distribution.”

A potential replacement for SHA 256 one day?

In any case, next week, we see if we can end the year on a high and see if analysts are right about Bitcoin ending the year a little higher than it has been this week.

 

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US Congress Introduces Draft Crypto Classification Bill as IRS Urged for Crypto Tax Clarity

  • Bitcoin trades above USD 7,200 on the weekend
  • US Congress sees draft bill that classifies crypto into 3 categories: commodities, currencies and securities
  • US Congressmen urge IRS to clarify tax ruling on forks and airdrops

Friday trading did some good to Bitcoin as price actually stabilized before entering into a position of strength on the start of the weekend, moving up above USD 7,200 for the past 5 hours where it still lies now as Europe traders begin to enter the fray. With only USD 150 separating the daily low from the current high of USD 7,236 (CoinDesk), though, it will be precarious throughout the weekend.

Nevertheless, the recovery signs are beginning to be more evident across the entire crypto market, although ETH is yet to regain USD 130 territory and XRP continues to face rejections at 20 cents. It appears that Bitcoin will still need to regain USD 7,600 for altcoins to take strength and move back into familiar territory.

Bitcoin dominance at 68% and looking to breach 70% is further evidence of the face that the entire fate of digital assets will continue to rely on Bitcoin for a long while more.

Forbes published an article that will give bullish undertones to the weekend though, quoting Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar, who has introduced a draft bill, that seeks to eventually bring regulatory clarity to the cryptocurrency industry in the United States. The so-called Crypto-Currency Act of 2020 sets out and underlines the specific Federal agencies that he believes should regulate each type of crypto assets.

It also talks about three distinct categories of what crypto assets mean, dividing them into commodities, currencies and securities. The draft of the proposed bill will see commodities as those goods and services stored on blockchain, with a fungibility aspect that the market ignores the producer of.
One of the key things that the draft bill does is define three types of crypto asset; crypto commodities, crypto currencies, and crypto securities, per a discussion draft of the proposed bill.

Currencies, on the other hand, are defined as representations of US currency or synthetic derivatives that reside on a blockchain. This would include stablecoins pegged to reserves as well as currencies determined by decentralized oracles or smart contracts.

All types of debt, equity and derivative instruments on a blockchain, other than those which are operated and registered as complaint money services businesses, will be regarded as securities.

There will not be a single regulator as well, as each of the three assets would fall under the purview of a different federal regulator. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), it is expected, would be the agency in charge of crypto-commodities, while the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would cover crypto-securities. And currencies would be left as the domain of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

Meanwhile, the pressure for regulatory clarification regarding digital assets is being further added on by eight other US Congressmen, who have sent a joint letter to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) bidding them to provide clear guidance and additional clarity to current crypto tax laws. The signed letter asked:

“We wrote in April of this year urging the issuance of guidance for taxpayers who use cryptocurrencies and we are pleased to see that you have issued guidance and addressed many questions we posed. We are, however, concerned that this recent guidance creates many new questions related to the topics it seeks to address, namely forks and airdrops.”

This referenced the original official ruling on expectations from the IRS on crypto tax, as reported on 9 October by Cointelegraph. In it, several points were laid out that included how holders of airdropped or forked assets would have to be taxed, regardless of the holder’s knowledge of such a fork or airdrop, or even price action following the event.

The latest letter to IRS claims that examples used hypothetically by the IRS were implausible or non-applicable, and therefore, unclear for taxpayers. It asks specifically for clarification of “dominion and control” of forks and airdrops, since the original ruling potentially meant people could face taxations even without knowledge of such events.

Free money you don’t know about? Prepare for tax.

 

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