Ethereum Completes Istanbul Hard Fork, but Buyers Aren’t Too Excited

Ethereum’s price action has been closely correlated to Bitcoin’s over the past several weeks, leading ETH’s price to dip into the lower-$150 region, which is where it has been able to find some levels of support.

Ethereum’s much-anticipated Istanbul hard fork has come about concurrently with ETH’s ongoing downtrend, and it appears that investors are not too enthused with this latest development, as sellers remain firmly in control of the cryptocurrency.

Ethereum Struggles to Gain Upwards Momentum Despite Istanbul Hard Fork 

At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading up over 1% at its current price of $151, which marks a slight climb from its recent lows of $146 that were visited on multiple occasions over the past week.

It is important to note that Ethereum did face some resistance at $152, which appears to be a strong level of resistance for the cryptocurrency. It is important to note that ETH has incurred some upwards momentum today as Bitcoin begins moving towards its near-term resistance level at $8,000.

Ethereum has been caught within a firm bout of sideways trading ever since it faced a massive drop to lows of $135 in late-November, which appears to be an incredibly strong support level for the cryptocurrency.

One event that some investors had been looking towards as a potential bullish catalyst is Ethereum’s Istanbul hard fork, which was successfully implemented today.

Teddy, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, spoke about this much delayed hard fork in a recent tweet, saying:

“After 950 delays #Ethereum finally completed its hard fork – Istanbul,” he noted.

Will Strong Multi-Year Resistance Force ETH Lower?

It is important to note that Ethereum has been stuck beneath one strong descending resistance level for two years, and it has shown few signs of having enough strength to break above this level.

Teddy also spoke about this resistance in a tweet, noting that it spells trouble for the future price action of the cryptocurrency.

“#ETHEREUM | $ETH: Unless Istanbul, the latest hard fork can generate a new wave of interest – this bad boy: – is hitting lower support levels and thus cover those gaps burning my eyes – look at that 2 year long resistance, NOT a scratch,” he said while pointing to the chart seen below.

Although Istanbul is unlikely to have any sway on Ethereum’s near-term price action, it is highly probable that ETH will only break above its strong resistance if Bitcoin gains some notable upwards momentum.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Sorry — But Bitcoin Can Still Drop to $2.7K While Everyone’s Bullish

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Wyckoff Schematic Suggests Bitcoin Bottom Not In at $6,600: Analyst

Is the bottom in? Since Bitcoin (BTC) fell precipitously to $6,600 late last month, analysts have been asking if the leading cryptocurrency has finally found a price bottom after a multi-month downturn.

Analysts have understandably divided over the question, as the correct answer would show in which direction Bitcoin will head for the next couple of months. Some are bullish, others are bearish.

Cold Blooded Shiller, a popular full-time trader, recently laid out the case that the bottom is not yet in, citing a form of analysis pioneered by prominent chartist and technician Richard Wyckoff.

Is the Bitcoin Bottom Really In? Wyckoff Schematics Says No

Shiller recently noted that as it stands, Bitcoin is in a “markdown from distribution” near the $13,000-$14,000 top, a markdown contained by a descending channel that has existed since the top of the recent bull run. When the top of the channel is hit, sellers dump their coins; when the bottom of the channel is touched, buyers step in, pushing the price back towards the middle of the channel.

As it stands, Bitcoin at $7,400 is in the middle of the channel, seemingly in no man’s land, thus not close to a bottom.

“From a volume perspective, there is nothing to me that screams “THIS IS THE BOTTOM.” For both markdowns and markups we typically expect to see “climactic” volume,” Shiller wrote, trying to accentuate that there are no concrete signs the bottom is in for the Bitcoin market.

Shiller concluded that for him to acknowledge that a bottom is in, Bitcoin will have to rapidly move out of the abovementioned descending channel on a large influx of volume, implying a selling climax, to fall into support, bounce, then continue sideways in preparation for the next macro move. The scenario he is expecting can be seen below, which shows that the leading cryptocurrency could return into the low-$5,000s, a range that has been identified by other analysts as a potential macro bottom. 

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Parity Issues Urgent Update Ahead of Ethereum’s Hardfork

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Parity Issues Urgent Update Ahead of Ethereum’s Hardfork

parity-issues-urgent-update-ahead-of-ethereums-hardfork

Ethereum client Parity has urged users to immediately upgrade their software after the company forgot to include an Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP). 

According to an update published on GitHub, Parity asked users to update their software to include EIP1344.  

The post reads,

Parity Ethereum v2.6.6-beta is an emergency patch release that adds the missing eip1344_transition for mainnet – Users are advised to update as soon as possible to prevent any issues with the imminent Istanbul hardfork.

EIP1344 is a proposal to add an opcode to “retrieve the chain id of the chain that the block has been mined one.” 

Without this proposal users are at an increased risk of attack following hard forks, such as Instanbul,

Currently the only way is to hardcode the chain id into the smart contract. This poses a problem in case of a hardfork. This opcode would allow multi signature contracts that use signatures to implement better replay protection and increase security.

Parity noticed its error just in time for Ethereum’s long-awaited and highly anticipated Istanbul update expected to occur on Dec. 8, 2019.  

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

Bitcoin Usage in Nigeria Surging Despite Govt. Caveats

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned that bitcoin and digital currencies are not legal tenders but Nigerians don’t seem to care. 


Bitcoin Adoption Rising Despite Apex Bank, Senate Warnings

In its December 2019 edition of ‘The Nigerian Banker’, the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) highlighted how bitcoin is booming in Nigeria, despite the central bank’s anti-crypto stance.

As per its report on digital currencies:

The CBN has also declared that digital currencies are not legal tender with naira as the sole legal tender.

There are concerns on the use of other digital currency which is currently changing the global payment ecosystem.

And it’s not just the CBN. The Nigerian Senate has also tried its best in deviating the vox populi off the bitcoin and crypto track. But it seems the people don’t really feel settled by a disappointing government and the ongoing economic disparity.

As per the latest report from Financial Times, Muhammadu Buhari is already past six months in his second tenure as the Nigerian President, and still:

Nigeria is going backwards economically. A combination of anaemic growth and a fast-growing population means the economy has been shrinking in per capita terms throughout Mr Buhari’s tenure. The security situation is unstable, despite some progress against Boko Haram, the Islamist terror group. Clashes between herdsmen and settled farmers are affecting much of the country. Crucially, Mr Buhari’s reputation for personal integrity has not translated into a discernibly more efficient — or honest — state.

Hence citizens have chosen to put their faith in a form of currency which though unregulated, guarantees absolute financial freedom.

bitcoin popularity nigeria

BTC is Immensely Popular in Nigeria

A couple of months back, Bitcoinist reported the findings gathered by Binance’s research wing w.r.t bitcoin popularity in the world country-wise. Analysis of BTC’s Google search heat rankings by country/region from 2011 till September of this year revealed startling results.

Bitcoin has been popular in numerous parts of the world since 2011 including northern Europe, Russia, New Zealand, US, Germany, the UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong. But since 2017 it’s Nigeria and South Africa that have hogged the limelight for being ‘BTC hotspots’ of the world. So much so, that the two countries have maintained their top tier rankings implying that the majority of the population is aware of the cryptocurrency.

This must have driven Binance to list Nigeria’s fiat currency the Naira as the first fiat-to-crypto trading pair on its platform.

Square and Twitter chief Jack Dorsey is aware of the rising bitcoin and crypto interest in the African peninsula. That’s why he has announced plans to move to the continent for a good long time to understand the challenges of starting a company there.

During his visit, he was seen actively participating in local bitcoin meetups in Ghana, which is also one of the countries where BTC is gaining amazing traction as a useable form of currency.

This could be an opportunity for his payments company to take charge and supercharge the crypto scenario in Africa.

What do you think about bitcoin’s rising popularity in Nigeria and other African countries? Let us know in the comments below! 


Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @jacobkosctecki

 

Crypto Market is 0.25% of Global Stock Market: Can Bitcoin Catch Up?

While the creation of Bitcoin has spawned an entire industry of cryptocurrencies and blockchains that are used by individuals around the world, this nascent market remains small.

As Mati Greenspan, founder of Quantum Economics and a former eToro senior analyst, recently pointed out, the aggregate market capitalization of all digital assets comes in at $205 billion. While this may seem like a large sum on an individual scale, Greenspan noted that the global stock market is valued at $82.2 trillion in aggregate, some 40,000% higher than cryptocurrencies.

This begs the question: can Bitcoin start to encroach on the market share of stocks? If so, how and why?

Bitcoin to Surge Long-Term?

Bitcoin has already had an amazing past decade, surging by tens of thousands of percent since its “IPO,” so to speak.

Though some say the price appreciation is just starting. Per previous reports from NewsBTC, Wences Casares, the chief executive of Xapo, earlier this year issued an extensive essay titled “The case for a small allocation to Bitcoin.”

In this essay, the long-time Bitcoin adopter, who sits on the board of PayPal and Libra, claimed that while Bitcoin has a 20% chance of failure from his perspective, citing the fact that it remains an experiment, he is more than 50% sure that the cryptocurrency will succeed beyond our wildest dreams. He looks to the fact that BTC has existed for 10 years with (basically) zero interruption/immutability concerns, and that Bitcoin has a rapidly growing user base and an active transactional use case.

Casares adds that if Bitcoin succeeds it may be valued at a drastically higher price than it is now: $1 million apiece, over 140 times higher than current prices.

For some perspective, a $1 million Bitcoin would equate to an $18 trillion market capitalization for BTC alone, still meaning that it would be smaller than global stocks (25%) but still of significant size.

While it isn’t clear on what will decisively drive this growth, there are many theories.

One of the primary theories is that the system surrounding fiat monies will start to collapse in on itself in the coming decades, leading to a process called “hyperbitcoinzation.”

Deutsche Bank, the 17th-largest bank by assets in the world, acknowledged this in a recent research report. Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid wrote, according to Bloomberg, that there are potential risk factors in the “current fiat system,” which he called “fragile” before adding that the “could unravel in the 2020s,” that could unravel traditional finance.

Reid claimed that if this takes place, there will be a “backlash against fiat money and demand for alternative currencies, such as gold or crypto could soar.” The Deutsche Bank analyst specifically looked to the high levels inflations of the dollar in the 1970s, which led to a surge in the prices of gold.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

Beam, BCH and Zcash Will Join BTC in Halving Their Mining Rewards

Beam, BCH and Zcash Will Join BTC in Halving Their Mining Rewards

Beam, BCH and Zcash Will Join BTC in Halving Their Mining Rewards

There’s been a lot of noise about Bitcoin’s halving, set to occur in May, and the effect this will have on price as BTC’s mining reward is slashed. It’s not the only PoW coin gearing up for a major reduction in its emission rate next year, with Bitcoin Cash, Beam, and Zcash all set to undergo similar events in 2020.

Also read: As Halving Interest Grows, Spectators Discuss Miner Hoards and Capitulation

Halvenings Are Happening

Cryptocurrency miners will see their rewards halved next year, as the issuance rate for several leading Proof of Work networks is slashed. BTC’s is likely to occur in mid-May, and BCH’s will occur about a month prior. When both chains undergo their scheduled four-yearly halving, the mining reward will drop from 12.5 to 6.25 bitcoins per block. As a result, 1,500 less coins from each network will be released every day.

As the leading Proof of Work cryptocurrencies, BTC and BCH have been the focus of the halvening talk that’s permeated the cryptosphere for months. With the reduction of mining rewards historically associated with an increase in price, as sell pressure from miners diminishes, it’s understandable why the topic should be of such keen interest to crypto investors. BTC’s halving alone will see $12 million less coins released into the wild each day, based on current prices. Before that event occurs, however, one newer PoW coin will undergo a halving of its own.

Beam, BCH and Zcash Will Join BTC in Halving Their Mining Rewards

Beam’s Output Is Set to Diminish

The Beam team has been busy of late, integrating atomic swaps into the Beam Wallet via a decentralized marketplace, marking the first time a privacy coin has been tradable for assets such as BTC in this manner. It’s also launched the Beam Foundation, as it transitions towards becoming a decentralized organization, and its core developer has proposed Lelantus MW, a solution designed to enhance Mimblewimble’s anonymity. From an investor perspective, though, Beam’s biggest event is yet to come.

On January 4, Beam will experience a halving that will slash the block reward from 100 to 50 coins. Beam and Grin were both designed with aggressive release schedules for their first year, in a bid to accelerate the big bang that characterized Bitcoin’s release. After Beam’s first halving has occurred on Jan 4, the next event won’t be due for another four years. The total supply for beam is set to ultimately reach 262,800,000.

Beam, BCH and Zcash Will Join BTC in Halving Their Mining Rewards
Beam’s release schedule

Grin’s supply is fixed at a new coin every 60 seconds, but its inflation rate is diminishing over time as the total circulating supply increases. Grin launched in March with an inflation rate of 400%, but that’s now dropped to 50%, despite maintaining the emission rate of one coin per second forever.

Zcash to Slash Mining Rewards

Also in 2020, Zcash will undergo its first halving. The event is scheduled to occur towards the end of the year, four years after the first block was mined. Like most PoW coins, ZEC’s release schedule is closely based on Bitcoin’s. When Zcash completes its first halving, around a year from now, the release rate will drop from 50 to 25 ZEC per block. However, this particular halving is an event that zcash miners can look forward to, since 100% of the coinbase rewards thereafter will be theirs. At present, 10% goes to the project’s founders.

Bitmain Releases Equihash Miner Three Times More Powerful Than Its Predecessor

No Halvenings for Dogecoin or Monero

Litecoin completed its own halving event this year, while Dogecoin – the meme coin that gave the cryptosphere the term “halvening” – won’t experience one of its own again: ever since block 600,000, Doge’s block reward has been permanently set at 10,0000 coins.

More than 90% of all monero has now been mined, with the remainder set to have been issued by May 2022. Thereafter, tail emission will kick in, whereupon all new blocks will have a reward of just 0.6 XMR, versus the current 2.1 XMR. This reward is anticipated to be high enough to incentivize miners to secure the network, but low enough to avoid diluting the total supply. In fact, by the time Monero’s tail emission commences, it’s anticipated that newly issued coins will be offset by coins that are lost over time.

With halvening events aplenty in 2020, there’ll be no shortage of talking points, amidst all the other drama and intrigue that the cryptosphere churns out on a daily basis. Whether these halvings correspond with an increase in coin prices, however, is anyone’s guess. Pre-halving speculation is a given. Post-halving appreciation is not guaranteed.

Do you think halvening events are priced in, or will BTC, BCH and other coins rise in price post-halvening? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Kai Sedgwick

Kai’s been manipulating words for a living since 2009 and bought his first bitcoin at $12. It’s long gone. He’s previously written whitepapers for blockchain startups and is especially interested in P2P exchanges and DNMs.

Bitcoin Buyers Grow Aggressive; is a Rally Around the Corner?

After incurring a significant influx of volatility earlier this week, Bitcoin (BTC) has been able to gain some tempered upwards momentum as its buyers attempt to push it up towards its near-term resistance that exists at $7,800.

This momentum comes about as buyers grow aggressive at BTC’s near-term support levels, which one analyst believes is a bullish sign that signals it may see further upside in the near-term.

Bitcoin Moves Towards $7,800 Resistance as Analysts Eye Further Gains 

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up marginally at its current price of $7,630, which marks a notable climb from its recent lows of just over $7,200 that were set early this past week just prior to its rapid surge up to $7,800 – where it met significant resistance that led it to plummet lower.

This movement confirmed $7,800 as a strong level of resistance for the cryptocurrency, but its recent climb up towards this level likely signals that it will soon test this resistance.

Assuming that Bitcoin does break above the resistance it faces at this price region, it will likely also face some further selling pressure at $8,000, with a break above this level opening the gates for significantly further upside.

Cantering Clark, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, explained in a recent tweet that it is imperative for BTC to hold above its near-term support level at roughly $7,400 in order for it to see further near-term gains.

“Holding here is going to be pretty important. Otherwise it has the potential to just be a LH and bulls can get back to the pre-amnesia state of realizing and accepting HTF market structure breaks are often retested,” he noted while pointing to the chart seen below.

Will Aggressive Buyers Push BTC Higher? 

One interesting trend that investors should be aware of is the fact that buyers at BTC’s near-term support levels are growing incredibly strong.

Cantering Clark also spoke about this, noting that the rapid increase in buy orders at Bitcoin’s near-term support levels signals that buyers feel a sense of urgency to defend these levels.

“What is interesting is the amount of initiative aggressive buyers we have that step in lately right at support, not just passive. Plenty of imbalances right at support. Almost like buyers feel a real sense of urgency,” he explained.

It will likely soon grow clear as to whether or not this bourgeoning buying pressure will be enough to send BTC surging past the resistance that lies directly above it.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Four Crypto Projects to Keep Tabs on in 2020

The cryptocurrency world has more than its fair share of self-proclaimed clairvoyants. Whether it’s traders predicting great things for a digital token that’s set to launch, or a journalist touting the next groundbreaking Web3 project, future-gazing is a popular pastime.

With so many crypto projects in the offing, and so many supposed psychics pulling you in different directions, it can be tough to know who or what to believe. Even studious observers of the cryptoeconomy have difficulty reaching consensus on the next sure thing. If 2019 has been any indication, however, the following projects are likely to generate even bigger waves in 2020

Saga

Saga is a highly ambitious monetary venture which seeks to position its digital token, SGA, as a truly global currency. The UK-based company has been tirelessly working on perfecting and polishing its monetary and governance models for the past two years ahead of the ERC20 token launch on December 10. Initially backed by a basket of national currencies replicating the IMF’s SDR, the idea is that, as user trust in SGA grows, reliance upon reserves will decrease and SGA will, as it were, stand on its own two feet.

The industry experience of the Saga team certainly nourishes the perception that the project may launch into the stratosphere. Its advisory board includes Professor Jacob A. Frenkel, PhD, chairman of JPMorgan Chase International and former governor of the Bank of Israel, and Professor Myron Scholes, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences and Professor Emeritus at Stanford University. With such economic heavyweights behind it, Saga has already attracted $30m of seed funding from a collective of partners including Vertex Ventures. Watch this space.

Fetch.ai

An AI-powered blockchain that launched in 2019, Fetch allows organizations to pose questions about datasets residing on other companies’ servers; payments, meanwhile, will be made with digital tokens. In the Fetch model, Autonomous Economic Agents (AEA) are utilized to connect IoT devices and algorithms, with the net result a form of collective super-intelligence built atop a decentralized economic internet. Got that?

Fetch recently set to work developing a decentralized metals exchange with several Turkish steelmakers. The new DEX will integrate AI-accelerated blockchain solutions to facilitate greater participation and improved liquidity in the trading of steel, base metals and other commodities. It’s yet another example of blockchain/AI tech feeding into traditional industries, and when you consider that Fetch’s goal is to bring smart cities from concept to reality – improving infrastructure like energy utility grids in the process – you can’t help but think 2020 is going to be a massive year for the crypto project.

RSK

RSK is an open-source, Bitcoin-backed smart contract platform. Encompassing multiple components including the Root Infrastructure Framework Token (RIF Token), RIF Open Standard (RIFOS), and Smart Bitcoin (RBTC), the second-layer protocol seeks to become a key player in the development of Bitcoin-anchored decentralized finance, permitting smart contracts and dApps to utilize the ecosystem’s renowned security.

Its parent company, IOV Labs, also acquired Latin America’s biggest social media platform Taringa, and it’ll be fascinating to see what implementations are introduced in the next 12 months. With 30 million users, Taringa has a ready made community for experiencing the benefits of decentralized finance, including open access and trustless trade, wrapped in a user-friendly interface courtesy of RSK’s smart contract solution.

QAN

The threat of quantum computing is certain to intensify in the years ahead. Hell, Google says they’ve already reached quantum supremacy in 2019. In any case, quantum-proof blockchain platform QAN stands in a good position to capitalize. It uses sophisticated Lattice cryptography to future-proof against quantum cyber attacks which could break existing blockchain platforms like Ethereum. The result is a highly scalable, developer-friendly platform that can run smart contracts in all major programming languages.

QAN uses a Proof-of-Randomness (PoR) consensus to ensure low energy consumption and is 100x quicker than Ethereum, with a TPS of 97k for enterprise (POA) chains. The team has been busy shouting about QAN’s many benefits at various crypto events throughout 2019, so expect more of the same in 2020. Particularly since QAN’s IEO is due to commence soon on BitBay exchange, bringing its token to a wider audience of traders and developers.

There you have it: four innovative projects making plenty of noise in the cryptosphere, and unlikely to lower their pitch in 2020. You’d do well to keep tabs on all of them.

 

Image: DepositPhotos.com