Bitcoin’s First Planned ‘Bank Run’ Is Today

Do your bitcoins really exist?

The answer might seem like an obvious “yes,” but the brewing “Proof of Keys” movement, launching today, argues the answer is not so clear.

How in control a person is of their coins depends on where and how the bitcoin is stored. So participants will be taking their money out of third-party bitcoin services, moving it to accounts only they themselves control.

“We’re going to withdraw all our bitcoin from any third party services just to prove that they’re there,” said Trace Mayer, Proof of Keys leader and bitcoin podcast host, in a video announcing the project, adding:

”It’s on the blockchain or it didn’t happen.”

As described by Mayer, the motivation is simple. Many bitcoiners leave their bitcoins on exchanges. This is risky, as millions (er, billions) of dollars have been stolen from exchanges by way of hacks over the years. Not to mention, it means users don’t really have full control over their money — a fact many might not realize.

The movement debuts on the 10th anniversary of bitcoin’s first-ever block, the day bitcoin’s anonymous creator turned his or her theory into a living, breathing digital currency.

Proof of Keys has been compared to a “bank run,” where a flood of people withdraw their money from a bank, worried that the institution is going under. But unlike old-fashioned runs, this one is pre-planned and deliberate.

If enough people pull their money off exchanges, advocates argue, it’ll expose, and perhaps topple, the ones that are operating like fractional-reserve banks (i.e. keeping only a sliver of depositors’ cash on hand and available for withdrawal).

Big names such as former Symbiont president Caitlin Long, smart contract pioneer Nick Szabo, Coinbase CTO Balaji S. Srinivasan, and CoinKite CEO Rodolfo Novak have all etched the Proof of Keys symbol prominently in their Twitter profiles. Even bitcoin companies like Shapeshift and Casa have thrown their support behind the effort.

Taking control

So, what do participants have to do? Not much or a lot, depending on the user’s point of view.

The first task is for users to take control of their private keys. While bitcoin is “trustless,” most users hand their bitcoin to a third party who takes care of it for them. The risk is, if this service is hacked (or goes down for another reason), all their bitcoins are lost.

“Proof of Keys” advocates argue users need to move their private keys to a device, such as a secure hardware wallet, where they actually have full control of their money.

The second job for users is to spin up what’s known as a bitcoin “full node,” which keeps a history of every transaction ever made on bitcoin, as well as the rules binding the global network together. That way they can validate which transactions are following the rules, without relying on anyone else. (Developers have drawn up zillions of guides for setting this up. It’s possible to purchase nodes that work out-of-the-box as well.)

If this sounds like a mouthful, some users have already done it, posting their results to Twitter. And advocates argue the learning experience (however time-consuming) is worth it.

“Learning how to do this will teach you about private keys and monetary sovereignty,” tweeted Srinivasan.

Mayer takes this a bit further.

“Anyone who doesn’t want you to hold your own private keys — they’re your monetary enemy. They don’t want you to be free and independent with your money,” Mayer adds. “That’s just the way it is.”

But participating users need to be careful.

“There is some legitimate concern that some people will withdraw their funds from exchanges without knowing how to store them properly” pseudonymous bitcoin subreddit moderator Bashco wrote, posting a few tips for a safe transition.

War cry vs. camaraderie

You might be wondering, how much of an impact will this day have?

One confusing aspect is that while today is the official “Proof of Keys” day, not everyone is participating on the same day. Some users have been taking control of their keys leading up to today, posting their results on social media.

Further, it will be pretty difficult to track how much of the community shifts over, Mayer argued to CoinDesk: “Really, it is an intensely personal type of activity which will be hard to measure.”

But, the way some users talk — calling Proof of Keys “bitcoin’s independence day” and a “monetary sovereignty war-cry” — it sounds as if the end goal is for all cryptocurrency users to suddenly move their keys to a device they control and spin up full nodes on fancy hardware device, making bitcoin exchanges all but obsolete.

But Mayer is expecting the result to be less subversive – and more of a bonding experience.

“I think most companies and individuals will operate normally with no significant interruptions, the bitcoin network will be strengthened in its decentralization properties, and many individuals and the community will have a sense of accomplishment and camaraderie,” Mayer told CoinDesk.

And other Proof of Keys advocates admit that many users cherish convenience, not necessarily having the time or enthusiasm to store their bitcoins securely and spin up a full node.

As one reddit user put it:

“If it helps even a handful of newcomers or veterans set up their own wallet and start to understand how their assets are stored, great. I’m just not expecting some big thing to happen.”

Image via CryptoScamHub Twitter

BitTorrent to Launch Own Cryptocurrency on the Tron Network

The popular peer-to-peer file sharing platform BitTorrent has announced that it will be creating its own cryptocurrency using the Tron network. Amongst other use cases, the token will be used by users to pay for higher file download speeds on the firm’s Windows-based uTorrent client.

In potentially cryptocurrency-related news, the company’s former CEO, Rogelio Choy, has decided to part ways with BitTorrent. The departure comes just six month after Tron founder Justin Sun acquired the firm, prompting speculation that Choy disagreed with BitTorrent’s new focus on blockchain technology.

Justin Sun Bringing Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Tech to File Sharing

Justin Sun commented on the decision to launch a specific digital token for uTorrent users in a blog post:

“BitTorrent token is the first in a series of steps to support a decentralized internet… In one giant leap, the BitTorrent client can introduce blockchain to hundreds of millions of users around the world and empower a new generation of content creators with the tools to distribute their content directly to others on the web.”

The post goes on to detail that the token will be first available to non-US investors via Binance’s designated token sale platform, the Binance Launchpad. It will simply be called the BitTorrent Token and will trade under the ticker BTT.

The official whitepaper for the BTT token states that a total of 990 billion BTT will be created. It will follow the TRC-10 specification (much like the more common ERC-20 tokens created using the Ethereum network).

The timing of the longstanding company executive’s decision to leave BitTorrent certainly supports the theory that he found the firm’s decision to focus on cryptocurrency contentious. According to a report in Variety, the publication claims to have spoken to an insider at the company who stated that there was disagreement with the direction BitTorrent was taking. There has been no official word from Choy about this, however.

Choy’s departure was later confirmed by a BitTorrent spokesperson earlier today. Without giving too much information, they simply stated that he had “decided to pursue other opportunities.”

Choy had served as BitTorrent’s chief operating officer between the years of 2012 and 2015. He later rejoined the company in 2017, becoming its chief executive officer. This position was held under Sun acquired the company in the summer of 2018. Following this, Choy served as the general manager of the Tron platform’s storage business.

The decision by BitTorrent to launch BTT comes just months after the company announced the formation of Project Atlas. The idea behind it is to incentivise users of the platform to continue to share files after they have finished downloading them. Under the Project Atlas model, users will be rewarded using the newly created BTT tokens for keeping files available for others to download.

Following the news that BitTorrent will use the Tron network for the BTT token, the price of TRX increased by just over 2.3% in a day that has mostly seen similar sized price declines in the other leading digital assets by market capitalisation. By comparison, the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the recently forked Bitcoin Cash all dropped by 1.31, 2.26, and 2.32 percent respectively.

 

Related Reading: Tron’s Justin Sun Acquires P2P File-Sharing Network BitTorrent

Featured Image from Shutterstock.

 

Bitcoin Turns Ten on Anniversary of Genesis Block

Today, Jan. 3, marks ten years since the creation of the very first block on the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain.

Known in more technical parlance as a “genesis block,” the first block on a blockchain is unique in that it — logically — contains no reference to any previous blocks, and is always hard-coded into the network’s software, establishing all of the necessary variables required to create the ensuing blockchain.

Whereas Bitcoin’s theoretical foundations were laid with the publication of the Bitcoin whitepaper on Oct. 31, 2008, Jan. 3, 2009 heralds the first practical implementation of the world’s first cryptocurrency — the realization of a peer-to-peer and cryptographically secure system for transacting in digital cash.

As data from the Bitcoin Block Explorer tool indicates, block 0 — counted as block 1 in very early versions of the blockchain — was mined on Jan 3, 2009 at 1:15:05 p.m. EST, with a reward of 50 BTC. Today, the reward would be worth about $191,350, but at the time its value was inestimable — Bitcoin’s first ever recorded trading price was noted on Mar. 17, 2010, on the now-defunct trading platform bitcoinmarket.com, at a value of $0.003.

The cryptocurrency’s inventor — the still-mysterious person or collective identified only as Satoshi Nakamoto — embedded the hexadecimal code of the genesis block’s coinbase with an encrypted Times headline from Jan 3, 2009, referencing the bailout of the United Kingdom’s banks. When decoded, this covert nod to the economic and political context that gave the impetus for the coin’s invention reads as follows:

“The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”

The aftermath of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in fall 2008 had been the tipping point for economic turmoil, global recession and, subsequently, the controversial “too big to fail” rationale for state intervention. In the midst of this context, Nakamoto’s innovation proposed a bold alternative — a disintermediated, non-state-controlled digital exchange and store of value — to the ailing incumbent system.

Ten years on, the mystery enshrouding Bitcoin’s inventor remains as impenetrable as ever. Those both within and without the crypto community began attempting to determine Nakamoto’s identity as early as October 2011, just a few months after the mysterious figure first went silent.  

As of press time, Bitcoin is trading at $3,831 — up 127,699,900 percent since its first recorded traded value.

10 Years Ago Bitcoin’s Genesis Block Changed the Course of History

Over the last 12 hours, cryptocurrency supporters across the globe have been celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Bitcoin genesis block which was mined at approximately 18:15:05 UTC. Die-hard crypto enthusiasts believe the software released by the anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto has forever changed the way people look at money, and that the technology’s effect on the global economy will transform the course of history.

Also read: 2018’s Top Cryptocurrencies Ranked by Github Activity

10 Years of Dust Sent to the Genesis Block’s Wishing Well

10 Years Ago Bitcoin's Genesis Block Changed the Course of HistoryOn Halloween 2008, an anonymous developer named Satoshi Nakamoto announced a paper called Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. Two months later, on Jan. 3, 2009, the network officially launched when Nakamoto mined block 0, bringing the Bitcoin blockchain into life. The genesis block is special for a few reasons as it has characteristics that the thousands of subsequent mined blocks do not. For instance, the genesis block is hardcoded into a great majority of software clients that use the chain for reference and for infrastructure.

Furthermore, at the time of creation, block rewards gave miners 50 BTC, but the genesis block is an unspendable sum that will forever contain those 50 coins. To this day nobody knows whether Satoshi made these coins unspendable for any specific reason. Over the years, many fans have also sent funds to the genesis address, and at the time of publication, there’s a total of 66.9 BTC sitting there. Scrolling through the list of dust transactions sent to the genesis address, one can find messages to Satoshi asking the creator for coins, as many of the senders hoped the creator would send additional funds back to them.

10 Years Ago Bitcoin's Genesis Block Changed the Course of History
The original cover from The Times on Jan. 3, 2009.

Like the Beatles, Satoshi Left a Backward Message in Block 0

Another interesting fact about the genesis block is that many historians believe it was mined with a Windows-powered PC. Bitcoin version 0.1, the first original implementation, is written in the coding language C++ and was a Windows GUI application at first. This means the first block Satoshi mined was processed solely with a PC’s CPU. People mined BTC this way for two years after block 0 was created.

10 Years Ago Bitcoin's Genesis Block Changed the Course of History
Satoshi’s message located in block 0.

The genesis block’s hash has two additional leading hex zeroes which are not seen in block creation today (except for the infamous 21e800 hash on June 19, 2018). The content of the ‘input’ in a generated bitcoin block contains what’s called a ‘coinbase parameter,’ which in the genesis block’s case is recognized as one of the most fascinating examples of hardcoded text stored inside the chain.     

The coinbase parameter for block 0 states:  

The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks

There are many theories to why Satoshi created this text, the prevailing one being that it was a philosophical message in response to 2008’s economic crisis and the subsequent bank bailouts. In addition to the coinbase parameter, when someone decrypts the hexadecimal format, the message also shows the “Chancellor bailout” text written backward. With Satoshi mining bitcoin with his CPU, it took six days to find block 1 on January 9 after the genesis block’s creation, and some people consider this day to be Bitcoin’s birthday as well. Some bitcoiners also assume Satoshi took a break in between mining blocks 0-1, in order for the timeline to represent the Bible’s Genesis story where God’s creation of the earth took seven days.  

Hal Finney, Cryptographers, Internet Geeks, Anarchists, Tech Entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists, and Grandma

Three days later, Satoshi sent the first transaction to the developer Hal Finney who decided to run the software and accepted 10 BTC from the creator. In fact, Finney was running the Bitcoin protocol on his computer the day after block 1 was mined on January 10 and tweeted about the software that day. However, even though Finney was the first known or identified bitcoin recipient, Satoshi sent coins to quite a few people on that same day. The creator also chose to send coins from block 9, as opposed to sending funds from blocks 1-8 for another unknown reason. On March 19, 2013, Finney explained how he got excited about the protocol after it was released by the anonymous inventor.         

“When Satoshi announced the first release of the software, I grabbed it right away — I think I was the first person besides Satoshi to run bitcoin,” explained Finney’s recollection of the events. “I mined block 70-something, and I was the recipient of the first bitcoin transaction when Satoshi sent ten coins to me as a test — I carried on an email conversation with Satoshi over the next few days, mostly me reporting bugs and him fixing them,” the cryptographer added.

10 Years Ago Bitcoin's Genesis Block Changed the Course of History
Seven days after the creation of the Genesis block, Hal Finney tweeted that he was running the Bitcoin software.

The creation of Bitcoin’s Genesis block and the beginning stages of the network slowly started to gather more supporters as time progressed. To this day, we don’t know what happened to Satoshi when the creator left the scene in 2010, by which point he is credited with having mined close to 1 million bitcoins. Since then, the establishment has scorned the technology year after year, while Bitcoin has steadily gained traction. Meanwhile, large swathes of geeks and political idealists started to believe the protocol would revolutionize the entire monetary system on a global level. For six years after block 0 was mined, the financial elites called cryptocurrencies crap before attempting to commercialize them in 2015.

10 Years Ago Bitcoin's Genesis Block Changed the Course of History
Bitmex sponsored a thank you message to Satoshi for The Times’ January 3rd, 2019 front page. Included on the front page is the hash of Bitcoin block 554,509 in which Bitmain’s Jihan Wu and the mining pool BTC.com added the message “Thanks Satoshi” in the coinbase parameter.

Hard Money and the 21 Million Deliverable Pieces of Subjective Value

Satoshi’s software is more than just a fundamental breakthrough in computer science; the technology is also a peer-to-peer, open, secure, censorship-resistant, and the most deliverable type of money ever created. Since the creation of the genesis block 10 years ago today, the technological innovation has allowed for a pure form of voluntary free market exchange. Transactions between global individuals are conducted in a permissionless manner across hundreds of invisible borders without the need for any pre-existing trust. The innovation Satoshi gave to the world in 2008 is the current monetary system’s black swan, equipped with a positive feedback loop. Its ability to survive 10 turbulent and testing years is surely an event worth celebrating.

What do you think about the 10-year anniversary of the genesis block and Satoshi Nakamoto’s infamous creation? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, The Times, Twitter, Brave the World, and Pixabay.


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10 Years Since the Bitcoin Genesis Block: Things to Look Forward to in 2019

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Bitcoin’s genesis block, which included the flagship cryptocurrency’s very first transactions, was mined 10 years ago today. At the time, the reward for mining the block was 50 BTC and was virtually worthless, but would now be the equivalent of $191,900.

Despite the year-long bear market, bitcoin is still trading at $3,920 after falling from a near $20,000 all-time high. The flagship cryptocurrency is now a decade old, and although CryptoGlobe has already gone through its history, it’s time to look at what’s ahead in 2019.

Note that at this point what to expect is mostly speculation, as no one can tell what’s going to happen in the future. Before putting your money on any kind of speculative asset, do your own research first.

1 – Bakkt Launch

The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the owner of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), has in August of 2018 announced a cryptocurrency-focused venture called Bakkt, that’s set to help consumers, merchants, and institutional clients be able to “seamlessly” use it to “buy, sell, store, and spend” cryptocurrencies.

The cryptocurrency initiative involves giants like Microsoft, Starbucks, and the Boston Consulting Group. It’s set to help merchants accept crypto payments, and to offer physically-settled one-day bitcoin futures contracts.

Initially, Bakkt revealed it was set to launch its futures contracts in December of last year. However on November 20, its chief executive officer, Kelly Loeffler, revealed the date had been postponed to January 24 to ensure everything had been tested and re-tested.

In its first round of fundraising, Bakkt raised $182.5 million, but it was revealed the launch was postponed again. While some analysts expect further delays, it seems likely Bakkt will launch this year. Since some believe it’ll bring in institutional investors to the space, the crypto community has been anticipating its launch.

2 – Widespread Crypto ATMs

Last year, the number of cryptocurrency ATMs (BTMs) throughout the world reached 3,000 in May, and got to 4,000 by December. According to available data most of these machines are in the United States, and although in some countries authorities weren’t too fond of them, about 6 were installed per day.

According to a report published by ResearchandMarkets last year, the crypto ATM market is expected to grow at a 54.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), meaning this year the number will keep on growing, if the report is correct. By 2023, the crypto ATM market is expected to hit nearly $145 million.

3 – Further Lightning Network Growth

Bitcoin’s layer-two scaling solution, the Lightning Network (LN), is set to keep growing this year. As CryptoGlobe covered, the LN has last year surpassed the 500 BTC capacity, and the 15,800 mainnet payment channel mark.

According to available data, the LN’s capacity is at 533.6 BTC, the equivalent of little over $2 million. There are over 17,200 channels on it, with the average channel capacity being of 0.23 BTC ($890).

Various factors, including the increasing number of Bitcoin ATMs mentioned above, are influencing bitcoin’s adoption and use. If its blocks are to stay at 1 MB, users will turn to the LN to avoid its fees – even at their current average of $0.18.

4 – A Trend Reversal

Bitcoin has been going through a year-long bear market that has seen its price drop from a near $20,000 all-time high to a low below the $3,200 mark. While the flagship cryptocurrency has been recovering and is currently trading close to the $3,900 mark, some believe it may be due to a dead cat bounce.

The cryptocurrency has, however, already made its over 80% correction predicted by veteran technical trader Peter Brandt, who correctly called the drop would occur back in January of last year. While BTC may still go to a low of $1,200, per his words, it may still make new highs in the future.

The trend may, in fact, already have reversed. At press time, BTC is trading at $3,900 after rising over 1% in the last 24-hour period. After hitting its recent low, it has been recovering, along with the rest of the crypto market, and technical indicators point towards a recovery.

Bitcoin's price performance in the last30 days

5 – Reliable Censorship-Resistance

Visa and Mastercard keep on failing their users, time and again. A simple Google search for Visa outages quickly leads us to the word “chaos.” These networks keep on going down, while Bitcoin’s network has never stopped working, and hasn’t been tampered with throughout its 10-year history, although critical bugs have been found.

Last year, we saw right wing reporter Tommy Robinson turn to BTC after being banned from PayPal, and the crypto community point out bitcoin as an alternative to the Hacker News after it was also banned. In 2019, we can expect bitcoin to continue being tamper-proof, censorship-resistant money.

Chilean Treasury Launches Blockchain Platform to Process Public Payments

The Chilean General Treasury of the Republic (TGR), which oversees tax collection in the country, has launched a blockchain platform to process payments, according to a press release published Dec. 19.

TGR — a dependent institution under the Ministry of Finance — reportedly first met with the Digital Government Division of the Ministry General Secretariat of the Presidency of Chile to discuss the pilot in October, 2018. At that time, officials announced they would create a blockchain platform to connect citizens, financial intermediaries and suppliers.

According to the December statement, the pilot for the platform has now been launched. The platform stores transactions that are processed by Chilean public institutions — such tax payments or patent fees — on blockchain. Before recording the transaction, all nodes participating in the process are obliged to approve it.

TGR reports that it hopes a common database used both by government, institutions and banks will help to eliminate data discrepancies, reduce time spent on payments, as well as cut operational costs, while providing the necessary level of security for personal data.

The Chilean government is exploring blockchain in several areas, including the energy and finance sectors. In April, Chile’s national energy regulation organization announced the launch of a project based on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain to record data from the nation’s energy sector.

The Chilean Parliament is now examining a bill on blockchain adoption that was presented by local MPs in October. The proposal suggests carrying out studies on the advantages of blockchain-based security and energy solutions.

Bitcoin, Ether, and XRP Weekly Market Update: January 3, 2019

The total crypto market cap added $3 billion during last week, but it is still down with approximately $485 billion since the same time a year ago. Ethereum is leading the recovery after jumping 17 percent and returning to the second spot as the most valuable cryptocurrencies.

BTC-USD

Bitcoin moved below the $3,800 mark once again on December 27 in a 5.6 percent drop. The most popular cryptocurrency failed to meet a new high in December since it peaked at $4,200 on December 20, following a mid-month crash to $3,200.

Buyers, however, were hoping for another year-end rally and were able to push BTC-USD pair above $3,800 and $4,000 on December 28. The eight percent price increase resulted in a green wave among the top 100 currencies.

More than $1 million worth of BTC was stolen in an apparent hacking attempt against the popular cryptocurrency wallet Electrum. At least 240 bitcoin were transferred to several blockchain wallets from multiple Electrum users on December 27.

According to reports, hackers were broadcasting a message to end users urging them to update their wallet version using a scam URL.

Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Huobi reported its daily traded volume of cryptocurrency contracts had broken past $1 billion on its recently launched Huobi Derivatives Market (DM). The world’s third-largest largest crypto spot market trading platform launched Huobi DM last month adding bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH) and, as of December 28, EOS contracts that aim to allow for arbitrage, speculation, and hedging.

Additionally, the company announced that the Huobi Pool, Huobi Group’s cryptocurrency mining arm, will launch the company’s first exchange in Q1 of 2019 which will be dedicated to EOS. The exchange will allow users to trade EOS against various cryptocurrencies.

Another crypto exchange, Kraken, announced in a blog post it has enabled margin trading for bitcoin cash (BCH) and ripple (XRP). The addition expands the platform margin offering to eight assets.

During the weekend of December 29 to 30, bitcoin slipped back to $3,900 on Saturday then climbed back to $3,980 on Sunday as neither buyers nor sellers were able to take over control. The currency was 2.4 percent down for the seven-day-period with trading volumes stable above $3 billion in the last days of the year.

BTC-USD closed the year with a red candle on the daily chart, down to $3,935, which represented an approximate loss of 73 percent for 2018.

On the last day of the year, the cryptocurrency exchange and liquidity provider Bakkt informed that it had finished its first funding round after raising $182.5 million from a group of high profile investors and venture capital firms.

The company will also be seeking to provide an updated launch timeline for its long anticipated Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract in early 2019 as per the official announcement. The launch had previously been set for January 24, 2019, but will be amended pursuant to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) process and timeline. Bakkt is a portfolio company of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which also owns the New York Stock Exchange.

The electronic and manufacturing giant Samsung is reportedly seeking a trademark in the UK for a cryptocurrency wallet. According to the UK Intellectual Property Office, the company has applied for a trademark on December 27. Earlier this month the company denied the rumors that it would be including a cryptocurrency cold wallet on its Galaxy S10 smartphone.

The first trading day of 2019 found Bitcoin up with $130 to $3,960. It extended gains above $4,000 on January 2 to stop at $4,050.

Bitcoin Market Movement January 3, 2019

ETH-USD

Ethereum lost 12 percent of its value on December 27 and dropped right below the $120 level to $119. Recent ETH price movements and the volatile market, combined with high trading volumes, are good indicators for the returning interest on investors side.

The ETH-USD pair gained 20 percent on December 28 and moved above $140 for the first time since November 20 stopping at $142.

Observers saw almost no changes in price during the weekend of December 29 to 30 and the lack of direction resulted in the third biggest cryptocurrency, in terms of market cap, trading in the $140 to $144 zone. It closed the week with a seven percent gain.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin released a point-by-point answer to the recent critics from crypto analyst Tuur Demeester who openly attacked the project a week ago on his Twitter page. Vitalik’s reply came on December 30 on the r/ethereum subreddit where he shared his view on the current state of Ethereum, Bitcoin’s technology, Proof of Work and Proof of Stake mechanisms, Lightning Node, Shrading concepts, and many more.

The new week opened with a drop from $144 to $136 on December 31, far from the expected Bull Run. Ether closed the year 82 percent lower than where it stood 365 days earlier.

On January 1, losses from the previous day were erased and the price climbed back to $145, closing the first day of the year with a green candle on the daily chart. The December rallies and the fact ETH is 30 percent up for the period helped it reclaim its spot as the second biggest cryptocurrency surpassing XRP by roughly $500,000 on January 2.

Ether stormed past $150 on January 2 and was eyeing the $175 to $183 levels.

Ether Market Movement January 3, 2019

XRP-USD

The Ripple company token dropped to $0.349, or just below the $0.35 support on December 27. The ten percent decline resulted in a third consecutive day in the red.

On December 28, however, XRP-USD managed to erase all the losses from the previous day rallying to $0.39. The pair stayed in the $0.39 to $0.375 corridor during the weekend and closed the seven-day-period at $0.382 with no significant price change during that period.

On the last day of the year, XRP made another move south, this time to $0.36 confirming its 85 percent lthe oss in span of just one year.

Major news during last week include XRP and Stellar (XLM) co-founder Jed McCaleb calling Tron (TRX) platform (and 90 percent of the coins out there) just “garbage” in a recent interview for Yahoo Finance, XRP losing its spot as the second biggest cryptocurrency in terms of market cap, and Kraken adding XRP margin trading to its platform.

Additionally, The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) introduced “NBK Direct Remit,” a cross-border payments solution that uses RippleNet. The decentralized network of banks and other financial institutions will be used by the bank to provide its customers with “a frictionless remittance experience” and “fast cross-border money transfer solutions.”

The payments giant Visa acquired Ripple partner Earthport Plc, a payment network for blockchain-based cross-border transactions. The ~$250 million deal aims to strengthen Visa’s position as a leader in the rapidly increasing cross-border payments or transactions that involve parties in two or more countries.

On January 1, XRP rose with 4.7 percent and started the year with a green candle to $0.377. We saw a second green candle on the daily chart on January 2 when the token moved above $0.38 to reach $0.386.

In the early hours of January 3 the XRP-USD pair is making a correction with expectations for the $0.38 support to hold short-term bull run confirmation.

XRP Market Movement January 3, 2019

Overstock Will Pay Some of Its 2019 Taxes in Bitcoin

Digital retail giant Overstock.com plans to pay at least some of its taxes using bitcoin this year.

The company announced on its investor portal Thursday that it would pay some of its state commercial activity taxes in Ohio using bitcoin, becoming the first major business to do so. Ohio announced last year that it would allow businesses to pay taxes in bitcoin, though the payments would be converted into dollars by a third party before the state accepted them.

In a statement, Overstock CEO and founder Patrick Byrne said the company was “proud to partner” with the Ohio government “to help usher in an era of trust through technology for our nation’s essential financial systems,” adding:

“We have long thought that thoughtful governmental adoption of emerging technologies such as cryptocurrencies (when accompanied by non-restrictive legislation over these technologies) is the best way to ensure the U.S. does not lose our place at the forefront of the ever-advancing global economy.”

Ohio announced in November 2018 that it would accept bitcoin for tax payments through a three-step process, where businesses sign up on the OhioCrypto.com portal, enter tax details and transmit the payment using a compatible bitcoin wallet.

Bitcoin processor BitPay would then convert the cryptocurrency into a U.S. dollar equivalent, which would be passed to the office of the Ohio Treasurer.

Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel praised Overstock’s move, saying the company’s “embrace of blockchain technology was ahead of its time” in a statement Thursday.

Overstock has been accepting bitcoin as payment for purchases since 2014, and a subsidiary, Medici Ventures, acts as an investment wing in blockchain startups. The company is also developing a security token trading platform called tZERO.

Byrne has said he plans to sell the flagship retail business early this year, which would leave the company with Medici and a chunk of change.

Overstock did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Patrick Byrne image via CoinDesk archives

Coinbase Considering Subscription Model, Hints New User Survey

Cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase and others drive their revenue through the fees users are charged for the trades or purchases they make.

However, a new user survey being circulated by Coinbase appears to hint at the cryptocurrency powerhouse exploring new fee models, including a subscription model.

Coinbase Survey Polls Users on Potential Subscription Model

Companies frequently send around surveys to their most active and loyal customers, seeking valuable input and feedback that may or may not end up shaping future products or services. This past week, San Francisco-based cryptocurrency giant Coinbase sent around a survey to select customers seeking feedback on a number of questions.

According to the questions asked in the survey, Coinbase appeared particularly interested in changing up its fee structure in order to remain competitive in the ever-changing crypto space. Among the questions, the crypto firm compared their maker and taker fee models against other exchanges, such as Binance, Huobi Pro, Gemini, and more.

Related Reading | Coinbase Exploring Support for 31 More Crypto Assets

However, there was another section of questions where Coinbase focused on gaining user input on potentially switching to a subscription fee model for users. The survey asked how interested a user would be in paying a “modest subscription fee” in exchange for lower “maker” or “taker” fees and other perks.

With a subscription model, a user would likely pay a monthly or annual fee to gain access to lower overall fees and “perks.” The survey didn’t hint at what the potential perks might be. It’s also worth pointing out that survey’s like the one in this example are seeking to gain feedback and may not lead to actual products or changes to services. Should the feedback about the subscription services be overwhelmingly negative, the subscription model may never see the light of day.

Coinbase Pivoting To Better Monetize Active Users?

A recent report from the Blockchain Transparency Institute showed that Coinbase had the highest number of daily active users on its cryptocurrency exchange. The Brian Armstrong-led firm boasted over 100,000 more active users than Binance, and nearly four times as many users as the #3 and #4 spots on the list.

However, despite having such a large amount of active users, each user only contributed a dismal amount of transaction volume.

Related Reading |  Brian Armstrong: 2019 Will be a Great Year for Crypto

Coinbase ranked the lowest by transaction volume out of the four exchanges with over 100,000 daily active users. Each user contributes only $189 in transaction volume, compared to $2,137 per user on Binance.

With cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase and Binance generating revenue from fees, which are typically a set percentage of the transaction value, it’s not a surprise to see Coinbase exploring ways to better monetize their large volume of active users.

If Coinbase moved forward with a subscription model, it would allow the firm to charge a set fee to use their services, regardless of transaction volume and value. But again, many ideas mentioned in user surveys don’t end up coming to fruition, so only time will tell if the firm’s executives are satisfied with the feedback and decides to roll out a subscription model.

Cardano (ADA) Price Analysis – January 3

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Cardano (ADA) Price Analysis – January 3

cardano-ada-price-analysis-january-3

Cardano, ADAUSD, CryptoCompare chartCardano Chart By Trading View

ADAUSD Medium-term Trend: Ranging

  • Resistance levels: $0.080, $0.090, $0.100
  • Support levels: $0.040, $0.030, $0.020 

On December 24, ADAUSD pair had been ranging above the $0.040 price level. On the same date, a Gravestone Doji reversal candlestick terminated an uptrend which made the crypto to fall to the low of $0.0370 but the price pulled back to the high of $0.042. On January 1, the price of Cardano was in a bullish trend and price reached the high of $0.046.

The crypto’s price fell to the low of $0.0433 because of the resistance at $0.045. On the upside, the crypto’s price has to break the resistance at $0.0450 by having more buyers at that price level. If the bulls overcome the resistance which had been tested on more than three occasions, the crypto will reach the previous high of $0.050.

On the downside, if the bears break the $0.040 price level the crypto will revisit the previous lows of $0.030 and $0.035.

ADAUSD Short-term Trend: Ranging 

Cardano, ADAUSD, CryptoCompare chartCardano Chart By Trading View
                     

On the 4-hour chart, the crypto’s price is in a sideways trend.  From the chart, the 12-day EMA and the 26-day EMA are trending horizontally indicating that the price of Cardano is ranging.  The price of Cardano is range bound between the levels of $0.035 and $0.045. On January 1, the crypto tested the upper price level and it was resisted.

However, while, the crypto continues its range bound movement, traders can trade the upper and lower price levels. That is, you initiate a short trade at the upper price level and exit at the support level. On the other hand, you initiate a long trade at the lower price level and exit at the resistance level.

 

The views and opinions expressed here do not reflect that of CryptoGlobe.com and do not constitute financial advice. Always do your own research.