Where Is the Beef? UPS Says the Blockchain Knows

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Where Is the Beef? UPS Says the Blockchain Knows

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On Monday (November 11), package delivery company United Parcel Service of America (aka “UPS”) announced the first “blockchain-verified” shipment of beef from the U.S. to Japan.

The Atlanta-headquartered UPS, which is probably the largest package delivery company in the world with service in 220 countries and territories worldwide, announced that, via a collaboration with agricultural technology company HerdX, it had managed to deliver some blockchain-tracked beef from a U.S. farm to Japan.

UPS says that this delivery “represents a significant step forward in quality assurance and traceability in the beef industry,” and that the reason that the market for tools for traceability and verification has gotten bigger is that consumers “demand to know more about the food they consume.”

Apparently, the purpose of this collaboration is “to develop tracking and traceability technology that improves quality assurance for beef products being shipped internationally.” A “customized, integrated visibility tool” was created by UPS and made compatible with HerdX’s blockchain technology in order to be able to get “live updates and data points throughout the journey.”

According to a report by Coindesk, the beef in question was “black angus steak packaged by the Japanese-owned Creekstone Farms.” It left Arkansas City, Kansas on November 4, and was delivered to a Ruby Jack’s steakhouse in Tokyo. American and Japanese embassy officials celebrated the event by having dinner on November 8 at this restaurant, where the guests were “provided menu items featuring scannable QR codes containing tracking information detailing the journey of the beef they were to consume.”

The beef was “wrapped in UPS Temperature True® packaging” for its trip from the U.S. to Japan. Sensors kept track of the steak and regularly sent updates to the HerdX blockchain. 

Romaine Seguin, President of UPS Global Freight Forwarding, had this to say:

Blockchain verification for international air freight shipments is complex and requires a great amount of expertise in customs and freight forwarding… We’re committed to upholding HerdX’s industry-leading quality assurance and traceability standards for all customers eyeing international growth moving forward.

 

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

New Wirex Visa Card Offers Users Cryptocurrency Rewards

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New Wirex Visa Card Offers Users Cryptocurrency Rewards

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A new Visa card launched by borderless payment platform Wirex rewards users with 1.5% back in bitcoin on all in-store purchases, allowing users to earn crypto rewards for using it.

According to a press release shared with CryptoGlobe, Wirex announced its new Visa Travelcard at the Singapore FinTech Festival. The card supports more than 150 currencies and processes cryptocurrency exchanges to fiat currency before transacting on the visa network.

It’s reportedly supported anywhere Visa is accepted and allows for free ATM withdrawals. Wirex touts its “first in the world” program allowing users to earn cashback in cryptocurrency. Per the firm the first 2,000 to order and activate a Wirex Travelcard will receive 20 Nano.

To get users onboard Wirex is removing management and traditional currency exchange fees for a limited period. The card is set to be available across the Asia-Pacific region. The firm’s CEO Pavel Matveev was quoted as saying it “witnessed an explosion in demand for hybrid fiat and crypto-enabled banking alternatives in APAC, where people need payments redesigned for the future.”

Wirex is one of the only cryptocurrency-related companies in the world to have been granted a UK FCA e-money license. Earlier this year it launched the WXT token on OK Jumpstart, OKEx’s IEO platform.

The firm’s announcement added it’ll soon release a “revolutionary selection of fiat-backed stablecoins.” Wirex is one of various fintech firms entering the crypto space. Revolut, for example, added stop orders for trading BTC, ETH, and BCH and others earlier this year.

Featured image by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash.

Crypto Exchange Bittrex to Return Frozen Funds to Users in Sanctioned Regions

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Crypto Exchange Bittrex to Return Frozen Funds to Users in Sanctioned Regions

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Bittrex, a popular U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, is seemingly looking to return cryptocurrency holdings to users it had to block from its platform over international sanctions.

According to a tweet published by former user Ziya Sadr, Bittrex is now reaching out to users who reside in sanctioned nations where it’s legally unable to offer its services to send them their frozen funds.

The tweet contains a letter that details Bittrex doesn’t offer users services because of the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) but has now been allowed to return users’ funds. It details:

In May of 2018, Bittrex filed an application to permit it to release the funds currently frozen back to the owners. This application was recently granted and we are writing to let you know that you may withdraw your funds to another exchange.

To get their funds back, however, users will have to create an account at a cryptocurrency exchange that isn’t located in Iran, Cuba, Crimea, Syria, or another sanctioned region, create a Bittrex support account, and fill out a form informing the exchange.

Users will only be able to receive their funds if the balance was above the withdrawal limit, which varies from crypto to crypto, but Is often above three times the transaction fee needed to move the funds using the blockchain.

To receive their funds, users will have to submit a request by March 15 of next year. How many users were affected by the sanctions and may have to ask Bittrex for their funds isn’t clear.

As CryptoGlobe covered earlier this year the exchange geofenced 32 cryptoassets for U.S. customers to comply with regulations. Last month, Bittrex’s international trading platform closed services for clients in more than 30 countries “due to regulatory uncertainty.”

Featured image via Pixabay.

Half of Financial Pros Think Bitcoin Will Outperform S&P 500 in 2020

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Half of Financial Pros Think Bitcoin Will Outperform S&P 500 in 2020

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A new survey polling bank executives and financial professionals found that half believe bitcoin will outperform the S&P 500 next year. 

According to a survey conducted by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, 48% of the financial professionals polled said bitcoin will be the investment class with the highest growth rate over the next 12 months. The Chainalysis study asked more than 350 finance professionals, including bank and credit union executives, which asset class was likely to be the top performer next year. 

While half said that bitcoin would be the top-performing asset, one-third of respondents predicted equities (S&P 500) to be the leading investment class, followed by “fixed income (Bloomberg Barclays Bond Index) and the House Pricing Index (HPI) at 13% and 5%, respectively.”

Despite high expectations for bitcoin, financial providers said that retail engagement was low. The majority of respondents said less than half of their clients were involved in crypto, with one-quarter of respondents saying that less than 10% of their clients invested in the asset class. 

Chainalysis CEO Michael Gronager commented on the gap between investor expectation and reality, 

Many finance professionals understand that cryptocurrency presents a massive opportunity, yet institutions are hesitant to enter the market due to perceived risk and some don’t even realize the exposure that they already have to cryptocurrency.

The potential for illicit activity was cited as the primary barrier for professionals getting involved in crypto-assets, with one-quarter of respondents claiming the market wasn’t yet big enough.

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

Andreessen Horowitz Has a Free Course That Shows How to Build a Crypto Startup

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Andreessen Horowitz Has a Free Course That Shows How to Build a Crypto Startup

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California-based venture capital (VC) firm Andreessen Horowitz (aka “a16z”) has announced a free seven-week course for those interested in building a blockchain/crypto startup.

The VC firm founded in 2009 by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz invests in “seed to late-stage technology companies, across the consumer, enterprise, bio/healthcare, crypto, and fintech spaces,” and it has “$10B in assets under management across multiple funds, including the $650M Bio funds, the $350M Crypto fund, and the Cultural Leadership Fund.”

In a blog post published on November 8, Chris Dixon, one of the firm’s general partners, said that 16z is excited about blockchain technology and the crypto projects it has inspired. He also said that a16z has been investing in the blockchain space for the past seven years. 

Dixon says that a16z’s “Crypto Startup School” is a seven-week educational program that runs from 21 February 2020 to 3 April 2020. Although the lectures in Menlo Park, California are only for those people whose applications for this course get accepted, later on, a16z plans to make available to everyone videos of these lectures as well as the course materials. 

Here are some of the main topics that a16z’s Crypto Startup School plans to cover: 

  • Overview of Application Development Tools
  • Crypto Business Models
  • Go-to-market Strategy and Developer Relations
  • Regulatory Landscape and Considerations
  • Guide to Fundraising

The mentors are well-known members of the crypto community, such as Jill Carlson, Spencer Noon, and Linda Xie.

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

EOS Showing Strength With Key Indicator About to Cross – Price Analysis

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EOS (EOS), once a wildly popular altcoin, has had an okay year thus far. It was outperformed by Bitcoin (BTC) for most of the year, although there was excellent profit to be had between January-May of this year on the USD side. Now, after months of retracing and downside, EOS is showing strength and may be ready to move up again.

We start with the weekly EOS/USD chart, whose most important feature is probably the impending histogram cross. We see that this indicator looks likely to cross during the coming week, after months and months of downtrending and reversing momentum. The momentum isn’t pushing up too hard, however, with a flat trajectory up rather than an arched one.

Histogram about to crossEOS chart by TradingView

A couple of solid weeks have put EOS above the 8 EMA and held it there, which we can think of as the toehold of a long term uptrend. Last week closed with a bullish engulfing candle, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the 21 EMA (orange) tested this week at about $3.80.

On to the daily, we see that last month’s break above $3.20 has held with plenty of retesting on top of the 55 EMA. The two most recent price peaks have been supported with higher highs on the RSI – although we see a bit of a bear divergence on the histogram. Bitcoin’s recent volatility is probably helping to pump the breaks a little, as most altcoins sell off whenever Bitcoin is trembling.

Retest heldEOS chart by TradingView

One worrying sign here is that volume has been falling with the price increase, whereas we would like to see increasing volume. This, along with the histogram, may suggest more churning near the 55/21 EMAs or even back at $3.20.

Turning now to a 3-day EOS/BTC pairing, we see what looks very much like a reversing market. A double bottom with increased strength marked the beginning of a short term uptrend, which may now turn into a long term uptrend. The resistance at about 40k satoshis looks like it’s being broken, and strength on the RSI is continuously building.

Likely reversal locked inEOS chart by TradingView

The next major resistance from here as at about 47k satoshis, which marks the zone where EOS’ price fell through multi-year support. That’s a handsome 18% worth of upside, if the present resistance is broken.

EOS definitely is looking good, and what has been a short term uptrend could translate into a much larger one heading into 2020.

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

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

Peter Schiff Calls Out Bobby Lee for $1 Million Bitcoin Price Prediction

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Peter Schiff Calls Out Bobby Lee for $1 Million Bitcoin Price Prediction

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Gold bug and crypto critic Peter Schiff has taken issue with Bobby Lee’s most recent price prediction that bitcoin will reach $1 million in the next five to 10 years. 

Speaking at the Malta AIBC Summit last week, Lee said bitcoin’s price increases in a regular cycle involving bubbles and FOMO runs. Lee, who founded the BTCC exchange and crypto wallet Ballet, predicted that bitcoin’s price would increase five to 10 times its previous high following the next bubble, 

Bitcoin’s price goes in waves. Every so-called bubble, every FOMO run, it could go up by ten or twenty times the previous high. So the next one could easily top $100,000 or even $200,000 per bitcoin…So I definitely think it will go up quite a bit in the next five to ten years.

On Saturday, Lee took to Twitter to further explain his prediction, saying that bitcoin will flip gold within the next 9 years on its way to a $1 million valuation.

However, Peter Schiff took issue with Lee’s prediction and denounced him for misleading retail investors. Schiff claimed that outlandish price targets such as Lee’s only serve to excite hodlers while the “whales quietly abandon ship.”

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Bakkt Warehouse Now Offering Bitcoin Custody to All Institutions

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Bakkt Warehouse Now Offering Bitcoin Custody to All Institutions

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On Monday (November 11), Adam White, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Bakkt, the crypto custodian and Bitcoin futures exchange subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), declared that qualified custodian Bakkt Warehouse is now offering its Bitcoin custody service to all institutions and not just those trading the Bakkt Bitcoin Futures contracts.

This move comes after Bakkt received permission from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to offer this Bitcoin custody service to even those institutions that are not interested in Bakkt’s physically-settled daily or monthly Bitcoin futures.

On September 9, the Bakkt COO announced that the Bakkt Warehouse, which had been launched on September 6, was “open for business”:

In his blog post, which was published earlier today, White said that Pantera Capital, Galaxy Digital, and Tagomi are three examples of companies storing their bitcoins at the Bakkt Warehouse, and that more “marquee firms” would be onboarded in the next several weeks.

White explained that what made the Bakkt Warehouse special was not the technology on which it was built, but also “extensive physical, operational and cybersecurity safeguards.”

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

Bitcoin Closes Week Above Key Level, Despite Chop – Price Analysis

Volatility has returned to Bitcoin (BTC) in the last few days, after the leading crypto broke down from a consolidation above $9,000. It has slightly altered what was looking like a very bullish picture, although there is still a chance that a larger uptrend may be forming. A very choppy trading period in the last 24 hours has resulted in a strange weekly close, managing to just barely stay above some important support levels.

We start on the weekly chart to observe this erratic price action, and should direct our attention to the 21 EMA (orange line). This is an important moving average, because of Bitcoin’s historical respect of this level during a bull market. Closing below this level for a second time – as it did in September – would not be encouraging.

21 EMA is important, but held so farBTC chart by TradingView

The interesting thing here is that, although Bitcoin fell below the 21 EMA during last week’s trading, it managed to close above it yesterday; and as we shall see, a surge of buying seemed to come in to secure a close above the 21 at the eleventh hour.

We should also note the weekly histogram indicator, which has been going up flat for the past three weeks. At present it looks quite bad, starting to point down; but we are only on day one of this week’s candle, so the present look can be discarded for now. If the week closes like this, however, Bitcoin will have a big problem.

Moving to the daily, we this event in more detail. Price had been well below the $9,000 level, where the 21-week EMA is (and incidentally where all the important daily EMAs are), but was pushed up just long enough to close the week above it.

Finding support in the retrace?BTC chart by TradingView

Other things to note on the daily: Although the price has clearly taken a slight turn down, the potential for a larger uptrend remains here. The retracement from local highs of about $10,500 is still above the 0.618 “golden pocket” level, which must be taken out before we start to worry. The blue band of support seems to be holding Bitcoin here, which is derived from September-October resistance.

We can also note that volume, in general, continues to decline respective to the dramatic October 25th reversal. All in all, this is a very important week for Bitcoin: The confirmation of a reversal of half a year’s worth of downtrending correction is not yet it, and strength must be shown this week in order to effect such a reversal. If that doesn’t happen, we may have to consider more bearish narratives.

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

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

Argo Blockchain to Employ 17,000 Crypto Mining Machines by End of Q1 2020

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Argo Blockchain to Employ 17,000 Crypto Mining Machines by End of Q1 2020

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Argo Blockchain, the first cryptocurrency firm to be listed on the London Stock Exchange (ticker: ARB), has revealed it’s looking to increase its number of crypto mining machines to 17,00 by Q2 of 2020.

According to a recent update published by Proactive Investors, the mining firm is now employing a total of 7,000 cryptocurrency miners at its facilities, and has a 10,000 mining machine order that’s expected to be delivered in batches, starting from early December.

The firm’s shares surged earlier this year after it revealed the 1,026 Antminer S17 ASICs it acquired had already paid for themselves, and it seems the firm is doubling down on its investment in new crypto mining equipment. Mike Edwards, Argo’s executive chairman, stated:

Our strategy to make a major investment in new mining hardware this year continues to deliver strong returns.

Edwards added Argo blockchain was confident in its ongoing expansion and added it will “deliver return in line with our expectations and create long-term value for shareholders.” Argo Blockchain’s share price has over the last three months been dropping, with Yahoo Finance data showing it went from an 11.25 GBp high to around 6.8 GBp.

It’s worth pointing out cryptocurrency mining firms like Argo Blockchain have to invest in hardware from time to time. Bitcoin’s hashrate has over the last few months been surging, so much so it went from around 35 million TH/s in December of last year to 104 million TH/s this month.

Featured image by Лечение Наркомании on Pixabay.