99Bitcoins breathes new life into Dead Coins project

99Bitcoins breathes new life into Dead Coins project

The Dead Coins project has been given new lease of life by BTC education portal 99Bitcoins.

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

Bitcoin education portal 99Bitcoins is the newly appointed undertaker of the cryptocurrency industry.

It’s taken over the Dead Coins project, which provides a burial ground for more than a thousand dead cryptocurrencies, and breathed new life into the project by ensuring the list is accurate and by removing joke burials for Bitcoin, Tron, Dogecoin and Tether.

Deadcoins.com was started in 2017 to document the demise of the hundreds of altcoins that materialized off the back of the ICO boom that year. 99Bitcoins meanwhile was founded in 2013 to offer a practical and non-technical guide to those new to Bitcoin.

The list of dead cryptocurrencies is a nice companion piece to 99Bitcoin’s highly-referenced ‘Bitcoin Obituaries’ page which records every time the mainstream media claims that Bitcoin has died. At last count, Bitcoin had died 399 times.

The newly cleaned up Dead Coins page is reporting 1559 altcoin fatalities at the time of writing.

In a statement, Ofir Beigel, owner, and founder of 99Bitcoins, said they’ve given the page an overhaul as there were a few issues with the format:

“I think the Dead Coins project is a brilliant idea that needs a bit of polishing. The fact that anyone can add a dead coin themselves made the list of coins very inaccurate. We’ve spent days going through the complete list and sifted out all of the coins that were buried alive, so to speak. For example, Bitcoin, Tron, Dogecoin and Tether are just some of the coins that were listed when we took over the project.”

He added that the community sometimes mistakes a ‘shitcoin’ for a dead coin and clear indicators have been put in place to determine whether a coin is actually deceased or not.

“This way we still use the community’s input, but we make sure it goes through another filter to verify the submission’s accuracy”.

A coin or token project is deemed dead for a number of reasons including inactive development for more than six months, low volume and liquidity (as nobody is trading it), a lack of listings on exchanges, website down or no social media activity, and of course the scams and Ponzi schemes.

In January 2020, Cointelegraph highlighted some of the primary reasons that crypto projects and their tokens end up going south which also included failed funding and joke projects which can still run for some time before finally giving up the ghost.


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

The Dead Coins project has been given new lease of life by BTC education portal 99Bitcoins.

What are privacy coins and how do they differ from Bitcoin?

What are privacy coins and how do they differ from Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is not as private as people might think, but multiple other assets that come with anonymity-boosting features do exist.

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

Cryptocurrencies are typically pseudonymous, but not necessarily private. Bitcoin (BTC) and other assets run on blockchains, with each transaction posted publicly online. During a transaction between two or more parties, assets move to different wallets, each represented by a string of characters. 

With these addresses and transactions visible to all, however, a certain level of trackability exists, especially if a wallet transfers funds to an exchange requiring Know Your Customer verification.

Certain crypto assets, which are often referred to as privacy coins, private coins or anonymous coins, attempt to hide information about transactions, giving users more privacy. Why might someone need privacy if they are not doing anything illegal? It could be preference or a view of privacy as a basic human right could be two reasons. Cash is largely private. Every transaction is not recorded somewhere for all to see with the click of a button.

A number of possible methods exist for adding privacy to Bitcoin, including peer-to-peer trading, although multiple crypto assets focus on privacy more directly via their technology. Some familiar privacy assets in the crypto space include Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), Verge (XVG), Beam and Grin. Dash also makes it on the list, as it allows for added anonymity, although the coin is not technically classified as a privacy asset.

Monero

One of the industry’s most well-known privacy-focused assets, Monero came on the scene about seven years ago, having spurred numerous headlines in the years since. Monero prides itself on decentralization, touting origins that back such stated values. “It was a fair, pre-announced launch of the CryptoNote reference code,” Monero’s website says. “There was no premine or instamine, and no portion of the block reward goes to development.”

Monero, a coin based on its own proof-of-work blockchain, touts multiple different privacy technology features, per its website, including stealth addresses and RingCT. Added to XMR in 2017, “RingCT, short for Ring Confidential Transactions, is how transaction amounts are hidden in Monero,” Moneropedia, the explanatory section of the asset’s site, explains.

Monero piqued the interest of the United States government in the latter part of 2020. The Internal Revenue Service put out a bounty on the asset’s head, promising as much as $625,000 in exchange for cracking the coin’s privacy tech. Two blockchain analytics outfits, Integra FEC and Chainalysis, took home the prize just a few weeks after the IRS announced the bounty.

Zcash

Zcash hails as another popular privacy-focused asset in the crypto space. It started in 2016 and was initiated by the Electric Coin Company, which is headed up by cypherpunk Zooko Wilcox. Zcash stems from the same code as Bitcoin, according to the asset’s website. ZEC operates on its own blockchain with PoW mining consensus, separate from Bitcoin.

ZEC allows both private transfers, called shielded transactions, and public transactions. “Zcash gives you the option of confidential transactions and financial privacy through shielded addresses,” Zcash’s website explains, adding: “Zero-knowledge proofs allow transactions to be verified without revealing the sender, receiver or transaction amount. Selective disclosure features within Zcash allow a user to share some transaction details, for purposes of compliance or audit.”

Dash (sort of)

Dash is another well-known cryptocurrency hosting privacy features. The entity managing the coin’s development, the Dash Core Group, however, clarified on several occasions that Dash is not a privacy asset, although it comes with elective characteristics for added anonymity.

“Dash is a payments cryptocurrency with a strong focus on usability, which includes speed, cost, ease of use and user protection through optional privacy,” the group’s chief marketing officer, Fernando Gutierrez, told Cointelegraph previously.

“Dash is not an AEC!” Ryan Taylor, CEO of DashPay, said in a January 2021 tweet referring to anonymity-enhanced cryptocurrencies, or AEC — a term used by U.S. regulating bodies. “As a literal fork of Bitcoin, all Dash transactions are completely transparent,” his tweet added: “All inputs, outputs, addresses, and amounts are recorded on each and every transaction and viewable – by anyone – on its public blockchain.”

XCoin joined the crypto world as a 2014 Bitcoin fork, later rebranding as Darkcoin, and subsequently Dash. The asset is based on its own proof-of-stake blockchain.

The coin lets users transact anonymously, if they so choose, through what is referred to as PrivateSend. “The technology that Dash utilizes in our PrivateSend function is CoinJoin, which is a technique for complicating transactions to the point that they’re more difficult for analytics firms to analyze those,” Gutierrez explained, as previously reported.

Verge

A PoW asset running on its own blockchain, Verge exists as yet another cryptocurrency touting privacy capabilities. Verge started with a different name. “Verge Currency was created in 2014 under the name DogeCoinDark,” the asset’s website states, but was later rebranded into Verge Currency.

An open-source asset, Verge enables private transfers through I2P and Tor tech, which conceal transactors’ locations (IP addresses), according to information from BitDegree, as well as previous Cointelegraph reporting.

Verge gained significant price traction in late 2017, hitting highs around $0.31, based on TradingView data. The asset currently trades at roughly $0.023.

Beam and Grin

Grin and Beam burst onto the crypto market in 2019, touting a different technology called Mimblewimble. A type of blockchain technology, the concept of Mimblewimble went public in 2016 as a PoW variation, according to a community submission article from William M. Peaster on Binance Academy.

Grin and Beam launched based on Mimblewimble, although Litecoin (LTC), a long-time prominent asset in the crypto space, has been working on implementing the technology.

“In a MW blockchain, there are no identifiable or reusable addresses, meaning that all transactions look like random data to an outsider,” the Binance Academy article reads. “A Mimblewimble block looks like one large transaction rather than a combination of many,” the article adds, subsequently diving into other aspects of the technology.

Privacy coins and regulation

Government overwatch on privacy coins has grown in recent years, as shown in part by the IRS’ efforts against Monero’s technology. Privacy coin references also surfaced in the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s proposed regulation on self-hosted crypto wallets in December 2020.

“Several types of AEC (e.g., Monero, Zcash, Dash, Komodo, and Beam) are increasing in popularity and employ various technologies that inhibit investigators’ ability both to identify transaction activity using blockchain data,” the December document said referring to anonymity-enhanced cryptocurrencies. Additionally, South Korea outlawed anonymity assets in November 2020.

Some crypto exchanges have delisted the abovementioned assets. In October 2019, OKEx Korea ceased trading on its platform for Monero, Zcash, Super Bitcoin (SBTC), Dash and Horizen (ZEN). BitBay removed Monero near the beginning of 2020. Bittrex removed Zcash, Dash and Monero from its exchange in January 2021. A number of other crypto platforms have also delisted privacy-enhanced assets over the past year or two, including ShapeShift.


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

Bitcoin is not as private as people might think, but multiple other assets that come with anonymity-boosting features do exist.

This Coin’s Supply Goes Down as the Price Rises

This Coin’s Supply Goes Down as the Price Rises

This crypto exhibits no correlation with Bitcoin; it was designed to behave differently from every other currency — crypto or fiat, with a money supply that expands or contracts depending on demand.

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

Ampleforth (AMPL) is a cryptocurrency built with an elastic supply that expands and contracts depending on demand. According to its co-founder Evan Kuo, the team was trying to learn from the failures of the gold standard and Bitcoin (BTC) to create a more flexible monetary system.

Investors hoard Bitcoin & gold

Although many in the crypto space perceive the finite inelastic supply of Bitcoin and gold as a major advantage over fiat, Kuo disagrees:

“The only problem with gold arises when you start to use it as a base money or building block as part of a financial infrastructure.”

Since Kuo perceives Bitcoin as digital gold, the same problems apply. As demand goes up, the price increases and if in addition to that, the population expects future price increases, they start hoarding the asset. This leads to a deflationary spiral. Ampleforth is designed with an elastic, automatically adjustable supply. Once a day, the supply either gets automatically expanded or contracted depending on the level activity in the past 24 hours.

Creating an asset uncorrelated with Bticoin & traditional assets

The total supply is also adjusted, although each holder’s proportional stake does not vary. The equilibrium price target is set to one 2019 Consumer Price Index adjusted dollar. Kuo acknowledged that it is unlikely that AMPL will become a stablecoin in the near future:

“And so it is true that we do have this price target and is also true that in the long run, this will potentially become much more stable. But it’s not at all a near-term goal or measure of success.”

According to Kuo, one of the main goals of this design was to create an asset that would be uncorrelated with traditional assets and Bitcoin. Although historically, Bitcoin and other crypto assets have exhibited low correlations with traditional assets, every major crypto has been tracing Bitcoin’s path. This presents a challenge to crypto investors as it is impossible to achieve diversification with highly correlated assets.

Correlation between Bitcoin and other top cryptocurrencies

Correlation between Bitcoin and other top cryptocurrencies. Source: Coin Metrics.

We calculated a simple Pearson correlation between the prices of Bitcoin and AMPL and it stands at 0.1, which is very weak.

Investors may lose money as price goes up

One interesting outcome of Ampleforth’s design is that an investor needs to assess their investments differently. Normally, if a portfolio asset goes up in price, you make money (with some derivatives it may be the opposite). With AMPL, this may not be the case. 

Let’s say an investor owns 10 AMPL that they acquired for $1 each, making their portfolio worth $10. The price then increases by 10% to $1.10, but the supply contracts 50%, decreasing the investor’s holdings to 5 AMPL. Despite the price appreciation, the investor’s portfolio diminishes to $5.50, losing 45% of its original value. 

One possible strategy would be to “front run” the daily adjustment by analyzing the data and anticipating the direction of the upcoming change. Kuo admitted that this could be a viable strategy, but it is not without its caveats:

“You also have to remember that everyone else also has the data themselves, so it’s game theoretic. And yes, that strategy certainly is a good strategy. I mean, it’s an interesting strategy. <...>. But it is not without risk because you’re making a bet.”

Kuo believes that AMPL (which he calls “oracalized money”) may present new opportunities to the DeFi space because of its unique properties. These opportunities do not have to be limited to Ethereum (ETH); according to Kuo, the team has considered AMPL a “multi-chain” asset from the beginning.


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

This crypto exhibits no correlation with Bitcoin; it was designed to behave differently from every other currency — crypto or fiat, with a money supply that expands or contracts depending on demand.

A Polkadot-Based Project Wants to Unlock Staked Coins for DeFi Collateral

A Polkadot-Based Project Wants to Unlock Staked Coins for DeFi Collateral

A new project building on Polkadot received an investment of $600,000 to build liquid staking, a way of unlocking liquidity devoted to proof-of-stake.

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

An upcoming decentralized finance project built on Polkadot (DOT) is looking to unlock liquidity that would be tied up in staking as part of its consensus mechanism.

Called Stafi, short for Staking Finance, the project wants to implement liquid staking on Polkadot and potentially other blockchains as well.

A drawback of staking funds for consensus is that they cannot be used for anything else while locked up. “Liquid staking” as implemented by Stafi would allow users to maintain the ability to transact with their tokens while also participating in consensus and receiving staking rewards on their money.

Cointelegraph spoke with Liam Young, CEO and co-founder of Stafi, as well as Bonna Zhu, head of business development in Asia at BitMax. Zhu explained that Stafi is a candidate for the exchange’s incubation program, supporting the project in a variety of ways.

Stafi has closed a seed fundraising round for $600,000 with investments from Focus Labs, Spark Digital Capital and B-Tech, a Bitmax-affiliated accelerator. It has also previously received grants from the Web3 Foundation, which supports development for the Polkadot ecosystem.

How liquid staking will work

Stafi works in a similar manner to various automated yield chasing protocols on Ethereum, except that it is limited to staking.

Users must deploy their funds to a Stafi smart contract that takes care of staking them. Users receive an “rToken” such as rDOT that represents their stake in the pool. The token is fungible and can be subsequently transferred and exchanged. The rTokens can be redeemed at any point for their share in the pool with additional tokens accrued from staking.

This approach effectively creates a synthetic token representing staked DOTs, which should ideally have a one-to-one ratio with the underlying collateral. One potential vulnerability of this approach is when part of the underlying stake gets “slashed” due to validator misbehavior.

Young explained that in order to not remain undercollateralized, slashing losses are mirrored on the token:

“In technical terms it’s a redistribution. We will launch algorithms to distribute the delegators to different validators. So if one of the validators gets slashed, the delegator is slashed as well. […] Maybe with a bit of delay, but the rToken will get slashed as well.”

But he noted that the project will take care in choosing validators who will continue working optimally. Furthermore, insurance against slashing can also be provided in the future.

Powering other DeFi projects

One of the main use cases for rTokens is to use them as collateral in other DeFi projects, including decentralized exchanges and lending protocols. Zhu explained the overall vision:

“You can use that for payment, of course. But I think that the main function of this is going to be used as collateral for additional borrowing and lending, or to use it as margin for trading.”

But it isn’t just about potential DeFi projects on Polkadot. Stafi plans to expand to other blockchains as well, including Ethereum and Tezos. A future goal is to list the rTokens on existing decentralized exchanges and lending protocols to integrate them in the wider DeFi ecosystem.

The project has just launched an incentivized testnet, called Satara. Mainnet launch is planned for “early September,” though Young noted that the exact date will depend on the performance of the testnet.


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

A new project building on Polkadot received an investment of $600,000 to build liquid staking, a way of unlocking liquidity devoted to proof-of-stake.

As US Banks Running Out of Coins Bitcoin Keeps On Chugging Along

As US Banks Running Out of Coins Bitcoin Keeps On Chugging Along

A U.S. bank is offering its customers a 5% bonus for delivering coins to one of its branches while Bitcoin has quadrillions of Satoshis to spare.

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

The U.S. economy is experiencing a shortage of coins. With this in mind, the Community State Bank, or CSB, of Milwaukee is offering a five percent premium to customers who turn in coins to one of its locations. Meanwhile Bitcoin (BTC) is not expected to run out of Satoshis anytime soon.

CSB announcing “Crazy time”

CSB announcing “Crazy time”. Source:  CSB Site.

COVID-19 is to blame

This issue apparently stems from further complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Reasons given include that the U.S. Mint reduced coinage to protect its employees, and that U.S. consumers have been trying to avoid cash transactions as much as possible. Many believe that the recent crisis will serve as a catalyst for the transitioning to the cashless economy.

Quadrillions of Satoshis

As far as we know, Bitcoin has not run into a similar problem and is not expected to do so in the future. As of today, there are 18.44 million Bitcoins or 1.84 quadrillion Satoshis in circulation. If at some point 1 Satoshi were to become too valuable due to the asset’s massive appreciation, the community could implement a hard fork to introduce an even smaller unit. Perhaps, an apt name for the new base denomination would be “CSW”.

Last month, the U.S. Mint went back to work and is expected to produce 19.8 billion coins by the end of the year.


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

A U.S. bank is offering its customers a 5% bonus for delivering coins to one of its branches while Bitcoin has quadrillions of Satoshis to spare.

Bitcoin Exchange Inflows Spike as Analyst Expects Pullback to $8.8K

Bitcoin Exchange Inflows Spike as Analyst Expects Pullback to $8.8K

Traders return coins to exchanges as Bitcoin moves lower, with CryptoQuant expecting a “small” retracement below $9,000.

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

Bitcoin (BTC) edging ever closer to $9,000 support may lead to a major sell-off by exchange users, one analyst warns.

According to data from on-chain analytics resource CryptoQuant, inflows of BTC to exchanges spiked on July 15.

Kraken posts unusual $38.5M daily BTC inflows

When traders return Bitcoin to exchanges from a private BTC wallet, it suggests they have a desire to trade or sell at short notice.

The opposite is also true — as Cointelegraph reported, exchange balances witnessed a long-term downtrend which in May hit its lowest since late 2018, when BTC/USD crashed to $3,100.

Now, says CryptoQuant, nervousness over weak price performance appears to be sending a signal to prepare for downward volatility.

Eyeing major trading platform Kraken, data shows that on Wednesday, 4,229 BTC ($38.5 million) entered — far more than the average of 500 BTC ($4.55 million) over the past few weeks.

While order book data is still forthcoming — Kraken may be presenting an anomaly which does not reflect broad trader sentiment — overall conditions are decidedly bearish.

“I expect a small pullback,” CEO Ki Young Ju told Cointelegraph in private comments.

Ki added that should a sell-off begin, he did not foresee it matching that from March, when a cascading short event halved BTC/USD within hours.

“In my opinion, it’ll be around $8,800,” he said.

Bitcoin exchange inflows 3-week chart

Bitcoin exchange inflows 3-week chart. Source: CryptoQuant

The number is less pessimistic than other recent targets. Earlier this week, Cointelegraph analyst filbfilb highlighted Bitcoin’s 20-week moving average at $8,200 as a realistic buy support zone.

For all exchanges, meanwhile, inflows remain far below their March-crash levels, indicating a tendency to hold, not sell, is still in place.

Bitcoin exchange inflows 1-year chart

Bitcoin exchange inflows 1-year chart. Source: CryptoQuant

BTC price falls close to $9,000

Bitcoin remains tied to moves on macro markets, which are themselves dictated by sentiment over coronavirus and geopolitical tensions between the United States and China.

The status quo has been hard to shift, and was responsible for the trading corridor in which BTC/USD has failed to exit since the third week of June.

BTC/USD 1-day chart

BTC/USD 1-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

At press time, the pair traded at $9,080, as selling pressure seemed to mount in line with CryptoQuant’s predictions.

The last time that Bitcoin briefly lost $9,000 was on June 28, in the meantime reaching highs of $9,480.


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

Traders return coins to exchanges as Bitcoin moves lower, with CryptoQuant expecting a “small” retracement below $9,000.

Is Ethereum (ETH) Price on Course to $300 as DeFi Coins Skyrocket?

Is Ethereum (ETH) Price on Course to $300 as DeFi Coins Skyrocket?

Ethereum’s Ether (ETH) is taking advantage of Bitcoin rallying early this week and looks to break a key resistance level on the road to $300.

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

Bitcoin (BTC) has been showing strength in recent days as the price rallied from $9,300 to as high as $9,800. However, more strength is seen from Ethereum’s Ether (ETH) — the second-ranked cryptocurrency by market capitalization — as this cryptocurrency rallied from $225 to $246.

Let’s look at the ETH charts as Ether has been outperforming BTC significantly in recent days. The main question is: can Ethereum finally start catching up to Bitcoin?

Crypto market daily performance. Source: Coin360

Crypto market daily performance. Source: Coin360

Ether facing $250 resistance as the final hurdle before accelerating towards $300

The crucial support to hold, between $215-220, has seen a brief test and immediate bounce up. Such a bounce implies that buyers are eager to step in and are significantly pushing up the price.

ETH/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

ETH/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

Essentially, Ether is currently acting above the 100-day and 200-day Moving Average (MA), which is a bullish indicator. Alongside with that strong signal, the volume has been increasing as of late.

Often, volume precedes price, and combining this fact with the sideways range ETH has been in, an increase in volume shows accumulation.

Similarly, the price has been in an uptrend since March 12, as the cryptocurrency is continually flipping the previous resistance into support. The former S/R flip was done with the $217-222 area.

Such a support/resistance flip implies further upwards strength, with $250 as the next target. The price of Ether is staying fairly close to this resistance zone.

If ETH breaks $250, then the $290 level may not hold like last time, as that’s not a significant resistance zone. More likely, ETH/USD may see a quick rise to $330 or even $360.

Such a rally would classify a new higher high, which is another bullish sign. The term “disbelief” could soon be applied.

Short-term test of $234 is not out of the books

ETH/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

ETH/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart for Ether is showing a clear breakout from a downtrend with the price rallying towards the range resistance at $247-252.

However, does that mean that Ether is likely to break $250 in one-go? Definitely not because more ranging is expected before a substantial breakout through the resistance. In other words, this would mean Bitcoin breaking the $10,500 barrier.

Short term, a potential retrace towards the $232-235 level is not out of the books and would be healthy. In that regard, the previous support of $234 should act as support, fueling a potential rally above $250.

Finally, as the resistance between $247-252 has been tested several times, the resistance becomes weaker. A renewed test of the resistance zone would most likely end up in a breakout to the upside.

Total altcoin market capitalization holds important $82 billion level

Altcoin market capitalization cryptocurrency 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

Altcoin market capitalization cryptocurrency 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

The altcoin market capitalization is showing strength, as it’s still acting above the 100-Day and 200-Day MA. Similarly, the required support test of the $82 billion levels occurred and confirmed the S/R flip.

To justify further upwards continuation, $82 billion had to hold as support, and it did.

Thus, continuation above $95 billion resistance seems likely. This would also open the door to the $113 billion and $135 billion levels alongside massive rallies for most altcoins across the board.

As the total altcoin market capitalization is heavily lagging behind Bitcoin, arguments could be made that Ether is a significant trigger for altcoins to start rallying.

Once Ethereum moves, the rest of the altcoins usually follow suit. This is because Ether is the biggest altcoin and the majority of the projects are built on the Ethereum network.

Moreover, the price of Bitcoin is currently 50% below the all-time high. Ether is still hovering at 80% below the all-time high, which shows the weakness of altcoins in past years, significantly underperforming on Bitcoin.

Now, post-halving, the price of Bitcoin is stabilizing and the hype is arguably shifting from Bitcoin towards altcoins as seen in recent altcoins surges including Ether.

ETH still in consolidation with the BTC pair

ETH/BTC 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

ETH/BTC 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

The price of Ether is still in consolidation. Constant lower highs and higher lows are typical signals of compression, which often leads to expansion and an increase in volatility.

In this regard, Ether is a beautiful example of such compression. Zilliqa (ZIL) also showed this, which led to a significant increase in price.

The key area to hold for ETH is the 0.023 sats (BTC) level. This can still be tested as potential support, confluent with the 100-Day and 200-Day MAs. As long as that holds, the top-ranked cryptocurrency by market cap can be considered bullish, and further upwards momentum is likely.

If ETH holds that level, the next significant resistance zone to break through is between 0.0275-0.03 sats. If Ether can crack that resistance zone, 0.04 sats is the next target.

If Ether decides to rally with Bitcoin, a significant surge above $360 could occur, and price levels of $500 shouldn’t come as a surprise.

On the flip side, if the price of Ether dives under the 100-Day and 200-Day MAs, a retest of the lows becomes likely. Keep in mind that the 100-Day and 200-Day MAs are crucial indicators for bull/bear momentum here. Losing them would indicate further downwards pressure.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

Ethereum’s Ether (ETH) is taking advantage of Bitcoin rallying early this week and looks to break a key resistance level on the road to $300.

Patoshi Researcher: ‚Satoshi won’t use his coins ever’

Patoshi Researcher: ‚Satoshi won’t use his coins ever’

Renowned researcher believes that Satoshi was altruistic and thus will never spend his 1.1 Bitcoins, making it the fairest asset.

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

The researcher who identified 1.1 million Bitcoins (BTC) that Satoshi Nakamoto mined, said that his research makes him believe that Satoshi was altruistic and will never spend his coins.

Sergio Demian Lerner, the designer of the second layer Bitcoin protocol RSK and renowned crypto researchers in the Reddit AMA said that it took him three years to discover privacy flaws in the Bitcoin code that led to the discovery of the Patoshi pattern. 

Respects Satoshi’s privacy

The Patoshi pattern describes a miner who used a slightly different mining algorithm and who mined about 1.1 million Bitcoins. Most believe him to be Satoshi Nakamoto. Lerner said that he decided not to dig deeper as to not disturb the creator:

“I don’t want to dig any more into that matter and I feel I contributed enough to the transparency of Bitcoin. Digging more may be entering Satoshi’s privacy area.”

Bitcoin couldn’t be fairer

He opined that based on his research and his understanding of Satoshi, he believes that Bitcoin’s creator will never spend the coins he mined:

“Assuming Satoshi is Patoshi, I believe, based on the past history of Satoshi coins, that Satoshi won’t use his coins ever. Therefore, I think that there couldn’t be a fairer and a more altruistic way for Bitcoin to be born.”

Meanwhile, Craig Wright, stands undeterred by the recent Bitcoin transactions that seemingly falsified his claims of being Satoshi Nakamoto.


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

Renowned researcher believes that Satoshi was altruistic and thus will never spend his 1.1 Bitcoins, making it the fairest asset.

Did Satoshi Just Move His Coins for The First Time in 11 Years?

Did Satoshi Just Move His Coins for The First Time in 11 Years?

Bitcoin’s founder Satoshi Nakamoto may have just moved his coins as an 11 year old address moved the entirety of its funds to an untraceable chain.

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

A Bitcoin (BTC) address that collected 50 BTC from a mining reward has just shown the first sign of activity since February 2009 — just one month after the creation of Bitcoin.

According to data from Blockchair.com, the address 17XiVVooLcdCUCMf9s4t4jTExacxwFS5uh has moved the entirety of its 50 BTC mining reward to two different wallets.

Source: Blockchair.com

Of these, 40 are laying inactive on what appears to be a change address. The remaining 10 BTC have been sent to a multisig address, as evidenced by its starting number.

The chain of transactions becomes more difficult to track from here, since the BTC were split almost in dozens of pieces across a complex chain of outputs.

Is this Satoshi?

The original wallet contained a coinbase transaction generating 50 BTC, which were mined on Feb. 9, 2009. 

It is known in the community that Satoshi’s “fortune” is spread between many different wallets that each contain a Coinbase transaction.

There are only three people that knew about Bitcoin at the time: Satoshi, the since-deceased Hal Finney, and Martti Malmi. 

Theories on the possible owner of these funds could include Hal Finney’s wife and Malmi, but Satoshi is a likely candidate as well. The complex chain of transactions suggests that the signer seeks to conceal the destination of the funds.

It is also theoretically possible, but extremely unlikely, that an external actor brute forced the private key to this wallet.

The story will be updated as more information comes in.


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

Bitcoin’s founder Satoshi Nakamoto may have just moved his coins as an 11 year old address moved the entirety of its funds to an untraceable chain.

Top 10 Coins More Correlated Than Ever, but Decoupling From Gold

Top 10 Coins More Correlated Than Ever, but Decoupling From Gold

Black Thursday has triggered two new Bitcoin trends

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

Black Thursday has triggered two new trends in Bitcoin’s relationship with other cryptocurrencies and gold.

Historically, cryptocurrencies have been highly correlated with one another, especially the top ones. The correlation between cryptocurrencies and gold has been traditionally weak.

Source: Kaiko

Two new trends emerge

Since Black Thursday, two new trends have emerged: the correlation between Bitcoin (BTC) and the other nine cryptocurrencies has reached unprecedented levels, while the correlation between Bitcoin and gold has turned negative. Interestingly, even the correlation between Bitcoin and the Tether (USDT) stablecoin has gained in strength.

Source: Coinmetrics

Furthermore, examining the latest ten-day period, we observe that Bitcoin’s negative correlation with gold has grown further in strength and has turned negative with NASDAQ and S&P 500.

Source: Kaiko

Looking ahead

The reasoning behind this increase in correlation between Bitcoin and other top currencies could be due to the general anxiety and uncertainty brought on by the pandemic and the economic crisis that followed. When it comes to the crypto market, there is additional uncertainty in view of the impending halving of the Bitcoin block reward and its effect on the Bitcoin price.

It seems likely that we will not see any major changes in the two new trends that emerged out of the Black Thursday until very close to the halving — or even past the halving — barring major unforeseeable events.


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

Black Thursday has triggered two new Bitcoin trends

How Not to Lose Your Coins in 2020: Alternative Recovery Methods

How Not to Lose Your Coins in 2020: Alternative Recovery Methods

Retaining private keys is a complex task, leading to the emergence of alternative solutions

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

When Peter Schiff claimed that his wallet lost his Bitcoin (BTC), many in the crypto community were skeptical. While some believe that Schiff simply lost his password, others, like Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, highlighted that losing private keys remains an important issue for cryptocurrency users.

Being your own bank is hard

Keeping custody of your own cryptocurrency is quite complex, especially for non-tech savvy users. Most wallets require the user to write down the private key before accessing the wallet. Storing the key can be done by simply writing it down on a piece of paper, a method that is prone to failure through the loss, theft or degradation of the paper.

Using hardware wallets or encrypted digital backups is an alternative, but requires a degree of preparation and technical knowledge that many casual users may find too much to grasp.

In response to Peter Schiff’s loss, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao argued that storing coins on centralized custodians is safer for most users.

Nevertheless, this inherently goes against the principles of decentralization in the crypto community. Some members pointed to alternative methods developed on Ethereum as a potential solution.

Social recovery

As an alternative to complex storing solutions, the concept behind social recovery is to grant friends, family or even companies the right to restore access to a certain account.

The person losing access to his wallet would be able to call upon “guardians,” pre-selected entities that are authorized to re-assign control of the specific account.

Argent wallet is currently a live implementation of this idea. A user can set other Argent users or even other wallets owned by him as guardians. By default, however, the guardian is Argent itself, using the person’s email and phone as an identity guarantee. Without other guardians this recovery method cannot be removed.

Screenshot from Argent app

Screenshot from Argent app.

A slightly different method is offered by Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 2429, developed by Ricardo Guilherme Schmidt and others.

Elaborating on the social recovery concept, it introduces “user secrets” — personal data such as biometrics from fingerprint scanners, a password, or personal information provided in a questionnaire.

This information must then be provided during the recovery process, ensuring that guardians cannot simply collude to steal the user’s wallet. Additionally, the list of guardians is never revealed until the actual recovery procedure is activated.

However, this is still a proposal under development subject to change.

Criticism of social recovery

A commonly cited drawback of social recovery is the reintroduction of trust — this time in friends rather than centralized entities.

Cointelegraph approached Schmidt for clarifications on the EIP. While agreeing that the system isn’t perfect, he maintained that the proposed system is far more trustless than simpler implementations:

“Social recovery is fundamental for adoption, it brings a web2 experience to self sovereign accounts. 

The drawback is having to trust others, however EIP 2429 solves the problems of trusting guardians, so we are again in a trustless system, which is what we all love in Ethereum.”

Elaborating further, Schmidt criticized open multi-signature implementations such as Argent’s for their failure to mitigate collusion. He still believes that they have a place in a setting where extreme transparency is warranted, such as holding public funds. 

Itamar Lesuisse, CEO of Argent, clarified to Cointelegraph that calling its system social recovery is misleading, as it “implies people always have to be involved.” He explained:

“So the method is secure, and literally anyone with a smartphone can use it. Another advantage of this approach is that you can use these trusted entities to protect your wallet beyond just recovery. With Argent you can use them to lock your wallet and approve a large transfer.”

Lesuisse also welcomed the development of EIP 2429, noting that “it improves privacy in the scenario where users choose friends and family as trusted entities.”

Nevertheless, Schmidt conceded that the EIP is not immune to guardians extorting the user to gain access to the wallet, called a “griefing attack” in technical terms. He envisioned this being used in a positive setting, with a guardian company identifying customers and restoring access for a fee. 

Speaking with Cointelegraph, Blockstream CSO Samson Mow criticized Ethereum, noting that the EIP is “largely complexity for the sake of complexity.” He added that social recovery is entirely possible on Bitcoin with existing software, by simply creating a multisig wallet and distributing portions of it to friends.

Nevertheless, Mow is skeptical of the general concept of social password recovery:

“The drawbacks to any social recovery system is really that your social circles change over time, and we live in a universe that tends towards entropy. So, your friends today may no longer be your friends tomorrow, and even if your social circles don’t change, your designated guardian may lose their part of your recovery scheme.“

Mow still considers the ability to recover private keys as important, though he referred to hard metal backups — storage devices aimed to be indestructible. According to him, the burden of securing Bitcoin remains with the users:

“The challenge is getting people to understand that they should secure their seed and plan for recovery from day one — social recovery doesn’t help in negating the „Schiff Paradox“ (people caring about securing their Bitcoin after it’s too late) any more than metal backups do.”

Other solutions

Since the early days of Bitcoin, Keybase has offered a private key generation service based on a user’s password and email.

Torus allows users to create Ethereum wallets by logging in with their Google or Facebook accounts. The private key becomes uniquely-associated with that account through some fairly complex assignment mechanisms.

As Schmidt explained, however, solutions based purely on personal secrets are extremely difficult to secure:

“In Web2 is safe to have a 8 password, because the authenticating server will block bruteforce attempts […] None of this is possible in blockchain, and using an 8 digit password as seed phrase, is probably an instant loss of funds, because is very likely that low entropy addresses are being constantly monitored.”


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

Retaining private keys is a complex task, leading to the emergence of alternative solutions

Biggest Crypto Price Movements of 2019

Biggest Crypto Price Movements of 2019

Some coins went up by 50,000% in a single day — Which cryptocurrencies showed the highest levels of volatility throughout 2019?

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

The start of 2020 is a great time to look at the path travelled by cryptocurrencies up and down the price charts and analyze how these coins have been performing throughout the previous year. The prices of most cryptocurrencies changed tremendously throughout 2019, as the year started off slow but then saw most cryptocurrencies jump in value over the first six months.

However, some like Luna Coin (LUNA) exhibiting a considerable growth of 48,900%. Others, such as Lumen (XLM), lost more than half their price value and tumbled from the pedestal of crypto glory. DogeCoin (DOGE) demonstrated the lowest volatility, which is entering 2020 at the same price as 12 months ago.

How did the leaders act?

Bitcoin (BTC)

Year-to-date: +87%

The biggest move: +282% over six months

The king of cryptocurrencies dominated the price charts throughout 2019, gaining 282% in value over just half a year, and with its biggest 24-hour loss constituting a 10% drop on July 11. Bitcoin demonstrated that slump — which lasted just a few minutes — after United States lawmakers criticized Facebook’s Libra.

The price of Bitcoin grew from $3,400 to almost $13,000 over the first six months of the year, levels it had not seen since January 2018. The hike in price was accompanied by the combined and consequent growth of other cryptocurrencies trailing Bitcoin’s lead. However, the same cannot be said about the second half of the year, as the BTC market consistently experienced bearish moods.

Ether (ETH)

Year-to-date: -12%

The biggest move: +139% over six months

The number two cryptocurrency had a rather interesting year, finishing it up in the green after adding 139% over the first half of the year. However, the second half of 2019 was marked by its worst drop of 36% over a 10-day period in July.

2019 was quite a busy year for ETH, which tripled in value in the first half of the year. On June 26, the exchange rate reached its peak with a 139% spike over a six-month stretch, showering the battered crypto community with much-needed optimism.

The biggest gains of 2019

2019 proved to be quite a lucrative year for some participants of the crypto market. The biggest growth was exhibited by assets such as Luna Coin, Chainlink and Matic.

Luna Coin (LUNA)

Year-to-date: +25,000%

The biggest move: +48,900% over a day

The LUNA charts look like the cardiogram of a patient who woke up from a coma. After eight months of hibernation, the coin surged sharply by 48,900% on Aug. 19, setting the absolute record for daily growth. However, the flight was short-lived, with LUNA collapsing a day later to its previous performance levels.

Nevertheless, by the end of the year, the coin managed to regain its position and now is on the list of the most profitable assets, showing a year-to-date growth of 25,000%. Since the beginning of the year, the price of the token has increased from $0.001 to $0.25.

Bitcoiin (B2G) 

Year-to-date: -99%

The biggest move: +3,500% over a week

B2G, a fork of Bitcoin, has made the list of 2019’s biggest gainers with a 3,500% return over the course of a week. The coin multiplied its price in early February, surging from $0.02 to $0.70. However, since July 2019, the project has been demonstrating almost no activity and trading volumes of between $0.50 and $5.

Seele (SEELE)

Year-to-date: +2,640%

The biggest move: +2,640% over a year

Ethereum-based token Seele made the list of 2019’s biggest gainers, with year-to-date twenty-sevenfold price growth, having entered 2019 with a price of $0.005. At the moment, Seele is valued at $0.137 per coin, which has made its investors profitable despite the cryptocurrency market’s recent overall bearish mood.

Ethereum Meta (ETHM)

Year-to-date: -98%

The biggest move: +1,100% over 2 days

On Dec. 23, the little-known Ethereum Meta token made headlines, having risen in price from $0.000001 by 1,100% in just 48 hours. Notably, the daily trading volume of the coin was only $87 at that moment. After continuing its flight to the moon on Dec. 25, ETHM dropped by 97%. Since the beginning of 2020, ETHM has been experiencing some great volatility.

ETHM has seen possible two pump and dumps since the start of the year. Source: Coin360.com

ETHM has seen possible two pump and dumps since the start of the year. Source: Coin360.com

The project founders did not make any statements regarding the price fluctuations, and its social network accounts have been inactive for two months. This may indicate that the coin was intentionally pumped and dumped.

Matic (MATIC)

Year-to-date: +285%

The biggest move: +1,233% over a month

As Matic aimed to attract developers by offering them a way to deploy and run decentralized applications securely, its token price surged by 1,233% over the course of May. However, a 52% price drop over a period of one week ensued during that same month.

In late April, Matic was listed by exchanges with its initial trading price of $0.003, but its value reached a peak price of $0.04 on May 21, rising tenfold over the course of a month. In mid-November, the coin’s price started growing rapidly, setting its an all-time high of $0.042 on Dec. 8. However, this increase was razed in just a few hours, when the price of the asset fell by 70% and returned to the levels it had grazed on two weeks prior.

While market leaders such as Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao were defending the project, Matic’s operations director, Sandeep Nialwal, called the depreciation of the asset the result of “obvious manipulation” and promised to provide a detailed analysis of what had happened.

Despite the downturns, the altcoin is currently almost four times more expensive than it was during its initial exchange offering. Early investors are still in positive territory, even despite a threefold drop in the price of the coin in mid-December.

Chainlink (LINK)

Year-to-date: +459%

The biggest move: +1,186% over six months

A regular member of Cointelegraph’s “Top crypto this week” section, LINK boosted 1,186% in value on June 29 and gained 459% over the year.

Many high-profile partnerships with large companies such as Google, Binance, Oracle and Aelf allowed the coin to surge by 10 times in value in the first half of 2019. On June 29, LINK broke a historic record, growing 1,186% soon after Coinbase Pro announced its plans to list the token. The overall price growth over the course of the year was recorded at 459%.

Binance Coin (BNB)

Year-to-date: +122%

The biggest move: +548% over six months

BNB is a utility token for discounted trading fees on the Binance exchange. Given the platform’s popularity, the coin gained 548% in value over the course of the first half of the year and all-in-all grew by 122% in 2019.

Since December of last year, the price of the coin has grown to $38.48, up 548%. At the same time, BNB remains one of the few cryptocurrencies whose investors are still in positive territory. Over the year, the coin added 122% in value, and there are several reasons for this.

One of them was the launch of the Binance DEX, which held several successful IEOs, as well as the evolution of BNB as an ecosystem.

The rapid growth was also supported by a well-built economic model deployed around the BNB coin, which allows its owners to take advantage of reduced exchange commissions.

Celer (CELR)

Year-to-date: -85%

The biggest move: +214% over two weeks

The Celer network was another IEO held on the Binance Launchpad. Although it managed to add 214% in price in just two weeks in May, early investors still suffered losses. Initially, the coin was sold at $0.007. At its peak, its value reached $0.03. But, by the end of the year, the asset was valued at $0.0038, losing almost half its price since the crowdsale.

The biggest price losers

2019 saw its fair share of price drops, and the biggest investor disappointers has been compiled into the list below.

BitTorent (BTT)

Year-to-date: -99%

The biggest move: -97% over a day

BTT, which demonstrated an eightfold increase last year, broke another record in May 2019 — this time hitting the lists of losers. On May 1, its price dropped from $0.02 to $0.0006 in just one day and has been steadily decreasing ever since.

Nevertheless, Tron’s BitTorrent is currently one of the most successful IEO projects. Despite an impressive drop from its highs in the second half of the year, the coin is still trading at prices twice the amount it was during the crowdsale, when it was sold for $0.00012.

FuzeX (FXT)

Year-to-date: -84%

The biggest move: -87% over six months

The FXT token is another unfortunate leader with its price drop, losing 87% over the course of half a year. Its price dropped from $0.0035 on July 8 to $0.00043 on Dec. 29.

Bitcoin Gold (BTG)

Year-to-date: -59%

The biggest move: -82% over six months

2019 was a sad year for holders of BTG, which fell by 82% in the second half of the year — from $31 on June 25 to a current value of around $5.30. The total decrease for the year was 60%, fueled by the previous delisting of BTG from Bittrex and the restriction on U.S. citizens from holding the coin.

Omnitude (ECOM)

Year-to-date: -80%

The biggest move: -65% over two months

Omnitude comes next, as October was seemingly a pump-and-dump month for ECOM traders, with the price surging and then dropping on several occasions. On Oct. 14, after the third pump, ECOM turned its trend into a bearish one and since that time has lost almost 65%, falling from $0.07 to $0.024.

ECOM price during the last 6 months of 2019. Source: Coin360.com

ECOM price during the last 6 months of 2019. Source: Coin360.com

Lumen (XLM)

Year-to-date: -63%

The biggest move: -63% over a year

Lumen is also in the list of losers, with its 63% year-to-date price drop. In November alone, its price fell from $0.08 and is currently traded at a price of $0.044 per coin.

Ether (ETH) 

Year-to-date: -12%

The biggest move: -36% in 10 days

Mentioning Ethereum for the second time, ETH demonstrated a notably sharp price reverse on July 8, dropping by 36% in just 10 days, pulling the altcoin market down along with it.

XRP

Year-to-date: -47%

The biggest move: -30% in November

XRP wraps up the list of disappointments with its 47% drop over a period of one year and a 30% drop in November. While still continuing to fall, XRP set a record for the number of transactions in early December. On Dec. 2, the total amount of transferred assets reached $1 billion, making some users believe that the team behind the cryptocurrency, Ripple, was intentionally crashing the XRP price.


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

Some coins went up by 50,000% in a single day — Which cryptocurrencies showed the highest levels of volatility throughout 2019?

Andreessen Horowitz: Bitcoin Will Usher in ‘Influencer Coins’ by 2030

Andreessen Horowitz: Bitcoin Will Usher in ‘Influencer Coins’ by 2030

VC firm Andreessen Horowitz predicts that Bitcoin is likely to be central to online monetization in the 2020s

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

Looking ahead to what we can expect by the new decade’s end, VC firm Andreessen Horowitz predicts that Bitcoin (BTC) is likely to be central to the monetization mechanisms that future online influencers will use.

In its Dec. 30 vignette of a highly automated future — where food is tailored to an individual’s microbiome and lifestyle in a “roboticized kitchen,” and VR and avatars are part and parcel of everyday business workflows — Andreessen Horowitz writes that by 2030:

“The influencer can reach hundreds of her fans instantaneously. In turn, the fans can get paid instantly for giving this feedback. They can choose to get paid in a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Libra, or they can choose to get paid in Influencer Coin.”

Andreessen Horowitz sees the role of private digital assets like its hypothetical “Influencer Coin” as being a way for online fans to secure a stake in an influencer’s rising popularity — similar to the way start-up employees participate in their startups’ growth through equity.

Strategic trends in the roaring 20s

In a less literary take on strategic technology trends for the new decade — yet one that overlaps significantly with Andreessen Horowitz in its overall vision —  ComputerWeekly.com has identified blockchain, hyper-automation and artificial intelligence security as the key drivers of change.

“In the future, true blockchain or ‘blockchain complete’ will have the potential to transform industries,” ComputerWeekly contributor Brian Burke wrote on Jan. 2, further predicting that the technology will be “fully scalable by 2023.”

Blockchain together with complementary technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) will expand the type of participants in decentralized and automated networks, Burke notes. 

In the automotive industry, a smart sensor-equipped car could be able to negotiate insurance prices directly and automatically with an insurer using blockchain and IoT, for example.

More broadly, the report points to data privacy measures, increasingly democratized technology and distributed cloud computing as key parallel trends to blockchain in the coming decade.

“Dark” times

On the cusp of the new year, ZenGo wallet CEO Ouriel Ohayon tweeted his “joke-mode” 2020 predictions. Swerving between the mock-apocalyptic and the sarcastic, he wrote:

“Bitcoin will crash to sub-1000 USD; all hardware wallets will be hacked; Tron/XRP will become the most important cryptocurrency; Satoshi identity will be revealed and will be disappointing; Trump will stack sats on twitter; Lightning will have glorious adoption.”


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

VC firm Andreessen Horowitz predicts that Bitcoin is likely to be central to online monetization in the 2020s

Privacy Coins in 2019: True Financial Freedom or a Criminal’s Delight?

Privacy Coins in 2019: True Financial Freedom or a Criminal’s Delight?

Privacy coins have earned a certain stigma due to the anonymity they provide, but what were these cryptocurrencies truly used for in 2019?

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

The right to privacy is a fundamental prerequisite for peace of mind and security. The idea that only criminals have something to hide is strange. Contrarily, privacy is sought by almost everyone. Yet, it still gets stigmatized as suspicious — reserved solely for criminals or deviants. 

Similarly sharing this unjust scrutiny are cryptocurrencies, which are — rather ironically — branded as a tool for felons, based largely on their anonymous hallmarks. However, no cryptocurrency is as disparaged for this discreet quality more than the privacy coin.

But just what are privacy coins used for? How has crypto criminality changed in 2019? And what’s in store for the future?

Is BTC making the cut?

Contrary to popular belief, Bitcoin (BTC) isn’t as anonymous as most people assume. The blockchain is, for all intents and purposes, an immutable, publicly held ledger of every single BTC transaction… ever. For this reason, Bitcoin isn’t particularly advisable for illegal activity — take note, criminals. 

While no personal information can be gleaned from a typical BTC transaction, a quasi-pseudonymous sequence of characters — aka public addresses — are often more than enough to stop criminal activity in its tracks. On more than one occasion, BTC funds originating from a hack or heist have been traced and blacklisted. Moreover, all that stands between an „anonymous“ BTC address and a user’s true identity is a centralized exchange and a Know Your Customer check.

Of course, there are alternatives. Unlike other digital currencies, privacy coins conceal the information present within a typical crypto transaction. There is no record of the recipient’s or sender’s addresses, and the transaction amount remains obscured, creating a decidedly anonymous payment system.

Nevertheless, the fact that these coins allow for the nondisclosure of identity doesn’t mean that they were intended for criminal use. The same goes for the people who use them. After all, financial privacy is generally regarded by most as integral. Just as people wouldn’t want just anyone to peruse their bank statement, not everyone wants their crypto transactions on record.

Privacy coins and criminality

There is a scarce amount of privacy in the digital age. Every single crumb of data is vyed over by corporations looking to gather as much information as possible. This is arguably one of the principal reasons for Big Tech’s recent foray into the financial industry. 

Take Google’s latest venture, for example: checking accounts. On the surface, the enterprise looks to provide customers with a broader analysis of their financial lives. However, critics suggest that it’s actually Google looking for these insights.

Given this, it’s perhaps understandable why the need for an anonymous cryptocurrency arose in the first place. Yet, as with any value-based commodity, privacy coins do allow a sufficient scope for misdeeds. In fact, Monero rose to the mainstream consciousness earlier this year for this very reason.

Back in January, scores of media outlets reported on the abduction of Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, wife of Norwegian millionaire Tom Hagen. A ransom note found in the couple’s home demanded $10 million worth of Monero. Still, even with this tragedy generating global headlines, Monero’s use on illegal darknet marketplaces has stayed relatively subdued.

Within its Q2 2019 Cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering Report, blockchain forensics firm Ciphertrace revealed that a mere 4% of dark vendor payments involved Monero. Incredibly, Bitcoin still reigns king of the darknet, citing usage in a massive 76% of cases. Speaking to Cointelegraph, John Jefferies, CipherTrace CFA, suggested this originates via „liquidity issues,“ adding that:

„While privacy coins offer bad actors a level of anonymity, the liquidity issues and barriers to entry for buying and selling privacy coins make them impractical for most dark market purchases.“

However, Tom Robinson, co-founder and chief scientist at crypto security firm Elliptic, told Cointelegraph that regardless of Bitcoin’s dominance within dark markets, privacy coins are still gaining steady traction and usability:

“Another trend we are seeing is the increased acceptance of privacy coins such as monero on dark markets where narcotics are available to purchase. Most new markets now accept monero payments, typically alongside bitcoin. This represents a threat to law enforcement’s ability to trace this kind of activity and bring those involved to justice.“

Incidentally, CipherTrace’s report for the third quarter 2019, also unveiled more about the state of crypto criminality in general. According to the researchers, a monumental $4.4 billion in crypto crimes and frauds were witnessed throughout this year, marking an extensive 2,500% increase since 2017.

Regulatory snooping increased in 2019

Regardless of their lack of use on the darknet, a regulative crackdown on privacy coins threatens to unstick anonymous crypto. In June 2019, the Financial Action Task Force instilled an initiative dubbed the travel rule. This required all firms facilitating crypto transfers above $1,000 to disclose customer information.

The rule came into being as a way to combat terrorist financing and money laundering via cryptocurrencies. However, skeptics perceived the policy as a direct impediment to financial anonymity. As a result, many exchanges have been left with no choice but to give privacy coins the boot.

Many privacy coins have suffered losses as a consequence of this. Dash, for example, cites a 76% retrace after its OKEx delisting, and Monero took a 59% hit from a peak of $111 in June following a booting from both ByBit and OKEx.

During a conversation with Cointelegraph, Jonathan Levin, co-founder and chief security officer of blockchain analytics company Chainalysis, maintains that it isn’t just a loss of liquidity to blame, but also a lack of regulatory compliance:

„We believe that the market decides, and currently, the non-privacy coins see the most momentum. This maintains a balance because they can be investigated when associated with illicit activity, but that requires resources and work.“

Regardless, according to Jefferies of CipherTrace, regulation — particularly AML practices — appears to be the key to lessening crypto crime: 

„CipherTrace research has demonstrated that illicit Bitcoin is 39X lower in jurisdictions with strong anti-money laundering controls. So, regulation does quell criminal activity in crypto.“

Privacy disclosed

With crypto criminality on the rise but the usage of anonymous coins plateauing on the darknet, one question remains: What are privacy coins actually used for?

In order to definitively answer this question, there needs to be a tool to trace the coins in the first place. However, one hindrance remains, they’re pretty much untraceable.

Thanks to the various algorithmic processes employed by privacy coins, such as Monero, Zcash and Dash, tracking specific addresses is close to impossible — at least, for now. Without a firm trail on activity, pinning down use cases and user demographics becomes difficult. However, that doesn’t mean people aren’t trying. Levin admits that privacy coins are an „active area of research,“ adding, „we often find ways to trace the ‚untraceable.’“ Indeed, the solution may already be right under their noses.

Florian Tramèr, a researcher of cryptography at Stanford University, recently uncovered a fatal flaw within Monero and Zcash. Concocting a remote side-channel attack that targeted the receiver of the coins, Tramèr exposed both the identity of the payee as well as the user’s IP address. Both Monero and Zcash have since patched the vulnerabilities. However, that doesn’t mean the same can’t be achieved again.

So, if blockchain forensics firms manage to make the breakthrough of private coin traceability, should it be employed?

The right to privacy is a fundamental one. Undermining this right could present numerous issues and repercussions for both investors and the crypto industry in general. Jefferies believes that an analytical approach should be employed:

„The line between those looking to preserve privacy (protect identity) and those looking to obscure bad deeds is drawn when a pattern of suspicious transactions is observed, or value threshold is crossed, triggering Suspicious Transaction Reporting and Cash Transaction Reporting.“

For Chainalysis, the right to privacy is a balancing act, as Levin told Cointelegraph:

„The two extremes of total anonymity and complete transparency are bad. Complete anonymity opens the door to illicit activity that, by definition, cannot be investigated. That’s not a world you want to live in. On the other hand, complete transparency means no privacy at all. That’s also not a world you want to live in.“

2020 and beyond

As for the future, trends and precedents set in 2019 and years before will likely endure. It can be expected that a harsh crackdown on money laundering via cryptocurrency will take place, which will of course negatively impact privacy coins. Moreover, given its monumental rise thus far, it’s fair to assume that crypto crime will also increase.

Levin agrees with this notion, hinting that a particular emphasis will be placed on investors raising awareness of crypto illegality and methods to combat it:

„We think 2020 will be the year that financial crimes such as tax evasion, market manipulation, and facilitating money laundering comes into focus for cryptocurrency stakeholders. Blockchain analysis will continue to be used to meet regulatory obligations and investigate crime.“

Jefferies of CipherTrace, by contrast, looks to foreign affairs, hinting at a continued effort to evade U.S. sanctions:

„I expect cryptocurrencies to take on a more important role on the geopolitical stage as North Korea, Iran, Russia try to leverage crypto to circumvent the superiority of the US dollar.“

As for privacy coins, it seems investors will have to temper their expectations going forward. Nevertheless, regulatory obstacles rarely keep cryptocurrencies pinned down for long. At the very least, the core benefit of privacy coins will persevere as long as there is someone in need of them.


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

Privacy coins have earned a certain stigma due to the anonymity they provide, but what were these cryptocurrencies truly used for in 2019?

Bitcoin Price Breaches $7,400 Mark as Most Top-20 Coins See Gains

Bitcoin Price Breaches $7,400 Mark as Most Top-20 Coins See Gains

Bitcoin approaches the $7,400 mark again as most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies report moderate gains

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

Sunday, Dec. 22 — most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting moderate gains on the day by press time, as Bitcoin (BTC) is breached the $7,400 mark again. Tezos (XTZ) is the only cryptocurrency among the top-20 that is seeing losses.

Market visualization courtesy of Coin360

Market visualization courtesy of Coin360

Bitcoin price is currently up by 3.36% on the day, trading at around $7,422 at press time, according to Coin360. Looking at its weekly chart, the coin is up by about 4.1%.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

As Cointelegraph reported earlier today, multiple analysts suggest that Bitcoin is headed for a big dip before the next bull market.

Ether (ETH) is holding onto its position as the largest altcoin by market cap, which currently stands at $14.4 billion. The second-largest altcoin, Ripple’s XRP, has a market cap of $8.5 billion at press time.

Coin360.com data shows that ETH has seen its value increase by about 3.48% over the last 24 hours. At press time, ETH is trading around $132. On the week, the coin has also lost about 7.04% of its value.

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

XRP is up by about 2.37% over the last 24 hours and is currently trading at around $0.195. On the week, the coin is down about 10.55%.

XRP 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

XRP 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Among the top 20 cryptocurrencies, the only one reporting double-digit gains is Tron (TRX), which as of press time is up by 10.79%. Also Litecoin (LTC), is seeing better-than-average performance, with 5.45% of gains registered over the last 24 hours. Tezos, on the other hand, is the only cryptocurrency of the group that is seeing losses and has seen its value decreased by up to 1.67%.

At press time, the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is $195.6 billion, about 0.62% higher than the value it reported a week ago.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

Bitcoin approaches the $7,400 mark again as most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies report moderate gains

Ex Italy’s Economy Minister on ‘Transition From Old Coins to New Coins’

Ex Italy’s Economy Minister on ‘Transition From Old Coins to New Coins’

“It’s the future and you cannot stop it.” Former Italian Minister of Economy spoke to Cointelegraph about crypto

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

During the Code4Future conference, the first event in Italy dedicated to the concept of open innovation held at the Talent Garden in Rome, the former Minister of Economy and Finance Giulio Tremonti — currently president of Aspen Institute Italia — expressed his thoughts regarding the future of digital payments and the advent of cryptocurrencies.

On Nov. 8, the first day of the Code4Future event, Tremonti took part in a round table discussion, during which he said the opportunities offered by the fintech sector were changing both business logic and the role of traditional banks:

“Banks may be caught off-guard by fintech activities. An alliance between traditional banks and new digital industries is essential. A structure that incorporates new techniques but maintains old values.”

Issues surrounding the level of trust that users must place in the traditional banking system, which has been in decline for several years, was also addressed:

“How can we recover this trust? The idea is to integrate the new with the old in order to write a different history than that of the banks. The idea of trust in central bodies has been present in our reality for a very long time. Just think of what is written on the notes of the Weimar Republic, as reported by Goethe: ‘trust me, believe in me.’”

The former Minister then expressed his opinion regarding Facebook’s Libra project and the relationship between old and new currencies. In his opinion, Libra will forever change the rules of the game as well as the way users think about and use money:

“There will be a transition from old coins to new coins. I believe this to be the case, but I can’t tell you when. I think your children will see a world in which currency will be created differently.”

For the first time, we are discussing a currency that does not necessarily need to be distributed by a state, and this is happening because people have slowly begun to sell portions of their sovereignty:

“In the near future, citizens will sell portions of their sovereignty to top players like Facebook. Because if it is an over-the-top system, we believe that by providing a portion of our identity, we are doing the right thing, because they offer something in return. And so what they have becomes true, and what you have becomes false.”

Tremonti also commented on the news of the imminent launch of a national cryptocurrency by China:

“The world is splitting between the republic of the United States and the digital despotism of China. The Chinese system is all about absolute control. I believe this is a control technique, not a financial technique.”

Cointelegraph finally asked what his opinion was on decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin:

“It’s the future and you cannot stop it. Having said that, Bitcoin does not have a clear legal status, and this is clearly an obstacle. According to accounting rules, it’s an asset you should put on your financial statements. But if it’s an asset that you should put on your financial statements, should VAT be applied when it is sold? It is still an area of ​​great uncertainty.”


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

“It’s the future and you cannot stop it.” Former Italian Minister of Economy spoke to Cointelegraph about crypto

Jim Dolbear: Useful Coins “Have To Be Quantum-Secure, That’s It”

Jim Dolbear: Useful Coins “Have To Be Quantum-Secure, That’s It”

While much of the crypto community isn’t concerned about quantum computing, Elixxir President Jim Dolbear thinks it is a real threat

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

Elixxir President Jim Dolbear thinks the question of when quantum computing will become real is a bad one.

Speaking on behalf of Elixxir founder David Chaum at BlockShow Asia 2019, Dolbear suggested that it is highly likely that whoever perfects quantum computing will use it secretly. He referred to code-cracking efforts by the United States during World War II: 

“In the history of World War II, if you crack people’s code, you don’t tell them. This is what happened between the United States and Germany. The United States knew a bunch of codes and secret communications from Germany, but they didn’t reveal it, because if they revealed it, Germany would change everything.” 

When Google announced “quantum supremacy” last month, people in the crypto industry mostly questioned how far it was from becoming useful. It would certainly be a huge problem if “real” quantum computers can actually reverse engineer secret private keys from known public keys, as some fear. But according to some experts in the industry, that day is far from now — the conclusion seems to be that we don’t have to worry about it.

Elixxir is the blockchain that supports Praxxis, the quantum resistant and private digital currency. As Cointelegraph previously reported, Dolbear announced the new xx network that will serve as a meaningful integration between Elixxir and Praxxis.

Commenting on Google’s quantum computer specifically, Dolbear said, “If they have quantum computing, then China does and the United States does.” China is spending $10 billion to build a National Laboratory for Quantum Information Sciences in Hefei, which is expected to open in 2020. Meanwhile, the US funding in quantum efforts is about $200 million per year, according to a July 2016 government report. 

A useful coin “has to be quantum-secure, that’s it,” Dolbear concluded.


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

While much of the crypto community isn’t concerned about quantum computing, Elixxir President Jim Dolbear thinks it is a real threat

“Don’t Leave Your Coins In Exchanges,” Says Crypto Entrepreneur Who Lost All His Assets

“Don’t Leave Your Coins In Exchanges,” Says Crypto Entrepreneur Who Lost All His Assets

‘Take your money off the exchanges,’ says this blockchain venture capital firm founder

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

Speaking today at BlockShow Asia 2019, Genesis Block HK co-founder Clement Ip shared a negative personal experience during a panel on how Asian trading firms make profits. His company is a blockchain venture capital firm, crypto quant hedge fund, and mining company focused on investing in blockchain projects.

Sharing the stage with two other speakers — Kyle Davies of Three Arrows Capital and Joshua Ho of QCP Capital — Ip came out with his sad story. He said he lost „a lot of coins“ due to an exchange hack, and his takeaway lesson was clear:

„Don’t leave your assets on exchanges. Don’t be lazy. I’ve been into it and learned a good lesson.”

During the same panel, Davies and Ho also discussed crypto regulation in Asia, how it might affect the market, and how it will affect the crypto ecosystem at large. „Regulation in Asia has been a move in the right direction so far,“ said Davies.

Exchange hacking is nothing new to crypto ecosystem. Some of the biggest companies in the space have faced issues here this year, including market leader Binance.


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

‘Take your money off the exchanges,’ says this blockchain venture capital firm founder

Official: Binance Chain and BNB Will Be Traceable via CipherTrace

Official: Binance Chain and BNB Will Be Traceable via CipherTrace

Following the recent expansion to 700 coins, CipherTrace adds support for Binance Chain and its native Binance coin

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

American blockchain security firm CipherTrace will provide Anti-Money Laundering (AML) controls for Binance Chain and its native asset Binance Coin (BNB).

CipherTrace to increase AML checks on Binance Chain

Binance Chain, a public blockchain of major crypto exchange Binance and the underlying blockchain for Binance DEX, is expected to improve its AML procedures through CipherTrace, Binance announced on Nov. 5.

Specifically, CipherTrace will be providing Binance Chain with institutional-grade AML controls to increase adoption of the Binance Chain blockchain.

Within the initiative, CipherTrace will enable global developers, investors and regulators to access the Binance Chain blockchain for discovering data such as high-risk addresses. Moreover, CipherTrace will be helping those entities to set various controls to protect decentralized applications, exchanges or other crypto-based applications, Binance wrote in its blog post.

Customer data will not be shared with third parties, Binance COO says

Samuel Lim, chief compliance officer at Binance, claimed that the initiative will not affect Binance users’ security and data protection. Speaking to Cointelegraph, the executive noted that customer information will not be shared with third parties as a result of the new AML practice, adding:

“Users can rest assured that Binance will uphold its usual high standards of user security and data protection.”

Lim also denied to specify to Cointelegraph whether this move would affect listing of privacy coins such as Monero (XMR) in the future, saying that Binance does not comment on specific tokens and maintains the highest integrity in its listing due diligence process.

In the announcement, Lim considered the move as a “major win for the community-driven Binance Chain,” noting that Binance users can soon expect more digital token support across its ecosystem.

Meanwhile, online critics have outlined the third party disclosure risks associated with AML practices by companies such as CipherTrace and Chainalysis. Twitter account theonevortex wrote:

“Looking forward to chain analysis companies like @ciphertrace and @chainalysis getting hacked. These people sell your data to 3 letter agencies and governments WITHOUT your permission.”

CipherTrace recently expanded its platform to support 700 tokens

CipherTrace’s support for BNB and Binance Chain follows the recent expansion of CipherTrace services to up to 700 cryptocurrencies including Ether (ETH), Tether (USDT), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) on Oct. 15. Claiming that CipherTrace has expanded to support 87% of the transactional volume of the top 100 cryptos, the firm denied to specify which cryptos will not be supported on the platform at the time.

On Oct. 21, CipherTrace CEO David Jevans argued that crypto regulations by global regulators such as those by the Financial Action Task Force’s would trigger a shift of criminal activity from Bitcoin (BTC) to privacy coins.


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

Following the recent expansion to 700 coins, CipherTrace adds support for Binance Chain and its native Binance coin

Some Top-20 Coins Still Making Gains, Others Trade Sideways

Some Top-20 Coins Still Making Gains, Others Trade Sideways

The top 20 coins by market capitalization have seen mixed signals over the last 24 hours

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=“show“ ihc_mb_who=“reg“ ihc_mb_template=“1″ ]

Tuesday, Oct. 29 — Most top-20 digital currencies are trading sideways today, with a few reporting minor losses. The markets are seeing mixed signals as of press time, according to the data from Coin360.

Cryptocurrency market daily overview

Cryptocurrency market daily overview. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin (BTC) is down less than one percent over the past 24 hours and is trading at around $9,327 at press time. The major coin has seen moderate volatility over the past day, having dipped to as low as $9,191, with the intraday high reaching $9,571 at press time.

Worldwide Google searches for “Bitcoin” are now near a three-month high, according to Google Trends. Current interest is at the highest level since early August, when BTC price was around $11,700.

Bitcoin seven-day price chart

Bitcoin seven-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Contrary to BTC, the largest altcoin, Ether (ETH), has taken an upturn and is trading at around $186 at press time, up by 2.61% on the day. ETH began the day at $184.13, hitting its highest mark at $189.1 in the middle of the day before reaching its current price.

Ether 7-day price chart

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

XRP, the third top cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has gained 1.23% over the past day to trade at around 0.301 at press time. The altcoin saw its highest price point over the week on Oct. 26, reaching $0.309, with a weekly low of $0.262 on Oct. 23.

XRP 7-day price chart

XRP 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and TRON (TRX) are the major gainers over the past day, having increased by 8.24% and 6.50% respectively to trade at around $289.14 and $0.021 respectively at press time.

On the top-20 coins list, the cryptocurrencies, which are reporting losses, are down between 0.01% and 4.48% at press time.

In the meantime, Russian Mining Company plans to repurpose a metal factory in the country’s northern province of Karelia to corner 20% of the BTC mining market.

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are not real money, according to a statement published by the German federal parliament. The author of the statement also claims that the fluctuations reported by the value render crypto tokens unsuitable to be a store of value.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here


Zur Quelle
[/ihc-hide-content]

The top 20 coins by market capitalization have seen mixed signals over the last 24 hours