Bitcoin Price Back ‘On the Edge’ Says Trader After $8.8K Rejection

Bitcoin Price Back ‘On the Edge’ Says Trader After $8.8K Rejection

Volatility returns to hourly Bitcoin trading after $9K rejection

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Bitcoin (BTC) staged a dramatic breakout of its weekly trading corridor on Nov. 15, but selling pressure rejected an attempt to break $9,000. 

Cryptocurrency market daily overview

Cryptocurrency market daily overview. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin fails to break resistance at $9K

Data from Coin360 shows BTC/USD suddenly moving upwards on Friday, hitting $8,800 in minutes from previous levels closer to $8,550. 

The bullish momentum failed to last, however, with Bitcoin returning to lower levels below $8,600 just thirty minutes later. 

At press time, BTC/USD was trading at around $8,580, having come full circle in under an hour. 

Bitcoin seven-day price chart

Bitcoin seven-day price chart. Source: Coin360

As Cointelegraph reported, Bitcoin has become increasingly known for temporary moves up and down, with commentators citing various factors influencing the volatility. 

In the long term, however, models suggest the largest cryptocurrency should fluctuate around an average price of $8,300 until the block size halving next May. 

The rejection at $8,800 meanwhile lifted hopes of a return to overall bullish sentiment, as sketched out by regular Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe.

“On the edge here. Preferably I’d want to see a tick up to like $8,800 to confirm a slight trend reversal (like scenario),” he said in a Twitter update on Thursday.

Continuing, van de Poppe added downward pressure could take Bitcoin the other side of its pre-halving average: 

“If not, this slow bleed could accelerate to $8,200 as the next level. Sentiment; fear. Obviously.”

Altcoins diverge once more

Altcoins markets saw a return to mixed trading after many major cryptocurrencies lost ground on Thursday. 

Ether (ETH), the largest altcoin by market cap, delivered mostly sideways performance, moving less than 1% versus previous levels. 

Ether seven-day price chart

Ether seven-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Other coins fared better, with Verge (XVG) jumping 32% after news partner Pornhub was facing problems with PayPal. VeChain (VET) expanded 21.3%, with Tezos (XTZ) rising 8.5% and Cosmos (ATOM) 7%. 

The overall cryptocurrency market cap was $237.6 billion at press time, with Bitcoin’s share comprising 65.8%.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here

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Volatility returns to hourly Bitcoin trading after $9K rejection

Development ‘On the Chain’ to Promote Off-Chain Blockchain Adoption?

Development ‘On the Chain’ to Promote Off-Chain Blockchain Adoption?

What does the next decade hold for #blockchain? Amid a weakened global economy, cryptocurrencies could be a great portfolio diversifier and more institutions will likely adopt blockchain, writes Alexandra Tinsman (@Inside_NEM) of @NEMofficial

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In the last decade, blockchain and distributed ledger technology has had an immense impact on a multitude of industries, with 84% of organizations experimenting with the technology, with more than half (52%) of blockchain projects in the research and development phase, according to the PwC Global Blockchain Survey

The industries making important strides forward with blockchain include financial services, manufacturing, energy and utilities, health care, as well as government sectors, but the potential of the technology is limitless. Ultimately, any business that is looking to simplify the processing method of large volumes of transactions while ensuring the verifiability of these transactions — stands to benefit from the use of blockchain technology. 

So, what does the next decade hold for blockchain, and what barriers are there to overcome in order to see true mainstream adoption?

Cryptocurrencies: The next-generation portfolio diversifier

Blockchain technology has often been mistakenly associated with Bitcoin’s volatility. While blockchain is indeed the underlying technology powering Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it has little to do with its peaks and troughs. 

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency price volatility is primarily driven by investors’ perceptions of the security of their holdings along with the prospects for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to become a reliable portfolio diversifier as institutional adoption increases.

In the last year alone, gold has risen by 10%, while Bitcoin has soared by over 180% against the United States dollar. The U.S. Federal Reserve’s recent slashing of interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis signals a return to monetary and fiscal stimulus in the form of quantitative easing, which could negatively impact confidence in fiat currencies. If this ends up being the case, we could soon witness capital flight that could result in a decline in the performance of the U.S. dollar, should there be a significant loss of trust in central banks.

One-year crypto performance

One-year crypto performance. Source:

Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, have proven to be one of the top-performing assets since the start of the year, outperforming other, more traditional asset classes, such as stocks, commodities and real estate. While it might not be prudent to put all of one’s eggs in a single basket, the case for including digital assets as a long-term portfolio diversifier is stronger than ever, but it remains to be seen how cryptocurrencies will perform during times of extreme macroeconomic or market stress.

Facebook see, Google do? The business case for blockchain

When Facebook says “Jump!” users ask “How high?” However, it is not enough for companies to hop onto the blockchain bandwagon without further investigation into the viability of blockchain and whether it is the right solution for a business. 

The applicability of blockchain very much depends on whether a business fulfills a number of criteria, including whether multiple parties share and update data; if the business has a customer database, whereby there is a verification requirement; third-party intermediaries adding complexity that blockchain could potentially remove; whether interactions are time-sensitive; and if transactions interact.

Connected devices (billions)

Blockchain stands to see far greater adoption when organizations‘ and institutions‘ approaches and application methods of decentralized ledger technology become more targeted, as opposed to adopting a one-size-fits-all framework. This allows companies to mitigate the risks associated with integrating blockchain into their businesses unnecessarily.

New kid on the block(chain): The Internet of Things (IoT)

The increasing spread of internet connectivity to things in our everyday lives — such as smart thermostat Nest, Philips Hue smart bulbs, wearables like Garmin smart watches — means that there is a vast amount of data being collected that could benefit from being stored in a secure and verifiable manner.

This is where blockchain comes into play. With the overall number of connected devices projected to grow to 29 billion by 2022 (18 billion of which will be IoT-related), there is an increasingly urgent need to safeguard the sheer volume of data that will be collected by them. Blockchain eliminates single-point failure with its distributed network of computers, as well as potential inefficiencies as a result of overburdened centralized systems. Blockchain’s additional layer of security also means that personal data — including the data collected by implantable cardiac devices (!) — is far less vulnerable to being hacked.

The future of fundraising: From ICOs to STOs to IEOs

July 31 marks the sixth anniversary of the introduction of the first ever initial coin offering (ICO) in the blockchain space, with J.R. Willett launching Mastercoin (now Omni). As the industry matures, the nature of fundraising in the space has changed. We’ve witnessed a shift away from ICOs, with security token offerings (STOs) launching in public markets and a further progression toward initial exchange offerings (IEOs) in 2019.

While ICOs require reduced upfront capital and have lower barriers of entry for investors, they were plagued by fraudulent token sales and scams, which ultimately scared investors off. This was followed by a significant shift toward regulatory compliance, which is essential if these fundraising practices — and blockchain in general — is to see widespread adoption. Unlike ICOs, security tokens issued during an STO are supported by an underlying asset that reflects a monetary value, which offers investors greater transparency.

Oversight by various regulatory bodies — such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority — can provide some measure of protection. On the flip side, these same regulatory guidelines mean that participation in STOs is limited to institutional investors. So, what might the future of fundraising look like in the blockchain space moving forward?

IEOs — i.e., token sales conducted directly via an exchange, with issuers paying a listing fee — are the newest form of fundraising. While they are slightly less regulated than STOs, Know You Customer and other checks are mandatory, with exchanges ensuring due diligence before a token is listed. Also, as all transactions take place via an exchange, this method of fundraising is seen as being more secure compared with ICOs, whose project websites may lack the necessary security measures.

As blockchain technology transitions from being reserved for the high-tech elite to a technology that can be applied to the masses, we will undoubtedly witness a shift in perception on a global scale. As the market matures and the technology follows suit, we will see real-world applications across industries, redefining the way we do business. 

Alexandra Tinsman is president of the Foundation, which aims to introduce, educate and promote the use of the NEM blockchain technology platform on an international scale to all industries and institutions. The focus of the Foundation in 2019 is to support the commercialization and launch of Catapult, the next iteration of the core NEM engine.

With more than 20 years’ consumer and B2B product marketing experience, Alexandra has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands in software, hi-tech gaming, entertainment and online services, including Microsoft Xbox, Xbox LIVE, Bing, Windows Phone, Skype and MSN, in which she developed, executed and managed global marketing campaigns and go-to-market strategies. 

She also worked on some of the world’s first tradable digital assets used in Pokémon Online, Magic: The Gathering Online, League of Legends and the Xbox Digital Marketplace. 

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

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What does the next decade hold for #blockchain? Amid a weakened global economy, cryptocurrencies could be a great portfolio diversifier and more institutions will likely adopt blockchain, writes Alexandra Tinsman (@Inside_NEM) of @NEMofficial

‘Not Everyone Is Happy but We Have to Move on,’ Some Challenges to the FATF’s New Guidance

‘Not Everyone Is Happy but We Have to Move on,’ Some Challenges to the FATF’s New Guidance

Not everyone is happy about the FATF’s new rule. Cointelegraph investigates some challenges from both technical and philosophical standpoints

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“Travel rule” was a term frequently heard at the V-20 Summit, which took place in parallel with the G-20 meeting in Osaka, Japan from June 28 to 29. Regulators and Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) — such as exchanges from different countries — met in Osaka for two days and discussed how to implement the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) latest guidance on how to prevent cryptocurrencies being used for money laundering. 

The travel rule requires VASPs to collect and transfer customer information during transactions. 

While its objective is to protect consumers, it is controversial from both technological and philosophical points of view. Some members at the V-20 question why this guidance has taken its current form, which traditional banks are required to comply with. Is it going to be good for the crypto industry as a whole? Cointelegraph asked the FATF Secretariat and different VASPs at the V-20 about their thoughts on the new rule. 

Travel rule

The travel rule refers to section 7(b) in the Interpretative Note to Recommendation 15 in the FATF guideline, which requires VASPs to collect and transfer customer information during transactions. 

More specifically, it requires “originating VASPs” to “obtain and hold required and accurate originator information and required beneficiary information” and submit the information to “the beneficiary VASP.” On the other hand, it asks “beneficiary VASPs” to “obtain and hold required originator information and required and accurate beneficiary information on virtual asset transfers, and make it available on request to appropriate authorities.”

It is a rule only applicable to VASPs, not individuals. 

The FATF guidance is not legally binding but can be very effective, as a nation that does not comply with it may be excluded from the global financial network. Also, as Contelegraph reported, the G-20 declared that it will rely on the FATF when it comes to regulating cryptocurrency’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) compliance. 

The FATF has said that local authorities and VASPs have one year to come up with country-specific rules based on the travel rule. As reported, the V-20 is seeking to establish an association to provide global representation for VASPs and facilitate compliance among them. 

At this stage, the rule has already been determined, and the conversation has shifted to how to implement it. 

In an interview with Cointelegraph, FATF Secretariat Tom Neylan, said that “there are still pieces of work to be done by the private sector to develop a technical system that is capable of implementing this rule.” He continued: 

“I don’t think there is a hole. […] We didn’t want FATF to sit down and tell technical details of exactly how companies should comply with it because that would quickly become out of date.” 

Yet, speaking of the FATF’s new guidance, Jesse Spiro, the head of policy at Chainalysis was surprised that it “includes more detail than we are anticipating.” In an email to Cointelegraph, he said: 

“The FATF laid out a very detailed regime for both industry and regional regulators, including comprehensive definitions of the type of activity that falls under these recommendations and the response that it expects from regulators, which far surpasses current efforts in many countries.”

Spiro thinks that, in the long term, the guidance “will help the cryptocurrency industry mature and achieve more mainstream adoption,” but in the short term, “the industry needs to develop technical solutions in order to comply, which will require significant investment.” 

Technical challenges 

There are at least three challenges brought about by the travel rule that various VASPs at the V-20 mentioned to Cointelegraph. 

— How do you know the counterparty is a VASP? 

“Sitting here right now I can create a new address that has never been used before,” Steve Christie, Global Head of Compliance at Kraken said. The blockchain has “no attribution” to identify whether it is an individual or a VASP institution. So, there is no way to verify that it is an address that requires the transfer of the information based on the travel rule. 

— How do you transfer information? 

VASPs can’t just send customer information via email, for example, to counterparties because of security concerns. A new infrastructure that is trustworthy and capable of sending customer information among VASPs securely has to be introduced first. Other questions raised include whether there is a deadline for the transfer or what would happen if different VASPs in the world were unable to comply with the same rule at the same time.

— What if different names of the same person are registered?

There may be a case in which two different names are registered with two different VASPs although both represent a person. In this case, how do they confirm the information with each other? Erald Ghoos, chief operating officer of crypto wallet maker, pointed out: “What is typical in China or Hong Kong is they have English names.” 

Can crypto startups survive? 

At the moment, no technical solution has been brought forward to implement the new rule. But obviously, it will require “significant investment” and a lot of technical knowledge. The question, then, is: Do crypto startups have the capabilities and the resources to comply with the rule? 

“If we don’t find something that is accessible to all of the service providers, we could actually force some of them out of their business,” Christie said. He continued: 

“We are still at a startup phase for the industry. We need as much contributions from as many different sources as we can.”

Some are also concerned that, as a result of the strict rule, the number of person-to-person transactions, which often are not regulated, will increase. 

Yet, there may be a positive aspect of the travel rule for startups. Ghoos from, which was established in 2016, noted that, as a result of the new rule, it may make it easier to work with traditional banks: 

“ sometimes has difficulty in getting bank accounts in order to process client’s funds. But once this kind of regulation is in place, we can show to the regulator, and to the financial industry that “listen, we are here to comply with all those rules.”

Isn’t it against the spirit of financial privacy?

The rule that requires collecting and transferring more customer information than ever has inevitably invited criticism from privacy advocates in the industry. The idea of having full control over one’s own funds without relying on governments or large institutions — i.e., autonomy — is crucial to the existence of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 

Christie acknowledged the idea of financial privacy and noted that the new rule will invite “some fundamental challenges that the entire industry is going to face from a philosophical standpoint.” At the same time, he said we are “responsible organizations,” continuing by stating: 

“We understand that there are certain rules that we will have to comply in order to help the transition from the traditional financial service industry to the new economy. We have to find a way to find a common ground. If you are a core believer and if you want to get to that utopia, you need to find ways of getting there.” 

Could it have been made differently? 

The FATF’s new guidance is not something fixable and it may be true that the only thing VASPs can do now is to think about how to implement it. Yet, some people in the industry can’t help but  think that the rules could have been made differently. 

According to a person who participated in one of the closed sessions at V-20, a crypto industry member suggested that the FATF use public data already available on the blockchain to have AML, thus creating a system in which the travel rule doesn’t have to be applied. 

FATF’s answer to the suggestion was that “it is going to be the second phase.” Yet, what can be changed in the “second phase” remains unclear. 

“I think given more time, collaboration between the FATF and the industry may have produced a different result,” Christie said. While working to meet the FATF’s objectives and protect customers, he thinks “smart and measured rules” are best for the industry. 

For him, the travel rule is the same rule adopted in traditional finance industries in the 20th century.  He stated:  

“The travel rule is taking the rule that was designed for wire transactions, technologies from mid-1900. […] The objectives are good objectives, you know protecting people, and AML/CTF. But the rules should conform to the same technologies of the day.” 

Christie added that what VASPs are dealing with is peer-to-peer permissionless networks. It is not as if these are wire transactions going over the SWIFT network. 

The banking industry may be pressuring FATF to make rules in favor of them, one of the participants at the V-20 suspected: 

“I think these rules are really just designs to protect banks. Because what they do is to take the same rule that applied to banks and to apply to us. And who has the capability and resources to do that? Only Banks.”

This participant thinks “one year is not enough as it requires all the member countries to pass the related laws,” and he concluded: 

“It is not going to happen. They are just going to drive all the businesses out of the top 20 countries and all the businesses they really want to regulate will go somewhere else like Caribbean.” 

For some, it may be for big financial institutions to take over. Roger Wilkins, the former president of FATF, apparently thinks large companies like Amazon and Google have done a lot for innovation because they fund startups and buy them. In an interview with Cointelegraph, he stated:

“There needs to be a rationalization. So there will be consolidation. I don’t think that necessarily kills innovation.” 

Why now? 

FATF published the latest guidance on June 21. But why did it publish it on that date? At a dinner party on the first day of V-20, there was an interesting remark from Wilkins, who said that it took 12 months to come up with the guidance. Previously, it was said that it took FATF five years to make the rule. 

In an interview with Cointelegraph, Neylan from the FATF acknowledged that the crypto sector is “new to the regulation with first supervisory body and first standard setting body to be applying rules” and therefore they thought “they needed more explanation.” But he didn’t clearly say why it had to publish it in the last month. 

Christie thinks “it was a bit out of FATF’s hand” and said “it would have been nicer if FATF was given more time from G-20 and UN.”

Yet, the participant at V-20 previously quoted thinks FATF’s internal dynamics might affect the rush. The current president of the FATF, Marshall Billingslea, is American who finished his term on June 30. After him, a Chinese representative took over the position. The participant opined the following possibility: 

“The rules they are applying are the US rules. That is why the wanted to pass in a rush. Historically, there is a gentleman’s agreement that the next guy won’t change the rule.” 

Another participant of the V-20 told Cointelegraph, “Not everyone likes the new rule but we have to move on.” Protecting customers is a great objective, of course, but the rule should make sure that crypto entrepreneurs can stay in business. It should also respect the principle of financial privacy, one of the core spirits for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Otherwise, it will be counterproductive for the crypto ecosystem as a whole.

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Not everyone is happy about the FATF’s new rule. Cointelegraph investigates some challenges from both technical and philosophical standpoints