Speaking before an audience at the Singapore Fintech Festival 2018, managing director and chairwoman of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde made the case for digital currency.

Says Lagarde,

“A new wind is blowing, that of digitalization. In this new world, we meet anywhere, any time. The town square is back – virtually, on our smartphones. We exchange information, services, even emojis, instantly… peer to peer, person to person. We float through a world of information, where data is the ‘new gold’– despite growing concerns over privacy, and cyber-security. A world in which millennials are reinventing how our economy works, phone in hand.”

Lagarde outlines how new forms of money will make their way into everyday usage.

Integration
  • Through social media, readily available for online and person-to person use, including micro-payments
  • Will be cheap and safe, protected against criminals and prying eyes

Lagarde points out a number of signs indicating digitization.

Key signs of an emerging digital economy
  • Signs in store windows read “cash not accepted”
  • Bank deposits feeling pressure from new forms of money
  • E-money from AliPay and WeChat in China, PayTM in India, M-Pesa in Kenya

According to Lagarde,

“Even cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple are vying for a spot in the cashless world, constantly reinventing themselves in the hope of offering more stable value, and quicker, cheaper settlement.”

Advantages of digital currencies
  • Reaching people and businesses in remote and marginalized regions
  • Backup means of payment
  • Low-cost and efficient alternative
  • Privacy
Disadvantages and risks of digital currencies  plus creative solutions
  • Despite risks to financial integrity, programmable money by central banks could allow regulators to “lift the veil of anonymity” if suspicions arose.
  • Despite risks to innovation by having central banks cover everything from digital wallets, to tokens, to back-end settlement services, new public-private partnerships would allow central banks to handle back-end settlement, while financial institutions and start-ups focus on client interface and innovation.
  • Despite risks to financial stability due to pressure on bank deposits, “the jury is still out on whether digital currencies would really upset financial stability.”

Lagarde says we should embrace change.

“My message is that while the case for digital currency is not universal, we should investigate it further, seriously, carefully, and creatively. More fundamentally, the case is about change – being open to change, embracing change, shaping change. Technology will change, and so must we. Lest we remain the last leaf on a dead branch, the others having decided to fly with the wind.”

The Singapore Fintech Festival, which took place on November 12-16, attracted over 250 global representatives from central banks and regulatory agencies, financial institutions, venture capital firms and fintech companies who made a wide range of presentations covering monetary policy, and the future of blockchain, digital assets and cryptocurrencies.

You can download the full speech here.

 

This post credited to Daily HODL Image source: Daily HODL

Over the last 24 hours, the valuation of the crypto market has fallen from $185 billion to $181 billion, by around $4 billion.

On November 15, amidst one of the worst single-day corrections in all of 2018, the crypto market saw a wipeout of more than $27 billion. The market extended losses throughout the past two days.

Bitcoin Cash, even with the combined value of Bitcoin Cash SV (BCHSV) and Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHABC), has fallen by more than seven percent. Subsequent to the fork, the price of BCHABC, the original Bitcoin Cash chain with the roadmap set forth by bitcoincash.org, dropped by more than 15 percent to $250.

$4,800 the Bottom For Bitcoin?

Yesterday, on November 16, CCN reported that Crypto Rand, a cryptocurrency technical analyst and trader, said that the probability of a $4,800 to $5,000 bottom for Bitcoin (BCH) is increasing.

“Crypto Rand, a respected digital asset analyst, stated that a fall to the $4,800 to $5,000 range is possible, given that technical indicators have not shown any signs of a bottom,” the report read.

The Crypto Dog, another prominent analyst, said that a bottom at $4,800 has become more likely for BTC.

“Same target I’ve held since February of this year, I think there is a strong possibility that $4,800 is the bottom.

While both major cryptocurrencies and small tokens have started to demonstrate independent price movements by breaking its correlation with BTC, a further 12 percent drop from $5,500 to $4,800 could result in intensified downward movements for cryptocurrencies with lower daily volumes.

Currently, the daily trading volume of BTC is hovering at around $5 billion. In contrast, Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Stellar (XLM) are demonstrating volumes in the range of $100 million to $800 million, less than 16 percent of the volume of BTC.

If the most dominant cryptocurrency in the market continues to demonstrate weak momentum and massive sell-pressure, then digital assets with lower volume will inevitably fall with BTC.

On Thursday, almost immediately after the fall of BTC from $6,300 to $5,500, Josh Rager, an investor in various blockchain initiatives, said:

“$5,500 area currently holding up BTC, when (it’s only a matter of time) a daily candle closes below here it will head to $4,900 area Strong support between $4,300 to $4,600 – BTC will likely bounce very hard here – in my opinion, a good place to buy R/R regardless if it heads lower”

Overall Negative

The sentiment around cryptocurrencies has generally been negative this week, due to the sheer intensity of the crash of the market over the past several days.

For tokens and small market cryptocurrencies, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s accelerated investigations into token sales and initial coin offerings (ICOs) could lead to a large short-term drop in confidence from investors in the public market.

With Paragon and AirFox already ordered by the U.S. SEC to refund investors and pay a $350,000 additional fine, investors will likely avoid investing in tokens until regulatory frameworks around the space are properly established.

This post credited to ccn Image from Shutterstock.

A recent Bitcoin scam on Twitter that compromised several major companies verified accounts came from a third-party app, tech news outlet the Next Web (TNW) reports Friday, Nov. 16, citing social media officials.

Speaking to TNW, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed that the attack came from an outside software provider and not from Twitter’s own system. However, the official refrained from naming the app.

The spokesperson reportedly explained that the attackers exploited a third-party marketing solution to launch a Bitcoin (BTC) giveaway from several verified accounts, including Google’s G Suite and major U.S. department store retailer Target.

The information was implicitly confirmed by Target. Its representatives told TNW that the hackers used a third-party marketing app, authorized to post content on Target’s behalf.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, on Wednesday, Nov. 14, hackers took overG Suite and Target accounts (800,000 and 1.92 million followers, respectively) and posted malicious cryptocurrency giveaway links. The message in G Suite’s account also falsely claimed that users could make payments in G Suite using cryptocurrencies.

Moreover, in early November several verified Twitter accounts, including those of film production firm Pathe U.K. and U.S. politician Frank Pallone Jr., were breached to pose as Elon Musk. Once hackers gained control of accounts, they changed the profile picture and name in order to pose as Elon Musk and offer scammy Bitcoin giveaways.

Bitcoin scammers have already posed as Elon Musk for several times, prompting the Tesla founder to seek help from Jackson Palmer, the creator of Dogecoin (DOGE), who claimed to have invented an anti-scam script.

This post credited to cointelegraph Image source: Cointelegraph 

The cryptocurrency community expected a tight hash power battle between Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Cash (SV) on November 15. But, with a decisive win and an anti-climactic result, BCH came out the winner.

Bitcoin.com, a company owned by Roger Ver, saw its hash rate spike to 4 exahash, easily surpassing the entire computing power on the Bitcoin Cash network prior to the hard fork.

With ViaBTC and Bitcoin.com’s hash power, Bitcoin ABC has been able to mine a significant amount of blocks after the fork, mining 32 more blocks than Bitcoin Cash SV (BSV).

BCH Was Never Losing to SV

Bitcoin SV, the camp of Craig Steven Wright, CoinGeek, and billionaire Calvin Ayre, was said to hold more than 57 percent of the hash power on the Bitcoin Cash network prior to the fork, and the possibility of a 51 percent attack as suggested by Craig Wright led investors to lose confidence in the short-term trend of BCH.

However, on Thursday, as the hash rate conflict between ABC and SV kicked off, it was evident within less than 30 minutes that the majority of hash power was on the side of ABC.

The Chinese mining community and Bitmain, the $15 billion cryptocurrency mining equipment manufacturer and mining pool operator, were not needed; solely with the computing power of ViaBTC and Bitcoin.com, ABC was able to defend its protocol against SV and the threats released by Craig Wright.

On November 15, Jiang Zhuoer, the CEO of BTC.TOP and a miner based in China, disclosed that Bitmain has more than 20,000 P hashrate, or 20 exahash. That is, twice of the hash rate of Coingeek, Craig Wright, and Calvin Ayre.

“Mining pools under Bitmain (such as BTC.com and Antpool) collectively have 15,000 P hashrate. With ViaBTC where Bitmain is a shareholder, the entity has 20,000 P hashrate altogether.”

More to that, rumors have suggested, as Zhouer explained, that more than 90,000 mining devices owned by Bitmain in Xinjiang could be used to defend ABC.

“Rumour has it that, Bitmain has 90,000 mining machines in Xinjiang to prepare for the hash war — but they are all meaningless rumours. If Bitmain is using the hashrate of BTC to start a hash war and this would be the epitome of ‘survival of the fittest.’”

Purely based on the discrepancy of computing power between Bitmain and the SV camp, Craig Wright, Coingeek, and Calvin Ayre had no chance of standing against ABC if Bitmain was to redirect its hash power to ABC, which was ultimately not needed.

Criticism Against SV

Emin Gun Sirer, a professor at the prestigious Cornell University, explained that the outcome of the battle between ABC and SV portrayed the necessity of a community, vision, technology, and other components to successfully launch and operate a blockchain network.

But, Sirer emphasized that SV had none of the factors that lead to the creation of a solid blockchain protocol.

“This point is at the heart of the main lesson from the BCH hashwar. One cannot assemble a good team just with money. To attract top notch talent, you need a strong, scientifically valid vision and novel, exciting tech, among other things. BSV has none of these.”

This post credited to ccn Image from Shutterstock

With the close of 2018 in sight, Fundstrat founder and analyst Tom Lee has lowered his year-end prediction on the price of Bitcoin.

Lee now says he believes Bitcoin will hit $15,000 by December 31st, down from his long-standing prediction of $25,000. He is basing his revised forecast on the amount of profit that Bitcoin miners, who validate transactions on the network, can currently make.

As reported by CNBC,

“A key driver was Bitcoin’s ‘breakeven’ point, the level at which mining costs match the trading price. That level is down to $7,000 from an earlier estimate of $8,000 for the S9 mining machine by Bitmain, according to Fundstrat’s data science team. Based on that, Lee estimates that fair value for Bitcoin would be roughly 2.2 times the new $7,000 breakeven price.”

In a new note to clients, Lee compared the current bear market to the one that happened from 2013 through 2016, noting that the price “never sustained a low below breakeven.”

“While Bitcoin broke below that psychologically important $6,000, this has led to a renewed wave of pessimism. But we believe the negative swing in sentiment is much worse than the fundamental implications.”

Lee also points to institutional factors – like the coming launch of Bakkt and Fidelity entering the crypto market – as catalysts that will help boost the price of Bitcoin.

As for this week’s sudden plunge in the Bitcoin and crypto market, Lee points to the tumultuous Bitcoin Cash fork as a leading factor.

This post credited to Daily HODL Image source: Daily HODL

Bitcoin sank to its lowest price in over a year on Wednesday, with the prices of other major cryptocurrencies falling alongside it.

As of press time, bitcoin is trading at $5,525.92 – a more than 12 percent decline on the day – in the latest sign that volatility around the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has returned with a vengeance.

Indeed, bitcoin’s collective market cap dropped below the $100 billion level for the first time since November 12 of last year, according to CoinDesk’s Crypto-Economics Explorer (CEX).

In the past 12-hours alone, the total capitalization of the cryptocurrency market fell from roughly $210 billion to where it stands now, $180 billion. Today’s 15 percent depreciation has led the market to its lowest value since Oct. 31 of last year, CoinMarketCap data reveals.

Other major cryptocurrencies are reporting declines in excess of 10 percent on the day, including ETH, XRP and bitcoin cash – the latter of which is gearing up for a contentious hard fork on Nov. 15.

Notably, market data indicates that in light of today’s market drop, XRP (as of the time of this writing) has the second-largest market capitalization for cryptocurrencies, surpassing ETH.

USDT, the stablecoin known more commonly as tether, saw a notable drop in its price to a low of $0.95 on crypto exchange Kraken, which offers one of the few trading pairs of the token against the U.S. dollar.

Tether, among other stablecoins, is intended to hold parity against the U.S. dollar, and data from CoinMarketCap shows that the token is trading in the $0.96-$0.97 range.

Because of the dip in USDT, the BTC premium on exchanges like Bitfinex, which trades against USDT, has risen to over $300. In other words, a single unit of bitcoin can now be purchased for $5,557 on Coinbase (a regulated exchange trading against USD) while the same unit costs $5,870 USDT on Bitfinex.

This post credited to coindesk  Image source: Coindesk 

Five percent of Moscow residents who use non-cash methods of payment are open to using cryptocurrencies, according to a recently conducted survey, Forbes Russia reported Nov. 13.

The investigation into the e-payment market in Moscow was carried out by Russian payment service Yandex.Money and the Moscow Information Technology Department (ITD). The experts purportedly surveyed 1,000 Moscow residents of various age categories by way of a phone survey.

The experts found that among those Moscow residents who use non-cash forms of payment, one percent also use digital currency, while 5 percent expressed readiness to start using cryptocurrency to pay for their purchases.

Among the most common forms of non-cash payments, 96 percent of respondents said they use bank cards, 40 percent pay for their purchases via mobile bank apps, 32 percent use Internet banking, while 16 percent said that they use e-money.

Ivan Buturlin, head of the analytics department at the ITD, reportedly said that “34 percent of Moscow residents use primarily non-cash methods of payment, wherein 63 percent conduct electronic transactions at least once a day.”

The experts skeptically regarded respondents’ intent to pay with cryptocurrency, suggesting that people simply assumed a more broad usage of high-tech processes in the future.

When asked why they refrain from using cashless payment systems, 40 percent of respondents expressed security concerns, 22 percent said they do not want to pay additional service fees, 11 percent said they did not understand how to use non-cash payment services, while 9 percent answered that they do not know what cashless payment methods are.

“In order for non-cash payments to penetrate into the lives of a larger number of citizens, people should also change their perception to understand that this is a safe method of payment,” stated Ivan Glazachev, CEO of Yandex.Money.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, 93 percent of British citizens have heard of Bitcoin (BTC), but only 4 percent claim to have bought it, per a poll by U.K. market research firm YouGov.

Meanwhile, 55 percent of respondents in a recent German poll claim they have heard of cryptocurrencies, while 77 percent of those who are aware of digital currencies admit they are not likely to invest in them.

This post credited to cointelegraph  Image source: Cointelegraph 

Throughout the past 24 hours, several publications and public figures have misreported that China has put an end to its blanket ban on bitcoin and the cryptocurrency exchange market.

On Nov. 9, one cryptocurrency-focused publication released a story entitled “China Lifts Bitcoin Ban; Individuals and Businesses Can Now Own Cryptocurrencies Legally.” The article instantly attracted many investors in the cryptocurrency market, who demonstrated optimism towards the supposed unbanning of Bitcoin.

However, the article itself was based on a court ruling of the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration which was released on Oct. 25. The outdated and misrepresented story falsely led many investors in the market to manufacture hype around the asset class, in a period in which the cryptocurrency market is stagnant and struggling to initiate major upward price movements.

Overhyped News is Alluring But Not Beneficial to the Industry

In October, as CnLedger, a trusted news source in China reported, the Chinese court confirmed that Bitcoin is protected by law as property. As such, individuals, businesses, and merchants can technically utilize cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum as a payment method without conflicting with local regulations.

cnLedger@cnLedger

1/ Chinese court confirms Bitcoin protected by law. Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration ruled a case involving cryptos. Inside the verdict: CN law does not forbid owning & transferring bitcoin, which should be protected by law bc its property nature and economic value.

1,190 people are talking about this

China’s Crypto Market is Thriving: Ethereum Hotel, Exchanges, and OTC Trading
Related: China’s Crypto Market is Thriving: Ethereum Hotel, Exchanges, and OTC Trading

In the previous month, CryptoSlate reported that the cryptocurrency market of China has become more active as of late, due to the acceptance of digital assets by hotels and publications.

In late September, Ethereum Hotel, China’s first hotel that accepts Ethereum (ETH) as a payment method, reportedly opened their business in National Scenic Area of Four Girls Mountain (Sichuan Province).

On Oct. 1, China’s oldest technology publication Beijing Sci-Tech Report (BSTR) announced that it would accept Bitcoin as a payment method for its subscriptions beginning early 2019, to encourage the utilization of crypto in a “real-world setting for practical actions,”

The Ethereum Hotel and BSTR have been able to integrate cryptocurrencies into their payment systems because the two digital assets are recognized as properties under local laws.

But, the trading of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies remains strictly banned, and the areas of the cryptocurrency market that the government of China has banned remain prohibited.

While merchants are technically allowed to accept cryptocurrencies, trading, crypto events, ICOs, and any form of OTC investment in the asset class are still prohibited.

Exaggerated and overhyped reports could provide the cryptocurrency community with optimism in the short-term, but in the mid to long-term, they tend to have a negative impact. If the expectations of the community increase significantly due to misrepresented reports and the expectations are not met in the future, then it can have a worse effect on the market.

Similar to Bakkt, ETF

This week, Jake Chervinsky, a government enforcement defense and securities litigation attorney at Kobre & Kim stated that Bakkt could have an actual impact on the price of Bitcoin because of its physical delivery of digital assets to investors, and if institutional investors invest in Bitcoin through the Bakkt Bitcoin futures market, it could lead to an increase in the price of BTC.

However, there still exists many variables and conditions to the long-term success of Bakkt and especially given that the majority of the community believes Bakkt will act as a catalyst for the next bull run of crypto, Chervinsky emphasized the need to approach the progress of Bakkt with caution.

Chervinsky said:

“In the minds of many, Bakkt’s launch has become a full-fledged narrative for when & how the bear market will end. It plays the same role as bitcoin ETFs as a trusted vehicle to bring that sweet institutional money into the space, but without all the trouble of SEC approval.”

And added:

“Hype aside, some people have lingering concerns about Bakkt. The big question is if Bakkt will try to financialize bitcoin in a harmful way, such as through the use of hidden leverage.”

As with Bakkt, ETF, and recent reports about China, it is of the importance of for investors to approach developments in the space with caution and a neutral stance.

This post credited to cryptoslate  Image source: Unsplash

Square’s mobile payments application, Cash App, posts impressive growth for Bitcoin transactions despite the bearish cryptocurrency market. In Square’s Q3 shareholder letter the company reports $43 million in Bitcoin revenues, contributing $560 thousand to quarterly net profit.

Square is a merchant services and mobile payments company based out of San Francisco. Founded in 2009, the company is known for its portable point of sale systems such as Square Reader and Square Register. Since inception, Square has become one of the most popular payment services for small and medium-sized businesses in the United States.

In a series of progressive moves, Square was one of the first major payment processors to support Bitcoin transactions.

The company made its first foray into crypto payments in March of 2017when Square Market, a tool for establishing eCommerce storefronts for small businesses, would also support Bitcoin payments.

The company continued to push for Bitcoin support in its more widely used Cash App (formerly Square Cash). Cash App is a mobile application that allows individuals and businesses to send and receive money through an online alias.

Square moved to beta test Bitcoin payments in November of 2017, and by January of 2018, the company had released the feature to most of Cash App’s users.

The move puts Square head-to-head with several incumbents in crypto payments processing. BitPay, an incumbent since May of 2011 and Coinbase Commerce a new entrant as of February of 2018.

Another competitor, PayPal’s Venmo is yet to offer any cryptocurrency support. Square’s push into the cryptocurrency market led to a surge in downloads for Cash App, surpassing Venmo mobile money service. Cumulative downloads for the Cash App now total 34 million, exceeding Venmo’s 33 million for the first time ever, according to data aggregated from the Google Play and Apple App stores.

Square is one of the first mainstream payment processors to tackle the shortcomings of cryptocurrency payments. Issues such as price volatility, long confirmation times, and poor ease of use still make cryptocurrency a cumbersome option for retail payments. However, Square is tackling many of these issues head-on.

By leveraging its large user base and popularity among small businesses it is possible Square could become a leader in crypto payment processing.

According to Square’s Q3 shareholder letter, the company had revenues totaling $43 million related to Bitcoin transactions, up 16 percent from last quarter. The transactions contributed $560 thousand to the company’s net income, up 33 percent from last quarter, with a net margin of 1.3 percent on all Bitcoin transactions conducted through the service.

Related: Bitcoin-Friendly Square’s Cash App Grows in Favor Despite Bear Market

These figures indicate impressive growth in transaction volume despite the bear market. Since the release of Cash App’s Bitcoin support, cryptocurrency market capitalization has decreased by approximately 66 percent while Bitcoin transactions on Cash App grow unabated. This consistent quarterly growth may signal growing adoption despite the decreases in market capitalization.

Square is making strides in addressing the issues that make cryptocurrency impractical for payments in brick-and-mortar stores. As cryptocurrency becomes easier to use mass adoption will follow.

Square’s stock is up 218 percent from this time last year, down 4 percent in the last month.

This post credited to cryptoslate Image source: Unsplash

As the Nov. 15 Bitcoin Cash hard fork draws closer, a majority of hash power favors the Bitcoin Cash SV iteration favored by Australian computer scientist Craig Wright’s nChain, data from Coin Dance shows Nov. 12.

According to Coin Dance, 66–77 percent of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) miners are backing the SV network based on currency hash rates, compared to 18–29 percent backing Bitcoin Cash ABC, which is favored by crypto evangelist Roger Ver.

The data is an estimate based on which mining pools have shown support for the coins after the eventual hard fork.

Conversely, Coin Dance notes that of the 2,246 nodes running on the Bitcoin Cash network, 1,079 are Bitcoin Cash ABC nodes, while 166 are Bitcoin Cash SV nodes.

Bitcoin Cash Nodes as of Nov. 11. Source: Coin Dance

Bitcoin Cash Nodes as of Nov. 11. Source: Coin Dance

Notably, neither factor is a total indicator of which camp will come out on top after the hard fork. Launching a Bitcoin node is cheap, and in theory, a user could launch several nodes for under a few hundred dollars. While hash rate is crucial for Proof-of-Work (PoW), if a coin is not accepted by exchanges, the hash would be wasted. At press time, Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin Cash SV are trading on Poloniex at $393 and $107, respectively.

The controversy surrounding the hard fork took a personal turn earlier this week, as arguments from each side’s largest proponents, Ver and Wright, became more strongly worded. Wright — who has previously claimed to be Bitcoin (BTC) inventor Satoshi Nakamoto — allegedly claimed in an email that Ver “hates Bitcoin” and regards him as “an enemy.”

Wright reportedly finished his email by repeating, “I AM Satoshi” and stating “Have a nice life. You will now discover me when pissed off.”

At press time, Bitcoin Cash is down four percent on the day, trading at 508.60, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

This post credited to cointelegraph Image source: Cointelegraph