The United States House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services has scheduled a hearing with Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton and four other SEC commissioners to discuss, among other topics, crypto.
In a memorandum from Sept. 19, the Committee on Financial Services stated that it will hold a hearing on Sept. 24 entitled, “Oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission: Wall Street’s Cop on the Beat.”
This one-panel hearing will include the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Jay Clayton, commissioner Hester Pierce (AKA Crypto Mom) and another three commissioners.
Libra coin could amount to a security
The Committee on Financial Services has included cryptocurrencies on its list of topics for discussion and points out that the federal securities laws apply to securities — including stocks, bonds, and investment contracts — regardless of whether they are digital.
The hearing will touch upon Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), whether or not digital assets are a security or exempt from securities law, and of course Facebook’s planned launch of its stablecoin Libra in 2020. The document adds:
“The Libra Investment Token could amount to a security since it is intended to be sold to investors to fund startup costs and would provide them with dividends. The Libra token itself may also be a security, but Facebook does not intend to pay dividends and it is unclear if investors would have a “reasonable expectation of profits.”
Zuckerberg continues tour of Washington DC
Cointelegraph reported on Sept. 19 that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is making the rounds with policymakers in Washington, D.C. to discuss “future internet regulations,” most recently with Senator Josh Hawley.
Earlier on Sept. 19, Cointelegraph reported that Zuckerberg had dinner with a handful of U.S. lawmakers, where he faced intense scrutiny over the Libra project.
During his speech at the 2018 Devcon4, Joe Lubin, the CEO of ConsenSys and co-founder of Ethereum, addressed the current state of the Ethereum ecosystem and said that the next killer app is much closer than you might think.
Lubin’s Devcon Address Brought New Hope to Developers
Ethereum Devcon, the annual Ethereum developer meeting, has been a congregating spot for the industry’s brightest and most forward ideas since its conception. The conference’s fourth iteration, held in Prague, Czech Republic, saw some of the biggest names in the game talking about the industry’s future.
One of them was Joe Lubin, the current CEO of ConsenSys and co-founder of Ethereum. In his speech, Lubin reviewed the state of the Ethereumecosystem and brought forward some of the accomplishments made by its developers.
ConsenSys highlighted Lubin’s take in a Medium post on Jan. 9th, sayingthat its importance grew as ConsenSys prepares for the launch of a more lithe ConsenSys 2.0.
“Reverberations from Lubin’s address are still being felt in early 2019 as Ethereum 2.0 comes into view and teams, businesses, and individuals alike prepare for the next phase of development,” the company wrote in a blog post.
Lubin was optimistic about the next generation of decentralized applications, saying that the next killer app will be a killer ecosystem. He pointed out that the robust suite of developer tools and protocols built over the past two years have provided developers with everything they need to build “the next big thing” in tech.
Ethereum Is The New Killer App
Lubin’s words gained more weight as the industry entered the new year facing even more hurdles than before. He said that the crypto space has been criticized by pundits for “being all about speculation” and failing to provide any killer apps.
Arguing that cryptocurrencies themselves were the latest killer app(s) to has come out of the space, the same way the Internet drove the market almost two decades ago. The new killer app is already in the works and is bound to change the world in ways we have never seen.
Ethereum’s second iteration has brought the idea of Web3 closer than ever, enabling the creation, issuance, distribution, exchange, and management of “so many different kinds of crypto assets,” Lubin said.
He said that Ethereum is the killer ecosystem the industry has been waiting for, calling it an ecosystem that will transform global economic, social, and political systems.
While one could argue that Lubin’s praise for Ethereum is nothing short of biased, decentralization is the next killer app—one that’s meant to stay. Just as the Internet experienced its ups and downs in the early 2000s, the blockchain industry is going through the cycle, ready to change the world as we know it.
This post credited to Cryptoslate. Image source: Cryptoslate
In 2017, CryptoKitties made headlines as the world’s most popular blockchain game. Pushing further into the public eye, CryptoKitties has partnered with Meural to showcase the “Bringing Blockchain to Life” art exhibit.
CryptoKitties Spreads Blockchain Awareness
CryptoKitties, an Ethereum-based collectibles game, has partnered with art technology startup Meural to reveal a new blockchain-themed art exhibit, according to a press release.
The “Bringing Blockchain to Life” exhibit will launch Sept. 1 at the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany. By incorporating crypto collectibles, the exhibit aims to “showcase the inner workings of blockchain technology in real-time.”
The exhibit will use Meural’s digital Meural Canvas, a contemporary display designed specifically for artwork, to showcase images of CryptoKitties. In the official press release, Vladimir Vukicevic, CEO and co-founder of Meural, said:
“We’re excited to be able to help CryptoKitties make their museum debut by providing them with a physical home that’s worthy of a museum setting. … By partnering with CryptoKitties for this event, we hope to help general audiences envision how cryptocollectibles might fit into their everyday lives.”
Founded in 2017 by Axiom Zen, CryptoKitties rapidly became known as the first “crypto collectibles” game to gain public adoption and congest the Ethereumnetwork with an overload of transactions.
According to VentureBeat, CryptoKitties gained 1.5 million users and conducted more than $40 million in transactions since March of this year. In May, a CryptoKitty sold at Christie’s Auction House in New York for approximately $140,000.
Roham Gharegozlou, CEO and co-founder of CryptoKitties, said:
“CryptoKitties’ good design and appealing aesthetics are responsible for introducing entirely new audiences to the potential of blockchain technology. Emerging technology often has its most innovative work conducted in the art world–the Kitties are artworks themselves. Our exhibit at ZKM continues our mission of demystifying the blockchain so that the people that can benefit from it most – whether they’re creators and consumers, or artists and their fans–can be a part of the technology’s future.”
Axiom Zen, creator of CryptoKitties, recently launched a new company called Dapper Labs. According to the press release, Dapper Labs raised $12.85 million earlier this year from investors Andreeson Horowitz and Union Square Ventures.
This post credited to Cryptoslate. Cover Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash
In the last 4 hours, $9 billion were wiped out of the crypto market as Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash recorded a 14 percent drop respectively against the U.S. dollar.
The Bitcoin price dropped to $3,750, back to last week’s levels following a promising corrective rally on January 6 when BTC increased from $3,753 to $4,090.
Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash Remain as Worst Performers on the Day
Throughout the past two weeks, the Ethereum price nearly doubled from $85 to $160 in anticipation of the scheduled Constantinople hard fork that is set to be executed between January 14 to 18.
The volume of Ethereum spiked as the trading activity of the second most valuable cryptocurrency in the global market surged on ever major digital asset exchange.
However, large short-term gains leave assets vulnerable to large short-term corrections and in the last several hours, the price of ETH dropped by 14.9 percent from $154 to $131 in one of its biggest single-day drops in the past 12 months.
As sell pressure on the cryptocurrency market intensified and bears initiated a sell-off of digital assets, cryptocurrencies that demonstrated decent gains throughout December and January in the likes of Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin portrayed the largest losses on the day.
As early as January 7, traders including The Crypto Dog suggested that the technical indicators of ETH suggest a short-term downward movement.
Maybe I’m just seeing what I want to see, but this chart is screaming to me ‘last chance to short ETH.’ It makes sense to see some bounce here, given this level on the ratio, so I hesitate to say this is a great entry. …and of course, I’m just thinking out loud, not trying to urge anyone to FOMO into a trade. I shorted ETH at $156 and sitting relatively comfy here.
Although both major crypto assets and small market cap tokens showed signs of short-term recovery in the last two months, several analysts suggested that without a breakout above key resistance levels, it is difficult to declare the establishment of a proper bottom in the cryptocurrency market.
In late December, Mark Dow, a trader who shorted Bitcoin (BTC) from its all-time high at $19,500 all the way down to $3,500, said that if Bitcoin fails to recover beyond $6,000 in the short-term, the market is in trouble.
“Still a beautiful chart. If bitcoin can’t bounce to at least $5k – $6k soon, it’s a really bad sign for the cyberbulls. And if it breaks down thru the yellow line at any point, even the HODLers need to GTFO,” Dow said at the time.
Trend Hasn’t Changed
Essentially, Dow suggested that the trend in the cryptocurrency market has not changed and crypto winter is still in full effect.
If cryptocurrencies continue to demonstrate a high level of volatility in a low price range, at least in the foreseeable future, a major trend reversal is highly unlikely.
Click here for a real-time bitcoin price chart or here to review our latest crypto market coverage.
Featured Image from Shutterstock. Charts from TradingView.
Bitcoin Is Infantile, But It’s Revolutionary Nonetheless
Jeff Berwick, the so-called Dollar Vigilante (a skeptic of the U.S. fiat system), recently sat down with BlockTV, an up-and-coming crypto-centric media outlet, to discuss his optimistic outlook on Bitcoin (BTC). It should come as no surprise that Berwick was bullish on decentralized cryptocurrencies, especially considering his seeming distaste for government-issued currency, but his comments held credence nonetheless.
In a shortened version of BlockTV’s interview, Berwick first noted that once Bitcoin, long touted as a way for consumers to “be their own bank,” is well-known as a non-intermediated currency (rather than an asset for criminals), it will likely gain revolutionary-level traction. He added that the fact that you can essentially store BTC (private keys) in your head, even without governmental or bank control, may only add to this paradigm shift. Berwick explained:
Once even some people understand [Bitcoin’s potential], I couldn’t even possibly imagine where this movement could go.
However, the fiat skeptic claimed that at its core, cryptocurrencies are still in a quite infantile state, in spite of the recent ten year anniversary of Bitcoin’s first block. Keeping this in mind, Berwick noted that while many consumers have cast cryptocurrencies off, especially following the boom and bust cycle of 2017/2018, that was likely just a small blip in the grand scheme of things.
The decentralist isn’t the only industry insider to believe that BTC at $20,000 was just the start of something great. Per previous reports from Ethereum World News, Angel Versetti, the CEO of blockchain startup Ambrosus, noted that the real cryptocurrency bubble is when this asset class reaches an aggregate valuation of $15 trillion to $20 trillion.
Berwick, like Versetti, hinted at the sentiment that this technological development is game-changing, and is still undervalued from a long-term perspective. The BlockTV interviewee, who claims that he will be able to survive and thrive “during and after the Dollar collapse,” noted that “nothing can stop a good idea.” Even more so for an idea that keeps “currency out of the hands of governments and central banks.”
And this idea has already started to catch on. Per our previous reports, TIME Magazine lauded cryptocurrencies, BTC specifically, as a way to allow ‘average Joes to get out of the vises imposed by authoritarianism-centric entities.
Berwick noted that he expects for this thematic development to continue in the future, especially as governments continue to struggle to keep their jurisdictions in-check.
Institutional Money To Flow Into Crypto
Dollar Vigilante went on to touch on his short-term forecasts for this market, which has been beaten to hell and back in recent months. Berwick noted that while he cannot be 100% sure of about predicting this industry’s developments for 2019, he expects that prices have hit (or are nearing) the bottom by and large.
Yet, in spite of his bottom call, he noted that cryptocurrencies could remain in a lull until 2019’s end, echoing analysis done by other analysts, including Filb Filb and Murad Mahmudov. However, Berwick noted that with the arrival of institutional money (which he isn’t necessarily a fan of), via platforms like Bakkt, a potential Bitcoin ETF, and Nasdaq’s proposed futures, will “change the game completely.” He explained that as soon as institutional money starts flowing, cryptocurrencies prices will explode en bloc, as there are presumed trillions waiting on the sidelines.
He added that with equity markets on the verge of “the biggest collapse ever,” as predicted by a number of decentralists, cryptocurrencies will likely outperform.
Researchers from crypto exchange Gate.io report they have confirmed that a 51 percent attack successfully occurred on the Ethereum Classic (ETC) blockchain. The company published an analysis of their findings Jan. 8.
Gate.io Research has published its analysis of ETC transactions on its platform during the alleged attack, claiming it has detected seven rollback transactions — four of which were reportedly conducted by the attacker, transferring a total of 54,200 ETC in total (worth $271,500 at press time).
Gate.io reports that the incident occurred over a period of 4 hours between 0:40 and 4:20 Jan.7, 2019 UTC, during which the transactions were normally confirmed on the blockchain and then subsequently invalidated after the malign network rollback. After providing details of three ETC addresses purportedly used by the attacker, Gate.io continues to explain:
“Gate.io’s censor successfully blocked [the] attacker’s transactions at the beginning and submitted them to [a] manual exam. Unfortunately, during the 51% attack, all the transactions looked valid and confirmed well on the blockchain. The examiner passed the transactions. It caused about 40k ETC loss due to this attack.”
Gate.io states it will compensate its users’ losses, stating “Gate.io will take all the loss for the users.” The exchange also advises other crypto trading platforms to block transactions stemming from the identified suspect addresses. The exchange also states it has raised its ETC transaction confirmation number to 500 and launched a more robust 51 percent detection security mechanism.
Today, Jan. 9, Chinese blockchain security firm Slow Mist also published a report also confirming a 51 percent attack and containing and the same rollback transactions reported by Gate.io.
As previously reported, several major crypto exchanges — United States-based Coinbase and Japanese exchanges bitFlyer and Coincheck — have have all temporarily suspended withdrawals and deposits of ETC as early as Jan. 5. The exchanges all reportedly moved to respond to unusual hashpower activity indicating a potential 51 percent attack, as well as Coinbase’s own findings of double spending and “chain reorganizations.”
The ETC dev team initially responded by refuting that a 51 percent attack had taken place, stating that double spends had not been detected. At the time, they claimed that majority control over the network’s hashrate was “most likely selfish mining,” attributable to the testing of new 1,400/Mh ethash machines by application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) manufacturer Linzhi.
As reported, a 51 percent attack can occur on blockchains that use a proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm, and essentially entails a user or group seizing control of the majority of mining power to monopolize control over the network. This, in particular, can allow the threat actor to reverse transactions with the view to double spend — by transacting crypto for fiat currency, and then rolling back the deed to recuperate the spent crypto, while pocketing the fiat.
While the theoretical risk of majority attacks exists, practically seizing control of a large hashrate blockchain is widely considered to be prohibitively expensive at present. The PoW-based Bitcoin blockchain has not to date been compromised by a hijack of the network’s hashrate, but some developers have nonetheless made the case for investigating potential PoW change.
This post credited to Cointelegraph. Image source: Coincentral
Ethereum, TRON, and Iota have outperformed most other major cryptocurrencies by the 30-day Sharpe ratio, a measure developed by Nobel laureate William F. Sharpeto evaluate the return of an investment relative to its risk. Meanwhile, Bitcoin’s performance was dismal.
Within the last 30 days, the market has experienced a robust recovery after bottoming out in December. One indicator, the Sharpe ratio, calculates the performance of an investment adjusted for the risk-free interest rate per unit of volatility.
To calculate the Sharpe ratio, first, the risk-free rate is typically determined using U.S. Treasury Bills as a zero-risk benchmark. Then, over a given period of time, the rate of return of an investment is calculated. The risk-free rate is subtracted from the rate of return of the investment to produce the amount of excess return. Finally, the excess return is divided by the standard deviation (volatility) to produce the Sharpe ratio.
(Average Cryptocurrency Return – Risk-Free Rate) / Cryptocurrency Standard Deviation
The greater the returns over the risk-free return, the higher the Sharpe ratio. More consistent returns over time also produce a higher Sharpe ratio. Meanwhile, a negative ratio indicates that the return on investment was lower than the risk-free interest rate in a given period.
For comparison, U.S. Treasury Bills have a Sharpe ratio of zero. The S&P 500, an index of stocks from the largest 500 U.S. companies, had a rolling 12-month Sharpe ratio of approximately 1.0 over the last 25 years.
Understandably, cryptocurrency has a very low—and sometimes even negative—Sharpe ratio because of its extreme volatility. The chart below shows the lifetime volatility of bitcoin’s daily rate of return relative to the S&P 500:
The chart emphasizes the extreme levels of volatility experienced by bitcoin, even when compared to a moderately volatile index, such as the S&P 500.
Ethereum and Iota generated Sharpe ratios of 0.124 and 0.127, respectively. TRON lead the way with a ratio of 0.169. Over the last month, Bitcoin had a dismal ratio of -0.0722, indicating that U.S. Treasury Bills outperformed the cryptocurrency in the last 30 days. These figures have little to no bearing on how the cryptocurrencies in question will perform in the following months.
Whether the Sharpe ratio has any relevance for evaluating the merits of a cryptocurrency is another matter entirely. The new asset class is new enough and volatile enough that the ratio may not provide any useful information—but we’ll let the analysts in our audience make the final decision.
This post credited to cryptoslate Image source: Cryptoslate
Following a period of choppy trading in the crypto markets, it now appears that the bulls have at least temporarily gained the upper hand over bears, causing multiple altcoins to surge. Ethereum is one altcoin that is performing quite well today, primarily because of its upcoming Constantinople fork.
Although today’s positive price action in the altcoin markets is certainly a welcome development, Bitcoin has still been unable to break above $4,000, which could mean that further losses are right around the corner.
Ethereum Price Action Linked to Constantinople Fork
Although Ethereum isn’t the best performing altcoin today, it is currently trading up just under 5% and is nearing $160. Ethereum’s surge can be largely attributed to its upcoming Constantinople fork event, which is expected to occur sometime around January 16th.
This event can be largely viewed as a maintenance and optimization upgrade event and is expected to be bullish for Ethereum’s price.
Alex Krüger, a notable economist who focuses a significant amount of his attention on cryptocurrencies, spoke about the event on Twitter late last month, saying that its reduction of block rewards will in turn reduce the new ETH supply, which will be good for ETH’s price.
“Ethereum’s Constantinople fork is coming on block 7080000, around January 16, 2019. Constantinople will reduce the block rewards from 3 to 2, decreasing new $ETH supply accordingly… On the long run, this is decidedly bullish,” Krüger explained.
Empirically, this event has already been positive for Ethereum’s price, which has surged from one-month lows of $83 to highs of $160. At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading up just under 5% at its current price of $156.8.
Analyst: Bitcoin Still Bearish on the Monthly
Bitcoin is currently trading up 1.9% at its current price of $3,870 but has not been able to break above the resistance that exists in the $3,900 region.
In a recent tweet, crypto analyst DonAlt told his nearly 80k followers that Bitcoin is still bearish on a monthly time frame, and that it needs to break above $4,500 in order for it to attempt a bullish recovery.
“Monthly: Still bearish, needs to break above 4500~ to even attempt a bullish recovery,” he said.
He further added that over a weekly timeframe, Bitcoin is showing growing bullish momentum as it continues pushing towards its resistance levels that exist near its current price. DonAlt concluded that Bitcoin needs to close above $4,300 this week in order for him to turn bullish.
“Weekly: Rejected by weekly resistance but finally showing some bull momentum. I’d like to see us start closing above 4300~ before turning bullish,” DonAlt explained.
This post credited to News BTC Image source: Shuttershock
Ethereum has climbed some 80% over the past month, adding a further 12% rise over the last 24 hours, as an upcoming so-called hard fork pushes up demand for ethereum’s tradable token ether.
Bitcoin has added some 4% over the last 24 hours, while ripple, a common name for the XRP tradable token, has climbed 3%. Ripple last year overtook ethereum as the world’s second largest cryptocurrency on the back of surging interest from the established financial services sector but has failed to hold on to those gains.
The hard fork, which usually means a cryptocurrency splits in two, will see ethereum miner rewards fall from three ether to two and decrease the block time, making the network faster. The update is set for January 16 and is thought to be a key component of ethereum’s transition from using a proof of work protocol to proof of stake.
Cryptocurrency forks do not always mean their value rises, however.
Bitcoin forks have previously led to minor drops in the bitcoin price in the short term. When bitcoin cash forked from the bitcoin network in July 2017, bitcoin dropped some 4%—though bitcoin had risen strongly in the months leading up to the fork and continued to do so in following months before peaking in December 2017.
There Are 300 College Promise Programs In 44 States And More To Come In 2019
Ethereum has rallied this month after falling steadily throughout most of 2018.COINDESK
The ethereum price has lost some 80% from its peak 12 months ago, as many of the digital tokens built on the ethereum network failed to hold their value. However, ethereum co-creator Joe Lubin called the “cryptobottom of 2018” in mid-December, saying it was “marked by an epic amount of fear, uncertainty, and doubt from our friends in the 4th and crypto-5th estates.”
Last month, closely followed economist and a cryptocurrency trader Alex Krüger tweeted he expected the reaction to the upcoming ethereum hard fork would be “bullish.”
“Once mining is past the initial (painful) adjustment period, less mining supply mined by fewer miners will be decidedly bullish,” Krüger wrote.
Meanwhile, bitcoin and Ripple’s XRP have also climbed over so far this week, kicking off 2019 with a rise and greeting many traders and investors returning to work today after the holidays with a sea of green.
Traders returning to work today have reason to be cheerful.COINMARKETCAP
Many will be hoping this positive start to 2019 will continue for the rest of the year after 2018 ended in what’s been called Crypto Winter, due to its debilitating effect on the market and crypto investment and development.
Following a several day period of relative stability in the cryptocurrency markets, Bitcoin has now risen nearly 4%, which is leading the overall crypto markets to surge. Today’s positive price move is being led by Ethereum, which is currently trading up well over 10%.
Today’s move marks the first market surge of 2019, although Bitcoin faces historical resistance around $4,000 which may prove to be a difficult level to break through.
Crypto Markets Add $7 Billion From Daily Lows
Today’s price surge has led the crypto markets to add over $7 billion to their aggregated market capitalization, which has risen from daily lows of $125 million to its current levels of nearly $133 billion.
Bitcoin is naturally leading the direction of the market and is currently trading up 4.4% at its current price of $3,900. This has been a relatively volatile week for Bitcoin’s price, which fell to lows of $3,600 before rising to highs of nearly $4,000.
During its last price rise, Bitcoin appeared to treat $4,000 as a level of resistance, as its price was swiftly pushed downwards after touching this level. More time is required to see if Bitcoin will be able to maintain its current upwards momentum and break above $4,000 during its current price surge.
Altcoins Surge, Ethereum Leads the Way
Bitcoin’s price rise has allowed the altcoin markets to see some decent gains, with Ethereum and EOS being today’s best performing cryptocurrencies so far.
At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading up 13% at its current price of $152. Ethereum is nearing its one-month highs of $156, which may act as a level of resistance. Ethereum is trading up 83% from its monthly lows of $83.
Ethereum’s massive price rise over the past month is the likely result of two primary factors, consisting of being in oversold territory earlier this month, and its upcoming Constantinople fork, which will reduce its block rewards and in turn decrease the new Ethereum supply.
Alex Krüger, an economist who focuses primarily on cryptocurrencies, linked Ethereum’s performance directly to this event, saying in a recent tweet that the supply reduction will be a bullish event.
“Notable outperformance of $ETH over $BTC in the last few weeks. There’s a reason for it: the upcoming fork / supply reduction. Another BAKKT delay adds to it,” he said.
In the past, Krüger has spoken bullishly about the Constantinople fork, which is set to occur around January 16th of this year, saying:
“Ethereum’s Constantinople fork is coming on block 7080000, around January 16, 2019. Constantinople will reduce the block rewards from 3 to 2, decreasing new $ETH supply accordingly… On the long run, this is decidedly bullish.”
Ethereum has now retaken the number two spot by market capitalization from XRP.
XRP is slightly outperforming Bitcoin and is trading up nearly 6% at its current price of $0.374.
EOS is also having a good day and is trading up over 10% at its current price of $2.84.
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