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Cryptocurrencies closing the week in the green with Bitcoin shorts at all-time low

Aug 31, 2018

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Top 5 Cryptocurrencies sorted by 7 Day Price Percent Change

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Name Ticker Price 1H %Chg 24H %Chg 7D %Chg Market Cap Volume
IOTA MIOTA USD$0.72 0.67% 4.74% 40.0% USD$1,993,434,889 USD$62,191,753
Dash DASH USD$193.49 0.19% 7.84% 36.49% USD$1,603,743,491 USD$344,120,497
EOS EOS USD$6.41 0.5% 7.9% 29.0% USD$5,805,599,868 USD$904,575,407
Monero XMR USD$113.7 2.13% 16.15% 23.56% USD$1,860,776,590 USD$46,327,781
TRON TRX USD$0.03 1.28% 5.97% 19.34% USD$1,659,913,277 USD$108,181,867

Developments in Financial Services

  • Blockchain patents are meaningless according to Michael Wuehler, a former VP at Bank of America.  According to Wuehler, Bank of America’s patent applications don’t mean much and serve to build the perception that the bank is active in the space. 
  • CBOE Global Markets will support Ethereum futures by year-end according to Business Insider.  As per the report, CBOE management is waiting on the CFTC to give it the OK before announcing the project.   
  • Financial experts are suggesting Bitcoin (and/or other digital currencies) will one day make credit cards obsolete.  High credit card fees make will eventually increase consumer demand for the ability to make purchases with Bitcoin/digital currencies and will eventually lead to adoption by merchants.    
  • The Japanese New Energy & Industrial Technology Development Organization is currently developing a blockchain-based data sharing system for trade (according to Cointelegraph Japan). The initiative is being pushed by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).  The project, “Development of Infrastructures for Creating New Industrial Models Taking Advantage of IoT” hopes to develop an infrastructure system that will digitize and enhance the process of logistics data sharing between trade entities, such as shipping companies, brokerage operators, port authorities, banks, and insurance companies.  
  • JP Morgan CIO Lori Beer believes blockchain technology will replace the majority of existing technology today.  Beer made these observations at a press conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina.    
  • Lloyd’s of London, the UK insurance giant, has begun offering insurance against the theft of cryptocurrencies.  Lloyd’s is offering coverage to Kingdom Trust, a qualified custodian of some 30 cryptocurrencies and tokens 
  • Morgan Creek Digital, an affiliate of Morgan Creek Capital, launched a new Digital Asset Index fund in partnership with Bitwise Asset Management.  The fund targets accredited investors, endowments, pensions and other institution investors with a strategy focus that excludes pre-mined cryptocurrencies like Ripple and Stellar. 
  • The Netcents crypto credit will help make it easier for cryptocurrecny adopters to more easily spend/user their digital currency.  Netcents is a Canada-based payments processing company and has formally announced it is launching its digital currency credit services in the Canadian marketsplace in C4Q2018 and hopes to launch in Europe in C1H2019.  
  • PwC has announced a digital skills program, Digital Accelerators, to improve the expertise of employees on new tech like blockchain.  
  • The World Bank – Common Wealth Bank of Australia blockchain-backed bond has attracted USD$110mm in funds, which has exceeded initial expectations. The transaction expects to close tomorrow, Tuesday August 28th.   
  • Yahoo Finance has integrated Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin trading its online platform.  Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic and EOS continue to offer statistics with no buying options. 

Regulatory Environment

  • Baidu, the Chinese search engine giant, is moving to block cryptocurrency-related content on its reddit competitor, Baidu Tieba, according to China Times.    
  • The Bank of Israel is considering launching a crypto-shekel coin with the hopes of lowering the number of cash transactions.   
  • The California Legislature has finalized a blockchain working group to examine the potential benefits of blockchain in the state.  The bill, California bill 2658, now directs the Secretary of the Government Operations Agency to create a working group to study blockchain technology.
  • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) won a court order that permits the regulator to ban a crypto trading firm accused of committing fraud. The firm under question, NY-based Cabbage Tech Corp, is accused of fraud and misappropriation in connection with purchases and trading of Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC).  
  • The Jerusalem Post published an investigation about the possibility of Israel adopting a state-back digital currency (similar to Venezuela).  Israel’s Finance Ministry and Central Bank are reportedly looking into the possibility of a digital shekel. 
  • Mati Greenspan, CEO of UK-based eToro, believes the SEC decision to reject the recent applications for a Bitcoin ETF last week suggests that the application will remain rejected independent of the current review of those decisions.    
  • The People’s Bank of China has created the China National Internet Finance Association (NIFA), a self-regulatory organization (SRO) to permit the public to report fraud and illegal activities associated with blockchain, cryptocurrencies and ICOs. 
  • Regulators in Iran are expected to end their blanket ban (instituted in April) on cryptocurrencies in the country in the coming weeks.    
  • The Reserve Bank of India is creating a new unit to research and study regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrencies as well as the application of artificial intelligence to monetary policy.    
  • SDS, a subsidiary of South Korea tech conglomerate Samsung, has developed a blockchain-based certification platform for South Korean banks.  The platform, BankSign, is looking to streamline the verification process to use different mobile systems across different banks. 
  • CBOE Global Markets will support Ethereum futures by year-end according to Business Insider.  As per the report, CBOE management is waiting on the CFTC to give it the OK before announcing the project.  
  • Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ordered local banks to adopt the Venzuela-backed Petro digital currency. 

General News

  • According to data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) on Friday, shorts in Bitcoin futures are at a record low – dropping to 1,266 contracts from 1,945 contracts almost 3-months ago.  
  • Ant Financial, the payments affiliate of Alibaba, is launching a blockchain-as-a-service platform to help the municipal government of the Chinese city of Wuchang to track the production process of rice. The goal is to create a public distributed ledger that will record unique information for each package so that fake products can be easily identified.   
  • Atlas, the Brazilian Crypto investment platformed, was hacked with 264k users affected.  At the moment, there are 14,500 records of leaked data that detail users’ balances on the platform, their email addresses, names, and phone numbers. The leaked data shows there are 5,813 BTC (about $39 million) deposited on the platform.  
  • Bitcoin’s hashrate, a measure of the computing power of the Bitcoin network, reached 62 quintillion hashes per second.  The increase in Bitcoin’s hashrate translates to a 40% gain for the month of August -- a 35% gain over the last two days alone. 
  • Blockchain start-up, Carverr, is helping users store cryptocurrency passwords in a vial of DNA.   There are an estimated 4 million bitcoins now considered lost forever as result of lost passwords and addresses.  Converting Bitcoin passwords to strong DNA is easier than expected and simply requires a translation of the zeroes and ones of binary strings into the four letters which make up DNA. Theoretically, DNA strands can be printed out to almost any length as required -- 215 petabytes of information can be fit into just one gram of synthetic DNA.  In the event a vial of DNA is stolen, the thieves have to access to the system used to convert between DNA and binary. In addition, Carverr also is offering users an encrypted version of their private key for added security.  
  • Coinbase, the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange, is using electromagnetic signal block tents to protect cold storage wallets holding cryptocurrencies.  According to Wired, who published the article, Coinbase has more than 20 million accounts and is protecting billions of dollars of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other Altcoins.    
  • Cryptocurrency researcher and well-known crypto investor Willy Woo believes the current price correction in Bitcoin (2018 YTD return) will not turn out to be like 2014. In comparison to 2014, where the price pressure on Bitcoin was related to the bankruptcy of the cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox, there has been growing institutional investor interest in cryptocurrency in 2018...even with the current price weakness. Interesting fact, in 2014, trading on Mt. Gox represented 90% of global volume in Bitcoin.  
  • Cryptocurrency miners are taking advantage of inexpensive electricity costs to set up shop in Fukui, Japan and small towns in the US.  Acutely aware of their loud rigs, cryptocurrency mining companies are moving their operations to rural regions of the US.  As an example, Wenatchee, Washington is now home to large sets of computer servers that are busy mining cryptocurrencies.  
  • Fujitsu, the Japanese ICT conglomerate, is launching an IOTA-based proof of concept (PoC) audit trail processes.  The company hopes to use the IOTA protocol across industrial production environments and supply chains with the goal of improving transparency, data trust and data security.  
  • Fundstrat co-founder and lead strategist Tom Lee believes the increasing correlation between Bitcoin and emerging markets suggests we could see an “explosive“ price breakout.  Lee’s analysis focuses on the MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (ticker: EEM) and suggests a rally in EEM will support a rally in Bitcoin.  
  • The EOS project has raised close to USD$200mm to date but is still struggling to institute a voting system to properly allocate those funds. The governance structure, which was to be based on a referendum system, still needs to be properly implemented.  
  • Ethereum miners are gearing up a hard-fork in October, dubbed ‘Constantinople’.  The hard-fork would require developers to implement system-wide software upgrades and force miners to follow a new set of rules that would effectively slow the crypto’s inflation rate. Complicating matters, if the hard-fork is not implement by early 2019, a ‘difficulty bomb’ built into Ethereum’s code would enact, making it near impossible to mine Ethereum rendering the crypto useless.  
  • Huobi, the cryptocurrency exchange based in Singapore, has announced that Randi Zuckerberg, Mark Zuckerberg’s sister, has joined its Chain Expert Advisory Committee.  Zuckerberg, a serial entrepreneur, is the CEO of Zuckerberg Media, a NY content creation firm. The committee’s purpose is to serve as a think tank for the digital asset trading platform.  
  • ICO Advisory firm, Satis Group, published a detailed report today indicating a belief that Bitcoin’s price could jump to over USD$96,000 in the next five years. The report is broken down into a five-part analysis and attempts to predict different crypto prices based solely on the under-lying asset and excludes speculation.   
  • Icon and WanChain have rallied by more than 23% each over the past 24 hours, and are the two best performing cryptos from the weekend.  
  • Litecoin founder, Charlie Lee, during an interview with the Fast Money team on CNBX argues that the current prices levels suggest it is time for new investors to dollar average into cryptocurrencies.  Lee sees prices moving higher from these price levels though he didn’t want to give a timetable for those moves.  
  • Origin is releasing a blockchain project that will be a decentralized messaging app built on the Ethereum network.  The technology works by utilizing user Ethereum addresses as a public ID for sending and receiving text messages, while the content itself is encrypted via users' private keys.   
  • Project Enigma, an incubated product of MIT’s Media Lab, has received interest from eight blockchain companies in moving into the early-testing phase of their ‘secret contract’ technology. Secret contracts are a form of smart contracts that would allow users to perform blockchain transactions while remaining completely private.   
  • The recently launched Zeroedge is a one of kind online gambling platform that permits users a fair play platform. Visitors are asked to use the native Zerocoin token when playing. Traditional casinos generally host games with a house edge of 1-10%, giving the platforms a higher advantage of winning. While on these platforms, even if it seems like they are winning, the gamblers will still end up losing. Zeroedge has eliminated this system of house edge by introducing revolutionary 0% house edge games, for fair play. This takes away the winning power of traditional casinos, and gives it back to the players. 
  • Reddit co-founder Alex Ohanian continues to be optimistic about the potential for cryptocurrencies despite the recent volatility in Bitcoin. Ohanian has co-founded a venture capital firm that is looking to invest in blockchain-related projects.  
  • Renewable energy company Soluna is looking to build a 900 mW 37,000 acre wind-farm in Morocco with the expectations that cryptocurrency mining firms will begin to focus on shrinking their global carbon footprint.    
  • Russian air carrier S7 airlines is partnering with Gazprom Neft, the Russian state-owned oil giant, to use blockchain smart contracts for aircraft fueling at the company.  S7 hopes to use the blockchain technology to increase efficiency of fuel deliveries and payments as well as improving the refueling process at airports.  
  • The Russian Federal Financial Monitoring Service has awarded a contract to the Institute for Information Security and Analysis (SPI) to build an analytical tool to track crypto transactions. The contract, worth about $2.9 million, will require SPI to build a tool that tracks digital wallet users and their name, bank account, credit card, and cellphone number.  
  • A survey by Coinbase finds 18% of US college students own cryptocurrencies.  The survey was conducted nationwide and included 675 students.  Furthermore, the survey found that 42% of the top 50 universities have at least once class on either cryptocurrencies and/or blockchain technology.  Interest in cryptocurrencies isn’t limited to computer science students: 34% of computer science and engineering majors surveyed indicated interest while 47% of social science majors expressed interest digital currencies.   
  • A survey by Deloitte found that 40% of executives from telecom, media and technology companies plan to invest in blockchain research.  The survey covered 1,053 executives across 7 countries – 180 were from TMT firms.  According to the results, 59% of the executives surveyed believe blockchain technology will disrupt their specific industries while 29% have already joined blockchain consortiums.   
  • A Trend Micro report titled “Unseen Threats, Imminent Losses” suggests cryptojacking is up 1,000% in the first 6-months of CY2018. Cryptojacking refers to the unauthorized control of computer resources to mine cryptocurrencies.  According to the report, reported instances of cryptojacking doubled in CY2017. 

*Data in Price Return and Updated Real-Time (with a delay), Source: StockDio

Sources:

https://www.coindesk.com/search-giant-baidu-to-censor-crypto-discussions-on-its-forum-business/ 
https://www.coindesk.com/upside-calling-bearish-bets-on-bitcoin-futures-hit-record-low/ 
https://cointelegraph.com/news/fundstrats-tom-lee-correlation-between-btc-and-emerging-markets-is-sign-of-upcoming-trend-reversal 
https://cointelegraph.com/news/new-york-district-judge-rules-that-cftc-can-permanently-ban-crypto-firm 
https://www.coindesk.com/with-nearly-200-million-on-the-line-eos-is-building-a-voting-system/ 
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