Stellar Lumens (XLM) Forum with for newcomers and contributor's rewarded Check here

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Practically every platform that emerges these days claims to have come up with a new and unique consensus model that solves all the problems of its predecessors. Undeniably, proof-of-work (PoW) has issues, including speed and scalability, which were known since the beginning of Bitcoin. The extreme energy consumption is a problem that emerged later, as mining became a more lucrative proposition.

Proof-of-stake (PoS) emerged as an elegant solution that could address some of these challenges. When combined with other innovations such as a multi-chain architecture and transaction pruning, pretty much all of the challenges of a linear PoW blockchain can be overcome. 

PoS Attacks – Theoretical, But Not Practical 

The major arguments that people use against PoS are based on theoretical scenarios that have never come to fruition on any PoS blockchain. Nxt was among the first PoS blockchain, and in the 6.5 years it has been in operation, nobody has ever executed a successful nothing-at-stake attack

There are two reasons for this. Firstly, any would-be attacker would need to successfully override the underlying software, which force-selects the best fork based on the stake invested. 

Secondly, even if this could be overridden, the attacker would need to control over 50% of the network tokens. Only then would they stand a good enough chance of being picked to forge the next block for long enough to execute a double-spend successfully. 

Similar software-based controls can be put in place against long-range attacks. For example, creating a checkpoint every x blocks can reconcile any fork against the current state of the blockchain and reject it if it contains discrepancies. 

In the case of either a nothing-at-stake attack or a long-range attack, the risk is roughly the same as Bitcoin facing a 51% attack. While it’s not an impossibility, it’s so difficult, or expensive, or both, that it’s all but impossible. 

This practical reality means that the penalties for double-voting or wrong voting introduced by models like Ethereum’s Casper are unnecessary. In fact, they may only serve to alienate stakers who are being penalized for making a simple mistake by voting on the wrong fork. 

So, if we’ve proved that proof of stake works, why is everyone still trying to “fix” consensus? Furthermore, many of the attempts to construct elaborate governance models around the simplicity of a working PoS are actually introducing more problems. 

Too Much Complexity

Among the later iterations of PoS are delegated proof-of-stake (dPoS,) used by EOS, Cardano’s slot elections, or the “liquid” proof-of-stake deployed by Tezos. In general, these involve token holders casting votes or delegating their voting rights to others. 

Most of these iterations do little more than introduce additional complexity for network stakeholders. Even worse, they open up a whole raft of issues that wouldn’t occur in a traditional centralized model. 

For example, EOS has come under fire for being too centralized, with allegations of vote-buying and vote-trading among the larger token holders. This was happening within months of the EOS mainnet launch. A governance model that became so easily corrupted can hardly claim to be superior to one used by blockchains that have been running for years without incident. 

Furthermore, these complicated governance constructs create a risk of bugs. The more programming needed for the implementation, the bigger the risk that the code will have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious actors. 

The Dangers Of Staking Pools

The complexities involved in these newer models have led to a proliferation of staking pools. These pools supposedly exist to make it easier for users to navigate the staking process and encourage participation. 

However, the other side of the argument is that staking pools are an issue waiting to happen. In the blockchain space, we’ve already seen every conceivable type of scam covering everything from fake ICOs to exchange hacks to Ponzi schemes. How long is it going to be before some users find they aren’t going to get their fair share of profits from a staking pool? Even the most honest actors operating a staking pool will want to keep a portion of profits for themselves. 

Staking pools also further compound the issue of centralization already introduced by the leader election model. If all token holders are participating via staking pools because it’s easier and more passive, then many are unlikely to take advantage of their voting rights. Active stakers care about the future of the network, beyond just taking a share of profits. 

Finally, the very existence of staking pools is a tacit admission that voter-based staking models are too complicated. After all, if the average user can easily navigate the staking process, why would they want or need to participate in a staking pool that’s likely to erode their profits and voting rights? 

If It Ain’t Broke

The human “complexity bias” is a real psychological phenomenon. When presented with two choices, we naturally veer towards the most complicated one. This is evident when we consider the tendency within the blockchain community to reject a straightforward PoS solution in favor of a more convoluted construct. 

But in the context of blockchain, giving in to this tendency could end up actively damaging adoption. If the technology is to survive in the long term, we should be removing barriers. That means keeping it simple and not fixing what isn’t broken. 

by  Lior Yaffe

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Cannabis Buzz Harshed by Regulations, Cash Shortage While Cryptocurrency Is Ready to Light Up

Recent reports show that major marijuana companies are running out of money, and businesses in Canada are especially in danger of becoming illiquid. Major producers in the weed-friendly nation have just over 6 months of cash on hand, according to the information, and comparable companies in the U.S. just over one year of liquidity. In the U.S. the falling cannabis stocks and sluggish market present an even greater threat, since companies cannot file bankruptcy as the plant is still illegal under federal law. All this seems to beg the question: where is crypto in these trying times?

Businesses Running Out of Weed Money, Black Market Still Thriving

The recent wave of cannabis legalization across the United States and Canada brought with it a surge in cannabis company stock prices and high hopes of big money and a thriving industry. Some also speculated legalization would curtail black market spending. The outcome however, has been a hard comedown for many in the sector, where only the biggest players able to pay for necessary compliance measures, overhead and other fees can compete and secure funding.

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Many companies have not been able to keep up with demand or establish locations convenient to their customers due to laws and regulations. As BBC News Toronto’s Robin Levinson-King reported in December:

Red tape and a cap on the number of cannabis retail outlets have made rollout slow. Retail licenses were awarded by lottery, and the province held the number of licenses at 24, to serve a population of 14.5m.

recent article from Bloomberg, citing a report on liquidity in the industry, claims the most endangered company is Canada’s Aurora Cannabis Inc., with only 2.3 months of cash remaining. A previous report from the same outlet shows cannabis stocks tumbling since a peak in spring 2019, resulting in a scramble by companies to take cover from incoming calls on their debts.

Meanwhile, the black market is able to provide enough product, locations, and customized service to result in the majority of Canadians still preferring to use illegal cannabis.

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As of December, Statistics Canada maintains that about 75% of users still use illegal marijuana, according to Levinson-King’s report. This is no surprise, really, given the inefficient nature of government central planning, but even with these dreary numbers and regulatory challenges, it seems that major cannabis companies — as well as alternative markets — could benefit from greater integration of crypto solutions. With bankruptcy proceedings for some groups already underway, one wonders what these companies have to lose by trying to target the crypto segment.

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The Canna-Market Has Spoken, Prefers Decentralized Solutions

Aside from the obvious utility of crypto for purchasing marijuana on darknet marketplaces, the bitcoin and cannabis spaces have great potential synergy even above ground, in legally compliant situations. As reported back in September, a Berkeley City council member purchased cannabis with bitcoin cash at a local dispensary, and key benefits of crypto were discussed at the demonstration.

Assets like BCH can provide vendors a way to save on transaction fees, when customers pay with these assets in lieu of credit cards and other e-payment systems. Cryptocurrencies also help with access to banking services not provided by many traditional banks, pressured by legal restrictions to avoid businesses in the cannabis industry. With mounting bankruptcy cases, lack of banking services, and remarkable inability to meet customer demand, it seems high time lawmakers and regulators fired up a bowl of their own, perhaps, and reconsidered.

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Not only do the crypto and cannabis communities share a significant cultural overlap, but in Canada and the U.S. most consumers have already voted with their money to support alternative markets, as they provide better service. 

Decentralized money such as bitcoin — like decentralized cannabis dealers — provides convenience and customization of the purchase process. Should governments want to get in on this cash cow, acceptance of crypto and a relinquishing of neurotic central planning of the industry seems to be a must.

by Graham Smith

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Stellar cryptocurrency is popularly known for its hasty movement. However, the coin was spotted pacing itself in the last 30-days. In the last ten days of January, XLM coin experienced a tight hold of around $0.062. The pressure lightened at the beginning of February. The coin began improvement since then and even it marked the 30-days high around $0.0872. 
The same is also taken as 90-days high. The future of the XLM coin would be flourishing. The traders can dig-in with a high prospect.

Stellar Price Analysis

XLM coin started at $0.06118 on January 19, and then, the price escalated to $0.0660 by 8.02%. The currency dropped to $0.0574 by 13.54% on the same day. Later, the Stellar price improved to $0.0645 by 12% hike in the next day. After this hike, the coin price dropped to $0.0552 on January 24. From this low, XLM price started improvement and reached to 0.0625 in the next 5 days. The coin dribbled to $0.0605 but recovered again and escalated to $0.0658.

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The first four days of February were spotted under moderate pressure. However, the Stellar price recovered and touched $0.0733 from $0.0620. After reaching this high, the currency managed to remain at the same level for a while and then dropped to $0.0692. From February 11, the XLM coin price escalated to $0.0873 by a massive hike of 26.09%. The price was seen hovering around $0.0854 from February 12 to 15. Thereafter, Stellar coin was spotted, marking a steep fall and reached $0.0680. Recently, the price recovered and touched $0.0714. In these 30 days, XLM coin marked a 17% progression in the price. At the time of writing this analysis, the Stellar currency was showing upside momentum. The price might be seen surging to the immediate resistance at $0.075 in the coming hours.

Resistance & Support Levels

R1: $0.07527, R2: $0.07869 and R3: $0.08235

S1: $0.06819, S2: $0.06453 and S3: $0.06111

by Lili Chuang

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As we come into a new decade, we have seen many things that have excited the community including what many believe to be a new Bull Run. What better way to celebrate this than the release of the first official Crypto Anthem, dedicated to the crypto community as a whole. Referencing well over 50 projects this song breaks the record for the most projects ever mentioned in a single professional song. It aims to bring the community together and break down barriers put up by certain individuals and projects, creating a more uplifting and positive environment.

The Need for Crypto Anthem

There are constant issues surrounding crypto twitter and other crypto communities in relation to project rivalry, scams, false claims and accusations that can sometimes be quite toxic. This song hopes to drive past all these problems and focus on what really matters, crypto is here and here to stay. It doesn’t matter if your platform has more dApps on it, or your project creates a better social media following. What matters is that we are all pioneers in an emerging technology that will revolutionize the world.

Released on Feb 17th, aelf, who sponsored the song creation, also announced they are sponsoring numerous community events that will run over the next few weeks to help ensure the song reaches every corner of the cryptoverse. Aelf announced that the combined prize pool is over $1000 USD. The main contest consists of a $300 USD prize, which has been offered to the first person to name every project referenced in the song – BTCManager has been advised that details are to be announced shortly.

Initially, the song is to be released on Youtube, but if successful, Mapperson said he will look at a gradual release on other music hosting platforms such as Spotify and iTunes. He also hopes there will be an interest for remixes and new music videos for the song in the future.

The song features David Verity, who has had success with a #1 song on Billboard, performed at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and with Grammy-Award winning artists like Toby Gad and Marvin Moore. He has also signed deals with Universal Music Group and Japanese mega-corporation JVC. The collaboration between mainstream artists and the cryptocurrency industry is another step towards blockchain adoption around the world.

This song is sure to receive attention from many of the main projects due to the clear references of projects such as Bitcoin, ethereum, Binance, EOS, Dash, Litecoin and many others.

by Aisshwarya Tiwari

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From the start of 2020, crypto prices made significant recoveries. While analysts were reluctant to call an altcoin season, some assets marked impressive gains.


Altcoins remain riskier and much more volatile in comparison to Bitcoin (BTC). While the leading crypto coin bounced off lows around $7,100 in January to above $10,000, some altcoins made even bigger gains.

If a trader decided to allocate $1,000 into altcoins on January 1, 2020, the average gains of top 20 coins were 43%. This is not an impressive gain for the world of crypto, especially having to wait more than a month. But it is still a positive move, despite taking into account the recent price slump.

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But investing in four specific assets would have led to more significant gains. The biggest gainers in the crypto space were Bitcoin SV (BSV) with 274% gains; Tezos (XTZ) with 222%, Chainlink (LINK) with 234%, and Dash (DASH), which is up 254%.

The average gain of these four assets is close to 246%, significantly higher in comparison to the overall top 20 of coins. 

However, there is a warning – those assets have been viewed with some skepticism, especially in the case of BSV.

Still, splitting $250 for each coin would have yielded roughly $2,460. Of course, the exact sum is shifting, especially given that BSV was extremely volatile in the past few days, and actually sank from highs above $360. Also, XTZ has stepped back from its highs, undermining its YTD progress.


Among the top 20 of coins, the gains averaged 185%, and almost any asset bounced off its lows. However, the exact gains depend on catching the exact moment of price lows, and selling off before a deeper correction. Right now, altcoins have accrued significant gains, but a 60% correction is also quite possible.

Altcoins may achieve significantly higher gains in comparison to BTC. But those assets often see their market liquidity diminish within days. Locking in gains from altcoins also means selling before the cycle has ended and corrections set in.

Choosing a selection of older, more established altcoins, brings lower returns. Taking Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Binance Coin (BNB), and Monero (XMR) will bring average returns of 177%, with ETH alone achieving 192% gains.

In the first six weeks of 2020, separate altcoin rallies managed to bring higher gains from lows to highs, though timing the market can never be exact. However, one of the strongest gainers turned out to be coins that face a halving this year, including BCH, BSV, ETC, and DASH. Altcoin selection is a matter of personal preferences, with no clear way to predict which asset would regain its appeal after the prolonged bear market.

by Christine Vasileva

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Some call him the Bill Gates of the crypto industry, but I personally think he is not just pushing forward our industry but transforming deeply rooted economic and social culture. He fills concert halls talking about the importance of decentralization and the freedom of money. He finds time to organize dinners for journalists, introducing them to the empire he built before briskly leaving for another meeting with his team. He is idolized by his colleagues, respected by his competitors, and radiates positive energy when you meet him.

In the 2019 bear market, he managed to keep Binance’s position as one of the leading crypto exchanges by launching its first initial exchange offering in January, developing its native blockchain Binance Chain, running a decentralized trading platform, launching a United States trading desk, and keeping it competitive with Binance’s futures trading platform — to cite just a few developments.

So, when the time came to make a choice for the winner of Cointelegraph’s first-ever Top 100 list, Changpeng Zhao’s selection was a unanimous decision among our editors.

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend an hour with CZ on the eve of Valentine’s Day — a holiday he would spend with his true love: his work — to talk a bit about himself and his plans (with the next major move being the launch of Binance Cloud, exclusive details on which will be revealed very soon).

Keep everything simple and work hard

Upon learning that he was selected for the top spot on the list and being asked about his favorite accomplishments in 2019, he was characteristically humble: “Other than just putting together a really good team and then leading them forward, I personally didn’t really do that much. But the team did a lot of really hard work.”

2019 was certainly a year full of initiatives and product launches, all of which received CZ’s thorough participation. Within the next couple of years, though, he plans to build up a “more unneeded situation” for himself, so that nothing depends too much on him. After that, he shared, he can probably relax and spend more time traveling the world, breaking the limits of the mode “airport–hotel–back to airport–kind of gone.”

It is hard to believe he will one day do less than he does now, as he is such a maximalist when it comes to work. He is known, however, as being rather minimalistic in his personal life. No big houses, no yachts, not even a business suit. Neither did he celebrate the last new year, explaining that he stayed home because “it is just another day.”

“I’m not materialistic because it’s kind of hard to carry anything that’s physical. I like to keep mobile. I like to be able to live in a different city every month if I want to. And with a shared economy, it’s so much easier now. So we don’t need a car — you have Uber everywhere. You have Airbnb, so I don’t need to buy a house. I don’t feel the need to own a lot of stuff, to have a really complicated life. Just keep everything simple.”

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

“There’s got to be a few recently, actually [with enthusiasm] I can’t remember what they are, but there’s got to be a couple of first times [starts thinking deeply] recently. [long pause] I actually can’t remember that much, to be honest.”

I asked CZ whether he likes being famous and what the biggest challenge to being a person in the public eye is. If he had a choice, he promptly responded, he would prefer not to be famous. But Binance had to have a public face in order to raise money and continue to grow. It is also very important, according to CZ, to have a public face to establish trust with customers who entrust their funds to Binance’s custody. “I know we’re in an industry that technically we don’t need trust, but there’s still a lot of trust that’s needed in a lot of different places.”

CZ also revealed with a smile that he was forced to be a public face, as other members of the team did not want to go public.

“I was actually hoping there would be a better face, to be honest. I don’t think I'm a very good public speaker. There are also much better-looking people. But unfortunately, for Binance, it’s me. So Binance is kind of stuck with me for now.”

Keep calm and go all-in on Bitcoin

It was in 2013 that CZ began to learn about Bitcoin. He read the white paper and started going to thematic events. Later, at a small conference in Las Vegas, he met some of today’s giants of the industry: Charlie LeeMatthew RoszakVitalik Buterin. There was also a representative of Ripple who taught CZ how to use it. In the process, he transferred some XRP to CZ. When they were done, CZ wanted to transfer the coins back, but heard in response, “You can keep it and you can use it to teach the next guy.” This sparked a wild crypto adventure.

CZ quickly became enthusiastic about the technology: “I thought that community was really nice. I had a really high confidence in Bitcoin succeeding, in cryptocurrency succeeding.”

In 2014, CZ sold his house to go all-in on Bitcoin. Within three months, BTC dropped from $600 to $200, losing him two-thirds of the value of his house for roughly two years before the price went up again. When asked whether he would advise someone to take such a risk, CZ responded more as a wiseman than a poker player: “For different people, that risk appetite and risk situation is different. I would not recommend people who are struggling to pay off mortgages on their house and who need a guaranteed income from their investments to pay off some loan, to sell their house and go all-in on crypto, because crypto is highly volatile.”

You seem such a calm person. Do you meditate, or were you born like this?

“I don’t meditate that much. I tried it. I find it a little bit boring, to be honest. I don’t need it. I’m already very calm. I have a low heart rate. My resting heart rate is like 50-something. In Binance, I’ve never shouted. I’ve never yelled at anybody. I’ve never sort of become really sort of agitated. I’m always a very calm person.”

Not only did he sell the house, he also quit his job. Within two weeks, he managed to find a new one at, where he stayed for five months before joining OKCoin as chief technical officer. There, he spent no more than a year. It was 2017, the year of Binance’s foundation.

Along the way, CZ contributed to a considerable number of startups, many of which failed. He has a tip that helps him stay optimistic, a parable he once heard from someone: “If you walk to the bottom of a valley, what do you do? And the answer is pretty simple: You just keep walking as long as you keep walking. Then you eventually get out of the valley.”

Keep coding and get an MBA

CZ majored in computer science at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. But the last time he was coding something, he said, was a couple of years ago. He has never coded for Binance — all its code is written by others — but he was writing scripts for himself. Now, he admits to not having any time to sit down and stare at a computer screen uninterrupted. It is simply not his current life situation. He called his time very segmented, as he gets interrupted very often.

“I tell other people that now I have a memory of a goldfish, like I can’t remember anything longer than seven seconds.”

When asked for advice to the next generation of founders on whether it is better to get a degree in computer science or a master’s degree in business administration, CZ rejects the premise of the question and says to go for both. His view is that, in this sector and at this capacity, you are forced to deal with everything: technology, business models, business development, deal negotiations, marketing, customer service, compliance, legal, accounting, finance, HR. And guess what? CZ doesn’t consider himself an expert in any of these areas. With my objection to CZ’s claims of being a poor public speaker quickly dismissed earlier, I decided that contesting him at this point would be futile.

Keep being number one and go forward

The first interview with CZ I took part in dates back to 2018. Back then, he told us that Binance tries very hard not to be number one, “because being number one creates other problems sometimes, especially with regulators.” In 2020, I asked whether CZ still agrees with that, or if he’d finally given up on trying not to stand out too much.

CZ admitted that two years ago, the market was riddled with regulatory uncertainty, while today’s situation is much better. “I think today it’s OK to push forward, get the market share, and you will not be the lonely one at the top who all the regulators come for.” He also added that there is more fierce competition on the market today, so it’s become harder for small players to build themselves up.

“But we are still at the early stages. We want to see more exchanges, because right now, all over the world, if you can see more exchanges, we can see more people coming into crypto.”

CZ seems very satisfied with his professional career: “I feel I’m really lucky to have the chance to be doing what we’re doing, which is to increase access to crypto, increase the freedom of money for people around the world. That is something I’m really energetic about doing. And I just feel lucky to be in a position to be able to do that.”

If you could clone yourself, what would you like that clone to do?

“I would love the clone to do other work [laughing]. I’d make a lot of clones to do a lot of work. We can do like ten different interviews at the same time.”

Keep cool, we are living in a simulation

Binance’s current focus on developing the freedom of money is intended to give people funding power to do more research on biotech, space exploration (this field, CZ leaves to Elon Musk) and AI — all of which, according to CZ, will help our species advance significantly. For example, CZ thinks, the Coronavirus issue could be solved once funding on research is sped up.

CZ definitely wants the existing world to get better, but at the same time, he is a big believer of simulation theory. It means that we are living in an artificial, digital simulation that is conceived or orchestrated by a more sophisticated intelligence. It also means, according to CZ, that in 100 or 500 years, the advancement of technology will make the simulation we are living in controllable.

“I believe it’s 99,99999 % we’re living in a simulation. So mathematically it is basically 100 percent.”

“If you look at that Nintendo Super Mario, we can simulate the guy moving forward, moving backwards. The tricky part is I don’t know what kind of simulation we are yet. We see it being simulated by a higher being, a different dimension — or are we just sitting, sleeping there, dreaming similarly about ourselves or our own kind.”

Even though we do not know in which simulation we are living, CZ explained, it does not mean we do not have to take it seriously. On the contrary, even if it’s a full simulation, everything in the simulation still matters. “There’s a Coronavirus that matters, there’s a flooding in places, climate change, all of those things are challenges that are thrown on our way. And we should try our best to help where we can.”

Another positive aspect of believing in simulation is that it helps dealing with difficult situations and stress, it kind of gives you a lighter view on things. “Sometimes you say, ‘Well, you know, it’s just a simulation, it’s just a game.’ My role here is just to do the best I can. So I just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep marching forward. So it makes life a lot easier, actually.”

Rapid fire questions for CZ

Sea or mountains?

I’d probably choose mountains, but I do like ocean sports as well.

Beer or wine?


McDonald’s or Burger King?

Burger King, because at least some of them accept Bitcoin and Binance coin.

Black or yellow?


Snowboarding or work?

I really enjoy snowboarding, but you can’t snowboard all the time. You can do a couple of days a year, it’s good enough.

Simulation or reality?

Definitely, simulation. There is no reality.

Changpeng Zhao is ranked #1 in the first-ever Cointelegraph Top 100 in crypto and blockchain.

by Kristina Lucrezia Corner

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Stellar (XLM) Price Analysis (February 16)

• The price of Stellar is likely to encounter a price breakout soon.
• Buyers are in the dominance of the market.

XLM/USD Medium-term Trend: Bullish

• Resistance levels : $0.090000, $0.090500, $0.090800
• Support levels: $0.040000, $0.035000 $0.033000

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The cryptocurrency is in a bullish trend zone in its medium-term outlook.

The bears sustain pressure at $0.078821 coupled with a doji candle in the support area that opens today’s session.

XLMUSD drops initially to $0.076618 in the support area. The crypto’s price is above the two EMAs trading at $0.076618 price level, which indicates that price is in the bullish trend zone.

Hence, the stochastic oscillator signal pointing down at around level 72% implies the momentum in price of the coin is likely to encounter a change in the medium-term.

XLM/USD Short-term Trend: Bullish


The bullish 4-hour opening candle today $0.078821 at the resistance area sustains the bullish momentum with price up at $0.081543 in the resistance area but closes with a wick indicating exhaustion, hence the drop in price to $0.079034 in the support area by the brief bears' pressure.

XLMUSD further drops to $0.077466 in the support area. Price above the two EMAs which are fanned apart. This suggests strength in the context of the trend and in this case the uptrend.

The stochastic oscillator is in the oversold region with a signal pointing down at 29%, an indication of a likely change in the trend of the crypto in the days ahead in the short-term.

by Ben Jordan

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$280 billion rides on the proposition that cryptocurrency is impregnable. Maybe it isn’t.

Call it the singularity. One day, maybe a decade from now, a message flashes across the internet: “Elliptic curves cracked!”

Elliptic curve cryptography, or ECC, is the foundation beneath bitcoin. Wouldn’t the discovery of a hole in this code destroy the currency—and take down any coin exchange?

I posed the question to Brian Armstrong, who co-founded and runs Coinbase, the largest U.S. crypto exchange. He can’t prove that there won’t be some mathematical shortcut compromising bitcoin keys. But he considers the risk low.

“Ten years in, there's a ton of people who have looked at this code,” he answered, in an interview at the Coinbase headquarters in San Francisco. “It's a hundred-billion-dollar bounty. So I think that scenario is very unlikely.”

Bitcoin plus the lesser currencies that compete with it amount to a $280 billion asset pile, a tempting target for bad guys. 

From bitcoin’s earliest days, hacks, cracks, hijacks, phishes, vishes, and social engineering have threatened it. So far the successful assaults on this industry have been around the edges; even the big heist at Mt. Gox did not kill cryptocurrency.

But what if thieves discover a fundamental vulnerability? It might be in the way the encryption works. It might be in the global network of computer nodes that track ownership of bitcoin. It might be in some aspect of crypto that no one is thinking much about.

Crypto players offer two answers to the question about cosmic risks. One is that the system might see an asteroid coming and take defensive measures. If bitcoin’s 11-year-old encryption proves to have a weak spot, the nodes could, by majority vote, move to a different protocol. They might be able to do this before any coins have been stolen. Alternatively, they could hark back to an earlier version of the blockchain that was in place before a theft; this is how the Ethereum chain partly undid some skulduggery involving the DAO venture capital fund.

The other answer, not entirely reassuring, is that a lot more than bitcoin is at stake. Says Philip Martin, head of security for Coinbase: “A core math problem? We’re talking the collapse of the internet.” Trillions of dollars course through electronic networks protected with encryption. So, for what it’s worth, in the digital apocalypse an implosion of bitcoin would be the least of our concerns.

Let’s now consider some of the weaknesses that envelop digital currency.

Bad implementation

Once upon a time Sony used elliptic curves to protect its PlayStation. In order to run, a game would have to provide a digital signature constructed from Sony’s secret key, the same kind of key that protects your bitcoin. The signature routine uses, as one of its inputs, a different randomly chosen number for each validating signature.

Sony goofed, recycling the same number. It turns out that this enabled anyone possessing two legitimate games and a knowledge of high-school algebra to compute the secret key and run pirated games. Andrea Corbellini, a cryptographer who has explained the flaw, speculates that Sony might have been inspired by this Dilbert cartoon.

You might think that all such potholes were found long ago and repaired. But no. Recently the National Security Agency reported on a flaw in a Microsoft browser that made a mistake in delivering the digital signatures that verify websites as legitimate. ECC calls for using a specific starting point. The flaw enabled a website to slip in a different point. With just the right substitute, a malicious site could have forged a signature and stolen the password for your bank account.

Microsoft quickly patched the hole. But it makes you wonder. Could there be other holes in some or all of the software used to hold and transfer virtual currencies?

Crypto managers are on guard. Says Martin, the Coinbase security guy: “I am much more scared of an implementation flaw in a library than I am of a flaw in the underlying math.”

Some bitcoin owners, trying to manage their own coin wallets, have made the same mistake Sony did with its game console. Writes one security expert: “A lot of Russian bitcoin hackers have coded bots to automatically grab coins from vulnerable addresses.” Presumably you have nothing to worry about if you hire experts to manage your wallet.

Social engineering

A crook doesn’t have to know algebra to steal bitcoin. Good acting might do it.

Jamie Armistead is a vice president at Early Warning, the bank consortium that runs the Zelle payments network. Is there a risk that someone will crack the encryption that protects the money coursing through Zelle? Answers Armistead: “It’s not hacking” that keeps him awake at night. “It’s phishing, like the false email to the corporate treasurer.”

Vishing, a variant of phishing involving voice commands, is a security risk. So is device hijacking, in which the thief gets control of your smartphone account. So are all manner of man-in-the-middle attacks, the electronic version of a football pass interception. Cybersecurity engineers constantly update communication protocols to prevent that. They can barely keep up.

Could a hoax on a grand scale cause a majority of bitcoin nodes to simultaneously make a fatal mistake? It would have to be rather byzantine. It’s conceivable.

Mathematical hacks

Encryption methods in common use look secure, because they have been studied for many years by many people. But they are not provably secure. Someone might discover a way to tunnel into them.

Encryption works by scrambling numbers. One way to do that, in the scheme named RSA (after inventors Rivest, Shamir and Adleman) that is still widely used to secure sensitive data, involves exponentiation and modular arithmetic. When you multiply 4 by itself 3 times, 3 is the exponent and you get 64. In modulo 11, you divide this by 11 and consider only the remainder 9.

With small numbers like these, this is a meaningless exercise. But cryptography uses gigantic numbers, and those numbers get shuffled into a giant mess. To get a sense of this, try out the exponentiation/modular game on our small numbers: 2 turns into 8, 3 into 5, 4 into 9 and so on. The only way to unshuffle is to know a certain secret about the modulo. This secret relates to some mathematical formulas that go back a long ways. A 17th century Frenchman named Fermat played an important role.

The other big shuffling scheme is ECC. This involves the modular multiplying of not single numbers but pairs of them. 

Think of the pair as the coordinates on a map. The multiplying is weird: To double a pair, you don’t just move it twice as far from the corner; you bounce it off an elliptic curve. This scrambles all the points on the map. In cryptography, the starting point is not merely doubled; it is multiplied by a gigantic number. This really scrambles the map. That giant number, kept secret, is the key that unlocks a bitcoin.

RSA and ECC both have this feature: Someone who possesses the secret can prove that he possesses it without revealing it.

These two protection schemes rely on the apparent difficulty of certain arithmetic tasks. In the case of RSA, it’s finding the two numbers that were multiplied together to arrive at the modulo; in the case of ECC, it’s dividing the end point by the starting point to determine the multiplier. “Difficult” means taking trillions of years of guesswork on a laptop.

Unless shortcuts are found. For RSA, a well-known shortcut to factoring numbers involves a number sieve. For ECC, there’s a “big step, little step” algorithm that dramatically reduces the computation time. At this point, these tricks go only so far. The difficulty, for a key of a given size, might be measured in billions rather than trillions of years.

For reassurance about the safety of the crypto market and of internet commerce we go back to what Brian Armstrong said: There is a large incentive to find a killer shortcut, and evidently no one has found one. But there is no way to know that no vastly better tricks are about to be discovered.

Fermat, the French mathematician, conjectured a simple fact about exponents of numbers that looked true but couldn’t be proved. For three centuries people labored to prove it and failed. And then one day not too long ago a proof was discovered. It relied, in part, on elliptic curves.

Quantum computers

Computers using quantum effects could, in theory, shrink the time for decoding an encrypted message from billions of years to hours. One such theory, for cracking RSA, dates to 1994.

In October Google sent a shiver through the cryptography world by announcing “quantum supremacy.” An experimental quantum device, the company said, did in 200 seconds what would have taken a conventional computer 10,000 years. 

That’s debatable; some researchers at IBM claimed that Google overstated the time difference by six orders of magnitude. 

Still, quantum computing is a threat.

Not an immediate one. The task in the Google experiment was designed specifically for the limited skills of quantum computing elements. These skills are a long way from those needed to crack codes. The 1994 algorithm is not in use because the hardware for it exists only on paper.

But ten years from now? We don’t know where quantum computing will be.

Back door

For an encryption routine the anonymous creator(s) of bitcoin plucked an elliptic curve off the shelf. This curve was designed by the federal government. Were the parameters devilishly selected in a way to create mathematical vulnerabilities? Does the National Security Agency have a back door to your coins? Probably not. But you cannot be sure. 

Governments are not in sympathy with the anarchist philosophy underlying cryptocurrency.

Since crypto’s creation, thousands of coins have been pilfered in hacks, scams and Ponzi schemes. These will continue. As for the big knockover, in which the whole system is taken down, we can say that the probability is low. But it is not zero.

by William Baldwin

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
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Last week, the Weiss Crypto price index clearly broke critical resistance levels and paved the way for faster movements further upwards. That's exactly what happened this week! For the average observer, the rally that began in mid-December last year may feel like a big cryptocurrency rally in 2019. But …

The current rally is actually quite different from then: The bull market in 2019 was largely dominated by Bitcoin and some famous Altcoins. This rally is mainly driven by more dangerous coins. And this “risk seeking” environment is an invisible sign that belief in cryptocurrency is coming back.

To understand this situation, let's first look at the broad weekly market as of February 13th. The Weiss 50 Crypto Index (W50) rose 15.61%.

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Let's take a look at the cryptocurrency space excluding Bitcoin. Over the past week, the W50X has advanced 22.43% thanks to a 33% jump in Ethereum.

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Segmenting the market by MC reveals additional evidence of risk appetite.

The Weiss Large Cap Crypto Index rose 14.74%.

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The Weiss Midcap Crypto Index (WMC) rose 20.36% over the week.

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The Weiss Smallcap Crypto Index (WSC) rose 28.61%, higher than WLC and WMC.

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In other words, the coins with the lowest market cap (MC) - and the highest risk - led the rise in the cryptocurrency souk. Large Coins Outperformed Small Coins… And mid-caps were in between.

This is an important phenomenon. It is therefore worth repeating:
  • In early 2019, Bitcoin almost pulled the cryptocurrency souk deep into the bear market in 2018.

  • A year later, the opposite is happening: Altcoins are ahead and Bitcoin is having a hard time following them.
Cryptocurrency traders call this the "alt season". I say

The Second Phase of the Bull Market Began Over a Year Ago.

The second phase of the bull market promises to last for a long time.

And with bitcoin half-life scheduled for May, it is likely to get even hotter in the first half of this year.

One caveat: all these conditions contributed to the slowing down of short-term adjustments that should have happened long ago. But the model continues to signal overbought. So steep but don't be surprised if you see a short price retreat.


Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
[Image: crypto-charity-eatbch-01-1-2048x1152.jpg]
From South America to Africa, crypto charity projects are revolutionising aid donations and impact.

The charity sector is notoriously slow to react to transformative technologies—in the Charity Digital Skills Report 2019, only 12% of UK charities are considering how technological innovations like AI could change their charity. And in the 2019 Global NGO Technology Report, only 34% of NGOs worldwide admitted to understanding blockchain—the lowest stat relating to emerging technologies like the Internet of Things and augmented reality.

Among small charities, though, a revolution is brewing. Spurred on by challenges around infrastructure and dealing with authoritarian states, some forward-thinking organisations are already using cryptocurrency to receive donations. They’re hoping that big charities will catch on, too. 

Feeding Venezuela with Bitcoin Cash

With the highest rate of inflation in the world, soaring crime and a shortage of basic goods, Venezuela is an extremely difficult country to live in. It’s also extremely difficult to get money into.

In February 2018, Venezuelan brothers Jose and Gabriel—both longtime users of crypto—discovered Bitcoin Cash (BCH), a fork of Bitcoin. After Jose was quizzed online by friends about the situation in Venezuela, the brothers decided to set up EatBCH, a nonprofit food drive using Bitcoin Cash.

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EatBCH in Venezuela (Image: EatBCH)

Jose, who doesn’t like to reveal his identity due to a fear of reprisals in the increasingly authoritarian state, told Decrypt that, “We were receiving questions from people on Reddit about Venezuela, such as: ‘Is it really that bad?’, 

‘Are people really starving’ or ‘How do you manage?’”

“One person told me to send him a [Bitcoin Cash] address so he could send $5 that I could either keep, or use to buy food for kids on the streets.”

Jose and Gabriel used that $5 to buy a meal for a family – and then some 40 more people. 

They then started asking for charitable donations on Twitter and provided a BCH address to receive the money. The BCH was then sold, used to buy food from local food vendors. The two then posted photos – mainly of children they’d given food to – as proof the cash was being used to feed starving Venezuelans. 

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eatBCH Venezuela@eatBCH_VE

Working for our communities[Image: 1f4aa.png]
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10:13 PM - Jan 24, 2020
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In a country where it is thought a generation of young people will never meet their full physical or mental potential due to malnutrition, the result of a crippling economic crisis, the donations continued to come flooding in. 

To date, EatBCH has received thousands of donations and bought hundreds of meals. They operate in 23 locations around Venezuela and have just launched in South Sudan. Last year they were invited to Washington DC to talk about their strategy with a think tank. 

The initiative is also being noticed by businesses who wish to donate to charity. US-based food startup Crazy Calm, which sells CBD instant coffee, has been donating $5 per order to EatBCH. “It is transparent, efficient charity,” said co-founder Matt Aaron. “We love that EatBCH is using the power of cryptocurrency, borderless cash to feed people in need.” “Our customers love the fact that they can see via the block explorer a link to the donation made on their behalf.”

Quote:[Image: IFpusWGM_bigger.jpg]
CrazyCalm CBD Coffee@CrazyCalmCo

2/9 Update: Mission complete! $500 worth of BCH donated to @eatBCH_SS and @eatBCH_VE.

Thanks to everyone for participating and most of all @eatbch for their amazing work. 
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Launch Promo | Crazy Calm
To celebrate our launch and help a good cause, we are going to send $5 per order to feed people in Venezuela and South Sudan for the first 100 orders.

4:48 AM - Feb 10, 2020
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Jose added: “When we started this project we said maybe we can accept regular donations in fiat with bank accounts as an alternative. But we simply couldn’t, and cryptocurrency was the only solution.” 

Because of international sanctions, Venezuealans are locked out of traditional payment methods and providers like Western Union and PayPal, he explained. “There is no chance of opening a US bank account so I can receive payments from outside,” Jose told Decrypt. “We are simply locked out of the international world. So our only solution is cryptocurrency.”

He added: “I think cryptocurrencies are a better choice than regular financial methods for donating to charity.”

And Jose is not the only one who thinks that. 

Changing the charity sector with crypto

Other projects looking to shake up the charity sector by using cryptocurrency are starting to pick up momentum. 

One such project is Giveth, which aims to re-engineer charitable giving, by creating an entirely free, open-source platform built on the Ethereum blockchain. Giveth claims that their system cuts out bureaucracy and provides donors with a high level of transparency and accountability.

“Unlike most things, with crypto you can get financial privacy, but you also get transparency—and you get that by default,” said Giveth founder Griff Green. 

" There is no real use for crypto in just transferring money around "
Griff Green

“Just being able to transfer money around is not the be all and end all,” he added. “There is no real use for crypto in just transferring money around.” What’s more interesting, he said, is the ability to create economies. 

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“If you’re using #DAOs to do good work in society, people will believe that decentralized governance might actually have some other impact besides just making investors rich.”

Watch Griff’s full interview on Giveth’s origin story and future roadmap here …


Epicenter – The best tech podcast in crypto@epicenterbtc

The @Givethio Dapp creates better incentives for donors and charity workers, in all types of social good projects.
DAOs deserve a better use case than making investors rich. @thegrifft

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9:46 PM - Apr 26, 2019
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Still, there is one challenge for crypto projects looking to overhaul the charity sector, Green said: “The biggest problem that people run into is that no one in the charity space uses crypto; only nerds use crypto.”

Grassroots funding for Kenya

One organisation busily engaged in creating economies with crypto is Grassroots Economics, a non-profit foundation based in Kenya. Grassroots Economics works to provide vulnerable communities with alternative currencies, via the blockchain and mobile payments, so that they can take an active role in their own economies. 

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Grassroots Economics@grassEcon

Are #blockchain powered community currencies the 2.0 of cash transfer? #rethinkingaid 
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Community Currencies: Cash Transfer 2.0
How blockchain-powered community currencies are redefining aid in Kenya.

8:54 PM - May 28, 2019
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Grassroots Economics founder, physicist and economist Will Ruddick, moved to Kenya over a decade ago from California. He told Decrypt that the charity sector in Africa currently wastes a lot of money with little effect. “The charity sector has a huge impact problem, which has led toward cash transfer or Cash and Voucher Assistance as an emerging modality—essentially dumping cash on vulnerable communities,” he said. “This has opened up the charity sector to faster and more efficient forms of digital vouchers using crypto.”
Join Now

Grassroots Economics has most recently partnered with the Red Cross and digital wallet provider Sempo to create Community Inclusion Currencies (CICs). CICs enable communities to develop their own media of exchange that can connect to other communities in regional markets and provide a gateway to national currencies via a push button feature phone. As many as 1,000 businesses adopted them in a single week in Kenya. 

“Blockchain gives communities the ability to define and manage a shared financial commons which fundamentally strikes at the heart of poverty,” said Ruddick. 

Though it seems big charity may take a while to fully latch onto using crypto – be it for donations or for creating informal economies – things are moving in the right direction.  

“For me, for the nonprofit sector and for public goods funding in general, cryptocurrency is the bee’s knees,” said Green.

by Mathew Di Salvo

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
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Casinos are one of the oldest forms of entertainment and although after the invention of the personal computer and internet, the popularity of casinos has taken a hit, it is still a go-to option for a huge chunk of society. In fact, the evolution of technology has also transformed the casino industry with Online Casino Games emerging as a preferred choice among prospective gamers. The online casinos offer a host of advantages over their brick and mortar configuration and among others, the convenience of playing from the comfort of your place is the most important advantage that online casinos offer over the physical ones.  

Crypto Casinos: Emerging Phenomenon 

In the space of online casinos, we are now witnessing the emergence of altogether new kind of format called Crypto Casinos. The reason behind the growing popularity of the crypto casinos is their high transparency factor. In an ideal situation, online casinos should be paying a major chunk of the revenue back to the players in terms of prizes. The gaming machines in the casino are programmed in a manner that they need to pay back anywhere between 80% and 99.9% to the players. These rules are specific to regulations, but despite all the prescribed sets of norms, most of the time, casinos don’t comply with these standards. 

Many online gaming websites are shabby in their operations and try to dupe players by returning less percentage of revenue as prize money. This is exactly where the relevance of crypto casinos comes into the picture. Thanks to the blockchain technology, crypto casinos have a payout rate, which has already been programmed into the system. 

Gamers can check the records of all wins and losses on the blockchain and the record is open to all in order to exhibit a higher level of transparency. It is indeed very reassuring as gamers need not worry about the influence of malpractices adopted by the casino. In fact, this is the one biggest difference between online casinos and crypto casinos as the high transparency aspect of the latter makes it more safe, secure, and genuine in its approach. 

Another big difference between online casinos and crypto casinos is the absence of any third party in case you play on the latter. This simply means users can play any game of their choice without any third-party interference, the very inherent characteristic of the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The money will be stored on the smart contracts and transactions can be done instantly as and when required. You can check the data of the game on blockchain and your chances of winning will be decided as per the random number generated by the smart contract. Of course, you can check that number and data too once the game is complete. 

Famous Crypto Casinos

Some of the most influencing names in the crypto casinos include EarnBet, CasinoFair, and 888TRON. All these casino platforms use different kinds of blockchain to run their operations. While EarnBet is based-on EOS, CasinoFair utilizes the ethereum blockchain to provide a decentralized, seamless gaming experience to players. 888TRON, on the other hand, is underpinned by TRON and the popularity of the platform can be estimated from the fact that daily betting on it is in excess of $150 million. It also offers more than 2000 games, which means players have a wide range to choose from.


The high level of transparency offered by crypto casinos is the principal reason behind their emerging popularity. The technology of blockchain has made even the casino industry more transparent, which means the potential of the segment will definitely grow in the future. In addition to transparency, the fact that there is no third party involvement further makes the process genuine and straightforward. 

It will be difficult to predict how much the proportion of business the crypto casinos will take away from the online casinos in the coming years. Online casinos are quite resourceful and if gamers continue to get the desirable gaming experience, these casinos will keep on flourishing in the future. Visitors usually are not aware of the difference between online casinos and crypto casinos, which also means that there is little chance of crypto casinos eating into the share of the online casinos anytime soon.

 Also, many visitors play games just for enjoyment and fun; these people might not be interested in technicalities of open platform, smart contracts, third party involvement, etc. That said, there is a niche among players which is quite serious about their gaming experience and wants to have as much transparency as possible. And this is the segment crypto casinos are betting onto for their long term success.

by Jaimin G

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
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A comprehensive study analyzed 2 years’ worth of Bitcoin buying and selling data. The findings were pretty surprising. The research took a look at the average weekly market cycle to find the best day of the week to buy, and also to sell.


Longhash’s study took a look at the Bitcoin hourly price data over a two year period and noticed some very interesting patterns regarding price action and trading volume. The data for their study was provided by CryptoDataDownload.

The methodology behind the study was to find an average price for open, close, high, and low for every hour of every week. So, for example, they took the high price on every Monday at 6 am and found the average to come to a mean price. 
They did this for every hour of every day of the week for a two-year span. It must have been a lot of work!

The researchers found that the average lowest price for Bitcoin was at 6 am UTC time on Fridays. This means that this is on average, is the best time to take a position, in a long trade.

Obviously, the BTC market is very volatile and may not always conform to an overall average, so don’t take these findings as gospel. It isn’t investment advice, it’s simply market analysis.

The researchers also found that on average, on Mondays & Tuesdays around midnight UTC, the Bitcoin price averaged 170 dollars higher than on Fridays.

This means that Monday or Tuesday statistically is the best time to cash out your Friday long or take a short position to cash out on the subsequent Friday when the price is statistically lower.


To be frank, nobody really knows, although the researchers in the study above speculated that due to Monday/Tuesday midnight UTC time, it may be that because of timezone overlap, more active traders are online at this time. Asian, European and American traders are all active at this time.

The researchers did note, that the trading volume isn’t especially higher during this time, that it doesn’t exactly correlate. 

Researchers did note a correlation with the lower prices on Fridays, with lower trading volume, however, lending credence to their findings for lower prices.

Mondays could be reflecting higher price points due to institutional investors taking positions at the beginning of the week. Many OTC desks do their best to make large buy orders and sell orders invisible to the retail trading market to prevent front-running.

That would also support the lower prices on Friday evenings as traders cash out for the week on the positions they took on Monday/Tuesday. This is purely speculation, of course. Either way, kudos to the researchers who conducted the study and revealed the interesting results.

by Ricardo Martinez

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
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Watch Out, Bitcoin, Altcoins Are Turning More and More to Payments

  • Movements into payments have been a recurring theme among altcoins over the past year.
  • "It is again up for the users to decide what is more suitable for them."

Altcoins are coming for bitcoin (BTC). Many of them – ethereum (ETH)cardano (ADA)EOSXRP – were initially conceived more as utility tokens for blockchain platforms than as mediums of payment.

But increasingly, many of them are turning to payments, while an expanding range of third-parties are building payment services around them.

According to payments industry players, this shift is happening for a variety of reasons. From the emergence of Facebook's Libra to the growth in stablecoins and the superior scale offered by certain blockchains, altcoins have targeted a growing interest in crypto payments, while also proving their ability to satisfy such rising demand.

More payment options

In November, Cardano announced the launch of a new crypto payment system, AdaPay. Aimed at merchants, AdaPay allows users to accept payments in ADA with a “near-instant” settlement into 35 fiat currencies.

Such movements into payments have been a recurring theme among altcoins over the past year.

For instance, XRP was initially aimed at financial institutions looking for real-time gross settlement systems, but now it’s expanding by moving into payments more generally.

In February, it announced a deal with money-transfer service Intermex to provide remittance services between the United States and Mexico. And in October, its developer initiative, Xpring, announced a partnership with major crypto payment processor BitPay, whereby BitPay would begin enabling merchants to accept XRP as payment.

Even if altcoins aren't launching new payment systems themselves, many are increasingly signing deals through which they'll be accepted by services.

In September, BitPay announced that it would begin accepting payments in ETH, for example. Similarly, payment gateway GoCoin announced in May that it would be accepting ETH and EOS, in addition to the likes of BTC.

Then there are the numerous examples of third-party companies launching payment services around the existing crypto ecosystem. In November, digital payment services provider Wirex announced the launch of its Wirex Visa Travelcard, which would enable users to spend ETH, XRP and other currencies abroad.

Not a surprise

But why is this movement happening? For Sean Mackay, the operation lead at payment processor CoinPayments, the emergence of Libra and the interest of governments in blockchain-based payments has spurred private companies to get more involved.

"The recent discussions of Libra have kickstarted discussions of government controlled digital currencies, showing that the trend is to move away from cash and towards digital currency," he tells "Based on this trend, it should come as no surprise that more startups and companies are focusing their efforts in the digital payments space."

More simply, the speed and efficiency offered by crypto-based payments is motivating a greater demand for such payments, so companies and crypto projects have been increasingly moving to meet the rising need.

Quote:"Blockchain payments deliver a better customer experience than traditional or legacy pay methods," explains BitPay CMO Bill Zielke. "While these benefits are not a surprise, the pace of adoption occurring is."

Zielke points out that leading brands like APMEXAT&T and Dish Networks are accepting cryptocurrency payments through BitPay (and other crypto payment services), in order "to attract new users and sales at lower costs to traditional pay methods."

‘Encouraging growth’ and stablecoins

It's still early days, but most payment service providers report that there has been very encouraging growth in the uptake of altcoin payments.

“In the last year, we have added around 10 new currencies for the convenience of our users, and some of them had extreme success, such as XRP" says Veronika Mishura, the marketing manager at CoinGate.

Quote:"Even though it wasn't originally created as a payment currency, it proved that it can perform as such successfully."

As a December blog from CoinGate pointed out, XRP enjoyed a 174% growth in usage between February 2019 and the end of the year. Similar increases are visible elsewhere.

"BitPay has only recently begun accepting ETH, XRP, USDCGUSD and PAX," says Zielke. "We see great promise in providing our customers choice and while the data is new, we are seeing encouraging growth and expect that growth will continue."

Interestingly, other payment providers report considerable growth in the area of stablecoin usage. "Tether payments have been trending up since the beginning of 2019," says Mackay.

According to CoinPayments figures, Tether represented only 5% of payment volume in January and February. Between October and December, it represented 32%.

Who will win?

In Mackay's opinion, stablecoins are one variety of cryptoassets that are superior to BTC in terms of their utility as payment tokens.

"Tether and other stablecoins are the best cryptocurrencies for everyday payments as they don’t have a volatile exchange rate and allow merchants more flexibility and time to decide whether to store or convert."

However, stablecoins are not considered to be cryptocurrencies, while BTC is superior in terms of decentralization.

That said, most payment gateways are pretty neutral when it comes to predictions of whether bitcoin will be a dominant method of payment, or whether it will be overtaken by altcoins.

Quote:"In our opinion, bitcoin and altcoins can easily coexist as a way of payment," says Mishura. "However, it is again up for the users to decide what is more suitable for them."

But according to Mackay, a prediction of which cryptocurrencies will become dominant can be made indirectly, without naming names.

"Going forward a few years if and when prices start to stabilize, cryptocurrencies that are highly liquid and have a fast confirmation time will be considered better payment coins as consumers won’t have to wait around for transactions to confirm and merchants will be able to liquidate their coins with ease."

by Simon Chandler

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
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Since the middle of December, Bitcoin has been on an absolute tear higher, rallying from $6,400 to $10,550 earlier this week, per data from TradingView. This marks a surge of over 60%, meaning that the cryptocurrency outpaced a majority of other multi-billion-dollar assets save for Ethereum, XRP, and Tesla.

This strong surge comes shortly after cryptocurrency investors expected BTC to drop off a cliff, meaning this uptrend has caught traders off guard, as evidenced by the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of short position liquidations over recent weeks.

Mike Novogratz, CEO of crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital and a former partner at Goldman Sachs, recently weighed in, telling CNBC’s “Closing Bell” panel why he thinks Bitcoin has embarked on this near-relentless trend higher.

Why is Bitcoin Up so Much?

In the interview published Friday evening, the Wall Street investor responded “liquidity, liquidity, liquidity” to the anchor’s question about what is driving Bitcoin’s shocking rally.

Novogratz elaborated by citing the low interest rates established by central banks across the world and “people pumping 
in money,” most likely referencing the attempts by central banks to inject capital into their markets through open market operations, thus increasing demand for stocks and other assets, Bitcoin included.

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Michael Novogratz


Talking $BTC.   Watch CNBC's full interview with Michael Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital …
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Watch CNBC's full interview with Michael Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital
Michael Novogratz, founder, CEO and chairman of Galaxy Digital, joins "Closing Bell" for an exclusive interview.

7:50 AM - Feb 15, 2020
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Optimistic About Crypto’s Prospects for 2020

Novogratz is optimistic about Bitcoin’s prospects for 2020.

In an interview with Bloomberg published at the end of January 30th, Novogratz gave three reasons why he expects Bitcoin to continue appreciating for the foreseeable future. They are as follows:
  • The debasement of fiat money: Novogratz mentioned that the copious amount of liquidity in capital markets, encouraged by low interest rates the world over, and the seeming debasement of fiat money should help Bitcoin, gold too. The idea here is that the potential inflation caused by lax central banks should prove the value of scarce assets, like Bitcoin, whose inflation rate will be cut in half in a few months’ time. 

  • Becoming digital gold: Novogratz suggested that Bitcoin’s maturing into a form of digital gold, a digital store of value investment, could support prices moving forward. He specifically cited the asset’s performance amidst the brief Iran-US war fears and the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The Galaxy Digital CEO is suggesting that BTC is showing it has investment potential, which could help draw in investors with time.

  • Increasing levels of infrastructure: The investor said that the increasing level of infrastructure in the crypto industry, which he dubbed the “plumbing” of the industry, could help boost Bitcoin. Indeed, there has long been a need for more robust crypto onramps. With the introduction of Fidelity Investments, Bakkt, and other service providers, BTC could see more investment inflows, correlating with higher prices.

by Nick Chong

Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure
[Image: broke-banks.jpg?resize=750%2C440&ssl=1]
A passionate two-minute speech delivered by Godfrey Bloom, a member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2014, is spreading through Crypto Twitter like wildfire. The 2013 speech is a shakedown on the global financial system.

During the presentation, Bloom declares that all the banks are broke. At that time, on May 21, 2013, Bitcoin was trading at $122 and remained a fringe asset among techies and cypherpunks.

It would take the remainder of the decade to transform BTC, now trading above $10,000, into the best-performing asset of the last 10 years, attracting legacy giants like Fidelity and Intercontinental Exchange that are putting their full weight behind blockchain-based infrastructure.

During that same period, numerous banks, including Deutsche Bank and Danske bank, have been embroiled in multi-billion-dollar money laundering scandals and consumer fraud.

Wells Fargo, after the collapse of a scheme to create bogus customer accounts, is now restructuring its business and investing in crypto innovation. Negative interest rates, quantitative easing, ballooning deficits and multi-trillion-dollar government budget proposals remain the cornerstones of monetary policy against deflationary fiat currencies.

Bloom remarked,

“All the banks are broke. Bank Santander, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland… they’re all broke. And why are they broke? It isn’t an act of god. It isn’t some sort of tsunami. They’re broke because we have a system called fractional reserve banking. Which means that banks can lend money that they don’t actually have. It’s a criminal scandal, and its been going on for too long.

To add to that problem, you have moral hazard, a very significant moral hazard from the political sphere. Most of the problems start in politics and central banks, which are part of the same political system.

We have counterfeiting, sometimes called ‘quantitative easing,’ but counterfeiting by any other name – the artificial printing of money, which, if any ordinary person did, they’d go to prison for a very long time. And yet governments and central banks do it all the time.”


Read More Read More, Posted by: crytocure


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