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Crypto Markets Tumble as SEC Rejects Winklevoss Twins’ Second Bitcoin ETF Application

Crypto markets have taken a sharp downturn, today, July 27, with all of the top ten coins by market cap hit by hefty losses and Bitcoin (BTC) dipping back below the $8,000 psychological price point, as data from Coin360 shows.

The grim market picture is likely due to yesterday’s breaking news that the Winklevoss Twins’ application for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) has now been rejected for a second time by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Market visualization from Coin360

Market visualization from Coin360

Bitcoin (BTC) is trading around $7,915 to press time, down about 4 percent on the day. After leading last week’s impressive market uptick and hitting as high as $8,431 July 25, the coin tumbled over $400 within the space of 3 hours earlier today.

Bitcoin has since slightly recovered from its intraday low at around $7,874 ––  and its weekly and monthly price performance remains in the green, up around 6 and 30 percent respectively.

Bitcoin’s 24-hour price chart

Bitcoin’s 24-hour price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index

Ethereum (ETH) is trading around $462 at press time, down about 3 percent on the day. The altcoin took a similarly sharp plunge to Bitcoin, losing roughly $20 in value within 3 hours, and later dipping yet further to see a 24-hour low of around $459. Ethereum’s weekly price performance is now just shy of half a percent in the negative, but it’s monthly gains remain at a firm 6 percent.

Ethereum’s 24-hour price chart

Ethereum’s 24-hour price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index

On CoinMarketCap’s listings, all of the top 10 coins by market cap are down between 3 and 7 percent on the day.

Stellar (XLM) has seen the steepest loss of the top ten, 6.5 percent in the negative and trading around $0.305 to press time. Cardano (ADA) is down almost 7 percent, trading around $0.16 per coin, with IOTA (MIOTA) down around 5.4 percent at $0.98 and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) down almost 5 percent to trade at $802 to press time.

Of the top 20 coins on CoinMarketCap, VeChain — ranked 18th by market cap — has somehow been immunized from the declining fortunes of most crypto assets on the day. After a major surge yesterday to hit as high as $2.66, the token is still up around 13.5 percent today and is trading at around $2.36 to press time.

VeChain 7-day chart

VeChain 7-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Crypto exchange Binance’s native token Binance Coin (BNB) — ranked 17th on CoinMarketCap — is also up a solid 6 percent on the day, trading around $13.81 to press time –– its highest price point yet during its bullish run this week.

Binance Coin 7-day chart

Binance Coin 7-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Over $12 billion has been wiped from the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies on the day. After yesterday’s peak at $303.7 billion, total market cap is now around $290 billion.

Total market capitalization

Total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies from CoinMarketCap

Of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap, just seven coins are in the green on the day to press time, according to CoinMarketCap.

Crypto entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has argued on Twitter yesterday that the SEC’s second rejection of the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF it is in some sense “old news.” He stated that a pending decision over the Bitcoin ETF that has recently been filed by VanEck & SolidX for trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) will be more pivotal for the industry –– and would likely generate more price-impactful “ETF excitement.”

Shrem moreover argued that regulators will be more likely to grant a stalwart mainstream institution such as CBOE the right to trade an ETF, and that this was a more decisive factor in the Winklevoss rejection than the SEC’s alleged qualms over inadequate “resistance to price manipulation” yesterday. In response to Shrem’s argument, other commentators have nuanced his perspective, saying that:

“The VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust ($XBTC) will trade on the CBOE. Its pricing relies on the MVIS Bitcoin OTC Index, not a [single crypto] exchange like Gemini. It seems like the SEC would have to deem OTC markets as having better investor protections and liquidity. More investigation is required.”

Other simply consider that the SEC’s broadcasting of its concerns over vulnerabilities to market manipulation in an insufficiently sized regulated derivatives (futures) market will be “hard to overcome” –– it appears that these fears have been borne out by markets, at least in the immediate-short term.

Meanwhile, on July 24 the SEC delayed its decision on a Bitcoin ETF application from investment firm Direxion, the same day as digital asset manager Bitwise filed its own application with the regulator for an ETF that would track an index of ten cryptocurrencies.

Yesterday, the CEO of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) said the institution would not be introducing futures on cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin anytime soon, reiterating his earlier comments that it would be “a little irresponsible” to launch altcoin futures contracts given that they are still “highly volatile and new.”

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‘Renowned’ Crypto Entrepreneur Joins Blockchain-Based Commerce Platform’s Advisory Board

A start-up which aims to make Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency payments an everyday feature of mainstream shopping has announced that “one of the most renowned representatives of the crypto community” is joining its advisory board.

Eligma is developing an e-commerce platform enabling consumers to shop on multiple websites through a unified account, along with an artificial intelligence (AI) system which uses the data this generates to offer personalized recommendations on new products and deals. An inventory is going to allow users to keep track of their purchases and discover the best (and most profitable) time to sell unwanted items on second-hand websites. Meanwhile, customers in brick-and-mortar stores will be able to buy items using cryptocurrency through a system called EliPay.

Building an advisory team

Charlie Shrem, a vocal advocate of cryptocurrency who was one of the earliest adopters of Bitcoin, is the latest adviser to join Eligma.

The company claims he has substantial entrepreneurial experience, including senior roles at a multi-platform cryptocurrency wallet venture and a firm promoting the use of cryptocurrency in the business community.

His arrival comes at a critical time for Eligma, with its technology yet to be tested in real-world environments, and the company hopes his background will enhance its progress.

Shrem, whose interests include commerce and the development of a social economy, told Cointelegraph (CT): “Eligma stands for an exceptional revolution, not only in the shopping sense, but also in terms of making the general public aware of the practical advantages that cryptocurrencies offer.”

Shrem is joining other advisers who each bring expertise from their time collaborating with some of the world’s biggest companies.

Eligma describes Andy Baynes as a “consummate visionary” who previously worked with Steve Jobs and Tim Cook at Apple – and introduces Hermann Eul as a “seasoned top executive in telecommunications and security” following his time at Intel. Gary Dillabough worked at eBay for a decade, while Peter M Moricz served as the vice president of the JP Morgan Private Bank in London between 2014 and 2016.

Dejan Roljic, the founder and CEO of Eligma, told CT that he is certain the contributions of these advisers – and others – “will result in a product that is far-reaching in its technology but easy and practical to use at the same time.”

Preparing for “Bitcoin City”

Mr Shrem’s arrival comes as Eligma prepares to put its system for cryptocurrency transactions to the test at a mall in Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia. The company claims that its technology is going to make Bitcoin City, a complex with more than 450 stores and the first shopping center in the world where cryptocurrency payments can be made.

According to Roljic, the starting phase of testing is going to go ahead as planned after the company signed letters of intent with five of Bitcoin City’s biggest retailers. Eligma says further features are going to be trialed gradually over the coming months, paving the way for expansion to the United Kingdom in the middle of 2019.

“We are planning to make Eligma a worldwide platform, but we need to start on a smaller scale to gather enough data and figure out the best practices to proceed further,” he told CT.

Roljic is continuing to spread the word about his business – with an energetic speech at the Crypto Summit 2018 in Zurich helping Eligma win the award for best pitch with 47.7 percent, seeing off competition from 22 other initial coin offerings.

Eligma’s crowdsale is beginning on April 17 and is going to conclude on May 8. 60 percent of the company’s supply of 500 mln ELI tokens are being offered to the public.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Bitcoin's 2 Month Low – Sign of the Time

2018 has been particularly cumbersome for the cryptocurrency markets, as Bitcoin and its altcoin brethren have endured a bashing. The preeminent cryptocurrency has hit a two month low sitting around $8,800 according to Coinmarketcap data at the time of writing.

There are a plethora of reasons why the market has been trampled in the first month of the new year. Much of this has been due to uncertainty over regulatory moves by governments around the world, in reaction to what was a revolutionary year for the cryptocurrency market as a whole.

A couple of weeks of serious uncertainty in South Korea, a tightening of the regulatory belt in massive economies like China and India, and some harsh commentary coming from financial heads and world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos have led to a sell-off in the cryptocurrency markets.

The overall market capitalization has dipped to $415 bln, with Bitcoin’s market dominance sitting at around 35 percent. Its price drop has been mimicked by almost every altcoin in the top 50, all in all, summing up the current mood in the space.

However, its not all doom and gloom as industry experts, those cryptocurrency gurus who’ve been around since it all started, have seized the moment to highlight vital characteristics that led to cryptocurrencies being adopted around the world.

Casting aside fear, uncertainty and doubt, core members of the community believe the very qualities that underpin the revolutionary aspects of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will inevitably be their saving grace from market manipulation and governmental crackdowns.

Shrem’s take

Bitcoin Foundation founder Charlie Shrem posted some insightful comments on Twitter this week, as Bitcoin continued it’s slide to recent lows.

In an eight-part series of Tweets, Shrem unpacked the prevailing sentiment towards cryptocurrencies by banks and government institutions.

Starting off, he said that “Bitcoin and other privacy-focused and decentralized cryptocurrencies are the biggest innovation of my lifetime. They literally take the power and control of money out of the hands of government and into the hands of people that use it.”

He hit out at recent ICOs that have created ‘a dilution of our beautiful technology’ calling ‘permissioned Blockchains’ and ‘digital ledger technology’ glorified ‘google spreadsheets.’ He also said anything that claims to be Blockchain technology but is controlled by a single entity is not Blockchain.

Following that, he explained why this ‘liberating’ technology will be targeted and undermined by established institutions.

“Of course governments are going to do the same. What did you think? They would roll over while we built our alternative financial system and people started using it? Governments don’t like competition.”

The World Economic Forum in Davos also provided a glimpse of the future, as more governments are likely to follow in the footsteps of Russia and Venezuela, that are issuing state-owned virtual currencies.

Shrem also cautioned against this move, saying we will “see a systemic push for regulated and controlled Blockchains by ‘DLT’ companies, banking consortiums and governments. THESE ARE NOT CRYPTOCURRENCIES. Do not be fooled!”

Check out his full post:

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Bitcoin Cash Passes $1,500 Again As Lead Dev Pronounces Bitcoin Dead

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has seen another major growth spurt as the altcoin’s lead developer pronounces Bitcoin (BTC) dead.

Capping what appears to be Bitcoin’s 191st life, Deadal Nix tweeted Tuesday as BCH began picking up steam that the August hard fork meant Bitcoin already no longer existed.

“Bitcoin is dead. It was split in two. There is Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin Core/Legacy. Deal with it,” he wrote in response to a warning about BCH from online commentator Alphonse Pace.

The Core community was quick to respond, Charlie Shrem noting that Nix publicly describes himself as a “pro shitlord.”

The continuing tension comes as BCH is on the way to doubling its USD value since recent lows of $947 Nov. 17.

Current cross-exchange data shows prices approaching $1,600 per coin, yet November’s second maneuver is having a markedly lesser impact on Bitcoin prices.

BTC is trading around $8,200, near all-time highs poster several days ago. During BCH’s previous bull run, Bitcoin plummeted, albeit to quickly regain value to continue to break $8,000 for the first time.

Meanwhile, the strange consequences of BCH’s “malicious” hard fork are still playing out, with the Bitcoin Clashic Twitter account putting out calls for miner support.

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All Eyes On Dash As Currency Surges 60% Despite Crypto Market Turmoil

It’s been a tumultuous week for cryptocurrencies, yet with all eyes on Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, the digital currency Dash has experienced an impressive surge over the past 24 hours. Earlier in the day, Dash was valued at $319 each. Less than 12 hours later, the price had surged to $520 before retreating to $460 at press time.

Among a sea of red, Dash stood out as one of the day’s biggest gainers, up over 60 percent at its peak. The obvious question is why.

Big blocks activation

As Bitcoin’s big blockers gave up hope following the cancellation of SegWit2x, Dash had already begun the process of activating a block size upgrade on its own network, boosting blocks to 2MB. While Bitcoin Cash is by far the favorite of the big block crowd, it’s possible some have placed at least a portion of their funds in Dash.

Earlier this year, Dash received some positive attention from big blockers Roger Ver and Charlie Shrem.

Dash has its own scalability plan, and it’s chosen an on-chain path. Rather than deploying payment channels like Bitcoin’s experimental Lightning Network or Ethereum’s planned Raiden Network, Dash intends to use ultra-large blocks. Dash’s founder Evan Duffield posted on Medium earlier this year:

“Many projects in the space believe that on-chain scaling is impossible. That’s simply because they haven’t explored alternative P2P architectures for higher performance. We intend to show just how far an incentivized second tier [masternode] architecture can take a project like Dash.”

Version 12.2 and Evolution

The bigger blocks come as part of a network-wide upgrade to version 12.2 of the Dash software. Core developer UdjinM6 posted on the Dash forums:

The most notable changes are:

  • DIP0001 implementation (which is a 2MB block upgrade);
  • Transaction fee reduction 10x (activates via DIP0001 activation);
  • InstantSend vulnerability fix (activates via DIP0001 lock in);
  • PrivateSend improvement which should allow user to have mixed funds available much faster;
  • Various RPC changes;
  • Lots of backports from Bitcoin Core and refactoring of our own legacy code which should improve performance and make code more reliable and easier to review;
  • Experimental HD wallet with BIP39/BIP44 support.

These changes help pave the way for Dash Evolution, expected later next year. Evolution aims to make cryptocurrency use so simple that “even your grandma [could use it].” Since Evolution is expected to be a major upgrade, any steps toward that goal are likely to be favored by the market.

Pump and dump teams at work?

When Dash’s price rose rapidly in March of this year, many believed that pump and dump teams were at work. We’ve seen such pumps and dumps repeatedly this year, as big money quickly buys up an asset, squeezes the shorts, then sells once new investors come in and push the price even higher.

Pump and dump teams are something that no project has any control over, and while most currencies would prefer gradual, organic growth, sometimes market manipulators have other ideas.

Whether due to pump and dump teams or because of sudden appreciation of the project’s prospects, Dash has experienced an unprecedented surge while the overall market dropped. Of the top 10 currencies by market capitalization, Dash is up 33 percent, Ethereum is up four percent and Monero is up seven percent. The others are all flat or down. Indeed, 36 of the top 50 currencies by market cap are in the red today.

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Charlie Shrem “Among The First” To Apologize Over SegWit2x Bitcoin Fork

The botched attempt to upgrade the Bitcoin network via SegWit2x is settling quickly. However, some in the Bitcoin community are bent on making its crusaders feel the heat.

They took to Charlie Shrem‘s Twitter page to vent their displeasure as he apologizes for supporting the upgrade. The SegWit2x upgrade was abruptly called off yesterday, about a week before its proposed launch, due to lack of consensus.

Mea culpa

Shrem tweeted:

For many, his words didn’t have the intended effect. Several commenters showed disdain for Shrem because of his support of the software upgrade. Vake‏ @vakeraj notes it would have been better if Shrem had realized this long ago, rather than wasting countless hours of developer time.

Another respondent, Hunter Shields‏ @huntershieldz, claims it would be hard to trust Shrem in the future, asserting that he’d lied about consensus. The tweet says: “You didn’t follow the BIP process of SCIENCE/CONSENSUS. You almost rushed a HARD FORK costing billions of OTHER people’s money.  And wasted time/energy/money of others the past six months. Someone lied about consensus.”

Others reference his previous roles in the community and credit his ability to come out and make a public apology.

ARD‏ @ar_d2012 tweets: “Charlie I watched documentaries about you when I was learning about Bitcoin. I made my girlfriend watch. You were a hero for me. If I see you I WANT to take a picture with you.. But I was devastated to know you supported #segwit2x.”

Others like Chris Ani‏ @Christianani1 and 1X Gonzo‏ @gonzoucab praise Shrem’s “good heart” what he has done for Bitcoin. A. Hannan Ismail‏ @A_Hannan_Ismail simply states: “You’re a good man.”

A Bitcoin entrepreneur and advocate, Shrem is a founding member of Bitcoin Foundation. He was made the business development director for Jaxx, a multi-platform cryptocurrency wallet, in May.

Shrem’s hope in his apology that his intentions – as well as that of others – would be seen in the long term as good, as this was also questioned. Two respondents refer him to the saying that “the way to hell is paved with good intentions.”

There have also been calls for crypto users to push for signers of the New York Agreement such as BitPay, BitGo, Coinbase and Gemini to start using SegWit.