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6 Banks Partner with IBM to Use Stellar Technology and XLM as “Bridge Currency”

Stellar, the blockchain that intends to become a decentralized alternative for interconnecting banks and institutions, has had an outstanding performance during the last few weeks, not only from technical indicators but also at the level of adoption and development of its technology.

On Monday, March 18, IBM announced that six international banks signed letters of intent to adopt IBM World Wire technology on their respective infrastructures.

Stellar Lumens (XLM) New Logo

IBM World-Wire is a payment network developed by IBM based on the Stellar public blockchain that allows these banks to mobilize funds almost instantly and explore other financial services such as the creation of their own networks and even issuing native stablecoins.

However, one of the news that provoked more emotion in the community is the fact that besides the benefits mentioned above, the use of Stellar’s blockchain would allow banks to handle Stellar Lumens (XLM) as a bridge cryptocurrency to facilitate the exchange of tokens.

Of the six banks, three have been identified by the CoinDesk team: RCBC from the Philippines, Banco Bradesco from Brazil, and Bank Busan of South Korea. The remaining ones have not yet publicly disclosed their involvement.

Jesse Lund, IBM’s head of blockchain for financial services was quite enthusiastic about IBM’s projection in this market. He said he hopes IBM will have the ability to offer its services to U.S. banks very soon. Basically, the main obstacle is imposed by regulatory bodies.

“So we are starting with markets that are outside of the U.S., but it won’t be long before we add U.S. as an operating endpoint. It will be sometime this year; we will get to it, third quarter, fourth quarter something like that,”

Lund explains that they feel optimistic since they received “a favorable verbal response” (so it is possible to expect a formal response in a short time) from regulatory bodies.

Stellar XLM + IBM = Good News for the Ecosystem

The partnership between Stellar and IBM has been quite fruitful for both parties. IBM now has a solid technology and a strong enough reputation for being an important competitor in an emerging market virtually dominated by Ripple.

Similarly, Stellar has gained a high level of credibility, and its token has shown a bullish behavior after the news of the partnership with IBM and its recent listing in Coinbase Pro.

Stellar Lumens (XLM) has been on a bullish trend during the last month. According to data provided by Coinpricewatch, the token broke the resistance set at 0.085 USD to reach a price close to the 0.11 USD

courtesy: Coinpricewatch

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CoinMarketCap Indices Listed on Bloomberg, Nasdaq

CoinMarketCap, a cryptocurrency price index and one of the most popular crypto websites by traffic volume, has announced the launch of two cryptocurrency indices on Bloomberg Terminal, Nasdaq Global Index Data Service, as well as Thomson Reuters Eikon and Börse Stuttgart. The indices will be calculated by German index provider Solactive, according to the details of the press release published on CoinMarketCap’s official blog Mar. 20.

Per the announcement, CoinMarketCap’s new benchmark indices will offer users the ability to reference coins with and without the influence of Bitcoin,

“most comprehensive ones on the market, covering the Top 200 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, one including Bitcoin, and one without.”

The first indices titled CMC Crypto 200 Index (CMC200), which includes Bitcoin, will cover more than 90 percent fo the global cryptocurrency market. The alternative index–sans Bitcoin–CMC Crypto 200 ex BTC index (CMC200EX) will allow investors the option of viewing the market in the absence of Bitcoin, which currently holds close to 50 percent of total market share.

According to CoinMarketCap CEO Brandon Chez, the website’s launch onto popular terminals such as Bloomberg and Nasdaq will increase user accessibility to cryptocurrency data and increase penetration into the traditional financial markets,

“We are excited to launch and share these indices with the market. These indices will promote greater accessibility to cryptocurrency data in an easier-to-digest format.

In partnership with Solactive, our chosen index administrator, we hope these professionally-calculated indices will serve to expand the reach of cryptocurrencies into the larger financial markets.”

The press release also includes information on the history of CoinMarkCap, explaining to users that the company was the first to create and quantify the terms “market capitalization,” “circulating supply” and “Bitcoin dominance” in reference to the crypto markets.

Solactive AG, the independent Germin index provider which will calculate CMC’s new indices, is also the provider for CBOE Bitcoin Futures index and over 3,000 custom-made indices. The press release also reports that the company is “fully compliant with the IOSCO Principles for FInancial Benchmarks.”

Fabian Colin, Head of Sales at Solactive further explained his company’s position in CMC’s indices launch,

“We are very proud to be chosen as CMC’s index provider of choice in this exciting journey. The ability to access CoinMarketCap data gives us the opportunity to develop custom indices for new clients. Conversations have already started.

We are looking forward to developing more crypto indices in the future, which will optimistically result in investable indices and might lead to further products.”

While CoinMarketCap has evolved into the most popular portal for investors to view cryptocurrency prices, the website has experienced a bit of controversy over the years. In Jan. 2018, the website made the sudden decision to remove Korean markets included in their price listing, causing many top coins to appear to drop double digits percentage points seemingly overnight. The result was a mass panic of crypto selloff, leading to further depressed prices and contributing to the shift in crypto’s bullish rally at the start of 2018 to what has become more than a year of “crypto winter” for coin prices.

Just this week, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao called into question the data presented by popular crypto price-trackers such as CoinMarketCap in response to a report alleging most cryptocurrency exchanges are publishing false trading volume.

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Payment Service Square is Hiring Crypto Engineers, Offers Salaries in Bitcoin

Payment platform Square is hiring cryptocurrency engineers and is offering to pay them in digital currency.

United States-based payment platform Square is hiring cryptocurrency engineers and is offering to pay them in digital currency, according to a tweet published by Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey on March 20.

In the tweet, Dorsey announces that “Square is hiring 3–4 crypto engineers and one designer to work full-time on open source contributions to the Bitcoin/crypto ecosystem. Work from anywhere, report directly to me, and we can even pay you in Bitcoin!”

Dorsey further commented that the decision to pay employees in digital currency is based on the intention “to make the broader crypto ecosystem better,” thus contributing to the Bitcoin (BTC) community.

Dorsey also noted that this will be the first open source initiative independent from their business objectives as potentially hired engineers will entirely focus on “what’s best for the crypto community and individual economic empowerment, not on Square’s commercial interests.”

As previously reported, Square registered $166 million in annual Bitcoin revenue for 2018. The company achieved over $52 million in Bitcoin sales for Q4, surpassing Q3 by $9 million and Q2 by more than $15 million. However, clear profit from the Bitcoin operations, which involve Square’s consumer app Cash, remained low, as purchasing costs account for the vast majority of revenue.

Last month, Dorsey — a known Bitcoin advocate —  again declared that he believes Bitcoin to be the Internet’s native currency:

“[Bitcoin] was something that was born on the internet, that was developed on the internet, that was tested on the internet…It is of the internet.”

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QuadrigaCX’s Legal Representatives Create Affected Users Committee

QuadrigaCX’s legal council has formed a dedicated committee to help provide guidance in representing affected clients of the exchange.

A new committee appointed by law firms Miller Thomson and Cox & Palmer will provide guidance in representing affected clients of major Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX. The development was announced in a court notice on March 19.

In the filing, Miller Thompson reveals that it has established the Official Committee of Affected Users of now-shuttered QuadrigaCX, comprising of seven users affected by the shutdown of the trading platform following the sudden death of its co-founder, Gerald Cotten, last December.

At the time, the exchange reported that it was not able to access its cold wallet holdings, as Cotten had purportedly been the sole person with access to wallets’ keys. With the allegedly inaccessible crypto accounting for the vast majority of the exchange’s assets, QuadrigaCX now owes over $198.4 million to an estimated 115,000 users.

The newly formed committee is set to help the law firms represent all affected users in the court proceedings against QuadrigaCX. The committee can reportedly “retain advisors, experts and consultants to provide advice to and to assist the Official Committee of Affected Users and Representative Council in the exercise of their duties in relation to the Purpose.”

The committee members have varying fields of expertise and include such industry players as Eric Bachour, a creditor of now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox, and Magdalena Gronowska, who has advisory experience in economic policy development for the Government of Ontario.

Miller Thomson and Cox & Palmer were appointed as QuadrigaCX’s legal representatives in February by a decision rendered by the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, Justice Michael Wood. The representative council was set to be responsible for “managing communications with users; acting as user liaison for the monitor [Ernst & Young]; advocating for user interests before the court; identify[ing] potential conflicting interest amongst users; and advocating for user privacy.”

As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, QuadrigaCX’s co-founder Michael Patryn was reportedly involved in multiple criminal activities in the past. Patryn and his partner, Lovie Horner, remain two of QuadrigaCX’s largest shareholders, although he has not had any involvement in the company’s operations since 2016 due to a fundamental disagreement with Cotten.

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North Korean Dissidents Sell Ethereum-Based Post-Liberation Visas

North Korean political dissident group Cheollima Civil Defence is selling Ethereum-based visas valid for entering the country after its supposed liberation.

North Korean political dissident group Cheollima Civil Defence (CCD) is selling Ethereum-based (ETH) visas for entering the country once it is supposedly liberated.

The CCD’s website advertises a “Limited issuance of 200,000 anonymous blockchain visas to visit Free Joseon (previously North Korea) upon liberation” Free Joseon is seemingly a reference to the Joseon Kingdom, a five century long dynasty that was succeeded by the Korean Empire. The visas are emitted in the form of non-fungible ERC-721 tokens dubbed G-VISA on the Ethereum blockchain. The price, for the first one thousand visas, will be 1 ETH.

Per the announcement, the issuance will begin on Sunday, March 24 and all the visas will expire on March 1, 2029, and can only be used once for a stay of 45 days at most. One person can purchase unlimited visas and enter the country multiple times, while being subject to relevant customs and port of entry restrictions.

The website also explains that “each G-VISA is assigned an incrementing ID Number in the order it was purchased,” so no specific number can be requested or changed. CCD states that while ideally the visas could be used to visit a free North Korea:

“Ownership of one or more G-VISAs should be considered a contribution to the movement and should not be used for speculative or fiduciary purposes.”

While discouraging speculation, CCD also points out that G-VISAs may be available on ERC-721 marketplaces such as OpenSea, and recommends to look there for preferred issuance IDs. Notably, while the issuance of the visas will supposedly start on March 24, there are already 5 G-VISAs listed on OpenSea and the page dedicated to the token on Ethereum block explorer Etherscan reveals that already 7 of them exist.

The Bitcoin (BTC) address dedicated to donations has received over 14 BTC so far, ($56,000 at press time) while the Ethereum donation address only received one-hundredth of an ETH at press time.

Cable news network CNN attributed a recent attack on the North Korean embassy in Madrid, to CCD. Armed assailants reportedly restrained staff members before stealing a variety of items and fleeing the premises.

As Cointelegraph recently reported, North Korea has allegedly amassed $670 million in fiat and cryptocurrencies by conducting hacking attacks.

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Swiss Federal Assembly Approves Instructions on Cryptocurrency Regulation

Switzerland’s Federal Assembly has approved proposals to instruct lawmakers on cryptocurrency regulation.

The legislative body of the Swiss government, the Federal Assembly, has approved a motion to instruct the Federal Council to adapt existing legislation for cryptocurrency regulation. Coitelegraph auf Deutsch reported on the development on March 20.

The motion introduced by Liberal assemblyman Giovanni Merlini intends to instruct the Federal Council to adapt existing provisions on procedural instruments of judicial and administrative authorities, so that they can also be applied to cryptocurrencies. The Council approved the motion introduced with 99 to 83 votes in favor and 10 abstensions.

The move aims to close perceived gaps in protecting cryptocurrency users from illicit activities like extortion and money laundering. The legislation is set to determine how to stifle cryptocurrency-associated risks, as well as whether entities operating crypto trading platforms should be equated with financial intermediaries, and thus be subject to financial market supervision.

Following the approval, Swiss finance minister Ueli Maurer reportedly stated that the proposed developments exceeded the scope of the planned regulation.

Last December, Maurer indicated that instead of a specific blockchain or cryptocurrency legal framework, Switzerland should tweak existing laws to allow for the new technology and its financial application.

Earlier in March, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), a Swiss-based international banking authority, warned that the robust growth of the crypto industry could potentially “raise financial stability concerns and increase risks faced by banks.” The BCBS also argued that crypto assets are “unsafe to rely on” as a medium of exchange or store of value — two of the main functions of money — implying that “cryptocurrency” is a misnomer.

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Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, EOS, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, Binance Coin, Tron, Cardano: Price Analysis, March 20

Another multi-million dollar token sale that sold out in minutes on Binance Launchpad shows that appetite for new coins with strong use cases is returning.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

Binance Launchpad completed the sale of $4 million in Celer Network (CELR) tokens within 17 minutes and 35 seconds. This is the third such successful launch by the company. This shows that the market appetite is increasing for new coins that strong use cases.

Avnet, Inc, distributors of electronic components and technology solutions providers and Swiss online retailer Digitec Galaxus will accept cryptocurrencies. We expect many other players to go down the crypto path in the future. This will help bring crypto to the masses and realize the potential of crypto as a medium of exchange.  

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are path-breaking technologies. However, it is difficult to change the attitude of the people accustomed to using outdated systems and platforms. To give the nascent space a favorable push among the lawmakers, the number of lobbyists working on blockchain technology issues in Washington D.C. tripled in 2018.

Though fundamentals have been improving, the price of cryptocurrencies has been slow to respond. Nevertheless, a few major digital currencies have risen sharply from the yearly lows. Are they good for more, or will the rally stall? Let’s find out.

BTC/USD

Bitcoin (BTC) has been trading in a tight range between $3,950 and $4,035 for the past three days. Usually, a tight consolidation is followed by a range expansion. We expect the bulls to propel the price towards the overhead resistance of $4,255. This level will also act as a stiff resistance. But if the digital currency breaks out and sustains above $4,255, it will complete a double bottom pattern that has a target objective of $5,273.91.

Both the moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is in positive territory. This shows that the bulls have the upper hand.

Contrary to our expectation, if the BTC/USD pair turns down from the current levels and breaks below the uptrend line, it can dip to the 50-day SMA. If this support also breaks, a fall to $,3575 is probable.

The trend will turn negative on a breakdown to new yearly lows. Such a move will dent the sentiment and can prolong the existing bear market. Therefore, traders can keep the stop loss on the long positions below $3,236.09.

ETH/USD

Ethereum (ETH) is holding the 20-day EMA for the past two days. But it has failed to breakout and rally above $144.78. We anticipate a strong decisive move within the next few days.

If the bulls scale $144.78, a quick rally to $167.32 is likely because there is no resistance in between these two levels. On a close (UTC time frame) above $167.32, the ascending triangle pattern that has a target objective of $251.64 will complete.

Conversely, if the bears sink the ETH/USD pair below the 50-day SMA, a fall to $116.3 is probable. Traders can protect the remaining long positions with stops at $125.

XRP/USD

Ripple (XRP) continues to consolidate in a tight range. This shows a balance between buyers and sellers. The flat moving averages and the RSI close to 50 suggests that the range bound action might continue for a few more days.

The next trending move will start either on a breakout of the overhead resistance of $0.33108 or a breakdown from the uptrend line of the ascending triangle.

On the upside, the target levels to watch out for are the resistance line of the descending channel and above it $0.40. Above this level, the XRP/USD pair is likely to pick up momentum. On the downside, $0.27795 is an important support, below which the slide can deepen to $0.24508. Therefore, traders can retain the stops on the long positions below $0.27795.

LTC/USD

Litecoin (LTC) is trying to bounce off the support at $56.910. If the bulls can push it above $62.45, it will indicate strength. The next level to watch on the upside is $65.561 and above it $69.2790.

Both the moving averages are sloping up, which shows that the bulls have the upper hand. Still, we continue to watch the negative divergence on the RSI closely.

If the LTC/USD pair reverses direction and plummets below the 20-day EMA, it can drop to the 50-day SMA. Therefore, we suggest traders keep the stop loss on the remaining long positions at $52.

EOS/USD

The bulls again bought the dip below the 20-day EMA, which indicates demand at lower levels. However, EOS is facing resistance close to $3.8723. The price is largely stuck between these two levels. We expect the digital currency to break out of the overhead resistance or break down of the 20-day EMA within the next few days.

On a breakdown below the 20-day EMA, the EOS/USD pair can slide to the 50-day SMA and below it to $3.1534. We anticipate a strong support around these levels, hence, we propose a stop loss of $3.10 on the remaining long positions.

Conversely, if the bulls push the price above $3.8723, a rally to $4.4930 is probable. The up-sloping moving averages and the RSI in the positive territory suggest that the path of least resistance is to the upside.

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has been trading close to the overhead resistance of $163.89 for the past three days. This shows that the bulls are in no hurry to book profits. The moving averages have started to slope up gradually and the RSI is close to the overbought zone. This shows that the bulls are in command.

A breakout and close above the BCH/USD pair will carry the price to $175 and above it to $220. Eventually, we expect the pair to reach the stiff overhead resistance of $239. Therefore, traders can keep the stop loss on their long positions at $116.

Contrary to our assumption, if the digital currency turns down from the current levels, it can correct to the 20-day EMA and below it to the 50-day SMA.

XLM/USD

Stellar (XLM) rallied to the resistance line on March 18 but could not break out of it. Profit booking has again pushed the digital currency back into the range. However, the 20-day EMA is sloping up and the RSI is close to the overbought zone. This suggests that the bulls are at an advantage.

If the XLM/USD pair breaks out of the resistance line, it can rally to $0.13250273 and above it to $0.14861760. We expect the 20-day EMA to act as a support on any dip.

Our bullish assumption will be negated if the pair plunges below the 20-day EMA and slides to the 50-day SMA. For now, traders can retain the stops on the long positions at $0.08. We shall soon trail it higher to $0.10.

BNB/USD

Binance Coin (BNB) has dipped below $15.9100517 and is retesting the support at $15. The small uptrend line also lies at this level and the 20-day EMA is just below it. We expect this support zone between $15 and the 20-day EMA to hold.

Both the moving averages are trending up and the RSI is close to the overbought zone. This suggests that the bulls are in command.

If the BNB/USD pair rebounds from the support zone, it will again attempt to break out of the overhead resistance and move towards its target objective of $18. On the other hand, a breakdown of the 20-day EMA can sink the price to the 50-day SMA. Traders can, therefore, keep the stop loss on the remaining long positions at $14.

TRX/USD

Tron (TRX) has been trading close to the 20-day EMA for the past six days. The small trading ranges suggest a balance between buyers and sellers. However, this is unlikely to continue for long. We should see an increase in volatility within the next few days.

A breakout of the 20-day EMA can carry the TRX/USD pair to the critical overhead resistance of $0.02815521. If the bulls break out and sustain above the range, the pair is likely to start a new uptrend.

On the other hand, if the digital currency turns down from the current levels, it can drop to $0.02094452 and if this level also breaks, the slide can stretch to $0.01830.

ADA/USD

Cardano (ADA) has again risen above the overhead resistance of $0.051468. This is the second time the bulls have scaled the resistance within four days. Now, if the price moves above $0.05650, it is likely to start a new uptrend.

The first target on the upside is $0.066121, above which the move can extend to $0.080. Therefore, traders can initiate long positions above $0.05650 and keep a stop loss at $0.044. We shall soon trail it to $0.048.

Our bullish view will be invalidated if the ADA/USD pair falls back into the $0.036815 to $0.051468 range. Such a move will extend the consolidation for a few more weeks.

Мarket data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. Charts for analysis are provided by TradingView.

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Ontology (ONT) and Tezos (XTZ) Welcoming Double Digit Increase: Latest News Summary

With the crypto-pioneer and largest by market capitalization among thousands of coins – Bitcoin (BTC) standing above the major $4,000.00 against the US Dollar, various crypto values are making their moves above resistances.

Per time of writing – the pair ONT/USD is trading at $1.28 with a positive change of hands – total of 14.83% in the last 24-hours making it the leader among the 20 largest ranked coins. Going from Bit-Z to OKEx and DigiFinex, the top 5 exchanging platforms of ONT are very close to each other counting just above 10.00% of the total transaction volume which is $130 million.

Source: coinmarketcap

While in the monthly-long term trading trend ONT/USD is standing safe above $0.8000 as a ground support, with today’s performance the pair broke above the daily tanking trend that if held could potential open gates for more recovery on the medium to long term.

During one of the most successful and largest ICOs ever held – Tezos Foundation raised over $232 mil bringing a new cryptocurrency in the market. During a contact made by Reuters to the president of the foundation it was confirmed that its MainNet was set to launch on the 14th of Sep, 2018. In the first quarter of 2019, Ontology has announced partnerships with ParityGames and GoWithMi to advance the cause of the platform. The first game, that was given birth to by the parnership, called “The Isolated City” will launch on the Ontology based Party Games platform.

Continuing – just two weeks ago the team behind Ontology made the partnership with GoWithMi public which aims to create via Ontology’s technological support an infrastructure for digitizing land rights. Currently GoWithMi is working together with big names such as Honda, Toyota, Grab and Gojek.

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