Markets Update: Bear Market Adds Cryptocurrency Trading Uncertainty

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Markets Update: Bear Market Adds Cryptocurrency Trading Uncertainty

Cryptocurrency markets have had a rough week over the last seven days as many digital assets lost quite a bit of value most had gained two weeks prior. Currently, markets are seemingly consolidating and have remained somewhat stable over the last 24-hours. At the moment Bitcoin Core (BTC) values have been hovering around $7,470-7,560 during the last few hours. Meanwhile, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) prices are steadily holding just above the $1K region at $1,038 per BCH at the time of publication.

Also Read: Bank in Argentina Launches BTC Settlement Services

A Crazy Volatile Week in Crypto-Land Filled With Lots of FUD

It’s been another crazy week in the world of cryptocurrency markets as most of the recovered gains most digital assets gathered from three weeks ago have been erased. Trade volume has been considerably low for nearly every market as the $13Bn worth of trades is less than half the volume we saw two weeks ago. Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts witnessed the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) initiated a probe earlier this week that aims to look for manipulation in Bitcoin market values. Interestingly enough those watching order books watched thousands of cryptos being sold at market rates just before the mainstream media announced the DoJ probe, which to some traders that phenomenon indicated actual manipulation from the very organization’s initiating the probe.    

Markets Update: Bear Market Adds Cryptocurrency Trading Uncertainty
Cryptos have been in a bear market since the year started.

Bitcoin Cash Market Action

Bitcoin Cash markets have been seeing some losses over the past few days since our last markets update. Today’s trading sessions show BCH prices hovering around $1,038 as the past 24-hours have seen a drop of about 1 percent. Over the last seven days, BCH markets are down 13 percent with today’s trade volume hovering around $538Mn. Top exchanges trading the most BCH on May 26 are Okex, Hitbtc, Lbank, EXX, and Huobi. The top currency swapped with BCH today is BTC as the asset captures 44.8 percent of trades today. This is followed by tether (USDT 29.9%), USD (15.5%), KRW (7%), and the ETH (1%).

Markets Update: Bear Market Adds Cryptocurrency Trading Uncertainty

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the 4-hour and 1-day charts for Bitfinex (BCH/USD) shows some mixed signals and deep consolidation. Right now RSI levels are around 39, showing oversold conditions, and the MACd shows convergence around -5 revealing momentum may pick up today. However, the two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) trend lines are still spread with the 100 SMA below the long-term 200 SMA. This indicates a continued bearish outlook as the path to resistance looks to the downside.

Markets Update: Bear Market Adds Cryptocurrency Trading Uncertainty
May 26, 2018, BCH/USD Bitfinex.

Bulls have eaten through lots of resistance over the past 24 hours and need to push past $1,070 for smoother seas. The next pitstop will be around $1,125 as BCH bulls will need to break this zone. If the bears continue relentlessly beating crypto-markets there are some solid foundations on the backside of BCH order books. Going downwards we will see pit stops at 950 and 900 per BCH if prices happened to drop that low going forward. Beyond that books become much thinner.

The Top Cryptocurrency Market Performances This Weekend

Overall most cryptocurrency markets are seeing some slight recovery today and consolidated behavior. Bitcoin Core (BTC) markets are up a hair at 0.61 percent for the intra-day but over the past seven days, markets are down 8.8 percent. BTC’s current weighted price average is $7,560 as BTC bulls are trying to break above current resistance. The second highest market cap held by Ethereum (ETH) is up today 0.42 percent and the price hovers around $605 per ETH. Ripple (XRP) markets are up 1 percent as one XRP is priced today at $0.62 cents. Lastly, the fifth position is still held by EOS, and out of the top five, it has improved the most seeing a 2 percent gain today. EOS is averaging around $12.65 per token at the time of publication.

Markets Update: Bear Market Adds Cryptocurrency Trading Uncertainty
Top ten cryptocurrency valuations on May 26, 2018.

The Verdict: Uncertainty Remains

The verdict this week is similar to our last markets update as traders still seem uncertain to where the ‘Good Ship Crypto’ will take them. 2017 was a wild ride but 2018 has been nothing but FUD, regulations, and bearish market sentiment. Even exciting developments and positive developments this spring have not been able to lift markets beyond the $10K region for weeks on end. Currently across social media, forums, and big trading groups on Telegram the sentiment remains uncertain over the course of the short term but long term sentiment continues to be bullish.

Where do you see the price of BCH, BTC, and other cryptocurrencies headed from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”


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Spending Bitcoin in Europe Is Getting Easier Thanks to Wirex and Paytomat

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Spending Bitcoin in Europe Is Getting Easier Thanks to Wirex and Paytomat

European cryptocurrency holders have reason to be cheerful. Slowly but surely it’s becoming easier to spend BTC, BCH, and a range of other cryptos throughout the continent, with payment services like Wirex and Paytomat leading the charge. It’s now possible to spend bitcoin in hundreds of restaurants and stores throughout Eastern Europe, as well as anywhere that accepts Visa in the whole of mainland Europe and the UK.

Also read: SA Central Bank Comes Up With Another Nickname for Cryptos – “Cyber Tokens”

Wirex Rolls Out Its New Crypto Debit Cards

When crypto debit cards were cancelled in Europe last year, with a Visa subsidiary to blame, tens of thousands of cryptocurrency holders were left clutching worthless pieces of plastic. But as crypto companies have forged new alliances with payment processors, crypto debit cards have started to return, and hopefully this time they’re here to stay. In the past two weeks, Wirex has begun dispatching physical cards to UK and mainland European customers who were on its waiting list. News.Bitcoin.com had a chance to put one of the cards to the test, topping it up with BTC and then spending it in-store and online, and was impressed with the results.

Spending Bitcoin in Europe Is Getting Easier Thanks to Wirex and Paytomat
Processing a cryptocurrency payment with Paytomat

A full review of the Wirex crypto debit card follows below, after a quick look at what Paytomat have been up to. The cryptocurrency payment system supports 11 cryptos including bitcoin cash and zencash, and has support from over 330 restaurants and stores at present, mostly in Eastern Europe. It’s since expanded into Western Europe, however, with a launch that took place in an Amsterdam soup kitchen earlier this month.

Spending Bitcoin in Europe Is Getting Easier Thanks to Wirex and Paytomat

Paytomat CEO Yurii Olentir said: “Amsterdam is one of the most crypto-friendly places, so we chose it for our kick-off in Western Europe. With millions of tourists visiting every month, cryptocurrencies can be a very convenient payment method. For example, a transaction in Bitcoin Cash takes just a couple of seconds and the fee is miniscule.”

In total, Paytomat supports BCH, ZEN, XEM, DASH, WAVES, LTC, ETH, NANO, DCR, XZC and BTC, and as a video demonstration shows, paying for a meal with bitcoin cash is quick and easy:

A Quick Look at the Wirex Crypto Card in Action

Spending Bitcoin in Europe Is Getting Easier Thanks to Wirex and PaytomatI applied for a Wirex card weeks ago, and succeeded after several failed attempts at address verification. At one point I feared I was never going to convince their KYC I lived where I claimed to live, but a stamped bank confirmation letter finally did the trick. The team’s customer support was helpful throughout, to their credit. Last week, Wirex announced that its cards were finally ready to ship. Mine arrived in a beautifully packaged sleeve that folds out to reveal the slogan “The most versatile payments card in the world” accompanied by a heart emoji face.

If I thought the presentation was good, the activation turned out to be even slicker. With the Wirex app already installed on my phone, all I had to do was hold the card in proximity to the device and the NFC chip automatically extracted the last four digits of the card and the CVV number. I clicked the verification email link and that was it: my card was good to go. Wirex accepts BTC and LTC, but no BCH or ETH unfortunately. Hopefully they’ll add more cryptocurrency support in due course. For now, I fired over some BTC, and not long afterward a notification informed me that my coins had arrived.

Spending Bitcoin in Europe Is Getting Easier Thanks to Wirex and Paytomat

A Few Hiccups, But Otherwise Impressive

For users who don’t already have cryptocurrency to hand, Wirex enables you to top up your card using your existing bank account; transfers reportedly clear within a few hours. With my BTC loaded, I tried to transfer the balance to GBP so I could spend it, but accidentally swapped into LTC instead; the process is a little confusing. At the second time of asking, I worked out how to complete the swap, and within seconds my litecoin had been exchanged for British pounds. My daughter had been pestering me to buy more reading credits for her iOS app, and so my first £10 of crypto went on purchasing virtual gems.

Spending Bitcoin in Europe Is Getting Easier Thanks to Wirex and Paytomat

I planned to test the card at a restaurant next, but when it came to pay the bill realized that I didn’t know the PIN for the Wirex card, and was forced to use an alternate method to settle up. Back home, I searched through every submenu of the Wirex mobile app and desktop platform to find where the PIN number was located. I got there, eventually, though it wasn’t intuitive at all. This minor grumble aside, the card works perfectly, and there’s even 0.5% in cashback to be earned on all purchases – paid in BTC.

Spending Bitcoin in Europe Is Getting Easier Thanks to Wirex and Paytomat
Every time you use your Wirex card, you’re credited cashback in satoshis

Naturally, Wirex make their cut in terms of the exchange rate you’re offered every time you switch from fiat to crypto and vice-versa. This is still preferable to having to cash out crypto through Localbitcoins.com or similar every time you need to spend money in the “real world.” On first impressions, the Wirex card looks very good. My only concern is that now my kids and girlfriend have a direct line to my bitcoin, I fear for my crypto.

Do you use a crypto debit card and if so what’s your experience of it? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wirex, and Paytomat.


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Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Crypto Hiring and Blockchain Welfare, From Down Under

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Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Crypto Hiring and Blockchain Welfare, From Down Under

Instant crypto-denominated salaries and blockchain-based social security payments feature in Saturday’s Bitcoin in Brief. Reports about these promising developments in the labor market and the public sector come from Australia. Also, the Slovak tax authority intends to use blockchain technology for more efficient tax collection.  

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin Cash

Crypto-Based Hiring Platform Supports Instant Pay Option

A new employment service offers to cut out banks and pay workers in real-time using cryptocurrency. Another feature will rate employees using a blockchain-based reputation and review process, designed to ensure that higher quality work gets paid better. The “Pay As You Go” system has been launched recently in Australia.

Sergei Sergienko, the entrepreneur behind the project, claims that instant salary payments are possible with cryptos, tokens, and thanks to the underlying technology – blockchain. His “global job platform” Laborx is developed to do exactly that – pay employees while they are working, so that everyone can start spending on the way home.

“The way for people to be remunerated is based on pre-Industrial Revolution kind of wages – you spend the time in the factory, and you get paid,” he said, quoted by Business Insider Australia. “If you look around, everything else has changed. And it’s really, really weird that the way people get paid for their services, for their time, for their work, has not gone through any revolution of sorts,” Sergienko noted.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Crypto Hiring and Blockchain Welfare, From Down Under

The businessman, who owns a successful labor hire, staffing and training company called the Edway Group, believes that the revolution comes in the form of the “Labour-Hour Tokens” (LHT) and the hiring ecosystem of Laborx, which is now live in beta version. Using it, companies can hire anyone – from top experts from around the world, to local fruit pickers – and pay them instantly with cryptocurrency. “A fair hour’s pay for a fair hour’s work” has been promised.

Laborx also features a tokenized reputation system. Its developers say that it combines dozens of candidate data points and stores the information on a blockchain. The platform is said to ensure job seekers get their best market rate, while also eliminating payment delays and disputes. “If your reviews are consistently good, you can charge more per hour for your services. And the person who hires you knows you’re worth it,” Sergei Sergienko explains. Other cryptocurrency projects to be trialing this model include time-based “knowledge transfer” service Whenhub, founded by Dilbert creator Scott Adams.

Distributed Ledger to Be Used For Welfare Delivery

While the private sector has been developing a crypto-hiring platform, Australian authorities have been planning to employ blockchain technology to improve the welfare payments delivery in the country. The intentions were made public recently by the Digital Transformation Agency, a government body tasked with the digitization of public services and government institutions. The project to put social security payments on blockchain will pilot the wider implementation of the technology.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Crypto Hiring and Blockchain Welfare, From Down Under“Our plan is to look for use cases across the Commonwealth with an initial focus on the welfare payment delivery system. Then, working with our digital service standard, we’ll conduct user research with a view to having a prototype by the end of next financial year,” said DTA’s acting CEO Randall Brugeaud during the Cebit Australia conference in Sidney last week.

Recently, The DTA received AU$700,000 from the 2018-19 budget to probe the implementation of distributed ledger technologies in the public sector. Brugeaud commented that the funds will give his agency an opportunity to explore innovative ways to securely and efficiently deliver government services using blockchain.

Slovak Tax Authority Eyes Blockchain for Efficient Collection

The Financial Administration of Slovakia aims to become a pioneer in blockchain technology implementation. The tax authority in Bratislava intends to use it to streamline its processes and procedures. The main objective is to make tax collection more efficient, the president of Finančná Správa, František Imrecze told Hospodárske Noviny.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Crypto Hiring and Blockchain Welfare, From Down UnderThe technology, which underpins most cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, will be implemented in Slovakia’s taxation system to initially process about 2 percent of all tax payments, the publication details. The use of blockchain technologies is expected to increase the trust of taxpayers and protect their personal data. Authorities also hope to increase the transparency of tax collection, reduce red tape and minimize costs, Imrecze explained.

Members of the local crypto community and the non-government sector are not sure about the prospects of the project. According to Martin Lindák, analyst with the liberal think-tank F. A. Hayek Foundation, the transparency and security of blockchain applications are there only when they are decentralized. A blockchain lacking this key feature would be just an overpriced database for the public administration, Lindák warned in conversation with the newspaper.

Do you think crypto and blockchain technologies can be successfully implemented in public services and labor relations? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Alleged BTC-e Mastermind Confesses to Russian Money Laundering Charges

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Alleged BTC-e Mastermind Confesses to Russian Money Laundering Charges

According to regional publications in Russia, the alleged BTC-e mastermind and prisoner in Greece, Alexander Vinnik, has allegedly confessed to charges of fraud and money laundering on May 24, 2018. Reports reveal a signed document details that Vinnik admits to committing financial fraud between 2011-2017 through the BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange.

Also read: This Week in Bitcoin: Ghost Scares Markets, Facebook Mulls Coin

Russian Federation Receives an Admission of Guilt from the Alleged BTC-e Mastermind Alexander Vinnik

Russian media sources such as Interfax and Vinnik’s lawyer, Ilias Spirliadis, have reported that Alexander Vinnik has signed a paper that admits to wrongdoing, in regard to money laundering and other cyber crimes. The publication Crime Russia explains that the Russian Federation’s Prosecutor General’s Office received the admission document and passed it on to higher law enforcement officials in Moscow.

The document appears to be a “full confession” to financial fraud using the BTC-e exchange between 2011-2017. The fraudulent activities had caused Russian residents to lose upwards of 750 million rubles ($12.4Mn USD) the document details. Further regional media sources report that Vinnik also confessed to other crimes tethered to computer hacking. Sources say this document may give the Russian Federation the means to extradite Vinnik. The United States government had previously attempted to extradite Vinnik to the U.S. but the motion was challenged.

Alleged BTC-e Mastermind Confesses to Russian Money Laundering Charges
Photo of the accused BTC-e administrator Alexander Vinnik. The Russian citizen has been dubbed the ‘Russian Cryptocurrency King’ by the media.

Vinnik’s Lawyer Ilias Spirliadis: The Russian Federation Will Likely Follow Up With Another Extradition Attempt

Last week officials from the Greek prison where Vinnik is locked up, uncovered a plot that aimed to kill Vinnik. The suspect now has “special security measures,” including not eating and drinking products given to him from unfamiliar individuals. It’s still uncertain at the moment what Greek court officials will do if Russia attempts to extradite Vinnik again after his admission. The document is now in the hands of officials from the police department in the Ostankino district of Moscow.

Vinnik’s lawyer Ilias Spirliadis confirmed the admission document was legitimate and also emphasized that the Russian Federation will likely submit another request for extradition.

What do you think about Alexander Vinnik Confessing to Money Laundering Crimes? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, Crime Russia, and AM 880 The Biz.


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2 Million Revolut Customers Get More Cryptocurrency Access

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2 Million Revolut Customers Get More Cryptocurrency Access

In the heady days of 2017, Revolut Ltd promised it would continue to add cryptocurrency choices for its customer base. The future promise was made after its rollout of onboarding bitcoin core (BTC), litecoin (LTC), and ether (ETH) to eager users. Just this week, the England-based company made good by further adding bitcoin cash (BCH) and ripple (XRP).

Also read: Bitcoin Use Case: Limiting Government Growth

Revolut Adds Bitcoin Cash and Ripple to its Crypto Offerings

In a series of questions and answers format for their unconventional press release this week, the company asked itself “Why did you only add XRP and BCH?” The answer was “Simple – these were the two most popular cryptocurrencies our community wanted, so we rolled up our sleeves and made it happen.” They went on to stress how they’re looking to do even more crypto-related service in the future, asking customers “make some noise and let us know what you want us to add next. We’ll take care of the rest.”

2 Million Revolut Customers Get More Cryptocurrency Access

London’s Revolut kept its promise. Following eager anticipation of its initial embrace of three cryptocurrencies (BTC, ETH, LTC), and successful implementation, the skyrocketing financial technology company announced this week it is now implementing bitcoin cash (BCH) and ripple (XRP) to its basket of cryptos.

The three year old digital bank has a popular prepaid debit card, peer-to-peer payments platform, and both currency and cryptocurrency exchanges for its two million customers. To stay competitive, Revolut operates a loss leader fee structure for many of its services (free). Its proprietary application allows fiat-to-crypto in over two dozen government currencies, serving at over 100 countries worldwide. The company’s backend transactions are managed by crypto exchange heavy Bitstamp.

Open and Available to Everyone

“With hundreds of thousands of customers now actively exchanging cryptocurrencies in the app,” Revolut explained in a cheeky announcement, “the popular view was that we needed to add more digital currencies in addition to bitcoin, litecoin and ether. After months of debate and hard work, we’re extremely proud to welcome XRP and BCH to the Revolut app, which means you can now instantly exchange any of our 25 supported fiat currencies directly into XRP and BCH.” 

2 Million Revolut Customers Get More Cryptocurrency Access

And even though many establishments balk at direct crypto commerce and trade, Revolut customers will be able to use either their Mastercard or Visa regardless. Revolut does all the conversions instantly which could go a long way in enabling the currency aspect of cryptocurrency. Premium customers are provided a concierge-like service along with 1% crypto cashbacks.  

“We have always believed that the world of cryptocurrencies should be open and available to everyone, and not reserved for the tech savvy and digital currency enthusiasts,” the company detailed. “So, back in December, we launched a product that would allow millions of our customers to instantly buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies at the touch of a button. No exchanges. No private keys. No cold storage. Just instant exposure at your fingertips.”

Do you think Revolut will dive more? Let us know what you think of this subject in the comments below.


Images via Pixabay, Revolut, Bitstamp.


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Chinese Exchange Launching Southeast Asian Crypto Trading Hub

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Chinese Exchange Launching Southeast Asian Crypto Trading Hub

Chinese exchange Zb.com has set up a branch in Thailand with a plan to turn it into the regional crypto trading hub in Southeast Asia. The move came as the Thai government finalizes the country’s regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Creating Regional Hub

Chinese Exchange Launching Southeast Asian Crypto Trading Hub
Dawei Li. (Photo credit/Matichon)

Chinese cryptocurrency exchange and wallet provider Zb.com recently announced that it has set up a full-fledged branch in Thailand, called Zbthailand (Zbth), with the aim for it to become the regional crypto trading hub in Southeast Asia, according to local media.

Zb.com already has a presence in China, the US, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, and South Korea, Matichon publication detailed, adding that Zb.com currently has over 3 million customers. According to Coinmarketcap, Zb.com lists 59 coins with a 24-hour trading volume of $160 million.

Dawei Li, the exchange’s co-founder, told the publication:

The company plans to expand its digital currency trading platform in Thailand…in addition to providing knowledge and understanding of blockchain technology and investment in digital assets to Thai investors, including recruiting strategic partners to attract more foreign investors to invest in Thailand.

Chinese Exchange Launching Southeast Asian Crypto Trading Hub

The new exchange offers the trading of 16 cryptocurrencies against the Thai baht, BTC, and ETH. The supported cryptocurrencies at the time of this writing are BTC, LTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, EOS, QTUM, NEO, SNT, AE, ICX, ZRX, EDO, FUN, MANA, and TZB. “All transactions fees are 0.1%,” according to the new exchange’s website.

Chinese Exchange Launching Southeast Asian Crypto Trading Hub

In November last year, Zb.com partnered with licensed Japanese exchange Quoine and Chinese bitcoin mining solution provider BW.com “to support and facilitate liquidity across isolated cryptocurrency & fiat markets,” the companies jointly announced.

Thailand’s Crypto Regulatory Framework

Chinese Exchange Launching Southeast Asian Crypto Trading HubThe decree to regulate cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) went into effect in Thailand on May 14, putting the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in charge of the regulation and “requires sellers and operators of such assets to register with the SEC within 90 days,” Reuters details. The last day for registration is August 14, according to Matichon publication.

The Commission is expected to issue the regulations by the end of June after holding a public hearing. SEC secretary-general Rapee Sucharitakul was quoted by Reuters:

Offerings of digital tokens will not be allowed until the regulations are announced.

According to Rapee, the public hearing will take approximately 2-3 weeks “because investments in digital tokens are complicated and carry high risks.”

What do you think of Zb.com setting up a hub in Thailand? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Matichon, and Zb.com.


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Proof of Work Coins on High Alert Following Spate of 51% Attacks

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Proof of Work Coins on High Alert Following Spate of 51% Attacks

First it happened to verge. $1.8m of cryptocurrency swiped in a matter of hours. Then to bitcoin gold, plundered in an $18m double spend attack. Then to verge again, this time to the tune of $1.7 million. Along the way, monacoin is also believed to have been hit. Someone is methodically working their way through Proof of Work coins, controlling their hashrate, and then launching 51% attacks. Other PoW teams are now on high alert for signs that their coin could be next.

Also read: Caspian Partners With Bitmex to Offer All-In-One Portfolio Services

Following a Spate of Attacks, PoW Teams Batten Down the Hatches

Verge Struck By Second PoW Attack in as Many Months51% attacks, in which a malevolent miner controls the majority of the network hashrate and then uses it to force through fraudulent transactions, are commonly discussed but rarely encountered. That all changed on April 4 when verge was hit by a 51% attack. At the time, the incident was put down to the general fog of incompetence that surrounds verge; the exploit was quickly patched and everyone moved on. Then, just over a month later, verge was hit again along with bitcoin gold and possibly monacoin too. The spate of attacks has caused a crisis of confidence in Proof of Work coins and forced their development teams on the defensive.

Although called a 51% attack, in reality it’s often possible to control the network with a much lower hashrate. Because verge uses five different hashing algorithms, for example, the attacker was able to reduce the mining difficulty for just one algorithm and focus all their firepower on that, armed with just one fifth of the hashpower they would otherwise have needed. The second time around, they modified their attack slightly and targeted verge with a dual blast using two different algorithms. Bitcoin gold, meanwhile, was targeted due to its equihash algorithm, the same one used by such coins as zcash and komodo.

Proof of Work Coins on High Alert Following Spate of 51% Attacks

The Cost of Staging a 51% Attack

Following the run of 51% attacks, teams have rushed out updates to reassure the community that their coin is safe, and to deter would-be attackers. The cost of attacking ethereum classic has been estimated at $70m, for example, and estimates have been made for doing the same with the top 10 PoW coins. BTC is priced at $2.2 billion to attack, whereas zcash comes in at $87m. In his blog post, Husam Abboud claims that “If a zCash miner with +8% of Nethash [switches] to mine Bitcoin Gold, he is +51% BTG nethash, that brings the cost of 51% attack on BTG to 580 ZEC/day ~$200k”.

Because bitcoin gold has a much lower hashrate than coins such as zcash, it is a far easier target to pick off. Now that the feasibility of double spending a recognized PoW coin has been proven, aspiring attackers are calculating the costs of renting hashing power from a provider such as Nicehash and using it to take over a target of their choosing. This is one of the dangers with an altcoin using an existing algorithm: it’s easy for an attacker to switch from mining one to another at the flick of a switch, leaving low hashrate PoW coins vulnerable to hostile takeover without warning.

Proof of Work Coins on High Alert Following Spate of 51% Attacks

There’s a Storm Brewing

PoW teams are hitting back, and have enacted various measures to thwart future attacks. On request, Binance has upped the number of confirmations required to deposit equihash-based coins onto the exchange. The more confirmations that are required, in theory, the more likelihood there is of detecting and thwarting a 51% attack. Maidsafe, meanwhile, has proposed a new consensus mechanism called PARSEC, though some believe it may be vulnerable to other threats such as Sybil attacks, which are a recurring theme with staking algorithms.

Proof of Work Coins on High Alert Following Spate of 51% Attacks

For the coins that are committed to remaining with Proof of Work, most of which descended from Bitcoin at some point in time, it’s a case of remaining on high alert for possible signs of foul play. One PoW altcoin team has set up a script to constantly monitor their hashrate. In the event of a spike of over 10%, they will be automatically notified. Should the newly added hashrate emanate from an unknown pool, or be in danger of tipping an existing pool over 50%, they have a large quantity BTC on standby with Nicehash ready to purchase their own firepower to counter the attack. It’s a high stakes game and PoW teams can’t leave anything to chance. No one wants to be the next bitcoin gold.

Do you think the spate of 51% attacks is over for now, or is there more trouble ahead? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Singapore Warns Eight Unauthorized Token Exchanges

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Singapore Warns Eight Unauthorized Token Exchanges

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has warned eight digital token exchanges operating in the country over unauthorized securities trading. The regulator also stopped an initial coin offering, prompting its issuer to return all funds received from Singapore-based investors.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Eight Token Exchanges Warned

Singapore Warns Eight Unauthorized Token ExchangesSingapore’s central bank and financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), announced on Thursday that it has “warned eight digital token exchanges in Singapore not to facilitate trading in digital tokens that are securities or futures contracts without MAS’ authorisation.” Without naming the eight platforms, the announcement states that under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA):

If the digital tokens constitute securities or futures contracts, the exchanges must immediately cease the trading of such digital tokens until they have been authorised as an approved exchange or recognised market operator by MAS

Singapore Warns Eight Unauthorized Token ExchangesHowever, MAS did not indicate that these platforms are engaged in suspicious activities or that there are complaints about them, unlike a few other regulators that recently issued warnings about exchange platforms.

This week, the Ontario Securities Commission issued a warning on five unlicensed crypto firms it had received complaints about. In March, French regulator Autorité des Marchés Financiers warned of 15 unauthorized crypto investment platforms and Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority started publishing a list of crypto platforms showing signs of fraud.

ICO Issuer Warned Amid Growing Market

In addition, MAS “also warned an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) issuer to stop the offering of its digital tokens in Singapore.” According to the announcement, MAS has assessed that this issuer’s “tokens represented equity ownership in a company and therefore would be considered as securities under the SFA.” Citing that the tokens are offered “without a MAS-registered prospectus, which is a SFA requirement,” the regulator revealed:

The [ICO] issuer has ceased the offer and has taken remedial actions to comply with MAS’ regulations. It has also returned all funds received from Singapore-based investors.

However, the central bank “declined to name the ICO and it is not clear how much was taken from investors or when the offering was issued,” the Strait Times reported on Thursday.

Singapore Warns Eight Unauthorized Token ExchangesRecently, news.Bitcoin.com reported that Singapore has emerged as a mecca for token sales, especially for companies from China and South Korea where ICOs are banned. Earlier this month, digital asset banknote manufacturer Tangem launched smart bitcoin banknotes at the Megafash Suntec City store in Singapore.

Lee Boon Ngiap, MAS’ Assistant Managing Director (Capital Markets), confirmed that “the number of digital token exchanges and digital token offerings in Singapore has been increasing.” He clarified:

We do not see a need to restrict them if they are bona fide businesses. But if any digital token exchange, issuer or intermediary breaches our securities laws, MAS will take firm action.

What do you think of MAS’ warnings? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Financial Tribune, and MAS.


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Caspian Partners With Bitmex to Offer All-In-One Portfolio Services

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Caspian Partners With Bitmex to Offer All-In-One Portfolio Services

On May 23 the cryptocurrency portfolio and risk management platform Caspian Tech announced a partnership with the Seychelles based trading platform the Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange (Bitmex). The move aims to bring Caspian closer to being an all-in-one platform with access to multiple exchanges.

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin Cash

Full Stack Portfolio Management Firm Caspian Partners With Bitmex

Caspian Partners With Bitmex to Offer All-In-One Portfolio Services The firm Caspian is making partnerships across the cryptocurrency ecosystem in order to become an all-in-one institutional, investor-focused portfolio management system. This week the firm partnered with Bitmex so now Caspian customers will have a unified trading module with more liquidity. Additionally, the firm provides Order and Execution Management System (OEMS), Risk Management System (RMS), and a Portfolio Management System (PMS).

Arthur Hayes, the co-founder of Bitmex, says the collaboration with Caspian makes sense because “Bitmex employs the latest in multi-factor security, inside and out.”

Bitmex offers quite a bit of liquidity as in the last 30 days the exchange has managed to swap $3Bn in trade volume. The firm offers leveraged trading and futures for multiple cryptocurrencies and claims to have “300 percent more Bitcoin/USD liquidity than any other platform.” Robert Dykes, CEO of Caspian, believes the company can leverage the firm’s multi-factor security – which is an issue of increasing interest to the company’s target market.               

“Our aim at Caspian is to drive exponential growth in crypto-trading participation amongst institutional and sophisticated investors,” Dykes explained during the announcement.

Caspian Partners With Bitmex to Offer All-In-One Portfolio Services
Bitmex states they have 300 percent more Bitcoin/USD liquidity than any other cryptocurrency trading platform.

Caspian Has Also Partnered With the OTC Fund Octagon and the Gemini Exchange

Essentially Caspian is a joint venture tethered to the firm Tora which provides an OEMS global trading platform alongside a blockchain firm called Kenetic. The company says its main mission is to offer sophisticated traders bank-grade security and trading technology. This month Caspian has been making partnerships with market makers like Bitmex as the firm recently partnered with Octagon, Asia’s largest OTC crypto-fund, and the Gemini exchange on May 4. The news follows many cryptocurrency exchanges looking to offer institutional grade financial services within their platforms while Caspian hopes to provide a Swiss army knife of exchanges.

What do you think about the Caspian services partnering with exchanges to offer a sophisticated trading service for institutional investors? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Caspian, and Bitmex. 


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Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin Cash

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Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin in Brief today features a couple of announcements adding to the growing number of bitcoin cash adoptions. A luxury cryptocurrency concierge now accepts BCH for the items it offers to the crypto rich – a logical step, according to its founder. An online travel agency is introducing three new coins to its payment options, including bitcoin cash, after “a huge uptick in the number of customers requesting alternative currencies”. Also, a cold wallet for institutions hits the market soon.   

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Thursday: Main Street Adopts Bitcoin Ahead of Wall Street

Luxury Purveyor White Now Accepts Bitcoin Cash

A US-based luxury crypto concierge service is now accepting bitcoin cash (BCH). The White Company, founded by former executive at Formula 1 and LVMH, Elizabeth White, offers high-end products and luxury brands, including fine watches and sports cars. It has become the latest business to take advantage of the benefits of BCH payments, which include substantially lower transaction fees.

This business is trying to fill the market niche for services to those rich customers who want to acquire luxurious items, like private jets, Lamborghinis, and famous artworks, in a more discreet way. That’s why the White Company accepts only cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin Cash

It all started with payments in bitcoin core (BTC), litecoin (LTC) and ethereum (ETH). However, the exponential growth of the business, of crypto wealth, in general, and the growing popularity of bitcoin cash, in particular, have led to the introduction of BCH payments. It comes as a recognition of the lower transaction fees and faster processing times of the bitcoin cash network, in comparison to legacy cryptocurrencies. The New York headquartered company has also decided to discontinue the LTC option.

Noting that “trust is vital in this space,” Elizabeth White was quoted as saying: “I have watched with interest both the growth and the early-adopters of bitcoin cash and I can see that the White Company and BCH are natural partners.” And, according to a corporate press release, the partnership represents a logical next step for the development of the business.

Cheapair Introduces Payments in Three Cryptos, including BCH

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin CashOnline travel agency Cheapair.com has also announced it is now accepting bitcoin cash for booking flights and hotels. “It’s official!” the California-based company said in a post on Twitter, confirming it has added BCH to the available payment options, along with two other cryptocurrencies – litecoin (LTC) and dash (DASH). “Help us spread the word #cryptocurrency fans!” tweeted the agency, which also accepts bitcoin core (BTC).

According to Cheapair, the list of the supported cryptocurrencies has been expanded in response to customer demand. The company noted the development of a number of new cryptocurrencies aimed at avoiding some of the challenges that have emerged with BTC, whose network has previously been stressed by higher transaction volumes. In different ways, bitcoin cash, litecoin and dash all promise improved transaction potential over their predecessor, being either faster or with lower fees attached, Cheapair explained.

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin Cash

“Our cryptocurrency customers tend to be very vocal about what they want, something we appreciate very much. Over the last six months, we’ve seen a huge uptick in the number of customers requesting alternative currencies, so we’ve worked hard to integrate the three that were most requested,” Cheapair CEO Jeff Klee commented.

Klee added that the company has already streamlined the process of converting the accepted cryptocurrency to fiat money, which is then paid to airline and hotel suppliers. “That made adding litecoin, bitcoin cash, and dash a relatively minor endeavor for our development team, but a huge benefit for our crypto customers,” he said.

Bitun Releases Cold Wallet for Institutions

Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Luxury Jets, Cheap Air Tickets Now Offered for Bitcoin CashAn enterprise-level cryptocurrency cold wallet hardware has been displayed at the 2018 Global Summit in Japan this week. Developers at Bitun, a private bank of blockchain assets, claim that their product is different from any traditional cold wallet. It is completely isolated from the internet and employs a military anti-corrosion technique. The hardware CPU adopts the Secure Boot and Efuse mechanisms, combined with data encryption chips, they said.

The security level is recognized by licensed exchanges, according to a PRnewswire report, quoting Bitun representatives. The cold wallet also incorporates technologies such as NFC, face and iris recognition, and it’s verified simultaneously with the smart authorized device for signature. The user can also complete the multi-level approval in the signature process on the mobile hotspot APP. The official release of Bitun’s cryptocurrency cold wallet is scheduled for July this year.

What are your thoughts on the stories in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitun.


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