Make sure you check out our previous edition here, now let’s go over what happened in crypto this week. Also, make sure you subscribe for this week’s edition of The CCN Podcast on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Google Play Music, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
- The bitcoin price is down 15% this week following strong gains of 9% last week and 18% the week before that. The coin had been hovering around the $8,000 mark since it first hit the crucial price level on August 24th. The $1,200+ price drop has largely been blamed on the SEC’s rejection of the Winklevoss’ second ETF rejection. On its way down, the price flirted with the $7,800 support level before failing to maintain that level. The bearish pattern has continued all the way down to the $7,000 level.
- Ethereum is down 14% this week hovering around the $400 level. The coin has been moving in tandem with bitcoin as far as down moves go recently, but not mirroring up moves. As we discussed on last week’s podcast episode, ethereum is representative of lots of altcoins that have mostly taken heavy losses.
- The entire coin market cap is down 14% this week. The cap fell below the crucial $300 billion level earlier this week and fell to the $255 billion level mid-week. The price drop falls despite nice gains by major currencies such as tezos.
- Bill Miller’s Bullish – Billionaire Bill Miller, the founder, and CIO of Miller Value Partners compared bitcoin to gold and was bullish.
- Hedge Fund Manager: Bitcoin Price Headed to $500,000 – Mark Yusko, the founder of North Carolina-based Morgan Creek Capital Management, said that he is sticking by his year-end bitcoin price target of $25,000. Yusko originally made this prediction in April, adding that he expects bitcoin to march to $75,000 by 2020, $200,000 by 2022, and ultimately eclipse $500,000 by the end of 2024.
- Bitcoin Could be ‘First Worldwide Currency’: NYSE Owner – Speaking with Fortune, ICE founder, Chairman, and CEO Jeffrey Sprecher explained that he believes that — bolstered by Bakkt’s (ICE’s crypto subsidiary) infrastructure — bitcoin could become the currency of choice for global payments.
- Bitcoin Price Headed to New Highs: Crypto Hedge Fund Manager Spencer Bogart – Speaking on CNBC’s Fast Money, Spencer Bogart of Blockchain Capital reinforced his prediction that bitcoin is bound for higher price levels in the near future as he thinks that the pullback momentum may have been exhausted.
- Tom Lee: Bitcoin Price Recovering from Winklevoss ETF Rejection a Positive Sign – On July 27, upon the rejection of the Winklevoss bitcoin ETF by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the price of BTC fell from $8,300 to $7,800, by more than six percent in a three-hour period. Tom Lee says the quick recovery is a sign of a bullish sentiment.
- Bitcoin Won’t Hit a New High This YeaR: Economist Tuur Demeester – Tuur Demeester, an economist and bitcoin trader, argues in a new report that the market needs more time to absorb the historic 36-month rally that carried the bitcoin price from sub-$250 to a peak just below $20,000 in Dec. 2017.
- Bitcoin Not Stable Enough to Be Used as Real Money, Says UBS Strategist – UBS global macro strategist Joni Teves said bitcoin is still too “unstable and limited to become a viable means of payment for global transactions or a mainstream asset class.” Teves also cited the crypto’s lack of price stability as one of the reasons why Bitcoin can’t be considered as real money.
- Factom Files Patent for Validating Documents on the Blockchain – Factom (FCT) has filed a new patent with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office that allows verification of documents on a blockchain with multiple digital signatures.
- Hedera Hashgraph Raises $100 Million At $6 Billion Valuation – Hedera Hashgraph, a U.S. based distributed public ledger that plans to offer a cryptocurrency, a file storage service, and a smart contract platform, has raised $100 million. The company is looking to raise another $20 million in a crowdsale.
- High Times Launches First Ever IPO to Accept Bitcoin, Ethereum – High Times, a prominent New York publication advocating cannabis usage, is breaking new ground in the cryptocurrency world by accepting crypto during its IPO, the first ever stock offering to do so.
- Coinbase Brings Crypto Payment Option to Millions of Online Businesses – Coinbase Commerce, a cryptocurrency payment provider, has announced a series of initiatives to support crypto commerce, including a WooCommerce plugin to give millions of merchants the option to accept cryptocurrencies, the ability to send bitcoin and litecoin directly, and other new capabilities.
- Canaan Unveils First-Ever Bitcoin Mining Television – Canaan Creative has launched what it hopes will be the future of the blockchain and the first of a series of releases that will improve its position as it battles for increased market share in the bitcoin mining device market. Critics insist that the device is little more than a self-promotion gimmick as the company prepares for it’s IPO, offering no real utility to users.
- Cryptocurrency Bank Galaxy Digital Which Lost $134 Million in Q1 Is Going Public – According to Bloomberg Galaxy Digital LP — will be listed for trading on the Toronto-based TSX Venture Exchange on August 1st. The company is using a reverse takeover of an existing firm to be listed.
- Biggest Stock Exchange Operator to Launch Bitcoin Market – Intercontinental Exchange, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, has announced that will list a physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts and form a new company whose mission is to make bitcoin a mainstream financial asset.
- OKEx Initiates ‘Clawback’, Injects 2500 BTC – OKEx has moved to protect its futures market with an injection of 2500 BTC into the exchange’s insurance fund from its own capital after a forced liquidation on July 31st threatened to destabilize its operations. The futures contract amounted to a staggering $420 million worth of BTC. OKEx moved swiftly to counter this liquidation with a series of measures that were announced on its website.
- Coinbase Adds British Currency Support – Users at Coinbase will now be able to deposit and withdraw funds in British Pound, the company announced on Wednesday. Coinbase, being an exclusive digital currency firm, has obtained a bank account in the U.K. The company already has an e-money license issued by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
- Robinhood Opens Crypto Trading to Georgia Residents – Robinhood, a commission-free stock trading platform, announced that residents in the state of Georgia can now invest in cryptocurrency through the app. The move follows the app’s launch of Robinhood Crypto in early 2018, its subsequent rollout in four states, and comes in the wake of a $363 million funding round.
- Coinbase Bug Prevents Canadian Users from Withdrawing Funds – An issue with Coinbase systems recently prevented users from Canada and a number of other countries from withdrawing funds, leading to frustration and concern among many customers. In a statement to CCN, Coinbase claimed the issue was a bug.
- Ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh Opens up about Tether Investigation – In a recent interview with Yahoo Finance, former FBI Director Louis Freeh (of FSS) answered questions about the Tether investigation and the public’s reactions to the firm’s work. He discussed the “transparency update” that was compiled by FSS after they were granted full access to bank accounts, statements, and spoke with some employees at banks holding Tether assets and responded to criticism that the investigation did not constitute an official “audit.”
- UPbit Comes Out Clean in Audit after Raid – UPbit, currently the biggest crypto exchange in South Korea, came out clean in an audit report which proved the exchange had 100 percent of the amount its balance sheet demonstrated. The audit comes following a raid by local authorities under the suspicion of balance sheet manipulation and inflated volumes.
- Thai Bond Market Association to Incorporate Blockchain Technology – The Thai Bond Market Association (TBMA) plans to implement a new registrar service platform combining financial technology with blockchain technology. There are ongoing plans to put it to practice during the current year to improve the growth of the secondary market.
- Binance Buys Ethereum Wallet Service in First-Ever Acquisition – Binance, one of the world’s two largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has just completed its first-ever acquisition of TrustWallet. According to TechCrunch, the Malta-based exchange operator acquired Trust Wallet, creator of the eponymous mobile Ethereum wallet that includes support for ether, as well as ERC-20 and ERC-223 tokens. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but Binance confirmed that it included a mixture of cash, Binance stock, and Binance tokens.
- Bitmain Made $1.1 Billion in Profit in Q1 – Citing an email obtained from a source close to the China-based firm, Fortune reports that Bitmain — best known for manufacturing bitcoin mining equipment — raked in $1.1 billion in profit during the first quarter of 2018. Conservatively, the company expects to earn $2 to $3 billion in profit for the fiscal year. Remarkably, those figures place Bitmain nearly on par with chipmaking giant Nvidia, who reported a net income of $1.2 billion during the first quarter and has a ~$150 billion market cap.
- Walmart Files Patent for Smart Appliance Management – Walmart has filed another patent application in the blockchain sector entitled “Managing Smart Applications Using Blockchain Technology.” The filing follows a number of previous applications for blockchain patents including blockchain package delivery systems, medical record storage systems, food safety, and a blockchain-based digital marketplace — some of which we dove into on the third episode of the CCN Podcast.
- Report: Blockchain to ‘Reach $2 Trillion by 2030’ – IHS Market, a data analytics firm in the fields of finance and technology, released a July report that forecasts blockchain technology could lead to a business activity value of $2 trillion by 2030. The report includes all value that blockchain adds as an entire vertical (not specific coin market caps). Many think this is too conservative considering the market’s proximity to $1 trillion during the 2017 bull run.
- Bitcoin Price Must Hit $213,000 to Become Viable USD Replacement: UBS – According to a new report from Swiss investment bank UBS, Bitcoin’s price must reach $213,000 to replace the estimated $3.63 trillion worth of USD in circulation, commonly referred to as the M1 or “narrow money” supply.
- Square Seeing Growth in BTC User Base: CFO – Square Inc. Chief Financial Officer Sarah Friar has hailed the impact of bitcoin support on the company as it continues to record strong growth driven primarily by its flagship Cash App, also known as Square Cash.
- Rogue Qiwi Employee Lost 500,000 Bitcoins in Attempted Theft – In 2011, the Qiwi Group CEO learned that his company computers minted 500,000 bitcoins, unbeknownst to him at the time. At the time, he did not know what bitcoin was, let alone bitcoin mining. After an investigation, he learned his chief technical officer minted 500,000 coins worth $5 million in three months, an amount that is now worth billions of dollars. The story came to light this week in a lecture at the Moscow School of Communications
- North Carolina Bans Crypto Campaign Donations – North Carolina has banned electoral candidates in the state from accepting campaign donations made in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The decision came in response from the North Carolina State Board of Elections Campaign Finance Office to Emmanuel Wilder and cited concerns over anonymity. The ruling follows similar rulings by the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission and an incident in which Austin Petersen was forced to return $130,000 in bitcoin. The Federal Election Commission does allow bitcoin donations.
- Korean Financial Watchdog Calls for Stock Trading on a Blockchain – The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has advocated the use of blockchain for stock trading in a report focused on the subject released on Thursday. In a significant backing of the technology, the FSS called on the country’s regulatory agencies and firms to jointly work and develop an integrated blockchain system that negates the use of a conventional centralized ledger and system to track transactions.
- Mining Firm Reopens in U.S. after Regulators Revoke Cease & Desist Order – Genesis Mining, a provider of managed cloud mining, announced that it is resuming operations in the United States after South Carolina regulators withdrew a cease and desist order against the firm. Contracts serving U.S. residents have been disabled for five months up until now.
- UK Researches Use of Blockchain Smart Contracts In Law – The U.K. Law Commission is in the process of codifying the use of smart contracts into British law as part of an ongoing effort to update British law and make it relevant to of the challenges of modern technology. If the legal reform is successful, the U.K. will become one of only a handful of jurisdictions that legally recognizes smart contracts.
Hacks & Security:
- Bitfi Not Paying Out for McAfee Wallet Hacking Bounty – John McAfee’s Bitfi bitcoin wallet has allegedly been hacked after its creator issued a $250,000 hacking challenge. In response to claims OverSoft, Bitfi issued a comprehensive denial of these claims, accusing Oversoft of working for its competitors and reiterating its $250,000 bounty.
- Report: Security Issues in Telegram Passport – Virgil Security, Inc., a cryptographic services provider, has published a report which raises concerns regarding the security of Telegram Passport. The report focuses on Telegram’s use of the cryptographically weak SHA-2 hashing algorithm which has been used in the past to hack LinkedIn.
- Bithumb Re-opens Deposits & Withdrawals – South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb resumed deposit and withdrawal services on Saturday at 11 am KST. The exchange had suspended all deposits and withdrawal services on its platform following the June hack on a hot wallet, which led to the loss of tokens valued at over $30 million.
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