No Reason to ‘Bury’ Cryptocurrencies, Russian PM Medvedev Says

Last year’s falling prices are not a good enough reason to “bury” cryptocurrencies, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said during a high-level economic conference. He believes Russia should carefully follow the developments around digital coins.  

Also read: Clickbait Media Uses Bitcoin and Russia to Pump Headlines Again

Russia Should Watch Carefully

Medvedev thinks the Russian Federation should watch the situation with cryptocurrencies, whose rates “showed extreme volatility” in an extremely bearish 2018. The value of some digital assets fell five-fold, the head of the Russian government noted during his appearance at the annual Gaidar economic forum. Quoted by Tass, he further elaborated:

This, of course, is not a reason to bury them. As with any social phenomenon, any economic institute, there are both bright sides and dark sides.

That’s why the Chairman of the Russian Council of Ministers says Russia should simply carefully follow what’s happening with cryptocurrencies.

Digital financial assets, a term applied to cryptocurrencies in official Russian documents, remain unregulated in the country. However, Medvedev’s comments come just weeks before the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, is expected to review on second reading a package of draft laws aimed at establishing order in the crypto industry.

No Reason to 'Bury' Cryptocurrencies, Russian PM Medvedev Says
Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of Russia

Three bills were voted on first reading in the Duma in last May – “On Digital Financial Assets,” “On Attracting Investments Using Investment Platforms,” and “On Digital Rights.” Their final adoption was postponed multiple times but is now among the priorities for the spring session of the house. The drafts are part of a long list of bills designed to regulate different aspects of the digital economy.

‘Why Regulate What We Don’t Understand’

The Gaidar forum is an international event which is held at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (Ranepa). Each year, it brings together economists, scientists, officials, political figures, and businessmen from around the world to discuss current trends in the socio-economic and political development of Russia. The country’s business environment and investment climate as well as the prospects for its integration in the global economy are some of the major topics of the conference.

No Reason to 'Bury' Cryptocurrencies, Russian PM Medvedev Says
Herman Gref, CEO of Sberbank

Russia does not need excessive regulation in the digital economy sector, said Sberbank CEO Herman Gref who was among this year’s participants in the forum. During a session devoted to digitalization, he pointed to the EU as bad example, noting that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) directive has stopped progress in the fields of data technologies and artificial intelligence in Europe.

Gref, who was Russia’s minister of economic development and trade between 2000 and 2007, also noted there’s no full understanding in the country about what should be regulated in the digital sphere. Quoted by Russian media, he emphasized:

There is no need to hurry with regulation. It is not necessary to regulate what we still don’t fully see and understand.

Тhe prominent Russian banker warned that overregulation could hurt the development of new technologies in his country. Gref also said he favors the approach adopted by China and the United States where, in his words, no tight regulation has been applied yet.

During his speech, Gref called on the Russian government to refrain from introducing state monopolies in the development of new technologies and digital ecosystems. “Non-competitive models lead to non-competitiveness of any business model,” concluded the chief executive of the largest Russian bank, which is a state-owned company.

What are your expectations about future Russian policy toward cryptocurrencies? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Ripple Adoption: The Largest Payment Across RippleNet Made by Mercury-FX (From UK to Mexico)


  • Mercury FX announced that they had made their largest payments using XRP on RippleNet (£3,521.67 or $4,552.41).
  • Ripple continue to display real-world use cases in addition to signing over 200 customers
  • Ripple demonstrates the value of achieving disruption without displacement of the traditional financial system.

 Mercury FX, a UK company that brands itself as a “hassle-free and cost-effective alternative to banks for receiving and sending international currencies” recently teamed up with Ripple and announced that they had processed their largest payments across Ripple Net using XRP (£3,521.67 or $4,552.41, from UK to Mexico). They cited that UK based Mustard Foods was able to save £79.17 and 31 hours on the transaction. Mustard Foods is a food production company that supplies over 500 restaurants in the UK and Europe. They’ve benefitted from Ripple Net by being able to make faster and cheaper payments to suppliers in order to get their ingredients more quickly.

This is the latest example of mainstream adoption and utility being displayed by XRP. Ripple Net has already been in the news this year for signing over 200 customers. The network is offering real value not only for merchants like Mercury Foods but for banks and payment processing services like Mercury FX.

Although the quantities being sent seem small compared to the billions of dollars that are moved between crypto wallets each day, we are only witnessing businesses dip their toes into the world of crypto. Once they start to feel comfortable with the results, then we should expect to see much larger payments being processed.

Disruption without displacement

One of the unique qualities about Ripple (and the reason why it is both successful and highly criticized) is because it seems to be finding a way to disrupt the traditional banking system without actually displacing the banks. In fact, for Ripple, their ultimate goal is to help banks and centralized payment services continue to do what they do, but only faster and cheaper.

This stands counterintuitive to what the Bitcoin blockchain is aiming to achieve; which is both disruption and displacement of the current banking system, similar to how digital downloads and online streaming disrupted the record business.

This strategy may work in certain markets where payment services are so poor that they are better off being displaced (for example; foreign exchange and international remittance services for countries where the currency is weak). However, in developed markets like Europe and the US, using some aspects of blockchain technology (i.e. private, permissioned ledgers) to improve traditional financial institutions makes more sense for immediate adoption and profitability.

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Source: Crypto Potato

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways, While Traders Remain Uncertain

A lot has changed since our last markets update as digital asset prices have been consolidating after the cryptoconomy’s last big drop in value. The entire ecosystem’s market valuation has lost about $10 billion over the last week, but stronger global trade volumes have managed to keep values afloat at current prices as traders await the next big wave of movement.

Also Read: Embracing Utility in 2019: Unreliable Crypto Networks Will Lose to Hyperbitcoinization

A Strong Scent of Uncertainty In the Air

Another week has passed in cryptocurrency land, during which most digital asset markets have been consolidating tightly into a downward triangular pattern. At the moment, the entire crypto economy of all 2,000+ assets is hovering at about $120 billion with around $15.6 billion worth of global trades. Currently, bitcoin core (BTC) prices are meandering just above $3,650 with a market capitalization of about $63.8 billion. BTC captures roughly $5.2 billion in trade volume but the asset is down 2.6% for the week.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain
Top 10 cryptocurrency markets Jan. 17, 2019.

The second largest market valuation belongs to ripple (XRP) this Thursday, as each coin is swapping for $0.32 per unit. This gives XRP a market cap of around $13.4 billion and the market’s 24-hour volume is about $418 million worth of global trades. Ethereum (ETH) is trading for $122 per coin on global spot markets with a $12.8 billion market valuation. The cryptocurrency is down 0.96% today and 6.4% for the week. Lastly, eos (EOS) is up 0.86% today as each coin is trading for $2.43 per unit. Eos has around $667 million worth of 24-hour trades and a market cap of about $2.2 billion.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Market Action

Bitcoin cash (BCH) is trading for $132 per coin and has a market cap of about $2.3 billion this Thursday. BCH is currently up a hair at 1.02% during the last 24 hours, but the currency is down 4% for the week. The top five exchanges trading the most bitcoin cash today are Coinsuper (BCH/BTC), Huobi (BCH/USDT), P2pb2b (BCH/ETH), Dragonx (BCH/USDT), and Fatbtc (BCH/CNY). The dominating currency paired with BCH today is ETH as it captures 44.9% of trades. This is followed by USDT (29%), BTC (15.4%), USD (5.9%), EUR (1.7%), and JPY (1.5%). BCH is the seventh most traded coin by volume below XRP’s global volume and just above dash.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) market action seven-day chart on Jan. 17, 2019.

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the four-hour charts on Bitstamp for BCH/USD shows there’s been a lot of changes since our last markets update. Things look more bearish, as the two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) have once again crossed hairs and the long-term 200 SMA is now above the 100 SMA trendline. This indicates that currently the path toward the least resistance is in favor of the bears. RSI levels are meandering in the indecisive middle range (~46.5) which is neither oversold nor overbought at press time.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain
BCH/USD Bitstamp 4 hour. Jan. 17, 2019.

Stochastic shows similar readings and the MACd indicates some downward pressure over the short term. Looking ahead at order books shows similar resistance between the current vantage point and $135 and even larger walls between that range and $155. If the bears remain in control then they will see pit stops and strong buying between now and $110. After breaking the psychological $100 level, BCH bears will likely see some bigger foundations.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain
BCH/USD Bitstamp 4 hour. Jan. 17, 2019. Bollinger Bands are extremely tight.

The Verdict: Continued Sideways Action and Indecisive Traders

Traders are again wondering what will happen next with the ever-dynamic cryptocurrency markets. Some traders believe we’ve seen the mythical bottom and are betting long positions from here on out. However, bitcoin futures expiries from CME and Cboe suggest those traders are short on BTC’s upcoming price performance.

Markets Update: Crypto Prices Drift Sideways While Traders Remain Uncertain
BTC/USD shorts and longs on Bitfinex. Jan. 17, 2019.

In contrast to futures prices, BTC/USD shorts on Bitfinex have dropped significantly and there are considerably less short positions than in the last three weeks. ETH/USD short positions are much lower than before as well with only 280,000 shorts. Civic CEO Vinny Lingham, who is sometimes referred to as the “Oracle” because of his past price predictions, explained in a recent interview that BTC will likely trade sideways for a few weeks.  

“The reality is it’ll probably trade sideways between $3,000 and $5,000 for another month or two while it’s trying to find which way to go,” Lingham said. “When it finds that direction, there’ll be a breakout or a breakdown,” the Civic founder added.

His statement aligns with the view held by many traders and forecasters, who remain uncertain of the future of cryptocurrency prices, at least over the short term. Technical analysis, futures prices, shorts and longs, and other indicators will give traders some hints, but as with the world’s traditional markets, anything can happen.

Where do you see the price of BCH, BTC and other coins heading 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.comnor 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.”

Images via Shutterstock, Trading View,, Bitstamp, and Satoshi Pulse.

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Gov’t Indecision on Cryptocurrencies Helps China, Says Former Congressman


Reporting in The Hill, Washington’s top political news source, former Republican George Nethercutt says it’s time for policymakers to allow cryptocurrencies and innovation to flourish.

Fighting for U.S. Intellectual Property

As trading negotiations concluded in Beijing, U.S. intellectual property was top of the list. For far too long Chinese companies have infringed on U.S. IP, copying innovative American ideas and making cheaper, more accessible versions.

According to Nethercutt:

U.S. negotiators took a stand for American innovation — and companies will reap the benefits of more strict enforcement of their developments.

This approach to protecting and fostering innovation on its shores was long overdue and a step in the right direction. However, the story unfolding in Washington is quite different from the one surrounding cryptocurrencies. Nethercutt states:

While diplomats at the State Department are negotiating hard to pave the way for American innovation, U.S. regulators such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have been slow to make pronouncements regarding cryptocurrencies.

He goes on to argue that this has left plenty of U.S. companies in limbo. The regulatory uncertainty has even forced innovation to go offshore. It’s about time that policymakers wake up and realize that existing securities laws do not apply to cryptocurrencies. They must take the right steps to create new legislation.

Regulatory Uncertainty Has Let Bad Actors In

According to Nethercutt, the U.S. dragging its heels over crypto has allowed bad actors to enter the space. While the SEC was falling asleep at the wheel, China has been busily building out its mining capacity. The country has already amassed some 73 percent of the Bitcoin hash rate.

According to a study by Princeton University, China now has the power to manipulate or even sabotage cryptocurrencies at will or censor or interfere with transactions.

It is increasingly clear that China has come to play an outsized role in the cryptocurrency space.

Moreover, the DEA claims that there has been a spike in the number of cartels using Chinese money launderers to clean their operations using cryptocurrency.  

Blaming the Victim

These kinds of headlines generally serve to tarnish cryptocurrencies with the same brush. They become associated with criminal activity, money laundering, hacks, scams, the dark web, and a whole host of other nefarious deeds that upstanding citizens want no part of. But this, Nethercutt argues, is a case of blaming the victim.

In fact, these developments merely underscore the pressing need for U.S. lawmakers to protect and promote American efforts in the development of these technologies. Instead of ceding control to Chinese interests and other bad actors, elected officials must act decisively to provide a clear framework under which our companies can thrive.

Once again, the U.S. is allowing China to hijack its innovation. Worse than that, the SEC is actively strangling it by regulation that is absent or poorly thought out at best.

Increasing Institutional Adoption Says Otherwise

Underscoring the decade-long arguments of crypto, bad actors constitute a minuscule percentage of the total users of these technologies. Particularly in the short term. In fact, there are far more dollar bills being used for money laundering than cryptocurrency. Around two-thirds of U.S. $100 dollar bills are outside of the county with no one keeping track of how they’re being hung out to dry.

Moreover, major companies like Walmart, IBM, JPMorgan, and even Facebook are all exploring blockchain technology and applications for their businesses. Nethercutt argues that this could indicate that mass adoption is not far away:

The potential benefits of widespread cryptocurrency adoption — from seamless international financial transactions to enhanced logistical tracking abilities — offer a far more compelling argument for protecting this nascent industry than for discarding it.

Crypto Innovation is Happening in the U.S.

Many innovations are happening in the U.S. from individual entrepreneurs to large companies across a broad range of industries. The SEC can no longer turn a blind eye, fear, reject or dismiss cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. If they continue this path, they risk losing the IP battle to the Asian tiger once again.

That starts with clarity — lawmakers and regulatory officials should be working together to ensure that cryptocurrencies are not wrongly and hastily categorized under decades-old securities law, but instead are allowed to thrive under sensible new regulation.

Do you agree with Nethercutt? Share your thoughts below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Source: Bitcoininst

Grin (GRIN) Value Drops 98% In His First Day of Trading: Here is Why


  • New privacy-oriented cryptocurrency, Grin (GRIN) has just recently gone live with a high price of $261 per coin after its first block was mined.
  • However, in the subsequent 24 hours, the coin lost as much as 98% of its value and currently trades around $7.5 due to the expansion of its coin supply.
  • This is a known phenomenon that has happened in the past in many other promising projects.

Grin (GRIN), a new cryptocurrency which employes the Mimblewimble protocol, has just crashed in a matter of hours. The coin managed to launch its MainNet only days ago, and while its initial value exceeded $260 per coin after its first block was mined, it lost over 98% of its value in less than a day.

Grin Price Chart, Source:

Grin is an innovative, new privacy coin which provides users with a certain level of privacy and anonymity during their monetary exchanges. Grin has governance which can be compared to the cyberpunk ideology; it encourages a community-driven decentralization. The developers are volunteers, and there is no ICO.

Grin is utilizing the Mimblewimble protocol which combines two concepts. The first concept is a Confidential Transaction. A confidential transaction encrypts the value of the transaction, so it is not visible to anyone outside the participants of this specific transaction. The other concept is the Cut-Thorough. In Cut-Through the transactions are merged inside a block, so all intermediate transactions are removed. This concept significantly reduces the size of the blockchain which makes its storage much more scalable.

Why did the Grin value drop?

Grin is a coin that received a lot of attention and hype during its development, and the excitement about the coin only increased as the launch date approached. As a result, as soon as the first block was mined and Grin coins appeared in circulation, the huge demand launched its value to extreme heights. However, as the mining continued and new coins were generated, the supply expanded and the coin started rapidly losing its value.

The current price drop does not mean that the quality of the coin is bad. Instead, the massive demand by those who studied it and followed its development in recent months indicates that the crypto community very much appreciates the coin.

Grin team wanted to position Grin as a real currency and less as a store of value. In contrast with Bitcoin were there is a finite amount. Grin will have an infinite amount of coins with a linear supply schedule. This means that inflation as a percentage of existing supply is very high in the early days but continually lowers over time. In theory, converging to zero percent, but it will never get there.

As mentioned, the initial hype brought the coin’s value to as much as $261.65 when the coin first emerged. At the time of writing the sharp drop which followed has reduced the value of Grin to $7.5.

Grin price change pattern was had already been witnessed

Ever since the hype about Grin was noticed, it was logical that its price would likely skyrocket as soon as it hits exchanges, only to drop down after more coins are generated, which is precisely what investors have witnessed in the previous 24 hours.

However, Grin still received a lot of attention thanks to its privacy features and improvements that allow it to operate more efficiently than some of the older cryptocurrencies. Despite the price drop, a lot of investors remain optimistic about the coin.

Other coins such as Monero, Zcash, and Ravencoin had a very similar pattern to Grin. The inflation rate was very high in the early days of the coins. Therefore, the price dropped until the inflation ratio decreased. From that moment, the fundamental analysis of the coin takes control and moves the price up.

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Source: Crypto Potato

American Companies Can Now Settle Payroll Taxes In Cryptocurrency via Bitwage

American Companies Can Now Pay Payroll Taxes In Cryptocurrency via Bitwage

International cryptocurrency payroll service provider Bitwage has announced that it has partnered with Texas-based Simply Efficient HR. The move will allow companies to pay W2 employee and payroll taxes in all 50 U.S. states, plus Puerto Rico, using BTC and ETH.

Also Read: Bitpay Reports Processing Over $1 Billion Transactions in 2018

Bitwage and Simply Efficient Join Forces

With Bitwage’s solution now out of beta, American employees are able to choose any percentage of their wage to be in USD or cryptocurrency. To participate, a company needs to sign up to Bitwage, reach out to support for Payroll & HR services to receive personalized account management from the Simply Efficient HR team, and then add the account on Bitwage. Simply Efficient HR invoices companies through Bitwage for USD needed to fund payroll taxes and employee payrolls and the company accepts invoice and fund payrolls in BTC or ETH.

CEO of Bitwage Jonathan Chester commented: “As the leader in cryptocurrency payroll solutions, we are excited to continue to push the adoption of real use-cases within the industry. Together with Simplexity, we hope to close the financial loop within the cryptocurrency industry and continue to make bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies a part of everyday life.”

American Companies Can Now Settle Payroll Taxes In Cryptocurrency via Bitwage

Bridging the Gap to the Traditional Financial System

The partnership has been live in beta mode since November, with its first customer the peer-to-peer exchange Paxful. “Bitwage bridges the gap between bitcoin and the traditional finance system,” Hayel Abbassi, Paxful Controller, said. “As a company that earns 100% of revenue in bitcoin, we are always looking for service providers who will accept digital currency. Paxful has a significantly sized team in the states and we need to pay them as employees on payroll, not as contractors. Bitwage has recently formed a partnership with a traditional payroll company who integrates into their platform to provide these services. Paxful simply sends bitcoin to an address, and our employees receive net checks with the proper federal and state taxes withheld.”

American Companies Can Now Settle Payroll Taxes In Cryptocurrency via Bitwage
W2 Tax Form

According to the announcement, U.S. Bitwage clients are also able to pay for benefits such as health insurance, as well as HR compliance services. Companies around the world are able to use their crypto holdings to pay local vendors in the U.S., E.U., U.K., Brazil, Philippines, India, Mexico, Argentina and other regions.

Would you be interested in settling payroll taxes with cryptocurrency? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from

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Russian Official Dispels Bitcoin $10 Billion Investment Rumor

Elina Sidorenko, head of the Legislative Risk Assessment Group in Russia, says there is no merit to rumors that the country will invest as much as $10 billion in bitcoin.

Russia: Cryptocurrency Framework Not Yet in Place

Speaking to Forklog, Sidorenko said the country doesn’t yet have the regulatory structure to invest state funds in cryptocurrencies. According to Sidorenko:

Even if Russia wants to place its cryptocurrency assets now, it simply cannot do this, due to the fact that we do not have any mechanisms that would allow us to introduce a system, where these assets would be stored, which authorities would be responsible for it, which would be responsible for abuses and stuff.

Recently, Vladislav Ginko, a Russian Economist with ties to the Kremlin declared that the government planned to ditch the U.S. Dollar for Bitcoin. This move, according to Ginko could even take place as early as February 2019.

Responding to Ginko’s claim, Sidorenko opined:

Under this statement, there is not a bit of common sense, much less ideas that would be considered in government circles. The Russian Federation, like any other country in the world, is simply not ready today to somehow combine its traditional financial system with cryptocurrencies. And to say that in Russia this idea can be implemented in the next at least 30 years is unlikely to be possible.

Nevertheless, the State Duma did announce that it would pay particular attention to matters related to the development of the country’s digital economy, putting cryptocurrency regulations high on the agenda for 2019.

‘Cryptoruble’ Still Years Away

For any Kremlin investment in Bitcoin to be feasible, Russia would need an intermediary cryptocurrency, like the proposed “cryptoruble.” Recently, Bitcoinist reported that a ‘crypto’ version of the ruble was still two to three years away.

Commenting on the cryptorubble idea, the Chairperson of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Cryptocurrency Risk at the State Duma, said:

A similar idea is already being considered within the framework of the EAEU, but the BRICS countries have moved closer to it. If a cryptocurrency unit had been invented, which allowed making payments only for energy, in fact, the Russian Federation could have made a long and long-term advance in the economy.

Do you think the reports of Russia investing in Bitcoin are nothing more than rumors? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Image courtesy of, Shutterstock

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Source: Bitcoininst

The Daily: Crypto’s Latest VR World, New Blockchain Analytics Tools

The Daily: Crypto’s Latest VR World, New Blockchain Analytics Tools

As the maxim goes, bear markets are good for building out cryptocurrency infrastructure – or “buidling” as the meme of the meme goes. Thursday’s installment of The Daily is rich in examples of the sort of development work being undertaken across the industry. From dapp trackers to virtual worlds, there’s a little bit of everything in today’s news roundup.

Also read: Bitpay Reports Processing Over $1 Billion Transactions in 2018

Blockchain VR World Beachhead Enters the Fray

The blockchain-based virtual reality realm is getting crowded. Decentraland, which resides in the virtual metropolis of Genesis City, has got itself a competitor in the form of Beachhead City. BH2020VR, as it’s also known, aims to blur the line between gaming and roaming a virtual world of commerce and adventure. Income can be earned in-game through protecting the city or supplying defense weapons and other resources.

Just as video games like Grand Theft Auto have a main storyline complemented by side missions and mini-games, Beachhead has a primary narrative running through it, but participants are at liberty to interact with the world in a multitude of ways. This includes participating in the cryptoconomy within BH2020VR, purchasing real estate, and upgrading virtual turf by incorporating theaters, shops, and cars including user-generated content. Virtual assets will be tradable within Beachhead as non-fungible tokens, with a tokenized rewards system making BH2020VR feel like the crypto world’s equivalent to The Sims.

The Daily: Crypto’s Latest VR World, New Blockchain Analytics Tools

Dappradar Adds Crosschain Metrics

Virtual worlds such as Decentraland and the forthcoming Beachhead are the sort of decentralized applications (dapps) that can be monitored at The popular Ethereum dapp tracker has just had an upgrade, allowing it to track onchain activity on the Tron and EOS protocols too. The site now boasts of having stats on 1,700 dapps including decentralized exchanges, crypto collectible marketplaces, and gambling dapps.

The Daily: Crypto’s Latest VR World, New Blockchain Analytics Tools

According to Dappradar’s statistics, the top Tron and EOS dapps are seeing significantly more usage than their Ethereum counterparts in terms of the number of reported daily users. Predictably, betting dapps seem to be faring the best across all blockchains featured on Dappradar.

Cryptohound Follows the Money Trail

The Daily: Crypto’s Latest VR World, New Blockchain Analytics ToolsORS Cryptohound, a blockchain analytics firm, has been sniffing around in the Ethereum network in a bid to identify the source of six “highly unusual transactions” that were spotted in December, comprising approximately 5 percent of the ETH supply. “We discovered that over 5.5m ETH were sent to 39 wallets after 313 transactions,” they explain. “All six wallets have the same portfolio which consists of more than 92% share of OMG tokens” plus 150,000 ETH each. Cryptohound’s investigative report then goes on to speculate over the identity of the entity behind the $500 million move.

Demonstrating a practical application for blockchain forensics, a number of leading cryptocurrency exchanges have vowed to freeze funds stolen from Cryptopia. The hackers who infiltrated the New Zealand-based exchange earlier this week, before making off with several million dollars’ worth of ETH and tokens, have attempted to send their ill-gotten gains to Binance and Kucoin, prompting both platforms to freeze the accounts of the suspects.

What are your thoughts on the stories in today’s news roundup? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Dappradar.

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Mid-Cap Altcoins Gain 30-50% a Day: Is The First Altcoin Season of 2019 Already Here?

It appears that the cryptocurrency market is mostly moving sideways throughout the first weeks of 2019. Since the start of the year, it has lost about $4 billion which represents a little less than 4 percent of its market capitalization. In general, though, except for the few more severe movements a few days ago, the market is mostly moving sideways.


However, a relatively wide group of mid-cap altcoins have seen substantial spikes over the last few days, begging the question – is altcoin season 2019 here already?

What is an Altcoins Season?

Altcoins Season is a term mainly used among crypto-oriented online communities on social media, to describe a period in the market cycle when altcoins experience a substantial spike in their value against Bitcoin (BTC), which usually also spikes the USD value of the coin.

Throughout this period, it’s not uncommon for many altcoins to enter a reasonably parabolic state, enabling them to grow at unparalleled rates.

Now, it’s important to note that this is generally an anticipated period in the market cycle because it can grant serious profits to the coin holders. At the same time, though, it can also be disastrous for those who are unable to time the market precisely, causing them to buy “the top” – to purchase an altcoin at its peak value and stay with the bags. This is also referred to as pumps and dumps.

Someone said once that Doge is the official opener of the Altcoin season. As can be seen, Dogecoin didn’t move much over the past days.

So, is the first Altcoin Season of 2019 here already?

Let’s have a look at a few top-performing altcoins as of the time as of writing this post:

Leading the march is Apollo Currency (APL). It’s currently 109.17% more expensive than it was yesterday. It’s worth noting that the project’s Twitter’s feed is full of announcements which may have triggered the price increase. For example, they announced an integration with cryptocurrency wallet Bitfi.

The second project which went through decent gains over the last 24 hours is Augur (REP). REP is currently up 32.69 percent. However, at some point during the previous 24 hours, it was up with more than 65 percent. The rapidly declining price might signal for a pump and dump move. There was a recent announcement on the project’s official Twitter page that they’ve launched some updates of their app.

Tierion (TNT) is another altcoin that went up 100% yesterday. However, it’s currently trading in the negative compared to yesterday’s price, signaling that it’s most likely a pump and dump.

Loopring (LRC) is currently trading about 20% in the positive. No apparent news might have triggered the increase, as LRC rocketed with more than 60% yesterday. Most of it is going away, however, which might yet be a signal for a pump and dump.

At the same time, looking at the top-20 altcoins, none of them had shown any significant signs of a rally. This is perhaps a sign that an altcoin season is yet to be seen in 2019. Additionally, for it to be categorized as an altcoin season, the period should see a decrease of Bitcoin’s dominance index. Not only hasn’t it decreased – in January it has marked a very slight increase of about 0.7%.

Bitcoin dominance: The relation between Bitcoin’s market cap to that of the entire cryptocurrency market cap (in percentage).



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Source: Crypto Potato

Indian Supreme Court Pushes Crypto Case Against RBI to End of February

Indian Supreme Court Pushes Crypto Case Against RBI to End of February

The case against the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was unexpectedly heard at the country’s supreme court on Thursday. However, senior advocates for the parties were reportedly absent, so a new date has been set and the crypto case will be “top of the list” on that date.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Caught by Surprise

The Indian supreme court was scheduled to hear the petitions against the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank, the RBI, on Tuesday after repeatedly postponing it last year.

The case was finally heard on Thursday. However, according to Twitter account Crypto Kanoon, an Indian platform for blockchain regulatory news and analysis, the “crypto vs. RBI matter reached in the supreme court. As the matter was unexpected to reach, sr. advocates appearing for parties were not present.” The user continued to detail:

Now it will come for hearing on 26th Feb on ‘top of the list’ i.e., it will be at serial no. 1 on the Cause List.

Indian Supreme Court Pushes Crypto Case Against RBI to End of February

After many postponements throughout the second half of last year, few expected the case to be heard this week. Quartz India talked to a lawyer representing some of the crypto exchanges who said on Monday that “The case … is unlikely to come up for hearing this entire week.” In November’s hearing, lawyers representing crypto exchanges asked the court for a full-day hearing “so that the case could be expedited,” the news outlet noted, adding that “Despite this, delays are expected.”

RBI Ban and Crypto Regulation

The RBI issued a circular on April 6 last year banning regulated financial institutions from providing services to customers and businesses dealing with cryptocurrencies. The ban took effect in July and crypto exchanges’ bank accounts were closed. A number of petitions have been filed with the court to lift the ban.

Indian Supreme Court Pushes Crypto Case Against RBI to End of February

Most crypto exchanges in India responded to the banking restriction by launching exchange-escrowed peer-to-peer (P2P) services which have reportedly gained popularity. One of the country’s largest exchanges, Zebpay, shut down its exchange operations in India due to the banking problem. Another major exchange, Unocoin, tried to launch fiat kiosks but ran into trouble with the law when officers mistook its first machine for an ATM that violates the RBI ban.

Recently, there have also been reports of banks, such as Kotak Mahindra Bank and Digibank, closing the accounts of customers they found making crypto-related transactions. However, Indian crypto traders and users have reportedly found a way to bypass banks closing their accounts.

Meanwhile, the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies is being drafted by a panel headed by the country’s Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs, Subhash Chandra Garg. Furthermore, the finance ministry recently updated Parliament on its crypto regulatory progress but said that there is no specific timeline for clear recommendations.

What do you think of the Indian supreme court postponing the crypto case hearing? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the RBI.

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