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Crypto Needs to Show, Not Tell

All my friends are asking me what’s going on with crypto. In response, I usually talk about how crypto can succeed. But today I’m changing it up. I’m going to tell you how it can fail.

I see three challenging scenarios for crypto.

  1. A tech failure. The technology doesn’t solve scaling, security and speed issues.
  1. A funding failure. Crypto firms run out of money. The fiat monetary value of their raises from last year shrinks to next to nothing. And their runway to commercialization is longer than expected. This a common miscalculation in the startup world, by the way.
  1. An adoption failure. Despite overcoming the above challenges, blockchain solutions see limited adoption rates.

There are other threats. Government crackdowns. Massive hacks. Overly restrictive regulatory regimes. But they are too unlikely or don’t pose existential threats.

When the Money Goes

These days, most people are worrying about a funding failure. I worry least about that.

The threat is very real and very serious. Just last week, a company called Sirin Labs – which raised $158 million last December at the time of its ICO and has raised a total of $255 million – said it may pivot from building a blockchain smartphone to selling software to phone manufacturers because it was in danger of running out of funds.

Money problems are forcing dozens of other companies to either abandon or drastically scale back their original plans.

The problem? Many ICOs raised their money using ethereum tokens. Ethereum has lost around 90% of its 2017 peak value. In Sirin Labs’ case, what used to amount to $255 million is now worth around $20 million.

That’s not ideal. But companies needing funds or almost running out is pretty typical in the startup world.

Founding teams that know they’re making progress and creating something of significant value find a way to continue. Or they convince investors that they’re worthy of fresh capital.

The weaker companies get culled from the pack. It’s very Darwinian. The process isn’t perfect, but for the most part, it works.

A Technology Still in Its Infancy

The other two problems are joined at the hip. If speed, security and scale are conquered, then there is no looming adoption question. A technology that can get rid of middlemen, offer huge savings and provide greater efficiency will be widely adopted.

The big question is, can crypto technology attain Visa-like speeds? Can it provide impregnable security? Can it serve hundreds of millions of users?

If you think it can, I have one word for you: patience. You’re dealing with a time frame that is measured in years. Think about what Amazon went through.

It began in the ’90s. Its price shot up during the dot-com boom, peaking in late 1999 at around $90 a share. In two years’ time, it fell to $6 a share – a more than 90% drop.

Sound familiar?

It took another six years for Amazon to exceed the previous high it achieved during those wildly exuberant dot-com years.

Of course, Amazon’s success wasn’t guaranteed. But if Amazon hadn’t figured out how to unleash the power of e-commerce, some other company would have. In China, it was Alibaba, JD.com and Tencent. In Japan, it was Rakuten. In India, Flipkart.

What This Means

When a technology is ready to take off, it doesn’t depend on one company or founder (sorry, Jeff and Elon) to realize its transformative potential.

The price of Amazon in 2001 did not foretell its future as a dominant, trailblazing, investor-enriching company that’s still going strong. The price of bitcoin today doesn’t feel good. But don’t believe for one moment it’s predicting the future.

There’s a kind of “fog of war” these days surrounding crypto’s halting, unsteady progress. Is it one step forward and two steps backward… or two steps forward and one step backward? Even for me, it can be hard to tell sometimes.

At the moment, questions persist about how fast and how far blockchain and crypto-related technology will develop. That’s to be expected.

Like a lot of investors, I need to see clear and unambiguous signs of progress. As crypto technology advances and clears a path from beta testing to wider use to significant adoption to hopefully massive adoption, the fog of war will lift and be replaced by “facts on the ground.”

I’m still open-minded and optimistic about crypto. I do see progress being made. The industry will have to hunker down and keep it going. Results will have to replace words.

“Show, don’t tell.” It’s a reasonable request.

Good investing,

Andy Gordon
Co-Founder, Early Investing

The post Crypto Needs to Show, Not Tell appeared first on Early Investing.

Source: Early Investing

What’s The Real Reason Behind Coinbase Not Listing Ripple XRP?

Coinbase, the dominant US-based crypto exchange that was once known for only offering Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum, has been on a coin listing spree.

After listing Ethereum classic, Steller, Cardano, Basic Attention Token, Zcash and 0x earlier in the year, the company recently announced that they would be ‘exploring’ whether or not to list 30 more tokens on their exchange.

coinbase_coins
Will Coinbase list all of the coins above? Source: Coinbase Blog

Among the 30+ tokens being explored is none other than XRP, the token that many in the crypto space have suspected Coinbase or curving for months for unknown reasons.

Almost every announcement of a new token to be added on Coinbase would create an uproar amongst members of the XRP community who feel that their favorite coin is unfairly omitted.

There are several reasons why Coinbase may be hesitant to list XRP. For most of 2018, Ripple has been involved in a class action lawsuit filed by investors who feel that they were sold unregistered securities when they bought XRP. They claim this led to significant financial losses, and are also accusing Ripple of manipulating the markets. The plaintiffs are seeking a settlement of $5 million.

The case has now been taken to Federal Court, with Ripple arguing that XRP is not a security and that the company and the cryptocurrency are separate entities. Ripple lawyers believe moving the case the federal court will give them an advantage because Federal Court has been known to favor corporate defendants.

Regardless of how the case turns out, such a high profile lawsuit is unlikely to have been ignored by Coinbase, which would make sense to be the primary reason why they have been hesitant to list XRP.

US Regulations First

Unlike Binance, Kucoin or other major exchange, Coinbase is aiming to position itself as one of the most regulatory compliant exchanges. This is likely because it is the only way they can tap into the American institutional investor base, and hopefully one day launch their own Bitcoin ETF. Prematurely listing a token that is currently involved in a legal case which could determine if it is, in fact, an unregistered security would be too risky for Coinbase and its users. The fact that XRP is now the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap only magnifies that risk.

“The court case may take years.”, Says CZ – Binance CEO,  “But if XRP is ruled as a security, it would seriously hurt a lot of US users, and to a certain extent, other users around the world too.  It certainly doesn’t look like a security to me, but that’s just one person’s opinion.”

Therefore, we are likely to see many other smaller, less significant tokens may their way onto Coinbase before XRP gets approved if it ever does.

The post What’s The Real Reason Behind Coinbase Not Listing Ripple XRP? appeared first on CryptoPotato.

Source: Crypto Potato

How to Pay Taxes on Cryptocurrencies

Assuming you’ve given your tax preparer all of the documents needed to verify your wages, business income and expenses, crypto gains and losses, interest, dividends, etc., determining your annual tax liability is a simple process.

When you pay your Federal and state income taxes, your crypto tax liability is included within the grand total. Therefore, there really is no distinction between paying taxes on crypto and paying taxes on your other sources of taxable income and capital gains. So the question of how to pay taxes on cryptocurrencies might be better phrased as how to pay Federal income taxes.

How to Pay Taxes on Cryptocurrencies – and Everything Else

Fill out Form 1040-ES and Pay Your Quarterly Estimated Taxes

This step is ground zero when it comes to preparing for and then paying your Federal income taxes. Fill out your Form 1040-ES accurately at the start of the tax year and make your quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS on time. Then your year-end tax underpayment will be small (no penalties) or your tax refund will be equally small. No big deal if you owe Uncle Sam a relatively small amount of tax at year-end.

But, what if your estimates for your wages, net business income, and crypto capital gains and losses are far less than what you eventually earn in the coming tax year? Then your quarterly estimated tax payments will also be too small. You should expect to be hit with underpayment penalties and, of course, will need to pony up the additional Federal tax due on April 15th.

Payday for the US Treasury

After you fill out your Form 1040-ES, you’ll be provided a dollar amount for how much money to send the US Treasury on January 15th, April 15th, June 15th and September 15th (sometimes the due date varies by a day or two). You simply write a check to the United States Treasury for the amount of estimated tax due, put your social security or taxpayer ID number on the check (money orders are gladly accepted, too. Pick up a Slurpee at the same time and make tax time a real party!) and also write “2018(9) Form 1040-ES.”

Mail your check or money order along with your payment voucher to the proper IRS address included in the Form 1040-ES instruction booklet. Presto, you’ve paid your quarterly estimated taxes.

What if Your Income Suddenly Rises or Falls Mid-Year?

Let’s say you’ve filled out your 2019 Form 1040-ES in mid-January 2019. You’ve made a good-faith estimate of your 2019 crypto capital gains, interest, dividends, wages, and net business income.

But say something happens in March. You suddenly have a 2,500% winner on an ICO token that nets you $40,000, or your company gains a big contract that boosts your bottom line by $100,000. Perhaps you become sick or disabled, and your income shrinks to nothing. Maybe your wife/husband dumps you for a better-looking guy/gal with more dough and takes your house just for fun.

You need to account for all of these financial changes and fill out a new 1040-ES. That way, when it’s time for your next quarterly tax payment, you’ll send in the revised (higher or lower) estimated tax payment. If your taxable income continues to fluctuate throughout the year, fill out a new 1040 ES each time and make the needed revisions.

As long as you don’t have a significant underpayment on April 15th of the following tax year, you have no worries at all. The 1040-ES is a valuable ally that can help you avoid underpayment penalties.

how to pay taxes on cryptocurrencies IRS payments

With IRS Direct Pay you can pay your quarterly estimated and Form 1040 taxes in a flash. And without any fees. Image: IRS.gov website.

Settling Scores with The Man

The IRS now offers at least ten different ways for you to remit your tax payments. Many require additional processing fees, but several do not (check, IRS Direct Pay).

Here are the IRS tax payment methods currently available:

  • IRS Direct Pay (free)
  • Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW) 
  • Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)
  • Check
  • Wire transfer (bank fees apply)
  • Money order (gotta pay for this critter along with your Slurpee)
  • Credit card (fees apply)
  • Debit card (fees apply)
  • Cash (incredibly, a $3.99 fee applies for cash payments!)

And if you end up owing the IRS some really big money, they offer you the special Installation Agreement (for tax, interest and penalty debts of $50,000 or less). No word yet if they break your legs if you fail to agree to the terms, but I suspect most folks willingly sign on the dotted line.

An Offer He Couldn’t Refuse, but He Had No Credit Card Available

Sometimes, a particular taxpayer just doesn’t have the money needed to settle up with the IRS. At least not right away.

Take the case of Long Island mobster Michael Franzese.

A made man and caporegime in the Colombo family, Franzese was perhaps the biggest earner in the history of US organized crime. For a period of several years (ending in 1985), his federal gasoline tax fraud operation earned six to eight million dollars — per week. The revenue lost to the Feds was far greater. Franzese and his cartel stole thirty-five cents in unpaid federal gas taxes for each gallon of gas sold. At nearly half a billion gallons per month, the cost to the US Treasury was astronomical.

Postcard from the Edge

Of course, he was eventually convicted of a huge laundry list of criminal offenses including his incredible gas tax heist. Sitting in a Federal penitentiary in 1988, he received a letter from the IRS. They informed him that he owed $50 million in back taxes for his personal earnings from the huge scam. Apparently, they must have believed he still had the capacity to settle his tax debt, for at the bottom of the letter space was provided for Franzese to fill in his Visa, Mastercard, or American Express number.

As he wrote in his 2009 book, I’ll Make You an Offer You Can’t Refuse,

“Had I had access to my credit card, I would have filled in the number and sent it in.”

Thankfully, you’re not in a situation like that. However, there’s an important lesson here for all cryptocurrency traders and taxpayers in general. Here it is: The IRS has an extremely good memory when it comes to collecting money they believe they’re owed, and it doesn’t matter to them if your taxable income came from legal or illegal sources.

Final Thoughts – Two Decades

It took Michael Franzese twenty years to finally work out a payment plan for his $50 million worth of IRS back taxes. Long after he was paroled, he was forced to repay the debt as he earned a non-Mafia living like the rest of us.

File and pay your estimated taxes on time, every time. Calculate your cryptocurrency gains and losses to the penny and use the best tax preparation service or software available by April 15th. That way, you can enjoy your crypto gains, sleep well at night and never have to worry about an IRS shakedown.

The post How to Pay Taxes on Cryptocurrencies appeared first on CoinCentral.

Source: Coin Central

This London Taxi Driver Sells Cryptocurrency to Passengers

This London Taxi Driver Sells Cryptocurrency to His Passengers

If you hail a taxi in downtown London, you could wind up paying for more than just your fare. Pseudonymous cab driver Dave Jenkins is known as the Crypto Cabbie because as he drives passengers around London he provides the ability to purchase BTC.

Also read: Only Five Bitcoin Mining Devices Released in 2018 Are Profitable This December

Meet the Crypto Cabbie

This London Taxi Driver Sells Cryptocurrency to PassengersThere’s a taxi driver in London who will not only give you a ride, but might also ask you if you’re interested in purchasing BTC. Dave Jenkins travels with a device that enables people to purchase bitcoins. As he explained in a recent interview, the hardware is manufactured by a company called Fastbitcoins, and allows the Crypto Cabbie to sell BTC for cash before furnishing the buyer with a receipt. Essentially, the service is a voucher system that can be redeemed for BTC after the purchase at certain locations.

Jenkins says dealing with him is much easier for customers than signing up for an exchange or using a crypto ATM in London that might require KYC identification. The Crypto Cabbie reckons he’s the first taxi driver to offer cryptocurrency purchases. “You know, you just turn up, get in the cab, hand the cash over and you’ve got your bitcoin and away you go,” Jenkins explained during his interview. The Crypto Cabbie is good friends with Danny Brewster, the creator of the U.K.-based Fastbitcoins point-of-sale (PoS) terminal company.

This London Taxi Driver Sells Cryptocurrency to Passengers

Hailing a Cab in the Digital World

According to Brewster, he sells the crypto-enabled PoS devices to retail stores and businesses worldwide and is confident of developing his business during the crypto bear market, believing it makes his company stronger. His buddy Jenkins has been accepting BTC for taxi rides since 2017 and doesn’t seem concerned by its drop in value. The Crypto Cabbie explained:

I only care about owning bitcoin itself — Bitcoin to bitcoin, satoshi to satoshi, whatever.

Jenkins noted that to hail his cab in the digital world, individuals can contact his Twitter handle and provide him with a pickup location. While being driven to their destination, passengers can purchase BTC from the taxi driver using pounds, euros, and U.S. dollars. However, Jenkins only sells BTC during his regular shift hours which are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in London. The cabbie professes to only makes a few cents’ worth of BTC for his efforts but doesn’t sell the coins to make money. Rather, he simply enjoys getting more people into cryptocurrencies. “I don’t feel I’m going to become a millionaire out of it,” the cab driver conceded.

What do you think about Jenkins and his crypto taxi service in London? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments sections.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse these products/services. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned companies or any of its affiliates or services. This editorial is intended for informational purposes only. Bitcoin.com and the author are not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images via Shutterstock, and Twitter. 


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The post This London Taxi Driver Sells Cryptocurrency to Passengers appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

US Congress Discussion to Introduce Two Crypto Bills on Thursday

  • On Thursday, December 13th, the US Congress is expected to address the issue of crypto legislation and at the same time, introduce two new bills.
  • The bills will address fraud and price manipulation, as well as possible consequences for the US, but also methods for the US to remain relevant on a global crypto and blockchain scene.
  • Experts expect that the two bills will be only the first ones in a long line that will go through the Congress in following months.

In two days, on Thursday, December 13th, the US Congress is expected to address a critical issue, one that might affect the entire crypto world. The issue in question revolves around crypto legislation, as two bills are supposed to be introduced. The bills are intended to increase user protection against fraud, and at the same time ensure that the US remains relevant in the crypto and blockchain space on a global scale.

In the US, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are overseen by a single agency called the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission). As for every other cryptocurrency or platform, the US SEC is responsible for overseeing them.

Growing awareness of crypto calls for better protection

Cryptocurrencies have been in circulation for a decade now, but they only caught the attention of the US lawmakers in 2017. This was also during the period when Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) became popular amongst cryptocurrency-based startups. The problem with ICOs was that they became recognized as security futures. However, as part of new technology, they were completely unregulated.

In 1929, after the stock market crash, lawmakers realized that securities markets in the US are in dire need of regulations. As a result, in 1934, a Securities and Exchange Act was enforced, to protect the US from experiencing another catastrophic event like the one in 1929. The SEC was also established to ensure that the Act would remain enforced adequately at all times. Also, this served as a way of regaining the confidence and trust of the public, and it even helped speed up the recovery of the US economy.

The difference between ICOs and IPOs

In traditional finance, the SEC is mostly in charge of regulating IPOs (Initial Public Offerings). When it comes to ICOs, they are very similar in concept, the only real difference being the fact that they are performed on top of a blockchain.

However, this small difference is of great importance, as it meant that there are no proper regulations to cover ICOs. In the meanwhile, the ICO popularity grew. While numerous ICOs were real and ended up being successful, a lot of them also failed, and some were even discovered to be scams. Unfortunately, investors had already lost millions by the time they realized their mistake.

The new bills which are to be introduced on Thursday, December 13th, are expected to address these issues. One of the bills is called “Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act”, and it will establish a report regarding attempts at crypto price manipulation. The report will also cover possible consequences of price manipulation on the economy of the US as a whole.

As for the second bill, it was named “U.S. Virtual Currency Market and Regulatory Competitiveness Act,” and it will provide CFTC with directions regarding their study of crypto and blockchain regulatory laws introduced by other countries. After that, the CFTC will be tasked with recommending proper regulatory standards for the US itself.

Experts believe that the bills will likely be only the first ones in a long line of legislation that will attempt to regulate the crypto space. Numerous others are expected to follow in the coming months, and those in the crypto community are interested to see what will happen.

The post US Congress Discussion to Introduce Two Crypto Bills on Thursday appeared first on CryptoPotato.

Source: Crypto Potato

Bitcoin ETF Approval Chances Down to 10%, Says Legal Expert

Following last week’s delay of the SEC to decide on whether to approve or not the proposed, commodity-backed bitcoin ETF proposal of VanEck and SolidX, legal expert Jake Chervinsky now says that there is a 10 percent chance of its approval. 


‘I Think the ETF is in Trouble’

Jake Chervinsky, a legal expert who correctly predicted that the SEC will delay its final decision on the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF proposal into February 2019, now believes there’s a 10 percent chance of its approval.

In a series of tweets, he laid our arguments for why the Bitcoin ETF is now in jeopardy. According to him, the most important reason for a potential rejection is market manipulation.

“The SEC had many concerns — enough for 18 multi-part questions,” he explains. The most important question was about market manipulation. The SEC wanted to know if CBOE BZX (the exchange proposing the ETF) had ‘a surveillance-sharing agreement with a regulated market of significant size.’”

Chervinsky believes this is the most important issue because it was the main reason the Winklevoss ETF proposal was rejected in July 2018 by the Commissioners.

It’s noteworthy that Commissioner Hester Peirce formally dissented against the decision, however, outlining that it “contributes to further delay” of the cryptocurrency market’s maturation.

Lack of Jurisdiction

The legal expert also notes, however, that a big problem for the SEC is their lack of jurisdiction. Chervinsky:

The SEC’s problem is that it doesn’t have jurisdiction over crypto exchanges, so it can’t force them to provide the information it needs to identify & prosecute manipulation (like spoofing & wash trading). Also, it can’t tell if the exchanges themselves are committing fraud.

He concludes, largely predicating on the issue of manipulation, that “if the deadline were today, I’d give the ETF a 10% chance of approval.”

It’s important to note, though, that even if the SEC rejects the VanEck/SoldiX Bitcoin ETF, there is always the possibility of an appeal. This means it will have to be revisited by the Commissioners and their current lineup is different than the one which rejected Winklevoss’ ETF proposal earlier this year.

Currently, there are two Republicans (Peirce and Roisman), one Democrat (Jackson) and Chairman Clayton (listed as Independent but appointed by a Republican). According to analyst John Galt, this may give the Bitcoin ETF a better chance this time around. He notes:

When SolidX is decided, Republicans Peirce and Roisman favoring approval puts Chairman Clayton in the opposite position he was in for Winklevoss. If he opposes approval and sides with Jackson — regulatory gridlock. If he sides with his fellow Republicans, we have approval of a physical Bitcoin ETF. This is how I believe SolidX gets approved.

The final deadline for the decision on the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF is set for February 27, 2019.

What do you think of the commodity-backed VanEck/SolidX bitcoin ETF proposal? Will it get approved? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post Bitcoin ETF Approval Chances Down to 10%, Says Legal Expert appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

US Law Professor: Confusing Cryptocurrency Regulations Will Hamper Innovation

US Law Professor: Confusing Cryptocurrency Regulations to Hamper Innovation

Carol Goforth is a professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law. She recently published a paper about the consequences of having cryptocurrency regulations fall under a number of conflicting laws, defined by various U.S. authorities, all at the same time.

Also Read: IRS to Face Record Number of Crypto-Related Loss Claims

Confusing, Prohibitive and Expensive Regulations

US Law Professor: Confusing Cryptocurrency Regulations Will Hamper InnovationCrypto assets are currently regulated in the U.S. as property by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as money by the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (Fincen), as commodities by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and as securities by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Additionally, every single state has its own set of laws that may apply to crypto, and some have even adopted unique regulatory approaches towards the matter.

This has produced a set of overlapping rules and confusing requirements that is likely to hamper innovation in the American crypto industry, according to law professor Carol Goforth. Moreover, the expenses associated with complying with all of these obligations can be prohibitive and time-consuming for U.S. crypto businesses such as exchanges. And with the added risk of investigations and enforcement actions, “it is easy to see why the U.S. is not regarded as being receptive to crypto,” she explained in her paper.

A Paradigm Shift Is Required

US Law Professor: Confusing Cryptocurrency Regulations Will Hamper InnovationUnfortunately, professor Goforth has determined that it is unlikely that the U.S. will do away with any of the aforementioned bodies or limit the jurisdiction of existing agencies so as to consolidate regulatory power. This is because prior attempts to consolidate functions of different financial regulators have failed, legislators think that existing authorities have differing areas of expertise, and the courts have approved the situation.

It therefore behoves these agencies to get together and make a concerted effort to coordinate enforcement and regulatory oversight based on a more nuanced approach. “This change in perspective requires a paradigm shift that moves away from treating crypto as a single kind of asset, when in reality, it is not. Hopefully, American regulators will realize this, and act on this reality, sooner rather than later,” she concluded.

How should US-based cryptocurrency innovators deal with confusing regulation? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post US Law Professor: Confusing Cryptocurrency Regulations Will Hamper Innovation appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Ethereum Upgrade to Happen in January, Platform At A Crossroads

The Ethereum development team has announced that the Constantinople update, which is the next step in the platform’s roadmap, is ready for release. The update will involve a hard fork that will take place at block 7,080,000, and is expected on January 16th. Ethereum prices have surged on the news, moving up more than ten percent.

The Constantinople update is the second phase of Metropolis, the third step on the Ethereum roadmap. Among its components is an upgrade to simplify off-chain transactions, which will better enable scaling. Constantinople will also delay the so-called “difficulty bomb,” which is a previously added algorithm modification designed to force miners to adopt the future proof-of-stake consensus method planned for later next year. There are a number of other additions as well, which will pave the way for the final phase of Ethereum’s roadmap, named Serenity.

The Ethereum development team intended to implement Constantinople in October, but was delayed due to a glitch in the consensus mechanism. The team has made it clear that the matter is now resolved.

The Constantinople update is good news for Ethereum, which more than ever is struggling to maintain its status as the dominant dApp platform. The dApp field is becoming crowded with platforms that are as advanced, if not more so, than Ethereum. These include Cardano, Tron, Stellar, EOS, and NEM, just to name a few. Many of these competitors not only challenge Ethereum in the technical realm, but they are gaining support in corporate, financial, and political spheres. Thus, for Ethereum to hold its position as leader of the pack, it will have to prove that it can outperform these newer rivals.

To its credit, Ethereum still has the largest development team of any blockchain system. It also has the overwhelming majority of developed applications and tokens. Its founder, Vitalik Buterin, is the best known figure in the crypto space, and is universally hailed as a visionary talent. Perhaps most significantly, Ethereum enjoys the benefit of “first mover” status among all altcoins. 

It is not surprising that investors and traders are concerned about Ethereum’s long-term hegemony among other altcoins. Like most cryptocurrencies, it has declined in value dramatically this year, from a high of $1,400 in late January to under $100 today. A rebound is likely, yet other platforms could very well pass Ethereum in adoption, and market value, when the turnaround begins. Already Ripple has passed it as the second most valuable coin by market cap, and Ethereum’s value of the total crypto space has fallen to below ten percent for the first time in two years.

It is thus easy to see why Ethereum’s future is tied to Constantinople’s success. There is presently little discord among the Ethereum community, and the hard fork is likely to proceed without issue. Also, despite the growing competition, Ethereum is in a very strong position to gain widespread adoption. Nevertheless, its challenges represent the dynamic, and rapidly evolving status of the blockchain revolution.

Source: Crypto News

Bitcoin Mining Giant Bitmain Is Collapsing – And It Only Has Itself To Blame

The Israeli research and development arm of cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain will close, resulting in the firing of all 23 staff due to market “turmoil.”


Glikberg: Bitmain ‘Forced’ To Reevaluate

As local media outlet Globes reported December 10, Bitmain, which continues to face financial problems of its own this year, will formally end all activities at its offshoot just three years after it began operations.

The 23 employees at the Ra’anana site will not be distributed elsewhere, it appears.

More than $8.5 Million in Bitcoin Seized by Israeli Police

Commenting on the move, branch manager Gadi Glikberg, who previously also worked as Bitmain’s global vice president, blamed the ongoing deflated price of Bitcoin 00 and other cryptocurrencies.

“The crypto market has been in turmoil for the last few months, forcing Bitmain to examine the various activities in the global company and to refocus activities according to the current situation,” Globes quoted him as telling the affected staff members in an announcement.

…Over the past three years, we have built an amazing team with the highest performance capabilities in the field, and our development plans included a lot of work on the field of onboarding and digital access to the general public.

Just six months ago, Glikberg had confirmed the expansion of its Israeli team, looking to hire more than 40  “Blockchain researchers, senior software and security engineers, marketing personnel, Python and JavaScript programmers, and QA personnel.”

Bears, Billionaires And Bitcoin Cash

Bitmain’s downsizing caps a troubled six months for the company which has spawned several Chinese billionaires and traditionally held a monopoly on Bitcoin mining.

As Bitcoinist has variously reported, a dubious plan to conduct an IPO in Hong Kong combined with large reserves of volatile and reportedly illiquid altcoin Bitcoin Cash (BCH) 00 to squeeze the company’s coffers ever further.

Most recently, as BCH fell to record lows, rumors began circulating that poor sales of its mining rigs had contributed to Q3 losses nearing an unprecedented $750 million.

Last week, a fresh lawsuit alleging executives colluded with Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver and US cryptocurrency exchange Kraken to manipulate BCH prices has added to Bitmain’s woes.

What do you think about Bitmain’s decision to shut down its Israel operation? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post Bitcoin Mining Giant Bitmain Is Collapsing – And It Only Has Itself To Blame appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

Bobby Lee Predicts $2.5K Bitcoin Price Bottom As 15-Month Lows Near

The Bitcoin price could “bottom” at $2500 in January 2019, BTCC co-founder Bobby Lee has forecast in his latest prediction which many traders already consider too optimistic.


Lee: Bitcoin Price Under $2K ‘Very Surprising’

On the back of an ongoing social media poll involving almost 5000 participants, Lee, who is becoming increasingly known for his bullish price predictions, said “a lot of buy orders and support” would keep Bitcoin above $2000.

“I’ll be very surprised if it ever hits $2,000 again,” he wrote December 8.

I suspect there will be a lot of buy orders and support at both $3,000 and $2,500 mark. We will see!

Despite a previous flurry of prophecies claiming the Bitcoin price would reverse its bear market to reach significant levels before the end of the year, markets have so far failed to do so.

How Low Is Low Enough?

The past week has seen the largest cryptocurrency fall to new lows not seen since September 2017, the current local ‘bottom’ appearing Friday at $3220.

Now, attention is focusing on Bitcoin’s bear cycle having similar characteristics to its previous one, which Lee notes saw BTC/USD 00 drop 87 percent from $1200 to $150 between December 2013 and January 2015.

“Now from Dec 2017 high of $20,000, going down 87% would take it to $2,500. So maybe bottom out in Jan 2019?” he quizzed his audience.

Respondents appeared unconvinced. At press time, the most popular answer to the survey with 39 percent of votes claimed that Bitcoin would fall further and that this would last beyond next month.

Through its current performance, the Bitcoin price is on the way to mimicking the ‘Outrageous Prediction’ made by pro-crypto Saxo Bank for 2018.

At a time when crypto markets were all beating all-time highs, analysts at Saxo decided a joint effort from the Russian and Chinese governments would take Bitcoin down to just $1000.

“After its spectacular peak in 2018, Bitcoin crashes and limps into 2019 close to its fundamental ‘production cost” of $1,000,’ they concluded.

You can check out the latest Bitcoin price analysis from Bitcoinist here.

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Source: Bitcoininst