Ripple CEO Says JPMorgan’s ‘Cryptocurrency’ Misses The Point

JPMorgan is already facing severe criticism from the cryptocurrency industry just a day after it announced it would launch its own token, ‘JPM Coin.’

Garlinghouse: JPM Coin ‘Misses The Point’

The plan, which would ostensibly make JPMorgan the first US bank to issue a token with a verifiable use case, surprised commentators when executives revealed it to the press this week.

“The applications are frankly quite endless; anything where you have a distributed ledger which involves corporations or institutions can use this,” Umar Farooq, head of JPMorgan’s blockchain operations told CNBC.

JPM Coin, Farooq said, would see testing in the coming months, rolling out to applications in international settlement, securities and treasury services.

Little technical details have surfaced about the token, with Farooq’s comments suggesting it would be a closed private blockchain with a wholly-centralized issuance.

It would be tied to the US dollar, he added, and exchangeable for cash within the ecosystems it serves.


Reacting to the reveal, however, others were less than impressed. Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of payment network Ripple, likened JPM Coin to previous plans from banks elsewhere, arguing it was a case of ‘too little, too late’ in the age of public blockchains.

“… [T]his JPM project misses the point – introducing a closed network today is like launching AOL after Netscape’s IPO,” he added in social media comments.

Garlinghouse has faced skepticism of his own over the past year amid centralization concerns that continue to swirl around Ripple and its associated cryptocurrency, XRP.

Not A Cryptocurrency?

Continuing on JPM Coin meanwhile, Jerry Brito, executive director of Coin Center, said the industry shouldn’t call it a cryptocurrency at all.

“It’s not a cryptocurrency,” he told MarketWatch.

A cryptocurrency is one that is open and permissionless, if you want to download it, you don’t need permission; you just need some software.

Others went beyond definitions, arguing JPMorgan would help cryptocurrency gain wider publicity.

“They’ve finally figured out there’s a lot of money to be made in this business,” Bubba Trading strategist Todd Horwitz added to CNBC Thursday.

Bitcoin pioneer, Nick Szabo, meanwhile likened JPM Coin to Venezuela’s virtual currency, the Petro, pointing out that both require trust, thus deafeating the entire purpose of using a blockchain.

What do you think about JPM Coin? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Getty images

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Source: Bitcoininst

What is Ethereum 2.0? We Reveal its Unclear, Uncertain, Yet Promising Future

For the past few months, Ethereum 2.0 has been a hot topic in the crypto space. People are patiently waiting to see how the second most popular cryptocurrency can showcase its new and improved speed, scalability, and security features through a series of updates.

The updates are aimed at addressing current scaling, mining and consensual protocol, and security issues include moving from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, solutions like Beacon Chain, Casper FFG, Sharding, eWASM, Plasma, Raiden, and perhaps most anticipated, Serenity.

Serenity is supposed to be an ‘all-in-one’ solution to fix the various problems highlighted by Ethereum 1.0. It combines most of the Ethereum upgrade ideas (Sharding, eWASM, Proof-of-Stake, etc.) together on a new parallel chain that would run alongside and be fully compatible with the existing chain.

Breakdown of Ethereum 2.0 solutions

  • Proof-of-Stake (PoS): Beacon and Casper are the 2 PoS solutions that aim to improve how new Ethereum coins are mined and how transactions are validated. In PoS, there is no mining which means there is no block reward; the block creators are called Forgers (instead of Miners as in PoW). They are only being incentivized with transaction fees. The Forgers of the next block are elected through a random procedure according to the Forger’s stake (amount of coins the Forger stakes) and age.
  • Sharding is the process where the entire state of the network is split into a number of partitions called shards that contain their own independent piece of state and transaction history. This addresses issues of scalability and transaction speed and stops one app from slowing down the network.
  • eWASM allows code to execute faster by expanding the coding options and capabilities for the Ethereum Virtual Machine.
  • Plasma is an extra layer that sits on top of the network to handle massive amounts of transactions. It is basically Ethereum’s version of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network.
  • Raiden, like Plasma, is categorized as an off-chain scaling solution, and therefore can also be compared to the Lightning Network. Rather than processing the transactions on the main blockchain, Raiden uses state channel technology to move transactions off-chain and open a separate payment channel.

We can see that the Ethereum development community clearly has their work cut out for them to bring these upgrades to life. However, according to a recent report published by Matt Slipper and Dan Tsui of Kyokan (a blockchain-native software consultancy based in the bay area), things don’t seem to be running very smoothly behind the scenes.

The main takeaways from the lengthy document are that:

  • Ethereum 2.0 has no person in charge of orchestrating the rollout of the upgrades.
  • Ethereum 2.0’s implementation has been stalled by the specification constantly changing, particularly over the past 6 months.
  •  There is significant miscommunication on timeframes occurring between research people and the rest of the team. People working outside of R&D are out of the loop regarding when new features are ready to roll out.
  • Implementers are concerned that perhaps there may be a funding shortage. The team is currently committed to working on Ethereum 2.0, but only as long as funding exists for development. If the funding dries up, then these teams may be forced to find other work.
  • The rate of change in the specifications of features is only discouraging the implementation team more.
  •  In response to the need for clarity, research has started to version segments of the specifications to show what is ready and what needs to be changed.
  • It is now believed that Ethereum 2.0 won’t be transformational for smart contracts until cross-shard communication is live and phase 0,1, and 2 of the release are complete.

The implications of this document are quite significant. A lot of pressure has been put on the Ethereum developer community over the years to achieve the kind of scalability that Bitcoin has failed to do so far. For Ethereum, achieving scalability is not just about making it easier to send and receive ETH, it’s about improving the speed in which the entire network operates so that it can handle huge traffic spikes that will inevitably occur as more Dapps get released on the Ethereum blockchain. It’s also about being able to securely scale smart contracts so that they can one day be used for more than just gambling applications, for instance, real-life financial transactions (such as loans or remittances).

There does seem to be some useful recommendations to improve the situation, such as:

  • Including “Product Context” In Public-Facing Media (Clearly communicating what will be delivered and when as well as how to prepare for the release of Ethereum 2.0)
  • Provide clear avenues for continued funding
  • Rigorously defining and enforcing a formal standards process

Ultimately, the long-term viability of the entire Altcoin market may very well depend on Ethereum 2.0’s ability to succeed.  Decentralization has its clear benefits when it comes to increasing transparency and security of complex networks that transfer valuable data between members. However, when it comes to advancing the development of these complex networks, it seems that a more centralized project management approach is needed to ensure the kind of streamlined workflow and maximized productivity that will allow the best version of the Ethereum network to see the light of day.

The post What is Ethereum 2.0? We Reveal its Unclear, Uncertain, Yet Promising Future appeared first on CryptoPotato.

Source: Crypto Potato

Ethereum (ETH) Price Analysis Feb.14: Ethereum Consolidates Around $120. What’s Next?

Ethereum has now seen a modest price increase totaling over 16% throughout the past week. The cryptocurrency currently trades for approximately $120, after suffering from a 30% price fall over the past 90 days. This consolidation is aligned with the recent price moves of Bitcoin.

Looking at the ETH/USD 1- Day Chart:

  • After bouncing from support level at $105.41, ETH/USD had experienced a price surge that drove the market up to a high of $127.36.
    The market had reached resistance at a bearish .382 Fibonacci Retracement level (marked in red). This Fibonacci Retracement is measured from the high of January 2019 to the low of February 2019.
  • Price action has now formed a trading range between $127.36 and $120.85, from below.
  • The nearest support is located at the bottom of the above range at $120.85, whereas the next short-term support at .618 Fibonacci Retracement level (marked in green) located at $115.15.
  • Support below this lies at $105.4, $102.98 and psychological level of $100.
  • From Above: The nearest resistance is located at the top of the trading range at $127.36.
  • This is followed with resistance at a short term 1.272 Fibonacci Extension level (marked in orange) located at $130, and the bearish .5 Fibonacci Retracement level (marked in red) located at $135.
  • The RSI indicator remains above 50 which indicates that the bulls are still in control of the market’s momentum.
  • The trading volume is slowly decreasing over the past few days.


Looking at the ETH/BTC 1-Day Chart:

  • The price action had found support at the 0.030143 BTC level, and from there rebounded throughout February 2019.
  • The rebound brought the coin up to resistance at the 0.034 BTC level. This resistance extends back to November 2018 and also resistance from a bearish .382 Fibonacci Retracement level (marked in red).
  • The market has now established a tight trading range between 0.034212 BTC and 0.033112 BTC.
  • From Below: Support lies at 0.032292 BTC and then 0.032000 BTC.
  • Further support beneath can be located at the .618 (0.031425 BTC) and .786 (0.030683 BTC) Fibonacci Retracement levels (marked in green).
  • From Above: Resistance above the range lies at 0.035089 BTC and 0.035543 BTC.
  • Higher resistance lies at the short-term 1.414 Fibonacci Extension level (marked in orange) at 0.035999 BTC and the bearish .618 Fibonacci Retracement level (marked in red) at 0.03696.
  • The RSI remains above 50 as the bulls maintain control of the market momentum. However, the RSI looks very fragile.
  • Trading volume remains at a steady average level.


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Source: Crypto Potato

Crypto Adoption Ahead: NASDAQ to Add New Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) Indices

  • NASDAQ stock exchange adds Bitcoin Liquid Index (BLX) and Ethereum Liquid Index (ELX) to their trading services
  • These indices will be joining 40,000 of Nasdaq’s indexes (including Nasdaq 100 and Nasdaq Composite) through their GIDS data feed.
  • The continued integration of Bitcoin into traditional stock market trading services is a clear sign of mainstream adoption

In the past year, the NASDAQ stock exchange has increasingly become fascinated with cryptocurrencies.  From publishing reports analyzing the Bitcoin and the crypto markets to teaming up with VanEck launch of Bitcoin futures despite the bear market, NASDAQ sees that Bitcoin is here to stay and the opportunities are large enough for traditional stock traders to take advantage of.

Recently, NASDAQ has made another step in bringing Bitcoin to Wall Street by offering two new indices tied to the crypto market on its existing platform of indexes.

Bitcoin Liquid Index (BLX) and Ethereum Liquid Index (ELX) are created by Brave New Coin, and will provide a “real-time spot or reference rate for the price of 1 BTC and 1 ETH respectively, quoted in USD, and based on the most liquid ends of their markets” as stated on the alert published.

BLX and ELX work by capturing data from multiple exchanges to provide a single price point for BTC and ETH, which helps traders, get in and out of a given position.

BLX and ELX will now be joining 40,000 of Nasdaq’s indices (including Nasdaq 100 and Nasdaq Composite) through their GIDS data feed. The GIDS (or Global Index Data Service) is NASDAQ’s premier real-time data feed that consolidates all NASDAQ indexes and ETF valuation data as well as third-party partner data.

A definite step toward mainstream adoption

This move is another example of how NASDAQ is eagerly embracing cryptocurrencies as a tool to expand their trading services.

NASDAQ is the premier exchange for institutional investors, and so the more they shine a spotlight on Bitcoin, Ethereum and other major cryptocurrencies down the road, the more we can expect that institutional investors will begin flushing their money into the crypto markets via these traditional stock trading channels.

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Source: Crypto Potato

Venezuela’s BTC Trading Volumes Hit Record Highs as Crypto Regulations Commence

Venezuela’s BTC Trading Volumes Hit Record Highs as Crypto Regulations Commence

As Venezuela begins regulating cryptocurrency, BTC trading volumes in the country hit record highs on several exchanges. Amid fast-growing crypto adoption, peer-to-peer trading platforms such as Localbitcoins and Paxful have reported significant increases in the number of BTC traded in Venezuela.

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

Record BTC Trading Volumes

Peer-to-peer (P2P) markets that trade cryptocurrencies in Venezuela have recently been showing record volumes. On Localbitcoins, BTC to bolivar trading volume has been growing steadily, with 2,485 coins traded in the week ending Feb. 9, up from 2,004 coins the previous week.

Venezuela’s BTC Trading Volumes Hit Record Highs as Crypto Regulations Commence

Another P2P platform, Paxful, is reporting similar growth. The company told on Tuesday that BTC trading volume for Venezuela on its platform increased by 74.66 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year, taking into account only successful trades. In addition, the number of trades increased by 118 percent in the same time period, averaging 61,534 transactions monthly.

The platform has 40,309 users in Latin America, 8,817 of which are in Venezuela. There are currently 1,123 active users in the country, with most of them located in the capital city of Caracas, the company revealed. Additionally, Venezuela now accounts for more traffic to Paxful’s website than any other country, at 36.99 percent.

Venezuela’s BTC Trading Volumes Hit Record Highs as Crypto Regulations Commence

Crypto Adoption Accelerating

“Adoption is [growing] really fast” in Venezuela, Indian crypto exchange Instashift with a presence in Venezuela told on Tuesday. The exchange reported seeing strong demand for BTC in Venezuela earlier this year, ahead of the other 44 countries it also operates in. Marketing officer Jacob Mani elaborated that “People know about cryptocurrency and are very much aware about the developments in the crypto space. Moreover, Venezuelans are very courteous and welcoming about new ideas and possibilities that they have got.” He also noted that “Big stores like Traki are accepting bitcoin.”

Venezuela’s BTC Trading Volumes Hit Record Highs as Crypto Regulations Commence

Crypto Regulations Enter Into Force

The government of Nicolas Maduro recently began regulating the cryptocurrency industry. The decree enacting the country’s crypto regulations containing 63 articles was published in Official Gazette 41.575 at the end of January.

It establishes a comprehensive set of rules for all crypto-related activities in the country and installs the National Superintendency of Crypto Assets and Related Activities (Sunacrip) as the main regulator of the crypto space. The powers given to Sunacrip include the ability to audit all crypto businesses, to set the prices of cryptocurrencies in bolivars, and to legally confiscate mining equipment. In addition, the regulator is building a database of all crypto service providers in the country.

On Feb. 8, Sunacrip further announced that it is now regulating remittances made using cryptocurrencies. The regulator has set a monthly limit and will be collecting commissions of up to 15 percent of the transaction amount.

What do you think of BTC trading volumes hitting record highs in Venezuela? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

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Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Test Key Levels From 2017 Bull Trend

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Test Key Levels From 2017 Bull Trend

The cryptocurrency markets are trading at significant long-term price areas, with BTC currently channeling between key levels from the 2017 bull run. In other market action, BCH and ETH have continued to consolidate above the $100 area.

Also Read: ETF Filed With SEC to Invest in Bitcoin Futures, Bonds, and Mutual Funds

BTC Trades Between Major Long-Term Price Zones

For the last two months, BTC has established a price range corresponding to areas of long-term significance.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Test Key Levels From 2017 Bull Trend
BTC/USD – Bitfinex – 1D

As of this writing, bulls are attempting to establish support at roughly $3,600 after bouncing off what may comprise a higher low at the $3,400 area. During 2019 so far, BTC is yet to re-test last year’s low of roughly $3,100, nor has price action broken above resistance at $4,400.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Test Key Levels From 2017 Bull Trend
BTC/USD – Bitfinex – 4HR

When looking back to mid-2017, the price levels correspond to key areas from BTC’s first run up to $5,000, in addition to the subsequent retrace and rally to five digits.

During the initial run to $5,000, BTC stair-stepped its way from $3,200 to $3,400 before jumping to establish a then-record high at roughly $4,400. BTC then established local support at $3,600 and then rallied to set a new record at $5,000.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Test Key Levels From 2017 Bull Trend
BTC/USD – Bitfinex – 1D

After tagging $5,000, the $4,400 area comprised the shoulder line of the lopsided head and shoulders pattern that preceded the violent retracement down to $3,000. BTC currently has a market cap of $63.55 billion and a dominance of 52.9%.

BCH Consolidates Above 2018 Low

Bitcoin Cash is consolidating at a possible higher-low, with BCH currently trading for $119 after bouncing off support at $100. Despite the sideways price action, BCH has broken outside of multiple major descending trendlines in recent weeks.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Test Key Levels From 2017 Bull Trend
BCH/USD – Kraken – 1D

When measured against BTC, BCH is also consolidating above 2018’s low, with bitcoin cash currently trading for 0.0335 BTC. Bitcoin cash is currently the sixth largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $2.14 billion and a dominance of 1.78%.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Test Key Levels From 2017 Bull Trend
BCH/BTC – Bittrex – 1D

Ethereum Reclaims Second Largest Market Cap

Ethereum has also spent recent months trading between key price levels from ETH’s first break into triple figures during mid-2017.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Test Key Levels From 2017 Bull Trend
ETH/USD – Poloniex – 1D (Calculated by Tradingview)

After reaching a low of $80 in December, ETH rallied to test resistance at approximately $175 at the start of 2019, with the markets having since retraced to establish local support at $100.

When measured against BTC, ETH has again oscillated between significant long-term price zones, with ETH currently attempting to establish support at the 0.0333 BTC area, the market’s former record high that was established during March 2016 before being broken one year later.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Test Key Levels From 2017 Bull Trend
ETH/BTC – Poloniex – 1D

ETH currently comprises the second largest crypto asset with a market cap of nearly $12.73 billion and a dominance of 10.50%.

What do you make of current market structure? Are predicting 2019 to be bull or bear? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Tradingview

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither 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.”

The post Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Test Key Levels From 2017 Bull Trend appeared first on Bitcoin News.


ETF Filed With SEC to Invest in Bitcoin Futures, Bonds, and Mutual Funds

ETF Filed With SEC to Invest in Bitcoin Futures, Bonds, and Mutual Funds

A registration statement for a new exchange-traded fund (ETF) that will invest in bitcoin futures among other traditional investments has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund’s portfolio will include bitcoin futures traded on the Cboe Futures Exchange and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as well as sovereign debts and money market mutual funds.

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

New ETF Filing

Reality Shares ETF Trust filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday for an ETF that will invest in bitcoin futures as part of its investment strategies. The Reality Shares Blockforce Global Currency Strategy ETF will be an actively managed fund listed on the NYSE Arca exchange. The fund is “designed to provide investment exposure to global currencies, both fiat and virtual currencies,” its filing reads.

ETF Filed With SEC to Invest in Bitcoin Futures, Bonds, and Mutual Funds

The new proposed ETF will invest in a portfolio comprised of “high-quality, short-term (no greater than 18-month maturity), sovereign debt instruments” listed for trading on U.S. exchanges in U.S. dollars, euros, British pounds, Japanese yen, and Swiss francs. According to the filing, it will also invest in “bitcoin futures contracts of various maturities listed for trading on U.S. exchanges that provide exposure to the price movements of bitcoin” as well as “money market mutual funds and/or other cash equivalents.”

Investing in Bitcoin Futures

The registration statement for the Reality Shares Blockforce Global Currency Strategy ETF details:

The fund plans to invest in the bitcoin futures traded on the Cboe Futures Exchange Llc … and/or the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) but may invest in bitcoin futures traded on other exchanges in the future.

In addition, the fund expects to obtain exposure to bitcoin futures by investing up to 25 percent of its total assets in a wholly owned and controlled Cayman Islands subsidiary. The filing explains that the investment adviser to the fund “will seek to limit the subsidiary’s investment in bitcoin futures so the fund’s aggregate notional exposure to bitcoin futures is limited to 15% of the fund’s net assets at the time of investment.” Furthermore, the fund may also invest in bitcoin futures directly to a limited extent.

ETF Filed With SEC to Invest in Bitcoin Futures, Bonds, and Mutual Funds

Existing Blockchain ETFs

Reality Shares already offers two blockchain ETFs created in partnership with Nasdaq: The Reality Shares Nasdaq Nexgen Economy ETF (BLCN) and the Reality Shares Nasdaq Blockchain China Index (BCNA).

The former was incepted on Jan. 17 last year and seeks long-term growth by tracking the investment returns of the Reality Shares Nasdaq Blockchain Economy Index. The latter was incepted on June 20 last year and seeks long-term growth by tracking the investment returns of the Reality Shares Nasdaq Blockchain China Index comprised of blockchain-related companies located in Hong Kong and mainland China.

What do you think of this new ETF filing? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

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How Cryptocurrency Taxes Could Beef Up Your Refund This Year

Cryptocurrency taxes could actually pay off this tax season for investors who traded crypto in 2018.

But few of them are taking advantage of it.

According to a survey by Credit Karma, U.S. investors realized losses of $1.7 billion in 2018. More than a third – 35% – said they did not plan to report their crypto losses to the IRS.

Cryptocurrency taxes
Of those who said they weren’t reporting (which included some who had gains), 35% said they didn’t think they were required to report it. Another 57% said they didn’t think their gains or losses were large enough to require reporting. And 22% said they “didn’t know how.”

But the losses average out to $718 per crypto investor. And that’s definitely worth reporting. As painful as such losses can be, investors owe it to themselves to minimize them by claiming them as capital losses on their taxes.

We saw this phenomenon last year in reverse, as most crypto investors failed to report realized gains they had in the boom year of 2017. (Maybe that’s why some are reluctant to use their losses this year.)

And it’s not so much that they’re all trying to evade taxes; the unwillingness to claim losses from 2018 suggests most crypto investors simply don’t know what they’re supposed to do.

I lay much of the blame on the IRS for not bringing clarity to cryptocurrency taxes. The one statement the agency made in 2014 is inadequate and badly needs updating. I’ve made this point again and again, but all we’ve gotten from IRS is radio silence.

Today I’m going to explain in plain English the particulars of cryptocurrency taxes so you don’t miss out on any refund money the government owes you.

What You Need to Know About Cryptocurrency Taxes

What the IRS said in 2014 – all we have to go on – is that cryptocurrencies are considered “property.” Basically, that means gains and losses from the sale of crypto are, like the gains and losses from the sale of stocks, capital gains and losses.

You have two kinds of capital gains taxes: long term and short term. Long term is any investment sold after being held for at least one year. Short term is for investments held less than a year, likely to be common among crypto traders.

See Why Bitcoin Is Far from Dead: Cryptocurrency legend Michael Robinson just revealed why Bitcoin could be poised for a record-breaking rebound. Before the mainstream public gets any wiser, you need to see this now.

Long-term capital gains have their own tax rates ranging from 0% to 20% (although it’s based on your taxable income).

Short-term capital gains are taxed as ordinary income. In other words, the gain is added to any other taxable income you have in that year.

Capital losses can be used to offset capital gains. A simple example: Let’s say you sold some Apple stock for a gain of $10,000 in 2018 and sold some Bitcoin at a loss of $7,000. The IRS allows you to deduct the loss from the gain, so you only need to pay tax on $3,000 instead of $10,000.

But what if you had no gains?

You can deduct up to $3,000 of losses against your income in any given tax year. While not a huge sum, it will increase your refund (or reduce what you owe). If you have a loss larger than that, you can carry it forward to offset gains in future tax years. Or you can keep using the $3,000 deduction each year until the full amount of the loss is exhausted.

So if you had a $10,000 capital loss on your crypto trading in 2018, it would take four tax years to fully deduct the loss – assuming you had no capital gains in any of those years.

None of that is unique to crypto taxes.

But one tricky difference where crypto is concerned is that investors need to track their basis cost – what they paid to buy the crypto – themselves. You need to know the cost basis as well as the price for which you sold the asset to calculate your gain or loss.

Retail stock brokers do all that for you and send you a 1099-B form in the mail, but crypto exchanges do not. (The lack of a document in the mail may partly explain why so many crypto investors don’t think they need to report their trading to the IRS.)

At best, you’ll be able to download a record of all your transactions so you can calculate the cost basis yourself. Using a service like, or helps, but it’s still an extra step that costs extra money.

To report crypto transactions on your taxes, you use Form 8949, which becomes part of Schedule D.

Now, if that’s all there was to it, figuring cryptocurrency taxes would only be a bit more inconvenient than dealing with other capital gains taxes.

But crypto has issues stocks don’t have…

Why We Need More Clarity on Crypto Taxes

Read more

BTC Futures Volume Plummets Relative to Spot Trade Heading Into 2019

Research carried out by Tradeblock has found the combined trade volume across the futures contracts offered by Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) plummet relative to spot market volume during the second half of 2018.

Also Read: Mt. Gox Creditors Neither Need nor Deserve This Kind of ‘Hero’

BTC Futures Volume Rivals Combined Trade Activity Across Leading Spot Exchanges During Q3 2018

Despite the hype surrounding the launch of CME and CBOE’s BTC futures contracts at the end of 2017, said markets comprised a small fraction of combined trade activity taking place on Coinbase, Itbit, Kraken, Bitstamp, and Gemini.

With the burst of the 2018 bubble, however, spot volume fell by more than 70 percent when comparing January’s trade activity with average monthly volume posted during the second half of 2018.

BTC Futures Volume Plummets Relative to Spot Trade Heading Into 2019

Mixed with a more than doubling in CME futures trade activity, trade volume for CBOE and CME’s BTC futures came to rival that of Coinbase, Itbit, Kraken, BItstamp, and Gemini’s combined spot volume during the third quarter of 2018 – with CME’s volume dwarfing that of each individual exchange.

Futures See Volume Drop-Off During Final Quarter of 2018

While the volume of both the BTC spot and futures markets saw decline during September and October, November saw the combined spot markets post their strongest monthly volume since May, while the futures markets posted their second weakest month of the year.

BTC Futures Volume Plummets Relative to Spot Trade Heading Into 2019

While December saw the spot market post a healthy retracement, trade activity in the futures markets fell by more than half to post its worst performing month since launch, suggesting a shift away from the cryptocurrency derivatives offered by CME and CBOE in favor of the traditional cryptocurrency markets.

On Feb. 1, CME published a report stating that the average daily trade volume for its BTC contracts was $80 million during the previous 283 days, which, combined with CBOE’s approximately $10.65 million in daily trade, shows that the futures markets are currently falling roughly 4.5 percent short of rivaling the 24-hour trade volume between BTC and USDT on Binance.

Do you think that we will continue to see a decline in trade activity across the futures markets this year? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Tradeblock

At there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

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This Week in Cryptocurrency: February 8, 2019

T.G.F.F. (Thank God For Friday)

If it hadn’t been for a last-minute rally this Friday, we would’ve seen a lot of double-digit red this week. The market hit a weekly high of about $115.8B before dropping to a low of just under $111B. Thanks to the end of the week rally, the entire market cap fell less than one percent over the week and is currently barely over $114B.

Cryptocurrency Market Stats (2/8/19)

Cryptocurrency Market Stats (2/8/19)

A few altcoins really shined this past week. Litecoin rose 16.57 percent, leapfrogging a few currencies to reach the number four spot. Binance Coin flew up 24.62 percent to enter the top ten. And, Ark boomed 34.83 percent. The movement of our top three coins wasn’t as interesting.

Bitcoin fell just 0.52% over the last seven days.

XRP lost 2.81% of its price.

Ethereum grew a respectable 1.67% this week.

Domestic Cryptocurrency News

Fires, Buyers, and Aquihires: In the midst of widespread layoffs and shutdowns among cryptocurrency companies, a few outliers are moving the opposite way. This week, U.S. exchange Kraken acquired Crypto Facilities, a London-based crypto index provider. The goal of the nine-figure purchase is to add futures and index products to the core Kraken arsenal. Eligible customers will soon have access to six cryptocurrency futures.

In other positive industry news, Facebook achieved a personal first in acquiring blockchain startup Chainspace. Prior to the acquisition, the startup team was creating a smart contract platform utilizing sharding. However, Facebook seems more interested in the team rather than their product. The social media behemoth hired the majority of the Chainspace team into their relatively new blockchain division, and the original project is shutting down.

People Saying Things

Jack Attack: Twitter CEO and Square CEO Jack Dorsey had the cryptocurrency world abuzz this week with a series of pro-Bitcoin statements. Early in the week, Dorsey appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, touting that Bitcoin has the highest likelihood of becoming the native currency of the Internet. Following that, he laid out a series of tweets that outlined the same sentiment. The start-up boy wonder even hinted that Twitter may be looking into Lightning Network integrations.

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Isle of Man (And Blockchain): You may not have heard about the small, self-governing British dependency, but the Isle of Man is looking to make a name for itself as a worldwide blockchain destination. The island recently formed a Blockchain Office and a Sandbox in which businesses can test out new blockchain technology. According to Lyle Wraxall, the chief executive of Digital Isle of Man, they “are looking to attract premium blockchain businesses and the world’s top exchanges to the Island.”

On top of the technology sandbox, legislators are planning to introduce “tech-agnostic regulation inspired by best practice that [they’ve] seen from other high-quality jurisdictions around the world.”

Death, Private Keys, and Maple Syrup: This week brought a story so juicy, it warrants its own Netflix special. Late last year, Gerald Cotten, the CEO of Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, QuadrigaCX, suddenly passed away on a trip to India. Unfortunately, he took the passwords for the exchange’s cold wallets with him to the grave, leaving $190 million of user funds unobtainable. Although encryption experts are working to retrieve those passwords, the odds of success are slim.

Here’s where the story gets even more interesting. Some people have speculated that a) the exchange is using the death as a way to walk away with the money, or even b) Cotten faked his own death to defraud customers. It doesn’t help that Cotton’s co-founder is allegedly a convicted fraudster and money launderer who had been operating the exchange under a false identity. And you thought the market’s been boring lately…

The post This Week in Cryptocurrency: February 8, 2019 appeared first on CoinCentral.

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