This Week in Crypto: 4.20.2018
Don’t Stop Me Now
Seriously, don’t, because the market just recorded it’s second straight week of upwards momentum–the last time we had clear positive growth over a two week period was back in December of last year.
With a total capitalization of $375mln, the entire crypto market is up 13% from last Friday’s value of $325mln. With this increase, we’re back above mid-March prices, and we’re knocking on the door of a $400bln that we haven’t seen since the beginning of March.
As bullish predictions find their way into click-bait headlines and “experts” herald an imminent bull-run, proceed with caution. We saw Bitcoin bounce to $12,000 in February in a quick climb that had people believing the bear market was over. Trends are certainly looking up, but we’ll feel more comfortable when Bitcoin’s price transcends and stays above $9,000.
Bitcoin: At $8,500, Bitcoin has increased 5% on the week. Not as dramatic an ump as we had last week, but still some growth to be thankful for.
Ethereum: With a 13% rise this week, Ethereum’s $587 price tag is a welcomed reversal from the beating it has taken relative to its peers over the course of the 2018 bear market.
Ripple: Leading our group of three, Ripple has recorded the largest gains on the week, up 23% on the weekly at $0.85.
Swimming in “a thin soup of supposition,” Craig Wright Files to Dismiss Billion Dollar Lawsuit: The once self-proclaimed creator of Bitcoin, Craig Wright, has filed to dismiss a lawsuit with the Federal Court of Florida’s Southern District. Following his brother’s death, Ira Kleiman filed a suit against Wright back in February, claiming Wright wrongfully “[seized Dave Kleiman’s] bitcoins and his rights to certain intellectual property associated with the bitcoin technology.” In a show of court-room creativity, Wright and his lawyers denounce the lawsuit in their motion to dismiss the proceedings, claiming that the “shakedown” is based on little more than”a thin soup of supposition, speculation, conflicting allegations, hearsay and innuendo.”
Stablecoin Project Basis Raises $133mln in VC Funding: Formerly known as Basecoin, the US-based stablecoin startup Basis has raised a whopping $133mln from a host of institutional investors. According to a Basis blog post, Bain Capital Ventures, GV, Stanley Druckenmiller, Kevin Warsh, Lightspeed, Foundation Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Wing VC, NFX, Valor Capital, Zhenfund, INBlockchain, Ceyuan Ventures, Sky9 Capital, and others have pitched in to fund the project. “Together,” the post reads, “we are building a cryptocurrency with an algorithmic central bank that we believe will make cryptocurrency stable and usable around the world.”
New York Attorney General Launches Inquiry into Cryptocurrency Exchanges: Eric T. Schneiderman and his team at the New York State Attorney General’s office sent a questionnaire to the US offices of 13 cryptocurrency exchanges. Sent to Coinbase, Gemini, Bittrex, Binance, bitFlyer USA, Bitstamp USA, Bitfinex, Huobi, Kraken, Circle Internet Financial Limited (Poloniex), Tidex, Gate.io, and itBit, the questionnaire seeks information on basic operations, fees and trading policies, internal controls, and risk management. Tyler Winklevoss, Gemini’s CEO and co-founder, welcomed the probe as chance for positive regulatory cooperation, but Kraken’s CEO, Jesse Powell, has disparaged the attempt and has publicly indicated that Kraken won’t comply.
Investors Are (Still) Not Reporting Cryptocurrency Gains on Their Taxes: About a month ago, popular tax filing service Credit Karma reported that less than 1% of its customers were reporting cryptocurrency investments on their tax forms. Well, tax day was three days ago, and little has changed. According to new reports by the comapny, less than 100 out of 250,000 filings reported gains from cryptocurrency investing–that’s only 0.04%, a significant departure from the roughly 8% of Americans who hold crypto in some form.
Coinbase Acquires Earn.com, Hires Earn’s CEO as CTO: Coinbase has had a busy Q1, and it’s only continued to pack on pounds to its already beefed-up industry dominance. This week, reports surfaced that one of crypto’s largest companies had acquired Earn.com in a buyout that’s estimated to be in the ballpark of $100mln. As part of the deal, Earn.com’s CEO, Balaji Srinivasan, will be hired on at Coinbase as the company’s first CTO.
SEC Slaps Riot Blockchain with Subpoena, Probes for Info on Company’s Focus-Shift to Blockchain: Since crypto took off in 2017, companies like Long Island Iced Tea (now Long Blockchain), Kodak, Overstock, and Atari have hopped aboard the hype train, re-branding or proposing ICOs in an attempt to boost earnings. Riot Blockchain, formerly known as the Biotech company Bioptix, is one of these companies, and like many in this mill house, they’ve attracted the unsavory attention of the SEC. After the name change, the company’s stock soared upwards of 1,500%. Subpoenas such as these have become commonplace for legacy companies that have changed their business models to capitalize on crypto’s popularity, and the SEC has “warned that it is not acceptable for companies without a meaningful track record in the sector to dabble in blockchain technology, change their name and immediately offer investors securities without providing adequate disclosures about the risks involved.”
Dow Jones Media Group Partners with Brave Software: In a big win for adoption, the Dow Jones Media Group has partnered with the Brave browser and Basic Attention Token team to test blockchain for digital advertising and publishing. The partnership will give Brave browser access to premium content on MarketWatch and Barron’s, two of the Media Group’s brands, “on a first-come, first-serve basis,” according to the official press release. In addition, both MarketWatch and Barron’s will become certified publishers for Basic Attention Token.
— Brave Software (@brave) April 18, 2018
What’s New at CoinCentral?
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How Blockchain Voting Works and Why We Need It: Blockchain has the potential to deliver faster, more transparent, and more reliable election results than current technology supports.
Binance Exchange Review: Much has changed since our last Binance review, so we wrote another one to keep up with the exchange’s progress and growth.
Who is Nick Szabo? Learn more about the man who literally wrote the book on smart contracts and theorized Bitcoin years before either’s creation.
What and Who is Bitmain? The mining giant has made a name for itself in the realm of ASIC chip manufacturing and with its mining collective, Antpool.
Educational Campaign on the Possible Risks of Cryptocurrency Transactions: While there have been significant cryptocurrency regulations and bans put in place by national governments around the world, very few regulators have put an emphasis on educational campaigns as a way to teach new investors about the potential risks of investing in crypto.
Loopring, Nebulas Founders Establish Blockchain Development Community for Ex-Google Employees: Hitters Xu, Daniel Wang, and Andy Tian have founded the xGoogler’s Blockchain Alliance in an effort to cull top Google talent for the development of blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies.
Coinbase Review: Is Coinbase Safe to Buy Cryptocurrency: Another revamped review on one of the space’s leading exchanges.
Asic Mining vs Cryptocurrency Project Teams: A Game of Cat and Mouse: The rise of ASIC mining rigs not only increased the barrier to market entry for hobbyist miners but also made it much easier for enterprises to launch massive mining operations.
NY Attorney General Sends Questionnaire to 13 Exchanges, Inquires into Business Operations: The office of the New York State Attorney General has sent questionnaires to 13 exchanges to learn more about their business models, internal controls, and basic operations.
Medical Doctors and PhDs Take on Blockchain: an Interview with the Peer Atlas Team: PeerAtlas is on a mission to make medical information free and create a sustainable and scalable incentive structure for medical doctors and medical professionals to contribute to and update information in the ad-free and peer-reviewed medical library.
Exploring the Findings from ICObench’s ICO Market Review: On April 6th, the ICO review site ICObench published their ICO Market Review for the month of March alongside some fascinating industry data. It includes data on the different ICO platforms, overall market trends, stats by industry, and much more.
How to Buy Animecoin (ANI): Title says it all, folks.
How Stablecoins Work and the Balance They Strike for Price Volatility: Stablecoins work to provide non-volatile cryptoassets, coins that could open the floodgates of adoption for legacy institutions that won’t touch crypto for its price fluctuations.
Cambridge Analytica Nixes Cryptocurrency Project After Facebook Data Fiasco: After finding itself in the midst of Facebook’s data privacy controversy, Cambridge Analytica is backing down from its plans to launch an ICO.
Introduction to Continuation Chart Patterns: Check out our latest TA guide to sharpen your eye for spotting trend consistency.
The Ultimate Guide to Privacy Coins: With this guide, we put anonymity on lockdown with a comprehensive overview of cryptocurrency’s top privacy option.
News from Around the World
Loopring, Nebulas, and Gifto Founders Establish Blockchain Alliance for Ex-Google Employees: Daniel Wang (Loopring), Hitters Xu (Nebulas), and Andy Tian (Gifto) have two things in common: they are all former Google employees, and they all left Google to work on crypto projects. Now, the trio is establishing the exGooglers Blockchain Alliance (GBA), a group that’s dedicated to recruiting top talent from Google to develop and explore blockchain technology. “This community will serve as a collaborative space for inquiry, dialogue and development regarding blockchain technology for Googlers,” the alliance claims. GBA currently has active communities in San Francisco, Beijing, and Shanghai.
#Blockchain has finally got xGoogler’s attention! Three ex-Googlers @HittersXu (Founder of #Nebulas), Daniel Wang @daniel_loopring ，Andy Tian @andytian have formed the xGoogler Blockchain Alliance (GBA). Learn more about it?https://t.co/XeA8hDJHLD
— Nebulas.io (@nebulasio) April 16, 2018
IBM, International Banks Test Pilot Transactions for Blockchain-Based Trade Platform: IBM, the United Bank of Switzerland, the Bank of Montreal, CaixaBank, Commerzbank, and the Erste Group launched a pilot transaction for Batavia, a blockchain-powered supply chain tracking and trading platform. The service operates by tracking supply chain shipments and executing trade agreements via smart contracts. “Trade data and smart payment, which is automatically triggered by the transport data, form an important basis for risk management and financing instruments and add value to every supply chain,” Commerzbank representative Niko Giesber said in regards to the program.
Binance (Might Be) Working on Implementing Cash Deposits for Fiat-to-Crypto Trading: After seeking more favorable regulatory waters on the tropical shores of Malta, Binance is reportedly in talks with domestic banks to open exchange accounts “to potentially support fiat,” according to Binance’s CEO. “We are very confident we can announce a banking partnership there soon. Malta is very progressive when it comes to crypto and fintech,” CEO Zhao Changpeng commented on the developments.
While we can’t predict the future, others keep attempting it on us. Both “news” are not accurate. We are working with banks (to potentially support fiat), but no plans for USD in the short term. No xvg or xpr involved. Be careful around predictive “crystal ball” news.
— CZ (@cz_binance) April 20, 2018
Don’t Blow Your Load: Verge “Partners” with PornHub: Controversial anonymity coin Verge dropped a partnership with one of the world’s largest porn sites, Pornhub, this week. An unconventional partnership, the developments add Verge as a payment option on the website for those who choose to pay for their vice. Touted by both sides alike as a groundbreaking partnership, some community members have branded it as little more than Verge paying Pornhub for ad time, as the agreement came with its own announcement video and got Verge’s logo a featured integration with Pornhub’s own on the site’s homepage for a day.
Cambridge Analytica Scraps Plans for Its Own Coin Following Facebook Data Controversy: Cambridge Analytica, a data consultancy company, came under fire after it came to light that the company purchased data on 87 million Facebook users. Apparently, the company was planning to launch its own cryptocurrency with a focus on personal data, but following the controversy, that’s likely no longer in the cards for more than obvious reasons. “Prior to the Facebook controversy, we were developing a suite of technologies to help individuals reclaim their personal data from corporate entities and to have full transparency and control over how their personal data are used,” a spokesman for the company stated. “We were exploring multiple options for people to manage and monetise their personal data, including blockchain technology.”
Vietnam Increases Scrutiny Over Crypto After Biggest Scam in Industry Plagues Its Citizens: Last week, the Vietnamese company Modern Tech reportedly ran off with roughly $658mln in ICO funds for two tokens, Ifan and Pincoin. In response, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has urged regulators and government officials to strengthen their monitoring and regulation of cryptocurrency projects, especially ICOs. “Cryptocurrency investment and trading and raising money through initial coin offerings are evolving in a more complicated manner,” calling for proper surveillance and risk measures, the government believes.
In China, Officials Arrest Operators of Suspected Pyramid Scheme: According to local sources, Chinese police have arrested those involved with a domestic pyramid scheme. The cryptocurrency platform, known as DBTC, attracted some 13,000 investors and raised about $13mln worth of funds. Apparently, the fund was promising a daily return of $12,700 for an initial investment of $400,000, which would give a return of over 100% within three months.