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May 2009

Tezos (XTZ) Surges After Kraken and Coinbase Add XTZ Staking



Tezos (XTZ) has been performing well in recent weeks as other coins continue to fall. The coin gained, taking its market cap to $1.4 billion, which placed it within the top ten cryptos by market cap.

Tezos Grows in Values as Addresses with Small XTZ Balances Increase

Since the first week of November, XTZ has experienced a 58% climb, representing a significant increase in value and market capitalization in over 40 days. In contrast, other cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, suffered several slumps, with each having its market cap significantly devalued. The price of Bitcoin has dropped to around $7,000, while the Ethereum price is nearing a year-to-date low of $123.27.

However, the increase in the value of Tezos might have been a result of the growing number of accounts with small balances of XTZ. This is according to a Coinmetrics report that indicates that XTZ has managed this feat as the market continues to experience growing reticence.

The number of addresses with small balances of Tezos has grown significantly since August. The addresses grew from 60,000 in August to the current more than 100,000 addresses. At the beginning of this week, the number of addresses having at least 0.1 Tezos was around 107,000.

Various Crypto Exchanges Add Support for Tezos Staking

Some opine that the reason for the surge in the value of XTZ over the past month is the enhanced support for XTZ staking from major crypto exchanges. Staking is a way for token holders to generate passive income for contributing to the security of the network.

>> Ethereum Pluges 10% in 48 Hours: Coin in Net Negative for 2019

In early November, Coinbase added support for Tezos staking on its platform, enabling users to earn up to $6 worth of Tezos for completing lessons on the platform’s functionality. Following Coinbase’s support, Kraken also followed suit on December 13 when the exchange announced it was enabling Tezos staking.

Equally, Binance and Ledger have also announced their support for Tezos. Ledger announced support for XTZ, which allows its users to manage the coin and grow their assets by staking XTZ. Tezos becomes the first proof-of-stake protocol that allows users to delegate coins network validators on the Ledger Live Platform.

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Mastercard CEO Reveals Why His Firm Quit Libra Over Several Red Flags



Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga says his company left The Libra Association after his attitude towards the project deteriorated over proposals to link the coin with its own built-in wallet, Calibra, as well as the lack of a clear business model.

In an interview with the Financial Times, the payment services chief, who has headed up Mastercard since 2009, described the various red flags that led to his decision to pull the company from the project. “It went from this altruistic idea into their own wallet. I’m like: ‘this doesn’t sound right,’” said Banga, adding that, “If you get paid in Libra [coin] . . . which go into Calibras, which go back into pounds to buy rice, I don’t understand how that works.”

He also described the lack of a clear business model as a cause for concern, saying he saw no obvious way in which Libra could become profitable, as well as pointing out fears that the association’s members would not commit to anti-money laundering or data management controls. The lack of due diligence over user safety has been a key argument in regulators’ opposition to the project, with Facebook’s poor track record of data management and misuse regularly cited as reasons to block the development of Libra.

Mastercard jumped ship from the project in October, along with PayPal and Visa, just as the official charter to establish the Libra Association, the nonprofit body overseeing the project, was signed in Geneva. The association was originally made up of 28 members; however, the high level of regulatory scrutiny leveled at the project led to several prominent defections, with just 20 members still on board.

>> Aztec Introduces Privacy Network on Ethereum Blockchain

Last week, British telecom giant Vodafone became the latest founding member to walk away from Libra, although the reasons appear more amicable than Mastercard’s. Vodafone says it will instead focus on its own digital payment service M-Pesa, which it plans to expand beyond the six African nations currently served. However, a Vodafone spokesperson left the door open for a return, saying the company will not rule out the possibility of future cooperation.

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Ripple Announces Notable Investment in XRP Projects



Ripple’s XRP is the world’s third-biggest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization, and over the past few years, the company has been engaged in extensive deal-making in order to make the cryptocurrency go mainstream in a big way.

The company has also built up a wide range of products in its ecosystem that seeks to make the usage of XRP more prevalent in the global economy, and one of those products is Xpring. The Xpring initiative is aimed at building what is called the ‘internet of value’ and making the participants in the ecosystem use XRP more. Xpring has bagged a whole range of projects over the past months, and in a new development, it has emerged that it has contributed as much as $500 million across a range of 20 companies.

Significant for Ripple

The amount invested in any particular company varies wildly and is a reflection of what Xpring feels about that company’s promise. For instance, it has invested as much as $100 million in Forte, which is a gaming platform. Other notable recipients of Xpring’s investments were Robot Ventures, which is regarded as a ‘crypto scout’ fund, and security company Securitize, among others. These are highly strategic moves from Ripple to display with a range of companies how the usage of XRP can help all kinds of businesses, and it goes without saying that it is a strategy that could work.

>> Bitcoin (BTC) to Gain More Strength Above $12k Mark

Ripple believes that, in the years to come, its Xpring strategy can eventually lead to the wider usage of the XRP Ledger and Interledger projects in a wide variety of businesses. Xpring hopes to bring the comforts of decentralized finance to businesses. If a majority of these companies do end up finding the usage of XRP to be beneficial, then it would certainly be a great development for the XRP ecosystem as a whole.

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Bitcoin Price Gains as China Scraps Crypto Mining Ban



Bitcoin made gains last week after new documents from the Chinese government revealed that the country was reversing its decision to ban blockchain mining, with President Xi Jinping expressing his support for blockchain technology. Back in April, The National Development and Reform Commission in China published a list of industries that it believes should be restricted or limited, which featured crypto mining.

President Xi Jinping’s recent comments in support of blockchain coincided with a sizeable gain in the value of Bitcoin, going from $7,500 USD to $10,500 USD in just a few hours. According to Chinese state media, Xi said that China has a strong foundation and should look to take a leading position in the sector, urging the country to “seize the opportunity,” which could benefit a number of sectors.

The support for blockchain and Bitcoin mining appears to be a significant softening in China’s stance towards cryptocurrency. In 2017, Beijing banned initial coin offerings, essentially eliminating the opportunity for cryptocurrency firms to develop. In recent months, China’s central bank has accelerated work on its very own digital currency, in an attempt to overtake the development of Facebook’s highly controversial coin, Libra.

While 2018 saw Bitcoin decline sharply from its peak during the previous year, 2019 has seen somewhat of a rally towards those summits at the height of the crypto frenzy. Since the beginning of the year, Bitcoin has soared nearly 150% but has struggled in recent months to settle about the $10,000 USD milestone.

>> Huobi to Freeze All US Accounts and Push Users to New Platform

Despite recent rallys, some analysts remain skeptical that Bitcoin is in bull territory. Popular Twitter speculator Credible Crypto argued that the “bulls [are] jumping the gun here a bit imo,” adding that unless Bitcoin can clear the $10,300 region, there is no reason to get excited. However, China is by far the most active country in terms of Bitcoin’s hash rate, and the added freedom of mining from this news could be the catalyst the coin needs to return to those 2017 peaks.

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