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Stellar (XLM) Witnesses Buying Interest Despite the Crypto Slump

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Stellar

Stellar

When a cryptocurrency is made available in important exchanges, then its price usually gets a positive push, and that is what happened with Stellar (XLM) yesterday. Earlier on this week, Coinbase, which is among the biggest crypto exchanges in the world, revealed that it was looking to add many more tokens to its platform.

Yesterday, the company made Stellar Lumens (XLM) available on its platform for Coinbase users in New York. It is a significant development for the token in question, and it goes without saying that the news was welcomed with great optimism by investors.

Coinbase News Supports XLM

It also resulted in a major spike in the price of Stellar. The wider crypto market has been performing very poorly over the past 24-hours, and many of the biggest tokens in the market have lost a lot of value. However, the announcement from Coinbase led to a highly impressive rally in XLM over the course of the same period, and Stellar rallied by as much as 13%. This happened during a period when some of the world’s major cryptocurrencies lost in excess of 10% in some cases. Usually, such an impressive move on the part of any coin leads to further gains as new investors come in and it remains to be seen how it all pans out during the course of the weekend.

>> Bitcoin Drops 30% in Two Weeks: Should You Panic?

One of the most important aspects of a Coinbase listing is the fact that it exposes a particular cryptocurrency to a far bigger pool of investors and that eventually leads to a spike in price in most cases.

Although the current listing is only restricted to New York at this point in time, it could be made available to all users eventually, and that could be the next big event for XLM. The latest announcement has resulted in impressive gains for Stellar, but it remains to be seen whether it can hold on to them.

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JPM Coin Fails to Impress Ripple’s Brad Garlinghouse… Again

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JPM coin

JPM coin

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has spoken out about JPM coin once again. This time, he gave the major US bank some praise for its new venture. Garlinghouse participated in a fireside chat yesterday at the 4th annual DC Blockchain Summit in Washington D.C. where he further discussed his views of the new bank coin.

Brad Garlinghouse and JPM Coin

In the chat yesterday, Ripple’s CEO said that JPMorgan Chase’s entrance into the cryptocurrency community is a good thing. However, that was the only positive thing he said about the new JPM coin. Garlinghouse is sticking firm to his original stance on these new bank stablecoins, claiming they will ultimately cause more chaos.

JPMorgan Chase announced the news of its new stablecoin back on February 14th and Garlinghouse was one of the first major executives in the cryptocurrency space to chime in.

In the tweet above, Garlinghouse linked a post he wrote back in August of 2016 regarding his view of the potential future of bank coins. It seems his prediction is coming true. The CEO’s argument is that if banks start making their own stablecoins, like JPM coin, it will make the financial system far more dysfunctional than the current one.

Garlinghouse believes that the current financial system lacks interoperability and each bank adding its own stablecoin will not solve this problem. In the fireside chat yesterday at the DC blockchain summit, Garlinghouse described a system shifting to exactly what he predicted in his article.

>> Crypto News: Huobi Adds XRP and IBM Releases X-Force Red

He explained:

“This guy from Morgan Stanley was interviewing me last week, and I asked him, so is Morgan Stanley going to use the JPM Coin? Probably not. Will Citi use it? […] Will PNC? And the answer is no. So we’re going to have all these different coins, and we’re back to where we are: there’s a lack of interoperability.”

It’s clear that Garlinghouse firmly believes in his company and what they offer financial institutions. To an extent, he has a very valid point, but it seems these major US banks want nothing to do with XRP.

Why do you think banks aren’t adopting Ripple and XRP? Is it that XRP isn’t a ‘stablecoin’ like JPM coin is? Do you think they want their own control and power over the system? Leave your comments below!

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TRON (TRX) Drops After Meeting Between Warren Buffett & Justin Sun Fails

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TRON

TRON

TRON (TRX) has enormous potential, but in the last 24 hours, things have been rough, and the altcoin dropped by over 22%. The drastic drop is a result of the latest developments that involve Justin Sun and the botched lunch with Warren Buffett.

Botched Lunch Meeting Hurting TRON Price

Most of the time, the value of altcoins drops when Bitcoin price is also dropping. Although it is sometimes hard to ascertain why the value of Bitcoin is declining, when it comes to altcoin dips, things tend to be more clear. For instance, the latest decline for TRON is fundamentally a result of the anticipated Warren Buffett-Justin Sun lunch that failed to happen.

Justin Sun was scheduled to have lunch with Warren Buffett with the objective of convincing the skeptical Buffett that crypto is not a scam and the industry deserves to be treated with respect. There was a lot of expectation regarding the meeting, with many expecting it to push the price of TRON higher in the coming days.

Sun Under the Radar of Chinese Authorities

In the end, the fabled meeting didn’t happen, after Sun took to Twitter announcing that he wasn’t able to attend the $4.5 million charity lunch because of health issues, which were cited to be kidney stones. Other reports claim that he was not able to attend because of a wrangle with Chinese authorities where the special committee for internet safety charged him for illegal fundraising, money laundering, gambling, and spreading pornographic material.

>> Cryptocurrency Mining Legalized in Iran by the Economic Commission

With lunch not happening, expectations have been dashed, and the value of TRON has significantly declined. In the past week, the altcoin dropped around 3% but the last 24 hours have been worse, seeing TRX drop up to 20% in value, all of which spells bleak days ahead. The downward trend is expected to continue in the coming days because of the rumors and speculations being spread on the internet regarding the canceled lunch.

At the time of writing, TRON is trading at $0.023362, down 22% in the past 24 hours.

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Kik Adviser to Face Deposition From SEC This Week

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kik

kik

The US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has requested the deposition of a representative from Kik, the former messaging app that now focuses on cryptocurrency, in its longstanding wrangle, which claims that the Canadian company violated securities laws when it carried out an ICO in 2017.

On January 23, a judge in the Southern District of New York ordered Kik to divulge information detailing how its business has changed since 2018, with the company shutting down its messaging service in order to focus on cryptocurrency. Initially hoping to hear from Kik CEO, attorneys representing both parties have agreed for technical advisor Tanner Philp to respond to the SEC’s inquiries on January 29.

According to his website, Philp began working in crypto after writing a college thesis on Bitcoin in 2013, which helped him land a job “supporting the CFO of a fledging chat app called Kik,” which led to his involvement in creating the initial proof-of-concept for Kin, Kik’s native coin.

The allegations against Kik stem from its Kin ICO in 2017, which raised over US$100 million. While the SEC alleges that the token is actually a security and, therefore, the offering should have been registered with the commission, it also argues that management at the company was aware that it would run out of cash by the end of 2017, and that the offering was simply a thinly veiled attempt at keeping the company afloat.

>> Bitcoin Hits $9K on Strong Momentum: Will It Sustain?

After an initial attempt to have the case thrown out on the grounds of vagueness was dismissed by Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein, Kik has pushed for a formal definition of a trial date for the lawsuit to be set. Livingstone has expressed his desire for the case to go to trial as soon as possible, and the two parties have since agreed on a roadmap to conclude the trial in June 2020 in response to a court order issued November 26.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © ezthaiphoto

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Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork | Segwit Recovery & Schnorr Signatures

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Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork

Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork

A Bitcoin Cash hard fork was implemented earlier today as of block 58268. Although the network-split initially met with a hiccup, the upgrade has now successfully completed.

Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork

The hard fork sees the Bitcoin Cash network implement two new features. They are Segwit recovery and Schnorr signatures.

The Segwit recovery means network participants can now recover funds that were sent accidentally to Segwit addresses.

Before today, this was impossible due to the “enforcement of the new CLEANSTACK rule” which was implemented in the last upgrade in November.

The second new feature is the Schnorr Signatures. This is a digital signature scheme that allows for complex signing abilities.

According to news.Bitcoin.com:

“the basics of Schnorr signatures can slash roughly 4% off current transaction storage. In the future, after another Schnorr related upgrade, the scheme could provide for public signature aggregation and more complex sign-to-contract concepts”.

Segwit Recovery & Schnorr Signatures

Invented by Claus Schnorr, the signature scheme was patented for years and that patent has only recently expired. Now Bitcoin Cash developers have added the preliminary basics of it to the main chain.

The Schnorr scheme means multiple parties can transact with simple multi-party “aggregation schemes”. At 64 bytes, Schnorr signatures are smaller than the traditional ECDSA signatures which run at 70 bytes in size. The overall scalability of the network will be enhanced when further upgrades and the
“implementation of public signature aggregation” are enabled. Predictions suggest the network’s scaling abilites could be improved by reducing blockchain storage and bandwidth by 20-25%.

NewsBitcoin.com explains further:

“When Schnorr is combined with concepts like pay-to-public-key-hash (P2PKH) addresses and the recently added opcode OP_CHECKSIG, other benefits can be added to transactions like privacy and decision-based smart contracts”. 

>HTC’s Blockchain Phone Exodus | Adds In-Wallet Crypto Swaps

Bitcoin Cash 

With a market capitalization of over $6 billion USD, Bitcoin Cash is the fourth largest cryptocurrency in the world.

Are you a Bitcoin Cash holder? Are you excited by the upgrade to the network?

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Bitcoin Price | Crypto Market Top Ten Green

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Bitcoin Price

Bitcoin Price

Where Bitcoin (BTC) goes, the rest of the crypto market tends to follow. And with the top ten in green, it stands to reason that Bitcoin price is also faring nicely. In fact, BTC price as of late has been giving investors food for thought.

The first three months of 2019 have seen the coin make double-digit gains and this marks its best quarterly performance since Q4 2017.

While 2018 saw the coin hit all-time-lows, 2019 has surprised somewhat.

Bitcoin Price

Today, Bitcoin price is up 1.29% and selling for $4,157.87 USD per coin. Mid last week saw the coin finally rise above the $4,000 resistance mark and it has maintained its stronghold above that mark—even hitting highs of $4,275 on Saturday.

The current price represents a 13% gain on January’s opening price of $3,693, according to Bitstamp data.

This is the first time Bitcoin has made a double-digit quarterly gain since the end of 2017 when prices rallied a 220.84%. While it is no way near those days—and Bitcoin has dropped about 80% in value since— the double-digit gain still gives bulls something to hold onto.

Binance Coin

Elsewhere on the market, other coins besides Bitcoin are also in the green, with Binance Coin (BNB) leading the pack. Currently, Binance Coin is up 4.59%, continuing a high from the news that it was the top performing crypto in the top 10 coins in Q1 2019.

BNB surged 185% during this period, jumping from $6.069 to $17.335, according to Messari. Now, BNB is trading at $18.03 USD per coin.

Stellar (XLM)

Stellar (XLM) is on the rise almost 3% at the time of writing, selling for $0.11 USD approximately. Stellar has been on a roll since the beginning of 2019. The first lift came from Coinbase announcing a $100 million USD Stellar airdrop.

>> Social Media Companies Join the Crypto World: Facebook and VKontakte

Then, news that IBM would be using the Stellar blockchain to power its latest deals with banking institutions also lifted the coin.

All-in-all, between the first week of February and the end of March, the total market capitalization of Stellar is up by more than 29.7% according to CoinMarketcap.

What coins do you have your eyes on? Were you excited by the growth in Bitcoin price?

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © stevanovicigor

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Bitrue Hacked | Another Crypto Exchange is Breached with 4.2M Stolen

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Bitrue

Bitrue

According to reports, Singapore-based crypto exchange Bitrue has been hacked. The culprits have made off with approximately $4.2 million in user assets.

What’s going on? Here’s what we know so far.

Bitrue Hacked

The hack was announced earlier today via Twitter, with the company saying it first noticed the issue around 1 am local time Thursday.

Those who have had funds stolen are to be reimbursed as tokens on the exchange are insured. Details have emerged about what was taken; according to Bitrue, the loot includes 9.3 million Ripple (XRP) valuing $4.01 million at present, and 2.5 million Cardano (ADA) worth $231,800 at current prices.

Bitrue tweeted:

“First of all, please let us assure you that this situation is under control, 100% of lost funds will be returned to users, and we are reviewing our security measures and policies to ensure this does not happen again.”

The exchange detailed further how the breach occurred:

“A hacker exploited a vulnerability in our Risk Control team’s 2nd review process to access the personal funds of about 90 Bitrue users. The hacker used what they learned from this breach to then access the Bitrue hot wallet and move 9.3 million XRP and 2.5 million ADA to different exchanges.”

Currently, Bitrue has frozen funds and any accounts that are associated with the hack. It is conducting an emergency investigation into its system and will be up and running “as soon as possible.”

Cryptocurrency Hacks in 2019

The news is likely to stir investors who are all too aware of the dangers with cryptocurrency and hacks on exchanges. According to CoinTelegraph, so far in 2019, there have been seven large-scale crypto exchange hackings resulting in the loss of millions of dollars.

>> Bitcoin (BTC) Price Continues to Shine: Hits $13K Mark

Recently, on June 6, UK- and Slovenia-based crypto exchange GateHub was a victim of a hack whereby nearly $10 million worth of Ripple (XRP) was stolen. In this instance, an unidentified hacker used a “sophisticated method to gain access to a database holding users’ access tokens and steal their funds.”

Only one month prior, major exchange Binance faced its second major hacking. This time the hackers withdrew 7,000 Bitcoin, valuing approximately $40 million USD at the time. The first major breach the exchange faced came in March 2018.

Hacking is a notorious issue in the crypto-space, with hacks claiming $1.7 billion USD in 2018 alone.

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Litecoin (LTC) Gains Momentum Post Halving, Jumps 7%

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Litecoin

Litecoin

Litecoin (LTC) has been one of the more popular altcoins in the crypto space for some years now, and during that time, it managed to become one of the biggest cryptocurrencies by market cap.

LTC Jumps 6%

This year, the developers of the blockchain made a momentous decision after it announced that the rewards for Litecoin miners were going to be halved. This created a lot of speculation as to the effect it would have on the token’s price. The event that was being called “the halvening” created a lot of discussions in the crypto space, and this week, it finally went into effect.

Since the rewards for miners have been reduced from 25 LTC to 12.5 LTC for every completed block, some believed that the move could affect the price negatively. However, nothing of the sort happened, and the halving actually triggered an impressive rally in Litecoin as it moved towards the $100 mark. That being said, it is still important to point out that the token is still a far way off from its highest level this year and it would be interesting to see how Litecoin moves over the course of the next days.

>> Bitcoin Bulls are Back: Why 2019’s Rally is Different Than 2017

At one point in time today, Litecoin rose by as much as 7% and nearly touched $100.

However, it is important to note that although the rally started on the day the halving was implemented successfully, it is also a day on which Bitcoin rallied strongly, and generally, a surge in Bitcoin results in the rise of other cryptos. Last but not least, the halving of rewards for miners is not the end of it and the founder of the crypto, Charlie Lee, stated that another halving is going to take place in 2023. If the rewards are reduced further, then there is the possibility of Litecoin becoming far more scarce, and when that happens, it could affect the price positively.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © PromesaStudio

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The SEC Guidelines are HERE! Release of Crypto Token Guidance

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SEC Guidelines

SEC Guidelines

It’s been nearly six months in the making and now the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has finally published its regulatory guidelines for token issuers. Though many questions remain unanswered, crypto enthusiasts have finally got some clarity on the issue of “tokens as securities.”

SEC Guidelines

The SEC Guidelines focus on tokens and how and when they may be classed as a security. It includes examples of networks and tokens that fall under security laws, as well as examples of those that don’t.

It outlines a number of elements of a project that token issuers must consider to see if a token qualifies as a security. The following are some examples, (but not all):

  • an expectation of profit;
  • who within the project is responsible for what specific tasks within the network;
  • and whether a group is creating or supporting a market for a digital asset.

Reevaluation

The SEC guidelines also look at tokens that have already sold. It gives an evaluation guideline for investors to see if these tokens should have been registered as securities, as well as whether “a digital asset previously sold as a security should be reevaluated.”

Examples of reevaluation criteria include checking if:

  • The blockchain network and tokens are fully developed and useable straight away;
  • The token has a focus or use and isn’t speculative;
  • There is a limitation for the “Prospects for appreciation” in the token’s value; and
  • It says it is a currency that the token actually works as a store of value.

>> Bitcoin Price: BTC Extends Rally on Strong Momentum, Now What?

A Longtime Coming

As stated, the SEC guidelines have been in the works for almost six months. SEC Director of Corporation Finance, William Hinman, first revealed plans for the guidelines last November. At the time he said the SEC guidelines would help token issuers easily determine whether or not their cryptocurrency would qualify as a security offering.

However, investors and issuers should note that while it provides some legal clarity, the SEC guidelines is not a legally binding document. Back in February, the SEC released its ICO guide.

You can read the latest SEC guidelines in full here.

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Elliptic, A Crypto Forensic Startup, Raises $23 Million USD

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Elliptic

Elliptic

Elliptic, a British startup firm aimed at tracing suspicious crypto activity, has raised $23 million USD in a funding round led by SBI Holdings.

Elliptic to Expand into Asian Markets

The Series B funding round was led by Japanese financial institution SBI Holdings and will enable Elliptic to continue expansion into Asian markets where it has recently opened an office in Singapore and will open another in Japan this week. Elliptic CEO and founder James Smith cited Asia as a highly attractive market for the company due to its prominent crypto community and the fact that Asian regulators tend to be more technologically advanced than elsewhere in the world.

“The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Japanese Financial Services Agency are very well-versed in crypto. Japan has its own licensing scheme for exchanges; I think all that is really key to the growth of crypto because once you set the ground rules, then businesses can engage and innovate,” Smith told CoinDesk.

SBI to Incorporate Elliptic’s Technology into VC Trade

Elliptic has developed artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies that are capable of tracing and locating suspicious transactions on blockchains. The company was founded in 2013 in London and had previously raised $12 million USD in five funding rounds. SBI was keen to get involved with the company as it has a number of crypto assets under its portfolio, including an exchange called VC Trade, which will incorporate Elliptic’s technology.

>> Walmart Deploys Blockchain Technology: Things You Need to Know

Elliptic is also looking beyond expansion into Asia with this investment, as it also has plans to develop a monitoring service for Facebook’s under-fire Libra network. Libra has received heavy criticism and scrutiny from regulators who question how they are meant to trust Facebook given the social media giant’s recent history of data misuse. Elliptic hopes to give somewhat of a helping hand to Libra by providing added transparency and security to the network.

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