Showing posts with label cryptocurrency. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cryptocurrency. Show all posts

January 08, 2018

Digital Currencies are too volatile. Is there a way to fix that?

By Guest Author - January 05, 2018 (cointelegraph.com)


The common question most people pose when they are confronting the idea of Bitcoin is: “what is its fundamental value?” Lay people don’t know how to approach Bitcoin, and they definitely don’t know how to value it. For many, it simply becomes a bet based on the supposition the price will continue to go up.

In recent weeks, what many believe to be irrational exuberance has bid the price up higher and higher to the point where a market correction seemed necessary. Every asset needs some form of sustainable value support and Bitcoin still hasn’t found one yet.

A potential solution is being put forward

A new idea that has emerged from China is A-SDR. This is an anchoring mechanism that serves to connect digital currencies to the real world. A-SDR consists of Ethereum, Bitcoin and ACC, and its goal is to stabilize the prices of digital currencies by tying them to real-world goods.

The idea of A-SDR came from a recent innovation by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  The IMF’s goal was to take the world from a dollar-centric system to an SDR-centric monetary system. SDR stands for “Special Drawing Rights,” and the goal is for it to become the standard of circulation and settlement for global currencies.

ACC is the token that fuels the ACChain system and is anchored by holding title to real-world assets. The value of ACC will continue to rise as more digital assets are issued, and its share of A-SDR will continue to increase until it dwarfs those of Ethereum and Bitcoin.

ACC stands for Asset Collection Coin, and it has been created to fill the need which has been felt by all the critics of Bitcoin who see the value in digital monetary innovation but would prefer to hold tangible wealth. By holding title to real-life assets, ACC represents the combination of tangible asset ownership and digital currencies.

Collaborative effort

BTC and ETH are not anchored to real assets, which is where their volatility comes from. Rapid changes in price have made it so they cannot be used as a digital settlement currency globally. ACC will act as the connector of these digital goods to the real world and will have an exchange rate that is continually revised.

Bitcoin and Ether both have their purposes and these will not be eliminated by the coming of ACC. ACChain aims to work with the existing technology rather than competing against it. The A-SDR is a collaborative effort to harness all the good that can be experienced into one cohesive ecosystem, and buying ACC is the best way to get in on that goal right now.

Through anchoring digital gold reserve BTC and ETH with A-SDR, ACC then becomes equipped with four currency functions. These functions are the ability to scale value, means of circulation means of storage and means of payment. Basically, ACC is set to evolve into the standard token for anyone who wants to settle global digital assets. The future is bright for both ACC and A-SDR, but this also helps the performance of Bitcoin.

The future is in tangible assets that can be digitally controlled

Bitcoin is aided by the development of A-SDR because of the support that is provided by ACC. Bitcoin will be able to become a true and generally accepted digital gold, just as ACC will become accepted as the settlement digital coin in global asset trading.

ACChain is the platform which will be used to monetize goods with ACC, and every time a good is monetized, the demand for ACC will go up. This increase in demand will naturally lead to an increase in the price of the good.

When you purchase ACC via the A-SDR fund, you are helping to bootstrap ACChain to a higher profile, as well as making it more and more likely that Bitcoin becomes viewed as a digital gold. We are about to see what happens when you link hard, ownable assets with infinitely divisible digital currencies. With stability as a goal and both Ether and Bitcoin experiencing high volatility, investors are going to find huge appeal in the idea of ACC and the A-SDR funds.

December 22, 2017

Correlation between cryptocurrency value and exchange listings: Expert Blog

By Munair Simpson - December 21, 2017 (cointelegraph.com)


There is a positive correlation between the value, or market capitalization, of a cryptocurrency and the number of exchanges that it is listed on. For the top 1,000 cryptocurrencies, the correlation is over 50 percent. Rudimentary data analysis indicates that the market capitalization of the coin or token crudely increases with exchange listings. However, correlation is not causation and it is not wise to conclude that simply listing a cryptocurrency on more exchanges always adds more value to the cryptocurrency.

Correlation

Correlation explains how much two variables are related. A correlation of 100 percent would mean that the positive change in one variable is perfectly related to the positive change in the other variable. If the correlation between cryptocurrency value and exchange listings was 100 percent, then it would possible to observe an exactly proportional increase in market capitalization with an increase in the number of exchange listings.

Since the correlation is over 50 percent, it might be tempting to list on as many exchanges as possible to maximize token value. Do not be tempted. Even though market capitalization and the exchange listings are somewhat linearly correlated, it does not mean that listing on more exchanges definitely results in an increase in market capitalization. Especially when a little more analysis reveals the presence of major outliers.

Outliers

Thanks to the Coin Market Cap API it is easy to observe outliers in the top 1,000 cryptocurrencies. Dumping the market capitalization and exchange listing data into Google Sheets or an RStudio dataset helps to explain a lot. Plotting value against listings shows that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are not normal in comparison to the majority of other cryptocurrencies.

Plotting the log of market capitalization against exchanges listed reveals roughly three different clusters of value in the cryptocurrency world.


Clusters of value

The first cluster includes Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash. This group of cryptocurrencies are all listed on over 75 exchanges. The second cluster of cryptocurrencies are scattered between 15 and 55 exchange listings. The second includes DASH, Ripple, ZCash, and popular cryptocurrencies. Finally, the vast majority (~98%) of cryptocurrencies have 15 or fewer exchange listings.

Statistical summaries show that median cryptocurrency is listed on just two exchanges and the average is listed on just under four exchanges. Using a box plot to graphically describe the data shows the large number of outliers in relation to the majority of cryptocurrencies.

Box Plot of Exchange Listings. Data obtained from http://www.coinmaketcap.com on Dec. 10th 2017.

In general, the major outliers widely function as mediums of exchange and stores of value. To be globally valuable as intermediary instruments used to facilitate buying, selling or trading goods and services, these cryptocurrencies should be listed on many exchanges as possible. Currencies generally have more legitimacy the more widely they are used, and listing on many exchanges advances those network effects.

Not all of the outliers present in the dataset serve as money. Ethereum is an exception. Though it was designed with a different purpose in mind, the market decided that it too should function as a medium of exchange and store of value.

There are other exceptions in the first and second cluster of cryptocurrencies. Qtum and TenX were also not purposed as mediums of exchange, yet they are listed on over 15 exchanges.

Strategy implications

In spite of these outliers, analyzing the relationship between value and exchange listings has implications for cryptocurrency strategy. Further dividing cryptocurrencies into subsets and rerunning the analysis provides more meaningful information to can reinforce or redirect the intuition of a cryptocurrency strategist.

Knowing that the outliers are primarily used as stores of value or mediums of exchange, it only makes sense to list widely if planning to compete with cryptocurrencies used as money. There are always exceptions. However, if the purpose of a cryptocurrency is to be a better form of money, then it may need to be widely listed to in order to compete with the other widely listed currencies.

For example, cryptocurrencies competing to be a medium of exchange in Venezuela may increase their market capitalization through listing on a Venezuelan cryptocurrency exchange. With each new geographical market entered, it might experience additional increases in value.

This might not be the case with tokens. Since tokens usually represent an asset, the economics of valuation with respect to exchange listings may be different. Being listed on a Venezuelan exchange may add no value at all.

Security tokens may observe increased market capitalization with exchange listings, as investors will appreciate more trading options in the case there are problems at one of the major centralized exchanges. However, there will most likely be diminishing returns to increasing exchange listings.

The long tail

Focusing on cryptocurrencies with fewer than 15 listings makes sense for getting a rough idea of the relationship between value and exchange listings for average tokens. This subset is the third cluster of cryptocurrencies. They represent over 97 percent of the top 1,000 cryptocurrencies. This cluster also includes cryptocurrencies, like IOTA and NEM, which are not tokens but are highly valued and listed on fewer exchanges than their peers.

Top 1000 Cryptocurrency [Data Source: http://www.coinmarketcap.com]

Graphically, with the aid of a histogram, it is possible to observe the concentration of cryptocurrencies. The chart exposes the first and second clusters as the long tail cryptocurrency exchange listings.

Focusing third cluster makes it possible to notice that the linear correlation between market capitalization and exchange listings drops to 20 percent. That means that it might not really matter that much how many exchanges the average token is listed on. The correlation between the average token’s value and exchange listings is not very significant.

Summary

The ICO is becoming an increasingly popular fundraising vehicle. Traditional businesses are starting to look to this crowdfunding mechanism and bypassing other traditional forms of financing.

Nonetheless, planning an initial coin offering requires a lot of thought and thorough research. Even deciding which exchanges to list on and how many exchanges to list on requires careful research. Fortunately, there are already hundreds of cryptocurrencies out there that can help to determine if it is worth the time and effort to pursue a certain strategy.

There is a correlation between market capitalization, but it is not very strong. Be guided by that. Whenever in doubt about correlation and causation, just look at Litecoin and Bitcoin. Litecoin is listed on 94 exchanges compared to Bitcoin’s 88, yet Bitcoin is a magnitude larger in market capitalization.

Munair Simpson is a business strategist and the principal researcher at Useful Coin Research. Munair lives in South Korea and enjoys teaching Capoeira when not thinking about the future of finance. Munair graduated from the Wharton School with an MBA in Marketing.

The Moment of Truth for Bitcoin and the Cryptocurrency Market

December 22, 2017 (seekingalpha.com)

Summary
  • The chorus of voices labeling Bitcoin a huge speculative bubble is growing louder.

  • 2017 was a pivotal year for the future of cryptocurrencies, but 2018 is likely to be more insightful regarding their ultimate fate.

  • Bitcoin's meteoric rise has ushered in a new era and represents the birth of a new asset class. How digital currencies mature remains an open question.

One of the most notable developments in financial markets during 2017 was the phenomenal rally in cryptocurrencies and their ascent into a new, unique asset class. Throughout the year the mainstream view remained dismissive regarding the prospects of Bitcoin and its crypto-rivals. Yet, it is becoming increasingly clear that this phenomenon has deeper roots and, notwithstanding the vertiginous volatility, it is unlikely to fade away.


Very few could have foreseen the almost surreal pace of appreciation that took place in the past twelve months. In fact, the surging momentum of the Bitcoin rally was unlike anything we have seen in the past. This lack of historical precedent makes it exceptionally interesting, as well as challenging to investigate what triggered this phenomenon and which drivers continue to fuel it.

Admittedly, the substantial correction we saw the past week in cryptocurrency price movements renewed an element of uncertainty about the longer-term direction and, essentially, the fate of Bitcoin.


As a result, the chorus of voices predicting an imminent collapse in the crypto-market grew louder, to some extent silencing the optimists who expect further acceleration amid this meteoric rally. In light of the unprecedented nature of this phenomenon, widely divergent views about what lies ahead are to be expected. Nonetheless, the view that the digital currencies’ massive surge this year is nothing but a huge speculative price bubble, while logical, is inherently flawed.

A more sober examination of what we are actually witnessing is the volatile phase that typically precedes broader acceptance of a newly introduced asset class. If indeed Bitcoin becomes broadly accepted as an alternative global currency, its market capitalization is bound to grow further over the longer term. Until then and until the coexisting -- at the time of this writing -- irrational exuberance and the fatalistic predictions of Bitcoin’s premature demise subside, extraordinary volatility spikes will dominate price action in the cryptocurrency market.

Let us not forget the key developments that transpired in 2017, such as the introduction of Bitcoin futures by CME Group and Cboe Global Markets, which point to a wider recognition of the role that cryptocurrencies have the potential to play in financial markets. Meanwhile, emerging economies as well as a host of technologically advanced countries, including Japan and South Korea, are increasingly adopting a more open stance with regard to Bitcoin transactions. This is, in large part, why 2017 will go down in history as a pivotal year for digital currencies. At the same time, blockchain technology continues to evolve, and it is reasonable to expect that future iterations will address existing security vulnerabilities and facilitate a swifter adoption process, providing a more complete, credible and accessible alternative payment method.

The relentless rise of Bitcoin has also been underpinned by the high degree of difficulty that funds faced in shorting the digital currency. This is gradually changing with the inception of Bitcoin futures, but up until recently it served as a deterrent for speculators to aggressively initiate short positions. It is also especially challenging to identify reliable hedges with sufficient correlation to Bitcoin price movements. As a result, the cryptocurrency market has been relatively sheltered from external forces that tend to cause ripple effects in financial markets. This fostered conditions favorable for “long-only” speculative strategies, which, combined with the current low-volatility environment that encourages increased leverage and momentum trading, served as an excellent propellant for Bitcoin to skyrocket the way it did. In the short term, this tailwind is about to gradually run its course, and that will likely translate into a trend reversal, potentially quite sharp.

The moment of truth for Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market will arrive after the critical correction that will inevitably ensue. At that point, it will be easier to assess whether digital currencies possess the necessary resilience to survive a concerted onslaught of external market pressures. The reaction of short-term momentum traders -- who ostensibly dominate the digital currency market-- in the face of a technical reversal remains a crucial unknown factor.

It is important not to lose sight of the fact that cryptocurrencies are built on a technological foundation that grants them a unique and lasting advantage over traditional currencies. This is why the probability of an eventual widespread cryptocurrency adoption as an integral part of the financial system is significantly higher than currently anticipated. It is, however, far too early to predict which cryptocurrencies will actually survive the ongoing tectonic shifts that are likely to redefine the future monetary landscape. In that regard, 2018 will be quite interesting, eventful and, hopefully, insightful.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Editor's Note: This article covers one or more stocks trading at less than $1 per share and/or with less than a $100 million market cap. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.

Belarus legalizes cryptocurrency payments & ICO's

By Alexander Lukashenko - December 22, 2017 (www.ccn.com)


Belarus, a country wedged between Russia and the European Union, recently legalized cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), in a move that’s set to drive private sector growth and attract foreign investors to the country, a former communist republic that’s still dominated by its state, filled with inefficient enterprises, and dependent on its neighbor Russia’s money and subsidies.

Bitcoin’s current crash, that’s already led the cryptocurrency below the $11,000 mark before it bounced back to $12,401 at press time, seemingly didn’t put off the country’s president, Alexander Lukashenko, who signed the decree on Friday while on the move.

The decree notably gives cryptocurrency enthusiasts tax breaks and legal incentives, as its goal is to help turn Belarus into an international tech haven, Bloomberg reports. In a statement Lukashenko, a former collective farm manager who’s in the past labeled the internet “garbage,” said:

“Belarus will become the first government in the world that opens wide opportunities for the use of blockchain technology (…) We have every chance of becoming a regional center in this area.”

Designed to attract cryptocurrency entrepreneurs looking to avoid regulatory scrutiny over cryptocurrency transactions and ICOs, the decree also exempts revenue and profits from all operations using cryptocurrencies for the next five years.

Speaking to Reuters, Anton Myakishev, the head of Microsoft’s offices in Belarus, stated that “the decree is a breakthrough for Belarus” as it gives the industry the “possibility to make a leap forward in its development,” while allowing foreign capital to enter it in comfortable conditions.

Creating a “Tech Nation”

Earlier this month, Lukashenko said that his goal in signing the decree is to turn Belarus into a “tech nation.” Not only does it legalize cryptocurrencies and ICOs, it also allows local IT companies to partly operate under English law, so it’ll help foreign investors who struggled to navigate the country’s legal system.

Denis Alinikov, a senior partner at private law firm Aleinikov and Partners, who helped draft the decree, stated:

“We regularly faced legal problems. When a Western company buys a Belarussian company they try to structure the deal outside Belarus. Investors don’t want to deal with Belarussian legislation.”

The decree further establishes a direct legal link between token issuers and their obligations towards its holders. To protect against fraud, it sets capital requirement for cryptocurrency exchange operators, while introducing smart contracts in the country.

The IT sector is one of the few that’s thriving in Belarus, as it attracts foreign workers who work for about five times the country’s average wage in its so-called Hi-Tech Park. It’s arguably the most prominent sector of the country’s economy, which is set to grow by 1.7 percent this year, according to Reuters.

Notably, Belarus was home to popular messenger application Viber, as well as the online gaming service World of Tanks, which made its founder the country’s first billionaire.

In an interview, Vsevolod Yanchevsky , head of the Hi-Tech Park, said:

“The decree has been written exactly the way our tech community wanted it. Belarus will be one of the best jurisdictions in the world for cryptocurrencies and blockchain.”

Belarus’ move may have been influenced by its neighboring country Russia, who’s upcoming draft law on cryptocurrency and ICO regulations is set to come on December 28. The law will reportedly consider cryptocurrencies as “other property,” and introduce possible limits on individual ICO investments.

The bill, which will prioritize the protection of retail investors, is likely going to be passed in March 2018. Back in October, President Putin approved a timeline for a framework on cryptocurrency regulations. Reportedly, the country may also soon be launching its own state-sponsored cryptocurrency, the Cryptoruble.

Alexander Lukashenko image from Shutterstock.

December 21, 2017

Warning: Crypto whales selling to the little guy

By Stephen Alpher - December 21, 2017 (seekingalpha.com)


In keeping up with acceptable crypto-community behavior, many of the large crypto holders cashing out are portraying the move as noble act, writes Lionel Laurent.

The fact remains, however, that the Emil Oldenburg's and Charlie Lee's of the industry are selling after massive moves higher. The buyers are the little guys: Since the start of 2017, there's been an explosion of accounts holding tiny amounts of Bitcoin (0.1 or less), and a corresponding tumble in accounts holding sizable amounts.

Laurent: "It will be hard to ignore the niggling feeling that the latecomers piling into Bitcoin at the end of 2017 aren't quite as astute as the early birds who are getting out."

December 20, 2017

Ledger Nano S - the best Hardware Wallet by majority choice to keep your coins safe

If you are holding a large amount of cryptocurrency, it is not advisable to hold them on exchanges, mobile or desktop wallets. Exchanges could get hacked as it had happened so many times before; mobile and desktop wallets are safe so long as your mobile or PC is safe and protected from all kinds of malware that try to get at your coins. In this scenario, hardware wallets make life easy as they offer the best way to store cryptocurrency due to the great security associated with them. Further, hardware wallets can be relied upon even if they are connected to infected PC's -- But this should in no way be taken as a license for lax security measures on the part of the user. 

Ledger Nano S - the best Hardware Wallet by majority choice


Ledger Nano S, a leading hardware wallet, has earned top marks for its extreme reliability and competitive pricing. It comes on top for safely storing your crypto currency and even tokens. It supports many popular cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Dash, Zcash. It connects to any computer (USB) and embeds a secure OLED display to double-check and confirm each transaction with a single tap on its side buttons.

Ledger Nano S - The secure hardware wallet

Ledger Nano S hardware wallet features


LATEST GENERATION HARDWARE
When you own cryptocurrencies, you need to protect your confidential data and the access to your funds. With Ledger Nano S, secrets like private keys are never exposed: sensitive operations are isolated inside your hardware wallet within a state-of-the-art Secure Element, locked by a PIN code. Transactions can’t get tampered with, they are physically verified on the embedded screen with a simple press of a button.

PAY AND AUTHENTICATE
Ledger Nano S includes Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Ethereum Classic companion apps, and other blockchain-based cryptocurrencies. You can send and receive payments, check your accounts and manage multiple addresses for each currency from the same device.

MULTI-CURRENCY
Ledger Nano S supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and altcoins: hold different assets in the same hardware wallet.

BUILT-IN DISPLAY
Check and confirm transactions on the display and confirm with using the physical buttons (anti-malware second factor).

SECURITY
Your confidential data is never exposed: it is secured inside a strongly isolated environment locked by a PIN code.

MULTI-APPS
Use companion apps such as cryptocurrencies wallets, and also FIDO® U2F, GPG, SSH or build your own applications.

FIDO® CERTIFIED U2F
Ledger Nano S supports the FIDO® Universal Second Factor authentication standard on Google, Dropbox, GitHub or Dashlane.

BACKUP & RESTORATION
Your accounts are backed up on a recovery sheet.

The CIO of a crypto hedge fund explains why the market will explode over the next 2 years

By Jacqui Frank, Kara Chin and Trevor N. Cadigan - November 28, 2017 (www.businessinsider.com)

Ari Paul, CIO of cryptocurrency hedge fund BlockTower Capital, talks with Business Insider executive editor Sara Silverstein about the value in cryptocurrency and where he thinks the market is headed in the next two years. Following is a transcript of the video. 

Ari Paul: I’m Ari Paul, CIO of BlockTower Capital and this is why there's value in cryptocurrency

Sara Silverstein: Why do you fundamentally believe that there is value in this cryptocurrency world?

Paul: So there are quite a few use cases. I think the biggest and clearest, and easiest to understand, is as a store of value that can't be censored and is resistant to seizure. And so, the really clear example of demand for this, that I see, is the offshore banking system. Which is roughly 20 trillion dollars today. And it's not just people trying to dodge taxes. Apple, Amazon, every billionaire on the planet, has wealth stored there. And firms like JPMorgan collect fees to offshore law abiding citizens’ wealth. And people want to store their wealth securely, in a way that no single judge could freeze all of their assets. Right? Amazon doesn't want their entire global business operation to be shut down by one judge in Brussels. They want to be able to go through a lengthy appeals process and keep their business operating. So cryptocurrency performs that same task of the offshore banking, of keeping wealth secure an order of magnitude better. So we see massive real fundamental demand for this use case.

Silverstein: And what other financial assets make sense to be on a decentralized database or why would they?

Paul: Yes, there’s a huge distinction between the money use case, store of value, and the blockchain use case, for other assets. And I think it’s useful to kind of separate those. So a blockchain makes a ton of sense to record in real-time legal title. So I was a treasury bond trader, for example, and an example in finance, that anyone who’s traded treasuries is familiar with, is: failure to deliver. So Goldman Sachs will sell a bond to Credit Suisse, who borrows it from JPMorgan, and the same bond, in a day, might trade across 12 banks. And if one back office fails, they fail to make delivery of that bond, you get what's called a cascading failure to deliver. Because no one knows who actually owns the bond. And that can take weeks to fix. So imagine if you just have a shared database, a database that each of those banks held, that was kept accurate in real time,  and that no one could maliciously change or manipulate. You would know who owns what bonds and you might be able to eliminate half of the existing back offices in big banks. So a massive cost savings.

Silverstein: So you believe in the blockchain as having a value in the future for us? How does that translate into value for cryptocurrency?

Paul: So, yeah. I think a really useful idea — a blockchain is just a type of database. It's a distributed ledger that in some use cases, like for a banking back office, is kind of like a database upgrade. So massive improvements in efficiency, but probably not that transformative or disruptive. When you take a blockchain and you make it public and decentralized, and then you add money to that — you add a cryptocurrency — then you're looking at something that is that first use case, that offshore banking system, that I think is fundamentally disruptive. And disruptive financially, economically, and even potentially politically.

Silverstein: Do you see any institutional money in cryptocurrency right now, and is that going to be a huge lever for these values to all skyrocket?

Paul: Absolutely, so we've seen this really clear path of adoption. The earliest adopters were engineers, self-described cypherpunks. Then you had a wave of kind of Silicon Valley tech elites, people who would have a successful exit, who had a high risk tolerance, and who liked taking risk on new technology. Then you had kind of an early wave of maybe people like myself with a little more of a Wall Street background, as well as high net worth individuals, who are a little bit risk-tolerant. What we’re seeing right now is a shift from small family offices to big. Venture capital firms are basically all in. So most of the famous venture capital firms, not only have they been in the space for a few years, they’re now directly investing in new cryptocurrencies. And of the ten largest family offices in the country at least seven of them on cryptocurrency. Maybe more, but seven I'm sure of. So the next wave is — in kind of the institutionalization of the space — is we’re having the CME futures that are likely to launch next month. There's a huge number of entrants who want to invest in cryptocurrency, but can’t. For security reasons, operational reasons, regulatory, but they can easily buy a future, that's on the CME. So that opens the door to groups like endowments and pensions. So far, endowments and pensions own zero cryptocurrency. You have an asset that has been the highest returning asset class over the last eight years and it’s uncorrelated to everything else. And while there’s certainly debate over the future prospects, it lines up as the holy grail for a portfolio. In the sense that, if you size it appropriately, if you size it small, the risks are idiosyncratic. It actually reduces the risk of a portfolio. So endowments and pensions, as they get comfortable with the space, in all aspects regulatory, compliance, as well as underwriting investment risk. They're going to get in. And that's a massive wall of money coming in to a relatively small asset class.

Silverstein: And what do you think the timeline is for that?

Paul: I think the first endowment is probably going to write a check in the next few months, a small check. Endowments won't be in size for probably six months and not in size by — from their perspective for probably 12 months. Pensions are probably 18 months away and the key — the reason given those dates is having third-party custody, that is a legal qualified custodian, is a huge hurdle particularly for pensions. You have issues like ERISA, that are actual fiduciary challenges. And having a third-party qualified custodian, for many crypto assets, is probably something like 12 months away, maybe 18 months away.

The cryptocurrency market is now doing the same daily volume as the New York Stock Exchange

By Oscar Williams-Grut - December 20, 2017 (www.businessinsider.com)

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on December 6
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

  • Global volume in cryptocurrency markets has passed $50 billion, close to the average turnover on New York Stock Exchange.
  • The comparison is inexact but highlights just how popular digital currencies have become.


LONDON — Global cryptocurrency markets are now averaging the same daily trading volumes as the New York Stock Exchange.

Twenty-four-hour trade volume in the cryptocurrency market passed the $50 billion mark on Wednesday, according to the data provider CoinMarketCap.com.

That is close to the average daily volume of trade on the New York Stock Exchange this year. Daily trading volumes on the London Stock Exchange hover at about £5 billion, or $6.7 billion.

The comparison is inexact, as the cryptocurrency market is arguably closer to the foreign-exchange market, which has daily volumes of over $5 trillion.

But it highlights just how hot the cryptocurrency market has become in 2017. Unlike the foreign-exchange market, cryptocurrency trading is largely done by small-time, retail investors, making it closer to the stock market (though some huge institutions are playing in the market.)

Investors have flocked to cryptocurrencies in 2017 because of the eye-catching returns of bitcoin, which has grown by about 1,500% against the dollar. A boom in so-called initial coin offerings, in which startups issue their own cryptocurrencies to raise money, has created a raft of other digital assets for investors to speculate on. There are now more than 1,300 cryptocurrencies in circulation, according to CoinMarketCap.com.

But many people within the financial industry have expressed concern about the largely unregulated market. The UK's top financial regulator warned earlier this month that people should be prepared to lose all the money they invest in bitcoin, and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has called cryptocurrencies a "scam."

How Ripple (XRP) stacks up against other digital assets

By Team Ripple - December 11, 2017 (ripple.com)


Everyone is talking about the digital asset space. Wild price fluctuations, new XRP capital funds and Bitcoin (BTC) forks have made it virtually impossible for consumers or the financial industry to ignore the popularity and proliferation of these assets.

In fact, the digital asset landscape has grown so much that there are more than 1,300 types of assets on the market with a collective market cap of $450 billion as of this posting.

We examined the top digital assets for payments while comparing their speed, cost and scalability. Here’s what we found.


Which digital asset is the best for payments?

XRP is the only digital asset with a clear institutional use case designed to solve a multi-trillion dollar problem – the global payment and liquidity challenges that banks, payment providers and corporates face. In order to effectively solve this problem, speed, cost and scalability are of extreme importance. When you line up the top digital assets for these attributes, it’s clear that XRP is the winner.

XRP is part of a bigger vision


XRP is a key enabler of the Internet of Value — Ripple’s vision for making money move at the speed of digital information. XRP’s speed, transparency, and scalability help financial institutions move money like information moves today — in real time.

It’s no wonder that real institutional customers are using and finding value in XRP and governments, regulators and central banks are increasingly recognizing the role it could play in the global system.

For more information about XRP, visit our XRP Charts or learn how to buy XRP.

December 19, 2017

Whales at play - Pumps and dumps and Altcoin volatility

Cointelegraph - December 19, 2017 (www.youtube.com)


WARNING: This is an observation not FUD, HODL till the end.

All cryptocurrencies going from green to red in an hour is not a coincidence.

In the last 24 hours the cryptocurrency market has seen massive gains and then in the span of an hour, huge losses.

Is Wall street to Blame? Is it Whales from China? Or a new Mega Pump and Dump Group on Telegram.





Best place to keep your coins is a hardware wallet.
Ledger Nano S is the majority choice:
Ledger Nano S - The secure hardware wallet

Coinbase adds Bitcoin Cash as price soars, Bitcoin dips

By Jon Buck - December 20, 2017 (cointelegraph.com)

After a veiled suggestion from president Asiff Hirji that Coinbase would potentially add other assets, the exchange has officially launched support for Bitcoin Cash (BCH), according to the company’s blog post.

The addition is a welcome Christmas gift for those who held Bitcoin (BTC) in Coinbase wallets on August 1 when the BCH fork occurred. Users who had BTC at the time of the fork have received an equal amount of BCH in the newly created wallets.

After previously refusing to support the coin, the company promised that BCH support would come before the end of the year.

The blog post also made clear that Coinbase employees have been restricted from trading BCH on the site for a number of weeks prior to the announcement. Nevertheless, accusations of insider trading have hit Twitter.

hey @coinbase , @GDAX and @brian_armstrong by being part of a product index for @CMEGroup you agreed to certain rules. Since bch news was clearly leaked around 2:30pm CST to certain parties. this qualifies as insider trading. Hope you enjoy the incoming complaints.

— I am Nomad (@IamNomad) December 20, 2017

Price jump, confusion


After the announcement, Bitcoin Cash’s price almost immediate jumped to over $3,000 on huge volume.


Interestingly, GDAX, the Coinbase affiliated site for trading, showed a startling price of $9,500 per BCH, though trading on the site was halted.


The Coinbase site showed the more widely published pricing. At press time, BCH was trading at $3,185, per the Coinbase site.

At press time, Bitcoin was trading at $17,000, having dropped from $19,000 to a low of $15,700 before partially recovering.

December 14, 2017

Why some claim Ripple isn’t a 'Real' Cryptocurrency

By Joe Liebkind - December 14, 2017 (www.investopedia.com)

  • founders of Ripple recommend not using their creation as a currency for speculation

  • ReRipple has no mining and transactions are powered through a “centralized” blockchain to make it more reliable and fast

  • Ripple may be the dividing line that separates two distinct products of cryptocurrencies : assets and solutions



There are many cryptocurrencies out there, each of which gained inspiration from bitcoin, the ancestor to them all. Bitcoin was humanity’s first definition of what it means to be a cryptocurrency, but it is a complicated creature that relies on many special functions and components. For instance, bitcoin has a decentralized blockchain ledger, on which its millions of participants organize and save a record of their transactions. It also has cryptographic hashing, so that traders can use a system of public and private keys to safeguard their identities.

Bitcoin’s transactions are processed by miners, a supportive and incentivized community that keep everything running smoothly. Relevantly, it also has a finite supply. These characteristics have made it easy to transact safely, store value, and even speculate.

Should a cryptocurrency exhibit each of bitcoin’s traits or can any kind of digital money be labeled as such? These are logical questions, but ones that haven’t often been asked, largely because most of bitcoin’s peers have generally stuck to their collective predecessor’s model.

Ripple is a currency gaining popularity after years of living in bitcoin’s shadow, bereft of interest from traders due to its traditional infrastructure that makes a greater compromise between crypto and fiat money. Some in the community have refused to consider Ripple a real cryptocurrency because it’s so different. Are they correct? (See more: Ripple Is Back: Here's Why.)

Ripple: The Strange Hybrid


Ripple wasn’t designed to be a coin, or a normal cryptocurrency by the standard definition. While bitcoin and comparable cryptocurrencies give the value of the coin equal priority with network security, speed, and applicability, Ripple does away with the idea of XRP as any kind of investment asset and instead focuses on making the blockchain as strong as possible. This is primarily for the good of the institutional entities that Ripple serves, like American Express or Santander Bank. To achieve this goal, the Ripple Foundation created XRP but tweaked each traditional component of cryptocurrency into an almost unrecognizable state.

Miners Be Gone


Ripple has no mining or miners whatsoever. Instead, transactions are powered through a “centralized” blockchain to make it more reliable and fast. Mining is a core tenet of most other cryptocurrencies, and each uses their own system to determine how much power the miners have. Some, like bitcoin, use Proof-of-Work, but there is also Proof-of-Stake and Proof-of-Importance.

In cryptocurrency, miners are incentivized to process network transactions with the currency itself, but this has created some issues that Ripple deems untenable. In a solution built for big banks, there should be no separate group with its own special motivations for running the network.


While this idea has helped other cryptocurrencies to remain decentralized, it has also slowed them down: a problem Ripple cannot afford. This lack of mining affects other aspects of Ripple as well, taking it further from the standard.

Plug in the Printing Press


Besides processing transactions, miners are also rewarded with cryptocurrency. This is essentially how it’s created. Ripple’s exclusion of miners naturally throws a wrench into the machinery in this regard. Ripple is not finite, and can be “printed” on-demand, which makes it much more reliable for payment processing, money exchange, and other institutional activities. When it’s used, it’s simply destroyed.

The Ripple Foundation already created the 100 billion XRP currently in circulation, giving it a stable, non-volatile character perfect for its biggest clients. However, this also removes one of the biggest factors in any true cryptocurrency: the ability to accumulate and store value as only a deflationary asset can.

A Centralized Blockchain?


Ripple does have a wallet, but getting access to the blockchain is tough. Retail participants aren’t supposed to have access because it introduces risky, strange elements into an otherwise sterile environment. The Ripple blockchain isn’t open like those of other cryptocurrencies. XRP can be safely stored and kept, and uses cryptography to protect participants, but the nodes it’s protecting aren’t individuals but “trusted” operators registered in the Ripple network. This allows the currency to use the advantages of the blockchain ledger, but in a closed ecosystem that makes it more efficient.

While bitcoin claims to be “trustless,” it’s just created a precarious house of cards whereby everyone has some incentive not to let it topple. Miners can still shut off their computers and freeze the network if they wanted to, but not with Ripple.

Putting a Title on Ripple


Much like the many questions surrounding bitcoin cash, even the founders of Ripple recommend not using their creation as a currency for speculation because it isn’t one. Ripple resembles a fintech platform more than anything else and has simply combined the best elements of fiat money and blockchain cryptocurrency.

Not a “true” cryptocurrency by the standard definition, Ripple may be the dividing line that separates two distinct products to emerge from the cryptocurrency revolution: assets and solutions. While assets can serve as investments placing faith in a decentralized community and the deflationary properties of mining, solutions will dispense with the speculation and instead create platforms that are “technically” cryptocurrency, but not traditionally viewed as such.

What is Ripple and why is it beating both Bitcoin and Litecoin?

By Chris Morris - December 14, 2017 (www.bitcointalkradio.com)


Forget Bitcoin. So long Litecoin. There’s a new cryptocurrency on the rise.

Ripple, which was designed for banks and global money transfers, has seen the value of its XRP digital currency skyrocket in the past three days. On Dec. 10, the company had a market capitalization of just over $9 billion. As of Wednesday morning, that market cap had more than doubled to $18.1 billion.

Prices for an individual Ripple XRP are considerably more affordable than its alternatives, making it even more attractive to cryptocurrency speculators. As of late Wednesday morning, a single XRP cost just 47 cents, a 66% jump from yesterday’s close, according to CoinMarketCap.

This surge has pushed Litecoin down to the fifth most valuable cryptocurrency. Both Ripple and Litecoin are still far below Bitcoin and Ethereum, however.

What is Ripple?


While it wasn’t released until 2012, Ripple is actually older than Bitcoin. The original version of the company was created in 2004, according to Bitcoin Magazine. It never really went anywhere, though, until it put a professional management team in place, which included E-Loan co-founder Chris Larsen and Jed McCaleb, founder of MtGox.

Ripple’s cryptocurrency has been adopted by banks and other financial institutions. Those companies believe Ripple’s system offers both better prices and is more secure than other digital currencies, including Bitcoin. It allows users to send, receive, and hold any currency in a decentralized way via the Ripple network. The company is cash-flow positive and holds a vast store of XRP, which it periodically releases into the market.

But the real appeal of Ripple’s XRP for banks is its liquidity.

“The liquidity needs of banks today is managed with literally ten trillion of float that sits in these nostro and vostro accounts. We believe very strong this is an inefficient model. You can use digital assets to fund liquidity, and Ripple is uniquely positioned to capitalize on that. Bitcoin takes four hours to settle a transaction. XRP takes 3.6 seconds,” Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse told Fortune earlier this year.

Why is Ripple surging?


Ripple’s rise seems to be a (pardon the pun) ripple effect from the surge of interest in Bitcoin. Investors who believe cryptocurrency may be reaching a peak are looking for others that could provide a greater return in the long term. The company has hit some notable milestones in recent months, though.

As of October, Ripple had licensed its blockchain technology to over 100 banks. Last month, American Express came on board. And Michael Arrington’s $100 million cryptocurrency hedge fund will be valued in Ripple’s XRP.

How much has Ripple grown in 2017?


Year to date, Ripple’s XRP has seen its value jump more than 7,000% and its market cap increase by nearly 7,700%.

The Bitcoin bubble – how we know it will burst

December 07, 2017 (theconversation.com)

Ready to pop? Adam Dachis/flickr, CC BY

In the last year, the price of Bitcoin has increased from less than US$800 to more than US$12,000. This huge spike in value has many asking if it is a bubble or if the high price today is here to stay.

Finance defines a bubble as a situation where the price of an asset diverges systematically from its fundamentals. Investment mogul Jack Bogle says there is nothing to support Bitcoin, and the head of JP MorganChase, Jamie Dimon has called it a fraud “worse than tulip bulbs”.

Like any asset, Bitcoin has some fundamental value, even if only a hope value, or a value arising from scarcity. So there are reasons to hold it. But our research does show that it is experiencing a bubble right now.

Together with Shaen Corbet at Dublin City University, we took as the fundamentals of Bitcoin elements of the technology that underpins it (and other cryptocurrencies). We looked at measures, which represent the key theoretical and computational components of how cyrptocurrencies are priced.

New Bitcoin is created by a process of mining units called blocks. Bitcoin is built on blockchain technology – a digital ledger of transactions – which enables the currency to be traded independently from any central banking system, without risk of fake or duplicate Bitcoins being used. Instead of having a bank verify pending transactions (a “block”), miners check them and, if approved, the block is cryptographically added to the ever-expanding ledger.

So the first measure we examined relates to mining difficulty. It calculates how difficult it is to find a new block relative to the past. As per the Bitcoin Protocol, the number of Bitcoin is capped at 21m (there are currently 16.7m in circulation). This means that as more people mine for Bitcoin and more blocks are created, each block is, all things being equal, worth less than the previous block.

Bitcoin mining affects the cryptocurrency’s values. shutterstock.com

The second measure we looked at relates to the “hash rate”. This is the speed at which a computer operates when mining. To successfully mine Bitcoin, you must come up with a 64-digit hexadecimal number (called a “hash”), which is less than or equal to the target hash. The faster you can do this, the better chance you have of finding the next block and receiving payment.

The third measurement was “block size”. This relates to how large the chain is at any given time, with larger chains taking longer to mine than shorter ones.

And lastly we looked at the volume of transactions conducted. Any asset, in particular any currency, which is more widely used will be more valuable than one which is used less frequently.

In our study, we examined data from Bitcoin’s early days – from July 2010 to November 2017. The price of one Bitcoin did not rise above US$1 until April 16, 2011, then to US$10 on June 3, 2011 and US$100 on April 2, 2013. Since then the price rise has clearly been exceptional.

Price of Bitcoin

Source: Data: investing.com






We then applied an accepted method that is used to detect and date stamp bubbles after they burst. In essence, this involves identifying the existence of an explosive component in a series. As the series, here the price of bitcoin, “explodes”, it runs the risk, like any explosion, of flying apart.

A possibly counter-intuitive result of this approach is that if a fundamental driver and the price of an asset both show an explosive component, we might not conclude a bubble is present. A bubble is when something deviates from its fundamental value. If the fundamental value is itself growing explosively then the price would also.

Think of dividends on a stock. If, somehow, these were to grow at an explosive rate we might expect to see the price do the same. While unsustainable, this is not technically a bubble. To overcome this, we then date stamp a bubble as being present when the price shows an explosive component and the underlying fundamentals do not.

Here are the results of the analysis:

The Bitcoin Bubbles. Authors own calculations


The orange lines denote when the price is showing explosive behaviour. We also see a period where the hash rate was growing explosively – the blue columns in late 2013 and early 2014. This is also an indication of a price bubble, which went on to burst.

So there are clear points where bubbles are visible – including now. The price of Bitcoin at present shows explosive behaviour in the absence of anything similar in its fundamentals. We see the price moving upwards in a manner that is not related to the technical underpinnings. It is a clear bubble.

A weakness of these tests and indeed all bubble identification tests is that they take place after the bubble has burst. Even this test, which can be redone as swiftly as new data arrives, is such. Bubbles by their nature grow in a compound manner – so even a day or two delay in addressing the situation can make a bubble significantly worse.

What is not yet available is an accurate advanced warning bubble indicator. In its absence, this approach may be the best. Unfortunately, we cannot use this approach to determine the extent of the bubble. There is no well-accepted model that suggests a “fair” value for Bitcoin. But whatever that level is, it is almost certain that, at present, it is well below where we are now.

December 13, 2017

How to buy Ripple (XRP)?

Ripple - Overview


Ripple provides one frictionless experience to send money globally using the power of blockchain. By joining Ripple’s growing, global network, financial institutions can process their customers’ payments anywhere in the world instantly, reliably and cost-effectively. Banks and payment providers can use the digital asset XRP to further reduce their costs and access new markets.

With offices in San Francisco, New York, London, Sydney, India, Singapore and Luxembourg, Ripple has more than 100 customers around the world. 


How to buy Ripple (XRP)?


For institutional purchases and for individual purchases of Ripple, please visit following link. For individual purchases of Ripple, the link gives a comprehensive list of exchanges that accept cryptocurrencies (BTC, ETH) and fiat currencies (USD, EUR, JPY, CNY, INR, KRW, AUD, THB, MXN) for Ripple purchases.

Exchanges listed are: Bitstamp, Kraken, Gatehub, BtcxIndia, Coinone, Bitso, Coincheck, Korbit, Qryptos, Bitbank, Bitsane, Btcmarkets, Litebit.eu, Bx.en.th, Bitcoin.co.id, etc.

How to buy Ripple? : https://ripple.com/xrp/buy-xrp/


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 Ledger Nano S is the majority choice:
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Ripple price leaps 13% after company escrows 55 billion XRP

By Josiah Wilmoth - December 08, 2017 (www.cryptocoinsnews.com)

The ripple price received a 13 percent bump after the fintech startup revealed that it had put its 55 billion XRP tokens into escrow.

Ripple Price Rallies 13 Percent


The ripple price had spent the majority of the week in decline, falling from $0.254 on December 1 to $0.222 this morning. However, shortly before 1:00 UTC, the ripple price shot up as high as $0.272 before leveling off to a present value of $0.250 — a 12-hour gain of nearly 13 percent.

XRP Price Chart | Source: CoinMarketCap

Ripple’s daily trading volume swelled to nearly $700 million, with nearly half of that concentrated on the South Korean exchanges of Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit.

Source: CoinMarketCap

Ripple Escrows 55 Billion XRP


The apparent justification for the upswing is the announcement that Ripple — the fintech startup behind XRP — had officially placed 55 billion of its estimated 61.8 billion XRP into escrow. Each month, 1 billion tokens will be unlocked for Ripple’s use, and any unused tokens will be placed back into escrow.

This development eliminated the threat that Ripple could flood the market with XRP, effectively crashing the price. Though highly unlikely, this scenario was possible since Ripple holds almost twice as many XRP than are currently in circulation. Now, XRP investors know with certainty the rate at which new tokens will enter the market, enabling them to better establish a fair value price for the token.

    “By securing the lion’s share of XRP in escrow, people can now mathematically verify the maximum supply that can enter the market. While Ripple has proved to be a responsible steward of XRP supply for almost five years – and has clearly demonstrated a tremendous track record of investing in and supporting the XRP ecosystem – this lockup eliminates any concern that Ripple could flood the market, which we’ve pointed out before is a scenario that would be bad for Ripple!,” the company wrote on its blog.

Ripple had announced its intention to escrow these tokens months ago, so the news had already been somewhat priced in. Nevertheless, the escrow’s execution provided the ripple price with another bump, enabling the fourth-largest cryptocurrency’s market cap to rise to $9.7 billion.


Posted by Josiah Wilmoth
Josiah is a former ancient and medieval literature teacher. He has been writing about cryptocurrency since 2014, and his work has been cited in Business Insider, NPR, and Yahoo! Finance. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and son. Email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)cryptocoinsnews.com.

December 04, 2017

$300 Bln is a drop in the ocean, Bitcoin is still a baby and can’t be a bubble

By Darryn Pollock - November 27, 2017 (cointelegraph.com)


Looking at the total market cap of the cryptocurrency market, which recently crossed over the $300 bln mark, it is both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. This digital currency world that came into being less than 10 years ago has grown astronomically in such a short space of time.

Indeed, 2017 alone has seen just Bitcoin go from $800 to nearly $10,000, and there is still a month to go. The records have crumbled for the Big digital currencies, as well as the new ones as the boom in ICO’s have also help set unprecedented growth.

Thus, as the most impressive performing asset class ever seen, surely Bitcoin is on the verge of taking over the world? Even that has two ways of being viewed - in relation, or in fear - but, no, Bitcoin is a small fish.

Bitcoin vs Gold


Looking at the actual commodity markets out there, and weighing up Bitcoin’s $300 bln, it quickly becomes apparent that the digital currency is still splashing in the shallow end.

Gold, which Bitcoin is supposed to be challenging, has a market cap of $6 tln. On top of that, only about a fifth of all the mined gold is held for private investment purposes, the rest is either in jewelery - the large majority - or the official sector, or still underground.

Thus, seeing as the value of all gold mined comes in just over $7 tln, about $1.6 tln of it is being used for private investment purposes.

Look deeper at the markets. Equities, another investible asset, has a market cap of $55 tln; then there is $94 tln in securitized debt and $162 tln in residential real estate, according to a 2016 report.

Not even close to being overvalued


So, what does it mean if Bitcoin is a record breaker for speed, but not for size? It breaks down a lot of the bubble talk that is floating around there. For a market that only makes up 0.3 percent, when put next to residential estate value, securitized debt, equities, commercial real estate, farmland and gold, -- it can hardly be called a massive bubble.


When it comes to bubbles, and overvaluing, stock picker and Bitcoin Bull Ronnie Moas breaks down the numbers a little more.

“We currently have $200 tln in the world tied up in cash, stocks, bonds and gold alone and all four of those, in my opinion, are overvalued. If 1/2 of one percent of that 200 tln dollars ends up in Bitcoin, you are looking at a one tln dollar valuation that would be above where Apple Computers, the most valuable company in the World, is today.”