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Cryptocurrency Market Continues to Slump as Ethereum, Ripple, et al. Suffer 20%+ Fall

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The cryptocurrency market has continued to slump over the past 24 hours, as major cryptocurrencies including Ripple, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash recorded over 20 percent in daily losses.

Since January 15, the market valuation of cryptocurrencies declined from $700 billion to $500 billion within a 48-hour span. In the past few hours, the cryptocurrency market demonstrated some signs of recovery, as the market cap of all cryptocurrencies combined increased from $450 billion to $530 billion.

“Bitcoin Decreased Little Bit, Altcoins Plunged a Lot”

The claims that bitcoin slumped by a small margin while smaller cryptocurrencies plunged in value are evidently false, given that major cryptocurrencies recorded larger losses in value than small cryptocurrencies in the market.

Bitcoin did decline by a small margin in comparison to Ethereum, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash, but it also decreased by more than 15 percent. Since December, bitcoin has dropped from $19,000 to $11,000.

It is also incorrect to justify the recent decline in the market valuation of cryptocurrencies to the trading ban fiasco in China and South Korea. The Chinese government banned cryptocurrency trading in September 2017. Today, the Chinese market has barely any volume to impact the global cryptocurrency market in any way.

 

Many investors are currently concerned about the state of the market because of the abrupt fall in the value of cryptocurrencies. But, the cryptocurrency market regularly experiences 20 to 30 percent corrections. For instance, when the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) and the Chinese authorities banned initial coin offering (ICO) along with cryptocurrency trading in September, the price of Ethereum declined by more than 30 percent.

Two months before that, Ethereum suffered over a 50 percent decline, from $360 to $134. Given the massive corrections Ethereum, bitcoin, and Bitcoin Cash have experienced over the past few months, the recent correction is not the biggest correction the market has suffered in the past year.

Was a Correction Long Overdue

When the market valuation of cryptocurrencies in the market surpassed $500 billion in mid-December, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin stated that he is personally concerned with the valuation of most projects within the market.

He questioned whether the market and projects within it have done enough to justify the $500 billion market cap of the cryptocurrencies. While Buterin emphasized that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum have definitely provided enough services to the general public and consumers, they have not done enough to justify their market caps.

“So total cryptocoin market cap just hit $0.5T today. But have we earned it? The answer to all of these questions is definitely not zero, and in some cases it’s quite significant. But not enough to say it’s $0.5T levels of significant. Not enough,” said Buterin, sharing a similar sentiment as other Ethereum co-founders including IOHK’s Charles Hoskinson.

A major correction is healthy for the market which has been overflowing with projects with no substance as of late. Blockchain projects with no products and users have gained multi-billion dollar valuations, solely with poorly drafted whitepapers.

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South Korea Military Blocks Soldiers’ Access to Cryptocurrency Trading

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South Korea’s national defense ministry has begun blocking access to online cryptocurrency trading platforms in military bases.

As Korean financial officials ponder a wider clampdown on domestic cryptocurrency trading markets, the country’s military is already weighing up and enforcing its own measures to keep soldiers from trading cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, the Korea Times reports.

Since Monday, the Ministry of National Defense has been busy putting up firewalls to block soldiers’ access to cryptocurrency exchanges at internet cafes at various military bases.

In a notice, the ministry said:

“According to internal rules, we will gradually shut down internet access to websites on encrypted currency starting Monday.”

The cited ‘internal rules’ categorize cryptocurrency exchanges alongside online gambling and pornographic website which are also blocked under Korean military regulations. Further, the defense ministry is also working toward developing and introducing regulatory curbs against crypto trading, beyond blocking access to trading platforms.

“We are going to announce specific countermeasures for cryptocurrency transactions made in military units,” a South Korean ministry official reportedly added. “The ministry is in internal talks to confirm whether it is against military regulations.”

The developments come at a time of increased scrutiny into local cryptocurrency markets – among the largest in the world – by Korea’s government and regulators. Last week, the country’s justice ministry proposed a complete shuttering of all cryptocurrency exchanges in a draft law. The backlash was immediate and compelled the country’s Presidential Office to issue a statement cooling such fears. The Justice Ministry, having seen its proposal receive no support from other government agencies including the Ministry of Finance, eventually softened its stance.

Meanwhile, the military, which presumably operates under its own code of laws, told soldiers in a notice this week:

“We urge soldiers to refrain from visiting digital token exchanges to avoid disappointment from our decision to block access to relevant sites.”

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BitConnect Shuts Cryptocurrency Exchange Citing Bad Press, DDoS Attacks, Regulator Scrutiny

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BTCC China Bitcoin Exchange

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The operator of BitConnect, a cryptocurrency that has long courted controversy, has announced the closure of its cryptocurrency exchange and a separate lending platform.

In an announcement on its website on Tuesday, BitConnect confirmed the immediate closure of its lending operation whereas its exchange platform will effectively shutter in a further five days. The website, meanwhile, will remain open for “wallet service, news and educational services,” the notice from the investment platform added.

The operator pointed to three specific reasons behind the shuttering of its platforms. As reported previously, Texas’ securities regulator issued an emergency cease and desist to BitConnect earlier this month, accusing the operator of fraud for failing to clearly identify its ‘principals’ as well as the “source of funds that will be used to pay investors [an] interest of 120% per year.” The state of Carolina followed suit [PDF], ordering BitConnect to refrain from “offering for sale, soliciting offers to purchase or selling” any securities in the state.

“We have received two Cease and Desist letters, one from the Texas State Securities Board, and one from the North Carolina Secretary of State Securities Division,” BitConnect wrote, adding: “These actions have become a hindrance for the legal continuation of the platform.”

The post also blamed ‘outside forces’ instigating DDoS attacks on the platform, making it ‘unstable’ and creating ‘panic inside the community.’

Further, “the continuous bad press has made community members uneasy and created a lack of confidence in the platform,” the post added. Among the critics are prominent figures in the cryptocurrency community including the likes of Litecoin creator Charlie Lee and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. Lee publicly stated he refused to invest in BitConnect, a coin and platform that “seems like a classic ponzi scheme,” in December 2017. A month prior, Buterin also suggested that the heightened returns promised to investors makes BitConnect “a ponzi.”

Meanwhile, BitConnect insists that it will continue supporting its digital token despite closing its own exchange and lending platform. The ‘BitConnect X ICO’ remains functional, the operator added, pointing to an upcoming exchange platform on its ‘BitConnect X’ website that will list its token cryptocurrency BitConnect Coin (BCC).

“This is not the end of this community, but we are closing some of the services on the website platform and we will continue offering other cryptocurrency services in the future,” the notice added defiantly.

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Transparency and Trust in New Digital Asset Tokens

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This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the press release.

While Bitcoin and Ethereum continue to break new price levels and crypto tokens are booming, more investors are looking to trade traditional assets like currencies, equities and commodities via digital tokens. A new operator Flying Money, named after the world’s first paper currency, has developed a trading platform to meet this need, with blockchain-based tokens pegged to the underlying assets.

Flying Money’s approach is to bring more transparency and trust to digital assets. Managing Director Russell Hatton stated, “two important elements missing in the digital currency world at the moment are transparency and trust and we decided to place these two concepts at the centre of our business model.”

What’s different is Flying Money’s structure to protect customers by maintaining all assets in an independent company trust which is separate from the trading company Flying Money. A further element is the audit process which is to be undertaken by the globally recognized accounting firm Ernst & Young to audit the accounts and match every currency deposit to every currency token issued ensuring they are 100% backed. This audit will be published monthly on the Flying Money website providing full transparency.

Flying Money’s whitepaper explains that the platform will support asset and currency tokens backed 1:1 with its corresponding currency, stock or commodity. This represents the ownership of the underlying traditional asset held by Flying Money. On launch, Flying Money will support six fiat currencies initially each as a digital currency token (USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD, AUD).

As Flying Money’s business model progresses they plan to tokenize a range of assets from commodities to equities and real estate.

Flying Money founder Russell Hatton, previously a Director at Ferrier Hodgson a global forensic accounting practice stated “we have seen a number of companies ICO’s claim the benefits of the Blockchain, yet they offer no investor protection as they fail to provide independent audits or accountability for the funds raised. Many ICO’s are created by software programmers with no real commercial business experience. We decided to put together a team of people who have created, operated and successfully sold IT businesses. That’s our major point of difference. All of the Flying Money team has a track record of commercial success.”

The first product release will be the ERC 20 tokens in major currencies. They aim to take on Tether who turns over in excess of US $1 billion daily with their currency token.

The Flying Money tokens are valuable in that when they can be used to pay transaction costs with a discount of 90% when buying and selling Flying Money digital currency tokens. When used these FML tokens will be destroyed reducing the number of FML tokens in circulation. Customers can pay transaction fees in other currencies such as cash, BTC or ETH as well. When transactions fees are paid in these other options the transaction fees are used to buy back FML tokens which are also destroyed. This process has the benefit of maintaining a constant demand reducing the supply of FML tokens and potentially increasing their value.

Flying Money will hold their token pre-sale starting February 2018. Further details can be found at www.flyingmoney.io


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Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Falls Below $10,000 in 6-Week Low

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Bitcoin price plunged to a six-week low on Wednesday amid a continued downturn in wider cryptocurrency markets.

It has been a turbulent week for cryptocurrency markets and bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency and largest by market cap, struck a low of $9633 (Bitfinex).

Bitcoin’s price chart in January, so far. Credit: Bitcoinwisdom

Data from CoinMarketCap shows the total value of all bitcoins mined at $170 billion at the lowest point today, nearly half the value of the cryptocurrency’s market cap a month ago to the day.

The wider market also resembles a bloodbath, with only five out of the top 100 cryptocurrencies fighting the tide make gains over the past 24 hours. Prominent tokens like Ripple and NEM have lost as much as 25 percent and 31 percent respectively.

Since Monday’s trading, the correction in cryptocurrency market sees the overall market capitalization of all tokens lose over $250 billion at the lowest point this week, down to $450 billion. At the time of publishing, bitcoin is back up trading near $10,500 while the combined market climbs to near $475 billion.

Developing…

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IBM Unveils Joint Blockchain Company with the World’s Largest Shipper

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Early blockchain tech mover IBM and Danish shipping giant Maersk have announced a joint venture to digitize and enhance global trade efficiency and security using blockchain technology.

One of the world’s oldest industries that has long been notoriously averse to adopt modern technologies is getting a blockchain revamp.

In an announcement yesterday, IBM and A.P Moller – Maersk confirmed their intent to launch a new as-yet-unnamed company that will specifically develop blockchain technology built on open standards ‘designed for use by the entire global shipping ecosystem.’  The new company will be headquartered in New York.

Supply trade chains and logistics are two particular industries ripe for disruption and are certain to instantly benefit from adopting blockchain technology. An immutable, shared ledger with multiple participants including suppliers, shippers, port operators and export/import authorities will help companies continuously track and monitor shipments in real-time. Decades of operational inefficiency due to manual processes and breakages leading to billions in losses could be avoided. The blockchain will enable end-to-end supply chain visibility for all participants with data updated in real-time through a paperless system powered by smart contracts.

Maersk will implement and deploy IBM’s blockchain software – the Hyperledger Fabric – across its fleet, as well as use other cloud technologies in artificial intelligence and IoT to track shipments.

Maersk’s chief commercial officer Vincent Clerc stated:

“The potential from offering a neutral, open digital platform for safe and easy ways of exchanging information is huge, and all players across the supply chain stand to benefit.”

Development of the new joint-company comes amid an ongoing partnership between IBM and Maersk that began in early 2017. The blockchain, which includes a network of freight forwarders, ocean carriers and ports, will support a supply chain that set out to track 10 million containers by the end of the year. IBM estimates annual savings of approximately $38 billion among shipping carriers digitizing their processes using blockchain technology.

The endeavor has proved successful, creating solutions in pilots tested by the likes of Netherlands’ customs authority, the US Customs and Borders Protection, the Singaporean and Peruvian customs authorities as well as industry giants like General Motors and Procter and Gamble for supply chain management.

Awaiting the regulator’s green light, real-world implementation of the joint venture’s solutions are ‘expected to be available within six months,’ IBM added.

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