Bitcoin Posts Solid Gains to Break Above $7,000 While Altcoins See Green

Bitcoin Posts Solid Gains to Break Above $7,000 While Altcoins See Green

Bitcoin (BTC) has seen solid growth to break back above the $7,000 mark today, August 7. The overall crypto market is seeing a healthy flush of green, rallying forth after the weekend’s losses, as data from Coin360 shows. Market visualization from Coin360 Bitcoin (BTC) is trading around $7,118 at press time, up around 2.5 percent on the day. After several faltering attempts to break past the $7,000 threshold yesterday, the leading cryptocurrency has today seen a sustained uptick as of very early trading hours. Today’s growth has not yet pushed the coin’s weekly price change back into the green, however, which still remains at around an 8 percent loss. On the month, Bitcoin is now up almost 9 percent. Bitcoin’s 24-hour price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index Fundstrat’s head of research and well-known Bitcoin bull Tom Lee today used his firm’s recently launched Bitcoin Misery Index (BMI) to evaluate the coin’s current market momentum. The index determines that any value below 27 signals promising future returns, while 68 is set as a “time to sell” misery threshold. With the index presently at 39, Lee said: “Bitcoin isn’t broken if it’s holding at these levels. I think people are afraid it is going to go back down to $6,000 and never come back from those bear markets.” The analyst also noted the recent uptrend in Bitcoin dominance by market capitalization, which as of press time is pushing 48 percent. In late July, BTC dominance had surged to 2018 record-highs, hitting levels not seen since last December, at a time when the coin was trading just below its $20,000 industry peak. Lee also singled out the Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) plans to develop a regulated, global digital assets platform — spearheaded by Bitcoin-fiat conversion for consumers — as a strong bullish signal for the asset. Ethereum (ETH) is currently trading around $409, up around one percent on the day to press time. The altcoin is now closing its losses on its weekly chart: while the asset is still down around $20 from its price point at the beginning of August, only yesterday its weekly value loss was above $50. Closing down to a 6 percentage loss on the week, Ethereum is still around 1.5 percent in the…

Need Cold Storage? Check Out Bitcoin.com’s Revamped Paper Wallet Generator

Need Cold Storage? Check Out Bitcoin.com’s Revamped Paper Wallet Generator

Promoted There are many ways to store bitcoin cash, and while some people use mobile apps, others use hardware wallets to store their digital assets. Then there are those who use one of the oldest methods in the book — the paper wallet. The tried and true paper wallet technique is a convenient way to store bitcoin cash (BCH) offline in a physical manner, with funds still spendable or receivable at any time. At Bitcoin.com we’ve revamped our paper wallet section so our visitors can create a beautiful physical bitcoin cash bill in a matter of minutes. Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space Bitcoin.com’s Newly Revamped Paper Wallet Generator Cryptocurrencies have become very popular and people who use digital assets store them in various ways. One of the oldest methods for storing bitcoin cash is the use of a paper wallet, which is basically a piece of paper that holds funds because it contains a printed set of both the private and public key. As long as no one has visible access to the bill’s private key, the paper wallet can be a very secure method of offline storage (cold wallet). At Bitcoin.com we’ve always had a paper wallet generator available, but we’ve recently updated the portal so anyone can easily create a bitcoin cash-loaded bill that can be spent at any time. All a person has to do is use our wallet generator to create a bitcoin cash (BCH) private key and print the paper wallet on a secure printer. In order to make the process very secure, we recommend downloading our paper wallet source code and creating the seed using a device that’s not connected to the internet. Simply print out the finished product using our yellow and black design (similar to the anarcho-capitalist flag) and cut the bill out with some scissors. You can go the extra mile and laminate the paper to make the wallet more durable over time. Remember paper can last a while, but it couldn’t hurt to add some extra durability measures if you decide the paper wallets won’t be used for a very long time. Loadable, Spendable, Open Source, and Stylish After cutting out the bill, our Bitcoin.com paper wallet designs allow users to…

Decentralized Apps Might Be the Future but They’re Not the Present

Decentralized Apps Might Be the Future but They’re Not the Present

Technology To their proponents, dapps – decentralized applications – are the future of internet. To their critics, they’re multi-million dollar sinkholes, with huge development costs, poor UI, and no users. Are dapps like Augur and IDEX early test cases for the web to come, or impractical experiments that are destined to fail? Also read: Bitcoin ATMs Now In The Thousands Around the World Decentralized Cash is a Success But Decentralized Apps Remain Unproven Hating on dapps has become something of a parlor game. They’re an easy target after all. While all the headlines are about VCs pouring millions of dollars of seed money into dapps like Crypto Kitties, and the highly publicized launch of Augur (market cap $311 million), behind the scenes, things are less than rosy. The latter, which launched with great fanfare several years and personnel changes later, typically has less than 60 daily active users (DAUs) and yet Augur is supposedly ethereum’s flagship dapp. A glance around the categories on Dappradar shows that the number of people talking about dapps is multitudes greater than the number actually using them. For less than 90 DAU, your dapp can make it into the top 20 for all categories and for around 230 DAU into the top 10. Only decentralized exchanges IDEX and Forkdelta, plus the runaway ponzi game Fomo3D, have more than 1,000 daily active users. It’s to be expected that numbers should be low in the evolution of what is still a nascent technology, but should they be so low that you could squeeze the users of the average dapp into a small room? “Design is the Killer App for Crypto” A widely shared article from Coinbase this week, titled “Why design is the killer app for crypto”, observed: “Blockchain today is often compared to the internet in the 1990s. When the internet first came about, you couldn’t have predicted that twenty years later people would be using it to share their houses and cars (thanks to Airbnb and Lyft). The builders of the web didn’t have to know what all the possibilities were — they were just a group of passionate people who believed that this technology was important and transformational to society, and they pulled together to work to make it a reality.” Coinbase…

Researchers Discover Huge Crypto Scam Botnet on Twitter

Researchers Discover Huge Crypto Scam Botnet on Twitter

Researchers have uncovered a huge botnet that mimics legitimate accounts on Twitter to spread a cryptocurrency “giveaway” scam. As reported by ITPro, the discovery was made during a research effort by Duo Security that looked at 88 million Twitter accounts from May to July and used machine learning to identify bots, malicious or otherwise, on the social media platform. The team notably found a single network of over 15,000 bots in a three-tiered structure that spread the fake cryptocurrency giveaway, and further evolved over time to remain undetected. The Duo team described how the botnet works in a paper to be presented at the 2018 Black Hat cybersecurity event on Wednesday. Typically, they write, bots first create a spoofed (or copycat) account for a genuine cryptocurrency-related account that would copy the name and profile picture of the legitimate account. To spread the fake giveaway scam, the bots would reply to tweets posted by the legitimate account, containing a link to entice Twitter users to the scam. Adding to the complexity, Duo found that many spoof accounts followed what they termed “hub accounts, which the researchers suspect are followed “in an effort to appear legitimate”. The botnet also employed “amplification bots” – other fake accounts that are used to give “likes” to scam tweets to “to artificially inflate the tweet’s popularity [and] make the cryptocurrency scam appear legitimate.” Intriguingly, the team found that the discoveries allowed them to connect the bots in a way “that can result in the unraveling of the entire botnet.” The paper states: “[Searching for connected bots] resulted in a 3 tiered botnet structure consisting of the scam publishing bots, the hub accounts (if any) the bots were following, and the amplification bots that like each created tweet. The mapping shows that the amplification bots like tweets from both clusters, binding them together.” While Twitter has been making moves to clamp down on such cryptocurrency scams, Duo writes in its conclusion that the work shows that botnets are still active and can be discovered by “straightforward analysis.” “We don’t consider the problem solved,” they said. However, they plan to open source the techniques described in the paper in the hope that new techniques can be developed to identify malicious bots, and help “keep Twitter and…

New Blockchain App Claims Its Already Tracking 760,000 Diamonds

New Blockchain App Claims Its Already Tracking 760,000 Diamonds

A subsidiary of China’s first web-only insurer, ZhongAn Insurance, says it has put the data of 760,000 diamonds on a blockchain. ZhongAn Technology, which is publicly listed in Hong Kong, announced the launch of its gem-tracking blockchain application on Tuesday, saying that the project was created to achieve a higher level of traceability in the luxury industry. The product is being marketed through Diamsledger, a new subsidiary jointly created by ZhongAn and online diamond trading firm Ediams. Built on top of ZhongAn’s proprietary blockchain network, and hosted on its Anlink cloud platform, the application is deployed across selected parties along the diamond supply chain, including diamond dealers, processing firms, customs, logistic companies and exchange centers. The end of goal, according to the firm’s announcement, is to provide a transparent ledger on a decentralized network that tracks every piece of information about a diamond, from production to customer. The system also works in parallel with traditional industry certificates such as GIA, NGTC and HRD, ZhongAn says, meaning purchasers can type in a diamond’s certificate number to view all its information via a portal on Diamsledger. Zhang Yongwen, CEO of Diamsledger said that currently “information of 760,000 diamonds has been uploaded to Anlink as of mid-July.” Zhang went on to state that the application provides a double assurance together with traditional certificates, which mainly record diamonds’ physical information such as color and place of origin. The launch follows previous initiatives from ZhongAn including a blockchain-based application to track and record the food supply chain, as well as a patent filing for a blockchain solution designed to protect media from piracy. Diamond image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

US DEA: Criminal Activity in Cryptocurrency Has Dropped 80 Percent Since 2013

US DEA: Criminal Activity in Cryptocurrency Has Dropped 80 Percent Since 2013

An agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has noted that Bitcoin’s (BTC) role in crimes has dropped to just 10 percent of transactions, while transactions themselves have “grown tremendously,” Bloomberg reports August 7. In an interview, DEA special agent Lilita Infante — who is a member of the 10-person Cyber Investigative Task Force — said that the ratio of legitimate to illegitimate Bitcoin transactions had flipped over the past five years, noting “The volume has grown tremendously, the amount of transactions and the dollar value has grown tremendously over the years in criminal activity, but the ratio has decreased.” The concept of criminals turning to cryptocurrency as an alternative to cash has traditionally formed a central argument used by those critical of Bitcoin’s future. Regulators too have set about tackling the perceived usage of cryptocurrency for illicit purposes, often associated with terrorism and money laundering. As Bitcoin’s popularity has grown, however, it is now legitimate trading which forms the overwhelming majority of activity, with Infante noting that the “majority of transactions are used for price speculation.” She added that although privacy-focused altcoins are less liquid and more anonymous than BTC, the DEA “still has ways of tracking” currencies such as Monero and Zcash. Infante concluded, “The blockchain actually gives us a lot of tools to be able to identify people. I actually want them to keep using them [cryptocurrencies].’’ At a U.S. House public meeting on digital assets in mid-July, Andreessen Horowitz managing partner Scott Kupor suggested that “Bitcoin is law enforcement’s best friend” due to the ability to track illicit transactions on the blockchain.

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee: Bitcoin Misery Index Indicators Show the Crypto ‘Isn’t Broken’

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee: Bitcoin Misery Index Indicators Show the Crypto ‘Isn’t Broken’

Bitcoin (BTC) “isn’t broken” if it’s holding at the current price and volatility levels, Fundstrat’s Tom Lee said to CNBC’s “Fast Money” on August 6. In the interview, the Wall Street bull referred to the current indicators of Fundstrat’s recently launched Bitcoin Misery Index (BMI), which aims to inform investors of how “miserable” holders of the currency are based on its price and volatility. According to Lee, when the index is below 27, it shows that future returns are very good, while if it surpasses 68 percent, it is “time to sell Bitcoin.” Pointing at the index’s current number of 39, Lee concluded that the momentum is “recovering,” noting “Bitcoin isn’t broken if it’s holding at these levels. I think people are afraid it is going to go back down to $6,000 and never come back from those bear markets.” Fundstrat’s head of research also pointed out the current levels of Bitcoin dominance on the crypto markets, which has surged up to around 48 percent over the past several weeks after dropping to as low as 37 percent in July.   As Lee explained, the fact that major cryptocurrency keeps gaining momentum in terms of market share is “actually showing the market is reacting to what’s been taking place.” Lee also pointed at the recent biggest news in the industry, such as the Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) announcement of developing a new global digital assets platform, as well as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stating that Bitcoin is not a security. On Aug. 3, ICE, the operator of 23 leading global exchanges including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), announced its plans to build an integrated digital assets platform to enable customers, merchants, and institutional clients to buy, sell, store, and spend digital assets on a “seamless global network.” In the beginning of July, Lee repeated his stance that Bitcoin could reach anywhere between $22,000 to $25,000 by the end of 2018. Earlier this summer, on June 27, Lee had predicted that the BTC downtrend that took place in June would be reversed if Bitcoin could push through a resistance point of $6,300 to $6,400.

Bitcoin ATMs Now In The Thousands Around the World

Bitcoin ATMs Now In The Thousands Around the World

News Coinatmradar.com reports a milestone of the 3,500 threshold being crossed for bitcoin ATMs (BATM) installed across the globe. One of the goals behind bitcoin automated teller machines is ease of onboarding to the world of crypto. A bear market – a protracted Crypto Winter – appeared to slow BATMs’ placement. And for sure it just might have, but numbers remain relatively strong considering, with the greater worry among BATM operators being US federal regulations preventing innovation. Also read: Queensland, Australia Invests Portion of its $6.1Mil Ignite Ideas Fund in Crypto Startup 3,500 Bitcoin ATMs Installed Around the World Coinatmradar.com announced this week a psychological milestone for the ecosystem had been reached: more than 3,500 bitcoin ATM machines are now installed all over the world. Not so long ago, BATMs were thought to a perfect onboarding tool, and especially in the United States. Americans are already trained on the basic tech, having had decades of automated ways to snag cash. That such machines could be placed where consumers are, rather than the customer having to seek it out, meant BATMs would be put in liquor stores, fast food restaurants, shopping malls, movie theatres, etc. It was just a matter of time until such convenience caught on.   That was before prices soured and the US federal government began cracking down on BATM operators. “No doubt, US regulations play a huge role in our business,” head of marketing at Blockchain BTM, Tim Curry stressed. “We would be able to provide many more services, and for much cheaper, were it not for a myriad of regulations we must comply with,” Mr. Curry explained to News.Bitcoin.com at this year’s Comic Con in San Diego, where his company was an exhibitor. 9 Per Day Still, the fact so many BATMs are up and running, with a heavy concentration of those in the United States, and all this during a bear market, is testimony to BATMs’ potential power. “It’s a bank in a box,” Mr. Curry noted. “We can onboard someone faster than Coinbase, and in about two to three minutes from start to finish. No having to wait up to a week. No linking your personal bank account.” Blockchain BTM is largely focused on the California market at the…

Barclays Denies Crypto Products as Staff Removes ‘Digital Asset Project’ LinkedIn Info

Barclays Denies Crypto Products as Staff Removes ‘Digital Asset Project’ LinkedIn Info

UK-based bank Barclays has denied it is working on cryptocurrency products despite two employees removing LinkedIn evidence they were doing so after receiving mainstream media attention, Business Insider reports August 6. According to Business Insider, Matthieu Jobbe Duval and Chris Tyrer, whom Barclays confirmed worked for the bank, had listed cryptocurrency-related duties on their LinkedIn profiles. Duval had written he was involved in a “digital asset project” and was “hired to produce a business plan for integrating a digital assets trading desk into Barclays’ markets business: revenue opportunity, competitive landscape, budgeting and planning for delivery, I.T. buildout, capital & balance sheet impact.” After Business Insider approached Barclays for comment, however, Duval removed the information while nonetheless confirming it was “accurate.” Tyrer, whose LinkedIn had described him as the head of the digital assets project, declined to comment. As of press time, Duval and Tyrer’s LinkedIn profiles still show positions at Barclays working with “digital assets,” but all information detailing the specifics of the jobs is not listed. Barclays, as well as Duval and Tyrer, have not responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment by press time. The curious events continue what has become a growing trend among banks of denying cryptocurrency interest at a senior level while appearing to actively develop an approach to the phenomenon elsewhere. This week, Goldman Sachs insiders said the bank planned to offer “crypto custody” services despite a spokesman telling Bloomberg it had “not reached a conclusion” on digital assets. A similar story emerged from BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, whose CEO Larry Fink last month claimed none of its clients had an interest in cryptocurrency exposure while at the same time the company formed a working group to assess Bitcoin involvement. In March, Barclays began serving U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase in a partnership which allowed considerably faster funding options for UK traders.

Ethereum-Powered Insurer Nexus Is Winning Over Blockchain Skeptics

Ethereum-Powered Insurer Nexus Is Winning Over Blockchain Skeptics

“My premise is that you can use blockchain to essentially trust people you don’t know – you trust the code.” While that statement by Hugh Karp may sound like a standard line in crypto-land, his startup, Nexus Mutual, is actually building a product for those who don’t trust the code. Or, at least, don’t trust it completely. With Nexus, Karp is trying to revive mutual insurance, a model that dates back to the 17th century and, many argue, aligned the interests of participants better than today’s profit-maximizing insurance firms. Nexus is one of a handful of blockchain startups, at various stages of development, aiming to use the technology for this purpose. But the first insurance product Nexus plans to offer will cover an ultra-modern type of risk: security failures of smart contracts on the ethereum blockchain. Think of the DAO hack of 2016, in which some 3.6 million ether (valued at around $50 million at the time) was drained from the smart contract by an attacker. Or last year’s Parity Multisig Wallet attack, in which just over 150,000 ether was stolen (then worth around $30 million). Starting early next year, Nexus will offer to insure customers against financial losses from such “unintended code usage.”    Yet Nexus itself will run as a smart contract on top of ethereum. That’s what Karp means when he talks about trusting the code. For him, blockchain is a way to overcome one of the limitations of the old mutuals while retaining their benefits. His thesis is that users will trust the rules of a smart contract underpinned by the immutable ethereum public blockchain. This way, members who don’t know each other can trust each other, allowing the mutual to scale. Eventually, consulting with members, the plan is to explore other areas of catastrophe cover beyond crypto.   Karp stands out in the insurtech space because of his deep understanding of both the sector and the technology. He began his career as an actuary and rose to become the chief financial officer at Munich Re, one of the world’s leading reinsurers. He became fascinated by bitcoin and then ethereum relatively early, in 2014. Stephen D. Palley, a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm Anderson Kill with…