Bitcoin Again Tests $4K Amidst Anticipation of US and China Trade Deal Finalization

Bitcoin Again Tests $4K Amidst Anticipation of US and China Trade Deal Finalization

Tuesday, Feb. 19: crypto markets have continued gaining momentum, with all of the top 20 coins by market cap seeing green and Bitcoin (BTC) testing $4,000 again, according to CoinMarketCap. Market visualization from Coin360 Following a slight decline to as low as $3,908 yesterday, Bitcoin has continued growing towards the new price point, currently trading at $3,941 and up 4.4 percent over the past 24 hours. The biggest cryptocurrency saw a sharp bullish move on Feb. 17 and approached $4,000 yesterday by touching $3,973, the highest price point since Jan. 10. Bitcoin is up around 9.3 percent over the past 7 days. Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Ethereum (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, is up about 3.5 percent, approaching $150. Ethereum is seeing large growth over the week, up more than 22 percent since Feb. 12, when the altcoin was trading at around $121. Ethereum 7-days price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Ripple (XRP), the second-top altcoin by market cap, is up about 8.3 percent and is trading at $0.338, which constitutes around 12 percent growth over the past 7 days. Recently, BankDhofar, the second-largest bank by market value in Oman, has started using RippleNet tech for cross-border payments to India. Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap The fourth-top cryptocurrency by market cap, EOS (EOS), is seeing the biggest growth both over the past 24 hours and 7 days, up more than 15.7 percent over the day and about 30.5 percent over the week. EOS 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap   Total market capitalization has surged to $135 billion after having been stuck around $120 billion since Feb. 8. Daily trade volume has continued gaining momentum, currently seeing a slight decline from $36 billion to $35 billion. Weekly total market capitalization chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Yesterday, Indonesia’s commodity futures regulator adopted a legal framework for operating crypto and digital assets futures markets, officially requiring multiple entities on the market to seek regulatory approval and apply for registration before legally launching businesses in Indonesia. Also on Feb. 18, prominent Bitcoin bull and venture capital investor Tim Draper declared that in five years, only criminals will use fiat as crypto becomes universally widespread. Draper also argued that Bitcoin is more secure than the U.S. dollar, and compared…

Crypto Trader Cumberland Upgrades from Skype to Wall Street Interface

Crypto Trader Cumberland Upgrades from Skype to Wall Street Interface

Cryptocurrency market maker Cumberland is modernizing the way it handles over-the-counter (OTC) trades with clients. Announced Tuesday, the unit of financial trading giant DRW has unveiled a so-called single-dealer platform called Marea, allowing institutional investors to interact with Cumberland through a screen-based interface, rather than negotiating trades by phone or Skype.  As such, the new portal brings Cumberland in line with the way OTC trading has been conducted on Wall Street for more than a decade in traditional asset classes like stocks. “This is a single-dealer platform and a way for our counterparties to interact with our markets, execute, trade and also view their trading history via a platform,” Bobby Cho, Cumberland’s global head of trading, told CoinDesk, adding: “We looked at what other asset classes have done in the past, and that was an evolution from voice to chat to kind of on screens.” To start, the new OTC platform will handle trading of 10 popular cryptocurrencies and also interacts with back-office reporting, ably handled via a tie-up with trade reporting specialists MG Stover. The initial 10 market pairs include zcash, Sterllar lumens and the U.S. dollar-linked stablecoin TrueUSD, and then the plan is to offer the other coins Cumberland trades, said Cho. “We are hoping to expand that into all the coins that we trade here, so upwards of about 40 coins, and then expand across the different settlement fiat currencies we also settle in – dollars, Swiss francs, euros, GBP and other currencies like that,” he said. “So it’s a little bit different from exchanges where you are set to what the exchange offers you from just an order book perspective. In the future, we hope this opens up our counterparties to trade any asset that we allow against either any fiat currency or any other crypto that we offer.” Research and back office Also to be added to the portal is the research Cumberland began producing in-house last year, Cho said. Meanwhile, Marea integrates with back-office trade reporting and reconciliation of positions at the end of the day, said Cho, “whether that’s through a spreadsheet that’s downloadable or through the user interface.” His team wasn’t going to attempt to build a “full-stack solution for front and back office in a silo,” noted Cho. To help with the process,…

Crypto Startup TrueDigital Hires CEO from World’s Largest Hedge Fund

Crypto Startup TrueDigital Hires CEO from World’s Largest Hedge Fund

A blockchain upstart is getting a new CEO from the world’s largest hedge fund. New York’s trueDigital, which was founded last March, has hired Thomas Kim away from Bridgewater Associates to be its chief executive. Notably, trueDigital is the firm that built a blockchain payments system for Signature Bank. While JPMorgan stole headlines last week for its “JPM Coin,” Signature said its similar Signet system is already processing millions of dollars a day. Kim told CoinDesk his focus will be on expanding the work done for Signature Bank to other clients. “I personally believe the market is signaling tremendous opportunities to bring traditional and digital markets together, and trueDigital is on the forefront of this trend with its payment platform and crypto derivatives,” Kim said. “A lot of the bigger organizations are getting realistic about their capabilities, but the need for these solutions is not going down.” Sunil Hirani, trueDigital’s founder and now-former CEO, told CoinDesk that the partnership with Signature Bank has been going well. “We needed to bring in someone like Thomas, with his experience and leadership, so we can take it to the next level,” Hirani said. Kim worked for the Connecticut-based Bridgewater, known for its unique and at-times-troubled company culture, as a manager within the firm’s investment engine department for the past seven years. Prior to that he was the CEO of fintech company UNX LLC, which was acquired in 2012, and as a managing director at Lehman Brothers until it collapsed in late 2008. The trueDigital-built Signet system was launched by Signature Bank last December. It’s said to be based on a fork of ethereum and allows clients to send funds, or “Signets,” directly to each other. Notably, the solution was approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) and secured coverage from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Bitcoin derivative exchange Kim will also supervise the upcoming launch of trueDigital’s exchange for bitcoin swaps, which is expected later this year. The company is waiting for approvals from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Hirani said. Derivatives based on other cryptocurrencies will be added later on, Kim said. The company also offers over-the-counter (OTC) bitcoin and ether pricing indices. Despite the prolonged bear market, Kim said he is optimistic about the future of cryptocurrency: “I see many…

Bitcoin Price Crosses Key Long-Term Hurdle For First Time in 4 Months

Bitcoin Price Crosses Key Long-Term Hurdle For First Time in 4 Months

Correction (14:45 UTC, Feb. 19, 2019): This article previously incorrectly stated that the 100-day MA was last crossed last May. The article has been correct with the correct date, Oct. 15. View: Bitcoin has passed through the 100-day moving average for the first time in 127 days. The primary lower-high trend is yet to be challenged, but the move indicates a willingness by the bulls to test the upper range of the ascending triangle. Total growing (bullish) volume on the 4-hour chart is at its highest point in over 10 days. However, price action has stalled Tuesday, as indecision brings the possibility of a pullback. Bitcoin (BTC) has shot through established resistances for a second time this month, passing a key long-term moving average before finally hitting a point of exhaustion on the new daily open. Price action crossed over the 100-day moving average (MA) at around $3,850 late Monday night (UTC), backed by a larger-than-average increase in total growing volume, a welcome sign for the bulls. The night’s action also saw the cryptocurrency pass $3,950 briefly before pulling back slightly. The last time bitcoin was above the 100-day MA was back on Oct. 15, 2018, around four months ago. Still, there is a long way to go before converting the trend from bearish to bullish, as can be seen by the lower-high structure on the daily chart. At press time, BTC is trading at $3,860, according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index. That’s up 4.36 percent on the day. Daily chart The upward move on Monday and early Tuesday marked a good attempt at transitioning from the 13-month long bear market. However, bullish momentum has wavered since crossing the 100-day MA and price action has all but stalled as indecision took over post breakout. Yet the move also represents greater conviction on the bullish front to test the upper trendline of the ascending triangle where the $4,075 resistance level has presented an issue since Dec. 20, according to Coinbase data. Interestingly, the volume bars and their respective peaks are beginning to even up, creating a parabolic curve that could provide the bulls with encouragement to push to greater heights, as per volume analysis theory. 4-hour chart The 4-hour chart shows significant bullish momentum as BTC…

In the Daily: Kucoin Rebrand, Binance DEX, The Tie Adds Trading View

In the Daily: Kucoin Rebrand, Binance DEX, The Tie Adds Trading View

In Tuesday’s installment of The Daily, we begin by checking in with a couple of the leading exchanges in the cryptosphere. Kucoin has unveiled a new look and a slew of new features, while Binance is poised to launch the testnet of its long-awaited DEX. We’ll finish by examining an integration between sentiment analysis service The Tie and Trading View that will allow traders to correlate markets with moods. Also read: Indian Government Inaugurates National Crypto Forensic Lab Kucoin 2.0 Goes Live On Feb. 18, Kucoin underwent scheduled downtime to ready the exchange for a major overhaul. Upon the platform’s return, traders were greeted by a new login page, new wallet addresses, new trading engine, and new dashboard. To celebrate the upgrade, traders can enjoy zero fees for the next three days. In a tweet, CEO Michael Gan noted that his team was working to further improve the platform based on user feedback. Stablecoins have a dedicated section in the redesigned exchange, where they now nestle under a tab simply marked “SC.” The new-look Kucoin supports more order types, incorporates new APIs, and has a clearer dashboard that makes it easier for users to determine their security and account verification level. Upon logging in to the exchange for the first time since the upgrade, users will be prompted to set a trading password. Other features incorporated into Kucoin 2.0 include a tiered trading fee discount program designed to increase liquidity, and the ability for users to unilaterally freeze and unfreeze their accounts. D-Day Looms for Binance DEX Binance’s decentralized exchange (DEX) is inching closer to its public release. Tomorrow, Feb. 20, the testnet will launch ahead of the mainnet going live. In an announcement, the exchange explained: “Infrastructure-wise, the testnet of Binance Chain will start with 11 test nodes. We will test various combinations of nodes to optimize performance. While many have asked, the number and selection criteria of mainnet nodes are yet to be decided. At this stage, we simply want to develop a best-in-class DEX as fast as possible.” The DEX will launch with the Binance-owned Trust Wallet integrated, before adding support for third-party hardware wallets such as the Ledger Nano S. Binance coin (BNB), which will be used as a primary trading pair…

South Korean Capital’s $1 Billion Startup Fund Will Include Blockchain Firms

South Korean Capital’s $1 Billion Startup Fund Will Include Blockchain Firms

The government of South Korea’s capital city has committed to invest 1.2 trillion won ($1.07 billion) by 2022 via an investment fund for startups, including those working with fintech and blockchain. The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced the news Monday, stating that via the Seoul Innovation Growth Fund, which launched last year, it will invest across various sectors in order to help startups that currently struggle to gain Series A or seed funding, CoinDesk Korea reports. For 2019, it plans to invest 13.25 billion won ($11.75 million) in the first half and 8.4 billion won ($7.45 million) in the second half. The investment in the first half will be divided across five segments: 2 billion won ($1.77 million) each will go to Fourth Industrial Revolution, Smart City and cultural content projects, 2.25 billion won ($2 million) into startup support and 3 billion won ($2.66 million) into rehabilitation support. Blockchain projects are likely to be supported as one of the “23 revolutionary technologies” through the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Smart City allocations of the fund, the report indicates. The city government also said that the average initial investment of South Korean startups needs to be increased from about $1.1 million currently, as compared to $7 million in London and $6.5 million in Silicon Valley. “Innovative start-up investment will be the cornerstone of corporate growth … in our society,” Jo In-dong, head of the economic policy department within the Seoul Metropolitan Government, was quoted as saying. Seoul first revealed its plan to invest in blockchain startups back in October. At the time, Park Won-soon, the city’s mayor, said that Seoul plans to invest $108 million through a five-year plan to develop it as a smart city powered by blockchain. Seoul image via Shutterstock 

Welcoming Neutrino to Coinbase

Welcoming Neutrino to Coinbase

Today we’re announcing that Coinbase has acquired Neutrino, a blockchain intelligence platform. Blockchain intelligence is increasingly important in the crypto ecosystem, and is necessary to achieve our mission of bringing the open financial system to the world. By analyzing data on public blockchains, Neutrino will help us prevent theft of funds from peoples’ accounts, investigate ransomware attacks, and identify bad actors. It will also help us bring more cryptocurrencies and features to more people while helping ensure compliance with local laws and regulations. Neutrino’s technology is the best we’ve encountered in this space, and it will play an important role in legitimizing crypto, making it safer and more accessible for people all over the world. Led by some of the world’s leading blockchain engineering and security experts, Neutrino will continue to operate as a standalone business based out of our London office. We’re excited to welcome them to the Coinbase family!

Coinbase Acquires Blockchain-Tracking Startup Neutrino for Undisclosed Price

Coinbase Acquires Blockchain-Tracking Startup Neutrino for Undisclosed Price

Coinbase has acquired blockchain analytics startup Neutrino as part of a wider push to offer more diverse crypto assets across borders. “This is particularly important as we work with regulators and agencies in different countries to bring new assets there,” Coinbase’s director of engineering and product, Varun Srinivasan, told CoinDesk. He added that Neutrino would help Coinbase identify “which new tokens are gaining value and gaining traction in the space.” Neutrino’s eight employees will move into Coinbase’s London office this week, retaining their distinction as a separate entity in order to continue serving external clients. Srinivasan said this acquisition will help Coinbase research new assets while simultaneously ensuring the cryptocurrency exchange can identify undesirable activity, like theft, without handing over internal information to external companies. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The move comes just a few weeks after Israeli blockchain analytics firm Whitestream identified a Coinbase account that was funneling bitcoin donations to the Palestinian military-political group Hamas, which the U.S. government deems a terrorist organization. Coinbase declined to comment on this incident and Srinivasan said the Neutrino acquisition was already in the works for some time. Broadly speaking about the benefits of owning an in-house analytics platform, Srinivasan said: “We are beefing up our abilities to do compliance and to work with regulators on issues across the space.” Neutrino CEO Giancarlo Russo said in a statement that the acquisition was an “important milestone” for innovation in Italy, where it is based, adding: “We decided to join Coinbase because we’re totally aligned with the company’s mission of building an open financial system and we share the same commitment to regulation, compliance and security in the cryptocurrency space.” Compared to its competitors, such as Whitestream and Chainalysis, Srinivasan said the Neutrino team was working much faster to include features for cryptocurrencies beyond bitcoin. Plus, Neutrino’s European connections could help Coinbase gain a foothold in that region. “They’ve done a really good job of building up in the European market,” Srinivasan said. “But we want to bring them to the American market and the international market and introduce them to companies that are doing all kinds of things with crypto that need blockchain intelligence.” Srinivasan prefers the term “blockchain intelligence,” rather than analytics because it includes…

Bitcoin Price Crosses Key Long-Term Hurdle For First Time in 9 Months

Bitcoin Price Crosses Key Long-Term Hurdle For First Time in 9 Months

View: Bitcoin has passed through the 100-day moving average for the first time in 272 days. The primary lower-high trend is yet to be challenged, but the move indicates a willingness by the bulls to test the upper range of the ascending triangle. Total growing volume on the 4-hour chart is at its highest point in over 10 days. However, price action has stalled Tuesday, as indecision brings the possibility of a pullback. Bitcoin (BTC) has shot through established resistance for a second time this month, passing a key long-term moving average before finally hitting a point of exhaustion on the new daily open. Price action crossed over the 100-day moving average (MA) at around $3,850 late Monday night (UTC), backed by a larger-than-average increase in total growing volume, a welcome sign for the bulls. The night’s action also saw the cryptocurrency pass $3,950 briefly before pulling back slightly. The last time bitcoin was above the 100-day MA was back in May 22, 2018, around nine months ago. Still, there is a long way to go before converting the trend from bearish to bullish, as can be seen by the lower-high structure on the daily chart. At press time, BTC is trading at $3,860, according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index. That’s up 4.36 percent on the day. Daily chart The upward move on Monday marked a good attempt at transitioning from the 13-month long bear market. However, bullish momentum has wavered since crossing the 100-day MA and price action has all but stalled as indecision took over post breakout. Yet the move also represents greater conviction on the art of the bulls to test the upper trendline of the ascending triangle where the $4,075 resistance level has presented an issue since Dec. 20, according to Coinbase data. Interestingly, the volume bars and their respective peaks are beginning to even up, creating a parabolic curve that could provide the bulls with encouragement to push to greater heights, as per volume analysis theory. 4-hour chart The 4-hour chart shows significant bullish momentum as BTC passed through prior support-turned-resistance at $3,483 on Feb. 8 and then shot through another established area of resistance at $3,700 on Feb. 18 – briefly bucking the downward trend to create an intra-month…

FBI Outline Key Features of Scam ICOs, Warns Investors to Be Vigilant

FBI Outline Key Features of Scam ICOs, Warns Investors to Be Vigilant

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has outlined what it believes to be the consistent threads running through fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) schemes. The Bureau’s perspective was shared in an interview with Netherlands-based financial news site the Paypers on Feb. 19. According to the FBI, the key strategies of scam offerings include misrepresentations of their directors’ professional experience, an engineered false impression of how much traction the ICO has garnered in the industry, and unrealistic promises of prospective returns on tokens: “Like any investment product, rates of return can never be guaranteed and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” The FBI warned investors to conduct due diligence on any scheme and the individuals behind it, and to be on the lookout for entities that appear to be exclusively internet-based, where a physical address or contact is hard or impossible to come by. The Bureau also suggested investors should be aware of which jurisdiction the offering is registered in — if at all — and to which laws and regulations it therefore falls subject to.    The public can avail itself of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck system to verify the identities and registration status of entities, the FBI advised. Given that even well-known cryptocurrencies and products may carry heightened risks of volatility due to the nascent stature of the industry, the FBI advised prospective investors to only invest what they can afford to lose. In regard to legitimate business operators of platforms such as virtual currency exchanges or cryptocurrency ATMs, the FBI noted that both the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and multiple Federal District Courts have deemed such entities as subject to registration requirements. Failure to duly register is thus reportedly deemed to be in violation of federal money transmitting laws. Looking ahead to the future, the FBI echoed the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s stance that a vast swathe of token offerings should be classified as securities and that, given the increasing proliferation of such assets — with many industry members anticipating a security token offering trend — investors should be wary of the heightened risks of fraud. As previously reported, the FBI accounted for the highest number of law enforcement information requests sent…