French Gov’t Minister Open to Enabling Crypto Donations for Notre Dame

French Gov’t Minister Open to Enabling Crypto Donations for Notre Dame

France’s Minister of State for the Digital Sector, Cédric O, has said he is open to cooperating with cryptocurrency platforms to enable crypto donations for the reconstruction of the Notre Dame cathedral. The news was reported by Bloomberg on April 17. The medieval cathedral suffered a blaze on April 15 that nearly destroyed the world-renowned landmark. Within just two days, donations for the monument’s reconstruction are reportedly approaching 900 million euros (over $1 billion). Cédric O — whose ministry works under the aegis of France’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire — noted that the government’s newly-launched website for Notre Dame donations was created extremely quickly and does not as of yet support contributions in cryptocurrencies. The official site currently links to four approved organizations that are collecting donations for the reconstruction, but Cédric O stressed the government is “open to discussing with others” to help drive the fundraising efforts. The minister said the same conditions would apply to crypto donations as those for fiat currencies — organizations must not charge commissions, data should be collected for tax deductions and the funds should ultimately be routed via one of the four approved organizations. As Cointelegraph has reported, on April 15, BlockShow, an international blockchain event powered by Cointelegraph, launched its own campaign to raise cryptocurrency for the cathedral’s reconstruction. Major global crypto exchange Binance also launched its own crypto donation program to support reconstruction of the cathedral this week, as reported. The new donation channel is hosted on Binance’s charity platform, which was launched as an initiative of the The Blockchain Charity Foundation (BCF). Earlier this week, Bruno Le Maire affirmed that blockchain technology is a priority for his country’s government. He highlighted the crypto and blockchain regulatory progress heralded by the PACTE Act, which was passed by the French National Assembly earlier this month.

Bitcoin Price Indicator Turns Bullish in First Since Early 2018

Bitcoin Price Indicator Turns Bullish in First Since Early 2018

View Bitcoin’s two-week moving average convergence divergence (MACD) histogram has turned positive for the first time since early February 2018, signaling a longer-term bearish-to-bullish trend change. While the MACD is a lagging indicator, the historical data indicates the previous bull market began following a positive crossover on the indicator. In the short term, BTC’s hourly chart indicators have turned bearish, so a drop to $5,000 could be seen in the next day or two if crucial support below $5,200 is breached. Prices may still rise to recent highs above $5,400 if the bulls can defend the that support level and drive price upwards. A widely-followed bitcoin (BTC) price indicator has turned bullish for the first time in over a year, signaling a long-term bull reversal. The moving average convergence divergence (MACD) histogram – used to determine trend changes and trend strength – has moved above zero on the two-week chart (15-days) for the first time since February 2018. With the positive turn, the two-week MACD is the latest addition to the list of indicators calling a longer-run bullish reversal. Experienced traders, however, may point out that the MACD is a lagging indicator. After all, the technical tool is arrived at by plotting the difference between the MACD line and the signal line, which are based on the backward-looking moving averages. The indicator, therefore, tends to lag the price and has limited predictive abilities. Further, the longer the time frame, bigger is the lag. As a result, many would consider the bullish turn a result of the recent price rally rather than an advance warning of further gains. It, however, gains credibility if we take into account the historical data, which shows the last positive crossover on the MACD, seen in July 2016, was followed by a 2.5-year-long bull market. Two-week chart On the two week chart (left), the MACD histogram is printing positive for the first time for 14 months, after having charted a bullish divergence, or a higher low, in November. Notably, the MACD created a similar looking bullish divergence 10 months before the long-term bearish-to-bullish trend change, as represented by the falling channel breakout, witnessed in October 2015 (right). It’s worth noting that the indicator moved above zero four months before the bullish breakout…

Coin Time Machine Estimates Profit From Crypto Investments You Could Have Made

Coin Time Machine Estimates Profit From Crypto Investments You Could Have Made

Cryptocurrency prices, which have seen a significant increase since the beginning of April, have again awoken FOMO emotions in the crypto space. If you’d like to know how much profit you would have made if you’d bought certain coins right before the spike, there’s a simple tool that will perform the remorse-inducing calculation for you. Also read: Bitcoin Forest Offers AI-Based Predictions for Crypto Markets Calculator Answers the Question ‘What if I had Invested?’ Coin Time Machine is an easy to use website that helps answer the question “What if I had invested in cryptocurrency?” It is one of many “FOMO” calculators that are enjoying renewed interest from potential investors. The online platform allows you to estimate what your profit would have been today if you had bought cryptocurrency for a certain amount of fiat on a specific date, or simply didn’t sell your holdings. The website offers numerous options including major world currencies like the U.S. dollar, euro, Japanese yen, and also the national currencies of countries where cryptos are popular, such as the Turkish lira. The website can check prices of a great number of cryptocurrencies, including all of the most popular coins. Select a coin and then set a past date in the calendar when you could have made the crypto investment. Most cryptocurrencies registered significant gains in April. Among those with the largest market cap, bitcoin cash led the pack when prices jumped. According to Coin Time Machine, if you bought $1,000 of BCH exactly a month ago, you would now have 6.15 BCH worth $1,919.50 at the time of writing. The calculator lets you know the profit you’ve missed to make. In this case, it would have been $919.50 – that’s a 91.95% change. The website also displays a chart showing the price of purchase, which was around $162 on March 18. If you need a reliable real-time data about the current prices and market valuations of multiple cryptocurrencies, you can always check the Satoshi Pulse market cap aggregator. Bitcoin.com also offers you the opportunity to buy BCH and BTC with Visa or Mastercard in USD and EUR. What other FOMO calculators do you know of? Tell us in the comments section below. Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due…

Binance CFO: Surge in OTC Trades Drove Near $80 Million Q1 Profits

Binance CFO: Surge in OTC Trades Drove Near $80 Million Q1 Profits

A huge surge in over-the-counter (OTC) trading popularity drove major cryptocurrency exchange Binance’s $78 million Q1 profits, crypto news outlet Decrypt Media reported on April 17. Speaking in an interview, CFO Wei Zhou said OTC, which is a method of wholesale cryptocurrency trading for large-scale investors, accompanied a volume uptick as bitcoin (BTC) rose almost $1,300 at the start of this month. “Last month we saw a lot more volume than, say, three months ago,” he told the publication, continuing: “This was mainly due to the increase in price of Bitcoin and altcoins over the past few months. We’ve witnessed more trading activity — and demand.” Binance had revealed its similarly surging profits for the first quarter of the year this week, the $78 million figure dwarfing previous performance by 66%. Major investor interest in crypto markets, Zhou said, is driving developers to create ever more diverse offerings to cater to their needs. “A lot of people who historically worked for high-frequency trading firms have made the jump from traditional equity, and have launched new trading platforms in our space,” he added. As Cointelegraph reported, that trend has found expression in the steadily mounting number of OTC products appearing on the market in recent months. In addition to Binance, exchanges such as Bittrex and Bithumb have launched dedicated OTC trading desks. As Cointelegraph noted, their emergence comes despite the year’s previously lower market prices. As prices increased, it further became apparent that traders in China, for whom OTC purchases of stablecoin Tether (USDT) are one of the few ways to legally enter the market, were paying premiums for coins in fiat terms.

Coinbase Generated $520 Million in Revenue Last Year, Reuters Estimates

Coinbase Generated $520 Million in Revenue Last Year, Reuters Estimates

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase brought in almost $520 million in global revenue in 2018, according to an estimate from Reuters. The news source based the figure on the exchange’s U.K. revenue, which grew 20 percent last year to 153 million euros ($173 million), according to a filing with the U.K.’s corporate registry. The British side of the business accounts for “almost a third” of the firm’s overall revenue, Coinbase U.K. CEO Zeeshan Feroz told Reuters. The filing further shows that Coinbase U.K. made a net profit of 6.6 million euros ($7.4 million) last year. Reuters additionally reported that venture capital firms are investing millions of dollars into the crypto and blockchain space, even if still wary of direct involvement with cryptocurrency. Around $850 million has been invested in the industry so far this year, according to research carried out by PitchBook for Reuters. While, last year, 117 investments saw VC involvement in the space increase by five times to a record-breaking $2.4 billion. For example, London Stock Exchange Group led a $20 million funding round for capital markets blockchain startup Nivaura earlier this year. Other major investments include one from Microsoft VC fund M12 and Boston Consulting Group, which backed a $182.5 million round for digital assets platform Bakkt – owned by Intercontinental Exchange, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange. The VC enthusiasm may be dying down slightly, however. Deals are averaging around $6.5 million in 2019, less than the $8 million seen last year, the report indicated. Coinbase image via CoinDesk archives 

OKCoin Exchange Invests in Crypto Custody Firm Prime Trust

OKCoin Exchange Invests in Crypto Custody Firm Prime Trust

Cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin has invested an undisclosed amount in crypto custody provider Prime Trust. In a note sent to customers on Wednesday, Prime Trust CEO and chief trust officer Scott Purcell said that the firm has closed a “nice” funding round that was led by the California-based exchange. Other participants in the round included Gateway Blockchain Partners, Novablock Ventures and Xsquared Ventures, Purcell said, adding: “We aren’t disclosing details though.” Notably, Prime Trust serves as OKCoin’s fiat gateway. The exchange announced last week that it has added a new payment channel allowing customers to deposit funds through Prime Trust with no fees. Withdrawals, however, are charged at $35 fee per transaction. Last month, Prime Trust also said that, in partnership with OK Group, it plans to launch a compliant stablecoin, “OKUSD”, which will operate on the OKChain blockchain. Development of the network is at the “final” stage, OKEx said last month, adding that it plans a launch by June. A decentralized exchange (DEX) on OKChain is also on the horizon. Prime Trust, a Nevada-based financial company, quietly entered the crypto custody business last July, first offering cold (offline) storage for bitcoin. A month later, it also started offering custody services for ether and any token issued on the ethereum blockchain under the ERC-20 standard. Earlier this year, the firm announced that it wouldn’t charge clients for custody of digital assets any longer, in line with its custody services for stocks and bonds. Purcell told CoinDesk at the time that Prime Trust has other sources of revenue to make up for the removal of custody fees, explaining: “We make money just as Robinhood, Northern Trust and other traditional custodians do. The costs of custody are offset by other services.” OKCoin image via CoinDesk archives 

Ongoing Effort to Free Ross Supported by 100 Eminent Organizations and Individuals

Ongoing Effort to Free Ross Supported by 100 Eminent Organizations and Individuals

Ross Ulbricht’s clemency petition is closing in on 160,000 signatures stemming from individuals asking U.S. President Donald Trump to pardon Ulbricht. In addition to the vast number of signatures, roughly 100 eminent organizations and well known figures have supported Ulbricht’s effort, many of whom have written a statement on Ulbricht’s behalf in order to speak out against his draconian double-life prison sentence for creating a website. Also read: Strong Evidence Suggests a Single Entity Mined More Than 1 Million Bitcoin Close to 160,000 Signatures and Widespread Support for Ross Ulbricht Ross Ulbricht is serving a double-life sentence, plus forty years in prison without the chance of parole. The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest back in 2015 and Ulbricht has spent a number of years behind bars. Since Ulbricht was sentenced, a great number of individuals and organizations have supported him over the years and just recently his family created a petition asking Trump to grant Ulbricht clemency. At the time of writing, the petition has gathered a whopping 158,602 signatures and the family hopes to reach 200,000 soon. Scrolling through the commentary shows people who have signed the petition believe that Ulbricht’s sentencing was unfair to give to a person who just created a website where others sold drugs. Ulbricht’s punishment for operating the Silk Road marketplace is far harsher than even murderers and many other darknet creators have received much lesser sentences. Moreover, with Ulbricht receiving a great number of signatures from people who support his cause, there’s also a wide range of statements addressed to Trump stemming from prominent businesses, well known political activists, celebrities and crypto luminaries. For instance, the assistant secretary of housing under U.S. President George H.W. Bush details in her statement that she would like to see Ross free as soon as possible. “I am but one of the thousands – growing to millions – of people who intend to see Ross Ulbricht walk free, putting an end to a saga that began in 2013 and that constitutes one of the worst examples of prosecutorial abuse the United States has suffered yet,” Catherine Austin Fitts’ statement explains. The popular political party in the United States that promotes free markets and individual freedoms, the Libertarian…

Coinbase Expands Crypto-to-Crypto Services to 11 More Countries

Coinbase Expands Crypto-to-Crypto Services to 11 More Countries

Major American cryptocurrency exchange and wallet provider Coinbase has expanded its crypto-to-crypto trading to more countries, according to a blog post published on April 17. Coinbase and its professional trading platform Coinbase Pro have introduced crypto-to-crypto conversions and trading to 11 more countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia. The product is now also available to Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Chile, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and New Zealand. Coinbase customers in the aforementioned countries can now store, trade, send, and receive cryptocurrencies. The exchange suggests in the post that cryptocurrencies’ are moving from the current “investment phase” into the “utility phase” following a number of new use cases. Coinbase explains: “This could take the form of decentralized versions of traditional financial services like lending or micropayments or truly novel crypto applications that no one has even thought of yet. The ability to convert from one crypto to another will form the backbone of this new decentralized economy.” Recently, Coinbase introduced several new developments, including adding support for EOS (EOS), Augur (REP) and Maker (MKR) and expanding into cross-border payments. The latter development reportedly enables users to send and receive money instantly, as well as convert them into local currency. Earlier in April, Coinbase also launched Coinbase Card with Visa, which enables its United Kingdom-based customers to pay in-store and online with cryptocurrency. The new service allows Coinbase to instantly convert customers’ cryptocurrency funds into fiat currency in order to complete the purchase.

Reuters: Japanese Regulators to Introduce New Rules Regarding Exchanges’ Cold Wallets

Reuters: Japanese Regulators to Introduce New Rules Regarding Exchanges’ Cold Wallets

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) will reportedly introduce new rules regarding cold wallets for storing cryptocurrencies at crypto exchanges, Reuters reported on April 17. Citing a source familiar with the matter, Reuters reports that the country’s financial regulator will reportedly require cryptocurrency exchanges to strengthen internal supervision of cold wallets — devices for storing digital currency which are not connected to the Internet. By implementing the new regulation, the FSA purportedly addresses the difficulties of ensuring the security of digital currencies and other risks for the country since it intends to boost the fintech industry to stimulate economic growth. Although cold wallets are not connected to the Internet and, therefore, provide better security to digital assets, the FSA suggests there could be risks of internal theft. According to the source, a number of exchanges do not have a policy where the person responsible for the storage would be regularly rotated out. Earlier this month, the FSA heard arguments for no longer classifying bitcoin (BTC) as a currency. During a plenary session at the 41st General Assembly of the Financial Council and the 29th Financial Division Meeting, Professor Iwashita Goto of Kyoto University argued that bitcoin had become something beyond a means of transacting due to its borderless qualities, which have led it to appear throughout the world in its ten-year history. In March, the FSA approved the second cryptocurrency exchange to begin operations under new regulations. The FSA began issuing licenses to new cryptocurrency exchanges looking to serve the Japanese market. The licensing scheme, which has a long waiting list, was in part a reaction to the events of the past two years, notably local exchange Coincheck’s half-billion-dollar hack in January 2018.

Winklevoss Twins and Charlie Shrem Settle Long-Running Legal Fight Over 2012 Bitcoin Deal

Winklevoss Twins and Charlie Shrem Settle Long-Running Legal Fight Over 2012 Bitcoin Deal

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have reached an agreement with bitcoin (BTC) entrepreneur Charlie Shrem to end a lawsuit the twins filed against Shrem last year. The news was revealed in court documents filed on April 16. The twins, who founded crypto exchange Gemini, had accused Shrem of stealing 5,000 bitcoin (worth about $26.1 million at press time) and using the crypto to buy Maseratis, powerboats and other luxury goods. He denied the allegations, which dated back to 2012. Attorneys for both parties have signed the document filed with a federal court in New York, which says the entire civil action is being voluntarily dismissed with prejudice. It adds that the Winklevoss Capital Fund and Shrem will pay their own legal costs and fees, concluding: “The case will not be reopened.” In an earlier court document filed on April 5, reviewed by Cointelegrpah, both parties confirmed that they had reached a settlement. At the time, they were given 30 days to “fully effectuate” their agreement, with an option of proceeding to trial if it was not fulfilled. Following the case’s dismissal, Shrem told Cointelegraph in a statement today: “From day one, I’ve maintained the allegations are bogus, and they are of course. After their attorney was sanctioned and they were ordered to pay my legal fees twice, we recently reached a confidential resolution, and I’m dismissed from the case.” “I’m thankful for Brian Klein and my legal team and pleased to have this case behind me,” he added. The legal firm representing the Winklevoss twins has not replied to Cointelegraph’s request for comment by press time. As previously reported, a judge had ordered the Winklevoss brothers to pay Shrem $45,000 after the District Court of the Southern District of New York reduced the scope of the twins’ claims.