TRX Bagholders Must Get Ready For More Fireworks As Tron Supply To Shoot Up On New Year’s Eve

  • 33 billion TRX worth $450 million to be released in the market on January 1st, 2020
  • This 50% of TRX circulating supply could lead to a drop in its price
  • “People are realizing that many of the altcoins had exaggerated valuations beyond what the projects were worth,” says analyst Mati Greenspan

Tron Foundation is going to be releasing a whopping 33 billion TRX, worth about $450 million in the market on New Year’s Day.

These 33 million were locked by the non-profit organization after Tron made its shift from Ethereum blockchain to its mainnet. A few days before its Independence Day on June 25th in 2018, Tron Foundation CEO Justin Sun, who is the founder of the cryptocurrency TRX announced a token burn of 1 billion TRX.

At that time the organization burned 50 million USD that Justin Sun said was “the most amount of money destroyed in human history.”

At the mainnet launch, out of the total supply of 99 billion TRX, about 33 billion TRX held by Tron Foundation were locked in 1000 addresses of TRON Mainnet. These TRX would have been then unlocked on January 1st 2020, which is just about here.

A Dump Incoming?

33 billion TRX is about 50% of the current circulating supply of 66.6 billion TRX in the market, increasing the supply of TRX in the market.

While the supply will see an increment of 50%, the demand remains the same, which has been slow in the second half of the year. This means the price could see a fall.

At the time of writing, the 12th largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $910 million is currently trading at $0.0134. TRX registered negative returns of 30% on a year-to-date basis and is also down 96% from its all-time high of $0.302.

However, TRX is not the only which is a bad performer, a vast majority of altcoins are crashing hard. This Mati Greenspan, founder of investment firm Quantum Economics says is because the “entire industry is returning back to Bitcoin” during this current period of “great consolidation.” He added,

“People are realizing that many of the altcoins had exaggerated valuations beyond what the projects were worth.”

Amidst this bad news, however, Sun has come up with another announcement of an announcement that he says would be good for TRX and the Tron ecosystem. He tweeted,

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Author: AnTy

IOTA Foundation Fixes Mainnet Issue But Puts A Question Mark On Its Decentralization

  • Those running the IRI node need to update to version 1.8.3
  • The incident puts the network’s decentralization in question
  • IOTA tanks 55% in 2019, everyone is returning to Bitcoin

IOTA Foundation has fixed an issue related to its mainnet, announced the non-profit behind the IOTA network on Dec. 30. The Foundation has asked those running an IRI node to update to version 1.8.3, available on GitHub.

The issue here was that IRI didn’t account for a transaction that was shared between two distinct bundles. What led to a corrupt ledger state was that once the transaction was marked as “counted” on one bundle, it was ignored for the next bundle.

The decentralized ledger for zero-cost transactions for the Internet of Things was reportedly unable to process transactions for about 21 hours due to the issue.

Now that the issue is resolved, transactions on the network are back to processing.

Yesterday, cryptocurrency exchange Huobi that “temporarily suspended” deposit and withdrawals of IOTA due to mainnet upgrade has now resumed its services for the cryptocurrency.

IOTA’s Decentralization or the lack of it in Question

This incident however, has the community questioning the decentralized nature of the IOTA network. Jake Chervinksy, General Counsel at Compound Finance said,

“Is it fair to say IOTAholders are relying solely on the efforts of the IOTA Foundation to fix mainnet? Just wondering if that’s Howey can look at this situation.”

Back in 2017, Nick Johnson, a developer at the Ethereum Foundation said he finds IOTA “deeply alarming.”

At that time Tuur Deemester, Founding Partner Adamant Capital said,

“I’m not sure the IOTA team has the required cryptographic pedigree for long term success.”

IOTA tanks 55% in 2019, everyone is returning to Bitcoin

Instead of using blockchain technology like other cryptocurrencies, IOTA uses Tangle which is a stream of interlinked and individual transactions. The cryptocurrency uses DAG to store its ledger, with scalability as the main motivation.

Currently, the IOTA Foundation is working on Coordicide, the death of the Coordinator, to realize the “dream of a permissionless and scalable distributed ledger technology (DLT).”

Now coming onto the price part, IOTA is currently trading at $0.161, down 97% from its all-time high of $5.54, as per Coincodex. In 2019, to date, it is down by 55%.

This Mati Greenspan, founder of investment firm Quantum Economics says is because,

“People are realizing that many of the altcoins had exaggerated valuations beyond what the projects were worth.”

The market has moved beyond winter, summer, or spring and we’re currently in a period of “great consolidation” where everyone is returning to Bitcoin, said Greenspan.

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Author: AnTy

What’s Holding Back XRP Price? Would TD Ameritrade Support Help The Third Largest Crypto?

According to TD Ameritrade’s last tweet, the online brokerage giant may add support for the low-priced XRP.

Meanwhile, the founder of Quantum Economics, Mati Greenspan, thinks the XRP’s low price has happened as a result of 2 main causes that are directly related to Ripple. He tweeted,

TD Ameritrade is Considering Additional Opportunities

When questioned if interested in adding the third of the biggest cryptocurrencies, TD Ameritrade answered it currently offers support for CME’s Bitcoin (BTC) futures and that it’s considering some other opportunities. However, it didn’t mention what cryptocurrencies is planning to bring on board, even if it has been known to tease the #XRPAmry by mentioning it may add their favorite cryptocurrency. More than this, the company said in December last year that it’s looking into what XRP has to bring.

XRP Didn’t Have a Good 2019

While occupying the third position in the largest cryptocurrencies list, XRP didn’t have a good year in 2019. It started in January with $0.37, only to reach the $0.48 price for a short period of time, on June 23. On November 6, it was priced at $0.30, which was considered one of its highs. But ever since, XRP has been going down to under $0.25 and $0.22. Starting with December 8, its price level reached the very low $0.19 and remained firm in this position.

TD Ameritrade, the First to Offer Its Clients Access to CME and Cboe Bitcoin Futures

TD Ameritrade is a $1 trillion brokerage company that was acquired in November 2019 by Charles Schwab. It became the first financial firm offering traditional services to give its customers access to CME and Cboe Bitcoin futures, thing that happened at the end of 2017. Tim Hockey, TD Ameritrade’s CEO, said the company’s clients were demanding Bitcoin futures. TD Ameritrade also invested in ErisX, the crypto derivatives platform, back in 2017. This has given its clients the opportunity to trade crypto directly on ErisX.

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Author: Oana Ularu

$80 Billion Asset Management Firm Files First Blockchain ETF With China’s Security Watchdog CSRC

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has received an exchange-traded fund (ETF) listing application for a project that tracks blockchain-based stocks as underlying assets.

Called the Penghua Shenzhen Stocks Blockchain ETF, the application was accepted on December 24 by the CSRC and was filed by the Shenzhen headquartered asset management company Penghua Fund. What the ETF is trying to do is track and reflect how public stocks listed in Shenzhen and having businesses running in the blockchain industry are performing.

The First Blockchain ETF in China

According to a Thursday Shanghai Securities News report, if the CSRC gives final approval for the application, China would have its very first blockchain ETF for public investors. The Penghua Shenzhen Stocks Blockchain ETF arrived at the same time with Shenzhen Stock Exchange rolling out a Blockchain 50 Index compromising of 50 stocks that are new in the blockchain space and listed on the exchange.

Ping An Bank, One of the Names on the Blockchain 50 Index List

In a December 24 announcement, Shenzhen Stock Exchange said the Blockchain 50 Index tracks companies involved with the blockchain ecosystem and selects the top 50 according to their market capitalization. Ping An Bank, together with software or internet companies that have entered crypto mining, like Wholeasy, are on the index list at the moment. Other big names include Zixin Pharmaceuticals and Midea Group, as the firms in the index reflect a wide cross-section of industries and have many specializations.

7 ETFs Currently Operating in the World

Penghua manages more than 564 billion yuan, which is approximately $80.79, in assets. It holds 10 investment portfolios for national social insurance, 150 public funds and 4 investment portfolios for basic pension insurance. If its blockchain ETF application gets approved, the company will join the list of 7 other blockchain ETFs and will be next to Invesco-Elwood’s fund, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. A June analyze of ETFs’ performance this year noticed their value surged very rapidly from January to May.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Coinbase To Remove DApp Browser From Its Crypto Wallet App Due To Apple Store Compliance

Coinbase is considering removing the DApp browser component from its crypto wallet application in order to continue being hosted on the Apple app store. The San Francisco based crypto exchange noted that it will implement this move for compliance purposes as per Apple’s policy.

This action by Apple is not the first against DApp browsers by the existing tech giants. Just recently, Google removed the Ethereum Metamask browser from its Android store portfolio citing that the application violates its ‘no mining’ policy. Brian Armstrong, Coinbase CEO, confirmed via a reddit post,

According to Armstrong, the situation can be salvaged by DApp users who use Apple devices. They could request the phone manufacturer to accommodate such applications in their policies as more people embrace decentralized tech and digital currencies. Developers who currently have millions worth of crypto tokens tied up for DeFi projects however face the risk of losing value if they do not find efficient alternatives to operate in.

A War Against DApps and Crypto?

The ongoing policy hurdles against DApps could be a war to protect Google and Apple’s existing market given the potential of disruption by web3.0. Metamask which was removed from Google Play wouldn’t permit mining although this was the main reason cited for its elimination. Other crypto stakeholders are also complaining of unfair treatment by Google’s subsidiaries like YouTube.

A number of digital currency influencers raised complains that YouTube had removed their content from the platform in the course of December, 2019. Omar Baham, one of the popular crypto influencers, said in a tweet,

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Author: Lujan Odera

Korean Government Brings the Hammer Down on Bithumb, Taxing The Crypto Exchange $68 Million

  • Bithumb has been hit with an additional tax of 80 billion won ($63 million) by the IRS
  • The tax was imposed on income tax withholding for foreign users using the platform
  • However, there is no taxation policy related to cryptocurrency in the country

The Internal Revenue Service has imposed an obligation on cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb to “withhold withholding” on income from cryptocurrency transactions by foreign users, reported local sources.

As per this, Bithumb has to pay about 80 billion won, about $68 million in income tax on behalf of its foreign users.

The exchange has to pay its taxes first and can then ask its foreign users to pay taxes for their previous trades to the exchange. However, given that these foreign users might be based out of South Korea, it’s really isn’t possible.

Bithumb in response is planning to take legal action against the National Tax Service request. However, the concern here is that there is no exact taxation system related to cryptocurrency in the country yet.

No Income Tax Policy on Crypto Transactions

The government has decided to set a tax policy on income tax on cryptocurrency transactions next year. The government plans to include the tax measures in the tax law revision to be announced in August 2020.

For now though there are no laws or specific guidelines laid down. Nonetheless, the IRS currently classifies cryptocurrency income as other income and not capital gains.

And before the government issued “emergency measures for overheating virtual currency speculation” and “prohibited the opening and trading of cryptocurrency accounts for minors and foreigners altogether,” foreigners were free to use the domestic Korean exchanges.

As such, the IRS assumes all foreigners’ withdrawals are taxable and Withholding tax on other income is 22%.

A Bad Time for Korean Exchanges

It is certainly a bad time for exchanges, especially for Bithumb who suffered a loss of $180 million in 2019.

It is one of the top four exchanges other than Upbit, Coinone, and Korbit that offer Korean Won (KRW) on and off-ramps.

Bithumb used to be the number one crypto exchange in Korea but after hacking by North Korea, wash trading, and failed acquisition attempt by a consortium struck a bad blow to its reputation. The exchange has already cut down its staff by 40%.

This move by the government, @DooWanNam of MakerDAO says could be,

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Author: AnTy

Ripple’s Big Plans for 2020: XRP as a Medium of Exchange & Not as a Speculative Investment

  • XRP price drops on Sept. 2017 level on Dec. 27th But seeing much development especially in Japan
  • Big banking executives went from skepticism to advocacy about digital assets
  • 2020 Ripple will be focused on new utility and use cases for XRP & new products to come

2019 is just about to come to an end. The year saw cryptocurrencies experiencing tremendous growth and first-ever working President, Donald Trump, tweeting about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. As Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said, that moment couldn’t have been predicted.

For the third-largest cryptocurrency, price wise it has been a bad year. XRP dropped to a new low to $0.186 on Dec. 27, a level last seen in late Sept. 2017 during the bull run.

Down 95% from the all-time high, XRP is currently trading at $0.194, as per Coincodex.

2019 was a Big Year

XRP price might only be going down but the cryptocurrency is seeing much development especially in Japan.

“In Japan, almost every bank has started to work with XRP, what you may know as Ripple,” said David Jevans, CEO of CipherTrace.

Also, as Garlinghouse shared in the special holiday episode of The Ripple Drop, Ripple bagged MoneyGram in 2019 that uses the digital asset XRP to move funds. The transition from the skepticism towards digital currencies among MoneyGram executives to advocacy has been an ‘aha’ moment for Garlinghouse.

2019 saw the number of companies using XRP growing to 17 including TransferGo, Interbank, Euro Exim Bank, MoneyGram, Bitso, Bittrex, Bitstamp, FlashFX, Viamericas, Bitrue, Mercury FX, Coins.ph, goLance, Nium (formerly InstaReM), SBI Virtual Currencies, Catalyst, IDT, SendFriend, and Cuallix.

What was surprising in 2019 was how quickly people went from not caring about privacy to very concerned about how much Facebook and Google own their private data, shared Asheesh Birla, SVP of Product at Ripple.

Privacy he said became a mainstream topic of discussion in 2019 when it could have taken a lot longer.

XRP as a Medium of Exchange

Cryptocurrencies have been in existence for a few years now but they are still a speculative asset. Especially for XRP, it isn’t to fund the company either as Ripple CTO David Schwartz clarifies.

“Nobody buys XRP to give Ripple money to do things. We were vc/angel funded and were going to build regardless. We started selling XRP only after there was a market price and for negligible amounts compared to our other funding.”

However, now the company is focused on becoming a medium of exchange, “Our vision is to use digital currencies as a medium of exchange, not as a speculative investment,” said Ripple’s CEO in Brazil, Luiz Antonio Sacco.

The company is working towards expanding partnerships with Brazilian banks by 2020 as demand for cheap and instant solutions in the international remittance market grows rapidly.

In October, Ripple invested in Bitso to expand operations in Latin America with a focus on Brazil.

Now Big Things Coming for 2020

Going into 2020, the Ripple team is expecting big things.

Garlinghouse sees continued consolidation in 2020 as there is no need for 3,000 cryptocurrencies and 99% will eventually go away.

Breanne Madigan, head of the Global Institutional Markets at Ripple meanwhile is excited to build on On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) that leverages XRP.

“We here at Ripple are focused on new utility and use cases for XRP through our Xpring initiative and we are excited about new products to come in 2020,” projected Madigan.

Another thing that Ripple will focus on next year is fake volume as Madigan said, “We think about a lot in the Ripple, and we have made some noise about it is the persistence of fake volumes in the industry.”

As for, in the next decade, Ethan Beard, SVP of Xpring sees cryptocurrencies replacing the underpinnings of the infrastructure of the finance industry.

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Author: AnTy

Google Trends Reveal “Bitcoin, Not Blockchain” Defined the Crypto Market in 2019

  • XRP, Ethereum, DLT, Blockchain – All Dead against Bitcoin
  • What about the hot trends of 2019? – Crypto Staking & Crypto Lending
  • The buzzwords – Search volume for Bakkt and Bitcoin ETF falling while rising for CBDC

This year, the majority of the Bitcoin-related Google search saw a spike during the periods when the digital asset was either surging in value or falling.

Search volume for Bitcoin surged during the last week of June when BTC price rose sharply from $9,000 to $13,900. Before this, a similar spike was seen in early May when BTC went from $5,500 to just above $8,000.

Also Read: Bitcoin Turns 4,000 Days Old as Searches for “Bitcoin Halving” Rise Significantly Per Google Trends

But it wasn’t only when BTC price went up but also when it was going down. In the mid of July when the price lost over 10% of its value, interest in Bitcoin rose once again. Then in Sept., when it dropped from $10k to about $8k, the market witnessed the same trend. And the same happened in Oct. and Nov. when the price of BTC fell.

Given that both BTC’s rise and fall in price brings forth strong sentiments in the market in the form of fear and greed, it makes sense both will ignite people’s interest.

XRP, Ethereum, DLT, Blockchain – All Dead against Bitcoin

Coming onto the overall crypto market, the search term on Google Trends that defined cryptocurrency in 2019 talks about “Bitcoin, not blockchain” narrative.

When comparing the searches on the largest cryptocurrencies along with cryptocurrency, stablecoin, and blockchain, Bitcoin is a clear winner.

Bitcoin is followed by social media giant Facebook’s crypto project Libra. “Libra” might come in second place but it is affected by non-crypto related searches because even before the official announcement came this summer, the search term was at around 20-level.

In comparison to Bitcoin, all other search terms like XRP, Ethereum, DLT, blockchain, stablecoin, and cryptocurrency are practically dead. These results as Arcane Research says in its weekly newsletter, “undoubtedly show how the public is most interested in bitcoin, and strengthen the popular saying “bitcoin, not blockchain”.”

What About the Hot Trends of 2019?

Taking a look at the hot trends of 2019, we might be seeing them continuing the next year as well.

Crypto Staking has been big this year, likely to be propelled by Tezos as top crypto exchanges, Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken jumped in and announced support for XTZ baking.

As we reported, crypto commentators are expecting 2020 to be a big year for staking, especially with Ethereum 2.0 coming.

Crypto lending recorded massive growth in 2019 thanks to the explosion of Decentralized Finance (DeFi). The total collateral locked in Defi applications increased from about $240 million earlier this year to $682 million this month, according to Defi Pulse.

The leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance also launched its own crypto lending products and institutional digital asset lending firm Genesis Capital recorded a continuous surge in demand.

CBDC – Central Bank Digital Currency

Search volume for CBDC – Central Bank Digital Currency started gaining traction in the second half of the year.

The biggest development in this area has been China’s digital yuan that the officials said has been ready after five years of research. This got other countries worked up as well as they talked about considering their central bank-backed digital currency.

No one wants to be left behind as new ECB president Christine Lagarde said earlier this month, “We’d better be ahead of the curve because there is clearly demand out there that we have to respond to.”

As for other buzzwords of 2019, Bakkt for example, the interest for this search term has been lower than 25 on a 0 to 100 range that shot up to its limit around the launch of the platform. Since then it has only fallen, now at about 3.

Search volume for Bitcoin ETF saw bouts of searches throughout the year but has been on a constant decline as well.

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Author: AnTy

Facebook’s Libra Has “Failed” As Central Banks Won’t Accept It – Switzerland Finance Minister

  • In its current form, the social media giant’s cryptocurrency won’t be approved
  • No central bank will accept the basket of currencies underpinning it

Facebook’s digital currency Libra has been a big miss so far and requires a revamp in order to be supported, said the finance minister of Switzerland and outgoing president. Where regulatory consent is concerned, Ueli Maurer, the president of Switzerland said,

“I don’t think (Libra has a chance in its current form), because central banks will not accept the basket of currencies underpinning it,”

“The project, in this form, has thus failed.”

Government debt and bank deposits held by the custodians are some of the assets backing Libra, which is meant to dodge the high volatility persistent in cryptocurrencies.

The Libra Association has shared their concerns regarding Libra with politicians and regulators that range from confidentiality to its possible ability to impact current fiat policy.

The cryptocurrency Libra scheduled to be launched in June next year may get delayed according to co-creator David Marcus and other officials running the project.

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Author: AnTy

Huobi Launches New Fiat/Crypto Pair for the Indonesia Rupiah (IDR) Against Tether (USDT)

  • Huobi Crypto Exchange Launches New Fiat/Crypto Pair for the Indonesia Rupiah (IDR) Against Tether (USDT)

Huobi Crypto Exchange recently announced that they will introduce a trading pair for the Indonesian Rupiah against Tether (USDT) for this market subsidiary. The fiat gateway will enable Huobi users in Indonesia to trade over 250 cryptocurrencies through a simple IDR Top up and exchange for USDT to purchase other coins. David Chen, Huobi’s Cloud Senior director said,

“The new fiat gateway is part of Huobi’s global expansion strategy and reflects our ongoing commitment to working with strong local partners in key markets across the globe […] By continuing to add new fiat/crypto pairs for Huobi Cloud 2.0, we want to make it frictionless for investors anywhere in the world to trade digital assets on a trusted and proven platform.”

The Huobi Indonesia team is optimistic that the new pair will increase its platform’s activity and eventually the adoption of cryptocurrencies. Xiong Dan, the subsidiary CEO of Huobi Indonesia, termed this milestone as an exciting one given the prospects of market expansion and client service improvements.

It is notable that the IDR/crypto gateway has bumped up the number of Huobi’s Group fiat integrations to three. The exchange now accommodates South Korea, Brazil and Indonesia markets within its fiat gateway option for local currencies.

Huobi’s 2020 Fiat/Crypto Gateway Projects

The exchange plans introduce a local currency top up and trade convenience to even more markets in 2020. Sources within the crypto space point to a possible fiat/crypto launch in Russia and Turkey in the course of next year.

As it stands, Huobi has already appointed an experienced general manager for its Turkish subsidiary to facilitate the Lira/tether gateway. This role will also include building a strong team in Turkey to ensure ongoing projects for a localized app and web run efficiently.

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Author: Lujan Odera