Ethereum’s Blockchain is Growing, Rising Amount of Crypto Held in Decentralized Finance Apps

Decentralized finance (DeFi) apps are getting pretty popular these days and you can see that from the amount of Ethereum these apps are using. This week, the amount of ETH used reached an all-time high of $2.36 million ETH, around USD 420 million.

With the use of DeFi apps, you can lend money, borrow it or make several investments. Most of the time, for this to happen securely, the money needs to be locked up as collateral and this is why the number of ETH being locked in these apps is so high at the moment.

Smart contracts are generally used to only release the money at an appropriate time, so this means that nobody will lose out unfairly. The only issue is that by locking up that much ETH, the supply is considerably reduced. This means that the success of the app affects the network.

The effect is not 100% clear, however. Some people argue that reducing the supplies can push prices up, but others disagree with this and believe that volatility can go up and down.

From all these apps, MakerDAO is possibly the most famous. The stablecoin locks ETH to keep its price stable and this has worked out so far, despite how the ecosystem had to hike several fees at the beginning of the year, due to issues.

In MakerDAO alone, the amount of ETH locked went from $14 million only two months ago to around USD 25 million now. It seems that the DeFi segment is about to grow even more, especially if it depends on popular projects such as MakerDAO.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

PayPal Officially Bows Out From Facebook’s Libra Crypto Coin Project

The Libra Association and the whole existence of Facebook’s Libra project took a pretty strong hit today. PayPal has just officially withdrawn from the Libra Association. We reported earlier today that PayPal was thinking about leaving due to regulatory backlash and it seems that it finally happened.

Now, a spokesperson from PayPal affirmed that the company made the decision to stop participating in the project and to focus on its own project instead of democratizing finances on its platform.

According to the official statement, PayPal is still “supportive” of the Libra’s aspirations and it still believes in the potential of Facebook, but the partnership is no longer a reality. The Libra Association confirmed that PayPal indeed left the team after the announcement.

When the Libra project was first announced, several companies were eager to be a part of the project. However, the regulatory backlash was almost instantaneous and regulators and policymakers from several countries affirmed that they would ban the asset. Others, such as the U. S., did not look so eager to ban it, but they were also unconvinced about the potential versus the risks.

Now, on October 14, the launch partners of the Libra Association are going to join to formally sign an agreement. It seems that PayPal backed down before this final moment.

Dante Disparte, from the Libra Association, affirmed that the goal of the technology is to create a modern and secure payment network with low friction that could enable millions of people to participate in the financial world.

At the moment, there are no reports of other companies that are about to drop out as well, but this may happen yet.

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Author: Krystle M

Hong Kong Crypto Investors Are Paying More For Bitcoin Amid Political Protests

As you may know, the political situation in Hong Kong is pretty unstable right now. This is also affecting the market. During these times of political uncertainty, traders using the P2P platform LocalBitcoins are paying around $300 USD more to buy a single Bitcoin.

This represents a premium of 2%. Obviously lower than the famous Kimchi Premium of South Korea, the value is still significant.

Recently, Argentina, which is facing a high inflation and now has the market under distress as the liberal president Mauricio Macri struggles for reelection, also had a similar problem.

Local investors dislike the other presidential candidates, but the population does not seem to be siding with Macri, according to the results of the primary election, which is causing the markets to go down in value and trading of Bitcoin to become more expensive.

What can be seen in both these events is that Bitcoin is fulfilling its prophecy of being treated as a kind of a safe haven asset. When the local economy is in any kind of turmoil or there is political unrest for investors, prices tend to go up, even if only locally.

According to Arca’s CEO Rayne Steinberg, BTC is becoming an important asset to be protected from the devaluation of national fiat currency and also as a last resort in cases where the local market seems to be moving in the wrong direction.

This means that prices will possibly continue to rise when the next big recession hits the world and it looks like this event is not so far away from us right now.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

Islamic Expert on Shariah Acceptability: Halal Coin Is Only a Matter Of Time And Awareness

Islamic Expert on Shariah Acceptability: Halal Coin Is Only a Matter Of Time And Awareness

The Islamic financial world has some pretty big differences from its Western counterpart. For instance, in the Islamic regions of the world, the markets have to follow the Shariah, known as the Islamic law. There is not a complete separation between Church and State and this affects the economy as well.

As you may have expected, this obviously affects the crypto market, too. It is because of this that an Islamic expert called Suhaida Mahpot recently talked about the upcoming emergence of the “halal coin”. A halal coin would be a cryptocurrency that is “halal”, meaning that it is accepted by the Shariah standards.

One of the principles that a halal coin would need is to not be used in speculation, for instance. This is partly what makes the situation harder to define, as cryptos are often involved in speculation.

Mahpot, who is the CEO of Amanie Advisors, a Shariah advisory company, affirmed that it is only a matter of time and awareness before the first halal coin appears in the Islamic market. According to him, some investors are very skeptic of the Islamic market because of its own complex rules. This causes uncertainty and some investors simply decide that it will be profitable to invest elsewhere.

This is obviously bad for the countries, as they lose the change of getting investors that could help. Mahpot, which works in the industry for over 11 years, affirmed that Malaysia has a big potential for growth in the future.

Situation With Crypto Is Similar To Other Investments

According to Mahpot, the situation of the crypto market is very similar to two kinds of investments that were introduced in Malaysia before: Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) and Amanah Saham Nasional (ASN).

He explained that the perception of these investments changed over time. They were created during the 90s and they are now considered “harus”, which means that they neither encouraged nor prohibited by the Shariah. Before there was consensus, there were plenty of doubts in the industry whether the investments were harus or “haram” (against the Shariah).

Now, the financial institutions of Muslim countries need more education about how cryptos work. Only this way they will be able to at least declare that they are harus. Without this, the uncertainty will be too big to convince investors to give the investment a shot.

Currency, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are starting to work on the creation of a new cryptocurrency. Also, there are several companies which claim that they have created a fully halal token such as ADAB Solutions, which created the so-called First Islamic Crypto Exchange. So far, nobody actually accepted these tokens as halal.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Out of 200,000 Bitcoin Transactions, Only 2% Were Illicit, MIT’s AI Lab Affirms

Out-of-200000-Bitcoin-Transactions-Only-2-Were-Illicit-MITs-AI-Lab-Affirms

Everybody in the crypto industry knows how some people have a pretty bad opinion of Bitcoin. Said to be the currency used by scammers and criminals, Bitcoin is often the target of severe criticism. Fortunately, a recent experiment made by the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab has proved that only a small fraction of the Bitcoin transactions are illegal.

In a collaboration between the Elliptic blockchain analytics company with the MIT, 203,769 BTC transactions were evaluated using machine learning. These transactions amounted to around $6 billion USD. By using the technology, it was discovered that only around 2% of them were illicit.

21% of the transactions were deemed as lawful and 77% were deemed as “unclassified”, meaning that they were not proved as a criminal but also lacked enough data to be understood as lawful as well.

In recent research, Chainalysis affirmed that only 1% of the transactions were criminal, so the numbers seem about right, proving that only a small portion of all BTC transactions can actually be linked to crimes.

The research, which was paid for Elliptic, had the goal of discovering patterns that could identify when crypto transactions are being used to break the law. According to the founder of Elliptic, Tom Robinson, one of the main problems with compliance is that it has several false positives. Research is used often as a way to minimize these false positives and to discover the patterns more thoroughly.

It can be said that the research was somewhat successful in finding these patterns. Robinson affirmed that the software discovered some transactions that were linked to ransomware attacks and other crimes.

The data will become public soon, according to the MIT researcher Mark Weber. Part of the reason for that is to share the experiments so that the experts can understand more about these patterns and work towards a more secure world.

He also affirmed that with the release of the study, they hope to inspire others in doing the same and creating a more compliant and safer online financial system.

The results are certainly interesting. Unfortunately, 77% of the transactions were neither confirmed nor denied to be lawful. This means that there is still a huge gap in what can be discovered with the current technology.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Kudelski Security Announces New Insecure Blockchain ‘FumbleChain’ to Teach Hackers About DLT

Kudelski Security Announces New Insecure Blockchain 'FumbleChain' to Teach Hackers About DLT

It is a pretty commonplace idea to think that blockchain technology means protection. Unfortunately, this idea could not be further apart from the truth. Despite the supposition of security, blockchains with exploits can be dangerous for everyone involved.

This is why Kudelski Security has recently announced that it will launch a new blockchain without deliberate flaws. The new project is set to be launched during the Black Hat USA infosec, according to The Next Web’s Hard Fork.

The convention, which is set to happen in Las Vegas, will see the launch of FumbleChain. The whole idea is that the network will be easy to exploit so that hackers can play and try to destroy it.

FumbleChain will have its own “e-commerce” app, FumbleStore, which will serve as a “capture the flag” game. These are games in which hackers compete to try to break into something.

Don’t mistake this idea for actual support for criminals, though. The idea is to educate the “good hackers” on how to exploit decentralized systems in order to find flaws in an easier way and fix them quickly before the “bad hackers” get at it and steal people’s money or information.

According to Nathan Hamiel, the head of cybersecurity at the company, there is a common error in which people think that blockchains are inherently safe when they are not. The technology, in his opinion, is very nuanced and complex, and it is quite easy to create breaches if you are not careful. Because of this, you simply can’t blindly trust it.

While it may seem strange to non-hackers, this kind of approach is actually very common. Many broken apps are released in competitions so that people can try out their skills.

The blockchain will be created using Python as the programming language, mostly because it is considered very easy to manipulate and this will make it easier for the participants to break in and modify the source code of the blockchain.

As soon as some of the hacking challenges proposed by the company are done, more will be added. This will keep the blockchain live for some time while people are trying out their skills.

Kudelski Security has affirmed that the app will also be available as a code repository on GitHub in case someone wants to download and check out the code.

There is only warning, though. According to Kudelski, if you run the program, you might end up putting your own computer at risk. This happens because the software is notoriously broken, so you really should know what you are doing if you want to be a part of this initiative.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Comparing Bitcoin’s ‘Bubble’ To Amazon During Dot-Com Era; BTC’s Breakout is ‘Extremely Bullish’

Comparing Bitcoin's 'Bubble' To Amazon During Dot-Com Era; BTC's Breakout is 'Extremely Bullish'

Bitcoin has had a few interesting periods where prices plummet and things look pretty gloomy. However, even when the bear cycles are terrible enough to worry even the most passive investors, the coin still finds its way out and begins to surge again.

Bitcoin’s penchant for a healthy rise after a terrible fall is significant because such speed is largely unusual in traditional markets. Bitcoin’s recovery from its bearish times has recently been compared to Amazon’s surge cycle at the time of the dot com bubble. This comparison was made by Messari, the crypto analytics firm.

Bitcoin Surge Bigger than Amazon’s

Ceteris Paribus, another analytics firm, recently highlighted this comparison made by Messari, in a recent tweet. Posting a graph of the BTC/Amazon comparison, Ceteris Paribus expressed that:

“The latest $BTC cycle mirrors $AMZN during the dot-com bubble, but the recovery has been much more swift. Even with the recent sell off, Bitcoin is 54% down from its high, vs. the 85% Amazon was trading at over a similar timeframe.”

Continuing this comparison, Ceteris Paribus further explained the similarity between both assets, as dissimilar as they fundamentally are, is the fact that the two of them “both traded on pure speculation”. Setting $BTC well ahead, the tweet further said:

“Bubbles follow similar patterns, but the quick $BTC breakout has been extremely bullish…[and] still much further ahead than most people imagined in Dec.”

More Dot Com Era Comparisons

Ceteris Paribus and Messari have noticed some similarities between the crypto market and the dot com bubble but others have also drawn a few parallels. Expert trader and analyst, Peter Brandt, also recently compared the altcoins, to a crash during the dot com bubble.

According to Brandt, Bitcoin would continue to rally but unlike the usual occurrences, the altcoins might not rally along with it. Brandt said:

“Following 2001-02 tech collapse, dotcoms with real value exploded. The ‘alt’.coms went bankrupt.”

Another comparison was recently made by Blockstream CEO, Adam Back. Speaking on June 26 at a panel during the San Francisco Bitcoin 2019 conference, Back – who also invented the hashcash Proof-of-Work (PoW) system which was applied to the algorithm used in Bitcoin mining – pitted Bitcoin and the earlier days of the internet together.

According to him, there used to be something called the “internet time” which was used to describe the period in the early dot com era where there was a lot of new innovation happening very fast. However, Back has said that Bitcoin “seems to be moving even faster.” He believes that:

“Bitcoin has come much further and much faster than people expected.”

Back in April, a crypto payment processing frim known as Moon, made an announcement letting users know that shopping on e-commerce platforms like Amazon, is now possible.

According to the announcement, shoppers can use any lightning-enabled wallet to shop on these sites, using Moon’s browser extension. Moon already facilitated crypto shopping on e-commerce sites before using Lightning by making a connection between the extension and exchanges like Coinbase. Ken Kruger, Moon’s CEO, spoke on the extension and how it works. According to him:

[It] will pop up a QR code and it will have the lightning invoice, which you could also copy and paste if you can’t use the QR code for some reason, and you’ll be able to pay with your favourite lightning wallet.”

Kruger however explains that Amazon doesn’t receive Bitcoin. However, the Bitcoin is converted to fiat with help from some unnamed financial institutions, allowing the sellers on Amazon receive their funds in fiat.

Bitcoin’s price is $10,622.52 BTC/USD exchange rate today. The real-time BTC market cap of $189.34 Billion currently ranks #1 with a chart dominance at 65.70%, daily trading volume of $10.74 Billion and live coin value change of BTC 8.55 in the last 24 hours.

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Author: Tolu

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust Continues Upward Performance Against Main Indexes In 2019

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2019 has been a pretty great year for cryptocurrencies so far. As revealed by the Wall Street Journal recently, this meant that the Grayscale Investments’ Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) has outperformed most of the other indexes this year.

So far, the trust has grown in price almost 300%. When we take into account that the Standard and Poor (S&P) 500 index has only risen about 18.7% and that Global Dow is only 12.9% up during this time. This means that these two traditional funds were not able to grow even a tenth of what Grayscale did during the same timeframe.

Grayscale buys Bitcoin directly from over the counter markets using the money bought by its shares, so, as the price of BTC grown up, the fund is seeing some massive returns so far.

The Wall Street Journal has also highlighted the fact that this is not even the first time that Grayscale is doing so well. Obviously, the last time was in 2017 when the crypto mania started to go mainstream for the first time. At the time of that bull run, the price of GBTC was up by 1,391.44%, a number so big that even the current 300% pales in comparison to it.

Grayscale has told the WSJ that it has over $2.56 billion USD in assets invested in BTC right now. The company, which owned by the Digital Currency Group, is seeking only institutional investors, though. Only wealthy investors willing to spend at least $50,000 USD are being accepted, so you are off from the list if you do not have this kind of cash.

Apart from this flagship investment asset, the company has other assets which are based in popular cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum Classic, Litecoin and Zcash. Another option for investors is the Digital Large Cap Fund, which offers a more diversified portfolio.

Each share from the GBTC fund represents 0.00097876 BTC. According to the company, 66% of the new investors are institutions, which is being understood by the managers as the return of the “BTC maximalists”.

If the current trend continues, the GBTC fund will probably be a great investment. BTC still has a lot of space in order to grow from now, so it is obvious that the prices of the fund will go up together.

All of Today’s Bitcoin Price Analysis, Chart Forecasts and Industry News

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Bitcoin Scammers Texted Victims After Stealing Their Money via Coinexx Investment Hoax

Bitcoin-Scammers-Texted-Victims-After-Stealing-Their-Money-via-Coinexx-Investment-Hoax

Losing money hurts a lot. When you lose it because you made a bad investment is already pretty awful, but when you are scammed, it hurts even more. Now, if the thieves actually text you to explain that they robbed your money, well, that’s just a tragedy.

This is what happened to an Australian couple recently. They lost over $20,000 AUD to scammers who created a Bitcoin scam. According to the original report made by local news sites, they used Coinexx.org, a scam that they found via Facebook.

From starters, Coinexx.org was already named to look like Coinexx.com, a legitimate site. Initially, the couple Nick and Josie Yeomans saw a good return on investment.

It was the early investment and the profit that made them overcome their fear that the project was a scam and put more money on it. Despite the doubts about the legitimacy of the project, the couple simply accepted that they were making a lot of money.

They used their savings to give over $20,000 AUD to the scammers. Nick was reported to even give up on his job because they were getting so much money from the investment. They took loans, sold their possessions and invested all they had to pay the fees requested by the fake company.

The problems started as soon as they ran out of funds to keep investing. As soon as they stopped to pay, they lost access to their funds. They were suspicious when that happened, so they texted the scammers, who texted back via WhatsApp.

They said that to “save them the stress” they would inform that Coinexx.org was a scam and that everyone involved in the company did not exist, so they should not even bother trying to get their money back from them.

Now, the couple is out of a job and their savings. According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Yeomans appear to be the victim of a Ponzi scheme. However, no other complaints were made about Coinexx.org so far.

Unfortunately, Australia has seen many victims of crypto scams. According to the authorities, a total of 674 cases were reported this year, so the number is expected to double until the end of the year. With this scams, $6.1 million AUD was lost to criminals. This represents an increase of 190% in crypto-related scams since last year.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Crypto Crap Is Not Compliant and is for Drug Dealers: Shark Tank Investor Kevin O’Leary

Crypto-is-Crap-and-is-for-Drug-Dealers-Kevin-O-Leary

As with pretty much anything else, it is not surprising that there are those who have problems with the fundamental nature of certain technology. Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology have been praised by many as a very important innovation to bring about commendable changes and improvements to the current practices in today’s traditional and financial markets.

Regardless of its many uses, a lot of people including high-ranking members of certain governments are not happy with the basic design of cryptocurrency and are afraid that it could bring about certain problems. Already on the darkweb, cryptocurrency is the most preferred payment method and because it is largely untraceable and irreversible, it has been a big problem for law enforcement agencies. Also a few months ago, a US congressman called on his colleagues to shutdown the use of cryptocurrency because it affects the country’s financial sovereignty. Now another person who has been a vocal soldier in the anti-crypto army is Kevin O’Leary, a Canadian TV personality and businessman.

Cryptocurrency Is Crap And Non-Compliant

Popularly known as Mr. Wonderful, O’leary expressed his disapproval for digital assets, saying the fact that the sector is largely unregulated and does not comply with most global financial statutes is a big problem for him.

O’leary said:

“If I want to be compliant and I don’t want to breach any regulators because I’m a participant in financial service globally – and that is where the majority of money is – … I have to be compliant. I have no interest in doing any of this crypto crap because it is not compliant and regulators in all countries do not agree.”

In his short rant, O’leary proposed a different currency that would be a digital asset backed by four of the most prominent currencies including the U.S. Dollar, the Euro, the Swiss Franc and the Japanese Yen. Hypothetically calling it the WonderCoin, O’leary said it would be fully regulated and used to pay taxes, handle debts, purchase equities and also easily be converted to any of the four fiat currencies. Anything apart from this would be untenable for him as he said:

“All of this non-compliant stuff, I don’t want to get involved with a drug dealer trading Bitcoins somewhere. I want nothing to do with that.”

Jeremy Allaire, the co-founder and CEO of Circle was on the other end of the conversation and tried to straighten things out for O’leary. Allaire explains that saying the cryptosphere is completely devoid of regulation would be untrue because entities who serve as middlemen between the traditional financial system and the cryptosphere are fully regulated by the government. He said:

“The crypto industry has been regulated in the U.S. since 2013. If you want to sit between the banking system and cryptocurrency, you have to be licensed as a financial institution.”

O’leary was however not satisfied with anything Allaire said and still called crypto a “rogue currency.”

This isn’t the first time Mr wonderful has publicly spoken against cryptocurrency. Back in May, O’leary said bitcoin is a useless currency because people who use it seem to only want a hedge due to the instability.

Halt The Libra!

The fight against crypto is still ongoing as on Tuesday, July 2, members of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services wrote a letter to Facebook asking that “Facebook and its partners immediately agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on Libra – its proposed cryptocurrency and Calibra – its proposed digital wallet.”

The letter expresses its concerns to Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg and Libra/Calibra CEO, David Marcus.

“The letter says that the Libra and Calibra may lend themselves to an entirely new global financial system that is based out of Switzerland and intended to rival U.S. monetary policy and the dollar.”

All of Today’s Bitcoin Price Analysis, Chart Forecasts and Industry News

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Author: Tolu