Bitcoin Cash Price (BCH) Turns Buy On Dips, $332 Holds Key

Recently, bitcoin cash price gained bullish momentum and climbed above $325.00 and $330.00. BCH to USD turned buy on dips and it is likely to accelerate higher above $350.00.

Key Takeaways: BCH/USD

  • Bitcoin cash price is showing a lot of positive signs above $332.00 against the US Dollar.
  • BCH/USD surged above the key $324.00 resistance and a bearish trend line on the 2-hours chart (data feed from Bitstamp).
  • Bitcoin is now trading above $9,050 and it could rise further above the $340.00 resistance area.

Bitcoin Cash Price Analysis

This week, there was a steady rise in bitcoin cash price above the $315.00 and $320.00 levels. BCH/USD even broke the $332.50 resistance area to enter into a positive zone.

Bitcoin Cash Price

Looking at the 2-hours chart, bitcoin cash price gained pace after it settled above $332.50 and the 50 simple moving average (2-hours, purple). More importantly, there was a break above a key bearish trend line at $324.00.

The price extended gains above the $344.00 and $350.00 levels. A high is formed near the $352.83 level and the price is currently correcting lower. It is trading below the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the upward move from $332.61 to $352.83.

An initial support on the downside is near the $343.20 level. Besides, the 50% Fib retracement level of the upward move from $332.61 to $352.83 is near the $342.72 level to act as a strong support.

If there are more downsides, bitcoin cash price could revisit the $332.00 support level. The 50 simple moving average (2-hours, purple) is also positioned near the $332.00 area to provide support.

Any further losses may perhaps push the price back into a bearish zone towards $315.00. Conversely, the price might start a steady increase above the $348.00 and $352.00 levels.

The first major resistance is near the $355.00 level, above which there are high chances of a rally above the $362.00 and $365.00 levels. In the mentioned case, the next stop for bitcoin cash bulls is near the $370.00 level.

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Author: Aayush J

Homeland Security Uses ICE’s Crypto Intelligence Program For Digital Asset Investigations

The United States’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently disclosed that its frequent use of the Cryptocurrency Intelligence Program (CIP) for many of its Homeland Security Investigations where they relate to digital asset investigations.

Al Giangregorio, the HSI’s National Bulk Cash Smuggling Center (BCSC) unit chief has stated within an email, that the intel program was recently mentioned for the first time in ICE’s FY budget proposal for 2021.

No other explanations about CIP were given. Here is what Giangregorio said, though:

“The CIP supports any HSI investigation involving virtual currency or blockchain technology. The program has assisted in numerous investigations, including those involving methamphetamine and MDMA dealers, human trafficking, elder fraud, dark net market drug vending, child sexual exploitation sites, and, of course, trafficking in opioids.”

Cryptocurrency Wasn’t a Threat When BCSC Incorporated

Currently, the BCSC, which formally established the CIP, makes use of it in conjunction with the 2001 PATRIOT act to assist ICE’s HSI in tracking down financial criminals and cash smugglers.

Back in 2009, when BCSC incorporated, cryptocurrency wasn’t a threat, but it steadily became a more viable avenue for criminal activity, resulting in increased investment in crypto investigation tools by federal agencies. Giangregorio said:

“Over time, the BCSC has recognized that transnational criminal organizations have evolved and diversified [in] the way they transfer illicit proceeds. The BCSC established the CIP to adapt to changing methodologies and technology to target money laundering related to all types of criminal activity.”

HSI’s Anti-Cash Smuggling Experts Have an In-House Program

According to Giangregorio, the transition to digital money has prompted the experts working for HSI’s anti-cash smuggling division to build an in-house program.

This, and ICE’s FY budget proposal for 2021, may indicate how CIP was created. In its budget proposal, CIP is described as an unlicensed money services identifier for businesses conducting illegal crypto brokerage hotspots for darknet markets, peer-to-peer sites, trafficking and so on.

The cost of establishing and running CIP hasn’t been made public yet, but recent documents have shown that from 2017-19, $2.6 million was spent by the agency on contracts with Chainalysis alone.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Poloniex Exchange Resumes Trading After Rolling Back “12 Minutes” Of Trades

Recently Justin Sun’s purchased exchange, Poloniex, announced a maintenance delay on its trading platform as the exchange faced a bug in the system on Monday, 10th February 2020.

The suspicious bug is however reported to have originated from the development team which caused a number of problems on the platform and forcing the Poloniex maintenance team to shut down the system for about 12 minutes.

In a thread of tweets, the cryptocurrency exchange support team wrote,

While the issue may have aggravated Poloniex critics and some of the exchanges traders who were affected (the report did not give details on volumes that were affected or number of users affected), the exchange seemed to have effectively solved the problem without a fuss.

The exchange has since resumed all services, fully opening both deposits and withdrawals of funds from the platform.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitcoin Futures (XBT/USD) Total Volume in BitMEX Exchange Hit $2 Trillion Since 2016 Launch

BitMEX Co-founder and CEO, Arthur Hayes, recently announced in a tweet that BTC futures have surpassed the $2 Trillion mark since they were launched back in 2016. The exchange also hit an open interest of over $1 billion; this is part of the total $4 billion distributed amongst other leading players like OKEX.

Hayes’ tweet on Feb 3, further highlighted that the daily average Bitcoin Futures turnover in BitMEX is close to 288K with most of its clientele in Europe.

Bitcoin Futures; The Crypto Darling for Institutional Investors in 2020?

This year has seen the open interest on BTC futures go up by around 60%. Could this mean more institutional investors are speculating on this digital currency derivative? The most recent data analyzed by Skew Markets however show that only four major exchanges account for the existing $4 billion open interest in BTC futures.

BitMEX leads the pack followed closely by OKEX; both exchanges account for over $1 billion in open interest independently, roughly 50% of the total. Developments in regulatory frameworks for blockchain and crypto by some countries is one of the driving factors to adopt XBTUSD as a speculative asset in institutional portfolios. Last month, the markets recorded a high of $25 billion in BTC futures volume traded within a day.

Despite the success, BitMEX has faced a number of challenges; notably was the Coinbase Pro maintenance shutdown towards the end of January. Close to $28 million worth of XBTUSD contracts were liquidated during this period; some analysts have since said this was because over 50% of the BitMEX weighting index is supported by Coinbase Pro.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Gemini’s Winklevoss Twins Win Six Patents To Increase Usability Of Stablecoins

Gemini cryptocurrency exchange founders, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss recently obtained patents related to six stablecoins, according to filing data obtained from the US Patent & Trademark Office.

The filing information indicates that three out of the six patents, namely the 1st, 2nd, and 5th patents in their list all have something to do with altering the stock of a stablecoin based on a public blockchain.

Of the three, the first part provides a description of how trustworthy third parties, e.g., banks and crypto exchange platforms can produce the stablecoin on demand.

Stablecoins and Traditional Currencies

Of the remaining three patents, the 3rd and 6th patents provide a description pertaining to the process of generating a stablecoin on a public-based blockchain. The 3rd patent also goes as far as stating that stablecoins with official backing can also be used as collateral when dealing with financial transactions that are to be undertaken through the use of smart contracts.

According to the filing information, the 4th patent, which was officially filed on 23rd April 2018:

“relates to the use of a stable value digital asset to pay dividends for securities and other financial instruments tied to a blockchain.”

The Fight for Crypto-related Patents

The growth and maturity of the crypto-verse have forced many firms to invest more in research and crypto-related technologies. As the research results start to trickle in, firms are resorting to patenting technologies that they deem viable.

In late January 2019, Cointelegraph reported that IBM, the technology giant had received a patent that would help it create what is referred to as a “self-aware token.” IBM stated that the development of this token would enable it to record all events pertaining to offline transactions.

Not to be left behind, other notable people who have patented new technologies include Brian Armstrong, the Coinbase CEO. Brian was awarded a patent for a system that would make it possible for Bitcoin holders to send and receive BTC via traditional email.

As 2019 was coming to a close, his company was also awarded a patent for the development of a system that was capable of identifying and recording accounts that were not compliant.

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Author: Daniel W

Nomura Research Institute To Roll Out First Crypto Index In Japan With Intelligence Unit

Nomura Research Institute (NRI), one of the largest consulting firms in Japan recently got into a partnership with Intelligence Unit (IU), a crypto investment solutions provider to introduce a tradeable crypto index.

A press release that was sent to news publications on 29th of January 2020 indicated that the name of the new index would be NRI/IO Crypto Asset Index. The statement goes on to read that this index has been developed for use by institutions in the financial sector.

It is expected that the index will also be drawing information from CryptoCompare, the cryptocurrency data platform, as well as from MVIS, the crypto index platform.

On its dedicated website, the two companies have stated that this index is intended to cover all aspects of the crypto market. However, all cryptocurrencies will be tracked using only two currencies: The Japanese Yen and the United States Dollar.

This index was particularly designed with the institutional investors based in Japan in mind. It also paid consideration to custody solutions and local availability.

Tradeable Index with the Ability to Track the Five Leading Cryptocurrencies

On release, the NRI/IO Cryptocurrency Asset Index will be rebalanced on a month-to-month basis. It will be tradeable in yens and dollars and will be in a position to track the performance of crypto assets that will already have been pre-determined. The crypto assets expected to trade on the NRI platform will include XRP, LTC, ETH, BCH, and BTC. Akihiro Niimi, the IU CEO commented on this index and stated that:

“Strong demand from institutional investors is contributing to the growth of crypto-asset funds, and well-diversified products like index funds are attractive as alternative investments.”

The website has displayed backtested performance statistics which state that the year-to-date performance stands at thirty-three point nine one percent, while the 1-year performance stands at a hundred and four-point eight-six percent, with the 3-year return being 2,211.26 percent.

NRI happens to be a Nomura holdings affiliate, the Japanese financial services giant. Nomura holdings have wholly embraced blockchain technology and have already started to offer crypto-related services.

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Author: Daniel W

Ethereum Foundation Grants Nimbus $650,000 To Help Develop ETH 2.0

A press release sent out to the public on January 28th indicates that Nimbus was recently awarded a grant of $650,000 by the Ethereum Foundation that would enable it to continue working on the Light ETH 2.0 Client. The main goal of this project is to enable embedded devices and smartphones to operate nodes that are smart contracts capable.

Nimbus was launched by Status in March 2018 as an infrastructure project. In the beginning, it had been imagined as a project that would provide better admittance to the Status application that is installed on all modern smartphones. But as time progressed, the scope of the project was stretched out with the aim of transforming it into something that would be good for the entire Ethereum community.

Jacek Sieka, the current Nimbus Head of Research had a one-on-one with Cointelegraph and stated that:

“The R&D performed by the Nimbus team is not specific to Status or The Status Network, but rather designed as a public good for anyone to use, change, and benefit from.”

Nimbus was started as a collaborative effort between Gitcoin, the Ethereum Foundation, and is co-funded by Status. The money awarded to Nimbus as a grant is set to be used into getting it ready into a state where it can start being produced.

The upcoming project milestones, according to the project map indicate that testing is the next phase, which will then be followed by the final release of a client that will be capable of supporting the beacon chain from Ethereum.

About Nimbus

As is the case with the already existing ETH clients such as Parity and Mist, Nimbus is expected to enable its users to link to the Serenity network that is about to be released by Ethereum.

The main difference between Nimbus and the existing clients lies in the form of support that it will provide to all devices. It’s a client that intends to provide support to a broad range of devices, and not just servers and computers.

As things stand at the moment, the ETH blockchain has been seen to take up too many resources, making it unfriendly for use in smartphones.

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Author: Daniel W

World’s Largest Oil Firm Saudi Aramco, Drops $5M Into Vakt’s Blockchain Trading Platform

A leading oil corporation from Saudi recently invested $5 million towards a blockchain based startup dubbed ‘Vakt’. Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV), initiated the transaction through its investment wing and has since joined 11 other investors who were initially part of the project.

Vakt’s blockchain solution is based on post-trade settlements in the energy sector having begun back in 2018 with BP and Shell at the forefront; the two companies were the first to be on-boarded. This blockchain network digitizes the processes that were physical throughout the buy and sell channel in the energy industry. As a result, Vakt’s innovation was acknowledged to be a game changer by SAEV’s Europe director, Hans Middelthon;

“VAKT has demonstrated that their platform has the potential to digitize what is currently a very manual process.”

“Leveraging blockchain theory and applying it to the complicated world of post-trade processing, VAKT has made a compelling pitch to become an integral part of market infrastructure.”

SAEV’s Strategic and Financial Impact on Vakt

The Saudi oil corporation involvement with Vakt will certainly improve the growth dynamics of this blockchain innovation. Vakt reported that they plan to use the $5 million proceeds in product development and market expansion. Currently, the network is live for blockchain services in the North Sea crude oil market. Saudi Aramco will further add to the trading volumes in this market once they integrate their North Sea volumes with Vakt’s network.

Vakt has also gained more reputational value given Saudi Aramco’s financial muscle in the oil sector. The firm’s Initial Public Offering back in 2019 was $25.6 billion; reports indicate that this is the largest IPO figure so far in the history of financial markets. In addition, Saudi Aramco’s oil reserves are the world’s second largest according as of press date. Notably, the firm has other blockchain investments with American ‘Blockchain as a service’ startup ‘Gumbo’ leading the pack. Richard James, Vakt’s CFO, shared similar sentiments on the prospects of this investment;

“We were not proactively seeking further investors; however, we could not miss the chance to bring on-board a partner of this calibre, which is a tremendous show of faith in VAKT’s vision.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry Creator Ubisoft Will Become Block Producer For Ultra’s Blockchain Gaming

Blockchain applications in the gaming industry have proven to be the most practical so far. Just recently, Ubisoft partnered with Ultra, a blockchain-oriented gaming platform. The move marks a major milestone for blockchain integration given Ubisoft’s prominence in the traditional gaming space.

The Game-Changing Partnership

According to Ultra, the collaboration with Ubisoft will be mutually beneficial given the latter will learn about blockchain tech in detail. Ubisoft has since been tasked the role of block producer within the UOS blockchain network. Ultra is also confident that Ubisoft’s trusted brand will be a plus to its fundamental value going forward.

Ubisoft will further provide 3rd party services that enable users to send transactions; this is through web-based services functioning real-time. The gaming giant is popular for the production of mainstream games like Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed placing it at a better position in terms of product implementation.

Ultra revealed that they are considering to upgrade Ubisoft to a Technical Block producer within their blockchain ecosystem. This simply means that Ubisoft will be able to contribute to its platform development and provide support to the existing infrastructure.

Blockchain and Gaming Future

The move by Ubisoft and Ultra has raised the hopes of leveraging blockchain tech on a bigger scale than stakeholders anticipated. As it stands, blockchain applications in the gaming space are mostly small scale and enterprise oriented. However, this seems to be taking a different turn despite the regulatory uncertainty surrounding blockchain tech and crypto tokens.

Given the current information, only speculations can be derived from the nature of this Ubisoft Ultra partnership. Some Fintech analysts are optimistic that Ubisoft will eventually begin developing games with blockchain tech as the fundamental layer. Ultra is also confident that this gaming giant is ahead of its competitors in terms of investing in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) for its products. Other prominent players that have partnered with Ultra include AMD, the graphics card producer. The firm however noted that its main goal in collaborations is quality over quantity.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Backed By Major Financial Institutions, SolarisBank Launches Subsidiary For Crypto Custody

SolarisBank has recently announced that it is has created a new unit called Solaris Digital Assets in order to offer crypto-custody services to clients. The German fintech company has been backed by recognized investors such as BBVA or Visa.

SolarisBank Launches New Crypto Subsidiary

The company located in Berlin is now working so as to offer custody solutions to clients that were already able to have access to digital banking services offered by the firm. SolarisBank received over $63 million from investors in order to start working on solutions in relation to the crypto space.

The cryptocurrency market has been evolving during the last years and custody solutions have been highly demanded by firms and investors all over the world. At the same time, regulatory agencies have been focusing in order to create clear regulations for crypto custody services.

The subsidiary of SolarisBank, Solaris Digital Assets, is planning to be compliant with all the regulatory requirements imposed by the German authorities. The main goal is to be able to offer crypto-related custody solutions to clients. The firm is going to be applying for a crypto license to offer custody to clients as soon as in 2020.

Despite the new products available for both large and retail investors in the market, custody remains as one of the most important topics for the industry.

At the moment, there are some partners that are testing the custody product created by the company and that would eventually be combined with other traditional banking services. This would be very useful to bridge the current gap that there is between the traditional financial market and digital assets.

In the past, SolarisBank offered services to Bitwala, Boerse Stuttgart Digital Exchange and many other companies involved in the crypto market.

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Author: Carl T