Top Crypto News – 14/11/2017

Cryptocurrency trading volumes reached a record high over the weekend that beats some US stock exchanges

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  • Bitcoin, the red-hot digital currency known for its volatile price, was on a wild ride this weekend.
  • Bitcoin crashed more than 25% from its all-time high of $7,721 set Wednesday to a low of $5,617 per coin on Sunday, according to data from cryptocurrency watcher CoinDesk. 
  • Bitcoin cash, on the other hand, propelled to a record-high of $2,500 early Sunday morning.
  • Trading volumes on Sunday peaked at over $26 billion, according to cryptocurrency data site CoinMarketCap.com.
  • That’s higher than the 5-day average trading volume for some US equity exchanges.

Bitcoin, the red-hot digital currency, had a wild weekend and that appears to have translated into record-breaking trading volumes across the cryptocurrency market.

Bitcoin crashed more than 25% from Wednesday’s all-time high to a low of $5,617 Sunday. Bitcoin cash, the rival clone of bitcoin, witnessed an impressive rally that propelled the coin to a record-high of $2,500 early Sunday morning.

The 24-hour trading volumes for cryptocurrencies reached a record high above $26 billion on Sunday, according to data site CoinMarketCap.com, the highest ever.

To put that in perspective, that is higher than the 5-day average trading volumes for two US stock exchanges. Both IEX, the upstart exchange based in New York, and the Chicago Stock Exchange averaged less than $10 billion in trading each day for the last five days, according to data by Cboe Global Markets.

IEX saw $7.8 billion worth of shares exchange on its venue, whereas CHX witness $3.1 billion in trading volumes.

New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, on the other hand, saw more than $50 billion worth of shares exchange daily on average over the last 5 trading days.

Still, the record cryptocurrency volumes over the weekend indicate the growing interest in the red-hot market, which until very recently has rarely witnessed daily trading volumes over $10 billion.

In an October 16 note to clients, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said cryptocurrencies present a $1.6 billion opportunity for Wall Street. The figure was based on the assumption that cryptocurrency volumes end up at about 10% of current fiat currency trading volumes. Here’s the bank:

“The FX market is highly liquid. For example, spot FX volumes were $1.65tr as of the most recent BIT Triennial survey in April 2016. If these volumes were to materialize, with the same relationship between spot market and futures, and the same revenue per contract, the revenue pool would be about $1.6bn.”

Already, exchange giants Cboe and CME are looking to capitalize on the nascent space. They have both announced they are preparing to launch bitcoin futures products in the near term.

Higher volumes, according to Bank of America, could help legitimize cryptocurrencies across Wall Street, which still remains widely skeptical of their credibility.

Many top Wall Streeters have derided bitcoin, for instance, as a vehicle used mainly by criminals.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Larry Fink, the head of the largest investor in the world, BlackRock said the explosive growth of bitcoin points to “how much money laundering is being done in the world.”

And JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon once said bitcoin was only useful for murderers and drug dealers.

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange January 6, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Written by Business Insider

How are Apps Using Bitcoin?

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Found on both IOS and Android, Bitcoin is used in apps ranging from wallets to apps that can help convert bitcoin to physical currency.

There are also an increasing number of games that use Bitcoin as a reward to users completing engagements within their apps. Bitcoin can be used as a proxy to Bitcoin debit cards, in-app purchases and also as a reward to users completing engagements within their apps.

So how can Bitcoin be leveraged for mobile apps?

1. Bitcoin Wallets

A Bitcoin wallet app lets you receive, hold, and spend Bitcoin. Similar to a traditional wallet you may carry in your pocket, a bitcoin wallet is used to store money. The difference is Bitcoin wallets store the private keys that you need to access a bitcoin address and spend your fund instead of storing a collection of bills and cards.

Blockchain is the world’s most popular digital wallet, it has over 15 million wallets with over 100 million transactions. It implemented client-side AES encryption, which protects your wallet from a hack on the server. This wallet supports offline transactions as well, and a double encryption process along with two factor authentication.

Xapo uses offline servers that are never connected to the internet. This gives Xapo an edge on other web based wallet systems with better security through gateway procedures. It also supports a prepaid debit card system that is compatible with most PoS systems and Bitcoin ATM’s.

Coinbase is the world’s largest Bitcoin broker. It has exchanged $20 billion in digital currency, served 11.7 million customers, and supports 32 countries. Coinbase sells Bitcoin at, or close to, the current average market rate (plus 1% fee). It also facilitates low fee (0.25% for takers) trading of Bitcoin on its exchange platform, GDAX (the Global Digital Asset Exchange).

2. Bitcoin Payments Apps

Fold attempts to bring major retailers to Bitcoin which enables consumers to make bitcoin payments using a mobile app that can integrate with a variety of point-of-sale systems. Users are allowed to pay with Bitcoin from their mobile device at stores in the US like Target, Starbucks and Whole Foods.

Bitpay is a virtual currency processor that specialises in enabling merchants to accept bitcoin payments from customers. It supports payout in nine currencies and direct bank deposit in 33 countries. This app has even allowed it’s users to send Bitcoin donations to the Red Cross in Nepal.

Gliph is available for Android, iOS and desktop PCs. Its secure messaging feature allows for encryption using SSL and also supports securely deleting messages. Furthermore, Gliph supports Bitcoin payments which allows you to safely send (or receive) cash to (or from) contacts.

3. Bitcoin Games

Some games offer free bitcoins to users for playing games and The Blockchain Game is one of the most popular new arrivals. It is a block-stacking game that generates revenue through ads, but redistributes a proportion of it to ‘winners’ as Bitcoins go directly into the user’s wallet. Bitcoin Aliens operates in a similar way, a shoot-em-up alien blaster game on both iOS and Android that also reward users for killing aliens.

4. Bitcoin Gambling

Bitcoin is particularly attractive to online gamblers as it offers a solution that facilitates cross-border payments in real-time. It’s user-friendly features allow instant outpayments with lower fees when someone wins. Some of the top Bitcoin gaming sites include www.BitStarz.com, www.BitCasino.io, www.BetcoinCasino.com, www.safedice.com and www.betcoin.ag, covering everything from sports betting to Poker, Slots, Blackjack, Roulette and more.

5. Other Digital Currency

Aptoide is an Android App Store with over 200 million users, 4 billion downloads and 1 million apps. In conjunction with the 2017 Web Summit, Aptoide has entered the digital currency business with AppCoins, launching a €60 million Initial Coin Offering in November 2017. This allows users to use AppCoins to pay each other or for in-app purchases and game upgrades. Users are also incentivised to engage with advertising to earn additional currency.

Bitcoin is Here to Stay

Bitcoin apps are becoming increasingly popular. The use of online portals to convert existing currency into Bitcoins will pave the way for exciting future developments when it comes to the increased infiltration of cryptocurrencies in our everyday lives.

Are you Bitcoin ready?

Written by City AM

 

CME CEO: Bitcoin Futures Could Begin Trading As Soon As December

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CME Group chairman and CEO Terry Duffy has said that the derivatives exchange operator could list a planned bitcoin futures product as early as next month.

“I think sometime in the second week of December you’ll see our contract out for listing,” he told CNBC today, hinting that trading could begin as early as the second week of December.

The firm made waves in October when it revealed that it was seeking regulatory approval to list its first bitcoin-related product. At the time, CME said that the futures would be tied to its existing price index, launched in 2016, and be settled via cash.

Among Duffy’s notable comments in the interview: insight into how CME would handle major fluctuations in the price. He suggested that CME could move to halt trading in the event of significant swings, and that existing rules would be called upon in the event of a catastrophic price decline.

“Listen, when someone says to me, ‘the price is going to zero, what are you going to do?’ I’m not going to let it go to zero,” he explained, adding:

“I’m going to implement something. If the market drops precipitously, we’ll stop trading, and if we think a product is going away, we have the longs, we have the shorts, we’ll match them up at a price and that’s the way our rules read today.

 

Image via Wikimedia;
Written by CoinDesk

 

The Forks and Fights Behind Bitcoin’s Turbulence

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Bitcoin’s price has always been volatile, but its 29 percent down-and-mostly-back-upover the last few days was a doozy even for it. For those trying to follow along, there was no shortage of bitcoin jargon to wade through — forks, bitcoin cash, Segwit2x and transaction blocks among them. The big picture is this: The turmoil is what happens when a community designed so no one person or group is in charge tries to sort through the vexing technical and commercial problems created by the pioneering digital currency’s success. This may be a minor bump in the road before factions with diverging interests and ideologies come back together. Or it may be a sign that bitcoin’s future is likely to be fractured.

1. What’s going on?

Like most other pieces of software, the bitcoin network needs periodic upgrades to add new capabilities. Bottlenecks in processing bitcoin transactions have been rising, making the currency uneconomical for some small transactions. But unlike other pieces of software, it requires a consensus of users — specifically, miners, whose computers run its software — to move to a new version. Over the last few months the bitcoin network has already split — or, in industry parlance, forked — twice, into three different versions still running today.

2. What were the forks?

In late July, the bitcoin network split into two, giving birth to bitcoin cash, which featured changes allowing for faster and cheaper transactions. Then in October, the network split off again, giving birth to bitcoin gold, which has a different take on how mining should be done.

3. What’s driving the recent turbulence?

When bitcoin cash was launched, most members of the bitcoin community thought of it as an unnecessary step that would be brushed aside by a broader network upgrade already planned for later. Called SegWit2x, it was to double the blocks in which bitcoin transactions are processed, increasing the network’s speed and reducing fees. But the long agreed-upon upgrade was scratched at the last minute as support for it waned amid worries about security and clashes between core developers and miners. After the cancellation, bitcoin’s price dove, while bitcoin cash — currently the bitcoin network with the biggest blocksize — rallied, coming close to becoming the second-largest crytpocurrency by market capitalization.

4. What’s the disagreement?

Many miners and other users worried that instituting another fork for the SegWit2x upgrade would leave the network open to the so-called replay problem, meaning that the same transaction could be carried out on the old software and the new. There was also criticism that SegWit2x hadn’t been developed in a transparent manner, which could lead to potential security holes or give its developers an upper hand in governance of the network.

5. What happens next?

There’s widespread agreement that the bitcoin network needs to be made faster. Proponents of SegWit2x argue that those needs will lead to its eventual adoption. Others have moved on to look for entirely new solutions — which could mean even more fragmentation of the bitcoin universe.

6. How did we get here?

Bitcoin was built with security more in mind than the kind of volume its success has brought. To prevent counterfeiting, bitcoin transactions are verified by so-called bitcoin miners in batches called blocks. The blocks are then strung together to form the decentralized open ledger known as the blockchain that’s one of the currency’s biggest selling points. Worries about cyberattacks led the system’s designers to cap the size of blocks at 1 megabyte. But as bitcoin grew in popularity over the past nine years, transaction times and processing fees soared to record levels.

7. How big are the issues?

The average time to confirm a bitcoin deal ballooned from under 20 minutes to six hours at one point this year, according to blockchain.info. The backlog of transactions rose to a record, pushing up fees as bitcoin holders offered miners increasing amounts to deal with their transactions sooner. In recent weeks, the congestion (and fees) have lightened significantly as some users have steered clear of the traffic jam. Still, the fees are often high enough to render bitcoin’s use in transactions impractical for many consumers.

8. What does ideology have to do with it?

Created in 2009 by a person or a group under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin initially attracted an array of figures including libertarians who wished to counter the control of sovereign regulators and central banks. One attraction is that, in contrast to limitless printed currencies, there can never be more than 21 million bitcoins. And as bitcoin’s market value has surged, peaking at more than $75 billion, the debate has intensified over whether it should embrace more mainstream capitalism or fortify its position as a libertarian beacon. More practically, the debate has revolved around whether bitcoin should become like gold and other assets that store value, or whether the community should focus on developing it as a payment system and platform for economic activity. And — more importantly — whether its underlying technology should ever be forked or split.

The Reference Shelf

  • What is bitcoin cash?

  • Bitcoin exchange suffers outage amid trading volume surge.

  • What Bitcoin Jesus says about bitcoin cash.

  • Bloomberg View’s Aaron R. Brown says well-designed cryptocurrencies have better survival chances than the average physical currency.

  • A QuickTake explainer on bitcoin and blockchain.

  • More on SegWit2x.

Image via Shutterstock
Written by Bloomberg

 

 

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