Are Stablecoins the Future? The Winklevoss Twins Seem to Think So!

stablecoinsstablecoins

Are stablecoins the future of crypto? Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Bitcoin bulls and Gemini Exchange founders, seem to think so. This morning, an interview was published by Fortune where the twins discussed their first marketing campaign for Gemini.

Stablecoins and Gemini

The famous twins feel digital currency has a bright future, but there need to be banking-style regulations in order for investors to trust it.

“The idea is that companies that build on top of things like Bitcoin should have regulation that’s thoughtful and that doesn’t stifle innovation,” said Tyler on Fortune’s
‘Balancing the Ledger.’ “People believe in the dream of crypto, they just don’t know how to engage in it without getting burned. We’re here to say Gemini’s a place you can do that.”

The newly launched Gemini campaign encompasses just that and is called ‘Revolution Needs Rules.’ The Winklevoss Twins have the ad spread all across Wall Street and have even purchased a full-page in the New York Times.

Crypto has been in quite the bear market the past year, and the twins believe that stablecoins (digital currencies pegged to a fiat currency) are a bright spot for this downturn. It just so happens that the twins have created their own stablecoin for their platform named the Gemini Dollar, pegged to the US dollar. Stablecoins seem to be the new trend among the crypto community, as crypto’s high volatility seems to be its biggest deterrent.

>> Ethereum-Based “Stock” Exchange DX Plagued with Security Issues

However, like Tether (USDT), it is hard to tell if the coin is really pegged to the dollar and how that process even works. The Winklevoss twins explained in their interview that at least 60% of US 100 dollar bills are held overseas. They think this practice could be simplified if the holders just used stablecoins, instead of actual dollars.

With so many new stablecoins in circulation now, it will be difficult to keep up with them all, but the fakes can easily be exposed since they all should hold the same value.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © -Taurus-

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Ethereum-Based “Stock” Exchange DX Plagued with Security Issues

EthereumEthereum

The highly anticipated Ethereum-based “stock” exchange, DX, launched this week! Despite the vast enthusiasm for the project, problems were immediately discovered regarding the company’s security. The launch on January 7th was only a soft launch, but traders aren’t pleased with the lack of security the platform has initially provided.

Ethereum-Based DX.Exchange Flaws

At launch, the exchange reported a few outages as the site couldn’t handle the traffic that was being brought to it. What intrigued most investors was DX’s promise that it would have major tech stocks like Apple and Tesla on the exchange from the start. To bypass US security laws, the Ethereum-based exchange is not open to US residents.

However, DX’s CEO and co-founder recently just made claims that the exchange will hit the US sometime this year. How they will get that approved by the SEC is beyond me. Especially considering the public companies being listed on the exchange don’t benefit whatsoever from the listing.

DX’s soft launch exposed an array of issues with the platform that investors weren’t pleased with.

An anonymous trader told CCN that he created a dummy account of the site, in order to test its robustness, and discovered shocking details.  Allegedly, the trader found that the request he sent from his browser to the exchange included information about the authenticated token and the user’s details to access the account.

>> Bitcoin Price: Another Sudden Sell-Off After a Steady Month

In addition to the private and public keys, the information included the password reset link. Basically, the trader could fully access any affected account of the user’s account if it wasn’t already logged out of. Furthermore, he found he could access some accounts even after the user had logged out.

The Ethereum-based exchange quickly caught wind of this and took action.

Shortly after, DX published a blog post of the incident addressing the patches placed in their security issues. If you live outside the US and were considering trading on the DX platform, I strongly recommend you hold off—for now.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © Cpifbg13

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Bitcoin Price: Another Sudden Sell-Off After a Steady Month

Bitcoin PriceBitcoin Price

At this point, there doesn’t need to be a reason for Bitcoin price to drop suddenly. The market is so volatile by nature it is almost pointless to look for why. So, in true fashion, yesterday’s sudden sell-off confirms just that.

There was no major market news reported, and despite this, Bitcoin price dropped 10% in a 24-hour period. Go figure.

The drop ended what was a (relatively) steady month for the coin.

Bitcoin Price Drop

Of course, where Bitcoin goes, others tend to follow, and so the entire market entered another period of sell-offs yesterday. Until this point, you could almost believe that the market would recover from December 2017’s mighty crash.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin price is valued at $3,693.

Crypto Market

The Bitcoin price decline was bad, but it wasn’t the worst. Other altcoins fared worst yesterday. Some of the day’s biggest losers included Ethereum (ETH), which traded down 15.4% selling for $126.31. Ripple (XRP) was also down 11.1% selling for $0.33. Litecoin (LTC) was down 14.9% at $32.99, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was down 16.8%, selling for $131.92.

According to CoinMarketCap, the entire cryptocurrency market value was down 10.6% in the 24-hour period, standing at $122.7 billion.

>> Bitwise Files Bitcoin ETF With SEC: Another ETF Hopeful

Volatile

As stated, the crash needs no explanation, and no doubt won’t be the last. Bitcoin is a different looking coin in 2019 than it was in 2017. At its current value, Bitcoin price is down 80% what it was worth from its peak in December 2017.

It is for this reason that many people are torn over cryptocurrency’s ability to serve as a viable form of currency usable in everyday situations. The underlying technology of the blockchain underpinning every coin is considered a technological achievement useable for many purposes. The coins, as a payment system, however, tell a different story.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © sinenkiy

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GMO Internet Group Takes Big Hit in Mining Revenue Yet Increases BTC Rewards

GMO miningGMO mining

Japan’s GMO Internet Group has published a report on its in-house crypto mining operations. The IT giant confirmed that it took a steep hit in its overall GMO mining revenue. However, it steadily increased its monthly BTC mining rewards.

GMO Mining Revenue

The company showed “extraordinary loss” from its hardware manufacturing sector in Q4 of 2018. As a result, GMO said it will “no longer develop, manufacture and sell” miners.

The company only entered the mining hardware sector in 2017, so that was very short-lived.

However, while it will close its hardware manufacturing business, GMO will continue its in-house mining operations.

These operations will be restructured, and the company is to relocate its mining center to a less costly region for electricity.

Increase

So while overall revenue from mining hardware has tanked, the company’s Bitcoin mining reward has consistently increased over time. Receiving just 21 BTC in December 2017, this grew to 528 BTC by June 2018, and even further to 960 BTC in December 2018.

The company explains this: “the market’s total hash rate decreased, so our mining share rose and our mining reward expanded.”

Bitcoin Cash

The released document also gives full data on mining rewards and hash rate for the other cryptocurrency it mines, including Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The altcoin has delivered fluctuating rewards for the company. From 213 BCH in December 2017 to 62 BCH in June 2018, rising to 875 BCH in October before falling to 400 BCH in November 2018.

>> Litecoin’s Charlie Lee Sparks Twitter Battle Over “Bitcoin Extremists”

Moving forward, GMO has stated it will no longer report monthly on its crypto mining operations. It will disclose the results as part of its quarterly earnings announcements instead.

The company made an innovative move at the end of 2018 whereby it offered to pay its employees in Bitcoin. Being paid in Bitcoin meant an increase of 10% on an employee’s regular fiat wage if they opted for Bitcoin.

I don’t know if I would take that risk, would you?

Featured Image: Depositphotos © IgorVetushko

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Monero “Mistake”—Now You Can’t Pay for Fortnite Merch with Monero

MoneroMonero

If you were excited about Friday’s news about Monero (XMR) being accepted on the Retail Row store, well, sorry to break the bad news, but according to CEO of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney, it was all a “mistake.”

Oops, but also… how?

Monero Mistake

Over the weekend, the CEO of Epic Games—the creators of 2018’s biggest game, Fortnite—admitted that adding Monero as a payment method on the games online store was a “mistake.” And not a ‘Now that I have reflected on my actions I believe I chose the wrong course of action’ mistake, but an ‘Oops! Pressed the wrong button by mistake’ mistake.

But what a mistake to make. It’s hard to understand how this could have happened accidentally.

Added on Friday, the option to pay for merch using the controversial coin has since been removed from the store.

No More Monero

Let’s catch you up. As stated, Epic Games developed, possibly, the world’s most popular game—ever—called Fortnite. You’ve probably never heard of it. It is so popular, that the company opened an official merchandise store named Retail Row in December.

Now, CEO Sweeney is saying that Monero had unintentionally entered the store’s payment options “somewhere along the way.” (That’s a tad ambiguous!) Nonetheless, the site’s staff removed the payment option over the weekend.

>> Bitcoin Price: Holding Steady Near $3,800, Corrections Across the Market

Nothing Adds Up

Monero is definitely one of the more controversial of the cryptos out there. Its protocol has a heavy emphasis on privacy whereby transaction identities remain completely private, as such, the coin has been linked on several occasions to illicit activities and payments.

Friday’s choice to partner with Monero was a head-scratcher for that reason, especially considering the younger audience who enjoy Fortnite and its merchandise. Sweeney, on his Twitter account, continued today:

“[A] lot more work is needed on volatility and fraud-proofing before bringing it to such a broad audience that includes younger gamers.”

Rumors

Yes, that makes sense. But again how do make such a massive mistake? Rumors do abound that Epic Games had partnered with cryptocurrency payment processor GloBee on the Monero deal. But this has been denied by Sweeney. He also wants to drive home the fact that “Epic doesn’t have any cryptocurrency partners and aren’t in any crypto partnership discussions with anyone.”

When this payment optioned popped up on Friday, XMR gained close to 10% on the excitement. It has since lost a lot of those gains, which is pretty understandable.

So there you have it. You can’t buy merch anymore on Retail Row using XMR. That very brief three-day window has now closed. What a Monero mistake to make.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © gstockstudio

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BTT Token Coming Soon; First Step in Supporting Decentralized Internet, Says Justin Sun

BTT tokenBTT token

On Thursday, January 3rd, BitTorrent, Inc. said that it plans to launch a crypto token, called the BitTorrent token (BTT). While many have done something similar, CEO Justin Sun described the BTT token as having a competitive edge.

BTT Token Coming Soon

According to Sun, the BTT token is “the first in a series of steps to support a decentralized internet.” For the most part, the BitTorrent token will be used to achieve quicker download speeds. It can be bought, sold, and traded.

Speaking further on the matter, Sun said that “the BitTorrent client can introduce blockchain to hundreds of millions of users around the world.” The CEO, who also founded TRON, said it can also “empower a new generation of content creators.”

Things to Note

The BTT token will be available on Binance Launchpad, to non-US accounts. “We created Launchpad to help entrepreneurs launch their best projects and bring more use cases to the industry,” explains the CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao.

In Case You Don’t Know

Founded in 2004, BitTorrent was acquired by TRON in July of last year. The goal of the acquisition was to create “the largest decentralized Internet ecosystem in the world.” TRON paid around $140 million for the acquisition.

Speaking of TRON

Hearing the news of the BTT token, it’s hard not to wonder how TRON is doing on the market, considering Justin Sun leads both.

>> Bitcoin Price: Holding Steady Near $3,800, Corrections Across the Market

In the past twenty-four hours, TRON is up nearly 5%, currently at 4.82%.

BTT tokenBTT token
Source: CoinMarketCap

The Takeaway

What do you think about BitTorrent launching a BTT token? Do you think it will prove to be as successful as Justin Sun believes it to be? Will it be a game changer in 2019?

Let us know what you think in the comments below, and make sure you stay updated with this story for new announcements, especially if you’re interested in cryptocurrency tokens!

Featured Image: Depositphotos © belchonock

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Samsung Crypto Wallet: Is It Rumor or Reality?

Samsung crypto walletSamsung crypto wallet

2019 is supposed to bring a lot of things, but is a Samsung crypto wallet one of them? Maybe. According to reports, the company recently filed a UK trademark for a crypto wallet. 

Samsung Crypto Wallet: Rumor or Reality?

On December 27th, the UK Intellectual Property Office published a filing. It details how Samsung, a South Korean electronics behemoth, has applied for a UK trademark for a crypto wallet. For those who don’t know (and according to blockgeeks.com) a cryptocurrency wallet is a software program that stores both public and private keys. It also allows users to send and receive virtual currencies.

According to various reports, the company—if approved—would use the trademark to develop computer software for a Samsung crypto wallet. The application still has examination status. While the remaining details are unknown, this potential move by Samsung seems reasonable. Moving forward, the cryptocurrency industry will need more innovation if it wants to maintain the reputation established in 2017. And if smartphones start operating crypto features, that will likely be the next big thing to happen.

Not the First Time

Samsung has dabbled in the blockchain and crypto industry before. Last month, the company filed three separate trademark applications in the EU. They were for crypto and blockchain-based software.

>> Stellar vs. TRON: Is there Really Any Competition?

It’s Up to Samsung

The published UK filing makes it seem as if this is a done deal. But Samsung has recently denied the rumors of having a crypto wallet in their next smartphone model, so, at the end of the day, all we can do is wait for an official announcement.

The Takeaway

How would you feel if a Samsung crypto wallet were to be rolled out in 2019? Do you think it’s a smart move for smartphone operators to dip their feet in the waters of cryptocurrency? Or, do you think it could cost them in the long-run?

Let us know what you think in the comments below! And don’t forget to stay updated with this story. 

Featured Image: Depositphotos/dennizn

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Dark Overlord: Hacker Group Demands Bitcoin or 9/11 “Truth” Comes Out

Those targeted are expected to pay an unspecified Bitcoin ransom. If they don’t pay up, the group claims “we’re going to bury you with this.

The Dark Overlord

The Dark Overlord is a “professional adversarial threat group” that has struck many times before.

The hacker group has previously hacked Netflix—releasing an entire new season of ‘Orange is the New Black’ last year. It has also hacked a number of plastic surgery clinics with threats to reveal customer identities. It has reportedly hacked over 50 businesses thus far, selling back the stolen data for a fee.

Now the group has released a link to a 10GB encrypted archive of documents that reportedly detail the truth about 9/11. If their demands are not met, the hacker group promises to release the encryption keys.

Bitcoin Price

Bitcoin price is on the rise today. Starting 2019 with a bang, BTC is selling for $3,900 USD and is up over 4% on the day.

Featured Image: Depositphotos/VadimVasenin

Bitwise Files Bitcoin ETF With SEC: Another ETF Hopeful

Bitwise ETFBitwise ETF

According to a US Government SEC registration form, cryptocurrency index fund provider Bitwise Asset Management has applied to launch a new Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) with the government body.

An ETF is a platform that tracks and trades an asset in the same way as stocks are traded on an exchange.

Will Bitwise manage to succeed where so many others are failing?

Bitwise Files Bitcoin ETF

Bitwise’s proposal is for an ETF that tracks the value of Bitcoin via the Bitwise Bitcoin Total Return Index. This value is “calculated based on the prices of Bitcoin that the Index Provider derives from Bitcoin price transactions occurring on cryptocurrency exchanges.”

Basically, the index will take Bitcoin’s value from a variety of crypto exchanges and will, therefore, offer a more accurate and precise market value for the coin.

This is one difference that Bitwise’s ETF proposal offers that previous ETF proposals—which have all been rejected—did not.

Another Vital Difference

Another difference on offer with Bitwise’s ETF proposal is that it would need “regulated third-party custodians to hold its physical bitcoin.”

The company’s Global Head of ETFs, John Hyland, spoke of this in the press release:

“Having a regulated bank or trust company hold physical assets of a fund has been the standard under US fund regulation for the last 80 years, and we believe that is now possible with Bitcoin.”

>> Ethereum Classic Attack: Gate.io Will Return Most Funds

Pending

Bitwise is still awaiting a decision from the SEC on a previously filed ETF that would track the Bitwise HOLD 10 Private Index Fund.

The approval of a crypto ETF has yet to happen, although the industry has been crying out for one. In December 2018, the SEC postponed its decision on a Bitcoin ETF by investment firm VanEck and blockchain company SolidX. It is now expected to make a decision by the end of February.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © cookelma

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Litecoin’s Charlie Lee Sparks Twitter Battle Over “Bitcoin Extremists”

Charlie LeeCharlie Lee

Charlie Lee is at it again. The Litecoin founder isn’t shy when it comes to voicing his opinion on crypto via Twitter and yesterday was no different. It seems this time, he’s targeting Bitcoin maximalists.

Charlie Lee vs. Bitcoin Maximalists

It all started with a poll.

It seems Mr. Lee isn’t happy with a group of self-proclaimed Bitcoin maximalists. The Litecoin founder goes even as far as calling them “extremists,” which isn’t generally a positive thing to call someone.

In 23 hours, Charlie Lee has collected over 28,000 votes on his poll and Bitcoin maximalist has taken over the majority of it. At press time, Bitcoin extremist has 9%, altcoin maximalist has 33%, and nocoiner has 10%. That leaves the remaining 48% to individuals who deem themselves Bitcoin maximalists.

Traditionally, maximalists believe that Bitcoin (BTC) is the top cryptocurrency and the one to use day-to-day. Where Lee seems upset is that a group of these maximalists have attacked his own project and feel there is no space for any altcoins in the industry. This is what prompted the Twitter poll and attack on these so-called “extremists.”

Others had their own take on the poll and subject, as usual.

Another person actually knocking Litecoin said:

Not sure why the person above bought Litecoin because they thought Charlie Lee was a “good person” but that’s probably someone that shouldn’t be investing—just my opinion. Binance’s CEO even joined into the conversation.

>> Monero “Mistake”—Now You Can’t Pay for Fortnite Merch with Monero

From all the rest of the conversation via the initial tweet, it seems Lee isn’t the one who made up the term Bitcoin maximalists. He took that from Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founder. It remains unclear why Bitcoin (BTC) supporters need to be placed into a category, but the altcoin leaders, like Charlie Lee, obviously feel it’s necessary.

According to CoinMarketCap, BTC broke over the $4,00 threshold recently and is currently trading at $4,044.75 a coin, down – $0.97%, in 24 hours.

Featured Image: Depositphotos © GekaSkr

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