Monthly Archives: June 2019

Crypto Hardware Review: Meet The Sleek Gray Corazon Titanium

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A week or two back, I got an unsolicited message on Twitter, Crypto Twitter if you will. When the private message opened, I was greeted by a note from GRAY®, a Singapore-based company focused on luxury-centric hardware.

To my surprise, their chief executive, Kevin Wu, was offering to send me one of their latest products — The Corazon Titanium, their play on cryptocurrency hardware that took heavy inspiration from the Trezor Model T, one of the top security solutions for Bitcoin “HODLers”. As I explained to my editor at financial binary options, “the Corazon is pretty much a specced out Trezor T”.

In fact, the Titanium and others in the Corazon lineup were purportedly created in collaboration with Trezor, a well-known, long-standing crypto upstart.

By the time I took a look at GRAY®’s website, my curiosity piqued, so I accepted the kind gift, and here I am reviewing it a few weeks later. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Unboxing The Crypto Device

The very nonchalant, simple unboxing experiences that the ShapeShift KeepKey, Ledger Nano S or Nano X, the normal Trezor Model T, and other hardware crypto wallets provide weren’t present with GRAY®’s device.

First off, the box itself, which is sealed by two ‘government-issued’ tamper-proof stickers, is quite clean. The design is minimalistic — my favorite — and the branding is subtle. Plus, everything is in black and white.

The silky design carries over into the box’s contents. As seen below (image from GRAY®), upon sliding the Corazon-festooned cover off the box, you’re met with a matte black block of foam in which the device is encased.

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Under the foam piece is a hefty stack of crypto-related documentation, including a recovery seed card for those extremely conscious about backing up their keys. I know, the same old, same old, but important to have nonetheless.

And under that is the lengthy USBC-to-USB cord, which, I must say, looks a lot better than the Amazon Basics ones I order on occasion, or even the one that Ledger includes with its devices.

Overall, the unboxing experience is quite exciting really, just what you would expect from a company whose existence is built on stellar aesthetics and knock-your-socks-off product design. Fun, eh?

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Corazon Titanium

Although I normally don’t allocate a whole review section to the device’s physicality, the Corazon Titanium has to be an exception. The device is simply a beast. No joke.

While the Nano S is light, this device is heavy. It could easily double as a really, really conspicuous paperweight if you wanted to. I don’t own a scale, but I would assume the Titanium weighs a solid 150 grams, not much less than the smartphone you are presumably reading this review on. This may not sound like a lot, but if you were carrying this in your pocket, you’d easily notice.

The wallet has a nice finish, sporting a nice space grey color scheme and a brushed texture. And the GRAY® and Trezor branding are minimal, actually kind of complementing the device instead of sticking out like sore thumbs.

What’s most important though is the material used to build the Titanium. If you haven’t guessed it already, this piece of crypto hardware is built using titanium, “aerospace grade” titanium to be exact.

Due to some unfortunate logistical mishaps, I was unable to shoot, burn, or freeze the device to test its durability. But, considering the attributes of titanium, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was much more durable than the classic Trezor Model T, especially in terms of temperature resistance and corrosion.

So make no mistake, unlike your phone, the Titanium is unlikely to easily scratch.

Using it to Store Crypto

Despite its flashy appearance, using the device was simple and sleek. In fact, using the GRAY® device is just how one would use a normal, plastic-clad Trezor Model T.

To start the process of storing your cryptocurrency bags, you plug in the device to your computer. The USBC side goes into the Titanium and the USB side goes into your computer. If you messed that up, I don’t know what to tell you.

Upon plugging in the device, your computer should register that something was plugged in and the Titanium itself should turn on, greeting you with a- digitally enthusiastic “Welcome!”.

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The Corazon Titanium. Don’t mind my dusty keyboard.

As prompted, you are then supposed to visit Trezor.io/start, which will trigger a backup process, during which you will need to take your handy recovery seed card, then fill it out. From there, you can then use Trezor’s software, namely a program called Bridge, to store an array of assets.

These include but aren’t limited to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple’s XRP, Litecoin, Tether, Stellar, Monero, Tezos, ZCash, all ERC-20 tokens, and Cardano. The specced out Trezor can also “secure your digital identity”, as it does sport a password manager.

‘Too Long, Didn’t Read’ Conclusion

If you don’t want to read my whole review, here’s a short spiel.

Overall, the Corazon Titanium is a solid, nice-looking device that comes shipped in a nice package. The device itself could easily take a beating, seeing that it is, after all, built out of one of the earth’s rarest and hardest metals.

As a crypto asset hardware wallet, it serves its purpose well, harnessing the technologies and portal built by Trezor (Satoshi Labs) to allow for storage of Bitcoin, Ethereum, other crypto assets, and even keys for non-blockchain applications.

However, with the device clocking in at $959 Singaporean Dollars, which is just shy of $710 for American readers, it may be out of reach for normal consumers. If you’re a cryptocurrency HODLer, have a bit of money to spend, and want to stand out a bit in a crowd of plastic Trezor Model Ts, this device would be perfect for you.

Or, if you have a tad more to spend, the Corazon Titanium’s older brother, the Corazon Gold, has your name written all over it. That runs for over US$1,500 though.

My overall score for the Corazon Titanium: 8.0/10

Disclaimer: GRAY®’s chief executive, Kevin Wu, reached out to me via Twitter & LinkedIn, asking if he could send me the device for a potential review. I agreed. No financial transactions were made, but I did receive the device at no cost. Regardless This review is entirely objective, made from the perspective of a (relatively) small crypto asset holder that cares about security and privacy. Readers and investors should always do their due diligence before purchasing any device or cryptocurrency mentioned in this article. 

Featured Image from Shutterstock. Some Review Photos Courtesy of GRAY.

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Ethereum: Despite Recent Volatility, Analysts Believe ETH Could Soon Test $363

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Despite Bitcoin being in a firm uptrend over the past few months, the aggregated crypto markets have largely experienced lackluster price action, but Ethereum (ETH) may be one of the few exceptions as it has been closely tracking BTC as of late.

Because ETH has been closely tracking BTC, it has experienced large volatility over the past week, setting fresh year-to-date highs before quickly plummeting lower. Now, analysts believe Ethereum is ready to continue its upwards ascent, which may mean that it will target $363 next.

Ethereum Finds Support at $300 as Volatility Ramps Up

At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading up nominally at its current price of $307, up slightly from its daily lows of $295.

Over a one-month period, it becomes clear as to just how volatile ETH has been as of late, surging from lows of $230 to highs of $360, at which point it incurred a massive influx of selling pressure that sent it reeling down to lows of $285.

In the time since, Ethereum appears to have been forming a pattern of consolidation between $295 and $310, which may turn out to be a fresh trading range that will persist while Bitcoin experiences a bout of sideways trading.

The Cryptomist, a popular crypto analyst on Twitter, spoke about ETH in a recent tweet, noting that it has between now and August to hold above its RSI support, which means that it could be another month before it makes a decisive move in one direction or another.

“$Eth My loyal followers would remember when I posted that long term btc support that had to break ..remember? Well Eth has the same one! This RSI support has now till August to break – Support test approaching: one more bounce? 304 holding as past resistance,” she explained.

Will ETH Target $363 Next? One Analyst Believe So

Although The Cryptomist believes it could be another month before Ethereum makes a big movement, Harald Weygand, another popular analyst, recently explained that he believes ETH is currently gearing up for a move back towards its recently established highs.

“#Ethereum Sell Off is over, I expect a re-attack of the pricemark at 363 USD,” he concisely noted while referencing the below chart.

As the weekend continues on, it is probable that Ethereum’s near-term price action will be largely based on that of Bitcoin, which may mean that it is in for a bout of sideways trading.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Economist Flips From Bitcoin Skeptic to Savant, Acknowledges Crypto’s Staying Power

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To most in the Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto community, mainstream media is viewed with intense skepticism. Case in point, the leading cryptocurrency has been declared dead over 360 times according to 99Bitcoins.

Most of these attacks come from mainstream outlets, from CNBC and Forbes to the New York Post and Bloomberg. For instance, one Bloomberg op-ed headline published in January 2018 reads: “Sorry, Bitcoin Fans. Digital Currency Is Still a Dream.”

Related Reading: FUD Storm: Mainstream Media Back Bashing Bitcoin the Moment Markets Move

But, just recently, as BTC has surged past $10,000, one Bloomberg economist and column writer has flipped bullish on the cryptocurrency, acknowledging its value in this ever-changing world. Here’s a short synopsis of his story, aided by a Twitter thread from cryptocurrency commentator and writer Tony Sheng.

From Bitcoin Cynic to Believer

Since 2013, Tyler Cowen, a Bloomberg Opinion writer and economist, has been somewhat skeptical of Bitcoin’s value proposition. In 2013, he seemingly poked fun at the volatility of the cryptocurrency market, joking that volatility could be a redeeming factor of Bitcoin. He wrote at the time:

“Imagine you hold a currency which, over the next period will either double or halve in value. […] What a good deal that is!”

Cowen later published a piece in which he wrote “how and why Bitcoin will plummet in price”, noting that the digital asset market may get to a point where the equilibrium price of cryptocurrencies is the cost of marketing. Sounds confusing, we know, but the writer made the assumptions that all digital assets are one and the same.

A few years later, the writer noted that he wasn’t convinced that Bitcoin was doing to be a “big deal”. Sheng, the aforementioned compiler of these historical texts called this Cowen’s “skeptic ” phase, as the economist was trying to ground claims in the reality of economics.

Related Reading: Space Holds The Key to The Bitcoin (BTC) Moon Mission: Flipping Gold

But by 2017, things started to change. He wrote that BTC may actually be a good way for risk-averse individuals to store their wealth, even likening the seemingly nascent cryptocurrency to gold, just as firms like Grayscale have done time and time again.

Cowen’s journey to believer finished just recently, however, with his latest article for Bloomberg on this newfangled asset. Titled “Bitcoin is (Probably) Here to Stay”, Cowen gave a number of reasons why the cryptocurrency has a viable value proposition.

  1. The U.S.-China trade war, which pushes Chinese investors to find their way into safe havens.
  2. A left-leaning (economics-wise) political climate in the U.S., which may lead investors to store their value away from authorities (IRS).
  3. The launch of Libra, which Cowen believes increases the survivability of cryptocurrency.
  4. Hedge against uncertainty.

This journey is very similar to those of other market commentators on mainstream media outlets, many of which have started to acknowledge the value of Bitcoin in today’s macroeconomic climate. For instance, a Deutsche Bank analyst recently claimed that BTC may see use as a safe haven as central banks continue to push pro-inflationary policies.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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Analyst: Bitcoin Could Target $8,200 Next Despite Recent Stability; Is the Bull Run Over?

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Bitcoin has been experiencing some incredibly positive price action over the past few months, but what started out at consistent, steady gains quickly changed into massive volatility after BTC began moving parabolically, which ultimately resulted in the crypto losing its momentum and plummeting from its recent highs.

Now, it appears that Bitcoin has entered a period of consolidation, bouncing between the upper $10,000 region and the lower $12,000 region. Importantly, one analyst believes BTC’s current consolidation trend could result in a plummet to $8,200.

Bitcoin Holds Above Support, But Fails to Move Higher

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up marginally at its current price of $11,950 and is up slightly from daily lows of $11,500.

Bitcoin’s volatility first began earlier this week when BTC’s upwards momentum turned parabolic, leading it from weekly lows of $10,500 to highs of $13,800.

Despite this, the upwards momentum didn’t last long, as the cryptocurrency quickly plummeted after hitting this level, erasing the majority of its parabolic gains when it subsequently dropped to lows of $10,600.

In the time since this price movement occurred, Bitcoin has found some stability between roughly $11,500 and $12,500, which appears to be a fresh trading range that may persist for the foreseeable future.

In the near-term, it is important that BTC closes above the bottom of this aforementioned trading range, or else a drop into the $9,000 region could be imminent.

Josh Rager, a popular crypto analyst on Twitter, spoke about this in a recent tweet, also explaining that a close above this level could lead the cryptocurrency back into the upper-$13,000 region.

“$BTC – watching for a weekly close above $11,510. Confluence at that level, if closed below then real opportunity for price to retest at $9532 (0.382 fib). Close above could lead to higher probability to retest local highs at $13800s,” Rager noted.

Analyst: Despite Uptrend, BTC May Target $8,200 Next 

Although today’s daily close will likely determine which direction Bitcoin is heading next, recently established technical formations may point to the possibility that it will target $8,200 next.

Mitoshi Kaku, another popular crypto analyst on Twitter, spoke about this possibility in a recent tweet, noting that a break above $13,200 would invalidate this theory.

“I’d like to wait a little bit more to share this, as I’m testing new and more complex formulas right now and I need more confirmations/data. But, this is the scenario I have for the next move, as long as we don’t break AND close above 13.2K (Invalidation),” he explained while referencing the below chart.

After an incredibly volatile week, it is unclear as to whether or not this volatility will carry over into the weekend, or if BTC will begin consolidating and face a bout of sideways trading for the next couple of days.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Crypto Tidbits: Bitcoin Surges, XRP Exchange Hack, LedgerX’s BTC Futures, Chainlink on Coinbase

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Another week, another round of Crypto Tidbits. Wow, what a crazy week it’s been for Bitcoin (BTC). Not only was the market absolutely absurd, with BTC finding itself riding on a proverbial rollercoaster, but so was the underlying industry.

Related Reading: Analyst: Bitcoin is Still in a Clear Uptrend Despite Recent Crash; is a Move Towards $20k Imminent?

Over the past seven days, we’ve seen everything really: Bitcoin up 20% in a day’s time, a $2,000 crash in minutes, and bouts of volatility and volume not seen since 2017’s peak. Anyhow, BTC, as of the time of writing this, is at $11,600, up 8% on the week. During the same time span, most traditional assets lost value, accentuating the uncorrelated nature of crypto assets.

On the fundamental side of the industry, a key exchange was cleared for BTC futures, crypto startups bagged huge partnerships, and institutional involvement continued. All good signs for the seemingly impending bull market. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

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Related Reading: Crypto Tidbits: Bitcoin Above $10,000, Facebook Launches Libra, Ripple & Moneygram Team Up

Crypto & Bitcoin Tidbits

  • Binance Looks to Join Libra Association, Could List Facebook’s Crypto: For the most part, the Libra Association, the group of corporations behind the Facebook-backed crypto & blockchain are mainstream firms: PayPal, Visa, Booking Holdings, Spotify, Uber, and so on. But, Coinbase and Xapo have made the list too, marking two “crypto native” firms. Per a recent interview, Binance is trying to join their ranks, with a company executive explaining in interviews with Finance Magnates and BlockTv that discussions have taken place between Binance and Facebook. In these interviews, Strategy Officer Gin Chao claimed that Binance may list Facebook’s digital asset once it moves from a private chain to public, and that his company may even become a validator on the blockchain. There are no concrete plans, however.
  • Twitch Accepts Bitcoin Once Again: First spotted by a user of the Reddit sub-forum known as “Cryptocurrency”, Twitch allows users to contribute to their favorite content creators with Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash yet again. Per the user’s experience using this feature, the acceptance of Bitcoin is being completed through BitPay, an industry leading cryptocurrency payments solution based it Atlanta. Twitch’s sudden reacceptance of the leading cryptocurrency and its estranged cousin, Bitcoin Cash, may have something to do with a recent partnership. For those who missed the memo, earlier this year at Consensus, cryptocurrency upstart Flexa unveiled Spedn. A play on “HODL”, an industry inside joke, Spedn is a solution that allows users to spend Bitcoin, Ethereum, Gemini Dollars, and Bitcoin Cash in certain partner chains. These partners include Nordstrom, Gamestop, Crate & Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond, Lowe’s, and arguably most importantly, the Amazon-owned Whole Foods.
  • Coinbase Adds Chainlink Amid Massive Partnership, Google Support: Chainlink has seen a helluva week, a week that some would say was even crazier than Bitcoin’s. Earlier this month, technololgy giant Oracle revealed that it would be working with the Chainlink platform for its in-house blockchain project, and will be announcing corporate partners for the venture later this year. Google, yes the Google, then name-dropped the Ethereum-centric project in a blog post and a Youtube video, claiming that it would be allowing for Chainlink oracles to interact with BigQuery. And most recently, Coinbase, for both its “Pro” and consumer platforms, has added the LINK token for trading.
  • Square Adds Bitcoin Deposits at Long Last: Last week, prominent Bitcoin podcaster Marty Bent revealed that users could deposit BTC into Square’s flagship product, Cash App. Later, Square cleared the air, publishing a support page and a flashy tweet that revealed that yes, users can now directly deposit Bitcoin into Cash’s coffers. The process, per the page, is the same old, same old. Interestingly though, there is a $10,000 weekly limit on Bitcoin deposits though, which may have something to do with the fact that users can purportedly only spend $10,000 on BTC a week. This, coupled with the fact that the Jack Dorsey-run fintech startup’s Bitcoin division made its first hire, marks the company’s continued acceptance of the cryptocurrency.
  • LedgerX Inches Out Bakkt, Approved to Launch ‘Physical’ Bitcoin Futures: Just a few weeks back, Bakkt revealed that it would be launching its Bitcoin (BTC) futures product for user testing in late-July. But, it seems that another cryptocurrency exchange has beat the New York Stock Exchange-backed initiative to the punch, so to speak. Announced Tuesday morning, LedgerX, a crypto asset derivatives platform headquartered in the Big Apple, has received clearance from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). This regulatory green light will allow the company to list physically-settled BTC futures, which are far different than the paper contracts offered by the CME.
  • Walmart Joins Hands With Crypto Startup in China: Announced via a press release, Walmart China, which presides over 424 retail stores, is now working with VeChain. The two partners join China Chain-Store & Franchise, a retail consortium that purportedly has 1,000+ members; Pricewaterhouse Coopers, a “Big Four” auditor; and the Inner Mongolia Kerchin, an Asian cattle company. Together, the companies involved form what is now known as the “Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform”, or WCBTP for short. By the end of 2020 — just over 18 months away — the collective wants to trace 50% of packaged fresh meat, 40% of packaged vegetables, and 12.5% of packaged seafood that Walmart China sells through blockchain technologies.
  • Crypto Exchange Hacked for Millions in XRP, Cardano: Announced Wednesday night via an extensive Twitter thread, Bitrue, a Singapore-based exchange, has lost a large stash of XRP and Cardano (ADA) in a recent hack. Being surprisingly candid and upfront about the details of this debacle, the exchange sad that a hacker had managed to siphon “9.3 million XRP and 2.5 million ADA” from Bitrue’s “hot wallet” to “different exchanges”. The exchange has promised to return “100% of lost funds” to the 90 affected users, a move which not many hacked cryptocurrency platforms have promised. Bitrue has also claimed to have been in close communication with Huobi, Bittrex, and ChangeNow, three crypto platforms which received the hacked funds that have since “frozen the affected funds and accounts.”

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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Analyst: Bitcoin (BTC) Closing Weekly Above $11,500, Sets Stage for 20% Boom

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Bitcoin Needs to Hold This Level to Head Higher

Surprisingly, Bitcoin (BTC) has managed to recover after the $3,000 collapse earlier this week. As of the time of writing this, the cryptocurrency is right back up to $11,800, down 3% in the past 24 hours. With this recovery from $10,400, some have begun to suggest that bulls have the momentum once again, making it likely that BTC is poised to test $13,800 yet again.

One analyst, however, recently explained that Bitcoin isn’t home free just yet. Per a recent tweet from Level’s Josh Rager, in around 24 hours from the time that this will be published, cryptocurrency traders will get an indication from BTC as to where it will head next.

If Bitcoin closes above $11,500, a key weekly resistance that acted as BTC’s top in early-2018, he claims that this would dramatically increase the probability of a move to test $13,800. A move from the resistance to year-to-date highs would represent a 20% surge, which, if you haven’t noticed, is entirely possible in the cryptocurrency market today.

If BTC closes under $11,500, Rager suggests there will become a “real opportunity” for Bitcoin to “retest at $9,532”, which is where BTC struggled to break past earlier this month on its way past $10,000.

While Bitcoin’s chart looks positive, especially considering the lack of continuation after this week’s plunge from $13,800 to $10,400, some suggest that the bearish scenario is more likely for the cryptocurrency. As reported by Ethereum World News previously, known trader Financial Survivalism claimed that the chances of a strong correction have been building for a while now, ever since Bitcoin broke past $5,800 and then $8,000.

The analysis, posted some 24 hours ago as of the time of writing this report, predicted the rebound to $12,400, which is just over where Bitcoin sits now.

This is important, as Survivalism predicted that once $12,400 has been hit, a correction to $9,000, which has acted as an important level of both support and resistance over the past few weeks, will begin to take place. This has yet to occur, but considering the accuracy of the target of $12,400, this 25% drop may come to fruition in the near future.

As to technical reasons for this reversal, Survivalism seemed to point out three. Firstly, a move to $9,000 would give Bitcoin a chance to revisit uptrend support that BTC followed closely from late-April to just two weeks back.

Secondly, the BitMEX funding rate has hit very high levels, implying that longs may need to close their positions, leading to a devaluation of the cryptocurrency. And lastly, the Average Directional Index, a technical analysis indicator meant to determine the strength of a trend, is “looking ready to roll over soon on the daily”, implying weakness.

Photo by André François McKenzie on Unsplash

The post Analyst: Bitcoin (BTC) Closing Weekly Above $11,500, Sets Stage for 20% Boom appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Chainlink (LINK) Surges 137% on the Week as Coinbase, Google, Oracle News Activates FOMO

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Chainlink Literally Moons in Bizarre Upswing

Bitcoin (BTC) may have stuttered this week, but Chainlink (LINK) sure isn’t. While the leading cryptocurrency rallied by 20% to only fall by $3,000 the next day, LINK, a top Ethereum-based token, has rallied by 137% in the past seven days according to Messari’s OnChainFX. With this move, the cryptocurrency has entered the top 16, which is a far cry from where it was during the last market boom. The chart below sums up the asset’s performance rather well.

While LINK may be looking much like any random “pump and dump” coin, there has been an array of positive news for the cryptocurrency as of late. This may be the one time in this cycle that news has directly led to price action in a large-cap cryptocurrency.

As of the time of writing this article, LINK is up 50% in the past 24 hours, finding itself at $4.20. During the same time period, Bitcoin lost 2%, accentuating the craziness of the Ethereum token’s crazy swing to the upside.

Here are a few tidbits of news regarding the asset class.

Reasons for LINK’s Jaw-Dropping Surge

Firstly, Google, yes the Google, announced last week that it would be integrating the asset and technology into its Cloud services. In a blog post titled “Building hybrid blockchain/cloud applications with Ethereum and Google Cloud”, the Silicon Valley giant revealed that it would allow for

Chainlink, and thus Ethereum smart contracts, to interact with BigQuery, Google’s data analyzer and portal. What this does is allows for developers to build decentralized applications that can harness Google, theoretically improving the efficiency and viability of smart contracts. As a Cloud developer concludes:

“We’ve demonstrated how to use Chainlink services to provide data from the BigQuery crypto public datasets on-chain. This technique can be used to reduce inefficiencies (submarine sends use case) and in some cases add entirely new capabilities (hedging use case) to Ethereum smart contracts, enabling new on-chain business models to emerge.”

For those unaware, Chainlink’s claim to fame is its so-called “oracle” system, which is a recently-launched product meant to improve processes on something like Ethereum. For instance, if someone is betting on a real-world financial scenario with the Ethereum-centric Augur, an oracle can be used to make the outcome verification process much easier.  Google later name dropped Chainlink in a Youtube video. This mainstream support is important, especially in an industry where startups announce countless fraudulent, misguided partnerships.

Secondly, technology giant Oracle, the third biggest software company, has revealed that it will be using Chainlink technologies. It isn’t clear how exactly the company will be using the startup’s technology, but it surely won’t hurt its budding ecosystem.

Thirdly, Coinbase recently unveiled support for Chainlink for both Coinbase Pro and Coinbase.com, which gives U.S. investors a regulated onramp into LINK, which will likely be integral once Binance leaves the U.S. This is important than more reasons than just a listing. You see, earlier this year, Coinbase announced intentions to support staking for cryptocurrencies. With the Chainlink Network involving staking-enabled nodes, institutional investors that use Coinbase’s custody platform may begin to take further interest in LINK, which can create passive income in an investor’s portfolio.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

The post Chainlink (LINK) Surges 137% on the Week as Coinbase, Google, Oracle News Activates FOMO appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Silk Road: Dealer Fights Police over Bitcoin (BTC) Worth Millions

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Vancouver Police Department Accused of Withholding $2.5m in Bitcoin

Despite the fact that the Bitcoin-friendly Silk Road in its original form is now long gone, there still remain court cases on the subject matter.

For those who missed the memo, the Silk Road was the name of a popular, infamous online marketplace (situated on the deep/dark web) that allowed its users to trade an array of different goods, mostly narcotics, for BTC. However, it was shut down after U.S. authorities managed to capture those involved, including Bitcoin pioneer and now-convict Ross Ulbricht, who many in the cryptocurrency believe should not be held responsible.

Anyhow, back to the matter at hand. As reported by prominent Canadian media outlet CBC this week, an individual going by “D.A.L.” is accusing the Vancouver Police Department of mistreating assets pertaining to his case.

D.A.L., who has already served his time for trafficking mostly marijuana, claims that the VPD should not continue to have access to a laptop hard drive, reported having millions worth of Bitcoin stored on it because earlier this month, the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that it should be returned to the owner.

The police believe that the Bitcoin found on the hard drives, seized in 2013, are the proceeds of the sale of illicit goods on Silk Road, and have thus kept it. D.A.L., on the other hand, has begged to differ, stating:

The police committed fraud by deliberately failing to advise the justice of all the pertinent facts. The police deliberately and fraudulently misled, not only the justice who approved their application, but also counsel.”

The Bitcoin in question amounts to 226.44 coins, which is valued at over $2.5 million U.S. as of the time of writing this. It is no small sum, that’s for sure. But back then, the cryptocurrency may have only amounted to a few thousand dollars. Considering that the cost of living in Vancouver, which is where D.A.L. and his family reside, is sky-high, it is no surprise that he is fighting for the money that he believes he deserves.

If courts find that the Vancouver Police Department’s claim of upholding justice to keep the hard drive is unbacked, D.A.L. is likely to receive the Bitcoin back. However, with the ever-changing state of the cryptocurrency markets, the value of said coins may be drastically different then than it is now.

D.A.L.’s case is very different than other Silk Road traffickers in that he claims that he should have possession of the Bitcoin, while other cases have seen the suspects lose their assets, which often amount to millions worth of different digital assets, forever.

Photo by Osman Rana on Unsplash

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Why is Bitcoin (BTC) Here to Stay? Former Bear Explains

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Why Bitcoin is Here to Stay

To most in the Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto community, mainstream media is viewed with intense skepticism. Case in point, the leading cryptocurrency has been declared dead over 360 times according to 99Bitcoins.

Most of these attacks come from mainstream outlets, from CNBC and Forbes to the New York Post and Bloomberg. For instance, one Bloomberg op-ed headline published in January 2018 reads: “Sorry, Bitcoin Fans. Digital Currency Is Still a Dream.”

This recently changed, however. A Bloomberg columnist and prominent economist going by Tyler Cowen recently gave a few nods to Bitcoin, releasing an article titled “Bitcoin is (Probably) Here to Stay”. Here is a quick compilation of his thoughts on why BTC is, after all, a viable asset in today’s ever-changing economic climate.

Geopolitical Tension: US-China Trade War

Firstly, the US-China trade war is likely to drive Bitcoin’s long-term value proposition. This is because it is widely believed that Chinese investors, namely those looking to bypass currency controls, are putting their capital into BTC and other digital assets via backdoor on-ramps, suggested to be Tether (USDT) and over-the-counter trading desks.

As reported by this outlet previously, Blockchain.com’s research division found correlations between periods of Chinese Yuan devaluation and Bitcoin growth, further corroborating this theory.

And more importantly, there has recently been a massive uptick in interest for Bitcoin in China, as made apparent by data from Tencent (WeChat), Baidu (China’s Google), and other outlets that suggest cryptocurrency is, once again, starting to grip the hearts of investors in the nation.

Libra Validates Bitcoin

Secondly, Cowen believes that Libra’s launch validates the idea of cryptocurrency. While he is skeptical of the Facebook-backed project’s ability to “get off the ground”, he noted that Libra is “backed by a pretty striking and radical innovation”, this being the potential for transactions to cost much less than their predecessor. He concludes on this specific matter:

The idea that transaction costs on remittances and other fund transfers can be lowered significantly by defining a new medium of payment, piggybacking on older media of exchange… Crypto still holds this promise.

Left-Leaning U.S. Politics

Thirdly, he remarks that the Democratic Party in the U.S. continues to lean left on many matters, especially in regards to wealth and taxes. Thus, he notes that a need for offshore banking, which can technically be Bitcoin or other decentralized cryptocurrencies, is likely to grow with time. This is because the nation’s sovereign debt continues to grow due to the need for more government services, necessitating the government to take more from taxpayers.

This catalyst is similar to one in Italy. For those who missed the memo, a prominent Italian minister recently proposed a wealth tax of around 15% on citizen’s safety deposit boxes. As some have put it, Italy could be the best thing to ever happen to Bitcoin, as investors would seek to store their money in an asset that the government cannot exactly confiscate.

Need for a Portfolio Hedge

Lastly, Cowen writes that there is a need for a hedge in today’s geopolitical and macroeconomic climate:

One final possible explanation for the resurgence of Bitcoin: Populism is spreading, the Middle East is not calming down, and the world is not solving its geopolitical problems. 

This is obviously in reference to the idea that Bitcoin is a proper replacement for gold.

Photo by Zoe Ra on Unsplash

The post Why is Bitcoin (BTC) Here to Stay? Former Bear Explains appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Analysts Expect Major Weekend Volatility as Bitcoin Attempts to Find Its Footing

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Bitcoin and the aggregated crypto markets have been incurring notable volatility over the past several weeks, which has primarily been cause by Bitcoin’s recent parabolic surge towards $13,800, and subsequent drop into the $10,000 region.

Now, analysts are warning that the weekend trading session could be a time where the markets once again experience a volatile movement, which may mean that traders and investors alike will soon know where the markets are heading next.

Bitcoin Struggles to Break Into $12,000 Region 

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down 1% at its current price of $11,785 and is down slightly from its daily highs of $12,500 that were set yesterday.

While zooming out and looking at Bitcoin’s weekly price action, it becomes abundantly clear as to just how volatile BTC has become as of late, as earlier this week it quickly surged to highs of $13,800 before incurring a significant influx of selling pressure that pushed the price to lows of $10,500.

This volatility is emblematic of the improving market conditions, as BTC still remains in a firm uptrend despite its inability to push past $13,800.

Historically, Bitcoin and the entire crypto markets have incurred a good majority of their volatility during weekend trading sessions, which Hunter Horsley – the CEO of Bitwise Asset Management – attributes to the large amount of retail investors who trade during weekends.

“The market is, by and large, retail individuals and I think that weekends are a time when those people have more free time to read the week’s news, to chat with friends, to pitch friends on exciting things they heard about during the week,” he explained while speaking to Bloomberg.

So, Where Will This Volatility Lead BTC This Weekend?

Although the next 48 hours or so may hold some volatility in store for BTC, one analyst believes that the cryptocurrency will begin bouncing between the upper and lower boundaries of a recent established trading range.

Cantering Clark, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, spoke about this trading range in a recent tweet, explaining that the most immediate range Bitcoin is caught in exists between roughly $11,600 and $12,200, which may persist for the foreseeable future.

“Look at the reactions, notice many of these and you can assign greater importance to these areas moving forward. Trade the range now until the weather changes,” he explained in a recent tweet.

Although Bitcoin is largely flat at the present and may continue to trade sideways in the near-term, it is highly unlikely that its recent volatility ends here, and traders will likely gain a better understanding of which direction the cryptocurrency is heading next as the weekend drags on.

The post Analysts Expect Major Weekend Volatility as Bitcoin Attempts to Find Its Footing appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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