Bitfinex $1B IEO Raise Could Pressure Bitcoin Lower 7258

On Saturday, reports revealed that Bitfinex, one of the largest crypto exchanges in existence, unveiled official plans to sell $1 billion worth of an asset called LEO. While this seems innocuous, a leading analyst warns that it could be a detriment to Bitcoin (BTC).

As reported by NewsBTC previously, last week, Dovey Wan, the founding partner of Primitive Ventures, revealed that Bitfinex was planning to raise $1 billion through the sale of company-branded crypto tokens through an on-platform initial coin offering, more commonly referred to as an IEO. Some took this news, however, as a joke, noting that there’s no way that the Hong Kong-headquartered exchange would enlist such a strategy, especially after last week’s news that it is in precarious legal and financial standing.

Per a document published by Chinese cryptocurrency investor Zhao Dong, first reported on by The Block, however, the IEO is entirely legit. As Wan revealed, Bitfinex does intend to sell $1 billion of the cryptocurrency. Funnily enough, however, Larry Cermak of The Block has said that $600 million of the funding round has already been allocated to private investors, reported to be industry insiders, Bitcoin whales, and Asian venture capital firms.

On the matter of the token itself, the document hinted that LEO may be very similar in use to Binance Coin (BNB). More specifically, Bitfinex will purportedly spend up to 27% of its monthly profits to purchase LEO tokens, acting somewhat as a dividend for holders. It was also stated that if the exchange gets the $850 million it is owed back from Crypto capital, a Panamanian crypto-centric payment processor that is currently in the middle of an intense legal debacle, and the thousands of Bitcoin lost in a historical hack, Bitfinex will be able to buy back LEO with most of that capital.

Utility-wise, LEO can be used to reduce the rates they pay on the crypto exchange’s market. Taker fees for crypto-to-crypto pairs, lending rates, and withdrawal fees will all purportedly be subsidized for LEO holders.

Negative Bitcoin Price Action Catalyst

While this news seems to be independent of the broader cryptocurrency market, Tom Lee, Fundstrat’s head of research, has postulated that this $1 billion raise could actually be a negative price action catalyst for Bitcoin. The prominent commentator explains that $1 billion worth of new tokens will have a negative impact on BTC and other digital assets, as the market needs to “absorb” an influx of LEO tokens.

Lee, however, seems to be leaning bullish overall, despite the news regarding LEO. Per previous reports from this outlet, the Fundstrat co-founder remarked that the fact that BTC has rallied despite the Tether “FUD” might just be an early sign that “crypto winter is ending.” He adds that if Bitcoin continues to hold strong, failing to react to the constant inundation of Tether-related news for two more weeks, he “would be inclined to argue that this is [another] reason [why] crypto winter is over.” This isn’t the only development making the analyst bullish, however.

During a recent CNBC segment, Lee took a gander at blockchain statistics, specifically that of Bitcoin. He opined that the transactional value of on-chain transfers has turned positive on a year-over-year basis, signifying that BTC is still seeing constant use for its intended purpose, in spite of the brutal conditions in the market. What’s even more positive is the fact that average daily transactions processed on the Bitcoin chain are reaching near-all-time highs, but that the transaction fee market has yet to bubble notably.

Secondly, the long-standing cryptocurrency optimist looked to the fact that BTC has moved above and held on top of its 200-day simple moving average. Throughout Bitcoin’s history, and the history of other liquid, tradable assets, the aforementioned technical level has been seen as a kind of ‘make or break’ point, in that holding above it signals that bulls have the upper hand. Combine this with the fact that Bitcoin’s daily chart recently printed a golden cross, which saw the 50-day simple moving average cross over the 200-day, is another reason, in Lee’s eyes, that “spring” might finally be inbound for digital assets across the board.

Lastly, and arguably most importantly, is the growth in trading activity in cryptocurrency markets, especially over-the-counter (OTC) desks. Citing closed-door conversations, Lee explained:

“We surveyed OTC brokers, who are really important in facilitating institutional investors, and they’ve all talked about a 60% to 70% increase in activity/number of clients and trading volume per client. Fundamentals are improving; technicals are improving, and activity by HODLers too.”

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Switzerland Government Publishes Report on Central Bank Digital Currency 11600

Universally accessible central bank digital currency would bring no additional benefits for Switzerland at present. Instead, it would give rise to new risks, especially with regard to financial stability. During its meeting on 13 December 2019, and in response to a request from the National Council, the Federal Council approved a report examining the opportunities and risks of introducing a cryptofranc (e-franc). The Federal Council and the Swiss National Bank will continue to monitor developments in this area closely.

The Wermuth postulate (18.3159), which was adopted by the National Council, had requested the Federal Council to examine the opportunities and risks of introducing a cryptofranc (e‑franc). The Federal Council had recommended that the postulate be adopted, as it has observed the growing interest in cryptocurrencies, digital payment systems and digital central bank currency. In a report published today, it has addressed the main questions relating to central bank digital currency.

The term central bank digital currency denotes money that a central bank could create in digital form and make available to the general public. It would be complementary to existing forms of central bank money, i.e. banknotes and sight deposits held by commercial banks at the central bank. The exact design of central bank digital currency would depend on its intended use. The report examines the various options.

Other countries are also discussing central bank digital currency. Most central banks are examining the topic and the possible repercussions. However, only a few, such as China and Sweden, are planning to issue digital currencies in the short to medium term.

Various different reasons for and expectations about the introduction of widely available central bank digital currency have been voiced by the public and specialists alike. Proponents hope that it will bring better access to payment and financial services for the general public, as well as respond to a need for digital money that is free of default risk. Some economists expect that central bank digital currency will make payments more efficient, monetary policy more effective and the financial system as a whole more stable. Its proponents also think that central bank digital currency could help reduce tax offences and money laundering.

Additional benefits currently low and outweighed by risks

The analysis conducted for this report shows that central bank digital currency cannot meet these expectations, or only partly, that the repercussions can be far-reaching depending on the design, and that there are better solutions for most of the areas considered. The Federal Council therefore believes that universally accessible central bank digital currency would not bring any additional benefits at the moment. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) shares this view and sees the newly arising risks to monetary policy and financial stability, in particular, as a major challenge.

As things currently stand, the further development of central bank digital currency that is restricted to financial market players would appear to be a more promising strategy. This would not have the same far-reaching and fundamental implications as universally accessible central bank digital currency. A “wholesale token” issued by the SNB could possibly help to enhance efficiency in the trading, settlement and management of securities.

The Federal Council and the SNB will continue to monitor developments in this area closely. Rapid technological developments, changing payment needs and the experience of other countries may lead to a reassessment of the opportunities and risks of central bank digital currency for the general public in the future.

Real Name Virtual Bank Accounts Required for South Korean Cryptocurrency Exchanges 15912

In the recent past, on November 21st, 2019, the South Korean parliament approved legal amendments to meet international regulatory standards. The Value Network Domain Name System (VDNS) is especially developed by Bithumb as an identity authentication system is an effort to comply with global requirements.

In a bid to ensure that cryptocurrency virtual assets-handling companies in South Korea are in compliance with the recommendations of the International Anti-Money Laundering Organization, Financial Action Task Force (FATF), amendments to the Act on Reporting and Use of Specific Financial Information have been revised by the Amendment Subcommittee on Parliamentary Affairs from the National Assembly, the legislative body of South Korea.

The amendment comes with the new Special Financial Transaction Information Act, which is backed by the Korean Blockchain Association. This officially brings the cryptocurrency sector under the purview of the local mainstream economy. More importantly, real name virtual bank accounts are now a mandatory requirement. The exchanges and its representatives are also now under the purview of the Financial Commission’s Financial Information Analysis Institute (FIU) and report directly to them.  According to the approved revisions, noncompliance could result in a 5-year jail term including a fine of up to 50 million Won ($42,000 US Dollars).

The Current Situation

South Korea’s cryptocurrency industry faces stifling restrictions, more notably, after January 2018, when the Financial Services Commission cracked down against anonymous virtual accounts, tagging large transaction volumes as potential money laundering targets, leaving only a handful of cryptocurrency exchanges permission to have commercial bank accounts and continue operations, Bithumb being one. With South Korea accounting for nearly 20% of the world’s cryptocurrency transactions, this niche industry was severely affected when banks put an end to the practice of the limitless operation of only virtual accounts for its cryptocurrency-using customers.

Enter Bithumb Chain and the Value Network Domain Name System

Bearing in mind the need to simplify on-ramping onto the cryptocurrency world for new businesses and the general public alike, Bithumb Chain’s Value Network Domain Name System (VDNS) was built to serve as an identity authentication system. With Bithumb Chain’s VDNS system, every on-chain address is entitled to one top-level domain with a domain name of up to 32 characters. The VDNS system offers users to issue non-public proofs on the blockchain, and a way to authenticate such proofs against the issuer’s domain name linked to their addresses, thereby meeting the demand for transactional privacy as per FATF requirements as well. 

About Bithumb Chain

Bithumb Chain is designed to be a multifaceted solution targeted to solve various on-ramping issues in the cryptocurrency world serving as a bridge between various off-chain and on-chain services, products, and infrastructure. Bithumb Global is presently one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges of South Korea and the world.

For more information on Bithumb Chain and Bithumb Global, please visit www.bithumb.pro

Top 5 Altcoins: ATOM, TRX, ADA, EOS and XMR 13944

ATOM/USD

Cosmos (ATOM) has seen huge gains in the past seven days with a 19% rally. During the week, the community approved the Cosmos hub 3 upgrade, which is likely to take place on Dec. 11. Can the altcoin continue its rally in the next few days or will it face profit booking? Let’s analyze its chart.

ATOM/USD weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

ATOM/USD weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

The ATOM/USD pair is stuck in a $4.4389 to $1.9101 range. The bulls failed to propel the price above the range a couple of weeks back. However, the subsequent dip below $3 was purchased aggressively that has propelled the price back towards the resistance. This is a positive sign as it shows strong demand at lower levels.

We anticipate the buyers to make one more attempt to push the price above the overhead resistance. If successful, the pair might pick up momentum and rally to $7, which is likely to act as a stiff resistance. Therefore, traders can buy on a close (UTC time) above $4.4389 with a stop loss of $2.60.

However, if the bulls fail to push the price above $4.4389, the price might extend its stay inside the range for a few more weeks. The first support on the downside is $2.6218 and below it $1.9101.

TRX/USD

Cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex acquired TRX Market, the largest non-custodial exchange on the Tron (TRX) network, for an undisclosed amount. Following the buyout, Poloniex has renamed TRX Market as “Poloni DEX” and has changed the website to poloniex.org.

TRX/USDT weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

TRX/USDT weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

The TRX/USD pair is stuck in a large range between $0.041 on the upside and $0.011240 on the downside. Currently, the price is attempting to bounce off the minor support close to $0.013 levels.

A strong rebound can carry the price to $0.02340, which is likely to attract sellers. If the price turns down from the overhead resistance, the pair will consolidate between $0.013 and $0.02340, whereas, a breakout of $0.02340 can propel the price to $0.0410

Conversely, if the price turns down from the current levels and plummets below $0.013, a retest of $0.011240 will be on the cards. The 20-week EMA is sloping down gradually and the RSI is still in the negative territory, which suggests that bears are in command. We do not find any reliable buy setups, hence, we remain neutral on the pair.

ADA/USD

The Cardano (ADA) Foundation and fintech platform Coti, have developed AdaPay, an ADA payment gateway for merchants, which offers “near-instant” settlement in 35 fiat currencies directly in their bank accounts. Will this move boost prices in the coming weeks? Let’s study its chart.

ADA/USDT weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

ADA/USDT weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

The bulls have been attempting to defend the support at $0.035778 for the past two weeks. However, with the 20-week EMA sloping down and the RSI in the negative territory, the advantage is with the bears.

If the rebound fails to scale above the 20-week EMA, the bears will attempt to sink the price below $0.035778. If successful, a retest of $0.028271 will be on the cards. Below this level, the downtrend will resume.

The first sign of strength will be a move above the 20-week EMA. Such a move will indicate accumulation by the bulls at lower levels. The ADA/USD pair will pick up momentum on a break above the $0.0560221 to $0.065229 resistance zone.

EOS/USD

Six of EOS’s total pool of Block Producers are being managed by a single entity, according to EOS Block Producer EOS New York.

This again raked up the issue of centralization in the EOS community. However, the altcoin shrugged aside the news and managed to rally about 8% in the past seven days. Can it extend its rally?

EOS/USD weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

EOS/USD weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

The EOS/USD pair is bouncing off the critical support at $2.4001. This is a positive sign as it shows that buyers are keen to accumulate at lower levels. The price can now move up to the downtrend line.

We anticipate stiff resistance at the downtrend line because three previous relief rallies had been rejected there. If the price again reverses direction from the downtrend line, the bears will attempt to sink it below $2.4001. If successful, a retest of $1.55 is likely.

Alternatively, if the bulls can propel the price above the downtrend line, a move to $4.8719 is can occur. The pair will pick up momentum on a break above this level.

XMR/USD

A few crypto exchanges are delisting privacy-centric coins to appease regulators. Cryptocurrency exchange BitBay, for example, will delist Monero (XMR) on Feb. 19 next year.

Security firm Eset has reported that cybercriminals have been using YouTube channels to distribute a Monero cryptocurrency mining module. However, after Eset informed YouTube, the channels were removed. Business technology publication ZDNet has reported that hackers have launched a new cryptojacking campaign to target vulnerable Docker instances to deploy crypto-malware to mine Monero.

Even though the news flow has not been supportive, the altcoin has turned out to be the fifth-best performer of the past seven days. Do the technicals project a further rally? Let’s find out.

XMR/USDT weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

XMR/USDT weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

The XMR/USD pair has been trading inside a descending channel for the past few months. A breakout of the channel and the moving averages will be the first sign that the downtrend might be over.

If the price closes (UTC time) above the moving averages, we anticipate a move to $121.427. Therefore, traders can initiate long positions on a close (UTC time) above the moving averages with a stop below $38.

However, if the price fails to sustain above the channel, the bears will attempt to sink the pair below the critical support at $38.83. This is an important level to watch out for because if it cracks, the downtrend will resume.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

Alibaba and OneConnect take the top two positions in Blockchain Patents list and file IPO prospectuses on the same day 16377

On the afternoon of November 18, BlockData released China Blockchain Patents Report 2019 and the Comprehensive Strength list of China’s Blockchain Patents 2019. Alibaba ranked first in the list, while OneConnect and China Unicom took second and third place, respectively. In an accompanying ranking by strength of blockchain patents specifically in the fintech field, OneConnect topped the list, followed by Ping An Technology, Hangzhou Fuzamei Technology, Launch Tech, Baidu, Tencent Technology and WeBank. In order to comprehensively demonstrate the strength of all companies having obtained blockchain patents, the list is based on an analysis that takes into consideration five factors: the number of patent applications, the number of patents granted, the scope of patent protection, the location in the patent family and the application for the patent.

Just prior to the launch of the list, the top two performers, Alibaba and OneConnect, had issued IPO prospectuses in Hong Kong and the United States and were receiving substantial attention from capital markets.

On the evening of November 13, Alibaba submitted a preliminary prospectus that appeared on the website of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK), announcing a plan to issue 500 million new ordinary shares worldwide and list on the main board of the exchange. If Alibaba successfully launches an IPO in Hong Kong, it will be the largestever such transaction in the Hong Kong market. Alibaba will also be the first Chinese Internet company to be listed in both Hong Kong and New York. Based on Alibaba’s prospectus, as of June 30, 2019, the company held 6,175 authorized patents and 13,336 publicly filed patent applications in China. Elsewhere, the company held 3,112 authorized patents and 9,742 publicly filed patent applications.

On November 13, OneConnect formally applied for an IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to the prospectus, as of the end of September 2019, the company has applied for 2,850 domestic patents and 542 foreign patents. OneConnect topped the list in the accompanying ranking by strength of blockchain patents specifically in the fintech field released by BlockData. OneConnect’s blockchain solution FiMAX has been implemented in the Chinese government’s super vehicle management office as well as in solutions for supply chain finance, trade finance, small and medium-sized enterprise loans, intelligent environmental protection, mortgages, drug traceability and electronic medical records spanning five key sectors: finance, smart city, real estate, automotive and healthcare.

WAX Burns 243 Million Tokens on Strong Growth and Momentum 16784

When the Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX)™ was born back in December 2017, Co-Founder William Quigley saw a need to bring video game and e-commerce transactions to the blockchain. Quigley recognized that people want to own and trade their digital assets without onerous restrictions from giant, faceless corporations.

WAX is delivering on this promise by providing decentralized blockchain tools and services that are secure, resilient and easy to use. As the WAX ecosystem continues to grow, the team has recorded three important developments in the past few weeks.

  • First Token Burn: Today the company announced 243 million WAX Protocol Tokens have been burned since the WAX Blockchain mainnet was launched on June 30, 2019. The burn is equal to 26.4% of tokens in circulating supply.

  • WAX FCAS Score Jumps: CoinMarketCap has increased WAX’s Fundamental Crypto Asset Score by 94 points (16.5%) since the mainnet launched 4 months ago and has assigned WAX a “B” project health score. The FCAS report noted that WAX’s user activity rose 102 points (14.95%) and its developer behavior spiked 170 points (23.6%) over this same 4 month period. 

  • New Account Growth: In the past 30 days, WAX users have created over 70,000 verified new accounts on the WAX blockchain, far outpacing new account creation rates on other well-known blockchains like TRON ($TRX), EOS ($EOS) and Ethereum ($ETH).

WAX anticipates several new developments in the next few months to support its mission to provide the most frictionless platform to own, trade and transact digital assets.

“This massive token burn reflects the amount of enthusiasm our community has for our platform. As more people unstake their Genesis WAX Tokens to use the WAX blockchain, we will see even more tokens being burned,” said William Quigley, co-founder of WAX.

The WAX Genesis Block Member (GBM) Rewards program
WAX ERC20 Token holders who participated in the mainnet token swap received Genesis WAX Protocol Tokens. Genesis WAX Protocol Token holders can double their tokens by leaving them staked for 3 years (i.e. one staked Genesis WAX Protocol Token will produce 1/1096 of a WAX Protocol Token each day for 1,096 days). Unstaked Genesis WAX Protocol Tokens permanently stop producing GBM rewards. All unearned GBM rewards are burned. To date, 243 million tokens have been burned.

Walmart Canada and DLT Labs™ launch world’s largest full production blockchain solution for industrial application 18690

Walmart Canada and DLT Labs™ today announce the launch of Walmart Canada’s blockchain-based freight and payment network, the world’s largest full production blockchain solution for any industrial application. The new system uses distributed ledger technology to track deliveries, verify transactions, and automate payments and reconciliation among Walmart Canada and its carriers which deliver inventory to over 400 retail stores across Canada annually. All Walmart Canada’s third-party carriers are scheduled to be live by February 1, 2020. The solution is accessible using a web portal and an easy to use mobile application.

Walmart Canada partnered with DLT Labs™ to automate freight and payment data using DLT’s leading supply chain platform DL Asset Track™. The new blockchain-based freight and payment network manages, integrates and synchronizes all the supply chain and logistics data in real time, aggregating the data between Walmart Canada and its fleet of third-party trucks on a shared ledger. The solution also automates the myriad necessary calculations enabling real-time invoicing, payments and settlement. At the same time, it seamlessly integrates with each company’s legacy systems, so organizations can continue to follow their existing processes without retraining or a new investment in technology. This innovation arose from Walmart Canada’s continued focus on reducing costs to ensure the lowest everyday prices for Canadian consumers.

John Bayliss, senior vice-president, logistics and supply chain, Walmart Canada, says, “Walmart Canada is dedicated to efficiency across our business, including most importantly in our supply chain and logistics management. Our carrier partners move over 500,000 loads of inventory nationally, which creates an extraordinary volume of transaction data. This new dynamic and interactive blockchain technology platform is creating complete transparency between Walmart Canada and all of our carrier partners.” Bayliss adds, “Blockchain is enabling a material advance in our smart transportation network, with expedited payments, extensive cost savings and other benefits among our supply chain. Moreover, this degree of improved efficiency represents a powerful platform for us to continue to reduce our environmental footprint and continue our leadership in environmental sustainability.”

Loudon Owen, CEO of DLT Labs™, says, “Walmart is a global leader in innovation, with a relentless focus on improving people’s lives, and DLT Labs™ is delighted to partner with such an extraordinary organization to bring the world’s first and largest blockchain solution for industry into production. This proves the high value of blockchain and sets the stage to revolutionize supply chain management and logistics, due to its ability to enable secure information sharing, manage trust and reduce waste in multi-partner operational processes.” Owen adds, “Just as the Roman’s concept, ‘dictum meum pactum’ (meaning ‘my word is my bond’) was fundamental to building trade, this product creates a secure digital handshake using blockchain to renew trust and efficiency in global trade.”

Bison Transport was the carrier partner in the pilot of this new blockchain-based freight and payment network. According to Rod Hendrickson, VP Finance, Bison Transport, “Great partners find innovative ways to create business solutions that benefit both parties. The blockchain initiative we worked on with Walmart and DLT Labs is just that – a mutually beneficial solution that works well for Bison Transport and Walmart Canada.  This project is a new paradigm that will greatly improve workflows, reduce paperwork, and make the business we do with Walmart more efficient.”

Walmart Canada’s distribution centres are hubs of activity, with more than 4,500 associates and drivers moving thousands of items daily from sites located in CalgaryMississauga and Cornwall to stores from coast to coast across Canada. Walmart Canada operates 8.75 million square feet of distribution center and moves more than 853 million cases of merchandise annually. These goods are transported by a combination of 3rd party fleet as well as Walmart Canada’s own fleet of 180 tractors, 2,000 trailers and more than 350 drivers. Each third-party trailer tracks approximately 200 data points per shipment. Automating this data collection and management using blockchain results in a significant cost-saving.

Walmart Canada is committed to ongoing leadership in developing smart transportation networks, having already established more efficient techniques for loading, routing, driving, and energy efficient improvements with truck manufacturers. Interconnecting the data between Walmart Canada and its carrier partners provides a platform to materially improve operations, delivery coordination and routing efficiency, waste and cost reduction, and automated payment reconciliation and processing.