Stocks Plunge Could Spell Trouble For Bitcoin in Near-Term, Risking Recent Momentum 8790

In a cruel twist of fate, it seems that tweets affect not only crypto assets, such as Bitcoin (BTC), but traditional markets too. On Sunday, U.S. president Donald Trump revealed that he intends to increase tariffs on Chinese-made goods from 10% to 25% by Friday. Global assets, like stocks and even BTC, flashed red minutes later.

For 10 months, China has been paying Tariffs to the USA of 25% on 50 Billion Dollars of High Tech, and 10% on 200 Billion Dollars of other goods. These payments are partially responsible for our great economic results. The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday. 325 Billions Dollars….

Bitcoin Drops With Trump’s Chinese Tariff Threat

While Trump’s out of left field maneuver had good economic intentions, stock markets didn’t react all too kindly. Futures for the S&P 500 are currently 1.75% down, implying a red open, and Asian markets, namely the Hang Seng (Hong Kong) and SSE Composite Index (China) got absolutely slammed. As of the time of writing, the SSE is down a jaw-dropping 5.3%, wiping out billions of dollars of wealth in a few hours’ time.

Related Reading: Bitcoin VC: China Tax Reform Could Help Crypto Assets “Bloom”

As hinted at earlier, Bitcoin followed right behind its brethren in traditional markets. As pointed out by crypto trader “Light”, when Asian markets opened on Monday, BTC fell right in lockstep, reacting to the tariff salvo negatively. There is a fleeting chance this is pure coincidence, but Bitcoin lost a very similar percentage to the Hang Sang in the same time frame, implying that BTC remains a “risk-on” asset, as Light explains. (Note: BTC has since started to recover)

Market participants continue to view Bitcoin as a risk-on asset.

This is not the only evidence pointing towards the idea that cryptocurrencies are risk-on, meaning an asset class investors prefer in markets trending higher.

Last week, Travis Kling of Ikigai Asset Management drew eerie similarities between the chart of the SSE and Binance Coin (BNB). As seen below, from mid-2018 to April 30th of this year, the index and the cryptocurrency (which is notably popular in Asia), followed each other. Or rather, BNB followed Chinese stocks to a tee. “Crypto is a risk asset, global capital flows matter,” Kling remarks.

What’s more, a few weeks back, Fundstrat’s Tom Lee postulated that risk-on emerging markets, whose value is captured through the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, pulled down BTC over 2018. More specifically, this specific index fell by 27% over 2018, as BTC lost 70%.

With Trump unlikely to budge, the U.S. stock market and other global indices may continue lower, potentially unwinding Q1’s monumental rally, thus being a short-term detriment to BTC and other cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin To (Eventually) Become Safe Haven As Digital Gold

So why is all the above information relevant?

Well, it shows that Bitcoin may be conforming to traditional markets’ risk-on assets after all.

For those unaware, cryptocurrencies have long been touted as an uncorrelated asset. In a CNBC interview in December, Anthony Pompliano of Morgan Creek noted that the correlation between BTC and the S&P 500 (SPX) is practically non-existent. Three Arrows Capital’s Su Zhu later confirmed this point, noting that through “high prices and low prices, high volatility and low volatility, the correlation between” the two aforementioned indices is still near-zero.

Monday’s confirmation of some correlation corroborates a theory proposed by John Normand, the head of JP Morgan’s cross-asset management arm, that gold remains a better safe haven or hedge against downturns than Bitcoin.

However, that’s not to say that the digital asset class won’t be able to break free eventually. As explained by Max Keiser, a prominent anti-establishment figure and Bitcoin OG, BTC will eventually become a “risk-off” asset, hinting at the characteristics that make it a form of sound money. The reason why he, along with many others, think so is that BTC is a non-sovereign, decentralized, censorship-resistant, and easily-transferrable asset that is strictly scarce and is not subject to the whims of central banks and the incumbent financial institutions.

Consumers may need a bit of a kick to understand this fact though. And this kick is expected to be the next financial crisis, which many pundits say is looming right over our collective head.

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6 ARRESTED IN THE UK AND NETHERLANDS IN €24 MILLION CRYPTOCURRENCY THEFT 3694

Today, the UK’s South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit (SW RCCU) in a joint operation with the Dutch police (Politie), Europol, Eurojust and the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has arrested 6 individuals after a 14-month long investigation into a €24 million cryptocurrency theft.

The five men and one woman were arrested in simultaneous warrants this morning at their homes in Charlcombe, Lower Weston and Staverton (UK) and Amsterdam and Rotterdam (the Netherlands).

The theft, which targeted users’ Bitcoin tokens, is believed to have affected at least 4 000 victims in 12 countries, with the numbers continuing to grow.

The investigation relates to typosquatting, where a well-known online cryptocurrency exchange was ‘spoofed’ – or recreated to imitate the genuine site – to gain access to victims’ Bitcoin wallets, stealing their funds and login details.

This case was referred to the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT) hosted at Europol after the British authorities identified possible suspects living in the Netherlands. Operational support delivered by EC3 since February 2018 allowed the J-CAT to coordinate the international cooperation between the different EU Member States involved.

In addition, operational meetings were organised at Europol’s headquarters between the British and Dutch authorities, allowing for the smooth exchange of intelligence and evidence which led to these successful arrests. A coordination meeting was also held at Eurojust to prepare for the action day.

Bitfinex to Complete Platform Upgrade on June 26 4128

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On Wednesday June 26, both Bitfinex and Ethfinex will be offline for up to seven hours as we commence a platform upgrade designed to enhance the stability and scalability of the iFinex matching engine.

The platform upgrade will require taking all iFinex trading platforms offline for the duration of the maintenance period. This means that traders across both Bitfinex and Ethfinex will be unable to trade, view or access their wallets during the update.

We kindly ask all our traders to plan ahead accordingly and make the necessary account adjustments prior to the start of the platform upgrade.

What this means for traders

The June 26th update is designed specifically for us to be able to deliver a more sophisticated trading experience, further separating Bitfinex from the remainder of the digital asset trading space. This includes, amongst other things, laying the foundation for the launch of derivatives trading on Bitfinex.

Traders across both Bitfinex and Ethfinex will not be required to take any actions:

  • All funds will remain safe and unaffected throughout the platform upgrade, and will not be at risk at any point.
  • No orders will be executed during downtime. All open orders will be kept (regardless of price movements) and resume once the platform is back online.
  • Users will not be liquidated during downtime. However, traders should be aware that if the price moves significantly during this time, they are at risk of liquidation as and when the platform is reopened. In line with this, we kindly ask all traders to review their margin requirements and assess the risk of market movement on their open margin positions before entering the maintenance window.

Whilst the platform upgrade is set to take place on June 26th, this date is largely dependent on broader cryptocurrency market conditions and the chance exists that the upgrade will be postponed if market movements are deemed too volatile.

We appreciate that up to seven hours is a significant length of time in digital asset trading, but we ensure our active user base that we have taken every measure to make this upgrade as seamless as possible.

For more information on the day of the upgrade, please refer to the Bitfinex status page and Twitter account for official progress. We will let our users know 5 minutes before the platform re-opens. Trading will start 10 minutes after the platform is accessible again.

The eToroX Libra Implementation 4353

Facebook’s announcement this week about its cryptocurrency Libra has far-reaching potential. eToroX’s Labs Blockchain Science team, comprising Chief Blockchain Scientist Dr. Omri Ross, Peter Emil Jensen, and Johannes Rude Jensen, was quick off the mark to investigate how our eToro tokenized assets (and the technology behind them) would work on Libra’s initial prototype, and how well it suited our specifications.

By exploring Libra’s capabilities, and using Move IR (the intermediary representative layer of what will eventually be the final programming language), they successfully managed to implement an initial version of eToro tokenized assets on the Libra Network.

Using a previous incarnation of an implementation that targeted Ethereum as a basis, the team wrote and executed a basic implementation for creating digital asset infrastructure (tokenization capabilities) on Libra.

Our Top Two Takeaways

1. In Move, resources (data structure types) cannot be moved or copied — an extremely constructive and beneficial capability, especially for digital assets, since it prevents accidental duplication and loss.

2. Contrary to other blockchain languages, Move does not allow publishing data on behalf of other users. Because of this, it requires users to acknowledge this beforehand, thereby giving users full control of which data is associated with them.

Read the full report of eToroX’s Libra Implementation on Github.

AI and blockchain solution for insurance industry BlockClaim raises seed funding 5437

BlockClaim

BlockClaim, the first hybrid artificial intelligence and blockchain technology solution developed for the insurance industry, has successfully completed its seed funding round with a £500,000 investment.

Developed at Imperial College London, BlockClaim uses the very latest advanced data science techniques to provide insurers with AI-powered fraud filtering and blockchain claim automation. It allows insurers to simultaneously detect fraudulent claims and process claims in record time thanks to groundbreaking capabilities such as intelligent claims-routing and self-learning fraud detection.

Features such as an image recognition AI module can be used to automatically detect damage to vehicles in the event of an accident claim and validate whether it’s genuine or fraudulent. The system can also scan phone and email conversations for inconsistencies and irregularities, helping insurers automatically weed out fraudsters, resolve claims faster and offer a better standard of customer service. BlockClaim delivers a cost per claim reduction of 20% along with significantly reduced settlement times.

The seed funding round attracted investment from global technology investor, Amadeus Capital Partners, whose previous investments include Graphcore. Amadeus is known for its focus on AI and machine learning, cybersecurity, healthcare and SaaS. It has invested over $1 billion since 1997 and specialises in taking high-growth companies global. A number of highly successful insurance executives and business angels also backed BlockClaim in its seed round.

Niels Thoné, CEO of BlockClaim, says, “BlockClaim brings the insurance industry into the digital age with state-of-the-art engineering which couples the power of machines and distributed ledger technology with over two decades of industry experience. The rapid advancement of data science allows us to provide unprecedented objectivity and context automatically in areas that were hitherto only subjective. This makes it much harder for fraudsters to pass through the net.”

DrawBridge Lending Offer Bitcoin SV Non-recourse Loans with No Margin Calls 5098

Bitcoin SV

In another cryptocurrency first, you can now secure loans against your BSV. Chicago-based DrawBridge Lending now offers BSV non-recourse loans with no margin calls. Not in the future but today, as DrawBridge CEO Jason Urban explains: “Recently, we loaned an entity a seven-figure sum secured by BSV and BTC posted with a third party regulated custodian. The interest rate on this transaction was 3%, well below standard market rates. We are able to lend the money at this rate by putting the collateral to work with the use of standard derivative option strategies.”

The main benefit of DrawBridge’s loan product is that the borrower can keep their BSV coin but generate sufficient returns to pay down the cost of funds. The borrower is free to deploy the cash proceeds for its own needs while retaining ownership, and potential price upside, of their coin. In this particular case, BSV price rallied 150% after the loan and the client retained the price appreciation which they would not have been able to do if they had simply liquidated the coin.

This is a noteworthy milestone for the BSV ecosystem for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it demonstrates that trade desks are willing to engage in options trades with BSV coins. This speaks volumes of how BSV is perceived by the professional trading community. Secondly, as the trading of derivatives on the coin becomes more widespread in the BSV ecosystem, finance professionals will create more useful products to deploy and unleash the full potential of the asset.

Calvin Ayre, owner and founder of the Ayre Group and CoinGeek, and supporter of BSV added: “When I first heard about how DrawBridge Lending were expanding into BSV, I was blown away by how obvious the business model was and, obviously, delighted to see further real-life business utility for the only coin that does it all.”

NB: The options are traded on the basis of a standard legal agreement called ISDA Master Agreements. These are common in the traditional financial world but are in the early stages of adoption in the digital world.

Which Coins Will Likely To Be Affected By The Binance Shutdown By The US? 6242

Binance has recently announced that they will no longer allow access of US traders to the exchange, starting September 12, 2019. Although Binance has stated that they will be partnering with Bam Trading to create a US compliant exchange, there is still no time frame on when this will be active – and we can also assume that it will be a minimal function, to begin with for US customers.

In the meantime, we can assume that the volume for the majority of cryptocurrencies that were available to US customers on Binance will now suffer significantly over the next few months as US customers have limited options to trade the cryptocurrencies elsewhere.

The following chart shows which of the coins which are listed on Binance are also listed on other US exchanges. Those include Coinbase, Bittrex, Poloniex, Kraken, HuobiUS, and eToro.

The research is very eye-opening as it shows how the majority of cryptocurrencies will now struggle to find liquidity after the Binance US closure.

bin

Cryptocurrencies such as AE, HOT, LINK, NANO, ONE, VET, and WTC will have nowhere to trade for US customers. These cryptocurrencies should see a significant drop in volume during the upcoming months as they have nowhere for US customers to trade from, as of writing this. Of the above, Harmony (ONE) was the latest IEO on Binance Launchpad.

Binance Coin (BNB), the native token of Binance, will only be available to trade on eToro. In fact, there are quite a few top-flight coins that will be available to trade on just one US compliant exchange, including ARK, BTT, IOTA, PIVX, and ZIL. These cryptocurrencies are lucky to have one exchange but will still see a significant fall in volume coming from US customers after the Binance anticipated shutdown.

Veteran Altcoins At Less Risk
Although the previously mentioned cryptocurrencies may be in trouble, there is still a handful of cryptocurrencies that will be available on a range of US compliant exchanges that will not be affected by the recent Binance closure. These include cryptocurrencies such as XRP, DASH, XLM, ETC, ZRX, and ZEN – which are all on more than 4 US compliant exchanges.

The bottom line is that the recent Binance closure will send ripples throughout the entire cryptocurrency industry. Binance is the worlds largest cryptocurrency exchange with the highest reported volume. However, a large proportion of this volume is coming from US customers. After the US customers have been restricted, we will most certainly see a substantial drop in the amount of volume coming into the market. What is for sure, is that CZ, the CEO of Binance, is already working on a solution for his US customers.