What Triggered Ethereum to Rise 66% Within 1 Week? Factors and Trends

Since December 16, within one week, the Ethereum price surged from $83 to $138, by just over 66 percent.

Throughout the past week, Ethereum (ETH) has seen a record-high number of shorts on major cryptocurrency trading platforms in the likes of BitMEX and Bitfinex.

As the price of Ethereum surged amidst a strong corrective rally triggered by oversold conditions, short contracts were squeezed out, allowing the price of the asset to recover.

Not All Positive For Ethereum

Although the Ethereum price has increased by 66 percent in a short period of time, it is still down 91 percent from its all-time high at $1,448.

In traditional markets, a 20 percent drop from an all-time high is considered a bear market. As such, even with a massive corrective rally, Ethereum and the rest of the cryptocurrency market are in a bear market and struggling to recover out of it.

A sudden breakout of major resistance levels can also leave an asset vulnerable to large drops in the short-term, especially if it cannot be sustained with high volume.

Hsaka, a cryptocurrency technical analyst, suggested that Ethereum is a better asset to short because of its high volatility and recent rally.

“Quite a substantial difference between the ETH and BTC structure. If you were betting on correlation remaining the same, and both reverting to structural equilibrium, $ETH seems to be the better play for shorts, and BTC for longs,” the analyst said.

Currently, a cryptocurrency trader with the online alias “The Crypto Dog” explained that Bitcoin is facing several major resistance levels in the range of $4,000 to $6,000 and until the dominant cryptocurrency breaks out of that range, it is difficult to call a bottom in the cryptocurrency market.

The trader said:

$4,000 – $4,500 is major resistance and we could stall out soon. It’s also possible this could go higher, but I do not think it goes much higher than $5,400, certainly not higher than $6,300.

In the second half of December, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, and many crypto assets experienced relatively large gains against the U.S. dollar.

An ideal scenario for the cryptocurrency market is a gradual increase in value from the current point to January of next year so that the market can enter 2019 with a positive sentiment.

Can the Crypto Market Sustain Momentum?

Prior to Ethereum’s 66 percent rally, the Bitcoin Cash price tripled from $75 to $238, and the price of Bitcoin surged from $3,210 to $4,000.

Major crypto assets have been demonstrating strong daily volumes, with the daily volume of the crypto market surpassing $20 billion. As long as Bitcoin and Ethereum can sustain their volumes, small market cap cryptocurrencies are likely to follow the price trend of the two digital assets.

As Joseph Lubin, the co-founder of Ethereum, said:

I am calling the crypto bottom of 2018. This bottom is marked by an epic amount of fear, uncertainty, and doubt from our friends in the 4th and crypto-5th estates.

Author: Joseph Young
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Cryptocurrency Mining Hardware Maker Turns £1,000 into Over £1 Million in First Year

A 28-year-old cryptocurrency entrepreneur from the UK has managed to turn £1,000 (around $1,500) into over £1 million in just 18 months of trading. Josh Riddett, of Bury, Greater Manchester, has found success manufacturing specialist digital currency mining hardware.


Riddett’s company, Easy Crypto Hunter, has expanded from the sale of a single unit, with profits reinvested, into the UK’s largest GPU mining rig manufacturer. The firm also gives educational sessions on the cryptocurrency space, as well as providing accountancy services for investors and traders.

Cryptocurrency Startups Still Proving Profitable, Despite Market Dip

Even though those investing in digital assets have had a pretty rough 2018, that is not to say that all those involved in the cryptocurrency space have lost money through the ongoing bear market. One entrepreneur from Bury, UK, has managed to turn just £1,000 of savings into a seven-figure crypto company in only 18 months.

Josh Riddett started Easy Crypto Hunter in late 2017. He had just graduated from Lancaster University where he studied business entrepreneurship management. Evidently, his choice of course was a strong one since he has managed to make a roaring success of his first venture into the world of business – even despite the surrounding market conditions.

Riddett’s firm specialises in putting together GPU mining rigs, which are designed to secure the networks of various altcoins such as Ethereum, Monero, and Dogecoin. From its humble beginnings, Easy Crypto Hunter today boasts has more than 100 customers. These include business owners, property companies, and retirees. Those buying units hope to earn a side income by using GPU mining rigs to validate transactions on the network they work upon.

Riddett spoke to local news publication Prolific North about his company and the future of cryptocurrency:

“We are absolutely delighted to see the business take off and I strongly believe cryptocurrency is here to stay and is set to become more popular and more mainstream as the likes of BMW, Microsoft and Expedia accept it as a form of payment.”

The entrepreneur went on to state that he was confident that cryptocurrency is already causing massive disruption to the payments and banking industry. In his own words: “Cryptocurrency is the future.”

Riddett’s success was celebrated last month at a local awards presentation. At the Made in Bury Business Awards 2018 event, Easy Crypto Hunter scooped the prize for Technology Business of the Year.

Easy Crypto Hunter Planning Expansion As Others Downsize

The bear market of 2018 has already seen many digital asset startups laying off members of staff. Blockchain-based social network Steemit recently announced that they would be getting rid of as much as 70% of its workforce. Meanwhile, Ethereum’s chat platform Status will be losing 25% of its staff.

Bucking this trend is Riddett’s Easy Crypto Hunter. The Bury-based entrepreneur has stated that he is looking to take on more workers to help it keep up with growing demand for GPU mining units.

Author: Rick D.
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Ethereum (ETH) Network Hits Key Milestone Amid Crypto Bear Market

Ethereum Eclipses 50M Addresses

According to data compiled by The Block from Etherscan.io, the number of unique Ethereum addresses (not wallets) has recently surpassed a key, round number milestone at 50 million — a monumental accomplishment for any network. Interestingly, even amid 2018’s dismal unpredictable bear market, the growth of this figure hasn’t slowed (much), as depicted in the graph below.

Yet, this statistic’s current growth prospects are a far cry from those seen in early-January 2018, which was when ETH surpassed $1,000, and while demand for DApps and Ethereum (token) trading shot through the metaphorical roof. For example, on January 4th, as the altcoin mania was nearing its peak, 352,888 new addresses were created in a single day.

Today, approximately 70,000 new addresses are added to the network each and every day, which is far from a measly sum, to say the least. This could indicate that tens of thousands of consumers still see value in what Ethereum has to offer, as processes have become even cheaper, specifically due to market qualms.


It Isn’t All Sunshine And Rainbows 

While the network’s continual growth is a welcome sight, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, so to speak. As noted by The Block, the number of active addresses, or accounts that send and receive transactions on the day-to-day, has actually fallen, even while total addresses have been well on the rise. On January 16th, 2018, 719,093 Ethereum addresses sent and/or received transactions, that same figure sits at a dismal 232,085 on Saturday — not the end of the world, but a harrowing sight nonetheless.

Worse yet, active Ethereum addresses only account for 0.46% for all unique addresses in existence, a far cry from the ~3.5% seen in January.

The number of daily transactions on the network has also fallen, from 1,349,890 on January 4th — a seeming important date in Ethereum’s multi-year history — to 551,916 as of yesterday. To give the latter figure some perspective, 551,916 daily transactions amount to 22,996 an hour, 383 a minute, and 6.4 a second — a far cry from what Visa processes.


ETH Posts Slight Gain In ‘Sea Of Green’

In spite of the caveats of Ethereum’s current state, Ether has performed relatively well over the past 24 hours. According to Coin Market Cap, the asset is up to $85.5 apiece, while posting a slight gain of 1.2% in the past day. Although ETH is outperforming its rivals in Bitcoin (BTC), XRP, and EOS by less than 1%, it has underperformed a number of other prominent altcoins — Litecoin (+7.61%), Bitcoin SV (+11.09%), and Maker (+7.92%).

At the time of writing, the market capitalization of cryptocurrencies is at $103 billion, with volume backing the market moves amounting to $10.4 billion (unadjusted).

Author: Nick Chong
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Coinbase Exec. Unpacks the Industry Giant’s About-Face on Crypto Listings

Coinbase Vice President Dan Romero has given reasons behind the platform’s recent announcement that it is exploring support for dozens of new cryptocurrency assets, arguably in contrast to its long-cautious approach to supporting individual crypto tokens.

Speaking recently to Linda Shin on an episode of the Unchained podcast, he delved into the factors that predicated the unusual move, coming against a background of the platform’s historically conservative nature when it comes to adding new assets.

In response to a suggestion that Coinbase may be loosening its approach to add coins that are more experimental or less proven than the big names like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, and so on, Romero stated that Coinbase is, in fact, revising its approach based on customer feedback and current developments in the regulatory space. According to him, the recent shift in strategy is particularly driven by customers who have overwhelmingly requested the addition of new cryptocurrencies to the platform.

Coinbase Adopts Customer-Driven Crypto Strategy

Coinbase has said it is exploring support for more than 30 new cryptocurrency assets, including ripple (XRP).

Explaining the reasoning behind Coinbase’s new strategic direction, Romero said:

“I think our plan now is to list as many cryptocurrencies possible within a compliant, legal constraints and also having information and quality signals easily available for customers so that they can kind of determine if a cryptocurrency makes sense for them.”

In reference to cryptocurrency’s ongoing pivot into a utility phase, Romero explained that in the event that customers decide to change their crypto holdings on Coinbase and it cannot offer them that service due to non-support for their cryptocurrency, they will only end up exchanging the assets on less secure platforms, which serves neither them nor Coinbase.

This he said, raises the need for Coinbase to recognise that that “the ability to switch cryptocurrencies is the core piece of functionality in the ecosystem.” Thus, he revealed, Coinbase now intends to list as many assets as they can legally do in as many jurisdictions as well.

Despite the SEC’s position on registering securities which creates a risk of listing a token that later turns out to be an unregistered security, Romero expressed confidence in the company’s legal and security procedures working in tandem with in-house checks and balances to ensure that this does not take place.

According to him, the company’s Digital Asset Framework has enabled Coinbase to develop an efficient process to ensure the quality bar and re-affirm the brand’s identity of “trusted and easy to use.” Among the fail-safes deployed in registering a new asset is the use of vetos by every team before an asset is added to the platform.

Author: David Hundeyin
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Crypto 2019: Experts Predict Adoption But Also Losses

Investors will have more realistic expectations.


2018 was a thin harvest, but leaders of the crypto space are forecasting a bumper year in 2019. Leading executives at several blockchain startups expect adoption replacing speculation in the coming year, with regulatory clarity bringing in institutional players to create a stable market.  That said, some cautioned that the good harvest would only come after a harsh winter.

Xinshu Dong, CEO of Zilliqa, a Singapore-based blockchain platform, expects cryptocurrencies to find use in a diverse range of use cases. There will also be the opportunity to find solutions for operational pain-points, such as scalability, he says.

We will see a wave of widespread use cases in 2019 as organizations looking to implement and develop blockchain applications become more focused,” Dong told Crypto Briefing via email. “[It] may indeed be the year we address the existing challenges, see traction for the technology beyond the testnet phase, and welcome many far-reaching dApps.”

“So it is very likely that we will see some compelling use cases emerge,” he added.

Institutional adoption

Predictions at the start of 2018 had been particularly bullish. In a period of intense market euphoria, analysts were quick to forecast a trillion-dollar crypto market; Tom Lee from Fundstradt even predicted that Bitcoin (BTC) could trade for $25,000.

Needless to say, that didn’t happen, and a series of slides took the market down by approximately 84%, at the time of writing.

But price may not count for as much next year. “2018 has been a rollercoaster of a year for blockchain and crypto, with the focus being very much on market movements and the need for increased regulation in the space,” said Gabriele Giancola, CEO and Co-founder of qiibee, a blockchain-based loyalty project. “Moving into 2019, and further down the line, I believe we will begin to see a separation between hype and reality.”

Many see 2019 as the year institutional players make their move. Max Kordek, co-founder and CEO of Lisk (LSK), a blockchain platform, said that technological progress will mean blockchain can be slowly accepted by big business and governments. He believed that increasing adoption will lead to a change in views;  cryptocurrency will be treated less like a pariah and more as an alternative asset.

This was reflected by Craig Mc Gregor, CEO of the DSTOQ exchange, who argued cryptocurrency could become an ideal independent store of value. With greater regulatory clarity and a mature market, institutional investors could see cryptocurrencies as an ideal investment opportunity.

“Investors are looking for alternative opportunities to make profits and need alternative asset classes. This is why, the new asset class and technology is an attractive opportunity,” Mc Gregor said. “We see many big projects form some of the biggest players in the pipeline and expect 2019 to be a major year for cryptocurrencies as well as blockchain in general.”

Crypto 2019: It’s not all positive

Many figures see cryptocurrencies moving from the generalized function of ‘one coin to rule them all’, to a more industry-specific utility. Roger Lim, head of NEO Global Capital, said sophisticated projects will begin to target specific industries. But he also said there would likely be a cull: “With competitiveness rising, the blockchain industry is bound to undergo some sort of consolidation and the projects best equipped with a “survival of the fittest” mentality are the most likely to succeed,” he said.

Lim was not alone in emphasizing that the coming year will be mostly uphill. “Contrary to popular opinion, 2019 will not be about exciting new ways to use blockchains,” said Decred co-founder Jake Yocom-Piatt. “It will be about which cryptocurrencies get the fundamentals right, organize their collective intelligence, and can endure the gyrations induced by ignorant prospecting. Just like during the dot com bubble, endurance matters.”

Some businesses are already suffering from the extended bear market; Binance halved its profit forecasts to $500m. As Crypto Briefing extensively reported, ETCDev – the core developer for Ethereum Classic (ETC) – ceased operations last week by keeping all its assets in virtual currencies.

2018 was a transformative year for cryptocurrencies. Expectations have been lowered but long term, this will be beneficial. The sector doesn’t need hubris; it needs tangible products. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Author: Paddy Baker
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Ethereum vs. Cardano – Two Popular Cryptos, Two Dominant DApp Platforms

Ethereum vs Cardano

Ethereum and Cardano are two of blockchain’s most recognizable decentralized application (DApp) platforms. Often part of the same conversation, both projects utilize smart contracts to expand the value of blockchain technology beyond simple transactions – albeit in vastly different ways.

Founders from both projects, Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum and Charles Hoskinson of Cardano, make their opinions well-known and have active Twitter lifestyles. If you’ve been involved with cryptocurrency for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard about either founder at least once.

Less well known, though, is the shared history of these two projects. Before we examine the similarities and differences of the cryptocurrencies, let’s take a walk down memory lane to where they both began.

Ethereum vs Cardano – A Chance Encounter

Buterin and Hoskinson met through the Bitcoin Education Project, a creator of online Udemy courses that Hoskinson started after leaving a career in consulting. After meeting, Hoskinson received one of Buterin’s first Ethereum white paper drafts, which actually began as an outline for a Primecoin overlay protocol. From there, Hoskinson joined Ethereum as co-founder along with Buterin and six other individuals.

Hoskinson and Buterin worked together for about six months before parting ways.

A Difference of Opinion

The split really came down to one ideological difference: for-profit or non-profit. Buterin and the majority of the other founders argued that Ethereum should remain a non-profit project avoiding venture capital fundraising. Hoskinson thought otherwise.

He believed that they should accept venture capital money. However, with that, the team would need to implement some type of governance and figure out a road to profitability. As you now know, the team opted for the non-profit status.

Six months after leaving, Hoskinson partnered up with another Ethereum co-founder, Jeremy Wood, to form IOHK (Input Output Hong Kong), the company behind Cardano.

Ethereum vs. Cardano – Differences

At their core, both projects are meant for DApp development and smart contracts. However, the similarities end there. From consensus mechanisms to architecture, the two blockchains differ significantly.

Consensus Mechanisms

Right now, Ethereum uses Proof-of-Work (PoW) to maintain the network. This won’t last forever, though. The Ethereum community is planning to switch to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) sometime soon. Casper, Ethereum’s new PoS algorithm, is an attempt to solve many of the scaling issues that plague the blockchain.

Cardano also implements Proof-of-Stake but utilizes the Ouroboros algorithm. It works like this:

  • Slot leaders verify transactions and create blocks.
  • If you hold Cardano’s coin, ADA, you qualify to become a slot leader. It doesn’t matter how much you own.
  • To become a slot leader, the “Follow the Satoshi” algorithm needs to select a coin you own.
  • The network does all of this manually, so there’s no additional work that you need to perform.
Programming Languages

Ethereum’s primary programming language is Solidity. The Ethereum team created Solidity specifically to build smart contracts that run on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

Cardano, on the hand, utilizes Haskell and Plutus. Haskell is a functional programming language that’s been around since 1990. But the most recent stable release launched in 2010. Similar to Haskell, Plutus is a functional programming language; however, it was created in-house by the Cardano development team.


Probably the most significant way the two smart contract platforms differ is in their architecture.

Cardano is split into two layers. The layers separate the account value ledger from the reasons why value transfers from one account to the other. This separation gives you, as the end-user, more control over the privacy and execution of your smart contracts.

The Cardano Settlement Layer (CSL) takes care of the value ledger while the Cardano Computation Layer (CCL) handles the “why” of transactions.

Currently, Ethereum only has one layer. But, second layer scaling solutions are in the works. Plasma is one of those solutions. Plasma contains child blockchains similar to Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. These child chains facilitate transactions without having to take up bandwidth on the main Ethereum chain.

Ethereum will soon implement sharding as well to help with the blockchain’s scalability issues.


Besides the obvious differences in market cap and price, the two cryptocurrencies have some less critical differences.

Ethereum has an over three-year head start on Cardano. The project launched in January 2014 whereas Cardano only recently came onto the scene in September 2017.

Cardano has one of the largest coin supply’s in the industry with a maximum supply of 45 billion. Ethereum doesn’t have a maximum token amount, but the circulating supply at time of writing is just over 100 million.

Ethereum vs Cardano – Communities

As of now, Ethereum has one of the largest and most active (if not the largest and most active) developer communities in crypto. It’s the top choice for initial coin offerings (ICOs) and many of the tokens that you know and love run on the Ethereum network. As long as Ethereum maintains this popularity, the price should continue to rise.

Cardano may not have the support that Ethereum does, but it still has a healthy community nonetheless. The real test will come when Cardano is ready for DApp development. The long-awaited release could bring the adoption that Cardano needs to get its price moving positively.

Ethereum vs. Cardano – What’s Next?

Both platforms have active development teams with jam-packed roadmaps ahead. Ethereum is working to become a more scalable DApp platform through the implementation of Casper (PoS), Plasma, and sharding. Cardano will soon be releasing Shelley, an update that includes human-friendly addresses, open Ouroboros delegation, and multisig transactions among other things.

It may be cliché, but comparing these two projects really is like comparing apples to oranges. Both are fruits (DApp platforms) with their own sets of pros and cons. Some community members prefer one over the other while others like them both. And, some people would prefer both fail.

In the end, Ethereum and Cardano are both respectable projects that should make a significant impact on the world.

Author: Steven Buchko
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New Exchange to Offer Customizable Dashboards — Giving Traders the Information They Want

A new exchange says it has the goal of becoming “the most professional, global and secure marketplace for digital assets” — utilizing state-of-the-art technology that it claims can deliver a processing capacity of 1.5 million order matches per second.

ProBit says its platform is “fast, robust and reliable” — helping to give its users an upper hand while trading. The company says security is a priority, and this is why it promises to store “95 percent or more of digital assets in a cold wallet” — protecting users against security breaches and theft. Hardware security keys are also being made available to traders, which are “impossible for hackers to crack,” yet convenient to use.

According to the company, many traders end up using multiple exchanges because they cannot find the trading pairs they want — or because the user interfaces are too difficult to understand. ProBit aims to remedy this problem through a modular dashboard — meaning that the layout can be personalized around the needs and interests of a trader. Instead of pushing the same information to every user, Probit appreciates different crypto enthusiasts are interested in different things, and wants to put the power in their hands.

Through ProBit, “a wide array of the most trusted coins and tokens on the market” can be traded — and the company says that more than 150 cryptocurrencies will be available. This is complemented by hundreds of trading pairs. Five of them — Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDT, EOS and the native ProBit token among them — serve as “base currencies.”

Customizable user interface for traders of all levels

According to ProBit, many of the exchanges out there at the moment are failing to hit the sweet spot when it comes to attracting users from all backgrounds. It says that, as a rule, most exchanges are geared toward inexperienced traders or experts. Although some platforms do enable traders to toggle between basic and advanced modes, the ProBit says this just means that every user is not getting what they fully need.

This is the rationale behind the fully customizable interface. Every component can be moved and resized as per their priorities — enabling traders to benefit from a service that acts as the left hand to their right hand. This personalization even extends to the colors used on tickers, giving users the chance to find a layout tailor made for them.

Of course, using a crypto exchange for the first time can be a daunting experience — and this is why ProBit offers an array of preset layouts for new users. This serves as a starting point which enables traders to figure out how they want to lay out the vast amounts of information that the company exchange has to provide.

ProBit says that its platform will be active 24/7, and customer support will be available in multiple languages — cementing its goal of becoming a global exchange.

A global player

The company is clear that it wants to be more than a copycat exchange that seems to offer identical features to the platforms already out there. ProBit says this ambition is going to be realized thanks to its team of executives. While CEO Hyunsu Do worked as an accelerator for fintech and blockchain-based companies, CTO Steve Woo amassed 25 years of experience in the software industry thanks to his tenure as CEO of Linux International.

The main sale of ProBit tokens — known as PROB — is taking place on Dec. 3, 2018 and will last for only one day. The company stresses that these tokens are never going to be used for marketing or bounty services. Moreover, its team adds that they are not going to charge listing fees for projects to be traded on ProBit for three reasons: to protect users, because it amounts to a conflict of interest and because it enables them to be selective.

Ronald Chan, the director of partnership for ProBit, shared that projects from around the world have submitted themselves for listing on ProBit because of the co-marketing campaign that ProBit and crypto projects will conduct together. He added that this win-win partnership raises the visibility of both parties.

Author: Connor Blenkinsop
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Interoperability and Scalability are Key for Blockchain in 2019

2019 could be an exciting year for blockchain development as lots of projects mature and focus on interoperability.

The recent drop in cryptocurrency prices might be discouraging to some traders, but those who are passionate about the underlying technology of the blockchain are more excited than ever. Several networks are now competing to be the go-to foundation for new dApps and business developments.

Ethereum to Address Scalability Challenge

The Ethereum blockchain is already widely used. There are several hundredcryptocurrencies based on it already and over 2,000 dApps built on its infrastructure. However, Ethereum was one of the first blockchains. As a “first entrant” to the market, it needs to continually evolve to address issues like interoperability and privacy concerns that newer chains able to take into account in the initial development stages.

Hence, Ethereum is now working to address issues of scalability and the functionality of smart contracts.

  • Constantinople

The forthcoming Constantinople update will improve Ethereum’s efficiency, reduce block rewards for miners, and make the blockchain more resistant to ASIC miners.

The efficiency improvements will speed up the blockchain and let dApps function faster. The way smart contracts are stored on Ethereum will also be changed to make smart contract development cheaper and more accessible.

The update will make the Ethereum blockchain easier to mine, which will reduce block rewards for miners because successfully mining a block will become more frequent.

Lastly, it responds to the problem of new ASIC miners pricing out smaller miners since the update will help prevent larger pools from mining more Ethereum and having too much power over its blockchain.

Recently, Ethereum’s core development team decided to postpone the full implementation of Constantinople until January 2019 to give time for more development and testing.

  • Casper and sharding

There is a second update planned for Ethereum in 2019. Known as Ethereum 2.0, it will include the Casper upgrade and add sharding to the blockchain.

The Casper update will change Ethereum from a proof of work (PoW)blockchain to a proof of stake (PoS) mechanism. PoS works on a principle of a stake in the blockchain through token or coin ownership. Participants can stake their coins or tokens to help govern the blockchain. PoS improves decentralization and removes the threat of large cryptocurrency mining operations controlling a blockchain.

By adding sharding, the Ethereum blockchain will be able to improve scalability (i.e. increase the number and speed of transactions). This will make it possible to host more dApps and use-cases.

Hyperledger to Create a Commercial Blockchain

Hyperledger is an open-source, non-profit project created initially by The Linux Foundation. It is now working with collaborators like IBM and Intel to build platforms with a commercial and financial application. As of now, Hyperledger has ten blockchain software options with applications in many industries. Over 700 code developers from over 150 organizations have helped to develop Hyperledger’s blockchain technology stack.

Like other smart contract platforms, Hyperledger is working on issues of privacy, scalability, and interoperability. In regards to interoperability, it is working with Ethereum and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA). Both organizations hope developers share their open-source projects for the greater good of blockchain development.

2019 will see Hyperledger and Ethereum working together to develop the interoperability of their respective blockchains.

Cardano to Add Use Cases

Cardano’s highly anticipated “Shelley” blockchain mainnet is expected to go live in 2019. Cardano is hoping to deliver advanced smart contract functionality, enabling businesses and other entities to do more with the Cardano blockchain than they can with other options, like Ethereum. The Cardano blockchain will also be PoS from the outset.

For blockchains, transactions are not just financial exchanges. Smart contracts make it possible to exchange and update any type of qualitative and quantitative information. For example, if Twitter was a dApp, every tweet or comment would be a “transaction.”

Cardano’s goals have always been to solve issues of scalability and decentralization faced by existing blockchains. The hope is that “Shelley” to deliver a business-ready blockchain that can cope with high transactional demand.

OmiseGo to Serve the Unbanked

OmiseGo’s goal is to bring financial services to the two billion people in the world who do not have a bank account. This population is known as the “unbanked” and mostly live in low and middle-income countries (also known as emerging markets). These are people without access to savings or credit who cannot participate in the mainstream global economy.

OmiseGo is planning to serve the unbanked with its cryptocurrency and payments services. In particular, it plans to allow peer-to-peer transactions of cryptocurrencies and fiat currency and create a scalable decentralized currency exchange.

The next step for OmiseGo, which could well happen in 2019, is to develop a network able to support the same high number of transactions as existing services offered by banks, Paypal, Swift, etc.. The “Tengen” milestone on OmiseGo’s roadmap is to create an exchange that is decentralized and interoperable with different blockchains.

Polkadot to Advance Data Sovereignty

The Polkadot blockchain is aiming to become the foundation of “Web 3.0” — the so-called decentralized internet — through building a fully interoperable blockchain upon which organizations can run their chains simultaneously with the Polkadot chain. According to the roadmap, developers and businesses will be able to build on Polkadot blockchain after its launch in 2019.

The decentralized internet could deliver applications and platforms which are no longer controlled by big corporations like Facebook, and lets users control their data. Polkadot’s interoperability will let different blockchains, platforms, and dApps communicate with each other more efficiently than the vertical blockchains that exist today.

2019 is the Year of Interoperability and Scalability

The developments discussed above are only a few examples of the direction blockchain is moving as various protects starts to reach maturity. 2019 will hopefully see more blockchain projects turn into real-world applications. To achieve this, however, blockchain projects must address the underlying problems of scalability and interoperability. Only once these have been overcome will blockchain technology indeed threaten to displace traditional platforms and payments models.

Author: Mina Down
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World’s First Crypto ETF to Be Listed on Swiss Exchange Next Week

Finally, a Crypto ETF Gets Approval

The last couple of years have seen many failed attempts by cryptocurrency firms to get approval from regulators for Bitcoin-based Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) especially in the US.

A crypto-based ETF would pave the way for institutional investors to participate in the trading of digital currencies without having to take physical possession of the assets.

SIX Swiss Exchange, Europe’s fourth-biggest exchange with a market capitalization of $1.6 trillion will list the world’s first crypto Exchange Traded Product (ETP) next week.

Amun AG, a cryptocurrency firm has obtained the regulatory approval to list an index fund on a traditional stock exchange. The development was reported by Trustnodes earlier on Saturday.

Hany Rashwan, co-founder and CEO of Amun said:

The Amun ETP will give institutional investors that are restricted to investing only in securities or do not want to set up custody for digital assets exposure to cryptocurrencies. It will also provide access for retail investors that currently have no access to crypto exchanges due to local regulatory impediments.

Why Switzerland?

Earlier in September Rashwan stated:

After exploring this across 23 different exchanges and territories around the world, we settled on Switzerland.

He further added:

We believe Switzerland to be the best jurisdiction for our base and intend, after launching our initial products on the SIX Swiss Exchange, to both launch additional products as well as dual-list across additional geographies and stock exchanges.
Switzerland has emerged as one of the favorite destinations for blockchain and cryptocurrency firms due to its positive stance towards digital assets.

Fund Structure

The fund includes Bitcoin, XRP, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash ABS and Litecoin making it the first such fund in the world to include Ripple, BCH and LTC.

The fund tracks the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization and accordingly allocates assets. Currently, the fund includes 49% Bitcoin and around 29% Ripple.

Rashwan explained:

We plan on launching an index basket ETP first; it allows investors to simply ‘buy the market’ rather than trade specific crypto assets, though we plan on launching specific trackers for each asset in the future too.
When a customer buys the stock, market makers buy cryptos as per the distribution and send it to a custodian for safe keeping.

Specialist market makers, Jane Street, and Flow Traders are the authorized parties to trade under the ticker of HODL.

ETFs are the most popular products among exchange-traded products as customers can buy the underlying assets without having to bother about securing them.

Earlier crypto related products that have hit the market include Coinshares Bitcoin and ETH trackers and Grayscale’s pink sheet products. However, both these products have different legal structures.

Amun will charge a flat 2.5% annual management fee for providing the service.

Switzerland’s approval of the world’s first crypto ETF is a good development for attracting institutional investors who have so far kept away from the crypto markets due to security risks involved.

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Nearly 1% of the Total Ethereum Supply is Locked in the MakerDAO Smart Contract

MKR.tools creator Mike McDonald raised a celebratory alarm on Twitter yesterday morning. According to the Ethereum blockchain, about 1 million ether  – or almost 1 percent of the total Ethereum supply – is presently locked in MakerDAO smart contracts.

MakerDAO is the project behind Dai, a second-generation stablecoin offering which very carefully enables the issuance of the US dollar on the Ethereum blockchain. The mechanics can appear complex, but Maker offers a helpful “for dummies” explanation that does not require one to be an expert economist or Ethereum developer to grasp. Author Gregory DiPrisco explains the difference between Dai and, for instance, Tether:

“You’re most likely familiar with stablecoins that hold USD in bank accounts and issue tokens on a blockchain that are ‘backed’ by these dollars. I call this legally-backed crypto, or an IOU coin, because if those bank accounts should ever be frozen or if the accountants defrauded token holders, the stablecoin now becomes an IOU on whatever’s left when they eventually get the bank accounts back (if they ever regain the bank accounts). Relying on the legal system to maintain crypto-tokens inserts an unreliable middle-man into the blockchain.”

Not All of This Ether is Contributing to Dai’s Market Cap

Although the blockchain shows around 1 million Eth locked up in Maker smart contracts, the Dai token’s market capitalization is actually somewhere around 1/3rd of that figure, at time of writing sitting around ~357,000 ETH / $72+ million.

The way the Maker system works is that users pool ether together (referred to as PETH) and are issued Dai tokens which are collateralized by the deposited ether and, through various mechanisms, are stabilized at $1. A term frequently used in these discussions is “WETH,” which is short for “wrapped Ether.” WETH is more of a concept than a product of the MakerDAO – PETH and Dai are respectively tokens issued by Maker.

A total of 967,507.91 ETH were locked in the primary Maker contract, PETH, at time of writing.

Source: Etherscan

A total of just over 103 million ETH have been generated since the smart contract platform’s funding and subsequent inception on July 30, 2015. This figure includes the initial 72 million coins that were issued as part of the Ethereum crowdsale or ICO-style funding mechanism that took place the year before.

Source: Etherscan

Which is to say that MakerDAO, which launched the PETH token and related products near the end of last year, presently accounts for nearly one full percent of all ether in existence. While some feel that Dai’s practical applications are limited, it is taking a radical approach to a complex problem, with results that have not been overly disappointing. It has built-in mechanisms to liquidate positions which might destabilize the system at large:

“[…] there remains the possibility of the incentive structures not working as expected — especially when the price of ETH keeps dipping and its value is worth less than the amount of Dai that it is supposed to be backing. […] In this situation [undercollateralization], the Maker system triggers a liquidation of the CDP’s collateral, automatically selling it off to the highest bidders for Dai as fast as possible to recapitalize and ensure that the Dai that it issued to the original user is fully collateralized.”

It also has a massive amount of Silicon Valley venture dollars in it, after Andreessen Horowitz’s (a16z) new crypto holding fund, initially capitalized at $300 million, went into Maker to the tune of $15 million last month.

Author:  P. H. Madore
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