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Parity’s release manager Afri Schoeden admitted to quitting Ethereum projects following controversial tweets about the network’s Serenity upgrade.

Afri Schoeden, release manager at blockchain infrastructure firm Parity Technologies, has quit all Ethereum projects after a controversial tweet that sparked outrage on social media. Schoeden spoke to blockchain media BreakerMag on Thursday, Feb. 21.

In his tweet, Schoeden reportedly criticized Serenity, also known as “Ethereum 2.0” — a final upgrade for the Ethereum network that brings its mainnet over to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. The tweet, which has since been deleted, reportedly read:

“Polkadot delivers what Serenity ought to be...”

Polkadot is Parity’s upcoming protocol aimed at linking different blockchains. Schoedon told BreakerMag that he will “no longer work on Ethereum or Ethereum-related projects,” but will remain with Parity. He explained the meaning of the recent tweet:

“Polkadot is not a direct competitor to Ethereum and chains like Ethereum were always an integral part of the Polkadot vision. The focus of my tweet wasn’t Polkadot or competition, but Serenity, which is, in my eyes, rolled out too slowly, and I fear that it [won’t] matter anymore once we get there. People didn’t get that, and only I am to blame for not getting the message straight.”

Moreover, Schoeden believes that the Ethereum community needs to find some shared values and goals:

“I also fear that Preethi [Kasireddy] was right last year when she said that we might need to talk about the values (again) to find out what the community really stands for.”

Following the controversial tweet, users immediately accused the developer of “betrayal,” along with “sabotaging” Ethereum from within and having a conflict of interest. Schoeden subsequently clarified that the discussions forced him to quit Ethereum:

"I did not quit social media, I quit Ethereum. I did not go dark, I just left the community. I am no longer coordinating hard forks, building testnets, or contributing otherwise. I did not work on Polkadot, I never did, I worked on Ethereum. I did not hate Ethereum, I loved it."

The pre-release of Ethereum 2.0 kicked off in early February. The Constantinople hard fork, an upgrade to the Ethereum, network — which encloses separate Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) in order to soften the transition from the current proof-of-work (PoW) to PoSis scheduled for Feb. 27.

Constantinople faced its first delay in October 2018 due to a consensus issue that was detected on the Ropsten testnet. In January, smart contract audit firm ChainSecurit found a vulnerability in the Constantinople hard fork. The critical issue, which could have allowed for reentrancy attacks via the use of certain commands in Ethereum smart contracts, caused another dealy.

Blockchain entrepreneur Andreas Kristof even insinuated that Schoeden was directly responsible for Serenity’s delay.

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Researchers from Stanford University have developed a privacy mechanism called Zether, which is compatible with Ethereum and other smart contract platforms.

Researchers from the Stanford University and Visa Research have developed a privacy mechanism for Ethereum (ETH) smart contracts. A paper describing the mechanism was published on Stanford University’s Applied Cryptography Group website on Feb. 20.

According to the paper, the researchers created “a fully-decentralized, confidential payment mechanism” called “Zether” that is consistent with both Ethereum and other smart contract platforms. The developers reportedly developed a new smart contract —  that can be executed either individually or by other smart contracts — that maintains the account balances encrypted and enables the deposit, transfer and withdrawal of funds through cryptographic proofs.

The authors claim in the report that transactions on Zether are confidential, wherein one transaction costs approximately 0.014 ETH or around $1.51 at press time. Enhanced confidentiality is reportedly enabled by the option to lock funds in an account to a smart contract. The type of anonymity guaranteed by Zether is more similar to Monero (XMR), the report says, explaining:

“We describe an extension to Zether that can also hide the sender and receiver involved in a transaction among a group of users chosen by the sender. Though the overhead associated with anonymity scales linearly with the size of the group, no trusted set-up is needed and no changes to the underlying smart contract platform are required.”

“The Zether contract will never transfer funds without first checking an appropriate burn or transfer proof, even if the request comes from another smart contract whose rules do not permit illegal transfers. This design decision ensures that the security of Zether only depends on itself and not on any outside smart contract. Even a maliciously written or insecure smart contract cannot cause Zether to misbehave,” the report specifies.

Privacy coins, which provide users with more anonymity, are regarded with mixed feelings both from the community and governments. Last month, Litecoin (LTC) creator Charlie Lee declared that he would focus on making the major cryptocurrency more fungible and private. Lee explained that confidential transactions could be added to Litecoin through a soft fork and would be implemented “sometime in 2019.”

In April 2018, Japanese regulators from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) suggested preventing cryptocurrency exchanges from trading anonymity-oriented altcoins Dash (DASH) and Monero. “It should be seriously discussed as to whether any registered cryptocurrency exchange should be allowed to use such currencies,” an unnamed member of the FSA group said.

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Institutional investors are getting more involved in the crypto space as fundamentals are improving.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

The fundamentals of the crypto space have been improving over the past year. These developments are not going unnoticed by the institutional players. Though they have not committed huge sums of money, they have started testing the waters.

Crypto hedge fund Pantera Capital, which in its two previous crypto funds had managed to raise only $13 million and $25 million, has secured $130 million in funding out of the targeted $175 million. Similarly, the University of Michigan’s endowment plans to increase its investment in a crypto-focused fund managed by American venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

Large traditional exchanges across the world have acknowledged the growing interest of institutional players in the crypto space and are coming up with new services. While Bakkt is the most awaited launch in the United States, exchanges in Europe are also preparing to take the plunge. Eurex, a Germany-based derivatives exchange operated by Deutsche Boerse, is planning to launch futures contracts for the top three cryptocurrencies.

With the groundwork being laid out for the institutional investors, is it a good time to buy for the long term or is this just a dead cat bounce?

BTC/USD

Bitcoin (BTC) has been trading close to the psychological resistance of $4,000 for the past three days. Though the bulls have not been able to push prices higher, the cryptocurrency has not given up ground either, which is positive.

The 20-day EMA has started to slope up and the RSI is in the overbought zone, which shows that the bulls have the upper hand in the short term. However, the 50-day SMA still remains flat, which shows that the medium-term trend is yet to change.

The BTC/USD pair will face resistance close to $4,255, but if the bulls succeed in breaking out of this level, it will complete a double bottom pattern that has a target objective of $5,273.91. Hence, we might add to our existing long positions if the price sustains above $4,255. For now, the stops can be kept just below $3,236.09.

Contrary to our expectations, if the digital currency fails to rise above $4,255, it will remain range-bound between $3,236.09 and $4,255 for a few more days. Our bullish view will be invalidated if the pair plunges to a new yearly low.

ETH/USD

Ethereum (ETH) has been consolidating for the past three days, without giving up much ground. This shows that the buyers are in no urgency to book profits and are buying on every small dip. This increases the probability of a move to $167.32 and higher. Therefore, traders can protect half of their long position with a tight stop. If the virtual currency pierces through $167.32, it can move up to $182.99. Hence, we shall give some wiggle room to the remaining half position and keep the stop at $125.

If the ETH/USD pair fails to scale the overhead resistance, a drop to $134.50 is probable. The 20-day EMA is also close to this level, hence, we expect it to act as a strong support. Nevertheless, if the bulls fail to hold the support, the slide can extend to the 50-day SMA and below it to $118.

XRP/USD

Ripple (XRP) traded near the overhead resistance of $0.33108 for the past two days but could not close (UTC time frame) above it.

On the downside, the XRP/USD pair is finding support at the moving averages. If the pair bounces from the current levels and breaks out of $0.33108, it is likely to rally to $0.40. Therefore, we retain the buy suggested in our previous analysis.

On the other hand, if the bulls fail to breakout and sustain above $0.33108, the digital currency will continue to trade inside the range of $0.27795 and $0.33108. The trend will turn negative if the price plunges below the support zone of $0.27795 and $0.24508.

EOS/USD

Though EOS broke out of $3.8723, it is facing selling close to $4.00. It formed an inside day candlestick pattern on Feb. 21. If the bulls succeed in scaling above $4.10, the recovery can reach $4.4930, which is likely to act as a strong resistance.

The 20-day EMA is trending up and the RSI is in the overbought territory, which shows that the bulls have the advantage in the short term. Traders can keep a tight stop on half of their long positions and keep a stop of $2.90 on the remaining half.

Contrary to our expectation, if the bears breakdown and sustain below $3.8723, the EOS/USD pair can decline to $3.2081. The 20-day EMA is also located at this level, which should act as a strong support. However, if this level also breaks down, the pair can drop to the 50-day SMA and below it to the critical support at $2.1733.

LTC/USD

Litecoin (LTC) turned down from just above $52 on Feb. 20 but found buying at the strong support of $47.2460. If it breaks out of $52.50, the recovery can extend to $56.910 and above it to $60. Therefore, traders can keep the stop loss on half position at $40 and the other half can be trailed closely to lock in the paper profits, if not done already.

Though the moving averages are trending up, the RSI is showing signs of forming a negative divergence. A break below $47.2460 will find support at the 20-day EMA, below which the slide can extend to the 50-day SMA. The balance will shift in favor of bears if the LTC/USD pair breaks down of $40.

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has been trading close to $141 for the past three days. Attempts to push the price away from this level in either direction have failed.

A breakout of $150.52 will signal that the bulls are back in command. The levels to watch on the upside are $163 and above it $175. Hence, traders should hold their long positions with the stop loss at $116.

Our bullish view will be invalidated if the BCH/USD pair turns down from the current levels and plummets below both the moving averages and $121.

XLM/USD

Stellar (XLM) has not been able to cross the 50-day SMA over the past three days. However, it has not given up much ground either, which shows strength. It is finding buying support close to the 20-day EMA, which has flattened out. The RSI is also close to the midpoint. These point to an equilibrium between the buyers and the sellers.

A breakdown of the 20-day EMA can plunge the XLM/USD pair back towards the lows. On the other hand, a breakout of the 50-day SMA can carry it to $0.13427050.  As the digital currency has been a huge underperformer, we shall wait for a trend reversal pattern to form before recommending a trade in it.

TRX/USD

Tron (TRX) has been trading close to the $0.025 level for the past three days. The bulls are struggling to break out of the downtrend line. Presently, the flat moving averages and the RSI close to 50 shows a balance between the bulls and the bears.

If the TRX/USD pair does not scale the downtrend line within the next couple of days, the bears are likely to push it back towards the support of $0.02306493. A break of this support can result in a fall to $0.02113440 and below it to $0.01830000. Therefore, traders can keep the stop loss on their long positions at $0.0230.

Conversely, if the cryptocurrency rises above the downtrend line, it will again attempt to break out of $0.02815521. A breakout of this critical resistance will start a new uptrend that can push the price to $0.03575668 and above it to $0.0380.

BNB/USD

As expected, Binance Coin (BNB) turned down from close to $12 on Feb. 20. However, the bulls bought the dip to $10. This shows that the digital currency might consolidate between $10 and $12 for a few days.

As both the moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is close to the overbought zone, the probability of a breakout of the range after a few days is high. A breakout of $12 can carry it to $15 and above it to $18.

Contrary to our assumption, if the bears sink the BNB/USD pair below the range and the 20-day EMA, the drop can stretch to the 50-day SMA. A breakdown of the 50-day SMA will turn the tables in favor of the bears. We shall wait for a buy setup to form before proposing a trade in it.

ADA/USD

The bulls failed to push Cardano (ADA) above the resistance of the range for the past three days. This means the range bound action between $0.036815 and $0.051468 will continue for a few more days. The flat moving averages and the RSI marginally in the positive zone point toward a consolidation.

If the pair stays inside the range, we might attempt to buy at the support of the range if we find a strong bounce, but if the bears sink the price below the range, a retest of the low is probable.

A breakout of the range will start a new uptrend that has a minimum target objective of $0.066121. If this level is crossed, the ADA/USD  pair can reach $0.080. Therefore, we retain the buy suggested in our previous analysis.

Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. Charts for analysis are provided by TradingView.

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Ohio state treasurer Robert Sprague revealed that the authority has collected two tax receipts via cryptocurrency to date.

Two businesses in the United States state of Ohio have paid taxes with cryptocurrencies, state Treasurer Robert Sprague said in a forum on Feb. 19. Ohio became the first state to allow businesses to pay taxes with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) in November 2018.

During a forum covering policy issues facing the state, Sprague said that the treasury has only collected two receipts for tax payments using cryptocurrencies. He did not specify the specific amount of tax payments received through cryptocurrency.

With that, Sprague emphasized that the Ohio state treasury does not manage cryptocurrency themselves, clarifying that they do not accept any other currency than the U.S. dollar. The treasurer elaborated that crypto tax payments are conducted through a cryptocurrency platform which simply facilitates the exchange from crypto to fiat:

“We will never accept won or renminbi or francs or cryptocurrency, or any other currency. You have to relieve your debts to the state of Ohio with U.S. dollars. That’s what we’re currently accepting. This platform just allows for that exchange, basically before that debt is settled to the state of Ohio.”  

Sprague said that the treasury is reviewing how the program might be expanded or curtailed, and is investigating the potential counterparty risks with the vendor.

Ohio has been actively trying to attract blockchain- and cryptocurrency-related businesses to the state. When the state passed the law allowing business to pay taxes in crypto, then state Treasurer Josh Mandel said that the legislation “plants a flag” in Ohio in terms of national cryptocurrency adoption.

On Feb. 21, the County Auditors’ Association of Ohio announced the formation of a working group to explore the benefits of blockchain in terms of real estate transactions and transfer of land titles across multiple counties

In early December, Cointelegraph reported that Ohio-based funds plan on investing more than $300 million in blockchain startups through 2021, namely to startups developing blockchain applications for local business, government, welfare projects, and others.

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University of California academics have proposed a system for running clinical trials using blockchain technology.

Academics from the University of California, San Francisco, have proposed a method of sharing medical data using a blockchain-based system. An article outlining their research published by international research journal Nature on Feb. 22.

The researchers reportedly developed a blockchain-powered system that aims to improve the traceability and immutability of collected clinical data, and make it more trustworthy. In addition, the system aims to advance methods for reporting adverse events during research and improve medical record management.

During the trial, the developers reportedly launched a web-based portal accessible to all participants with a real clinical trial dataset, which facilitated the interaction between patients and clinical investigators. The authors further tested malicious attacks to data integrity with real world medical records.

After a transaction was performed, all associated data was reportedly recorded onto a new block and then joined together and hashed using the SHA256 algorithm. “Data storage of the blockchain will be accomplished by duplicating and distributing the chain to physically separate machines and data warehouses to be managed by the regulator,” the report further explains.

The blockchain. Source: Nature Communications

If a user needs to modify already presented information or correct a mistake, the system allows them to make an update by submitting a new transaction with the corrected data without overwriting old data.

Blockchain technology has already been implemented by various healthcare-related organizations. Earlier this month, the Canadian unit of American tech giant IBM partnered with pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim to test blockchain in clinical recordkeeping. The parties aim to discover whether the integration of blockchain with clinical recordkeeping provides the proper level of data integrity, transparency, and patient safety, in addition to reducing costs and automating processes.

Also this month, blockchain tech company Bitfury partnered with radiology blockchain marketplace Medical Diagnostic Web and blockchain-powered life data marketplace Longenesis to create a blockchain-based platform for maintaining, sharing and securing medical imaging and diagnostics information such as X-rays and CT scans.

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Bitcoin broke the $4,000 threshold for the fourth time in 2019, while all top 20 cryptos are seeing green.

Feb. 22 — following some red signals yesterday, crypto markets have continued to rise, with all top 20 coins up today, according to CoinMarketCap.

Market visualization from Coin360

Bitcoin (BTC), the biggest cryptocurrency accounting for around 52 percent of crypto market, has again briefly broke $4,000 point for the fourth time this month, according to CoinMarketCap. At press time, Bitcoin is up around 1 percent, and is trading at $3,987. The oldest cryptocurrency is up almost 10 percent over the past 7 days.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

The top altcoin Ethereum (ETH) is up 2.47 percent, and is trading at $148.75 after dropping to as low as $145 earlier on the day. The coin is strongly holding it weekly momentum, up more than 21 percent at press time.

Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ripple (XRP), the third top cryptocurrency by market cap, is slightly up 0.28 percent, and is trading at $0.321, with its gains over the week amounting to 6.87 percent.

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Both total market capitalization and daily trading volume of crypto markets remain stable over the day. At press time, the market cap is $134.9 billion, while daily trade volume amounts to $24.32 billion.

EOS (EOS), the fourth top cryptocurrency by market cap, has continued its ongoing growth, and is seeing the biggest growth among top 20 coins today, up around 3.5 percent at press time. The cryptocurrency is also seeing the most growth among top 20 over the past 7 days, up almost 40 percent, according to CoinMarketCap.

Total market capitalization 7-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Earlier today, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian said that crypto hype is gone, leaving space for true crypto believers who have stayed to build real crypto infrastructure without speculators on the market.

Also today, the third top crypto exchange OKEx listed Ripple (XRP) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) on its customer-to-customer (C2C) trading platform, enabling users to buy or sell the cryptos with five supported fiat currencies, including the British pound, Chinese renminbi, Vietnamese dong, Russian rubles, and Thai baht.

Along with growing crypto markets, stocks rose on Friday as another round of United StatesChina trade talks wrapped up, according to CNBC. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) jumped 100 points as Intel outperformed, while both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite have risen around 0.3 percent.

Oil prices have risen to their highest levels in 2019 today based on OPEC's ongoing supply cuts and anticipation that Washington and Beijing may soon end their trade dispute. Brent crude futures hit $67.56, while U.S.  West Texas Intermediate crude set a fresh 2019 high at $57.81, according to CNBC.

Gold prices were also up today, while seeing some stability, with spot gold rising 0.48 percent at $1,329.40 per ounc. Gold futures were up 0.36 percent at $1,332.60 per ounce.

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Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly allows for the issuance of tokenized securities on blockchain with new amendments.

Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly has officially allowed the issuance of tokenized securities on blockchain, major newspaper The Bangkok Post reports on Friday, Feb. 22.

The government will amend the Securities and Exchange Act, according to the article. As soon as the changes come into effect later in 2019, tokenized securities such as stocks and bonds can be officially issued on blockchain.

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (Thai SEC) will issue additional rules so that crypto platforms can seek a securities depository license. According to Thai SEC deputy secretary Tipsuda Thavaramara, the regulator will also allow businesses that operate as depositories of securities and digital tokens to apply for such licenses.

Previously, the aforementioned act defined Thailand Securities Depository Co Ltd, a subsidiary of the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), as the only company permitted to operate as a securities depository for the SET's securities trading operations.

The Thai SEC will also decide whether a security token offering is regulated under the current securities act or the royal decree on digital assets. The decision will depend on the rights and obligations associated with a particular token, the publication notes.

Earlier this year, the Thai Ministry of Finance issued digital asset business licenses to four crypto-related firms under the recommendation of the Thai SEC Board. Two other applicants failed to comply with Thai SEC rules and were rejected.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center of Thailand is exploring the use of blockchain in e-voting. The solution could be deployed in the short term in a closed environment; for example, Thai nationals living abroad could go to an embassy or consulate to vote and verify their identities on blockchain.

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Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian claimed that the crypto hype is gone, leaving space for true crypto believers.

Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit and known crypto bull, claimed that the crypto hype is gone, leaving space for true crypto believers. Ohanian spoke on the subject in an interview with Yahoo Finance released on Feb. 22.

When asked if he is still a big believer in crypto, Ohanian acknowledged that the current state of the market is undoubtedly still considered to be a crypto winter, which means crypto prices are depressed.

However, citing Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, Ohanian emphasized that the bear market has contributed to the elimination of speculators, while true crypto believers have stayed to build real crypto infrastructure.

Ohanian elaborated that in his opinion, the extinction of the hype around the crypto and blockchain space is actually a good thing for industry development. He said:

“Now, it's still to be seen. But what's a strong signal to me is still some of the smartest people I know in tech are working on solving these problems. They're building companies that are built on blockchain. The hype is gone. The fervor is gone. But I think that's a good thing.”

Ohanian was also asked about the announcement from banking giant JPMorgan Chase concerning the launch of its own cryptocurrency JPM Coin, a blockchain-powered asset that is expected to increase settlement efficiency within the bank’s operations.

Answering the question, Ohanian stressed that the recent move by JPMorgan is just another indication that there is real innovation happening since the wild speculation is gone. Considering the upcoming release of the coin to be a good thing, Ohanian still noted that JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon had previously called major cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) a scam.

Recently, Dimon has since clarified his stance towards Bitcoin, claiming that he had not intended to become the spokesperson against the biggest cryptocurrency.

Born in 1983, Alexis Ohanian became a 23-year-old multi-millionaire in 2006 after selling Reddit along with the second co-founder Steve Huffman back in 2016. The internet entrepreneur and investor is also a co-founder of early-stage venture capital firm Initialized Capital.

In July 2018, Ohanian maintained his prediction that Bitcoin and top altcoin Ethereum (ETH) will hit $20,000 and $1,500 respectively in 2018. However, since July 2018, the highest price points of the two cryptos have been maximum thresholds of around $7,200 and $400 respectively, according to CoinMarketCap.

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A postdoctoral researcher from the University of Luxembourg believes central banks are very interested in launching CBDCs.

The idea of issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) is too attractive to ignore, a postdoctoral researcher from the University of Luxembourg wrote in a study. The research was shared by the Oxford Business Law Blog on Friday, Feb. 22.

Hossein Nabilou, a postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Law, Economics, and Finance of the University of Luxembourg, presented his findings in a study entitled “Central Bank Digital Currencies: Preliminary Legal Observations.” The report focused on potential challenges that launching a CBDC might cause for the European Central Bank (ECB).

According to Nabilou, cryptocurrencies have significantly impacted the banking sector. He writes how their functionality, similar to money issued by a central bank, first drew banks’ attention. Banks were also preoccupied with the idea that cryptocurrencies could ruin their monopoly on controlling the circulation of money and influence the stability of existing financial systems, Nabilou believes.

Thus, CBDCs can be treated as a policy response to the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, he continues. Despite the prevailing scepticism towards crypto and several failed attempts to launch a state-backed coin, such as the Venezuelan Petro, central banks are actively studying the technology behind digital currencies. Some of them even have the possibility of launching a CBDC in their agenda, the researcher writes.

However, if the ECB launches a digital currency, it might lead to banking disintermediation, Nabilou continues. Customers will get direct access to the central bank’s balance sheets, and consequently there will be no reason for them to hold balances within a commercial bank, which might lead to overall banking sector instability.

Moreover, such a move would centralize the credit allocation and undermine the principle of an open market economy with free competition, violating the constitutional constraints set by the EU. For those reasons, the ECB is unlikely to issue a CBDC unless the appropriate regulations are introduced, Nabilou concludes.

Venezuela was one of the first countries to launch a state-backed coin in 2018. Despite the efforts taken by the government, the Petro has seemingly failed to help bail out the country’s economy. Several banks in Iran have also supported a gold-backed digital currency dubbed PayMon, while Egypt is still considering a possibility of launching a CBDC.

Some central bank officials have publicly shared Nabilou’s view on CBDCs. For instance, South Korea’s central bank has recently issued a warning over CBDCs, stating that they would result in mass withdrawals of funds from private institutions, squeezing liquidity and pushing up interest rates.

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The OKEx C2C platform has listed Ripple and Bitcoin Cash while delisting NEO, QTUM and Exchange Union (XUC).

Malta-based major cryptocurrency exchange OKEx has listed Ripple (XRP) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) on its customer-to-customer (C2C) trading platform, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Feb. 22.

OKEx, the top third crypto trading market by daily trading volumes at press time, now allows users to buy or sell XRP and BCH with five supported fiat currencies: the British pound (GBP), Chinese renminbi (CNY), Vietnamese dong (VND), Russian ruble (RUB) and Thai baht (THB) on the OKEx C2C trading platform.

The Thai baht was added to the OKEx C2C platform in mid-February.

During the newest upgrade, all services on the OKEx C2C platform will remain as normal, the announcement states. The platform allows users to place orders with self-selected exchange rates and payment method, purchasing or selling crypto from other users using fiat with zero transaction fees.

The new listings are added to already supported biggest cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC), major stablecoin Tether (USDT), top altcoin Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC), the fifth top cryptocurrency by market cap at press time.

At the same time, OKEx has announced the delisting of three cryptocurrencies: on Feb. 25, OKEx will stop supporting 17th ranked cryptocurrency NEO (NEO), as well as QTUM (QTUM) and Exchange Union (XUC).

Recently, OKEx has listed four new crypto derivative pairs to its platform, enabling users to trade Bitcoin SV (BSV), QTUM, DASH (DASH) and NEO against Bitcoin or Tether on margin with a 3x leverage option.

The newly listed XRP coin is the third-top cryptocurrency by market cap at press time, having lost its top coin position in January. Recently, CEO and representative director of Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings outlined Ripple as one of the reasons to remain optimistic about the future of the crypto industry.

Bitcoin Cash, a cryptocurrency created as a result of a Bitcoin hard fork in August 2017, is now ranked the sixth-top crypto by market cap. Recently, major United States-based cryptocurrency exchange and wallet service provider Coinbase has listed BCH on its Coinbase Wallet.

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