Maltese Government Awards 19 Blockchain Scholarships Using DLT Fund

The Maltese government has awarded 19 students blockchain scholarships worth a total of 160,000 euro ($179,000), local publication the Malta Independent reports May 23.

The scholarships were granted by Silvio Schembri, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, using the $351,000 scholarship fund that was set up by Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MITA) and the University of Malta in August 2018.

According to the Malta Independent, all the awardees will further apply for a Master’s degree in blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT), with separate groups of students specializing in blockchain studies relating to law, finance, business, and ICT.

The scholarships were announced during the ongoing Malta AI and Blockchain Summit, with Schembri claiming that the given scholarships represent the first awards of its kind.

Along with the scholarship announcement, Schembri also stated that the Malta Financial Services Authority will issue the first licences to blockchain companies this year. He noted that by the end of 2018, the amount of blockchain firms operating from Malta reached 800.

In April, the MFSA approved the first 14 crypto assets agents out of more than 250 entities that applied previously. The approval followed the adoption of the Virtual Financial Assets Act enforced by Maltese authorities in summer 2018.

Recently, Turkish Bahçeşehir University launched a blockchain center at Boston’s Northeastern University to offer informational assistance on blockchain tech.

Elon Musk Scores $48 Million to Dig Holes in Vegas While Tesla Implodes

By CCN: As Tesla stock goes up in flames amid its “code red” crisis, Elon Musk enjoyed a small reprieve from the tsunami of bad news when his Boring Company won a $48.6 million Las Vegas contract.

The Las Vegas project is a milestone for Boring since it is the fledgling company’s first commercial contract.

The Boring Company is a tunnel construction firm Elon Musk launched in late-2016. It was initially a subsidiary of SpaceX, but it was spun off into an independent entity in 2018.

Loop Will Cut Transit Time from 15 Minutes to 60 Seconds

On May 22, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority awarded the $48.6 million contract to Boring. Under the project, the Boring Company will construct a shuttle to transport people around the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) using an underground Loop system.

On its website, Boring says the LVCC Loop is a high-speed underground transportation system that uses autonomous electric vehicles that move up to 155 miles an hour.

elon musk boring company wins $48 million lvcc contract

The Boring Company, the infrastructure company founded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, scored a $48 million contract from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. | Source: Boring Company.

Not surprisingly, the autonomous electric vehicles being used for the Las Vegas Loop are Tesla Model X and Model 3 cars. And a modified, high-occupancy Tesla Model X tram will transport up to 16 passengers at a time.

The Boring Company said it usually takes about 15 minutes to walk around the Las Vegas Convention Center. But Elon Musk says the LVCC Loop can cut that transit time down to one minute.

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Elon Musk Sets Ambitious Year-End Target

The project is expected to be completed by January 2021, which is when the Consumer Electronics Show takes place in Las Vegas. However, Musk upped the ante on Twitter, saying he plans to finish by the end of this year.

When asked how long the LVCC Loop will be, Musk said it will span two miles, using two tunnels.

Elon Musk twitter boring contract

Elon Musk revealed his ambitious goal for the project timeline. | Source: Twitter

Twitter Not Bored By Boring News

After a horrendous week when Tesla stock got mercilessly pummeled, Musk was positively gleeful to share this bit of good news on Twitter.

As usual, Musk’s legion of followers reacted to the news with a mixture of kudos, snark, and comical retorts. One person suggested that Elon build a high-speed underground mail system.

Another person joked: “Is El Chapo helping?”

Still another observed with admiration: “Stock is going down, shorts are bashing at Elon and company, journalists are super-negative and Elon..he’s all chillin 😎 Respect ✊🏼”

One person asked: “How do you feel that Wall Street can’t handle you being a Meme Lord?”

Mayday, Mayday: Tesla Is Burning Through Cash

While the Boring contract is good news for Elon Musk, there’s no denying that Tesla is in serious trouble. Its stock tanked below $200 this week, and closed today (May 23) at a dismal $195.

As CCN reported, Tesla is in dire financial straits. It only has $2.2 billion cash on hand, which is just enough money to last another 10 months. This has caused Tesla to plummet into a “code red situation,” according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, who wrote:

“If Tesla is unable to earn profit in the second half of the year, the company may need to raise another $1 billion to $2 billion of capital.”

Ives said instead of getting distracted by “sci-fi projects,” Musk should be “laser-focused” on Tesla.

“With a code red situation at Tesla, Musk & Co. are expanding into insurance, robotaxis, and other sci-fi projects/endeavors…The company instead should be laser-focused on shoring up core demand for Model 3 and simplifying its business model and expense structure.”

Venture Capitalist: Don’t Count Tesla Out

Meanwhile, Loup Ventures co-founder Gene Munster says everyone needs to chill out because “Tesla will turn the corner” (see video).  Loup Ventures is a research-driven venture capital firm based in New York and Minneapolis.

Munster says 2019 is undoubtedly a difficult year for Tesla, but he still has unwavering faith in Elon Musk.

“I am a believer in Tesla. I think they will turn the corner and capture what will be a juicy growth curve.”

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EOS BP, Explained

2.

It is based on a consensus mechanism called delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS).

On a PoW blockchain like bitcoin, miners employ large amounts of computational power to solve complex mathematical equations. Once the equation is solved, the miner publishes the answer for verification by the other miners on the network, and consensus is reached. The block is then added to the chain, the miner that solved the equation collects his/her block reward, and everyone moves on to the next equation.

On a PoS network like Cardano, nodes stake an amount of tokens (essentially locking up tokens in a specific wallet address for a set period of time) for the chance of being selected to add the next block of transactions to the chain. Although the selection is random, factors such as the amount staked, the amount of time it has been staked and the reputation of the node are often taken into consideration.

Delegated proof-of-stake is a version of PoS, where instead of validators being chosen at random, they are voted for by the rest of the token holders on the network. Another difference on EOS specifically is that, instead of purely staking EOS tokens, Block Producers stake their investment in the network in the form of infrastructure, community support, development, etc. We’ll look at this more in-depth below.

These delegates are then tasked with upholding the integrity and accuracy of the network by coming to a majority consensus on data or transaction blocks that have to be added to the network.  

Brendan Blumer, CEO of Block.one, the company behind EOS, describes Block Producers in the EOS.IO technology as “21 elected delegates by the token holders that are actually confirming the transactions of the network.”

This Crypto Joke is a Better Investment Than Bitcoin – Seriously

By CCN: Originally created as a programmer’s practical joke, Dogecoin has defied the odds to cement its place near the top of the crypto market cap. Joke or not, however, this cryptocurrency is about to mount a serious challenge to Bitcoin, and prescient investors could yield a 185 percent windfall.

Dogecoin Flashes Wildly Bullish Signal

Through the years, one crypto trading formula that has stood the test of time is buying support while the market is oversold. The more oversold, the better.

That’s because oversold conditions provide selling relief. In other words, supply tends to dry up because the price is so low that no one’s interested in selling. Meanwhile, buyers return because the market is cheap.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to put two and two together. Rising demand plus low supply very often equates to a price surge

We’re seeing this dynamic happen in Dogecoin, which is currently priced at $0.00294 or 38 satoshis (0.00000038 BTC).

Dogecoin price chart vs bitcoin

Dogecoin trades at strong support while close to oversold territory. | Source: TradingView

A quick look at the daily chart illustrates how Dogecoin bounced at the durable support of 35 satoshis (0.00000035 BTC) on May 13. This bounce was spurred by extreme oversold conditions. Unfortunately, the bounce was short-lived, as bottom-pickers quickly took profits.

Nevertheless, we expect the market to retest 35 satoshis (0.00000035 BTC) in the next few days and become oversold again. If Dogecoin hangs on for dear life, the race to the range high of 100 satoshis (0.00000100 BTC) would be on.

We’re confident that this cryptocurrency is likely to move bullishly – just as it did before – because it is painting a familiar pattern.

Crypto Market Psychology Points to Imminent Rally

Technical analysis is the study of human behavior through historical price action. It captures market psychology by assuming that what happened in the past is likely to happen again in the future.

We’re seeing this assumption play out in Dogecoin as it prints a possible fractal. In trading and even geometry, a fractal is a close representation of a particular structure. The patterns often share many similarities.

Dogecoin crypto price chart

Dogecoin prepares to bounce against Bitcoin. | Source: TradingView

In this cryptocurrency, we can see the right side of the chart imitating the price action on the left side of the chart. The left side of the chart generated four peaks before coming up with a monster rally. We can see the right side of the chart on its way to printing the fourth peak.

In addition, we can also see similarities in daily Relative Strength Index (RSI). The technical indicator had to get close to oversold territory three times before the meteoric rally on August 29, 2018. Again, we are seeing the resemblance this time around.

Bottom Line: Dogecoin Could Triple in Value Against Bitcoin

Crypto investors who agree with this assessment should buy as close to 35 satoshis (0.00000035 BTC) as possible with a tight stop. Should bulls defend the support one more time, Dogecoin will likely hit our target of 100 satoshis (0.00000100 BTC) and reward us with gains of 185 percent.

And yes, at least in the short-term, that means Dogecoin is a better investment than Bitcoin.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN. This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice.

Crypto Markets Turning Green, Oil Prices Tumble

Thursday, May 23 — Cryptocurrency markets are starting to move upward, having overcome the drop in the beginning of the day, according to Cointelegraph’s Coin360.

Market visualization from Coin360

The leading cryptocurrency bitcoin (BTC) started the day at $7,638 gradually reaching its intraday high of $7,946. At press time, bitcoin is trading at around $7,914, up 2.64% over the past 24 hours.

Bitcoin 24-hour price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

The second-largest cryptocurrency, ether (ETH), has also taken an upturn and is currently trading at around $246.50, up 0.60% on the day. During the day, ether experienced a slump to as low as $233.89, while its daily high was $247.62.

Ethereum 24-hour price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

As reported earlier today, American digital asset manager Grayscale Investments confirmed its Ethereum Trust (ETHE) has gained regulatory approval from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for retail trading. Set to become the first publicly-quoted security based on ethereum, ETHE received the go-ahead from FINRA to trade on over-the-counter markets.

Ripple (XRP) is up 1.05% on the day to trade at $0.381. The altcoin’s market capitalization is around $16.07 billion, while its circulating supply is nearly 100 million to press time.

Ripple 24-hour price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Among the top-20 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, bitcoin SV (BSV), cosmos (ATOM) and dash (DASH) are trading in the red, down by 0.94%, 2.58%, and 0.56% respectively.

Cosmos (ATOM) has seen the biggest losses over the past day and is trading at around $4.28 at press time. Throughout the day, the altcoin has been gradually sliding to its current price, while it started the day at $4.44.

Cosmos 24-hour price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is around $245 billion at press time –– up а solid $6 billion from $240 billion at the start of the day. The 24-hour trading volume of all cryptocurrencies on the CoinMarketCap is around $75 billion at press time.

Total market capitalization 24-hour chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Meanwhile, oil prices tumbled nearly 6% today, extending steep losses in the previous sessions, as a reaction on a prolonged United StatesChina trade war, according to CNBC. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures reportedly settled $3.51 lower at $57.91 per barrel, tumbling 5.7% to the lowest closing price since March 12, while Brent crude futures sank $3.35, or 4.7%, to $67.64 per barrel.

Gold prices reportedly jumped 1% today as the U.S. dollar pulled back from a two-year peak scaled earlier in the session. Spot gold gained 1% to $1,285.63 per ounce, after falling to its lowest since May 3 on Tuesday at $1,268.97. U.S. gold futures rose 0.9% to $1,285.50 an ounce.

Dark-Horse Trump Rival Pumps Crypto, Aims to Make US a Bitcoin Nation

By CCN: Far from a first, California Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell is accepting Bitcoin donations for his dark-horse bid to knock off Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. More significantly, the bombastic congressman wants to usher in a blockchain revolution after he vanquishes Trump from the White House.

Altogether, Swallwell is accepting six cryptocurrencies. Two of the six are odd choices. One of them is the White Standard, a stablecoin we hadn’t previously heard of which reports $0 in USD reserves. The White Company runs his crypto campaign contribution site, which probably explains that decision. The other is Bitcoin SV, the embattled project of Craig S. Wright, who insists he is Satoshi Nakamoto despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

The rest of the options are pretty standard: Stellar, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ether.

Eric Swalwell: Pro-Blockchain, Anti-Gun

Swalwell reportedly has gun control at the heart of his presidential ambitions, but blockchain adoption features prominently as well.

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Swalwell says:

“Blockchain can change the world if we let it. […] Our nation pioneered the Internet. We use smartphones all day every day to move money, to buy goods and services, to share our innermost thoughts, and participate in public life. So it’s pure cognitive dissonance to believe that we cannot extend this further into our democracy and our economy.”

Andrew Yang is also accepting crypto donations. Both Yang and Swalwell are long-shot candidates to even get in the race against Donald Trump, with favorites like Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders leading the democratic polls.

Second Democrat to Accept Crypto This Season

Andrew Yang, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency

Andrew Yang, another dark-horse Democratic Trump challenger, has also catered to the admittedly-small “Bitcoin vote.” | Source: Shutterstock

While Eric Swalwell offers broad “support” for blockchain technology, Yang has released an entire policy platform based on the idea that crypto will reinvigorate the US economy. Yang is also a proponent of a universal basic income.

Swalwell will not accept “corporate PAC” money, a campaign tactic that elevated fellow Democrat Alexandria Occasio-Cortez to quick stardom and constant criticism.

For several years, politicians have capitalized on the crypto sector’s desire to have a well-regulated and established crypto economy in the United States, with little improvement in the regulatory environment. Our crypto regulations are so bad that Jeremy Allaire recently blamed them, in part, for the firing of thirty employees at Circle.

Trump Has Done Nothing for Crypto Users

donald trump, bitcoin

Trump’s presidency has done little to improve the regulatory predicament that ensares US crypto firms. | Source: AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

The bipolar nature of the federal government’s reaction to cryptocurrency has allowed other countries, like France and Malta, to take charge and become a home for major crypto companies. One day we hear of the Token Taxonomy Act‘s reintroduction; another day, we hear a senior Democrat talking about banning all cryptocurrencies.

It’s worth noting that experts believe a summary ban on cryptos and crypto-trading would give rise to an extreme price bump for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Demand would increase, in part because of reduced financial freedom.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Donald Trump‘s presidency has done next-to-nothing for the crypto economy. Running on a pro-blockchain platform may be a useful means for Democrats to attract otherwise conservative votes, but it’s doubtful that the demographic as a whole is large enough to sway the vote.

Report: Telegram to Launch TON Network in Q3 2019

Encrypted messaging service Telegram will purportedly launch its Telegram Open Network (TON) in the third quarter of 2019, according to crypto news site The Block.

An internal memo sent to investors reportedly said that the network would launch later this year. Telegram purportedly said that a recent successful test process “reaffirms our belief that the TON virtual machine and the TON … Byzantine consensus algorithm are capable of meeting the goals stated in the original white paper.”

In April, Cointelegraph reported that Telegram opened access to a private testing version of the TON blockchain to a select number of developers. Anonymous test developers said the blockchain demonstrated “extremely high transaction speed.”

The TON network will supposedly host decentralized applications, similar to the Ethereum network.

In February, an apparent purchase agreement for Telegram’s Gram tokens — the TON network’s native digital currency — stated that such contracts will be rendered null and void if the network does not launch by October 31, 2019.

Telegram was founded by the brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov in 2013. The firm raised almost $1.7 billion in two private initial coin offering rounds last year. The platform boasts over 200 million users.

Last month, TON’s development team has partnered with German financial services provider Wirecard. TON Labs will work with Wirecard to develop digital financial products.

Eric Swalwell’s Campaign Ad Is So Cringeworthy He Might Be a Genius

By CCN: Rep. Eric Swalwell, the Democratic presidential nominee you’ve probably never heard of, recently released a campaign video weird enough to make your junior high self cringe.

The representative from California announced his intent to run for president in April and has gained some recent notoriety as one of only two candidates to accept cryptocurrency donations. (If you’re curious, Andrew Yang is the other.)

Before heading off on the campaign trail, though, Swalwell first needs to find a (much) better marketing team. His primary campaign video has almost five times as many dislikes as likes on YouTube, and his most recent video…well, take a look for yourself.

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I want to root for Swalwell, I really do. He’s a blockchain advocate, so seeing him in the White House would be great in that regard. His amateurish video, though, leaves me wondering whether or not he actually knows what he’s talking about.

Let’s try to break down every spot where Swalwell went wrong.

Swalwell Comes Off as Technologically Illiterate

The video opens with Swalwell in front of what appears to be a green screen crudely photoshopped into an animated iPhone. To make matters worse, it’s an older generation phone. If Swalwell wants us to believe he’s as forward-thinking as he claims, you think he would have at least upgraded to an iPhone X.

Additionally, the remaining parts of the video are reminiscent of 2017’s sketchy initial coin offering (ICO) boom. It features poorly drawn animations that flash buzzword after buzzword without providing any real substance. For example, Swalwell states in the video,

“We must test, retest, and constantly monitor such [blockchain] systems for interference or abuses by using expert oversight.”

What does that mean, exactly? Your guess is as good as mine.

He Really Wants You to Know He’s Running for President

The video has a non-stop, animated ticker shouting, “ERIC SWALWELL FOR PRESIDENT 2020” on the top and bottom of the frame anytime Swalwell is on the screen. And in case that Myspace-era eyesore isn’t blatant enough, the video also includes a gigantic White House/flag combo that slaps you in the face with good ol’ fashioned American symbolism.

eric swalwell for president, democratic primary

Don’t forget to pick up your #SWALWELLING swag. | Source: Eric Swalwell Campaign Website

The Video Quality Is Plain Awful

The entire video looks as if a high school film student created it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Swalwell later admits to working with the first “expert video producer” that happened to reach out to him on LinkedIn. The whole video is mediocre at best and an absolute dumpster fire at its worst.

LinkedIn Video Producer example for Eric Swalwell

Rep. Eric Swalwell’s video producer, probably.

Unfortunately, the production isn’t even the most upsetting aspect. Numerous times throughout the video, you can catch Swalwell blatantly reading off a script that he’s conveniently placed right below eye level. This lack of professionalism does not bode well for his potential work ethic once president.

Eric Swalwell Democratic Presidential Candidate

The camera is up here, Representative Swalwell. | Source: YouTube

Eric Swalwell – Lazy Fool or Marketing Genius?

This campaign video is so poorly done, it almost seems intentional. It’s challenging to release something this terrible without any self-awareness. That can’t be the case here, can it? Maybe Swalwell is up to something.

If Swalwell’s mission was to make a video so awful that it would go viral, the man has my vote. But honestly, I’m probably giving him too much credit. Either way, we at least get another laugh out of the clown show that American politics has become.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.

Morgan Creek CEO Says Every Investor Should Hold Some Bitcoin

CEO of Morgan Creek Capital Mark Yusko says bitcoin (BTC) should be in every investor’s portfolio in an interview with CNBC on May 22.

Yusko remarked that he thinks BTC investments will far outperform the S&P 500 investment fund over the next 10 years.When asked about putting money into BTC, Yusko said:

“Bitcoin is a great diversifying asset. It has very low correlation. It should be in everybody’s portfolio.”

Yusko also recalled his $1 million ‘Buffet Bet 2.0’, in which Morgan Creek Digital made an open bet that its Digital Asset Index Fund would outperform the SPX from January 2019 to January 2029. The Digital Asset Index fund includes ten major crypto assets — not just bitcoin. The proceeds of the bet would reportedly be donated to charity.

Yusko has previously been very bullish on bitcoin, going on record predicting a $400,000 high for the cryptocurrency at some point. In addition to his optimistic prediction, he commented on its potential for disrupting traditional banking and finance:

“This will change the supply and demand equation for banking. It is that big. I’m not surprised at all that bankers, financiers and Saudi Princes are coming out against it. This is a truly disruptive technology.”

As previously reported on Cointelegraph, bitcoin recently hit a peak of over $8,000. Bitcoin is currently trading at $7,902 and is trending up by 2.76% at press time, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Still Reeling From $54 Million Bitcoin Hack, Binance Sues Sequoia Capital

By CCN: Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao — who is still reeling after a $54 million bitcoin hack — is suing Sequoia Capital China, a unit of California-based venture capital firm Sequoia Capital.

In his May 20 legal filing with the High Court in Hong Kong, Zhao claims Sequoia Capital China prevented him from raising capital between Dec. 27, 2017 and March 1, 2018 at the height of the bitcoin bull market.

Zhao Seeks an Accounting of Damages

Zhao did not respond to repeated requests for comment from CCN about his claims. However, in his filing, which was leaked to CoinDesk, Zhao claimed:

“The injunction order has caused loss to me, for which I am entitled to reasonable compensation by Sequoia. In particular, I have suffered i) a loss of chance to raise capital through successive rounds of financing at increasing high valuations; and ii) damage to my reputation.”

Zhao is seeking an unspecified amount in damages, mainly because he’s uncertain what damages he allegedly incurred.

binance bitcoin hack may 2019

Binance lost 7,074 bitcoin in a hack on May 7, 2019. | Source: Blockchain.com

June 25 Hearing Scheduled

The High Court in Hong Kong has set a June 25 hearing to determine what damages Zhao incurred from an injunction Sequoia obtained against him on Dec. 27, 2017. Zhao claims this injunction prevented him from raising capital from other investors for three months – until March 1, 2018.

In March 2018, Sequoia Capital filed a lawsuit against Zhao, claiming he breached an exclusivity agreement during Binance’s Series A equity financing negotiations.

Here’s what happened: In August 2017, Sequoia agreed to invest $8 million in Binance for an 11% stake in the platform. At the time, Sequoia valued the crypto exchange at $80 million.

The parties continued to talk over the next few months. By December 2017, Binance balked at the deal when the bitcoin price soared to almost $20,000. Zhao’s team told Sequoia that their deal undervalued Binance in light of bitcoin’s meteoric price spikes at the time.

Around the same time, Zhao started talking to another venture capital firm, IDG Capital. In contrast to Sequoia’s low-ball deal, IDG offered to make two rounds of cash infusions into Binance at significantly higher valuations: $400 million and $1 billion, respectively.

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Arbitration Court Sides With CZ

Upon learning of Binance’s secret talks with a rival, Sequoia sued Zhao in March 2018. The VC firm claimed Zhao violated his exclusivity agreement by going behind their backs.

Nine months later — in December 2018 — the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre dismissed Sequoia’s claims against Zhao. Now, Zhao wants to settle the score and get his pound of flesh.

At this point, it’s unclear what damages Zhao has actually suffered considering Binance is the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world. Within the crypto ecosystem, Binance is top dog, so Sequoia has clearly not hurt Binance’s business.

Hackers Stole 7,074 Bitcoin From Binance

As for reputational damages, one could argue that Zhao has damaged his own reputation after Binance lost 7,074 bitcoin two weeks ago. Using today’s bitcoin price, the hack is valued at $54 million.

This is the second hacking incident that Binance has suffered in the past two years. In March 2018, Binance was targeted in a massive, coordinated attack.

The hack was unsuccessful, but CZ was so rattled by the “large-scale, organized” effort that he offered a $250,000 bounty for any information that led to the arrest of the cyber thieves.

Those hackers were never caught. And so it seems, neither will the thieves who stole 7,000 bitcoins from Binance two weeks ago.

Binance bitcoin hack attempt march 2018