Hydro to Fork Coinbase-Listed 0x (ZRX), Get Rid of Crypto Token

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The Hydro Foundation has announced its decision to fork the 0x (ZRX) protocol. In a statement signed by CEO Tian Li, who is also the CEO of Ethereum DEX platform DDEX, the company revealed that even though 0x has contributed greatly to the growth of DDEX into one of the largest decentralized exchange (DEX) platforms on Ethereum, the strategic focus of the project has become bogged down by a series of wide-ranging endeavours, while the basic processes underlying the DEX are still plagued by rudimentary problems like low liquidity and order collision.

An excerpt from the statement reveals that Hydro’s fork will not feature an equivalent to the 0x token, which was recently listed on crypto exchange giant Coinbase.

“Although we are using the term ‘fork’ to give proper credit, we rewrote a large portion of the codebase. We plan to ship a new order schema, an engine capable of true matching, robust market orders, and a fundamentally different liquidity sharing model. The ZRX token will be removed as well, because fee-based tokens create unnecessary friction.”

Focus on Liquidity

0x zrx cryptoThe 0x (ZRX) token was recently listed on crypto exchange Coinbase. Now, the project will face competition from a fork that eliminates that token.

Created with an emphasis on liquidity, the new 0x fork will be called “Hydro.” According to Li, as soon as security frameworks and audits are completed, DDEX will switch from the 0x protocol to Hydro. The merit of the project will be determined by the protocol’s delivery. If it fails, he said, DDEX will be “outclassed and quickly become irrelevant” in line with the company’s strict ethos of providing utility that the market wants.

The Hydro protocol is not completely strange to DDEX. It was originally designed as a network layer protocol for high-performance decentralized exchanges and marketplaces, with built-in incentives for coordination. Originally deployed as a thin liquidity incentive layer on top of 0x, the aptly named protocol will place liquidity front and center of its vision for how a DEX protocol should operate as well as significantly expand the scope of the 0x project.

At the time of filing this report, there was no official response to the news of the upcoming fork from the 0x project, which on its part recently announced the 0x Ecosystem Acceleration Program. The program is designed to accelerate the growth of the 0x Ecosystem by expanding the number and diversity of projects being built on the 0x protocol.

According to the information from the 0x project, this will be accomplished by offering access to funding, technical support, and business expertise to budding teams. The support for their development will occur in helping early-stage teams kick off their projects, investing in tooling and programs to support all businesses building on the 0x protocol, and promoting technological innovation through selected research grants.

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Top 5 Crypto Performers Overview: EOS, Binance Coin, TRON, Litecoin, Bitcoin

In December 2017, the market participants were eagerly waiting for the total crypto market capitalization to touch $1 trillion. Fast forward to December 2018, and the total market capitalization is struggling to hold on to the $100 billion mark.

This shows the complete change in sentiment in the past one year: last year, it was fear of missing out and this year it is fear of losing all the money invested in cryptocurrencies.

During extremes of the bull or the bear phase, the markets overshoot and undershoot the technical targets by a large margin. We believe that the decline has reached a panic state, which will end with a bottom formation, sooner than later.

Therefore, investors who believe in the long-term potential of the asset class should be ready to invest once the decline ends. The downside risk from the current levels is limited while the upside potential is attractive.

EOS/USD

EOS (EOS) block producers are operating in negative margins and many will land up in trouble if the price does not recover or if no change is made to the existing reward system.

Hackers are also having a field day with the decentralized apps (DApps) that are based on the EOS blockchain. Their hacks have resulted in a loss of about $1 million since July.

Charles Hoskinson of Cardano believes that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is likely to train its guns against the $4 billion initial coin offering (ICO) of EOS. So, how does the future look according to the charts? Let’s find out.

EOS/USD

The major trend on the EOS/USD pair is down. The price has been making new year-to-date lows since the breaking down of $4.493.

The bulls had attempted to form a base from mid-August to mid-November, which failed. The pattern target of that break was $2.1561. However, the bears easily broke through this level and plunged the digital currency to a low of $1.55. Even at these levels, there is no urgency among the buyers to step in and provide support.

This suggests that the decline can extend to the next support at $1.2 and below it to $1, which is a major psychological support. The RSI is close to the oversold territory, which shows that the selling has been overdone.

A pullback to the breakdown level is likely, which in this case is the $3.8723–$4.493 zone. However, traders should initiate long positions only after the virtual currency signals a trend reversal. Until then, it is best to remain on the sidelines.

BNB/USD

Binance, one of the top crypto exchanges in the world by trade volume, has launched educational content to provide “unbiased” information about crypto and blockchain to the public. The development of the content is being undertaken by Binance Academy, which is the dedicated education arm of the exchange.

Another arm, Binance Labs, has released its first batch of blockchain projects from its incubation program, which provided the projects with funding and other necessary resources. The exchange has added six new pairs, with Circle’s USD-pegged stablecoin USD Coin recently being included in its Combined Stablecoin Market.

BNB/USD

The Binance Coin (BNB/USD) pair is relatively strong, as it has not given up much ground since the breaking down of the year-to-date low of $5.4666, formed on Feb. 6. It is currently falling inside a descending channel.

If the bears break below the immediate support of $4.1723848, the decline can reach the support line of the channel at $2.5.

Though the trend is down and it is advantage bears, the RSI is in the oversold territory, hence, we can expect the bulls to attempt to climb back above the overhead resistance at $5.4666. If successful, the current dip can be termed as a bear trap and the pullback can extend to the resistance line of the channel, just above $7.5. Traders should attempt a trade only after a reliable buy setup is formed.

TRX/USD

TRON (TRX) launched its TRC20 exchange this week. With the exchange going live, it is expected that the liquidity of the TRON network will increase. The 24-hour transaction amount for DApps increased 48 percent compared to the previous week. Similarly, the 24-hour trading volume increased 151 percent over the last week. With these developments, how does the chart pattern look? Is a bottom in sight?

TRX/USD

The bulls have been attempting to put a bottom in place for the past few months. The TRX/USD pair consolidated between $0.0183 and $0.0281551 for about three months, before breaking down on Nov. 19. An attempt to climb back into the range failed and the bears are attempting to extend the downtrend. The breakdown gives it a pattern target of $0.00844479. If the decline doesn’t stall at this level, then the next support is at $0.00554133.

However, if the bulls defend $0.01089965 and push the price back above $0.0183, the digital currency will indicate a probable trend change. Until then, every pullback will be met with a wave of selling, hence, it is better to wait and watch.

LTC/USD

The Litecoin (LTC) Lightning Network is ready for launch on one of the largest payment gateways, CoinGate. The creator of Litecoin, Charlie Lee, cheered the news in a recent tweet, “Even Litecoin will soon have more than 1000 merchants accepting LN payments!  Thanks @CoinGatecom!”

Lee had sold all of his Litecoin in December 2017, citing a conflict of interest. He had then indirectly indicated that the price of Litecoin could plunge to $20. With the price declining close to his prediction, will it find a bottom at these levels or will it continue to slump? Let’s find out.

LTC/USD

The LTC/USD pair has been in a strong downtrend since peaking out at $370 in December of last year. Though there was an attempt to form a base at $47.246, the bears broke down on Nov. 13 and resumed the downtrend. There was another attempt to defend the support at $29.349, but it did not hold even for a week.

Currently, the downtrend has resumed and the next support on the downside is the $19–$21 zone. If this also fails to hold, the fall can extend to $15. The RSI has reached oversold levels, last seen in the beginning of 2015.

If the digital currency rebounds from current levels and climbs above $29.349, it will indicate that the markets have rejected lower levels. In such a case, a pullback to $47.246 is probable. However, as the bears have an upper hand, the traders should wait for the trend to reverse before attempting a long position in it.

BTC/USD

Some believe that after the crushing bear market Bitcoin (BTC) will meet its end. However, Jeremy Allaire, co-founder of Circle, believes that Bitcoin will be worth “a great deal more” than it is now in the next three years.

Co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors, Thomas Lee, believes that the fair value of Bitcoin is between $13,800 and $14,800, a good 315 percent higher than the current levels. During bear markets, prices can drop to crazy levels, which turns out to be a good buying opportunity for the brave hearted who can go against the trend.

BTC/USD

The trend in the BTC/USD pair is clearly down. Since breaking down of the critical $5,900 support, the bulls haven’t been able to defend any intermediate support levels, which shows that the bears are in command.

The selling has pushed the RSI into the oversold territory, a level last seen in the beginning of 2015. The immediate support is at $2,974, from where we anticipate a strong bounce.

Conversely, if the virtual currency fails to recover, the downtrend can extend to $1,752. With every fall, the pair gets closer to the bottom, but it is difficult to predict where the decline will end.

As the slide has been sharp, the next pullback is likely to be equally sharp. Therefore, traders can expect a retest of the breakdown level of $5,900 once the trend reverses. Until then, the short traders will pounce on every small pullback.

Donald Trump Hires Prominent Bitcoin Supporter Mick Mulvaney to White House Staff

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U.S. President Donald Trump has hired the prominent Bitcoin supporter Mick Mulvaney to be his new White House Chief of Staff.

Donald Trump is one of the most polarizing people on Planet Earth and whether you love him or hate him, it is beneficial for the crypto industry to have a major Bitcoin advocate whispering sweet nothings into the ear of the American President.

Donald Trump Makes Positive Appointment for Crypto Industry

Although Donald Trump might not top a list of the humblest people on the planet, he most definitely loves making money. Trump’s appointment of Mulvaney to the White House is a massive boon for crypto-fanatics.

Mick Mulvaney is a crypto supporter and fan. When he was working at the House of Representatives, Mulvaney, who is a South Carolina Republican, was one of the people who worked towards creating the Blockchain Caucus, which is a group of lawmakers that write and create new laws for emerging technologies such as cryptocurrency.

Donald Trump was upbeat when taking to his Twitter account to welcome Mulvaney and congratulate him on being named as Acting White House Chief of Staff:

Employing a Bitcoin Supporter

“Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the financial services industry, the U.S. economy and the delivery of government services, and I am proud to be involved with this initiative.” -Mick Mulvaney. Image from Flickr.

Mick Mulvaney has knowledge of the inner-workings of blockchain and crypto in general. He helped the Blockchain Caucus to draft two new legislative acts that support the growth and evolution of the blockchain industry. The proposals were drafted to help increase the growth and support of blockchain innovation.

The House Resolution 1108 was proposed to increase research in blockchain technology to show Congress how to take a sensible regulatory approach to the industry’s newest technological innovations.

House Resolution 7002 was a proposal to amend the E-SIGN Act that was to “confirm the applicability of blockchain to electronic records, electronic signatures and smart contracts.”

To give you an idea of Mulvaney’s feelings towards Bitcoin, here is a statement he made at the time of helping to create the Blockchain Caucus:

“Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the financial services industry, the U.S. economy and the delivery of government services, and I am proud to be involved with this initiative.”

Although U.S. President Donald Trump rightfully gets criticism from all quarters for some of his decisions, especially in terms of immigration and foreign policy, when it comes to emerging blockchain technology, he seems quite open to its potential.

The appointment of Mick Mulvaney to the White House by Donald Trump is a positive move for crypto-fans and aficionados alike.

Featured image from Flickr.

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US Federal Government: Confusing Regulation For Crypto, Full Clearance For Blockchain

Individual US states seem to be in competition for the title of the most crypto-friendly in the Union – Ohio’s recent announcement of imminent crypto tax payments being the latest example. Meanwhile, federal authorities remain in disarray with regard to how to define, let alone consistently regulate digital assets.

It is not just stakeholders and crypto buffs who bemoan the disorderly state of federal policies: their usual talking points have been recently validated by academics. In an article forthcoming in a Journal of Financial Transformation, University of Arkansas Law School professor Carol Goforth weighed in with an opinion that essentially summarizes what experts have been airing all along. Goforth notes that there are at least four distinct federal regulators that oversee various aspects of digital assets’ issuance and, each with a different interpretation of their nature.

While the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) treats crypto as commodities, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) insists they are securities, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) applies currency rules, and the Internal Revenue Service treats digital money as property.

Skeptical of the possibility that these regulatory powers get consolidated anytime soon, Prof. Goforth calls for increased coordination between the agencies in an effort to introduce a more nuanced, rather than ‘monolithic,’ approach to various crypto assets. In other words, her proposed remedy is to treat such assets on a case-by-case basis, contingent upon their functionality and their users’ motivations. But have there been any signs of such change of heart in the US regulators and policymakers as of late?

At least in one instance, yes. On December 11, CFTC issued a public request for input, seeking in-depth comments on multiple aspects of how Ether and the Ethereum Network operate. The document, which will generate feedback to fuel the work of the Commission’s LabCFTC initiative, includes a list of 25 items pertinent to Ethereum’s purpose, functionality, scalability, security, and even the details of the system’s imminent shift to proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.

While the news got the community agitated, it’s not immediately clear what will come out of the regulator’s renewed interest in Ethereum’s fundamentals. Some observers, like MIT Technology Review’s Mike Orcutt, suggested that the development might endanger the prospects of the long-anticipated ETH futures.

What appears to be the CFTC’s effort to rethink the status of a single asset might not be indicative of broader concerted push towards “a more nuanced approach.” Other US regulators haven’t made similar moves, while some produced signals are indicating that they are still very much in line with the good old catch-all approach. For instance, consonant with their usual trope, recent remarks by a Department of the Treasury official stressed the need for crypto industry players to strengthen anti-money laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) infrastructure.

US Congress

There is always hope that legislators on the Capitol Hill will lead the charge towards a better regulatory framework. Indeed, in the last few weeks, the blockchain-minded members of Congress have been on the move, making waves in the media and announcing proposed bills.

On Dec. 6, US Representatives Darren Soto and Ted Budd introduced two bills aimed at preventing crypto price manipulation and optimizing regulatory framework: The Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act of 2018 and the U.S. Virtual Currency Market and Regulatory Competitiveness Act of 2018, respectively.

Both include recommendations to the CFTC that prescribe a set of regulatory changes. The first bill outlines possible scenarios of price manipulation in the crypto markets and advances remedies, whereas the second one calls for a comparative study of regulatory arrangements in other national contexts, with the view to improve the current domestic ‘burdensome regulations that may inhibit innovation.’

The last few weeks have also seen the rise of a new star of crypto legislation, at least in terms of generated publicity. Even though not a formal member of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, Representative Warren Davidson of Ohio came into the spotlight at least twice in the month of December so far. First, speaking at the Blockland Solutions conference in Cleveland, Davidson announced that he was planning to introduce a bipartisan bill that would create a new asset class for tokens, thus enabling the feds to regulate initial coin offerings (ICOs) more efficiently.

A week later, during an interview to NPR, Davidson said that the border wall between the US and Mexico could be crowdfunded, suggesting that one of the mechanisms for that could be blockchain and issuance of ‘wall coins.’

The executive

While financial regulators and lawmakers are taking time to figure out ways to better handle the realm of digital assets, many federal agencies that are not concerned with monetary matters are exploring the uses of blockchain technology to aid their day-to-day operations.

With increasing interest to supply chain logistics as one of the most widely discussed non-financial blockchain applications, the news emerged that the feds are eyeing DLT-powered provenance tracing tools to increase food safety.

Amid the outbreak of E. coli associated with romaine lettuce originating from a California farm that took a while to trace and had the authorities introduce a blanket warning, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took steps towards improving its tracking tools. The agency hired Frank Yiannas, formerly Walmart’s food safety boss, as its foods and veterinary medicine deputy commissioner. Just a few months ago Yiannas oversaw first trials of Walmart’s blockchain-powered tracking system, and he is now expected to introduce a similar solution with the FDA.

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) took an interest in two blockchain applications relevant to the scope of its activities. One is related to forensic analysis of transactions: apparently concerned about the potential of ‘privacy coins’ like Monero and Zcash to help criminals escape the same level of scrutiny that is already available for bitcoin transactions, the DHS kicked off pre-solicitation process for parties potentially interested in supplying solutions capable of dealing with such “newer blockchain implementations.”

Another matter of the agency’s interest is germane to the licensing and certification functions performed by its three subsidiaries: the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and Transportation Security Administration (TSA). In an effort to improve the documentation flow, the DHS calls for startups to offer blockchain-powered solutions that will help combat fraud, counterfeiting, and forgery of digital documents.

In the defense field, the US Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) unveiled an app designed to train members of the armed forces to develop and run blockchain-based supply-chain solutions. Recognizing that such supply chains will most likely be prevalent in the future military logistics, the Air Force partnered with several private contractors to build a system preparing personnel for their new functionality. Among the decisions that they will learn to make is what incentive structure best suits a given task, or whether a system should be permissionless or permissioned.

Meanwhile, the research arm of the US military, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is looking to explore potential uses of permissionless distributed ledgers. In preparation for a workshop scheduled for February 2019, the agency solicits information on a range of blockchain-related topics, including security and centrality of distributed consensus protocols.

No, the Price of Bitcoin Didn’t Drop Because of Bomb Threats

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On Friday, as the Bitcoin price fell by around six percent against the U.S. dollar, several reports claimed that the dominant cryptocurrency dropped in value due to bomb threats.

One report from Business Insider Australia, for instance, stated that following an email blast of bomb threats in New York, the price of the crypto asset endured a correction.

Wrong Argument Against Bitcoin

A common misconception that Bitcoin (BTC) by nature is anonymous or impossible to track is simply not correct.

As a consensus currency, Bitcoin is based on a decentralized network called the blockchain that is sustained by an open-source community of developers, miners, and node operators.

When a miner approves the settlement of a transaction by including it in a block, the transaction is broadcasted to the public blockchain network via nodes which relay information across the network.

Through the utilization of the public blockchain network and blockchain explorer tools, anyone on the network is able to track, trace, evaluate, and analyze the wallets that receive a suspicious transaction.

Some startups like Chainalysis place tags on certain wallets or transactions that are said to be related to criminal operations and follow the trail. If a tagged wallet sends a transaction to a Know Your Customer (KYC)-enabled fiat-to-crypto exchange, then the authorities can request the exchange to freeze the funds until the investigation comes to an end.

Last month, when an initial coin offering (ICO) that raised over $20 million turned out to be an exit scam, major mainstream media outlets in South Korea notified Upbit, the country’s largest crypto exchange, on the situation. Almost immediately after receiving the information, Upbit froze the wallet and the funds in it.

The inability of the operators of the exit scam to liquidate their Bitcoin holdings to fiat ultimately led the criminal group to plead guilty to the authorities and reimburse investors affected by the exit scam.

In the case of New York bomb threats, wherein individuals were asked to pay a Bitcoin ransom, the transaction can be traced to the group that issued the threats if the group ever tries to convert the dominant cryptocurrency into the U.S. dollar.

The NYPD said in an official announcement:

“Please be advised – there is an email being circulated containing a bomb threat asking for bitcoin payment. While this email has been sent to numerous locations, searches have been conducted and NO DEVICES have been found.”

Moreover, if the bomb threats caused the price of Bitcoin to decline in an unlikely situation, the termination of the investigation would have led the value of the asset to recover because it discovered no devices connected to the bomb threats.

Bad Narrative

Most of the criticism against Bitcoin with ties to the potential use case of the asset in criminal cases remains a weak argument because the infrastructure around the asset class has strengthened and it has become nearly impossible to convert BTC to USD without triggering KYC and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems.

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Blockchain Could ‘Jeopardize the Safety’ of Current Financial Marketplace, DTCC Exec

Fintech is believed to be a “systemic risk” to the broader economy, according to a survey conducted by the United States Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), Dec. 11.

20 percent of respondents to the so-called “DTCC Systemic Risk Barometer,” identified fintech among the system risks for the global economy in 2019. The results are up from 15 percent in last year’s survey.

Stephen Scharf, DTCC’s Managing Director and Chief Security Officer, declared that the increased concern over fintech “demonstrates a growing awareness of the potential risk and highlights the need to evaluate both risks and rewards associated with fintech initiatives.” He then explained:

“As the industry continues to adopt fintech innovations, like blockchain, AI and cloud solutions, we must ensure that those innovations do not jeopardize the safety and security of the current global financial marketplace.”

Figures in traditional finance have often proven wary of cryptocurrency and the technology behind it, blockchain. As Cointelegraph reported mid-November, an Executive of the European Central Bank (ECB) defined Bitcoin the “evil spawn of the [2008] financial crisis.”

This month Andreas Utermann, the CEO of major investment management firm Allianz, declared that crypto assets should be “outlawed” during a panel in London. On the same panel, Andrew Bailey, the head of United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) argued that crypto assets lack “intrinsic value.”

Element Zero Unveils the Stablecoins 2.0 – The “Holy Grail” of Cryptocurrency

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This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the press release.

Silicon Valley, CA – ElementZero.Network, a not-for-profit organization, announced today the discovery of a breakthrough 4th Protocol Methodology for a new generation of stablecoins that eliminates the possibility for any volatility in the first place and aims to replace Bitcoin and current stablecoins as a common way of payment. Developed by a leadership team of international digital currency experts in collaboration with Nobel Prize winners, blockchain leaders, and the former Chairman of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The 4th Methodology uses a new and proprietary Algorithmic Stability Protocol that not only protects the stablecoin from any future volatility events, it is also designed to keep it’s purchasing power in place by overcoming inflation.

“The main purpose of any currency is to allow the public to hold their savings and to function as a way to pay for goods and services,” said Jude Regev, Founder, and Chairman of Element Zero.In order to be successful, a stablecoin needs to offer protection from numerous volatility-inducing factors, whether they are those that we know today or 100 years from now”.

Currently, the cryptocurrency market relies on stablecoins trying to achieve stability by backing the coin with a currency, asset or commodity, and hoping that the market will trade the coin with the same value it has been pegged to. Then there are other stablecoins that are governed by creative internal protocols that try to stabilize the coin every time there is a market fluctuation.

One of the biggest concerns for these stablecoins is that in the future, governments such as the US will launch their own digital coin. When this occurs all of the stablecoins remaining in the market that are pegged against USD fiat will likely disappear. It is unlikely the public will keep buying coins pegged against the USD from a private company when it can be bought directly from Uncle Sam. Another issue is that stablecoins using predictive protocols carry a significant risk of crashing to zero and potentially leading the global economy into another depression. This is due to the fact that no one can really continually forecast all the ways the market will react. 50 years ago, there was no blockchain and no internet, who knows what we will have 50 years from now.

“It is not reasonable or prudent to have a decentralized protocol that today claims that it can cope with any future scenario, including those that are completely unknown today.” Regev said, “To ensure that future digital currencies will be adopted by Main Street, we must have a new generation of stablecoin that capable to combat with any scenario, one that has the ability to eliminate any volatility in the first place as well as protect against long-term inflation.” Regev said.”

About Element Zero Network

Element Zero is a not-for-profit organization based in Silicon Valley, CA, Our new 4th protocol stablecoin is designed with the hope to make the world better for all by protecting against long-term inflation and by eliminating the possibility for any volatility in the first place. Visit https://www.elementzero.network/

Media Contact: Lewis Farrell,  [email protected]

The Venezuelan Government is Forcing Petro Down the Pensioners’ Throats

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The Government of Venezuela is reportedly taking pensioners’ bolivars from their accounts and replacing them with their cryptocurrency, the Petro.

According to Caracas Chronicles, the elderly residents recently received their monthly pensions in Venezuela’s official currency. Their wallet service, dubbed as Motherland, sent a notification that their accounts were credited with 1,800 Bolivars. However, the pensioners received another similar information from Motherland on the same day, stating that their account was now credited with the Petro.

Notably, the government took out pensioners’ Bolivars without their consent, repackaged it into Petro, and returned it to their wallets. Understanding that pensioners live solely on these bonuses, and they are already equipped with the process of withdrawing them through a simple bank transfer process, handling them with Petro units have made things difficult.

Caracas Chronicles argued that Petro cryptocurrency is unspendable at banks, meaning elderlies would not be able to exchange them as quickly as they used the Bolivar. There is, however, a complex process of converting the Petro units back to Bolivar. What’s further worse is that the value of Bolivar is not accurately pegged to the Petro. The Petro-to-bolivar exchange rate has surged 66.5% in the past two weeks.

“This must be a new form of the dictator’s erotic fantasy and wet dream: full control over citizens’ finances. They could take money when they feel like it, erase it, transfer it, you name it,” the financial blog stated.

There are also doubts whether or not real assets sufficiently back Petro. The government claims that the total supply of the Mineral Resources-backed cryptocurrency equals up to $6 billion, but they didn’t provide any detailed audit that highlights the sum and source of the valuation.

Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro, nevertheless, has pledged to expand the use of Petro in every government initiative in the country. He announced in August that their government would deploy the cryptocurrency in the pension sector, followed by a ruling that residents will have to pay for their passport fee using Petro. He now plans to enable government institutions to pay their employees in Petro too.

Criticism

US President Donald Trump ordered prohibition on the use of Venezuela-backed cryptocurrency by their citizens, after finding that it was against the sanctions the US has put on the South American nation. Economists rejected Petro for lacking the quality of a state-backed national currency, believing that it would further dig the economic pothole for Venezuela by making Bolivar more hyperinflated than ever.

Steve Hanke, for instance, straightforwardly called Petro a sham, saying that it doesn’t exist.

No internationally-recognized financial body has come out in support of Venezuela’s cryptocurrency plans.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Waves Surges into Top 20 Coins as Wider Crypto Market Stumbles

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Since the end of November, the Waves coin (WAVES) has bucked a market trend and risen in price by over 150%. The cryptocurrency has not only risen to a price, at the time of writing, of $2.49 per coin but as bitcoin price falls, WAVES value against bitcoin (BTC) is also growing.

The Waves cryptocurrency today, for a short time, entered the top 20 coins by market capitalization but has since fallen back to 22nd place as other coins show green. The coin’s market cap is now nearly $245 million, its highest since July 2018.

Why is Demand for Waves Increasing?

Waves is a blockchain platform where organizations and developers can create their own custom tokens. It has its own decentralized exchange (DEX) where these tokens can be traded alongside some of the most popular cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, Litecoin, and Monero. There are 69 tradeable coins on the Waves DEX with Waves reporting over 20,000 custom tokens in use.

Just over a week ago CCN reported that the release of an updated Waves mobile wallet that enabled credit card purchases of Waves which could then be traded into Bitcoin, or for other coins on its own DEX, could be fuelling interest in the coin. That could still be the case. According to CoinMarketCap trading volume on the exchange has increased this week too.

Waves has been busier still. After first introducing smart contract functionality to the platform in September 2018, it’s now adding smart assets and smart account trading. A Waves announcement was posted December 13, and the functionality will be added to the blockchain’s mainnet once Waves miners vote their agreement. Waves also released its wallet add-on for the Firefox browser on December 14, and will be launching a European securities token trading platform in 2019.

The Waves blockchain, according to Waves, is fast, supporting 6,000 transactions per minute which equates to 100 per second. Ethereum is capable of around 10-15 transactions per second currently but Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin believes once second-layer solutions like Sharding and Plasma take effect the network is capable of over one million transactions per second.

There may well be some growing confidence in the Waves blockchain. Waves announced it had processed more transactions in one day than any other on October 21, 2018, reaching 6.1 million and surpassing Ethereum at 1.3 million and EOS at 5.4 million.

Waves could also interest investors with its dual business focuses of token creation and smart contract blockchain functionality, and decentralized exchange, giving it two markets to drive success.

In terms of up and coming blockchains, Waves is not without competition. The price of TRON’s TRX isn’t performing as well as WAVES, but it too is also not being impacted as much by crypto-winter as other coins. dApp usage on the TRON blockchain surged to 1 million transactions last week and the TRON Foundation has just launched its own exchange.

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French Financial Watchdog Blacklists More Cryptocurrency Websites

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The French financial watchdog, the Financial Markets Regulator (AMF), has blacklisted four more cryptocurrency websites in their ongoing mission to stamp out unauthorized crypto firms.

As news of riots in France batter the world news, the AMF is also using strong-arm tactics to keep then nation’s crypto sector honest and in-check with their latest move.

Official Statement from the AMF on Friday

The AMF is the main watchdog that regulates the French stock market and announced on Friday in an official statement that they have blacklisted a further four cryptocurrency websites. The reasons cited for the blacklisting of the websites are mainly centered on unauthorized investment offerings.

In the official statement, the AMF outlined nine cryptocurrency firms that have been operating without approval from official regulatory bodies in France, with the four websites named on the list.

The AMF also warned potential investors that they should exercise caution when investing in companies that are new and unfamiliar. They went on to say that France has seen a surge of new and unauthorized crypto projects that are yet to seek approval from the regulatory body and that investors should be careful with the un-vetted cryptocurrency websites

Cryptocurrency Websites Blacklisted in France

The cryptocurrency websites blacklisted by the AMF include elos-patrimoine.com. live-crypto.com.net, iminage.com, and infoconso.info.

The AMF has blocked the websites for conducting crypto trading on the domestic front while failing to meet the necessary legal requirements to do so. The AMF statement said:

“It is warning the public against several companies from offering atypical investments without being authorized to do so”

Blacklisted cryptocurrency websites such as elos-patrimoine.com were allegedly offering monthly returns to investors between 3% and 5% without the authorization to offers guarantees.

The AMF is an independent regulatory body that is there to protect the interests of the public and investors. They basically keep the French crypto markets honest and ensure that crypto-related businesses adhere to the nation’s crypto regulations and maintain order in the marketplace.

Back in September, a regulatory framework for ICOs from the AMF was passed by the French Parliament. The framework was originally drafted back in March to protect those investing in Initial Coin Offerings.

The AMF and French government are working hand-in-hand to keep a lid on the ICO markets to ensure new ICOs are fulfilling their legal requirements. With the AMF now blacklisting unauthorized cryptocurrency websites, it sends out a message that although France welcomes crypto, it is also serious on keeping the sector under control.

Featured image from Pixabay

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