Crypto Market Struggles After Mini Bull Run, Ripple Price Down 5%

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Subsequent to demonstrating a mini-rally on July 18, the crypto market has declined by $12 billion, triggered by a large drop in the value of tokens.

Ripple’s Downtrend

Since Wednesday, bitcoin, the most dominant cryptocurrency in the market, has performed relatively well against the US dollar. Its volume, which remained below $3.5 billion last week, has rebounded to $5.2 billion, and tripled on the global market’s largest crypto exchange Binance.

As of July 20, the price of bitcoin remains above the $7,470 mark, down less than 1.5 percent from its weekly high at $7,570.

But, other major digital assets such as Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ripple (XRP), Ether (ETH) and Cardano (ADA) have performed poorly against both bitcoin and the US dollar, dropping by over 5 percent in the past 24 hours.

Ripple, in particular, has struggled to sustain any momentum from its slight increase in value on July 18, while others have managed to at least hold their support levels.

Since July 19, the price of XRP has been in free fall, dropping from $0.52 to $0.46, by more than 11.5 percent. After recording a large sell-off on major exchanges less than 48 hours ago, XRP has not been able to demonstrate signs of recovery in the short-term.

The short-term trend of XRP will likely remain negative in the upcoming days, as the sell-off on July 19 was not sufficient to reverse the Relative Strength Index (RSI) of XRP and create an oversold condition for the Ripple exchange market. The Average Directional Index and various momentum indicators show that the downtrend of XRP is simply too strong at the moment to initiate any sort of corrective rally by the end of this week.

Some investors have said that the slight decline in the price of bitcoin and the valuation of the crypto market was expected, given the sudden surge in the price of bitcoin on Wednesday, which saw a 10 percent rise within a 30-minute window.

In early April, when the price of bitcoin surged by over 10 percent from $6,900 to $8,000, its rally continued to the $10,000 resistance level, which it failed to surpass and ultimately fell below the $6,000 mark two months after.

Tokens Bleeding

In a sideways market, especially when the price of bitcoin remains stable, tokens tend to perform exceedingly well against major digital assets.

However, even tokens such as 0x (ZRX) and Aelf (ELF), which have demonstrated strong momentum throughout July, have recorded 10 percent losses over the past 24 hours.

ELF, in particular, saw a 10 percent fall from 0.00011 BTC to 0.000092 BTC, after reaching a weekly high at 0.000127 on July 5.

One positive takeaway from the performance of the crypto exchange market this week is its strong volume that has rebounded well since last week, and if the volume of the market can be sustained, a movement to the upside can be expected by the end of the week.

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Five Crypto Trailblazers Make Fortune’s ’40 Under 40′ List

Five major crypto innovators have clinched four spots on Fortune’s “40 Under 40” annual rankings for the most powerful young disruptors in global business, released for 2018 on July 19.

The first incarnation of Fortune’s under 40 list ran from 1999-2003 and ranked the new titans of the dot-com boom purely based on their wealth. Post-2008 financial crash, the list has been reinvented to take the pulse of figures’ wider achievements, power, and influence on the global stage.

This year, Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin, 24, has sealed a spot on the list for the third year running, ranked 22nd and hailed as a “skinny visionary,” whose “experiment” has become the second-most valuable crypto invention after Bitcoin (BTC).

The characterization builds on something of a trend, with Buterin last year styled as a “twiggy, Russia-born software developer” as he ranked 10th, and his 2016 list debut at 31st place painting a precocious portrait of his childhood love for Microsoft Excel.

This year, Fortune draws attention to the “lucky break” represented by the Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) recent decision not to regulate ether as a security, and also notes that Buterin has recently allegedly declined to work for tech giant Google and remain native to the crypto sphere.

Brian Armstrong, 34, the CEO of major U.S. crypto exchange and wallet service Coinbase, has made the list for the second time, ranked 20th. Last year, he scored 10th place after Coinbase was valued at $1.6 billion in fall 2017, becoming the first so-called “unicorn” of the blockchain industry. This year, Fortune nods towards the “tantalizing financial licenses” that could unleash Coinbase’s influence yet further.

Russian developer Pavel Durov, 33, has been ranked 25th, appearing on the list for the first time. Durov founded popular social networking site VKontakte, as well as the the encrypted chat app Telegram, which has drawn 200 million users. This March, Telegram concluded two $850 million Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) to launch a native token, bringing its total ICO earnings to $1.7 billion.

In 24th place are Vlad Tenev, 31, and Baiji Bhatt, 33, “Stanford math whizzes” and co-CEOs of the brokerage app Robinhood, which has has been offering a zero-fee crypto trading platform in selected U.S. states since February. The project, which recently raised $363 million in funding to expand crypto trading support U.S.-wide, has a $5.6 billion valuation that catapulted it to becoming the second most valuable American fintech startup.

Fortune’s crypto industry representatives have thus more than doubled their presence over the last year.

JPMorgan Wants to Use Blockchain to Issue ICO Tokens

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American investment banking giant JPMorgan Chase is pursuing a patent for a distributed system that uses blockchain technology to issue virtual depository receipts that sound suspiciously like initial coin offering (ICO) tokens.

JPMorgan Wants to Host IPOs on a Blockchain

The patent application, filed by JPMorgan in January and published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) on Thursday, outlines a method whereby users on a distributed network such as a blockchain can tokenize assets and trade these virtual depository receipts.

To create a security token, an originator such as an asset owner or broker will encumber the asset by entrusting it to a qualified custodian, who will then authorize a virtual receipt for the deposited assets.

This virtual depository receipt would essentially be a security token, regulated under the authority of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or other local securities regulators. This designation would necessarily restrict how and where the tokens could be traded.

Depending on the nature of the asset, a token holder would also be able to redeem the receipt for the underlying asset by transferring it to the custodian, who would then cancel the tokens.

Notably, JPMorgan believes that one use case for this proposed system is to allow companies to hold initial public offerings (IPO) in a blockchain environment, more or less fulfilling the ultimate promise of the initial coin offering, though it is doubtful both that the firm would ever acknowledge that fact or refer to such token distribution events as ICOs.

Obligation-Backed Receipts

The patent also notes that the tokens could represent obligation-backed virtual receipts, more commonly known as debt equity.

This is not the first time that JPMorgan has mulled creating a platform to issue debt on a blockchain. Earlier this year, the firm partnered with the National Bank of Canada and a group of other firms to simulate the issuance of a $150 million Yankee certificate of deposit (CD) on Quorum — JPMorgan’s Ethereum-based enterprise blockchain platform — in parallel with an actual CD issued through conventional means.

“One of the mandates of the J.P. Morgan blockchain program is to identify how blockchain technology can create value, efficiency, and a better experience for our clients across the financial markets value chain,” said Christine Moy, JPMorgan’s blockchain program lead, at the time. “ We look forward to exploring blockchain-enabled capital markets applications, how these types of transformative opportunities can benefit our clients and counterparts.”

As CCN reported, while JPMorgan has been generally hostile toward cryptocurrencies — CEO Jamie Dimon, many will remember, once routinely referred to bitcoin as a fraud — the firm has for years been a leader in the development of enterprise blockchain applications, which seek to capitalize the benefits of distributed ledger technology (DLT) in a private, permissioned environment, most notably through its development and promotion of Quorum.

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World’s Number Four Telecoms Provider Files Blockchain Contract Storage Paten

The world’s fourth-largest telecoms provider, Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT), has filed a patent for using blockchain tech for contract agreement, according to a U.S. Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO) release on July 19.

NTT’s patent application writes that a problem with contracts on blockchain is that each transactions “contains only the electronic signature of the sender” as the “evidence of contract agreement by the receiver is not left in the transaction.”

The patent suggests a “simple, possible way to solve this problem is to, for example, include the electronic signatures of all the involved parties in one transaction.”

Details of the patent describe an invention with the objective of “leav[ing] the evidence of a contract on a blockchain” using one digital signature for each transaction among the involved parties. The patent document continues that the second objective is to “maintai[n] credibility” throughout this process.

NTT’s patent proposal is one of several to have already surfaced from major corporations this week. As Cointelegraph reported July 18, both Mastercard and Bank of America have also released documentation for blockchain-based inventions.

The global telecoms industry meanwhile looks set to benefit significantly from blockchain in the next five years. A report released earlier this month highlights how the technology could contribute almost $1 billion in value to the sector by 2023, from just $46 million today.

WMPRO – The First Total Solver for Word-Of-Mouth Players

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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.

The next generation Professional Social Network incorporates a “certificator” and rating system certified by a smart contract, with a sector-specific e-commerce.

The Word-of-Mouth market is worth over 189 billion dollars and has over 116 million operators. The growing popularity of social networks has further boosted the industry and has allowed the proliferation and diffusion of “unverified” information on the real ethical-professional qualities of companies, operators, and partners.

The Eucleia platform and WMPRO blockchain satisfy the need for a decentralized, secure, inviolable, certified database, with truthful and transparent information on the features of the companies and their operators.

Exploring the Opportunity and the potential numbers of the Referral Marketing Industry, there’s no doubt that the idea of obtaining a better professional rating and spending WMPRO crypto assets on real products and services will support cryptocurrency holders on all levels. 

Every challenge is an opportunity. With the growing amount of risks surrounding the word-of-mouth industry and the explosion of crypto adoption, we may have the perfect recipe for a change in the future of the entire industry. 

Thanks to Eucleia, word-of-mouth, socials, and many other professions and companies will never be the same.

Chip Manufacturer Cuts Revenue Forecast Due to Weak Demand for Crypto Miners, Again

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), a leading producer of microchips, has decreased its annual revenue and capital expenditure estimates following growth rate reduction in the smartphone and cryptocurrency mining fields, Business Times reported July 19. TSMC produces chips for tech giants like Nvidia Corp., Apple Inc., and Qualcomm Inc.

TSMC cut its revenue growth forecast for 2018 to “a high single digit percent” from ten percent, and lowered its expected capital expenses volume to $10-10.5 billion from $11.5-12 billion. According to analysts, the company could face slowing demand for high-end chips used in crypto mining, as miners choose lower-powered chips due to price volatility and stricter regulations in the industry.

During the April and June quarter, TSMC registered a 9 percent increase in net profit from the previous year to $2.3 billion. Sales to the personal computer industry were 21 percent of totaled revenue, 12 percent up compared to the previous year. Revenue reportedly rose 11 percent and reached $7.85 billion, which is in line with the company’s forecast made in April.

TSMC’s chief financial officer Lora Ho reportedly said that the company anticipates to “benefit from new product launches, while cryptocurrency mining demand will decrease from the second quarter.”

TMSC previously lowered its revenue forecast in April from a growth rate of 15 percent to 10 percent. The company announced that first quarter demand from cryptocurrency mining was strong and could continue in the second quarter, but the company anticipated potentially weaker demand in the 28-nanometer product line used for crypto mining hardware.

Earlier this month, Cointelegraph reported that the price of specialized graphics processing units (GPUs) has been declining along with sinking prices in digital currency markets. While at the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018 cryptocurrency mining caused a sharp rise in the price of high-end graphics cards, the tendency seems to have reversed as crypto markets sloped downward.

OKEx, Malta Stock Exchange Partner to Develop Security Token Trading Platform

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Malta continues to be at the forefront of the crypto space with OKEx, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, announcing a partnership with the Malta Stock Exchange to create a new security token trading platform.

The new exchange will operate under the name OKMSX and bring together OKEx‘s expertise in the digital assett market along and the Malta Stock Exchange’s 26-year track record of operating as a regulated stock exchange OKMSX will also be launching an institutional grade security token trading platform which should commence operations in Malta by the first quarter of 2019.

Commenting on the signing of the memorandum of understanding(MOU), Tim Byun, chief risk officer and head of government relations at OKEx said that this is an important development and a milestone for the island’s economic development.

“Malta is taking the helm of regulating the blockchain technology and cultivating a regulated cryptocurrency and ICO epicenter,”  he said. “This joint venture marks our confidence in the Maltese government as well as our commitment to providing an efficient, secure, and transparent blockchain trading environment to clients worldwide.”

Joseph Portelli, chairman of the Malta Stock Exchange, had a similar takeaway:

 “Malta is on the cusp of becoming a center of excellence within the global digital innovation landscape. We are thrilled to be teaming up with OKEx, a leader in the digital currency sector, to leverage our expertise on the compliance and regulatory front to truly be a trailblazer within the security token sector.”

Parliamentary Secretary for Digital Innovation and Financial Services Silvio Schembri was also enthusiastic about the new development, predicting that it would lead to “fruitful collaboration” moving forward.

“Today Malta opened up a way for legally binding listing and trading of tokenized securities. We are proud of Malta Stock Exchange to enter a partnership with a worldwide leader in primary offerings on blockchain such as OKEx. I look forward to the fruitful collaboration in the future,” he said.

As CCN reported, OKEx is accelerating its global expansion into Malta by establishing an office and hiring local staff and expects to complete the move by the end of the third quarter of this year. The exchange  is also a key sponsor of the DELTA Summit, Malta’s official blockchain, and digital innovation event.

This is the second development in just a few hours, with Binance and Neufund recently announcing a similar partnership with the MSE.

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Decentralized Recruitment Marketplace to Protect Workers From Inflation

Australia-based startup ChronoBank has launched the beta of LaborX, a decentralized marketplace for labor hiring. As the ChronoBank white paper claims, it aims to “revolutionize the short-term recruitment of real-world professions” by practically making any kind of work available on-demand — paid per hour, per day or even per second. The company currently focuses on tech personnel, but the principle can be extended to members of any profession which are hired and fired when the necessity arises — think plumbers and construction workers, chambermaids or other auxiliary staff. The company presented the platform in June, during BlockShow 2018 in Berlin.

“What we’re trying to do is to tokenize the way that people get paid, and make their work in hours or other time units tradable,” Sergei Sergienko, ChronoBank’s CEO, told Cointelegraph. The way to achieve that is a set of tokens based on the average working-hour price in the country.

Workers are paid in these tokens — this, according to LaborX founders, ensures a just pay for the workforce and better transactional efficiency for the employer. The Labor Hour tokens (LH tokens) could also protect workers from inflation — their value is pegged to average pay in a country, that normally rises faster than inflation.

This brings about the ultimate, ambitious goal of ChronoBank: It aims to go beyond streamlining recruitment, payroll and benefits. In fact, LH tokens are meant to become a stable, inflation-free currency backed by labor hours, economically different from both fiat and cryptocurrencies. LaborX aims to liberate time-based currencies from their inherent shortcomings that hamper their wider adoption.  

LH tokens will exist on a parity-based sidechain, to avoid the dependency on the Ethereum network — with its fluctuating fees and congestion. LH tokens can be mined on private nodes, after having placed a smart contract deposit in TIME tokens. Tokens mined are then used to facilitate payments on the LaborX platform.

How the marketplace works

LaborX participants may act in one of three roles: Client (the one who requires labor), Recruiter (the one who facilitates the search and recruitment of personnel) and Worker (the person to do the job). Workers and Clients can join a job board created by the Recruiter, having their skills and profile validated, if they wish. The Client then posts a job on the job board, defining the compensation and terms so that Workers can apply. Alternatively, a Worker can make a Client an offer for the job in question. Subject to the application being accepted or offer approved, the Worker starts. Expenses can be added and approved by Worker and Client respectively, during the course of the job.  

If the job ends to the mutual satisfaction of the parties, the Worker gets paid and both parties leave feedback on their respective experience of collaboration. If it doesn’t, parties will try to reach an understanding, with or without the help of external arbitration. Finally, if the job is cancelled or called off for reasons not related to the Worker’s performance, the Worker may receive a pro-rata compensation.  

“When workers are paid in Labor Hour tokens, they will have a choice to hold them or exchange them for other currencies  —  initially crypto, before direct fiat conversion. LHT will primarily trade on ChronoBank’s decentralized exchange, TimeX, which will operate on the same Ethereum sidechain as LaborX,” wrote ChronoBank in a blog post explaining the architecture of the sidechain. “In due course, we will be announcing some special market-making features to ensure a stable price and adequate market depth for LHT,” the company added.

Better exploitation or better transparency?

ChronoBank founders say they stress efficiency over equality: “Making employment more flexible weeds out ineffectiveness, thereby leaving the effective employees more desirable for employers and more highly paid. That also motivates the workers who are not yet happy with their current pay to try harder. Transparency in wages and removal of transactional inefficiencies opens the door for competition and higher wages and greater job security for the effective and productive workers in any time-based job”, said ChronoBank’s CEO Sergei Sergienko to Cointelegraph.

ChronoBank expects that, on their platform, efficient workers will have a better chance of getting hired for a higher rate, thanks to a reputation mechanism built-in to LaborX.

As for workers’ rights and benefits, ChronoBank offers employers the ability to settle social contributions and income taxes with the respective government bodies for only a one percent commission. This may alleviate the rising concern over recent court decisions that recognize gig economy workers as employees, and not freelancers.

While, at the moment, LaborX looks up to Upwork.com or Freelance.com, ChronoBank has bigger things in mind: “The nine-to-five job is what we are going after. It is a dinosaur that already had its day back in the Industrial Revolution, and I think the change is long overdue,” said Sergei Sergienko.

Working class struggles against inflation

When LH tokens gain wider adoption, LaborX expects them to become a distributed form of private money, created without any centralized authority, bank or institution. Time-based money could help protect the working class from the tax of inflation, as per-hour wages aren’t volatile, grow faster than inflation and cannot be created arbitrarily by governments or banks — as is the case with fiat money.

ChronoBank envisages an alternative financial ecosystem, whose backbone will be formed by “local communities, timebanks, and labor-hire companies with excellent reputation and strong financial standing.” The increased use of time-based tokens will set people free from inflation — a hidden tax — that stimulates unsustainable, consumption-fueled growth and disincentivizes savings.

Next steps

The CEO of the company said that ChronoBank is in talks with several major corporate clients in Australia — where the company is located — and expects to start offering their job openings to the public on LaborX soon.

The next step, he added, is to launch a decentralized exchange that will eventually make LH tokens ultra-liquid and a viable alternative to money. The exchange will be launched over the coming months, Mr. Sergienko said to Cointelegraph.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

CFTC Issues New Warning on Utility Tokens & Other Cryptocurrencies

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The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has issued another warning to consumers, advising them to exercise caution and carry out comprehensive research before investing in any cryptocurrencies, including those advertised as utility coins or consumption coins.

The alert, which came in the form of a Customer Advisory warning posted on the CFTC website on Tuesday, is the fourth warning released by the regulatory body on the subject of virtual currencies and digital assets.

“Educate and Inform Market Participants”

The purpose of the advisory notice, according to the CFTC, is to enlighten potential investors about existing risks and threats in the cryptocurrency market. Titled “Use Caution When Buying Digital Coins or Tokens,” it encourages customers to thoroughly research all claims, particularly those made by initial coin offering (ICO) promoters, and to find out as much information as possible about coin promoters and cryptocurrency companies before investing in them.

CFTC’s Erica Elliot Richardson, Director of the Office of Public Affairs and Office of Customer Education and Outreach said:

“This advisory is part of the CFTC’s education and outreach efforts to help educate and inform market participants, who, given the pace of technology-driven change, will increasingly come in contact with new financial products and services. The CFTC’s Office of Customer Education and Outreach closely coordinates with LabCFTC in order to keep pace with developments in the markets the CFTC regulates, and we look forward to staying ahead-of-the-curve in providing customers the information they need to protect themselves against fraud or manipulation in the marketplace.”

“Avoid Red Flags”

cryptodadCFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo | Source: YouTube

The main theme of the CFTC’s latest cryptocurrency customer advisory is that potential investors should be wary of coins or crypto schemes that over-promise or guarantee some kind of future value or return. Customers are advised to view any such advertising as an investment red flag, indicating possible intent to defraud.

The notice specifically singles out self-described “utility tokens” promising platform access or ability to purchase goods and services in the future as high risk investments, with little or no guarantee to deliver on their promises. It also mentions that if information about the issuer or promoter is not readily available, it should be considered a high risk investment.

The CFTC has put out three previous warning notices about cryptocurrencies, including a warning about pump-and-dump schemes operating through crypto exchanges, as well as a warning about coins and schemes advertising themselves as “IRS approved” in an attempt to misrepresent their price fluctuation risk.

In May, CCN reported that the CFTC issued another Customer Advisory informing retail investors about risks involved in speculative currency trading or bitcoin futures and options.

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Japan: Internal Affairs Minister Denies Involvement in Crypto-Related Gov’t Investigation

Japan’s Internal affairs minister Seiko Noda has denied her involvement in a government investigation into the operation of a non-registered cryptocurrency exchange, local news outlet the Asahi Shimbun reported July 19.

In January, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) reportedly suspected a Tokyo-based company of violating the law by operating a non-registered cryptocurrency exchange. The FSA requested a written response to its concerns from the company, arguing that it “did not respond by the deadline given, it would report the matter to investigating authorities and take necessary steps.”

The document obtained by the Asahi Shimbun reportedly revealed that several days after issuing the warning, Noda’s office contacted the FSA, asking for an explanation of what had happened.

The matter reportedly concerns a meeting Noda’s office held with the FSA regarding the alleged company in the presence of the company’s representative. Noda reportedly denied that she brought pressure upon the FSA investigation, telling the Asahi Shimbun that the purpose of the meeting was to get “an overall general account of cryptocurrency exchanges.”

Noda also argued that she had “no vested interest in the company in question” and the decision by her office to request the meeting “obviously does not amount to exerting pressure.” Noda pointed out that she did not present at the meeting.

According to the Asahi Shimbun, an FSA official visited Noda’s office on January 30 to explain the agency’s position toward the regulation of funds raising by issuing cryptocurrency to Noda’s aide and the company’s representative. A senior official at the FSA emphasized that Noda’s office request for a briefing could be recognized as pressure:

“A public servant will likely take it as pressure if an aide to a sitting Cabinet member calls for a meeting in which an employee of a company the agency is looking into is also present.”

Noda subsequently admitted that her aide presented at the meeting, and commented on the allegation, saying:

“My aide and the employee of the company know each other. Since we received a request for details of the regulations concerning cryptocurrency exchanges, we arranged [for a meeting with the agency]. I was not aware of the agency’s warning against the company.”

Yesterday, the Japanese government announced that, in the interest of better preparing the agency to address regulatory issues of the modern era, the FSA underwent an organizational reshuffling. The newly created Strategy Development and Management Bureau replaced the Inspection Bureau, and will will develop a financial strategy policy and handle issues addressing the digital currencies market, fintech, and money laundering.