Putin Adviser Says ‘CryptoRuble’ Will Circumvent Sanctions, Government Remains Divided

At a recent government meeting, Sergei Glazyev, economic adviser to President Putin, said the ‘CryptoRuble’ could help alleviate the pressure of Western sanctions, The Financial Times reported Monday. However, there is still no unified official stance from the Russian government on the question of issuing a national digital currency.

The Russian CryptoRuble is essentially a digital ruble — a government-issued digital currency accepted as legal tender.

According to FT, Glazyev stated that a government-controlled cryptocurrency like the CryptoRuble would help Russia disregard Western sanctions:

“This instrument suits us very well for sensitive activity on behalf of the state. We can settle accounts with our counterparties all over the world with no regard for sanctions.”

A divided front

Glazyev’s positive stance on the CryptoRuble is the latest position in the ongoing back and forth on the topic within the Russian government.

According to Russian news agency TASS, during a Dec. 28 meeting on legislation for digital currencies in Russia, government officials spoke negatively about the CryptoRuble.

Both the Deputy Minister of Finance Alexey Moiseev and first Deputy Governor of Russia’s Central Bank, Olga Skorobogatova, stated that they did not see a need for issuing a national digital currency.

However, in June 2017 at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Skorobogatova held the opposite position, saying:

“We will definitely get to a virtual national currency, we’ve already started working on it.”

Not a new question

The Russian government has been publicly discussing the idea of a government-issued digital currency as legal tender as far back as 2015. Originally, Qiwi, a publicly traded Russian payment service provider, initiated the idea for a Russian national cryptocurrency called ‘BitRuble.’

The Russian State Duma has an official working group in place that looks at cryptocurrency risks and regulations. Though there have been reports about possible outright cryptocurrency bans in Russia in the past, the government’s official stance remains unclear, leaning toward regulation of digital currency use.

Cardano Blockchain’s First Use Case: Proof of University Diplomas in Greece

Greek graduates may soon be able to prove their qualifications by way of a blockchain.

GRNET, the national research and education network of Greece, is working on a pilot project with blockchain research and development company IOHK to verify student diplomas on Cardano, a blockchain that launched in September.

The project is notable because it is the first official use case of Cardano, a proof-of-stake-based cryptocurrency and soon-to-be smart contract platform currently under development by IOHK.

The GRNET app will be built on Enterprise Cardano, a private or permissioned ledger version of Cardano. Unlike a public blockchain, where anyone can join in and participate, a private blockchain allows only a restricted set of users to validate block transactions.

So far, three Greek universities are participating in the project. While IOHK is providing the decentralized database, GRNET is providing the web front end and support and will bring together other universities participating beyond the pilot.

Funding for the project comes in part from Horizon 2020, a European program for research and innovation. Development of the prototype is already under way, Aggelos Kiayias, IOHK’s chief scientist, told Bitcoin Magazine.    

Why Diplomas?

Given IOHK’s deep ties with academia, it is no surprise to find the company working on a project that involves universities. But why diplomas?

Putting diplomas on a blockchain takes the paperwork out of the process and makes it easy and simple to check if someone holds a degree.

Typically, when a student graduates, they receive a paper copy of a diploma signed by the dean and co-signed the university’s registrar. All of the students’ transcripts and records are stored in the university’s centralized database.

To confirm that a graduate has the degree they claim to have, an employer has to check the official diploma or call the university. The labor-intensive process makes it too easy for unqualified applicants to slip under the radar.

Putting documents and records on the blockchain eliminates opportunity for fraud in that it allows graduates and universities to “issue a proof that a qualification exists that is undeniable,” said Kiayias. “This is a point of reference that can be agreed [on] by everyone.”

Cryptographic Proof

But to protect student privacy, instead of putting an entire diploma on the blockchain, GRNET plans to put only a cryptographic hash of a diploma on the blockchain.

Digital documents are easy to alter in ways that are undetectable to the human eye. But as long as the digital version shown to an employer hashes to the same output as what is stored on the blockchain, that proves the document is the original, unaltered version.

“We cannot put any plaintext on the blockchain, as diplomas and transcripts are personal information. We only put hashes; we may put entire diplomas and transcripts, but they will always be encrypted,” Panos Louridas, GRNET consultant and associate professor at Athens University of Economics and Business, explained to Bitcoin Magazine in an email.

This is not the first effort to store diplomas on the blockchain. In October, MIT announced its own pilot project to verify digital diplomas using the blockchain.   

But Louridas claims the GRNET pilot is different from prior projects in that it stores the entire chain of verification steps on the blockchain. Each step would be recorded as its own immutable transaction on a separate block in the blockchain.  

“You don’t really need a blockchain to store diplomas: a simple system with some digital signatures by the host institution would do,” he said. “We want to be able to record that somebody has asked for proof of a degree, that the proof has been granted, that the proof has been forwarded to a verifier, and that the verifier can verify that the degree is valid, and nobody can dispute any of the above steps.”

The three Greek universities taking part in the pilot include Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Democritus University of Thrace and Athens University of Economics and Business.

Move Over, Winklevoss Twins: There Could Be 200 Bitcoin Billionaires

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Gemini co-founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss grabbed headlines last month when the value of their publicized bitcoin holdings surpassed $1 billion, making them the first “verified” bitcoin billionaires. However, blockchain data indicates that there could be as many as 200 bitcoin billionaires who have kept their holdings a secret to maintain their privacy.

That’s according to an MSN Money report, which cites an unnamed source at blockchain data aggregation website BitInfoCharts.

“A rep for BitInfoCharts, who wished to remain anonymous because of security concerns, told MONEY in an email that, given Bitcoin’s current overall market capitalization and that most people hold Bitcoin at multiple addresses, there may actually be as many as 200 Bitcoin billionaires, and possibly no fewer than 35,” the report said.

Two hundred would seem to be an extremely high estimate, given that bitcoin’s market cap is currently $235 billion, but 35 seems quite plausible.

As demonstrated by the site’s “Rich List,” there are six individual addresses that hold more than $1 billion worth of bitcoins. One address has been identified as belonging to cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, while the other address owners are unknown but may belong to other exchanges, custodial services, or hedge funds.

bitcoin billionairesSource: BitInfoCharts

However, most bitcoin users spread their holdings across multiple addresses, and many newer bitcoin wallets automatically generate new addresses every time the user selects “receive” in the client. Wallet explorers can link together addresses belonging to the same wallet, but careful users can keep their funds in several wallets that do not interact with one another, concealing the fact that they share an owner.

It has been well-publicized that bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto most likely owned addresses containing nearly 1 million BTC, worth more than $13 billion at current exchange rates. Altogether, 149 addresses contain at least $100 million in bitcoin. Assuming Satoshi is a single person and he or she retains access to these wallets — which many people doubt — they would rank among the top 100 richest people in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Believe it or not, though, Satoshi’s wealth has been eclipsed by that of another cryptocurrency project founder. Chris Larsen, a co-founder of fintech startup Ripple, is currently worth more than $37.3 billion thanks to his 5.19 billion XRP in personal holdings and 17 percent stake in the company, according to a Forbes report. This would make him the 21st-richest person in the world, were he included in the Bloomberg index.

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Ether Hits New Record Price High Over $900 Following Month of Strong Growth

Ether (ETH), the native currency of the Ethereum platform and the third largest cryptocurrency by market cap, reached a new all-time high today, trading at $914 earlier this morning. At press time Ether was trading at an average of $889 and boasting a 16.26 percent increase in price in the past 24 hours.

In the past month, the price has seen over 100 percent growth, increasing from around $440 on Dec. 1, 2017 to today’s highs.

Ethereum Charts

Ether’s price had been fluctuating between $200-$400 since May 2017. The altcoin’s steady upward growth started in mid-December 2017, and the coin hit its previous record high of almost $880 on Dec.19, according to coinmarketcap.com.

Ethereum Charts

The third-largest cryptocurrency has seen astonishing growth this year, its market cap growing from $698 mln to today’s $86 bln, a 12,000 percent increase. On Jan. 1, 2017 the price of Ether was $8.

Ethereum Charts

Today’s price peak took place amidst increased ETH trading volumes, notably in Asia. At press time, Singapore-based exchange Coinbene was in the lead, boasting 24-hour trading volumes of $600 mln, almost 11 percent of overall Ether trading volumes. Hong Kong/Tokyo-based exchange Binance is also seeing a notable trading volume of almost $360 mln, with South Korea-based Bithumb close behind with 24-hour volumes around $340 mln at press time.

Meanwhile, the entire cryptocurrency market is seeing growth today, with most of the top 20 altcoins showing 24-hour increases, several around 30 percent and one as much as 83 percent. Bitcoin (BTC) is showing a humble 4.25 percent price increase, and BTC dominance hit an all-time low today of 35.9 percent.

Stellar Price Soars 33% on OKEx Listing, Up 165% in 7 Days

Bitcoin price all-time high
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The stellar price soared by 33 percent on Tuesday following its addition to cryptocurrency exchange OKEx.

Stellar Price Leaps by 33 Percent

It’s been a good month for projects founded by Jed McCaleb. The developer’s former project — ripple — returned the best performance of any cryptocurrency in 2017, and the token’s price has increased by nearly 1,000 percent since the beginning of December.

Meanwhile, stellar — McCaleb’s current project — has quietly surged to the eighth spot in the market cap rankings with a total valuation of just over $10 billion. In the past week, the stellar price has more than doubled, from $0.22 on Dec. 26 to $0.56 on Jan. 2, and the rally was capped off by 33 percent leap on Tuesday.

stellar priceSource: CoinMarketCap

The majority of XLM trading is concentrated in BTC trading pairs, and volume is fairly evenly distributed between Binance, Bittrex, and Poloniex. The stellar price, likewise, is fairly steady across these exchanges, and the spread between BTC and USDT pairs is just two percent.

stellar priceSource: CoinMarketCap

Rally Tied to OKEx Listing

The stellar price rally appears to be tied to its recent addition to Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange OKEx, which currently ranks as the fifth-highest volume exchange. OKEx announced it would list stellar on Dec. 28, and the price began to shoot up shortly after the XLM market opened the next day.

Trading volume has been thin so far — OKEx has processed just $1.4 million worth of XLM/BTC volume during the past 24 hours — but it will likely increase as more investors return from holiday vacations and become aware of the new XLM market.

Aside from its addition to OKEx, stellar has also benefited from the recent announcement of a partnership with cryptocurrency payment processing service Pundi X that both increases access to XLM in Indonesia and could potentially lead to increased usage of stellar as a settlement tool for international trade involving the rupiah.

Write to Josiah Wilmoth at josiah.wilmoth(at)cryptocoinsnews.com.

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David Stockman Says Cryptocurrency Investors Are “Stupid Speculators”

President Ronald Reagan’s Former Director of the Office of Management David Stockman has told CNBC’s Futures Now in an interview that investors in the cryptocurrency market are “stupid speculators” and will suffer a “spectacular crash.”

Stockman stated:

“It’s basically a class of really stupid speculators who have convinced themselves that trees grow to the sky. It will burn out in a spectacular crash. All of these latter-day speculators will have their hands burned to a crisp, and they will learn the proper lesson.”

Weak argument

Over the past few months, Stockman has also expressed his bearish stance on the global stock market and predicted a “gigantic, horrendous storm” to hit stocks. Essentially, Stockman has predicted literally every asset and cryptocurrency in the global market to fall in value in an indefinite period, making his prediction and argument significantly weak.

Economists like Stockman and Paul Krugman have continuously failed to provide compelling arguments as to why investment in the cryptocurrency market and crypto assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are “stupid.” Stockman and Krugman have stated that Bitcoin is a bubble and that cryptocurrencies do not have underlying value or intrinsic value.

However, as Billionaire Investor Mark Cuban explained, the lack of intrinsic value is true for any asset and currency in the market. Even fiat currencies that are fully controlled by governments in terms of supply and circulation also do not have intrinsic value, as their valuation depends on the market and the demand from investors. If businesses, individuals and investors decide not to utilize the US dollar, its value will also inevitably fall.

At the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit 2017, Cuban noted:

“It is interesting because there are a lot of assets which their value is just based on supply and demand. Most stocks, there is no intrinsic value because you have no true ownership rights and no voting rights. You just have the ability to buy and sell those stocks. Bitcoin is the same thing. Its value is based on supply demand. I have bought some through an ETN based on a Swedish exchange.”

It is relatively easy to condemn an asset class or a particular stock with basic arguments like the lack of intrinsic value and speculation in the market. But, it is difficult to provide specific reasons as to why assets are overvalued and are caught up in short-term bubbles.

Moreover, it is not possible to generalize investors in the cryptocurrency market as speculators. Many investors in the cryptocurrency market could understand the technology behind decentralized currencies like Bitcoin and their potential to challenge multi-trillion markets like the offshore banking and gold markets, which is sufficient to justify their investment in the sector.

Cryptocurrencies are not bubbles

While it is possible for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies to experience short-term bubbles, cryptocurrencies in general are not bubbles. The cryptocurrency market is one of the liquid markets in the world and Bitcoin, the most valuable cryptocurrency in the market, is already more liquid than the most liquid stock on earth in Apple, with a $12 bln daily trading volume.

Cryptocurrencies also experience major corrections several times a month, and their values fall by nearly 30 percent on a regular basis, before recovering. Corrections prevent short-term bubbles from forming, as speculators drop off and the market solidifies.

Stockman also claimed that cryptocurrencies are not real money because transactions are not stable. Transactions on leading public Blockchains like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin are processed on a stable network with a well-structured fee system and consensus protocol algorithm.

“I have no idea. I mean it could double or triple from here or it could fall to zero. But the point is that it’s not real money because real money for transactions has to be stable,” Stockman added.

In Search of a Complete Guide to Initial Coin Offerings

Interest in cryptocurrencies is at a fever pitch with untold numbers of token projects taking place every month. Initial coin offerings (ICOs) have yielded north of $1 billion in 2017, making this, clearly, the year of token launches. 

In Q3 alone, ICOs captured more than $1.3 billion for related ventures. This is estimated to be five times more than all of the venture capital funding raised in the blockchain industry. 

Amid this sea of activity, the average investor is left to stumble around aimlessly in search of comprehensive, up-to-date information about the cryptocurrency world. Most of these investors, big and small, are anxious to capitalize on some of the investment gains tied to bitcoin’s and other cryptocurrency’s meteoric rises. 

In this environment, blind corners abound with participants tasked with steering clear of poorly conceived crypto projects, some of which are outright scams. On the other hand, some people choose to opt out completely, intimidated by the complexity of this nascent landscape. In doing one’s due diligence, knowing what red flags to look for can be the difference between a positive experience or the loss of significant money. 

The Epiphany

With over 200 ICOs launched in 2017, due diligence exacts a heavy burden, even for experienced investment analysts, let alone amateur investors. Moreover, blockchain technology is still in its infancy, an early-stage advancement that is fueling new projects and use cases every day. 

Unfortunately, few educational sites exist that provide comprehensive up-to-date information regarding this space. With the unrelenting uptick of interest, replete with esoteric terminology and uncertain regulatory structures, it is a growth trajectory that is likely to continue in 2018 and beyond.

The Response

Sensing the need and demand, a growing number of websites are appearing with the goal of delivering better and more comprehensive information about ICOs and the altcoins they produce. 

One example is ICO Token News, which offers a comprehensive look at ICO basics, statistics, the growth of altcoins and the status of blockchain technology in general. It also provides a listing of upcoming conferences and events for those desiring to meet the movers and shakers in the ICO landscape. 

Another example, Crypto Coin Judge, provides cryptocoin casino reviews, unbiased broker reviews on fundamentals in Bitcoin and Ethereum, including profitable trading and investment strategies.  

The Promise

As today’s ICO landscape continues to evolve, participants will desire more and more educational portals that allow them to become better informed and more thoughtful with respect to their decisions. Sites like the ones noted above, while still relatively early in the game, are promising. They offer a timely response to what people need.

Note: Trading and investing in digital assets is speculative and can be high-risk. Based on the shifting business and regulatory environment of such a new industry, this content should not be considered investment or legal advice.

China’s Largest Bitcoin Exchange Heads to Japan and South Korea With Major Bank Deal

Bitcoin Japan red China
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Huobi, formerly the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the Chinese market prior to the cryptocurrency trading ban imposed by the local government, is reallocating to Japan, the second largest cryptocurrency market in the world.

Huobi Will Move to Japan and South Korea

In late 2017, China’s three major cryptocurrency trading platforms Huobi, OKCoin, and BTCC officially migrated to the Hong Kong bitcoin market, operating over-the-counter (OTC) platforms to address the demand for cryptocurrencies from individual investors in Asia.

Huobi, which rebranded to Huobi Pro to operate in Hong Kong, has started to process large volumes once again along with OKCoin’s Hong Kong exchange OKEx. It also has secured a strategic partnership with SBI Group, one of Japan’s largest financial institutions, to launch a large-scale cryptocurrency trading platform in Japan and South Korea.

“SBI Holdings has reached a basic agreement with Huobi Group (1.65 million accounts, maximum daily transaction volume of over CNY 30 billion (approximately JPY 510 billion), which has a track record of stably operating a major cryptocurrency exchange in China, to explore the following alliances,” the official statement released by SBI Holdings on December 7 read.

The official partnership document further revealed that SBI Group had acquired 30 percent of equity in Huobi’s Japanese venture Huobi Technology Japan Co., Ltd.

“SBI Group’s acquisition of 30% of equity in Huobi Group’s Japanese entity (Huobi Technology Japan Co., Ltd.) and 10% of equity in Huobi Group’s Korean entity (HUOBI CO., Ltd). Huobi Group’s acquisition of 30% of equity in SBI Virtual Currencies, a subsidiary of SBI Holdings.”

The partnership between SBI Holdings and Huobi is particularly noteworthy, as that would prevent any potential conflict between the traders on the Huobi platform and Japanese banks. SBI Holdings is expected to provide the Huobi trading platform with virtual bank accounts and robust banking infrastructure.

The backing of a major financial institution will also significantly help Huobi penetrate into the South Korean cryptocurrency market, given that Japanese and South Korean banks are already collaborating on several cryptocurrency-related projects.

Major Markets in the Making

According to CryptoCompare, the Japanese and South Korean cryptocurrency markets account for 40 percent of global bitcoin trades and 10 percent of global Ethereum trades. Cryptocurrency exchanges in the two regions have millions of active traders, despite the implementation of strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems that render the user verification process extremely inconvenient and inefficient.

The entrance of major cryptocurrency exchanges like Huobi will better structure the Japanese and South Korean cryptocurrency exchange markets that are dominated by a handful of exchanges.

More importantly, when China accounted for the majority of bitcoin trades in 2016, Huobi processed more trading volumes on a daily basis than any other trading platform in the global market. As such, Huobi will likely be able to provide a trading platform that can address the demand for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies from high profile traders and institutional investors.

CCN previously reported that bitcoin has begun to boost the GDP of the Japanese economy, as Nomura economists Yoshiyuki Simon and Kazuki Miyamoto explained:

“We estimate the wealth effect from unrealized gains on bitcoin trading by Japanese investors since the start of fiscal year 2017, and estimate a potential boost to consumer spending of 23.2-96.0 billion yen.”

The emergence of large-scale cryptocurrency exchanges will lead to an exponential growth rate of local cryptocurrency markets in both Japan and South Korea.

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2017 Market Performance: Crypto vs. Stocks

When looking across the globe, there were plenty of strong performing equity markets in 2017. Nevertheless, none compare to the massive appreciation seen within the cryptocurrency sector.

Warning: If you are primarily an equity investor, you may soon be compelled to enter the world of cryptocurrencies as the relative outperformance of the top cryptocurrencies in 2017, when compared to equity markets, was astronomical.

The top-performing stock market last year (excluding Venezuela with a 3,884 percent gain due to rampant inflation) was Zimbabwe with a 117.7 percent advance, while the top cryptocurrency Ripple, left Zimbabwe in the dust with an eye-popping 28,963 percent return. Ripple ended 2016 at $0.0065 and by Dec. 31, 2017 had risen to $2.25.

By the end of 2017 Ripple has overtaken Ethereum as the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, at $77.1 bln and $72.9 bln, respectively. Although still far behind Bitcoin’s approximately $248.3 bln market capitalization, they are rising fast. The market capitalization of Ripple is up approximately 31,637 percent from a year ago and Ethereum has increased around 1,300 percent. A distant third is Bitcoin, up 447 percent over the past 12 months.

Top stock market performance 2017

As you can see in the following table, Top Stock Market Performance 2017, relatively high returns came from less developed and emerging stock markets such as Argentina with a 77.7 percent return, Mongolia which rose by 68.9 percent, and Kazakhstan, climbing by 59.3 percent. Of course, for most investors, there are barriers to accessing these stock markets. That may be one of the reason’s global investors have taken a liking to cryptocurrencies as they are global, can be accessed and traded 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Top Stock Market Perfomance 2017

Major developed equity markets

In major developed stock markets, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index led the way with a 36 percent return, followed by India’s BSE Sensex 30, up 27.9 percent. The Hang Seng ended December at 29,919.15, close to the high for the year, and the second highest monthly closing price ever, second only to the record high peak from November 2007 of 31,958.41.

Since 2009 low the Hang Seng has been progressing higher in an ascending parallel trend channel. The index is now heading towards the top channel line, which will put it in the area to test resistance around the 2007 highs. That’s only 6 percent or so higher. It’s interesting to note that the Hang Seng has only had one down month during 2017, a testament to its strength.

Stock Market Perfomance 2017 (Major Markets)

India’s BSE Sensex 30 Index ended the year almost 10 percentage points lower than the Hang Seng, but a strong finish nonetheless. The Sensex had a solid close at a record high of 34,057, very close to the year’s high of 34,127.22. December triggered a monthly bullish trend continuation signal and follows a breakout of a two-year base in May. This is very healthy price behavior and supportive of a continuation of the bullish trend. As long as the Sensex continues to progress with a series of high monthly highs and higher monthly lows, further upside is likely.

Chart

The third best performing major stock market index last year was the S&P 500 (SPX), up 19.4 percent to end at 2,674. For the past 13 months the SPX has advanced as much as 29.3 percent, as of the year’s 2,694.97 high, in a sequential series of higher monthly highs and higher monthly lows, all in the face of growing choir of bears, waiting and ready to bounce. This monthly pattern continues to define a strong uptrend.

In addition to ending the year technically strong, in the upper third of December’s high-to-low price range, the close was at a new monthly closing high. When measuring the current advance from the February 2016 swing low, the SPX was up as much as 48 percent as of the recent high.

Can it keep going? Well, the prior rally (swing low to swing high) on a monthly basis, starting from October 2011, saw the SPX increase as much as 99 percent before moving into a prolonged consolidation base period. So far the advance is approximately half of that. By itself, this would indicate more upside potential.

Bottom stock market performance

Of course, not all stock markets were bullish last year, but the worst performers were relatively smaller exchanges. The bottom performing market for 2017 was the Sarajevo Stock Exchange. It ended the year down 18.5 percent to close at 562. Coming in second was the Qatar Exchange Index, with a loss of 18.3 percent, followed by the Karachi Stock Exchange Index, which dropped by 15.3 percent. Qatar, of course, has been negatively impacted by an economic blockade since June spearheaded by Saudi Arabia with support from other Arabian Gulf countries.

Bottom Stock Market Perfomance 2017

Cryptocurrencies: 2017 performance

This next chart shows the performance of the five of the larger cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC/USD). The cryptocurrencies shown in this chart and the accompanying table further down, is not comprehensive and is chosen as a sample of the more popular and widely traded cryptocurrencies.

It is interesting to see that the cryptocurrencies shown all started to accelerate higher around early-November, except for Ripple (XRP/USD). Ripple was late to the party but doesn’t seem to be losing any time making up for the slow start. You can see how it has been rising rapidly recently while the other major cryptos start to pullback. For the month of December Ripple has advanced more than 700 percent. The Ripple token is used to facilitate global payments by banks and other financial institutions.

Chart BTC/USD

Following the strong performance of Ripple is Dash (DASH/USD). Dash was up at least 9,400 percent for 2017 through Dec. 31. Dash broke out of a 32-month base into new high territory in February and has barely looked back. Over the past 10 months, since the breakout, Dash as advanced as much as 10,584 percent, as of its recent high of $1,595.76 reached in December. So far, since reaching that high, Dash has moved into a pullback, falling as much as 51 percent before bouncing.

Cryptocurrencies - Perfomance 2017

Ethereum (ETH/USD) was the third-best performer for the year, up at about 9,000 percent to $757 at Dec 31. It started 2017 very strong, rising over 5,000 percent in the first five months before moving into a four-month or so consolidation phase. A classic symmetrical triangle consolidation pattern formed subsequent to the top. Ethereum broke out of that pattern with conviction in November, rising a little over 100 percent before confronting resistance at $863.0 last decade of December and sliding into a retracement. To date, the retracement has seen as much as a 40 percent loss in value from the high.

Chart ETH/USD

In fourth place comes Litecoin (LTC/USD), with a 5,582 percent advance of the year so far. Litecoin has been pulling back over the past couple of weeks, since hitting resistance at a record high of $420.0. That high completed a 735.8 percent increase in only six weeks, starting at the low of a three-week pullback at the beginning of November. The move was accompanied by increasing volume until the top, which is where weekly volume reached a record high.

Chart LTC/USD

Let’s now jump to Bitcoin, which comes in sixth place for the year out of the cryptocurrencies selected. Of course, Bitcoin has been the one getting much of the attention in the sector since the summer. It is up 1,390 percent year-to-date and was up as much as 1,935 percent at the record high of $19,666 hit mid-December. Interestingly, the second highest volume week of the past two years was seen in the next week following that record high. That was a down week.

Bitcoin had been advancing in a nicely formed parallel trend channel since the first quarter of the year until later in November. At that point, Bitcoin broke out through the top trend line of the channel and began to accelerate higher. This can be seen in the increase in the angle of ascent of price in the following chart.

Chart BTC/USD

Going back one to fifth place is Monero (XMR/USD). Monero is up 2,481 percent. It ended 2016 at $5.90 and jumped to at least $348.02 over the subsequent 12 months. This coin has been a steady progression higher throughout the year and recently hit a record high of $477 before pulling back. It remains in a clear uptrend.

Chart XMR/USD

IOTA (IOT/USD) takes seventh place with an advance of 1,356 percent since June, when it was launched. The high for 2017 was two weeks ago at $5.80. At the point, IOTA was up over 1,700 percent in just seven weeks. It subsequently declined as much as 80 percent off the high.

Chart IOT/USD

Finally, there is Bitcoin Cash (BCH/USD), released in August. Since then BCH has risen to $2,553 from $320. It continues to progress in an uptrend with higher swing highs and higher swing lows. It was up as much as 1,150 percent at the recent $4,000.10 high from Dec. 20.

First P2P Eco-System of Crypto Buyers Start Token Generation Event February 2018

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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.

Bitcoin Press Release: Token Launch Date Announced for Dether, World’s First Peer-to-Peer Ecosystem of Crypto Buyers, Sellers, and Shops

Paris, France, December 18, 2017Dether is the world’s first peer-to-peer ether network, allowing anyone to trade ether for cash and spend it at physical stores, announced today the date of their upcoming token launch.

Dether is a trustless application, powered by Ethereum smart contracts. Their intention is to provide greater accessibility, and therefore mass adoption of Ethereum, by making the process of obtaining or trading, quicker, easier and more accessible to anyone. Dether allows users all across the globe to buy or trade ether, without a bank account, credit or debit card, making cash and cards a thing of the past.

Dether’s token launch will take place February 7, 2018. In order to participate, users must first register on their whitelist, which opens January 15, 2018. In regards to the ÐTH (Dether) token total supply, 100.000.000 ÐTH max will be minted, and broken down into:

66% Token sale
3% Bounty program
18% Team (vested for 3 years with a 6-month release program)
3% Advisors (vested for 6 months)
5% Early contributors (vested for 6 months)
5% Presale bonus (vested for 6 months)

Contributions will be capped according to the number of participants that have been whitelisted. The token sale whitelist will be open for 3 weeks, starting on January 15, 2017. However, the token sale whitelist may close before the end of the 3 week period if the maximum number of participants registered is reached before the deadline. The maxcap will be equivalent to 8 millions USD (in ETH).

Co-founder Hamid Benyahia said

“By owning ÐTH in a wallet, users will be able to pay fewer fees on trades than if they were paying in ether. Users are incentivized to use ÐTH tokens to pay fees and be part of the affiliate program. Incentives in ÐTH tokens are guaranteed to users that onboard new users in order to create a decentralized business development system.”

What purpose will the ÐTH token serve?

Dether co-founder, Mehdi Amari said

“The ÐTH tokens serve two main goals: ÐTH proposes a freemium model, much like the Google search page,” said Amari. “Sellers and physical shops are organically visible. However, using ÐTH tokens allows users to ensure better visibility and to increase trading volumes.”

Dether’s beta will be available on Ethereum Mainnet in March 2018. Sellers, buyers and physical shops from all over the world will be able to use ÐTH tokens on Dether.
Those interested can learn more here, and by reading about the token in Dether’s whitepaper.

Participate in the ICO: https://dether.io/crowdsale
To learn more visit the Website: https://dether.io/
Connect on bitcoin talk: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2620895.new#new
Read the Whitepaper: https://whitepaper.dether.io/
Meet the Team: https://dether.io/team

Media Contact
Name: Mamad BA
Email [email protected]

Dether is the source of this content. Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to consumer protections. This press release is for informational purposes only. The information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest.