Facebook Warns Investors That Libra Stablecoin May Never Launch

Facebook Warns Investors That Libra Stablecoin May Never Launch

Facebook has warned its investors that its Libra stablecoin may never be released, CNBC reports  on July 29.

Engaging with regulator “critical to Libra’s success”

Facebook told its investors in its latest quarterly report that — while the firm expects to launch Libra next year — some factors could prevent its release. Iin the risk factors section of the document, the company admits that it recognizes the significance of the pushback shown by regulators towards Libra.

CNBC also reported that a Facebook spokesperson told the outlet on Monday that:

“Engaging with regulators, policymakers, and experts is critical to Libra’s success. This was the whole reason that Facebook along with other members of the Libra Association shared our plans early.”

Libra piques criticism and interest

Earlier this month, Alexander Lipton, a connection science fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and adjunct professor of mathematics at New York University, has claimed that Libra’s white paper copied concepts for a coin proposed in his academic work.

Also, earlier this month online brokerage Monex Group Inc., owner of the hacked Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck, announced that the company plans to join the Facebook Libra cryptocurrency project and had filed an application to join the Libra Association.

Kraken Rolls Out New Funding Options for 5 Major Fiat Currencies

Kraken Rolls Out New Funding Options for 5 Major Fiat Currencies

United States-based crypto exchange Kraken has partnered with Estana Custody to offer new options for fiat deposits and withdrawals in five major currencies.

New funding options for USD, EUR, CAD, GBP, JPY

According to an official announcement from the exchange on July 29, the partnership will bring Kraken’s global customer base access to new funding options for U.S. dollars, euros, Canadian dollars, British pounds sterling and Japanese yen.

While the new onramps are not available for “Starter” Kraken accounts, “Intermediate” and “Pro” level traders can access the fiat funding options by registering their bank account and wiring funds to the Etana Custody Wallet, integrated into clients’ Kraken accounts.

Since the onramps rely on wire transfers, processing times remain between 1-5 business days.

In addition to funding support, the collaboration with Estana will provide Kraken clients with conversion between any of the five fiat currencies, the announcement notes.

Kraken markets will also now be available via the forex trading platforms MetaTrader 4 and 5.

Global crypto exchanges diversifying fiat onramps

As reported yesterday, major European crypto exchange Bitstamp has partnered with digital asset brokerage BCB Group to support direct transfers in British pounds sterling by the end of this year.

As the Halloween deadline for Brexit looms, the partnership represents an important step to ensure that U.K. clients can continue to have access to fiat transfers on the European trading platform.

The Swiss integrated cryptocurrency exchange Smart Valor has launched trading of four fiat currencies with Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). The platform’s roadmap for the next six months include plans to support long-term deposits of fiat currencies and to roll out a CHF-based stablecoin.

Swiss Crypto Startup Makes ‘Highest’ Bitcoin Trade Ever at 4164m

Swiss Crypto Startup Makes ‘Highest’ Bitcoin Trade Ever at 4164m

Cryptocurrency services financial services provider Bitcoin Suisse claims to have conducted a Bitcoin (BTC) trade at the highest altitude ever in a promotional stunt that took place on July 13. A YouTube video proving this achievement was published on July 19.

New Bitcoin “all-time high” trade

According to the firm’s claims, the trade carried out by its staff took place on the summit of Breithorn mountain range in the Pennine Alps, located on the border between Switzerland and Italy. Furthermore, almost 70 people reportedly took part in this publicity stunt 4164 meters (nearly 2.59 miles) above the sea level. The official Bitcoin Suisse Twitter account wrote about the achievement:

“NEW ALL-TIME HIGH! On July 13th, Bitcoin Suisse conducted the highest bitcoin trade ever recorded on the summit of Breithorn, Switzerland, 4164m above sea level.”

“A little bit over the top”

Likewise, cryptocurrency startup Luffe’s Twitter account commented on the stunt, complimenting the exchange’s initiative but also admitting that it may be “a little bit ‘over the top.’”

In May 2018, a similar promotional event for the Ukrainian social network ASKfm’s upcoming initial coin offering involved climbing Mount Everest and placing a Ledger hardware wallet with the startup’s tokens on its summit, and led to the death of Lam Babu Sherpa.

Reported in January last year, KFC Canada also leverage crypto for promotion introducing a new menu item — the Bitcoin Bucket of chicken tenders — that customers could buy exclusively with bitcoins.

Earlier this month, Swiss crypto broker Bitcoin Suisse applied for banking and securities dealer licenses from Switzerland’s finance regulator.

2% of Americans Trust Facebook’s Libra More than Bitcoin: Research

2% of Americans Trust Facebook’s Libra More than Bitcoin: Research

Just 2% of Americans trust Facebook’s Libra more than major cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC), according to a recent survey by CivicScience.

United States-based polling company CivicScience recently conducted a survey of 1,799 American adults to find out the general trends and public concerns over Facebook’s not-yet-launched cryptocurrency Libra.

According to research results released on July 22, at least 40% of respondents claimed that they trusted Libra less than Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as Ether (ETH) and XRP. 35% stressed that they trust Libra much less than Bitcoin, according to the study.

39% of respondents stated that they were unsure regarding the question, while 5% answered that they trust Libra and Bitcoin about the same.

How much Americans trust Facebook’s Libra compared to Bitcoin

How much Americans trust Facebook’s Libra compared to Bitcoin. Source: CivicScience

77% of Americans do not trust Facebook with their personal data at all

Americans’ attitudes toward Libra are part of a general lack of trust in Facebook regarding how the platform handles personal data. According to the CivicScience research, 77% of Americans do not trust Facebook with their personal data at all, while only 2% trust Facebook a lot.

How Americans trust Facebook with their personal data

How Americans trust Facebook with their personal data. Source: CivicScience

86% of Americans are not interested in Facebook’s Libra and its accompanying digital wallet Calibra at all, while only 5% of respondents claim that they are interested in the much-discussed cryptocurrency project.

How Americans are interested in Facebook’s Libra

How Americans are interested in Facebook’s Libra. Source: CivicScience

Other surveys indicate low trust in Facebook’s Libra

CivicScience’s poll comes amid a similar survey by instant messaging application Viber, which found that 49% of respondents in the United Kingdom and the United States do not trust Facebook when it comes to its own digital currency.

On July 23, German financial association Bürgerbewegung Finanzwende published another survey indicating that about 71% of German citizens are skeptical about Facebook’s Libra, while only 12% welcome it.

Blockchain Gaming Platform Refereum Brings Crypto Payouts to PUBG

Blockchain Gaming Platform Refereum Brings Crypto Payouts to PUBG

United States blockchain-based rewards and marketing company Refereum has announced a partnership with a South Korean online games developer and publisher to expand its in-game rewards scheme.

8 million players to gain access to tokens

In a press release shared with Cointelegraph and subsequent blog post July 23, Refereum, which pays users in its in-house RFR token, said the feature would now roll out to players of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, developed by PUBG. The game is one of the most popular for Xbox, with over 8 million sales.

The rewards scheme will feature a first for the company, allowing players to earn tokens by completing actions in game as well as fulfilling other tasks such as marketing.

“Gamers do so much free marketing for games through streaming services and social media, but they’re rarely compensated sufficiently for it,” Refereum CEO, Dylan Jones, commented in the press release.

The initial campaign will run through August 20. RFR, one of a number of gaming-related altcoins, had not reacted to the news in a noticeable way as of press time Wednesday.

Blockchain gaming is meanwhile rapidly becoming a highly-profitable niche of the overall blockchain phenomenon. Just this month, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian revealed support for a $3.75 million funding round for a blockchain games studio.

Major corporations are also keenly eyeing the sector as cryptocurrency returns to the spotlight.

Newegg Adds Bitcoin Payment Option to 73 More Countries

Newegg Adds Bitcoin Payment Option to 73 More Countries

California-based online retail store Newegg expanded Bitcoin (BTC) payment options to customers in 73 more countries.

Bitcoin payment remains unavailable in six out of over 80 Newegg-served countries

Following the announcement, Newegg customers can now purchase its products with Bitcoin (BTC) in almost all of the countries under Newegg’s coverage, according to a press release on July 24.

While Newegg reportedly serves over 80 countries worldwide, BTC payment will remain unavailable for customers residing in six countries: Algeria, Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia, Morocco and Vietnam, the company noted on its website.

United States and Canada were the first countries where Newegg accepted BTC

Reportedly backed by Chinese company Liaison Interactive, Newegg became one of the first major online shopping stores to accept Bitcoin when the company partnered with Bitcoin payment processor BitPay back in 2014. At the time, Newegg rolled out the option of payment with BTC for residents in the United States, later adding the feature for Canadian citizens.

Back in 2017, Newegg’s Canadian arm dropped Bitcoin payments after BitPay halted settlements in Canadian dollars at the time.

Apart from providing low-cost and transparent transactions, BitPay reportedly enables Newegg to increase its margin on each Bitcoin transaction by avoiding credit card fees typically assessed on credit card purchases, the firm said in the announcement.

Founded in 2001, Newegg serves more than 80 countries in Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East, with over 38 million registered customers.

Earlier today, one of Europe’s leading budget airlines, Norwegian Air, was reported to be planning to allow passengers to buy tickets using Bitcoin

No Companies Have Officially Joined Libra Association Says Visa CEO

No Companies Have Officially Joined Libra Association Says Visa CEO

Alfred F. Kelly Jr., the CEO of Visa, said that no companies have officially joined Libra. At this stage, the 20-some companies involved with the foundation have reportedly only declared interest via a nonbinding letter of intent.

According to an apparent transcript of a Q3 2019 earnings call for Visa dated July 23, Kelly said:

“We have signed a nonbinding letter of intent to join Libra. We’re one of – I think it’s 27 companies that have expressed that interest. So no one has yet officially joined.”

As per the transcript, Kelly was responding to an inquiry from Bryan C. Keane — an analyst at Deutsche Bank Securities. Keane said there was “some confusion in the market” and asked whether Libra would be “a strategic partner for Visa or potential disruptive threat.”

Regarding Visa’s intended involvement, Kelly said that the company thinks Libra would benefit the company, provided that it can meet regulatory requirements:

“We’re in discussions and our ultimate decision to join will be determined by a number of factors, including obviously the ability of the association to satisfy all the requisite regulatory requirements. So, Bryan, in my estimation, it’s really, really early days and there’s just a tremendous amount to be finalized. But obviously, given that we’ve expressed interest, we actually believe we could be additive and helpful in the association.”

Libra has been criticized for its choice to entrust its governance to a consortium of corporate entities. On June 14, cryptographer Sarah Jamie Lewis wrote:

“Can’t wait for a cryptocurrency with the ethics of Uber, the censorship resistance of Paypal, and the centralization of Visa, all tied together under the proven privacy of Facebook.”

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also called Libra a “currency controlled by an undemocratically-selected coalition of largely massive corporations” and challenged Calibra head David Marcus’ views on sovereign currency in one of the recent congressional hearings on Libra.

Nearing Alt Season as Bitcoin Dominance Weakens

Nearing Alt Season as Bitcoin Dominance Weakens

An alt season (altcoin season) is something that virtually all crypto traders look forward to. It is a time where all cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin exponentially grow in value. From large caps to small caps, these digital coins can rise anywhere by 2x to 150x. If you’re finding the previous statement difficult to believe, that’s likely because you were not around the last time these crypto tokens pumped.

A crypto trader who goes by ‘Crypto Hedge‘ on YouTube has a reason for that. In a series of tweets, the analyst revealed why there hasn’t been an alt season in nearly two years and why we’re due for one soon.

Total Altcoin Market Cap Following the Same Pattern for Over Half a Decade

One of the tenets of technical analysis is that history tends to repeat itself. What happened in the past is very likely to happen again. We’re seeing this principle play out in the chart of the total altcoin market cap thanks to Crypto Hedge.

According to the trader, the total market cap has been trading perfectly within an ascending channel. Since 2014, the altcoin index has bounced every single time it touched the diagonal support of the channel. It has also plunged every time it tapped the diagonal resistance of the channel. In a span of six years, the index has respected both the support and resistance levels of the ascending channel five times.

The trader emphasized that the total altcoin market cap is touching the diagonal support of the ascending channel. He feels confident that an alt season will happen soon because the index has followed the pattern five out of five times.

Weakening Bitcoin Dominance

Crypto Hedge validates his argument by illustrating how the bitcoin dominance index is showing signs of weakness. For those who are not aware, the index computes the market capitalization of bitcoin against the market cap of all cryptocurrencies. According to the analyst, the bitcoin dominance index getting rebuffed at 69 percent is an indication that the total altcoin market cap will be skyrocketing soon.

As of this writing, the bitcoin dominance index has dropped to 65.73 percent as bitcoin struggles to trade above $10,000 levels. A look at the index also shows bullish exhaustion. It is overbought in both the weekly and daily RSI. On top of that, the index is flashing a bearish divergence on the daily RSI to indicate weakening bullish momentum.

Bitcoin Dominance

Overall, a Glorious Alt Season Is Upon Us

As the bitcoin dominance index shows weakness while the total altcoin market cap touches the diagonal support of its ascending channel, we now have a confluence of events where altcoins are due for a massive rally. That’s according to Crypto Hedge.

Bottom Line

Crypto Hedge is offering a convincing argument of how crypto tokens other than bitcoin are almost ready for blastoff. It is hard to deny that a bounce for altcoins is on the horizon considering that the diagonal support of the horizon has been respected multiple times. On top of that, bitcoin is starting to lose steam. It is very possible that people will transfer capital into other cryptocurrencies to protect their profits and overall crypto exposure.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice.

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Bitcoin Network Now 8 Times More Powerful Than It Was at $20K Price

Bitcoin Network Now 8 Times More Powerful Than It Was at $20K Price

Bitcoin (BTC) now has more computing power behind its security than ever before, passing another milestone as hash rate reaches an all-time high.

Data from monitoring resource Blockchain confirmed that the Bitcoin network’s total hash rate reached a peak of 79 tera hashes per second (TH/s) on July 20.

Bitcoin network hash rate, courtesy of Blockchain.info

Bitcoin network hash rate, courtesy of Blockchain.info

Broadly accepted as a measure of how robust Bitcoin’s transaction security has become, hash rate has broken multiple records in recent weeks and months. As Cointelegraph reported, more recent all-time highs had come around June 21 (65 trillion TH/s) and July 1 (70 trillion TH/s).

The figure subsided over the weekend after hitting the 79 trillion mark. On Sunday, the most recent day for which data is available, the hash rate total was recorded at 67.1 trillion TH/s, regularly fluctuating while still setting a general upward trend. In other words, the Bitcoin network now has almost eight times the computing power it had when the price of Bitcoin was around $20,000 in late 2017.

The record nonetheless came despite a pause in the gains for the Bitcoin price, which fell off recent highs of $13,800 two weeks ago.

Since then, regulatory pressure has seen markets dip as low as $9,125, something which failed to weigh on network performance. Bitcoin’s transaction fees also remain low, despite fluctuations in price and volume.

Mining performance, which has turned a corner since the bottom of the Bitcoin bull market in December 2018, will now increasingly revolve around the May 2020 block reward halving.

That was the conclusion drawn by new analysis from regular trader Filb Filb last week, who noted the Bitcoin price would likely see more influence from miners over the next year.

The block reward halving will see the amount of new Bitcoin miners can claim per block of verified transactions decrease from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC.

Bitcoin’s mining difficulty, which has also hit new highs recently, will likely see further increases of its own as hash rate continues to expand.

New Survey: 49% of Americans and Brits Don’t Trust Facebook’s Libra

New Survey: 49% of Americans and Brits Don’t Trust Facebook’s Libra

Almost half of Americans and Brits would not trust Facebook in regards to its long-awaited stablecoin Libra, technology and market-focused news platform Telecoms.com reported on July 22.

Facebook’s trust issues could hurt Libra project

Citing a survey from instant messaging application Viber, the news outlet reveals that 49% of users in the United Kingdom and the United States said that they would not put trust in the social media giant when it comes to its own digital currency. Those respondents specified that they would not trust Facebook at all in regards to keeping their private information secure when using Libra.

In the UK, 28% of the surveyed responded that they have not come to a decision, while only 4% said they would trust Facebook. The survey in the US led to similar results, although only 2.5% of the respondents stated that they would trust Facebook.

Libra bombarded with criticism

Libra has raised concerns in many jurisdictions around the world and generated a lot of attention in the financial world since its announcement. Although Facebook claims that Libra’s associated digital wallet Calibra “will have strong protection in place to keep your money and your information safe,” experts and policy makers have expressed doubts about users’ data privacy and security.

In a statement on the stablecoin, Committee chairwoman Rep. Maxine Waters commented on the lack of uniform regulation in the cryptocurrency market and said that regulators should view Facebook’s plans for Libra “as a wake-up call to get serious about the privacy and national security concerns, cybersecurity risks, and trading risks that are posed by cryptocurrencies.”

Last week, G7 finance ministers warned that cryptocurrencies such as Libra risk upsetting the world’s financial system if they are not regulated tightly. French finance minister Bruno Le Maire stated that the G7 “cannot accept private companies issuing their own currencies without democratic control.”