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October 20, 2018

NewsBtc.com

Bitcoin Congestion Reaches 95%; Fees Remain Relatively Low

Bitcoin blocks experienced up to 95 percent congestion this month, but it didn’t impact its transaction fees, which remain at around $0.1
Cryptocurrency analyst Willy Woo published a graph to demonstrate a stark comparison between BTC transaction fees in two separate congestion episodes. The first case was from 2017, the year that witnessed Bitcoin congestion topping up to 85 percent and its fees peaking to as high as $25 per transaction. The other is from the present when the average Bitcoin transaction fee is close to $0.10 per transaction regardless of the all-time high congestion rate.
Source: Willy Woo Twitter Profile
Unlike a centralized payment settlement network, the Bitcoin network confirms the transactions when its network of nodes – called miners – reaches a consensus to mine a block. Each block can cater to more than 500-transactions on average, with its small 1 MB size limit. As the BTC volume goes up, the speed of a BTC transaction goes down, allowing the network to raise fees to confirm transactions faster by providing more hashpower. It is the very reason why – in 2017 – the transaction fees jumped to its all-time high upon an increase in congestion rate.
Segwit and Lightning Network
Bitcoin Core proposed to improve the digital currency’s network scalability issues by implementing a soft fork called Segregated Witness (Segwit). The group of developers would separate signature data, which was the part of the original Bitcoin blocks and covered 65 percent of its size-space, and move it to a separate structure in the end, away from the Merkle Tree record of who is receiving or sending bitcoin tokens. The network reached consensus for a soft fork, and SegWit became a reality on August 23, 2017.
Segwit also upgraded the Bitcoin network for solving its malleability issues, which further paved for the launch of the Lightning Network. The solution would aim to be the microtransaction network of Bitcoin, removing small transaction requests from the main blockchain and processing them on off-chain. It would put the record on the main blockchain at the beginning and end of their execution.
The combinative solution of Segwit and Lightning network to Bitcoin reflects in the chart published on Willy Woo twitter account, hinting that the digital currency’s core protocol is improving gradually.
Bitcoin Cash
Despite improvements, the original Bitcoin continues to feel the competition from its forked version Bitcoin Cash. Though the latter has lesser investor sentiment, which keeps it slightly behind Bitcoin, the fact that it is processing over 9 million transactions in a day makes it a serious player in the crypto market. The Bitcoin Cash network does not opt for SegWit but instead has increased the block size from 1 MB to 8 MB to process more transactions in lesser time.

Well, I predict once blocks are consistently full again (doesn't take much) fees will zoom up again. Improvements on that have been minimal.
— Jacob Eliosoff (@JaEsf) October 20, 2018

Miners still feel that Bitcoin Cash has a long way to go, mainly because its value is far lesser than that of BTC. It means that miners would make more profits by mining BTC over Bitcoin Cash against similar investments. Unless the adoption level and value of Bitcoin Cash grows, BTC would likely lead the game of mining.
The post Bitcoin Congestion Reaches 95%; Fees Remain Relatively Low appeared first on NewsBTC.

Mike Novogratz Clarifies Anti-Tether Comments, Wants FUD Stopped

The dismissal market performance of so-called stablecoin Tether should not be the reason to spread FUD against it, clarified Mike Novogratz in his tweet.
The billionaire Bitcoin bull, who recently criticized USDT for misbalancing its dollar-peg, later said that he believes Tether has every dollar for every USDT. However, he retained his criticism over Tether not being transparent to the community, in the absence of which it is losing grounds in the cryptocurrency market.
“Id like to put context to these quotes as the last thing I want to do is spread FUD. I said I thought tether has a dollar for every tether and that we actively traded it. The fact that almost $700mm has been redeemed in an orderly fashion is important.”
This Week in Tether
Once the leading stablecoin, Tether got reduced to one of the most criticized coins in crypto industry. On Monday, the USDT lost its peg to the dollar, soon after the news of the insolvency of BitFinex – Tether’s partner exchange – went public (the Exchange refuted the reports later).
Reports claiming that Tether LLC did not have adequate fiat dollars to back its USDT token supply also fueled negative trading sentiment in the market, pushing the value to as low as 85 cents against the dollar. In the meantime, other stablecoins that are supposedly regulated and backed by real fiat capital, took a competitive advantage, with each of them recording higher trading volume against the USDT.
Source: CoinGecko | USDT/USD CHART 7D
Since forming lower lows towards $0.85, Tether has now recovered most of its losses but now is trading circa 0.5 cents below its one dollar peg.
Transparency Could Stop FUD
While the market was swapping USDT for other stablecoins, Tether didn’t publish a single statement that could hold the fort. Novogratz recognized that it is not the question of insolvency but the Tether’s inability to communicate that is invoking a negative sentiment in the USDT market. He said Tether must work hard to regain its users’ trust.
The last and the only relevant communication that came from Tether was on October 18. Tether retweeted Cameron Winklevoss, whose Gemini exchange also issues stablecoins, explaining why companies like themselves couldn’t perform an audit.

Traditional systems take time to adapt to the pioneering work taking place in this space. https://t.co/ykapXrhEqJ
— Tether (@Tether_to) October 17, 2018

Gemini, however, has its assets stored in a US-regulated bank named State Street. The exchange has also received approval from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYFDS) to issue stablecoins. On the auditing front, Gemini has hired an independent accounting firm BPM LLP to conduct monthly inspections of its balance sheets. Other stablecoins are also taking the auditing process by third-party experts seriously.

Why don't You just get an real official audit and state a Guarantee that all USDT is backed up with USD at ALL TIMES (not just a date from June 2018)?Quit the drama, people are loosing trust and customers are leaving the CC space…. This can't be very profitable for You guys.
— BAT (@BjTjensvoll) October 17, 2018

In the case of Tether, the company has not been able to rope in any credible financial auditor yet to have its balance sheets inspected, fairly and openly. So, even despite the best of intentions, traders are not willing to ignore the USDT red flags and are, instead, choosing other stablecoin alternatives.
Only Tether can stop the FUD, so it may seem.
The post Mike Novogratz Clarifies Anti-Tether Comments, Wants FUD Stopped appeared first on NewsBTC.

Altcoins Price Analysis: Coins Ready to Rally as ADA, Stellar, Litecoin Reject Bears

While Litecoin might be a “relic” according to Tushar Jain, their developers are ready to slash transaction costs by a factor of 10 once Litecoin core 0.17 goes live. The release date is tentative but what we know for sure is that EOS trade volume are roughly five percent that of Ethereum. Besides, it’s prone to congestion all thanks to the introduction of Block Producers who often collude locking out “outsiders”.
Let’s have a look at these charts:
EOS Price Analysis
According to reports, there is a CPU problem in EOSIO and sources show that it’s not unusual for network users to stake 95 percent of their total EOS between CPU and bandwidth. The reason has been found to be due to general Block Producer operation configurations where the network congests once 20ms of CPU block time is hit.

This shift of EOSIO staking algorithm could explain why there is a lot of coin staking going on in EOS where it is not unusual for network users to stake 100 percent of their coin just to use a similar amount for free transactions. While ordinary network users don’t earn interest for their EOS stakes, Block Producers are actively colluding and earning transaction confirmation rewards despite the network’s low transaction volumes and high odds of network congestion.

Back to price action and the coin is likely to end the week on a high after printing 4.8 percent. Though prices are stable in the last day, our previous price forecast still hold going forward and still we expect bulls to reign over the weekend.
Our reasoning is simple. Notice that sellers did fail to reverse Oct 15 gains. At the same time, these losses were accompanied by light volumes. As such, we remain optimistic but before we suggest trades, buyers must first rally and close above $7. Thereafter, we shall recommend buys on dips with first targets at $9.
Litecoin Price Analysis
Network transactions fees are in place to protect the network from spam. Aside from that they create this hierarchy of demand for miners where those who pay higher would most likely get a slot in a block. These transaction fees fluctuate but Litecoin is taking the lead trying to suppress costs. In their next release–Litecoin Core 0.17, developers want to slash these fees by a factor of 10 to $0.005.

Price wise and Litecoin is a top performer in the last day. It’s up 1.3 percent according to statistics but bulls are yet to edge above Oct 15 highs. Like before, we retain a neutral but bearish stand aware that gains above $70 would usher in conservative traders eyeing $90 and $110.
In the mean time, risk-off, aggressive type of traders stand a chance of profiting if enough momentum build up and bulls close above $60. This is Oct 11 highs and a minor resistance level as far as our analysis is concerned. Rallies above $60 shall trigger aggressive bulls eyeing for $70 and $90, the upper limit of our resistance zone.
Stellar Lumens Price Analysis

On a weekly basis, Stellar Lumens is up 17 percent taming bears as a result. However, in the last day, price movements have been tight. In fact, what we have in the daily chart is a doji bar hinting at possible indecision. Regardless, our previous XLM trade plan is valid and until we see strong gains above 25 cents, neutral stand shall prevail. But, considering the accumulation of the last three days it’s likely that bulls may close higher today. That’s why we are expectant of Oct 15 follow through before the close of this week.
Tron Price Analysis

Despite lower lows in the last day, it’s clear that TRX is still bullish. It’s up 15 percent in the last day and encouragingly, prices are still trending inside Oct 15 bull bar.
That’s what we retain a bullish outlook expecting buyers to accumulate in lower time frames, build momentum and explode above Sep highs triggering bulls in line with our last Tron price analysis.
From our candlestick formation which informs our conclusion, it’s clear that as long as TRX prices are trading above 2 cents, bulls are in charge. Should sellers clear them today then this optimistic projection is null and void.
Cardano Price Analysis

Like Tron, ADA is stable in lower time frames and up eight percent in the last week. Overly, this is positive for buyers. From the chart, Cardano buyers might follow through and cross above the minor resistance trend line and 9.5 cents triggering buys in line with our previous Cardano trade plan. However, before that happens, it’s advisable for traders to take a wait-and-see approach instead of fronting bulls in an openly bearish market.
Disclaimer: Views and opinions expressed are those of the author and aren’t investment advice. Trading of any form involves risk and so do your due diligence before making a trading decision.
The post Altcoins Price Analysis: Coins Ready to Rally as ADA, Stellar, Litecoin Reject Bears appeared first on NewsBTC.

Monero Price Analysis: Price Stable, XMR is Bullish above $100

36 hours after hard forking and Monero buyers are yet to confirm Oct 15 gains. If anything, there seems to be resistance for upsides and this is negative for bulls. Anyhow, we suggest aggressive buyers to load at spot prices with stops at $190 while risk-averse traders should be on the side lines until there are gains above $150. Such gains will most likely trigger a torrent of buyers aiming at $300 and higher.
Latest Monero News
Talk of privacy coins won’t leave Monero out and for good reasons. While the coin is not short of opposition, Monero is one of the most liquid and capitalized coin around. It’s on the top 10 meaning it’s an on-demand. However, that’s not what we are after. A coin is only as good as the team that is working behind it. From GitHub and the release by Monero Labs, it is obvious that Monero is one of the most active coins around.

And there we are, transactions using Bulletproofs are now live on Monero mainnet https://t.co/Lag7K0j1r5
— Howard Chu (@hyc_symas) October 18, 2018

Yesterday’s hard fork went on to cement the general objective of the coin: that of reinvigorating its mission of providing privacy and safeguarding the interest of users. With Bullet proofs, Monero is now cheaper to use because what they did is reduce the size of transaction size from 13.5 KB to 2.5 KB which in proof of work system translates to reduction of network fees. Aside from that, the team went ahead and increased the number of rings from seven to 11 further enhancing the privacy of the network.
Another stand out about Monero is their mission of rejecting ASIC miners in their midst. To achieve this rather hard duty, the team regularly update the core, evolving before the designers behind Bitmain’s miners ran havoc by centralizing the network. By itself, this is problematic and an existential threat to the network.
Monero Price Analysis
Weekly Chart

Two things are visible from the weekly chart. First, the simple fact that XMR is oscillating within a tight range marked by $75 on the lower side and $150 on the upsides. Secondly, the last two months or so price action has failed to break and close above or below week ending Aug 5 and 12 high lows.
This means after 10 weeks of higher highs, bulls are yet to reverse two weeks of sell pressure meaning bears are technically in charge and we could possibly see XMR drift towards $75 or Aug lows.
However, given the length of consolidation in lower time frames, conservative set of traders should stay on the sidelines waiting for conclusive breaks above $150—for buyers to be in control, or below $75 as prices melt down towards $20.
Daily Chart

Back to the daily chart and the last few days price action could be positive for price. After all, Monero prices are down more than 80 percent following this year’s strong price correction, and Fibonacci retracement rules hints of upward pressure around these price tags.
Anyway, we retain a bullish outlook in lower time frames as long as prices are trending inside Oct 15 high low and above $100.
Like in our last Monero price analysis, bulls should load at spot prices with stops at Oct 15 lows at around $190. Any sharp losses revert us back to neutral but should there be momentum then our first targets would be at $150.
Disclaimer: Views and opinions expressed are those of the author and aren’t investment advice. Trading of any form involves risk and so do your due diligence before making a trading decision.
The post Monero Price Analysis: Price Stable, XMR is Bullish above $100 appeared first on NewsBTC.

Cryptocurrency Market Update: A New Brave Browser Boosts BAT

FOMO Moments
Another flat Saturday as markets are stagnant; Only BAT and DGTX heading higher.
The weekend has brought no joy to crypto markets which have remained immobile for the past few days. The slow downward slide seems to have halted just below $210 billion market capitalization where things remain for another day.
Bitcoin is at the exact same place it was on Friday, $6,480 and there is no sign of a breakout just yet. A similar story is being played out in the Ethereum camp during Asian trading this morning. ETH is immobile again today at around $204.
Alcoins are nearly all in the green but gains are so small they are hardly worth mentioning. The biggest movement in the top ten is Stellar which has inched up 2.2% to $0.244 this morning. The rest are static with small upwards movement of around one percent on the day.
The top twenty is a little more mixed with more red creeping in. Zcash is also up 2.2% trading at $120 right now but the rest have moved less than a percentage point in either direction. Interest in altcoins is at rock bottom this month.

Today’s big pump is BAT which has jumped 16% to $0.240 on the day. A new Brave browser release with BAT integrated for tipping websites was launched a couple of days ago which is driving momentum now. Additionally Brave Rewards, which allows publishers and content creators to earn BAT crypto payments based on the time that users spend on their websites, has entered beta testing and is looking towards its final roll-out. Trade volume has quadrupled from $6 to $24 million, over 60% of which is on Binance.

New Brave desktop browser available for download at https://t.co/4wVWi8TElt. This latest milestone on our way to 1.0 is Chromium-based, has 22% faster load time than our previous Muon-based version, & unveils Brave Rewards beta (previously Brave Payments). https://t.co/Zppx5mUZzN pic.twitter.com/RZ5tLm9QDr
— Brave Software (@brave) October 18, 2018

Basic Attention Token has made 33% since this time last Saturday and is also up over 50% on the month. Digitex Futures is also in pump mode, adding 15% to its price levels over the past 24 hours and Aeternity is looking strong with a 10% gain.
Getting the red end of the digital stick is Polymath, as yesterday’s pump predictably dumps today. POLY has dropped 11% of its previous gains in this tired pattern of ups and downs. Komodo is also shedding some today with a 7% decline.
Total crypto market capitalization has not moved since Friday morning and is still at $208 billion. The daily lows are getting shallower though so it could get back over $210 billion during Euro and US trading today. Since last weekend markets have climbed 3.5% but they are still very flat.
FOMO Moments is a section that takes a daily look at the top 20 altcoins during the current trading session and analyses the best performing ones, looking for trends and possible fundamentals.
The post Cryptocurrency Market Update: A New Brave Browser Boosts BAT appeared first on NewsBTC.

Novogratz Criticises Tether’s Lack of Transparency, Responds to Roubini

The famous Bitcoin proponent and billionaire investor Mike Novogratz has criticised the stable-coin U.S. Dollar Tether (USDT) for failing to provide a trustworthy service for users.
The Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd. founder also responded to Nouriel Roubini’s scathing attacks on cryptocurrency last week.
Novogratz Prefers Gemini Dollar to USDT
Novogratz stated in an interview that the stable-coin U.S. Dollar Tether has only itself to blame for users losing confidence in it.
The tool that is largely used by cryptocurrency traders looking to exit markets in anticipation of price declines recently lost its peg to the dollar value. It has traded for most of the week between 92c and 97c. However, on some exchanges, the supposedly stable coin reached as low as 85c.
U.S. Dollar Tether has spent much of its history shrouded in mystery. Although it has strong links to exchange platform Bitfinex, little is known about the company’s banking relationships. According to Bitfinex, Tether is backed with an equivalent amount of U.S. dollars in a bank somewhere in the world.
However, since the account provider is under question, there is great speculation in the cryptocurrency community that Tether is operating a fractional reserve system of sorts. Some believe that the tokens with no backing whatsoever are being used to prop up the price of Bitcoin and other digital assets.
Novogratz spoke to Bloomberg about the rapidly diminishing market capitalisation of Tether at a conference in Frankfurt on Wednesday. He stated that it was the fault of those behind Tether that traders had lost confidence:
“I think Tether didn’t do a great job in terms of creating transparency.”
The billionaire investor went on to state that he would prefer to see more people to switch to using the fully audited Gemini Dollar, launched by the Winklevoss-owned exchange platform of the same name. He cited the fact that Gemini make no secret of their banking relationships and that the funds backing their own stable-coin are stored with a suitable and trustworthy institution.
Also during the interview, Novogratz addressed the criticism levied at the digital asset space by economist Nouriel Roubini. Last week, Roubini called cryptocurrency “the mother of all scams” at the Senate Banking Committee hearing on cryptocurrency. He also took to Twitter to provide additional scathing remarks.
In response to Roubini, Novogratz highlighted how young the crypto industry is and that custodian solutions from big names such as ICE-backed Bakkt and Fidelity Investments would bring the legitimacy and security needed to see institutional money flood the market:
“You can agree with Roubini on several points, but he is judging cryptocurrencies as if it was a PhD student. Cryptocurrencies are third- or fourth-graders, so still in need to mature… It may take a few years but we should begin to see Bitcoin as an asset class like gold or equities.”
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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First Bitcoin Fraud Action Filed by the CFTC, Accused Ordered to Pay Over $2.5 Million

A New York federal court has ordered Gelfman Blueprint, a Bitcoin-denominated hedge fund, and its CEO Nicholas Gelfman to pay over $2.5 million in civil monetary penalties and restitution in the first Bitcoin fraud action filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
CFTC First Bitcoin Fraud Action Results in $2.5 Million Penalty Over $600,000 Ponzi Scheme
CFTC’s first anti-fraud enforcement action involving Bitcoin found that Gelfman and its firm operated a Bitcoin Ponzi scheme from 2014 to January 2016, according to a press release.
The fraud was able to solicit over $600,000 from at least 80 customers. The customers’ funds were supposed to be placed in a pooled commodity fund using a high-frequency, algorithmic trading strategy called “Jigsaw,” which turned out to be fake.
All performance reports were false, according to the CFTC, and payouts to GBI customers consisted of other customers’ misappropriated funds. James McDonald, the CFTC’s director of enforcement, promised to continue to enforce the law in the cryptocurrency arena.
“This case marks yet another victory for the Commission in the virtual currency enforcement arena. As this string of cases shows, the CFTC is determined to identify bad actors in these virtual currency markets and hold them accountable. I’m grateful to the members of Enforcement’s Virtual Currency Task Force for their tireless work on these matters.”
Law enforcement found that the defendant’s real trading account records revealed only infrequent and unprofitable trading. Gelfman tried to conceal the Ponzi scheme by staging a fake computer “hack” that supposedly caused the loss of nearly all funds.
Gelfman and his firm are now ordered to pay, respectively, $492,064.53 and $554,734.48 in restitution to customers and $177,501 and $1,854,000 in civil monetary penalties, amounting to over $2.5 million. Moreover, the defendant is now banned from trading in the United States for life.
The agency cautioned that orders requiring repayment of funds to victims may not result in the recovery of any money lost because the wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets. The CFTC said it will continue to fight vigorously for the protection of customers and to ensure the wrongdoers are held accountable.
In July 2018, the CFTC claimed a Bitcoin pool operator has fraudulently solicited almost $500,000 worth of Bitcoin from at least 127 individuals who expected to participate in a pooled investment vehicle for trading commodity interests.
The regulator requires Dillon Michael Dean and his U.K.-registered company, The Entrepreneurs Headquarters Limited (TEH), to pay almost $500,000 in restitution to customers plus a sum of $1,497,792.12 civil monetary penalty, bringing the total amount owed to a hefty $2 million.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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CEO of Sberbank: Crypto and Blockchain Will Change the World but Not Yet

The CEO of the Russian state-owned financial service provider Sberbank has stated that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology will fundamentally transform business and finance. That said, Herman Gref is looking at a time span of decades rather than months or years.
Herman Gref with Refreshing Take on Cryptocurrency
According to a report in local news, the CEO of Sberbank thinks that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology have the power to radically transform society.
Gref was speaking about the financial innovations at fintech conference, the Finopolis Forum, yesterday. The event is being held by the Bank of Russia in Sochi. It ran from Wednesday to Friday of this week.
However, the changes Gref envisions are not to be expected soon. The banker went on to state that digital currencies would take at least 10 years to become widespread enough to challenge the current status quo. Gref holds that national governments will try to desperately cling on to existing financial services for as long as possible:
“… it’s not likely that any state is ready to part with the centralised money supply model.”
The state-owned bank executive is more optimistic about blockchain technology. He feels that the true implications of distributed ledgers will make themselves known in around three to five years:
“The technology is not ready now. When will it be ready? In my opinion, three to five years. If you ask me in five years, maybe I can say something more distinct about its place, but the potential is huge.”
Gref also stated that the hype-stifling bear market of 2018 has allowed for a “balanced consideration and evaluation of this technology.” The experiments that are ongoing in the space will lay the groundwork for the sweeping changes envisioned.
Finally, Gref addressed regulations. To him, any outright bans on cryptocurrencies risk stifling the innovative potential of the space. The technology needs to “quietly develop” and can do so better now that much of the speculation has died down.
Although perhaps not what everyone wants to hear in terms of time frame, Gref’s outlook on cryptocurrencies seems refreshingly grounded. It stands as contrast to the outbursts of other individuals connected with the traditional financial industry. Suspiciously absent were any comments relating to fraud, tulips, rat poison, or money laundering.
Gref’s commentary on the space is consistent with Sberbank’s own experimentation with blockchain. The state-owned financial service provider has been working on systems that use the technology to increase the efficiency of the services it provides.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Report: Vast Majority of ICOs Trading Significantly Below Their Listing Price

A recent report from Ernst & Young found that nearly a third of all cryptocurrencies that have been financed through online fundraisers, like initial coin offerings (ICOs), have lost almost all their value, while the vast majority of them are currently trading below their listing price.
The report, which was first published today, gathered its data from 141 cryptocurrency projects that issued their tokens through ICOs in 2017. It found that the 2018 cryptocurrency crash has significantly affected both ICO tokens and previously established cryptocurrencies.
ICOs Falter Amidst Persisting Bear Market
The report notes that of the projects that were analyzed, 86% have fallen below their listing prices on the aggregated markets. This signals that despite many of 2017’s projects seeing significant gains towards the end of the year, they have not been impervious to the bear market.
In 2017, the cryptocurrency markets saw an unprecedented rise, led by Bitcoin, whose price rose from just over $700 in January of 2017, to highs of nearly $20,000 in December of the same year. This price rise generated a frenzy that swept through the entire markets, with investors throwing money at any crypto-related project that asked for it.
This frenzy was proceeded by a market crash and continuous bear market, where Bitcoin’s price fell from its December highs to its year-to-date lows of under $6,000. It is currently trading just off its low at $6,470.
Many of these cryptocurrency projects that were hyped by the markets and took significant amounts of investor’s money have since faltered, with the report claiming that 71% of 2017’s ICO projects still lacking a functional product.
Paul Brody, global innovation leader for blockchain technology at Ernst & Young spoke about the aforementioned statistics in a recent interview, saying that the state of the ICO market looks “worse than we thought.”
In addition to the majority of ICOs not showing any signs of having a promising future for investors, many of them have devalued their own tokens by accepting fiat currency for their services, which negates the value and need of the tokens they sold to investors.
Brody explained that the state of the ICO market is significantly worse than the state of the dot.com market that experienced a similar market cycle in the late 1990’s, in which somewhat useless startups experienced tremendous sales volume and stock price spikes before shutting down shop shortly afterwards.
One example mentioned by Brody was Pets.com, which sold pet supplies to customers online. The company’s stock prices skyrocketed amidst the dot.com buying frenzy, but crashed after the bubble went bust.
Brody notes that unlike ICOs, many dot.com startups actually had working businesses.
“At least from Pets.com you could get pets food. They had an actual working business, they had a product,” he said.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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SEC Establishes FinHub to Engage Public on Cryptocurrencies

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced the launch of the Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub) to promote public engagement on fintech-related issues and initiatives, including blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
SEC Launches FinHub Portal in Connection with the Issuance of Its DAO Report
FinHub, which replaces several internal working groups at the SEC, includes other areas involving the financial markets sector, including automated investment advice, digital marketplace financing, and artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Acting as a portal for industry and the public, FinHub will publicize information regarding the agency’s initiatives and create a forum focusing on blockchain and digital assets, according to a press release.
To be led by Valerie A. Szczepanik, senior advisor for digital assets and innovation and associate director in the SEC’s division of corporation finance, FinHub will also serve as liaison to other domestic and international regulators regarding cryptocurrencies and other issues, according to the entity chaired by Jay Clayton.
“The SEC is committed to working with investors and market participants on new approaches to capital formation, market structure, and financial services, with an eye toward enhancing, and in no way reducing, investor protection,” he added. “The FinHub provides a central point of focus for our efforts to monitor and engage on innovations in the securities markets that hold promise, but which also require a flexible, prompt regulatory response to execute our mission.”
The new SEC portal, FinHub, was established in connection with the issuance of DAO Report on July 25, 2017. The document defined ICO tokens as securities, which caused great concern for many players in the crypto space as they prepared to launch their own initial coin offerings. The SEC has also made it clear that the token sales during the ICOs don’t qualify as crowdfunding.
“SEC staff across the agency have been engaged for some time in efforts to understand emerging technologies, communicate the agency’s stance on new issues, and facilitate beneficial innovations in the securities industry. By launching FinHub, we hope to provide a clear path for entrepreneurs, developers, and their advisers to engage with SEC staff, seek input, and test ideas”, said Szczepanik.
The portal invites public input on matters such as fund innovation and crypto holdings, blockchain applications, and the listing of of VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust shares. The financial watchdog has been conservative regarding the entry of Bitcoin ETF applications.
By August, the SEC denied nine applications from ProShares, Direxion, and GraniteShares via three recently published documents.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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