Facebook Might Be Working on a Cryptocurrency for the Messenger WhatsApp

As anonymous sources shared with Bloomberg, Facebook is currently developing a stablecoin, meant specifically for WhatsApp, owned by Facebook. Supposedly, the new coin will soon be announced and available for use to the WhatsApp community.

https://twitter.com/NischalShetty/status/1075970369184514048

One of the ultimate goals for such launching a stablecoin was to upgrade the remittance system, mainly in India, since there are more than 200 million WhatsApp Indian users, and this country has a huge remittance market.

Meanwhile, the Facebook blockchain department now has more than 40 specialists, and it seems like they are only going to expand and develop further in this area. We remind you:

Facebook Is Once Again Looking for Blockchain Specialists

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Coingecko Publishes Its Annual Crypto Report for 2018

The online platform Coingecko published it crypto report for the passed year of 2018, where it analyzed the most important events in the crypto industry, including the market trends, crypto thefts, ICO news, stablecoins, Bitcoin Cash wars etc.

As for the market tendencies, there is no doubt that 2018 was the year of collapse. The total market capitalization decreased by whopping 78.85%, with the main period of decrease falling onto Q4. Meanwhile, the trading volumes remained quite stable.

Regarding the top-5 coins in the rating, they decreased as follows:

  • BTC – by 73%;
  • XRP – by 82%;
  • ETH – by 84%;
  • BCH – by 93%;
  • EOS – by 66%

The largest crypto exchange by the end of 2018, according to the trading volumes, turned out to be Bithumb, followed closely by ZB.com and Binance.

As for stealing cryptocurrency, the estimated money loss from criminals and scammers amounted to around $867.45 million. The biggest crypto theft was Zaif hack which took place in September and resulted in the theft of $23.5 million.

The most popular blockchain platforms for creating decentralized apps became Ethereum, EOS, Steem and Tron.

The synopsis of the stablecoin development in 2018 looks the following way:

Thus, we can definitely see that though 2018 was a hard year for crypto and there were much more downs than ups, the industry is still afloat and developing. Hopefully, 2019 will be a better year.

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The Shares of Netflix, Apple and Tesla Might Be Switching to Blockchain

2018 was quite a hard year for cryptocurrency and the whole digital world. There were ups and downs, sadly enough, downs were much more common. But crypto is still alive, it’s still afloat, thus, there is still a chance that everything will stabilize sooner or later.

Many specialists and experts in the field have been suggesting various ways of fixing the situation. One of them is a relatively new concept of “tokenization”.

Tokenization basically means turning real physical assets, like stock shares, equities or bonds, into digital ones, in other words, putting them onto blockchain. This is how security tokens are created.

This topic has been discussed for quite a while, but now this idea could be implemented in real life. The company DX.Exchange, located in Estonia, has created a blockchain-based platform which lets the customers purchase the shares of the world giants from blockchain.

The shares of Facebook, Tesla, Apple, Netflix and other leaders of NASDAQ can be bought indirectly, in the form of security tokens, backed up by real actual shares.

As stated by the representative of DX.Exchange:

By tokenizing stocks of some of the biggest publicly-traded companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook and more, we are opening an untapped market of millions of old and new traders around the globe cutting out the middleman.”

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The “Fatal 2018” or The Most Important Events Of The Year

The digital coins market shows a negative trend throughout the year 2018. Compared to the historical maximum, the total cryptocurrency market cap has decreased by almost 8 times. The cryptocurrency market shows a negative trend throughout 2018. During the year, news of the cryptocurrency market that are actively discussed in media, have a negative meaning. Let us recall the most important events that occurred on the cryptocurrency market.

Content:
(please, click the topic to scroll down to it)

  1. Banking system against digital coins
  2. Internet restrictions
  3. Bitcoin ETF
  4. Formation of legislation
  5. Attracting of institutional investors
  6. Active development of the OTC market
  7. ICO Market Growth
  8. Cryptocurrency companies entering the IPO market
  9. Integration of financial conglomerates
  10. Integration with Internet companies
  11. Conclusion

1. Banking system against digital coins

At the very beginning of 2018, traditional financial institutions began to limit the capabilities of participants in the cryptocurrency market. A large number of fairly large banks around the world began to close the accounts of companies whose activities are related to cryptocurrency. We may also recall the decision of Visa to terminate cooperation with major European companies. All this adversely affected cryptocurrency companies. But it is worth noting that the restrictions of banks affected not only legal entities, along with this ordinary customers also lost an opportunity to buy cryptocurrency through their credit and debit cards.

A similar policy of the Reserve Bank of India led to the fact that local cryptocurrency platforms closed crypto-fiat trade. In the middle of autumn, Zebpay cryptocurrency exchange was forced to close the cryptocurrency exchange service. A similar situation happened in Zimbabwe, but cryptocurrency companies were able to challenge this decision with the help of the Supreme Court of the country.

Such policy of traditional financial sector representatives speaks only of their concern and desire to get rid of a potential competitor. If to analyze the cryptocurrency market, it becomes obvious that this industry is developing too fast. This makes the financial giants to tremble with fear and uncertainty about the future. This event played a big role in crypto market cap lowering.

2. Internet restrictions

Another damage to the cryptocurrency industry in 2018 was caused by the largest Internet companies: Google, Twitter, Facebook, Baidu, Alibaba, WeChat, Yandex, etc. All of the above mentioned information giants banned the promotion of cryptocurrency and ICO on their sites. This decision caused corresponding consequences, namely, undermined confidence towards the industry, and also cryptocurrency market capitalization decrease. Mining applications were blocked in App Store.

The Internet giant’s representatives explained their decision by the fact that there is a huge number of scammers in the cryptocurrency industry, which trusting users should be protected from. However, just a few months later, Facebook and Google reconsidered their decision and partially canceled it.

3. Bitcoin ETF

One of the most discussed topics in the industry since mid-summer of 2018 is the possible launch of Bitcoin ETF. The fact is that the situation in the cryptocurrency market strongly depends on the SEC decision. We remind you that cryptocurrency market value growth, which occurred in November-December, was caused by the launch of futures at CBOE and CME. Many experts believe that the launch of ETF will be a much more powerful event than the last year’s futures.

But the situation that has developed around this issue is quite controversial. On the one hand, the SEC does not deny the possibility of giving permission to launch Bitcoin ETF. But on the other hand, The United States Securities and Exchange Commission rejects all applicants (or postpones the date of consideration) who submitted the application during the year. The staff of the SEC explain their reasons quite uncertainty.

It is worth mentioning that during 2018 a lot of funds and exchanges have submitted their applications: ITS, Direxion, VanEck, Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, ProShares, SolidX, etc.

Based on the latest data, the Securities Commission must make a final decision on the ETF before February 27, 2019.

We want to remind you:

SEC Will Release the Decision on Bitcoin ETF in February

4. Formation of legislation

The cryptocurrency market`s fall, which began in early 2018, was caused by many reasons, one of them is the lack of a legislative base. In other words, at the moment the cryptocurrency market is not regulated at all. Just this year, a large number of changes were to occur in this matter. But, unfortunately, everything happened not the way it was expected.

It is worth noting that this year many countries of the world drafted bills, that in one way or another dealt with cryptocurrencies. Some states limited the presence of digital coins on their territory due to the complexity of regulation. Others, on the contrary, encouraged and developed this direction in every way. For example, on July 4, 2018, blockchain technology was officially legalized in Malta for the first time in the world.

At the end of the winter, the German authorities signed a law under which Bitcoin equated to legal means of payment and was thus released from taxation.

This year was the first time in the history of the industry, when the regulation of cryptocurrency was discussed at the highest international level. For example, the mechanisms for regulating the industry became an agenda at the G20 meeting. It was decided to postpone this topic till October, but no one has returned to it thoroughly so far. This also had a negative effect on the cryptocurrency ranking.

5. Attracting of institutional investors

This year, for the first time the entry of large players into the market was seriously discussed. The interest of institutional investors in cryptocurrency assets is confirmed by a survey of an independent consulting company Capgemini:

  • 44% of the surveyed large capital owners are interested in cryptocurrency investments;
  • 29% of the surveyed large capital owners showed high interest;
  • 27% of the surveyed large capital owners expressed moderate interest.

Another interview, which was conducted by an independent consulting company DeVere Group, says that almost 40% of large business owners want to see a list of cryptocurrencies by market cap in their investment portfolios.

6. Active development of the OTC market

The situation on the cryptocurrency market today is as follows (according to CoinMarketCap):

  • market capitalization of 130 billion dollars;
  • 24h trading volume is about 16 billion dollars.

The situation is not the best, to say the least of it. But it is worth noting that the second mark is not entirely correct. The fact is that we see only turnovers that relate to stock trading. According to the company TABB Group, the UTS trading market is approximately 2-3 times higher than the stock index. It should be noted that such transactions cannot be traced when dealing with blockchain, since private keys from wallets are transferred more often than coins.

There is a sufficient number of large players in the cryptocurrency market (large miners, investors, ICO organizers, etc.), who cannot satisfy their demand with the help of exchanges. More and more OTC platforms began to appear due to the growing demand in the industry.

7. ICO Market Growth

Even regardless of depressing mood on the cryptocurrency market, the number of ICO held in 2018 is much more than in 2017: more precisely, 741 vs 514. The amount of raised funds also grew: $18.16 billion vs $6.89 billion.

The most discussed project of this year was undoubtedly TON from Pavel Durov, who managed to attract $1.7 billion. These funds were obtained even without public ICO, and Durov had to refuse from the overwhelming majority of those who wanted to invest in his brainchild.

But if to consider the amount of collected money, the undoubted leader is the EOS project, which managed to raise about 4.2 billion dollars. This mark is the best not only in this year, but also in the entire history of the industry as a whole.

But even such major events as EOS or TON could not help a fading interest of people to invest in cryptocurrency at the stage of the initial coin offering. The situation is caused by a general decrease in the capitalization of the cryptocurrency market in 2018. Because of the downtrend on the market, the vast majority of coins now cost less than at the ICO stage.

8. Cryptocurrency companies entering the IPO market

ICO is certainly a rather convenient way to raise capital, but despite this, many cryptocurrency companies expressed their interest in entering the more traditional IPO market. The initial public offering or IPO is regulated by the SEC. Investors are more protected there and this fact attracts people with large capital.

As of the beginning of December 2018, only one company successfully conducted its own IPO, all the others did not go further than applications or plans announcement for the future so far. In August of this year, there was an initial public offering of Argo Mining Company. It works in a cloud mining field. The company’s results are quite good, it managed to raise $32.5 million during IPO.

9. Integration of financial conglomerates

As we wrote above, some large financial institutions have limited the cryptocurrency industry development by their policies. But it does not concern absolutely all financial conglomerates of the planet. In parallel with the collapse of the cryptocurrency market (financially), we can observe the world’s largest banks integration into the industry (Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Barklays, etc.).

At the very beginning of the year, Goldman Sachs, with the help of a startup Circle, bought one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges Poloniex. The official sum of this transaction was not disclosed, but according to analysts’ estimates, such a purchase costed them about $400 million. It is worth noting that, Goldman Sachs invested $136 million in a startup Circle before acquiring Poloniex.

In early autumn the largest financial conglomerate of the land of the rising sun (Japan) Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group started its own MUFG coin in a test mode. If the test is successful, then the representatives of MUFG promise to introduce it into their own payment system.

The Bank of America and other major financial institutions owners in the world got curious in Technology Ripple (xCurrent), which helps banks to save about $3 on each transaction. This year, a number of major banks and the Ripple company signed cooperation agreement. It was highly expected, because xCurrent technology allows banks to save tens of millions dollar a year.

10. Integration with Internet companies

Along with the negative news background that accompanies the cryptocurrency industry throughout the year, an increasing number of Internet companies are trying to integrate digital coins into their product. For example, a few months ago, the Opera browser for Android released support for a built-in cryptocurrency wallet. At the moment, this wallet supports only ERC-20 and ERC-271 tokens, but the developers promise to add support for new types of digital coins in the near future. If to follow the news, it is easy to notice how the above mentioned  event is connected with Bitmain Company`s purchase of 3% of Opera Ltd in the amount of about $50 million (Bitmain Company is the largest manufacturer of network equipment for mining).

The cryptocurrency browser Brave shows good download dynamics: more than 5 million installations over the past six months. This number can be explained by a good program to attract new users, which was launched by the Brave developers. The browser charges 25 BAT for every 2 months of use. That is, for 1 year, you can accumulate 150 BAT, and for 2 years, 300 BAT. At today’s prices, it costs approximately $25 a year, but BAT is rated as one of the most promising coins of the next bull market. According to various estimates, it will enterTOP-10 and grow by from 30 to 50 times. That means, by using this browser it is possible to get from 1,000 to 2,000 dollars in a couple of years.

11. Conclusion

The cryptocurrency market today is experiencing a downtrend. Market capitalization has decreased by almost 8 times, compared with the peak values ​​of this year. As you can see, the general news background is negative this year. But it is worth noting that along with this, the infrastructure in the industry is actively developing, and new institutional investors are coming to the market. The forecast of the cryptocurrency market is not quite clear, but major experts believe that there are still many ups and falls ahead of us.

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The UN Will Use Blockchain to Develop Healthcare in Africa

The United Nations division, the Office on Drugs and Crime is going to cooperate with the blockchain company doc.com in order to provide free and accessible healthcare and medical services in the Eastern regions of Africa.

Doc.com is a company that specializes In telemedicine and telepsychology. It uses blockchain to let the customers exchange their personal data for tokens, which will open access to various healthcare services.

The company is functioning in over 20 countries with around 130 thousand customers. The United Nations has been researching the ways to use blockchain for humanitarian causes, thus, this collaboration might become the salvation for poor African countries.

We remind you:

The UN Will Cooperate With the IOTA to Increase the Productivity of its Work

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Bithumb Won the Trial in the Case of a Major Crypto Attack

As reported by the Korean subdivision of CoinDesk, a customer of the South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb suffered a tremendous money loss at the end of 2017 due to a hacker attack.

Back in November of 2017, the hacked victim placed 478 million Korean won (426,600 dollars) to his account at Bithumb. Only a couple hours later, an unknown hacker broke into his account, exchanged the money to Ethereum and stole it. As a result, the poor Bithumb user was left only with 11 cents at his account.

In the attempt to bring his funds back, the victim tried to sue Bithumb. However, the exchange management used the Electronic Financial Transactions Act, according to which the exchange is not a financial company, thus, it is not responsible for the hacker attack and money loss. The court found Bithumb innocent.

We remind you:

Bithumb Outruns BitMEX in the Crypto Exchange Battle

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Bitcoin’s Lightning Network Is Growing: 500 BTC Has Been Passed

The Lightning Network of BTC, which is an emergency measure aimed at solving the problem of scalability is growing by leaps and bounds, passing more and more milestones on its way.

We have already reported about the previous successes of the Network:

Lightning Network of Bitcoin Blew Up: A 1600% Increase Since Last February

Today we have more exciting news. According to the data from 1ML, the Lightning Network has passed the point of 500 BTC in capacity, which is worth more than 2 million dollars. The number of available nodes has also skyrocketed. It is now 25%, which almost twice as much as it used to be before.

The Lightning Network is developing technically and gaining more popularity. In the recent couple of months, it has truly skyrocketed, judging by all the statistics.

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