DigixDAO Surges Amid Sea of Red

After a general upwards trend from Bitcoin following its February 6 low of US$6,000, today marks the first major downtrend from the cryptocurrency. After nearing $12,000, the coin has dropped significantly, and is currently trading close to $10,700. As i

<h1>SEC Brings Charges Against BitFunder, Jon Montroll</h1>

sec-brings-charges-against-bitfunder-jon-montroll

On Wednesday, the SEC filed civil charges in the federal district court in Manhattan against BitFunder and its operator Jon E. Montroll. The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York also filed a complaint in a parallel criminal case against Montroll for perjury and obstruction of justice.

Korean Regulator Tips Cryptocurrency Prospects Back Toward “Normalization”

Korean Regulator Tips Cryptocurrency Prospects Back Toward “Normalization”

On February 20, 2018, investors saw signs of yet another directional shift in South Korea’s regulatory stance on cryptocurrencies. According to Reuters, Choe Heung-sik, the governor of South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), told reporters, “The whole world is now framing the outline (for cryptocurrency) and therefore (the government) should rather work more on normalization than increasing regulation.”

The head of the FSS has wrestled with cryptocurrency regulation and the lack of legislation on the industry for some time. He stated in November 2017 that “supervision [of cryptocurrency exchanges] will come only after the legal recognition of digital tokens as legitimate currency.”

Choe also warned of a bitcoin bubble in December 2017 that paired with another warning that month, when he stated, “All we can do is to warn people as we don’t see virtual currencies as actual types of currency, meaning that we cannot step up regulation for now.”

The FSS, which has been spearheading the government’s regulation of cryptocurrency trading as part of a larger task force, has had an uphill battle in the face of Korean officials’ variable attitudes to the burgeoning industry. While the FSS-led taskforce set the nation’s first official rules around cryptocurrency trading on December 13, 2017, uncertainty around issues of taxation and regulation of the exchanges remained.

January brought even less certainty to the peninsula as South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges were raided by police and tax agencies on January 10, 2018, kicking off a week of contradiction by top Korean officials that precipitated a market-wide meltdown known as “Red Tuesday” on January 16, 2018.

Choe then had to state at a parliamentary hearing on January 19, 2018, that one FSS employee was being investigated “on suspicion that he or she traded a digital currency” ahead of the government’s announcement of toughening its stance on cryptocurrency trading. At the same hearing, the Office for Government Policy Coordination also disclosed a probe into two officials for alleged profiteering on government information after the events of Red Tuesday.

Korean officials rounded off the month of January by announcing on January 23, 2018, that anonymous accounts would be banned from trading cryptocurrencies as of January 30, 2018.

Merely three weeks after the ban on anonymous accounts took effect, Choe seemed to suggest rosier regulatory prospects for the cryptocurrency industry. These statements of normalization came only days after the sudden death of Jung Ki-joon on February 18, 2018. Jung, a 52-year-old man who led economic policy for the Office for Government Policy Coordination and was instrumental in spearheading the January crackdown, died of “unknown” causes in his home, though initial reports suggested that he’d had a heart attack.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin Usage Falls to Its Lowest in Months

Bitcoin Usage Falls to Its Lowest in Months

There’s never a bad time to be sending and receiving bitcoin, but right now is especially good. Fees are at the lowest in 18 months, with the average transaction value now under a dollar. This contrasts starkly with the latter quarter of last year, when rising fees peaked at $34. There’s a primary reason why fees have been dropping since then: with bitcoin too expensive to send, people simply stopped using it as currency.

Also read: How to Calculate Bitcoin Transaction Fees When You’re in a Hurry

Bitcoin Fees Take a Tumble

It’s not just the USD/BTC market that oscillates: bitcoin’s fee market follows suit. Due to various factors ranging from network usage to Segwit adoption and hashrate, fees can rise and fall significantly. Throughout 2017, that trajectory was largely an upward one, culminating, in December, with fees becoming infeasible. Transaction fees have been mercifully declining since then, hitting an 18-month low as of February 21, but given that daily transaction volume has halved in the same period, that’s not surprising. A standard six-block transaction can now be pushed through for as little as 15 cents. Bitinfocharts calculates a median fee of 52 cents, versus just over 1 cent for bitcoin cash.

This reduction in transaction fees will not be felt by all bitcoin users however. Anyone withdrawing from an exchange will still be hit with standard fees. Binance and Kucoin, for example, set a flat rate of 0.001 BTC, or around $10.60 at current prices. As Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao pointed out in a recent tweet, though, exchanges have a case for charging above the base rate for the service they’re supplying. Whether they can justify charging upwards of $10 a time is a matter for debate though.

Bitcoin Fees Fall to Their Lowest in Months

Why the Low Fees?

High transaction fees arguably helped push the “store of value” meme that was popularized on r/bitcoin last year. Saddled with a cryptocurrency that was too expensive to send in small amounts, there was little choice but to hodl and wait for BTC to appreciate in value. Soaring fees were one of the triggers for a number of businesses to stop accepting bitcoin including Stripe and, ironically, the North American Bitcoin Conference. Steam also stopped accepting bitcoin in December, citing “high fees and volatility”. Frustrating as fees have been for users of the bitcoin network, some good has come of this predicament.

Bitcoin Fees Fall to Their Lowest in Months

Users and exchanges have scrambled to seek out ways of making transactions more efficient, with fixes including batching transactions together and adopting Segwit. Exorbitant fees also spurred quicker trials of the Lightning Network, though its adoption is still too low to have affected current bitcoin fees. Evidence suggests that the biggest driver in fee reduction was not technical, but sociological: on December 17, almost half a million bitcoin transactions were sent. That figure now averages under 200,000 a day.

With fees now at the lowest they’ve been in 18 months, it will be interesting to see whether retailers such as Valve will resume support for cryptocurrencies or steer clear until some sort of stability can be maintained. A number of companies have previously spoken of considering alternative cryptos, with Stripe mentioning litecoin, stellar, and bitcoin cash.

Bitcoin’s real test will come when people resume using the cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange and blocks begin to fill up once more.

Do you think bitcoin fees are now at a reasonable rate, or do they need to fall further still? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and p2sh.info.


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The post Bitcoin Usage Falls to Its Lowest in Months appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Ripple Is On the Verge of Major Price Correction

Major Price Correction

Ripple price (XRP) rose significantly in the last two weeks amid its penetration in the financial sector; the price is now struggling to extend the momentum. What’s going on? XRP price dipped for the fourth straight session on Wednesday, and the price plunged below $103. There was no particular event or market report that could change the bullish trend; the downside movement signifies a major price correction – possibly the end of the Bull-Run.   

Has The Bulls Enthusiasm Faded?

Bulls had pushed ripple and other cryptocurrency prices in the last two weeks, with the ...

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This Upstart Cryptocurrency Exchange Is Making Inroads in Canada

Coinsquare

Cryptocurrency and precious metals exchange Coinsquare is taking steps toward its goal of leading the cryptocurrency exchange market in Canada. On February 20, 2018, it announced a new partnership with Processing.com, after wrapping up a recent investment of $30 million, for a total $47 million raised in the last four months.

The partnership with Processing.com will allow Coinsquare to facilitate instant fiat currency payments of digital currencies for the general public through debit and credit card transactions.

In a release, Processing.com’s James Bergman said:

“We are very excited to partner with such a respected and fast-growing trading platform as Coinsquare. As digital currencies increasingly make their way into the mainstream conscious, service providers have a responsibility to ensure the broader public can access the rapidly growing blockchain ecosystem.”

Marketing Strategy

Besides increasing its Canadian market share, Coinsquare also has plans to move on to establishing new exchanges internationally, initially in the U.S. and the U.K.

Coinsquare CEO Cole Diamond acknowledges that he is continuing original owner Virgile Rostand’s marketing strategy of emphasizing Coinsquare’s Canadian foundations, with its economic and political stability and relatively light regulatory environment.

Diamond said: “Virgile Rostand, Coinsquare's founder, was an early industry pioneer and blue-chip banking industry veteran. He built a custom platform that is unrivaled in Canada, boasting extremely high security standards."

Coinsquare is also continuing Rostand’s unprecedented service to the French-speaking community.

In an interview with Bitcoin Magazine, Diamond noted: “We are the only trading platform that we know of that has a French website. Five percent of our users view our website in French, and we have been commended for it and are proud of it.”

A recent review of exchanges by education website Blockgeeks, placed Coinsquare in the top 10 exchanges. Forex also reviewed Coinsquare and gave it a thumbs up.

Despite positive reviews, however, there have been some dissatisfied customers who have voiced concerns on social platforms and below the Forex review. Common complaints cite long wait times, lost funds, high fees and a non-responsive staff. Comments on other sites also mentioned an unclear fee structure and lack of customer support. Coinsquare has not responded to request for comment from Bitcoin Magazine regarding these concerns.

Canadian compliance expert, Amber D. Scott, CEO of Outlier Solutions told Bitcoin Magazine: "With price volatility and a massive influx of new clients, most exchanges are likely having some growing pains and Coinsquare is likely no exception."

Diversification as a Priority

Coinsquare, based in Toronto, Canada, wants to diversify its business beyond cryptocurrency holdings.

The company already has its own mining operation with 2 MW of power and 1700 mining units in operation.

They are planning to invest in two more mines. Canada, particularly the province of Quebec, is attracting lots of interest from mining companies based on inexpensive electricity and cooler temperatures.

“Canada is about to become a central source,” explained Diamond in a recent interview with Global News. “I think there’s definitely a rush happening now. I think we’re going to have a significant amount of mining in the next few months.”

Trading precious metals is also a part of Coinsquare’s diversified holdings. They trade in silver coins and silver and gold bars.

Coinsquare is planning a Trading and Arbitrage division to take advantage of cross exchange and hedge opportunities.

Also in the works is the launch of CoinCap Funds, a group of funds focused on investments across the digital asset landscape.

Security

According to Coinsquare, they store 98 percent of their assets in cold storage and their trading platform is based on the same technology as that used by the NYSE.

While Bitfinex and Coinbase announced recently they are adopting SegWit, Coinsquare does not have any plans to follow suit just yet.“The decision to use Segwit is an ongoing discussion at Coinsquare and we are not for or against it at this time,” said Diamond.

Meanwhile, they are working on developing trading platforms for international markets and white labelling and licensing its technology for markets around the world.

Coinsquare offers trading in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Dash, Dogecoin and Litecoin and has a special OTC service for those wanting to trade large amounts.

Scott is optimistic about the future for Coinsquare: “At this stage, Canada has taken a relatively light touch from a regulatory perspective. This has been a boon for exchanges like Coinsquare in many ways. They’ve been able to focus on managing their risks and building their business, rather than fitting into paradigms that weren’t built with them in mind.”

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin (BTC) Causes Crypto Selloff

Crypto selloff

Is Bitcoin (BTC) the reason behind the crypto selloff?

The crypto market has experienced some major losses in the past 24 hours. At the time of writing, all coins but two within the top 100, are down right now. To get a taste of the bloodshed, take a look at the data from CoinMarketCap:

The top ten cryptocurrencies are all experiencing major losses. Leading the pack in losses is Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC).

There’s no denying that the markets are struggling – but why?

Bitcoin may be the ...

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‘Very Hard to Regulate Cryptocurrency,’ Says US Lawmaker

The post ‘Very Hard to Regulate Cryptocurrency,’ Says US Lawmaker appeared first on CCN

US lawmakers may be eager to regulate cryptocurrency, but they’re quickly finding that it’s easier said than done. In an interview with Fox Business, House Representative David Schweikert (R-AZ) said that regulators must focus their efforts on application-level oversight of the cryptocurrency markets, as the underlying technology is “very hard” to regulate. “It’s actually very … Continued

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Byteball Started Rising Again

Blockchain is a very successful technology that aims to disrupt markets worldwide however, there is a new technology with ground breaking potential in this domain. DAG (directed acyclic graph) is one of the main competitors to Blockchain technology. Unlik