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Chainlink’s Bitfinex listing ineffective as Polkadot rebukes ‘unscrupulous exchanges’

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Chainlink’s growth recently, especially in the month of August, has largely been parabolic, with many in the community under the belief that it may replicate Ethereum’s incredible price appreciation from 2017. It’s not hard to see why these people have these expectations as following its most recent surge, LINK shocked everyone after it climbed as high as 4th on CoinMarketCap’s charts. In fact, the crypto’s price performance has pushed many exchanges to finally jump onto the LINK bandwagon.

Just a few days ago, one of the crypto-market’s most-popular exchanges, Bitfinex, announced the listing of Chainlink [LINK], with its deposit and withdrawal services commencing soon after. At the time of writing, the trading pairs on offer were LINK/USD and LINK/USDT.

This came on the back of yet more good news as a few days before the Bitfinex announcement, Binance announced the launch of LINK/USD coin-margined perpetual contracts, with the same having leverage of up to 75x.

It should be noted, however, that while these developments were greeted by the community, LINK’s price did not, with the crypto’s price continuing to slide down the charts after hitting its ATH a week ago.

LINK wasn’t the only asset to make news this week, however, with DOT also creating waves. Like LINK, Polkadot’s DOT token was also listed on Bitfinex recently, with DOT/USD and DOT/USDT trading pairs on offer. This was followed by Binance doing so as well, with the exchange also offering additional trading pairs like DOT/BUSD and DOT/BNB.

Alas, unlike most listings, these weren’t celebrated by the Polkadot community as it was supposedly planned for the 21st of August – The Denomination Day agreed upon by the community. In fact, the Co-founder of Ethereum, Gavin Wood, went as far as to say that these “unscrupulous exchanges’ actions” had put much of the community at risk.

Source: https://eng.ambcrypto.com/chainlinks-bitfinex-listing-ineffective-as-polkadot-rebukes-unscrupulous-exchanges

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Bitcoin Faces Harsh Rejection as Analysts Eye Potential Consolidation Phase

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  • Bitcoin faced an incredibly harsh rejection earlier this morning that caused its price to plummet
  • This came about directly following another test of the cryptocurrency’s all-time high, which was broken and tested on multiple occasions over the past day
  • The resistance here is still significant and should not be overlooked
  • Whether or not this level can be flipped into support anytime soon will offer serious insights into the entire market’s near-term outlook
  • One trader is now noting that although a few indicators are flipping bearish following the rejection, he is hoping for a consolidation phase

Bitcoin and the rest of the crypto market have been caught within the throes of an intense uptrend throughout the past few days and weeks.

Its momentum finally stalled yesterday when the crypto set new all-time highs on many different exchanges, with this coming about following a rebound from lows of $16,400 that were set just a few days prior.

The strength seen by the crypto in the time since its decline to these lows is a positive sign, but the overnight rejection at just under $20,000 shows how intense this region’s resistance level is.

One trader is now hoping that BTC sees a bout of consolidation, as this could bring multiple bearish indicators back into neutral or bullish territory.

Bitcoin Faces Dire Rejection at Just Below $20,000

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down just over 5% at its current price of $18,700. This marks a notable decline from its recent highs of $19,800 that were set yesterday.

These highs marked the highest level seen by the cryptocurrency since 2017, and on some exchanges, marked an all-time high.

The resistance here is still significant and shows no signs of letting up anytime soon.

BTC’s RSI Flips Bearish as Analyst Eyes Consolidation Phase 

While speaking about this price action, one analyst observed that Bitcoin’s RSI indicator shows some signs of weakness.

That said, a consolidation phase around the cryptocurrency’s current price level could be its best hope, as this would allow the bearish indicators to drift back towards being neutral.

“Very confused by BTC. RSI shows some weakness. Dream scenario we consolidate here.”

Bitcoin

Image Courtesy of Wolf. Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.

So long as Bitcoin can set a higher low and continue holding above its intra-decline lows of $18,200, then the cryptocurrency could be poised to see another strong rebound in the days ahead.

Featured image from Unsplash.
Charts from TradingView.

Source: https://bitcoinist.com/bitcoin-faces-harsh-rejection-as-analysts-eye-potential-consolidation-phase/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bitcoin-faces-harsh-rejection-as-analysts-eye-potential-consolidation-phase

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Why Europe Bests the US at Attracting Crypto Startups

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For years lawyers have warned of the risks associated with running a cryptocurrency business in the United States, especially when a token is involved. Regrettably, those risks are more apparent than ever.

As New York- and Austrian-licensed attorneys, we’ve talked countless clients out of publicly selling tokens in the U.S. or generally pursuing their businesses there. We’ve personally witnessed one of our European clients – a small fish by anyone’s account – fall victim to U.S. regulators’ zeal to shape the law through enforcement, presumably to establish precedent to go after bigger and badder actors in the distant future. 

Bryan Hollmann is of counsel at Stadler Völkel Attorneys at Law, a technology-focused law firm in Vienna, Austria. Oliver Völkel is a founding partner at the same firm.

The saying “the gears of justice turn slowly” is particularly true for U.S. regulators, who just this year have secured important court rulings against companies that sold tokens in 2017 and 2018. One thing is clear: Token issuers in 2020 and beyond cannot ignore U.S. securities laws without risking severe fines and litigation many years down the road.

Fortunately, the U.S. is not the only market in the world where companies can raise capital by selling tokens. We agree with U.S. lawyer Preston J. Byrne, who remarked in a CoinDesk opinion piece:

It is also true that there are, without a doubt, countries in the world that do countenance token offerings. Go there. U.S. securities laws are not meant to restrict the sale of tokens in those places.” (emphasis added)

New token sales

The European Union is one of the hottest regions in the world in terms of raising capital through token offerings, according to ICO Watchlist. And, as more and more companies choose to put the United States on the list of banned jurisdictions alongside countries like Afghanistan, North Korea and Syria, the EU is bound to become even more popular. 

In the last year, European-based projects like Polkadot (Switzerland) and Bitpanda (Austria) have sold tokens worth millions of euros through initial coin (ICO) or initial exchange (IEO) offerings. Leading blockchain projects such as Ethereum and MakerDAO are supported by Swiss foundations, and up-and-coming players like Bitpanda and Morpher (both of which are clients of the authors) are Austrian companies that have concluded financing rounds with prominent U.S. venture capital firms while maintaining their headquarters in Europe. On top of that, Bitpanda raised EUR 43.6 million in 2019 by selling BEST tokens. Morpher’s public sale of its own MPH token is currently underway.  

See also: EU Proposes Full Regulatory Framework for Cryptocurrencies

There are good legal reasons why companies are attracted to Europe. For starters, there is no Howey Test, which in 2018 led Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton to declare that “every ICO [he’s] seen is a security.” Most European regulators, particularly those in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), distinguish security tokens and payment tokens from utility tokens and acknowledge that utility tokens, for the most part, are not subject to financial services or capital markets regulations. 

Unlike in the U.S., European regulators simply do not have a history of cracking down on token issuers. And token issuers are far less likely to get bogged down in private litigation in Europe than in the U.S.

Differing regulatory approaches

These differing regulatory approaches to token offerings can be attributed to historical financing methods used by companies in Europe and the U.S. as well as their distinct legal systems. In the U.S., equity offerings are still much more common than in continental Europe, where debt financing remains to a large extent the prerogative of banks and large financial institutions. 

If the present is any indication, our bet is on Europe having the upper hand.

Europe does not have as long a tradition of capital markets exposure as the U.S., and while European capital markets regulation was heavily influenced by the U.S., the need to harmonize the definition of “transferable securities” among the EU member states prevented the EU from employing the Howey Test outright when adopting the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive in 2004. In our personal experience, the constraints of the civil law tradition in continental Europe as opposed to the common law systems of the U.S. and the U.K. also prevent national regulators from introducing a Howey-like test via enforcement proceedings anytime soon, despite efforts to do so particularly with regard to token sales. 

In contrast to the U.S., the EU has made significant progress in codifying regulations governing token sales. On Sept. 24, 2020, the European Commission published a draft Regulation on Markets in Crypto-assets (MiCA), which establishes a disclosure regime for token sales, and lays the foundation for stablecoin issuers and cryptocurrency service providers to securely operate within the EU. The regulation is expected to enter into force in all EU member states by the end of 2022.

Once adopted, the legal framework will provide legal certainty for token issuers and will help establish Europe as the go-to jurisdiction for crypto businesses. Time will tell how the divergent regulatory approaches in Europe and the U.S. will shape the crypto industry going forward. If the present is any indication, our bet is on Europe having the upper hand.

Disclosure

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/europe-bests-us-crypto-startups

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Blockchain Bites: Ethereum 2.0 Beacon Chain Ships, Libra Rebrands, ‘Bitcoin’ Google Searches Up

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Ethereum 2.0 hit a major milestone as its “Beacon Chain” went live. Libra “seizes the day” and rebrands to Diem. Google searches for “bitcoin” have doubled since last month. 

Top shelf

Coinbase <> MicroStrategy
MicroStrategy has revealed Coinbase as the platform that executed its $425 million BTC buy that thrust MicroStrategy into the spotlight of the bitcoin community.  Announced Tuesday, Coinbase revealed MicroStrategy’s initial $250 million investment, which occurred over a five-day period in August, came via Coinbase Prime, the exchange’s crypto brokerage arm formed following the acquisition of Tagomi in May. That was followed in September by a further $175 million investment. MicroStrategy is regarded as the first publicly listed firm to convert a portion of its cash reserves into crypto.

Retail interest?
Google searches for “bitcoin,” an imperfect measurement of popular interest in crypto, are at its highest level since June 2019. Google Trends data shows searches are twice the value from last month. Bitcoin set a new record high of $19,850 on Monday, having narrowly missed the previous lifetime high of $19,783 last week. The cryptocurrency surged over 40% in November to register its biggest monthly gain since May 2019. However, the market is far from being in a state of retail frenzy seen in December 2017, when the google search for the term “bitcoin price” peaked. The data may validate analysts who say this year’s rally is mainly driven by increased institutional participation.

Identity acquired
An identity management provider backed by PayPal (PYPL), Foxconn and others has been acquired, for an undisclosed sum, by Nevada-based holding company Blockchains LLC. Announced Tuesday, the acquisition precedes the release of an un-hosted wallet expected in April, said Blockchains Executive Vice President Lee Weiss. “We reached out to Cambridge and had discussions with them, and it was clear that we shared a common ethos,” said Weiss. “We ended up making a deal and the transaction closed last week.” Cambridge Blockchain principals Matthew Commons, Alex Oberhauser, Muthu Arumugam and the firm’s software developers will join Blockchains’ digital identity team.

Bitcoin rewards
BlockFi will launch a bitcoin credit card for users to spend fiat and be rewarded in crypto, in Q1 2021, according to CEO Zac Prince. In a market saturated with bitcoin reward debit cards, BlockFi’s option allows people to earn yield on their bitcoin holdings through consumer spending, without having to spend their crypto. Visa is acting as the card-issuing network, Evolve Bank & Trust provides the Bank Identification Number (BIN) that allows BlockFi to connect to the payments network and Deserve is managing the payments flow technology. The rewards back are 1.5% of fiat purchases, and the bitcoin users receive is deposited into their BlockFi accounts. The annual fee for the card is $200.

Seize the Diem
The Libra Association, a 27-member organization shepherding development of a global stablecoin that could launch yesterday, is rebranding to Diem. The effort is seemingly an attempt to distance itself from the original Facebook-led Libra project, which promised a multiple-asset backed stablecoin but was pilloried by financial regulators the world over. Diem has also shaped its leadership team, and reaffirmed that a pared-back version of libra, now diem dollar, will meet the approval of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). Diem CEO Stuart Levey said the blockchain-based project is ready to launch at a technical level.

Quick bites

  • ‘TIS THE SEASON: “Bitcoin Tuesday,” a play on Giving Tuesday, is spearheaded by crypto charity platform The Giving Block, with over 100 possible charities accepting crypto donations.
  • FROM LVMH: Ledger scooped up a luxury brand legend to lead its consumer business expansion.
  • LEVELING UP: Bitcoin exchange LVL, backed by Anthony Pompliano, Jimmy Song and Willy Woo, has removed trading fees to contend with giants including Coinbase and Gemini.
  • FEARING FEES? Brady Dale breaks down what you need to know about bitcoin trading fees on PayPal, Robinhood, Cash App and Coinbase.
  • CARBON COPY: Stablecoin pioneer Uphold claims to have launched the first tradable retail carbon token, which represents a certified measure of carbon dioxide.
  • JAIL TIME: The top operators of the 14.8 billion yuan ($2.25 billion) PlusToken scam are heading to prison for up to 11 years after being found guilty of defrauding investors.

Market intel

Mining revenues
Shareholders of publicly traded bitcoin mining companies enjoyed record monthly gains as the leading cryptocurrency reached a new all-time high Monday morning. Riot Blockchain (RIOT) ended November with a 160% gain trading at $8.45 per share. Marathon Patent Group (MARA) soared over 190% in November, the firm’s largest monthly percentage gain, up over 600% year to date. Miner manufacturer Canaan (CAN) ended November with a record monthly gain of nearly 140%, with its American depositary receipts trading at $4.99 by Monday close.

At stake

Eth 2.0
The development of Ethereum 2.0 passed a major milestone today, as the proof-of-stake blockchain’s skeletal system rises. At 12:00 UTC Tuesday, the Beacon Chain, the backbone of an entirely new scalable blockchain, went live.

Ethereum 2.0 intends to solve the intractable problems of scalability that plagued the first generation general purpose blockchain, now worth some $70 billion.

By shifting to proof-of-stake consensus, rather than proof-of-work pioneered by Bitcoin, and introducing a host of other cryptographic solutions, Ethereum 2.0 aims to outcompete payments networks like PayPal and Visa, CoinDesk’s Will Foxley reports.

The multi-year Ethereum upgrade began in 2015, though went full throttle this year. Today’s launch concludes “phase 0,” of Ethereum’s consensus mechanism transition.

Despite chronic throughput issues and high fees, Ethereum’s call to become “the world computer” has already attracted the most amount of committed blockchain developers. Eth 2.0 is seemingly no different in terms of community involvement. 

“The launch of the #Eth2 Beacon Chain is characteristic of the emergent, open-source ethos that attracts so many to Ethereum in the first place. More than 27,000 validators from around the globe are now participating in the new #Eth2 consensus model,” founder of the Ethereum incubator, ConsenSys’ Joseph Lubin, tweeted.

“The launch of the Beacon Chain is a huge accomplishment and lays the foundation for Ethereum’s more scalable, secure, and sustainable home,” Ethereum Foundation researcher Danny Ryan told Foxley in an email. “There is still much work to do, but today we celebrate.”

As Ryan noted, development is far from over. Chief among the technical challenges Eth 2.0 devs must mount is breaking the PoS Ethereum blockchain into multiple datasets called “shards” and adopting Rollups, a throughput solution for decentralized applications.

Who won #CryptoTwitter?

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Source: https://www.coindesk.com/ethereum-beacon-bitcoin-libra

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