Indian Bitcoin Ponzi Schemer Offers to Repay Initial Investments to Victims

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Indian Bitcoin Ponzi Schemer Offers to Repay Initial Investments to Victims


The alleged bitcoin Ponzi kingpin, Amit Bhardwaj, has reportedly offered to pay back the initial investments in Indian rupees to those who lost money through his scheme. However, victims want the current value of their cryptocurrencies, not the initial investments. Zebpay, one of India’s largest crypto exchanges, has also been called in to help with the investigation.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Bitcoin Ponzi Kingpin Offers to Compensate Victims

Indian Bitcoin Ponzi Schemer Offers to Repay Initial Investments to VictimsAmit Bhardwaj, the founder of GBminers and Gainbitcoin, has offered “to pay back investors their initial investments in Indian rupees,” the Factor Daily reported Wednesday.

He has been accused of duping thousands of investors with promises of unrealistic returns on bitcoin investments. According to the news outlet, “dozens have filed police complaints in Pune, Mumbai, Nanded (Maharashtra), Kolkata, Delhi and others cities.” One of the victims was quoted as saying:

We want the returns in (today’s) cryptocurrency value and not the value of the cryptocurrency when we invested. Today, the bitcoin price is much higher than what it was when we invested. It is like Bhardwaj will keep the profits and just return the principal amount which is wrong.

Indian Bitcoin Ponzi Schemer Offers to Repay Initial Investments to VictimsSince the middle of 2015, more than Rs 1,000 crore (~US$146 million) is estimated to have been invested in the Bhardwaj-led Gainbitcoin empire, the publication detailed.

Citing that Zebpay, one of India’s largest crypto exchanges, was called in to help with the investigation, Inspector Jayram Paygude of the Pune Cyber Crime Cell explained to the publication:

Zebpay is the platform through which investment and sale of bitcoins were done in this case, which is why they were called for an enquiry.

Challenge Recovering Crypto

Indian Bitcoin Ponzi Schemer Offers to Repay Initial Investments to VictimsDuring an assembly session held last week, Nationalist Congress Party member Hemant Takle raised questions about the delay in recovering bitcoins “and the inability of the police to nab the remaining absconders in the case,” according to the news outlet. He also raised the question regarding the compensation that Bhardwaj’s victims will receive, pointing out the difference in the price of BTC now and at the time of their initial investments.

In response to Takle’s statement, Deepak Kesarkar, a member of the 13th Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, explained the difficulty in recovering some of the victims’ money which has been invested in bitcoin, stating:

Some of this amount is recovered by the police department through the e-wallets of these companies. The value of these digital currencies in the wallet will be recovered but it is difficult to recover the investment made in foreign companies.

Last week, the Indian state of Maharashtra announced that it is establishing a special unit to investigate all cases related to cryptocurrency, a move which follows the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India taking effect.

What do you think of Amit Bhardwaj offering to repay investors their initial investments? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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Eastern Europe: Regulation Postponed, Tax Abandoned, Banks Enlightened

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Eastern Europe: Regulation Postponed, Tax Abandoned, Banks Enlightened

Economy & Regulation

Eastern European nations have been following closely regulatory developments in the West to better understand where the wind is blowing before addressing the challenges presented by cryptocurrencies. This strategy has proved fruitless, however, as developed western countries, and international organizations, have not been able to come up with a unified approach towards regulating the crypto space. The weightlessness goes on.

Also read: US Ranked Top Destination for Coin Offerings, Majority of ICOs Identified as Scams

Russia Postpones Crypto Regulation

Eastern Europe: Regulation Postponed, Tax Abandoned, Banks EnlightenedThe adoption of the legislation meant to regulate the crypto industry in Russia has been delayed, despite President Putin’s July deadline for the legal framework. In the past weeks, Russian outlets have quoted officials expressing concerns that the draft laws introduced in the State Duma in March won’t be approved during the spring session. The three bills adopted on first reading in May were expected to pass a second vote before the parliament’s summer break.

According to Elina Sidorenko, head of the interdepartmental group assessing the risks associated with cryptocurrencies, the laws will be finalized after the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) develops its standards in the field, as reported. The news that the legislation will be postponed until the fall was confirmed by the chairman of the parliamentary Financial Market Committee, Anatoly Aksakov, who was quoted by RIA Novosti saying:

We don’t have time during the spring session […]. The technology is rather complicated, it is largely transboundary. So, taking into account its characteristics, we wouldn’t like to write down norms that wouldn’t work. The documents will be ready by early fall. We expect the second and third reading in September.

“All this is just new for us and requires deep immersion into the features of this new technology and these new tools. Accordingly, time is needed to produce competent legal documents,” the Russian lawmaker added. As a result, the legal status of cryptocurrencies, mining, and crowdfunding in Russia remains undetermined.

Bulgaria’s Financial Regulator to Monitor the Crypto Sector

Eastern Europe: Regulation Postponed, Tax Abandoned, Banks EnlightenedBulgaria, one of those EU member-states that await a pan-European decision on cryptocurrencies, has not made any significant progress towards regulating the crypto space, if we don’t count a clarification notice on crypto taxation issued by the National Revenue Service some time ago. However, the recent activity in Brussels, including the adoption of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive which entered into force last week, has provided enough stimulus for authorities in Sofia to do something.

The Bulgarian Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) adopted a “Strategy to Monitor Financial Technologies (Fintech) in the Non-Banking Financial Sector” (2018 – 2020). The document provides basic definitions of terms like crypto-assets, virtual currency, smart contract, blockchain technology, initial coin offering, and other.

The paper also calls for defining the requirements for a licensing or registration regime for companies offering “financially innovative products, services, and technologies,” and analyzes the need for regulations governing the outsourcing activities in the industry. The strategy speaks about setting up innovation hubs and sandboxes, as well as introducing mechanisms to manage the risks arising from innovations in the nonbanking sector.

Crypto Tax Break Introduced in Poland

Eastern Europe: Regulation Postponed, Tax Abandoned, Banks EnlightenedPoland, which is also wondering what to do with cryptocurrencies, decided in May to temporarily freeze its plans to tax all crypto transactions. Earlier this year, the Polish Ministry of Finance announced it would impose the “Civil Law Transactions Tax” (PCC) on all purchases and sales of cryptocurrency in the country. This meant that the crypto holdings of a Polish trader could potentially melt down to zero because of the 1% tax levied at each transaction, regardless of its profitability. Regulators decided to abandon the idea until they figure out how to comprehensively regulate the sector.

The Finance Ministry decree introducing the yearlong tax break for crypto transactions entered into force on July 13. According to representatives of the Polish crypto community, the measure will normalize the situation around the taxation of crypto incomes and profits. The controversy arose from a decision by the Polish Supreme Administrative Court in March that classified cryptocurrencies as property rights, Kryptowaluty reported. As a result, the trading of cryptocurrencies under a sales or an exchange agreement was deemed to be subject to the PCC tax.

Bank Clampdown Provokes Reaction in Slovakia

Banks in Slovakia have been closing accounts belonging to crypto businesses and investors since June. According to local media, the private financial institutions have been acting on instructions from the state regulators. It’s been reported that the central bank in Bratislava has secretly sent letters to the country’s commercial banks asking them to quit providing services to crypto companies and individuals dealing in cryptocurrency.

The hostile attitude of the traditional financial system provoked a sharp reaction from the Slovak crypto community. A video uploaded on Youtube this month shows activists projecting a Bitcoin logo on the facades of major financial institutions in Bratislava, including the National Bank of Slovakia, commercial banks and payment services providers. The clip is titled “(En)light(enment) to banks”. The “Paralelná Polis” crypto association is behind the protest action against the unfair treatment of crypto businesses.

What do you think about all these crypto-related developments in Eastern Europe? Let us know in the comments section below.

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How Coinmarketcap Incentivizes Exchanges to Report Fake Volume

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How Coinmarketcap Incentivizes Exchanges to Report Fake Volume


Bitforex, a cryptocurrency exchange that scarcely scraped the top 100 by trading volume until recently, has been accused of generating false trades on a mammoth scale. Crypto Exchange Ranks, which pulls in open source data from exchange APIs, has published a report in which it accuses Bitforex of creating fake volume and Coinmarketcap (CMC) of being complicit in the scam.

Also read: Powerful Cryptocurrency Firms on the Road Towards Becoming Banks

Bitforex, Coinmarketcap and the Case of the Fake Volume

How Coinmarketcap Incentivizes Exchanges to Report Fake Volume
Everything about Bitforex looks off – including its logo

Fake trading volume, defined as buy and sell orders designed to artificially create the impression of demand, are a running motif in the cryptocurrency world. For as long as anyone can remember, various exchanges have been accused of wash trading and inflating their volume. It’s the equivalent of a half-empty airliner placing its passengers in window seats to give the impression that the plane is full. Creating fake volume may sound like a relatively minor transgression, but it can have major ramifications for traders.

“Cooking the books” by falsifying activity lures traders into signing up for an exchange that may be untrustworthy, insecure, and far less liquid than it looks. Any exchange that is willing to create false volume may have few qualms about committing more egregious crimes against its users. Until recently, Bitforex was a little-known exchange, languishing around 70th in the world by trade volume. It now stands at 12th according to data provided by Coinmarketcap, with 24-hour volume of $227 million.

How Coinmarketcap Incentivizes Exchanges to Report Fake Volume

Crypto Exchange Ranks calls out Bitforex

In a detailed and compelling blog post, Crypto Exchange Ranks outlines its case for Bitforex having generated fake volume. Aside from the fact that Bitforex’ trade volume has multiplied by almost 100x in recent weeks, and now stands at more than 10x that of established exchanges like Kraken and Kucoin, there’s its modest social media presence that includes less than 2,000 Twitter followers. The Singapore-based exchange does have 65,000 Telegram followers, but much of this can be attributed to the usual spate of bots coupled with airdrop token chasers.

How Coinmarketcap Incentivizes Exchanges to Report Fake Volume
Bitforex’ claimed trade volume according to its website

Bitforex claims in its Twitter bio to be licensed in the EU, but there is no evidence to support this; in fact its website states that the platform is licensed in the Seychelles and Philippines. The site also includes such bold claims as having 1.8 million users, to be attracting 15,000 new users a day, and to have amassed $1.5 billion of trade volume, taking it as high as number five on Coinmarketcap’s exchange rankings.

Bit Who?

Crypto Exchange Ranks isn’t buying Bitforex’ claims, writing “We see that the number of UU [unique users] of BitForex is 29K. In turn, Kucoin has 889K unique users. Kraken has 666K unique users. KuCoin’s number of UU is 30 times higher than that of BitForex, Kraken’s number of UU is higher by 23 times.” It concludes:

As we have already discovered through SimilarWeb, the exchange receives the bulk of the new traffic through the referral source — CoinMarketCap; thus, the platform immediately attracts attention. Here’s the explanation: creating and implementing marketing and communication strategies and building a community in an organic way is more expensive than forging trade volumes.

While CMC is unlikely to be abetting Bitforex, in publishing the exchange’s figures without question, it is unwittingly complicit in the deception. Other crypto comparison sites have been less eager to report the sort of inflated figures produced by the likes of Bitforex, regardless of what the data pulled by API might say. With its shoddy web design, poor English, and almost certain fake volume, Bitforex does not inspire confidence. But until Coinmarketcap makes a stand against blatantly falsified volume, exchanges will be incentivized to cheat the system and lure in gullible traders eager to try out the next big platform.

Do you think Bitforex’ trading volume is real? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinmarketcap, and Bitforex.

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China Round-Up: Bitmain, Canaan and Ebang Receive ‘Unicorn’ Valuations, Number of DLT Companies Explodes

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China Round-Up: Bitmain, Canaan and Ebang Recieve ‘Unicorn’ Valuations, Number of Chinese DLT Companies Explodes


In recent cryptocurrency news from China, three cryptocurrency mining hardware manufacturers have been valued at more than $1 billion USD, Bitmain has supported the launch of a research center for digital financial assets at Tsinghua University, and more than 3,000 companies were found to have registered blockchain-themed business names during the first half of 2018.

Also Read:Powerful Cryptocurrency Firms on the Road Towards Becoming Banks

Bitmain, Canaan Creative, and Ebang Ranked as Chinese ‘Unicorns’

China Round-Up: Bitmain, Canaan and Ebang Recieve ‘Unicorn’ Valuations, Number of Chinese DLT Companies ExplodesShanghai-based Hurun Research Institute has published its Q2 Unicorn Index for the Greater China region, which features cryptocurrencies companies for the first time.

Bitmain is ranked 13th on the list, with Hurun valuing the company to be worth 70 billion yuan ($10.3 billion USD approximately). Canaan Creative also holds a significant position on the list, sitting at 32nd (tied with 20 other companies) with a valuation of roughly 20.34 billion yuan (approximately $3 billion USD). Ebang ranks 53rd alongside 38 other companies with an approximated valuation of 10.17 billion yuan (roughly $1.5 billion USD). All three companies recently indicated their desire to conduct initial public offerings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in the coming months.

Bitmain Backs Launch of Digital Asset Research Center at Tsinghua University

China Round-Up: Bitmain, Canaan and Ebang Recieve ‘Unicorn’ Valuations, Number of Chinese DLT Companies ExplodesThe Tsinghua School of Economics and Management has launched a “digital asset research center”, with reports asserting that donations from Bitmain were instrumental in leading to the establishment of the center.

Bitmain has ties with a number of leading Chinese universities, including Tsinghua University. Bitmain has provided sponsorship to the Tsinghua supercomputing team since 2016.

Bitmain also recently revealed that it plans to expand its development center in Israel. The expansion is expected to more than triple the number of Bitmain employees currently located at the facility (15), with the company indicating that it expects to recruit more than 40 additional employees to work at the center.

Over 3,000 Chinese Businesses Register Blockchain-Related Names in First Half of 2018

China Round-Up: Bitmain, Canaan and Ebang Recieve ‘Unicorn’ Valuations, Number of Chinese DLT Companies ExplodesSouth China Morning Post has reported that the number of companies that have registered names including the word ‘blockchain’ between January and July 16th of this year has increased by 500% when compared with the entirety of 2017.

As of July 16th, 3,078 companies had registered names containing the term “qukualian” (the Chinese translation of ‘blockchain’) during 2018, bringing the total number of firms with distributed ledger technology-themed names in China to more than 4,000. By contrast, it is estimated that 817 U.S.-registered firms include the term ‘blockchain’ in their name, with 335 companies donning similar names in the U.K.

Earlier this year, it was reported that Shenzhen Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange were moving to crack down on the practice of companies seeking to cash in on the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology. In March, China Money Network reported that “More than 20 listed companies have been questioned by the Shenzhen and Shanghai exchanges about their suspicious speculation on blockchain.”

Do you feel that China will continue to bolster its blockchain industry whilst seeking to restrict access to cryptocurrencies? Join the discussion in the comments section below!

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Mastercard Patents a Method to Manage Cryptocurrency “Fractional Reserves”

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Mastercard Patents a Method to Manage Cryptocurrency


Mastercard has patented a method to manage cryptocurrency “fractional reserves”. The big idea behind it seems to be that users will be able to pay with fiat on credit cards partly backed by crypto assets using a centralized system offering faster transaction conformation speeds.

Also Read: IBM Backs the Development of Latest New Stablecoin, Stronghold USD

Cryptocurrency “Fractional Reserves”

Mastercard Patents a Method to Manage Cryptocurrency "Fractional Reserves”Credit card giant Mastercard (NYSE: MA) was granted a patent for a “Method and system for linkage of blockchain-based assets to fiat currency accounts.” A disclosure from the US Patent and Trademark Office explains it relates specifically to the use of centralized accounts to manage fractional reserves of fiat and blockchain currency updated via transaction messages corresponding to fiat- and blockchain-based payment transactions.

Explaining the need for the patent, the document states that, “blockchain currencies have seen increased usage over traditional fiat currencies by consumers who value anonymity and security. Cryptocurrencies offer consumers a currency that is decentralized and relatively anonymous and secure in its use.” And, such transactions “may be highly desirable for consumers that wish to maintain their privacy, and may help reduce the likelihood of fraud due to theft of their information.”

However, “it often takes a significant amount of time, around ten minutes, for a blockchain-based transaction to be processed, due to the computer processing time and resources required to verify and update the blockchain.” In addition, “it can be difficult for consumers to adopt, or even understand, blockchain currencies,” and if a “wallet is lost, discarded, or stolen, the associated currency often cannot be recovered by the rightful owner.” Thus it concludes that, “there is a need to improve on the storage and processing of transactions that utilize blockchain currencies.”

Mastercard to Really Incorporate Crypto?

Mastercard Patents a Method to Manage Cryptocurrency "Fractional Reserves”Mastercard has already acquired a lot of cryptocurrency-related patents before this. However, it does not seem to be planning to utilize the technology as no actual product or service have been developed. Asked about this, Mastercard senior vice president Seth Eisen explained to CNBC that, “We’re consistently looking at ways to bring new thinking and new innovations to market to create value for us and our customers and cardholders. Patent applications are part of that process, taking steps to protect the company’s intellectual property, whether or not the idea ever comes to market.”

In fact, reports from earlier this year indicated that the company would only agree to facilitate fully-regulated, central bank-issued, non-anonymous coins. “If governments look to create national digital currency we’d be very happy to look at those in a more favorable way,” Ari Sarker, co-president of Mastercard’s Asia-Pacific business, said back in March. “So long as it’s backed by a regulator and the value …it is not anonymous, it is meeting all the regulatory requirements, I think that would be of greater interest for us to explore.”

Is Mastercard really looking to become part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem or is it just hoarding patents for future legal battles? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from

Powerful Cryptocurrency Firms on the Road Towards Becoming Banks

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Powerful Cryptocurrency Firms on the Road Towards Becoming Banks


When bitcoin came out, supporters believed that the decentralized cryptocurrency would decimate the banking industry. Years later, as digital currencies became more mainstream, these networks were suddenly commanding billion dollar valuations. Meanwhile, cryptocurrency exchanges, brokerage services, and over-the-counter market makers have started to look into purchasing shares of banks and even becoming the banks themselves.

Also read: Blackrock Probes Market, Coinbase to List Securities, Bitpay Gets a Bitlicense  

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them

A lot has changed since the Bitcoin network was launched back in 2009 when the cryptocurrency was a tiny little network with just a few users. Now there are over 1600+ digital assets and the entire cryptocurrency market capitalization of all of them combined is valued at $294Bn USD. Back in the early days, incumbent financial institutions scoffed at cryptocurrencies but now it’s pretty hard for them to ignore the massive economy growing around them.

These days some of the exchanges and market makers are becoming incredibly large and dealing with very large quantities of money. Moreover, a few businesses and cryptocurrency exchanges look like they are adopting a different kind of attitude — ‘If you can’t beat them, join them,’ by either attempting to become banks or purchasing shares of these financial institutions.

The San Francisco Unicorn Coinbase Looks Into a Federal Banking Charter

Powerful Cryptocurrency Firms on the Road Towards Becoming BanksFor instance, the unicorn cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has been a digital asset heavyweight since the early days and the firm continues to make more money while expanding its services. There are those that believe Coinbase will someday become a fairly large sized ‘bitcoin bank’ with its 20Mn users that have traded $150Bn USD worth of digital assets since the company’s inception. Back in May, the public found out that the San Francisco exchange was recently exploring a federal banking charter, other banking licenses, and had been meeting with U.S. regulators.

Reports had detailed that Coinbase had been visiting officials at the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in early 2018. The largest U.S. exchange by volume didn’t comment on the firm’s meeting with the OCC but made a general statement about dealing closely with government officials so they are sure they have the proper licenses. A federal banking charter would allow Coinbase to offer a plethora of banking features.

Binance to Launch a ‘Decentralized Community Owned Bank’

Powerful Cryptocurrency Firms on the Road Towards Becoming BanksAnother extremely large international cryptocurrency trading platform, Binance, has become one of the largest exchanges in the world and just recently the firm purchased a 5 percent stake in a financial institution called Founders Bank. Binance says the bank based in Malta will utilize cryptocurrency tokens and distributed ledger technology. The Office of the Prime Minister of Malta’s junior minister for financial services, digital economy, and innovation, Silvio Schembri, stated during the bank announcement, “We are honored to be chosen as the location of the first global community-owned bank.”

Binance and the Founders Bank are attempting to get a license in the EU so they can operate under the correct regulatory statutes. The firm explains that token investors will have ownership over the bank and Changpeng Zhao, Binance’s CEO, believes Malta could wind up being a hotspot for this type of financial technology.

Malta is the fusion ground for traditional and blockchain finance now.  A lot can happen in 3 short months,” Zhao explained to his Twitter followers.

Powerful Cryptocurrency Firms on the Road Towards Becoming Banks

Litecoin Foundation Acquires 10 Percent Stake in German Bank

A few days before the Binance announcement, the Litecoin Foundation revealed the organization and the firm Tokenpay had purchased 9.9 percent stake in WEG Bank AG. The goal is similar to the Binance – Founders Bank roadmap, as the German WEG Bank AG, the Litecoin Foundation, and Tokenpay will offer blockchain and cryptocurrency solutions to customers. The creator of the cryptocurrency litecoin (LTC) and the managing director of the Litecoin Foundation, Charlie Lee, explains LTC will be utilized in the deal. “I’m looking forward to integrating Litecoin with the WEG Bank AG and all the various services it has to offer, to make it simple for anyone to buy and use Litecoin,” Lee stated on July 10.

Lee divulges further on July 17, on the Reddit forum r/litecoin:

People have brought up valid concerns that we still need to work with and be approved by players in the current financial systems like Visa and SWIFT, but we definitely have a much higher chance of succeeding now that we own a stake in a bank with bank licenses.

Is the Age of Cryptocurrency Banks Coming?  

There are many other firms who are growing exponentially in size due to the popularity of cryptocurrencies these days and many of these companies move a lot of money. The cryptocurrency firm Xapo is a good example as the company claims to store roughly $10Bn USD worth of digital assets across five different continents. Another unicorn cryptocurrency firm, Circle Internet Financial Ltd., also wants a federal charter so it can provide more types of banking services. The Boston-based firm is also working with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in order to sell tokens. With all the bank purchasing and federal charter attempts, the question remains — Will these cryptocurrency banks decimate the current financial incumbents or become them?

What do you think about these businesses exploring becoming banks or purchasing a stake in these financial institutions? Let us know what you think about this subject matter in the comment section below.

Images via Shutterstock, Coinbase, Binance, Litecoin, and Pixabay.

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Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Valuations Gain Billions in One Day

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Markets Update: Cryptocurrency Valuations Gain Billions in One Day

Market Updates

Two days ago, cryptocurrency bulls were attempting to break strong resistance and managed to push digital asset values to much higher price regions. The price of bitcoin core (BTC) was averaging $6,740 per BTC during the early morning trading sessions on July 17, then the digital currency spiked to $7,300 a few hours later. Then again, BTC touched a high of $7,546 gaining over $800 over the course of the day. Digital currency prices, in general, followed BTC’s path as most of the top cryptocurrencies gained 10-20 percent in 24-hours.

Also read: Bitcoin ABC Developers Publish Bitcoin Cash Upgrade Timeline 

Crypto-Bulls Return But Will They Run Out of Steam?

The crypto-bulls are back, at least for time being, bringing most of the top digital assets back into the green after months of bearish sentiment. Most of the digital currencies are seeing gains between 10-20 percent but some coins like Stellar are up well over 30 percent today. The overall market capitalization of all 1600+ assets on July 18, is hovering around $296Bn with 24-hour trade volume around $20Bn. Cryptocurrency trade volumes across the boards have spiked considerably since our last markets update two days ago.

Bitcoin Core (BTC) Markets

Bitcoin core (BTC) market action has seen 24-hour trade volume jump from $4.4Bn on Monday to $6.6Bn today. Currently, BTC/USD is valued at approximately $7,435 per BTC. At the time of publication, the entire BTC market valuation is roughly $127Bn and BTC commands the top trade volume out of all the top markets. The top exchanges swapping the most bitcoin core today include Bitflyer, Coinbene, Bitfinex, Binance, and Fcoin. The Japanese yen is the most traded pair today with BTC capturing 54 percent of global trades. This is followed by tether (USDT 26.5%), USD (13.6%), EUR (2%), and the KRW (1.4%). Bitcoin dominance among the entire list of market capitalizations is approximately 43 percent at the time of publication.

BTC/USD Technical Indicators

Looking at the daily, 30-minute, and 4-hour BTC/USD charts on Bitstamp and Coinbase shows BTC reversed trends after completing an inverse head & shoulders pattern. Right now, looking at the two Simple Moving Averages (SMA), the short term 100 SMA is now well above the 200 SMA trendline. This gap indicates the path of least resistance is toward the upside for the time being. The MACd looks maxed out and may head southbound while the Relative Strength Index (RSI) is hovering above 86 showing overbought conditions. With this being said, a jump to the $8K region may not be in the cards, at least for today. Order books show resistance is strong between $7600 to $8K so BTC bulls will have to overtake this area. On the backside, if bears took control, which seems unlikely, there is strong foundational support all the way back to $6,400.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Markets

Bitcoin cash (BCH) markets are also doing very well this Wednesday as the currency now captures a $14.5Bn market capitalization. Trade volume for BCH has increased since our last report as well by doubling to $794Mn over the last 24-hours. The top exchanges by BCH trade volume today include Okex, Binance, Bitfinex, Coinex, and Bigone. The top currency swapped with BCH on July 18 is tether (USDT) at 42.6 percent. Following tether is BTC (27.5%), USD (17.5%), KRW (3.5%), and ETH (2.5%). Bitcoin cash holds the fifth highest trade volumes today on global exchanges.

BCH/USD Technical Indicators

Right now, looking at BCH/USD daily, 30-minute, and 4-hour charts on Bitfinex and Bitstamp shows BCH has a price average of around $869 per coin. Just like two days ago, the SMA trendlines show the long-term 200 SMA is still above the 100 SMA indicating the path to least resistance is towards the downside. However, this gap is shrinking and it looks like the two will cross hairs soon. MACd touched a high and is heading southbound at the moment and BCH RSI levels are around 73 right now. This means conditions are overbought but not as much as the BTC/USD charts. Order books are large on both sides and BCH bulls need to muster up the strength to surpass the current vantage point to $925, after that they will face less resistance. Looking at the buy side shows some solid foundations between now and the $740 zone.

The Verdict: Steady Flow of Market Optimism

Overall, things are looking good for cryptocurrency markets but prices may retract in the short term so bulls can gather more steam and keep the upward momentum going strong. Other digital currency markets that have done significantly better than BTC and BCH include EOS, XLM, ADA, and Doge. The infamous dog-meme cryptocurrency is up 60 percent over the past seven days and 32 percent over the past 24 hours.

The verdict this week shows a steady flow of optimism stemming from cryptocurrency proponents and traders. A good portion of traders on social media channels believe brighter days are ahead and the bullish reversal will continue at least up until the bitcoin-based ETF decision in August.    

Where do you see the price of BCH, BTC, and other coins headed from here? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”

Images via Shutterstock, Trading View, and Satoshi Pulse.

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Robin Hood Movie and Robinhood App Hold $50k Crypto Scavenger Hunt at Comic-Con

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Robin Hood Movie and Robinhood App Hold $50k Crypto Scavenger Hunt at Comic-Con


Lionsgate studio and Robinhood app have teamed up to give away $50,000 in a crypto scavenger hunt at the San Diego Comic-Con this week. This is to promote the studio’s upcoming Robin Hood movie. Attendees will search for coins, redeemable for $50, $500, $1,000, and $5,000, which can then be invested in cryptocurrencies during the convention.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Crypto Scavenger Hunt

Robin Hood Movie and Robinhood App Hold $50k Crypto Scavenger Hunt at Comic-ConFor its upcoming movie Robin Hood, Lionsgate studio has announced a partnership with Robinhood investment app for a crypto scavenger hunt entitled Crypto Power To The People. It will take place at the San Diego Comic-Con between July 19 and 22.

Robin Hood Movie and Robinhood App Hold $50k Crypto Scavenger Hunt at Comic-ConComic-Con is an annual event for fans of fantasy, anime, comics, and other arts. There are over 30 Comic-Con conventions throughout the U.S. but the biggest one is in San Diego. In 2016, over 135,000 people attended the event according to Fortune.

For the crypto scavenger hunt, Collider publication describes:

Attendees will search for coins redeemable for $50, $500, $1,000, or $5,000, which they can use to invest in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or ethereum over a three day period, July 19-21.

Robin Hood Movie and Robinhood App Hold $50k Crypto Scavenger Hunt at Comic-Con

Robin Hood and Robinhood

Lionsgate Executive Vice President of Worldwide Digital Marketing Danielle Depalma and Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships and Promotions Paula Kupfer said in a joint statement, as quoted by the news outlet:

We’re thrilled to partner with Robinhood to utilize state-of-the-art technology as a unique way to engage Robin Hood fans. In the spirit of the legendary hero, this collaboration gives back to the community through initiatives that parallel the high-octane adventures in our Robin Hood movie.

Robin Hood Movie and Robinhood App Hold $50k Crypto Scavenger Hunt at Comic-ConRobinhood, the popular trading app with a modernized layout aimed at younger investors, was recently valued at $5.6 billion. Customers can now use the app to buy and sell BTC, ETH, LTC, and BCH, alongside traditional investments.

The app is currently available in 17 U.S. states: AZ, CA, CO, FL, IN, MA, MI, MS, MO, MT, NJ, NM, PA, TX, UT, VA, and WI. “We also plan to further expand our coin offerings and add support for coin transfers,” the company wrote.

In addition, the platform offers market data and price alerts for 16 coins. According to its website, they are “bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, bitcoin cash, ripple, ethereum classic, zcash, monero, dash, stellar, qtum, bitcoin gold, omisego, neo, lisk, and dogecoin.”

In the new Robin Hood movie, Robin of Loxley, played by Taron Egerton, is a crusader that returns to lead a revolt against the corrupt English crown with his Moorish commander, played by Jamie Foxx.

With the crypto scavenger hunt announcement, Lionsgate studio has also released the first official Robin Hood trailer. The movie will hit theaters with a busy pre-Thanksgiving weekend release date of November 21.

What do you think of Lionsgate teaming up with Robinhood app for a crypto scavenger hunt at Comic-Con? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Robinhood app, and Lionsgate.

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The Daily: Report Sees UK as Crypto Leader, Jersey Adopts ICO Rules

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The Daily: Report Sees UK as Crypto Leader, Jersey Adopts ICO Rules

The Daily

The United Kingdom has what it takes to become a true leader in the crypto space, according to a new report covered in today’s Bitcoin in Brief. Also in The Daily, the British Crown dependency of Jersey has adopted new requirements for ICO projects to better protect participating investors, Malta now has a two-way bitcoin ATM, and Hong Kong has been promised thousands of crypto payment terminals.   

Also read: Blackrock Probes Market, Coinbase to List Securities, Bitpay Gets a Bitlicense

Britain Set To Become Crypto Economy Leader, Report

The Daily: Report Sees UK as Crypto Leader, Jersey Adopts ICO RulesThe United Kingdom is in a good position to be a leader in the crypto economy and the implementation of blockchain technologies, according to a new report quoted by the British press. Britain has all the required resources, the authors claim, as well as industrial and governmental will to become a global hub for the technology by 2022. The analysis has been conducted by Big Innovation Centre, DAG Global and Deep Knowledge Analytics.

The gap between the traditional financial system and the crypto economy in the UK will close, DAG Global CEO Sean Kiernan believes. “The UK is a major global financial hub and in recent years has become a fintech leader as well. At the same time, it is starting to demonstrate significant potential to become a leader in blockchain technologies and the crypto economy,” he said, quoted by The Guardian.

The research, carried out in coordination with the parliamentary group on blockchain, has taken into consideration the £500m (~650 million) worth of investments into UK blockchain companies made in 2017-18 to conclude that the United Kingdom has the potential to become a world leader in the digital and crypto ecosystem within the next few years. “We are still at the early stages of the blockchain industry’s development and the huge impact it undoubtedly will have in Britain and globally,” said Birgitte Andersen, chief executive of Big Innovation Centre.

Jersey Introduces Requirements for ICO Projects

The Financial regulator of Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, has taken measures to protect investors participating in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). In a guidance note released this month, the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) provides basic definitions of cryptocurrencies, digital tokens, and token sales. It recognizes that their use “has risen dramatically” but also warns about the associated risks like high levels of price volatility, loss of funds through cyber-attacks, the high number of scams and pump-and-dump schemes.

Nevertheless, the JFSC states that most ICOs are unlikely to be regulated. Instead, the Commission places some conditions on the issuers of coins under the Island’s statutory instrument governing capital raising, the Control of Borrowing Order, noting for instance that a consent from the JFSC is required to establish a Jersey company. In granting such consent, regulators say, the JFSC may choose to impose certain conditions on the respective entity. Jersey-based ICO issuers are also required to be incorporated as a Jersey company and administered through a trust and company service provider licensed by the JFSC under the Financial Services Law.

The Daily: Report Sees UK as Crypto Leader, Jersey Adopts ICO Rules

The Commission classifies digital coins in two major categories – security and non-security tokens. The latter have been divided into “utility token” – “a usage right or the right to access a product or service”, and “cryptocurrency token […] designed to behave like a currency, being a store of value and medium of exchange.”

The document also lists a number of requirements that apply to ICO issuers and describes certain procedures and processes that should be followed in order to mitigate and manage the risks for retail investors. Companies are expected to apply anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures as well as inform investors about the risks.

In recent years, the British Crown dependency, situated off the French coast of Normandy, has attracted many startups from the crypto space. In the summer of 2015, the Government of Jersey releasedconsultation paper on cryptocurrencies, becoming one of the first jurisdiction in Europe to address the regulatory challenges in the fintech industry.

Malta Acquires Two-Way Crypto ATM

Malta, another crypto-friendly European destination, has reportedly acquired its first two-way automated teller machine exchanging cryptocurrency with fiat. Last week, a company called Moon Zebra launched the ATM located at the Quicklets offices, on Tower Road in Sliema. It operates Monday through Friday, 9 am – 6:30 pm.

The Daily: Report Sees UK as Crypto Leader, Jersey Adopts ICO RulesThe new BATM offers users the opportunity to buy and sell two cryptocurrencies, bitcoin (BTC) and litecoin (LTC). Moon Zebra claims this is the first device offering two-way transactions with cash. Another teller machine supporting purchases of cryptocurrency strangely disappeared last year. According to Coinatmradar, two other devices are also operational not far from Moon Zebra’s ATM, but both are buy only machines. One of them offers BTC, and the other supports BTC and LTC purchases.

The launch of the new BATM comes after the island nation took another step towards becoming one of the most crypto-friendly nations in Europe. Recently, the parliament in Valletta adopted three laws designed to introduce clear regulations for the country’s growing crypto industry. It’s been reported that the largest crypto exchange by trade volume, Binance, is considering a project to launch a “decentralized bank” in Malta. The favorable business climate has attracted other large crypto businesses to the island, including the Chinese exchange Okex and the Polish Bitbay.

Hong Kong Promised 5,500 Crypto POS Terminals

The Daily: Report Sees UK as Crypto Leader, Jersey Adopts ICO RulesThe Indonesian startup Pundi X is working to build a network of 5,500 POS terminals in Hong Kong supporting payments in a number of cryptocurrencies, the South China Morning Post reported. The devices will be able to connect not only to crypto wallets but also with other traditional payment methods like Visa, MasterCard, and Apple Pay.

According to Pundi X CEO, Zac Cheah, Hong Kong is the ideal place to test the payment network. His company has ambitious plans to introduce up to 100,000 crypto POS terminals in Southeast Asia by 2021. Recently, a chain of restaurants in Hong Kong installed crypto point-of-sale devices in partnership with the Indonesian startup. Pundi X claims that in the last six months 25,000 of its terminals have been ordered by businesses in Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Switzerland.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Eurostat, CIA World Factbook, Index Mundi.

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IBM Backs the Development of Latest New Stablecoin, Stronghold USD

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IBM Backs the Development of Latest New Stablecoin, Stronghold USD


It seems like a new alternative for Tether (USDT) pops up at least once a week recently. And the latest stablecoin to hit the market involves an interesting supporter, computer technology giant IBM. Stronghold USD is said to be backed one-to-one by fiat US dollars held at the company’s partner bank, Prime Trust.

Also Read: Malta-Based Company Launches New Euro Backed Stablecoin, EURS

Stronghold USD

IBM Backs the Development of Latest New Stablecoin, Stronghold USDStronghold, a trading platform built on Stellar which recently raised $3.3 million from Freestyle Capital, has launched a new stablecoin called ‘Stronghold USD’. The token is promised to be backed one-to-one by fiat US dollars, with reserves held by Las Vegas-based Prime Trust – the same state-chartered bank as competing stablecoin TrueUSD. The company also announced a collaboration with IBM to explore uses for the token within business networks on the IBM Blockchain Platform.

“The process for seamlessly managing and trading assets of any form from digital to traditional currencies, needs to evolve as financial institutions are seeking ways to break into new asset classes like cryptocurrencies,” said co-founder and CTO, Sean Bennett. “Asset-backed tokens can provide seamless access to all currencies, improving the global movement of money. We’re honored to work with IBM to explore new ways to use Stronghold USD within.”

That being said, don’t expect to be able to switch over from Tether so fast by yourself. The company states that Stronghold USD are pre-approved tokens that are solely designed as a B2B solution for financial institutions, multinational corporations, and asset managers. So the stablecoin is not available for retail customers yet, but it may become available sometime in the coming months.

IBM Blockchain Development

IBM Backs the Development of Latest New Stablecoin, Stronghold USD“The digitization of real-world assets using blockchain can dramatically transform many forms of financial transactions conducted around the world,” said Jesse Lund, global vice president of IBM Blockchain. “New types of fiat-backed instruments, like Stronghold’s USD token, have the potential to improve the backbone of international banking operations and payments, giving banks an easier way to integrate with public blockchain networks without significant changes to their core banking and compliance infrastructure.”

In general, IBM seems poised to not let the new technology leave it behind in any field. The company announced on Tuesday that it partnered with Columbia University to launch a new center devoted to research, education, and innovation at the New York-based academic institution. The Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency is said to combine cross-disciplinary teams of scientists, business people and government experts to explore issues related to the use of digital data with blockchain. It will focus on technologies such as secure multi-party computation, homomorphic encryption, secure hardware, and fraud reduction.

Is the flood of new stablecoins good for the cryptocurrency ecosystem? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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