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Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, EOS, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, TRON, Stellar, Binance Coin, Bitcoin SV: Price Analysis, February 18

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

CNBC commentator and CEO of digital currency investment firm BKCM LLC, Brian Kelly, believes that, “Bitcoin is about 50 percent undervalued.” However, just because it is undervalued is not a good enough reason for it to move up. Kelly opines that due to extreme negative sentiment, he will not be surprised even if Bitcoin drops to $1,500.

While it is difficult to predict where the current bear market will bottom out, various experts believe that the next bull run will be a strong one. Zhu Fa, the co-founder of Poolin, a Chinese-based crypto mining pool, is extremely ambitious as he expects Bitcoin to reach $738,000 during the next bull phase. However, he also warns that the next bull run might be the last.

Though astronomical price targets look enticing, we are currently looking for fundamental developments to carry crypto prices out of the bear market. Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten is likely to integrate crypto payments in its mobile app that will be released on March 18. If this happens, it will be a welcome step in bringing crypto closer to mass adoption.  

There have been a few recovery attempts in the past few months but they have not sustained. Will the current recovery signal a bottom? Let’s look at the charts to find out.

BTC/USD

Unlike previous occasions, the tight range in Bitcoin (BTC) has resolved to the upside. Currently, the price is attempting to break out of the downtrend line, which has been a stiff resistance since the end November 2018. A break out of this resistance will indicate strength and attract buyers.

Traders can wait for a close (UTC time frame) above the downtrend line and buy 30 percent of their desired allocation. The stop loss can be kept just below the lows at $3,200. The next level to watch on the upside is $4,255.

A breakout above $4,255 will complete a double bottom pattern, that has a target objective of $5,273.91. Traders can add the remaining 70 percent position on a breakout and close above $4,255.

Contrary to our expectation, if the bears defend the overhead resistance of $4,255, the BTC/USD pair will remain range bound for a few more days. Our bullish view will be invalidated if the pair turns down and plunges below $3,236.09.

ETH/USD

Ethereum (ETH) broke out of the overhead resistance at $134.50 on Feb. 17 and has soared higher. Its next target is $167.32. Traders who have long positions can trail half of their stops closely so as to protect about 75 percent of paper gains. The remaining position can be held with the stop at the breakeven. We do not recommend booking complete profits because we anticipate a move to $167.32 and higher. Hence, we will give some wiggle room for half of the positions.

The 20-day EMA is gradually sloping higher and the RSI has reached the overbought zone. This shows that the bulls are in command. The pair is in the early stage of forming an ascending triangle pattern. Our bullish view will be negated if the ETH/USD pair turns down from the current levels and plunges back below $134.50.

XRP/USD

Ripple (XRP) has broken out of the 20-day EMA and the 50-day SMA, which is a positive sign. It can now move up to $0.33108. The price has stayed below $0.33108 since Jan. 10 of this year. Hence, a break out of this level signifies bullishness. Traders can enter long positions on a breakout and close (UTC time frame) above $0.33108. The stop loss can be kept at $0.275. The target objective of this trade is $0.40 and higher.

Contrary to our assumption, if the XRP/USD pair turns down from the overhead resistance, it might remain range bound for a few days. The downtrend will resume on a breakdown of critical zone of $0.27795 and $0.24508. The flattening moving averages and the RSI close to 50 point to a consolidation in the near term.

EOS/USD

EOS has broken out of the overhead resistance zone of $3.05–$3.2081. Its next target objective is $3.8723 and above it $4.4930. The gradual up-sloping 20-day EMA and the RSI in the overbought zone shows that bulls have the upper hand. Traders who are long can protect half of their positions with a tight stop and trail the rest with a stop at $2.50.

We anticipate some resistance at $3.8723 but it is likely to be scaled. The target objective on the EOS/USD pair remains at $4.4930.

Our bullish assumption will be invalidated if the bears reverse direction sharply and push the price back below $3.2081.

LTC/USD

After inching higher for the past three days, Litecoin (LTC) finally broke out of the overhead resistance at $47.2460. If the bulls sustain the breakout, the next target is $56.910. The uptrending moving averages and the RSI close to overbought territory shows that the path of least resistance is to the upside.

Nonetheless, if the bulls fail to sustain above $47.2460, the traders can book partial profits on their long positions and raise the stop loss on the rest to $40. A break below this level can result in a fall to $35 and lower. The LTC/USD pair will turn bearish if it breaks down from the critical support at $27.701.

BCH/USD

After staying close to $121 for the past six days, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has started its journey northwards. It is currently facing some resistance at $141.

However, after breaking out of $141, we expect it to pick up momentum. Therefore, traders can buy on a close (UTC time frame) above $141 and keep the stop loss below the recent lows of $116. The first level to watch on the upside is $163, above which the up move can extend to $175. The BCH/USD pair might consolidate or correct closer to $175. However, the pair has a history of vertical rallies. If the bulls pierce through $175, it will open the door for a rally to $220.

All our bullish expectations will be negated if the pair turns down from $141. The trend will turn negative if the bears sink the virtual currency below $103.

TRX/USD

The bulls are attempting to stabilize TRON (TRX) for the past five days but are facing resistance at the 50-day SMA. The moving averages are on the verge of a bearish crossover, which will indicate weakness. A breakdown of $0.02344160 can drag it to $0.02113440 and below it to $0.01830000.

On the other hand, if the TRX/USD pair scales above both the moving averages, it will face selling at the downtrend line and above it at $0.02815521. The pair will pick up momentum if it sustains above $0.02815521. The targets to watch on the upside are $0.0380 and above it $0.040. Traders who are long can keep their stops at $0.0230.

XLM/USD

For the past three days, Stellar (XLM) had been attempting to break out of the 20-day EMA. Though unsuccessful, we liked the way it did not give up any ground. A breakout above the 20-day EMA can carry it to the downtrend line and above it to the 50-day SMA. But as the digital currency has not participated in the recent pullback, we will wait for it to form a bullish setup before suggesting a trade in it.

Contrary to our expectation, if the XLM/USD pair fails to scale above the overhead resistances, it will enter into a consolidation. The 20-day EMA has flattened out and RSI is also inching towards the midpoint. This points to a range formation in the short term.

The pair will turn negative if it plummets below the recent low of $0.07256747. Following a breakdown, the next support on the downside is at $0.05795397.

BNB/USD

Binance Coin (BNB) has again risen close to the overhead resistance of $10. We anticipate strong selling in the $10–$12 zone. From mid-August to mid-November, it had struggled to break out of this range on two occasions.

Still, if the price sustains above $10, it will signal strength. A consolidation between $10 to $12 will be bullish for the BNB/USD pair because a breakout can push it to $15 and above it to $18.

Conversely, if the pair turns down from the current levels and breaks below the 20-day EMA, it can slide to the 50-day SMA, which is a critical support. We do not find any reliable buy setup with a good risk to reward ratio, hence, we are not suggesting any fresh long positions in it.

BSV/USD

Bitcoin SV has broken out of the 20-day EMA. This had been a major roadblock since Jan. 3 and the price had repeatedly turned down from it.

The BSV/USD pair is currently facing resistance at $71.412 and the 50-day SMA. Traders can initiate a long position on a close (UTC time frame) above the 50-day SMA, with a target objective of $102.580.

The failure of the bears to capitalize on the weakness and sink the price below $57 shows demand at lower levels. Our bullish view will be invalidated if the pair turns down from current levels and breaks down of $57. If that happens, a drop to $38.528 is probable.

Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. Charts for analysis are provided by TradingView.

Germany Explores Blockchain Strategy as Bitcoin Wars Heat Up

Germany ― Europe’s largest economy ― may be hopping on the bitcoin bandwagon as it explores how to deploy blockchain across various industries. The German government has launched a consultation process in a bid to formulate a comprehensive blockchain strategy before the summer begins.

Berlin is a tech hub that’s home to 170 startups that could use blockchain, the technology underpinning bitcoin. Government sources told Reuters that industry groups and companies have been invited to offer their recommendations for incorporating blockchain to bolster the German economy.

Sources say there is keen interest from tech investors and market participants from a wide range of industries, including the auto industry, the energy sector, and pharmaceutical companies.

28% of Young Germans Are Bitcoin-Curious

While there is no formal crypto-centric regulatory framework in Germany, interest in crypto investing has spiked, especially among young adults.

According to a November 2018 survey, 28% of young Germans (ages 18 to 29) expressed interest in purchasing virtual currencies like bitcoin.

“A survey conducted by the German Consumer Centre shows a growing interest in crypto, with more than a quarter of young Germans saying they are willing to invest in cryptocurrency.

It is not surprising that a demographic whose lives have been characterized by smartphones, internet, and social media, see the attractive functionality cryptocurrency provides as an instant and decentralized means of transferring value.”

German Auto Giant Porsche Tests Blockchain

Meanwhile, there is growing competition among European nations, Asia, and the United States to become leaders in the burgeoning blockchain marketplace, starting with the auto industry.

As CCN reported, 62% of auto executives surveyed by the IBM Institute for Business Value believe that blockchain will be a disruptive force by 2021.

62% of Auto Execs Believe Blockchain Will Disrupt Industry within 3 Years: IBM Study https://t.co/E0v1iM5asX

— CCN.com (@CryptoCoinsNews) December 12, 2018

Auto executives say they are counting on the blockchain promise of secure, traceable transactions to streamline supply chain management.

The IBM Institute pointed out that German auto giant Porsche has already been testing blockchain applications since February 2018.

Specifically, Porsche has been developing blockchain applications to park cars, lock and unlock vehicles, and make loaning out a company car to an employee easier.

Porsche uses blockchain bitcoin technology

German automaker Porsche has been testing blockchain applications since February 2018. (Pixabay)

Blockchain Used to Track Fresh Produce

IBM has been quietly researching blockchain technology for several years. In October 2018, IBM partnered with French grocery mega-chain Carrefour to improve food safety by tracking chicken, eggs, and tomatoes as they travel from farms to stores.

Carrefour — Europe’s largest retailer with more than 12,000 global locations — plans to use this system to track all its fresh product lines over the next few years.

Carrefour executives say blockchain will help them detect outbreaks of salmonella linked to eggs and poultry, which are a recurring problem in the food industry.

MIT: Blockchain Will Become Mainstream

Indeed, the global push to make blockchain mainstream is so pervasive that even the anti-crypto MIT Technology Review says blockchain will become so commonplace in 2019 that it’ll become “boring.”

“In 2017, blockchain technology was a revolution that was supposed to disrupt the global financial system. In 2018, it was a disappointment. In 2019, it will start to become mundane.”

‘Boring’ Blockchain Could Become Mainstream in 2019: MIT https://t.co/LApaoWsh3Y

— CCN.com (@CryptoCoinsNews) January 2, 2019

NYC Opens Blockchain Center In Crypto Winter

MIT says the move to normalize blockchain in 2019 is being facilitated by mega-corporations like Walmart and by institutional momentum building on Wall Street.

Want proof? New York City opened a 4,000-square-foot Blockchain Center in January at the height of the brutal Crypto Winter.

“We are playing the long game,” said Ana Arino of the NYC Economic Development Corp. “[Blockchain] is a nascent technology, so there’s bound to be uncertainty around this evolution from year to year.

While we don’t know what the future holds, we want to make sure we have a seat at the table shaping it.”

The Blockchain Center is located in downtown Manhattan. It joins other crypto and tech startups that populate New York’s Silicon Alley tech hub. That’s Manhattan’s smaller version of California’s Silicon Valley.

NYC Bets on Crypto: Opens 4,000-Sq-Foot Blockchain Center amid Bitcoin Bear Market https://t.co/FGbuuiJdcZ

— HashFuture (@HashFuturehsc) January 28, 2019

Blockstream Releases Test Code for Proposed Bitcoin Tech Upgrade Schnorr


news

Schnorr signatures, a code change likely to be one of the biggest coming upgrades to bitcoin, have now gone from a theoretical idea to real code courtesy of technology startup Blockstream.

Announced Monday, Blockstream has added a technology known as “MuSig” to its test cryptographic library, making it possible for developers to tinker with the Schnorr signature scheme and potentially find bugs.

That the code is being opened up to the public to test is an exciting step because, if Schnorr is one day added to bitcoin, the new digital signature scheme could add privacy and bitcoin scalability improvements down the line. As such, developers have been eyeing the technology for quite some time.

Blockstream mathematician Andrew Poelstra wrote in the announcement blog post:

“We’ve been turning MuSig from an academic paper into usable code, and this week we merged that code into secp256k1-zkp, a fork of secp256k1, the high-assurance cryptographic library used by Bitcoin Core.”

It’s been a theoretical upgrade for years, with cryptographers making mathematical progress last year necessary to ensure the scheme’s security. This will be the first time the code opened up for testing.

“To address these concerns, we started an initiative to design a new signature scheme, and a significant practical engineering effort to implement it in a robust and antifragile way,” Poelstra added.

Most bitcoin developers think it’s a positive upgrade and some have already started thinking about what new technologies can be built on top of it. For instance, developers have theorized how it could help anonymize lightning transactions, considered to be a more feasible and speedy system of payments on bitcoin.

“As the bitcoin community is exploring the use of Schnorr signatures in bitcoin we hope that our code will eventually be merged into the upstream library secp256k1 used by bitcoin core and many other projects,” Poelstra added.

To that end, he invites developers to play around with the code, which can be found on GitHub and to give feedback.

Andrew Poelstra image via CoinDesk

Major Omani Bank Joins RippleNet Cross-Border Payment Network

Oman’s second largest bank by market value, BankDhofar, has begun using RippleNet technology for cross-border payments to India. The news was tweeted by the managing director of South Asia and MENA at Ripple, Navin Gupta, on Feb. 16.

RippleNet is a global blockchain-based payment network of institutional payment providers, that was developed by technology company Ripple. In January, RippleNet expanded its network to over 200 customers, including such industry players as JNFX, SendFriend, Transpaygo, FTCS and Euro Exim Bank.

Per the recent announcement, BankDhofar has become the first bank in the country and one of the first in the region to adopt RippleNet. The technology enables the bank to provide cross-border transfers via a mobile banking application “in less than 2 minutes,” thus allowing non-resident Indians living in Oman to conduct real-time payment transfers.

BankDhofar was incorporated in 1990, subsequently becoming one of the largest banks in the country. In 2017, BankDhofar’s revenue from banking services was reportedly $2.4 million, while its total revenue amounted to $28.2 million.

Earlier this month, Finablr, a global payment platform and foreign exchange operator based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), joined the RippleNet network to complete real-time transactions to Thailand. The first partner in the service, major Thai bank Siam Commercial Bank will purportedly let UAE Exchange and Unimoni customers globally send money to Thailand.

Last December, the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) also launched a cross-border remittance product based on RippleNet’s blockchain technology. NBK reportedly become the first financial establishment in Kuwait to implement a remittance product — “NBK Direct Remit” — for international live payments based on RippleNet.

Bitcoin Price Breaks Medium-Term Resistance after Surging 8% Near $4,000

Bitcoin Price Breaks Medium-Term Resistance after Surging 8% Near $4,000

Bitcoin, bitcoin price

Bitcoin price made sharp gains during Monday, sustaining Sunday’s momentum in inching closer to $4,000. | Source: Shutterstock

The Bitcoin market came back on its bullish track during the February 18’s trading session.

The Bitcoin-to-Dollar rate (BTC/USD) on Monday established an intraday high towards 3917, up 8.08% since the open. The pair rallied through the Asian session and continued its upside momentum after the European market opened. Around 1600 UTC, BTC/USD also broke through a strong resistance trendline of the medium-term triangle pattern discussed in our Bart Simpson analysis. Have a look:

BITCOIN, BTC USD, BITCOIN PRICE

BITCOIN PRICE 4H CHART | SOURCE: COINBASE, TRADINGVIEW.COM

Last week, we had left the Bitcoin market in a bias conflict. The cryptocurrency was forming what looked like a bull flag. Nevertheless, as the flag was generated out of a one-day rally of February 8, we were unsure about its sustainability in the near-term.

But today, the upside breakout from the small descending channel (in the chart above) confirmed an interim bullish bias. As discussed, we opened a long position towards the red line above (the same strong resistance trendline) and were able to squeeze out a decent profit off our intraday trade.

False Breakout Area?

BITCOIN, BTC USD, BITCOIN PRICE

BITCOIN PRICE 4H CHART (ZOOMED)| SOURCE: COINBASE, TRADINGVIEW.COM

Technically, Bitcoin is in a strong position. Today, we witnessed a bullish crossover action. Such a move is confirmed when a near-term moving average crosses above a long-term moving average. In the chart above, one can notice how the 50-period EMA jumped above the 200-period EMA exactly when bitcoin posted a $100-long green candle.

After breaking above the red trendline, bitcoin has now entered what we call a false breakout area. That being said, the cryptocurrency can still return inside the triangle pattern area defined between the two red trendlines. Bitcoin would, first, need to establish new interim support to pursue the next upside action to confirm a strong bias. And after that, we believe jumping above $4,000 would confirm a stronger uptrend.

Bitcoin 1D Chart

BITCOIN, BTC USD, BITCOIN PRICE

BITCOIN PRICE 1D CHART | SOURCE: COINBASE, TRADINGVIEW.COM

In a long-term scenario, bitcoin uptrend finds itself capped by a giant descending trendline. As long as we see bitcoin under the broad line, we cannot establish a full-fledged bullish bias. On a positive note, the daily RSI has crossed above 57.7 for the first time since September 23. It is positively signaling a bullish momentum in the medium-term scenario.

Bitcoin Intraday Targets

For long trades:

  • We enter long towards $4,000.
  • At the same time, we maintain a stop loss order 1-pip below the entry point.

For short trades:

  • We wait for the sign of trend reversal (selling action coupled with a rise in volume)
  • We enter short towards 4H 50-period moving average.
  • We maintain a stop loss order 1-pip above the entry point.

Trade safe!

Click here for a real-time bitcoin price chart.

Featured Image from Shutterstock. Price Charts from TradingView.

About The Author

Yashu Gola

Yashu Gola has been working as a cryptocurrency analyst/journalist since 2013. He is an information technology graduate, a cryptography junkie, a filmmaking enthusiast, and an avid reader of Jon Erickson, Agatha Christie, JK Rowling, and Isaac Asimov.

10 Elite Hedge-Fund Managers Made a Jaw-Dropping $7.7 Billion in 2018

10 Elite Hedge-Fund Managers Made a Jaw-Dropping $7.7 Billion in 2018

A group of ten elite hedge fund managers made an astonishing $7.7 billion between them in wealth in 2018. | Source: Shutterstock

According to the inaugural ranking of hedge fund managers by news outlet Bloomberg, the top ten highest-earning hedge fund managers made a mouth-watering $7.7 billion in 2018.

James Simmons led the inaugural list, earning $1.2 billion in additional income in 2018, which saw his net worth swell to $16.55 billion. His hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, is one of the largest hedge funds by assets under management, with over $80 billion in assets as at the close of last year.

The top five was rounded up by Ray Dalio (Bridgewater Associates, $1.26 billion), Bitcoin-bashing Ken Griffin (Citadel, $870 million), John Overdeck and David Siegel (Two Sigma, $770 million).

A Three-Comma Affair

All of the names on the top ten were billionaires, with Jeff Talpins (Element Capital Management, $420 million in 2018), who appeared at 7th on the list, having the least net worth of $1.56 billion. Asides from topping the list as regards a jump in income, Simmons also had the highest net worth, narrowly beating Dalio’s $16.2 billion personal wealth mark. To create the ranking, the news outlet analyzed filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), updates on the websites of these hedge funds, as well as reviews of public news about the companies’ investments and actions to determine the volume of assets under each hedge fund’s management.

Not an Industry-Wide Appreciation

As promising as these numbers are, they don’t mirror the general performance of the entire hedge fund industry. For the large part, quant, well-established funds saw decent returns for 2018. Firms invested in equity-oriented funds, didn’t make the cut.

According to the Fund Weight Composite Index compiled by research firm HFR, the average hedge fund fell by 4.07% last year. Still, after years of watching their industry’s performance fall behind that of the stock market, the hedge fund industry was finally able to outperform stocks.

Fund managers saw the end of quantitative easing methods by central banks as an opportunity for them to return to the days of large bets and chances of even larger returns. With the rise in market volatilities and interest rates, the hedge fund industry seemed set to propel itself to record-setting numbers once again.

Funds Closed Too

Sadly, one major milestone that many hedge fund managers will not like to reminisce on was the level of fund closures experienced in the market. In October 2018, after being unable to raise sufficient capital, three separate funds, including Criterion and Tourbillon, ceased operations in a single week.

There have been many theories and little agreements as regards why 2018 was such a challenging year for hedge funds. Even with no quantitative easing, one thing hedge funds have come to realize is that convincing investor with grandiose promises of the returns of glory days is now more difficult. High asset valuations and the continued incidence of unexpected risks have led to downplayed expectations from investors, as most of them have begun looking for safer investment havens.

About The Author

Jimmy Aki

Jimmy has been following the development of blockchain for several years, and he is optimistic about its potential to democratize the financial system.

Tim Draper Predicts Crypto Will Rule, Only Criminals Will Use Cash in Five Years

Billionaire investor and known Bitcoin (BTC) bull Tim Draper argued that in five years, only criminals will use fiat as crypto becomes universally widespread. Draper made his claims in an interview with American financial news tv channel Fox Business released on Feb. 18.

Reiterating his previous statements predicting that fiat money will become laughable and obsolete in five years, Draper has elaborated on his forecast, stating that nobody but criminals will keep using cash, since criminals who use crypto can be tracked via blockchain. He said:

“The criminals will still want to operate with cash, because they catch everybody who is trying to use Bitcoin.”

In August 2018, an agent of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) noted that she prefers people to keep using cryptocurrencies, as the blockchain provides tool to identify criminals.

In the interview, Draper also said that he believes his money in the bank to be less secure than his money in Bitcoin. “My bank is constantly under a hack attack,” Draper has stated, adding that to date, nobody has managed to hack Bitcoin’s blockchain.

Claiming that his Bitcoin is more secure than a dollar is, the Bitcoin billionaire has compared cashing out from Bitcoin with exchanging gold into shells, arguing that there is no sense to go back in time as the future is about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

When asked how much crypto he holds, Draper provided a short response: “a lot.”

Draper’s recent statement has echoed the stance of young Bitcoin millionaire Jeremy Gardner, who said that the existing financial system is much more culpable for things like terrorism and crimes than blockchain technology perhaps will ever be.

In November last year, Tim Draper reaffirmed his April 2018 Bitcoin prediction that the biggest cryptocurrency will trade as high as $250,000 per coin by 2022. Meanwhile, Bitcoin has seen significant growth recently, having jumped around 7.6 percent over the day and trading at $3,907 at press time, according to CoinMarketCap.

Yes, Mark Zuckerberg Is a “Digital Gangster” Who Violates Your Privacy, but Here’s Why You Still Won’t Quit Facebook

Lawmakers in the UK have released a damning report on Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, calling them “digital gangsters.”

The report refers to Facebook’s deliberate violation of privacy laws and its role in spreading “fake news” and disinformation. It’s another shot fired at tech companies for abuse of personal data. 

But, as usual, it’s unlikely to have an effect on the company.

Today we’ve published our final report on Disinformation and ‘fake news.’

We believe the UK can be a world leader in content regulation.

Here’s how.https://t.co/Dtf7L3mePS@damiancollins#fakenews pic.twitter.com/8RcQpJduiI

— Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (@CommonsCMS) February 18, 2019

Despite repeated privacy violations, Facebook has seen no noticeable decrease in user numbers. In the wake of the #deletefacebook campaign, Zuckerberg said advertisers were still throwing money at Facebook.

In our modern digital world, we happily turn a blind eye to privacy invasion to use our everyday apps.

“Facebook Continues to Choose Profit over Data Security”

The report claims that Facebook overrides its users’ privacy settings to give app developers access to restricted data. Facebook reportedly charges high prices for deeper access to this personal information. 

Other developers have reported being “starved” of information when they fail to pay up. One leaked email showed that Facebook considered blocking apps that didn’t pay “at least $250k a year to maintain access to the data.”

Our final @CommonsCMS report on disinformation and fake news has now been published and can be found here on the committee website. We make a large number of recommendations including statutory regulation for social media to protect users from online harms https://t.co/9qlRsY9G03

— Damian Collins (@DamianCollins) February 18, 2019

The parliamentary report, released by the UK’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee concludes that Facebook should be subject to stricter statutory regulation. As CCN previously reported, regulators have considered heavy fines for Facebook’s data breaches.

#DeleteFacebook Had No Effect

This latest report doesn’t come as a great shock. Facebook hit the headlines last year for the Cambridge Analytica scandal. It emerged that UK company Cambridge Analytica harvested private data from 50 million Facebook users. 

Cambridge Analytica then reportedly sold that data to political entities who used it to influence the US presidential election and Britain’s EU referendum.

I admire the #DeleteFacebook impulse. But it takes so much coordination and scale to work, and most users are not American. And it also owns WhatsApp and Instagram.

It’s too much to take on as consumers.

This is why we have governments.

— Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites) December 19, 2018

Despite this huge breach of data and trust, the subsequent #deletefacebook campaign had no effect. Facebook stock even increased by 3% as Zuckerberg told investors that advertiser money was still pouring in.

You Won’t Quit Facebook

We are all aware of Facebook’s violation of personal data, but we turn a blind eye.

Facebook is simply too ingrained in our daily lives. The platform now has 2.2 billion users and it’s a central part of our social lives. Giving up Facebook also means giving up WhatsApp and Instagram, two of the biggest communication apps on the planet.

Then there are third-party services that require a Facebook account. Until recently, you needed a Facebook account to use Tinder. Facebook has weaved its way into every aspect of your digital life. Many of us are even required to use Facebook for work or to promote our services.

What would happen if Facebook was turned off? https://t.co/UUn7F1c24g

— The Economist (@TheEconomist) February 17, 2019

We know the privacy violation is ethically wrong, but we tolerate it for easy access to our everyday apps.

There’s another reason too. Research by the Open University suggests we have a morbid fascination in watching and judging our circle of friends. We can’t quit Facebook because we’d fear missing out or silently watching our peers. It’s a psychological compulsion.

Lawmakers Are Clueless

Despite the latest report, we’re unlikely to see any meaningful legislation to rein in the tech giants. Both the UK and US governments have shown a clear lack of understanding.

When Zuckerberg appeared in front of Congress last year, Senator Orrin Hatch asked the painfully ignorant question: “how do you make money?”

Lawmakers don’t understand how Facebook operates, let alone how to legislate against them.

If governments are clueless and the rest of us aren’t willing to #DeleteFacebook, there’s no end in sight to Zuckerberg’s privacy violations.

The UK Parliament Report Explained

The parliamentary report takes Facebook to task on a number of issues. It claims that Facebook:

  1. Intentionally violated privacy laws.
  2. Violated anti-competition laws by creating a monopoly and crushing competitors.
  3. Facilitated the spread of “fake news” and disinformation that influenced major political events including the US presidential election and Britain’s EU referendum.
  4. Charged a premium to developers in order to override personal privacy settings.
  5. Held UK parliament in contempt for sending junior employees, rather than Mark Zuckerberg, to give evidence when requested.
  6. Should be subject to a strict code of ethics and regulations.
  7. Should be forced to take down harmful content and disinformation.

At the time of writing, Facebook has issued a muted response, claiming:

“We are open to meaningful regulation and support the committee’s recommendation for electoral law reform.”

Bullish Sentiment for Bitcoin As Long Bets Near 11-Month Highs


markets

Bullish bets on bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by value, reached 11-month highs on Monday, according to the data from the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex.

The number of long positions on bitcoin’s US dollar-denominated exchange rate (BTC/USD) jumped to 38,237 BTC at 04:10 BTC – the highest level since March 30, 2018 – and were last seen at 36,176 BTC.

While long positions have risen by 35 percent in the last three weeks, short positions have remained largely unchanged. As a result, the long-short ratio, a barometer of market sentiment, has improved to 1.5 from 1.18.

The market mood has indeed turned bullish but hasn’t reached extremes, as long positions are still at least 8 percent short of the record high of 40,193 registered on March 26, 2018.

That said, BTC’s rally to 5.5-week highs above $3,900 has likely opened the doors to a convincing move above $4,000. That would only attract buyers, pushing BTC/USD longs to fresh record highs.

As of writing, BTC is changing hands at $3,912 on Bitfinex, the highest level since Jan. 10. The cryptocurrency would become vulnerable to “long squeeze” –  a sudden pullback in prices due to an unwinding of long positions – if and when the bullish sentiment reaches extremes.

Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.

Bitcoin image via Shutterstock; charts by Trading View

Put Your Money On Crypto for the Long-Term, Says Major Wealth Manager for Pensions

Put Your Money On Crypto for the Long-Term, Says Major Wealth Manager for Pensions

Bitcoin, crypto

A major consultant for pesions and endowments has recommended institutional investors to pay attention to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. | Source:: Shutterstock

It’s time institutional whales put their money into cryptocurrency according to major investment management firm Cambridge Associates.

IT’S TIME TO ‘BEGIN EXPLORING’ SAYS CAMBRIDGE ASSOCIATES

The Boston-based consultancy only advises major institutions who manage more than $300 billion worth of clients’ assets. Cambridge was quoted in Bloomberg on Monday as saying:

“Despite the challenges, we believe that it is worthwhile for investors to begin exploring this area today with an eye toward the long term. Though these investments entail a high degree of risk, some may very well upend the digital world.”

That’s a remarkably on-point statement in a space dominated by optimistic cheerleading and deathly pronouncements. Cambridge specializes in pensions and endowments, and its declaration of support for crypto is probably not a spur of the moment decision.

The firm advise would-be investors to conduct an industry-wide deep-dive on the various aspects of cryptocurrency; from investing in venture capital to trading tokens on exchanges.

Despite the year-long decline in the value of the cryptocurrency market, Cambridge believes we are still in the developing stages of the industry:

“The dramatic declines that swept across the crypto space raised questions about the future of these assets and the blockchain technology that underpins them. Yet, in looking across the investment landscape, we see an industry that is developing, not faltering.”

SIGNS OF A TURNING TIDE AMONG FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS?

Last week Grayscale released this report detailing the steady influx of institutional money to the crypto space in the past year. The fact that institutional investments only increased as coin prices declined is an encouraging sign, and suggests that major firms see potential for a reversal.

Graphic from Grayscale shows overall investments and diversification of assets rose hand-in-hand throughout 2018

Grayscale went so far as to declare cryptocurrency a new asset class, and suggested they could play a ‘diversifying role’ within the average investor’s portfolio:

“Despite a slowdown in investment across products in the fourth quarter, we continue to see evidence that digital assets are here to stay as a new asset class. Moreover, we believe in a future where multiple digital assets survive, thrive, and complement one another in the digital economy.”

Days ago it was revealed that two public pensions – the Virginia’s Police Officer’s Retirement System, and Employees’ Retirement System in Fairfax County – had invested in the new $40 million cryptocurrency fund started by Morgan Creek.

Katherine Molnar, the chief investment officer overseeing the Fairfax County pensions said:

“Blockchain technology is being applied in unique and compelling ways across multiple industries. We feel it is important to be opportunistic and are excited to participate in this emerging opportunity, due to the attractive asymmetric return profile that it represents.”

On top of all this, the much derided JPM Coin marked a major change of sentiment for JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon this week. While the coin is unlikely to add anything in the way of innovation, it stands as another example of rapidly growing sentiment for the crypto space among financial institutions.

About The Author

Greg Thomson

Greg Thomson is a cryptocurrency and blockchain journalist with branching interests in literature, politics and history. An amateur film-maker, Greg seeks to delineate between the heroes and villains in the cryptocurrency space.

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