Bitcoin Approaches $8,000 Again as Top Cryptos See Strong Gains

Sunday, May 19 — most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are rebounding to report moderate to notable gains on the day by press time. Bitcoin (BTC) has pushed to just below the $8,000 mark again. The market rebound comes after a sharp correction on May 17 that followed almost a week of massive growth.

Market visualization courtesy of Coin360

Market visualization courtesy of Coin360

Bitcoin is about eight percent up on the day, trading at $7,928 at press time, according to CoinMarketCap. Looking at its weekly chart, the coin is up close to 11%.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

As Cointelegraph reported earlier today in a dedicated analysis, figures published by bitcoin core developer Luke Dashjr show that more than half of the full nodes in the bitcoin network are still running client software vulnerable to an inflation bug discovered in September 2018.

Ether (ETH) is holding onto its position as the largest altcoin by market cap, which currently stands at $27 billion. The second-largest altcoin, XRP, has a market cap of $16.9 billion at press time.

CoinMarketCap data shows that ETH is up over 7% over the last 24 hours. At press time, ETH is trading around $254. On the week, the coin has also seen its value increase by over 35%.

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

XRP is also up about 7% over the last 24 hours and is currently trading at around $0.40. On the week, the coin is up over 28%.

XRP 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

XRP 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Among the top 20 cryptocurrencies, the ones reporting two-digit gains are bitcoin cash (BCH) and dash (DASH), up 13% and 10% respectively

At press time, the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is currently at $247.8 billion, over 18% higher than the value it reported a week ago.

Total market capitalization 7-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Total market capitalization 7-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

A recent report claims that the European Central Bank stated that cryptocurrencies do not have implications on monetary policy or factor into the real economy.

News source CoinTelegraph.com

Decentralized Identity: How Microsoft (and Others) Plan to Empower Users to Own and Control Personal Data

Microsoft, one of the world’s largest software makers by revenue, is currently on a blockchain streak. This time, Microsoft presented a vast blockchain-related plan: a decentralized identity (DID) network built atop of the bitcoin network, which can potentially empower users all over the internet to take control over their personal data and content.

Earlier in May 2019, the United States tech giant announced its brand new Azure Blockchain Service along with Azure Blockchain Development Kit for the Ethereum blockchain. It also teamed up with Starbucks to present the first use case for its technology — tracking coffee production, from farm all the way to paper cups.

Decentralized identity: from helping refugees to fighting data centralization

The initiative could be traced back to the summer of 2017, when Microsoft collaborated with Accenture and Avanade to create a blockchain-powered database system that would enable multiple parties to share access to the same data with an “extremely high level” of confidentiality and security.

The prototype — running on Microsoft Azure, the tech corporation’s cloud platform — was presented to support ID2020. The group is a nonprofit, public-private partnership that has set out to deal with identity related challenges that plague over 1.1 billion people around the world. In particular those people come from less privileged social backgrounds and so the lack of documents excludes them from participating in cultural, political, economic and social life.

The concept of digital identity has been widely discussed as the key to solving those issues. For instance, the United Nations has proposed to use it to aid refugees, who form a substantial part of the undocumented population. “We want every refugee to have a unique digital identity,” Filippo Grandi, the U.N.’s high commissioner for refugees, declared in October 2017. “This will enhance accountability and facilitate two-way communication between refugees and service providers. It will also help prevent and reduce statelessness.”

Around the same time, Microsoft presented its prototype aimed at narrowing the identity gap, while the tech juggernaut also became a founding member of the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF). The company subsequently continued its research on how a digital identity can be decentralized, and therefore benefit not only those who don’t have an officially recognized identity, but average internet users as well — meaning practically everyone.

Fast forward to February 2018 and Microsoft unveiled more details regarding its distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based plan. Specifically, the company reported that blockchain technology allows hosting decentralized IDs (DID) on top of the distributed ledgers, and hence can grant users more control over their personal data, as opposed to having it remotely processed by “countless apps and services.” Ankur Patel, principal program manager at Microsoft Identity Division, wrote at the time:

“With data breaches and identity theft becoming more sophisticated and frequent, users need a way to take ownership of their identity. After examining decentralized storage systems, consensus protocols, blockchains, and a variety of emerging standards we believe blockchain technology and protocols are well suited for enabling Decentralized IDs. […] We need a secure encrypted digital hub (ID Hubs) that can interact with user’s data while honoring user privacy and control.”

Now, Microsoft has presented a new and an even more concrete concept: a DID network built on top of the bitcoin blockchain. Titled the Identity Overlay Network (ION), the infrastructure has been reportedly developed in conjunction with other DIF members to accommodate “tens-of-thousands of operations per second.”

Essentially, ION lets users obtain control over their own data via the management of their Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). “Today, the most common digital identifiers we use are email addresses and usernames, provided to us by apps, services, and organizations,” Daniel Buchner, senior program manager at Microsoft Identity Division, explained:

“This puts identity providers in a place of control, between us and every digital interaction in our lives. Our goal is to create a decentralized identity ecosystem where millions of organizations, billions of people, and countless devices can securely interact over an interoperable system built on standards and open source components.”

In other words, having a DID allows users to control their own data and content — including login details and photos, which is not currently possible on most social media platforms that store such data on their private, centralized servers. Consequently, some platforms might be quite skeptical about the concept of a DID. According to a CoinDesk report, Facebook, which had allegedly been invited to partake in Microsoft’s DID project, has rejected the offer and “instead continued to follow its historic approach to user data,” which involves monetization, as per various press reports.

Moreover, DIDs are supposed to be immune to hacking and data leaks, says Charlie Smith, an analyst at asset management firm Blockforce Capital. “The risk associated with security breaches and hacks could be largely reduced when considering that public blockchains are largely decentralized,” he told Cointelegraph exclusively. “Currently, large platforms control vast amounts of personal data and are suspect to centralized attacks in which bad actors can gain access to sensitive information.” According to Smith, the bitcoin network, which has never been hacked (in the conventional sense, at least) could serve as an effective public blockchain to hold private data.

Moreover, the analyst continued, public blockchains can track users who wants to access their data while keeping it safe:

“Another benefit stems from the ability for public blockchains to act as ledgers. Public blockchains, like bitcoin and ethereum, hold extensive records of every transaction that has occurred on each respective network and at the same time, cannot be altered. However, a blockchain could easily be implemented to track who accesses personal information and when. In both scenarios, a transaction of some kind is taking place. The underlying technology doesn’t need to change, just the implementation.”

Bitcoin’s bane: Why scalability isn’t an issue for Microsoft — and other DID networks

Notably, the tech corporation had to overcome bitcoin’s infamous scalability issue in order to make the infrastructure ready for mass consumption.

In the blog post, Microsoft explained that “the most robust, decentralized, public blockchains” operate at just tens of transactions per second, which is “nowhere near the volume a world full of DIDs would demand.” Since the company aimed to inherit the attributes of decentralization — and hence use slower, but time-proven blockchains — it had to address the throughput issue. As a result, Microsoft’s new solution reportedly ensures that as many as “tens of thousands of operations” per second can be achieved. That echoes the concept of the Lightning Network, which adds another layer to the bitcoin blockchain and performs large amounts of transactions off-chain, thus unburdening the main network.

“Critics have always been quick to compare the transaction processing abilities of the Bitcoin network with that of Visa or Paypal,” Smith told Cointelegraph. “It wasn’t until the lightning network was established that those arguments became far less valid. The ION network will face very similar critiques and will need to back up its lofty expectations with results.”

Also, Microsoft plans to collaborate with open-source contributors so that ION can publicly launch on the bitcoin mainnet “in the coming months” — meanwhile, the code has already been published on GitHub for everyone to review.

The U.S. tech giant’s plan isn’t the only DID initiative out there. Microsoft’s allies from the DIF community seem to be working on their own decentralized data solutions as well.

“As part of DIF we regularly review and give feedback to each other’s DID methods, to make sure they are interoperable,” Pelle Braendgaard, the co-founder of ConsenSys’ Self Sovereign Identity (SSI) solution uPort commented exclusively to Cointelegraph. “At ConsenSys, we’ve developed multiple DID methods. Our primary method is known as Ethr-DID.”

According to Braendgaard, although both Ethr-DID and SideTree — the blockchain agnostic protocol used by Microsoft for ION — are “very scalable,” there are some differences between the two. Specifically, he argued, SideTree DIDs “have to be created by a centralized server, currently hosted by Microsoft.”

When asked whether ION can be considered a fully decentralized project, Smith argued that it is “debatable, but all the main benefits of a decentralized network are present.” Particularly, he specified that “two major components of the ION network make it highly decentralized”:

“The system is set up so that no person or entity can control users’ identifying information and the public key infrastructure is decentralized. This means that the private and public key pairings aren’t managed by one central authority, essentially giving each user secure access to their identifying data. Even though Microsoft has spearheaded this project, they have formed it in a way that allows individuals to remain in charge of their information.”

Further, according to Braendgaard, SideTree DIDs are only useable off-chain in traditional applications, while some other DIDs — including its own — are fully usable both on blockchains and Layer 2 protocols.

Other major companies pursuing DID solutions include global online payments firm PayPal, which has recently invested in Cambridge Blockchain startup. Also a DIF member, Cambridge Blockchain is reportedly leveraging blockchain to give users more control over their digital identities.

“We envision a future where users have a lot more direct control over their personal data, and we also believe in open, interoperable architectures,” the startup’s CEO, Matthew Commons, told Forbes.

There is also Telegram, an encrypted messenger that is widely popular among the crypto community. Last year, it released a personal identification authorization tool dubbed Telegram Passport, which reportedly encrypts user’s personal ID information and allows them to securely share their data with third parties like “finance organizations, ICOs, etc.”

As per the announcement, users’ ID data is currently stored on the Telegram cloud, but “in the future, all Telegram Passport data will move to a decentralized cloud.” Indeed, that could help the messenger to boost its data tool’s security — just a few days after Telegram Passport was announced, cryptographic software and services developer Virgil Security reported that it is vulnerable to brute force attacks.

Will Microsoft’s solution become the go-to one?

Microsoft’s DID-related plans seem to be highly ambitious. Specifically, the company aims to create an ecosystem where “billions of people and countless devices can securely interact over an interoperable system built on standards and open-source components.”

So, what are the chances of us seeing this come to be true?

“I can see how the ION network could potentially remove the control that apps and platforms have over digital identifiers and I believe that it could even become a worldwide-used phenomenon,” Blockforce’s Smith told Cointelegraph. “However, for that to happen, the technology powering the network would have to consistently prove that it can successfully scale.”

Once Microsoft manages to show that its network can handle thousands of transactions and operate on an industrial-scale, the data industry might be disrupted. This means that large social media platforms may have to adjust to the new rules and stop handling data in a centralized, opaque way — or else share the fate of Facebook and become infamous for regularly dealing with privacy concerns.

Cointelegraph has reached out to Microsoft for further comment, but the company said it was unable to accommodate the request at this time.

News source CoinTelegraph.com

Top 5 Crypto Performers: XEM, XLM, XTZ, BNB, IOTA

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 provided by HitBTC exchange.

After the strong recovery of the past few weeks, this week saw some profit booking at the highs. However, unlike previous occasions, the dip has been shallow and some buying is visible close to support levels. This shows that the market sentiment is changing from sell on rallies to buy on dips. After the sharp move from the lows, a few weeks of consolidation is also possible.

In its report, the European Central Bank said that the impact of cryptocurrencies on the real economy is limited, as only a handful of merchants accept them due to their high volatility. However, they find some value in the stablecoins. We believe that the uses of cryptocurrencies have been increasing in the real world, and this is likely to penetrate further in the next few years. The launch of a cryptocurrency by Facebook will also speed up the adoption among the masses.

Though many people want to invest in cryptocurrencies, they are wary of the negative propaganda surrounding them. Some might even find the technology aspect of it a little difficult to understand in the beginning. To address this issue, Coinbase had started its Coinbase Earn program at the end of 2018, which was by invite only, but the exchange has now opened the program for the public.

XEM/USD

Nem (XEM) was the best performer among the major cryptocurrencies. Though it has given up some of its gains, it is still significantly higher for the week. While part of the gains would have come due to the positive sentiment across the asset class, the fundamental news also helped. The markets cheered the Catapult update, which will improve the overall NEM platform and make it more user-friendly and convenient to use. Another piece of positive news is that Zeux will add XEM on its digital payment wallet, after which its users can pay with the cryptocurrency at the merchants that accept Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Can it continue its recovery?

XEM/USD

The XEM/USD pair is attempting to breakout of the overhead resistance of $0.085. If successful, it will complete an inverse head and shoulders pattern that has a target objective of $0.135946775. The digital currency has a horizontal resistance at $0.13125258. We expect a stiff resistance between these two levels.

A breakout of $0.14 is likely to start a new uptrend that can carry the digital currency to $0.45 with a minor resistance at $0.20. Our bullish view will be invalidated if the bears defend the overhead resistance. In such a case, a few more days of range bound action is likely. The bears will gain an upper hand on a breakdown of $0.045.

XLM/USD

On May 15, the Stellar (XLM) network briefly stopped: during the period of downtime, the network did not process any transaction. Though no one lost any money, it shows that the network needs some improvements. In separate news, the Stellar Development Foundation announced the release of a new ticker API that will provide the latest data about markets and assets on the network.

XLM/USD

The XLM/USD pair broke out of the long-term downtrend line this week, which is a bullish sign —iIt signals the end of the downtrend. The pair has also formed an inverse head and shoulders pattern, which will complete on a breakout and close above the overhead resistance of $0.14861760.

Though the bulls had scaled this level during the week, they could not sustain the breakout as sellers stepped in close to the 50-week SMA. The price has again retreated back below $0.14861760. If the bulls fail to ascend the overhead resistance, the pair might enter into a consolidation for a few weeks.

But if the price breaks out and closes (UTC time frame) above $0.14861760, it will complete the bullish reversal pattern that has a target objective of $0.22466773. Above this level, it can move to $0.2885. Our positive view will be invalidated if the digital currency plunges below the right shoulder.

XTZ/USDT

The Tezos (XTZ) community is currently voting to accept or reject the Athens A Upgrade. The voting process will close on May 29. If the upgrade is accepted, will the price move higher? Let’s see what charts project.

XTZ/USDT

The XTZ/USDT pair has broken out of the 50-week SMA, which is a positive sign. It is currently close to the overhead resistance at $1.85. A breakout and close (UTC time frame) above this level will complete a rounding bottom pattern that has a target objective of $3.37. Both the moving averages are close to completing a bullish crossover that will indicate the start of a new uptrend. The next level to watch on the upside is $4.2424.

On the other hand, if the bulls fail to ascend the resistance, the pair might consolidate between $1.85 and $1.295480 for a few weeks. A break below the moving averages will break the positive momentum that is building up.

BNB/USD

Withdrawals and deposits that had been temporarily suspended after this month’s hack of more than 7,000 BTC restarted this week. A major system upgrade was also completed during the week. Sports blockchain venture Chiliz has also announced a partnership with Binance Chain, and Binance Launchpad announced the sale of the harmony token via the lottery format on May 28. Can binance coin (BNB) extend its up move? Let’s find out.

BNB/USD

The BNB/USD pair continues to be in a strong uptrend. The 20-week EMA is sloping up and the RSI is in the overbought zone: this shows that the bulls have the upper hand. The buyers aggressively purchased the dip and propelled the price to new lifetime highs again this week, which shows that every dip is being bought.

The next level to watch on the upside is $33, which is close to the resistance line that has acted as a stiff resistance on previous occasions. If this level is also crossed, the rally can extend to $40.2919564. A drop below the recent low of $17.7997862 will turn the pair negative.

IOTA/USDT

Iota (IOTA) wants to make the ecosystem easy to use and safe for organizations, large token holders and liquidity providers. It is exploring various measures by which these players, who form an important part of the ecosystem, can be supported adequately. Iota will sponsor the first inaugural Texas Smart Cities Summit that aims to bring various visionaries to discuss the actions needed to accelerate smart city efforts across the state. Luxury fashion brand Alyx will also partner with IOTA to improve the transparency of its supply chain.

IOTA/USDT

The IOTA/USDT pair has been range bound between $0.244553 and $0.385033 for the past few weeks. The bulls had broken out of the range during the week, but failed to sustain the higher levels. If the price fails to close (UTC time frame) above the range, the consolidation will extend for a few more weeks.

On the other hand, if the price ascends the overhead resistance, it is likely to start a new uptrend that can carry the price to $0.50 and above it to $0.80. The pair will weaken if the bears sink the price below the support of the range.

Market data provided by HitBTC exchange. Charts for analysis provided by TradingView.

News source CoinTelegraph.com

Circle Releases Another Attestation Report on Stablecoin USDC’s USD Reserves

Goldman Sachs-backed crypto finance startup Circle has published the latest third-party audit of its USD-pegged stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC). The company reported the update in a blog post published on May 17.

USD Coin is an Ethereum-based token compliant with the ERC20 standard that was first announced in May last year and released in September.

Per this week’s announcement, the audit of the coin’s fiat reserves was conducted by major Chicago-based accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP.

The report released by the firm states that as of April 30, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time there were 293,184,174 USDC issued, and that there were $293,351,374 in the firm’s reserves. Lastly, the auditing firm claims that, at the time specified above, the issued and outstanding USDC tokens did not exceed the balance of the U.S. dollars held in custody.

According to CoinMarketCap data, USDC’s market cap currently exceeds $359 million and is up over 40% from the value it reported a month ago.

At the end of April, lawyers from the company behind USD stablecoin tether (USDT) reported that the coin only has enough cash to back three-quarters of its increasing supply.

As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, social media giant Facebook has evidently formed a new financial tech firm, Libra Networks LLC, presumably to work on its rumored stablecoin.

Earlier this week, Francois Villeroy de Galhau, the governor of the Bank of France,expressed interest in stablecoins, stating that the bank is “observing [the developments] with great interest.”

News source CoinTelegraph.com

Coinbase Earn Now Available to the Public in Over 100 Countries

Major crypto platform Coinbase has opened its Coinbase Earn program to the public in over 100 countries, according to a press release on May 17.

As Cointelegraph reported, Coinbase first announced the program at the end of 2018 as an invite-only initiative. This pilot period let users earn cryptocurrency by learning about the ERC-20 token “0x” (ZRX). Coinbase stated that according to a survey they conducted, uninformed users were reluctant to invest in crypto but were eager to learn:

“…one of the biggest barriers preventing people from exploring a new digital asset was a lack of knowledge about that asset. Many of the people we surveyed expressed a strong desire to begin learning about new and different crypto assets beyond Bitcoin, but didn’t know where to begin.”

As the title implies, Coinbase Earn users can also earn crypto. In return for taking quizzes about Stellar Lumens (XLM), Zcash (ZEC) and Basic Attention Token (BAT), users can earn those respective coins.

Earlier this week, Coinbase added trading support for 50 new jurisdictions, as well as USD Coin (USDC) trading options in 85 new countries. In its press release announcing the expansion, Coinbase commented on its hopes for USDC to provide economic stability in these newly covered countries:

“For new customers in countries like Argentina and Uzbekistan, where consumer prices are expected to inflate by 10–20% in 2020, stablecoins like USDC could provide an opportunity to protect against inflation.”

News source CoinTelegraph.com

Russian Sberbank Demands Client Provide Data on Cryptocurrency Revenue

Russia’s largest bank Sberbank has requested that a client provide information on their income from cryptocurrency, the Russian version of Forbes reported on May 17.

Co-founder of cryptocurrency trading platform Toxenbox.io, Vladimir Smerkis, told Forbes that the unnamed client received a letter from Sberbank requiring disclosure of their crypto revenue. The letter based its demand on Federal Law No. 115, “On Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing.” The client had reportedly already informed the bank about their income from exchanging cryptocurrencies.

Specifically, Sberbank wanted to know the client’s crypto wallet address, what mining equipment the client deployed (including the model and parameters of their mining farm) and hash rate indicators.

The bank also asked for documents confirming ownership or lease of the mining equipment, as well as the premises housing the farm. Sberbank subsequently confirmed the information, Forbes states.

Smerkis said that “we are very much perturbed by how Sberbank can appeal to terms that do not yet exist in Russian law.” The founder and CEO of regulated decentralized exchange Tokenomica, Artem Tolkachev responded that this is not a new breed of request, saying that Sberbank “operate within their regulatory framework for handling cash. So it is a way of legally introducing cryptocurrency revenues into circulation.”

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev commented yesterday, May 16, that crypto regulation is not a priority for the Russian government as cryptocurrencies have been losing popularity. Medvedev noted that the problem received more attention at an earlier forum in May 2018, where he urged the government to legislate at least some basic crypto terms. While hype around bitcoin (BTC) has fallen, crypto markets may still rally, the prime minister concluded.

Russia’s principle crypto bill “On Digital Financial Assets” was passed by the lower house of Russian parliament in May 2018. However, the Duma sent it back to the first reading stage due to a lack of key concepts such as crypto mining, and subsequently delayed consideration of the bill.

News source CoinTelegraph.com

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, EOS, Binance Coin, Stellar, Cardano, TRON: Price Analysis May 17

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.

Bitcoin witnessed a flash crash on Bitstamp exchange when it plunged to a low of $6,178. The fall was triggered by a sell order of about 5,000 bitcoins at $6,200. Some people speculate that the order might have been mistyped $6,200 instead of $8,200. Bitstamp has launched an investigation into the $250 million trade.

Luckily, the damage was limited to one exchange. However, after the sharp rally of the past few days, profit booking can be seen across the board today, as prices on all the top 10 cryptocurrencies are down.

Does this put a stop to the recovery and will Bitcoin prices plummet below $6,000 levels once again? It is difficult to predict now. This will be clear in a few days’ time after the short-term correction ends.

A report by web intelligence platform Indexica suggests that the asset class has matured. Mark Mobius, the pioneer stock investor in emerging economies, believes that the world has the appetite for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, hence, they are here to stay. However, he does not have any personal investments in the asset class yet as he is wary of the volatility and security.

Let us see how traders should approach the fall. Should they start buying or wait?

BTC/USD

The rally in Bitcoin (BTC) hit a wall close to the overhead resistance at $8,496.53. After trading above $8,000 for three days, profit booking set in that dragged the price to just under $7,000. We had planned to close the long position today but before that, the fall hit our recommended stop loss at $7,100.

The trend is positive as both the moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is still in positive territory. If the 20-day EMA holds, the bulls will again try to push the BTC/USD pair back above $8,500. If successful, the next target to watch on the upside is $10,000.

On the other hand, if the bears sink the pair below the 20-day EMA, the momentum will weaken and the fall can extend to $5,900. We will wait for the price to find support and indicate a resumption of the uptrend before suggesting a long position once again.

ETH/USD

Our target of $256 was met and Ethereum (ETH) came close to our second target objective of $300, when it reached a high of $290.92 on May 16. Hopefully, the traders would have closed some more of their existing long positions during this rise.

The pullback in the ETH/USD pair has dragged it to the support at $225.39. We expect the bulls to defend this support. If successful, we anticipate another attempt to push the price towards $300.

But, if this support breaks, a fall to the 20-day EMA is probable. If the traders are still holding any positions, they can raise the stop loss to $200. The stop loss can be trailed higher if the pair rebounds off $225.39.

XRP/USD

Ripple (XRP) rallied above $0.450 on May 15 and 16, but it could not sustain the higher levels. Profit booking has dragged the price below the support at $0.37835. The bulls are attempting to hold the price above the 20-day EMA.

The zone between the 20-day EMA and $0.33108 is likely to act as a strong support. If the XRP/USD pair bounces off this zone, we anticipate a move back to $0.45. On a breakout above $0.45, the pair can rally to $0.60, with minor resistances at $0.50 and $0.55.

Traders can watch and buy a small position (about 30% of usual) closer to $0.360 if the support zone holds for another day. The stop loss for this trade can be kept at $0.2750. However, no trade should be attempted if the bears sink the digital currency below the 20-day EMA.

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) turned down from close to the resistance line of the ascending channel on May 16. The price has dipped to the 20-day EMA, which is likely to act as a support. Both the moving averages are still sloping up and the RSI is in the positive zone. This shows that the bulls still hold the advantage.

If the BCH/USD pair bounces off the 20-day EMA, it can move up to the resistance line of the channel once again. On the other hand, if the bears sink the pair below the 20-day EMA, it can correct to the support line of the channel. We will wait for the price to bounce off the support line of the channel before proposing a trade in it because a breakdown of the channel will turn the trend in favor of the bears.

LTC/USD

Litecoin (LTC) reversed direction from $107 on May 16. It has broken down of the support at $91, which is a bearish sign. Currently, the bulls are trying to hold above the first support at $84.3439. If successful, we anticipate another attempt to breakout above $91. For now, the stop loss on the long positions can be retained at $70. We will raise it in the next couple of days if we find that the bulls are not able to push the prices higher.

The LTC/USD pair has a slew of supports between $74.6054 and $84.3439. If these supports fail to hold, the pair can plummet to the critical support at $66.47. The developing negative divergence on the RSI is a bearish sign. The trend will turn bearish if the support at $66.47 breaks down.

EOS/USD

EOS turned down from the overhead resistance of $6.8299 on May 16. The price can now correct to the moving averages, which is likely to act as a strong support. If the price bounces off this support, the bulls will again try to breakout of the overhead resistance. Above $6.8299, the digital currency is likely to pick up momentum. Both the moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is in the positive territory, which suggests that the bulls have the upper hand.

But if the EOS/USD pair breaks down of the moving averages, it can slump to the bottom of the range at $4.4930. If the pair remains range bound, we will attempt to buy the next dip close to $4.4930. The trend will turn bearish if the support at $3.8723 cracks.

BNB/USD

Binance Coin (BNB) again made a new intraday high on May 16. It continues to be in a strong uptrend with both the moving averages sloping up and the RSI in positive territory. The digital currency has not given up much ground, which shows that the bulls are not keen to close their positions yet.

On the upside, the BNB/USD pair can continue towards the resistance line, which is likely to act as a barrier. If the bulls can breakout of this resistance line, the pair will pick up momentum. Support on the downside is at the 20-day EMA and below it at the 50-day SMA. The trend will turn negative on a fall below $17.7997862. Though bullish, we do not find any reliable pattern, hence, we are not proposing a trade in it.

XLM/USD

Stellar (XLM) rallied above the overhead resistance of $0.14861760 on May 16 but could not close (UTC time frame) above it. The price is currently testing the breakout level of the long-term downtrend line.

If the XLM/USD pair bounces off the long-term downtrend line, it will again try to rise above $0.14861760. If successful, it will indicate strength. The target level to watch on the upside is $0.22466773, with a minor resistance at $0.17759016. We will wait for this breakout before recommending a trade in it.

On the other hand, if the bulls fail to propel the price above $0.14861760, it will remain range-bound for a few more days.

ADA/USD

Though Cardano (ADA) rallied above $0.094256 on May 15 and 16, it could not close (UTC time frame) above this level, which was our prerequisite for buying in our previous analysis.

The ADA/USD pair has dipped to the moving averages where it is finding some support. If the support holds, we expect the bulls to attempt to push the price back above $0.094256 once again. A close (UTC time frame) above the overhead resistance will complete the rounding bottom pattern that has a target objective of $0.161275. Therefore, we retain the buy suggestion given in the previous analysis.

However, if the digital currency breaks down of the moving averages, it can again slip to $0.57898. The trend will turn negative if this support gives way.

TRX/USD

Tron (TRX) closed (UTC time frame) above $0.02815521 on May 15 and thus triggered one-half of our buy recommendation given in an earlier analysis. However, it entered back into the range just a day after breaking out of it. This is a bearish sign. It suggests that the breakout was fake and the digital currency is not finding buying support at higher levels.

Currently, the bulls are trying to keep the TRX/USD pair above the moving averages. If successful, we might see another attempt to break out of the range. On the other hand, a failure to rise above $0.02815521 will increase the stay inside the range.

Both the moving averages are flat and the RSI has dipped back to the midpoint. This points to a balance between the buyers and sellers. Traders can keep the stop loss at $0.0209. We will raise it at the first available opportunity.

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

News source CoinTelegraph.com

Facebook Registers New Fintech Firm in Switzerland

Social media giant Facebook has apparently formed a new financial tech firm, Libra Networks LLC, according to a filing on the Geneva Commercial Register.

Libra Networks was registered in Geneva on May 2 by Facebook Global Holdings II LLC. Per the official filing the firm provides:

“…services in the fields of finance and technology, as well as the development and production of software and related infrastructure, in particular in connection with investment activities, the operation of payments, financing, identity management, data analysis, big data, blockchain and other technologies.”

Facebook registered the trademark “Libra” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office back in June, which was reportedly part of its secretretive in-house crypto project. Facebook has also hired two cryptocurrency compliance experts who formerly worked at the major crypto exchange Coinbase as reported by Cointelegraph in May.

Anonymous sources have claimed that Facebook could release a native stablecoin some time in the third quarter of 2019.

At the recent crypto conference Consensus 2019, Polychain Capital CEO Olaf Carlson-Wee commented that he thinks the rumored stablecoin should be built on a public, open source infrastructure. Carlson-Wee thinks it would be in the self-interest of the company given recent controversies surrounding the social media platform:

“I think given all the problems that Facebook has had with policing their platform and things like that, I think that the strategic move for Facebook would actually be to build public infrastructure. And that public infrastructure could be incorporated onto all the Facebook platforms, which of course are proprietary. But that public infrastructure, if they don’t try to own it, I think that’s where they will have the most success.”

News source CoinTelegraph.com

Bitstamp Starts Investigation After Large BTC Sell Leads to $250 Mln Liquidated on BitMEX

Major crypto exchange Bitstamp has launched an investigation after a large bitcoin (BTC) sell order heavily impacted its order book, as the firm announced in a tweet on May 17.

Bitstamp reported an execution of a large sell order in BTC to United States dollars (USD) on its platform today, as the exchange wrote earlier today.

While the company has not specified the details of the transaction, the price of bitcoin had plummeted about 20% from around $7,800 to as low as $6,250 in less than 30 minutes earlier on the day, according to data from trading analytics platform TradingView. Briefly after the crash, bitcoin’s price has surged back, but stabilized below $7,400.

Bitstamp reported that their platform was operating properly as designed.

BTC/USD chart on Bitstamp on May 17

BTC/USD chart on Bitstamp on May 17. Source: TradingView

According to crypto news outlet The Block, the sell order on Bitstamp led to a liquidation of $250 million long positions on the BitMEX exchange, which further resulted in price declines on other crypto exchanges.

As reported by crypto publication Forklog, the sell order on Bitstamp included 5,000 bitcoins sold at $6,200. Some people in crypto community suggested that the sell order could be made by mistake, with the order’s owner having been meant to sell his bitcoin at $8,200 instead of $6,200.

Bitcoin is down around 10% over the past 24 hours to trade at $7,166 at press time after trading at around $7,800 yesterday, while 19 out of the top 20 cryptos by market cap are seeing major losses, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

News source CoinTelegraph.com

Coin Metrics Report Highlights Discrepancies in Ripple’s Escrow System Reporting

Blockchain analysis company Coin Metrics has found discrepancies in blockchain payments network Ripple’s escrow system reporting, according to a May 16 report.

Coin Metrics, which conducts analysis of various aspects of cryptocurrency tokens, investigated Ripple and discovered what it said were contradictions that required an explanation.

“Coin Metrics found several important discrepancies between what was publicly reported by Ripple and what was visible on the XRP ledger,” the report summarized.

The three aspects are the following:

  • “Two quarterly markets reports under-reported the number of XRP released from escrow by a total of 200 million XRP ($84 million at current prices)
  • The “escrow queue” is implemented differently than announced, leading to a faster future release of escrowed funds compared to the announced schedule
  • Other party/parties, potentially associated with Ripple, have released 55 million XRP from an unknown escrow address not connected to the main Ripple escrow account”

According to Coin Metrics, Ripple did not respond to repeated requests for clarification of researchers’ concerns.

As Cointelegraph reported, the company has previously attracted criticism from commentators over the past year: in February, a separate report from trading platform BitMEX accused the company of being overly centralized.

“Compared to traditional assets and currencies, most crypto currencies’ supplies and behaviours can be audited to a much greater degree of precision,” Coin Metrics concluded.

Nonetheless, XRP has had a successful month in May, after American cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase released trading to New York residents and Germany’s second-largest stock exchange debuted an XRP and litecoin (LTC) exchange-traded note.

News source CoinTelegraph.com