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ETF Industry Veteran: Bitcoin is a Multi-Trillion Dollar Opportunity

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Investing in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies has always been a rocky ride. Is the volatility worth it? ETF industry veteran and Bitwise executive Matt Hougan certainly thinks so.

Generationally-Significant Opportunity

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that those of us investing in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies right now are still the early adopters — and the potential for significant gains down the road is massive.

Bitwise Asset Management Vice President of Research and Development Matt Hougan recently appeared on Bloomberg Markets to discuss leaving the ETF industry in favor of “going all in on crypto” — where he made some seriously bullish statements on Bitcoin’s and other cryptocurrencies’ long-term potential.

First and foremost, Hougan — who started out in the ETF industry when it was still new and emerging — is attracted to cryptocurrency because he finds the space exciting and positively brimming with potential. He explained:

I was looking around for a new, potentially generationally-significant opportunity with interesting challenges — crypto is exactly it. The problems that crypto is trying to solve have total addressable markets in the trillions of dollars. That’s hugely interesting and exciting. And yet the institutional framework for evaluating crypto assets are still new and nascent … So it’s just an exciting space with an enormous amount of potential.

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Despite Slow Start, Analysts Believe 2018 Could be the Best Year for Bitcoin

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Cryptocurrency markets are not off to a good start in 2018. Most markets have lost nearly half of their value during the first few weeks. This most recent dip has pushed the momentum back as well. Even so, analysts are convinced this year will be very bullish for all cryptocurrency markets in the long run. Especially Bitcoin may see some big gains.

Bitcoin Scalability Improvements?

All cryptocurrency markets have seen major declines throughout the first seven weeks of 2018. Although Bitcoin showed some good momentum this week, most gains have been lost once again. Whether or not this is a bubble effectively bursting, remains to be determined. However, there are still a few solid reasons as to why things may turn out for the better. Julian Hosp remains bullish on cryptocurrency for quite some time to come.

Especially where Bitcoin is concerned, things can still improve quite a bit. With new scaling solutions coming to the ecosystem, a lot of progress will be made. Segregated Witness is now enabled by default through the Core client. It has also become more convenient to use altogether. If this adoption rate improves, the Lightning Network has a fair chance of succeeding as well. For now, there is no official release date for the Lightning Network as of yet.

With a lack of scaling, Bitcoin made a lot of headlines due to mounting fees. At one point, a Bitcoin transaction cost over $20. It is far from ideal, yet solving the problem is not all that easy. With SegWit and LN, those fees should eventually come down over time. Only time will tell if this works as people expect it to. Moreover, the addition of smart contracts to Bitcoin through Rootstock is something to look forward to.

Other Cryptocurrencies and ICOs

Cryptocurrency is about so much more than just Bitcoin, though. More regulation of this entire industry can be a good thing in many different ways. If an industry is regulated, it is “validated” in the eyes of the general public. For now, we see dozens of countries looking into regulating Bitcoin and other currencies. Not everyone is a big fan of regulation, as it imposes severe restrictions in some cases. For now, it seems further regulation will help legitimize cryptocurrencies and digital tokens moving forward.

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Could Blockchain Impact Gun Control?

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As debate rages upon the subject of gun control, a professor at Washington State University has suggested using blockchain technology to make an impact.

The topic of gun control has become a hot topic once again in the United States due to the recent school shooting in Florida. As pundits from both ideological sides of the issue rage back and forth, a new wrinkle has emerged: blockchain technology. A professor of public health at Washington State University has proposed using the blockchain to help address the issue.

Firearms and Blockchain

The professor, Thomas Heston, has floated the idea of using the blockchain to create a database to track firearm information. In a paper, Heston writes that people who own a gun can upload their information to an electronic gun safe. This data would be tied to the individual’s biometric data, like their fingerprint.

This blockchain-based database would then be used to track the creation and sale of guns, and the data would be instantly verifiable. Heston says that this approach would protect the information of gun owners from being hacked and reduce gun-related injuries. Another benefit would be that it would boost the accuracy of background checks.

Heston does say that there are certain challenges facing the use of blockchain technology in regards to gun control on a national level. He says:

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An Ethereum Classic Fork Snapshot Is Coming Next Week

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Next week the ethereum classic (ETC) community is expecting to receive coins from a ‘snapshot’ fork called ‘callisto’ (CLO). The clone will be an exact copy of the ETC chain up until block 5,500,000 and ETC holders will receive a 1:1 ratio of CLO coins.

The First High Profile Hard Fork Is About to Get Forked

The funny thing about ethereum classic is that it was one of the first high profile blockchain splits and ethereum (ETH) holders received a 1:1 ratio of ETC after the hard fork at block 1,920,000. The fork was caused by members of the Ethereum community because they rejected the idea to ‘bail out’ the DAO, an ETH application that lost $150Mn that year. Some individuals firmly believe that ETC is the ‘one true’ Ethereum network. Callisto, however, is not quite like the ETC hard fork as it’s a snapshot much like bitcoin gold, bitcoin diamond, and the other clones that appeared over the past year.

Callisto Developers Believe CLO Will Have Better Smart Contract Security

Essentially CLO coins will share the same history as the existing ETC chain but from block 5,500,000 and forward the network will be its own. The cloning is expected to happen next week sometime on or after March 2. The reason behind the snapshot is because CLO developers believe there are issues regarding ETC’s smart contract design. According to the CLO white paper ETC is susceptible to smart contract hacks much like the DAO platform. The CLO developers plan to create a “Official Smart-contract Auditing Department of CLO & ETC,” so one could assume the snapshot may be considered an extension of the ETC community.    

“The main goal of callisto is to research and develop a reference implementation of self-sustaining, self-governed, self-funded blockchain ecosystem and development environment,” explains the CLO white paper.  

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Litecoin Price Analysis: LTC/USD Declines Below $200

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Litecoin price was not able to hold the $205 and $200 support levels against the US Dollar. LTC/USD traded towards $180 before starting a short-term correction.

Key Talking Points

Litecoin price extended declines and traded below a major support at $200 (Data feed of Kraken) against the US Dollar. There is a key bearish trend line forming with resistance at $205 on the hourly chart of the LTC/USD pair. The pair may correct a few points in the short term, but it may face sellers near $205 and $210.

There was a no major recovery in litecoin price above $225 yesterday against the US dollar. The LTC/USD pair even failed to hold the $205 support level and declined below the $200 handle. It traded towards the $180 level and formed a low at $181.

The pair is now trading well below the $200 level and the 100 hourly simple moving average. It recently started an upside correction and is currently trading near the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $252 high to $181 low.

However, there are many barriers on the upside for buyers above the $200 level. There is also a key bearish trend line forming with resistance at $205 on the hourly chart of the LTC/USD pair.

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Cardano Price Technical Analysis – ADA/USD Bearish Below $0.35

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Key HighlightsADA price is struggling to recover and it recently declined below the $0.3200 level against the US Dollar (tethered). There is a major declining channel forming with resistance at $0.3205 on the hourly chart of the ADA/USD pair (data feed via Bittrex). The pair is currently correcting higher, but it may face a lot of resistance near $0.3250 and $0.3500 in the near term.

Cardano price declined further against the US Dollar and Bitcoin. ADA/USD is currently trading well below the $0.3500 level and in a bearish zone.

Cardano Price Decline

There was no major recovery in ADA price above the $0.3600 level against the US Dollar. The price did not move above the $0.4000 resistance and declined once again. During the recent slide, it broke the $0.3500 and $0.3300 support levels. It even traded below $0.3200 to test the $0.3000 area. A low was formed at $0.2995, and the price is currently consolidating losses around the $0.3000 level.

It is testing the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $0.3866 high to $0.2995 low. It seems like the price may find it hard to break the $0.3200 and $0.3300 resistance levels in the short term. There is also a major declining channel forming with resistance at $0.3205 on the hourly chart of the ADA/USD pair. The channel resistance at $0.3205 is near the 23.6% Fib level. If there is a break above $0.3205, the price may correct further higher. The next major resistance is near $0.3430 and the 50% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $0.3866 high to $0.2995 low.

On the downside, the $0.3000 level is a major support. If the price fails to stay above $0.3000, it could even trade back towards the $0.2500 level in the near term.

Hourly MACD – The MACD for ADA/USD is slowly recovering and is showing positive signs.

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How Regulations Will Impact ICOs in 2018

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Cryptocurrency has been around for a number of years, but it really gained traction and popularity in 2017. It went from being the money of the future to the latest and greatest way to invest and get a great return rather quickly. Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are one of the investments that gained popularity along with cryptocurrency because they go hand in hand.

An ICO is a crowdfunding method that uses cryptocurrency instead of cash. Companies will offer tokens in exchange for a cryptocurrency that they specify. The token can then be used to purchase from that company in the future or can be sold to others. There are already numerous ICOs that are currently active and many that are scheduled for launch.

ICOs offer numerous benefits to both the companies that offer them and those who invest in them. One big benefit to companies that choose to raise funding through an ICO is that ICOs are typically much faster and easier methods of fundraising compared to other, traditional fundraising options. One of the big benefits to investors is that cryptocurrencies are quite liquid and can result in quicker returns and profits.

One of the reasons that ICOs have gained popularity and been such fast and effective ways of raising funds is their lack of regulation. Although, as they grew in popularity, there were some regulations placed on ICOs, they have been relatively unregulated up until now. Rather than having to jump through hoops, fill out paperwork, and see to it that all formalities are followed, and in some cases even ask permission, both those seeking funding and investors alike have been able to get down to business and get deals done more quickly when working through an ICO.

The lack of regulation isn’t all good, though. Because there aren’t any security protocols, and rules and regulations in place, virtually anyone can create an ICO, which means that some ICOs have been accused of being or uncovered as fraudulent. Not only is there a high number of fraudulent ICOs on the market, investors are not protected against fraudulent offerings since there aren’t many rules and regulations, and if they fall victim to a fraudulent ICO, they aren’t able to recoup the investment they have made.

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California Largest State to Recognize Blockchain Records

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California millennial Assemblyperson recently pushed a bill to recognize digital signatures and contracts recorded on the blockchain, making California one of several US States using or considering implementing the technology.

Millennial Assemblyperson Pushes Bill

Assemblymember Ian Calderon (D-Cal), who was elected to the state assembly at the age of 27 as the first ‘millennial’ assembly person, launched California assembly bill 2568 which would update existing laws to include blockchain technology for electronic signatures and contracts.

If the bill passes it would make California one of only a few states so far recognizing such technology but establish a precedent due to its size and economic importance.

California, as the most populous state in the US with 39 million citizens, commands a $2.3 trillion economy which reviles that of the entire UK would be a huge testing ground for blockchain implementation.

The new bill, which builds on the existing law dubbed the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, paves the way for an electronic record or signature secured by the blockchain to be deemed legal and enforceable. Key revisions in the latest version include –

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Ripple Price Technical Analysis – XRP/USD Tumbles Further

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Key HighlightsRipple price could not hold the $0.9000 support and moved below the $0.8400 level against the US dollar. There is a key bearish trend line forming with resistance at $0.8700 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair (data source from SimpleFx). The pair is trading around the $0.8400 level and is currently trading with a bearish bias.

Ripple price failed to move higher and declined against the US Dollar and Bitcoin. XRP/USD may correct a few points higher, but it could face resistance near $0.9000.

Ripple Price Upside Hurdle

There was an extension to yesterday’s decline in Ripple price from the $0.8800 swing high against the US Dollar. The price failed to hold the $0.9000 and $0.8400 support levels and declined further. An intraday low was formed at $0.8015 before price started a minor upside correction. It is currently trading above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $0.9483 high to $0.8015 low.

However, there are many hurdles on the upside below the $0.9000 level. There is also a key bearish trend line forming with resistance at $0.8700 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair. At the moment, the price is testing the 38.2% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $0.9483 high to $0.8015 low. There is a chance of it moving further higher towards the $0.8700 or $0.8800 levels, but an upside break won’t be easy. Moreover, the 50% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $0.9483 high to $0.8015 low is at $0.8749 to act as a resistance.

On the downside, the $0.8100 and $0.8000 levels are decent supports. As long as the price is above the $0.8000 handle, it could make an attempt to recover above $0.9000.

Looking at the technical indicators:

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Moscow Looks to Blockchain for Fair Elections

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The city of Moscow is looking to evolve their Active Citizen polling network to log votes in upcoming elections. Thus making the election process transparent to all and tamper-free.

Active Citizens Decide for Themselves

As the white house continues to deny any allegations of collusion with Russian hackers and the FBI doggedly turns over more and more evidence of Russia’s influence on the 2016 elections the city of Moscow is making moves to make sure it can’t happen there.

Since 2014 the Russian city has had a program in place called Active Citizen. This program allows citizens to vote on big projects in order to eliminate corruption. So far citizens have cast their votes on the seat colors at the new Luzhinki stadium, whether or not to participate in a major housing renovation program and the official badges that doctors will wear in all the cities hospitals.

Blockchain Tech Can Help to Ensure Fair Election Polling

In 2017 the Active Citizen program was moved on to a Blockchain network where ideally the data can never be deleted or changed and the system cannot be hacked. Today it has added a private version of the Ethereum network to the existing architecture with a view towards implementing this into the city’s voting process.

In this way, city officials hope to soothe citizen’s fears of vote manipulation while showing the world’s governments that free and fair elections can be had in Russia.

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