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US Government to Sell Bitcoin Seized from Dark Web Dealer

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The US government has been approved by a federal judge in Utah to sell 513 Bitcoin and 512 Bitcoin Cash seized from an investigation involving Aaron Michael Shamo, a dark web dealer.

513 Bitcoin and 512 Bitcoin Cash

The U.S government is expected to sell all crypto assets of Aaron Michael Shamo(Shamo)following his recent arrest, including approx. $10 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BTC).

On May 31, 2017, Shamo along with other dark web operators including Drew Wilson Crandall, Mario Anthony Noble, and Sean Michael Gygi were found guilty of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, aiding the importation of a controlled substance, intentional adulteration of drugs, use of the US mail in drug trafficking, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and engaging in monetary transaction in property derived from specified unlawful activity.

When the dark web operators were found guilty of the charges filed by the FBI, the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash holdings of the criminals were seized and moved to the custody of the United States Marshals Service (USMS).

The US government expressed its concerns over the high volatility rate of the crypto assets, suggesting they would rather sell the coins instead. Moreover, the US government stated that it is costly to securely store the seized coins in the official court document released and approved by Utah district judge Dale A. Kimball.

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Bitcoin Adoption Continues to Thrive Within Africa’s Borders

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According to multiple reports this week the decentralized currency bitcoin is still booming in many African countries. From South Africa to the Sub-Saharan region, citizens from all walks of life are finding bitcoin beneficial. This is making domestic cryptocurrency exchanges and peer-to-peer trading platforms’ volumes climb while digital currencies are also selling at a premium.

Bitcoin Interest and Adoption is Trending Among African Millennials

The digital currency bitcoin is trending in Africa according to many reports and Google’s aggregated trend data. One particular group bitcoin is appealing to is African millennials, the columnist Catherine Byaruhanga from Uganda reports. For instance, a young resident from Kampala, Peace Akware, hopes her investment in bitcoin will grow enough for her to purchase a vehicle, and possibly even buy land some day. Another individual from Kampala, Martin Serugga, is teaching young millennials about cryptocurrencies in his weekly class that over 50 people attend. Serugga teaches the class how to trade cryptocurrencies against fiat used in the region.

Other reports detail that since the economic and political turmoil in South Africa residents from the area started looking to bitcoin. The exchange, Etoro saw a spike in users back in March when the region’s finance minister Pravin Gordhan lost his position.

“In South Africa, the number of new users trading bitcoin through eToro rose by 671% from January to the end of November last year over the same period in 2016, more than the 574% overall growth,” explains Mati Greenspan, an analyst for Etoro.

Google Trends indicates a lot of bitcoin searches stem from South Africa.Localbitcoins trade volumes reach all-time highs in South Africa.Thousands of Trades Taking Place Every Week and BTC Exchanges for a Premium

More populated areas like Sudan, South Africa, and Kenya continue to see adoption levels rise. The head of marketing for digital asset platform Luno, Werner van Rooyen, details that “thousands of trades are being made by South Africans every week.” Further, as news.Bitcoin.com reported a few weeks ago, the recent resignation of Robert Mugabe has caused BTC prices in Zimbabwe to spike exponentially higher than the global average. The tumultuous economy in Zimbabwe has caused the price of bitcoin to exceed global averages multiple times over the past year.

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Tron, Cardano, Verge and Ripple – Four Cryptocurrencies That Actually Meet the Definition of Vaporware

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‘Vaporware’ is a term that’s tossed about loosely, often against cryptocurrency projects that have no clear use case. It’s an easy accusation to make given that many crypto projects are still at the development stage, and haven’t had a chance to prove themselves. This year’s vaporware could be next year’s ethereum – or at least so the investors hope. While a vast number of cryptocurrencies are derided as vaporware, the following four attract this jibe more than most.

Catching the Vapors

Vaporware has been defined as “software or hardware that has been advertised but is not yet available to buy, either because it is only a concept or because it is still being written or designed”. That definition applies to 90% of all ICOs right now, which are either still tallying up their ether or hunting down devs capable of bringing their six-page white paper to life. It will be months or even years before we discover which projects proved their worth, and which were wearing the emperor’s new clothes: ”blockchain” dressed up as innovation.

The vaporware meme gained traction in November after Nate Murray published a graphic describing the top 100 cryptocurrencies in four words or less. In it, Veritaseum was labeled as vaporware, though there are coins much higher on the list that arguably warrant that epithet like Kin, a billion dollar token with zero uses at present. The following projects have every chance of success. To their detractors, though, they’re little more than software in search of a solution – and unbuilt software at that.

Tron

Tron founder Justin Sun is a rising star, listed in Forbes Asia’s 30 Under 30 and CEO of a company that’s risen from nothing to attain a $13 billion valuation in under six months. Tron has been one of 2018’s biggest success stories, despite the year being barely a week old. The token soared into the cryptocurrency top 10 after its market cap quadrupled in a day and a half. On January 5, Tron commanded a $16 billion market cap: not bad for a company that has no product whatsoever. Not everyone is a fan though, including Monero’s Riccardo Spagni.

The outspoken developer of the darknet’s favorite privacy coin conceded, however, that he bought Tron in December, explaining “just because I can identify scams doesn’t mean I’m averse to making money.” Critics have called Tron “the $14 billion whitepaper with no product” and the project seems to borrow heavily from LBRY, which launched last May.

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Cut Off? Here Are 7 Different Bitcoin Debit Card Services and Fees

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Just recently we reported on European bitcoin users having issues with their loadable bitcoin debit cards. Even though some of these businesses are having a few issues, there are many cryptocurrency debit cards available all around the world.

Since 2015 Bitcoin-Based Debit Cards Have Grown Very Popular

These days cryptocurrency enthusiasts have a lot more infrastructure than the early days when bitcoin was just getting started. One of the biggest trends of 2015-2017 was the rise of loadable cryptocurrency debit cards backed by Visa, Mastercard, and other financial institutions. Some of the cards like the Coinbase Shift card uses cryptocurrency funds directly while other cards like the Bitpay Visa users sell their bitcoin for a balance of fiat reserves. Depending on where the crypto-enthusiast lives they can order multiple types of cards and some cards also process digital assets like ethereum and bitcoin cash. Today we’re going to discuss the wide range of digital currency loadable debit cards that are available in many different countries.

Keep in mind that we previously reported this past week that Wavecrest Holdings Ltd. have been giving some cryptocurrency card companies issues. At the moment European issued bitcoin debit cards such as Cryptopay, Tenx, Bitwala, Bitpay (EUR), and Xapo are out of service.

“Once we are able to service Xapo Cards in your country again, we will offer you a new card free of charge — We are hard at work to find alternative card solutions for you,” explains Xapo’s announcement on January 5, 2018.  

Bitwala Prepaid Debit Card

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Tether Now Supported on the Ethereum Network

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Tether has switched from the previously used Omni protocol to the Ethereum network, citing lower fees and faster confirmations for the switch.

“Tethered” to the Dollar

Tethers are a very controversial product in the cryptocurrency space and have been for months on end. They are a cryptocurrency that is backed by traditional fiat currencies, such as the United States Dollar or the Euro. Many exchanges have adopted tethers, as they offer a method of implementing USD pairs without having to use dollars. This loophole can allow exchanges to work with “dollars” without having to jump through regulatory hoops.

The old tether system used the Omni protocol, a system that allows for custom smart contracts using the Bitcoin network’s security. The switch to Ethereum is exciting, as they’ve already migrated USDT and EURT to the new network.

The company announced that the switch was due to high fees and slow confirmations, two problems that Ethereum offers a solution to. Tether has launched the new contracts and is in the process of transferring value across the chains. It may take some time for a full roll out onto Ethereum.

Concerns About the Token

Tether has come under fire as of late for some questionable actions. Many are still awaiting a full third-party audit on the tether reserves. The reserves are bank accounts that Tether claims have a matching number of dollars as the number of USDT in circulation. More eyebrows were raised when it was discovered that tether has a clause in their ToS stating they have no obligation redeem the tethers at face value.

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China Planning to Push Away Mining Companies and Reduce BTC Mining

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Being the leader of the crypto-ecosystem – Bitcoin is very famous, and specifically, in China where like new innovations and technology do find their right adoption place quite fast, Bitcoin is doing so too. Proportionally with the trading, there is a lot of BTC mining going on in the country where bitcoin mining companies are spreading out. However, the GOV of China could be drafting plans to send them away from the country.

For starters, the process of mining is done by powerful computers that are brought together with the sole purpose of solving complicated algorithms and math problems in that way that new so-called blocks are formed and found in the specific blockchain. As the work is done, it will conclude with a payout for the one who is doing it.

Bitcoin mining is very expensive for a few reasons. First, it uses a lot of energy. The electricity consumption of cryptocurrency mining has been discussed over and over again, especially by environmentalists who claim that the technology is costing the planet too much. As the world becomes more and more affected by pollution and global warming, it is essential to rethink our economy and our society in a greener way. This is why bitcoin mining is bothering a lot of activists. Another issue with mining are the costs. It is extremely expensive to mine, as it requires costly equipment ($3,000 and up) and electricity costs are very high. In addition, storage space and cooling equipment have to be taken into account.  Lastly, the rewards are decreasing over time as the mining difficulty is going up. Therefore, it is becoming less and less profitable to mine bitcoin. In the beginning, it was possible for an individual to mine bitcoin on his own computer, and obtain good returns. Nowadays, it requires ASICs mining rigs and is usually not very profitable.

The power usage and Electricity is why China is attempting to distance itself from the mining companies. The above mentioned firms did make their way to China because of the low costs in electricity, cheap labor and cheap chip manufacturing firms. Keeping in mind that the consumption is to high, individuals form the gov stated:

 “to limit the industry’s power use and have asked local governments to guide miners toward an “orderly” exit from the business”

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Here You Are! The Winner of the Crypto Portfolio Contest!

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We are happy to announce the winner of the Crypto Portfolio Contest. As of January 5th (15:00 GMT) , the value of the portfolio is $133.71 .  The winner is Make Money ! His prediction,  ​ $135.48 ​ ​,  turned out to be the closest to the actual value ​ !  Congratulations! Please contact us via PM on TokenZone or send us an email...
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Recent Comments
Dmitry Ivanov
My prediction is $120,46
Saturday, 30 December 2017 13:03
Alex Krasnov
I'll go for $108.22
Sunday, 31 December 2017 10:20
Anthony VLV
Pretty sure it’s going to be $116.85
Sunday, 31 December 2017 16:13
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Bitcoin Price Watch; Trading The Recovery

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It is Friday morning and it’s time to take the first of our twice daily looks at the bitcoin price. Over the last few weeks, the final session of the week (i.e. the one that lies just ahead of us) has been quite a bit more active than the sessions that preceded it. Exactly what this is symptomatic of remains unclear but it’s a trend that we have been able to take advantage of on a number of occasions and it’s one that, heading into today’s session, we hope we will be able to take advantage of once more.

So, to quickly address price action overnight, things ran up late US to stage something of a recovery and then took a bit of a dip heading into the early morning European session this morning. Right now, we are sitting somewhere between the peak and the trough and, with any luck, we will see things once again reverse to the upside and eat away at the end of year decline that we saw heading into the new year last week.

As ever, then, take a quick look at the chart below before we get into the nitty-gritty. The chart is a one-minute candlestick chart and it has our primary focus range overlaid in green.

As the chart shows, the range that we are using for the session today comes in as defined by support to the downside at 15969 and resistance to the upside at 16190.

If we see price close above resistance, we will enter into a long trade towards an immediate upside target of 16300. A stop loss on the position somewhere in the region of 16165 looks good from a risk management perspective. Conversely, looking the other way, if price closes below support, it will signal a short entry towards a downside target of 15880.

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Coinbase Rejection Sees Ripple Drop 20% As Rumors Evaporate

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Ripple’s seemingly unstoppable bull run took a hit Thursday after US exchange Coinbase dispelled rumors it would add the asset.

‘No Plans For New Assets’

From highs above $3.60, the latest milestone in what has become the biggest-ever annual appreciation for a major cryptocurrency of around 35,000%, the platform’s XRP token swiftly fell by almost a fifth following the news.

As of press time Friday, XRP is correcting and is still down 9% versus USD and 15.4% against Bitcoin (BTC).

A blog post from Coinbase reads:

As of the date of this statement, we have made no decision to add additional assets to either GDAX or Coinbase. Any statement to the contrary is untrue and not authorized by the company.

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Stellar Rockets into the Cryptocurrency Top 10 After Tripling in a Week

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2018 is still in diapers and yet the cryptocurrency top 10 is already looking very different to last year. Gone are the likes of Dash, replaced by coins that have never reached these heady heights before: Tron and Stellar. The latter peaked at number six this week after tripling in value in seven days from a low of 32 cents. Stellar now boasts a $13 billion market cap. After lying low for the first three years of its existence, stellar is riding high and attracting widespread media attention.

Join STELLAR PRICE PREDICTION CONTEST - GET 100 XLM for FREE!From a Ripple to a Rocket

Stellar is described is an open-source project with a “distributed, hybrid blockchain”. It “exists to facilitate cross-asset transfers of value, including payments. The Stellar Network forms “an open, global financial network where all actors – be they people, payment networks, or banks – have equal access”. If that sounds a lot like Ripple, that’s because it is: Stellar is Ripple’s sibling, having been created by Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb after he left the company. McCaleb is also famous for having sold Mt Gox to Mark Karpeles in 2011. Stellar was initially a fork of the Ripple protocol, before later being extensively rewritten.

Lumens (XLM) are the currency that power the Stellar Network, which boasts transaction times of under five seconds. The network has a fixed inflation rate of 1% per year. Like Ripple, Stellar’s targets are financial institutions and corporations, and the company has already inked deals with IBM and Deloitte; the latter is classified as a partner. Stellar’s goal, like that of many cryptocurrencies, is to become the web’s go-to payment solution. Low fees and fast transaction times are its two biggest claims, although the same can be said of many altcoins.

Billions of Lumens Shining Bright

In 2017, 29 cryptocurrencies exceeded bitcoin’s 1,600% gains, and stellar was one of them. Its value has grown an astonishing 28,000% in the space of a year. In the past 24 hours, $800 million lumens were traded on exchanges. The token reached an all-time high of 90 cents this week and is currently trading for around 75 cents.

Some commenters see Ripple and Stellar as locked in a battle for supremacy, enacting their own version of Bitcoin Core vs Bitcoin Cash. Given the similarities between Ripple and Stellar, including their shared codebase, people, and target audience, these comparisons are inevitable. In terms of developing relationships with banks and other financial institutions, Ripple is streets ahead, but Stellar has the upper hand in other areas.

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