Uzun bir süredir istikrarlı olarak ilerleyişine devam eden bitcoin, kripto para boğalarının sevinçleri devam ederken onları üzebilecek bir haberle karşımıza çıktı. Yaklaşık olarak 600 dolar kadar dalışa geçen bitcoin, yatırımcısına uzun bir süre sonra kaybettirmiş oldu Artık eski dalgalanmalar görünmüyor dedikoduları çıkarken güzel bir cevap olan bu düşüş sayesinde piyasaların bir nebze daha hareketlendiğini söyleyebiliriz.
Büyük işlem hacmine sahip kripto paraların çoğu yeşil çizgisinde ilerlemeye devam ediyor ve yatırımcısının yüzünü güldürüyor. Ancak günlük borsa hareketlenmeleri yüzdelik olarak düşük kaldığı için daha yüksek kazanç peşinde koşan kişilerin yeni bir yol aramaya çıktıklarını da hatırlatmak gerek.
Altcoinler Dikkat Çekiyor
Büyük hacimli kripto paralar yeşil seyrinde devam etseler de dar bir aralıkta gezindikleri için özellikle küçük ve orta derecede yatırımları bulunan kişiler için yeterli gelmemekte. Bu yüzden de yatırımcılar yavaş yavaş yüzünü çok daha büyük yüzdesel değişiklikler gösteren altcoinlere çevirmiş durumdalar. Özellikle son birkaç günün parlayan yıldızlarından olan XRP, yatırımcısına en çok kazandıran altcoinler arasında.
The computing power dedicated to mining bitcoin has hit yet another new high, suggesting that more than 600,000 powerful new machines may have come online in the last three months.
According to data from crypto mining pool BTC.com, bitcoin’s two-week average hash rate has crossed another major threshold, reaching 85 exahashes per second (EH/s) around 19:00 UTC last Friday. Meanwhile, mining difficulty also adjusted to a new record of nearly 12 trillion.
Notably, both figures have jumped 60 percent since June 14, the data shows.
Bitcoin’s mining difficulty – a measure of how hard it is to create a block of transactions – adjusts after 2,016 blocks, or roughly every two weeks. This is to ensure the time to produce a block remains around 10 minutes, even as the amount of hashing power, deployed by machines around the globe competing to win freshly minted bitcoins, fluctuates.
Several new models of application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miners hit the market over the summer, with an average hashing power around 55 tera hashes per second (TH/s).
Assuming all of the 35 EH/s of new hashing power added since mid-June came from these top-of-the-line models, a back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that more than half a million such machines have connected to the bitcoin network. (1 EH/s =1 million TH/s)
These powerful ASIC miners, made by major manufacturers such as Bitmain, Canaan, InnoSilicon and MicroBT, are priced from $1,500 to $2,500 each. So if more than half a million of them were delivered, as estimated above, the leading miner makers could have made $1 billion in revenue over the past three months.
Bitcoin’s spiking hash rate and difficulty are in line with the soaring price since earlier this year, which led to increasing demand for mining equipment that has significantly outstripped supply. It’s also in part thanks to the rainy summer season in southwestern China which resulted in cheap, abundant hydroelectric power.
Further, there has also been a growing interest in Russia’s Eastern Siberia region, where the Brastsk hydropower station built in the Cold War era has been utilized to power mining farms that are estimated to account for almost 10 percent of the total computing power on the bitcoin network.
Miners in China estimated earlier this year that bitcoin’s average hash rate in the summer would break the level of 70 EH/s, which happened in August.
As such, major miner manufacturers have already sold out equipment that is due for shipment until the end of the year with customers placing pre-orders three months in advance.
TokenInsight, a startup that focuses on analysis of crypto trading and mining activities, said in a report published Friday that additional supplies of miners are expected to hit the market in the coming months.
“Following the drastic increase in bitcoin’s price, the bitcoin mining market saw significant inflation in Q2 2019. Most of the miners from various manufacturers were in serious shortage and pre-orders submitted in Q2 and Q3 are to be delivered by the end of the year,” the report states.
Therefore, the firm estimates mining difficulty will maintain its growth momentum to reach 15 trillion by the end of the year – with bitcoin’s average total hashing power crossing the threshold of 100 EH/s for the first time in its history.
Fintech startup Neufund has begun launching public offerings on its tokenized equity platform after receiving clearance from a financial regulator in Liechtenstein.
On Monday, the startup announced retail-grade public offerings of tokenized equity. With minimum ticket sizes as low as 10 euro, co-founder and CEO of Neufund Zoe Adamovicz said Neufund remarked that the firm “delivers on its promise to democratize access to funding for entrepreneurs globally” following clearing from the Financial Monetary Authority of Lichtenstein.
“It’s a big day – not just for Neufund, but business and finance,” Adamovicz said in a statement.
U.S. based investors must be accredited to partake. Unlike other tokenized financial products such as initial coin offerings, Neufund’s product is legally binding equity in a firm.
The first retail public offering being launched is for Greyp, an electric mobility platform. Neufund said $16 million in capital has been deployed on the platform to date.
Nefund’s protocol is based on the ethereum blockchain with custom smart contracts built in-house on the ERC-20 token standard. One of the most active participants on the ethereum network, Nefund has been developing the codebase since 2016. Neufund is based in Berlin.
The U.S. has sanctioned three North Korean entities for cyber crimes, mentioning cryptocurrency thefts as one of the reasons for the action.
In a Sept. 13 announcement, the U.S. Department of the Treasury identified the Lazarus Group, Bluenoroff and Andariel as entities now on its the sanctions list, who are believed to be responsible for the theft of $571 million worth of cryptos from five exchanges in Asia in 2017 and 2018.
The announcement comes just days after the North said that it would be holdings its second cryptocurrency-related conference, inviting the community to share information and do deals next February in Pyongyang.
The Treasury department said the stolen funds, including coins from cryptocurrency exchanges, are believed to have been used in the development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
As a result of the designation, all assets owned or controlled by any of the three entities are now blocked and must be reported to Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The announcement said that “U.S. persons,” which broadly includes citizens, residents and companies incorporated in the U.S., are generally prohibited from dealing with the blocked entities. Anyone violating the sanctions could themselves be subject to designation by the Treasury.
Further, any financial institution in any country that deals with the blocked entities could lose their correspondent banking relationships with U.S. financial institutions, essentially locking them out of the dollar market.
Lazarus, which is the parent of the other two groups and also known as Apple Worm and Guardians of Peace, was involved in the WannaCry 2.0 ransomware attacks of 2017, the announcement added.
Bluenoroff, which came to the attention of security companies in 2014 and is sometimes known as APT38 or Stardust Chollima, has stolen funds from financial institutions, including $80 million from the Central Bank of Bangladesh, and has targeted cryptocurrency exchanges.
Andariel was first noticed by the internet security community in 2015 and is also attempting to engage in theft and sow confusion. It was said to be responsible for a 2016 hack into the personal computer of the South Korean Defense Minister.
All three groups are controlled by North Korea and related to the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB), according to the announcement.
A recent U.N. report alleges that the North has stolen $2 billion worth of crypto and fiat currencies in 35 separate attacks in 17 countries. South Korea’s UPbit exchange may have been one of the targets, with the North using phishing attacks to gain control of the computers of customers.
The Facebook-led Libra project is to face questions from 26 central banks over the perceived risks to financial stability posed by the cryptocurrency project.
On Monday, the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructure – a forum for central banks under the Bank for International Settlements – will quiz the Libra Association in Basel, Switzerland, officials told the Financial Times. The attendees will reportedly include the Bank of England and the U.S. Federal Reserve.
European Central Bank executive board member Benoit Coeure will chair the meeting, at which Libra is expected to answer questions on its planned scope and structure. The central banks’ findings will be included in an October report for the G7 nations in October, an official told the FT.
On Friday, following a meeting of EU finance ministers in Helsinki, Finland, Coeure said cryptocurrency projects like Libra have raised “very strong concerns.”
In a report from Bloomberg, Friday, he reportedly said:
“We’ve got to look very carefully at these projects, the bar for regulatory approval has been set very high.”
Coeure added however, that Libra “has prompted fresh thinking on how to improve our payment systems.”
Libra will likely have to make a strong case for its plans, with regulators worldwide having voiced concerns over the project which would offer digital currency-based payments to Facebook’s billions of global users.
Most notably, perhaps, last Thursday, Bruno Le Maire, the French Economy and Finance Minister, threatened to block Libra in the EU saying:
“I want to be absolutely clear: In these conditions, we cannot authorize the development of Libra on European soil.”
The threat to national currencies from Libra has also prompted authorities to ramp up plans for central bank-based digital currencies.
The People’s Bank of China is reportedly rushing to launch its digital yuan in the face of Libra, with a special team working on the project in secret offices away from the institution’s headquarters.
In his Thursday comments, Le Maire also suggested that he has discussed the creation of a “public digital currency” with ECB president Mario Draghi and Christine Lagarde, who will take over his position later this year.
Coeure added Friday that it was time for regulators to “step up our thinking on a central bank digital currency,” according to the FT.
Regulatory pressure on cryptocurrency exchanges to stop providing users with access to so-called privacy coins is growing.
The South Korean arm of the Malta-based OKEX exchange announced early on Monday that it is to delist five cryptocurrencies that provide extra privacy features for users. From Oct. 10, the exchange will no longer support trading in Monero (XMR), dash, zcash (ZEC), horizen (ZEN) and super bitcoin (SBTC).
In its notice, OKEX Korea said it will delist cryptocurrencies that “violate laws or regulations [and] policies of government agencies and major agencies.”
Specifically, in this case, it cited the “travel rule” recommendation to national regulators from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as the reason for pulling the five coins.
The exchange said that as per FATF’s rule, “it is recommended that exchanges be able to collect relevant information such as the name and address of the sender and recipient of the virtual asset.”
As such, it had decided to delist the cryptocurrencies that did not allow that data to be obtained.
The U.K. arm of Coinbase also dropped support for zcash in August, likely due to the need to identify users when required by authorities.
This summer, FATF finalized its recommendations to its 37 member nations, including a controversial requirement that “virtual asset service providers” (VASPs), including cryptocurrency exchanges, pass information about their customers to one another when transferring funds between firms.
The so-called travel rule has been a requirement for international banks when sending each other money on customers’ behalf for some time, but has been described as onerous for blockchain firms and harmful to user privacy.
The global anti-money laundering body gave members 12 months to implement the new recommendations that, while not mandatory, could see nations not complying put on a finance blacklist.
Since June, compliance solutions providers in the crypto space have been moving to launch systems aimed to help exchanges pass each other the required data.
OKEX Korea said that customers have until Dec. 10 to withdraw any of the five delisted coins from the platform.
- With the hash rate or miner’s confidence hitting record highs, bitcoin’s three-day narrowing price range looks set to end with a bullish breakout.
- A range breakout would open the doors to $10,956 – the bearish lower high created on Aug. 20.
- A break below Friday’s low of $10,154 would confirm a range breakdown and could yield a sell-off to $9,855 (Sept. 11 low).
Bitcoin’s latest bout of consolidation may end up with bullish breakout, as a key metric of miner confidence has hit all-time highs.
The top cryptocurrency by market value has clocked lower daily highs and higher daily lows over the last three days and is currently trading at $10,300 on Bitstamp, little changed on a 24-hour basis.
The cryptocurrency has charted the narrowing price range amid a surge in non-price metrics including a rise in the network’s hash rate – a measure of the computing power dedicated to mining bitcoin.
Notably, the two-week average hash rate reached a record high of 85 exahashes per second (EH/s) around 19:00 UTC on Friday. Further, mining difficulty – a measure of how hard it is to create a block of transactions – also jumped to a new all-time high of nearly 12 trillion.
Hash rate can be considered a barometer of miners’ confidence in the bitcoin price rally. After all, they are more likely to dedicate more resources to the computer intensive process that secures the network and processes transactions if they are bullish on price. Miners would likely scale back operations if a price slide is expected.
Hence, many observers, including the likes of Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, and former Wall Street trader and journalist Max Keiser believe prices follow hash rate.
Zhao tweeted on Friday that, a rising hash rate means “more miners are investing in BTC,” while few other observers stated that sellers should think twice before betting against the most secure blockchain (the higher the hash rate of a cryptocurrency network, the more expensive it is to attack).
It is worth noting, though, that the market is divided on the relationship between price and hash rate.
Some observers believe the hash rate follows price and the metric’s stellar performance represents overtly exuberant miners.
That said, the price is likely to follow the hash rate this time, as over-exuberance is typically observed at market tops or near record highs. As of now, BTC is down almost $10,000 from the record high of $20,000 reached in December 2017.
Further, with the next reward halving (supply cut) due in less than a year, market sentiment is quite bullish. The sustained uptick in miners’ confidence is more likely to draw fresh bids, possibly leading to a positive feedback loop.
Daily and 4-hour charts
Bitcoin has charted (above left) back-to-back inside bar candlestick pattern on the daily chart over the last three days. The first inside bar appeared on Friday as that day’s high and low fell within Thursday’s trading range. The second and the third inside bar candle was created on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Inside bars indicate consolidation and lack of volatility, often ending with an explosive move on either side. A break below the first inside bar’s (Friday) low of $10,154 would imply range breakdown and could yield a stronger sell-off to levels below $9,855 (Sept. 11 low).
A break above Friday’s high of $10,458 would imply range breakout and open the doors to $10,956 (July 20 high).
The falling wedge breakout confirmed on the 4-hour chart (above right) last week is still valid. So, the probability of range breakout is high.
Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.
JPMorgan’s blockchain-based payments initiative has added Deutsche Bank as its latest member.
The addition brings the total number of banks signed up for the Interbank Information Network (IIN) to 320, according to a report from the Financial Times on Sunday.
Announced in October 2017, IIN is built on Quorum, the ethereum-based blockchain network developed by the banking giant, and employs a stablecoin dubbed JPM Coin. JPMorgan said at the time that the platform would slash the time and costs required when resolving interbank payments delays.
IIN saw the start of remittance trials with JPMorgan’s client banks in June.
As per the FT report, the bulk of the member banks use JPMorgan to process USD payments. Deutsche Bank, though, ranks number one globally for clearing of euro-denominated payments.
Takis Georgakopoulos, managing director of treasury services at JPMorgan, told the newspaper that, since IIN would have “very big natural limitations” if IIN members were only drawn from the bank’s client pool, the addition of Deutsche Bank “is going to help us drive towards ubiquity.”
IIN brings efficiencies by writing all the data on payments a shared ledger, thus allowing problematic payments to be resolved more quickly and with less manual processes, said Deutsche Bank’s global head of cash management, Ole Matthiessen.
With his bank having recently cut back its investment banking business and now relying more on transaction banking, he said joining IIN is “an important step” that would reduce Deutsche’s costs and also allow it to offer better services to clients.
Matthiessen added that IIN’s plan to have 400 members by the end of 2019 is on track, and that other major banking members are likely to be announced very soon.
Harbor has pivoted from helping companies issue security tokens to helping them tokenize existing securities.
Announced Monday, the startup has created tokens on the ethereum blockchain representing the shares of four real estate funds worth $100 million.
The move is intended to make these private securities easier to trade for the 1,100 investors that hold them, along with 17 broker-dealers and 17 placement agents that work with the funds’ manager, iCap Equity.
“For years, we’ve been looking for ways to create the best investment experience we can and for us that means providing liquidity for them,” said Chris Christensen, CEO of Bellevue, Washington-based iCap.
The news also represents a strategic shift for Harbor, from helping clients raise funds by selling security tokens to providing an infrastructure layer for such instruments.
Harbor “evolved from crowdfunding and tokens to being the Salesforce.com” of the security token industry, said Josh Stein, CEO of San Francisco-based Harbor.
Initially, the company tried to build tokens backed by real-world assets. It reckoned that if investors were interested in initial coin offerings (ICOs) issued by projects with only a promise, they would “be excited” for backed tokens, Stein said.
However, he added:
“The overlap between investors demanding tokens and investors interested in security tokens was zero. People were buying tokens but they weren’t buying it to invest, they were buying it to speculate.”
Last year, Harbor partnered with DRW Holdings’ real estate wing to facilitate the sale of nearly 1,000 tokenized shares in an apartment building. However, the deal fell apart earlier this year due to issues between the mortgage lender and issuer.
Harbor is providing a user platform for the investors, broker-dealers and advisors, which includes a private marketplace they can use to trade the securities.
Christensen said the funds are “high-yield, [which] usually requires a lockup” under which investors contractually cannot sell their shares for three to five years.
“We just knew if we can provide measured liquidity for them and allow us to continue our business model [but] allow them to … exit as needed, that would be cutting-edge,” he said.
Typically, iCap investors buy securities and commit to the multi-year lockup. However, investors could need their money back before that period ended, Christensen explained. Under its old system, these investors would have to find another investor who would be willing to purchase the securities and commit to the remainder of the lockup period.
The process to find an investor interested in purchasing these securities and then transfer them was time-consuming and costly, but a market already exists: Christensen said his company has previously facilitated $2 million in trades for these funds.
“What Harbor does is they automate this entire process,” he added. “Those who want to come in come in, those who want to exit can do that.”
The 17 broker-dealers that now have access to the platform include Bradley Wealth, an investment advisor.
“It’s never going to be like a public market, but we can take something that’s illiquid or semi-liquid and make it more liquid,” Stein said.
‘Nobody’s marketing it’
iCap operates under Rule 144 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which requires a one-year mandatory lockup period for securities sold, separate from the restrictions the firm imposes, Christensen said.
“Once you’ve held a security for one year, it can be freely tradeable,” he said.
What is interesting, Stein said, is that after this first year ends, non-accredited investors can trade the securities (though iCap approves the platform’s users, so it is not open to the general public).
“I don’t think it’s a goal but what it says to these broker-dealers and RIAs [is] that they have this investment … they can get their non-accredited clients into it,” he said.
He noted that unlike ICOs or other crowdfunding efforts, these fund shares, now represented by ERC-20 tokens on ethereum, are passive instruments.
“It’s not like when you think of ICOs or crowdfunding where somebody’s pushing an investment,” he said. “It democratizes it but nobody’s out there marketing it.”
Nevertheless, Stein said the new strategy is aligned with Harbor’s broader mission, concluding:
“What we’re hoping to do is increase access … in real estate and other [areas], which was kind of the promise of security tokens to begin with. We’re just going about it a different way.”
The head of Facebook’s Calibra – the entity created by Facebook to provide financial services including a digital wallet for the planned Libra cryptocurrency – has spoken out in response to claims from authorities that the project poses a threat to nations’ “monetary sovereignty.”
In a Twitter thread on Monday, David Marcus, who co-created Libra, said he wanted to “debunk” that notion – one most notably promoted by France’s Economy and Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire.
Le Maire said last Thursday that, with Libra, “The monetary sovereignty of states is under states is under threat,” and further threatened to block the project’s development in the EU.
Marcus said that Libra will be “backed 1:1 by a basket of strong currencies. This means that for any unit of Libra to exist, there must be the equivalent value in its reserve.” As such, Libra will not be creating new money. That function will “strictly remain the province of sovereign nations,” he said.
The Calibra chief further clarified that Libra is being built to be a “better” payment network utilizing national currencies, and “delivering meaningful value to consumers all around the world.”
Marcus welcomed the attention from regulators, however, saying:
“We believe strong regulatory oversight preventing the Libra Association from deviating from its full 1:1 backing commitment is desirable.“
His comments come as a group of 26 central banks – including the European Central Bank, the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of England – meets in Switzerland to grill the Libra Association over the scope and design of the project.
In the thread, Marcus also pledged to continue working with “central banks, regulators, and lawmakers to ensure we address their concerns through Libra’s design and operations.”