Sleepy Swiss town launches Tezos-backed Coronavirus aid program

Sleepy Swiss town launches Tezos-backed Coronavirus aid program

The town of Wetzikon will be using blockchain tech for targeted local business aid

On Friday the Swiss town of Wetzikon -- formerly best-known for its idyllic pastures and churches -- launched a blockchain-based program to support small and medium-sized local businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Valued at 250,000 Swiss francs ($280,000), the initial aid disbursement will be funded with a municipal credit line earmarked for the Coronavirus and will be distributed to the roughly 25,000 inhabitants of Wetzikon in the form of an eCoupon worth 10 Swiss francs. 

Residents can access the disbursement through a smartphone app, “ecoo,” which will be using the aid program as a pilot trial for its platform. 

According to their website, ecoo is designed to help entities such as governments and event organizers distribute earmarked funds in the form of coins and points, and was built on the Tezos blockchain through a collaboration between the Swiss firms Papers AG and multiple subsidiaries of Farner Consulting AG. 

On the app residents will be able to convert their coupons into “WetziKoins” that they can later use to make purchases at local companies. Local business owners can then convert the currency back into Swiss francs from the town administration, also via the app. 

Ruedi Rüfenacht, Mayor of Wetzikon, said of the program: “Under the current circumstances it is imperative for us to act in favor of the local economy in a sustainable manner. With ecoo, we have found a viable solution to motivate the people of Wetzikon to shop in local stores instead of just buying online or from wholesalers outside our town. ”

Wetzikon is not the only government that has explored using blockchain technology as a response to the Coronavirus. Bank of Canada exec Timothy Lane has previous called on central governments to prepare for Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) in an effort to encourage cross-border digital payments.

MicroStrategy's bottom line gets beefier on Bitcoin moves: Bad crypto news of the week

MicroStrategy's bottom line gets beefier on Bitcoin moves: Bad crypto news of the week

Check out this week’s Bad Crypto podcast.

It’s been another strong week for Bitcoin. The dollar price is up about 2.5 percent over the week, although that’s still something of a decline from its recent high above $13,400. At one point, Bitcoin fell 4 percent in 24 hours. But bulls remain optimistic and see the price advancing towards $20,000, possibly as early as March. That future price movement will depend on a number of factors, including whether banks follow Paypal into cryptocurrency acceptance; the size of the stimulus expected to counter the new coronavirus outbreak; and the pattern of the hash rate, among other factors. One point of volatility could come at the end of the month: that’s when the BTC options market reaches a $750 million expiration. In the meantime, large amounts of Bitcoin are on the move. A whale has recently transferred a billion dollars’ worth of Bitcoin. It cost them $3.58.

Despite that volatility, Anthony Pompliano, the co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital, thinks that Bitcoin has broken away from its correlation with the stock market and is now a safe haven for investors. Mike Novogratz agrees. He sees Bitcoin as a kind of digital gold: a good way to store value but not something that will function as a currency in the next five years. That opportunity, though, may only be available for Bitcoin. Altcoins are doing less well; Ethereum, for example, has been looking relatively weak despite Bitcoin’s growing strength.

Some companies have been doing well out of that strength. Business intelligence firm MicroStrategy has made more than $100 million in profit from its Bitcoin investments. That’s more than it’s made analyzing business. Visa might struggle to follow them. The US Department of Justice is now investigating the company’s acquisition of Plaid, a fintech company.

The government has also been investigating social media. A Senate Commerce Committee hearing gave the CEOs of Google, Facebook, and Twitter, a partisan grilling. One solution to the opacity of the companies’ content moderation, though, might be open-source algorithms.

Senators haven’t been alone in engaging in partisan hackery. A group of hackers took over President Trump’s campaign website. The hackers said that they had evidence proving the president’s “criminal involvment and coorperation with foreign actors” (sic)… and asked for funds.

In Japan, a group of companies have come together to create a blockchain-based trade data management system. In Siberia, a new Bitcoin mine will create 100 jobs. Singapore’s biggest bank, DBS, is launching an exchange to swap fiat for cryptocurrencies. And in China, charities are using the blockchain to give donors trust as they raise money for people in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. In the US, though, while Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman has said that machine learning and cloud tech will drive evolution in capital markets, the adoption of the blockchain is “complicated” and “will take longer.”

At least the art world is moving ahead. From art inspired by the blockchain to crypto art and digital marketplaces, artists and auction houses have found new opportunities in blockchain technology. Another reason for optimism.

Check out the audio here. 

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

Bitcoin reaches $14K for the first time since January 2018 — what’s next?

Bitcoin reaches $14K for the first time since January 2018 — what’s next?

The price of Bitcoin is on the verge of having its highest monthly close ever but bulls must still break through $14K for a shot at a new all-time high.

Bitcoin (BTC) price is undoubtedly having an impressive year after crashing to $3,700 in March but then rallying to $14,000 in the following months. Now BTC has reached the highest point since January 2018 as the price touched $14,100.

Thus, the likelihood of the new bull cycle is heavily increasing as the price of Bitcoin continues to make new higher highs and higher lows. What's more, the strength is even seen while the U.S. Dollar Currency Index, with which it is typically inversely correlated, is also recovering amid coronavirus fears.

Bitcoin yet to break the $13,700-14,250 area

BTC/USD 1-week chart. Source: TradingView

The weekly chart shows some crucial levels to be watched in order to continue the bullish momentum. One of them is the current resistance zone surrounding the $14,000 threshold. Breaking through this resistance zone would initiate further strength toward the next threshold around $16,500-17,000.

These two levels are the final hurdles before a possible new all-time high, while the majority of altcoins are still facing huge losses compared to their 2017 peak highs.

There are two crucial levels to watch on the downside. The first and primary breaker is the $11,400-11,800 area. That’s been the crucial resistance zone for two years, which means it could see a retest before any more upside.

However, if that area is lost, the next support zone is found between $10,100-10,400. These two zones are critical to hold if the market is in bullish territory.

The highest monthly close ever is possible for Bitcoin

BTC/USD 1-month chart. Source: TradingView

As the monthly chart shows, the highest monthly close ever is possible for Bitcoin — an incredible accomplishment 12 years after the release of the whitepaper.

However, it also shows the significance of this resistance zone as it’s the last major hurdle before the all-time high can be challenged.

If $13,700-14,200 breaks, further continuation toward new all-time highs are almost guaranteed as there are not many levels standing in between.

However, the start of a new bull cycle is typically accompanied by accumulation periods, through which previous resistance zones are retested and confirmed as support. Such an accumulation period would mean Bitcoin’s price can correct toward $11,600 to find sufficient support before a major move up.

Current market behavior comparable to the 2016 cycle

BTC/USD 1-week 2016 chart. Source: TradingView

The 2016 chart shows these accumulation ranges through which a healthy trend was established. Every previous resistance level got retested for confirmation, after which a range was established to accumulate Bitcoin.

After such a range-bound construction, compression started to build up, ultimately resulting in a massive breakout.

Another massive signal is the quick buys during market corrections. These are shown by long wicks as buyers quickly step in to buy as price is falling. A similar move can occur if the market corrects in the coming weeks.

Possible scenario for Bitcoin price

BTC/USD 1-week scenario chart. Source: TradingView

The current area of $11,400-11,800 is a crucial resistance zone. If the price of Bitcoin falls to break through this resistance zone, a correction will become the likely scenario.

Therefore, Bitcoin’s possible scenario is range-bound action between $11,400 and $14,200. Such a sideways construction would be similar to the 2016 period of accumulation.

Ether and other altcoins may then show up to the part the moment Bitcoin finishes its correction and goes into the sideways range-bound construction. It will likely take a few more months before altcoins can start to move upward.

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.

0x charts path towards cross-chain asset exchange and liquidity aggregation

0x charts path towards cross-chain asset exchange and liquidity aggregation

The interoperability protocol seeks to expand beyond Ethereum and create cross-chain functionality

In a blog post on Friday, 0x Labs product manager Theo Gonella laid out the protocol’s ambitious plans to direct development towards a promising, if technically tricky horizon for permissionless exchange: seamlessly connecting the growing constellation of viable layer-1 blockchain platforms.

The Ethereum-based protocol, designed to be an interoperability toolkit for decentralized exchanges of all stripes, has seen marked success this year in connecting a network 30+ projects building with their API. 

Throughout 2020, as Decentralized Finance (DeFi) boomed, so too did 0x’s usage: the protocol facilitated nearly $4 billion in trades across dexes and aggregators like Tokenlon and 1inch, and generated nearly $400,000 in protocol fees, according to the 0xTracker. 

Likewise, 0x’s native token, $ZRX, saw a rally of 280% from $.259 to $.73, before a 50% drop amid the wider DeFi market rout. 

As it looks to the future, however, 0x now plans to bring its vision of interoperability cross-chain. 

“While Ethereum is the platform on which most tokenized value has emerged in the past years, we believe we are heading towards a multi-blockchain world with a vast web of interconnected networks forming the backbone of web3,” wrote Gonella. “Given our vision for 0x protocol as an open technical standard for p2p exchange, it is natural that the standard expand into new ecosystems as they emerge.”

The post laid out the signs of growth Ethereum competitor chains would have to exhibit in order for 0x to devote developmental resources, including unique digital assets, robust developer communities, and a deep pool of end users. 

Gonella also acknowledged that cross-chain functionality and composability is a notoriously difficult problem, however.

Issues include porting wrapped assets of different standards across chains, opportunity cost for users who lock their tokens into cross-chain bridges, and necessary updates to the 0x infrastructure and tokeneconomic model, including staking and governance. 

Despite the complexity of the task, Gonella struck an optimistic tone: 

“We’re seeing a Cambrian explosion of innovation and creativity, and it’s only just getting started.”


What industry leaders would wish for Bitcoin’s white paper 12th anniversary

Experts in the blockchain and crypto industry make their wishes for Bitcoin’s 12th birthday

While the crypto community decides whether Bitcoin (BTC) was born — or merely conceived — 12 years ago, the fact is that Oct. 31, 2008, remains one of the most notable dates in humanity’s modern history. Exactly 12 years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto published what some have described as “a new bible”Bitcoin’s white paper. Designed as a brand new “purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash,” many see the creation of Bitcoin as a response to a global financial crisis.

Related: Happy birthday dear Bitcoin: Crypto’s first white paper turns 12

Cointelegraph’s video team talked to Adam Back, co-founder and CEO of Blockstream, about the birth of Bitcoin. Check out the video here:

Although Bitcoin has recently become more appealing than both Jesus and sex, at least among Reddit users, let’s not forget that it’s only Bitcoin’s 12th anniversary and that many great achievements and challenges still lie ahead, though for this real-world saga, we can only hope to know how this story will end and who will emerge as the victor.

Cointelegraph has reached out to Bitcoin’s friends and supporters, asking them to send their birthday wishes to the Big BTC.

Alex Wilson, co-founder of The Giving Block:

“For Bitcoin’s birthday, I hope it brings financial freedom to billions of people around the world.”

Muneeb Ali, CEO and co-founder at Blockstack PBC:

“My wish for the 12th birthday of BTC is that it marks the new chapter for BTC where it starts going from a passive capital (store of value) to actively deployed capital e.g., used as collateral in financial products. I think that’s the next logical step on Bitcoin’s path to becoming a reserve currency.”

Michael Terpin, founder of Transform Group and BitAngels:

“The 12th anniversary of the Bitcoin white paper, which took nearly two years to reach a point where anyone was even able to buy a pizza with 10,000 Bitcoins, is an astounding example of Bill Gates’ mantra that most people overestimate what can be done in a year, but underestimate what can be accomplished in a decade. Today, as Bitcoin passes a market cap of $260 billion, we have further market validation of Satoshi’s paradigm and of the global hunger for fair, self-sovereign vehicles for wealth creation and management.”

Jimmy Song, instructor at Programming Blockchain:

“A robust network, an antifragile community and a high price”

Alejandro De La Torre, VP of Poolin, a Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining pool:

“I’d wish Bitcoin continued success in its adoption and many more years of a healthy, global network powered by the kind and caring miners.”

Efi Pylarinou, fintech and blockchain advisor:

“My wish is that either the European Commission, Switzerland or the United States decide to adopt the Bitcoin blockchain towards a new constitutional right of every citizen who has a decentralized blockchain on-chain wallet with his/her ID. This wallet will also be used by each country when and if they decide to adopt some UBI scheme.”

Scott Melker, trader, investor and the host of The Wolf Of All Streets podcast:


Taylor Pearson, entrepreneur and author of The End of Jobs

“May the censorship resistance rise up to meet you. May the hashpower be always at your back. May the BIP-32 paths shine warm upon your blocks; the fees fall softly on your security and until we meet again, may Satoshi hold you in the palm of his hand.”

These quotes have been edited and condensed.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Former Google lawyer joins spate of high-profile attorneys entering crypto

Former Google lawyer joins spate of high-profile attorneys entering crypto

Coinbase leads a growing list of crypto companies attracting top-tier legal talent

On Friday Coinbase Inc. announced the appointment of former Google Senior Legal Director Milana McCullagh as deputy general counsel for product and commercial legal.

McCullagh, who worked for more than 13 years at Google, will work across functions at Coinbase on product legal support, helping the firm to streamline legal compliance for new product launches.

McCullagh's appointment is part of both a Coinbase campaign to attract legal talent that started last year, as well as a broader industry-wide movement of top-tier attorneys joining crypto firms. 

Between August and October, Coinbase appointed former general counsel at Dyson Ltd., Katherine Minarik, as general deputy counsel for litigation; former senior legal counsel at Uber Technologies Inc. in London, Carly Nuzbach Lowery, as an associate general counsel; the former attorney at Fenwick Jade Clemons as a commercial counsel; and head of supervisory affairs at CLS Group Holdings AG, Janice Payne, as director of regulatory compliance.

The glut of hirings may be part of an effort by Coinbase to quell regulatory fears from potential investors on the eve of a possible IPO. The San Francisco-based company held talks with law firms and investment banks regarding an IPO earlier in the year. 

Additionally, these appointments coincide with the company's recent decision to curtail “political” and “societal” discussions at work, which led to a request by 60 employees to take advantage of exit packages provided by the company.

Major legal appointments sweeping the cryptocurrency industry

Coinbase is not alone in its goal of bringing top-tier legal professionals to the crypto industry, however.

On October 8, the blockchain-based company O(1) Labs Operating Corp. announced the appointment of the former in-house attorney at Goldman Sachs and associate with Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Sang Joon Kim as general counsel.

On October 7, the cryptocurrency exchange and custodian Gemini Trust Co. LLC appointed the former head of legal with Morgan Stanley's global financial crimes division, Andy Meehan as a chief compliance officer for the Asia-Pacific region.

And, last Wednesday, venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz announced the appointment of the former chief regulatory officer at the New York Stock Exchange, Anthony Albanese, to work on cryptocurrency regulation matters.

These moves coincide with the steps taken by US regulators to legalize the cryptocurrency industry. Earlier, the US Department of Justice issued official guidelines to regulate the cryptocurrency market and hold it accountable.

Erich Dylus, an aviation finance attorney for Vedder Price by day and a member of legal engineering DAO LexDAO by night, told Cointelegraph that the hirings might be a sign of the legal world acknowledging crypto’s growing influence:

“Some attorneys are discovering an exciting frontier in need of 'meatspace' legal guidance -- it speaks to the maturing nature of the crypto and crypto-adjacent industries that big names are making the jump.”

The crypto compliance lie: Sacrificing privacy does not make us safer

The crypto compliance lie: Sacrificing privacy does not make us safer

The lightchain-vs.-darkchain dichotomy is counterproductive, and a healthy graychain will produce more valuable crypto assets like Bitcoin.

In the last month, we’ve seen the United States Federal Reserve come after BitMEX for failing to identify customers, crypto intelligence firm CipherTrace report that most crypto exchanges are not collecting enough user info, and the so-called “FinCEN Files” demonstrate that even large banks that collect and report vast troves of suspicious transactions are not doing enough to unbank the bad guys. Suffice to say, it’s a great time to be alive for compliance hardliners and a rough patch for privacy advocates, aside from a healthy recent boost in the price of Monero (XMR).

Stepping back and looking at the larger trend, many in the crypto community are now imagining a world with two “Bitcoin blockchains” — or perhaps, two distinct networks of various blockchains. The first is a blessed white blockchain, or “lightchain,” akin to a friendly neighborhood where everybody knows each other’s name; the other is a sinister “darkchain” full of drug traffickers, pimps and terrorists (as far as we know).

Privacy advocates fear that because Know Your Customer rules are being placed on exchanges that custody crypto and that banks and institutional wealth will make crypto mainstream via similar custodial solutions, only those who custody crypto with such institutions will be allowed onto the lovely lightchains. These chains will lie within the lofty ivory pillars of Wall Street and beneath the halls of wealth and power, while the vast unwashed masses who prefer to hold and control their own crypto will be forced into a crypto ghetto on the darkchain.

Anti-Money Laundering compliance

While the basis of these fears is well founded, it is important to remember the original purpose of AML compliance, originating in 1970s America, was to assist law enforcement in its investigations. Maintaining a vast reporting system for monitoring user activity and feeding it to the government, like the modern Transportation Security Administration airport panopticon, is a 21st century, post-9/11 invention of Bush-era America and hardly a prerequisite for a global financial network.

In fact, this recently imposed norm was a major impetus for many privacy-friendly innovations in crypto, including, arguably, Bitcoin (BTC) itself. In other words, the “lightchainers” are justifying potentially removing the privacy from blockchains under the same “War on Terror” rationale for the Patriot Act, only with the possibility of permanently airing your dirty laundry on a public ledger rather than keeping it between the banks and government (and occasionally leaked to Buzzfeed).

More importantly, it has long been obvious that even in the crypto space, the imposition of global mandatory wallet identification and traceability has strained this original “assisting law enforcement” rationale for AML rules. Historically, the Elliptics, CypherTraces and Chainalysises of the world have spent most of their energy working with law enforcement to map out actual criminals and their transactions resulting from actual criminal activity, rather than setting up vast dragnets of everybody’s wallet addresses.

Whether it was Mt. Gox or other exchange hackers, BitLocker scammers or international criminals of many stripes, Bitcoin has a feature that allows blockchain exploration compliance firms to demarcate known bad guys and create an actual “darkchain” not to be mixed into the polite company of the remaining blockchain(s).

This system has worked. Most virtual asset service providers, or VASPs, (i.e., exchanges) use blockchain explorer compliance tools to block and track transactions on the darkchain and assist law enforcement with its investigations. These efforts have also made it much, much harder for actual criminals to launder their crypto on compliant exchanges.

Lightchain vs. darkchain

So, let us reject the thesis that we are barreling toward a “lightchain-vs.-darkchain” dichotomy. Rather, let’s recognize that we already have a small darkchain of proven money launderers that VASPs do not, and should not, work with and should freeze and work with law enforcement to deal with. We then have the splotches of lightchains that exist within VASPs (i.e., exchanges) for which they are, and should be, legally obligated to keep private and share only to the extent they detect darkchain or demonstrable criminal activity, rather than sharing private user information of noncriminals. This leaves us with a third chain, the vast, lovely, delightfully opaque “graychain” blockchains that have served us so well for all these many years.

To “keep blockchain gray,” we must resist the efforts of the lightchain to penetrate the gray by penalizing VASPs and blockchain exploration and compliance tools that engage in unjustified tainting of the gray with the white. In other words, publicizing identifying information of exchange customers should lead to lawsuits and, in Europe, anti-privacy enforcement actions. Likewise, we must resist the darkening of our beloved graychain by policymakers, pundits and so-called crypto lawyers who advocate for penalties on operating in the gray zone.

There is nothing wrong with holding your crypto in a hardware wallet, and to argue that those who exercise healthy cybersecurity by doing so have “something to hide” stains credibility. We must resist this by advocating for the graychains, which are by no actual measures true vectors for money laundering, and by pointing out the irrationality of believing that pseudonymous blockchains are more valuable when they are no longer anonymous at all. In the end, even if the lightchainers are successful, they will be sowing the seeds of even more private forms of money that lie beyond their reach.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Zachary Kelman is the managing partner of Kelman PLLC, a boutique law practice based in New York specializing in matters related to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The firm handles both litigation and corporate matters, including advising on compliance with international standards for data and financial services. Zachary has advised governmental bodies and central banks around the world on the application of local and international laws to digital assets and their many uses.

Happy birthday dear Bitcoin: Crypto’s first white paper turns 12

Happy birthday dear Bitcoin: Crypto’s first white paper turns 12

An assessment of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Oct. 31, 2008 paper that “set in motion a revolution in finance.”

Has it only been a dozen years since Oct. 31, 2008, that Satoshi Nakamoto published a modest nine-page paper describing a new online payments system called “Bitcoin?” Depending on where one stands, that pseudonymous white paper — its author(s) remain unidentified — fostered either a fintech revolution or, as some believe, “the greatest scam in history.” 

To mark the anniversary of the publication of “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” Cointelegraph invited comments on the enduring vision of the paper’s author. Would Satoshi Nakamoto have been pleased with how Bitcoin and blockchain technology have developed and evolved over the past 12 years?

James Angel, an associate professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, told Cointelegraph: “It has set in motion a revolution in finance with the rise of DeFi apps, smart contracts, and coin offerings, in addition to a payment revolution that is leading to central bank digital currencies.” Gina Pieters, an assistant instructional professor at the University of Chicago’s economics department, told Cointelegraph: “He would be pleased to see the evolution and new applications of his vision.”

The influence of Bitcoin’s (BTC) white paper goes beyond finance, Garrick Hileman, head of research at, told Cointelegraph: “Its impact is worthy of being considered alongside other major technical innovations, such as the personal computer and internet.”

Would Satoshi be disappointed?

Satoshi’s vision was for a P2P, or decentralized, digital cash system — as referenced in the white paper’s title. The problem with incumbent digital commerce was that it relied exclusively on “financial institutions serving as trusted third parties to process electronic payments,” Satoshi wrote. This had inherent weaknesses. Transactions could be reversed, banks had to mediate disputes, and transaction costs were high. Satoshi’s solution was presented in the second paragraph of the white paper’s introduction:

“What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.”

In the 12 years since the paper’s publication, the need for P2P transactions — without interfering third parties — has become something of an article of faith among Bitcoinists. But, on reflection, has this aspect of Satoshi’s vision been fulfilled? David Yermack, a professor of finance at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, told Cointelegraph:

“I think the greatest source of disappointment for Nakamoto would be the increasing centralization of blockchain governance in entities such as mining pools and even central banks, which are on the verge of launching their own cryptocurrencies. Nakamoto’s mission was to challenge the hegemony of central banks, and ironically, the greatest issuers of digital currencies seem likely to be the central banks themselves.”

Angel went further: “Satoshi would be appalled at the politics of concentrated mining pools that currently dominate the Bitcoin protocol.” While Pieters added that Satoshi would be disappointed that the “primary transactions of Bitcoin were not occurring through peer-to-peer trading, but rather intermediated by centralized exchanges or companies.”

Thwarting fraud

The matter of fraud in digital transactions has always loomed, and in Bitcoin’s white paper Satoshi proposed a way to solve the classic “double-spend” problem — where miscreants spend the same coin twice, something not difficult to do with electronic coins. He did this using a “peer-to-peer distributed timestamp server to generate computational proof of the chronological order of transactions.” In this way, explained Satoshi, “transactions that are computationally impractical to reverse would protect sellers from fraud.”

Solving the double-spend problem today is considered one of Satoshi’s greatest achievements. His Bitcoin blockchain has never been hacked (though the same can’t be said for the many crypto exchanges that trade BTC). Still, fraud associated with digital payments has not been squeezed out of the system. Would this have dismayed Bitcoin’s founder?

Angel said that Satoshi would “have been disappointed that Bitcoin did not turn into an everyday payment medium but instead a store of value for fearful fatcats and tax evaders.” Moreover, Satoshi would “have been saddened by the increase in inequality that Bitcoin’s history has created, with a few early adopters becoming whales and the other 99.99999% of the population as have nots.” Still, one assumes Bitcoin’s creator — whether man, woman or group — would have marveled at the breadth of BTC’s adoption, as Yermack outlined:

“Nakamoto would be astonished by the growth of blockchain projects and the many thousands of digital coins and tokens that have been created in the image of Bitcoin. One suggestive piece of evidence is that Nakamoto fixed the size of the blocks on the Bitcoin blockchain at 1MB in 2010 and mysteriously commented that ‘we can always increase this later when we need to.’”

He had no inkling that the blockchain would become overloaded within the next five or six years, continued Yermack, “and that a contentious debate, still unresolved today, would break out among different constituencies of Bitcoin about the best way to expand the blockchain’s capacity further.”

In the past 12 years, most of Satoshi’s original software code has been altered or substituted, added Hileman, but still, Bitcoin has retained its key foundational qualities, including “its fixed supply of 21 million coins, open access, and censorship/tamper resistance. I believe Satoshi would be happy with the ongoing software optimizations and improvements to these core foundational characteristics that continue today.”

Was Satoshi an environmentalist?

While the white paper says a lot about transaction fees, CPU power, network nodes, proof-of-work chains, and even the Gambler’s Ruin problem, it says nothing much about the larger world around, including the environment. Angel contends that Satoshi would be shocked by the environmental damage caused by the Bitcoin mining arms race, adding: “At current hash rates and mining efficiency, Bitcoin mining alone is consuming about seven gigawatts of electricity, which is the equivalent to seven Chernobyl power plants.”

And while little is known about Satoshi’s politics, his creation, in the form of the first crypto blockchain, would also be disturbed by the idea of central bank digital currencies, and in some cases, “those currencies are designed for repressive governments to engage in even more surveillance and control over their populations,” added Angel.

Focusing on the white paper proper, Franklin Noll, a monetary historian and the president of Noll Historical Consulting, told Cointelegraph: “His concern was with speedy, anonymous, low cost, non-mediated, non-reversible transactions. So far, Bitcoin transactions — and many other blockchain transactions — have not been found to be all that speedy, anonymous, or low cost.” He further added:

“I believe Satoshi would want to see more use of non-custodial wallets to store and transact Bitcoin,” added Hileman, who explained that custody firms that manage private cryptographic keys on behalf of Bitcoin owners “resemble traditional banks.” Meanwhile, he believes that “Satoshi was not a fan of trusted third-party financial intermediaries.”

What is Satoshi’s legacy?

After a little more than a decade later, what is the significance of Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper? In the financial sphere, “It incentivized financial companies and central banks to prioritize evaluating their technology, considering both increased digitization and ‘always-on’ digital platforms,” Pieters opined, continuing: “In some cases, like the renewed examinations of CBDCs, this has led to explorations of new systems even if it is not directly the adoption of blockchain technology.”

“Bitcoin and blockchain have fundamentally changed the monetary world,” added Noll. “Terms like proof-of-work, distributed ledger technology, decentralized finance, programmable money and smart contracts are now part of the lexicon of anyone serious about the future of money and finance.” Hileman added:

“We are also only beginning to understand the potential impact of blockchain technology in areas outside of finance, such as digital identity, addressing the problem of fake news, and public election tampering.”

“The publication of Nakamoto’s 2008 paper was an important turning point in financial record-keeping,” said NYU’s Yermack. “We are only beginning to understand the ramifications, but they appear to be vast.”

A surprisingly modest document

One won’t find the word “revolution” in Satoshi’s paper. There is nothing about overturning the economic order or narrowing the gap between rich or poor. It’s an unassuming treatise on electronic payments — how they can be made to function effectively.

On his own terms, Satoshi succeeded wildly. He promised a workable P2P digital payment system, and he delivered. The market value of Bitcoin stands at $251 billion 12 years after the idea was unveiled.

Whether Bitcoin is also harming the environment, abetting money launderers or propping up political regimes, goes beyond the scope of his paper. What can be said is that economic decentralization continues to present governance challenges. How much “peer-to-peer” does society really want? The larger global community will have to decide.

Twelve years out from the publication of “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” it’s worth remembering that “it is a dictum of history that revolutions do not always turn out as the founders planned,” Noll told Cointelegraph.

Did Satoshi choose to publish Bitcoin's whitepaper on Halloween as another Easter egg?

Did Satoshi choose to publish Bitcoin's whitepaper on Halloween as another Easter egg?

For all we don't know about Satoshi, we can tell he loved a touch of theatricality

Satoshi Nakamoto announced the Bitcoin whitepaper on a cryptography mailing list on Halloween 2008. It could be the case that this was a meaningless coincidence, but when we take into account the meticulous planning behind Bitcoin’s launch party, the chosen date begins to look more meaningful.

Halloween is the carnival time, a ritual day when one can pretend to be someone or something else, whether a comic book superhero like Batman or Superman, or another eternally popular choice for Halloween, a Ghost — a spirit, much like Satoshi, that is neither dead nor alive. 

The carnival tradition goes back hundreds, even thousands of years, and there is no more apt day for the creator of Bitcoin to reveal the persona of Satoshi Nakamoto than Halloween.

“The mystery and the paradox of it”

Whoever created the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, they likely came from the cypherpunk community, a variegated bunch that was united by a common goal of using cryptography to curtail the reach of the Hobbesian Leviathan. The word “cryptography” is made up of the two Ancient Greek words, which when combined, mean something like “hidden writing” or “secret writing”. The early spirit of the cypherpunks is summed up best by none other than Hal Finney in his famous “farewell” post on Bitcointalk:

“Fast forward to late 2008 and the announcement of Bitcoin. I've noticed that cryptographic graybeards (I was in my mid 50's) tend to get cynical. I was more idealistic; I have always loved crypto, the mystery and the paradox of it.”

Finney was the first person, outside of Satoshi, to run Bitcoin; he was the recipient of the first Bitcoin transaction as well. His early involvement in Bitcoin and prior experience in programming has led many to believe that he was Satoshi. Had Finney been involved in the creation of Bitcoin, then for the lover of “mystery and paradox” named “Hal”, revealing the project to the world on Halloween might have had additional meaning.

Things are not as they appear to be when it comes Bitcoin’s launch

For Satoshi Nakamoto, the creation of a decentralized electronic currency that was beyond the purview of any government was an ideologically driven endeavor imbued with symbolism and ceremony. The coinbase transaction of the genesis block contained a quote from an English newspaper, The Times, that many believe was a political commentary on the failings of the contemporary financial system:

“The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”.

The quote has also acted as a watermark, a timestamp that certifies that the Bitcoin network was started on Jan 3, 2020. This is a generally accepted start date for the Bitcoin blockchain. Yet, it may not be true. It is true that it could not have been created before that date, but the quote does not prove that the network was born on that date. The first block (the genesis block was block zero) was mined on Jan 8, five days later. This was likely the day when the Bitcoin network went live. Satoshi backdated the ultimate timestamping service in order to make a political statement.

FDR and the birth of Satoshi Nakamoto

Satoshi’s profile on the Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives, or P2P Foundation, listed his birthday as April 5, 1975. Some have drawn attention to the fact that on April 5, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102 forbidding the hoarding of gold, which limited an individual’s ability to own gold. During the Great Depression, the population looked to gold as the ultimate safe-haven asset at the time of great uncertainty. The recent horrors of German hyperinflation were still fresh on everyone’s mind. Up until then, the U.S. dollar was backed up with gold, the government needed to have more gold reserves to print more dollars, thus it believed that the hoarding of gold was hampering economic growth.

Nonetheless, the same year, the United States was forced to abandon the gold standard. Roosevelt’s order was eventually repealed by President Gerald Ford, the bill went into effect on Dec 31, 1974. Hence, some have suggested — the birth year of Satoshi Nakamoto — 1975, the first year the Americans regained the right to hoard gold.

Bitcoin keeps on trick-or-treating the world

Satoshi has done a wonderful job of creating an anonymous alter ego. Twelve years later no one has been able to unmask his Halloween disguise. In a world where seemingly the answer to any mystery, the solution to any paradox, is within a few clicks of a mouse, creating an impenetrable anon had to take wit and meticulous planning. Satoshi was always careful as to leave scant traceable personal clues in his writing.

Satoshi’s last post on Bitcointalk came on Dec 12, 2010, in his penultimate post from the day before, he famously lamented about the attention Bitcoin was getting from the WikiLeaks association:

“It would have been nice to get this attention in any other context. WikiLeaks has kicked the hornet's nest, and the swarm is headed towards us.”

Soon after that he withdrew from public life. Yet when the world was besieging befuddled Dorian Nakamoto, Satoshi, perhaps moved by the remorse about a prank that went too far, posted a message on the P2P Foundation’s site:

“I am not Dorian Nakamoto.”

Trick-or-treating is one of Halloween’s carnival customs where kids go door-to-door pleading for treats and threatening mischief if the adults fail to comply. As Bitcoin, paradoxically, turns 12, it appears the world has not yet decided how to deal with this mischievous urchin.

Bitcoin price hits $14,000 exactly 12 years after whitepaper released

Bitcoin price hits $14,000 exactly 12 years after whitepaper released

The price of Bitcoin has surpassed the critical $14,000 mark, the highest level since January 2018.

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) surpassed $14,000 on Oct. 31, the day Satoshi Nakamoto released the Bitcoin whitepaper in 2008. Since then, the world's biggest cryptocurrency has seen remarkable and exponential growth across various areas.

The daily price chart of Bitcoin. Source:

Fast forward 12 years, since the October 31, 2008 release of the whitepaper, Bitcoin is in a different growth trajectory. An institutional craze is leading the BTC rally, major financial institutions are supporting crypto assets, and the market has become increasingly liquid.

Post-halving bull cycle meets Bitcoin 12-year anniversary

The 12-year anniversary of the Bitcoin whitepaper is particularly special for Bitcoin because it marks the third post-halving cycle.

Every four years, Bitcoin undergoes a block reward halving, which cuts the rate at which new BTC is mined by half. This happens because 21 million BTC can ever exist on the blockchain. As BTC approaches its fixed supply, the rate of production gets slowed.

A halving historically has had a positive impact on the price of Bitcoin. It reduces the pace a new BTC supply is introduced to the market. Consequently, every four years, there is less BTC flowing into the exchange market.

The 4th, 8th, and the 12th anniversary of Bitcoin are more noteworthy than other anniversaries for this reason. It coincides with a post-halving cycle, as the latest halving occurred in May 2020.

The historic prices of Bitcoin on "whitepaper day" have seen considerable growth over the past decade. For example, in 2013, BTC price was just $204. In 2014, it reached $338m; 2015 - $314; 2016 - $700; 2017 - $6,468; 2018 - $6,317; and $9,199 in 2019.

BTC price rejected at $14,100

Across major exchanges, the price of Bitcoin reached a peak of $14,100 and saw an immediate rejection on Saturday, Oct. 31. Most of the selling pressure came from Binance, which caused the price to quickly fall by 3% within minutes.

Prior to the rejection, massive buy walls on Huobi and Binance initially pushed BTC upwards. There was a 1,371 BTC buy wall on Binance at $13,680 and another big buy wall at over $13,800 on Huobi.

A pseudonymous Bitcoin trader known as “CL” said it was the “biggest buy wall on Huobi I’ve seen in a long time.”

But as BTC surpassed $14,000, traders on Binance began to sell large amounts of BTC in a short period. Prior to BTC’s upsurge to $14,100, tech investor and Cointelegraph Markets contributor, Keith Wareingwrote:

“Sadly, Bitcoin will rejected at $14k and go back below the 2019 high thanks to binance whales.”

What happens next?

When the price of Bitcoin surges rapidly and violently rejects, traders describe the pattern as a “darth maul candle.”

After such a large spike in volatility, Bitcoin tends to stabilize and consolidate. Considering that $14,000 is a crucial resistance level, BTC would likely consolidate under $14,000 and continuously attempt to break out.

CryptoQuant, the on-chain market data provider, has been pinpointing that Bitcoin exchange deposits have been declining. That typically indicates declining selling pressure, particularly among retail investors and whales.

According to Ki Young Ju, the CEO of CryptoQuant said the trend is considered a “long-term buy signal.” The lack of intent to sell from investors on exchange indicates that a prolonged uptrend has become more likely.

An optimistic market sentiment supplemented with strong fundamentals and various positive technical factors is only fitting on Bitcoin’s 12th anniversary.

The evolution of crypto exchanges — What’s next for the industry

The evolution of crypto exchanges — What’s next for the industry

We are now starting to see the crossover of regulation in the digital asset market and digitalization of the traditional market.

From what started as something of a “technological experiment” with Bitcoin (BTC) over a decade ago, the crypto asset industry has become a significant driver for change in global financial markets. Cryptocurrency exchanges started as a means to enable crypto enthusiasts to trade digital coins outside the traditional financial system on a decentralized and largely autonomous basis. 

It is likely that combined with regulatory recognition and development of digital market infrastructures, acceptance of essential Anti-Money Laundering practices, investment in security protection systems, and recognition of investor protection measures will see these businesses continue to expand and potentially merge or compete on an even footing with existing regulated marketplaces.

The success of these platforms in allowing an unregulated free-flow of value across borders has unsurprisingly resulted in interest from governments and regulatory bodies. Initial skepticism was replaced by concern over weaknesses in relation to AML, fraud and investor protection measures. As crypto exchanges have improved their systems to meet AML and investor protection requirements, there is a begrudging recognition that these platforms have brought much-needed modernization and democratization to a market that has generally been seen as remote and privileged.

Crypto exchanges have provided 24-hour, global access to trading venues with participants eligible from all walks of life and able to participate directly through accessing online trading tools and graphics, which have historically been available almost solely to a limited set of professional investors.

Crypto regulation overview

Crypto assets have generally been on the outer edge of the regulatory perimeter, but are increasingly facing pressure to be included within the regulatory framework.

The first key step in this direction at an international level was the extension of the AML standards announced in June 2019 for crypto-related businesses from the Financial Action Task Force, the global standard-setting body for fighting financial crime.

Related: Slow but steady: FATF review highlights crypto exchanges’ struggle to meet AML standards

In the European Union, this was followed by the adoption of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive, or 5AMLD, which brought crypto-asset exchanges and custodian wallet providers into the scope of the EU AML regime. As a result, in-scope crypto asset firms operating in the EU and the United Kingdom are now subject to the full suite of AML obligations applicable to most financial market participants, such as the need to undertake customer due diligence checks when onboarding a new client. In addition, they are required to register with the relevant national competent authorities where they intend to carry on crypto-related business.

The general regulatory attitude

The general approach to the regulatory treatment of crypto assets has been more complicated. At an EU-wide level, the position so far has been to apply the existing regulatory framework to crypto assets that have the characteristics of regulated assets. Specific regulations such as outlawing the sale of crypto derivatives to retail investors are imposed, but more specific requirements are considered necessary.

Exchanges dealing in digital assets are therefore subject to regulation if the assets traded fall within this regulatory perimeter. To a large extent, this has meant understanding the application of the existing regulatory framework and applying this to relevant circumstances, relying on interpretative guidance where necessary.

As a result, two main categories of crypto assets, which function in a similar manner as regulated instruments, and their respective service providers have been brought within the scope of existing rules. These are digital assets akin to “financial instruments” (generally capturing crypto assets used as means for raising finance and derivatives), but are being treated with existing rules for tokens functioning as “electronic money.” This captures crypto assets designed to facilitate payment transactions or some stablecoins.

Importantly, this means that crypto exchanges trading digital securities, such as DLT-based shares, bonds, fund units or derivatives — often referred to as security tokens — are required to obtain authorization as regulated trading venues to do business in the EU. This would also capture EU-based crypto exchanges trading particularly popular instruments, such as derivatives referencing Bitcoin (BTC) or other cryptocurrencies as underlying assets. This has been supplemented by jurisdictions putting in place bespoke regimes for the crypto sector, for example, clarifying aspects concerning the use of the underlying DLT technology (e.g., Luxembourg) or closing gaps in existing rules (e.g., France).

Digital securities

In the securities space, significant steps are being made toward developing a credible digital market infrastructure for issuance, trading and settlement of digital securities. Most notably, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority has recently granted a MiFID licence to Archax Limited, which has become the first fully-authorized trading venue for digital securities in the U.K.

At the same time, established exchanges are building their own “digital versions,” such as the Börse Stuttgart Digital Exchange in Germany and the SIX Digital Exchange in Switzerland. However, despite these developments, integrating digital solutions with existing market infrastructures remains challenging, not least due to constraints stemming from existing rules around settlement finality requirements in the post-trading systems.

In an effort to unlock opportunities for innovation in the space, the European Commission has recently published a proposal for a pilot regime for market infrastructures based on DLT, which aims to create a bespoke legal regime for the application of DLT in post-trade services and would allow for the creation of digital securities settlement systems.

Regulating crypto exchanges

Some of the largest crypto exchanges are looking to obtain regulatory licences across the world in order to be able to directly compete with incumbent financial institutions, adapt to user demand for more sophisticated services, and enhance their own credibility in the market.

For example, in March 2018, the U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase obtained an e-money licence from the U.K. FCA, as well as from the Central Bank of Ireland in 2019, allowing it to issue e-money and provide payment services, thereby enhancing its fiat-to-crypto services. Kraken has recently obtained a banking license from the State of Wyoming to create a special purpose depository institution (Kraken Financial), which will allow it to provide deposit-taking, custody and fiduciary services for digital assets.

With a view to enhancing market integrity and investor confidence, the EU Commission put out a proposal on Sept. 23 for a regulation on markets in crypto assets, or MiCA. The draft regulation captures crypto assets such as “asset-referenced tokens” (commonly known as “stablecoins”) as well as “utility tokens.”

Under the MiCA draft, crypto exchanges operating in the EU are required to obtain regulatory authorization and are subject to strict prudential and conduct requirements. In addition, the draft rules include prescriptive requirements around admission of crypto asset instruments to trading, including the requirement to publish a white paper with specified content.

European Commission proposals have to go through a long legislative process before they become binding law. The MiCA however, is likely to be a significant step toward establishing credibility and structure in creating a viable crypto asset industry in the EU, which will identify the contrasting regulatory framework for security-type crypto assets and non-security-type crypto assets. For many, the process of imposing regulatory requirements at all in the pure crypto assets sector will be an anathema that stifles innovation and creates barriers to entry for smaller fintech firms. However, this is the most likely approach to establishing a long-term, viable marketplace.

What it means for the industry

There is significant interest from large institutional players in entering the crypto asset space. Some of the biggest European institutions have extensive digital asset programs. As an example, ING is currently working with industry participants on a digital custody and safekeeping solution within the FCA sandbox that will provide institutional-grade security for digital holdings and transfers of digital assets. The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency recently gave the “all-clear” to U.S. banks to provide cryptocurrency custody services for their customers, a development that could put crypto asset service providers (including exchanges) in direct competition with traditional players.

Going forward, the innovation, democratization and expansion of access brought about by crypto exchanges, as well as an improved financial regulatory recognition of their services, will be combined with the digitalization of traditional asset securities and development of market infrastructure for digital trading. This is likely to lead to a powerful dynamic for combinations and mergers between rapidly developing crypto exchanges and incumbent institutions. We are currently at the forefront of advising on developments in the space and welcome the significant changes undoubtedly ahead.

This article was co-authored by Martin Bartlam and Marina Troullinou.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Martin Bartlam is partner and head of FinTech at DLA Piper.
Marina Troullinou is an associate at DLA Piper.

Why Bitcoin price and volume rising together is bad news for Ethereum, altseason

Why Bitcoin price and volume rising together is bad news for Ethereum, altseason

Bitcoin broke out of the $13,000 resistance level merely a week ago, which means those expecting Ethereum and altcoin prices to rise may have to wait a few months.

Bitcoin (BTC) is sucking up the volume from the entire cryptocurrency market as it continues to rally. This is causing the alternative cryptocurrency (altcoin) market to pullback, which has seen rising selling pressure and low buyer demand.

On Oct. 30, researchers at Santiment pinpointed the growing volume and dominance of Bitcoin, while Chainlink (LINK), Ether (ETH) and Binance Coin (BNB) struggled. They wrote:

“The dominance involving #Bitcoin is continuing to display itself, particularly via trading volume. When comparing other top blockchains in the past day, note the decline in $ETH, $XRP, $LINK, and $BNB trading volume, while BTC's levels stayed high.”

At least in the foreseeable future, traders believe the so-called “altseason” is not returning, especially as Bitcoin outperforms altcoins.

The trading volume of Bitcoin against other major cryptocurrencies. Source: Santiment

When would altcoins recover?

Historically, during bull markets, the cryptocurrency market saw Bitcoin experience a rapid uptrend first. Then, altcoins followed, after BTC surged to a local peak or an all-time high.

Traders foresee a similar pattern playing out in the current price cycle, generally expecting altcoins to recover in 2021. But until BTC stabilizes and completes its rally, traders do not see a proper altcoin uptrend happening.

Since Sept. 13 lows, the Bitcoin dominance index has increased from 56% to 63.4%, recording a 7.4% increase within two months.

The Bitcoin dominance index. Source:

However, Michael van de Poppe, a full-time trader at the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, said an altseason in the first quarter of 2021 is possible. He said:

“Dominance hit the red zone here. Still waiting until December for a top structure on this one. After that -> Quarter 1 altseason.”

The problem with altcoins is the current dynamic of the cryptocurrency market. When Bitcoin rises quickly, altcoins fall as capital cycles back into BTC. If BTC drops, then altcoins drop in tandem, putting altcoins in a precarious position.

A pseudonymous trader known as “DonAlt” said he has been short Ether for several days. He said that if ETH does not recover against Bitcoin, then a broader altcoin market pullback is a possibility. The trader noted:

“I've been short ETH for a couple days now. That said ETHBTC is approaching support. So there is a good chance it bounces here, if it doesn't the entire altcoin market gaps down quite aggressively.”

Similarly, a trader recognized as "CryptoCapo" said that the technical structure of altcoins is not compelling in the near term. For traders, that makes Bitcoin more attractive, given that it has portrayed strong momentum throughout October. He emphasized:

“Let's be honest: There are alts that look really bad, alts that look decent, and alts that look good. I don't see any altcoin that looks really good right now. Choose wisely.”

The key is for the Bitcoin rally to cool down

As long as the price of Bitcoin continues to surge rapidly and Ether lags behind, an altseason is highly unlikely in the near term.

The price of Ether against Bitcoin. Source:

A strong sign of an altseason would be a consolidation of the ongoing Bitcoin rally followed by a breakout in the price of ETH.

Considering that BTC/USD broke out of the $13,000 resistance level merely a week ago, technically, an Ether and altcoin market uptrend could still potentially be several months out.

So far, the capital in the altcoin market still seems to be shifting towards Bitcoin, however. As Cointelegraph reported, decentralized exchanges, or DEXs, have continued to bleed volume in October. This indicates that the demand for DeFi tokens is slowing down likely due to Bitcoin's curren momentum.

Ethereum price ascending channel breakout possible if Bitcoin consolidates

Ethereum price ascending channel breakout possible if Bitcoin consolidates

Consolidation from Bitcoin would allow Ethereum to double bottom in its BTC pair and possibly breakout from the ascending channel in its USDT pair.

In the past week, altcoins prices received a significant haircut, and investors who were light on Bitcoin (BTC) saw their portfolio value take a hit. 

Initially, Ether (ETH) price followed Bitcoin higher as the top-ranked digital asset rallied through the $12,000 resistance but as BTC continues to slowly push higher Ether struggled to flip $400 to support.

Crypto market weekly price chart. Source: Coin360

Ether’s loss of momentum and the correction in altcoins has led to a number of crypto traders tweeting that altcoin season is done and many are citing the bearish price action in the ETH/BTC pair as evidence for this point of view.

ETH/BTC 1-week chart. Source: TradingView

Looking at the ETH/BTC weekly chart, traders will notice that the pair is on the verge of dropping below the ascending trendline and high volume VPVR node at 0.027294 sats.

Losing this level opens the door for a further decline to 0.024519 sats and below this Ether is approaching yearly lows near 0.0160 sats.

ETH/BTC daily chart. Source: TradingView

On the daily timeframe, we can see that losing the 0.032385 sats support thrust Ether price into the VPVR gap from 0.032385 sats to 0.029536 sats.

The bleeding looks set to continue until the price reaches the 0.029536 sats level, but the current daily candle is beginning to form what looks like a double bottom and there appears to be an oversold bounce taking place as the RSI is rising from 28 on the daily timeframe.

The signal line and MACD of the moving average convergence divergence indicator are still in steep decline and the absence of strong buy volume decreases the chance that short-term trend-reversal is in the making.

Perhaps if Bitcoin price entered a period of consolidation for the next few days the ETH/BTC pair could recover some lost ground but this seems unlikely at the moment.

There’s hope in the ETH/USDT pair

ETH/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The ETH/USDT pair paints something of a different picture as the pair continues to make daily higher lows and the price action is following the support and resistance trendlines of the ascending channel.

The channel support rides alongside the 100-day moving average and once Ether is able to hold $400 as support $405 and $417 are the next hurdles the altcoin must overcome.

The price action within ascending channels is pretty easy to track and the 4-hour chart shows the MACD converging with the signal line as the selling tapers off and the RSI is rising toward 45.

Over the short-term, a move to the ascending channel midline at $400 seems probable but traders still expect this level to be stiff resistance. A bullish breakout from the ascending channel ($430) could enable Ether to chase after the $468.

If Ether price drops below the 100-MA and falls from the ascending channel there is support at $353, $330, and $315. Losing these levels means traders can look for a sharper drop to $248.

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.

Gotta collect ’em all: An overview of NFT marketplaces

Gotta collect ’em all: An overview of NFT marketplaces

As NFTs gain traction, here are some of the top marketplaces for finding NFTs, as well as the future outlook of this industry.

Currently worth $100 million, the nonfungible tokens industry is changing how the ownership and authenticity of digital assets are perceived. Leading entities in the gaming and blockchain world are already experimenting with NFTs in all sorts of ways. However, the primary goal is to prove the authenticity and ownership of digital items, which had proven difficult until the advent of blockchain technology.

Through blockchain technology, digital assets can have unique identifiable attributes that make them rare and irreplaceable. On NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea, a multitude of projects are at work producing all sorts of creative and transferable NFT items.

While the past decade has seen a lot of excitement around fungible digital assets like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), nonfungible tokens are just getting started, and already, there is a lot of progress to write home about.

A quick NFT primer

While a fungible token like Bitcoin is indistinguishable from and replaceable with other tokens of its kind, a nonfungible token is distinguishable from other tokens and cannot be replaced or substituted.

A bank note in a wallet, for instance, can easily be lent out and replaced with another one. The person that takes the loan does not necessarily have to give back the same bank note. That banknote is, therefore, a fungible item replaceable by another of its kind in a one-to-one ratio.

However, when buying a unique piece of art or a plane ticket, it is impossible to get the same value if the item is exchanged for another — assuming those items are unique. Therefore, a plane ticket that gives you the right to a seat in standard class on a flight to location A is not the same as a ticket that lets you board a private jet to location B.

Blockchain makes it possible to own NFTs in the digital world, similar to how anyone would own a baseball card in the physical world. These digital assets can be stored on the blockchain and be transferred from one owner to another without the risk of unlawful capture and duplication. Tyler Perkins, vice president of marketing at Immutable — a blockchain-based game development company — told Cointelegraph:

“The use cases for NFT are incredibly powerful. Whether it be providing non-custodial ownership of video game items and domain names, creating digital scarce art, or tracing commodities — they lend themselves well to various high-value use cases in a digitally native world.”

However, it would be hard to discover NFTs without a marketplace. Perkins mentioned that “Marketplaces serve an important role in the discovery and growth of NFTs,” adding: “The ability to trade a digitally scarce, unique asset is one of the primary selling points of the technology, so naturally, marketplaces support that.” With that said, below is a rundown of some popular NFT marketplaces.


OpenSea is touted as the world’s largest marketplace for NFTs. With transaction volumes that exceed many of its peers, OpenSea offers a variety of virtual items ranging from digital collectibles to domain names, digital art, card games and so forth.

Simply put, the platform operates as a one-stop shop for all nonfungible tokens. Users can also customize their NFTs and sell them to a target audience on the marketplace. Currently, OpenSea hosts more than 1.2 million NFTs and features tools that enable developers to create and integrate NFTs into games with minimum effort.

According to the company’s CEO, Devin Finzer, the future of the NFT industry will see a lot more activity in the purely digital gaming world before the tokenization of real-world assets picks up speed.


On June 8, PlayDapp was launched as a customer-to-customer NFT marketplace that allows users across the globe to freely trade blockchain in-game items. Currently, users on the platform can trade in-game items from CryptoDozer and DozerBird, which are the only blockchain games supported on the marketplace. Plans are underway to launch titles such as Along with the Gods: Knights of the Dawn.

Apart from being a platform for gamers looking to trade NFTs, PlayDapp also offers support for developers. According to Choi Sungwone, the platform’s general manager of strategy, the company plans to deliver tools that “allow game items in the RPG genre to be traded through NFT through PlayDapp MarketPLAce.”

PlayDapp is focusing on creating in-game items that can be traded among users and is supported by the involvement of industry experts such as Koh Kwang-wook, who is the former chief technology officer of Item Bay, the world’s first online game item website.

Also, about a year ago, SuperTree, the company backing the PlayDapp marketplace, joined Samsung’s C-Lab program, which is a startup incubation program supporting the development of promising startups.

Game Credits

Game, the company that owns Game Credits, wants to be the in-game currency of the esports industry. At its core, the Game Credits platform uses its GameCredits (GAME) token for multiple purposes. First, the token serves as an in-game currency that can be used to buy and sell NFTs on the marketplace.

GAME tokenholders can also stake tokens to fund the development of quality games on the platform. The token is used to pay for transactions on the NFT marketplace and also to pay for fees associated with the creation of NFTs by developers.

Apart from being a marketplace for in-game items, Game Credits also offers solutions for the ownership and creation of digital assets by providing developers with ready-made tools that enable quick integration of NFTs into gaming platforms.

With Game Credits, developers can earn from the NFTs they create, even without any knowledge of blockchain programming. Jason Cassidy, CEO of Game Credits, told Cointelegraph that NFT exchanges are an essential part of the ecosystem: “NFT’s represent the other half of crypto — the parts of our world that are unique and hold value to us for completely different reasons."


Founded in 2015, Decentraland is a decentralized, user-owned virtual world that features an NFT marketplace where users can buy plots of land, develop them and sell them later. The platform also allows users to create original artwork and scenes using simple building tools. Apart from buying and selling virtual land, Decentraland’s NFT marketplace also offers wearable avatars, among other NFT items built on the Ethereum blockchain.

Every virtual item on the platform is represented with a token recorded on a blockchain-backed ledger. For example, virtual land is represented by a token called LAND, and those who own such tokens can build up other tokens that represent other items such as a house, hotel or school on top of the virtual land.

Although the platform is still undergoing development, Decentraland, at its core, is looking to create a new way to interact with NFTs by creating an immersive experience tied to a native economic network.


The Enjin marketplace was one of the first NFT marketplaces to go online. Enjin, a blockchain asset issuance platform, allows developers to use its Enjin Coin (ENJ) to develop NFTs. Enjin Coin is built on Ethereum with a refined NFT standard that includes the Enjin suite, allowing for the creation and monetization of digital games.

So far, Enjin has partnered with other players in the industry to create tools such as the EnjinCraft plugin, which is an open-source plugin that enables the use of tokenized NFTs in Minecraft. Therefore, players can link Enjin wallets to purchase in-game weapons and avatars or trade them with other items within Minecraft.

Having secured partnerships with Ubisoft, Microsoft and Samsung — to mention only a few — the Enjin team has gained popularity in the Ethereum world and plans to grow its platform while continuing to enable the secure ownership and trade of NFTs.


According to Dapp Radar, Rarible is one of the leading marketplaces for NFTs, with weekly volumes that exceed $1 million. Yet, the Russia-based platform was founded just in 2020.

Rarible is a community-owned platform that offers a variety of digital assets, ranging from digital artwork and domain names to different kinds of collectibles. Apart from its capacity to allow gamers to trade NFTs, users on the platform can use the Rarible Governance Token (RARI) to create customized NFTs. This feature allows artists to create music albums, movies and even books whose ownership is secured on the blockchain.

The Rarible token is also used as a governance token, thus further shifting the Rarible marketplace into a decentralized autonomous organization.

Rarible recently partnered with CoinFund, a New York-based blockchain investment firm, through which Rarible is expected to receive funding for the further development of its NFT marketplace.

The way forward

At the moment, there is a consensus in the crypto community regarding the value of fungible digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ether, which is determined by market forces. However, nonfungible assets are valued for totally different reasons and are increasingly becoming the other half of the blockchain discussion.

With reports indicating a growth of over 2.5 billion users, Cassidy believes that future growth is predicated on the usability of NFT exchanges: “Hot NFT sectors like art need these marketplaces to allow price discovery to take form as their value is purely subjective in nature. The exchanges offer this foundation for awareness of a new asset class as well as direct access for investment into it.”

The future looks bright for the NFT landscape as organizations such as the Blockchain Game Alliance attempt to bring together NFT-focused minds to further develop the industry. However, there are still a few challenges on the way. For instance, Cassidy noted that the lack of liquidity makes it risky to invest in certain NFTs, as the market is still in its early stages with a limited number of buyers. Also, because the value of the assets is considered subjective, an investor may have to wait for a while to get the price they want.

In addition, because most of the NFTs are built on Ethereum, Cassidy added that “The more Ethereum struggles to scale the more challenges the NFT industry will have as the ERC-721 and ERC-1155 standards currently represent the bulk of all NFT’s in existence today.”

Perkins also noted scalability as the main issue hindering further growth of the industry. However, he opined that scalability might not be an issue for long given the efforts from multiple projects to develop scalable layer-two solutions that hope to improve the handling of off-chain transactions by decentralized applications. As such, layer-two solutions will reduce the cost of moving NFTs from one user to another while also increasing the overall efficiency of Ethereum-based platforms.

Law Decoded: How I learned to stop worrying and love the election, Oct. 23-30

Law Decoded: How I learned to stop worrying and love the election, Oct. 23-30

The age-old question quis custodiet ipsos custodes crops up in force in today's Law Decoded.

The United States is girding its loins for an election that has cast a pall over a far longer timeframe than we ever should have let it. But, then again, what did you expect when so many people spent so much of the past year cut off from their normal lives and circles, growing increasingly dependent on social media as a way of connecting with the outside world? Not a recipe for sanity, even if it was a race between sane people.

The phenomena of modern information flow has gotten an enormous amount of attention since the last, similarly godawful election cycle, in many ways forcing regular people to think in the uncomfortably paranoiac manner that cybersecurity pros and blockchain programmers in particular are well accustomed to. What is fear of voter fraud but a double-spend problem? And how can you be sure that every voting machine in America works? And how do I know know that this news report is fact not fiction or even malicious fabrication?

With America’s collective paranoia and suspicion clicking stomach-churningly upwards like the first leg of a creaky roller coaster, it is important to keep a few stabilizing truths in mind. The internet is relatively new but misinformation has always been with us (what is Gilgamesh but propaganda for an Uruk king?). U.S. presidential elections have always been tense, likely peaking about 160 years ago. And, like, despite flaws the country actually has an incredibly resilient system.

Today’s Law Decoded is less crypto-focused than I traditionally try to keep it, but it’s important to keep what the devout call “the space” unsiloed. While only the first of the stories under consideration is explicitly tied to the election, the linking thread that I’ll be clumsily trying to unspool before y’all is the question of who has the power, and who can unseat that power justly. Because at its core, that’s what a functional electoral system promises: That the answer to “who will watch the watchers” is us.

Sighting in the scope of Section 230

Titans of tech and, specifically, public online media appeared virtually before Congress to answer for, well, everything.

At the center of what ended up a political browbeating to score, ironically, viral soundbites was Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act and a barrage of bills seeking to overhaul or revise it.

Senators from both sides of the aisle treated the hearing as an occasion to shift accountability for this election and the one in 2016 onto Facebook, Twitter and Google. Separate but related is the question of whether these companies have illegally accumulated overwhelming power — which is a separate legal issue, on the subject of which my personal opinions are “git ‘em.”

Regarding the challenges to Section 230, however, they do all seem remarkably unaware of the extent of its protections. It has become easy to take potshots at social media giants. Senator Ted Cruz got a bit of circulation for dramatically asking Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey “who the hell elected you?” There are many ways this pressure could result in new transparency in the content moderation practices of these firms, which have become more critical to a unified sense of what’s going on that anyone could have imagined 24 years ago. But any crackdown on the Section 230 freedom for platforms to moderate user content as they see fit will have major ramifications for a whole galaxy of smaller platforms that couldn’t survive such responsibility for what everyone is saying.

The DoJ doesn’t like the Visa acquisition of Plaid, it seems

Alongside a formal request for more info from consulting giant Bain & Company, the Department of Justice acknowledged that it is investigating Visa’s acquisition of omnipresent fintech firm Plaid as an antitrust issue.

Plaid provides interfunctionality between just about every consumer-facing finance app and online banking system you know and love. They are also the subject of multiple class-action lawsuits accusing them of misusing consumer data. The DoJ’s investigation may well be based on the fear that Visa, knowing already the data of everyone’s spending, is also paying $5 billion to add to that reserve of information about how everyone’s money is moving between systems.

That is, to be fair, speculation. More speculative still is the hope that antitrust law will ultimately keep giant firms like Visa from using the data they snag from their clients to snowball ever further down the mountainside.

But FinCEN wants even more data too

Last Friday, U.S. AML watchdog FinCEN and the Federal Reserve sent out a joint request for commentary on a proposed major increase in the information that financial institutions, including crypto firms, need to keep on file.

The famous Travel Rule has for decades required banks to transmit identifying information on the people and accounts sending $3,000 or more. FinCEN and the Fed are looking to reduce that threshold to $250 for international transactions.

Likely, these regulators consider the change reasonable based on the technological shift over the intervening years, which conceivably allow firms to manage exponentially more data than was imaginable back in 1970 when the Bank Secrecy Act passed. But, in addition to the fact that $3,000 means a lot less today than then, the proposal neglects technology’s ability to work for the other side of the law. Bastions of juicy financial and personal data are more accessible than ever before to hackers.

Beyond which, these regulators never seem to give much credence to arguments of principle. $250 is a standard consumer transaction. Is that degree of un-privacy really critical to ending money laundering?

Continuing my determination to cling to damned moderacy, I don’t like money laundering. I don’t like the notion of dictators and drug kingpins being able to funnel money away from the citizens living under their reigns to penthouses in Manhattan. But I hardly think that such people are using $250 transactions to get those penthouses.

Further reads

Coin Center’s Jerry Brito and Peter Van Valkenburgh wrote to FinCEN and the Fed arguing against the $250 threshold.

Aditi Kumar and Eric Rosenbach ask what China’s CBDC could do to the primacy of the U.S. dollar for Foreign Affairs.

Lawyers for Manatt, Phelps and Phillips break down what extraterritorial application of U.S. law means for crypto markets.