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Blockstream Releases First Enterprise-Grade Product on Liquid

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Security tokens are coming to Bitcoin, courtesy of Blockstream.

The Bitcoin and blockchain technology company announced on May 15, 2019, the final day of the Consensus 2019 conference, that Liquid Securities, a platform for issuing and managing security tokens on its Liquid sidechain, is ready to go live. This platform will provide Liquid and its users with its first product to issue digital assets, a foundational milestone for bringing tokenization to the Bitcoin network.

Launched in October 2018, the Liquid sidechain is an auxiliary network built on Bitcoin, primarily to enable low-fee, low-latency transfers between exchanges. Blockstream has always advertised the potential for digital asset issuance on the sidechain, a promise it has now fulfilled in collaboration with Liquid Securities’ inaugural partners TokenSoft, BnkToTheFuture, Zenus Bank and Pixelmatic.

“This is big for Liquid, to move from something that is used by exchanges toward a more advanced financial network,” Allan Piscitello, director of product management at Blockstream, told Bitcoin Magazine.

Piscitello went on to say that one of the benefits of Liquid Securities includes having an asset that is both verifiable and auditable but also private. When issuing a token on Liquid, a company can keep specific details (like supply, allocation, etc.) private while allowing a trusted third party to audit operations. This means that enterprises don’t have to trade off privacy for transparency to stay compliant with regulations, all while leveraging “one of the most secure blockchain networks in the world,” according to Piscitello.

“We’ve been speaking to financial institutions for the past year and one thing that was very common in the requests they give is that they’re looking for being able to move assets privately, they’re looking for a scalable solution as well,” Mason Borda, CEO of Token Soft, told Bitcoin Magazine. “They’re all familiar with the Liquid name.”

The platform comes with a variety of issuer controls for tailoring a token to each user’s specific use case. They can, for instance, choose to manage tokens through Liquid Securities’ API or outsource this job to one of Liquid’s partners if it’s too onerous.

There are also internal controls for managing token issuance based on criteria like regulations and geographic restrictions, among others. Piscitello believes this will help to tame the “wild west of ICOs” which frequently confront “geographic or regulatory restrictions” during token sales. It will also make it easier for companies to issue tokens because they don’t need to roll out their own smart contracts, he said.

Offering an alternative to the free-for-all model of the ICO boom, Liquid’s tokenization platform could be an attractive option to regulated players, Mushegh Tovmasyan, founder of Zenus Bank, told Bitcoin Magazine.

“Being a very regulated entity, we’ve been searching for a compliant solution for our clients and shareholders,” he said.

Companies interested in the platform can apply for early access here.

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Generation Bitcoin: 90% of Millennials Prefer Crypto to Gold: ETF Expert

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By CCN: The US investing industry stands on the precipice of a dramatic upheaval that could see bitcoin and other cryptocurrency assets replace gold in investor portfolios.

That’s according to Nate Geraci, president of the ETF Store, an independent investment advisor. He revealed in a Bloomberg TV interview that his millennial clients are clamoring to hold bitcoin in their portfolios – if only the SEC would let them.

Crypto in a Landslide: ETF Expert Says Millennials Plan to Kick Gold to the Curb

Responding to a question from Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas about whether he would ever invest client funds in a bitcoin ETF, Geraci stunned his fellow panel members when he said that millennial investors overwhelmingly desire to hold bitcoin instead of traditional hedge assets like gold.

How overwhelming? Ninety percent.

“When we talk to our younger clients – we have a core gold allocation in our portfolios, and they’ll ask about that and say, ‘What about crypto?’ And if you talk to, primarily millennials, and ask them which they prefer, bitcoin or gold, it’s a landslide. It’s not even close, it’s like 90% prefer bitcoin.”

Geraci’s bold claim was more anecdotal than scientific, but there’s plenty of hard data that demonstrates that younger investors are vastly more comfortable with holding cryptocurrency in their portfolios than investors who grew up in the pre-digital era.

In April, a Harris Poll survey found that 18 to 34-year-olds are “very” or “somewhat” likely to purchase bitcoin within the next five years. That might not seem overwhelming, but consider that only 37% of Americans in that demographic currently own stocks.

Similarly, a February eToro survey found that 43% of millennials trust crypto exchanges more than stock exchanges, even though crypto trading platform hacks dominate the mainstream news cycle.

ETF Would Reduce Crypto Investing Risks

bitcoin etf vaneck bitcoin price

ETF Store President Nate Geraci said that there is rabid demand for a bitcoin ETF, especially among millennials. | Source: Shutterstock

Nate Geraci further pointed to the success of the $1.5 billion Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTC: GBTC) as proof that there is sufficient market demand for a crypto ETF.

He noted that the over-the-counter product regularly trades at a staggering premium to the underlying value of its BTC assets. That’s because GBTC shares fluctuate based on supply and demand, not just the price of bitcoin. An ETF, he said, would flatten that premium and thus reduce investor risk.

“It seems a bit incongruent to me that we have that product out there trading, where investors really could get hurt if they don’t understand that premium, but we don’t have a bitcoin ETF.”

“The demand is there,” he concluded.

SEC Kicks the Bitcoin ETF Can Down the Road

Unfortunately for crypto bulls, millennials aren’t the ones manipulating the levers of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which holds unilateral authority to approve or deny bitcoin ETF applications.

The SEC, as CCN reported, continues to punt on the issue. Last week, the regulatory agency extended its long trend of delaying ruling on cryptocurrency products when it postponed its decision on the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF to August 19. Most industry insiders expect the SEC to delay the VanEck/SolidX product again, pushing its final ruling until October 18.

Dave Nadig, the managing director of ETF.com, said that he believes the SEC is still in “information gathering mode” but that there is a “reasonable chance” regulators approve the first bitcoin ETF before the end of 2019.

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Ripple Price Analysis: XRP Lost Critical 5000 SAT Support Area – What’s Next?

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Ripple’s XRP has seen a price decline totaling 6% over the past 24 hours of trading, bringing the current price for the coin down to around $0.3754 at press time. The cryptocurrency has lost a further 16% over the past 7 trading days.

This price drop largely is due to the retracement seen in Bitcoin, although XRP also has seen difficulty when priced against Bitcoin.

XRP currently is ranked in 3d place amongst the top cryptocurrency projects by market cap value, holding a $15.89 billion market cap, according to CoinMarketCap at time of publication. 

Looking at the XRP/USD 1-Day Chart:

  • Since our previous XRP/USD analysis, we can see that XRP/USD has fallen further from the $0.39 level, to where it currently is trading at around $0.375. XRP has strong resistance beneath it provided by the 200-day moving average around the $0.3615 level.
  • From above: The nearest levels of resistance lie at $0.3790 and $0.3943. If the bulls can continue further above $0.40, higher resistance can be located at $0.4235, $0.4376 and $0.4617. Above this, further resistance lies at $0.48 and $0.50.
  • From below: The nearest level of support now sits between $0.36 and $0.35. Beneath $0.35, further support is located at $0.34, $0.32 and $0.30.
  • Trading volume has dropped significantly from the average level seen during May 2019.
  • The RSI is in a precarious position as it hovers around the 50 level which indicates indecision within the market. If the RSI drops beneath 50, we can expect XRP/USD to head lower.

xrpusd_may23-min

Looking at the XRP/BTC 1-Day Chart:

  • Against Bitcoin, we can see XRP/BTC has now dropped further beneath the support at 5000 SAT to where it currently trades at press time, around 4850 SAT.
  • From above: The nearest level of resistance now sits at 4910 SAT, 5000 SAT and 5090 SAT. Above 5100 SAT, further resistance exists at 5571 SAT, 5962 SAT and 6000 SAT.
  • From below: The nearest level of support lies at 4731 SAT. Beneath this, further support is expected at 4500 SAT, 4323 SAT and 4000 SAT.
  • Trading volume has also significantly declined toward the second half of May 2019.
  • The Stochastic RSI suggests that price action will head further lower due to a bearish crossover in overbought conditions.

xrpbtc_may23-min

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Ripple Price Analysis: XRP Lost Critical 5000 SAT Support Area – What’s Next?

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Ripple’s XRP has seen a price decline totaling 6% over the past 24 hours of trading, bringing the current price for the coin down to around $0.3754 at press time. The cryptocurrency has lost a further 16% over the past 7 trading days.

This price drop largely is due to the retracement seen in Bitcoin, although XRP also has seen difficulty when priced against Bitcoin.

XRP currently is ranked in 3d place amongst the top cryptocurrency projects by market cap value, holding a $15.89 billion market cap, according to CoinMarketCap at time of publication. 

Looking at the XRP/USD 1-Day Chart:

  • Since our previous XRP/USD analysis, we can see that XRP/USD has fallen further from the $0.39 level, to where it currently is trading at around $0.375. XRP has strong resistance beneath it provided by the 200-day moving average around the $0.3615 level.
  • From above: The nearest levels of resistance lie at $0.3790 and $0.3943. If the bulls can continue further above $0.40, higher resistance can be located at $0.4235, $0.4376 and $0.4617. Above this, further resistance lies at $0.48 and $0.50.
  • From below: The nearest level of support now sits between $0.36 and $0.35. Beneath $0.35, further support is located at $0.34, $0.32 and $0.30.
  • Trading volume has dropped significantly from the average level seen during May 2019.
  • The RSI is in a precarious position as it hovers around the 50 level which indicates indecision within the market. If the RSI drops beneath 50, we can expect XRP/USD to head lower.

xrpusd_may23-min

Looking at the XRP/BTC 1-Day Chart:

  • Against Bitcoin, we can see XRP/BTC has now dropped further beneath the support at 5000 SAT to where it currently trades at press time, around 4850 SAT.
  • From above: The nearest level of resistance now sits at 4910 SAT, 5000 SAT and 5090 SAT. Above 5100 SAT, further resistance exists at 5571 SAT, 5962 SAT and 6000 SAT.
  • From below: The nearest level of support lies at 4731 SAT. Beneath this, further support is expected at 4500 SAT, 4323 SAT and 4000 SAT.
  • Trading volume has also significantly declined toward the second half of May 2019.
  • The Stochastic RSI suggests that price action will head further lower due to a bearish crossover in overbought conditions.

xrpbtc_may23-min

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Blockchain Firm Raises $4 Million From Draper’s VC Fund to Provide Uncensorable Domains

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San Francisco-based blockchain domains firm Unstoppable Domains has secured $4 million in a funding round backed by venture capitalist Tim Draper, co-founder Brad Kam told Cointelegraph in an email on May 23.

Following a $730,000 seed round led by investment firm Boost VC, Unstoppable Domains has carried out a Series A round led by venture capital fund Draper Associates. The previous investment was completed in December 2018, a press release notes.

The new investment funds will be used in the company’s mission to provide blockchain-powered uncensorable websites, as well as simple payments in major cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC) and others.

By bringing blockchain to the domains industry, Unstoppable Domains intends to “spread free speech around the world,” decentralizing domain names and websites that cannot be controlled by a third party, Draper said in the announcement.

Similar to a cryptocurrency stored in a digital wallet, Unstoppable Domains’ websites are stored in a user’s wallet, while the content is stored on the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) or other decentralized storage networks.

Unstoppable Domains also plans to incorporate blockchain domains with users’ crypto addresses. The company reportedly allows users to replace a wallet’s address with their short domain name that claims to enable simple transactions in crypto.

Recently, electronics supplier Bosch expressed the company’s willingness to take an active position in protecting the openness of the Internet of Things against censorship.

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DeFi exchange Uniswap records $20 million in trades last week

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Ryan Sean Adams, the Founder of cryptoasset investment firm Mythos Capital, revealed via Twitter that Uniswap, a permissionless, peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto exchange protocol, recorded approximately $20 million in trading volume last week.

Adams, a former healthcare professional, also mentioned that Uniswap was created by a single developer and was launched only six months ago.

Uniswap developed by a mechanical engineer

In April 2019, Hayden Adams, the creator of the Ethereum-based Uniswap Exchange protocol, explained how he launched a company dedicated to building decentralized finance (DeFi) products. The mechanical engineering graduate from Stony Brook University also confirmed that Uniswap’s seed round was closed last month.

Fred Ehrsam, a board member at Coinbase and the Co-Founder of Paradigm, a newly launched crypto investment fund backed by Yale University, will reportedly be working with Adams to further develop the Uniswap protocol.

Beginnings as just a “side project”

Per the Uniswap Founder, the DeFi project began as “a side project” and also as a way for him to learn the skills needed to successfully transition from working as a mechanical engineer to a blockchain developer.

After consistently working on various blockchain-based projects, Adams said he began focusing more on P2P protocols which could be audited and were completely open-source, including their front-end development.

Testament to the power of open finance

Acknowledging that the Uniswap protocol could not have been developed without the contributions made by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and crypto researcher Karl Floersch, Adams noted that his project is “a testament to the unstoppable power of open finance.”

According to DeFi pulse, there are currently around $15.8 million locked into Uniswap’s contracts. Data from DeFi pulse also shows that the Decentralized Finance ecosystem is presently valued at over $530 million.

Other notable protocols which are now part of the nascent DeFi market include MakerDAO, which is an Ethereum-based P2P lending platform. At present, there are more than $446 million committed to Maker’s contracts.

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network (LN) is also considered part of the DeFi ecosystem and its network capacity currently stands at approximately 1,025 Bitcoin (BTC), an amount valued at $8.1 million at press time.

Filed Under: Analysis, Crypto Exchanges

Omar Faridi

Omar enjoys writing about all topics related to Bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency. He is most interested in crypto regulations, quantum resistant blockchains, and Ethereum and Bitcoin Core development. His academic background includes an undergraduate degree in computer science from the University of Nevada and a masters of science in psychology from the University of Phoenix. He works as an application developer for the University of Houston and a data storage specialist for Dell EMC.

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