News

Singapore Act to License Cryptocurrency Firms Comes Into Effect
January 28, 2020 11:06 am

Legislation regulating the operations of cryptocurrency firms in Singapore comes into effect today, Jan. 28.

The new Payment Services Act will regulate cryptocurrency payments and trading enterprises under some aspects of the regulatory regime that currently governs traditional payment services and require them to hold a license.

Crypto payment services must also comply with the Financial Advisers Act, Insurance Act, Securities and Futures Act and the Trust Companies Act.

The new rules place crypto services under the oversight of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The regulator announced in a press release published earlier today that the new framework is expected to “enhance the regulatory framework for payment services in Singapore, strengthen consumer protection and promote confidence in the use of e-payments.” The regulator’s Assistant Managing Director Loo Siew Yee said:

“The Payment Services Act provides a forward-looking and flexible regulatory framework for the payments industry. The activity-based and risk-focused regulatory structure allows rules to be applied proportionately and to be robust to changing business models. The PS Act will facilitate growth and innovation while mitigating risk and fostering confidence in our payments landscape.”

The new regulations require cryptocurrency-related firms to apply for operating licenses such as a money-changing license, a standard payment institution license and a major payment institution license.

According to a Jan. 27 Bloomberg report, Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Liquid and its London-based competitor Luno reportedly plan to apply. Liquid CEO Mike Kayamori said, “We welcome the Act with open arms.”

As the cryptocurrency space becomes increasingly regulated, many jurisdictions are setting licensing requirements for cryptocurrency businesses. Particularly famous is the case of the stringent BitLicense introduced in the state of New York, which the regulator amended for the first time in nearly five years in December 2019.

Malta introduced licensing requirements for cryptocurrency businesses in July 2018 and received queries from 21 cryptocurrency exchanges seeking authorization to operate in the country. Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges are required to register with the Financial Services Agency since the introduction of that country’s Payment Services Act in April 2017.

Tone Vays: Bitcoin Must Hold $9K for 2-3 Days to Secure Bull Market
January 28, 2020 11:06 am

Bitcoin (BTC) rising above $9,000 has turned heads amid fresh uncertainty in China but has yet to convince one of its best-known traders.

In the latest episode of his Trading Bitcoin YouTube series on Jan. 28, Tone Vays said that despite the past week’s upward price momentum, he was not yet bullish on Bitcoin.

Vays: BTC has not confirmed the bull market

“Am I ready to declare a bull market? No,” he summarized.

Famously cautious about overly enthusiastic price forecasts, Vays previously warned markets were giving mixed signals and that BTC/USD could dip lower. At the time, in mid-January, the pair traded at around $8,100.

Suggesting downside at the time was the BitMEX funding rate, an indicator which Vays noted generally runs contrary to others but has a high degree of accuracy.

Now, as then, the funding rate is “favoring the bears,” he continued, but not to the extent it once did.

Nonetheless, Vays concluded that levels above $9,000 — and the 200-day moving average — need to hold for several days in order to convince him of a bullish trend.

“If we fall back below the 200-day moving average, then the double top holds,” he said, referring to Bitcoin’s previous trip above $9,000 around Jan. 17.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Binance CEO demands bear shakeout

Not everyone shared the sentiment of fragility. In a tweet on Tuesday, Changpeng Zhao, CEO of crypto exchange Binance, even urged followers to shun price forecasters who predicted lower levels than at present for BTC/USD.

Zhao wrote:

“Now is the time to unfollow people who predicted btc to 5000 in the last couple months, and btc to 1000 a year ago.”

While that should ostensibly include Vays, his perspective echoes traders and analysts who likewise told Cointelegraph that those waiting to buy in at lower levels had already missed their chance.

Among them were veteran trader Peter Brandt, as well as EzeeTrader partner Charlie Burton.

Bitcoin Price Breaks Through Key Resistance as Traders Target $9.2K
January 28, 2020 11:06 am

Bitcoin daily price chart. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin (BTC) bulls appear to have found a second wind which allowed them to push the price above $9,000 to a daily high at $9,150. As discussed in an earlier analysis, bulls had been fighting to hold the price above $8,800 throughout the day and multiple attempts at knocking out the $9K mark were held back at $8,963 and $8,985.

BTC USD 6-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Traders will watch to see if Bitcoin to can sustain above $9,118.85 in order to flip the $9,100 to $9,200 zone to support and set a daily higher high. Above $9,200 traders will look to $9,500, $9,600, $9,963 and $10,538 as the next targets for Bitcoin price.

Since Jan. 24 Bitcoin has rallied 11.31%, meaning an eventual pullback could see the price revisit $8,900 and $8,700. At the time of writing the moving average convergence divergence (MACD is on the verge of crossing above the signal line on the daily time frame and the histogram has nearly shifted from negative to positive as it approaches 0.

BTC USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

The relative strength index is also bullish with a reading of 66 but the indicator is not yet overbought suggesting bulls could push the price higher. As mentioned previously, during strong rallies Bitcoin price can continue surging higher regardless of multiple indicators flashing overbought readings so traders are advised to keep a close eye on trading volume, the Chaikin Money Flow oscillator and also be wary if a double top candlestick pattern forms as this would be an early sign of a short term reversal.

Bitcoin daily price chart. Source: Coin360

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $250.3 billion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 66.1%. A number of altcoins also mirrored Bitcoin’s gains. Cardano (ADA) rallied 8.05%, Bitcoin SV (BSV) has held on to an 8.54% gain and Litecoin (LTC) rallied 7.49%.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here
Wallet Creator Offers $250K to Anyone Who Can Crack the ‘Hack-Proof’
January 28, 2020 11:06 am

Offline cold storage cryptocurrency wallet service provider GK8 is offering a bug bounty of up to $250,000 to the first person who can hack its product.

GK8 — which presents its solution as a “hack-proof digital vault” that needs no direct or indirect connection to the internet — will place 14 Bitcoin (BTC) (over $125,000 at press time) in its wallet. Anyone who succeeds in breaking into the wallet will pocket its proceeds, plus an additional $125,000 prize.

The bounty program will run from Feb. 3 (9:00 a.m EST) through February 4, 2020 (9:00 AM EST).

Mitigating state-sponsored attacks and APT threats

Israel-based GK8 claims its high-security custody solution for digital asset storage will allow banks and other institutions to fully access and manage their crypto holdings and related information without needing to connect to the net.

The firm’s site claims the product has been designed so as “to minimize the wallet’s attack surface and block attackers’ influence on security-critical components.”

Among the list of risks it aims to mitigate, GK8 has pointed to state-sponsored attacks and stealth APT (advanced persistent threat) cyber threats.

Zcash (ZEC) founding scientist and cryptography researcher Professor Eran Tromer has endorsed the project, contending that the cold wallet solution developed by GK8 will set a new standard for high security cryptocurrency custody offerings. He explained the way in which the firm has designed the wallet with a minimized attack surface, noting that it works by:

“Having only outbound unidirectional communication and then building the rest of the cryptographic protocols around it using multi-party computation, validation protocols, the transmission of policies to the environment, all while preventing the injection of malicious inputs from the internet back into the cold wallet.”

High stakes

In an industry that must always keep one step ahead of potential threat vectors, bug bounty programs serve as a useful “stress test” for cryptocurrency firms to probe the security of their solutions.

In Dec. 2019, the AirSwap decentralized exchange protocol announced its launch of a bug bounty program with rewards of up to 20,000 Dai (DAI), without setting a time limit for bug-finders.

Earlier, in October, MakerDAO had been prompted to fix a critical bug that could have resulted in a complete loss of funds for all platform users. HackerOne user lucash-dev had disclosed a report revealing a critical bug in MakerDAO’s planned upgrade, and was rewarded for the effort with a $50,000 bounty.

Coinbase and Ripple Execs Unveil Master Plan to Drive US Crypto Adoption
January 28, 2020 11:06 am

Two executives at Coinbase and Ripple are leading a push for smart regulations and transparency in the crypto-sphere that would arguably drive adoption and take blockchain technology mainstream.

Market integrity must improve

The Market Integrity Working Group’s co-chairs want regulators to grasp how they can advance the cryptocurrency industry. In an official company statement, Coinbase senior director and associate general counsel Rachel Nelson, in conjunction with Ripple’s head of global institutional markets Breanne Madigan, wrote:

“To improve market integrity and provide consumers the confidence they deserve, Congress may need to enact legislation to support the orderly and secure functioning of crypto markets.”

Projecting wider regulations, they added:

“Such legislation could expand the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) authority to include the regulation and oversight of digital commodity exchange markets.”

The need for a regulatory framework

The Working Group, which officially launched on Jan. 23 2020, outlined the problems that saddle exchanges. According to this organization, state-specific regulations are to blame:

“Consumers and cryptocurrency exchanges deserve a clear regulatory framework, the establishment of which would ultimately enhance market integrity and drive consumer adoption of cryptocurrencies.”

The co-chairs argue that new exchanges face byzantine burdens while existing exchanges struggle against compliance requirements. But a regulatory framework would bolster market integrity and encourage consumer adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin Price Pushes Above $8.8K as Bulls Attempt to Reclaim $9,000
January 28, 2020 11:06 am

After a pleasant weekly close, Bitcoin (BTC) bulls turned up Monday prepared to push the price to the $9K mark and possibly above. Over the weekend numerous crypto analysts suggested that if the price sustained above the $8,650 resistance Bitcoin would rally to $8,800 to set a daily lower high, consolidate, then make another run at the $9,200 mark.

Bitcoin daily price chart. Source: Coin360

All, except the latter, has come to pass and at the time of writing traders are attempting to push the price through 9,000 but $8,963 has been a sticking point. Purchasing volume continues to rise and the 6-hour timeframe shows the RSI pushing above 72 as bullish momentum continues to rise on the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) histogram.

BTC USD 6-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Neither indicator is in overbought territory and at the moment Chaikin Money Flow (CMF) oscillator has flipped positive above 0 and continues to rise, demonstrating that bulls are continuing to pump funds into Bitcoin.

Experienced traders will recall that when volume sustains throughout a strong upside move, oscillators like the Stoch, RSI, and MACD can become overbought and hold these positions as Bitcoin’s price continues to surge higher. Thus, incorporating other indicators like moving averages, candlestick patterns, and the Bollinger Bands can provide additional valuable insight.

BTC USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

The daily chart shows Bitcoin en-route to setting a new daily higher high slightly above $9,200 and this point also aligns with the upper arm of the Bollinger band indicator. If bulls are successful in pushing the price above $9,230, traders will set $9,500 as the next destination for Bitcoin price.

Above $9,500, $9,600, $9,963 and $10,538 are the next areas that traders will reach for. Looking at Bitcoin’s longer-term market structure on the daily chart, one can see that $9,119.85 is an important level to sustain above. Since July 16, 2019, this level functioned as strong support so if bulls are able to flip this resistance to support it would solidify Bitcoin’s trend reversal and significantly reduce the likelihood that the price will drop below $8,000 in the near future.

$9,119 is also close to the 36.2% Fibonacci retracement level from Bitcon’s June 26 drop from $13,800. Some traders view this Fib level as being nearly as significant as the 61.8% level and the daily chart shows this Bitocin frequently bounced off this level as support for 6 months before dropping below it in September 2019 thus flipping it to resistance.

Over the coming days bulls will fantasize about Bitcoin sustaining above $9,119.85, then pushing its way through the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement at $9,250 as this would set the digital asset up for a well-measured shot at $10,000.

Bitcoin daily price chart. Source: Coin360

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $245.8 billion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 65.9%. As Bitcoin rallied 4.26% a number of the top-20 altcoins followed suit with impressive gains. Bitcoin SV (BSV) rallied 11.32% while EOS and Ethereum Classic (ETC) gained 9.41% and 15.3% respectively.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here
Ditto Music to Launch App Offering Speedy Blockchain Solution
January 28, 2020 11:06 am

Ditto Music will launch Bluebox, a blockchain recording technology that could be a boon to musicians and distributors alike.

What it’s all about

The problem, says Ditto Music CEO Lee Parsons, is that misplaced metadata can end up eating away at the bottom line.

Recently Ditto made a royalty payment of 60,000 pounds sterling ($80,000) to the wrong artist. Parsons reportedly had to pay the correct artist out of his own pocket.

But Bluebox will allow artists to address legal concerns, such as copyright registration, publishing, and mechanical splits. The app records music around legally-binding smart contracts, which are written into code and instantly copyrights the content.

“There’s billions of dollars of unclaimed royalties out there,” Parson said. “The blockchain can help millions of artists claim what is rightfully theirs.”

Larger vision

Ditto Music, which paid out $100 million in royalties last year, claims a roster of 250,000 artists including the likes of Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and Royal Blood. Bluebox is designed to split royalty payments for a recording’s lifetime and accurately track plays on the system.

Parsons argues that this creates more transparency and more detailed reporting, both of which should reap higher collection rates from digital services.

Ditto claimed to promote “higher collection rates [while] massively reducing the loss of earnings currently experienced by artists.”

Last year, Cointelegraph published a contributor piece on decentralization in the music industry.

Cointelegraph reached out to Ditto for comment but had not received a response as of press time. This article will be updated upon receipt of a response.

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