Blockchain, the innovative distributed data storage method backing almost all of the more than 2,000 crypto assets existing today, has been often touted as a way to drastically improve the efficiency of traditional banking. However, according to the Head of Digital Market Assets at Credit Suisse, the uptake of the technology has been slower than many might have expected due to the “culture” surrounding banking.Decades after the internet revolutionised how we as a species share information, the current state of banking looks tragically dated in 2019. With the very real threat to traditional banking posed by crypto assets growing each year, Emmanuel Aidoo, of Credit Suisse, believes that 2019 will see an uptake of financial institutions using blockchain technology to improve their services.Emmanuel Aidoo: Banks Not Exactly Rushing Into BlockchainAccording to a report in Business Insider, Emmanuel Aidoo, the head of digital market assets at Credit Suisse, has stated it is banking culture that has so far slowed the adoption of blockchain technology in the financial industry. He said:“What is preventing the banking industry from rushing into it? I think it’s mostly culture… I think the tipping point is about having an entrepreneurial culture, a willingness to push people to keep asking why.”Reading between the lines slightly, it appears that Aidoo is referencing a widespread acceptance of the status quo within banking circles. For an industry that faces direct competition from mobile bank-like services, such as Square and Venmo, as well as the rise of crypto assets like Bitcoin and Ether, not moving with the times in such a way could prove very dangerous indeed.Naturally, banking struggles to innovate at anywhere near the same pace as the digital asset industry. Being entirely centralised, ways to increase banking efficiency must come from above. The sheer number of developers working on Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other decentralised payment platforms around the world make for potential innovation that cannot be matched by these financial institutions. This concept is illustrated in the following rather lengthy video by Bitcoin evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos:Aidoo continued to highlight the current stagnation in the banking industry and how it risked being left being by financial innovation occurring in less traditional avenues such as crypto:“That is really important for companies to have people who challenge themselves to ask questions about the status quo… These are people who focus on change, not change for change’s sake, but an honest reflection for why we do things — can we do things better.”The Credit Suisse head did go on to state that he believes that 2019 will be the year that blockchain technology finally makes it into the banking industry in a big way. Already initiatives such a JPM Coin – a permissioned blockchain-based system that offers almost none of the true innovation of Bitcoin and other crypto assets – highlights that the industry is starting to explore the technology. However, very few real-world examples are actually live according to Aidoo.Ultimately, the slow movement of the banking industry could be a massive boon for crypto. If banks continue to fall behind in terms of the service they can offer versus leading cryptocurrencies, the market will eventually render them obsolete by choosing to favouring these non-traditional value transfer services over more traditional banking ones. Related Reading: Could JPM Coin Be the Negative Force Behind Ripple’s Recent Price Action?Featured Image from Shutterstock.
A firm working to bring traditional financial services to those invested in crypto assets has lowered the minimum Bitcoin account balance required to receive interest payments. The move is reportedly in response to public pressure to make the service more accessible.Naturally, those wishing to use BlockFi’s interest accounts should be aware that such custodian services carry far greater risk to Bitcoin investors than if they were to take responsibility for their own private keys. High profile exchange hacks highlight the danger to those choosing to store their crypto with large centralised services such as BlockFi.BlockFi Brings Traditional Financial Services to Bitcoin InvestorsLess than one month after it originally launched its crypto interest accounts, BlockFi has updated its terms of service to lower the minimum account balance needed to receive payments. Previously, users would need to hold a full Bitcoin – worth over $5,600 at the time of writing. This has now been lowered to 0.5 BTC.The news broke via a BlockFi monthly update, posted to its blog earlier today. According to the post, the move has been influenced by large numbers of public requests:“After launching BIA, a lot of users reached out to our team asking that we drop our minimum eligible balance to earn interest. We’re excited to let our community know that BTC balances of 0.5 BTC and up will now begin earning interest on their deposits. “The change will take affect on May 1. What’s more, it will be applied retroactively, meaning all those that held balances of over 0.5 Bitcoin with BlockFi since April 1 will be paid interest on their balances too.Also detailed in the post is a change to BlockFi’s terms regarding its Ether interest accounts. Previously, the firm offered to pay interest on any Ether accounts with a balance of greater than 25 ETH. However, market conditions have apparently forced BlockFi to up this minimum threshold to 250 ETH – around $43,250 at today’s prices.Finally, the firm has also announced that it will open its services to Indian crypto investors too. Again, this has been influenced by sheer demand for the service. This brings the total number of countries eligible to use BlockFi to 65.BlockFi Making its Potential Honeypot More Appealing to InvestorsAlthough many Bitcoin investors will no doubt be delighted by the lowering of the minimum account balance required by BlockFi to take advantage of its interest account, those wishing to should do so with caution. Centralised companies offering such services that require crypto deposits have been targeted many times by hackers.The blog post proudly details the total amount held by BlockFi, which has exploded so far during 2019. From just over $10 million this February, the firm now boasts an impressive (and ultimately alluring) $53 million of client funds. No doubt, this will only increase with the latest announcement and no doubt there are teams of cyber criminals working round the clock to compromise the Bitcoin and crypto financial services company for their own gain. Related Reading: Cryptocurrency Exchange Hacking Jumped 250% YTD, Says ReportFeatured Image from Shutterstock.
Most of the world’s largest companies experimenting with blockchain are apparently doing so on Ethereum. Amongst the notable names are Fidelity, Google, and HTC.Blockchain spending has been increasing dramatically over the last few years and it looks like the number two crypto by market capitalisation is leading the way in terms of corporate adoption.Much of Ethereum’s Fabled EEA Still Interested in the PlatformFor many Ether investors, enterprise adoption is all important. In 2017, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance announcements were often accompanied by massive price surges for the number two crypto by market capitalisation. Names likes Deloitte, National Bank of Canada, Samsung SDS, and Toyota and many more were gradually added to the list. Meanwhile, investors waited for one of these massive companies to develop a killer application for the blockchain that requires the use of vast quantities of Ether, thus sending the price rocketing.Things have not exactly turned out as many had expected. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) has not been in the news much of late and there is no corporate use case of the blockchain that has sent the price parabolic again. However, development is clearly still going on.EEA announcements have inspired their fair share of ETH price runs in the past.Forbes has just released a list of billion dollar companies experimenting with blockchain technology. The “Top 50 Billion-Dollar Companies Exploring Blockchain” is the first part of two similar articles. It will eventually create a full top 100.The list shows that most of the world’s largest companies that are interested in distributed ledger technology are currently looking at public Ethereum or private Ethereum-derived ledgers to build applications on. Most companies featured are exploring numerous blockchains, however.Of those that prefer other blockchains, Hyperledger, IBM Blockchain, and Bitcoin all seem popular amongst the corporate giants exploring the tech.In an article detailing the new Forbes list, ConsenSys stated that 24 of the 50 billion-dollar companies are currently investigating the Ethereum public blockchain, with a further 12 using Enterprise Ethereum-derived platforms in instead.The ConsenSys piece goes on to opine:“It’s likely that the large developer community, existing standards developed by the EEA, and public compatibility are driving some of Enterprise Ethereum’s reported dominance.”What Are The Biggest of The Big Working on?Below are some of the more notable companies on the list and the specific blockchains they’re currently exploring:Amazon — Hyperledger, Gabric, Ethereum (later this year).Citigroup — EthereumCoinbase — Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Lumen.Fidelity — Bitcoin, Ethereum.Google — Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Zcash, Dogecoin, Dash.HTC — Bitcoin, Ethereum.IBM — IBM Blockchain, Stellar, Hyperledger Burrow, Sovrin.JP Morgan Chase — Quorum.MasterCard — An original blockchain built from the ground up.Microsoft — Ethereum, Parity, Corda, Hyperledger Fabric.Nasdaq — Symbiont, Corda, Hyperledger Fabric.Nestle — IBM Blockchain.Overstock — Bitcoin, Ethereum, RVN, Florin.Samsung — Nexledger, Ethereum.Visa — Hyperledger Fabric.Walmart — Hyperledger Fabric.Blockchain Spending Growing DramaticallyAccording to International Data Corp, spending on blockchain technology solutions increased by 89 percent compared to the previous year. It is projected to reach $2.9 billion this year and $12.4 billion by 2022.Meanwhile, Deloitte surveyed executives from a range of companies. The results found that 95 percent of those asked were already invested or planned to at some point this year. Related Reading: Vitalik Buterin Remains Confident About Ethereum 2.0 Development Amid ConcernsFeatured Image from Shutterstock and Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.
An early Bitcoin investor’s short-lived dream lifestyle has turned into a nightmare after the Thai navy has accused him of breaching the nation’s sovereignty. Chad Elwartowski’s SeaStead floating home is apparently too close to the Thai coastline.The idea of SeaSteading is to create a living space on a floating vessel out in international waters and not under the jurisdiction of any nation state. According to Elwartowski, the Thai military now wants both him and his girlfriend dead.Couple on the Run from Thai Authorities Over SeaSteadAs reported by the UK’s Daily Mail, a Bitcoin investor and his girlfriend have gone into hiding because of apparent threats made against the pair’s lives by the Thai military. Chad Elwartowski and Supranee Thepdet, also known as “Bitcoin Girl Thailand”, could face charges of breaching the Kingdom of Thailand’s sovereignty.NewsBTC first reported on Elwartowski and Thepdet’s successful launch of the planet’s first SeaStead early last month. Just weeks later, the two are apparently wanted dead for building it too close to the Thai coast.To those who don’t know, a SeaStead is a floating vessel designed for individuals to live in. The idea behind the SeaSteading project is to create living spaces outside of the law of the land. Elwartowski explains:“I like the idea of being able to vote with your home. If you don’t like how your community is being run, you just float to a new one.”Elwartowski, who previously worked as a US military software engineer, reportedly got the $150,000 to build his SeaStead from an early Bitcoin investment. Like Bitcoin, the SeaSteading project is particularly popular with libertarian-leaning people.According to Thai authorities, the military recently found the floating home uninhabited around 12 nautical miles off the coast of Thailand. Elwartowski refutes this, saying that his SeaStead was 13 nautical miles off the coast of Phuket island and therefore in international waters.Colonel Nikorn Somsuk, of the Phuket police force, confirmed that an official complaint had been filed today. He stated:“The navy and its team found a concrete tank floating on the sea but there was no one on it. So they filed a charge citing criminal code article 119.”If an official charge is brought against the pair, they could be sentenced to death. The Thai Navy reportedly stated via social media that the pair didn’t seek Thai permission for their Bitcoin-funded SeaStead. Evidently disrespected, the organisation went on to say that their advertising of the SeaSteading lifestyle and inviting others to join them in creating a floating home near Thailand showed no regard for the nation’s sovereignty.According to the Daily Mail, the pair state that they are on the run from a national military that wants them dead.Bitcoin’s Micro-Nation DreamersThe SeaStead project is hardly the first example of people enamoured with the freedom-bringing potential of Bitcoin attempting to set up communities outside of the rule of any nation. One such effort is Liberland, located between Croatia and Serbia. The experiment in self-determination even had an ICO associated with it to raise funds to apparently finance the non-state.Similarly, NewsBTC reported on the group behind a floating island in French Polynesia that proposed to establish a government and the launch of a digital currency of its own last year. The project seeks to establish hundreds of new floating nations, inspired by the same ideas as SeaSteading. Related Reading: Roger Ver Attempts to Create a “FreeSociety”Featured Image from Shutterstock.
One of France’s most iconic buildings lies virtually destroyed after a tragic fire consumed it last night. In response to the incident, which has moved much of the planet, a group of French Bitcoin advocates have set up a crypto appeal.The blaze is now under control but millions of euros worth of architecture and artwork has been damaged. France’s president has pledged to rebuild the once-magnificent building and the Bitcoin donations will contribute towards the effort.Bitcoin Philanthropy: French Crypto Community Appeal for DonationsThe crypto appeal was first launched by French Bitcoin advocate, journalist, and podcaster, Gregory Raymond. His Tweet states that such a philanthropic action could help prove to the lawmakers of the planet that Bitcoin can be used for good and not just the small percentage of criminal uses often cited by regulators and naysayers:President @EmmanuelMacron has announced a subscription to rebuild #NotreDame. Hey bitcoiners, let’s prove to the french authorities #Bitcoin can be an amazing way to send funds quickly, without border and for a good cause ! #bitcoinfornotredame 1JX3k1e1acXENqoKqaAtKKEdE9C2j4WsDB pic.twitter.com/Xu1zULMqL1— Grégory Raymond (@gregory_raymond) April 15, 2019Other French crypto enthusiasts have since Tweeted their support for the appeal. A group from France’s digital asset community suggested that the wallet used for donations be switched for a multi-signature address to ensure that the funds go to where the appeal’s organisers say they will. Translated, the below Tweet simply reads:“The Coin Circle will support the approach of Gregory Raymond. A multi-signature address will be put in place to give more guarantee to donors. We communicate very quickly.”Le Cercle du Coin va appuyer cette démarche de @gregory_raymond . Une adresse multi signature va être mise en place pour donner plus de garantie aux donateurs. Nous communiquons très vite. https://t.co/t9cJ6Ak7ge— Le Cercle du Coin (@AssoCDC) April 16, 2019So far, the original Bitcoin address has received just 0.02760433 BTC from 11 donations. Most of this has now been transferred to the multi-signature address below, which is yet to receive a donation:“3PxExW3bKza9SbYzdBLwvALbvX4yMDfLyX”Controlling the muti-sig wallet is Raymond, L Cercle du Coin, and David Prinçay – another committed French Bitconer.France Mourns as Cathedral Ashes SmoulderThe twelfth-century cathedral is an absolute symbol of France. It was one of the nation’s most famous landmarks. According to a BBC article, the blaze is now under control but firefighters continue to work at the scene. Meanwhile, recovery teams are trying to salvage what they can from the artwork inside the building.In terms of structural damage, the cathedral’s spire and roof has collapsed. According to the BBC, more than 500 firefighters managed to save one of the building’s bell towers.Today, the scene has been visited by thousands of Parisians who stood in silence as the firefighters tackled the inferno. Many wept for the loss of the iconic building that meant so much to the nation of France.The precise cause of the fire is still unknown. However, the Paris prosecutor’s office is considering it a case of “accidental destruction by fire.” Some experts have opined that the fire may have been linked to recent renovation work on the building.President Macron has praised the courage of those involved with putting the blaze out. The French premier also stated, “we’ll rebuild Notre-Dame together”, a message that those Bitcoin advocates behind today’s appeal have clearly taken to heart. Related Reading: How Crypto is Beating Charity Fraud and Binance is Bringing Uganda’s Children to SchoolFeatured Image from Shutterstock.
Bitcoin and most of crypto is surging once again. The entire market capitalisation for all digital assets has risen from a daily low of $171.33 billion to over $176.5 billion at the time of writing.Whilst this week has certainly been a dramatic one in terms of news events, there is nothing immediately apparent that has driven this latest bout of investor optimism. Almost every digital asset is up over the last 24-hours, with a couple of notable exceptions.Bitcoin and Leading Cryptos Post Gains Almost Across the BoardBitcoin and other digital assets are having another good day following a brief lull in recent upwards momentum. As recently as midnight last night, the leading digital asset by market capitalisation was hovering just above the $5,000 price point. Since then, the Bitcoin price has made a dramatic move upwards to its price at the time of writing of $5,225.Other crypto assets have fared similarly. The second largest digital asset by market capitalisation, the native currency on the Ethereum blockchain, has posted larger percentage gains over the last 24 hours. It traded at close to $162 as April 16 began. It has since surged to almost $170.In fact, the only cryptos in the top twenty by market cap to not post gains of at least one percent over the last day were XRP, USDT (Tether), and Bitcoin SV. Meanwhile, some performed even better than Bitcoin and Ethereum. The likes of Tezos (XTZ), and Monero (XMR) have seen the size of their markets expand by 5.68 and 4.69 percent respectively.The continued upwards momentum lends support to those crypto proponents that have been saying Bitcoin has finally bottomed after the crypto bear market of 2018. However, many are still calling for the price to retrace back to somewhere in the $4,000 to $5,000.BCHSV: The Elephant in the RoomOn an almost universally green day, there is one cryptocurrency that stands out as having a much rougher time than the rest of the market. That is of course the side of last November’s Bitcoin Cash hard fork that is championed by Australian computer scientist Craig Wright and online gambling entrepreneur Calvin Ayre.Tweets by PeterMcCormackBitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BCHSV) has taken an absolute battering in the markets since a Binance-led mutiny of the crypto by leading exchanges. Wright has reportedly been sending letters of legal action to individuals who have claimed him to be lying about creating Bitcoin. This behaviour has angered much of the wider crypto community including some exchange executives:Do the right thing. https://t.co/z7HGsAZnmR— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) April 15, 2019Banding together, several exchanges have decided to stop supporting Bitcoin SV in a move that has divided opinion in the space. The majority think that the delisting is a positive development since it may help to destroy Bitcoin SV once and for all, something that those of the opinion that Wright is lying about being Satoshi are keen to see. Meanwhile, others have highlighted how it shows the power centralised exchanges have over a crypto’s prospects for mass adoption. Finally, some find it odd that Binance and other exchanges have chosen to delist Bitcoin SV and not a load of other assets that they feel are equally suspect.Since the exchanges have announced that they will no longer support Bitcoin SV, the price has taken an absolute nose dive. Prior to the announcement by Binance, the unpopular Bitcoin fork was trading above $70 per coin. It has since plunged to just over $55. That’s a drop of over 21% in less than two days. According to Peter McCormack, more delistings are expected to follow:So far the following have delisted BSV:
– @Bittylicious_More are coming…— Peter McCormack (@PeterMcCormack) April 16, 2019 Related Reading: Why Did Japan’s SBI Just Delist Bitcoin Cash? Potential FactorsFeatured Image from Shutterstock.
A Twitter user has received a mysterious message via the Blockstream satellite detailing a hunt for $1 million in Bitcoin. According to the correspondence, hunters must find 400 of 1,000 cryptographic keys to unlock the treasure.Each of the first three keys has been hidden at four different GPS coordinates and is available to anyone who can get to the correct location. Clues to the rest will be published at a later date and will likely involve a deep knowledge of cryptography and computer science.Forget Easter Eggs, There’s a Bitcoin Hunt in Town…The mysterious message was first brought to our attention by Twitter user @notgrubles. They state that they received the correspondence over the Blockstream satellite:Received a new message over @Blockstream Satellite. It appears to be a treasure hunt for $1,000,000 in #bitcoin, with included GPS coordinates for the first part of the hunt! 🤯🛰️🔎🗺️ https://t.co/M4mKMbQ8KU pic.twitter.com/HzkEJ8RFXc— grubles (@notgrubles) April 15, 2019According to the message, the hunt is a proof of concept for an idea that the author refers to as “proof of news”. It begins:“Welcome, Hunter.“This message should reach you at the middle of the fourth month of your calendar year, in the year 2019. If you are reading this, something has led you to search for things which bring excitement to an otherwise predictable world.”It goes on to detail a “grand Hunt” for the following prize, as described by the author of the mysterious correspondence:“The treasure which will belong to the most successful Hunters and their clan is neither gold, nor jewels, nor the pieces of worthless paper that pass for money in this sad age; instead it is Bitcoin, a digital treasure forged from deep mathematical truths, in an amount equal to $1 million.”According to the message this total has been divided into one thousand pieces “using the splitting magic of the wizard Shamir”. To win the ultimate prize, the treasure hunter must find 400 of these pieces and rejoin them “using Shamir’s spell of recombination.” Shamir here refers to Shamir’s Secret Sharing, an algorithm designed by Israli cryptographer Adi Shamir to secure a secret in a distributed way.The undisclosed sender of the message states that the hunt proposed is not the first of its kind and will not be the last either. The text goes on to challenge the recipient to prove themselves worthy of the prize by solving puzzles sporadically posted to the website SatoshiTreasure. Based on the wording of the message, all but those with the highest level of cryptographic knowledge will struggle to compete in the hunt for the $1 million in Bitcoin.The first part of the challenge is rather more accessible, however. It involves travelling to three different geographical locations out of 12. The first of the three keys is hidden at:37.784038, -122.417812 (Tenderloin, San Francisco).40.758931, -73.985099 (Broadway, New York).34.062628, -118.129485 (Monterey Park, CA).42.360342, -71.087282 (Cambridge, MA).It will apparently be available for hunters to find from noon local time on April 16.The second key is again hidden in four different locations. However, this time they’re on the other side of the world. This key will be available from April 17 at midday local time. The locations are:39.93685, 116.45426 (Beijing Shi, China).22.281185, 114.156715 (Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong).35.654811, 139.748974 (Minato City, Japan).37.583827, 127.031035 (Seoul, South Korea).Finally, the third of the initial set of keys to unlock the Bitcoin treasure will also be released on April 17 at midday local time. This time the key is spread across four continents. The locations are:51.5082944, -0.2013407 (Notting Hill, London).0.3474019, 32.6036514 (Kampala, Uganda).-33.8881323, 151.1901988 (Camperdown NSW, Australia).-34.596118, -58.373290 (Buenos Aires, Argentina).There is currently no clue as to who is behind Satoshi’s Treasure but it will be exciting to see how the hunt for the 400 crypto clues unfolds. Related Reading: Binance Delists Bitcoin SV, BSV Price Plunges in MinutesFeatured Image from Shutterstock.
Leading digital asset exchange Binance has made good on earlier threats against Bitcoin SV’s most prolific proponents. According to a press release from the trading venue, the controversial crypto no longer meets the standards set by Binance and it will delist the asset later this month.The beef stems from the threats made by Craig S. Wright in regards to whether or not he is indeed the creator of the most successful digital asset to date. The Australian computer scientist has been reportedly sending out letters of legal action to individuals and news organisations who have said his claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto are fraudulent.Binance Says Goodbye to Bitcoin SVThe news broke earlier today via a press release from Binance, simply titled “Binance Will Delist BCHSV”. In the post, the exchange writes that the move is part of its periodic reviews of the digital assets it chooses to list and whether they meet certain standards set by the firm. Binance justifies this by stating:“When a coin or token no longer meets this standard, or the industry changes, we conduct a more in-depth review and potentially delist it. We believe this best protects all of our users.”The post goes on to list some of the factors it considers. These include developer’s commitment and level of activity on a project, how stable the network is, how transparent the lead development team are with the public, how well the project contributes to the wider crypto space, and finally, if there is evidence of unethical or fraudulent conduct surrounding the asset.According to Binance, the Bitcoin fork championed by Craig S. Wright and online gambling entrepreneur Calvin Ayre has failed to meet its standards and thus it will cease trading on April 22, 2019. Withdrawals will remain available until July 22 at 10:00 AM UTC.The Binance press release was accompanied by a Tweet from the exchange’s founder, Changpeng Zhao. In it, he seems to hint to other exchange executives to follow suit:Do the right thing. https://t.co/z7HGsAZnmR— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) April 15, 2019Binance Rocks BCHSV PriceFollowing the news of the Binance delisting, the price of Bitcoin SV has plunged in a move that is completely out of sync with the wider crypto market. Whereas many digital assets have posted slight (one or two percent) gains over the last 24-hours, Bitcoin Cash Satoshi’s Vision has shed almost $100 million from its market in the last hour alone. The price of the controversial fork-of-a-fork is now less than $65, down from over $70 just minutes ago.Meanwhile, the other blockchain created during the Bitcoin Cash hardfork in November last year is bucking the trend in completely the opposite direction. Bitcoin ABC, or just Bitcoin Cash to some, is up almost 14 percent to $319. The price action between the two coins looks so similar only inverted that it seems a fair assumption to state that many Bitcoin Cash holders have decided to completely abandon any Bitcoin SV coins they held because of the fork. There may also be some who have jumped ship based on the recent drama between Craig Wright and many in the Bitcoin space. Featured Image from Shutterstock.
A Bitcoin scam that has been tried many times over the last few years appears to be having a lot of success in the Netherlands. It has so far, it is believed to have racked up at least $1.92 million since the start of 2018.The premise is simple. Create a legitimate looking crypto investment platform website, claim huge returns on investments, and advertise it will a celebrity’s image. Easy.Bitcoin and Celebrities Used to Line Scammers’ PocketsThere have been loads of examples of the “fraudulent celebrity” scam in the Bitcoin and crypto space over the years. There are fake accounts all over Twitter offering to send the most naive of the platform’s users digital currency if the follower first makes a small deposit with them.The problem got so rife last year that many prominent figures in the industry changed their handles to categorically state that there would never give away free crypto. In fact, two crypto reporters even penned an article for Bloomberg denouncing their fake accounts and stating that they were nothing to do with the dishonest use of their names.A not-all-too-dissimilar scam is currently plaguing the Netherlands. According to a report in domestic news publication NL Times, this version involves pop-up online advertising promising sensational returns on investments. Fake testimonials are provided by celebrities along with an image of them. For the unsuspecting victim, this gives legitimacy to the platform.The Dutch Fraud Desk states that it has received complaints relating to five Bitcoin investment schemes. Together, they have managed to defraud investors out of 1.7 million euros (about $1.92 million). It is not currently clear if the five are operated independently or not.Dutch celebrities featured in the fraudulent advertisements include internet entrepreneur Alexander Klöpping, media tycoon John de Mol Jr., pop star Waylon, and TV presenter Humberto Tan. The Bitcoin investment ads have been reported on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. The following is example of the kind of marketing tactics used:“The most recent investment of Alexander Klopping is terrifying big banks.”According to Fraud Desk representative Andre Vermeulen, reports involving crypto investment platform advertisements featuring celebrities without their permission occur on a daily basis. He went on to state:“If you realise fairly quickly, the damage is limited, but sometimes people are tempted to invest thousands of euros.”NewsBTC has previously reported on the same scheme being attempted in the UK and Ireland using the image of members of the panel of investors from the series Dragon’s Den. Likewise, The Apprentice’s resident tycoon Lord Alan Sugar was targeted. He responded:WARNING: Please ignore an advert from Bitcointrader suggesting I endorse their offerings. They are SCUM it is a total scam. Please pass this on to all your friends particularly the elderly who are falling for this terrible scam #BITCOINTRADERSCAM— Lord Sugar (@Lord_Sugar) May 15, 2018Given the hype that surrounds cryptocurrency as an investment opportunity, the “get-rich-quick” mentality that often accompanies it, and the incredibly low cost of running such a scam, it is hardly surprising that there have been so many versions of it attempted.The sum of money reported by the Dutch Fraud Desk highlights that it is extremely successful too. To our knowledge, this is the first time any figures have been associated with any such fake celebrity Bitcoin-focused scam. Related Reading: Analysts Convinced Bitcoin Bottom Is Finally In, New Highs InevitableFeatured Image from Shutterstock.
According to a study conducted by cryptocurrency market researchers at Hodlbot.io, individual digital currencies are less correlated with the wider market so far in 2019 than they were in 2018. This, according to the study’s authors, is good news for those investing in a wide selection of crypto assets.If it continues, the trend observed should be music to the ears of the likes of Vinny Lingham too, who has called for a decoupling of Bitcoin from the rest of the market before any serious bull run can start up again.Correlation Between Crypto Assets and Wider Market FallingOne of the interesting phenomenons of recent years in the crypto space is the correlation between digital assets. When one coin moves up, the rest almost universally follow. Obviously, there are some exceptions to this. Low market capitalisation coins can be subject to pump and dump schemes and news events, such as partnership announcements or security breaches, can make a specific crypto rise or fall out of tandem with the wider market.In an effort to assess whether the correlation between digital assets and the wider crypto market is increasing or decreasing, researchers from Binance-focused trading bot software developers Hodlbot.io have devised a study based on the Peason correlation coefficient of the the market capitalisation of a given project and that of the wider market over time.In 2019, correlations between individual coins and the market dropped when compared to the previous year.A one-tailed Welch’s t-test, confirms that in 2019 #cryptocurrencies have a lower mean correlation.You can find the full @hodl_bot blog here:https://t.co/qVvWlkKQYj pic.twitter.com/uyeEqGO8oi— anthony xie (@XieToni) April 6, 2019Anthony Xie, the founder of Hodlbot.io, writes that a correlation of +1 indicates that the market cap of the asset in question will always move in the same direction as the wider market. Meanwhile, a correlation of -1 will mean that an asset will always move in the opposite direction. Finally, a correlation coefficient of 0 indicates that there is no relationship between the variables.The study found that the correlation between the top 200 crypto assets and the wider market has dropped since 2018. The research is the second of its kind this year already. Crypto exchange giant Binance also published a similar study last month. It drew the same broad conclusion evidenced in the graph below:According to the study’s authors, the lowering correlation between crypto assets is a positive for the entire market. Although many investors think they are incredibly diversified because they hold 5, 10, or even 50 different digital currencies, if they always move up or down in price together then the overall portfolio is not really diversified at all.Reduced Correlation May Also Delight Some Long-Term Bitcoin BullsAs reported earlier this week, some of the biggest proponents of Bitcoin believe that the number one digital asset will not break out of the bear cycle it has been in since December 2017 until its price moves out of sync with the rest of the market.South African crypto entrepreneur and Civic (CVC) founder, Vinny Lingham, stated that the correlation between Bitcoin and the wider market signalled that investors were not able to judge a project on its own merits and instead were largely speculating mindlessly on the space as a whole. He even went as far as to joke that another spectacular crash might be in order to make market participants wise up.He summarised his own position as follows:“How can we have a situation where the market price of one asset dictates the value ascribed to other unrelated assets, irrespective of whether or not anything changes in their own separate networks.” Related Reading: Will A Future Decoupling See Alternative Crypto Dominate Bitcoin?Featured Images from Shutterstock and Hodlbot.io