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Bitcoin Gold Officially Launches, and Plunges Immediately

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Bitcoin Gold (BTG) has officially launched this week, although immediate price action suggests investors have largely disavowed the new cryptocurrency.

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Bitcoin’s second major fork, which lacks the technical robustness of the one before it, came on to the scene Wednesday after its backers published the software. Apparently, BTG launched after surviving a “massive and concerted attack from its first moment of existence.”

“A massive attack was made in an apparent effort to disrupt the mainnet launch, but the Bitcoin Gold team managed to get the network up and running… albeit a little later than planned,” the developers added.

BTG officially forked Oct. 25 when Bitcoin block 491,406 was mind. Its developers had stated the official launch would occur sometime in early November.

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Lingering Doubts

BTG failed to generate the support of a Bitcoin Cash mainly because of the widespread criticism surrounding its use. Analysts uncovered many red flags associated with BTG, including the fact that the proposed fork wasn’t publicized initially. This led to the suspicion that developers will mine on the chain indefinitely to line their pockets following launch day. A lack of replay protection and “scammy” URLs associated with the cryptocurrency were also cited as major concerns.

The most important difference between original bitcoin and BTG is the latter’s proof-of-work protocol. Instead of SHA256, the BTG algorithm uses Equihash, which is currently implemented by Zcash.

BTG Price Levels

Despite all the skepticism surrounding the new coin, BTG is tradable on some of the major exchanges, including Bitfinex. These exchanges are also supporting BTC/BTG futures trading. This cross has traded at roughly 0.02 BTC in recent weeks.

Bitcoin Gold spiked on launch day, reaching a high of $505, according to CoinMarketCap. However, the gains would be short-lived, with prices crashing back down to the $225 range. Presently, BTG is trading at $265 for a loss of 28%. Its 24-hour trading volume exceeded $62 million, with Bitfinex responsible for the bulk of the turnover.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Stellar Lumens Leads Battered Crypto Market Higher on Thursday

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Stellar, Cardano and a handful of other coins breathed new life into the cryptocurrency market on Thursady following one of the biggest flash crashes in history.

Altcoins Rebound

Thursday’s altcoin rebound was led by Stellar Lumens (XLM), the platform designed for building financial products. Stellar’s XLM token rose more than 20% to a session high of 56 cents. At press time, it was up 19% at 49 cents.

The XLM digital currency bottomed out near 30 cents on Wednesday, its lowest level of the year.

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The latest up move gives Stellar a total market cap of $8.3 billion on daily trade volumes of $473 million, according to CoinMarketCap. At its peak, Stellar’s total market cap was worth well over $16 billion.

Stellar is one of a handful of cryptocurrencies expected to resume its bullish campaign, according to a recent price forecast from Finder.com. As reported by Pound Sterling Live, Finder.com expects XLM tokens to rise triple digits percentage-wise for the remainder of the month. Cardano is expected to lead the altcoin rally, based on the report.

Cardano was up more than 15% at the start of Thursday trading to reach 64 cents. NEO, IOTA and Ripple XRP also put up strong gains. These altcoins have been at the center of the cryptocurrency market’s meteoric rise since the start of 2018. Each of them has successfully eaten away at bitcoin’s share of the market, which recently fell to as low as 32%.

Gradual Recovery

Although cryptocurrencies are no strangers to volatility, the total market experienced an unprecedented decline over the last three days. At its lowest, the market’s total value reached $414.9 billion. That was roughly half of the $835 billion peak set earlier this month.

At last check, the total crypto market cap was worth roughly $548 billion. The ecosystem is expected to remain volatile ahead of South Korea’s decision on domestic cryptocurrency exchanges. Regulators in the Asian country are reportedly considering various measures to reduce or eliminate speculation in digital currency trading. This is a concern for investors because South Korea is an international center for crypto trading, which makes any attempt to limit trading a potential threat to capital flows. The country alone represents about a third of global bitcoin trades.

Barring any major disruption on the Korean peninsula, history has taught us that the crypto rebound is likely to extend further, possibly into new highs. Investors have routinely bought on major dips in anticipation of further price accumulation in the future. In recent weeks, the gains have been driven largely by altcoins. Prior to that, it was bitcoin that did much of the heavy lifting.

Regulatory uncertainty continues to be the thorniest issue facing cryptocurrencies, with each nation and jurisdiction reaching its own conclusion on how to govern the market (if at all). The debate over regulation will only heat up as cryptocurrencies become vital components of the digital economy and monetary system.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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BitConnect Cryptocurrency Tanks After Company Shuts Exchange

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The value of BitConnect’s BCC token plunged on Wednesday, just one day after it abruptly announced it was closing down its controversial lending and exchange operation.

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BCC Fire Sale

BitConnect’s native token plunged to a session low of $5.69 as investors rushed for the exit. At last check, the cryptocurrency was down 90% to trade at $18.97, according to data provider CoinMarketCap. That was the lowest level since June, bringing BCC’s total market cap to $149 million.

Total daily trade volume for BCC amounted to $23.4 million, with HitBTC accounting for roughly 37% of the transactions.

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More pain is coming for BCC as investors rush to erase any exposure they once had to the controversial parent company. Various reports have indicated that holders of BCC have struggled to sell their tokens despite the platform appearing operational. This suggests that another fire sale may be on the horizon.

BitConnnect announced Wednesday that the rapid decline of its token’s price was a direct result of releasing all of its members’ coins at once.

The decline also happened to coincide with a broad selloff in the broader cryptocurrency market. The total market cap of all cryptocurrencies in circulation has declined by roughly $250 billion since Saturday, with all the major coins suffering heavy losses.

Halting Operations

BitConnect closed down shop after receiving two cease-and-desist letters from the Texas State Securities Board and the North Carolina Secretary of State Securities Division.

The company was honest about the reasons for exiting the market in a blog post that appeared on Jan. 16. According to the post, continuous bad press and multiple DDoS attacks also factored into its decision to close the operation. According to the blog post, all active loans will be transferred to users’ BitConnect wallet in a deposit worth $363.62, a rate that was calculated based on the coin’s average closing price for the past 15 days.

“In short, we are closing lending service and exchange service while BitConnect.co website will operate for wallet service, news and educational purposes,” the post said.

Prior to the announcement, BitConnect was accused by many in the blockchain community of being a Ponzi scheme. The criticisms have been levied by voices as diverse as day traders to Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum. The company operated a four-tier business model that promised users higher returns for bigger initial deposits. Through proprietary “volatility software” and other tools, BitConnect guaranteed users 1% ROI on a daily basis and up to 40% per month. Value investors rarely take such promises seriously.

If we take the blog post at face value, the team has no plans to abandon the project entirely. The post added: “This is not the end of this community, but we are closing some of the services on the website platform and we will continue offering other cyptocurrency services in the future.”

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Ubiq: What It Is and Why You Should Care

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Decentralized apps (Dapps) have been described as a paradigm shift in sofrware modelling. If you’re a believer, then Ubiq is one cryptocurrency worthy of consideration.

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An Introduction to Ubiq

Ubiq first emerged in early 2017 as a fork out of Ethereum, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency and blockchain of choice for developers looking to create their own digital tokens. Ubiq intends to improve upon its predecessor by acting as a distributed ledger and supercomputer, which allows developers to create Dapps that are carried out by third parties.

By enabling the development of Dapps, Ubiq diverges sharply from some of the leading cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin.

To refresh your memory, Dapps must meet four criteria to be considered decentralized:

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  • must be open source and anonymous, which means no single entity holds token majority;
  • data must be stored on blockchain;
  • tokens must be used within the network; and
  • tokens are generated based on an algorithm that incentivizes contribution to the network.

For those interested in the technical specifications, Ubiq hosts the Ethereum Virtual Machine without the risk of hard forks. Some industry spectators say this makes it instantly more attractive for businesses. The system is based on Turing completeness rules

without having to deal with frequent updates and instability caused by Ethereum hard forks. As an Ethereum spin-off, it is built with a Turing-complete language that makes it functionally different from other cryptocurrencies, most notably bitcoin.

The platform’s native cryptocurrency is UBQ.

If bitcoin made us reevaluate our definition of store of value, Dapps can potentially expand our understanding of incentive-based applications. (In the strictest sense of the term, bitcoin can be thought of as the first Dapp because it created the blockchain solution that solves real-world problems concerning centralization and a lack of transparency.)

Until now, much of the transition toward Dapps has been driven by Ethereum, which has generated several successful projects utilizing the new technology. Some of the most notable include Golem and Augur.

All this is to say that Dapps have a promising future, and Ubiq is looking to capitalize on this movement.

Token Specifications

Unlike other cryptocurrencies, the total supply of UBQ tokens is not capped. At the time of writing, there were 39,213,112 million UBQ tokens in circulation, according to data provider CoinMarketCap. The total supply increases every year according to a pre-defined inflation rate.

You read that correctly: the Ubiq platform has its own monetary policy. Inflation in year one of the project (2017) was set at 7.29% per block. By year 12, the inflation rate is set to fall to 0.71%.

At the start of the year when the token launched, there were 36,451,770 tokens in circulation. The number of tokens increases by 8 UBQ per block.

UBQ Price Levels

Even after Tuesday’s flash crash, the value of UBQ tokens has more than tripled in the last three months. At the time of writing, the coin was priced at $3.85, which represents a daily loss of 15%. At its lowest point Tuesday, Ubiq traded at $3.28, or roughly half of its record high from early January.

More than $1.2 billion worth of UBQ traded hands over the last 24 hours, with 82% of transactions occurring on Bittrex. Digital currency platforms Cryptopia and Upbit processed 10% and 8% of the daily transactions, respectively.

At present values, Ubiq is capitalized at $151 million, placing it outside the top 100. This means the cryptocurrency is still very much a dark horse. As we’ve seen before, that hasn’t stopped cryptocurrencies from catapulting into mainstream consciousness (for recent examples, see Cardano and Tron).

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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