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Bringing Tangible Value to Cryptocurrency in Thailand

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Thailand has seen a great increase in cryptocurrency adoption over the past year with some describing it as “one the most interesting cryptocurrency and blockchain countries in Southeast Asia in 2018.”.

The government in particular has received a lot of coverage for its pro-cryptocurrency actions and sentiment, including the decision to use blockchain as a method of tracking VAT payments.

Crypto in Thailand

Overall Thailand’s actions and attitudes to blockchain and cryptocurrencies present a competitive edge, even when compared to other countries in South-East Asia.

Government attitudes towards cryptocurrency have been lauded such as in the Bloomberg article ‘Thailand Leads in Crypto by Skipping the Big Debate‘ in which writer Tim Culpan praised the country’s decision to approach it without distinction of ‘securities’ or ‘not-securities’. But rather as their own respective, new, form of currency with its own distinctions.

More recently, the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Wissanu Krea-ngam has called for the increased cryptocurrency regulations. Citing the largely “the largely anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies makes it difficult for authorities to identify the bad actors.”.

Value-Added Crypto

London, UK based crypto payments company Electroneum has just announced a strategic partnership with One Development, an ‘MVNO’ provider headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand.

The relationship will see Electroneum contributing the products and protocol that have led to the company calling its proprietary ETN token as the ‘First Cryptocurrency to achieve KYC Compliance’.

As a result, ETN is to become a key payment solution for consumers of One Development: an ‘MVNA’ (Mobile Virtual Network Aggregator) that compiles MVNOs for mobile phone users in Thailand.

What Are MVNOs?

The Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) market has reportedly grown quickly over recent years and presents a lucrative opportunity in a number of markets.

An MVNO is a company which offers a unique service offering to potential users, through a partnership established with the parent operator. For example in the UK, the company GiffGaff is an MVNO that is based on the O2 Network.

A study claims that were almost 1000 MVNOs worldwide at the time of writing which collectively account for 10% of total mobile users, as well as that:

“Europe dominated the global MVNO market, followed by Asia-Pacific and North America in 2017.”

At present, there is little in the way of MVNOs which incorporate cryptocurrency into their fundamental sales processing systems. Electroneum’s ongoing efforts in the sector however are helping to turn the tides.

More About Electroneum

Electroneum is a system that aims to combine the benefits of cryptocurrency with those of mobile technology in order to achieve the greatest level of accessibility and reach. So far we have covered Electroneum in a positive light numerous times, even just within the past year, and as of posting it is still one to watch out for.

Thailand is just one of many international markets which Electroneum has entered (as well as one of many recent partnerships announced), with the cryptocurrency being listed on a South African exchange earlier this month (Artis Turba).

Additional benefits which the system offers is merchant integration of cryptocurrency payments, allowing low-fee and high speed international transactions. This will, in theory, help to introduce new revenue from other developed markets.

Thailand’s Crypto Future

You may not have heard of many of the individual projects from Thailand as a lot of the projects based there focus on the domestic market. More importantly, few if any at all appear to deliver tangible value to the country or its citizens. An example of this is the recent announcement of the clearance of a total of seven cryptocurrency companies by the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission for local operations.

This is likely a positive indicator for future cryptocurrency operations in Thailand, however upon further investigation a greater flaw becomes apparent. Five of these companies cleared are cryptocurrency trading exchanges whilst the other two are dealers. None of these companies however are seeking to use blockchain in original ways that might contribute to helping the Thai economy, or its citizens.

Conversely: in other news, the country has been progressing through an initiative called Project Inthanon, which was announced in Summer 2018. This project was created by the national central bank The Bank of Thailand (BoT) and will utilize ‘Corda’, which is a distributed ledger technology platform from R3.

Project Inthanon is building a proof of concept prototype “to enable domestic funds transfers within the country’s inter banking system”. This would be achieved through use of of CBDC tokens, a central bank digital currency for inter bank settlements.

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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Market Overview

U.S. Stocks Surge as Trump Administration Weighs Ending Trade War With China

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U.S. stocks turned higher Thursday afternoon amid reports that Washington was considering lifting tariffs on Chinese goods to expedite a trade deal with Beijing. Cryptocurrencies headed for another mediocre session overall, though altcoins showed modest upside toward the end of the session.

Stocks Extend Recovery

All three of Wall Street’s major indexes finished in positive territory, extending their winning streak to three days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 163.08 points, or 0.7%, to 24,370.24, its highest settlement since Dec. 13.

The broad S&P 500 Index climbed 0.8% to finish at 2,635.96. All 11 primary sectors finished with positive results, with materials and industrials leading the way higher.

A strong performance in technology shares lifted the Nasdaq Composite Index to gains of 0.7%, where it finished at 7,084.46.

The indexes have gained more than 11% since Christmas Eve, when they traded at more than one-year lows. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq briefly entered bear-market territory in one of the worst quarters since the financial crisis.

End of the Tariff War?

The United States is strongly considering easing tariffs on China in an effort to broker a new trade deal before the self-imposed Mar. 1 deadline. According to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. officials would like to give Beijing bigger incentive to make bigger concessions in the next round of negotiations.

Both sides held face-to-face meetings last week, with China agreeing to open up its domestic market to U.S. companies and purchase more American-made farm and energy commodities. Further talks are planned in the coming weeks.

The Mar. 1 deadline reflects the 90-day truce period agreed to by President Trump and China’s Xi Jinping in December. After meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, both leaders committed to ending the trade war and returning to the negotiating table.

Cryptos See Modest Upside

The cryptocurrency market saw the narrowest of gains Thursday thanks to a late rally by altcoins and tokens. Bitcoin cash rose 1.3% to $130.63, EOS added 3% to $2.51 and Tron gained 4% to $0.0258. Outside the top ten, IOTA, Binance Coin and Ethereum Classing gained between 2% and 5%.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency of all, rose 0.6% to $3,667.38. As we reported earlier, bitcoin continues to cling to $3,600 but a failure to extend gains beyond $3,750 could set the tone for another downward correction.

Cryptocurrencies as a whole reached a value of $122.4 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That represents a gain of about $800 million from 24 hours earlier.

In roughly one month’s time, the crypto bear market will become the longest in history, according to CNBC’s Ran NeuNer. Thursday was day 391 of the bearish trend. The previous record, set in 2015, was 420 days. Relevant reading: Longest Bear Market in Crypto History?

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 739 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Bitcoin

MIT and Stanford Professors are Creating the Answer to Bitcoin’s Scalability Issues

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Researchers from America’s most prestigious universities are coming together to create a new cryptocurrency that will overcome bitcoin’s greatest technical challenge: scalability. Although academics have a poor track record of solving real world problems, the researchers have teamed up with Pantera Capital to develop a cryptocurrency that could serve as a viable payment network in the future.

Academics Designing ‘Better Bitcoin’

According to Bloomberg, professors from seven U.S. universities have joined hands to create a new cryptocurrency capable of achieving faster processing speeds without sacrificing decentralization – a core tenant of the blockchain revolution. The so-called Unit-e cryptocurrency is the first project to be carried out by Distributed Technology Research, the non-profit group uniting the academics.

Among the schools represented are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and University of California. They are joined by hedge fund Pantera Capital, which has an impressive track record in generating stellar crypto market investments. Read: How Pantera Capital Engineered a 10,000% Return Investing in Cryptocurrency.

Although several initiatives are underway to boost bitcoin’s transaction speed and scalability, the researchers say the cryptocurrency’s design has inbuilt restrictions that impede on its usefulness as an everyday payment system. The goal of Unit-e is simple but highly ambitious – namely, use blockchain technology to develop a cryptocurrency that can process transactions faster than Visa.

Unit-e is scheduled to go live in the second half of 2019. When released, it will process as many as 10,000 transactions per second, according to DTR. By comparison, Visa processes roughly 1,700 transactions per second.

The Bitcoin Scalability Debate

The issue of scalability is one of the biggest impediments facing bitcoin, so much so that dozens of alternative cryptocurrencies have been designed specifically to address this problem. Some proponents of the original cryptocurrency believe the debate over scalability could be put to rest once Lightning Network achieves full potential. The highly-touted bitcoin scaling solution has seen notable improvements in recent months, including a double-digit percentage gain in processing capacity.

As of Thursday, Lightning Network’s capacity has increased to 529.21 BTC, which is equivalent to just over $1.9 million at today’s prices, according to 1ML. That represents a gain of more than 3% since the last time we covered Lightning Network’s processing power on Dec. 26. At the time, the network saw a 13% surge in processing capability.

Lightning Network has achieved 20,586 channels, an increase of 31.8%. The number of nodes is up nearly 20% to 5,472.

At the core of Lightning Network is the desire to boost bitcoin’s transaction speed while lowering the cost of payments. This is done by creating a second-layer scaling solution that operates as a bidirectional payment channel. Basically, this creates a ‘running’ tab between two accounts, which eliminates the need to record every transaction on the blockchain.

Lightning Network has its fair share of detractors who claim the protocol promotes centralization and suffers from inefficiencies that could allow hackers to target channels holding a high volume of bitcoin. Bitcoin advocate Andreas Antonopoulos addressed some of these concerns in a YouTube Q&A last February. Click here for more.

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 739 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Altcoins

Ethereum Price Analysis: ETH/USD Bearish Flag Structure Eyed

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  • Ethereum price has stabilized but is moving within a dangerous range-block formation.
  • ETH/USD via the daily chart view is forming a bearish flag pattern.

ETH/USD price action has stabilized over the past five days, and is moving within a narrowing range. This movement appears to be somewhat expressing potential downside risks after the selling pressure seen in the second week of January. As a recap, the price was supported in its move north from mid-December 2018 up to 7th January. An ascending trend line was proving necessary comfort in this trend higher, however markets bears managed to force a breach. The support gave way, opening the door to a fresh wave of selling from 8th January.

ETH/USD daily chart.

Around 30% of the bull run that was seen in the above-mentioned period has been reversed. Vulnerabilities continue to linger, as ETH/USD trades around key daily support. The level to be aware of is $116.70, which is vital ahead of the big psychological $100 mark. A breach could see a test of daily support at $102, with the price likely to consolidate between here and $116. Given prior behavior around these areas, ETH/USD may be forced to retest the December 2018 low, $83.10. This would likely be the case, should a return of bullish momentum not see a pickup in pace soon.

Constantinople Hard Fork Delay

The stability in price is surprising given the let down for the community with regards to the heavily anticipated Constantinople hard fork. As reported by the CCN team, Ethereum’s core developers called for the Constantinople upgrade to be delayed. This was just some hours before the hard fork was scheduled to go live on the network. ETH/USD fell double-digits on the back of this being postponed. A drop of 10% was observed.

Technical Review – ETH/USD

Looking via the daily chart view, price action is forming a bearish flag pattern structure – the pole which is seen with the fall from 7-10th January. In terms of the actual flag, this is the current range-block viewed. Upside resistance can be seen just ahead at $135, and lower support noted the mentioned $116.70 area. The next major areas of support are the $102 daily pivot point, the December 2018 low of $83.10, and then lastly, the May 2017 low of $65.85.

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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4.5 stars on average, based on 110 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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