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Ripple Remains Buoyant as Other Cryptos Fall

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Ripple spiked more than 20% on Wednesday to reach new highs after a Japanese credit card consortium announced it will utilize XRP blockchain technology.

Consortium Officially Announced

Tokyo-based financier SBI Holdings and its subsidiary SBI Ripple Asia have officially announced the launch of a blockchain consortium involving Japanese credit card companies. An online translation of an SBI press release that surfaced on Wednesday confirmed the partnership.

SBI Ripple Asia was first established in January 2016.

Ripple is developing strong links with the credit card industry, having only recently announced a partnership with American Express to boost liquidity.

XRP/USD Price Levels

The XRP-dollar exchange rate spiked more than 20% on Wednesday to reach an all-time high of $1.43. With a market cap of around $54 billion, Ripple is the third largest digital asset in circulation.

At press time, the XRP token had given back a big chunk of its gains to trade at $1.22. Even with the slight reversal, Ripple has gained nearly 80% over the past five days.

Nearly $2.9 billion worth of XRP tokens traded hands on Wednesday, according to CoinMarketCap. That’s equivalent to 187,627 bitcoin. South Korean trade desks continued to drive the market, with the won currency on one side of 45% of all transactions. The Bithumb exchange accounted for the lion’s share of South Korean trading, with Coinone and Korbit far behind.

Bitfinex, Binance and Bittrex each processed more than 7% of the daily transactions.

One of the Year’s Best Performing Cryptos

Ripple has enjoyed significant hype over the past six months, putting it on track to become one of the year’s best perming currencies. That says a lot cryptocurrency that is still valued at less than a cup of coffee. The coin is up some 20,000% this year, and has successfully sidestepped multiple market corrections in the last few weeks.

The XRP platform continues to attract investors with its four-second settlement speed and strong business use cases. The San Francisco-based company actually owns more than 60% of the 100 billion XRP tokens in existence, giving it some characteristics of a centralized cryptocurrency.  Ripple continues to position itself as the go-to protocol for payment networks, making it highly popular among banks and other financial institutions.

Earlier this month, Ripple reported that it had assembled a coalition of 61 Japanese banks and two of South Korea’s largest financial institutions. Together, they are launching a blockchain-based payment platform.

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 462 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Selloff Resumes: Cryptocurrency Market Heads for Weekly Loss After Friday Tumult

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Cryptocurrency prices fell hard on Friday, with EOS hitting its lowest level in 60 days as bear-market pressures re-emerged following days of stable trading ranges.

Coins See Red

Cryptocurrency prices were down across the board, with major altcoins like EOS and Ethereum falling double digits percentage-wise. EOS reached a session low of $9.30, its worst reading in two months, following a botched mainnet launch that has yet to be resolved.

Ethereum prices are down more than 10% at $477. Ether bottomed around $468 earlier.

Bitcoin is currently testing four-month lows after being rejected several times at $6,800, a key inflection point for the digital currency. As Hacked reported Thursday, bitcoin’s rejection at that level was a strong sign that the recovery was losing steam. BTC/USD reached a low of around 6,092.38 on Friday, according to CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin was last down more than 7% at 6,210.

Nearly every coin ranked in the top-100 by market cap was down compared with 24 hours ago, with the only exception being Game.com, a lesser-known altcoin.

The cryptocurrency market cap plunged by more than $30 billion to $257 billion. It had spent most of the week above $285 billion. Total trade volumes have averaged $14.1 billion over the last 24 hours.

Bearish Cycle Continues

While there was no immediate catalyst for the Friday selloff, the pullback is likely a continuation of the bearish cycle that re-emerged last month. The market has formed a new bottom in the wake of last week’s $60 billion selloff, a sign that bearish pressure is likely to remain.

Contrary to some reports, the recent cyber attack on Bithumb is not the cause of the recent price shakeup. Although the market dipped initially following reports of the breach, it recovered just as quickly and continued higher.

That said, the attack did catch the attention of financial watchdogs across the Asia Pacific region. On Friday, Japan’s financial regulator
ordered several digital currency exchanges to improve their anti-money laundering practices.

The order from Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) led bitFlyer, the country’s largest crypto exchange, to suspend the creation of new accounts as it beefed up its standards.

South Korea’s financial regulators have also stated they will expedite the creation of new cryptocurrency laws following the recent attack. According to various reports, new legislation could be on its way in a matter of months.

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 462 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Stellar Lumens Update: Acquisitions and Retirement Accounts

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Stellar Lumens is in the headlines this week amid reports that it is negotiating to acquire a high-profile startup by the name of Chain. Meanwhile, a bitcoin IRA that lets users buy cryptocurrency for retirement added XLM to its list of available assets, potentially raising the investment appeal of the Stellar protocol.

Stellar Eyes Chain Acquisition

Fortune reported Wednesday that Stellar has been in talks to buy the San Francisco-based blockchain startup for $500 million. Citing anonymous sources, the report said the payment would be made in XLM, the seventh-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. No cash or equity will be part of the sale, which has yet to be finalized.

Although Stellar’s plan for Chain is not yet known, its interest in the startup is tied to its team of talented blockchain developers. Stellar founder and crypto trailblazer Jed McCaleb has a keen eye for talent, having founded Mt. Gox, eDonkey and Ripple XRP.

Chain develops enterprise-grade blockchain solutions, including ledger products that allow businesses to transfer funds in token format. The company raised over $43 million in venture funding from high-profile investors including Visa, Nasdaq, Citi Ventures and Blockchain Capital.

It is not entirely clear how the purchase would impact XLM’s market value. For current investors, the main concern is a wholesale dump of Lumens by Chain’s backers in the event that the sale actually takes place.

At a current price-per-coin of less than $0.23, the Chain acquisition would translate to roughly 219.3 million XLM. There are roughly 18.7 billion Lumens in circulation, giving the currency a total market cap of $4.3 billion.

Stellar for Retirement

The BitcoinIRA retirement platform has announced the addition of both Stellar Lumens and Zcash to its available list of cryptocurrencies, giving investors the ability to diversify their crypto holdings for retirement.

“[W]e’re excited to meet the high demand for both Stellar Lumens and Zcash in the marketplace by making these coins available to customers looking to diversify their retirement portfolios,” said Chris Kline, BitcoinIRA’s Chief Operating Officer.

In addition to Lumens and Zcash, the BitcoinIRA platform allows retirement planners to access bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, bitcoin cash and Ethereum Classic.

Crypto IRAs fall under a much broader category of assets called digital IRAs, which are self-directed retirement accounts. Cryptocurrencies are recognized by the IRS as property, which allows for their inclusion in retirement accounts. Self-directed IRAs have unique tax benefits that can help investors maximize their digital currency holdings.

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 462 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Three Reasons XRP Is Not a Security: Ripple’s Garlinghouse

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Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse was a featured panelist at the CB Insights Future of Fintech conference in New York today. Chief among the themes in the discussion was XRP, the No. 3 cryptocurrency based on market capitalization in which Ripple owns the majority of tokens.

While the No. 1 and No. 2 digital currencies, bitcoin and Ethereum, respectively, were cleared from being regulated as securities, Wall Street regulators have yet to make a call on XRP.

“I think it’s really clear XRP is not a security,” Garlinghouse said in the session.

There is a misconception in the cryptocurrency community that Ripple controls XRP. In fact, XRP is a decentralized digital currency that Ripple uses in its cross-border payments product xRapid. They could just as easily use bitcoin except “ bitcoin transactions on average are 45 minutes in and 45 minutes out. So XRP is uniquely positioned to solve the cross-border liquidity problem,” Garlinghouse said. 

He went on to outline a trio of reasons why XRP should never be identified as a security.

  1. “If Ripple as a company shut down tomorrow, the XRP ledger would continue to operate.”  
  2. “If you buy XRP, you’re not buying shares of Ripple.” As a holder of XRP, you’re not entitled to dividends or equity. Even though Ripple owns more than half of XRP, it doesn’t give them control of the currency, he said, comparing it to the dynamic between Saudi Arabia and oil. “Saudi Arabia owns a lot of oil, but they do not have control of oil.” 
  3. Utility. “XRP is solving a problem. There’s no security in a utility,” he said, adding that he “looks forward to the SEC clarifying some things.

Crypto Exchanges

Garlinghouse was diplomatic about cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase that have yet to add XRP to their trading platforms. In recent weeks, Coinbase announced that it would begin supporting Ethereum Classic (ETC), while many in the cryptocurrency community have been wondering when the U.S.-based exchange will add support for XRP.

“XRP is listed on 75 exchanges around the world. It has expanding liquidity … The consumer speculator is not our target market. Our target market is financial institutions that we can solve big problems for,” Garlinghouse noted.

Crypto Rivalry?

Yesterday Ethereum Co-Founder and ConsenSys Founder Joseph Lubin, who was included among the panelists, took a swipe at rival coin XRP, suggesting it is “massively overvalued.” The same question was posed to Garlinghouse during his session about Lubin’s ConsenSys. Garlinghouse took the high road, saying he was “excited” about them, adding they’re “underrated.”

XRP is the third largest cryptocurrency, boasting a market cap of $21 billion compared to more than $53 billion for Ethereum and $115 billion for bitcoin. Garlinghouse’s outlook is that at least one bank will be using it by year-end.

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 16 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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