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Vanuatu Joins List of Countries Issuing Crypto Licenses

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The country of Vanuatu approved and delivered a ‘stock exchange license’ to a cryptocurrency exchange for the first time ever, according to reports coming from the platform in question.

DSTOQ (which launched yesterday, along with a ‘tester’ MVP) announced the public reveal of their project along with the claim of being “the first fully licensed stock exchange for trading security tokens and investing in real-world assets using cryptocurrencies.”

Due to being a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the license as obtained by DSTOQ will only be viable at present in European territories primarily, rather than the USA.

Vanatu: What, Where and Why?

The Republic of Vanuatu is a nation of islands located in the South Pacific ocean, and one that made crypto headlines earlier this year, when it was mistakenly reported that the modest population’s government would be patriating new citizens in exchange for a “$200,000” Bitcoin payment. Claims which the country’s citizenship office vehemently denied.

This wouldn’t be the first time the Vanuatu had caught the eyes of the financial press, as the country was listed by Forbes as being amongst “The tax havens hidden in plain sight” where the writer noted that banking organisations as large as “ANZ and Westpac have offices” in the country.

Countries for Crypto

Other countries that have been considered ‘tax havens’ by Western pundits (and members of their own national press outlets), such as Taiwan and Singapore have been noted for their particular leniency towards if not acceptance and support of cryptocurrencies.

The recent news coming out of Vanuatu suggests that they may be the latest to join a growing number of nations which could alternately be referred to as ‘Crypto Havens’, with regards to regulation and enforcement.

These nations skirt the traditional barriers to entry which face many potential investors as well as companies. A strong example of this can be seen with Hong Kong, which has relatively lax laws covering the mining and trade of cryptocurrencies in comparison to neighboring China – which has implemented almost-blanket bans.

In European mainland, Estonia has also proven itself to be a clear proponent for licensing with regards to cryptocurrency – with the country’s government going as far as to issue wallet and exchange licenses to organisations which it deems fit.

What Does This Mean?

It’s promising to see a diverse range and geographical dispersion of countries officially on-boarding cryptocurrency into their nations’ governmental economic and cultural strategies for the future, however it is also telling that all of the most enthusiastic proponents of the technology are isolated entities. Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong for example, are nation-states – despite many of them having close cultural and ethnic ties with their neighbouring nations; Vanuatu is a multitude of islands separated from the world by sea; and even Estonia is mostly surrounded by water, with its vast collection of peninsulas.

This physical distance from other countries is somewhat representative, however, of their political distance from the rest of the world – as well as that of their influence. Until the trend starts spreading further, to countries with greater sway and presence on the global stage.

In this light, it’s worth taking a look at how the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom is approaching cryptocurrency, a country with a long and seminal role in both historical and modern financial markets. The agency has called for a world-wide “effort to speed up fin-tech growth” and utilised its relations with other countries in an attempt to establish a global regulatory “sandbox” with the aspiration of speeding up or mitigating the formal approval processes.

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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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Cryptocurrencies

Why Investors Should be Paying Attention to Counterparty (XCP)

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With more than 1,500 coins in existence and new ones being pitched every day, it is easy for this space to turn into a repetitive slog where everyone has “the new thing”, but offers only a slight mutation of everything before it. Most of the time, new projects are built on the Ethereum blockchain, so it is a welcome innovation to see a project that uses the Bitcoin blockchain for a change.

This is what Counterparty has done with their project, with their goal being widespread use of smart contracts on top of the Bitcoin platform.

The Counterparty Project

Counterparty was launched in January 2014, which was very early in the game and shows they weren’t just some marketers jumping on the bandwagon. The project was all about making it easier to create custom tokens and run smart contracts, and aimed to do so on top of the Bitcoin blockchain.

By putting the project on top of the Bitcoin blockchain, they hoped to bring some added reliability and security to the process of creating custom tokens. XCP is the proprietary token of the platform. Essentially, XCP tokens are just BTC transactions with some additional information embedded in the transaction data regarding the smart contracts.

Users of the Counterparty protocol are able to create other types of assets, such as bond notes, loyalty rewards, and collectible cards. The platform is basically a “mint on demand” that uses the security of the Bitcoin blockchain.

Structuring Counterparty

One aspect of counterparty that is fairly unique is the structure and how they financed it. Rather than having pre-mined tokens that would give certain stakeholders a pre-existing supply of the token in the form of startup capital, Counterparty chose to go a different route. Additionally, the token cannot be mined and there was no ICO. The idea behind this is that Counterparty becomes a legitimately decentralized platform, because no stakeholders have an unfair advantage or control over the platform, even the founders.

Instead the protocol is designed with a “proof of burn” model, where a certain amount of Bitcoin was sent to an unspendable address, and XCP tokens were created in exchange. These tokens are burned and will never be touched. Even more importantly, XCP acts as “fuel” to smart contracts, and are burned every time an execution step occurs. Therefore, the quantity of XCP is constantly decreasing.

Buying Opportunity

It took 2,130 BTC to create 2.65 million XCP, and the coin is currently ranked as 295th in terms of market capitalization. XCP is tradeable on both Bittrex and Poloniex, but Poloniex is more liquid, as that is where the market makers tend to work.

XCP has been hovering around 0.0006 BTC and 0.0008 BTC for the last few weeks, with a spike occurring on December 10th. Right now seems like the perfect time to jump in and capitalize on this project, especially if you are long on its features (oracle betting, decentralized exchange, order matching, etc.).

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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Analysis

Crypto Update: Bear Market Lows in Jeopardy After Latest Failed Bounce

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The cryptocurrency segment switched directions yet again, as, after a weak bounce on Wednesday, the major coins are headed back towards their recent bear market lows today. While the losses are not significant, for now, given the bearish long-term picture and the vicinity of the lows, another leg lower in the downtrend could soon begin, despite the deeply oversold long-term momentum readings.

The majors are all in the red amid the broad selloff and only a few of the battered altcoins are showing some relative strength in the face of the apparent selling pressure. The total value of the market is back below $110 billion, and a dip below the $100 billion mark is possible as soon as the coming days, with Bitcoin being among the weakest top coins in the past few days.

Volatility has been steadily decreasing ever since last week’s breakdown, but we expect trading activity to pick up somewhat ahead of the weekend, and traders should remain cautious here given the still broadly negative technicals.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin is trading just above its recent lows despite yesterday’s rally attempt, and the coin is showing relative weakness hinting on an imminent test of the lows. That said, with the long-term momentum readings clearly being oversold, we could still be in for a larger scale bounce in the coming weeks, but traders should wait for signs of short-term strength before entering new positions.

Our trend model remains on sell signals on both time-frames, with strong resistance levels zones ahead near $3600 and between $4000 and $4050, and with key long-term support found near the $3000 level.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum is still stuck below the key $95-$100 zone as yesterday’s bounce faded but the coin is trading above its bear market low, performing in line with Bitcoin and the majority of the segment. ETH is still in short- and long-term downtrends, and our trend model is on sell signals on both time-frames as well, despite eh oversold long-term picture.

Odds still favor a move towards the next key support zone between $73 and $75, and traders and investors shouldn’t enter positions here, with further strong resistance zones ahead near $120 and $130.

Altcoins Drift Lower Across the Board

IOTA/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

We are still not seeing signs of meaningful relative strength even among the smaller altcoins, as although some of the most oversold currencies are, in fact, holding up well above their recent lows. IOTA is still a prime example of the long-term weakness, as it got stuck below the resistance zone surrounding the $0.24 price level despite the recent bounce attempts, while also remaining in a clear broader downtrend. For now, the prior low just above $0.20 is safe, but new lows are still likely in the coming weeks.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ripple has been trading with very low volatility in the last couple of days, hovering around the $0.30 level. The coin failed to show relative strength amid the bounce attempts, and break below last week’s lows and a test of the bear market low near $0.26 still seems likely, with the sell signals being in place in our trend model on both time-frames.  XRP faces strong resistance near $0.32, $0.3550, and $0.3750, while primary support is found at $0.28

Featured image from Shutterstock

Disclaimer:  The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.

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 414 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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Altcoins

Binance Coin Price Analysis: BNB Still in Trouble Despite Recent Strong Fundamental Prospects

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  • BNB/USDT moving within an ascending channel formation, subject to a breakout to the downside.
  • There is much anticipation ahead of Binance’s DEX launch, expected in early 2019.

Binance Coin (BNB) has made a decent recovery since being slammed in November and into the early part of December. The price had initially dropped a whopping 58%, before then being able to stabilize most recently on 7th December. Since, BNB has jumped as much as 20% to the upside, moving within an ascending channel formation. However, despite the gains of late, a similar bounce was initially seen on 25th November to 5th December, before another dump. BNB/USDT had tanked a chunky 35%, after this brief period of stabilization.

Strong Fundamental News Flow

The world’s largest exchange by traded volume will some be launching their own decentralized exchange (DEX), expected for early 2019. There is much excitement and buzz across the social media space for this to go live. The development team have already noted that their BNB will be moving from its ERC-20 token status, which is currently on the Ethereum blockchain. As a result, this will be transferred to their own proprietary blockchain, which is set to be called Binance Chain.

In terms of a decentralized exchange, this technology can facilitate a new type of pair matching, allowing users to be able to place orders in addition to trading cryptocurrencies. This can be done without the need of an intermediary institution, managing the ledger or even controlling the user’s funds.

Elsewhere, Binance recently announced that they will be adding a new feature for the benefit and to attract more institutional investors. They will have the facility to create sub-accounts on the Binance exchange. Finally, the company have also exercised further use of their token, BNB, as these can now be used via Tripio to secure bookings.

Technical Review – BNB

BNB/USDT 4-hour chart

Price action over the past six sessions now is moving within an ascending channel formation. This comes after the decent bounce from the low on 7th December, having dropped to a low of $4.1200. At the time BNB/USDT was very much oversold, dropping to 26 via the RSI on the 4-hour time frame. Technically, such moves are subject to a potential breakout to the downside.

Support Levels

BNB/USDT weekly chart

Near-term support should be noted at $4.8000, which is the lower part of the observed ascending channel. Further south, eyes would be on the 7th December low at $4.1200. BNB/USDT is already trading around the lower levels seen since December 2017. Lastly, should the above-mentioned be breached, then a fall to $3.2500 could be on the cards. This is a weekly support seen for 17th December 2017 week commencing.

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 84 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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