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Why Investors Should Keep an Eye on Zilliqa (ZIL)

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Zilliqa (ZIL) launched in January of 2018 without much fanfare. The token’s immediate arrival in the market cap top one-hundred was sudden, yet also somewhat subtle given the team’s focus on tech and consequent neglect of marketing.

Led by former University of Singapore senior research fellow, Xinshu Dong, Zilliqa advertises itself as a high throughput, fast, secure blockchain host for dApps and smart contracts. There’s nothing necessarily new in that, and 99% of coin websites feature the same language.

But with that said, Zilliqa does offer up a few features worthy of attention.

Speed

The first thing you’ll see on the Zilliqa website is a bar chart displaying their achievement of 2,828 blockchain transactions per second. Many blockchains have been stress-tested to such levels, but only for brief periods.

Zilliqa’s claims will ultimately be put to the test when they migrate from Ethereum to their own mainnet, scheduled for early 2019. Yet such high speeds might be possible if the underlying technology turns out to be as promising as its fanfare suggests.

Shards

Zilliqa’s shards differ slightly from the shards currently being researched by Ethereum. The ‘state sharding’ of Ethereum is seen as a way to reduce the storage weight of the network’s transactions.

Zilliqa’s ‘transaction sharding’, however, instead divides nodes up into smaller groups (shards), and then allows them all to run in parallel. So a thousand nodes on the network could conceivably be split up into ten shards of a hundred nodes, effectively giving ten times the transaction throughput.

Byzantine Era

Zilliqa uses the practical byzantine fault tolerance (pBFT) protocol in its consensus mechanism, while keeping Proof-of-Work (PoW)in place in a reduced role to protect the network from Sybil attacks.

The pBFT protocol works best in groups of small numbers, and operates on the assumption that one third of the actors in a given group will be corrupt. For this reason, pBFT requires the consensus of two thirds of the nodes in a group – in this case, one of Zilliqa’s shards.

On the face of it, pBFT appears to have some benefits over traditional Nakamoto-style consensus, specifically in the lack of block confirmations required to finalize transactions. The initial pBFT process in the shard authenticates transactions by the time they reach the block, meaning no confirmations are needed to finalize them.

Proof-of-Work

Zilliqa does use Proof-of-Work to an extent, specifically to ward off Sybil attacks, and to confirm network identities after a given length of time. A gap of one hundred blocks has been quoted as the length of time between every PoW session, meaning the Zilliqa blockchain would benefit from PoW security but with reduced energy consumption.

But pBFT isn’t a sure thing just yet. Its combination with sharding can be effective only if shard groups are big enough to be secure (around 600 nodes), but small enough to make pBFT workable (around 50 in a group).

The Zilliqa team also has plans to explore adding private transactions in the future with the implementation of ZK-Snarks, and aims to open up cross-chain capabilities.

Partnerships

Zilliqa were announced as working partners of Japanese software and media firm Infoteria at the start of August, as announced here on the firm’s website (Japanese).

Meanwhile, in July the creators of the blockchain based Etheremon game announced they would be departing Ethereum to explore what Zilliqa’s blockchain had to offer. The move was in direct response to Ethereum network slowdowns of late, which have seen transaction fees spike to unmanageable levels.

Recent Performance

Zilliqa reached its ATH in early May, climbing to a token price of $0.22 and a market cap of over $1.4 billion.

Since then it’s been as expected – ZIL tokens have sunk month on month towards a current price of $0.04 – an 81% drop in value in just under three months. Following the market dip off the back of the VanEck ETF delay, ZIL tokens fell to a price of $0.396 – a price not seen since early April, right before ZIL soared to the tune of 400%.

There’s no reason to expect a similar surge in the near future, but for now Zilliqa could be one to keep an eye on as we move forward; especially if scalability becomes as big a pressure point as is predicted.

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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4.4 stars on average, based on 36 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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Waves Coin Spikes 21% Before Levelling Off; Gets Cold Storage Treatment

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Waves is one of the few coins to have marked up clear growth for the day, with a 21% spike coming in the early hours of Monday morning before the price eventually dropped and evened out.

Waves Price Peaks Overnight

Late on Sunday, August 12th, WAVES coins were priced at $1.89 after climbing from a fifteen month low of $1.64 on August 8th. Over the course of the early hours, the coin underwent a 21% surge which carried it to a valuation of $2.30 – a price not seen for almost two weeks.

Over the course of the day a rebound occurred and the price is back down to the $2.00 range. That’s a huge drop over the course of the day, but it still leaves Waves in the green over twenty-four hours, with net gains of around 6%.

Volumes peaked just as the sell off from the $2.30 level finished up, with $22 million WAVES trades passing through the exchanges today. That’s almost a monthly high for the coin, with $23 million only coming once in the last thirty days, on July 18th.

BTC Dominance

Given the relative strength of Bitcoin compared to most popular altcoins today, it’s unsurprising that the most abundant trading pair is WAVES/BTC, with traders taking advantage of the recent year long low that Waves hit on August 8th.

To be precise, the recent low of $1.64 hasn’t been touched since the middle of May, 2017. That’s a 15-month low for Waves, and given the actions of buyers in the last twenty-four hours, it seems to be a valuation deemed worthy of saving. In the short term at least, as evidenced by the 15% sell-off once Waves hit the $2.30 mark earlier this morning.

Cold Storage Treatment

The Waves platform seems to be growing its own fruit after the announced addition of Waves to Cold Storage Coins (CSC) today. CSC is a provider of cold storage ‘coins’ – essentially hardware wallets in the form of metal cryptocurrency coins.

CSC were recently launching their own token on the Waves platform – Organic Token ($ORGT) – when the team decided to give Waves the cold storage treatment. As said Rob Gray, CEO of CSC:

“So, we were working on Organic Token and we realized no one in the cold storage space had stepped up to support Waves.”

Waves marketing head, Phil Eryushev celebrated the development, stating:

“Besides scalability and speed, ease of use has always been among the top priorities for Waves. Solutions provided by Cold Storage Coins will make user experience at our platform even more fascinating.”

Waves recently revamped their DEX – decentralized exchange – and the platform saw an increase in the number of users shortly afterwards. Today the Waves Decentralized Exchange is only the tenth most popular source of WAVES trades, with $314,000 worth emanating from there – around 1.85% of the daily total.

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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4.4 stars on average, based on 36 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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Crypto Psycho: Fear Could Be Our BFF

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Crypto prices continue to confuse.  For all the logic related to supply and demand, the reality these days continues to be that prices are being determined by emotion.  

The fundamental news these days is mixed. For example, take todays mention of Bitmain, one of the most valuable cryptocurrency companies, is expecting a September filing of an IPO for as much as $18 billion. That would eclipse even Facebook back in 2012.  The buzz swirling around Bitmain is about more than just crypto. Even so, $18 billion makes a loud and positive statement about investor interest.

On the other side of the digital coin, we have declarations from guys like Ken Bianco, who happens to be part of the US Treasury Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.  Last week he spoke in threatening terms of how the US intends to enforce its AML/KYC regulations virtually everywhere in the world. If this sounds a little bit like an infamous German gentleman with an odd looking mustache, you have your history right.

In between these two extremes, of course, there has been lots of information each day that correlates closely with theoretical supply and demand for crypto, none of which has made a bit of difference as crypto prices continue to tumble.

Nevertheless, an objective point of view holds that there is a disconnect between what is happening in reality and crypto prices.

So unlike last year when prices were rising for no other reason than the fear of missing out (FOMO), today they are falling in the face of the fear of losing all (FOLA).  Maybe it’s fear that is the key to the future.

FOLA Could Be Our Friend

On many occasions we have mentioned how important traditional investors have used relative value.  We continue to believe that global stock and bond markets are overvalued using metrics like price earnings ratios and other financial measures.  While quantitatively speaking, this point is absolutely right, it hasn’t resonated. Since the beginning of the year, for example, investors in the Nasdaq Composite has enjoyed a 13% gain.

This gain comes even though Facebook, the fourth biggest stock in the cap-weighted Nasdaq Composite, has been a dud.  By comparison, over the exact time last year investors in the Nasdaq Composite experienced a 12% gain on the way to a bountiful 25% full year return. Overall, these folks have had very little reason to be unhappy, or fearful.

Tipping Point Could Come From Trump

Credit Datatrek for keeping a thumb on the pulse of the outside world.  Here are some insights from a recent poll on the fears of institutional money managers.  The two most important issues in late March were: unpredictable political events in Washington DC and Trade/tariff disagreements between the US and China.  Some 70% of respondents were very concerned or somewhat concerned about these issues.

Since then, things have only become more critical.  Washington’s confrontational foreign relations strategy is shaking global currency exchange markets.  In the last two weeks the Russian Ruble has lost 12% against the US Dollar. At the same time the US Dollar has increased over 40% against the Turkish Lira.  

While it can be argued that Turkey is of little importance to the global monetary system, Russia is not. Turkey plays a key role in the Middle East and any instability in that area is enough to strike investor fear that is reflected in energy, inflation and currency markets.

In earlier times, this scenario pointed investors in the direction of gold.  This is not happening. At the time of this writing, gold had just broken through $1,200 having fallen 8% this year.  In the face of the Turkish situation, this signals a loss in confidence for gold in a region of the world with a historic close connection to the metal.

Only Theory So Far  

Now if a strong correction were to take place in stock prices or an equally strong rally in crypto, there would be evidence of investors taking advantage of the relative value here. Unfortunately, at this moment that is not taking place. Bitcoin prices are down marginally but sellers continue to pound most altcoins. Until this changes, crypto prices are being driven down by FOLA.

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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4.4 stars on average, based on 95 rated postsJames Waggoner is a veteran Wall Street analyst and hedge fund manager who has spent the past few years researching the fintech possibilities of cryptocurrencies. He has a special passion for writing about the future of crypto.




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Tether Mystery Grows Following Latest Spike in USDT Circulation

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Controversy surrounding Tether continues to swirl after the startup released $50 million worth of new tokens on Bitfinex, a leading digital currency exchange run by the same chief executive.

Tether’s New Issuance

Evidence of Tether’s new token issuance was first reported by Omni Explorer, a data provider for the cryptocurrency market. According to the website, a fresh batch of 50 million USDT tokens were sent to Bitfinex on Saturday, marking the third such transfer this month.

https://www.omniexplorer.info/address/1NTMakcgVwQpMdGxRQnFKyb3G1FAJysSfz/1

With the latest influx, Tether’s circulating supply has swelled to 2.407 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. USDT is capitalized at just over $2.4 billion, down roughly $300 million over the past month.

USDT has become a critical component of the cryptocurrency market, with daily trade volumes rivaling bitcoin’s. Much of the growth in volume occurred over a five-month stretch beginning October 2017. According to The Wall Street Journal, USDT-based trading volumes would grow 15-fold through March 2018.

On Monday, trades involving USDT were valued at $4.9 billion compared with $6.7 billion for bitcoin. Bitfinex was by far the largest market, accounting for more than 43% of total USDT transactions.

Controversy Grows

Investors have grown weary of Tether’s burgeoning supply over allegations that the company is printing tokens to artificially inflate the bitcoin price. As Hacked reported earlier this year, Tether’s circulating supply surged at the height of the bull market, including a 30% spike between December and February.

Last year, Tether and Bitfinex were subpoenaed by federal regulators over the nature of their relationship and to determine whether Tether truly has the dollar reserves to back its tokens. As a fiat-backed stablecoin, Tether must maintain $1 in reserves for every token it has in circulation.

In addition to claiming ties to the dollar, Tether has emerged as a “crypto bank” for blockchain businesses struggling to obtain traditional financing and liquidity services. That said, the company has yet to produce an audit showing it has the purported reserves to satisfy its stablecoin status.

Last year, Tether hired Friedman LLP, a New York account, to audit its reserves. However, the accounting firm was swiftly released before a final audit was completed, raising fresh suspicion of manipulation. The company has since hired Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan LLP, a New York law firm created by former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh. The law firm believes Tether has full dollar backing.

An anonymous source running tetherreport.com claims the stablecoin engineered nearly half of bitcoin’s price rally in 2017. According to the website, Tether prints more tokens when the bitcoin price falls.

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 538 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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