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London Stock Exchange Confirms Tech Sale To Hong Kong Cryptocurrency Exchange

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is entering the cryptocurrency market, albeit cautiously, after it sold its trading technology to Hong Kong exchange AAX.


LSE Conscious Of Crypto Exchange Boom

As the Financial Times reported January 22, LSE has offered its Millenium Exchange matching system to AAX, in a deal similar to that signed by Nasdaq and Estonia’s DX Exchange earlier this month.

“If you look at the traditional market, there is a limited number of traditional exchanges,” the publication quoted Lorne Chambers, global head of sales and marketing at LSEG Technology as saying.

But there are a number of crypto exchanges springing up.

Unlike both Nasdaq and US counterpart Intercontinental Exchange, which owns the New York Stock Exchange, LSE has maintained a hands-off approach to the cryptocurrency sector until now.

The UK is currently getting to grips with its cryptocurrency regulation, with noises from lawmakers alarming industry businesses and commentators after they included potential bans on cryptocurrency-related financial products and services.

Exchange Owner: ‘We Need Regulated Tech’

For AAX backer Atom Group, however, bringing in regulated entities is necessary to strengthening the exchange sector.

“One of the things we see in crypto is a lot of people have built their own technology,” CEO Peter Lin commented.

One of the things we need moving forward is to bring in more technology from regulated markets to make sure this is safer for investors.

The Legality of Cryptocurrency in Zimbabwe Brought into Question

While Bitcoin advocates disagree with the regulation logic, arguing instead that security is only possible through private custody of cryptocurrency and not through legislation via tightly-regulated third parties, many jurisdictions continue to advance their local landscapes.

Nearby Hong Kong, Japan rolled out licenses to several exchanges in recent weeks, including to Coincheck, the domestic operator which lost over half a billion dollars in a hack one year ago.

After a buyout, new owner Monex Group has slowly restored functionality to the platform, along with arranging refunds to those who lost their holdings.

What do you think about LSE’s deal with AAX? Let us know in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Ripple Price Analysis: XRP Accumulation, Bull Pressure Building Up

  • Ripple prices stable above 30 cents
  • SWIFT—Ripple competition should heat up in coming days
  • Transactional volumes low and dropping

XRP success depends on adoption. That’s why an increase in xRapid users is bullish for investors. Even still, the slide of XRP prices have been deflating, and after 12 months of lower lows, we expect Sep 2018 to guide medium to long term price trajectory.

Ripple Price Analysis

Fundamentals

As long as SWIFT dominates, we expect determined competitors to step up their marketing, pitch to potential clients—mostly in areas where most are unbanked and without access to financial services. Such has been the effort of Ripple.

With three main products—xCurrent, xVia, and xRapid, we can conclusively say they have been largely successful. However, they still have a long way to go. As a ledger that caters explicitly for financial institutions, the only way average investors will reap benefits is when majority banks incorporate Ripple’s technologies and adopt xRapid.

The latter is a solution that guarantees speed, efficiency and cost saving made possible because it uses XRP as a liquidity tool. Thus far, 13 companies are benefiting from xRapid, but 13 is a mere drop in a cross border global payment system estimated to move $2 trillion by 2020. Should Ripple win over clients and there is regulatory clarity around XRP and xRapid, we expect demand to surge, lifting prices with it.

Candlestick Arrangements

Ripple

At the time of press, XRP was up 1.2 percent from yesterday’s close, exchanging hands at around 32 cents against the USD. Considering yesterday’s price sinks, this is positive and cements our previous assertions.

However, conservative as well as aggressive traders ought to be on the sidelines until after our trading conditions are valid. Because we are net bullish with guidance from Sep 2018 surges, a safe approach is to wait until clear price swings are driving XRP above 34 cents.

A simple Fibonacci retracement between Dec 2018 high low places this buy trigger line at the 50 percent level. That’s above Jan 20 highs meaning for the first wave of higher highs to hold then buyers must reverse yesterday’s losses preferably at the back of above average trade volumes—above 24 million.

After that, the foundation for further gains towards 40 cents would be firm and conservative traders would be anticipating possible rallies towards Dec 2018 highs of 60 cents.

Technical Indicators

From a conservative approach, traders and investors would be tracking XRP buyers’ ability to reverse yesterdays and Jan 10 losses. With volumes of 83 million against 30 million averages, a bull buildup is necessary. To reiterate our stand, any volume surge driving prices above 34 cents (or below 30 cents) should exceed 24 million and ideally 83 million confirming demand or supply depending on breakout direction.

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71+ Million User Volunteer Platform to Launch Blockchain-Based DApp

Reportedly the world’s largest volunteer service platform, Zhiyuan Hui, has announced its partnership with crypto startup EveriToken.

Chinese non-profit Zhiyuan Hui — reportedly the world’s largest volunteer service platform — has announced its partnership with token economy infrastructure firm EveriToken. The news was announced Jan. 12 in an official EveriToken blog post.

As of December 2018, Zhiyuan Hui reportedly serves over 430,000 non-profits, and its 71 million users are reported to have worked over 100 million service hours via its platform. According to the blog post, the United Nations-issued China Volunteer Service Economic Value Measurement Report has valued the platform at over $500 million.

In order to manage this astonishing volume of users and service hours, Zhiyuan Hui has reportedly decided to build a transparent volunteer tracking platform on the EveriToken public blockchain.

Via the new system, governments, enterprises and non-profits will be able to award an estimated almost one million volunteers per day with “Yi Coin” points in exchange for their volunteer activity and service hours.

Volunteer data will be recorded on-chain onto what EveriToken terms an “open public welfare ledger.” The blog post continues to outline that:

“[T]he everiToken-based system provides audit trails for various stakeholders with access rights, including governments and funders, eliminating the possibility of fraud for the various poverty alleviation projects and government foundation subsidy programs managed by Zhiyuan Hui.”

Yi Coins can reportedly already be used to buy basic goods — such as food, electronics and hygiene products — from almost 100 unmanned retail locations, using EveriToken’s micropayments solution.

At press time, Zhiyuan Hui has not responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment on the partnership.

As previously reported, the benefits of distributed, transparent ledgers are being increasingly recognized in the public welfare and charitable sectors globally. Last month, the Irish Red Cross partnered to use blockchain in a new app that improves transparency for charitable donations. Also last month, Binance’s philanthropic arm launched its own blockchain-powered donation platform.

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Wyoming Bill Would Clear the Way for Crypto Custody at Banks

Wyoming may soon become the first state in the U.S. to provide clear banking permissions for cryptocurrencies and digital assets.

A bipartisan group of state legislators introduced SF0125 to the government on Friday, which, if passed, would classify digital assets as property within existing laws. It would also establish “an opt-in framework for banks to provide custodial services for digital asset property as directed custodians,” determine standards for such services, clarify how Wyoming courts might classify digital assets and more.

Caitlin Long, co-founder of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, told CoinDesk that the bill is a major step forward for the state, and could prove a boon for crypto startups and users alike.

“A lot of companies are setting up as New York trust companies … the [Wyoming proposal] is a much better license than a New York Trust license because it’s [aimed at banks] and it’s in a state that has clarified the legal status of digital assets. Those two things are equally important,” she said. “There isn’t another state that’s providing that clarity.”

One of the most notable aspects of the bill is the support it has upon its introduction. The leadership of both Wyoming’s House and Senate are cosponsoring the bill, which includes members from both the Democratic and Republican parties.

On the list of sponsors are senators Drew Perkins (R.), president of the Senate, Vice President of the Senate Ogden Driskill (R.) and Senate minority leader Chris Rothfuss (D.). Also on board are representatives Steve Harshman (R.), Speaker of the House, and House Majority Whip Tyler Lindholm (R.), alongside a handful of other representatives and senators.

That being said, getting the bill introduced is just the first step.

“This [bill] was just released, it still has to go through everything,” Long noted. “Anything can happen in a legislative process, it’s not done till the governor signs the bill, but it has a lot of momentum behind it and a lot of support.”

She continued to say that just getting the bill to this point was a “labor of love,” adding:

“It truly gives the blockchain industry something I think it needs, which is legal clarity to bring it to the next level, and even the bitcoin purists who would be opposed to intermediate [entities] being in [charge] would take comfort in knowing they now have legal status for their assets.”

There had also been an alternative proposal in the works, Long explained, which would have classified cryptocurrencies similarly to securities and would have forced owners to store such assets through intermediaries.

“We would have lost direct property rights of [those assets],” she said. “There was momentum building behind that proposal … and Wyoming went in a different direction that’s much better for cryptocurrencies.”

Wyoming Senate Room image via Shutterstock

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Amazon Stock Price Shows Resurgence, Here’s A Look At the Path Ahead

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Amazon Stock Price Shows Resurgence, Here’s A Look At the Path Ahead

By the end of 2018, America-based e-commerce behemoth Amazon has seen a major fall in its valuations. From its one-year high of over $2000, Amazon’s stock price corrected over 35% falling to a low of $1350. However, the Amazon stock is now showing formidable recovery surging 20% from its bottom. At the press time, Amazon (AMZN) is 3% up trading at a price of $1696.60.

Amazon has been one of the most preferred stocks of U.S. investors giving magnificent returns over the last few years. Moreover, Amazon is currently the largest public-listed company with a market cap of $830 billion. However, we know that the dynamics of the technology market are changing rapidly with giants like Apple, Alphabet, etc. engaged in intense battle.

To stay at the forefront of the revolutionary change, Amazon is re-strategizing its business and making aggressive moves in different market sectors. This includes shifting to offline retail stores with Amazon Go, to working on AI and voice-controlled tech with Alexa. However, to keep things rolling, Amazon has to meet some immediate challenges ahead of them.

India’s New Rules In the E-Commerce Industry Creating Hurdles

According to PwC analysis, India’s digital revolution is likely to catapult its e-commerce industry to $100 billion by 2022. India is currently the second-biggest internet market in the world and is on the way to be “(arguably) the world’s most promising internet economy”.

The Indian government has recently brought new rules in place which can act as a hurdle for this e-commerce giant. The new rules prohibit giants like Amazon and Walmart (having 77% stake in Flipkart) from selling products from businesses wherein they have their equity stake. The rules also ask e-commerce companies to limit cashback and discount offers.

As Motley Foll reports: “Amazon, though, derives around 40% of its Amazon India sales from Cloudtail India, its joint deal with Catamaran Ventures. It has another major retailer, Appario Retail, that also exceeds the 25% threshold. Under the new rules, they won’t be able to sell on Amazon.”

The implementation of the new rules is seen as a measure to protect small retailers listed on Amazon and Flipkart. The small retailers complained against Amazon’s “predatory” pricing policies and thus asked for creating a level playing field.

Thus with the new rules in place, Amazon has to re-strategize their estimates about future growth.

Challenges In Rumored Cloud-Based Gaming Service

Amazon is reportedly working on a cloud-based video game streaming service that would allow its users to play high-end games without high-end hardware requirements. The new service shall be available to any user on a subscription basis. This would likely mark a transformational change in the gaming industry which is still dominated by gaming consoles. Moreover, it would also give Amazon a competitive edge while putting the company in the growth trajectory.

Through its AWS services which is Amazon’s most profitable business, Amazon holds the largest share in the public cloud computing market. Amazon can leverage its position in the cloud-based video game streaming services.

However, Amazon has to face giants like Alphabet and Microsoft in this battle. Alphabet’s Google is reportedly working on its own video game streaming platform. At the same time, Amazon is aggressively promoting its upcoming service named xCloud. Microsoft holds a big advantage with its popular consoles dominating the gaming industry. Its xCloud is likely to allow users to play high-end games across several devices.

Adopting a New Strategy With Gas Station Presence

One of the major growth drivers for Amazon over the last years is it constantly improving customer and product-delivery services. Amazon has constantly experimented new strategies to bring much more integrated and intuitive shopping experience for its customers.

Investment banking firm D.A. Davidson says that Amazon should consider engaging with gas stations to sell its products, reports Bloomberg. While that you are running out of gas and moving to the nearest station, you can order groceries through the Amazon app and collect them from the gas station.

Tom Forte, an analyst at D.A. Davison says that having its own gas stations with retail stores could give Amazon “thousands of commercial locations to advance its delivery efforts”. It would also help the company to generate a new revenue stream through gasoline sales.

The major USP of Amazon’s growth has been its fast delivery services with constantly reducing delivery times. Amazon Prime customers can even leverage the benefit of same day delivery. However, Amazon’s delivery network is strong in countries like the U.S. Also, some of the urban cities in India enjoy this facility. But if Amazon has to tap larget market share in countries like India, it has to provide better delivery services to the rural Indian population.

Setting up Amazon gas stations with its products in such areas can really trigger the company’s growth story in these unchartered market. Furthermore, earlier reports also suggest that Amazon could likely use Ripple’s XRP-powered payment systems for effective cross-border payments.

Cory Johnson, Ripple’s chief market strategist, believes that e-commerce companies can leverage the crypto technology to instantly move across their  global wallets.

Amazon Stock Price Shows Resurgence, Here’s A Look At the Path Ahead