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Bitcoin Hovers Over $3,650 as Top Cryptocurrencies Mostly in the Red

Most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting moderate to slight losses, with Bitcoin hovering over $3,650.

Saturday, Jan. 12 — most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting moderate to slight losses, while some are reporting up to double-digit gains. Bitcoin’s (BTC) price is still hovering over $3,650, according to Coin360 data.

Market visualization

Market visualization from Coin360

At press time, Bitcoin is down under 1 percent on the day, trading at around $3,665. Looking at its weekly chart, the current price is lower than $3,878, the price of BTC one week ago, and $4,108, the mid-week high reported on Tuesday.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ripple (XRP) is down over 1 percent on the day, trading at around $0.333 at press time. On the weekly chart, the current price is lower than $0.359, the price at which XRP started the week — but also lower than $0.381, the midweek high reported on Jan. 10.

Ripple 7-day price chart

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ethereum (ETH) has seen its value decrease by over 1 percent over the last 24 hours. At press time, ETH is trading at around $126, having started the day around $127. On the weekly chart, Ethereum’s current value is significantly lower than $157, the price at which the coin started the week.

Ethereum 7-day chart

Ethereum 7-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Among the top 20 cryptocurrencies, the ones experiencing the most notable price action are Bitcoin SV, which is up over 12 percent, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Ethereum Classic, which are up around 2 and 1 percent respectively.

The combined market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies — currently equivalent to about $122.2 billion — is lower than $133 billion, the value it reported one week ago. The current value is also substantially lower than the intra-week high of $138.6 billion reached on Jan 10.

Total crypto market cap 7-day chart

Total crypto market cap 7-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

As Cointelegraph recently reported, the number of active Bitcoin wallets, many of which have long been dormant, has seen an uptick that could herald some major market movements.

The state legislature of the American state of Wyoming has reportedly passed two new house bills this week that aim to foster a regulatory environment conducive to cryptocurrency and blockchain innovation.

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White Hat Hackers Earned $878,000 from Crypto Bug Bounties in 2018, Data Shows

Hackers have reportedly been awarded $878,000 in bug bounties by blockchain companies on vulnerability disclosure platform HackerOne this year.

White hat hackers have been awarded $878,000 in bug bounties this year, technology news website TheNextWeb reports on Dec. 30.

Bug bounties are a type of competition in which companies that develop software invite hackers to break their software and responsibly disclose the vulnerabilities, so they are able to fix them before they are exploited.

According to TheNextWeb, hackers earned $534,500 on HackerOne, a bug bounty platform connecting companies with hackers just from Block.one, the company which stands behind EOS. In fact, Block.one is reportedly responsible for 60 percent of all the bounties handed in this year.

Major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is reportedly the second-largest bounty spender and spent $290,381 in 2018. Tron is third-largest bounty spender, reportedly paying $76,200 this year.

Nearly four percent of all bounties awarded on the platform were for blockchain vulnerabilities, a HackerOne spokesman told TheNextWeb. The average prize in the blockchain industry was $1,490 this year, while the average HackerOne bounty in Q4 2018 was about $900.

As Cointelegraph recently reported, EOS decentralized apps (DApps) have reportedly lost up to $1 million to hacks since July. Also, hardware wallet Ledger recently expressed regret over the fact that the security researchers disclosed vulnerabilities in its hardware wallets publicly instead of following the standard security principles that are written in Ledger’s Bounty program.

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Daily Traded Volume on Huobi’s Crypto Derivatives Platform Breaks $1 Billion

Daily traded volume of cryptocurrency contracts on the Huobi Derivatives Market has broken past $1 billion.

Daily traded volume of cryptocurrency contracts on the Huobi Derivatives Market (DM) has broken past $1 billion, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Dec. 27.

Huobi Global — which operates the world’s third-largest largest crypto spot market trading platform — launched Huobi DM last month. The new platform allows traders to trade Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) contracts that aim to allow for arbitrage, speculation, and hedging.

Having reportedly broken past $1 billion in daily trades on Dec. 25, Huobi DM is today expanding its crypto contracts offerings to include altcoin EOS. Huobi claims its crypto contracts help market participants control risk and uncertainty via price limit mechanisms and supervision tools that allow traders to monitor contract and index prices and positions in real time.

Livio Weng, Huobi Global CEO, has emphasized that the offerings aim to engage those who wish to control risks in a volatile trading climate. According to the company, Dec. 25 saw strong engagement on both the newly-launched DM platform and Huobi’s flagship crypto exchange; their combined daily traded volume was purportedly $2 billion.

Huobi DM’s launch comes at a moment when trading volumes across various exchanges are reported to have fallen dramatically.

A recent study from weekly crypto outlet Diar claimed that data sampled from across eight leading crypto exchanges  — Binance, OKex, Huobi, Bitfinex, Kraken, Poloniex, Bittrex and HitBTC — showed that 60 percent of the still-listed cryptocurrencies are now trading at lower volumes than in January. Over 20 percent of these were seeing less than 90 percent of the volumes they saw during January’s crypto market bull run.

Moreover, controversies continue to beset the accuracy of reported daily traded volumes.

A recent report from the Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) claimed that the majority of the top 25 Bitcoin (BTC) trading pairs listed on CoinMarketCap (CMC) are based upon highly inflated false volumes, showing evidence of malpractices such as wash trading. Huobi — alongside HitBTC, OKEx and Bithumb — were among those exchanges implicated in the researchers’ findings.

This summer, CoinMarketCap implemented major changes to its crypto exchange listings method in light of concerns over skewed trade volume data.

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Top 5 Crypto Performers Overview: XEM, Ripple, EOS, Bitcoin, IOTA

Dismal crypto bear markets continue to rage, though the Bitcoin Cash hard fork drama has settled and a series of major institutional investor moves are on the horizon.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

At the start of the year, the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies was above $828 billion and many expected it to touch $1 trillion. However, after the hype of last year, the current bear market has been bone-crushing with no end in sight. The bloodbath in cryptocurrencies has plunged total market capitalization to below $130 billion and falling.

After the recent collapse, many analysts have forecast a further fall in prices and expect Bitcoin to bottom out around $3,000 or even $1,500. Others, however, believe that the fall is a good opportunity to buy for the long-term, as they believe that the fundamentals are improving.

Another important recent development was that the costly Bitcoin Cash war has ended, with Bitcoin Cash SV deciding to move on, leaving Bitcoin Cash ABC in charge of the Bitcoin Cash brand name. Whether or not this will result in a pullback in crypto prices remains to be seen.

XEM/USD

NEM (XEM) is the best performer among the top cryptocurrencies in the past seven days, though it has slumped about 18 percent, showing bear dominance across markets.

XEM

Though the bears succeeded in breaking down the range, they are struggling to sustain prices at lower levels. Buying at lower levels has kept the XEM/USD pair close to the range of $0.07790717–$0.13125258.

The 20-day EMA has turned down and the RSI is in the negative territory, which shows that the bears have an upper hand. If they succeed in sustaining below the range, the fall can extend to the next support level at $0.05.

On the other hand, if the bulls defend the bottom of the range and push prices higher, a range bound action is likely to ensue. A trend reversal will be signaled after the price sustains above the range. In such a case, the rally can carry the digital currency to $0.2. We suggest traders wait for the trend to change and a new uptrend to start before venturing out to buy it.

XRP/USD

Ripple (XRP) continues to be in the news as it announces new partnerships with various banks across the world. Though it has tied up with a few large banks elsewhere, it is yet to make an impact in the U.S. The latest rumor was that it might seal a deal with Bank of America, which would give a major boost to the digital currency.

Such rumors are a great buying opportunity during a bull phase. However, during a bear phase, traders should be careful while buying the rumor because if it turns out to be false, prices might plunge.

XRP

After holding out the week before last, the XRP/USD pair succumbed to selling in the past week. The pair has dipped close to the first support at $0.37185. If this support breaks, a retest of the year-to-date low of $0.24508 is probable. The zone between $0.22 and $0.24508 is likely to act as strong support.

Long-term investors can wait for the prices to stabilize at lower levels and then buy a portion of their desired allocation. The remainder can be added at higher levels as the digital currency starts a new uptrend.

If the bulls defend the $0.37185 level, the virtual currency will continue to remain in a tight range of $0.37185–$0.565. We anticipate a pickup in momentum if the bulls scale the overhead resistance of $0.7644. The target to watch on the upside is $1.28372. Though $0.96490 might act as a minor resistance, we expect it to be crossed.  

EOS/USD

The number of on-chain transactions on the EOS (EOS) network tops that of other popular cryptocurrencies, according to Blockchain Center. A report by BitMEX, a Bitcoin/dollar derivatives market based in Seychelles, has raised various question marks regarding EOS and has said that the protocol has a long way to go if it wants to challenge the dominance of Ethereum in the DApp world.

EOS

The EOS/USD pair broke down through critical support at $3.8723, marking a new year-to-date low. If the price sustains below this level, the fall can extend to the next lower level of $3 and below that to $2.1531.

The down sloping 20-week EMA and the RSI below 40 levels show that the path of least resistance is to the downside. The bearish view will be invalidated if the bulls quickly push the price above $3.8723 and scale the $4.49 mark. A trend change will be signaled if the digital currency breaks out of the $6.8299 range.

BTC/USD

Last year after Thanksgiving, Bitcoin (BTC) started its scorching rally that peaked at $19,531.9, rising 144 percent within a month. However, this year, the digital currency is in a firm bear grip and is struggling to hold on to support levels.

Many have declared that the crypto bubble has burst and it’s all downhill from here. Bitcoin, however, has seen worse falls than these in the past and has recovered on every occasion.

The launches of Intercontinental Exchange-backed trading platform Bakkt and a crypto asset custody service by Fidelity in 2019 are poised to attract the institutional money that has been slow to enter the asset class. A favorable decision on a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the U.S. could also result in the start of a new uptrend.

BTC

The BTC/USD pair extended its downtrend and easily broke below the minor resistances of $5,450 and $5,000. Though the next logical support is way lower at $2,974–$3,504.99, we expect some support close to the $4,100 mark. The RSI is about to enter into the oversold territory for the first time since January 2015, which shows the extent of damage in the current fall.

Any recovery will face a slew of resistances at $5,000, $5,450 and at $5,900. It is risky to try to catch a falling knife; hence, traders should wait for the virtual currency to find some buying support before entering long positions.  

IOTA/USD

In a series of blog posts, the IOTA (MIOTA) foundation has announced that it is looking to remove the so-called Coordinator from the IOTA network. As the Foundation claims, this move will be a major step towards decentralization for the protocol.

Recently automotive industry app developer High Mobility announced a partnership with IOTA. Under the new collaboration, developers at High Mobility will build new types of mobility apps based on IOTA’s ledger.

IOT

The bears broke below the support at $0.4037 and continued lower, touching an intraweek low of $0.28. Currently, the MIOTA/USD pair is attempting to climb above $0.3193.

The down sloping 20-week EMA and the RSI in the negative territory show that every pullback will be met with selling pressure. If the support at $0.28 breaks, the fall can extend to the next lower level at $0.1427, with a minor support close to $0.23 levels.

On the other hand, if the price recovers from the current levels and rises above $0.4037, the digital currency might consolidate for a few weeks before attempting to start a new uptrend. We suggest traders wait for the trend to change before buying.

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EOS Proves Yet Again That Decentralization Is Not Its Priority

EOS’ governance model has been questioned again.

Recently, Blockchain protocol EOS became subject of a new scandal: its governance model was questioned, as evidence showing a moderator reversing transactions which had already been confirmed surfaced on Reddit.

Crypto community was triggered once again, but perhaps it is time to face it: EOS is not really decentralized. At least it is isn’t what EOS “is after”, in the words of its co-founder Daniel Larimer.

What is EOS and how it works?

EOS.io is a blockchain-powered smart contracts protocol for the development, hosting, and execution of decentralized applications (dApps). It was launched in June 2018 as open-source software, while first test nets and the original whitepaper emerged earlier in 2017. The platform was developed by block.one, a startup registered in the Cayman Islands and lead by Daniel Larimer and Brendan Blumer.

EOS holds the absolute record in terms of funds raised during initial coin offerings (ICOs): it has managed to gather around $4.1 billion worth of investments, or roughly 7.12 million Ethereum (ETH), after fundraising for nearly a year. The number remains unmatched to date.

The protocol is supported by the native cryptocurrency EOS, currently the sixth largest crypto by total market cap. Those tokens can be staked for using network resources either for personal use or leased out for developers use — as per the project’s whitepaper, dApp developers can build their product on the top of the EOS.io protocol and make use of its servers, bandwidth and computational power, as those resources are distributed equally among EOS holders. Basically, EOS.io attempts to represent a decentralized alternative to cloud hosting services.

EOS employs a consensus model called Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPOS). That means that its investors are rewarded with voting power and decide who gets to mine the EOS blockchain.

Thus, the EOS ecosystem rests upon at least two major entities — the EOS Core Arbitration Forum (ECAF), effectively its ‘judicial branch,’ and Block Producers (BPs), who produce blocks on the EOS blockchain — just like miners do within the Bitcoin’s (BTC) blockchain.

BPs earn EOS tokens produced by inflation — according to some estimations, top three EOS BPs obtain around 1000 tokens per day. They are elected through the constant voting process, and their number is capped at 21 — consequently, the top is fluid, and BP candidates who earn enough votes can replace the BPs in power any minute.

Decentralization supporters’ nightmare: EOS reverses previously-confirmed transactions

On November 11, a screenshot showing a ECAF moderator reversing transactions which had already been confirmed, was posted on Reddit, and gathered hundreds of comments.

According to Reddit user u/auti9003, a dispute allegedly involving a phished EOS account was referred to one of the platform’s “arbitrators” Ben Gates, who decided to reverse transactions that happened without the owner’s permission. This, the user noted, involved undoing transactions which had already received network confirmations — most of cryptocurrencies would require a hard fork for that (like Ethereum with DAO), but EOS relies on a more flexible model.

Summarizing, the arbitrator referred to the EOS constitution as a basis for the decision. He wrote:

“Under the powers afforded to me as arbitrator under article 6 of the Rules of Dispute Resolution, I, Ben Gates, rule that the EOS account in dispute should be returned to the claimant with immediate effect and that the freeze over the assets within the said account is removed.”

That move outraged decentralization maximalists, as Reddit responses mostly claimed that EOS had failed to prove its use case versus other more traditional centralized structures.

“Why would anyone use this over a bank account and traditional legal system?” the most popular comment reads, adding:

“These guys raised ($4 billion) to recreate the legal system using a token that is neither censorship resistant, nor immutable.”

Is EOS even trying to be decentralized?

EOS’ model of governance has attracted controversy before: for instance, in early October, allegations arose accusing the platform’s major Block Producers (BPs), including Chinese crypto exchange Huobi, of “mutual voting” and “collusion.”

Essentially, an alleged leaked Huobi spreadsheet suggested that main EOS nodes were involved in mutual voting along with pay-offs to remain in power of the EOS blockchain and keep their profits.

Soon after, Block.one, the developer of EOS, published a statement, saying it was “aware of some unverified claims regarding irregular block producer voting, and the subsequent denials of those claims.” Nevertheless, there was no further update on the matter, while Huobi remains EOS’ top BP as of press time.

Further, in June, an even bigger scandal occurred, when EOS BPs overrode an ECAF decision and froze seven accounts associated with phishing scams after the arbitration body failed to promptly come up with a response. The ECAF later retroactively ordered the accounts frozen, but the BP conference call-based decision caused some to question EOS’ decentralized system, and to label the move as ‘power abuse.’

Less than a week after, another ECAF order to stop processing transactions involving 27 more addresses surfaced. Interestingly, it lacked any explanation for blocking the addresses, promising to do so on a later date.

That attracted another round of harsh criticism from the crypto crowd, and, after an apparent fake ECAF order began to circulate on social media sever days later, some BPs, notably EOS New York, announced that they would suspend execution of any such orders, as they couldn’t’ tell if they were legitimate. Yet again, the ECAF and BPs struggled to coordinate their action, and that many decisions on EOS blockchain were handled by centralized entities.

On November 1, more detailed and grounded criticism of EOS’ governance model arrived, as blockchain testing company Whiteblock published results of “the first independent benchmark testing of the EOS software.” Essentially, the investigation came to several conclusions about the EOS, the most bold of which was that “EOS is not a blockchain,” but “rather a distributed homogeneous database management system,” because its transactions were reportedly “not cryptographically validated.”

Additionally, the research results showed inaccuracies in performance claims. In July, EOS’ chief technology officer Daniel Larimer tweeted that EOS was performing 2351 transactions per second (Ethereum, for comparison, can process around 15). The Whiteblock report, however, showed that with “real world conditions” of round trip latency and 0.01 percent packet loss, EOS performance was below 50 TPS, “putting the system in close proximity to the performance that exists in Ethereum.”

Thus, the investigation concluded that “the foundation of the EOS system is built on a flawed model that is not truly decentralized.” Later, on November 6, the EOS Alliance, a non-profit organization formed by EOS community members and block producers with the role to “facilitate the dialogue within community,” published a response signed by its Interim Executive Director Thomas Cox. Dubbed “Yes, EOS is a blockchain,” it criticized Whiteblock’s “provocative paper,” noting that the benchmarking firm “only recruited Ethereum folks for the project.”

Still, EOS’ chief technology officer Daniel Larimer confirms that his company does not aim to be decentralized. In an interview with YouTube blog “Colin Talks Crypto” aired on October 3, Larimer clarified his vision:

“Decentralization isn’t what we’re after. What we’re after is anti-censorship and robustness against being shut down.”

Nevertheless, Larimer added that his project was still more decentralized than Bitcoin and Ethereum, because it takes 11 BPs to control the majority of EOS network, while BTC and ETH relied 4 and 3 pools respectively.