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Major Omani Bank Joins RippleNet Cross-Border Payment Network

Oman’s second largest bank BankDhofar is now using RippleNet technology for cross-border payments to India.

Oman’s second largest bank by market value, BankDhofar, has begun using RippleNet technology for cross-border payments to India. The news was tweeted by the managing director of South Asia and MENA at Ripple, Navin Gupta, on Feb. 16.

RippleNet is a global blockchain-based payment network of institutional payment providers, that was developed by technology company Ripple. In January, RippleNet expanded its network to over 200 customers, including such industry players as JNFX, SendFriend, Transpaygo, FTCS and Euro Exim Bank.

Per the recent announcement, BankDhofar has become the first bank in the country and one of the first in the region to adopt RippleNet. The technology enables the bank to provide cross-border transfers via a mobile banking application “in less than 2 minutes,” thus allowing non-resident Indians living in Oman to conduct real-time payment transfers.

BankDhofar was incorporated in 1990, subsequently becoming one of the largest banks in the country. In 2017, BankDhofar’s revenue from banking services was reportedly $2.4 million, while its total revenue amounted to $28.2 million.

Earlier this month, Finablr, a global payment platform and foreign exchange operator based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), joined the RippleNet network to complete real-time transactions to Thailand. The first partner in the service, major Thai bank Siam Commercial Bank will purportedly let UAE Exchange and Unimoni customers globally send money to Thailand.

Last December, the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) also launched a cross-border remittance product based on RippleNet’s blockchain technology. NBK reportedly become the first financial establishment in Kuwait to implement a remittance product — “NBK Direct Remit” — for international live payments based on RippleNet.

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Crypto Market Cap at Critical Resistance, Is Altcoin Season Around The Corner?

The current crypto winter and bear market has been brutal for Bitcoin investors who are now underwater, but it’s been even worse for many altcoin holders.

Most of the thousands of altcoins on the market have fallen as much as 99% from their all-time high prices, have reached extremely oversold conditions, and are at the absolute bottom of the barrel sentiment-wise. However, according to one crypto analyst, altcoins are on the verge of breaking out of long-term downtrend resistance and an “altseason” may be around the corner.

Analyst: Altcoin Crypto Market Cap at Pivotal Resistance Point

Altcoins such as Ethereum and XRP have had a much further fall from their all-time high prices than their eldest sibling, Bitcoin. Bitcoin has fallen roughly 85% from its previous peak back in December 2017, while number 2 and number 3 cryptocurrencies Ethereum and XRP respectively have each fallen 90% from their high points.

Related Reading | XRP Beware? Industry Reacts to JP Morgan ‘JPM Coin’ Crypto Announcement

The added sell pressure has caused sentiment around altcoins to be at extreme lows, but the tides may be turning soon, if critical resistance can be broken.

According to a chart shared by prominent crypto analyst GalaxyBTC, the altcoin market cap – an aggregate of the total crypto market cap minus BTC – is at pivotal overhead resistance that has served as such all the way since January of 2018.

The early signs of an “altseason” are already showing, with Ethereum, EOS, and BCH all posting 15-25% gains on the day, while Bitcoin rose just 8.5% by comparison. The rest of the altcoin market is a sea of green today, as a clear sentiment change is occurring in the crypto space.

Bitcoin Has Long to Go Before Downtrend is Broken, BTC Dominance to Suffer

GalaxyBTC also shared some thoughts around a pattern commonly found in cryptocurrency trading. The analyst discovered that oftentimes following a build-up of BTC dominance – a metric that weighs Bitcoin’s market cap against the rest of the crypto market – it breaks down, causing a spike in altcoin dominance also referred to as an “altseason.”

The reason for this could be normal ebb and flow of capital to and from Bitcoin into altcoins, faith being restored by crypto market participants, or quite possibly due to the fact that most altcoins have broken through downtrend resistance, while Bitcoin hasn’t.

A chart shared by Senior Market Analyst for eToro Mati Greenspan shows that Bitcoin still has a long way to go before it brushes up against the downtrend resistance. The resistance dates back to January of 2018, after the first ever crypto’s parabolic advance was broken, kicking off the bear market that continues even today.

Related Reading | Bottom Doesn’t Matter, Last Time General Population Can Afford Entire BTC

Altcoins and Bitcoin are closely correlated, so a strong rally in the altcoin market could help restore confidence in Bitcoin again, and drag Bitcoin up through resistance along with the rest of the cryptosphere.

Featured image from Shutterstock

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Most Cryptos See Gentle Green Amid Exceedingly Calm Market Picture

Virtually all of the top 20 coins by market cap are seeing fluctuations of within 2 percent in both directions on the day.

Saturday, Feb. 16: Cryptocurrencies are seeing mild price action, with virtually all of the top 20 coins by market cap seeing fluctuations of within 2 percent in both directions on the day, as data from Coin360 shows.

Market visualization by Coin360Market visualization by Coin360

Top cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) has seen fractional 0.37 percent growth on the day and is trading at $3,631 to press time, according to CoinMarketCap data. On its 7-day chart, the coin has jaggedly traded downward from an intraweek peak of almost $6,700 on Feb. 11 to a low of $3,610 on Feb. 14 — subsequently recuperating some of its losses. On the month, the coin has seen virtually no movement, trading down by a mild 0.8 percent in value.Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCapBitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ethereum (ETH) — holding on to its newly-regained position as largest altcoin by market cap — is up around 1 percent on the day to trade at roughly $123 to press time. The altcoin has seen moderate and consistent growth over the past seven days, bringing its weekly gains to just over 4 percent.

On the month, Ethereum is similarly stable, trading at virtually the same price point (0.4 percent down) as in mid-January.Ethereum 1-month price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ethereum 1-month price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

In the latest Ethereum core dev call, ETH co-founder Vitalik Buterin and others have dismissed allegations that a new smart contract creation feature set to be released in the forthcoming Constantinople hard fork will have negative security implications.

Also this week, Chicago-based crypto exchange ErisX submitted its comments to the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission, arguing in favor of regulated ETH futures contracts.

Ripple (XRP) — like its larger market cap counterparts — is seeing virtually no price change on the day, and is trading around $0.301 at press time. Up a fractional 0.5 percent over the past 24 hours, the asset is down a mild 2 percent on the week. Monthly losses are starker, at close to 9 percent.

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Industry commentators have this week discussed whether United States banking giant JPMorgan Chase’s newly-announced settlement stablecoin could pose a direct threat to XRP’s future. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has refuted these concerns, arguing that the so-dubbed JMP Coin “misses the point” of cryptocurrency.

A major exception among the remaining top 20 coins is Litecoin (LTC), which has has seen close to 4 percent in growth on the day to trade at $43.83. The altcoin has thus again dislodged EOS and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) as fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, which it holds with a market cap of around $990 million.

EOS, now ranked fifth, is today seeing solid growth, up a solid 2.4 percent on the day to trade at $2.85. Privacy-focused crypto Monero (XMR), ranked 13th, is the only other major altcoin to see discernible growth — gaining about 2 percent on the day to trade at $48.16.

The heaviest top twenty loser meanwhile is Maker (MKR), ranked 17th, which is down 1.6 percent to trade at $509.65.

The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is around $121 billion as of press time, up a fractional 0.25 percent on the week.

7-day chart of the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies from CoinMarketCap

7-day chart of the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies from CoinMarketCap

In other cryptocurrency news, major crypto brokerage Coinmama — which allows users to purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum using a credit card — has revealed it suffered a major data breach affecting 450,000 of its users.

And in adoption news, Liberstad — a private, anarcho-capitalist city in Norway — has adopted a cryptocurrency native to its blockchain-powered smart city platform. The new crypto will be the city’s official medium of exchange, with national fiat currencies to be prohibited.

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Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, EOS, Bitcoin Cash, TRON, Stellar, Binance Coin, Bitcoin SV: Price Analysis, February 15

Some experts predict the downfall of tokens with no clear use cases, while touting Bitcoin as a clear winner in the long run.

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

Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

United States banking giant JPMorgan Chase, whose CEO has been one of the most vocal critics of cryptocurrencies, has announced the launch of its own cryptocurrency, named “JPM Coin.” This clearly shows that many criticize the technology as they do not understand it, but once they realize its potential, they readily become a part of the space.

As the market matures, it will differentiate between cryptocurrencies. Token that do not have anything concrete to offer will fall by the wayside as others with a strong use case will reward their investors. Barry Silbert, CEO and founder of Digital Currency Group and Grayscale Investments, believes that most digital tokens “will go to zero.”

Niall Ferguson, British economic and financial historian and author of 14 books, said that Bitcoin is likely to be viewed as digital gold because its performance is not correlated to any other asset class. However, he does not see cryptocurrencies replacing fiat currencies completely.     

With most news turning positive, is it a good time to buy a few of the major cryptocurrencies? Let’s find out.

BTC/USD

Over the past week, Bitcoin (BTC) has been giving up ground. Though the fall is not sharp, it shows a lack of demand at current levels. Both the moving averages have turned flat and the RSI is in the neutral zone, which points to a likely consolidation.

BTC/USD

Our view of a range bound trading action will be invalidated if the BTC/USD pair breaks out of the downtrend line. Above the downtrend line, a rally to $4,255 is likely. We expect a strong resistance at this level. A breakout of $4,255 will complete a double bottom pattern that has a target of $5,273.91.

If the bears sink the digital currency below the 20-day EMA, a drop to $3,355 and below it to $3,236.09 is possible. A break of the yearly low will resume the downtrend and can result in a decline to $3,000 and below it to $2,600.

We shall wait for the price to sustain above both the moving averages and the downtrend line before proposing a trade in it.

ETH/USD

Ethereum (ETH) continues to face resistance at the 50-day SMA. It has become a major roadblock for the bulls that needs to be crossed quickly, else we anticipate a fall to $116.30 and if that gets broken, a retest of $103.20.

ETH/USD

Both the moving averages are flat and the RSI is just above the midpoint, which points to a consolidation. The ETH/USD pair will pick up momentum on a breakout and close (UTC time frame) above $134.50.

The next target on breaking out of $134.50 is $167.32. Considering the large target potential, we suggest traders maintain their stops at $100. We might recommend closing the position if the pair turns down and sustains below $116.30.

XRP/USD

Ripple (XRP) has been finding support close to $0.295 for the past three days, but the bulls are struggling to break out of the downtrend line.

XRP/USD

A strong breakout of the downtrend line will carry the XRP/USD pair to the next overhead resistance of $0.33108. The 50-day SMA is also located just below this level. Hence, we expect this to act as a major roadblock. However, if the bulls scale this level, the probability of a rally to $0.40 increases. Therefore, we might propose long positions on a close (UTC time frame) above $0.33108.

Conversely, if the price turns down from the current levels or from one of the overhead resistances, a retest of $0.27795 is possible. A break of this level will result in a fall to the yearly low of $0.24508.

EOS/USD

EOS is trying to bounce from just above $2.70. The bulls will again attempt to break out of the overhead resistance zone of $3.05 to $3.2081. If successful, a rally to $3.8723 is probable. The 20-day EMA is turning up and the RSI is also in positive territory, which shows that the path of least resistance is to the upside. Hence, traders can keep the stop loss on long positions at $2.30.

EOS/USD

If the price struggles to break out of the overhead resistance zone, partial profits can be booked closer to $3.20 and the remaining can be held with the stop at breakeven.

On the contrary, if the EOS/USD pair turns down from current levels, it can take support at the moving averages, failing which the drop can extend to the critical support at $2.1733. A break of this support can result in a plunge to the yearly low of $1.55.

LTC/USD

Litecoin (LTC) found support close to $40. The bulls are currently trying to resume the uptrend and break out of the overhead resistance of $47.2460. If successful, the next target to watch on the upside is $56.910.

LTC/USD

Contrary to our assumption, if the LTC/USD pair fails to breakout of $47.2460, it might turn down and retest the support at 20-day EMA. Therefore, traders can book partial profits closer to $47 if they find the pair struggling to move up.

A break below the 20-day EMA will weaken the momentum and plunge the digital currency to the 50-day SMA. The trend will turn negative if the bears break below $27.701. Traders who are long can trail their stops higher to $36. The stops can be moved up again as the price inches towards $47.2460.

BCH/USD

The range in Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has shrunk as it waits for a decisive move by either the bulls or the bears. Volatility is likely to expand soon, but it is difficult to predict the direction of the move.

BCH/USD

If the tight range resolves to the upside, the bulls will face resistance at the 50-day SMA and above it at $141. If the price sustains above $141, it will be a bullish sign, hence, we recommend long positions on a close (UTC time frame) above $141. The target levels to watch on the upside are $175 and above it $220.

On the contrary, if the BCH/USD pair breaks down, the next support is $105. Below this level, the decline can accelerate and retest the low at $73.50.

TRX/USD

TRON (TRX) has broken below the 50-day SMA and has moved lower in the past two days. The moving averages are on the verge of a bearish crossover, which indicates weakness in the short-term. Therefore, traders can keep a stop loss of $0.023 to protect their long positions.

A breakdown of $0.023 can result in a decline to the next support at $0.02113440 and if this level also cracks, the final support is $0.0183. Below this level, a drop to the yearly low is probable.

TRX/USD

Conversely, if the TRX/USD pair finds support at the current levels and rises above both the moving averages, it will again attempt to break out of the critical resistance at $0.02815521. If successful, the pair is likely to start a new uptrend that can carry it to $0.038 and $0.04.

XLM/USD

First signs of buying in Stellar (XLM) near the lows. The bulls are attempting to scale the 20-day EMA. If successful, a move up to the downtrend line and above it to the 50-day SMA is possible. We like that the RSI is showing strength and is pointing towards a pullback. However, as the price is still near the lows, we will avoid suggesting a trade in it.

XLM/USD

If the XLM/USD pair turns down from one of the overhead resistances, the bears will again try to break down of the low at $0.07256747. If the low is broken, the next support is at $0.05795397. We shall wait for a new buy setup to form before recommending a trade.

BNB/USD

Binance Coin (BNB) corrected for three days and found buyers close to the 20-day EMA. It is currently attempting to resume the up move and break out of the overhead resistance at $10. If successful, a rally to $12 is probable. The range between $10–$12 is a major hurdle, hence, the cryptocurrency might remain in this range for some time. On clearing this hurdle, a rally to $15 and above it to $18 is possible.

BNB/USD

Contrary to our expectation, if the bears defend the overhead resistance and force the BNB/USD pair to turn down, the 20-day EMA will again act as a support. Below this, the next support is at the 50-day SMA and if that breaks, the final support is the uptrend line. If these supports fail to curb the fall, the trend will change from bullish to range bound.

BSV/USD

After failing to break out of the 20-day EMA, Bitcoin SV has turned down and has broken below $65.031. Its next support is in the $58.072–$57 zone. If this support also fails to hold, a drop to the yearly low of $38.528 is probable.

BSV/USD

On the other hand, if the BSV/USD pair turns around from one of the above-mentioned support levels, it will again try to break out of 20-day EMA. The bulls have not scaled the 20-day EMA for the past month and a half. Hence, a break out of it will be a sign that the downtrend is coming to an end.

We shall wait for the price to break out of $71.412 and the 50-day SMA before turning positive. Until then, we suggest traders remain on the sidelines.

Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. Charts for analysis are provided by TradingView.

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JP Morgan Launches Pale Imitation of the “Fraud” that is Bitcoin

Multinational investment bank JP Morgan has announced that it will launch its own cryptocurrency of sorts. The so-called JPM Coin will bring some of the benefits of Bitcoin to some of the users of the bank

JPM Coin will be built on a private blockchain, be backed by fiat currency, and be exclusive to JP Morgan’s institutional clients. In short, it represents few if any of the truly liberating qualities of Bitcoin.

Your Cryptocurrency is a Fraud, Ours is Fine

It is less than two years since JP Morgan exec Jamie Dimon had his famous outburst against Bitcoin. The CEO of the multinational investment bank called the world’s most popular digital asset a “fraud” back in September of 2017. Yet behind the scenes, the firm he represents has clearly been working on ways to strip the liberating qualities from Bitcoin and present only the features it agrees with to the world.

The announcement of the JPM Coin prototype today is the first of its kind on the planet. No other bank has launched its own digital asset. However, the news should not be taken as the bank’s endorsement of cryptocurrency. It seems more likely that this is an attempt by an institution that feels deeply threatened by true, decentralised digital assets to stay relevant.

In an interview about the launch of JPM Coin, Umar Farooq, the bank’s head of Digital Treasury and Blockchain, stated the following of the new project:

“JPM Coin is a digital coin designed to make instantaneous payments using blockchain technology. Exchanging value, such as money, between different parties over a blockchain requires a digital currency, so we created the JPM Coin.”

The JPM Coin is, of course, backed by the dollar. This means that its value remains behest to the whims of the Federal Reserve. If the Fed wants to print some new greenbacks, you had better believe that the value of your JPM Coins is going down, along with that of every physically held or digital stored dollar on the planet.

Oh, wait. Did I say “your” JPM Coins? My mistake. What I meant to say was the JPM Coins of whoever the institution deems worthy enough to use the new digital currency. After all, it will only be “institutional investors” who are given the freedom to use the digital representation of dollars being pedalled as an innovation.

You can almost hear the boardroom meeting now:

“This Bitcoin thing is interesting. What can we steal from it? Permissionless? No, let’s make sure we call the shots. Completely uncorrelated to any other asset or currency? No, fractional reserve banking is working out just fine for us. Peg it to the dollar. I like this part about it being fast though. Let’s keep that. In fact, let’s make it faster by being more under our own control. Nice. Lunch time?”

Could JPM Coin Render XRP Useless?

Basically, with its permissioned design and sole use case being to facilitate payments between institutional clients and banks, the JPM Coin could indeed pose a threat to some corners of the disparate cryptocurrency space. As is highlighted by long-time Bitcoin proponent @WhalePanda in this Tweet:

With similar stated utility, the JPM Coin is essentially pursuing exactly the market that the Ripple company is going after with its line of products, including the XRP token. With such a large and established name providing essentially the same functionality as XRP, it seems much more likely that the banks of the world will favour JPM Coin over Ripple’s services. Could this mean that the much-debated asset’s days are numbered?

Meanwhile, Bitcoin remains free from real competition with regards its most important qualities. JPM Coin will not provide the unbanked people of the world an easy entry into the global economy, nor does it allow individuals an escape from the poor decisions of those in control of the central banks in their nations. All told, the idea seems likely to widen the gap between those who can access the most elite banking services and the planet and those that are forced to go without. Such innovation…

Anyway, here is Andreas Antonopoulos to remind you all what makes truly public blockchains great:

Related Reading: JP Morgan Chase: Cryptocurrency a Threat to its Own Services

Featured Image from Shutterstock.