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Crypto Market Records Decent Gains But Bitcoin Must Rise Above $4,500
In the past 24 hours, the crypto market added $3 billion to its valuation as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) performed relatively well against the U.S. dollar. Several crypto assets in the likes of Litecoin, TRON, and Cardano recorded the largest gains on the day in the range of 6 to 12 percent. As the cryptocurrency market avoided a further drop below the $130 billion mark, Bitcoin defended the $3,800 level and stabilized at around $3,850. According to a technical analyst with an online alias DonAlt, for the Bitcoin price to establish a foundation for a strong short-term rally, it will have to break out of major resistance levels above $4,500.

Litecoin Price Leaps 11% Heres Whats Fueling the LTC Rally
Litecoin on Saturday surged more than 11 percent against the US dollar, setting a fresh 2019 peak. The litecoin-to-dollar rate established an intraday high at $37.539 on a bounce from near-term ascending trendline support. The digital silver cryptocurrency since December 27 was consolidating inside a strict range much like its peers across the crypto-board. The renewed buying sentiment came three days after OKEx, a famous cryptocurrency exchange, launched ethereum and litecoin perpetual swaps. On the day of the announcement, litecoin had attempted a straightforward rally that fizzled near $34.962. Ethereum, like litecoin, also marked an impressive upside action on the same day, clarifying that traders went bullish on the OKEx news. Now the impact of the announcement could eventually evaporate as litecoin overreaches its interim bullish target at least, fundamentally, as happens every time after hyped-up rallies in the crypto market. But how the price action is hinting to play technically, let's find out.

Markets Chit Chat - In Gold [and Bitcoin ] We Trust: Precious Metals Surge as Stocks Fall
The price of gold futures broke the $1,300 per ounce threshold for the first time since June 2018. Investors are likely moving positions to the gold markets, pushed away from stocks after recent dips. The crypto market capitalization, or the total amount invested in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is also holding nicely, showing that cryptocurrency markets may yet provide an alternative haven for disgruntled institutional investors. Long seen as a safe haven in times of volatility, gold is once again proving its value. Gold futures rose 0.4%, reaching slightly above $1,300 before dropping back below.

BitTorrent to Launch Crypto Token on Binance Launchpad
Binances cryptocurrency token creation platform Binance LaunchPad will introduce a minimum of one token to its users every month in this year, as revealed by the world's largest crypto exchange today. The first projects that will be launched in this initiative include the TRON-affiliated BitTorrent and Fetch.AI. Binance offers two platforms for blockchain and crypto projects. Binance Labs provides funding to innovative blockchain startups while Binance LaunchPad offers a platform for raising funds through token sales. The latter supports projects which are already funded and need a renowned space to reach more crypto users. The LaunchPad lists Bitcoin wallet Bread and blockchain-based gifting platform Gifto as its successful token projects in the past.

More Than 15% of Crypto Projects Have Serious Red Flags: WSJ
According to new research from the Wall Street Journal, more than 15% of crypto projects raising funds through initial coin offerings (ICOs) have serious red flags that should give investors pause. The investigation, which analyzed the whitepapers of 3,300 cryptocurrency offerings and ICOs launched in 2017 and 2018, found that 513 of them likely committed plagiarism, misrepresented the identities of project founders, or promised unrealistic returns. The Wall Street Journal examined the white papers of all 3,300 projects which it found listed on ICOBench.com, Tokendata.io, and ICORating.com. To identify plagiarism, the reporters compared sentences in all the reports to find duplication, with reporters identifying over 10,000 sentences that appeared more than once. The papers were also searched to identify offerings where no team members were provided, and the publication reverse image searched photos to identify fake team listings. Lacking or fraudulent team, founder, or sponsor details have long been a red flag for illicit crypto projects and should be one of the first details an investor scrutinizes for accuracy.

Facebook Developing Cryptocurrency for WhatsApp Transferes
According to sources, Facebook is developing a cryptocurrency that would enable money transfers to be done through its messaging app WhatsApp. As stated in the publication by Bloomberg, the company is working on a stablecoin pegged to the US Dollar to minimize volatility. Unfortunately for Facebook, the wave of exposed privacy breaches and violations that were initiated with the Cambridge Analytica scandal is not yet over. A recent report from The NYT revealed hidden arrangements between the company and select few big companies, ranging from your friends contact information all the way down to some of the most private data your private messages.

Binance CEO: We Don t Know if Crypto Correction Phase has Passed
Binance CEO Changpeng CZ? Zhao expressed his doubts over whether or not the 2018's crypto correction phase has ended. Speaking to Bloomberg, CZ explained that crypto regarding valuation is a field of speculators and its volatility should not come as a surprise. In the same breath, the blockchain entrepreneur brought attention to things that do matter to the crypto space in a longer term, i.e., killer applications. I think the price is a powerful attraction for a lot of speculators, said CZ. But the field is going to grow by builders, the guys who build applications and adds to the adoption of cryptocurrencies in the long-term.

Bitcoin Futures Manipulation: How it Works and How to Reduce It
The markets were euphoric. The community was cheer-leading the imminent launch of Bitcoin futures first on the CBOE and then on the CME. Bitcoin reached its all time high. They saw this as an indication that institutional investors were just around the corner and that Bitcoin was about to moon. Fast forward to today and the feeling is quite the opposite: hodlers are left scratching their heads and licking their wounds. While there were a number of factors that drove Bitcoin into one of its worst bear markets to date, one cannot ignore the potential negative impact that these futures had on the market.

Ex-Goldman Exec Sees Better Days Ahead for Crypto as Institution-Focused Crypto Brokerage Launches
Despite the price declines that cryptocurrencies have endured this year, an ex-Goldman Sachs executive is still optimistic about the future of digital assets. Greg Tusar, who is a former global head of electronic trading at the New York-based financial giant, likened the current state of the crypto market to the early days of trading equities electronically?, according to Bloomberg. Consequently, Tusar sees huge opportunities for entrepreneurs in the space: It's early stage, there's a lot of opportunity to build great businesses and have impact. Evidently, Tusar has taken his own advice and is the co-founder of Tagomi Holdings, a live electronic crypto brokerage which launched recently. The startup has received the backing of among others Founders Fund, a venture capital firm that counts billionaire Peter Thiel among its key people.

Zurcoin Co-Founder Alleges Most Exchanges Manipulating Cryptocurrency Market
Zurcoin co-founder Daniel Mark Harrison has alleged that the majority of crypto exchanges are actively engaged in manipulating digital asset markets, which threatens the long term stability of the market and also fundamentally contradicts cryptocurrencys principle of decentralisation. In a post published on his Medium page, Harrison stated that exchanges are effectively stealing from their customers by acting in ways that move crypto prices downward until customers simply abandon their holdings, enabling exchanges to increase their crypto asset holdings through the back door in an operating climate that is otherwise unattractive due to high operating costs and low margins.

Bitcoin Bounces 8% in a Much-Needed Bull Action; Will It Sustain
After setting one new low after another, the bitcoin-to-dollar rate on Monday underwent a sharp bullish correction to register a fresh high at 3450-fiat. The upside action followed a low-volumed consolidation trend over the recent weekend trading session. The late night activity on Sunday, nevertheless, looked sharper and trade volume across the leading bitcoin pairs surged. It remained average as the Monday session came into play in Asia. The European hours, however, took the market by surprise by noting a sharp rise in bitcoin value, from 3238-fiat to 3450-fiat within just one hour. The BTC/USD pair at press time is trading at 3389-fiat, up 8.3% from its yearly low.

Coinbase Exec
Coinbase Vice President Dan Romero has given reasons behind the platform's recent announcement that it is exploring support for dozens of new cryptocurrency assets, arguably in contrast to its long-cautious approach to supporting individual crypto tokens. Speaking recently to Linda Shin on an episode of the Unchained podcast, he delved into the factors that predicated the unusual move, coming against a background of the platform's historically conservative nature when it comes to adding new assets. In response to a suggestion that Coinbase may be loosening its approach to add coins that are more experimental or less proven than the big names like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, and so on, Romero stated that Coinbase is, in fact, revising its approach based on customer feedback and current developments in the regulatory space. According to him, the recent shift in strategy is particularly driven by customers who have overwhelmingly requested the addition of new cryptocurrencies to the platform.

Digix Stablecoin Seeks to Put Gold on the [Ethereum] Blockchain
The stablecoin is still an evolving concept, and there have been multiple approaches to it. Dai has algorithmic methods to keep it tied to the US Dollar, while the multitude of stablecoins USDT, PAX, GUSD, TUSD, and USDC all simply offer a 1:1 exchange ratio. The recently-rebranded Ampleforth offers an elastic supply so that the holder always gets the same value out of their investment, while they may have a different number of tokens depending on the market value of the token. Digix takes a different approach, tying the value of its DGX token to 1 gram of gold. A small outfit run out of Singapore, Digix Global says that it will redeem tokens for physical bars of gold that they store in their vault. Redemption must take place in person, primarily for security but also due to the high cost of internationally shipping gold safely. We spoke to Kai C. Chng, the co-founder of Digix, about how it works.

Facebook Discussed Launching Cryptocurrency: aggressive hiring spree to woo crypto experts to expand its blockchain group
Facebook has embarked on an aggressive hiring spree to woo crypto experts to expand its blockchain group amid speculation that the social media monopoly is considering launching its own cryptocurrency. Facebook formed its blockchain unit in April 2018 with David Marcus, the former president of PayPal and VP at Messenger. Marcus is a longtime cryptocurrency advocate and a former board member at Coinbase, the largest US-based cryptocurrency exchange. FB's blockchain group now has 40 employees  including a half-dozen ex-PayPal executives that Marcus poached from his former employer, Cheddar reported.

Billion-Dollar Crypto Fund Says 25% of ICOs in its Fund May be Securities
In a newsletter to clients sent on Thursday, Pantera Capital CEO Dan Morehead revealed that one in four initial coin offering (ICO) projects the firm has invested in could be considered as securities under U.S. regulations. While we believe the vast majority of the projects in our portfolio should not be affected, approximately 25 percent of our fund's capital is invested in projects with liquid tokens that sold to U.S. investors without using regulation D or regulation S. If any of these projects are deemed to be securities, the SEC's position could adversely affect them. Of these projects, about a third (approximately 10 percent of the portfolio) are live and functional and, while they could technically continue without further development, ending development would hinder their progress.

How Boerse Stuttgarts Crypto Exchange Will Impact European Market
On December 12, Boerse Stuttgart, the second-biggest stock exchange in Germany and the ninth-largest in Europe, said in an official statement that it plans to introduce a crypto trading platform by the second quarter of 2019. Alexander Höptner, the CEO of Boerse Stuttgart GmbH, stated: With its combination of technology and banking expertise, solarisBank is a great partner for us to offer central services along the value chain for digital assets. solarisBank's Blockchain Factory supports us in taking trading in crypto currencies and tokens to the next level and in setting new standards in transparency and reliability.

UAE and Saudi Arabian Central Banks to Jointly Launch Cryptocurrency - Crypto Cafe
It's confirmed. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia will work on cross-border digital currency. The exact date when it would be issued is still unknown but we know one thing, the digital currency is not targeted at consumers. It's strictly for banks. Arabian news outlet Gulf News reports that the central bank of the UAE, along with its Saudi counterpart'the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (Sama) will jointly issue a cross-border digital currency that will be used between both countries. It could be recalled that CCN first reported about a collaboration between the monetary authorities of both countries as far back as 2017.

Interesting reading regarding Google search rankings for Bitcoin in 2018
About a year ago, Google searches for Bitcoin surpassed searches relating to Donald Trump. Now that Google has published its 2018 year-in-review of search terms, What is Bitcoin is among the top questions that people are asking Google, at least in the US. Last year, the largest cryptocurrency ranked in two categories globally, both in general news searches and how to buy Bitcoin. More people wanted to know what Bitcoin was than people wanted to know about DACA, the administrative policy of Barack Obama to give a form of amnesty to those who were brought to the United States illegally as children.

Bitcoin Sextortion Scheme Seduces Victims into Installing Ransomware
A sextortion scam that doubles its chances of success by planting ransomware on the computing device of its target victims has emerged, and as is often the case the attackers want to be paid in bitcoin. According to researchers at cybersecurity firm Proofpoint, the sextortion campaign, which is mostly targeting residents of the United States, is including links in the blackmail email pointing to a ransomware installer. As with other similar sextortion campaigns, the scam claims to have compromising information that has been gathered over months and compiled in a video. But when the victim clicks on the links to the video to verify that indeed they were secretly recorded, they end up inadvertently installing ransomware known as GandCrab.


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