Bitcoin Prices Fades, Despite Lift on Advertising Ban from Google

By Ronald Shi

Bitcoin (BTC) prices started to move up, after being in a consolidation phase in the past few weeks. BTC prices almost breached the $7,000 mark, before falling back to the $6,500 range. The move was triggered by concerns on the stability of Tether (USDT).

The price of the token briefly fall to $0.90, the lowest it has been since the its launch in 2015. The sudden drop caused concerns on the stability of said stable coin and investors were seeking safety in BTC. Within the 24 hour price of the rally, BTC printed the largest volume traded since April and held the main downtrend resistance. Some are calling this the last dip for BTC and the end of the bear trend.

While BTC prices improved, Ethereum (ETH) was stuck in a weak range. Prices fell to a low of $190 last week before last trading at about $210. The market remains in a consolidation phase for ETC and investors are waiting for a clearer signal before jumping back in.

Google allows Cryptocurrency Advertising again

Latest changes in Google’s advertising policy updated in October 2018 stated that it allows regulated cryptocurrency exchanges to advertise in the United States and Japan. Advertisers are welcome to apply for certification once the policy launches in October. As per our knowledge, cryptocurrency advertisements have started to appear in the stated regions. The news should be healthy for the cryptocurrency ecosystem, as it can be a catalyst to bring cryptocurrency mainstream, exposing new investors to this new space.

The initial ban was announced in March, amid a wave of high-profile initial coin offerings (ICOs) and other cryptocurrency-related activities that made it difficult to distinguish legitimate ventures from fraudulent ones. It seems like Google took the time during the ban to more clearly define the rules on their advertising platform. Google now classifies cryptocurrency-related advertisements under the restricted financial products section.

Google states their policy for restricted financial products, “Advertisers who promote restricted financial products (Contracts for Difference, rolling spot forex, financial spread betting, and synonymous products) are allowed to advertise through Google Ads, but they must be certified by Google, and their products, landing pages, and ads must meet all local legal requirements of the country they want to get certified for”.

Gemini Digital Assets Insurance

The Gemini Exchange, owned by the famed Winklevoss twins, released in a Medium post and an email to investors that they have secured insurance coverage for digital assets that they hold on behalf of investors in their hot wallet.

Gemini highlighted that they were able to demonstrate to insurers that the said exchange is safe and secured, despite many insurers being hesitant to ensure the cryptocurrency industry due to high profile hacks, and low-security standards. This a tremendous win for not only the exchange but also a win for the broader cryptocurrency industry in furthering consumer protection.

Binance makes listing fee transparent and donating them to charity.

Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange, has released a statement last Monday that they, “will make all listing fees transparent and donate 100% of them to charity”. Binance said in an article to their users that “this change will further push Binance’s charity initiatives and increase the use of blockchain for the greater good”.

The exchange had also announced in mid-September that they have started a beta program for a fiat-to-crypto gateway, first piloting in Singapore. “Right now, we are centralized crypto-to-crypto,” CEO Changpeng Zhao told the media. “We don’t offer fiat gateways and so we rely on others to do that. But through discussions with different regulators across the world, we now have those channels. We want to make it easier for fiat currency to get into the crypto world.”

Zhao plans to open three fiat exchanges this year with a view to growing the number to 10 in 2019. Part of the goal is to help larger, institutional investors bring money into the crypto ecosystem, a move that would help Binance and the rest of the cryptocurrency industry.

Alleged Collusion among Chinese EOS Block Producers

A report by EOSONE was published on WeChat, a popular Chinese multi-purpose messaging and social media platform, detailing allegations on collusion among Chinese EOS Block Producers.

The report included an Excel spreadsheet that detailed that Chinese EOS Block Producers were mutually voting for one another to remain as Block Producers. A Block Producer is similar to a Bitcoin or Ethereum miner. Only 21 Block Producers are allowed in the EOS mainnet, making them valuable as they are the only entities allowed to mint EOS tokens.

EOS uses a Delegated-Proof-of-Stake (DPOS) consensus algorithm, giving the potential for cartels such as these to happen. EOS developers may have to look deeper into this issue to develop ways of mitigating cartel-like behaviors in EOS. Despite the potential scandal, EOS prices have been stable, trading within the range of $5.50-$6 since the release of the report.

Written by Ronald Shi, Head of Trading and Analysis at Virtuse Exchange. Our mission is to break down those barriers and let everyone participate in global markets at any level of investment without having to pay intermediaries.

The Elephant-chain Syndrome In Cryptocurrencies — We Have ‘Whales’ And Now ‘Elephants’ Too

By Ras Vasilisin

Elephant-chain syndrome is a term used in psychology and although it has been used to describe the process of “taming an elephant,” it applies to humans too.

Here’s an excerpt from the book titled “Break Your Invisible Chains” by Brandon Telg, Dr Jaron Jones and Carly Barnes, which provides an example of the elephant-chain syndrome.

“Whether you’ve been to a circus with loved ones or seen a circus act on TV, I’m sure you remember seeing beautiful gigantic elephants performing tricks for the crowd.

Children are laughing and families are enjoying themselves, but did you ever stop to think why these enormous animals stay within the confines of the circus tent?

Elephants are built to uproot trees using only their trunk, yet these circus elephants never try to leave.

Elephants in their natural habitat would break free from their bondage and roam as they pleased.

So why don’t these circus elephants simply walk out of the circus?

It’s not like anyone would be able to stop them easily.

The reason why circus elephants don’t escape is that they believe in false limitations. They believe in invisible chains.”

As a result, elephants become completely unaware of their power. They have been trained to believe that there is no hope from escaping.

Simply put, the will of the elephant has been broken.

When circus elephants were young they were chained up to keep them from running away.

But, it is the nature of elephants to roam free, so the baby elephant instinctively tries with all his might to break the rope.

It isn’t strong enough yet.

Realizing it’s pointless, it finally gives up struggling. The baby elephant tried and failed many times and it will never try again for the rest of his life.

Sadly, the elephant’s mind has been conditioned, known as the elephant-chain syndrome.

The elephant-chain syndrome is prevalent with cryptocurrencies

Just like elephants, crypto investors and enthusiasts have been conditioned to believe that there is no escape from the chains of intermediaries and regulators.

After a brief encounter with ups and downs of the free markets, some investors practically raced towards regulators, begging their local governments for more regulations.

Even more recently, the manifestation of this syndrome is occurring right now with security token offerings (STOs).

There’s been a lot of confusion about STOs and for good reason because there is already a lot of crypto jargon out there.

What is a security token offering (STO)?

Think of a security token offering (STO) like an initial public offering (IPO), which requires oversight from regulators.

Or instead, you could think of and STO like a ‘crypto IPO.’

Here’s the thing. Some of those in the STO industry are begging regulators to put STO’s back in chains.

That’s because the proponents of security tokens have lost hope in the idea that they are ‘free’ and open to everyone.

Just like the baby elephant, those that are pro STO regulation have been conditioned by their prior experiences.

2018 was poised to be the year of the STO

STOs were supposed to be a genius way to get the blockchain community to follow government regulations, but they (arguably) never really materialized.

I call it, hype over substance.

Even though new security token platforms have been in proliferation — there is hardly a tsunami of STO flooding the markets.

The blockchain community (purists) realized that STOs defeated the purpose that the blockchain was intended for:

STOs should be decentralized and open to everyone — not only to ‘accredited’ investors — but everybody.

But sigh … they’re not.

And that’s why there has been little innovation with STOs.

In essence, the IPO industry has been allowing issuers to list their shares in public offerings, whilst at the same time, adding compliance with stifling regulations for decades.

It’s simply an IPO regulations framework ‘disguised’ as a ‘cryptocurrency investment.’

Self-imposed limitations on the blockchain industry

For a blockchain industry to thrive it must be impossible for any actor to censor, blacklist, restrict or freeze assets.

We have to apply some common sense and ask ourselves if the new industry is open, borderless, transnational, neutral and censorship-resistant?

If it merely re-establishes trust with centralized intermediaries — then it’s not appropriate for the blockchain.

Nor, are they innovative or disruptive.

Here are some things to think about. Does the bitcoin market suffer from elephant chain syndrome?

Are we being held back by ways of thinking from the past? Or are the markets simply held back by its historical ways in doing things?

Elephant-chain syndrome happens when we are held back by self-imposed limitations and entrenched thinking patterns.

Humans are exactly like elephants except for one thing — we can choose ‘not to accept the false boundaries’ and limitations that have been created by the past.

So there you have it. We have crypto whales, and now crypto elephants too!

Written by Ras Vasilisin, the CEO of Virtuse Exchange. Our mission is to break down those barriers and let everyone participate in global markets at any level of investment without having to pay intermediaries.

Virtuse Exchange Will Save Investors From “Investor Protection”, A Broken Financial System, And Favoritism To Accredited Investors

By Virtuse Exchange

The CEO of Virtuse, Ras Vasilisin, spoke at Blockfest Asia 2018 in Kuala Lumpur on tokenization and the need to remove barriers to entry for the $300 trillion global investment market.

SINGAPORE, Oct. 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Virtuse Exchange recently co-sponsored Blockfest Asia 2018 in Kuala Lumpur and CEO and Founder of Rastislav Vasilisin spoke on a panel Continue reading “Virtuse Exchange Will Save Investors From “Investor Protection”, A Broken Financial System, And Favoritism To Accredited Investors”

Crypto — People Are Questioning Thee

By Tomáš Kurtanský

Even though cryptocurrencies are becoming more mainstream — they need to fight and regain the confidence of investors, the public, and the media.

According to ING’s International Survey, at least 60% of Americans, Europeans, and Australians are knowledgeable about cryptocurrencies.

But only 8% of Americans and 9% of Europeans own any cryptocurrency.

Here’s the big question, what is needed to make the crypto markets break the mistrust from the public?

Could it be the establishment of an ETF? Regulation, or self-regulation of crypto exchanges? More transparency from ICOs?

Investors have lost faith and the public have been showered by negative remarks from the media. It could very well come down to one thing — trust.

The trustworthiness of cryptocurrencies

Here are some of the most common arguments against cryptocurrencies.

People view them as being extremely volatile, are in fear of scams, pump and dumps — that’s why it may come as no surprise that people question the trustworthiness of cryptocurrencies.

And of course, there’s the lack of options for buying items in stores with crypto.

Imagine, if your local Walmart allowed you to purchase items in your preferred choice of crypto — now that would be amazing, and in the future, this may very well come true.

But for right now, the simple truth is that there are still not enough people who trust cryptocurrencies.

The financial world right now

Blockchain technology could be used to restore confidence in the financial markets.

As an example, CoinBase was created thanks to the NYSE capital. And, behind the project stands Wall Street (which is as old as the old financial world itself).

Today’s connection between the old and the new world is imbalanced, that’s because traditional finance and government regulation have grown to become too impartial — especially when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

In reality, the whole concept of cryptocurrencies threatens the very existence of governments, financial institutions and the like.

Could you imagine what it would be like if ETH/BTC etc., is more valuable than the USD?

Well, I bet that has been something the U.S. government has heavily contemplated.

Right now, the financial world is coming to grips with cryptocurrencies and it doesn’t really know what to do, or how to respond.

That’s why the whole financial markets are in discord.

Is the world ready for cryptocurrencies?

The physical financial world needs to be democratized in order to create a new digital dawn.

Blockchain could very well be the driving force for this revolution. However, we arrive to the problem of ‘internal asset value.’

If the cryptocurrencies are to be the driving force for change, they cannot be constantly rejected by their own problems and dependent on unpredictable “market” conditions.

This begs the question, how can we achieve this?

When you follow a dollar, you know that the FED Chief’s statement can directly impact the stock market both positively and negatively.

Or, the results of a company and the scandals associated with the CEO could affect their stock prices.

But what do we know about cryptocurrencies?

If cryptocurrencies are connected to real-world assets, then this will ensure liquidity, enabling crypto investors to have less volatile assets in their portfolios.

The VP of Apple Retail, Angela Ahrendts, believes that it is “no longer possible to think of physical and digital as two different worlds.”

In hindsight, if assets can then be packaged and offered via professionally managed funds, and backed by real-world assets — then this could persuade the masses that there is an alternative to investments.

And there is a really big space for this to work.

Written by Tomáš Kurtanský from Virtuse Exchange. Our mission is to break down those barriers and let everyone participate in global markets at any level of investment without having to pay intermediaries.

The Cryptocurrency Regulation Conundrum

By Ras Vasilisin

Since the stellar bitcoin year of 2017, there has been much debate about cryptocurrency regulation and the causes of instability in the markets.

Critics of regulations usually argue that it’s too costly and dangerous, while proponents of regulatory policies claim that the regulations themselves carry great benefits. Continue reading “The Cryptocurrency Regulation Conundrum”