Coinbase Hires Former Fannie Mae Exec as New Chief Legal Officer

Former Fannie Mae counsel Brian Brooks has joined Coinbase as its new Chief Legal Officer to lead the exchange’s legal, compliance and government affairs.

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has hired on former Fannie Mae General Counsel Brian Brooks as their new Chief Legal Officer, according to an announcement published September 19. At Coinbase, Brooks will be responsible for legal, compliance, and government affairs.

Prior to Coinbase, Brooks served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the U.S. Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), commonly known as Fannie Mae. The association purchases qualifying mortgages from lenders, which it then bundles in bonds and sells to investors. In 2017, Fannie Mae reportedly provided $570 billion in mortgage financing.

Brooks also participated in managing OneWest Bank, N.A.’s senior regulatory relationships, while acting as a senior advisor to the bank’s CEO. Before joining OneWest, Brooks held managerial positions at O’Melveny & Myers LLP and Financial Services Practice Group.

Mike Lempres, who has previously led Coinbase’s legal function, will now lead the company’s government affairs program, such as the exchange’s participation in the recently founded Blockchain Association, in addition to managing the Coinbase political action committee (PAC).

The Washington-based Blockchain Association was formed by a group of American blockchain and crypto companies earlier this month, with Coinbase as a founding member. The association claims to be the first lobbying group representing the blockchain industry in Washington D.C.

Coinbase founded its own PAC in July 2018. In the U.S., PACs are political organizations that allow individuals with similar policy goals and ideologies to pool campaign contributions and donate them to political campaigns for or against candidates, legislation, or ballot initiatives.

This week is marked with another notable appointment at Coinbase, as former LinkedIn executive Michael Li joined the exchange as the vice-president of data. Speaking about his new position, Li outlined that data is an “essential” aspect of empowering Coinbase’s mission, as well as the “core strategy” to providing “the most trusted and easiest-to-use” crypto services.

In August, Coinbase hired former Amazon Web Services and Microsoft employee Tim Wagner as vice-president of engineering. Wagner will reportedly lead Coinbase’s engineering team, which is “central to [Coinbase’s] mission of creating an open financial system for the world.”

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Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, IOTA: Price Analysis, September 19

The crypto markets keep struggling amidst a similarly mixed outlook from the regulators – the industry still has a long way to go.

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.

Germany’s Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz believes that cryptocurrencies are not yet ready ro replace traditional fiat money, but he is not so confident about “20 to 30 years” into the future. This is a bullish sign, which confirms that the world is gradually coming to terms with the fact that cryptocurrencies are here to stay.

Yet, China continues to “remind” investors about the risks associated with Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and crypto trading. A committee of lawmakers in the UK has urged the regulators to act by introducing measures for consumer protection.

In the U.S., a study by the New York Attorney General’s office has found that many cryptocurrency exchanges lack sufficient customer protections, and have “serious conflicts of interests.” The report observed that only a few crypto trading platforms have market surveillance capabilities to deter trading manipulation.

A robust system is needed to attract large players, who are accustomed to the traditional exchanges that have many protective measures built in against market manipulation and fraud. Price volatility, however, might remain for even longer time as the market matures.

Over the past several months, we have shown how the traders can keep their risks low when trading cryptocurrencies. Let’s see if we can spot any buy setups today.

BTC/USD

Bitcoin has held $6,200 for the past two days, but is struggling to move up. Both moving averages are sloping down and the RSI is also in the negative territory. This shows that the sellers are in command.

BTC/USD

A break of the $5,900–$6,075.04 support zone will complete two negative formations, a head and shoulders pattern and a descending triangle pattern. Though head and shoulders is primarily a reversal pattern, it can also work as a continuation pattern, as is the case currently.

The lower levels that can offer some support are $5,450 and $5,000. However, after a break from such a major support, a number of stops will be hit, resulting in a quick drop. Therefore, we suggest traders avoid catching the falling knife if $5,900 breaks down.

If the bulls defend the support zone and push price above the moving averages, the BTC/USD pair can rally to $6,900 and $7,400. We suggest an aggressive buy on 50 percent of the desired position size on a close (UTC time frame) above $6,600.

The remaining positions can be added after the digital currency closes above the downtrend line of the descending triangle.

ETH/USD

The trend in Ethereum is still a downward one, but we find some buying interest around the $183–$192 area. However, on the upside, the 20-day EMA is proving to be a major resistance as the bulls have failed to scale this level for the past four days.

ETH/USD

If the bulls break out of the 20-day EMA, a move to the 50-day SMA is likely, with minor resistance at the downtrend line of the descending channel. We shall turn bullish if the price sustains above the channel for three days in a row.

If the ETH/USD pair turns down from the current levels, it can slide to $192 and further to $183. The pair is at a critical level and we should get a clearer picture within the next couple of days.

XRP/USD

Ripple bounced sharply from $0.27 on September 18 and broke out of the 20-day EMA. Currently, it is facing resistance at the 50-day SMA.

XRP/USD

If the bulls break out of the 50-day SMA, the next resistance is at $0.37390. The downtrend line is also located just above this level. If the XRP/USD pair sustains above the downtrend line, we can expect the trend to change from down to up.

If buying dries up at higher levels, the virtual currency might spend some more time inside the range of $0.27–$0.37390. Though the bounce from the lows is a positive development, we shall wait for additional evidence before suggesting any trades on it.  

BCH/USD

When the sentiment is negative, any uncertainty drives away the investors and that is what seems to be happening with Bitcoin Cash. With a looming split, the buyers are not taking any fresh positions, which has kept the cryptocurrency near its year-to-date lows.

BCH/USD

The trend is down, as both moving averages are sloping downward and the RSI is in the negative territory. A break of the September 11 low of $408.0182 will resume the downtrend and the BCH/USD pair can slump to the next support zone of $280–$300.

The bulls have to overcome the resistance from the 20-day EMA, the 50-day SMA and the downtrend line of the descending channel to signal a change in trend.

EOS/USD

EOS has been holding above $4.4930 since August 17. If this support breaks, the slide can extend to the next support at $3.7823. Therefore, traders can keep their stops on the remaining long positions at $4.4.

EOS/USD

On the upside, the bulls have been facing a stiff resistance at the 20-day EMA and $5.65. The EOS/USD pair will gain strength if it breaks out of $5.65.

Though the 50-day SMA is sloping down, the 20-day EMA is trying to flatten out. The RSI continues to be in the negative area. This shows that the virtual currency is in a range but with a negative bias.

XLM/USD

Stellar has formed a range inside a range. Since September 11, it has been trading inside the range between $0.184 and $0.21489857. If the bulls break out of this range, a rally to the top of the large range of $0.184–$0.24987525 is probable.

XLM/USD

The critical level to watch on the downside is $0.184. If the XLM/USD pair breaks and sustains below the range it will complete a descending triangle pattern, which is a negative sign.

On the other hand, if the bulls break out of the range and the downtrend line of the descending triangle, it will invalidate the bearish pattern, which is a bullish sign. We shall wait for the virtual currency to show some strength before recommending any trades on it.

LTC/USD

The bulls defended the critical support on September 18, but the pullback is facing resistance at the downtrend line and the 20-day EMA. Currently, Litecoin is consolidating in a large range of $49.466–$69.279 – a process, which began August 8.

LTC/USD

The LTC/USD pair will resume its downtrend if it sustains below $47.246. The next support on the downside is between $40 and $44.

On the upside, the virtual currency can rally to $69.279 if it breaks out of the moving averages. We might suggest a long position on a break out of the range because it will indicate a probable double bottom.

ADA/USD

Cardano broke out of the tight range of $0.060105–$0.071355 but is finding it difficult to sustain the higher levels. Currently, the price has dipped back into the range.

ADA/USD

Both moving averages are trending down and the RSI is in the negative zone. The trend remains headed downward. The ADA/USD pair will have to enter a bottoming formation before a change in trend can be confirmed.

Until then, any pullback attempts will face resistance at the moving averages. The downtrend will resume if the bears force a break down from the range.

XMR/USD

The bulls are trying to defend the support at the moving averages but are finding it difficult to break out of $120. Monero has turned volatile and trendless in the past few days, as both moving averages have flattened out and the RSI is close to the neutral territory.

XMR/USD

A symmetrical triangle is developing close to the bottom. A break of the trendline of the triangle will be a bearish development. It will increase the probability of a retest of $76.074, though the pattern targets are way lower. We suggest holding the long positions with the stops at $95.  

On the upside, the XMR/USD pair will face resistance at the downtrend line and at $122.6. It will attract buyers only after these two resistances are crossed.  

IOTA/USD

IOTA has been range bound between $0.5 and $0.6170 since September 6. The 50-day SMA and the downtrend line are also close to the upper end of the range. Hence, $0.6170 will act as a stiff resistance. The cryptocurrency will show strength if it can break out of this resistance.

IOTA/USD

The 50-day SMA is sloping down and the 20-day EMA is also starting to turn down, after trying to flatten in the past few days. This shows that the path of least resistance is to the downside.

A break of the $0.5 support can sink the IOTA/USD pair to $0.45 and further to $0.4. Traders can keep the SL of $0.46 on the long positions.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. The charts for the analysis are provided by TradingView.

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Europol: Bitcoin Remains Cybercriminals’ First Choice, But Privacy-Focused Alts Will Rise

A new cybercrime report from Europol predicts cybercriminals will increasingly turn to anonymity-focused altcoins such as Zcash (ZEC) and Monero (XMR).

Europol’s new cybercrime report has found that Bitcoin (BTC) remains the most popular form of crypto for illicit uses, but predicts a rise in the popularity of anonymity-focused altcoins such as Zcash (ZEC) and Monero (XMR). The report, the fifth edition of Europol’s Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) to date, was published yesterday, September 18.

According to Europol, even as Bitcoin’s market share dropped as low as “35 percent in early 2017,” it remained the most “commonly encountered” crypto in cybercrime investigations across the European Union.

Europol anticipates that while Bitcoin for now dominates the landscape, anonymity-focused altcoins that offer the protection of “stealth addresses” are likely to gain traction and potentially make “current [crypto] mixing services and tumblers obsolete.”

For example, among jihadist networks, Europol found that mass donations in the form of Zcash were popular among those who donated to campaigns in Islamic State (IS)-affiliated websites, although it noted that the use of crypto by terrorist groups has so far been limited to “low-level transactions,” and does not account for a significant share of their funding stream:

“Despite the clear potential, none of the attacks carried out on European soil appear to have been funded via cryptocurrencies.”

IOCTA outlines a range of crypto-related phenomena on the cybercrime landscape, including cryptojacking, crypto-targeted phishing, and an increasing number of attacks on crypto exchanges or other crypto depositories, which Europol argues are viewed by criminals as a “soft target” in comparison with corporate banks or other traditional institutions.

Europol notes that not only exchanges, but “mining services and other wallet holders are facing hacking attempts as well as extortion of personal data and theft.”

The report notes that crypto has for several years offered the advantages of a decentralized infrastructure and pseudonymous transactions for laundering criminal proceedings, but suggests that as the large crypto industry players fall under the purview of regulators, decentralized exchanges may soon become a more advantageous channel for launderers.

Just today, Cointelegraph reported that a leaked code targeting Microsoft Systems — which hackers allegedly stole from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) — has sparked a fivefold increase in cryptojacking infections.

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Crypto Markets Hold Supporting Levels With Small Fluctuations, BTC Trades Around $6,300

Crypto markets hold supporting levels with some small fluctuations, and Bitcoin is trading around $6,300.

Wednesday, September 19: crypto markets are holding recent gains and fluctuating around previous support levels. While 16 out of the top 20 altcoins by market cap are seeing some red today, total market cap still hovers around recent levels, according to CoinMarketCap.

Market visualization from Coin360

Bitcoin (BTC) is slightly down 0.12 percent over the past 24 hours, still holding the supporting level of $6,300 after dropping below that price point last week. Bitcoin is trading at around $6,334 at press time, and up about 0.48 percent over the past 7 days.

Bitcoin weekly price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index

Ethereum (ETH) is seeing more minor losses today, down about .2 percent over a 24 hour period. After having dropped to as low as $127 over the past 7 days, Ethereum is trading at about $208 at press time, which constitutes around 12 percent gains over the week.

Ethereum weekly price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index

Total market cap has been fluctuating around the $199 billion point over the day, currently at about $198 billion. The number of cryptocurrencies listed on CoinMarketCap is now 1,977.

Weekly total market capitalization chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

The general losses among the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap amount to between 2-3 percent, while the 20th top coin Dogecoin (DOGE) has seen a deep decline of 7.8 percent. The altcoin is trading at $0.0056 at press time, which is also about a 13 percent drop over the past 7 days.

Earlier this week, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Elon Musk asked Dogecoin developer Jackson Palmer to help him to get rid of “annoying” cryptocurrency scammers on Twitter.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is down almost 3 percent over the past 24 hours, still holding about 0.2 percent over the past 7 days, and trading at about $425.

Ripple (XRP), the third cryptocurrency ranked by market cap, which had seen the largest gains yesterday, is keeping upward trend today. XRP is up around 2.5 percent over the past 24 hours, and trading at $0.32, which amounts to almost 24 percent gains over the week.

On September 18, the New York Attorney General’s office issued a report warning that cryptocurrency exchanges are vulnerable to manipulation, conflicts of interest, and other consumer risks, according to an investigation based on information requests to 13 crypto exchanges earlier this year.

Recently, Germany’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz expressed scepticism about the chance that cryptocurrencies can replace traditional fiat money, claiming he “would doubt today, whether is has a perspective as a currency model.”

Also on September 18, the U.K. Treasury Committee called for cryptocurrency regulations in order to protect investors in relation to major issues around the industry, such as price volatility, poor consumer protection, the risk of hacker attacks, and money laundering.

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Cryptocurrency Mining Malware Detections Up Almost 500 Percent in 2018: Report

The tool that exploits Microsoft vulnerabilities to enable widespread crypto extortion has let malware proliferate this year, says a new report.

Leaked code targeting Microsoft Systems which hackers allegedly stole from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) sparked a fivefold increase in cryptocurrency mining malware infections, Bloomberg reports Wednesday, September 19, citing a new cryptojacking report.

Eternal Blue, the tool which can exploit vulnerabilities in Microsoft software, is behind the now-infamous global cyberattacks WannaCry and NotPetya, which continue to cause disruption since they first surfaced in 2017. Bloomberg notes that Eternal Blue was allegedly stolen from the NSA in 2017 by a hacking group called the Shadow Brokers.

Hackers have since been using the tool in order to gain access to computers in order to covertly mine for cryptocurrency, with detections up 459 percent this year, according to the report from the Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA).

“Combined threat intelligence from CTA members show that this rapid growth shows no signs of slowing down, even with recent decreases in cryptocurrency value,” the company writes in a preface to its most recent report, stating:

“Because this threat is relatively new, many people do not understand it, its potential significance, or what to do about it.”

Cointelegraph has often reported on the emergence of crypto mining malware infecting user devices such as PCs and smartphones. Rather than Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH), it is privacy-focused altcoins such as Monero which are hackers’ preferred target, the report notes.

The uptick, CTA says, comes as such operations are becoming more “sophisticated.”

“Analysts have observed successful and widespread attackers ‘living off the land,’ or employing legitimate functionality to download and execute miners that would be more difficult for an observer or antivirus to detect,” the preface continues, highlighting the Monero mining campaign Smominru as an example.

The NSA did not respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment on the findings upon publication.

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Summer Is Ending: Will Ethereum’s ERC-20 Pass the Governance to ERC-777?

The oncoming release of Ethereum’s ERC-777 may finally free the community from the problem of ‘stuck’ tokens.

The end of summer is a great time to set personal goals, to soak in the final days of sunshine and to reminisce about the summer’s major events, like the promise made by Jordi Baylina, Jacques Dafflon and Thomas Shababi to introduce the ready-made ERC-777 token community standard, which is intended to replace the world’s most popular token standard, the ERC-20. The promise was made by Baylina on July 20 at the DappCon forum in Berlin, where important initiatives, tools and updates related to the Ethereum blockchain are traditionally discussed. The developer stated that the ERC-777 was ready to be launched and would be made fully available in August.

However, August has now come and gone, with the development team seemingly keeping silent — or possibly preparing a surprise — around the latest attempt to create a new standard on Ethereum blockchain. While no updates related to ERC-777 have appeared on GitHub since July, a Twitter post made by Baylina last week may give us a little clue about the upcoming release. For now, let’s go back in time to better understand the background of such an initiative.

Why was it necessary to change the most popular token standard in the world, which has served as the basis for more than 60,000 projects — including EOS, with a capitalization of more than $4.5 billion — and for the tokens of one of the world’s largest crypto exchange, aka Binance? In order to answer this question, it is necessary to compare both existing and new standards, and then assess the risks of their application.

Success story

While Bitcoin is considered the most popular cryptocurrency in the world, Ethereum is not only the second most popular cryptocurrency, but also the blockchain that led to a boom in crypto markets during 2016-2017. If there were no Ethereum platform, there would never have been the phrase “to the moon”, which turned cryptocurrency from entertainment for geeks to a new tool for classical investors and millions of ordinary people in a matter of months.

The main merits of the Ethereum blockchain include that the process of developing an application is extremely simple and the procedure for issuing a token using a smart contract goes off without the slightest hitch. Now, creating a token — that is, issuing a new crypto — can be done by anyone in one minute. This ease led to the explosive ICO boom. Another tool that could further contribute to the development of the ICO market was a single standard for tokens — and thus appeared ERC-20.

The ERC-20 standard

Prior to standardization, Ethereum developers had to create a separate Solidity-based smart contract for each token. In fact, each time, it was necessary to create a new, unique type of smart contract. And the founders of an exchange or wallet had to write a unique code to support each new token. The more tokens that appeared, the more difficult this process became. In addition, tokens issued on unique smart contracts were poorly compatible with each other.

Before ERC-20 was created, Ethereum developers have created a single standard for all tokens — the ERC-20, where ERC means “Ethereum Request for Comment” and 20 is the number of the community request, which in this case is arbitrary.

The emergence of a single standard, which was released in 2015, revolutionized the crypto industry and became the central guideline, specifying which functions and events have to be implemented in a smart contract. Never before was the issuance, exchange and cash out of new currencies so simple.

The standard contains the six mandatory parameters of a smart contract and is responsible for three main directions:

1. Setting the initial distribution of tokens:

totalSupply — determines the maximum number of tokens, which upon reaching, the smart contract stops issuance.

balance0f — a function that assigns a primary number of tokens to any address.

2. Transferring tokens:

transfer — a function that moves tokens from the primary address to the address of the new owner following the results of an ICO.

“transferFrom” — a function that moves tokens between users.

3. Performing management functions:

“approve” — a function to check the availability of tokens for a smart contract.

“allowance” — a function to confirm that the address has enough tokens to initiate the transfer.

Once this standard was formulated, exchanges and wallets were able to unify their code in order to handle any tokens created with the ERC-20 protocol. The growth of future applications using ETH then skyrocketed, as was expected.

The challenges behind the ERC-20 standard

Developers of decentralized networks are programmers first and foremost, and then businessmen. Therefore, in decision making, one almost always follows formal logic. For example, some of developers might be not very concerned about a “51 percent attack” either because the coin itself depreciates or because the attack cost can exceed the profit received by a hacker. But it seems the organizers of such attacks have a completely different logic, which is proved by a big number of new attacks in 2018.

The next thing that the developers did not overlook was considering a token’s functionality to be necessary only for an ICO launch but not for any additional services. This proved not to be the case — some teams, even those far from programming, began to explore possibilities of blockchain. For example, this led to appearance of tokens created for fun, as was the case of the Useless token.

Other custom features could even damage users’ security. For example, some developers implemented the option of recharging exchange accounts through the simultaneous execution of the “approve” and “transferFrom” functions. The funds were written off from the sender’s account but were not credited to their exchange balance, since the functionality of the recipient’s smart contract as a deposit was not determined. The problem was that the Ethereum developers did not provide such an option for using this kind of transfer and did not prohibit it, and blockchain did not initially support the self-determination function of the contract. As a result, the owners of the cryptocurrency lost millions of dollars, disappearing into the network forever — as the money simply disappeared if the unfulfilled transaction was not immediately canceled by the sender.

This vulnerability was noticed by security auditor Dexaran, who subsequently developed the ERC-223 standard, in which the “tokenFallback” function was added — which is launched if the “transferFrom” function isn’t performed. Despite the invention, however, this new function, created by the anonymous programmer, hasn’t yet received widespread acceptance.

One more vulnerability has been detected by Lucas Cremer, a Solidity developer from Germany, in June, after Solidity update. It turned out that a significant percentage of ERC-20 tokens — which the author called “bad tokens” — behaved in yet another way regarding the return values of the transfer function. The transfer functions of these token contracts did not return anything. Indeed, among the affected tokens were those of Binance and OmiseGO. What one should be concerned about, Corner states, is that such assets could start behaving in an unpredictable way, and he warned that the bug needed to be fixed “as soon as possible.”

ERС-777: A Heavy Left-Hook Attack on ERC-20

Since tens of thousands of tokens, exchanges and wallets closely interact with ERC-20, its vulnerability is irremovable, — so the Ethereum developers have decided to issue a new standard with a name inspired by the lucky number 777.

EIP (Ethereum Improvement Proposals) on ERC-777 were published on Nov. 20, 2017 and received the community’s approval. However, in order to fully function, the new standard needed an auxiliary ERC-820 protocol, which set the principles for the formation of a single register of smart contracts. With the help of this centralized registry, the main problem of the Ethereum blockchain — the impossibility of determining the functions performed by the contract — was solved.

How does it work now? Any contracts with a description of the functions can be entered into the register once and for all; and, when executing a transaction, the blockchain can apply to the register to clarify the permissible actions. If a user attempts to perform an invalid operation with the tokens, they simply remain on the account and do not disappear.

At Berlin’s DappCon, Jodi Baylina and Jacques Dafflon explained the specifics of the new standard by using a new term — “hook” — to determine “functions that can be called during a transfer.” These functions operate in conjunction with the ERC-820 protocol to provide a simple type of a detailed introspection which is lacking in ERC-20. Thus, it becomes possible to check whether a token possesses concrete features in order to perform or decline the operation, making the smart contract even smarter. The new ERC-777 standard will fix the problem of a recipient’s tokens being lost when sent to a contract that doesn’t support the receiving or managing such assets. Because of such a bug, the Ethereum community has already lost millions of dollars. A big part of the funds appear to be trapped inside some of the top ICO projects contracts forever. Here are some of them:

However, protection against token loss as a result of incorrect transactions is not the only innovation of the new standard, which is aiming to further develop the blockchain.

For example, ERC-777 creators built in a ‘trusted operator’ function for the first time, which can transfer and burn tokens on behalf of the owner. This is achieved by executing the ‘authorizeOperator’ function and can be used, for example, to perform instant, automatic payments in ETH.

In addition, this standard allows you to check the address of the recipient for availability concerning ‘white’ or ‘black’ lists through the function ITokenRecipient. Additionally, the ‘hooks’ mentioned above make possible the monitoring of the behavior of a token, depending on the circumstances, which allow you to block certain addresses and perform a number of other actions — including the intervention by the sender and the receiver in the transaction process.

If you need additional details on ERC-777, you can consult the relevant thread on Ethereum’s GitHub.

A curtain call, number 20

The ERC-777 standard is backward compatible with ERC-20, and any project based on the previous version of the standard can be transferred to the new one without problems. We can assume that the exchanges and wallets, which work with the tokens of the previous standard, will react positively to the initiation of ERC-777 — which finally closes the legendary ‘hole’ in the Ethereum blockchain. In practice, this will mean simplifying the procedure for listing coins on the new standard, which could cause a new surge in activity in the crypto industry comparable to the wave of enthusiasm in 2016-2017.

In addition, the new standard significantly expands the functionality of the Ethereum blockchain system, which will attract the attention of developers. Rampant discussion of the new standard serves as the brightest evidence.

And finally, the ERC-777 standard contains completely redesigned functions and logic, which will avoid crosses with other tokens standards and confusion when executing smart contracts.

Speaking about the disadvantages of ERC-777, yes, there is one: It relies on a centralized register of smart contracts — which is not an ideal approach within the decentralized ideology of blockchain. This will require additional measures from the Ethereum developers to ensure the security of its registry.

A famous crypto YouTuber “Ivan on Tech” is sure that the success of ERC-777 is just a matter of time, even despite the fact that the Ethereum Foundation might be slow in writing off ERC-20 entirely:

“Going forward, [the] Ethereum Foundation really [needs to get] behind ERC-777, and it could replace ERC-20, because it’s better. And therefore, it’s all about [the] Ethereum Foundation still has quite an influence and they are currently pushing for ERC-20. This is what they are advertising the most. But, in the future, it might be the case that we switch to ERC-777.”

Perhaps, a new, promising token standard will give a fresh impetus to the development of the Ethereum network — and ETH, in particular, which has hit a new low since July: $194. Until then, while GitHub is keeping silent, there seems to be nothing better to do than just letting the Ethereum team finish their work — we know that they are good at it.

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Tezos Foundation Announces Launch of Its Long-Awaited Mainnet

The Tezos Foundation is preparing to launch its mainnet on Monday, September 17.

The Swiss-based cryptocurrency project the Tezos Foundation has announced that its mainnet will be launched on Monday, according to a September 14 tweet.

On Monday, the beta period of the network will officially be over, as the protocol will become a full mainnet. Tezos introduced its beta network in June, calling the move an “inflection point” for the project. From that point on, users could begin validating blocks or “baking” after the first seven cycles.

In order to build a network and issue a new type of cryptocurrency, Tezos launched an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in July 2017, in which it raised around 66,000 Bitcoins (BTC) and 361,000 Ethereums (ETH), worth about $232 million at that time. Tezos, however, called the funds “a non-refundable donation” and not a “speculative investment,” adding that the token might not be issued at all.

Following the ICO, a dispute arose between Arthur and Kathleen Breitman, the co-founders of the project who own Tezos’ intellectual property rights, and Johann Gevers, who controlled the raised funds. This led to an indefinite delay of the platform launch and a series of lawsuits against the company.

Since the ICO’s completion, Tezos has also been the subject of criticism and multiple lawsuits concerning compliance with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations. The lawsuits claimed that Tezos tokens should be considered securities under U.S. law, meaning they would need to be registered with the SEC in order to be legally sold to investors.

In June, the foundation announced the implementation of Know Your Customer/Anti-Money Laundering (KYS/AML) checks for contributors, specifically for those looking to participate in ICOs. The move was met with a negative reaction from the community.

At press time, Tezos (XTZ) is trading around $1.54, up over 15 percent on the day, while its market capitalization is about $933 million.

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Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, IOTA: Price Analysis, September 14

As crypto market fundamentals show signs of improvement, will prices follow? Let’s find out.

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.

Mike Novogratz, founder and CEO of crypto investment firm Galaxy Digital Capital Management, called a bottom in cryptocurrencies on September 13, while conversely the Chief Commercial Officer of BitPay, Sonny Singh believes that Bitcoin will resurge in 2019 but that altcoins “will never come back.” He said the next trigger that can carry Bitcoin higher is the entry of institutional players.

Morgan Stanley is the latest Wall Street giant planning to allow its clients to trade Bitcoin using trade swaps, according to Bloomberg sources. Investors continue to pour money into funds linked with blockchain technology. U.S.-based venture capital firm Ribbit Capital is aiming to raise $420 million for its latest fund, a 40 percent increase above its previous venture that attracted $300 million.

New research by fintech analysts Juniper House found 65 percent of large enterprises – employing a minimum of 10,000 staff – are “considering or actively engaged” in blockchain deployment. This shows the fundamentals of the sector are improving. So, will prices follow the fundamentals higher? Let’s find out.  

BTC/USD

Bears did not challenge the $6,075-$5,900 support zone as we had expected. Bitcoin broke out of $6,500 on September 13 but is currently facing resistance at the 20-day EMA. This shows sellers are active on pullbacks. If the bulls break out of the 20-day EMA, a rally to the 50-day SMA, followed by a move to the downtrend line of the descending triangle is likely.

BTC

If the BTC/USD pair turns down from the current level and sustains below $5,900, it will complete two bearish patterns – a head and shoulders and a descending triangle. The pattern target of such a breakdown is much lower, but we anticipate strong support at $5,450 and $5,000.

If bulls hold the next dip above $6,200 and breakout of the 20-day EMA, we might suggest opening a small position. Until then, we suggest traders remain on the sidelines and wait for a reliable buy setup to form.

ETH/USD

We anticipated a pullback in our previous analysis and Ethereum rallied to $224.21 from the $167.32 low on September 12. However, the trend remains down as both the moving averages are trending down and the RSI is close to the oversold zone.

ETH

If the bulls scale above the 20-day EMA, the next overhead resistance is the downtrend line of the descending channel and the 50-day SMA, located just above the channel.

Hence, we shall wait for the ETH/USD pair to form a reversal pattern before proposing any long positions. The critical level to watch on the downside is $167.32, below which the decline can stretch to $136.12.

XRP/USD

Ripple is finding it difficult to sustain above the $0.27 level. A breakdown of the support zone of $0.27-$0.24508 can sink prices to $0.24001 and below to $0.20.

XRP

Both moving averages are sloping down and the RSI is in the negative, which shows that the sellers are in command. The XRP/USD pair has not broken out of the 50-day SMA since May 17. If bulls can sustain above the simple moving average, it will indicate buying and a probable change in trend. We will wait for prices to scale above the downtrend line before recommending a trade.  

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash remains in a strong downtrend with both the moving averages trending down and the RSI in negative territory.

BCH

The pullback from close to the $400 level is facing stiff resistance at the $475 mark. If the BCH/USD pair breaks down from $400, it could slump to $300 and $282.  

On the upside, if the bulls scale above the 20-day EMA, a rally to the 50-day SMA is probable. The virtual currency will show signs of a change in trend if it breaks out of the resistance line of the descending channel. We shall wait for a reversal pattern to form before suggesting any long positions.

EOS/USD

EOS has been facing resistance at the $5.65 level for the past two days., just below the 50-day SMA.

EOS

A breakout of the 50-day SMA could carry the EOS/USD pair to the $6.8299 level. Therefore, we recommend holding remaining long positions with stops at $4.40.

The 20-day EMA has turned flat while the 50-day SMA is still sloping down, with the RSI in the negative. If bears force prices lower, a drop to $4.4930 is probable. If this support breaks, the decline could extend to $4.1778 and $3.8723.

XLM/USD

Stellar has risen from the critical support of $0.184 but is facing resistance at the 20-day EMA for the past three days.

XLM

We anticipate the XLM/USD pair to extend its stay inside the range of $0.184-$0.24987525 for a few more days. The 20-day EMA is turning flat, which shows that the near-term selling has abated.

Traders should wait for a breakout from this range before initiating any long positions. A breakdown will be very negative and could sink prices to $0.11812475 and $0.082332.

LTC/USD

The breakdown from the $49.466 level on September 12 was short-lived as Litecoin bounced back into the range. This shows some buying below the $50 level. We like the positive divergence developing on the RSI, but need prices to follow up higher before it can act as a buy signal.

LTC

The LTC/USD pair will face stiff resistance on the upside from the 20-day EMA, the downtrend line and the 50-day SMA.

Both moving averages are trending down and the RSI is still in negative territory. A breakdown from $47.246 could sink prices to the next support zone of $40-$44. We suggest traders wait until the virtual currency forms a reliable buy setup.

ADA/USD

Bulls are trying to defend the $0.06 level on the downside but have not been able to carry Cardano above the $0.0715 level for the past two days.

ADA

Both moving averages are sloping down and the RSI remains in oversold territory. This shows that sellers are firmly in control. The target on the downside is $0.054541.

The first sign of a probable change in trend will be when the ADA/USD pair breaks out and sustains above $0.111843. We will wait for a reliable buy setup to form before suggesting any long positions.

XMR/USD

Monero has broken out of the moving averages after taking support at the downtrend line. If it breaks out at $120, it could climb to $142.71 and $150.

XMR

The moving averages are close to each other and are flattening out while the RSI has moved into positive territory. This shows that bulls have an advantage in the short-term. Therefore, we suggest holding long positions with the recommended stop loss.

The XMR/USD pair will turn negative if bears sink prices below the September 12 low of $96.390.  

IOTA/USD

IOTA is attempting to bounce after taking support at the $0.5 mark, but it is facing strong resistance at the 20-day EMA.

IOT

The zone between $0.59-$0.67 will act as stiff resistance. Once this zone is crossed, a move to $0.81 and $0.9150 is probable. The 20-day EMA has flattened out and the RSI is attempting to climb into positive territory, which shows that selling pressure is decreasing. Traders could hold their long positions with the stops at $0.46.  

If bulls fail to scale above the overhead resistance, the IOTA/USD pair will dip to $0.50 and $0.4628.

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

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Ethereum Consolidates Newly-Won Growth as Wider Crypto Market Falters

After yesterday’s bullish upswing, crypto markets have today been hit with widely-dispersed corrections, although Ethereum is a notable exception.

Friday, September 14: After yesterday’s bullish upswing, crypto markets have today been hit with widely-dispersed corrections. Ethereum (ETH) is today’s most resilient large-market-cap altcoin, seeing the most notable growth on the day among the top twenty cryptoassets, as data from Coin360 shows.

Market visualization

Market visualization by Coin360

After soaring 18 percent on the day yesterday, September 13 – and peaking as high as $223 during early trading hours today – Ethereum has seen a tempering downwards, before regaining some losses in the hours before press time.

At its current $214 price point, the top alt has sealed a solid almost 4 percent of growth on the day.

Even as Ethereum sees a bullish couple of days on the markets, fresh research from TrustNodes has revealed data that may account for the top alt’s middle-term price weakness.

According to TrustNodes, in the 10 days leading up to September 13, Initial Coin Offering (ICO) projects have sold three times more ETH than they did in August, with major implications for price performance.

Ethereum remains down almost 9 percent on its weekly chart, but has significantly closed down its losses on the month, which are now at 26.3 percent.

Ethereum 7-day price chart

Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index

Having reclaimed the $6,500 mark yesterday, Bitcoin (BTC) is trading just slightly down today at  $6,480 as of press time, seeing a negligible percentage loss over the 24 hour period. The leading crypto briefly tumbled back to $6,430, shedding $150 in value in a narrow two-hour time window earlier today, after trading as high as $6,580. Bitcoin has since bounded upwards in a jagged recovery in the hours before press time.

On the week, Bitcoin is just about breaking even, with monthly gains at a solid 3.67 percent.

Bitcoin 24-hour price chart

Bitcoin 24-hour price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index

Among the other top ten coins on CoinMarketCap, virtually all cryptoassets are seeing mild losses on the day, mostly capped below 2.5 percent. The only alt to have shed fractionally more is Stellar (XLM), ranked 6th, which is down 3.22 percent to trade at around $0.20 at press time.

Litecoin (LTC) and Monero (XMR) are the only top ten coins aside from Ethereum to see any growth, but only just, both up under 2 percent on the day to press time.

Among the top twenty coins by market cap, Dogecoin (DOGE), ranked 20th, has seen the heftiest losses, down 5.5 percent on the day. DOGE notably saw relatively lacklustre growth yesterday, as the wider market soared, but is still significantly up on its monthly chart after a vertiginous price hike in early September.

Dogecoin 1-month price chart

Dogecoin 1-month price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Binance exchange’s native token, Binance Coin (BNB), ranked 16th, is the only other top twenty coin to see green, up 1.89 percent on the day to trade at $9.79 at press time.

Dash (DASH), IOTA (MIOTA) and TRON (TRX) are each down around 2 percent on the day to press time.

Total market capitalization briefly spiked as high as $204.3 earlier today, but has since declined to $201.1 billion as of press time.

The week has been a volatile and uneven one, during which total market cap briefly plummeted to around $186.3 billion September 13, but have managed to almost fully regain losses.

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

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

As investors nervously eye the markets, Mike Novogratz, founder and CEO of crypto investment firm Galaxy Digital Capital Management, claimed that cryptocurrency prices have hit a bottom in a tweet yesterday, September 13.

He further noted that the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index (BGCI) – which is designed to measure the performance of the largest cryptocurrencies traded in U.S. dollars – “retouched the highs of late last year and the point of acceleration that led to the massive rally/bubble.”

Moreover, today saw a further revelation that capped a positive week for potential institutional investor exposure to Bitcoin and other crypto assets. U.S. stock brokerage firm EF Hutton unveiled plans to issue $60 million in various cryptocurrency instruments as of January 2019, the same week as it confirmed it was the major sponsor of a forthcoming U.S. cryptocurrency exchange that will be known as ACEx.

EF Hutton’s plans followed hot on the heels of reports that U.S. banking giant Morgan Stanley plans to offer clients Bitcoin trade swaps, the same week as Citigroup insiders hinted it is also planning an entry into crypto-based products.

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Wall Street’s EF Hutton Wants to Raise $60 Mln Issuing Crypto ‘Instruments, Coins, Tokens’

Stock brokerage EF Hutton continues its cryptocurrency foray by pledging to issue its own products to attract investment.

U.S. stock brokerage firm EF Hutton plans to issue $60 million in various cryptocurrency instruments from January 2019, Bloomberg reported September 13.

The latest in a series of crypto-related announcements this month, the company’s parent organization HUTN said it would begin offering “multiple instruments, coins and tokens” which would “generate proceeds of at least $60 million.”

The move comes the same week as EF Hutton confirmed it was the major sponsor of a new U.S. cryptocurrency exchange known as ACEx, which also plans to start operating next January along with issuing its own token.

“Proceeds will be used to fund marketing, technology and to redeem debt and for general corporate expenses,” the release explains about the asset issuance plans.

“We know ICOs succeed when they present powerful use cases that improve their holders utility with the peer-to-peer functionality of blockchain’s technology,” HUTN CEO Christopher Daniels commented on the most recent announcements:

“Consequently, we are confident that ICO buyers will eagerly seek to hold the coins and tokens we are issuing.”

Whitepapers for the forthcoming tokens are promised this autumn, promising a “use case” for each instrument on offer. As yet, no specific information is available about the offering.

HUTN has already hired an advisor with a history of helping companies engage in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to the tune of $290 million, it continues, adding it now “has special insight and experience in the cryptocurrency market.”

The company has already attempted to back those claims, Cointelegraph reported September 7, as in embarked on a cryptocurrency research project to assist investors “confused” about the industry.

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