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Blockchain to Play Crucial Role in VR-Powered Social Media

Blockchain and VR-powered social media platform Sensorium has joined the Global Blockchain Business Council.

Virtual reality media platform, Sensorium, has announced its membership in the Global Blockchain Business Council, or GBBC — a Swiss-based non-profit industry association for blockchain.

Sensorium will participate in GBBC’s upcoming virtual forum on May 28, which will see the firm’s director of technology Alex Blagirev discuss his predictions for how virtual social media will change the way that people interact online.

Cointelegraph spoke to GBBC to discuss the intersection between social media and virtual reality, or VR, and the role that blockchain plays in the sector’s future.

DLT protects copyright for user content

A GBBC representative stated that the convergence of VR and social media is already beginning to gain momentum, noting that major platforms such as Facebook “are providing users with new ways to share and experience content.”

“Within this context, blockchain technology will likely play an important role in the creation of digital assets and an online virtual economy, the representative stated.

“Furthermore, blockchain technology could be used to protect ownership and copyright, as well as create new models of advertising in virtual worlds, much as it is already doing in the real world.”

Blockchain may eliminate identity theft on social media

Sensorium’s CCO, Brian Kean, emphasized the security benefits offered by distributed ledger technology, or DLT, stating:

Identity theft, fake accounts, etc. all will be to a large extent eliminated as human participants in the socially-virtual world will be required to verify their identity via the blockchain.

Kean also revealed that blockchain will also be used to “facilitate payment for created, third-party content.”

Sensorium to engage policymakers through GBBC

As a GBBC member, Sensorium will participate in a range of GBBC activities aimed at “advancing adoption of blockchain technology and educating regulators, policymakers, and business leaders on the benefits of the technology.”

The two entities first began formally working together at the GBBC’s flagship event, Blockchain Central Davos, where Sensorium participated.

“We closed out the evening with a special demo of Sensorium’s VR platform and a performance by GBBC Arts and Music Ambassador and Former Drummer for Guns N’ Roses, Matt Sorum,” added the GBBC spokesperson.

Africa Is Experiencing a Crypto Renaissance

Crypto adoption appears to be growing across the continent of Africa.

Crypto adoption is making significant advances in Africa, with crypto ownership, trade volume, and regulation all moving toward greater adoption.

A recent report by Arcane Research and Luno found that Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, and Kenya are frequently among the top 10 countries by Google searches for the word “Bitcoin.”

The report describes the continent as “one of, if not the most promising region for the adoption of cryptocurrencies,” emphasizing Africa’s combination of low existing crypto adoption alongside an “enormous” domain possibility.

The firms emphasize that Africa exhibits a young population, frequent monetary crises and currency failures, large unbanked or underbanked populations, and expensive means of payment.

South Africa emerges as crypto hub

While Nigeria has long dominated the continent’s trade volume, the report found that South Africa has the highest percent of cryptocurrency ownership or use among internet users in Africa with 13%, followed by Nigeria with 11%.

Worldwide, South Africa ranks fifth for crypto adoption among connected citizens.

This past week saw South Africa post its second-strongest weekly volume on peer-to-peer Bitcoin (BTC) marketplace Localbitcoins, with nearly $1.65 million worth of BTC changing hands.

Weekly Localbitcoins trade volume: Coin.dance

Weekly Localbitcoins trade volume: Coin.dance

The surge in trade activity saw total P2P volume for South African trade edge out Kenya last week with $1.95 million in trade across Localbitcoins and Paxful.

Last month, South Africa’s financial regulator issued a policy document asserting that crypto assets and activities relating to virtual currencies “can no longer remain outside of the regulatory perimeter.”

P2P volumes surge across Africa

Nigerian P2P trade is rallying to record highs, producing $9.2 million in combined weekly trade.

Kenyan trade has also seen a recent spike, with Localbitcoins trade between BTC and the Kenyan shilling producing its second-strongest week on record for the third consecutive time.

Morocco and Egypt have also posted record trade activity in recent weeks.

The increase in volume across the continent has also seen P2P volume from Sub Saharan Africa beat out Latin America for the first time.

BTC Dreads Weekly Close, Satoshi Mystery, A Big Blunder: Hodler’s Digest, May 18–24

Bitcoin faces a crucial weekly close, the mystery of coins moved for the first time in 11 years, and Times Square billboards call for the release of Ross Ulbricht.

Coming every Sunday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Why today’s weekly close is crucial to avoid $8,000s

Not so long ago, the crypto community was abuzz with the expectation that Bitcoin was about to surge into five figures — dreaming dreams of a parabolic bull run. How things change. Right now, BTC is in a battle to stay in the $9,000s, and all eyes are on the weekly close. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency needed to end Sunday above $9,300 to avoid the risk of a further slide, according to Cointelegraph contributor flibflib. He says failure to retain this level will likely see BTC “retest the May lows and the 20-week moving average, currently around $8,160.” So, has Bitcoin topped out? Is there too much selling pressure around $10,000? Well, analysis of Binance’s order book suggests there is huge resistance between $9,500 and $10,005… and this is unlikely to step in until more buyers enter the market.

Did Satoshi Nakamoto just move his coins for the first time in 11 years?

Some of the earliest mined Bitcoin moved for the first time in 11 years this week. An address containing 50 BTC created in February 2009 — barely one month after the launch of the Bitcoin mainnet — swept its entire holdings to two different wallets. This led to frenzied speculation that Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous inventor of BTC, might be on the move. Bitcoin’s price actually fell from $9,900 to $9,300 as the market digested the transaction, but it began to recover as details about the intricacies of the transaction reduced the likelihood that Satoshi was involved. As Casa CEO Jameson Lopp told Cointelegraph: “Could be a million possible reasons. Maybe someone found a lost hard drive. Maybe someone needed to make a super-private transaction, so they used freshly mined coins. Maybe it’s just someone diversifying their assets.”

Where are the Bitcoin pizza coins now?

There was another blast from the past this week as the crypto community marked the 10th anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day. Back in 2010, programmer Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 BTC for two Papa John’s pies — a purchase that would have been worth $92.5 million at today’s rates. New analysis has shown that a large chunk of this crypto went to a now-defunct exchange, while a slice has found its way to one of the most sizable Bitcoin wallets currently in existence. (Indeed, it seems many people have also had horror stories about the frivolous things they spent BTC on in the early days.) Despite promising growth and excitement during crypto’s bullish phases, payments with crypto remain niche at best. Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek told Cointelegraph “crypto is still something unknown” for the vast majority of merchants — and lack of trust is a particular problem. Pundi X chief ecosystem officer Peko Wan added: “For the mainstream, the general perception toward crypto are ‘complicated to use’ or ‘risky to own cryptos.’”

CZ may have pulled an Elon Musk-style gaffe on Twitter

Binance’s blockbuster acquisition of CoinMarketCap raised eyebrows — with some critics fearing that there was high potential for conflict of interest. Now, the exchange’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, may have inadvertently admitted his involvement in managing CMC. In a tweet, he said: “This ranking is currently heavily biased towards web traffic, not 100% accurate, but better than before. Will continue to iterate.” Even if CZ isn’t involved in the configuration of various CMC metrics, it raises the question of why he is making public statements that suggest otherwise — and it could resemble public pressure on CMC’s management. The situation is reminiscent of a Twitter-enabled gaffe by Elon Musk, in which careless tweeting got the entrepreneur into trouble with the SEC.

Coinbase CEO suggests dodging “mean, snarky” media

CZ wasn’t the only exchange CEO who has been tweeting enthusiastically of late. Coinbase chief executive Brian Armstrong gave his views on the mainstream media and said many company leaders are opting to speak directly to audiences through blogs and YouTube videos instead of to reporters. Although Armstrong said “there are high-quality journalists out there,” he added many businesses prefer publishing to their own blog instead of getting just one quote in a “sometimes outright mean/snarky article.” His remarks prompted lively debate from other crypto executives. Binance.US CEO Catherine Coley replied: “I actually believe in the press and how important it is. Yes, we can speak directly to current users now, but for advancing the industry it’s more about telling stories through amazing storytellers.”

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $9,083.49, Ether at $206.75 and XRP at $0.20. The total market cap is at $253,428,684,633.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are TFUEL, THETA and OMG. The top three altcoin losers of the week are ABBC Coin, Hyperion and Electroneum.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis

Most Memorable Quotations

“Publishing to our own blog/twitter/YouTube lets us say what is on our mind and talk to our customers — not get one quote in an otherwise balanced (or sometimes outright mean/snarky) article.”

Brian Armstrong, Coinbase CEO

“For the vast majority of the merchants out there, just like for the vast majority of retail banking users out there, crypto is still something unknown, something they still didn’t learn to trust.”

Kris Marszalek, Crypto.com CEO

“It’s notable because it’s probably the oldest coins ever spent, so it’s mostly fascinating that someone managed to hold onto them for over a decade and by oldest I mean longest-aged before being spent.”

Jameson Lopp, Casa CEO

“Get gold silver Bitcoin and SAVE YOURSELF.”

Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad author

Prediction of the Week

“It’s just a matter of time” before BTC breaks all-time high, investment app CEO says

The co-founder and CEO of the Bitcoin investing application Amber believes BTC could be en route to hitting its all-time price high once again. Aleks Svetski told Cointelegraph: “It’s just a matter of time — there’s a perfect storm brewing and the pressure will have to go somewhere. With Bitcoin, supply is fixed, and its utility as an un-inflatable and incorruptible money is only increasing — the only thing left to move is price.” Svetski said BTC will need “time and momentum” to return to $20,000, adding that he hoped a lower price floor remains for a longer period so he and others have the opportunity to buy additional, lower-priced BTC. “Retail punters will initially be hesitant, but as it charges ahead to $25K, $30K, $40K, the disbelief will transform into FOMO, and we’ll see an incredible price acceleration,” he said.

FUD of the Week

Times Square billboard calls for release of Silk Road founder

A billboard has emerged in Times Square calling for the release of Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the Silk Road darknet market. The 36-year-old was arrested back in 2013, and two years later he was found guilty of seven charges including drug trafficking, money laundering, computer hacking and criminal enterprise. He is currently serving two life sentences behind bars, with no prospect of parole. The “Free Ross” billboard is set to remain in Times Square for several months, and the publicity was said to have been paid for by a “generous supporter.”

No, ISIS does not have $300 million in a Bitcoin “war chest”

Chainalysis has published a report debunking a number of popular narratives surrounding the use of crypto to finance terrorism. The blockchain intelligence firm’s report emphasizes the harm of false reporting in spreading misinformation and damaging the reputation of firms operating with digital currencies. Reports last week had claimed that the Islamic State’s missing $300-million war chest was being held in BTC, but Chainalysis says such a theory is “highly unlikely.”

New ransomware employs never-before-seen attack method

A new ransomware attack method has been uncovered, which runs a virtual machine on target computers in order to infect them. Sophos, a U.K.-based cybersecurity firm, says the Ragnar Locker attack appears to be quite selective — often targeting companies rather than individual users. The ransomware asks victims for large amounts of money to decrypt their files and threatens to release sensitive data if users do not pay up. One Portuguese company had 10TB of information stolen and was told to pay 1,850 BTC (about $11 million) or see their data enter the public domain.

Best Cointelegraph Features

Bitcoin will create a new economic elite in 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed serious problems of the currently existing financial system — as well as Bitcoin’s benefits over it — writes Jonathan Leong.

Hanko’s time to go? Blockchain as a solution to Japan’s remote working issue

Hanko, or Inkan, is a stamp that’s almost ubiquitous in Japanese work and life. But as Hisashi Oki explains, the coronavirus pandemic is bringing this cultural tradition under renewed scrutiny.

Industry at a crossroads, crypto enters fourth phase of development

A recent Andreessen Horowitz report says crypto is in its growth stage, but critics say the industry is yet to create end-use value. Osato Avan-Nomayo has more.

China’s Congress Proposes Blockchain Development Fund

NPC, China’s parliament suggests a government backed blockchain development fund to build a better governance system.

National People’s Congress, China’s parliament and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the most powerful political advisory body in the country, have recently begun their annual sessions. These are widely referred to as the “Two Sessions” or “lianghui” meetings. These meetings have been ongoing since May 22. 

The National People’s Congress, or NPC, is China’s top legislative body. Nearly 3,000 delegates from around the country meet once a year to submit proposals during the meetings. According to a Beijing News’ report on May 23, Jieqing Tan, deputy to the NPC, suggested setting up a special fund for blockchain industry development. If accepted, this fund would be led by the government. 

The aim of the fund is to support the development and growth of a number of promising blockchain enterprises, encourage blockchain technology innovation, and cultivate a number of unicorn enterprises in the blockchain space, says Tan.

Smart governance through blockchain

By supporting the development of the blockchain industry, Tan believes it will “modernize” the country’s governance system.  

Blockchain technology not only will be a great tool to push China towards smart governance and a high-trust society, it can also help China to gain an upper hand globally in the future development of the technology, according to Tan. He thinks by taking this technology innovation lead, China will be able to better protect its sovereignty and national security. 

Tan suggested that a clear national blockchain industry development plan should be defined. He explained that: 

“From the bottom technology standard, middle industry application development to the top-level system design, the national blockchain technology, industry and supervision three-dimensional strategic planning system should be well coordinated.”

Current challenges and initiatives 

The new economic potential and new job opportunities derived from blockchain technology is huge. However Tan pointed out that currently the number of limited blockchain enterprises, its scalability and lack of talent and information has been the main problems preventing the blockchain ecosystem from developing a well established ecosystem. 

As Cointelegraph reported previously, China’s central bank also secured $4.7 million in funding for its blockchain trade platform over the next three years. The tax bureau of Beijing announced its blockchain invoicing pilot application for a more eco-friendly, convenient and transparent future governance.

Bitcoin Price Drops to $8,840 — Key Metrics Signal BTC May Correct Further

As the weekly close approaches, Bitcoin price dropped out of the ascending channel to $8,840, marking six consecutive lower highs since June 2019.

Within the last hour Bitcoin (BTC) price dropped to $8,840. The drop came with less than 8 hours left before the weekly close.

A confluence of miners selling more BTC than they mine, Bitcoin recording 6 consecutive lower highs, and the retest of the $8,800 support leaves BTC vulnerable to a severe pullback.

Six consecutive lower highs since June 2019

As shown on the daily chart, since June 19 Bitcoin has recorded six consecutive lower highs. The price rejected at $14,000, $13,300, $12,300, $10,600, $10,500, and $10,000, making every local top lower than the previous peak.

In technical analysis, lower highs indicate that buyers are failing to establish a new bull cycle. Every time a lower peak is reached, it shows the selling pressure in the market is simply too strong to break out of it.

Bitcoin records six consecutive lower highs since June 2019. Source: Tradingview

A clear rejection of the $9,800 to $9,900 range and the projected third test of the $8,800 support level suggest Bitcoin is not ready to initiate a rally above $10,000 just yet.

Triple test of $8,800

The price of Bitcoin rebounded at $8,840, testing the $8,800 support area for the second time within four days. Typically, the digital asset tends to break down below a heavy level of support in the third or fourth touch. This means, BTC is likely to see a clean breach of $8,800 upon the weekly close.

Almost immediately after dropping close to $8,800, the price of Bitcoin rebounded to around $8,900, showing BTC is set for a short-term price spike following the weekly open on May 25.

But, data from TradingLite shared by cryptocurrency trader Hsaka shows a significant amount of sell orders on OKEx in the $9,300 to $9,400 range.

OKEx shows large sell orders at $9,300. Source: Hsaka

Based on the firm response of buyers at the $8,800 support level and selling pressure at $9,300, BTC is likely to remain in between the $8,800 to $9,300 range before seeing the next pullback.

If the price of Bitcoin rebounds in the short-term to the low-$9,000 region and revisits $8,800, the probability of BTC seeing a much larger correction to the $6,000 to $7,000 range increases.

Bitcoin miners are applying selling pressure

Bitcoin miners are continuing to sell more BTC than they mine. Such a trend is understandable given that the breakeven cost of mining BTC is above $12,000 following the May 11 halving.

The price of Bitcoin is nowhere close to $12,000 and this means miners will have to sell a portion of their existing supply to cover operational costs.

As cryptocurrency investor Willy Woo explained, there are two unmatched sellers in the Bitcoin market: miners and exchanges. Woo said:

There’s only two unmatched sell pressures on the market. (1) Miners who dilute the supply and sell onto the market, this is the hidden tax via monetary inflation. And (2) the exchanges who tax the traders and sell onto the market.

Bitcoin Miners Rolling Inventory Above 103%. Source: ByteTree

As shown by the chart above, the Miner’s Rolling Inventory (MRI) is above 103%, which means miners are spending more BTC than usual. This means the selling pressure coming from miners will continue to remain a threat to the recovery of BTC in the short-term.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here

Grayscale Accumulates 34% of New BTC as Weekly Investments Tag $30 Million

Crypto fund manager Grayscale Investments is believed to have purchased one-third of new Bitcoin for three months.

Grayscale Investments, a crypto investment fund manager and subsidiary of Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group, is estimated to have purchased up to one-third of all newly minted Bitcoin during the past three months amid the run-up to the block reward halving.

The announcement comes as average weekly investments into Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust, or BIT, reached $29.9 million over the first quarter of 2020.

In response to a tweet publicizing the figures, Grayscale founder Barry Silbert stated: “just wait until you see Q2.”

The average weekly investment into the trust has increased by over 800% when compared to Q1 2019’s $3.2 million. 

Grayscale Investments absorbs 34% of new BTC

On May 19, Redditor “parakite” posted estimates indicating that Grayscale has spent the past three months accumulating up to one-third of all freshly mined Bitcoin (BTC).

The purchases added 60,762 BTC to its Bitcoin Relief Fund — equating to a rate of 607 Bitcoins over 100 days. 

As of May 17, the fund was believed to be holding 343,954 BTC in total — a 21% increase in three months.

BIT assets under management up 80% in one year had reached $3.8

On May 19, Grayscale announced that the value of its assets under management had reached $3.8 billion, up from $2.1 billion as of May 2019.

The data also revealed that the firm’s Ethereum Trust has emerged as Grayscale’s second-largest, representing nearly $290 million.

Examine the Bitcoin First Difficulty Adjustment Post 2020 Halving

It will still take time to stabilize the miner revenue from fees before the Bitcoin network can display some healthy growth.

The third Bitcoin (BTC) halving has settled, and the Bitcoin network has just experienced its first difficulty adjustment post third halving. The difficulty has decreased from 16.1 trillion to 15.14 trillion, which is about a 6% downward adjustment, providing miners who have survived so far with some relief. 

Bitcoin network hash rate experienced a significant decline post-halving

It is important to recognize that the network hash rate cannot be directly observed; rather, it needs to be calculated from the average block production time and the difficulty level. Based on the average block time analysis, the Bitcoin network has experienced a significant decline post-halving with a 560-second average block time for the last 1,000 blocks before the halving and dropped to 689 seconds per 1,000 blocks after the halving — roughly a 20% increase in the average block time, indicating a 20% network hash rate that gradually vanished during the period.

Since the first difficulty adjustment of post-2020 halving kicked in, the average block time so far is around 706 seconds, indicating the network is still trying to rebalance itself and squeeze out the inefficient miners. 

Related: A Closer Look at the Bitcoin Network’s Post-Halving Hash Rate

The average 1,000-block miner revenue from fees experienced a jump to around 15%, compared to 4% before the halving. Miner revenue from fees saw a 200% increase immediately post-halving due to the block reward being cut in half, and it slowly increased to a higher level of nearly 30% at the current peak due to higher average fees per transaction. The average number of transactions per block has stayed relatively stable.

Network participants now pay higher fees to compensate for the slower block production time post-halving. It still takes time to stabilize the miner revenue from fees to reflect the healthy growth of the Bitcoin network.

The hash rate could drop further but is expected to increase in the midterm due to the wet season in China

The current average block time after the first difficulty adjustment of the third Bitcoin network halving is still consistently longer than the 600-second expected block time. News has been circulating in the Chinese media that the river flows have been reduced by approximately 20% due to delays in the rainy season, and the demand for electricity is expected to be higher during the summer peak time. 

The wet season is expected to provide opportunities for miners in China to take advantage of cheaper electricity prices due to heavy rains that push the hydroelectricity price lower.

It is expected that the miners in China’s Sichuan province will start to take advantage of this to push the network hash rate higher when the wet season begins coupled with the actual delivery of the latest generation ASIC miners, such as Antminer S19, to clients.

In the short term, the network will still see a gradual shut off of miners especially with the older-generation machines or miners who have significantly high costs. Miners started to prepare for the wet season in China before the Bitcoin halving, and an influx of miners from other regions to the Sichuan region to benefit from the lower electricity costs is expected in the coming months. 

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Johnson Xu is a devoted fintech professional with a background in finance and computer science and has substantial exposure to the cryptocurrency/blockchain industry. He currently leads research initiatives and is the chief analyst at TokenInsight, a company that provides investment research, ratings, data analysis, industry insights, investment management services, industry consulting, etc. His previous experience includes a global, top-tier cryptocurrency exchange and a Fortune 200 consulting company.

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies to Watch This Week: BTC, XTZ, ADA, LINK, ETC

If Bitcoin remains in an uptrend, these altcoins are likely to outperform the other major cryptocurrencies this week.

The institutional interest in Bitcoin (BTC) has increased in the past few months, according to data from Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. If the trend continues at the same pace, by March 2021, GBTC would have purchased 75% of the newly mined Bitcoin during the period. By that time, its total holding of the top-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap would increase to 3% of the total circulating supply. If this happens, it could be a huge sentiment booster for investors who believe institutional investment is the key for mass adoption.

Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has said that he holds a percentage of his wealth in crypto and he does not want to change it. Ohanian believes that Bitcoin is a hedge due to the fact that several “OGs of Wall Street” have now entered the crypto space. 

The long-term fundamentals for cryptocurrencies have been improving but the price is yet to catch up. Can the up move resume this week? Let’s study the charts of five major cryptocurrencies that could offer trading opportunities this week.

BTC/USD

Bitcoin (BTC) has been trading inside an ascending channel, which shows that the medium-term trend is up. However, the short-term has stalled as the price has dipped below both moving averages.

BTC-USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

The BTC/USD pair has formed a symmetrical triangle, which usually acts as a continuation pattern. The 10-day exponential moving average is sloping gradually and the relative strength index is just above the 50 levels, which suggests a balance between supply and demand.

While the best way to trade a symmetrical triangle is to wait for the price to breakout or breakdown from it, another possible strategy is to buy close to the support line of the triangle as this helps in keeping a close stop-loss.

If the bears sink the price below the support line of the triangle, it will be a first sign that the uptrend might be in danger. A break below the channel will confirm a change in trend. However, the end of an uptrend does not mean a downtrend has started as the prices might remain range-bound. The downtrend might start on a break below $8,130.58.

BTC-USD 4-hour chart. Source: Tradingview

The 4-hour chart shows that the bulls are aggressively buying the dip to the support line of the symmetrical triangle. This is a positive sign as it confirms demand at lower levels. The bulls might now attempt to carry the price to the resistance line of the triangle, which is close to $9,850. This is the first target objective.

A break above $9,350 could indicate the resumption of the up move. This can offer a buying opportunity to the traders with a stop-loss of $8,950, which is just below the support line of the triangle.

As the pair moves up, the stops can be trailed higher. Traders can book partial profits close to $9,850 and give some wiggle room to the remaining position because a breakout of the triangle will give it a pattern target of $11,778. 

XTZ/USD

Tezos (XTZ) has been trading inside an ascending channel, which shows the path of least resistance to the upside. However, the bulls have been facing stiff resistance at the downtrend line. 

XTZ-USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

This suggests that the bears are attempting to change the trend. If the 10th-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap turns down from the current levels and plunges below the support line of the channel, it will signal a change in trend.

Conversely, if the bulls can push the price above the downtrend line, it could signal the resumption of the uptrend. The 10-day EMA has been gradually sloping up and the RSI is just above the midpoint, which suggests that bulls have a slight advantage.

Above the downtrend line, a rally to $3.0603 is likely. If the momentum can carry the price above this level, the uptrend can reach the resistance line of the channel, close to $3.60 in the medium-term.

XTZ-USD 4-hour chart. Source: Tradingview

The 4-hour chart suggests that the bears are aggressively defending the downtrend line. However a minor positive is that the bulls have not given up much ground in the past two days (marked via ellipse on the chart). 

If the bulls can drive the XTZ/USD pair above the downtrend line, the momentum is likely to pick up. Therefore, traders can buy on a breakout and close (UTC time) above the downtrend line. 

The first target objective on the upside is $3.06. Although there is a minor resistance at $2.963, this is likely to be crossed. On the downside, traders can keep a stop-loss at $2.65. As the price moves up, the stops can be trailed higher. A break above $3.06 can result in a rally to $3.20.

ADA/USD

Cardano (ADA) continues to be in an uptrend. The altcoin resumed its up move following a breakout of the recent highs at $0.0543484 on May 19. However, the sharp drop on May 21 dragged the price back below the breakout level.  

ADA-USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview 

The bulls aggressively purchased the dip to the 20-day simple moving average on May 22 and pushed the price back above $0.0543484. This move suggested strong demand at lower levels.

Currently, the 11th-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap has again dropped below the critical level at $0.0543484. However, the positive sign is that the bulls are attempting to defend the 10-day EMA. 

If the price bounces off the current levels, the bulls are likely to make one more attempt to scale the price above $0.057555. If successful, the uptrend is likely to continue. The first target on the upside is a rally to the resistance line of the channel. 

On the other hand, if the bears sink the price back below $0.050, a drop to the support line of the channel is possible. A break below the channel will indicate a change in trend. The bearish divergence on the RSI suggests that the bulls might be losing momentum. 

ADA-USD 4-hour chart. Source: Tradingview 

The failure of the bulls to carry the price higher has attracted profit booking. As a result, the ADA/USD pair has again broken below $0.0543484. If the price sustains below this level, a drop to $0.0504050 is likely.

Conversely, if the pair turns around from the current levels and climbs back above $0.0543484, the bulls will again try to scale the price above $0.057555. Aggressive traders can buy 50% of the desired position above the downtrend line and the rest above $0.057555. 

The target objective of this trade is a rally to the $0.0615-$0.063 resistance zone. This trade can be protected on the downside by keeping the stop-loss below $0.053.

LINK/USD

Chainlink (LINK) has largely been range-bound for the past few days. Both the moving averages have flattened out and the RSI is just above the midpoint, which suggests a balance between demand and supply.

LINK-USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

On May 21, the bulls attempted to resume the uptrend but they could not scale the price above the critical resistance at $4.2129. The bears again aggressively defended this resistance on May 22.

Currently, the 12th-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap has formed a symmetrical triangle. A breakout and close (UTC time) above the triangle will resume the up move that has a target objective of $4.9127.

On the other hand, if the bears sink the price below the triangle, a drop to $3.4602-$3.2865 support zone is possible. A break below the zone could result in a drop to $3.0473 which is the pattern target of the breakdown from the triangle.

LINK-USD 4-hour chart. Source: Tradingview

The 4-hour chart shows a symmetrical triangle formation. Although this setup largely works as a continuation pattern, it sometimes can also act as a reversal pattern. Therefore, it is best to wait for a breakout of the triangle before buying.

A breakout and close (UTC time) above the triangle will be the first sign that the bulls have overpowered the bears. Traders can wait for the LINK/USD pair to breakout above $4.2129 before initiating long positions.

The stop-loss for the trade can be kept below $3.7292 because if the bears sink the price below this level, a drop to $3.4602 is possible. Traders can avoid buying if the pair sustains below the triangle.

ETC/USD

Ethereum Classic (ETC) is currently consolidating inside a symmetrical triangle. Both moving averages are flat and the RSI is just above the 50 level, which suggests a balance between buyers and sellers.

ETC-USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

However, the balance will shift in favor of the bulls if they can push and close (UTC time) the price above the resistance line of the triangle. Above the triangle, the first target to watch out for is $7.62717 and then $8.4117. 

Conversely, if the 19th-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap turns down from the current levels, a drop to the support line of the triangle is likely. A breakdown of this support will signal the start of a new downtrend.

ETC-USD 4-hour chart. Source: Tradingview

Today, the bulls had pushed the price above the resistance line of the symmetrical triangle. However, they could not sustain the price above the triangle, which suggests a lack of demand at higher levels.

Currently, the ETC/USD pair has again dipped back into the triangle but the 10-EMA is acting as a support. If the pair turns around from the current levels and rallies above $6.80, the up move is likely to resume. 

Therefore, traders can buy above $6.80 and keep a stop-loss at $6.38. If the bears sink the pair below $6.38, a drop to the support line of the triangle is likely. A break below the triangle could start a new downtrend.

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.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

Goldman Sachs to Host Conference Call on Crisis, Crypto, and Inflation

Goldman Sachs will soon host a conference call discussing the impacts of the current economic crisis on Bitcoin, gold, and inflation.

Goldman Sachs will host a conference call on May 27 titled US Economic Outlook & Implications of Current Policies for Inflation, Gold, and Bitcoin.

On May 23, Mike Dundas, the founder of crypto media outlet The Block, posted a screenshot of the invitation for the call, revealing that the event will be hosted by Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani, the CIO of Goldman’s Investment Strategy Group, alongside Harvard economics professor Jason Furman, and Goldman Sachs’ chief economist Jan Hatzius.

Goldman Sachs appears to be warming to Bitcoin

The news has been heralded as a milestone for the institutional adoption of crypto assets, appearing to signify a complete u-turn on the part of Goldman’s Mossovar-Rhami — who stated that cryptocurrencies fail as mediums of exchange, stores of value, and units of measurement, in August 2018.

For many years, the crypto community has appeared dedicated to willing cryptocurrency engagement from Goldman Sachs into existence, with false rumors that the financial giant planned to open a Bitcoin (BTC) trading desk circulating at frequently throughout the short history of cryptocurrency.

Institutions increasingly embrace crypto

Goldman Sachs’ conference call comes amid other signs that many top financial institutions may be warming to crypto, with JPMorgan providing banking services to U.S. exchanges Coinbase and Gemini since April.

At the start of May, billionaire and hedge fund founder, Paul Tudor Jones, revealed that he is purchasing Bitcoin as a hedge against money printing-induced inflation.

The 65-year-old revealed that his Tudor BVI hedge fund is hodling “a low single-digit percentage” of its total assets in BTC futures, stating; “The best profit-maximizing strategy is to own the fastest horse […] If I am forced to forecast, my bet is it will be Bitcoin.”

Enterprise Blockchains: Seven Steps to Success

The main steps that would help to accelerate the adoption of blockchain capabilities at the enterprise level.

In my approximately two-decade career at Microsoft, I had the privilege and the opportunity to first work on the company’s emerging enterprise strategy, to architect and ship key enterprise technologies, and to build a strategic enterprise business and profit and loss. I think I can say with some level of credibility that I understand the enterprise software business well, and this is what leads me to the question of why enterprise blockchain adoption is still gently meandering along.

First, let us start with the question of how emerging technologies typically get adopted by an enterprise.

How does enterprise adoption typically work?

The key motivators and imperatives that drive enterprise adoption span the gamut from improving agility and time-to-market to reducing costs, as well as consolidating capabilities and workloads, increasing workforce productivity, improving security, and, of course, the recent buzz to digitally transform people, processes and technology in order to be ready for the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution.

If we examine the cloud migration wave, we can see that it was triggered and initially driven by cost — and by the opportunity to decrease capital expenses at the expense of the cloud providers. Early workloads that shifted to the cloud included testing, archival and secondary storage, compute resources for spiky workloads, etc. Subsequently, as the pace of innovation by cloud platform vendors began to exceed that of the on-premise vendors with the likes of serverless computing, for example, enterprises began to experience and benefit from the enormous time-to-market advantages and the business and IT agility that these platforms were now offering. 

Along the way, of course, was the realization that the cloud stacks were often significantly more secure than on-premise data centers and that migrating to the cloud services provided an opportunity to re-evaluate the enterprise architecture(s) and to consolidate workloads, further saving costs.

Why has enterprise blockchain adoption been slow?

The keyword in the previous paragraph is “migration.” Ever since the mid-90s migration wave of PC-based applications to the client-server model, the enterprise IT mindset has been one of migration or “re-platforming” at the expense of re-architecting. Cloud migration was first and foremost a cost-driven decision to lift-and-shift as opposed to re-architecting, which came much later.

Blockchain platforms are unique because, for the first time in history, we have a technology stack that has an innate economic model — incentives, rewards and penalties for each entity, system and user, “baked” in the architecture. Blockchains are the first “economic platform” in the history of computing.

With blockchain platforms, migration is a non-trivial exercise, let alone being able to lift-and-shift legacy applications. Remember, the era of virtual machine architectures and containerization was key to simplify and to accelerate cloud migration; there is just no comparable capability for blockchain platforms. Blockchain platforms do not just serve up a new set of “plumbing” capabilities for IT to migrate to or to re-platform, and therein lies a critical stumbling block for adoption, leading to myriad stalled pilot projects and proof-of-concepts that eventually drop off the IT roadmap.

How will enterprise blockchain adoption accelerate?

Based on my experience spanning the enterprise software industry and the blockchain sector, I will outline seven key steps and activities that will need to happen in order to accelerate the adoption of blockchain capabilities for enterprises, — and for businesses and IT to reap the immense benefits from doing so.

1. Incentives: This is an economic platform.

In the history of computing, there has never been a true economic platform. We have seen previous waves of platforms, from the mainframe, through the PC and client-server, to service-oriented architecture, or SOA, and more recently, cloud computing. However, they are all, in some fashion, a container for infrastructure and application capabilities, serving up a stack for applications to be migrated to and to be built upon and deployed.

Blockchain, not crypto, has often been the rallying cry for enterprises. The challenge is that it is the innate crypto-economic protocols that power and enable unique business benefits. The IT industry does not need to understand the initial coin offering, security token offering or initial exchange offering models. However, any business and/or IT organization that ignores the intrinsic economic platform is at best attempting to benefit from “half” of the blockchain stack capabilities.

It is imperative that businesses and IT comprehend the economic nature of the blockchain stack and objectively quantify the role that (economic) incentives play in their blockchain applications and systems. This is the single most important reason holding back adoption in the enterprise sector.

2. More than a “stack”: You are NOT re-platforming legacy applications.

From its heritage and building up from the core distributed ledger capabilities, blockchain platforms are by nature “multi-party” stacks, inherently designed to bring together multiple entities, both systems and people. While people can squint their eyes and see just the (perhaps centralized) ledger, this defeats the entire purpose.

If there is a business case for building on a blockchain platform, then ergo, there is a business case to re-architect your legacy application. IT should not attempt to re-platform existing centralized cloud applications as-is, or even with a veneer of decentralization. This is not the path to demonstrate return on investment to the business.

3. You have a business architecture: Do you have an economic architecture? 

Enterprise IT is fluent with architectures’ ontologies and frameworks, such as the Zachman Framework, the Business, Information, Application, Technical model, or BIAT, among others, and can bring up their portfolio of business architecture artifacts, information architecture artifacts, application architecture artifacts and technology architecture artifacts on short notice.

Having a business architecture is necessary, but not sufficient. In order to successfully navigate the disruptive opportunities enabled by blockchain platforms, businesses and IT need to work together to create and maintain an economic architecture built on a core set of incentive models.

4. Beyond design patterns: Where is your token taxonomy? 

In general, the architecture represents the skeleton of a system, but it also displays the underlying design patterns; and design patterns represent a way to structure classes to solve common problems. They function at distinct and separate levels of abstraction and provide the objective clarity to build and manage applications and systems at scale.

Businesses and IT need to work together to design and evolve the token taxonomies for their organizations (and partners) and the underlying token definitions that are then surfaced in their economic architectures. Token definitions should have clear and well-understood requirements that are then codified into executable software artifacts.

5. Adoption and change management: Does your IT understand game theory?

Adoption and change management has almost always been a mega boondoggle for large enterprises, comprising an on-going set of processes accompanied by expensive consultants — all trying to find ways and means to get users to adopt new applications and tools.

Blockchain stacks, being the economic platforms that they are, are able to exploit the built-in incentive model to catalyze user adoption and drive change. The imperative is for IT to understand and to utilize game-theory approaches built on the underlying incentive models.

6. Governance: Yes, institutional economics is key to aligning IT and businesses. 

If adoption and change management has been a boondoggle, then aligning businesses and IT to drive governance has been the perennial bugbear for IT and business executives.

Governance for much of the IT portfolio today is an extrinsic set of tasks and activities — again accompanied by expensive consultants attempting to minimize the visible divide. With blockchain platforms, the underlying crypto-economic protocols bring governance inline into the systems and applications themselves. However, businesses and IT now need a new lens to look at their IT portfolio. These emerging systems and the IT portfolios that they are a part of are more institutions than applications, and principles and practices from the field of institutional economics serve to drive intrinsic business and IT alignment.

7. Tokenize your value chains: In-network tokens are the new moat.

Businesses compete for market success and for customers not as islands, but as value-chains. The activities and the all-up value chain, in which the activities are embedded, serve as the core building blocks of competitive advantage.

Blockchain platforms provide a fundamentally different way to advance competitive strategy. In-network tokens — or privately labeled/branded stable-coins — have the potential to re-imagine the value chain and to rebuild the customer acquisition and support funnels, building new levels of supplier and vendor network effects and establishing unparalleled levels of affinity and loyalty on a global scale.

In Summary

The disruptive nature of blockchain platforms is clear: Their enormous potential for value creation is evident, and the role that they can play in re-shaping and re-imaging business ecosystems is manifest in their recurring appearance in the corporate executive and board-level mandates.

This article provides a seven-step approach to accelerate the adoption of blockchain capabilities and to maximize business value in the enterprise.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

John DeVadoss leads development for Neo Blockchain, based in Seattle, WA. Previously, he built and successfully exited two machine learning start-ups. Earlier in his career at Microsoft, John incubated and built Microsoft Digital from zero to $0.5B in revenue; he led the Architecture, Product, and Developer Experience for the .NET platform v1 and v2; and he was instrumental in creating Microsoft’s Enterprise Strategy.