Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Blockchain News
*Time In UTC / GMT
Cryptocurrency trading platform Binance.US launched its over-the-counter (OTC) trading platform for cryptocurriencies such as Bitcoin for users in most U.S. states. The minimum trade size for the portal is an equivalent value of 10,000 U.S. dollars, with 12 different coins and tokens initially supported for OTC trading.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has awarded a $200,000 contract to Simba Chain, Inc. to develop a proof-of-concept blockchain-based system to improve the integration, security, auditability, and controlled access of sensitive federal research and development (R&D) data. This is a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract.
Bitcoin, once dismissed as something reserved for geeks and the cryptography enthusiasts, is back in the limelight, as the price of the cryptocurrency appreciated in recent weeks.
Bittrex started in June with its own token
In a move that is likely to aim to regain market share from rivals like Binance and Huobi, another crypto exchange will launch its own token.
The Lichtenstein-based crypto exchange Bittrex Global announced on Tuesday on Twitter that its "Bittrex Global Exchange Token" should be listed on its platform in June and that it will be available to users worldwide with the exception of US citizens. Otherwise, however, little is known about the new token, and there is as yet no information about possible use cases or advantages of owning the token.
Bittrex declined to comment because they "are unable to disclose more information at this time."
A new token from Bittrex Global would rank among the other tokens issued around the world, with Binance Coin (BNB) and Huobi Token (HT) among the most prominent. As BNB holders can attest, the token was massively profitable for early buyers, rising from $ 0.1 in mid-2017 to almost $ 17 today. However, the BNB decreased by 25% in one year, while the HT rose by 73% in the same period.
Bittrex Global, a spin-off from the US stock exchange Bittrex, was only founded in Lichtenstein in October 2019 to take advantage of the more crypto-friendly regulations of the Principality of Central Europe.
Immediately after the news was released, criticism came from the community, and many people wondered why the exchange took so long to develop a new brand and what the company's motivation for creating a new brand was.
A Twitter user asked about "other sources of income after the volume runs out" and suggested that the stock market should look for "great free coins" instead.
Su Zhu, whose company Three Arrows Capital is an investor in the crypto derivatives exchange Deribit, also seemed surprised by the announcement:
The 24-hour trading volume (10:04 UTC) is $ 42.6 million, according to Coinpaprika.com.
Trading volume on Bittrex
You can also find de.CryptoNews on Facebook and Twitter.
Von Fredrik Vold
Kratika Agrawal – 13/05/2020 0
Author: Guest Author
7 Things to Know Before Investing in Cryptocurrency
Do your research before adding cryptos to your portfolio.
Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones recently named bitcoin as his top bet for a hedge against post-pandemic inflation. Average investors likely don’t know much about bitcoin — or any cryptocurrency for that matter — other than what they see in the news. Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, is a form of digital currency invented in 2009 by an anonymous founder using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Cryptos aren’t managed by a bank or public agency. Instead, transactions of cryptocurrency tokens are recorded on a public blockchain — comprised of digital information stored on a database. Their future remains uncertain. “Tokens or coins used in a decentralized network are not the same as shares in a company,” says Michael Anderson, co-founder of Framework Ventures. “As such, growing and proliferating these networks requires new models for success, and we’re still in the first inning of proving them out.” Here are seven things to understand before investing in cryptocurrencies.
Cryptos are risky.
Investing in cryptocurrencies is very speculative. “Like the majority of startup companies, most crypto assets will fail and therefore become worthless,” Anderson says. “Non-professional investors should only invest an amount they’re willing to lose.” Despite stories of investors making millions, investing at an inopportune time can result in rapid and extreme losses. As late as May 2017, one unit of bitcoin (BTC) traded for roughly $1,500. At its peak in December 2017, bitcoin got as high as $19,800. Recently, BTC has ranged in price from $6,600 on April 15 to $10,000 on May 7. Although the chance of striking it rich by investing in cryptos is enticing, this market is extremely volatile and there’s a real possibility of great losses.
The uses for cryptos vary.
Cryptocurrency is known for funding illegal transactions. Yet legal businesses also accept cryptos for transactions. Cryptos offer speedy, low-cost money transfers. This makes using them for international money transfers popular. In fact, a $99 million litecoin (LTC) transaction took only two and a half minutes and cost the sender less than one dollar in transaction fees. Cryptos are free from authorities and can’t be frozen. That’s because only an owner with a private key to the wallet has access to the asset. Investors can also speculate in listed cryptocurrencies, betting on which ones will succeed and which ones will fail.
Cryptocurrency investors use many strategies.
Simple speculation is one approach to cryptocurrency investing. But just like investing in the stock market, there are specific strategies for cryptocurrency investors. Marcus Swanepoel, CEO at Luno, a global cryptocurrency company, says you can day-trade cryptos, buy and hold and evaluate the assets with fundamental and technical analysis. Despite the difficulty of predicting lows and highs in digital currency, Swanepoel claims there are methods of market analysis that can inform investors when to buy and sell. Strategies for evaluating cryptocurrency include concepts such as the supply, demand and future uses of the asset. For example, bitcoin’s supply is fixed at 21 million units, which implies that demand can drive prices due to the fixed supply. “Global economic events can exert a powerful influence on cryptocurrency prices,” Swanepoel adds.
The IRS doesn’t consider cryptos to be currency.
In the U.S., the Internal Revenue Service considers cryptocurrency as property. The tax rules that govern property investing also apply to cryptocurrency investing. “This ruling imposes extensive record-keeping requirements and the IRS is making tax enforcement of cryptocurrencies a high priority with steep penalties,” says Robert Elwood, partner at Practus, a Philadelphia law firm. “So transactions in taxable accounts should be undertaken only when the record-keeping burden is worthwhile.” If enacted, the Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act of 2020 could encourage more cryptocurrency use because taxes would only be levied on the digital currency if the gain of a transaction is greater than $200. This would enable individuals to easily pay for smaller purchases with digital currency. That said, cryptos held in retirement accounts are protected from tax, as are other assets owned within these accounts.
Cryptos may fail.
As for any market, the future of cryptocurrency is not guaranteed. “I believe that cryptocurrencies will implode and no longer exist in any meaningful sense in a few years and that the entire cryptocurrency market is a bubble,” says Robert R. Johnson, professor of finance at Creighton University. Johnson thinks the cryptocurrency market is driven by the “greater fool theory,” as investors rely on new buyers to bid up the price. If Johnson is wrong and the cryptocurrency market doesn’t fail, there still remains the question of which digital currencies will survive. With thousands of entrants in the market, and new offerings emerging, not all will last. Investors who want to speculate in this market should probably stick with the most well-known names, such as bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin. It’s also wise to learn a bit about the market for each before investing.
Cryptos can vanish.
Blockchain is popular with a variety of financial institutions and other users. Since cryptocurrencies are virtual and lack a central storehouse, it’s possible for an account balance to be wiped out. For example, a computer crash without a backup could destroy a stash of cryptocurrency. If a user loses the private key to their wallet, the cryptocurrency they own is unrecoverable. Scammers can also hijack someone’s mobile account by impersonating an account holder. Thieves contact the carrier and request the user’s SIM card to be transferred to a new device. This gives scammers access to the cryptocurrency accounts. It’s incumbent upon investors to keep track of their private key and use a wallet from a well established firm. Professionals also suggest backing up your cryptocurrency private keys and using strong passwords.
Cryptocurrency prices can be driven by emotion.
Asset class bubbles have occurred over and over again throughout history. From the Dutch tulip bulb mania in the 1600s to the dot-com bubble in 2000, it’s not uncommon for popular assets to be bid up by enthusiastic investors. FOMO, or fear of missing out, can cause investors to jump on the cryptocurrency investing trend at the wrong time. Calculating the intrinsic value of cryptocurrency may be more difficult than for a publicly traded company, but learning about the asset and how it performs might help prevent you from investing at a peak. By incorporating industry knowledge and developing an understanding of the digital currency market, you will become a more educated cryptocurrency investor. Unfortunately, the fact remains that, unlike buying tangible assets with a long history, bitcoin is simply an entry in an online log with 11 years of history.
Keep these seven things in mind before buying cryptos:
— Cryptos are risky.
— The uses for cryptos vary.
— Cryptocurrency investors use many strategies.
— The IRS doesn’t consider cryptos to be currency.
— Cryptos may fail.
— Cryptos can vanish.
— Cryptocurrency prices can be driven by emotion.
7 Things to Know Before Investing in Cryptocurrency originally appeared on usnews.com
Bitcoin’s Price Has Bounced but Miners May Still Be Switching Off Post-Halving
While bitcoin is fast reversing its pre-halving price drop, some miners still look to be leaving the network.
At time of writing, the top cryptocurrency by market value is changing hands at $9,730, representing a 20% gain on the low of $8,100 observed Sunday – the day before Bitcoin underwent its third mining reward halving.
The bounce has erased more than 75% of the drop from $10,500 to $8,100 seen in the three days to May 10.
While the price has recovered a major portion of the lost ground, the cryptocurrency’s hashrate (the total computing power dedicated to mining blocks on the blockchain) has declined to 98 exahashes (EH/s) – that’s down 27% from the high of 135 EH/s observed on Monday, according to data source bitinfocharts.com.
The one-day hashrate often sees rapid fluctuations and provides less useful information about the broader trend. Hence, most observers prefer the seven-day average of the hashrate, which smooths out daily fluctuations.
That average, too, has dropped to 114 EH/s from the pre-halving high of 122 EH/s, according to data provided by blockchain intelligence firm Glassnode.
The decline in the hashrate suggests some miners have scaled back or shut down operations following Monday’s halving of block rewards from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC, which makes returning a profit harder or impossible with older mining machines (depending on the price). Validating that argument is the recent uptick in the mean block interval time, or the average time taken to mine a block.
The mean block interval time rose to 727 seconds or 12 minutes on Wednesday from a low of 8.5 minutes observed on Sunday.
The halving was expected to crowd out some miners, especially the ones using older-generation mining devices like Bitmain’s Antminer S9s.
While speaking at Consensus: Distributed on Tuesday, Alex de Vries, founder of financial and economic news portal Digiconomist and blockchain specialist, said, “S9s miners have already lived longer than expected and bitcoin’s price will have to double for these machines to become viable again.”
De Vries also predicted a decline of up to 20% in the hashrate in the short term. So far, the seven-day average has dropped by 6.5%.
However, if prices continue to rise, even the older-generation machines might once more be worth switching on, especially as electricity costs are expected to go down with the arrival of the monsoon season in China’s Sichuan province, a region that contributes over 50% of the total mining power on the Bitcoin network.
But even if prices rise over $13,760, the Antminer S9 would still be operating at a slight loss, according to a calculator provided by Poolin.
Some observers believe the miner capitulation happened during the first half of March when the cryptocurrency’s price fell from $9,000 to $3,867. “We already had a mini halving in March due to the price crash. We don’t expect a big drop in the hash rate in the short-term (sic),” said de Vries on Twitter.
A move above $13,000 looks unlikely right now, though a break above $10,000 cannot be ruled out because bitcoin balances on cryptocurrency exchanges have continued to decline post-halving – a sign of long-term bullish sentiment.
The seven-day average of exchange deposits slipped to 2,323,951 on Wednesday to hit the lowest level since May 2018. Investors typically move their coins from wallets to exchanges during a price crash, or when they are skeptical about the sustainability of price gains.
Author: Alyssa Hertig
IRS Cracking Down on Cryptocurrency Tax Evasion, Seeks Private Crypto Tax Contractors
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has requested help from independent consultants to crack down on non-compliance in cryptocurrency tax.
On May 12, the IRS sent out a Statement of Work (SOW) soliciting private contractors to aid in auditing tax returns related to cryptocurrency and virtual assets.
An email first reported by CryptoTrader.Tax read, “The Internal Revenue Service is engaging outside contractors to assist our Revenue Agents in calculating taxpayers’ gains or losses as a result of their transactions involving virtual currency. We are placing a few single-case contracts as pilots with a goal of publishing a solicitation and request for proposal for a larger multi-case contract. Attached is a sample Statement of Work describing the types of services we are looking for. I wanted to make you aware of our efforts in case your company has any interest in pursuing this type of work.”
Statement of Work Requirements
Per the SOW, the IRS is requesting help, from FinTech companies that develop or are proficient in cryptocurrency tax software, to aid in the reconciliation of reported crypto gains and losses on the tax returns of US citizens.
The process described in the SOW aims at using software to systematically obtain records of cryptocurrency transactions data from exchanges, wallets, data sites, and other data sources to create a more detailed and transparent tax report for the taxpayers under consideration.
Source: IRS SOW
It appears the service sought by the IRS is an efficient tool to compare information reported on tax returns with the information provided by exchanges and digital asset service providers to discern if any further audit should be carried out.
IRS More Knowledgable than Ever on Crypto
In Notice 2014-21, the IRS explained that they have applied general principles of tax law to determine that cryptocurrencies or virtual currency are classified as property for federal tax purposes.
In October 2019, the IRS announced the addition of a question to the US tax return form obligating citizens to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings as well as gains and losses.
The recent SOW sent out by the IRS highlights that the federal agency has become far more knowledgeable in the cryptocurrency space. In a section of the SOW entitled, “Services to be Provided”, they detailed how complex an individual tax return calculation can become when dealing with cryptocurrency as any one user could have “hundreds and thousands” of transactions in a single year on multiple platforms.
The request for aid is so far just a request and no crypto tax service providers have been legally forced to hand their users’ data over to the IRS. The SOW does state, however, that the contractors who do decide to take on the project will be required to testify at trial to explain any discrepancies in data for the IRS.
Author: Lucas Cacioli