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Bitcoin

Bitcoin Tumbles Below $10K Mark as Crypto Market Turns Bearish

The crypto market had an excellent first half of the year with an impressively strong run, led by Bitcoin (BTC) and some altcoins. However, the month of July has brought with it its fair share of chaos and prices have fluctuated wildly.

Today, the crypto market lost a significant portion of its value, falling below $300 billion, as both Bitcoin and many altcoins plunged on the various exchanges across the world. The total loss of valuation was $22 billion at one point, and experts believe it could continue.

Bitcoin Breaks Below $10K

In the same way that it leads the rallies, the sharp decline today was also led by Bitcoin as it dropped below a critical level to $10,000. However, the drop in the BTC price also instigated a bloodbath among altcoins, many of which also lost a significant amount of value.

However, once the updates about the accidental Tether creation came through, the price of Bitcoin recovered significantly and touched $11,500. It remains to be seen how the crypto sphere fares over the next few hours. Based on the technical chart, the next support levels for Bitcoin are $10,100 and $9,800.

In other areas of the crypto world, Ethereum (ETH) slumped to $223, XRP to $0.306, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) crashed to $302.

>> Bitpoint Hacked for $32 Million, Another Example of Crypto’s Volatility

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading at $10,129, down by 3.20%. The world’s largest cryptocurrency has lost 25% from its 52-week high since early July.

However, amidst all the doom and gloom that has currently pervaded the cryptocurrency community, it is interesting to note that crypto fund manager Timothy Peterson has made a highly bullish prediction. He stated that according to his model, the price of Bitcoin could be as much as $40,000 each by the end of 2019 and if that actually comes to pass, then one of the biggest rallies in crypto history is probably coming up.

What do you think?

Featured image: DepositPhotos © SectoR_2010

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social media

Blockchain and Social Media | A Match Made in Heaven?

Social media platforms of the new future will be very different from what we have today, that is if the current trends are to sustain. Social networking is not an old phenomenon. It has picked up in the last two decades. At the dawn of the internet, as it started to gain mainstream adoption in the early 90s, the only thing we could do was view information and send messages via email. Later on, as the decade progressed, online search started to become a big thing, and later microblogging caught on, albeit at a small scale.

Instead of just viewing information, the idea of sharing and forming platforms started to grow. America Online (AOL) could be viewed as heralding this era when it enabled the creation of member profiles that were searchable. Nonetheless, major strides in social networking were not made until after the dot com bubble burst in 2000. The new era of social networking sites began. Friendster was launched in 2002, then Myspace in 2003, LinkedIn also in 2003, and Facebook in 2004. Even Google launched Orkut, a social networking site, in 2004. It has since shut it down.

Facebook and Myspace became the two leading social networking sites until Facebook dominated. Facebook specifically did a few things differently from Myspace that worked—starting by targeting university students, understanding its core product value, etc.—and these things eventually allowed it to increase engagement and capitalize on ads.

Later came Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat—all with one core idea—giving a platform for people to share their daily life experiences. User-generated content became the main thing. To monetize the platforms, the only viable model was through allowing companies to place ads while people used the service for free. As people generated more content, engagement grew. As time went by, more customer data was being analyzed and tracked in order to give better ad placement than TV and other traditional platforms could offer.

This has been the dominant model for social media platforms, but major problems have arisen from this model.

Hacking and data leaks have been a huge problem, perhaps the most concerning. Facebook allows third-party developers to create applications that work on Facebook’s platform. Recently, we learned about how this has been abused, exposing users’ records, names, passwords, comments, etc. It started with the Cambridge Analytica scandal. LinkedIn also had a password breach.

Too many ads can lead to a bad customer experience. Many social media companies, in a bid to increase revenue, found more ways to customize ads. The length of time a person stays on a platform became the main metric, and all efforts have been done to increase staying time. The centralized control of social media companies means that they optimize for engagement and ease of use in order to make better targeting for advertisers. Sometimes this comes at the expense of users.

Even with increased staying time, the majority of the value generated accrues to the platforms themselves and not the users who are the creators of the content.

Fake accounts, spamming, and bots are also becoming a menace for current social media platforms. For example, Facebook recently said that in the first quarter of 2019, it had removed 2.2 billion fake accounts. That is a high figure, even though Facebook says it is able to flag fake accounts within minutes of registering. In addition, how to manage privacy in an ad-based model is still a challenge.

Finally, there’s online harassment and hate speech. This has always been a problem but has especially become so in the last few years. The only way a user can really deal with this is by reporting the account; beyond that, the jury is still out on how best to solve the issue of online harassment and hate speech.

>> Tether (USDT) Accidentally Creates $5 Billion in Crypto

It Started with Bitcoin

The launch of bitcoin in 2009 sought to change the way we view and use money. Satoshi outlined the vision of a decentralized, censorship-resistance internet-based money. Bitcoin has acted as a currency and medium of exchange, enabling borderless mechanisms to store and exchange value. The idea is to reduce centralized control and the single point of failure, which can be prone to manipulation and locks out many, especially those in countries with failing monetary regimes and a lack of ways to transfer value cheaply across national borders. This aspect of decentralized networks has caught on and is now being extended beyond money to other areas.

Ethereum later came in 2015, introducing the idea of a platform to build and launch decentralized applications. Hundreds of use cases have evolved from here: fundraising (ICOs), prediction markets, data storage, etc.

Social media is one of the use cases. As outlined above, some of the major challenges of existing social networks can be solved by decentralized networks if they work as envisioned.

  1. Reduce powerful corporations controlling huge chunks of data;
  2. Deal with problems of bots and fake accounts;
  3. Incentivize good behavior through tokens—this could reduce spamming/trolling;
  4. Enable contributors to earn based on the content they share;
  5. A payment system.

Let’s look at some of the existing projects trying to solve the problems currently plaguing social media.

Steemit

Steemit was an early blockchain startup that showcased how the technology could be used to benefit content creators. As a decentralized alternative to platforms like Reddit, users are able to create accounts and start posting content. When it becomes popular, they earn Steem tokens.

This way, spam content is eliminated. Users can exchange tokens with other cryptocurrencies or fiat on exchanges. Started in 2016, it has now amassed 1 million users. However, it has not yet achieved scale to rival any of the existing social media platforms.

Voice

Block.one, the company behind the EOS cryptocurrency, announced on the first anniversary of EOS mainnet on June 1, 2019, that it was launching a social media platform called Voice.

The information available from the launch says that the platform will seek to eliminate bots through a special authentication process when onboarding users. If successful, that would eliminate one of the main challenges of managing fake accounts and bots on traditional social media.

The Voice token will be at the center of the network whereby users receive Voice tokens based on the content they share and by collecting likes. The token cannot be obtained in any other way, such as mining, but only through the platform, and it can be spent promoting users’ own posts.

Facebook’s Libra

Even the existing social media platforms such as Facebook are realizing that this is not a passing façade.

Facebook first came out in support of blockchain in 2018 when its CEO said that they were looking into blockchain as possible solutions for their privacy woes. Later in December 2018, it has heavily been reported by various new platforms such as Bloomberg that, finally, Facebook is launching its own cryptocurrency, Libra. The announcement came on June 18, 2019. and Libra is expected in 2020.

Libra is to be in the form of a stablecoin for facilitating payments on Facebook’s platforms. According to the whitepaper, the project is a collaboration of 27 other partners which form the Libra Association; each partner contributes $10 towards the project and hosts a node. Facebook formed Calibra, which is to be Facebook’s own representative in the Libra Association. David Marcus, head of Calibra, says that members are expected to grow to 100 by the time the launch.

Libra is meant to facilitate payments across the world. Facebook would benefit by enabling its 2.2 billion users to have a way to make payments easily and cheaply. Further down the line, Libra could be used to enable users to pay for ads on the platform.

Nonetheless, Facebook has received a lot of backlash from lawmakers in both Washington and Europe. Reports also indicate that China could launch its own version to compete with Libra.

This is not the first time Facebook has experimented with digital tokens, having launched Facebook credits in 2009 to enable users to purchase items such as games on the site before terminating the project after it failed to gather traction. However, with the rise of cryptocurrency tokens, could this social media platform have now found a way?

>> John McAfee Reiterates His $1 Million by 2020 BTC Price Prediction

Telegram

Telegram, the messaging platform, is also building the TON, or Telegram Open Network, which will enable users to undertake e-commerce.

Telegram raised $1.7 billion in 2018, making it one of the biggest ICOs ever. In February this year, The Block reported that the project was 90% complete and would be launched in Q3 of 2019.

Telegram aims to launch GRAM, the native token powering the TON. To add to messaging, the TON is expected to enable payments via GRAM, a decentralized marketplace, and peer-to-peer file hosting as explained in its technical whitepaper. The project is speculated to be in testing mode currently, and more details will be availed when the project is fully launched later this year.

With 200 million monthly users already, the launch of TON could radically change messaging as Telegram is already one of the most widely used non-blockchain based messaging platforms, particularly for ICOs, mainly because of its privacy features. If TON is successful, this could solve the monetization challenge of the platform, since the founder Pavel Durov has publicly said that Telegram will never allow ads as a method of monetization.

From Now On

For the majority of the new and upcoming blockchain-based social media platforms, incentivizing good behavior, payment channels, and rewarding users for sharing content seems to be the core tenets of blockchain-influenced social media.

Until now, the only viable way to make money by being on social media as a user has been growing a following or fan base to high numbers, having some level of influence, and then endorsing or sponsoring products through which the user can earn a commission based on set metrics.

However, for the majority of the remaining users, there is no incentive not to troll, spam, and so forth. With tokens, the idea is to reward those who spend more on the platform, sharing updates, pictures, stories, and the like. Social media giants such as Facebook have come under pressure for generating billions of dollars in ad revenue based on content created by users while users do not benefit directly. Native platform tokens could unlock this problem. The extent to which this will work remains to be seen, but at the core, it challenges the fundamentals of how not only social media but also by extension, the internet has been built so far.

Privacy, payments, and control over data seem to be at the core of how the future of social media is going to work.

Time will tell.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © yourg

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Bitcoin

Altcoins Join the Bitcoin Rally

Bitcoin (BTC) has been on an astonishing run this year that has almost mirrored the astonishing rally back in 2017 when the cryptocurrency touched almost $20,000 per token. However, earlier on in July, the cryptocurrency experienced declines and went below the $10,000 level.

Altcoins Moving Up

However, that seems to be a thing of the past now as the coin has regained its gains and is soaring again on the back of excellent momentum. In addition to that, due to the surge experienced by Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP) have also experienced gains.

The previous 48 hours or so have been quite dramatic with Bitcoin gaining as much as 10% and reaching a price of $13,120 each, which is now within touching distance of $13,880, BTC’s highest level in 2019 so far. All the other cryptocurrencies mentioned above have also gained, and due to the colossal bump in total value, the entire crypto market has managed to reach a total valuation of $350 billion.

>> BrewDog Extends Its Crypto Investment Opportunity “Equity for Punks”

According to experts, Bitcoin is now approaching a critical point in the charts, where it can either soar to new highs or tumble down significantly. However, it is important to point out that most of the time when it reached such levels, the token has managed to go on impressive bull runs. Experts believe that this is a critical level and there is a possibility of the coin reaching new heights on the back of some positive news with regards to the crypto market or Bitcoin.

It is believed that news of institutional investment in Bitcoin could be the trigger that finally manages to push the token into new heights, from which it will be difficult to dislodge it. It is important to note that earlier this year Fidelity opened up a fund by way of which its institutional investors could invest in Bitcoin.

At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading at $312, up by 7%, while Litecoin jumps 4% to $125, and Ripple gains 3% at $0.398.

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Bitcoin

Does Bitcoin Breakout Signal More Rallies to Come Later this Year?

When Bitcoin (BTC) went through a disappointing year in 2018, following the astonishing bull run at the end of 2017, many experts all over the world had written off the cryptocurrency. However, in 2019, the coin has come roaring back and went on another incredible bull run that has raised visions of a rally that could be similar, if not better, than the one that took place in 2017.

In 2019 alone, Bitcoin has gained as much as 240%, and there is a belief among crypto experts that it could climb further for the rest of the year.

Wild Moves

Last weekend Bitcoin slumped a bit but was fast to recover. Over the past couple of days, BTC has surged yet again and easily shrugged off the declines that it had experienced prior thanks to issues related to Facebook’s Libra. Technical analysts have stated that the Bitcoin curve is now is at a critical point, from where the coin could either go high or low.

>> Ripple Receives Boost with ECB Change in Leadership

There is a belief among many analysts that a significant piece of news (positive news of any kind) could be all it takes to push the price of Bitcoin up and give it the momentum for its next major breakout. The same action has been seen in many of the instances when Bitcoin really broke out and reached new levels.

The Chief Strategist at Onada Corp in New York, Edward Moya, stated that he believes that because there is now significant interest in Bitcoin from institutional investors, it won’t take much to push BTC over the edge. For example, the establishment of Fidelity’s Bitcoin fund for its institutional investors some months back was looked upon as a major development for the cryptocurrency, and it is believed that more such updates might push the token to new highs.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is up over 5% and now trading at $12,540, just 9% away from its 52-week high.

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Bitcoin Price

Bitcoin Price | Short Sellers Surprised as Bitcoin Surges Another 4.5%

Those who betted that Bitcoin’s bull run was over were hit with a surprise today. According to Reddit, over $44 million USD was lost on BitMEX due to short sellers betting on a Bitcoin price decline.

The largest digital asset by market cap surprised investors with another climb up the charts. At 10 am UTC, Bitcoin surged 4.4% and almost breached the $12k mark on CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin Price Surges 4%

Bitcoin is currently selling for $11,862 USD on CoinMarketCap; however, Cointelegraph reports:

“On major exchanges, USD spreads meant bitcoin was yet to reach $12,000 universally, with Bitfinex the first to record the higher price point, topping out at $12,040. Bitstamp, traditionally one of the more conservative price trackers, recorded $11,940.”

On Thursday, June 27, Bitcoin’s winning streak came to an abrupt stop when the coin suddenly crashed below $11k per coin from its year-to-date high of $13.8k approximately. Several days later, it had fallen further to below $10k per coin.

Skeptics believed that Bitcoin price would subsequently continue to fall; however, it has paired some losses since. While there is no exact reason for the coin’s recent resurgence, investors are relieved, despite short sellers losing huge amounts of money from betting on its decline.

Such volatility in recent weeks has cast doubts on Bitcoin’s future performance. Analysts remain unsure, but there’s a general consensus that a bear trend is on the way.

Altcoin’s Performance

Everyone’s attention remains on Bitcoin price, especially considering elsewhere in the cryptocurrency market, altcoins have performed rather poorly. However, there have been some exceptions.

For example, Ethereum is the most exciting altcoin today, climbing over 6% on the news that its own futures could soon launch. ETH is currently trading at $308.19 USD per coin.

>> Chainlink (LINK) Continues to Get Attention, What Next?

Last week, Litecoin continued to outperform the broader market with an average 5% return for investors. This is likely due to an upcoming “halving” in its blockchain. On August 6, Litecoin will “half,” with miners receiving half the amount of coins they get now with each new block mined. Litecoin is currently selling for $120 per coin, up 1.29% on the day.

Dogecoin was another sudden climber last week after Binance announced it would list the coin on its exchange. The news caused the coin to surge 37%, and now the coin trades at $0.0035 USD per coin.

What way do you think Bitcoin price will go? Will it continue to surge, or is there a bear trend on the way?

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