May 21 – 27, 2018 | Apple, Bitcoin Testing & More Crypto News
3iQ Research Group consolidates the top five cryptoasset stories of interest
to investment advisors and our investors.
Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Sees Ethereum Being the Next Apple
May 21, 2018 – Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak thinks that the Ethereum platform could one day be just like Apple, thanks to its ability to do many things and act like a platform for a whole industry. The legendary entrepreneur and investor still holds cryptocurrencies today, and holds them so he “can experiment with paying for different things”. Wozniak believes in a long-term approach on Ethereum, and sees the platform expanding in popularity and following an Apple-like future.
Ethereum has well established itself as the #2 player in the cryptoasset market, behind none other than Bitcoin. In short, Ethereum is meant to be a “World Computer”, providing the ability to replace centralized servers with thousands of nodes (individual computers) across the world.
Germany’s Deutche Boerse is “Deep at Work” on Bitcoin, Still Behind Canada and the US
May 23, 2018 – Jeffrey Tessler, the head of clients, products, and core markets at Deutche Boerse says that the major exchange operator is looking at offering cryptocurrency products. American rivals CBOE Global Markets and CME Group, as well as Canada’s TMX Group through its subsidiary Shorcan DCN, have already begun to delve into cryptocurrency products and derivatives. So far, no other European exchange has been able to follow suit, and Deutche Boerse may be a first for Europe.
At an event organized by the Association for Financial Markets in Europe, Tessler said that “before we move forward with anything like Bitcoin, we want to make sure we understand the underlying transaction which isn’t the easiest thing to do.” Tessler also acknowledged that the exchange group is “not at the same stage” as CME quite yet.
MIT Tests Smart Contracts Powered With Bitcoin’s Lightning Network
May 24, 2018 – Researchers at the prestigious US university MIT have reportedly tested smart contracts on the bitcoin lightning network, providing a rare opportunity to see how bitcoin can handle millions of transactions with a greater level of complexity. Through the school’s Digital Currency Initiative, which began back in 2015, researchers have tested and experimented with cryptocurrency technology. In this case, researchers are experimenting with bitcoin’s ability to process transactions based on “defined external events”, such as the current weather or changing stock prices through the power of smart contracts. Bitcoin is the world’s oldest and most established cryptocurrency, with a market capitalization of about $125 billion USD at the time of writing. The bitcoin lightning network is essentially an “added layer” on top of the existing bitcoin blockchain, allowing for faster, cheaper, and more advanced transactions. Historically, smart contracts have mostly lived on the Ethereum blockchain, whereas bitcoin has primarily served as a store of value and as the leading blockchain-based payment method.
While the bitcoin lightning network provides scale for future development, smart contracts can add incredible new functionalities to bitcoin. For example, if the development from MIT’s tests are implemented into bitcoin, an investor could make a bet based on current global events automatically. MIT researcher Alin Dragos says “we at DCI, we really believe in the lightning network,” he adds that “Bitcoin doesn’t scale very well. I decided there has to be something better. Turns out what’s better is lightning. It’s the way to scale.”
Coinbase Could Trade “Hundreds of Tokens” After Acquisition of Paradex
May 23, 2018 – Leading cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has acquired Paradex, a virtual coin trading platform. Coinbase plans to enhance Paradex’s existing technology and provide the services to customers outside of the United States. By acquiring Paradex, Coinbase is setting itself up for the ability to trade hundreds of existing cryptocurrencies on its secure platform. Previously, Coinbase had only offered the trading of four leading cryptocurrencies, bitcoin, ether, litecoin, and bitcoin cash.
Previously, most leading cryptocurrency exchanges had been hesitant to list the thousands of alternate coins and ICO tokens on their platforms, most likely due to regulatory uncertainty and the potential for scams and other manipulative tactics. Coinbase is set to “eventually” release Paradex’s offerings to its U.S. customers after implementing “changes for compliance purposes”.
US Justice Department Conducts Criminal Probe on Cryptocurrency Price Manipulation
May 23, 2018 – The US Justice Department has reportedly begun a criminal probe into the price manipulation of cryptocurrencies. The criminal probe is set to focus on illegal practices which can influence market prices, such as the creation of fake buy or sell orders or flooding orders on illiquid cryptocurrencies. Otherwise known as spoofing or wash trading, these practices can trick other traders into buying or selling. Other public markets have historically experienced these same tactics and are actively prevented from being manipulated. The sophistication and breadth of the cryptocurrency market remains a target for federal authorities as the emerging digital asset classes increase in adoption. Federal prosecutors have teamed up with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to bring prevent further criminal activity in the cryptocurrency market.
The incredible price rise of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in 2017 created a widespread investment interest, particularly from retail investors who may be misled by manipulative market tactics. Other scams and misleading cryptocurrency investment opportunities have otherwise clouded an industry of simply transferring digital ownership, and driven some of the interest away from the core, top-tier cryptoassets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
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