IOTA, a Cryptotoken for the Internet of Things’ Applications

Cryptocurrencies, blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) are going to be the future. The IOTA tokens combine the goodness of all the three into one. However, unlike Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the IOTA micro-transaction token is based on Tangle ledger specifically designed for the Internet of Things related applications, way back in 2015.

According to publications, the IOTA powered Tangle ledger is ideal for machine-to-machine payment transactions, with particular attention towards data integrity and accuracy. The IOTA tokens overcome the challenges of mining fee and slow transactions posed by popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, rendering microtransactions inefficient.

The rapidly developing IoT segment and the potential uses of distributed ledger technology in the sector make IOTA an ideal solution. The Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) employed by IOTA’s underlying ledger eliminates the most common problems otherwise presented by conventional blockchain system.

A recent article on one of the tech resource platforms differentiates between DAG and regular blockchains. The author explains that the DAG considers both users and validators to be the same, whereas blockchain distinguishes between individual users and block validators after creating a chain of consecutive blocks that contains both. On Tangle, users participating in the transactions are recognized and confirmed only after they authorize and approve two previous transactions. These operations will be monitored by Network nodes to prevent any conflict. The structure also eliminates the risk of double spending without clogging the system.

Making it much better is the flexibility of DAG, which allows the IoT network devices to continue using any previously established cryptocurrencies. Few altcoins like Byteball are already utilizing the DAG protocol. The very structure of DAG also eliminates possible centralization of the network (referring to the recent debate on centralization of Bitcoin network due to increased hashing power from Chinese mining pools). Also, the absence of a blockchain removes the necessity of expensive mining hardware like ASIC miners.

The applications of IOTA are not confined to IoT devices alone, and that has been established by other DAG-based platforms supporting the creation and implementation of smart contracts with real-world applications. At the same time, it can make IoT-based autonomous devices and vehicles that can earn and pay for their upkeep a reality.

Ref: All About Circuits | Image: NewsBTC

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Bitcoin and Blockchain are synonymous to each other, for blockchain is the popular cryptocurrency’s underlying technology. After Bitcoin, many alternative cryptocurrencies have come up, which still uses a distributed ledger either similar to or derived from Bitcoin blockchain. However, the US-based blockchain company MonetaGo intends to change that for the convenience of central banks.

In a recent interview with one of the leading news publication, MonetaGo has mentioned that it is going to separate Bitcoin and blockchain technology. It is still unclear as to how they are going to do that as these cryptotokens (Bitcoin, Ethereum or any other altcoin) are the units which make blockchain what it is. The cryptotoken transactions and the network size play a significant role in ensuring the security and data integrity on distributed ledgers.

It is entirely possible that the company’s statement meant that it is going to use an alternative blockchain platform instead of Bitcoin blockchain to create banking solutions. MonetaGo recently took part in a pilot with Indian central bank, the Reserve Bank of India.

A media report states Jesse Chenard, the CEO of MonetaGo mentioning that the use cases for blockchain technology goes beyond virtual currencies and that’s what the company is focusing on while working with banking institutions in India. MonetaGo is currently in talks with the Reserve Bank and other commercial banks in the country to develop blockchain infrastructure for payments, remittance, and trade-finance settlement processes.

However, there have been numerous instances where industry experts have argued that Bitcoin blockchain is the most stable and secure option amongst all. Bitcoin currently has the largest network among all digital currencies with the highest hashing power. Other alternative private or permissioned blockchains will not be able to match Bitcoin’s distributed ledger, making them more susceptible to attacks.

A similar concern has been voiced by Saurabh Aggarwal, the CEO of ZebPay — one of the India’s “big four” Bitcoin platforms. He mentions that using “blockchain” without its underlying token is as good as using any other database and the applications of such an arrangement are limited.

There are few projects already underway, with leading banking institutions in the country working in partnership with blockchain platforms. The resulting products are yet to make it to the market. India is opening up to cryptocurrency technology, and more organizations are expected to start exploring the technology soon.

Ref: Bloomberg Quint | Image: Shutterstock

Hyperledger Project is slowly gaining acceptance among both corporate and startups alike. A Linux Foundation initiative, Hyperledger has received support from some of the leading technology, financial and banking giants. As far as its initial adoption goes, startups like Invictus has joined the likes of Maersk to create blockchain-based applications in collaboration with IBM.

The Singapore-based Invictus has become the latest company to join forces with IBM to create a product on Hyperledger’s Fabric blockchain that recently entered the “production ready” phase. According to reports, the Order, Logistics, and Payment (OLP) platform being created by Invictus with IBM Bluemix Garage will help businesses increase their productivity while significantly cutting down costs.

The prototype OLP platform on Hyperledger Fabric will help startups, small and medium enterprises to efficiently execute and manage transactions between their suppliers, banks and liquidity providers. The Chairman of Invictus, Lim Soon Hock was quoted by media outlets saying,

“INVICTUS offers more than an e-procurement platform. We focus on taking the chronic pain out of the last mile of a transaction by expanding access to financing from third party liquidity providers, in addition to banks. Through our blockchain smart contract technologies and working collaboratively with IBM, we hope to disrupt this last mile by enabling secure and cashless financing as early as the purchase order stage.”

The product once implemented will prove helpful to thousands of startups across the world. It will help them gain access to the much-required capital to meet the production and delivery requirements without being heavily dependent on big-ticket VC investments or high-interest loans.

It is yet another win for IBM, which recently announced its collaboration with global shipping and logistics giant Maersk to create a blockchain solution to track millions of shipping containers across the world in real time. The Fabric based blockchain solution intends to rope in shippers, freight forwarders, and customs departments to create a universal system.

All these strategic collaborations and blockchain services offered by IBM has made it one of the leading cloud solutions provider in the cryptocurrency technology sector alongside Microsoft’s Azure.

Ref: Mis Asia | Image: Bigstock

Organizations such as the G20 have an important role to play. This group is called into life to fight protectionism and facilitate free trade. That no longer seems to be the case, though, as the public endorsement of free trade has been dropped. This decision comes on the heels of meeting with the Trump administration, which cannot be a coincidence by any means. Thankfully, cryptocurrency-based marketplaces will always allow free trade, regardless of political decisions.

The news comes as quite a shock to consumers and economic experts alike. Even though there were concerns over the G20’s course of action, no one expected this change so soon. As of yesterday, the world’s 20 leading economies will no longer endorse free trade. Moreover, they will no longer combat protectionism, which does not bode well for any economy around the world.

Interestingly enough, some of the G20 members wanted to stay the current course. Mainly Australia and China see the benefit of global free trade and fighting protectionism. On the other hand, the majority of members agree with the Trump administration on changing the rules. Keeping in mind how free trade underpins the global economy, this change of direction is not positive news. In fact, free trade efforts were doubled after the 2008 financial crisis. Changing the game now will result in a global financial turmoil, rather than anything else.

G20 Sets Out To Destroy The Global Economy

It is evident the US is not too bothered by global free trade right now. After pulling out of a vast trade deal in the Pacific, things got off to a rocky start. There is also the plan to tax on imports to the US. Moreover, the ongoing spat with Mexico will hinder free trade as well. President Trump wants to embrace protectionism to make America great again. His chance of success in this regard is nearly zero, though.

While the G20 may not see the benefit of free trade any longer, there are ways to circumvent their decision. Decentralized marketplaces, such as OpenBazaar, allow anyone in the world to buy and sell goods with ease. In fact, these marketplaces allow free trade in exchange for cryptocurrency payments. One drawback is how this principle relies on traditional shipping services, which will be affected by the G20 decision in the long run. Then again, it is a  viable alternative to bypass free trade restrictions.

It is evident something will need to change sooner rather than later. Entities such as the G20 can destroy the global economy with a few decisions like these. While some cryptocurrency enthusiasts look forward to that happening, it doesn’t necessarily bode well for any of us. Protectionist policies are a real that that will affect cryptocurrency as well. Decentralized marketplaces are the way to go, albeit they are only the first step along the path to maintain global free trade.

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Jihan Wu is known for expressing strong opinions on bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Ever since he pledged support to Bitcoin Unlimited, though, he has come a bit unhinged. In a recent tweet, he proposes to speed up the BU hard fork. The reason for doing so is the future contract on Bitfinex which is seemingly “offensive” towards big block supporters.

It is evident there is something brewing in the Bitcoin Unlimited community. A lot of recent statements have caused quite a stir, and things don’t improve anytime soon. Accelerating the hard fork is the last thing bitcoin needs right now, yet that is exactly what Jihan Wu proposes. His reasons for stating such things are rather odd, though. Moreover, this tweet indicates how desperate the BU supporters are getting right now.

The hard fork in question is met with a lot of resistance from bitcoin enthusiasts. The decision to introduce such a hard fork is utterly reckless. Moreover, support for these plans is less strong as some people like to think. This does not bode well for BU’s chances of success either. Accelerating one of the most controversial decisions in bitcoin’s history is not the right course of action. At the same time, it highlights the fanaticism found within Bitcoin Unlimited right now.

Jihan Wu is Going Off The Rails

There is a lot more at stake than just creating two separate bitcoin solutions, though. If a hard fork of this kind occurs, trust in cryptocurrency will be reduced to an all-time low. In fact, economists feel it may cripple bitcoin as a whole and push down the price to pre-2013 levels once again. It is evident the BU supporters do not care about this one bit, and Jihan Wu is certainly not concerned about the consequences right now.

It is evident the market does not want a hard fork, nor does the majority of the bitcoin community. Ever since BU started uttering threats to the bitcoin network, the BTC price has fallen sharply. Since BU is supported by a lot of early bitcoin investors, they could care less about losing some portfolio value right now. It doesn’t matter to them how these plans affect the rest of the community. If the hard fork tanks the price, people like Jihan Wu will not lose any sleep over it.

Last but not least, speeding up the BU hard fork can be seen as a replay attack against the network. If Unlimited wants a fair chance at succeeding, accelerating the fork is the last thing they need to do. It seems there a cult-like mentality among BU supporters which makes them say irrational things. Unfortunately, such rogue elements can impact the entire bitcoin ecosystem with relative ease. Some enthusiasts want BU to hard fork right now so this entire debacle becomes a non-to issue, albeit it is doubtful things will play out that way.

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Kraken, the leading cryptocurrency exchange and trading platform has added a new blockchain asset to its existing cryptocurrency offering. The platform has announced the new development in its latest blog post.

According to the blog, Kraken began supporting the trade of Melon (MLN) cryptocurrency as soon as it went live at 11 AM (UTC) on March 15, 2017. The release of Melon cryptotoken follows the recent successful crowdsale of MelonPort blockchain platform that successfully raised about $6.5 million. The MelonPort ICO concluded within 10 minutes of launch, hitting the target of 227,000 ETH.

MelonPort is one of the latest blockchain based smart contract platforms. The open source MelonPort protocol is purpose-built for managing digital assets over Ethereum blockchain platform. The modular Melon protocol is not only transparent but also flexible to allow expansion. The platform aims to reduce the costs as well as the time required to manage assets.

Kraken currently supports two MLN trading pairs — MLN/BTC and MLN/ETH. The exchange platform has also announced the possibility of including margin trading option for Melon cryptotokens in the near future.

The MelonPort community members who received the digital currency as a part of the crowdsale can deposit the Melon tokens in their Kraken account by generating a new MLN address. Once the tokens are deposited, users can visit the trading platform and start trading it against bitcoin and Ethereum.

The MelonPort platform has set a maximum cap of 1.25 million MLN tokens out of which 599,400 tokens, including the 499,400 sold to the community and another 100,000 being used by the company are currently tradable. Eventually, rest of the tokens will become available in the market once the second round of ICO and the applicable moratorium on the 150,000 tokens assigned the founders expires.

The competition in the blockchain applications and smart contracts sector is heating up. The emergence of many blockchain platforms has got developers striving to outperform each other. It will ultimately prove helpful when it comes to innovation.

However, it will be a different story when it comes to widespread adoption as standardization of smart contracts protocols will take plenty of time. Until then, investors and traders can look forward to making profits by trading and hedging the tokens against each other.

Ref: Kraken Blog | Image: NewsBTC

The performance of Bitcoin has been really great for the past few months. The digital currency reached an all-time high recently before recording a sharp decline this weekend. The increased Bitcoin price followed by speculations of further rise has led to an increase in the number of fraudulent investment schemes and scams.

The rise in Bitcoin-related frauds has forced the Canadian Police to warn the country’s population. The Durham Regional Police issued the warning following multiple reports from the residents of the region. According to the information available on various media outlets, many Canadians were approached by fraudsters after they responded to few listed job openings and advertisements.

The report also describes the modus operandi of the fraudsters which involves sending cheques to victims and asking them to use that money to buy bitcoin. Once the user deposits the cheque into their account, buys the digital currency with own money and transfers it to the fraudster, the cheque or e-transfer sent to the user bounces, leaving them short of money.

Similarly, another scenario involves scammers posing as the employees or representatives of the Canada Revenue Agency who ask for income tax payments in Bitcoin. Victims of such cryptocurrency scams have lost thousands of dollars so far.

The Durham Region Police Department asks the residents to be cautious while dealing with such requests. They also urge them to come forward and report the fraud if they have lost money to such scams.

The issue is not confined to Canada alone. There have been reports of similar scams attempted in the United States and India as well. The tax season also presents a lucrative opportunity for the scammers as people won’t find a communication from the “taxman” unusual. Many times, the victims are unsure about the legality of Bitcoin and virtual currency fraud, which makes them think twice before reporting it to the authorities.

It is advisable for people to not only avoid people asking them to buy Bitcoin on their behalf but also be wary of attractive cryptocurrency investment options that promise unrealistic rewards, as such schemes usually end with unsuspecting investors losing money to Ponzi schemes. It is better to be careful than letting the desire to make a quick buck get the best/worst out of oneself.

Ref: Durham Regional Police | Image: NewsBTC

Key Points

  • Bitcoin price traded towards $1180 against the US Dollar on a couple of occasions and failed.
  • The price moved down sharply and formed a bearish line on the 4-hours chart (data feed from SimpleFX) of BTC/USD with resistance near $1100.
  • The price may continue its decline and could even settle below the $1000 level.

Bitcoin price has started a downside move after failing near $1180 on many occasions against the US Dollar, and BTC/USD now could extend losses.

Bitcoin Price to Lose Ground?

This past week we saw a decline in BTC price due to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s verdict on the Bitcoin ETF request. The price moved down, but was seen later recovering above $1050. However, there were many attempts by the price to settle above $1200. It failed every time to settle above the $1180 and $1200 levels. As a result, a decline was initiated in Bitcoin price. It moved down below $1050, and settled below the stated level.

I think the most important close was below $1100. It is a major pivot, and a crucial support. So, a close below $1100 is a bearish sign, and might call for more losses in the near term. The price eve traded below $1000 recently, and currently recovering. On the upside, an initial resistance is near 38.2% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $1172 high to $936 low.

Bitcoin Price Weekly Analysis

There is also a bearish line on the 4-hours chart (data feed from SimpleFX) of BTC/USD with resistance near $1100. The most important hurdle is near the 50% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $1172 high to $936 low. So, selling rallies may be considered in the near term.

Looking at the technical indicators:

4-hours MACD – The MACD is now well into the bearish slope.

4-hours RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI is well below the 50 level, and suggesting bearish signs.

Major Support Level – $980

Major Resistance Level – $1075


Charts courtesy – SimpleFX

Key Highlights

  • ETH price after a nice upside move towards $50 against the US Dollar found sellers.
  • The ETH/USD pair (data feed via SimpleFX) is currently correcting lower, and might be heading towards a support area formed on the daily chart.
  • The most important support on the downside is near $32 where buyers might appear.

Ethereum price after a solid upside move towards the $50 level found sellers against the US dollar, and now ETH/USD is correcting lower.

Ethereum Price to Correct Lower

It was a solid upside ride for ETH price as it climbed higher towards $50 against the US Dollar. There was a rise as high as $49.90, which was just shy of $50. The price found sellers near $49.90 and started moving lower. It looks like a correction wave has started with a move below $48. There is already a break below the 23.6% fib retracement level of the last wave from the $16.06 low to $49.90 high.

The next major support on the downside is near $32.90, as it coincides with the 50% fib retracement level of the last wave from the $16.06 low to $49.90 high. It is where the price might find buyers and get bids near $33. However, I would say that the price might find the best support near $30. It matches with the 61.8% fib retracement level of the last wave from the $16.06 low to $49.90 high.

Ethereum Price Weekly Analysis

I would say there is a chance of further losses in the near term. So, if you are a buyer, then look for a proper wave count towards $42 before considering a buy trade. On the downside, the $32 level is a crucial support.

Daily MACD – The MACD is super bullish, and remains supportive of more gains.

Daily RSI – The RSI is correcting from the overbought levels, and moving towards the 60 level.

Major Support Level – $32.00

Major Resistance Level – $42.00


Charts courtesy – SimpleFX