GE Power To Adopt Blockchain For Financial Operations

SophiaTX, the first open-source platform to integrate blockchain with enterprise applications such as SAP, has announced a forthcoming collaboration with the power division of General Electric (GE) to design and develop a blockchain solution for GE’s financial efficiency and operations.

A joint Letter of Intent (LOI) announced today by Jaroslav Kacina, CEO of Equidato Technologies, the company behind the SophiaTX blockchain, and Davide Mancini, Finance Executive, GE Power, confirms that the two teams plan to collaborate on a blockchain initiative leveraging the SophiaTX platform.

The initial focus of the collaboration is the design and development of innovative blockchain uses in financial operations, including connectivity to existing systems (such as ERP) and both digital and supply chain applications. The SophiaTX project will also incorporate capabilities to record data from IoT sensors, smart devices, and applications.

“Working with a company of this nature and scale allows new and exciting opportunities for our platform,” explains Jaroslav Kacina, CEO of SophiaTX and Equidato Technologies AG. “We believe that the move of blockchain technologies into corporate ecosystems such as this has the potential to transform the way the organizations collaborate and engage with partners and customers alike.”

SophiaTX Blockchain Reshaping The Way Businesses Operate

SophiaTX is open source and tailored to allow traditional enterprise applications to be extended to more robust, collaborative and decentralized blockchain-enabled business models.

“Integrating blockchain with SAP and other business systems allows businesses to deliver efficiencies, better collaborate along the value chain and even re-shape their business models,” explains Mr Kacina.

The SophiaTX team recently published a white paper and unveiled a working Proof of Concept demonstrating how businesses can use SophiaTX to transparently and reliably exchange information between their enterprise systems in real time.

The SophiaTX project is premised on an in-depth analysis of the technological capabilities of existing blockchains, to ensure a strategy and a platform which can truly add value and provide businesses with not only suitability, but genuinely superior functionality and features. The resulting platform, and its focus on adoption by real businesses, is one of the most innovative advancements of blockchain into the way in which the businesses and their customers interact and how ecosystems are continuously re-defined by digital technology.

SophiaTX Token Generation Event To Begin On 5th December 2017

The newly signed LOI with GE is the latest milestone for SophiaTX ahead of the company’s Token Generation Event (TGE) on December 5th 2017.

A number of customers, from various industries, are already in the pipeline. Recently, a separate Letter of Intent was signed with pharmaceutical supply chain specialist KITA Logistics, confirming the intention to develop a specific blockchain solution for the transport of pharmaceuticals and related products.

The SophiaTX platform is fueled by SPHTX (SophiaTX Token), which covers mining and transaction fees; allows access and subscription to the development platform. The platform’s Token Generation Event (TGE/ICO) will start on December 5 and last 10 days.

About SophiaTX

SophiaTX is a blockchain platform and marketplace for businesses of all sizes, and the first open source platform to primarily integrate blockchain technology with enterprise applications such as SAP, Oracle, and others. 74% of transaction revenue worldwide touches SAP systems, and SophiaTX provides a business-appropriate blockchain for B2B collaboration and communication.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming the industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the “GE Store,” through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure, and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology, and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry. www.ge.com

About GE Power

GE Power is a world energy leader that provides technology, solutions, and services across the entire energy value chain from the point of generation to consumption. [It is] transforming the electricity industry by uniting all the resources and scale of the world’s first Digital Industrial company. [Its] customers operate in more than 150 countries, and together [it] powers more than a third of the world to illuminate cities, build economies and connect the world.

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The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) lists a number of scams and frauds that are rife in the automotive repair industry. These frauds transcend dangerous and life-threatening issues such as Airbag fraud, windshield glass fraud to bandit tow trucks that transport your vehicle to dodgy repair shops. There is no shortage of problems in the automotive universe, whether it is related to auto repair shops, auto-insurance or the supply-chain for parts and spares. One of the reasons that customers are suffering is the fragmented nature of the vehicle-related industries. All of the players involved operate in isolation and the customer and the industries themselves are subject to practices that have remained in place for years. An integrated system that acts as a link and binds the whole automotive experience in a chain has been missing, until now. The Vehicle Lifecycle Blockchain (VLB) claims to be the ‘ultimate blockchain fuel for the Vehicle Lifecycle Industry.’

What is Vehicle Lifecycle Blockchain (VLB)

Imagine an automotive ecosystem that encompasses everything from the time a vehicle rolls off the production line to the time it is junked in a yard. VLB aims to bring transparency and clarity to separate components in the automotive sector like manufacturers, repair shops, insurers, financiers and other operating participants. The blockchain will bind these participants and remove corrupt practices ensuring that customers get a fair deal. CarFix, which has a fully operational business in Russia and has serviced 250,000 customers with its reach of 500 repair shops are the force behind VLB, thus elevating it beyond just a ‘concept’. CarFix have earned the trust of major fleet owners like Uber and Fleetcor as well as a major car manufacturer. CarFix are also planning to extend their business model to the United States. The blockchain will ride on the shoulders of real-world customers and business owners, CarFix will be able to use their domain experience to carry out sales and marketing to help the system get a foothold till a point where it becomes self-propagating. CarFix’s business development team is working in this direction and is headed by the former head of supply at Uber. The blockchain will create a whole economic ecosphere which will be fueled by the VLB token.

VLB token as a fuel for automotive industry

The VLB token, which is based on Ethereum ERC-20 standard  is a utility token. This token will be necessary for various participants and users of VLB to get access to products and services. Paying participants would be able to use the VLB token to record transactions in the VLB as an example car owners would be able to record car purchase transactions or can access VLB records for ownership data. They can also track car maintenance and repair records. Similarly car repair shops can use these tokens to record car repair. There is a whole lot of use cases for the VLB token that have been clearly elaborated in a whitepaper that has been issued by them, which run the entire gamut of the automotive industry.The premise of VLB token is that the information in Vehicle Lifecycle Blockchain would be written through VLB tokens and eventually the entire industry would require this token to conduct routine transactions. VLB would first be deployed within CarFix’s own network and then move beyond it.

Ongoing VLB Token ICO

VLB tokens are being sold through an initial coin offering (ICO), which is ongoing at the time of the writing of this article. The ICO’s last date is December 17, 2017 and there are plans to raise 300,000 ETH through the token sale. 200 million tokens are up for sale during the ICO. Any unsold tokens will be liquidated. The token sale would be used to raise funds for the development of the Vehicle Lifecycle Blockchain. Bonuses are available for investors during different phases of the ICO and till December 2, 2017 there is a bonus of 195 VLB on purchase of 1 ETH worth of tokens. This means that instead of getting 650 VLB for 1 ETH,  an investor will get 845 VLB.

VLB

Instructions on how to participate in the ICO are available on the VLB website.

VLB token value driver for investor interest

As the blockchain system’s deployment picks up pace, the number of participants will increase. Each participant is obliged to spend at least 1 VLB token on every transaction they do on the system. According to the estimates made by CarFix, there are at least an average of 3.5 paying participants per each transaction and they project that demand for VLB tokens would rise by 16+ times in the next 5 years to 4.4 bln per year. This could potentially lead to appreciative forces on the token. The benefits of the blockchain itself are numerous and can potentially lead to revolutionising an entire sector with the emergence of a decentralised, trustless system in place. As an example insurance companies would be able to trust records and offer better claim management costs. They would also be able to offer cross-market services to other users of VLB. Manufacturers would be able to offer reliable maintenance records and make the warranty process more transparent and effective. Repair shops stand to gain as well as they get access to the blockchain and CarFix’s franchise network. VLB has the scope and the potential to bring a new age of trust in the automotive sector, where it has been eroded due to years of disconnect between the participants and malpractices that have disenchanted customers.

So we are closing in on the end of the European session and it is time to take a second look at the bitcoin price in an attempt to figure out how we can put together a strategy going forward to help us draw a profit from any volatility.

We have had a pretty up-and-down day in the markets and this means we are probably going to see a certain degree of choppiness as we head into the session tonight.

If this is the case, we are going to need to put some pretty tight stop losses in place so as to avoid getting chopped out to any substantial degree as and when things move. It doesn’t really alter our approach too much but it does make things a little bit more stringent from a risk management perspective than might otherwise be the case.

So, with this noted, let’s get some levels on paper.

As ever, take a quick look at the chart below before we get started so as to get an idea where things stand and where we are looking to jump in and out of the markets according to the rules of our intraday strategy. It is a one-minute candlestick chart and it has our range overlaid in green.

As the chart shows, the range we are looking at for this evening comes in as defined by support to the downside at 9269 and resistance to the upside at 9528. If we see price breakthrough the former, we will enter into a short trade with an immediate downside target of 9200. Looking the other way, to the upside, if price closes above resistance, we will enter long towards a target of 9600.

A stop loss on the first position around 9285 and on the second somewhere in the region of 9505 will keep risk tight.

Charts courtesy of Trading View

Energy costs vary so much across the globe that mining can either be super profitable, or a total waste of time. On top of that, the primary energy that is being used, especially when it comes to cheap energy, is dirty.

Moreso, there are issues when it comes to harvesting that electricity, and additional tariffs to pay for mining operations, cutting down already slim profit margins. Those who are also in the business already are almost re-centralizing the decentralized mining ecosystem.

However, Envion is aiming to change all that by taking mining operations to the source. By harvesting locally available clean energy right at the source, Envion hopes to be able to operate at a lower cost than other mining set ups, and at the same time reduce the CO2 footprint of the blockchain industry.

Cutting the carbon footprint

With the furore and excitement around cryptocurrencies at the moment, the ecosystem is expanding at a monstrous rate. This is great for the technology and its disruptive nature, in order to revolutionize the global sectors – but not great for the globe itself.

The Guardian has stated back in July that a single Bitcoin transaction “devours as much energy as what powers 1.57 US households for a day — roughly 5,000 times more energy-hungry than a typical credit card payment”.

If Blockchain technology and the digital tokens that come with them are to be accepted as normal, they need to start adhering to the green revolution that is sweeping the planet.

To this end, there are companies, such as Envion who are looking to make the mining of Cryptocurrencies a green operation.

Mobile mining units

Rather than stating that they will be using green energy and hoping that is the end of it, Envion is taking it a whole lot further. Envion has developed a fully automatized, mobile mining unit inside standardized intermodal shipping containers that can be shipped to any location in the world within days or weeks.

These containers are thus able to be set up alongside green energy sources, such as solar panel plants, and hydroelectric dams, and as such, they can utilize energy that is not only green, but also a lot cheaper.

Cutting the costs on all fronts

It makes huge sense logically for mining operations to be situated alongside green power sources. Not only does it allow help the power sources ship some of their excess energy, it also aids in the decentralization of the mining operation.

These mobile rigs can be profitable in any situation with the cost cutting methods, meaning there is no need to mine primarily in Russia or China any more.

Also, Envion developed a new, self-regulating cooling system, specifically for Blockchain mining, which is up to forty-times more energy-efficient and cost-effective than conventional, AC cooling units.

Envion further promotes environmental friendliness by recycling the energy produced from mining with the strategic placement of the mining units, close to objects and buildings that need heating, including warehouses and greenhouses. This enables them to reduce their energy costs even further.

An ICO with hardware

There are hundreds of ICOs that have nothing more than a whitepaper to their names, but with Envion, the mobile containers are already in operation, thus the EVN Token has some real world backing and value.

The EVN token will be on sale for 31 days from Dec. 1, 2017, with a max cap of 150 mln.

Once invested, token holders will have the right to dividends from the mining operations including 100 percent from proprietary mining operations (75 percent immediately and 25 percent reinvested to boost future payouts) and 35 percent from non-proprietary operations.

Finally, token holders will also get a say in company strategy by voting on decisions.

The rise in popularity and prices of cryptocurrencies will bring an inevitable rise in cyber-crime and those trying to steal it. This last week has seen the crypto top three; Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum, all reach record price highs of $11,400, $100 and $500 respectively. Big bucks bring bad guys and they are finding ever more devious ways to get at this digital booty.

Internet security researchers have found new techniques that let hackers perform browser-based crypto-mining even after the window has been closed. Millions of unsuspecting people have been targeted by drive-by crypto-miners using compromised websites to harness the CPU power and electricity of their machines without their knowledge.

Using malware called Coinhive, unscrupulous hackers can infect websites that inject code to secretly siphon off your computer power to mine the altcoin Monero which is currently trading around $175. The crypto-miner released in September allowed website owners to make extra revenue from their readers by harnessing their CPU power. However, it does not tell the user what is taking place and why their computer may start running a lot slower when visiting certain websites. The profits are shared between the account holder who gets 70% of what is mined and Coinhive the remaining 30%. It has been estimated that Coinhive is making between 4 and 5 million dollars a year from deceptive web-based mining operations. Torrent sharing platform The Pirate Bay was one of the early adopters of Coinhive, and changed its technique to mine through forced advertising instead of directly after users complained about their machines slowing down.

Researchers have found thousands of websites that are running Coinhive, many unknowingly, with proceeds going to whoever hacked the site. Anti-malware provider Malwarebytes have also discovered that the leaching can continue even after the user has closed the browser window. A pop-under window hiding behind the Windows taskbar is the culprit. It has been designed to bypass ad-blockers and closing the main browser still doesn’t get rid of it.

The code is even more cunning in that it intentionally does not max out the CPU usage but throttles down the computationally intensive actions to make usage look more natural. The technique works on the latest version of Chrome and the latest version of Windows 10 and antivirus providers have yet to include it in their signature updates although Malwarebytes are on the ball and claim to have blocked 248 million attempts at drive-by mining in the last month.

Vigilance is the key for end users, keep an eye on your CPU usage through Windows task manager and shut down all browser instances when you are no longer browsing the web.

Bitcoin network issues have been apparent for quite some time now. Especially when it comes to the mempool, things get out of hand quite regularly. It seems the backlog is filling up once again. With over 70,000 unconfirmed transactions hitting the network, things aren’t looking all that great. This is mainly due to the number of transactions per second, surpassing the 34 mark. Whether or not this is part of another spam attack, remains to be seen, though.

It is always interesting to see how things play out on the Bitcoin network in real-time. More specifically, there are mempool issues on more than one occasion. Right now, it seems the backlog is filling up pretty quickly once again. Over the past 24 hours, around 30,000 unconfirmed transactions have been added and the queue isn’t getting cleared whatsoever. In fact, it seems things are getting gradually worse right now, which is pretty troublesome.

More Mempool Concerns for Bitcoin

With so many new transactions hitting the network per second, things won’t improve soon. While it is good to see so many transactions, the network can’t handle them all right now. We also see over 1,000 BTC in fees in the mempool right now, which is quite a high number. There is no real shift in hashpower to speak of either. In most cases, such a mempool issue is caused by BCH getting more hashpower. So far, that is not the case, as the hashpower hasn’t changed much over the past few days.

There is one slightly worrisome development, though. On the three-hour chart, it shows a Bitcoin mining hashrate drop by as much as 25%. This has not translated into any major trends just yet, though. It may just be a blip on the radar, but it might indicate something is going on we don’t know about just yet. It is expected this mempool issue will sort itself out pretty soon, though. For now, there is no indication of a spam attack or any nefarious activity.

This is not the first nor the last time we will see Bitcoin network congestion. These problems have been apparent for quite some time now, and it seems this is not the last time either. Until Bitcoin can properly scale, problems like these will continue to arise on a regular basis. This is far from an ideal situation, but it is to be expected, after all. It will be interesting to see how things will unfold in this regard. It will certainly spark a lot of new debates in the coming days, that much is certain.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

We knew a correction was just around the corner in the bitcoin price having seen the exuberance of the last few days and action hasn’t disappointed us in that regard. Price dropped from in and around the $11,000 area to as low as $9,000 apiece in a matter of hours and current levels sit just ahead of $9,800.

The hope is that the recent bottom proves to be just that – a turnaround point from which sentiment can reverse and the bitcoin price can once again resume its overarching march to the upside.

All we’ve got to do is make sure that we’re ready as and when things move so as to ensure we can pull a profit from the market.

So, with this in mind, let’s get some levels in place that we can use near term. As ever, take a quick look at the chart below before we get started so as to get an idea where things stand. It’s a one-minute candlestick chart and it’s got our range overlaid in green.

As the chart shows, the range we are using for the session today comes in as defined by support to the downside at 9710 and resistance to the upside at 9946.

We’re going to be on the lookout for a close above resistance to validate an upside entry towards a target of 10000 flat. A stop loss on the position somewhere in the region of 9920 looks good from a risk management perspective.

Looking the other way, if we get a close below support, we’ll be jumping in short towards a downside target of 9670. A stop on this one somewhere in the region of 9720 will help us get out of the position if things turn around.

Let’s see how things play out from here.

Charts courtesy of Trading View

Nasdaq, the world’s second-largest stock exchange behind New York Stock Exchange, will be allowing Bitcoin futures trading by the middle of 2018. With a stock market worth $6.8 trillion Nasdaq is a behemoth among exchanges and reports that it will be opening up to crypto trading can only be good news for Bitcoin and its brethren.

A report on the Wall Street Journal revealed that Nasdaq and Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. will list BTC futures within the first half of 2018. With a recent price surge to $11,400 and an increase of over a thousand percent this year alone, Bitcoin has grabbed everyone’s attention. Sources familiar with Nasdaq’s plans claim that the two exchanges will list Bitcoin futures among Nasdaq futures on its NFX markets opening it up to traditional traders and investors. They also claim that the Nasdaq contracts are also designed to handle Bitcoin hard forks more elegantly by reinvesting proceeds from the split blockchain back into the original one in a way designed to make the process more seamless for traders.

The offering will pit Nasdaq against two competitors, CME Group Inc. and Cboe Global Markets Inc., both of which already announced plans to offer cryptocurrency derivatives sending the price of Bitcoin to record highs this month. Nasdaq is a beast for stock trading but relatively small for futures, both CME and CBOE are larger in that respect.

The move also makes NYSE owner Intercontinental Exchange Inc. the only one of the four major US exchange operators without public plans to offer Bitcoin derivatives. Observers say that an announcement could be in the pipeline.

Major US-based financial firm, Cantor, also revealed that it intends to launch Bitcoin futures and derivatives on its flagship exchange. CEO Shawn Matthews said this in an interview with the WSJ:

“The asset class is not going away. If you look at the next level, it will be the institutions coming in and being larger participants in the marketplace, especially as liquidity gets better.”

The US Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has already approved Cantor’s futures exchange. Other major exchanges including Nodal Exchange are also investigating the possibility of listing crypto-futures. The more the heavily regulated institutions get involved the more legitimacy can be awarded to cryptocurrencies which are largely viewed by old-school bankers and TV pundits as the wild west of trading and investing.

Cryptocurrency users on the Bitfinex exchange woke up to a nasty surprise. More specifically, a lot of margin traders have lost a good amount of money. Plenty of orders were liquidated at the bottom prices, although no one knows why. Some claim this is an error on behalf of the exchange, but that hasn’t been officially confirmed at this point. Rest assured a lot of users are not too happy about this development, though.

In most cases, Bitfinex users lost a lot of their account balances pretty quickly. It suddenly started to unravel several hours ago, yet the exact cause remains unknown. In fact, there are plenty of complaints to found on Twitter regarding these issues. Even stop-loss orders were liquidated at a much lower price than they should. This is unacceptable behavior by the exchange, to say the very least. Moreover, people would like to see an official explanation for this sudden odd occurrence.

More Bitfinex Issues to Worry About

More specifically, it remains to be seen if the company will refund users. Bitfinex has a bit of a troubled history when it comes to platform issues. They were hacked over a year ago, and the platform has seemingly never been the same ever since. This new “error” only makes this whole ordeal even more problematic. Throw in the allegations regarding Tether’s shenanigans and there is a powder keg waiting to explode. Using margin trading on any exchange is always a risk. Things like these can happen, which is why traders use stop-losses to minimize potential losses. In this case, that didn’t work out quite well.

Moreover, it doesn’t appear as if an actual market dump is to blame for all of this. The charts show a massive spike downward out of the blue. In most cases, this seems to hint at a glitch on the platform. Assuming that is the case, Bitfinex should have no issue refunding customers pretty quickly. It will be interesting to see if the company will do exactly that, though. With prices plummeting to steep lows in quick succession and bouncing back immediately, it is evident this isn’t normal behavior whatsoever.

It also seems this sudden “bug” affected a few different currencies. So far, we saw ETP, OMG, and NEO all suffer from similar issues at around the same time. For an exchange with such a vast amount of liquidity, it seems unlikely this was just a market dump. For now, speculation is running wild, yet there is no official evidence of any malicious activity. It will be interesting to see whether or not the company has an official explanation for this sudden development. So far, they have yet to issue an official statement.

Key Highlights

  • Ethereum classic price started a downside move and traded below the $28.00 support against the US Dollar.
  • There is a major bearish trend line forming with resistance at $27.00 on the hourly chart of the ETC/USD pair (Data feed via Kraken).
  • The pair might struggle to move above $27.00 and $28.00 since these are important resistances.

Ethereum classic price declined recently against the US Dollar and Bitcoin. ETC/USD now faces many hurdles on the upside near $27.00-28.00 in the near term.

Ethereum Classic Price Resistance

There was a decent rise in ETC price above the $30.00 level against the US Dollar. The price traded as high as $32.05 before starting a downside move. There was a sharp increase in selling pressure and the price moved below the $30.00 and $28.00 support levels. It even traded below the $25.00 support and formed a low near $22.12. It later started an upside correction and moved above the 38.2% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $32.05 high to $22.12 low.

However, the broken support near $27.00 is now acting as a resistance. The 50% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $32.05 high to $22.12 low is also near $27.00. Moreover, there is a major bearish trend line forming with resistance at $27.00 on the hourly chart of the ETC/USD pair. Therefore, the $27.00-28.00 levels are very important for more gains in ETC.

Ethereum Classic Price Technical Analysis ETC USD

A break above $28.00 is needed for ETC to retest the $30.00 level. On the downside, the $24.00 level is a decent support. However, the most important support is at $22.00, which is a pivot area. The price must stay above $22.00 to remain in the bullish zone.

Hourly MACD – The MACD for ETC/USD is slight in the bullish zone.

Hourly RSI – The RSI for ETC/USD is moving lower towards the 40 level.

Major Support Level – $22.00

Major Resistance Level – $28.00

 

Charts courtesy – Trading View, Kraken