One South Korea’s Largest Banks Trials Ripple, Hints Full Integration in 2018

Chosun, South Korea’s largest business-focused mainstream media outlet, reported that one the country’s largest banks Woori trialed Ripple payments for remittances.

Ripple Trials

Woori’s digital strategy department successfully processed payments on the Ripple blockchain network and according to the company, Woori might be able to process large-scale remittance transactions on the Ripple network within 2018.

The South Korean bank already completed phase two of its Ripple trials, having completed phase one of Ripple payment settlement in January. Woori spokesperson told Chosun that the bank remains highly optimistic in using the Ripple network to process remittance in the long-term.

The bank further emphasized that Ripple is far more efficient than Swift, which normally takes 2 to 3 days to process transactions between banks whereas Ripple is capable of processing transactions instantaneously. Many banks in South Korea along with 61 banks in Japan have already started to trial Ripple payments, with an intent to use Ripple commercially within this year.

Woori and Shinhan, two of the biggest banks in South Korea, initially joined the Ripple consortium in December 2017, when the Ripple team wrote, “the Japan Bank Consortium — a coalition of 61 banks in Japan, organized by SBI Ripple Asia — has announced the launch of a new Ripple pilot with Woori Bank and Shinhan Bank, two of South Korea’s largest banks with a collective market capitalization of more than $30 billion.”

Kookmin’s Cryptocurrency Exchange Rejection

Earlier this year, the South Korean government clarified its stance on cryptocurrencies, and strongly emphasized that it will not ban or prohibit the trading or usage of cryptocurrencies, but instead regulate the space to protect both businesses and investors.

South Korean banks were requested by the government to ensure traders cannot open accounts on cryptocurrency exchanges without anonymous identities or bank accounts, and stricten the process of opening bank accounts for the purpose of trading cryptocurrencies.

Consequently, Kookmin Bank, the largest bank in the country, decided to not provide banking services to cryptocurrency exchanges, likely due to its connections to the government.

Shinhan Bank, the second biggest bank in South Korea, along with six other banks stepped up, and announced their intent to provide services to cryptocurrency exchanges, offering millions of virtual bank accounts to cryptocurrency traders.

Korbit, Bithumb, and other major cryptocurrency trading platforms stated that Kookmin bank users will no longer be able to trade cryptocurrencies with the bank’s accounts, and will have to migrate to banks that support cryptocurrency exchanges.

“In order to comply with the identification and anti-money laundering regulations being enforced by the government, the current KRW deposit method will be terminated by the end of January 2018,” the Korbit team said.

Woori, Shinhan, and several other banks that still remain highly optimistic in regards to the potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are expected to continue the development of their individual projects while conducting trials of public cryptocurrencies.

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Lichtenstein-based Bank Frick will be the first regulated bank to offer direct investment and cold storage of five cryptocurrencies. The unprecedented announcement was made in a press release on February 28.

Private Bank Offers Five Cryptocurrencies

The bank, which specializes in providing financial services for an international clientele of mostly professional investors and advisors, says its customers can now buy and sell Ethereum, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ripple, or leave the assets in cold storage wallets that the bank will hold for safe keeping.

The offer is aimed at professional market participants and financial intermediaries. Chief Client Officer Hubert Büchel told media;

“Our goal is to bring crypto banking at least to the level of quality of classic banking. Our services are in high demand from companies across Europe. The companies know that we reliably support them in implementing their cryptocurrency and blockchain business models in accordance with existing European regulations.”

They are one of the first banks to offer direct purchase of cryptocurrency but as the popularity of investing in digital funds grows it is expected more institutes will follow their lead.

“Intermediaries and their clients can easily get to know a new, exciting universe with these direct purchases, diversifying and investing in it without correlation to other asset classes. Investments in cryptocurrencies are highly speculative, which is why only a small amount of admixture in the portfolio is advisable.”

Buchel elaborated when asked about the growth potential for these kinds of services.

Crypto-Services Continue to Spread Around the World

Bank Frick reports that they were one of the first to offer cryptocurrency services when they added a basket tracker certificate based on Ethereum and Bitcoin back in September 2017. A few other banks across Europe are slowly easing crypto trading into their services.

In neighbouring Switzerland, both Vontoble and Falcon private banks have been active in crypto investment of some kind since 2016. While Swiss online bank, Swissquote entered into a partnership with Bitstamp in order to offer clients crypto trading, though initially that was limited to Bitcoin only.

The worldwide infrastructure for buying and selling cryptocurrency continues to increase as fears of the new technology subside. With digital currency enabled ATM’s popping up and exchange services showing up in airports trading fiat for crypto will move off of the computer.

Soon many more countries may follow the path of Australia with shops offering cryptocurrency right along with the milk, eggs and Vegemite.

Some of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the global market including Binance and Kraken have halved bitcoin withdrawal fees due to the rising adoption of scaling solution and transaction malleability fix Segregated Witness (SegWit).

SegWit Adoption

Last week, Coinbase, a major bitcoin brokerage and wallet platform with over 12 million users, along with leading cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex enabled SegWit and transaction batching, to significantly reduce bitcoin transaction fees and relieve congestion on the bitcoin blockchain network.

On February 23, Coinbase Vice President Dan Romero stated that the company will also focus on the development and integration of emerging technologies and second-layer solutions like Lightning.

“New technologies which require SegWit, like the Lightning Network, have the potential to significantly increase the usefulness of Bitcoin as a payment network and benefit customers. We currently have a dedicated full-time software engineer working on open source contributions to the Lightning Network,” said Romero.

Since then, the adoption of SegWit has risen from 13 percent to around 30 percent, by nearly 3-fold within a period of several days. As the largest bitcoin wallet platform in the world, Coinbase accounts for a large portion of bitcoin’s daily transaction volume. The integration of SegWit by Blockchain, the second largest bitcoin wallet platform in the market, is expected to increase SegWit adoption further, in the short-term.

Kraken and Binance

Binance, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the global market with a $1.9 billion daily trading volume, along with a major San Francisco-based cryptocurrency trading platform Kraken halved bitcoin withdrawal fees, due to the rapid adoption of SegWit and decreasing transaction fees.

On March 1, Kraken stated, “effective immediately, withdrawal fees on Bitcoin (XBT) are reduced to 0.0005, and withdrawal fees on Bitcoin Cash (BCH) are reduced to 0.0001.”

On March 2, following the path of Kraken, Binance announced, “Binance is happy to announce a 50 percent reduction in $BTC withdrawal fees. Effective immediately, BTC withdrawal fees are only 0.0005 BTC.”

If more cryptocurrency exchanges processing billions of dollars worth of trades on a daily basis continue to integrate SegWit and transaction batching, in the short-term, bitcoin transaction fees could drop substantially.

Although the fees of bitcoin could rise again as its price spikes after a long recovery and its transaction volume surges to its previous levels, SegWit and transaction batching are expected to work as short-term solutions, while developers and businesses seek towards integrating second-layer scaling solutions.

Peter Todd, a bitcoin developer and respected cryptography consultant, stated that the integration of Lightning could turn out to be too complex, and the current implementation of Lightning could be vulnerable to DoS attacks.

“As for the Lightning protocol, I’m willing to predict it’ll prove to be vulnerable to DoS attacks in its current incarnation, both at the P2P and blockchain level. While bad politics, focusing on centralized hub-and-spoke payment channels first would have been much simpler,” Todd wrote.

Hence, if developers and businesses continue to go down the path of Lightning to scale the Bitcoin network, it will require significant work by both the businesses and developers in the open-source community of bitcoin to practically implement Lightning.

In separate reports, security firms have confirmed a massive uptick in websites running mining software both purposely and without their knowledge.

Sites Looking to Boost Revenue

The security vendor Cyren monitored half a million websites over the period of September 2017 through January 2018 finding a 725% increase in domains running mining scripts, with half of that increase happening in just the last two months of 2017.

The value spike in cryptocurrency during the bull run in late 2017 is being singled out as the main cause of the huge increase in websites hosting mining software. Monero, the most widely mined token today, shot up over 250% in price over the four-month time period.

Website operators have looked to mining as a way to supplement advertising income which has been dropping steadily as more and more people install Adblock software on their computers or switch to Facebook.

“Most of the sites we’ve seen are not in the top 10,000 sites globally, but there are instances of top 10,000 sites.” Reported Tinna Thuridur Sigurdardottir a malware analyst at Cyren when talking about the companies findings.

Cryptocurrency miners are also extremely easy to install. For some types it can be as simple as inserting a couple lines of JavaScript into the websites HTML code. It is also that easy for cyber-criminals to install it on unsuspecting user’s machines.

Coinhive’s Monero miner is by far the most prominent in-browser mining software in use. Monero itself is a legitimate token but as the price has gone up hackers have quietly installed the software on everything from government computers to WordPress sites according to Cyrens security report.

Hackers Attack IoT Devices

It’s not only computers that are being attacked though, all manner of smart devices from phones to fridges can be hijacked to mine cryptocurrencies.

Czech based cybersecurity firm Avast ran a demonstration last Wednesday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, which showed how hackers could make $1,000 every four days by hijacking 15,000 devices.

The demonstration could not reach 15,000 “internet of things” (IoT) devices but based on the model it showed how easily hackers could breach and install mining software through a network. To put the numbers into perspective there are an estimated 8.4 billion IoT devices today but in just two years that number is expected to reach 20 billion.

“This ubiquity of devices combined with the fact they are so easy to attack makes them an attractive target,”

Ondrej Vlcek, the chief technology officer at Avast, told CNBC Wednesday.

The reason that Monero is so readily associated with these types of mining attacks is that the coin is regarded as the most securely anonymous and untraceable among cryptocurrencies and therefore has become the favorite among black hats the world over.

Key Highlights

  • ADA price failed to move above the $0.3330 resistance and declined against the US Dollar (tethered).
  • There was a break below a major bullish trend line with support at $0.3200 on the hourly chart of the ADA/USD pair (data feed via Bittrex).
  • On the upside, there is a connecting bearish trend line forming with resistance at $0.3060 on the same chart.

Cardano price is facing a lot of sell offers against the US Dollar and Bitcoin. ADA/USD remains at a risk of more losses below the $0.2850 support level.

Cardano Price Upside Hurdle

There was a minor upside move above the $0.3200 level this week in ADA price against the US Dollar. The price traded above the $0.3300 level, but it could move above the $0.3335 resistance level. The stated $0.3330 zone acted as a resistance on many occasions, and it prevented further upsides on more time. A fresh downside move was initiated and the price declined below $0.3200 and the 100 hourly simple moving average.

During the downside move, there was a break below a major bullish trend line with support at $0.3200 on the hourly chart of the ADA/USD pair. The pair traded as low as $0.2827 and it is currently consolidating. The current wave is below the 50% Fib retracement level of the last upside from the $0.2827 low to $0.3130 high. However, the $0.2900 and $0.2800 levels are acting as supports. On the upside, there is a connecting bearish trend line forming with resistance at $0.3060.

Cardano Price Technical Analysis ADA USD

As long as the price is below the $0.3100 level, it remains at a risk of more declines. Below $0.2800, the price may move towards the $0.2500 level. On the upside, above $0.3100, the price could retest the all-important $0.3335 resistance.

Hourly MACD – The MACD for ADA/USD is back in the bearish zone.

Hourly RSI – The RSI for ADA/USD is just below the 50 level.

Major Support Level – $0.2900

Major Resistance Level – $0.3100


Charts courtesy – Trading View

SportyCo, the decentralized sports investment and funding ecosystem, has released a beta version of their platform. The SportyCo platform enables prospective athletes to receive donations from fans and supporters. The full release version of the platform is expected at the end of March. This will also enable small investors to finance prospective athletes for a percentage of their future earnings.

The token crowd sale was successfully concluded less than three months ago during which approximately 70 million non-mineable SPF tokens were released to crowd sale participants, ambassadors and the SportyCo team. Since then the team has already launched the platform and are on track with their roadmap.

The project is supported by several sports stars, such as football legends Ronaldinho and Roberto Carlos, former NBA center and Cleveland Cavaliers scout Primož Brezec, and ski jumper Noriaki Kasai. SportyCo is also advised by notable names from the cryptocurrency industry, including Charlie Shrem, Phillip Nunn and Robby Schwertner, among others.

The new platform, launched in Beta, comes with three up and coming athletes collecting donations for furthering their respective careers. Gasper Kemperle is an up and coming Slovenian skier, whose achievements include 3rd place at the FIS U18 Championship. Diego Silvio Franzot, a 17 year-old football player from Italy, is currently studying and playing at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, USA. Jaka Gorjan is one of the biggest talents of motorcycle racing at just eleven years old. He has plans to win an Italian and European championship this year.

Other athletes will be joining these three during the test period with the full platform set to launch at the end of March. Along with the main release will be an investment module which allows small sports investors to not only donate, but also invest into prospective athletes via long-term smart contracts.

The ethos of SportyCo is that every promising athlete deserves a chance to follow a professional career and every investor should be able to back the athlete they believe in. Their mission is to open up the $1.3 trillion sports industry to small investors, democratizing sports investment, and opening a new chapter in the sports industry.

For more details check out the SportyCo Website and come chat with the team on Telegram.

Key Highlights

  • Ripple price moved higher recently and traded above the $0.9000 resistance against the US dollar.
  • There was a break above a connecting bearish trend line with resistance at $0.9110 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair (data source from Kraken).
  • The pair traded as high as $0.9488 where it faced sellers and declined once again.

Ripple price was not able to capitalize on gains against the US Dollar and Bitcoin. XRP/USD is back below the 100 hourly SMA and the $0.9200 support.

Ripple Price Support

There was a minor upside move initiated from the $0.8700 swing low in Ripple price against the US Dollar. The price moved higher and broke the $0.9000 resistance. There was also a break above the $0.9200 resistance and the 100 hourly simple moving average. Buyers pushed the price above the 50% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $0.9597 high to $0.8749 low.

During the upside, there was a break above a connecting bearish trend line with resistance at $0.9110 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair. However, the upside move was capped by the $0.9500 resistance. A high was formed near $0.9488 from where the price started a fresh downside wave. The decline was substantial as the price moved below the 50% Fib retracement level of the last wave from the $0.8754 low to $0.8488 high. Moreover, there was a close below the $0.9200 level and the 100 hourly SMA.

Ripple Price Technical Analysis XRP USD

It seems like the price was able to capitalize on gains above $0.9200 and declined. It is currently trading near the same broken trend line at $0.9080, which is acting as a support. As long as the price is above $0.9050, it could make another upside attempt.

Looking at the technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD for XRP/USD is now back in the bearish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for XRP/USD has moved below the 50 level.

Major Support Level – $0.9050

Major Resistance Level – $0.9200


Charts courtesy – Trading View

The news in November reported that Uber co-founder and chairman Garrett Camp would join other billionaire philanthropists in giving half his wealth away after what he described as an “eye-opening” experience while traveling in Africa.

What was not reported was that the experience also triggered the idea for a new kind of cryptocurrency.

Instant, Affordable, Borderless Currency

Camp who only began seriously looking at cryptocurrencies last year found the entire idea wanting in many ways. He decided it would be best to re-design the system from a different philosophical standpoint.

Working with the best minds from universities, science foundations, and research institutes, similar to how the internet was formed, he is calling the project ‘Eco’ because it is easy to remember and to say in almost any language.

Camp is one of many tech leaders getting into the cryptocurrency ring. Most notably of late Pavel Durov founder of the chat app Telegram has reportedly raised over a billion dollars in an ICO for his TON network. While Mark Zuckerberg has talked about the need for Facebook to move towards encryption and cryptocurrency.

Camp’s goals are different though, he is creating a cryptocurrency that operates on almost contrasting principles to existing coins from the foundation up.

Eco, a Philosophically Different Kind of Token

Firstly, the Eco’s blockchain, or shared ledger, is being designed to run on verified nodes as opposed to a network of anonymous machines. This will forfeit some aspects of security but gain efficiency through coordinated governance.

Secondly, ‘miners’ won’t be competing against each other as tokens will be shared equally throughout the entire system of verified nodes whenever a new block is confirmed. This discourages people from throwing as much computing power as they can at the system and thus cuts down on energy consumed.

The way Camp intends distribution is as different as his idea for “mining”. Unlike Durov, who seemed to be testing the limits of how much money he could wring from an as yet programmed network, some of the initial Eco tokens will be given away to get things started.

The “ICO” plan is to distribute half of the trillion tokens to be generated over several years to the first billion users. Of that, a fifth of the tokens will be set aside for verified nodes. A tenth to pay operational expenses for Camp’s Eco Foundation. Another tenth for advisers and contributors and a final tenth for  “strategic partners worldwide.”

The project is still in the design phase and Camp is inviting experts in many fields to join in on creating the ‘Eco’. The white paper actually has a call out to experts written into it.

If you are an expert in technology, security, economics, governance, policy or design and are interested in helping build Eco into a global currency, please email us at [email protected]

When speaking about the future of the project Camp expressed a cautious optimism saying “I think it could have as much or even greater impact (than Uber) if it succeeds,”.

Of the 5 altcoins, it’s only NEO that is slow to pick up. Other pairs especially LTC and Lumens seem to be reversing from key support levels.  If that is really the case then we expect higher highs today.

Given the technical formation, LTC remains on our radar and if there is any close above $225, buyers can enter and aim at $270 or high in the coming trading days.

Let’s have a look at these charts:


Lumens Technical Analysis
XLM/USD 4HR Chart for March 2, 2018

Even if positional traders cannot find reason for buying Lumens, swing traders and especially scalpers have reasons to especially if their focus are in the 4HR chart.

Yes, of course, the former cannot buy until we have a convincing blast above $0.38 but technically, it looks like there are enough reasons for short term traders to enter longs.

First, notice the strong rejection of lower lows right at $0.30 which as we know is a strong support as per our analysis.

Then secondly, relative to price action, there is a stochastics bullish divergence pattern. Buyers can actually wait for a strong break and close above that minor resistance trend line and the middle BB in the 4HR chart before going long.

If not-since we are in the 3rd phase of a bullish break out pattern, buyers can further fine tune entries in lower time frames and buy on dips.


IOTA Technical Analysis
IOT/USD 4HR Chart for March 2, 2018

As per March 1 Analysis, the effect of the 4HR middle BB and $1.87 is clear. From the chart we can see the reaction and how $1.87 became a perfect spring board for IOTA prices.

So far, it remains likely that prices will inch higher and our first level of resistance $2.2 as our previous recommendation.

That’s also where our first TP is at. Possible spoilers might happen if this momentum slows down and sellers drive prices back below the middle BB in today’s sessions.

Even though that looks unlikely, we can never be sure of everything and this is why I recommend stops below yesterday’s lows of $1.87.


EOS Technical Analysis
EOS/USD 4HR Chart for March 2, 2018

See that double bar reversal pattern right at support-i.e., the middle BB? That’s a simple confirmation that even though prices might be all over the chart, the trend is still bullish.

Technically, we are trading a bullish break out pattern and as such we cannot ignore the influence of the middle BB and $8. Therefore, relative to what is going on here, every retest of $8 and support is a buying opportunity.

Remember, this is the trend resumption phase of a larger-depends on how you look-bullish break out pattern that begun sometimes in late February.

In my view, I really think swing traders can buy as long as prices are above the main divider-the bullish break out line which was tested on February 26.


LTC Technical Analysis
LTC/USD Daily Chart for March 2, 2018

The reaction at $200 has been sweet and in line with our LTC trade plan. But really, this might be another selling opportunity as sellers gain momentum.

This is why I will need confirmation of yesterday’s bullish bounce off the middle BB today.

It will be imperative for buyers to drive prices above $225 or higher for this recovery to have that approval stamp. After that then, positional traders can enter and place tight stops at $200 or lower.


NEO Technical Analysis
NEO/USD Daily Chart for March 2, 2018

Yesterday’s bear pressure is surely a confirmation of previous bear candlestick. In my view, every dip is a discount for NEO bulls and it will be perfect especially if prices drop further say to $120 and the main support trend line in the daily chart.

That’s unless of course we have a spike above $130, that’s when we can resume buying.

Otherwise, at the moment, NEO prices are still trending above the middle BB and the support trend line. That is important in light of our analysis.

I even recommend buying now and placing stops at $115-a level slightly below the support trend line.

All CoinBase, Bitfinex and Bittrex charts made available courtesy of Trading View

Key Highlights

  • ETH price is slowly rising higher, but it is facing a major resistance near $865-870 against the US Dollar.
  • Yesterday’s highlighted major bearish trend line with current resistance at $866 is intact on the hourly chart of ETH/USD (data feed via SimpleFX).
  • The pair must break the trend line resistance to gain upside momentum towards $900.

Ethereum price is moving inside a range against the US Dollar and Bitcoin. ETH/USD has to break a major resistance near $865 to continue moving higher.

Ethereum Price Resistance

There was a decent rise from the $835 swing low in ETH price against the US Dollar. The price moved above the $850 resistance and even settled above the 100 hourly simple moving average. There was also a break above the 50% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $875 swing high to $835 low. These are positive signs for ETH buyers, but the price is facing a major resistance near $865-870.

At the moment, the price is attempting a break above yesterday’s highlighted major bearish trend line with current resistance at $866 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD. Moreover, the pair must break the 76.4% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $875 swing high to $835 low. If there is a break above the trend line resistance and $870, there could be more gains. The next resistance above $870 is near $885. However, the price may test the 1.236 fib extension of the last decline from the $875 swing high to $835 low at $886.

Ethereum Price Technical Analysis ETH USD

It could even break the $900 level for more gains. On the downside, the 100 hourly SMA at $857 is a short term support. A break below $857 could clear the path for a decline towards $840.

Hourly MACD – The MACD is slightly placed in the bullish zone.

Hourly RSI – The RSI is now placed nicely above the 50 level.

Major Support Level – $856

Major Resistance Level – $870


Charts courtesy – SimpleFX