Ethereum Battered on ICO Regulation and Ad Ban

When crypto markets plunge towards another monthly low some assets will fare better than others. As usual big daddy Bitcoin has led the way and when it shed 14% over night the outlook for all others appeared grimmer. Ethereum has fared badly this time falling harder and faster than usual.

Ethereum, which usually fares well during major downturns, has taken a particularly painful slide over the past couple of days. This could well be a result of the ICO and crypto advertising bans by internet monopolies Facebook and Google. ETH has also become the second cryptocurrency of choice for trading altcoins after Bitcoin so when panic selling on altcoins overwhelms the markets, Ethereum will suffer.

Ethereum ICO Boost Slows

Ethereum has been the platform of choice for the majority of ICOs over the past year. When they are heavily regulated Ethereum takes a beating, likewise if avenues of advertising are closed off to startups looking for exposure for their blockchain projects. ICOs have come under heavy scrutiny from regulators across the globe, principally due to their methods of raising capital.

In order to protect citizens from scams and fraudulent practices governments have put the kibosh on unfettered ICO promotion and marketing. Social media and web giants have followed suit though their motives remain questionable.

Google for instance, up until very recently, still permitted rogue ads linking to mining malware and phishing websites to run on its platform yet wants to ban all crypto advertising later this year. Facebook still allows deceitful member accounts to disseminate clickbait and scams yet banned ICO advertising a couple of months ago. It has also been speculated that Twitter, another social platform allowing fake accounts, could be the next to ban crypto advertising.

ETH Heading for Three Month Low

ETH has reached its lowest point since early December when a huge rally sent it from around $475 to $700 in a matter of days. Currently trading at just under $585 Ethereum has hemorrhaged 16% in the past 24 hours, over the week ETH has lost over 20%, and over a month it is down 37%.

Ethereum has broken several major support levels and continues to slide at the time of writing. If the rout continues it could well head back to late November levels around $450. Looking at the brighter side, in March 2017 Ethereum was less than $40, however if it gets anywhere near that again a lot of investors will have lost a lot of money over the past 12 months.

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FOMO Moments

Crypto markets are bleeding this morning as we hurtle towards a new monthly low. Google’s decision to ban advertising, while at the same time investing in a crypto company, has caused a wave of panic selling once again. Bitcoin is leading the charge of the bears by shedding 14% in the past 24 hours and dropping below the key $8,000 level. Altcoins are all tanking and only one is in the green this morning, DigixDAO.

According to Coinmarketcap DGD is trading just over 4% higher during the morning’s Asian trading session. It is the only altcoin in the green in the top 100 where many have crashed by over 25% in the past day; it is another bloodbath in crypto land. The markets are rapidly approaching the big dip of February 6 when total capacity fell to $280 billion, at the moment it is $315 billion. Over $60 billion has been taken out of the crypto market in just 24 hours, when things fall they fall fast and hard.

DigixDAO has performed well in times of adversity before. It is currently trading at $340, up from $330 this time yesterday. In terms of BTC it is performing even better, jumping 20% to 4328870 satoshis from 3604810 sats this time yesterday. This coincides with Bitcoin’s big slump over the past few days.

A recent Medium post highlights the latest dev updates where the team is getting ready for Mainnet, Kyber Network exchange, and UI Improvements for public. Digix is also changing the name of their proprietary protocol from “Proof of Asset (PoA)” to “Proof of Provenance (PoP)”. New developments to this gold based crypto have kept it afloat when all others are sinking.

DGD is traded predominantly on Binance which has 80% of the trade volume. Over the past 24 hours $37.5 million has been traded in DGD putting its market capacity at $680 million. Other altcoins have all been battered this morning with Cardano, Stellar, Nem, Iota, VeChain, Lisk, Nano, and Icon all taking a hit of over 20%.

More on Digix can be found here:

FOMO Moments is a section that takes a daily look at the top 25 altcoins during the Asian trading session and analyses the best performing one, looking for trends and fundamentals.

FOMO Moments

Markets have been pretty flat during this morning’s Asian trading session. Momentum in either direction has been elusive and Bitcoin has gained nothing on yesterday’s prices. Altcoins as a result are largely stagnant with only a couple showing solid gains. One coin that has taken off this morning and nudged its way into the top 25 is Binance Coin.

Coinmarketcap reports that Hong Kong exchange Binance’s own coin, BNB, has exceeded a billion dollar market capacity and made it in to the top 25. It is trading almost 30% higher this morning from $8 yesterday to over $10 today. In terms of Bitcoin it has jumped a similar proportion from 88750 satoshis this time yesterday to 114500 sats today. BNB is a coin that Binance customers can use to pay for trading fees at a discount. It has been slowly down trending over the past month until the spike a few hours ago.

The reason for this sudden surge is an announcement on Binance that the exchange would be developing its own public blockchain called Binance Chain. According to the post “Binance Chain will focus on performance, ease-of-use, and liquidity. Binance Coin (BNB) will be upgraded to exist on its own blockchain mainnet, becoming a native coin. At the same time, Binance will transition from being a company to a community.”

Naturally BNB can only be traded on the Binance exchange. Trade volume in the past 24 hours has shot up to $233 million which has boosted market capacity over a billion dollars to put the altcoin into the top 25.

Other altcoins enjoying double digit growth this morning in Asia include Nem and Icon. Outside the top 25 Ardor and Electroneum are also performing well.

More info on the BNB announcement can be found here:

FOMO Moments is a section that takes a daily look at the top 25 altcoins during the Asian trading session and analyses the best performing one, looking for trends and fundamentals.

FOMO Moments

The markets just cannot gain any momentum at the moment and after a brief and short-lived rally yesterday they are mostly back in the red today. Bitcoin failed to break resistance at $10k and has fallen back closer to $9k. Altcoins have, as usual, slumped with it losing most of their gains over the past two days. There is only one cryptocurrency in the green during this morning’s Asian trading session and that is Nem.

Coinmarketcap reports XEM trading 20% higher on the day. Last month was a bad one for this cryptocurrency as it lost over 50% of its value and was the worst performer in the top 25. Nem is showing some recovery now though and is trading at $0.42 up from $0.34 this time yesterday. In terms of BTC it is performing even better, up 26% to 4648 satoshis from 3676 sats the same time yesterday. Over the week XEM has done extremely well against BTC climbing by 50% from 3070 sats this time last Tuesday.

The Nem Foundation just posted an official statement regarding the Coincheck hack on their Twitter feed in which the president Lon Wong said;

“The XEM trading exchange has had a wake-up call to double-check security measures and deploy all necessary security mechanisms moving forward. Together, we can continue to create a robust ecosystem for the future.”

South Korea has led the way with XEM trading in KRW at 30% of the daily volume on Upbit. Japanese traders are close behind on 26% in JPY at the Zaif exchange. Trade volume over the past 24 hours has been $116 million and Nem has a market capacity of $3.8 billion putting it at 12th place in the charts.

All other altcoins in the top 25 are falling this morning with the exception of Cardano which is up 1.6% and VeChain up 7%. Populous is also performing well with a 17% rise on the day.

More on Nem can be found here:

FOMO Moments is a section that takes a daily look at the top 25 altcoins during the Asian trading session and analyses the best performing one, looking for trends and fundamentals.

Market sentiment plays a huge part in the crypto industry. Prices can pump or slump on the whim of a shill, or a flurry of mainstream media FUD. This is especially relevant for altcoins, many of which did exactly that leading up to the big spending spree of late December. In order to help investors find an edge in the high octane world of crypto trading Thompson Reuters announced today that it will track and analyze chatter about Bitcoin on hundreds of news and social media websites.

Psyching the Markets

According to a report today the company will be using data from behavioral economics research firm MarketPsych Data LLC. This will be employed to create a new version of its MarketPsych indices to paint a clearer picture of market sentiment.

The company will scan over 400 websites relating to cryptocurrencies to capture market-moving moods and themes according to Reuters. The method has proved successful with traders for traditional asset classes such as forex or commodities. A burgeoning online industry covering crypto news has emerged over the past year as interest in Bitcoin and altcoins has skyrocketed along with their prices.

Much of it is on social media such as Twitter and Reddit and a number of analysts have linked this activity, along with the number of Google searches for Bitcoin or an altcoin, with its price action. According to Austin Burkett, Global Head of Quant and Feeds, at Thomson Reuters;

“News and social media are driving the investment and risk management process more than ever with the continuing rise of passive and quant-driven trading,”

Bank and hedge fund traders currently use tools such as Thompson Reuters’ Eikon platform which tracks the prices of a number of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash. Captivating the mood swings of volatile crypto markets will be another essential service and tool the company can offer to its clients.

Bitcoin has recovered slightly from the weekend’s low of $8,500 to trade up 12% at just under $10,000 at the time of writing. It is also up the same percentage from this time last month and is looking at solid gains over the coming months.

The Winklevoss twins have been strong advocates of Bitcoin since they invested back when it was trading at $8. Today the billionaire brothers have their own exchange which is set to expand to include others from the ‘Satoshi family tree’, these are likely to be Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash.

Welcoming Members of the Satoshi Family

The Gemini Exchange operates primarily as a Bitcoin and Ethereum trading platform, however the twins have plans to expand this to include LTC and BCH this year. The move could have a big impact on CBoE Global Markets Inc which is Gemini’s partner on Bitcoin futures. The Chicago based exchange also has plans to expand its futures contracts beyond Bitcoin and currently uses Gemini to calculate its XBT contracts.

At the 34th annual CBOE Risk Management Conference the twins discussed ‘Digital Assets and the Future of Finance’ with Paul Stevens from the exchange.

The next possible futures contracts could well be Ethereum, possibly followed later in the year by Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash if they get listed on Gemini, which will be responsible for supplying the data.

According to Tyler Winklevoss the licensing agreement with CBoE is scalable, and they entered into the deal knowing it could expand in terms of offerings. Prices usually react when cryptocurrencies get listed on major exchanges; this has been the case historically with rival exchanges Coindesk Inc., and Coinbase. The move would place Gemini in a better position to compete with Coinbase which may then need to increase its own listings by adding others such as Ripple.

Optimistic about greater institutional investor participation in 2018, Tyler went on to say;

“Futures have gotten off to an incredible start. In 2018, you’re really going to see institutions and Wall Street really get in, and it’s going to look very different,”

The Winklevoss twins also praised the SEC for taking the official stance that crypto exchanges must register as a national exchange with the regulatory agency. Gemini itself is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services. Regulation is a critical move in protecting investors from fraudulent activity and products.

Bitcoin Cash has seen a positive reaction already, trading up 11.5% on the day however Litecoin has remained lackluster during this morning’s Asian trading session and is only up 4.4%. Real price action will be seen when the official announcement is made.

A monthly low was hit over the weekend as crypto markets continued to slide. This morning they have bounced back a little but are still largely trending downwards. Bitcoin has made gains in the past 24 hours of around 8% sending it back over $9,000 once again. Altcoins have been a mixed bag, some have rebounded while others are still floundering, and this morning’s top performer is Bitcoin Cash.

Most of the altcoins are in the green during the morning’s Asian trading session however only a couple are double figures. Bitcoin Cash is one of them trading 11.3% higher than this time yesterday. BCH is currently trading at just over $1,100 (0.117 BTC) up from $989 (0.114 BTC) this time yesterday. Looking at the weekly chart however paints a bleaker picture as BCH is down 14% since last Monday.

The possibility of the US based Gemini exchange listing Bitcoin Cash would have given it an additional boost. The overall rebound has pushed most cryptocurrencies a little higher this morning but only the rest of the week will determine whether this is a true reversal or the markets are still bearish.

BCH has been traded heavily on Hong Kong based exchange OKEx which has almost 30% of the total volume. Around $500 million has been traded in the past 24 hours and Bitcoin Cash is still holding on to fourth spot with a market capacity of $18.8 billion.

Other altcoins performing well this morning include Dash, Tron, Stratis, and RChain. Most of the others have just regained losses over the past few days.

If it wasn’t bad enough with hackers and dodgy websites trying to hijack your computer hardware to mine some crypto coins, ISPs have been discovered doing it also. Governments, or agencies closely linked to them, have been caught commandeering local internet connections in order to inject mining malware.

Turkey, Syria and Egypt Fingered

Fingers have been pointed at internet providers in Turkey and Syria which have been secretly injecting surveillance malware, while those in Egypt have been using the same technology to inject browser based mining malware.

According to reports ISPs in these three countries are using Deep Packet Inspection technology from Sandvine to intercept and manipulate web traffic and end users’ computers. The technology allows internet providers to prioritize, degrade, block, inject, and log various types of internet traffic on a packet by packet basis.

Turkey’s Telecom network has been using Sandvine PacketLogic devices to redirect hundreds of targeted users to malicious websites and spyware. Similar incidents were recorded in Syria whereby users have been redirected to spurious versions of antivirus software containing government malware.

In Egypt telecoms operators have taken a step further and are using the technology to secretly inject crypto mining scripts into every HTTP page that users accessed. Researchers at Citizen Lab found that providers were using a scheme called AdHose to covertly raise money by mining the anonymous altcoin Monero;

“We found similar middleboxes at a Telecom Egypt demarcation point. The middleboxes were being used to redirect users across dozens of ISPs to affiliate ads and browser cryptocurrency mining scripts.” 

Massive Mining Malware Outbreak Halted

In a related story cyber security experts at Microsoft were able to halt a huge outbreak of mining malware this week. Windows Defender researchers discovered the Trojans spreading rapidly across Russia, Turkey and Ukraine, affecting over half a million computers.

The malware dubbed ‘Dofoil’ carried a crypto mining payload which would hijack the hardware of the victim’s machine to mine for the cryptocurrency Electroneum.  Microsoft released a statement on the outbreak which stated;

“Dofoil is the latest malware family to incorporate coin miners in attacks. Because the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continues to grow, malware operators see the opportunity to include coin mining components in their attacks. For example, exploit kits are now delivering coin miners instead of ransomware. Scammers are adding coin mining scripts in tech support scam websites.”

Not only do we have to contend with hackers and cyber criminals jumping on the crypto train and looking for a quick buck. Those unfortunate enough to have to use Egyptian internet services will have their government trying to hijack their computers too.

FOMO Moments

The bounce came and the bulls are back in charge again this morning. Many were wondering if the markets would fall to Feb 6 lows but they did not make it that far down. Bitcoin found support at $8,500 and has climbed back 4.6% to over $9,300 bringing the altcoins up with it. They are all recovering but one that is leading the way is Nano.

Coinmarketcap reports that Nano is up over 34% during this morning’s Asian trading session. This altcoin seems to have wilder swings than the rest and is a bit more volatile. Trading at a low of $8.72 yesterday Nano is up to $12.24 today. Over the past week it has slumped 45% from just under $16 to yesterday’s low but has now rebounded stronger than the rest.

Nano is the re-branded version of RaiBlocks, it has been in a general downtrend since its all-time high of $37 during the New Year crypto spike. New wallets for Android and iOS have renewed interest in the coin but it has yet to gain the momentum to keep it from falling when all the others do. The movements of Bitcoin still have such a great influence over all other altcoins.

Nano is traded predominantly on Binance which has 75% of the trade volume. Its market cap is $1.6 billion and it is ranked at 18th, 24 hour trade volume is $75 million. Nano is currently leading the rally but in general all cryptocurrencies are down and total market cap is still below $400 billion.

Other altcoins recovering strongly this morning include Litecoin, Monero, Iota, VeChain, OmiseGO, and Icon.

More on Nano can be found here:

FOMO Moments is a section that takes a daily look at the top 25 altcoins during the Asian trading session and analyses the best performing one, looking for trends and fundamentals.

FOMO Moments

Things are not looking pretty this morning and the markets can only be described as a train wreck. The selloff has continued with what seems to be a greater sense of urgency during the Asian trading session. Bitcoin has lost over 10% on the day and all altcoins are also hemorrhaging badly. Everything is in the red but one altcoin seems to have made a bit back and is actually up on yesterday’s prices and that one is Nem.

The total market has shed over $50 billion in 24 hours and we are heading back to February 6 lows again. This time yesterday the crypto market was worth just under $400 billion, today it is heading south of $350 billion, last month’s low was at $280 billion. A trifecta of bad news has compounded the wave of panic selling and Asian’s are leading the way.

According to Coinmarketcap however Nem is up 19% on the day. XEM was the worst performing altcoin last month, shedding 50% of its value. Today however it has gone up from $0.29 to $0.35 when all others are still bleeding. Following the Coincheck hack Nem has been on a downward slide so this little reversal is nothing really to cheer about. Nem is still at the lowest levels it has been for three months and that trend looks set to continue despite this little blip.

Nem is traded heavily in Asia with Upbit in KRW and Zaif in JPY leading the way with over 50% of the total volume. Its market capacity currently stands at just over $3 billion which puts the altcoin at 13th spot in the charts. Almost $80 million has been traded in the past 24 hours and it is the only coin showing gains today.

Every other altcoin in the top 100 has fallen, those taking the biggest hit include Cardano, Monero, Iota, VeChain, Qtum, OmiseGO, Nano and Icon. There are some bargains to be had for those that buy the dip.

More on Nem can be found here:

FOMO Moments is a section that takes a daily look at the top 25 altcoins during the Asian trading session and analyses the best performing one, looking for trends and fundamentals.