It is being reported by Bitcoin Exchange Guide that though 2018 has been rough for cypto, volumes coming out of Korea are again on the rise. This of course could be quite bullish as the region traditionally has made up a large portion of the crypto market.

Not only is the volume of crypto being traded in Korean Won on the rise, but Korea based exchanges Bitthumb and Coinbit have been seeing increased usage as well. It is believed the Korean market was a major factor last year in the run up to the nearly $20,000 USD price of Bitcoin.

Both South Korea and neighbor Japan have been reportedly trying to create regulation for cryptocurrency. Assuming the regulation is effective and friendly it would not be surprising to see the Asian nations act as an engine for the next crypto bull run!

In the long run, it will take all the nations of the world coming together to truly bring about mass adoption. Still, it is exciting to see a rising volume coming out of a part of the world that has traditionally been a leader in crypto.

In a recent interview, Bitcoin [BTC] bull Tom Lee spoke about the cryptocurrency scenario right now and Bitcoin’s predicted behavior and price movement.

Speaking to CNBC, Lee, the Head of Research at Fundstrat, stated that he was pleasantly surprised by the stability of the cryptocurrency market and added that Bitcoin has reached its bottom. The financial analysts had made news earlier when he stated that the value of Bitcoin would break December 2017’s record and shoot up to an all-time high of $25,000. He said:

“Hitting 20k shouldn’t be a problem for Bitcoin looking at all the facts right now. The cryptocurrency is still in its nascent stages and the 50 million cryptocurrency wallets that exist right now are contributing to most of it. With the industry steadily growing, the number of wallets is obviously going to rise which will play a hand in the prices shooting up.”

During the interview, Lee went on to say that Bitcoin has been a low volume instrument which has beaten the market expectations of the emerging markets as well. The Fundstrat official also stated:

“ The relative performance of Bitcoin has been really good even though the EM stocks have fallen.”

Tom Lee painted the big picture while talking about Bitcoin’s performance in the market right now. He stated that the cryptocurrency market which is worth about $200 billion has been performing far better than the fiat market which is worth a whopping $90 trillion.

He was also confident about the fact that with the emergence of new platforms such as Bakkt and Fidelity’s cryptocurrency service, Bitcoin will achieve mainstream adoption. According to Tom Lee:

“Bitcoin should be able to easily break higher ground once people realize its fundamental benefits and use cases.”

Another factor that Lee pointed out was the emerging markets being highly oversold, making the cryptocurrency sector much more appealing. He also said that Bitcoin and its adoption will be given a boost if the United Stated Dollar weakens. In his words:

“Bitcoin is obviously pegged to the USD and if it weakens, it will act as a tailwind for Bitcoin.”

Tom Lee’s comments in the wake of a massive drop in the cryptocurrency market on 29th October saw the entire top 10 cryptocurrency club come under attack by the bear.

Major U.S. crypto exchange and wallet provider Coinbase has raised $300 million in a fresh funding round that brings its post-money valuation to $8 billion, according to an official blog post publishedtoday, Oct. 30.

The Series E equity financing round was reportedly led by investment firm Tiger Global Management, with participation from a host of backers well-known for their investments in the crypto space, such as Y Combinator Continuity, Wellington Management, Andreessen Horowitz, and Polychain, among others.

According to Coinbase, the funds will be used to “accelerate” the adoption of cryptocurrencies, with plans to build infrastructure to support regulated fiat-crypto trading globally, and to lay the foundations for the support of “thousands” of new cryptos in future.

The funding will also be invested in further developing Coinbase’s proprietary wallet and to create new “utility applications,” such as the platform’s recent move to launch a stablecoin, dubbed USDCoin (USDC), together with blockchain tech firm Circle.

Coinbase lastly highlights it intends to continue to ease institutional investor exposure to crypto: the firm made the bullish claim this May that improved infrastructure and diversified offerings could “unlock $10 billion of institutional investor money sitting on the sideline.”  To this end, today’s post points to plans to add features and new crypto assets to its existing custodian solution, which opened for business this July.

In mid-June, Coinbase’s Index Fund had opened to large-scale, U.S. resident “accredited” investors, for investments of between $250,000 and $20 million.

Today’s news confirms rumors that first surfaced in early October, which explicitly named Tiger Global as being likely to soon close a deal with the exchange. As reported at the time, Tiger Global Management is an investment firm founded in 2001 that invests globally in both private and public markets.

With talk of the then unconfirmed deal already suggesting a watershed $8 billion valuation, CEO of crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital Mike Novogratz remarked:

“Here’s the poster child of the crypto space worth $8 billion — that’s a real company, and Tiger’s not a flake of an investor. These are smart, savvy guys.”

Multinational holding conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway – which counts outspoken crypto critic Warren Buffett as its CEO and chairman – has invested around $600 million in two fintech payment firms focused on emerging markets, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Oct. 29.

Both investments are said to have been spearheaded by one of Berkshire’s two portfolio managers, Todd Combs. In August, Berkshire is reported to have bought a roughly $300 million stake in the parent company of Paytm, India’s largest mobile-payments service.

The second investment was made just this past week, through the purchase of shares in an initial public offering (IPO) for Brazilian payments processor StoneCo, the country’s fourth-largest by volume.

The WSJ underscores that both decisions mark something of a departure for Berkshire, which has $711.932 billion in assets under management as of 2018, and is best-known for its investments in blue-chip firms such as Coca-Cola and acquisitions of utilities and insurance firms.

Buffett has in the past said that tech investments are beyond his area of expertise, WSJ notes.

That tech is not within Buffett’s “circle of competence” was affirmed by self-professed Buffett disciple venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya this spring, when he took his icon to task for his virulent anti-crypto stance.

Combs, alongside Berkshire’s second portfolio manager Ted Weschler, are nonetheless reported to be “widening the net” of the conglomerate: yet, as WSJ highlights, both Stone and Paytm are considered to be established companies, which dominate their respective local markets and operate in tightly regulated industries.

The WSJ says Berkshire’s backing is a sign of the “maturity” of the fintech sector, which reportedly raised almost $35 billion in venture capital during the first three quarters of 2018.

Berkshire’s move to put major capital into two fintech firms that target emerging markets squares uneasily with the vocal position of Buffett, who has become notorious in fintech and crypto circles for castigating Bitcoin (BTC) as being “rat poison-squared.” He has made repeated statements claiming that Bitcoin is neither a currency, nor a way of investing. In October 2017, Buffet predicted that Bitcoin had entered the “bubble territory,” and was set “to implode.”

India saw soaring demand for cryptocurrencies during the period of economic turmoil that followed its prime minister’s bold — and still highly contentious — demonetization policy in late 2016. Crypto’s popularity continued through 2017, eliciting a controversial anti-crypto crackdown from the country’s central bank (RBI) this April, which has prompted both public and industry-led petitions.

As a final verdict on the RBI ban continues to be repeatedly stayed, the judiciary has now thrown the ball back in the executive’s court, setting a deadline for the government to clarify and finally cement its official position on crypto by mid-November.

This month, in Brazil, the country’s largest brokerage has revealed it will launch a Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH) exchange, saying it was pushed into the crypto business by the popularity of the asset class among investors.

As per the release, new tokens will be approved and listed on the platform “within weeks instead of months.”

The new platform will operate within the regulatory framework established by the E.U. and Maltese Government, using Malta’s Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFA) in particular. In 12 months the company is planning to apply to the Malta Financial Services Authority to become a regulated virtual financial asset exchange.

Previously branded Bittrex Malta, the exchange stated that trading will be available for customers from all countries except for the U.S., stating “[c]urrent and new U.S.-based customers will continue to use and will not have access to international markets.”

Bittrex is an American cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2013. As of press-time, the exchange is ranked 43rd in terms of daily trade volumes, according to CoinMarketCap.

In September, Bittrex invested in Malta-based blockchain company Palladium, acquiring a 10 percent stake.

In August, Bittrex became one of the members of “Virtual Commodity Association Working Group” — a self-regulatory association for digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies. The organization was planning to “be a precursor to the formation” of self-regulatory activity for digital currencies.

Bitcoin is “anything but” a useful store of value, former U.S. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen stated in a speech Monday, Canadian financial news outlet Kitco reported Oct. 29.

Speaking during an interview at the 2018 Canada FinTech Forum in Montreal, Yellen – who rose to fame in the cryptocurrency community last year as the target of the now infamous ‘Buy Bitcoin’ session at a House Financial Services Committee meeting – doubled down on her previous criticism of the asset.

“It has long been thought that for something to be a useful currency, it needs to be a stable source of value, and bitcoin is anything but,” she claimed, continuing:

“It’s not used for a lot of transactions, it’s not a stable source of value, and it’s not an efficient means of processing payments. It’s very slow in handling payments. It has difficulty because of its very decentralized nature.”

Having been present during Yellen’s speech, Satoshi Portal CEO Francis Pouliot was among the first to denounce her words on social media, describing them as “The Official NPC [non-player character] guidelines to Bitcoin FUD, courtesy of the FED.”

At a press conference in December of last year, Yellen similarly called Bitcoin a “highly speculative asset” and “not a stable source of value.” She also noted that the Fed was not “seriously considering” the concept of a state-issued digital currency at that time.

Yellen’s speech Monday echos not only her own previous comments on crypto, but also those made earlier this month by economist Nouriel Roubini, an outspoken cryptocurrency naysayer who foresees the entire ecosystem failing.

Commentators have taken Roubini to task over his comments, arguing his lack of understanding of decentralized cryptocurrency has led him, like Yellen, to draw false conclusions about its resilience.

“I can see a bubble when there is one – and to me, this entire space has been the mother and the father of all financial bubbles and now it’s [going to] burst,” he told Cointelegraph during an appearance at BlockShow Americas in August.

A recent Bloomberg article quoted Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mike McGlone, who said that Bitcoin’s current low volatility is “a sign of speculation leaving the market and eventually a bottoming process.” McGlone further notes that “High volatility is a major factor lessening most cryptocurrency use cases for anything other than speculation.”

The measure of volatility used in the article is the number of times in a month that Bitcoin has seen daily price changes of 5% or more. Back in January and February, this number was closer to ten. Since April, this number has stayed at five or less and in October, as of the time the article was published, was only one.

While this metric might seem like a pretty crude way of tracking Bitcoin’s volatility, other sources that also track Bitcoin’s volatility corroborate this trend. The Bitcoin Volatility Index, for example, shows that 30-day BTC/USD volatility has fallen to an estimated 1.65%, the lowest figure since early 2017.

Of course, anyone who has been keeping track of Bitcoin prices doesn’t need any fancy charts to know that volatility has been decreasing; that is not what is in question. What is in question is whether this reduced volatility is really a sign that speculation is leaving the market and it may be bottoming out.

Technical Analysis Appears to Indicate a Bottoming Out of the Bitcoin Market

Technical analysis, or charting, is a popular trading toolkit for making predictions on future price movements of a certain asset based on its past behavior patterns. Traders have been using technical analysis for assets ranging from currencies to commodities for decades, so it’s no surprise that many are attempting to do the same for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

When looking at technical analysis patterns of recent Bitcoin price movements, as McGlone appears to have done, then it does indeed appear that the market is bottoming up. The implication of this conclusion is that now would be a good entry point to get back into the market, particularly if you’re a long-term hodler.

Possible Limitations of Technical Analysis When It Comes to Bitcoin

However, the efficacy of technical analysis for Bitcoin is a topic of much debate. Consider three of the basic assumptions of technical analysis: the market discounts everything, prices move in trends, and history tends to repeat itself. When we look at these assumptions and try to apply them to Bitcoin, some clear limitations appear.

For instance, the first assumption that the market discounts everything means that all information is already reflected in the price. Considering the opacity of the Bitcoin market, its efficiency is highly questionable. The last two assumptions can also be called into question by the short history of Bitcoin; it may not be reasonable to assume as such, especially when much of 2017 was a speculative bubble and that trading volumes prior to 2017 were a mere fraction of what they are now.

The conclusion is that when it comes to so-called experts predicting the future price of Bitcoin, always be skeptical. After all, if McGlone’s prediction turns out to be wrong, it is doubtful that there’ll be another Bloomberg article about his faulty prediction.

Social media’s got itself a new trend, but it doesn’t ask you to post a video of you chucking a bucket of ice on yourself, or doing 20 push-ups – instead, it asks you to sign up to a new financial network called Initiative Q.

You may have already been accosted by friends on Facebook or Twitter, telling you there are only a limited amount of invites to join in on the next bitcoin that will potentially get you rich quickly.

A message from a friend might say: “Initiative Q is building a new payment network and giving away significant sums of their future currency to early adopters.” It may also tell you that this is a free service that could net you big profits should it take off.

It will also tell you there are only a limited number of invites, urging you to quickly click your own personal invite before the free positions end.

Naturally, you should always think carefully about any links sent to you, particularly if they claim to make money for you for free. So, should you click the link and sign up? What is this new Initiative Q, really?

What is Initiative Q?

If you google Initiative Q and head to its website, you will be greeted with a giant splash page bearing the catchphrase “tomorrow’s payment network”.

The trend of finding the next global currency was kick-started with the immense blow-up of bitcoin, with investors raking in huge payouts thanks to the meteoric rise in price.

If you’re unfamiliar with bitcoin, it’s essentially a digital currency that you buy with real money. This currency can then be exchanged online for goods and services, without any central bank tracking how you spend it.

It’s fast, discreet and accountable, with each transaction being written on a digital ledger called a blockchain, ensuring that you can always keep track of where your bitcoins are going.

Hundreds of alternative coins sprouted from bitcoin, and it appears that Initiative Q is just the latest in a long line of these digital financial initiatives, although they stress that they’re different from a cryptocurrency – which they describe as “a brilliant solution to a problem that doesn’t exist”.

However, Initiative Q does acknowledge that “some of the concepts behind cryptocurrency are valuable, and may be deployed in Initiative Q’s backend”.

Bitcoin, example

The website claims that Q will be on the cutting edge of technology, which will ultimately create a “flexible, easy-to-use and inexpensive payment network”.

The website goes on to say: “Initiative Q solves the adoption problem by associating the payment network with a new global currency, and distributing this currency to early adopters for free.”

But it encourages you to sign up quickly to secure free entry, with early adopters enjoying “higher rewards”.

Entry is only available to you if you are referred by an existing member of Initiative Q, which explains why you may have been blasted with invites from various people online.

But the ultimate question on many people’s lips is: is Initiative Q real or fake?

Short answer – we have absolutely no idea.

To be honest, our spider-sense is tingling when it comes to online offers for free money.

The cryptocurrency world has been bugged with dozens of fake promises of money. ICOs – or initial coin offerings – are essentially crowdfunding projects, where budding crypto-preneurs explain their blockchain business plan and ask for cryptocurrency investment from crypto-holders.

As you would expect, many of them have ended up as scams, disappearing into the ether with millions of digital coins.

Initiative Q is different, however, as it doesn’t ask you to invest any money. The free offering simply promises to garner better financial reward if you secure one of the free slots, meaning there should be no financial risk to you to join.

Bitcoin, example

All they are offering is to set up a new payment network utilising the very newest technology and then run a private currency – Q – on that network, with a base of 2 trillion Q, which will be worth $1 per Q.

This may make you think of a pyramid or Ponzi scheme, whereby a scammer will trick new investors out of their hard-earned cash and repay earlier investors with the proceeds – but no money has changed hands – yet.

Initiative Q says in its FAQ: “Pyramid schemes collect money from new members and distribute it to earlier members. In contrast, joining initiative Q is completely free. So, clearly, there is no money to hand up the ‘pyramid’ to earlier members.

“Initiative Q does give Qs to members who join, and more Qs are given to early members and to those who invite their friends. However, the value of these Qs will come from them being gradually accepted as a better currency, in accordance with the ‘equation of exchange’ in economics…

“Initiative Q’s marketing approach is not different than that used by many companies, such as Dropbox, Uber, AirBNB, Zoho and others, that compensate users who invite their friends. In Initiative Q’s case new registrants may sometimes see more value in the reward, resulting in more invitations being sent.”

Should I sign up to Initiative Q?

We won’t claim to tell you what to do with your money or time, but we would err on the side of caution when it comes to Initiative Q or, indeed, any online promises of quick wealth.

David Gerard, a technology journalist and crypto-expert, says much the same thing. In his blog, Gerard writes: “There’s no such thing as a get-rich-quick scheme that works, particularly one that badgers you to get in early. And the marketing is entirely pyramid-shaped.

“But as far as I can tell, they’re completely sincere! It’s just their ideas that are bad or don’t actually exist yet.”

The privacy policy listed on the website appears to be by the books and sincere, and there are no immediate red flags jumping out at us from this.

If you want to sign up and potentially be in for crypto-millionaire-hood, then go right ahead, but as with any investment, be cautious about what you are signing up for and read everything carefully.

Andy Cheung, the Head of Operations at OKEx, predicted “something good” as Bitcoin market continues to trend calmly amidst a global stock market sell-off. He pointed at two significant events to show the digital currency’s evolution. The first was when an individual had purchased a pizza after paying 2,000 BTC units, marking the beginning of Bitcoin Pizza Day. And, the other one was when the digital currency established its all-time high at $19,290 in 2017.


However, the bulls couldn’t sustain the peak for too long. The Bitcoin price reversed and kept extending its downtrend throughout 2018, falling over 70 percent. The same downtrend saw a strong accumulation range between the two critical downside levels, defined by $5,750 and $6,000. The entrance of the institutional investors around the same accumulation area validated the scale as Bitcoin’s newfound bottom.

The Stability Period

The third significant event, as hinted by Cheung, could be the stability. Bitcoin for most of the October has remained rangebound, especially at the time when global stock markets are going haywire. The leading tech shares, including those of Netflix, Amazon, and Apple, have fallen notably. The Dow Jones Index the previous week closed on a 3 percent weekly loss, while Nasdaq also noted a 2.5 percent drop within the same timespan.

The fundamentals over a stronger dollar and rising interest rates are further intensifying the stock market bearish bias. But the ongoing wreckage has left Bitcoin altogether. The digital currency these days is moving only 0.5-1 percent. This price action looks relatively new if compared to Bitcoin’s volatile reaction to the stock market capsizing in February. During that period, the digital currency had lost more than 30 percent of its value in just two days. In contrast, today’s Bitcoin looks isolatedly unaffected from the mainstream market worries.

Bearish Sentiment Remains

Though the Bitcoin steady trend marks a slowdown in relentless selling experienced since the beginning of this year, it has not validated its longevity whatsoever. The market upside remains capped by a yearly bearish sentiment, and a stronger US Dollar at this time could be making it impractical for big investors to dissipate their sums into the crypto market. The next sell-off in the dollar market could see the wealth parked into the most promising assets, which would bring Bitcoin in lines of every bullish fiat, commodity, and stock.

The other major catalyst would be regulation. The US Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to tone down its stance on Bitcoin ETFs, relaxing institutional investors into adding digital currencies to their portfolios. Both the factors, combined, looks bullish for bitcoin in a long-term. Nevertheless, the current health status of the market remains bearish.

Afri Schoedon, an Ethereum developer at Parity Technologies, said that the network cannot rely on Infura to process 10 billion requests per day.

Created by Michael Wuehler, an author at ConsenSys and NYC Ethereum founder, Infura is an infrastructure that allows decentralized applications (dApps) to process information on the Ethereum network without running a full node.

Some of the largest dApps and protocols including Ethereum wallet MetaMask, decentralized exchange protocol 0x, and MyCrypto rely on Infura to broadcast transactional data and smart contracts to the Ethereum mainnet.

Ethereum Has to Stop the Dependence on Infura

This week, Schoedon firmly stated that if dApps continue to rely on a third party service provider or infrastructure developer in Infura, the vision of Ethereum will “fail” in the long-term.

“If we don’t stop relying on infura, the vision of ethereum failed. If we don’t stop relying on infura, the vision of ethereum failed. Or build a strong network of thin and light clients. There is no point in having d-apps connecting through metamask to a blockchain hosted by someone else.”

The concern in regards to the influence of Infura in the node ecosystem of the blockchain is that if dApps do not run their own nodes or rely on a network of light clients, it will increase centralization in the protocol, which was structured and designed to operate as a global supercomputer.

In ideal blockchain ecosystem, service providers, dApps, and decentralized systems would operate their own nodes to verify information and data in a fully peer-to-peer and distributed manner. However, if node infrastructure operators like Infura are tasked by popular dApps to handle data requests on behalf of them, then the risk of centralizing the Ethereum network could increase.

The merit in the argument of Schoedon is that for dApp operators and even individual users, it is relatively easy to run a pruned node, as opposed to an archival node, for efficiency.

An archival node, often referred to as a full node, includes all of the historical transactional information on the network so that a node operator could check the history of every transaction recorded throughout the entire history of the network.

“People think that in order to have a fully verified Ethereum blockchain (aka full node), you need to run an archival Ethereum node. Running an archival node is thought to be an issue for Ethereum because an archival node currently takes up to 1.4 Terabytes (data point provided by Afri Scheoden, a developer at Parity Tech),” cryptocurrency researcher Julian Martinez wrote.

However, for dApps and the vast majority of users, it is highly unnecessary and inefficient to run an archival node. Rather, users can run a pruned node, which eliminates historical data on the Ethereum network and allow users to run a light node.

“Pruning the state trie saves tons of disk space because it is the historical state data that is creating the blockchain bloat. A pruned blockchain can take up 90 GB compared to the 1.4 Terabytes taken up by an archival node (data point provided by Afri Scheoden, a developer at Parity Tech). Although data from older state tries are deleted, all of the information necessary to recreate that state trie is still saved on your local blockchain.”

Run Individual Nodes

A simple solution to the issue of the reliance of dApps on Infura is for dApps to begin running indepent nodes. But, as Schoedon suggested, a strong network of thin and light clients could also be a possibility to reduce the dependence on centralized infrastructure operators.