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Amex Inadvertently Confirms Ripple Blockchain Platform Plans

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It’s not entirely clear yet how — or if — blockchain will transform the financial services market, but that hasn’t stopped industry players from scrambling to get a leg up on the technology and ahead of the competition.

New data from Greenwich Associates put a price tag on that effort: According to Bloombergreports Tuesday (June 12), the financial services market spends an estimated $1.7 billion dollars every year on blockchain as banks and other companies emerge from proof-of-concept stage into market launches and commercial products. The industry’s budget for blockchain jumped 67 percent last year, researchers found, with a tenth of financial services companies reporting that they spend more than $10 million on distributed ledger technology (DLT). Reports also noted that the number of employees assigned to blockchain projects has doubled year over year.

Despite the flow of cash, blockchain has proven to be a difficult nut to crack for financial services firms.

Richard Johnson, vice president of Greenwich Associates Market Structure and Technology, told Bloomberg, “More than half the executives we interviewed told us that implementing DLT was harder than they expected.”

Loose purse strings also mean blockchain companies themselves are vying for the top spot to provide businesses with DLT services.

This week, reports in the Financial Times highlighted the competitive pressure between SWIFTand Ripple as the two companies rival for the top spot in the cross-border payments market. SWIFT, a payments messaging company, has introduced its Global Payments Innovation (GPI) initiative to boost innovation in global payments. But Ripple, a blockchain company, wants to disrupt global payments and has more than 100 financial institutions (FIs) registered to use its messaging system, xCurrent.

SWIFT Head of Banking Harry Newman said in an interview with Financial Times that blockchain “is not straightforward to scale and it is not yet appropriate to do so.”

However, Ripple scored another win this week when American Express (Amex) confirmed it is collaborating with the company, as well as Spain bank Santander, to develop a blockchain platform. Reports in Bitcoin Exchange Guide said Amex has inadvertently confirmed plans to launch the blockchain platform via a job posting on its website (though the posting now links to a 404 page).

The three financial services players announced their partnership last November in an initiative that sees payments made by Amex business customers routed through Ripple’s enterprise blockchain network. The job posting revealed that the partners’ blockchain platform is slated to launch later this year.

According to reports, the job opening at Amex is under its FX International Payments (FXIP) unit within its Corporate Payments division.

“In 2018, we are introducing a blockchain solution with Ripple and Santander,” the job posting read. “This is an exciting time to join the FXIP organization as we increase our focus on growth, new products and technology offerings to meet customer needs and build on the American Express brand as a top, global provider of payments services.”

The job opening is for a Sales Coordinator, reports said.

Even as big money and big names fuel the blockchain hype, waves of doubt continue to crash on blockchain’s shores. This week, GlobalData published a new report on blockchain, in which its authors warn the technology is “not magic.” The report, “Blockchain — Thematic Research,” warned that the blockchain bubble “will burst in the next two years,” and that the technology “will have lost much of its gloss by 2025.”

Reports in MarTech Today, summarizing the GlobalData report, noted that authors did acknowledge blockchain’s potential and the technology is “awash with hype, but with a powerful core value proposition.” Still, the authors concluded that in “19 out of 20” cases in which blockchain is referenced as a viable solution, the tool can be replaced by a more straightforward database or other tool.

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Cardano [ADA/USD] Technical Analysis: Interim bullish push imminent; bears yet to show mercy on long haul

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Cardano [ADA] seems to be getting a bullish push in the short-term, even as the bearish trend in the medium to long-term seems to not fade away. There seems to be no respite from the bear attack in the long-term as the downward trend in price is still going strong.

ADA, the ninth largest cryptocurrency in the world, is currently trading at $0.0759, after going down at -1.19% over the last day. It has a market cap of $1.97 billion, with a 24-hour trade volume of $18.02 million.

1-hour:

Source: Trading View

Source: Trading View

On the one-hour graph, a strong downtrend can be seen from $0.0827 to $0.0806, and then further to $0.0788 between October 15 to October 21, 2018. Another downward movement can be seen from $0.0786 to $0.0774 on October 22, 2018.

An upward drift in prices can be seen from October 16 to October 22, 2018, from $0.0749 to $0.0787. A short-term upward trend was seen on October 22, 2018, from $0.0770 to $0.0773.

The Awesome Oscillator chart shows green bars emerging after a string of red bars. This is a clear indicator of a bullish market.

The Parabolic SAR chart shows the dots aligned under the candlesticks, indicating a bullish market.

The RSI chart shows the token recovering from an oversold position slowly, with the buying and selling pressure evening each other out.

1-day:

Source: Trading View

Source: Trading View

According to the one-day graph, the strong downtrend in the long-term seems to be robust between June 4 to October 22, 2018, from $0.226 to $0.181, further to $0.078.

An upward trend is seen from September 18 to October 7, 2018, from $0.063 to $0.081, and between October 15 to October 22, 2018, from $0.071 to $0.077.

The Fisher Transform chart shows the Fisher line moving uphill, crossing the trigger line. This indicates a bullish trend.

The MACD chart shows the moving average line on a downward drift, crossing the trigger line. This indicates a bearish market.

The Chaikin Money Flow chart shows the current value at -0.118. This indicates that money is flowing out of the market. This is a clear indicator of a bearish market.

However, an upwards drift seems to be emerging, pointing at a temporary bullish trend.

Conclusion:

In the short-term, if the prices are to move up as indicated by Parabolic SAR and Awesome Oscillator, the immediate resistance will be $0.078. If it is broken, the next resistance will be at $0.0806.

If the prices move down as predicted by RSI, the supports will be at $0.0767 and $0.0759.

In the long-term, if the prices are to go down as predicted by MACD and Chaikin Money Flow, the supports will be at $0.070 and $0.063.

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Litecoin [LTC/USD] Technical Analysis: The bear continues to plunder the market

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Litecoin [LTC], the 7th largest cryptocurrency that was created by Charlie Lee to provide compatibility and support to Bitcoin has not been doing well in the market, of late. The coin was booming earlier this year but has now slumped lower than ever to move sideways.

At the time of writing, LTC dumped by 1.77% in the cryptocurrency market. It is trading at $52.34 with a market cap of over $3 billion and a 24-hour trading volume of $267.4 million.

1-hour:

LTCUSD 1-hour candlesticks | Source: tradingview

LTCUSD 1-hour candlesticks | Source: tradingview

In the timeframe of 1-hour LTC candlesticks, the support is set at $53.02. The downtrend line from $60.7 to $53.9 is likely to form a descending triangle with the support. Hence, the market for Litecoin appears to be downwards.

The MA line in the MACD indicator touched the signal for a bullish crossover but strung back down to run underneath it. This is suggestive of a slump in the LTC price trend.

Next, the RSI is also betting on a bear market for the cryptocurrency, currently taking a downhill walk to flash warning for a drop in price.

The Klinger Oscillator made a bullish crossover a while back but is currently crashing, suggesting a bad price trend for Litecoin.

1-day:

LTCUSD 1-day candlesticks | Source: tradingview

LTCUSD 1-day candlesticks | Source: tradingview

In the 1-day scenario, the candlesticks appear to be experiencing a downward trend in the Litecoin market. Since May, the coin has broken multiple supports, including one at $53.3 and another at $51.7. Currently, the support is set at $53.2 and might act as the baseline for the descending triangle likely to be formed by the resistance line ranging from $179.1 to $54.3.

The Parabolic SAR is bullish on the LTC market wherein the dots are currently dancing below the candlesticks, uplifting the price trend of the coin.

The Chaikin Money Flow was in a balanced space for a while but is currently below the 0-line, crashing further down.

The Awesome Oscillator is also in the red-zone, flashing a danger sign for the cryptocurrency.

Conclusion:

The technical analysis can be concluded by assuming a bearish trend for the Litecoin market since most of the indicators are evident in siding with a negative prediction. However, the Parabolic SAR in the 1-day timeframe looks positive of the situation, against all odds.

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Bitcoin [BTC] can disrupt centralized banking and financial institutions, says Andreas M Antonopoulos

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During a Q&A session, Andreas M Antonopoulos, the Author of Mastering Bitcoin and a well-known Bitcoin influencer, spoke about whether Bitcoin [BTC]’s price plays a significant role in its adoption. He also spoke about whether Bitcoin can disrupt the governments, financial system and reduce corruption if the cryptocurrency’s value does not greatly increase in value relative to goods and services including fiat currencies.

Antonopoulos stated that cryptocurrencies can disrupt centralized banking and financial institutions. This is because of the “mere fact” that cryptocurrencies exist as an exit system, a “safety vault” and as a “safe haven”, he said. Moreover, he said that the increase in Bitcoin’s price is not going to be the prominent player in bringing about the change. Whereas, Bitcoin being used by people in order to escape from oppressive governments who are stealing their citizen’s money will be a catalyst to bring about the change.

The author said:

“…it’s not values that makes it useful it’s utility that makes it valuable. So it’s the other way around so Bitcoin will increase in value if it’s useful and it doesn’t need to increase in value in order to be useful that’s confusing cause and effect”

Antonopoulos further spoke about Bitcoin’s real-world use-case for the unbanked. The author was questioned about why there were only 4 billion people using banks around the globe; whether it was due to improper identity proof, people’s lack of trust in the current financial system or if it was cost-effective for banks to not have branched in rural areas.

The Bitcoin influencer stated it was because of all the 3 above-mentioned reasons – lack of identity proof, access to banking facilities and distrust in the financial system. He further added that the total number of people around the world who do not have the ability to open a bank account was quite “shocking”. He went on to say that even if these people had access to the financial systems they would end up facing several restrictions, including the withdrawal and deposit limit.

Antonopoulos said:

“So even though the numbers are somewhere between two and a half billion and four billion people who have zero access to banking so cash based entirely, there’s also another two billion people who have access to banking but that access is severely restricted so they have access to perhaps one currency with very few choices they can’t change currencies…”

He further added:

“so it’s not really their money so all of this great sum of people who are either unbanked completely or under banked is one of the things that I think we may be able to solve with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the long run”

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