LocalBitcoin, the peer to peer cryptocurrency exchange, has been in the news multiple times recently due to its regulatory involvement and region-specific rollbacks. The latest addition to LocalBitcoin’s growing repertoire of data was contributed to by Mati Greenspan, eToro’s Senior Market Analyst who spotted the increase in LocalBitcoin’s global volumes. His tweet read,
“Global volumes @LocalBitcoins
If you ignore the 2017 crypto summer bubble, the direction of the trend is quite clear.”
Source: Coin Dance
The chart from Coin Dance shows a clear uptrend in volume, even when disregarding the anomaly of 2017. LocalBitcoin’s rise can be attributed to its growing popularity in South American countries such as Venezuela. In the month of January alone, the Nicolas Maduro-led country recorded a trading volume of 6,347 BTC, followed by a volume of 10,315 BTC in February. LocalBitcoin use by Venezuela stood out because of the dire economic conditions in the country right now, which has caused the native Bolivar to dip and inflation reach an all-time high.
LocalBitcoin’s growing popularity comes in the wake of regulatory pressures from various countries. The Finland-based exchange first came under the scanner when the country’s Financial Supervisory Authority [FSA] decided that LocalBitcoin will see several additions to its customer verification process. This was followed by the latest cancellation of services by LocalBitcoin in Iran, with officials close to the company claiming that regulations were the main reason for the rollback. One of the company’s representative had stated,
“[….] Well, obviously right now, there are quite many regulations coming […] even though we’re a company acting under Finnish law, we have users from all over the world and sometimes for some regulatory reasons we might stop servicing in certain countries […]”
Coinsource Adds Dai Stablecoin to Bitcoin ATM in Preparation of Remittance Roll-Out
Coinsource, a Texas-based bitcoin ATM operator, announced a partnership with the Maker Foundation to make the Dai stablecoin available on its machines this summer in preparation for the launch of a full remittance service.
Coinsource will be updating all of its 230 machines in 29 US states and the District of Columbia to allow customers to buy, sell, and store Dai stablecoins.
Phase two of the rollout will launch a remittance service allowing crypto ATM and Dai users to send cash from wallet to wallet, enabling recipients to instantly redeem funds at any Coinsource machine or supported location.
Like Facebook’s Libra, Coinsource is hoping to extend financial services to an underserved and unbanked population.
“By offering support for Dai, we can provide the benefits of crypto to customers who are without access to bank accounts, while at the same time allowing them to avoid the price volatility typically associated with today’s often fluctuating crypto markets,” said Sheffield Clark, CEO of Coinsource, in a statement.
MakerDAO limits the effects of market volatility through a 1:1 soft peg to the U.S. dollar, maintained with an underlying basket of crypto assets, Collateralized Debt Positions, and automated stability mechanisms.
Additionally, MakerDAO lets users lock up ethereum as collateral via a smart contract in exchange for Dai. Roughly 2 percent – equivalent to over $340 million – of all ethereum is locked in DAO’s decentralized finance application.
Steven Becker, COO of the Maker Foundation said this partnership will remove some of the barriers to enter the decentralized, permissionless economy.
The remittance service is currently only available in the U.S.
Coinbase Pro Lists Ethereum-Based Chainlink (LINK) After Google ‘Name Drop’
Despite the fact that crypto assets are bleeding out against Bitcoin, the Ethereum-based LINK (Chainlink) has recently received the support of Coinbase. This comes amid BTC’s move to $13,400, marking a 333% rally from the cycle bottom of $3,150.
LINK Down 1.2% Despite Coinbase Listing
Announced Wednesday via a blog post, Coinbase Pro, the startup’s cryptocurrency exchange for professional traders, will soon be listing LINK.
Per the announcement, starting around an hour ago, the platform will be accepting inbound deposits for the Ethereum token. Once “sufficient supply” of LINK is established on Coinbase-owned wallets and 12 hours of depositing has elapsed, Coinbase will commence trading for the asset.
Trading will take place against U.S. dollars and Ethereum. And the asset on Coinbase Pro will be supported in all jurisdictions the exchange is available in, sans New York State due to regulatory concerns.
As normal, the launch of trading will take place in four steps: deposits, posting limit orders, matching limit orders, and then full trading.
Despite this listing, however, LINK is down in the past 24 hours. In fact, according to Coin Market Cap, the cryptocurrency is down 1.2%, and down nearly 20% against the market leader, Bitcoin. This confirms this outlet’s previous reports, which revealed that by and large, the so-called “Coinbase (Listing) Effect” is dead.
Google Lauds Chainlink
This news comes hot on the heels of a statement of support for the project from Google. Per previous reports from NewsBTC, Google Cloud, the firm’s cloud computing services platform, released an article titled “Building hybrid blockchain/cloud applications with Ethereum and Google Cloud”.
While this was big news in and of itself, the crypto community focused on the article’s mention of Chainlink, which is focused on facilitating data from the Internet to be translated to and verified for blockchain.
The Ethereum project’s claim to fame is its so-called “oracle” system, which is a recently-launched product meant to improve processes made via blockchain. For instance, if someone is betting on a real-world financial scenario with the Ethereum-centric Augur, an oracle can be used to make the outcome verification process much easier. In the recent post, Google’s Allen Day adds:
“Possible applications are innumerable, but we’ve focused this post on a few that we think are of high and immediate utility: prediction marketplaces, futures contracts, and transaction privacy.”
This recent integration will allow for Chainlink, and Ethereum smart contracts by extension, to interact with BigQuery, Google’s data analyzer and portal. What this does is allows for developers to build decentralized applications that can harness Google, theoretically improving the efficiency and viability of smart contracts.
Bitcoin’s surge past $12,000 unrelated to Facebook’s Libra, claims Susquehanna executive
The cryptocurrency industry shot back into the mainstream media’s spotlight on the back of Bitcoin’s phenomenal surge and Facebook introducing its cryptocurrency, Libra. The timing of the current bull run was attributed to Libra’s launch by some members of the community, while others vehemently disputed this fact.
One such critic is Bart Smith, Susquehanna’s Head of Digital Assets, who stated that Libra had nothing to do with the BTC’s price increase and credit had to be solely given to the world’s largest cryptocurrency.
Smith pointed out that Facebook had not yet confirmed whether Facebook’s connecting cryptocurrency wallet will actually support Bitcoin and unless that was proven, there was no way to congratulate Libra for BTC’s growth over the past week. Smith added,
“Unless details come out that Facebook will support BTC transfer, there is no reason to give Facebook credit. This is also a clear indication that the price rise is not driven by Libra but rather because of Bitcoin’s own attributes.”
According to Smith, once Bitcoin broke the $9000 barrier, it pushed through a psychological resistance point which allowed more investors to jump into the Bitcoin ecosystem. Another positive note is the fact that Bitcoin’s previous psychological resistance was in the $5000-$6000 range. However, the same was beaten by the king coin’s stellar rise over the past three months.
Bart Smith further pointed out that the Bitcoin futures market was trading at more than 100 dollars, when compared to the preceding day, with miners raking in profits. There was a general divide among BTC enthusiasts, with some claiming that miners were getting the short end of the stick when it came to profits. However, that has changed a bit right now. Smith said,
“The above-mentioned factors together contributed to Bitcoin’s growth and Libra’s association with it can only be seen as connecting nonexistent dots.”