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CNBC Analyst Slams Facebook Libra, Champions Bitcoin

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Since the announcement of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, the crypto market and even the tech sector has never been the same. It’s got regulators up in arms about Bitcoin, crypto assets are crashing, and the project may not ever even see the light of day. Even partners have started to abandon the project.

The topic came up during a recent segment on CNBC’s Squawk Box, and one of the show’s hosts went on a rant, slamming Facebook’s crypto project while championing Bitcoin for having more desirable qualities than Libra.

Joe Squawk: Bitcoin is Decentralized, Libra Is Controlled By Zuckerberg

Bitcoin is arguably the most powerful piece of technology the world has ever seen. Its significance is undeniable, and those who are skeptical tend to come around eventually once they dive under the surface and gain a deeper understanding of the crypto asset’s potential.

Related Reading | CNBC Host Pushes Bitcoin, Cites Halving and Scarcity As Catalyst for $55K BTC 

CNBC Squawk Box host Joe Kernen is the perfect example of a Bitcoin skeptic turned believer. The once crypto pessimist has been recently seen defending Bitcoin and talking of the next potential price peak occurring around the next halving in May 2020.

In the latest segment of CNBC’s Squawk Box, the discussion turned to the topic of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency – a polarizing project from the social media powerhouse that’s got financial regulators in defense mode.

Kernen says he’s never understood the project and doesn’t like it “one bit.”  He doesn’t like that its “centralized”, and like many, doesn’t like it because it’s “Facebook.”

“I DON’T LIKE ANYTHING ABOUT IT,” KERNEN SAID.

He warns that although Facebook claims it will have a positive impact on the unbanked, the company is an intermediary, and will take a cut from its users even if its feeless – by stealing “all your private data and know all about your bank account.”

Facebook has faced a number of privacy-related lawsuits and recently was ordered to pay an unprecedented $5 billion penalty over privacy issues. Bestowing the company with any personal data is a risk, let alone sharing monetary and transaction data with the corporation.

Kernen turns the conversation toward Bitcoin, claiming it has an unforgeable value similar to gold, or antiques – things that cannot be duplicated. Bitcoin’s hard-coded digital scarcity gives the crypto assets an attribute similar to gold.

Related Reading | CNBC Analyst Calls Secretary Mnuchin Out on Bitcoin Criticism

In the past, Kernen has argued that decentralized networks offer more inherent value than even governments due. Facebook’s Libra is the perfect example of how a centralized crypto asset offers the controlling party too much power over its users. Bitcoin was designed to be the first-ever decentralized asset that cannot ever be controlled, nor can it ever be stopped.

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Binance Blocking 13 States From New US-Based Crypto Exchange

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Binance says 13 states will be blocked from its new crypto exchange Binance.US.

The exchange, which is set to accept initial registrations on Wednesday, will prohibit customers in the following states as it works to ensure its platform is compliant across the US.

Blocked states

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Binance.US CEO Catherine Cooley says the exchange will keep pressing to ensure the platform is available to all US citizens.

“Although it is upsetting that we cannot offer Binance.US in the states where I grew up and earned my education at this time, please rest assured that this is just the beginning, and it is our mission to bring access to those of you in these states many of us call home…

U.S. customers will be able to buy listed coins with USD through ACH or wire transfer methods. We will be exploring other options based on the demand of our users.”

The platform will debut with six supported cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Tether.

Users who have coins that are not available for trading on the platform can still store the assets on Binance.US.

“All coins/tokens not yet listed on Binance.US can still be stored with other custodians in the custody method of your choice (ex. hot wallet, cold storage, etc.) and traded on other venues that have live order books in those pairs. Over the coming weeks, we will be adding coins that satisfy our Digital Asset Risk Assessment Framework.”

According to Cooley, the platform plans to steadily add more coins after its initial launch.

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Bitcoin, HTC collaborate on cryptocurrency smartphone

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Bitcoin.com is going mobile.

The cryptocurrency inventor has announced that it is working with telecommunications manufacturer HTC on developing crypto technologies, starting with its smartphones.

In a press release, Bitcoin.com said it is beginning a long-term partnership with HTC, which has developed a smartphone with a pre-loaded Bitcoin Cash (BCH) support app.

People who buy an EXODUS 1 from HTC won’t have to download a BCH wallet app onto their phones. For people who already have an EXODUS 1, they just have to update the software on their phone, the release said.

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“The EXODUS vision has always aligned itself towards public blockchains and its fundamental transformative nature of the future of money and the Internet,” Phil Chen, Decentralized Chief Officer at HTC said in a statement.

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“The Zion Vault is happy to support BCHnatively in hardware for security to go hand in hand with the BCH blockchain as an alternative to dominant payment rails and platforms,” Chen added.

However, the automatically downloaded Bitcoin app isn’t the only way the two companies are partnering.

They also plan to offer special discounts for buying phones using Bitcoin Cash as well as selling EXODUS phones on Bitcoin’s store.

“There are so many synergies between Bitcoin.com and HTC. We are very excited to be on this incredible journey together,” Bitcoin.com’s CEO Stefan Rust said in the release.

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Ethereum Uppercuts Bitcoin

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Ethereum has been an outperformer this week in the crypto space, after breaking out of a bullish wedge. Week to date, Ethereum (ETH) has rallied over 17 whilst a tailgating Ripple (XRP) is hot on its heels, both of which have left Bitcoin (BTC) for dust which traders -0.3% lower. Yesterday it was announced that Aztec, a company focussed on privacy-centric tools, has begun a 30-day ignition ceremony to roll out its workaround for “private transactions” on ETH, which appears to have helped it break above 203.95 resistance.

We can see on the daily chart that ETH produced a slight bullish divergence with RSI whilst its bullish wedge took shape. After a lacklustre breakout, it appeared the pattern was on the brink of failure, yet prices held above the 164.12 low before building up bullish momentum ahead of the trend’s acceleration. RSI has not reached overbought territory on the daily chart. And besides, a momentum high does not always mean a price high (as we need to allow for a divergence to form).

With the bullish wedge now in play, bulls could target the $240 high at the base of the wedge.

  • A break above 217.33 assumes a run for the 240 high, although traders could look to buy dips above 203.95 support.
  • RSI is currently overbought and a bearish pinbar has appeared to warn of near-term exhaustion. However, given the strength of daily RSI, prices might consolidate or provide a relatively shallow retracement before breaking higher.
  • Ultimately, the four-hour trend remains bullish above 188.83, so bulls could look for a higher low to materialise before considering buying any dips.

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