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Hodl Hodl Wants You to Clone Its Bitcoin Exchange

Hodl Hodl plans to make its software freely available so anyone can launch their own version of the peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange.

Announced Saturday at the Baltic Honeybadger conference in Riga, Latvia, the plan is, in part, a recognition that Hodl Hodl’s business model is vulnerable to regulatory crackdowns.

“History teaches us that if a government wants to shut you down, it will,” Hodl Hodl CEO Max Keidun told CoinDesk.

Open-sourcing the code for its smart contracts, which Hodl Hodl intends to do sometime next year, is a way to deal with the threat, Keidun said, explaining:

“Let’s imagine, our domain gets blocked — some activist would be able to just take the code from Github, fork it and launch something new.”

Already, people in Africa, Asia and Latin America have reached out to the company, asking about such an opportunity, he said. “Peer-to-peer is something emerging markets, in particular, are interested in.”

Rare breed

Hodl Hodl is a rare animal in the 2019 crypto world: as a matter of principle, it focuses on bitcoin (the only cryptocurrency that the company’s founders trust), it doesn’t do know-your-customer (KYC) checks and it has no plan to start.

Why not? “Because we don’t like three-letter abbreviations,” Hodl Hodl’s CTO, Roman Snitko, joked in a slide for his presentation to the Riga conference.

In all seriousness, Hodl Hodl is averse to holding the sensitive personal information that financial institutions are mandated to collect from customers under global anti-money-laundering (AML) regulations.

“We think KYC/AML does more harm by exposing law-abiding users to fraudsters and criminals,” Snitko told CoinDesk. “The information and documents users upload to exchanges has been stolen many times in the past. It also does very little to prevent actual money laundering and criminals from using those services. They always find ways.”

Yet regulators across the globe are tightening the screws on the industry to identify the parties to transactions. Most notably, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body, has directed its member countries to make exchanges collect and store information about who their customers trade with.

Winds of change

Hodl Hodl’s founders believe they don’t have to identify customers because the exchange never takes custody of users’ funds.

Rather, it lists offers to buy or sell bitcoin and provides an escrow service in which the seller locks bitcoin in a multi-signature smart contract until the buyer sends fiat. Releasing the bitcoin requires 2 out of 3 signatures, belonging to the buyer, seller, and Hodl Hodl (which steps in as a referee when there’s a dispute).

“We don’t touch the crypto, don’t match users automatically and don’t keep funds in our wallets,” Keidun said. “We create multisigs in a public blockchain,”

In the same June guidance, the FATF said even peer-to-peer platforms may be subject to such regulations in cases “where the platform facilitates the exchange.” It’s unclear whether Hodl Hodl’s escrow service counts as “facilitating.”

But the founders see the way the wind is blowing.

“We’re not switching to the open-source model exclusively because of the regulatory pressure,” Snitko told CoinDesk. “In fact, we haven’t experienced any due to the fact that we’re a non-custodial exchange. However, we do foresee regulators becoming more desperate in their attempts to contain the spread of bitcoin and we refuse to be the victims of desperate actions.”

Passing the reins

At some point, Keidun and Snitko might hand management of Hodl Hodl to others so they can focus entirely on supporting and upgrading the code. (The exchange says it has no head office; employees work remotely, serving 10,000 users worldwide.)

“We want to create a community around us, so that at some point we could pass the reins to other people,” Keidun said. There is no timeframe for that yet.

In his Riga presentation, Snitko also announced Hodl Hodl’s intention to open “a bitcoin smart contract app store.”

Another way people can utilize the code is payments for e-commerce, and in the coming months, the team will focus on making the technology plug-and-play, so people who are not proficient coders can easily deploy it in their online store and accept bitcoin.

“We want to launch a platform for bitcoin smart contracts, so that anyone who wants to sell homes online or do [over-the-counter] trades could use it,” Keidun said, adding that it might be a multi-sig with more than three signatures and it can be used for multiple use cases.

Aside from bitcoin-to-fiat trades, Hodl Hodl’s multi-sig escrow is used in a peer-to-peer predictions market when people bet on things like the price of bitcoin or publicly traded stock, sports results and other measurable outcomes. A real estate platform is also in the works, with a launch tentatively scheduled for 2020, Keidun said.



Golden cross: Should BTC, Litecoin, XRP and other alts rely on it?

In stocks and cryptocurrencies, the golden cross represents the move of 50-day moving average above the 200-day moving average. Since the 200-day moving average is an important indicator that separates the bull from the bear cycle, the golden cross is used to do the same, but with relatively higher accuracy.

It’s a known fact that Bitcoin leads the whole of crypto market. A golden cross in BTC would be a huge change in the macro trend for the whole of the ecosystem, at least eventually. Bitcoin, as it stands, is currently at $9,726, another run-in with the $9,000 zone after briefly breaching into the $10,000 level.

Golden Cross

Source: BTC/USD TradingView

Since Bitcoin is the oldest cryptocurrency, it has experienced more than a few golden crosses in its lifetime. The most notable one took place by the end of 2015, following which, Bitcoin surged from a mere $250 to $20,000. In addition, the golden cross is almost all of the time followed by a surge. Prior to the October 2015 golden cross, Bitcoin experienced another cross, 3 months ago. Needles to say, the July crossover was momentary and hence vanished quickly thereafter.

For Bitcoin, the 2017 bull run was preceded by this confirmation. XRP, the most-surged coin during this bull run experienced the crossover much later, in December 2017, just before the peak of the rally. It is usually Bitcoin’s golden cross that cements the macro trend flip, which is followed by a rally, and an alt season with it.

Comparing the immediate price surge after a golden cross gives an idea of the things to come. Extrapolating this data to draw inferences from the past will also be a weapon in one’s arsenal. So far, this data looks bleak, especially with Bitcoin’s recent collapse under the $10,000.

Not all that glitters is gold

As seen in the table, XRP’s immediate surge was the highest and due to a well-founded reason mentioned above. However, with the exception of XRP, a stark observation is that none of the coins seemed to have surged to a greater extent, especially in the 30 to 50 day period after the cross.

As of now, Bitcoin’s golden cross looks to be on the horizon but if the collapse in price continues, things could change. Perhaps, a similar observation seen during July and October 2015 can unfold on Bitcoin. A fake golden crossover that will shake out the weak hands. From the top 5 cryptocurrencies, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV have undergone the crossover and there certainly was an exponential pump to facilitate it.

High Hopes

So, what future does the potential golden cross hold for Bitcoin and the altcoins?

It depends solely on Bitcoin, more precisely on Bitcoin dominance. Since Bitcoin dominance is dropping, the money is diversifying into alts. This is propping up the price of altcoins, thus causing the beginnings of the alt season. If a significant chunk of capital goes to altcoins, it might be hazardous to Bitcoin and its potential golden cross.

Bitcoin’s halving is set to take place in 84 days, which will also have a major implication to its hash rate, supply, and ultimately its price. All of these factors surely have a critical role to play in Bitcoin’s price and hence the golden cross.

On one hand, what should be noted is that the golden cross, although of historical significance, should not be given more credence than it deserves. However, on the other hand, if the golden cross does take place, it could potentially push the price higher due to the psychological importance that it holds, not just in the crypto-realm but in the trading industry as a whole.

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The Countdown to Bitcoin Halving 2020 Begins

Bitcoin remains the most important cryptocurrency, so most people are looking forward to the expected Bitcoin Halving, which is expected in May 2020. Because of the halving in 2016, bitcoin saw a massive growth. So is there a chance, that bitcoin will skyrocket this year again – let’s have a look.  

Why is the Bitcoin Halving 2020 such an important event?  

Bitcoin is a deflationary currency. Therefore fewer bitcoins will be made over time – in the future the supply of new coins may even stop. But being honest, most of us won’t see this event happening, since it’s expected taking place in 2140. Nonetheless, the total supply of BTC is limited to 21 million coins. The underlying algorithm takes care that no more coins are created. Until then miners are validating new transactions and therefor are receiving block rewards. 

In comparison to traditional fiat currencies this is a huge difference because they use an inflationary model. This means, that the central banks can emit new money for controlling the financial system. The deflation makes bitcoin a scarce currency, so the value grows over a longer period of time. Basically the more scarce an asset, the more valuable it is for investors. 

Last Bitcoin Halving produced a massive growth

The next Bitcoin Halving will take place on May 20th 2020. It will be the third time, that the block reward of the most known blockchain will be halved. As a consequence, miners will earn 50 percent less BTC for every generated block. Experts are expecting, that this development could change the value of bitcoin.

In the past, each of these events boosted the bitcoins market valuation by more than a thousand percent. Because of this development, the awareness of cryptocurrencies has grown. Still, not a lot of people are talking about BTC and the upcoming halving. 

The last halving took place in July 2016, where BTC was worth USD 600. Looking back, we can say that this last halving was the start of the great bull run of 2017. In that bull run BTCs price exploded and marked a new all-time high at USD 19,783,06. 

Should investors buy bitcoin in 2020? 

So, should investors buy bitcoin in 2020? According to us, the most interesting development regarding the upcoming halving will be the development of the bitcoin price. If the halving will have the same impact as in the past, we may see a new all-time high in 2021. It’s even possible that bitcoin could hit a new all-time high at  10 times its current valuation.

Even the Kraken CEO, Jesse Powell seems to be optimistic about bitcoin hitting the USD 100,000 after the halving. According to Powell, bitcoin will reach either a USD 100k or USD 1m price tag. 

“When I hear people talking about a bitcoin “correction” I’m thinking USD 100k, maybe USD 1m. That’s what’s correct.”

Also, Anthony Pompliano, co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital Assets, believes that bitcoin could reach USD 100,000 by 2021. According to Pomp the “Supply-Demand economics remain valid. They are a great way to determine the market price. So, if the demand for a fixed-supply asset increases, we continue to see price appreciation.”

According to Pomp, the upcoming halving will be one of the reasons why the valuation of BTC will see new heights. So as a result of the positive forecast, we think that investors should buy bitcoin to participate of the upcoming development.

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Bitcoin Price Plunges To $9,400 But Bounces Off, Altcoins Follow: Monday Crypto Market Watch

The start of the new week came as a sad one for traders as the bears take over the cryptocurrency market, correcting Bitcoin price to below the $9600 region. At the time of writing, the coin is trading at $9,627.

The current volatility in the market could be tied to the ongoing selling pressure and transfer of 600 BTC ($5,753,286) to BitMEX, which took place at block 617782. If the bearish movement continues, Bitcoin could dip further to $9170 and even $9000. At the time of this writing, however, BTC managed to recover and is pushing up to $9,700 once again. 

Altcoins, on the other hand, are facing significant price crashes and recorded significant losses. Although the market has started recovering from the sudden slump, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Ripple (XRP) are the biggest losers in the top 10. XRP retraced to $0.281 while BCH plunged to ($404). The crash in the altcoin markets briefly pushed Bitcoin dominance to over 63%. As the market started to recover, however, altcoins seem to reclaim grounds as the dominance is currently at 62.4%. 

It’s interesting to see where the market goes from here. It appears that it may have been a healthy correction as over the past couple of weeks bulls were in complete control.  You Might Also Like:

  • Bitcoin Breaking $10K As The Altcoin Season 2020 Continues: The Crypto Weekly Market Update
  • Crypto Price Analysis & Overview February 14th: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and EOS.
  • Total Crypto Market Cap Hits 6-Month High At $300 Billion: All Top 30 In Green

Total Market Cap: $276 B | Bitcoin Market Cap: $174 B | Bitcoin Dominance: 62.7%

Major Crypto Headlines

Binance Applied For Operating License In Singapore, Confirms CEO Changpeng Zhao. Just a month after Singapore released its comprehensive regulation for crypto businesses, Binance has filed for operating license in the country, CZ revealed. 

Russia’s Central Bank Completes Blockchain Pilot To Issue Tokenized Assets. The central bank of Russia has reportedly completed a pilot project for the issuance and circulation of digital rights. The platform can be used to digitize goods, services, securities, and other assets.   

IOTA Releases Safe Version of Trinity Desktop But Mainnet Remains Suspended. IOTA Foundation has launched a safe version of the Trinity wallet that will enable users to see their balances and transactions on Desktop. However, the Mainnet remains suspended until the project team finalizes their remedial plans.

Significant Daily Gainers and Losers

Hedera Hashgraph (19.82%)

HBAR, the native cryptocurrency of the Hedera Hashgraph, emerged as the most significant winner in the top 100 with 19.82% gains on the trading session. The coin’s performance today will definitely leave HBAR day traders basking in euphoria considering the current market situation. At the time of writing, the coin is trading at $0.051 with a market cap of $164,993,621. The Hedera Hashgraph network is growing rapidly, and research shows that the platform processed over 36 million transactions over the last six months. 

Centrality (9.63%)

With a 9.63% gain on the trading day, CENNZ wins the spot as a top performer over the last 24 hours. The increase in value today has pushed the coin’s price to $0.100654 and its market cap to $84,797,804. CENNZ is ranked as the 72nd largest cryptocurrency in the world according to market cap. The project has made a lot of progress since its launch. Centrality recently completed its Habanero stage on its roadmap and they are moving to the next phase known as Scotch Bonnet.

Bytecoin (-11.24%)

On February 15, BCN made a significant price move and traded as high as $0.000690. However, following the bear market, the coin has slumped to a current price of $0.000456. 

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