Same story, different week. The cryptocurrency market has continued its slow and steady decline. We’ve had week-after-week of losses for the entire month on June, and May wasn’t much better. All of that to say, we haven’t bucked the downtrend yet, folks, and there’s not much to indicate that we will in the near-future.
At $234 bln, the entire market has shed 8% of its value over the week. Bitcoin is also treading below its previous lows in February and April. No one has a crystal ball, but breaking below these previous support levels should not inspire confidence.
Bitcoin: Crypto’s golden boy has lost 4.5% of his value this week with a price of $5,900.
Ethereum took a pretty heavy hit this week. With 13% knocked off of its price. It’s currently priced at $411.
Ripple: At $0.43, Ripple isn’t fairing much better than Ethereum, as it’s down 12% on the week.
United States Crypto News
Supreme Court Denies Review of Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht’s Life Sentence: Ross Ulbricht, also known as Dread Pirate Roberts, won’t be rescued from the brig anytime soon. The US Supreme Court has rejected the Silk Road founder’s plea for a shorter sentence. Arrested in 2015 on numerous counts of aiding drug and weapons trafficking, the distribution of other illicit materials, money laundering, and fraud, Ulbricht is currently serving a life sentence in federal prison.
Coinbase’s Brain Armstrong Establishes Crypto-Charity, GiveCrypto: Coinbase’s CEO is launching a cryptocurrency charitable fund. GiveCrypto, as it’s called, will distribute its crypto-filled coffers to those in financial need in less-developed markets and countries. Brian Armstrong hopes that it will “help people in need by sending money to them directly” and “provide universal access to an open financial system.” The fund has already raised $3.5 mln and hopes to raise $10 mln by year’s end.
Walmart, Retailers, and Manufacturers Partner With IBM for Supply Chain Tracking Solutions: IBM has penned partnerships with some of the US’s major retail and manufacturing businesses to develop a blockchain platform for the grocery industry’s supply chain. The Food Trust blockchain initiative has actually been in the works since 2016, with Walmart, Kroger Co., Tyson Foods Inc. Nestlé SA, Dole Food Co., Driscoll’s Inc., Golden State Foods, McCormick and Co., McLane Co., and Unilever NV joining IBM in its efforts. In August of 2017, the initiative began testing a pilot for the network.
FBI Is Investigating 130 Crypto-Related Cases, a “Small Sliver” of Its Workload: During his talk at the Crypto Evolves conference in New York this week, FBI agent Kyle Armstrong told his audience that the FBI’s investigations into illegal cryptocurrency use are “a small sliver” of the “thousands” of the agency’s currently-active cases. Armstrong indicated that the FBI is currently looking into around 130 “threat flagged” cases involving cryptocurrency’s use in felonious acts, such as human trafficking and kidnapping, ransomware, and black market drug dealings. With a flaring opioid epidemic in the United States, the FBI, Armstrong stated, is most concerned with crypto’s use for illicit prescription sales, though he admitted that likely only 10% of the world’s drug trade occurs on the dark web.
More on Crypto and Illicit Markets: US Agencies Bust Some 35 Dark Web Dealers, Recover Over $12 mln in Bitcoin: The US Department of Justice, in league with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Secret Service (USSS), the Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), have put a stopper in the black market operations of over 35 dark web drugs and arms distributors. The first-of-its-kind nationwide and inter-agency bust resulted in the seizure of over $12 mln in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, with some 4,000 more Bitcoin (values at roughly $24 mln) awaiting requisition approval.
Andreessen Horowitz Establishes $300 mln Cryptocurrency Capital Fund: Legacy financial firm Andreessen Horowitz is extending its financial reach even further into the cryptocurrency industry. The firm, which already holds equity in crypto-related ventures like Coinbase, announced this week that it has created its own cryptocurrency investment fund, a16z crypto. Andreessen Horowitz general partner Chris Dixon indicated in a company blog post that the fund will choose “investments for 10+ years,” be they coins, tokens, or blockchain companies.
Cryptocurrency News From Around the World
Binance Set to Launch Fiat Trading In Uganda, CEO Reveals: In an interview with Cointelegraph, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) indicated that the exchange would launch its seminal crypto-to-fiat trading operations in Uganda. Binance Uganda will allow its users to trade the Ugandan Shilling for major cryptocurrencies. The platform is ready for immediate launch, CZ stated, and he believes it “shows Binance is not just into chasing the most developed markets.” A bit of an experiment, the exchange is also somewhat of a litmus test to see if underdeveloped markets are more likely to adopt cryptocurrency economic systems: “Uganda [is a] really interesting situation, only 11 percent of the population has bank accounts. It’s both a challenge and an opportunity. So it may be easier to adopt cryptocurrency as a form of currency instead of trying to push for bank adoption. It’s an interesting experiment – Africa’s a big market, that’s why we’re there,” CZ stated in the interview.
86% of Cryptocurrency Executives Want Formal Self-Regulation for Industry: Research results released this week show that nearly 9 of 10 executives and investment managers at cryptocurrency firms want “formalized” self-regulatory standards. Conducted by Foley & Lardner LLP, an international law firm, in the spring of this year, the study consulted 62 individuals. A little less than 86% of the respondents believe that government authorities should watch over these regulations.
CTO of Enjin Creates New Ethereum Token Standard for Fungible and Non-Fungible Assets: Enjin’s CTO, Witek Radomski, has created a new token standard for Ethereum. Announced this week and known as ERC-1155, the token standard allows developers to deploy both fungible and non-fungible assets via the same smart contract, something current standards do not allow. Written with the gaming industry in mind, the standard will make it easier for developers and gamers to manage in-game collectibles and assets for blockchain-based games. Though it was built to solve limitations for tokenizing game-related assets, Radomski believes that “the application of this standard is by no means limited to the games market,” and “could be used to certify all forms of ownership, tangible or digital.”
Huobi Opens Up Shop in London, Announces OTC Trading: One of the industry’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Huobi, is opening an office in London. The exchange views England as its “gateway” to European markets, and it plans to trial over the counter (OTC) trading with its London-based operation in Q3 of this year. “London was selected as the first office in Europe, due to its preeminence as a global financial center and the largest cryptocurrency trading centre in the region with an active blockchain community and fast developing market,” the Huobi team stated, explaining its decision.
Founder of EOS Wants to Trash the Platform’s Constitution and Write a New One: EOS founder and serial crypto-entrepreneur Dan Larmier wants a re-do. He’s calling for a redrafting of EOS’s constitution, a rallying cry to amend a document that has invited the community’s negative scrutiny after EOS block producers have continued to freeze public keys on the network without justification. Larimer’s initiative needs a 15% vote from EOS token holders to pass, and affirmative votes must hold this threshold for 30 consecutive days in a 120-day voting time frame to go through with any changes.
China Updates its Crypto-Ratings, Shows Clear Bias for Chinese Projects: In the latest installment of the Global Public Chain Technology Index, The China Center for Information Industry Development (CCID) is showing lots of love for Chinese projects–but not so much for Bitcoin. The new grades put EOS, a project that has mass backing from Chinese investors and block producers, as its number one asset, surpassing the top grade Ethereum earned in the original report by 30 points. Behind it, in order, are Ethereum, NEO, Stellar, Lisk, and Nebulas, while Bitcoin fell from the top 15 from 13th to 17th.
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