This Week in Crypto: July 16, 2018 – Down We Go

This article was originally published at CoinCentral.com

After a single week of gains, we’re back to dippin’, folks. Cryptocurrency’s total market cap took a 6% hit this week, dropping to $249 bln. This valuation has the entire market floating in numbers that we saw at the beginning of April after the market calmed down from its late-February/March drop-off.

It’s hard to gauge where we’re going from here. Bitcoin has bounced off of support at $5.8-6k three times this year, and each time, the market has recovered only to continue trending down again. As always, if we break below this tri-tested support, expect prices to continue to fall.

Bitcoin: At 6,270, Bitcoin has lost 6% of its value over the week.

Ethereum: Ethereum is down 7%, sporting a price of $438.

Ripple: After losing 7% off its price this week, Ripple is trading at $0.44.

Cryptocurrency Market Stats (7/13/18)

United States Crypto News

Winklevoss-Owned Gemini Exchange Hires Former NYSE CIO: The Winklevosses are plucking their next big hire right out of Wall Street. According to a July 6 press release, Gemini Exchange has hired Robert Cornish, the former Chief Information Officer at the New York Stock Exchange, as its first Chief Technology Officer. In his new position, Cornish will be responsible for ensuring “that Gemini continues to deliver the best platform experience to [its] customers as possible and set the standards of excellence for the cryptocurrency industry as a whole,” CEO Tyler Winklevoss said in a statement. This will include monitoring the launch of Nasdaq’s SMARTS Market Surveillance technology for the exchange’s order books and trading services.

Ripple Hires Facebook Talent to Serve in Senior VP Position: More on talent scalping, Ripple just on-boarded a new face from Facebook’s staff. Kahina Van Dyke joins Ripple as Senior Vice President in Business and Corporate Development after playing key roles at companies like Facebook, Citibank, and Mastercard. Stated in the company’s official press release, Ripple believes that her experience “has afforded her insight into how sophisticated risk mitigation and compliance frameworks enable more reliable, timely services,” and it also believes she’ll add value to the company because she “understands the importance of bringing leading brands together through partnerships.”

Lightspeed Venture Capital Firm Amasses $1.8 bln, Some of Which is for Crypto Funding: Lightspeed Venture Partners has made its fortune on risky calls. The first outside investor in Snapchat, the firm focuses on early-stage companies. Now, it’ll be investing in an early-stage industry thanks to the $1.8 bln in supplementary capital it has to play with thanks, in part, to its investment in Snapchat. Some of this money will reportedly be allocated towards cryptocurrency related businesses and startups, while Lightspeed team members indicated to Reuters that a good $1.05 bln would be allocated for investments in safer, more mature companies.

HBUS, a Huobi-Partnered Exchange, Opens Up Trading Services in the US: After opening its doors to user registration last week, HBUS is now fully operational and live for trading. The Huobi strategic partner offers popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin, as well as 19 others. While the exchange’s services are up and running, it’s reportedly not open to residents in Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, Hawaii, Vermont, and Washington, likely for regulatory reasons.

Walmart Files Yet Another Blockchain Patent: Walmart is in pursuit of another distributed ledger patent. In its fifth filing with the US Patent & Trademark Office, Walmart is seeking patent rights for a “Delivery Reservation Apparatus and Method.” More specifically, it would use what it calls “a blockchain reservation system” wherein “transactions for the capacity units are tracked in a ledger, with available capacity units indicating an open location on the docking station or contracted out capacity units indicating that either the location has a locker secured thereto or that the location is reserved for a future delivery.” So far, Walmart has been awarded a patent for blockchain-managed medical records, and it has filed three others for an energy management system, a consumer-driven marketplace for used goods, and a platform for comprehensive data tracking.

New Executive Order Establishes Task Force For Tackling Financial Fraud, Emphasizes Crypto: Hot off the president’s desk, a new executive order has crypto in its purview. The order establishes the Task Force on Market Integrity and Consumer Fraud within the Department of Justice. Lead by the Attorney General, the force will “provide guidance for the investigation and prosecution of cases involving fraud on the government, the financial markets, and consumers, including cyber-fraud and other fraud targeting the elderly, service members and veterans, and other members of the public; procurement and grant fraud; securities and commodities fraud, as well as other corporate fraud, with particular attention to fraud affecting the general public; digital currency fraud; money laundering, including the recovery of proceeds; health care fraud; tax fraud; and other financial crimes.”

Cryptocurrency News From Around the World

As the Market Continues to Slump, GPU Prices Slump With It: Remember when Nvidia implored retailers to stop selling its graphics cards to miners because they were driving up prices? Well, for the near future at least, this problem has seemingly solved itself by way of the same market forces that made GPUs too expensive for the gaming population they typically serve. As the market continues to struggle, fewer people are eager to mine amidst plummeting prices. One Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition, 8GB GDDR5X PCI Express 3.0 Graphics Card, for example, would have run you just over $1,000 at the peak of the market’s bull run. Now, it’s going for roughly $700. “The cost to run the mining rigs is not insignificant, so when the price for the currencies drop…, people will run rigs and choose to dump AIBs on the secondary market hoping to recover some cost,” Robert Dow, manager of digital media for Jon Peddie Research, a firm that conduct the study, told ComputerWorld in an interview.

A Host of Bills Has South Korea Scrambling to Effect New Crypto, ICO Regulations: South Korean Officials are pushing a stack of bills through the country’s National Assembly in a revitalized effort to introduce clear legislation for the industry. Representatives Park Yong-jin of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, Chung Tae-ok of the main opposition Liberty Party Korea, and Choung Byoung-gug of the minor opposition Bareun Mirae Party are leading the efforts. Each representative has his own versions of similar bills to present to the Assembly. The bills will reportedly focus on ICOs, cryptocurrency markets/exchanges, and regulations for blockchain businesses.

Selling Over A Million Wallets in 2017, Ledger Starts Raking In Funding: Ledger pulled in $29 mln in profits last year after selling over a million hardware wallets. This success allowed the French startup to accrue $75 mln in a series B venture capital round in January, leading the company to be valued at roughly $300 mln. Now, as the rumor mill churns with scuttlebutt that puts Ledger’s valuation just south of $1 bln, sources close to Forbes indicated that the hardware wallet company is in talks with Siemens, Samsung, and Google for future capital infusion.

London School of Economics to Offer Online Crypto Course: One of the world’s most prestigious business schools is subsuming the cryptocurrency industry into its digital curricula. Come August, the London School of Economics will offer an online cryptocurrency course for ~$2,100. Taught by Associate Professor of Information Systems and Innovation Dr. Carsten Sørensen, the course includes 60 hours of class time and six lesson modules. “For over one hundred years, LSE’s motto has been to “understand the causes of things”. This online certificate course pairs practical cryptoasset knowledge with the theoretical thought leadership for which LSE is renowned. You will learn the practical skills to interact with cryptocurrency exchanges – including how to use wallets and evaluate the analytics of an ICO (Initial Coin Offering),” an official press release reads.

CoinGate Launches Lightning Network POS Pilot for Merchants: CoinGate, a Lithuanian cryptocurrency payment company, recently launched a pilot of its Lightning Network payment feature for merchants. The point of sale service is now available for participating merchants and vendors to test risk-free, and CoinGate already has more than 100 merchants piloting the service. “Just a week ago we published our first post on Lightning Network while we were still testing it on our demo shop (where you can still try testnet LN payments). Now, we couldn’t be more excited about bringing real LN payments to so many merchants at once!”, CoinGate stated in a blog post.

Chinese Authorities Arrest 20 in Suspected Cryptojacking Ring: Chinese police have apprehended 20 individuals believed to be responsible for a widespread cryptojacking campaign that affected more than one million computers. The Qingzhou Public Security Bureau has been sniffing the culprits out since January when a Tencent security team noticed a mining script in free-to-download plugins available to the public. After an initial arrest in March, officials implicated 16 more individuals through a company known as Dalian Shengping Network Technology, while two other individuals were arrested this April, as well. It’s estimated that the company illegally mined some 15 mln yuan ($2.2 mln) over the course of its operation’s lifespan.

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