Commoditized Cryptocurrencies Are Killing Decentralization [Opinion]

At Bitcoin’s inception, we gravitated around Satoshi Nakamoto and hung out on a single forum that had all the information we could possibly need.

Mainstreaming has its costs. The total commodification of the cryptocurrency market may present some more profit-taking opportunities, but there is a price to pay. Our vulnerable financial freedom may be at stake — again.

Let’s face it — we live in one centralized world.

We do most of our shopping in giant malls or on Amazon. We hang out in Starbucks, we search for information almost exclusively on Google, and we spend most of our time online on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Contrary to what many cryptocurrency advocates believe, centralization is not just a consequence of the industrial or technological revolution. We are to blame — though, “blame” may not be the appropriate word to use in this context.

Centralization is in our very nature.

centralization

Since the dawn of civilization, we have delegated our responsibilities to a leader. From the moment we are born, we gravitate around our parents, the cool boy or girl at school, or around our charismatic friends. It was only natural for the blockchain and the cryptocurrency industry to follow the same path.

At Bitcoin’s inception, we gravitated around Satoshi Nakamoto and hung out on a single forum that had all the information we could possibly need. After Nakamoto went rogue, we picked different leaders and delegated all our responsibilities to a group of developers, to mining pools, and to so-called social media influencers and personalities.

We’ve even taken the next step and, now, we are willing to forfeit our Satoshi-given right of financial independence to a few cryptocurrency exchanges, hot wallets, and other lucrative third parties — just for the sake of convenience.

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. Now, we are also willing to fully commodify the cryptocurrency space and include it into an already rigged, greed-mongering system — just for the sake of profit.

crypto exchange

Commodifying The Cryptocurrency Market

Recently, Crypto Twitter and the wider cryptocurrency media rejoiced as a ‘fintech startup’ announced the completion of a private initial funding round. Swiss-based Amun AG raised $4 million in its attempt to make cryptocurrency investments ‘safe, easy, and regulated.’

Excited to share what we’ve been up to @AmunAG: safe, easy, regulated ETPs to invest in an index of cryptos, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and (soon) Ripple.

This is in addition to our efforts to tokenize our own ETFs as well as offer issuers a platform to do the same. More details on TC. https://t.co/lWV9ysBP2f

— Hany Rashwan (@hany) March 11, 2019

The company’s first Exchange Traded Product (ETP) — a financial derivative tradeable on securities exchanges — is an index basket consisting of five major digital assets: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The distribution of these assets in the HODL index is uneven and based on capitalization, with BTC weighing the most (almost 50 percent), followed by XRP (27 percent), ETH (16 percent), LTC (four percent), and BCH (almost three percent).

Amun’s ultimate goal is to create ETPs for all five digital currencies, individually — as well as EOS (EOS). Bitcoin and Ethereum ETPs are already listed as products with XRP (XRP) joining the crowd, soon enough.

In other words, this company wants to bring cryptocurrencies to institutional investors — and retail investors used to the convenience of buying stocks.

It may be safer than some current options and definitely regulated — but is it a step in the right direction, though?

cryptocurrency profits

Cryptocurrencies and Stocks: A Match Made In Hell

For now, the ETPs are 100-percent backed by their derivative cryptocurrencies, according to Amun’s fact sheet — but there’s a catch. If an investor buys ABTC (the Bitcoin ETP) or AETH (the Ethereum ETP) he or she won’t actually own anything but stock. The bitcoins or ethers will be in Amun’s sole possession and will be managed and stored by a central custodian. As a result, the investor will have to fully trust a lucrative third party. This goes against everything the cryptosphere stands for or, at least, should stand for.

Bringing institutional investors into this nascent market could quickly backfire. Indeed, they will inject liquidity into cryptocurrencies — but not because they actually want the blockchain to thrive. They will do so for strictly speculative purposes. With enough funds, they will take hold of the industry, rigging the prices and cannibalizing the market, similar to what is currently happening with commodities and the stock market.

The cryptocurrency industry is already plagued by price manipulation techniques and, instead of fixing the problem, we will just institutionalize manipulation altogether.

bitcoin manipulation

Amun may currently have fully collateralized ETPs but, as commodification grows and evolves, other companies will start creating diluted crypto-based derivatives not fully backed, similar to the current state of the precious metals markets.

There have been numerous reports in the past several years regarding the COMEX — a futures and options market for metals — using a sky-high leverage ratio between ‘paper’ gold/silver and actual physical gold/silver stored in vaults.

In a nutshell, all this translates to centralization in terms of price manipulation, cryptocurrency holdings, and actual supply. (Just imagine Bitcoin (BTC) trading as a 100-million-total supply coin, instead of 21M.) Very few trading companies will end up having most of the coins. When the industry becomes centralized, it moves further away from the original ideas envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto.

Nakamoto might have dreamt of creating the perfect decentralized world, but we ruined it. Nakamoto might have dreamt of giving us total financial freedom, but we are slowly giving it all away.

What do you think? Is the commodification of the cryptocurrency market a step in the right direction? Won’t it lead to even more centralization and price manipulation? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter.

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3 Cryptos Showing Signs of an Upcoming Surge & Beating Bitcoin

Litecoin, Binance, Tron, and Maker are trading above the 200-day moving average, which is an ongoing calculation for an asset’s closing price over a …
3-Cryptos-Showing-Signs-of-an-Upcoming-Surge-&-Beating-Bitcoin3-Cryptos-Showing-Signs-of-an-Upcoming-Surge-&-Beating-Bitcoin

It seems to be officially the season of altcoins as they start surging and making strong gains while Bitcoin remains sluggish, barely moving from its place at around $3,900. According to crypto traders, mid-cap altcoins are the best bet to make gains as their prices shoot up like crazy bringing in sometimes over 100 percent gains.

VeChain (VET)

A few of the altcoins, however, seems to be poised for more gains. One of the coins is VeChain that is currently trading at $0.005 with 24-hours loss of 1.42 percent.

Just recently, VeChain announced its 2019 summit where BMW, DNV GL, and Ocean Ex, will be participating.

“The summit offers participants a unique opportunity to expand their networks. Participants will learn to garner the full value out of the fast-growing blockchain industry and gain information related to the latest news, products, and trends in VeChain Tech and Innovations,”

reads the announcement made by VeChain.

the numbers are telling me $VET is going up bitch pic.twitter.com/rPLXeBVvrx

— Moon Overlord (@MoonOverlord) March 13, 2019

Crypto traders are seeing much fuel in VET prices and expecting it to make some major moves and register gains as Monn Overlord further quipped,

“But moon vechain has a billion dollar market cap how can it move. Because all the filthy beggars are wiped out and they have a pump it summit coming up.”

$VET Update 2

Houston, we have ignition.

Watching the daily close today. Close above the range, and targeting the first blue level. pic.twitter.com/M1fQwo9eOZ

— Hsaka (@HsakaTrades) March 12, 2019

Binance Coin (BNB)

Binance Coin, the native coin of the biggest cryptocurrency exchange Binance is making huge gains, having hit its all-time high (ATH) in the Bitcoin market. The gains have BNB shooting up past Tron, Stellar, and Tether at the 7th spot.

At the time of writing, BNB has been trading at $15.11 with 24-hours loss of 0.28 percent. Earlier this month, BNB hit a new peak against BTC while making substantial gains in the red market.

BNB has a lot of potential and the events coming up can take it even higher. Binance Launchpad, Binance Chain, and Binance DEX could make its place among the top five cryptos.

remember this when $BNB hits a new high.

don’t fight the momentum in such a violently extended wave https://t.co/mlEg0o4YV5

— 🌲BenjaminBlunts🌲 (@SmartContracter) March 13, 2019

Storm (STORM) :

Market analyst and trader, Benjamin Blunts has been sharing a lot of tidbit about this cryptocurrency that recently saw the highest trading volume it ever registered despite being in the

accumulation zone.

If you spend too long waiting for the $Storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.

Bullish above, bearish below.$Cryptopic.twitter.com/vcdWmHsWDn

— 🌲BenjaminBlunts🌲 (@SmartContracter) March 12, 2019

Other altcoins like Litecoin has also potential as Blunts shared,

“LTC looking like its near completion. If you are in this, trail stops up and if we make one more high towards $60 take some profit off the table. It is still too early to tell whether the rise from $22 – present was corrective or impulsive, however, nothing goes up forever.”

Meanwhile, coins viz. Litecoin, Binance, Tron, and Maker are trading above the 200-day moving average, which is an ongoing calculation for an asset’s closing price over a period of time that helps in finding the support and resistance level along with the asset’s trend direction.

If an asset trades above this 200-moving average, it is considered bullish and vice versa which means these four coins could have gains coming up in the near future.

Today’s Bitcoin (BTC) Price Prediction: Latest Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP) and BCH Analysis

Perspectives on the Italian crypto scene. Interview with Michele Zilocchi

Interview with Michele Zilocchi. Why did you start with cryptocurrencies? I remember the time when I was graduating, and I dreamed about an …

Interview with Michele Zilocchi

Why did you start with cryptocurrencies?

I remember the time when I was graduating, and I dreamed about an International working position, full of entrepreneurs and with lots of different projects. It was the year 2013, andI could not figure out that I was already thinking about the Cryptocurrencies environment, but now it seems to me like I have found what I was looking for.

You now write on Amicaborsa.com, an emerging business website in the Italian market. What happened?

I had a great opportunity of showing my skills to a strong Italian entrepreneurs team that operates in London managing a rising investment fund. Along the year 2017, we decided to start a new section on Amicaborsa.com talking about Cryptocurrencies technology, Blockchain and Trading of Cryptocurrencies.

You talk a lot about Cryptocurrency trading and trading for newbies, tell us more?

My adventure in Cryptocurrencies started with Binance, buying some Altcoins randomly, and selling randomly the same coins. What I realised was that the Cryptocurrencies markets (especially the Altcoins versus Bitcoin markets) have a higher volatility and price excursion than usual Forex market. Higher volatility is mainly due to lower capitalisation of the markets and to strong correlations with some major markets such as BTCUSD.

You are Italian. How do you feel about cryptocurrencies in your country?

I feel comfortable in saying that Italy is moving forward within the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain environment with lots of initiatives.

For example, Rovereto (north Italy, county of Trento) is generally known as the first area in the Country where you can get Bitcoin from ATMs since the year 2018.

A second great initiative has been the Blockchain volunteer group in Napoli, where they are focusing on the Waste Disposal Tokenization.

Last but not least, the Italian Parliament appointed 30 Italian Blockchain Experts as part of a team to develop Blockchain application. Among these 30 Experts, there are lots of different professional profiles such as Accountants, Engineers, Entrepreneurs, Professors and Information Technologists.

What are the activities related to cryptocurrencies that you think are most popular in Italy?

I think the Italians approach does not differ too much from the average individuals around the world facing for the first time the cryptocurrencies’ market: reluctance and difficulty understanding in getting their first crypto coins. Once you have got a coin, what do you do to get more value from it?

What are cryptocurrencies market activities you are focusing on right now?

I am building my credibility as a cryptocurrency trader, as a cryptomining farm’s advisor and experiencing as an ICO advisor.

I like the Advisor experience because it gives me the opportunity of being in touch with many of blockchain’s based companies and looking through their business development since the early stage.

We are currently starting our cryptocurrency mining facility based in Asia, but so far my deepest experience has been focused on Crypto trading. I am struggling to sharpen some trading methods detached from the ordinary technical analysis that sometimes involves extra-confusional graphics.

At this moment, the Cryptocurrency market generally has a low capitalisation, being easily influenced by some big trade orders put on the market and bypassing any technical analysis. You may have been told the OTC market is growing and more and more Exchanges are offering this opportunity, but you have to consider the Market Prices might be tastier even for big players.

In my opinion, when you begin trading on Cryptocurrency, you must be familiar with and increasingly dominate your approach to Money Management controlling and distinguishing the risk accordingly.

Binance is my favourite broker, even if I had experience with several Cryptocurrency brokers and having had my first trading experience with Derivatives contracts. Do you know what happened? There were too many hidden fees,and I got rid of them, switching to the “pure Cryptocurrency trading” where you have no overnight fees, and no taxes apply in Italy until a certain traded amount.


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Market Update 3.13.19 – Bitcoin Price May Be on the Decline Again

Abra, the cryptocurrency wallet service provider, is now giving support for ETH (Ethereum) directly from its app. This means that users can now directly …

Market News

Bitcoin Price May Be on the Decline Again

According to the latest report by Bloomberg, there are key price indicators that point to the fact that Bitcoin’s price may be on a downward trajectory once again. The mainstream media giant stated that technical indicators are signaling that the long-term demand for Bitcoin is going down.

According to the indicators, the crypto’s MACD (moving average convergence divergence) gauge has been declining since the middle of February. The MACD is the gauge of momentum that tracks the relationship between two moving price averages of a security. While Bitcoin has come close to the $4k mark in the last few weeks, the crypto has not been able to break that barrier.

Read the rest of the story here.

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Abra Now Has ETH Support

Abra, the cryptocurrency wallet service provider, is now giving support for ETH (Ethereum) directly from its app. This means that users can now directly deposit as well as withdraw the altcoin from Abra. Prior to this, users needed to make deposits into Abra’s wallet through bank accounts, AmEx cards, BTC (Bitcoin), LTC (Litecoin) or BCH (Bitcoin Cash).

Changelly - Exchange cryptocurrency at the best rate

If users then wanted to, they could have their funds converted into a so-called synthetic version of ETH. Users were exposed to the crypto’s price movements, but they did not actually own the asset.

Read the rest of the story here.

Elwood Increasing Crypto Offerings

The UK-based asset management firm Elwood Asset Management is exploring options to increase its crypto offerings after this week’s launch of a Blockchain based ETF (exchange traded fund). Elwood, owned by billionaire Alan Howard, entered into a partnership with Invesco to co-launch this new Blockchain ETF.

With the successful launch of the ETF, the company announced that it was now exploring other options in the cryptocurrency space to offer to its institutional investors. The CEO of Elwood, Bin Ren stated that so far, one of the only meaningful ways in which institutions could gain exposure to cryptos was by buying Bitcoin, however, many did not want to invest in the digital asset.

Read the rest of the story here.

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Total Market Cap: Mar 13

Capitalization of the crypto market is $134.10 billion and trading volumes are at $28.92 billion.

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Mar 13

Bitcoin’s price is up by 0.02% since yesterday and is currently at $3912.41. Trading volumes for the asset are at $9.46 billion and its capitalization is $68.80 billion.

Ethereum Price Analysis: Mar 13

Ether is down 0.79% to trade at a price of $133.60 per token. The asset’s market worth is now $14.05 billion and trading volumes are at $4.27 billion.

State of the Top 10 Cryptocurrencies: Mar 13

The cryptocurrency market’s ten most valuable cryptocurrencies have seen only minute changes in the last 24 hours, trading up or down very slightly. The biggest changes have been seen in Binance Coin, whose price is up 2.24%, and Stellar, whose price is up 2.16%. The rest of the top ten are either marginally up or down.

  • Bitcoin’s trading at $3912.41, up by 0.02%. At this moment, the digital asset is worth $68.80 billion.
  • Ethereum’s trading at $133.60, down by 0.79%. At this moment, the digital asset is worth $14.05 billion.
  • Ripple’s trading at $0.310553, down by 0.06%. At this moment, the digital asset is worth $12.86 billion.
  • Litecoin’s trading at $56.71, down by 0.02%. At this moment, the digital asset is worth $3.45 billion.
  • EOS’s trading at $3.65, down by 0.89%. At this moment, the digital asset is worth $3.30 billion.
  • Bitcoin Cash’s trading at $128.80, down by 0.65 %. At this moment, the digital asset is worth $2.27 billion.
  • Binance Coin’s trading at $15.30, up by 2.24%. At this moment, the digital asset is worth $2.16 billion.
  • Tether’s trading at $1.01, up by 0.11%. At this moment, the digital asset is worth $2.01 billion.
  • Stellar’s trading at $0.0103606, up by 2.16%. At this moment, the digital asset is worth $1.99 billion.
  • TRON’s trading at $0.022297, down by 0.24%. At this moment, the digital asset is worth $1.48 billion.

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$100 of Investing In Ethereum Would Net $68305: New Study Reveals Crypto ROI Following …

Tezos, for example, was one of the more popular and successful ICOs, raising over the whopping $230 million, selling tokens at an average of $0.47.

We all know that investing in cryptocurrencies could be profitable, should you manage to identify the best entry point. Throughout the relatively brief period of their existence, a lot of digital currencies have skyrocketed in value.

One of the most predominant precursors of the price of a certain cryptocurrency going up is the listing on major cryptocurrency exchanges. This became particularly evident following the boom of Initial Coin Offerings throughout 2017 and 2018.

What If You Invested $100 Back Before Certain Assets Got Listed?

One of the most common questions of novice cryptocurrency enthusiasts is what if they invested back then, when prices were low and before major cryptocurrencies got listed on exchanges.

Well, to satisfy this curiosity, DataLight has come up with a nice visualization of research depicting the cryptocurrency ROI following their exchange listings’ price discovery.

datalight researchh

As you can see, investing $100 in ETH, for instance, would have made you richer with $68,305 as of today. That’s because during its ICO, ETH was sold at a rate of 2000 ETH per 1 BTC which, during the time of the sale was worth between $550 and $630.

The absolute winner, however, remains Bitcoin (BTC) – the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Buying $100 of BTC early on would have netted you upwards of $1.3M according to DataLight’s research. Keep in mind that Bitcoin is down with about 75 percent since its peak in late 2017.

But It’s Not All Rainbows and Candy

While investing in cryptocurrencies could be profitable, it could also be a particularly unpleasant experience, especially for uninformed or misinformed investors, blindly following hype and speculation.

Data from Cryptopotato’s ICO Listreveals that while there are very profitable projects, there are also these which have made their investors nothing but losses.

Tezos, for example, was one of the more popular and successful ICOs, raising over the whopping $230 million, selling tokens at an average of $0.47. At present time, however, Tezos trades at around $0.45, which means that not only would you have not made money, but you’d have lost about 3% of your investment.

Another very popular ICO was that of banking startup Bancor (BNT). It managed to raise around $153 million, selling its tokens at $3.864 a pop. Now, BNT trades at $0.606 – 84% below the ICO price.

What this goes to show is that investing in cryptocurrencies could be particularly profitable, but it could also be devastating. Timing is key and in order to get it done properly, you need to have strong fundamental skills, financial responsibility, and to be well-informed about what you’re investing in.

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