IMF Issues Stark Warning Over Bitcoin And Crypto ‘Rapid’ Growth

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned the “rapid growth” of bitcoin and cryptocurrency assets could create “new vulnerabilities in the …

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned the “rapid growth” of bitcoin and cryptocurrency assets could create “new vulnerabilities in the international financial system,” as the world’s banks adjust to the recent bitcoin and blockchain boom.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, including Ripple Lab’s XRP token, ethereum, litecoin, EOS, and stellar, are being examined by the traditional financial system to gauge how they might be integrated as both investment tools and ways to move money across borders more quickly and cheaply.

Excitement around how bitcoin and cryptocurrency technologies, based on the blockchain distributed ledger, has propelled the price of many major cryptocurrencies to stratospheric highs over the last 12 months. Last year, the bitcoin price ballooned from less than $1,000 at the beginning of 2017 to almost $20,000 in December.

The bitcoin price has since fallen sharply back, currently trading at around $6,500, and dragging many of the biggest cryptocurrencies with it — many of them recording 80% declines from their peaks.

A sticker with a bitcoin logo is seen on a street lantern in the center of Bucharest, Romania on October 6, 2018. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“Cybersecurity breaches and cyber attacks on critical financial infrastructure represent an additional source of risk because they could undermine cross-border payment systems and disrupt the flow of goods and services. Continued rapid growth of crypto assets could create new vulnerabilities in the international financial system,” according to the fund’s latest World Economic Outlook report, out today.

Financial regulators around the world are trying, with mixed success, to get a handle on the bitcoin and blockchain phenomenon.

Last month the UK government branded the world of cryptocurrency a “wild west” and suggested oversight of the burgeoning industry be handed over to its primary financial services industry, the Financial Services Authority.

In February the IMF chief Christine Lagarde said international regulatory action on cryptocurrencies is “inevitable” and that the IMF’s concerns over cryptocurrencies stem largely from their potential use in illicit financial activities.

“An indiscriminate rollback of post-crisis regulatory reform and oversight—both domestically and internationally—could encourage excessive risk-taking, leading to a further buildup of financial vulnerabilities,” the latest IMF October report also warned.

Some banks are considering implementing Ripple Labs new xRapid service, which handles cross-border transfers using the digital XRP token and is designed to work as a bridge between different currencies around the world, allowing payment providers and banks to process faster cross-border transactions. Earlier this year Ripple Lab’s chief executive Brad Garlinghouse boasted there would be “dozens” of banks using xRapid by the end of 2019.

Elsewhere, many big investment banks, including the likes of New York-banking giant Goldman Sachs, are experimenting with bitcoin products to allow clients to participate in the cryptocurrency market without having to deal with often clunky and relatively unregulated bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges.

Meanwhile, a report out last month from cybersecurity firm McAfee found that cybercriminals are ratcheting up efforts to target devices with cryptocurrency malware. Christiaan Beek, the lead scientist and senior principal engineer with McAfee Advanced Threat Research, said that in the past few years devices like internet routers have emerged as possible targets for so-called cryptomining.

Approximately $1.5 billion worth of cryptocurrency has been stolen in the past two years, according to McAfee.

This isn’t the first time the IMF has warned over risks from bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The IMF’s stability report last week said:

Despite its potential benefits, our knowledge of its potential risks and how they might play out is still developing. Increased cybersecurity risks pose challenges for financial institutions, financial infrastructure, and supervisors. These developments should act as a reminder that the financial system is permanently evolving, and regulators and supervisors must remain vigilant to this evolution and ready to act if needed.

The 2017 bitcoin bull run catapulted bitcoin and cryptocurrencies into the global spotlight.CoinDesk

The IMF also said in its October World Economic Outlook report that the global economy is now expected to grow at 3.7% this year and next year, down 0.2 percentage points from an earlier forecast in April, as the U.S. and China ramp up their ongoing tariff fight.

Earlier projections now appear to be “over-optimistic” given that risks from “further disruptions in trade policies” have become more prominent, said Maurice Obstfeld, IMF chief economist, in a prepared speech.

The fund also cut its forecasts for global trade volume, with the total goods and services flow is expected to grow by 4.2% this year and 4% next year — down 0.6 and 0.5 percentage points, respectively from earlier estimates.

The fund said in the report that the downward revisions were notable in several countries: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Iran and Turkey — many of which have been experiementing with cryptocurrencies.

Emerging economies as a whole have experienced larger volumes of capital outflows as investors shift their money out, often using bitcoin and cryptocurrencies to dodge capital controls, on the back of the U.S. raising interest rates.

Countries such as Argentina and Turkey have been among the most troubled, with their currencies crashing to all-time lows against the greenback amid questions over their governments’ economic management.

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UK Regulator Warns Investors of Rising Cryptocurrency Scams

The Financial Conduct Authority, UK’s financial watchdog, is reminding consumers that cryptocurrency scams are rising in the country. Residents in …

The Financial Conduct Authority, UK’s financial watchdog, is reminding consumers that cryptocurrency scams are rising in the country. Residents in the United Kingdom who decide to invest in Bitcoin or any other virtual currency are not protected by the regulatory framework given that cryptocurrencies are not regulated by the FCA.

£2 Million Lost In Cryptocurrency Scams In June And July Alone

A warning of cryptocurrency scams first made in June has been re-posted by the UK regulator to let consumers know that fraudulent schemes are on the rise.

“UK consumers are being increasingly targeted by cryptocurrency-related investment scams […] Cryptocurrency fraudsters tend to advertise on social media, often using the images of celebrities or well-known individuals to promote cryptocurrency investments. […] The firms operating the scams are usually based outside of the UK but will claim to have a UK presence, often a prestigious City of London address.”

Cryptocurrency swindles include posting images of celebrities supposedly endorsing said coins or tokens, according to the statement. The regulator has observed a rising number of reports about virtual currency scams, but its regulatory framework does not protect UK residents that choose to trade their fiat currency for any digital coin or token.

Britain’s financial watchdog has recently warned about two scams that involve companies impersonating respectable UK traders. Good Crypto and Fair Oaks Crypto have quoted the two legitimate firm’s addresses and Firm Reference Numbers as part of the swindle, the FCA said.

A report by the National Fraud and Cybercrime Reporting Centre said that approximately £2 million has been lost in cryptocurrency scams in June and July alone this year, an average of £10,095.59 per person. The statement noted that the most prevalent methods used by scammers are cold calls and social media-based campaigns.

Fraudsters are able to convince victims to sign up to their websites and provide sensitive information such as credit card details and driving licenses to open a trading account. Victims are then persuaded to make sizable first deposits before realizing it is a fraud, said Director of Action Fraud Pauline Smith.

“It’s vital for anyone who invests or is thinking of investing in cryptocurrencies to thoroughly research the company they are choosing to invest with. The statistics show that opportunistic fraudsters are taking advantage of this market, offering investments in cryptocurrencies and using every trick in the book to defraud unsuspecting victims.”

As the FCA handles a rising number of virtual currency scam cases, the regulator announced it has launched investigations into 24 different cryptocurrency companies. In March 2018, a task force was also established with the Bank of England and the Treasury to develop UK’s policy thinking on crypto assets.

Image from Shutterstock

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Bitcoin’s Non-Correlation Shows Risk of Diversifying Cryptocurrencies

There’s been plenty of discussion on whether Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are correlated to commodities and larger financial markets. And while …
Correlation diversify portfolioBitcoin Investment

Eustace Cryptus| Aug 17, 2018 | 15:00

The belief that cryptocurrencies have a correlation to traditional markets may be leading amateur investors down the wrong path putting their portfolio at risk.

Cryptocurrency Not Inversely Correlated to Larger Markets

There’s been plenty of discussion on whether Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are correlated to commodities and larger financial markets. And while there is yet to be a definitive answer to this question, it is clear that cryptocurrencies tend to follow their own path.

Plenty of financial gurus and novice investors suggest that a properly diversified portfolio would contain a fractional amount of cryptocurrency. To date, the exact amount varies with some suggesting no more than 2% of the total portfolio value, while a recent Yale study suggests as much as 6%.

3 Reasons Why You Need Tkeycoin in Your Portfolio

The logic behind this advice lies in the conventional practice that every solid portfolio includes a small percentage of high-risk assets along with the belief that cryptocurrencies are uncorrelated to traditional assets, which in theory should provide a bit of padding during general market volatility.

This week’s positive performance from Bitcoin 00 serves as proof of the aforementioned practice. But how could one forget that the overall cryptocurrency market is down significantly as the $830 billion market capitalization of December 2017 currently rests at $207, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

This calls into question the assumption of non-correlation as cryptocurrency markets have steadily sunk to new yearly lows during wider market sell-offs.

It’s All About Diversity

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Bitwise Asset Management Inc. Vice President, Matt Hougan suggested that “Non-correlation is not the same as inverse correlation so there’s no guarantee that when the market goes down crypto will go up.”

Hougan believes that “over the long term, we think the fundamental drivers of crypto are different from the fundamental driver of equities and other assets, and we would expect the lower correlation to persist.”

A number of financial experts suggest that amateur cryptocurrency investors are assuming there is an inverse correlation between cryptocurrencies and traditional markets as they attempt to connect geopolitical events such as a currency crisis, tariff war or political instability, to their predicted positive impact on cryptocurrency price. But so far this assumption has yet to become fact.

In fact, studies have shown that when a scale between 1 and -1 is applied, Bitcoin hardly ever moves beyond 0.5, which shows that bitcoin’s price action is hardly linked or impacted by events taking place in larger financial markets.

5 Blockchain-Based Diversification Options for Cryptocurrency Portfolios

Are Altcoins Too Unstable to Hodl?

While a diversified cryptocurrency portfolio or even a traditional asset portfolio with some cryptocurrency allocations would have provided stellar returns in 2017, this strategy may not be the most effective for 2018 and beyond, especially for investors who only invest in cryptocurrencies.

The fact that Bitcoin is closely correlated to other cryptocurrencies means that altcoins are less likely to decouple or diverge from Bitcoin price action. This is exactly why heaps of altcoins are dipping below yearly lows while Bitcoin whipsaws between unpredictable gains and losses. At the same time, Bitcoin dominance has been rising in 2018 to over 50%.

After an incredibly rough year for cryptocurrencies, investors might reconsider whether or not building a ‘hodl portfolio’ is the wisest idea. To wit, the future of many small altcoins is uncertain and an increasing number of studies are beginning to show that Bitcoin and larger financial markets are not inversely correlated.

Do you think Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are inversely correlated with larger financial markets? Share your thoughts below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Bets Against Bitcoin Grow Since Start of August

The number of investors betting that bitcoin (BTC), the leading cryptocurrency, will decline has been increasing during the month of August amid rising …

The number of investors betting that bitcoin (BTC), the leading cryptocurrency, will decline has been increasing during the month of August amid rising volatility in the digital token market and a steep sell-off.

MarketWatch, citing Bitfinex, the fourth-largest cryptocurrency exchange, reported the exchange has seen bets against bitcoin double since the start of the month. As of Aug. 15, the outstanding short interest on the exchange was at more than 36,000 BTC. On Aug. 1 it was at 18,000 BTC, reported MarketWatch. (See also: Crypto Market Caps Plummet on Bitcoin ETF Woes.)

Cryptocurrencies Dealing With Sell-Off

The increases in negative bets on bitcoin come amid a broad sell-off in cryptocurrencies in recent days. As concerns rise that entrepreneurs are cashing out their initial coin offerings and that some digital tokens including bitcoin may have become overvalued, nearly all of the largest cryptocurrencies fell earlier in the week. The declines in August come on the heels of a rally in July as investors bet a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) would receive regulatory approval in the U.S., but regulators withheld approval for now.

Many investors view bitcoin and cryptocurrency ETFs as a way to bring legitimacy to a market that is anonymous and unregulated. Investment firm VanEck and Solid X, a financial service company, partnered earlier in the year to get approval for a bitcoin ETF, but these efforts were rejected by the SEC. The SEC decided to delay making a decision until Sept. 30. But with no SEC-driven rally in sight, cryptocurrencies declined. On Monday, of the largest 100 cryptocurrencies tracked by, only one traded higher. The market capitalization of the top 100 digital tokens combined declined to $193 billion, a far cry from their combined value of $835 billion back in January. The lack of optimism on the part of crypto investors resulted in digital tokens declining in seven of the first eight days in August. (See also: How Cryptocurrency Pump-and-Dump Scams Work.)

Still, not everyone thinks it will continue to decline. Chris Yoo, portfolio manager at Black Square Capital, told MarketWatch he thinks the cryptocurrency market is near the end of the bearish sentiment. “Most importantly, the ecosystem will continue to develop and grow from the increase in talent and public awareness, leading to the recovery of the market in the near future,” he said.

Investing in cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”) is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or ICOs. Since each individual’s situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein.

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LiteBitcoin (LBTC) at $0.000724: 24-hour Volume at $1437

Ties.DB (TIE) is currently trading at $0.03 against the dollar, a 47.50% change since yesterday. The Bitcoin price of TIE is currently 0.00000514 BTC.

LiteBitcoin (LBTC) at $0.000724: 24-hour Volume at $1,437

August 17, 2018

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LiteBitcoin (LBTC) traded up 22.14% to American dollar in the last 24h interval ending 14:45 on August 17th EST. LiteBitcoin presently has a cap of $20,947 and its twenty four hour trading volume is about $1,437. Within the seven day period of time, LiteBitcoin is 3.62% against the American dollar together with a change of 19.08% through the past 60 minutes.

Let’s take a look at how the other cryptos have faired since this time yesterday:

  • BitMart Token (BMX) is currently trading at $0.03 against the dollar, a 7.45% change since yesterday. The Bitcoin price of BMX is currently 0.00000395 BTC.
  • Bullion (CBX) is currently trading at $1.44 against the dollar, a 0.27% change since yesterday. The Bitcoin price of CBX is currently 0.0002221 BTC.
  • Ties.DB (TIE) is currently trading at $0.03 against the dollar, a 47.50% change since yesterday. The Bitcoin price of TIE is currently 0.00000514 BTC.
  • HelloGold (HGT) is currently trading at $0.01 against the dollar, a -2.17% change since yesterday. The Bitcoin price of HGT is currently 0.00000091 BTC.
  • ClearPoll (POLL) is currently trading at $0.47 against the dollar, a 8.23% change since yesterday. The Bitcoin price of POLL is currently 0.00007235 BTC.
  • VINchain (VIN) is currently trading at $0.00 against the dollar, a 7.60% change since yesterday. The Bitcoin price of VIN is currently 0.00000067 BTC.
  • Remme (REM) is currently trading at $0.01 against the dollar, a 2.85% change since yesterday. The Bitcoin price of REM is currently 0.00000115 BTC.
  • Kind Ads Token (KIND) is currently trading at $0.07 against the dollar, a 34.35% change since yesterday. The Bitcoin price of KIND is currently 0.00001103 BTC.
  • Dotcoin (DOT) is currently trading at $0.01 against the dollar, a 1.96% change since yesterday. The Bitcoin price of DOT is currently 0.00000182 BTC.

LiteBitcoin Information

LiteBitcoin has a max supply of 28,940,333 coins. It launched on 11th August, 2017.

From cryptocompare: “LiteBitcoin is a scrypt PoW cryptocurrency that aims to be the light version of Bitcoin.”

A number of useful web links are listed below, should you wish to get more about LiteBitcoin:

LBTC: Trading Info

Anyone can acquire LBTC at exchanges like Novaexchange, EXX, and Cryptopia.

It’s not always conceivable to buy digital coins such as LiteBitcoin directly using US dollars. Market players hoping to buy LBTC may perhaps need to first buy BTC or Ethereum from an exchange which provides USD currency trading pairs including Coinbase as well as GDAX. Traders will then make use of this Bitcoin or Ethereum to invest in LiteBitcoin using one of the exchanges posted above.


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