Telegram testing an Ethereum-compatible blockchain

Telegram is publicly testing its much-anticipated blockchain project ‘TON.’ The company’s blockchain will be compatible with Ethereum, allowing developers to port their Ethereum smart contracts, revealed a tech startup working on the project alongside Telegram.

Ethereum DApps will be available on Telegram’s new blockchain project

Telegram, one of the fastest-growing messaging apps in the world, is working on one of the most highly anticipated blockchain projects this year. The Telegram Open Network (TON), which will host the company’s native cryptocurrency Gram, is set to launch at the end of October.

Notorious for its lack of transparency, Telegram has been quiet for several weeks while it was setting up the network for public testing. Last week, sources close to Telegram revealed that its blockchain will be compatible with Ethereum. The news came from TON Labs, a tech startup tasked with building several tools for the development of the Telegram network.

Alexander Filatov, the CEO of TON Labs, said that one of the tools the company was working on since July was a Solidity compiler. The programming language, which is mainly used on Ethereum, will allow users to port Ethereum smart contracts to the Telegram network.

“That was probably the most difficult thing we built. It will allow the advanced Ethereumcommunity to pull everything they wrote for Ethereum into TON,” Filatov said.

Public testing of the Telegram network begins

According to a report from Russian business paper Vedomosti, public testing of the Telegram Open Network will begin soon. The company will be releasing the code and instructions necessary for installing and hosting a Telegram node to the public.

The network’s sharding and consensus mechanisms will also be available for the public to test, the Russian publication revealed, saying that it will allow users to confirm new blocks in the blockchain.

Two sources close to Telegram revealed the news—Vedomosti said that one of the sources was a TON investor, while the other was the head of one of the companies that participated in TON’s closed testing phase.

We are yet to see whether the public testing of TON yields any positive results for the network. The same sources said that those who participated in the closed testing round experienced various bugs and issues while installing test nodes.

With less than two months left until Telegram’s deadline to launch TON, the company will be under a lot of pressure to push through the public testing. If it fails to launch a working blockchain on Oct. 31 Telegram claims it will return all of the money it raised from investors.

Coinbase Set To Move UK Customer Operations To A Licensed EU Operator In Case Of No-Deal Brexit

The world is watching as the U.K takes its final steps out of the European Union (EU). Brexit uncertaintylooms large on whether the country will leave the union with a solid deal in place or no deal at all with Boris Johnson’s latest maneuvers pointing towards the latter. Leaving the EU without a deal on October 31st is set to be detrimental to the country’s finance industry and

The economic and regulatory vagueness on the consequences of a no deal Brexit is causing a number of cryptocurrency firms, including U.S largest crypto exchange, Coinbase, to look for alternatives elsewhere away from the U.K.

Coinbase Set to Move Operations to Firm in EU.

Coinbase transition out of the U.K has been going on for some time, as the exchange prepares for the worst scenario. Earlier in August, the exchange announced they had cut ties with Barclays, ending one of the most prestigious partnerships in the cryptocurrency industry. Well, the exchange looks to move its European customers operations elsewhere in Europe, in case the worst happens.

Coinbase sent out an email on September 1st, warning users that CB Payments, a U.K.-based e-money institution, will no longer be able to provide payment services in case of a no-deal Brexit. The end of the partnership between the two will however not affect any operations on Coinbase. The exchange is looking to transfer its operations to licensed operator in the EU.

Email sent out to U.K Coinbase customers on the possibility of CB Payments ending their partnership with the exchange in case of a no-deal Brexit (Source: Coinbase)

“In light of this, we plan to transfer your current relationship with CB Payments, Ltd. to another licensed Coinbase entity within the E.U.,” the company said in the email.

Following the abrupt ending of a 15-month relationship with Barclays, Santander Bank is showing signs of ending its services for its Coinbase U.K customers. Brexit has a huge role to play is the divorces happening in the cryptocurrency exchange as it aims to follow regulations. October 31st will be a big day for Bitcoin, and the cryptocurrency industry in Britain.

Ex Goldman Sachs Executive Raoul Pal Asks Investors To Buy Bitcoin

The founder of Global Macro Investor and Real Vision Group Raoul Pal recently took to Twitter to say that global financial markets and currencies are at a very fragile junction. With the dollar rising at an uncontrollable rate, we could witness all major Asian currencies falling by 20 percent or more. This makes the perfect breeding ground for Bitcoin (BTC) adoption.

The US-China trade war could be fueling this year’s bull run, as it is negatively affecting the Chinese yuan and appears to be positively affecting the price of Bitcoin. Additionally, the television network RT prompted that the trade war between the two economic giants could potentially be leading Chinese investors to abandon the yuan and seek out Bitcoin in anticipation of the yuan falling further.

Although there is a blanket ban for Bitcoin and crypto trading in China, they still have a vibrant OTC market. The OTC market is vibrant, and these venues have found politically acceptable ways to allow buyers and sellers to meet in China. Zhao Dong, arguably the largest OTC trader in China, is one of the main people responsible for the successful $1bn Bitfinex LEO IEO.

Gold and Bitcoin have been showing similar technical indicators. This trend suggests that investors are expecting an impending currency crisis and Bitcoin could become accepted as a new financial system or even currency.

As Negative-Yielding Debt Hits Record $17 Trillion, Bitcoin’s Need Only Increases

The negative Yielding Debt continues to increase and analysts say that this is good news for the adoption of Bitcoin.

The escalating U.S.-China trade war, political tensions in Italy, Hong Kong and Argentina and disappointing economic data from China to Germany have fueled demand for haven securities this month. Strategists are increasingly speculating Treasury yields could join the below-zero club, something former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspansaid wouldn’t be that big of a deal.

Government debt around the globe has rallied in sympathy with bets on U.S. rate cuts. German bund yields dropped to a new low in the build-up to the Fed announcement, while Japanese peers rose before the Bank of Japan released its monthly debt-purchase plan.

What if I said I wanted to borrow $100 from you and pay you back $99 five years later?

Would you do it? Of course not.

Yet, this is happening right now with $17,000,000,000,000 of debt with negative yields.

The mother of all financial bubbles.

Buying into the near $17 trillion heap of global bonds with negative yields might sound like a losing proposition. But for some investors those who predicted correctly that bond prices this year would climb amid worries about sluggish global growth, negative yields actually have been a cash cow.

TON Final Test Run To Be Released As Developers Say Network Is Compatible With Ethereum

Telegram’s blockchain and cryptocurrency projects, one of the most anticipated in the industry, is approaching its release date. Telegram is one of the biggest social media companies, and it is popular for its privacy and encryption functions. The social media giant’s crypto project is expected to be one of the most valuable in the crypto world when it goes public.

The mainnet launch for the blockchain project, named the Telegram Open Network (TON), is expected on the 31st of October. TON’s trial users expect to receive the node running code on the 1st of September as Telegram moves into the final phases of the project’s preparation.

Comparability with Ethereum

TON Labs has been tasked with developing the network and the tools that developers will need to build new systems of their own. The tech startup received considerable support from investors during Telegram’s token sales, and this has allowed the tech firm to develop more tools for developers.

Various tools have been announced, and each one of these will appeal to a different sector of the blockchain and crypto industry. TON Labs recently announced a Solidity compiler, which will allow Ethereum based applications to be built and run on TON.

Alexander Filatov, CEO of TON Labs, said that the Solidity compiler for Ethereum is one of the most challenging things they’ve had to build. The tool will allow developers in the Ethereum community to move everything they have written for Ethereum to TON. TON Labs has been testing Solidity compiler since July and TON trial users can expect to access this tool.

Final Pretest

The TON version being released to TON trial users on the 1st of September is expected to be the last in a series of tests run by TON Labs.

Filatov said that this test run might be the most important of all the ones they’ve run because they have limited time to fix any bugs that may be identified during the tests. There is little time between the release of this test run and the launch of TON’s mainnet.

According to the user agreement signed between Telegram and its investors, the social media company will have to refund all those who bought tokens if the mainnet does not launch on the 31st of October. This makes the trial run being released on the 1st of September even more important because if anything goes wrong, it puts Telegram in a predicament.

Through its token sales, Telegram raised about $1.7 billion as investors poured in to get a piece of the highly anticipated project.

Telegram’s tokens, named GRAM, are already trading on unauthorized markets where investors are already fetching high profits for the tokens before the network is launched officially. Telegram warned that these investors are in contravention of their user agreement and they risk losing their entire share of the GRAM token.

Amazon Shows Interest In Onboarding Blockchain Specialists For Their Advertising Business

In an age of ever-growing mistrust in the majority of our interactions with banks, the media, government and the advertising and marketing industries have become prevalent, blockchain provides trust. It doesn’t come too much of a surprise that Amazon has shown interest in it.

There is very little in the way of doubt that Amazonreigns on a tall throne when it comes to online retail. The company accounted for roughly 44% of all eCommerce sales in 2017, and a spectacular 4% of all retail from within the United States.

A job posting on LinkedIn last week suggested that Amazon has plans to bring blockchain technology into its advertising products. With global ad fraud predicted to cost an unprecedented $23bn this year, blockchain has been a much-touted solution. The open-source ledger tech at the core of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin could also give brands more transparency over their media buys.

An ad exec with knowledge of Amazon’s ad workings said it will have difficulty handling the blockchain trilemma finding the balance between scalability, security, and decentralization.

The underlying philosophy of blockchain is an existential threat to centralized companies like Amazon. The B2B realm has a much more developed ecosystem for blockchain to take advantage of, and Amazon’s existing platforms are already optimized to incorporate the technology with little friction.

While it was initially tied for a long time to cryptocurrency performance, the technology has since shed this relationship and become a power unto itself, making it a key driver of innovation.

A world where the transactions made on your behalf when purchasing such things like AdWords, Facebook Ads, Media buying are all recorded, with a trail that fully discloses the costs, right through the real live data, of what that spending generated for your business.

Head Of Brevan Howard Hedge Fund Is Looking To Invest $1 Billion In Crypto Assets

Billionaire Alan Howard who is the head of Brevan Howard Hedge Fund is looking to make investments in the ever-fluctuating crypto market. Financial Times has confirmed that he is planning to put as much as a $1Billion in the crypto hedge fund.

Notably, Howard made substantial personal investments in cryptocurrencies last year and plans to put more of his own money into digital assets and the blockchain technology behind them.

Brevan Howard’s flagship macro hedge fund recorded its worst ever annual performance last year. Like some other hedge funds betting on economic trends in developed markets, a lack of volatility amid years of central-bank stimulus made it difficult to make money. Now, they seek to capitalize on the volatility of the crypto markets.

“Losing traditional assets in the real world is hard. In the digital world, it’s very easy to lose assets — put in the wrong address for a bitcoin transfer and it’s gone forever,” said Bin Ren who is the CEO of blockchain funds specialist at Elwood.

Ren was earlier the Cheif Invetment Officer at revan Howard’s Systemic Investment Group. He added that screening of the sector had resulted in Elwood identifying up to 50 crypto hedge funds as probably satisfy our due diligence.

While 2018 saw a 72% fall in the price of Bitcoin, the median crypto hedge fund returned -46% over the same period, indicating that these managers were successfully able to outperform their benchmark. However, performance differed based on the type of strategy pursued. The median quantitative fund returned 8% in 2018.

The massive percentage growth of Bitcoin, even in the face of extreme stress testing, has legitimized it in the eyes of investors everywhere. Bitcoin remains a small percentage of the hedge fund industry, but even the oldest and most established funds can see what’s coming.

This broader interest from investors and regulators is undoubtedly a positive step towards digital assets being recognized as an asset class with true viability and longevity.

Binance Knocks Down BitMEX, Massive Outflows Rock the Exchange

  • BitMEX investors spooked by CFTC probe
  • 50,000 BTC were withdrawn from the platform in July
  • During this time, Binance flows rose dramatically

In July, the US regulator Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) started probing BitMEX, a leading crypto derivatives platform that offers 100x margin trading services to non-accredited investors.

The months-long probe is focused on whether the derivatives platform — not registered with the agency — broke rules by allowing Americans to trade. This could be what spooked investors and resulted in a massive Bitcoin outflow from the exchange.

That month, nearly 40,000 BTC were withdrawn from the platform. However, according to Token Analyst, this number was higher at 50,000 BTC equivalent to $524 million.

Analyst, Ceteris Paribus first pointed this out in early August,

“Bitmex had $524M net outflows in July. It had never had more than $100M in a single month. 2018 brought in $1.3B, and there was not a single month where outflows were greater than inflows.”

However, BitMEX Research begs to differ as it states that BitMEX net flow figures by the Token Analyst have “begun to deviate significantly from the actuals in the last 4 months.”

This, it wrote can be checked by using the blockchain balances of 3BMEX and 3BitMEX addresses.

Binance Beats BitMEX

However, the drastic outflow is still obvious and CFTC probing into the exchange is not the only factor behind the big shot to BitMEX’s outflows. Binance could be another factor.

The world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange announced margin trading platform (3x) — in comparison to 100x on BitMEX — in July, a few days before the investigation into BitMEX.

“Activity did a 180 in June. First thought was traders entering alts, but beta margin trading opened in June, and the large spike in July is right before they opened it to everyone,” Ceteris Paribus observed about inflows and outflows on Binance.

He further made note of the stats, in comparison to $66 million in net flows between January 1st to June 13 (ex. May downtime), from June 14 to 26 July, $192 million were recorded in Bitcoin flows.

“Not only have inflows outpaced outflows recently, but total average dollars being deposited/withdrawn have spiked 3x as well,” he said about Bitcoin flows.

July, however, has been a bad month for Bitcoin as price went down to $9,150 level. The situation has started to get better but it’s still not made its way back to early 2019 levels.

Bitcoin Adoption: Burger King Enables BTC Payment in Germany

Customers of the restaurant industry giant, popular burger Franchise that has over ten thousand outlets worldwide, Burger King can now buy their favorite meals while paying with bitcoins on the restaurant’s mobile application.

This news comes after customers of Burger King in Germany noticed an integration of cryptocurrency payment method on the Burger King’s mobile application which now features the Bitcoin option amid other alternatives like Visa card payments and PayPal.

Burger King, whose progenitor company was Insta-Burger King, is a burger franchise which sells hamburger, chicken, French fries, desserts, milkshakes, and salads to customers at more than ten thousand locations across the globe, also having plans of substantial growth across China, Russia, India and Brazil for an extra 3000 outlets.

Burger King Partners With Tillster For A Mobile Payment Solution

According to a report by retail dive, Burger King built a mobile application in order to quickly scale up in payment. At the time, Burger King partnered with Tillster, a San Diego mobile payment solution company in order to adjust to their ever-growing customer base and their demands for a rapid, scalable payment system.

According to Perse Faily, CEO of Tillster, San Diego, CA,

“When used and implemented, mobile payments provide advantages to both, the brand and the consumer, enabling a two-way dialogue as opposed to a one-way transaction,” said Perse Faily, CEO of Tillster, San Diego, CA. “For consumers, they are able to utilize a convenient easy way to pay for their goods and opt-in to additional services that brands are developing, with Tillster’s help, such as loyalty programs, exclusive coupons, and other engagement tools.”

Now, in their pursuit of a more efficient and rapidly evolving payment options, Burger King in Germany has incorporated Bitcoin payments into their mobile platform.

In 2017, according to South China Morning Post, Burger King dived into the crypto space by developing native cryptocurrency issues to incentivize customers in Russia for buying hamburgers and sandwiches. With each purchase of the burger chain’s signature Whopper sandwich, customers can receive WhopperCoin, Burger King’s tokens via a digital wallet.

Bitcoin hashrate ATH promising for BTC’s long term price trend

The hashrate of the Bitcoin network, which demonstrates the amount of computing power used to secure the protocol to process transactions, achieved a new all-time high at 83 exahashes.

At the start of the year, the hashrate of the Bitcoin network was hovering at 35 exahashes, showing a 137 percent increase within an eight-month span.

What the hashrate says about Bitcoin’s trend

In mid-2020, the Bitcoin blockchain network is expected to go to through a mechanism called a block reward halving, which would reduce the revenues received by BTC miners by 50 percent.

The halving would substantially decrease the amount of BTC mined by miners. These coins are passed on to the market through exchanges and over-the-counter (OTC) operations, putting downward pressure on the price of BTC. Historically, the block reward halving of the Bitcoin network acted as a fundamental catalystfor the medium to long term price trend of the coin by decreasing the rate of BTC emission (and thus decreasing supply inflation).

Something to note, however, is that the halvingalso tends to reduce the overall hashrate of a proof-of-work network, in line with lower miner revenues. This may make BTC less secure to 51% attack.

The rise in the hashrate of the Bitcoin network prior to the halving may show that a growing number of miners intend to mine as much BTC as possible before mid-2020 in anticipation of price recovery of the dominant cryptocurrency.

In July, BKCM founder Brian Kelly stated that many miners have acquired enough capital to fund the next 12 months of operations to hold onto BTC they mine throughout 2019 and the first half of 2020.

“I’ve talked to a lot of miners around the world, a lot of them have said they have sold enough bitcoin to get us through the next year or so and we are going to hoard bitcoin at this point in time and we are not going to sell it and the supply of bitcoin will get cut in half. Just real simple economics: lots of demand hitting little supply, price goes higher,” said Kelly on CNBC’s Fast Money.

If miners are sustaining their operations without selling BTC on exchanges or OTC markets to cover expenses, it indicates that miners foresee the Bitcoin price to perform well in the medium to long term despite the recent pullback.

For the sixth time this quarter, the Bitcoin price has dipped below a key psychological level at $10,000, testing a range support between $9,400 to $9,700. Several technical analysts said that as the support range for BTC weakens it increases possibility that BTC tests a stronger support level in the $8,000 region in the near term.

“Currently holding above the previous low on the daily close but if price breaks down, it’s going to the $8.7ks. After that, it heads towards $8k but everyone is watching it so either it bounces before or goes through. Needs to break back above $10,100 to get bullish,” technical analyst Josh Rager said.

It remains uncertain whether the launch of Bakkt, a physically-settled Bitcoin futures contractoffering market on September 23, could overturn the short term downside of BTC considering the weakness the asset has portrayed since early August against the U.S. dollar.