Blockchain tech enters the energy sector

The realm of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies is expanding exponentially. So much so that regular companies and huge multinationals are now looking towards applying the tech to improve their business operations, increase productivity, and reduce unnecessary expenses. The energy sector is slowly embracing the latest hot tech and oil giant Shell is making moves to integrate blockchain systems into its operations.

Foray into energy

It was reported this week that London based blockchain startup, Applied Blockchain, has secured investments from Shell Trading International Ltd and Calibrate Partners LLP for minority stakes in the company. The fintech company which was started in 2015 develops blockchain applications focusing on distributed ledger technology and smart contracts. This is its first entry into the energy sector and it already has clients from the telecoms, banking, automotive, manufacturing, and aerospace industries.

According to the company website Applied Blockchain founder and CEO, Adi Ben-Ari, said;

“Our experience as one of the earliest companies delivering blockchain solutions into production for both start-ups and corporates has provided us with a unique perspective on the value, and challenges, associated with the technology in the real world. The investments and partnerships will accelerate our growth and enable us to deploy our solutions to a truly global business ecosystem.”

Energy giants are already embracing the technology and according to a Reuters report a consortium involving BP, Shell, and Statoil is already working on the development of a blockchain based energy commodity trading platform.

According to Johan Krebbers, Shell Global Solutions International CTO;

“Blockchain applications have huge potential to shake up how we do things in the energy industry from streamlining process, to simplifying how we work with our suppliers and serve our customers. Investing in Applied Blockchain is part of our commitment to use digitalisation to create value in our core business and develop new business models.”

Venture capitalists

Shell was not the only corporation to invest in the Canary Wharf based blockchain startup. They were joined by venture capitalists Calibrate whose fund manager said;

“We believe in the long-term promise and process innovation that blockchain brings and believe Applied Blockchain is strategically positioned to lead in this space. We are particularly excited to partner with Shell and Applied Blockchain to innovate in commodity trading.”

Blockchain and crypto solutions will be increasingly sought as companies latch on to the potential that immutable distributed ledger technology can offer. This can only further the already fired up cryptocurrency industry to even higher levels and greater global adoption.

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Bitcoin Gold Price Weekly Analysis – BTG/USD Facing 100 SMA

Key Points

  • Bitcoin gold price formed a low at $143.92 and started a recovery against the US Dollar.
  • There is a key bearish trend line forming with resistance at $240 on the 4-hours chart of BTG/USD (data feed from Bitfinex).
  • The pair has to break the $240 resistance and the 100 simple moving average (4-hours) to gain momentum.

Bitcoin gold price is recovering above the $200 level against the US Dollar. BTG/USD now has to clear strong sell offers near the $240 and $250 resistance levels.

Bitcoin Gold Price Resistance

After a strong decline, bitcoin gold price found buyers below the $150 level against the US Dollar. The price traded as low as $143.92 before started an upside correction. It recovered well and traded above the $180 and $190 resistance levels. Moreover, there was a break above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $338 high to $143 low.

More importantly, the price was successful in moving above the $200 resistance. However, the price is facing a major hurdle near the $240 level. There is a key bearish trend line forming with resistance at $240 on the 4-hours chart of BTG/USD. The trend line resistance at $240 is near the 100 simple moving average (4-hours). Furthermore, the 50% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $338 high to $143 low is at $241 to act as a barrier for buyers.

Bitcoin Gold Price Weekly Analysis BTG USD

Therefore, clearly the $240 level and the 100 simple moving average (4-hours) are major resistances. A break above the $240-250 zone is needed for buyers to gain traction. On the downside, an initial support is at $200. Below the mentioned $200, there could an increase in selling pressure toward $180.

Looking at the technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD for BTG/USD is struggling to gain pace in the bullish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTG/USD is moving lower and is currently below the 50 level.

Major Support Level – $200

Major Resistance Level – $250

 

Charts courtesy – Trading View, Bitfinex

The post Bitcoin Gold Price Weekly Analysis – BTG/USD Facing 100 SMA appeared first on NewsBTC.

Bitcoin Laundering Less Than One Percent of All Transactions

Recent reports indicate that less than one percent of Bitcoin transactions involve money laundering or illicit activities.

A recent report from the joint Bitcoin analysis team of FDD and Ellicit, a Bitcoin forensics company, indicates that less than one percent of all Bitcoin transactions involve money laundering.

The report, written to help analyze the flow of funds and the danger of money laundering, has indicated that money laundering isn’t nearly the problem some critics of cryptocurrency believe. The report states:

“The amount of observed Bitcoin laundering [is] small and darknet marketplaces such as Silk Road and, later, AlphaBay are [generally] the source of almost all of the illicit Bitcoins laundered through conversion services.”

The report also indicates that the vast majority of illicit transactions using Bitcoin were processed in Europe, receiving more than five times as many illicit transactions as North America.

AML processes must improve

The report suggests that the best way to combat such illicit activity is through more stringent anti-money laundering (AML) measures. The report states that the only way to manage the illicit transaction is for “Financial authorities in all jurisdictions [to] increase AML enforcement.”

Indian Banks Suspending Bitcoin Exchange Accounts

Bitcoin exchange bank accounts are being closed or scrutinized in India.

Bitcoin exchanges are under fire in India, as many of the nation’s top banks have suspended or greatly curtailed functionality on exchange accounts. State Bank of India (SBI), Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Yes Bank have all taken strong action toward crypto exchanges, either closing accounts or severely limiting functionality. The banks cite the risk of dubious transactions, according to local reports.

The news follows the request of advocate Bivas Chatterjee who recently filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in Calcutta to impose immediate regulations on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Additionally, the Ministry of Finance referred to Bitcoin as a ponzi scheme before the end of last year.

Increasing scrutiny for cryptocurrencies from governments has led to private banks and institutions beginning to remove support for exchanges around the world. Most recently, Metropolitan Bank put an immediate halt on all wire transfers for cryptocurrency exchanges, leaving many transactions stranded in cyberspace.

The international mood toward Bitcoin has continued to tighten, particularly with US Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin stating that the G20 nations will begin working together to make sure that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are properly regulated.

Catch the Next Big Thing Before its Gone – Vechain, Nebulas and ICON

Having experienced and seen the potential of coins from the first row as the values dipped and now are recovering speedy makes one wonder – what could be the next rocketing coin to catch before the train rides away. Many well respected figures and analysts are recommending this time of the year to diversify your portfolio or add even more coins on it as usually the lowest prices are mid Jan – early Feb.

VeChain (VEN)

Similar to other services and technologies in the crypto-network and market we are surrounded from, VeChain targets to create a trust-free distributed business ecosystem. As per the moment, It is holding up three products on its network that concentrate on very different markets. Lioaning Academy of Agricultural Sciences has found use of VeChain in the distributed data storage section. For third-party-services, PricewaterhouseCooper currently uses the second product of VeChain products.

The digital currency did make its debut in 2015 that was followed up with the launches of the above mentioned products that make it very attractive as its a rare catch to find a crypto that is delivering services.

VeChain is about to go through a huge rebranding and will be called VeChain Thor Blockchain with its VEN tokens, going to be converted to VET tokens. The team will also roll out a proof-of-authority consensus model to make sure its future developments are completely aligned with the vision of the VeChain foundation.

As of this moment, VEN is being traded at $8.11 a coin, up 36.54% in the last 24 hours.

ICON (ICX)

Another great gainer on Jan 21 [26.30% in the last 24-hours per time of writing] is ICON sitting on the 15th place by market capitalization. The ICON team claims they will be able to build one of the largest networks of this type, as they aim to “hyperconnect the world”. It will take a lot of work to come even close to realizing that vision in a reasonable time frame, however.

Until now, the project has pinpointed down the groups and communities that found liking in the technology. Them being banks, insurance providers, hospitals, universities and other entities that are attracted by the idea of a global decentralized network. The team behind ICON for the moment is concentrating more on the Blockchain ID being one of the main decentralized applications (dApps) despite that there is much to do.

The use cases for the technology provided by ICON should not be underestimated either. Its Blockchain ID project, for example, is entirely based on smart contracts. It could potentially become a global way of authenticating and verifying one’s identity on the internet.

The problems that are targeted by the team and applications that are on the process of being made do target people’s everyday lives. Having real-world applications made will be helping in the subject of entering everyday life’s as solutions clearly, but how excited and welcoming will people be is another matter and time will tell.

Nebalus (NAS)

Hitters XU [ex-Google employee] back in Jun 2017 has found Nebulas. The cryptocurrency targets to point out the challenges which the blockchain ecosystem and community is facing like self-evolving capability, measure of value and a healthy network development. Its team has created a framework to address the issues including Nebulas Rank (NR), Nebulas Force (NF), Developer Incentive Protocol (DIP, and Proof of Devotion (PoD).

nebulas prediction

Source: coinmarketcap

In mid-December 2017, the project held its ICO raising up to $60 million US Dollar. The search engine test net for decentralized applications has been already launched in 2017, and its expected to release the main net Q1 2018.

As the ramp up to the main net being put online, the coin is gaining some major speed. Currently, the nebulas team holds offices all around the world including San Francisco, Beijing, Suzhou, Singapore, and Shanghai.

The post Catch the Next Big Thing Before its Gone – Vechain, Nebulas and ICON appeared first on Ethereum World News.

IOTA Foundation to Add CDO of VolksWagen

iota investing

Johann Jungwirth – Volkswagen CDO will be part of the supervisory board of IOTA-Foundation. One of the most popular German News-related Magazines – Der Spiegel did make the recruitment public known in an article.

Johann Jungwirth, has been Head of Digitalization Strategy of Volkswagen AG since November 1, 2015. Jungwirth was named Director, Mac Systems Engineering at Apple in Cupertino, CA (USA), in 2014. He was responsible for innovation in design and engineering in product development as well as hiring, growing and leading a multicultural research & development team and supporting the Special Projects Group.

Did act as Chief Executive Officer and Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America for leading the Development Center in Sunnyvale – CA. From 2008 to 2014, Jungwirth was also Vice-President Infotainment and Telematics responsible for all research, engineering and product development for infotainment and connected car solutions.

As mentioned in a previous article, IOTA was joined by the giant – The Robert Bosch Venture Capital putting down a major investment and believe in the technology behind IOTA. With the step, RBVC is hoping to hoist the maturity of the distributed ledger technology higher up and branch it wider on the global-Bosch Ecosystem.

“We have been working with the IOTA team for more than one year. I’m very excited about IOTA’s innovative tangle technology, which could potentially become the standard underlying technology for  trustless machine to machine communication, security and payment in the IoT space,” said Dr. Hongquan Jiang. “There will be much synergy between Bosch and the IOTA Foundation, and I’m looking forward to seeing more industrial adoptions of this technology in the near future.”

More and more well-known figures and big players are entering the IOTA scene to back the coin and its tech up. The digital currency is definitely cementing its place being one of the leaders by market capitalization.

The post IOTA Foundation to Add CDO of VolksWagen appeared first on Ethereum World News.

European Central Bank to Discuss Bitcoin and Blockchain With Youth

Mario Draghi will tell what the ECB thinks about Bitcoin and its technology in the frame of the third Youth Dialogue.

One of the three major questions that the President of the European Central Bank will be answering via a series of videos on Feb. 12, 2018 is about cryptocurrencies and Blockchain.

Mario Draghi will respond to the selected questions, whether Bitcoin offers a viable alternative to traditional currencies as well as comment on the ECB’s view on its technology, provided they are submitted by Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. Europeans aged between 16 and 35 can also ask questions around three main topics: possibility of a new global economic crisis, cryptocurrencies and Blockchain, Europe’s economic recovery and youth unemployment

The session is part of the ECB’s third Youth Dialogue which usually constitutes a series of talks held by the Bank’s policymakers with students and young people from different countries and backgrounds.

As a prelude to the session, the ECB has launched a Twitter opinion poll to ask if Bitcoin could offer a viable alternative to traditional currencies. The poll by Europe’s top bank has received more than 15,500 responses in about 24 hours.

Central banks and crypto

While the role of central banks in the digital currency world has always been a subject of debate, the view that they exist to help ensure stability for economies still stands.

Bitcoin’s volatility has earned criticism of being a vehicle for perpetrating fraud from the likes of Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of the US investment bank Goldman Sachs. Luxembourg’s Finance Minister, Pierre Gramegna also suggested that the European Union could soon introduce new cryptocurrency regulations.

Adoption trend

What is clear is that 2017 was a crucial year for Bitcoin. Top digital currency soared in popularity globally as its value rose sharply, while crypto gained mainstream media’s attention.

Though there is no evidence, such awareness increased its adoption in Europe, available statistical data about 2017 shows that its use as an every-day payment method in main European economies is still minimal.

Crypto Q&A at the Youth Dialogue

Nevertheless, it is obvious that new information has been dropped into the public domain for many people to sort on their own. It should make the ECB’s Q&A session to be an interesting watch even if nothing new is expected.

The session is coming in the wake of the recent suspension of Bitcoin-backed Visa debit cards in Europe and proposed introduction of EU-wide regulation on such currencies. It’s also worth thinking what the outcome could mean for the affected payment processors who are reportedly in talks with alternate card issuers in Europe and for those seeking to set up a crypto/fiat bank that would be independent of traditional banks.

Decentralized Travel Distribution Platform Eliminates Middlemen to Make Your Trips Cheaper

The project is using Blockchain to change the way products and services are delivered in the travel industry.

Outbound trips worldwide had grown by 3.9 percent in the first eight months of 2017, according to the ITB World Travel Trends Report. With low-cost airlines, more people, especially in Asia, are taking trips and enjoying travel. However, not all is well with the travel industry.

The travel landscape is dominated by a clutch of companies, which has led to a sort of cartelisation that is serving no benefit either to the travel industry itself or the people it should be serving. The end users of the services associated with travel industry rarely seem to get any advantage from the supposedly highly competitive industry. While there may be a plethora of options to choose from when booking trips online, there is no real choice as Nasdaq points out, “Almost three-fourths of the consumers in the US. are unaware of the fact that they are essentially comparing travel booking options between two companies which own numerous affiliates. While Expedia currently owns around 75 percent of the US online travel market through sites such as Trivago, Travelocity, Hotwire, Hotels.com, Egencia, CarRentals.com, Classic Vacations, etc., Priceline owns most of the remaining market through its websites like  Kayak, Booking.com, Agoda, Rentalcars.com, etc. The Association (American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA)) claims that together these two OTAs own around 95 percent of the online travel market in the US.”

If travelers are to get a real choice, they will need the industry to innovate and evolve new ways of product distribution. Winding Tree is building a new decentralized, open-source travel distribution platform that aims to serve the needs both of the traveling public as well as the suppliers of travel products. The platform would involve no centralized control which means that there won’t be many intermediaries to escalate prices. It would also have no barriers for entry so that finally smaller businesses in the industry can have an equal footing with the big boys.

Travel should be about freedom

Winding tree’s platform has a multi-faceted approach for rehauling the travel industry. It will allow distribution of inventory directly to points of sale eliminating costly intermediaries and bottlenecks. It also will lead to more choice for the retailers as they would be able to source products from all the suppliers that exist on Winding Tree without having to worry about markup fee. As a democratic platform, the governance model would allow anyone to propose changes, which would put everyone on the same footing. The Winding Tree foundation will ensure that travel becomes something that everyone will enjoy. Finally and most importantly customers would be able to benefit from all these facets that will transform the travel industry and will be able to use Lif tokens on the platform to pay for their travel.

Lif at the heart of Winding Tree

The Lif token is at the heart of the Winding Tree platform. The token would be useful to conduct transactions and also help users of the platform to participate in the governance of the platform. Winding Tree is holding a Token Generation Event starting Feb. 1, 2018. The pricing has been kept in the range of 1,000-900 Lif for one ETH (Ethereum). The fundraiser for Winding Tree would continue uncapped for a period of two weeks. It is expected that the price of Lif would rise after the first week. Lif tokens would be distributed over seven days after the fundraiser ends. There is no cap on the amount of tokens and it will be decided by the markets how many Lif are generated. Excess funds (over $10 mln)  that are collected would be stored in a Market Validation Mechanism (MVM). This will allow participants in the sale to withdraw a part of their contribution by sending their Lifs to the MVM. More information on the ICO can be found on the Winding Tree website including details on how to participate. Additionally, a white paper has also been released by the platform as well as a one-pager that gives details on the project and its dynamics.

Big-name partners

Winding Tree has been named one of the most promising ICOs of early 2018 by the Merkle. They featured the MVM as one of the highlights and write, “The public sale will take place beginning Feb. 1. There is a soft cap of $10 mln, and excess funds will be placed in a smart contract that will allow token holders to sell back their tokens at ICO rates. If under $5 mln is raised, investors will be reimbursed and the tokens will not be created. 75 percent of the total supply is to be distributed through the ICO.” Additionally, the Merkle was also appreciative of the fact that their efforts have the potential to change the nature of the travel industry itself. That the project has managed to get established travel industry titans as partners is something that definitely works in favor of the Winding Tree. Currently, they have onboard Lufthansa, Swiss, Air New Zealand, Austrian, Brussels airlines and Eurowings. Nordic Choice Hotels, one of the biggest hotel chains in Scandinavia with approximately 190 hotels in Scandinavia and the Baltic region too has partnered with Winding Tree.

Interestingly, the tiny island country of Aruba in the Caribbean is going to be one of the first proving grounds for the project. In order to prevent the island’s crucial tourist revenue from flowing abroad due to a select few Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), the ATECH foundation, which is responsible for Aruba’s technical development has partnered with Winding Tree so that tourists can pair up directly with sellers of travel products.

Winding Tree would be one of those projects that would definitely be worth watching for as the year unfolds. Using Blockchain to tackle one of the most tightly knit industries could unleash a disruption that could be a game changer for all the stakeholders.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

Price Analysis, Jan. 19: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, IOTA, Litecoin, NEM, Cardano

Cointelegraph presents the latest trading review on most popular cryptocurrencies.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of authors/contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

After a sharp fall, the aggressive bulls jump in and buy at lower levels. This strategy has resulted in huge gains for the cryptocurrency traders in 2017. However, unlike previous occasions, we have not seen a sharp rise this time. This shows that the traders are not confident of a huge rally from the current prices.

In the next few days, we expect a range bound action in most of the top cryptocurrencies.

BTC/USD

We had expected a pullback from the $10,704.99 levels. But Bitcoin overshot on the downside and fell to $9,300 levels.

BTC

Currently, the bulls are attempting a reversal, which is likely to carry the cryptocurrency to the neckline of the head and shoulders pattern at $13,202 levels.

We expect another round of selling from those levels, which is likely to sink the BTC/USD pair back to the support zone of $10,704.99 to $9,300. If this support zone breaks, a fall below $8,000 is likely.

On the other hand, if the bulls succeed in holding the support zone, it will lead to a start of a new uptrend. Nimble-footed traders can play the rise, but others should wait for more clarity to develop.

ETH/USD

We expected the support zone between the trendline and $940 to hold. On Jan. 17, Ethereum broke below the trendline and fell to a low of $770.   

ETH

The bulls bought the dip aggressively, which has resulted in a pullback that carried the cryptocurrency towards the 50 percent Fibonacci retracement levels of the recent fall from $1424 to $770.

For the past three days, the ETH/USD pair has been struggling to cross above $1097. If the price breaks out of the $1100 levels, we expect a move to $1174.36 and $1284.28 levels. As the stop loss is $930, which doesn’t offer a good risk to reward ratio, we are not suggesting any trade on it.  

BCH/USD

We expected the $1733 levels to hold. Still, the bears easily broke through it and Bitcoin Cash fell to a low of $1364.96 on Jan. 18.

bch

The current increase is likely to face resistance at the $2072 levels, which was the support of the range previously. We shall get a confirmation of a bottom during the next downturn. If $1364.96 breaks, a fall to $1194 is likely.

Our bearish view will be invalidated if the BCH/USD pair sustains above $2072 for a day.

XRP/USD

We had forecast a fall to 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement levels of the latest rally, however, Ripple fell close to the 78.6 percent retracement levels, which coincided with the lower end of the descending channel.

XPR

The cryptocurrency has broken out of the descending channel, which suggests that the downtrend is over. However, the present increase is facing resistance at the 20-day EMA, above which a move to $2.20 is likely. At that price, the XRP/USD pair will face resistance from the trendline that had previously acted as a strong support.

However, if the cryptocurrency fails to break above the 20-day EMA, the bears will attempt to resume the downtrend. Support lies at $0.87.

We expect a few days of range bound trading.     

IOTA/USD

IOTA broke down of the bearish descending triangle pattern on January 16, which gives it a pattern target of $1.10.

IOTA

However, the cryptocurrency took support at $1.93 levels on Jan. 17.

Currently, the IOTA/USD pair is retesting the breakout levels of $3.032. If the bulls breakout of the overhead resistance and the downtrend line, our bearish view will be invalidated.

However, if the bears defend the $3.032 levels, we are likely to see another bout of selling, which will retest the lows.  

We don’t find any clear pattern; hence, we are not recommending any trade.   

LTC/USD

We had forecast a likely fall to $100 if Litecoin broke below $175.19. It rose from a low of $140.00 on Jan. 17.

LTC

For two days in a row, Jan. 16 and Jan. 17, the bears broke down below $175.19 but were unsuccessful in holding prices down.

If the bulls breakout of $205, a move to $225 is likely, where both the moving averages converge. This level is likely to act as a resistance.  

We don’t find any reasonable trades on LTC/USD pair.

XEM/USD

NEM fell close to the 78.6 percent retracement levels on Jan. 16 and Jan. 17. Thereafter, the bulls have commenced a pullback, which is likely to face a strong resistance at the downward trendline.

XEM

If the price moves above the downtrend line, an increase to $1.45 can’t be ruled out.

The next fall towards the recent lows of $0.55134 will confirm whether the bottom is in place or is there further to go.

Until then, we shall remain on the sidelines on the XEM/USD pair.

ADA/BTC

Cardano broke below the trendline support on Jan. 16 and Jan. 17, however, the bulls defended the support and pushed prices higher quickly.

ADA

The ADA/BTC pair broke out of the downtrend line yesterday, Jan. 18, however, it could not pick up momentum. It is struggling to rally above 0.00006. Once bulls breakout of 0.00006, a move to 0.00007 and thereafter to the 0.00008 levels is likely.

The cryptocurrency pair will become negative below 0.00004730.

The charts for the analysis are provided by TradingView

Bitcoin Under Increasing Scrutiny on Island of Bali

Indonesian government is carefully monitoring Bitcoin, asking citizens to not use it.

Bitcoin is under heavy surveillance on Bali, an island in the Indonesian archipelago, according to local reports. Central Bank officials are seeking to crack down on the use of the cryptocurrency anywhere in the nation. Causa Iman Karana, head of Bank Indonesia’s representative office in Bali said:

“We found out from some postings on social media that Bali appeared to have become a haven for Bitcoin transactions. The next step is we will ban them as mandated by the law. We ask them not to use it anymore. Along with the Directorate of Special Crime Investigation unit, we will enforce the rule that all transactions in Indonesia must use rupiah.”

The country had previously been reported as having significant local adoption of Bitcoin usage, but recent reports indicate that the government is trying to curtail the use of digital currencies. The risk of money laundering and criminal activity has led to the increased scrutiny.

The harsh rhetoric against Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies falls more in line with the Chinese and potential South Korean bans than the more lenient Australian position.