Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck will stop handling privacy coins Monero, Dash, and ZCash. Currently the firm is awaiting registration as a cryptocurrency exchange with the Japanese Financial Services Agency, the removal of these coins is likely a response to a business improvement notice they received from the agency. Privacy coins are attractive to users for their complete anonymity which makes them unable to comply with anti-money laundering regulation.
Bitmain has launched an ASIC miner for Monero’s cryptonight hash function, however the Monero development team are warning buyers that it will not work. ASIC’s are application specific integrated circuits, designed specifically to solve one problem and solve it efficiently. These are what is required to competitively mine Bitcoin. However as we’ve seen with Bitcoin there isn’t much competition in manufacturing. The team behind Monero strongly believe in keeping ASICs away. In order to maintain ASIC resistance they will need to conduct regular hard forks to slightly alter the proof of work.
Google is set to ban cryptocurrency advertisements relating to Initial Coin Offerings from June. This follows recent ban by Facebook and rumours of an upcoming ban by Twitter.
Circle launched an investment app following their recent acquisition of cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex. Initially only a couple major cryptocurrencies will be available but the company plans to expand this in the future. Much like coinbase, the app will sell/buy cryptocurrency as a principal rather than agent, hence the fee is hidden in the price. They will have a 1.5-2% spread between their buy and sell price. In other consumer app news, Abra has launched support for 20 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies. “Abra has created a first of its kind stablecoin platform that facilitates holding both fiat coins as well as cryptocurrencies using a combination of litecoin and bitcoin-based contracts”. What this means is that investors are able to get synthetic exposure to fiat currencies, however the app does not support funding your account with these currencies. At this stage only USD, Amex and BTC deposits are available.
The life span of an altcoins is a serious issue. With major players like Circle and Coinbase above rushing to add new currencies they should pause and look at the incumbent players removing support for them at an alarming rate. Bittrex removes support for 82 cryptocurrencies due to not meeting listing criteria or not having a functioning wallet. Just another list of coins to add to the altcoin graveyard.
Bitcoin dominance continues to rise, reaching a recent high of over 45%. In a bear market for cryptocurrency's it appears that Bitcoin behaves as a relative "safe haven" asset. A flight to quality is seeing outflows from high beta altcoins into low beta Bitcoin (low beta relative to the crypto market). If an investor has already decided to be invested in Cryptocurrency then the allocation decision amongst the coins is what matters. The investor who was overweight BTC going into this bear market has outperformed. In the snapshot above all the top altcoins are down on the month in terms of satoshi levels (price in BTC).
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