CryptoAM: Assassination markets, Bitmains Hash, and Korean Rumors

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Looks like we have a special edition of CryptoAM today. I call it CryptoPM.

3 things you need to know:

One: Users open the first assassinations markets on Augur. As predicted by many, a decentralized betting platform is leading to all sorts of unsavory bets. There are markets such as, “Will Betty White survive until 2019?” and, “Will Donald Trump be killed within the next year?”.

  • Kill switch: Augur does have a user enforced method of determining whether certain markets should be rendered invalid, but we have yet to observe whether this will be effective or not. The Augur development team itself gave up control of their “Kill Switch” functionality, which would allows to freeze the entire Augur network, after determining that the main net launch was successful.

  • My thoughts: Even if Augur users do manage to successfully get rid of death markets, another group of people can simply fork off Augur and remove the user moderation feature. I don’t think death markets are a good thing, but I’m not sure they can be stopped at this point.

  • Read more…

Two: Bitmain controls just 4% of total SHA-256 hash rate according to its latest transparency report. This hash rate number comes from the machines that Bitmain operates itself to mine cryptocurrencies for profit. It does not include the total hash rate from the pools that are operated by Bitmain’s subsidiaries. That number is close to half of the Bitcoin hash rate.

  • Public: This increased transparency is in preparation for Bitmain’s IPO. As a public company, Bitmain will need to be clearer with its operations. Bitmain has also denied mining with hardware that has yet to be released to the public except for testing purposes.

  • Surprise: Many people assumed that Bitmain had a much higher share of mining hash power. This is a good sign for the decentralization of Bitcoin!

  • Read more…

Three: Binance rumored to make move within Korea. Binance has hired a number of key staff from Korea in recent months. Binance CEO CZ also brought up the importance of Korea at a Blockchain Summit in Seoul last week. Binance will have to compete with Upbit, Bithumb, and Huobi.

  • Un-tapped: Korean’s are somewhat limited to which exchanges they can use within the country, but the exchanges that do operate within the country reap the rewards of getting business of one of the countries with the highest trading volumes.

  • Sure thing: I would say Binance moving into Korea is pretty likely. I mean, Binance Uganda was way out of left field. If CZ is talking about Korea, he’s likely to try to operate there.

Also in the news:

What I’m reading today:

The Ethereum Ice Age!

Ethereum was originally founded as a Proof of Work currency, in the same vein as Bitcoin. As time progressed, the developers of Ethereum realized that with Proof of Work comes significant downsides, and have been developing an alternative Proof of Stake consensus protocol called Casper. They believe that proof of stake offers significant advantages such as security, reduced risk of centralization, and energy efficiency. If you’re interested in how Casper works, check out the Ethereum Github.

Now, transitioning over to a new consensus protocol is relatively difficult, and is a big undertaking by the Ethereum team. The transitionary period will see the introduction of a hybrid protocol, where one can both mine and stake in order to secure the blockchain. To make sure that everyone is incentivized to move over to staking once the hard fork occurs, the devs have introduced the concept of an “Ethereum Ice Age” which is a difficult adjustment scheme that will make it much difficult to mine Ethereum, with the network being entirely frozen to mining by 2021 according to Vitalik.

Basically what I’m saying is — don’t buy Ethereum ASICs anytime soon!

Around the corner:

Market Outlook:

Quick Take

We’ve bounced off 8.3k twice, and have failed to push towards 8.5k. Our thesis from yesterday is invalidated, and we’re likely to be entering a period of consolidation (sideways trading within a range).

I’m now expecting trading within the range of 8.1-8.3k for the time being. It’s likely we see a push down to the 8.1k range again, with a potential (but unlikely) break this time. If we break 8.1k, I’m expecting BTC to run down to 7.8k. If we break upwards, 8.3k is now the level to watch.

The long wicks that I’ve circled in red are the worrisome part here. It’s clear that the bears have regained some semblance of power.

Daily Chart

Fear & Greed

We're slowing down — a good sign for continued momentum. Still not too greedy…

Here’s a reminder of what these criteria mean

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