By Ronald Shi, Head of Trading and Analysis

Bitcoin (BTC) prices started to move up, after being in a consolidation phase in the past few weeks. BTC prices almost breached the $7,000 mark, before falling back to the $6,500 range. The move was triggered by concerns on the stability of Tether (USDT).

The price of the token briefly fall to $0.90, the lowest it has been since the its launch in 2015. The sudden drop caused concerns on the stability of said stable coin and investors were seeking safety in BTC. Within the 24 hour price of the rally, BTC printed the largest volume traded since April and held the main downtrend resistance. Some are calling this the last dip for BTC and the end of the bear trend.

While BTC prices improved, Ethereum (ETH) was stuck in a weak range. Prices fell to a low of $190 last week before last trading at about $210. The market remains in a consolidation phase for ETC and investors are waiting for a clearer signal before jumping back in.

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Google allows Cryptocurrency Advertising again

Latest changes in Google’s advertising policy updated in October 2018 stated that it allows regulated cryptocurrency exchanges to advertise in the United States and Japan. Advertisers are welcome to apply for certification once the policy launches in October. As per our knowledge, cryptocurrency advertisements have started to appear in the stated regions. The news should be healthy for the cryptocurrency ecosystem, as it can be a catalyst to bring cryptocurrency mainstream, exposing new investors to this new space.

The initial ban was announced in March, amid a wave of high-profile initial coin offerings (ICOs) and other cryptocurrency-related activities that made it difficult to distinguish legitimate ventures from fraudulent ones. It seems like Google took the time during the ban to more clearly define the rules on their advertising platform. Google now classifies cryptocurrency-related advertisements under the restricted financial products section.

Google states their policy for restricted financial products, “Advertisers who promote restricted financial products (Contracts for Difference, rolling spot forex, financial spread betting, and synonymous products) are allowed to advertise through Google Ads, but they must be certified by Google, and their products, landing pages, and ads must meet all local legal requirements of the country they want to get certified for”.

Gemini Digital Assets Insurance

The Gemini Exchange, owned by the famed Winklevoss twins, released in a Medium post and an email to investors that they have secured insurance coverage for digital assets that they hold on behalf of investors in their hot wallet.

Gemini highlighted that they were able to demonstrate to insurers that the said exchange is safe and secured, despite many insurers being hesitant to ensure the cryptocurrency industry due to high profile hacks, and low-security standards. This a tremendous win for not only the exchange but also a win for the broader cryptocurrency industry in furthering consumer protection.

Binance makes listing fee transparent and donating them to charity.

Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange, has released a statement last Monday that they, “will make all listing fees transparent and donate 100% of them to charity”. Binance said in an article to their users that “this change will further push Binance’s charity initiatives and increase the use of blockchain for the greater good”.

The exchange had also announced in mid-September that they have started a beta program for a fiat-to-crypto gateway, first piloting in Singapore. “Right now, we are centralized crypto-to-crypto,” CEO Changpeng Zhao told the media. “We don’t offer fiat gateways and so we rely on others to do that. But through discussions with different regulators across the world, we now have those channels. We want to make it easier for fiat currency to get into the crypto world.”

Zhao plans to open three fiat exchanges this year with a view to growing the number to 10 in 2019. Part of the goal is to help larger, institutional investors bring money into the crypto ecosystem, a move that would help Binance and the rest of the cryptocurrency industry.

Alleged Collusion among Chinese EOS Block Producers

A report by EOSONE was published on WeChat, a popular Chinese multi-purpose messaging and social media platform, detailing allegations on collusion among Chinese EOS Block Producers.

The report included an Excel spreadsheet that detailed that Chinese EOS Block Producers were mutually voting for one another to remain as Block Producers. A Block Producer is similar to a Bitcoin or Ethereum miner. Only 21 Block Producers are allowed in the EOS mainnet, making them valuable as they are the only entities allowed to mint EOS tokens.

EOS uses a Delegated-Proof-of-Stake (DPOS) consensus algorithm, giving the potential for cartels such as these to happen. EOS developers may have to look deeper into this issue to develop ways of mitigating cartel-like behaviors in EOS. Despite the potential scandal, EOS prices have been stable, trading within the range of $5.50-$6 since the release of the report.

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