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OmiseGo’s ICO Token Is Tops in Market Cap, But Heavy On the Charts

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Despite a mostly positive news flow, the outlook for the ICO token with the largest market capitalization is decidedly mixed.

The OmiseGo-US dollar (OMG/USD) exchange rate has witnessed wild swings this month as China’s ICO crackdown and subsequent exchange ban rocked the cryptocurrency markets. OMG, however, was particularly affected by both moves, owing to its status as one of the more valuable cryptocurrency networks to have originated in an ICO and mainstream visibility.

Against this backdrop, the digital asset clocked a record high of $13.70 on September 12 and fell to a low of $6.50 on September 15. Overall, though, the 52.55% drop from the record highs has been short lived, as prices have recovered to $11.40 earlier this week as cryptocurrencies in general regained poise.

The recovery in OMG/USD exchange rate could also be attributed to the fact that the project successfully reassured investors about its potential to impact other global markets with its ethereum-based value exchange protocol.

“China ban only affects decentralized currencies,” said an update from OmiseGo in a statement that appears was at least in part responsible for a snap back to $11.40.

Elsewhere, it was reported this week that OmiseGo, along with ethereum-based gold tokenization platform Digix Global, will back Japan-based venture firm Global Brain’s accelerator, GB Blockchain Labs. GBBL will fund blockchain startups and shall offer support for token offering-based crowdfunding efforts.

Still, as per CoinMarketCap, OmiseGo has lost 7% in the last 24 hours. On a weekly basis, the digital currency is down 8.9%. It is one of the few cryptocurrencies, which still positive on a monthly basis; up 13%.

On a weekly basis, the digital currency is down 8.9%. It is one of the few cryptocurrencies, which still positive on a monthly basis; up 13%.

Head-and-shoulders bearish reversal

4-Hour chart

download 4 OmiseGos ICO Token Is Tops in Market Cap, But Heavy On the Charts

According to StockCharts, “A Head and Shoulders reversal pattern forms after an uptrend, and its completion marks a trend reversal. The pattern contains three successive peaks with the middle peak (head) being the highest and the two outside peaks (shoulders) being low and roughly equal. The reaction lows of each peak can be connected to form support, or a neckline.”

The chart above shows a head and shoulders pattern is perfectly positioned at the top of the recent uptrend. The neckline support stands at $6.05 levels.

Stochastic is oversold, although the RSI is below 50.00 levels, i.e. in the bearish territory. The chart shows lower highs formation.

A bearish 50-simple moving average [MA] and 100-simple moving average crossover has been confirmed. The 50-MA and 200-MA bearish crossover looks likely.

View

OMG looks set to test neckline support of $6.055 levels. An end of the day close below $6.05 would signal bullish-to-bearish trend change and shall open doors for a sell-off to $2.5 levels.

On the higher side, only a convincing break above $11.40 would abort the bearish view and could send prices back to $15.00 levels.

Weights via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Interested in offering your expertise or insights to our reporting? Contact us at [email protected].

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency.



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Tokens for Climate Change? How We Can Rise Above ICO Mania

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Michael J Casey is chairman of CoinDesk’s advisory board and a senior advisor of blockchain research at MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative. 

In this opinion piece, the first of a weekly series of columns, Casey outlines why he believes tokens, despite the excessive fervor and hype around ICOs, could hold the key to solving some of humanity’s most pressing problems. The secret? It’s all about incentives and collaboration.

Screen Shot 2017 09 18 at 6.18.01 PM Tokens for Climate Change? How We Can Rise Above ICO Mania

A surefire way to be accused of over-hyping blockchain technology is to make some sweeping, breathless statement like, “It can solve climate change!” Even better: declare you have a token that can do that.

Well, bring it on.

The more I’ve thought about this technology, the more I’ve come to believe that saving the environment is exactly the kind of problem that energetic crypto minds should be focused on. It’s why I recently hosted a #Hack4Climate workshop at MIT Media Lab, one of 17 worldwide promoting a “climate change and blockchain” hackathon at the United Nation’s forthcoming COP 23 climate conference in Bonn, Germany.

Of course, a distributed ledger of transactions can’t directly resolve the planet’s climate problems. If our home survives this threat, it will be thanks to experts in energy, forestry, vehicle design and urban planning.

What blockchain technology and crypto tokens can help with, however, is the political problem – the core challenge of how to get mistrusting people and institutions to work together in pursuit of a common goal.

In short, it might finally enable us to unite and implement the steps those scientists have been urging us to take.

The problem of trust

What does this have to do with blockchains and digital assets, you might ask? Well, it comes down to how this technology tackles the root cause of humanity’s inaction over this environmental crisis: mistrust.

The reason it took 27 years after the 1988 founding of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the world to agree on a common set of targets and policies at the COP 21 in Paris, 2015, is not because scientists didn’t know what to do. It’s because people, companies and governments don’t trust each other.

With no international authority ordering governments around, states that were otherwise willing to take growth-constraining action couldn’t trust that others would follow suit, which made it hard for them to commit.

It was a classic misalignment of interests, consistent with what the ecologist Garrett Hardin called the “Tragedy of the Commons” – the idea that mistrust and self-interest prevent communities from properly protecting public resources even when not doing so goes against their long-term interest.

It’s also a problem that’s been with us through human history and that is closely related to another long-lasting economic dilemma: the failure to price “externalities.” The departure of the world’s largest economy from the Paris agreement reminds us that, when it comes to climate change, these problems will persist.

Yet, it’s here where blockchains and tokens can help. The core, transformative feature of this technology is that it confronts the deep human challenge of how to intermediate trust and incentivize collective action.

To me, the most remarkable aspect of bitcoin is that it solves the Tragedy of the Commons, albeit in one specific use case.

We can think of the blockchain ledger as bitcoin’s “commons,” a public resource that the entire community of users depends upon. And whereas traditional economic theory tells us that actors pursuing self-interest aren’t incentivized to protect that resource, absent external government intervention, that’s not the case with bitcoin.

Embedding rules into money

Bitcoin does have rules for protecting its commons – strict ones, in fact. It’s just that the “governance” isn’t external, it’s baked into the system.

Compelled to follow the protocol’s instructions, miners, seeking personal profit and nothing else, constantly maintain the public ledger, the bitcoin commons. It’s hard to overstate how much of a breakthrough this coincidence of interests represents.

The question is whether this concept can be extended beyond value transfer to other types of “commons.” I think the answer may lie in developing what’s being described as the “token economy” – which, not coincidentally, is the name we’ve decided to give to this new weekly column.

This, and not the crazy dollars generated by initial coin offerings (ICOs), is what makes tokens interesting.

With cryptographic tokens, rules are embedded into the smart contracts that dictate their use. This opens the door to programmable money, in which the governance of a community’s interests is contained within the medium of exchange itself.

It’s a concept that’s impossible with non-crypto fiat currencies, which are agnostic as to the community’s interests – and, in places like Venezuela, can even be hostile to them. (It’s worth remembering that money is merely a technology, a tool humans developed to enable wider exchange; it has changed its form many times through history and will continue to do so.)

A community of shared values

Under this new model, all who share the interests of a community should, in theory, be acting in those interests whenever they exchange tokens. And as more people do the same, the token’s value should rise in line with its network effect.

The hope is that a positive feedback loop of rising value creation emerges, one that serves both the interests of the community and the token holders.

This, in essence, is what Filecoin is doing as it incentivizes people to collectively build the file-sharing commons of the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). It explains Brave’s bet that the Basic Asset Token (BAT) can improve the market for user attention – the hitherto poorly managed commons of the online ad industry. And it’s why Augur and other blockchain-based prediction markets that feature reputation tokens can be thought of as encouraging the commons of honesty.

It’s also the idea behind a “Climate Coin” proposed by a team from Coin Circle, UCLA and the World Economic Forum, which would rise in value as tokens are “burned” in response to proven environmental improvements.

This is all theory right now, of course. And it’s not clear that the current reality of the token market is yet in line with it. Are all those excited ICO investors intending to use the token or just hoard it for profit? Does that deplete its ability to solve the commons’ needs?

With a series of rapid-fire, nine-digit ICOs and $1.8 billion raised in total, not to mention talk of scams and “vaporware,” there’s a wide gulf between the utopian vision I’ve laid out and the get-rich-quick mania of ICO-land in 2017.

Still, as the fallout continues and as regulators in China and the U.S. warn of risks to investors, we risk missing the forest for the trees. Of course, this industry needs to breed more confidence among investors, but whatever the policy or self-governance solution, it should not lose sight of the huge potential this technology poses for fixing the biggest problems in economics.

Whether it’s the encouragement of cross-company collaboration, the efficient use of materials within a supply chain or the shared protection of vital natural resources, tokens point to a complete redesign for capitalism, one that could bring it in line with the digital, globalized, environmentally challenged economy of the 21st century.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Brave. 

Climate change protest image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk strives to offer an open platform for dialogue and discussion on all things blockchain by encouraging contributed articles. As such, the opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of CoinDesk.

For more details on how you can submit an opinion or analysis article, view our Editorial Collaboration Guide or email [email protected].



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Bitcoin-Accepting Expedia to Accelerate Its Global Expansion

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shutterstock 547177264 1 1068x712 Bitcoin Accepting Expedia to Accelerate Its Global Expansion



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Expedia, the giant pro-Bitcoin online travel company, has worldwide expansion plans. Specifically, the company’s new CEO will push for expanding the company’s presence into Europe and Asia.

Also read: Pro-Bitcoin Expedia CEO Picked to Run Uber

Expedia Uses Technology and Accepts Bitcoin to Revolutionize Travel

Expedia Mark Okerstrom 480x320 Bitcoin Accepting Expedia to Accelerate Its Global Expansion
Mark Okerstrom, CEO of Expedia

Expedia’s new CEO Mark Okerstrom told the Financial Times that the company is planning to speed-up its expansion plans.

In this regard, Okerstrom sees new technologies as playing a dominant role in the travel industry, such artificial intelligence and voice platforms, he said in an interview with GeekWire.

In effect, Expedia is a company that has successfully demonstrated the aggressive use technology to its advantage. Indeed, Expedia’s vision is, “to revolutionize travel through the power of technology.”

Bitcoin is one example of Expedia’s use of technology. In 2014, while Mark Okerstrom was Chief Financial Officer and EVP of Operations, Expedia became one of the largest online travel companies in the world to accept Bitcoin.

When announcing that the company was accepting Bitcoin, Michael Gulmann, Vice President, Expedia Global Product said, “Expedia, Inc. is in a unique position, as one of the world’s leading online travel agencies, to solve travel planning and booking for our customers and partners alike by adopting the latest payment technologies.”

Uber, Expedia, and Bitcoin

Mark Okerstrom holds an MBA degree from Harvard. He replaces Dara Khosrowshahi, another pro-Bitcoin business leader.

Khosrowshahi headed Expedia from 2005 until September 2017. Under his leadership, the company started to accept the cryptocurrency. Khosrowshahi is now the CEO of Uber. However, according to an Expedia press release, Khosrowshahi will remain as a member of Expedia’s Board of Directors.

Expedia’s acceptance of the cryptocurrency is executed through Coinbase. Clients wanting to pay in Bitcoin are re-directed to Coinbase’s website. Coinbase sets the Bitcoin exchange rate.

Now that Bitcoin-friendly executives head Uber and Expedia, it might be within the realm of the possibility that these two disrupter companies will eventually find areas in which they could collaborate.

In this regard, GeekWire’s editor, Toddy Bishop, asked Okerstrom whether he expected partnerships with Uber. Okerstrom replied, “I would hope so. We were just actually in New York together last week and I spent a couple of hours with Dara. I think we’re both quite focused on, how do we make the most of the opportunities within our boundaries. But, you know I think it’s possible in the future. I’d love to see it.”

In November 1999, Microsoft announced the Initial Public Offering for Expedia Online Travel Services. This was the first Microsoft division to be spun off into a public company. At that time, Expedia had become the most popular Web offering, comprising seven million users.

Now, Expedia owns and manages several products, such as Hotels.com, Trivago, Travelocity, CarRentals.com, Hotwire, and Egencia.

Bitcoin Rides the Skies

shutterstock 443629960 Bitcoin Accepting Expedia to Accelerate Its Global ExpansionExpedia expanding its presence worldwide will help Bitcoin increase its adoption rate.

In fact, Bitcoin’s usefulness is being increasingly recognized by the travel industry.

Daedalus Drones, for example, offers its services for Bitcoin. AirBaltic and Polish Airlines LOT also accept Bitcoin as payment.

Recently, other air travel companies have been embracing Bitcoin. Peach Aviation Ltd. plans to accept Bitcoin. Peach CEO Shinichi Inoue said that through this initiative, “We want to encourage visitors from overseas and the revitalization of Japan’s regions,” according to Bloomberg Technology.

CheapAir also allows customers to book their flights with Bitcoin.

Perhaps, Expedia, by joining forces with Uber and using Bitcoin as a payment option, will have a chance to gain market share from Priceline, which is one of Expedia’s main competitors.

What are your thoughts about Bitcoin becoming the main currency of the travel industry in the near future? Let us know in the comments below!
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Expedia.


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Optimizing SegWit: How Bitcoin’s New Software Is Giving Scaling a Boost

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SegWit may be live on bitcoin, but the work to realize its potential isn’t over.

Even after the bitcoin blockchain upgraded to support Segregated Witness (SegWit) last month, ending perhaps the network’s most heated debate on direction to date, the optimization has yet to leave much of a mark.

To date, only just over 3 percent of transactions are actually taking advantage of the upgrade.

Screen Shot 2017 09 19 at 10.40.34 PM e1505899502827 Optimizing SegWit: How Bitcoins New Software Is Giving Scaling a Boost

But, though transactions are scarce so far, adoption is likely to grow as more wallets and bitcoin services move to support the change. At that point, SegWit will likely have more of an impact, increasing the block size to support more transactions and paving the way for more advanced scaling solutions like Lightning Network.

In an effort to work toward that goal, the developers behind Bitcoin Core, the most widely used version of the cryptocurrency’s underlying software, have been mobilizing to help boost the effort.

At least, that’s what it looks like from the latest version of Bitcoin Core 0.15.0, released last week. The release notes outline a range of improvements that focus on performance, which are at least partly geared towards laying the groundwork for wider use of SegWit.

A focus on performance

During a presentation in San Francisco a couple weeks back, Blockstream CTO and one of the most active Bitcoin Core developers Greg Maxwell seconded the notion that 0.15.0’s focus had to do with preparing bitcoin for a SegWit-enabled capacity boost.

Maxwell explained:

“With SegWit coming online, we knew the blockchain would grow at an even faster rate, so there was a desire to squeeze out all of the performance gains we could to make up for that.”

Several of the improvements are aimed at reducing the time it takes to create a bitcoin full node, which many predict will become even harder with SegWit activated, since the change increases the blockchain‘s block size (the amount of transaction data that can be stored in each block).

Full nodes are particularly important for the bitcoin community since running one is arguably the best way to use bitcoin without trusting a bank or another third party, and is what many see as the whole point behind the digital money.

So any effort to make that easier, and the network run more efficiently, is welcomed. Hence, “performance” (how long it takes to download and use the software) is a problem developers try to chip away at in nearly every Bitcoin Core release (roughly twice per year).

But SegWit just added more of a reason to focus on optimization and speed.

Maxwell said:

“As always, but especially with 0.15.0, we had a big push on performance.”

Among the notable upgrades in this area is the way in which data on unspent transaction outputs (UTXOs) is now stored, creating less computational burden on users who want to download a bitcoin full node. According to the release notes, 0.15.0 downloads bitcoin’s transaction history at a 30–40 percent faster rate and uses 10–20 percent less memory.

Other technical upgrades introduced to speed up the software include non-atomic flushing (which could pave the way for further performance gains) and script validation flushing (which makes grabbing certain transaction information faster).

This focus on performance shows a Core development team intent on making bitcoin more manageable ahead of SegWit, or before a significant number of people start using the transactions made possible by the upgrade.

Not yet witnessed

Today, most bitcoin wallets have yet to support SegWit, but that might not be the case for long.

In this way, it’s not so surprising that, while 0.15.0 focused on performance upgrades to prepare for SegWit, the new software itself doesn’t support SegWit transactions. Bitcoin Core developers argue it’s safer to wait and see if SegWit works before rolling out transaction support within Core. However, the release notes say, more “complete” support for the change will be included in “a next version” of the bitcoin software.

When that time comes, users will be able to create SegWit transactions with the Core wallet, and get the benefit of SegWit’s nearly half price transaction fees.

Other bitcoin wallets might have the same wait-and-see strategy. And, if and when they actually push it through, the optimizations in 0.15.0 might be more noticeable.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Blockstream. 

Welding robots image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Interested in offering your expertise or insights to our reporting? Contact us at [email protected].



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Bitcoin Software Wars: Discussions Heat Up as November Hard Fork Approaches

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Bitcoin Software Wars Discussions Heat Up as November Hard Fork Approaches2 1068x1068 Bitcoin Software Wars: Discussions Heat Up as November Hard Fork Approaches



Technology

September is almost over, and the Segwit2x plan to hard fork the network’s block size to 2MB is approaching quickly. Because time is running out the topic is once again heating up, as some New York Agreement (NYA) signatories have removed themselves from the list, with arguments between users and industry members continuing to escalate.

Also read: Bitcoin Software Wars: The Battle Between Nodes, Hashpower, and Developers

Latin American Bitcoin Peer-to-Peer Loan Platform Wayniloans Leaves the New York Agreement

OMhb0KXw Bitcoin Software Wars: Discussions Heat Up as November Hard Fork ApproachesNews.Bitcoin.com recently reported on the mining organization F2 Pool announcing its intention to stop supporting Segwit2x’s hard fork this coming November. On September 19 the bitcoin peer-to-peer lending platform, Wayniloans says the business is also walking away from the NYA compromise. The company’s co-founder, Juan Salviolo revealed the announcement via the Segwit2x development mailing list.

“On Wayniloans part or our business is achieved thanks to bitcoin, and in May we agreed to a sentence to reach consensus for the good of the ecosystem,” explains Salviolo. “This sentence was later changed to a longer agreement without our notice, and it was known as the New York Agreement (NYA). At the time we didn’t know that existing developers wouldn’t support it, or that most Latin American bitcoin users, our customers, would view it as a contentious proposal.”

Also, without mandatory replay protection (not opt-in) on Segwit2x, we wouldn’t be able to operate the crypto part of our business without the risk of missing funds or legal actions.

Erik Voorhees: “The Segwit2x Upgrade Will Have Consensus”

erik voorhees coinapult ubj 580 300x182 Bitcoin Software Wars: Discussions Heat Up as November Hard Fork Approaches
Erik Voorhees states; “Several thousand angry /r/bitcoin subscribers do not dictate bitcoin.”

Replay protection has been a contentious subject concerning the development of Segwit2x and has caused numerous arguments. Replay attack protection ensures a malicious actor cannot replay the transaction on one chain and fraudulently claim coins on the other chain. Just recently, a post on r/bitcoin has revealed a bitcoin user who was upset with Erik Voorhees for “not honoring his commitment, to ensure all hard forks are safe by adding replay protection.”

According to the author, Voorhees blocked him on Twitter, however, the Shapeshift founder disagrees with his perspective. Voorhees says he understands that a lot of r/bitcoin subscribers do not like Segwit2x, but a great majority of businesses and miners do support the plan.    

“If the hashpower and the biggest wallet providers stay the course, as they have indicated, then the hardfork in November will have overwhelming support,” Voorhees details. “Unless you want to say “consensus” means “universal agreement,” this Segwit2x upgrade will have consensus. (And nothing has “universal agreement” except the blockchain itself… because of the miners).”

Several thousand angry /r/bitcoin subscribers do not dictate bitcoin, but this sub has become such an echo-chamber, such a den of group-think that those here have utterly convinced themselves they represent “the community” — There are many pieces of the community, and a huge portion is proceeding with the Segwit2x upgrade.

Jeff Garzik: ‘The Plan Remains the Same’

The Segwit2x plan for November is still happening as the working group’s lead developer, Jeff Garzik, revealed on September 18, “The plan remains the same.” According to statistics from Coin Dance, Segwit2x support is still 93 percent, at the time of writing, as far as hash power is concerned. So far only a couple of businesses like Bitwala and Wayniloans have backed away from the Segwit2x agreement, and F2 Pool’s blocks still say ‘NYA’ in the mining pool’s coinbase data.  

What do you think about the prospects of the Segwit2x hard fork happening this November? Let us know in the comments below.  


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Wayniloans Twitter account. 


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