Ethereum core developers have decided to activate the Constantinople upgrade at block 7,080,000.
Given the press-time ETH block time of 14.3 sec, and the number of remaining blocks of around 234,431, the Constantinople upgrade is likely to become active in around 38 days from press time, or around Jan. 14, 2019, according to the data from the Ethereum blockchain explorer Etherscan.
Ethereum’s last block and blocktime at press time. Source: Etherscan
The upcoming Constantinople hard fork encompassses five separate Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) in order to soften the transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to more energy efficient proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm.
Once activated, the upgrade is supposed to fundamentally change the Ethereum blockchain, with the synchronous nodes update to the entire system.
Ethereum is a public, open-sourced blockchain platform featuring smart contracts and its native cryptocurrency Ether. Launched on July 30, 2015, Ethereum is now the third biggest cryptocurrency by market cap at around $9.7 billion and is trading at $95.88 as of press time, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
Recently, Ethereum co-found Vitalik Buterin was granted an honorary doctorate from the Switzerland’s oldest university, the University of Basel, for “outstanding achievements in fields of cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, and the design of institutions.”
In November, analysts from Northeastern University and the University of Maryland claimed that the alleged existing lack of diversity in Ethereum smart contracts threatens the whole Ethereum blockchain ecosystem.
The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum has made a case for a blockchain-powered “self-sovereign” digital identity system to secure and share personal information.
In its latest report released on Dec. 7, the European Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum (EUBOF) made a case for a blockchain-based digital identity system and digital versions of national currencies.
The report was prepared by blockchain software technology firm ConsenSys AG on behalf of the EUBOF, and focuses on the analysis of what blockchain properties could be beneficial and advantageous for governments.
The EUBOF suggests that governments should develop “user-controlled, ‘self-sovereign’ identity capabilities” to create secure, private, unique and verifiable identities, that can provide sufficient proof of identity without revealing more data than it is necessary for a transaction. The report recognizes that this has proven difficult to achieve with centralized technologies.
While the idea behind blockchain-based self-sovereign identity is that individuals could keep verified personal information themselves, instead of third parties, the EUBOF notes potential challenges for governments.
The report states that identity standards and frameworks must first be developed, in addition to defining the extent to which people want identity systems to be decentralized. It adds:
“They [governments] will have to take into account how identity attributes change over time during a person’s natural lifecycle, and will need to offer different levels of transparency depending on the context (e.g., verifying that someone is over 18 without providing a birth date). Identity platforms also need to be inclusive of all citizens, including those who, for whatever reason, have no access to or are not able to use technology.”
Another important issue raised in the report is digital versions of national currencies on a blockchain, or the ability of governments to “put fiat currency on the chain.” The report further reads:
“Putting digital versions of national currencies on the blockchain means they could then become integral parts of smart contracts. That would unlock much of the potential innovation of blockchain by allowing parties to create automated agreements, including direct transactions in these currencies, instead of having to use a cryptocurrency as a proxy.”
The report cites plans and initiatives of central banks in tokenizing national currencies, or inter-bank payments with distributed ledgers to make transaction processes more transparent, resilient, and cost efficient. Moreover, governments could purportedly use blockchain-based tokens in non-monetary ways, like an e-voucher that can be exchanged for government services.
This week, Malta, France, Italy, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain and Greece released a declaration calling for help in the promotion of Distributed Ledger Technology’s (DLT) use in the region, claiming that could be a “game changer” for southern EU economies. Among other things, the group also cited blockchain tech’s use for protecting citizens’ privacy and making bureaucratic procedures more efficient.
Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, Stellar, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, EOS, Litecoin, TRON, Cardano: Price Analysis, Dec. 7
Markets are down following more delays on a Bitcoin ETF decision from the U.S. SEC. Let’s consult the charts and see how top coins are faring.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.
The selling in cryptocurrencies dragged the total market capitalization down to about $106 billion on Dec. 7. The crypto market has lost more than 87 percent of its value from the high achieved in late 2017.
The latest leg of selling gained traction on the news that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed its decision on Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) until Feb. 27 of next year.
Based on the performance of the Directional Movement Index and the Average Directional Index, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mike McGlone expects Bitcoin to drop to $1,500.
The fall has scared away most retail investors. Nevertheless, crypto-focused institutional asset manager Morgan Creek Digital believes that its Digital Asset Index Fund — a basket of ten major crypto assets — will offer better returns than the SPX over the next 10 years, starting from Jan. 1, 2019. Morgan Creek Digital is ready to wager a $1 million bet on their forecast.
The bear market has been good for the stablecoin Tether, which continues to climb the ladder in terms of market capitalization. It is now sitting at the sixth position, threatening to break into the top five if the selling continues.
Bitcoin has plunged to a new year-to-date low, but the decline is still not showing any signs of slowing down. The previous low of $3,620.26 did not offer any support, which demonstrates a lack of buying at the current levels. We expect the $3,000—$3,500 zone to act as a stronger support.
However, if the BTC/USD pair dips below $3,000, the fall can extend to $2,416.52, which is the pattern target following the break down from the pennant.
The current situation is opposite to last year when traders were expecting the price to skyrocket. Now, most believe that digital currencies are doomed. We believe that the selling has been overdone, and a pullback should be around the corner.
Still, we want to see evidence of strong buying at some support before initiating fresh long positions. Our positions suggested earlier were closed at $3,800 and $3,500.
The lower the cryptocurrency falls, the closer it gets to the bottom. Therefore, we suggest traders be ready to initiate long positions upon the signs of a probable bottom. Unlike on previous occasions, when we had proposed using only a portion of the usual position size, this time we shall recommend using the normal position size. The risk-reward is getting attractive at these levels.
Ripple (XRP) is still above its year-to-date low, but the price is fast approaching those levels. Currently, the price is at the support line of the descending channel, which is likely to hold.
A bounce from the current level will face resistance at $0.33108, and above that at the 20-day EMA. Conversely, if the bears break below the support, a retest of $0.24508 is probable.
We continue to like the XRP/USD pair because it has been outperforming a number of top digital currencies. Therefore, we suggest traders hold their long positions. We shall propose adding more when the pair turns around.
Ethereum plummeted to double digits on Nov. 6, and has not recovered yet. Currently, it is trying to bounce off the support at $83. We expect some buying in this area.
If the bears maintain their selling pressure, the ETH/USD pair can drop to the next support at $66. The selling has been so intense that the RSI could not even rise above the oversold zone, from the deeply oversold levels.
The first sign of a likely change in trend will be when the price sustains above $100. Until then, it is best to wait and watch. We anticipate a strong pullback within the next few days.
After a successful defense of $0.184, the bears have renewed their selling, pushing Stellar to new year-to-date lows.
The next level to watch on the downside is $0.08. Though we anticipate the bulls to offer some buying support at this level, it is difficult to pinpoint the bottom.
The XLM/USD pair will signal a likely bottom when it sustains above the downtrend line. We expect it to consolidate for a few days before starting a new uptrend. The traders should wait for a trend reversal before buying.
Bitcoin Cash continues its journey southwards. Within three days, the price slumped from an intraday high of $157.58 on Dec. 4 to an intraday low of $104.99 on Dec. 7. Currently, the bears are trying to sustain below the psychological support of $100, while the bulls want to maintain the price in triple digits.
If the bears succeed in holding the BCH/USD pair below $100, the next support on the downside is $91.78. The RSI has fallen to about 15 levels, which shows that the selling has been overdone and a pullback can start anytime. However, the traders should wait for the decline to end before jumping in. Until then, it is best to remain on the sidelines.
While the other cryptocurrencies are sliding to new lows, Bitcoin SV is bucking the trend. It is attempting to turn around and move up.
The BSV/USD pair is currently in a range of $80.352—$123.98. A break out of the range gives it a pattern target of $167.608, with a minor resistance at $150.47.
If the bears defend the overhead resistance at $123.98, the digital currency might consolidate for a few more days. Short-term traders can look for buying opportunities as long as the price stays above $80.352. As the overall sentiment is negative, we suggest traders keep the position size at about 40 percent of usual.
EOS is under a strong bear attack. The fall has been so severe that the support level of $2 could not even hold for a day. The next support on the downside is $1.5257. However, with this kind of incessant selling, it is difficult to predict where the decline will end.
When the digital currency makes new lows on a daily basis, the new money sitting on the sidelines doesn’t want to come in. On the contrary, the traders who have been long since higher levels, dump their positions, as they are not able to take the losses. This vicious cycle usually ends in a capitulation.
After an extended decline, the price becomes so attractive that a few aggressive bulls start bottom fishing. We shall wait for signs of buying in the EOS/USD pair before turning positive. Until then, it is best to wait and watch.
The bears have broken down of another critical support at $28. Litecoin can now slide to $20, where we expect buying to emerge.
The trend is clearly in favor of the bears, as the bulls are unable to hold the price in a range.
The bulls will try to push the price back into the range, whereas the bears will try to maintain the downward momentum. If the bulls succeed, the LTC/USD pair might consolidate for a few days, before starting a new uptrend. Traders should wait for a new buy setup to form before initiating any new positions.
TRON has broken down of the immediate support of $0.01339050. Its next support is at the Nov. 25 low of $0.01089965. The moving averages are trending down, and the RSI is in the negative zone, which shows that the sellers have an upper hand.
However, we like the way the TRX/USD pair has not broken down to new year-to-date lows. This shows that the owners are not keen to sell at the current levels, and the buyers are supporting it just above the recent lows.
If the bulls defend $0.01089965, the digital currency might enter a basing formation. We shall wait for a few days for it to confirm a bottom before suggesting a trade in it.
The downtrend in Cardano has resumed, as the pair makes new year-to-date lows. The next support on the downside is at $0.025954.
The falling moving averages and the RSI in the oversold zone will continue to pressure the ADA/USD pair. The first sign of a change in trend will be when the price breaks out of the 20-day EMA and the top of the tight range at $0.45624. Until then, every pullback will be sold into. We suggest traders wait for the trend to reverse before initiating any long positions.
U.S.-based crypto exchange Coinbase “explores” adding support for 31 cryptocurrencies, including major coins such as XRP, EOS, ADA.
Major United States-based crypto exchange Coinbase is “exploring” the possibility of providing trading support for over 30 cryptocurrencies. Potential new additions include Ripple (XRP), EOS and Cardano (ADA), according to a press release published Friday, Dec. 7.
The company has revealed a list of 31 cryptocurrencies, including the aforementioned three, as well as NEO, Tezos (XTZ), and others. Coinbase states that it “will be working with local banks and regulators to add them in as many jurisdictions as possible.”
List of cryptocurrencies Coinbase is considering to add. Source: blog.coinbase.com
Coinbase added that a cryptocurrency being present in the list is not a guarantee that it will ultimately be added, as any coins could face some restrictions or might not be listed at all, after their evaluation is finished:
“Adding new assets requires significant exploratory work from both a technical and compliance standpoint, and we cannot guarantee that all the assets we are evaluating will ultimately be listed for trading. Furthermore, our listing process may result in some of these assets being listed solely for customers to buy and sell, without the ability to send or receive using a local wallet.”
Back in September, Coinbase announced a new listing process that would allow it to add digital assets faster than before. However, the crypto exchange has pointed out that the new procedure only applied to digital assets that were compliant with their local regulations. Thus, certain assets listed by Coinbase might only be available to customers in particular jurisdictions.
The Swiss city of Zug, home to crypto and blockchain development hub “Crypto Valley,” has been ranked the fastest-growing tech community in Europe.
The Swiss city of Zug, home to crypto and blockchain development hub “Crypto Valley,” has been ranked the fastest-growing tech community in Europe. Swiss startup news channel StartupTicker reported this on Dec. 6.
According to the latest annual “State of European Tech” report from London-headquartered global technology investment firm Atomico, Zug came out top in a comparison of year-on-year growth of attendees to tech-related “meetup” events per European city, with a 177 percent increase as compared with last year:
Comparison of YoY growth of attendees to tech-related meetup events per city. Source: startupticker.ch
As Startupticker further reports, Switzerland overall had a weaker performance as compared with other European tech destinations. The United Kingdom sealed the top spot as preferred destination for non-European “international movers” into the country’s tech ecosystem, followed by Germany and France — with Switzerland in tenth place — behind countries such as the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden and Belgium.
Neither did Switzerland make it onto the list of U.S. software engineers seeking employment in Europe.
Nonetheless, the Atomico report identified robust Swiss corporate investment in technology, with Zürcher Kantonalbank ranked second “most active” European corporate investor, behind only France’s BNP Paribas.
As reported earlier this week, the country’s national postal service Swiss Post and state-owned telecoms provider Swisscom have just announced a partnership on a “100 percent Swiss” blockchain infrastructure. Its key premise is to provide a service that retains all data within Switzerland, and that can meet the security requirements of banks, in a bid to drive the Swiss economy to “quickly obtain a leading position” in developing use cases for the technology.
Switzerland has a positive reputation among innovators, sealing the top spot of most “blockchain-friendly” European Union country this spring. Most recently, the Swiss Minister of Finance, Ueli Maurer, has nonetheless indicated that in lieu of establishing a blockchain– or crypto-specific legal framework, the country instead plans to tweak existing laws to accomodate the new technology and its financial applications.