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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Technical Analysis Works Great on High-Volume Digital Currencies Like Ethereum

Yesterday, I wrote my Ethereum technical analysis article on TheMerkle, which outlined some of the key pivot zones on the chart - the same way I analyze the FX markets. One of the areas I pointed out was the 0.0323 pivot zone, speculating that the level may be retested and suggesting that traders should be mindful of this pivot.

Screenshot posted yesterday on TheMerkle:

ETH Market today:

It doesn't matter if you're looking at a stock chart; It doesn't matter if you're looking at the crude oil graph; It doesn't matter if you're looking at a forex or a cryptocurrency chart; Technical analysis and candle patterns work on all high-volume markets!

Image Credit: 1

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Cloud Data Storage Firm Acronis Shows Interest in Blockchains

Singapore-based cloud data storage and security firm Acronis, has announced a strategic initiative aimed at exploring the applications of blockchains - the technology powering bitcoin - in securing data. The initiative, which features a dedicated 10-man R&D blockchain team, was announced this week at the firm’s 2016 VIP Partner Summit.

According to an IT Brief report, Acronis will be focusing on using the technology to design a “tamper-proof” data storage system, in addition to exploring other existing uses cases:

“Acronis is currently extending its data storage solutions and file sync and share solutions with Blockchain technology to monitor data integrity and guarantee validity at all times.”

When it comes to data integrity, Acronis chief marketing officer John Zanni used the example of video footage captured by Police body cameras, which Zanni says could be authenticated using a blockchain-based tracking system, “You can use Blockchain technology to essentially timestamp them, and then that way you can guarantee that they haven’t been touched,” said Zanni.

And Serguei Beloussov, Founder and CEO of Acronis, agrees with Zanni, "It is not publicly known how to hack the blockchain. Perhaps the Chinese or the Russians know. But at this point, it doesn't look like in any foreseeable future, it will be easy to hack a blockchain." said Beloussov, according to a report by the The Straits Times.

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin also praised Acronis for being the first company to apply the technology in the cloud data storage industry.

Image credit: 1

Thursday, May 5, 2016

New York Bitcoin Exchange Gemini Receives Approval to Add Ethereum Trading Pairs

New York’s Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has granted Gemini Trust Company, a bitcoin exchange founded by the Winklevoss brothers, approval to add Ethereum-based instruments.

In a press release posted on the official NYDFS site, Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State Governor, said that today’s announcement demonstrates the state’s ability to remain at the forefront of emerging technologies in the financial industry, “With robust regulatory oversight, we are maintaining our status at the forefront of this technological revolution and ensuring that users have a safe and secure experience.” added Cuomo.

Maria T. Vullo, Financial Services Superintendent, said in the press release that NY State’s “smart and careful regulation” has created an environment where the digital currency industry can thrive.

In October of last year, the NYDFS gave Gemini permission to operate as a limited purpose trust company in NY, which allowed Gemini to act as a venue for fiat-to-bitcoin transfers and vice versa.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Developers of CTB-Locker Ransomware Start Using Bitcoin's Blockchain

Ransomware infections have increased dramatically over the last few months and their ingenious authors are now using bitcoin’s blockchain to send file decryption codes to paying victims.

In traditional CTB-Locker ransomware versions, perpetrators have to rely on a network of previously-hacked servers, which host hidden scripts that send decryption keys when victims pay bitcoin ransoms. This solution is very unreliable due to the fact that these hacked servers are frequently patched, and this cuts into the bottom line of the developers.

However, in more recent variants of the ransomware that targets servers, developers have devised a clever way to anonymously deliver decryption keys: embedding them in the OP_RETURN field.

The technique was explained in detail by Denis Sinegubko, a senior malware researcher at internet security firm Sucuri. The OP_RETURN field was implemented in the Bitcoin protocol so that small chunks of data could be added to each transaction.

According to Sinegubko’s post, the new variant of CTB-Locker - which was first observed in March of this year - baits victims into sending a small bitcoin transaction (0.0001 BTC) which decrypts a small portion of the victim’s encrypted files.

He explains in his post:

“If they see 0.0001 BTC, the wallet’s blockchain is appended with a new transaction whose OP_RETURN field contains the decryption key for the two free test files. If the victims pays the full price, they add a transaction with keys for both test and the rest of the encrypted files.”

Despite the “cleverness” of these ransomware developers, Sinegubko’s investigation revealed that very few webmasters pay the ransom, “Out of almost 100 sites I checked, only one had a real “free decryption test” 0.0001 BTC transaction.” he writes.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

April 13 forex trades (USDCAD, AUDUSD, GBPUSD, NZDUSD)

The 1-hour chart on the GBP/USD forex pair was showing a nice Head & Shoulders pattern, and the right shoulder had two bearish engulfing candles. So, I entered a short trade as soon as the that first bar broke to the downside.

It seemed to me this morning that the downtrend on the USD/CAD pair was a bit overextended. The 1-hour chart closed with two very nice Pin candlesticks with very long tails, so I decided to enter a long position. The stop-loss orders on the above two trades have been moved to break-even.

This AUD/USD trade is similar to the GBP/USD one, but the right shoulder has a Pin-bar, instead of the two bearish engulfing candles on the GBP/USD trade.

A simple short trade on this NZD/USD Pin-Bar. Stop-loss has now been moved to break-even as the market has already moved 35 pips in my favor.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Airbnb Acquires Developer Team Behind Bitcoin Tipping Platform ChangeTip

Airbnb has acquired the team behind ChangeCoin, developers of popular bitcoin tipping platform ChangeTip.

According to Quartz, Airbnb has been very interested in blockchain startups and how the novel technology can augment and improve its existing rental business. While Airbnb has acquired the talent behind ChangeTip, the company has little interest in the tipping platform itself.

Figures from the Airbnb Summer Travel report for 2015, show that the company has served almost 17 million renters around the world. With services companies such as Airbnb - where user reputation is of paramount importance - a transparent and immutable user scoring system can be of great benefit.

Airbnb Co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk explained to CityAM recently how user reputation may start to play an even bigger role in the Airbnb ecosystem in the future, “Within the context of Airbnb, your reputation is everything, and I can see it being even more so in the future, whereby you might need a certain reputation in order to have access to certain types of homes,” he said.

A blockchain-based reputation system can make Airbnb digital identities the standard in the burgeoning global sharing economy, and Blecharczyk knows this.

Blecharczyk told CityAM, when asked about blockchain technology:

“But then the question is whether there’s a way to export that and allow access elsewhere to help other sharing economy models really flourish.”

While the ChangeTip platform experienced tremendous user growth over the past two years after receiving $3.5 million in seed capital in December of 2014, ChangeCoin has been unable to find a sustainable business model. According to a party familiar with the Airbnb acquisition, ChangeCoin has been looking for buyers for its intellectual property for the past few months.

Image credit: tanuha2001 /

Forex trades for April 12, 2016 (AUDUSD, NZDUSD, GBPJPY)

I took this long trade on the GBP/JPY pair yesterday off the bullish Pin-Bar. The take profit was set right at the highs from the 6th April. When I woke up this morning, the TP order had already been hit. This one netted about 122 pips.

The NZD/USD short trade was initiated after I saw this long Pin-Bar on the 30-minute chart. There was already a very clear RSI divergence showing as well. The take-profit order is set to 0.6796, which is just above the swing low from yesterday.

The short trade on the AUD/USD was taken when that bearish engulfing bar - the one with the long tail - closed. I placed the take-profit order at 0.7546, just above the swing lows from from the 11th of April.