Your daily newsletter for January 4, 2019
Focal point
“To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal.
- A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Happy first weekend of 2019! I hope that you all are still committing to your new year's resolutions. 😊 

Today in history (2010), the Burj Khalifa, also known as the Khalifa tower, officially opened in Dubai, UAE. It stands at 2,722 ft (829.8 m) and is currently the world's tallest man-made structure. 🗼 The Jeddah Tower, which is currently under construction in Saudi Arabia is set to overtake that number 1 spot in 2020. It is primed to be 3,307 ft (1,008 m) tall. 🤯

In today's newsletter, we will be covering P2P file sharing protocol BitTorrent is creating its own cryptocurrency, to be the first major company to pay its state taxes in Bitcoin and DX.Exchange to launch a trading platform that will enable the indirect purchasing of real world stocks with crypto tokens. Today, we will also be covering ICON (ICX) in our weekly deep dive. So be sure to check that out as well! 

Please don't forget to answer the polls down below too! It's a great way for us to interact with you all and hear what you have to say. 💭 Happy reading! 📚

First time for everything 🖕
And...we broke our streak for 2019 and recorded our first red day. 😥

Over the past 24 hours, total market capitalization gradually declined from ~$135 billion to ~$130.5 billion, with most coins seeing losses in the ~2-5% range. Notable mover of the day is Chainlink (LINK), currently up ~11.9%, bringing its market capitalization to ~$132.4 billion. 

Similarly, BTC gradually declined from ~$3,920 to ~$3,830. The consolidation in the ~$3,800 to ~$4,200 range persists, evidenced by the low volatility of the RSI levels on the daily chart (~48-50), reflecting market indecisiveness. With no significant change in trading pattern in sight, this is likely to persist in the coming days. 

An optimized experience 😎
Peer-to-peer file sharing protocol BitTorrent is creating its own cryptocurrency, the BitTorrent Token (BTT). 😲 The Singapore-based BitTorrent Foundation will issue the new token, which will run on the tron protocol. Tron acquired BitTorrent in June 2017, and claims to have 100 million users.

The plan to issue a token follows the announcement of Project Atlas, the new iteration of the P2P software that allows users to spend and earn crypto while sharing files, which BitTorrent revealed in Aug 2018. 

BTT will be a TRC-10 token, and will first be operational on the Windows-based µTorrent Classic client, which currently has the most users out of all the existing clients. Users will be able to pay a file host in BTT to send files to them, with the option of paying more BTT for more bandwidth to download the files faster. File hosts will also have an incentive of keeping more files on the network, as it would increase their chances that a user wants to download their files. 👌🏻

Project Atlas will also be backward-compatible, so that users who don’t want to spend or earn BTT will still be able to share files with those who do opt to use the new system. BTT will be available to non-U.S. accounts through Binance Launchpad. 👀

Paving the way 🛣️
Digital retail company recently announced on its investor portal that it would pay a portion of its state commercial activity taxes in Ohio using Bitcoin, becoming the first major business to do so. 🙌

In a statement, Overstock CEO and founder Patrick Byrne said the company was “proud to partner” with the Ohio government “to help usher in an era of trust through technology for our nation’s essential financial systems." He went on to add that the company believes that "thoughtful governmental adoption of emerging technologies such as cryptocurrencies (when accompanied by non-restrictive legislation over these technologies) is the best way to ensure the U.S. does not lose our place at the forefront of the ever-advancing global economy.” 👍

In Nov 2018, Ohio announced that it would accept BTC for tax payments through a 3-step process, where businesses sign up on the portal, enter tax details and transmit the payment using a compatible BTC wallet. The payments would then be converted into dollars by a third party before the office of the Ohio Treasurer accepts them. 

A sign of things to come 🔮
 A Nasdaq-powered crypto startup based in Estonia, DX.Exchange, will be launching its trading platform on 7 Jan. The platform will allow clients to purchase crypto tokens representing shares in different tech firms listed on the Nasdaq exchange, and will be able to use select cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies to purchase them. 

DX.Exchange will use Nasdaq’s matching engine to facilitate trades and to protect users against market manipulation. According to its COO, Amedeo Moscato, customers will not be purchasing ownership of shares directly, and instead will purchase tokens which represent shares in a company. In essence, the tokens are backed 1:1 to the real-world stocks, which will also entitle them to equivalent cash dividends that are paid out to normal stock holders. 😲 

MPS Marketplace Securities, Ltd, a company that DX.Exchange has a partnership with, will purchase the real-world stocks based on customer demand, and generate ERC-20 tokens to represent each share. The actual shares will be stored in a segregated account separate from any of MPS’ internal funds or usage to safeguard against the company having issues or filing for bankruptcy. 👍

DX.Exchange, which falls under the jurisdiction of European Union regulations and authorities, will also offer peer-to-peer crypto trading. It is also partnering with Bloomberg to power Bloomberg’s crypto center. At launch, MPS said it will purchase shares in AlphaBet, Apple,, Facebook, Microsoft Corporation, Tesla, Netflix, Baidu, Intel Corporation and Nvidia. 

Blockchain term of the day 🤓 - TRC-10 tokens

TRC-10 is the technical token standard supported by TRON blockchain natively, without the TRON Virtual Machine (TVM). This is similar to ERC-20 tokens, which run on top of the Ethereum protocol. TRC-10 tokens were made available since the launch of the TRON mainnet. 

Crypto deep dive: ICON
  • Cryptocurrency: ICX
  • Market Capitalization Rank: 41th (~$123 million)
  • Consensus: Loop Fault Tolerance (LFT) - a modification of the Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT). It combines PBFT with Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPOS)
The gist of it ⚙️
  • ICON is a South Korean based blockchain technology company that seeks to build a global decentralized network of independent blockchain communities with their respective governance systems, that can freely interact with each other without intermediaries and without sacrificing autonomy. 
Why people love it 😘
  • ICON has very impressive partnerships which include the Korean government and local municipalities like banks, universities and hospitals.  Some corporate partnerships include LINE, Deloitte, PWC and Woori Bank. It also has an interoperability alliance with WAN and AION. ICON has many ongoing pilots with their partnerships.
  • It has a 136-strong team, with a very impressive advisory board which include the likes of Don Tapscott (founder of Blockchain Research Institute), Paul Veradittakit (Pantera Capital), Jehan Chu (founder of the Ethereum HK community and the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong) and Eddy Travia (Coinsilium CEO). 
  • ICON is an infrastructure-level project that is solving an important problem in the crypto space: interoperability, and is attempting to do so with strong backing. 
Why people doubt it 🤔
  • In the past, ICON not met roadmap deadlines on several occasions (e.g. mainnet launch, token swap delay). With its numerous side projects on hand, this could repeat in the future. 
  • Communication between team and community could be better. 
  • For the ICON system to be meaningful, it has to convince a large number of industries to integrate to its framework, which might be hard to pull off as there are also several competitors in the space. ICON also needs a stronger international presence. 
Other news 📰
  • The Cabinet of the government of Ireland has approved a bill that sets a new legal framework for European financial watchdogs to regulate digital currencies to protect against money laundering and terrorism financing. 📜
  • Today is Bitcoin's first planned bank run, also known as "Proof of Keys". It is the event where users collectively withdraw their funds from centralized crypto exchanges to stress test their solvency. 👀
  • The Chilean anti-monopoly court, the Tribunal de Defensa de la Libre Competencia (TDLC), has again granted protection to local crypto exchanges by forcing banks to keep their accounts open. 👍
Crypto calendar 📅

Early Jan - ICE's Bakkt Bitcoin Daily Futures Contract updated launch timeline
27 Feb     - SEC's ruling on VanEck Bitcoin ETF application
Poll of the Day
On a scale of 1-10 (10 being most desirable), how much would you want to pay your taxes in crypto? 💭
Why do you say so? And...what are your plans for the first weekend of 2019? Share with me in the polls! 😆
What you said
"On a scale of 1-10 (10 being maximum progression), how would you rate the progress of the overall crypto space in the last 10 years since the first Bitcoin block was mined?" 💭

The average vote was 7.6. In my opinion, it's crazy how just in 10 years, the space was able to grow at such a rapid rate. Forget about 2018, if we look at the grand scheme of things, it's remarkable how that first block led to an entire ecosytem being built on the global front, and how it was able to create jobs for numerous people. It's hard to even fathom what's about to happen in the next 10 years. 🤯

"Why do you think so?"

You guys said:

Think we’re only scratching the surface - While this is true, I have to acknowledge that we have come a long way. 💪 An entire ecosytem has been built since, and numerous are making a living from the space.
I joined the party late around mid 2017.. but u guys have made a hell of a progress for a new product.. it reminds me of the early days of the dot com period which had DMOZ, Amazon, Ebay & all.. thanks to everyone who has contributed to it. - Thank you kind sir. Our team works really hard to give you all the best product we possibly can. It warms my heart that you took the time to show your appreciation through this comment. Deeply appreciated! 😊
Now days..cryptocurency is a lot easy to access.more people can connect with will keep growing. - This is true. There are now a far greater number of ramps that can get you started in the space. I distinctly remember how hard it was just back in 2017 to find a reliable fiat-crypto gateway. 🤦‍♂️
It has been good but not great. In the last year a lot of retail investors have lost interest. Hoping for a better 2019 - I think it was necessary. With less speculation, projects can now put their heads down and focus on the development on the tech. It's one less thing to be concerned about. 👌
Coz we have more than 2,000 crypto currencies - Pretty amazing, huh? 🤯2,000+ are only the coins listed on our site. There are plenty of others out there who aren't yet listed with us. 👀
Because it is not user friendly to pay bills, as of yet. - I am confident this will soon change. If a famous online game can start accepting XMR for its online merchandise store, paying bills with cryptocurrency doesn't seem to far fetched anymore. 🤔
Blockchain and cryptocurrency are the FUTURE. The latest news is that Sweden is going to substitute cash for a new digital currency: e-krona. It is the beginning of the end of money as we understood it. Only two things will remain: gold and cryptocurrency. - That would be a huge step forward for the space! 🙏🏻
Great projects, too many bad actors still - Unfortunately, this is also true. Hopefully through sound and fair regulations, many of them can be weeded out. 🤞 
Since then, a lot of new coins came on the scene. As a result of that, the market capitalization rose substantially (more than 132 billion dollars). - Despite the market correction of 2017, we have come a considerable way in 10 years. 
Satoshi envisioned a currency that would rival the circulation of fiat. Bitcoin's meteoric rise last year increased awareness substantially, but it also led to a whole new class of investors driven to making a fortune on the hopes that the price would keep climbing. Crypto is only valuable if it is used as a currency, not as a potential investment vehicle. The increase in awareness, although based on incorrect reasons, is driving further adoption and forcing states to recognize the crypto space, which will lead to even further adoption. - Well thought out and great points! Many people are definitely missing the point of cryptocurrencies and are largely driven by speculative gain. Although this is not uncommon in any market, 2017 was as you said 'meteoric' and an abnormal influx of such people entered the space. Now that the craze has more or less passed, those remaining can focus on what is important: the damn tech! 😂
Thank you all for reading! Catch you back here again next week for your daily dose of crypto news! 💙
See you again on Monday!
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