Eyes on the prize

Your daily newsletter for January 7, 2019
Focus
“You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
- Mark Twain
Welcome back, CMC fam! I hope everyone enjoyed their first weekend of the new year. It's now the start of a fresh new week, so let's stay zero-ed on our goals and get back on that grind. Oooh, I can already feel it's gonna be a great, productive week ahead! 💪

Today in history (1999), the impeachment trial of former U.S. President Bill Clinton opened up in the Senate. He was formally charged with lying under oath (perjury) and obstructing justice, which stemmed from a sexual harassment lawsuit involving a former White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. 🤦‍♂️ 

In today's newsletter, we will be covering ConsenSys partnering with AMD to develop a new cloud computing infrastructure, the China Banking Association (CBA) to launch a trade finance blockchain platform and how according to Texas law stablecoins may soon qualify as "money". Today, we also have a special message from a sponsor!

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! 📚

Don't you just love surprises? 🙃
For the most part of the weekend, total market capitalization hovered between ~$125.5 billion and ~$133.0 billion. It wasn't until mid Sunday that total market capitalization spiked to ~$138.3 billion. 📈 In the process, 24 hour volume registered ~$18 billion, the highest it has been since New Year's eve. What a pleasant way to the end of the week!

The sudden spike caused BTC to break past $4,000 and its 21-day EMA resistance line on the daily chart. At time of writing, it is trading at ~$4,080 for a ~7.4% gain from Friday, and is close to challenging its 50-day EMA resistance line. RSI levels on the daily chart has also increased from ~47 to ~58, indicative of some short term bullish momentum. The true test for BTC now is whether it is able to break past the ~$3,800 to ~$4,200 consolidation zone it has been trading within since 20 Dec. 👀


A formidable alliance 🤝
Ethereum development studio ConsenSys has partnered with computer chip manufacturer AMD to develop a new cloud computing infrastructure based on blockchain technology. Dubbed "W3BCLOUD", the cloud computing architecture will be supported by AMD's computing hardware designed specifically for supporting decentralized applications. 🤖

Jerog Roskowetz, AMD's director of product management for blockchain technology, stated that ConsenSys will be provided with "high-performance hardware technologies capable of better scaling and proliferating decentralized networks and services,” while ConsenSys will provide expertise on use cases and blockchain transactions. 👍 He added that the platform will help meet the growing demand of institutions wanting to use the technology "to support smart identity, enterprise data centers, health ID tracking, licensing and supply chain management solutions."

Joe Lubin, ConsenSys' founder, believes that the computational power boost from the use of AMD's technology will "enable an accelerated proliferation of blockchain technologies.” 😊

Seeking efficiency 👀
China's self-regulatory organization for the banking sector, the China Banking Association (CBA), is launching a trade finance blockchain platform that has already seen 10 major banks in the region participating, including the likes of HSBC (China), Bank of China, China Merchants Bank, Ping An Bank and China Postal Savings Bank among others. 😲

Chinese fintech companies like Beijing-based startup and Hyperledger consortium member PeerSafe are also lending their technical support and expertise for this venture. Through the help of China Merchants Bank and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the platform has already completed 2 pilots for the issuance of letter of credits (LoC) and asset-backed securities. 💪

According to Chinese news source ecns.cn, the vice president and head of industrial and commercial finance at HSBC China, Fang Xiao, stated that “the launch of China’s trade finance blockchain has brought together the trade chain of different banks to make cross-bank transactions much faster, safer and more realistic.” 👌🏻 The CBA intends to include more small and medium-sized banks, as well as customs and taxation agencies to the platform in the future.  

Now you've crossed the line 🧐
According to a published memo by Texas Banking Commissioner Charles Cooper, stablecoins may soon qualify as "money" under Texas law. 🤨 The document outlines how how cryptocurrencies are to be treated under local and federal regulations, and delves into how stablecoins backed by sovereign, or fiat, currencies may be assessed. 

Cooper states how stablecoins may fall under existing definitions of “money” or “monetary value,” as the issuer takes on "the obligation to provide sovereign currency in exchange for the stablecoin at a later time," and so stablecoin purchasers have a claim to the sovereign currency assets underlying the tokens they possess. 🤔 Unlike cryptocurrencies, trading sovereign-backed stablecoins may fall under "money transmission" as it includes a promise to receive the underlying currency assets at a later date. 

Cooper then warns exchanges and other startups that they must comply with relevant laws, particularly if they conduct money transmission.

Blockchain term of the day 🤓 - Stablecoin

A cryptocurrency designed to greatly minimize the effects of price volatility, by pegging itself to a fiat currency or commodity. For example, stablecoins like Tether (USDT), Paxos Standard Token (PAX), Gemini Dollar (GUSD) and TrueUSD (TUSD) are 1:1 USD-pegged stablecoins that maintain their $1 price through a reserve backing, held by a regulated financial entity. There are also other stablecoins that maintain their prices through algorithms.

Message from a sponsor: The Conference From Japan 🗾 

The first 🎌 "Japan Blockchain Conference (JBC)" was held on June '18 in Tokyo and hosted over 12,000 attendees; a high mark for a conference that was put together in just 2 months. 

The event hosted notable keynote speakers such as Yoshitaka Kitao (CEO of SBI Holdings), Charles Hoskinson (Co-founder of Ethereum) and over 100 exhibitors, who all had the opportunity to share their keen insights on the DLT industry. 

The firm that made the event a possibility was VCG Crypto Fund & Media Group. Based out of Tokyo, the 60-strong team publishes Japan's most widely-read crypto magazines, and has a monthly circulation of over 100,000 copies. VCG is also responsible for the introduction of the world’s first STO magazine early this year.

The next JBC event is slated for January 30th–31st in beautiful Yokohama, Japan. This time, a whopping 25,000 attendees and 150+ exhibitors are expected to attend, and prominent figures from both Japan and abroad, including Luke Wagman of CoinMarketCap and Genki Oda of BITPoint Japan, will be speaking - it's going to be the retail investor's market dream world. Link up with them on Telegram!

Other news 📰
  • Coinbase's senior compliance manager from Nov '17 to Nov '18, Vaishali Mehta, has joined TrustToken as head of compliance. 🤝
  • Members of Ethereum’s open-source development community tentatively agreed Friday to implement a new algorithm, dubbed "ProgPoW" that would block specialized mining hardware such as ASICs from competing for mining rewards. 👀
  • Crypto wallet company, Ledger, best known for their cold wallet storage devices such as "Ledger Nano S", unveiled at the ongoing annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas the new "Nano X". It has 6x the storage capacity (~100 crypto asset support), Bluetooth functionality, and can be accessed through ts new mobile app "Ledger Live Mobile". 😲
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 hella cool), how cool is the new Ledger Nano X cold storage wallet? - See the 'Other news' section above 💭
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Would you buy it? Why or why not? And...do you store your cryptocurrencies in a cold wallet? Share with me in the polls! 😆
What you said
"On a scale of 1-10 (10 being most desirable), how much would you want to pay your taxes in crypto?" 💭

The average vote was 5.3

"Why do you say so?"

You guys said:

Because as soon as I do Bitcoin will go up meaning essentially I'll have paid more than I should have. - That's if BTC does go up. But yes, I am pretty confident it will too. 😊
Because I want a paper trail. - Well you will have a paper trail if you paid in BTC... an immutable one too! 😉
I think it would reduce the likelyhood of tax evasion. As long as the tax payments are added to a ledger that cannot be tempered with, that would mean no matter who you knew or how powerful you where the ledger would maintain it's transparency. In these sorts of scenarios I think removing the human element from the equation would greatly reduce the likelyhood of corruption. - Good point. It would be harder to doctor the books. 👍
Just being midline at the moment. - It'll shift to 'yes' in due time 😋
Too many unknowns and too much volatility! - I believe more would entertain the idea when prices find some stability in the distant future. 🤞
I rather not pay for anything in crypto. I learned from other’s mistakes. For example, the guy who purchased pizza with Bitcoin a while back. - Hahaha, good one. We all know how that turned out! 😂 But granted, he did start the ball rolling for all of us. 👍
why not.. if i earn in crypto, would like to pay tax with crypto.. - True.
"What are your plans for the first weekend of 2019?" 💭

Stay at home with wife and daughter and plot my crypto strategies for the new year. - Killing 2 birds with 1 stone. Smart guy! 🤓
Buy crypto - Never a bad idea. 🙌
Work - The grind never stops. 💪
Increasing my knowledge and ability to read charts. - Good skill to equip yourself with. It'll give you that extra edge and hence, extra profits. 💰
Chill out, relax, and do some research and reading. 🤓 - Sounds like the perfect weekend to me! 😀
Nothing special, its very cold so plan to spend time mostly in warm indoors & warm food with family. - That's some quality time alright. 👌🏻
Thank you all for reading! Catch you back here again tomorrow for your daily dose of crypto news! 💙
See you again tomorrow!
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