The Bear Market is the Best Time to Buy Crypto, Ethereum’s Hard Fork Upgrade a Success

The bear market has seen many stakeholders exit the game while several crypto startups closed shop. However, the unsavory market conditions present an opportune time to buy digital assets, claims a prominent crypto investor and analyst. Cryptocurrency exchanges are on the news as there is a new twist to the QuadrigaCX saga. Kraken exchange has thrown its name in the scandal after it offered a reward of $100,000 for tips or information that could lead to the discovery of the missing $190 million in crypto and fiat. The highly anticipated Constantinople upgrade successfully took place on the last day of February.

Crypto investor: the bear market is a good time to acquire digital assets

Leading crypto analyst and investor Joseph Young believes that the bear market is potentially the best time to invest in the cryptocurrency sector.

He gave a number of reasons to support his claim.

He says the price of digital assets is more reasonable. The price of Bitcoin reached a high of more than $19,000 in December 2017 in what many believe to be the “height of the bubble.” The prices of the digital assets have fallen significantly, leading many to label this period as the crypto winter.

His second reason is that investors can identify which projects will continue to build their product. This may be true considering that investors poured their money into new projects that had a white paper only – a major requirement for launching an ICO at the time.

The third reason is that the “survivability of strong project show.” A number of weak projects have shut down and some have been identified as scam projects.

The fourth reason is that “projects that survive will survive the next bear market.”

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Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx implements new upgrades to improve futures trading

Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx is readying its traders for a new era of futures trading.

The exchange has a daily trading volume of $1.5 billion and its futures trading markets is one of the most popular on its platform. Futures trading on the platform is appealing to traders because of the 20x leverage.

The exchange announced on March. 1 that it implemented three major upgrades last week aimed at enhancing its risk management system.

Here is the list of the three upgrades and reasoning behind them.

  1.   Upgrade on liquidated futures position price calculation

The upgrade created a more entrusted price instead of using bankruptcy price. The rationale behind the upgrade is that when a position is force-liquidated and taken over by the forced-liquidation engine, it will not head straight into the market at the bankruptcy price.

  1.   Price change strategy for liquidated futures positions

The objective of this upgrade is to avoid extending margin calls and clawback when the market is one-sided.

The forced-liquidation will cancel an order if it hasn’t been fulfilled after a long time. The engine will re-post the order at a new price “and amount based on the latest market depth, basis, bankruptcy price, and index price.” This process will go on until the liquidated position is fulfilled.

  1.   Inquiry for liquidated positions and margin call loss

Kraken offers a $100,000 reward for the discovery of QuadrigaCX missing crypto and fiat holdings

The QuadrigaCX scandal left its 115,000 clients in a confused state as they suddenly woke up to the news that their funds totaling $190 million both in crypto and fiat were missing due to the sudden and unexpected death of the exchange’s founder and chief executive, Gerald Cotten.

The death of Cotten was confirmed by an Indian private medication institution, Fortis Escorts, squashing rumors that the death may have been faked.

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken wants the matter to be resolved as soon as possible and the clients to have access to their funds. On that note, the U.S.-based exchange is offering a reward of $100,000 to anyone who has information that may lead to the discovery of all or some of the missing clients’ funds.

“Kraken wants to bring awareness and attention to this case, in hopes that we can help discover some or all of the missing client funds,” said Kraken in a blog post published on Feb. 28.

Kraken will not likely investigate the case but will pass the received information to relevant authorities that have vested interest in the case.

Kraken acknowledges that events like these affect the whole industry. It is only playing its part in remedying the situation.

The exchange noted that it has invested significant resources and expertise to the Mt. Gox trustee and investigators in a bid to have the matter solved as quickly as possible.

The death of Cotten left QuadrigaCX, one of the largest Canadian-based exchanges with no continuity plan as he was the only one who had access to clients’ funds.

QuadrigaCX scandal update: 600,000+ Ethereum discovered

The Quadriga scandal continues to unfold. A recent report suggests that more than 600,000 ETH ($82.2 million at a rate of 1 ETH = $137) has been discovered.

The new research report was first published by Zerononcese using information provided by Kraken CEO Jesse Powell and MyCrypto CEO Taylor Monahan. The report claims that the late Cotten, CEO of Quadriga kept large amounts of the digital asset Ether on several exchanges including Bitfinex, and Kraken.

If these claims are true, then it means that Cotton kept his clients’ crypto at exchanges instead of cold storage.

These claims are further cemented by Jennifer Robertson, the widow of Cotton who stated in an affidavit that her late husband may have kept some of the exchange’s funds on other exchanges. Robertson has denied claims that she is hiding some digital assets belonging to the exchange.

“Further, the public attention my role as [a] director has brought is unwanted, and online commentary which I have reviewed has suggested that I, in particular, am trying to hide assets or am acting contrary to the best interests of [Quadriga and its affiliates], which is not true,” said Robertson.

Ethereum’s Constantinople hard fork upgrade: third time is a charm

Ethereum long-anticipated hard fork upgrades seem to have been officially activated on the Ethereum blockchain, the world’s second most valuable network behind the famous Bitcoin. The hard fork was performed at block 7,280,000.

The hard fork is seen by many as Ethereum’s first step towards moving away from the energy-intensive Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithm used by Bitcoin and other digital assets.

PoW has been heavily criticized for using a lot of energy and for promoting centralization as only a handful of companies with large capital reserves can afford to buy and maintain expensive equipment required to run the respective blockchain networks.

Ethereum activated two upgrades at the same time – Constantinople and St. Petersburg.

The Constantinople upgrade was highly anticipated because this was the third attempt for its upgrade. Lane Retting, an Ethereum core developer expressed his excitement at the success of the hard fork.

“My reaction is relief, actually more than I expected. And excitement, too — this was my first successful mainnet hard fork since joining Ethereum,” said the relieved and excited Rettig.

The fork has been postponed twice in the past due to vulnerabilities in the code. This is the reason why developers were cautious about the fork on Feb. 28.

The hard fork upgrade consists of several Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) including one that ensures a smooth transition to the Proof-of-Stake, an energy-efficient alternative to PoW.

While everything seems to be in order, hard forks can cause issues after the upgrade. As a result, developers are closely monitoring the progress in the next few days or even months.

According to the blockchain monitoring site Fork Monitor, the hard fork upgrade did not result in a chain split.

Binance’s take on JP Morgan Chase’s cooperate payments-stablecoin

One of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the world Binance has published its views on JP Morgan’s stablecoin, JPM Coin.

The exchange noted that Jamie Dimon, the CEO of the financial institution bashed Bitcoin in 2017 at the height of media frenzy while the investment bank was working on Quorum, the private and permissioned version of Ethereum.

JP Morgan introduced its stablecoin on Feb. 14 and it is backed 1:1 by the institution’s fiat reserves. The bank’s stablecoin can potentially serve as a blueprint that other financial institutions can use to launch their own stablecoins used for internal processes such as clearing and settlement.

The report categorized stablecoins into various generations and the JMP Coin has been labeled as a precursor to the third generation of stablecoins – those that target financial institutions.

The JMP Coin backing will initially be limited USD reserves but can potentially be extended to other fiat currencies such as the Euro, British Pound, etc.

The use case of the coin will likely be different from those in existence but its issuance and governance will be similar to what has been seen already.

Since the JMP Coin will be launched on Quorum, a fork of Ethereum, it will share some of its core technologies with Ethereum.

The JMP Coin has the potential to have a big impact on both traditional financial institutions and the crypto market due to the size of the bank’s balance sheet, industry influence, and its huge network of global partners.

The stablecoin can also play an important role in reducing the cost of transactions for institutional clients.

Chinese crypto miners to activate one million mining machines

A Chinese miner named Xu Feng claims that the upcoming rainy season will see many cryptocurrency miners switching on their machines. He says that up to one million machines may be turned on, significantly increasing the network’s hash power.

Feng stated that the rainy season is set to kick off in May and cryptocurrency miners have been waiting for this season since the turn of the year. He claims that the facility he will be using to run his miners is already fully booked even though some portions of the facility are still under construction.

“[A] large amount of bitcoin mining machines [that were] shut down during Sichuan’s dry season will start running again in the upcoming wet season. The number is expected to reach 1 million,” explained Feng.

Feng sold all his Antminer S9 units last year as Bitcoin’s price continued to plunge while electricity costs went up, making it difficult for miners to realize a profit.

Feng runs six cryptocurrency mining operations in Sichuan and three of them are being improved through a personal investment of $1.5 million. He expects to run the miners once the renovations are complete.

Despite the slow recovery of the entire market, Feng warned miners to stay away from mining activities until the next halving next year.

Malta: crypto firms struggling to open bank accounts as banks shy away from the market’s risk appetite

Malta set itself as blockchain island last year when it unveiled what was described as the “world’s first comprehensive blockchain regulation.” The regulation caused major crypto firms to set up shop in the small European county.

However, crypto companies are struggling to open bank accounts. According to local news publication Times of Malta, banks are politely declining to open bank accounts stating that such businesses are outside their risk appetite.

Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services Silvio Schembri, who is in support of the blockchain industry told the publication that he is aware of the situation and is holding talks with relevant stakeholders so that they can have a better understanding of the crypto market.

“The general understanding is that when it comes to crypto operators, banks are waiting for operators to obtain an MFSA license before opening their doors – which is understandable,” said Schembri.

The country’s financial services regulator received 28 applications since November and expects to issue out the first licenses within the first quarter – meaning that it has only until the end of this month to do so.

U.S. Mt. Gox clients win a legal battle against former CEO of the hacked exchange

It is five years since Mt. Gox lost 850,000 Bitcoins in a hack but the ghost of the past still haunts one of the exchange’s key executives.

Mark Karpeles, the former CEO of the hacked cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox has lost a motion to strike a lawsuit against him on the grounds that the victims of the hack – specifically those based in the United States will likely be reimbursed in the end.

Karpeles is a person in a lot of legal trouble.

The former CEO who headed a cryptocurrency exchange that was once the largest exchange in the world spent nearly a year in jail after he was arrested and charged with embezzlement. He is awaiting trial in Japan, a country where the conviction rate is 99 percent and faces the possibility of being sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Karpeles now faces a legal battle in the United States.

The architect of $6 million cryptocurrency-gold scam arrested

Another scam artist in the cryptocurrency sector has been arrested.

Randall Crater, the founder of the now-defunct cryptocurrency My Big Coin was arrested and charged with seven counts of fraud and irregular money transfers.

The alleged fraudster was arrested in Florida for defrauding 28 investors out of $6 million. He told them that the project had a backing of $300 million in gold.

As it turned out, there was no gold at all. He used the investors’ money to buy the “promised gold coins” as well as jewelry and artwork.

On his Twitter account, Randall wrote, “My Big Coin has Entered into a Contract where all My Big Coin’s will be Backed by 100% Gold.”

The prosecutors argue that Randall’s coins are not backed by gold and have little to no value.

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