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Forex-en

Austria is Europe’s leader in terms of applying modern day technology to better the all-around welfare of its citizens. Making cities “smart” and digital is a key part of transforming public goods and services in order to reach that goal. Vienna is especially keen on innovation, trying to find new solutions by way of digitization. Easy access and clear-cut benefits are key aspects to finding broad acceptance among Vienna citizens, making them willingly partake and help to better the transformation process.  

To further the breakthrough of digital technologies and make them the backbone of society, Vienna called into existence the so-called “Smart City Vienna” initiative in 2014, which aims to better the lives of its general population. The Smart City project isn’t meant to merely foster technology, though. Rather, the latter is supposed to be a tool, helping to achieve social change and making the city more livable overall. Technology as a servant to humanity, not the other way around.

The Smart City Vienna strategy takes into consideration multiple fields that need to be transformed, such as energy, mobility, real estate and others. Every single aspect of the strategy has well-defined target objectives in order to provide transparency and a sense of urgency. In total, 38 target objectives are set out until 2050, while different milestones are to be met by 2025, 2030 and 2050.

Blockchain is a key factor in realizing these goals. As such, it has been applied to different use cases that pertain to the strategy in one way or another. One of them is the notarization of Open Government Data (OGD) — to facilitate the use of food stamps by local government employees. Electric supplier Wien Energie, which is run by the city administration, has also been exploring the use of blockchain technology for quite a while now, trying to make distribution along its grids more efficient. Last but not least, Vienna is setting up a blockchain-based token that is part of an incentive driven initiative, rewarding citizens for “good behavior.”

In which ways can blockchain contribute to Smart City Vienna further? Will the capital city get its very own cryptocurrency eventually? Why is digitization so broadly accepted among Vienna’s population? Cointelegraph Germany sat down with Ulrike Huemer, the chief information officer of Vienna, to answer these questions and to further elaborate on what’s to come.

Smart City Vienna — the road to digitization

Cointelegraph: What is your vision of Vienna as a “smart” city?

Ulrike Huemer: Vienna does score favorably well in many different rankings already, some of it due to our comprehensive approach to the Smart City initiative, which constantly drives new projects and gets monitored on a regular basis. Our comprehensive approach isn’t just a means to an end, though. It is much rather our guiding principle to cover all our bases when making our city “smart.” It’s not just about technological innovation for the sake of it — instead, we are looking to use it as a vehicle leading us toward social change and environmental sustainability. It’s all about providing the best quality of life to all our citizens, thus we are incorporating every office of city administration, linking them up with companies from the private sector as well, to set up a broad network as a basis for the transformation process.

“It’s all about providing the best quality of life to all our citizens.”

We don’t just emphasize these points toward the general public, we also make sure to reiterate this concept internally to really make it stick. Driving research and development-oriented policies is key, but so is getting everybody on board with what we’re trying to do. Consulting-firm Roland Berger ranked our digital agenda number one in its recent “Smart City Index” publication, especially praising our continued efforts to better the health care system through technological innovation. Open Government Data and our progress in areas such as mobility, environmental sustainability and education put us in the top-spot according to the study. We’re looking to continue to build on this, truly making Vienna a “smart city” indeed.

CT: How well is Austria positioned in terms of the smart city concept? Is Austria in a good starting position for this?

UH: Austria is well positioned to master future challenges due to the various public infrastructure frameworks. The smart city concept can play a key role here. The most important aspect is the implementation and cooperation with relevant actors. The very first thing to ensure when dealing with the smart city topic is to create adoption through a broad process. Civil society, the economy and science must be given the opportunity to state their interests to the city administration so that we get the big picture of a future that is worth striving for by all parties. By integrating all interest groups, we can ensure the holistic nature of this strategy. Finally, to establish such an agenda, political support and an evaluation process that makes successes and potentials visible are needed.

CT: Implementing a smart city is enormously expensive. Who is paying for these digitization measures that are necessary?

UH: There is no direct answer to this question. It’s a fact that, as of now, the city of Vienna does not have an additional budget for the current smart approaches. Therefore, the individual departments and actors have to use their existing budgets and try to innovate their sovereign work themselves. Furthermore, there is some extra funding provided by the European Union or by national co-financing. In recent years, this has brought an additional investment volume of around 15 to 20 million euros to Vienna.

Blockchain solutions for the city of the future

CT: What is blockchain technology‘s role within the Smart City of Vienna?

UH: The city of Vienna has been exploring blockchain technology proactively. We want to use this technology to drive the city’s digitalization and the associated guiding themes of transparency, openness, trust and citizen participation.

We chose to use the technology for our own processes, to proactively shape the development and to support the promotion of it. From the start, we knew the only way to test the blockchain technology‘s potential was by “learning by doing.” This is why we launched pilot projects that were implemented successfully. The pilots‘ primary goal was to build the necessary expertise within the city administration and in our ICT [information and communications technology] municipal department named Magistratsabteilung  01 – Wien Digital.

“From the start, we knew the only way to test the blockchain technology‘s potential was by “learning by doing.”

Via the DigitalCity.Wien-Blockchain.Initiative, we are connecting key areas such as identity, education and research with the blockchain community in Vienna, thereby strengthening both the stakeholders and Vienna as a blockchain location.

CT: The city of Vienna provides open data and e-government for its citizens. How does blockchain improve the administration?

UH: In December 2017, a unique solution was published in Europe where Open Government Data was secured using blockchain. The City of Vienna’s first blockchain pilot dubbed “Open Data Notarization” was focused on the acquisition of knowledge on blockchain technology. The city of Vienna‘s OGD checksums are stored publicly on blockchains and are available to the public. Thus, anyone can view and check the authenticity and history of the data themselves, eliminating the need for middlemen.

The solution is being used now and is set to encompass all data records of Austria‘s administration located on Austria’s data portal in the following weeks.

CT: Wien Energie is researching the use of blockchain technology, also collaborating with the city of Vienna on Smart City concepts. Are there any blockchain solutions regarding sustainable energy you could tell us about?

UH: Blockchain technology allows us to scale innovative energy solutions. Let’s use microgrids as an example: These small and decentralized networks are completely autonomous, connecting supplier and consumer in the shortest way possible, reducing the loss of power to a minimum. On top of that, they eliminate the need to expand the main grid, which can be quite expensive.

We’re also exploring so-called energy-sharing via blockchain. In order to do so, we are setting up a blockchain infrastructure in the “Viertel Zwei” research district, connecting it to the existing power supply.

CT: The city of Vienna is using blockchain as part of the so-called “City Token Initiative,” which got started in collaboration with the research institute of the crypto economy at the Business University Wien (WU). Could you please specify what the initiative is all about?

UH: Sure! At its core is the idea to get people engaged, making them care about their surroundings and setting incentives for them to contribute to the betterment of the city. We created the so-called “Culture Token” to foster this idea, acting as a reward for any type of good behavior as defined by the initiative. In return, citizens can use the token to get access to arts and culture around the city. As an example, we are looking to reduce carbon emissions by rewarding citizens for leaving their car behind, having them take a walk instead and earning tokens in the process.  

“The core idea of our ‘Culture Token’ is, to get people engaged […] setting incentives for them to contribute to the betterment of the city.”

CT: How are these “Culture Tokens” set up?

UH: The “Culture Token” exists in digital form only, being made available on mobile phones and tablet computers. It is set up as a reward system, but stands in stark contrast to the Social Credit System run by the Chinese government. The city of Vienna is keen to exclusively use technology to the benefit of its citizens. It is supposed to simply reward people for volunteer work, for doing good in many ways. We are trying to broaden the scope of the token, too — not only tying it to arts and culture, but establishing it as a true means of payment for many different services instead. That way, it wouldn’t merely be a “Culture Token,” but much rather a “Vienna Token,” which really is the long-term goal.

CT: Are there any further plans to use blockchain in the context of the Smart City initiative?

UH: We’re looking to make use of our findings from the aforementioned “Open Data Notarization” project. In collaboration with our partners, we want to establish a notarization service that can be applied in many different fields. For example, helping to notarize city government documents or to further “machine learning.” Another important topic is self-sovereign identity, which is concerned with being in full control of one’s own data — blockchain technology can be of assistance here, as well. There is an abundance of use cases, though, like the Internet of things (IoT) and related applications. We will most likely integrate blockchain into different devices and supply chains, too, wherever we see fit.

CT: Is the city of Vienna looking to issue its very own cryptocurrency?

UH: No. As a city, we are merely acting as an observer. At some point in time, blockchain technology might be used as a means of payment, though, since it can help to improve financial transactions considerably.

Creating dialogue

CT: What is the role of big technology companies in the city of Vienna? The Smart City initiative could be of great commercial use for them, especially in combination with blockchain, artificial intelligence, IoT and big data, couldn’t it?

UH: All our partnerships are supposed to provide mutual benefits to either side — technology companies are no exception. As such, the Smart City initiative does indeed establish a framework to strengthen existing partnerships through technological advancements. The overarching goal is to better the quality of life in Vienna, though, which is our main premise.

The “DigitalCity.Vienna” initiative is aiming to establish Vienna as a European leader for digitization, and we are looking to market the city accordingly. The DigitalCity.Vienna initiative has an open format, accessible to all parties interested. We are doing our best to connect all parties involved, helping them to find common ground along the way. In regularly scheduled events, we’re sitting down major companies, ascending startups, the city government, public authorities and academic institutions in order to create a running dialogue in the digital ecosystem.

“The ‘DigitalCity.Vienna’ initiative is aiming to establish Vienna as a European leader for digitization, and we are looking to market the city accordingly.”

CT: What kind of government assistance does Vienna need in order to stay ahead in the global race for blockchain adoption?

UH: We want to strengthen existing partnerships in this area, while attracting further blockchain projects to Vienna in order to benefit from their expertise in the long term. Intricate knowledge is crucial when it comes to blockchain, that is why we are adamant about building it up and retaining it. A prime example is the Austrian Blockchain Center, which is doing research on many different blockchain use cases. The research center recently settled down in Vienna, and we intend on keeping it here, providing some of its funding as well. It will take these kinds of projects, plus government assistance and close collaboration with the private sector, to make Vienna a major international blockchain city.

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Goldman Sachs-backed crypto finance startup Circle has published the latest third-party audit of its USD-pegged stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC). The company reported the update in a blog post published on May 17.

USD Coin is an Ethereum-based token compliant with the ERC20 standard that was first announced in May last year and released in September.

Per this week’s announcement, the audit of the coin’s fiat reserves was conducted by major Chicago-based accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP.

The report released by the firm states that as of April 30, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time there were 293,184,174 USDC issued, and that there were $293,351,374 in the firm’s reserves. Lastly, the auditing firm claims that, at the time specified above, the issued and outstanding USDC tokens did not exceed the balance of the U.S. dollars held in custody.

According to CoinMarketCap data, USDC’s market cap currently exceeds $359 million and is up over 40% from the value it reported a month ago.

At the end of April, lawyers from the company behind USD stablecoin tether (USDT) reported that the coin only has enough cash to back three-quarters of its increasing supply.

As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, social media giant Facebook has evidently formed a new financial tech firm, Libra Networks LLC, presumably to work on its rumored stablecoin.

Earlier this week, Francois Villeroy de Galhau, the governor of the Bank of France,expressed interest in stablecoins, stating that the bank is “observing [the developments] with great interest.”

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One of the most significant introductions that blockchain has made available in recent years is adding new tools through which companies can raise capital. The technology has made it possible to raise funds for a project from investors of just about any pocket size through initial coin offerings (ICOs) as well as security token offerings (STOs).

Typically, these investors put in their money not just in return for a big payday, but they’re usually believers in the project as well. These investors form the community around which new projects are built. This is the concept that popularized the colloquial term “hodl” in the crypto world. This is usually not the case in the traditional investment sphere.

Long-Term Stock Exchange (LTSE), which recently got approval from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch a new stock exchange, could soon make it possible for companies to also raise funds through traditional means. This means attracting the sort of committed, in-for-the-long-haul investors that we’ve seen in the crypto space — but through widely acceptable investment tools.

This could well prove to be a revelation for the crypto industry, since many companies operating in the space possess the characteristics that LTSE is after: early stage, sizeable long-term growth potential.

An LTSE spokesperson telling Cointelegraph that “the exchange will be available to companies in every industry” only supports that notion. The company, however, has not provided any further details on whether it expects to see a lot of interest from the crypto/blockchain industry. However, the fact that fintech-oriented investment funds like the Founders Fund and Andreessen Horowitz are backing the new stock exchange, potentially only adding to the excitement.

Should the crypto industry take a closer look?

Blockchain-based capital raising has developed from a unregulated model, through ICOs to the somewhat regulated model of STOs. A few firms — including U.S. online retailer Overstock.com-owned tZERO, Polymath, Securrency, Securitize and a few others — are building the infrastructure to allow companies to take advantage of the regulatory-compliant STO model to raise funds from committed investors that the blockchain world has been able to attract. The security tokens market, given its regulatory-compliant structure, appears to be in direct competition with LTSE.

However, the security tokens market has reportedly failed to live up to the expectations so far, partly because the investors who could bring liquidity to the market haven’t seen enough compelling reasons to take on the technological, regulatory and market risks associated with this new class of assets. For instance, liquidity at the security tokens exchange tZero has been reported low, and the company was reported making a loss.

LTSE, building on an already mature stock market, could become a viable alternative for both for blockchain-related and nonblockchain companies that may have been looking to leverage the security token market to raise funds from patient investors.

What problem is LTSE trying to solve?

For example, Jeff Bezos — the wealthiest man on earth, whose fortune is worth in excess of $100 billion — reportedly invested $3 million in Uber in 2011. The stake he bought then is reportedly worth about $400 million, as of Uber’s initial public offering (IPO) on May 10, 2019. If it were possible for a middle-income investor to invest $10,000 in the ride-hailing company at the same time as Bezos, their stake could now be over $1.3 million. But a stack of regulations makes it difficult for the average middle-income investor to participate at that level.

Early stage Coinbase investor Garry Tan alluded to this issue in a tweet:

LTSE aims to bridge this gap by encouraging early stage companies with long-term growth potential go public early. The hypothesis is that, if companies go public early enough, everybody can share in the newly created wealth.

The new stock exchange believes that companies delay IPOs mainly because of the market’s short-term thinking, which compels companies to focus on delivering stellar financial results from quarter to quarter. This, according to LTSE CEO Eric Ries, has led to a decline in innovation.

A recent survey of some hedge funds that invested in the popular ride-sharing company Lyft at IPO is an example of the near-term mindedness of the stock market. The survey showed that the investors didn’t believe in Lyft’s long-term prospects. Lyft went public via an IPO on March 29.

Vincent Ning, director of research and operations at Titan Invest, which conducted a survey on hedge funds revealed to the technology news publication Recode that some short-term oriented funds could be out of Lyft’s stock as fast as by the end of the first day of trading.

To potentially force market participants to adopt a longer-term view, LTSE is building a structure that would encourage growing companies to attract and reward long-term, patient capital in the public market. The stock exchange believes its own approach will help build more sustainable companies.

How does LTSE plan to encourage long-termism?

The company aims to mandate companies that list on its exchange to adopt a set of corporate governance principles that foster long-term thinking — both for the company and for the shareholders. It has developed a set of listing standards toward that vision.

The exchange will encourage listed companies to focus on publishing key indicators of future growth and limit emphasis on quarterly predictions. Another part of the principles is to encourage LTSE-listed companies to link executive pay and bonuses to projected performance over the coming decade, as opposed to the typical Wall Street status quo that links pay and bonuses to short-term achievements.

The board of LTSE-listed companies may also have set up a committee that will oversee and report on the company’s strategic plans for long-term growth. The exchange says it will have a structure that allows investors to keep their stake for longer in order to generate more voting rights. This could shield companies from investors with a short-term focus actively pursuing their agendas.

Existing exchanges including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq have their own robust listing rules that contain corporate governance requirements in the same areas — voting rights, board composition — just like LTSE. They, however, do not appear to impose the long-term driven requirements that LTSE is proposing.  

Will LTSE impact the crypto fundraising market?

One significant downside of LTSE is perhaps that its attractiveness may be limited to just U.S. companies, since the exchange is basing its operations in the U.S. While foreign companies are able to list on the U.S. exchange, smaller companies that turn to the crypto market for funds may be overwhelmed by the listing requirements.

In such, the STO market, with its global reach, could still remain the best opportunity the small, non-U.S. companies have to gain access to long-term growth capital from public investors.

There’s also the possibility that the success of LTSE will validate the concept of giving companies access to public funds when they are starting out. A ripple effect could then lead to the growth of the STO market as well.

Moreover, since LTSE says it’s open to working with companies in every industry, coupled with the fact that some of its backers are pro-crypto, there could be a slew of opportunities for mutual growth.

Having a stock exchange on which crypto companies could list may level out the playing field between the crypto and other industries. This can also provide additional ammunition in the ongoing discussions on how to get traditional market players involved in the crypto sphere. So far, firms such as Bakkt and ErisX are leading the way — and if crypto firms obtain listings on LTSE, this will further promote the cause.

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The team behind a private digital currency for secure payments says its goal is to make every consumer their own bank — enabling them to send and receive crypto with the gadget of their choice.

Xeonbit says its peer-to-peer technology ensures that every user’s accounts and transactions are “out of reach to any prying eyes.” A feature known as “ring signatures” means public keys are shuffled in order to ensure that particular users cannot be identified once a transaction has taken place. The startup says this is not at the expense of speed, scalability or security.

In a blog post setting out its vision, Xeonbit expressed hope of becoming a commercial foundation for the internet — adding: “Decentralized digital currency is slowly becoming a normal part of everyday life. Yet people’s main internet device continues to be their mobile, a device with a low-powered CPU and limited available storage.”

Although ring signatures use one-time addresses to ensure recipients are the only person who know where the funds have gone, Xeonbit says its technology offers optional transparency for addresses or certain transactions. Through view keys, an account holder can give read-only access to selected parties.

Xeonbit is available here

The company believes that there is a plethora of use cases for view keys. While charities could deliver transparency to their supporters, businesses will be able to achieve regulatory compliance by opening up their accounts for auditing. It is even suggested that children could have their own accounts for spending pocket money, with parents using view keys to monitor their transactions.

Branching out

The desktop wallet for its native currency, xeonbit (XNB), is available to download for Windows computers, macOS and Linux — and as the team furthers the development of its platform, it has applied to list a separate token known as XNS on the Binance decentralized exchange. The project says it has chosen to file this application because it is difficult for XNB, as a private cryptocurrency blockchain, to be accepted by major exchanges.

Looking ahead to its plans for the future, Xeonbit says it is determined to introduce more merchants to its ecosystem, helping to strengthen the use case for its cryptocurrency.

The company believes that XNS has the potential to make its transaction fee five times cheaper and up to 100 times faster for merchants to accept payments using its cryptocurrency.

In the coming months, the project hopes that its decentralized marketplace based on a third-party protocol will be ready to launch, while the xeonbit token will be able to be traded on Binance DEX and more decentralized exchanges by the end of the year.

This will be followed by ATMs for crypto as well as credit cards, depending on the approval of various licenses for its operation in Singapore. The team says it may give this a try if its first step of having XNS join Binance DEX is accomplished.

An initial exchange offering for XNS tokens will begin in May or June.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Purported bitcoin (BTC) exchange Goxtrade has been accused of being a scam, technology news publication TechCrunch reported on May 17.

Chief among the report’s revelations is that Goxtrade takes photos of unaffiliated people from social media sites and compiles them to make its online staff gallery. Goxtrade reportedly even retains some of their real names.

Amber Baldet, co-founder of blockchain startup Clovyr, is one person whose name and picture were featured on Goxtrade’s staff roster. She responded to the appearance on Twitter:

“Fraud alert: I am not a developer at Goxtrade and probably their entire business is a lie.”

In addition to the fraudulent photos, TechCrunch reports that the company is not registered at its advertised address and it is absent from the United Kingdom’s registry of companies and businesses.

Moreover, some of Goxtrade’s contact information leads to unrelated entities. The advertised phone number of the company, for instance, directs to a now-defunct Birmingham clothing company. Its listed email address is associated with Russian internet company Yandex.

As Cointelegraph reported, Hard Fork published a piece yesterday, May 16, alleging that blockchain startups RepuX and JoyToken conducted joint initial coin offering (ICO) exit scams. The two companies have reportedly disappeared with roughly $8 million in investment funds after refusing to pay promoters who helped market their ICOs.

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Major crypto platform Coinbase has opened its Coinbase Earn program to the public in over 100 countries, according to a press release on May 17.

As Cointelegraph reported, Coinbase first announced the program at the end of 2018 as an invite-only initiative. This pilot period let users earn cryptocurrency by learning about the ERC-20 token “0x” (ZRX). Coinbase stated that according to a survey they conducted, uninformed users were reluctant to invest in crypto but were eager to learn:

“…one of the biggest barriers preventing people from exploring a new digital asset was a lack of knowledge about that asset. Many of the people we surveyed expressed a strong desire to begin learning about new and different crypto assets beyond Bitcoin, but didn’t know where to begin.”

As the title implies, Coinbase Earn users can also earn crypto. In return for taking quizzes about Stellar Lumens (XLM), Zcash (ZEC) and Basic Attention Token (BAT), users can earn those respective coins.

Earlier this week, Coinbase added trading support for 50 new jurisdictions, as well as USD Coin (USDC) trading options in 85 new countries. In its press release announcing the expansion, Coinbase commented on its hopes for USDC to provide economic stability in these newly covered countries:

“For new customers in countries like Argentina and Uzbekistan, where consumer prices are expected to inflate by 10–20% in 2020, stablecoins like USDC could provide an opportunity to protect against inflation.”

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Russia’s largest bank Sberbank has requested that a client provide information on their income from cryptocurrency, the Russian version of Forbes reported on May 17.

Co-founder of cryptocurrency trading platform Toxenbox.io, Vladimir Smerkis, told Forbes that the unnamed client received a letter from Sberbank requiring disclosure of their crypto revenue. The letter based its demand on Federal Law No. 115, “On Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing.” The client had reportedly already informed the bank about their income from exchanging cryptocurrencies.

Specifically, Sberbank wanted to know the client’s crypto wallet address, what mining equipment the client deployed (including the model and parameters of their mining farm) and hash rate indicators.

The bank also asked for documents confirming ownership or lease of the mining equipment, as well as the premises housing the farm. Sberbank subsequently confirmed the information, Forbes states.

Smerkis said that “we are very much perturbed by how Sberbank can appeal to terms that do not yet exist in Russian law.” The founder and CEO of regulated decentralized exchange Tokenomica, Artem Tolkachev responded that this is not a new breed of request, saying that Sberbank “operate within their regulatory framework for handling cash. So it is a way of legally introducing cryptocurrency revenues into circulation.”

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev commented yesterday, May 16, that crypto regulation is not a priority for the Russian government as cryptocurrencies have been losing popularity. Medvedev noted that the problem received more attention at an earlier forum in May 2018, where he urged the government to legislate at least some basic crypto terms. While hype around bitcoin (BTC) has fallen, crypto markets may still rally, the prime minister concluded.

Russia’s principle crypto bill “On Digital Financial Assets” was passed by the lower house of Russian parliament in May 2018. However, the Duma sent it back to the first reading stage due to a lack of key concepts such as crypto mining, and subsequently delayed consideration of the bill.

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Cryptocurrency project OneCoin is denying claims that it is a “hybrid ponzi-pyramid scheme” and scam, news outlet Samoa Observer reported on May 14.

OneCoin is purportedly a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme project, that raised hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide by luring investors with the promise of big returns and minimal risk. An investigation by the United States found that the project’s founders had generated 3.353 billion euros ($3.769 billion) in sales revenue.

In April, a church in the Pacific nation of Samoa became at the center of scrutiny after ministers had invited OneCoin to speak to its congregation. Notably, Samoa’s central bank banned any activities involving the scheme in 2018, but representatives nonetheless succeeded in approaching the Samoa Worship Centre and pitched their purportedly fraudulent investment products.

Following an investigation by the Samoa central bank into the company, OneCoin reportedly sent a letter to the Samoa Observer, in which it denied claims that it laundered funds through New Zealand to Samoa, and refuted allegations that the organization is a Ponzi scheme.

The company explains that it is “a centralized, closed source cryptocurrency. The closed system has strict AML and CFT (Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism) policies as well as KYC (Know-Your-Customer) implementation and, as in our case, prevents anonymous transactions.”

OneCoin argues that such criteria preclude the company from being a Ponzi scheme, and adds that “by accepting the contract, the user becomes an independent, self-employed business owner.” The company thus does not consider itself responsible for the activities performed by its users in Samoa and New Zealand. OneCoin also said:

“Let it be clear that neither OneCoin nor OneLife companies have organization, representation or employees in Samoa and New Zealand. No one has authority to act or make statements on company’s behalf in Samoa and New Zealand.”

Earlier in May, Cointelegraph reported that former OneCoin investor Christine Grablis is suing OneCoin for fraud, seeking damages and a class action suit to represent other investors purportedly defrauded by the project.

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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.

Bitcoin witnessed a flash crash on Bitstamp exchange when it plunged to a low of $6,178. The fall was triggered by a sell order of about 5,000 bitcoins at $6,200. Some people speculate that the order might have been mistyped $6,200 instead of $8,200. Bitstamp has launched an investigation into the $250 million trade.

Luckily, the damage was limited to one exchange. However, after the sharp rally of the past few days, profit booking can be seen across the board today, as prices on all the top 10 cryptocurrencies are down.

Does this put a stop to the recovery and will Bitcoin prices plummet below $6,000 levels once again? It is difficult to predict now. This will be clear in a few days’ time after the short-term correction ends.

A report by web intelligence platform Indexica suggests that the asset class has matured. Mark Mobius, the pioneer stock investor in emerging economies, believes that the world has the appetite for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, hence, they are here to stay. However, he does not have any personal investments in the asset class yet as he is wary of the volatility and security.

Let us see how traders should approach the fall. Should they start buying or wait?

BTC/USD

The rally in Bitcoin (BTC) hit a wall close to the overhead resistance at $8,496.53. After trading above $8,000 for three days, profit booking set in that dragged the price to just under $7,000. We had planned to close the long position today but before that, the fall hit our recommended stop loss at $7,100.

The trend is positive as both the moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is still in positive territory. If the 20-day EMA holds, the bulls will again try to push the BTC/USD pair back above $8,500. If successful, the next target to watch on the upside is $10,000.

On the other hand, if the bears sink the pair below the 20-day EMA, the momentum will weaken and the fall can extend to $5,900. We will wait for the price to find support and indicate a resumption of the uptrend before suggesting a long position once again.

ETH/USD

Our target of $256 was met and Ethereum (ETH) came close to our second target objective of $300, when it reached a high of $290.92 on May 16. Hopefully, the traders would have closed some more of their existing long positions during this rise.

The pullback in the ETH/USD pair has dragged it to the support at $225.39. We expect the bulls to defend this support. If successful, we anticipate another attempt to push the price towards $300.

But, if this support breaks, a fall to the 20-day EMA is probable. If the traders are still holding any positions, they can raise the stop loss to $200. The stop loss can be trailed higher if the pair rebounds off $225.39.

XRP/USD

Ripple (XRP) rallied above $0.450 on May 15 and 16, but it could not sustain the higher levels. Profit booking has dragged the price below the support at $0.37835. The bulls are attempting to hold the price above the 20-day EMA.

The zone between the 20-day EMA and $0.33108 is likely to act as a strong support. If the XRP/USD pair bounces off this zone, we anticipate a move back to $0.45. On a breakout above $0.45, the pair can rally to $0.60, with minor resistances at $0.50 and $0.55.

Traders can watch and buy a small position (about 30% of usual) closer to $0.360 if the support zone holds for another day. The stop loss for this trade can be kept at $0.2750. However, no trade should be attempted if the bears sink the digital currency below the 20-day EMA.

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) turned down from close to the resistance line of the ascending channel on May 16. The price has dipped to the 20-day EMA, which is likely to act as a support. Both the moving averages are still sloping up and the RSI is in the positive zone. This shows that the bulls still hold the advantage.

If the BCH/USD pair bounces off the 20-day EMA, it can move up to the resistance line of the channel once again. On the other hand, if the bears sink the pair below the 20-day EMA, it can correct to the support line of the channel. We will wait for the price to bounce off the support line of the channel before proposing a trade in it because a breakdown of the channel will turn the trend in favor of the bears.

LTC/USD

Litecoin (LTC) reversed direction from $107 on May 16. It has broken down of the support at $91, which is a bearish sign. Currently, the bulls are trying to hold above the first support at $84.3439. If successful, we anticipate another attempt to breakout above $91. For now, the stop loss on the long positions can be retained at $70. We will raise it in the next couple of days if we find that the bulls are not able to push the prices higher.

The LTC/USD pair has a slew of supports between $74.6054 and $84.3439. If these supports fail to hold, the pair can plummet to the critical support at $66.47. The developing negative divergence on the RSI is a bearish sign. The trend will turn bearish if the support at $66.47 breaks down.

EOS/USD

EOS turned down from the overhead resistance of $6.8299 on May 16. The price can now correct to the moving averages, which is likely to act as a strong support. If the price bounces off this support, the bulls will again try to breakout of the overhead resistance. Above $6.8299, the digital currency is likely to pick up momentum. Both the moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is in the positive territory, which suggests that the bulls have the upper hand.

But if the EOS/USD pair breaks down of the moving averages, it can slump to the bottom of the range at $4.4930. If the pair remains range bound, we will attempt to buy the next dip close to $4.4930. The trend will turn bearish if the support at $3.8723 cracks.

BNB/USD

Binance Coin (BNB) again made a new intraday high on May 16. It continues to be in a strong uptrend with both the moving averages sloping up and the RSI in positive territory. The digital currency has not given up much ground, which shows that the bulls are not keen to close their positions yet.

On the upside, the BNB/USD pair can continue towards the resistance line, which is likely to act as a barrier. If the bulls can breakout of this resistance line, the pair will pick up momentum. Support on the downside is at the 20-day EMA and below it at the 50-day SMA. The trend will turn negative on a fall below $17.7997862. Though bullish, we do not find any reliable pattern, hence, we are not proposing a trade in it.

XLM/USD

Stellar (XLM) rallied above the overhead resistance of $0.14861760 on May 16 but could not close (UTC time frame) above it. The price is currently testing the breakout level of the long-term downtrend line.

If the XLM/USD pair bounces off the long-term downtrend line, it will again try to rise above $0.14861760. If successful, it will indicate strength. The target level to watch on the upside is $0.22466773, with a minor resistance at $0.17759016. We will wait for this breakout before recommending a trade in it.

On the other hand, if the bulls fail to propel the price above $0.14861760, it will remain range-bound for a few more days.

ADA/USD

Though Cardano (ADA) rallied above $0.094256 on May 15 and 16, it could not close (UTC time frame) above this level, which was our prerequisite for buying in our previous analysis.

The ADA/USD pair has dipped to the moving averages where it is finding some support. If the support holds, we expect the bulls to attempt to push the price back above $0.094256 once again. A close (UTC time frame) above the overhead resistance will complete the rounding bottom pattern that has a target objective of $0.161275. Therefore, we retain the buy suggestion given in the previous analysis.

However, if the digital currency breaks down of the moving averages, it can again slip to $0.57898. The trend will turn negative if this support gives way.

TRX/USD

Tron (TRX) closed (UTC time frame) above $0.02815521 on May 15 and thus triggered one-half of our buy recommendation given in an earlier analysis. However, it entered back into the range just a day after breaking out of it. This is a bearish sign. It suggests that the breakout was fake and the digital currency is not finding buying support at higher levels.

Currently, the bulls are trying to keep the TRX/USD pair above the moving averages. If successful, we might see another attempt to break out of the range. On the other hand, a failure to rise above $0.02815521 will increase the stay inside the range.

Both the moving averages are flat and the RSI has dipped back to the midpoint. This points to a balance between the buyers and sellers. Traders can keep the stop loss at $0.0209. We will raise it at the first available opportunity.

Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. Charts for analysis are provided by TradingView.

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Forex-en

The European Central Bank (ECB) stated that cryptocurrencies do not have implications on monetary policy or factor into the real economy in a May report.

In the report dubbed “Crypto-Assets: Implications for financial stability, monetary policy, and payments and market infrastructures,” ECB looks into the potential impact of digital currencies on economic developments and monetary policy.

The bank specifically states that such implications could occur should cryptocurrencies became a credible substitute for cash and deposits, while currently they do not fulfil the functions of money.

The bank further says that cryptocurrencies’ deployment remains limited, with a small number of merchants ready to allow purchases of goods and services with digital currency, as the prices of digital assets remain volatile.

However, the ECB notes that the development of stablecoins — the value of which is pegged to physical assets, fiat currencies, or is stabilized by an algorithm — warrants continuous monitoring because they could become less volatile if collateralized by central bank reserves.

Finally, the bank argues that “the absence of any specific institution (such as a central bank or monetary authority) protecting the value of crypto-assets hinders their use as a form of money, since their volatility: a) prevents their use as a store of value; b) discourages their use as a means of payment; and c) makes it difficult to use them as a unit of account.”

Earlier in May, ECB president Mario Draghi said that cryptocurrencies “are not significant enough in their entity that they could affect our economies in a macro way,” adding:

“Cryptocurrencies or bitcoins, or anything like that, are not really currencies — they are assets. A euro is a euro — today, tomorrow, in a month — it’s always a euro. And the ECB is behind the euro. Who is behind the cryptocurrencies? So they are very, very risky assets.”

Echoing the ECB’s stance on stablecoins, the Bank of France’s governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau said that the bank is closely watching stablecoins’ development. Villeroy made a point to distinguish stablecoins from cryptocurrency tokens at large, however, saying that stablecoins “are quite different from speculative assets like bitcoins, and more promising.”

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