one bitcoin on blue and pink background

Welcome to your daily crypto roundup on Block Explorer. Here’s everything you need to know on the markets on Tuesday:

Bitcoin struggles on in “purgatory” mode – a term coined by Wall Street for this seemingly endless $6,000 – $7,500 range. Most of the top 20 coins are treading water today or making small losses.

1. Bitcoin – $6,451 (+ 0.1%)
2. Ethereum – $284 (- 2.8%)
3. XRP – $0.33 (+ 0.6%)

Bitcoin is still rejecting any attempts to pass $6,500, while ethereum battles against the $300 mark. Keep your eye on these numbers because a move higher could trigger a stronger recovery.

(Prices correct at time of publishing: 6.45am ET).

Biggest winner and loser in the top 20

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Biggest winner – Vechain (+ 5%)
Biggest loser – Tezos (- 14%)

Vechain is among the few tokens in the green today as it thrives on its new mainnet, Vechain Thor. Vechain has gained more than 50% in a week.

XRP also finds some strength today compared to the rest of the market. Ripple (the company linked to XRP) revealed that xRapid – its pioneering money transfer platform – is finally ready. xRapid, which actively uses the XRP token for liquidity, will now enter production mode after a year of pilots.

Coinbase volume down 83% since January

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Today’s market weakness was triggered by news from Coinbase. Trading volume at the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US is down 83% since bitcoin-mania peaked in January.

Here’s where it gets interesting, though. While Coinbase, which executes trades between USD and crypto, has seen a decline in volume, rival exchange Binance reported an increase in the last month.

Binance only executes crypto-to-crypto trades. In other words, even though investors aren’t rushing to the market with USD, trading among the core crypto community remains relatively stable.

The best blockchain? EOS, according to China

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China has released its official blockchain ranking for August. The blockchain projects are ranked according to their technology, innovation, and application.

Bitcoin finds itself in tenth position, while Ethereum comes in second place. At the top of the charts is EOS, likely due to its transaction speed and ability to host decentralized apps (dApps).

Venezuela pegs its hyper-inflated currency to crypto

Venezuela’s national currency, the Bolivar, is fighting against 1 million percent inflation. People in the country are fleeing to neighboring Ecuador or turning to bitcoin to protect their money.

But the government thinks it has a solution. As of today, the Bolivar will be pegged to a cryptocurrency called petro. Petro was created by the Venezuelan government, and its value is derived from oil reserves in the country.

Yet again, we see people (and now governments) turning to crypto when economies fail.

That’s all for today, folks. We’ll see you tomorrow for another blockchain roundup.

Today’s long read: What is EOS? The world’s best blockchain, according to China

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Use our news to inform cryptocurrency trading decisions, stay up-to-date on happenings in the industry, and more!

US Department of Justice, CFTC Investigating Bitcoin Market Manipulation
The United States Department of Justice has launched a probe into claims of market manipulation across bitcoin markets. BlockExplorer’s Tony Spilotro tells us that the investigation is in collaboration with the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, which oversees derivatives of bitcoin and other coins.

Revolut Users Make 100,000 Bitcoin, Litecoin And Ethereum Exchanges Every Day
Forbes reports, “London-based fintech startup Revolut — which is today adding Bitcoin Cash and Ripple XRP to its cryptocurrency trading app — has revealed its users make around 100,000 Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum exchanges everyday.”

Coinbase To Add Crypto Staking Feature in the Future
San Francisco-based Coinbase, one of the United States largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is following up their most profitable fiscal year with aggressive expansion, making a number of big-name acquisitions such as Earn and Cipher Browser, and rolling out an extensive suite of new products aimed at satisfying the needs of institutional investors.

American Express Announces a Blockchain Application To Its Membership Rewards Program
American Express is integrating blockchain technology developed by Hyperledger, an open source blockchain project, that will let merchants create customized offers for cardholders.

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill, http://cartyisme.com/

San Francisco-based Coinbase, one of the United States largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is following up their most profitable fiscal year with aggressive expansion, making a number of big name acquisitions such as Earn and Cipher Browser, and rolling out an extensive suite of new products aimed at satisfying the needs of institutional investors.

As part of their expansion strategy, Coinbase yesterday announced the rebranding of their flagship GDAX trading platform to Coinbase Pro, along with the acquisition of the 0x protocol-based decentralized exchange Paradex. Through Paradex, Coinbase will first offer peer-to-peer trading of ERC20 tokens outside of the US, with plans to bring the service to the US after making some compliance-related changes.

The news sent waves throughout the cryptocurrency community, but one important part of Coinbase’s announcement was mostly overlooked: Coinbase plans to offer crypto staking in the future. According to Coinbase Pro GM David Farmer via an official Coinbase blog post, the firm’s vision “is to give customers the ability to participate in services like staking and protocol voting that are distinct to crypto,” adding:

“As the decentralized ecosystem advances, we expect there will be many more opportunities for customers to interact with digital assets in new and unique ways.”

Cryptocurrency staking is a process in which investors can generate and earn passive income simply by holding coins in their wallet, and leaving it open. Coinbase adding staking would make their platform even more attractive for long-term ‘HODLers,’ as long term investors can keep their coins safely in a secure, insured wallet, all while generating interest on their holdings.

Coinbase Pro is available as of this writing, while GDAX will cease to exist as of June 29th in what Coinbase calls a seamless rollover. No timeframe was given on when staking may be expected, but it’s clear that providing investors with features that are unique to crypto are among Coinbase’s top priorities.

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Use our news to inform cryptocurrency trading decisions, stay up-to-date on happenings in the industry, and more!

The SEC Launches Phony ICO Site to Promote Scam Awareness
In a bid to raise awareness of potential investment scams in the cryptocurrency space, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Investor Education and Advocacy have launched a fake website posing as a luxury travel firm kicking off the pre-sale portion of their initial coin offering (ICO).

Cryptocurrency Mining Malware Crashes Your PC When Discovered
Please beware: a new form of cryptominer, dubbed WinstarNssMiner, crashes your system the moment anti-virus software attempts to remove the malware. ZDNet warns “The cryptominer launches the svchost.exe process — used to manage system services — and injects malicious code into the file. One injected process begins mining cryptocurrency while the other runs in the background to avoid detection and scan for antivirus protection.”

Steve Wozniak: Bitcoin And Blockchain Will Achieve Full Potential In a Decade
Tech leaders everywhere are beginning to sing the praises of blockchain. Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak was the latest, saying blockchain was “a great idea” and that it “is the next major IT revolution that is about to happen” according to Cointelegraph auf Deutsch. Woz was giving the opening speech at WeAreDevelopers World Congress 2018 in Vienna, Austria.

China Ranks Ethereum as the World’s Best Blockchain Network
The Chinese government ranked Ethereum as the world’s best blockchain network. CCN reports “On May 17, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released its public blockchain ratings, ranking various blockchain projects like Ethereum in the global cryptocurrency sector based on three criteria: technology, application, and innovation.” Bitcoin came in at number 13.

Entirely Crypto-Focused LedgerX Announces the First Regulated Bitcoin Savings Account
“Bitcoin bulls now have a new opportunity to put their money where their sentiment is. On Tuesday, CFTC regulated derivatives exchange, LedgerX, launched a Bitcoin savings account, the latest in a slew of traditional banking products made available for the digital currency” as reported by CryptoSlate.

New Coinbase Prime Geared Towards Wall Street Investors
This week Coinbase announced Coinbase Prime, a set of tools and services for institutions, tailored for high-end investing in cryptocurrency.

Image courtesy of Carty Sewill, http://cartyisme.com/

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Social media conglomerate Facebook has announced that it is establishing a new blockchain research team, and it will be led by a member of the Coinbase board of directors: David Marcus.

On Tuesday, Facebook announced a major overhaul of its executive leadership structure. As part of that reshuffle, David Marcus — the head of Facebook’s Messenger division — will lead a newly-created team that will explore how the company can integrate blockchain technology into its product suite.

“After nearly four unbelievably rewarding years leading Messenger, I have decided it was time for me to take on a new challenge, “Marcus wrote in a Facebook post. “I’m setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage Blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.”

Neither Marcus nor the company has provided any more details on the project, but with him at the helm the possibilities are staggering.

Unlike many corporate executives who fall into the “blockchain not bitcoin” crowd, Marcus is a sitting board member of Coinbase, perhaps the most well-known company in the cryptocurrency industry.

When he joined the Coinbase board last December, he said that he had been fascinated by cryptocurrencies since 2012 and is “convinced that what the company is working on has the potential to materially change the lives of people around the world.”

It would be overly-optimistic to suggest that placing Marcus at the head of Facebook’s blockchain project means that the social media giant will add support for cryptocurrency, but the fact that the initiative will be led by a voice friendly to cryptocurrency does mean that the chance that Facebook dips its toe into cryptocurrencies is greater than zero.

Such a move would not be unprecedented. Kik, which is much smaller than Facebook but still boasts several million active users, is developing its own cryptocurrency.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Twitter — Jack Dorsey — is an outspoken bitcoin bull, though the social media platform has yet to add native support for cryptocurrencies (Square, Dorsey’s digital payments business, recently added bitcoin trading to one of its apps).

In any case, the venture also serves as a logical conclusion of recent comments from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who in January wrote in his annual “personal challenge” post that he intended to “go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects” of computing “counter-trends” such as cryptocurrency and encryption in 2018.

Featured Image from Pixabay