Cryptocurrency Market Cap Surges to $600 Billion USD

The total market cap for cryptocurrency has reached an all-time high, breaking the $600 billion USD barrier.


No matter how you slice it, 2017 has been a banner year for cryptocurrency. Despite all the impending doom talk from the usual talking heads in the financial media, cryptocurrency continues to gain speed as it cheerily chugs along. Now the doubters and naysayers have another reason to gnash their teeth in frustration as the cryptocurrency market cap has reached $600 billion USD.

Attaining New Heights

The cryptocurrency market cap breached $600 billion early this morning and will likely dip back and forth across that line throughout the day. Leading the charge is Bitcoin, which has a robust market cap of over $329 billion. Coming in second is Ethereum, with a total of almost $70 billion market cap. Rounding out the top five are: Bitcoin Cash ($31.6 billion), the surging Ripple ($29 billion), and the popular Litecoin ($17.5 billion).

To say that this is a big achievement is a huge understatement. One wonders if Satoshi Nakamoto envisioned the profound impact cryptocurrency would have upon the world when he revealed Bitcoin back in 2009. We’ve come a long way since then, and 2017 has been absolutely gangbusters. Remember that it was just five days ago that the market cap for virtual currencies reached $500 billion (half a trillion dollars!).

$13,000 and Rising - The Price of Bitcoin Continues to Climb

Surpassing Industry Giants

The cryptocurrency march to dominance has left quite a few corporate and financial entities in the dust. It’s amazing to see how quickly crypto is surpassing the market cap of long-established companies, and I have to admit that it was sheer joy to see cryptocurrency surpass JPMorgan Chase in value (take that, Jamie Dimon!).

Right now, three major companies have more market cap that cryptocurrency: Apple ($873 billion), Alphabet (Google – almost $716 billion), and Microsoft ($640 billion). Here is a quick sampler of some of the companies that are now lower than the market cap of the combined cryptocurrencies:

Amazon ($531 billion)
Facebook ($523 billion)
JPMorgan Chase ($355.6 billion)
Exxon Mobil ($352 billion)
Bank of America ($288 billion)
Wal-Mart ($261 billion)
Intel ($214 billion)
Coca-Cola ($196 billion)
Toyota ($184 billion)
General Electric ($174 billion)
Pepsico ($157 billion)
Walt Disney ($151 billion)
McDonalds ($135 billion)

2017 may go down as the Year of the Bitcoin, but a lot of other virtual currencies are helping lead the crypto revolution. We’ve seen the launch of Bitcoin futures trading, and many of the giant financial groups that once warned about cryptocurrency are now scurrying to get their piece of the action. Just imagine what could happen over the remaining two weeks of the year! Could the cryptocurrency market cap hit $700 billion?

What do you think about the market cap for cryptocurrency reaching $600 billion just five days after hitting $500 billion? How far do you think it can go? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay and Bitcoinist archives.

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The Signal Founder Has a Plan to Fix Cryptocurrency

Many cryptocurrencies are trying to replace Bitcoin by offering faster and cheaper transactions. The founder of the popular messaging app Signal has a plan to truly fix cryptocurrency.


High Transaction Fees

High Transaction Fees

Today Bitcoin managed to break a new all-time high price. The demand for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has drastically risen in the last couple of months, as more and more experts believe that the sector is going to rapidly grow in the next years. But as the transaction volume of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are steadily rising, the transaction times and fees are also rising.

According to the website Bitcoinfees.info, the current average Bitcoin transaction fee costs around $19,99. The high fee costs may not be ideal for users that want to purchase simple and daily items like a cup of coffee or a pizza. Users have resorted to using different cryptocurrencies in order to save costs and time.

The Solution by Signal founder

The Solution by Signal founder

Many new cryptocurrencies have emerged that are trying to tackle the current problems that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have. The founder of the famous end-to-end messaging app Signal, Moxie Marlinspike, is working on a new digital currency that is planning to offer simple, fast and cheap transactions for all users. The digital currency is called MobileCoin, is based on the open-source Stellar Consensus Protocols platform, the same platform that powers the Stellar protocol. In a recent news article by Wired, Marlinspike stated following regarding the new cryptocurrency:

I think usability is the biggest challenge with cryptocurrency today,

he further stated:

The innovations I want to see are ones that make cryptocurrency deployable in normal environments, without sacrificing the properties that distinguish cryptocurrency from existing payment mechanisms.

MobileCoin isn’t only focusing on providing a cheap and fast alternative to Bitcoin. The new currency is also aiming to provide a more anonymous and private alternative to other cryptocurrencies. It will definitely be exciting to see how MobileCoin is going to compete with anonymous like DASH, Monero, and Zcash who currently dominate the privacy-coin sector.

What are your thoughts on Moxie Marlinspike’s new cryptocurrency? Do you think that MobileCoin will be able to offer a cheaper, faster and more private alternative to Bitcoin and other famous cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Pixabay

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Bitcoin Price Breaks $20,000 on CEX.io Exchange

It seems like the trend of consecutive all-time highs isn’t stopping anytime soon, as Bitcoin has sailed over $20,500 and has its sights set on $21,000.


Bitcoin Breaks the $20,000 Barrier

On CEX.io, a popular Bitcoin exchange, the price of just one bitcoin has broken through $20,000 with no signs of stopping. This may seem insignificant, as it only one exchange, and on top of that, we’ve seen Bitcoin prices skyrocket over the market price in illiquid regions, such as Nigeria. Nigeria specifically saw $22,00 prices on local exchanges when the price of Bitcoin for the rest of the world was around $16,000.

Bitcoin trading at $20,500 at CEX.io

CEX.io hitting $20k is a huge deal, however, as it is the first BTC/USD trading pair to break the ceiling and sustain a $20k+ trade price. Other more popular exchanges, such as GDAX and Bitstamp, are hot on CEX’s heels as their markets are showing prices in the mid-$19,000’s.

Exchanges Seeing Record User Sign-ups

Bitcoin’s bull run over the past two months has nothing but momentum behind it, as top exchanges are reporting record levels of new users. Coinbase and its exchange, GDAX, has been rattled to its core as the team tries to deal with the $1+ billion in transaction volume it is currently experiencing. Bitstamp’s CEO, Nejc Kodric, had this to say about the recent influx of users on their site:

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As always, time will tell if this recent price rise will continue or will Bitcoin crash as so many people believe. Recent announcements of future protocol upgrades to Bitcoin, such as a functioning lightning network coming soon next year and Schnorr signatures are nothing but bullish for Bitcoin. Along with that, many traditional investment banks are beginning to offer Bitcoin Futures trading for the public. 2018 will be an exciting year.

Where do you think the price of Bitcoin will go from here? Let us know in the comments below!


Image courtesy of  CEX.io, Shutterstock

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Chinese Billionaire and Giant Network CEO Invests ‘Tens of Millions’, Acquires 10% Stake in OKCoin

Shi Yuzhu, CEO of online game developer Giant Network has reportedly invested millions in OKCoin’s sole shareholder, effectively giving it a 10% stake in the online exchange.


Word has emerged from China that Shi Yuzhu, CEO of Giant Network, has become OKCoin’s latest shareholder by way of a significant and widely anticipated investment in Beijing Oukai Lianchuang Network Technology Co., Ltd., which is OKCoin’s sole shareholder, holding a 100% stake in the company.

According to local media outlets, citing anonymous sources familiar with the development, Yuzhu invested “tens of millions of dollars” in the company, making him – or rather Giant Interactive – a 10% stakeholder. By comparison, another recent investor, Weiyi Capital, owns a 1.5996% stake.

OKCoin investors - Crunchbase

Founded in 2004, Giant Network, formerly Shanghai ZT Network Co., Ltd., is an online gaming company that has developed many popular games, including Journey, AI Light, Vainglory, Arcade: Three Kingdoms, and others. The company is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and has a market cap of more than 75.5 billion yuan ($11.4 billion). As of this writing, the company’s share price is around 37.3 yuan ($5.64).

Xu Mingxing, founder and CEO of OKCoin, confirmed Yuzhu’s investment as well as that of fellow celebrity billionaire investor Lei Jun. Interestingly, Jun had previously denied any investment in the company. Research indicates that Beijing Oukai Lianchuang’s business license was updated around the 31st of October this year to reflect the new data, it is not known exactly when the investment took place or whether it was before or after China’s September ban on ICOs.

In 2014 OKCoin raised $10 million in Series A funding from investment institutions and venture capitalists. Among the investors were Ceyuan Venture Capital, Mandra Capital, Ventures Lab, and prominent angel investor Cai Wensheng.

Bouncing Back from China’s Ban

China sent shockwaves – and more than a little panic – through the cryptocurrency community in September when they instituted a complete ban on ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) as well as the trading of ICO tokens and cryptocurrencies on local exchanges.

The ban, which also prohibited the trading of ICO tokens and cryptocurrencies on local exchanges, forced many exchange operators to either close up shop or move to more crypto-friendly locales like Hong Kong and Singapore. OKCoin took the latter route, moving its headquarters to Hong Kong. Their website also lists satellite offices in Canada, Ireland, Singapore, and Russia.

In the months following the ban, several local exchanges, rather than closing or relocating, have changed their business model to circumvent Chinese regulations. They have transitioned to a peer-to-peer trading platform, a business model first introduced by LocalBitcoins.

Bouncing Back from China’s Ban

Not surprisingly, peer-to-peer transactions in the country have exploded since the ban, experiencing a growth rate of over 2000% according to Bloomberg.

How will mainstream businesses investing in exchanges and other crypto businesses impact the cryptocurrency community? Do you think China will reconsider the ICO ban at some point in the near future? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of CrunchBase, Bloomberg

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‘Real Wolf of Wall Street’ Takes Up the Bitcoin Bubble Chant

Jordan Belfort, who is the real-life inspiration for the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ film, has branded Bitcoin a bubble and cautioned people that it is, in fact, a ‘scam’.


Belfort, who has experience in running a scam and has the prison time to prove it, is yet another crypto critic who has labeled the world’s most popular digital currency a bubble. He added that the value of Bitcoin will also drop.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Belfort said:

Promoters are perpetuating a massive scam of the highest order on everyone.

He went on to add:

Probably 85% of people out there don’t have bad intentions but the problem is if 5% or 10% are trying to scam you.

Bitcoin doesn’t seem to be aware that its price will soon be plummeting as Friday saw it sail past the $18k mark. According to Coinmarketcap, at the time of writing, it was trading at nearly $18,800, with $19k within touching distance.

2017: the Year of the Bitcoin

 

2017: the Year of the Bitcoin

These record-breaking numbers come on the tail end of the currency’s most spectacular year yet. It was trading at just $1k in January and has grown by over 1,700% in 2017.

Since reaching five-figure status in November, Bitcoin has continued its upward trend. However, this month showed astronomical increases, with the digital currency growing by nearly 80%.

Seeming to work in tandem with this growth is the amount of criticism it receives, which ironically seem to make its price increase even more. In addition, the Bitcoin market seems to be reigning in its proclivity for volatility possibly due to the recent launch of CBOE’s futures trading.

Tulip Fever

Tulip Fever

No amount of positive press, forays into mainstream adoption, or price increases appear to deter naysayers. In fact, the more success Bitcoin has, the more it raises the ire of its critics.

Belfort recently told CNN:

I think it’s a huge danger right now that people are looking at this as the next great thing, it’s a bubble for sure.

Like many other industry experts, Belfort has compared Bitcoin to Holland’s infamous ‘tulip mania’, meaning that Bitcoin’s fantastic price surges are in fact a precursor to its inevitable crash:

The next stage, you will see it really skyrocket, there will be a short squeeze, it will go even higher and then eventually it will come caving in, it’s almost a guarantee.

He added:

If you were the most disciplined person and get in and get out, there is probably a short window to make some money. But that’s not human nature, people will get in and make some money and they want to make more money. In the tulip bubble, the beginning of the end was when they started trading futures on tulips, that was another move up and then all of a sudden it collapses and it’s over.

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It Just Keeps Growing

Adding his two virtual cents to the conversation is Andrew Bailey, head of the British government’s Financial Conduct Authority. He recently told the BBC that Bitcoin investors will “lose all their money”.

However, dire warnings and cautionary tales seem to be having no effect on the currency, as it continues its growth spurt. In fact, while writing this article, it’s price has increased by over $100. Bitcoin’s global adoption is also on the rise, as more emerging markets seem to be embracing, and trading, it.

Do you think Bitcoin will eventually crash, or will it prove its cynics wrong by reaching even greater heights this year? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Reuters, Pexels

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Coinbase Announces 2018 SegWit Support As Third ‘Engineering Priority’

Largest US cryptocurrency wallet and exchange Coinbase has confirmed it “plans” to support SegWit transactions in 2018.


SegWit Follows Security, Performance As Top Priority

In a blog post on Friday, the company’s vice president Dan Romero confirmed the timeframe, despite noting that SegWit, as a “new feature,” was only Coinbase’s third priority. In the post, published on Medium, Romeo wrote:

In terms of our engineering priorities, securely storing customer funds remains our top priority. […] Our next priority is to ensure that our platform remains performant during periods of peak volume. Following security and performance, we are focused on adding new features for our customers.

Coinbase bore the brunt of a huge influx of new users in recent weeks, which accompanied Bitcoin’s surge in value to $18,000.

Technical infrastructure struggled to cope, leading to downtime and delays processing transactions which had also occurred during Bitcoin’s lesser upshoot earlier this year.

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Legacy Providers Catch Up To SegWit

Despite facing criticism over its SegWit adoption, as well as its stance on the now-defunct SegWit2x hard fork, Coinbase appears to be maintaining its laissez-faire attitude to implementing the technology, which would give significant savings on fees to users among other advantages.

“Many of our customers have been asking for SegWit, and we’re working out a way to implement this upgrade safely,” Romero continued.

The Coinbase platform stores billions of dollars worth of bitcoin on behalf of its customers and Romero notes that any changes to the platform’s infrastructure require “significant planning and consideration for the security and stability of our platform.”

Coinbase meanwhile is not alone in its slow path to SegWit adoption. This week, fellow stalwart wallet provider Blockchain.info unveiled full support for the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, while similarly pushing back SegWit interaction until next year.

“In 2018 we will be rolling out support for SegWit within our wallet products,” its own blog post confirmed last month. In the post, Blockchain.info stated:

This will be a major and complex update to some of the most sensitive parts of our codebase, across a wide variety of platforms and devices, affecting billions in user transactions with potentially significant privacy implications.

What do you think about Coinbase’s SegWit support plans? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Coinbase

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MintHealth Announces Vidamints (VIDA) to Align Stakeholders in a New Healthcare Ecosystem

Immediate Availability of White Paper Outlining Incentive Token to Engage and Empower Patients in Their Journey to Better Health Healthcare Reform Leader, “Tee” Green, Joins Board of Directors


MintHealth: A Blockchain Solution to a Healthcare Crisis

SAN DIEGO – MintHealth™ offers a global decentralized health platform with a portable, secure, and self-sovereign personal health record (PHR) built on blockchain technology and designed to drive healthy patient behavior through the Vidamint™ token. MintHealth announces the immediate availability of the associated white paper behind a planned Vidamint (VIDA) token sale in Q1 of 2018. The company also announces the addition of Wyche “Tee” Green, III, founder, and director of Greenway Health™, to the MintHealth Board of Directors.

Started by a team of veterans in the healthcare industry, MintHealth is tackling two fundamental problems in healthcare today – the lack of a patient-controlled health record that can be seamlessly shared with key stakeholders, and an incentive model to promote proactive patient behaviors for the purpose of combatting the incessant global rise in chronic disease-related healthcare costs.

MintHealth’s patient-controlled health record to include key laboratory, medication, diagnosis, care plan, complex medical imaging (e.g., CT, MRI, x-rays, echocardiograms, ultrasounds, etc.), patient-generated behavior data, and key vital signs generated outside of the clinic including weight, blood pressure, sleep, stress levels, glucose, and more. The platform pulls information from electronic health record systems, as well as from all personal sources of patient-generated data including web, mobile applications, and connected devices. Permissions for data access will be granted by patients via smart contracts embedded in the blockchain, and execution performed via the MintHealth application.

Doctors, health systems, health coaches, case managers, family, and friends can gain access to the data via social modules embedded in the MintHealth application that will serve to build awareness around chronic conditions via a patient-centered community. Health coaches will be able to leverage a proven clinical tool with built-in automation to manage sicker patients needing more hands-on support. Patients will be encouraged to use the platform and to complete key training, education, and care plan modules in exchange for Vidamint tokens, which will be redeemed for insurance premium reductions, prescription refills, and discounts on various health and wellness brands.

Regional healthcare insurance companies that employ physicians will be early adopters of Vidamints and will partner with the MintHealth team to roll the program out in several pilots across the country. The improved clinical outcomes and healthcare costs driven by the MintHealth platform will drive further adoption of the Vidamint token by larger insurance companies and government health plans.

Dr. Samir Damani, MD, PharmD, FACC, co-founder, and CEO of MintHealth, said:

We have seen repeatedly that financial incentives for patients and doctors drive better outcomes and sustained patient engagement. It’s time now to combine this concept with a platform that can execute both the incentive model and the self- sovereign health record. We’re bringing together more than 100 years of domain expertise, existing intellectual property, and trade secrets to make the promise of personalized health a reality.

The $3 Trillion Problem

The U.S. continues to face a healthcare crisis of skyrocketing costs and worsening health outcomes. Of the 56 million deaths each year, 40 million are due to preventable conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. As a country, we spend $3 trillion each year on healthcare and 90 percent of that amount goes to treating chronic conditions – but this can change. Creating data liquidity between provider and patient data silos is one of the industry’s biggest challenges.

“Based on decades of experience as a healthcare practitioner, I’ve experienced first-hand how these silos prevent us from providing the best possible healthcare. Blockchain technology breaks down those walled data repositories,” said Dr. Vishal Verma, co-founder, and president of MintHealth. “Patient info will no longer be solely embedded in one system’s EHR. We will give patients ownership of their medical data and make it accessible and interoperable in a secure way. The MintHealth PHR will seamlessly move between patient and provider data silos providing total interoperability where any physician can access a patient’s complete medical data from all his/her other providers at the time of care.”

The goal of MintHealth is not to replace EHRs, but to complement them in a way that drives improved patient engagement, lower costs, and improved clinical outcomes.

MintHealth White Paper: Patient Engagement Platform & Vidamints (VIDA)

Insurance companies are actively seeking ways to engage chronic disease patient populations and lower costs. The MintHealth platform aligns patient and physician incentives to improve health outcomes and promote value-based care (i.e., proactive, preventative health management to make patients healthier and to lower costs).

The MintHealth mobile app is designed to promote proactive behavior through informed, active patient engagement, gamification, social support, and financial incentives. Incentives will be distributed via Vidamint tokens (VIDA) to help encourage and reward patients for engaging in healthy behaviors that are assigned to them through the MintHealth mobile app. Once a behavior is assigned to a patient, Vidamints will reside in an escrow vault smart contract and be delivered to the patient’s wallet upon successful completion of each behavior.

Across the MintHealth ecosystem, Vidamints will be used for:

  • Incentivizing healthy behaviors and patient-controlled sharing of data for research (academic and research organizations, as well as pharmaceutical, medical device, and other life science companies)
  • Establishing the patient self-sovereign health identity and record Compensating provider success in improving their patient population’s health
  • Powering ecosystem redemption including insurance premium reductions, prescription copays, gym memberships, health foods, among other health and wellness brands
  • Enabling patient governance & voting

Visit www.vidamints.com for details on the Vidamints mechanism and to download MintHealth’s new “Aligning Stakeholders in a New Healthcare Ecosystem” white paper.

Tee Green Joins Board of Directors

Wyche “Tee” Green, III, a top authority on healthcare reform, was recently appointed to MintHealth’s Board of Directors. He is a founder and director and former CEO of Greenway Health™, where he served in leadership roles since its founding in 1998. Greenway Health’s electronic health record (EHR) solutions are deployed at nearly 10,000 medical groups, clinics and enterprises across the U.S., where they’re used by more than 75,000 clinical professionals to improve patient care and to manage their financial and administrative processes more efficiently.

“The true revolution in healthcare will come when information is finally freed to be used to manage chronic care in a more advanced, consumer-driven way. That is the killer strategy for improving the healthcare system. There’s nothing we’ve done to date with the technology infrastructure to allow patients to be engaged in the process,” said Tee Green. “Blockchain-based solutions like MintHealth will help usher in a much-needed era of data liquidity, at a massive scale, that puts the patient in control to improve health. I’m thrilled at the opportunity to join the board and contribute to their ambitious vision.”

A serial entrepreneur, Green started several companies prior to Greenway Health across a wide array of business areas including transportation, hotel development, venture investing, agriculture/farming, music, and entertainment.

Green has served on the Board of Directors for R.W. Allen & Associates, Inc., the Community Foundation of West Georgia, West Georgia Habitat for Humanity, the Auburn University Research Advisory Board, Greenway Corporation, the Auburn University College of Business Advisory Council and the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce. Green’s community involvement goes beyond board memberships. He is involved with Rapha Clinics, as the clinics seek to provide comprehensive medical, dental and vision services to individuals who cannot afford healthcare, and the Boys & Girls Club. Green graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

For company information and to sign up for updates, visit: minthealth.io.

Legal disclaimer: Nothing herein constitutes an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, any tokens. You should read carefully and understand fully, the MintHealth White Paper, including any updates. Every potential token purchaser will be required to undergo an onboarding process that includes identity verification and certain other documentation, which you should read carefully and understand fully because you will be legally bound. Please make sure to consult with appropriate advisors and others. Certain information contained herein constitutes “forward-looking” statements which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “project,” “target,” “continue” or “believe” or the negatives thereof or other variations thereon or comparable terminology. Due to various risks and uncertainties, actual events or results may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in such forward-looking statements.

About MintHealth™

MintHealth™ is a global decentralized health platform that aligns patients, providers, and payers around patient empowerment. The platform will enable the patient to manage their own self-sovereign health identity and record, secured via blockchain, and engages the ecosystem to drive healthy patient behavior through the Vidamint™ token. For more info, visit: https://www.minthealth.io/.

Contacts

Radix Collective
Kristin Martell
703-407-8349
kristin@radixcollective.com


Images courtesy of MintHealth

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