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"Bitcoin is one of the most important inventions of all time and has launched a global movement. It's awesome to see an entire ecosystem spring up around it.” ~ Brian Armstrong, Co-founder & CEO at Coinbase

Market State

The price of Bitcoin jumped 6% last Sunday after trading at around $3,850 for two weeks since Christmas Eve. As Bitcoin is back above $4000, the cryptomarket is gradually recovering. Last week we celebrated the 10th Birthday of Bitcoin. Ten years ago on 3rd of January, Satoshi Nakamoto mined the genesis block. Many have wished they knew about Bitcoin back in 2009. Within a decade Bitcoin became recognized by the investors that it is indeed a sovereign asset class.

Ethereum is up by 10% to $150. Ethereum is having a hard fork called Constantinople on the 16th of January. The Constantinople hard fork is not contentious so there will be no chain split. The upcoming fork is updating Ethereum blockchain and making major changes in the blockchain. This may cause Ether price to increase in value.

Check the latest Bitcoin Price
Quiz of the week

Is Bitcoin truly anonymous?

  1. Yes, Bitcoin transactions are untraceable.
  2. No, Bitcoin addresses are derived from IP addresses.
  3. No, all transactions are stored on a global public ledger that can be traced using analytical technologies.

Scroll down to see the answer at the end of the newsletter.

Top stories of the week
Bakkt Raised $182.5 Million

Bakkt, the cryptocurrency exchange created by the Intercontinental Exchange, which operates the New York Stock Exchange, has announced that they had completed their first round of funding. The platform has raised $182.5 million from 12 partners and investors who believe in the future of digital assets. Bakkt aims to build an institutional investor-focused cryptocurrency platform, that will enable users to buy, sell, store digital assets simply, safely and efficiently. Bakkt’s plan to launch futures market for Bitcoin at the end of 2018 has been delayed twice due to regulatory hurdles. The new launch date hasn’t been announced yet. Even after a tough year institutions are still supporting the crypto market, which is a good sign.

DX.Exchange Launching Digital Tokenized Stocks

DX.Exchange, the European Union regulated cryptocurrency exchange based in Estonia is aiming to merge traditional finance with cryptocurrency. The exchange launched its platform on 7th of January 2019. DX.Exchange is offering a new kind of crypto products that represent the tokenized version of traditional shares of companies that are listed on American stock exchange, Nasdaq. Users are not purchasing ownership of shares instead they purchase Ethereum based ERC-20 tokens that represent shares of 10 Nasdaq listed firms namely Apple, Amazon.com, Facebook, Microsoft Corporation, Tesla, Netflix etc. The actual shares of the firms will be bought and held by DX.Exchange partner, MPS Marketplace Securities Ltd. The tokens are backed 1:1 to the real stocks and holders are entitled to receive dividends.

MimbleWimble-Based Privacy Coin Beam is Launched

The first cryptocurrency that uses MimbleWimble privacy protocol is now live. The new coin is called Beam which was launched on the 10th anniversary of Bitcoin. Another project called Grin which also utilizes MimbleWimble protocol will launch on 15th of January 2019. Grin is an open source project that is not maintained by any specific company and is funded by donations. While Beam is run by a profit-oriented Israeli company with the same name. The Beam company will receive 20% of all newly mined Beam coins for the first five years. Both coins are by default private. Transaction amount, sender and receiver are hidden. Grin coins do not have maximum supply, while Beam has a finite supply like Bitcoin.

Ledger Reveals Its New Hardware Wallet

Hardware wallet manufacturer, Ledger has announced its new product called Ledger Nano X at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last Sunday. The Ledger Nano X includes Bluetooth capabilities, enhanced security, and support for over 1,100 crypto assets. Enabling Bluetooth means users will be able to track balances and send and receive transactions directly from their phone. The previous version Ledger Nano S required users to plug the device to your computer via USB cable in order to make transactions. Ledger is launching a mobile app called Ledger Live which will be available on January 28th. Existing users will be able to check their balances in read-only mode on the mobile app.

BitTorrent Is Launching Its Own Cryptocurrency

Peer-to-peer file sharing protocol BitTorrent is launching its very own cryptocurrency, the BitTorrent Token (BTT). The new token will run on the Tron protocol. BitTorrent was acquired by Tron in June 2017. BitTorrent Token will be a TRC-10 token. TRC-10 is a token standard supported by TRON blockchain, which is similar to ERC-20 tokens that run on Ethereum network. There will be the total supply of 990 billion BTT. The BitTorrent platform has over 100 million active users, BTT token will allow users to get to know blockchain technology and enable them to earn crypto from sharing files. Cryptocurrency exchange, Binance will help BitTorent to raise funds through its Binance Launchpad platform.

Overstock Pays Taxes In Bitcoin

US online retailer Overstock.com has announced on its investor portal that it would pay a portion of its state commercial activity taxes in Ohio using Bitcoin. This will make Overstock the first major business to pay taxes using Bitcoin. Overstock became the first leading retailer to accept cryptocurrencies for purchases on its website in 2014. In November 2018, Ohio announced that it would accept BTC for tax payments through a 3-step process, where businesses sign up on the OhioCrypto.com portal, enter tax details and transmit the Bitcoin payments. Bitcoin payment processor BitPay would then convert the Bitcoins into a US dollar equivalent for the state.

Tweet of the week
Meme of the week
Crypto word of the week

The origin of MimbleWimble started in August, 2016 when someone with username “Tom Elvis Jedusor” which is the name of Voldemort in the french Harry Potter book, showed up in Bitcoin developers’ chatroom and posted a link to a paper called MimbleWimble. MimbleWimble is the name of a tongue tying spell in Harry Potter book that keeps people from talking about specific subject. The whole MimbleWimble project has names from Harry Potter book. The original person who posted the paper never showed up again. MimbleWimble is an innovative blockchain technology that uses cryptography tricks to make transactions private. No one can see who is transacting with who or what amounts they’re transacting. Also blocks on MimbleWimble network can be compressed in a way that you don’t have to store the previous blocks in order to verify new transactions. This makes MimbleWimble blockchains smaller because nodes only have to store the latest state of  transactions (unspent outputs). MimbleWimble has completely different block structure than Bitcoin. Currently there are only two projects being built on MimbleWimble protocol namely Beam and Grin.

Quiz answer

Is Bitcoin truly anonymous?

The correct answer is “C”.

All Bitcoin transactions are recorded publicly and permanently on the Bitcoin network. Anyone can see the balance and transactions of any Bitcoin address. However, the identity of the user behind an address remains unknown until the user makes a transaction with another user. Most wallets today automatically create a new address for every transaction in order to protect your privacy.

Thank you for reading :) 

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