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"I think currency of the internet will be Bitcoin”  

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter

Market State

We are officially in the longest bear market ever in cryptocurrency history. The previous bear market lasted for 410 days during 2013-2015. The 2nd of February 2019 is 411 days since 2017 all time high. With this Bitcoin set a new record again. Bitcoin briefly reached $3500 during the last week and mainly remained in $3400-$3500 range. Ether dropped below $110. Though we are in a prolonged bear market the crypto industry is stronger than ever. The crypto businesses are still building and launching new products. Initial Coin Offerings have been declared dead but BitTorrent token sale showed that there is still strong demand.

Check the latest Bitcoin Price
Quiz of the week

How often does the Bitcoin block reward halve?

  1. Every 2 years or 100,000 blocks
  2. Every four years or 210,000 blocks
  3. Every 6 months or 25,000 blocks

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

Top stories of the week
Bitcoin Backed Ethereum Token Launched

A new token called Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) officially launched on the Ethereum Network on 31st of January. WBTC is an ERC-20 token that is fully backed with Bitcoin in one-to-one ratio. The initiative to bring Bitcoin to Ethereum is lead by digital asset custodian BitGo, decentralized exchanges Kyber Network and Ren Protocol. Wrapped Bitcoin aims to bring Ethereum’s smart contract functionality to Bitcoin and Bitcoin’s liquidity to Ethereum. Users can now take advantage of Ethereum-based applications, dApps (Decentralized Applications) and DEXs (Decentralized Exchanges). In order to obtain WBTC, users need to undergo KYC procedures. Each WBTC token is backed by an equivalent amount of Bitcoin which are kept in custody by BitGo.

Litecoin will add Confidential Transactions

Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin has announced that he was planning to add Confidential Transactions (CT) onto Litecoin. Litecoin is very similar to Bitcoin in code with a few parameters changed. Litecoin transactions are four times faster than Bitcoin transactions. Also Litecoin’s maximum supply is four times the supply of Bitcoin. If Litecoin becomes private that means Bitcoin can become private too. This way Litecoin provides a testnet for Bitcoin. Charlie Lee noted that Litecoin privacy update will be implemented sometime in 2019. Also, the next halvening for Litecoin will take place in August 2019, decreasing the Litecoin supply. These events might put Litecoin price on an upward trajectory.

Crypto Exchange Loses Access to $150 million worth of crypto

A major Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX filed for a bankruptcy after its CEO suddenly passed away with the private keys to the exchange’s cold wallet. The exchange owes its 115,000 users $190 million of which $150 million are locked up in cryptocurrencies in a cold storage. Only the deceased CEO Gerald Cotten had access to it. The inaccessible cold storage holds 26,500 Bitcoin worth $92.3 million, 430,000 Ether worth $46 million and several million dollars worth of Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Bitcoin Gold, and Litecoin. The tragic situation could have been avoided if the exchange utilized multi-signature protocol to control the cold wallet. Some people don’t believe the bizarre story of QuadrigaCX and concerned that it’s an exit scam.

Liqui Crypto Exchange Shuts Down

Ukraine-based cryptocurrency exchange Liqui that has been operating since 2016, has announced that it is shutting down. Users will be able to withdraw their digital assets from Liqui within 30 days until the 27th of February 2019. Liqui noted that after 30 days it wouldn’t be able to guarantee that its platform would stay online. Liqui ranked 181st by 24 hour volume on Coinmarketcap and after the news its ranking dropped to 216th. It’s sad to see Liqui shut down, but the way the team is handling the situation by giving enough time to its users to withdraw their funds is very professional. The crypto community expects more, especially smaller exchanges to shut down as exchanges require expensive infrastructure that is difficult to maintain in the bear market.

BitTorrent ICO Raises $7.1 Million in 15 Minutes

BitTorrent, decentralized file sharing protocol has completed its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) last week. The ICO was launched on Binance Launchpad, which is a new token launch platform. Users could purchase BitTorrent Token (BTT) either with Binance coin (BNB) or with Tron (TRX). Nearly 60 billion BTT was sold within 15 minutes raising $7 million. While 60 billion BTT seems a lot, it was only 6% of the total supply of BitTorrent token. According to Binance’s CEO, the sale’s “demand was astronomical.” A lot of people had technical issues when trying to send their funds to buy BTT. So the Tron team offered a small airdrop for those who weren’t successful in buying.

Coingate Adds Support for DAI and Ripple

Cryptocurrency payment processor CoinGate has added Ripple (XRP) and DAI to its platform due to high demand by the community. DAI is the very first stablecoin on Coingate’s platform. Also Coingate became the first payment processor that offers Ripple coin. Coingate allows merchants to accept cryptocurrencies as a payment option. Now XRP and DAI owners can use their coins at more than 4500 online shops. Coingate merchants have two options: they can instantly convert revenues from cryptocurrencies to Euros or they can choose to keep the native coins. Coingate noted that the integration of both DAI and XRP would bring more customers to their merchants.

Tweet of the week
Meme of the week

Bitcoin versus Fiat Beast

Crypto word of the week

ERC-20 is an Ethereum token standard. The standard was created to enable simple transferability across applications, wallets, exchanges and interfaces.

Quiz answer

How often does the Bitcoin block reward halve?

The correct answer is “B”.

Bitcoin block reward is set to halve every 4 years or every 210,000 blocks. The next halving is expected in May 2020. Halving reduces the block rewards by 50%. After May 2020 only 900 Bitcoins will be created daily instead of 1800 Bitcoins. The less Bitcoins are available the more the price will increase.  

Thank you for reading :) 

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