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New Report Reviews Blockchain Applications by US Federal Government

The research organization Data Foundation and IT firm Booz Allen Hamilton have published a report with five proposed questions to guide the United States federal government on where and how to implement blockchain initiatives.

Their research was published in the report “Bringing Blockchain Into Government: A Path Forward for Creating Effective Federal Blockchain Initiatives” on June 10.

According to the report, blockchain solutions make the most sense when applied to some sort of procedure with a predetermined level of consistency and a low level of agility, assuming that the immutable ledger provided by blockchain is valuable for the task in the first place.

The report lists five questions they came up with for how a federal organization can decide whether a blockchain solution makes sense:

“1. Does the blockchain offer a real benefit for information security, trust, or transparency? … 2. Can blockchain be practically and efficiently applied? … 3. What blockchain design is most appropriate? … 4. Is the cost of applying blockchain merited relative to information gains? … 5. Does the application satisfy applicable data sharing and confidentiality laws?”

In coming up with these criteria, the organizations looked at seven instances of blockchain initiatives at the federal level that they deemed successful.

The report noted several blockchain-based initiatives across various agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Treasury and the Department of Defense, among others.

The report notes that the programs are in varying stages of success and development. The researchers conclude that, “Whether blockchain will ultimately prove a success in government is yet to be seen. But for now, applying blockchain for government programs and operations should be a welcome development when possible.”

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the FDA launched a pilot program using blockchain tech as a supply chain tracker for pharmaceuticals in February. The Pilot Project Program Under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act is specifically focused on tracking drugs and preventing pharma counterfeiting.

Trend Micro: Cybercriminals Use Obfuscation Trick to Install Crypto Mining Malware

Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro has confirmed that attackers have been exploiting a vulnerability in the Oracle WebLogic server to install monero (XMR) mining malware, while using certificate files as an obfuscation trick. The news was revealed in a Trend Micro blog post published on June 10.

As previously reported, forms of stealth crypto mining are also referred to with the industry term cryptojacking — the practice of installing malware that uses a computer’s processing power to mine for cryptocurrencies without the owner’s consent or knowledge.

According to Trend Micro’s post, a security patch for theOracle WebLogic vulnerability (“CVE-2019-2725”) — reportedly caused by a deserialization error — was released in the national vulnerability database earlier this spring.

However, Trend Micro cites reports that emerged on the SANS ISC InfoSec forum alleging that the vulnerability has already been exploited for cryptojacking purposes, and confirms that it has verified and analyzed the allegations.

The firm notes that the identified attacks deployed what it describes as “an interesting twist” — namely that “the malware hides its malicious codes in certificate files as an obfuscation tactic”:

“The idea of using certificate files to hide malware is not a new one […] By using certificate files for obfuscation purposes, a piece of malware can possibly evade detection since the downloaded file is in a certificate file format which is seen as normal -— especially when establishing HTTPS connections.”

Trend Micro’s analysis begins by noting that the malware exploits CVE-2019-2725 to execute a PowerShell command, prompting the download of a certificate file from the command-and-control server.

After continuing to trace its steps and characteristics — including the installation of the XMR miner payload — Micro Trend notes an apparent anomaly in its current deployment:

“[O]ddly enough, upon execution of the PS command from the decoded certificate file, other malicious files are downloaded without being hidden via the certificate file format mentioned earlier. This might indicate that the obfuscation method is currently being tested for its effectiveness, with its expansion to other malware variants pegged at a later date.”

The post concludes with a recommendation to firms using WebLogic Server to update their software to the latest version with the security patch in order to mitigate the risk of cryptojacking.

As recently reported, Trend Micro detected a major uptick in XMR cryptojacking targeting China-based systems this spring, in a campaign mimicking earlier activities that had used an obfuscated PowerShell script to deliver XMR-mining malware.

US Retailer Target Unveils Open Source Blockchain for Supply Chain Tracking

United States-based retail giant Target is creating an open source blockchain project for supply chain tracking, according to an official blog post from the company’s VP of architecture on April 22.

According to the post, Target ran a pilot test using blockchain technology to certify its paper products along the supply chain in 2018. The blockchain used in the test period was reportedly made open source on GitHub recently as “ConsenSource” — at least as far back as two months ago, judging by the repository’s update history.

According to the GitHub documentation, ConsenSource is built on blockchain platform Hyperledger Sawtooth, one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by the Linux Foundation.

The post also mentions that Target will support the Hyperledger Grid, a project initiated in large part by Cargill, one of the company’s main food suppliers. Before bringing the project to the Linux foundation with Intel, Cargill reportedly took the initiative in making a “supply chain middleware” to record transactions and other data.

The post’s author Joel Crabb comments on the company’s enthusiasm for keeping blockchain projects for supply chains open source, saying:

“… the largest obstacle to implementing a distributed ledger is getting multiple companies to agree on which data are stored in the blockchain and how the system will be operated and governed. To achieve this close interaction among corporate entities, many companies — including Target — see the most potential for enterprise blockchain initiatives as open source.”

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Cargill announced its investment in Hyperledger Grid on January 25. The goal of Hyperledger Grid is reportedly to streamline supply chain infrastructure with blockchain technology, addressing a number of issues for food retail such as traceability, food safety and trade settlement.

Crypto Advocacy Center Says Proposed UK AML Regulations Violate Privacy Rights

Coin Center — a nonprofit research and advocacy center focused on crypto-related public policy issues — has urged Her Majesty’s Treasury not to over-broaden the scope of the United Kingdom’s anti-money laundering/counter terrorism financing (AML/CFT) regulations.

The development was revealed in an official Coin Center news release published on June 10.

Coin Center’s central concern regards HM Treasury’s plans to ostensibly “impose data collection and reporting requirements on not only cryptocurrency developers, but all open-source software developers and others who facilitate the peer-to-peer exchange of cryptoassets,” as the news release states.

The advocacy center outlined its position in detail in a comment letter, submitted to HM Treasury on June 7, which addresses the government’s planned transposition of the European Union (EU)’s Fifth AML Directive (AMLD5) into national law.

In its comment letter, Coin Center argues that HM Treasury is expanding the basic framework of AMLD5 with its own additional provisions that go beyond the minimum that would be required to harmonize the U.K’s financial surveillance policy with the EU’s directive.

The center strongly urges that the U.K. instead seek parity with the approach of the United States. Coin Center cited the recent interpretive guidance released by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in regard to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and crypto assets as a benchmark for HM Treasury.

FinCEN’s interpretation, as Coin Center notes, only brings persons who have “independent control” over another person’s crypto assets under the purview of the BSA, excluding those that merely enable exchange or transmission — for example, open source software developers, multiple-signature service providers, and decentralized exchange facilitators.

Those that develop such crypto-related network technologies do so from a political conviction in the increasing importance of privacy protection, Coin Center argues, suggesting that they:

“…believe that such tools are necessary to protect human dignity and autonomy, and argue that they are of profound political and societal importance in a world where transactions are increasingly surveilled and controlled by a handful of private financial intermediaries and powerful governments.”

Expanding AML surveillance obligations to crypto or decentralized exchange software developers or users would, Coin Center goes on to claim, “violate U.K. citizens’ free speech and privacy rights, as codified in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in the European Convention on Human Rights.”

As previously reported, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission has similarly proposed bringing several additional areas of crypto-related activity under AML/CFT obligations, which are notably not included in the provisions of AMLD5.

Coinbase Earn Now Supports Ethereum-Based Dai Stablecoin

Major crypto platform Coinbase has added a course on MakerDao’s stablecoin dai in its educational portal Coinbase Earn, according to an official blog post by Coinbase on June 10.

According to the post, dai is the first stablecoin covered by Coinbase Earn, which will offer videos and quizzes to help users learn about the token, and receive some Dai for their efforts.

As summarized in the announcement, the Ethereum-based stablecoin Dai is backed by its sister token maker (MKR) and is balanced around retaining a stable value of $1 over time.

Coinbase first announced that they were adding dai to their exchange on May 23. At the time, Coinbase commented that it would be available in most jurisdictions with the exception of New York.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, dai has been worth less than a dollar — lower than its stated goal — for much of 2019, which has sparked at least five voting sessions centered on rebalancing the coin’s value via increasing its stability fee.

Coinbase also comments that it anticipates earning in general to grow into a relevant crypto-based activity, ranking alongside the known areas of buying, staking, voting, and mining.

Coinbase Earn launched on May 18, following its announcement near the end of 2018. It purports to be a solution for potential investors who are interested in crypto, particularly ones less prominent than bitcoin (BTC), but are reluctant to invest without more information:

“…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.”

BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, BCH, EOS, BNB, BSV, XLM, ADA: Price Analysis 10/06

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.

In a joint communiqué, G20 finance ministers and central bank governors have said that “technological innovations, including those underlying crypto-assets, can deliver significant benefits to the financial system and the broader economy.” This statement suggests that central banks are warming up to the new technology. However, they have also warned regulatory authorities to monitor risks in crypto assets “related to consumer and investor protection, anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.”

With Facebook likely to announce the details of its crypto project in a few days, we believe that the downside is limited in the short term. However, if the project disappoints, we might see a decent sized correction in cryptocurrencies that can be used as a buying opportunity. If the details positively surprise markets, we might see a spike in most major cryptocurrencies that can be used to lighten up positions, because we do not expect a repeat of 2017. If the project only meets expectations, even then we might see a correction play out.

Which cryptocurrencies look good for a short-term trade? Let us find out.

BTC/USD

The bulls failed to push Bitcoin (BTC) above the 20-day EMA on June 7 and 8. Currently, the price has again bounced off the neckline of the head and shoulders (H&S) pattern and is trying to scale the 20-day EMA. This is a positive sign.

The 20-day EMA is flat and the RSI is just above the center. This points to a consolidation in the short term. The range might be between $7,413.46 and $9,000. If the bulls push the price above the 20-day EMA, a rally to $9,000 is probable.

BTC/USD

However, if the BTC/USD pair reverses direction from the overhead resistance and plummets below the neckline, it will complete a head and shoulders pattern that has a target objective of $5,371.12. It is unlikely that the pair will dive to such a low level. There are strong supports at the 50-day SMA and below it at $5,900. We expect buying to emerge at these support levels. Currently, we do not find any reliable buy setups.

ETH/USD

Ethereum (ETH) is range bound. It has currently dropped to the bottom of the $225.39–$280 range. The bulls are attempting to bounce off $225.39. If successful, the price will try to move up to the top of the range at $280 and the consolidation might extend for a few more days.

ETH/USD

The 20-day EMA is flat and the RSI is close to the center. This suggests a balance between the bears and the bulls. If the ETH/USD pair breaks down of the range and the 50-day SMA, a fall to $167.20 is possible.

Short-term traders can wait for the pair to break out and sustain above the 20-day EMA for about 4 hours before buying with a stop loss of $220. The target is to book profits near the top of the range. Trading inside the range can be volatile, therefore, keep the position size only about 30% of usual.

XRP/USD

Ripple (XRP) broke down of the symmetrical triangle on June 9. A breakdown of this pattern has a target objective of $0.26741. However, the bulls are currently attempting to push the price back into the triangle. If successful, the breakdown will be considered a bear trap.

If the price fails to scale back into the triangle, it might turn around and drop to the next critical support of $0.35660. We anticipate strong buying at this level but if this support also cracks, a decline to $0.27795 will be in the cards.

XRP/USD

Our bearish view will be invalidated if the XRP/USD pair rises and sustains above the trendline of the symmetrical triangle. This will prolong the stay inside the triangle. The flattish 20-day EMA and the RSI close to the midpoint suggests a consolidation.

The trend will turn positive on a breakout and close (UTC time) above the triangle. For now, the traders can maintain the stop loss on the long position at $0.35. We will raise the stop loss at the first available opportunity.

LTC/USD

Litecoin (LTC) is in an uptrend. The price is attempting to break out of the resistance line of the ascending channel. A breakout can carry the price towards the pattern target of $158.91. If this level is crossed, the next level to watch is $184.7940.

LTC/USD

If the bulls fail to push the price above the channel, the LTC/USD pair might continue to move up inside the channel. The momentum will weaken on a breakdown of the 20-day EMA and the trend will turn bearish if the price plunges below the critical support of $91.

Traders can watch the price action near the resistance line of the channel closely. If the pair struggles to break out of it, the stops can be tightened further. For now, we suggest trailing the stops on remaining long positions to $98.

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is in a weak uptrend. The 20-day EMA is gradually sloping down and the RSI is close to the center. This suggests that bears are trying to gain an upper hand. A breakdown of the 50-day SMA and the support line of the channel will indicate a trend change.

BCH/USD

On the other hand, if the BCH/USD pair rises above the 20-day EMA, the bulls will again try to push it back towards the resistance line of the channel. A breakout of the channel will propel the pair to $480. Though positive, we do not find a reliable buy setup, hence, we are not proposing a trade in it.

EOS/USD

EOS has been trading inside the ascending channel, which suggests that the trend is up. However, the short-term trend has weakened as the price has stayed below the 20-day EMA for the past 6 days and the RSI has also fallen below 50. The medium-term trend, nevertheless, remains bullish as the 50-day SMA is still sloping up.

EOS/USD

If the EOS/USD pair bounces off the 50-day SMA and ascends the overhead resistance of $6.8299, it will indicate strength. The next stop is the resistance line of the channel and above it $8.6503. Therefore, we retain the buy recommendation given in the previous analysis.

Our bullish view will be negated if the pair fails to hold the 50-day SMA and the support line of the ascending channel. That can result in a drop to $4.4930.

BNB/USD

Binance Coin (BNB) has been in a strong uptrend. The current pullback has found support just below the 20-day EMA. This shows that the bulls are buying on dips. A breakout of the downtrend line is likely to resume the uptrend and propel the price to lifetime highs.

Short-term traders can buy if the price sustains above $33 for four hours. The stop loss can be kept at $28. Please keep the position size about 50% of usual. If the momentum picks up, the cryptocurrency can even extend the rally to $46.1645899. However, as this is a short-term trade, traders should keep trailing the stops higher to reduce the risk.

BNB/USD

On the other hand, if the BNB/USD pair fails to sustain above the downtrend line, it can form a range. The support of the range might be closer to $28, but we still do not know the resistance. The trend will turn negative if the pair plunges and sustains below the 50-day SMA.

BSV/USD

Bitcoin SV (BSV) is presently in a pullback in an uptrend. The bulls are trying to defend 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level of the recent rally. If successful, the cryptocurrency might remain range bound between $175 and $240 for the next few days. A consolidation near the highs is a positive sign. This shows that the bulls are in no hurry to book profits even after a vertical rally.

BSV/USD

The uptrend will resume on a breakout to new highs. Such a move can carry the BSV/USD pair $307.789 and above it to $340.248.

However, if the bears sink the pair below $175, it can decline to $152.015, which is the 50% retracement level of the recent rally. A breakdown of this support will signal a change in trend. We do not find a reliable buy setup so we do not suggest a trade in it.

XLM/USD

Stellar (XLM) is struggling to sustain the bounce from the strong support of $0.11507853. This shows a lack of demand at higher levels. If the bulls push the price above the 20-day EMA, the cryptocurrency might trade inside the $0.11507853–$0.14861760 range for a few days.

XLM/USD

The XLM/USD pair will complete an inverse head and shoulders pattern on a breakout and close (UTC time frame) above $0.14861760 that has a minimum target objective of $0.22466773. Therefore, we might suggest long positions if the pair sustains the breakout. But if the bears sink the cryptocurrency below $0.11507853, it can correct to $0.08558676.

ADA/USD

Cardano (ADA) is currently range bound between the 50-day SMA and $0.10. Both the moving averages are flat and the RSI is at the midpoint. This suggests a balance between buyers and sellers.

The bulls have been attempting to keep the price above the 50-day SMA for the past few days. Though the support has held, the cryptocurrency has failed to sustain the bounce. This shows a lack of demand at higher levels.

ADA/USD

If the bulls push the price above the 20-day EMA, the ADA/USD pair might move up to $0.10. A breakout and close (UTC time frame) above $0.10 will complete a rounding bottom formation that has a target objective of $0.22466773. We might suggest long positions after the price sustains above $0.10. On the contrary, if the support at the 50-day SMA gives way, the digital currency can dip to $0.057898.

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

Top Crypto Media Site CCN Shuts Down, Cites Google Update for Loss of Search Visibility

Top cryptocurrency media site CCN is shutting down today, June 10th, according to an announcement on their website.

The post, written by Jonas Borchgrevink, director and founder of CCN Markets and Hawkfish AS, states that the reason behind the closure is a large drop off in traffic from Google searches following a June 3 Google Core Update. Borchgrevink writes that the crypto news site’s traffic fell over 71% on mobile overnight.

The founder notes that while traffic levels have been low in the past, the addition of new members to the team means that they cannot continue to operate in these conditions on advertiser revenue. The post cites data from Sistrix.com, noting that crypto news site CoinDesk saw a 34.6% drop, while Cointelegraph reportedly saw a 21.1% drop on mobile as well.

Borchgrevink states that they will be moving the CNN team to HVY.com, a news platform for journalists.

In the post, Borchgrevink also notes that not only crypto sites have been affected by the Google update, adding that specifically British tabloid The Daily Mail has seen a large drop in visibility as well.

Some online have speculated that “clickbait” headlines are behind the loss of visibility for The Daily Mail, which reportedly lost half of its organic website traffic.

However, the announcement notes that the reasoning behind certain sites losing visibility is not able to be determined:

“Unless someone – anyone – who actually worked on the June 2019 Core Update at Google explains what is going on, all we can do is to ‘guess, speculate, and experiment’ as far as our bank accounts allow us to.”

CNN was founded six years ago, originally going by the name CryptoCoinNews before rebranding to its current moniker.

Borchgrevink writes:

“If Google thinks that CCN, all of a sudden — remember, literally overnight —, is bad, then why not give us the chance to understand the why and give us a way to change before any major update. Instead, we are kicked in the teeth overnight with zero knowledge of what we have done wrong, impacting a team of 60+ people. 6 years of work is evaporated.”

CCN’s post ends with a list of demands to Google, including giving three-month’s notice of expected changes from Google Core Updates, explaining what a company can do to change if it falls into a risk zone for losing traffic, and having national governments create apolitical task forces to inspect search engine updates for “ the conservation of our democracies, our Freedom of Speech, our Freedom of the Press, and our Freedom of Information.”

US National Association of Realtors Invests in Blockchain-Based Real Estate Firm Propy

A major United States trade association, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), has invested in blockchain-based real estate platform Propy, Forbes reports on June 10.

The NAR’s strategic investment arm, Second Century Ventures, has invested an undisclosed amount in Ethereum blockchain-based startup Propy as a part of its commercial real estate technology accelerator REach.

Launched in February 2019, the REach program is reportedly the first commercial accelerator of its kind, aiming to bring together major technology disruptors in the real estate industry by selecting ten startups to enter each year, the report notes.

By choosing Propy, Second Century Ventures intends to streamline its operations through blockchain technology in real estate transactions due to its immutable data storage, the firm’s senior marketing and communications director Ashley Stinton said.

Founded in 2017, Propy is a global real estate transaction management platform for facilitating property transactions online. Back in 2017, the company raised about $14 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) through its own utility token PRO that is designed to bolster a self-sustaining ecosystem tracking global real estate ownership.

Specifically, Propy eliminates the need for a third party in real estate transactions, providing an additional level of security and transparency in the market. According to Forbes, Propy has listings in more than 30 countries and expects to hit $4 million in annual recurring revenue by the end of 2019 in sales of software as a service (SaaS) products.

The NAR is reportedly the largest trade association in the U.S., representing 1.3 million members.

Last year, a pilot program in the state of Vermont reportedly completed the first entirely blockchain-based real estate transaction in the U.S. in collaboration with Propy.

Earlier in May, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance described a set of blockchain use cases in the real estate industry in a report, claiming that blockchain tech can potentially shorten the process of recording and transferring properties.

Report: Microsoft to Add Blockchain Tools to Its Power Platform

American technology giant Microsoft will reportedly make blockchain-based tools available to PowerApps and Microsoft Flow users, tech-focused news outlet GeekWire reported on June 10.

Microsoft will purportedly announce its plans to add blockchain tools to its Power Platform during the Microsoft Business Applications Summit on Monday in Atlanta. Specifically, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain tools will be included in the company’s PowerApps custom application builder and PowerBI business intelligence tool.

The Power Platform itself is a collection of tools —  Power BI, PowerApps and Microsoft Flow — designed for collaborative work to build custom apps, automate workflows to improve business productivity and analyze data for insights.

Microsoft has previously released several blockchain-powered tools based on its products. In May, the company introduced the new Azure Blockchain Development Kit for the Ethereum blockchain. The tool kit was designed to aid developers who are building apps using Microsoft’s blockchain-as-a-service platform, Azure Blockchain Service.

That same month, the tech giant revealed that it is building a decentralized identity network atop of the Bitcoin blockchain.

As reported in late May, New York-based blockchain firm ConsenSys also released a new Blockchain and DApp Developer Job Kit to help aspiring Ethereum blockchain developers enter the market. The kit includes a blockchain knowledge glossary that covers topics such as consensus algorithms, smart contracts, miners and security incentivization, token standards and the so-dubbed scalability trilemma.

Ripple Launches Office in Brazil, Targets Further Expansion Across Latin America

Ripple, the firm behind third-biggest crypto by market cap XRP, has launched a Brazilian office with the aim to expand across Latin America, Cointelegraph Brazil reports on June 10.

According to the report, the official announcement will be made at CIAB Febraban, a major fintech and banking event that will place in São Paulo from June 11 to June 13.

The new office will be reportedly led by Luiz Antonio Sacco, former CEO at the Brazilian subsidiary of The Warranty Group, a global warranty solution provider.

Having joined Ripple in March 2019, Sacco stated that the company intends to bring more clients to its payment network RippleNet, targeting not only Brazil but also the rest of the South American continent. To date, Ripple’s payment solution has already been adopted by three clients in Brazil, including financial firms such as Santander Brasil, BeeTech Global and Banco Rendimento, the report notes.

Apart from enabling major payment benefits, Ripple is also planning to launch educational and training programs in collaboration with major universities in Brazil, including the University of São Paulo and Fundação Getúlio Vargas. Sacco noted that investment in education will play a key role in promoting blockchain technology, while the research in the field is expected to expand career opportunities in the region.

As previously reported, Ripple’s payment network, RippleNet, exceeded 200 global customers earlier in 2019, with the five clients — JNFX, SendFriend, Transpaygo, FTCS and Euro Exim Bank — using XRP in cross-border payments.

Recently, Ripple revealed plans to enable a higher degree of accuracy for reporting XRP volumes and sales, following a recent Bitwise report that claims that 95% of bitcoin (BTC) trading volume is fake.

On June 3, Cointelegraph reported on Brazilian state-owned bank Brazil’s National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) funding a documentary film through its own ether-based stablecoin, BNDES token.

Bitcoin Recovers to Trade Above $8,000, Gold Market Reports Losses

Monday, June 10 — The top 20 cryptocurrencies on CoinMarketCap are showing mixed signals, with bitcoin (BTC) back over the $8,000 price mark after seeing a dip under $7,900 on June 8.

Market visualization from Coin360

Market visualization from Coin360

As of press time, bitcoin is up 2.18% on the day to trade at around $8,029. The leading cryptocurrency started the day as low as $7,680, subsequently reaching the current price point. On its weekly chart, the coin has lost slightly over 8%.

Bitcoin price analyst Oliver Isaacs said last week that the coin could hit $25,000 around the end of 2019, noting that there are many different factors behind this price resurgence.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

The second-largest crypto by market capitalization, ether (ETH), has registered moderate growth of 0.97% over the past 24 hours and is trading at around $244.6. The leading altcoin has seen minimal volatility over the past week to lose $20 in value, posting around a 9.35% loss.

Ether 7-day price chart

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

XRP has lost almost 2% of its value over the last 24 hours and is currently trading at around $0.399. Over the past month, the altcoin has gained a solid 34.29%, although its weekly chart shows a 9.25% loss.

XRP 7-day price chart

XRP 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Litecoin (LTC) is currently the top gainer, having recorded an almost 7% increase on the day to trade at around $124.9. The coin is followed by neo (NEO) and tezos (XTZ), with 4.74% and 4.15% gains respectively.

On the top 20 list, binance coin (BNB), bitcoin SV (BSV), stellar (XLM), tron (TRX), and cosmos (ATOM) are reporting losses between 0.03% and 1.58%.

Total market capitalization of all digital currencies is over $254 billion at press time. The market’s intraweek low was around $242 billion on June 5, while the highest point on the week was $272 billion on June 4.

Total market capitalization 7-day chart

Total market capitalization 7-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

In traditional markets, gold is reporting losses, with spot gold down 0.9% at $1,328.41 per ounce today, according to CNBC, and U.S. gold futures fell 1.1% to $1,331.9 an ounce. Howie Lee, an economist at OCBC Bank, said that they “expect prices to hover sideways from $1,300-$1,350 per ounce in the short term, with risks tilted to the upside.”

Chinese markets have seen a rise following a higher-than-expected trade surplus in May, CNBC writes. Mainland Chinese stocks were higher by the afternoon, with the Shenzhen component jumping 1.61% and the Shenzhen composite rising 1.473%. The Shanghai composite also gained 0.98%.

Cypherpunk Adam Back Speaks of Blockchain Benefits at G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers

Adam Back, who invented the hashcash proof-of-work system and was one of the first people to work on bitcoin (BTC), spoke about the positive uses of blockchain at G20. Cointelegraph Japan reported on Back’s comments at a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in Japan on June 8.

Sitting next to the governor of the Dutch central bank, Back said he believed blockchain was another move to open networking — and said financial institutions stand to benefit from the technology because it would mean international transfers no longer need to go through intermediary banks with questionable creditworthiness.

When speaking in Fukuoka City at the seminar entitled ‘Multi-Stakeholder Governance for a Distributed Financial System,’ Back said BTC and other crypto assets “are the electronic cash for the global internet world.” He added:

“I don’t see it as large enough to affect monetary policies for major currencies like the euro and Japanese yen.”

Back’s attendance was defended by Junei Murai, a University of Tokyo professor who moderated the discussion. He said:

“It was meaningful to show a place where various stakeholders gather to build a decentralized financial system.”

Japan’s Financial Services Agency has described Back as a legendary cypherpunk who was able to facilitate useful discussions about the role that crypto and blockchain can play in the future. Back is also the founder and CEO of Blockstream, a blockchain development company.

After the G20 meeting, a joint communiqué co-signed by leaders urged the Financial Stability Board and global standard-setting bodies to monitor the risks surrounding crypto assets — warning that while they could pose benefits to the economy, money laundering and terrorism financing are potential byproducts.

In the run-up to the meeting, crypto advocates had warned that a “balance should be found between privacy and compliance” in any strategy pursued by the G20.