Category Archives: Bitcoin

ICE’s Bakkt CEO: Platform Won’t Support Margin Trading, Contracts to Be Fully Collateralized

The forthcoming Bitcoin futures contract of Bakkt platform, that was recently launched by Intercontinental Exchange, “will not be traded on margin, use leverage or serve to create a paper claim on a real asset," says CEO Kelly Loeffler

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UPS Files Blockchain Patent to Increase Delivery Efficiency

Global logistics company UPS have recently applied for a patent to use blockchain technology in their delivery processes.

Amongst other benefits, the company is hoping that the technological innovation will increase efficiency when routing packages across multiple carriers.

UPS Patent Could Improve Efficiency of Delivery Services

According to SupplyChainDive, UPS are looking to explore the implications of blockchain technology in a much wider capacity than was previously believed.

The company joined the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BiTA) several months ago to help promote trust and improve efficiency when making transactions. At the time, UPS had stated that it hoped blockchain technology would be primarily used in line with their customs brokerage business.

However, the patent application, which was submitted on Thursday, shows that UPS are taking a much wider interest in the technology. It explains that the company’s customers are seeking greater transparency in terms of deliveries, as well as faster, cheaper shipping.

It is believed that the blockchain technology may be one of the tools needed to streamline services in such a way that the benefits will be felt by the customers themselves.

The patent also mentions the phrase “automated determination.” It seems UPS plans to use the software they develop in conjunction with their blockchain system to allow for greater efficiency in terms of creating optimal routes for packages without the need for human involvement.

Also mentioned in the patent is that packages will be able to be fully tracked as they are picked up by different carries. This will allow for payments to be made at each step in the delivery. The delivery itself will provide the trigger for payment, rather than requiring an additional action by the carrier.

Finally, the document also states that “virtual currencies” may be deemed acceptable methods of payment in the system. This would be good news for those hoping to see greater adoption of digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ether.

As the implications of the blockchain become more fully understood, we are beginning to see additional uses of the innovation. Already this year, NewsBTC has reported on potential use cases in the fishing industry, as well as meat suppliers.

By using distributed ledgers, items can be tracked from point of origin right to their end consumers. This will disrupt the way some companies and government bodies can do business, creating improvements in terms of efficiency, as well as a reduction in cases of fraudulent products being passed off as something they are not.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Daily Market Report for August 20 2018

August 20 2018 
 $78.4M traded across all markets today
 Crypto, EUR, USD, JPY, CAD, GBP 

Visit the About section on our blog for more information about the Kraken Daily Market Report here.

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Report: Crypto Hedge Funds Are Down 50% This Year

A new report has found that most crypto hedge funds are down by as much as 50% in 2018, following last year’s market bull run.

Autonomous Next: Crypto Hedge Funds Are “Underwater”

The report, released by crypto research and fintech analysis firm Autonomous Research LLP, delves into the tumbling cryptocurrency market and how crypto hedge funds have taken a significant hit since the start of the year.

The report states that “most crypto funds” are down at least 50% since the start of the year, and many are “rushing” to hedge their investments through shorting the market.

“Looking at the self-reported performance of some funds in our database shows the extent of the damage. We have two samples: July 31st and April 30th. In each case, we compare them to the BITA 50 index, which tracks the top 50 liquid coins. The first chart shows both the returns and the index, the second chart just shows the difference. The reported outperformance averages around 20%. Given the BITA 50 index is now down about 70%, we expect that most crypto funds are at least 50% underwater for this year.”

Autonomous believes the negative sentiment around crypto hedge funds is in part due to the timing at which they were created.

Many of the “370+” hedge funds analyzed formed in mid-2017, missing out on early gains before the market went parabolic –– a parabolic advance that has had almost all of its gains wiped out in the current downtrend.

Could Ethereum Be to Blame for Negative Market Sentiment?

Autonomous points to Ether as a potential cause for negative market sentiment and uncertainty fueling the losses crypto hedge funds are experiencing.

The firm suggests that although the number of developers building on the platform has only increased, it has first-mover advantage. Notably, the number of ICOs launching on the platform hasn’t decreased, but the crypto community itself is causing the negative sentiment.

Specifically, Autonomous points to recent comments made by outspoken BitMex CEO Arthur Hayes and New York-based digital asset hedge fund Tetras Capital.

Tetras Capital released a scathing report in July saying that irrational speculation drove the price of Ether far beyond its real value and that it “will inevitably suffer further as the market sobers up.”

Tetras also sees Ethereum “struggling” at both becoming a decentralized application platform and a capital raising platform. Tetras suggested shorting Ether was “an ideal strategy for hedging out overall crypto market risk.”

Hayes shared similar sentiment around Ether, calling it a “double digit shitcoin” in a recent BitMex newsletter distributed to investors. However, Hayes comments could be to encourage the shorting of Ether — something his exchange can profit from.

BitMex recently added ETHUSD perpetual swaps to its product offering, and within days became the most liquid Ether-based trading pair globally.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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When It Comes to Green Energy’s Blockchain Revolution, Lition Is Ahead of the Pack

In July, The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) — a non-partisan US-based policy think tank published a report on the important role that blockchain technology could play over the next decade as global jurisdictions work to adopt more agile policies for renewable energy. It notes that “substantial investment is flowing toward ventures that apply blockchain technology to the electric power sector” and identifies the function that startups around the world are performing in helping to innovate and modernize electric power systems. Indeed, green energy entrepreneurs recognized very quickly that blockchain technology could offer consumers, prosumers, and renewable energy producers alike a viable alternative to the legacy power grids that monopolize energy delivery today.

Among the vanguard companies leading the change towards a decentralized green energy blockchain system is Germany’s Lition which is working with global technology giant SAP on its blockchain solution. Their platform was developed to connect consumers directly with green energy producers and give them more choice over where their energy comes from and how much they pay for it. Because Lition is built on blockchain technology it makes the process of buying energy directly from producers much easier, since transparent smart contracts eliminate the need for third-party brokers.

The company’s CEO, Dr. Richard Lohwasser, argues that current energy delivery arrangements are inefficient and expensive, and the consumer doesn’t really know what they’re buying from official grid systems. “We want to give ‘power to the people,’” he says. “Current power delivery systems are too complex and there is no transparency for the consumer. It’s not possible with today’s delivery systems to know what exactly you’re buying. Even dirty coal energy can be packaged as ‘green’ and sold at premium prices,” he adds. Lohwasser understands the energy sector very well, with 10 years under his belt as a researcher and consultant. He and his team grasped very early that blockchain technology, deployed through a powerful platform, could change the field completely and could give consumers more control over their energy choices.

The CFR discussion paper largely agrees with Dr. Lohwasser, and its authors believe that the cultural shift away from what they call the “hegemony of centralized fossil fuel” needs to be driven by the kind of vision that Lition’s founders express. The problem has been that renewables are notoriously unpredictable, which doesn’t work with a centralized grid system. In addition, power consumption fluctuates, as does natural power generation, which has made green energy a difficult option to integrate into 20th-century energy delivery systems.


There’s a number of ways that blockchain technology could be adopted over the next decade to revolutionize the established systems. Moreover, the technology could help emerging markets that lack official infrastructures to leapfrog into 21st-century energy technologies. A number of innovative startups have been working hard to produce viable solutions for the near future. Estonia’s WePower is presently directing a pilot that allows users to participate in building a wind-power project. Anyone can buy tokens and can then redeem their tokens for electricity once the project is operational. It’s an innovative way to allow consumers to crowdfund the kinds of projects they’re interested in, and energy sector experts will be keeping an eye on how this project rolls out its other pilots in Spain, Lithuania, and Australia.

Meanwhile, Romania’s Restart Energy is also in a pilot stage with its plan to allow token holders to become energy retailers who can buy and sell energy if they wish or just obtain power directly through its peer-to-peer system. Restart is one of the few startups licensed as an energy supplier in their own jurisdiction, which gives them greater access to consumers. Others like Power Ledger and Electrify Asia are conducting pilots that are focusing on energy trading directly, as well as wholesale market settlements in the case of the former company.

One of the key components that will drive the future of energy is the integration of smart metering, which along with growing demand for notoriously intermittent renewable energy, creates a recipe for complexity, a problem traditional integrated grid systems simply can’t handle. Prosumers can certainly sell their solar or wind power into the official grid, but it’s no simple feat to separate out local green power from other types of suppliers. Of course, it’s this type of complexity that blockchain was ideally built to address, so we should expect more exciting innovations from some of the new companies that have emerged recently. Restart Energy, for instance, has already integrated some smart appliance metering capability into its platform.

On this front, Lition will be the company to watch, since they’re already working to fully address the complex issues created by fluctuating demand versus intermittent supply. Being fully operational, they already have customers in 11 cities in Germany, accessible to 41 million households. The customers, as well as energy producers on the platform, have reported financial boosts since becoming part of it.

The Lition platform can work with smart appliances, enabling users to monitor and track how they use their energy. Lition is also one of the few platforms that has a vehicle charging app layer that will become crucial as the market moves to electric vehicles.

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