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Co-founder and CIO of BlockTower Capital. Active since 2011.

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BlockTower Capital’s Ari Paul Says Wall Street Is Reluctant About Bitcoin And Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency and blockchain have seen significant acceptance in the first decade of their existence and have been used by world governments, global firms and millions around the world. Despite this, many feel that there is still work that should be done and that acceptance isn’t quite at the level that it should be. Most times, it is believed that sluggish government regulation has hindered the growth of crypto or lack of confidence from members of the public. However, Ari Paul, the co-founder of crypto investment firm BlockTower Capital, believes the fault lies with Wall Street. In a series of tweets, Paul stated that institutional opinions about crypto are divided into three: I didn’t talk to many institutional investors in the second half of 2018. Just spent a day and a half at an allocator conference talking to many family offices and a few banks. Here are my takeaways. — Ari Paul (@AriDavidPaul) February 1, 2019 3/ c. Is this a market where we can generate profits as service providers or via active trading? … the 3 are not mutually exclusive, but most investors heavily biased towards 1 or maybe 2. Differs by individual and institution. — Ari Paul (@AriDavidPaul) February 1, 2019 Stumbling Blocks And Stepping Stones Another reason for the stalling of crypto adoption that was mentioned in the tweet was the lack of regulatory framework, a topic that has been heavily discussed in the industry. Specifically, anti-money-laundering (AML), and know-your-customer (KYC) practices are lacking and this puts investors in a tricky position. Despite all of these, crypto has seen renewed interest from mainstream institutions. However, many Wall Street Institutions are using a ‘follow the leader’ approach- waiting for some other firm to begin making use of crypto before they do. This has created a situation where everyone is waiting for the other to act and as a result, no one is acting. In terms of crypto adoption finally coming to Wall Street, Paul makes an estimate of late 2019.
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XRP Security Debate Continues on Social Media as Ripple Community Leader and Ari Paul Dispute Outcome

The XRP community continues to debate whether XRP is a security or not. During this year, the market has been debating on this issue, but there is no unified position on the matter. XRP supporters will always explain that XRP is not a security. However, those opposed to XRP and some analysts have a different position and believe that the digital asset has several features of security. In a recent tweet written by @XRPTrump, he said that XRP was created before Ripple, meaning that it cannot be a security. With this comment, he answered a Tweet uploaded by the cryptoanalyst Mike Dudas in which he mentioned that there is a ‘tremendous amount of danger and risk’ in Ripple and XRP. What motivated XRPTrump to answer this tweet was the fact that @AriDavidPaul has liked the tweet uploaded by Mike Dudas. I just came across this. I noticed that @AriDavidPaul had liked the tweet as well. You're aware of these facts I will let your followers know as well: XRP was created before Ripple, so it can't be a security. Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday season Mike. https://t.co/0m3Vf0ZKjK — Dr. T (@XRPTrump) December 26, 2018 Ari Paul did not take long to answer. He said that it is very important to pay close attention to what it is said. He said to XRPTrump that providing inaccurate legal advice could make him personally liable. Furthermore, he said that even if Ripple was created five years after XRP, it could still be considered a security because the timing of Ripple’s incorporation of XRP is not part of the Howey test. The Howey test was created by the Supreme Court in order to understand whether some assets are considered securities or not. If they are securities, they must provide certain disclosure and be registered with regulatory entities. @XRPTrump be very careful giving inaccurate legal advice, it could make you personally liable. As you should know, even if Ripple was created 5 years after XRP, XRP could still be a security. Timing of Ripple incorporation not part of Howey test. — Ari Paul (@AriDavidPaul) December 26, 2018 Ari Paul asked XRPTrump what he thinks about the tweets related to website captures mentioning and explaining that Ripple created XRP. Nevertheless, he did not receive an answer from XRPTrump. Another XRP supporter, @EDadoun, entered the conversation and asked Ari Paul whether he would be satisfied if the SEC considers that XRP was a security in the past but not it is not. Disregarding for a second the clarity provided by other countries on this topic…Im curious whether the "XRP is a security" camp will be satisfied if the SEC were to say "XRP was once a security but now isn't" or is blood the only thing that will satisfy those opposed to it? — ecent (@EDadoun) December 26, 2018 On this issue, Ari Paul commented that he is not sure what ‘satisfactory’ means. Furthermore, he said that he would take such an SEC statement for exactly what it was. The discussion continued with EDadoun saying that XRP has been considered not a security in different countries and that this sets a precedent in the United States, additionally, he said that those that are against Ripple being considered a security would not be happy if regulatory agencies would consider it not a security. Ari Paul continued the discussion saying that EDadoun would ignore the law in the United States if US law says XRP is a security but Australian law says that it is not a security. As he says, the US law applies to its citizens and to US companies. 2/ Your logic seems to be that if US law says XRP is a security and Australian law says that it isn't, that you choose to ignore US law and assume that Australian law applies in the US? That's simply inaccurate. US law applies within US borders and to US citizens and companies. — Ari Paul (@AriDavidPaul) December 26, 2018 In another tweet, XRPTrump said that XRP existed only on the XRP ledger and not on other networks such as Ethereum (ETH). And Ari Paul agreed on that noting that this is the strongest defense for XRP never having been a security. This is indeed the strongest defense for XRP never having been a security imo. (I'm not stating an opinion on the matter, just that in a relative sense, this is the strongest defense.) — Ari Paul (@AriDavidPaul) December 26, 2018 There were other individuals involved in the conversation and giving their opinion on the matter related to XRP being considered a security or not. Now, it is necessary for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to provide clarity on the matter. There are several companies and institutions that do not want to take risks and start operating with an asset that could be considered a security. Until now, Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two assets not considered as securities in the cryptocurrency space. Several ICO tokens have been labelled as unregistered securities and some ICOs have already been reached by the regulatory agency to regularize their situation.
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Bitcoin [BTC]’s mining death spiral explained by BlockTower’s CIO, Ari Paul

Ari Paul, the managing partner, and Chief Investment Officer the BlockTower capital spoke recently on TD Ameritrade’s Morning Trade Live on Monday and discussed Bitcoin’s declining hash rate over the past few months. He also addressed the ‘mining death spiral’ that Bitcoin is facing. Touching the shutdown of Bitmain’s Israel’s mining branch, Ari Paul said that it was a matter of intense debate as the security of Bitcoin’s network lies in the hash power and in turn, lies with miners. He added, “the more hash power, the more expensive it is to mine, the more secure the network is” so the danger arrived when the mining cost declined. Paul continued: ” it’s tricky because it’s a spectrum, ’cause there’s some miners who have near zero marginal electricity costs and there are others for money a $4,000 marginal cost” He argued that $6,000 to $6,500 was not the mining cost, and said that it could be an all-in cost, which includes the equipment cost, replacement of ASICs, but not the marginal cost. Referring to the mining fee revenue chart, and how it has vastly reduced to a point where it is not profitable for miners, Ari Paul said: “The term that people sometimes use is “hash power death spiral” and the idea’s that if the price of bitcoin falls below marginal cost of mining, miners just stop mining, and the Bitcoin network ceases to function, basically. But the Bitcoin network automatically adjust for this every it’s usually around two weeks, it’s it’s algorithmic.” Source: Blockchain.com Paul added that the way the Bitcoin network worked was that the difficulty of finding the next block adjusts automatically and that this was “baked in the code” every 2016 blocks. The concern that Ari Paul raised was that if Bitcoin’s price fell down to zero in a dramatic decline, it would require an entity like Coinbase or BlockTower to mine Bitcoin for a period of two weeks or to mine those 2016 blocks which would act like a “bridge loan”. Furthermore, the mining done in the period of those two weeks would adjust the mining difficulty level which would offset the drop in the hash rate, leading the mining from that point on to be profitable. Moreover, Paul added that for the brief period of two weeks that the miners are mining uneconomically is not actually right as it was semantics and that they just have to be profitable at the end of two weeks, which usually came from inflationary block reward. The post Bitcoin [BTC]’s mining death spiral explained by BlockTower’s CIO, Ari Paul appeared first on AMBCrypto.
AMBCrypto

BlockTower CEO Ari Paul’s $1 Million Bitcoin Bet Faces 99.73% Loss for BTC $40-$50,000 Calls

Ari Paul Faces 99.73% Loss As Bitcoin Struggles During Bear Market Ari Paul, the CEO of Block Tower, a crypto asset investment company, has invested about $1 million USD worth in a Bitcoin price bet, now, he has lost 99.73% of this money and has become the latest victim of the scary Bitcoin bear market. This sad tale of an investor making a hugely bad move started with Paul deciding to buy Bitcoin options from LedgerX for $3600 USD each about three months ago. Ari Paul’s main mistake was that he was too bullish on Bitcoin while the market is quite clearly bearish, so he bet that the price would be far higher than it is and lost his money. Ari Paul bet that Bitcoin would be worth at least $50,000 USD on December 28. As the Bitcoin price is currently at around $6600 USD and it does not go up for a long time ago, it looks like is prone to lose everything. At the moment, Bitcoin bets which expire at December 18 and that calls for Bitcoin being priced at $40,000 are worth only $9.60 USD each on the Deribit exchange. As Paul bet about one million and he will receive about $10 back for each of the 275 bets that he purchased, he will stand to lose 99.73%. It was really a disastrous gamble. Ari Paul Had An Awful Year Paul has already let slip that he was in charge of the purchase lately, but now he has deleted the tweet. This was not his only mistake this year, though, as there are accusations of insider trading around him after he made a deal with the Stellar network to purchase Chain, a finance startup, for about a billion USD. While Bitcoin could make a miraculous comeback at the end of the year and simply change the whole game, it is simply too unlikely that this will happen. Only diehard Bitcoin enthusiasts are still believing that the token will be able to have a big bull run at the end of the year. 2018 was a tough year for investors. It is easy to be a genius during a bull run, people often say, and it looks like Ari Paul is just the latest example that investing and wishing for the best is always an awful strategy. If you do not want to end up like him, read our blog be well informed before you invest.
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Ruling on XRP’s status as a security unlikely until late 2020

Disclaimer: These summaries are provided for educational purposes only by Stephen Palley. They are not legal advice. These are our opinions only, aren’t authorized by any past, present or future client or employer. Also we might change our minds. We contain multitudes. A consolidated class action in federal court in Oakland may one day lead a court to rule on (1) whether Ripple violated U.S. Securities laws by creating the XRP token and (2) whether XRP is a security. That day will not be in 2019, judging from a scheduling order entered by the Court on March 18. The Order sets forth a schedule for roughly the next twelve months. Here's what's going to happen: By March 20, Plaintiffs will publish a notice under federal law that verifies that they read the complaint, authorized its filing, didn't buy XRP in oder to become plaintiffs, and a number of other things that are set forth in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (a law that was passed purportedly to prevent abuses class action practice. [related id=1]In 60 days, any member of the "purported class" can ask the court to be appointed as lead plaintiff and to approve selection of their counsel. This is a big deal from a financial standpoint for the lawyers, because the class lead will almost certainly earn more if there's a favorable result. As a result, you will see some litigation over this in about two months (we had a taste of that in the Tezos class action litigation, if you've followed that case). 45 days after the Court chooses the lead plaintiff, they will file a new complaint, which will replace all of the other complaints that the different plaintiffs filed. (As a reminder, this particular lawsuit consolidates or brings together a bunch of separately filed suits against Ripple). 45 days after the new complaint is filed, Defendants have to respond. Instead of answering, it is a virtual guarantee that they will file motions to dismiss. The parties will have 30 days to reply to the motion. All of the cases are ordered consolidated for pretrial purposes, which means that depositions, written discovery and motions will all be handled in this one case by this particular judge. If we build in time for the Court to rule and for some potential delay in the class rep designation process, it's possible that the Court will rule on Motions to Dismiss by the end of this year. It's also possible that this will role into next year. It's a dicey proposition to speculate on motions that haven't been filed yet, but if we assume that the motion to dismiss is denied -- which is usually the case if a Complaint is reasonably well pleaded -- we'd probably see an answer on file in early 2020. Discovery, class certification motions, and dispositive motions will likely take place in 2020 and 2021. It's possible that when the Court rules on the likely Motion to Dismiss we will see an indication as to whether or not the Court thinks a security is at issue, but Motions to Dismiss generally speaking don't address the merits of a case -- they assume that the facts stated are true for purposes of ruling, and will only look at whether or not a viable claim was pleaded. In short, I wouldn't expect to see a ruling on XRP's status as a security until late 2020 at the earliest.
The Block Crypto

IOTA / USD Technical Analysis: Game Changer

IOTA is bullish in the short-term, with the cryptocurrency trading well above its 200-period moving average The medium-term outlook remains bearish for the IOTA / USD pair, with the cryptocurrency still trading below its 200-day moving average Both time frames show potential inverted head and shoulders patterns building IOTA / USD Short-term price analysis In the short-term, IOTA has a bullish trading bias, with the cryptocurrency trading well above its 200-period moving average of the four-hour time frame. The four-hour time frame shows multiple inverted head and shoulders patterns, with price trading close to the neckline of the bullish patterns. If an upside breakout does occur, the larger bullish pattern’s overall bullish objective will likely be the November 15th trading high from last year.     IOTA / USD H4 Chart                                                                         (Source: TradingvView)     Pattern Watch Traders should note the target of the smaller bullish inverted head and shoulders pattern on the four-hour time frame will likely be the current 2019 trading high. MACD Indicator The MACD indicator on the four-hour time frame remains bullish, with the MACD signal line crossing higher. Relative Strength Index The RSI indicator on the four-hour time frame is bullish, although downside pressures are building. IOTA / USD Medium-term price analysis IOTA remains bearish in the medium-term, with the cryptocurrency still unable to move above its key 200-day moving average. The daily time frame clearly shows two potential inverted head and shoulders patterns that could start to take shape over the medium-term. The upside projection of the smaller inverted head and shoulders pattern would take the IOTA / USD pair towards levels not seen since October 2018. Technical indicators on the daily time frame remain bullish and continue to signal further gains ahead.     IOTA / USD Daily Chart                                                 (Source: TradingView)     Pattern Watch It is worth noting that the IOTA / USD pair’s 200-day moving average is located just below the neckline of the smaller inverted head and shoulders pattern. MACD Indicator The MACD indicator on the daily time frame is bullish and generating a buy signal. Relative Strength Index The RSI indicator is bullish on the daily time frame, although it is starting to correct lower. Conclusion The presence of multiple inverted head and shoulders patterns on the four-hour time frame highlights that the IOTA / USD pair has scope to trade much higher over the short-term. A sustained technical breakout above IOTA’s 200-day moving average would be a game changer for the cryptocurrency over the medium-term, although caution is advised until a bullish breakout is confirmed.   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IOTA(IOT) Price $0.310 Market Cap$862,262,752.00 #ccpw-ticker-24524 .ccc-chart-header { background: #1c71ff} #ccpw-ticker-24524 #ccc-chart-block .exportBtnTop, #ccpw-ticker-24524 a.tabperiods.tabperiods_active, #ccpw-ticker-24524 .coin_details { color: #1c71ff; background: rgba(28,113,255,0.15); } #ccpw-ticker-24524 .coin_details { border: 1px solid rgba(28,113,255,0.16); } .ccpw-container_chart #ccpw-ticker-24524 .coin-container:after, .ccpw-container_four #ccpw-ticker-24524 .coin-container:after {border-color:#ccc !Important;} Join the conversation on Telegram and Twitter!   Decentral Media, Inc., the publisher of Crypto Briefing, is not an investment advisor and does not offer or provide investment advice or other financial advice. Nothing on this website constitutes, or should be relied on as, investment advice or financial advice of any kind. Specifically, none of the information on this website constitutes, or should be relied on as, a suggestion, offer, or other solicitation to engage in, or refrain from engaging in, any purchase, sale, or any other any investment-related activity with respect to any transaction. You should never make an investment decision on an investment based solely on the information on our website, and you should never interpret or otherwise rely on any of the information on this website as investment advice. We strongly recommend that you consult a licensed investment advisor or other qualified financial professional if you are seeking investment advice on an investment. The post IOTA / USD Technical Analysis: Game Changer appeared first on Crypto Briefing.
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During Second Half of 2018, Vitalik Buterin Cashed Out $40 Million in Ethereum (ETH)

With so many prominent figures in the cryptocurrency world, it should come as no surprise that a deep dive into the history of these influencers arises every now and then. Alex Sunnarborg, who is a founding partner of the Tetra Capital crypto hedge fund, decided to dig into the historical account data of Vitalik Buterin. […]
Bitcoin Exchange Guide

Adoption: Customers can now pay with IOTA in Stores that Accept Apple Pay and Samsung Pay following Zeux Integration

As a means of encouraging wider use, Payments and banking services app Zeux has integrated IOTA (MIOTA) for crypto payments in stores for retailers in a collaboration with IOTA Foundation. This is to be fully available in a few weeks time according to an announcement by the Zeux team on Medium. According to founder and co-chairman of IOTA Foundation David Sønstebø, this partnership is a major step for the company that will make IOTA use more convenient. “This partnership with Zeux will provide a significant convenience benefit for IOTA ecosystem. We are very excited about this. Now IOTA digital currency can be used as payment with merchants that accept Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. By combining existing technology with another form of currency, this is a big step forward towards the adoption of crypto for the masses.’’ Speaking on the partnership, Founder and CEO of Zeux Frank Zhou said it is an avenue to increase the adoption of the digital asset and is just the first step to giving IOTA users more financial freedom. Meanwhile, IOTA has gained over 5% since the announcement of its integration with Zeux. this is an indication of the potential adoption this cryptocurrency stands to gain as a result of the integration which will bring it to thousands if not millions of users worldwide. Zeux is an app of the UK origin that provides payment services. The app is to be launched in April and made available in Europe within the year and America in 2020. Its integration of IOTA is a win-win as the CEO described IOTA’s Tangle as an ideal platform for them to build their customer data Dapp. Tangle is a specialized distributed ledger technology that is specifically meant for the internet of things, which the IOTA Foundation’s primary mission is to support. Apart from fee-less real-time payments, the Tangle is also an open-source protocol that facilitates secure data transfer and the collection and dissemination of sensor-based and other data. Zeux mission is to bring crypto as well as fiat micropayments to retail stores around the world through facilitating fee-less real-time payment as well as enabling integration of banking and investment services with it in one, making it a convenient way to do everything with funds without going out of the app. The post Adoption: Customers can now pay with IOTA in Stores that Accept Apple Pay and Samsung Pay following Zeux Integration appeared first on ZyCrypto.
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