Bitcoin and cryptocurrency news round-up: 16 January 2018

What you need to know

Twitch now accepts BTC and Coinbase for payments, a new report shows how coins can be manipulated, and Binance has added a bunch of new coins.

1. Twitch now accepts crypto payments

Twitch, the Amazon-owned video game streaming service, is now allowing subscribers to pay for its services using cryptocurrency.

Twitch confirmed the plans in a tweet on its official account last week, listing BTC and Coinbase amongst the payment options it accepts. “Put those gift cards from grandma to good use by subscribing to your favorite streamer!” the tweet read.

The move opens up other cryptocurrencies for Twitch as well. LTC, ETH and Bitcoin Cash, which are available for trading on Coinbase, will also be accepted for Twitch subscription payments.

2. Researchers have shown how bots pushed bitcoin’s first big spike

During the prominence of Mt Gox, before hackers ran away with US$188 million worth of bitcoin, the paper found that suspicious activity seemed to directly link to price increase for bitcoin. The researchers found that on days in which suspicious activity was detected, the USD-BTC price rose by an average of 4%, while on days where there was no suspicious activity the price of bitcoin took a slight decline.

The paper found that due to the market volume being particularly low at that time, it was relatively easy for the market to be manipulated. With the initial price spike, the work of just one person manipulating the marketusing bots.

The trade volume between the bots was much higher than non-bot trading, however it brought in real traders who were buying and selling based on prices that were manipulated through these bots.

As a result, over a period in late 2013, bitcoin’s price spiked massively from US$150 to US$1,000 before Mt Gox’s collapse.

3. Binance has added Ecosystem (INS) coin

Binance has added Ecosystem (INS) to its marketplace, available as BTC:INS or ETH:INS pairs, and the time of listing shows an abrupt price spike on CoinMarketCap from around US$7 to $US10.

INS is designed to let users buy groceries directly from manufacturers more conveniently, and at lower prices, so its actual value for money might be easier to calculate than other coins.

The coin is all about decentralising the grocery industry by directly connecting manufacturers and consumers, and using smart contracts to cut costs wherever possible to create win-win situations for everyone (except retailers and other middlemen).

4. Ripple is now at its lowest point of 2018

Ripple (XRP) has fallen even further in the last 24 hours, to its lowest level in nearly 3 weeks as South Korean investors appear to be spooked after threats for tighter regulation by the Korean government.

Ripple’s XRP is currently sitting at US$1.66, down 10.6% in the last 24 hours, with a market cap of US$64 billion.

5. Hackers have stolen US$400,000 of Stellar Lumen

Hackers hijacked the server that hosts web-based wallet BlackWallet at the weekend, stealing over US$400,000 worth of Stellar Lumen from users’ accounts. Records show that the hackers moved the money to another exchange Bittrex, looking to liquidate the coins into another currency to hide their identity.

Instead of just shutting the wallet wallet down while the hack was taking place, BlackWallet tried to warn users about the attack via forums and social media. Despite this, customer’s continued to log in and lost their money.

This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrencies or a recommendation to invest. Historic performance is no guarantee of future returns. As an investment class, cryptocurrencies are speculative investments and investing in cryptocurrencies involves significant risks – they are highly volatile, vulnerable to hacking and capital loss and sensitive to secondary activity. Before investing you should obtain advice and decide whether the potential return outweighs the risks.


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