U.S. FDA Eyes Blockchain to Enhance Food Safety in the Wake of E. coli Outbreak




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Following an outbreak of E. coli in the United States that was linked to romaine lettuce, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering better track-and-trace methods and this includes the use of blockchain technology.

Speaking to business news channel CNBC, FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb announced that the federal agency had hired the vice president of food safety at Walmart, Frank Yiannas, as its foods and veterinary medicine deputy commissioner. Yiannas is expected to introduce new track-and-trace tools to the agency.

“We have a guy starting… the former head of food safety at Walmart who is going to be coming to the FDA to help us put in place among other things better track and trace using tools like blockchain maybe to even do track-and-trace on the food supply chain,”

Gottlieb said.

Pinpointing the Problem

According to Gottlieb, whenever there is a food-related outbreak, technologies such as blockchain will assist in tracing the cause to a specific distributor, farm or grower in the supply chain. This will prevent blanket warnings which affect everyone even when the cause is limited to a particular origin.

Prior to joining the FDA, Yiannas was instrumental in deploying blockchain technology at Walmart with a view of tracking leafy greens as CCN reported in September. This included the food traceability initiative which required producers of fresh, leafy greens to use blockchain technology in tracking and tracing such products. Walmart gave the suppliers one year to ensure that systems were in place for the program to take off.

While announcing the initiative at the time, Walmart noted that multiple states in the U.S. had suffered E. coli outbreaks linked to romaine lettuce and this had resulted in 96 hospitalizations and five deaths. With blockchain technology, the big box retailer added, product information such as origin would become available throughout the supply chain in real time.

“In the future, using the technology we’re requiring, a customer could potentially scan a bag of salad and know with certainty where it came from,”

Yiannas said at the time.

Food Safety

Outside the United States, French retail giant Carrefour has taken similar steps to Walmart by integrating IBM’s tailored blockchain data system known as Food Trust with a view of improving food safety.

And about four months ago, the Food Standards Agency, the food safety watchdog of the United Kingdom, announced that a blockchain technology trial to track beef from the slaughterhouse to the end consumer had concluded successfully.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Bitcoin Price Eyes Double Bottom Reversal After $4K Defense

Bitcoin’s defense of key long-term support for the second time in four days is a positive sign for a potential recovery rally.

The leading cryptocurrency by market value fell below $4,242 (low of Wednesday’s inside-day candle) in the Asian trading hours, putting the bears back into the driver’s seat. As a result, BTC fell below the 200-week exponential moving average (EMA) of $4,182 earlier today.

The breach of the EMA support, however, may have trapped the bears on the wrong side of the market, as BTC is currently trading at $4,330 on Bitstamp, having clocked an intraday low of $4,061 earlier today.

It is worth noting that the long-term EMA was first breached on Tuesday. The subsequent sell-off, however, ended at the 14-month low of $4,048 and prices recovered to $4,500 on the following day.

The repeated failure to beat the long-term support indicates the bears have likely run out of steam. As a result, a stronger corrective rally could be in the offing.

4-hour chart

On the 4-hour chart, the relative strength index (RSI) has created a bullish divergence with higher lows.

As a result, BTC looks set to test $4,635 – the neckline of the double-bottom bullish reversal pattern. A break above that, if confirmed, would open up upside toward $5,100 (target as per the measured height method).

Daily chart

As seen above, the 14-day relative strength index is holding below 30.00 for the ninth day straight, signaling ongoing oversold conditions.

The 5- and 10-day EMAs, currently at $4,546 and $4,933, respectively, are still trending south. Therefore, corrective rallies above the 10-day EMA, if any, could face exhaustion near $5,000.

View

  • Repeated defense of the 200-week EMA likely indicates seller exhaustion. (edited
  • A break above $4,635 would confirm a double-bottom breakout on the 4-hour chart and could yield a stronger recovery rally to $5,100.
  • A weekly close on Sunday (UTC time) below the 200-week EMA of $4,182 could prove costly, as the next major support is located directly at $3,100 (200-week simple moving average).

Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.

Bitcoin image via CoinDesk archives; charts by Trading View



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Price Holding Losses, Eyes Recovery as Dollar Slides




The bitcoin price on Friday plunged 0.85 percent against the US dollar, now trading at 5528-fiat.

Bitcoin Price Seeks to Claw Back Lost Ground

The digital currency has had a shocking week so far, with its value losing almost $1,200 within just five days. Not only bitcoin, but the entire cryptocurrency market also had to “bear” losses worth billions of dollars as a civil crypto war brewed inside the Bitcoin Cash community. It has already led to the split of Bitcoin Cash blockchain. Now, the market expects a return to normalcy.

Bitcoin initially traded shakily, owing to the displeasure of investors who preferred to stay out of its trades until the dust settled. The price started rebounding on Thursday after the BCH fork went live, rising from a low at 5188-fiat to as high as 5611-fiat. That marks more than 8 percent in intraday gains.

BTC/USD 15M CHART | SOURCE: COINBASE, TRADINGVIEW.COM

Bitcoin expects to further its gains amidst favorable macroeconomic factors. A Federal Reserve official today expressed doubts about the outlook of an interest rate hike scheduled at the end of this year. The comments rattled a strong US dollar, which dropped to its weekly low.

The technicalities do not support a robust bullish correction, anyway. The BTC/USD pair is trading in the middle of nowhere, with no bottom established yet. The next crucial support area is near 3027-fiat from September 2017 while a psychological barrier sits somewhere near 4500-fiat. The pair then again remains capped by strong resistance levels as it pursues a more substantial bullish correction.

BTC/USD 1D CHART | SOURCE: COINBASE, TRADINGVIEW.COM

On the daily chart, the BTC/USD RSI indicator is inside an oversold region, awaiting correction from bulls. The Stochastic Oscillator is also inside a buying sentiment area following the latest drop. At least in near-term, we are looking at a bullish bias.

While trading inside a falling wedge formation, BTC/USD can expect to restest the lower trendline for a potential bounce back towards the upper trendline. This action would be too obvious, which is why we have placed a Fibonacci retracement level to understand potential entry/exit levels — as defined in the intraday analysis as follows.

BTC/USD Intraday Analysis

We are looking at a range that is defined by 5414-fiat as interim support and 5709-fiat as interim resistance. BTC/USD has stabilized near-term following the latest correction, allowing us to expect a further bullish action. That said, we have already entered a long position towards 5709-fiat while maintaining our stop-loss order just three-pips below the level we entered from. That should minimize our losses if the downtrend resumes.

If BTC/USD manages to break above 5709-fiat, we will enter a new long position towards the 50 percent Fibonacci level at 5871-fiat. A stop loss just three-pips below the entry position would protect us from heavy losses should the uptrend reverse.

Looking to the downside, a break below 5414-support would have us enter a short position towards 5354-fiat while eyeing 5188-fiat as a potential breakdown target. On both the short positions, we will maintain a stop loss 5-pips above the entry position to define our risk management against the bulls.

Featured Image from Shutterstock. Charts from TradingView.

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OKCoin Adds the Argentine Peso as It Eyes Expansion Into Latin America

Despite a prolonged cryptocurrency bear market and regulatory uncertainties, OKCoin, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, is expanding to Latin America launching a new exchange platform headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Already active in 110 countries and 21 U.S. states, OKCoin USA CEO Tim Byun told Bitcoin Magazine that he is not worried about market volatility as they launch on a new continent:

“Overall, we are very bullish on the cryptocurrencies markets throughout the world and in Latin America in particular. The growth might not be perfectly linear, but we fundamentally believe in the potential of cryptocurrencies to fix what ails many of the infrastructure problems that ail the global economy.”

Launching today, November 15, 2018, OKCoin will allow traders in Argentina to deposit Argentine pesos (ARS) in exchange for cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, ethereum classic, litecoin, ripple, ada, stellar, zcash and 0x, with more being added soon.

OKCoin plans to begin its expansion by opening an office in Buenos Aires and then building up a team to support its business throughout Latin America. Other Latin American fiat currencies will be added in the coming months.

Why Argentina?

“There is a huge opportunity within Latin America and Argentina, in part because traders in the region are extremely savvy and in part because the Argentine peso has experienced a lot of volatility,” Byun explained.

“As the value of Argentina’s fiat currency remains uncertain, consumers there are looking for other options to invest in currencies that are not backed by any central bank or hard asset.”

In a recent study of the top cities in the world for bitcoin adoption, the authors found that Buenos Aires had the 8th highest adoption rate in the world, making it the leading bitcoin city in South America.

Buenos Aires has 130 merchants accepting bitcoin and three bitcoin ATMs in a city of 2.9 million people that is struggling with the volatile peso and a 32 percent yearly inflation rate.

Argentina is also known as one of Latin America’s top destinations for software development, with blockchain startups like CoinFabrik that offer blockchain development for other startups.

RSK Labs is also active in Argentina’s blockchain development ecosystem, creating Rootstock, a smart contract platform connected to the Bitcoin blockchain. RSK recently partnered with the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) to offer courses in blockchain technology as part of the university’s Information Engineering program.

OKCoin and Security

OKCoin says it puts a premium on the importance of security and calls it “the core and center to our business.”

They told us they have assembled one of the industry’s largest teams of security and fraud experts to stay ahead of hackers, and, since its launch in 2013, the company has developed a sophisticated system of security measures to handle new challenges like its Latin American expansion.

Byun added: “Preventing hacks is one of the most important roles for an exchange like ours, and we are proud to report that in the five years since our launch, our exchange has never been hacked, not even once.”

Minding Their Regulatory P’s and Q’s

The Argentine Parliament recognizes cryptocurrency as property, not as currency, so currently, the exchange of coins is legal. The Argentine government permitted the installation of 200 bitcoin ATMs in October 2017.

Byun comes to OKCoin with U.S. experience in risk and compliance with the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

In the U.S., at least, OKCoin says all its regulatory ducks are in a row and it is properly registered as an MSB (Money Services Business) with FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network).

Byun concluded by encouraging the crypto community to keep on innovating:

“It’s been remarkable to witness the tremendous amount of creativity and ingenuity being poured into the market. We believe the combination of the internet and blockchain technologies will create a whole new paradigm of applications and use cases. As such, we will continue to look for the best and the hottest cryptocurrency projects to list on our exchange.”

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Bitcoin Price Eyes $5K Defense as RSI Hits 4-Year Low

Bitcoin is looking oversold after a drop to 13-month lows Wednesday and could defend immediate support at $5,000 in the next few days.

The world’s top cryptocurrency by market value fell to $5,324 (price via Bitstamp) in a matter of hours yesterday, reaching its lowest level since Oct. 18. The average price across major exchanges, as calculated by CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index fell 10 percent – the biggest single-day drop since March 30.

While BTC had supposedly carved out a long-term bottom around $6,000, the convincing break below that level indicates a resumption of the sell-off from the record high of $20,000 reached last December.

As a result, a deeper drop looks likely, albeit after a minor bout of range-bound trading, as the 14-day relative strength index (RSI) is signaling bearish exhaustion.

Notably, the widely followed technical indicator is currently seen at 18, its lowest since September 2014. As the area below 30.00 represents oversold conditions, the bears may now take a breather before hitting the market with fresh offers.

As of writing, BTC is changing hands at $5,400 on Bitstamp, having clocked a high of $5,641 earlier today.

Daily chart

BTC closed at $5,595 yesterday, confirming a downside break of a nine-month-long descending triangle.

Meanwhile, the 5- and 10-day exponential moving averages (EMAs) have adopted a bearish bias, while the stacking order of the 50-day EMA, below the 100-day EMA, below the 200-day EMA, indicates that the path of least resistance is to the downside.

Monthly chart

Over on the monthly chart, BTC is trading below the support of the trendline connecting the November 2011 and August 2016 lows, validating the bearish view put forward by the bearish crossover between the 5- and 10-month EMAs in September.

The RSI is now threatening to turn bearish below 50.00 for the first time since September 2015.

To sum up, the odds are stacked in favor of a drop below the psychological support of $5,000, although the oversold daily RSI indicates that may not happen immediately.

View

  • BTC is looking south, although oversold conditions may help it hold above the psychological support of $5,000 in the next few days.
  • The probability of a stronger corrective rally in the near-term is quite low as a significant majority of investors, who had called a bottom around $6,000, may have turned bearish after yesterday’s price drop.
  • The bearish pressure would weaken if prices close above the June low of $5,780.
  • The bearish view would be neutralized if the former-support-turned resistance of $6,000 is scaled.

Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.

Bitcoin in water image via Shutterstock; charts by Trading View 



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Bitcoin Price Eyes $6.2K Amid Further Drop into Bear Territory

Bitcoin’s reversal of the recent uptrend in prices is gathering pace and a drop into a bearish territory below $6,200 is now a possibility, technical charts indicate.

The leading cryptocurrency found acceptance below the lower edge of the rising channel yesterday, invalidating the bullish price action witnessed earlier this week. Essentially, the rally from the Oct. 31 low of $6,201 has ended at a high of $6,540 reached on Nov. 7.

At press time, BTC is trading at $6,350 on Coinbase, having clocked a five-day low of $6,335 soon before press time, following a sudden $100 drop.

The negative follow through to yesterday’s bullish channel breakdown is an indication that the bears are likely feeling emboldened, having pulled down prices by 2.9 percent from weekly highs.

As a result, the support of the trendline from Oct. 11 lows could be breached in the next few hours, opening doors for a drop below the recent higher low of $6,200 (Oct. 31 low).

Hourly chart

As can be seen above, the cryptocurrency has established a bearish lower highs and lower lows pattern, validating yesterday’s bullish channel breakdown.

Further, prices seem to have found acceptance under the crucial 200-hour exponential moving average (EMA) support and the major EMAS – 50, 100 and 200 – are beginning to roll over in favor of the bears.

In particular, the 50-hour looks set to cross the 100-hour EMA from above, bolstering the already bearish technical setup.

The drop below the immediate support of $6,330 (61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement), however, is likely to happen after a minor bout of consolidation as the relative strength index (RSI) is reporting oversold conditions below 30.00.

Daily chart

Over on the daily chart, the symmetrical triangle breakout and a close above the critical 50-day EMA resistance witnessed earlier this week failed to produce significant price gains.

A failed breakout often ends up putting the bears back into the driver’s seat. Hence, a slide to $6,200 could be in the offing.

View

  • A combination of the failed breakout on the daily chart and the bearish setup on the hourly chart indicates that cryptocurrency could soon drop below $6,274 (trendline connecting the Oct. 11 low and Oct. 31 low + 76.4 percent Fibonacci retracement support) and drop below $6,200 (Oct. 31 low).
  • A UTC close below $6,200 would invalidate the higher lows pattern seen on the daily chart, shifting risk in favor of a drop to the psychological support of $6,000.
  • A bullish revival is seen only above the weekly high of $6,540.

Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.

Bitcoin image via CoinDesk archives; Charts by Trading View 

Join 10,000+ traders who come to us to be their eyes on the charts and sign up for Markets Daily, sent Monday-Friday. By signing up, you agree to our terms & conditions and privacy policy

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.



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Just a Ripple? XRP Price Hits One-Month High But Eyes Correction




Ripple (XRP) on Tuesday established a bullish setup after rising more than 10 percent against the US dollar.

The pair broke above the October peak to set a new one-month high at 0.569-fiat. It was previously stuck in a narrow trading range for multiple weeks amidst lower volatility. While the lack of bias-defining price action is itself not significant, the absence of solid bullish momentum, coupled with failed rally attempts of the recent weeks, confirms XRP’s overall downtrend. The latest rally marks the asset’s latest attempt to break above a strong resistance trendline.

Source: TradingView.com

However, nothing concrete is backing the XRP rally at this moment. The coin’s fundamentals have remained strong even in the times of bearish actions. The launch of xRapid, the presence of Bill Clinton and the financial market’s key players at Ripple’s Swell Conference, and many strategic partnerships are all favoring XRP’s rise in the long term. The company has also expanded its operations to the Middle East, with its Global Head Dilip Rao confirming that banks in the region would be using XRP to settle cross-border payments.

The volume indicators in the last 24 hours point to a massive traffic coming from Japanese and Korean markets. At the same time, tether is also contributing about 18% of the volume in XRP markets, hinting the influence of USDT traders on the altcoin.

XRP/USD Technical Analysis (4H Chart)

The latest upside breaks in the XRP/USD chart now look to correct some of its action. Those who closed their long positions already could allow the rally to step back for a while before confirming an extended bullish momentum. That said, the pair could likely repeat the September 26 action, while targeting its low at 0.496-fiat as the potential support.

The corrective action is further confirmed by the RSI momentum indicator and the Stochastic Oscillator, both of which are inside their oversold areas and should attempt a pullback anytime.

To the upside, the XRP/USD pair is testing the falling upper trendline in red as a potential breakout threshold. The pair has previously failed to break above the said level, so its invalidation could fuel the bullish bias further. Any such upside action could put XRP traders’ long position towards 0.624-fiat.

A full-fledged assault on bears could be confirmed once the XRP/USD pair breaks above 0.93-fiat, the April high. Until then, sharp corrections on every near-term rally should not surprise traders.

Featured Image from Shutterstock. Charts from TradingView.

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Bitcoin Price Eyes Move to $6.8K After Bull Breakout

Bitcoin could be about to make a move towards $6,800, having witnessed a bullish triangle breakout yesterday.

The leading cryptocurrency, which had been in a narrowing price range, closed at $6,423 yesterday, confirming an upside breakout.

With the move, the bulls look to have come out victorious in a months-long tug-of-war with the bears. However, BTC is struggling to find acceptance above the immediate resistance of the 50-day exponential moving average (EMA), currently at $6,450.

However, the EMA hurdle could be crossed in a day or two and prices could rise to $6,800 in the near-term, as the ethereum-bitcoin exchange rate (ETH/BTC) is looking north, representing a rising demand for alternative cryptocurrencies.

This is because fiat money enters the market via BTC. As a result, it’s dollar-denominated exchange rate tends to go up during times of increased risk appetite in the market.

At press time, BTC is changing hands at $6,400 on Coinbase, having clocked a high of $6,440 earlier today. The cryptocurrency is up 1 percent on a 24-hour basis and is largely unchanged week-on-week.

Daily chart

The symmetrical triangle breakout seen in the above chart indicates the scope for a retest of recent highs above $6,800.

That target looks achievable as the breakout is backed by a bullish crossover on the moving average convergence divergence (MACD). Further, the relative strength index is holding in a bullish territory just above 50.00.

ETH/BTC daily chart

The falling channel breakout and a convincing move above the former support-turned-resistance of 0.031994 (Sept. 25 low) indicates a bearish-to-bullish trend change.

The rising MACD histogram is suggesting that further gains could be in the offing. The RSI of 53.00 is biased toward the bulls.

Thus, ETH/BTC looks set to rise in the near future.

View

  • Both BTC and the ETH/BTC are looking north after the technical breakout.
  • An increased risk appetite is seen lifting BTC above the 50-day EMA of $6,450. That would open the doors for a sustained rally to $6,810 (Oct. 15 high).
  • The short-term bullish outlook in BTC would be invalidated if prices see a UTC close below Oct. 31 low of $6,200.

Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.

Bitcoin image via CoinDesk archives; charts by Trading View 

Join 10,000+ traders who come to us to be their eyes on the charts and sign up for Markets Daily, sent Monday-Friday. By signing up, you agree to our terms & conditions and privacy policy

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.



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NASDAQ Eyes Crypto Market Manipulation Use Case for Market Surveillance Tool

The world’s second-largest stock exchange NASDAQ says its market surveillance technology can “stamp out manipulation” in cryptocurrency markets, Bloomberg reported Nov. 1.

The publication referenced an unpublished paper from NASDAQ released Thursday, in which it explains it has invested “decades” developing tools for catching and preventing market manipulation.

“Regulators, brokers and exchanges have surveillance teams that monitor activity constantly and advanced technologies to help capture and analyze abusive behaviors including pump-and-dump schemes, insider trading, wash trading as well as spoofing and layering,” it states.

The move comes as Bitcoin’s new-found stability temporarily takes emphasis off the idea that its markets were subject to foul play. As Cointelegraph previously reported, some commentators, including a U.S. regulator, had ascribed volatility earlier this year to large-volume traders.

NASDAQ saw the first cryptocurrency client for its SMARTS Market Surveillance solution come in April in the form of Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange operated by the Winklevoss twins.

At the time, Valerie Bannert-Thurner, Senior Vice President and Head of Risk & Surveillance Solutions at NASDAQ, described the partnership as a “major milestone” for the technology.

In addition, she said, it represented “an important indicator of our commitment to expand the use of our market technology into non-traditional marketplaces, as well as new frontiers beyond the capital markets.”

Various non-cryptocurrency exchanges also use SMARTS, as Bloomberg notes.



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Bitcoin (BTC) Price Watch: Eyes on This Support Zone!

Bitcoin Price Key Highlights

  • Bitcoin price is still moving inside a range visible on its 1-hour time frame and looks prime for a test of support.
  • Price has made it halfway down through the range and could have enough momentum for a move to the bottom.
  • Technical indicators are also reflecting the presence of bearish pressure.

Bitcoin price is still in consolidation and could be ready for another test of the short-term range support around $6,360.

Technical Indicators Signals

The 100 SMA is below the longer-term 200 SMA to signal that the path of least resistance is to the downside or that the selloff is likely to continue. This could also mean that support is more likely to break than to hold. If that happens, bitcoin price could fall by the same height of the rectangle, which spans around $100.

Stochastic is heading south to signal the presence of selling pressure, which might be enough to take bitcoin to the bottom of the range. This oscillator is already in the oversold region to signal exhaustion among sellers. Turning back up could bring buyers back in and allow support to hold, leading to a bounce back to the top.

RSI is also heading south to reflect that sellers have the upper hand. This oscillator has plenty of room to head lower before hitting oversold levels, which suggests that bears could stay in the game for a bit longer.

BTC/USD Chart from TradingView

Bitcoin price still seems wary of industry developments or might be waiting for bigger catalysts that could sustain gains. Traders are looking to the ICE Bakkt bitcoin futures possibly by next month in order to provide some direction. Recall that CME bitcoin futures were blamed for the massive drop that ensued last year, so there is some degree of concern among investors once more.

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