Revolut Continues Its Expansion – Introduces Service in Australia

According to their press statement from a few days ago, Revolut has started offering its cryptocurrency trading services to Australian residents. Members of the company’s premium Metal service will get first access, after which all other crypto traders can get started with the service. Continue reading to find out more details about Revolut’s latest expansion.

Revolut’s Rapid Expansion in 2020

In August of this year, Revolut made its first venture into the Australian market, introducing fiat-based currencies. As of writing this article, Australian customers can use Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, XRP, Stellar, and Bitcoin cash. Aside from this, the platform allows users to convert Australian dollars, as well as 26 other fiat currencies, into a cryptocurrency of their choice, directly through the native Revolut app.

During the first few days on the Australian market, Revolut already managed to garner significant attention. Its launch was highly anticipated, with over 30,000 Australians on the app’s waitlist, and 25,000 customers using the beta version. Australian customers who use Revolut can buy and sell up to six different digital assets while receiving real-time notifications on market price movements.

As a reminder, Revolut also expanded its services into the US in March of 2020. They obtained regulatory permission to operate in the US by partnering with Paxos, a New York-based trust company. Revolut’s services are available in 49 U.S. states, excluding Tennessee. After a successful push into the Australian market, the company now aims to expand further into the Asia-Pacific region by introducing its services in Japan and Singapore.

Unrelated to its expansion to all of these markets, it’s important to also mention that Revolut is suspending the ability to make crypto card payments in Europe, and won’t be introducing this option on any of the markets we mentioned above. The company’s representatives also mentioned that they are looking into the possibility of creating crypt-specific cards.

A Brief History of Revolut

Revolut is one of the most popular online trading services, with over 1 million users, and roughly 6,000 new registrations per day. It was founded in 2015 in the UK, as a platform offering financial services and banking products. In 2017, Revolut ventured into the cryptocurrency world, after securing $66 million in a funding round. They offer a mobile app, and their customer base covers mostly younger financial traders who operate on the crypto market.

In July of 2020, the company updated its terms of service, giving its users legal control over the cryptocurrency they operate with on the platform. This has been lauded as a significant decision, as previous to this update, Revolut conducted all cryptocurrency transactions on behalf However, the company still doesn’t allow users to transfer cryptocurrencies outside of the Revolut trading ecosystem.

Is a Significant Bitcoin Correction Imminent?

Over the past few days, Bitcoin has experienced a significant dropoff and is now trading below a key fundamental level. The cryptocurrency had its largest pullback since May of this year. On September 4th, it tumbled to below $9.8k, with no sign of stopping. Many crypto analysts are predicting that this is a sign that Bitcoin may be facing a major price correction in the following weeks, if not days. But, is Bitcoin facing a possible death spiral? Here’s what we know.

Bitcoin in 2020

For the better part of this year, Bitcoin has been trading under the cost required by miners to produce it. This has led to the situation that the miners are better off straight buying and selling currencies on the market, instead of investing any effort into the production process.

With several big miners moving large sums of Bitcoin, many analysts saw this as a sign that the currency is facing a potential fall. This makes sense, since Bitcoin’s value is impacted by its participants selling and buying, and a large number of big transactions can have a significant impact on the currency’s value. 

For this reason, many people expected the aforementioned death spiral to happen during this time. However, the better half of 2020 has already passed, and the cryptocurrency handled the halving and got back to its steady growth, with no death spiral occurring during this period. What’s even more interesting is that some analysts are pointing to the fact that the increased Bitcoin transaction fees may have actually helped this currency stay afloat during this turbulent period.

Can we Expect Another Catastrophic Collapse?

If you don’t go by expert predictions, a valuable metric to look at is the network-to-transactions. In short, this ratio compares the currency’s price to the total value being transacted across its network.

The NVT has served as a good predictor of Bitcoin’s price drops and rises over the years. Every time NVT gets hit and turns to black, Bitcoin experiences a fall. If we take a closer look at the peaks and drops over the years, we can see that there have been four collapses since 2018:

  1. February 2018 – Bitcoin dropped a massive 70%, falling from $20,000 to $5800.
  2. December 2018 – The cryptocurrency lost another 50% of its value, falling to just $3200
  3. December 2019 – After a year of steady growth, Bitcoin again dropped significantly, this time to just under $7,000
  4. March 2020 – On March 12th, as a consequence of the global market crash, Bitcoin plummeted to $3,800, losing 62% of its value during this period.

With this in mind, we should mention that NVT recently got hit, which means that some type of significant Bitcoin drop is expected. When we average these collapses, we get to a 58% percent collapse in value across all four collapses.

If the next Bitcoin collapse follows this trend, it means that this cryptocurrency could fall back to just above $5200. That said, given the current political situation and health pandemic in the world, there are just too many factors for analysts to accurately predict just how high or low will Bitcoin’s next drop stop at. Is the recent NVT hit a sign that Bitcoin is facing another collapse? Or, maybe this time Bitcoin will ride through it and start a comeback?

Ethereum Reaches 2-Year High with No Signs of Stopping

Ethereum continues its uptrend. It climbed up another 8%, breaking the man $400 barrier against the Dollar. It currently stands at a 2-year high of above $430, with analysts predicting that it is highly likely to continue reaching even higher values. After a relatively stable few sessions, Ethereum managed to surpass the $390 level against the US Dollar. Soon after, it settled significantly above the 100 hourly simple moving average at $432.

Some Analysts Predict a Surge Towards $600

According to Teddy Cleps, Ethereum could surge by another 50 percent by the end of 2020. He spotted Ethereum inching towards a price ceiling that historically prevented it from making further upside moves.  This level has proven to serve a great service before, during Ethereum’s correction back in 2018. He also said that if this crypto manages to break above the price ceiling, it could kickstart a new massive buying spree. If this happens, Ethereum could surge by as much as 50 percent.

With all of this in mind, many analysts are also wary of a potential DeFi bubble burst. It appears to be overblown against the possible valuation of the startups that it features. This can potentially lead to a new frenzy, similar to the one we saw in 2017, with the now notorious ICO frenzy. During that time, the price of Ethereum crashed dramatically, losing 94 percent of its value following the bubble burst.

So, what can holders do to avoid losing money in case of another burst? In truth, not much. The best way to avoid problems like these is to carefully follow the latest technical indicators. As of now, the main support is forming around the $400 level, the most recent breakout zone. The next major resistance to observe is at the $435 level, above which the crypto is likely to continue towards the $450 mark in the short term. If the currency manages to stay stable at the $420 level, it could start a new upswing above the $430 level.

Will There Be Any Dips Soon?

If the currency drops below the $420 support level, we could see it correct even further. If this happens, the first major level support is near $405. Its most recent jump in value was strongly supported by the massive growth of Ethereum-based stablecoin and decentralized finance tokens.

In addition to this, a few days back, Ethereum transactions shot through the roof due to record demand. And, after the collapse of Yam Finance, Ethereum transaction fees have dropped by as far as 60 percent. All of this goes to show that solutions for Ethereum and the entire market are still needed in the long run.

US Federal Reserve Researching Possibilities for a Digital Dollar

A few days ago, Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard came out with a detailed description of the Fed’s research and plans in the potential development of a central bank digital currency, also known as a Digital Dollar. She said that the central bank has been conducting studies over the past few years to determine how a centralized digital currency might affect the current payments ecosystem, monetary policy, the banking sector, and overall financial stability. With that in mind, here’s what we know so far.

Lael Brainard’s Latest Notes

In the speech she held at the Federal Bank of San Francisco headquarters on August 13th, Brainard said that “Given the dollar’s important role, it’s essential that the Federal Reserve remains on the frontier of research and policy development regarding the U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC).” She later continued by saying “As part of this research, central banks are exploring the potential innovative technologies to offer a digital equivalent for cash”.

In her speech, Brainard also addressed the ongoing situation from her perspective. She cited that the COVID-19 pandemic was one of the most significant issues that reinforced the need to create immediate and trusted access to funds. She said that the ongoing crisis is a dramatic reminder of the importance of a resilient and trusted payment infrastructure that is accessible to all Americans.

She also noted that recipients of stimulus funds spent these funds quickly, which indicates the need for urgent access to funds. “It was notable that after a sharp reduction in spending early in the COVID-19 crisis, many households increased their spending starting on the day they received emergency relief payments.”

Brainard said the existence of other private cryptocurrencies as well as CBDCs, only underscore the importance of addressing and evaluating the cryptocurrency market. “Digital currencies, including central bank digital currencies present opportunities but also risks associated with privacy, illicit activity, and financial stability. This prospect has intensified calls for CBDCs to maintain the sovereign currency as the anchor of the nation’s payment systems.”

Previous Experimentation with the Digital Dollar

The recent research plan for a digital dollar doesn’t exactly come out of the blue. The potential benefits of a digital dollar have been discussed multiple times in the past. Just last November, the Federal Reserve said that the US central bank is carefully analyzing all of the potential costs and benefits of such currency. During that period, the regulator was focused on analyzing the possible effects the digital dollar would have on user privacy and consumer protection.

While we don’t know how far exactly the Federal Reserve has gotten in its experimentation, the Federal Reserve is working with several researchers, including those from MIT, to build and test all of the hypothetical issues of this digital currency. The regulator also said that the code used in these experiments will be open-source at some point in the future, so the general public can also experiment with it.

Even the idea of a digital dollar that would be used to distribute emergency funds is not new. The US Congress has been thinking about this plan since at least March, as far as it is publicly known. With all of this said, no concrete steps have been taken to create a blockchain-based central bank digital currency in the country.

How Far Are We From Mass Crypto Adoption?

No government can stop or control Bitcoin transactions. This has been one of the main selling points of cryptos since the first day they appeared. In today’s world, cryptocurrencies have established a strong user base among tech geeks and users who highly value the privacy of financial information. This is true all over the world, even in countries like Russia, where independent politicians and activists are currently using crypto markets to raise funds and fund activists.

But, while crypto advocates and freedom fighters may sing praises for Bitcoin all they want, the reality is that cryptos won’t be able to replace centralized legacy systems until the masses switch to them. So, how far are we from mass crypto adoption? Continue reading to learn.

Too Difficult for Average Users 

Just like any new quality invention and technology, cryptocurrencies have garnered strong support from tech-savvy users. But, what’s halting them to become more widespread is mass adoption from average users. The crypto market is confusing, difficult to understand, and comes with a lot of information. The trading platforms are unintuitive and unlike anything else found in the real world of finances. For the ordinary user, who wants a convenient and straightforward payment method, this is just too much to handle and combines for an unpleasant experience.

various cryptos

With this in mind, when there is a lack of understanding, there’s also a lack of trust. Newbies who are looking to get into the market are overwhelmed with confusing information on financial forums. So much so, that they build up a distrust towards all of it, up to the point that they view all information as spam and scam attempts. On top of this, there’s the prevalent issue of real scammers. Skilled cryptocurrency users with technical skills often know how to take advantage of uninformed users who are just venturing into the market.

Fiat Currency Still Much More Practical

Aside from the technical standpoints we talked about above, there’s one more issue hindering the mass popularization of cryptos. This issue is present with every cryptocurrency, even Bitcoin, and it’s that it tends to specialize only in a narrow niche. For example, Bitcoin is a great way to store and safeguard your savings. Still, it’s a relatively unsupported payment option in the real world, despite being on the market for eleven years.

For this reason, fiat currencies still maintain a strong position over cryptocurrencies. A big part of this problem is that the most significant part of the general public still relies heavily on legacy institutions. They feel that they get everything from legacy finance and don’t think that switching to cryptos will bring them any significant benefits.

With all of this said, the deteriorating economic conditions all across the globe might open the door for more mass popularization and convince people to adopt crypto in the future. One thing is sure. The cryptocurrency industry still faces a lot of challenges. The way they address these adoption issues will play a deciding role in user adoption in the next years.

Celebrity Profiles Used for a Large-Scale Bitcoin Twitter Scam

Twitter was never regarded as an unbreakable social media service, but on Wednesday, July 15th, its security platform suffered a meltdown that affected dozens of influential accounts. The primary motivation behind the attack was to promote a wide-reaching Bitcoin scam. Here’s everything we know so far about this large-scale meltdown.

What do We Know about the Bitcoin Scam

A mass takeover of Twitter accounts began at 19:00 UTC, infiltrating the accounts of some of the most prominent crypto advocates among celebrities and politicians. About an hour after this, the hack went mainstream, starting with Elon Musk’s Twitter account.

bitcoin celebrity scam

Soon later, people like Bill Gates, Kanye West, and Michael Bloomberg also joined the party. Jeff Bezos showed up and an hour later and promised $50 million in his tweet. Even Joe Biden and Barrack Obama couldn’t resist promoting this event from their official accounts. All these accounts posted the same message in a span of only a few minutes apart. By 21:00 UTC, the attack moved from to tech companies, causing the most damage to Uber and Apple.

After the attack stopped soon after, most of these tweets were promptly deleted, as the platform’s staff began restoring accounts to their users. Twitter support stated in response to this incident, claiming that this was a “coordinated social engineering attack.”

One of the biggest reasons why this breach happened is the centralized nature of this platform. In addition to this, many security experts are claiming that Twitter employees have “god mode” access to any account on the platform, and can tweet from any user profile. If they’re right, it could explain why hackers could infiltrate so many Twitter accounts without much trouble, even those that have two-factor authentication set up for their profiles.

Soon after all of this happened, analysts determined that the hacked accounts collectively had at least 140 million followers. As news of this meltdown spread across the Internet, this social media platform also experienced a significant plunge in value. Twitter’s stock value dropped 4% in the immediate after-hours of this incident.

Once Bitcoin is Gone, It’s Gone

As an electronic currency, Bitcoin operates exclusively online. You can send it from any device you wish, from anywhere in the world. But, there’s one catch to it that makes problems like this Twitter scam very troublesome. Once this cryptocurrency is off of your account, you can’t get it back. Since there is no intermediary in Bitcoin transactions, once the money is in someone else’s pocket, that’s it.

How Can Bitcoin be Traced?

This scam opened up another discussion on tracking and tracing Bitcoin transactions. With that in mind, although such transactions aren’t confiscable by any middlemen, they can still be tracked and traced. With a little know-how, we can see the ins-and-outs of cryptocurrency transactions, with the details of this one likely to appear in the following days.

If anything, this latest scam has taught us a valuable lesson in financial responsibility. Regardless if you use fiat or cryptocurrencies, it’s paramount to stay safe and be wary of any promises, no matter which direction they’re coming from.