Three global industry leaders in telecommunications — Spain’s Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom, and British provider Vodafone — have jointly finalized a trial blockchain solution for the settlement of roaming discount agreements.
Developed by blockchain startup Clear, the solution is expected to reduce capital costs for telcos, support faster revenue recognition, and provide more efficient settlement for their inter-company deals and workflows.
Both Telefónica Innovation Ventures and the Telekom Innovation Pool of Deutsche Telekom had participated in a $13 million Series A investment for Clear earlier this year to support the startup in developing its blockchain settlement system.
The finalized trial solution involved a system for automated settlement for roaming data from the three providers for 2019.
Use of the system enabled Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone to obtain yearly settlement results “within minutes” and to have real-time and multi-party insight into data discrepancies. The providers were also able to update or amend data on the system instantly.
Johannes Opitz — vice president of commercial roaming services at Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier — explained the benefits of using the blockchain solution for an evolving global telecoms infrastructure:
“Roaming discount agreement reconciliation is a complex, costly process prone to errors […] Using Clear’s solution, operators will now have the ability to transact seamlessly with an ecosystem of partners — a crucial ability in the 5G and Edge ecosystem, in which we foresee significant growth of operators’ business relationships and business models.”
The three telecom giants are calling on other providers to join the network of users of Clear’s solution, with the hope that automated roaming settlement will provide a boost for new business partnerships to support the new services needed for technologies such as 5G, Edge computing and Internet of Things ecosystems.
Clear’s co-founder and executive chairman, Eran Haggiag, said that “initiatives from leading industry bodies such as the GSMA [Global System for Mobile Communications] and the GLF [Global Leaders’ Forum] are now pushing for industry adoption across multiple use cases.” He noted that the solution can guarantee control, security, and privacy for contract settlement between firms.
The CEO of Vodafone Roaming Services, Sherif Bakir, similarly tied the system to the future roadmap for telecoms infrastructure, noting that:
“With new, more complex technologies like 5G and IoT being introduced, even more radical innovation in roaming will take digitalization to the next level. Vodafone believes blockchain is the solution, and its use will lay the foundation for further sustained innovation. Clear’s solution is a solid demonstration of blockchain’s benefits.”
Blockchain and top telcos
Notably, all three telcos have made inroads into blockchain implementation prior to their turn to the technology for inter-operator roaming agreements.
Teléfonica announced a partnership with the Association of Science and Technology Parks in January to grant around 8,000 firms access to its blockchain. It has also previously partnered with Microsoft and IBM on blockchain applications.
In fall 2019, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom launched a German Blockchain Ecosystem for enterprise clients and the telecoms provider has also partnered with South Korea’s largest wireless carrier, SK Telecom, on developing a blockchain-based mobile identification solution.
This March, Vodafone announced it was exploring a blockchain-based digital identity platform to help verify its suppliers across its value chains.
Bitcoin Sets New 2020 High: What Are The Next Targets? BTC Analysis & Overview
Bitcoin bulls are staging a new breakout attempt right now as prices surge above the 0.618 Fibonacci level around $13,360 for the second time in 48 hours. The price wicked to $13,500, setting a fresh high for 2020.
This is a critically important time for Bitcoin, as a second failure to overcome this level could form a bearish double top and cause prices to plummet.
Looking at the global crypto market capital, we can see that volumes are now back to Sunday levels at $397 billion after yesterday’s $12 billion decline. However, we would like to see a higher high preferably above $400 billion to confirm a new bullish phase has started.
Price Levels to Watch in the Short-term
On the 1-hour BTC/USD chart, we can see that the price action is tracking inside of a bullish flag pattern between two up-trending trendlines (orange). We can also see that prices appear to be reacting strongly to median lines (white and yellow dashed lines) inside of these two levels.
Right now, Bitcoin prices have actually broken through the main resistance of this flag pattern. If BTC can remain above this area, then it will be a promising sign that a continuation could occur towards the $13,880 and $14K levels soon.
Bullish traders are, however, running into some strong selling pressure at this area as bears attempt to drive prices back into the flag. The $13,400 mark will be the main area to observe over today’s intraday session – if bears can defend this resistance then it’s likely that we’ll see a breakout to the downside towards the median lines at $13,300, $13,150, $13,000, and $12,915. There is also the 1-hour 50 EMA at $13,080 that could also get a reaction if prices dip that far.
On the 4-hour BTC/USD chart, we can see what might happen if a double top does occur (yellow circles and line). Selling momentum could overcome the up-trending support of the flag pattern and send prices tanking towards the order block support at $12,750 before correcting. From there, it’s possible we could see an attempt to re-enter the flag pattern followed by a throwback off the new resistance and a breakdown to lower levels.
Looking at the RSI over this timeframe, we can see that each time BTC prices have pumped it has printed a lower high on the indicator. This shows that the uptrend is weakening significantly with each new attempt and suggests that bears will likely take over soon unless significant buying volume returns.
Total market capital: $406 billion
Bitcoin market capital: $248 billion
Bitcoin dominance: 61%
*Data by Coingecko.
Bitstamp BTC/USD 1-Hour Chart
Bitstamp BTC/USD 4-Hour Chart
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Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.
Is your crypto portfolio ready for the full force of the Digital Yuan?
Central Bank Digital Currencies may take months to materialize in the US, the European Union, or Japan, however, the People’s Bank of China is eager to gain a first-mover advantage here. On Friday, as a part of the fast track digitization of the Yuan, the PBOC published draft legislation to turn the digital Yuan into legal tender and ban the private sector from issuing cryptocurrencies. The digital Yuan is all set to go live before the 2022 Winter Olympics. The progress is on point as nearly $1.3 Million worth of Digital Yuan was transferred in test cities from October 12 to October 18.
This move will possibly have a significant impact on portfolios of several crypto traders who are all in, or heavily invested in Bitcoin. This is evident from East Asia’s role in the world’s cryptocurrency markets and its importance for retail traders cannot be undermined.
Based on data from Chainalysis, China ranks fourth in the world on cryptocurrency adoption. The full force of the Digital Yuan may possibly be too much to handle for most retail trader’s portfolios, due to East Asian, more specifically Chinese influence on Bitcoin’s price. The impact on price is significant as regional BTC flows are primarily from Eastern Asia, and 56.59% of flows between different regions originate in China.
The launch of the Digital Yuan and recognizing it as legal tender, with specifically designed wallets would lead to exponential adoption, and Bitcoin adoption and transfer within the region is sure to drop, at least 50% relative to the current numbers within the first few quarters of launch.
The latest news on the draft law may affect miners’ sentiment directly. BTC mining pools and farms based in China control 66 percent of global Bitcoin computer power. In the past two years, miners have been HODLing Bitcoin for driving prices upwards, however, a fear of a looming drop may lead to increased sell-side pressure. With increased Bitcoin inflow to exchanges, and miners selling their Bitcoin, the price may drop closer to fair value soon enough. To protect your portfolio from this possible drop, forget “Go Big or Go Broke”. Instead, it would be ideal to limit exposure to Bitcoin, based on risk appetite. If over 10% of your portfolio is invested in Bitcoin, re-evaluate.
Several crypto influencers are signaling the need for a rebalanced portfolio. Investor and trader Quiten Francois recently tweeted about his top 3 cryptocurrency holdings.
If you have less than 10 altcoins in your portfolio, it may be time to look at the top 25 altcoins, based on market capitalization. Altcoins like $FIL, $LINK, and $DOT are currently profitable with returns of 10-20% in 1 week. Top Altcoins based on their performance past 7 days are ETH 8.17%, LINK 13.41%, LTC 22.89%, FIL 28.9%. Few of the other altcoins in the top 25, based on market capitalization are currently running negative returns and it may be an ideal time to rebalance your portfolio before the full-force of the Digital Yuan hits Bitcoin.
Darknet Marketplaces Expanding Amid Growing Appetite for Illegal Goods
Despite tightening law enforcement actions, darknet marketplaces are multiplying as the appetite for illegal goods and services like drugs and firearms continues to grow. Several reports from investigations by government authorities show cryptocurrencies being a popular payment method on these illicit online marketplaces. According to crypto forensic firm CipherTrace, darknet marketplaces are on the rise. […]
The post Darknet Marketplaces Expanding Amid Growing Appetite for Illegal Goods appeared first on BeInCrypto.
Despite tightening law enforcement actions, darknet marketplaces are multiplying as the appetite for illegal goods and services like drugs and firearms continues to grow.
Several reports from investigations by government authorities show cryptocurrencies being a popular payment method on these illicit online marketplaces.
According to crypto forensic firm CipherTrace, darknet marketplaces are on the rise. Research by CipherTrace shows 35 active platforms hosting numerous vendors servicing thousands of users.
Given the existence of dark market templates, new platforms are reportedly emerging at an accelerated rate. Intending darknet store operators now need only to purchase such a template that they customize to their taste before installing on secure servers.
Data from CipherTrace claims that it costs only $599 payable in Bitcoin (BTC) or Monero (XMR) to acquire these templates. Operators can also receive additional customer support for a fee of between $50 and $90.
Based on the relatively small upfront cost and the potential for a huge upside, the darknet marketplace arena is also seeing frequent exit scams. Having built up a sizeable reputation with massive amounts held in escrow, these scammers often disable the withdrawal option while still accepting deposits.
In the end, users eventually catch on but not before the operators siphon more money from unsuspecting customers. According to Vice, the defunct Empire darknet market absconded with about $30 million back in August.
Apart from the allure of stealing user deposits, the increasing focus of law enforcement agencies on the illicit dark web trade is another likely reason for the many exit scams. As previously reported by BeInCrypto, a U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ)-led crack team announced the seizure of $1.6 million in crypto from darknet vendors back in September.
Despite the anonymity of the dark web, government agencies are arresting and prosecuting black-market bazaar operators on the dark web. In August, the DoJ charged two darknet opioid sellers with money laundering and wire fraud.
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