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First Mover: Privacy Is Litecoin’s Ace in the Hole as JPMorgan Touts Bitcoin

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Litecoin (LTC), a nine-year-old cryptocurrency whose price returns have chronically underperformed the bigger and better-known bitcoin in recent years, is hitching its wagon to a new star: privacy.

The blockchain industry subsector of “privacy coins” – cryptocurrencies with embedded technology that shields identifying information from public view – is becoming one of this year’s hottest buys. One of the biggest privacy coins, zcash (ZEC), which offers “shielded transaction” capabilities, has nearly tripled so far in 2020, while monero (XMR), which uses a technique called “ring signatures” to obscure sender and receiver data, has doubled. 

Litecoin founder Charlie Lee told CoinDesk in an interview the project is now looking to adopt key privacy-enhancing features, which he sees as increasingly attractive to cryptocurrency users. The enhancements are already being tested, and an upgrade to the main network is scheduled for next year.  
If the effort succeeds, it might inject a jolt of enthusiasm into a project that has suffered from a lack of momentum in digital-asset markets. Litecoin is up 21% this year after a 38% gain in 2019, which pales in comparison to bitcoin’s 59% year-to-date gain and a 94% increase last year.  

“I want to make it so that users don’t have to worry about giving up their financial privacy by using litecoin,” Lee said. “Even if you’re not doing anything illegal, you don’t want people to know how much money you have or what your paycheck is.”
– Daniel Cawrey
Read More: In Effort to Differentiate, Litecoin Makes a Move to Privacy

Litecoin vs. bitcoin since start of 2019.
Source: TradingView

Bitcoin Watch

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Bitcoin daily chart.
Source: TradingView

Bitcoin is hovering near $11,400 at press time, having snapped a six-day winning trend with a 1% drop on Tuesday. 

Notably, the cryptocurrency formed an “inside day” candle on Tuesday, aborting the immediate bullish technical outlook. Inside day candle occurs when the cryptocurrency trades well within the preceding day’s high and low and indicates consolidation. 

As such, Tuesday’s high of $11,567 is now the level to beat for the bulls. A break above that level would signal a continuation of the recent rally and open the doors for resistances above $12,000.

Alternatively, acceptance under Tuesday’s low of $11,314 would imply a bearish reversal and could yield deeper declines. 

That said, the on-chain metrics favor a continued rally. The seven-day average of bitcoin’s hashrate or measure of the processing power dedicated to the blockchain rose to a record high of 144.29 exa hashes per second (quintillion hashes per second) on Tuesday, surpassing the previous peak of 143.19 EH/s observed on Sept. 18, according to data source Glassnode.

It indicates high miner confidence in the cryptocurrency’s price prospects. Miners largely operate on cash and liquidate their BTC holdings to fund operations. As such, they are likely to dedicate more resources to the computer-intensive mining process if they are bullish on price.

Read More: Bitcoin Steady Above $11,400 as Hashrate Reaches New High

Token Watch

Bitcoin (BTC): Giant money manager Fidelity pitches bitcoin as “alternative investment.”

Ether (ETH): Ethereum’s network upgrade (Eth 2.0) is expected soon and could address scaling issues associated with its legacy platform.

What’s Hot

JPMorgan calls Square’s $50M bitcoin investment “strong vote of confidence” for the cryptocurrency (CoinDesk)

Bank of Russia seeks limit on amount of digital assets retail investors can buy (CoinDesk) 

Blockchain could give $1.7T boost to global economy by 2030, PwC report says (CoinDesk) 

New cVIX index tracks crypto market volatility (CoinDesk) 

The saga of Blue Kirby shows DeFiers are a trusting lot, until they’re not (CoinDesk)

Coinbase chief compliance officer departs amid as CEO’s “apolitical” stance proves political (CoinDesk)

Nasdaq-listed Marathon Patent teams with Beowulf Energy to co-locate bitcoin mining facility in Montana (CoinDesk) 

Lesson of third quarter is that crypto is “still a retail dominated industry,” The TIE’s Joshua Frank writes (eToro/The TIE)

BitMEX charges show that days are gone when innovators could “take a lackadaisical approach to regulatory and legal compliance” (Arca)

Coin Metrics analysis maps BitMEX execs Arthur Hayes, Ben Delo and Samuel Reed to their respective withdrawal keys (Coin Metrics):

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Chart showing which founder keys were used to authorize BitMEX withdrawals. At least three keys must be used on any given day to authorize withdrawals. Founder Key A is presumed to belong to Reed held Founder Key A, since he was arrested on Oct. 1. Key B is presumed to belong to Delo and C to Hayes. (Coin Metrics)
Source: Coin Metrics

Analogs

The latest on the economy and traditional finance

IMF’s Tobias Adrian sees risk of “sharp adjustment in asset prices or periodic bouts of volatility” (IMF)

BlackRock’s Larry Fink sees future with just 50% of workers in offices (Bloomberg)

Argentine president says government has no intention of devaluing country’s currency (Bloomberg)

Chinese tech hub Shenzhen toys with digital yuan pilot program (SCMP)

Interest-rate cuts in U.S. and elsewhere have China buying hitherto “unattractive” government bonds from Japan (CNBC)

Environmental, social and governance concerns could take toll on stock valuations, ValueAct’s Jeffrey Ubben says (Reuters)

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Bank of Spain to Weigh Digital Currency Design Proposals, ‘Implications’ Through 2021

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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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Strong ODL and XRP Growth, 2020 ‘Was a Success’

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Ripple launched On-Demand Liquidity using XRP in 2018. Since then, the firm now has over 24 clients including Azimo and MoneyGram.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse insisted that the company is committed to the XRP token as the “key behind RippleNet”. He was speaking in the opening keynote at the 2020 Swell conference. Brad confirmed that in the 3 years that RippleNet has been live, more than two million transactions have been completed with a nominal value of at least $7 billion. Ripple ODL and XRP were utilized in almost 20% of all these transactions.

They represented a nominal value of almost $2 billion. According to Garlinghouse, the two are essential to Ripple’s global expansion and longevity. He commented:

“It’s also clear to me that XRP is the key behind RippleNet. Its speed, its scalability, and its low cost per transaction make it perfect for instant settlement and exchange of value. It was built for payments. It has real utility; that’s why it works.”

Ripple launched On-Demand Liquidity using XRP in 2018. Since then, the firm now has over 24 clients including Azimo, Flash FX, SendFriend, and MoneyGram. These are the high profile clients that are using On-Demand Liquidity in production. Interestingly, Ripple has great pulling power in Asia.

Target Regions for Ripple ODL

As Garlinghouse said, the majority of the RippleNet volume comes from the Asia Pacific region, both receiving and sending. He also highlighted that Ripple’s clients are increasingly attracted to the emerging markets including Africa, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region.

Generally, these regions have been ‘largely abandoned’ by the traditional banking systems in the past ten years. Azimo is a highlight in the terms of on-demand liquidity that Garlinghouse focused on. He commented on the ODL partner and reviewed how 2020 has been.

The Ripple CEO said that Azimo has been saving 30% to 50% when arranging various currency transfers between clients in Europe and the UK and those in the Philippines using On-Demand Liquidity. Thus, 2020 has been a fruitful year for Ripple ODL and there is rapid growth witnessed in the second half of the year so far.

Line of Credit Introduced

The interest from clients has not dwindled and Ripple is excited that even during these quarantine times customers still see value from that. Garlinghouse commented on the Line of Credit (LOC) product unveiled several days ago. He said that companies will benefit greatly from it helping them adapt Ripple On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) which will enable their business to thrive.

Ripple has now taken a bold step into the financial services world with LOC striving to help in the adoption of XRP. LOC helps the hyper-scale firms since they do not need to engage in separate credit agreements in various countries in different parts of the world. However, they can concentrate on investing in their business and enable repayment at a later date.

The unveiling of Line of Credit represents a major milestone in the evolution of RippleNet. Ripple is therefore doubling down on XRP and providing financial services powered by the network. It means that cross-border payments remain the core of their business.

Ripple Is Growing

Currently, Ripple has more than 500 employees. Adding that onto a recent restructuring, the company appears to be better equipped than ever to face the future as it comes. Garlinghous is confident that the company has the best team to take it forward. Also with the new streamline business units that include RippleX andRippleNet, the company is gradually evolving but its core DNA remains the same.

Ripple promises to be the builder and not the disruptor. Its success is notable in the growing number of employees especially during the quarantine period where they added 50 people to their payroll.

LOC and the Bank of America Rumor

This year’s Ripple Swell conference was held in private, but some interesting news and comments have leaked. Also, Ripple shared Brad Garlinghouse’s opening remarks at the conference. According to the CEO, the financial sector has not experienced innovations at such high levels in decades. PSPs (Payment Service Providers) and digital banks are putting a lot of pressure on the current system.

Also, digital wallets are seeing a ‘meteoric surge’ and Ripple is at the center of it all with its Internet of Values vision. The company’s Line of Credit product is managed by Barry Joseph. It substitutes a pre-financing process that took 2-3 months previously. Line of Credit streamlines that process to get completed within 48 hours and RippleNet members buy XRP at pre-determined prices.

In attendance at the Swell conference was an On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) panel with 3 partners. These partners include a “new face” with Sigue Group CEO Guillermo de la Vina, Bitso from Mexico, and Flash FX from Australia.

Concurrently, an unconfirmed rumor emerged which confirms previous leaks that there is a possible partnership between Ripple and Bank of America. The XRP community is divided on that issue. But, footage and screenshots have emerged on Twitter showing an ODL demonstration video of the Bank of America. Nevertheless, that presentation is not confirmed with other sources writing ‘Fast Remit’.

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Wanguba Muriuki is a content crafter passionate about putting everything into writing. He is passionate about Blockchain and Traveling. He is also an experienced creative and technical writer. Everything and everyone has a story to tell. What better way to capture the real story than in words.



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Morgan Stanley Reports Profitable Q3, Revenue Hits $11.7 Billion

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Morgan Stanley has made a big jump following its previous quarter reports that were marred by the influence of the coronavirus pandemic.

Investment banking giant Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) has posted a better than expected earnings for its Q3 on Thursday. According to Reuters, the Q3 earning Morgan Stanley reported came as a result of the firm’s blossoming trading business.

Per the financials, Morgan Stanley reported an $11.7 billion net revenue surpassing last year’s figures that were pegged at $10 billion. Net income reported came at $2.7 billion or $1.66 per diluted share, a big improvement from the net income of $2.2 billion, or $1.27 per diluted.

Morgan Stanley’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman James P. Gorman attributed the company’s performance to key business decisions involving targeted acquisitions made within the quarter. He said:

“We delivered strong quarterly earnings as markets remained active through the summer months, and our balanced business model continued to deliver consistent, high returns. The completion of the E*TRADE acquisition, the subsequent ratings upgrade from Moody’s, and the recently announced acquisition of Eaton Vance significantly strengthen our Firm and position us well for future growth.”

Other performance tickers including the record of a pre-tax income of $3,487 as against $2,710 reported in Q3 2019. The reported net revenue does not just express the sound position of the company to investors, it showed that the company’s business has strengthened across all front despite the ravaging effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Also, Morgan Stanley reported growth in its investment banking sector with revenues shooting up 11% from a year ago while the company’s Trading and Sales net revenue climbed by 20% from a year ago. With good growths seen in most indices showing an impressive performance in the quarter ended September 30th, Morgan Stanley now stands as one of Wall Street’s big names with a positive Q3 outlook.

Morgan Stanley Q3 Results: How Firm Fared Compared to Previous Quarters

Morgan Stanley has made a big jump following its previous quarter reports that were marred by the influence of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the acquisition of E*TRADE, a leading online broker that has produced stellar results for the greater part of a decade and that has about $360 billion in assets, Morgan Stanley’s Q1 performance turned out low in the first quarter of 2020.

In Q1, the total net revenue reported came at $9.49 resulting in a plunge of about 7.8% compared to the same period last year. The Q2 performance however complimented the Q1 plunge suggesting that the company’s investments in the previous quarter had started picking up the positive momentum. Morgan Stanley’s Q2 revenue surged to $13.4, an increase over 2019 Q2’s $10.2 billion.

The positive momentum the company has gained as shown in both its Q2 and Q3 will make analysts revise their expectations for Morgan Stanley in the current Q4.

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Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture.



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