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Cryptocurrency Market Bleeds Trillions in Less Than 24 Hours; Did the Bubble Pop?

The cryptocurrency market is experiencing another major shakedown in pricing, with the overall crypto market valuation dropping by more than a trillion dollars in less than 24 hours. As of time of writing, leading cryptocurrency by market cap Bitcoin has lost more than 30% in value, dropping to $31,000. Ethereum is down by 40% to $2,424, and memecoin Dogecoin has fallen by 45% - one would think a memecoin would have had its value dropped to zero from the instant of its conception, but that's not the world we live in.

As the market tries to staunch the bleeding, major cryptocurrency platforms Coinbase and Binance are down, citing "network congestion" issues stemming from the unexpected volatility. As investors see their attempts to sell neutered by these network congestion issues, this seems like a way to reduce the amount of cryptocurrencies available in the market, which would feed the descending value cycle even more. Whether or not this is the bubble popping, it's yet another foundational shock to the trust that was already achieved by these platforms and the cryptocurrency market as a whole. How this will affect market availability and demand for graphics cards and hardware is anyone's guess, but even if it does, it'll take some time until we see availability in the main and secondary channels.

Only Somewhat Classy: Coinbase Hit With Multiple Class Action Lawsuits

Coinbase, which is mostly regarded as one of the most transparent, well regarded cryptocurrency exchanges in the cryptocurrency world, is now being hit with class action lawsuits on themes it would really not like to be associated with. Readers should think on which one of these is worse: insider trading, or crypto theft. For a company that's apparently trying its hardest to become a bastion of transparent crypto trading, going so far as to share data on 13,000 customers to the IRS, these class action lawsuits, if proven, will do irreversible damages to the company's standing.

The insider trading class action lawsuit revolves around the introduction of BCH (Bitcoin Cash) to its staple of tradeable cryptocurrencies. Now, here's the thing: it's nigh impossible for a company not to do, or not to be accused of, to be more precise, of insider trading on this thing. It's almost guaranteed that the company would have invested on Bitcoin Cash in the early stages of its fork and spin-off from Bitcoin. And the company controls at which times they'll enable trading of the cryptocurrency on their platform - an announcement and move which would certainly increase awareness and trade volume on that cryptocurrency, both before and after it's been actually integrated into the exchange. This class action lawsuit is being headed by Jeffrey Berk, who's representing all customers that placed buy, sell or trade orders for BCH between December 19 and December 21, 2017.

"Lawyering Up" - Coinbase to Send Data on 13,000 Users to the IRS

Coinbase, one of the world's largest cryptoexchanges - which is also one of those with the most solid footing when it comes to these kind of exchange - has announced via email that it will be disclosing around 13,000 users' data to the IRS. No doubt this is a move by the company to improve its footing even more with state institutions; however, this will certainly reduce consumers' trust in the exchange - at least, for those customers who weren't considering having to pay taxes on their crypto earnings.

What prompted this move by Coinbase? Well, back in November 2016, the IRS, through a San Francisco-based judge, started court proceedings which would see all of Coinbase users' data to be delivered to the services. Coinbase fought over these court proceedings, but ultimately caved in after the IRS's proposal changed from "all users" to a system that's likely based on trading volume. This is why "only" 13,000 users will see their personal data (taxpayer ID, name, birth date, address, and historical transaction records for certain higher-transacting customers during the 2013-2015 period) being delivered to the IRS as part of a major tax evasion investigation (which should surprise no one, really).

Coinbase Commerce is a New Cryptocurrency Payment Program for Vendors

Coinbase, one of the world's largest - and more transparent, in legal terms - cryptocurrency exchanges, has announced the start of a new cryptocurrency payment program. Coinbase Commerce is a new service that enables merchants to accept multiple cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin) directly into a user-controlled wallet as payment for services rendered or products acquired. Coinbase Commerce can be directly integrated into a merchant's checkout flow or added as a payment option on an e-commerce platform with just an email address and a phone.

This is another step to cryptocurrency world domination, and one of the most important steps towards widespread adoption of these as actual stores of value. The difficulty of translating cryptocurrency into real world value and products - which has seen better days, but has since seen key players withdraw from accepting these as payments - is one of the remaining walls towards widespread, mainstream adoption, and could provide a window for crypto in general to abandon its actual relevance as mere speculative investment. Some platforms already exist - TenX and BitPay come to mind, for instance. however, Coinbase as an exchange has some of the more solid footings in the cryptocurrency industry - and financial markets as well - so this is definitely a high-impact move that could help cement a future based in cryptocurrency trades.
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