Bitcoin and cryptocurrency news round-up: 9 January 2018

Harry Tucker 9 January 2018

Ethereum $1,000 - In text image1

What you need to know

Ethereum has reclaimed the second spot off Ripple, the whole market got a big scare by CoinMarketCap and Telegram is launching an ICO.

1. CoinMarketCap removed South Korean exchanges and everything looks in the red

CoinMarketCap gave the whole crypto world a massive scare overnight by unexpectedly removing South Korean exchanges, which typically trade 30% higher, resulting in the entire market going into the red. Some prices on CoinMarketCap were hit harder than others, particularly Ripple which is immensely popular in South Korea, and saw a 26% drop on its charts as a result.

Of course, the price of Ripple or other currencies hasn't actually dropped, it's just how CoinMarketCap displays its data. Looking on actual exchanges shows relative stability across major coins.

2. Ethereum is once again the second most valuable crypto

After dipping behind Ripple at the end of 2017, Ethereum has had a strong start to 2018, hitting all-time highs of US$1250 for the first time and bringing its market cap to over US$114 billion. Ripple, which has faced a slight slump over the past few days after hitting its all-time high a week ago, has its market cap sitting at around US$112 billion.

3. Telegram is launching what could be the world's biggest ICO

Encrypted messaging company Telegram is planning to launch its own blockchain platform and cryptocurrency to facilitate payments through its app. The pre-ICO raise is expected to be US$500 million, while its total token sale is expected to be anywhere between US$3-4 billion.

Telegram's ICO will also reportedly require fiat currency to buy in, not bitcoin or Ethereum as most ICOs require. The currency itself will be called "gram" and be immediately tied into Telegram's chat platform to help with adoption.

Telegram currently has 180 million users on its platform and is a key hub for blockchain and crypto-based businesses to discuss changes and technology with its community.

4. Cardano is now on BitMex

Cardano, the fifth largest cryptocurrency, is now on BitMex, giving it more presence in the Asian market. It's listed as futures on the exchange, meaning that investors aren't actually investing in Cardano's ADA token itself, but rather speculating on its price fluctuations. BitMex is also throwing a competition to give away US$100k to those who invest in Cardano on its exchange.

Cardano has had a big month, shooting up the rankings to now have a market cap of more than US$22 billion.

5. IOTA has hit back against MIT Media Labs

Late last month MIT Media Labs (only loosely affiliated with the MIT university) writer Joichi Ito published four key criticisms of IOTA. It followed over a month of contentious debate about potential security flaws, including some criticisms from Ethereum's Vitalik Buterin. This piece resulted in billions being slashed off IOTA's market cap.

The company released an official statement, rebutting the four main points that Ito's piece criticised the company with, including its partnerships, fee structure, communication around vulnerabilities and the "coordinator" in IOTA's technology.

IOTA's full response and story can be read here.

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