Russia and Venezuela dominating LocalBitcoins volumes | A bitcoin-backed ethereum token is coming in 2019 | Read The Block's editorial manifesto

Bitcoin $6,474                    Ethereum $202.69  
Crypto Mkt Cap $209B              BTC Dominance 53.70%       

“By and large, the feedback I received was that I was as cool as a f—ing cucumber and you would never know there was something going wrong in my life unless I told you about it.” — Kathleen Breitman, co-founder Tezos

The Big Block

While the amount of bitcoin activity can be easily learned by looking at numerous data sources, learning the where can be more challenging. Online exchanges, home to the large majority of all cryptocurrencies are traded, do not publish country-specific data. Fortunately, though, there is a good proxy for geographic information: LocalBitcoins, the most popular peer-to-peer exchange and escrow service. The company allows people to trade bitcoins between one other in person or online and LocalBitcoins’ data is compiled into weekly trade volumes, separated by country. While the data, which comes from a group called Coin Dance, is fascinating, there are caveats.

Critical among them is that a decrease in LocalBitcoins volumes is not necessarily indicative of a decreased demand for bitcoin in a country. The lower volume on LocalBitcoins could also mean that the trading infrastructure in the country has become so well-developed that people opt out of P2P in favor of online exchanges. However, if LocalBitcoins volumes increase, it is often a very good indicator of heightened demand for bitcoin in such country. In rare cases (e.g., China), it could also mean that the existing infrastructure was affected by a shock such as banning exchanges.

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Around The Block

A bitcoin-backed ethereum token is coming in 2019, and it could help a struggling corner of the crypto market

Just when you thought you had wrapped your head around the wonky digital asset space, along comes a new seemingly esoteric crypto project.

This time, it’s a bitcoin/ethereum cross-breed. The so-called Wrapped Bitcoin, announced Friday by a group of industry participants including custody solutions provider BitGo, aims to bridge the gap between the two largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization: bitcoin and ethereum. — More

The Block’s editorial manifesto: Of course we can’t be bought

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