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Facebook shares rise on strong Q3, users up 2% to 2.45B

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Despite ongoing public relations crises, Facebook kept growing in Q3 2019, demonstrating that media backlash does not necessarily equate to poor business performance.

Facebook reached 2.45 billion monthly users, up 1.65%, from 2.41 billion in Q2 2019 when it grew 1.6%, and it now has 1.62 billion daily active users, up 2% from 1.587 billion last quarter when it grew 1.6%. Facebook scored $17.652 billion of revenue, up 29% year-over-year, with $2.12 in earnings per share.

Facebook

Facebook’s earnings beat expectations compared to Refinitiv’s consensus estimates of $17.37 billion in revenue and $1.91 earnings per share. Facebook’s quarter was mixed compared to Bloomberg’s consensus estimate of $2.28 EPS. Facebook earned $6 billion in profit after only racking up $2.6 billion last quarter due to its SEC settlement.

Facebook shares rose 5.18% in after-hours trading, to $198.01 after earnings were announced, following a day where it closed down 0.56% at $188.25.

Notably, Facebook gained 2 million users in each of its core U.S. & Canada and Europe markets that drive its business, after quarters of shrinkage, no growth or weak growth there in the past two years. Average revenue per user grew healthily across all markets, boding well for Facebook’s ability to monetize the developing world where the bulk of user growth currently comes from.

Facebook says 2.2 billion users access Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger every day, and 2.8 billion use one of this family of apps each month. That’s up from 2.1 billion and 2.7 billion last quarter. Facebook has managed to stay sticky even as it faces increased competition from a revived Snapchat, and more recently TikTok. However, those rivals might more heavily weigh on Instagram, for which Facebook doesn’t routinely disclose user stats.

Facebook

Zuckerberg defends political ads policy

Facebook’s earnings announcement was somewhat overshadowed by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announcing it would ban all political ads — something TechCrunch previously recommended social networks do. That move flies in the face of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s staunch support for allowing politicians to spread misinformation without fact-checks via Facebook ads. This should put additional pressure on Facebook to rethink its policy.

Zuckerberg doubled-down on the policy, saying “I believe that the better approach is to work to increase transparency. Ads on Facebook are already more transparent than anywhere else,” he said. Attempting to dispel that the policy is driven by greed, he noted Facebook expects political ads to make up “less than 0.5% of our revenue next year.” Because people will disagree and the issue will keep coming up, Zuckerberg admitted it’s going to be “a very tough year.”

Facebook also announced that lead independent board member Susan D. Desmond-Hellmann has resigned to focus on health issues.

Zuckerberg defends political ads that will be 0.5% of 2020 revenue

Earnings call highlights

Facebook expects revenue deceleration to be pronounced in Q4. But CFO David Wehner provided some hope, saying “we would expect our revenue growth deceleration in 2020 versus the Q4 rate to be much less pronounced.” That led Facebook’s share price to spike from around $191 to around $198.

However, Facebook will maintain its aggressive hiring to moderate content. While the company has touted how artificial intelligence would increasingly help, Zuckerberg said that hiring would continue because “There’s just so much content. We do need a lot of people.”

Zuckerberg

Regarding Libra’s regulatory pushback, Zuckerberg explained that Facebook was already diversified in commerce if that doesn’t work out, citing WhatsApp Payments, Facebook Marketplace and Instagram shopping.

On anti-trust concerns, Zuckerberg reminded analysts that Instagram’s success wasn’t assured when Facebook acquired it, and it has survived a lot of competition thanks to Facebook’s contributions. In a new talking point we’re likely to hear more of, Zuckerberg noted that other competitors had used their success in one vertical to push others, saying “Apple and Google built cameras and private photo sharing and photo management directly into their operating systems.”

Scandals continue, but so does growth

Overall, it was another rough quarter for Facebook’s public perception as it dealt with outages and struggled to get buy-in from regulators for its Libra cryptocurrency project. Former co-founder Chris Hughes (who I’ll be leading a talk with at SXSW) campaigned for the social network to be broken up — a position echoed by Elizabeth Warren and other presidential candidates.

The company did spin up some new revenue sources, including taking a 30% cut of fan patronage subscriptions to content creators. It’s also trying to sell video subscriptions for publishers, and it upped the price of its Workplace collaboration suite. But gains were likely offset as the company continued to rapidly hire to address abusive content on its platform, which saw headcount grow 28% year-over-year, to 43,000. There are still problems with how it treats content moderators, and Facebook has had to repeatedly remove coordinated misinformation campaigns from abroad. Appearing concerned about its waning brand, Facebook moved to add “from Facebook” to the names of Instagram and WhatsApp.

It escaped with just a $5 billion fine as part of its FTC settlement that some consider a slap on the wrist, especially since it won’t have to significantly alter its business model. But the company will have to continue to invest and divert product resources to meet its new privacy, security and transparency requirements. These could slow its response to a growing threat: Chinese tech giant ByteDance’s TikTok.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2019/10/30/facebook-earnings-q3-2019/

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Ethereum Istanbul Hard Fork Get Support From Major Crypto Exchanges

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Ethereum Istanbul Hard Fork Get Support From Major Crypto Exchanges

Following the successful Ethereum Istanbul hard fork update, several popular exchanges have announced their official support for the network upgrade.

Yesterday, on Dec. 7, the Ethereum’s network saw ample collaboration between node operators and miners to update the software to support the Istanbul hard fork.

Some crypto exchanges even sounded their willingness to update a few days prior to the scheduled hard fork.

A widely supported hard fork

Notably, Binance announced support for the upgrade on Dec. 5 and the day afterwards its U.S. subsidiary did the same. Coinbase also tweeted yesterday that Ethereum and ERC20 deposits and withdrawals have been resumed on its trading platforms and the node upgrade has been completed.

The website dedicated to reporting the state of Ethereum support of crypto exchange Kraken also suggests that the firm has undergone scheduled maintenance to update the nodes. While the Poloniex exchange has announced their support on twitter.

Bitfinex, the cryptocurrency trading firm with close ties to stablecoin operator Tether, also announced on Dec. 6 that it planned to support the hard fork.

Overall, the hard fork has seen widespread adoption by the community and not major negative events have been reported. This hard fork also included the previously discussed Muir Glacier hard fork, meant to address the so-called Ethereum Ice Age.

Published at Mon, 09 Dec 2019 00:00:00 +0000

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Top-5 Cryptos This Week: XTZ, ATOM, XRP, XMR, BNB

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Top-5 Cryptos This Week: XTZ, ATOM, XRP, XMR, BNB

The New York Digital Investment Group LLC (NYDIG) has received approval from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to offer its shares to institutional investors, including registered investment advisers, their clients and other eligible investors. 

The fund aims to invest in cash-settled BTC futures traded on exchanges that are registered with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Though the increasing number of offerings by various companies targeting the institutional investor is a positive sign, the larger players have been slow to invest in the space due to regulatory concerns and high volatility.   

Crypto market data weekly view

Crypto market data weekly view. Source: Coin360

While the institutions have been cautious, China has been racing ahead in developing blockchain technology for “real-world, practical use cases that are far beyond the experimental stage,” according to a report by Forkast Insights, the research arm of Asia-based Forkast. This is a positive sign for the crypto space for the long-term.

A report by crypto exchange SFOX shows that Bitcoin searches usually peak before the holidays. The firm said that Bitcoin’s price rallied for three consecutive days before Thanksgiving on Nov. 28. 

Will the price move higher before Christmas? We will have to wait and see. Meanwhile, let’s analyze the charts of the top-five performers to see whether they show any bullish patterns. 

XTZ/USD

Tezos (XTZ) was the top performer of the past seven days by a huge margin. The traders cheered the news that Binance would support zero-fee staking for Tezos from Dec. 4. The rewards would be calculated daily and distributed monthly. Can the altcoin extend its momentum in the coming week? Let’s analyze its chart.

XTZ/USD weekly chart

XTZ/USD weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

The XTZ/USD pair has been taking support close to the 20-week EMA for the past three weeks. The 20-week EMA has started to turn up and the RSI has jumped into the positive territory, which shows that bulls have the advantage. There is a minor resistance at $1.414152, above which a rally to $1.85 is likely.

A breakout of $1.85 will be a huge positive that will signal the start of a new uptrend. Above this level, a rally to $2.87 and then onwards to $3.37 is likely.

Contrary to our assumption, if the price turns down from the current levels or from the overhead resistance at $1.85, a few days of range-bound action is likely. The pair will weaken on a break below the critical support at $0.829651.

ATOM/USD

This is the second week in running that Cosmos (ATOM) has been among the top-performing major cryptocurrencies, which shows that it is backed by momentum. Can the altcoin build on its strength in the coming week or is it time to book profits? Let’s analyze the chart.

ATOM/USD weekly chart

ATOM/USD weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

The bulls are attempting to propel the ATOM/USD pair above the overhead resistance at $4.4389. If successful, the pair will start a new upward move that can reach $7. Therefore, the traders can initiate long positions on a close (UTC time) above $4.4389, as suggested in our earlier analysis.

Contrary to our assumption, if the bears defend the overhead resistance at $4.4389, the price might dip to the first support at $3. If this level holds, range-bound action between $3 and $4.4389 might ensue. However, if $3 breaks down, a drop to $1.9101 is likely.

We expect the bulls to aggressively defend $1.9101. A bounce from this support will keep the price inside the large range between $4.4389 and $1.9101. 

XRP/USD

Ripple released a total of 1 billion XRP tokens from its escrow wallet on Dec. 2 but returned it back within seven minutes. Some believe that Ripple dumping XRP has led to a decrease in the token price. However, the company claims that selling is needed to grow its ecosystem and to fund its operations. 

In the ongoing court case to determine whether XRP is a security or not, Ripple has filed a motion to dismiss the class-action suit arguing that even if XRP were a security, the statute of repose had passed before the lawsuit was brought to court.

Following the footsteps of MorningStar Japan, Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings plans to pay shareholder dividends in the form of XRP tokens. Do the fundamental developments offer hope of a turnaround in prices? Let’s analyze its chart.

XRP/USD weekly chart

XRP/USD weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

The failure of the bears to capitalize on the break below the critical support at $0.22 indicates buying at lower levels. The bounce from the yearly low at $0.20041 has risen back above $0.22, which is a positive sign. If the bulls can propel the XRP/USD pair back above $0.24508, it will indicate that the markets have rejected the lower levels. We would turn positive if the price sustains above $0.24508.

However, if the bulls fail to push the price above $0.24508, the bears will again attempt to sink the price back below $0.20041. If successful, a drop to $0.18 is possible.

XMR/USD

The Monero (XMR) network successfully upgraded to RandomX on Nov. 30. The new upgrade uses random code execution together with memory-focused techniques and aims to be ASIC-resistant. Can the hard fork boost the price? Let’s study its chart.

XMR/USDT weekly chart

XMR/USDT weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

The XMR/USD pair has reached close to the resistance line of the ascending channel. A breakout of the channel will be a positive sign but it is likely to face stiff resistance at the moving averages. 

If the price turns down from the moving averages, a drop to $38.83 to $45.4494 support zone is likely. If this support zone holds, the pair might consolidate for a few weeks before making its next directional move.

Conversely, if the bulls succeed in propelling the price above the moving averages, a rally to $98 and above it to $121.4270 is likely. Therefore, we retain the buy recommendation given in an earlier analysis.

BNB/USD

In its attempt to expand support to various fiat currencies for crypto trading, Binance listed four ruble trading pairs on Dec. 2. 

On Dec. 3, the exchange announced the acquisition of decentralized app (DApp) information startup DappReview for an undisclosed amount. 

“This acquisition marks a significant step into the dapps ecosystem, and we will have more exciting developments in the near future,” said Binance CFO Wei Zhou. 

Will these steps help in boosting the price of Binance Coin (BNB)? Let’s see what the technicals are showing.

BNB/USDT weekly chart

BNB/USDT weekly chart. Source: Tradingview

The bulls have successfully defended the support at $14.2555 for the past three weeks. However, the rebound off the support has been weak, which shows a lack of aggressive buying at the current levels. The moving averages are on the verge of a bearish crossover, which is a negative sign.

If the bulls fail to propel the price above $16.50 within the next few days, the bears will attempt to sink the price back below $14.2555. A breakdown of the support will be a huge negative and can drag the price to $11.30.

Conversely, if the BNB/USD pair rises above the immediate overhead resistance at $16.50, a rally to $21.2378 is possible.  

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

Published at Sun, 08 Dec 2019 16:12:00 +0000

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Ethereum Price Stable Despite Hard Fork, Altcoins See Small Gains

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Ethereum Price Stable Despite Hard Fork, Altcoins See Small Gains

Sunday, Dec. 8 — most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting discreet gains on the day by press time, as Bitcoin (BTC) hovers around the $7,550 mark again.

Market visualization courtesy of Coin360

Bitcoin price is currently down by 0.2% on the day, trading at around $7,552 at press time, according to Coin360. Looking at its weekly chart, the coin is up by about 2.91%.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source:Coin360

On Dec. 6, cryptocurrency market analyst Alex Thorn pointed out on Twitter that the total number of on-chain Bitcoin addresses holding any amount of Bitcoin hit a new record of 28.39 million.

Ether (ETH) is holding onto its position as the largest altcoin by market cap, which currently stands at $16.3 billion. 

Coin360 data shows that ETH has seen its value increase by about 0.11% over the last 24 hours. At press time, ETH is trading around $150. On the week, the coin has also gained about 1.35% of value. 

Overall, the price of the coin seems completely unaffected by the upgrade to its software introduced by the recent hard fork. Some members of the cryptocurrency community express confusion and surprise over the lack of reaction on the asset’s price part on Twitter:

“I really don’t understand ethereum doesn’t go up today.”

Ether 7-day price chart. Source:Coin360

XRP is up by about 0.69% over the last 24 hours and is currently trading at around $0.227. On the week, the coin is up about 3.18%. Ripple’s XRP is currently the second-largest altcoin, has a market cap of $9.9 billion at press time.

XRP 7-day price chart. Source:Coin360

Among the top 20 cryptocurrencies, the only one reporting double digit gains is Algorand (ALGO), which has seen its value increase by about 10.46% over the 24 hours to press time.

At press time, the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is $204.8 billion, about 2.4% higher than the value it reported a week ago.
 

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here

Published at Sun, 08 Dec 2019 13:30:00 +0000

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