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Cryptocurrency exchanges are a significant target for hackers, and there are numerous well-documented examples of significant amounts of cryptocurrency being taken in attacks.  This frequently gives rise to issues of liability and recovery for the individuals who were holding their cryptocurrency with the exchange in question, and the precise basis on which the exchange is holding the cryptocurrency.

This latest judgment results from the hack in 2019 of Cryptopia, a cryptocurrency exchange.  It adds to the growing body of case law supporting the conclusion that cryptoassets can have the legal status of property. It also provides further guidance on how traditional definitions of property may be applied to digital assets, as well as a detailed discussion on whether cryptoassets are more than merely information.

After the hack, Cryptopia was placed into liquidation in May 2019, and the liquidators applied to the Court (in New Zealand) to clarify the proprietary status of the remaining cryptocurrency in order to determine how the assets should be distributed. In a judgment of 8 April 2020, the High Court of New Zealand found: firstly, cryptocurrencies were “property” and, therefore, were capable of being held on trust; secondly, the cryptocurrencies were held on multiple trusts for the accountholders, one for each type of digital asset in question. This meant that the cryptocurrencies were beneficially owned by the accountholders and, therefore, did not form part of the assets of the cryptocurrency platform. In this case, the Court did not need to consider the questions of Cryptopia’s legal culpability and implications for lost digital assets resulting from the hack.

For further information, please see our blog post here.

Andrew Moir

Richard Norridge

Charlie Morgan


Can cryptocurrencies save financial privacy amidst global shift to digital payments? | FairPlanet

Can cryptocurrencies save financial privacy amidst global shift to digital payments? | FairPlanet

May 20th, 2020

We are currently witnessing the death of cash. All around the world, the share of cash-based payments is decreasing. Instead, we are seeing a shift to digital and mobile payments. So what? After all, there are good reasons to shift to cash.

From a consumer perspective, having to carry cash around can be a burden and banks often charge customers for withdrawing it from ATMs. For businesses, cash handling is equally as expensive. Cash payments take more time at the counter and employees are more prone to make mistakes when counting and returning change. Not to forget, cash needs to be picked up at the end of every day by specialised security companies who charge for that service.

Governments, on the other hand,  have an interest in seeing digital payments take over as they reduce the possibility for businesses to evade taxes and launder money.

What already looked like a dire situation for cash before got exacerbated by the current COVID-19 crisis. The Pandemic has forced billions of people worldwide to change their spending habits almost literally overnight. Who wants to hold a note that has gone through thousands of hands in the germophobic world that we currently live in? Many stores have gone to completely ban cash payments. Some countries, notably China, Russia and South Korea, have taken cash out of circulation and burnt it.

Nobody knows if we’re going back to the level of cash payments before the crisis. Some of this change might be temporary and some might not – spending habits, once acquired, are hard to break.

A look into a cashless future…

Seems like everybody is happy in a world without cash, no? The problem is that along with cash dies financial anonymity.

Every form of digital payment requires a middleman – a credit card company, PayPal or some other company – which knows your identity and keeps a record of your transactions on its servers. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that this financial data is immensely valuable as it can be used to understand people’s purchasing behaviour. The big tech companies have understood this better than anyone.  

Today we have GooglePay, ApplePay, FacebookPay, and AmazonPay along with hundreds of other players rivalling to become our wallet of choice. In China, where digital payments have become ubiquitous, we see first examples of how users’ financial behaviour can then be tied into a ‘Social Credit Score’. Have you paid for a service on a ‘dirty’ online site? Good luck getting your kid into the best schools. Haven’t paid your last loan back in time? Good luck with getting a new one.

But privacy is only one concern. Censorship-resistance is another. The issue with centralised payment providers like PayPal or your bank is that the money that you hold in your account is just a number in their database. Companies holding that money on your behalf can seize or freeze that money arbitrarily or as a result of government pressure. Though there might be a good reason for it every now and then, for the most part, this is not the case.

Governments don’t always act in the best interest of their citizens, and the easiest way to suppress people is to cut them off financially. In 2010, PayPal and Visa froze the accounts of whistleblower platform Wikileaks by request of the U.S. government and banned them from receiving further donations. In Hong Kong, donation accounts of the Hong Kong activists were seized in a similar fashion following pressure from the Chinese government. This list of examples goes on and on.

Cryptocurrency as ‘electronic cash’

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ether are a radically new form of money. In short, they are currencies that are completely electronic; they live on peer-to-peer networks that anyone can connect to and can’t be controlled by any single entity. Contrary to fiat money issued by governments, bitcoins are not created out of thin air but through miners all over the world who provide computing power to the network to validate the transactions that are broadcasted to the network. 

In other words, these networks are not run by private entities like Visa or Mastercard, but by a global network of computers (much like the Internet). These computers don’t enforce moral codes, they just check that payments are valid and execute them accordingly. This means that users can send their money to wherever they want; a game-changer for citizens in oppressed countries like Iran or Venezuela.

Secondly, no entity can seize or freeze users’ accounts.  Unlike in the traditional system where money sits in bank accounts, with crypto, users hold their funds in cryptocurrency wallets, that only they have control over.

Moreover, users don’t expose their real-world identity on the network, but receive a cryptographic address, such as ‘0x79C4213a328E3B4F1D87b4953C14759399dB25E3’, which allows them to remain pseudonymous. Only when they buy or sell their cryptocurrency through cryptocurrency exchanges, users have to register with their identity documents. 

That said, there are plenty of options to sell and buy cryptocurrency in more private ways. In fact, the Human Rights Foundation has published a guide on how to use cryptocurrency privately for journalists and activists under surveillance by authoritarian governments. Peer-to-peer exchanges, for instance, let users buy cryptocurrency from private sellers, similar to how you buy a piece of furniture from a seller on eBay, and thereby keep your identity hidden from the exchange.


While it is tempting to only focus on the opportunities cryptocurrencies present to criminals, it’s more important to focus on what it represents for law-abiding citizens that make up the vast majority of society. Electronic cash and financial sovereignty are essential to sustaining a liberal open society. 

Countries, where privacy is taken seriously, are waking up to this reality. In Germany and Austria, there are first attempts to protect citizens’ rights to cash in the constitution. The European Central Bank, on the other hand, is testing ways to issue a “CBDC”: central bank digital currency. The project’s introduction sounds quite alarming: “Against the background of the ongoing digitalisation of the economy, the payments ecosystem needs to find an answer to an issue that concerns all citizens: the question of how to allow some degree of privacy in electronic payments, while still ensuring compliance with AML/CFT regulations”.

While it’s reassuring that some countries work on alternatives, we need to keep in mind that not all governments have the best interest of their citizens in mind. We need to start having a public debate about how citizens’ right to financial privacy will be guaranteed in an increasingly digital world. Cryptocurrency is the best way to provide an alternative to citizens of these countries.

Emanuel Coen is the founder of – a crypto product comparison platform that helps people find the right products and get started on their crypto journey. 

Image credit: bk1498528 Blore

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Author: Emanuel Coen

Cryptocurrencies Price Prediction: Bitcoin, Ethereum & Ripple – American Wrap: 5/19/2020

Cryptocurrencies Price Prediction: Bitcoin, Ethereum & Ripple – American Wrap: 5/19/2020

Bitcoin (BTC) has been locked in a tight range between $9,800 and $9,400 since Monday. At the time of writing, BTC/USD is changing hands below $9,700, mostly unchanged both on a day-to-day basis and since the beginning of Tuesday. On the intraday charts, BTC is supported by 1-hour SMA100 (currently at $9,600), while the resistance is created by 1-hour SMA50 on approach to $9,800. The ultimate bullish target is created by a psychological $10,000.

Ethereum (ETH) is changing hands at $214.20, mostly unchanged since the beginning of the day. The coin has recovered from the intraday low of $209.22, but further upside seems to be limited so far.

Ethereum’s daily trading volume has exceeded $14.5 billion, while its total market value reached $29 billion.

Ripple has moved lower on Tuesday and the price is now testing the 55 exponential moving average (EMA) once again. Historically looking at the chart, the 55 EMA has been respected on a few occasions.

If the daily candle does closer lower on the session then the 0.18 support zone could be retested again. During December the market hit the aforementioned support level and the price moved higher with dramatic effect.

Photo by Moose Photos from Pexels.

© 2020 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.


Author: FXStreet , Benzinga Contributor


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All Cryptocurrencies screener – Yahoo Finance

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