Livin’ On a Prayer
“When the praises go up, the blessings come down,” Chance the Rapper tells us. Well, we best hope he’s right, because the cryptocurrency market could use a lil providence right about now.
Sitting at a $336bln market cap last Friday, the market dropped to $275bln by Sunday, only to steadily rebound for the rest of the week following the G20’s cryptocurrency-focused summit. Until yesterday, the market cap climbed above its position from the prior week, but after losing a couple $10bln, it’s at $324bln, a 3% loss from last Friday.
Not the biggest recorded loss by any means, but it shows that the market is still teetering on the edge. Right now, it’s waiting for a tipping point–whether that be up or down is anyone’s guess. That said, it could also find some balance by trading at a less volatile equilibrium. Some sideways price action would be a blessing for the coming weeks, so feel free to say some prayers for a little consolidation and a flat-lined price chart.
Bitcoin: At the time of this writing, Bitcoin is trading for $8,570, a whopping 1% increase from its $8490 price coming into this week. But hey, it’s still in the green, and that’s something to be thankful for.
Ethereum: Ethereum hasn’t faired so well compared to big bro Bitcoin. Last week, it came into Friday morning trading strongly at $622. Now, it’s at $526, a 15% decrease over the seven day period.
Ripple: This week, Ripple’s price action is smack in the middle of crypto’s top two. With an asking price of $0.64, it’s down 8% from the $0.70 it sported last Friday.
Twitter’s CEO Believes Bitcoin Will Be the World’s Sole Currency: “The world ultimately will have a single currency, the internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be bitcoin”, said Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey. He strongly believes that in the next ten years, updates like the Lightning Network will help bitcoin overtake competitors. Dorsey has already contributed $2.5 million towards an SF startup focused on advancing the Lightning Work.
There Will be a Universal Payments Network by 2028, Says Jeb McCaleb: CTO and co-founder of Stellar Jeb McCaleb doesn’t know which blockchain network will dominate the universal payments system in the future, but he does believe it will involve a “public ledger that people can see and can’t change arbitrarily”. Currently, McCaleb is attempting to set up such a network through Stellar.
IBM Announces Blockchain Starter Plan Solution For Businesses: IBM recently unveiled their new product that allows anyone to build distributed ledgers. In an email with CNBC, general manager of Blockchain at IBM Marie Wieck wrote: “our expertise in building and scaling networks is invaluable and will be shared across a wide ecosystem.” IBM made it clear they will focus on distributed ledger technology, not cryptocurrencies.
Roughly 50% of 2017’s ICO’s Have Already Failed: It turns out everyone who warned you to be wary of ICO’s were right. According to a study by Bitcoin.com, out of 902 crowd sales which took place in 2017, 142 didn’t make it past the funding stage and 276 since failed. When calculated, it amounts to 46% of all ICO projects having already entered the crypto graveyard.
Stellar Looks to Adopt the Lightning Network: One of the market’s top 10, Stellar Lumens, will begin integrating Lightning Channel’s protocols onto its network. The announcement comes less than a week after Lightning Labs released a beta for Bitcoin’s LN. “In order to keep the network efficient and stable,” Stellar founder Jed McCaleb said regarding the developments, “we need something like Lightning.”
Congress Issues Bullish Report on the Benefits of Blockchain: In a routine economic report, the United States Congress praises the potential of blockchain technology for legacy industries. “Blockchain technology offers a decentralized, secure, and efficient way to store almost any form of data across multiple platforms. Developers, companies, and governments recognize the potential and have already starting to implement blockchains for many different uses,” the report read. “From applications ranging from management of the electrical grid and utilities to how companies manage global supply chains, the potential for blockchain is truly revolutionary.”
Trump Officially Bars Citizens from Using Venezuelan Petro: Venezuela is currently holding an initial coin offering for the Petro, its very own commodity-backed, state-sponsored cryptocurrency. Ironically, Trump has now domestically sanctioned an alternative currency that was made specifically to circumvent US sanctions. In response to the petro’s ICO, Trump signed an executive order that prohibits citizens both in the US and its territories from purchasing or holding the Petro.
Payza Pinned with Money Laundering, Ponzi Schemes: Ferhan Patel, co-founder of Payza, a payment processor out of the UK, was arrested in Michigan earlier this week. The arrest comes as the result of a November 2016 court order that sues Payza for “[operating] a money transmitting business that operated without the necessary state licenses and knowingly transmitted funds that were derived from illegal activity,” such as Ponzi schemes and child porn. Payza began offering XRP and ETH through its purchasing services last year.
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Russia Potentially Helped Venezuela Launch Petro to Dodge U.S. Sanctions: As TIME suggests, the Russians may have used Venezuela as an experiment to test a decentralized currency without the risk of bringing down their ruble.
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No, Sierra Leone Didn’t Run The World’s First Blockchain-Based Election: The National Electoral Commission Sierra Leone denies publications claiming it held its recent presidential election with blockchain technology. In a Tweet, the commission said it uses “an in-house database to tally election results” and “does not use Blockchain in any way”. The false narrative seems to stem from a Swiss blockchain company named Agora, whose CEO congratulated the country for using blockchain technology in their election.
— National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (@NECsalone) March 19, 2018
Maybe he’s changed his way, or maybe it’s just another profit-making scheme from the ultra-wealthy Escobar family. Either way, Roberto Escobar is launching his own cryptocurrency which is said to be similar to bitcoin. Named “diet bitcoin”, Roberto states he’s made over $100 billion dollars in his career and this digital asset will be another success, adding “buy as many diet bitcoins as you can afford, the value will be very high soon.”
15-Year-Old British Boy Hacks “Tamper-Proof” Crypto Wallet: France-based hardware wallet startup Ledger has claimed for years that it’s cryptocurrency wallets had no vulnerabilities to hackers. Recently, teenager Saleem Rashid proved the Ledger claims wrong, and posted on his blog how criminals can steal the private keys physically or remotely. Good news for Ledger’s main competitor, Trezor, we guess.
South Korea Plans to Legalize ICOs Again: According to The Korea Times, “the financial authorities have been talking to the country’s tax agency, justice ministry, and other relevant government offices about a plan to allow ICOs in Korea when certain conditions are met”. If the source (who preferred to conceal their identity) is telling the truth, the news will be a major turnaround for the South Korean government who deemed last September were illegitimate.
Binance Makes the Move to Malta: Following compliance warnings sent by Japan’s Financial Services Agency, Binance, one of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, is relocating to Malta. According to Binance’s CEO, the Hong Kong-based exchange hopes that Malta’s progressive attitude towards cryptocurrencies specifically and FinTech at large will foster a healthier culture for the less-than-a-year-old company.
Honored, sir! Part of my original quote to Bloomberg that was left out of the article. “Malta is very progressive when it comes to crypto and fintech. We think it is a good place for other crypto businesses to look into as well.” https://t.co/cBZJnEgUGk
— CZ (not giving crypto away) (@cz_binance) March 23, 2018
Russia May Have Given Venezuela a Hand With the Petro: A Time’s article published on March 20th claims that Russia assisted Venezuela with the launch of its national cryptocurrency, the Petro. According to TIME’s source, an executive at a Russian state bank who deals with cryptocurrencies, “senior advisers to the Kremlin have overseen the effort in Venezuela, and President Vladimir Putin signed off on it last year.” While unconfirmed, the accusation is far from surprising, though it does paint a more complex picture for the state of US and Russian relations, especially in light of President Trump’s Petro ban.
UK Government Looks to Create Cryptocurrency Task Force: Philip Hammond, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, is set to reveal plans for the UK’s new cryptocurrency task forks, reports from this Thursday suggest. Apparently, the task force will include the Treasury, the Bank of England, and the Financial Conduct Authority. The developments are anticipated alongside other FinTech discussions at the second annual International FinTech Conference hosted by the British government.
In Korea, Banks Being Probed for Exchange Corporate Accounts: As originally reported on Yonhap news, the South Korean Financial Intelligence Unit and Financial Services Commission will launch an investigation into domestic banks that offer corporate accounts to cryptocurrency exchanges. The probes are meant to ensure that all banks are complying with the government’s anti-money laundering regulations.
Colin Harper coauthored this post*
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