Only one cryptocurrency actually gains during current downturn. With bellwether bitcoin core losing close to one-third of its value in a day, ether ceding its No. 2 rank to ripple which is also trending down and every other widely traded cryptocurrency following suit, one appears to be defying gravity. Binance Coin surged as much as 8.5% against the U.S. dollar in recent trading, CCN reports. BNB is the in-house coin for Binance, the Hong Kong-based crypto exchange widely believed to be the world’s largest.
BTC volumes up via dormant wallets. While crypto-sceptics ascribe the sudden drop in coins’ prices on the market wising up to a lack of inherent value, the story is almost certainly a little more layered. And one cause might be that long-term BTC holders picked now to unwind their positions. Bitcoin.com reports that one long-inactive BTC account sold off $2.5 billion worth of the most traded cryptocurrency, while a handful of others cashed in another $1.5 billion. Similar moves were initiated by formerly dormant ether, ripple and other wallets. Crypto investors frequently have more than one account for each coin they hold, so it is likely that the number of people driving the entire bear market could fit in a car together. It is even conceivable that it comes down to one pseudonymous individual. It remains unclear why the selloff occurred when it did.
Bitcoin futures coming to Nasdaq. A spokesman for the U.S.-based Nasdaq stock exchange confirmed rumours that it would begin trading in BTC futures. According to British tabloid The Daily Express, the listing will go live in 2019, subject to regulatory approval by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. This is broadly seen as an expression of sustained confidence in crypto-assets by the tech-oriented bourse at a time of strongly negative market conditions. Nasdaq is a world leader in blockchain patent granted.
Swiss permit Blockchain firms to accept deposits. Finma, Switzerland’s primary financial regulator, published guidelines describing how small fintech companies can accept up to CHF 100 million in deposits from the public. The swiss franc is roughly in parity with the U.S. dollar. The move is intended to spur innovation in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, and the growth firms that take advantage of the new crowdfunding capability will find it difficult to legally apply it to much beyond their own internal operations and R&D labs. The guidelines prohibit them from reinvesting the proceeds in other entities and from paying interest on the deposits.
Coinbase adds Zcash. Leading U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has added Zcash to its listings on its retail investing site and mobile apps. It had been available on Coinbase Pro for several weeks. ZEC’s key value proposition is its ability to toggle between “transparent” and “shielded” transactions depending on the counterparties’ preferences.
Crypto sites try to move beyond market cap. In the wake of sharp price drops over the past month, crypto-asset issuers are rooting around for other metrics to express their tokens’ value. One site, CoinMarketBook, headlines its landing page with the statement, “Market cap is a lie,” and suggests buy support – the sum of buy orders that are within 10% of the bid price – as a forward-looking gauge of tokens’ value. Other sites acknowledge that trading data in the crypto space is still too immature and unreliable to accept listed prices as undisputed truth and attempt to compute “fair value” assessments. None of this, of course, masks the fact that market caps are declining. Even so, it is also a fact that bitcoin miners are still plying their trade, and global firms continue to invest in the underlying blockchain technology, so there are clear signals that there some value – perceived and real – remains. Determining the precise amount of that value, though, remains an elusive goal.
G20 agrees to “monitor” and “assess” crypto. The G20’s Buenos Aires meeting concluded with the issuance of a joint communique on 13 points of agreement. Number 10 concerned crypto-assets which “can deliver significant benefits to the financial system and the broader economy,” but “raise issues with respect to consumer and investor protection, market integrity, tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing.” While calling for further study rather than any direct action, the heads of government of the world’s 20 leading economies called on their Financial Action Task Force to provide further guidance.
Intel inside a patent for energy-efficient bitcoin mining. An Oregon-based team working for U.S. chip maker Intel was granted a patent for hardware promoting “energy efficient high-performance Bitcoin mining”. The key component of the system is a processor that enables miners to solve hash algorithms more quickly, thus taking friction out of the process of ensuring that the entire distributed ledger is completely consistent internally. This consensus mechanism – known as proof-of-work – is often criticised for requiring an inordinate amount of electrical power to be performed.