Last week did not repeat the encouraging performance from the week before, when all major coins in the cryptocurrency market experienced big rises and Bitcoin got all the way up to the high 5k USD range. Regardless, this week showed a certain stability for a few coins and some big dips for others. In other important news, another social media giant gets involved with blockchain tech, South Korea’s biggest exchange got hacked last month, 2018’s great losses are added to, the Token Taxonomy Act is reintroduced in the US, and research suggests the end of the current bear market is imminent.
Here’s what you need to know about last week’s happenings in the crypto world:
1. Cryptocurrency Market Analysis
Bitcoin (BTC) opened Monday at $5,199.84 and closed at $5,289.77, 1.7% higher than the opening price. It is accurate to say that this was Bitcoin’s dynamic throughout the week, with the biggest difference between opening and closing happening on Thursday, when the coin opened at $5,325.08 and closed 4.9% lower at $5,064.49. The peak of the week occurred on Wednesday at $5,421.65, and by Friday, it had gone down 8.6%, to land on $4,955.85, the week’s lowest price. This past week, Bitcoin (BTC) managed to almost stay above the 5k USD mark every day, with the exception of Friday. By Sunday, Bitcoin’s price closed the week at $5,167.72, with a 1.4% gain for the day and a 0.6% loss on the week. The leading coin’s market cap opened the week at $93.3B and it closed Sunday at $91.2B, losing 2.25% of its value.
Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360
Ethereum (ETH) opened the week high at $174.45 and went up 5.7% during the day to reach the week’s peak at $184.38. Monday closed at $180.26. Tuesday and Wednesday also saw prices above $180. Thursday and Friday experienced a drop in the coin’s price, closing at $165.5 and $164.74 respectively. Friday was also the day of ETH’s lowest price of the week, at $161.03 — 12.7% lower than the coin’s peak on Monday. The weekend was rather calm and Sunday closed at $167.84, with a 2% loss for the day and a 3.8% loss for the week. Ethereum’s coin market cap started the week at $19B and lost 6.8% during the week, closing Sunday at $17.7B.
Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360
XRP (XRP) started Monday at $0.361143 and went up during the day to reach its high for the week’s $0.367036. By the day’s closing however, it had gone down 2.4%. The rest of the week shared the same dynamic, with closings being lower than openings almost every day. Just like the aforementioned coins, XRP followed a similar course and had its lowest price on Friday, at $0.321167. This decrease was more drastic, with XRP losing 12.5% from the week’s peak on Monday. Saturday showed almost no difference between opening and closing prices and Sunday closed at $0.328809, with a 0.8% gain for the day and a 9% loss for the week. Ripple’s market cap on Monday was at $15B, and by Sunday it had shed 8.2% of its value, closing at $13.7B.
XRP 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) opened Monday at $319.77 and during the day the price went up to reach its peak of the week at $326.92. By the end of Monday it had lost 5.1% of its value, closing the day at $310.16. On Tuesday BCH experienced a 4.5% loss opening at $309.95 — the high of the day — and closing at $296.04. Wednesday’s performance was slightly better, peaking at $312.09. The low of the week came in the next day, at $259.02 and the weekend did not go higher than $289.54 on Sunday. BCH closed the week at $288.65, with a 3.3% gain for the day and a 9.7% loss for the week. Bitcoin Cash’s market cap was $5.5B on Monday and through the week suffered a 6.9% cut, closing Sunday at $5.1B.
Bitcoin Cash 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360
Litecoin (LTC) opened Monday high at $92.33 and soon after posted its high of the week at $93.82. The rest of the week, LTC’s price did not go above $90, with the exception of Wednesday’s high — $90.35. The low of the week happened on Friday at $76.44, and the rest of the weekend, Litecoin’s price didn’t go higher than $82.94 on Sunday’s closing. LTC ended the week with a 6% gain for the day and a 10% loss for the week. The market cap for Litecoin was $5.5B on Monday and $5.1B on Sunday, decreasing in price by 7.2%.
Litecoin 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360
2. Telegram begins private testing of the TON Blockchain
According to an Apr. 11 report from Russian news outlet Vedomosti, the global messaging app Telegram has launched a private beta of the Telegram Open Network, their own blockchain, limited to only select global developers.
Some of the reported testers of the Telegram’s blockchain revealed that it has an “extremely high transaction speed”, although no specific information or indicators could be shared at the moment, given that the smart contracts and the code of the TON blockchain are also in the process of testing.
3. Bithumb suffers further losses in crypto
Bithumb, South Korea’s largest exchange, saw 14B won—$12M—disappear last month. The company stated that the amount was all in EOS, and part of company-only funds. This is not Bithumb’s first security breach, which is why customers’ funds have remained in cold storage wallets, where the rest of the company’s funds have been moved after the latest attack. Due to the hack, Bithumb has conducted an external audit of its funds. Executives from the exchange believe this attack was orchestrated by an insider, but nothing more has been revealed.
To add to the exchange casualties, Bithumb experienced losses of $180 million in 2018’s BTC bear market. Despite having grown 17.5% in sales in comparison to 2017, it did not escape the record-breaking lows of 2018, going through major staff cuts last month.
4. DAI users vote for a further 4% increase of stability fees
An Apr. 8 governance poll showed that there was a clear majority among users of DAI stablecoin to pass another increase in stability fees. Other options included keeping the current stability fee as is, or increasing it by 1, 2 or 3%, but a substantive majority opted for the fees to be increased by 4%.
This will bring the stability fees of DAI stablecoin to 11.5% per year, a number that has increased five times from the initial 7.5% of stability fees per year in 2019. The need behind the increase—and the support from the user base—is driven by the need to keep DAI pegged to the US dollar in a 1:1 relationship, something that it has failed to do as of late.
5. The Ethereum DApps user base decreases as TRON’s becomes the fastest growing
A DApp.com report shows a 4% decrease in terms of DApp active users on the Ethereum chain compared to last year’s numbers. The number decreased to 72,422 active users, who are mostly concentrated in DEXs and gambling apps. TRON, on the other hand, boasts more than 300,000 DApp users, with roughly 85% of them interacting with a DApp in Q1 of 2019, making it the most active chain.
However, the Ethereum blockchain is still preferred among developers. According to the report, more than half of the 504 DApps that were added to DApp.com were Ethereum-based, making it the number one choice for developers. However, the report also indicates that there have been almost 600 Ethereum DApps that have not reported a single transaction in Q1 2019.
6. Fewer ICOs are raising funds in Q1 2019
As reported by ICObench, the first quarter of 2019 had fewer ICOs compared to Q4 2018. Q1 2019 saw roughly 330 ICO projects, which raised nearly $1 billion in total, which is lower by roughly $0.5 billion compared to the money raised by ICOs in Q4 2018.
Out of all the 328 ICOs of Q1 2019, 107 of them managed to raise funds while 221 failed to do so. Q4 2018 reportedly had 585 ICOs, and 207 of them raised funds, while the remaining 378 did not.
7. The NYDFS denies Bittrex’s BitLicense application
In a letter to Bill Shihara, CEO of Bittrex, the New York Department of Finance Services explained that the reason why Bittrex’s BitLicense application—required to conduct business related to virtual currencies in New York—were, among others, inadequate policies regarding AML, KYC and OFAC standards. The NYDFS also ordered Bittrex to stop its operations in New York by Apr. 11.
In response to this, Bittrex stated that the regulations in New York do more harm than good, and also proceeded to disagree with the statements regarding the AML and compliance practices and other points mentioned in the letter, arguing that there were many factual inaccuracies.
8. Pewdiepie Partners With Blockchain Livestreaming Platform DLive
Pewdiepie, currently on the verge of reaching 100M subscribers on his Youtube channel, has partnered with DLive, a Blockchain Livestreaming platform that will be Pewdiepie’s exclusive livestreaming channel, according to an Apr. 9 press release.
DLive is based on the Lino blockchain protocol, and it features a rewards system for both streamers and viewers, who will be rewarded with Lino tokens by creating and consuming content respectively. Pewdiepie’s first stream, which consisted of him donating money on other content creators’ streams, took place on Apr. 14.
9. Opera releases new web browser with built-in crypto wallet
As per an Apr. 9 report, the Opera web browser released Opera 60 (dubbed officially as Reborn 3), a browser with a built-in crypto wallet (named Opera Wallet) and a Web 3.0 explorer, which will enable its users to conduct transactions and access blockchain functionalities on the internet. The new browser also possesses a VPN feature, which strengthens the privacy and security of its users.
Additionally, there is a synchronization feature which will allow users to sync their Opera Wallet to the crypto wallets that are currently in the mobile version of the Opera browser. This feature will allow users to receive notifications on their smartphones to sign a transaction on the blockchain, which can be subsequently signed or approved by using features of the smartphone such as fingerprint recognition.
10. US Congressmen Reintroduce Token Taxonomy Act
In order to make the US a competitive world leader in terms of cryptocurrency regulations, the Token Taxonomy Act has been reintroduced, which would preclude cryptocurrency from being classified as securities. The Token Taxonomy Act was first introduced in December of 2018 by Warren Davidson and Darren Soto.
The main difference between the first introduction of the Token Taxonomy Act and the current one is that the new version of the Act clarifies the jurisdictions of the Commodity Futures Trading Commision (CFTC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and other regulatory rulings that had previously confused the issue. Additionally, the Token Taxonomy Act also introduces preemption provisions that would supercede other existing regulations such as New York’s BitLicense.
11. Diar: Institutional Bitcoin Trading Volumes Up for 4th Consecutive Month
According to an Apr. 8 report from Diar, there has been a steady growth in 2019 for the trading volumes of institutional Bitcoin, reaching a 19% in April. The institutional products that are the focus of the report are the CBOE and CME Bitcoin futures and Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC).
This marks the fourth month in a row in which there’s been an increase of institutional Bitcoin trading volumes, after having 15% in January, 17% in February and 18% in March. Additionally, this steady growth is happening during a period wherein the Bitcoin exchange trading volumes have reached their lowest point since 2017.
12. The International Chamber of Commerce to Support Blockchain Adoption
With help from Singaporean blockchain company Perlin, the ICC will roll out technology in order to bring in and support the adoption of innovative technologies among the 45 million businesses that the ICC represents in over 130 countries. The working relationship between the ICC and Perlin was communicated in an Apr. 12 press release.
The partnership will allow Perlin to easily connect with the ICC’s vast member pool, which includes national chambers of commerce and companies such as Amazon, Coca Cola, Fedex, McDonalds and PayPal. Perlin will be offering free access to its blockchain platform during the initial stages, focusing on efficient and scalable blockchain traceability and transparency systems for value chains.
13. Facebook is seeking $1 billion to develop crypto project
As reported by Nathaniel Popper, tech reporter for the New York times via Twitter on Apr. 8, the social media giant is looking for venture capital (VC) firms to invest in their cryptocurrency project. Popper reports that Facebook is targeting big sums—as much as $1 billion. The report also cites the project as a stablecoin: “Facebook has been designing the coin to keep a stable value, pegged to a basket of foreign currencies held in bank accounts.”
The idea of a company as big as Facebook seeking outside investment might have raised some eyebrows, but Popper states that this could keep Facebook’s cryptocurrency project more in line with the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency technology.
14. Research: Current Prices Could Suggest End of Bear Market
The Apr. 11 Binance Research bulletin, centered around current phenomena and trends within crypto, suggests that Bitcoin and altcoin prices could have already hit their lowest point.
The bulletin underlines the effects high correlation periods among cryptoassets and their cyclicality. Namely, the all-time high correlation of composite altcoins with Bitcoin coincided with Bitcoin’s fall from the $6,000 mark to $3,000. And then: “Having emerged from a period of the highest internal correlations in crypto history, the data may support the notion that the cryptomarket has already bottomed out.”
15. Survey: 80% Of Organizations are not Using Blockchain Technology At All
The 2019 edition of Stack Overflow’s developer survey included questions about blockchain technology. The most important takeaway is that, out of the roughly 50,000 developers who answered, 80% of their organizations are not using blockchain technology.
Regarding developer opinions on blockchain technology, which had more than 60,000 respondents, more than half of them said that Blockchain technology is useful. However, this optimism is mostly concentrated among young developers. More experienced developers tended to say that it is a “passing fad” (16.8%) or “an irresponsible use of resources” (15.6%).
Despite every top 5 cryptocurrencies in the market experiencing losses this week, rebounds were taking shape across the board towards the end of it, restoring hope in the notion of BTC continuing to go up, after having crossed the $5k mark the week before. The end of the bear market suggested by Binance research shows great hope for the future of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general, a future that seems even more positive if social media giants Telegram and Facebook join in the game.
We wish you a great week,
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